Q U E E N S L A N D ' s H I G H E S T C I R C U L A T I N G S T R E E T P R E S S • 9 n o v e m B E R 2 0 1 1 • 1 5 5 2 • F REE
CHILDREN OF BODOM
DAVID R. ELLIS
MERCURY REV UPS & DOWNS BROUS HUXTON CREEPERS
INSIDE FREE THE GETAWAY PLAN POSTER!
Brisbane / Gold Coast / Sunshine Coast / Byron Bay
BOSS IS BONKERS
WEEKEND SALE COME IN TO GRAB THESE CRAZY DEALS! ONE ONLY AVAILABLE AT THESE PRICES...FIRST IN BEST DRESSED!
LEGACY ST1 ELECTRIC GUITAR PACK RRP - $130
SPECTRUM GUITAR STAND
1 per person only - while stocks last
1 per person only - while stocks last
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
EPIPHONE EIC201 20FT GUITAR LEAD
VIC FIRTH DRUMSTICKS
BEHRINGER HPM1000 CLOSED HEADPHONES
1 per person only - while stocks last
1 per person only - while stocks last
1 per person only - while stocks last
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
HOHNER BLUES HARP
EPIPHONE PICK BAG (12 PICKS)
STAGG MICROPHONE STAND
1 per person only - while stocks last
1 per person only - while stocks last
1 per person only - while stocks last
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
VALID NOV 19 & 20 ONLY
YAMAHA C40 CLASSICAL GUITAR RRP - $199
EPIPHONE LES PAUL JUNIOR ELECTRIC GUITAR RRP - $299
2 SETS FOR $6
1 per person only - while stocks last
EPIPHONE JEFF WATERS ANNIHILATION FLYING V RRP - $1,199
$10 A SET
ORANGE MICRO -CRUSH CR3 RRP - $89
BOSS DR3 DRUM MACHINE RRP - $259
RRP Shure SLX Wireless Mic System SM58 $1,599 Tobias USA Killer B 4str Bass WA $3,949 Gibson Les Paul GT Candy Apple Red (Discontinued) $4,199 Gibson Tal Farlow NA $6,199 Gibson LP Money Bass RO $2,299 Gibson J-45 Custom Koa HB $5,999 Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom AE $6,499 Gibson Flying V 1968 Faded WC $1,699 Epiphone Les Paul Custom John Connolly (Discontinued) $1,349 Epiphone Les Paul Joe Perry Boneyard (Discontinued) $1,749 Blackheart Handsome Devil 15 Watt Tube Amp Combo Second Hand Vox AC15 15W 1X12” Valve Guitar Amp Second Hand JBL EON 10G2 Active Speakers (Pair) Discontinued $1,678 DBX 266XL Compressor (Discontinued) $229 Laney AH200 Audio Hub Amp $999 PAR 56 CANS $59 Light Emotion 8” Motorised Mirror Ball $49
SHOP 3, 1 YOUNG ST SOUTHPORT, QLD 4215
Sale $999 $1,899 $1,999 $3,799 $1,299 $3,499 $3,499 $999 $599 $799 $400 $550 $999 $169 $599 $29 $29
RRP Epiphone Les Paul Ultra FC Shop Worn Stock $1,199 Epiphone Les Paul Custom WR/NA/VS Shop Worn Stock $1,199 Epiphone Les Paul Std Mahogany WB Shop Worn Stock $799 Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Shop Worn Stock $1,349 Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor NA/VS $1,399 Epiphone Zephyr Regent VS $1,199 Epiphone Ripper Bass (Discontinued) $599 American Audio CDI300 Mp3 CD Turntable $599 Numark PT-01 Turntable $249 Numark Omni Control Secondhand – no software Seer EVS12 PA Speaker $399 Light Emotion Cosmic Laser $1,399 Bubble Machine ART USB Dual Mic Preamp $249 S/H Marshall DSL401 Valve Guitar Amp Novation A-Station Synth Rack (needs repair) Novation X-Station 61 note Keyboard – As is Gibson Les Paul Standard 50’s HS (Discontinued) $5,299 Gibson Explorer ‘76 w/Vibrola TA (1 of 400) $2,999 Martin D-15S $2,495 Gibson ES-137 Custom HS $4,299 Gibson SG Zoot Suit Red/Blue $1,799 Epiphone Performer Small Body Acoustic/Electric $899
2557 GOLD COAST HWY MERMAID BEACH, QLD 4218
GIBSON SG RAW POWER OLIVE GREEN RRP - $1,599
EPIPHONE LES PAUL ULTRA II FC SHOP WORN STOCK RRP - $1,199
EPIPHONE AJ-100CE ACOUSTIC/ELECTRIC RRP - $299
E STORE DEALS! LOOK AT THESE INSANMERMAID BEACH SOUTHPORT
EPIPHONE BASS STRINGS
EPIPHONE ACOUSTIC OR ELECTRIC GUITAR STRINGS
LEGACY DD402 ELEC KIT RRP - $439
Sale $499 $699 $499 $799 $879 $749 $349 $379 $159 $99 $299 $299 $99 $129 $999 $49 $199 $2,299 $1,799 $1,599 $2,499 $1,099 $499
BEHRINGER GTX30 GUITAR AMP $219
BOSS MT2 METAL ZONE DISTORTION PEDAL RRP - $135
RRP Kramer Pariah Elec. Guitar Grey Flames $699 Mapex Meridian Birch Black Sparkle Drumkit $1,499 Wuhan 10” Splash Cymbal JBL PRX525 650w Active Speakers (pair) $4,158 Yamaha PSRS500 Keyboard $1,195 Selected Drum skins – 50% off Legacy DD508 Electronic Drumkit $1,399 Gibson Tribal Flying V $3,299 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II FC/ME $1,199 Epiphone Zakk Wylde Graveyard Disciple $1,599 Epiphone Les Paul Studio Midnight V $699 Electro-Harmonix V256 Vocoder FX $429 Aria Short Delay pedal $99 Fishman Pro EQ Platinum External Preamp $269 Sansamp American Woman Overdrive Effect $249 Club Salsa Congas (slight damage) Blk or WR $499 Crown XLS202 Power Amp (Discontinued) Boss BR1200CD Recorder (Discontinued) $1,999 Lexicon I.Onix U82S Audio Interface $749 Lexicon Lambda Audio Interface Ex-demo – no software $135 Shure SCL3 In-ear Phones $279 Sontronics STC-6 Handheld Condenser Mic $299 Gretsch Blackhawk 5pc Drumkit $1,099 Trace Elliot AH600-7 Bass Head $2,499 Epiphone Embassy 5str Bass + Hardcase $668 Martin Backpacker Mandolin $695 Roland HD-1 Elec Kit $1,099 Paiste Twenty Series 18” China Cymbal $669 Roland Fantom G6 Keyboard Workstation $4,299
59 BARRY PARRADE FORTITUDE VALLEY, QLD 4006
WE WILL BE OPENING WITH UNIFORM HOURS OVER THIS WEEKEND - SAT 9AM - 3PM, SUN 10AM - 2PM
www.gallinsmps.com.au - PH: 1800 GALLINS
The RRP is the recommended retail price set by the Australian distributor of the product and may not have necessarily been sold at this price point in the past or sold in the future. All prices were current at the time of printing November 2011. We cannot be held responsible for price rises or reductions after this date. We reserve the right to correct any misprints. Stock subject to availability. Some stocks are limited.
Sale $299 $799 $9 $2,499 $599 $79 $1,699 $599 $499 $399 $299 $29 $149 $99 $199 $299 $999 $299 $99 $169 $129 $499 $1,499 $349 $299 $699 $299 $2,999
STREAMING THIS WEEK
STREAMING THIS WEEK
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GIVEAWAYS The International Swingers are Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols/Rick Kids/The Faces), Clem Burke (Blondie/The Romantics/Eurythmics), James Stevenson (Generation X/Chelsea/The Cult/ Gene Loves Jezebel/The Alarm), and Gary Twinn (Speedtwinn/Twenty Flight Rockers/Supernaut). They will be performing at The Zoo on Friday Dec 9 and we have got five double passes up for grabs! Entrants must be 18+. Festival of the Sun is taking place at Port Macquarie’s Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, Dec 9 and 10. Art Vs Science, Ladyhawke, Dan Sultan, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Floatingme, The Snowdroppers, Young Revelry, Brothers Grim, Guineafowl, King Cannons, The Delta Riggs, The Medics and many more will be playing at the festival. FOTSUN provides the rarest of ‘Aussie Backyard BBQ’ vibes like no other music festival. With onsite camping and cabin facilities, intimate staging, a 3,000 capacity and unique BYO policy (no-glass rules apply), this will be a weekend to make some fond musical memories. We have two double passes up for grabs, and the tickets include two nights camping. Entrants must be 18+. Best known for her role as Annie Hall in Woody Allen’s film of the same name, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, Diane Keaton has had a fascinating and highly successful career. Then Again is a memoir that is as touching, funny, and iconic as its author; an illumination of an ordinary girl’s journey to become an extraordinary woman – and the defining relationship that made it all possible.
Diane Keaton’s Academy Award-winning career has made her a cinema legend and touchstone for a generation. Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers Australia we have three copies of the book to give away! Thrilling action, terrifying creatures and spellbinding special effects – the Primeval: S1-5 Box Set brings together all five series of the hit series. Unexplained anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the past, and the future, to roam the modern world. Not knowing where the next anomaly will appear and what on earth will come out of it, the government grudgingly turns to evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter and his team of experts in ARC – Anomaly Research Centre. Special features include The Making of Primeval Series One, Through The Anomaly By Andrew-Lee Pott and more. Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment we have three copies of the box set to give away! Four years ago a seed was planted in the hearts of music lovers and in the streets of their town, now Mullum Music Festival (Nov 24-27) bears fruit with a quality festival that strikes just the right balance of popular acts with yet-to-bediscovered surprises. It’s all about ‘Big Music in a Small Town’ when the festival lights up the pubs, halls, cafes and clubs of Mullumbimby. The Dynamites with Charles Walker, The Congos & Mr Savona Band, Stranger Cole & King Tide, Little Bushman, Ray Bonneville, Epizo Bangoura, Tim Freedman & The Idle, Abbe May and more will be performing at the festival. We have got a single pass for Saturday and Sunday up for grabs!
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CONTENTS TIME OFF
ISSUE 1152 tracks for the week in Singled Out
Get your music industry news from The Front Line 8 Lowdown – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash 10 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah transcend the hype for album number three 14 Gyroscope are taking no prisoners 15 Ups & Downs talk about getting the band back together 16 Children Of Bodom are only looking forward 16 Melbourne’s Huxton Creepers look back on their 80s heyday 16 Tim Freedman has gone solo 18 Mercury Rev are ready for the Harvest 18 Tom Cooney is back with tales from abroad 18 Sophie Koh tells of neighbourly meetings and adventures in LA 20 Cabaret is here to stay, at least if Silver Sircus have any say 20 The Contortionist give away the secret of their success 20 Up-and-comer Brous tells of strange pop concoctions 20 Local lad Harley Young makes his social debut 24 Rising DJ Hardwell is in (and of) the house 24 On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases 26 Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst)
Jeremy Neideck, co-writer of Underground at Metro Arts, talks Seoul 28 David R. Ellis launches into Shark Night 3D 28 We wrap up the first weekend of BIFF action 28 The Looking Glass explores the options of art superheroes 28 End Of Fashion’s Justin Burford discusses Rock Of Ages 29 Cultural Cringe takes a trip to Mars 29 This Week In Arts plans your upcoming calendar 29
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BACK TO TIME OFF!
Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live 31 Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down 36 Lochlan Watt gives you brutal metal news in Adamantium Wolf 36 Sarah Petchell has enough punk rock to Wake The Dead 36 Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown 36 Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas 37 Tim Finney explores the dancehall phenomenon with Dance Moves 37 We take you Behind The Lines 40 iFlog and you can too 42
CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Contributing Editor: Dan Condon Front Row Editor: Daniel Crichton-Rouse Intern: Georgia Dixon
Front Row: Baz McAlister, Mandy 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
ADVERTISING Advertising Account Executives: Melissa Tickle, James Tidswell
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. ©
DESIGN & LAYOUT Cover Design/Designer: Stuart Teague, Matt Davis 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
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
Musicians Pro Shop Boss is Bonkers Weekend Sale
Fortitude Valley Store - Legacy DD508 Electronic Drumkit listed incorrectly as $79 in ad, sale price is $799 reduced from $1399. Pricing is incorrect due to printing error.
CLOSURE PROMISES FINAL FALL DRIVEN FEAR AVERICE
INDUSTRY NEWS BIG DAY OUT I: LEES AND WEST SPLIT
FANS FUND LOCAL BAND’S ALBUM
Big Day Out’s promoters Ken West and Vivian Lees announced their immediate split, after three-odd decades, last week. The two had run international tours for about ten years before starting the Big Day Out, which is to celebrate its 20th year in 2012. As reported in Your Daily SPA, Lees has left the partnership. In a statement he said, “After 20 wonderful years as co-producer of the Big Day Out Festival I have decided to move on. My decision is principally to ease the workload on myself and I believe this will also allow me to increase my commitment to my family and interests outside of Big Day Out. For the first time in my life I will be stepping off the gas a little instead of stepping on it and I am looking forward to new challenges I may find outside the Big Day Out. “I am a passionate supporter of the Big Day Out and the musical legacy I have created with Ken West who will now continue to produce the show as sole producer. To all my friends and supporters, the loyal and committed Big Day Out staff and the legions of Big Day Out audience members I thank you and I will always be indebted to you for keeping me in such a great job for so long.” Ken West was a little more frank in his quotes and pointed to ‘constant tensions’ between the pair throughout the running of Big Day Out. “Tensions were always constant,” West said. “It was my vision for the show, and his concept was to streamline it as much as possible so he could understand it. You could say we stayed together for the children – the children being the Big Day Out and everyone associated with it!” West will continue on as sole promoter for the time being, but may take on a minor partner in the future. This decision is likely to have been in the pipeline for a while – and is unlikely change the punter’s experience at the event – as Lees has often hinted at life beyond the Big Day Out. Back in 2005 he told The Age, “It’s only a rock show. It’s not life.” He added, “It’s one of the most fun things you can do, living inside the Big Day Out for two weeks a year. I love it. But it is not reality. When my wife and children arrive over in Perth at the end of the tour, I’m back to being fully grounded within one day of the end of the tour.” West admitted, even then, to controlling the festival. “You have to be military about your decisionmaking process so no-one has the capacity to debate with you, because you don’t have the time.” The paper added: “Mild-mannered and quietly-spoken, Lees tackles life and his show at a completely different speed to West.”
BIG DAY OUT II: OFWGKTA PULLED FROM NZ Controversial rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All have been pulled from the New Zealand leg of the festival after owners of Big Day Out’s venue Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland Council, intervened. Wellington man Calum Bennachie emailed the festival’s promoters – with a number of other people CCed in – with what was described as a “strong case” by website GayNZ, objecting to what he saw as homophobic lyrics and messages. In his letter he wrote, “By allowing Odd Future to play at BDO, you are proving that you have little concern for the lives and welfare of LGBT people, that you are willing to endanger their lives, and seek to encourage stigmatisation against them. I find this disappointing in an organisation that could do so much to enhance the self esteem of youth, reduce stigma, and discourage violence. Over the last year we have heard of a number of LGBT youth who have committed suicide due to bullying tactics that are endorsed by music that belittles LGBT people, such as that played by Odd Future. Lyrics such as those played by Odd Future increase the societal discourse against LGBT people, a discourse that encourages bullying and violence.” Although he initially declined to comment, when the news broke organisers confirmed the news in a statement from Ken West. “The Auckland City Council has jumped the gun, leaking that Odd Future will no longer be appearing at the Auckland Big Day Out due to lobbyist groups.
Perth’s piano-rock outfit Sir Thomas are funding their debut album using an innovative format – 100 True Fans. The idea works by attracting small donations from a large number of fans and the band, already having raised the Perth outfit an impressive $7,000. Those ‘True Fans’ will decide which songs get selected for the album after they’re played at an exclusive show.
INDIES AROUND THE WORLD
PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY SPLIT Berkfinger and MC Bad Genius of Sydney band Philadelphia Grand Jury have announced their band will be no longer, with both musicians already working on other projects. A post of their Facebook page read, “After years of touring together, recording together, working together and living together, we’ve decided we need our own space. Big, big thanks to everyone who has supported us and given us the opportunity to have what is pretty much a dream existence. Most of all, thanks to all the drummers that have put up with us both.” Despite the ‘Philly Jays’ having a spot in a triple j’s Hottest 100 list and having played a large number of shows including big-name festivals, the pair will turn to work on other projects. In his Berlin studio Berkfinger has been doing some recording for an album that Peaches is producing/engineering while also finishing an album with his new band Silver Futures, while bassist MC Bad Genius is working with other artists on various yet-to-be-announced collaborations. We are currently in discussions with Odd Future and will be announcing their own solo show for Auckland in the coming weeks. This does not affect Australia. Last time they played for the government at Vivid!”
MORE ARIA PERFORMERS, PRESENTERS ANNOUNCED Further presenters and performers have been announced for this year’s ARIA Awards ceremony, with Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Art Vs Science and Kimbra – who joins Gotye – set to perform. Gotye, Drapht and Boy & Bear had already been announced. Presenting awards will be Noah Taylor, Hamish & Andy and Benji and Joel Madden (Good Charlotte). Tickets are on sale now and the event happens Sunday Nov 27 at Allphones Arena.
