BALL PARK MUSIC
JACK LADDER J
CHRIS CORNELL SALMONELLA DUB BIG SCARY NEW EMPIRE
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GIVEAWAYS TT3D: Closer to the Edge is a film about the TT, the world-famous motorcycle race that takes place on the Isle of Man every year. Racing along public roads on bikes just inches apart - with speeds hitting 200mph - drama, tension and tragedy all combine to thrill the audience and tell a very moving human story. Filmed in stunning 3D, TT3D: Closer to the Edge is a story about what it means to be truly alive. Thanks to Icon Films, we have ten double in-season passes up for grabs! From a bandmate’s suicide to drug abuse, from Washington DC to California, Paul Brannigan gives an unparalleled, intimate and extraordinary written account of the one of a kind rock icon that is Dave Grohl in This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl. In 1990, meagerly successful rock upstarts Nirvana added a new drummer to the band. They would soon become a global phenomenon. But as we all know, the script was far from written and things went wrong. Defying expectations, a knack that was soon to become his trademark, Grohl refused to see it as the end. In 1995, his new band Foo Fighters rose to join the pantheon of rock deities. Grohl has been through some of the darkest lows and most dazzling highs that life can offer. Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers Australia, we have three copies of the book to give away! Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders are taking their critically acclaimed new album Hurtsville
around Australia at the moment. You can catch the dark and brooding charm of the tall man of alt-country at Alhambra Lounge Friday Oct 14 and Saturday Oct 15 at The Loft, Chevron Island. Thanks to Spunk Records, we have a double pass for each show up for grabs! Entrants must be 18+. Please specify which show you would like to attend – Brisbane or Gold Coast – just mention it in the name field along with your full name. EB Games Expo, the biggest video games event Australia has ever seen, will be held at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre on Saturday Oct 15 and Sunday 16. Leading retailer EB Games will bring together some of the biggest names in the business and combine it with the Saturday Twilight Sessions featuring live DJs on the exhibition main stage from 8pm to 10pm, including Van She Tech and The Surecut Kids, plus FanMade Pocket Music live from the FanMade area. We have one double pass to give away which will give the winner entry on Sunday Oct 16. Visit www.ebexpo.com.au for more details. Over the past year, New Empire has propelled into the spotlight of the Australian music scene, scoring international supports for Good Charlotte and Switchfoot. They are heading off on a national tour to support the release of their new album Symmetry, play at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Friday Oct 14. We have got two double passes to give away for yourself and a friend!
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ISSUE 1548 FRONT ROW
Get your music industry news from The Front Line Lowdown – news, opinions, ours, Backlash, Frontlash Remember, rebuild and move forth with Cold Chisel According to Chris Cornell, any track can be stripped right back Perth MC Drapht has worked hard for his money Enjoy the musical journey of Ball Park Music Battling his music and identity, Jack Ladder comes out on top Getting old is becoming new again according to Salmonella Dub Get an artistic grip on things with Big Scary New Empire enjoy their pop and rock in equal measures Kimya Dawson talks family and friendship Keep one step forward of the dubstep pack with Koan Sound An American connection has always worked wonders for Nine Sons Of Dan For American’s Cough, it’s not all doom and gloom 8 Ball Aitken gushes about his musical pride and joy With Heirs, time is very much a virtue On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out
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Get the scoop on what’s happening This Week In Arts The joy of music video sets with Claire Marshall Nina Riddel welcomes all to the Underground Film Festival Tips to avoid the wrath of an art critic in The Looking Glass Find out about the return of Jim Davidson What happened when Cultural Cringe was your age? Try some delicious Luna Tart Tran Anh-Hung discusses fleshing out Norwegian Wood
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
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Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down Lochlan Watt gives you brutal metal news in Adamantium Wolf Sarah Petchell has enough punk rock to Wake The Dead Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas Tim Finney get’s UK funky on Local Dialects We take you behind the music with Behind The Lines iFlog and you can too
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CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Contributing Editor: Dan Condon Editorial Assistant: Benny Doyle Front Row Editor: Daniel Crichton-Rouse Intern: Georgia Dixon
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 ANGRY ANDERSON MOVES INTO POLITICS
INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION BY SHANE THOMPSON
Angry Anderson – an icon of Aussie rock and the ex-frontman of Rose Tattoo – has announced he wants to move into politics after becoming a member of Australia’s conservative National party. Gary Steven Anderson has often been outspoken on political issues and recently led an anti-carbon tax protest outside Parliament House in Canberra. He wrote on the issue, “Do we really believe that this push for a tax on carbon pollution is about anything but raising more revenue for the government and the United Nations in league with the international banks using the “New World Order” as a blueprint for the Globalisation of the New Free World?” Member of The Nationals Barnaby Joyce has not taken credit for enlisting Anderson into the party, while it’s believed opposition leader Tony Abbott suggested Anderson contest the seat of Page in Northern NSW.
MARK RONSON AND KATY B FIND THE SOUND OF THE OLYMPICS In a project sure to get the pair a whole lot more exposure, Mark Ronson and Katy B have been chosen to collaborate on a song for the Olympic Games. Coca-Cola are a part of the project, with their Olympic campaign Move To The Beat aimed at getting teens into the spirit of the sport, and they’re using music to achieve it. They have clearly carefully selected their musicians for the project, Ronson is one of the most renowned producers in the world of music today and Katy B a fast-rising star in electronic/dance music. The aim of the campaign is to get people to “move to the beat of London” and the making of the song will be covered in a one hour long documentary that shows Ronson traveling the world to gain inspiration for the track and recording young athletes’ sounds, which will provide the beat of the song.
TAME IMPALA MANAGEMENT STARTS LABEL Spinning Top Music is the name of a new record label being run by Tame Impala manager Jodie Regan. The label is currently home to Felicity Groom, Allbrook/ Avery and Gum and has already been approached by other bands like The Growl and Sydney’s The Laurels. The aim of the label is to try and keep the music-making/ releasing process fun, and thanks to the success of Tame Impala it already has something of an inbuilt audience. Regan said, “We can only hope that it’s as funny as we think it’s gonna be. It’s really just about making sure everyone still has fun making records and releasing them and it not being such a drag on a lot of levels.” She also explained that the plan was to reduce the amount of fuss surrounding the release of material: “They don’t really want to be bothered with all the press and the lead up time and all that sort of thing, because they have to do that with these other projects which are bigger… It’s almost like an anti-release, people want to work on this stuff and make more of a deal out of it than the band do.”
TRIPLE J UNEARTHED RADIO LAUNCHES The anticipated digital radio station triple j Unearthed launched last week offering up interviews with previous Unearthed winners including Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson and Megan Washington as well as relatively new bands Big Scary and Bleeding Knees Club. The new station will not however include regular announcers as the launch did, it will rely on tracks being linked through artist intros and interviews, as well as some introductions to playlists by triple j announcers. The station has already displayed a wide variety of artists including Kate Vigo, Dopframe, Brous, Teleprompter, Felicity Groom And The Black Black Smoke, Greenthief, Heroes For Hire, The Psyde Projects, We Say Bomboulee, Luca Brasi, Tijuana Cartel and The Jungle Giants.
Some of the world’s most respected performers make up this year’s judging panel for the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Esteemed artists such as Tom Waits, Jeff Beck, Kelly Clarkson, Ozzy Osbourne and Lucinda Williams, to name a few, will be taking on judging responsibilities. They’ll listen to songs alongside industry luminaries such as David Massey (President, Mercury Records), Monte Lipman (CEO/President, Universal Republic Records) and Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, J Records).
WALL ST PROTESTS BRING RARE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE The reclusive Jeff Mangum of indie band Neutral Milk Hotel has made a rare appearance at the Occupy Wall St protests in New York last week, performing a set to support the cause. The musician brought his guitar and allowed requests one website reported. Recently Mangum played his first shows in years at All Tomorrow’s Parties events after having only rarely performed since the split of his band in 1998.
ARIA AND AIR EVENTS CLASH Wednesday Oct 12 has been announced as the ARIA Awards nominations ceremony date, even after the Australian Independent Record Labels Association had planned their Independent Music Awards for the same day. The AIR is concerned that the ARIA ceremony will take away valuable media coverage for their event, and affect its future as an event. ARIA CEO Dan Rosen said that their decision to hold their event on the same day was not on purpose, stating to The Front Line: “ARIA has, and always will be extremely supportive of AIR and the announcement of the ARIA Award nominations is in no way, shape or form, meant to take away from the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards…this date was unavoidable due to a number of factors. We see next Wednesday as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Australia’s current crop of amazing artists, with our event taking place early in the morning and the AIR Awards later that evening.” The AIR Awards will feature performances from Adalita, Seekae, Illy, Emma Louise and Calling All Cars.
APPLE MOURNS DEATH OF STEVE JOBS The death of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs last week at the age of 56 due to his battle with pancreatic cancer is a massive loss to the company, with Jobs’ vision and creativity having changed the world of technology and lifestyle immensely. The Apple founder had taken periods of leave due to his health for years, but things didn’t look positive when Jobs resigned as Apple CEO in August of this year. Bill Gates was one of the first to announce his sadness at the news, and tributes have been made by a variety of people including musicians – with Trent Reznor saying on Twitter “Thanks for the tools, the inspiration, the possibilities…Miss you already Steve.” And Does it Offend You, Yeah? tweeting “RIP Steve Jobs. Our trusty Macbooks have never crashed whilst we were on stage!” Thanks to the invention of the iPod in 2001 and many developments since, the way music is consumed, and the portability of it, has changed dramatically.
ISC founder and director Candace Avery says each year the ISC puts together a mixture of recording artists and professionals as part of their judging panel. “This mixture achieves a good balance between what artists and industry consider excellent songwriting, which can often be very different,” she says. “Selected judges represent the broad variety of genres that ISC accepts entries for. They are all respected songwriters and artists, and the industry pros are influential executives who make the decisions on artist signings, publishing, and licensing deals. The goal is to create a diverse panel of iconic judges within the music business.” Ms Avery says while there are lots of aspects to what judges are looking for, ultimately they all want to find great songs. “Now, of course that’s quite relative, as music is very subjective,” she says. “However, it is the overall consensus of the judges that determine the winners, not just one judge’s opinion. The judging panel includes experts in all ISC categories of music, so the judges are knowledgeable in their genres and know what to look for, be it Rock or World Music or Jazz, etc.” Previous years’ judges have all been highly impressed with the quality of material submitted to the competition. The Cure’s Robert Smith was one of these judges. “I was astounded at the quality and range of abilities on show – the originality, honesty, and depth of so many of the words, the charm, vivacity, and catchiness of the tunes, and the often staggering energy, skill, and intensity of the performances – the talent left me at times breathless! Judging ISC 2006 was a real pleasure,” he said. Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC was of the same thought process. “Judging ISC is a journey into the creative world of music possibilities,” he said. Judges are also in agreement that the ISC helps find the artists of the future. Wynonna said “I so enjoy hearing what the next generation of songwriters is creating.” Craig Morgan said ,“ISC is a great way to get your songs to people always looking for that next great hit.” Joe Nichols said, “I had a great time judging this year’s competition. It’s inspiring to see new songwriters continue to work at their craft. I was honoured to be a part of this.” Record label executives are also interested in hearing the songs which are entered into the competition. Universal Republic Records CEO/President Monte Lipman said “We’re always impressed with the talented songwriters who participate in the ISC. This is a great A&R source to find new artists.” Ms Avery acknowledges the impact having songs judged by such an esteemed panel can have on an artist, both emerging and well-known. “So many of the judges are greatly admired by ISC entrants and have been huge influences on their music and have provided inspiration to them,” she says. “The opportunity to have your music heard by an artist you admire and respect is rare, and ISC provides that opportunity. Plus, having your music heard by some of the most prestigious executives in the US and UK market is a rarity and can often be extremely beneficial (many ISC winners have obtained recording contracts, licensing deals, publishing deals, etc).”
The deadline for this year’s International Songwriting Competition has been extended. Entrants will be able to submit their entries online until November 1. To enter this year’s competition, visit www.songwritingcompetition.com
ANOTHER FESTIVAL BLUNDER The University of Canberra’s Stonefest has suffered poor ticket sales in a deja vu-like scenario amongst a number of festival changes and cancellations in the country this year. Due to the poor sales the festival organisers have cut the rock music element of the event altogether so only electronic and dance artists remain. Many artists have been removed from the bill, including The Vines, Jebediah, The Grates, Josh Pyke, Jonathon Boulet, Stonefield, Owl Eyes, Lanie Lane, Hunting Grounds, Big Scary and 360. The event has been running since the early-70s and has featured international artists in the past including Groove Armada and The Dandy Warhols. The re-incarnation and smaller version of the festival has been dubbed the Stonefest ‘Rock On’ Party.
MTV TRIES TO MAKE TV MORE ‘RELATABLE’ MTV has, in recent years, focused its airtime on reality TV with programs like Jersey Shore, and is looking at changing up its strategy. In an attempt to capture more of the world’s youth, the ‘millennial generation’, the company are trying to find situations for TV that are more realistic to the average viewer (according to MTV this comes in the form of 16 & Pregnant, and Teen Mom). General Manager of Music Brands and Comedy for MTV Australia/New Zealand, Rebecca Batties explained to The Front Line, “with the economic problems the world is currently facing, it can be hard for the average viewer to relate to people spending tens of thousands of dollars on parties, as seen in a program like My Super Sweet 16, they’re more likely to relate to a program like 16 & Pregnant.” “Portraying excessively privileged people is a thing of the past for MTV,” Batties said. In terms of music, there will be a new local artist initiative called Local Produce for artists from Australia and New Zealand, which will provide artist airtime, video rotation, tour support and background content, with a “strong digital element to it”.
FOLK LEGEND BERT JANSCH PASSES AWAY Scottish folk legend Bert Jansch has died at age 67 after a battle with lung cancer. He was one of the figureheads of the British folk revival, and also founded a group called Pentangle in 1967 whose 1969 album Basket Of Light reached number five on the UK album charts. Jansch had a widespread influence on other artists including Donovan and Nick Drake as well as Fleet Foxes and Kurt Vile. Neil Young once said “As much of a great guitar player as Jimi [Hendrix] was, Bert Jansch is the same thing for acoustic guitar…and my favourite”. Johnny Marr from The Smiths was also a fan, and said of Jansch, “He completely re-invented guitar playing and set a standard that is still unequalled today…without Bert Jansch, rock music as it developed in the 60s and 70s would have been very different.” Until recently Jansch was performing live to rave reviews, and had received BBC lifetime achievement awards as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Edinburgh Napier University.
LATIN IDOL In the tradition of talent competitions like Australian Idol and The X Factor, Clave Contra Clave is a new band competition that sets out to find the finest in Australian-based Latin music. A panel of Latin music industry experts and Cuban music superstars will be voting for who they consider to be the best in show; you can get along to the Brisbane heat at The Roundhouse on Saturday Oct 15 and the final happens at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney on Saturday Nov 5.
FRIDAYS ON HIS MIND
On the eve of their Australian tour we asked OKKERVIL RIVER mastermind WILL SHEFF to let us know what he’s been up to, so he kept a diary exclusively for Time Off covering every Friday for two months. crew, sweating and bored and battered by screaming rain. When it clears, the boat party is transformed into a roof party and we shoot until 3am. At 5am I head to the airport to catch a red-eye to Minneapolis. Can’t sleep on the plane. I arrive in Minneapolis and am driven into Wisconsin to play a festival called SoundTown. The festival is a total bust, but I do get to meet Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips, who turns out to be one of the nicest musicians I’ve met. When I apologise for the thin crowd he says, “Look at this beautiful day! We’re all lucky to be fucking doing this!”
EVERY FRIDAY OF THE PAST TWO MONTHS IN 1,000 WORDS. Friday, August 5th Brooklyn. The end of the longest stretch of free time I’ll get this year, and I’ve spent most of it attempting to do nothing. Went to a friend’s birthday party. Visited my grandparents. Began the long process of packing a suitcase with all I’d need for the next two months. Friday, August 12th Haldern, Germany. I’ve been in Europe for three days. On this particular trip I’m trying out a jet-lag coping technique that consists of not even attempting to cope with jet-lag and instead sticking stubbornly to a North American schedule. I wake up shortly before showtime, eat dinner for breakfast, play, hang out all night, then a midnight snack for lunch and bedtime with the sun coming up, after eating a sensible breakfast for dinner. Pat gave me a funny look at the hotel restaurant the other morning when he saw me pouring the contents of a concealed Maker’s bottle into my apple juice.
The Haldern festival is set in the German countryside. Pissing rain all day. The grounds are muddy chaos. For some reason, I’ve chosen to wear a Don Johnsonesque white blazer. I spend most of my energy trying to keep it from getting muddy. I fail. Late-night, we pile in the bus for the Route Du Rock festival in the French countryside. There’s even more mud there. Friday, August 19 th Back in Brooklyn. Some months back I vaguely agreed to a friend I would “act” in his movie. I had assumed it would be an afternoon’s commitment, but when I landed at home I was greeted with an email requesting my presence for each of the five days I’ll be here. The movie stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim from Tim and Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job!, although in slightly more dramatic roles. The night before saw a drunken shoot involving full-frontal male nudity, beer-spitting, and simulated sex. Tonight’s more sedate. It’s supposed to be a “boat party,” but there are rumors of a severe storm scheduled to plow through New York City. I sit in a tiny staging room with the cast and
Friday, August 26th Portland, OR. Day three of a short run with The Decemberists. Their crowd doesn’t seem to dig us. We are playing a combination winery-and-golf-course. The venue offers us a free “round” – or whatever it’s called – of golf. Strolling with my white wine, I somehow manage to slip and fall and pull some kind of tendon in my leg. I can’t believe I injured myself golfing. I hit the stage limping, and by the time the show is done the tendon or whatever is all white-hot pain. I head back to the hotel. I had hoped to fly back to Brooklyn and be home for three days, but the TV news is dominated by stories of Hurricane Irene. They’re predicting madness and chaos. They’re saying both New York airports will be underwater. I decide not to go home, and spend the next three days holed up in a hotel by myself, except for one night when I go out for a drink and somehow end up at a stranger’s bachelor party. Friday, September 2nd Madrid. Spent the day before in a panic because my computer died and half my pedalboard broke. We played a fast, fun show to an awesome audience and then went club-hopping through the late-night city. Things got progressively sillier. At 5am we ended up at some girl’s house, drinking terrible rum and jamming on a Casio. I’m up the next day with a wicked hangover. Our tourmanager takes us to the airport late, and we barely make our flight to London, sprinting and sweating and panting. In London, they won’t let us in the country. No work permits. Friday, September 9th Ithaca, New York. After the flight getting cancelled and
re-routed a few times, I land with a bunch of freshman about to move into their dorms. A last-minute show, and we play for almost no one. Ithaca’s almost a parody of a college town. I see whimsical street juggling. I avoid a guy with a comically oversized hat with four peacock feathers. I stand in line for a buffalo-chicken pizza with a bunch of guys calling each other “brah”. Friday, September 16th New Orleans. One of the best meals of my life. My soft-spoken Midwestern dude friend moved here recently, divorced his wife, came out of the closet. He loudly buys me shots and seems happier than I ever remembered him or anyone being. Friday, September 23rd Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati was recently described as “the most dangerous neighborhood in the United States.” My fireman friend calls it “A good place to get shot in the head” and talks of searching burning buildings for missing kids while their parents score heroin down the block. Desolation all around, but people are nice to us. The bar Biff’s lets us drink for cheap. Owner says, “There’s a strip club upstairs. Well, not strippers, but they have a few drinks and take off their clothes.” I autograph someone’s ass. Sound is atrocious, but we have a tremendous time, hard-rocking the crumbled parking lot of what used to be a German restaurant. Friday, September 30th Back in Brooklyn. I’m sending this piece off. [Ed’s note: the piece was 1,000 words exactly, Will is nothing if not a man of his word]
WHO: Okkervil River WHAT: I Am Very Far (Jagjaguwar/Inertia) WHERE & WHEN:
The Hi-Fi Wednesday Oct 19
BACK TO THE FUTURE Standing consistently tall on the festival landscape in recent times with diverse line-ups full of big stage heavyweights and basement bangers, Future Music is returning in 2012 and has provided a bumper bill once again. Get your dancing kicks on to move to the likes of Fat Boy Slim, Swedish House Maffia, pictured, The Wombats, Die Antwoord, Aphex Twin (live), Skrillex, The Rapture, Frank Ocean, Paul van Dyk, Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status (live), Jessie J, Sven Vath, The Naked And Famous, Gareth Emery, Jamie Jones, James Murphy & Pat Mahony, Hercules & Love Affair, Azari & III, Alex Metric, Holy Ghost!, The Juan Maclean, Benoit & Sergio, Horse Meat Disco, Stafford Brothers and a host of other massive local and international names. Get in early and register for pre-sale at futureentertainment.com.au/futuremusicfestival before Oct 20 for 2010 prices. Missing out on that, tickets are on sale from Thursday Oct 20 with prices starting at $135 + bf. This progressive day takes place at Doomben Racecourse Saturday Mar 3.
LIGHT IT UP The most infamous warehouse parties in Brisbane, the Whitelight and Blacklight nights are returning to the gorgeous and unique expanses of the Valley’s Lightspace in the upcoming weeks. Whitelight kicks off proceedings on Friday Oct 21 and plays host to a huge bill of acts including The Belligerents, The Chemist, Tourism, Gung Ho and Magic Spells. Blacklight will then follow suit on Friday Nov 4 with The Medics, Lunch Tapes, Pluto Jonze, Pigeon and Boss Moxi all taking part as well as Cobra Kai DJs slinging tunes on both nights. With mad varied line-ups like this there’s more than something for everyone. Pick up your tickets through OzTix for only $24. Proudly presented by Time Off.
THE REVUE RETURNS Many witnesses still revel in the memories of the sonic fire that was released on stage by The Jim Jones Revue last time they sailed on to our shores back at the beginning of 2011. A demanding rock’n’roll nut house, the British revivalists are led by the incomparable Jim Jones, a frontman who’ll make you feel punch-drunk after witnessing his might, while the punk and roll power that backs his voice is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The band play The Zoo on Tuesday Jan 3 with tickets through OzTix priced at $45. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
BIG DAY OUT TICKET INFO After the massive announcement last week for Big Day Out 2012, you’re no doubt eager to secure your place at the festival when tickets go on sale for the Gold Coast leg on Thursday Oct 13. Prices are $165 (incl GST) + bf with a strict limit of four tickets per customer. You can pick ‘em up from the official Big Day Out website (bigdayout.com), Ticketmaster (website only – ticketmaster.com.au), plus Rockinghorse, Kill The Music and Sunflower Music on the Gold Coast.
Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel has been charged with murder following the shooting death of 27-year-old promoter Baddington Burton. Following a pay dispute that has seen voice over actors such as Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer taking a reported 30 percent pay cut, 20th Century Fox has announced The Simpsons will continue for at least another two seasons. In his new book, ex-LAPD detective Greg Kading claims he has evidence to prove Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs and Suge Knight were behind the shooting murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. Dubstep divider Skrillex has unveiled his new stage show, ‘The Cell’ on his recent American tour. The Cell uses stateof-the-art motion capture technology to follow the Californian producer’s every move behind the decks. Following cryptic messages recently made by Gorillaz character Murdoch, there are murmurs that the band could fold in the near future. Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh has passed away aged 40. The cause of death is yet to be determined although drugs have not been ruled out. Popstar Kylie Minogue will receive an honorary Doctorate of Health Science from Essex’s Anglia Ruskin University in acknowledgement of her role raising breast cancer awareness following her own battles with the disease.
SOUNDWAVE 2012 IS COMING Winding the clock back to the turn of the millennium, the Soundwave festival line-up for 2012 is a journey back to some of the most lauded riff merchants of recent times. Clap your peepers on System Of A Down, pictured, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Hole, Marilyn Manson, A Day To Remember, Mastodon, Thursday, Lamb Of God, Machine Head, Trivium, Alter Bridge, lostprophets, Angels & Airwaves, Cobra Starship, The Used, You Me At Six, Devin Townsend Project, Unwritten Law, Coal Chamber, Dashboard Confessional, Thursday, Forever The Sickest Kids, Raised Fist, Dillinger Escape Plan, Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Mastodon, Underoath, Saves The Day, Circa Survive, Steel Panther, Jack’s Mannequin, Meshuggah, The Sisters Of Mercy, Enter Shikari, Four Year Strong, Black Veil Brides, Madina Lake, Zebrahead, Hatebreed, Biohazard, Times Of Grace, CKY, Street Dogs, Dragonforce, Gojira, Kvelertak, Letlive, Hellyeah, Cro-Mags, The Cab, Relient K, Versa Emerge, Heroes For Hire, Kill Hannah, The Dangerous Summer, Chimaira, Framing Hanley, Watain, Royal Republic, I Am The Avalanche, Turisas, River City Extension with more to be announced! The national festival kicks off in Brisbane at RNA Showgrounds on Saturday Feb 25 with tickets available Thursday Oct 20 through soundwavefestival.com, OzTix and Ticketek.
THE RETURN OF THE NAKED KIDS It seems as though the love is mutual between Australian audiences and L.A based quintet Grouplove. The band was only just in the country as part of Splendour In The Grass but will be returning this summer to get everyone dancing to infectious cuts like Naked Kids and Colours. The indie rock gang play The Zoo on Tuesday Jan 10 and The Northern, Byron Bay on Wednesday Jan 11. Get your tickets through venue websites and OzTix from 9am Friday Oct 14. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT Our guess is you’ve probably heard of Short Stack. The ambitious three-piece blew up over night, quite literally encompassing their debut album mantra Stack Is The New Black. Now to get their adoring fans up to speed on anything they have missed, CinemaLive and Universal Music are proud to present The Story Of Short Stack, the self-made documentary of the pop-punkers. Not just a movie event, fans will also be treated to an exclusive acoustic performance by the band and Q&A time where the guys will answer audience questions. It all happens on Thursday Oct 27 from 6pm Qld time – tickets for the evening can be picked up through shortstack. com.au for $35 (including DVD!). Visit cinemalive. com to find out your nearest participating cinema.
OFF! ARE ON
TAKING IT TO THE STREET Adding to what is arguably the biggest week for festival line-ups this country has experienced, the street level Laneway festival has rolled out their cast for the 2012 edition and it’s got something for every musical leaning. Taking part in the national event are the likes of Feist, Chairlift, Laura Marling, pictured, M83, SBTRKT (live), Pajama Club, The Drums, The Horrors, WU LYF, Yuck, Girls, Active Child, Cults, Twin Shadow, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Anna Calvi, Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, Total Control, Austra, Bullion, DZ Deathrays, EMA, Geoffrey O’Connor, Glasser, Husky, The Panics, John Talabot, Jonti, Oneman, The Very West plus more to be announced. This genre-busting day of live music happens Saturday Jan 28 in Alexandria St, Fortitude Valley. Act fast when tickets go on sale next week, 9am Wednesday Oct 19 through Greentix for the rather affordable price of $120.
With former members of seminal punk and hardcore bands like Black Flag and Rocket From The Crypt in their ranks, Californians OFF! are nothing short of super-charged mayhem. Putting all the young imposters to shame, these four men leave nothing left on stage. Let OFF! rip you apart when they come to Brisbane armed with two-minute punk snarlers and some serious performance chops to boot. The Americans play The Zoo Sunday Dec 4 before they kindly hang around a few days to give the younger generation a kick in the teeth with an all ages slot at Sun Distortion Studios on Tuesday Dec 6. Tickets are available Thursday Oct 13 through the Destroy All Lines’ OzTix page, priced at $45.
SUPA DUPA Time to get your bounce on hustlers with the line-up announcement for the 2012 Supafest. Featuring some of the biggest names in world urban music, freak out when supastars like P Diddy, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, Lupe Fiasco and Kelly Rowland rock the mic with reckless abandon. This massive day of rhythm and rhyme happens on Saturday April 14 at RNA Showgrounds. Tickets are available right now through supafest.com.au with prices starting from $139 + bf – make sure you start polishing those kicks!
US president Barack Obama has admit being intimidated by Lady Gaga when the pair met at a recent fundraiser for his re-election campaign. UK metalcore group Bring Me The Horizon are back in the headlines, the band scuffling with fans onstage in Utah before a 20-year-old Brit was sentenced to life in jail for attempted murder after pretending to be frontman Oli Sykes. Californians Wavves have announced via twitter that they’re in the process of creating a video game. American rapper T.I. has been released from a halfway house in Atlanta, having been arrested late last year in Los Angeles after he was found with four ecstasy pills.
A LOVABLE PUG Chicago’s Joe Pug announced a tour a short while ago but unfortunately, this tour wasn’t coming to Queensland. For a few fans, this news wasn’t good enough and through the power of perseverance, Mr. Pug will now fly into Brisbane for one show music lovers should be more than grateful to get. Get your lucid storytelling and neat fingerpickin’ fix on Wednesday Nov 2 at the Old Museum with support from Alexander Hendrickson (Bang Bang Boss Kelly) plus more TBA. Tickets will be available through the venue website (oldmuseum.org) for $27 + bf.
FOREVER YOUNG Featuring catchy, rollicking guitar jams with a nice injection of surf pop for good measure, Betty Airs could be your new favourite band. Including former members of Gerling and The Vines, the Sydney quartet have got a deep bag of randy tunes and with a slew of support slots under the likes of British India, Wolf & Cub and Peabody coming up, you better know these guys are the real deal. Check Betty Airs out on the Juvenile tour when they make their way north to Brisbane, playing Alhambra Lounge Thursday Oct 20. And just in case you needed any more convincing, our own rock’n’roll renegades Velociraptor will also be playing on the evening.
BATHS TOUR CANCELLED The tub of excitement will be drained for many with Los Angeles electronic explorer Baths announcing he is postponing his scheduled slot at Alhambra Lounge Wednesday Oct 19 indefinitely, for reasons undisclosed. At present time, it still remains unclear when he will be rescheduling the date. Keep your eyes peeled in future editions of Time Off for any further updates regarding the matter.
DAIRY GOOD TIMES Ben & Jerrys ice cream’s have locked arms with Tune for Change to put together a night of fine music to coincide with the launch of Ben & Jerrys Openair Cinemas in Brisbane’s Southbank precinct. On Sunday Oct 23 catch pop-punk wonder kids Kisschasy, local indie strummers Hungry Kids Of Hungry and fresh up-and-comers Glass Towers. The night kicks off at 4pm, the music combining with moving flick Life In A Day to make a imaginably divine night under the stars on the Brisbane River. Tickets can be purchased through Moshtix with prices ranging between $37 and $95 + bf. What’s even more delicious is that all proceeds from the evening go to animal welfare charity Save Babe.
DROP THE BASS Having shared the stage with some of the biggest heavyweight names in bass music including Roni Size, Concord Dawn, High Contrast and Andy C, Sydney outfit Kobra Kai have been turning heads for years now with their uncompromising live shows. Now the crew are finally releasing their self-titled debut on Oct 10 and if you like low-level grooves that progress far outside the CDJ box, get along to one of their three Mind On The Ceiling shows in our region: Kobra Kai perform at The Hi-Fi Thursday Nov 10, Uber Friday Nov 11and the Buddha Bar, Byron Bay Saturday Nov 12.
