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GIVEAWAYS From Prada to Nada, a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, is a new romantic comedy starring Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, with Kuno Becker and Adriana Barraza. It’s a whimsical fishout-of-water story of two spoiled sisters: Nora, a law student, and Mary, an undergrad party girl, living with their father in a luxurious mansion in Beverly Hills. Mary has become so “90210” she refuses to admit she is of Mexican descent. When their Dad suddenly passes away, their posh lives are turned upside down. Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment we have five copies of the movie on DVD up for grabs! Terrence Malick has always created thoughtprovoking, intensely visual and viscerally emotional films of our times, each one a distinct experience rife with mystery and depth. His new film, The Tree of Life, may be simultaneously his most intimate and epic work yet. A hymn to life, it excavates answers to the most haunting and personal human questions through a kaleidoscope of the intimate and the cosmic, from the raw emotions of a family in a small Texas town to the wildest, infinite edges of space and time, from a boy’s loss of innocence to a man’s transforming encounters with awe,

wonder and transcendence. Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn the film is in cinemas Jun 30. Thanks to Icon Films we have ten double in-season passes up for grabs! Nine Sons of Dan are excited to announce their national tour in support of the new single She’s So Fine which will take the band across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland this winter. She’s So Fine is the second single taken from the band’s debut EP Landslide. Since releasing the EP last year, Nine Sons of Dan have played a plethora of shows all over South-East Queensland, developing a reputation as a mustsee live band with an electric presence on stage. They play at The Zoo on Thursday Jun 30 and to celebrate we have three copies of the single She’s So Fine to give away! The big and bloody hearted men of Wagons are gearing up to tour Australia on the back of their new album Rumble, Shake and Tumble, out now through Spunk Records, which features singles ‘I Blew It’ and ‘Downlow’, as well as the long awaited studio recording of live favourite ‘Willie Nelson’. These premier storytellers are fresh off the plane from a sixteen date whirlwind US tour which centred on a triumphant SXSW blitz and will see the band visiting the northern hemisphere on multiple occasions in the coming year, having signed on with America’s High Road Touring; agents to Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Ween and Drive-By Truckers. We have two double passes up for grabs to their gig at The Hi-Fi on Saturday July 2. Entrants must be 18+.

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CONTENTS Get your music industry news from The Front Line Lowdown – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash The Grates aren’t keeping too many secrets when it comes to talking about album number three A new Karnivool album is coming, just not for a while Skipping Girl Vinegar are enjoying life, limping around It’s becomes pretty obvious that The Black Angels really love psych Micah P Hinson wants to write fucking songs! For album number four, White Denim had to act like adults Kinky Friedman has a quip for every occasion We get the general lay of the land from Dom Rimini, crap English and all Ponytail are dead, but Ponytail will never die Joshua Radin just wants to express himself creatively, no matter the medium Gold Coast rapper Jes McGarry loves telling stories, and he’s got some good ones Commercial viability isn’t exactly all Finabah thought it would be Melbourne rockabilly masters Fireballs talk us through the pros and cons of tension Sausage Chopper give us a casualty list Local burlesque rocker Bertie Page laments the “twee” epidemic On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out

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Get the scoop on what’s happening This Week In Arts 32 Paul Feig, Rose Byrne and Kristen Wiig chat to us about this year’s most talked about comedy, Bridesmaids 32 The Looking Glass is dumbfounded and can’t see why 32 Cultural Cringe thinks about donning her crime cap 32 The intensity of Orphans has made Christopher Sommers think about death far more 33 Blame is a great film, simple as that 33

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Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down Kris Swales captures the zeitgeist with a Paradigm Shift Lochlan Watt gets brutal in our new metal column Adamantium Wolf Sarah Petchell has enough punk rock to Wake The Dead Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas Tim Finney shows off his Dance Moves We take you behind the music Behind The Lines iFlog and you can too

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CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Front Row Editor: Daniel Crichton-Rouse Contributing Editors: Dan Condon, Adam Curley Intern: Katherine Edmonds

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INDUSTRY NEWS COOPERATIVE’S AUS LAUNCH OFFICIAL

to self-manage and self-promote themselves. Head to 12gaugecreative.com for further information.

Music newsletter Your Daily SPA (published by Time Off’s publishers Street Press Australia) are reporting that Cooperative Music Australia are officially launching in Australia. After appointing a team they’ll begin releasing material under their own name (which is currently through Shock) from July. As previously reported by the newsletter, Tim Janes (a veteran of Shock) will run the label from Universal’s Melbourne offices. Universal will distribute Co-Op’s releases, which includes the labels Bella Union, DFA Records, Downtown Music, Heavenly Recordings, Kitsune, Mexican Summer and Kemado Records, Transgressive, V2 Music and Wichita Recordings. In a statement Janes said, “I’m truly excited to be working with Vincent [CleryMelin, General Manager] and his team in building our own standalone platform for marketing, publicity and distribution in Australia and New Zealand. Setting up Co-Op’s office here will provide even greater focus on breaking artists and developing the profiles of the labels we represent. Universal backing this standalone service is real testament to their belief in this diverse group of labels that will no doubt continue to grow.” Upcoming releases include Digitalism, Black Lips and CSS.

MOVES AND SHAKES Secret Sounds and Dew Process have bolstered their ranks recently with Jinja Safari manager Blake Rayner taking up the role of International Licensing Manager. Meg Horan is also back in the mix, as manager of Guineafowl they’ll become part of Secret Service Management while also holding an A&R role at Dew Process. Tim Manton joins Secret Sounds’ staff as Concert Promoter while his existing management roles (Operator Please, After The Fall, Wolf & Cub and Ghostwood) will continue separately.

APP SERVICE LAUNCHED Difrnt Entertainment have announced Difrnt Apps, aimed at providing affordable development of mobile apps for bands. The system claims to allow bands to fully customise their app with colour schemes and logos, with a web app available instantly and a phone app upon approval from Apple. The system allows streaming of music and videos and allows fans to buy directly through the app.

COUNTRY CASH Independent country musicians are encouraged to apply for the Australian Independent Artists’ Development Awards (AIADAs), which boasts a $35,000 prize pool. Formerly the Golden Saddle Awards, major prizes include The Professional Development Award ($20,000), The People’s Choice Award ($10,000) and Music Video Of The Year ($5,000). Submissions are now being taken via totalcountry.com.au and public voting will commence Jul 25. The official concert and announcement of winners will take place Oct 15, with performances from last year’s winners Tracey Killeen and Tori Drake. Entries to the AIADAs costs $35 with the full fee going to the Australian Independent Artists’ Development Organisation.

SXSW DOCO DATES ANNOUNCED Details for the screening of SXSW documentary Outside Industry have been announced. In Sydney it will be held at The Vanguard on Monday Jul 18, in Melbourne the Corner Hotel Tuesday Jul 19, in Adelaide Fowlers Live Wednesday Jul 20, in Perth (venue TBA) Thursday Jul 21, at the Margaret River Yangillup’s Caves House Hotel Friday Jul 22 with a date and venue to be announced in Brisbane. Entry is free but restricted to members of the three key industries covered by the festival and conference SXSW – music, film and interactive. There are no RSVPs, but a business card or letter head will get you in. For further info email Phil Tripp at tripp@sxsw.com.

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PERKINS DELVES INTO POO Tex Perkins has revealed he’s contributed by an upcoming children’s album by Rhys Muldoon – Play School veteran and friend of Kevin Rudd. In an interview with FasterLouder Perkins described the album as “edgy”. “Well, would The Wiggles ever deal with poo? Rhys gets down and dirty with the kids. Poo is a big issue when you’ve got little kids. They need to learn about what to do… that’s basically the premise of the album: where The Wiggles won’t go.”

METALLICA FINISH ALBUM WITH LOU REED

STEELE RACKS UP THE CREDITS Luke Steele (The Sleepy Jackson/Empire Of The Sun) has been revealed to have a co-writing credit on the leaked Beyoncé album 4. Steele’s input into the track Rather Die Young follows on from the backing vocals he provided on Jay-Z’s latest album The Blueprint 3’s opening track What We Talkin’ Bout. As well as being involved with one of American hip hop’s most powerful couple, Steele helped out British artist Tinie Tempah earlier this year when he co-wrote and performed on Illusion. A press release from EMI confirmed that Steele is working on a new album but a representative from the label couldn’t confirm if it was an Empire Of The Sun record or the rumoured collaboration with ex-Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns.

Metallica have finished their latest project, which had been long rumoured and speculated about, which they’ve revealed to be a full-length collaborative album with Lou Reed. Posting on their website they wrote, “Ever since we had the pleasure of performing with Lou at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden in October of 2009, we have been kicking around the idea of making a record together. Some of you astute Bay Area residents may have picked up news of recent Lou Reed sightings in the greater San Francisco area and we have indeed been working at our home studio at HQ on and off over the last few months. In what would be lightning speed for a Metallica related project, we recorded ten songs during this time and while at this moment we’re not exactly sure when you’ll hear it, we’re beyond excited to share with you that the recording sessions wrapped up last week.”

BONNAROO TRAGEDIES FRESHLY INKED Sydney-based metal group Darker Half have signed to Rockstar Records for the local release of their new album Desensitized. It will be distributed nationally through MGM. Formed in Switzerland but featuring three English, one Swiss and one Australian member, Halfway Homebuoy are now living in Australia and have signed to Fogsongs for a worldwide publishing deal. Flashpoint Music have snapped up We Are Grace for their debut album – due later this year – which was produced by Larry Page and Harry Vanda. The Central Coast outfit were formerly operating under the progressive rock guise of Forgetting Yesterday. Bella Union – to be distributed in Australia through Cooperative Music – have signed three new acts: Veronica Falls, I Break Horses and Zun Zun Egui.

EPITAPH COMFIRM WARNER JUMP Epitaph and Warner have confirmed the deal that was announced by Your Daily SPA two weeks ago, which will see the punk label switch its distributions to the major label from independent label Shock. With releases from Tom Waits, Wilco, Alkaline Trio, New Found Glory Dangerous! and more due this year, Epitaph Records’ General Manager Dave Hansen said, “We are pleased to announce our agreement with Warner Music Australia. [Managing Director] Tony Harlow and the Warner Music team have made a great commitment to supporting us while respecting our independence, and love our music. We look forward to working with them on distributing our catalogue in Australia and New Zealand.”

CITY & COLOUR MISSES TOP SPOT Two punk-centric releases led the ARIA album chart debuts this week, with Dallas Green (Alexisonfire) landing the second spot with the latest album, Little

Hell, from his acoustic side project City & Colour. It broke up the female dominance at the top of the chart but Adele (21) still sits in top spot with Lady Gaga (Born This Way) third and Seeker Lover Keeper (Seeker Lover Keeper) fourth. American pop/punk favourites All Time Low managed 13th with their latest record Dirty Work, beating out compatriot and country star Carrie Underwood in 14th with Play On. Soul revivalist Aloe Blacc managed 22nd with the release of 2010 album Good Times. As it stands there’s only two local releases in the top 20 with Seeker Lover Keeper joined by Damien Leith’s Roy in 16th. In singles local artists have pushed into the top ten with Stan Walker’s Loud in ninth joining Havana Brown’s We Run The Night in 7th. Faker have made an appearance in the club charts with the Rob Pix/CSS/Lancelot mix of their tune Dangerous entering the top 50 at 48.

FAKE LEE HARDING ARTCILE PULLED The Patience Project – a new outfit featuring ex-Idol Lee Harding and Kid Courageous – were the victim of a fake article last week on website Duderocket. The article, submitted by contributor Lisa Eakins, quoted Harding as saying, “I literally am on the verge of tears hearing how amazing this music is”. The article made claims friends were left out of the band for issues relating to domestic violence. After the band were made aware of the story and disputed it, the website posted a retraction. “We have since learned via the band’s management that the interview was not genuine and contained false and defamatory statements,” they wrote. “Until we can verify its authenticity, we have removed the interview and are investigating how this happened.”

INFO TO SELF-MANAGE Clair McGarry and Samuel J Fell have set up a new firm called 12-Gauge Creative which they hope will provide independent musicians in information on how

Two punters have died at the recent Bonnaroo music festival. A 24-year-old male died after being airlifted from the Tennessee festival and a 32-year-old female was found dead in her tent. Headlined by Arcade Fire, Eminem and others, the event attracts up to 80,000 people and heat had been a concern for this year’s promoters.

VALE CLARENCE CLEMONS After suffering a stroke last week – and reportedly being on the mend – saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Clarence Clemons has died aged 69. Springsteen posted on his website, “Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night.” Founding member of 90s Sydney punk band Downtime Billy Hughes has died after a motorcycle accident in Sydney’s inner-West at the age of 41. Frank Zappa collaborator Larry ‘Wild Man’ Fischer has died at the age of 66, his cult-loved artistic outbursts usually related to his manic depression and schizophrenia. Founding member and lead singer of The Coasters, whose most famous hit was Yakety Yak, Carl Gardner has died at the age of 83. He was battling Alzheimer’s disease and heart failure.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO ROCK To mark the 40th anniversary of Hard Rock, the Australian branch of the renowned cafes will launch an instrument donation program called Be Instrumental. New, used and unwanted instruments will be collected in Cafes in Surfers Paradise and Sydney until the end of July and then will be distributed through the Jimmy Little Foundation, Australian Children’s Music Foundation and Alexandria Park Community School in Sydney to children who have musical aspirations but not the instruments to foster that. Every donor will go into the draw to win one of four brand new guitars from incentive partner, Allans Music + Billy Hyde.


CLOSE TO HOME STEVE KILBEY relates a personal tale as to why three members of The Church are raising awareness of Autism.

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niverse Within is an Autism Awareness and Benefit Gig. This one-off performance, which sees Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Tim Powles of The Church taking the stage with an array of special guests, will be held at the Red Rattler in Marrickville, Sydney on Thursday and will donate money raised to the not-for-profit organisation, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). The organisation is the country’s largest not-for-profit autism specific service provider. According to their website, their vision is “to overcome the isolation of autism” and their mission is to “build confidence and capacity with people who have an autism spectrum disorder, their families and communities by providing information, education and other services”. The Apsect site outlines that “Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours and sensory sensitivities. “The word ‘spectrum’ is used because the range and severity of the difficulties people with an ASD experience can vary widely. ASDs include autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise stated, which is also known as atypical autism. Sometimes the word “autism” is used to refer to all ASDs. “Studies show one in 160 Australians have an ASD and that it is more prevalent in boys than girls. The effects of an ASD can often be minimised by early diagnosis and with the right interventions, many children and adults with an ASD show marked improvements.” Now you know all that, why members of The Church and why Autism? Here, The Church’s Steve Kilbey writes a personal piece for Street Press Australia outlining why they chose to get behind the cause: “Yeah, three members of The Church are playing a benefit raising an awareness for Autism on June 23 at the Red Rattler. There will be guests and stuff and appearance by church alter ego, the refo: mation. Firstly I am no real expert on Autism. It is an umbrella term for a whole range of conditions covering the more mildly affected (Asperger’s Syndrome) right up to those who are indeed locked into a private universe quite inaccessible to family and friends. The medical world seems reasonably baffled by it too and the whole problem needs much more research and much more understanding to unlock the cause and treatment of Autism. We are particularly concerned for siblings of Autistic kids who need strategies for

coping with the incredible problems that it brings and the ASPECT organisation specialises in this very thing. “Autism is very close to home. The church’s executive producer and patron Professor Kevin Lane Keller has an Autistic daughter and I have seen the sadness and bewilderment of Autism and how it affects this good friend of ours. I have an Asperger’s nephew Marlon Kilbey and I have seen the great joy and great sorrow as our family attempted to understand him… I must admit I thought he was just a very naughty boy at first and I was quick to become angry at his seemingly anti-social behaviour (Autistic people can’t always understand “normal” social conventions like hello and goodbye and thank you and please and all that kind of thing). In some ways Marlon is an incredibly bright and focused individual, in other ways he is frustratingly hard to reach – what might have been called an idiot-savant in the bad old un-PC days before we began to vaguely understand this condition. Marlon looks totally normal (actually I envy his bloody rock star looks) and he is interested in strange and arcane things (eg the medieval concept of the “humours”) and he can read and concentrate on this for hours, but if you ask him how things are going he just might completely blank you. Some people have suggested that I myself am mildly Asperger’s and that might account for my lack of social skills and my abhorrence for meeting strangers and chatting about ordinary stuff – you know I have to try so fucking hard to do this and only just now in my 50s can I really pull it off. I personally believe many of our great geniuses (e.g. Van Gogh) may have been affected. “Anyway, Autism is a real problem and a real heartbreaker and the number affected is on the rise inexplicably. We need to find cures and ways to bridge the gap and open these private universes so those affected can indeed join the rest of us out here in what we loosely call reality. “It will be a great one off night – please come and support this worthy cause.” s k bondi 2011

WHO: Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and more

WHAT: Universe Within – Autism Awareness and Benefit Gig

WHEN & WHERE: Red Rattler, Marrickville, Sydney, Thursday Jun 23 11


IN BRIEF Saxophonist Clarence Clemons, best known for his almost four-decadelong stint with Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, has passed away at the age of 69 due to complications following a stroke he suffered last weekend. Carl Gardner, frontman for 50s vocal pop outfit The Coasters, has passed away from unknown causes at the age of 83. Frontman of grindcore legends Anal Cunt, Seth Putnam, has passed away following a heart attack. He was 43 years old.

WARM VIBES Stradbroke Island’s Island Vibe festival has got to be one of the most hotly-anticipated festivals of the year for lovers of reggae, dub, hip hop, soul and all sorts of interesting styles of music from across the globe. The first announcement for this year has come through and it’s pretty damn special, with Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, pictured, making his return to the festival in the headlining position. He’ll be joined by Blue King Brown, Opiuo, Dubmarine, Grace Barbe, Bobby Alu, Impossible Odds, Bertha Control, Selecta Ras George and DJ Dakini. It happens at Minjerribah (aka Point Lookout) from Friday Oct 28 through to Sunday Oct 30. Five hundred tickets are available now from OzTix and outlets for just $165, stay tuned for plenty more announcements!

RUN TO YOU Have you ever really, really ever loved a woman? Well, have you? Bryan Adams has and we’re hoping he’s going to be going into full detail about this and other such far too personal aspects of his life when he plays a very intimate show in our fair city this September. For over three decades Adams has been one of pop music’s most loved performers but his upcoming Bare Bones tour will feature him like you’ve never seen before, playing all the hits up close and personal. He plays QPAC’s Concert Hall on Tuesday Sep 20, get in touch with Qtix from next Wednesday morning if you want a ticket, you’ll want to be snappy.

Two people have passed away at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee; one due to hyperthermia, the other’s cause yet to be determined.

IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY Can you believe that Brisbane’s most iconic dance club The Family is turning ten this year? We can’t, we still remember the hoopla that surrounded its opening like it was yesterday – probably goes to show how many awesome nights we have lost in the world class club, losing our shit to some of the world’s finest dance acts and DJs. The highlights of the past ten years are many, but we get the feeling the actual tenth birthday celebrations themselves might be the finest nights yet as a few of Australia’s true dance music superstars help the Valley mega club celebrate in fine fashion. It all starts on Friday Jul 8 when Australia’s king and queen of hard dance, Nik Fish and Bexta, pictured, and one of the country’s most versatile DJs Kid Kenobi kick things off in the main room. Things only get bigger on Saturday Jul 9 as the mighty Sneaky Sound System drop by to debut tracks from their new record From Here To Anywhere, as well as smash out plenty of old favourites. It all finishes up with Fluffy, The Family’s legendary night of hedonism and acceptance, which will feature none other than Deni Hines and Decoda Secret and the amazing dance shows that always blow us away. Tickets for the Sneaky show are available from Moshtix right now for $20 + bf.

IN BRIEF

Metallica and Lou Reed have recorded a collaborative record together. The songs were written by Reed for German play Lulu. Two British men have been charged for the attempted assault and robbery of soul singer Joss Stone. Authorities believe they may have been plotting to murder the star. Amy Winehouse has cancelled her European tour after a disastrous show in Serbia, which saw her stumbling around the stage, throwing her microphone and abusing her band, attracted jeers from the audience.

Penn Badgley will play Jeff Buckley in the forthcoming biopic based on the late singer’s life.

YOU + ME = WE It is kind of hard to believe that You Me At Six have only been around since 2007, their following is so massive that you’d think it would have taken far longer for them to get to this point. Their intricate brand of unique pop punk just connects so powerfully with such a wide audience and it’s not hard to see why when you hear a record like their latest effort Hold Me Down. Powerful and catchy as all hell, the band’s songs are perhaps even more potent on the live stage than they are on record, such is the electrifying nature of their live show. They are back in Australia soon for a double headline tour with the mighty We The Kings who have record number three Sunshine State Of Mind all finished up and ready for release next month, so when they hit Australia they’ll have a whole new batch of fresh pop punk tunes for you to sink your teeth into. As if these two international guests weren’t enough, Australia’s own The Mission In Motion will be opening things up in fine style. All three killer acts hit The Tivoli for a big all ages show on Saturday Aug 27, tickets will be available from Ticketek from Friday morning.

AT THE DOOR Adelaide’s Wolf & Cub are one of the truly great live bands in our country at this moment in time, so imagine our excitement when we heard they were going to be coming up to Brisbane for a special club show this very Friday night! To be completely frank with you, we’re not sure if they even have a good reason for being here, but we don’t care. We can’t wait to see them build a gigantic wall of sound then smash it down at Alhambra Lounge this Friday night from 8pm. Support comes from Teleprompter and Make The Girls Dance DJs, tickets are $15 on the door or $10 + bf if you grab one from OzTix in the next couple of days.

IS THIS THE END? Could The Living End be Australia’s biggest remaining rock band? It’s a title that is undoubtedly going to be hard fought for, but something tells us there won’t be too much debate when their new record The Ending Is Just the Beginning Repeating is released next month. It has been a good three years since they unleashed the mightiness of White Noise onto the world; it was a hugely successful record for the group, going platinum in no time at all and delivering massive hits such as Moment In The Sun, Raise The Alarm and the ubiquitous title track. We hear incredibly promising things about the new record – the title track has already been firmly implanted on radio stations across the country – and we cannot wait to hear what they have given us for album number six. You’ll have a couple of months to familiarise yourself with the new material before the band storm into The Tivoli on Friday Sep 2 to launch it, with the help of up-and-comers Hunting Grounds and King Cannons. Tickets are available from Ticketek from Friday Jul 7 and we reckon you’ll want to be quick.

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CELEBRATING SEPARATION They haven’t been together for very long, but Pennsylvanian quintet Balance and Composure have certainly made the most of the time they’ve been around. Their 90s-influenced underground alt-rock has impressed audiences all over the United States in recent times as they have toured relentlessly in support of their debut album Separation, fast generating a hell of a lot of buzz with shows at SxSW and in support of the much loved dredg. But the band have decided it’s high time to expand their horizons and as such will be heading out on their first tour of Australia this August, kicking off in Brisbane with an acoustic instore performance at Kill The Music in the afternoon and a full blown club show at X&Y Bar’s Boys & Girls night later in the evening on Thursday Aug 18. And mad props to Brisbane lads Fires Of Waco who play support not just in Brisbane but for the whole tour.

Drew Barrymore is directing a new Best Coast video for their song Our Deal.

SOUND SCIENCE Werner Herzog’s Encounters At The End Of The World is a stunning documentary film, made even more stunning by the incredible sound recording of esteemed sound expert and professor Douglas Quin. The recordings of Weddell Seals are absolutely stunning and just one example of the incredible work that he has done in the past with sound. He is in Brisbane this week and will be presenting some fascinating sounds and talking about them as part of the Mono.Talks series at the Institute of Modern Art from 6pm Thursday night. If you’re a sound artist, film maker or musician, it is well worth your while checking him out. Entry is free.

Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear will release a solo album this year under the moniker of CANT. The record, called Dreams Come True, will be released through Warp Records in mid-September. Kathleen Hanna has rejuvenated her 90s solo project the Julie Ruin, blowing the line-up out to a five-piece, which features former Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox. Expect an album early next year. Basement Jaxx have teamed up with Dutch orchestra Metropole Orkest for their new album, the approapriately titled Basement Jaxx Vs. Metropole Orkest. Tassili, the new album from Mali’s Tinariwen is due at the end of August and will feature a collaboration with TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, Wilco’s Nels Cline and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. 50 Cent took to Twitter to lambast his record label and announce to his fans that he would not release his anticipated new album this year if they didn’t “wake up and work”.

THIS IS REAL Whenever there’s an awesome exhibition happening at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, the venue enlists some top quality musical acts to accompany the exhibition for their Friday night Up Late series. With the Surrealism: The Poetry Of Dreams exhibit currently showing, the Surrealism Up Late series has now been announced and it, once again, totally rules. It kicks off on Friday Jul 15 when Sydney’s Parades, pictured, make the very worthwhile trip up and continues each week, featuring Ben Salter on Friday Jul 22, Catcall on Friday Jul 29, Alps on Friday Aug 5, Seja Vogel on Friday Aug 12, Mick Harvey on Friday Aug 19, Henry Wagons on Friday Aug 26, Ghoul on Friday Sep 2, Sampology on Friday Sep 9, Naik on Friday Sep 16, Re:Enactment on Friday Sep 23 and a special mystery guest still to be announced wraps things up on Friday Sep 30. Entry to all of these gigs is just $20 + bf and that includes entry to the exhibition!


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13


IN BRIEF The leak of an offcut from Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has enraged the rapper and his label and they plan on finding who leaked it and suing them. The fact that the song also appeared on Kanye’s own blog makes this confusing. Patti Smith will be appearing in a forthcoming episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Henry Rollins is hosting a new wildlife show called Animal Underworld on the National Geographic channel. There has been no airdate announced as yet.

LOVELY LAUNCH The Nanna Night showcases that have been happening in the Vinyl Bar of The Hi-Fi for quite some time now are starting to become insanely popular, so the organisers have decided they’d like to have a big official launch for it. We have no idea why, but we are not arguing because it looks like it’s going to be one hell of a night. The artist performing at this event is none other than Ben Salter, whose solo album The Cat is going to be released in a little over a month’s time, there will be good food, good booze and a generally relaxed vibe. If this sounds like your kind of gig then you will need to get yourself to Vinyl on Wednesday Jun 29; entry is free and it kicks off at 6pm.

A NEW FLAVOUR The awesome Flavours Of Skuzz festival, which features just about every garage rock band in Brisbane worth their salt, has undergone some changes. The show can no longer go on at the Jubilee Hotel so has moved to Woodland Bar, but an extra room has been made available so there will still be three stages in operation and the line up will be predominantly the same with Hoss, HITS, The Vee Bees, The Boondall Boys, Dick Nasty, Slug Guts, Blank Realm, Velociraptor, Straight Arrows, The Meatbeaters, Jonny Romeo, Brat Farrar, Undead Apes, Feathers, Lobster Prophet, Pastel Blaze, The Royal Family, Keep On Dancin’s, The Busymen, The Gooch Palms, The Chokes, Main Street Brats, Narwhals, Gravel Samwidge and New Jack Rubys all still on the bill, which happens from 4pm on Saturday Jul 9. Capacity is now very limited, so you’ll want to grab a ticket from OzTix as soon as possible for $25.

LET’S BE FRANK! Frankly! It’s a Pop Festival has quickly become Brisbane’s finest event for those looking to hear some of the world’s best left-of-centre indie pop music and after seeing the first announcement of acts for the 2011 edition, we’re confident they will hold on to that title for quite some time. Probably the most exciting thing about 2011’s bill is the showcasing of a couple of great acts from the iconic Los Angeles label Not Not Fun, including LA Vampires and Wet Hair, pictured, who will be joined by some exciting Japanese acts in Tokyo folktronica artist Miko (backed by Celer) and the eccentric song queen from Osaka Ytamo. On the local front, awesome Melbourne indie-folk act Twerps will be making trek north to show off tracks from their fantastic 7” singles and their EP. This celebration hits the Brisbane Powerhouse from 5pm on Saturday Sep 10. There are plenty more acts still to be announced, so stay tuned. For now though, you can grab your tickets from the Brisbane Powerhouse Box Office for $40, though the first 50 tickets purchased are two-for-one, so you get double the value!

THAT’S LIFE Festival season never ends anymore, simple as that, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still get super excited when the first list of bands for one comes through and the first Parklife announcement is no exception. How does this bill take your fancy? Death From Above 1979, MSTRKRFT, Santigold, The Streets, Gossip, Katy B, pictured, Diplo, Duck Sauce, Lykke Li, Simian Mobile Disco, Wolfgang Gartner, Digitalism, Little Dragon, Sebastien Tellier, Example, The Naked & Famous, Mylo, Crystal Fighters, Feed Me, Sebastian, Kimbra, Gold Fields, The Aston Shuffle, Magnetic Man, Tensnake, Yacht Club DJs, Flux Pavilion, Joker & MC Nomad, Adrian Lux, Harvard Bass and Nero will all be bringing their respective good tunes and good vibes out for this, possibly the greatest instalment of the festival yet. It all happens at the Brisbane Riverstage and Botanic Gardens from midday on Saturday Oct 1, tickets are on sale from parklife.com.au as of 9am on Thursday Jun 30.

KULTURE KLASH Brisbane’s finest celebration of all things rockabilly, the Greazefest Kustom Kulture Festival, is almost upon us and with this year’s bill you can bet that Brisbane will yet again be a vital destination for any fans of the music and its culture this August. The event will be held over three massive days and will feature not only the finest in rockabilly music but also cars, art, tattoos, fashion, markets and more. On Friday Aug 5 you will be able to catch Tennessee’s Jason Lee Wilson, Melburnian Western Swing purveyors The Starliners, locals Miss Teresa & Her Rhythmaires and Perth’s The Blazin’ Entrails. Saturday Aug 6’s event will feature American rockabilly forefather James Intveld alongside Detonators frontman Paulie Bignell & The Thornbury Two, Scotty Baker and West Texas Crude. On Sunday Aug 5 you’ll catch music from The ReChords, The Flattrakkers, Pat Capocci Combo, The Creepers, Pia Anderson, The Vampers, The Sugarshakers, Red Crown Radio, The Ten Fours, Paulie & His Crazy Rhythm Boys and The Knights of Sin. It all happens at the Rocklea Showgrounds and you can get heaps more information at greazefest.com.

READY FOR RE-LAUNCH One would hope that by now you have heard all about Busby Marou, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown on what they’re all about. Thomas Busby and Jeremy Marou got together in Rockhampton a few years back and quickly began writing some distinctly Australian storytelling tunes that were lyrically charming and packed full of cracking harmonies and making full use of their breathtaking musicianship. Things have been building slowly for the band over the years; some very exciting things have happened recently including their slot on the He Will Have His Way Finn tribute record and wins at the Deadly and Q Song awards. The band released their self-titled debut album a little while back but they are re-releasing it with a much bigger push at the end of this month and will be launching it with a couple of shows at the beginning of July. They play the Old Museum on Friday Jul 1 with support from Halfway before heading up to Joe’s Waterhole in Eumundi, where they will be joined by Halfway and New Zealand’s Avalanche City.

14

BEAUTIFULLY CHAOTIC With their brand new record Go Go Chaos tucked firmly beneath their arm and one of the most vibrant lives shows in the country, Melbourne-based roots outfit Bonjah are all set to get audiences around the country grooving like never before as they hit the road in support of their latest record. You’ve probably already heard Something We Should Know and The White Line from the album on the radio, and you’ll no doubt be hearing the title track soon enough as it is rolled out as the album’s third single. The preview show for this new album sold out down south in no time flat, such is the strength of these boys’ reputation in the live arena, and you can bet there are plenty of people who cannot wait to see their return to our part of the world. You can see them in action at the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay on Thursday Sep 8, The Zoo Sep 9 (with The Black Seeds) and Maroochydore’s Sol Bar on Sunday Sep 11. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.

VALE THE BIG MAN

WHAT A BLUR!