FRESHLY INKED With bassist Jeremy Kelshaw having become a new father this year, Cloud Control are going through some expansions – another of which was their recent signing to US label Turnout. The band – who’ve relocated to London – have toured the UK and Europe extensively in the last 12 months, where their album Bliss Release was released by Infectious. Turning their attentions to the US by joining Turnout will see their album released through Atlantic/ Warner. The band plan to be touring the US next year and Kelshaw is optimistic about juggling his fatherly and band duties: “I don’t’ think it should impact too much,” he told The Front Line. “We’ll deal with it case by case.” The band are in the process of writing new material, with plans to focus harder on their second album in the beginnings of next year. The band are determined not to struggle with second album syndrome, either. “If it needs to take more time, we’ll take more time with it. We don’t want to be the band whose second album does nothing.” Meanwhile, Shock Records have signed 90s Brit-grunge legends Bush ahead of their comeback album Sea Of Memories, out Nov 25. The labels’ General Manager of Music Leigh Grupetta told Your Daily SPA, “We are absolutely thrilled to partner up directly with Bush on such a fine return to the world stage. The obvious dedication the band has to this album’s global success is inspiring and we are very excited to now be actively involved in making this happen.” Sydney pop/punk band Tonight Alive, currently signed to Sony Music Australia, have been successful in finding a prominent punk label in the US to call home. Fearless Records have taken on the Sydney band and have just released their EP Consider This, to be followed by their album – What Are You So Scared Of?, which debuted at 15 on the ARIA Album Charts last month. Vocalist Jenna
McDougall said, “We’re so stoked to be a part of the Fearless Records family. It’s an exciting time for us, we love the label and the acts! We can’t wait to come back to the States to tour!” Also, after leaving an evidently positive impression at the BigSound conference this year, Brisbane band Numbers Radio have signed a deal with record label Shock Records. It’s believed initial discussions occurred at BigSound and Shock will release the band’s next album next year, with single White Light to be released shortly. The band announced November East Coast dates this week. Finally, Stop Start have just added a new UK artist to their roster who goes by the name of Daughter (Elena Tonra). This songbird joins New Zealand’s Tiki Taane and US residents Jim Ward and French Horn Rebellion as the label’s international contingent. Tonra recorded her debut EP His Young Heart in North London where she now lives. The label has said the EP showcases an “exciting and emerging talent”.
BLACKBERRY’S FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS Blackberry has launched its own music service, BBM Music, a subscription service that allows users to share music with each other through the device’s BlackBerry Messenger format. For $5.99 a month, users gain access to the cloud-format music library permission and are then able to share up to 25 tracks with their “musical community”. Playing on the ‘sharing’ aspect of music, the more friends a person has, the more songs they will have access to. Parent company Research In Motion use the example that if you have 25 friends, you’ll have access to 1,250 songs. The Vines’ Hamish Rosser, a part of the launch, said the service is intended to encourage the social side of music consumption. He told The Front Line, “I also think you’ll find other people to share with. It’s not like Facebook where you’re sharing intimate information, it’s just music. I’d be more inclined to share with someone because of their tastes and if they seemed cool.” Users will swap the songs via the latest free Blackberry-to-Blackberry Messenger service, BBM 6.
OZ ARTIST TOP TEN ANNOUNCED The top ten artists for this year’s Channel [V] Oz Artist Of The Year have been announced. 360, Amy Meredith, Gotye, Guy Sebastian, John Butler Trio, New Empire, Owl Eyes, Parkway Drive, Short Stack and The Jezabels are in the hunt, with voting open now to fans at the pay-TV channel’s website.
Perth-based Wolves At The Door have been invited to perform at the SxSW showcase in the US next year by Brooklyn indie label Paper Garden Records who want them for their showcase. Recently releasing their second EP Wolves At The Door II digitally, they’re only just back in the country following tours of UK and France. The band have accepted the SxSW offer and will tour Los Angeles, Austin and New York as part of the trip. Meanwhile Claude Hay has scored a spot on the bill of France’s Blues sur Seine Festival. The Blue Mountains-based one-man band has spent a lot of time overseas recently, including working on his next album in Memphis’ famed Sun Studios. Also, Sydney group sleepmakeswaves will be performing at next year’s Dunk! festival in Zottegem, Belgium as one of the Sunday night headliners. The alternative music festival is being held from Apr 6 – 8.
METALLICA PROMOTERS ARRESTED IN INDIA After what was supposed to be Metallica’s first ever show in India, promoters from the company DNA Entertainment were arrested last week. The show, scheduled to take part alongside the country’s first Formula One motor race near Delhi, had been-cancelled last minute due to “technical reasons”. According to the organisers the safety barricade at front of stage was not adequate and could not be repaired in time, but due to the arrests of four executives from the company some speculated more “sinister” reasons. Metallica’s website carried a statement which read, “We were notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regard to the safety of the concert audience. And our first and foremost concern is always for the safety of you, the fans.” The crowd’s reaction was less than safe, with the destruction of equipment and the stage estimated at costing $200,000. Police said they had received a number of complaints from fans who said DNA over-sold the venue and they weren’t informed of the cancellation. A police spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We are interrogating four others who are in our custody. Once the company’s chief comes here, we will be able to ascertain the reason behind the sudden cancellation of the event.” Despite the Delhi cancellation, Metallica’s show in Bangalore was considered a success. The band played an 18-track set in front of 50,000 fans at Palace Grounds for their first gig in the country.
UK TRIO DOMINATE CHARTS Florence + The Machine have nabbed top spot of the ARIA Album Chart this week while everyone was looking at Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto – #2) and Adele (21 – #3). The Florence Welch-led outfit’s second album Ceremonials leads an all UK top-three. Michael Bublé’s Christmas debuted at #4, beating Justin Bieber’s festive season effort Under The Mistletoe, which debuted #6. The latest They Will Have Their Way – The Songs Of Tim & Neil Finn compilation debuted at #31. Elsewhere Gurrumul’s selftitled debut has gone triple platinum, according to his label.
FBI RDIO GOES ‘ON DEMAND’ Sydney community radio station FBi have launched FBi On Demand this week, allowing listeners to stream archived radio programs online. Located at ondemand.fbiradio.com the service works on iPhones and iPads as well as online. The service will hold the last five shows from every program, with shows appearing online 45 minutes after they air.
PAY THE LADY
Not seen on our shores since her early-2010 visit with fellow American Diana Krall, it was a fervent audience that not only greeted Madeleine Peyroux but have also encouraged her to come back and showcase her new record Standing On The Rooftop. This fifth album signals growth for Peyroux as an artist, the singer tackling many different styles for fabulous results and in exciting news for jazz lovers all over, Peyroux is looking to show her new roots edge when she plays one special show at QPAC Concert Hall Thursday Mar 8. An all ages show, you can pick up tickets through qpac.com.au.
2011 ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Kylie Minogue will be releasing the first ever 3D music DVD, Aphrodite Les Folies: Live In London, filmed at London’s O2 Arena last April, Friday Nov 25.
WELCOME, STRANGER British chanteuse Beth Orton hasn’t been seen on Australian soil for over half a decade now, but the inexplicably wonderful performer has announced that she will be back here in the early part of next year and most likely with a whole heap of new material to show us. Orton has been working on a new record for a while – she hasn’t released one since early 2006’s Comfort Of Strangers – and it should be released not too long after her Australian visit. This fiercely independent queen of folktronica has been wowing audiences across the planet for close to 20 years now and it’s so exciting to have her back in our country. She will turn in an undoubtedly very special performance at the Old Museum on Sunday Jan 15; tickets are available through OzTix from Friday morning onwards.
GIVE US DEATH(RAYS)! We already told you that Tenacious D and Fucked Up were the two absolutely incredibly 100 percent amazingly awesome supports for the enormous upcoming Foo Fighters tour. Now it gives us a seriously huge amount of pride to announce that one of our favourite local bands in a long time, the hard partying but always gentlemanly DZ Deathrays, are going to be opening the show at both the Gold Coast and Melbourne shows. These two dudes have had such a massive year and this is just a sensational way to cap it all off; they have toured the world a whole heap and toured with the likes of Band Of Skulls, Cerebral Ballzy, Danananananaykroyd and S.C.U.M, but it doesn’t get much bigger than this. Catch them before their debut record comes out and before they blow Laneway audiences out of the water; it all goes down at Metricon Stadium on Saturday Dec 10.
READY TO BOK! We’re sure there are a lot of awesome things about being in Melbourne thrash kings Frankenbok, but surely the greatest part is that, for four weeks every year, you can celebrate the month of ‘Boktober’. The band are sharing the joy of the month they have made their own by releasing their brand new record The End Of All You Know and kicking off a big national tour at the end of it. It will be a little while before it gets to us but the lads are coming, dropping by Monstrothic at the Jubilee Hotel on Friday Dec 2. Don’t worry, we’re planning on petitioning the band to let the good times roll and lay claim to Decembok as well, we’ll let you know how we go. Tickets for the show are available on the night and supports will be announced soon.
Not quite the album she was working on before her untimely death, Lioness: Hidden Treasures pulls together various bits and pieces recorded across the brief career of Amy Winehouse, out Friday Dec 5. Megan Washington is guest vocalist on a seriously limited edition 7” vinyl single, The Wilhelm Scream, from The Bamboos, celebrating their first decade together. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood have teamed with DOOM on a new track, Retarded Fren, the first track from Complex, a forthcoming compilation from Lex Records celebrating their tenth anniversary.
BEAMING DOWN BEATS
WHO’S GOT THE BLUES We love the first Bluesfest announcement every year, because we’ve never seen one that we didn’t absolutely love and, despite all the rumours that fly about almost all year long, they manage to surprise us with something just about every time. This year is no different; they’ve announced some enormous acts in this first run including The Who’s Roger Daltrey who will perform his band’s classic 1969 album Tommy live and in full, as well as a bunch of other classic tunes from that band. From here it’s a great mix of legends and legends in the making from blues, roots, country and beyond, including Irish punk rock heroes The Pogues (visiting Australia for the first time in 23 years), pictured, disco legends Earth Wind & Fire, John Butler Trio, My Morning Jacket, Yes, G3 (featuring Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Steve Lukather), Buddy Guy, Maceo Parker, Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot!, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Yann Tiersen, Bettye Lavette, Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, Trombone Shorty, Great Big Sea and The Jayhawks. It happens at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm from Thursday Apr 5 through to Monday Apr 9; a whole range of ticketing options are available through the festival’s website right now.
Friday Nov 25, Bush releases their first studio album in a decade, The Sea Of Memories. The farewell performance by Melbourne’s Antiskeptic in September 2008 is now out on DVD/ CD, titled Goodbye Goodnight Live At The HiFi 2008. Finnish Euro-metal five-piece Nightwish will release their new album, Imaginaerum, Friday Jan 6 next year.
JURASSIC LARK UK producer Orlando Higginbottom has a pretty fantastic name, but we reckon he must be spoilt because he’s considered it not fit to be his stage name, choosing instead to call himself Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Now that’s all well and good, but the real important thing is, of course, the music. The music is good. Very good, in fact. So good that he’s worked with the likes of Darwin Deez, Katy Perry and Fenech Soler on remixes and will be issuing his debut full length record very soon through Polydor Records! This Summer, Higginbottom is making his way over to Australia to show us how he can start a party like no other, turning in sets at clubs and festivals all over the place. You can catch him at Woodland on Thursday Jan 5; tickets are available through Moshtix at the moment for $15 + bf, but that’ll go up to $20 + bf soon so get in quick! udly presented by Street Press Australia.
MAPPING YOUR DREAMS Five-piece post-rockers Laura are far more dark and brooding than their female moniker would suggest. Rather than craft an uber-catchy hook for quick consumption, the band painstakingly create waves of mood and sound, crashing over the listener before engulfing their bodies. With new album Twelve Hundred Times on the cusp of release, and fresh from supporting everyone’s favourite Texan noise makers ...Trail Of Dead, the Melbourne crew will be in groundbreaking form no doubt when they perform at Woodland Saturday Nov 19. And put trust in our opinion that this is one show you don’t want to miss.
THE PIG IS BIG
WHITE HOT Berlin energetic pop group The Whitest Boy Alive are, at the risk of seeming sympathetic to cliché, so fucking hot right now. They’re no flash in the pan though; they initially got together as a dance act in 2003 but over the years their sound has evolved to become something that, while definitely danceable, owes more to pop music than it does electronica. The band are making their way to Australia early next year and apparently their live show is absolutely off the chain, so this is one show that we are certainly looking forward to. Add to this the fact that there is allegedly a new WBA record in the pipeline and you can be sure that this is going to be a very exciting gig. They play The Tivoli on Thursday Jan 19; tickets are available through Ticketek right now!
New York dancefloor controller Tim Sweeney is bringing his Beats in Space ideals to Brisbane tiles with a massive night of bass bounce on his first visit to the city since 2009. Sweeney has turned his Beats in Space radio show into a label synonymous with the Big Apple and has become one of the most in-demand spinners in the biggest city in the world. Already in the country for the Meredith Music Festival, Sweeney arrives north at Barsoma Friday Dec 9 with support coming from Sidwho? (Empire Of The Sun), and a host of others. Get your early bird tickets now through Moshtix for $18 until allocation is exhausted.
Pigapolooza is back and this year it is big. The festival has expanded massively for the 2011 instalment, which is very exciting for any fans of metal or hard rock music as the line-up the organisers have assembled is pretty damn special. The festival will be split into two stages – one focused on metal and one on rock’n’roll – and is going to be a huge 11 hours of heavy music. On the metal stage you’ve got All Shall Perish, Signal The Firing Squad, The Kidney Thieves (as Voodoo Love Machine), Resist The Thought, State Of Integrity, Torn Asunder, Hung, Sevenskies, Time Has Come, Road To Ransome and Down Royale, while on the rock’n’roll stage you’ve got Numbers Radio, Greenthief, Midas Punch, The Royal Artillery, Perspektiv, Returns, Ninth Of May, Seismic Toss, Lesuits and Dollarosa. Don’t miss this massive event when it hits the Tempo Hotel on Sunday Nov 27; tickets are $34.70 and available from OzTix now!
Hot on the heels of their decision to part after 31 years together, R.E.M. are releasing a 40-song career-spanning first ever definitive greatest hits album titled R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 – 2011, Friday Nov 18, which will include a new song, We All Go Back To Where We Belong. Watford, UK’s finest, five-piece Spycatcher, featuring members of Gallows, Haunts and Cry For Silence, release their debut album, Honesty, the same day. On Friday Nov 25, Lady GaGa is releasing a Blu-Ray/ DVD edition of her Madison Square Garden performance filmed during her international The Monster Ball tour with exclusive neverbefore-seen footage, the same day also seeing the release of the GaGa album, Born This Way The Remix, a 14-track collection of remixes by some of today’s most prominent artists, DJs and producers. The same day sees Adele release her Live At The Royal Albert Hall concert film, also released on DVD/Blu-Ray. The Black Keys release their new album, El Camino, co-produced with Danger Mouse, on Friday Dec 2, as does Beyoncé the double-disc concert documentary, Live At Roseland, and an expanded edition of Roxette’s most recent album, now titled Charm School Revisited.
MAN OF MANY TALENTS Few musicians in the modern day can profess to having careers as highly decorated as Omar Rodriquez-Lopez. In the 90s he was a vital member of post-hardcore legends (and we don’t use that term lightly) At The Drive-In, before that band came to a sad end and he, along with fellow ATDI member Cedric Bixler Zavala, formed The Mars Volta, a hugely successful prog rock group who continue to sell massive amounts of tickets and records the world over. He’s also a producer and a film maker, though his most recent creative endeavour is forming the Omar Rodriquez-Lopez Group, a trio (featuring the drummer and bassist of The Mars Volta) he brings to Australia for the very first time this December. Joining the group will be the hugely raved about Le Butcherettes – the Mexican/LA punk rock band fronted by the fierce Teri Gender Bender and in which Omar plays bass. Together they play The Zoo Sunday Dec 11, tickets are available through OzTix for $25 + bf.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? This next blurb is the announcement for a tour from the punk rock band After The Fall, but it might not be quite what you’re expecting. Rather than being a tour from the New South Wales Central Coast rockers of that name, it is actually a tour being undertaken by the American After The Fall. Yes, After The Fall are an American melodic hardcore group who have been kicking around since 2003. They hail from Albany, New York and their style of music is similar to that of Bad Religion, NOFX and Propagandhi and they’re ready to show Australia that they might not play Mirror Mirror, but their own songs are just as good. You be the judge; the band play the Jubilee Hotel on Thursday Nov 17 with support from Melbourne’s Anchors and local dudes Army Of Champions, Friends With The Enemy and Milestones. Tickets from OzTix are $18.40.
PRICE IS RIGHT If you want to dance but you’re running short of cash, then the teams at We Are Nocturnal and Auditree have something incredibly special in store for you. This Friday night you can head along to see Cutters Records Alumni and former Damn Arms member, Das Moth (coming to us all the way from Japan) for absolutely no cost whatsoever at Barsoma. Support will come from Jad & The Lady Boy, Youth and Private Velodrome. Make sure you get in early to get your (lack of) money’s worth; doors open at 9pm.
HOP TO IT From 8pm tomorrow night, the Dank Morass crew are bringing you some seriously awesome tuneage as they invite the mighty Onra – who has come all the way from France – to set up shop and make the place jump like nobody’s business. This prolific French hip hop producer extraordinaire is bound to be selecting some mighty fine joints for you to get down to, as will his supports Wolfwolf, Arku and Dispatj. Barsoma is where you need to be, $15 gets you through the doors from 8pm.
