THE HE HAMLET APOCALYPSE
THE WONDER STUFF ALEX SMOKE THE CLOUDS TEARGAS
Q U E E N S L A N D' S H I G H E S T C I R C U L AT I N G S T R E E T P R E S S • 17 A U G U S T 2 0 11 • 15 4 0 • F R E E
BRISBANE / GOLD COAST / SUNSHINE COAST / BYRON N BAY
FREE ~ AUGUST 2011
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GIVEAWAYS In over ten 52-minute episodes, Russia’s War: Blood Upon the Snow traces the events from Stalin’s rise to power, his association with Hitler and the Soviet involvement in the Second World War right through to his death. This is the incredibly powerful story of the Stalin years. Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment we have five copies of the series on DVD up for grabs! On Saturday Aug 20, Kristian Fletcher – Brisbane’s Prince of Retro – presents the sixth annual Brisbane Madonna Party at The Basement, 243 Brunswick St. What better way to celebrate Madonna’s birthday this August than with a retro dance party playing nothing but the best of her music – 80s, 90s and Noughties. Don’t miss a stunning fan-compiled video retrospective of classic film clips and rare and live footage from 7pm followed by the dance party 9pm til midnight. Thanks to Kristian Fletcher we have three double passes up for grabs! Entrants must be 18+. Queen fans across Australia will be able to celebrate the music, the magic and the memories of Freddie Mercury and Queen when the stunning theatrical production Queen – It’s A Kinda Magic tours Australia from late September. This fully staged “concert experience” show features over twenty Queen hits including We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fat Bottomed Girls, We Are the Champions and many more. Queen – It’s A Kinda Magic delivers the ultimate Queen live concert experience and is as close as you’ll ever get to the real thing. With 21st century
sound and lighting, and an explosive cast that takes magnetism to new heights, this theatrical attraction produced by Showtime Entertainment recreates Queen’s show from their 1986 world tour; the hit songs, the charisma of Freddie Mercury, the amazing guitar solos of Brian May and all those unbelievable harmonies. We have got two double passes to the performance at QPAC Concert Hall on Friday Sep 30 up for grabs! In the space of just a few months we’ve seen Owl Eyes blossom from a peripheral presence in Australia’s musical landscape to one of its key players. Following the digital release of her second EP Raiders, Owl Eyes is set to embark on her biggest tour to date. Thanks to Shiny Entertainment we have two double passes to give away to the Saturday Aug 27 show at Alhambra Lounge and each winner will score a copy of the Raiders EP! Entrants must be 18+. As the curtain is closing on one of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions, The Big Pineapple, Bris-vegas indie-popsters Extrafoxx will be releasing their splendidly cheeky song of the same name with its catchy sing-along lyric “Stole some sunnies from the Big Pineapple” when they launch their debut album this August. You can catch them at the Beetle Bar on Friday Aug 19 with special guests Little Lovers and Undead Apes. We have one double pass up for grabs, and the winner and their guest will also get a copy of the album! Entrants must be 18+. The album is available from iTunes on Aug 19.
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CONTENTS TIME OFF
Get your music industry news from The Front Line 10 Lowdown – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash 12 Eagle & the Worm just like to keep it all open 16 They said they wouldn’t do it, but Regurgitator are releasing a new album 18 There’s much more colour in the new look Batrider 19 Felix Reibl assembled a bit of a dream team for his debut solo outing 20 Expect nothing but the classics from The Wonder Stuff this week 21 Alex Smoke’s classical training heavily impacts his compositions 22 Find out what Teargas have planned following the release of their debut LP 22 The Extrafoxx album is finally here! 22 What sparked The Clouds’ reformation? 22 We talk guitars, relocation and Brisbane institutions with Little Lovers 23 Disasteradio likes to use genre as an instrument unto itself 23 Getting on the road has newcomers Pigeon very excited 23 Recoil V.O.R. have a hell of a busy year ahead by the sounds of things 23 On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases 24 Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out 24
ISSUE 1540 FRONT ROW
Get the scoop on what’s happening This Week In Arts 26 We chat with Tom O’Sullivan about the genius of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof 26 Cultural Cringe is more open to marriage these days and reckons it’s for everyone 27 Find out just how someone comes up with the idea behind The Hamlet Apocalypse 27 The Looking Glass gives thoughts on the controversial Robert Crumb issue 27 Waterwheel uses water as a creative topic in and of itself 28 Henry Wagons gets excited about GoMA’s Surrealism Up Late 28
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Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live 29 Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down 36 Lochlan Watt gives you brutal metal news in Adamantium Wolf 36 Sarah Petchell has enough punk rock to Wake The Dead 36 Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown 36 Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas 37 Tim Finney shows off his Dance Moves 37 We take you behind the music Behind The Lines 40 iFlog and you can too 42
CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Contributing Editor: Dan Condon Front Row Editor: Daniel Crichton-Rouse Intern: Katherine Edmonds ADVERTISING Advertising Account Executives: Melissa Tickle, James Tidswell DESIGN & LAYOUT Cover Design/Designer: Stuart Teague ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Administration: Leanne Simpson Accounts: Marcus Treweek CONTRIBUTORS: Time Off: Ben Preece, Dan Condon, Craig Spann, Daniel Johnson, Chris Yates, Matt O’Neill, Justin Grey, Mark Beresford, Adam Curley, Lochlan Watt, Roberta Maguire, Kenada Quinlan, Carlin Beattie, Tyler McLoughlan, Mitch Knox, Sam Hobson, Rachel Tinney, Tony McMahon, Benny Doyle, Lily Luscombe, Jake Sun, Sarah Petchell, Helen Stringer, Brendan Telford, Rip Nicholson, Cyclone, Amber McCormick, Brad Swob, Tim Finney
Front Row: Baz McAlister McAlister, Mandy Kohler Kohler, Lauren Dillon, Adam Brunes, Matt O’Neill, Mitch Knox, Jessica Mansour, Guy Davis, Rowena Grant-Frost, Danielle O’Donohue, Helen Stringer, Alice Muhling Photography: Stephen Booth, Kane Hibberd, Alex Gillies, Silvana Macarone, Brad Marsellos, Terry Soo EDITORIAL POLICY The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. © PUBLISHER: Street Press Australia Pty Ltd Suite 11/354 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 POSTAL: Locked Bag 4300 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 Phone: 07 3252 9666 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTED BY: Rural Press
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INDUSTRY NEWS be processed. If you purchased from an outlet, refunds will be available next week from point of purchase.” The news was leaked that morning on Twitter by glam metal band Steel Panther’s drummer Stix Zadinia – “Soundwave revolution is cancelled. I am bummed”. Soundwave’s vocal fanbase took to social networking websites in search of answers following the rumours, with the festival’s name trending worldwide during the day.
BIGSOUND: MORE BIG NAMES TO SPEAK BigSound, Brisbane’s annual showcase and conference event held in Brisbane has announced its final line-up of industry names to speak at the event. Michael Chugg (Chugg Entertainment), Peter Noble (Bluesfest) and Spiral Stairs (Pavement) led the final announcement. Other speakers announced included Jeffrey Remedios (Arts & Crafts), Simon Wheeler(Beggars Group), Duck Huey (Toolshed), Joel Carriere (Dine Alone/Bedlam Music Management) Colin Daniels (Inertia), Stephen Wade (Select Music), Cameron Wright (Canadian Music Fest), Kathy McCabe (The Daily Telegraph), Neil Robertson (Co-Operative Music) and more. The event also boasts an extensive line-up of performing musicians including Lanie Lane, Redcoats, Calling All Cars, The Vasco Era, Owl Eyes and Jinja Safari. The conference is in its tenth year and will take place Wednesday Sep 7 through Friday Sep 9 at The Judith Wright Centre. Visit bigsound. org for the full schedule and final tickets. In other BigSound news, youth music initiative Little BigSound has announced Shin Fukuzimi (P-Vine Records, Japan), Paul Hanley (French Kiss Records), James Wright (FANS), Crystle Fleper (Faster Louder/ JWAC), Paul Watson (Heapsaflash), Maggie Collins (JJJ/artist manager), Dan Zilber (FBi Radio) and more as the conference speakers. Locals The Jungle Giants have been announced as the first showcasing act.
THE MIDDLE EAST’S PARTING GIFT The may have broken up recently, but The Middle East have picked up Album Of The Year for I Want That You Are Always Happy at the Queensland Music Awards in their inaugural year in the expanded format. Emma Louise also enjoyed the night with three awards – Song Of The Year and Pop Award for Jungle and Folk/ Singer Songwriter for 1000 Sundowns. Kate MillerHeidke won Most Popular Female, Ben Salter Most Popular Male and The Amity Affliction Most Popular Group. For the full list of winners (and the winning songs) head to queenslandmusicawards.com.au.
LIVE MUSIC IS OFFICIALLY IMPORTANT Last week the Victorian Government released a report into live music, which has finally quantified the value of a healthy live scene. The report, which was commissioned by Arts Victoria and carried out by Deloitte Access Economics, is one of the results following the Victorian SLAM Rally in February last year, which saw 20,000 stakeholders protest restrictive liquor licensing laws in the state. Key findings of the report were that; Live music contributes $501 million to economy. $300 million of that is direct with $200 million value-add; There are 370 venues in Melbourne and 600 Victoria-wide. That’s the most of any state or territory in Australia; A total of 17,200 jobs are created, 14,900 directly; There were 5.4 million attendances during the period. That’s more than attended AFL matches; On average, musicians earn just under $20,000 a year – $13,500 coming from live music; From the respondents, 40 percent of people see at least one gig a month, meaning that live music plays an important role in Victorian lives. Commenting, Music Victoria’s CEO Patrick Donovan said, “This important report has filled gaps in the evidence base for policy makers and Music Victoria looks forward to working with all levels of government to help shape future strategies and policy direction.The infrastructure is in place – the industry just needs some nurturing to ensure that our treasured musicians and venues are supported and protected for future generations. Music Victoria commends the State Government for recognising the lack of quantitative data which has hampered our sector. We are pleased that social and cultural
LONDON RIOTS DESTROY “MUSIC HISTORY”
BOY & BEAR BEAT KANYE & JAY-Z TO 2ND Sydney’s Boy & Bear, pictured, have come as close as seemingly possible to the top of the ARIA Album Chart this week, with their debut album Moonfire debuting at #2, behind the currently immovable #1, Adele’s 21. They did out-perform all the other debuts this week though, with the super-collaboration between Jay-Z & Kanye West, Watch The Throne, slotting in to #3. Watch The Throne actually set a new record for digital sales this week, taking over from previous holder, Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light. It’s expected to have an even stronger week next week, considering the figures for Watch The Throne were solely from digital sales, where it was released Monday. Released physically last Friday, the majority of those sales will be counted in next week’s charts. Metal outfit Trivium’s In Waves managed #9, Glee Cast’s soundtrack to Glee The 3D Concert Movie #14, Melbourne’s Calling All Cars a very admirable #20 with Dancing With A Dead Man, Il Volo’s self-titled album #23, Zoë Badwi’s Zoe at #35 and Dream On, Dreamer’s Heartbound at #38. In the ARIA singles chart Gotye has climbed to the summit with Somebody I Used To Know (featuring Kimbra). The feat seemed near impossible for an Australian artist earlier this year (especially for one that wasn’t on reality television or part of the club scene) given the dominance by international club and hip hop tracks. Sydney’s Justin Shave, now known just as Shave, debuted in 35 with the track Change Your Heart, which is the theme to Foxtel’s new series SLiDE. In Adele-related news, after 14 weeks at the top 21 has become the longest running number one album this decade (short as it’s been so far), surpassing Pink’s Greatest Hits... So Far. In the history of the Australian Charts (1965-2011), it’s the 22nd equal longest run. contributions of live music are now supported by genuine economic data. Now we have to look at strategies and solutions to assist the sector in living up to its potential as one of the live music capitals of the world.” A release from Fair Go 4 Live Music and SLAM read, “This report raises questions as to how governments at all levels can assist the music industry to continue to survive and grow while assisting musicians to leverage their economic worth. There is an excellent case for increasing arts funding for contemporary music.” It is hoped that a similar national report will be available as well.
LABELS RESIST SPOTIFY IN AMERICA Claiming that physical sales of music have dropped due to existence of music streaming service Spotify, indie metal label Century Media have decided to pull their artists from the online streaming service in the US, only a month after the European-based platform’s launch there. In a statement the label wrote, “Physical sales are dropping drastically in all countries where Spotify is active. Artists are depending on their income from selling music and it is our job to support them to do so.” Another label, Mode Records, claimed further shortcomings of Spotify for artists: “On a typical CD sold through a distributor… we may make a profit of $3-4 a unit. Already that is not much considering the total sales of a typical niche CD… But all this gets turned on its head with the Spotify model… we earn about 1/3 of a penny per stream.” In response to the labels, Spotify stated: “Spotify was launched out of a desire to develop a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy. Spotify now monetises an audience the large majority of whom were downloading illegally (and therefore not making any money for the industry) before Spotify was available.” They claim to have paid more than $100 million to labels and publishers since their launch three years ago.
RENEE GEYER IN COURT: FINED BY A FAN Renee Geyer was last week fined $500 for two driving offences by a magistrate who’s a self-confessed fan. The 57-year-old will now be on a 12-month good behaviour bond after appearing in court on Friday. The first offence occurred in November last year when Geyer reversed out of an angled car-park and into the rear of another car. The second offence involved the singer crashing into another car with two people inside, then an optometry shop and a post box. The Age reported that defence lawyer Mark Gumbleton had said Geyer had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and the hormone replacement medication had caused an adverse effect. He said that it wasn’t until after the second crash that doctors realised this. The deputy chief magistrate, Jelena Popovic admitted: “I have to disclose I’ve been a fan of Ms Geyer’s since [the show] GTK on the ABC since she was 17. I have followed Ms Geyer’s career closely and have seen her perform live on many occasions and hope to continue to do so.” Geyer will pay $500 to the Cancer Council and said she was “very happy” with the result.
SOUNDWAVE REV CANNED AS FANS AWAIT PLANS Soundwave Revolution was cancelled, at least in its original form, last Tuesday. After a day of speculation following the leaking of the news on Twitter, the festival posted a message on their forum that read, “It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the Revolution Festival… Many of the festival bands will still be coming to Australia in that time period and team up to bring you some very special shows. These will include multi band/mini festival line-ups in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We will be announcing these events in the next seven days… Tickets purchased online will be refunded automatically as soon as it can
A London-based Sony DMDC warehouse, which housed stock for a long list of independent labels, was burned to the ground amidst the unrest in London last week. The building was used by the PIAS Group, who distribute a plethora of independent labels. Thrill Jockey estimated £189,000 in wholesale losses. Soma Records wrote on their Facebook: “Soma stock: up in flames, the whole back catalogue burning :(.” The fire has destroyed many titles that are unlikely to be repressed, with Buzzin’ Fly saying that as many titles will not be repressed again, saying “history has been destroyed”. Australian label Inertia, a partner of some labels affected has called the loss “catastrophic”.
IN THE WORLD’S EYE The first announcement of artists for the Australian World Music Expo is led by Nashville’s The Dynamites (feat. Charles Walker), New Zealand’s Katchafire and the UK’s Iration Steppas. The conference/showcase event held in Melbourne Thursday Nov 17 – Sunday Nov 20 has also announced that locals Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Iconic Songs (feat Archie Roach, Shane Howard, Neil Murray), Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, Lotek, Skipping Girl Vinegar and more will showcase to international and national industry delegates.
CLUBBING’S EXCHANGE PROGRAM The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project has announced that it will be back for 2011, with 50 countries to be represented in the ‘exchange’ project. The program attempts to recreate memorable and quintessential clubbing experiences from nations and swap them with each other. Anna Lunoe has been announced as Australia’s ambassador for this year’s event, after we swapped experiences with Brazil last year. Ideas and submissions are now being taken at Smirnoff’s Facebook page.
PHRASE CRAWLS FOR CHARITY As part of the Snickers Sessions, Phrase has covered Australian Crawl’s iconic track Reckless and Miami Horror The Church’s Under The Milky Way, with sales from the singles to be donated to the Heaps Decent non-for-profit organisation. Heaps Decent aims to develop and nurture the creative talents of indigenous young people. The tracks will be released Friday on iTunes for 99 cents each.
CRUEL’S FATE Melbourne band CruelToBeKind have won the final round of the Red Bull Backyard Jam, held last weekend, and will now fly to Los Angeles in September for five days to record in the Red Bull studios. They beat other finalists Matt Casey, Leek The War Wick Tragedy and Brad & The Pussycats.
YOU WORKING? The Brisbane Powerhouse is looking for an “experienced and enthusiastic publicist”, with applications closing this Friday. Enquiries and applications should be directed to Barbara Baugh on 07 3358 8669 or email@example.com.
FESTIVAL CAPITAL TO HAVE ITS STRINGS CUT? A planned amendment to policy by Byron Bay’s BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL has been labelled “anti-music”, as stakeholders attempt to retain the region’s reputation. With SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS vocal in their opposition, is there more on the line for them than we know?
after the event), the council said it would enable them to “define, assess and control outdoor music events”. Not affecting either Bluesfest or Splendour In The Grass immediately, stakeholders are saying that it will stifle Byron Bay’s reputation as a pioneering region for music festivals as well as its creative and tourism industries. Last week Splendour In The Grass’ organisers issued a plea to supporters to sign a petition opposing the council’s plans. Their email read, “Council have already consulted the public about limiting major music events. Last year they had a six week public exhibition period for their Draft Events Policy, which placed severe limitations on events. The majority of public submissions objected to this draft policy. Council also received a petition with 2054 signatures against the Draft Events Policy… Even Council’s own planning staff recommended against the policy. Yet Byron Shire Council’s report to State Government omitted the fact that the majority of public submissions opposed their policy. They further omitted the fact that their own planning staff opposed it. Now they are trying to further limit events, specifically large music events, through another method, the LEP. They didn’t listen to the feedback from last year.”
are still awaiting permission to return to the area they own in Byron after their second year at Woodford.
While their staunch opposition is evident of their loyalty to the region, it could also be seen as a manifestation of concerns regarding their proposal to move back to Byron Bay, a proposal which is still at the hands of the New South Wales government (this time last year they were hoping to push it through before the state election). As their previous home Belongil Fields is now slated for residential development, Splendour moved to Woodford in 2010 with the aim of returning to an area at North Byron Parklands, which festival co-directors Jessica Ducrou and Paul Pittico partially own. With no response from the state government by the end of last year, they decided to host the event at Woodford again.
The Byron Shire Council’s proposed amendments to the LEP (Local Environment Plan) would limit events to two days and a maximum of 6,000 people including staff per day. In a media release (issued in the lead-up to Splendour, so only brought to attention in the weeks
The proposal asks to use parts of the 660 acre property for events, while tying in environmental allowances. It claims that, at most, only 37 percent of the land would be used for events, leaving the rest of habitat use and bush regeneration. They say there’d be “little to no activity” for
PICTURED: PUNTERS AT SPLENDOUR IN WOODFORD THIS YEAR, WILL THEY WALK ON BYRON GROUND AGAIN? PIC BY HOBOINCOGNITO
takeholders in the Byron Bay music scene are protesting against the Byron Shire Council’s plans to cap music events at 6,000 people, essentially closing the renowned festival region off to any further events outside of the existing Byron Bay Bluesfest and Splendour In The Grass events. The news – and opposition to it – comes at a testing time for Splendour In The Grass, the organisers of which
280 days each year and hope to work with neighbouring land to allow greater movement for wildlife. Pundits are speculating that the delay is keeping the North Byron Parklands administrators nervous about their plans, and the Byron Shire Council’s LEP amendments could potentially sway public and policy-makers opinions in the long run. Upon announcing the plans, the executive manager of planning, Ray Darney, assured that “The 14 day limit allows for such events as Bluesfest in its current format.” However he was less concrete when it came to Splendour In The Grass. “The NSW State Government has not yet approved the Splendour application; however Council recommended that should approval be granted by the government, that it is a single event only. When Council receives advice on the Splendour determination, any impacts on policy and legislation will then be considered.” General Manager of the North Byron Parklands Trust Mat Morris told The Front Line that the consequences of a two day, 6,000 person cap could be extremely detrimental. “I understand the council’s push in terms of shoring up their events policy,” he said, but described the proposed cap as “not necessary”. Morris said they were still playing “the waiting game” as the government works through the proposal. “It’s a fairly complex proposal with a staggering amount of assessments [relating to environmental and other matters]… you say it, we’ve done it. Three, four thousand pages worth.” Such an amendment would be “a massive blow to the creative industry in Byron,” according to Morris, a place that’s had a “long and proud history with the industry” and has often been a pioneer in festival development. Economically he said it would be “absolutely disastrous… most people receive a wage supported by the creative and tourism industry.” Bluesfest’s director Pete Noble, whose event has ten-year approval, told The Front Line that the plans were evident of what “seems to be the most anti-music council events policy in this country.” He said it was “a dis-incentive for any other festivals to invest in the region – which currently with Bluesfest has the Australian Event of the Year – and with Splendour (when they come back) the winner of The Helpmann Award [for Best Contemporary Music Festival]. Reason: councillors and mayor afraid that an event like Big Day Out might want to move to Byron – so they have enacted a policy that makes it really hard for anyone to do events here if they are music.” He cheekily added, “Anything else is fine – fun runs, sporting events, nude ins, religious conversions etc.”
IN BRIEF Former Warrant lead singer Jani Lane has been found dead in a Los Angeles hotel. The Soundwave Revolution festival has been cancelled. Organisers anticipate a large number of alternative shows/ events will take place instead.
ANOTHER STRONG FIELD It has proven to be one of summer’s greatest parties time and time again since its inception and after taking a look at the bill for the next instalment of Summafieldayze we reckon this could well be the finest yet. You ought to know the drill by now, it’s a party where you dance til you drop, then dance even more; all set on the opulent Gold Coast right at the start of the new year. The bill for 2012 features none other than Snoop Dogg, pictured, in the headlining position, closely followed by the likes of Pendulum, Calvin Harris, Moby (DJ set), Grandmaster Flash, Erick Morillo, Metronomy, Markus Schulz, Sasha, Tiga, Skream & Benga, Busy P, DJ Medhi, Seth Troxler, Stanton Warriors, Flying Lotus, Inflagranti, Spankrock, Mighty Fools and 12th Planet. Yep, holy shit. And that’s just the beginning! There’s plenty more to still be announced. Doug Jennings Park is the location once again, the party happens Monday Jan 2 and tickets are available from Ticketmaster as of 9am Thursday Sep 1.
BEWARE THE UNDERTOW He is well regarded as one of Australia’s finest ever singer-songwriters and a hell of a versatile one at that. The past few decades have seen Mark Seymour release material as frontman of the classic Hunters & Collectors, a solo artist, an actor, film score composer and a novelist. He’s working tirelessly as a solo artist these days, bringing his captivating live show to people all over Australia, most recently on the back of his brand new solo record The Undertow – a raw and intense collection of tunes that focus on the storytelling aspect of his writing. He’s heading all over Queensland with a band – which he’s also calling The Undertow – in tow throughout September, around these parts he hits Caloundra’s Kings Beach Tavern Saturday Sep 17 and the Bramble Bay Bowls Club, Woody Point Sunday Sep 18.
FINDING THEMSELVES After releasing their Lost Boy record back in 2010, MyChildren MyBride have practically been living on the road. This Alabama metalcore quintet have made some serious waves on heavy music scenes in their homeland and throughout the UK, mainly due to the nature of the songs; they’re super energetic and a hell of a lot of fun to play – and witness – live. The band finally bring their energetic show to Australia in September, with some help from Sydney’s premier Christian hardcore band For All Eternity. You can catch them tearing things up at X&Y Bar’s Boys and Girls night on Thursday Sep 15 before they destroy the Eagleby Community Hall on Friday Sep 16 with a mammoth all ages show. Tickets for Thursday are on the door, while tickets for Friday’s gig are available from OzTix right now for $23.50.
Parklife organisers have confirmed that there will be no sideshows for any of the bands playing their festival this year. Ghostface Killah is suing the Universal Music Group for unpaid Wu-Tang Clan royalties. MGMT were forced to dodge a sea of shoes that were thrown at them on stage in California last week. The band’s James Richardson admitted asking the crowd to give him their left shoes was “probably a bad idea”.
BABYLON JUNGLE UNCOVER MORE SECRETS Honestly, we could crap on about how they’ve been one of Brisbane’s favourite bands for years now, about how amazing Patience Hodgson is as a front woman, about how their new record Secret Rituals has seen them “mature” and maybe even make a terrible pun involving their name. But we find it easier these days to simply say that if you haven’t ever seen The Grates, you should get your head out of the sand and rectify this as soon as possible as they are one of the country’s truly great live bands. They’re celebrating the end of winter with a massive tour of the country that sees them get to all of those regional centres that have been crying out for them for years now as well as capital cities across the nation, with Last Dinosaurs in tow. In these parts they’re hitting Toowoomba’s Spotted Cow Thursday Oct 27, The Tivoli Friday Oct 28, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay Wednesday Nov 16, Coolangatta Hotel Thursday Nov 17 and the King’s Beach Tavern, Sunshine Coast Friday Nov 18. Tickets are available from OzTix, except for the Brisbane show where Ticketek have you covered; they’re on sale 9am Friday.
Hillary Duff has announced she is expecting her first child. DJ Butcher has won the Brisbane leg of the Red Bull Thre3style event. He plays the national final in Sydney on Friday Oct 14. Rancid’s Tim Armstrong has taken on the producer’s role for the next EP from reggae legend Jimmy Cliff. Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante has filed a protective order against an eager fan who has appeared at his house, as well as his shows, wanting to write a screenplay about his life. Ex-Massive Attack vocalist Shara
SMASH IT UP Seven records, five appearances on the Vans Warped Tour, 16 years together and countless world tours should all add up to tell you that the Planet Smashers are not just any old ska band. Their longevity is impressive, but they have only managed to stick around for so long because they’re just that good and you’ll be able to hear that on their brand new record Descent Into The Valley Of... and the Australian tour that they are undertaking on the back of it! Yes, that’s right, Montreal’s finest ska blasters are on their way to Australia and they are determined to make sure that no one leaves the venue without skanking their face off. They’re also bringing Melbourne’s The Resignators along for the ride, meaning this will be one skatastic party you won’t forget in a hurry. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
GOOD ENOUGH TO BE TREW They’re the subject of much acclaim in their native Canada and are rapidly building themselves a solid fanbase in Australia with repeated visits in the past couple of years and The Trews seem hell bent on making sure they keep the momentum going with the announcement of another tour set to hit Australia in just over a month’s time. Their fourth record Hope & Ruin was released in Australia a couple of months back and has been getting some widespread airplay on commercial radio and television of late – there’s a good chance you’ve heard the title track around the traps – and hopefully this will mean plenty of people will take in their powerful live show while they’re out here. You can catch them at the Byron Bay Brewery on Thursday Oct 6, The Zoo Friday Oct 7 and Toowoomba’s Spotted Cow on Saturday Oct 8.
I WILL BE THE FRAME
FULL OF LIFE It has been a long time coming, but we’re finally going to be able to own our very own copy of Dead Letter Chorus’ second album Yearlings at the end of this month and if it is anywhere near as good as their stunning debut long player The August Magnificent then we are in for quite a treat. The Sydneybased quintet took eight months to put the record together with the help of Canadian producer Les Cooper and if we are to believe what we hear, it sees the band plying a more mature sound than ever before, showing that they have really grown into themselves as a band. The proof will be with us very soon and not long after the record’s release we will be seeing the band up our way as they turn in what we can only imagine will be a magical performance in the much suited environs of the Old Museum on Thursday Oct 6.
When you think of esoteric music and media arts and you think of Brisbane, you can’t help but think of Room 40’s Open Frame festival. It is back in 2011 and the team behind it have yet again assembled an intriguing list of performers who could well change the way you think about and interact with music forever. These include New York dubplate turntablist Marina Rosenfeld (in her only east coast performance), exciting Japanese acts Minamo, Fourcolor and Moskitoo, prolific European act Our Love Will Destroy The World and Australian audio visual wiz Scott Morrison. It all happens at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Wednesday Sep 28 and Thursday Sep 29. Tickets are available from the venue’s box office for $30 for both nights or $18 if you just want to catch one of them.
Nelson has been issued with a restraining order and is banned from contacting DJ Pete Tong after she told people that they were married and that she was his manager – neither of which are true. Renee Geyer has been fined $500 – payable to charity – and given a 12-month good behaviour bond after two driving offenses last year.
It can be easy to lump all those artists coming out of the thriving Italian disco scene in together, but when an artist like Congrorock comes along your mind starts to open up a little bit. While he is a proud Italian electronic producer, his synthesized influences result in an utterly unique brand of stupidly danceable music that has translated to audiences all over the world. His single Babylon can be heard pumping through the speakers at all the finest clubs and festivals at the moment and we reckon it’s pretty certain that you’ll be hearing it when Congorock hits Electric Playground Thursday Sep 29 and Platinum, Gold Coast Friday Sep 30.
ELEVEN GOOD REASONS Young indie-electro-soul songstress Fantine was last on stages up here as guest vocalist and co-songwriter with Space Invadas, but given she’s recently released her second single Eleven, she has decided the time is nigh to get out on the road as a solo performer and blow us all away with her wondrous live show. She is a passionate performer and much of her songwriting is informed by her nomadic lifestyle – she currently calls three countries home – but you’ll have to witness it for yourself to really connect with what she’s putting down. You can do that at X&Y Bar on Friday Aug 26 and the Byron Bay Brewery on Saturday Aug 27.