Snoop Dogg is set to produce and star in a TV comedy series where he’ll play a father in the yet-to-be-titled family sitcom. Black Eyed Peas are permanently splitting after pulling out of their scheduled performance at a Michael Jackson tribute show in Wales. Bon Iver feature in the latest ad campaign for Bushmills whiskey. The group follow on from artists such as Chromeo, Theophilus London and Elijah Wood.
A NIGHT OF FLEETING BEAUTY Fleet Foxes debut, released in 2008, was a moving celebration of earthy folk music that is now reflected upon as one of the great albums from the last decade, while their 2011 follow-up continued to show a band with a head full of ideas, unwilling to rest of their laurels. Tying in with various festival slots around the country, the Washington State six-piece have announced a Queensland date, the fabulous Foxes taking to the stage of The Tivoli on Wednesday Jan 11. Tickets are available through Ticketek for $65 + bf. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
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THE TEMPO HOTEL 388 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley. 18+ ID Required. Management reserve the right to refuse entry.
BON IVER COMING ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES – GONE
REMOVING THE PLUG
Brisbane can’t get enough of Bon Iver – it’s official. With tickets to the Wisconsin folk star’s first two Tivoli dates all but gone, Justin Vernon and co. gave you lucky souls one last chance to share a moving night of music with some of America’s finest – but that has even sold out at speed! We hope you were one of the speedy few who nabbed a place at the American’s three night stand at The Tivoli, the third date happening Saturday Mar 17. Supports for all dates to be announced soon.
PRAYING AT THE ALTER
Melbourne quartet Dick Diver have been busting their proverbial balls lately, recording their much-anticipated debut record New Start Again in rural Victoria with the enigmatic Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring fame. The album captures the loose nature of the band and Dick Diver are embarking on a capital city run of shows to launch the new release. Joining them on the evening will be raw Sydney punks Royal Headache who are also releasing an LP of their own. The twin launch happens at Woodland Friday Nov 18.
Three decades since their inception, the church are returning to Brisbane to present a once in a lifetime night of music for fans. The Sydney rockers will perform not one, not two, but three of their iconic albums from the three separate decades of their existence. The Future, Past, Perfect tour will include 2009’s critically acclaimed Untitled #23, 90s fan favourite Priest=Aura and the album that put the band on the global map, 1989’s Starfish. With three hours of music, two intermissions, no supports, and memorabilia from the day included in the ticket price, you don’t want to miss this special show at the Brisbane Powerhouse Friday Dec 23, tickets priced at $55 through the venue website. 30 years and it still feels like yesterday...
J Mascis is one of the defining guitar players of the grunge era and arguably the last 20 years. But now, he is coming to Australia to throw his hat into a far more subtle but no less immersing ring. On the back of his acoustic release Several Shades Of Why, Mascis will be treating fans to new songs and withdrawn takes from his back catalogue when he arrives in Queensland to play two stripped-down shows. Catch the silver fox at SoundLounge, Gold Coast Saturday Jan 7 and Tuesday Jan 10 at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Tickets for both events can be picked up through each respective venue website with prices starting at $33 + bf.
LOWE AND BEHOLD A true pioneer and multi-faceted producer and performer, Nick Lowe’s career has taken him down many varied sonic avenues and guises including work with both Ry Cooder and Elvis Costello. The engaging Brit is a dab hand at all styles and his live shows are a reflection of this, further highlighted in his most recent release, the aptly-titled The Old Magic. Lowe will take his audience on a journey through everything great from the last 40 years of music when he takes to The Tivoli stage, Wednesday Apr 4. Tickets are on sale through Ticketek from Tuesday Oct 18 with pre-sale available for a strictly limited time from 12pm Thursday Oct 13.
YOU CAN DO IT Thanks to the wonderful cultural initiative, Sino Australian Musical Exchange (SAME), that trades then showcases groundbreaking musical acts between China and Australia, Shanghai’s most sought after noise makers Carsick Cars are arriving Down Under to show both shades of musical well-being – shimmering melodies brutalised by jolts of noise and mass chaos. The trio fly over to the country on the back of their second record You Can Listen, You Can Talk, to play a run of dates that include a stop in Brisbane, Saturday Nov 5 at Woodland. Get along for some self-proclaimed “panda noise”.
CRUEL & UNUSUAL
SAY NO TO LOCKOUT
No-one likes ethnocentrism, but the news that Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr is going to be jailed for a year and subjected to 90 lashes for starring in Australian film My Tehran For Sale is a crime against humanity...
There have been rumblings that the State Government is going to review the controversial 3am lockout – head over to the Queensland Parliamentary website and sign the e-petition to make sure of it. We’ve been living under these pointless restrictions for too long…
PRANK = WANK
Kyle Sandilands recent decision to “prank the media” by blatantly lying about having a secret lovechild makes us worry for his sanity, and it was done so feebly that nobody even believed him in the first place anyway. Please go away.
After a pay dispute threatened to put a stop to The Simpsons, it was an immense relief to hear Fox commit to another two seasons. Those who think that the Springfield massive have jumped the shark can take a long walk off a short pier, the gang still rule!
RIP MIKEY WELCH
NOT SO NEUTRAL
Terrible news with the passing of ex-Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh on the weekend. A series of Tweets in which he seemed to predict his demise have added intrigue to the tragedy – he shall be sorely missed and our thoughts go out to his loved ones.
So great that Neutral Milk Hotel’s reclusive Jeff Mangum recently emerged from self-imposed exile, but even greater that he played a surprise gig last week for the Occupy Wall Street protesters in lower Manhattan. The man is a legend, please come to Oz...
JONSON STREET BYRON BAY Fri 14 Oct
FEATHERSTONE Sat 15 Oct
FAT ALBERT Thurs 20 Oct
FAKER Fri 21 Oct
KAMIKAZI THUNDERKATZ Sat 22 Oct
DEAD BEAT BAND Sat 29 Oct
SOLID GOLD HALLOWEEN Thurs 10 Nov
UPBEATS & SUNSHINE SOUND SYSTEM Sat 12 Nov
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE www.thenorthern.com.au 19
Legendary Oz rockers COLD CHISEL have surmounted the tragic loss of their friend and bandmate Steve Prestwich to embark on their biggest Australian jaunt in nearly three decades. JIMMY BARNES tells STEVE BELL about overcoming adversity and striving to move forward.
NO SENSE S
ometimes the vagaries of life are enough to derail even the grandest of plans, no matter atter how wellconceived. Other times that metaphorical phorical spanner in the works just serves to slow things down for a while, only for them to regain even more speed and momentum when eventually steered back on course. This latter happenstance, touch wood, seems to have been the fate destined for Oz rock icons Cold Chisel in recent times. The band that so dominated the local scene during a golden stretch traversing the 70s and 80s – and whose music has resonated through the ages so much as to have ingrained itself into the national psyche in the intervening years – were not only on the verge of releasing their inimitable catalogue of music into the digital realm for the first time, but also recording their first album together for over a decade, when they were rocked by the death of drummer Steve Prestwich, who sadly passed in January of this year from a brain tumour. A tragedy of such magnitude would hit any band hard, but for Cold Chisel – whose gang mentality was not only notorious but also partly responsible for their ongoing reverence – such a loss could have potentially proved terminal, consigning their aspirations to move the band’s considerable legacy forward into the realms of history. Instead, however, the band’s remaining members – frontman Jimmy Barnes, guitarist/vocalist Ian Moss, keyboardist/vocalist Don Walker and bassist Phil Small – grieved, took stock and decided to forge ahead with their recording and to meet their massive live commitments, namely the Lite The Nitro tour, shaping to be their biggest outing in nearly three decades. They engaged the services of drummer Charley Drayton – most recently found in the Divinyls – and dove back into rehearsal, in the process breathing a new lease of life into their already evergreen songs. “They’re great songs to play live,” a clearly pumped Barnes enthuses. “It’s really interesting this tour, because we’re revisiting them with Charley Drayton – our new drummer – so it gives them a whole different sort of texture and feel. Because Charley’s learning how to play the songs we all have to look at them again and start thinking, which makes you appreciate how good the songs are again. “I think if anything the loss of Steve helped fuel the thing more, because we realised, like Don has said – without sounding sort of morbid or old – but we’re only here for so long. Any of us could be taken at any time – that’s the way it is for everybody, anybody could die at any time – so you’ve got to appreciate and enjoy life while you can, and part of that is that we have the luxury of being in a great rock’n’roll band and we’ve got to appreciate each other’s playing and each other’s songs while we’re here. So it made us jump at the chance and realise, ‘Let’s get out and work and let’s play together. Let’s not fuck around and wait until an opportune time, let’s seize the moment!’” Fortunately the recording process had progressed far enough prior to Prestwich’s passing that some of his contributions have been retained for posterity.
“As it stands there’s a few tracks on the record with Steve playing – we recorded a new album, and there’s a bunch of songs with Steve playing, playing including a couple of Steve’s songs,” Barnes recounts. “Then we’ve cut the rest of the tracks with Charley, so while we were doing the record we had the whole time to reflect on the life of one of our dear friends. It was very emotional, you know, and we’re very blessed that we actually got to put some stuff down in the studio before he left us.” Recording new material was a must for the Cold Chisel members, lest the entire exercise become one of mere nostalgia. “Oh yeah, for us it was always about moving forward,” Barnes stresses. “The reason we’re doing this tour, and it is sort of a nostalgia trip really, is because of the digital release of the catalogue. We haven’t really had all of this stuff accessible in the digital realm at all, we kept it because we wanted to do what was best for the band: we wanted to mix things, we wanted to have control, we wanted to do things on our own terms – which is a very Cold Chisel thing to do, by the way – so it’s taken a long time to come out on that format. It was quite hard bringing that stuff out – we archived a lot of material, and there was a lot of history and a lot of live performances, a lot of footage. There was a lot of stuff that not only had we not been shown before, but we couldn’t even remember doing some of it! It was a lot of work to go through that, so bringing this stuff up to date – including this tour – is like saying, ’That’s where it’s up to’. In amongst that we’ve thrown in a couple of new songs just to keep the interest and the flavour happening for the band, but really for us it’s all about moving forward. “As much as it’s really great to reminisce and look back – even on our lives with Steve and our life in the band with Steve – it’s now about looking forward, and taking the launching pad we have, as a group of friends with Steve and with Steve as a drummer, and taking it forward now. That’s what we were in the process of doing before Steve was taken away from us, unfortunately, so as friends and as a band we thought that what Steve would have wanted was for us to go forward. We never, ever, ever wanted to be considered as a retro act, just looking backwards.” For the new sessions the band neither chased nor ignored that “classic Chisel sound”, preferring to just let their writing dictate the tone of proceedings. “We just wrote songs,” Barnes recalls. “The thing with Cold Chisel is that it’s quite a unique beast – I guess most bands are – but with this band, rudely we’ve compared ourselves to a sausage machine; it doesn’t matter what the fuck you put in one end, it comes out the other end sounding like Cold Chisel. Don’s rhythm playing and his choice of notes and chords, the way that Phil plays and the way that Charley now plays with this band, the way that Ian Moss plays and the way that his and my voice blend together, it just comes out sounding like Cold Chisel. And that’s a good thing.
“In saying that, it doesn’t mean that we’re sitting there trying to rewrite Khe Sanhh or Flame Treess or anything – we’ve never done that in the past. past When we did [1980’s] East, for instance – which was a huge, huge, success for us – the first thing we did at the end of that East tour was throw all the rules out and say, ‘We don’t want to make East Pt II’. We literally tried to get away from any formulas and any sounds which were like that, and we came up with Circus Animals (1982). Which in retrospect down the track is still Cold Chisel – it sounds Cold Chisel – but if you compare the two records they’re nothing alike. If you compare [1998 comeback album] The Last Wave Of Summer to East, they’re nothing alike. But there is that commonality, that thread that makes it Cold Chisel, whether it be Ian Moss’s hands or my tone of voice or Phil’s bass sound – there’s certain elements that stick out and brand us as Cold Chisel, whether we like it or not.” And that sound became an intrinsic part of our national identity, resonating through the ages and part of a shared national bond that often rears its head overseas when groups of Aussies congregate together and get nostalgic, especially after a beer or ten. “I think the lyrics had a bit to do with it – Don’s an exceptional observer of people and of feelings,” Barnes ponders of the resonance. “When Don wrote about Vietnam for instance, for Khe Sanh, it wasn’t as obvious as Redgum, or a rallying call to rebel against society, it was just about the feeling of the country being involved in a war that we didn’t want to be in, and the soldiers coming home and not knowing why they were there in the first place. Same with Star Hotel, we didn’t write just about the riot, we wrote about this sort of uneasiness, this almost indescribable feeling within society of unrest, like, ‘Hey, our future’s looking fucking dim!’ It’s not really about a pub being shut down, it chronicles that entire unrest within the community. Don has a great knack of writing songs like that. “The other thing is that we were at a time when music was coming of age in this country. We’d had big acts, such as Johnny O’Keefe, and all of the pop acts right through to Sherbet – who were great pop bands and that sort of stuff – and then Skyhooks started coming in and writing about local moods and local emotions, and then Cold Chisel came when Australian music was really starting to take hold: The Angels, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, INXS, with all of these bands Australian music not only had an identity but was proud of it, and was taking control of the scene. “We were part of that wave, and because our songs were what our strength was in that period, people related to us. The fact that those songs have held up over the years has woven us into the fabric of society. It’s not that people just look up to us like a pop band, but we get played at their funerals, we get played at their fucking weddings – we’re a part of their lives, and they’re a part of our lives. It’s just an odd relationship between us and the public, and I think that only happens from time spent together and also the journey; we’ve been through a journey together, we’ve seen this country change and grow and lose hope and gain hope and all of that stuff, and we wrote about it and we played through it.”
STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE Inveterate Aussie rockers YOU AM I are supporting the Chisels for much of the Lite The Nitro tour, and their frontman TIM ROGERS discusses the prospects of playing with the legendary outfit. You Am I have just returned from a seemingly awesome sojourn in the States (“ridiculous and great, actually. Really edifying and inspiring and fun and deathly,” according to Rogers, and they couldn’t be happier about getting back on stage with the legendary Oz rock icons, a band whose legacy they’ve been aware of for decades. “Their first record that I had was Breakfast At Sweethearts (1979),” Rogers recalls. “I moved from Perth to Adelaide when I was young, and one of my first memories of moving to Adelaide was seeing this bill poster which just had the name ‘Cold Chisel’ and a date – it looked like a threat and kind of illegal! Oddly enough for a band that looms so large in Australian music, they’re largely kind of misunderstood in a lot of ways. They were kind of thuggish, but they were such elegant players and all of them such strong songwriters – it’s a really, really unique mix. “They have such extremely well-crafted songs with a kind of blitzkrieg delivery at times, and then they’ll just switch gears and go into something really subtle – they’re still a mystery to me. And they have their ‘classic’ songs – the big songs that 80 or 90% of people in Australia would all know – but they have these other really quite baffling songs which are probably the ones dearer to me. It’s odd – I guess they were even baffling to me as a kid. Anything that didn’t have a mop-top haircut and smash a guitar I couldn’t quite understand. “And they’re really quite intimidating – I remember meeting Jim and Ian first and they are really intimidating characters, and I couldn’t believe that they were so sweet to me. They’d done it all – they’d been to the mountain and cut the grass on top of that mountain and sort of raised the earth, so to be almost patroned by a band like that from very early on was incredible. They loom large on the landscape, and I still can’t work them out – I’m hoping to work them out on this tour.” WHO: Cold Chisel WHAT: The Best Of Cold Chisel: All For You (Warner) entire catalogue available on iTunes, WHERE & WHEN: Sunshine Coast Stadium Saturday Oct 29, Gold Coast Convention Centre Sunday Oct 30, Brisbane Entertainment Centre Tuesday Nov 1, Wednesday Nov 2 and Tuesday Dec 13
MALLEABLE MUSIC Getting his rock band fill from recently-reformed 90s giants Soundgarden, frontman CHRIS CORNELL decided to share his songbook for a solo acoustic tour. BRENDAN CRABB is looking California and feeling Minnesota.
econvening 90s Seattle hard rock superstars Soundgarden would be enough on the plate for most musicians, but vocalist/guitarist Chris Cornell is currently juggling that much-anticipated reunion with a successful solo acoustic tour. The Grammy-winning, 21 million album-selling, James Bond theme-writing performer’s Songbook tour has already completed a sold out US run. The intimate shows feature Cornell alone and armed solely with an acoustic guitar, performing material from throughout his illustrious career, including Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog, his solo releases and a few surprise covers. The tour was spawned after a series of acoustic shows in Los Angeles, mushrooming into a worldwide jaunt. Has the level of acceptance surprised him? “I guess what I didn’t realise was what it was going to feel like playing the shows and it took me a couple of shows to kind of figure it out,” Cornell says, speaking during a break from rehearsals. “But at first I was just nervous about the concept of trying to keep people entertained for an hour-and-a-half, with just an acoustic guitar and me singing. Right away it turned into like two-and-a-half hours and became a very different experience than I’ve ever had, where I can be playing for two-plus hours with an audience that doesn’t speak. It’s like you can hear a pin drop. I was pretty knocked over by that and the shows were just really special and exciting. In a way, to me as a solo artist it’s the best form to show up in because I can cover any part of my career and it seems to work great. Then also, being in Soundgarden again, writing songs, recording and touring, the rock side of me is very fulfilled. It wouldn’t make sense for me necessarily to be doing solo tours around and going out with a band where it’s electric and loud. Soundgarden is so much about that aggressive, experimental rock I can’t imagine needing or wanting to do that outside of Soundgarden. So it sort of accidentally became the perfect thing to be doing.
of the indie days when we first started out. It’s great. We did a summer tour in the States and right before we started I got a CD with all of the rough mixes of the songs on it and it was the first time I’d had them all on one CD and actually listened to it. I remember for every Soundgarden record, there was that moment where I would hear all of the songs in rough form together and get a sense of what the feeling of the record was going to be. I got that this time right before we went out on tour and it was great, I was super happy. It’s different, unusual, it’s nothing that anyone’s going to expect. It’s a very comfortable Soundgarden production, nothing is clean and overdone. There’s a lot of personality to the songs, there’s definitely a lot of experimentation and it feels like we didn’t miss a beat in a way.”
WHO: Chris Cornell WHERE & WHEN: QPAC Concert Hall Saturday Oct 15 and Monday Oct 17
LEARNED A BIG LESSON “ITITHERE – MUSIC IS MALLEABLE, DOESN’T HAVE TO REMAIN IN ANY SPECIFIC STRUCTURE. IF YOU EXPERIMENT WITH SOMETHING, MAYBE IT WON’T WORK BUT MAYBE IT WILL AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH TRYING.”
“It’s funny because you can actually have a conversation with someone. You’re sitting there onstage and the audience is quiet and if somebody says something, you can hear it and respond. It’s almost like doing stand-up,” he laughs. “There’s an intimacy no matter what – you can’t avoid it. It’s there so if I’m nervous, I’m nervous for about the first 30 seconds and then it goes away and then there’s a connection you have with the audience right away. In the context of a rock band, I’ve always felt like that’s there if you want it and if you’re not in the mood, you can just get behind that sonic wall and there doesn’t necessarily have to be intimacy. It can be more about the visceral rock experience.” No era of Cornell’s extensive career is off-limits at these shows; even the widely panned, electro-pop-infused and Timbaland co-produced 2009 solo effort Scream is fair game. In fact, he says incorporating that material into the Songbook setlist makes for a well-rounded, musically satisfying experience. “Obviously there’s songs that would be silly to try to do on an acoustic guitar, anything that’s really riff-oriented or super aggressive,” he muses. “But you never really know; it’s just a matter of reapproaching the song. I remember when Rick Rubin wanted me to do an arrangement of Rusty Cage for Johnny Cash to record. I thought it was kind of a dumb idea honestly – it didn’t make any sense to me. I probably spent a couple hours trying something and called up and just said, ‘Yeah, I kinda just gave up’, I didn’t really understand the idea at the time. Then when he did it and I first heard it, suddenly I realised, ‘Oh, it can be anything you want!’ It just sounded like a Johnny Cash song where he’s singing Rusty Cage over it and it works perfect. I learned a big lesson there – music is malleable, it doesn’t have to remain in any specific structure. If you experiment with something, maybe it won’t work but maybe it will and there’s nothing wrong with trying. So you never know.” Rearranging the songs to better translate to the acoustic environment has been rewarding. “Burden In My Hand for example, a Soundgarden song that I wrote, doing that acoustically it’s definitely become a different thing,” Cornell continues. “It sounds like a very different song. Then after playing it several times in a row within an acoustic show it kind of changed, just in the context of an acoustic performance. One night I can do it one way and another night I can do it another way; when you’re playing alone where it’s just you and a guitar, you can speed up, slow down, start from the middle of the song and it’s just different. The song can really change night to night.” The excitement surrounding the upcoming tour aside, Time Off can’t allow our conversation to end without an update on activities in the Soundgarden camp – especially given that they’ve just been announced on the Big Day Out 2012 line-up. The past half-decade has featured a plethora of 90s reunions, with some bands making a new record, while others have avoided that potential minefield. Cornell is clearly excited about the new Soundgarden offering and isn’t concerned some may view it as potentially detracting from their sizeable legacy. “I didn’t feel that way,” he emphasises. “I felt right away like it would be something worth trying. The whole concept of us getting back together was surrounded by the attitude that we don’t have to put any kind of expectations on what it is we do; we don’t have to put any pressure on how long it takes. It’s just a situation where we can come together as a band and as long as everybody’s happy and comfortable, we can see what comes out of that. Because we took that approach, we wrote songs really quickly, had a great time and have actually recorded and put songs together faster than we ever did before, with the exception
GIVER AND TAKER OF LIFE He’s one of the rising stars of the Aussie hip hop scene, but DRAPHT sure isn’t resting on his laurels. He tells RIP NICHOLSON about the hard work behind the scenes and being willing to kill off his nearest and dearest in the name of art.
aul ‘Drapht’ Ridge introduced us to ‘Jimmy Recard’ in 2008 and since then his fine malt lyrics and his Golden Boy charm have made him one of brightest talents in the national scene. Jimmy’s influence took the MC from his 9 to 5 and out headlining late-night pub-crawls around the country, parties, and a shitload of radio play. But he is always looking to the next one and in order for Ridge to grow as an artist, Jimmy had to die in 2011’s The Life Of Riley LP. Back with Mr. Trials, Drapht continues with the Paul and Dan show with more of what you like and then some – but at a cost. When Ridge first aligned with Trials in 2008 for Brothers Grimm, he ventured to the den of the depraved Funkoars in Adelaide and the pair debauched their precious time in sessions of Jagerbombs, beers and playing the pokies. Despite this, they pressed on to release one of the highest selling independent records of the year. But with his suffering from
stomach illness, Ridge explains for their 2011 reunion, he and Trials set a more sensible diet during their time spent on The Life Of Riley. “Trials and his fiancée both suffered similar stomach issues to what I have,” Drapht recalls. “So we drunk hardly any booze at all and hardly any junk food. We were rolling down to the supermarket just buying all organic fresh produce and cooking. Trials had a glass of wine here and there, that’s it. We’ve grown a lot over the last few years.” The monastic approach to the album gave Ridge the room to expand on his vision as an artist and keep his career in drive. He had a strong hand in the mechanics behind his music, the results of which make for a layer cake of instrumentals, production and rich vocals on top, lined on hooks that converge sharply into The Life of Riley. “It was more my sense of responsibility in my livelihood – I wanted to really make this a career and not have to go back to work in a few years. So we were really focused on how to go forward and what to bring into the picture to reach the next level. There was a lot of stuff that we haven’t worked on in the past,” Ridge confides. “New forms of instrumentation and in recording, getting session musos involved and with other vocals as well, Abbey May in mind and Simon Cox too. We never did this in the past. It was literally bang up a beat generated by samples with me writing raps to it, and that’s all it was. Now there’s ten times more layers when it comes to the production stage.” The numbers of just how many beats from the infamous producer were killed in the making The Life Of Riley, Ridge calculates to be, “at least ten records worth of beats that will probably never see the light of day.” And why so many? Ridge explains, “It’s a matter of me flying down to Adelaide and (Trials) plying me with as many beats as possible and I just go over all the subject matter that I have and that I really wanna focus on and marry up my ideas with his feel for production. It’s a long, long process and each song or subject matter goes through at least 50 beats until I find one that fits like a glove. So there’s a lot of stuff that gets recycled and beats that go to waste. And it’s not me taking beats away from the Oars, or Vents or the Hoods, it’s just that I have a different style to anyone else. It’s never a case of me taking what’s not mine.”
MY OWN WORST ENEMY. A PERFECTIONIST AND “THEII’MAMMORE I PLAY IT BACK, THE
MORE TIME I SPEND ON IT UNTIL IT INEVITABLY JUST BRINGS ME TO THE BRINK OF INSANITY.” The first album from the Perth MC, 2003’s Pale Rider, was backed by producer Dazastah (Downsyde) and the Subiaco-based Syllabolix collective who remained in his corner for the 2005 follow-up LP, Who Am I. In 2008 Ridge paired with Trials (The Funkoars) for Brothers Grimm which notched 10th spot on ARIA’s Top 40 Urban Album charts and afforded Ridge the opportunity to become a full-time recording artist and remain 100% independent. “I was fortunate enough to take the next step into my livelihood which still amazes me now when I say it. I can’t believe it, you know doing this 9 to 5. Well it’s more of a when I wake up and until I go to sleep kinda hours. It’s something I love doing. So many people think that I’ve got this walk-in-the-park career,” he muses. “Fuck, I’ve worked so hard for this. I’m a solo MC, I’ve recorded and arranged my own stuff, I’ve written four records, and it hasn’t just happened because I’m a lucky dude. It’s because I’ve worked hard for this over the last ten years.” The pivotal point in his career came when Ridge swung in from the underbelly of Australian hip hop with Brothers Grimm’s third single Jimmy Recard stealing tenth place in triple j’s Hottest 100, the success of which blasted him into the realms of household-name. However, it would ultimately become his curse and would push him for another J.R. hit: on J.R. R.I.P. Ridge mirrored the song arrangement to a sinister beat and penned probably the first ever diss-track to a rapper’s own alter-ego, literally killing off any question of a sequel. “I had already created Jimmy, whats the point in working on a formula – it’s probably a successful formula, but it’s one that everybody’s already heard,” he shrugs. “It just defeats the purpose of making music. It’s something that I really enjoy in the overall task and push myself to get a different feel with every album and move forward and if I was going to write another Jimmy Recard, then I’d just be staying in the same position or moving backwards. That is not what I wanted to achieve with the album. No-one has ever told me what music I should write or what direction to take. And I didn’t have any pressure myself to back up Jimmy… it was like that has already been created, it’s time to move on from that particular style and this I’ve done that on The Life Of Riley.” At some point Ridge felt like the album was closing in on the MC, who consumed the contents of The Life Of Riley through his waking hours with no relent. On the post-mortem he vows to not let that happen again. “I am my own worst enemy. I’m a perfectionist and the more I play it back, the more time I spend on it until it inevitably just brings me to the brink of insanity. I was so used to having the girlfriend and the 9 to 5. It took my mind off of making my previous three records, and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with the making of Life Of Riley. There was no room to escape, because I write all my stuff at home, I lived and breathed every second of it you know,. I had no venting process, so I definitely need to change that on my next album because this one nearly killed me.”
WHO: Drapht WHERE & WHEN: Sprung Festival Saturday Oct 15
HAPPINESS IS A WARM BUM There is no denying the ultra-catchy nature of BALL PARK MUSIC’s indie pop ditties and the whimsical ride they take the listener on. But as frontman SAM CROMACK explains to BENNY DOYLE, to get to that point, the songs have had more than a little voyage of their own.
ast month, Brisbane sextet Ball Park Music had arguably their most important week in the band’s lifetime. With the BigSound music conference engulfing the Fortitude Valley area for two days of entertaining panels, but more importantly, two nights of ripping live music, the local Ball Park crew found themselves as one of the most talked about acts of the event, packing Woodland to capacity and then some when they headlined the Unearthed stage on the Thursday evening. The industry folks and fans alike had every right to be crammed into the dank bar that evening though. The very next day, Ball Park Music would release their debut album Happiness And Surrounding Suburbs, and spurred on by the unescapable media hype surrounding the band, the album charted at number 36 its first week. From the inside looking out, Cromack comments on their upward ride from Big Day Out Unearthed victory last year. “I don’t really pay too much attention to all that kind of stuff ‘cause at the end of the day I still feel that I’m just a very normal person and I know that everyone in the band is too,” Cromack admits. “You always have these ambitions when you form a band and you kinda just plod along and go for the ride and take any opportunities that are given to you. I try not to get too concerned with buzz or what people think of us. But every now and then you have a glimpse of something where you think, ‘Oh wow, the band really is coming up the ranks a little bit’.
of the guys in our band so we just asked if we could use it and he was more than willing. It’s surreal, and everyone I tell that to seems to be surprised but yeah, that’s real. That’s one of many photos he took [like that], he’s a full on adventure man – he’s travelled so much of the world. And that’s why it’s the front cover I guess, I saw it and stopped in my tracks. I hope it now helps him on his adventure,” Cromack finishes, “to get girls or something.”
WHO: Ball Park Music WHAT: Happiness And Surrounding
Suburbs (Stop Start/EMI)
WHERE & WHEN: Miami
Shark Bar, Gold Coast Thursday Oct 13, Spotted Cow, Toowoomba Friday Oct 14, The Zoo Saturday Oct 15
“But I try not to give a shit about that stuff,” he adds without a hint of aloofness. “I think that it eats away at you if you think about it too much. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read reviews of shows and albums and stuff like that, however. I dunno, it’s nice if people say nice things about it. I keep expecting to open up a review of a show or an album and see someone make some scathing comment but I guess we’ve been lucky that we’ve got away without any scars so far. I’m sure someone will get the balls and do it soon. And especially in our country,” he says sighting our renowned ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, “someone might soon hate us with all their passion.”
YOU HAVE THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SAY “SOMETHING THAT WILL
MAKE PEOPLES EARS PRICK UP IN YOUR SONG...”