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SHE’S BACK! Look, you can make of this what you will – we know you’re not stupid. Last year we announced to you that Lydia were disbanding; the Arizonan indie rockers came to Australia to bid all their fans out here farewell and we were all quite sad. About six months later, Lydia were back together; sure, not in the same line-up formation as before, but they had made a swift return. We think it can only be a good thing that we haven’t lost this great band and we reckon most of their fans would feel much the same way and we’re pleased to announce that the band will be back in Australia at the start of next year. They will be heading around the country with New South Welshmen The Cavalcade, playing the Gold Coast’s Elsewhere on Thursday Jan 5 (The Cavalcade not appearing) and The Zoo Friday Jan 6.
ASHES TO ASHES His 13th studio record Ashes & Fire was met with a great sense of relief by Ryan Adams fans; not only was this tangible proof that his departure from the music industry was to be short lived, it was also just a really, really good record. Even more exciting than the release of that album is the news that he is coming back down to Australia in support of it, and that he will be playing his first ever shows in this country completely solo. If you’ve heard any recordings or seen any video of Adams’ solo sets, they seem pretty amazing; he’s funny and charming – though, of course, a little weird – and the songs just sound fantastic. Catch Adams all by himself at QPAC’s Concert Hall on Thursday Mar 1; tickets are available from Qtix as of Monday morning.
KISS OFF He has just returned from performing throughout Europe but now Jamie Hutchings is back on Australian ground and ready to say hello to us all over again. The Bluebottle Kiss frontman has not been doing a great deal with that project of late, but this year did see him record Avalon Cassettes live to an eight-track recorder in a shack just north of Sydney and it’s pretty bloody stunning. Given the nature of the recording process it only makes sense that these songs also come across really strongly on the live stage so it will be an absolute thrill to see him perform them when he’s in Brisbane next month. He plays the Beetle Bar on Saturday Dec 10 with support from We All Want To and Tall Tails.
If you see someone who looks like masterful French producer Sébastien Léger around Brisbane on the weekend, there’s a very good chance it will actually be him, as the underground techno has announced he will soon be in Brisbane for a very special intimate club show! As well as being an incredible
producer, this guy is one of the most in demand DJs around right now, with a diary full of engagements all around the world, so the chance to dance to his eclectic brand of electronic music is an absolute treat. He is storming Barsoma on Saturday night, support comes from Scott Walker, Jason Morley vs Habebe, Tranceducer and Manesh Magan and comfortable shoes are an absolute necessity.
NONE MORE SWEET They’re not an old band by any stretch of the imagination, but Melbourne’s Harmony have already accumulated enough plaudits to put many bands who have been around for many years longer to shame. The band, fronted by The Nation Blue’s Tom Lyngcoln, have released a 7” and their highly-acclaimed debut album this year, they collaborated with the one and only Marc Ribot on that record, they’ve toured tirelessly and now they’re announcing they’ll be back in Brisbane on two separate occasions for three separate shows next month! Firstly they will be here to play X&Y Bar on Friday Dec 2 and The Waiting Room on Saturday Dec 3 and then they will be back to support Explosions In The Sky at The Hi-Fi on Tuesday Dec 13!
DOO WOPS AND WHOA OHS Prepare to be seduced by their hard-hitting soul of Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, their debut album Baby Caught the Bus ready for love in the live environment. The fierce rhythm and blues group have planned a delectable launch party at The Joynt Sunday Nov 20, with smoke and honey vocalist Nai Palm to support the talented nine-piece. Tickets will be available at the door, so get along and enjoy some doo-wop! And if you’re heading to the Harvest Festival the day before, be sure to stop by and see them when they perform there as well!
Okay, so now the carbon tax has been passed the bloody environment better be fixed now pronto; no more floods or hurricanes, and it better not rain during the cricket. And didn’t JG promise no carbon tax? Losing faith in politicians here…
Crikey, Bluefest have outdone themselves with the first 2012 announcement! The Pogues, My Morning Jacket, Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, The Jayhawks – and that’s literally just the tip of the iceberg for the first announce! We know what we’re doing for Easter…
GOD ONLY KNOWS
MANGUM COME LOUDER
No wonder everyone was pissed off at the converted Muslim guy conducting the online hate campaign against fallen Aussie soldiers: how can someone purportedly following a religious calling – no matter what religion – be such a hateful and heartless dickhead? Oh, that’s right…
So Neutral Milk Hotel legend Jeff Mangum has taken the next logical step after emerging from self-imposed exile and announced a tour of the US and Europe. Rally everyone and flood message boards with words of encouragement, we must coax him to Oz…
SAVING PUBLIC RYAN
KIM WHO? Thank heavens that that horrible troll Kim Kardashian has pissed off home. Can someone please enlighten us to as why anybody at all gives a fuck about her or her hideous family?
Ryan Adams has announced that he’s returning to Brisbane, and for the first time he’s playing in his much-vaunted solo mode! Will he make it? If so will he have a public meltdown? No matter what the outcome, it’s sure (as always) to be entertaining…
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It’s been a few years between drinks for CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH, but they’re back with their third and most assured effort to date. Frontman ALEC OUNSWORTH chats to TROY MUTTON about re-connecting with the fans and themselves.
GETTING RE-ACQUAINTED I
f the term ‘hipster’ were bandied around as frequently in 2005 as it is today, Brooklyn/Philadelphia fivepiece Clap Your Hands Say Yeah would surely have been one of the word’s defining acts. With charming indie/ alt-pop tunes and a distinctive voice that people either loved (see: certain online music magazines) or loathed, the nerdy fivesome of Alec Ounsworth, Robbie Guertin, Lee and Tyler Sargent and Sean Greenhalgh bounded onto the scene with breakout hit The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth and their ensuing self-titled debut album. However, it’s 2011 now and in many ways they transcend the word; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah aren’t trying to be cool, indie or hip, they’re just a bunch of guys who like making music on their own terms. So much so they’ve taken four years after their second album, Some Loud Thunder, came and went in more a blustery shower than a storm cloud. Their return effort, Hysterical, is as any good band’s third album should be – an improvement on those past, with nods to what they’re known and loved for, backed by an understanding of where they’re at. Time Off catches up with frontman and voice of the band Alec Ounsworth in the calm before the storm, as it were. “[We’re] on a slight break, just got back from New York, we were doing some radio shows up there and practising separately. We don’t really start until shortly before we go to Australia.” From here they’re then off to Canada, around America and then Japan, followed by the UK and Europe and after a long layoff, “It’ll be pretty steady for a while, but it’s something to look forward to, you know?” Ounsworth says, a slight touch of concern creeping into his voice. Ounsworth is almost lackadaisical down the line, the slightly uninterested tone in his voice suggesting he’d rather be off working on some music for whatever project is tickling his fancy at the time. He’s a classic case of someone who doesn’t really like to sit still for too long. “I think that’s the best you can do. You can keep working and keep working and then you’re ready. If anybody else is like me, you go through a lot of starts and stops to everything. You know I do this every day and you cross your fingers that you’ll hit at some point and you’ll know when that point in time comes. “You just gotta keep working,” he implores, “because at the very least, even if you throw away a thousand songs or a thousand half finished ideas or something like that, you’ll have a couple that really are something, you know?” During Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s time off, Ounsworth released a solo album of his own, Mo Beauty, along with an album with his other band Flashy Python, called Skin And Bones. He also got married and had a daughter in 2008, something that three years on is still relatively new to him. Fair enough then to take it easy with band commitments, you would think?
“Maybe in the back of my mind was not to go full-on [with the band] in that period as well,” he concedes. “I don’t know if I directly thought that was the exact reason to take the time off with Clap Your Hands… it might have had something to do with it. So you know my point is I haven’t really, completely had the chance to experience [family life], all that, you know. I have a feeling that [touring] will be difficult.” So, break out of the way, it brings us to their new album Hysterical and after so many years off, the album itself was actually completed relatively quickly. “I think we did a good six months preparation before we went to the studio,” Ounsworth recalls. “A lot of it was getting re-acquainted with the idea of being a band and then re-acquainted with the sound that we had in mind in the beginning… the face of the band; the sonic face. “In any case for six months off and on and then in the studio probably about three or four weeks maybe. Definitely
process. I think we are identifying with this project as its own entity and then the others their own.” The accelerated process Ounsworth refers to is the band’s breakout single, The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth. In a sign of things to come, the group achieved much of its early success through using the internet as a dispersion tool, as opposed to record labels, with blogs really hitting their straps around that time and Pitchfork giving them huge raps on their hugely influential review site. In keeping with their tradition of trying different ideas, the group recently re-released their debut album on vinyl, with Ounsworth acknowledging the importance of continually evolving and thinking outside of the box. “I do think it’s important,” he tells. “I think there are bands that take advantage of that absolutely and, yeah, there are a lot of good ideas that have come about as a result. I think it’s only natural to think outside the box. Especially due to the fact if you do
“IT’S A RELATIVELY UNHINGED LIVE SHOW AND I LIKE THAT ASPECT OF THIS BAND.” not full on. I mean, everybody has other jobs and that sort of thing.” And three albums in, does Ounsworth feel like he knows where the band is at and where it’s headed? “Yes, to a degree. On the other hand I don’t like the idea of making the same record over and over again, let alone the same song. I think it should be always changing. As for the idea that this band has their sound…” he pauses to ponder. “You know a lot of it comes from Lee’s guitar, he’s not gonna turn around and start playing guitar like Keith Richards; that’s just the way it is, for example. So everybody’s got their identity built in to how they play and that comes off I think, how we all play.” You’d also hope after six years together professionally (with more before that in college), the group has learnt a thing or two about life in a rock band. For Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, it’s a constant process. “I think we know our way around a studio a bit better,” be begins. “We’ve also started to pick up on certain elements of the live show that would help improve it. Or at least help it, or keep it from falling apart,” he laughs. “It’s a relatively unhinged live show and I like that aspect of this band. However, there comes a point in which you have to get everything straight and I think little by little we’ve been getting there. But as everybody else does, we were put in to a position of that being an accelerated
the same old thing it’s not really gonna get you too far these days, that’s just the way it is, like it or not.” Much like the increased obligation of bands to get out of the studio and onto the touring circuit: “That’s what everybody tells me,” he chuckles in regards to bands needing to tour more. “But that’s an opportunity in and of itself, as long as it doesn’t hamper your attitude towards everything. Let’s face it, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to tour constantly. Some people get burnt out, that’s just the way it is. You gotta know when to re-group and you gotta know when to tear it down, that’s all.” Which brings us to their upcoming tour of Australia, their first since Laneway a few years back. Ounsworth promises the set will feature an even mix of the old and the new. “At first I think we leaned heavily on the new songs and then it occurred to us all that maybe we needed to inch back in/get re-acquainted with everybody out there. Sort of reminding everyone that we do… For one thing, we remember how to play the old songs and for another, we haven’t forgotten where we came from,” he insists with a laugh. “I mean, at this point now that the record is out, it’s a pretty even spread, more or less. And it really works well; I’m really surprised that everything… it just doesn’t lose any steam from one record to the next.”
SATAN SAID SIDE PROJECT As mentioned, Alec Ounsworth has plenty of other stuff going on, but he’s not the only one. Let’s take a look at the bands surrounding Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
FLASHY PYTHON Besides his solo work, Flashy Python is Ounsworth’s main project outside of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. They’ve only released one album, Skin And Bones, in August 2009, with little-to-no press. It merely popped up on their website for streaming, or purchase on vinyl, CD and mp3. The group’s members are made up of people in other bands too: Matt Barrick, drummer from The Walkmen (also here at the same time as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for Harvest); Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken of Pennsylvanian psych-rockers Dr. Dog and Billy Dufala from another Pennsylvanian experimental rock act, Man Man.
UNINHABITABLE MANSIONS Robbie Guertin and Tyler Sargent are part of this New York-based indie rock band which doubles as an art collective, formed in 2008. They also released their debut album in 2009, Nature Is A Taker. Other members of the group include Annie Hart from dream-pop girl group Au Revoir Simone, Doug Marvin from NY shoegaze/indie-pop four-piece Dirty On Purpose and Lindsay Baker and Chris Diken from another Clap Your Hands Say Yeah side project…
RADICAL DADS This is another of Guertin’s side projects, born from the above group really. Before their formation in 2008 the trio had swapped instruments in various groups together for over a decade; however, the ‘Dads keep it simple, with Baker and Diken on guitars and Guertin drumming for a more straight-up brand of indie rock. Just this year the group released their debut LP, Mega Rama, following the 2010 7” Recklessness.
WHO: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah WHAT: Hysterical (Wichita/Cooperative) WHERE & WHEN: Harvest Festival, Brisbane Riverstage & Botanical Gardens Saturday Nov 19, The Zoo Sunday Nov 20
PERFECT STORM Known as one of Australia’s most brazen rock acts, GYROSCOPE have taken some much needed time out this year to simply live life. As drummer ROB NASSIF tells TYLER McLOUGHLAN, the boys are giving back to the fans with their only headline shows of 2011 on the Choose Your Own Adventure tour.
estern Australian rockers Gyroscope have spent their entire adult lives building a catalogue of hard-hitting tracks to entertain frenzied audiences around the country. So what to do when they find themselves with a spare window of time for the first time in a long time? Drummer Rob Nassif and bassist Brad Campbell packed their bags and boarded yet more planes to take in the sights of the world, whilst frontman Daniel Sanders and guitarist Zoc Trivic got back into some landscaping and carpentry. Though their thoughts quickly turned back to music. “We’ve worked so hard at the band where we tour an album, we start writing the next album, we record it, we tour it – we’ve done that with the last four records in a row so it was just nice to have a break…It’s probably the biggest break we’ve had since we started the band when we were 16, so it’s the biggest break in like 14 years,” Nassif explains. “We just felt like it was a good time to have a break after punching out four albums in a row, just to really reassess where we’re at. Whilst I was halfway through my trip we all started getting itchy feet thinking, ‘Gosh it would be nice to do a little tour wouldn’t it, and wrap up 2011?’”
With their focus on the Choose Your Own Adventure dates, the idea of a fifth Gyroscope album is yet to be entertained. “To be honest we haven’t really talked about it yet because the whole mentality was that we wanted was to have total break, come back from the break, then all sit down and say, ‘Right, where are we at, what do we want to do?’ So we haven’t had that meeting yet because we want to do these shows first but yeah that’s the plan. And I mean, [I] really hope we do another record and as long as all four people in the band have got their shoes on the same feet and have got the right attitude, we’ll do it.”
WHO: Gyroscope WHERE & WHEN:
The Zoo Wednesday Nov 16
Recalling the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books favoured by distracted readers in primary school, Gyroscope thought it an apt concept for their 2011 tour, whereby each song across the nine dates is decided by a fan vote through their Facebook page. “We’ve always got fans that we meet after shows or on Facebook that ask, ‘Can you play this song?’, or ‘Can you play that song?’ It’s hard when you’ve got four albums worth of material so we threw it open to them and they have now voted on what will be the setlist that we play,” Nassif relates, clearly stoked with the idea. With four home state dates already under their belt, Nassif wasn’t too surprised with the outcome of the vote that was reopened for a fresh lot of east coast sets. “I thought people could have been a bit more adventurous really,” he chuckles, noting that 70 percent of the tracks are already regular set favourites. “We’ve been playing Doctor Doctor and Safe Forever at every single god damn show since we wrote them in 2003; I don’t think we’ve played one show since 2003 when we haven’t played either one of those songs! I guess I can understand those songs getting voted in, but what was interesting was songs like one off the second record Sexxxy which got a lot of votes – so that’s in there. And 22 Of 3 as well, so yeah it’s cool that certain songs that we haven’t played for a very long time have made it in.”
“i WAS LIKE, ‘THIS GUY’S NOT GETTING A SUPPORT - WHAT THE HELL, YOU DON’T DO THAT!’” With Closure In Moscow nominated as key support for Gyroscope’s east coast dates, Nassif explains he’s a big believer in supporting the motivated up-and-comers. “I just like how ballsy they are for moving over to the States where they signed with Equal Vision [Records],” he enthuses. “And they’ve got a big work ethic and I think that’s a great thing. We were looking for a main support that’s doing good things, could pull some numbers and we like their music so it ended up being a good fit. We’ve always tried to give bands a leg up that are working hard and deserve it.” As for east coast openers City Riots, Nassif is in fits describing how the Adelaide indie upstarts came to join the tour as the result of an unexpected call 18 months ago. Adjusting his voice into faux phone mode, Nassif re-enacts his phone conversation that day with the band’s frontman Ricky Kradolfer. “‘Oh g’day mate, my name’s blah blah blah I play in a band called City Riots and I managed to get your number off this other guy blah blah blah.’ At that point I’d never heard of the City Riots at all. This dude just calls me up out of the blue, Saturday afternoon, I’m watching rugby and I just thought, ‘Well that’s gutsy! He was, like, ‘Look I know this guy Jake and he gave me your number and he told me you were a really nice guy and that if I called you out of the blue you wouldn’t be pissed off at me, so I just want to put my band forward’ – I think we had a tour comin’ up at the time,” he recalls. “He was telling me how he recorded at Billy Corgan’s house in Chicago and this and that and we had a good old chat. Anyway that was that and I was like, ‘This guy’s not getting a support – what the hell?! You don’t do that!’ But, then I heard one of their songs on triple j about a month later and I was like, ‘Shit man, that’s a really good song – that’s that fuckin’ dude that called me up! Wow, that’s kind of crazy’. And I kept hearing that song on the j’s and I thought, ‘Fuck, that’s great!’ Over time I’ve heard more songs and I actually quite like City Riots and when the opportunity came up, we needed some supports and who suggests City Riots? Me! So that’s how we got City Riots – isn’t that a good little story?” says Nassif suitably chuffed. Envisaging a barrage of phone calls from random bands, he adds: “At the end of the day if they didn’t write good songs and I wasn’t impressed by the songs when I heard them on the j’s then it wouldn’t ever have happened.” Electing to play a smaller show at The Zoo over the higher capacity venues they’ve most recently visited in Brisbane, Nassif is intent on providing a worthwhile experience for the fanbase that has so keenly supported their career. “Letting the fans choose the songs, it’s about really playing and reconnecting with the people that are passionate about this band in the first place. So I think it’s gonna be great – we’re really comfortable at The Zoo, we’ve had so many memorable shows there so I think the perfect storm for a great show is forming and I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he says with excitement.