GENEROUS BASTARDS The Bastardfest extravaganza is creeping up on us pretty damn quickly and will see Psycroptic, Blood Duster, Dreamkillers, Extortion, The Kill, Pod People, D.USK, Claim the Throne, I Exist, The Dead, Shellfin, Dead Letter Opener, Ironhide, Jack Flash, Synthetik Breed, The Ovaries, Happy Camper, The Last Outlaw, Through Plagues and Magnatron smash the fuck out of the Jubilee Hotel on Saturday Sep 3 from midday to midnight. We’ve just heard that if you grab a ticket from OzTix now for $27 + bf and send proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org then you go into the running to win an electric skateboard. Fuck yeah. Tickets will also be available on the door for $35.
A large number of independent record labels have lost enormous amounts of stock in the London Riots, after the Sony DADC warehouse was torched. Many labels had their releases distributed from the warehouse. It is alleged that friends of Amy Winehouse have stolen copies of unreleased tracks, lyric books and letters from her apartment following her death. One Man Mutiny, the second solo album from Tommy Stinson (The Replacements/ Guns N’ Roses/Soul Asylum) will be released on his own Done to Death label on Tuesday Aug 30. The 13th album from Megadeth – due in November – will be called TH1RT3EN. Golf Wang, the first book from the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All crew, will be released on Tuesday Nov 15.
TO THE MOON AND BACK Ripley Johnson (probably best known as a guitarist from the wonderful Wooden Shjips) and Sanae Yamada are Moon Duo and they’re getting set to take Australia by storm with their blissed out brand of space rock that has attracted massive acclaim since they started pumping out material back in 2009. The duo’s sound has in the past been somewhat akin to the harsh Silver Apples and Suicide, but given a kick by a classic American rock’n’roll edge that transforms the songs into full-scale, blistering blazers; their new record Mazes, however, seems to suggest something of a broader sound with a few dreamier passages making their way into the arrangements. The duo are all set for their first Australian tour and will be dropping by Woodland on Saturday Oct 1. Tickets from OzTix are $23.50 and available now.
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SWIFTLY SPEAKING Do you like Taylor Swift? It’s okay if you do; in fact it’s good that you can admit it so openly. No one likes a closet Taylor Swift fan, that shit is just creepy. Well she’s coming back to Australia to make lots of little girls really, really fucking happy early next year so if you don’t mind waiting and can handle the shrill sound of pre-pubescent kids dead set losing their shit then please, by all means, get along to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Tuesday Mar 6. Tickets are available from Ticketek from Friday Aug 26.
KEEP HAVING VISIONS Night Vision is an exciting new event brand and record label being put together by London dance music maestro Simon Patterson, pictured, and he will be up our way in a couple of weeks to show us what it is all about, bringing with him the serious trance madness we’ve come to expect. Patterson’s epic productions have been a pretty massive part of the trance music boom over the past few years; he was ranked number 28 in the DJ Magazine Top 100 poll last year and continues to go from strength to strength as he turns in massive sets at clubs and festival across the planet. When he comes to Brisbane, he brings with him fellow Brit and Goodgreef resident Jordan Suckley and they will both tear Family Nightclub apart on Friday Aug 26.
BACK TO THE 4122 In a past life the Mansfield Tavern was one of our city’s most well loved live music venues, but the past couple of years have seen it go a little quieter than we would usually like to see. It’s awfully exciting then to see it is reopening its doors as a live music venue to be reckoned with and doing so in classic style; hosting a 30th anniversary show from Aussie rock royalty The Choirboys. Boys Will Be Boys, Never Gonna Die and, of course, Run To Paradise plus many more of the band’s great tunes will ring through the revived live music venue when they take it by storm from 7pm this Saturday night. You can grab a ticket right now for $35 + bf from Ticketek. Don’t miss out on this very special occasion.
We hope you’ve been saving your pennies, because when the Brisbane Record Fair rolls around again next month you’ll need every single one of them to satisfy those nerdy desires. The fair has grown so much since its early days and this next one will definitely be the biggest yet (until the next one, of course) with sellers bringing up truckloads – no exaggeration, literally truckloads – of records for you to pore over and add to your groaning collection of tasteful LPs. There’ll be 80 tables of records at the West End Club Saturday Sep 17; entry is three bucks after 9.30am or five bucks if you want to get in at 8.30am before everyone else.
NEW CARTEL Gold Coast party-inciting, genre-smashing quartet Tijuana Cartel are leaving the farmhouse in Byron Bay where they’ve been shacked up after finishing up work on their brand new record and now they’re ready to get out on the road and launch that sucker with a bunch of their unspeakably exciting live performances. This band has a strong emphasis on groove, taking strong influence from African American percussion and throwing exciting new elements such as flamenco guitar, trumpet and passages of pumping electronica over the top to make for seriously danceable music with a seriously wide appeal. The band are releasing the new album in September and launching it all over the country not much later. They are getting the rest of the country out of the way first before storming home with shows at The SoundLounge, Gold Coast on Friday Nov 11, Byron Bay’s Great Northern Hotel Saturday Nov 12 and wrap up the whole tour with two nights at the SolBar, Maroochydore Friday Nov 25 and Saturday Nov 26.
JUMPING THE SHARK
This week an AFL player – a grown man – was suspended for saying something derogatory about his opponent’s mum. The whole fucking country has gone mad: what happened to the rugged Australia of old and when did it start being run by PC-obsessed, thin-skinned deadshits?
How cool is it that rock legends AC/DC have joined forces with a winery to produce their own brand of wine? A tad posher than the Acca Dacca beverage you’d expect, but still awesome. For those about to drink, we salute you…
WARD OF OUR STATE
The Alhambra show last weekend by Jim Ward was an absolute sensation, and he intimated that he’ll be back later in the year still plugging his solo material but this time in the company of his band. Bring that shit on…
It’s incredible to think Byron’s Belongil Fields – home to festivals such as Splendour for so many years – are going to be made into residential developments. Do they know what’s gone on in those paddocks? It will be like Poltergeist only trippier…
JUST A JUGGALO How did the sea of ICP fans let Charlie Sheen escape uninjured? Pelting him is okay, but the most anticipated meeting of (non) minds basically fizzled into nothing. They don’t make juggalos like they used to…
ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT
The reunion frenzy continues: UK Grebo legends Pop Will Eat Itself have a new album out soon (albeit without Clint, who’s busy making movie scores) and rumours abound that the evergreen Rocket From The Crypt may be strapping the guitars back on. Tops if true…
JONSON STREET BYRON BAY Thurs 18 Aug
REGURGITATOR Fri 19 Aug
BUNGALOWS Sat 20 Aug
DEAD BEAT BAND Thurs 25 Aug
THE VINES Fri 26 Aug
FAT ALBERT Sat 27 Aug
TRIP KICKS Thurs 1 Sept
THE HERD Thurs 8 Sept
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE www.thenorthern.com.au 15
Melbourne octet EAGLE & THE WORM have quickly taken the mantle of Australia’s premier party band, and they have no intention of stopping the fun any time soon. Frontman and songwriter JARRAD BROWN, bassist RICHARD BRADBEER and trombonist EMILY MOULD sit down to breakfast in Fortitude Valley with STEVE BELL ahead of their national album tour and talk about chemistry, friendship and creating your own genre. Photos by KANE HIBBERD.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! First came the rumblings about the live show, a hushed reverie about this amazing new live band from Melbourne, a band with heaps of members, horn players and an unabashed love of having a good time, a group who try everything in their collective powers to drag all and sundry along for the ride. Eagle & The Worm. Strange name... Then came the steady stream of radio songs, as a slew of catchy, summer-infused numbers started getting traction on radio stations all around Australia in 2010, and the vibe around these party-starters started to become tangible. Then, only a couple of months back, their debut album Good Times dropped and their transformation from shadowy party starters to genuine heavyweights on the Australian scene was complete. Originally the brainchild and bedroom project of Jarrad Brown – formerly best-known as bassist for fellow Melbourne outfit Custom Kings – it wasn’t long before a bevy of like-minded musicians coalesced around him and Eagle & The Worm was born. “Basically in the beginning there was no Eagle & The Worm, it was just demos on my computer – there were heaps, just music and whatever. I just wanted to make my own record,” the affable Brown recalls. “I had a whole summer to myself and had all those demos, then I put them on a CD and then called up a few mates: it was really casual – I knew what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to make a great record, but I didn’t let on. I just said, ‘Let’s head down to the studio and cut my songs – I’m going to record a CD’. Everyone cruised down and it was really good: it was just like three days in the studio with different drummers and different bass players, no rehearsals. “It went really well – I’ve got really fond memories of the sessions. The raw sessions didn’t sound amazing but there was a lot of vibe in the room, and then I took them from the studio back home and edited them back into shape and added layers and did arrangements and messed around with them. Then me and [Steven] Schram [co-producer/engineer] got together and we mixed it, and he was sort of like the last stop on the line, where he really pulled everything together and made it sound really nice on the ear. “I guess that’s the early days in a nutshell. A fair chunk of the record was done before we started doing shows. I always knew that I wanted it to be a bigger band – there were no bigger bands around, there were no bands with horn sections that I really liked around. I was getting sick of guitar bands – there were too many guitar bands and just three- and four-piece bands, I really wanted a big show. I really wanted people to be able to have a good time, and that’s what the album was about. The early rehearsals was the same thing: I had a couple of sort of auditions, but more or less we just kind of started jamming and that was it.” “With the audition thing,” bassist Richard Bradbeer interjects, “I’d bumped into Jarrad out and about during the course of the year, we were always drunk and he was
always saying, ‘We should catch up for a jam’ and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, cool’, but in the back of my mind I thought two bass players having a jam could be a bit TAFE, a bit shit. And then Liam [McGorry] the trumpet player played me the album and said, ‘I think Jarrad’s trying to see if you’d suit this’ and I just went ‘Whoa!’, and went home and transcribed the whole album in a day and rang up Jarrad and went, ‘Let’s jam! Let’s jam!’ I had to be part of this, and I was super-jealous of anybody who was already involved.” “Richard and I were talking about this earlier,” Brown continues, “I guess the big thing about Eagle & The Worm was, for me especially – the same with any band that I ever want to be a part of – is that it’s more about the people than it is about the level of musicianship. A lot of people in our band have studied music and a lot of people are great musicians in their own right, but having great people in your band – we all really click on a personal level, and we inspire each other on a personal level – I think that’s more important to make great music together, than actually being a great musician. You can’t buy that chemistry no matter how much you train or learn or practice. The kind of avenues you can go down when you have that chemistry and you have that friendship – you can create a totally different journey for yourself through that than what you can by just practicing as hard as you can. So I think the early days of Eagle & The Worm was big time about that – getting the right people who just wanted to play together and who all get along.” Once the band’s blueprint was laid out and the album sessions completed it didn’t take long for the eventual eight-piece line-up to fall into place, basically coming together after the band’s second or third show. Brown, likewise, was quickly aware that this is where his musical future lay, and was quick to set himself some aesthetic rather than fiduciary goals. “I look back – it’s all got a bit convoluted over time – but in my mind when I first started doing this I saw it as my own long-term musical goal,” he admits. “Like if you buy a house and think, ‘Yeah, I’m going to live here for a while’. How I thought about Eagle & The Worm when I started it, was that it doesn’t really matter to me about numbers and stats and how many people were at a gig, it just matters about the success of the show in getting our vibe to those present. And the success of the record will be not in sales figures, but if people can hear it and connect with it, and say to other people ‘This is a great band!’ If people come to the show and connect with it then that’s the success that I sort of want for Eagle & The Worm, and that was the same ambition when I started it. So I guess I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted back then.” “I remember you being surprised by the momentum of it initially though,” Bradbeer offers. “Well yeah, it all happened so fast,” Brown concedes. “The thing that’s happened fast is that we’ve just fucking gigged so constantly – we’ve pounded the touring. That’s
where the momentum’s come from and that’s where it’s happened a lot faster. Indra Adams our booking agent said straight away, ‘You guys are getting on the road and staying on the road, for as long as we can keep you there’. That sort of changed what the band was going to be for me: when I envisaged the band at first I thought it would be a self-managed thing, and I never thought we’d be gigging as much as we have been.” The Eagle & The Worm ‘party vibe’ soon preceded them everywhere they went, fuelled by the twin propellants of radio play and gushing word of mouth support – was this something they were aiming for or just a natural progression from their fun-loving ways? “I reckon it just sort of happened,” Bradbeer muses. “Good Times the album is about having a good time, but it’s more just about an easy listening thing, like, ‘C’mon, here’s an album for everyone! Give it to your mum, give it to whoever, and it should be sweet!’ But the party thing came around definitely with the live band – when the eight people started getting together the good times just happened naturally.” “I started playing in another band with Jarrad about six or seven years ago, then I came in and did some of the studio sessions for the album, and have just sort of hung around since then,” trombonist Emily Mould tells of her time with the outfit. “I’ve been there more or less from the beginning, which is kinda rare actually. I love it, it’s great. With an instrument like the trombone it’s sometimes hard to reconcile the music that you listen to with the instrument that you’re playing, but I love playing sort of ‘good time party rock’ and there’s not many bands out there who need trombones for that, so it’s pretty awesome to actually have the opportunity to go out and play licks and just have fun.” And the future? That’s not something that Eagle & The Worm have too much time to worry about, they’re far too busy enjoying the here and now. “Part of the weird thing about touring all the time is that we don’t have heaps of time to rehearse, to be honest,” Brown laughs. “We’ve been on tour so much. I don’t know what we’re going to do down the track – I’ve started demoing stacks, and we’ve jammed a bunch of stuff, but I guess the future is pretty open. I think everyone has ideas, and there’s plenty we can do – it’s all floating around. That’s how I like to do it personally anyway – just relax and keep it all open.” Words to abide by.
WHO: Eagle & The Worm WHAT: Good Times (Coalition/Warner) WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Thursday Sep 8 (part of BigSound showcase)
COUNTING THE EAGLE BEAT Melbourne has a brilliant music scene but it’s not one notorious for its loose, fun time bands – it’s usually associated more with swampy, Birthday Party-esque sounds which befit its gloomy weather – a fact which has led the Eagle & The Worm consortium to concoct their own genre – Eagle Beat, naturally – as well as embracing the warmer climes of Queensland. “We get mistaken for a Queensland band!” Bradbeer exclaims. “When we played The Corner the other day people were, like, ‘You guys are from Queensland, yeah?’ and we were, like, ‘Ah no, but we’re wearing summer shirts!’” “I love it,” Brown offers of the Sunshine State. “Brisbane took to the Eagles straight away. The first time we came up here was with Dan Kelly at The Troubadour, a classic Brisbane venue. The city’s just been good to us, it’s our second home behind Melbourne, that’s for sure. I think Brisbane kind of gets it as well. Straight away people were saying we have a ‘Brisbane sound’, and we’re totally cool with that – some of our favourite bands are from Brisbane. “Eagle Beat and Bris-Beat go hand in hand,” Bradbeer laughs. “There’s a sweet scene in Brisbane as well, fresh. [The band] is just so much fun and I think it’s only going to be more fun. We were talking about how it was going to be a bit scary when we get to the stage when we won’t be all sharing the hotel room and sharing beds, so hopefully we can keep it at the ‘sharing one room’ stage for a while. But I’m just really looking forward to summer and playing some Eagle Beat. I have no idea where it’s going to go.” But Eagle Beat? “We just got sick of people saying, ‘What do you play? Rock/pop?’” Bradbeer continues with a chuckle. “That just sounds so fucking horrible, so we made up our own genre: ‘We play Eagle Beat!’ and people just sort of go [affects confused tone], ‘Oh, yeah... What is that again?’ But it has been done before, you could say [Elton John classic] Benny And The Jets is an Eagle Beat song, and some Eagle & The Worm songs aren’t Eagle Beat. It’s about a sort of slow-paced strut in your step.” “It’s a half-time thing,” Brown laughs. “When we have an Eagle Beat section in record stores next to ‘Alternative’ then we’ll know we’ve made it,” Bradbeer interjects “I reckon if we don’t have our own individual planes by this time next year then we haven’t lived up to the Eagle Beat potential!” laughs Mould.
SUPERHAPPYFUNTIMESBAND With the release of the album that he said would never happen well and truly upon us, QUAN YEOMANS from REGURGITATOR talks to CHRIS YATES about why they decided to record a new record after all.
et’s get straight to the point. Despite Quan’s often repeated claims that Regurgitator were no longer an album band and that they were just going to release single tracks on the internet, we are now faced with Superhappyfuntimesfriends which is indeed a new Regurgitator album. What gives? “I didn’t count on how lazy we were,” he laughs. “I completely underestimated the value of deadlines, and it really hit home on why they are so useful for people like us. They do make it easier to actually finish a project or something and because we are older now and particularly Ben with his children he needs to have something like that to focus on and prioritise above his everyday normal life. Doing a larger project like an album really gives you that. Also, our manager basically said, ‘It would be great to have a larger piece of material to give to people when we tour.’ I’ve had like two or three songs just sitting around waiting to be released but I haven’t gotten around to getting Ben to do bass on them and mixing them, and doing the vocals or whatever, because we haven’t been prioritising it over
our everyday lives. There was a few songs written and we just wanted to try and push ourselves to finish a body of work that we could sell at shows when we played again. We just locked ourselves in our studio for about three or four weeks and just went at it. It really helps having that deadline.” This is actually the first time the band has done everything themselves as well, no doubt a testament to lessons they have learned in the long career and also thanks to bandmate Ben Ely setting up a studio in Melbourne’s hip bohemian playground for indie muso types: Northcote. “This is the first record that we’ve ever done everything on ourselves, except the mastering,” Quan says with an almost surprised tone of pride slipping out. “It does change the methodology of how you set it all up, and it has turned out to be a blessing that we were forced to do it this way. We both recorded each other, we both wrote it and we both mixed it. I was basically recording and mixing that track All Fake Everything at the last minute. Like, I wrote it in a day, was recording the vocals at midnight and sent it to the mastering guy the next day. I think I really missed that about the earlier records that we did. “I mean, there’s a lot of good things and a lot of bad things about being on a major label in general, and one good thing is that you do have deadlines because you do have people spending a lot of money on you so you are forced into little rooms to finish. It is important because finishing is one of the hardest things to do in the creative process. Letting go and not labouring a track or a piece of art or anything is really paramount to producing stuff and getting it out there. You do need something pushing you to do these things or you do just dawdle around, or you listen to it too many times and then you don’t want to put it out because you’ve listened to it too many times! Having said that I did read somewhere that Leonard Cohen spent a year – a whole year – writing the lyrics to that Hallelujah song, so I guess it really does depend on what kind of discipline you have and how you work with your medium.”
“I didn’t count on how lazy
It could be argued that that was a year well spent for Leonard, both artistically and financially. “Absolutely!” he laughs. “Computers have changed the way we make music as well, you know? The fact that you have these endless options available to you makes it very difficult to make the decisions that were easy before because you had to commit to tape or you had to have one guitar sound and that was it. That can detract from the process a lot. Even though you get this incredible amount of freedom you really do have to limit yourself in lots of ways.” Given this seemingly unlimited freedom, which can inversely limit the creative process, Quan says sometimes it’s necessary to put different boundaries up, even if sometimes it’s just getting a bit of focus on the technical side of things, and working out what you do and don’t need. “Well when it comes to using computers it helps to say, ‘Well I only use three plug-ins, why don’t I just disable all the ones that I don’t use and get them out of the folder so I never even have to look at them again?’ That stuff can be a hell of a distraction when you’re just trying to get stuff done.” Quan spent about three years living in Hong Kong, and it seems that the desire to experience different countries as a resident is something that still burns within him. “It’s such a weird sort of floating feeling when you’re living in another country that you’re not used to and you don’t speak the language or whatever,” he says wistfully. “After this tour in I’m actually moving to Japan for six months with my girlfriend. That will be interesting, living in Tokyo. I’ve visited there many times with the band and been there on holiday but I’ve never actually tried to live there. I think my dream would be to do a couple of shows with (Japanese party icons turned proper group) Trippple Nippples or something like that (laughs), but there’s no real agenda. I’d like to do a bit of animation while I’m there as well. There’s an idea I have had kicking around and I’d like to just lock myself away, and maybe Japan is a good place for that.” On the anniversary of the one of the band’s most successful records Unit, Quan says he and Ben were of course flattered that it scored so highly in triple j’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time, and that his own feelings about the record have understandably changed over the years. “It’s kind of like a child that leaves you and goes off and dates people you don’t like for a while,” he deadpans. “You become estranged and then you get to know it again as an adult out there making its way, and you hear about it doing stuff... I actually have a different relationship with it now than I used to – I can actually listen to it now and I can see that it was an interesting album for its time. “The 90s seemed to have a bit of a weird phenomenon with humour in music,” he continues. “There seemed to be a lot more humorous bands back then – people that were a little but quirky. I think for a while there was a bit of a serious period, I don’t know if it’s just a self-perceived thing but it seems that people are becoming maybe a little bit open to it again.”
WHO: Regurgitator WHAT: Superhappyfuntimesfriends (Valve/MGM) WHERE & WHEN: Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
Thursday Aug 18, Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast Friday Aug 19, The Edge (all ages, 12-4pm) and The Hi-Fi Saturday Aug 20, King’s Beach Tavern, Sunshine Coast Sunday Aug 21
TAKEN FOR A RIDE It’s difficult to believe that a decade has passed since the first inception of Kiwi malcontents BATRIDER destroyed the airwaves. Preparing to tour new album Piles Of Lies, SARAH CHADWICK tells BRENDAN TELFORD about the trials and tribulations of being angst-ridden on the cusp of your thirties.
aving a vitriolic nature has its ups and downs. The euphoric nature of venting your spleen seesaws into the nasty repercussions that such treacherous notions can bring into effect – yet even the negatives can never be called boring. Still, when you make it a cornerstone of your career, such ebbs and flows become augmented, more pronounced. A good example is to look at the past ten years of New Zealand band Batrider, who have put out three albums, lived in four cities and had a multitude of band line up changes in that time, all the while refusing to let up on the barelyrestrained disdain for society. Sarah Chadwick’s anguished howls and darkly caustic lyrics have served as a brutal driving force for the band, amply backed by musical arrangements that teeter from textured indie punk nuance to no wave squalls of noise, at times bleeding into each other to become indistinguishable from each other. A heady sound with a large slash of sly acerbic sarcasm running through it. That said, that is just one facet – you don’t have to bleed bile to have a good time. The last remaining member from that initial Batrider line-up, Chadwick is in great spirits. “It’s Thursday, so only one more day of the week, I’ve just knocked off work, I’ve got a bottle of wine – not much more needs to be said really!”
easier for me to write. Now, along with the new line up, I want to force myself to make these melodic songs, because then when I do have a song that is really loud and angry it makes a proper impact. I’ve always wanted to be in a band that held both of these elements. When I was younger I loved being in the band but wished that every song didn’t have to be a loud, screamy one. I like being with this line up because we have all the options – which is another reason why the album is long, because we have so much more colour there in the songs.”
WHO: Batrider WHAT: Piles Of Lies (Two
WHERE & WHEN:
Woodland Thursday Aug 18
The band has spent time building its reputation in New Zealand and Europe, yet Chadwick now calls Australia – or more specifically, Adelaide – home, something that she finds is both a blessing and a curse. “Steph [Crase – drums] is from Adelaide, and when we lived in Melbourne for a bit we’d come over here for shows and always have a great time,” Chadwick recalls. “Then when we came back after living in London we didn’t know what to do, we had hardly any money, so we thought that Adelaide seemed the perfect option for us to try and continue on as a band in a capital city that we could afford to live in. So it was a very much ‘grass is greener’ outlook, and people really appreciate live music here. “That said, it’s a double-edged sword in some ways because you become a local band rather than a travelling band, and you see all the same faces, and when we do play in Melbourne it feels refreshing. Adelaide is a smaller place, so there’s a sense that a show is more of an event here, yet elsewhere there are more opportunities. We have the new album out, and we will tour it, then we will see whether Adelaide is big enough for us!” The new album in question, Piles Of Lies, shows the new, streamlined Batrider is up to their old tricks, although with 16 tracks at 79-minutes long, it’s a bit of an opus. “There was nothing intentional about that,” Chadwick stresses. “We recorded 22 songs all up, and when we looked at what we liked, what sounded good when sitting side by side each other, there was no way we could cut these tracks. And there was no reason to either – I know that a lot of bands offer much shorter albums, but that doesn’t make it the template. We do what works for us – all these songs made the shortlist, and we saw no reason to pare it down from there It sits like a setlist, although we probably have never played that long in our life!” Chadwick asserts that the tumultuous nature of the band’s last few years – spending an extended time in Europe, incessant touring, troubles with promoters and venues, the inevitable band burnout – has kept the creative process incredibly fertile. “All of that information becomes much more apparent in retrospect than when we did it at the time,” she reasons. “We had a line up change just before our second tour of Europe, so when we switched that around, we decided to learn a whole bunch of new songs rather than relearn all the older songs, some of which were over five years old that we used to still play. That kick-started a really productive couple of years overseas, we really gave it a go when we moved to London. We worked at a recording studio there, so we were able to rehearse four or more times a week, so although in hindsight all of those things informed our music, we just did what we did because we could. Songwriting has never been a difficult part of the experience for me, I’ve always written a lot of songs. It’s always been the other factors, like not having any money, not being able to travel to shows and stuff that has been the obstacles, more than anything.” There’s more than enough angst on Piles Of Lies to appease the fanbase, but there is evidence of a more concerted effort to show restraint and melody littered throughout the record that adds resonance to the moments when the band do unleash. “A lot of things contributed to that, actually,” Chadwick maintains. “Steph comes from a background of bands that share a lighter understanding of rock, and she wanted to do backup vocals, so those influences come through and offer something new that is really exciting, because you can do harmonies then. Plus this is the first line-up where we all bring stuff along, as opposed to me writing stuff at home and bringing that along to flesh out. But also getting a little bit older helps to refocus energies. The first album we put out I was 20, and I’m 29 now, so there are going to be definite changes. There are going to be some obvious changes in experience, sometimes a different viewpoint of the exact same issues I had back when I was 20 too, which is interesting.” That said, the discordant explosions still exist on tracks such as Things Are and Take Me For A Ride, and Chadwick retains her iconic sarcastic, venomous lyricism throughout the album. Old habits die hard. “The songs, sometimes they are about a feeling or a time, or they are about a specific person or experience, yet there was a lot more anger in the earlier songs as opposed to these ones. Nowadays when things piss me off I tend to think, ‘Who cares, I’m over it!’ a bit more. There are pretty much two types of songs I write – there are the more aggressive types and the ones that show more song structure, more focus even – and the aggressive ones are much
FACING THE STORM In The Cat Empire, FELIX REIBL is one of the most enigmatic and energetic frontmen in the country. But now, as BEN PREECE discovers, we’re about to witness another side to this intensely talented and diverse performer.
elix Reibl might not be a name instantly recognisable to the larger majority of the typical Australian, casual music listener, but chances are pretty strong that these same people could sing at least a half-a-dozen or so of his songs word for word, well the chorus at least. For near on a decade, Reibl has been one of the most energetic and enigmatic front men in the country as part of the uber-successful The Cat Empire on a journey that screams words like “exhausting” and “well-travelled”. It was this endless journey and the intense world The Cat Empire offered that first introduced the thoughts of doing something solo, quieter, less character-driven and very different to Reibl’s mind. That something has turned into a new venture and, specifically, a record he calls Into The Rain. “It probably entered my mind at a point about five or six years ago when The Cat Empire were doing a lot of tours,” Reibl explains carefully of the initial idea of a solo venture. “There came that point [where]
that existence of moving around a lot, questioning where home was, questioning who I was myself in the context of such a theatrical, chaotic lifestyle – I think, in some ways, that was the beginning of this album without me realising it. This album really is an album that questions identity and is searching for a home, I suppose. That wasn’t deliberate, it’s certainly not an album that’s obvious – it’s a slow burn, there isn’t an obvious single on it, it’s not a career-choice album in so far as these things. I wrote an album that I felt was an authentic story for myself and am now following it because it seemed ready.” Some of the songs included on Into The Rain date back to 2009 when The Cat Empire was on hiatus and Reibl was living in Brooklyn working on something entirely different to what he was used to. “It’s very, very different, that’s what it is,” he laughs. “At one level, it’s very exposing and very different to be presenting music which is such a different band and with material that is much more raw. On the other side, it’s pretty liberating as well to be in a band that’s got powerful backing, guitars and choruses and the opportunity to do something very different as well. “It was a very isolating experience making this album as well and in many ways, that’s okay by me. The Cat Empire is such a theatrical outfit and there are always a lot of people around and there are a lot of people to share the stage with, as far as ideas and things like that. I’ve always loved that to a certain point but I felt it’s also really important for me to do something which is more isolating and tells a different story. In that sense, while I might feel more exposed, I feel it’s something I need to do. It was a question that was born out of all that travelling time and culminated in my time in New York which ended up in a breakup – that’s when the album got written.” Aiming for a more direct approach to songwriting on this album, Reibl remains fascinated with the process after all these years and perceives the process as a great mystery while taking inspirational cues from some of the greats. “Songwriting has always been a real mystery to me and one that I’d like to keep that way,” he confesses. “There are songs that seem to be about one thing and turn out another way but I suppose a common theme on the album is searching for place, there are some heartbreakers on there and the other one is maybe questioning identity or something like that. There’s a lot of it that goes on on the album – some of it more optimistic and some of it more frustrated – but it’s definitely a questioning album. “When I say that I wanted to concentrate on the most songwriting I could, I suppose I went back to and listened to a lot of songwriters that I considered to be essential songwriters. Hank Williams was the great example of that if you ever want the most direct, simple, beautiful songwriting – he’s a great example of it. There’s one song on the album, it’s called I Won’t Know You Anymore and I think I was listening to that whole idea of lines being repeated, the same line being repeated with different chords underneath it, which in itself is a great story writing element. I think I learnt that from guys like Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan – these are really archetypal songwriters and it’s a great history to draw upon I suppose. “The songwriters I love from this country – my three favourites – are Nick Cave, Paul Kelly and Archie Roach, they are three songwriters that I feel have soundtracked my life. I can’t escape Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen in a lot of ways either but I think that’s fairly common ground. In the end, I think I learnt more about music from hearing songs from other countries, in other languages. While you live with these great songwriters and you maybe draw influence from them, there’s something about the magic in music that is often unlocked by another language and by a story in another language that you understand but you don’t know why you understand it, and so it was very important for me – growing up – to get into African music, Cuban music and Arabic music: these other places that I didn’t understand but still came to me quite well.” While a lot of the writing was completed in a whirlwind two weeks in New York, the recording sessions took place over five days at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne. Overseen by producer/ arranger Ross Irwin, Reibl put together a close-knit, crack team of musicians of The Cat Empire and Melbourne funk purveyors The Bamboos that included guitarist Ben Edgar, organ player Ryan Munro and drummer Danny Farrugia. To say Reibl was happy with the team and the results would be an understatement. “The musicians I got to play on this album are my dream team for sure,” he reveals. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this generation of Melbourne musicians who have been able to travel together, play in a lot of bands and who have a shared experience playing together. We went into the studio without any rehearsals and that process of the musicians hearing the songs as they were recording them for the first time gives it a life and a surprise which really works for this album. That couldn’t have worked without the musicians having a strong understanding of each other. So I was lucky to be able to call on them like that. The idea behind this album was that I wanted to make the songwriting as direct as I could make it and I wanted the recording process to be like that – instruments live in a room, as stripped back as we could get it and that’s what we achieved.”