Cromack lets out a chuckle at the thought. It would be a sour, bitter person to hate on Ball Park Music. Their tunes are effortlessly charming, infectiously catchy and also, very direct and relatable, the storytelling of the wiry, bespectacled frontman effortlessly allowing pictures to be painted in the listener’s mind. Cromack confirms that he does strive for such a goal when he’s penning lyrics. “I’ve always liked words and playing with them and writing and I always had a natural interest in that,” he regales. “So I guess you just try and take advantage of that. You have this great opportunity to say something that will make peoples ears prick up in your song, especially if it’s going to get played on the radio, and I’m just gobsmacked when you hear songs with very mundane lyrics. I’m sure plenty of people think my lyrics are stupid and retarded but you go for that. I deliberately say things in the singles that will make people remember it. And at the same time I’m usually trying to get a message across and tap into what young people feel and think.” As for regarding himself as a wordy young scholar, however, Cromack remains detached. “I definitely wouldn’t call myself a writer,” he confesses, “but I never pursued it except through song. But I’ve always loved music from a really young age and I’ve always thought that was one of the neat things about music, that you were getting to pair words with sound, and it’s a unique little avenue to say things because it’s not a poem; you have to be a bit more direct than a poem. And it’s not an article so you can’t go into minute details or force any sort of argument. You just get this weird little three- or four-minute bracket where you have to try and charm people or intrigue them which I’ve really always loved.” Writer or not, the even bounce and rhythm of Cromack’s lyrics are undeniable. And when it’s coupled with the surf guitar of iFly, the firm-yet-contained drumming on Alligator or the colourful harmonies of bass player Jennifer Boyce on It’s Nice To Be Alive, it’s the critical element that takes these frivolous singalongs into seriously tight indie pop territory. From the simplicity of humming tunes at work and putting phrases on top that just pop out of his subconscious, Cromack and the Ball Park gang have watched as these songs have been tightened, trimmed and edited until they indeed have an individual personality – an identity. “It definitely is [a crazy surprise] and that’s one of the things that I’m still most enamoured by when you think about it, the little adventure that one song goes on,” he concurs. “Like you can recall where it came from, where you wrote it, why you wrote it, and that once upon a time it was this tiny little tune and phrase that existed only in your head. I had a weird moment when we played in Singapore earlier in the year and I was singing “I fucking love you” [from iFly] and there were people in Singapore singing along to it. I was, like, ‘Holy shit!’, y’know, I sat in my house one time with my ex-girlfriend and sort of wrote that as a bit of a joke to her and now people in another country are singing along with me. That’s the shit that makes you keep doing this.” And of course, if you’ve seen the cover of Happiness And Surrounding Suburbs, you’ve immediately pondered the thought – ‘who’s pert arse is that?’ Cromack fills in the blanks before he signs off. “It’s a real person who we know and it’s a real photo too, that’s him in Nepal,” he surprisingly informs. “Y’know on Facebook how you can look at photos of friends of your friends? Well I was just doing some typical Facebook snooping, looking at this guy’s travel photos, and I was just, like, ‘Holy shit, that is such a good photo!’ He went to school with some
KARMA CHAMELEON The musical career of JACK LADDER is still in its infant years, but he has cut an enigmatic figure, trying on a series of sonic guises with varying degrees of success. Yet as he explains to BRENDAN TELFORD, it’s been a long internal battle to marry the music with the self.
wo years ago, Jack Ladder (aka Tim Rogers to the taxman, the moniker employed for obvious reasons given the Australian musical landscape) was coming off the success of his second album, Love Is Gone, a country folk album that had built up a considerably fervent fanbase. Yet despite such success, Ladder himself is an incredibly complicated character, at once very opinionated and sure of his notions, whilst frustrated with the insecurities of having a clear goal, or indeed knowing where he stands within himself. Thus he saw himself as an uncomfortable fit for such a musical medium, somewhat lost at sea and unable to effectively find his muse, a frustrating aspect for any creative mind. “It isn’t the best situation to be in, but I guess I was still trying to find a sound, the right voice for me,” Ladder laments. “I found myself trying things on. I have never felt like I really fit in, so when I recorded
that first album (2005’s Not Worth Waiting For) there was this vibe, this kitchen-sink folky type of thing. By chance I found myself in America, I had recorded that stuff whilst at university, and when I came back there was this kind of scene for that, where it really seemed to take root. But I didn’t really like that; it held a naïve sensibility that I didn’t feel a part of. Maybe it was insincere because I didn’t see myself as a part of that? I don’t know. I think that it has a joyous notion instilled in that, and I was coming at it from a totally different angle.” This internal struggle had Ladder fighting to define not just his music, but who he was as an individual. “I think I lose sight of my past pretty quickly,” he laughs. “I don’t really attach myself to it. If you are releasing an album once every three years and you are growing at an incredible pace, you don’t really notice how far you have come. So even when I was recording Love Is Gone I didn’t even own an electric guitar, I was borrowing gear. I was far more focused on writing new songs. So I don’t see that my so-called progression is particularly a stylistic change for me. Yet when you feel a disconnection to something that you created, it can be pretty frightening. And there were people who were telling me how much they loved it, and I… didn’t feel that, at all. It was something primitive and raw, and I was singing in this weird way that was unfamiliar for me. Unfamiliar to me. And there is a lot to be said for those kinds of records – Van Morrison’s first album for example, which has a lot of mistakes in it yet is stark in its rawness. And I felt the same, because I was making lots of mistakes, I had no idea what I was doing.” Yet there are no such qualms or uncertainties to be found in Ladder’s third effort, the superlative Hurtsville, an extremely lush and accomplished suite of songs that completely sheds the other versions of Jack Ladder, leaving in its stead an assured songsmith with a languorous voice full of ache and longing. That said, it wasn’t an easy process.
A GOOD SONG SHOULD BE ABLE TO TRANSCEND THE “ARTIST – THAT’S WHAT I’M STRIVING FOR.”
“We recorded the album twice, actually,” Ladder admits. “I had a particular intent with the initial recordings, I wanted to create something stark and skeletal, using the basic elements I’d used in the demos, like a drum machine, guitar and a little bit of bass. But what happened was, we brought in live drums to drop over the top, and it blew everything out of proportion, especially as I was in a corner singing quietly for a very long time… It didn’t make any sense. I was used to recording in a band setting, so all of this sounded very…sterile. That was a real concern – after those recordings, I even wrote a letter of apology to Burke [Reid – producer], and it was the darkest thing I’d ever written…” So what turned such seemingly dire circumstances into the extremely confident Hurtsville? Cue, the two octave mini keyboard. “I sat on it for a while before it hit me – I need keyboards on there,” the musician tells. “I had created these songs that were all essentially the same, six minutes at a time. Keyboards would fill out those gaps, give it texture and a sense of place. I bought this shitty keyboard and sat down with it for a few weeks, writing the rest of the record on that. It finally made sense after that, so we went and re-recorded it all with this new angle. I was nervous and shaky, but Burke held my hand and led me through it all, and it finally…fit.” Hurtsville offers an incredibly lush sound, permeated with a sense of anguish and longing. It is also indicative of how Ladder’s writing processes have changed from that “kitchen-sink folk” that encapsulated his beginnings – yet the idea of finding a comfortable position on the music scene is a continual concern. “I’m nowhere near as literal anymore,” Ladder concedes. “It often gets much more dramatic than my life actually is! Yet these songs are still about my life. What I’ve learnt is that good songwriting takes real feelings and emotions and experiences, and presents them in a way that it can become disconnected from the singer – it’s no longer necessary to see the song as a clear extension of the writer. It can be applied to anything, it doesn’t need to be earnest and potentially uncomfortable. A good song should be able to transcend the artist – that’s what I’m striving for. I want to sculpt and shape something that can be applied to other things outside myself. And for that to happen, I have to be completely happy with what I’ve created.” So, is he happy with Hurtsville? Has he met the real, definitive Jack Ladder? “Making records is the most important aspect of what I do,” Ladder asserts. “It’s the definitive statement of who you are at a particular point in time. It’s not about serving the market, or developing a brand. In some ways it’s not even about pleasing other people. At its most basic level, it’s about telling stories you want to tell. I get worried that a lot of the music scene is more about perpetuating a myth of what is cool, what is now. A lot of what is coming out of the United States or the UK, where people focus on, it really bores me. I find Australian music far more interesting, the fact that there are many exciting bands that refuse to follow any generic trends. Hurtsville certainly isn’t a kneejerk reaction to any of that, or a statement about that at all. This album represents where I am now…I think, anyway.”
WHO: Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders WHAT: Hurtsville (Spunk/EMI) WHERE & WHEN: Alhambra Lounge Friday
Oct 14, The Loft, Gold Coast Saturday Oct 15
SICK OF IT ALL They’re old, their industry is collapsing and they haven’t had a lead singer since 2006 – so why are SALMONELLA DUB so happy? MATT O’NEILL catches up with founding member ANDREW PENMAN to discuss the current state of the New Zealand reggae legends’ career.
almonella Dub have had a unique journey through the music industry. A little over four years ago, many were wondering what would happen to the collective. After many years of chart-topping singles and international touring success, lead singer and MC Tiki Taane had decided to leave the band to pursue other interests and, while Salmonella Dub had existed comfortably for ten years prior to Taane’s arrival, he had played a pivotal role in all of their greatest commercial successes. “At the time, we were well overdue for something to break – for something to change,” guitarist Andrew Penman reflects of the 2007 split. “I felt like we’d become a bit of a show pony band. We were resting on our laurels with a couple of albums’ worth of reasonable radio success and we weren’t actually putting a lot of work into the creative side of the band. Things were getting a little bit staid and the show just wasn’t progressing. “We’ve never had any negative feelings about Tiki and he’s never had any negative feelings about us. It was very amicable. We just knew something needed to change. Tiki needed to go off and do something creative for himself and we needed to go back to what we were. Things had just gotten a little bit too formulaic. We got too comfortable,” the guitarist summarises. “Honestly, I think there was just a mutual sigh of relief when it all went down.”
it’s because we’ve all hidden out away from the industry on the South Island? Maybe it’s because we live so far away from each other these days?” The guitarist laughs. “Honestly, though – it doesn’t feel like 20 years. I’m not really surprised we’ve gone for 20 years but I’m surprised at how fresh it all feels to me. I’m actually really excited to see where we go on the next couple of records. Genuinely excited.”
WHO: Salmonella Dub WHAT: Freak Controller
Madness (Vitamin Records)
WHERE & WHEN: Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast Friday Oct 14, The Hi-Fi Saturday Oct 15
Following Taane’s departure, Salmonella Dub gradually manoeuvred away from polish and pop song structures. While initiatives like 2007’s soulful Heal Me album and the band’s 2008 collaboration with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Feel The Seasons Change suggested an outfit at the peak of their commercial ambitions, the band’s sprawling, guest-heavy live performances indicated their true direction – with this year’s Freak Controller Madness the apparent destination. An expanded re-release of the band’s 2009 Freak Controller album, Freak Controller Madness finds Salmonella Dub largely discarding the polished, layered sound of records like 2004’s One Drop East and 2001’s Inside The Dub Plates in favour of raw, psychedelic experimentation. Across the album’s 20 tracks, one will find shards of drum’n’bass, dub, reggae, dancehall and electronica smashed together into a dazzling array of obscure and unusual configurations. “We’re actually quite dysfunctional,” Penman says of the thinking behind the release. “At the time of Freak Controller, there was actually a whole bunch of tracks we’d written – some of which came out on the Freak Local EP released before the album – which I felt deserved to be finished but, in the rush of finishing the album, got left behind. In hindsight, I suppose we could have just taken more time to finish the album but, instead, we’ve decided to just release everything two years later. “I’m totally happy with it now. I think bulking it up to 20 tracks was probably something we should have done originally,” the guitarist muses. “We did rush the Freak Controller album and there are a couple of tracks on the second disc that probably should have made it on to the album itself. It was one of our last discs with EMI and I think we were sort of pandering to the last stages of our contract. Now that we’ve moved on, we can kind of do it right.” It’s this kind of twist in development that makes Salmonella Dub’s relationship with the music industry so interesting. Signed to a major label for a significant portion of their career (and utilising that position to secure considerable commercial success), Salmonella Dub have nevertheless viewed the termination of their contract – and the departure of Tiki Taane – as an opportunity to rediscover the essence of their work as a band without outside interference. “I think, for what we’re doing at the moment, there’s no real need for us to be on a major label,” Penman explains. “Given that the whole concept of retailing and selling music has gone all pearshaped, I don’t see why we shouldn’t take advantage of the situation and actually have some real fun with the creative process. I don’t know if you know this but, in New Zealand, the number one record on the charts will only sell like six hundred copies in a week.” In truth, the glorious mess of Freak Controller Madness actually most strongly recalls the band’s seminal early albums –1997’s Calming Of The Drunken Monkey or 1999’s Killervision. In their original incarnation, Salmonella Dub had little to no relationship with pop music and the charts. Their work was a strange collision of drum’n’bass, dub-reggae, jazz and rock and, prior to their chart success further down the line, reggae and drum’n’bass had very little to do with New Zealand music at all. “There were very few people around us when we started,” Penman recalls. “If you wanted to play a dance party, it was always mostly trance. There wasn’t really a dub scene to speak of – or a drum’n’bass scene, in the early days. More often than not, we’d be playing rock gigs with bands like Shihad. I’m sure it wasn’t just us kind of cracking onto the sounds we did but it feels nice to think we paved the way a bit for all of the acts that came after us.” This is the idiosyncrasy of Salmonella Dub’s journey as a band. Existing originally on the fringes of their national music community, the band would give birth to an entire array of hit records and popular music acts – from Shapeshifter through to Fat Freddy’s Drop. Now, as they approach their twentieth anniversary as a band, Salmonella Dub are forsaking the mainstream and returning to the underground – strangely, more enthusiastic than ever. “Yeah, our twentieth anniversary’s coming up next year so, for the next album, we’re actually going off the grid,” an excitable Penman says of the band’s future plans. “We’re steering away from loops and samples and just focussing on re-exploring the live unit like we did in the early days. It’s always been our main strength through everything so it feels good to be kind of getting back to the fundamentals. I’m really looking forward to it. “You know, I don’t know if I’m really surprised we’ve lasted 20 years,” the guitarist muses. “There’s definitely been times where I’ve wanted to throw in the towel. I remember quitting the band a couple of times when we were on tour in Europe. It still feels fresh, though. Maybe
ART BREAKERS Recorded in the Sunshine State capital, Vacation is a significant departure from what fans have come to expect from Melbourne two-piece BIG SCARY. TOM IANSEK talks BENNY DOYLE through the local creation process and the artistic responsibility that’s developed with the LP.
BUILDING AN EMPIRE
JEREMY FOWLER, frontman for Sydney band NEW EMPIRE, talks with SAM HOBSON about the changes the guys have undergone in the four years since their debut, and how that brought on a revitalised pop sensibility. When it’s offered to him that being a ‘pop’ artist today is in growing circles considered a pejorative label, Jeremy rightly shrugs it off.
“The more we play together, the more we drift towards that introspective direction,” he tells. “It’s interesting, we have songs that we enjoy playing live but what we enjoy recording is quite different. We get a kick out of playing the upbeat songs and they are easier to pull off as a two-piece. But recording live and in terms of what we, on our own, enjoy listening to – the moodier songs, the darker ones – they are the ones we get more drawn into.”
“I think it’s good to try and have the best of those both worlds,” he enthuses. “That world where you are using great melodies, and great structures, but then also [the one in which you] experiment with really different sounds, and ones that you wouldn’t normally hear in that one-hit-wonder formula.”
Underpinning the album’s timid tone is the touchstone of their newly embraced transient lifestyle. Iansek agrees as much but is quick to counter about the difficulty of conveying those emotions through the music.
ith two weeks recording time divided between Ian Haug’s (Powderfinger) lush hillside home studio and an unassuming space amongst the Paddington hustle and bustle with Sean Cook (Yves Klein Blue), Big Scary’s debut LP Vacation is an album birthed from two vastly differing worlds – not that the cohesive nature of the ten tracks would give that away. This fact is even more of a surprise considering vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tom Iansek regrets the rushed process the band imposed on themselves. “We probably cut it short,” he honestly states. “We naively thought that having never recorded for longer than two days in the past, we wouldn’t need more than two weeks. It does take you a little while to find your feet though – just for experimenting, that stuff takes time. It would have been cool to have another week because by the end we were starting at 10am and finishing at 4am. Doing that for four or five days in a row was pretty crazy.” The main point of difference Big Scary fans will find when they spin Vacation though is that the tracks are far more melancholy and vulnerable in their sound than prior recordings, piano the most prominent instrument throughout. Iansek is quick to explain that the songs just weren’t lending themselves towards the raucous blues found on earlier musical exercises such as Lullabies, Lies and Goodbyes and Tuesday Is Rent Day.
“It was hard to try and unify a bunch of songs with a single theme, thread or idea, just because some of them are old,” Iansek admits, his voice becoming ironically distant in the process. “Most of them are new but it was just trying to identify the common emotion behind a lot of them. I think the hardest part – because I knew how I was feeling – is that there’s a certain uneasiness that I personally have felt since things started kicking along and it’s been hard putting words to it – describing that feeling. And a lot of it is this new lifestyle as a travelling musician and also the title of just being an artist which was quite strange.” It’s a title that, as Iansek confesses, brings a certain pressure. “For me it does,” he acknowledges. “For us, a year ago, we were just jamming away, coming up with tunes in our bedroom or in the living room, then all of a sudden we’re making art. From our point of view we don’t feel like we’re doing much differently but maybe we should be? Should we be doing something differently? So it’s been a strange transition and I personally feel that we do need to rise to the challenge and like any artist, you want your work to be meaningful. It’s just been an interesting ride and I’m still trying to get my head around that.”
WHO: Big Scary WHAT: Vacation (Pieater/Inertia) WHERE & WHEN: Old Museum Saturday Oct 15
LET’S GET PHYSICAL Verbose quirk folkster KIMYA DAWSON explains to BRENDAN TELFORD that life is all about enjoying family, community and learning to accept and move on.
t’s quite a thing, to be a successful pop artist. To be able to balance the elements; to be capable of musical ingenuity enough to remain popular, but also never to become so convoluted, or even too different, as to begin to alienate your audience is a feat that’s often overlooked and even undervalued in today’s outsider musical climate. Sydney band New Empire have, since their first album, begun to really refine this difficult dichotomy. Back with an album that’s not only noticeably an evolution and maturation from their first, but also an album that’s even more accessible, they’re clearly a presence with their heels firmly dug-in for the longest and most egalitarian of hauls. “I think, musically, as a band we’ve been influenced by a whole range of styles pretty much from the last 40 to 50 years of music,” singer Jeremy Fowler explains, tracing back their inspirations. “Bands like Toto, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles, and then from today bands like Kings Of Leon, 30 Seconds To Mars and Phoenix; we’re into them all. I think it really helps your creativity when you can broaden your sense of style, musically, as much as possible. “As a band, we just really like great melodies,” he continues, “and I think that’s probably the foundation of popular music. I guess that’s where the pop [fixation] comes from with us; we’re always looking for a good melody and chord progression. We’ve grown up loving pop music, and we like the Top 40 stuff, but [on the whole] we do also lean towards stuff that’s a little bit more abstract.”
Appreciating silence is certainly something outside the realms of Dawson’s “day job”. She may be known to some as the collaborator behind the score for indie film Juno; others will be familiar with her work with Jeffery Lewis as the duo The Moldy Peaches. Standing on her own for the best part of the last decade, Thunder Thighs is her seventh solo release, and shows another side to Dawson, one that brims with more self-awareness than in the past. “Thunder Thighs is more about learning to lean on your friends, and not to let things bottle up inside you,” Dawson asserts. “This is shown by my getting some of my dearest friends on the record to help out. It’s about working stuff out, and about celebrating community, so it felt appropriate to be full of people from my ‘community’. Whilst I have some friends like John Darnielle [of The Mountain Goats] involved, it’s mostly people from my hometown, untrained singers in local choirs. To me [Thunder Thighs] feels big, but it has been this gradual build. My earlier albums I start small, then things get bigger but I’d hold back a little… I almost did this on a
It has been a chance encounter with Rock, a somewhat unlikely musical soul mate with a taste for the vernacular that has reinvigorated the creative process and emanates throughout Thunder Thighs. “We gravitated towards each other,” Dawson muses. “We’ve done some travelling together, to a couple of memorials for friends who had passed away, to do a performance. And when you do a trip like that together, spending five days together with an end point that is remembering people who have died, things get dark and conversations get deep. So we talked, and talked, and talked – and we both realised that we had this connection to tragic things in our lives that had really affected us. Our work in many ways is trying to work through those things, and the way we do that is with lots and lots and lots of words! We can totally write together – we are more alike than anyone could have guessed.”
WHO: Kimya Dawson WHAT: Thunder Thighs (Burnside Distribution) WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Sunday Oct 16
“But we’re totally cool with that,” he says, genuinely. “With any route, it has its challenges either way. We’re finding it has its definite pros, but it also has its cons at the same time, going down this line. “I think there’s some bands that’ve had some incredible success off the back of triple j in the country, and that’s something we’ve not yet experienced. So that’s something that’s been a little more difficult, not having that support to back you a little bit more. But really, you just find other ways to let people know about you, and to get new ears to listen to you. I’d say we’re pretty lucky.”
WHO: New Empire WHAT: Symmetry (MGM) WHERE & WHEN: Brisbane
Powerhouse Friday Oct 14, Centenary lakes Festival, Caboolture Saturday Oct 15
WILL WEEKS from KOAN SOUND takes a short break from the duo’s first big tour to talk to CHRIS YATES about where it is they fit into the globally-exploding dubstep scene, and where they are taking their zen sounds. Bristol so it was all just there for us really, and also it just seemed like a natural progression from drum and bass.” Listening to the duo’s EP Max Out, there’s clearly a hip hop influence starting to make its way into their sound as well, even if it is just bubbling below the surface. Weeks confirms that this was no accident.
Such accolades have marked 2011 as an incredibly busy year of juggling touring duties and motherhood, a process that Dawson finds throws up new challenges every time.
imya Dawson, Olympia’s premiere antifolk songstress, is celebrating another successful stage show. “It is my daughter, Panda’s, fourth day at school, so I got up early and took her in, then came home with great plans to do all kinds of things – but in the end I didn’t do any of it. It was nice, just to enjoy the quiet!”
“It’s kind’ve interesting,” Fowler starts tentatively, and with a hint of defensiveness in his voice. “In this country, there’s a lot of really big triple j bands, and then there’s [bands like] us, doing the more Today FM, and the NOVA FM thing. It’s not really something that we sat down and set out to do, it just happened.
ONE HAND CLAPPING
four-track, all on my own, but I’m glad that it has all of these people on it, they really inform it, and me – they believe in it and wanna raise their voices because they care about it – and that’s what makes it so special.”
“Sometimes it can be tricky. She’s not always with me on tour now, cos she’s five now and can stay with her dad or with family friends. Occasionally I’ll bring a babysitter on tour with me, so they can stay at the hotel while we play. She’s not that interested in being at clubs – funnily enough, she’d prefer to jump on beds! She’s now at the age that it’s about the adventure. We went to the world’s biggest children’s museum in Indianapolis. We’ve been to science centres, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos – and it helps that Aesop (Rock) and his crew are totally into doing that sort of stuff, so it’s a really group outing. We’ve even done a wildlife safari thing on tour when Panda wasn’t even there!”
But is it more work for the mainstream band to achieve success then? Trend-giants triple j seem to do literally all the publicity and promotion for their bands du jour – and now with the launch of a channel devoted exclusively to unsigned Australian acts, that arm of support has greatly extended. Does that then leave artists like New Empire who don’t have that de facto backing, out in the cold? Gigging, one would expect, with all the necessary networking with bands and venues alike that the process requires, would be especially tough.
“It started out as a little experiment, but it’s something that we’re doing a lot more of,” he admits. “It’s really refreshing to work on after producing just dubstep for quite a while now. I think there’s still plenty of room to experiment with dubstep but there’s a lot of artists that sound very similar now and it’s good to try and branch off in new directions.”
e’ve only been doing a couple of shows a month really,” Weeks says of KOAN Sound’s schedule before their current tour, which is also bringing them to Australia for the first time. “Now it’s kind of exploding. The Skrillex tour that is coming up is going to be the biggest shows we’ve ever done I think.” Ah there it is. It takes less than two minutes for the name of the almighty Skrillex to be dropped. The American ex-emo singer is the biggest name in the dubstep universe at the moment, and it’s fair to say the KOAN Sound boys are more than excited about the opportunity to accompany him around Europe. KOAN Sound are getting a healthy amount of internet buzz around them since the recent release of their debut EP Max Out, and things don’t look like they’re going to get quiet any time soon. He says that despite the hectic touring schedule, he and the other half of KOAN Sound, Jim Bastow, are well on track for their next release. “I’m actually putting the finishing touches on the next EP now,” Weeks says “and that should be out in late October I think. In between shows we’re getting a bit of time. Seeing a lot of different artists and DJs on tour you get a lot of inspiration, and lots of good ideas. It started off just making really random things, trying to learn the software really. Then we started making drum and bass for a few years, before we got into dubstep. We’re living in
As well as their experiments into more hip hop areas, KOAN Sound have received a lot of attention for their recent remix of the Ed Sheeran track The A-Team, and Weeks says they relish the opportunity to work with vocalists. “Doing that track made us really interested in working with singers more,” he says enthusiastically. “It’s something we haven’t really done that much of before. I actually prefer having a vocal track to work around, rather than producing a song and then adding vocals to it. If you have the vocal there from the start you can really work around it and find elements that work well with what you have. I really like doing that.” Does Weeks think that dubstep finding its way into the consciousness of mainstream America through vessels like Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg and Korn will have a positive effect on the underground? “I think it’s good and bad,” he ponders. “A lot of artists are getting a lot more recognition than they would otherwise, but it seems like the market is getting a little saturated at the moment. I guess it also makes the more creative artists stand out, and when you do find a really good artist it’s that much more exciting now.”
WHO: KOAN Sound WHAT: Max Out (Owsla/Inspected) WHERE & WHEN: Family Saturday Oct 15
NINE SONS OF DAN lead vocalist JAY BAINBRIDGE tells CHRIS YATES about relocating from California to Coffs Harbour as a teen, and taking his band of Aussies on a triumphant return to his homeland. recently won the rock category in the New Artists To Radio Awards, which basically means the track is going to get flogged on commercial radio in the coming months, ensuring the band’s popularity will continue to gain momentum. Also on their long list of achievements was performing for around 20,000 NRL fans at Skilled Stadium as a prelude to the Broncos versus Titans in March. “That was insane. It was probably the scariest and best moment of my life,” he reflects with a tone of genuine wonder. “That’s about the best way I could describe it. It felt almost like a dream, because we played one song. So it’s like, you’re on and then five minutes later you’re off. We were, like, ‘What just happened?’ It doesn’t give you much time for it to set in. It’s definitely a buzz playing for that many people and after we did that, we all looked at each other and were, like, ‘That’s our goal. We wanna get there again!’”
t’s a tender age the early teens, and Jay says while it was difficult leaving his life behind in Southern California when he moved to Australia as a youngster, being an exotic American did have its advantages... “I think I was a bit of a novelty to be honest. It actually helped me a lot, with like getting girlfriends,” he laughs coyly. “At that age when you’re in high school, something different and new is always exciting, like if there’s just one new kid it’s interesting, but being from another country sure helped a lot! Leaving California was hard, but it didn’t take long to realise how awesome it would be living in Australia. It’s great to go home for music stuff, I’ve been having singing lessons with [Taylor Swift’s voice coach] Brett Manning in Nashville. I get to travel a lot which is awesome. “I think the more you travel, the more you realise that every place is a page in a book,” he continues, “and if you just stay in one place, you’re just reading that one page. It’s a big world you know, and when I think about what I want to do with my life, I definitely want to travel. I love playing in a band and I love being able to play shows in other places, and I’m sure the other guys will to.” The Nine Sons Of Dan story is already filled with wins. The single She’s So Fine from the band’s debut EP Landslide
After experiencing this kind of mainstream success with Nine Sons Of Dan that most young bands don’t even bother fantasising about these days, Bainbridge says he is most excited about taking his Australian bandmates over to his homeland. “We’re going to the States in May,” he says enthusiastically. “Landslide will be serviced to college radio in January, so that will be interesting to see how our music goes back where I’m from. That will be really cool for me.” So last and perhaps most importantly, what’s with the band name? Is it a quote from Orwell? A lyric from a favourite song or a line from a movie? Not quite. “Well we had nine friends who were exchange students, and we used to party with them a lot,” he explains, “and we had to play a show at a Uni bar, and we all got drinks from Dan Murphy’s before the show. We had a bunch of really bad, bad names and someone yelled out ‘Nine Sons Of Dan’ and right away we thought, ‘Well that’s definitely going to be it!’”
WHO: Nine Sons Of Dan WHERE & WHEN: Parkwood Tavern,
Gold Coast Friday Oct 14, On The Pulse Festival, Fortitude Valley PCYC Saturday Oct 22 (all ages)
IN FROM THE COLD
Rising US sludge/doom lords COUGH managed to fill the vacated headlining slot for the upcoming Doomsday Festival just in time. Bassist and vocalist PARKER CHANDLER explains to LOCHLAN WATT how doors keep opening for the band.
66 Entertainment got in touch with Gordon at Relapse [Records], and he sent us their way,” he says of the company behind Doomsday Festival and their record label. “I know they wanted Church Of Misery, but they cancelled, and I guess it’s worked out pretty well for us.” Formed in 2005 in Richmond, Virginia from both hardcore punk and death metal backgrounds, the build behind Cough has been slow but steady. Having debuted with The Kingdom EP in 2007, the band hooked up with Force Field Records for their debut album Sigillum Luciferi in 2008. Soon after, a copy of said album caught the attention of the illustrious Relapse Records, and the band’s interest and activity levels skyrocketed after Ritual Abuse dropped late last year. “Well being on Relapse puts it out there more, as opposed to a label like Force Field. They’ve [Force Field] been great to work with, but Relapse has been around a lot longer and has greater connections, multiple staff members as opposed to one guy, stuff like that. They really just put us out there a lot more. When you get exposed to more people, obviously we’re not playing the most popular style of music, but more people are going to hear it, and there’s more chance that more people are going to like it.” The band has since completed multiple American and European tours – quite contrasting to their beginnings. “When we started off, we were only going out for a couple of weeks a year, and then, you know the whole Relapse thing came along, and we’re actually trying to get out there, and there are better opportunities,” Chandler admits. “As far as trying to hold down jobs at
home, those of us that have them, we kind of lucked out into situations where we can sort of tour as much as we want. There is a limit, where you can tour and still try to keep a job. Me and David, we work at the same paint company, selling paint, like house paint. And then Joey used to do tiling, setting tiles, like floors and stuff like that, and then Brandon does landscaping.” Having named their band after a particular strain of marijuana, an album title like Ritual Abuse seems pretty fitting, although Chandler tells that the meaning behind it isn’t as obvious as it may seem. “It’s about the things we’ve done to our lives to continue playing music in this band,” he reveals. “We all moved into a warehouse together in the ghetto and just had a miserable time. We thought it was going to be good – we were going to tour all the time, and then the conditions in that building just weren’t fit for anything. So we didn’t get anything done, and we all just had a really bad time there. “It was the kind of place you don’t really want to go out at night. You’re on the outskirts of town, and you got super cold in the winter, and super hot in the summer, there never was a medium. There was no insulation whatsoever, and it wasn’t even that cheap for what it was. So we still had to work a lot in order to pay the bills there. It was nice to be able to practice there, but none of us could stay there long enough to practice.”
WHO: Cough WHERE & WHEN: Doomday Festival, Jubilee Hotel Friday Oct 14
8 BALL AITKEN is a unique and highly entertaining character, and it’s that individuality that runs through everything the Oz country firebrand creates. With this in mind, he more than highlights to BENNY DOYLE just why his Grass Roots Music Festival holds such a special place for so many.
ALL IN THE FAMILY Having taken the notion of ‘post-metal’ and run even further into the uncharted worlds of what can happen after metal, Melbourne’s HEIRS are taking their third album slowly. Band mastermind DAMIAN COWARD talks shop with LOCHLAN WATT.