An integral part of The Boss’s E-Street Band since its inception, saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed on the weekend following complications from a stroke. He shall be sorely missed…

It’s hard to believe we’re talking Parklife already, but this week’s first announce is a corker, especially confirmation that Death From Above 1979 are returning to our shores. Bring it on…

EVERYTHING ZEN

SHARK FIN BLUES

What’s happened to the Dalai Lama, is he being managed by Max Markson? The serene one has been making a string of cheesy TV appearances in an attempt to gain a foothold for his teachings, I guess you have to experience suffering to transcend it…

Head along to the Prince Of Wales Hotel on Sunday for the Stop Shark Finning bash, a more worthy cause is hard to imagine. The practice is barbaric and needs to be stopped immediately, if you eat shark fin in anything you deserve to be skinned alive…

POOR HEF

CHASING AMY

What’s with that bimbo Playmate leaving poor (chortle) old Hugh Hefner at the altar? Surely true love conquers all, this younger generation is so shallow. Hopefully Hef will find happiness one day, it must be horrible being single in that mansion…

Just when it seems like serial mess Amy Winehouse is getting her shit together, she unleashes a performance like that she exposed her Serbian fans to. Good move by her managers to put her on indefinite hiatus, it’s getting beyond embarrassing…

VALE CLARENCE CLEMONS


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KATCHAFIRE SUN 26 JUNE

SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR THUR 30 JUNE

LITTLE RED FRI 1 JULY

THE PAPER SCISSORS SAT 2 JULY

TRES HOMBRES SAT 9 JULY

GLASS TOWERS SAT 16 JULY

MOJO JUJU & THE SNAKE OIL MERCHANTS SAT 30 JULY

YOUNG REVELRY

TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE www.thenorthern.com.au 15


THE GRATES are back, not only with an amazing third record, but with many a story to tell. BEN PREECE joins PATIENCE HODGSON and JOHN PATTERSON for a coffee to hear tales of New York, losing their drummer, developing routines and finally playing live with bass.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE Of all the adventures experienced by The Grates in the past 18 months, almost the sole setting for the entire affair was New York. The band decamped to find their muse but inspiration didn’t hit immediately so they spent six months taking in New York, riding their bikes, overindulging on Mexican food and, in Hodgson’s case, living the true Brooklyn experience. “I really wanted to live the genuine Brooklyn experience and the best way to get there is to become a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, which to me is just heaven,” she giggles. “I couldn’t love it any more. I think I’m a bit of a hippy at heart – an eco-warrior – and it was just the quintessential Brooklyn experience. It started as a stall 30 years ago and now it’s the size of an IGA with 14,000 members but you can only shop there if you’re a member – it’s very strict and you have to show a card that looks like a passport on entry. You have to work there three hours a month to retain your membership – I am dying to start one in Brisbane.”

IN WITH THE NEW

W

hen Patience Hodgson, John Patterson and Alana Skyring decamped to New York City about 18 months ago to begin work on the all-important third album, their eyes were wide with enthusiasm and perhaps even some naivety as to what path their journey would take. Now back in Brisbane, the band as we knew and loved it has changed – no longer 19-20-20 for a start and a firm staple in the Australian music scene after five strong years, the last year-anda-half was perhaps the most challenging for the beloved outfit. Drummer Skyring quit which left Hodgson and Patterson with another challenge to overcome, the first being isolated in the daunting city that never sleeps, waiting for inspiration to strike for their third album Secret Rituals. “It wasn’t that easy,” Hodgson shrugs, as if stating the obvious. “I don’t think it ever is easy. It’s so in the air – music is not a physical thing, it’s just there and then you’ve got to put it together. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. It’s good where you can make it a routine or a ritual. We named the album after the process and not after any of the songs. When we were in New York we did try to make it a habitual process. We had a band room that was about a ten minute bike ride away and we’d just go there every day. That’s the thing that keeps me happy at night even if you know you’ve done a hard day’s work, you can come home and go to sleep.” “We were trying to write when we could,” Patterson explains, “but we hadn’t snapped out of that last album yet. I think it takes a while to disconnect from the previous one. You’re still playing it every night and it’s hard to move on from. It was like trying to fight our way out of something stagnant as well. It was feeling, after writing songs for six months that were sounding like the last album, it was like really trying to push out of the comfort of even those songs.” Eventually turning their lives upside for music did prove fruitful. They began to develop routines and through the loss of Skyring, a new type of songwriting emerged. Hodgson and Patterson found themselves trapped in the studio by a nasty North American winter and took advantage of it – they began messing around with vintage synths, loops and whatever they could lay their

16

Aside from stalking Entourage’s Adrian Greiner and members of The Rapture, the pair visited Williamsburg, hung out with buddies Violent Soho, scoped the local parties, bars, restaurants and live music venues where they developed band crushes on the likes of The Babies, Total Slacker and The Darlings (who apparently had a bit of a Go-Betweens vibe) and, something they weren’t quite ready for, experience ferocious North American weather. “We didn’t have warm enough clothes,” Hodgson confesses. “The first winter was hell and the second wasn’t as hell but, being people from Brisbane, we don’t feel like our life has to stop because of the weather. Life does have to stop some days over there when there’s a blizzard and you can’t catch the subway and everyone freaks out, watches television and runs to the store to buy cans of beans because they think they’re going to run out of food.”

hands on. Not that they realised it at the time, but from blizzards and losing Skyring to enlisting producer/bassist Gus Van Go and his production partner Werner F, there were quite clearly a lot of obvious factors without which the resulting Secret Rituals wouldn’t be what it is.

the wall – only a few times when I felt like… you just have no privacy and I guess that’s so hilarious to say aloud. I felt there was a sense of privacy when there’s a big loud instrument in the corner. When that was gone, it was a lot more intimate and you’re not singing privately any longer.

from those unforgettable 18 months a new band. And what an album it is – lead single Turn Me On rumbles in first and paves the way for the finest album from The Grates yet. The songs bleed, brood and bounce in all the right places and Hodgson shines, vocally, better than ever.

“There were a lot of contributing factors to making this album,” Hodgson agrees. “In some ways losing Alana and then having someone like Gus who was so overly enthusiastic helped turn that process around. I’ve never really worked with anyone who was that enthusiastic – he had a small studio in Brooklyn and it was affordable for us to spend a long time doing it as opposed to going into Manhattan and working with someone expensive. This time around, we needed the time.”

“It’s completely a different experience being with a different drummer, but also because we left drums until last. We were the kind of band that always wrote together in the band room and I think you can get a certain energy from drums immediately. Now without drums, leaving them until last, the energy and mood of the song was being made more by guitar.”

“I haven’t done anything except for the fact that us saying that we wanted to build on music that we loved rather than totally trying to be something else we’re not, original or whatever,” she muses. “I think I just got the opportunity to experiment with vocals a bit more just because there was no drums. And also, it’s fun to sing low. I’ve got a low voice anyways.”

“We built up all the parts in bass and keyboards and guitar and vocal harmonies before we added drums,” Patterson offers. “By the time we added them, we knew what we actually needed – we could really focus on the actual writing. We probably put energy before songwriting in the past, which works, but it was so much fun trying something new.”

“A couple of the songs you’ve sung on not as The Grates in the past, it’s sounded like you had such a great singing voice,” Patterson complements.“I think I tried to remind you of that when we first started writing the album – ‘Try and imagine you’re not singing for The Grates’ – and I think that helped a lot.”

“I think we were probably feeling a little more, not serious, but angrier maybe,” Patterson adds. “Going on tour with those old songs for so long, we did get really sick of it. It became apparent that that’s not what we were listening to or were enjoying outside of the band. I think we both wanted to do something to that was closer to something we loved or cherished.” “Just trying to build on something that you love rather than just creating something that’s completely original and whatever and not being obsessed with that,” Hodgson continues. “I think we got obsessed with that on the second album; we got this little thing where we felt we had to be original all the time. This time it was, ‘No, I love The Breeders, I’m going to sing low again’.” Lyrically, the songs truly shine and Hodgson wears her honesty louder and prouder than ever, something she said that came from Skyring’s departure and suddenly having a band room that was a whole lot quieter sans drums. She confesses that not only did it contribute to the lyrics but also the recording’s overall feel. “The lyrics are much more direct – I’d always wrapped lyrics that were honest around fun metaphors which I didn’t do this time around,” the singer admits. “I think a little bit of that came from the fact that we didn’t have Alana in the room. When someone is smashing away on drums, you’ve got a lot more time to come up with a funnier line or a lyric. When the drums were gone, I occasionally made John face

The idea of the “comfort zone” comes up a lot in a conversation with The Grates about Secret Rituals. The rituals they speak of really are secret and Hodgson remains tight-lipped about exactly what went on when it came down to putting the record together. “They’re secret,” she laughs. “You need to punctuate your day: well you don’t need to but something that I found really beneficial was when we were writing in the band room and so disconnected from everybody in Australia, it was really good to have little things that punctuate your day – I totally get why people have routines or rituals now. There were things that developed naturally, but also we made a point of doing them every single day, around the same time and not just calling it a habit but elevating to ritual status. We did that even more so when we started recording the album, because we started working with other people – it’s a good way to feel like you’re in control.” “It made me want to get out of my comfort zone forever,” Patterson laughs. “I never want to work safe again.” And after all that was said and done, Hodgson and Patterson emerged triumphant and with album in hand

Now back on home soil, the band has been secretly road testing new material and, most importantly, the new live line-up under the monikers of Bragging Party and Puke Party all last week. Now playing live with a rhythm section – drummer Ben Marshall and Hodgson’s school friend Miranda Deutsch on bass and keys – for the first time seems to have freshened the pair, much to their surprise. “I have to admit that I do feel like a new band,” Hodgson confesses. “Playing with Ben and Miranda definitely gives it a whole new band feel, not to ever, ever put down Alana’s role in the band but I feel it – we’ve got bass in the songs. Oh man, bass is awesome!” “Just to have bass is… comforting,” Patterson laughs. “I could get too comfortable with that. We’ve even added it to some of the old songs so that will be new for everyone. It just feels so good... like I can do anything and everything will keep going without me.”

WHO: The Grates WHAT: Secret Rituals (Dew Process/Universal) WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Friday Jul 1


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17


MOMENTS IN TIME KARNIVOOL is not a band that likes to rush the creation process when crafting their brand of melodic industrial rock. However speaking with BENNY DOYLE, guitarist MARK HOSKING is adamant that patient fans across the country will be more than rewarded on this massive winter tour they’re about to embark on.

“W

e’re definitely very lucky that way, we definitely never had this grand plan of creating fans that were prepared to wait and we’re certainly not an apologetic band either, we’re definitely very selfinvolved musicians.” Hosking is cheekily keeping his phone to his ear as he drives the city streets of Perth, discussing how fortunate the band are to be able to take extended sabbaticals without losing any interest from their fanbase. “A lot of the stuff we write for ourselves and we just hope that our fans and the people that like our music can follow where we’re going on the musical path. But it really is amazing and you feel it. It’s people just feeling an affinity with the music and it’s something that everybody has in their core, this love for music.” Much like the five lions of Voltron, Karnivool although immensely powerful together, are

individually more than capable as musicians, keeping themselves busy in various projects, most notable with singer Ian Kenny’s commitments to Birds Of Tokyo and Jon Stockman with FloatingMe. Yes, Karnivool digress, but they never fall off the radar, their punishing, provoking and ambient rock striking a deep chord with many locally and also overseas reflected by the inroads they have made into both the US and European markets. And because they drift in and out of the public psyche without the quality of their content ever coming into question, people seem to treat Karnivool shows as more of an event. “That’s true,” Hosking agrees, “we’re not a band that likes to over tour and I think now, especially in the last couple of years where we’ve had that chance to do overseas runs also and leave the country for extended periods, it’s nice to not overplay. And it does mean that when you get a chance to put on a show, especially in your home country, it can be an event and it can be set up to be a real moment in time. Y’know, we try to make every musical performance a moment in time but by the nature of trying to do that, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.” Karnivool also don’t underestimate the broad musical palate their fans are equipped with. Along for the ride on this tour will be emerging WA drum’n’bass blaster Shockone and Over-Reactor, the Ezekiel Ox fronted death-hop shake-up. Seemingly a disparate line-up on paper, the one common theme running through all three acts is intensity. Hosking is more than aware of this fact, citing it as pre-meditated plan when this tour was being formed. “They’re always conscious decisions for us,” he says. “We like to make a big thing of handpicking supports and making it something different, something challenging I guess. I’m sure there are lot of people coming to a Karnivool show not wanting to hear a drum’n’bass DJ but at the same time, well I am, I’m a big fan of drum’n’bass, but the other guys aren’t that big a fans. However there’s just something in what this guy does that’s appealing to all of us and to anyone that loves music. He’s a great DJ and a great selector of music and a great presenter of it, and Over-Reactor are another prime example of intensity. Ezekiel knows how to perform, he’s a seasoned veteran and a lot of it is all about the performance. And it’s also a package thing, we want three acts that work well together while definitely bringing something different and I think this will also challenge our audiences once again.” The Karnivool army will be more than happy to know that the band have been working on new material that they will indeed be airing over these far-reaching run of dates. Certainly the music connects with its album predecessors – it’s the same band after all. But creating this music hasn’t been so familiar to the band themselves. “The process is a little bit different,” Hosking’s quick to admit. “At the end of [2005 album] Themata we said that we wanted to do something very different and very spread. And it’s kinda different for us because we all have such a different scope on music originally and have such different takes on what music can and should be. We combined the weird elements of it all into one package and that seemed to work quite well on [2009’s] Sound Awake because of the driving theme underneath it all. But this one, the theme if anything is a little less intense so it’s a much more pulled back album.” He thinks further before quickly countering, “Shit, some of it is the heaviest stuff we’ve ever written but it’s pulled back in the sense that, ‘Let’s not focus too much on what it has to be and let’s focus on what it is’. It’s definitely something that’s going to be exciting and it’s definitely something different. We never said we were going to do the same album twice and we’re sticking to that principle.” As for getting a complete long player, well don’t be expecting anything to hold in your hand before 2012. “We’ve still got a fair way to go mate,” Hosking states honestly and firm. “We put a lot of time into it; it’s the nature of what we do, it’s sort of ebbs and flows so we’ll have strong bits of write, write, write and then some fall back periods. We’re still aiming to be in the studio by about December but there’s definitely a lot of stuff we need to do before we hit that point. I mean, we’ve got some new material, it’s growing quite rapidly but by the nature of what we do we could quite happily spend another three years writing an album, we’re just not going to do that y’know, we’re trying to push it. “For us it goes through extremes,” he continues. “We’ll have what sounds like 95 percent of a song ready and someone will go, ‘Oh man, something’s not working’, so we’ll deconstruct it back to simple parts, then throw out half of them, then try and write new ones. There’s been a lot of times where we’ve had what sounds like a completed song and someone will go, ‘Ahhhhh’, y’know, and it’s back to the drawing board. It can be frustrating because it’s a very time consuming process but by the nature of what the band is and what we’re trying to portray as people who love music, we just can’t release something unless it’s something that we really love. Unfortunately that’s just the way we write – it’s not like we could do it any other way, it is what it is. It’s fairly involved music so...” he pauses on the thought. “Look, at the end of the day, we love the process too and we’ve only got ourselves to blame.”

WHO: Karnivool WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Friday Jun

24 and Monday Jul 4, Coolangatta Hotel Saturday Jun 25, Caloundra RSL Sunday Jun 26

18


MONKEY BUSINESS MARK LANG of SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR talks to BENNY DOYLE about efficiently working in a creative manner, and some of the band’s high profile friends who helped turn their rich collage of sonic ideas, themes and thoughts into a beautiful, cohesive second album.

H

ardly enjoying the freezing cold of the present Melbourne winter, Skipping Girl Vinegar’s frontman and songwriter Mark Lang is quick to admit the band can’t wait to break out from the city and get on the road for the launch of their new album, Keep Calm, Carry The Monkey. The album shines with pure pop songwriting, while throwing a complete mishmash of sounds together that if broken down individually, you could not possibly imagine would flow cohesively. Last year when Lang spoke with Time Off, he talked about ‘DIY hobo pop’ and the idea of disconnecting the stigma of certain instruments doing certain things in songs. It was an ethos that really drove the creativity on the latest long-player. “It helped us rediscover the way we make music,” Lang admits. “Rather than just doing the traditional way of recording, by finding these instruments with crazy character we’re able to find a new pathway in doing things. Like I deconstructed my guitar playing to at times just single notes, and by doing that it allowed all this space to do things. We used things that we wouldn’t naturally use, like we’d replace things sometimes with huge group of people smashing on tin drums and garbage cans slamming on to the ground. We were basically looking for sounds to find more character. I think we got there.”

“One thing we’ve found now when we are playing live, when we used to bring all our junk on the road, sometimes it would just get lost in the live context. We learnt a lot about the live thing versus the recorded thing from touring [2008 debut] Sift The Noise. That taught us how to try and reinvent this record live. So it’s going to be curious and interesting to see how this first tour goes. With all the samples and triggers going off coupled with the various instruments, the band live is just crazy now – I’m actually pretty excited about it.”

WHO: Skipping Girl Vinegar WHAT: Keep Calm, Carry The

Monkey (Popboomerang/MGM)

WHERE & WHEN: Old

Museum Friday Jun 24, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay Sunday Jun 26

For the album, Lang has talked about working uncomfortably; taking himself and the band out of their comfort zone on the infinite search for creative contentment. He expands. “What it meant was that the first few tracks we recorded, there was that real feeling of chaos and concern – stuff like that,” he says. “When [single] Wasted was released last year, we had like four songs recorded and we were finding... well, Wasted was like the beginning point for me in a way, where we started to find connections like, ‘Oh, we’re on to something here – we’re just not exactly sure what that is’.” Listening to Keep Calm, Carry The Monkey, there is no doubt the band have taken a path slightly left-of-centre, but there’s definitely still a connection to what they’ve done in the past. A chance encounter with Ben Harper at last year’s Splendour In The Grass proved to be the real catalyst for the creative juices to seep into the new album’s creation. “We were talking for ages about working in seasons like we had for our first record and he was into it,” Lang recalls. “But I said that the problem is, when you make your next record, you don’t have that focus time. People are expecting a follow up and you’ve got pressure on you to do things. And he gave us this quote, ‘Don’t be afraid to limp in public’. It’s this idea that when you’re trying to go down a new pathway, or do something different, you are going to make mistakes and you are going to limp around and you’ve got to learn to become comfortable in that. We had already started that with the new material like Wasted but it just gave us encouragement that we actually were on the right track. Like, let’s just keep digging and see what happens. “Everything then just fell into place fairly quickly after that,” he adds. “So all these hours and hours of trawling work that had happened on those first few songs, the things we learnt from that were then applied to the next batch of material and that just flowed much quicker and faster. It was a weird way of making music; it was in amongst touring and all these kind of things, plus the fact that we’d released a couple of songs sporadically along the way. But I actually think that it helped to inform us and it actually ended up making the album richer because we had the time to zone in on certain songs for a long period of time and give them a real work out, which then meant we were ready when we started to unravel the rest of the material.” From the joyous pop of Chase The Sun to more murkier numbers like Central Station, Skipping Girl Vinegar have conquered many song styles in a quick fire half hour – yet never does the album feel brief or premature. Lang explains that as he’s gotten older he just seems to be trimming things down. However, rather than losing quality, the listener is now privy to enjoy a more succinct musical experience. “I think I’ve got ADD so I’m probably not the greatest person to talk about song length,” he laughs. “I think sometimes things need to be set-up and some songs require that [length]. But then sometimes I think there’s surplus stuff that’s not relevant. It seems like now, I just don’t muck around, like it’s a ‘get in get out’ kind of thing. In saying that, I try to get in and get out, but I want people to left with layers so every time they come back to certain songs, certain moments, they will hear new things. So even though a song may only go for two-and-a-half or three minutes, there are layers and layers of tracks onboard that have been put underneath those tracks. If you go back to the album time after time, you’ll start to hear things on your tenth or your 15th listen that you haven’t heard before and that will continue to happen.” As strong and consistent as Keep Calm, Carry The Monkey is throughout, it’s the closing ode of Heart Does Ache, a tribute to Lang’s late grandparents that with the help of Ron Sexsmith, really allows the album and the band’s vision triumph. “We couldn’t believe it and we didn’t tell anyone because we were totally nervous that it may not come off,” Lang admits about working with Sexsmith. “But he waltzed in, laid down the harmony in a few takes. Then at the end he was saying that he liked my songwriting!? Which is just crazy – Ron Sexsmith is the songwriters’ songwriter – it was quite overwhelming. With how well it came out, I thought maybe my grandparents were a part of it, which is a bit hokey I know but there were just too many weird coincidences that brought that track together.” With all these sounds and ideas swirling around, it’s not surprising to hear Lang gushing over the band’s new live show. He provides tiny hints towards the big celebration fans can expect.

19


COSMIC PSYCHERS Texan psychedelic rockers THE BLACK ANGELS are hell bent on bringing lysergic colours and sounds back into the public’s consciousness, as guitarist CHRISTAIN BLAND tells STEVE BELL.

T

he genesis of psychedelic rock is long and convoluted, but is generally believed to stem from attempts to capture in sound (and accompanying stimuli) the effects of taking mind-enhancing drugs. This quest can be traced way back into the realms of jazz, blues and the Beat generation, but the first band to openly associate themselves with the term ‘psychedelic rock’ were Texan pioneers The 13th Floor Elevators, whose ranks included the esteemed psych legend Roky Erikson and whose tripped-out muse in the mid-60s in turn inspired an entire generation to ‘turn on, tune in and drop out’. The psych scene eventually found its epicentre in San Francisco and quickly burned out, but over the years it’s bright neon light has remained flickering, particularly in Texas, where arguably the movement first started. Among those at the vanguard keeping the lysergic moods of the oeuvre alive are Austin five-piece The Black Angels, who for the past

seven years have been doing their utmost – both musically and logistically – to keep people’s third eyes well and truly wide open. “Have you ever heard of that book Eye Mind?” asks The Black Angels’ songwriter and guitarist Christian Bland when asked about the association between his home state and the music that he loves. “It’s written by this British guy who’s a friend of ours – Paul Drummond – and is the history of The 13th Floor Elevators. But it talks about that very question – Austin is where the University Of Texas is, so you get a lot of people coming from all over the place to go to the university, and I think that is one reason why it’s a creative centre and artists kind of gravitate towards here. All the way up to maybe 1964 it was a real straight-laced, conservative kind of place, but in the early-60s the folk movement started happening, and Janis Joplin was part of that, and Powell St. John – another guy who helped write several of The 13th Floor Elevator tunes – they were part of this folk movement happening. “Then in the mid-60s the Elevators got together, and I really think that if not for them then this city would still be pretty normal. We have this saying here, ‘Keep Austin Weird’, and they were the ones that made it weird in the first place. I’m not sure exactly why it happened here, but I think that psychedelic rock was born right here in Austin, and then it spread to San Francisco when The 13th Floor Elevators went on tour in late’65 and early-’66 out to San Francisco, and bands like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane saw them playing and they were freaked out, and they wanted to start doing that same kind of thing. So one of the reasons why I originally wanted to move to Austin was because of The 13th Floor Elevators, and because this is where the kind of music that I like to create was started, and we just want to try to keep that heritage alive.” And they’ve done more than just keep the music alive by following in the musical traditions of the scene’s forebears; The Black Angels have also helped logistically foster the now burgeoning psych scene in Austin and provide it infrastructure. “That’s why we started the Austin Psych Fest, our festival,” Bland continues. “It was the fourth year [of the festival] just a month or two ago, but it was really just an amazing time, this past year. We can’t wait for the fifth instalment next year. It’s a lot of work. There’s four of us that organise the whole thing, and the problem is that half of us – Alex [Maas] and me – are gone on tour like half the year, so the work gets put mainly on one guy Rob Fitzpatrick, who pretty much organised the whole thing this year. He’s an old friend of ours from high school down in Houston where we went to school, and this year he had a hard time. We tried to help him where we could, but being on the road it’s not that easy. So we’ve realised that we need to probably hire a whole crew of people under us to facilitate next year’s one, because it’s grown exponentially each year. It’s pretty crazy. “It’s organically just growing and growing, and this year it kinda grew so far out of control that it was hard to reel it back in. We’re taking all of this month off, and then actually tomorrow we’re meeting to kind of assess what happened, and then we’ll start trying to figure out where we’re going to do it. Every year it’s been at a different place – the goal from the first year was to have a place where it happened every year, but I guess that kinda adds to the eccentricity of it with it being in a different place every time. This past year was amazing – it was at this old abandoned power plant that was built in Austin in 1951, so it looks like Gotham City, just awesome – I wish we could have it there every year, but the city’s planning on renovating them into apartments. It’s just been sitting there, so that’s what happens.” But in their immediate future The Black Angels are bringing their vaunted live experience to Australia for the first time, and Bland explains that their trippy show involves equal parts perspiration and experimentation. “I’d say equal parts jamming and staying faithful to the recorded versions,” he explains. “I think the songs naturally take on a life of their own, because none of us really listen to our albums so some of the songs might be slower now or faster – sometimes we have to sit down and listen, because sometimes we’ll be playing a song and it seems a little too fast, so I’ll gather everyone up and be, like, ‘Guys, listen to how it sounds here on the album’, and it’s like super slow compared to how we play it now. A lot of the time I guess when we play live the adrenaline kicks in, so sometimes the songs might get a little quicker, but I’m always the one to be telling them onstage, ‘Slow it down!’ I enjoy a more mid-tempo range instead of a rushed situation. “In a lot of the songs there’s room for experimentation and creating new riffs, and I hope when we come down there we can bring our projections and lighting, because that’s as equal a part of our show as the sound. The visual element creates the whole experience – early on we just started doing that when we played around Austin, and it’s just really inspired by the early Pink Floyd stuff at the UFO Club with Syd Barrett, and Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. They liked to overindulge the senses, and we’re following in their footpaths.” Psychedelic rock may not currently be as prevalent as it was in its heyday, but it certainly seems to be gathering traction again. “Yeah, I think so,” Bland smiles. “I definitely think that it’s not quite as popular in the 60s, but right now it seems like it’s more popular than it’s been at any time since then. Which is pretty awesome.”

WHO: The Black Angels WHAT: Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizon/Warner) WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Thursday Jun 30 20


WHEN THE MAN COMES AROUND MICAH P HINSON is a man unto himself – never pulling the punches, always raising the bar. BRENDAN TELFORD speaks with the Southern Gothic artist about the dire future of his country, the power of song and the honest beauty of taking to the stage alone.

M

icah P Hinson finds himself looking for signs in everything – in comments, gestures, events, and the world around him. Speaking from his Texan abode, Hinson cannot help but notice the brooding patterns inherent in the sweltering weather. “I really hope it rains here man, it’s fucking hot,” he marvels. “It’s like 103 degrees, it’s meant to be 80. It hasn’t rained in these parts since October or some fucking shit. So we’re in a drought. And we just had those tornadoes wipe us out a month or so ago…I don’t know what’s happening to the world, it’s strange you know. I mean, you’ve had some weird shit happen too, with those floods and such... I don’t know, I think this shit’s coming to an end.” Coming from Hinson, such an observation is not untoward. His life trajectory has been well documented throughout his career, and is evident in his self-reverential, Gothic brutalities. However it is a common trope across his musical oeuvre that these bare-bones lyricism is aiming both barrels at the inherent ‘self’ – the man he was, the man he is, the man he wants to become. However there is a tangential shift on his latest album, last year’s Micah P Hinson and The Pioneer Saboteurs, that hinted at the troubadour’s reflections turning the mirror from the interior to the outside world – and the images that bounced back at him were not pretty.

time and place for [a band]. To be solo and be able to talk and speak...I think to play solo is the proof that what I’m actually doing is songs. You get any song and you take away all the extra crap – all the strings and the horns – and you get one guitar and one voice and if it stills sounds good, well then you’ve got yourself a fucking song and it you don’t, what you have is music. And I want a fucking song. Everybody can fucking play music but not everybody can write a song. That’s not to say that I do it well, but I’m going to go to my fucking deathbed trying, man.”

WHO: Micah P Hinson WHAT: Micah P Hinson and The Pioneer

Saboteurs (Full Time Hobby/Other Tongues)

WHERE & WHEN: X&Y Bar Wednesday Jun 29

“I do not feel like I set out to make an LP that really undertook the responsibility of the political,” Hinson asserts. “I set out to make a collection of songs, and through the artwork, the (Walt) Whitman poem, et cetera, it began to take on a political undercurrent. Initially it wasn’t intended, but this changed over time.”

“Everybody can fucking play music but not everybody can write a song.” Pioneer Saboteurs has been heavily touted by critics as Hinson’s protest album. Whilst he maintains that the anger and emotion that emanates from this set of songs is no different from the harsh observations he has made throughout his entire career, the fact that it was focused on the world without rather than the world within speaks volumes. “The music is maybe political in that is an outcome of the society in which we live,” he ponders. “I didn’t overtly plan it you know – it just poured out of me. I think it’s a pretty touching, a sad record. There’s a lot of bad shit going on, suicides, falls from grace… There is this element that we are dealing with a God-type figure who rules over us, and the music exists as a means for the people to deal with how this is affecting them. I still feel that my songs are simply about relationships – in all their different forms. But the main thing that stands out for me with these particular songs is that they seem to come from a third person stance, as opposed to the standard first person. Again, nothing was intended by this, but I think the impetus was set internally. It coalesced into this altogether different beast – I was meant to do this.” It may not have been a voluntary process, which may make this protest against the future of America a much more telling one. “I don’t personally hold high hopes, y’know,” Hinson portends. “I feel that the place we went off track was long long before my feeble days. I feel that maybe there was a time before Capitalism and Democracy found a crossroads and instead of staying separate, they joined forces and things took a turn for the worse. People can determine that they wish for freedom, but do not have to have the country spin one dime or a silver dollar. Everything is a commercial. Everything is for sale. And other than trying to keep a roof overhead, I do not aspire to have any money, or the idea of money, become a god, or an altar I pray at. What is the point of building riches on earth when what comes over is so damned undecided? But in the end, my land will come out on top or on bottom, or somewhere in between, and the world will surely not cease from turning and the clock will still find time to click another minute.” Hinson’s music is steeped in folk mythology, and openly embraces the stereotypes that the genre demands. His previous release, 2009 covers album All Dressed Up And Smelling Of Strangers, was generally critically derided, whilst his original material continues to be lauded. For Hinson, it’s all the same thing. “Folk is an exercise of taking something that has already been put out into the world, then pushing around the chords and words in an attempt to create something that is applicable to the modern world,” he offers. “Fuck man, in no way did I set out to “outdo” any of the musicians and songwriters I worked on, or emulate, or admire, or just plain fucking love. It’s a waste of expression. My music, or any folk music today, should be a modern extension of the idea of folk, though it seems nowadays that Folk Music – note the capitals, okay? – is simply a person with an acoustic guitar. Fuck off! A modern person cannot, by definition, write a folk song. Several years and several human and several hearts must pass through for it to reach that degree.” Whilst Pioneer Saboteurs was written and recorded with a collaborative focus in mind, Hinson is still very much the lone guitar-slinger, selling his wares to those who will embrace them, which is how Australia will see him on his impending shows. “It’s a real difficult thing, playing in a band,” he opines. “That for me is really less about the musicians and more...it matters more about the heart of the individual and less about the talent of the person. There’s always been something about [my band] that’s very fucking amazing and very attractive to me outside of the music and so, to be on stage with those people you really are connected. It got to the point where they’d know my time, you know what I’m saying? I don’t feel like I’m a metronome – it’s a bit more kind of moving and shaky, and they can just pick up on that shit, it’s amazing. And so yes, I think there’s a

21


DIFFERENT GENES Texan rockers WHITE DENIM have forged their own path for years, but are now trying their hand at taking that fabled next step. Frontman JAMES PETRALLI tells STEVE BELL how things have been going so far.