BACK IN TOWN In the 80s, Melbourne’s HUXTON CREEPERS surfed the guitar rock zeitgeist in a synth-dominated hair band scene. They’re still a little surprised 25 years on. Singer and guitarist ROB CRAW chats to MICHAEL SMITH.
or a few years in the 80s, Melbourne four-piece Huxton Creepers lived the rock’n’roll dream. It started in school with two friends, Rob Craw and Paul Thomas, who would draw guitar strings on their rulers, and they pulled together a rhythm section from the same school on leaving: “‘Hey, what do you guys do? Do you play bass?’ ‘Not really but I can learn,’ ‘Okay, you’re on,’” is how Craw tells it. It’s a familiar story but it’s one that resulted in a shitload of gigs, a couple of albums and a lot of at least hometown attention that still resonates among those who were there, and those who have discovered their music since. Originally released in 1986, the debut Huxton Creepers album, 12 Days In Paris, has been given the remastered, expanded treatment and allowed the former high school friends to take it out for another quick spin. “The album originally came out on vinyl, so it was actually nice for us to revisit and remaster it and see if we could take some of the 80s excesses out of it,” Craw laughs, “and just throw in some rarities for friends and fans and family. It was interesting actually, going back to master it to see if we could boost a few things, and I thought it came up really well.” Craw and Thomas took care of the guitars and Craw was on vocals, while in the engine room were bass player Mathew Eddy and drummer Archie Law, and, as luck would have it, emerging as they did in 1983, they were lucky enough to tap into something that set them apart, sort of Melbourne’s answer to Hoodoo Gurus and Sunnyboys. “I guess it was the time when a lot of that synth/new wave stuff [was around], you know, Joy Divisioninspired music, and I was a huge Joy Division fan myself as well, but we were also influenced by that 60s guitar rock, so when we started, in Melbourne we were a nice alternative to what was around and we started to get a bit of a following,” Craw recalls. “Then the zeitgeist sort of emerged out of that and we got an article in The Age and then everything took off. As soon as that article came, we had just loads of people coming to see us play and immediately we got some record company interest.” This of course was back in the days before free street press, but it’s surprising that the band won all this attention courtesy of the mainstream press rather than the rock magazines of the day, Melbourne’s Juke, Sydney’s Ram and of course Rolling Stone. They signed to what was a new indie label, Big Time Records, and after cutting a debut single, The Murderess, with Radio Birdman’s Rob Younger producing – they already released an indie single, King Of The Road – they cut their debut album with Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin producing, who did his bit for those 80s excesses. “We revisited King Of The Road for the album, and I think Steve Berlin got his greedy hands on a drum machine and replaced the real drums on it, bastard!” Craw laughs. “Los Lobos were on Big Time Records in Australia and they were touring and I guess Steve was interested in doing producing work and the label suggested us. What was nice about Steve was he did have a lot of these nice organic-y ideas and sounds, but this was ’85, ’86, the tyranny of the snare sound, over-chorused guitars, layered tracks to the nth degree, and that was all in the name of fantastic production. And we were just caught up in that whirlwind.”
WHO: Huxton Creepers WHAT: 12 Days To Paris (Fuse) WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Friday Nov 11 16
RIDING THE BUMPS On the eve of their current reunion tour, UPS & DOWNS’ frontman and songwriter GREG ATKINSON reflects on being a Brisbane band in the 80s, and the ongoing power of integrity. STEVE BELL listens in.
t’s hard to imagine these days with the Brisbane scene being so strong in every field that there was a time relatively recently when artistic pursuits were looked down upon in this city, and that many bands harbouring ambitions beyond having a good time with their mates were basically forced to move elsewhere to scratch that musical itch. One such outfit that was coerced by circumstance to leave Brisbane for greener pastures was Ups & Downs, who formed here in 1983 but who pursuant to a short, productive burst of activity quickly exhausted every musical avenue that existed in the city at that time. They were forced by necessity to head down to Sydney to continue their forward momentum, where for the rest of the 80s they built a fearsome reputation as purveyors of psych-tinged, jangly guitar rock before pulling up stumps in 1991. They hadn’t found Brisbane as socially oppressive as some bands recall of the famously volatile era, they’d just run out of things to conquer. “Basically you really had 4ZZZ and that was it,” recalls frontman and main songwriter Greg Atkinson. “And 4ZZZ was wonderful, but it was like, ‘Where do you go from there?’ There was usually about one venue going at any given time catering for all of the bands doing original stuff – or any band who would fit the scene, so to speak – so it was really difficult to do much beyond that. It was still great fun, and 4ZZZ was a great place to be able to be heard and be involved with, and there was a real sense of community within that (although that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t competitiveness and rivalry as well, and bitchiness and all that sort of stuff). But I think we got to a certain stage where we could play about once a month in Brisbane at that time, and we realised that we’d gone about as far as we could go, because no other radio station was going to pick us up, and you have to decide what you’re going to do after that – that was when we decided that we’d make a move and try Sydney.” It was long believed that their track Out Of The Darkness – also the title of their recently-released career retrospective – was a reference to this time and a sly jibe at our fair city, but Atkinson assures that this isn’t the case. “No, not really, it’s more of a personal reference,” he offers with a detectable tone of amusement. “It’s a real psychological reference, I think this was the first band where I really started to connect and was making the music that I wanted to make. The bands that I’d been in before that were a lot of floating around trying to find the right people, and were very hit and miss – when I first started I had no idea,
I knew how to structure a song but I didn’t know how to make it good, and I didn’t know how to sing properly. So Ups & Downs for me was the first real band where I felt like we were a strong contender, and we started to get an audience who were obviously into the same kind of thing that we were into. There’s a deeper reference there too about starting to come out of yourself, and maturing into someone with a bit of a vision of things.” This current Ups & Downs reunion coinciding with the new compilation isn’t their first foray in recent times – they played a stellar set at the Pig City concert back in 2007 for one – and Atkinson has no reservations about the validity of the resumption. “It’s interesting when you’re a young man, the idea of doing reunions is just something that you’d never consider, because it just seemed like something that old musicians did when they were desperate, but it’s just not like that when you get there,” he tells. “Well it can be I’m sure, but I feel like there’s just a real natural magic that came back again within a very short period of time between all of us, it only took one rehearsal and I was, like, ‘Oh gee, this is sounding really good again!’ And we’re not trying to emulate everything about how we played, we’re trying to play it considering who we are now, but bearing the soul of the songs in mind. We’re not changing the arrangements, we’re doing it as who we are now, to honour who we were then and who we are now at the same time.” Back in the day, Ups & Downs took their cues from a myriad of influences, some close to home but mostly from far further afield.
“For me at the time it was always flicking back and forth between England and America,” Atkinson recalls of his initial muse. “I was an avid, avid reader of the NME – which was a bit more of a serious music paper back then than it is now – and they were always looking for what was interesting; NME and Melody Maker were my bibles and my inspiration to follow music. It flicked between England and America regularly, just depending on who was doing what exciting music. The whole band just loved it. But even on a local level, major influences on us included The Church and early Hoodoo Gurus as well, so it wasn’t all offshore. It was a great time for music. Obvious touchstones include when REM were in their real heyday during their first few albums – they were a big influence on us – plus quite a number of the English bands like The Woodentops and obviously The Smiths and Cocteau Twins, they were all a big inspiration.” Another Ups & Downs trademark trait was the fact that they steadfastly refused to compromise their artistic vision in the quest for commercial success, occasionally to their detriment. “Yeah, we had a few situations like that,” Atkinson laughs. “We made some silly decisions in that regard, but one of the best decisions we made was when we had the opportunity to work with Gil Norton – who’d at that stage produced Pixies and bands like that – and we thought, ‘Fantastic! This is a great career move and could make for a great record’, but by the time he reached us he didn’t want to make a record like we wanted to make, he wanted to make a big, plodding mainstream thing. We pretty much killed our relationship with [then label] Mushroom by deciding not to work with him, he wanted to use a programmer and we were adamantly against that: ‘believe it or not we are actually a band and would all like to play our instruments on the record!’ I think that some of the decisions that we made like that were good, other decisions we made were silly, but that’s par for the course – you can’t always get it right. But we did have integrity about making sure that we were as honest as we could be to the music, and for that I’ll always be grateful.”
WHO: Ups & Downs WHAT: Out Of The Darkness (Feel Presents) WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Friday Nov 11
FROM BODOM TO TOP Beginning in the extreme metal underground in the early-90s, Finland’s CHILDREN OF BODOM have since fought their way to world-conquering status. MATT O’NEILL catches up with keyboardist JAANE WIRMAN to discuss the band’s journey to date.
t’s difficult to establish a significant connection between the work of Children Of Bodom in their infancy and the records they’ve delivered in their current incarnation. Granted, broad similarities are obvious to even the most uninformed parties but, outside of Alexi Laiho’s distinctive vocals and the standard hallmarks of your average heavy metal ensemble, Children Of Bodom’s various releases are nevertheless almost impossible to gather under a single category. In the beginning, the band were celebrated as neo-classical metal pioneers. Alexi Laiho’s stunning technique as a guitarist and considerable ambition as a songwriter, coupled with his background in both black metal and death metal, saw early Children Of Bodom albums like 1997’s Something Wild and 1999’s Hatebreeder enthusiastically championed (and subsequently hotly contested) as representative records of a new and exciting period for extreme metal. “Well, I was 17 when we recorded the first album. We were all just kids, then. We didn’t know shit about music, life in general or, well, anything, really,” keyboardist Jaane Wirman reflects with a laugh – the band less proud of their early works. “You have to start from somewhere, though. I do think there are some great moments in the first three albums but I think we grew a lot over the course of those records and the ones that came later. “I know there are a lot of fans who would still like for us to be doing the whole neo-classical thing but, and I don’t know what it was, all of sudden the whole band just weren’t behind that sound anymore,” the keyboardist laughs. “I think, from maybe [2003 album] Hate Crew Deathroll on, we really started to find what our real identity was as a band. We got a bit more straightforward and we just kind of left all that classical stuff behind.” In 2011, Children Of Bodom offer a very different sound. The band’s seventh studio album Relentless Reckless Forever, released earlier this year, showcases a more immediate, abbreviated sound. “The reception for Relentless Reckless Forever has been great,” Wirman says. “We like the album so much that we’ve been playing four to five songs off it live and the reception those songs have been getting has been absolutely great. People seem to really love them. I don’t think we wanted to do anything really specific with this album. We just wanted to write the best album we could – which, you know, is what we’re always trying to do anyway. “I still think it’s a really great record. We were really excited about it when it was done. It’s a little different
the best we can. Like I said, we’re really proud of the latest album and it’s the best we can do at the moment. I honestly couldn’t care less if people think that means we’ve sold out or whatever. I really just don’t care. When we released our first album, our goal – our dream – was that it would sell a thousand copies. That was it. “Like, if we did that, we would have achieved something – a thousand people would like our music,” the keyboardist elaborates. “For it to go on to eventually sell a 100,000 or 150,000 copies worldwide, well that’s just weird to us. You know, we were never aiming for commercial success. Of course, it’s nice that our albums sell and it gives us opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t have as a band – but it was never part of any plan.” but it’s still COB. It’s a kind of fresh take on the sound,” the keyboardist muses. “I haven’t really listened to it since we released it. I don’t really listen to our records unless I need to relearn songs for a gig or something like that but, going out and playing songs from Relentless every night, I’m still really proud of it.” Are You Dead Yet? is popularly considered the band’s turning point. Released in 2005, Children of Bodom’s fifth album came as definite a shock to the band’s fanbase. Most controversially, the band detuned their guitars to Drop D – a staple tactic of the popular nu-metal sound – and seemed to bury Irman’s keyboards. “Ha. No, that never happened. People tell me all the time that the keyboards have been getting quieter and quieter over the past couple of albums but I have to say – I’m present at all the mixings and that just isn’t true,” the keyboardist protests, laughing. “I think it was mainly because we changed the style of the band a bit with Are You Dead Yet? – even if we did kind of change back to normal tunings and stuff later – and it changed the way the keyboards sat in the mix. They’re still there, though. I’m still playing!” That said; it’s been a controversial evolution across the entire board – particularly given the perceived relationship between the band’s changing sound and their increased commercial success. As Children Of Bodom’s sound has grown more straightforward and immediate, their international profile has expanded seemingly proportionately. On the basis of Are You Dead Yet? alone, the band were invited to play alongside Slayer, Megadeth and Ozzy Osbourne. “Oh, I don’t care about that at all,” Wirman laughs of the accusations of commercialisation. “We do our music
To position Children Of Bodom as opportunists, however, would be to greatly oversimplify the Finnish band’s career. It’s important to remember that Children Of Bodom have never sat comfortably with any of the genres attached to their work. Something Wild brought together aspects of death and black metal at a time when both genres were considered mutually exclusive – and each album has only complicated the equation further. “For us, it was always making music and touring and partying, more so than any kind of concentrated planning or commercial navigation or whatever,” Wirman says matter-of-factly. “I’m still surprised by how successful we’ve been. When we formed, I was studying to be an architect. You know, I’d played music all my life but I never really wanted to become a professional musician. I wanted to sit in an office and draw buildings all day. “Which kind of sounds ridiculous now,” the keyboardist laughs. “We’re currently on the verge of signing a new record deal and, you know how the music industry is these days, but I’m actually pretty positive that, if we sign this deal, we are going to stick around for a good couple of years. I’m just hoping that, when we do cease our activities as a band or whatever, I can still continue working with music in some way – in a studio or something.”
WHO : Children Of Bodom WHAT: Relentless Reckless Forever (Spinefarm/Universal)
WHERE & WHEN: Arena Sunday Nov 13
FULL CIRCLE Kindly interrupting his Saturday for a midnight phone call to his former Brisbane stomping ground, TOM COONEY talks openly with BENNY DOYLE about recession culture and returning home.
BACK IN THE GROOVE After an extended hiatus from all forms of writing, The Whitlams’ frontman TIM FREEDMAN is back on the scene with a new but nostalgic sound, he tells SAM HOBSON.
t’s a balmy, Tuesday morning, and Tim Freedman’s sitting, rather caffeinated – or excited, it’s hard to tell – at the back of the musty coffee lounge at the Sofitel.The place around us is on the cusp of being too beige; teetering right at that point where the colour palette of a bygone modernity begins its slide into caravan interior; into irrelevance and old age.
“The end of Peter Brown is my attempt at doing the outro of Rocket Man by Elton John,” he describes, “and the intro of Girlfriend Heaven is 10CC’s I’m Not in Love. Old Man is a real sort’ve Doobie Brothers intro, mixed with You’re My Best Friend by Queen. I was just channelling the music that was in my bones, because I listened to a lot of that stuff when I was 13.
As he’s brought his second coffee, publicist hovering protectively to our right, the early sun pushing at the windows’ thick tinting behind us, Freedman offers a charismatic smile, still as youthful, still as exciting, and existing comfortably and timelessly amidst his aging surroundings.Taking a heavenly sip, and begins his tale.
“I hope people enjoy those references.” He laughs, a little sheepish: “there are still original lyrics involved, and some chord sequences that weren’t in the 70s!”
After a five-year break, The Whitlams’ famous frontman is back with a solo album. Though he’s long tired of writing about himself, he says, and his woes. This time ‘round, he’s turning to the tales of the colourful characters that have chequered his life, choosing to underscore their stories with the music that inspired him; the music from his youth.
“For a few months it came close,” he nods, thoughtfully. “Bits just wouldn’t fit together. Any writer will tell you that you just have to turn up every day, and then it comes eventually. I just didn’t write for three or four years. I had other things doing. I had a terrible back injury – I couldn’t even sit at the piano for two years – and then I had a daughter, so I just gave it a rest. It’s just like running, or playing football, or like a horse having a spell – you don’t bet on it until its second [time] back, you know?”