“I’m going to do a bunch of new songs and I’m going to do them all acoustic with my band,” he reveals. “So it’s going to be a gig people don’t normally see. People that have been to my shows before, they wouldn’t have seen the one we’re going to do at this gig. That’s part of the fun – it just keeps things a bit interesting.”
done something a little bit differently,” Coward offers. “The idea was that we were really happy with Hunter, and the other song Symptom, so we thought instead of pushing out something really fast, biding our time and putting out something that’s just a few songs now, and we can lead up and have a bit more time with ourselves to create something a bit stronger with this album. Also, most of the songs for the album have been written at this point, so the idea is to just play them over and over and really let them breathe a lot more before we go and commit them to a recording.
With a new swag of songs released earlier this year as The Tamworth Tapes, Aitken explains that keeping things interesting for him is constant creation. And to do this properly he says, one must get intimate with their musical companion.
t started off as just a one-off event. A gorgeous day in the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, harnessing the natural beauty of springtime in bloom and combining it with some tasty tunes, totally free, for all to enjoy. That was seven years ago. Thanks to council support and the tireless work of country music personality 8 Ball Aitken, the event has continued to go from strength to strength. “The venue has barely changed every year, basically because it’s already perfect,” Aitken admits without hesitation. “The big bandstand in the Botanical Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, and the natural hill, it’s like a natural amphitheatre that goes up from the bands. And people just come and bring picnics and bring all their mates and their families. We get all the Fortitude Valley crowd coming out for a nice afternoon of music in the park, but we also get a lot of children and a lot of people that normally wouldn’t go to a pub to hear a gig coming along. “It’s really cool because it’s kind of an alternative access point to original music. [Mt Coot-tha] feels a million miles away [from the city] but it’s only a 15 minute drive. It’s a readymade paradise for a gig and people really relax up there I think – they really enjoy it as an event.” Aitken talks about his planned set on the day and for those familiar with his usual stomping singalongs, they are in for a varied treat.
“I think that just playing your guitar, every day, is the way to go,” he offers. “Because if you do that then you’re always fresh and you’re always on top of your songs. I love learning something new on my guitar every day – I’m always challenging myself. I’m a true musician at heart and if there was no gigs and no festivals and no music business, I absolutely guarantee you I’d be sitting under a tree somewhere playing my guitar.” Even with all this talk of work, Aitken never sounds flustered or on edge with life – the man is completely in control. But then again, work isn’t exactly work... “It never stops, but see, Grass Roots is a passion for me, which is to showcase great Brisbane songwriters,” he states. “My manager Bird [Jensen] and myself work closely on making it happen. It’s a way to get the roots music community together. And by roots music we mean acoustic, alt-country, blues, folk, rock, acoustic rock. We usually have a bit of African music – we have a refugee act on most years, we have an Indigenous act on most years, and we have plenty of female acts on each year. Just to make sure everybody is getting a run and it’s just not a bunch of white guys smashing their guitars on stage, and to make sure we’ve got the real community coming together.”
WHO: 8 Ball Aitken WHERE & WHEN: Grass
Roots Music Festival, Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens Sunday Oct 16
e’ve come to a point where Heirs has become its own feeling, its own sound,” Coward states of the two brooding original songs contained on their recently-released 10” record. Having set the bar high from the start with 2009’s blackened Alchera and 2010’s slightly more odd Fowl, the release serves as a stop-gap as rest of the album settles into place. Continuing on with the explanation of their musical journey, he offers the below. “It’s a natural progression for any band who has played with each other for a certain period of time, and hung out together. You become, for lack of a better term, sympathetic to the way people play, and you get to learn people’s nuances, like you tend to write music to suit what people are going to be really good at in general. I guess what’s happened is at the start we had a perception of what we wanted to sound like, and what we wanted to do, and probably held our influences a lot higher.” So why exactly did the band decide to release a 10” instead of going straight for the third album? “We did Alchera and Fowl (2010) within a year of each other, and it’s a pretty heavy thing to put out that much stuff and be super happy with it, without feeling like you could have changed a certain amount of things, or
“With Heirs, it’s been the first band that I’ve been in, that we’ve all been in, where we’ve been genuinely happy with what has come out so far,” he comments, having been a member of Widow/Orphan, Maps, and Love Like... Electrocution over the years, as well as the founder of the now-defunct Building Records. “With Alchera, the songs coming from the demo from 2007 into that album, and just hearing how much better they’d become as a band, and getting the record pressing back, and seeing the artwork not having any mistakes on it whatsoever, and just being intensely happy with that release. Then going on to Fowl, and in my opinion perfecting that even more, going to a further extent with that. I think those experiences and us thinking of it come from previous bands, previous musical experience – putting things out that are rushed, and being in a rush in general with music, that’s one thing that I think takes away a lot of the fun and the mystique of bands. They’re pushing too much out, doing too many shows, and not really taking the time to sit back and go, ‘Is this the best I can do with this?’ or ‘Do I need more time?’” A heavily conceptual band, the artwork for Heirs’ new 10” serves as a precursor for a full concept that will be unveiled “around April” when the band launchtheir third full-length. Having already established themselves perhaps even more in Europe than they have in Australia, further world domination is expected to follow.
WHO: Heirs WHAT: Hunter 10” (Denovali Records) WHERE & WHEN: Globe Theatre Thursday Oct 20
SINGLES BY CHRIS YATES
Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
…And Sometimes Gladness (Independent)
The crunchiest guitar you’ve ever heard are desperate to explode all over the place as the metronome counts them in on the start of Brisbane indie rockers Tape/Off’s follow up EP to the fantastic Unreel Unravel from around this same time last year. The vocals neatly match up with the melody line suggested by the guitars on the opener Backseat, which lurks along on the one riff, broken up by some cool drum changes like a marching band style beat and a big Velvets tambourine. Something That We Know is much less subtle and much more noisy, as is Hell Comes To Frogtown whose title will bring a smile to kids who grew up scouring the VHS ‘Action’ section back when there used to be video stores. The closer Happen Now bookends the EP with another warm and fuzzy anthem similar to the opener.
IN GOOD COMPANY The Road (Featuring Ginger Van Es) (Obese)
A dirty electro synth provides the bassline for Melbourne hip hop outfit In Good Company’s new single The Road which contrasts well with the familiar boom boom bap of the pure hip hop beat that it rides on. A soulful hook also takes the track into traditional hip hop territory and the raps from the familiar names of Whisper, Syntax and Breach who comprise the group are straight up. The other production flourishes also rely primarily on more dirty synth sounds creating some kind of old-school new-wave collision of great ideas and solid performances. A self-titled LP is just around the corner – it will be cool to see which direction it veers off in.
A Creature I Don’t Know
The year is 2025. A kid is going through his aging hipster parent’s record collection. He’s just starting to learn about music and this weird format called ‘vinyl’ which was popular in the ancient days of the 1970s and then for some reason came into fashion again in the late2000s, for a short while at least. He stumbles across a magnificent gatefold double-LP by a band called M83.
At the ripe old age of 21, Laura Marling has just released her third album, improving on what was already a faultless discography. The shy and breathy delivery that characterised her debut is now all but gone, and in its place is a confident and often commanding bellow. Marling is still far from an open book, but her lyrical themes are as engaging as they are cryptic.
Sure, Kasabian is a four-member band. But make no mistake, Kasabian is Serge Pizzorno. The music is written by the lanky musician. The lyrics penned from his thoughts. The rest of the band are merely in tow to see out his vision, a vision never more grand than on Velociraptor!. But never has the cocksure 30-year-old delivered on this ambition with more cohesion and tact.
The swirling intro on side one immediately captivates his attention. He skips back and plays it again.
This ten-track collection kicks off with The Muse, a jazzy piano and brush-stroke drum-based number, which is followed by the plaintive I Was Just a Card.
Avoiding their typical opening banger, Kasabian opt for a swinging James Bond-esque number (Just Roll Like We Used To), providing the perfect intro for fantastic single Days Are Forgotten, a track that reminds you of the hooks this band are capable of. The album briefly loses its mojo then and you worry it could all transcend into hyperbolic tripe. But following the sharp and silly buzz rock of the title track, things take a massive upswing. It’s ironic – the songs that you fear will be lost in their own importance actually shine. Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm) is just the sort of tantric hymn that Kasabian threatened to make on 2009’s West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, while the strange electronic rhythms and synth work on I Hear Voices is the perfect warmer before the bombastic middle finger Re-wired. This sort of swagger returns with the apocalyptic guitar and bass doubleteam on Switchblade Smiles before the album rolls off into the sunset with chill-wave closer Neon Noon.
There’s a childlike sense of musical discovery, pure creative expression and imagination inspiring dreamscapes crammed into this album by Anthony Gonzalez’ M83. Similar hyperbole has been heaped upon pretty much everything M83 has released, but Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming represents the perfect culmination of a decade’s worth of experimenting and refining his sounds and ideas – almost as if it was all building up to this masterpiece. There’s a sense of 80s revivalism that has no roots in irony or sarcasm. The sax solo in Midnight City would sound trite in a lesser recording. Gonzalez’ voice soars like Peter Gabriel or even Steve Winwood on Reunion. While still low in the mix, it’s not suffocated by reverb or drenched in effects. It’s big and loud and focus-pulling. Smatterings of slap bass even infiltrate the proceedings on Claudia Lewis, although it’s barely noticeable on the first pass. It’s not all fuzzy, feel good synth pads – This Bright Flash explodes into a rock party before being sucked into a vortex of nothingness like an exploding star. Prog keyboards, In The Air Tonight drum fills, echo drenched snares – there’s so many elements that could be the album’s undoing, but somehow they all converge in some kind of universe of absolute perfect balance.
Don’t Ask Me Why begins with Marling strumming softly and unaccompanied, her voice alternating between a soft, delicate near-whisper that slowly builds to a cello and percussion-accompanied crescendo. The bluesy-rock of The Beast provides Marling’s backing band a chance to show off their dexterity before the subdued Night After Night, which features Marling at her unadulterated best, accompanied by nothing but minimal guitar and that voice. The hauntingly beautiful My Friends evolves from its quiet beginnings to a cello, banjo and upbeat drum-laden climax, and its “A few good men with go where they ought … where they ought not be” is one of the album’s best hooks. Rest In the Bed is a sombre, reflective number that is followed by lead single Sophia, inspired by the goddess of love. Final track All My Rage is a surprisingly upbeat way to cap the album, with Marling appearing to be optimistically looking to what lies ahead (“Now all my rage be gone/I leave all my rage to the sea and sun”). On A Creature I Don’t Know, Marling has transcended the nu-folk tag she has often been pigeonholed with and delivered an album that is sure to expand her ever-swelling fanbase. ★★★★
Ok, there’re a few misfires on Velociraptor!, but for every one, Kasabian come back twice as strong with inventive compositions, taking the risk few bands have the brains to create, nor the balls to attempt. Many hate the mouthy Brits, but when you have the tunes to back up your audacious statements, frankly, you can run your mouth all you fucking want. ★★★★
★★★★★ Chris Yates
MARY J BLIGE 25/8
Mary J follows up the best R&B single of the year Someone To Love Me (Naked) with the second best R&B single of the year. Both tracks are from her forthcoming album My Life II: The Journey Continues which is the sequel to her classic from 1994 and it also celebrates the landmark of her tenth studio album. While it doesn’t have the gangsta swagger of Someone... it revels in classic upbeat, uptempo feel-good soul. There’s a temptation to compare these two singles with the two lead singles from Beyonce’s newest record, but they barely compete. The extra years have added even more warmth and depth to Mary J’s outstanding voice, and the songs themselves are superior in basically every facet.
Weekend are from San Francisco, and they like to make slow, druggy rock music with lots of swirling sounds that buzz around your head like little fireflies or bees or something. The drums and bass plod along on Sweet Sixteen, holding everything in place while the singer occasionally sings a few words with enough reverb to make it hang around for a lot longer. Hazel is a bit disco but the bass does the right thing and just keeps a simple three or four chord melody in check. The vocals are more deliberate but no less affected. The band get real messy on Your Own Nothing and rely even more heavily on the bass to make it sound like music. For the duration of the EP the band manage to find a happy medium between noise jams and pretty indie songs that definitely works for them.
The Golden Age Of Apocalypse (Brainfeeder/Inertia)
You walk into a bar – a shady, cold and smokefilled room. You might be dreaming. Men stare at their drinks. The sound of Thundercat carries through the air. The air is old and the sound is new. The album is The Golden Age of Apocalypse. Teaming with character, the debut record from Los Angeles musician Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat) delivers a journey through the spiralling depths of the artist’s jazz-centred expertise. Co-produced by Flying Lotus, the album takes its preliminary cues and impetus from whence the pair’s talents last merged: Lotus’ 2010 release Cosmogramma. Here however, it is the virtuosic prowess of Bruner as both performer and composer that is at the frontline of the Thundercat sound. Entrenched in the tracklisting is Bruner’s rich and diverse history in music (including credits as bassist for Suicidal Tendencies, and production with Snoop Dogg and Erykah Badu). Through each tune, the listener turns a new page, discovers a fresh story and exposes inspiring light on the Thundercat name. Via HooooooO and then Daylight, The Golden Age… opens through a milky turn of synthesised funk dazzle (featuring a transitory sample from the 1980s animation of which the artist derives his name). From the cool and jovial Fleer Ultra through For Love I Come and Boat Cruise, the sonic quips and intricacies within the narrative-laden tracks provide the weight and substance to this nu-jazz experience. At album close, the curious bookend of Mystery Machine (The Golden Age Of Apocalypse) and Return To The Journey creates an additional layer of colour and intrigue. The ambiguity in their intent or purpose serves as the perfect stimulant to trigger another spin – and an alternative interpretation to a vibrant record. ★★★★
As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Centre To The Circumference Of The Earth (Kemado/V2)
With minimal promotion (their cover art is Spartan, their band photo in shadows, and their album title isn’t found anywhere on the release other than in an elongated, abbreviated form), True Widow have done extremely well to boost themselves into any sort of critical spotlight. The emphasis appears to be solely on the music, and the mystery the Texas-based trio have meticulously cultivated permeates their sound. Dubbed “stonegaze” by some corners overeager to pigeonhole the band, the ten tracks on the album are indeed slow burners with dark, rumbling hearts, monsters that threaten to awaken from their slumber in wanton fury yet never do. In this regard True Widow share similarities with slowcore merchants Low, the two bands akin to building tension and intertwining light and dark melodies in order to create a mesmerising tapestry of sound. This is evident from the slow, deliberate drums that herald in opening track Jackyl. But when DH Phillips’ heavily-distorted, rumbling guitar breaks in, and Nikki Estill’s haunting, echoed vocals filters over the top, it is a different beast altogether. The mood never shifts; there are no light moments here. Blooden Horse introduces Phillips to vocal duties, and despite the slightly familiar dark jangly pop structure this is claustrophobic to the point of aural asphyxiation. The true wonder here, as is most evidenced on single Skull Eyes and Night Witches, is that such bridled intensity continues to exist on the shorter tracks too.
Gravity The Seducer (Nettwerk/Shock)
Keep in mind that Gravity The Seducer is the fifth album from Ladytron, the Liverpudlian forerunners of the late-90s electro-pop movement that defied the often shallow nature of the genre by retaining a trademark sound whilst releasing four distinctively imaginative albums over the past decade. Then it’s easier to palate the floating, non-committal vibe of Gravity The Seducer. Ace Of Hz possesses a haunting Witching Hour-era melody and flow, though already been whored out as a stand-alone single last year and used as a key drawcard of this year’s Best Of 00-10 collection. But wait, there’s more; Aces High closes the album with an instrumental reworking of the aforementioned single, making the impact truly old news. White Elephant is prettily aloft with synth from the upper reaches that immediately hints at a brighter existence, at the expense of a backbone. Ambulances is the key track of this newer style as the outfit moves beyond their past to incorporate an eerie vocal landscape through string sounds.
Able to draw cold sweat from the most discerning of listeners, True Widow have nonetheless created a mesmerising record and sound that is as awe-inspiringly hypnotic as it is brutally complex. Morbid and dark it may be, but this album seriously rocks.
Gravity The Seducer is by no stretch a wasted listen; the band have called it their best record, stamping it ‘baroque’n’roll’ which is well-deserved considering the expressive dissonance and elaborate ornamentation. The trouble is, that after a string of memorable hook-laden singles (Destroy Everything You Touch, Seventeen) that moved menacingly into dark territory, Gravity The Seducer is far more sedate in its ethereal grandeur – it starts leaning towards the autumnal tracks of Röyksopp’s catalogue. Three instrumentals appear, and the spunk previously provided by twinlike, femme fatale frontwomen Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo has been replaced by airy-fairy vocals – plus there’s no sign of Aroyo’s native Bulgarian tongue that historically gifted Ladytron an intriguingly sinister edge. But alas, the album’s title was bang on the money as both a warning, and a sign of hope.
Ashes & Fire
For years Ryan Adams masqueraded as the tortured, prolific poet – as brilliant with words and melodies as he was troubled by life, seemingly committing his every thought to tape and unleashing it onto a hungry public – before a couple of years ago he declared that he was jettisoning his band The Cardinals and leaving music for good. Since then he’d only released a couple of things from the vaults, so for Ashes & Fire – his first new studio album in three years, an eternity in his world – there is actually a tangible sense of relief and anticipation. And for the most part the wait has been worth it. Adams has embraced sobriety, faced down a debilitating disease, found love with actress/musician (and now-wife) Mandy Adams (nee Moore) and seems to be in the best mental state of his previously tempestuous career. Songs such as Lucky Now, Save Me and the beautiful country-infused Invisible Riverside all seem to look back on his days of hedonism with the contentment of someone who’s emerged from the wild, but who in hindsight realises that the experience helped shape who he’s become. And tracks like Come Home, Chains Of Love and epic closer I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say reek of a man totally at peace with himself and finally happy with his lot in life. Musically the album mightn’t scale the heights of his revered 2000 solo debut Heartbreaker, but the two are quite similar beasts with their relaxed tones and preference for the acoustic over the electric. Adams’ abundant muse means that he can often be hit and miss, but when he hits them they stay hit, and Ashes & Fire contains enough gems that it’s awesome to welcome him back from the musical wilderness. ★★★★ Steve Bell
House Of Beni
When this reviewer saw Bang Gang alum Beni Single’s slot at Parklife 2009, he was left gasping for breath after a scintillating set. Traversing a myriad of styles but playing with the tempos and keys of the tracks to allow them to form a cohesive unit, Beni was acute with his song selection, inventive with his mixing and exuding passion with his delivery. Listening to House Of Beni, it begs the question – where has that magic gone? Synth-driven disco with a defiant retro tinge, rather than putting a post-modern spin on such a sonic form, House Of Beni just seems to be an immediate relic of the past, sounding dated and out of touch with today’s styles for the tiles. In fact, it’s only the vocalists that save this album from complete irrelevance. Prince Terrence puts a welcomed early 90s euro-pop sheen on Last Night while Sam Sparro adds a stellar faux-falsetto vocal line to Your Body and a far more attitude-laden delivery in the somewhat tribal bounce of High Of Your Love, Sparro showing the wide-reaching tone that has taken the Australian to success in the bright lights of Los Angeles. But behind the production scenes, Beni squanders these promising voices provided to him. The songs are dull and without the sort of critical rhythm breaks or rash effects that excite the listener enough to retain interest, the overall sound treading a grey area that remains too beat orientated for lounge while far too mild for dancefloors. Simply put – this music is background fodder. There is no bang, nor journey, and certainly no substance that will demand the listener to continue returning to this record. This is weak house music that would barely soundtrack the most contrived of young professional bars. ★½
Ghost On The Canvas
Glen Campbell has vouched that his latest album Ghost On The Canvas will be his last studio record of new songs that he intends to make. Sad as this is, it’s made even more poignant due to the recent admission that Campbell is suffering from Alzheimer’s Syndrome. Ghost On The Canvas then, is the full stop to what has been an evocative, illustrious career (his role in True Grit notwithstanding), and as always Campbell does it all his own way, his heart on his sleeve. This is no Rick Rubin/American Recordings outing either – Ghost On The Canvas is an album that is a clear extension of Campbell’s musical trajectory. And he has pulled in some heavy hitters to help him smash this one out in style – The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg and Jakob Dylan have written songs specifically for the album, whilst there is a Guided By Voices cover (Hold On Hope) and appearances by the likes of Chris Isaak, Dick Dale, Rick Nielsen and, bizarrely, Billy Corgan. None of the glitz overshadows Campbell though, and his personal approach to the craft is evident throughout – the first line of opener A Better Place, “I have tried and I have failed, Lord,” is as succinct a line about the darker moments of his life as any, yet always with the hint of hope for the future. Hold On Hope is beautifully constructed, but also become more affecting in knowing what the future years may hold for him. Even when The Dandy Warhols join him for Strong, it is clear that Campbell’s inimitable spirit that has gilded his career has not left him. Ghost On The Canvas is a portrait of an esteemed performer giving it his all, with purpose, and in doing so has created one of the best albums of his career ★★★★
A Thousand Mistakes The Drones have long been revered as one of Australia’s best live rock bands and their albums are feted as up there with the best to have been released in this country in recent years. Now the 2-DVD A Thousand Mistakes, despite the self-effacing title, acts to bring these two somewhat disparate worlds together and show the stunning duality of this incredible band. This is achieved chiefly via the ‘Fairfield Warehouse Session’ on the first disc, in which the four-piece – abetted by occasional studio keyboardist Steve Hesketh – set up in a deserted room and run through the more sparse tunes in their catalogue, ones which mightn’t often feature in live sets but which showcase their incredible depth and versatility. Starting off entirely acoustically with powerful numbers such as Sixteen Straws and The Drifting Housewife, they gradually build the intensity with Your Acting’s Like The End Of The World and Cold And Sober through to lesser-known gems Stop Dreaming and I’m Here Now. The vision and sound is pristine throughout, and then we’re blasted with The Drones in full pub mode – an entire black & white gig recording from the East Brunswick Club in early-2010, showcasing their bigger live treats such as Jezebel, Sharkfin Blues and I Don’t Ever Want To Change. The second disc contains six years of concert footage from all over the world, and fills in the gaps beautifully. We see The Drones in all their live glory – showcasing tracks from the entire spectrum of their wonderful career – and the breadth of this collection makes it literally perfect for the completist and novice alike. They’re verbose, they’re intense and they’re our nation’s proudest musical achievement for a long, long time. ★★★★★ Ben McEvoy
THIS WEEK IN WEDNESDAY 12
Kill Bill, Vol. 1 – The Bride wakes up after a long coma. The baby that she carried before entering the coma is gone. The only thing on her mind is to have revenge on the assassination team that betrayed her – a team she was once part of. The first part of Quentin Tarantino’s epic tale of bloody revenge. Final night. Tribal Theatre.
THURSDAY 13 Brisbane Underground Film Festival – the second BUFF will screen the kind of films that usually play at midnight, go straight to DVD, or never make it to Brisbane at all. Opening tonight, the programme begins with Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour (7pm) and Vacation! with Soda_Jerk’s After The Rainbow (9pm). All sessions at Brisbane Powerhouse. Brisbane Powerhouse until Saturday 15. Exist-ence – a festival of live art, performance art and action art. A space where artists, audiences and communities engage openly; where one can pause, ask, discover, surrender, to being – to existing. Following the success of exist in 08, exist presents the fourth annual exist-ence festival, bringing the best, the bold and the brave to Brisbane Powerhouse and !Metro Arts. See existenceperformanceart.wordpress. com for programme and details. Opening day. Brisbane Powerhouse and Metro Arts until Sunday 16. Kill Bill, Vol. 2 – the murderous Bride continues her vengeance quest against her ex-boss, Bill, and his two remaining associates; his younger brother Budd, and Bill’s latest flame Elle. Opening night. Tribal Theatre until 19 October. Nosferatu – Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter’s wife. Silent classic (1922) based on the story Dracula. Tribal Theatre, 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Ruben Guthrie – Ruben Guthrie is on fire. He’s 29, he’s the creative director of a cutting-edge advertising agency and he’s engaged to a Czech supermodel. He pours himself a drink to celebrate, a drink to work, a drink to sleep and one spectacular night he drinks so much he thinks he can fly... Ruben Guthrie is the fabulous new comedy from Australian actor and playwright Brendan Cowell. David Berthold directs a brand new production of this awardwinning comedy with a cast led by Underbelly star, AFI and Logie winner, Gyton Grantley. Opening night, 7:30pm. Roundhouse Theatre until 12 November. Spring Awakening – winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Spring Awakening explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion in an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock’n’roll. Presented by the award-winning creative team behind Oscar Theatre Company. Opening night. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC until 22 October. Video Set – exposing the grime beneath the glamour of the music video industry, Brisbane-based international creative
Claire Marshall (Slowdive) unleashes an all-new work blurring the lines between audience and performer, taking you on stage and in control of her Video Set. Opening night, 7:30pm. Judith Wright Centre until Saturday 15.
FRIDAY 14 Brisbane Underground Film Festival – screening today: Charlie Casanova with Riding In Between (7pm), and Profane with The African Word for Summer (9pm). Brisbane Powerhouse. Evil Dead 2 / Army of Darkness – the second and third films in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead. Tribal Theatre, 7pm.
SATURDAY 15 Brisbane Underground Film Festival – screening today: Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods with Everything Is Super (2pm), Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure with From Water (7pm), and Closing Night film Hobo With A Shotgun with Glory Hole (9pm). Brisbane Powerhouse. Kill Bill – the complete saga, Kill Bills 1 and 2 screened back-to-back. Tribal Theatre, 7pm. King Arthur & The Tales Of Camelot – a ballet by Francois Klaus with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Klaus has created a thrilling ballet which chronicles the life of this legendary King. From his early years under the protection of the mighty Merlin, to the cruel betrayal by those he loved best, and eventually, his final battle with the villainous Mordred, the story of the one true King of the Britons is brought vividly to life in bold and expressive dance. Opening night. Playhouse, QPAC until 29 October.
SUNDAY 16 Carl Barron: One-Ended Stick – new monologue/stand-up/music show. More Troy stories, worms, ants, acid, and being Carl Barron are all explored. Follow Carl as he looks for things that may not actually be there. Opening night. Lyric Theatre, QPAC until 30 October. SLiQ Flicks: Halloween Double Features – get a taste for the dark side of life with these classic horror double features. Today: the original The Thing (1982) as directed by John Carpenter, about a shape-shifting alien menace taking residence in an isolated arctic camp, and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead (1981), a kinetic roller-coaster of chills, blood and brutal slapstick. A double dose of groundbreaking 1980s horror. Auditorium 2, State Library of QLD, 2pm.
ONGOING Monstrous Regiment – the country of Borogravia is at war. A lot. It happens when leaders are fanatically obsessed with banning ‘abominations’, like jigsaw puzzles, sneezing, and the colour blue. Polly Perks disguises herself as a boy in order to join the army, and find her missing brother – and soon discovers that sometimes to do a man’s job, what you really need is a woman. The next exciting installment of the Discworld series is a must for fans of author Terry Pratchett. Brisbane Arts Theatre until 5 November.
GIVEWAY Direct from a season at Soho Theatre in London’s West End, Lawrence Leung has a dream… A dream that one day, all humankind can stand side by side (but not too close to each other’s jet turbines) and take off into the skies. Programmes like Beyond 2000 told us that by now we’d all be flying in jetpacks, but much like their opening titles where a robot nanny pushes a child on a swing, it’s all disappointment and rusty pipe dreams. In his latest comedic venture, Lawrence explores the dizzying heights
of obsession, daydreams, backyard MacGyvers, falling and picking oneself up again. In the process, he discovers that he’s not the only one keeping the dream of single-person jet propulsion aeronautics alive. But does he get a jetpack? We have five double passes to giveaway to Lawrence Leung Wants A Jetpack at Brisbane Arts Theatre Sunday 16 October, 6pm. For your chance to win one, visit facebook.com/ timeoffmag. Head to lawrenceleung. com for more information about the show.