I

t’s not easy to be an outsider band in Austin, Texas – the music capital of the state renowned for its outlaws and outsiders – but for many years that’s just how White Denim existed. They based themselves in an ancient trailer outside Austin and set out to be the antithesis of everything happening in that scene, not due to being contrary by nature but because they were uninspired by what they saw unfurling before them. Instead they focused on jamming out songs stirred by their own eclectic tastes and a slew of disparate influences – some well known, some mere footnotes in the musical lexicon – and finding their own unique groove, which they proceeded to self-record and selfrelease. As is often the case the UK press picked up the trail first, and over the course of a few years and a handful of releases the rest of the world followed suit. Eventually they could hold out no longer – White Denim signed to a label (US imprint Downtown Records) and began to play the game somewhat,

albeit reluctantly, and the first result of this flirtation with wider acceptance is D, their fourth studio album. Fortunately while the White Denim sound has evolved somewhat, their instinct for what makes them unique has remained intact – their trademark punkpsych stylings have been augmented by a new range of tones such as of prog, Southern and country influences, these flavours enhancing their already delectable musical cocktail into a new concoction which is accessible and intricate in equal measure. “I think that the songs certainly dictate a part of that progression,” guitarist and vocalist James Petralli muses from a sports bar in Boise, Idaho where White Denim are enjoying a night off from tour. “We’ve been spending a lot of time in vans listening to 60s and 70s music and we really wanted to try our hand at making an all analogue record, so the equipment and the material kind of dictated what this record turned out to be. Which we’re pretty happy with. We tracked everything to tape, and got live takes and did it like a real old school band, you know?” D marks the first time that White Denim – who last year morphed from a trio into a quartet with the addition of guitarist Austin Jenkins – have recorded in a studio rather than the comfort of their trailer, and this relocation also had a pronounced effect on proceedings. “Yeah, we buttoned up a little bit more because we were paying a daily fee for it. The trailer days were pretty chaotic – we’d start drinking in the morning basically if it was that kind of day,” Petralli laughs. “We were always really relaxed and willing to try anything, and we rehearsed very little before we started taping. So with this record we actually spent time in pre-production – we selected the songs that we were going to record, we rehearsed them for a month and then we tried to knock it out relatively quickly. We were paying for it, so it really substantially changed our approach. We had to act like adults.” Of course partnering such a headstrong and visionary group of people with a record label was always going to be fraught with danger, and accordingly some predictable issues plagued D’s genesis. “Yeah, we finished the record in June of 2010 and we delivered it, but the record company didn’t hear a single,” Petralli sighs. “I guess it’s kind of the ‘classic story’ – they liked the material but they wanted to have a tune that was really immediate and had a chance to get played on the radio. So we sent them a handful of songs – probably 20 or 30 tunes – and then they selected one song called Drugs. Then I had to do six or seven rewrites before we got the green light to actually go record it. I just had to work a lot more than I thought I should, on something that was relatively simple in my mind. We had a little bit of a creative stalemate, but we got through it and I’m thrilled that this record is actually going to come out and that we didn’t get dropped and all that other stuff that could have transpired.” The irony is that by their very nature White Denim are one of the last bands on the planet who should be worried about churning out radio fodder. “I know man!” Petralli thunders. “We do have a couple of big dumb rock songs in the catalogue – [2008 debut] Workout Holiday had a few of those – but we’ve always wanted to be a song- and album-focused group, and we’ve always kind of wanted to be taken a little bit seriously. I mean we want to have fun, but we want people to be able to get into the material. It was a little bit weird – we weren’t super comfortable... I don’t know, singles serve a certain function – they’re great for people and they make people happy – but that’s not really why we’re in it. I think that that approach can be a little bit manipulative.” The major change in D compared to its predecessors is the addition of the aforementioned Southern rock and country sounds – often misleading terms both – but Petralli is comfortable in acknowledging their addition to the band’s brew. “Yeah, I think so,” he ponders. “We’re a Texan band, but we actually listen to stuff like The Kinks and The Faces – all of the great British rock bands from the 70s had this weird sort of country thing happening – and we just felt like that was the way to take it. We listened to a lot of Waylon Jennings and Allmann Brothers and all kinds of different things, so we thought we’d try to do some weird hybrid between Allmann Brothers and Yes or something like that. “We’re all massive music fans. We have a lot of similar tastes, but everyone is such an avid listener – between us we listen to just about everything that’s available. It’s so much easier to get out-of-print records and all kinds of things in the digital age. We’re constantly emailing one another back-and-forth, sorting through all of these things that we’re finding every day. I think that first we’re definitely music nerds, before we’re a rock band – we’re just like geeky music dudes.” They may be ‘geeky music dudes’, but they also have their own inimitable musical vision, and it’s this unbreakable desire to forge their own path which has helped White Denim’s notoriety. “We’ve been in music so long – and without any recognition – just to make ourselves happy,” Petralli offers. “I think as soon as we start to compromise and look at it in an opportunistic way I think that we really run the risk of alienating ourselves and everybody who’s ever cared about what we’re doing. Everybody’s proficient, I think it would be a pretty easy copout to jump on a bandwagon, but at the same time I think people would sniff that out really quickly with us. That goes along with the dork thing and the music nerd thing – if all of a sudden you’re trying to be a cool guy, people are going to be onto that. We’re happy to stay what we are.”

WHO: White Denim WHAT: D (Downtown/Inertia) 22


23


I BET YOU THINK I’M KINKY, RIGHT? Texas oddball charmer KINKY FRIEDMAN might be venturing into the southern hemisphere on a musical odyssey, but as STEVE BELL discovers, trying to keep him tied down to one topic is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

T

he arid climes of Texas aren’t usually the sort of place you’d associate with a Renaissance man, especially one whose areas of expertise include country music, detective novels, satire and politics, in no particular order. The polymath in question – Kinky Friedman, the cigar-chomping, self-proclaimed ‘Jewish Cowboy’ – has both befriended Presidents (Clinton and ‘Dubya’) and made a veritable art form out of political incorrectness, and has so many strings to the bow of his four decade-plus career that it’s difficult to ascertain at times in which capacity you’re addressing him. “They say Texas is very much like Australia sensibility-wise, and I think that’s true,” Friedman barks from his ranch in heart of Texas (where, he offers, “the men are men, and the emus are nervous”). “But Texas is headed down a rough road right now. It’s why I got involved in politics in the first place – why I ran for governor – was the state was the seventh or eighth biggest economy in the world, yet we were 49 th in education

and 50th in health care and coverage for children. And the death penalty here of course is a travesty – it’s a disgrace. If I’d become governor we would have gotten rid of that. To all the Christians – I apologise, I’m sorry that you have to hear this from a Jew, but remember folks, that’s who you heard it from the first time. “I’m kind of on a vacation from politics – these people that we have elected have all been former hall monitors, and that’s my definition of politics: ‘poly’ means more than one, and ‘tics’ are blood-sucking parasites. So what I’m recommending and pushing for right now is term limits for all elected officials: I want to limit them to two terms, one in office, and one in prison.” Friedman’s quest to be Governor of Texas peaked when he ran as an independent candidate at the 2006 election – he came fourth in the six horse race – and he’s now turned his attention back to the musical career, which burst into life in the early-70s with the formation of his band Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys. Riding atop songs such as They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore – a song which, despite its provocative title, is in fact an ode against racism – and Ride ‘Em Jewboy, Friedman and his ragtag collection of musicians combined country music with subversive social commentary, even touring with Dylan at one point. Although his musical career has wound down in recent times (“I haven’t written a song in probably 20 years – I just recycle the audience”) Friedman is currently on tour in Australia with his long-term friend and occasional collaborator Van Dyke Parks, the composer and arranger best known for his work with The Beach Boys on the ill-fated Smile sessions.

“What I’m recommending and pushing for right now is term limits for all elected officials: I want to limit them to two terms, one in office, and one in prison.” “This is going to be really interesting. He doesn’t do solo stuff like this very much, and I think he’s really going to kill. Well I know he is – it’s going to go over very well. We are getting on in years – I’m 66, although I read at a 68-year-old level,” Friedman offers dryly before breaking into a hearty guffaw. “Van Dyke and I met on the gangplank of Noah’s Ark. We met at Jimmy Webb’s birthday party about 35 or 40 years ago – I was walking on my knuckles that night, and Van Dyke was so high he needed a stepladder to scratch his ass. We hung out a lot together in Hollywood, and then he did a tour with The Texas Jewboys – a real rough tour of east Texas, with audiences who were real brontosaurus material, they were pretty rugged. Then we did a show together in LA recently, and that went over extremely well. “Of course he’s got a lot of stuff up his sleeve – he’s got a version of Waltzing Matilda that will knock your dick into your watch pocket. And I think we’re going to bring the best out of each other. We’ll see what happens, but I think being on the road as a musician is a higher calling than being a politician – it’s a really pure art form, and what I said during my campaign was that musicians could better run our country then politicians. We probably wouldn’t get a hell of a lot done in the morning, but we’d work late and be honest. “There will be the two of us: I may do 30 minutes, and he’ll do 30 minutes, and then we’ll do 30 minutes together or something like that. I really have a good feeling about this one – I think it’s going to be great. Australian audiences have really had their hip cards punched – they’ve got great bullshit meters, for both life and music. I really think you guys may really see America a lot more clearly than we do; we live to close to the pyramid, we don’t know how beautiful we are or what’s good about it. I know what’s good about Australia – it’s a wonderful place, with great people and animals, especially compared to here, where political correctness has just about drowned us today, especially for a guy like me: imagine trying to get into politics – which is a great step down from being a musician – then you’ve got a song like They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Any More, and it has the word ‘nigger’ in it, and then in politics the opponents get hold of that and try to portray you as a racist. Which is just ridiculous, because that song is basically an anthem against bigotry if you listen to it.” Friedman has so many irons in fires at the moment it’s bordering on preposterous: Willie Nelson is about to record an album of his songs, he’s working on a book with Billy Bob Thornton, film adaptations of his novels are in the pipeline and a play just opened in Houston titled Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman (“that was like an out of body experience to see it,” he admits). The country music that he adored in the past is still in his lifeblood, although he doesn’t seem to think too much of the current crop of country superstars. “Not much,” he offers when quizzed about what he thinks of today’s heroes. “Most of the Texas songwriters write about one thing, which is how much they hate Nashville, although they really want to go there. I think we’re riding through a bit of a fallow period – you know, this is the way that music works. Someone like Barry Manilow – who’s made more money than just about any country singer I know, including Willy – he writes songs that will make you feel good for a short period of time, but what people like Willie or Merle Haggard or Kris Kristofferson will write are songs that make you think, and may stay with you for a lifetime. It feels so much better being a musician than a politician – I still feel like I’m the governor of the ‘heart’ of Texas. If we had mandatory voting I would have won in a landslide, and like Willy once said, if you fail at something long enough you become a legend.”

WHO: Kinky Friedman WHEN & WHERE: Brisbane Powerhouse

Friday Jun 24 and Saturday Jun 25

24


PARTY TIME

Parisian DJ/producer DON RIMINI is heading our way to destroy some d-floors and Nlarge Your Parties with his latest EP. TROY MUTTON finds out more. an album, while many subscribe to the notion that people are only going to download or purchase the singles they prefer, and don’t need an album full of potential filler. Gassemann fits in the latter category.

CUTTING LOOSE

Baltimore art rock energiser bunnies PONYTAIL may have called time on the band, but not without leaving a present in the form of a final, energetic, fun-filled album. KEN SEENO confides in BRENDAN TELFORD that everything is art, and nothing is ever certain. refused to hold back. We used every element available in the studio. Every input was used up. There was no mic set up from the control room either; we were using that input too! It was insane, properly Ponytail.”

“I really don’t know if I want to have an album. I prefer an EP because I think in electronic music I really don’t know about the album format,” he muses. “Sometimes it’s cool, some albums are really great like Justice or Boys Noize and things like that. But for me I’m really focused on my new live show and a new EP. Maybe later, you never know.”

The four members are all trained artists, having gravitated towards each other at college.

So album out of the way, what’s this about a new live show?

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avier Gassemann, better known to the dancefloorfaring public as Don Rimini, burst onto the scene in 2007 with a track ironically called Let Me Back Up, and hasn’t really looked back since. He’s now one of the world’s hardest working – and travelling – DJs, with an EP a year since, along with a slew of remixes of the likes of The Count & Sinden and Dadalife, plus his rather popular take on Young MC’s Bust A Move. He’s come a long way in a very short time, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I really love touring, sharing feelings with people all over the world, yeah,” Gassemann offers in rather fractured English. “My English is very crap,” he laughs, “it’s sometimes difficult for me.” It doesn’t stop with the touring however, as Gassemann is a classic case of someone who simply can’t sit still, which explains his prolific output over the past few years, and rapid rise amongst the fidget-house/electro communities. “I’m a workaholic and I’m always planning new projects. It’s hard for me to produce when I am touring, so when I’m not touring I produce at home. I do exclusive mixes, or mixes for MySpace and things like that. So yeah I work a lot.” And while his steady output of EPs since 2007 is a product of this intense work ethic, Gassemann is in no hurry to produce an album of any sorts. These days some dance producers are still keen to release

“Yeah I’m working on a live show for autumn, for the festivals around the world. I’m working a lot on it. It’s a new project and I’m really excited about that because I’ve never done a live show, I’m a producer, a DJ, but for the first time I’ll be doing something live.” As excited as he is, he remains very coy about what it will actually entail: “Oh, a lot of surprises… I can’t explain everything, but I will be alone on stage with new technology for the light show and sound show too.” Gassemann, like many electro producers who arrived on the scene around ’06-’07, found plenty of love on the Internet blogs of the time – blog house was even a genre for about ten minutes. And while it feels like most people have moved on from blogs, try telling that to Gasseman. “Sometimes I’m looking for a track so I’ll check the blogs that I like, so sometimes I can find some new talented artists, and some fresh blood, and new styles of music. It’s really important for me to see what blogs are following.” Unfortunately for us we won’t be getting the new live Don Rimini treatment, but his DJ sets are still something to behold, and as for what to expect, well an enlargened party of course. “A lot of energy, lots of new stuff too, because I just released the new Nlarge Your Parties EP, so I’ll play some stuff off that. I can’t wait to play it in Australia.”

WHO: Don Rimini WHAT: Nlarge Your Parties (Mental Groove) WHERE & WHEN: Monastery Saturday Jun 25

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altimore has become the go-to city in recent years for bands from the left field of the rock spectrum, as well as developing a reputation as an immersive, intense and fun live scene. “Life project” Ponytail have ridden the crest of this wave since their inception, their two guitars-no bass cosmic spazzouts perfectly complemented by pint-sized front woman Molly Siegel’s stream-of-consciousness wailings. Yet after five years of incendiary, sweat-stained performances and two amazing albums (2006’s Kamehameha and Ice Cream Spiritual in 2008), it was announced late last year that the Ponytail juggernaut was coming to an end “Yeah, it was a strange time, but the journey for us now is for us to walk solitary paths,” guitarist Ken Seeno says from his Baltimore home. Seeno has been busy since the announced hiatus, having put out a couple of solo releases and is planning to relocate to Los Angeles, where he will be working on some new material with other like-minded musicians. “I’ve got a lot of things cooking – I’m doing things with Steve (from ambient rock act Emeralds) amongst others – but I’m really looking forward to buying a surfboard! The surf in Baltimore is a little lacking…” Seeno may be busy, but not too busy to have gotten with the other three members of Ponytail and release a “posthumous” record in the shape of Do Whatever You Want All The Time, which bizarrely is the best document of the band put to tape. “Yeah, we were pretty happy with it, sure,” Seeno enthuses. “We are and always have been a live band, but it’s always been hard for us to translate us shredding energy lasers into a recording. This time around we just

“Ponytail was pretty much an art project, y’know?” Seeno explains. “There is so much artistic output that a musical band provides. There’s the artwork, the music, the performance, the poster art, the music videos… it’s pretty immersive. It wasn’t overly conceptual though – we didn’t sit around with Chewbacca face masks playing with Playdoh – although maybe we should have! (laughs) – but Ponytail has always been pretty much four buddies who are visual artists. Everything was an extension of everything else. We are Ponytail!” With such an invested artistic link to the band members (Siegel, guitarist Dustin Wong and drummer Jeremy Hyman), it must have been a difficult decision to let go. “We aren’t letting go, man!” Seeno interjects. “It isn’t like that at all. We are continuing the journey on our own trajectories. Dustin is doing his thing which is awesome, and Jeremy has done a whole bunch of shows with the Boredoms. Molly is embracing herbal medicines amongst other things. It’s all just an extension of ourselves, it’s pretty never-ending.” The future is bright for each member of Ponytail – how about as a collective? Seeno is noncommittal, but there’s no denying the pulling power of friends. “It’s an amazing thing. I don’t exactly see myself solely as a musician. I’m a trained visual artist, but I just love music. Music is something that has come out of me naturally, or by total chance, and I’ve embraced that. As for us getting together? Yeah, sure, who knows? We don’t hate each other or anything. I just saw The Goonies for the first time the other day, man! Anything’s possible!”

WHO: Ponytail WHAT: Do Whatever You Want All The Time (Popfrenzy)

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A STAR-STUDDED MILE QUIET NO MORE JOSHUA RADIN, the unsung star of Zach Braff’s success, talks with SAM HOBSON about making it in television, as a music guy. the world, we’re in a sound bite culture, but part of this record is me just trying to do something new, and break out of a little bit of that box that people are putting me in, what people know me for – it’s not the only reason I wrote some rock songs, but it’s one of the factors.”

FIREBALLS are back burning the road and are sounding as dangerous and vital as ever. JOEY PHANTOM, bass player for the psychobilly stalwarts, entertains BENNY DOYLE, recalling where it all went wrong for the band and now, where it’s all going right. Fireballs got back on the horse in 2005 with a clearer head, more focus and an understated attitude of maintaining balance rather than running themselves into the ground.

Having had his music score an inordinate amount of immensely popular television shows, you’d think it was a shame for the screenwriter that that’s how he made it into the medium he so long pursued. But that’s not quite right, says he.

“It was more a maturity thing,” Phantom admits. “We thought we had reached a point where we could write again and that came really easy. So we thought, ‘We’ll do it, but we won’t go kill ourselves, we’ll just enjoy it this time’. It’s kinda like being a jockey and knowing you’re going to win the race. Now it’s more about enjoying it and staying a bit more true and trying to just not make formulated music.”

“I grew up as a painter, and screenwriter, and I was always taught to think visually. So then when I started writing songs, later in life, I guess I started subconsciously describing things in a visual manner. Maybe the songs lent themselves better to being attached to the visual media, I don’t really know.” He laughs: “It could also be because my voice is pretty whispery, and doesn’t dominate the scene too much.”

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or an artist whose music is intrinsically commercial, it comes as a surprise to learn that Josh Radin’s sensibilities and motivations, then, are rather counter-culture; or at least, quite contrary to this. Having famously got his big break on the television show Scrubs with his song Winter, the once-was screenwriter’s work is now mired in the reputation of people like actor Zach Braff – who championed Radin’s early work to Scrubs’ producers, and included two of the man’s tracks in his film The Last Kiss – and the maudlin, drama-school pulp of characters like Meredith Grey, and the many, near-incestuous interminglings of the denizens of the Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. “I think you can either be a part of that world, or you can move against it. I think I’ve done a little bit of both; I think you’ve got to find a happy balance,” he starts, his voice tinged ever-so-slightly with irritation. “Everyone always wants to put you in a box, in a category, or in an iTunes genre – something like that. I think if any artist gets bogged down at all in that sort of thing, it affects your creative process, for sure. “I guess part of this [new] record was me trying to break out of that,” he continues, lightening. “One of the annoying things for any artist, I think, is to be described in one sentence. Or saying, ‘He sounds just like so-and-so.’ I get that it happens, it’s the way of

Frustrated after having written a number of scripts, having the two that were bought then dropped by the studios that purchased them, Josh turned to the guitar. Out of frustration, he says; he needed something new and meditative. “I tried so many different creative outlets, growing up,” he explains. “I always knew I wanted to express myself in some way. I tried music so late in life, it was just one of those things that when I picked up the guitar, [and] I started writing, it felt like home, creatively, for the first time. I really felt I could express myself more honestly doing this, I felt more fulfilled and satisfied when I finished a song – I haven’t looked back.” With his third album behind him, now, Josh’s sound has moved from the intimate, and lo-fi, to rocking, and grand. “I basically just write songs,” he shrugs. “When I was writing a screenplay I would write scene after scene after scene, but it would all be in one story. I don’t do that with this. I write a bunch of songs, and then I pick my favourite ones.”

WHO: Joshua Radin WHAT: The Rock And The Tide (Mom & Pop/Warner)

WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Saturday Jun 25

BACK TO REALITY Emerging MC JES McGARRY has very much emerged from a road less travelled to come out rocking the mic on his debut album, Everyday Is A Holiday. BENNY DOYLE learns a bit of the history behind the man and the music.

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efore the Living End were taking rockabilly to FM stations across the country, there was a rough and tumble band of Melbourne misfits destroying venues across the city, state and country. Rough, loud and downright scary onstage, Fireballs were underground legends, relentlessly ripping up venues with their crass amalgamation of rockabilly, punk, metal and thrash, penning the soundtrack for an apocalyptic future in the early-90s. But then it all fell apart. Emotional ends were frayed and physically, the band was burnt out from a schedule that saw them playing more shows than days in the calendar years between 1994 and ’97. Phantom expands on what the reasons behind the band taking eight years on the sidelines. “The real thing that brought the band to a halt was the fact that we just didn’t want to write anything anymore,” he offers. “We were getting caught up in playing for the sake of playing and not playing for ourselves. It turned into a job and the whole creative side of writing your own music is that you don’t want to have to put a time barrier on it and have to be limited, so we just didn’t really want to go and make a bad record. We thought we’d rather stop where we are and not really make that record. We weren’t happy, the formula wasn’t really coming out. It was just a lot of kilometres at the time and sometimes I think for a musician, sometimes to take a break and hear nothing is more sound than ever – it’s more noise than ever.”

“I

McGarry is a Gold Coast-based hip hop artist, helping to maintain the current purple patch the domestic scene has found itself in for the better part of a decade. Following a parachuting accident that cut short his chequered military career, the former soldier returned to an art form that he loved and quickly took his rhymes from favourite pastime to the primetime. “I know when I was younger, like I’m not a person to bag out anyone’s style, but maybe back then, I don’t think it [Aussie hip hop] was attractive to the listener?” McGarry reflects on the improvements to the musical community he’s now a part of. “Maybe it was to do with production, maybe it was flow, I don’t really know the reasons. But now I think you find a lot of artists have got the production down, they’ve got a sound of value and they’ve found a style and a unique way to use their voice. I think that’s what it comes down to. And I think

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The production and vocal styling of Everyday Is A Holiday are smooth and summery, however on tracks such as first single Really, the subject matter is far deeper than just your typical bling and babes. McGarry discusses the issues that he’s bringing to the lyrical table and the human element that he’s hoping fans can take away. “I think with this first record, I just thought there are no limitations so let’s go for it and take whatever comes out,” he explains. “I think my rehabilitation process was a main topic y’know; coming from army to civilian was a big part of my life so I think it transcribed through to my poetry also. Working with relationships, dealing with social issues, that was important to talk about too. I wasn’t really interested in coming out and telling people that I was the coolest rapper though. I like to tell stories and I like to give the listener a part of me. That’s where I’m at with my hip hop.”

WHO: Jes McGarry WHAT: Everyday Is A Holiday (Steel City Records) WHERE & WHEN: Shooters Nightclub, Gold Coast Tuesday Jun 28

“There was just a lot of shit happening at the time and the band wasn’t really clicking also. Which I believe really came out in the recording process. Cutting the ear off, the torture, the pain type thing,” he jests. “It usual helps make the music come out a bit better these days.”

WHO: Fireballs WHAT: Hellrider (XXX Fireballs Records) WHERE & WHEN: Shed 5, Gold Coast Friday Jun 24, The Hi-Fi Saturday Jun 25

FINABAH bassist BRENDAN LANGFIELD talks with SAM HOBSON about the prizes and pitfalls of being a commercially accessible band. in the same day! It’s was pretty surreal, and I never really thought it would come to this kind’ve fruition.” It’s a fruition, he notes, that’s very particular, and not entirely cushioned with the spoils an outsider would expect.

With a 30-track mixtape full of full songs, half ideas and choruses, McGarry was still umm-ing and ahh-ing whether to take it “to the next step.” However with Mules adamant he could make the recording dreams of McGarry a reality, the MC was not about to let such an opportunity pass.

’m just enjoying rolling the record out at the moment. For me, I’m pretty happy because I got to work with such a good producer in Mules [Simon Mules – Obese Records] and I’m just excited that everything has come together; video clips, gaining understanding in the industry, and ways we can best get my music out to the people.”

“Hellrider’s a funny record actually because it was about a five year writing process on that album and a lot of stuff happened as the album was getting made,” Phantom recalls. “The songwriting process happened pretty quick in the sense of the songs came together, we found the sound that we were looking for, but as far as making the album... I remember when we were actually making Hellrider, it was the time of the bushfires, they were going down at the time. Also just as we finished recording, there were two separate incidents where two people got ran over by trains. So there was a real negative force going on while the album was being made. And we just thought, ‘Wow, we’re caught up in this – we’ve just got to go hammer and tong for it’.

NOT SELLING OUT

it’s the way us as a society views the art of hip hop in this country now. It had come from America and there was a lot of Americanisms involved. But now it has been here for so long, people have put their own footprint on it, their own style, and it’s continued on and progressed.”

“Because it was my first time, and working with someone as creative as [Mules], I just gave myself a deadline and I just said, ‘You have to work to it!’” he recalls of the creation process. “I think deadlines are there so you don’t wag your tail and I put a lot of pressure on myself to meet that date. But once I started to see the end, once I got into the recording studio for the final sessions, I started to calm down a bit, relax and enjoy it.”

Listening to the crazed ride of their fresh LP, it’s quick to note that this music is anything but safe and formulated. In fact, you’d be pressed to find a sound like it.

“I think the fanbase commercial radio gives you isn’t a fanbase at all.” Commercial viability these days, Finabah bassist Brendan Langfield explains, is something which comes with a considerable amount of stigma. We’re in an age in which, as he poignantly puts it, “being alternative has become the new mainstream”; a time in which bands have to adapt to a scene in which triple j has the touring circuit pretty dominated – where venues, and their demographics have fragmented; the latter because of the internet, and the former, because of the ever-hastening transience of trends – and where all things are trended towards a lo-fi aesthetic, or exist as retrofitted, sub-ironic throwbacks to gaudier times. So the Toowoomba-born Finabah, as purveyors of the commercial scene, and as an independent band, at that, sit in some weird limbo; some liminal embryo, unsuccessful as triple j conscripts, and yet successful on radio only to a point, never with the right concoction of things needed to be fully born into the world of either. Without a dream-team of writers behind them, forging easy clichés into melodies and lyrics, and without the credibility to merge into the current ‘indie’ indie scene, the band seem momentarily trapped, and it all started with a dream. “It was certainly a dream, and I guess, all through growing up nearly anyone who listens to music is lying to themselves if they think that when they were 12 they didn’t want to be on commercial radio.” Langfield’s lively, and fast-spoken. “I grew up in Toowoomba, and it really hit me [on] a day when [I was] there last year, and two of our songs were on the commercial radio station

“On the other end of the scale,” he laments, “we’ve learnt a lot – the hard way – that commercial radio certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all. I guess a lot of people – including ourselves growing up, and even into the latter years of our musical careers – thought that you make commercial radio, you get a lot of money, you go on TV, you’re famous, everything goes sweet, but it hit us like a freight train that getting on commercial radio didn’t mean all those things that’re associated with it. We had a song that charted in the Top 50 ARIA airplay charts, one of only three Australian artists to do it at the time, and we were still only getting 150 people to our shows. It just didn’t correlate to some of the things we thought it might have.” And what’s even stranger, is the culture of exactly why this happens. “It certainly gives you a different fanbase,” Brendan explains, momentarily coy. “I think the fanbase commercial radio gives you, isn’t a fanbase at all. Something that we found really interesting, is that, the sort of people that listen to triple j are the people who go to gigs, and buy your CDs, and the people who listen to commercial radio aren’t those people, which is the harsh reality of it.” He adds, “and, targetting a big audience, it’s a lot harder than targeting a small one, we’ve realised.” But there is a silver lining to all of this. The band have a game plan. Currently in the studio, they’ve together reawakened their love for what they do, and are determined to keep at their core listenership, perhaps to a broader end. “None of us are ashamed to be commercial artists anymore. We think [we’re] better than everything on commercial radio – because we’re real, Australian artists – not Pink, or Nickleback. Yes, it’s commercial, but it’s not fake, by any means.”

WHO: Finabah WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Thursday Jun 30


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VIOLENT HISTORY Stalwart hardcore band SAUSAGE CHOPPER have been eviscerating ears and destroying household implements for over a decade. BRENDAN TELFORD dukes it out with bassist MIKEY CARTER, discussing the virtues of supporting local acts and belting the shit out of inanimate objects.

USHERING CHANGE With confidence to burn, tassles to spin, and a local tour that’s soon to beget a trip to the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe, burlesque rocker BERTIE PAGE talks to SAM HOBSON about hubris and her origins. “I was studying my drama degree in 2007,” Bertie begins, with a decidedly royal cadence, “and I met Lena Marlane, who is now the director of Scoundrels Burlesque School, and from meeting her, I became very interested in burlesque, and made it the subject of my final year of study. And then, from doing shows, I met up with some people, who were in rock’n’roll, who thought it would be a good idea for me to start a band.”

The intensity of their live show is Sausage Chopper, and it’s well-cultivated. “We’ve always tried to make seeing us a little different,” Carter offers. “Hardcore has always had this level of involvement – moshing, circle pits – and I think we brought props and things in to smash up mainly due to the fact that we can’t afford to break our instruments! So we looked at what we could bring in – things like car bumpers, and smash those on stage. It can get out of hand of course – it’s not the kind of thing you see in video clips and whatever, there isn’t really a rule to follow, so people can get hurt. It’s all fun and games though, everyone has a good time!”

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ince 1997 Sausage Chopper have been terrorising the live venues of Southeast Queensland, their live shows (which invariably involve the use and destruction of all manner of instruments, implements and household appliances) garnering them a badge of notoriety – now the quartet are launching their debut long player, the aptly monikered A History Of Violence. However, as Chuck Palahniuk attests, every human being in existence leads more than one life – and Carter is no exception. “I’m a swimming coach! Somewhat removed from the band,” Carter laughs. “It’s like a double life. It’s funny, because I might finish off a crazy show, and the next morning I’m talking very nicely and politely to all these parents and children! It happens in bands, and moreso punk and hardcore bands. I mean, I’ve seen guys naked on stage many, many times, their penises wobbling around, and the next morning they go to their job as a teacher. If only they knew...” The insanity of the “double life” manifests itself into the electric and often disturbing live performance, one that has Sausage Chopper struggling to keep the violence on stage. “We’ve had broken bones, gashes, blood everywhere... it can get out of control. We’ve had three ambulances at our shows. Although one of them was completely unrelated. A lady had had a heart attack in the hotel above where we were playing. I remember hearing as we were leaving people saying, “Andy [Peachey – vocalist] has done it again, he’s really hurt himself this time!” So the reputation is there! (laughs)”

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With this in mind, Carter admits that it was difficult to catch that on a recorded setting. “Four songs were recorded years ago, but the rest are relatively new,” he tells. “We recorded it first, and it came out clean, like a metal record, which doesn’t work for us at all – it wasn’t organic, a little too perfect. So we had to go in and re-record the songs, and then gave no pauses between each song to breath. It just keeps coming at you, like an old Ramones album. Except it’s thrash – a 30 minute thrashing!” The album serves more than just an opportunity for fans to own physical copies of Sausage Chopper songs, however. “Being a crazy underground band, there comes a time when it dawns on you that you need the support of the underground scene to survive. I don’t think that fans realise that by holding off from having an extra two beers and buying a band’s album, they are helping keep that band going. So we are now in that area where we’ve been in the scene for a long while, and we are like, ‘Okay everyone you’ve enjoyed seeing us bash the shit out of each other, now buy the CD!”

WHO: Sausage Chopper WHAT: A History Of Violence (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Jubilee Hotel Friday

Jun 24, 4ZZZ Carpark Saturday Jun 25 (all ages)

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verything is so twee; if I hear one more song, where fully-grown bloody hipsters sound like a shouty little children’s choir, I’m going to throw up.”