WHO: Felix Reibl
WHAT: Into The Rain (MGM) WHERE & WHEN: Byron Bay Theatre
Wednesday Aug 24, Old Museum Thursday Aug 25
OLD IS THE NEW NEW On-and-off regulars of the UK indie scene for 25 years, THE WONDER STUFF are joining forces with fellow 90s Brit icons Jesus Jones and cult Aussies The Clouds for a momentous three-show east coast tour. Notorious frontman MILES HUNT lets MITCH KNOX in a little.
t’s not easy to talk to a man like Miles Hunt. Or, at least, you wouldn’t think it would be. The frontman of long-lived British rockers The Wonder Stuff does, after all, have something of a reputation; a reputation for brashness, for meanness, for having a tongue as sharp as a cutlass. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this leads to the second dilemma: The Wonder Stuff have had a soap opera of a career. They’ve released albums, toured extensively, split, reformed, changed members, rinse, repeat – it’s a very real problem, knowing where to start; perhaps with the most recent change to befall the ageing band. “This year, we’ve acquired our third drummer,” Hunt explains, not carrying an ounce of the meanness, cynicism or pomposity expected in his voice. In fact, he sounds downright friendly. “The previous two left, it’s not like we’ve got three drum kits on stage – in the shape of Fuzz Townsend, who’s an old friend of ours, because he used to play with Pop Will Eat Itself and Bentley Rhythm Ace. So that’s been great, having some new blood in the band. We were very sad to lose our last drummer, Andres [Karu], but it was his choice to move on to something else. But yeah, Fuzz has brought a really great breath of fresh air into the band.
values his fans, regularly engaging with them through social networks, and generally proving himself to be everything the media says he is not. This surely wasn’t always the case – there was undoubtedly a time when he seriously earned his reputation and, perhaps, there’s just a shade of cynicism left in him after all. “If I look at the calendar, it just makes me feel tired, to be honest,” he sighs, briefly pausing before pushing any sense of jadedness down, conceding, “but somewhere, the music gives me the energy and we crack on with it. So we’re blessed, y’know? It’s still an ongoing thing.”
WHO: The Wonder Stuff WHERE & WHEN: The Tivoli Thursday Aug 18
“Other than playing Pop Will Eat Itself and Bentley Rhythm Ace, he’s done a lot of reggae – he’s played with The Beat and Pama International and bands like that – and he’s brought, like, a swing to some of the tracks that perhaps should have had that swing 20-odd years ago. It’s great. Things like Radio Ass Kiss and Circlesquare now have this really cool swing to them that they definitely didn’t have years ago. So yeah, he’s great, and it’s funny swapping anecdotes about mutual friends and hearing it from the other side of the fence. It’s been great. He’s a good guy, and he’s a wonderful, wonderful drummer.” It actually seems to be a year of strange realisations about time for The Wonder Stuff, now in their 25th year of rocking on. As much as things change, though, the more they stay the same – in some cases, for a full quarter-century. “We went out and toured with The Levellers, who were celebrating I think the 20 th anniversary of their debut album,” Hunt recalls. “So three weeks on the road in the UK, and also, the last night of the tour – which I think was the 19 th of March – was the 25th anniversary of the very first Wonder Stuff gig. It was nice to be playing on that night 25 years later, which is quite an odd feeling. “On that very first night, there would have been Red Berry Joy Town [from 1988’s The Eight Legged Groove Machine] in the set – we would have opened the set with it – and so we thought it only right and proper to open with it 25 years later, yeah?” Now, as they prepare to make their first journey to Australia not only with this line-up but in 20 years, it will be another case of the past coming back to greet them with open arms, in a big way. “As much as I know, it was an invite from Jesus Jones,” Hunt explains of The Wonder Stuff’s part in the three-way tour between them, Jesus Jones and The Clouds. “We’re great friends; we’ve known each other a long, long time. We don’t see each other all the time, but it came from… well, Jesus Jones has actually got a relatively new drummer, Tony Arthy, who is a close friend of mine, and he said, ‘If we can put this together, would you be up for joining us in Australia?’ and I said, ‘Of course we would, it would be a dream come true!’ Going on holiday for a week with a bunch of your best friends – who’s going to turn that down? So it was the Joneses as far as I’m aware that put it together. “The extra surprise, and I only learned this two or three days ago, is that The Clouds are on the bill as well, and of course The Clouds played with us when we came over 20 years ago, and I remember coming home with their album Penny Century, which I really, really liked. So that’ll be brilliant, to reacquaint with them. The only downside, as far as I can see, is that it’s only three days. I wish we were doing it for longer. But who knows? It might lead to an invite to come back again.” There’s hopefulness in Hunt’s voice; an earlier planned tour to Australia by way of Japan fell through, resulting in the band – in any form – being completely absent from our shores for such an extended period. Armed with the opportunity to make up for lost time, Hunt is promising a treat for those who were on board with The Wonder Stuff the last time around and the best introduction imaginable for those who weren’t. “Well, it’s a fair selection of tunes from basically our first four albums,” he explains of the band’s planned fare. “We’re not doing anything from our latter two albums, which came out in the mid-2000s, simply because we had no time to go over the whole Wonder Stuff songbook before [Fuzz] joined. So, many of the original fans from back in the day can breathe a sigh of relief that every song in the set will be from the last century: nothing new.” This could be the mantra for 2011 – the band are not far off celebrating the 20 th anniversary of third LP Never Loved Elvis, but in stark contrast to the treatment received by earlier releases The Eight Legged Groove Machine and Hup – which were entirely re-recorded and padded out with extras and special material for their 20 th anniversaries – Never Loved Elvis will have a slightly more ostentatious, if slightly less permanent, gift bestowed upon it. “The Wonder Stuff are going to be celebrating 20 years of Never Loved Elvis, which is our third album, in December by doing a couple of nice big shows in Birmingham, our hometown, and the nation’s capital, London,” Hunt explains. He says, perhaps out of a perceived demand for justification, that although the album will not be re-recorded and re-released as has twice been par for the course the gigs in its honour will be documented and form the basis for a DVD due for release in 2012. It’s unsurprising – Hunt
DRUM MACHINE, SYNTH, SINGING, DANCING
Endeavouring to recapture their musical prime, THE CLOUDS this week reform for an extravaganza of 90s nostalgia alongside British stars of the day Jesus Jones and The Wonder Stuff. TYLER MCLOUGHLAN speaks to singer/bassist TRISH YOUNG about the water under the bridge that led to the quartet’s reformation.
ALEX SMOKE sums up his live show at BarSoma this week in four easy words – well, easy enough once CHRIS YATES manages to decipher the Scotsman’s thicker-than-Connery accent.
It topped off a period of great disappointment in the industry for the band, though Young doesn’t see the point of wondering where The Clouds would be today if they’d made different decisions. Instead, the joy of rediscovering her bandmates is at the forefront of her mind.
reviews were a sign that, you know, it was okay.”
“I sort of put the feelers out and asked if anyone would be interested in doing any shows at any point,” she tells. “And this was over email and people were emailing back going, ‘Oh, you know, maybe’. And then just after that the offer came up for the Jesus Jones thing and it sort of seemed to tie in time-wise… I think [singer/guitarist] Jodi [Phillis] may have mentioned it to our old manager and that may be why the promoter then contacted us.
Alex is refreshingly honest when it comes to explaining why he thinks so few electronic artists are prepared to break away from the genres where they find their initial success, and end up getting stuck making the same records forever.
he elements involved may be simple enough, but it’s what Alex Menzies – aka the mysterious and aloof Alex Smoke – does with them that matters. Being classically trained he’s coming from a different place than so many other producers whose first musical steps are DJing followed by clicking away on a sequencer. “Yeah I’m classically trained, cello was my main instrument,” he says. “It’s definitely affected how I play. When I first started making electronic music I had drum samples and string samples that I downloaded on the dodgy and I sorted everything out and wrote everything as string parts. It’s changed over time of course, but I still kinda play that way sometimes. The melody and the emotional content is always more important for me. Obviously if you’re writing something for the dancefloor then the beat has a greater deal of importance, but for me melody is everything.” With the release of the album Lux on his own label Hum+Haw he has transformed his style from the strictly for the dancefloor bangers he was making for the Vakant label into something a lot deeper and more introspective. The gamble paid off and the record received almost universal rave reviews, and as much as most artists will claim not to care... “To be honest, with that album I was really glad that some people really got it,” he confesses. “It was a bit less obvious and a bit more questionable in terms of things I was trying to do so I was a bit nervous about how it would be received. You’re gratified if people get it so the good
“There’s a lot of people kind of playing the game,” he says frankly, “which is fair enough and I understand that – it’s a job as well as a calling if you like. People get so stuck up about genres and there’s a lot of commercial pressure on people making electronic music and to be honest, you’re playing with your career if you divert too much from dancefloor styles. I like to shy away from that if I can and just make music. There’s a lot of different things influencing me all the time.” He says he still enjoys making fairly straight-up techno, as well as his more experimental ideas and classical music but finds it hard to switch between styles when he is immersed in a project. “It’s actually impossible because my mind is not in the right mindset. It’s funny how it works like that. Recently I’ve been doing some classical stuff and again, and if I then try and turn back and make some straight-up techno it just doesn’t work. I need to wait until I finish it.” While his live show is obviously tailored for the partying dancers, where does he imagine people might find the most value out of listening to Lux from start to finish? “The same place that I would want to listen to music,” he says. “On the sea, by the sea, up a mountain, in a forest. Somewhere kinda natural. That’s where I’d like to be listening to music anyway. Having said that some of my happiest moments have been on a sweaty dancefloor, so there’s nothing wrong with listening to techno in a dark, dingy hole as well.”
WHO: Alex Smoke WHERE & WHEN: BarSoma Saturday Aug 20
GETTING FIT Touring the USA is a dream not many musicians in this part of the world are lucky enough to fulfil. NEIL BRAMLEY, frontman for heart-starters TEARGAS, is one of the privileged few. BENNY DOYLE gets the lowdown on the band’s trans-Pacific jaunt, their debut album, and where their international touring sights are next set. “The process has been fairly long and involved,” he says regarding the three years between the bands inception and the album’s release. “One of the songs [Dark Half } is off our demo from three years ago and the other stuff has just sort of come along progressively during that time. We did numerous practice recordings and sort of experimented with sequencing and would just listen to stuff over and over just deciding if it all fit together and if it was all cohesive. I think the songs all work together quite well, like it was never a question of age, more a question of flow, that’s what we were going for.
t lived up to the classic ideals of going to America,” Bramley laments, “the land of opportunity that kind of rips you off. I dunno, it was good, but we got ripped off in New York, we got our t-shirts stolen while we were there. The van just got broken into out the front of Marcy Projects where Jay-Z I think is from. I got told multiple rappers are from there but please don’t quote me on the names of the actual rappers. But it was really good, like I don’t want to sound ungrateful at all.” Bramley and his ball-tearing Teargas crew spent a solid chunk of our winter ripping across America, charging 18 dates coast to coast, north to south. With the band’s resume including revered local punk and hardcore bands like Draft Dodger, Dick Nasty, Insurgents and Slug Guts, the five-piece was more than up to the task of sharing the stage with some of their heroes. “We got to play with some of my long-term favourite bands like Tragedy and Citizens Arrest,” Bramley says, “records that I have been listening to for a good ten years. So that was just a huge honour, and getting to play to the amount of people that they brought with them was also pretty spectacular.” The Way Of All Flesh is Teargas’ debut album and it’s been causing a great underground stir in the circles that count since its release earlier this year. Bramley discusses the LP’s making.
ith the current wave of fondness for the 90s supporting a spate of reformations and anniversary shows from bands of the era, Sydney’s The Clouds are the latest outfi t to come out of the woodwork. As part of a fl ourishing domestic scene that spawned the careers of Falling Joys, Ratcat and Underground Lovers, The Clouds enjoyed a loyal international following over fi ve EPs, four albums and eight years; like their peers, mainstream acclaim mostly eluded the four-piece, and then they broke up. “Well when I say a bit of pressure, there was a fair bit of pressure, to sell records,” says Trish Young with annoyance, citing burnout as an additional reason for the 1997 demise of The Clouds. “We’d write a whole bunch of songs and send them off to the record company, and it would be 20, 15 songs. And there was a point where they’d come back and say, ‘Where’s your single? Where’s your Hieronymus out of this bunch? Where’s the Say It out of this bunch?’ We’d be sort of going: ‘Well we weren’t actually planning on repeating ourselves… theoretically we have creative control therefore if we say this is what we’ve written for the next recording, then this is what we’ve written for the next recording’. And they’d be saying, ‘Oh, we’re just not hearing that hit song.’ So there was a bit of that,” she says candidly. Then after signing an American record deal with Elektra, the label put out several promotional releases for The Clouds before a new executive with a point to prove promptly dumped the entire international catalogue.
“I can’t really see that he would have just contacted us out of the blue going, ‘Hmm let me see, 90s bands – who can we get to reform and get to play with some other 90s bands?’,” she says with a hearty laugh. “It does seem to be a bit of a thing,” says Young of the era’s nostalgia. “Maybe everyone’s just looking back going, ‘There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then – it was fun at the time and it would be good to have that fun again’.” Currently committed to three shows alongside Jesus Jones and The Wonder Stuff, Young is not dismissing the idea that this first step could lead to further shows for the long missed outfi t. “We’re gonna see how it goes. We’ve had one rehearsal – other than that we haven’t been in the same room together since I think 1995,” she says nervously. “It’s gonna be pretty scary, I tell you. After such a long break if we were coming back and playing some little place that held 100 people, that would be a whole lot more reassuring, but playing somewhere big, it’s going to be nerve-wracking.”
WHO: The Clouds WHERE & WHEN:
The Tivoli Thursday Aug 18
LONG TIME COMING A lot of people have been waiting a very long time for the debut studio album from Brisbane indie outfit EXTRAFOXX and now that it’s arrived it is turning some heads. The man behind the music, CONWAE BURRELL, chats with DAN CONDON about getting to this point and what’s to come. realised that the record needed to be finished quickly or it would never be finished at all. “Yeah definitely”, he chuckles. “Yeah, it was going to drive me insane otherwise. I guess it was probably earlier this year. It was a maddening thing taking so long, but in the end I think it was probably worth spending that time on it.”
Many of the songs on the record, such as Big Pineapple, Lisa Needs Braces and Heavin’ have been favourites of Extrafoxx fans for many years now. Burrell sounds far from sick of them though.
“But I think the band on a whole has had a fairly similar headspace almost the entire time,” he adds, “so I think it all fits together pretty well. But it’s one of those things that we spent time on, just trying to make everything good and just slightly immortal.”
t’s still hard to go to an indie-rock show in Brisbane and not bump into someone who, at some stage, has played a role in the lengthy life of the nigh on legendary Extrafoxx. Conwae Burrell, the band’s singer, songwriter and guitarist, is the sole constant member of the act, who started playing shows around Brisbane many, many years ago.
“I haven’t listened to the album much lately so I’m not quite sure what it sounds like really, but I love playing those old songs live,” he says. “They are sort of part of me, I guess.”
Half released on Japanese label Narm Discos and Australia’s Hardcore Victim, The Way Of All Flesh is a unique mutt that shines as bright a light on the local scene as it does the Japcore bellowing from the north. As such, it’s no surprise where the band’s future touring aspirations lie.
There have been a number of Extrafoxx releases over the years; they have been of different fidelities but the outstanding songs that Burrell writes has made each and every one of them sound brilliant in their own way. But this weekend sees Extrafoxx launch their debut studio album and it’s a meaty, textured, massive sounding affair.
“I’ve got enough material for a new record,” Burrell reveals. “I’ll get this out of the way first then do a tour and then probably go back and start recording again.”
“I mean, it would be nice to go again but I think we’ve got our sights now set on going to Europe next year some time, then the goal is Japan, just trying to get up to the standard and go to Japan,” Bramley explains. “We’ve been getting some fairly excellent sort of Babel Fish translations reviews of the album and it’s what we were shooting for in the beginning. I think we could go but it’s just because it’s definitely the home of a lot of older punk bands that don’t go downhill, they only get better. So you just want to be at peak match fitness basically before you go over there.”
“I feel pretty good,” Burrell says of the record. “Like, I think it’s an accessible sort of album. There’s more of an audience for this album than probably anything else that I’ve ever done.”
WHO: Teargas WHAT: The Way Of All Flesh (Hardcore Victim) WHERE & WHEN: Sun Distortion Studios
Friday Aug 19 (all ages), Fat Louie’s Saturday Aug 20
It has been a long time in the making. Even Burrell can’t remember when recording started. “I can’t remember,” he admits. “It’s either five, six or seven years ago. It was a long time ago.” It’s undoubtedly a very long time for a record to be in production and when asked what the holdup has been, Burrell admits that there was no single reason as to the length of time it has taken, it’s just the way things go sometimes. “I don’t know, really. It’s just the time that it has taken. We haven’t had any money to sort of throw at it, plus just general life stuff in that time was just getting in the way a lot.” Unsurprisingly, Burrell came to a point where he
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be hearing the same tunes over and over for the next decade or so.
The band who plays behind Burrell has had so many incarnations over the years. When asked as to whether the reasons behind this are artistic or logistics, it seems far more organic and less calculated than that. “It’s sort of availability and... I don’t know, it’s probably artistic as well because I’m choosing certain people or certain people are asking to play in the band,” he says. Given the rather slick sound of the record, it’s interesting to hear whether or not the band will be aiming to match the quality of the recordings with the live performance. “No, the live show is a different entity altogether,” Burrell explains. “Like, we’ll play the songs off the album but we’re not going to be playing them the same way or anything. It will be a different experience for people.”
WHO: Extrafoxx WHAT: Extrafoxx (Fuzz Pop Records) WHERE & WHEN: Beetle Bar Friday Aug 19
THEY’RE THE VOICE
Sydney metalheads RECOIL V.O.R recently announced their intent to tour new grounds in the USA later this year. Vocalist WADE MCKAY speaks to LOCHLAN WATT on the eve of their latest Australian run.
WINTAH THOMPSON from LITTLE LOVERS talks to CHRIS YATES about his self-imposed exile south of the border, and why he is especially excited about returning to his hometown of Brisbane this weekend.
lyricist, and more to the point what The Will To Sin is all about, McKay offers that “a lot of it’s about travel, personal experiences and just life in general. Nothing that was too pinpointed, but yeah, I don’t know man.”
It was a bit of a homage. Brisbane’s always a part of me and my musical influence is heavily Brisbane-orientated. I really dig that Brisbane sound, the Striped Sunlight Sound, which was what Grant McLennan used to call it.”
October will see the band tour America for three weeks, though McKay is tight-lipped on the details. The band lined it up “just through different contacts in bands we knew and that sort of stuff. We just thought, ‘Let’s do something a bit out of the ordinary for us’ and we thought we’d try our luck overseas. We’re gonna announce that soon, but there’s one main band that we’re going to be touring around with, and then we’ve got a couple of shows with a few different bands as well.”
There’s two reasons that Wintah is particularly stoked to be coming back to Brisbane. The first is to play with the mighty Extrafoxx, a band who nearly everyone in Brisbane has played in at some point, he jokes, adding that he was particularly touched when Extrafoxx leader Conwae named a song after him on his album The Saddest.
With the band “already tracking” their second album, the plan is to focus on getting that done and dusted post-USA.
ormed in 2002 and following a demo and an EP release, June last year saw the unveiling of the band’s first album, The Will To Sin. Standing proud on a mechanical concoction of influences, the sound is undeniably modern, its polished style sitting somewhere between the likes of Chimaira, The Haunted and As I Lay Dying. Noticeably, the cover to the effort lacks the V.O.R part of their current band name. “Voice Of Rule,” tells McKay of the band’s curious suffix. “We’d actually altered the name seeing that there was another artist in the UK that had the name for a while. We decided to change it up a little bit, because before we made the name obviously legal and all that shit wasn’t very big, so we didn’t really check it out. Then we found out there was two other bands like that, so we just changed it up because we didn’t want to lose all of the hard work we were doing.” He comments that the album has been going “good man. We’ve had pretty much good sales everywhere we went, and where we’ve toured and that, and we’ve even had a lot of downloads from overseas, so it’s been going pretty well, and we’ve been pretty surprised at the reaction.”
“It should be out early next year,” McKay tells. “We’re not sure what we’re going to call it, or names of songs or anything like that, it’s just basically we’ve got a bunch of tracks that we like that we’re starting to do all of the recording process and pre-production and stuff like that. Yeah that’s coming along pretty well man.” Most likely the band will release through Sydney’s No Justice Records a second time, McKay offering some insight into how the band ended up on the roster, which is also home to bands like Sienna Skies, Town Hall Steps, Resist The Thought and more. “We’ve known them for a while, and we’ve been going back and forth with different projects and stuff,” he offers. “They saw what we were doing, we saw what they were doing, and they just said, ‘Do you want to be a part of this?’ and we just said, ‘Well let’s just see when the album comes out, we’ll just see what we want to do when it’s all recorded and set and done’, and it just worked out that it was a great opportunity. We just wanted to release ourselves through more of an independent label, and do it that way, so you know, it’s a great relationship, I can’t say anything bad about it you know.”
WHO: Recoil V.O.R WHERE & WHEN: Jubilee Hotel Friday
relocated to Sydney a couple of years ago, we tried to do the band long distance with Ben [Whittaker – drums] and Dan [Condon – bass] but it didn’t really work out and those guys were pretty keen to stay up there. So I found a couple of guys down here in Sydney, and we’ve been kicking around, playing whenever we can.” And thus Wintah sums up the short version of why one of Brisbane’s favourite ever indie pop threepieces are now one of Sydney’s favourite indie pop three-pieces. While they have been sorely missed from their hometown, two shows this weekend and a new EP should go some way to make up for it. “We did the recording with one of my mates Cameron Potts,” says Wintah of the band’s new EP Camcorder. “He plays in Dead Letter Chorus and he has a recording studio set up. We’re just putting it out ourselves. That’s what we’re sort of launching with Extrafoxx up there in Brisbane.” More on Extrafoxx later, while we diverge to talk about another fabled Brisbane institution, the oft-romanticised Melniks, to whom there is a song about on the Camcorder EP.
“He put a song on that one called Wintah, so in response I wrote a song for Conwae which will be on the album we’re recording at the moment,” he laughs, “so I hope to play that while he’s there which will be pretty funny. I introduced Extrafoxx to the boys down here and they just love it. We’ve played with them a couple of times in Brisbane. As soon as we heard there was an opportunity to play with them at their launch we were like, ‘Hell yes!’ We do a couple of Extrafoxx covers every now and then in Sydney, the classics like Big Pineapple, and they always go down well.” Wintah also got his Sydneysider bandmates into the legendary Brisbane guitar shop Tym Guitars, where the band are also thrilled to be playing an instore. “They love the store so it’s awesome to get to go down and do that as well,” he enthuses. “I had the luxury of working with this guy called Paul Duncan who used to be the bass player in Smudge, and he gave me a Lou Barlow guitar body that he smashed on stage at Reading Festival in like ‘96 or something. It’s still got Lou’s blood all over it! I have taken it up to Tym Guitars to get restored. When Lou’s in town soon, Tim (from Tym Guitars) is gonna try and chase him down and find out how he used to have it set up. So he’s on a project to restore that for me, which is very exciting. He said, ‘Do you want me to try and get him to sign it?’ I said, ‘Fuck yeah!!’”
WHO: Little Lovers WHAT: Camcorder EP (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Beetle Bar Friday Aug 19, Tym’s Guitars instore Saturday Aug 10 (2pm, all ages)
When asked about what experiences inspire him as
“I wrote that song when I still lived in Brisbane,” he says. “I loved The Melniks a lot, and at the time I was writing songs about bands because that’s pretty much all I liked.
Aug 19, Springwood Hotel Saturday Aug 20
LUKE ROWELL’s DISASTERADIO project has been delivering eccentric electronic pop for over a decade. MATT O’NEILL speaks to the New Zealand musician about why it’s taken him ten years to tour Australia.
About to embark on their biggest tour yet, local act PIGEON and their multi-faceted dancefloor bombs are impossible to put in any sort of hole. BENNY DOYLE speaks with bassist and keyboard player CHRIS PAGET.
three to five years. His upcoming tour of Australia with Regurgitator will be his debut Australian tour while the recent local release of 2010 album Charisma marks the first time his work has been released in this country.
“There are a lot of opinions that fly around the jam room but a lot of the writing for this release was done at home, on people’s laptops individually, then those ideas were brought to the jam room and arranged by the group,” Paget explains. “But it all went well, we are really happy with the final product and we produced it all ourselves which is a big step up for us.
“I think there’s still some misconceptions and presumptions about how a musician’s career is supposed to pan out,” Rowell muses. “You’re expected to play a couple of shows, get signed to some big label and make – or lose – a ton of money, and then your music gets progressively worse and worse. I’m happy to take things as slowly as I have – I feel like my musicality is better for it, taking things at a relaxed pace.
t’s genuinely rare for musicians to fully embrace eccentricity. Even those artists behind the most bizarre sounds in the world share a certain communion with their more conventional brethren. Sometimes, it just requires digging a little deeper to find those points of commonality. Not so, Luke Rowell. The New Zealand musician becomes proportionately more unique the deeper you dig into his work and the motives behind it. From the outset, it’s obvious that his music offers something different to the norm. A giddy rush of rambunctiously excitable pop music filtered through a kaleidoscopic approach to electronic music genres, Rowell’s work as Disasteradio touches upon aspects of everything from hardcore punk to chiptune without ever committing to any particular style. It is, at once, chaotically innovative and joyously immediate. “I love genre as another instrument to work with, on like a cultural level,” Rowell says of his work. “Putting ideas together with cultural materials is as interesting as the notes-and-rhythm level. I’m inspired by tons of music, of course… Punk, new wave and hardcore are pretty big, American minimalism, Italo-disco, library music… There’s so much music to draw from. One cool thing I’ve been noticing is that kids these days seem to have a really cross-genre sense of music.” Beneath the surface of Disasteradio’s music, one actually finds more surprises. The trajectory of Rowell’s career alone is intriguing. Despite having begun work as Disasteradio over ten years ago, Rowell has only begun to enjoy his greatest successes as an artist in the past
“Australia! Man, lemme at you guys! So far I’ve only played a couple of shows in Melbourne and that’s it,” the musician enthuses. “And of course I’m super-duper-mega-stoked to be opening for Regurgitator – they’re a fun, creative band – I feel like we have share similar musical philosophies, and that we’re both up for a cool time. I feel like there’s a good overlap in the Venn Diagrams of Regurgitator’s fans and my potential fans, to put it scientifically.” What’s most surprising is the complete lack of contrivance or architecture within Disasteradio. Thoroughly strange in content and delivery (the project’s videos and packaging proving as unique as its music), Rowell’s work nevertheless seems to have developed largely without any explicit design. Speaking plainly, the musician isn’t trying to be weird or innovative. His main priority seems to be having fun. “In terms of ambitions, I didn’t really begin with any at all,” Rowell says of the project’s 1999 inception – seemingly bemused by his continued success. “Occasionally I lead the music somewhere, but mostly it takes me places. From here right now I feel like I’ll play and write music ‘til I die, hopefully as an old, out-of-touch, daggy fuddy-duddy. I’ll buy a pair of those big sunglasses and a keyboard necktie, and write some real novelty songs, damn it!”‘
WHO: Disasteradio WHAT: Charisma (Low Hum/Valve/MGM) WHERE & WHEN: Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay Thursday Aug 18, Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast Friday Aug 19, The Hi-Fi Saturday Aug 20, King’s Beach Tavern, Sunshine Coast Sunday Aug 21
“We all keep each other on our toes. There’s some great musicians within the band but we all have our own roles. We’ve all played in numerous bands in the past and we’ve always talked about forming a band together, we’re just a good group of friends really. We all get along, we all respect each other as musicians and we all trust each other’s judgement in different areas. Part of being in a band and actually making it work is just finding that right group of people and at the moment it’s working really well so fingers crossed that once we get on the road together it all stays that way,” he laughs.
aving recently won many ears over with a storming set in the Splendour In The Grass Mix Up Tent, Pigeon are ready to capitalise on their rising profile, hitting the road in support of their thumping new EP, Parallels. Chris Paget discusses the preparation that has been squeezed in for the road time. “Pretty much, the last few months we have just set ourselves unrealistic goals time wise and we’ve all had other jobs, y’know?” Paget muses. “I do a lot of tour managing for other bands, a couple of the other guys have a studio out in Strathpine so whenever they’re not doing Pigeon stuff they’re recording, and some of the other guys are studying so there’s been a strict deadline for us. We had two rehearsals before Splendour just to rework all our sessions and our laptop stuff too and we’ve had three rehearsals to get ready for this tour, so although we’ve cut ourselves short a little bit, it’s been good and pretty exciting for us to set the songs up and to get them ready for the live aspect.” Having never touched on dance music before the forming of Pigeon, Paget regards the creative process as refreshing, even admitting that the band is as close to pop as any of the five-piece have ever attempted. He talks about how the new six-track release came to be and how democracy is maintained.