STRAIGHT TO VIDEO FOLLOWING UP HER SUCCESSFUL 2010 SHOW SLOWDIVE, CLAIRE MARSHALL IS TAKING A UNIQUE LOOK AT THE WORLD OF MUSIC VIDEOS. HELEN STRINGER TALKS TO THE CHOREOGRAPHER ABOUT VIDEO SET. While many contemporary dance makers choose to take their inspiration from abstract and sometimes obtuse themes, Brisbane-based choreographer Claire Marshall prefers to draw on her own experience when creating her work. With her previous show Slowdive (also performed at different stages of development as Hey Scenester and Cavill Ave) Marshall delved into the darker side of Brisbane’s night-life in what was both a lament for the Valley’s decline and a frank exploration of the true toll of the club scene. Tending towards the theatrical end of the contemporary dance spectrum Marshall’s work is immersive, drawing the audience into her performance world and making them an integral piece of the show. Again incorporating her theatrical flair with contemporary dance, her latest creation Video Set is drawn from her on-set experience as a choreographer for music videos for the likes of Kate Miller-Heidke, Darren Hayes, and Megan Washington. She explains that for Video Set the immersive element she’s so effectively incorporated before is “pushed further”, but the content is perhaps less dark; with this piece she’s not so much concerned with a seedy underworld, but with drawing the audience on to a shoot and exposing the more unexpected reality of working on music video set. “It’s more of a theatrical interpretation of the making of a music video,” she explains, “I do point out some more quirky things, and it’s a bit of a look at the characters in the industry.” She does concede that, “there are some dodgy things [on set] but there’s also some things that people wouldn’t necessary expect. There is a strong theme of perceptions and that for someone [who] does work in the music industry and...sees the show, they’ll probably get something different from it than someone who’s watched thousands of video clips on Rage. What audiences draw from the work will be based on their own experience and understanding of music videos.” Having toured Slowdive well into the final months of 2010 it’s a wonder Marshall’s managed to pull together a whole new show. She laughs that it’s a feat only made possible by extreme sleep deprivation, before explaining the concept behind Video Set is one she’s been working on since before Slowdive’s inception. “I’ve kind of been collating a collection of experiences from every music video I’ve been working on in the mean time,” she says. “I’ve got this journal of the stand-out moments. There’s lots of waiting around so there’s lots of time to observe not only things that go on but also people and the types of characters that work
in the industry...I’m poking fun at those things, and drawing out the ridiculousness of some of the things that go on.” Marshall goes on to explain that two very different incidents in particular helped drive the concept to fruition. “There were two reasons that I wanted to do this show; one was I was doing some projects at Ipswich and one of the mothers said to me, ‘It’s my life goal to be on a music video set.’” Having worked extensively in video clip choreography she says, “I just thought, ‘that’s kind of disturbing’.[But] I didn’t want to shatter her myth,” she laughs. “The other reason I did this work [was] I noticed that I needed glasses.” To mitigate deteriorating eyesight and not force the audience to struggle to see from fixed vantage points, she says, “I just joked the next [show] will be one where the audience can move around the space.” From those rather incongruous starting points she’s developed Video Set in which, she explains, the audience will indeed be able to move around the dancers and performance space depending on how involved they choose to be; Marshall has also incorporated choreographed but live video projection. As she explains, “The live filming isn’t just random, it’s choreographed with the movement... The audience is welcome to move around the space where ever they want, however there’s live projection thrown into the mix so there’s a little bit more guidance as to where to move... The audience might end up in shot, so if you don’t like that you can move out of the way.” Considering the artists with whom Marshall has worked with, asking for the tawdry and hopefully debauched details of her experience is irresistible. While she politely declines to name names, she does offer up an anonymous anecdote. “My worst experience on a video set,” she says, “was a music video I choreographed for an Australian artist in 2006...the artist was just off his face and [having] tantrums... The shoot went horrifically over time, and the dancers... were almost fainting because they were doing hideously long takes and they were wearing full suits painted in white... It was just a really long, hideous day.” She laughs. “Looking back it was hilarious; I look back and giggle.” Ever the choreographer she pauses before thoughtfully adding, “The clip did look great though.” The last time this writer spoke to Marshall, as she prepared for Slowdive’s Brisbane Powerhouse debut, the choreographer was somewhat critical of some of the more conservative elements of the dance establishment. Asked whether she’s noticed a perceptible change in Queensland
IN THE BUFF IN LIEU OF ITS OPENING THIS WEEK, SAM HOBSON TALKS WITH BRISBANE UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL DIRECTOR NINA RIDDEL; THE BRAINS BEHIND THE BUFF. In its second year, the Brisbane Underground Film Festival is looking fitter than ever. Boasting a beefed-out selection of films that bring both brawn and brains, BUFF is the cinephile’s prequel to the sucker-punch of a festival that follows it in November. This year’s BUFF showcases seven outstanding independent films, and each of those will play alongside a series of shorts submitted specifically
for the festival. From Le Tigre’s Who Took The Bomp? on opening night, to the notorious Jason Eisener trailer that became a full-length feature in Hobo With A Shotgun, the festival’s definitely not one this year to pass on. “Last year, I just liked the acronym, and there was already a SUFF and MUFF, so I just had to do BUFF, but I wasn’t in any way an expert on underground films at that time,” a particularly bubbly
WITH HELEN STRINGER Every week the Australian publishes the polysyllabic decimations of all things art by Christopher Allen, the ultimate cantankerous art critic. Spewing elegantly written diatribes, Allen can single-handedly destroy the hopes and dreams of Australia’s galleries in under a thousand words. This week Allen set his sights on the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now, an exhibition he felt was an insult to his superior cultural sensibilities. Rather than stand by and watch the Gallery’s curators de-compensate in paroxysms of shame, I’ve compiled a few suggestions addressing Allen’s criticisms to help ensure the gallery avoids his wrath. 1: “The rooms that normally display the older...parts of the collection have been emptied to make way for Saatchi.” Rookie mistake from the AGSA; no gallery worth its post-modernist salt would remove its permanent collection from the walls in order to (temporarily) hang a roaming exhibition. Obviously it would have been much more logical to have left the originals hanging and thrown Saatchi’s contributions on the floor. Next time an exclusive exhibition comes to town the Gallery should do exactly this, then encourage guests like Allen to play Please Don’t Step On The Priceless Painting And Send Us Bankrupt With An Enormous Insurance Claim, which is a favourite party game of the culturally elite. 2: “When you get a ticket, a band is attached to your wrist...” How dare the gallery insist on being able to identify ticket holders? More to the point, don’t they know who Christopher
Allen is? He’s above this kind of philistine practice. Hell, upon entry the Gallery should provide him with a rickshaw just to make sure his feet never touch the ground. 3: Horrifyingly, Saatchi’s approach to art allows “all such people... hairdressers and others, to feel they are, culturally speaking, on a par with intellectuals.” Good God, menial labourers with paintbrushes? How ridiculous. Bring back the class system, I say; it’s the only logical way to organise society. The mere suggestion that somebody without a tertiary education could be, culturally speaking, on a par with an intellectual like Mr Allen is just preposterous. I propose that the Gallery be required to means test visitors and only grant entry to those with annual incomes over 100k. Lord knows Allen shouldn’t be forced to fraternise with the riff raff. 4: “This is...a show that tells you a lot about what an ‘adman’ thinks art is.”‘Adman’ Charles Saatchi is the filthy rich founder of a hugely successful advertising company; shame on him for being gainfully employed and liking art as well. To avoid supporting unworthy collectors the Gallery should make sure its generous lenders come from old money, amassed through respectable pursuits like slave driving or arms dealing. No gallery should be swayed by the allure of being able to display works from the collection of the most influential art collector of the past three decades. Despite having launched the careers of pretty much every modern artist of note, we should take no notice of what Saatchi the adman thinks art is; our trust, instead, should be in Christopher Allen.
dance she says, “I think there’s a lot of good things happening in Queensland and I think that independent artists are starting to be noticed nationally and I think that’s been a bit of a battle; it’s been a bit of a struggle to get on the map. [But] I only have great things to say about Arts Queensland and their goals,”
she continues, “I think there’s a lot of very talented Queensland dance makers and...there are great things happening here.” WHAT: Video Set WHERE & WHEN: Judith Wright Centre Thursday 13 October to Saturday 15
Nina Riddel explains enthusiastically. “I’ve spent a while now really researching, and finding out what [‘underground’] means, and what other people think it means. “John Waters had a really good quote somewhere about another festival,” she breathes, after her thoughts collide into an excited mush. “He loves the term ‘underground’ [when it’s applied] to a film festival, because when people call a festival ‘independent’ it has a degree of whiny-ness to it, whereas ‘underground’ just means a good time.” More than any other, BUFF, as Nina paints it, sounds like festival truly etched from the passions and vision of its director. Having started it “mainly because there were all these movies I was reading about that I really wanted to see when they were on overseas, but would never come to Brisbane”, its intrepid curator explains she literally just phoned and emailed around, testing the waters for what she could grab. “You just try and get in contact with the people who made them, and the people who are representing them, and just go from there,” she begins, matter-of-factly. “It’s about research, really. I read about a lot of films that were playing at South By Southwest, and some at Sundance, and I made this spreadsheet of about 160 films where I’ve [written] the title of them if I think they’re interesting, and then go back later and see if I can find a [contact] email address for any of them.” One can only guess at the great deal of frustration and disappointment that must come with that method of acquisition, though. “There was a couple that I couldn’t possibly afford,” Nina agrees, wistfully, “I would really love to have screened Jonathan Caouette’s [new] film – he’s the guy that made Tarnation – but I couldn’t because the film hire was extraordinary, and well, the guy’s a major talent. Red State; I would’ve loved to have had Red State, but I’ve seen that that’s got a distributor in Australia, and even though it’s not that underground, I would have loved to have screened Melancholia… “The more important thing is, if they’re coming out anyway, it’s not that disappointing [that I don’t get them]. I just want Brisbane to see them! If I miss out, and someone else gets them, it’s not the end of the world.”
C U LT U R A L
WITH MANDY KOHLER I feel a when-I-was-your-age moment coming on. Do you remember the saying, “This is a Kodak moment”? I don’t blame you if you don’t; it’s been a while since I heard it. Now child’un, back in the day when film was a noun and a verb, and Kodak was a major manufacturer of film, a Kodak moment was something that you just had to take a picture of. I bet the marketing folk at
Kodak wrote that and took the rest of the day off, and now wish they had used that day off to find jobs at companies that are still relevant to photography as we know it. A “Kodak moment” is an anachronism now, but I’m taking it back. It was easy to forget the wonders of film when digital photography and its convenience came along but “It’s a Hipstamatic moment” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Come to think of it, neither
POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS BRITISH STAND-UP COMEDY VETERAN JIM DAVIDSON HAS ONLY RECENTLY STARTED TOURING AUSTRALIA IN A CAREER SPANNING FOUR DECADES. HE TELLS BAZ MCALISTER WHY HE’S BEEN LURED BACK A SECOND TIME. It’s not exactly hyperbole to say that Jim Davidson was one of the guys who shaped stand-up comedy as a form during the 1970s and 80s. After making it on the burgeoning London stand-up circuit he made the jump to television with a couple of sitcoms and game show hosting duties on the snooker-themed Big Break and The Generation Game, which were both huge in the UK.
nightmarish experience with jet lag. “I was absolutely terrified because I couldn’t sleep,” he says. “I got off the plane and I couldn’t sleep for days. I was walking around like a zombie and I didn’t know how I was going to do the first gig. I was shaking and white and feeling sick. I can’t even remember what I spoke about but it must have gone well – there was cheering.”
WHAT: Brisbane Underground Film Festival
“I think Big Break made it down to Australia,” Davidson says. “But it was probably on at 3am on some obscure channel watched by four people and a kangaroo.”
WHERE & WHEN: Brisbane Powerhouse Thursday 13 October to Saturday 15
Davidson himself made his first foray Down Under two years ago, where his shows went well – despite a DL DGG B D I GIH HI6
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Now he’s about to make the journey again for a new run of shows. His audiences last time, he estimates, were about a 60-40 split of Brits and Aussies. With his TV days largely behind him, Davidson has been concentrating on his stand-up, which has evolved from its early days. He says he no longer hides behind
THE CUP C I=JGH96N! I=JGH96N! &( D8ID7:G '%&& &(D8ID7:G'%&& 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM ;G>96N! &)D8ID7:G'%&& 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 8:45 PM H6IJG96N! &*D8ID7:G'%&& 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 8:45 PM HJC96N! &+D8ID7:G'%&& 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM,
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Perhaps that’s why, not yet mid-way through my 30s, I find I’m formulating these speeches in advance. Technology is evolving at such a dizzying rate that as a link to the past, the when-I-wasyour-age speech is a more important oral tradition than ever. Sure, you can find out how film works on the internet,
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NORWEIGN WOOD (MA15+) WED 10.45, 2.05, 8.40PM THU/SAT-TUE 10.45, 8.20PM FRI 1.55, 8.20PM
CRAZY STUPID LOVE (M)
WED 10.10, 4.35PM THU 11.50AM FRI 11.45AM SAT 10.40AM SUN 10.10AM MON/TUE 11.30AM
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WED 2.20, 4.25, 6.35PM
but only if you look for it, only if you know that film is a verb and a noun. I hope the guests at my upcoming nuptials don’t think it’s a cruel joke if, rather than dotting the tables with disposable cameras, I hand them a camera that requires them to remember how to load film. It doesn’t require the degree of technical skill required to write software, but it does take a certain knack. Some may fumble with it but it will be worthwhile because having all your friends and family in the one place at the one time, well, that’s a Kodak moment.
FILM REVIEW THE THING
Why was a fire axe stuck in the wall?
Almost everyone with any taste in movies loves John Carpenter’s The Thing – which is why many will approach Dutchman Matthijs van Heijningen’s feature debut The Thing with some trepidation. Cinemas have been peppered over the last five years with flat, lazy remakes of half-decent ’80s horror films but taking on a classic is a different story. Thankfully van Heijningen and his team have been smart. His The Thing is not a remake or reboot but a slick prequel that dovetails into Carpenter’s film flawlessly. The film takes things back a few days to the Norwegian base and explains why it was a fire-gutted shell in Carpenter’s film, after scientists found an alien lifeform in the ice which could shapeshift into human form. Every frame of JC’s 1982 version has been meticulously studied and matched – why was the base burnt? he says. “I played an old white comic, and a young black comic played the young black comic, and away we went. I wrote it for this comedian/actor called Bradley Walsh, but he couldn’t do it because of other commitments, and he said ‘well, why don’t you play it?’. I shouldn’t have done it really. I recently
Joel Edgerton is the hardbitten chopper pilot, channelling Kurt Russell, but the film belongs to Mary Elizabeth Winstead, strapping on a flamethrower and showing she has the chops as an action lead. Her evolution from mild scientist to Ripley-esque ass-kicker is a delight. There are lots of echoes of the tension and suspense that made the Carpenter film memorable – such as a clever scene where the stranded scientists examine each other’s fillings. And it’s great to see that as well as some well-done CG there are copious amounts of practical effects used for the creature. If Hollywood is truly bereft of new ideas and simply must revisit old ground, then this is the way you’d want them to do it. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from 13 October
BAZ MCALISTER asked Mark Little, the Australian comedy actor, if he’d like to have a look at it, so you never know, it might have a life again.” WHAT: Jim Davidson Live! WHERE & WHEN: The Tivoli Tuesday 25 October
WHAT YOUR WHATS NUMB NUMBER? (MA15+)
WED 12.15, 2.40, 7.00, 9.25PM THU/FRI 12.15, 4.15, 7.10, 9.30PM SAT 12.15, 4.40, 7.10, 9.30PM SUN 12.15, 4.00, 6.45, 9.10PM MON-TUE 11.15, 1.45, 6.50, 9.15PM
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of it? Kids have vivid imaginations overflowing with innocent inventiveness. They don’t know that development is sometimes the place where ideas go to die. Only the truly grown ups can appreciate the brilliance it takes to bring a good idea into the world intact.
LA BOHEME SHOWING THIS WEEKEND AT BARRACKS
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“WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE... KUBRICK WAS ALIVE.”
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CENTRO 07 3852 4488 39 JAMES STREET, THE VALLEY
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LAVAZZA ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2011 (18+)(NO
characters – and indeed his wellknown comedy characters from the early days of his act have won him a little infamy, such as mock-Jamaican Chalkie White, a character that drew fire as being particularly politically incorrect. “I’ve moved on from that now,” Davidson says. “But I do talk about how I think political correctness is ruining everything. I’ll have a go at silly governments and stupid wars. My show is like you’re watching a current affairs programme and a madman is the presenter.” Davidson was there on the front line in the early ’90s when stand-up changed overnight – a seismic shift away from comedy as just a good night out, and towards a new kind of smug, clever, agenda-charged medium. He lays the blame for this on one man. “It was the same as music. Basically music in the ’70s was fabulous – Pink Floyd and The Who and Status Quo, the Moody Blues and Led Zeppelin. Suddenly, Bob Geldof. Urgh. And in the same way, Ben Elton went on the television and changed stand-up forever. He said all us lot – the ones that actually tell jokes – were racist and sexist and offensive and old hat and should all be put to death. He is a really nice guy, but he’s not funny, and that’s fundamental in a stand-up comedian. In the UK now it’s all a little clique of public schoolboys and university students all being funny to each other, and so many people say to me ‘Jim, they ain’t funny, why don’t you get back on the TV?’ – as if it was that easy.” Recently Davidson has been dabbling in other things, finishing his first novel Joined At The Hip and even playing a small role in Colour Me Kubrick with John Malkovich (as, of all things, a gay character). He’s been touring war zones to entertain the armed forces, and also wrote and starred in his first play, Stand Up And Be Counted, about a washed-up racist comedian. “It was all about political correctness,” DL DGG B D I GIH HI6
do many words that should technically replace those whose practical applications have changed. I’ll never eat at BYO restaurant again if “corkage” becomes “screwage”. I’d rather have the honour of annoying my future grandchildren with sentences that begin with “You know why they call it...?” – and when was the last time anyone actually “pumped” up an air mattress? The when-I-was-your-age speeches were ones I loathed as a kid. They’re ones I swore that I would never make, and frankly, I never thought I’d have cause to. What could possibly be so important about the way things used to be that I’d have to bore kids with stories
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LIFF 2011 STILL PLAYING UNTIL OCTOBER 23
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8.50PM SUN 12.20, 2.30, 6.15, 8.30PM
rather haunting. Does she find, since Luna’s a developed character – “Luna is a bag lady, Luna is a drag queen, Luna is a loud mouth bitch who craves everybody’s attention and will stop at nothing to get it,” she offes as a description – that there’s a difference between the genuinely sad songs and those written for the audience? “Ah ,well,” she says, “I’d be giving it all away if I told you that. Luna is a clown. Clowns are sacred in many cultures; Look how shitty life is – laugh, dammit. It’s the only thing you can do with so much pain.”
CLOWNING ABOUT LIZ GIUFFRE SPEAKS TO LAURA FREEMAN, ALSO KNOWN AS LUNA TART, WHO’S APPEARING ABOUT TOWN WITH HER UKULELE. A fan of the music of the 1920s and ’30s, Laura Freeman, originally from Austin, Texas – that much revered musical city – moved to New Orleans in search of the jazz and brass band sounds she so greatly admired. It wasn’t until she moved back home, and a friend gifted her a ukulele, that she became Luna Tart.
of me getting a uke. The songs came along as I was learning. Light, tiny, easy to get a jazzy feel – everyone should have a uke.”
“I’m a vocalist and a songwriter – I had to make myself learn enough guitar to communicate with other musicians,” she begins in an interview conducted via email from a stopover in Hawaii (appropriately). “When my buddy gave me a uke for my birthday I thought, ‘Oh god, another set of chords to learn.’ Then I started messing around with it and fell in love. Luna is a direct result
“I have written many new songs since that show. The 2008 show helped me get to know Luna better,’ she says. “Rudy Ramirez wrote a back story to all the songs on my album. We wrote the script together. The now is improv – Luna saying and doing whatever pops into her head.”
Whilst having won much acclaim for her show at Austin Frontera in 2008, what Melbourne will experience this week is a much different show – one that’s a lot more fluid.
Tart’s songs are bittersweet melodies; achingly tender and beautiful, often
WHAT: Luna Tart WHERE & WHEN: Old Museum, Brisbane Friday 14 October / Northern Rivers Hotel, North Lismore Saturday 15 / Dr Sketchy’s, Byron Bay Tuesday 18 / Federal Hall Cabaret, Byron Bay Saturday 22
SENSES OF CINEMA ANTHONY CAREW TALKS TO TRAN ANH-HUNG, WHO’S BROUGHT TO LIFE HARUKI MURAKAMI’S NORWEGIAN WOOD. Tran Anh-Hung nods politely when I tell him Haruki Murakami’s coming-of-age novel Norwegian Wood – in which a college kid in the late-’60s loses his best friend to suicide, and then his first love to depression – is a learning-tolive-again allegory for post-war Japan. Though he nods, Tran doesn’t agree. The 48-year-old Vietnamese/French filmmaker, the first to person to ever
BIFF REVEALS FULL PROGRAMME The organisers of the 2011 Brisbane International Film Festival have finally unveiled its full programme, and it’s chocker-block full of awesome titles and strands. Opening and Closing Night films have long been announced (Attack The Block and The Skin I Live In, respectively), but new titles include blockbuster arthouse films Elena, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Cairo 678, Restless, Tyrannosaur, A Dangerous Method, Like Crazy, The Mill And The Cross, Melancholia, Michael, Goodbye, First Love, The Kid With A Bike, Troll Hunter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Take Shelter, and Tomboy; there’s also a showcase of recent picks from Melbourne’s Spanish-language film festival La Mirada, and US horror film festival Fantastic Fest – including The Human Centipede 2 and a mystery film; a focus on Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman; a tribute to Arthur Penn (including Bonnie & Clyde); Cannes’ Critics’ Week at BIFF (a collection of serious cinema including older titles Kes and Cronos along with new releases such as Armadillo); the impressive BIFFDOCS strand; Let’s Go Surfing, a dozen-strong programme of surf films; and an impressive array of shorts. In addition is the popular Local Heroes programme, featuring titles by Queensland-based filmmakers, which this year screens Crawl, the debut feature film from former Time Off film writer Paul China and his brother Ben. It’s having its world premiere in Los Angeles this week at Screamfest and finding itself on many a festival around the globe (check out its trailer at crawlthemovie.net) – it’s mighty impressive. Tickets to all BIFF screenings are on sale now, so head to biff.com.au for details. Go!
adapt a Murakami novel to screen, reads it more simply. “Even when you were a child,” Tran says, in Melbourne handling press duties, “you have those dreams of your parents death; where it feels so real, that you suffer while you sleep. That’s inside you, inside all of us; and the book really taps into this darkness, this fear of losing someone you love.” Tran first read the novel in 1994, when it was first published in French. “It was obvious to me that it would be a good movie, so obvious I can’t even begin to think of any one reason why,” he laughs. “Each time I went to Japan since 1994, I kept saying that I wanted to adapt Norwegian Wood, but people kept telling me that Murakami never allowed people to adapt his books.” After Murakami’s short story Tony Takitani was turned into a feature in 2004, a Japanese producer brokered a meeting between filmmaker and novelist. “He didn’t want to have some long discussion with me about what I wanted to do,” Tran recalls. “He just wanted to see the script and the budget for the movie, and make a decision based on only those two criteria.” Budget had been dogging Tran for years. After debuting his wildly-
successful ‘Vietnam trilogy’ in the ’90s – 1993’s Camera d’Or-winning, Oscar-nominated The Scent Of Green Papaya, 1995’s brutal Cyclo, 2000’s melancholy The Vertical Ray Of The Sun – Tran effectively vanished; lost for a near-decade of failed financing. “The $7mil to $10mil arthouse movie is a dying breed, no one wants to make them these days,” he says. “That’s why you haven’t heard from me. I never wanted to take time off; I’d love to make a movie for you every year!” With Murakami’s legendary status in Japan, cash wasn’t a problem for Norwegian Wood; and Tran’s feature plays as a bittersweet soap-opera set to the grandeur of weather. Tran cites his cinematic heroes as Malick, Ozu, and Kurosawa, and they clearly inform a singular aesthetic of mythical domesticity and tangible landscapes; of light and rain and skin. “It’s the desire to make pictures that have a strong physical, sensual connection to the audience,” Tran says, of said aesthetic. “I work to make the skin of my characters very obvious to the audience, so that everything that is around it – the ‘world’, the set direction, the make-up, hair, clothes; the light! Everything! – is there to make the skin more obvious, to show how it feels to be in that place. “Nature, the wind and the rain, I use it because it hits the skin of the actors. It enhances the physical feeling that I want the audience to have. When you see someone whose face is wet by the rain, whose hair is blowing in the wind, it brings out your own memories of the rain on the face, the smell of it; the tactile, physical, sensorial souvenirs of this.” WHAT: Norwegian Wood WHEN & WHERE: Screening in selected cinemas now
ISSUE 1548 - WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER 2011
Julian Schweitzer – vocals/guitar
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? Greenthief has existed for nearly three years now.
HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?
The line-up has changed a fair bit over the years. I met Tom (bass) playing in another band, Sunﬂower, and Steve (drums) was recommended to me whilst I was in drummer hunt mode. Someone sent me a YouTube link of him covering a Led Zeppelin track which blew me away.
There is something about that ‘M word’ that I would rather stay away from. I think the Some Kind Of Monster doco is what killed it for me…
WHICH BRISBANE BANDS BEFORE YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION (MUSICALLY OR OTHERWISE)?
I will confess, old skool Brisbane bands haven’t really made it into my CD collection over the years. However like-minded friends’ bands such as New Manic Spree, Pink Bullet, The Royal Artillery and Tinian’s Boy would be our inspiration, as we are on similar journeys together.
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?
WHAT PART DO YOU THINK BRISBANE PLAYS IN THE MUSIC YOU MAKE?
WOULD YOU RATHER BE A BUSTED BROKE-BUT-REVERED HANK WILLIAMS FIGURE OR SOME KIND OF METALLICA MONSTER?
IS YOUR BAND RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE MAKE-OUTS OR BREAK-UPS? WHY?
I would have to say a busted broke-but-revered Hank Williams.
I think the fact that Brisbane has so many bands, one has to work really hard to stand out from the rest. I’m not saying we achieve this but obviously there is a high musical benchmark being set in Brisbane which pushes bands such as us.
I would say break-ups. I would like to think people would either dig us or not and form this decision really quickly. Obviously if you’re a couple and you pick diﬀerent sides…
WHAT REALITY TV SHOW WOULD YOU ENTER AS A BAND AND WHY?
Since there isn’t a reality show titled ‘Bacteria In A Van’ I would have to say Survivor. I think over the past 12 months of constant touring there is deﬁnitely an element of man vs the wild.
IF YOUR BAND HAD TO PLAY A TEAM SPORT INSTEAD OF BEING MUSICIANS WHICH SPORT WOULD IT BE AND WHY WOULD YOU BE TRIUMPHANT?
Muay Thai Kickboxing, guess you need to come to a gig to ﬁnd out why.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE FOR THE BAND IN THE SHORT TERM?
We’re wanting to record a new single in the next month or so and hit the road and do it all again, stay tuned… Greenthief play Tempo Hotel Friday Oct 14, Tattered & Torn Fest, Gold Coast Sunday Oct 23, The Irish Club, Toowoomba Friday Oct 28, The Hive (Fortitude Valley PCYC) Saturday Oct 29 (all ages) Photo by TERRY SOO.
GIG OF THEWEEK
INTERNATIONAL JEFF MARTIN: Old Museum Oct 13 NEW YORK DOLLS: The Hi-Fi Oct 13 THE WOMBATS: Riverstage Oct 13 COUGH: Jubilee Hotel Oct 14 KOAN SOUND: Family Oct 15 SALMONELLA DUB: Coolangatta Hotel Oct 14, The Hi-Fi Oct 15 CHRIS CORNELL: QPAC Oct 15 & 17 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 DEVIL WEARS PRADA, WE CAME AS ROMANS: The Hi-Fi Oct 26 & 27 THE PLANET SMASHERS: Step Inn Oct 27 LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO: QPAC Oct 30 FOLK UKE: Mullum Civic Hall Nov 2, Joe’s Waterhole Nov 3, Old Museum Nov 4 JOE PUG: Old Museum Nov 2 MAD SIN: The Hi-Fi Nov 3, Shed 5 Nov 4 SHAPESHIFTER: The Hi-Fi Nov 4 CARSICK CARS: Woodland Nov 5 THESE KIDS WEAR CROWNS: The Hi-Fi Nov 5 DESTRUCTION: The Hi-Fi Nov 6 KINGS OF LEON: BEC Nov 8, Gold Coast Convention Ctr Nov 9 CHILDREN OF BODOM: Arena Nov 13 DJ KRUSH: The Hi-Fi Nov 19 CLAP YOUR HANDS AND SAY YEAH: The Zoo Nov 20 DOLLY PARTON: BEC Nov 25 – 27 HTRK: The Bridge Club Nov 26 ELTON JOHN: BEC Nov 30 MISFITS: The Hi-Fi Dec 2 GUITAR WOLF: Step Inn Dec 3 OFF!: The Zoo Dec 4, Sun Distortion Studios Dec 6 UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA: Alhambra Lounge Dec 4 MUDHONEY: The Zoo Dec 5 FUTURE OF THE LEFT: The Zoo Dec 6 GANG GANG DANCE: Brisbane Powerhouse Dec 6 KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS: Woodland Dec 8 CHALI 2NA: The Hi-Fi Dec 9 THE INTERNATIONAL SWINGERS: The Zoo Dec 9, Coolangatta Hotel Dec 10, Kings Beach Tavern Dec 11 FOO FIGHTERS, TENACIOUS D, FUCKED UP: Metricon Stadium Dec 10 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: The Hi-Fi Dec 13 OPETH: The Tivoli Dec 15 THE KOOKS: The Tivoli Jan 2 ALOE BLACC: The Tivoli Jan 3 J MASCIS: SoundLounge Jan 7, Brisbane Powerhouse Jan 10 GROUPLOVE: The Zoo Jan 10, The Northern Jan 11 FLEET FOXES: The Tivoli Jan 11 ABSU: Globe Theatre Jan 12 BEIRUT: The Hi-Fi Jan 12 ARCTIC MONKEYS: Riverstage Jan 14 TUNE-YARDS: Brisbane Powerhouse Jan 22 ROGER WATERS: BEC Feb 1, 2 & 4 DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES: Sirromet Wines Feb 5 INCUBUS: Brisbane Convention Ctr Feb 10 JESSIE J: Riverstage Mar 1 MADELEINE PEYROUX: QPAC Mar 8 BON IVER: The Hi-Fi Mar 15 - 17 NICK LOWE: The Tivoli Apr 4
NATIONAL CONFESSION: The Hi-Fi Oct 12, YAC Byron Bay Oct 13, Beenleigh PCYC Oct 14 THE JEZABELS: The Northern Oct 12, USQ Club Oct 13, The Tivoli Oct 14 & 16, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 15 BALL PARK MUSIC: Miami Tavern Oct 13, Spotted Cow Oct 14, The Zoo Oct 15
SPRUNG HIP HOP FESTIVAL
BRISBANE RIVERSTAGE SATURDAY OCT 15 There’s a lot of complaints bandied around these days regarding music festivals – too crowded, too expensive, not enough this, not enough that, blah fucking blah – so it’s important to doﬀ the cap when someone does something righteous. Th is weekend the inaugural Sprung Hip Hop Festival hits town and takes over the Brisbane Riverstage, and the line-up of Aussie hip hop is second to none – we’re talking Drapht, Funkoars, pictured, Illy, Pez & 360, Phrase, M-Phazes, Resin Dogs, Joelistics, Lowrider, Mantra, Diafrix, Lazy Grey and Pure Product, as well as heaps of other sik shit that you’d expect at such a shindig. The music kicks oﬀ at 10am and goes through until late, and best of all it only costs $66 plus booking fee! Serial! Hit Ticketmaster and Oztix for the real deal, and get skippin’...
Gotye @ Brisbane Powerhouse by Stephen Booth
GOTYE, OSCAR + MARTIN BRISBANE POWERHOUSE: 08.10.11 The stage that greets us inside the Powerhouse’s main theatre tonight is literally strewn with stuﬀ. Multiple set-ups of inorganic drums spew wires around a wind and brass section; cables snake towards a pile of lights and speakers, and cords creep across mounds of screens and computers. Smoke curls silently through spot-tests, and a crowd begins to swell. Two guys, one with a souped-up Casio – complete with some fashion of monome, and Various Other Unidentiﬁable Tassels – the other with half a drumkit, and similarly complex mixing deck form Melbourne band Oscar + Martin. Launching into a gorgeous, deeply textural sound that’s part glitch, part Dirty Projectors, the two men – sporadically joined by a female vocalist – though they’re dwarfed by the setup, and expectation of who’s to follow them, deﬁantly hold their own. From crisp, chattering jungle-rhythms and synth-heavy avant-garde dance music to sounds that’re wholly organic and deftly folk-inspired, they’re a mesmerising, captivating opener. With his back turned to the roaring cheers, the stage shrouded in ostensible darkness, Gotye’s Wally De Backer stands centre-spot between the holy trinity of ﬂickering screens; a dramatic cold-open for his new album’s ethereal title track. Spinning around with a wave and a grin, the man and his giant band – countless percussion players, on both real and electronic drums, and a full brass section who switch madly between woodwind instruments, additional percussive responsibilities, and their role as backup singers – launch into the thronging outback and amber-tinged Eyes Wide Open. Smoke And Mirrors is next, those unmistakably Gabriel-like tones subtly present in his mega-hit Somebody That I Used To Know suddenly just as present in this, live with its bombastic brass backing. State Of The Art follows that, a mega-hit in the making, comprised live of a dizzying amount of composite parts, and a song that’s kitschy on the record, but totally commanding in-person. As each
song changes, so too does the animation style playing on the giant screens that loom behind the sound, switching eﬀortlessly from anime, to Klasky Csupotoon, to illustrations more abstract, and Escher-like. Easy Way Out spins wildly into the Making Mirrors version of learnalilgivinandlovin in the gospel-heavy I Feel Better, De Backer’s voice indescribably perfect in recreating every extreme of his performance on the album. After a particularly dark re-contextualising of Don’t Worry, We’ ll Be Watching You, Somebody... raises its leviathan head, the crowd taking-over for the absent Kimbra’s verse. As he did at Splendour, that’s then immediately followed by the chopped and screwed version of Hearts A Mess in which the famous chorus is teased until the audience can hardly bear it. The night concludes, as his album does, with the transcendental Bronte, and its similarly beautiful video-clip.