As you grow older and move through life’s inevitable succession of failures and successes, you begin to notice, of the others who too swam in the same formative waters as you, something of a series of pre-planned life-arcs; of career-tropes, personality types, and lifestyle grooves into which each, because of a certain set of defining attributes, snugly fit. Among the colourful list of people-trajectories one could list here – the dead, the married, the drugaddled, the mini-celebrity, the fit and unfit – there shines one – mind, if this is not you – there shines one particular brand of person who perhaps annoys we, the civilian pleb, the most. Whilst our scorn is largely born from envy, these people are nonetheless insufferable to us, because they are human deities, they are the damn overachievers. Cavorting around in a sea of horrible confidence, they seemingly fall not to crushing neurosis, nor financial hardship. They make friends, frisky and attractive, and carve themselves deep, cavernous avenues of opportunity from which they ritually soar, totally impervious to even the idea of failure. Bertie Page, respectfully and anthropologically, seems like one of these people. Multiskilling herself raw, she’s flung from childhood dreams of Shakepearean-grade thespianry, to being an opera singer; from being a comedienne, then to dabbling in burlesque dancing, and now to band-leader. The girl’s got it all, and, from this lowly writer’s account, perhaps it’s too much of it.

Simple as that, really. Taking cues from the operatic stylings of Meatloaf, and the glam-rock sensibilities of Alice Cooper, Page set out to form a classic rock band, one she’d then deck out with all the influences that’d formed her various interests up to that point; the ultimate evocation of Bertie Page. “That’s what it’s got to be, because it’s the centre of my world,” she recites, with an intensity that’s borderline affronting. “This is a boundless expression of what interests me. I’ve made no judgements or reservations; I’ve blindly followed instinct, and put together everything that I love, and everything that interests everyone else in the band, and it all gets thrown together in one big melting pot.” She places a great, enunciative importance on each word, like she was proof-reading a mission statement, or the constitution. “I did it, because I was ready for it; because the skills were already there, and bringing it together with original music and a live band, would be a big achievement. I have always been a singer. I’ve been a singer long before I was a burlesque artist.” But back to the quote that opened this article. Page’s latest conquest is to see the damning of twee, and the resurgence of campy, classic-rock. She’s pretty convincing. “Rock’n’roll is not in now – and our sound is ultimately about classic rock. It is not in, it is not selling, it is not on the charts, it is not mainstream, and things go in cycles. Right now everything’s really cute, [and] rock’n’roll’s going to come back on top – back in the mainstream. We’ll see things change.”

WHO: Bertie Page Clinic WHERE & WHEN: Circus!

Circus!, The Zoo Friday Jun 24


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SINGLES BY CHRIS YATES

BLACK LIPS

LAMB

BOOKER T JONES

(V2/Co-Op)

(Strata Music/MGM)

(Anti-/Shock)

Arabia Mountain

THE STROKES Taken For A Fool (Sony)

One of the best tracks and most likely singles to emerge from The Strokes’ bizarre long distance recording sessions for Angles, Taken For A Fool captures everything that has made the best hits for the band. It’ s still quirky, but not really when compared to the rest of the album, and although the distortion never really raises its head, the track’s uptempo beat and fighting guitar lines keep the energy high. It does sound patched together, and it’s obvious that there was never really a clear vision behind it, but the chorus is one of the catchiest on the record, and the different parts are contrasting enough to keep it interesting. It doesn’t derail itself when it changes sections, like so much of the album does. A nice addition for the inevitable greatest hits contractual obligation record in the not-too-distant future.

ENGINE THREE SEVEN Atmosphere (Independent)

Angry, earnest, post-something rock band Engine Three Seven are pulling out all the stops to show what professional units they all are. It’s all extremely proficient musically, the arrangements are complicated and the playing is well-accomplished across all of the instruments. The bass player is a bad ass busy fretboard traveller, running all over the place. The singer soars and then whispers confusing couplets of abstract imagery about police and aliens and rockets that never really grabs hold of anything but sounds pretty clever. The guitars do that shunted riffing thing in dropped tunings which makes every song sound kinda the same. Sometimes they do some finger picking. The drummer in particular mostly plays it safe but then drops in a double kick when he feels like it. Party on you serious muso-type hard rockers!

Black Lips have always struggled to turn their incendiary live performances into a stellar recording. There have been near misses, most notably 2007’s Good Bad Not Evil, and the majority of their output has hinted at the energetic maelstrom at their core. However many thought that any effort made to harness their inner demon and put it to tape was like catching lightning in a bottle. But Arabia Mountain may have achieved this monumental feat, and in the weirdest fashion possible – by cleaning themselves up, courtesy of the savvy stylings of producer Mark Ronson (with the aid of Deerhunter’s Locket Pundt). Sure, the album is fairly lo-fi, and the standard Black Lips garage stereotypes remain, but the strained efforts to rip the roof off the tracks on display has disappeared, replaced here with confidence and verve that helps preserve the inner energy that coalesces within. There are silly, bizarre tracks – You Keep On Running, which sounds like it’s been written in a haunted playground, and Peter Parker’s lament in Spidey’s Curse, ending in a bizarre stoner backchat radio conversation, are the pick of these – but it’s the crunchier tracks that impress. The added accoutrements heighten rather than hinder the results – the fat saxophone on the dark, sexy Mad Dog, the slack-jawed delivery of Mr Driver, and most notably the harmonised whistling on Raw Meat helping to raise the Ramones’ easy structure into another, altogether euphoric realm. With the garage rock movement coming along in massive waves, with the bands at the height of the zeitgeist realising the strength in creating tracks with longevity and muscle over throwaway grit and bluster, Arabia Mountain has raised Black Lips to the summit as the first full formed stars of the genre. And I never thought I’d say this – but thank you, Mr Ronson... thank you. ★★★★ ½ Brendan Telford

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A comeback album is a different kind of event for electronic musical acts. The majority of rock acts, faced with delivering such a record, are expected only to match the quality of their previous output. Often, electronic acts are expected to not only match the quality of their previous output but its relevance as well. The technologically-driven nature of electronic music means that acts who write and perform it have, fairly or otherwise, an obligation to deliver contemporary work. To this end, veteran UK trip hop duo Lamb are in a difficult position. Their fifth album 5 is the pair’s first record of original material since their 2004 dissolution. In order for it to be counted a success, they must not only present compelling songs but also contemporary productions. To their credit, they have largely succeeded in the latter category. While wise enough to resist cramming his work with dubstep and indie-electro cues, producer Andy Barlow has nevertheless managed to deliver a series of productions which capture the spirit of the ensemble’s late-90s productions without cribbing the sounds of their work outright. From the shuffling IDM of opener Another Language to the worldly rhythms of Existential Itch and the lush strings of closer The Spectacle (Reprise), 5 doesn’t sound dated. Unfortunately, their grasp of songwriting proves less tenuous. While there are a few memorable numbers (Wise Enough, Rounds), 5 is largely a record devoid of memorable melodies. Lou Rhodes’ dry vocal soul sounds as charismatic and detached as ever but it’s wrapped around songs and lyrics that are almost completely forgettable. Cuts like the funky Butterfly Effect and sample-heavy She Walks simply wash amiably through one’s mind. When the record finally draws to a close, it’s difficult to recall a solitary hook. An unsatisfactory listen, all things tallied.

The Road From Memphis While 2009’s Potato Hole saw Booker T Jones team up with Southern rock masterminds Drive-By Truckers, his latest The Road From Memphis is brimming with diverse talent; though it’s always going to be Jones’ iconic organ that ties everything together, which it does – just like on Potato Hole – effectively. Members of The Roots join Jones in the producer’s chair, while Daptone mastermind Gabe Roth holds court behind the engineer’s desk. These decisions, as well as the decision for The Roots to play as Jones’ backing band are all genius. Walking Papers opens the record in classic, Booker T & The M.G.s circa 1962 fashion; it grooves hard and introduces both Jones and the rest of the band in the finest style. There are plenty of incredible instrumental tracks, the aforementioned opener, The Hive with its uneasy guitar flitter and the oh-so-smooth Rent Party, but the guest vocalists offer up the biggest point of interest. My Morning Jacket’s Yim Yames doesn’t quite sound comfortable on Progress, though that kind of endears in a bizarre way. But Representing Memphis, featuring Sharon Jones and The National’s Matt Berninger, shows the true potential of this record – Berninger’s baritone particularly shining through. Booker T steps up to the mic for Down In Memphis, something he doesn’t do often, and he sounds so confident it makes you wonder whether he mightn’t handle vocals for an entire record in the future. Lou Reed’s vocal on The Bronx could be amazing, but it’s too brief and tacked onto the end of this bunch of songs it sounds too incongruous. This is a cruisy ride through some tasteful yet innocuous r’n’b that is certainly enjoyable but not as challenging as one would like to hear from such a crack team. ★★★ ½ Dan Condon

★★ Matt O’Neill

STEVE CASE & THE COMMON TREES Leaving Home

BORIS

(Independent)

Folky strummer Steve Case sounds very nice on record with his band The Common Trees. He’s pretty dramatic, he sings on one song that “all his friends are doing time” but I find it pretty hard to believe that such a sweet sounding dude would associate with the criminal element. Poetic license I guess, no-one says songwriting has to be autobiographical. He gets all countrified on Hell Or High Water, but resists the urge to twist his very honest sounding vocals into a country twang, although he does pronounce the word ‘planets’ as ‘per-lanets’ which is strange. The title track sounds like a 70s folk ballad as performed by a hippie hanging over from the 60s, reflecting on his glory days of taking acid and freaking out, heading out to the country to leave all that behind and raise some cows and shit.

THE ONLY (feat. TISM) (River Phoenix) The Hollywood Anthem (Universal)

Everyone baffled by the continuing popularity of mainstream dubstep will be shaking their heads in unison as they listen to the new jingle by The Only. Taking the “I’m on the drug that killed River Phoenix” sample from the TISM hit (He’ll Never Be An) Ol Man River, putting those fucking annoying warbling bassssss sounds underneath it and an occasional drum hit, accusing these dudes of taking the piss is far too kind. I’m pretty sure that most of these commercial dubstep dudes are all actually just sampling each other, or they’re sharing sounds on some blog and then just randomly whacking them into a sequencer and hitting the save button.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Codes And Keys (Atlantic/Warner)

With seven albums and now with the whole world keeping at least one eye on them, Death Cab For Cutie can surely can be notched up as one of the most consistent bands existing in 2011. Over these seven records, Washington’s finest have gone from the little indie-band-that-could to signing a major label deal and becoming as critic-proof as any major album release gets. Unlike a lot of these disappointing releases, however, Death Cab have returned to the forefront with yet another fine collection of music. Each song on Codes And Keys is a picture, has its own identity and, while the album flips around in much the same way any Death Cab record might, Benjamin Gibbard’s poignant lyrics, guitarist Chris Walla’s production and the band’s general musicianship all step up and landing on the right side of musical pretension. While eclectic, it’s Gibbard’s voice that ties it together; the frantic polyrhythms of Home Is A Fire bubbling at double-time underneath like Bjork’s Hyperballad while threatening to bust into something bigger like sideproject The Postal Service might have. In contrast, the raw piano on the title track weirdly flows nicely and the guitar riff on You Are A Tourist is not only some of the only guitar on the entire album but entirely worth its weight in radio-gold. Unobstructed Views is another moody, spacious and subtle throbber that, at just over six minutes, is driven by ambient synth and piano until it’s, once again, saved by Gibbard’s earnest delivery. Everyone has a different favourite Death Cab album and while Codes And Keys isn’t another Transatlanticism, We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes or Photo Album, it does politely refuse to be squeezed into any one of those boxes and will undoubtedly become a favourite for a newer generation of fans. ★★★★ Ben Preece

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TEX PERKINS & THE DARK HORSES

Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses (Dark Horse/Inertia)

Tex Perkins always surprises with just how deep his reservoir for bittersweet, heartfelt song writing goes. It’s been many years since Perkins was firstly blasting us with boozy doctrines in the Beasts Of Bourbon, then inflecting with sass and arrogance in The Cruel Sea. His collaborations with the likes of Charlie Owens, Don Walker and Tim Rogers have produced eclectic, blueshued gems. Yet it is in his own guise, with the backing of his Dark Horses, that the man stands tallest of all. And on Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses, he is at his most ruminative, still world weary but with a sliver of hope that comes with the knowledge of harried experience. What Do You Want Now? kicks the album off perfectly, a slow burner that sets up the template for the rest of this subtle, elegantly constructed record. Perkins is a strong yet calm presence, whether he is crooning soothing mantras like “Build things like you know you’re gonna break them” in the affirmative Life Gets In The Way, or offering more harboured advice on the beautifully wistful, strings-drenched Won’t Last Long. The Dark Horses – Murray Paterson, Charlie Owen, Joel Silbersher, Steve Hadley and Gus Agars – are sublime, providing the perfect canvas for Perkins to paint his stark, sombre portraits of a lived, yet unfinished life. Even instrumental pivot Three Guitars, is constructed in such a manner that emotion runs rampant just under the delicately-structured surface. Perkins takes us on hushed, considered journey of the Self in this self-titled release, and in closer Things Don’t Seem So Bad...After All places us on a path of redemption, proving things aren’t as dark as first thought. A great Australian release. ★★★★ Howie Tanks

Attention Please

(Sargent House/Other Tongues)

Japanese avant-noise trio Boris are the epitome of eschewing expectations. Over the 20 or so albums the band has released since the turning of the new millennium, they have mined so many genres, albeit with a heady sense of intensity, that classification is a futile cause. They mix up dirge, drone, punk, no wave and pop with wanton abandon. You never know which Boris is going to come rushing out of the speakers at you, only that it will invade the senses. Attention Please, one of two Boris albums released simultaneously (the other being Heavy Rocks), is another bold directional tack, zagging where a zig would suffice. The main curveball here is the vocals – wailing guitarist Wata, usually at the fringes of the back in a singing capacity, is the sole vocalist – and it’s amazing this hasn’t happened before. Her alluring voice soars, creeps, arouses and distances in equal measure. The breathy delivery of You, the punky singsong of Les Paul Custom ’86, and the sultry swoon of standout tracks Tokyo Wonder Land and Spoon, add new dimensions to an already multi-faceted group. And the instrumentation on these tracks are stretching the Boris “formula” – the heavy rock mantra is set to a minimum, instead intent on imbuing the tracks with minimalist atmospherics. Boris, minimal? Quiet is the new Boris... Attention Please is an incredibly effective album, one where the three musicians known for losing their shit frequently rein it in with a depth of focus that’s astonishing. Boris never seems to sit still from release to release, which at times can be frustrating, but on this release it’s a breath of fresh air. ★★★★ Brendan Telford


THE ELLIS COLLECTIVE

PAUL KALKBRENNER

VARIOUS/DEPECHE MODE

AGNES OBEL

(Longhaul Records)

(Paul Kalkbrenner Music/Rough Trade)

(Venusnote/Mute/EMI)

(Liberator Music)

Means What It Means

For every Art vs. Science abomination that has been made a household name through triple j unearthed, there is an utter find dug up from the thousands of bands who have thrown their songs into the ether ring. The Ellis Collective are one of those diamonds. The Canberra group’s debut album sounds dug up directly from the earth around us, seemingly encapsulating the Australian landscape through their provoking sonics. A big part of this is because of Sam King. Lyrically, he leaves nothing in his heart, pouring his blood and emotion all over Means What It Means. The bruised, reflective and patriotically poetic storytelling of the frontman is constantly cutting, fragile yet completely relatable. Lines like, “Nothing says ‘hey girl, I’m thinking of you,’ like when I’m going through your phone” (Overblown), or “Just like the shit in these cigarettes that won’t let me stop.” (Don’t Go) are delivered with the heart of a struggler and the charm of a millionaire. It’s certainly not a pretty voice. But like Gareth Liddiard or Nick Cave, it’s attractive in the ugliest of ways, like an arrogant prick of a man the pretty girls all seem to fawn over. However there is more than enough rich, heart warming moments within the textured roots and riverbank country to make this release a real tender record with a personality unto its own. The banjo and mandolin seem to be plucked with just the right amount of pressure, the violins and cellos sweeping in to lift you off your feet at the perfect plateau within the songs. It’s doubtful a band as talented as The Ellis Collective would remain a stranger for too long. But already on their first introductions, this group seems like the oldest of friends. ★★★★ ½ Benny Doyle

Icke Wieder

More people are familiar with Paul Kalkbrenner’s name than his music, the German producer cultivating a healthy mystique via his appearance in cult 2008 film Berlin Calling and subsequent reluctance to do much in the way of press (even when he toured Australia in early 2011). The packaging for new album Icke Wieder doesn’t shed much light on proceedings either, emblazoned with just Kalkbrenner’s name, the ten track titles (in his native tongue) and thanks (again in German) to his family, female companion, friends and fans. Thankfully the less-is-more approach doesn’t carry over to the album itself – not all of it anyway. Opener Böxig Leise is a jaunty little number, trapped in a bpm zone which is neither dancefloor nor head-nod but with enough life to suggest its eyes would sparkle if it were a living being before it dissolves into an unnecessary coda. Gutes Nitzwerk certainly has more fuel in the tank, as if it’s transporting you at speed across the top of windswept fields in the countryside. Along with its guitar-heavy successor Jestrüpp it’s probably the lightest moment here as Kalkbrenner traverses mostly murky terrain which never quite gels into the whole you sense he’s capable of. While you could imagine the bottom heavy deep techno groove of Sagte Der Bär and pounding closer Der Breuzen holding their own somewhere in the 1am-3am timeslot, they’re not the sort of numbers that’ll have chinstrokers furiously trying to ID them come closing time. The bouncy tech rhythm pumping away at the heart of the synthesised string section of Kleines Bubu is as close as Kalkbrenner gets to an anthem here, but even it doesn’t quite deliver a result worthy of the hype which precedes it. ★★★ Gloria Lewis

Remixes 2. 81-11

The concept of a remix collection seems somewhat superfluous in an age where even club-oriented single releases come with a list of remix options longer than most albums, but the legendary Depeche Mode (or at least their label reps) have nonetheless decided that fans have been baying for Remixes 2. 81-11 – the follow-up to the Remixes 81-04 set and edited edition of a simultaneously released three-disc set. The lists of contributors is far too wide-ranging in musical scope for this to ever have weight as an end-toend listen, so it’s best examined on a track-by-track basis. Bushwacka!’s Tough Guy Mix Edit of Dream On is a promising enough start, an early doors deep house meander with Dave Gahan’s vocals at the forefront. Producers to the stars Stargate tackle the rolling triplet feel of Personal Jesus in typically bombastic fashion before M83 brings out the synthesised horns and strings on a formless Suffer Well and UNKLE take John The Revelator into anonymous guitar techno territory. From here it’s either feast or famine, with not much middle ground. Tigerskin’s take on In Chains is perhaps the best in the way of dancefloor fare, building the atmospherics to a peak much as he did with his 2008’s Pink Floyd-referencing Peter’s Secret Weapon. Miike Snow duo Karlsson + Winnberg deliver a confounding dystopian vision of Tora! Tora! Tora!, Eric Prydz’s Never Let Me Down Again falls well short of his usual epic standards, Röyksopp’s Puppets wants to be a New Order classic and A Pain That I’m Used To proves Jacques Lu Cont left all his best tricks in Madonna’s studio back in 2005.

Philharmonics

Danish balladeer Agnes Obel has created one of the most mesmerising and starkly beautiful folk records of this year. Philharmonics is a work of such grand songcraft and unique vocalisation one could draw comparisons to Nico’s Marble Index or perhaps the modern fragility of Chan Marshall. This record is truly an album that resets the boundaries of composition. Obel straddles many a varied genre yet throughout the record, the piano work and the brittle majesty of Obel’s voice is transformative and ensures the album is consistent. The mournful Riverside, is an enchanting piano work, so resplendent in its defeated optimism that in many ways it sets the tone for the rest of the record. Brother Sparrow and Just So recalls the European folk tradition as previously imagined by John Cale or Joanna Newsom and the influence of Cale is further realised when Obel covers his Close Watch. Obel captures the spirit of Cale’s sincerity and desperation on the song. Throughout Philharmonics there is a confessional tone to the lyrics, albeit they are crafted with passion and intelligence rather than overt emotion and it is this, which beyond Obel’s harmonies and piano work encapsulates why this record is an album of such undefinable beauty and cinematic emotion.

All of which makes Remixes 2. 81-11 a nondescript listen that will most-likely be cherrypicked rather than consumed as a whole.

Agnes Obel’s Philharmonics is a record that whilst perhaps traditional in its song craft is an album that captures the exquisiteness of failure, desperation and uncertainty. Philharmonics like Nico’s or Chan Marshall’s finest works is often steeped in an inherent melancholy and Obel’s ability to navigate, exorcise and refine this despondency has created an album that is undeniable in its soaring melodious interludes, delicate piano work and eerily memorable songs. Obel has crafted an opus that by which all her future work will be compared.

★★ ½ Gloria Lewis

★★★ Jimi Kritzler

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frontrow@timeoff.com.au

THIS WEEK IN

ARTS

WEDNESDAY 22 Blackswan — as part of the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) key Industry performances and their Season Black, an enticing dance triple-bill with choreography from some of Australia’s foremost choreographers. Closing night. Judith Wright Centre. A Clockwork Orange — Stanley Kubrick’s most notorious film, starring Malcolm MacDowell as Alex Delarge, a troubled youth who is jailed and volunteers for a rather dubious government experiment. Closing night. Tribal Theatre. Le quattro volte — an idyllic village in Italy’s mountainous region of Calabria is the setting for Le quattro volte, an exquisitely filmed take on the cycles of life. Structured in four parts, per its title (“four times”), it opens with a shepherd tending his herd of goats, then shifts focus to one goat in particular, the tree under which he seeks shelter, and the industrialised fate of that plant. Closing night. Tribal Theatre.

SATURDAY 25 Faustus — Queensland Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare join to present this adaptation by Michael Gow and inspired by Dr Faustus. Closing night. Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse.

SUNDAY 26 World Press Photo 2011 — the 54th annual World Press Photo exhibition profiles the globe’s top press

C U LT U R A L

WITH MANDY KOHLER For all my high-falutin intentions to restrict my reading habits to truly worthy books lately I’m finding that there’s nothing as satisfying as a well crafted whodunit. It never used to be so, as previously I’ve avoided all crime fiction. The stuff of crime fiction is made up of...well, the stuff of crime, everyday horrors, the worst of life. Instances of things like rape, murder, and abuse are part of a collective catalogue of trauma that is so oft played out in life that to draw on it in fiction is to borrow from a library of cliches. What could be less alluring than a horror that is also a cliché? Perhaps to the queasy a horror that is exaggerated in order not to be a cliché would be worse. Either way, the crime is just the ‘what’, if that’s the narrative focus then the author’s telling you, “Hey, I’m a writer. Look at all this horrible stuff I can do to this character.” It’s the gradual unveiling, the guessing game of the how, who, and most intriguingly the why, that’s what makes whodunits so compelling. With that in mind I’ve taken up the

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photographers and showcases the world’s best press photos of 2010. World Press Photo is the leading international competition in press photography. Brisbane Powerhouse.

ONGOING Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams — a landmark exhibition of surrealist works direct from the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition presents a historical overview of Surrealism, charting its evolution from Dada experiments in painting, photography and film, through the metaphysical questioning and exploration of the subconscious in the paintings of Giorgio De Chirico and Max Ernst; to the readymade objects of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray’s photographs. Also included is a remarkable selection of paintings and sculptures by surrealists Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Victor Brauner, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst and Paul Delvaux. Film and photography are also represented throughout the exhibition, including films by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, René Clair and Man Ray. Important photographic works by Hans Bellmer, Brassaï, Claude Cahun, Dora Maar, Eli Lotar and Jacques-André Boiffard also feature. The exhibition is rounded out with late works that show the breadth of Surrealism’s influence, and includes major works by Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky and Joseph Cornell. GoMA until Sunday Oct 2.

CRINGE

INSPECTOR MORSE

For Wiig, bringing Bridesmaids to the screen was the culmination of four years of work, beginning when Apatow approached her after her supporting role in Knocked Up to suggest she develop a starring role of her own. And she’s quick to praise Apatow and Feig for their input into the script. “Because of Judd and Paul, two of the greatest additions were the idea for the plane scene [where a medicated Annie runs amok while the bridesmaids are flying to Las Vegas] and the food-poisoning in the dress shop,” she says. “Initially in the dress shop my dress made me feel so beautiful that I went into some black-and-white fantasy like a perfume – I ran into a forest where Christian Bale was chopping wood. People were chasing me and he said, ‘Quick, jump into my muscles’ – that was my favourite line!” Loving references to the Bale musculature aside, everyone involved in the film was keen to ensure that it would prove appealing to both genders, and Feig says that “the touchstone for this was always The Devil Wears Prada”. “At face value, most men were likely to not want to deal with it, this story about fashion,” he adds. “See it, though, and it’s a great workplace comedy that could be about anyone, men or women. And the word went out among men that it was okay to check it out. That’s what we were always hoping for with Bridesmaids.” WHAT: Bridesmaids WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now

challenge of crafting a short sleuth tale of my own to enter into the Scarlet Stiletto Awards. The awards, presented by Sisters In Crime Australia, is open to women only (sorry fellas, maybe you can flex your editorial muscles) and with nearly $5,000 in prize money and 11 categories even if you’re more Inspector Gadget than Inspector Morse you might find a market for your talent (there is indeed a Funniest Crime award). Set up in 1994, 17 years and 2,000 stories later, the awards have become a springboard into getting published for crime writers including Tara Moss, Cate Kennedy, and Josephine Pennicott. Judges this year include SCA’s national co-convenors plus writers Christina Lee and Roxxy Bent, who’ve both won two Stiletto trophies in earlier competitions. Lee and Bent were invited to join the judging panel under the competition rules of ‘two strikes and you’re out’. Each judge appoints a SCA member to come up with a shortlist then all final nominated stories are read by the judges over an intense weekend away. All stories are read anonymously. Entries close on Thursday Jun 30 so if you’d like to enter but don’t have a handy crime story up your sleeve, you might want to dig out your plunger, buy some decent coffee and give this weekend to your computer and PJs. Let’s face it, it’s freaking cold out and staying in doing anything trumps facing the winter chill. A crime story doesn’t necessarily need a detective (Miss Marple for example is just a busy body), so, even though there’s a fairly standard approach to the genre, with 11 categories to enter, there is room for originality. What a crime story does need is a victim and in accordance with the advice of previous winner, Mandy Wrangles, that first time crime writers should, “write what you know and weave a crime into it,” there’s one body corporate rep who’s about to get got.

GOT IT MAID BRIDESMAIDS LOOKS SET TO BE THE COMEDY OF 2011. GUY DAVIS SITS DOWN WITH DIRECTOR PAUL FEIG AND THE FILM’S STARS ROSE BYRNE AND KRISTEN WIIG. Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that a superhero movie like... oh, I don’t know, the upcoming Green Lantern, proves underwhelming at the box office. Do you think for an instant that the studio behind it, or Hollywood in general, is going to pull the plug on the new Batman sequel or the latest Superman reboot? Probably not, right? But up until the release of his movie Bridesmaids, a comedy with a predominantly female cast, director Paul Feig was, well, shit-scared. “I went into this incredibly nervous that if I fucked it up, I’m going to fuck it up for so many funny women,” says the multi-talented screenwriter, director, author and actor. “There was this weird holding pattern prior to Bridesmaids coming out – female friends had female-themed movie projects in the works that weren’t going ahead until the studios saw how Bridesmaids was going to do.” Fortunately for Feig, and for funny women, Bridesmaids has done well, garnering glowing reviews (including the backhanded compliment ‘Chick Flicks Don’t Have to Suck!’) and raking in quite a bit of cash. “It was like ‘Oh, thank God!’” laughs Feig, who earned his place in pop-culture heaven for creating the magnificent highschool series Freaks And Geeks and consolidated his spot in the firmament by directing episodes of Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Mad Men, and Bored To Death among others. Still, it indicates a disparity in how the entertainment industry views men and women that so much was riding on Bridesmaids, the latest production by comedy juggernaut Judd Apatow and the first star vehicle (of sorts) for Kristen Wiig, the Saturday Night Live cast member who has hitherto been stealing scenes left and right in the likes of Knocked Up, Adventureland, Whip It, and Paul. Co-written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids follows Wiig’s character Annie, who’s at something of a low point personally and professionally, as she struggles with her duties as maid of honour for her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph). From a dress fitting at a swanky salon that goes messily wrong thanks to a nasty case of food poisoning to a constant run of passive-aggressive competition with

Lillian’s new BFF, the picture-perfect Helen (Rose Byrne), Annie’s maid of honour experience proves demoralising and depressing. For Annie, that is. For everyone else, it’s flat-out hilarious when it’s not unexpectedly moving. The seemingly effortless dovetailing of discomfort, humour, and pathos is something Feig feels characterises his collaborations with Apatow. “I always feel it’s one of the strengths of Judd and I working together, the way we balance each other out,” he says. “And then you add what Kristen brings to it, so you have all of us pushing each other to strengthen the areas that each of us is strongest in. I really like ensuring the heart and the comedy are balanced – it’s something that worked well on Freaks And Geeks. Judd is great at it, and so is Kristen. So we’d push each other.” Joining Feig in Australia to promote Bridesmaids were Wiig and Byrne, and the Australian star of Troy, Damages, and X-Men: First Class demonstrates with her dryly funny performance as Helen that her marvellous comic work as saucy pop tart Jackie Q in the Apatow production Get Him To The Greek was no fluke. In fact, Feig went so far as to compare Byrne to Steve Carell. “What they’re both able to do is create a character that’s so real they’re able to completely inhabit them and then be naturally funny in it,” he says. “I gave Paul some money,” mockwhispers Byrne in response. “The thing is, Helen was so clear when I first read the script that I knew exactly who that woman was. Whether or not I could play her was something else entirely but I knew her, I’ve met her and I think we’ve all had someone like Helen in our lives, so to me she was delicious. And every time she came on the page I was like ‘What’s she going to do now?’ The good thing is that she’s the ‘villain’ but she’s not this toxic bitchy character – that’s so boring.” “Helen had soft, well-manicured claws,” says Wiig, laughing. “It’s more interesting if you’re intrigued by Helen, and it’s testament to Kristen and Judd and Paul getting the tone so right,” claims Byrne. “She’s just dysfunctional, just as much as Annie if not more so. For a person to be that uptight, you have to wonder just what is going on!”