Dubstep, hip hop, breakdowns and driving techno, it’s all here on Parallels and all lends itself to the image of a sea of twisted punters, barely holding footing on the dancefloor and their fragile minds. Paget admits that the view from the stage has already proved to be highly entertaining. “It’s already been called the Pigeon wobble,” he says with a chuckle, “But it’s been interesting creating that world between dance music, pop stuff and really big heavy riff stuff which we do a lot more live; it’s been interesting to see the people that are into it. Like, the people that normally turn their nose up to pop and dance music, who really enjoy the heavy side of music, they really enjoy the dirtiness of it and I’ll think we’ll see a lot more of it on this run of shows. We are road testing a lot of these songs so the next time people see us it could be a completely different experience depending on how people react. But it’s been great seeing people lose control.”
WHO: Pigeon WHAT: Parallels EP (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Solbar, Maroochydore Friday Aug 19, X&Y Bar Saturday Aug 20
SINGLES BY CHRIS YATES
JAY-Z & KANYE WEST
THE WAR ON DRUGS
Watch The Throne
Make no mistake – this is a Kanye West record, and it’s the follow up to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Yep, Jigga raps on every track (and thank fuck he does), but there can be no denying whose musical vision is behind this.
Long Island hipster kids Twin Sister are pretty much ruling it before they’ve even dropped an album. New single Bad Street will be on that debut when it does eventually emerge, and it’s some seriously rad electro pop indeed. A tambourine sets a cool and lazy dance pace while a subtle bassline gurgles underneath and singer Andrea Estella purrs like a French kitten. The hooks don’t wait for the chorus, in fact the whole thing is like one big cool jam that borders on the funky without getting crass and doesn’t really commit to any big ideas, in the best way possible. It reminds me heaps of Genius Of Love by Tom Tom Club, without really sounding like it that much at all.
Watch The Throne is immediately unpretentious and unafraid of the legacy it has to compete with. The similarities with MBDTF are abundant. As that album was stylistically all over the place, Watch The Throne relies solely on the two voices to give it a thread of consistency. The dark and foreboding mood of H.A.M., No Church In The Wild and Why I Love You are contrasted early on with Beyonce’s contribution Lift Off – a light and optimistic pop number. That’s My Bitch is a pure dedication to old school New York hip hop in the most obvious way possible – a classic sound updated with Kanye’s synth obsession and a chorus of classic soul. Exercises in minimalism come in the form of Niggaz In Paris and Welcome To The Jungle, neither of which are actually produced by Kanye, suggesting what styles he’s nodding along to in private.
CALLING ALL CARS
RZA gets the shot that was hinted on MBDTF’s So Appalled with a production credit on New Day, one of the most soulful moments on the record sampling and fucking with Nina Simone’s Feeling Good.
TWIN SISTER (Domino/EMI)
Reptile by CAC starts out like that middle bit in Welcome To The Jungle where there’s the big drum tom tom breakdown before Axl asks “you know where you are?? ” Then after a bit, a heavy bass comes in that doesn’t sound anything like Duff (not punk enough), and then it turns into a Bad Religion song for the chorus which is about dancing with goats or ghosts, couldn’t quite work that out. Then the singer says “reptiiilllleee” in a creepy sort of fashion. There’s also a disco bit chucked in the middle (no shit!) and then it goes back to the start and repeats again. It’s confusing, but that’s a good thing, and maybe the best part about it – except for the sound of the drums which are massive and fill most of the space, except for in the Bad Religion bit.
Other tracks not produced exclusively by Yeezy are helped out by the likes of Swizz Beats, Q-Tip, The Neptunes and Pete Rock, and with guests including Kid Cudi, The Dream and (Odd Future’s) Frank Ocean this record unconsciously spans the past and the future of hip hop. Kanye is certainly the present, but how much more of this can he possibly sustain? This shit is fucking ridiculous. ★★★★½ Chris Yates
For their follow-up to their lauded 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues, Philadelphian outfit The War On Drugs have stripped back to a trio, losing former member Kurt Vile to an already successful solo foray, although he’s still a member of the extended family and his influence remains tangible. This leaves creative control of their sophomore effort Slave Ambient as the sole responsibility of talented frontman Adam Granduciel, who handles the added responsibility with complete élan. As with their previous fare, Slave Ambient offers a curious mixture of classic Americana tinted with an (aptly) ambient shoegaze sheen. They effortlessly summon the holy US triumvirate of Dylan (courtesy of Granduciel’s rasp), Springsteen and Young – with a dash of Petty thrown in for good measure – and then filter this through a subtle but distinctly UK-inflected drone. There’s a depth to the arrangements and production that only becomes evident on repeated listens, giving fresh life and adding texture to what may have seemed standard upon initial inspection. TWOD utilise a regularly odd choice of instrumentation which defies predictability, throwing things out of whack just enough to keep things interesting without being too intrusive. Swathes of slight distortion softly cover deft hooks and melodies, making the entire album a compelling listen. Baby Missiles finds Granduciel at his most Boss-inspired, Original Slave in full psychedelic flow, the uplifting Come To The City is a feast of nostalgia, yearning opener Best Night is a midnight special while the driving Your Love Is Calling My Name is made for the open road – yet despite all of these distinctly disparate tones and feels the trio still manage to find a uniformity and cohesion which makes Slave Ambient work perfectly as a whole. We’ll never win the actual war on drugs, but on the evidence so far you can’t go far wrong with this musical version.
JOLIE HOLLAND & THE GRAND CHANDELIERS Pint Of Blood (Anti-/Warner)
American singer-songwriter Jolie Holland has been plumbing the depths of traditional Americana in its various guises for over a decade now, and knows every nook and cranny as well as any weather-worn cowboy could. On her fifth album Pint Of Blood, her first foray with newly christened backing band The Grand Chandeliers (Shahzad Ismaily and Grey Gersten), Holland doesn’t rattle the cage, instead crafting a collection of songs that stroke the issues of jilted hearts, wasted chances and shots at redemption that are comfortable yet soothing, like donning your favourite dusty jacket. All Those Girls does a do-si-do with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Helpless; Remember shimmies up to J Mascis on the peanut-encrusted floor of a forlorn saloon; whilst The Devil’s Sake slinks along in a velvet curtained theatre, evocatively backed by Marc Ribot’s twanging guitar lines. Townes Van Zandt makes a more literal appearance, as Holland takes on his Rex’s Blues armed with mournful piano and world-weary croon, and smashes it. The issue here is that it is on this most stripped-back of songs that Holland truly soars. Throughout the rest of the album we see her rise up in a semblance of euphoric whimsy, we see her dive into the deep end of melancholic blues – yet the end result comes across as more of a fence-sitting tedium, neither pulling all her punches nor shooting for the stars. Pint Of Blood is an evocative title for any album – yet Holland could have done with an injection of swagger here to give it justice. ★★★½ Brendan Telford
★★★★ Steve Bell
CROOKED SAINT Every Angry Inch (Independent)
The shuffle of a snare drum and the plucking of a twangy banjo signal the start of Crooked Saint’s Every Angry Inch, accompanied by some big strings, warbling sliding guitars, harmonicas, thick strumming acoustic guitars – sonic first impressions don’t paint the group as originators or pioneers. It’s the songs themselves, and the honest, unaffected vocals that make Crooked Saint stand apart from the masses of other bands doing this country folk by numbers at the moment. The songs are smart and with a wry sense of humour that makes the most of the playful nature of the group. It’s a great band – the arrangements are well thought out, the lyrics and vocals are ace across the board; Every Angry Inch is a surprising win.
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) (feat. Missy Elliot) (EMI)
This Katy Perry thing has gone far enough. Yeah she looks like a mainstream slutty version of Zoey Deschanel which is cool. Her songs are funny and she gets like, really famous rappers on some of her songs and stuff. But there was a time when these sort of novelty acts got away with one or two tracks maybe and then everyone grew up and moved onto something else. Why don’t we get proper one hit wonders anymore? Society’s probably to blame, or maybe the internet, or even better – social media. One hit wonders were cool because they could be stupid and lame and the person that did it would be famous for a bit, maybe put a deposit on a house or something and then go on to get a real job instead of sticking around like Katy and just being annoying forever.
Mirror Traffic (Spunk/EMI)
Malkmus seems energised after his return to the glory days of Pavement, although the recent reunions have unfortunately come to an end with no new recordings. He has always been relatively prolific with the freedom of his band The Jicks, and Mirror Traffic represents some of the most solid work he’s done with this ensemble. The Jicks aren’t quite as ramshackle as Pavement, and Malkmus’ sloppy virtuosity as a musician means that the band often go into more complicated territory than he explored with the Paves. A perfect example of this is Spazz, with its jumping around weird timing changes, stop/start tempos and big guitar riffery switching to slow melodies without a breath. Even though the middle section is reminiscent of some of the jammier aspects of Pavement songs, it’s light years away in every other facet of the arrangement. No verse-chorusverse for Senator either. It’s four distinct sections and an outro that all thread together seamlessly, each segment complete with its own catches and hook and Malkmus’ wry sense of humour – it works brilliantly. First track Tigers is more straight up, with country tinges courtesy of a slide guitar. Immediately following is No One Is (As I Are Be) which is one of the only places on the record where you can really hear the influence of producer Beck Hansen. It’s drifting, otherworldly atmosphere is a direct descendant of much of Beck’s own more subtle acoustic numbers. The short musical interlude Jumblegloss also shows a bit of insight into some playful use of post-production effects and there’s some heavy effects on the vocals in Stick Figures In Love. Mostly though, The Jicks are left to play the songs with little interference much to the benefit of the recording, and the album as a whole. ★★★★ Chris Yates
STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS
JOHN BUTLER TRIO Live At Red Rocks (Jarrah/MGM)
John Butler and the pair that makes up the trio, Byron Luiters (bass) and Nicky Bomba (drums), have been fairly quiet on the domestic live scene recently and consistently absent from the festivals they played ad nauseum for the better part of the noughties. That’s because they have been smashing up the US, touring rampantly across the country and thanks to some big name supports (Dave Matthews Band) and a live show that is as tight as it is loose, their success has culminated at the iconic Red Rocks amphitheatre in Colorado. This achievement for the band has been documented in all its splendour and glory on both CD and DVD and the set is top notch; a joy to listen to and a pleasure to watch. Revolution is stirring, Peaches & Cream still as timid and pure as ever, and the individual performances and angles that capture the band are simply stunning. There are certainly jam elements that don’t crossover on the audio as remotely well as they do on the DVD, mainly Good Excuse which drags on into sonically thin and fairly tedious territory. But for the most part, such spontaneous live moments as the roots breakouts John Butler Trio is known for still feeling electric on disc, Treat Yo Mama especially rocking while Ocean is an electric guitar journey to the centre of your soul and back. From the well-framed and eye-catching photography that blankets the album box to the crisp sound and visual taken from JBT’s biggest show to date, the band have successfully given us, the ticketless majority, thousands of miles away, the full experience of being perched underneath that hulking lump of earth. And that is all you can really hope for from any live release. ★★★★
Since his inception into Chicago’s vivacious indie scene over a decade ago, Matt Mehlan’s Skeletons project has taken on a handful of similar monikers (Skeletons & The Girl-Faced Boys, Skeletons and The Kings Of All Cities) to release numerous independent, thought provoking albums. People is no different, continuing to perpetuate Mehlan’s musical maladies of math and indie rock, finding him exploring more complex, lengthy musical arrangements whilst ruminating on America’s social ills. Lil Rich, the opening track, has Mehlan singing softly over subtle acoustic guitar strings: “Lil Rich got his face shot off/For three, four days, the cops didn’t clean it up/All the people getting on the bus, had to walk over his hair and his teeth in a pool of blood/This wasn’t my home, but I live here.” People is an album about people – dark, twisted people that live next door. In fact Mehlan comes across as a 21st century Travis Bickle at times, struggling against government, youth and finding the spaces in between to connect with his fellow man. He hints at optimism despite it all, stating, “I still believe in people, I think I still believe in people” – but such buoyancy is fleeting. Wal-Mart And The Ghost Of Jimmy Damour refers to the employee who was trampled to death during a Black Friday sale, while Barack Obama Blues, speaks to a USA that is collapsing over its own weight. People’s song structures are languid, meandering from post-rock machinations to freak folk quirky whimsy and math rock’s staunch aesthetics, and these traipses could be tighter. With such a juxtaposition, it can all come off a little trite, like a lazier Animal Collective. Overall, though, People is a dense, challenging listen, one that’s grounded in reality and ever so more compelling as a result of it. ★★★½ Howie Tanks
TEX PERKINS AND THE BAND OF GOLD
Tex Perkins And The Band Of Gold (Independent)
Tex Perkins is not resting on his laurels in 2011. After releasing his fourth “solo” album Tex Perkins & the Dark Horses earlier in the year, here he is again, putting out an album of covers with the folk he teamed up with in the Johnny Cash-inspired stage concert The Man In Black – Rachael Tidd on vocals, Steve Hadley (bass), Dave Folley (drums) and guitarists Shane Reilly and Shannon Bourne. Known here as the Band Of Gold, the five-piece join Perkins in reimagining 14 stone cold country classics. Recorded as one-take, live performances, the tracks on Tex Perkins… feel warm and lived-in, as if the six-piece are out on the back porch taking requests in between sips of whisky and gin – the artists covering the gamut of country royalty. Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night kicks off proceedings, Perkins and Tidd interchanging vocals in an easy manner that perfectly captures their on-stage chemistry. Elsewhere we get Townes Van Zandt’s sparse If I Needed You, John Prine’s steel-guitar opus Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness and Merle Haggard’s It’s Not Love, all of which are lovingly rendered with the sense of hereditary knowledge and tenderness that the genre generally espouses when held in such high regard. There is certainly nothing new here, but it is the degree of inherent warmth these musicians bring to these works that allows them to shine. ★★★★ Brendan Telford
LUCY STAR SATELLITE
(Departed Sounds/Other Tongues)
Lucy Star Satellite
The spawn of a Brisbane music couple that certainly lent itself to such a creation, Lucy Star Satellite has developed from Brindle and The Peachfish, the mutt generating a sound that wouldn’t slot in with either outfit but thanks to the distinct vocals of frontwoman Deb Suckling, is intrinsically connected to the bands. Lucy Star Satellite is a middle ground between the two aforementioned acts, a bit more density, a bit less bite. There are some truly exquisite compositions to be found but unfortunately, you just have to bite your lip through the earlier moments on the record. Certain songs feel a tad clichéd in their reflective soul, sounding a bit too close to Wendy Matthews to really make a genuine impact. The god vision of Count My Blessings and the weak rock warbling of Lost are weak and limp, the rule-abiding tunes giving the listener no challenges nor repent from the predictable tones that thankfully aren’t maintained throughout. But the more you give to Lucy Star Satellite the more you get back and as the album finds its own identity, it rails toward its final strums. The self-titled release indeed wags its tail, the album getting more focus, simplicity and flair in its last and slightly ironic, darker hours. Candy Girl is all husk and twisted guitar that bounces with the pent, relegated aggression that any decent power ballad needs. For The Love Of... meanwhile is a skeletal, aching closing ode that combined with the fistful of tunes before it, makes you forgetful towards some of the earlier, weaker moments on the record.
Arches Over The Sun
In choosing a name, some artists make it difficult to imagine the style of music they specialise in, though Melbourne’s khancoban don’t make this a terribly difficult game. Named after a tiny New South Wales village in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, the five-piece make the kind of folk-rich rock that you might expect to accompany the daily life of a rural town – smouldering, slow-burn tunes sung with a heartfelt, lilting vocal akin to Glenn Richards of Augie March accompanied by unfussy percussion. Following a mini-album, and 2008’s album proper Limbs May Fall, khancoban have this time implemented their folk roots with a good dose of rock, notably a heavier guitar approach, within Arches Over The Sun. It’s less obvious amidst the pretty key tinkling of opener Cause And Chaos which makes for a fine introduction, though Until It Takes You Over cements this idea with a thick, fuzzy bottom end of bass and guitar. Sprinkled with some non-traditional key sounds and embellished with a sweeping guitar riff, this is khancoban at their most appealing – just the right amount of colour has been applied to their largely rural soundtrack.
There’s something wonderfully ghostly, and temporal about the band’s name atop the title of this, their debut album. It’s terribly evocative, too – that almost incongruous set of images that roll over each other with a dawning logic as you read, and take them in. One desperately hopes, then, that this well thoughtout cohesion of imagery; of branding and of visuallyrich ideas is echoed in the Canadian duo’s music. Unsurprisingly, it very much is, though perhaps not in the way that you’d think. Not so much an exploration of dreaming, and imagination; not so much a dark cortex of moodiness, and obscurity as everything in the outset would suggest, Imaginary Cities have instead crafted an album for rainy days, perhaps to listen to as you’re curled up on a cushy, velveteen window-seat, watching the outside storm. The album’s a portal, instead, to you accessing those things. Definitely for introspection, as its title suggests, Temporary Resident is for someone who wants space for a brief retreat into something that’s become a giant city of a thing in their mind.
Although in need of more consistency, this album is a more than able co-pilot for a large glass of red, a roaring fire and a good book.
In the spirit of their small-town namesake, khancoban can become sleepy at times. Three vignettes shy of two minutes fill out the 31-minute, 11-track album; Do Not Trust The Horse provides a really interesting, half-drunken stumble in which frontman Andre Hooke seems to wonderfully lose all inhibition, though followed directly by the skimpy title track instrumental it seems the exercise has been somewhat in vain. The flow of the album may have been overlooked, though Arches Over The Sun will provide a worthwhile listen for those who like their folk-rock straight, perhaps with a little ice, but no twists thanks.
And it is, to finally cut to the meat, at its heart a soul album. Layered dense with gospel claps, and soft, whirling cymbals, and strung around the caverns of each song with the wet, curled Newsom-cross-Winehouse coos of vocalist Marti Sarbit’s fragile voice, the album borrows its structure from folk tunes, and its heart from Motown. Mixing bare-bones Nina Simone-like stomp-blues instrumentation on tracks like Calm Before The Storm and then spinning headfirst into icy, delicate twee on Cherry Blossom Tree, Temporary Resident houses a collection of delicate little mood-meals rich each with their own unique transportational qualities.
THIS WEEK IN
WEDNESDAY 17 Aliens – James Cameron’s acclaimed sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien. Tribal Theatre.
THURSDAY 18 Grindhouse – Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double feature on the big screen the way it was meant to be shown: condenced with the trailers in-between. Tribal Theatre until Wednesday Aug 24.
FRIDAY 19 The Kransky Sisters: Three Bags Full – Mourne, Eve and youngest sister Dawn return to Brisbane with their oddball mix of music, song and story. Equipped with their dueling tambourines, tuba, musical-saw, kitchen pots, toilet brush and old reed keyboard, The Kransky Sisters will share stories of their own peculiar take on travels through Europe, along with their homemade renditions of songs from the Bee Gees and Grace Jones to Devo and AC/DC. Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse until Sunday Aug 28. Surrealism Up Late – late night gallery viewing and entertainment. Tonight: Mick Harvey. GoMA, from 5:30pm.
SATURDAY 20 Cabaret – bringing together a stellar creative team lead by Zen Zen Zo artistic director Lynne Bradley, this production will be a no-holds barred portrayal of the politics and sexuality that characterised the subversive and
decadent cabarets of the last days of the German Weimar Republic. Final day. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. Water Wars – play looking at the ever-present tension between two competing human instincts – the instinct to survive, to save yourself and bugger the rest of them. And the instinct to protect a stranger – the instinct that brought out the mud Army, the instinct to save the herd, the community – to self-sacrifice. Final day. Roundhouse Theatre.
SUNDAY 21 WEBUYYOURKIDS: John Carpenter – a collection of new work from Sydney design crew WEBUYYOURKIDS, best know for their work designing tour posters and album covers for Ivy League, and Paul Dempsey. Final day. Nine Lives Gallery.
MONDAY 22 Waterwheel launch – the launch of Waterwheel, an online space where you can interact and share, perform, and debate about water as a topic and metaphor, with people all around the world or right next door. This new website calls on everyone – from performers and artists to engineers and environmentalists – to test the water, dive in, make a splash and start a wave. It draws together different people, practices, places and media and modes of expression. There are no borders or boundaries. It flows along its natural course. Tonight launches the site. Judith Wright Centre, 6pm.
HOT FEET TOM O’SULLIVAN, WHO PLAYS THE CHARACTER OF BRICK IN BLACK SWAN’S NEW PRODUCTION OF CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, TALKS WITH SAM HOBSON – WITHOUT MENDACITY – ABOUT THE CRAFT, AND ACTING THE HARD MAN. “I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof,” the character of Maggie laments in anguish to the hardened Brick, her husband, beneath whose cold reply surges a sea of torment. Comes his response: “Then jump off the roof, jump off it.” The tension squeezing from the tight pores of that wonderful titular phrase sums up the mood of Tennessee Williams’ dramatic 1955 stage drama perfectly. To the tension, there’s layered a sharp, and searing violence; a horrible understanding of people, oppression, and anxiety that cuts with scalpel-like accuracy to the heart of familial hurt. Known too for his extensive, erudite stage directions, Williams’ work has always been an easy favourite for board walkers, and screen productions alike – for the Cat set designer, for example, Williams famously left the following
note: “…I once saw a reproduction of a faded photograph of the veranda of Robert Louis Stevenson’s home on that Samoan Island where he spent his last years, and there was a quality of tender light on weathered wood, such as porch furniture made of bamboo and wicker, exposed to tropical suns and tropical rains, which came to mind when I thought about the set for this play…” And, thanks to QPAC and Black Swan, this latest incarnation of the infamous play boasts lines previously omitted from the famous film production, and stars, among others, Underbelly’s Tom O’Sullivan. “Theatre’s great,” O’Sullivan explains, speaking on the purity and immediacy of live acting over his television work. “And theatre’s where I fell in love with acting. Even doing it at a grassroots level; doing amateur theatre, and undergraduate theatre, you had to learn to be resourceful, and you learn the bare essentials – the very simple, very immediate thing of telling a story in front of people. Even if you’re doing it to a room of 12 people, or an auditorium full of a thousand, the principals are still the same. That’s what I love.”
After years of successful theatre work, and some bit-parts on television, Tom returns to work with production company Black Swan. “I’ve worked for them before; we knew each other. I was asked to meet with [director] Kate Cherry, and read for Brick. It’s a role I’ve known about for years, and it’s a fantastic role, in a brilliant, brilliant play. Really when I met her, I just stressed to her how much I’d really love to do it.” And, seemingly, that was all it took. Tasked then with a good nine months to prepare, with five weeks rehearsal time in Brisbane following that, O’Sullivan intimates that, whilst Brick’s motivations were clearly outlined by Tennessee, actually translating those into a performance was another difficulty entire. “It’s an extremely great role, but it’s also a complicated and challenging role. [Brick is] a character that’s got a lot of ambiguity about him, and that’s quite a challenge to play, because you can’t just play him as mediocre and ambiguous, there’s always reasons. He has these flashes of rage, or love – it’s quite exhausting playing that. There’s always something going on, deep within him, often masked by this very calm, serene exterior. So that in itself is hard,” he pauses, “it’s hard just trying to nail down all those things. “You have to work out exactly what is going on; what each moment [is about], and what part of the story’s being told,” O’Sullivan continues. “And in that, Tennessee Williams is a very detailed writer, and I think you’re selling yourself short if you don’t look into those details, and try to get the most out of them.” Though seeing the film for him was pretty unavoidable, he remains resolute
that his performance won’t imitate, nor rest on the laurels of Paul Newman’s. “It is a renowned play, and it is a renowned role,” he concedes. “There’s always a certain amount of expectation that comes along with that, and perhaps also preconception. Everyone’s got the famous film version of the [story] with Paul Newman, and Elizabeth Taylor, and I think a lot of people say, ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, that’s one of my favourite films.’ And, I think, with that, [it helps] to be as unaware of it as you can from my point of view. Because it is a different story; the film version and the theatre version are not massively different, but critically different in a couple of areas. “Tennessee Williams was such a skilled writer,” O’Sullivan enthuses, turning to the larger appeal of the production. “He just knows people so well, warts and all. There’s a great quote [of his] that goes, ‘There are no good or bad people, we all just see each other through the flaws of our own egos.’ And I really love that about him as a writer – and especially in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof – [and that’s] very true to life as well, in that we like to think that there’s goodies and baddies, but at the end of the day everyone’s just pushing towards what they think is right for them.” So free your mind, says he, and enjoy the story for its fundamental truths. “The fact that it’s set in Mississippi in the 1950s doesn’t make it any less relevant to today,” O’Sullivan concludes. “Themes are of love and loss and grief and death and sex, all those things are timeless. And that steamy, hot atmosphere makes them all [the more] volatile; really, anything could happen.” WHAT: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof WHERE & WHEN: Playhouse, QPAC until SaturdaySep 3
C U LT U R A L
WITH MANDY KOHLER Getting married is kind of a big deal. Yes, you can have a long and happy life with your partner without the trouble of getting hitched and still have most of the legal rights enjoyed by those properly inconvenienced by organising a wedding. However, getting married is more than legal rights, it’s saying to the world, “This is the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. If we split I fully understand that they get half”. Let’s face it, if you get married and you stay that way you’ll be credited with finding your soul mate, if it goes south you can just go ahead and write “sucker” on your forehead. So why do we do it? Why are some sectors of society upset that they can’t do it? Isn’t marriage like the toy you want because someone else is playing with it; you know, the toy you finally get your hands on only to be bored of it within five minutes? Or are the words “wife” and “husband” imbued with so much power that all should be able to wield them with equal weight? I’m all for gay marriage, now at least. It used to not be so. In my youth I was reasonably convinced that the institution of marriage was the stupidest thing ever and the sooner it became redundant the better. The best outcome I could imagine was fewer people getting married, not more. If more people get married that’s
HAMLET’S LAST HURRAH
only going to shore up this silly tradition. Now however, the world looks different and having a place to anchor doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. While I still think marriage is somewhat superfluous, if it’s good enough for me then it’s good enough for you, whoever you are. Also, call me a cynic but we could use the tourist dollar. Queensland makes a great honeymoon destination but would you celebrate your marriage somewhere it’s not even recognised? There are many countries that do recognise gay marriage but who wants to honeymoon in Norway or Belgium? Scuba diving on the reef is way more romantic...most of the time. Recent polls have suggested that most Australians do support gay marriage and of the remaining 40 or so percent who haven’t thrown their weight behind the idea, some simply don’t care. That to me says something about the normality of making gay marriage legal – when an issue that used to be as controversial as this one becomes so pedestrian that it fails to register a strong response with some you now it’s time to just get it done already. There’s bound to be a rocky transition but if gay marriage was made legal tomorrow in six months it’d be as natural as wearing a bike helmet or not smoking in pubs. It may still be a hot button issue but there are a lot of folk with PlayStation thumb.
WITH HELEN STRINGER I was wondering who had the authority to impose their own morality upon the purely subjective practice of art, but then someone decided to accuse the seminal Robert Crumb of having a “sick mind” capable of producing “crude and perverted images” and the mystery was solved. But of course – it’s Hetty Johnston, the unwanted arbiter of artistic merit, gatecrashing the party once again. As an anti-child abuse campaigner Hetty’s done great work, but as an art critic? Not so much. It’s beyond me why anyone would listen to this clearly misguided woman who’s intent on inserting herself into issues she knows nothing about, but 67-yearold Crumb was obviously concerned enough by Hetty’s comments to cancel his trip to Australian shores. Robert Crumb’s cartoons are not to everyone’s taste; they’re sexually explicit, disquieting and sometimes outright perverse. They don’t conform to what would conventionally be considered moral. But since when was art obligated to promote a conservative morality? In what year did we decide
that art was to be valued according to it’s inoffensiveness? Well, 2008 according to Hetty. This was about the time she had some success pillorying Bill Henson, the much-lauded artist who dared to take photographs of naked teenagers. Beautiful, evocative photographs that turned the prudish stomachs of Hetty and her Bravehearts. In Hetty’s world teenagers don’t get naked and they certainly don’t do so in front of cameras (obviously she’s unaware of Disney stars with a hankering for publicity), and if they do get naked and have photos taken it’s without their consent which makes it CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. And herein lies the problem with Hetty: she uses inarguable facts and absolute righteousness to obscure illogical thinking. Did Henson take photos of teenagers while they were completely naked? Yes. Were they old enough to consent? No. Are Crumb’s comics depraved? Yes. Are they sexually explicit? Yes. All of these answers are true, but they don’t add up to the conclusion that Hetty leaps to: that this makes them bad. Hetty thinks that
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THE WORLD ENDS TOMORROW, SO HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE YOUR LAST NIGHT ON EARTH? BY STAGING HAMLET. INTERVIEW WITH DANGER ENSEMBLE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR STEVEN MITCHELL WRIGHT BY HELEN STRINGER. It seems appropriate that on the eve of the end of the world someone would choose to stage one of the greatest tragedies ever told, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Such is the premise of the Danger Ensemble’s The Hamlet Apocalypse: seven actors staging Hamlet while facing the suddenly inescapable finiteness of existence. Shakespeare subjected his Danish Prince to an existential crisis of incomparably epic proportions, asking and answering some of the most pertinent questions about life, death, and everything that might come after. The question for the Danger because she doesn’t like something – photographs of adolescents or cartoons of sex-happy cats for instance – it must be wrong. She thinks she’s making a leap of logic, but what she’s really making is a leap of faith.