The first single from his album Australian Idle is a cover of the 1981 Billy Field classic, You Weren’t in Love With Me. It’s the first of three covers – “...and people will have to wait until the album comes out to hear my [originals], he laughs – on an record whose influences are intertwined so densely with the covers, it’s truly hard to tell the paean from the pastiche.
ased in Dublin currently after a year in Paris prior, Tom Cooney chased love to Europe and next year will be returning home with a wife and swag of fantastic music. Already available in those territories since the beginning of the year, his latest record The Repetition will see a local release this month. Recorded in Brisbane with Jamie Trevaskis during his last visit home, the album is awash with the same grace and flowing charm that made his debut Presque Vu an Australian Music Prize nominee. With constant gigging a consistent during these last three years spent in Europe, Cooney admits that being an Australian performer on foreign soil has certainly given him a beneficial point of difference. “Being Australian gives you a little point of difference and makes you a little exotic. But there are a lot of singersongwriters here. There’s about four million or five million people in [Ireland], and every second person you speak to is a singer-songwriter. So I do stand out a little bit, but you’ve got to work hard and really gig – just play gigs.” Cooney agrees that a big reason for that is rooted in the rich musical heritage that has forever been a part of the Emerald Isle. But he’s quick to point out that those roots have firmly planted themselves in more countries than Ireland alone. “I definitely think that even Australians like myself that play music, it definitely comes from an Irish tradition, however far removed, probably Irish tradition via the States and then it’s distilled back through,” he ponders. “So it’s sort of Irish folk music through Woody Guthrie, through Dylan, through whoever else and then it hits our ears and we start banging it out in our own kind of Australian way and then it’s come back over to Ireland. I think there is something that resonates in that cycle and it does help.” Making the risky decision to move to Ireland as the country entered a recession, Cooney paints a far more positive picture than a 90 billion dollar debt would lead one to believe. “The cracks started showing really quickly and unemployment really shot up,” he admits. “But the best thing about the recession over here – everything now depends on quality. Like there are these great little bars and cafes and the music scene and the arts scene – it’s all living and dying on quality and not the talk or how much money you can throw behind it because there is no money anymore. It’s all about the product and how good it is. So it’s a nice place to be at the moment.” However, already writing and recording for album number three, Cooney is more than ready to return home to Oz for the next chapter of his life “It’s a great place to live – and for music too,” he distantly states. “When you move away from Australia, you also realise just how much really good music there is at home. Maybe we take it for granted while we are there? Amazing bands, amazing songwriters, and people who seek it out and enjoy it and it’s a scene based on quality and soul. Maybe I’m romanticising it too much... “But going away and being an Australian singer abroad has really shaped what I do more in the way that it’s made me look more for my own voice and trying to be truest to that,” he resoundingly concludes. “It’s brought me back to feeling more like an Australian singer rather than someone very worldly.”
WHO : Tom Cooney WHAT: The Repetition (El Niño El Niño/Inertia) WHERE & WHEN: Live Spark @ The Powerhouse Sunday Nov 13, El Niño El Niño Cabin Show Saturday Nov 19, The Treehouse, Byron Bay Sunday Nov 20.
almost uncannily similar to that era of sound, and the style of songs he’s trying to replicate. That he’s pulled this off, and that it doesn’t sound corny – it in fact sounds quite earnest, and authentic – is probably Freedman’s biggest achievement with Australian Idle.
“We’ve never been frightened of doing covers in The Whitlams,” he starts, before correcting himself with a chuckle. “I’ve never been frightened of doing covers, at least. I mean, our first album was full of Dylan, and Randy Newman; the second album even had a Wizard Of Oz song. This time, I did three of my very favourite songs. I used to love the melody of Billy’s track when I was in high school, and there’s a beautiful lyric by Matraca Berg about a grandmother [Back When We Were Beautiful] which I’ve always wanted to do in a different way to her – make it more gentle. And then there’s a very unknown folk song that I just stumbled into one night, and I’ve changed that a lot as well.” Just as great as it is to have Freedman’s voice back in our ears, so too is it exciting to finally have that Billy Field song on physical record. “I know, I couldn’t find it on iTunes!” Freedman laments. “I had to just go to Youtube! “When I rang and told him, I said, ‘Billy, I’ve done your song.’ And he said, ‘What, are you a eunuch?’ And I said, ‘No, I’ve done it in C,’ and he said, ‘Oh yeah, I do it down there
Alongside the amount of work that went in to recreating a sound so faithful, Freedman also found it discomfortingly difficult to get straight back into his ‘songwriting groove.’
now as well.’ He sang it very, very high, you see. Hopefully lowering the key hasn’t destroyed the charm of it.” He takes another sip, and then laughs, “I mean, I think I’ve destroyed the charm of it a little bit, but I’ve given it some energy on the other side, so I hope people will like what I’ve done.” Which brings us to the overall ‘difference’ that this album has from his previous output. A heady, exuberant ode to the songs and spirit of his youth, Australian Idle may come to some people as a shock. “[With] this album I wanted to make more of a genre piece, really,” he muses, gazing out the window. Returning to his thoughts, he intimates a flowering gesture: “I wanted to make it more…70’s poptastic. And I said to the record company, ‘Look, I want to make a 70’s album. Wolfmother have done some Zepplin, and I want to try and do some daggy, piano-based pop. You know, the Elton John, and Gilbert O’Sullivan stuff. “I hope that I’ve managed to give that feeling in the record. If anything, I probably haven’t quite gone far enough [in the direction] of what I told them I’d do. I think you can still the exoskeleton of what I meant to at the start, which was definitely to just make a really cheery record that was a really fun listen. [One with] lots of melody, with the harmonies running everywhere, though maybe I’m overdoing it in parts.” But he’s being modest. He’s playing it like it’s a hammy thing he’s created. In actuality, his album’s
With a skip in his step, the last hurdle now is the album’s release, and the public’s reception. “I hope it goes good. Ideally, I’d like to tour it for 12 months. If it doesn’t, I’ll just be dragging my carcass of a career up the mountain as I have often had to in the past,” he grins. “If you don’t get any radio, or people don’t get to hear about your album, then [you] still run around and tour, [you’ll] just be playing to half as many people. I just hope they have as much fun listening to it, as I’ve had making it.” As if to mitigate that potential loss, he furthers,“…but it was the quickest album I’ve recorded – I used to spend nine months on a record – and this one only took me 40 nights. If this goes well I’ll do another one in 18 months, not six years. I’m back in the groove, now. I’ve had my break.”
WHO : Tim Freedman & The Idle WHAT: Australian Idle (Sony) WHERE & WHEN: Spotted Cow,
Toowoomba Wednesday Nov 9, Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi Thursday Nov 10, The Zoo Friday Nov 11 & Saturday Nov 12, Mullum Music Festival Sunday Nov 27
QUICKSILVER SURVIVORS When MERCURY REV’s SHAUN “GRASSHOPPER” MACKOWIAK speaks to DAN CONDON, he has just survived an enormous natural disaster after Hurricane Irene tore up lives all around his part of New York State. But, as he explains, he’s surprised to have lived this long anyway.
peaking from his Kingston, New York home, Grasshopper feels very lucky to have been relatively untouched by the enormous Hurricane Irene. His collaborative partner in Mercury Rev of over 20 years, Jonathan Donahue, wasn’t so lucky. “I hadn’t heard from Jonathan in like five days, I only heard from him today,” Grasshopper tells. “His house got pretty destroyed. He lives up by one of the rivers, the Esopus, most of his CDs and books are all gone, two of his couches got washed down the river and he’s not going to have power for another week.” When the band are in Australia they will once again be playing festival shows, something they are not only used to, but get a real kick out of. “It kind of is [challenging] because you’re playing and there’s so many bands playing and it’s like sensory overload. At the same time, as a festivalgoer myself, you get immersed in this whole vibe of seeing all this great stuff and this party atmosphere, it can be really fun as a fan seeing it.” It’s somewhat surprising to hear they enjoy the festival environment so much given the nuance in their sound that can be such a large part of the live Mercury Rev experience. “Yeah, for the band, especially playing sometimes in daylight or even just setting up, you have 15 or 20 minutes between the bands to set your stuff up and go, instead of if you’re in a club where you set up all day and have it ready. It’s kind of fun though, doing it commando style like that. Seat of your pants. Anything can happen and usually does. There’s an adrenaline rush to that also. Yeah it gets really tense and kinda crazy, but when you’re doing it you just go for it and get lost in the atmosphere. Old buddies The Flaming Lips are headlining this particular festival and any rumours that were circulating about animosity between the bands don’t seem to hold much weight. “Yeah, we talk with Wayne and Michael now and again,” Grasshopper says. “Especially with Dave Fridmann having produced both of our albums for the last 15 years or so. It’s weird, most of the time now we see them at different festivals in Belgium or in Ireland, playing the same bills and stuff. But it’s great to see them.” Speaking of Fridmann, he has been a massive part of the band’s creative pursuits for a long time and his remastering of the band’s iconic 1998
It wasn’t until the very last minute that the band confirmed the initial tracklist for the classic record. If they hadn’t have made those last changes then we would have been faced with a very different record. “The Funny Bird was the first song for a long time and it went from there but I think right before we turned it in we completely changed it and put Holes first and it kinda became completely different,” Grasshopper reflects. “That was a real struggle; we always kinda play around with that and I think it ended up making the most sense the way that it came out, but it was kinda like a last minute thing. It was weird remembering all that saga too of putting it all together like that, going back and forth with Dave Fridmann as to which songs should be in what order and stuff like that.” The decision to re-release the album and particularly to play it live was one that the band had not been particularly keen on. But time and circumstance brought them around eventually.
album Deserter’s Songs that has been the highest priority for the band since its release in May. “I think it was great,” Grasshopper says of the re-release. “Dave remastered it and we pulled out a lot of old demos and early versions of the songs that we hadn’t heard in years. It was weird to play the whole album and also just weird to hear a lot of those old songs and those early versions and just to play the record in its entirety was a weird experience. “A lot of the songs we never played ever, even during 98-99 when the record originally came out and when we were touring it. It was strange to play it like that and sort of relearn it and relearn where our heads were at at that time and how it all fit together like a weird puzzle. “A lot of the songs like Holes or Goddess, we’ve been playing through the years and have changed or whatever. But some of the songs like Hudson Line or some of the instrumental ones we haven’t ever played. So it was strange to learn them to play with the band live and then to play the whole album in sequence of how you would hear it putting the needle on the record was very strange. “But it also made some kind of weird sense. We all listened to it a bunch before we even attempted to sit down and play it, we just listened and it did make some kind of weird sense, almost like a classical album with all these different suites or like [recreating] an opera or something...”
“We don’t like to look back that much,” Grasshopper affirms. “Everybody was like ‘ten year anniversary’ and stuff. But we got some of the publishing rights back for that record and All Is Dream so I guess because of that it felt right at the time, so we did it. Barry [Hogan] from ATP had been asking us to play it for quite a few years. When he started the Don’t Look Back thing we were one of the first things he asked for, we kinda turned it down for five or six years. But we finally kinda felt right about it right now. Thirteen years, I guess it was good luck!” There will be a new Mercury Rev record soon, though the band are still in the early stages. “Yeah, Jonathan and I have been writing a bunch of stuff but I think after the Harvest shows we’re really gonna hunker down. We’ve got bits and pieces of songs we’ve been working on and stuff but we’re gonna meet up with Dave Fridmann and slog it out and start working on the new record.” Mercury Rev have had their share of trying times. Major personality conflicts within the band have threatened to split them for good, not to mention the countless hassles the band have had – particularly in their early days – with all manner of music industry people outside of the band. “Yeah, it’s pretty surprising,” Grasshopper laughs of their prolonged existence. “I would never have guessed that we would make it that long. Or that I would live that long.”
WHO : Mercury Rev WHERE & WHEN: Harvest Festival, Brisbane Riverstage and Botanical Gardens Saturday Nov 19
SPACE ISSUES It’s a little tricky to pin down American metal act THE CONTORTIONIST into an exact sub-genre, and that’s a fact that works to their advantage. Guitarist ROBBY BACCA offers some help to LOCHLAN WATT. and suggests that the band will head in a “more musical” direction for their impending second album.
GOOD FRIENDS Neighbours, Ben Lee, Los Angeles, Brad Wood, Seagrass Studio – for SOPHIE KOH, this was the recipe that cooked up her upcoming third record Oh My Garden. On the phone from her Melbourne home, she expands on the creative journey with BENNY DOYLE. days was what we ended up mixing. I just ended up thinking, ‘God, we actually like each other’.”
“The progressive thing I like,” he prefaces. “The whole ‘djent’ thing... I don’t really see a real strong connection between The Contortionist and djent. I’m not even sure what djent is. It doesn’t seem like a real genre to me. We’re honestly trying to get away from the deathcore thing a little bit.”
The album is a retreat from the quirky guitar-pop that has become familiar with the Melbourne musician. In its place; electronic flickering and intertwined percussive rhythms, offering the listener deeper indie roads than Koh’s songwriting has ever ventured down.
Bacca credits their management with being responsible for hooking up the band’s deal with Good Fight Entertainment, a multi-faceted music company with a label component recently established by Ferret Records founders Carl Severson and Paul Conroy.
t’s been a rather quick and steady rise for The Contortionist, having only formed in 2007 after all the members of the group “went to school together” and started “just kind of dicking around with covering songs”. They’ve since released two EPs of fret-melting originals, before they unleashed 2010’s remarkable Exoplanet full-length. Since then the band’s touring has become as relentless as the best of them, and in fact Bacca’s just arrived home from their American tour with Periphery, The Human Abstract and Textures. “The tour was amazing. Definitely our favourite tour that we’ve ever done,” he reflects. “Just playing sold out shows. Everyone in Periphery is awesome, everyone in all the bands is really awesome.” When comparing their early expectations to their current position in the world of metal, he admits: “I never thought that I would be touring with bands like Periphery and The Human Abstract – bands that I used to listen to when I was first getting into this kind of thing. That’s been really cool.”
So what kind of genre tags does Exoplanet fall into exactly? After a light sigh and a long pause, Bacca simply says “space metal”, a response understandable given their often cosmic lyrical ponderings and futuristic synth layers. Dealing out all sorts of brutality and melody within their sound, he also states their original influences to have included “Coheed And Cambria, Between The Buried And Me, Rush, all kinds of stuff. It was like a smorgasbord of music.” With the metal media throwing around words like progressive, djent and deathcore in trying to describe their methodical madness, he doesn’t seem too concerned,
“It was in Studio City and it was one of those big Californian bungalows,” Koh explains on Wood’s studio location. “Brad had a little shed out back and being LA, it had amazing quality software. But every home in that suburb is owned by a producer of some sort so it’s no different to any other place. I was just lucky to meet a guy who understood me.”
“Well actually getting management was kind of the first step. We realised at that point we could potentially – maybe – turn this into a career. We started talking to a couple of different labels.” With many offers on the cards for the five-piece, what did Good Fight have that the other’s didn’t? “They were a newer label, and they seemed totally on the same page as us. They wanted to give us creative control, which we really wanted. We didn’t want somebody saying, ‘You’re going to be this kind of band’, and we wanted to do what we wanted to do. “These guys were down with that because they were totally into the sound, and they were two guys who have been doing this for years – they started Ferret Records – so there was nothing really bad about the deal. “We’re slowly working on it right now,” he elaborates on their next release. “This week we’re going to get together and start slowly putting all of our ideas together. We have nothing really set yet, everything is still in our heads. We have some time before Australia to write, and some time after. We’ll have like two months to finish writing, and we’re going into the studio in February. It’s booked for February in Orlanda, Florida, at Audio Hammer with Jason Seucof and Eyall Lemmy from the band Daath.”
WHO : The Contortionist WHERE & WHEN: Blackbox,
Nambour Wednesday Nov 23, Sun Distortion Studios Thursday Nov 24, Shed 5, Gold Coast Friday Nov 25 (all shows all ages)
just received an email one day saying ‘Hey, do you want to be on Neighbours?’ which was bizarre because I always joked that I would be the token Asian girl on Neighbours since I was about 15.” Sophie Koh chuckles at the thought as she rewinds the clock back to the beginning of 2008, where the wheels were put in motion for her forthcoming release Oh My Garden. “So, I was in the green room and Ben [Lee] was recording another episode. I handed him my CD and said, ‘Hey, if you want to have a listen...’ And being the amazing guy that he is, he went back to his Los Angeles home and wrote me a review of the album in an email, saying if I ever wanted to come to LA and work together, let’s do it. It was a time when I was ready to basically accept [new challenges]...” When Koh arrived, Lee introduced her to uber-producer Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins), whom has been at the helm for Lee’s most recent output. Wood proved to be the creative other Koh was searching for. “We booked three days, just testing out the waters to see how [Brad and I] would get along. Then in those three days, we wrote my current single Lo-Fi, and two other songs that could be singles as well, recorded it, then what we took away in those three
But don’t let all this talk of international recording and Hollywood hangouts fool you. Koh still had to make regular trips back to Melbourne to continue funding her Californian dreams. She thanks inviting exchange rates and cost-price flying for making this happen. But never did the LA recording time veer towards a holiday. When Koh touched down in LAX, the game face was always secured. “It felt like work,” she states honestly. “They were working me hard too – I used to do a lot of lyrics on the spot and I used to wake up at five in the morning and work on lyrics because I was so focused on making a good impression. I didn’t want to go to the studio underprepared, and I’m a bit of a nerd so I didn’t want to disappoint people. “So I would wake up at five and I stayed in a nearby house that was owned by a lady who had two grand pianos. I took up renting there for a couple of weeks at a time and would wake up with the house to myself and the pianos and I’d just work on stuff. It was almost like a retreat slash working holiday,” Koh conclusively reflects. “But, it was what I needed, just to be by myself and to concentrate on my music and to not have to worry about the usual daily stuff.”
WHO: Sophie Koh WHAT: Lo-Fi (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Brisbane
Powerhouse Sunday Nov 20
THEY CALL ME BROUS SIRCUS TRICKS Melbourne musician SOPHIA BROUS is fast becoming known for her intriguing brand of pop dynamism. TYLER McLOUGHLAN learns a thing or two about BROUS’ weird and wonderful musical influences upon the release of her self-titled debut EP.