THE LOOKING

GLASS

WITH HELEN STRINGER It’s not often that I’m dumbfounded by art. Even at its strangest it’s usually possible to find the words needed to articulate the absurdity of the art world. But after checking in with James Franco, Hollywood’s favourite eccentric, I was rendered temporarily speechless. Admittedly, Franco’s been getting weirder by the moment. As guest editor of spectacular art journal The Thing he carved the name “Brad” into his shoulder, used lipstick to scrawl “Brad Forever” across the surfaces of 500 mirrors, and sold designer switch-blades online. Whether or not these switch-blades would get through customs is anyone’s guess, but for $550 you’d certainly want to hope so. Moving swiftly from the strange to the inexplicable Franco, in collaboration with art duo Praxis, has decided to found a museum devoted entirely to invisible art. By my reckoning that means they’re founding an empty room. What’s more, the clearly impoverished Franco is not even prepared to pay for this empty room himself but is instead taking donations from the public in order to get the Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA) up and running. Confused? Perhaps it’s better to let Franco explain in his own words. According to MONA’s Kickstarter page: “The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought... Although the artworks

themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real, in many ways, than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.” Well that certainly clears things up. The real question is: are people prepared to pay for nothing simply because Franco has put his name on it? Apparently, yes. Thus far MONA has raised $11,812. People are prepared to pay for non-existent art. In fact, somebody was prepared to pay $10,000 for “Fresh Air”, the idea for a piece of art that could never actually exist; Fresh Air consists of the air the purchaser inhales every day. Think about it: that’s $10,000 paid for the luxury of breathing. But never fear, for a mere $25 you can buy Franco’s imaginary short film Red Leaves, just be aware that the closest you’re going to get to watching it is seeing Franco describe it for you on the Kickstarter website. Thankfully Franco will avoid the expensive ire of the more litigious amongst us by having added the disclaimer: “You are not buying a visible piece of art; you are buying the title and description card for the imagined artwork.” It’s impossible to decide whether this is a stroke of genius that takes conceptual art to its furthest possible abstraction by dealing with the concept itself or whether it’s an offensive and manipulative exercise in self-aggrandisement. For the sake of the person who spent $10,000 on a description card, here’s hoping for the former.


frontrow@timeoff.com.au

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER ACTOR CHRISTOPHER SOMMERS HAS RECENTLY TAKEN ON HIS MOST IMPORTANT ROLE: A PARENT. IT’S SOMETHING THAT HAS MADE HIM CONSIDER HIS PART IN QTC’S PRODUCTION OF ORPHANS DIFFERENTLY, AS HE TELLS BAZ MCALISTER. It’s a familiar story; perhaps you’re even living it right now. Helen and Danny are a young couple trying their best to carve out a life for themselves. They have a young son, and a baby on the way. They own a house – but the best they can do is a new build in a dodgy area, so they’re forced to cocoon themselves against a world of inner-city violence constantly scrabbling at their front door. However, one night Helen’s troubled brother Liam barges in on a quiet dinner, covered in blood – not his own blood. How this little family deals with what has just happened will change their lives forever. This is the claustrophobic, tense world of Orphans, penned by hard-hitting British playwright Dennis Kelly. It’s a tight three-hander that’s next up in Queensland Theatre company’s studio season. Directed by Kat Henry, it stars Leon Cain as Liam, and Helen Cassidy and Christopher Sommers as Helen and Danny. Sommers himself is the father of a two-month-old baby; Helen Cassidy is an even more recent parent, still nursing her baby in the rehearsal breaks. “It’s one of those things where being parents really helps bring the play to

new light,” Sommers says. “I read the play last year, before I became a dad, and I thought, ‘Wow, is this something I want to do?’. But now, doing the play, it’s taken on a whole new aspect. Being an actor is lots of pretend, of course, but there’s something quite powerful about being a parent and playing a parent. In the lead-up to becoming a dad, I thought about death more than I ever have in my life, that sense of your own mortality and bringing a child into this world. You become responsible for another person’s welfare.” Sommers says he had to fight with his agent to join the cast of Orphans; she wanted him to pursue film and TV roles, but he emphatically told her he wanted to return to the stage for Orphans because it was the most exciting thing he’d read in a long time. “It’s an intense play, and the tension is revealed with questions that are left hanging, pauses or silences or the revelation of a new piece of information and you go, ‘Ooh, now we’re going in a new direction’,” he says. “That’s been really fascinating to explore. Once it starts, it’s like a train – it pushes forwards and doesn’t stop.” One of the things Sommers says he G WIN SHOVELY W I NO CLUS EX

enjoys most about Kelly’s writing is his realistic characters – realistic in that just like bona fide human beings they’re unfathomable and unpredictable. “Dennis Kelly believes that a person can be kind and generous but awfully cruel sometimes and a complete cunt,” Sommers says. “Writing characters, he believes they should be ambiguous. He says that people who are traditional Stanislavski-style actors don’t like his characters because they don’t have a straight throughline, they have all these contradictions. I think that’s great. In life, we don’t have the power of hindsight until later, you’re just doing the best you can at the time. Liam, for instance, he’s the guy who’s a bit of a fuck-up, and he’s had these brushes with violence... I think it’s really important that Leon plays Liam with a sympathetic quality. He can’t just be a prick.” Kelly published Orphans in 2009; while he was writing it, the phrase ‘Broken Britain’ was being bandied around the UK to describe a country where the streets were ruled by hoodies and flick-knives, and where an increase in immigration had led to a sharp rise in inner-city hate crime. Sommers says, somewhat worryingly, that it’s a piece that translates well Down Under. “You don’t have to go that far out of the city – in Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane itself – to find a suburb that’s similar to the one this play is set in. Kelly didn’t make it site-specific. It’s on the fringe, in a newly-developed area, set in a new house in a really bad neighbourhood. That’s universal. There was obviously a massive wave of knife crime and stabbings that have happened in the UK at the time but even now in Australia you get a sense from the news that’s happening here, even in schools. It’s in our own backyard. “In rehearsals we’ve talked a lot about the idea of hate crime, of racism. There’s an underbelly of that in our society, and it’s there wherever you go. Helen and Danny have almost bunkered themselves into this idea of home and family and shut out the outside world, but Liam brings in the real world that’s just outside. It shows them that violence is very real.” When Liam brings his problems to his sister and brother-in-law, it’s Danny who’s suddenly the put-upon one. Helen’s desire to help her brother is unconditional but it’s Danny who must be practical and consider the implications. He’s the moral compass of the play, the everyman, and our way in. “Danny is the one who talks about the law and the impact of violence on our society, but the closer it gets to him – causing Helen to question him as ‘a man’ – it really pushes his buttons. The idea of becoming a man for your family, standing up, being the sole provider and

BLAME (MA BLAM

positive,” he says. “Audiences have really loved it. It’s now been picked up on worldwide distribution so for a boutique, low-budget Australian film, it’s done extremely well. It’s not a film that’s full of images of kookaburras and parrots and dingos scratching themselves and stuff. It’s just a really universal, good little story.” Zukerman nods in agreement. “It’s a film that could be anywhere, it just happens to be in Australia.” His weight adjusts on his chair. “This is something that has come up a lot, a sense of ‘Go and see this film to support Australian cinema,’ rather than actually saying, ‘See this film because it’s a great film.’ That’s what we have here, a great film.”

THE BLAME GAME WITH THE BUSTLE OF LOCAL GLITTERAZZI GATHERING BELOW, DAMIAN DE MONTEMAS AND ASHLEY ZUKERMAN ARE USHERED INTO THE PROJECTOR ROOM AT PERTH’S ACE CINEMAS TO TALK TO SIMON HOLLAND ABOUT THE NEW AUSTRALIAN THRILLER, BLAME. On either side of the table sit a contrast of characters. The intensity of close conversation is amplified by the fact that they both are well-versed in the art. The whir of the projectors in the background failed to impact the well-oiled voices of home-grown Australian talents destined for the silver screen. Damian De Montemas is already well known to Australian audiences thanks to roles on The Secret Life Of Us and Underbelly. To his right is Rush star Ashley Zukerman, a VCA graduate that looks a little too young to be armed with the aura of quiet intelligence that he radiates. “Blame,” explains Zukerman, “is about five friends that seek retribution for the suicide of their friend by attacking and faking the suicide of the guy

choosing between fight or flight, really challenges him. It does put you in the situation of asking yourself what you would do. “Danny is the audience ... and I love the idea of what Danny becomes, at the end of the play, and of Helen having this manipulative, Lady Macbeth-ish quality. It’s kind of like a Greek tragedy within a domestic setting.” WHAT: Orphans WHERE & WHEN: Bille Brown Studio Thursday Jun 23 to Saturday Jul 9

they believe is responsible. That’s essentially how we enter the film and then we explore the hidden agendas behind all of that. What was true is now not true and all of that.” A feature film debutant (although he’s credited on IMDb as ‘Thug #2’ in 2004s’ Tom White), Zukerman formed a talented supporting ensemble led by the comparatively seasoned De Montemas in the lead role. The haunting gravity of the situation echoes from the portrayal of a man seeking to escape his demons. “Essentially I play a piano teacher at a girls high school and got a little too familiar with one of the students,” recounts De Montemas. “As a result he lost his house and his wife and he’s moved away to try and put all that behind him, to start afresh and anew. The easiest way for him to do that is to go away to somewhere isolated where no one really knows his past to hopefully escape anyone that does know his back story.” Filmed in only 20 days, Blame is the latest feature in a string of local indie hits that have made international audiences sit up and take notice. Festival screenings in Melbourne, Toronto, Chicago, and Cannes have all been met with critical acclaim. De Montemas’ eyes light up at the suggestion that the film could be an international success. “The feedback has been really

G WIN SHO W NO

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15+

The international success has not come as a surprise to industry professionals, for the small corner of the world that Australia occupies the ripples created by the impact of homebaked feature films such as Blame and Animal Kingdom are beginning to gather momentum. “Australia,” explains De Montemas, “has some of the best film crew in the world. Some of the first projects I worked on had crew that were here on Blame. Australian film crews are phenomenally good.” “And renowned for their professionalism.” adds Zuckerman. “That’s why we get a lot of Hollywood projects come over here. That’s why the States would trust projects like Star Wars and big Spielberg stuff. A film works best when everyone is doing their jobs to capacity. I think that we were able to do our jobs because everyone else did their jobs. I still don’t know how we pulled off in 20 [shooting] days what we pulled off. I think it had something to do with the ambition of the producers and the director. Everyone was working at the top of their game. When that happens you end up with a product that like people see and enjoy, and respond to in a favourable way. “For me, the beauty in the film is quite accidental. It’s written as a classic thriller and it’s pitched as a classic thriller, but I think when people go to see it they’ll experience something else completely. There’s no violence — well there is a little violence but it is definitely more psychologically driven than just for the purpose of sound and movement and blood and guts and that sort of stuff. This is a thriller because of the ideas behind it and that’s a beautiful beautiful way to make a movie.” WHAT: Blame WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now

N SOO ING M CO

THURSDAY, 223 JUNE 2011 MONDAY, 27 JUNE 2011

PM, 4:0 4:00 PM, 6:30PM 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:30PM 12:00 PM

FRIDAY, 24 JUNE 2011

TUESDAY, 28 JUNE 2011

\

12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:30PM 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:30PM

SATURDAY, 25 JUNE 2011 WEDNESDAY, 29 JUNE 2011 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:30PM 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM

SUNDAY, 26 JUNE 2011

12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:30PM

LEVEL 1, 151 BAROONA ROAD, ROSALIE, PH: 3876 4566, WWW.BLUEROOMCINEBAR.COM

WWW.BLUEROOMCINEBAR.COM

BARRACKS 07 3367 1954 61 PETRIE TCE, TOP OF CAXTON ST

3367 1954

07 3852 4488

THE TRIP MOVIE CLUB SCREENING JUNE 24 AT 6:30PM

HANGOVER 2 (MA15+)

SNOWTOWN (MA15+)

THE TRIP (CTC) (NO FREE TIX)

THU-TUE 12.15, 4.30 PM

(MA15+) (NO FREE TICKETS)

WED 11.30, 1.45, 7.15, 9.25PM THU 12.15, 7.00, 9.10PM FRI-SUN 12.15, 6.45, 9.00PM MON/TUE 12.10, 7.00, 9.10PM

WED 1.30, 4.25, 8.30PM THU-TUE 3.15, 6.30, 8.45PM

FRI 6.30PM

FRI 12.45, 3.30, 6.20, 9.00PM SAT/ MON/ TUE 12.45, 3.30, 6.30, 9.15PM SUN 10.20, 2.10, 6.40, 9.15PM

LITTLE WHITE LIES (MA15+)

WED 12.30, 2.30, 8.50PM THU/ MON/ TUE 12.30, 4.45, 9.00PM FRI 12.10PM SAT 12.30, 9.00PM SUN 12.10, 9.00PM

(CTC) (NO FREE TIX)

WED 10.30 (GOLDEN LUNCH), 3.30, 6.15, 9.00PM THU- TUE 10.10, 3.20, 6.15, 9.10PM

GET LOW (M)

ORANGES AND SUNSHINE (M)

WED 10.20, 4.30PM THU- SAT/ MON/TUE 1.10PM

KUNG FU PANDA 2: 2D

WED, FRI-TUE 10.45, 1.15, 3.45, 7.00, 9.20PM THU 10.45, 1.15, 3.45, 6.45, 9.20 PM

(PG) (NO FREE TICKETS)

SUPER 8 (M) (NO FREE TICKETS)

THU-TUE 10.30, 2.30PM

WED 12.40, 3.00, 6.45, 9.05PM THU-SUN 2.20, 7.15, 9.30PM MON/TUE 4.15, 6.45, 9.00PM

KUNG FU PANDA 2: 3D (PG) (NO FREE TICKETS)

THU-TUE 12.10, 4.15, 6.00PM

MR POPPERS PENGUINS (G) (NO FREE TICKETS)

MON-TUE 10.15, 2.20PM

NOW SHOWING

CENTRO

BRIDESMAIDS

THU-TUE 10.00, 2.00, 7.45PM

THURSDAY 23RD JUNE TO WEDNESDAY 29TH JUNE 2011

NOW PLAYING AT BARRACKS

CARS 2: 2D (G) (NO FREE TICKETS) CARS 2: 3D (G) (NO FREE TICKETS)

CENTRO 07 3852 4488 39 JAMES STREET, THE VALLEY

WWW.PALACECINEMAS.COM.AU

BRIDESMAIDS

THE BARRACKS

ORANGES AND SUNSHINE (M) WED 10.30, 12.15, 2.20, 6.45, 8.55PM THU-TUE (FRI BABES) 10.15, 2.00, 6.45, 8.55PM

MOVIE CLUB ADVANCED SCREENING

ANGELE AND TONY (M)

NY MET OPERA: DIE WALKURE

X-MEN FIRST CLASS (M)

WED 12.00PM THU-TUE 11.40PM

WED 12.55, 3.45, 9.00PM THU-SUN 4.35PM

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (M)

SAT 11.30AM SUN 1.00PM THU (30/06) 11.30AM

GET LOW (M)

WED10.30, 6.30PM THU/SAT/SUN 10.00AM

WED 3.40, 6.30PM THU-TUE 1.15, 4.10PM

SLEEPING BEAUTY (MA15+) (NO FREE TIX) WED 6.30PM MOVIE CLUB ADVANCED SCREENING

BABIES (PG)

OCEANS (G)

WED 10.30AM THU-WED 10.10AM

THU 2.40, 4.40, 6.45, 8.50PM FRI/ MON/ TUE 10.20, 2.40, 4.40, 6.45, 8.50PM SAT 2.30, 5.20, 7.30, 9.30PM SUN 10.30, 1.10, 6.45, 8.50PM

WED 10.45AM THU-TUE 12.20PM

BRIDESMAIDS (MA15+) (NO FREE TIX) WED 10.40, 1.15, 3.50, 6.20, 9.10PM THU 10.30 (BABES), 3.40, 6.30, 9.15PM

WED 10.10, 2.15, 8.40PM THU/ MON/ TUE 10.15, 2.30, 6.50PM FRI 10.00, 2.10, 4.20, 8.40PM SAT 10.15, 4.30, 6.45PM SUN 10.00, 4.45, 6.50PM

JULIA’S EYES (MA15+)

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (M) WED 1.15PM THU/ FRI/ MON/TUE 12.20PM

MRS CAREY’S CONCERT (PG) WED 12.20PM

WED 4.20PM THU 1.15PM FRI/ SAT/ MON/ TUE 10.30AM

THE HANGOVER PART 2 (MA15+)

33


frontrow@timeoff.com.au

FILM REVIEWS KUNG FU PANDA 2 The first Kung Fu Panda film was a roaring success in 2008, and Po, the tubby, overconfident, laidback martial artist panda, was the role Jack Black was born to play. In the bigger, brasher, bolder sequel, Po is wearing the mantle of the Dragon Warrior well, and fusing his sidekicks the Furious Five into a formidable fighting force. However his soul is restless – he’s been having flashbacks to his childhood and it soon becomes clear that he’s adopted (which, being that his

dad is a duck, you may have figured out for yourself in the first film). When evil peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman, having enormous fun chewing the computer-generated scenery)

seeks to dominate the whole of China using his newly-invented cannon and an army of marauding wolves and gorillas, Po and the Five set out to stop him.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is all an animated blockbuster movie ought to be; it’s beautifully animated, the cast is superb (with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Michelle Yeoh lending their voices to some of the quirky characters) and the story has a bit of heart to it, while being festooned with awesome action set-pieces which pop from the screen thanks to the subtle and sparing use of 3D. Po’s heroic journey in the first film is built on and expanded, and there’s some real character development in the piece. It’s a worthy sequel with some nifty moves. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from Thursday Jun 23

BAZ MCALISTER

LE QUATTRO VOLTE Le Quattro Volte, ostensibly, is a modern silent. But where title cards, and orchestra swells would once have informed the viewer of the film’s narrative and how to respond to it, there’s instead breathtaking visual beauty, and a score that accentuates the natural ambience of the film’s landscapes. Think Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, meets the near spiritual grasp of framing that Tarkovsky had, and then pair that with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s transcendent understanding of how to shoot rural life, and you’ve got a decent approximation of the calibre of this film’s impeccable style. With a fixed, meditative tone, the film’s narrative’s told largely through shifting sounds. Constantly re-contextualising what you’re hearing, the film takes functional sound, and makes it ominous, or divine. Scenes echo from deep below the ground, and then bounce around rolling, pastoral hills. And the fascinating effect this has, is that it places the narrative in a shifting, temporal territory; a world in which things are at once as functional, and present, just as they are spiritual. It imbues the wonderful imagery with a very literary prescience; with the idea of death, and harmony, and things larger than the character’s life it chronicles – that all things are part of some great tapestry, and no contributing part is less important than the whole. And the images themselves recreate the texture of places like few other films have. You taste dust hanging in the air, you smell acrid iron on old, dew-sodden statues. It’s a breathtaking ode to life’s divine choreography. WHERE & WHEN: Screening at Tribal Theatre now

SAM HOBSON.

ORANGES AND SUNSHINE There’s something so emotionally impotent about this film. It’s almost as if its makers got bogged-down in the subject matter, a funk from which they couldn’t see past far enough to translate what was getting them down, and exactly what of this story spoke to them. It’s as if we, the audience are expected to come at the story with all the relevant baggage and research required to respond to its inscrutable little character-moments; you know you should be feeling sad about what’s happening on screen, but the film never quite bares itself to you fully, nor brings you to the heart of the feelings it tells you it is. The bulk of its problems lie in character development; people’s motivations are terribly unclear, and there’re gaps in time and logic that see them deteriorate from one condition to the other, seemingly without impetus. While subtlety is the mark of a good performance, so is painting a picture broad enough to justify a character’s actions and relationships to an audience. You’d think this would be an especially vital distinction for a biopic to make. Hugo Weaving’s character is easily the most substantial, however, and his arc moves with a real believability, left early-on to exist organically within the film’s world, and – for him – it’s rearranged truths. David Wenham’s ‘Len’, though, is drawn terribly. After an awkward introduction, he’s then subject to repeat bouts of unintentional foreshadowing, woefully undermining his rise to central plot-point in the film’s concluding half. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now

SAM HOBSON

CARS 2 Animation company Pixar has such a flair for originality in their stable of sure-fire hit films that a straight sequel is probably the closest they’re going to come to risking a fender-bender – but with Cars 2, they pull it off, and in style. Where the first film focused on race car Lightning McQueen’s (Owen Wilson) coming-of-age, the second film really hangs on Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). No longer a mere sidekick, the rusty old tow truck gets swept up unwittingly in the world of international espionage when he meets Finn McMissile (Michael Caine), a tricked-out spy car on a mission of global importance. While Lightning is relegated to the background, Mater joins Finn and agent Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) to track down the leader of a cartel of shitboxes bent on stifling a new attempt at a sustainable fuel source, Allinol. It seems faintly ridiculous that an animated blockbuster should rest squarely on the shoulders of a low-brow blue-collar American comedian, but Larry makes Mater lovable, sympathetic and funny to boot. As you’ve come to expect from Pixar the animation is top-notch (with some really nice in-race shots that perfectly mimic real motorsport footage) and the wealth of detail in this expended world is breathtaking. With the life-ordeath element in the plot the stakes are raised, the excitement shifts into fifth gear, and Pixar have another hit on their hands. Same reliable make, sleek new model. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from Thursday Jun 23

BAZ MCALISTER 34


NE 2011

ISSUE 1532 - WEDNESDAY 22ND JU

JJ SPEEDBALL MEMBER/ROLE:

JJ Speedball – Lord founding master of Cherry Rock (lead vocalist)

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? We are an overnight sensation – 20 years in the making.

HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?

Southside BBQs, corner shops, fights, being wedged between foldback speakers – all solid rock’n’roll acquaintances.

YOU’RE ON TOUR IN THE VAN – WHICH BAND OR ARTIST IS GOING TO KEEP THE MOST PEOPLE HAPPY IF WE THROW THEM ON THE STEREO? Ramones, Motörhead, AC/DC... you get it!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE A BUSTED BROKE-BUT-REVERED HANK WILLIAMS FIGURE OR SOME KIND OF METALLICA MONSTER?

We’ve been stuff of myth and legend for so long, we unanimously would tick the latter. Even the Elton John box – a knighthood and endless wigs!

WHICH BRISBANE BANDS BEFORE YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION (MUSICALLY OR OTHERWISE)?

Big Bongin’ Baby and Insane Hombres. I was inspired by the songwriting, fun and adventure of the early Bongers and the brutal raw energy groove of the Hombres. Also individuals like Robbie Chardon and Paul Hawker were an influence in my early years when I was developing my own style. They both are sorely missed and their spirits are carried on in our style and sound.

WHAT PART DO YOU THINK BRISBANE PLAYS IN THE MUSIC YOU MAKE?

Quite a hefty part. Just take a look at our back catalogue – every release contains references to our fair River City. Be it in the form of a hardcore, power pop or cherry rock’n’roll anthem, no other metropolis has had so many gems penned by a native of their own… and still no key to the city!

IS YOUR BAND RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE MAKE-OUTS OR BREAK-UPS? WHY?

Clinically proven, we are responsible for more babies. Our sonic blasting song and dance routine dazzles both sexes in various ways, then add alcohol, bake it for nine months and presto!

IF YOUR BAND HAD TO PLAY A TEAM SPORT INSTEAD OF BEING MUSICIANS WHICH SPORT WOULD IT BE AND WHY WOULD YOU BE TRIUMPHANT?

State Of Origin Rugby League. We have enough agility, strength and stamina to represent Queensland in the greatest game of all. We are Banana Benders! We love smashing New South Wales!

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE FOR THE BAND IN THE SHORT TERM?

Since designing, creating and recording our finest record to date Southside Worldwide, we have been engaging in shotgun tours around the great Southeast in support of the album. These tours will continue with a northside onslaught in the coming weeks. We have just shot a new fi lm clip for our song Have Some Cherry On Me, it’s in production and will be out in the coming months. Besides selling a heap of XB and XC car parts, we will be making enquiries into future tours abroad. JJ Speedball plays Redcliffe RSL Saturday Jun 25, The Crown Hotel, Lutwyche Sunday Jul 3, Step Inn Friday Jul 15. Southside Worldwide out now and available at all shows. Photo by ALEX GILLIES


TOUR GUIDE

GIG OF THEWEEK

MIAMI HORROR: The Zoo Jul 1 WAGONS: Spotted Cow Jul 1, The Hi-Fi Jul 2 BELLES WILL RING: Sol Bar Jul 7, Step Inn Jul 8 ART VS SCIENCE: The Tivoli Jul 9 FLAVOURS OF SCUZZ FESTIVAL: Woodland Jul 9 SEEKER LOVER KEEPER: Mullum Civic Hall Jul 15 VENTS: Spotted Cow Jul 21, Step Inn Jul 22 CATHERINE TRAICOS: Vinyl @ The Hi-Fi Jul 24 MATT MCHUGH: Byron Bay Theatre Aug 11, The SoundLounge Aug 12, Old Museum Aug 13, Coolum Theatre Aug 14

HELMET

THE HI-FI THURSDAY JUN 23 The relationship between Brisbane and veteran US alt-metallers Helmet is a long and distinguished one – founding frontman Page Hamilton has often claimed that their incendiary set at the ’94 instalment of Livid was the band’s defining moment (it’s certainly one of the most intense performances ever witnessed by denizens of this fine city) and subsequent visits have always proved to be action-packed aff airs. They’re touring on the back of their seventh long-payer – last year’s Seeing Eye Dog – but also be prepared for plenty of classics from back in the day when they ruled the airwaves with their no-bullshit approach to the craft. Joining them will be reformed 90s Brisbane institution Pangaea, who are enjoying a resurgence after being reanimated for a festival appearance earlier this year. Catch these two glorious throwbacks at Coolangatta Hotel tonight (Wednesday Jun 22) and at The Hi-Fi on Thursday night, your contribution won’t be left unnoticed...

36

JESUS JONES, THE WONDER STUFF, THE CLOUDS: The Tivoli Aug 18 CALLING ALL CARS: Beach Hotel Aug 18, Tempo Hotel Aug 19, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 20 BASTARDFEST: Jubilee Hotel Sep 3 BONJAH: Great Northern Sep 8, The Zoo Sep 9, Sol Bar Sep 11 SEBADOH: The Hi-Fi Sep 22

while the fact the lord and saviour himself is playing in the band under the guise of multi-instrumentalist Mark Myers feels more than apt during a revved-up rock out of Jesus Came To My Birthday Party. But it’s the six vocals intertwining which are the real centrepiece, showcased elegantly on tracks like Hunger Song and The Darkest Side. Following a bracing encore featuring members of Leader Cheetah, no-one leaves the venue tonight without being moved in some way. But with the lack of Blood in the set and without any sort of crowd banter, the band lost the power of what their collective should essentially be about – togetherness.

The Middle East @ Old Museum by John Hudson Taylor

BENNY DOYLE

AIRBOURNE, THE CASANOVAS, NUMBERS RADIO THE HI-FI: 17.06.11

Seems the only people who have made it here early tonight all fit the same bill of Metallica t-shirt, rum can in hand, and a complete mastery of the Tassie Two Step, but dammed if Numbers Radio are letting that get in the way of their set. Throwing in Final Day early, the trio are showing just how far their live show has developed over the past year as they seamlessly link songs with expansive breakdowns – they flow quickly through Boring and Automatic, but as expected it’s the double finisher of Boring and Fire that capture every eye and ear in the room.

NATIONAL

JOSH PYKE: Beetle Bar Jun 24 WOLF & CUB: Alhambra Lounge Jun 24 GEORGIA FAIR, DANIEL LEE KENDALL: Ric’s Jun 30, The Loft Jul 2, Railway Friendly Bar Jul 3 LITTLE RED: The Hi-Fi Jun 18, Great Northern Jun 30, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 1 STORM IN A TEA CUP: Mullum Civic Hall Jun 18 COERCE: Sun Distortion Studios Jun 24, Fat Louie’s Jun 25 FIREBALLS: Shed 5 Jun 24, The Hi-Fi Jun 25 KARNIVOOL: The Hi-Fi Jun 24 & Jul 4, Coolangatta Hotel Jun 25, Caloundra RSL Jun 26 SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: Old QLD Museum Jun 24, Great Northern Jun 26 SPARKADIA: Birdee Num Num Jun 27 BUSBY MAROU: Old QLD Museum Jul 1, Soundlounge Jul 8 MIAMI HORROR: The Zoo Jul 1 OLD MAN RIVER: Alhambra Lounge Jul 1, Joe’s Waterhole Jul 2 PAPA VS PRETTY: X & Y Jul 1 PAPER SCISSORS: Great Northern Jul 1, Step Inn Jul 2 THE GRATES: The Hi-Fi Jul 1 THE WINDY HILLS: The Brewery Jul 1, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 2, Noosa Surf Club Jul 8, Brisbane Powerhouse Jul 16

THE BLACK ANGELS: The Hi-Fi Jun 30 THE GRATES: The Hi-Fi Jul 1

INTERNATIONAL

HELMET: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 22, The Hi-Fi Jun 23 VAN DYKE PARKS, KINKY FRIEDMAN: Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 24 & 25, Joe’s Waterhole Jun 26 JOSHUA RADIN: The Zoo Jun 25 BRIAN MCKNIGHT: The Arena Jun 26 MICAH P HINSON: X & Y Jun 29 THE BLACK ANGELS: The Hi-Fi Jun 30 TY SEGALL: Woodland Jul 7 RISE AGAINST: BEC Jul 18 DOOMRIDERS: The Zoo Jul 22 RANDY NEWMAN: QPAC Jul 22 NO USE FOR A NAME: The Zoo Jul 23, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 24 ENRIQUE IGLESIAS: BEC Jul 25 AVENGED SEVENFOLD: BEC Jul 28 JASON HERD: Zuri Jul 29, Platinum Jul 30 PERIPHERY, TESSERACT: The Zoo Jul 29 THE BLACK SEEDS: Coolangatta Hotel Jul 30, The Zoo Sep 9 JOHN ‘00’ FLEMING: Barsoma Jul 31, Platinum Aug 5 FORBIDDEN: Jubilee Hotel Aug 4 NEON TREES: The Tivoli Aug 5 FUNERAL PARTY: The Hi-Fi Aug 9 OWL CITY: The Tivoli Aug 15 BALANCE AND COMPOSURE: Kill the Music Aug 18, X & Y Aug 18 JESUS JONES, THE WONDER STUFF: The Tivoli Aug 18 PINBACK: The Zoo Aug 18 BIG BOI: The Tivoli Aug 26 LIAM FINN: The Zoo Aug 27 YOU ME AT SIX: The Tivoli Aug 27 TITLE FIGHT, TOUCHE AMORE: Old Museum Sep 8 SUICIDE SILENCE: The Tivoli Sep 9 NICK WARREN: The Met Sep 10 RUSSIAN CIRCLES: The Zoo Sep 10 ABOVE & BEYOND: Family Sep 16 SUZI QUATRO: Twin Towns Sep 17 & 18, Empire Theatre Sep 20, Events Ctr Caloundra Sep 22 BRYAN ADAMS: QPAC Sep 20 SEBADOH: The Hi-Fi Sep 22 POUR HABIT, SMOKE OR FIRE: Miami Tavern Oct 8, Step Inn Oct 9 CHRIS CORNELL: QPAC Oct 15 & 17 STEELY DAN, STEVE WINWOOD: Sirromet Wines Oct 23 MAD SIN: The Hi-Fi Nov 3, Shed 5 Nov 4 KINGS OF LEON: BEC Nov 8 K.D. LANG: Riverstage Nov 22 DOLLY PARTON: BEC Nov 25 & 26 ELTON JOHN: BEC Nov 30

PRESENTS

It’s a welcome sight to see Tommy Boyce lead The Casanovas back out onto the stage, and they don’t seem to have lost any electricity either as they introduce us to a few new tracks such as The Most Hated Man In Melbourne before reintroducing us to No Time For Love and Keep It Hot. A filthy mo-sporting Boyce is firing his Gibson all over the stage with a newly strengthened rhythm section and leads into a choice cover of Ted Nugent’s Just What The Doctor Ordered.