Ensemble then is not so much how a group of actors could devote their final moments to the Bard’s play, but how could they not? Danger Ensemble’s artistic director Steven Mitchell Wright explains that The Hamlet Apocalypse started life while the ensemble was taking a break from working with the inimitable Amanda Palmer on her world tour. “We started with premise of an apocalypse,” he says, “and came in with all different angles: the Nostradamus angle, the science angle, and the comet crashing into the earth, but how the world was ending became unimportant and it ended up being about humans dealing with the end of the world; I wanted it to be juicy and deep and hard for everybody.”
As Wright tells it Hamlet was a slightly later addition to the work; having read scores of plays to augment his existing premise of actors struggling with the end of the world Wright had to concede that whilst challenging, Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy was the most fitting. The final production, he says, is not so much The Danger Ensemble’s interpretation of Hamlet but their interpretation of the apocalypse. “As I was reading it I [found] that the apocalypse creates this tension within the text of Hamlet where what’s known as the world’s most famous existential questions are suddenly no longer existential, they’re pretty concrete and immediate. So that began the
Show her a photograph of a toddler holding a banana and she’d scream “Pornography!”. So of course when shown a picture of a cat fondling a woman she screamed “Pervert!”. What she forgot was that Crumb’s cartoons are meant for adults who are capable of making the decision to not look at them, and they’re capable of doing so without some uninformed, unqualified, irrelevant caped crusader imposing her own stringent moral paradigm upon them and screaming “pervert” over their shoulders. Given Hetty’s own fixations, I think we should be more concerned about the state of her mind than Crumb’s or even Henson’s.
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COWBOYS AND ALIENS The last time sci-fi landed on Earth and tried to impregnate the Western genre with its alien goop, the result was Wild Wild West. Thus, this reviewer approached Cowboys And Aliens with an understandable sense of trepidation. But all fears were unfounded. It’s an incredibly slick and imaginative and surprisingly gritty flick, grittier than its title makes you think it will be. L GGD BD D I GIH HI6
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Daniel Craig (Bond!) is Jake Lonergan, who wakes up in the middle of nowhere with a wound in his gut and a weird metal bracelet on his wrist. Within three minutes he’s killed three people – so we’re led to believe he’s a brutal bad-ass. Jake, however, can’t remember who he is at all. When aliens hit the local town and abduct half the population (what? It happens now, why couldn’t it have happened in the 1880s?) he’s thrown I&HI H:E >K:AN H J A 8 H:M DE:C
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BARRACKS 07 3367 1954 61 PETRIE TCE, TOP OF CAXTON ST
GREEN LANTERN (M) NOW SHOWING AT BARRACKS.
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FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS THU-10.10, 2.35, 7.05PM FRI-MON (FRI BABES), 2.35, 7.15PM TUES 10.10, 2.35, 9.25PM
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THURSDAY 18TH AUGUST TO WEDNESDAY 24TH AUGUST 2011
together with Harrison Ford’s (Indy!) well-heeled rancher Dolarhyde to go in and get their people back. It’s like The Searchers meets Predator. Well, not really, but that sounds cool. There are great performances all round in Jon Favreau’s film, particularly in some of the smaller roles like Paul Dano as Dolarhyde’s maverick son and Sam Rockwell as the quivering saloon owner. Right from the first scene the screenplay is compelling and the film looks beautiful, high desert country backed by a sweeping, invigorating soundtrack. It’s good fun with some nice beats of humour but it might have been nice to more deeply explore the superstition and philosophical implications for Old West folks realising there are worlds beyond our own. The only big downside is the aliens and their ships – while the CG is good we’ve seen this generic powerhouse bruiser-type alien with the big claws dozens of times now. Surely filmmakers can come up with a new, original look? WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from Thursday Aug 18 BAZ McALISTER
I’m not sure what Hetty’s theistic leanings are – although I reckon I could make a pretty accurate guess – but she also has near-religious faith in her most laudable cause: child protection. This woman walks through the world searching for instances of sexual exploitation and lo and behold, shock and horror, she finds them everywhere.
LEVEL 1, 151 BAROONA ROAD, ROSALIE, PH: 3876 4566, WWW.BLUEROOMCINEBAR.COM
conversation between the apocalypse and Hamlet.” However, Wright is quick to dismiss the idea that in making these enquiries into the nature of existence central to Hamlet “concrete”, the poignancy of the play will be diminished. “We don’t make [those questions] literal; the play sits in quite a poetic place and Hamlet still has its voice within the work, it’s not just about the apocalypse; Hamlet is running parallel to the apocalypse. They’re just multiple voices; I don’t think it can swallowed.” Perhaps because of our separation from death – at least in the developed world – and our inability to understand or even recognise our own mortality, apocalyptic themes are enduring and recurrent in fiction. There’s a collective fascination with finality, provided it’s viewed at a distance. Work that takes on the absolute end, as does The Hamlet Apocalypse, are confronting precisely because this finality is conclusive. “I think it’s confronting,” agrees Wright, “and it’s not confronting in a naked, screaming, shouting way; it’s confronting in the fearlessness to enter that space and go, this is maybe what death looks like, this is maybe what death feels like this is how ugly we might get when we face it and this is maybe how beautiful it could be as well, and that is confronting and it is shocking,” he finishes, “because it’s honest.” WHAT: The Hamlet Apocalypse WHERE & WHEN: Roundhouse Theatre Wednesday Aug 24 to Saturday Sep 10
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WATER INTO ART A NEW ONLINE CREATIVE PROJECT CALLED WATERWHEEL LAUNCHES NEXT WEEK. HELEN STRINGER FINDS OUT MORE FROM ITS FOUNDER, SUZON FUKS. t’s impossible to pigeon-hole Belgianraised, Brisbane-based artist Suzon Fuks; a visual artist, choreographer, director, and now, with her latest project Waterwheel about to kick off, the creator – or, more accurately, the initiator – of an interactive, collaborative platform for performance, dialogue, and exchange centred around the concept of water both as a topic and metaphor. As she
very patiently explains, once launched Waterwheel will be an online space where artists from all disciplines and backgrounds will be able to connect, collaborate, perform, or even rehearse; the intent, she explains, is not simply to approach water as a political or environmental issue but as a creative topic in and of itself.
An artist from a performance background, Fuks explains that the creation of the Waterwheel is the result of a lengthy experimentation with different platforms for performance. “I’ve been working since the 80s with multimedia and projections,” she says. “With the advancement of technology I got more and more interested by internet or the use of internet.” Fuks continues to explain that over the course of her career she’s seen water become a more prominent theme in the works of her fellow artists. She says of this growing fascination with and appreciation of water, “I have this feeling that it’s like a requiem before it dies.” While understanding the more technical aspects of Fuks’ project might be beyond some, the concept at the heart of Waterwheel is a universal necessity. Even so, she explains, while drought-hardened
Australians familiar with water restrictions and evaporating dams might be hyperaware of the true value of water, elsewhere it’s barely acknowledged as a commodity. “I come originally from Belgium,” she says. “It rains a lot so I never had the feeling of scarcity and took water for granted for a long time. Then I lived in India, and that changed everything because there you have to make your life according to water, when you can access it... It has been a journey for me into reflecting on what’s going on with something we take for granted.” Conversely, as she points out, where water isn’t taken for granted it’s politicised; on small scale this is evident in Australia with water – or the lack thereof – having long been a political issue. In more volatile and usually landlocked nations this scarcity leads not just to politicisation but to treating water as an incomparably effective weapon.
Fuks explains, “I got more and more interested and now I really see how politically it’s becoming a weapon...I think it’s important as artists and world citizens to really start to be engaged because it’s only in being engaged in how we value water as something vital for life that will change the economic value that people can give it and the use [of it] as a weapon.” That said, she adds, “the Waterwheel doesn’t want to take any political stance except that we need to address the dialogue...As long as there is dialogue that’s fine.” And as Fuks explains, “the Waterwheel gives a lot of tools to develop a dialogue from creativity, from debate.” As for her hopes for the online platform she says, “I hope that people can use Waterwheel to help social and political issues; I hope that they will use it in a very creative way and find new ways of performing.” WHAT: Waterwheel launch WHERE & WHEN: Judith Wright Centre Monday Aug 22
SURREALISM UP LATE WITH HENRY WAGONS EACH WEEK WE PROFILE A MUSICIAN PLAYING AT GOMA’S SURREALISM UP LATE FRIDAY NIGHTS. THIS WEEK: HENRY WAGONS.
GoMA rings up asking you to play in their space — what’s your first reaction? I found out about it via email. I loved how the ‘o’ isn’t capitalised. Do you regularly visit art galleries? I’m a regular presenter on the ABC’s Art Nation programme and also have an art review segment on Melbourne breakfast radio, so I have been known to go to a few gallery spaces in my time. I am the musician interloper who hangs around the catering table next to the white wines. Who’re your favourite artists and why so? Howard Arkley is my favourite Australian artist. I can relate to a lot of his airbrush work because the fuzzy edges remind me of the way I see the world when I don’t wear my glasses. With your music as inspiration tell us a surreal story in 25 words. A cowboy walks into a bar and asks for a porcupine eye. The French maid then uses him as a bean bag filled with corpses. Finally, will your set be what fans expect, or are you taking this opportunity to do something different? I will be maintaining the status quo, with heavy doses of difference, just like ALF, Webster, or Skippy from Family Ties did. WHAT: Henry Wagons at Surrealism Up Late WHERE & WHEN: GoMA Friday Aug 26
ISSUE 1540 - WED
NESDAY AUG 17
OUR ITHACA CREEK MEMBERS/ROLES:
Ronnie plays the organ and Luke, the bass guitar. Tom’s a drummer and Rich plays guitar, sings and answers Q&As.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? A bit now
HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?
We were all at the ﬁnal Go-Betweens gig in ‘89. As Grant played the closing chord of Streets Of Your Town a light shone down on us, and a voice said, ‘You must form a band in cruel, uncaring Brisbane. Revisionist history will look back on your band’s past and declare you to have been far more inﬂuential than you actually were. And all will mourn your passing and bang on about how great your records were – even though they never bought any’. We thought that sounded like a fair lark – and so here we are.
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?
Maybe Donovan Frankenreiter. We’d try to ﬁ x it so that a sharp corner lodges in the small of his back. Not feeling too groovy now man.
WOULD YOU RATHER BE A BUSTED BROKE-BUT-REVERED HANK WILLIAMS FIGURE OR SOME KIND OF METALLICA MONSTER?
WHAT REALITY TV SHOW WOULD YOU ENTER AS A BAND AND WHY?
WHICH BRISBANE BANDS BEFORE YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION (MUSICALLY OR OTHERWISE)?
IF YOUR BAND HAD TO PLAY A TEAM SPORT INSTEAD OF BEING MUSICIANS WHICH SPORT WOULD IT BE AND WHY WOULD YOU BE TRIUMPHANT?
Calling it like we see it, we’ll settle for being monstrously broke – like Meatloaf in the late-80s.
Seeing Pale and Screamfeeder at a Market Day as a kid left its mark. I’m proud of The Riptides and Ups And Downs. Regurgitator’s sense of fun, all mucking around in the Couldn’t Do It clip – as an earnest, down in the mouth teenager I should’ve paid more attention.
WHAT PART DO YOU THINK BRISBANE PLAYS IN THE MUSIC YOU MAKE?
Brisbane is responsible for the verses, Coolangatta does the chorus. The bridge is more transient – wherever Ronnie is residing at the time.
IS YOUR BAND RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE MAKE-OUTS OR BREAK-UPS? WHY?
Who cares, break-outs are the go! Shout out to the 4zzz Prisoner’s Show!
A Current Aﬀ air. We could do a lift the lid, do an exposé on which riders really work and which leave the band wanting.
Can we play soccer? Can we call it soccer? Can we eat cut-up oranges? I’ll be goalie ﬁrst – who else is playing?
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE FOR THE BAND IN THE SHORT TERM?
The big time. We’re launching a 7-inch on the 3rd of Sept. Our Ithaca Creek launch The Circle on vinyl at the Beetle Bar on Saturday Sep 3. Photo by TERRY SOO
GIG OF THEWEEK
INTERNATIONAL D.I.M: Arcade Creative Aug 17, Platinum Aug 19 BALANCE AND COMPOSURE: Kill the Music Aug 18, X & Y Aug 18 BATRIDER: Step Inn Aug 18 JESUS JONES, THE WONDER STUFF: The Tivoli Aug 18 PINBACK: The Zoo Aug 18 ALEX SMOKE: Barsoma Aug 20 BIG BOI: The Tivoli Aug 26 FANTINE: X & Y Bar Aug 26, The Brewery Aug 27 NIGHT VISION: Family Aug 26 TIMES NEW VIKING: Woodland Aug 26 JASON SIMON: Tym Guitars Aug 27 (afternoon), Old Museum Aug 27 LIAM FINN: The Zoo Aug 27 YOU ME AT SIX: The Tivoli Aug 27 ANBERLIN: The Hi-Fi Sep 2 MAN OVERBOARD: Globe Theatre Sep 3 TITLE FIGHT, TOUCHE AMORE: Old Museum Sep 8 ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD: The Hi-Fi Sep 9 SUICIDE SILENCE: The Tivoli Sep 9 THE BLACK SEEDS: The Zoo Sep 9 NICK WARREN: The Met Sep 10 RUSSIAN CIRCLES: The Zoo Sep 10 ABOVE & BEYOND: Family Sep 16 RINGWORM: Step Inn Sep 16 MONSTER MAGNET: The Hi-Fi Sep 17 SEBADOH: The Hi-Fi Sep 22 CONGOROCK: Electric Playground Sep 29, Platinum Sep 30 AKRON/FAMILY: GOMA Sep 30 MOON DUO: Woodland Oct 1 MONO: The Hi-Fi Oct 5 POUR HABIT, SMOKE OR FIRE: Miami Tavern Oct 8, Step Inn Oct 9 NEW YORK DOLLS: The Hi-Fi Oct 13 THE WOMBATS: Riverstage Oct 13 AESOP ROCK, KIMYA DAWSON: The Hi-Fi Oct 16 DROPKICK MURPHYS: The Tivoli Oct 19 OKKERVIL RIVER: The Hi-Fi Oct 19 THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: Brisbane Powerhouse Oct 21 THE PLANET SMASHERS: Step Inn Oct 27 FOLK UKE: Mullum Civic Hall Nov 2, Joe’s Waterhole Nov 3, Old Museum Nov 4 KINGS OF LEON: BEC Nov 8 CHILDREN OF BODOM: Arena Nov 13 FOO FIGHTERS, TENACIOUS D: Metricon Stadium Dec 10 ARCTIC MONKEYS: Riverstage Jan 14
NATIONAL DREAM ON DREAMER: Sun Distortion Studios Aug 17 BREWSTER BROTHERS: Stadium Bar Aug 18, Palace Hotel Aug 19, Joe’s Waterhole Aug 20 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 MICK HARVEY: GOMA Aug 19 SEEKAE: The Zoo Aug 19 THE VASCO ERA: SoundLounge Aug 19, Alhambra Lounge Aug 20 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 HUGO RACE: The Zoo Aug 25 THE VINES: Great Northern Aug 25, The Hi-Fi Aug 26 MICK THOMAS: SoundLounge Aug 26, Beetle Bar Aug 28 GURRUMUL YUNUPINGU: BEC Sep 1
BEETLE BAR FRIDAY AUG 19 No one actually remembers when Conwae Burrell and his Extrafoxx crew began recording their proper debut studio album, but that doesn’t matter now because it is ﬁnished and will be launched this Friday night in the ﬁnest of fashion. The record takes Burrell’s fantastic songs and makes them louder, denser and meatier than you’ve ever heard them before; it might not sound like the Extrafoxx you’re used to, but these songs have certainly been given the treatment they deserve. Friday also marks their ﬁrst single release with Big Pineapple available for download on iTunes. Helping them celebrate all this will be Sydney indie-pop wonders Little Lovers, who make an always welcome return to the Brisbane stage for the ﬁrst time in forever, and pop-punk dynamos Undead Apes who just this week announced they have ﬁnished recording their second album Killed By Deaf. It happens at the Beetle Bar from 8pm and entry is $10. Jim Ward @ Alhambra by Stephen Booth
it is a truly mesmerising performance. Another track is dedicated to his late cousin Jeremy, whom he didn’t speak to for three years after the break-up of At The Drive-In and never got to truly say goodbye – the line “the rift became a canyon” has never sounded more pertinent. Ward is a consummate songwriter and performer, and when he closes out the stellar set with a version of Sparta’s Air, you can’t help but take note of what an amazing gentleman he is too. A fantastic set that ﬁnishes all too soon.
THE BEARDS, GAY PARIS, TRANSVAAL DIAMOND SYNDICATE THE ZOO: 12.08.11
JIM WARD, JUD CAMPBELL
ALHAMBRA LOUNGE: 13.08.11
It’s a night of unlikely troubadours at Alhambra Lounge. First up is local misﬁt Jud Campbell, whose punk rock standing in The Disables is placed to one side as he casts out his guttural folk demons. Donning denim and a Civil War-era cap, Campbell doesn’t straddle the standard tropes of the folk music stereotype rather wrestles it to the earth and makes it his own. Ably aided and abetted by a cellist, Campbell hovers over the microphone armed with his acoustic guitar and array of harmonicas. Wanderin’ Round and Going Home are very strong entries, yet it is the evocative Lone Star renditions of Redemption Song and Ben Nichol’s The Last Pale Light In The West that particularly impress. “My name’s Jim, I’m from Texas, thanks for hangin’ out.” With these earnest words Jim Ward launches into an electric set of his solo fare that has the audience hanging oﬀ his every word. Carving a swathe through the material from his new album Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins, Ward is a commanding presence, demanding your attention and belting each song out, giving them more gravitas and bombast than can be thought possible from a man and his acoustic guitar. Everything is put on the line from the very ﬁrst song, and the burgeoning crowd are held in thrall, most obvious when On My Way Back Home Again makes an early appearance and the audience sings along with Ward, who is clearly taken aback by the connection. Broken Songs and Breaking The Unbroken are also stellar reproductions. The throaty yowls that punctuated his songs for Sparta and At The Drive-In are still in evidence when in the solo mode, yet are much more gut-wrenching and emotive tonight. Ward clearly loves Australia, with one of the perks being able to drink Cuban rum, and each song ratchets up the emotion and fervour of the set. Ward dedicates Decades to his wife, as it was the ﬁrst song written for her as opposed to “works of ﬁction”, and
Tonight, The Zoo is a haven for the bearded folk. There are new beards, old beards, fake beards, ponytails brought round to the front to make beards and even girls with beards. There are a whole lot of moustaches too, but they’re just a poor man’s attempt at a luscious face covering. First up is Transvaal Diamond Syndicate, a band with sadly only one beard. Th is swampy three-piece take a few songs to get into the groove but by the time drummer Tim Price’s shirt is oﬀ, you know it’s about to get sweaty, dirty and debaucherous in here. Burlesque dancer Red Devotchkin makes an appearance onstage as well, and a few wardrobe malfunctions have us seeing more than we expect. If you take a snapshot of Gay Paris, with their full beards, suspenders, glasses and hats, they’d look like your local Amish band but, fuck, they are far from it. They’re misogynistic, beer-swigging, clothes removing, dirty rock’n’roll men that know how to party. It’s the ﬁ lthiest kind of rock, the kind that is loud and oﬀensive, the kind that bitch-slaps you across the face but still manages to turn you on. Starting with “Let me tell you about my ﬁrst wife. That bitch was a fucking fox queen!” singer WH Monks preaches to the crowd who are just about to collectively lose their shit. From there, the riﬀ s roll out, the pants come oﬀ and beer is poured into underwear – it’s 40 minutes of uncontrolled chaos that is just so fucking good. By the time The Beards take to the stage, we’ve had time to calm down and are ready to absorb their overall message: beards are good. Even though the songs are simplistic and the content matter is always the same, The Beards are very entertaining to watch with sensual beard touching and manly bearded kisses shared among the band. Beard anthems like A Wizard Needs a Beard, Born With a Beard and If Your Dad Doesn’t Have A Beard, You’ve Got Two Mums are met with bearded cheers from the audience and any references to beard hate or even trimming are met with collective boos and outrage. The encore sees singer Johann Beardraven return with a saxophone for a beard-melting solo to end a night ﬁ lled with beard love, or insane jealousy for those of us unable to grow one.
PRESENTS 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 THE HERD: Great Northern Hotel Sep 1, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 2, The Hi-Fi Sep 3 BASTARDFEST: Jubilee Hotel Sep 3 EAGLE & THE WORM: BigSound Sep 8 BONJAH: Great Northern Sep 8, The Zoo Sep 9, Sol Bar Sep 11 GANGSTER’S BALL: The Tivoli Sep 10 ANDY BULL: The Loft Sep 9, Solbar Sep 11, The Spiegeltent Sep 13 LEADER CHEETAH: Elsewhere Sep 15, Alhambra Sep 16, King’s Beach Tavern Sep 17 MONSTER MAGNET: The Hi-Fi Sep 17 THE OWLS: X&Y Bar Sep 17 SEBADOH: The Hi-Fi Sep 22 BEN SALTER: SolBar Sep 22, The Zoo Sep 23. The Spotted Cow Sep 24 ESKIMO JOE: The Tivoli Oct 9 THE WOMBATS: Brisbane Riverstage Oct 13 THE JEZABELS: The Tivoli Oct 14, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 15 JACK LADDER: The Loft Oct 14, Step Inn Oct 15, Great Northern Hotel Oct 16 ILLY: Sprung Festival Oct 15 OKKERVIL RIVER: The Hi-Fi Oct 19 HEIRS, ALCEST: Globe Theatre Oct 20 TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: Brisbane Powerhouse Oct 21 FOLK UKE: Joe’s Waterhole Nov 3, Old Museum Nov 4 FESTIVAL OF THE SUN: Port Macquarie Dec 9-10
TIM STEWARD & KELLIE LLOYD, BEN SALTER
BLACK BEAR LODGE: 12.08.11
Walking up the narrow stairway from the Brunswick Street Mall has so many memories – the vast majority of them good ones – that a heady rush of nostalgia takes hold. The Troubadour may have hung up its boots, but in its stead is Black Bear Lodge, and it’s like being home once more. The rendered brick walls, warm lighting and decorative accoutrements such as cuckoo clocks and stag’s heads combine with the red velvet curtains, increased seating room, ambient music and wide array of eclectic alcoholic beverages to create a beautiful alternative to spending the early evening hours inhaling second hand cigarette smoke whilst listening to Top 40 hits from the early-90s. What makes the experience even more enjoyable is that the area near the stairwell has been opened up, allowing for more seating and a diﬀerent perspective for viewing music. Th is is the set up tonight as Ben Salter steps up to the plate to showcase the gamut of his solo debut The Cat. Most of these songs have been aired many times all over Brisbane, yet the process that Salter went through into bringing them into recorded life has given him, and them, a new lease on life. Old favourite The Mailbox Song is as grininducing as it is sleazy, whilst the lengthy West End Girls hovers in the air well after the last note is picked. Gin Club staple Wylde Bitch is Salter all on his own, as desperate and full of cheeky chagrin as the ﬁrst time he belted out the warped ballad. It goes without saying that someone special would have to take the reins after such an enticing entrée, so the ﬂoor is taken by two of Brisbane’s rock royalty, Tim Steward and Kellie Lloyd, to see out the inaugural Black Bear Lodge launch. The two alternate between tunes, Kellie kicking oﬀ proceedings with a new track, Insect Wings, and it’s clear that the duo is as in sync as those early Screamfeeder garage days – indeed that band’s songs are scattered throughout the set – albeit with a more mature, distinct edge. Borrowing a few tracks from Steward’s We All Want To project, it is clear throughout that old habits die hard, and the muse lives on intertwined between them. At times Kellie’s vocals and the interplay between songs gets lost amidst the growing crowd gathering at the bar, which proved a slight distraction, yet when they get into full swing Stewart and Lloyd have their hooks in and refuse to let go. A fantastic introduction to what will hopefully be a stellar mainstay on the Brisbane nightlife horizon.
Tim Steward & Kellie Lloyd @ Black Bear Lodge by Stephen Booth
stomp, the band – led by the wonderfully aﬀected croons of their singer; aﬀectations that shudder out into his physical performance – cold-open song after song with extended plays on their central riﬀs. With a synth creeping in more as their set progresses, the band ﬁnally bow-out to the screams of some despicably drunk regular at the front, who sloshes around, drawling insults, perpetually duel-wielding chaser and beer. Lastly, and unperturbed by that guy at the front who, like with his alcoholism, with the yelling doesn’t know when to quit, the great Re:Enactment open their set with the aptly titled Problematic. But, in the small sound-space, their tremendous breadth, and dynamism is mostly lost. Let It Go explodes in a ball of indescribable bliss, next – cacophonising wonderfully around its closing phrase like a swelling black-hole that sucks in all the Crown’s tawdry. Nintendogs, next, is a lumbering beast of a track, trailing pixels, and splinters of moody, sodden damp around the unprepared space, a clear highlight. Six tracks, more hollering, and they’re done.
OWL CITY, NEW EMPIRE THE TIVOLI: 15.08.11
It’s kind’ve sweet, being at an all ages event. Though, if you’ve not been to one before, the notion sounds just like a normal concert with a few tweens tacked-on, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s probably the opposite, in fact.
FUNERAL PARTY, BOY IN A BOX THE HI-FI: 09.08.11
Boy In A Box are simply powerful without resorting to juvenile screaming, systematic breakdowns, or any of the other crab walking crap that seems to be dogging emerging punk bands these days. Not that these guys are the ‘punks’ of today. Outside of ethos, probably the only hint at such a pigeonhole would be frontman Tobias Priddle’s sleeve tattoo emerging from his kindly worn Funeral Party t-shirt. The four-piece are greaser rock with their aggression maintained in a solid form; big chords, creeping keyboard lines and tight power, driven by the belting rhythms of drummer and birthday boy Thomas Crimmins. Looking like a young River Phoenix, Priddle is dynamite, holding the room with a warm and humbling charm that drips down through the whole band. They knock out some new cuts, the crowd especially enamoured with The Warriors and it’s hook of “Hearts beat as one” – a future live call to arms it’s sure to be. But it’s recent well-received favourites, Glitter Gold Ruin and Moon Comes Up that sound especially robust. A bass line that is threatening to impregnate the women present doesn’t hurt proceedings either. There’s been talk recently of Chad Elliott having little man syndrome, being arrogant, giving oﬀ the wrong vibe. But the truth is simply a conﬁdent frontman with one rough-housed voicebox, a hell of a presence and an even better dead stare. Funeral Party have the amps turned up to ear bleed level tonight, the sound almighty even by The Hi-Fi’s standards and the band work into their set over an hour, seemingly warming further to the stage and the room with each song. The punters meanwhile get louder and more rambunctious with every gearshift, tempo change and bellowed melody. Funeral Party play a relatively risky move, ripping through New York Moves To The Sound Of L.A and Exile quite early in their set but the lesser known material oﬀ debut The Golden Age Of Knowhere such as Where Did It Go Wrong, Giant Song and Relics To Ruin thrive in the live environment. All the intricacies; the synths, the shakers, the scraps, shakes and breaks sound fully-formed and alive while drummer Robert Shaﬀer is raw and unhinged, using every corner of his kit to devastating eﬀect. Dedicating a song to the London looting scum falls ﬂat as an ironic joke
but not even that, nor a busted mic stand, can derail Elliott and his LA troops. Ripping into Just Because as an encore, the pit is ﬁnally incited with some ﬁre. A killer double bill it certainly was but as Elliott stated, “Sentimentalism is for pussies” – live it and wake up tomorrow.