NEW WAR, FEATHERS, BLANK REALM, PRIMITIVE MOTION THE BRIDGE CLUB: 07.10.11 The eclectic surrounds of the newly-minted The Bridge Club suits the diverse sonic oﬀerings on oﬀer tonight. Starting us oﬀ is Primitive Motion, a duo whose freerange electronic pop is highlighted by the ambient repetition aﬀected by the juxtaposition of classical instruments and distorted eﬀects. The end result is an edifying experience – there is a lot to like here. Blank Realm cannot help but be explosive, and it’s always a danger to see them not headlining a bill, only as it raises the bar incredibly high for the rest of the evening. Opening with an epic sound collage reminiscent of a certain Sonic Youth, the set breaks into another gear when the electric guitar is put aside for the acoustic, and the audience is treated to a few numbers that come across as skewed, organ-fuelled boozy campﬁre singalongs, something Soundtrack Of Our Lives might have played if no-wave had been a
PRESENTS THE WOMBATS: Brisbane Riverstage Oct 13 BALL PARK MUSIC: Shark Bar Oct 13, Spotted Cow Oct 14, The Zoo Oct 15 THE JEZABELS: The Tivoli Oct 14 and Oct 16, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 15 JACK LADDER: The Loft Oct 14, Step Inn Oct 15, Great Northern Hotel Oct 16 NEW EMPIRE: Brisbane Powerhouse: Oct 14 PHRASE: Sprung Festival Oct 15 360: Sprung Festival Oct 15 FUNKOARS: Sprung Festival Oct 15, Spotted Cow Oct 16 OKKERVIL RIVER: The Hi-Fi Oct 19 HEIRS, ALCEST: Globe Theatre Oct 20 FAKER: The Northern Oct 20, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 21, The Zoo Oct 22, Joe’s Waterhole Oct 23 TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: Brisbane Powerhouse Oct 21 WHITELIGHT: Lightspace Oct 21 LANIE LANE: Old Museum Oct 27 THE PLANET SMASHERS: Jubilee Hotel Oct 27 THE VASCO ERA: Coolangatta Hotel Oct 29, The Zoo Oct 30, FOLK UKE: Joe’s Waterhole Nov 3, Old Museum Nov 4 BAYONETS FOR LEGS: X&Y Bar Nov 3 SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: Joe’s Waterhole Nov 4, Beetle Bar Nov 5 BLACKLIGHT: Lightspace Nov 4 GOLD FIELDS: Alhambra Lounge Nov 5 GYROSCOPE: The Zoo Nov 16 GUINEAFOWL: Beach Hotel Nov 16, Spotted Cow Nov 17, The Zoo Nov 18 CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: The Zoo Nov 20 THOUSAND NEEDLES IN RED: The Zoo Nov 25, Mansﬁeld Tavern Nov 26, Coolangatta hotel Nov 27 JEBEDIAH: The Hi-Fi Nov 25 MUDHONEY: The Zoo Dec 5 FUTURE OF THE LEFT: The Zoo Dec 6 KURT VILE & THE VIOLATORS: Woodland Dec 8 FESTIVAL OF THE SUN: Port Macquarie Dec 9-10 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: The Hi-Fi Dec 13 THE KOOKS: The Tivoli Jan 2 ALOE BLACC: The Tivoli Jan 3 THE JIM JONES REVUE: The Zoo Jan 3 GROUPLOVE: The Zoo Jan 10 FLEET FOXES: The Tivoli Jan 11 BEIRUT: The Hi-Fi Jan 12 JESSIE J: Brisbane Riverstage Mar 1 FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: Doomben Racecourse Mar 3
Scandinavian touchstone. The obligatory number that lures their drummer from out behind the skins again drags out the Future Islands similarity. Is there such a thing as tight shambolism? If so, these guys have it down. Launching their Hunter’s Moon album, Feathers are in ﬁne form tonight. The album serves as a testament to where the girls have come from, and the set highlights this progression. Starting with poppier, surf-tinged oﬀerings such as Darklands and Early Morning, their rendition of Wild Horse Mountain shows a turning point into darker terrain. The second half of the set eschews these pop machinations in favour of tight, brooding atmospherics, and the musicianship evolves along with the change in tempo. It’s a great set and ramps up the anticipation for what the next 12 months has in store from them. Hailing from Melbourne, New War launch into their desolate post-punk numbers, and oﬀer a mainline spike of adrenaline that no-one expected they needed. Chris Pugmire stalks the stage like a man possessed, the anguished howls ripped from his body in jagged bursts of visceral purging. Steve Masterson proves that his metronomic drumming with Bird Blobs has lost none of its devastating power despite the new sounds, whilst the squalling eﬄuent ﬂying from the strings of Nathan Howdeshell and Melissa Lock is mesmerising. The focal point, outside Pugmire, is Jesse Shepherd, her synthetic manipulations conspiring to keep the set teetering on the side of abrasive ambiguity. It all adds up to a confronting show, one that this punter relished.
Mono @ The Hi-Fi by Stephen Booth
VALLEY FIESTA 2011 FORTITUDE VALLEY PRECINCT 08.10.11 The early morning storm has kept the crowd numbers down early, and it has had a terrible eﬀect on Jungle Giants whose set is delayed by over an hour and then have to take to the Main Stage without stage amps and forcing their sound through their own PA; luckily the charming sounds of No One Needs To Know still work at the lower volume.
MONO, NO ANCHOR, SECRET BIRDS THE HI-FI: 05.10.11. Tonight is looking promising from the moment Secret Birds take the stage. The room is quite thinly lined at this point, but it doesn’t stop the band from drifting dedicatedly into a washed out swirl of guitar and synth bliss. While this live incarnation spills a little more over into rock realms compared with their recordings, they still look to be Brisbane’s answer to psychedelia. No Anchor continue tonight’s exhibition of quality local music. With two bass-players riﬃ ng manically over the tight groove of their drummer, they pack a primal punch which is a heavy contrast to their peers of the night. All force with little decoration, the band are never less than solid throughout, but upon reducing gravity to a weighty crawl, they strike a guttural blow that is more menacing than most can manage.
ESKIMO JOE, BONJAH THE TIVOLI: 09.10.11 Melbourne’s Bonjah soundtrack the early stages of the evening, their set a gradual build from passing interest to winning roots and funk over the 40-minute slot. With the intimacy of a lounge band but the presence of a group more than comfortable on a big stage, the ﬁve-piece feed oﬀ each other throughout – bass player David Morgan constantly locks in with Glenn Mossop and Regan Lethbridge to attack the songs with impassioned zest, while the intensity of percussionist James Majernik never wavers, his creative sprinkles working for the band’s complete spectrum of sound, from the stomping Bring Back The Fire to the reﬁned edge of their take on Massive Attack classic Teardrop.
Down at the Alloneword stage Boss Cats are bringing out a lesson in funk as the strong brass trio backing punch the sly alleyway with Walter’s Madness and Superfunk, vocalist Clare Walters laying down a strong front and playing to the crowd for a dance, which doesn’t quite transpire. As the Watch Th is Space artists bring their mural to life and the Roller Disco starts up on the roof of the Chinatown mall, the atmosphere is lifting in time for Evil Eddie to take on his latest in Desex Your Ex. Eddie knows how to play a hometown crowd and is still putting together a high energy set, mixing classic Butterﬁngers tracks such as Get Up Outta The Dirt and FIGJAM with his own Queensland to shake the stage supports. At the other end of the mall, The Kidney Th ieves are informing the crowd of their impending name change due to a terrible US band of similar name, no matter what their name, their Faith No More-styled attitude with Primus-inspired time signatures hands the crowd to them on a platter, and the wild riﬀ of Eat Read Carpet places the cherry on top. While the dust settles from a strange dance re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Stress Of Leisure ﬁre up the 4ZZZ stage and dedicate their set to their owning dancing oddity in the form of a head-banging Nandos chicken; the melancholy side to Shy and House And Garden may be too strong for some of the passing punters but the bubbling persona of keys player Pascalle Burton keeps them coming back as they stream through their ﬂawless set.
Though it has been nearly two years since Mono graced this stage, the previous performance’s aﬀect is so deeply penetrating that it seems as if it was only months ago. With the melodic build up of Ashes In The Snow creeping in, it’s evident that the Japanese four-piece intend to transﬁ x with a similar spell. Once again the set looks to feature heavily from latest opus Hymn To The Immortal Wind, yet every moment still seems as fresh as the ﬁrst, and a quick look at faces around the crowd denies any glimpse of disappointment in relation to such a proposition. As they stack the ever growing soundscapes to a point of dense saturation, they tease within reach of breaking point. Monolithic walls of sound expand and seemingly pressure the space to a limit which makes it seemingly threaten to rupture The Hi-Fi’s walls at any given second. With each explosion of sound guitarists Takaakira Goto and Yoda emotively writhe, in their seated positions, as their dynamic interplay engages either side of the equally expressive rhythm-duo of Tamaki Kunishi and Yasunori Takada. The punters, however, remain near motionless throughout. It is as if each person present is so enraptured by an inward journey, which the music’s narrative invites, that they have forgotten their corporeal selves. Gentler numbers Follow The Map and Sabbath reﬂect such tranquil pauses for their duration, but space and time can only be distilled for so long, and before the spellbound audience have a moment to fathom disinterest, Moonlight and Everlasting Light bring the set to a climatic close. Though they don’t have the orchestra to duplicate their recordings to the detail, Mono deliver something larger in life, pushing the very limits of what a group of four live musicians can conjure.
In far more modest clothing and conﬁnes compared to the launch for fourth album Inshalla, Eskimo Joe also seem to have left behind that borderline arrogance that was creeping into the band’s persona. That’s not to say frontman Kav Temperley doesn’t lay out some cringeworthy lines. But tonight, the Perth three-cum-ﬁve-piece are here for the music ﬁrst and foremost, and when it’s wheeled out end-to-end like this evening, their formidable songwriting longevity is conﬁrmed, even if their set contains nothing earlier than A Song Is A City material. The set is broken up into distinct halves with the start dominated by older tracks including Sarah, New York, Breaking Up, Older Than You and This Room. The guys are ﬁring on all cylinders, Temperly’s voice soaring over the trading riﬀ s of Joel Quatermain and Stu MacLeod while Nic Jonsson is dynamite on the drums, holding the backbone with an aggressive poise that provides the pop hooks with a solid rock edge. With the room well-and-truly warmed, the band then lay out their most recent oﬀerings; Speeding Car, Ghosts Of The Past, Foreign Land and the percussive workout of Don’t Let Me Down with studio skinsman Quartermain rocking a snare to give the rhythm extra ﬁrepower. A surprise Roy Orbison cover of Crying gets a few hearts ﬂuttering in the front rows before Eskimo Joe get back to business, bringing home the set in style. As sporadic lighting ﬂashes from various points behind and above the band, they ﬁnish their main set with Gave It All Away, When We Were Kids, Love Is The Drug and an extended From The Sea, the track being the only real time some big brash rock moves are attempted all evening. With a token encore all that’s left, the West Aussies could have delved deeper into their catalogue as a treat, however, London Bombs and Black Fingernails, Red Wine more than please the adoring packed house.
The stages become more crowded with the inevitable streams of drunks from Oktoberfest, and the majority appear to be in position for Space Invadas on the main stage. Few know the Invadas catalogue as Original does nothing, but sampler and MC Katalyst’s own tracks go down a treat with Koolism member Hau taking to the stage for Say What You Feel and All You’ve Got, stirring the crowd even without the main MC himself taking to the mic. Locals New Manic Spree are tearing up the mall with guitarist Tim Baker thrashing through their debut EP Hollywoods & Galaxies – their set seems to go by in a ﬂash as they lean into the vicious drop of Deranged and leave the stage. As the festival hits its stride for the evening, Hungry Kids Of Hungary are playing to the largest showing of the night; armed with their repertoire of singalong singles for all present, they also reveal some luscious new material from their upcoming album, but it’s the party atmosphere personiﬁed in Vacationer that justiﬁes their spot on the bill.
The Chinatown Mall sounds as though its being destroyed, but it turns out that Velociraptor are deep into their set, just as wild and unpredictable as ever, the closed ﬁst punches of fuzz from Hey Suzanne and In The Springtime seem to be purely a vessel for the dozen boys to create stage anarchy and drip it into the crowd for a set that is never dull. While Nina Las Vegas is closing the night with her DJ set, others have gathered to see Keep On Dancin’s, and it instantly becomes the better choice. The marching drone of Your Love Is Mine sets the mood for a dark passage of surf rock. Leaving behind much of the ﬂashy musicianship and amphetamine-induced energy of the day, the three direct a solid set of shoegaze that mesmerises many up until the spin- tingling crescendo of Feathers to punctuate the night of yet another Valley Fiesta into the history books.
TOUR GUIDE JACK LADDER: Alhambra Lounge Oct 14, The Loft Oct 15, The Northern Oct 16 NEW EMPIRE: Brisbane Powerhouse Oct 14 THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Surfers Paradise Beergarden Oct 14, Hamilton Hotel Oct 15 BIG SCARY: Old Museum Oct 15 FUNKOARS: Spotted Cow Oct 16 FAKER: The Northern Oct 20, Coolangatta Hotel Oct 21, The Zoo Oct 22, Joe’s Waterhole Oct 23 HEIRS: Globe Theatre Oct 20 JEFF LANG: Sol Bar Oct 21, Judith Wright Ctr Oct 22, Mullum Civic Hall Oct 21 BRITISH INDIA: The Brewery Oct 27, The Zoo Oct 28 & 29 LANIE LANE: Old Museum Oct 27 THE GRATES: Spotted Cow Oct 27, The Tivoli Oct 28, The Northern Nov 16, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 17, Kings Beach Tavern Nov 18 THE DRONES: The Hi-Fi Oct 28 COLD CHISEL: Sunshine Coast Stadium Oct 29, Gold Coast Convention Ctr Oct 30, BEC Nov 1, 2 & Dec 13 THE VASCO ERA, PAPA VS PRETTY: Coolangatta Hotel Oct 29, The Zoo Oct 30 SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: Gold Coast Arts Centre Nov 3, Joe’s Waterhole Nov 4, Beetle Bar Nov 5 GOLD FIELDS: Elsewhere Nov 4, Alhambra Lounge Nov 5 BOY & BEAR: Kings Beach Tavern Nov 9, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 10, The Tivoli Nov 11 & 12 X: Lennox Hotel Nov 11, Beetle Bar Nov 12 GUINEAFOWL: Beach Hotel Nov 16, Spotted Cow Nov 17, The Zoo Nov 18, Sol Bar Nov 19 GYROSCOPE: The Zoo Nov 16 THE MISSION IN MOTION: Beetle Bar Nov 17 SEEKER LOVER KEEPER: St John’s Cathedral Nov 21 THE TRIFFIDS: Brisbane Powerhouse Nov 24 JEBEDIAH: The Hi-Fi Nov 25 THOUSAND NEEDLES IN RED: The Zoo Nov 25, Mansﬁeld Tavern Nov 26, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 27 SCREAMFEEDER: Woodland Dec 1 SPICKS AND SPECKTACULAR – THE FINALE: Gold Coast Convention Ctr Dec 3 THE CHURCH: Brisbane Powerhouse Dec 23 THE JIM JONES REVUE: The Zoo Jan 3
FESTIVALS SPRUNG: Riverstage Oct 15 HARVEST: Botanical Gardens Nov 19 STEREOSONIC: RNA Showgrounds Dec 4 FESTIVAL OF THE SUN: Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park Dec 9 & 10 BIG DAY OUT: Gold Coast Parklands Jan 22 LANEWAY: Alexandria Street Fortitude Valley Jan 28 SOUNDWAVE: RNA Showgrounds Feb 25 FUTURE: Doomben Racecourse Mar 3
In the lead up to the release of their new EP and vinyl package on Nov 7 through Future Classic, Sydney electro-riﬀ wonders Convaire are getting interstate for some transcending shows. A post-disco sound that recalls late-70s and early-80s touchstones without an element of irony, the fresh-faced ﬁve-piece give old pop a new shake with an energy that radiates through their instruments and the speakers. Feel the beat when they play Alhambra Lounge Thursday Oct 13.
CAMELS IN CROATIA LOOKING TO REPAIR THEIR BARSOMA REPUTATION AFTER THEIR LAST ROWDY VISIT TO THE VENUE, CAMELS IN CROATIA ARE BRINGING THEIR A-GAME TO ANYWAY, ANYWHERE, ANYHOW. DRUMMER BEN BOWEN REGALES SOME TALES TO BENNY DOYLE.
YOU’LL HEAR THIS Punk heavyweights Undead Apes are set to release new album, Killed By Deaf, in late November and to tide us over, the band will be previewing some of their raucous new material at The Waiting Room, Friday October 14. More than able support on the evening comes in the way of glitter punks Pastel Blaze, Boy Or Astroboy? and Stag. Stay tuned for the oﬃcial album launch with details hopefully coming soon.
THE END IS NIGH
Camels In Croatia are top billing for this new evening on the Brisbane nightlife scene and the band couldn’t be more stoked. But one wonders, as a Queensland band, does the British accent of lead singer Jon Wood throw many people on ﬁrst listen? “It’s almost a blessing for the rest of the band [as a point of diﬀerence],” Bowen oﬀers. “The little teen girls gather up front and around Jon, taking happy snaps and giggling profusely – just another unnecessary ego boost for our lead man. Once, we were leaving our ﬁrst show at Lambda [Alhambra Lounge] and these dudes from some other Brisbane band were, like, ‘You think you’re The Wombats do ya?’ But honestly, 99 percent of the time it’s worked in our favour. Fucking hope it at least distracts the viewers’ attention from the woeful drumming...” The four-piece’ latest EP, Seven! Seven Bats! is an engaging and ultimately fun listen, bristling with angular guitars that are punctuated by bounding rhythms and playful lyricism. Bowen admits though with their own base to reﬁne the Camels sound, things will only continue to move forward. “Now we’ve got our own studio, we’ve been spending time on crafting the songs,” the skinsman explains. “Makes me cringe when I read shit like ‘Yeah, we’ve just been piecing the songs together, building them from the ﬂoor up and giving it all we can to bring out that melodramatic reverb...’, but sadly enough it’s sort of true – minus the melodramatic reverb. Well now, that’s also true. However now we’ve got this opportunity and mutual creative space to truly give these songs the time we feel they deserve, the musicianship to really provide a colourful foundation for the eventual voice and melody is more of the focus these days than just banging out mad pop.” WHO: Camels In Croatia WHAT: Seven! Seven Bats! (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Anyway, Anywhere, Anyhow @ Barsoma, Thursday Oct 20
The Doomsday Festival is ready to put any game souls in a stranglehold with a session of brutal tunes covering sludge, doom metal, experimental, and plenty of other niche elements of extreme music that aren’t for the faint hearted. Headlining the day’s proceedings are none other than Cough, yet another acclaimed merchant of heavy from the city of Richmond, Virginia, home to Lamb Of God, GWAR and Pig Destroyer. The American quartet will play alongside local acts like Clagg, Summonus, Looking Glass and Fear The Setting Sun at the undisputed home of heavy music in Brisbane, The Jubilee Hotel. Get down on Friday Oct 14 with tickets on sale through Moshtix.
CRAWLING FROM THE GARAGE
After its more than successful ﬁrst night in Melbourne last year, Maggotfest has returned in 2011 to include a full run of east coast capital shows. Featuring the ﬁnest in scuzzed out garage, pop and noise, the bill is chockers with goodness including Kitchen’s Floor, Chrome Dome, Scraps, Repairs, Mere Woman and Cobwebbs. Shake out those ﬁ lthy denim jeans and cruise down to Woodland Saturday Oct 15. It all gets on from 8pm with tickets $15 at the door.
SHINE ON THE SUNSHINE COAST
Fancy yourself a dab hand on the guitar? Do you have the voice and storytelling ability to resonate with millions? You answered yes... to both?! Well, it sounds like you better get along to Kings Beach Tavern in Caloundra for their Acoustic Sessions Competition spanning ﬁve weeks over October and November. Open to both solo performers and duos, the winner will walk away with a 500 CD pressing from Music Media, the perfect platform for your path to world domination. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into the venue to pick up an entry form – it all kicks oﬀ Friday Oct 14.
DIG THOSE FOSSILS UP
Uncompromisingly unique and with the feral charm of a roomful of Birdsville drunks, Brisbane sextet These Dirty Bones blur the lines between folk, punk and twisted country dust step. Poetic and political in equal measures, they ﬁ ll the stage of The Zoo on Wednesday Oct 12 with a big night of melodious swag rounded out by fellow locals Mars Escape and The Uncanny. Get out and support some sweatin’ local music.
OUT COME THE WOLVES
Not to be confused with a long relevant AC/DC covers band, Melbourne gang The Bon Scotts meddle in the area of gorgeous folk pop, worlds away from any sort of Thunderstruck madness. To mark their new single Kids In Counterfeit, they are heading out for a massive run of shows covering both cities and regional areas. The band have pencilled in two slots Friday Oct 14 with a free afternoon show at Queens Street Mall (Upper Stage) before they head to West End’s The Joynt later that night. Following that they’ll head down the coast to play one ﬁnal show at The Rails, Byron Bay on Sunday Oct 16.
Th ink Cows With Guns, the Dana Lyons-penned quintessential ode to the ﬁghting bovine, and you’ve got an idea of the latest folk parody from The Pigs, Macho Moisturiser. Expect these hilarious tunes as well as crack covers such as Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam and Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name when they play three shows scattered around the area. Find them Friday Oct 14 at Samford Valley Hotel, further up north at Woodford Hotel Saturday Oct 15 and Bramble Bay Bowls Club, Woody Point Sunday Oct 17.
STARLIGHT THEATRE CAPTURING THE LIVE ESSENCE OF THEIR FLOWING AND AFFECTING STAGE PERFORMANCES, BRISBANE FOUR-PIECE STARLIGHT THEATRE HOOKED UP WITH ANOTHER FAVOURITE BRISBANE SON TO CREATE THEIR NEWEST CLUTCH OF TUNES. GUITARIST COLIN MOORE CATCHES UP WITH BENNY DOYLE.
Only The Sea Slug have returned with very exciting news – a new record and tour to boot! Their minialbum Street Music is set to be released Oct 10 and the boys are launching it in two phases. Part one of their tour begins very soon, kicking oﬀ at Ric’s Bar on Friday Oct 14 with surf rock-pop Surﬁ n Bird, then at Beetle Bar Saturday Oct 15 they provide the second instalment alongside the gothic western sounds of Nikko, pop kids Friends Of Ben, indie rockers Desert Ghost and Make More.
Having recently released his debut solo EP Thick Skin, troubadour Dan Acﬁeld embarks on an east coast tour from Sunday Oct 16, kicking oﬀ with an intimate show at Dowse Bar, Paddington from 5pm. The show is also set to feature a special collaboration with local soloists Matt Nelson and Eleanor Angel.
Tyrants! are one of the most exciting new bands on the Oz hardcore scene, their debut EP making massive waves earlier this year with its technicality and ﬁnesse. The boys have a chockers schedule in the upcoming months and are playing support and headline shows in a host of venues across the city and the coast. Take on the rage when they support Confession on Wednesday Oct 12 at The Hi-Fi, Saturday Oct 15 at Shark Bar, Gold Coast for a suicide awareness charity show, Friday Oct 21 with Lynchmada at The Hi-Fi, Mansﬁeld Tavern Saturday Oct 29 with Electric Horse and X&Y Bar Wednesday Nov 16.
TINY BITS OF FUN
Video games and music have long coexisted in relative harmony. But at EB Games Pocket Music Expo on the Gold Coast, things are going to be taken to places unknown with a performance from Brisbane project 7bit Hero. Charge your smartphones and get ready to have your mind well-and-truly blown when they play alongside Technodrome, Dot.AY and a host of others. Th is takes place at the Gold Coast Convention Centre Saturday Oct 15.
“Magoo’s recording methods were a huge part of our attraction to working with him,” Moore admits. “He is big on feel; if a take isn’t perfect, like out of time or tune but still has feel, then that’s what he will go with. He’s also not big on layers. Whatever the minimum guitars or vocal parts are required to communicate the song well was all that was put down. Both methods we weren’t accustomed to, but they were ultimately necessary to achieve the performance-like sound we were chasing.” After approaching the production doyen, who has worked with artists like Midnight Oil and Regurgitator in the past, Starlight Theatre were more than pleased with the blessed recording setting and the results. “The church is where Magoo works out of now,” Moore explains regarding their left-of-centre studio. “His whole set-up is there permanently so he knows the room and what it can do really intimately. He has ‘sweet spots’ where he likes to track drums, then another for guitars. Because of the high ceilings, I think it contributes to the overall live feel of the record. It also contributed to the title Castles, Clocks & Cathedrals.” With the four-track in the bag, the band are more than eager to get these new tunes out into the environment they’re made for. “We would like to think that on a good night we can create moods that have the potential to move people,” Moore says of their live shows. “We try to create an emotive experience that hopefully connects. The crowd is always the most important part of any live show though. They can often take the show in diﬀerent directions that maybe we couldn’t have even anticipated. Anything can happen!” WHO: Starlight Theatre WHAT: Castles, Clocks & Cathedrals (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Globe Theatre Saturday Oct 15, On The Pulse Festival, Fortitude Valley PCYC Saturday Oct 22
SIX PACK BREWZER
ONLY THE SEA SLUGS GIVING LITERAL MEANING TO THEIR NEW MINI-ALBUM STREET MUSIC, ONLY THE SEA SLUGS HAVE BEEN GUERRILLA GIGGING THEIR WAY INTO THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUS. SASH MISHEVSKI TELLS OF HIS EXPERIENCES TO BENNY DOYLE.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy the shows,” Mishevski regards of their social media savvy, month-long run of pop up gigs around Sydney to promote latest single Moonpark. “We would just turn up in a van full of people, with a load of gear, and set up in front of this large intersection in Surry Hills. Most people would think we were ﬁlming a video or taking photos, but then we would start these two mini generators. We had lots of friends and supporters come down and join us, plus a few people ﬁlmed it on their phones and uploaded it on YouTube. We reckon the response was ﬁt and we will probably do more in the future.” Mishevski admits that although Moonpark is similar in themes to the rest of the material on Street Music, there are plenty of points of diﬀerence to keep both the listener and band on their toes. “Every song has a diﬀerent swag, but they are all very expansive. On ﬁrst listen, all the songs may sound contrasting, but with time, they all ﬁt a certain theme and sonic sound that we try to capture. I’m easily bored so I try not to bore myself in the writing of the music.” Not quite an LP but with more bulk than your typical EP, Street Music is a prime example of the future direction in format for the itchy ears of the new generation. “The whole concept of long albums and long periods of time between albums is on its way out. Even if you were to go away and record an album for an extended amount of time, you still need to feed something through; a ﬁlm clip, blog, teaser – to keep people interested. It’s more fun and builds the anticipation.” WHO: Only The Sea Slugs WHAT: Street Music (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Ric’s Bar Friday Oct 14, Loﬂy Hangar @ Beetle Bar Saturday Oct 15
ROOF OVER HEAD
Get down to Caboolture’s free music day, Beat The Street Community Festival on Saturday Oct 15 and show your support for eradicating youth homelessness. Tunes will kick oﬀ with a high school battle of the bands before we hear from Sydney rock-poppers New Empire alongside local punks Dissonance, beat boxer Joel Turner and Gold Coast band Burning Brooklyn. Helping to wipe out youth homelessness in the Moreton Bay community whilst listening to good music – it sounds like a winning combination to us.
GOING OUT IN STYLE
With enough road time to make them both forget where home really is, bluesman Lloyd Spiegel and his percussive partner in crime Arunachala have been on a dizzying touring cycle, playing well over 200 shows together in the past year alone. After these success, they’ve decide to continue down diﬀerent paths, but not without a ﬁnal run of shows. Get along and show some love when Spiegel and Arunachala play The Lennox Hotel, Lennox Head Saturday Oct 15 (9pm), The Joynt Sunday Oct 16 (4pm) and The Rails, Byron Bay Monday Oct 17 and Tuesday Oct 18 (7pm).
With fans including Aphex Twin, Rusko and Pendulum, you’d have to be a foolish punter to bet against KOAN Sound doing anything except destroying danceﬂoors when they arrive in Australia this October. Unrestricted by genre or stylistic boundaries, the Bristol pair bring the beat big but maintain balance with moments of ethereal clarity that are rare in today’s lumpy dubstep environment. They oﬀer their unique take on sound at The Family on Saturday Oct 15 with tickets available on the evening at the door.
GETTING BACK TO YOUR ROOTS Th is is a combination that really speaks for itself. Within the lush and serene grounds of the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, a blues and roots bonanza happens once a year with the Grass Roots Music Festival. Featuring a host of uber-talented musicians including folk favourite Roz Pappalardo, pictured, old school blues man Jimi Beavis, the voice of urban country Amanda Halloran and the irrepressible man of stomping country, 8 Ball Aitken, it all happens in Sunday Oct 16 – with a picnic, a rug and some refreshing beverages, this all ages, alcohol free event is the perfect family day out and best of all, it’s completely free of charge!
WITH THE 2011 JÄGERMEISTER INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS SO CLOSE YOU CAN SMELL THE HERBAL DIGESTIVE, BRYGET CHRISFIELD WEIGHS IN ON THOSE MOSTLY LIKELY TO RECEIVE A GONG WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM SOME OF THIS YEAR’S NOMINEES.
The sixth annual Jägermeister Independent Music Awards will be remembered as the year of the multiple nominations, a third of the nominated artists up for more than one chance at a statuette. Tying in ﬁrst place with four noms apiece is Adalita and Seekae. Having not familiarised herself with her competition at the time of our chat, a “stoked” Adalita shares, “It’s just nice to be nominated”. John Hassell from Seekae explains that his band got two chances to celebrate being nominated. “We originally were told we’d just been nominated for [Best Independent Dance/ Electronica Album] so we were like, ‘Oh, that’s great we got a nomination!’ And then when it was publicly announced we were like, ‘Woah, we got four?’” Art Vs Science is the only outﬁt up for three gongs, and the group’s vocalist/keyboardist Jim Finn ponders, “That would be quite convenient if we won all three and then each of us could have one of them.” Seven further acts have a chance to double dip including: Abbe May, Busby Marou, Drapht, Emma Louise, Illy, Pnau and The Jezabels. Multiple nominees did well last year, with Dan Sultan and Cloud Control proving to be the biggest winners on the night. Best Independent Artist nominees: Abbe May, Adalita, Art Vs Science, Seekae and The Jezabels. “I’d have to go with The Jezabels, because, in my opinion, they are a great band,” Hassell opines of his band’s competition. “They’ve been working really hard for a long time.” Finn disagrees, believing Abbe May’s got what it takes here: “I just really dig her vibe, she’s got great guitar sounds and tones and really cool riﬀs.” We agree with Hassell.