Heading into their final two shows for the year, quirky doom-pop outfit SILVER SIRCUS are winding things down. Frontwoman LUCINDA SHAW talks with SAM HOBSON about the year that’s been. great cross-sell, “and this [upcoming] album is going to have those [hand-in-hand] aspects the same as they are in life; you know, love and loss, and the violence alongside beauty and gentleness, and those qualities are always going to be present within our work.
music and it’s a way of making music that you just don’t hear on the radio and I think that’s what excites me about it. You find these lost sounds that you don’t hear every day.” Making the decision to co-produce her fivetrack debut with Scott Horscroft (Silverchair, The Presets, Sleepy Jackson) and Shags Chamberlain, Brous enjoyed the hands-on experience.
ith a jazz background that presented opportunities to study in the US, Sophia Brous returned home to become the youngest ever director of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival at the age of 22. Combining formal training with wildly eclectic influences from 50s noir and exotica, to Europop, psych and lounge, the 26-year-old has recently left behind her backstage festival role for centre stage and is now known simply as Brous (pronounced Bruce). “I love all this music but it doesn’t feel like pastiche,” says the authentically colourful musician known for her majestic vocal ability. Recently releasing a self-titled debut EP filled with choruses of voice, fuzz guitar and synth, she’s a woman with bold ideas on pop grandeur who could spend hours discussing her influences “Exotica was this sort of movement at the end of the 50s where there were a bunch of different composers and people who sort of had a bit of a jazz background who all became really interested in music from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands,” she says, vocalising the percussive nature of the music with her tongue and adding a choral vocal to make her point. “People play it in cafes and stuff like that all the time. It’s just really kind of fruity, amazing stuff so I got really interested in that. “European choral music, folk choral music, is so incredible,” she continues. “I was hearing this Lithuanian men’s choir recently and it just blew my mind. I mean it’s
“I was very, very involved all along the way in the mixing and mastering as well. Shags Chamberlain is in my band and he has had a really big influence – Shags is sort of like an encyclopedia of music,” she enthuses, describing the gamut of vintage analog synths and organs collected by the keysman who also plays with Pikelet. “Then with Scott, I was really interested in working with him because I knew that he had come from a bit of an experimental background but then he moved into pop and rock production, and I thought that that was an interesting tension… I kind of liked the idea of creating a real sense of grandeur and scope from a production point of view but then also using strange techniques and having time to explore it together. Scott was very, very supportive… We went in there with these songs and ended up kind of having that time to layer all those choir parts and it was so much fun. We were sort of just laughing and jumping about, playing all the instruments, because it was just fun being able to be able to create that sound wall together.” Considering her full and complex recorded output, Brous looks at the live show as a different beast entirely as she prepares to take her five-piece band up the east coast to celebrate the launch of her EP. “[The songs] bestow enough sort of drama and mood in themselves that all those extra parts don’t need to be there I don’t think… It’s a fairly different sound but I think it has the same energy. I work really hard to try and communicate as much of it as possible with my one voice as opposed to having 40 men’s voices behind me like it is recorded.”
WHO: Brous WHAT: Brous (One Louder/Universal) WHERE & WHEN: Alhambra Thursday Nov 17
“But in terms of performing, no – it’s just been a lovely year.”
hat we like to do really is organise good shows, big shows, special shows,” Lucinda Shaw begins. “We’re not the sort of band who wants to do a backroom residency or something. Our shows, we like to frame them in a theatrical sensibility so that people feel like they’re having a really special experience.” After a spoil of performances this year, with each requiring a tremendous amount of effort as the band – formally a duo, but with a five-strong troupe of touring interlopers – put on a far more ‘adorned’ show than the average outfit, the locals are gearing up for their last hometown show before heading off for what will be the year’s closing act in Adelaide. “I think The Zoo already gives a gorgeous atmosphere,” Shaw muses, hinting at what we’re to expect. “We’ve got these beautiful graphic projections, and this lovely photography, so it’ll be like having a moving backdrop to what we represent. I’ve got the whole band lined up too, which means it’s really quite an orchestral sound you’ll be getting. “I don’t know how old The Zoo is now – maybe 19 years? – but it’s always felt like this wonderful, warm, rich home to come back to; it’s just as special for us every time.” But does all this coming to a close mark a bittersweet moment for the band? “Not bitter at all,” she says serenely, her voice caught on a wave of pleasure. “Just glorious. “The music’s of course bittersweet, though, and it always has that darkness to it,” she continues, with a
“Actually,” she starts, caught on a sudden thought, “our James Lees, he’s taken to this little trick recently with us, [and that’s to] go sleepwalking. He does the photographs for our imagery, you see, and because it’s been a stressful time for a bunch of us, part of his expression of that was to neurotically go sleepwalking, and literally take photos while he was asleep, just in this altered state!” She’s almost consumed by laughter. “So the imagery for our new album has been taken literally on a camera held by a sleeping person. It’s so ghostly! He tells me, ‘if you can use your neurosis to write songs, I can use mine to take photographs.’ “So yes, I think we’re a bit of a boutique act,” she concludes with another laugh. “I don’t think [we] exist in exactly the tiniest niche, I think we’re simply not in the mainstream. We’re not always so dark, you know – some of our stuff is quite loving, and luscious, and giving. People talk about the music industry as this…thing. But I don’t care about the music industry; I care about music as an art form, and as a cultural expression. We’re artists! We’re not business people.” So as the year closes, and the band remain happily independent, but what of their debut long-player that we were supposed to have heard by now? Half the songs are on the internet already, and there’s only so long we can subsist on that (nonetheless fantastic) EP of theirs. “The main reason it’s not finished is because every time I write something, James says, ‘Let’s put that on the album too!’” She laughs again, “It’s just getting bigger and bigger, but I do expect it by the new year; we should be done soon.”
WHO: Silver Sircus WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Thursday Nov 10
STEPPING OUT The ever-earnest HARLEY YOUNG has broken away from the galloping Ridgeback County and transformed into a solo balladeer. BENNY DOYLE talks to the Sandgate local about overcoming nerves and remaining true to his roots.
HOUSE MASTER Dutch DJ HARDWELL – aka ROBBERT van de CORPUT – is fast becoming a global phenomenon. Already massive at home, he tells CHRIS YATES about the myriad lessons he’s already learnt at the young age of 22. The label he speaks of is Revealed Recordings which came to life in 2010. He speaks with a passion bordering on ferocity for the many acts he is bringing to the public through this vehicle, and gets almost as ferocious when explaining his reasons for starting it.
“It was great because me and Dan have very similar tastes in music so we smashed out the EP in 12 hours,” Young admits. “I did a few overdubs with Cameron Smith from Ghost Notes as well at Incremental Records so that took a bit longer, maybe a day and a bit. But the good chunk of it was done in 12 hours, with Dan, from scratch. He’s such a good multi-instrumentalist that it was just so easy for him to jump onto things and everything seemed to work really well. “But, I’ve actually got a full album ready, a concept album about Sandgate – I shit you not,” he continues with a chuckle. “I’ve got it properly demoed and everything, I just need the money to put it together and record it. But I just thought in the meantime I need something out to keep playing gigs, so I just smashed out this four-track EP. I didn’t want to use any of the songs I’d written for Flinders Parade, the album that will hopefully come out in the near future. The last song on the EP [Off My Guard], I’ve had that in the can for a while. But the first three, I just wrote really quickly and they’ve turned out to be some of my favourite songs.”
think it is a lot more daunting getting up by myself and it’s something I really had to get used to. I think the first solo gigs I played by myself, it was incredibly scary. When I had Ridgeback, because they’re all such great musicians, I could always fall back on them. Getting up by myself, it is just a totally different experience so it took a lot of getting used to – I’m still getting there.” Young is talking candidly about the vulnerability of being a solo performer as opposed to the frontman performing. Although he admits beta blockers and a few beers are a pretty good recipe to take the nerves off, it’s the approval of his peers which has really helped the Brisbane musician take to his new role with increased panache. “There’s been a few good gigs recently where I really started to feel comfortable standing onstage and a few people have said they really like my music and that really helps with the confidence and everything, just to be able to get up there and not really care, and just belt it out whether the crowd like it or not.” My Social Debut is Young’s aptly-titled first solo recording and was recorded in an electric spurt with Dan Mansfield (The Gin Club).
Pushed to expand on his upcoming musical letter to his Brisbane stomping ground, Young explains it with such genuine affinity that it’s hard to deny his honest sentiment, one which will resonate with most everyone. “I’ve lived in Sandgate for 25 years. I’m sure I’ll move other places eventually but I just have a real love for the place and I’m a big fan about writing and singing songs about where you’re from. I think there’s a lot of bands that try and pretend they’re from the UK or the US, but I’m from Brisbane – more importantly, I’m from Sandgate – and that’s really shaped most of my writing. The everyday drag of suburban life – there’s something romantic about it I guess, so I thought I’d try and encapsulate that in an album somehow. It sounds a bit like a cliché, but there is something very special in the very ordinary things of life – they can be very beautiful and very depressing sometimes.”
WHO: Harley Young WHAT: My Social Debut (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Black Bear Lodge Friday Nov 11
ardwell is blowing up fast. In the last couple of weeks his latest record Cobra has gone from nothing to blitzing the electronic music download portal Beatport, scoring him both a number one position on the Dutch chart and an amazing top ten in the overall chart. He hasn’t exactly had time to bask in its success however. While conducting the interview he can be heard furiously digging through music putting together his radio show Hardwell On Air, broadcast weekly on the national Dutch radio network Slam!FM. It’s his only day off between touring Europe and heading to Australia, so he’s multi-tasking trying to get everything that needs doing done. He was also heavily involved in the Dutch electronic music forum A.D.E. (or Amsterdam Dance Event) in October, and made an effort beyond the usual networking and workshops. “It was pretty cool actually,” he starts casually before getting more and more excited with each sentence. “I threw my own party for the first time, for my label. We hadn’t had any parties yet, so it was the first one and it was completely sold out. The party was really big – there was a massive crowd and I’m still really buzzing from it!”
“I started my own label because I didn’t want to deal with any A&R,” he says bluntly. “It might sound really weird, but I can’t understand why the big labels have an A&R manager who is sitting at a desk for five days of the week. He never goes to a club – he doesn’t know what’s going on – but he’s the guy telling you what you have to change in your record because he has a commercial vision for the track. I think 90 percent of DJs make tracks for the dancefloor – they’re not radio-minded. I hate dealing with A&R managers who want me to change the track. I’m like, ‘How do you know? You’ve never seen the track work on the dancefloor. Come on man!’ I had so many friends putting out great tracks and the labels weren’t responding, so I was like, ‘This is crazy!’ I really believe in these guys and their music, so that’s why I did it. I want to make a creative platform for one big family of producers and DJs, and I think these guys I’m pushing will be really big in two years or something like that.” He tells another recent story from the A.D.E. to hammer this point home. “Most of these A&R they base their ideas on YouTube comments! 14-year-olds making comments on YouTube videos, come on!” he’s audibly excited and gone up about six decibels by this point. “Is that how you make your vision, on YouTube comments? I know it’s true. That’s why Justin Bieber is so big. I had a lot of guys at A.D.E. from the business, no names but you know, the big record labels, came to me only to say how many YouTube views my videos got. I was like, ‘Really? You’re idea of hype is based on YouTube views? DJs make the best A&R managers – every DJ – because we see exactly what’s going on in the clubs, everyday, worldwide. It’s about the real clubbers, you know? They’re the guys that know what’s really going on.”
WHO: Hardwell WHAT: Cobra (Revealed Recordings) WHERE & WHEN: The Met Friday Nov 11, Platinum, Gold Coast Saturday Nov 12
SINGLES by CHRIS YATES
(El Nino El Nino/Inertia)
(Speak N Spell/Inertia)
One of those releases that sits in between the album and EP format, for the purposes of making it at the top of the list this week we’re calling it an EP. It deserves to be there – Ghoul are a mish mash of influences and styles that there’s no point really trying to pin it down. Most of the EP is a bit wonky, with vastly different musical ideas patched over the top of each other – often with a complicated randomness that causes confusion over a simple bassline. This is the case on Dreambeat with sparse vocals giving the track the feeling of a song and not just a freeform jam. 3 Mark is the single off the collection, and really makes the whole release worth it. The vocals and melody push the song along, with the flourishes of experimentation adding depth and colour around the edges – not being the central focus. It’s the most successful ‘song’ on the release, with the most fully realised production. Ghoul still seem to be feeling their sound out, but they’re almost onto something incredibly cool here.
THE BLACK KEYS Lonely Boy
The rare example of a band who continue to improve as their popularity grows, The Black Keys’ unlikely hook up with Danger Mouse continues to yield fantastic results. The new album El Camino is less than a month away now, Lonely Boy is the first taste and it’s pretty delicious. It sounds effortless and simplistic, but the driving drums and tasteful riffwork are very cool – the Keys’ interpretation of blues is so easy to digest and timeless in its presentation that it’s hardly surprising their reputation continues to grow and their music sucks in new listeners at a blistering rate. With a second Blakroc collaboration also in the works, 2012 is going to be another big year for the band, and deservedly so.
For what is unarguably one of the most anticipated dubstep full-lengths of the year, The Vision boasts surprisingly little in the way of dubstep. There are definite hints of Joker’s heritage – stripped-down halfstep rhythms, punishing sub-bass – but, for all of the genres showcased on the Bristol producer’s debut album (and there are more than a few on display), dubstep is actually one of the less obvious touchstones. Cinematic opener Intro is an obvious tribute to the iconic work of synth pioneers Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre, vocal cuts like Slaughter House and Lost bleed R&B through their stabbing basslines while even more obviously dubstep-affiliated workouts like My Trance Girl and Tron owe as much to neon 80s electro as they do to dance music’s current genre du jour. It’s a bold showing from a producer whose early success was directly linked to dubstep’s increased popularity. Still, Joker has always maintained he’s more than a dubstep producer and The Vision proves it. Listening to the precocious producer’s debut album, it’s hard not to marvel at both his skills and ambition. Melodically, The Vision is easily one of the most sophisticated and crafted records to emerge from the dubstep sound (or any of its various affiliates). The songwriting and arrangement of early album highlight Milky Way alone is simply breathtaking. More impressive, however, is the producer’s ambition. With The Vision, Joker has fashioned a remarkably idiosyncratic sound. While it isn’t difficult to highlight forebears (the aforementioned Vangelis) and contemporaries (Rustie’s influence is obvious), The Vision’s blend of dubstep groove, electro texture and R&B melody never fully resembles anything other than a more sophisticated version of Joker’s own earlier releases. An absolutely masterful debut, by anyone’s estimation.
The Repetition is troubadour Tom Cooney’s sophomore effort after last year’s Presque Vu, a debut that touched a lot of people and garnered it an Australian Music Prize nomination. This release travels down the same bruised, pastoral route, yet The Repetition is anything but, providing more warmth and variation in creating a vista that many will crawl inside of and never leave. The album title itself is taken from dual viewpoints – the name of an old closed down metal works factory in a small town in Wales, and thematically from thoughts of the in-between, the ebb and flow of things, intertwining cycles, love and distance and care and indifference. With such notions being well-traversed and Cooney’s eloquent, stately vocal delivery, the occasional comparison to Nick Drake is inevitable, such as on opener Choice (the lovely vocals from Corinna Scanlon notwithstanding). But the stark, melancholic beauty of that master is absent here, replaced instead with a warmth permeated with varied instrumentation and wry lyricism. The lackadaisical ambience about the sunny minutiae of simple pleasures is a beautiful touchstone on Photos, and the jangly guitar and organ that permeates Always Almost evokes a staple Go-Betweens tune. It is in the majesty of tracks like Avery and Lyre Birds Of The In Between that Cooney really steps out of the shadows of those who have paved the way to make his own voice heard, something aided further by the quality of people that flesh out the production (Laura Jean and Helen Franzmann on backing vocals, Jen Sholakis on drums). The Repetition has some stunning moments and will be a welcome release for Cooney’s many fans, and there are glimpses throughout that he has a stellar work in him – when he finds his one true voice. HHH ½
Releasing his debut solo effort The Transplant Tapes in 2006, local musician Danny Widdicombe is no stranger to making music with ill health at the fore of his mind. Beginning the writing process for third album Find Someone prior to and in the midst of European adventures with his 2010 GW McLennan scholarship songwriting buddy Andrew Morris, Widdicombe’s leukemia returned, though his will remained strong. The resulting album, with some overdubs even recorded from his hospital bed, shows Widdicombe as a musician skilled at weaving many styles into the fabric of one release without forcing a fit or compromising the flow. This isn’t necessarily a new discovery, though a heightened level of experimentation is, particularly as Widdicombe’s gentle vocal bends through a dousing of reverb to make bedfellows of an unlikely mix of acoustic guitar and otherworldly synth on beautifully somber opener We All Do Better. Rolling into lead single No One Else, he sounds like a youthful Neil Young in both timbre and composition style. Nodding to his bluegrass background with The Wilson Pickers on the album’s banjo and fiddled-happy title track, there’s also some jazzy numbers to be found, alongside harmonica, folk, cello, thick Gomez-like harmonies and a lot of swing in both percussion and lead guitar breakouts. The slight-fuzz of rock gem highlight All Your Secrets is catchy as hell, and there’s even room for the delay-rich, spaced-out guitar instrumental Futurotica. Find Someone is an interesting study in musical diversity, and in human spirit too. There are lyrical moments that could be taken as Widdicombe referencing his health (the country swing of Black Magic), though the woe-is-me element that you could easily forgive is nowhere to be heard amongst this accomplished and largely uplifting release, making Find Someone a tribute to the strength of a songwriter, and a person. HHHH
HHHH½ Matt O’Neill
THE OYSTER MURDERS Ghosts In Our Wake (Independent)
Brisbane’s ridiculously awesome fourth wave of indie bands (I just made that up) is well and truly in full swing, but it’s not just the quantity of material getting pumped out that is so exceptional. The quality and diversity of sounds being explored by artists and bands is truly inspiring for the sleepy scene, and you can add The Oyster Murders to the roll call of bands you really need to check out. Ghosts In Our Wake trudges through a thick and murky fog of dreamy swirliness – building slowly to a crescendo that never happens. Production flourishes from Magoo add texture and warmth, fleshing out a good song into something much more than just that.