RE:ENACTMENT, MY FICTION, GENTLEMEN
THE CROWN HOTEL: 13.08.11
We’ve been spoiled by the concert venues in the Valley. The Crown, tonight’s setting, is instead a quiet, neon-encrusted TAB oﬀ the side of a main road in Lutwyche. Never to dismiss a book because of its scrappy, neon-bedraggled cover, this intrepid reviewer crosses the empty car park – ﬂanked by cold, suburban streets – and slips in a side-door; cushioned on the inside by a den of pokies. In front of the bar, there’s literally about half a dozen people. A youngish guy with PUSSY emblazoned across the back of his jacket stalks the ﬂoor in front of the stage; a screen blinking out faded music videos – DJ Jurgen, Lady Gaga – watches sleepily from its vantage point atop that. Th ree, scraggly ﬁgures – the moody Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, says this lit-geek – squat and confer around two metal mixing decks either side of the tiny front platform, before, without so much as an announcement that they’re here tonight as Gentlemen, blurting into a sound so terse, we’re taken aback. Their singer – long, black hair, thin – appears to be mouthing his angsty, metal vocals. After adjusting, you realise that his voice is just digitally altered, having the strange eﬀect of spatially displacing his wild screams. Incongruously, their sound around that is a drum-n-bass styled electronica, tinged with a light Xiu Xiu dada. It’s kind’ve amazing, utterly unique, and kind’ve overwrought. Bill Murray’s ﬁ lm Where The Buﬀ alo Roam strobes silently onto the screen in the background. My Fiction, up next, it turns out were half the waiting crowd. (That’s not meant as an implication at their size, either; merely a fact.) Launching into a refreshingly muscular, and starkly melodic rock-
With doors at six, The Tivoli ﬂoods – though modestly – with parents and preteens, roped-in dads fresh from work, neighbourhood chaperones for big groups of young girls who chatter, screeching with excitement about how grown-up this feels, how lovely the place looks, I wonder what he’ ll look like. Though every time a stage hand crosses a cable, or tunes a guitar the young crowd has roared, when Sydney pop-rockers New Empire take to their places, that takes on a new extremity entire. At their coiﬀed hair, leather jackets, square jaws, and skinny jeans the young crowd goes wild; screams pitched so high, you instinctively shift away from glass objects. The band wave, grinning, and the lights dramatically cut, replaced by rolling blue searchlights, and a booming bass-drum kick. An aptly titled Worth The Wait rises from that entrance; a song that’s mostly chorus, lean and lyrically skewed towards tonight’s age average. Broad, and charmingly clichéd, the band shift into a track that begins with their singer, a cappella, asking the wide, watery-eyed crowd, “If he hurts you, then why are you in love?”. Mums look anxiously at their adoring daughters, perhaps a ﬂicker of nostalgia passing from grown woman to ﬂedgling tween. Tightrope, next, continues in that vein, their singer proclaiming it ‘the way out’ of discouraging feelings. Earnest, syrupy, perfectly-pitched, they climax on the soaring Summer Sky. With the album cover for All Things Bright And Beautiful stretched large across The Tivoli’s back, Owl City, consisting of three drummers, a violinist, a cellist, and a keyboard player hustle in dim light to their positions, the crowd’s screeches catching with excitement in their throats. As the house-lights begin to rise, pulsing, the three drummers atop the sound of rain and thunder from the speakers, begin to pound at their places; rhythmic, hypnotic. As the beating rumbles to a chorus, there’s a loud owl hoot – yes, really – and the middle-drummer turns, revealing himself as Adam Young, the outﬁt’s lead. The Real World drowns out the endless screams, with Young surprisingly not at a keyboard, but instead waving around the stage, a ﬂurry of ﬂowery hand-movements. Favourite Cave In next coos its sweet, downy nothings around the radio crowd, Young physically emoting each word, almost like he was signing the songs. Hello Seattle twinkles angelically into Umbrella Beach, and Hospital Flowers, before climaxing on You Know What.
TOUR GUIDE THE LIVING END: The Tivoli Sep 1 & 2 ZOE BADWI: Platinum Sep 2, Family Sep 4 BIRDS OF TOKYO: Rumours Sep 8, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 9, The HiFi Sep 10, A & I Hall Sep 11 GLENN RICHARDS: Mullum Civic Hall Sep 8, Sol Bar Sep 9, Old Museum Sep 10 BOY & BEAR: Kings Beach Tavern Nov 9, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 10, The Tivoli Nov 11 FRENZAL RHOMB: Arena Sep 9 ED KUEPPER: Brisbane Festival Sep 15, Sound Lounge Sep 16 LEADER CHEETAH: Elsewhere Sep 15, Alhambra Sep 16, Sol Bar Sep 17 SPARKADIA: The Tivoli Sep 17, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 18 ART VS SCIENCE: Great Northern Sep 21, Spotted Cow Sep 22, Kings Beach Tavern Sep 23, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 24 JOSH PYKE: Great Northern Sep 22, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 23, The Hi-Fi Sep 24 ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI: The Tivoli Sep 25 THE CAT EMPIRE: The Zoo Sep 29 & 30, The Tivoli Oct 1 THE AMITY AFFLICTION: The Tivoli Oct 5 & 6 THE PANICS: Great Northern Oct 6, The Hi-Fi Oct 7, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 8 TEX PERKINS & THE DARK HORSES: Judith Wright Ctr Oct 7 ESKIMO JOE: The Tivoli Oct 9 THE JEZABELS: Great Northern Oct 12, USQ Club Oct 13, The Tivoli Oct 14 & 16, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 15 JACK LADDER: The Loft Oct 14, Step Inn Oct 15, Great Northern Oct 16 THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Surfers Paradise Beergarden Oct 14, Hamilton Hotel Oct 15 THE GRATES: Spotted Cow Oct 27, The Tivoli Oct 28, Great Northern Nov 16, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 17, Kings Beach Tavern Nov 18 THE DRONES: The Hi-Fi Oct 28
FESTIVALS WINTERBEATZ 2011: Riverstage Aug 20 BASTARD FEST: Jubilee Hotel Sep 3 BIGSOUND: Fortitude Valley Sep 7 – 9 FRANKLY!: Powerhouse Sep 10 REGGAEFEST: Missingham Park Sep 17 – 18 THE GATHERING: Old Museum Sep 17 OPEN FRAME: Powerhouse Sep 28 & 29 PARKLIFE: Botanic Gardens Oct 1 CALOUNDRA MUSIC FESTIVAL: Kings Beach Park Oct 7 – 9 SPRUNG: Riverstage Oct 15 600 SOUNDS: Gold Coast Streets Oct 21 – 23 ISLAND VIBE: Point Lookout Oct 28 – 30 GOLDEN DAYS: Coolum Beach Nov 19 – 20 HARVEST: Botanic Gardens Nov 19 STEREOSONIC: RNA Showgrounds Dec 4 FESTIVAL OF THE SUN: Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park Dec 9 & 10
Indie kids of Brisbane unite, because we have a hell of a show for you! With two amazing albums under their belt, local alternative pop-rockers Swaying Buildings are holding ﬁrm as one of Brisbane’s premier indie bands. Th is week they’re teaming up with fellow rockers The Anchors and The Bandito Folk for a one-oﬀ night of musical goodness at Brisbane’s Beetle Bar on Thursday Aug 18. But that’s not all, seeing as it is Ekka week here in Brisbane, the ﬁrst 25 people through the door will snag themselves a very special Swaying Buildings show bag! Doors open at 8pm.
BROADWAY MILE RATHER THAN SET FIRE TO HIS EX GIRLFRIEND’S CAR, BRENDAN KELSO, FROM SYDNEY POP ROCKERS BROADWAY MILE, WROTE A SONG INSTEAD AND, AS SINGER TIM BROADWAY EXPLAINS TO TONY MCMAHON, IT BECAME THE TITLE TRACK OF THEIR DEBUT EP, NOW YOU KNOW.
As far as the rest of the record goes, Broadway says that it was all about capturing the live sound. “This is where our man of magic Sonny Truelove comes into place. We recorded the CD with Sonny on the Central Coast of NSW. He was a massive help in capturing our sound. We couldn’t be more happy with how it all went. He gave us all the time in the world and helped us take time in ﬁnding what sounds were going to work best for what songs.” Which would mean that the EP should form the basis of a pretty awesome live show. Broadway agrees, as well as pointing out that Brisbane is a real party town. “We love coming to Queensland, it’s always a party! We’re very excited to take this new record on the road and play it for everyone onstage. This is the best part of recording, hitting the road and playing it live, meeting new people and going to new places. We’re sharing the stage over these two nights with our good friends Nine Sons Of Dan, Burning Brooklyn and, at The Hive show, Hey Denise. We’ve played with NSOD and Burning Brooklyn before. I guarantee these two shows are going to be amazing.” WHO: Broadway Mile WHAT: Now You Know (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: X&Y Bar Friday Aug 19, The Hive Saturday Aug 20
HAVE YOU HEARD?
MAD AS A CUT SNAKE
ONCE MORE WITH FEELING Some have likened him to an Australian Joe Strummer for his radical and emotionallycharged performances, and the one and only Steve Towson is on the road again with his band The Conscripts to promote their latest album. But it’s a little bittersweet as their latest oﬀering – the aptly titled Cygnus Olor – will also be the group’s ﬁnal album; their swansong. You deﬁnitely don’t want to miss Towson and The Conscripts when they play the Old Museum, where they will be supported by The Mouldy Lovers, The Pugs, Wheat Paste and The Great Shame on Saturday Aug 20. Tickets are $10 + bf through OzTix or $15 on the door.
“Setting a car on ﬁre would be satisfying don’t get me wrong,” says Broadway. “But the chances are if we did that we wouldn’t have a new CD out because Brendan would have been picked up by the police. So I think the songwriting was deﬁnitely the better option. I’m very proud of Brendan for coming out on top of the situation with an awesome song rather than jail time, or whatever the punishment is for setting someone’s car on ﬁre.”
There’s every chance you’ve heard their stupidly infectious brand of raucous garage pop on triple j over the past few months, but if you haven’t witnessed the tour de force that is Velociraptor in a live environment then you are really missing out on experiencing the most impressive aspect of this band. It’s pure bedlam every time they take the stage; often dangerous, always loud and certainly never boring, you can be guaranteed limbs will be ﬂying everywhere – from band and crowd alike – when they kick oﬀ their Drunken Knife Fights tour at Woodland on Saturday Dec 3. The Madisons and Dolphins support.
The psychobilly explosion that is Dick Desert will be taking over Ric’s this Saturday night, as Dick and his punk-inspired rocking blues kicks you in the teeth like only he knows how. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart but if you think you’re tough enough to handle it, Dick wants you to get your arse down there! To round out the line up, for what should be a cheap and messy night, Midnight Son and The Crime Scene will also be tearing up the stage. It all kicks oﬀ from 8pm, you have been warned.
TIME TO INTERVENE
Screw the weddings; the Four Interventions And A Funeral Tour is where it’s at this August. Victoria’s Quarry Mountain Dead Rats are bringing the sounds of the Deep South up north, putting a modern rock’n’roll twist on old school bluegrass. Barely a year old, QMDR are killing it in the radio charts, ﬁghting oﬀ hordes of festival invites and cultivating a breathtaking live presence; and this month is your chance to catch them up close and personal. The guys are playing The Rails in Byron on Friday Aug 19; The Joynt on Saturday Aug 20 and the Queen St Mall Sunday Aug 21, then Ric’s Bar on Wednesday Aug 24; before playing SolBar on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday Aug 25 and ﬁnally The Loft on the Gold Coast the following night.
IT’LL BE A HOOT
Relative newcomers to the live scene, Brisbane’s Sencabah hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. They’ve been making a name for themselves playing their own enigmatic style of rock that they’ve dubbed ‘Owl Rock’ around town of late. Now the hard yards have paid oﬀ ; Sencabah are playing their ﬁrst ever headlining show at The Zoo on Wednesday Aug 24. They’ll be joined on the night by two special guests; Brisbane veteran Daddy Loops, a musical wizard with his fancy loop pedal, and Alistair McRae of Inland Sea in a very special solo performance. See you at the show.
How did you get together? (Dan O’Connell – drums): “I came back from touring the US to start a band with my brother Steve “De Vin” O’Connell (guitar) to a genre of music we both felt closer to our roots. We then approached our long term friend Tom Furby (bass) to see if he would join, he said yes. The three of us then started the long task of practicing covers to get used to each other and how we play, after that we did a cover of three songs onto a video and put it up on YouTube. Eventually Jake Davis (frontman/synth) sent us a cover of him singing and playing and we knew he was the right guy for the job. After that we spent three nights a week writing and practicing and ended up writing like 40-50 songs. From there we’ve been booking shows, recording and hanging out since!” Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Indie Rock’n’Roll! – couldn’t make it any clearer!” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “Wow! Well there are so many to be honest – A short list would have to be U2, The Killers, The Beatles, Oasis, Coldplay, The National, Arcade Fire, Tom Petty, RHCP, Muse, Wings, a-Ha – heaps but that’s a shortlist!”
BETTER AND BETTER
As if it wasn’t exciting enough that Regurgitator are back on tour, they’ve also rounded up some serious talent to join the party in the support act stakes. New Zealand’s Disasteradio will be bringing catchy new wave electronic pop over to Australia for the occasion and local favourites Oh Ye Denver Birds will also be getting in on the action, promising a set that’s part folk, part happy hardcore and all good. Disasteradio and Oh Ye Denver Birds support Regurgitator at the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay on Thursday Aug 18 and The Coolangatta Hotel on the Gold Coast on Friday Aug 19; then Brisbane veterans Ponyloaf hook up with them for the Brisbane show at The Hi-Fi on Saturday Aug 20. Tickets are available through OzTix or Moshtix for the Brisbane date.
The Royales play Basement 243 on Friday Aug 19 and BarSoma on Thursday Aug 25
SINGLE TWIN PLAYS THIRD HANGAR The third instalment of one of Brisbane’s most exciting new live music nights is coming up! Hangar The Beetle #3 will see a motley crew of eclectic artists take to the stage at the Beetle Bar for your viewing and listening pleasure on Saturday night. Melbourne folk artist Single Twin, pictured, is headlining the event and he’ll be joined by the hypnotic Tigermoth and local favourites Sunshine State. Aheadphonehome will also be gracing the stage to release the ﬁrst single from their (yes, the project has recently expanded to become a full band) forthcoming sophomore album, Dream Reverb. Tickets are only $10 on the door.
You’re being sent into space, you can’t take an iPod and there’s only room to bring one album – which would it be? “You’ve got to be kidding? Tough questions – maybe something by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers or The Killers?” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “I’m not sure we have had any yet? – I’d say anytime we hit the stage we all kind of look at each other while playing the songs and agree that this is the greatest thing we could do with our lives.” Why should people come and see your band? “Honestly – we are the tightest up-andcoming act that Australia will see for a while. We never do anything half-hearted and give 100% in our performance. We have a massive “The Royales” LED logo that shines away in the background when we play which is rad to see as well, haha!”
TIME WARP SIX PACK Aug 17, 1995 – Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) attempts suicide by slashing his wrists at a Sunset Strip hotel. He was hospitalised and later fully recovered.
LINDSAY PHILLIPS DO YOU WANT TO HEAR THE WORLD FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE WHILE FINDING THE LIGHT IN YOUR DARK INNER SANCTUM? THE MAGNANIMOUS TROUBADOUR THAT IS LINDSAY PHILLIPS WILL HAPPILY PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK. HE TALKS FRANKLY WITH BENNY DOYLE.
Aug 18, 1992 – Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Courtney Love (Hole) became parents to daughter Frances Bean. Aug 19, 1964 – The ﬁrst American tour by The Beatles begins in San Francisco, California. The tour would cover 26 cities. Aug 20, 2001 – The remaining dates of Foo Fighters’ European tour are cancelled when drummer Taylor Hawkins is admitted to hospital. Aug 21, 2006 – German prosecutors announce that they have decided against opening an investigation into Madonna after she performed a controversial mock cruciﬁxion scene at a concert on August 20. Aug 22, 1906 – The Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey, begin to manufacture the Victrola. The hand-cranked unit, with horn cabinet, sells for US$200.
Phillips’ latest track Exile is the ﬁrst cut oﬀ next year’s full-length release Taedium Vitae. With additional instrumentation bulking up his stark voice and guitar, the songwriter says that, although removed, it deﬁnitely has a kinship with the rest of the record. “Exile is perhaps somewhat bombastic when compared with most of the songs on Taedium Vitae,” he explains. “However it is indicative of what folks could expect to hear on the record. Producer Myles Mumford and I have utilised quite an array of sounds for this album, including an old mellotron, a sousaphone, harmonium, double bass and chorale. Some songs have been arranged more sparingly but I’m sure that anybody even vaguely familiar with my debut Varning would immediately recognise the broader scope and vision.”
Aug 23, 1993 – The Los Angeles Police Department formally announced that Michael Jackson is the subject of a criminal investigation.
NONE MORE CLASSY
Want to spice up your Wednesday evening? Scotch Night at The Sean Connery (downstairs at X&Y Bar) on Wednesday Aug 24 will showcase three great Brisbane songwriters in an intimate solo show. Get there by 7.15pm to be enthralled by Kate Jacobson, then Harley Young will oﬀer his own brand of country inﬂuenced tunes from 8pm, before the always wonderful Kellie Lloyd ﬁnishes things oﬀ in ﬁne style. Entry is just ﬁve bucks and the ﬁrst ﬁve people through get a free scotch!
ON THE TIME OFF STEREO The Whole Love WILCO Father, Son, Holy Ghost GIRLS In The Mountain, In The Cloud PORTUGAL. THE MAN Sing For Your Meat: Guided By Voices Tribute VARIOUS RFTC ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT Surrender To Jonathan JONATHAN RICHMAN Starvation Box BACKSLIDERS An Evening With… REV LOUIS OVERSTREET Love & Desperation SWEET APPLE Pack Your Troubles In Dreams M.O.T.O
And as for Taedium Vitae or the ‘Tedious Life’... “I do feel this summarises the lyrical content quite nicely,” he says. “And yes, it would be fair to say that they represent my worldview, but I wouldn’t like people to think that I’m necessarily such a negative creep. For me, the work is therapy and it’s more about searching for beauty in disorder – ﬁnding positivity in a negative arena.” WHO: Lindsay Phillips WHAT: Exile (Departed Sounds/Other Tongues) WHERE & WHEN: Cabinessence Thursday Aug 25, X&Y Bar Saturday Aug 27, Black Bear Lodge Sunday Aug 28
The Laurels are an indie rock band from Sydney who released their debut EP Mesozoic in early July; and if you’ve seen or heard them in recent times you’ll agree that they have come a long way since their humble beginnings winning their university band competition in 2007. The youthful four-piece are known for their impressive live show, having already supported the likes of Low, Tame Impala and You Am I, to name but a few and they’re now supporting Seekae this week, when they are up here playing The Zoo on Friday Aug 19. OzTix have your tickets sorted for $22.45.
SIX PACK THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY IS THE SECOND SINGLE OFF THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS’ FORTHCOMING DEBUT ALBUM, BATMANIA. TONY MCMAHON CATCHES UP WITH LEAD GUITARIST AL MARX TO DISCUSS POLANSKI, PORN NAMES AND PUPPETS. pet was ‘The Fearless’ and my ﬁrst street was ‘Vampire Killers’ so together our porn name is ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’.”
It seems barely a rest has been allowed since last year’s Varning. But much to the chagrin of those ﬁghting some musical writer’s block, Phillips was essentially just backlogged with quality tunes. “I’d like to be able to say that I am constantly writing, but at this point it seems that my time and focus for writing has been inhibited by the completion of the new record,” he continues. “Varning was actually recorded in May ‘08, and by the time I was able to release it last year, this record was all but written.”
LIKE A FINE WINE It would appear that singer-songwriter Lucie Thorne has reason to celebrate having just released her newest album Bonﬁres In Silver City, which she has dubbed her greatest work to date. That’s a big call considering the warm reception her previous 2009 album Black Across The Field received, but the songstress’ latest oﬀering showcases her stunning lyrical talents and her trademark amalgamation of rock and roots better than ever before. Thorne is touring nationally to promote the release, with a little help from legendary drummer Hamish Stuart, and you can see them showcasing tracks from the record as well as old favourites at the Beetle Bar on Thursday Aug 25 and The Brewery in Byron Bay Friday Aug 26.
As a band, The Fearless Vampire Killers have been gathering quite a bit of momentum lately. Some say it’s due to their singer Sean Ainsworth’s intoxicating vocals, others that it’s their solidly hipster following. Still others put it all down to The Vampires’ ability to throw a good house party. What are the ingredients needed for a successful house party and will the band be throwing any in Brisbane? Batmania is due for release this October, and surely falls into the category of ‘eagerly anticipated’ if any record does. The question of whether or not Tell Me What You’re Trying To Say is representative of what we’ll hear on the rest of the record is answered by Marx with a handy little comparison. “It’s pretty typical of the album,” he says. “Like Letterman is to American comedy.” When someone names their band after a Polanski movie – and one of his best ones at that – Time Oﬀ assumes that there’s probably a decent story there. But it seems that we’re wrong, and that the band were named after an entirely diﬀerent kind of ﬁlm. “It was actually a big coincidence. Sean’s ﬁrst
“We’d love to if you’re oﬀering. You just need a cool place and the right vibe. But if that fails, a healthy supply of dips and sparklers always wins friends.” In closing, Marx philosophises lyrically on, well, on puppets, as you do. “I don’t think Harold the giraﬀe from the Life Be In It vans ever came to terms with being a puppet. Or maybe it was just his small neck.”
WHO: The Fearless Vampire Killers WHAT: Tell Me What You’re Trying To Say (digital) WHERE & WHEN: Alhambra Lounge Saturday Aug 20
Clear also contains guest contributions galore, and Johnstone says they were an absolute godsend.
CRYSTAL RADIOS AFTER THEIR WELLRECEIVED DEBUT, LOCAL OUTFIT CRYSTAL RADIOS HAVE FOLLOWED UP WITH CLEAR. BUT AS SINGER MURRAY JOHNSTONE EXPLAINS TO TONY MCMAHON, EP NUMBER TWO IS QUITE A DEPARTURE.
“The main diﬀerence is that Clear is much more of a group eﬀort. Be My Guest was pretty much all played, recorded and mixed by me to get the ball rolling before the other guys came along. You can deﬁnitely hear their individual inﬂuences over the sound this time around. Also, this time we asked our old mate and producer Jeﬀ Lovejoy to record the drums and work his magic on the mixes.”
“We were really fortunate to have friends who just happened to come around for drinks while we were recording and chip in, which really suited these particular songs. Having Mel [Fraser] sing so beautifully on the track Teenager with me is a real treat. She has such a lovely voice, kind of like honey that’s poured over my toasted ‘morning after’ vocal take, just perfect for the sentiment of the lyric. Paulie [Bourke] deﬁnitely added his ﬂavour to Hook, Line & Sinker with his thumping double bass line. As our
mate PJ Weston did with his countriﬁed harmonica on I Feel Love.” All of which means the upcoming launch will be more like a party than a gig. There may even be cake. “When mixing, Jeﬀ was pretty ruthless with some of the extra parts, mostly guitar texture stuﬀ that we’d brought in, which is why we love his work. What you hear on the recording is pretty true to what we play live. We’re hoping to have a couple of our friends from the record pop in for guest appearances and join in the fun. I know it’s Mel’s birthday on the day, and we’re also welcoming our new bass player Johnny to the stage for his ﬁrst gig with us, so there may be party hats and cake.” WHO: Crystal Radios WHAT: Clear (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Brisbane Powerhouse Sunday Aug 21
SOUNDSLIKEBRISBANE INDIE LABELSHOWCASE LABEL NAME: Plus One Records NAME: Simon Homer aka ‘Mr Beardo’ aka the Skinny’s Dude FOUNDED: 2003 CURRENT ACTS: Halfway, The Gin Club, Intercooler, The Blackwater Fever, Black Mustang, Inland Sea, Silent Feature Era, The Whats, We All Want To, Mexico City, Roz Pappalardo, Giants Of Science ALUMNI: Iron On, Mary Trembles, Little Lovers, Rollerball, Texas Tea BRIEF HISTORY: Started out as a punter who used to shop in a very small cool store in my hometown of Perth, moved to Brisbane early 1994 and found a small store here that was very similar, ended up buying the small record store, found a small community of likeminded folk who (pardon the pun) wanted to help the music community at a local level, lost the music store (vale Skinny’s) to the times of today and ended up with a small label still servicing the same local community as everybody is a local somewhere. LABEL FOCUS: The label focus is to help local bands get a (very small) step in the right direction of Rock’n’Roll 101; we seem to sign bands that we enjoy both on a live scale and a songwriters level and ﬁnd it’s way more fun and exciting watching a local band grow in front of your eyes than it is a band you don’t know. We try to help bands with decision making, sometimes it’s good to have a bad cop on board to throw ideas and questions around and we look at our services more of a mentorship than management with the hope we can be a good stepping stone to bigger things. We’re a one man show, we know our strengths and our weaknesses and much prefer to have a meeting with a band over a beer than over a computer monitor – the music industry is as punk DIY as it was in the late-70s. The market is still small especially here in Australia , there’s minimal dollars to be had and there’s a lot of competition out there chasing that small booty, if we can help the few bands that come our way take the right steps we’ve done okay, if somebody higher up the food chain takes note and wants to take the band up for their next release then I think it’s a job well done. IN THE PIPELINE: We have the new Intercooler album out in September and new EP for Inland Sea, with both bands playing this year’s BigSound Conference. We also have Silent Feature Era , The Blackwater Fever and Black Mustang playing at The Zoo for our 2011 showcase on Tuesday Sep 6 (Tuesdays are the new Fridays) and lots in the pipeline for 2012. SHOWCASING BANDS: We have Silent Feature Era playing with their friends Our Ithaca Creek and a new band called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern opening festivities. Plus One Records (plus friends) showcase is at the Crown Hotel on Saturday Aug 20
VIRILE DAN Since the release of their debut EP Landslide last year, Nine Sons Of Dan have become known for their electric presence on stage; the ﬁve-piece establishing themselves as really ones to watch by kicking oﬀ the year playing at the 2011 Gold Coast Big Day Out. They’re ending their She’s So Fine national tour on a high note by playing two shows in Brisbane; they’ll be at X&Y Bar on Friday Aug 19, then an all ages show on Saturday Aug 20 at The Hive. Sydneysiders Broadway Mile and Brisbane’s Burning Brooklyn will support the Sons at both shows and Hey Denise will join them at the all ages gig.
SIX PACK THE JUNGLE GIANTS CONNECTING IN HIGH SCHOOL THROUGH A SIMILAR LOVE OF MUSIC, IN A LITTLE OVER A YEAR THE JUNGLE GIANTS HAVE EMERGED FROM THE VEGETATION WITH SOME STIRRING, FRESH TUNES. BENNY DOYLE SHOOTS THE BREEZE WITH SAM HALES. start a band was because I heard one of Yves Klein Blue’s tracks and nearly lost my shit. They have been a huge inﬂuence ever since.” In saying this, punch and power within the music haven’t been removed with the pub mentality – just realigned. Hales agrees. “Our sound is based on fun up-beat guitar riﬀs with driving percussive rhythms. We like to use each instrument as a layer, and we play a lot with dynamics. We do this to try and show that even simplistic sounds can make a big eﬀect in a recording, and also in a live setting.”
In recent years, young bands like The Holidays, Last Dinosaurs and Van She have led a detachment from the traditional grot of Aussie pub rock to more tropical and whimsical sounds that seem to reﬂect our society and culture just as well. Another fantastic purveyor of the new school are The Jungle Giants. Frontman Sam Hales tries to put his ﬁnger on the reasoning behind the shift. “I think it comes down to the fact that a lot of Aussie muso’s are listening to other Aussie bands,” he contemplates. “I guess it’d be hard to pinpoint the ﬁrst Aussie band to start playing music along this new vibe, but a lot of songwriters must have been inspired by the sounds. One of the main reasons I wanted to
With a bunch of new material, another EP in the pipelines, and sketches of a debut LP, The Jungle Giants are yet another Brisbane band seemingly destined for a breakout. The sense of occasion isn’t lost on Hales “There’s deﬁnitely that vibe at the moment,” he states. “There is something crazy going on in Brissie where all the kids are making wicked music at the same time – It’s so exciting.”
WHO: The Jungle Giants WHERE & WHEN: Alhambra Lounge Friday Aug 19, The Edge Saturday Aug 20 (all ages), The Zoo Thursday Sep 8 (BigSound)
SUBSCRIBING 4ZZZ’s Radiothon festival may be oﬃcially over however if you didn’t get your subscription or pledge in during the ten day period, you can still subscribe any time! You may not win one of the Radiothon prizes but you will support the only independent youth radio station in Brisbane. Also if you have pledged to subscribe during Radiothon, you have until Monday Aug 29 to pay up, then we will be drawing the prizes so ﬁngers crossed you might just win something! MERCH The rest of August is Merch Month at 4ZZZ so pop into the station and check out a bunch of new designs just in, including new t-shirts, tote bags and stubby coolers, plus when you purchase our merch you get the added bonus of supporting the station with further funding! TRAINING Zedder and creative freelancer Ili Tulloch has just joined co-ordinator Bronwen Loden to head up the training team at Triple Zed. They’ve have been busy cementing relationships with community organisations in Brisbane to deliver informative and engaging workshops across a broad range of media, graphic design & arts skill sets. Coming Up: AIRPLAY Station Tours: We’ve recently started oﬀering these informative and fun station tours again for community groups, classes and other small groups. We introduce you to the history of 4ZZZ as an independent media organisation, the future of independent media and teach participants the basics of how to make great radio. You even get the chance to go live-to-air! To book a tour contact Ili: firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops & Community Outreach: Check out the next bunch of workshops being oﬀered at The Edge this September. They’re ﬁ lling up so make your booking soon! If you’re interested in workshops or engaging with 4ZZZ for the beneﬁt of your clients, students or employees, get in touch: email@example.com. Certiﬁed Media Training: We oﬀer certiﬁed media training for radio announcers and others. For more information about what’s coming up contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out www.4zzzfm.org.au/training for more.
CHANNEL [V] VIDEO MUSIC CHART 1. Moves Like Jagger MAROON 5 FT. CHRISTINA AGUILERA 2. Someone Like You ADELE 3. Bounce CALVIN HARRIS FT. KELIS 4. Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE FT. KIMBRA 5. Super Bass NICKI MINAJ 6. Holy Moses WASHINGTON 7. Ready To Go (Get me Out Of My Mind) PANIC! AT THE DISCO 8. Changed The Way You Kissed Me EXAMPLE 9. Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY 10. I Need A Dollar ALOE BLACC
They play trash pop, they’re from Melbourne and they’re a hell of a lot of fun. They were originally called Radio Star but they very recently changed their name to The Sunny Days, and their latest single You Got Me (I Got You) from their independently-released EP Paris Syndrome, is the follow up to their previous single A Common Tale and in support of it, the band are heading to Brisbane for a big show at The Zoo on Saturday Aug 20, where they will appear with three other upcoming Aussie talents in Tin Can Radio, Tales In Space and The Shiny Brights. Tickets are only $10 + bf and available from OzTix right now.
Hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell. Email punk news to email@example.com Not much news this week, but what little news that there was, man was it full on! First up – the cancellation of Soundwave Revolution. The oﬃcial statement by AJ Maddah stated that the cancellation of the festival was prompted by one of the co-headliners (that was to be a part of the second announcement that never happened) pulling out making the team victims of the bands’ schedules. However, it was also stated that the majority of the bands would still be heading out here. Maddah stated, “It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the Revolution Festival. Many of the festival bands will still be coming to Australia in that time period and team up to bring you some very special shows. These will include multi band/mini festival line-ups in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We will be announcing these events in the next 7 days. Tickets purchased online will be refunded automatically as soon as it can be processed. If you purchased from an outlet, refunds will be available next week from point of purchase.” So where does that leave all use fans of the punk and hardcore acts on the line up? Via Twitter, it has been announced that “we are keeping the same dates or very close to it in all ﬁve cities so that people’s plans are uninterrupted”. It has already been conﬁrmed that Yellowcard will still be heading to Australia, and a recent Facebook update by the band, there is the suggestion that they will be bringing Bad Religion and Panic! At The Disco with them. It makes sense considering that they’re locked in to play the Big Wave Festival in Jakarta, which is just days before the Soundwave Revolution was supposed to commence. I’m sure by now everyone has heard the news that the well-loved Canadian hardcore act Alexisonﬁre have broken up. The news was delivered bluntly on the band’s website by vocalist George Petit, when he said “There is no good way to put it so I’m just going to say it. After 10 years, Alexisonﬁre has decided to part ways.” Apparently, over a year ago, guitarist/vocalist Dallas Green told his bandmates that following the touring cycle for
Old Crows/Young Cardinals he would be leaving the band to concentrate on City & Colour. Then recently guitarist Wade Macneil was asked to join another band and decided to leave Alexisonﬁre to pursue a future with this band. The reaction to this news has been phenomenal, demonstrating just how much this band has touched the lives of so many fans. The next question then is who is this unnamed band that Macneil was asked to join? The answer to this question was released last week in Kerrang as none other than Gallows. The English punk band had recently parted ways with their vocalist Frank Carter, so it will deﬁnitely be interesting to see how they adapt to having someone quite diﬀerent in the vocalist’s role. After all, the volatile frontman and his crass lyrics on Orchestra Of Wolves and the expansive concept of Grey Britain was one of the reasons I liked the band. Macneil made the following comments regarding his addition to the line-up: “After the boys decided they were going to keep going, my name kind of popped up, and they all thought it made sense. It didn’t overcomplicate itself. I talked to Steph [Carter, guitarist], and I said I was deﬁnitely interested. He pretty much said, ‘OK, let’s do it’, and I got on a plane and we’re writing right now.” You either love them or you hate them, but Confession are heading back out on the mean highways of Australia and they’re bringing with them a brand new album. Titled The Long Way Home the album will be released through Resist Records on Sep 23. Recorded by iconic Swedish metal producer, Fredrik Nordstrom (Bring Me The Horizon, I Killed The Prom Queen, In Flames) at his Gothenberg studio, the result is ten tracks that keep true to the band’s roots, fusing both heavy and melodic elements into a hardcore sound. You can catch Confession in and around Brisbane this October with Sydney’s Thy Art Is Murder and Antagonist AD (from New Zealand). On Wednesday Oct 12, the tour will hit The Hi-Fi in Brisbane; then on Thursday Oct 13 they play an all ages show at YAC in Byron Bay. Finally on Friday Oct 14 they play another all ages show in Brisbane at Beenleigh PCYC.
Local raging crust legends Teargas launch their new long-anticipated LP The Way Of All Flesh this weekend. Friday night will see them tear it up at Sun Distortion Studios in Albion with Thick Skin, Sick People and Arseholocaust for $10 from 8pm. Saturday night they’ll hit Fat Louie’s [NB: no longer at the Step Inn due to that venue’s temporary closure] with No Anchor, Pastel Blaze, Last Chaos and Cannibal for a free 18+ gig. Melbourne/Adelaide/Byron mosh metal kings Confession will hit the road in October in support of their second album The Long Way Home. They’ll be bringing Sydney deathcore group Thy Art Is Murder and New Zealand vegan metal group Antagonist AD. Queensland dates include The Hi-Fi on Oct 12 and the Beenleigh PCYC on Oct14. All shows are $15 with tickets on sale now. The Long Way Home was produced by Fredrick Nordstrom (In Flames, Darkest Hour) and will be released on Sep 23 through Resist Records. A replacement international headliner for Doomsday Festival is set to be announced by the time you read this. It’s set to take place at the Jubilee Hotel on Oct 14. Legendary Finnish power/speed/neo-classical/ melodic death/how-much-further-can-we-tryand-narrow-this-down metal group Children Of Bodom have announced that they’ll return to Australia on the back of this year’s Relentless Reckless Forever album, and they’re bringing Perth proggers Voyager with them. The duo will perform at the Arena in Brisbane on Nov 13, with tickets on sale now through OzTix for $73.45. The Metal Blade-signed NSW thrash group Assaulter will complete a brief run of touring in December with Canberra maniacs Hellbringer. You can catch them in Brisbane at the Beetle Bar on Dec 3.
Congratulations to the Mojo Webb Band who have won the Blues Association of Southeast Queensland’s competition to send one act from its ranks to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Obviously Mojo has been a hard working act on the local scene for many, many years now and, while I would have been pleased to see any of the bands get the nod, I don’t think there’ll be too many people disappointed that he ended up taking out the prize. There are bound to be plenty of beneﬁt shows coming up over the next few months so the band can actually aﬀord to get over there, so be sure to show your support and get along to any of these events. How good would it be to see Mojo on the winner’s podium in Memphis? It’s about time we showed the world that Brisbane has such a kick arse blues scene. Knoxville, Tennessee’s The Amazing Rhythm Aces don’t profess to do any more than embody the sound and spirit of down home American roots music. This means there’s no confusion and the legendary band can just get down to business, which they started doing back in 1974. The band is still led by frontman Russel Smith, who has pretty much been there from the start and though it has been a few years since they last released an album (2007’s Midnight Communion being their most recent collection of new material), I think it is okay to be pretty conﬁdent that the band are still pretty tidy on the live stage (the fact the band boasts two members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section helps cement that feeling). If you’re into Americana and you are not yet familiar with the band, their biggest hits Third Rate Romance, The End is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Tune), and Amazing
Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song) are a pretty good beginning point before you delve deeper. The legendary band play Twin Towns Services Club on Thursday Aug 25; grab yourself a ticket from the venue’s box oﬃce right now for $45 + bf. Recent years have seen the work of Joe Henry praised widely, but generally his work as a producer rather than as a musician. You can hardly say that’s a shame – he has given us incredible records from the likes of Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette and Carolina Chocolate Drops – but it’s somewhat unfortunate that it has overshadowed his own work as a musician. I’m hearing whispers that this might change come October, when Henry releases his 13th record Reverie, an all-acoustic aﬀair that is said to be raw, raucous and a genuine career highpoint for Henry. I’d strongly recommend heading over to the blog of America’s National Public Radio show All Songs Considered [npr.org/blogs/allsongs] to hear Odetta, a sneak peak of what to expect from the record. The production is deﬁnitely far from slick, but there’s a real spirit in the aggressive rolling piano, sparse percussion and Henry’s hearty croon. Reverie is out through Anti-/Warner on Friday Oct 7. It will be worth keeping your eyes peeled for news coming from the Byron Shire Council over the next couple of months as there has been some talk of them severely limiting any form of large scale music festival activity happening down there. A new amendment to the council’s Local Environment Plan is being proposed, one that would limit the majority of events to only two-days and only 6,000 patrons across those two days. Bluesfest has been approved by the council for ten years and will be safe, but with such a seemingly antimusic festival policy being implicated so swiftly, one does worry about the future of the gorgeous Northern Rivers as a host for events such as these. Splendour In The Grass are ﬁnding things particularly diﬃcult at the moment as they are still hoping to get approval to move to their preferred location of the North Byron Parklands and this amendment doesn’t exactly make things appear all that promising. They’re urging people to head to bringsplendourhome.com, where you’ll be able to voice your opinions on the current situation.
Pop culture therapy with Adam Curley
Metal with Lochlan Watt Recoil V.O.R. from Sydney will bring the grooves to Monstrothic this Friday night alongside Shifting The Paradigm, D-Nine, Kunst (who feature Peter Mengede of Helmet fame) and a solo set from Valkere. The show will be held at the Jubilee Hotel for $12 from 8pm.
Blues ‘n’ roots with Dan Condon firstname.lastname@example.org
The Light Of Which I Dream, the new album from Tasmania’s classic metallers Taberah will be released on Aug 27. The eﬀort was produced by Psycroptic guitarist, Joe Haley. The band has nearly non-stop weekend tours running from the end of August until the end of January, and you’ll be able to catch them at the Jubilee Hotel on Jan 20. Brisbane’s elusive IDYLLS have a track from their debut 7” Amps For God/Plague Hell online over at idylls.bandcamp.com. If you pre-order the 7”, you’ll get to download the ﬁrst two tracks, and all three when it is oﬃcially released on Sep 11. The eﬀort was recorded by Chris Brownbill at Sun Distortion Studios, and is limited to 150 copies through MONOLITH. Fans of Agents of Abhorrence, Converge and Pig Destroyer should go have a listen. Long-serving dual-vocaled locals D-Nine have ﬁnally released some new material. The Hunt can be streamed from reverbnation.com/ d9metal, and was recorded by Matt Taylor at Blackbox Studios. Formed in 1998, the band will release an EP titled Nothing Is Real Now, the ﬁrst release from the industrial/nu-metal band since their 2003 debut album High Binder. Melbourne-based black metal two-piece Terra Australis reportedly did not show for their scheduled performance, a slot away from headlining as part of ‘Total Fucking Terrorism 5’ at The Transcontinental Hotel last Saturday. The show’s promoter John Doson, with whom the band have reportedly have not responded to his attempts at making contact, has responded by calling for metal heads to boycott the band, and also posted oﬀensive Microsoft Paint versions of the band’s promotional photos on various places around the internet. Obsidian Records have set up a Bandcamp page, where all of their more recent releases are available to download for $5 each. Head over to obsidianrecords.bandcamp.com to suss material from ‘Neath, Rookwood, Laceration Mantra, Astriaal, Clagg, Disentomb, Arkheth and Daemon Foetal Harvest.
In the world of music writing – or perhaps just in the world – the term ‘matured’ was long ago thrown out with the incendiary bathwater. It had been written and said too many times to hold any valuable meaning. To say that a songwriter’s work had ‘matured’ was to say both that the music writer was running late to meet her or his friends for a drink and that the songwriter she or he was supposed to be writing about had become so boring that she or he couldn’t think of a single thing to say other than that they had aged since their last record. The use of the term ‘mature’ was damning for all concerned. It was an unfairly lost battle in the music-writing wars. Unlike most other words that had become overused to the point of becoming faint, nonexistent or blatantly backhanded praise – radiofriendly, current, intense, chanteuse – ‘matured’ represented a reasonably signiﬁcant process in the young life of a songwriter. Often times, even for those who’ve grown up playing music or are graduates of the Brit School (as about two-thirds of the UK’s singers seem to be now), there are years of experimenting with sounds and genres and instruments before the amalgamation of where that particular songwriter came from with the learning that has occurred. It’s a bit like sleeping around at uni (or at any time, really): you’ve gotta get through the hobos and the various sexes before realising that Jerry from Grade 9 was actually kind of sweet, then shacking up with a richer version of him. It’s called maturing, and it’s a concept that has oddly reared its old-fashioned head with the appearance of the new album by New Mexicoborn and Brooklyn-based songwriter Zach Condon, the 25-year-old behind Beirut. The Rip Tide (out Aug 26 through Pompeii Recording Company/Remote Control) has been slowly, since the release of lead-in track East Harlem in July, been drawing commentary on the evolution of Condon’s musical focus: his shifting gaze from the traditional instruments of Eastern Europe and the brass collectives of Mexico to a subtler and straighter band format; a move to less erratic and weightier arrangements; a change from
name-dropping those places of inﬂuence in song titles – the 2005 album Gulag Orkestar’s tracks Prenzlauerberg and Bratislava and 2007 album The Flying Club Cup’s Guaymas Sonora and Cherbourg – to name-dropping localities closer to home. On The Rip Tide we get Santa Fe, East Harlem and Goshen (which, admittedly, is the name of about 30 diﬀerent townships across the US, but hey, they’re all in the US, and we can probably assume Condon isn’t referring to Goshen, Tasmania). Lyrically, too, there are no uncertain signs that Condon has home on his mind. Between the album’s title track and the track that follows it, Vagabond, we get these slightly obvious pearls of yearning: “And this is the house where I could be unknown/Be alone now,” and, “Left the vagabonds, a trail of stones/Forward to ﬁnd my way home.” In an interview with The Quietus in July, Condon tied that thinking about home to a return to or continuation of the style of songwriting that got him started at 15. He told the interviewer that, on his debut at 19, the world had caught him in a state of wanting to travel and experiment. He also had this to say of his newfound interest in writing about where he came from instead of where he found himself next: “As an adolescent you just don’t think your story is that interesting, or at least that the way you would express it would come out a little too much like a diary or something, and not something that people can relate with outside small circles.” That’s the thing about maturing – for most people, it seems, rather than having the eﬀect of settling them into some societal rut removed from any interesting aspects of their former personality, it has the eﬀect of taking them back to what they held as important before the thrill of experimentation began. It might not be as attention-grabbing in the 24-hour music cycle, nor as intriguing to those looking for the next idea, but it’s hardly meaningless and very far from boring.
CLUB GUIDE WED 17
OGFLAVAS With Cyclone
blunted R&B, with The Revelations’ Tre Williams (brieﬂy signed to Nas’ Ill Will stable) on the hook. Legendary Weapons is ghostly music, but not in an ill way – it’s but a shadow of the Wu.
Jay-Z’s album with Kanye West, Watch The Throne, is generating all the hype right now. But while RZA co-produced New Day with ‘Ye, Wu-Tang Clan have themselves discreetly returned with an LP – Legendary Weapons. It should be big news. The Wu’s show at Glastonbury this year was reportedly brilliant, if chaotically so. The Staten Island heroes just brought their Rebirth Tour to Australia, with Young Dirty, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s son, in tow – but minus RZA and, mysteriously, Method Man. They didn’t do press. Alas, Legendary Weapons is a letdown. There’s confusion as to whether it’s an album or just another compilation, like 2009’s Wu-Tang Chamber Music. Legendary Weapons could be the sequel to Chamber Music. Ominously, the Wu have abandoned the ‘Clan’, underscoring their lack of unity or commitment. Masta Killa and the discerning GZA are absent, while the Wu recruits seasoned homies such as Nas’ sometime cohort AZ and various protégés (a polite word for ‘wannabes’). RZA doesn’t cut any beats, merely serving as executive producer, although he raps. He leaves the music to The Revelations, Brooklyn soul revivalists comparable to The Roots, and obscure producers like MOP’s Lil’ Fame, most previously involved in Chamber Music. Eschewing samples (well, excluding the martial arts movie soundbites) for live music is cred, but The Revelations ultimately lay down a loungy – and MOR – form of the classic Wu sound. Ghostface Killah proves the most valiant MC. RZA’s Only The Rugged Survive was selected as the ﬁrst single, but it’s been eclipsed by Ghost’s Laced Cheeba. RZA never fully developed his blunted soul aesthetic (as heard on Ghost’s Ironman). West did that for him, his work on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint indebted to RZA. But, here, Never Feel This Pain might be categorised as
Nearly 20 years after Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the Wu’s Shaolin mythology still holds sway over hip hop, their vintage music losing none of its power, even as the posse’s status has slipped. So where did everything go awry? The Wu cleverly negotiated a landmark deal with Steve Rifkind’s Loud that allowed its members to pursue solo careers with diﬀerent labels, Meth unleashing Tical on Def Jam in 1994. Many of the early joints were seminal. Ironically, this also meant that the MCs’ loyalty to the Wu faltered. RZA seemed more interested in Hollywood – and began to subcontract the Wu’s production to lesser talents. The Wu mastermind was criticised when he remixed Texas’ Say What You Want – in fact, an inspired anomaly in the Wu discography. Much worse was that he pimped out – or franchised – the Wu brand, No Limit style, down to the occasionally tacky Wu Wear. There have been way more comps and spin-oﬀ projects than Wu albums, dating back to 1998’s The Swarm. The Wu’s quality control is questionable. The Wu was never the same following the hypereccentric ODB’s passing. Then came 2007’s reunion album 8 Diagrams, a one-oﬀ for Rifkind’s SRC. RZA’s experimental beats divided even the Wu, with a corruption of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps featuring the Beatle’s son Dhani. Ghost rued that RZA had become a “hip hop hippie”. (GZA subsequently rated 8 Diagrams six out of ten.) Curiously, a ‘proper’ Wu album is tipped for next year... Once game changers, the Wu are increasingly trading on nostalgia – or what rock critic Simon Reynolds refers to as ‘Retromania’ in his recent book of the same title. If you want some retro Wu, bust out Enter… or Wu-Tang Forever, which still sounds futuristic – unlike the casino Wu of Legendary Weapons. The Wu is being left behind by Odd Future and Shabazz Palaces. Of course, today Snoop Dogg is a parody of his 90s self, but he does gangsta kitsch with greater irony, humour and knowing than the Wu. ODB woulda understood.
DANCE MOVES by Tim Finney Pitbull
In 2011 it seems that R&B rules commercial dance music. Or is it that commercial dance music rules R&B? The aesthetic and social strands that comprise each have become hopelessly complicated. There have been winners on both sides of this mutual convergence, none greater than David Guetta, who has shifted from lurid electro-house to equally lurid hiphouse with a brutal eﬃciency that is hard to love but easy to admire. But also none greater than Pitbull, who has similarly switched from bilingual rapping over dancehall beats (which to be honest I miss) to becoming the modern equivalent of the rapper dude from C+C Music Factory, interweaving professionalism with “who gives a shit” amateurism with aplomb.
the sparkly “handbag” house of the ﬁrst meeting the perky trancey tones of the second. But neither of these eras is noted for producing great songs, as such. Anthems, sure, but once you get past the adorable injunction at the heart of Haddaway’s What Is Love (gruesomely reprised on a recent Lil’ Wayne single), it doesn’t really make sense as a full-blown song; perhaps we (or our predecessors) were too smacked out to notice. Late-90s pop-trance was worse but in a diﬀerent way, its bleached and blanched euro-divas sounding bored out of their minds – only Fragma’s eﬀervescent Toca’s Miracle is really worth salvaging. Compare this to the skyscraping majesty of Rihanna’s Only Girl In The World and it’s easy to see the appeal of the latter: for one, girl can sing, but perhaps more importantly the song is ﬁlled with the kind of topographical excitement one associates with proper songcraft, shadowy valleys leading to vertiginous peaks of explosive feeling (this year’s Who’s That Chick may be ﬂatter, but its nasal swagger is somehow nearly as seductive).
Pitbull’s Give Me Everything has been my winter jam. Produced by Dutch house producer Afrojack – who ups his trance and piano chord intake for the occasion – it’s loveable less for Pitbull than for the bittersweet inevitability of its attack and the presentiment of doom oﬀered by Ne-Yo, whose sorrowing memento mori R&B hook somehow makes the song more ecstatic than it could ever be with a more conventional diva uplift.
But, if all we wanted was better songs, why didn’t this happen before? The answer to this lies in a pharmacological change in the audience. Drugs – at least of the energising, dance-all-night variety – are at a low ebb socially and culturally, with alcohol and sex once again the pick-me-ups of choice. Such a setting demands dance music to sing, mug and leer to, rather than slowly cresting tracks to take you higher. In this modern environment, a celebration of “messiness” is the order of the day: if trance’s sonics are everywhere, its clean lines are notably absent; instead you have Wynter Gordon stringing together disconnected Dirty Talk, Ke$ha making a virtue of sounding like she’s about to throw up, and Dev slurring her way through a plan to get slizzard.
Whatever may be the attraction for R&B fans (and if you want theories on this you’ll have to page me), I like to think that for commercial dance fans the ultimate appeal of this rendezvous is primarily the chance to dance to better songs. Many people have noted that the sonic undercarriage of postGuetta dance-pop is eﬀectively 1993 meets 1999,
No wonder all this stuﬀ is massive in gay clubs; pop culture right now is uncompromisingly, gloriously slutty. Mourn, if you like, its camp trashiness and its profound absence of class. But if you’re drunk, or desperate, or both (and, let’s face it, you probably are), then it strikes me that 2011 is a ﬁne time to be alive and dancing.
Ekka Races: Baby Gee, Wahoo, Karma, Murray Brown, Private Property: Electric Playground Elements: Tranceducer, Professa, Yassa Acid Phat: Northshore Riverside Park Frat Club: Pete Smith, Mark Z: Regatta Hotel Gavin Boyd: Kerbside Bar ILoveHouseMusic: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Nightclub Kai: Bullwinkles Nightclub Karaoke Night: Casablanca Bar Mad Hatters Tea Party: The Heritage Nanna Nights: Silent Feature Era: The Hi-Fi Tone Def: Doors Nightclub Triptaphene, Kitty Konfuzion, DJ Brento: X&Y Bar Venus Envy: Hamilton Hotel Woody: Elephant & Wheelbarrow
Get Freaky: Fox Rooftop Japanese Cultural Fair: Queen Street Mall Jeff Carter, Jabba: Elephant & Wheelbarrow Karaoke Night: Casablanca Bar Katch: Kerbside Bar Lidia Box: The Beat Megaclub Lipstick: The Heritage MBar Thursdays: Vita, DJ Climate: Fitzy’s Loganholme QuarterDeck Nightclub: Emerald Memorial Club Rate My Band: Live Music Night: BarSoma The Potbelleez: Magnums Hotel Tone Def: Doors Nightclub Too Damn Glam: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, K-Otic: Shooters Nightclub Too Damn Glam: Dezastar, Bluffsta, Owe, MC Fortafy: Republic Nightclub Too Damn Glam: Masta K: Rendezvous Nightclub Wet Lips Presents: Lip Gang Justice League, Hack Tha System, K Oh, Ill Maverick: Elsewhere
Andee J: The Brewery Nightclub Big Bass Party: Sangers, RA, Wadzer, Verner, Kayli: Family Nightclub Top Floor Burning Brooklyn, Broadway Mile, Nine Sons of Dan, Van Miert, Danny Cool: X&Y Bar Dan England: Kenmore Tavern Decadence: Bamboo, Bossy, Mr Sparkle, Coco, Basscreepz, Mickey Finn & MC Shabba D, Malcolm, Andee, Nick Galea: The Met DJ Pickles: Heritage Hotel DJ Playmate: Zuri Drinks On The Deck: The Consortium Lounge Bar Ebb & Flow: Caloundra Bowls Club Establishment: The Heritage Friday Sessions: The Consortium Jabba: Elephant & Wheelbarrow Kitty Glitter: The Beat Megaclub My Little Eye: The Globe Oh Snap!, Nubi, And Oh!: LaLa Land Pigeon: Solbar Senor Rudkat, Ben Reeve, Kieron C: Kerbside Bar Skitzmix 38 Launch: Nick Skitz, Karma, Hektic, F&E: Family Nightclub Basement The Arcade Presents: D.I.M: Platinum Nightclub The Jungle Giants, Tiger Beams, DJ Galaxy: Alhambra The Obama Music, Joel Turner: Casablanca Bar The Potbelleez: Andergrove Tavern T.I.N.T: Jubilee Hotel Tone Def: Doors Nightclub
Vision Fridays: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Nightclub Vision Fridays: Masta K: Rendezvous Nightclub Vision Fridays: Owe, Mister P, Juno, MC Premix: Republic Nightclub War On The Floor: Fairchild Republic, Jimmy The Saint & Sinners, The Moderns: Elsewhere YoPlay: Masquerade Mayhem: Mybar
Alter Egos: Elephant & Wheelbarrow Auditree Presents: Alex Smoke: BarSoma Chris Kelly, Ben Reeve, Danny Cool: Kerbside Bar Decadence: Bamboo, Mr Sparkle, Roman, Coco, Jason Rouse, Malcolm, Aydos, Nick Galea, Andee, Disko Diva: The Met Dirty Loud, Murray Brown, Karma, Wahoo, Jessie Weyand, Kandimann: Electric Playground DJ Misqo, DVJ Lvee, Afro Disa: Casablanca Bar DJ Pickles, DJ Natural: Heritage Hotel Goodwill & Silver Sneakerz, Jason Morley, Jeremy Iliev, Tim Plunkett: Family Nightclub Hangar, Sunshine State, Aheadphonehome, Single Twin, Tigermoth: The Beetle Bar Hey! Hey! Presents: The Only, Dr Rob, Danny T, Genre Slut, Jordan Who?: Family Nightclub Top Floor MBar Saturdays: DJ DC: Fitzy’s Loganholme Ministry Of Sound Anniversary Tour: John Course, Mark Dynamix: Platinum Nightclub Minx, Rhys Bynon: LaLa Land Pigeon, The Slow Push, Chairman Meow, Charlie Hustle: X&Y Bar Quarterdeck Nightclub: Emerald Memorial Club Regatta Saturdays: MC Bossy, Paul Bell, Marky Mark Z, Scotty R, DJ Tom Walker: Regatta Saturdays Replay: Fitzy’s Waterford Sensation Club: Craig Obey, Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Nightclub Sensation Club: Owe, Mister P, Juno, MC Premix: Republic Nightclub Sensation Saturday: Masta K, DJ LP: Rendezvous Nightclub The Saturday Night Show: Ryan Crowe, Giv: Elsewhere The Smart, The Moons of Jupiter: Shark Bar Touch Saturdays: Otto, Mister P, Masta K, MC Loudmouth Len: MyBar Winterbeatz: 50 Cent, Fabolous,Lil Kim, Mario: Riverstage Brisbane Yum!: The Heritage
Fluffy Presents: Harry K, Karma, Ms Alexei Paige, Velvet Motion: Family Nightclub John Course, Discrow: LaLa Land Life Support Presents: The Consortium Penguin Kings, Arcade Made, The Better Mousetrap Treatment, DJ Bacon: X&Y Bar Play Dirty: Masta K: Rendezvous Nightclub Royale, Dean Woodward, Stretch Paper Cranes: Elsewhere Salsa Seduction: Casablanca Bar Senor Rudekat, DJ Bacon: Kerbside Bar Sianna City Sessions: Sianna City Stonkin Sundays: The Hertiage Sunday Fun-day: The Beat Megaclub
Baz Party 9: Sincity Nightclub Bombs Away!, Bass Cartel, Tomy: Unity Nightclub Industry Night: Heritage Hotel Mad Hatters Tea Party: The Heritage
Amber Williams: Elephant & Wheelbarrow Envyus: DJ Dezastar, Eakut, Bluffsata, Oscar, DJ Owe, DJ Premix, DJ K-Otic: Shooters Nightclub Trixy Lamounte: The Beat Megaclub
Bob Mouat Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Bom Gosto Glass Bar & Restaurant Boss Moxi, Pools & Trumpets, We Have A Trex Club 299 D.I.M Arcade Creative DJ Redbeard Ric’s Dream On, Dreamer, The Bride, Hands Like Houses Sun Distortion Studios Free Sunny Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Mark Sheils VVMC Nanna Night Wednesdays: Silent Feature Era Vinyl Bar, The Hi-Fi Open Mic Birdee Num Num Open Mic The Loft Chevron Island Open Mic The Music Kafe Songs Of Love and Revolution: Ubiet, Kroncong Tenggara Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre Steve Tyson, Dave Parnell Railway Bar, Byron Bay The Bowery Hot Five With Mal Wood The Bowery The Potbelleez Brisbane Racing Club The Quims The Tempo Hotel Triptaphene X & Y Bar Woody Elephant & Wheelbarrow
2high Benefit Fundraiser Lightspace Artist In The Round Feat. Taylor The Arts Centre Gold Coast Balance And Composure, Fires Of Waco Kill The Music Batrider Woodland Boys and Girls: Balance And Composure, We Set Sail X & Y Bar
Brewster Brothers Stadium Bar & Grill Calling All Cars, Boy In A Box, Redcoats The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay For This Cause, Hey Denise, A Vast Hope, Oceans Away Club 299 I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Satellites The Bowery Ingrid James Quartet Limes Hotel Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Jazz Night: The Root Note The Loft Chevron Island Jesus Jones, The Wonder Stuff, The Clouds The Tivoli John & Friends The Tempo Hotel Johnnie Selfish And The Worried Men, Dram The Gollan Hotel Magpies Attack Coolangatta Hotel Open Mic QLD Irish Club Pinback, The Trouble With Templeton The Zoo Regurgitator, Disasteradio, Oh Ye Denver Birds Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay Second Gear Gilhooley’s Chermside Sub Inc, The Purgatories, The Dirty Eastwoods Club 299 Swaying Buildings, The Anchors, The Bandito Folk The Beetle Bar The Bungalows Alhambra Lounge The Shivering Indies Ric’s We The Ghosts, Peter And The Wolf, Wild Acre, Billing Aquadrome, Connor Cleary The Music Kafe Woody Elephant & Wheelbarrow
A Beggar’s Second, Blair Jackson Ric’s Almost Invisible: Single Twin, Ambrose Chapel, St Augustus, Restream The Waiting Room
Brad Stokes Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Brewster Brothers The Palace Hotel Calling All Cars, Boy In A Box, Redcoats, Forever The Optimist, Casey Fogg The Tempo Hotel Craig Martin, Ingrid James The Arts Centre Gold Coast D.I.M Platinum Nightclub Dan England Kenmore Tavern Diesel, Bec Plath Redlands Sporting Club Duck Duck Goose, The Butcher, Ill Kid, Van Miert, Charlie Hustle Bowler Bar Extrafoxx, Little Lovers, Undead Apes Beetle Bar Factoryhead Jugglers Art Space J Deere & The Massive Fergusons, The Springhillbillies Royal Mail Hotel Goodna Kira Puru & The Bruise The Joynt Locky, Jabba Elephant & Wheelbarrow Monstrothic: Shifting The Paradigm, D-Nine, Recoil V.O.R, Kunst, Valkere Jubilee Hotel Moon Ranch Gilhooley’s Chermside My Little Eye, Deuce Harvee, We Live Forever, Headphone Symphony Globe Theatre Nine Sons Of Dan, Broadway Mile, Burning Brooklyn X & Y Bar Pigeon, The Incredible Kicks Sol Bar, Maroochydore Quarry Mountain Dead Rats Railway Bar, Byron Bay Regurgitator, Disasteradio, Oh Ye Denver Birds Coolangatta Hotel Rushmore Newmarket Hotel Sam Cromack Black Bear Lodge Seekae, The Laurels, Anonymeye The Zoo Solar Rush Royal Exchange Hotel
Steady Rude, Lily Rouge, Sam Shepherd, Kim Sheehy The Loft Chevron Island Surrealism Up Late: Mick Harvey Gallery Of Modern Art Teargas, Thick Skin, Sick People, Arseholocaust Sun Distortion Studios The Bungalows, Dolphins Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay The Buzzbees, Last Call, Pools & Trumpets, Auxiliary In The Music Kafe The Jimmy’s Cleveland Sands Hotel The Jungle Giants, Tiger Beams, Galaxy Alhambra Lounge The Kransky Sisters Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre The Peter Walters Group Brisbane Jazz Club The Residents, Rattlehand Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform The Ride, Dunsinane Basement 243 The Vasco Era, The Fear Less Vampire Killers, Kitchen Knife Wife Soundlounge This City Ignites Barsoma
Abby Skye Full Moon Hotel Sandgate Acca Dacca Deception Bay Tavern Adrian Keys Brisbane Brewhouse Alex Smoke Barsoma Alter Egos Elephant & Wheelbarrow Angie & OJ Woombye Pub Ash Grunwald, Beau Young, The Grains, Haldanes Daughters Paciﬁc Hotel Yamba Bowler Bar Bowler Bar Brewster Brothers Joe’s Water Hole Eumundi Calling All Cars, Boy In A Box, Redcoats Coolangatta Hotel Caroline Taylor The Arts Centre Gold Coast
Charlie Greaser, Graveyard Rumble, The Dirty F Holes, The Ten Fours, Red Devotchkin, Miss Bb Le Buff, Lila Luxx Prince Of Wales Hotel Dan England The Palace Hotel Dean Watkin Hamilton Hotel Dick Desert, Midnight Son & The Crime Scene Ric’s Diesel, Bec Plath North’s Leagues And Services Club Down Royale, Recoil V.O.R, Duramata Springwood Tavern Ekka: Wolfmother RNA Showgrounds Fiona Boyes, Barry Charles, Apollo Inperil Palmwoods Hotel Ger Fennelly, Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Insights, Hannah Rosa, Something Whiskey, Scenic Tour, Rear Vision, The Twenty Sevens The Music Kafe Nine Sons Of Dan, Burning Brooklyn, Hey Denise, Broadway Mile The Hive Pigeon X & Y Bar Quarry Mountain Dead Rats The Joynt Quiet Hostility Billy’s Beach House Recoil V.O.R Springwood Hotel Regurgitator, Ball Park Music, The Jungle Giants The Edge, State Library Regurgitator, Disasteradio, Oh Ye Denver Birds, Ponyloaf The Hi-Fi Retro Recharge CBX Solar Rush Victory Hotel Soundslikebrisbane, The Blackwater Fever, Silent Feature Era, Rosencrantz Guildenstern Crown Hotel Lutwyche Steve Towson & The Conscripts, The Mouldy Lovers, The Pugs, Wheat Paste, The Great Shame Old QLD Museum Sunshine State, Aheadphonehome, Single Twin, Tigermoth The Beetle Bar Tall Poppy Stadium Bar & Grill
The Bungalows, Pirates Alive, The Vamps, Pescadores The Loft Chevron Island The Choirboys Mansﬁeld Tavern The John Hoffman Group Brisbane Jazz Club The Kransky Sisters Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre The Smart Miami Tavern Shark Bar The Submariners, Lunch Tapes, Old Growth Cola, Woodland Djs Woodland The Vasco Era Alhambra Lounge Thursday’s Children, Superfreak The Tempo Hotel Tin Can Radio, Tales In Space, The Shiny Brights, Radio Star The Zoo Turbine Jazz Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform Venus Envy Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Winterbeatz:, 50 Cent Feat G-Unit, Fabolous, Lil Kim, Mario River Stage
Naomi Closter, Naomi Worth, Leela Vargheese, Chris & Katrina, Cover Charge, Canadian Embassy, Istanbul Gypsy Groove, Nothing But Trouble The Music Kafe Quarry Mountain Dead Rats Queen Street Mall Regurgitator, Disasteradio, Vagrant City Scandal Kings Beach Tavern Saideira Brisbane Jazz Club The Dave Flower Band Royal George The Kransky Sisters Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre The Local Residents The Tempo Hotel Thereafter Blue Paciﬁc Hotel
MON 22 B-Rad Irish Murphy’s Brisbane
4ZZZFM NOW PLAYING 1. Some Jerks SOME JERKS 2. Take Your Light LITTLE SCOUT 3. Superhappyfuntimesfriends REGURGITATOR 4. The End Of Everything KEEP ON DANCIN’S 5. July ST AUGUSTUS 6. Extrafoxx EXTRAFOXX
Amber Williams Elephant & Wheelbarrow Folk N Pop Escalate: Boy & The Wolf, The Winter Of Reason, Way Of Mercy, Mo’s Religion The Tempo Hotel Senior Moments, John Hockings, Ewan Mackenzie The Bug We The Ghosts, Ang & Brendan, Love Like Hate, Terrifying Girls High School, The Verge The Music Kafe Woody Lives Here Irish Murphy’s Brisbane
Abby Skye Fridays Abby Skye Waterloo Hotel Andrew Campbell Cleveland Sands Hotel Annual Madonna Party Basement 243 Ash Grunwald, Beau Young, Haldanes Daughters, The Grains Coolum Civic Centre Block Party DJs Elephant & Wheelbarrow Brewster Brothers Courthouse Hotel Dave Jacobs & The Prodigal Sons, Sabrina Lawrie The Beetle Bar Edward Guglielmino Dowse Bar Ger Fennelly, Mic Travers, Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Jimi Beavis, Ric’s Lachy Laneous Black Bear Lodge Live Spark, The Remains, Crystal Radios Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform Mick Medew & The Rumours, Generation Jones, The Yayas, Phil Monsour Crown Hotel Lutwyche
Rob Davidson, Amorina FitzgeraldHood Room 60, Kelvin Grove The Advant Band, Aisle 101, Anthony Kalkipsakis The Music Kafe
THE SUNNY DAYS ZACK BUCHANAN, GUITAR SLINGER AND SINGER FOR REVAMPED MELBOURNE LADS THE SUNNY DAYS, TALKS TO BENNY DOYLE ABOUT THE IMMINENT RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT EP AND KEEPING THEIR SHIT IN CHECK.