THE MIDDLE EAST, LEADER CHEETAH, GRAND SALVO OLD MUSEUM: 15.02.11

Grand Salvo has been plying his six-string trade for a decade now and although Paddy Mann’s beard has changed in size and shape, his consistently quality songwriting has not. To a polite crowd milling on the floor, the quiet plucking and fragile voice of Mann seems a more than apt way to open the evening, the cagey nervousness of Grand Salvo suiting the ethos of a lone man on stage, sadly strumming a guitar. Leader Cheetah creep from the side door to literally no response. By the end of the set, they have won over every set of ears in the room. The sound of the band moves strangely through the speakers, the feeling of the music distant in that homely manner of listening to your Dad’s old 45s. The band play a set fairly heavy on new cuts like Midnight Headlights, Golden

Age and new single Dark Stands Over, but they feel immediately at home straddling old favourites such as Bloodlines. Donning protective headphones, Dan Pash is provoking and completely captivating with his pure harmonies and surf-washed lead guitar while the missing vocals from Holly Throsby are picked up Middle East kids Bree Tranter and Joesph Ireland on Our Love. Finishing the set with None Shall Pass, Pash provides his final guitar licks from the centre of the room, giving their number one fan a peck on the cheek while for the rest of us, the set provides yet another reason to fawn over Leader Cheetah all over again in 2011. Although The Middle East are a ramshackle gang of seven members, bearded frontman Rohin Jones seems to be the definitive leader. As such, it’s a shame that Jones seems to lack any graciousness during the set, and although it’s beautiful and poetic in the most natural of ways, the show feels cold and with barriers. Constant instrument changes provide various musical shades throughout the songs and mean there is forever something to capture your imagination and heart,

After many, many random calls from punters between sets, the lights finally dim as Airbourne emerge with Raise The Flag, and the punters that were screaming, are now going insane. It’s a swirling heap of bodies, raised fists, and tossed beer cans by the time Born To Kill rises and it looks nothing like slowing down. The Warrnambool four-piece are already sweating buckets as bassist Justin Street shows his perfection of a helicopter mosh, while Joel O’Keeffe and David Roads blast out a heavy guitar section powered by the six Marshall stacks behind them, emitting an absolutely deafening volume for the small room. Ripping into sections of their two albums with Diamond In The Rough, Bottom Of The Well and Blackjack, the boys are relentless in giving it their all, never standing still, never letting the energy of the room drop. While this leaves an encore almost unnecessary, the strong finish of Stand Up For Rock’n’Roll does place a nice punctuation mark on the set. Though Airbourne’s performance seems almost as satirical as Spinal Tap for all the ocker banter, beer can headbutting, and solos from the mixing desk, it has to be said that few bands can give as much fire as these boys and still be smiling at the end of it. MARK BERESFORD


The Gin Club @ The Zoo by Alex Gillies

THE GIN CLUB, HARMONY, DREAMTIME, LAURA IMBRUGLIA THE ZOO: 18.06.11

Kicking things straight off is Laura Imbruglia, appearing alone save for her acoustic guitar. Her solid voice fi lls The Zoo easily and her simple, charismatic songs keep the early comers wanting more. There’s something about her, she has this spark of tell-itlike-it-is humour that makes one smile, especially in Paulie – a song written about someone wanting a song written about them. Next up, Dreamtime take to the stage looking a bit like a grown up psychedelic Hanson, but these kids definitely do not sound like the Mmm Bop teenagers. Instead they revel in meditative jams that you probably need to be on acid to truly appreciate. Using loops to create what sounds a bit like a stoner corroboree, it seems like they’re trying to push the boundaries of psychedelic rock that were already broken way back in the 70s. Harmony is up next boasting a stellar line-up of musicians from The Nation Blue and Mclusky as well as a three-piece female choir. Super brooding with songs generally about death or drugs, they sure know how to put a dampener on the night. Tom Lyngcoln’s strong voice coupled with the impressive harmonies from the choir are a force to be reckoned with but after a while all their songs tend to blend together, leaving listeners questioning whether or not they’d just heard the same thing played ten times. Finally, three hours after the night began the collective that is The Gin Club jump on stage. With no set lists and no rehearsals they’re not here to spruik something, they’re just here to play. Busting out gems from their entire back catalogue the multi-talented troupe swap genres and instruments with ease, inviting people up and shooing them away to keep the ball rolling and the crowd entertained. At times there are multiple guitars, a keyboard and a cello but then at others, it’s pure a capella. And it’s the times when there is less on stage that really hit the spot. Troupe leader Ben Salter truly shines in the vocal department when his voice isn’t weighed down by all the accompaniment, especially on You, Me And The Sea. If they played that song over and over again the whole night, one could die happy. And even though they didn’t, this reviewer still finished the night with a smile on her face having been crooned to by the talented Mr Salter. RACHEL TINNEY

GHOST NOTES, MOUTAIN STATIC, MCKISKO, THE SCRAPES BEETLE BAR: 18.06.11

Tonight’s the first in a series of proposed outings by independent music collective Lofly, to further the awareness of great, left-field live acts. The Beetle Bar, a venue keen to make a name for itself as a place unafraid to cater to the far niches of musical difference, seems the perfect fit for the outfit’s proudly DIY aesthetic. Opening act The Scrapes, tonight, succeed in conjuring the very immediate sense that we’re in for something completely different. Comprised of only two guys, one with an electric violin, the other, with what looks to be a giant, cello-bowed homemade guitar, strike up a yawning, multi-tonal drone; the shifting, tidal foundation for what’s to be an immense, 30-minute epic. Their sound, at first, is seemingly without structure; just a dense, impressionistic wall of sound, from which subtle inflections and overlaps

build, maddening, and fi lled with indecipherable flecks of movement, like white noise. Building a crescendo steeped in ache, they set an incredibly high bar for the following acts. The female-fronted McKisko breaks the excited air, next, with a similar scene of quirk. Littered across the stage is a heavily mic’d xylophone, and two incarnations of the mouth-blown Casio. With a deftly minimalistic style, the band recalls a kind of yearning, provincial heartache. Something deeply universal, espoused through a set of simplistic, and plaintive truths. With a Morricone-like approach to percussive expressiveness, and vocals like a folkier Nico, McKisko’s set’s captivating, elegiac, and wonderfully odd. Tic Toc Tokyo frontman, and consummate eccentric Simon Gibbs, alone as Mountain Static takes the stage next. Carefully removing his socks and shoes, and dressed somehow muddily in a combination of oversized suit-pieces, he stands a kind’ve meditative obstinate in front of a rudimentary keyboard. Over an industrial-tinged tribal-beat loop, he coos, and moans, his voice disarmingly strong. Crying hurt and obscurity over maddeningly unchanging beats, he manages to mould this sound into a kind’ve sokitcshy-its-new post-punk, one-man Xiu Xiu thing. Bizarre, lonely, affected, and honest, all at once. Ghost Notes, while easily the most seasoned performers in tonight’s stellar line-up, seem somehow an anticlimactic response to the evening’s mood. Entirely instrumental, the band open with By Cover Of Night, a track marked by a haunting whistle that creates a distinct, musical spatiality; a sense of time, and of time being slowed. Cheapened slightly by a rather formal, classical-piano pad, the quiet band ease into a wider, more Gordian Knot styled jam – a practised, improvisational sound; a well-honed experiment – with Sea Surrounds, before trying out a new song, which like all good things, they note, is in 5/4. The sleepy Whitewater follows that, the band’s strength clearly their militant control of dynamics, before they close on the apt Last Call. SAM HOBSON

JACK LADDER, BIG DEAD, LITTLE CASINO ALHAMBRA LOUNGE: 17.06.11

It’s a late start to a particularly chilly evening, but the tight indie pop aesthetics of Little Casino help to warm the cockles of the heart. Harnessing the likes of Augie March or The Killers at their rockier moments, the local quartet is incredibly clean cut and tight for such a new band. The drumming is impressive, tying the occasionally meandering song structures together, and closer Hold Your Dreams is so like Glenn Richards it’s scary. An impressive set by a band that continues to rise in stature. A more different beast Big Dead could not be – a band of sheet musicians whose jazz-infused art rock defies all basic popular song structures, instead focusing on increasingly intricate suites of sound. Still a relatively new line-up from that which had been plying the folk trade since 2008, the now six-piece delve into a rambling improvisational style that doesn’t always work. Whilst the numbers that most resemble standard song structures seem the most cohesive, it’s the moments where the band fleshes out their considerable individual musical talents that things become overly complicated. There is a lot of promise here though, if only each component can work out how to successfully interact with each other for the band’s overall greater good. Here to launch new album Hurtsville, Sydneysider Jack Ladder (with his incredibly well balanced backing band The Dreamlanders, made up of Cec Condon (drums), Kirin Callinan and Donny Benet) plays an arresting set that is miles removed from the bluesy focus of his sound only two years before.

His back catalogue being generally chameleonic in nature, it’s hard to work out what Ladder’s focus may be here tonight. The first track proves to be the mission statement for the night, and the album as a whole, Beautiful Sound offering a massively layered brooding sound –elegant, subdued in parts, but with a Gothic industrial shoegaze sheen that envelopes the crowd and takes their breath away. Ladder cuts an imposing figure on the stage, staring off into space as he croons about love and loss in cryptic lines, an early Nick Cave if fronting The Triffids. It’s a beguiling performance in itself, and is perfectly offset by his band, especially the shimmering, swooping guitar of Callinan. Single Cold Feet is suitably epic, the title track like an early Nick Cave playing in a velvet-walled back bar in Twin Peaks, and Short Memory is like falling down a rabbit hole and waking up in a underground bar in Vienna watching a Suicide cover band. Befittingly finishing with final track off the album, Giving Up The Giving Up, Ladder leaves as he started, having carved a swathe of melancholy despair that is as exciting as it is brooding. BRENDAN TELFORD

BAD MANNERS, ROOTS ABOVE GROUND, KAMIKAZI THUNDERKATS STEP INN: 15.06.11

The first band on tonight’s punk-inflected skankfest is local act Kamikazi Thunderkats, and they jump into frenzied skabilly shenanigans worthy of a bigger audience than what they garner here. It’s a crowded stage, with a lot of sound and energy emanating outward – as far as party bands are concerned, these guys have more than dutifully got the ball rolling. With no Blowhard tonight, the bridging support act is left to Roots Above Ground, who do their best to get every available space occupied by a skanking youngster. The older hands are biding their time by the bar or at the door, but this does not dampen the ska-punk stylings being offered. The hybridity seems to be (attempting to) come back into fashion, and although it fails to get the entire crowd enthused, it is enough of a fi ller to have the sold out audience salivating for the main course. With so many classic 2 Tone tracks being played over the PA, the audience barely notices the delay in the band arriving on stage. The little venue is packed with fans feverish in their appreciation of seeing a stalwart act in a much-maligned genre. So when the members of UK ska bastards Bad Manners fi le on stage and start up, the collective deep breath before the man of the hour, the comic book, larger-than life Buster Bloodvessel, graces our presence. To the chant of “You fat bastard!”, there is no let up as the UK ska legends open with massive sing-along Ne-Ne-Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu, and trawl through their back catalogue, delivering hit after hit. The band brings an inordinate amount of energy and – yes – happiness that the packed in crowd are unable to deny their misshapen bodies from attempted a sort of crammed skank shuffle. My Girl Lollipop is an early highlight, as was Fatty Fatty and Skinhead Love Aff air. Although they may never have reached the heights of The Specials or The Beat, Bad Manners have their fair share of hits under their belt, especially when the iconic groove of Special Brew gets under the skin. The incessant touring has forged the backing band into a tight, energyfuelled unit. Lorraine is the particular highlight in a set chock full of them – a happier song about murder has not been written. Ska may have been bastardised by hacks who thought that infusing it with SoCal punk was a good idea, but there is nothing like Buster’s Bad Manners, who never stray from the roots of the genre and, rather than be embarrassed by them, incessantly revel in them. A great show.

TOUR GUIDE

WAGONS: Spotted Cow Jul 1, The Hi-Fi Jul 2 OSCAR+MARTIN, PETS WITH PETS: The Hangar Jul 2 BELLES WILL RING: Sol Bar Jul 7, Step Inn Jul 8 SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM, BEXTA, KID KENOBI: Family Jul 8 - 10 ART VS SCIENCE: The Tivoli Jul 9 SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM: The Family Nightclub Jul 9 JINJA SAFARI: Alhambra Lounge Jul 14 TINY RUINS: Black Bear Lodge Jul 14 PARADES: GOMA Jul 15 SEEKER LOVER KEEPER: Civic Hall Mullumbimby Jul 15 SHORT STACK: The Tivoli Jul 15 & 16 THE WILDES: Step Inn Jul 15, The Loft Jul 16 JAYTECH: The Met Jul 16 THE PANICS: The Zoo Jul 16 THE POTBELLEEZ: Chalk Hotel Jul 21 VENTS: Spotted Cow Jul 21, Step Inn Jul 22 CLARE BOWDITCH: Joe’s Waterhole Jul 22, Old QLD Museum Jul 23 PAUL KELLY, PAUL GRABOWSKY: Riverstage Jul 23 THOUSAND NEEDLES IN RED, FLOATING ME: The Hi-Fi Jul 23 CATHERINE TRAICOS: The Hi-Fi Jul 24 CATCALL: GOMA Jul 29 DAMIEN LEITH: Jupiters GC Jul 29 JAMES BLUNDELL, CATHERINE BRITT: Coolum Hotel Jul 29, Hinterland Hotel Jul 30, Jimboomba Tavern Jul 31 JORDIE LANE: Beetle Bar Aug 4, Joe’s Waterhole Aug 5, Mullum Civic Hall Aug 6 THE PANDA BAND: Great Northern Aug 5, Globe Theatre Aug 6 BEATLES BACK2BACK: QPAC Aug 9 MAT MCHUGH: Byron Bay Theatre Aug 11, SoundLounge Aug 12, Old Museum Aug 13, Coolum Theatre Aug 14 DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: Parkwood Tavern Aug 13, The Zoo Aug 16 CALLING ALL CARS: Byron Bay Beach Hotel Aug 18, Tempo Hotel Aug 19, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 20 REGURGITATOR: Great Northern Aug 18, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 19, The Hi-Fi Aug 20, Kings Beach Tavern Aug 21 SEEKAE: The Zoo Aug 19 ASH GRUNWALD: Coolum Civic Ctr Aug 21, Byron Bay Beach Hotel Aug 25, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 26, The Hi-Fi Aug 27 FELIX RIEBL: Byron Bay Community Ctr Aug 24, Old Museum Aug 25 THE VINES: Great Northern Aug 25, The Hi-Fi Aug 26 GURRUMUL YUNUPINGU: BEC Sep 1 THE LIVING END: The Tivoli Sep 2 BONJAH: Great Northern Sep 8, The Zoo Sep 9, Sol Bar Sep 11 JUSTICE CREW: Caloundra RSL Sep 15, Southport Sharks Sep 16, Norths Leagues Club Sep 17 THE CAT EMPIRE: The Zoo Sep 29 & 30, The Tivoli Oct 1 JOHN FARNHAM: QPAC Nov 2 & 4

FESTIVALS

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE 12: Brisbane Powerhouse Jul 1 GREAZEFEST: Rocklea Showground Jul 5–7 FLAVOURS OF SKUZZ: Woodland Jul 9 QUEENSLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL: Multiple Venues Jul 15 – 31 QUEENSLAND FESTIVAL OF BLUES: Hamilton Hotel Jul 22 – 24 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: Woodfordia Jul 29 – 31 BASTARDFEST: Jubilee Hotel Sep 3 FRANKLY! : Brisbane Powerhouse Sep 10 REGGAEFEST: Missingham Park Sep 17 – 18 THE GATHERING: Old Museum Sep 17 SOUNDWAVE REVOLUTION: RNA Showgrounds Sep 24 PARKLIFE: Botanic Gardens and Riverstage Oct 1 ISLAND VIBE FESTIVAL: Point Lookout, Stradbroke Island Oct 28 – 30 GOLDEN DAYS FESTIVAL: Coolum Beach Nov 19 – 20

BRENDAN TELFORD

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SIX PACK CARRIE AND THE CUT SNAKES AHEAD OF THEIR BIG LADYBUGS SHOW, CARRIE AND THE CUT SNAKES’ CARRIE HENSCHELL TELLS TONY MCMAHON ABOUT HER JOURNEY FROM THE BUSH TO BRISBANE.

SIX PACK 4ZZZ IS GEARING UP FOR RADIOTHON 2011 Radiothon is our annual subscription drive where we raise as many funds as possible to help with the very large running costs of the station. We have hit up our fabulous sponsors over the past few months and have some amazing prizes on offer to anyone who subscribes during the ten day festival. Radiothon 2011 – Streets Of Our Town, will run from Saturday Aug 6 until Monday Aug 15 so keep an eye out for more info.

FEMINIST FASHIONS

“I came to Brisbane seven years ago with a plan to get my songs out there. I wrote more tunes and eventually found some people that were on the same page as me and making music together was fun. I guess I found country music has a stigma attached to it in the city that you just don’t find in the bush and it’s made me look more closely at where I’m from and how that has influenced my style.” Not only is Henschell looking forward to the Ladybugs gig, she makes the excellent point that it’s more than just another show. “I always think it’s great to see women being involved in the music scene in this city. Particularly in a male-dominated industry it’s fantastic to see promoters support women and this is an opportunity for women to network and support each other. Most people playing music want to work together to make a cultural environment that nurtures people starting out. I think focusing specifically on nurturing the involvement of women in the scene is a worthwhile action.” Carrie and The Cut Snakes boast blues, roots and folk elements, and Henschell says that there’s never any trouble mixing them. “Blues, roots and folk music mesh pretty easily together, if you’re not being a total purist. They’re all about storytelling traditions and connecting with people through music. That’s what C&TCS try to do.” So what can punters at Ladybugs expect from the headliners? According to Henschell, it’s a bring your dancing shoes type affair. “Well I write in a lot of genres – some tunes are a bit rockin’, there some folk ballads and there are a few bluesy numbers – but it’s all toe-tapping fun. I love feeling the vibrations of the double bass on stage and Hughie’s slide playing usually gets people dancing. Playing live for us is all about letting loose and getting people moving to the music.” WHO: Carrie and The Cut Snakes WHERE & WHEN: Ladybugs, Beetle Bar Thursday Jun 23

THRICE THE FUN

With an army of loyal fans and more radio play with each passing day, indie rockers Finabah have quickly become one of the bands to watch on the local scene. At the end of this month they are teaming up with fellow up-and-comers Nine Sons of Dan – who have been winning fans pretty damn quickly since the release of their EP last year – and the infectiously catchy Alibrandi for one night, and one night only. For a one-off show with triple the musical goodness make sure you’re at The Zoo on Thursday Jun 30, tickets are available now through OzTix for $12 + bf.

LOCKED AND LOADED

Ali MC and New Dub City Sound are going to bring down the house at Lock’n’Load, in West End to celebrate the release of their debut album Home; an infusion of modern dub beats onto the more classic sounds of reggae, hip and trip hop. Home is available in stores throughout Australia and New Zealand, where they’ll be touring through June and July, and at live shows, one of which is happening this weekend. With special guests Rhythm Collision and the promise of “an energetic and bass heavy show” you can bet this is one not to miss, so for a night of free fun, get down to Lock’n’Load on Sunday Jun 26.

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Megaherzzz are holding a fashion swap! The Feminist Fashions clothing swap will be on Saturday Jul 16 downstairs at 4ZZZ. Bring clothes you don’t like and swap them for ones you do! It’s that simple. It’s only $2 to join in on all the fun and you only need to bring a minimum of three items. All sizes and all types who wear women’s clothing are welcome. Come swap and have some tea and cupcakes with the Megaherzzz crew from 2pm ‘til 5pm. It’ll be a lot of fashionable fun.

4ZZZ’S PAPER DRIVE Th is June, your radio station needs you! Here at 4ZZZ we have heaps of Rock, plenty of scissors but paper is scarce! One of the biggest expenses at 4ZZZ is paper costs so we are putting the call out for donations of office printing paper. You can drop your bundles at the station, 264 Barry Pde in the Valley Monday to Friday’s between 10am and 4pm or Saturdays from 12pm to 3pm.

ZED DIGITAL Is broadcasting now! If you have a digital radio then just look for the Zed Digital channel. Our good pals at Fifth Battery coffee shop in Warry St Fortitude Valley are avid listeners so big ups to them.

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

With World Refugee Day fast approaching it must almost be time for Brisbane’s biggest world music festival. On Sunday Jun 26, the Annerley Soccer Club Fields will come alive with dancing, food and music for the World Refugee Day Community Festival. Th is free, family friendly event will feature the musical stylings of Sudanese multi-instrumentalist Asim Gorashi; Zimbabwean musician Tichawona Mashawa; Tibetan singer Tenzin Choegyal who will be performing alongside Iraqi joza player Nawres Al-freh; Iranian classical performer Cieavash Arean and more. There will also be folk from the Middle East, hip hop from Africa, Burmese harpists, Tibetan singing and traditional dancers from all over. Come celebrate Brisbane’s diversity from 9am with some fine food, free music and dancing, and fun all around.

COWS AND INDIANS

The Cows At The Beach series is the brainchild of local musician Toby Wren, his study under some of India’s greatest musicians inspiring this amalgamation and celebration of jazz and Indian classical music. Wren has compiled some of Brisbane’s best, brightest and most experimental jazz and Indian musicians for four intimate and unique concerts the likes of which Brisbane has ever seen before and may never see again. The second of these shows takes centre stage in the Shopfront at The Judith Wright Centre on Saturday Jun 25 from 7pm. Tickets range from $10-15 and are available through the venue right now.

LUNAR ECLIPSE

Singer-songwriter Melody Moon is a star on the rise. Her latest single Out Of The City, from her debut EP Little Hopes, is fast becoming one of the most popular tracks on community radio stations nationwide. But that’s no surprise, the genius use of glockenspiel, her sweet-as-sugar melodies and her honest lyrics make her tunes contagious. Moon will be performing her dainty folk ditties at Brisbane’s Mind Body Spirit Festival from Friday Jun 24 to Sunday Jun 26 before making an appearance at the Music Kafe in West End on Monday Jun 27.

SOUTHSIDE PRIDE

Local rock superstars and southside punks through and through, JJ Speedball are taking the fight to venues on Brisbane’s north side with a trio of raw, powerful performances. And it’s about time too, after over 20 years of playing every club, pub, festival or squatters’ nest that would let them. Speedball bring the noise to The Redcliffe RSL on Saturday Jun 25 and The Crown Hotel in Lutwyche on Sunday Jul 3, both of these are free shows; then they’re playing the Step Inn on Friday Jul 15. Make sure you grab a copy of their new album Southside Worldwide at any of the shows.

JIM BIANCO

LAZIN’ ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON Take a trip back in time this Sunday at The Crown. Sunday BBQ at the Crown will play host to classic Brisbane psychedelic oddities Pineapples From The Dawn of Time, playing all their golden oldies. In keeping with the swinging theme, Some Jerks, pictured, will also be bringing their fusion of surf and garage rock to the table. But that’s not all, Boston Bob and The Busymen are back in action and blues duo Lovecraft kick the party off from 2pm. Is this an eccentric line-up? Yes. Will it be an exciting? You better believe it! Be at The Crown Hotel in Lutwyche for a relaxed afternoon of music with just a hint of absurdity.

KEEP ON ROLLING

Just like a bucking bronco, 8 Ball Aitken is proof in point that you can’t keep a good man down and it was a well wise move when Aitken switched from picking bananas to guitar strings. With three albums under his belt, the bluesman is on the road again with his latest single Rogue Pony from his fourth album The Tamworth Tapes, which is currently working its way up the charts. 8 Ball is well known for his electrifying and authentic blues, roots and country performances, so for a genuine gi’tar picking, hootin’ and hollerin’ good time, fi ll your boots and get on down to The Sol Bar in Maroochydore on Thursday Jun 23 from 8pm, Ric’s Bar on Friday Jun 24 from 8pm; or The Joynt on Sunday Jun 26 from 4pm.

SCIENCE FICTION DOUBLE FEATURE

Still giddy from the success of the debut EP Kaleidoscope The Keys, released last year, Joel Myles and The Jetpack Academy already have another offering for their anxious fans. Future Hearts is full of catchy beats and synth, but the lyrics are its biggest drawcard; the boys have coined it as an “alien abduction time travelling love story” and it’s got something to awaken the sci-fi nerd in all of us. The single will be officially launched on Saturday Jun 25 at X&Y Bar with special guests New Manic Spree and Tramp Fiesta. Come along to get down, or beamed up – your call.

ONCE MORE WITH FEELING

Looks like it’s back to where it all began for Brisbane bluegrass outfit Present Company, who are finally back in their hometown to launch their debut album Included before hightailing off to the UK next month. The four-piece have amassed loyal fans from Tamworth to Canberra, playing every folk festival they can. Their music and lyrics are sincere and emotional; they’re all pushing the boundaries of acoustic music. For a show like no other get yourself to The Danish Club in Newstead on Sunday Jun 26 to farewell these local boys yet again, who knows when they’ll be back.

WHISKY SOAKED TROUBADOUR JIM BIANCO PROVIDES BENNY DOYLE WITH THE IDEAS BEHIND THE MAN’S MUSIC AND WHAT IT IS THAT MAKES HIM CREATIVELY TICK.

Leaving his New York life behind him just over a decade ago, Bianco has no inkling to return to smog and snow banks of the upper east coast, although as he laughs, he talks about his Californian inspiration. “The un-interruptive sunshine and the sprawling nature of Los Angeles can certainly be isolating, and isolation really allows one to dive into oneself, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who’s doing the diving,” he jests. “Looking back at the songs I’ve written in LA, I realise they are very much like Hollywood itself – at times very real, and at times very fake. At times mysterious, at times overt. At times beautiful, at times ugly. It’s a city full of hedonism, cleansing, beauty and emptiness – all which can be inspiring.” Bianco’s music career also ties in with filmmaking and television, with his songs being found on a host of programs. Combined with this outsourcing, the artist himself has been fairly prolific with short films with the humbling talented 35-year-old putting out roughly 20 short films including work with Gary Jules of Mad World (Donnie Darko) fame. He explains how this is a sign of ever progressing times to get ones talent noticed. “These days, the most valuable exposure a musician can get is through film and television,” he admits. “I’ve been lucky enough to have my songs in some movies and TV shows that I respect, like True Blood. And I’ve seen firsthand that it’s the quickest way to have the most people hear your music at one time, and is more effective than anything else, including the radio. It’s crazy to think that 20 years ago, having your song in a TV show or commercial would have been considered selling out. Now it seems like the only way to buy in. Maybe in 20 years from now there won’t be rock stars, only jingle writers with tattoos.” WHO: Jim Bianco WHAT: Loudmouth (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Saturday Jun 25

GOTTA HAVE THAT FUNK

Brisbane dance-funk outfit PocketLove have been spreading the funk around Brisbane since last year. But rather than taking time out from the party to record they just took the party with them, heading into the studio with a throng of fans in tow and hitting that red button. Now they’re thrilled to announce the release of their debut single Help Me Now, chock full of soul and funk and impossible not to dance to. Obviously these guys like to party, so they’re celebrating this launch by teaming up with jazz/funk outfit Kerbside Collection for one night of crazy funk and grooves. Want to spend your Friday night breaking it down, like James Brown? This is the show for you. Get out your dancing shoes and be at the Press Club on Friday Jun 24, don’t worry about tickets either, this show is absolutely free. Doors open at 8pm.

T.G.I.FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Once again Platinum Nightclub, on the Gold Coast, has put together a jam-packed line-up of techno, dance beats and DJs for your weekend pleasure. Tech savvy performers Angus Gibbins, Tobi Atkins and Dakova Dae – as Binary Finary – are putting on a full live show on Friday night, complete with all the bells and whistles; these guys are committed to having you dance, or trance, until you drop. So what’s in store for Saturday? They’ve got one of Australia’s biggest dance exports TV Rock, who will be joined live by house maestro Rudy along with Craig Roberts and Joey Mojo on the decks. Party on...

SUI GENERIS The people who brought you, well, way too many amazing musical performances to list, are at it again. Browning St Studios in West End are launching Real Talk, an out of the ordinary show focusing on exploratory, abstract, minimal, beautiful and otherwise wonderfully relaxed sounds from Australia and beyond. The inaugural Real Talk night features Brain Drain, pictured, from Sydney, Ambrose Chapel vs. Anonymeye, Scraps, Sunshine State and Micronations DJs on Saturday Jun 25 at the Browning St Studios. Doors open at 7.30 and entry is $8.


39


Hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell. Email punk news to wakethedead@timeoff.com.au Balance And Composure

I have already said so many times this year that Balance And Composure’s recent album, Separation, is my current frontrunner for album of 2011. If you haven’t heard it yet (especially if you’re a fan of the likes of Man Overboard, Title Fight or Brand New) you need to head out, pick it up and give it a listen. The point here is that last week it was announced that the band would be heading out to Australia this August doing a club tour with the amazing Fires Of Waco from Brisbane. The coolest thing about this tour is that even though they’re playing the club shows, each city will host an acoustic set in the best record stores. So for Brisbane this means that there will be an all ages acoustic set played at Kill The Music on Thursday Aug 18, and then that same night the line up will hit Boys & Girls for an 18+ show. Since 2007, You Me At Six have been turning heads worldwide with their unique take on pop punk. Their latest album, Hold Me Down, has seen them earn a place as one of the pop punk powerhouses of the moment, including a successful tour Down Under in September 2010. Well now, the guys are back and this time they are bringing with them We The Kings and Sydney’s own The Mission In Motion. Tickets for this tour go on sale this Friday Jun 24 through Ticketek, for the all ages show that is happening on Saturday Aug 27 at The Tivoli. This September sees The Swellers head to Australia as a part of the Soundwave Revolution Festival. But before then, the band are releasing a new album titled Good For Me. The album came out last Friday and was recorded with the Descendents’ drummer, Bill Stevenson, at his Blasting Room Studios in Colorado. “Even though we wanted to make a record that’s really reminiscent of the 90s pop alternative radio and 90s pop-punk that we grew up with, that’s accessible and big and awesome

sounding, we also wanted to make it sound like we do live: a bunch of sweaty dudes playing a show and not caring about anything else,” said singer/guitarist Nick Diener in a recent press release. Good For Me is the follow up to 2009’s Ups And Downsizing. To add another album to my “Most Anticipated of 2011” list, Ringworm have announced that their fifth album Scars is completed is due for release on Jul 19 (at least in the US) through Victory Records. This is the follow up to 2007’s Venomous Grand Design and will see the band continue to produce their brand of metallic hardcore. Ringworm will be heading to Australia as a part of the Melbourne leg of Bastardfest (on the 17 September). In the meantime, let’s keep our fingers crossed that this extends to a full Australian tour, or at least a Brisbane show. Through announcements and tantalising hints via social media, it looks like Orange County metalcore outfit Bleeding Through are preparing to write a new album, and head into the studio for recording in the coming months. In a post on their Facebook, the band informed fans that the group have been writing new material: “Brian’s coming over so we can write tunes! We all have been writing. Game on people... recording this summer. Can’t fucking wait!!!!” This will be the band’s sixth full-length release and the follow up to last year’s self-titled album. There are a whole bunch of new releases out this Friday (that would be Jun 24). First up, Taking Back Sunday are releasing album number five, a self-titled affair that, according to reports, sees them moving back to their roots. Also, California metalcore outfit Of Mice & Men are releasing their second album, The Flood. If you checked out the Destroy Music tour, you probably caught these guys as they opened the show. So if you liked what you heard, go and grab the album. Finally, and the release that I’m most excited for, the Bay Area’s Set Your Goals will be releasing their highly anticipated new album, Burning At Both Ends. I’m expecting a high energy, catchy album with plenty of riffs and just a whole lot of fun, and I’m sure Set Your Goals won’t let me down.