AGM 4ZZZ is your community station and this year we are 36! If your a subscriber and would like to be involved in the voting in of our new Board of Directors, come along to our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday Nov 2, 2011 from 6.30pm. The Annual General Meeting will be held at the premises of Visible Ink, 5 Green Square Close Fortitude Valley. If you are interested in becoming a director of Creative Broadcasters Ltd. there are a few legal and personal issues you need to consider before being nominated or nominating someone. Please visit the 4ZZZ website to ﬁnd out more or email email@example.com. IT’S OCTOBER OFFICE MONTH AT ZED! We need your help, as our funding is limited, and for some reason our oﬃce chairs never seem to last? * That’s what she said * We are currently in need of oﬃce equipment such as ﬂat screen monitors, ergonomic chairs, keyboards and mice as well as pens, envelopes, tape, anti-bacterial wipes… your usual oﬃce supplies. Though we appreciate all donations, we’re only after oﬃce supplies that are in very good working condition – please do not donate the stuﬀ you just want to get rid of, give those to your local charity centres! If you can help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our reception volunteers on (07) 3252 1555 to discuss your goods on oﬀer. FUN-RAISERS! Get ready for Hanky Panky – a juke joint jumpin’ night of Hank Williams’ songs. A 4ZZZ fundraiser event at the Beetle Bar on Friday Oct 28 starring Pete Martini & The Freight Jumpers, with very special guest vocalists, we are gonna honky tonk to songs written by one of the greatest country music icons ever!
SWOOPING IN FOR THE KILL
Greenthief are back again with a brand new ﬁ lm clip for their single Vultures and are ready to rock a third east coast tour to celebrate. You’ll ﬁnd the three-piece at Tempo Hotel Friday Oct 14 alongside a massive bill including Bixby Canyon, StormChasers, Clifton Hill, Alibrandi, The Chutes, Desert Ghost and We Have a T-Rex. Pre-sale tickets are $10 or ﬁnd them on the door for $15. Greenthief will then be at Billy’s Beach House, Gold Coast Saturday Oct 22 for the Tattered and Torn Festival, followed by a gig at The Irish Club, Toowoomba Friday Oct 28. Finally, an allages gig is happening Saturday Oct 29 for Halloween at The Hive with The Missing and Sparrow’s Gallows with tickets $10.
We’ve hedged our bets on two of the evenings most sought after gongs but who will take home the bacon on the night? You’ll just have to wait and see. The Jägermeister Independent Music Awards take place on Wednesday 12 October at Revolt, Melbourne.
“We’re just trying to take what’s already there and take it to a new level,” says Temperley, talking about his band’s approach to metal. “Me and the boys just sat around one day and thought, ‘Hey, lets combine our four favourite things, being beer, heavy music, strippers and beer. Mix it with a heavy beat and lay some ﬂowin’ groove on there and see what we get’. Well, we got Brewzer, and the fans seem to like it as much as we all like beer, which is a lot.” Seriously, though, metal seems to have been able to morph into so many new and wonderful forms of late. Temperley has unique views on why this is. “Well, music isn’t something we listen to to ﬁt in with a crowd or sing in the shower to, to us it’s a way of life; music isn’t noise, music is alive! It grows, it morphs, it evolves, it can’t be limited by anyone’s imagination, anything you feel you can make a song about, and you can add a rhythm of any kind to it and no matter how it sounds... it’s still music. So we just added heavy music and beer and hey presto – more music!” Not surprisingly, Temperley says that a Brewzer live show involves a lot of – you guessed it – drinking, but he also outlines a band philosophy that is somehow strangely appealing. “You really gotta see it for yourself to get the whole eﬀect, but we don’t play to look tough or brutal like a lot of bands these days, we play for the crowd. We try as hard as we can to get everyone at our gigs drunk, headbangin’, and on the waiting list for new livers. This band was started on pure fun and drunken times and we just wanna make everyone drunk and have a massive party.” WHO: Brewzer WHERE & WHEN: The Tank Hotel Saturday Oct 15
Describe your live music/performance style as succinctly as possible. Like Fleetwood Mac in their Rumors period, but only if they weren’t keeping it together for the sake of their careers… And if they were all nodoze fueled monkeys. Is this your ﬁ rst foray to Brisbane? If not how many times have you performed in our midst. Th is will be our third visit. We’ve had some classic nights there that we can never tell anyone about. The crowds are amazing and the bands in the music scene are awesome at the moment!
Best Independent Album nominees: Abbe May – Design Desire, Adalita – Adalita, Art Vs Science – The Experiment, Drapht – The Life Of Riley and Seekae – +Dome. When Art Vs Science’s competition in this category is read out to him, Finn marvels, “Oh, wow! Drapht, I think he might have a chance at that one. He’s doing so well and he just smashes it onstage, like, everyone goes nuts for him.” As equal top nominee scorers, it’s all about Seekae in this category.
LOCAL BOOZE METAL OUTFIT BREWZER ARE OUT TO DESTROY ALL OUR LIVERS AT THEIR UPCOMING SHOW. LEAD GUITARIST RAYMOND ‘INK’ TEMPERLEY TALKS TO TONY MCMAHON ABOUT THIS EXCITING NEW GENRE.
Please relate your impressions of performing in our fair city. We are currently applying for a government grant to mount an anthropological expedition to study to the orange skinned tribeswoman of the Fortitude Valley. What can we expect diﬀerent this time around? New songs! More chaos! Accordion! Harp! More dysfunctionality!
THE BON SCOTTS
MEMBERS/ROLES: Stanley Kirk Burrell (mandolin/violin/harp/vox/moustache), Richard Starkey (drums/vox/immorals) Home ground: We have been kicked out of various cities and currently live in Melbourne.
Has anything exciting been happening in your world of late? We nearly lost our sanity making a new album but found it at the bottom of a bottle of vodka. It came out squawking, 6lb 11oz, hair on its head. We are very proud. Unsure of who the father is. The Bon Scotts play Queen St Mall (5pm) and The Joynt on Friday Oct 14
PERSONAL BEST RECORDS... First record you bought? Dude Ranch by Blink-182. I think the cover shouted “rebellious” to me... Yeah I know...
Record you put on when you’re really miserable? Takk... by Sigur Ros. It’s the perfect amount of dark and depressing with the beauty on the other side of the mountain. Record you put on when you bring someone home? The latest: Postdata’s self-titled record. Beautiful and haunting but can stay out of the way. The go-to: Glory Hope Mountain by The Acorn. Tender to tribal. Need I say more?
ROMESH THAVANATHAN FROM HEY ROSETTA!
Best record you stole from your folks’ collection? Hmmm... I’m gonna go with either Paul Simon’s Graceland or the recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto by Jacqueline du Pre with Daniel Barenboim conducting the Chicago Symphony. The former I associate with road trips and the latter is expression at its purist.
A GROWING EMPIRE
New Empire are delighted to announce they will take to the road for a national tour this October, to support the release of their anticipated new album Symmetry. The mesmerizing four-piece has been making waves in the Australian music scene over the past 12 months, having toured with Good Charlotte earlier in the year, followed by a national support for Owl City that wrapped up recently. For Our Hero will support their only Brisbane show at the Powerhouse, Friday 14 October with tickets priced at $25.
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
Harbouring brutality and technicality in equal measures, Midnight In Alaska are a blistering, driven force to be reckoned with, the band currently penning tracks for an LP to be recorded next year with
SIX PACK UNPLANNED HOLIDAY AFTER THEIR FIRST BIG HEADLINE SHOW, AT THE TALL POPPIES INDIE ROCK PARTY, TOMMY HOGG AND STOERMER, FROM UNPLANNED HOLIDAY, ARE AUCTIONING OFF THEIR BODIES ONLINE. TONY MCMAHON PUTS IN A BID. “Honestly, the guy who wrote the bio is an excitable bastard and sometimes gets carried away. I see what he means, we just try and squeeze as much out of what we’re doing. We love it and hopefully it comes over on stage. It’s not necessarily a third sound. I think he was just trying to capture the energy; he’s always talking about it. He’s oﬀ his fuckin’ head though. Starting out, it was just the two of us and a couple of acoustic guitars. In the last couple of years we’ve been smashing through them in the rehearsal room. The sound’s diverse, how we like it. The ﬁrst half dozen songs we wrote came out of us learning each other’s styles which is probably where the edges get blurred.”
Most surprising record in your collection? Paul McCartney & Wings: Band On The Run. Every song is great. Last thing you bought/downloaded? Mellow Gold by Beck. I bought it used from Fred’s Records here in St John’s. You can’t have too many Beck records. You can just own all of them. He’s a genius. Hey Rosetta! play The Tivoli Friday Oct 14 and Sunday Oct 16, Coolangatta Hotel Saturday Oct 15 (all shows supporting The Jezabels) renowned Swede Fredrik Nordstrom. Bringing the fury onstage, they open for Northlane at Mt Gravatt PCYC Saturday Oct 29 before putting in a headline performance for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation at Sun Distortion Studios Friday Nov 4. Tickets for the events are $10 and $15 respectively
AT YOUR SERVICE
Funkiﬁed transient gypsies A French Butler Called Smith have been darting this way and that across our great brown land, treating audiences to their eclectic and utterly consuming mix of high energy latin, dance and of course, funk. They give our sunshine strip brethren something to groove about when they check into Currumbin RSL’s SoundLounge Friday Oct 14. Tickets are available through the venue website for $18 + bf.
As far as getting the money together to make a record, Hogg shows he’s more than willing to suﬀer for his art.
“These nights are a brilliant way to promote emerging bands,” says Hogg, talking about the Rock Party show. “And The Zoo’s such a great venue. The perfect venue for it. One of the best places in Brisbane for live music, and certainly one of the most supportive for local musos, we’re just happy to be there. We’re pretty conﬁdent it’s going to be bouncing on the night.” Unplanned Holiday’s bio describes the band blending rockabilly and rock to get a third sound, but Stoermer thinks this is bollocks
“We’ve been trying to oﬀer one of the boys out to any sugar mummies to get some cash up. The eBay auction hasn’t closed yet, so if you know anyone… Seriously, we’re always working on new material. We’ve enough to do an album now, but it never hurts to have more. We pressed 200 copies of a demo we did with Tall Poppy and sold most of them at the gig straight after.”
WHO: Unplanned Holiday WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Friday Oct 14
Hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell. Email punk news to email@example.com Off!
A few weeks ago I mentioned that punk rock supergroup Oﬀ! would be heading out to Australia this December as a part of the Meredith Music Festival, and that I had my ﬁngers crossed for sideshows. Last week I was able to successfully uncross my ﬁngers when they announced over their Twitter, “Australia, you didn’t think we would be coming all that way just for one show, did you?” If you don’t know who Oﬀ! are, here’s a quick rundown. Featuring Keith Morris (Black Flag/The Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Red Kross) and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From The Crypt), the music is fast, confrontational and pure punk rock. From their explosive debut (with only a handful of songs and no stage time) at 2010’s South By Southwest to now, Oﬀ! are resurrecting the rawness of hardcore punk of the past and bringing it into the present. Check out their First Four EPs compilation if you want a summary of what you can expect (musically at least) from the shows. On Sunday Dec 4 they play an 18+ show at The Zoo in Brisbane and then on Tuesday Dec 6 there is an all ages show at Sun Distortion Studios. Sticking to the semi Black Flag theme that I’ve got going so far, Henry Rollins looks to be heading back out to Australia (again!) in May 2012. Feel Presents announced last week that Henry would be in Perth around that time to do two spoken word shows as a part of the Perth International Comedy Festival. The presumption from this is that he will be doing shows across the whole of Australia at the same time, which ﬁts in nicely with a blog post he recently made on his site of a proposed schedule of his touring plans for next year. If you haven’t checked Rollins’ spoken word show out before, I strongly recommend it. His wicked sense of humour combined with the no-holds-barred
delivery of his opinions and observations makes the shows equal parts entertaining and thought provoking. Stay tuned, as national dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. If you haven’t heard of Into It. Over It now is your chance to check them out, as the most recent album, Proper, is in stores now via No Sleep Records/Shock. Into It. Over It is a one man show, with Evan Weiss playing all the instruments on the album. But what sets him apart is the full band sound, rather than the regular acoustic sounds that seems to typify punk/hardcore-based solo acts. The album is heady and beautifully melodic, drawing inspiration from the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate, Death Cab For Cutie and Dismemberment Plan. It’s deﬁnitely worthwhile checking out the rest of Weiss’ back catalogue (including the EP from his full-band project, Stay Ahead Of The Weather) as he caught the attention of No Sleep Records four years ago with his 52 weeks project: for a year Evan wrote and recorded one track per week, which was eventually released by No Sleep in June 2009. Always a favourite, The Gaslight Anthem have announced that they will be releasing a series of live tracks as a part of their iTunes Sessions, expected to be available from Dec 13. Recorded at the Magic Shop in New York on Jul 25, it contains an unreleased original track titled Our Father’s Sons; four covers that have never before been put to tape, a re-imagined version of Boxer and the track (and my favourite TGA song) The Navesink Banks. I found some of the choices for the covers intriguing (Baba O’Riley by The Who and State Of Love And Trust by Pearl Jam) but it goes to show how diverse this exceptional band’s inﬂuences actually are. According to a post on their Facebook page, Converge have demoed the ﬁrst 12 songs for their forthcoming album, and apparently that is only the tip of the iceberg of songs they have for this release. The as-yet-unnamed album will be Converge’s eighth full-length studio release and is the follow-up to 2009’s Axe To Fall (which was deﬁnitely atop my album list for that year). A release sometime in the ﬁrst half of 2012 is anticipated, and just to build the hype some more, drummer Ben Koller has described the new material as “bonkers”.
This Thursday The Matador and IRONHIDE join forces with The Passenger to bring the heaviness to Snitch at X&Y Bar. Say one of the band’s names at the door to get in for $10 as opposed to $12 after it opens at 9pm. The massively proportioned Doomsday Festival kicks oﬀ this week at the Jubilee Hotel on Friday night. Headlining is US sludge masters Cough, Melbourne’s Clagg, Sydney’s Looking Glass and Summonus with local openers Fear The Setting Sun. You can grab a ticket through Moshtix for $29, with the music starting a bit earlier than normal at 8pm. For the rest of the country, Doomsday arrives in Sydney on Oct15, Adelaide on Oct21 and Melbourne on Oct 22. A gathering of all ages brutality is set to occur at Sun Distortion Studios this Saturday evening. It’s their last show Australian show before old school death/black metallers Impetuous Ritual and Grave Upheaval embark on a tour of the USA throughout November. They’ll be joined by black thrashers Mongrel’s Cross, who will be launching their 7” EP Whorseanna. $10, 8pm. Brisbane thrash metallers Malakyte will play a free show at Basement 243 in the Valley next Wednesday night. Joining them will be Scars Of Fury, Konskriptor and Breach Enemy Lines. Doors open at 7pm. Don’t forget that French black metal project Alcest is playing at the Globe Theatre with Melbourne’s Heirs on Thursday Oct 20. Opening up the show is rare live appearance for post-metal/rock megagroup From Whence It Come and ‘Neath, complete with Defamer’s Sam Alcock ﬁlling in on bass. Pre-orders for the new Hunter 10” and CD from Heirs will be available on Oct 31, with pre-orders going up on the band’s Bandcamp page this week. Another new Lynchmada track entitled Earth I Walk is up on their ReverbNation proﬁle. It
to Fleet Foxes and Kurt Vile have been open about how much the songwriting and guitar playing of Jansch has aﬀected their own music. Neil Young once said, when comparing Jansch to the great Jimi Hendrix: “As much of a great guitar player as Jimi [Hendrix] was, Bert Jansch is the same thing for acoustic guitar… and my favourite”
I was all set for a very positive Roots Down this week as there have been plenty of cool shows announced over the past week or so, but on Wednesday night I got word that the legendary Bert Jansch had passed away so regrettably I must make the bulk of this week’s column somewhat mournful. Jansch was one of the true legends of the British folk music revival that sprung up in the 1960s, many referring to him as the British Bob Dylan. He had a style of his own though (not to mention he was a far better guitarist than Dylan) and one which kept his followers enraptured for over 45 years, during which time he released over 20 solo records as well as a heap of records with the very successful folk supergroup Pentangle, of which he was a founding member. In 1965 he recorded his debut, self-titled record which was sold to Transatlantic records for a mere £100; the record went on to sell 150,000 copies and still stands as one of the truly great records of that era. In 1967 Jansch founded Pentangle, a British folk supergroup that also featured John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox. The band’s initial time together was a short ﬁve years, but their brand of “folk-baroque”, which had a heavy reliance on the amazing intertwining guitars of Jansch and Renbourn, was quite successful commercially for a band playing such complex music. Their 1969 album, Basket Of Light, reached the number ﬁve position on the UK album charts. While never enjoying any huge commercial success, it was the widespread inﬂuence of Jansch that made him such a revered name in the world of music. Countless artists from the likes of Donovan and Nick Drake all the way through
Up until recently Jansch was still performing live, still attracting rave reviews for his low-key approach to performing and his far from low-key technical talent and songwriting ﬁnesse. Last year he co-headlined a tour of the United States with Neil Young. He has had myriad plaudits and honours bestowed upon him; everything from BBC lifetime achievement awards to Mojo Merit awards and was even awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Edinburgh Napier University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the UK music industry. He passed away on Wednesday Oct 5 and was 67-years-old. I’d strongly recommend getting a copy of that 1965 debut record – it’s brilliant. Anyway I don’t want to be a complete gloommonger this week so here’s some good news. One of the major highlights of this year’s Big Day Out festival was London’s Jim Jones Revue, an amped up garage rock freight train that didn’t let up from go to whoa. I’d been a big fan of their Burning Your House Down record from last year and had pretty high expectations after hearing reports of their live show and they didn’t let me down. The rollicking piano driven blues rock is feisty and fun, packs a punch but makes you want to dance and the band shed all manner of blood, sweat and tears to ensure that no one can accuse them of phoning anything in. The band were recently announced to be back in Australia as a part of the Falls Festivals in Victoria and Tasmania, but they’ve also announced that they’ll be heading north for a show at The Zoo on Tuesday Jan 3. Tickets are available from OzTix right now for $39 + bf, and let me tell you it will be worth every cent – miss this gig at your own peril!
Pop culture therapy with Adam Curley
Metal with Lochlan Watt Confession, Thy Art Is Murder and Antagonist A.D. bring The Long Way Home tour to Queensland this weekend. Catch them on Friday evening at The Beenleigh PCYC with The Lane Cove.
Blues ‘n’ roots with Dan Condon firstname.lastname@example.org
comes from their forthcoming sophomore album To The Earth. Unlike the already unveiled and particularly melodic number Relic, it shows the band pushing into heavier extremes with their stylised sound. The band will launch their album at The Hi-Fi on Oct 21 with Down Royale, The Construct, Tyrants! and A Breach Of Silence. Pre-sales are available through Moshtix for $10, or you’ll pay $15 at the door after it opens at 8pm. Texan natives Absu will bring their crushing mythological occult metal to Australia in January with the Sunshine Coast’s blackest oddities Portal and Tasmania’s grim Ruins, playing the Globe Theatre on Jan 12 with Defamer. The touring trio will then go on to Sydney on Jan13, with Melbourne and Hobart on the Saturday and Sunday. Huge! If you’re a fan of metal but haven’t heard about Soundwave 2012’s line-up yet you might be living in isolated misanthropy out in the middle of nowhere. Though Adamantium Wolf supposes that it’d be unlikely for Time Oﬀ’s circulation to reach your cold abode, just in case it includes System Of A Down, Slipknot, Mastodon, Limp Bizkit, Dillinger Escape Plan, Marilyn Manson, Hatebreed, Machine Head, Coal Chamber, Trivium, Meshuggah, Devin Towsend Project, Raised Fist, Meshuggah, Chimaira, Gojira, Kvelertak, Hellyeah, Dragonforce, Biohazard, Cro-Mags, Watain and dozens more non-metal bands like Steel Panther, with more to be announced. Feb 25 it hits the RNA Showgrounds, with tickets going on sale at 9am on Thursday Oct 20 through Oztix and the Soundwave website. Switzerland’s resident djent lovers Sybreed have announced their debut Australian tour for March. They’ll play at the Chaos ACT VI festival in Canberra on Mar 3 alongside Elysian, Anno Donimi, Mytile Vey Lorth, Alice Through The Windshield Glass and Brisbane’s The Schoenberg Automaton. Something called ‘Moshpere’ has been announced for Brisbane on Mar 19, and further information on that does not yet appear to have been made public.
Is everyone sick of talking about Lana Del Rey already? I write ‘already’ because it has only been a couple of months since her single, Video Games, started getting attention on YouTube, which isn’t a long time in a life of any kind (real, media, artistic or otherwise). But there has been enough said and written of the New Yorker in those months to cause major exhaustion and/or boredom. However, the reverse is also true: there have been enough things said about Lana Del Rey to cause a fully-ﬂedged media and artistic life. And that’s something to talk about. Since Video Games started racking up the view credits in August, there’s been a fairly natural, large-scale thought process about the musical project of 24-year-old singer Lizzy Grant. The ﬁrst, for many, was “Wow.” No points for intrigue there, but it’s certainly worth noting that a decent number of people were really, actually, not-forced-to-be impressed by Grant’s song, her vocal and, sure, her appearance in the clip (which is no crime). The second was, “Who is she and where does she come from?” As the answers to that question were sought – spurred on in equal measure by curiosity and scepticism over her sudden manifestation – a third question was being pondered: “What does she stand for and why do ‘we’ – the anonymous everyone – like her?” That third question wasn’t troubling, but the answers proﬀered have been: Lana Del Rey is a 1950s housewife throwback; a gloriﬁcation of the Hollywood starlet as victim; a sign of cosmetically enhanced vanity plaguing society. Valid or not, why is it that women singers are readily held accountable for popular culture’s problems while men are not? Why is it that they must be mirrors of our collective inner feelings? Amy Winehouse was our mass desire for self-destruction. Katy Perry is our mass ﬁckleness. Lana Del Rey is our mass shallowness and misogyny. But let’s backtrack to the second question: Who is she and where did she come from? What was discovered was surprising to some, irrelevant to others and scandalous to a vocal percentage. One of those was ‘Carles’ from the blog Hipster Runoﬀ, who claimed to be “exposing” Lizzy Grant when
he blogged about her former career as a pop singer under her own name, signed to a major label and unsuccessfully marketed prior to her name and image change (including – that tricky, conniving bitch – apparent collagen injections). As the story got out, more voices jumped on the ‘Lana as created product’ bandwagon. Her online marketing was portrayed as a sneaky scheme enacted by a major corporation vying for the dollars of those with innocent intentions. The act of pitching the Video Games clip to music blogs, the cut-and-paste aesthetic of the clip (apparently the owned aesthetic of the ‘credible’) – indeed, the act of uploading the thing onto YouTube at all was seen as a con. And all those little indie kids wanted was a hero to believe in. Of course, the bigger story wasn’t that ‘indie’ kids were getting scammed. It was that Grant was taking the back door to fame. She was being widely pegged as the ‘next big thing’ even by her detractors, but those in the know had the real scoop. She was a pretender. Watch out world, you’re about to be had – and you don’t know the truth! Well, the truth is that Lana Del Rey isn’t about to be given a career by the ‘mainstream media’, or the blogosphere. She already has a career. While an old stalwart of the print media like New York magazine might act like it’s their job to “break it down” about Lana Del Rey for their readers – ie. let them in on whassabeen ahappenen on the web – the fact is that this shit already got broke down. Millions have seen the Video Game clip (or less have watched it multiple times) as well as the clip for the single’s B-side, Blue Jeans. Lana Del Rey’s ﬁrst live shows in the States are being upgraded to bigger venues. News of those shows, and footage from them, is reaching a large audience – primarily online. The online media is no longer the realm of those ‘in the know’ or those whose job it is to lead things to the ‘mainstream’ – and to tell them when something isn’t right. It’s not just bloggers wanting their opinions validated by traditional media or cool kids shooting oﬀ. It’s the realm of everyone. And the sooner we realise that, the sooner we can start talking about something other than Lana Del Bloody Rey.
CLUB GUIDE WED 12
OGFLAVAS With Cyclone Jermaine Cole
Hip hop doesn’t care about poor people. Recently those protesting against corporate greed on Wall Street were ‘mocked’ by aﬄuent ‘champagnesippers’ from the balcony of the posh Cipriani Club 55 restaurant. At times it feels as if US urban is one giant Cipriani, materialistic braggadocio pervasive even amid the GFC. Sure, Diddy encapsulated the 90s Zeitgeist with his bling-bling rap, and ‘shiny suit’ videos, but it’s tacky in 2011. Kanye West ushered back in socially-conscious themes with his ﬁrst three albums, but he’s lately become increasingly introspective, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a meta-commentary on popular media culture. In 2008 West requested that journos not ask him about politics. Drake’s emo-rap, while beguilingly candid, is inherently narcissistic, his lamenting of fame not exactly relatable. Of course, blinged-out, club-hopping rap is also aspirational – and possibly empowering – for many, as John Legend told OG Flavas. “I wonder why people aren’t insulted that rappers are talking about how rich they are and what they’re wasting their money on… But maybe it’s inspiring for them and it’s a form of escapism and fantasy-fulﬁllment for them to hear that.” With 46.2 million Americans living below the poverty line, it’s bizarre that (mainstream) hip hop, the urban ‘folk’, has so little to say. Even West’s hook-up with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne, was a mega ﬂossing fest, oﬀering too few joints like No Church In The Wild. Luckily, Jermaine “J” Cole, signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, is bringing some balance to contemporary rap with his impressive debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story. Today every major MC worth his swag has a protégé: West groomed KiD CuDi, Lil Wayne secured Drake and Nicki Minaj… Jay-Z has chosen well in Cole, the mix tape stalwart who guested on A Star Is Born. It’s unfortunate that rumours of a sex tape with Rihanna preceded the North Carolinian’s premiere. Still, it may have been
to his advantage, anti-playa or not. He scored two pages in Famous with a big pull-out box, “Who is J Cole?” Cole has a history with RiRi – kinda. He laced her S&M remix, she appears in the video for his single Can’t Get Enough, and they’ve toured together. Regardless, Cole is a multi-faceted talent – like ‘Ye, he produces and MCs (though he’s yet to dabble in couture!). But he’s more into his boom-bap (cue: Lights Please, originally heard on The Warm Up mix tape) than electro-hop. Cole World is comparable to vintage Common – and, in fact, Common’s cohort No ID masterminded Never Told. It’s also not dissimilar aesthetically to West’s early work (including that on Hova’s Blueprint). Both Common and Nas are re-embracing 90s inﬂuences on their upcoming albums. Cole, too, creates soulful, funky and jazzy hip hop with samples and lavish live musicianship – and, signiﬁcantly, he loves epic shit. The strings on the emotive Breakdown evoke classic Stevie J, one of Diddy’s Bad Boy producers known as The Hitmen. Cole veers oﬀ into post-electro midway. His production on the dubsteppy Mr Nice Watch (complete with Jay-Z cameo) is especially dope, with spiky guitar, but it’s disharmonic here. The chorus lines aren’t necessarily about bling, but the transience of wealth. Clever, that. Cole, the product of a struggling single parent family who nonetheless attended college, excels as a chronicler. On the compelling Lost Ones, he acts out the arguments over an unplanned pregnancy, the man’s and the woman’s, at the same time exposing the tensions that split low income families. As with West, Cole is occasionally contradictory, but he could just be the saviour of hip hop’s conscience. And, crucially, he’s an ‘album’ artist – a rap Adele. Hopefully, once more hear Cole’s US No. 1 blockbuster, his singles will fare better. (His earlier ‘ﬂop’ Work Out is an ignominious LP ‘bonus’). The Trey Songz-featuring Calypso Can’t... is cool, as is the mellow Drake-embedded In The Morning, but for radio OG would have picked (a modiﬁed) Nobody’s Perfect with Missy Elliott singing. It sounds like the Missy of Supa Dupa Fly – melodic retro cool.
DANCE MOVES New Currents with Tim Finney Funkystepz
Perhaps inevitably, UK funky has receded slightly from its (is it too soon to call it this?) golden era of 2008-2010; after three years exhaustively mapping out every possible sonic byway and tangent, what is it to do? Previously possessing an unerring calibration for the sweet spot between house, grime and dancehall, UK funky has lately been pulled in diﬀerent directions by both back-to-house types – as if more trad house is what we need right now – and macho bass-driven banger enthusiasts (read: dubstep tourists). While still churning out amazing material (check Champion’s Sensitivity, Fuzzy Logick’s Playground, Natalie May’s Clothes Oﬀ), the scene has struggled to maintain its peerless run. Ill Blu and Funkystepz have been the two artists to most obviously buck the trend, using 2011 as a laboratory in which to test their ever more bizarre sonic inventions, while their charming idiosyncrasies nevertheless keep faith with UK funky’s core promise to its listeners. Ill Blu are by now ﬁrmly established as UK funky’s most histrionic operators, oﬀering an unmistakable sense of melodrama and bigness whether they’re creating stripped-back percussive bangers or slick, shiny remixes of pop tunes. In either mode their rhythms resemble a rolling gait, galloping and stuttering around a syncopated soca-style 5 beat groove, and ﬁlled with micro-hesitations and trips that counter-intuitively make you want to dance harder. In 2011 the duo has eased oﬀ on remixes to prepare for their debut album, and the results scale ever greater heights of overblown menace; in particular, Monsta sounds like a giant vacuum cleaner swallowing entire solar systems. But rather than simply turn the intensity notch up further,
tunes like Bhangra Knights, Do That and Warp Speed play around with rhythms and tempos, switching between menacing half-step build-ups, militaristic snare drum interludes and full-bore breakdowns with giddy excitement. So ﬁrmly established is Ill Blu’s sound that they can absorb a wealth of external sounds and ideas – from Dutch house, from dubstep, from techno – into their blueprint without compromising its singularity. Funkystepz’s aesthetic is less streamlined than Ill Blu’s, though no less distinct, all trembling synth arpeggios and intricate-but-ungainly beats lurching and staggering around a percussive house template. They’re a dab hand with a vocal tune, but their secret weapon is their expansive understanding of rhythm, recognising that complicated beats, while fun, are not enough by themselves. Instead, every component of their tunes builds into the oﬀ-kilter sense of groove: Fuller possesses an absolutely straight 4X4 house kick, but what you dance to is the bizarrely angular synth melody jumping around the beat with queasy unpredictability. Funkystepz frequently gets perverse – Royal Rumble sounds like a computer having an epileptic ﬁt – but somehow always sidesteps the ﬁdgety undanceability of IDM, retaining an intuitive dance ﬂoor functionalism no matter how complicated the obstacle courses they construct. Warrior is a particular highlight: with its alternately tripping and stomping beat and stuttering one-note synth squeals, it is essentially a two-bar trick, and yet in those two bars does more to challenge conventional notions and ideas of how a dance groove functions than any other recent tune I can think of. Despite releases on respectable labels like Kode9’s Hyperdub, Ill Blu and Funkystepz both remain cheesy ravers at heart, with their silly monikers, pop remixes and portentous eponymous production stamps on every track. Moreover, it’s their rejection of arid notions like deepness or hardness, and countervailing devotion to rhythm as something that can still excite and surprise, that makes them both worthy of singling out and yet utterly representative of what the best UK funky still does better than any other music right now.