KITCHEN’S FLOOR 116
Less than a minute-and-a-half long, 116 by Brisbane’s messy rockers Kitchen’s Floor is not much more than a trundling riff, some warbled lyrics and a moderate build up to break the bounce at about the 30 second mark. Beautiful thing is, it needs little more. Less noisy than some of their more out-there experiments, it’s just messy lo-fi pop music, ugly and scrappy, but without menace or agro. The line-up for the band may have changed for their second full-length release Look Forward To Nothing, but Kitchen’s Floor singer Matt Kennedy’s songs retain the same character and charm that he is obviously channelling into his tunes naturally, without over-thinking or dramatising.
THE GETAWAY PLAN Requiem
Nearly four years on from Other Voices, Other Rooms, the album that brought the band to a significantly wider audience, and post-break up–make up–reformation The Getaway Plan delivers Requiem, following months preparing and recording the album in Toronto, Canada. Before heading into the studio with producer David Bottrill (Muse, Placebo, Tool), frontman and songwriter Matthew Wright was talking of Diorama, the Bottrillproduced silverchair album that marked their shift from grunge to orchestral art pop. For silverchair it was a drastic change; they seemed a different band with an entirely new – and freshly kaleidoscopic – vision. Requiem has similar scope; a majority of the album is drenched in strings (most effective on S.T.A.R.S with their emotive pizzicato, swelling in title track Requiem and piercing in The Reckoning’s climax) and further orchestration on the foursome’s new songs comes from instruments as varied as French horn, flute, oboe and enough hand percussion for a full orchestra. There’s also a boys’ choir lending an impressive swell to the emotion inherent in Heartstone. Wright wields his piano skills to the most effect to date; subdued on Oceans Between Us, robust and central on Coming Home and spritely and melodic in at-times cringeworthy Child Of Light. But, unlike silverchair’s Diorama, Requiem sounds like the same The Getaway Plan; more a progression (and an impressive one at that) than a close-to-complete reimagining. The album is steeped in a macabre melodrama and delivered with earnestness, but whether it will be received as such by an audience wider (and less niche) than the diehards amassed with their heavier, earlier releases remains uncertain. A brave move by a band recently reunited. HHHH
LOU REED AND METALLICA Lulu
A concept album written around two plays from a 19 century German playwright that chronicle a dancer’s demise into a life of prostitution… which musicians other than Lou Reed and Metallica would be arrogant enough to consider this a good idea? Lulu is the sound of two artists actively committed to completely alienating their respective fanbases once and for all.
Lulu is such an uncomfortable listen that it makes you feel depraved, nauseous and looking towards that bottle of prescription meds like it’s the only logical option. As Reed rambles on like a senile war veteran recalling the brutal horrors of past bloodshed, Metallica sloppily riff in the background. The laughable background howls of James Hetfield on The View. The way Lars Ulrich seems to trail Robert Trujillo bass guitar completely offbeat throughout the album. It’s like they are acting as a parody of Garage Days. Reed isn’t a man noted for his electrifying vocal tone. By combining his dull nature with the monotone chugging of Metallica in middle-road autopilot, the pairing have created a musical coma, a record breathing, but so devoid of personality or life. If this was a mere curiosity only to be found on some obscure bootleg, perhaps this abomination could be looked over. But when you take into account the massive marketing push, the audacious statements by both camps, and the sheer hype that has been blowing smoke up Lulu’s arse since last year, it makes this 90-minute journey into aural hell all the more offensive. To say that Lulu is complete shit would be doing feces everywhere a great disservice. Without any redeeming musical quality, creative sense or foreseeable logic, this isn’t just the year’s worst record, this could very well be one of the worst albums of all-time. ½
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE Sky Full of Holes
Since 1996, New York’s Fountains Of Wayne have been well-known for catchy power-pop songs with left-ofcentre lyrics. Their single Radiation Vibe, from their self-titled debut, was a triple j favourite. Then there was their biggest hit: the infamous MILF anthem Stacy’s Mom. But while that song was a big, goofy pop track that didn’t demand too much in-depth analysis, FoW seem determined not to repeat the formula. Sky Full of Holes, the band’s fifth record, is a much more subdued effort that ditches electric guitars and big pop hooks in favour of acoustics and less dynamic melodies. It’s a pleasant enough listen, but feels like it’s missing something. Songwriters Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger still have a knack for ingeniously clever lyrics, but most of the tunes don’t do the lyrics justice. This is one of those rare records where the words are more compelling than the music. This is particularly evident on lead single Richie And Ruben. The tale of two incompetent business entrepreneurs (“Richie and Ruben don’t know what they’re doin’”) is certainly entertaining, but the wryly humorous lyrics are let down by a lacklustre and forgettable tune. Meanwhile, The Summer Place and A Dip In The Ocean have the potential to be soaring pop classics but don’t quite make it off the ground. Which isn’t to say there aren’t some great moments: Action Hero, with its sparse guitar chords and melancholy fingerpicking, manages to be both amusing and tender, while Cold Comfort Flowers is a standout track with a quirky, delightful keyboard riff that seems to be lifted from a different album entirely. Sky Full of Holes is recommended for Fountains Of Wayne fans, but it’s far from the band’s best, and probably won’t make much of an impression on newcomers. HHH
Pearl is a pleasing return to the world of The Killjoys. Anna Burley’s vocals are as sonorous as ever, never more so than on the ethereal title track. When Burley sings “This will return you to my side” on opener Ghost, the spine tingles. Craig Pilkington cannot help but bathe the listener in the glow of his shimmering guitar, his lines on Freefalling effortless and comforting, an old friend that you forgot how much you missed until they strolled back through the door. That said, there is something about Pearl that seems a little restrained, and not necessarily for the better. On past albums such as Ruby (which has also been packed with Pearl as a delectable two album release), the sense of graceful warmth permeated throughout every track. Yet with tracks like Hey Look At Me Now or Mary Wirth, the formula feels staid, despite the fantastic musicianship throughout. Whilst a solid tune, and featuring a great trumpet solo from Pilkington, I’m Drinking So Much It’s Coming Out Of My Eyes is a country tune that pales when held up alongside greats of the genre. Closing track Ladbroke Grove is a middle of the road ending, although Burley’s vocals remain imminently evocative. Pearl isn’t a terrible album by any stretch of the imagination, with Pilkington in particular sounding as prevalent as ever. Yet the album as a whole comes across as pedestrian when held up to the light of previous efforts (having Ruby available alongside this release makes this even more evident), and apart from a few numbers, those albums will be the ones to gravitate back to. HH½
Free All The Monsters
Free All The Monsters is Dunedin’s finest indie exports The Bats’ eighth release in a career spanning three decades, and it rivals everything that they have done previously – a hefty statement, but one that is easy to back up. Robert Scott is a pop rock evergreen, and shows that he is losing none of the songwriting nous and maturity that has threaded through his entire back catalogue.
New Jersey band Real Estate has earned a fervent fanbase with their languid, jangly rock tunes seemingly tailor-made for lazy summer afternoons. Latest album Days does not veer away from this tried and true formula. And whilst individual tracks stand out as quality songs, as a whole Real Estate do little more than create indie musak.
Opening with Long Halls, the album marks its intent early, offering a track that is fall of shimmering tenderness and Scott’s iconic relaxed vocals. The connection of their almost lackadaisical pop with psychedelic edges rears its head on the warbling guitars on Space Junk, the beautifully eloquent On The Bank and It’s Not The Same. The difference is that when The Bats venture into darker territory, such as the urgent In The Subway or the poetic When The Day Comes, everything – from Scott’s vocals to the instrumentation and lyrics – are unrushed, harbouring a fully-formed maturity that has cleverly brushed up the rawness of their past oeuvre to create a streamlined beast. In fact the name of the album bodes well – by letting go of the shambolism and frivolousness and infusing their sound with a more romantic, woozy temperament yet with a crisp production, the songs resonate.
Things kick off with Days, a track that could be patented as “the Real Estate sound”™ – Martin Courtney’s echoed, soothing vocals, Matt Mondaline’s sonorous guitar lines, Alex Bleeker and Jackson Pollis providing the understated yet driving rhythms. It’s a good song. Even better is It’s Real, a somewhat beautiful, up-tempo number that you could see any number of current indie bands aspiring to sculpt in order to attack the airwaves over the summer. Note the word “summer” – Courtney and co seem interested in this season only, which in many ways is a fair enough ideal, but provides problematic issues. That is, repetition. Kinder Blumen, Green Aisles, Out Of Tune – they become interchangeable so close is their structures and intent, almost like listening to the soundtrack to Garden State. Municipality benefits from an interesting intro that surprisingly evokes Dire Straits, and closing duo Younger Than Yesterday and All The Same are imbued with darker hues, before entering familiar terrain once more.
Even when they make slight detours, such as on the instrumental Canopy, such experimentations feel inherent rather than extraneous. Rather than a possible rehash or cash-in, Free All The Monsters confirms that The Bats have a lot of fuel left in the tank. HHHH Brendan Telford
Maybe it’s Courtney’s vocals that are the issue – whilst certainly nice, there is little deviation of tone and pitch from one song to the next. It could be that Mondaline’s solo output, Ducktails, is superseding the band in its insistence of infusing this sound with more colourful peripheries. Whatever the reason, Days does little more than provide (albeit good) background music. HHH Brendan Telford
To some, this album will come as a shock. To others, it is long overdue. The debut solo effort of Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump, Soul Punk finds the pop-punk star temporarily banishing the ‘-punk’ side of the equation in favour of 80s-flavoured r’n’b and electro-pop. While the concept may sound shocking, there have been preludes to this kind of transformation in Fall Out Boy’s output since 2005’s Dance, Dance single and Stump’s vocals have always arrived drenched in soul influences. In truth, Soul Punk is actually a pretty impressive piece of work. In addition to writing all the material on offer, Stump also handles the majority of production and all instrumental duties and, when it all comes together, the former punk is borderline unstoppable. Opener Explode is such a high-octane blitzkrieg of irresistible hooks, danceable rhythms and surprisingly clever lyrics it actually seems a waste to immediately progress onto the rest of the album. Even when matters get too OTT and schmaltzy (as on lead single This City and many other cuts), it’s hard not to marvel at the grooves and musical arrangements Stump has conjured beneath his songwriting. Janet Jackson at her most successful could not have demanded better backdrops. Where things do fall apart is mainly in the mix and engineering. One could definitely take issue with the unadulterated amount of cheese on display (though, for an unproven lyricist, Stump is surprisingly original) but, really, that’s part of the charm of a record like Soul Punk. The problem is co-producer Manny Sanchez’s mixing and engineering. Rather than the warm, glowing sounds that Stump is clearly trying to channel, Sanchez opts for the noisy, tinny synth noisiness of contemporary pop production (see: Lady Gaga). It mars what could have been a near-perfect blast of retro-pop. HHH½
FILM REVIEW CRAWL Crawl is a remarkably strong debut. It’s a tension-piece, arguably more-so than it is a horror film. Its story is a familiar one; the home invasion, the tested damsel with the conspicuously missing boyfriend. But it’s also, in its smaller moments, much greater than those familiar parts. What makes Crawl a success is that it ebbs with a soft undercurrent of some really creepy, and deliberately unexpanded-upon things. Things like: the spirit of a lost parent lingering over the proceedings in the house, brief flits with sexual fetish, and the strangeness that some characters are loud, broad caricatures and others are quiet, real individuals. There’s an incredibly tense expanse of time where we silently follow the protagonist’s terrified face as she creeps silently around her darkened house, first perturbed by a door that keeps squeaking slightly ajar, second unhinged by the Lynchian darkness that hides behind it, and then caught
IT’S ALL ABOUT SEOUL A Korean junkbar is the focus of Metro Arts’ final Independents piece for the year, UNDERGROUND. Helen Stringer talks to co-writer Jeremy Neideck. In the back alley labyrinth of Seoul, a sometimes haphazard metropolis densely packed with ten million people and overflowing with the detritus of a heaving population, three unlikely characters find themselves in an underground junkbar, their adventure presided over by its eccentric proprietor and augmented by an array of performers. It’s an unfamiliar setting for Brisbanites more used to walking the clean streets of a city whose inhabitants are largely dispersed throughout a leafy suburbia but for transdisciplinary artist Jeremy Neideck, co-writer of Underground, the final work being staged for Metro Art’s Independents 2011, the chaotic Korean junkbar that serves as a setting for his narrative is taken from first-hand experience. Having spent the best part of his artistic career facilitating and participating in cultural exchange between Australia and Korea, Neideck has had ample time to explore the recesses of the latter country’s capital. Neideck explains that Underground is based on a night spent searching for a particular junkbar and the events that followed after finding it buried under an experimental theatre, its guitar-brandishing owner bragging he knew over 6,000 tunes and he’d been playing them every night for 20 years. “Nothing about this place was safe,” he says. “It was this crazy mix between a pawn shop and a junkyard... It was a tiny little bunker that maybe seated 12 or 15 people. We were dragged up on stage and asked to sing songs,” he continues, “It’s just one of those wild experiences you probably wouldn’t have in Brisbane.” To bring that wild experience to life, and to imbue in it a sense of the unreal, Neideck has brought together a diverse group of performers from both Korea and Australia,
incorporating their various skills and disciplines. It’s a tale of love, Neideck explains, and in Underground’s junkbar, a “fantasy, magical realism narrative” evolves with the audience enrolled as patrons. In Neideck’s world, it appears, there’s certainly treasure to be found amongst the trash, provided you know what, or, perhaps more accurately, who you’re looking for. With his ties to Korea and obvious enthusiasm for strengthening artistic and personal exchange, collaboration and experience Neideck has hopes of taking the show across the waters. He explains that for Korean audiences, “Experiencing really well-rounded queer characters with queer story lines, that kind of stuff doesn’t see the light of day in Seoul. I was talking... with [performer] Park Younghee, she said the only thing like it would be Hedwig, which is a huge international touring musical which is really popular in Seoul, but it’s not a Korean story,” he says, “This show, it is a Korean story in that we have the Korean and the Australian team working on the show, but if we go to Seoul it would be really great to redevelop it with stories of queer artists in Korea. While it would be fresh and new and the subject matter would be a bit taboo, I think we’d be able to get an audience; queers in Seoul don’t have that validation of seeing their stories being presented.” In the longer term, he says, his aim is to continue the cross-cultural exchange he’s been fortunate to be part of. “I’ve been quite lucky in that I’ve had the opportunity to create and perform work in Seoul,” he says, “I really want to give that experience to Korean artists.” WHAT: Underground WHERE & WHEN: Metro Arts Thursday 10 November to Saturday 26
Attack The Block by a window, that in her darkened living room howls a whooshing, silent scream. But none of these things attribute to what befalls her in that house, nor do they foretell of the nature of the evil that enters. Here, things are made uncanny; here the familiarity of her house is slowly pulled from under her, and as her boyfriend’s absence lingers heavier over her fear, her resilience to all of this is worn down, worn away. And then her fragility is breached by a rough, abrasive, human threat. But these things work to broaden the story – stretching it like a warm muscle – long after you’ve seen the film. Things bubble to the surface in your recollection of it, little snippets that shift and twist how you thought you understood it. Glorious stuff. WHERE & WHEN: Screening at the Drive-In Cinema, Hamilton Friday 11 November, 9pm as part of BIFF/ Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas, Southport Friday 25 November as part of Gold Coast Film Festival Sam Hobson
THE SHARK KNIGHT RISES DAVID R. ELLIS, DIRECTOR OF THE UPCOMING SHARK NIGHT 3D CUTS A POIGNANT, AND MISUNDERSTOOD FIGURE; NO, SERIOUSLY. INTERVIEW BY SAM HOBSON. It’s easy to come into an interview with someone like David R. Ellis, as a fan of films you yourself deem ‘above’ those he makes, with your snide turned firmly on. Famous for the colossally overhyped Snakes On A Plane, Ellis, to the slightly more discerning film fan is probably most respected as the man behind Final Destination 2. However, you’re reading this, glancing smugly over at your dusty collection of Criterions, agreeing with my shameful preconceptions, and you’re probably unaware of the fact that he also directed that fantastic carchase scene in The Matrix Reloaded. Doesn’t phase you? Well, try this: he was 2UD on Master And Commander, and Fatal Attraction, Body Of Evidence, The Devil’s Own, Sphere, and The Negotiator before that. Still not impressed? He was a stunt co-ordinator before he was any kind of director. He worked on Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (the great one), Scarface, Lethal Weapon, Road House, and Misery, to name a few. But, to we the ignorant, Ellis from the outside looks happy as a directorfor-hire. He laughs a quick, politely exasperated laugh. “[But] that’s all they’re offering me. “The first film I got to direct was Homeward Bound 2,” he explains, “and the reason I got that… was because I had shot on [other] movies with animals… films like Beethoven 2, and Iron Will, and The Jungle Book. So people knew I had the patience and understanding to work with animals, and the trainers, and it wasn’t a big budget film, so they thought they could take the risk. “But the film, [despite that], didn’t do well at the box office,” he sighs, “and it didn’t do anything for my director’s
career, so I didn’t get anything else... they wouldn’t trust me with anything else.” Ellis still has to interview, and audition for his every job. That’s his reality as a film director; a dream job for some of us. But there’s a true passion burning below the harsh realities of how he’s continued to stay afloat in the business. “Working as a second unit director,” he gushes, “I got to work with so many great directors, and I would go to even their dailies, and see how they were shooting stuff – a good second unit director [creates] a seamless piece of film [between] the units as far of the visual style – so I got to shoot in so many different ways. The Wachowski Bros shoot different to Chris Columbus, and Wolfgang Peterson’s different to Peter Weir, but working with all those directors, I got to learn what I like, and what I didn’t like, and apply that to my work.” Hell, this may be completely out of line, but not even the studio appears to have much confidence in the film; with no press screenings (never a good sign), and trailers and posters cut to make the film out to be a twin of Aja’s Pirahna 3D, (even though this film was shot first.) How is this going to work? In short, go see Shark Night, marvel at his action chops, and more importantly support the guy who’s for years now being trying to get his passion projects off the ground. He’s got a film – Kite – on the horizon, which looks to be his first creativecontrol project in a long while. As film fans, we have a responsibility to help that actuate. WHAT: Shark Night 3D WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from 10 November
BIFF: WEEK ONE Sam Hobson wraps up his BIFF viewing thus far. So the festival, gloriously, has so far delivered – and more! – upon its promises. There have been too many films to see, as always. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sold out early, devastating many. Early highlights seem to be Attack The Block and Tyrannosaur – my most anticipated film of the festival – is gathering some serious praise. But things are getting ahead. Opening night last week, was a delight. Attack The Block was a wonderful film; distinctly influenced by the golden-years of John Carpenter, bold with its kills, and so precisely concluded, the neatness, and sensibility of its conclusion was probably the film’s most enjoyable part. Stylistically, it’s a film infused with moments of pure, visceral cinema. A scooter silently pushing through a fireworks-lit fog reminded me of scenes in Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451, and Joon-ho Bong’s The Host. The design of the aliens is truly unique, and their description is damn-near literary – “a darkness so black you can’t even see it” – and director Joe Cornish manages to show them in full – all motivations, motions, and malice – and still make them terrifying. The FP, a film I caught following that, and the first selection from Fantastic Fest, will be loved by two different types of fans. The first will take it at surface value – much like a majority of my screening’s crowd did for its opening scenes – and laugh at its every line, and every character’s heightened, slapstick
movement. The FP, as it can best be described, is a pastiche of the language of modern pop culture, told against a semi-post-apocalyptic backdrop, through the screen of old action-movie tropes. The second type of fan – most of my screening became converts to this way of thinking as the film progressed – they will get it on a deeper level. It’s funny because it’s absurd, and familiar. Its quietly strong direction steers the film efficiently through artful scene, after sly dig; most stylistically noticeable is the framing, and is aplomb with dreamsequences. The Human Centipede II was another Fantastic Fest film. Guest programmer Lars Nilsen opened its midnight screening with an informative talk, and festival director Richard Moore gleefully read out an email chastising him for ‘daring to screen such filth.’ And filth it was indeed. Whereas the first film was a quasi-classy B-movie with a unique premise, but a low budget that restricted its horrors to implication, and not implementation – precisely why the film worked – its sequel is an infantile terror. Shocking only for the sake of being so, this is the film people should direct their A Serbian Film anger towards. Not justly, of course, but more because it really, really wants it. Take Shelter, lastly, was – for me – the festival’s first truly great film. A story about a man succumbing to severe and hereditary mental illness – a schizophrenia whose hallucinations
WITH HELEN STRINGER It was only a matter of time before we ran out of comic books to adapt for the big screen. With Hollywood executives reaching for their paper bags to stave off hyperventilation, panicked at the mere thought of having run out of superheroes to repackage with new powers and existential crises, some genius has come up with a new idea: Leonardo Da Vinci, Super(art)man. David Goyer, the writer responsible for the latest laryngitis-afflicted Batman reboots has been given the go ahead to start production on a miniseries about young Da Vinci. With a clear view towards maintaining historical accuracy, Da Vinci will be seducing and swashbuckling his way through the 15th Century while struggling with the burden of his developing psychic powers. It’s not yet clear whether he’ll also be wearing a cape. But is Super Da Vinci the lone crusader enough? There’s an opportunity here for Goyer to do some real good and drag other artistic greats from the obscurity they’ve been languishing in; to breathe new life into the fading glory of canonical art. If you’re going to bastardise history in the name of entertainment why stop at Da Vinci when you could have Picasso, Van Gogh, and Michaelangelo as well? Here’s a proposal for Goyer: how about an Avengers-style art super squad; a crack team of artists endowed with awe-inspiring powers of didacticism, fighting the good fight against cultural decline in the modern era. The most immediate issue facing this
currently hypothetical project would be making long dead artists appealing to an audience whose exposure to art consists wholly of iPhone apps and Lolcats. Sure, you can give Picasso a superpower but to ensure the younger demographic is fully ensnared you’re going to need something with a bit more bang. I’d suggest that if there’s one guy who consistently gives you more bang for your buck it’s Michael Bay, a man unafraid of putting a flaming explosion in every scene. With Bay on board the art squad could wow audiences with both their preternatural artistic abilities and their willingness to blow shit up. One could argue that Bay’s participation might alienate audiences of the fairer sex. This is, after all, the man who brought back the popular ’80s up-skirt shot and inspires such a visceral hatred in some that it’s a feat of virtue to refrain from tracking him down and kicking him in the teeth for being such a misogynistic arsehole. But all things considered Bay’s inability to portray women with dignity is congruent with the ways of the art world’s greats. In their heydays monogamy was frowned upon and whoring and divorcing were generally considered the norm; philandering is a superpower common to all. Goyer’s right to be unconcerned with historical accuracy; the truth is simply not as much fun as fiction. So give me a bucket of popcorn bigger than my head and leave me to enjoy the sexed-up, sword-fighting, psychic Da Vinci and, all going to plan, his super art squad as well.