Friday night at Monstrothic local hardcore punk luminaries Sausage Chopper launch their new CD. They’ll be joined by Melbourne grinders Captain Cleanoff, as well as Speedlab, Shortlife and the wonderfully named Ah, Fuck That. Entry is 12 clams from 8pm. Labelled everything from steed metal to dark pop, eclectic Adelaide/Melbourne band Coerce hit Brisbane this weekend as part of their Ethereal Surrogate Saviour tour, and they’re bringing Sydney chaos-mongers Nice Guys with. You can catch the duo at Sun Distortion Studios for an all ages affair on Friday evening with Nuclear Summer, Acid Snake and The Wolf At Your Door, and at Fat Louies the next night with Fires Of Waco, Ironhide and Capeweather. The line-up for next Wednesday’s installment of free metal at the Step Inn includes Black Whiskey, Varia, Verusive and The Weekend Hiatus. Free pool! Not this weekend but the one after, the Get Chilled Or Tie Dying tour hits town! Featuring Wollongong party animals Totally Unicorn and Brisbane metallers Ironhide, you’ll be able to catch them on Saturday at Sun Distortion Studios with Marathon, The Fevered and Mr. Painful Memory, and again on Sunday at Ipswich CWA Hall with Only Sleeping, Idylls, Acid Snake and We, The Relentless. Both shows are all ages, and fingers crossed Six Nightmares Productions will provide both bands with copies of their vinyl releases in time. Western Australian ale-loving metallers Claim The Throne have announced a huge, 14show Australian and New Zealand tour in

40

8 Ball Aitken

There’s only about a week left to get your entries in to potentially be a part of the BASEQ Blues Challenge for 2011. Once again the Blues Association of Southeast Queensland will be holding their massive annual competition to find their pick for the finest live blues act in our part of the world at the moment. Entries close on Thursday Jun 30, so if you want to be in the running to battle it out with the best in the game, hit baseqbrisbane.com to get all the registration details. The best thing about the competition is, of course, the prize. The winning performer gets the opportunity to represent BASEQ in the world famous International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February of next year as well as some funding to assist them to attend. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play at one of the world’s biggest celebrations of underground blues talent, the event which has been seen as the turning point in the careers of hugely successful artists like Tommy Castro and Susan Tedeschi and monstrously talented Australians Geoff Achison and Fiona Boyes. But you’ve gotta be in it to win it! For those who don’t play, don’t fancy competing, or didn’t secure one of the eight spots in the final round, you can watch the finals at the Tempo Hotel from 1pm on Sunday Aug 14. Local 8 Ball Aitken never stops, that is a simple fact, but if the first half of the year is anything to go by, he’s looking to make 2011 one of his biggest years yet. 8 Ball and his band have already played 76 gigs this year and racked up 19, 000km in the van. Things are not slowing down as they remain on the road supporting the release of latest single

Rogue Pony, which has already been a success, garnering television and radio airplay since its release. The band are back on home turf, dropping into the Sol Bar, Maroochydore on Thursday night and Ric’s Bar on Friday night (both with Mark Easton) and then the Royal Mail Hotel in Goodna from 11.30am on Saturday and The Joynt in South Brisbane on Sunday afternoon. The team at the fantastic Melbourne independent blues label Black Market Music have come up with an idea that is a little wacky, but don’t all the best ones start off that way? They’re getting a little bit frustrated at the lack of support being shown for Australian independent blues music by mainstream media and certain industry bodies, so they have decided that, in order to stand up and be counted, they would launch an annual Blues Music Day. The day, which has been chosen as August 29 – the birth date of the late Dutch Tilders – will feature plenty of gigs, radio programs with features on blues music and various other events organised through blues societies all over the country on the day. It is a noble idea, particularly given the love that certain more pop-oriented blues and roots acts from throughout Australia (and the world) are receiving at present, here’s hoping it catches on, I’ll certainly be giving it my full support. If you want to get involved then just email publicity@blackmarketmusic.com.au. I must finish on a very sad note this week. On Sunday morning news came through that the legendary Clarence ‘The Big Man’ Clemons, saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band, had passed away due to complications arising from a stroke he had a week earlier. Clemons had been by The Boss’ side since he started back in the early 70s and his powerful playing and large stage presence have been such a massive part of that band. While he also played with the likes of Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, Ringo Starr, Gary U.S. Bonds and so many others, it will always be his work with the E Street Band that looms largest. My thoughts are with that band as well as all of Big Man’s friends and family. He was 69 years old.

PARADIGMSHIFT Capturing the Zeitgeist with Kris Swales

Metal with Lochlan Watt Aversions Crown’s brand of death metal is set to destroy Boys & Girls at X&Y Bar this Thursday with help from New South Welshmen As Silence Breaks, who will be launching their new album The Inferno. Fresh from headlining the last-ever Monstrothic at Rosies, local techmetallers Down Royale will open. Entry is from 9pm for $12, and if you’ve got a student card you and a mate can get in for the price of one.

Blues ‘n’ roots with Dan Condon rootsdown@timeoff.com.au

support of their latest full-length, Triumph And Beyond. Incorporating their stint at Brisbane’s Bastardfest into the run at the Jubilee Hotel on Saturday Sep 3, the band will also play an all ages gig at Shed 5 on the Gold Coast on Sunday Sep 4. Triumph And Beyond is 12 tracks of unique folk metal and is available now through Prime Cuts Music. After calling on their fans to vote for which clip they’d like to see first, LORD have debuted their video for Set In Stone. The title track from the Sydney power metal group’s 2009 album can be experienced in full visual glory over at facebook.com/lordofficial. To celebrate reaching the big 2000 likes on Facebook, as well as their signing to new UK label Myriad Records, The Schoenberg Automaton have uploaded a new demo track (sans vocals) entitled Ultimate Whirring End Machine to their Facebook page. They’ve also posted a behind the scenes clip from the making of their upcoming video clip for Where Are We, In A Cube?. Fans of techsavvy progressive metal should type this into their address bar and see what happens: facebook.com/theschoenbergautomaton. Local thrash newcomers Malakyte have released a song from their debut EP, set for release in August. Fall To Khaos is now available at reverbnation.com/malakyte for full streaming and downloadable goodness. Sunshine Coast deathcore kids The Ailment recently recorded a new demo at RTD Studios, promising that it will show them taking their sound in a new direction. No word has yet been made on when the track will be available. Critically acclaimed death and doombringers Portal have made a new t-shirt design available online. However, they’re only making the ‘Cthulu Sacrifice’ design available to the ‘fairer’ sex. Girls can order a shirt through seancerecords.com. The band’s next live performance will be at the Globe Theatre on Nov 11 with Stargazer and Spire.

White Men Can’t Jump

White Men Can’t Jump? Dallas Mavericks main man Dirk Nowitzki might have a thing or two to say about that after getting all in your face with LeBron and his buddies a week or so back, but we’re not here to talk about basketball – at least not IRL ball at any rate. No, we’re talking the Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson buddy comedy from 1992, specifically a scene where the street hustlers and Rosie Perez are rolling down the streets of LA in Woody’s ride discussing the difference between “listening to” and “hearing” the music of Jimi Hendrix. While that particular exchange was all about the wise-cracking African-American putting his clueless white hombre to the sword, the gulf between listening and hearing has grown even wider over the ensuing two decades. When was the last time you really heard a piece of music? Gave an album your undivided attention? Treated music as more than just the background ambiance of your life, much like young clubbers treat nightclubs as the wallpaper of their Facebook photo albums? Hell, it’s my job to know dance music sideways (not the fun kind of sideways these days, more’s the pity) and even I’m more of a passive listener these days as release after release rolls across the desk/through the inbox and onto the stereo/ iPod before being consigned to the CD rack/hard drive a day/week/month later. The last record I consumed with my undivided attention was The Chemical Brothers’ 2010 return-to-form Further, sitting in a darkened room with three mates who’d just blazed up chortling away at the majesty of the music combined with the custom visuals which accompanied it. In a world of fast food musical consumption, this was like a degustation, but do you know what’s

even better? “Hearing” a track you’ve “listened to” a million times, but really hearing it anew – every hook, every nuance, every memorable moment. The first time I remember this happening was driving up the highway from the Gold Coast to Brisbane in the late-90s (I’d love to say the roof of my Mustang was down and the wind was in my hair and my girl was by my side, but I was actually driving my parents in their Magna), and Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine came on the radio. Intro lead, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus – so far, so bogan. But then Slash’s epic solo kicked in, and even though I could sing every note off by heart an overwhelming feeling of “OMG!” (and this was long before OMG was even used on the internet, let alone IRL) as the sheer fucking OMG-ness of it all swept over me. They were just notes on a guitar, but they said it all. Then last month, the Beastie Boys’ Shake Your Rump appeared on RAGE (programmed by Art Vs Science in a rare career highlight) – an experience as much about watching (or perhaps “seeing”) as “hearing” admittedly, but the song remains the same. The convergence of beats, rhymes, vignette-style fisheye lens with the NY skyline in the background of the three-camera shoot just captures some indefinable vibe, oozing coolness, freshness and plain old awesome from every pore of its existence without even fucking trying. Capturing the zeitgeist? More like creating it before your eyes, as if they’d flown back to 1989 from a galaxy far, far away after discovering the fountain of youth and preserved a moment in time that still sounds like the future 23 years on. Half an hour earlier, Collette’s Ring My Bell, another from the Class Of ‘89, appeared on my screen. I don’t know if it’s even remotely possible to “hear” anything of substance in this dance-pop special (the sight of fluoro tends to shut my ears down), but it sports one hell of a funky bassline – and it gives me a link, however tenuous, back to Dirk and his championship ring. Result! The Breakdown is currently on holidays and will return soon.


OGFLAVAS

DANCEMOVES

with Cyclone

Love or hate him, Tyler, The Creator (aka Tyler Okonma) is the first ‘new’ hip hopper to generate excitement in yonks. He’s the leader of Los Angeles’ super-posse Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, an MC, producer and skater. The alt-rap OFWGKTA has been compared to Wu-Tang Clan in ethos, if not sound. Okonma is RZA-smart. OFWGKTA are creatures of the digital age – web-savvy and DIY. But Okonma is profoundly controversial, the lyrics on Goblin (his first album proper) dealing with such blithe lil’ topics as murder and rape (in the misogynist Tron Cat he jokes about raping a pregnant “bitch”). The hip hop contingent is already suss on OFWGKTA, some dismissing them as a suburban rap novelty act like Insane Clown Posse, Necro and… S.Mouse. Okonma was irked at the racial homogeneity of his Australian live shows, but what can he expect when OFWGKTA is actively courting rock hipsters over hip hoppers? Even Eminem initially won over the hip hop underground. But is Okonma really just an emperor in new clothes? NME and Pitchfork are obsessed with OFWGKTA, extolling their political incorrectness, subversiveness and anarchism. Okonma, angry at his absent dad and women generally, expresses dark humour in his emo-hop. Nevertheless, he also relishes playing the enfant terrible (tellingly, Goblin’s cover art depicts the US showman Buffalo Bill). He ain’t about ‘keeping it real’ – dude wants to get on someone’s wick. Eminem’s influence is evident in Okonma’s framing devices, allowing him to distance himself from any ramifications – he shares his troubling fantasies with a fictional shrink. But, like that other uber-sensationalist Lady GaGa, Okonma perceives his fans as fellow misfits. The Notorious BIG soundalike is getting some mainstream love. He was joined by his wolf gang homie Hodgy Beats on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, performing Sandwitches. Any ol’ skool hip hopper who hears the nihilistic Goblin will immediately be reminded of those horrorcore pioneers the Geto Boys, best

New Currents with Tim Finney

remembered for the song Mind Playing Tricks On Me. Okonma (perversely) balks at being labeled ‘horrorcore’. However, thematically, OFWGKTA is thoroughly horrorcore – and maybe even rap’s answer to witch house. Okonma does raise issues. Sure, there’s violence in his music, but no one ever takes on television shows like Midsomer Murders, Wire In The Blood or Criminal Minds, which either stylise or fetishise murder. Admittedly, the culprits are usually apprehended, but still… Just don’t listen for morality tales in OFWGKTA. Okonma has attracted criticism for his frequent use of the word ‘faggot’ – not uncommon in hip hop. The term’s usage is homophobic, implicitly, if not explicitly. Eminem was lambasted, too, though he seems to believe that hanging out with fan (and pal) Elton John lets him off the hook. Rap’s latent homophobia stems from historic constructions of black masculinity, or a fear of cultural emasculation, and America’s deep religiosity – and, while, to his credit, Kanye West initiated a dialogue on this, there’s a long way to go. The irony? OFWGKTA has a talented female engineer, Syd “Tha Kid” Bennett, who’s openly lesbian. And yet more contradiction, and hypocrisy, surrounds OFWGKTA. Goblin has been picked up by XL Recordings, label boss Richard Russell paradoxically lauding Adele for challenging pop music’s sexist marketing. So what of Okonma’s music? Well, here the beatmaker, into everyone from Roy Ayers to Washed Out to Toro Y Moi, has something. Yonkers remains his killer (oops) hip hop joint – ominous, minimal and evoking Clipse – but the anti-Twilight rap Transylvania comes close, providing you can filter out the more disturbing lyrics. Okonma’s post-electro eschews samples. And he creates potent Drake-ish illwave in the synthy She, which features OFWGKTA’s in-house R&B singer Frank Ocean. As it happens, Ocean is not only aligned with Def Jam, but he’s also written for… Justin Bieber. Now that’s funny.

A while back my friend David Drake coined the phrase “frankendance” to describe all the late 00s dance music stealing from “world urban” genres like b-more, kuduro et al, mostly reanimating its swag of stolen goods within a turgid indie-electro sound beloved of blogs. “Franken(stein)” captures the mutilated process of assembly, but also the lurching stagger of the resulting music, unable to make its eclectic body parts function together. Not that this is a barrier to greatness: even the most sceptical Grinch should concede that this music’s largest crossover hit, Major Lazer’s Pon De Floor, was pretty fabulous. In 2011, frankendance is virtual orthodoxy: from the siren soca affectations of Dutch house to the juke appropriations of post-dubstep, it seems most everyone recognises the spicy value of otherness. But the limitations of frankendance as a principle are not rooted in its lack of authenticity; rather, the problem resides in patching together a rainbow coalition with no clear centre. In dance music, you can flip the old saw and say it’s a case of the producer (or DJ) who stands for everything falling for nothing: scrupulous eclecticism creates a curiously distancing effect where nothing seems to be of particular value anymore. Conversely, it’s the tension between adhering to tradition and departing from it that forms the warp and weft of dance music’s intensity. The most exciting music still mostly comes from genres with a clear and unwavering sense of self-identity (albeit not too purist or traditionalist). Scenesters would do well to study early 00s dancehall, which could successfully steal everything from gangsta rap to Gilbert & Sullivan because it always sounded exactly like itself. The nascent “Moombahton” scene reveals both frankendance’s pitfalls and its charms. In 2009, US DJ Dave Nada slowed down Dutch house records (specifically, Afrojack’s remix of Silvio Ecomo and DJ Chuckie’s “Moombah”) to 108 beats per minute until the music (already part-

Caribbeanised) uncannily resembled the throbbing pulse of Puerto Rico’s reggaeton. To this basic matrix he and other producers added cut-up Latin vocals, “dem bow” off-beats, crisp drum rolls and a bevy of obvious samples; the result, cheerfully uptempo and often comically aggro, bears the same relationship to reggaeton as big beat did to rap, eviscerating the performers while prioritising all of reggaeton’s most over-the-top sonic qualities. But reggaeton is established enough that the moombahton that apes it too closely mostly feels redundant; instead the highlights usually are those that expand on moombahton’s most gimmicky component, the act of slowing down records in the first place. If speeding up grooves evokes drug rushes, slowing them down evokes sex, embodied here in compellingly thick, heavy rumpshaker grooves, the stuttering beats and bleary synth riffs suggestive of a rave in a giant honey pot. Dave Nada’s new mix Blow Your Head 2 (for Diplo’s Mad Decent label) captures many fine moments in this vein, from the lascivious bump of Dillon Francis’ Masta Blasta to the intricate percussive meltdown of Sabo’s refix of Dennis Ferrer’s house anthem Hey Hey. My favourite examples can be found elsewhere, though: on his remix of Toddla T’s Take It Back, Francis winds fractured synth riffs around a torturous stop-start rhythm to create an intensely topographical groove, all vertiginous peaks and valleys. Meanwhile, Nadia Oh’s attempt to turn moombahton into euro-pop, Taking Over The Dancefloor, deploys stadium synths and rolling piano vamps to create a sound vaguely like a gay club on tranquilisers. Crucial to all these tracks is the sense of forgetting their own eclectic beginnings: grooves this good, this singular, no longer resemble frankenstein, but a fully-formed bratty child, with a child’s personality and potential for growth. Even if Moombahton doesn’t survive past infancy, it’s worth watching for this reason alone.

41


PERSONAL BEST RECORDS

with TY from GIRL WITH CAKE

BEST RECORD YOU STOLE FROM YOUR FOLKS’ COLLECTION? Sgt. Pepper’s... Thanks Mum. FIRST RECORD YOU BOUGHT? Green Jelly’s Three Little Pigs cassingle. Cool as fuck at the time. Still cool as fuck. B-side was a song called Obey The Cow Gods. RECORD YOU PUT ON WHEN YOU’RE REALLY MISERABLE? Sorry for myself miserable? I like to run through Ryan Adams complete back catalogue. Then do it again. Suicidal miserable? Elliot Smith*. Miserable reflection upon miseries past and present? Bluebottle Kiss – Patient.

Angry miserable? Rancid – Rancid. Break-up miserable? Beck – Sea Change. Plain old miserable? Okkervil River – Down The River Of Golden Dreams. Isn’t music generally at it’s best when soaked in misery or anger? *Note: Not necessarily a #1 choice to soundtrack suicide. Question – would a favourite song send you off sweetly, or ruin it for the dead you?

MOST SURPRISING RECORD IN YOUR COLLECTION? One Christmas my sister bought me Bec Cartwright’s self-titled album (including the smash hit All Seats Taken). Moved house the other week and yep, still got it.

RECORD YOU PUT ON WHEN YOU BRING SOMEONE HOME?

LAST THING YOU BOUGHT/ DOWNLOADED? I replaced a number of Fat Wreck Chords compilations that I’d lost/lent over the years. Thanks Valley Markets CD man.

For sex? Well that depends on whether or not you have an inkling on how sure you are you want them to stick around afterwards.

Girl With Cake play Prince Of Wales Hotel Nundah on Friday Jun 24. EP Forget Me, Rot out now.

BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE

The students at Elements Collective in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley have spent the past nine or so months living and breathing hip hop. Now the time has come for them to show us what they’ve got; this Saturday Jun 25 they’re going to Rock Tha House. The concert will be showcasing students from Beginner, Intermediate and Open classes, kids and music classes, as well as some special guests from Born Fresh Records. Any one of these performers could be the next big thing in Aussie hip hop, so don’t miss your chance to see them first. It all happens at 17 McLachlan St Fortitude Valley – doors open at 5pm and entry is $5.

OUT-OF-TOWNERS

Fancy a break from Brisvegas but don’t want to miss a minute of the live music scene? Well Ocean View Estates Winery has just the thing for you and it is a mere 45 minutes away; Unwind In The Vines is back for another year on Sunday Jun 26 with another trio of stellar musicians. Guests can enjoy a delicious three-course lunch before settling down on the green to be serenaded by Brisbane musicians The Redsell Brothers, Cameron Elliot and Joe Daniel. The Redsell Brothers are a crowd favourite at Ocean View and always manage to get the crowd excited; Elliot and Daniel are soulful singer-songwriters who perform beautifully solo as well as in unison. Tickets for the show only are $15 per adult, $5 per child under 15 or $35 for a family of two adults and up to three children; tickets including lunch are $72 per person.

THE VERY BEST Natalie Gauci is back in the limelight with her heart on her sleeve, releasing her new, soulful single Best Of Me. The track’s emotive vocals and heartfelt lyrics are undoubtedly the reason it was chosen to be featured in the upcoming Australian fi lm Big Mamma’s Boy, Gauci even snagged herself a cameo in the fi lm. A natural storyteller, Gauci has put her heart and soul into her new songs and she’s really looking forward to sharing them with everyone on her upcoming national tour to promote her latest release. Come and share the moment with her at the Brisbane Jazz Club on Thursday Jun 23 from 6.30pm, tickets are available from the venue now for $23.

42


SIX PACK MELODY MOON

SCREENS

EXCITED BY THE RESPONSE FOR LATEST SINGLE OUT OF THE CITY, SONGSTRESS MELODY MOON EXPLAINS TO BENNY DOYLE JUST WHY HERSELF, HER FRIENDS AND YOU SHOULD FALL IN LOVE WITH HER MUSIC.

INNOVATIVE MULTIMEDIA POST ROCK OUTFIT SCREENS ARE STOKED TO BE PLAYING A VERY SPECIAL CONCERT EVENT AT THE JUDITH WRIGHT CENTRE. ASSUMING HE’S NOT ACTUALLY THE FIGHT CLUB GUY, TONY MCMAHON ASKS GUITARIST DAVID FINCHER ALL ABOUT IT.

“I think there is a strength and beauty in expressing vulnerability,” Moon offers of her tunes. “It’s from these depths that my songs surface and from this fragile state that resolve and optimism emerges. I always feel so much better after writing a song – it’s very healing. There are usually tears involved – that’s how I know it’s ‘the one’. As I get towards the end of writing the song it somehow takes an unexpected twist. For example, Pick me Up which is about the loss of love and being like a flower falling, ends with ‘Pick me up and wear me in your hair’. It’s just a natural progression; the evolution to something better.” Expressing the feeling of being stuck in a smoky and superficial world, Out Of The City is the lead single from EP Little Hopes and summarises Moon longing for freedom, nature and fresh air. She talks about the recording process for the tracks. “I was able to lock myself away in the wee hours and create something out of my raw songs. Hearing what would sound good with them and composing the various accompaniments gave them new form and added much excitement to my life. I learnt how to do harmonies, rediscovered keyboard and glockenspiel and it was from this process that my style really came together. And to be able to invite friends to come and sing, play or clap along was oh so fulfilling.” And while the musical structures of her songs are becoming stronger as her style evolves, Moon has no choice in what’s expressed . “It will always be the deeper more delicate emotions that rise to the surface and transform themselves into songs. But my style changes as I change. It’s just a journey of whatever needs to be expressed at a particular time.”

“We’ve wanted to perform at the venue since we initially got together, and having the chance to organise and play a show there this soon into our tenure as a band is a great chance to showcase our performance to the arts community. Especially considering we’ve brought along a great headline act in Nikko, and have the chance to share a stage again with our long-time friends and musical siblings Big Dead. We’ve been fine-tuning our act in order to be fitting to such a great venue and yes, it’s very exciting.” Although their music is terrific in and of itself, combining visuals with their sound is a big part of what screens do. Fincher says that he can’t take too much credit. “Jaxn (guitars, vocals, laptop) and Kate (vocals, guitars) came up with the concept initially. Kate’s knowledge of film and cinema fit perfectly with Jaxn’s interest in various fields such as live audio manipulation, live visuals and projection mapping, as well as custom built electronics and handmade controllers and performance devices. We’ve all been friends for quite some time and as we casually discussed their new project it quickly became apparent to all of us that the benefits of a full line-up would be invaluable.” Does Screens’ sixth, hidden member miss out on all the good rock’n’roll stuff because he’s behind the scenes busy manipulating the visuals? Fincher says that it depends on your worldview. “I guess the good rock’n’roll stuff is subjective, really. Anthony Toci (visuals) is definitely an active member of the group and is in the same position behind the scenes that we are on stage, focused on the sound, focused on the energy and working at capacity to ensure everything flows smoothly and that we can convey our vision as well as we would like.”

WHO: Melody Moon WHAT: Little Hopes (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Mind Body Spirit Festival, RNA Showgrounds Friday Jun 24 –Sunday Jun 26, Music Kafe Monday Jun 27

TIME WARP

SIX PACK ON THE TIME OFF STEREO The Harrow & The Harvest GILLIAN WELCH The Cat BEN SALTER Sound Kapital HANDSOME FURS Sound Of The Americas JIM WHITE Blurry Blue Mountain GIANT SAND Attention Please BORIS Extrafoxx EXTRAFOXX Secret Rituals THE GRATES Blonde On Blonde BOB DYLAN Darkness On The Edge Of Town BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

4ZZZFM NOW PLAYING 1. Sport RE:ENACTMENT 2. Rad Solar DZ DEATHRAYS 3. Walls AN HORSE 4. United In Isolation PAPA VS PRETTY 5. Turn Me On THE GRATES 6. The End Of Everything THE KEEP ON DANCIN’S 7. Are You Entertained/Friends In Danger BLONDE ON BLONDE 8. By Cover Of Night GHOST NOTES 9. Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER 10. Good Times EAGLE AND THE WORM

CHANNEL [V] VIDEO MUSIC CHART 1. Party Rock Anthem LMFAO FT LAUREN BENNETT & GOONROCK 2. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) KATY PERRY 3. Give Me Everything PITBULL FT. NE-YO, AFROJACK & NAYER 4. Rolling In The Deep ADELE 5. We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN 6. Jet Lag SIMPLE PLAN FEAT. NATASHA BEDINGFIELD 7. Judas LADY GAGA 8. All Of The Lights KANYE WEST 9. Someone Like You ADELE 10. Run The World (Girls) BEYONCE

Jun 22, 1981 – Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing John Lennon. Jun 23, 1975 – Alice Cooper falls off the set of his Welcome To My Nightmare tour in Vancouver and breaks six ribs. Crowd possibly riot... Jun 24, 2000 – KISS auction off memorabilia from their touring days, bringing in US$876,000 on the first day of the two day event alone. Jun 25, 2003 – The Recording Industry Association of America discloses its plans to fight Internet piracy. The plan is to sue hundreds of individual computer users who illegally share music files online, and is scheduled to begin the next day. Insert ROFLcopter here... Jun 26, 1986 – James Hetfield (Metallica) breaks his wrist while trying to skateboard down a hill, causing the cancellation of one show and forcing him to perform vocals only (with a standin guitarist) for the remainder of the band’s tour. Jun 27, 1993 – Lyle Lovett and actress Julia Roberts are married, giving hope to strange looking dudes everywhere. They are divorced in 1995. Jun 28, 1986 – Wham! make their farewell concert appearance at London’s Wembley Stadium. Elton John makes an appearance in a clown suit to sing a song and then comes back later to sing Candle In The Wind with George Michael. Ah, the 80s...

BRING IT ON BACK Lloyd Spiegel is a man who clearly doesn’t believe in slowing down, with eight albums already under his belt and two decades of touring behind him, he just keeps on going. After nine months on the road promoting his latest album Tangled Brew – which has been consistently holding a top spot on the Australian blues and roots charts – one of Australia’s most respected and popular musicians is bringing the blues back to Brisbane. Joined by Arunachala, of Western Australian blues outfit Blue Shaddy, Spiegel plays the Beetle Bar in Brisbane on Sunday Jun 26. Doors open at 6.30pm, they’ll be performing two sets and entry is ten dollars. Spiegel and Arunachala go on to play The Rails in Byron Bay on Monday Jun 27 and Tuesday Jun 28.

WHO: Screens WHAT: Screens/Big Dead (split EP) WHERE & WHEN: The Judith Wright Centre Saturday Jun 25

BRISBANE BOUND

with MIKE DESLANDES from COERCE

GET DOWSED There’s a new venue open its doors (and hearts) to acoustic artists and singer-songwriters and this week sees Dowse Bar really kick off their dedicated live music program in earnest. The usual Wednesday night show The Round is unaffected, but on Thursday night the first instalment of Under The Covers, a night of obscure and little known cover songs by local Brisbane artists, kicks off. The perfect wind down for the weekend then comes with The Sunday Best, which this week will feature Carry Nation from 6pm. It’s underneath Iceworks on the corner of Given Terrace and Dowse St in Paddington and entry won’t cost you a dime.

PROMPTING A RESPONSE Indie-dance/post-punk outfit Teleprompter have been making waves for all the right reasons lately, garnering a reputation for their animated stage presence and infectious grooves that never fail to get the audience’s toes tapping along. The Brisbane boys are currently touring nationally to promote the release of their debut self-titled EP and will be back playing to a home crowd this weekend. Catch Teleprompter with some special guests at Elsewhere Bar on the Gold Coast on Sunday Jun 26 or at a special warehouse party in Brisbane on Saturday Jul 2 (venue details can be found at the band’s Facebook).

NAME OF ACT: Coerce MEMBER/ROLE: Mike Deslandes, control freak/village idiot HOME GROUND: Adelaide & Melbourne DESCRIBE YOUR LIVE MUSIC/ PERFORMANCE STYLE AS SUCCINCTLY AS POSSIBLE. Loud. IS THIS YOUR FIRST FORAY TO BRISBANE? IF NOT HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU PERFORMED IN OUR MIDST. We’ve played in Brisbane twice, once as part of someone else’s tour and the other on our own run in 2010.

PLEASE RELATE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF PERFORMING IN OUR FAIR CITY. It’s dubbed Brisvegas for a reason. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND? Brett O’Riley. HAS ANYTHING EXCITING BEEN HAPPENING IN YOUR WORLD OF LATE? Wrote/released a record. Coerce play Sun Distortion Studios Friday Jun 24 and Fat Louies Saturday Jun 25. Etheral Surrogate Saviour (Capitalgames) out now.