D3 Amigos Latin Dance Party: Casablanca Frat Club: Pete Smith, Mark Z: Regatta Hotel Jam Club: Alloneword Miss Pit Stop Pet: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Republic
SIX PACK ROKEBY VENUS LOCAL BOYS ROKEBY VENUS ARE IN THE MIDST OF A HUGE NATIONAL TOUR AND HEADED OUR WAY. TONY MCMAHON CATCHES UP WITH MULTIINSTRUMENTALIST MATT BARNES TO GET ALL THE ROCK’N’ROLL ROAD STORIES.
THU 13 Convaire EP Launch: Alhambra Lounge Karaoke In The Front Bar: Casablanca Love Cats: Alloneword Machinery Hill: Beetle Bar Mbar Thursdays: Vita, DJ Climate: Fitzy’s Loganholme Too Damn Glam: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Tredman: Shooters Too Damn: Dezastar, Bluffsta, Flo, MC Fortafy: Republic
FRI 14 Afro Disa, Joe T, DJ Misqo, DJ Levi: Casablanca And Oh!, Nubi: LaLa Land Candyland: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Tredman: Shooters Kerbside Collection Launch: Barsoma Ministry Of Sound: Anna Lunoe, Goodwill, Nick Galea, Andee, Pete Smith: The Met Slim: Jupiters Nightclub The Arcade Creative Presents: Sinden, Danny T, Joey Mojo, Paul DLuxx: Platinum Nightclub Vision Friday: Ea Kut, Mister P, Flo, MC OP: Republic Vision Friday: Masta K, Mister P: Rendezvous
SAT 15 Afro Disa, Joe T, DJ Misqo, DJ Levi: Casablanca Bamboo, Mr Sparkle, Andy Priddle, Andee, Disko Diva, Malcolm, Roman: The Met Rhys Bynon: LaLa Land Cazbar: Jupiters Nightclub Regatta Saturdays: MC Bossy, Paul Bell, Marky Mark Z, Scotty R, DJ Tom Walker: Regatta Hotel Salmonella Dub, Tijuana Cartel: The Hi-Fi Sensation Club: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Tredman: Shooters Sensation Club: Ea Kut, Otto, Mister P, Trippa MC : Republic Sensation Saturday: Masta K, DJ LP: Rendezvous Sprung: Drapht, Funkoars, Illy, Pez, 360, Phrase, M-Phazes, Resin Dogs, Joelistics, Lowrider, Mantra, Diafrix, Lazygrey, Pure Product: Riverstage The Arcade Creative Presents: Bass Kleph, Craig Roberts, Joey Mojo: Platinum Nightclub Touch Saturdays: Ea Kut, Mister P, Masta K, MC Loudmouth Len: Fitzy’s Loganholme Young Sid, Deach, PNC, Pieter T, Dei Hamo, Sir T, Mr Sic, Derty Sesh, CXL: Fitzy’s Loganholme
“We ran into a rogue party animal by the name of Don at the Richmond Club, Melbourne. He recognized Danby [fellow RV band member Mick Danby] from living in the same apartment complex back at the Gold Coast. The next thing we knew we were recovering from a night that would be more akin to a buck’s night in Vegas.” Part of the proceeds from the band’s Worlds In Collision tour will go towards the Brisbane ﬂoods relief eﬀort. Barnes seems to think it’s the least they can do. “We were in the studio at Byron when we heard that Brissie was ﬂooding. It was weird getting a phone call from my upset girlfriend saying, ‘Your house is going to be 2.1 meters underwater when you get home’. Fortunately for me, the water stopped at my driveway while next door was like a soup bowl (although some asshole still managed to loot my barbeque after we evacuated). Lots of people were obviously not as lucky as me and are still struggling. By donating to the Premiers Flood Relief Appeal we can also create an awareness to those who attend our shows that ‘it’s not too late to donate’. The closing date for donations is the 31st of December this year.” Given they’ve been on the road, Barnes says that Brissie punters should be in for a very reﬁned set. “We feel tight, we’ve also got some unreleased material in the set that we’ve been working on while being on the road. We’ve also been beneﬁting from touring with Adelaide band The Fridays. They have a remarkable sensitivity in their performance which I ﬁnd very impressive given they remain relatively light-hearted in the majority of their lyrical content. We can take a leaf out of their book in that regard.” WHO: Rokeby Venus WHAT: Worlds In Collision (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: The Cave Monday Oct 17, Solbar, Maroochydore Saturday Oct 29, Soundlounge, Currumbin Sunday Oct 30
SUN 16 4Play: JimmyZ, Joel Turner: Brothers Leagues Club Daniel Webber, Discrow: LaLa Land Funkoars: The Spotted Cow Kimya Dawson, Aesop Rock: The Hi-Fi Play Dirty: Masta K: Rendezvous Salsa Seduction: Zouk Lambarda: Casablanca
MON 17 4Play: JimmyZ: Wickham Hotel
TUE 18 Envyus: DJ Dezastar, Eakut, Bluffsta, Oscar, DJ Owe, DJ Premix, DJ K-Otic: Shooters Karaoke In The Front Bar: Casablanca
ON THE TIME OFF STEREO Wolfroy Goes To Town BONNIE PRINCE BILLY The Future Sound Of Nostalgia THE DC3 Look Forward To Nothing KITCHEN’S FLOOR Ode To Nothing THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS Time Travel ALESSI’S ARK Worker Bees WORKER BEES Cerebral Ballzy CEREBRAL BALLZY First Four EPs OFF! In The Pit Of The Stomach WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS Metals FEIST
10c In Quebec, Interim, Thin White Lines Club 299 Az Kerwin Victory Hotel Confession, Tyrants, Thy Art Is Murder, Antagonist A.D. The Hi-Fi Geoff Rayner Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Kawai Piano Series: Anna Grinberg, Liam Viney QPAC Concert Hall Kevin Bloody Wilson Buderim Tavern Locky Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Mark Cashin & The Lil Hussys X&Y Bar Mark Sheils Royal George Open Mic Birdee Num Num Open Mic The Music Kafe Open Mic Night The Loft Chevron Island Strangers, Daniel Kuhle Ric’s The Choir Of Hope and Inspiration St Laurence’s College The Jezabels, Hey Rosetta, Alpine The Northern Byron Bay The Quims, Robbie Bostock The Tempo Hotel These Dirty Bones, Mars Escape, The Uncanny The Zoo Tyson Faulkner Fiddlers Green
Ball Park Music, Northeast Party House, The Jungle Giants Miami Tavern Shark Bar Berst Victory Hotel Brendan & Ang, Anthony J Cox, HD Blues, Eddy & The Gunslingers, Blind Dog Donny The Music Kafe Comicbook Hero Racehorse Hotel Confession, Thy Art Is Murder, Antagonist A.D., Dead Hands YAC Byron Bay Convaire, The Shake Up Alhambra Lounge Empire Square Oxford 152 Goldentones, Daddy Loops Ric’s Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane James Reyne Springwood Hotel Jeff Martin, Colin Moore Old QLD Museum Joshua Hatcher Quartet, Lauren Lucille Turnaround Jazz Club Kevin Bloody Wilson Albany Creek Tavern Kim Sheehy The Gold Coast Arts Centre Mace Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Machinery Hill The Beetle Bar
Meatbox, Amateur Childbirth, Anonymeye, I Am Not A Nihilist, Greg Charles The Waiting Room Midas Punch, Fairchild Republic, Goodnight Midnight, Finders Keepers The Zoo New York Dolls, Velociraptor, Millions The Hi-Fi Open Mic QLD Irish Club Seen: Seen DJs Bowler Bar Snitch: The Matador, Far Most Battlefront, Iron Hide X&Y Bar The Jezabels, Hey Rosetta!, Alpine USQ Bar The Root Note The Loft Chevron Island The Wombats, Faker, Owl Eyes Riverstage Tyson Faulkner Broadbeach Tavern Who Is John The Tempo Hotel
A French Butler Called Smith, The Mouldy Lovers SoundLounge Currumbin Acoustic Sessions Kings Beach Tavern Ball Park Music, Northeast Party House, The Jungle Giants Spotted Cow Benjam Victory Hotel Bowler Bar Bowler Bar Confession, Thy Art Is Murder, Antagonist A.D., The Lane Cove Beenleigh PCYC Darren Scott Transcontinental Hotel Deon Powter Meadowbrook Hotel DJ Enrique, Juan Muzzio, Juan With Angela Puerta, Susie Campbell The Loft Chevron Island DJ JD7 Narangba Valley Tavern Doomsday Festival: Cough, Clagg, Looking Glass, Summonus, Fear The Setting Sun Jubilee Hotel Double Jack CBX Downlode Hinterland Hotel Fat Albert Broadbeach Tavern Friends Of Friday Appreciation Society: Generation Jones Crown Hotel Lutwyche Green Jam: Tamara O’Callaghan QPAC, Melbourne St Green Greenthief, Alibrandi, Clifton Hill, Desert Ghost, Bixby Canyon, We Have A T-Rex, The Chutes The Tempo Hotel
Halfway, Leichardt, Paddy McHugh & The Goldminers The Beetle Bar Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders, Ghoul Alhambra Lounge James Reyne, Rushmore Hamilton Hotel Jezza Envy Hotel Jimi Beavis Lock’n’Load West End Kate Cook Brothers Ipswich Macka Cannon Hill Tavern Marcus Mercer Australian National Hotel Mark Cashin & The Lil Hussys Woombye Pub Mark Sheils Soﬁtel Moon Ranch Caxton Hotel Mr Perkins Coolum Beach Hotel My Echo, Take Us To Vegas, The Secret Whisper, Lets Jump Ship Orient Hotel My Fiction, Massai, Gentlemen X&Y Bar My Friend The Chocolate Cake Joe’s Water Hole Eumundi New Empire Brisbane Powerhouse Nine Sons of Dan, The City Shake Up, Burning Brooklyn Parkwood Tavern Nova Esperanca Brisbane Jazz Club Only The Sea Slugs, Surfi n Bird Ric’s Peter Cupples Gazebo Restaurant, Hotel Urban PJ Hooker Everton Park Hotel Powerplay Wharf Tavern Punk Rock Show: The Unknown, 4th Offence, DMS Punx Prince Of Wales Hotel QSM Live: Candice Long, Brendan Shick Queen Street Mall Robert Hackwood Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Salmonella Dub, Tijuana Cartel Coolangatta Hotel Scott Dean Club Hotel Waterford Second Gear Horse & Jockey Warwick Solar Rush Newmarket Hotel Starlight Theatre Uni Bar, Southern Cross Steve Trubble Southern Hotel Toowoomba Sub Inc, Feed, The Score, Stone Chimp Basement 243 Superfreak Albany Creek Tavern Tall Poppy Stadium Bar & Grill Tall Poppy Indie Rock Party: Unplanned Holiday, Edge Of Red, Sounds Of Colour, Mutiny Bay, Only Just, Shanon Watkins The Zoo
The Bon Scotts Queen Street Mall The Bon Scotts The Joynt The Butterfly Effect Surfers Paradise Beer Garden The Clem Four, Madworld The Music Kafe The Decoys Gilhooley’s Chermside The Febs Cleveland Sands Hotel The Jezabels, Hey Rosetta, Alpine The Tivoli The Jimmy’s Nudgee Beach Hotel The Pigs Samford Valley Hotel The Postmortemists Buddha Bar The Residents: The Stress Of Leisure Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform The Smart, Geomantra The Palace Hotel Tyson Trio Royal Exchange Hotel Undead Apes, Pastel Blaze, Boy Or Astroboy?, Stag The Waiting Room Velvet Kiss Benowa Tavern Venus Envy Springwood Hotel Vixen - A Burlesque Dance Party: Sugar Shakers, Tigerlil, Percy Valentine The Hi-Fi Wasabi Racehorse Hotel Woolie Cookies Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba
Ali Penney & The Money Makers, Kniki & Mike Beale, Mark Easton, Floating Bridges Palmwoods Hotel Ball Park Music, Northeast Party House, The Jungle Giants The Zoo Barry Charles, Andy Tainsh, Parafanailya, Native Aliens Gunalda Hotel Big Scary Old QLD Museum Bowler Bar Bowler Bar Brooksy & Co Royal Exchange Hotel Chris Cornell QPAC Concert Hall Chris Poulsen Trio The Gold Coast Arts Centre Club Havana, Mambises, DJ El Toro, DJ Memo, DJ Chamo Jubilee Hotel Club Zed: Whiskey & Speed, Goldstool, Suckerpunch, DJ Astrid Crown Hotel Lutwyche Crockrat Zebrapig, Gravel Samwidge, Purgatories Prince Of Wales Hotel Double Jack Waterfront Hotel Downlode Broadbeach Tavern
EB Games Expo: 7bit Hero, Technodrome, Dot.Ay, Derris Kharlan Gold Coast Convention Centre Flangipanis, Brixton Rockers, Ah Fuck That, Prophet Margin Brews Brothers Gung Ho Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Hangar: Nikko, Desert Ghost, Only The Sea Slugs, Friends Of Ben The Beetle Bar Hemi Kingi Trio The Morrison Hotel Hey Now! Neverland Immigrant, Jamie-Lee Fox, Steve Tyson, 25 Bravo, 27 Red The Music Kafe In Death, Brewzer, Dead End Kings, Shotgun Halo The Tank Hotel Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders, Ghoul, The Singing Skies, Candice Mcleod The Loft Chevron Island James Reyne Lone Star Tavern, Gold Coast Jezza Arundel Tavern Kevin Bloody Wilson Kallangur Tavern Koan Sound Family Lloyd Spiegel Lennox Point Hotel Loren Waves Bar, Nth Stradbroke Luke Brennan, Bigstrongbrute X&Y Bar Mace Southern Hotel Toowoomba Maggotfest: Kitchen’s Floor, Chrome Dome, Scraps, Repairs, Mere Women, Martyr Privates, Cobwebbs Woodland Martin Lass, The Big Boy Noosa-Tewantin RSL Michelle Brown Duo Alexandra Headlands Surf Club Mick Danby, Gold Members The Tempo Hotel Mick McCombe Band Lock’n’Load West End Miguel Brisbane Jazz Club My Echo, Take Us To Vegas, Finders Keepers, Goodnight Midnight Shed 5, Gold Coast My Friend The Chocolate Cake Brisbane Powerhouse No Anchor The Waiting Room Prefontaine Springwood Hotel Ramjet Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Rattlehand, The Delivery The Joynt Salmonella Dub, Tijuana Cartel The Hi-Fi Scott Dean Narangba Valley Tavern Solar Rush Victory Hotel
Sprung: Drapht, The Funkoars, Illy, Pez & 360, Phrase, M-Phazes, Resin Dogs, More Riverstage Starlight Theatre Globe Theatre Sub Electric, Black Whiskey, De La Cruz, No Right Turn, Smells Like Nirvana, Berst Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Sue Ray, Liam Brew Queen Street Mall The Butterfly Effect, The Smart Hamilton Hotel The Funkoars, The Shake Up Spotted Cow The Jezabels, Hey Rosetta, Alpine Coolangatta Hotel The Pigs Woodford Hotel The Ride, Astrid and The Asteroids Ric’s Tin Can Radio, Pocket Love, Inspired Insomniac Sol Bar, Maroochydore Tom Foolery Shafston Hotel Turbine Jazz, Jamahl Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform Tyney The Palace Hotel Tyrants, The Matador, Prepared Like A Bride, This City Ignites, Oceans Away Miami Tavern Shark Bar
No Anchor The Waiting Room Pigeon, Isolation In Numbers X&Y Bar PJ Weston, Phil Smith Queen Street Mall Sunday BBQ: Woodboot, Body Horrors, Lovely Legs, Psy Ants Crown Hotel Lutwyche Sunday Bloody Sabbath Sessions The Beetle Bar The Jezabels, Hey Rosetta! The Tivoli The Local Residents The Tempo Hotel Tyson Faulkner, Venus Envy Royal Exchange Hotel
MON 17 Barrellfish The Music Kafe B-Rad Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Chris Cornell QPAC Concert Hall Lloyd Spiegel Railway Bar, Byron Bay
No Anchor The Waiting Room Rokeby Venus, The Fridays The Cave
Absolutely Scandalous, Sue Wighton The Bug Last Chance Escalate, Honeyflood, Blue Flame The Tempo Hotel Lauren Lucille Lock’n’Load West End Lloyd Spiegel Railway Bar, Byron Bay Mark Sheils Woodford Hotel Nathan Smith, B-Syde, Big City Riot The Music Kafe No Anchor The Waiting Room Tyson Faulkner Fiddlers Green Woody Lives Here Irish Murphy’s Brisbane
HAVE YOU HEARD?
Aesop Rock, Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Rick Fights The Hi-Fi Dan Acfield, Matt Nelson, Eleanor Angel Dowse Bar Dave Ritter, Owie Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Dean Watkin Eatons Hill Hotel Funkoars Spotted Cow Ger Fennelly, Mic Travers, Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Grass Roots Music Festival: Roz Pappalardo, Jimi Beavis, Amanda Halloran, Col Finley, Kiara Rodrigues, Cyprien, Stockade, 8 Ball Aitken Mount Coot-Tha’s Botanical Gardens His Merry Men Ric’s Istanbul Gypsy Groove, Alla Spina, Trash & Treasure The Music Kafe Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders, Ghoul The Northern Byron Bay James Reyne Joe’s Water Hole Eumundi Live Spark: The Windy Hills Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform Lloyd Spiegel The Joynt Mr Perkins Miami Tavern
Kitchen’s Floor play Maggotfest @ Woodland on Saturday Oct 15 How did you get together? Matt Kennedy (guitar/vocal): “From going to the same shows, liking the same bands and wanting the same stuﬀ out of playing music. Simple.” Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Doof Doof Doof Doof.” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “I would choose to keep playing with all of my favourite Australian bands – Blank Realm, Scraps, Sky Needle, Royal Headache, Slug Guts, Bitch Prefect, Circle Pit, Fabulous Diamonds, Eddy Current etc. I wouldn’t want anything else.” 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? “I don’t like this idea. Give me a cyanide capsule instead and I’ll nip this nightmare in the bud.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “An eternally empty wallet and disturbing health issues. That is the reality of playing rock’n’roll in 2011 and it isn’t great.” Why should people come and see your band? “We’re not a band for everybody but if you’re a cynical piece of shit who is generally bored of most modern rock music then you might get a kick out of it.”
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WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER
THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER
Le Parti Soul w DJ Redbeard (8pm) + Strangers (9.30pm) + Daniel Kuhle (8.30pm)
Goldentones (9.30pm) + Daddy Loops (8.30pm) + DJ Valdis (8pm)
FRIDAY 14 OCTOBER
SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER
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GIBSON RELEASES KRIST NOVOSELIC SIGNATURE RD BASS
Hot on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s seminal Nevermind album, Gibson Guitar has announced the release of the Krist Novoselic Signature RD Bass. Novoselic used several different Gibson basses during his time in Nirvana, and the black 1970s RD bass on which this Signature edition was modelled can be seen in iconic footage of the band’s first appearance at The Reading Festival as well as in the celebrated Halloween 1991 show at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, the DVD of which was just released as part of the expanded 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind. The Krist Novoselic Signature RD Bass has a body and glued-in neck of solid maple in the classic RD shape, with a rounded, offset body style reminiscent of the Thunderbird bass. The sustain and resonance are enhanced by a stringsthrough-body design with solid three-point bridge, and a gently back-angled headstock to maintain optimum string pressure in the PLEK-cut slots of a Corian nut. Grover “shamrock-key” tuners keep the pitch tight and true, regardless of how hard you hit it. The neck profile with a depth of .860” at the first fret and .960” at the twelfth is paired with an exotic obeche fingerboard with 20 frets and a 12” radius. To optimise the power, punch and clarity of the bass’ natural resonance and sustain, Gibson has put in a pair of Seymour Duncan Bass Lines STK-J2n and STK-J2b ‘Hot Stack’ pickups, designed to offer the precision and harmonic richness of single-coil pickups, with the noise-cancelling properties of humbuckers. An independent volume control for each enables you to dial in your preferred balance of bridge and neck pickup for any playing situation, while a master tone control allows fine-tuning of your instrument’s voice. Pop into your local Gibson stockist to test-drive one.
Best known these days as the guitarist in the Blues Brothers band but seminal in establishing the Stax Soul sound as part of the legendary label’s inhouse studio band, Booker T & The MG’s, Steve Cropper coproduced his latest album, Dedicated, a tribute to one of his own seminal influences, The 5 Royales. With Jon Tiven, songwriter Dan Penn recorded the basic tracks at the wonderfully named Better Songs & Gardens Studio while Tiven recorded the overdubs at Hormone Studios, Jim Demain mastering it all at Yes Master! in Nashville. Noel Gallagher has cut an album with psychedelic DJ duo The Amorphous Androgynous – Gaz Cobain and Brian Dougans – at Paul Weller’s Black Barn recording studio, an old converted barn in Surrey, UK. Due for release in February next year, Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) produced the first new studio album in a decade, Roses, from the reunited Cranberries. Out this Friday, the new album, Deeper Into Dream, from Ben Lee was recorded at his Laurel Canyon, California home studio with Noah Georgeson (The Strokes, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom) on mixing duties, Lee producing the sessions himself. Irish singer-songwriter Eleanor McEvoy took herself over to Norfolk in the UK to record all but two tracks for her new album, Alone, at The Grange Studio with co-producer Mick O’Gorman, and Dave Williams the recording engineer on the sessions. The other two tracks were recorded at The Cauldron Studios by Ciaran Byrne, who also mixed the album with O’Gorman, Ian Cooper taking care of mastering it at Metropolis in London. Tim Carr produced the new album, Kings Canyon, by Ernest Ellis & The Panamas, which was recorded at Studios 301 Sydney, where Andrew Edgson also mastered the album. Shane Nicholson produced the latest and seventh album, Songs & Pictures, from Beccy Cole, with Jeff McCormack on recording duties at The Grove Studios up on the NSW Central Coast, while Nicholson also did some recording at The Sound Hole. McCormack mixed and mastered the album at his own Music Cellar studios. Steven Schram recorded and produced the new self-titled album from The Vasco Era at Soundpark in Melbourne, then mixed it at Bangkok Ninja Academy before sending the album up to Leon Zervos in Sydney to master it at Studios 301. One track, Rock And Roll Is The Only Thing That Makes Me Feel Good, however was produced and recorded by Neil Gray at Big Sky Audio.
‘Former’ Tea Party frontman no more, JEFF MARTIN talks to MAC McNAUGHTON about his new studio in Byron Bay and how to juggle two bands and 45 guitars.
The past 18 or so months have been somewhat of a purple patch for Jeff Martin. Fans have been eagerly watching as the word ‘former’ has been officially dropped from his title as ‘vocalist’ for The Tea Party. First, he twiddled the knobs on the fourth album by Melbourne doom rockers The Eternal. Then came The Ground Cries Out, the debut by his second post-Tea Party band 777 with Jay Cortez and Malcolm Clark, during the production of which, hatchets were buried, bridges built and The Tea Party became an ongoing interest once again. There have also been a couple of shows paying tribute to his friends, Led Zeppelin. It is early September and Jeff’s enjoying something of an interlude. The Tea Party reformed for a series of dates in Canada that were so well-received by both bandmates and fans alike that more activity looks certain. Martin has recently overseen his most important production though – the birth of his second son. Martin is on the phone, curled up in front of the fire in his house in Byron Bay, NSW on a chilly evening. This is the setting for his new studio, now nearing completion. “It’s much like Studio 301 in Byron, which I’ve worked out of a lot,” he opens. “301 has the beautiful old Neve console from the [record label] Festival days. This new studio will work in conjunction with 301. That drum sound that I can get out of there – that big loud sound – is the best I’ve ever done. I need something that will be a satellite situation, linking to other studios where I can be the alchemist that I am with all the analogue gear around me.” Technology and an orgy of computer trickery doesn’t seem very ‘Jeff Martin’, who often speaks of organics in rock‘n’roll. “What are those cars Hollywood stars drive? My studio will be like one of those Prius Hybrids,” he laughs. “Half is the best of the old school analogue worlds, half is what’s necessary these days with ProTools and all that. I prefer not to use ProTools on my own music, but when I’m producing, that seems to be the format that people are more comfortable with these days. People don’t seem to want to hear their own nuances any more.” Martin has always fostered/been subjected to an almost mythical reputation for being able to play whatever instrument he picks up.
because it’s mechanical. I got turned on to it when Jimmy Page played it with Robert Plant in the early-90s. I played it on Cathartik from The Interzone Mantras. I also love my prototype Fender Telecaster with a B-Bender. Invented in 1970, what the bending system does is emulates the bending of the pitch of a pedal steel. A lot of Nashville cats play them – you don’t see them a lot in rock‘n’roll.” But what of the ones that got away? “To take a page out of Zeppelin’s book (no pun intended), I can do a wicked violin bow on my Les Paul, but when it comes to violin, cello or any of those bowed instruments, I can’t seem to get my head around it.”
“After the first Tea Party record became successful, for the first time in our lives, we had some money,” he recalls. “I took mine and travelled, bringing back lots of instruments. I wouldn’t let any of them ‘win’, so to speak. They give me a run for my money, for sure; for example, the sarod [a fretless stringed instrument from India] took me a while to master. Generally I find if I can listen to someone who plays it really well, if I can get the tuning of it, I can play it.” This has lead to what Martin calls a “sizable arsenal” of instruments, which are currently spread all over the world. “Some are in Canada, some still in Ireland” (where The Armada’s 2009 album was recorded), “all amassed, there’s about 45 electric guitars, about 20 acoustics and many different exotic instruments. “When The Tea Party got signed in 1993, the President of EMI-Canada bought me this amazing signing gift – a 1916 Gibson Harp guitar. It’s a beautiful guitar for my solo and acoustic stuff. It’s a beautiful piece of art, just lovely. “My 1968 Les Paul Black Beauty with TransPerformance system is the ultimate weapon. Gibson came out three years ago with the Robot guitars, right? Well the Robot would be kindergarten compared to the TransPerformance’s NASA Degree – it’s out of this world
Martin has called West Australia home for several years now and he acknowledges how he has gravitated there with his family growing and the foundations laid with former Sleepy Jacksons Jay Cortez and Malcolm Clark (who also crewed The Armada). In the new year, he intends to bring much of his arsenal of guitars home, sharing the collection between his home in Perth and the new studio in Byron Bay. There are already plans afoot for a second 777 record as well as for Tea Party drummer Jeff Burrows to spend time Down Under, hopefully leading to new Tea Party music. “ songs like The Ground Cries Out and The Cobra were very Tea Party with the middle eastern thing going on in them and we’re very proud of them,” Martin enthuses. “But The Tea Party were never a rock‘n’roll band. It was more about the exotic, the ‘event’, the ethereal. I’d like 777 to go more into Queen Of Spades territory and that kind of dirty rock‘n’roll and I think that’s where the other two boys wanna go, too.” Following a solo tour (a planned 777 tour hit a stumbling block when Cortez broke his hand), Martin is also set on producing a record for Sydney DJ Kelly Lynch, who he describes as having a “rock‘n’roll heart”. “I’m a fan of that Bristol scene – Tricky, Massive Attack – it was very sexy music. Combine that mindset with analogue rock‘n’roll and there’s a new form of music. It’s good to tangle things that shouldn’t be entangled.” Jeff Martin plays the Old Museum on Thursday Oct 13.
ROLAND GR 55 GUITAR SYNTHESISER
Guitar synthesisers, while a great idea in principle, never gained wide popularity, mainly because they did not always work very well. Performance issues combined with the steep learning curve of synthesisers resulted in most guitarists saying “no thank you” to guitar synthesis. The first section played with was the COSM modeled guitar, which is not a synthesiser but enables modeled approximations of instruments including Telecaster, Stratocaster, Les Paul, ES-335, and nylon and steelstring guitars as well as COSM-based synths. The COSM guitars have no latency issues because they use the actual sound of the hex pickup to model the various instruments. You can even tune these models to your favorite alternate tunings (without re-tuning) or turn any guitar into a 12 string (or both, ie. an alt tuned 12-stringsay DADGAD). You can also blend in your guitar’s pickups with the modeled COSM sound. The second section of the GR-55 is the synthesiser section. Roland uses its own internal system of triggering synthesiser sounds that is far superior to MIDI for guitar players because it takes picking dynamics, strumming, finger picking, bends and other physical factors into account. It should be noted that for this review, a Roland-Ready Fender strat with the Roland GK pick up built in was used, so the experience may be quite different when using the adhesive version which has always been, from experience, a little unreliable. You can’t use this product with a guitar that has not been configured for a guitar synth. It doesn’t have a 1/4” input jack to plug a regular guitar in. Instead you have to use a guitar with a special pickup that connects to a 13-pin jack and cable combination. The lack of a standard ¼” guitar input does have some inherent limitations. If you play a gig and want to use any guitar other than the 13-pin or GK-3-equipped guitar you use for the GR-55, you have to have a separate amplifier or a separate input on the amplifier you are using for the GR. If the GR had a regular guitar input, you could use the internal effects and amp modeling of the GR and run through the outputs of the GR into the amp of your choice. Given how much the GR-55 can do, it’s smaller than expected. Three of the four pedals select different
patches and all can be pressed in various combinations to launch special features such as the tuner or the looper. The GR also has a Control pedal that can be assigned to different parameters (up to nine at a time per patch, if you want) for each patch, such as triggering a rotary speaker simulation or causing a synthesiser voice to sustain. Finally, there is an expression pedal to control various variable features such as volume or a wah sound (also up to 9 parameters at a time). The GR-55 tracked the playing very closely, and most impressively, read pick attack very accurately. It even tolerated a bit of slurring between notes – an impressive and unusual capacity in guitar synths. That is not to say tracking is perfect. A bit of sloppiness in your playing can produce a false note or a glitch, but there is a new parameter called the Low Velocity Cut that will help eliminate accidentally triggered sounds by cutting off sounds input below a selectable volume. And from time to time the tracking will warble slightly on a note or even possibly miss it.
The layout for changing sounds consists of banks with three patches per bank. A patch is any combination of two synth tones, COSM guitar signal, regular guitar signal and effects. You select both banks and patches using various combinations of the first three pedals. Roland has three switches on the pedal for Lead, Rhythm and Other that contain a large repository of preset patches. There is also a User area where you can store your own patches. Overall, the sound quality of the synth voices, COSM guitars and various effects is excellent. The clarity of all of the sounds was much appreciated. The ability to blend COSM guitars with synths is great, and this pedal could open the door to new creative options for guitarists of any style. Get it if you want a simple but very powerful tool to vastly increase the tones in your repertoire. Sean Hughes Supplied by Roland; for stockists see rolandcorp.com.au/support/dealer_locator
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Limited Edition mens tees and hoodies with a sense of humour. All hand-screened and numbered. monstrositystore.com
Published on Oct 11, 2011
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...