“At the moment we’re working towards the release of our EP which we went away to record about two months ago. The ﬁrst track On My Mind is already up around the internet while the full EP will be available at the end of August. The EP is called Paris Syndrome and we’re also looking at the idea of a video for On My Mind.” Coming into summertime and prime gigging potential, it’s an exciting position to be a part of The Sunny Days, their tracks bristling with energy and a brash nature which undeniably translates into the live realm with ease. It is important for live music to be as visceral as possible but as Buchannan wisely points out, there’s no point in being spontaneous if your music can’t keep its footing. “Things can get a bit unpredictable on stage after a few too many drinks,” he gaﬀs, “but it’s not always like that. We rehearse a lot and have a pretty solid guideline of how each song goes when we play it live. It’s good to stay loose and in the moment but you still have to be able to play well and put on a decent show.” With inﬂuential cues predominantly taken from premium relics of the past, it’s unsurprising that the band are focused on the sound, or their idea of the sound, of The Sunny Days. Some may call it post-modern – the boys just call it who they are. “There seem to be so many bands out there now that seem to change their style constantly as trends change,” Buchannan explains. “It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to change yourself to suit what people want or what radio is playing. We’ve really tried to ignore that with this band and just ﬁnd the style that we want to play.”
7. The Cat BEN SALTER
8. 4ZZZ Mixed Tape THE MOULDY LOVERS
WHO: The Sunny Days
9. Nightfall BEC PLATH
WHAT: Paris Syndrome (Independent)
10. Cygnus Olor STEVE TOWSON AND THE CONSCRIPTS
WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Saturday Aug 20
321 BRUNSWICK STREET MALL, FORTITUDE VALLEY WEDNESDAY 17 AUG
THURSDAY 18 AUG
LE PARTI SOUL + DJ REDBEARD (8PM) + SUBSEA (9.30PM) + GREG REASON & GENTLEMEN (8.30PM)
THE SHIVERING INDIES (9.30PM) + DESERT GHOST (8.30PM) + DJ VALDIS (9PM)
FRIDAY 19 AUG
SATURDAY 20 AUG
DOWN - BEGGARS SECOND (9PM) + BLAIR JACKSON (8PM) + DJ VALDIS (9PM) UP - DJ WILDEBEATS (9PM)
DOWN - DICK DESERT (9PM) + MIDNIGHT SON (8PM) + DJ VALDIS (9PM) UP - DJ CUTTS (9PM)
SUNDAY 21 AUG
MONDAY 22 AUG
JIMI BEAVIS (2 SETS) - (8.30PM)
MUMMY FAT (9.30PM) + GUESTS (8.30PM)
TUESDAY 23 AUG BAERS (9.30PM) + PAPPERBOK (8.30PM)
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BEHIND THE LINES WITH MICHAEL SMITH BTL@STREETPRESS.COM.AU
ANDY WHITE SONGWRITING WORKSHOP
On Saturday Aug 27, Belfast-born now Melbournebased singer-songwriter Andy White is heading up to Brisbane for the Queensland Poetry Festival and Loose Acoustic has managed to snaffle him for to present a half-day songwriting workshop at its premises at 58 Hayward Avenue, Cashmere. Running 9.30am till 2.30pm, you can pick up tips and techniques from the man who co-wrote the opening ceremony anthem for the Sydney Olympics and has worked with Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Mary Black and Tim Finn among others. All welcome, from beginners and experienced songwriters and poets, tickets are $65 and of course bookings are essential, so call 0403 124 200.
RECORDING BEADY EYE
The release at the end of February of the debut album, Different Gear, Still Speeding, from Beady Eye, which is basically Oasis plus a couple of additions and without Noel Gallagher, seems to have come and gone without much notice, which is a shame when you consider the talent involved, including veteran producer Steve Lillywhite, whose credits stretch from XTC to U2, Siouxsie & The Banshees to Morrissey, The Pogues to Ultravox. The album was recorded at RAK Studios in London in the northern autumn of last year, and former Ride guitarist and Oasis member for their last decade, Andy Bell, shared some of his thoughts on recording in the 21st century. “I’ve gone back to playing guitar too,” Bell explains. “I was playing bass in Oasis, so I’m playing all those old Ride guitars now, those 12-string Rickenbackers. On some of the later Oasis records, we were recording to ProTools and 2” 24-track tape, but you just get tired of 24-track – it’s not as good. I know it’s heresy to say so but multi-track recording is improved by ProTools – they really have it down. The one time that I think you do need an analogue part of the process is in the mastering. The ideal for me is record in ProTools, transfer it onto tape when you’ve mixed it and then back from tape into the mastering and then you’ve got all the analogue warmth and you’ve got all the amazing potential of digital recording, which is basically everything you ever do – you never miss a take, you never miss a note, you can go back, you can time-stretch it, you can change it, you can do what you want with it, you can use things you’ve recorded in any situation and just put them right into your record – it’s great.”
The UK’s You Me At Six headed over to Los Angeles to record their new album, Sinners Never Sleep, at the Sound Factory with producer Garth Richardson (Biffy Clyro, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Just why Brisbane’s Grand Atlantic opted to record their new album, Constellations, out September, over 12 days in an abandoned psychiatric hospital new Dunedin in New Zealand will hopefully be answered soon, but they took producer Dale Cotton to ensure the “sense of strangeness and unease” was captured perfectly. Sydney-based instrumental quintet Takadimi, who draw broadly from folk, jazz, Latin and African influences, recorded their debut album, New Common Sense, with Dax Liniere at Puzzle Factory Sound Studio in the NSW Southern Highlands, the same studio fellow Sydney-based contemporary rock instrumental band sleepmakeswaves used for their recently released debut, “…and so we destroyed everything”.
Singer, lyricist and keeper of the UK doom metal legends MY DYING BRIDE flame AARON STAINTHORPE talks to MICHAEL SMITH about the making of the not quite My Dying Bride symphonic double album, Evinta.
o describe the symphonic opus, Evinta, as the new album from UK doom metal merchants My Dying Bride, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, is something of a misconception, though – as singer Aaron Stainthorpe, the only member of the band actually involved in its making – points out, on the line from his home just outside of Halifax in the west of Yorkshire, it’s based entirely on the My Dying Bride catalogue. “This was kind of a project that’s been sort of years in the making, ever since Martin [Powell, who left the band in 1998] was with us, the original violin player. We always thought, ‘If we’ve got a violin, why don’t we expand upon that, perhaps?’ But then when Martin left, we kind of shelved the project, and then when violins returned again a couple of years ago [in 2009 with keyboards player and violinist Shaun Macgowan], that started the fire again. “We didn’t bother with just the songs themselves. Doing a straight ‘covers’ album, straight from rock to classical, is always a little bit obvious, so myself and Andrew [Craighan – guitars] spent a full weekend, half of it seriously alcohol-riddled, listening to every single not just song but riff and melody. It was an arduous task it must be said [ten full-length albums, two live albums, two EPs and six singles], and we were making notes of everything we thought was the very best of My Dying Bride. So we had pages and pages of text.
“Then we simply, almost like a jigsaw, decided to put them back together really in a different manner. And so when you listen to Evinta, the opening tracks you might hear a riff from [1993’s] Turn Loose The Swans, immediately followed by a riff from [2001’s] The Dreadful Hours, immediately followed by a riff from [2009’s] For Lies I Sire, all played on classical instruments. So it’s not straight covers – it’s almost like the best bits performed in an almost soundtrack manner, so people who love My Dying Bride, in theory
I’m kind of hoping, should love this. It’s got all the dark ambience and atmosphere they want and expect from My Dying Bride performed by classical musicians.” Stainthorpe’s only other non-classical collaborator on Evinta was keyboards player Jonny Maudling, formally of symphonic black metal band Bal-Sagoth, who is based in Sheffield, Yorkshire, and in whose digital home studio, Waylands Forge Studios, the bulk of the recording was done, Maudling engineering the sessions, Stainthorpe producing. “We’re big Vangelis/Blade Runner fans,” Stainthorpe admits, “so we didn’t want it all classical; we wanted some sort of weird soundscapes going on as well. Jonny loved the idea and we asked him if he knew any local musicians from colleges or something like that – we didn’t want anybody famous or anything like that – we wanted some kids who were fairly decent on cellos, flutes and violins, and every time they turned up, I was never there, so I’ve never met some of the people taking part, which is almost rude, but just one of those things. “I went down and did the vocals and we flew Lucie Roche, a French mezzo soprano, in to do some of the vocals as
well, and it was recorded over the space of about six weeks, mostly weekends. Jonny arranged most of it on keyboards. As I said, we gave him this whole long list of ideas with not really a great deal of structure to it, so we needed him to sort of pick through the stuff that would work together. So all the ambient stuff on the record is keyboards, and he sampled all the instruments himself rather than using the default setting available, so he’s gone and sampled a lot of the grand pianos and stuff himself and so he’s absolutely brilliant quality sounds, and then he had a flute player, a violinist and a cellist. At no point, if you had turned up at the studio, would you have seen more than three people there.” For the foreseeable future, Evinta will remain a studio project, though obviously Stainthorpe would love to take it on the road at some stage. Meanwhile Craighan and fellow guitarist Hamish Glencross have been working up material for the next My Dying Bride album, which Stainthorpe hopes will be ready for a September/October release. The new album is likely to once again be recorded at Futureworks Studios in Manchester, where both their previous album, For Lies I Sire, and the EP from the same year, Bring Me Victory, were recorded with longtime producer Mags – aka Rob Magoolagan – head of audio and also engineer/ producer at the Academy Studio in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, run by Keith Appleton. Magoolagan is also one of the first two Avid ProTools master instructors in the world. “We thought about going back to Academy,” Stainthorpe admits, “but to be honest, Futureworks has got much more equipment, but it’s not just the equipment, it’s the environment – it’s huge. Academy is really an extension to Keith’s house, and it’s fine but we’re a bit long in the tooth to be doing it in someone’s house extension now, whereas Futureworks is like multiple floors in a large tower block. It’s like a college of media and it’s got all the mod cons and the studios are magnificent, it really is, and we were the first band to record a full-length album there, and it’s right in the heart of Manchester. And we can’t do without Mags.” My Dying Bride’s Evinta is out now through Peaceville/Riot!
GEAR REVIEWS BOSS CS – 3 COMPRESSION SUSTAINER This is one of three compact compression pedals that is produced by the Boss corporation and quite frankly, it blows the other two out of the water in terms of functionality and tweakability. From the moment I plugged this pedal in, it did exactly what I was hoping, without any tweaking. The CS – 3 has four parameters that can be adjusted: Level, Tone, Attack and Sustain. Each parameter mildly alters your sound in various ways. This pedal is very easy to use and easy to dial in a chosen sound. It is built in the same housing as all other Boss compact pedals and is a real workhorse when it comes to live performance. The CS – 3 will last for hours on 9v battery power and it can also be plugged in to a 9v mains source, eliminating the need for batteries altogether. The pedal is very well set out and has an extra-large footswitch on it with a rubber grip, like all Boss compact pedals, so you are unlikely to miss it when you are jumping around on stage. I would recommend this pedal to every guitarist, no matter what genre, as it is so versatile. It can find uses in funk, rock, metal, country, ska, jazz, blues and many others. The only issue is that the CS – 3 can be a little noisy when coupled with distortion. I would recommend coupling it with a noise gate of some sort to
remove this problem. However, this pedal comes into its own on a clean channel and that’s where you will get the best use out of it. I find it is particularly useful in clean soloing. I can liken it to having the sustain of a distortion channel without any distortion. It is a background effect and works with your tone without changing it too dramatically. If you want a pedal that will radically alter your sound, this isn’t it. However, if you are after some subtle tone shaping and extra sustain, this is the perfect pedal. Richard Carpenter Available from bavasmusic.com.au
BOSS ST – 2 POWER STACK This is another brilliant release in the Boss distortion line. Boss has made over a dozen different distortion/overdrive pedals but this one manages to stand out and does it differently. A few words to describe this: thick, rich and powerful. With this pedal, Boss tried to achieve the ‘feel’ of a stack amp and has certainly achieved it. The tonal soundscape of this pedal is quite remarkable. Everything from a very slight country/blues overdrive, all the way through to deathcore/metalcore tones, this pedal has it covered. This pedal has four parameters: Level, Bass, Treble and ‘Sound’. Level is
pretty self explanatory, the volume of the pedal. The two EQ are great for tone shaping. As Boss has tried to achieve the sound of a stack amp, the pedal already packs a great deal of low end punch. If this is too much for you, it is easily resolvable through the Bass EQ channel. I found at times that the pedal could be a little trebly. I resolved this by reducing the Treble knob and this gave it a rich, warm and valve-like sound. The most dynamic parameter is the ‘Sound’ knob. This is basically the amount of gain or distortion you want to saturate the sound with but it is so much more than that. As you move through the tonal soundscapes, the whole dynamic of the pedal changes. For instance, with the sound knob at 9 o’clock, the pedal creates a Marshall Plexi type tone, which is great for 70s rock. As I cranked the sound knob up around 12 o’clock, it created a sound similar to a Marshall JCM. This is great for 80s rock and metal. Around the 9 o’clock mark and up results in a tight, metal, high gain sound popularised by bands from the nu-metal and metalcore genres. The Power Stack is for the guitar player that is looking for a strong, powerful distortion that is different to other distortion pedals on the market. There is so much more I could say about this pedal but it is definitely worth checking out for yourself! Richard Carpenter Available from bavasmusic.com.au
EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION Affordable MUSIC LAW services advice, contracts and contacts. New entertainment law firm: creative|legal (Discount with iflog ID) Contact us: WEB www.creativelegal.com.au PHONE 03 8682 8529 EMAIL email@example.com SKYPE creative.legal iFlogID: 14900
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Drummer wanted for Sydney Grunge Band. In Carlingford/Paramatta area 24 years and under. Influences: Silverchair, Nirvana, AIC, Sabbath etc Contact Daniel on 0403 885 433 for more info and demos. iFlogID: 13938
GBGV NEED A DRUMMER!!!! Ghostboy with Golden Virtues are seeking a drummer. Multiinstrumentalist preferred, live experience wanted. Into art rock/punk/cabaret/spoken word. 0406482150 iFlogID: 14883
FOR SALE AMPS LANEY GH120 GUITAR HEAD
Line 6 Flextone (Multi Effects) 75Watt Bought for $1450, selling $850. looks brand new, great clean to heavy metal. to buy or test Call Nathan on 0423197-252 iFlogID: 14230
SINGER SEEKING DUO PARTNER Male singer/ rhythum accoustic guitarist seeking duo partner with quality backing tracks. Briz south side 0404494740 iFlogID: 14611
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CALL CENTRE/CUST. SERVICE
FUNDRAISING: ANIMAL WELFARE
COLDCUT Sound Mirrors 2 x LP Vinyl. Sleeves and Records are brand new. $20 Ph0449713338
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2 channel.footswitchable.great fat tone.reverb/saturation etc.USA made. VGC.$350. Ph.0428744963. Cooroy iFlogID: 13019
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CD / DVD Attention Musicians, Record Collectors, Universities, Libraries - new Book (print/cdROM/direct download) compiling 100 years of popular music. GO TO www.plattersaurus.com web-site on how to buy. Enquiries: (02) 9807-3137 eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org Desert Sessions Vol 9 & 10 CD. Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss), PJ Harvey and Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfec Circle) etc. $10Ph0449713338 iFlogID: 14859
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GODIN MIDI GUITAR ACS SA Nylon string semi-solid body with piezo and 13-pin MIDI output plus the Terratec Axon AX100 Synth controller & AX101 MIDI pickup. $2,400 including delivery. THE001Music@hotmail.com iFlogID: 13086
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People needed to send eMails offering a new music Book for sale. Must have own computer - payment by commission via Paypal. Contact Bill on (02) 9807-3137 or eMail: nadipa1@yahoo. com.au iFlogID: 13289
FILM & STAGE SOUND & MUSIC RemmosK live debut @ the Valve Bar - Tempe - 01-09-11. For lovers of pure unashamed rock, be sure to catch their inaugural gig for full bragging rights. iFlogID: 14534
KEYBOARDS KORG TRITON Extreme88 synthesizer in new condition with keyboard stand and damper pedal. Worth over $7,000 sell for $4,295 including delivery. Currently in Perth. Phone 0439301165 Email: THE001Music@hotmail.com iFlogID: 13084
OTHER RECORDING EQUIPMENT FOR SALE TASCAM DP-02CF combines 8-track recording with Portastudio™ interface. Designed for musicians who want to record quickly and have fun. WWW.TASCAM.COM FOR FEATURES/ OVERVIEW $250 +POSTAGE CALL PONE 0430597676 iFlogID: 14347
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Samson 8 Piece Drum Microphone Set. Included - 2x C01 LCDs 3x Q-Toms with rim mount clips, Q-Snare with rim mount clip, Q-Kick, C02H Mini Pencil Condenser $400 firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 14305
KING CRIMSON Beat Vinyl LP Signed by Adrian Belew (guitarist also guest on Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Tori Amos albums). Sleeve and Record in excellent condition. $20 Ph0449713338 iFlogID: 14861
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MUSIC SERVICES BAND MERCHANDISE
Les Paul copy Monterey electric guitar sunburst colour played few times kept in storage very good condition $350 ph 0401314225
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120 watt.2 channel.f/switchable.reverb.direct out.very punchy. great tone.UK made.VGC.$350. Ph.0428744963.Cooroy
Les Paul Custom Epiphone White, goldtop hardware. plays beautiful and gives a great full sound. comes with gator hardcase and fender straps-Wstraplocks.retail $1800 selling $950!!! call Nathan on 0423197252
BUCK 65 Situation 2 x Vinyl LP . Sleeve and Record are Brand New. $15 Ph0449713338
ment, small to large 2, 3 and 4 way systems, packages for all occasions, competitive prices servicing Sydney and environs. Details; http://www.sydneypa.biz, Chris 0432 513 479
IS IT YOUR TIME......?
To make the record that lets everybody else know how good, you already know, you are? The Music Industry is going through a revolution. You now have the opportunity to be heard. Do you have what it takes? Artist/ Producer and Director of independent record label - Lee Bradshaw is seeking talent for 2011-2012 roster. www. bradshawmusicproductions.com Contact Kate - 0423972300 or kate@ bradshawmusicproductions.com iFlogID: 14875
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ALCHEMIX RECORDING STUDIOS
Yes the studio and gear are doing great, like always, we are here to provide you with the best in recording, mixing, mastering and cd replication services. Email us with your questions. Happy to help. Established 1998. Large studio with lots of Vintage Gear & the latest in Digital Technology. PH: 0407 630 770 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.alchemix.com.au
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Call today and book in to get started on learning the crafts of being a drummer. Book in 1 lesson or book in by the term from as little as $22.50. Start your journey today. iFlogID: 14715
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OTHER Percussionist - Professional Freelance Percussionist with 20 years professional experience playing both nationally & internationally. Looking to perform with professional musicians on a freelance basis. Very reliable. Call Timo on 0402980602. iFlogID: 14923
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DRUMMER 23 YRS OLD AVAILABLE
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RemmosK live debut @ the Valve Bar - Tempe - 01-09-11. For lovers of pure unashamed rock, be sure to catch their inaugural gig for full bragging rights.
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I’ve been Drumming for 19 years, been in the industry for 8 years mainly rock influences such as Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, Motley Crue & BuckCherry. Also love Jazz, Soul & Funk. I have played with Evermore, Lisa Mitchell, Neon, Shaman Son, Rocket Science, Velveteen Sky & Vynal Flare, Also played 2010 Playground weekender with Brian Jonestown Massacre, Lupe Fiasco & Regular John, Looking to join a kick ass band Pro Gear & Transport. Contact me email@example.com if your interested! Cheers Anthony iFlogID: 14810
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OTHER www.ozjam.com.au is free to join, and with over 5000 members its fast becoming the largest online music community in Australia! If your looking to join or form a band, find a band member or get exposure check Ozjam out today! iFlogID: 14982
SINGER Female Lead Voaclist Wanted with transport, good presentation, reliability, age 20-32, vocal range/versatility/ experience singing all cover styles. We’re a fun/party cover corporate band that performs some clubs, and black tie events. iFlogID: 14666
GOSPEL SINGERS WANTED for nondenominational music ministry to record triple-CD in Perth. World-class, passionate and devotional vocalists sought. View www.THE001Music.com for details. Jesus is KIng! Reverend Eslam. God Bless You! iFlogID: 13088
Very strong Professional female singer (18-30) with cover band experience for Corporate Party Covers Band based in Sydney, agency backed and plenty of work! Send Bio to email@example.com iFlogID: 14364
SERVICES BEAUTY SERVICES ELIZABETH VO MAKEUP ARTISTRY servicing all parts of Sydney, specialising in media, fashion, video and print. Please email for any enquires: firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 14658
THE LETTER L DESIGN Looking for a unique visual edge for your bands identity? The Letter L offers something different from the rest of the design crowd. Original digital work, typography,illustration and retouch services available. Check out http:// theletterldesign.blogspot.com/ or email email@example.com iFlogID: 14654
Graphic Design for the music industry. Work to your budget and needs for your next logo, flyer, album art or merch design. Contact design@dillonashcroft. com or head to dillonashcroft.com iFlogID: 15088
Limited Edition mens tees and hoodies with a sense of humour. All hand-screened and numbered. monstrositystore.com iFlogID: 13611
OTHER GET THE PICTURE Get your message out there. Let me shoot your publicity shots or portraits. Dynamic, laid back and affordable. LetsTalk! W:adamboothphotography.com P:0434 406 820 iFlogID: 14914
Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY- from $399 including UNLIMITED pages, Hosting and 5xemail addresses and much more! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.bizwebsites. com.au. iFlogID: 13862
VIDEO/ DVD COPY CENTRE
Transfer your old media to DVD or USB.VHS to DVD$25, Camcorder$20, 8mm Film $15, LP/Cassettes $20,Photos/ Slides$1.50 Eftpos/Cards 07 32638800 657 Robinson Rd W, Aspley QLD 4034 aspleyvideoproductions.blogspot.com iFlogID: 14880
TATTOO Monstrosity Dreadlocks, Sydney. Dreads and maintenance special: All service $30 per hour. Professional, guaranteed service. Kings Cross. Call 0421356410 iFlogID: 13613
TUITION GUITAR LESSONS BEGINNERS-$25HR 1xFREE-LESSON guarantied guitar playing in days not years taking the frustration out of learning. Music CD’s teaching tools supplied. teaching guitar 10years + SMS 0405 044 513 iFlogID: 13975
GUITAR TUITION. Bris. 30 yrs experience. Beginners a specialty. 0406017022 iFlogID: 13494
Published on Aug 15, 2011
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...