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WED 22

Alex Jones The Tempo Hotel Black Whiskey, Varia, Verusive, The Weekend Hiatus Step Inn Dog and Dry: Miroar, Underwood Mayne, Scotch at the Sean Connery X & Y Bar Helmet, Pangaea Coolangatta Hotel Iretro Elephant & Wheelbarrow Keep On Dancin’s, The Madisons Ric’s Mark Sheils Royal George Open Mic Birdee Num Num Open Mic, Rules of a Diagram, Anthony Branagan The Loft Chevron Island Rumba Latina’s Brazilian Party Mick O’Malley’s Sorry Socrates, Go Go Fish, Enversity Club 299 The Bowery Hot Five With Mal Wood The Bowery The Round Dowse Bar

THU 23

8 Ball Aitken, Mark Easton Sol Bar, Maroochydore Abby Skye Mick O’Malley’s Alter Egos Victory Hotel Ballad Boy Loving Hut Boys and Girls: As Silence Breaks, Aversions Crown, Down Royale, I Set My Friends On Fire X & Y Bar Canadian Embassy, At Band, Cartoon Physics, Connor Cleary The Music Kafe Douglas Quin Institute Of Modern Art Helmet, Pangaea The Hi-Fi I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Satellites The Bowery I Used To Skate Once: The Chokes, Mckisko, Swede Tooth, Upstairs: Martyr Privates, Royal Headache The Zoo Ladybugs: Carrie & The Cut Snakes, Emma White, Sabrina Lawrie, Kellie Lloyd, Bity Booker, Mel Fraser The Beetle Bar Lambda: Spaceticket, Dolphins Alhambra Lounge

Natalie Gauci Brisbane Jazz Club Night Shift, The Local Residents The Tempo Hotel Ponyloaf, Lords Of Wong, Seismic Toss, Dirty Liars Globe Theatre Rob Cini Elephant & Wheelbarrow Sarah McLeod, CC The Cat Hinterland Hotel Scat Man Du Waterloo Hotel Under The Covers Dowse Bar Youngsmith, Winter Of Reason Ric’s

FRI 24

8 Ball Aitken, Mark Easton Ric’s Adrian Keys The International Hotel Alter Egos Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Andrew Johnson The Point Restaurant Bigger Than Texas Kedron Park Hotel Bob Mouat Southern Hotel Toowoomba Bone Lazy Miami Tavern Callum Taylor Horse & Jockey Warwick Circus! Circus!: Bertie Page Clinic, The Blow Waves, Silver Sircus The Zoo Coerce, Nuclear Summer, Nice Guys, Acid Snake, The Wolf At Your Door Sun Distortion Studios Duck Duck Goose, Easy Come, Jimmy2sox, Graz Bowler Bar Fireballs, The Dark Shadows Shed 5 Burleigh Heads Glen Esmond, Berst Mick O’Malley’s Indie Showcase: Casey Fogg, The Drive, Race Of The Harridan, Take Us To Vegas, Far From Paris, Brickfield The Tempo Hotel Josh Pyke, Jackson Mclaren The Beetle Bar Karnivool The Hi-Fi Locky, The Replicants Elephant & Wheelbarrow Mojo Webb & Band Pineapple Hotel Monstrothic: Sausage Chopper, Captain Cleanoff, Speedlab, Short Life, Ah Fuck That Jubilee Hotel

Pocket Love, Kerbside Collection Press Club QSM Live: Jac Stone Queen Street Mall Sarah McLeod Globe Theatre Sea Shepherd Fundraiser: Girl With Cake, Dos Hell, Gerald Keaney and The Gerald Keaney’s, The Inconsolables, Gravel Samwidge Prince Of Wales Hotel Shannon Marshall and The Souls Almighty Brisbane Jazz Club Skipping Girl Vinegar Old QLD Museum Steve Tyson, Griff wood Horsefin, Madworld, Triplickit The Music Kafe Swaying Buildings, The Better Mouse Trap Treatment, Bacon, Sangers, Maggie Collins X & Y Bar Talltails, The Lay Preachers, Super Nudist, David Aurora The Loft Chevron Island Blame Ringo Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform Tijuana Cartel Soundlounge Currumbin Van Dyke Parks, Kinky Friedman Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre Wolf & Cub, Teleprompter, Make The Girls Dance DJs Alhambra Lounge

SAT 25

8 Ball Aitken Royal Mail Hotel, Ipswich Babaganouj, Spaceticket, Buick Six The Beetle Bar Bounce, Brooksy & Co The Tempo Hotel Bowler Bar, Light Year Bowler Bar Brain Drain, Ambrose Chapel, Anonymeye, Scraps, Sunshine State, Micronations DJs Browning Street Studios Cheap Fakes, Rubix Cuba The Joynt Chris Poulsen Brisbane Jazz Club Coerce, Fires Of Waco, Ironhide, Nice Guys, Capeweather Fat Louie’s Cows at The Beach: Toby Wren, Tunji Beier, Huib Schippers, Dheeraj Shrestha The Judith Wright Centre

Friday 24th June Magic Mountain indie dance club MILLIONS (LIVE) DJs Polar Bear - Old Lady - D Black Doors open at 9PM - 3PM Entry $5. Saturday 25th June bed Wettin’ bad boys (NSW) & Woollen Kits (VIC) Blank Realm dJs Old Lady - Harvey Satan Doors open at 9PM Entry $5. www.woodlandbar.com 44

Fireballs, The Dark Shadows The Hi-Fi Inferno Miami Tavern Shark Bar Jabba Elephant & Wheelbarrow Jeremy Neale Black Bear Lodge JJ Speedball Redcliffe RSL Joel Myles, Tramp Fiesta, Cutloose, Charlie Hustle, New Manic Spree X & Y Bar Joshua Radin, Andy Bull, Jim Bianco The Zoo Karnivool Coolangatta Hotel Katchafire, Raz Bin Sam, The Lion I Band Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay Lloyd Spiegel Royal Mail Hotel Goodna Nikko, Screens, Big Dead The Judith Wright Centre Popalicious Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform QSM Live: Band Of Frequencies Queen Street Mall Sarah McLeod Joe’s Water Hole Eumundi Shannon Marshall and The Souls Almighty The Arts Centre Gold Coast Sideshow! Sideshow!: The Blow Waves, Bertie Page Clinic, Sweet Continuum The Loft Chevron Island Snez Carrarra Markets Step It Up Ric’s Superfreak Mick O’Malley’s Surfers Paradise Alliance Youth A-Live Concert Hard Rock Café Tijuana Cartel Buddha Bar Van Dyke Parks, Kinky Friedman Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Words Versing Verses Globe Theatre

SUN 26

8 Ball Aitken The Joynt Acoustics On Sunday: The Dustin Hoffmans, Fiddlesticks Brisbane Square Library Asim Gorashi, Tichawona Mashawa, Tenzin Choegyal, Nawres Al-Freh, Cieavash Arean Annerley Soccer Club Fields BASEQ Jam: Blue Rhythm Kings The Tempo Hotel

Block Party DJs Elephant & Wheelbarrow Brian McKnight, Dwele Arena His Merry Men, Exposed Sundays, Girl With Cake, Stoner Pony, Clifton Hill, The Boats, Night Time Fiona Ric’s James Whiting Trio, UQ Big Band Brisbane Jazz Club Karnivool Caloundra RSL Kinky Friedman, Van Dyke Parks Joe’s Water Hole Eumundi Live Spark: Little Creatures, Loren, Wirebird Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform Lloyd Spiegel The Beetle Bar

Lovecraft, The Busymen, Some Jerks, Pineapples From The Dawn Of Time Crown Hotel Lutwyche Mama Juju, Something Whiskey, Minor Birds, The Buzzbees, Nothing But Trouble The Music Kafe Mojo Webb The Boundary Hotel New Dub City Sound, Rhythm Collision Sound Locknload West End Present Company Danish Club, Newstead QSM Live: Rachael Brady Queen Street Mall Seja Vogel Black Bear Lodge Skipping Girl Vinegar Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay

Sunday Bloody Sabbath Sessions, Rebecca Redstar, Dan Khule, Skritch The Beetle Bar (Afternoon) Sunday Irish Session Mick O’Malley’s Teleprompter Elsewhere The Sunday Best: Carry Nation Dowse Bar

MON 27

Lloyd Spiegel Railway Bar, Byron Bay Sam Cromack Black Bear Lodge Sparkadia Birdee Num Num Zander Hulme Room 60, Kelvin Grove

SIX PACK

TUE 28

Canadian Embassy, Peter and The Wolf, Sencabah, Sub Electric, The Verge The Music Kafe Casey Fogg Elephant & Wheelbarrow George Kollias, Dave Haley Globe Theatre Indie Rock Escalate: Little Sister, Harvton, Underwood Mayne, Lestrange The Tempo Hotel Jes McGarry, Danny Fai Fai, Kevin Keepa, Taj Mccaskill Shooters Nightclub Lloyd Spiegel Railway Bar, Byron Bay Mark Sheils Woodford Hotel Snez, Scenic Tour The Bug

SIX PACK

SPACETICKET

YOUNGSMITH

FEATURING ENERGETIC, GRUNGED-OUT PSYCHEDELIA, THE SPACETICKET EXPERIENCE WOULD BE SUMMED UP BEST AS MOOD-ENHANCING UNRULINESS, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. VOCALIST AND GUITARIST LUKE BURNHEIM GIVES BENNY DOYLE THE NEWS.

BOASTING A FUSION OF INDIE, ALTERNATIVE AND FOLK, UPAND COMING OUTFIT YOUNGSMITH ARE ABOUT TO TEAR RIC’S A NEW ONE. SONGWRITER, VOCALIST AND RHYTHM GUITARIST DAN SMITH TELLS TONY MCMAHON ABOUT SOME INTERESTING SOURCES OF INSPIRATION.

Spaceticket is bottom heavy rock with epic grooves throughout, but it could be considered a dying breed with traditional blues in rock’n’roll seemingly being usurped by a shallower, more angular sound. Burnheim agrees but isn’t surprised nor worried. “I think that has been happening for years,” he laments. “The blues will always be around, but people are going to push the boundaries of how far a genre can go until it is so distorted and manipulated from its origins that it is almost new again. The guitar is the best instrument ever to be made, and it should be pushed to its limits to find new ways to play it. If you couldn’t do this to rock, I wouldn’t be a rock musician. I’d go out and buy a sampler.” Going through a plethora of bass players, Spaceticket even did time as a twopiece right before a candidate emerged to be part of the regular rotation. “Yoshi [Hausler – drums] and I started playing two-piece out of frustration. That was really fun actually, we ended up making it all up on the spot and totally tweaked cover songs to suit us. When Cooper offered to join things it just seemed to come together. He’s just as much of an effect junkie as I am. No one could fit the ticket as well as he has, and with our music we definitely need bass.” Fans hungry for some fresh material will also be estactic to hear that the Sydney boys are bringing up a fresh long-player with them for the tour. “It’s been three years in the making now, so we are all very excited about it,” Burnheim excitedly states. “Also, we have a lot more material that’s been recorded and some awesome new songs we’ll be playing live. If anything we have way too many songs! Hopefully we’ll record them as soon as we can though.”

WHO: Spaceticket WHERE & WHEN: Lambda Thursday Jun 23, Beetle Bar Friday Jun 24

“I’ve been lucky enough over the last couple of years to visit places like the flavelas in Rio and villages in remote parts of Peru and Vietnam. These experiences really changed the way I think about songwriting. I used to just start writing down lyrics absentmindedly or begin with a simple melody to get a song going. Now I try to think of a situation or topic I’d like to write about and begin with a few lines of a verse or chorus, and bring about a tune that way. I’m writing more and more about subjects that appeal to me.” Interestingly, Youngsmith have been releasing home-recorded songs on their blog. Smith says that there are many reasons behind what Time Off thinks is a terrific idea. “We’re doing it at the moment for something different and also as a way for people to get to know us as a band. As an independent band, we’d like our fans to be in it for the long haul. Years ago, when I’d buy a CD, it’d be because of a mate’s recommendation. Nowadays, people need to sample the songs of an artist before they can be hooked. I also just wanted to see if I could write and release a new song every month. So far it’s working out quite well.” So, what can punters at Ric’s expect? It seems there will be some numbers that stick, no matter who you are. “There’s always be a good dose of classic rock with a few acoustic numbers thrown in. For this upcoming show, we’ve got a new guitarist that’s added a harder edge to our music. We’ve also enlisted a cello player for a couple of tunes as well. With the combination of soft and hard rock we hope the audience will always walk away with one of our songs bouncing around in their head, no matter their tastes.” WHO: Youngsmith WHERE & WHEN: Ric’s Bar Thursday Jun 23


BEETLE BAR 350 Upper Roma St. Brisbane beetlebarbookings@gmail.com

THUR 23 JUNE

‘LADYBUGS’ LAUNCH CARRIE & THE CUT SNAKES + EMMA WHITE + SABRINA LAWRIE + KELLIE LLOYD + BITY BOOKER 8PM - $10

FRI 24 JUNE

JOSH PYKE ‘FANS FIRST TOUR’ supported by JACKSON MCLAREN 8PM - SOLD OUT

SAT 25 JUNE

BABAGANOUJ (EX YVES KLEIN BLUE) + SPACETICKET + BUICK SIX 8PM

SUN 26 JUNE AFTERNOON SUNDAY BLOODY SABBATH SESSIONS

SKRITCH

+ REBECCA REDSTAR + DAN KHULE FREE ENTRY - 2PM - LATE

SUN 26 JUNE EVENING

321 BRUNSWICK STREET MALL, FORTITUDE VALLEY WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE

THURSDAY 23 JUNE

LE PARTI SOUL WITH DJ REDBEARD (8PM) + KEEP ON DANCIN’S (9.30PM) + THE MADISONS

YOUNGSMITH (9.30PM) + WINTER OF REASON (8.30PM) + DJ VALDIS (8PM)

FRIDAY 24 JUNE

SATURDAY 25 JUNE

DOWNSTAIRS: 8

BALL AITKEN (9PM) + MARK EASTON (8PM) + DJ VALDIS (8PM) UPSTAIRS: DJ WILDEBEATS (8PM)

SUNDAY 26 JUNE RIC’S EXPOSED #2 - HEAT 8 NIGHT TIME FIONA (7PM) THE BOATS (7.30PM) CLIFTON HILL (8PM) STONER PONY (8.30PM) GIRL WITH CAKE (9PM) HIS MERRY MEN (2 SETS) (9.30PM)

STEP IT UP (8PM) (2 SETS) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS: DJ CUTTS (8PM)

DOWNSTAIRS:

MONDAY 27 JUNE BERNIE CARSON (9.30PM) + ERIN HARRINGTON (8.30PM)

TUESDAY 28 JUNE KENDALL LAYT (9.30PM) + BART THRUPP (8.30PM)

FREE LIVE MUSIC AND INDIE DJS

WANT TO PLAY? EMAIL BOOKINGS@RICSBAR.COM.AU

WWW.RICSBAR.COM.AU

LLOYD SPEIGEL $10 - 7PM

FRI 1 JULY

BIG RED CANDLE + CAPTAIN SLEDGEHAMMER + THE LATE GREAT RUSSIAN REVOLUTION $10 - 8PM

SAT 2 JULY

FOUNDS CD LAUNCH + MUSHU (MELB) + TIN SPARROW $10 - 8PM

SUN 3 JULY SUNDAY BLOODY SABBATH SESSIONS

SABRINA LAWRIE + DAN ACFIELD + GUESTS FREE ENTRY - 2PM - LATE

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ALHAMBRA LOUNGE

Tuesday Casey Fogg

Sunday Sunday Irish Session

Thursday Lambda: Spaceticket, Dolphins Friday Wolf & Cub, Teleprompter, Make The Girls Dance DJs

GLOBE THEATRE

RIC’S

BIRDEE NUM NUM Wednesday Open Mic Monday Sparkadia

BOWLER BAR Friday Duck Duck Goose, Easy Come, Jimmy2sox, Graz Saturday Bowler Bar: Light Year

BRISBANE POWERHOUSE TURBINE PLATFORM Friday The Residents: Blame Ringo Saturday Popalicious Sunday Live Spark: Little Creatures, Loren, Wirebird

BRISBANE POWERHOUSE VISY THEATRE Friday Van Dyke Parks, Kinky Friedman Saturday Van Dyke Parks, Kinky Friedman

COOLANGATTA HOTEL

Thursday Ponyloaf, Lords Of Wong, Seismic Toss, Dirty Liars Friday Sarah McLeod Saturday Words Versing Verses Tuesday George Kollias, Dave Haley

GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL BYRON BAY Thursday Tyson Faulkner Saturday Katchafire, Raz Bin Sam, The Lion I Band Sunday Skipping Girl Vinegar

HARD ROCK CAFÉ Saturday Surfers Paradise Alliance Youth A-Live Concert

JUBILEE HOTEL Friday Monstrothic: Sausage Chopper, Captain Cleanoff, Speedlab, Short Life, Ah Fuck Th at

MIAMI TAVERN Friday Bone Lazy Saturday Rock Solid Sunday Fat Albert

MIAMI TAVERN SHARK BAR

Wednesday Helmet, Pangaea Saturday Karnivool

Saturday Inferno

ELEPHANT & WHEELBARROW

MICK O’MALLEY’S

Wednesday Iretro Thursday Rob Cini Friday Locky, The Replicants Saturday Jabba Sunday Block Party DJs

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Wednesday Rumba Latina’s Brazilian Party Thursday Abby Skye Friday Glen Esmond, Berst Saturday Superfreak

Wednesday Keep On Dancin’s, The Madisons Thursday Youngsmith, Winter Of Reason Friday 8 Ball Aitken, Mark Easton Saturday Step It Up Sunday His Merry Men, Exposed Sundays: Girl With Cake, Stoner Pony, Clifton Hill, The Boats, Night Time Fiona

STEP INN Wednesday Black Whiskey, Varia, Verusive, The Weekend Hiatus

SURFERS PARADISE BEER GARDEN Friday Alter Egos Saturday Venus Envy

THE ARTS CENTRE GOLD COAST Thursday Unplugged In The Basement: Archer Saturday Shannon Marshall And The Souls Almighty

THE BEETLE BAR Thursday Ladybugs: Carrie & The Cut Snakes, Emma White, Sabrina Lawrie, Kellie Lloyd, Bity Booker, Mel Fraser Friday Josh Pyke, Jackson McLaren Saturday Babaganouj, Spaceticket, Buick Six Sunday Lloyd Spiegel

THE HI-FI Thursday Helmet, Pangaea Friday Karnivool Saturday Fireballs, The Dark Shadows

THE JUDITH WRIGHT CENTRE Saturday Cows at The Beach: Toby Wren, Tunji Beier, Huib Schippers, Dheeraj Shrestha Saturday Nikko, Screens, Big Dead

THE TEMPO HOTEL Wednesday Alex Jones Thursday Night Shift, The Local Residents Friday Indie Showcase: Casey Fogg, The Drive, Race Of The Harridan, Take Us To Vegas, Far From Paris, Brickfield Saturday Bounce, Brooksy & Co Sunday BASEQ Jam: Blue Rhythm Kings Tuesday Indie Rock Escalate: Little Sister, Harvton, Underwood Mayne, Lestrange

THE ZOO Thursday I Used To Skate Once: The Chokes, Mckisko, Swede Tooth, Upstairs:, Martyr Privates, Royal Headache Friday Circus! Circus!: Bertie Page Clinic, The Blow Waves, Silver Sircus Saturday Joshua Radin, Andy Bull, Jim Bianco

X & Y BAR Wednesday Dog and Dry: Miroar, Underwood Mayne, Scotch At The Sean Connery Thursday Boys and Girls: As Silence Breaks, Aversions Crown, Down Royale, I Set My Friends On Fire Friday Swaying Buildings, The Better Mouse Trap Treatment, Bacon, Sangers, Maggie Collins Saturday Joel Myles, Tramp Fiesta, Cutloose, Charlie Hustle, New Manic Spree

CLUB GUIDE WED 22 FRI 24 Blush Wednesdays: Vanity DJ Slynk: Kerbside D 3 Amigos Latin Dance Party: Casablanca I Love House Music: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Jam Night with Open Mic: Alloneword Karaoke in the Front Bar: Casablanca Love You Long Time: Barsoma Squark Open Mic Night: Birdee Num Nums Vegas Style Wednesdays: Sin City Zoo Swimsuit Calendar Search 2011 Finals: Shooters

THU 23

DJ Bure: Fringe Bar Gavin Boyd: Kerbside Glamorous: Zuri I Love RnB Ladies Night: SinCity Karaoke in the Front Bar: Casablanca Lambda Lambda Lambda: Alhambra Love Cats Student Night: Alloneword Lust For The Ladies: Vanity Mr Perfect: Vanity Mr Right Finals: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, K-Otic: Shooters Notorious B.I.R.D: Birdee Num Num Th irsty Thursdays: Barsoma Too Damn Glam: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, K-Otic: Shooters Too Damn Glam: Dezastar, Mister P, Owe, MC Fortafy: Republic Too Damn Glam: Masta K: Rendezvous We Are Nocturnal: Milk: Skyroom

A-List Fridays: SinCity Bossy, Mr Sparkle: Bamboo Brand Spank’d Rage Crew presents Nick Thayer AV Show: Basement Top Floor Cutloose, Ben Reeve, Kieron C: Kerbside Disco Disco: The Last Stand: Monastery DJs Aaron, Bure, Arsee: Fringe Bar Friday Arvo Social Club: Birdee Num Num Fridays @ Family present: Giuseppe Ottaviani (Live): Family Basement Hello Australia DJs: Coco Ice Blitz QLD Final: Queen Street Mall Jac Stone: Queen Street Mall Lightyear (Bang Gang 12s): Elsewhere Michael Gray: Shooters Nick Galea, Ryan Rushton, And Oh!: LaLa Land Obsession Fridays: Vanity Provocateur: Zuri Sebastien Drums: The MET Trancessential present Binary Finary: Angus Gibbins, Tobi Atkins, Dakova Dae: Platinum The Gentlemen’s Club presents: Dub L Drop feat Swiss Dub, Huntah, Shixa and more: Never Land Bar Video Remix in the Cellar Club with DJ Misqo: Casablanca Vision Friday: Craig Obey, Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Vision Friday: Masta K, Mister P: Rendezvous Wolf & Cub: Alhambra Lounge

SAT 25

Aniki, Ben Reeve, Gavin Boyd: Kerbside Band of Frequencies: Queen Street Mall Bias B: Step Inn

City By The Sea, Signals, Where I Stand, Without Wings We Fall: Step Inn Coco Inc. feat. Ember, Too Shoes, Charlie Hustle, Van Miert and more: The MET DJs Aaron, Bart, Olie: Fringe Bar Doc Daneeka: Step Inn Don Rimini (France), Noy, Luki, Jmac and more: Monastery Elmo is Dead (Syd): Elsewhere Hey! Hey! presents The Hump Day Project, Dr Rob, Aniki, Jordan Who?, Danny T: Family Top Floor Houseplay feat Habebe, Aydos, Brett J, Jason Rouse, Sharif D (Live), El Nino: Alhambra Lochdown, Disko Diva, Pete Smith, Andee, Aydos: The MET Never Land House Party feat Bradley R, Tom & Jarry, Cory F and more: Never Land Bar Nu Disco/House DJs: Alloneword Mr Sparkle, Roman: Bamboo Paul Bell, Mr Sparkle, Roman Flachs: Bamboo Rhys Bynon: La La Land Saturdays @ Zuri: Zuri Saturday Sessions: Birdee Num Num Seany B, Tom Evans, Habebe, Jeremy Iliev, Tim Plunkett, Jason Morley: Family Basement Sensation Club: Craig Obey, Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Sensation Club: Ea Kut, Juno, Mister P, MC Premix: Republic Sensation Club: Masta K, DJ LP: Rendezvous Stiletto Saturdays: SinCity Surrender Your Saturdays: Vanity Touch Saturdays: Bluff sta, Dezastar, Masta K, MC Jay Oh: Mybar

TV Rock, Rudy (live), Craig Roberts, Joey Mojo: Platinum Video Remix in the Cellar Club with DJ Misqo: Casablanca

SUN 26

Bacon, Chris Kelly: Kerbside Band O Rama feat Fairchild Republic, Teleprompter and more: Elsewhere Daniel Webber, Discrow: LaLa Land Glow Room Paint Party: Murray Brown, Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Glow Room Paint Party: Masta K: Rendezvous Rachael Brady: Queen Street Mall Salsa Seduction in the Cellar: Casablanca Step Up Sunday: DJs Gavin Boyd, Oscar V, Bella Di Frio: Cloudland Sin Sundays: Vanity Zouk Lambarda: Casablanca

MON 27 Industry Night: DJ Jon, Mike D: SinCity Trivia and Bar Wars: Birdee Num Num

TUE 28 Envyus Main: Shooters Jam: Alloneword Karaoke in the Front Bar: Casablanca Ladies Cocktail Party: SinCity


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BEHIND THE LINES BY GEORGE, HE’S GOT IT! BROUGHT TO YOU BY

BEHIND THE LINES WITH MICHAEL SMITH BTL@STREETPRESS.COM.AU

VALE MARTIN RUSHENT

Sunday Jun 4 saw British producer Martin Rushent pass away of an as-yet-unspecified cause at the age of aged 62. Rushent, born in north London in July 1948, learned his trade in the late-60s working as a tape operator on tracks by T. Rex and the original Fleetwood Mac among others with producer Tony Visconti, eventually becoming head engineer at Advision Studios before becoming in-house engineer at United Artists Records where he produced the first three albums by both The Stranglers and Buzzcocks. By the end of the 70s, Rushent had set up his own studio, Genetic Sound, in Streatley in Berkshire where he was by then living, and it was there he produced albums by everyone from Shirley Bassey to Joy Division, including the Human League’s huge breakthrough album, Dare. He even produced, in 1988, an album for Australia’s Do-Re-Mi, The Happiest Place In Town. Work pressures and clinical depression sadly cost him both his family and studio but by the turn of the millennium he had built another studio in his new home and was producing acts like The Pipettes, Does It Offend You, Yeah? And French band Poney Express. At the time of his death, he was working on the 30th anniversary edition of Dare.

FROM W.A. TO SWEDEN WA metal band Chaos Divine called in Swedish metal guru Jens Borgen to mix and master their latest album, The Human Condition (Firestarter), at Fascination Street Studios in Orebro, Sweden. Time Off asked the band what they felt Borgen brought to the table. “We are all big fans of Jens’ work. He has mixed and mastered some truly epic albums (Opeth’s Watershed, Katatonia’s The Great Cold Distance, Symphony X’s Paradise Lost to name a few) that we all note as hugely influential to our sound. When we went out looking for a mix/master engineer we all really wanted to try our luck in asking him to work on our record. After emailing him and showing him the demo material, he really dug our sound and was excited to be working on the record. When we got back his first mix we were all extremely pleased with the result and felt that his treatment on the production really gave the songs the atmosphere and shine that we had previously lacked. The benefit was that we didn’t have to worry about trying to argue over little things ourselves during the mixing stage and we could just let Jens take it and do his thing and we trusted his judgement. It’s always a positive thing to have an outside pair of ears to come in and assess the record from their point of view using their creativity, just so that the songs don’t get over-worked by the band members.”

Death metal drumming wiz GEORGE KOLLIAS speaks to BRENT BALINSKI about the need for speed.

T

here are extreme metal drummers, and then there’s George Kollias. In a genre whose fans seem to worship beats per minute as a kind of indicator of a drummer’s talent, Kollias is one of the very quickest, able to squeeze more double bass-drum notes into a bar of music than might seem possible. Drumming nuts who measure prowess by the height of a metronome’s setting worship Kollias, probably the drumming equivalent of a man that can run 100m in under 10 seconds. The Greek guru shot to prominence when he joined South Carolina death metal eccentrics and Egypt enthusiasts Nile, gaining an audience for his fiendish speed on strangely-named tracks such as Chapter Of Obeisance Before Giving Breath To The Inert One In The Presence Of The Crescent Shaped Horns. Kollias is, of course, a musician first, but his impossible briskness as a skinsman is unmissable. For the uneducated, a quick listen to Nile or a clip from his 2008 instructional DVD, Intense Metal Drumming, will make you hear and see what all the fuss is about. “Yeah, unfortunately some people are really focused on speed and everything and my name is also connected to fast drumming. Of course, it doesn’t bother me. It’s a great thing!” says Kollias, his tone raising toward the end of this sentence, possibly in connection to the excitement that the idea of speed can bring. “They watch my DVD and they’re interested in what I’m doing, but again – for speed. So I feel a bit trapped [laughs]. And I think it’s okay... Of course I like to play different styles as well, but this is what I do and I have accepted that years ago.” Kollias – an in-demand educator worldwide and an instructor at Athens’ Modern Music School conservatory – is out here for a run of drum clinics, and will return in August for Melbourne’s Australian Ultimate Drummers Weekend. “I’m really, really excited about these clinics because I’ll have my friend Dave Haley [of Psycroptic] with me also. It will be like most of my clinics: I’m going to be playing songs – some Nile songs, some of my songs – some solos and of course there will be a lot of drum talk!” says Kollias, who becomes excited again, this time at the prospect of sharing a little of his vast knowledge of the mechanics, techniques and dedication required to play extreme metal at the highest level. “I mean everybody’s coming to the clinics, drum geeks,

Veteran UK prog rockers Yes release their first new studio album in a decade, We Can Fly, in July. The band, now fronted by singer Benoit David, are reuniting with producer Trevor Horn (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Frankie Goes To Hollywood) whose old offsider in The Buggles (and of course Drama-era Yes), Geoff Downes, is back behind the Yes keyboards. Tim Weidner engineered and mixed the album in London. In November last year, Italian five-piece belladonna went into Stagg Street Studios in Los Angeles – where some of the classic albums by Patti Smith and Tom Waits have been recorded – set up and recorded to tape, totally live, no click tracks, their new album, And There Was Light, with engineer Mike Tacci, who recorded Metallica’s Black Album and producer Alex Elena (ex-Bruce Dickinson drummer).

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And how does one progress as a metal drummer? How did it happen for Kollias? Of course if you ask, he’ll mention – as he does in Intense Metal Drumming – that discipline is a huge part of it. Kollias was introduced to the dark side of rock by more mainstream acts before deciding to go heavier, faster and harder, as he sought greater challenges as a young drummer.

“With Hudson music we had some conversations, I think they are ready for January 2012, that’s the plan so far. Maybe another month later, who knows? But I think it will be January 2012.”

“Again, a lot of playing along to albums, that was it. I started practising six or seven years after I first started playing drums,” says Kollias. “When I started playing there were drummers like Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden, I was getting more into fast [drumming] like Igor Cavalera, Paul Bostaph, Dave Lombardo. Then to more extreme [music] like Sean Reinert from Death and Cynic, Richard Christy from Death.” Apart from his major musical endeavours as a clinician and a member of Nile, Kollias is working on an updated exposition of the topics covered on his first instructional DVD, as well as planning a solo record sometime in the future. “It’s very close to the old one and the only difference is going to be it’s more updated and the bar’s going to be raised a little bit more,” he explains. “It will be based on the last DVD, but everything’s going to be upgraded,

turned on and off and CV inputs for filter, volume and pitch control. In short this is one synthesiser that should make rivaling companies shiver in utter fear as if a giant tsunami was moments away from pulverising their factories… And still, the Phatty might have more power.

SOUND BYTES

The Kooks called in Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Belle & Sebastian) to produce their third album, Junk Of The Heart, due for local release September, recording it in The Sound Factory in Los Angeles and Sarm Studios in London.

like it’ll be High Definition quality, better sound, four different drum sets, so it’s going to be much better.

Fans have been enjoying Kollias’s solo compositions and performances on YouTube for some time. What’s his plan for an album’s worth of songs on which he plays everything? “I’ve had this project I’ve been doing for years... Some of them are on demos or I post them online,” says Kollias of cuts such as Aeons Of Burning Galaxies, which is nearly up to 900,000 views on YouTube. “So now I will be recording my first solo album. It’s all for fun anyway. Since I don’t want to compose anything for Nile – because my guitar playing is not high-skilled.” He puts no estimate on an album’s release, but it’ll keep him occupied when he’s not educating other drummers, writing/performing with Nile or working on his two current favourite practise disciplines: grooving along to R&B or working through Ted Reed’s Syncopation. The Athenian prodigy may have made his name in the world of technical death metal, but man can’t survive on blastbeats alone. George Kollias’ drum clinic takes place Tuesday Jun 28 at the Globe Theatre (from 7pm).

GEAR REVIEWS

Produced by the band, The Human Condition was engineered and recorded at Underground Studios in Perth by Simon Mitchell.

The Living End took themselves into 301 Studios Byron Bay and singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Cheney’s own Red Door Sounds Studio in Collingwood in Melbourne to record their new album, The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeated, due late July, with producer Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine), then called in Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Powderfinger, AC/DC), who of course mixed their 2008 White Noise album, to mix it.

and they’ll ask questions about what we do, how we do it, so it’ll be the educational half of the show.”

MOOG – SLIM PHATTY

The biggest selling point, besides the fact that it is so easily affordable and the unit’s history, is the incredibly innovative feature that will allow you to link multiple Slim Phatty units up via MIDI to create an out of this world Poly Chain, unlocking a hidden power within! If this wasn’t enough, it comes with 100 individual presets to get your brain melting faster than staring directly into split atoms flying at your face.

Moog, quite easily the most recognisable name in the deep, strange world of synthesisers, has been making quality products ever since the 1960s and has quite possibly been the sole initiator of every innovative bit of music due to its innovative nature. In modern times the synthesiser is becoming more and more popular, making its mark more so than ever.

The Slim Phatty’s connections are all located on the rear of the unit as it also has a rack mountable option to save space in the studio and save effort when transporting, making this the ultimate synthesiser for anybody who is starting out or very serious about their sounds.

In 2006, after slightly fading from the limelight for a few years, the company gave the public a look into Little Phatty, their way of once again tipping the scales and shaking the competition. The first limited run had only 1200 units and, coupling handbuilt quality with the traditional Moog sound at a very low price, extreme demand was created.

Supplied by Mortstar; available from awave.com.au.

The Slim Phatty is nearly identical in every way to the acclaimed Little Phatty. It’s an analog to the bone, monophonic sound machine featuring two blending, four shaped oscillators, a filter envelope generator, a volume envelope generator, a four destination modulation bus, a classic Moog low-pass “ladder” filter, an inbuilt, multiple setting arpeggiator, glide control, a four shaped LFO and an overload central with a single control VCA. In addition to the sound-creating components, the Phatty series also has an external audio input, two separate outputs (one for headphones), USB connectivity, MIDI inputs and outputs, a fine tuning option which can be

Ryan Mortimer

TOYROOM EFFECTS – THE LOUDER A lot of guitarists are going to find the Louder from Toyroom Effects to be a kind of godsend. This is a completely understandable statement once having been in the presence of the holy grail that is the Louder. The first thing you will notice is that this pedal looks like it could withstand Armageddon singlehandedly. The casing is strong and stable and the footswitch seems as if it could withstand Andre The Giant jumping on it with a horse under each arm! The key points about this pedal are that it is completely hand-wired, features a true-bypass and is incredibly clean sounding, a rarity in any boost pedal. The perfect place for this pedal is in your solo passage and once it’s there, you will immediately see the inner beauty.

The model that was reviewed may not have had an over-the-moon kind of cosmetic appeal, with its bare metal skin showing without any kind of flashy paint job or stylish graphics, but you will find that it really doesn’t matter because the Louder will catch your attention in its own little way. While Toyroom is currently working on graphics for the Louder, they do offer a full customisation of the aesthetics – after all, it is what they do – but in all honesty (in accordance to the reviewer’s personal preference), the pedal doesn’t need to be covered in glitter and be painted with a cute zebra in the top corner. It’s very easy to embrace the custom-shop look of this pedal, which will begin to look even cooler in old age. After all, it is a look that most indie artists or Jack White fans tend to seek. The “rough around the edges” look of this model really adds to the entire experience of using a Toyroom Pedal – they always tend to look as modified as they sound! So what, the Louder doesn’t have a thousand knobs or switches and a million flashing lights that will confuse you with the view from a skyscraper and there’s a very good reason why… The Louder doesn’t need any of that! It is a simple concept that has been turned into a great sounding idea with an intelligent and logical approach. Ryan Mortimer Supplied by Toyroom Effects; available from toyroomguitareffects.com.


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