firstname.lastname@example.org leave him paralysed at the thought of storms, and dreams that stick to him throughout the day, leaving him paranoid about the intentions of those closest to him – Take Shelter is the second film from the director/actor team of Nichols and Shannon. Beautifully, hauntingly shot, and dealing with mental illness in a way that’s not only poignant, deeply moving, and realistic, but also deftly cinematic, it’s a film I can’t recommend enough, and can’t wait to see again. WHAT: Brisbane International Film Festival WHERE & WHEN: Various locations until 13 November
C U LT U R A L
with Mandy Kohler So the Mars 500 team are back on Earth – well, not that they ever left. Just over 500 days ago, six men – three Russian, one Chinese, one French, one Italian – entered a replica capsule in a warehouse in Moscow. Last week – emaciated, drawn, pale, and probably craving a Big Mac – they emerged, proving that psychologically, six guys could be sealed into a
sausage-shaped spaceship and shot into space all the way to the Red Planet and back without throttling each other in a premeditated incident involving body odour. These six might be ready – but one can’t help feeling they’ve been somehow dealt a bum hand, given that a Mars mission isn’t on the table for at least a couple of decades. It’s not likely they’ll get to go, and thus get to enjoy eternal fame, fortune, and chicks
THIS WEEK IN
Brisbane Film Festival – today’s screenings: A Bitter Taste of Freedom; A Boatload of Wild Irishmen; Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey; Cronos; Dos Hermanos; Goodbye; King of Devil’s Island; Life in Movement; Manu Futu; Melancholia; Policeman; Red Dog; Respiro; Revenge: A Love Story; Tais Market; The Orator; TrollHunter; Uma Lulik; Uma Lulik + Timorese Shorts; You’ve Been Trumped.
FROM BROADWAY TO BRISBANE, ROCK OF AGES LEADS AMY LEHPAMER AND JUSTIN BURFORD TELL CARLIN BEATTIE ABOUT AUDITIONS, AUDIENCE RESPONSE, AND IN THE MIDST OF THINGS, THE MEANING OF LIFE. Featuring hits from Foreigner, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, and Styx, the five-time Tony Award nominated musical, Rock of Ages has traveled from New York to Australia upon a cloud of hairspray, big dreams, and rock’n’roll romance. Handpicked by US producers, the Australian leads of the musical, Amy Lehpamer and Justin Burford, discuss their separate journeys to realising the roles of love bound rockers, Sherrie and Drew.
my character for a long time and had flown the American company over to Australia to search for the character of Drew, and who would play him. By the time I got involved it was an open casting call and most of the producers had flown back to the states. When I got through to the very final stages of auditioning, I think it was just cheaper and simpler for them to fly me over there, and as a by-product I got to see the show.
“I saw the Broadway show as a part of my audition, which is what sets my audition story apart a little bit from everybody else’s,” says Burford. As lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Perth band End Of Fashion, and former member of The Sleepy Jackson, Burford’s career has taken a spin upon embodying his Rock Of Ages character. “The producers had been looking for
“It was actually only after I saw the show that I really committed to wanting to do it,” he confesses. “Up until then I was enjoying the journey and the ride of this audition process, because it was new to me. It was a new experience. I still wasn’t sure about being a part of it until I saw the show – but it was about 30 or 40 seconds into it when everything clicked in my G WIN SHO W NO
Anyway, are we sure we’re ready to go to Mars? It’s not exactly an awesome place to be, according to most of our
RAISED ON RADIO
flinging their knickers at them (which is apparently a problem for astronauts and the reason Neil Armstrong is a recluse). But they really were dealt a bum hand when you realise that they only got paid $100,000 for their travails. One guy has vowed to spend it on piloting lessons, in the vain hope he’ll get to go to the real Mars. Fat chance. And hang on, weren’t these guys supposed to be real flight-trained astronauts? The whole thing looks shonky.
Presents Trailerpalooza + 50 Best Kills; Goodbye, First Love; Inuk; Like Crazy; Penumbra; Persona; Puberty Blues; Sibérie; The Trouble With St Mary’s; The Zero Hour; Tyrannosaur.
fiction about it, and there are far more obstacles to getting back than just avoiding throttling your teammates. Getting there safely is the first issue. Remember, if those little automated Mars rovers can crash – and they do, causing teams of Big Bang Theorystyle geeks in Mission Control to cry into their cans of Mountain Dew – manned landers could too. Best send a chimp first, because we don’t want a repeat of the 2000 films Red Planet and Mission To Mars, both of which ended pretty badly for the astronauts. Val Kilmer is too damn valuable to cinema to lose, dammit. But then there’s the locals to deal with. HG Wells based his homicidal aliens riding three-legged metal death ray machines there – not the kind of guys who’d welcome tourists. If you believe the Total Recall take on Mars, sure, mutations will ensure
SATURDAY 12 Brisbane Film Festival – today’s screenings: Alice’s Restaurant; Another Earth; Australian Shorts 1; Beauty; Black & White & Sex; Boats; Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus; Closing Night film: The Skin I Live In; Dancing with Dictators; The First Interview; Goodbye; Guilty of Romance; I’m Not Dead Yet; In the Company of Eric Rohmer; Kes; Kiss; La Dolce Vita; La Voz Dormida; Manborg; Michael; My Little Princess; Nullarbor; Outback Fight Club; Quinkin; Respiro; Revenge: A Love Story; Shelling Peas; Sons of Perdition; The Curse of the Gothic Symphony; The Drunkard; The FP; The Kid with a Bike; The Left Handed Gun; The Orator; Tinman; Tribal Trivia Night; Via Gori.
Brisbane Film Festival – today’s screenings: ...But Film Is My Mistress; 50 Best Kills; Beauty; Bernadette: Notes On A Political Journey; Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same; Drive-In Delirium Presents Trailerpalooza; Drive-In Delirium
Brisbane Film Festival – today’s screenings: A Bitter Taste of Freedom; A Boatload of Wild Irishmen; Arirang; Armadillo; Blue; Cairo 678; Crawl; Crystal Voyager; Crystal Voyager + Hot to Trot; Dancing with Dictators; Drive; Elena; Guilty of Romance; Hot to Trot: Starring Captain Goodvibes; I Wish; Las Acacias; Las Acacias + Blue; Le Havre; Let the Bullets Fly; Letters from the Big Man; Martha Marcy May Marlene; Medianeras; Polisse; The Yellow Sea; This Is Not a Film; You’ve Been Trumped.
head. It was the spectacle… It was the enormity. I’ve got a vision, an image in my mind of what it must have been like when I first saw the show, and seriously, my hair felt like it was being blown back! It’s like the starting of a rollercoaster. It was amazing. I seriously went from being unsure and having my doubts to thinking, ‘I want to be in this’ in an instant. All of a sudden I cared, and it put a new pressure on the rest of the auditions.” “I’m in musical theatre, so in that sense you kind of get every show that comes around,” Amy Lehpamer responds to her fellow cast member’s story. “You look at the brief and the list of characters, and the agent sends you through the details… Then you ask yourself, ‘Okay, is it something that is right for me? Have I got a realistic shot at getting this?’ What Justin missed out on was the fact that the audition was sort of like cattle call,” she laughs dryly with experience. “There are heaps of people around you. You seem to know
everyone, you see them at the same things, but here – everyone had to dress in eighties styles. It was pretty hilarious. It was a really funny new world, and I happened to have enough stuff in my wardrobe to satisfy my six auditions. When you’re in the industry you want work, so you go for the next show, and don’t have the ability to say ‘No I won’t go for that’. If I want to be a working member of the industry, I’ve got to put my self out there every time. This time I thought that this show seemed like something special; the right kind of alchemy – and this has proven right. I love it and am really glad that I’m in it.” Now confident in his decision to diverge into the theatrical, and perhaps experimental stage of his career, Burford reminds himself of the initial responses from his friends and peers, and considers the opportunity to be one of learning, above longevity. “One of my band mates thought it was hilarious and told me to go for it. The other one
thought I was insane. Speaking to people back in Perth (and I’ve decided to take this as a complement), the general consensus was ‘If it had been anyone else, we would have laughed at them, but for some reason, with Burford, it just makes sense’. So I guess that’s a good thing”, he rests. “It’s the experience,” Burford continues. “It’s been a bone of contention that being in a band means that I’m a different kind of person. With the band that I’m in – we’re a rock band and that’s how people perceive us. We’ve always tried to push those boundaries, and make people not think about us in a certain way. That’s definitely driven things from me. I see life as a collection of experiences. If nothing comes of this, then I’ll still be able to look back on it and say, ‘Yeah I did that’. It’s great. I think that’s the meaning of life really,” he pauses reflectively, then laughs. “But this is a different kind of show too. It’s an eighties mixtape musical.” Spurred by the sentiment, the pair
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our first Martian colony breeds triple-breasted hookers into the gene pool. Nice, but there’s the unpleasant side effect of that creepy dude with a hyperintelligent ugly baby growing out of his chest. John Carpenter, in 2001’s Ghosts Of Mars, is far more worried about dead Martians than live ones, dreaming up spirits that can possess humans at will. No, Mars is definitely dangerous. How can something named after the god of war, or an artery-hardening death bar, be good for the health? Perhaps Mars is best thrown into the too-hard basket. Or, there’s another more disturbing possibility – perhaps the first astronauts will rock up there to discover it really is just a big boring ball of red sand. I don’t know which is worse. Brisbane Film Festival – today’s screenings: A Dangerous Method; At the Formal; Australian Shorts 2; Burnt by the Sun 3: Citadel; Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope; Elena; Even the Rain; Golden Girl; Happy Happy; I Wish; Martha Marcy May Marlene; Melancholia; Murder Mouth; Ngati; Night Moves; NotArt; Penumbra; Phase 7; Policeman; Rakkas; The Corridor; The First Interview; The Giants; The Green Ray; The Look; The Mill and the Cross; The Trouble with St Mary’s; The Yellow Sea; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom; TrollHunter; Upside Down: The Creation Records Story; Village Roadshow Studios Queensland New Filmmakers Awards; Why Do You Want to See My Face. See biff.com.au for individual screening details. exchange in parting discussion. “It’s a love story that’s very tongue in cheek,” says Lehpamer. “It’s a perfect blend of an eighties tribute rock covers gig, with really fun and quick-witted musical theatre. We’re singing rock language.” “This show encourages and expects audience interaction – heckling and that kind of thing,” Burford excitedly chimes in. “The crowd drink throughout the shows. We get quiet crowds, through to very energetic crowds, but the one thing that ties it all together is that even in the quiet crowds, you can still see the smiles on people’s faces. They might not be reacting the same way, but it’s having the same impact. People leave this show feeling inspired and uplifted. That’s the essence of the show.” WHAT: Rock Of Ages WHERE & WHEN: Lyric Theatre, QPAC Saturday 12 November to Tuesday 15 December
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WEDNESDAY 9TH NOVEMBER TO TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2011
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MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (PG) NOW SHOWING
WED 10.15, 12.20, 2.20, 4.20, 7.00, 9.10PM THU 11.00, 1.15, 3.15, 8.30PM FRI 11.15, 1.30, 3.30, 6.00,
7.45PM SAT 10.10, 2.10, 4.15, 8.50PM SUN/MON 11.15, 1.15, 3.15, 6.30, 8.30PM TUE 11.15, 1.15, 3.15, 7.15, 9.15PM
DRIVE (MA 15+)
THU 1.15/SAT-TUE 1.15PM WED 11.15, 1.30, 3.45, 6.45PM FRI 4.40PM THE HUNTER (M) THU/SAT-TUE 11.15, 3.30, WED 11.25, 3.40PM 7.00, 9.00PM FRI 12.30, 2.25, 4.20, 6.30PM THU/SUN/TUE 1.25, 6.50PM FRI 10.30, 8.30PM CONTAGION (M) I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE WED 11.00, 3.40, 8.45PM SAT 1.25, 7.10PM DOES IT (NO FREE TICKETS) MON 1.25, 6.30PM THU/FRI 1.20PM WED 11.30, 1.40, 3.50, 6.30PM MON 1.15, 8.40PM NORWEGIAN WOOD (MA15+) THU 11.30, 1.30, 3.30, 6.30PM TUE 1.15, 6.30, 8.45PM FRI 11.30 (BABES), 1.30, AUTOLUMINESCENT (M) WED 3.30PM THU/SAT-TUE 10.50 AM 3.30, 9.30PM WED 1.15, 8.45PM FRI 12.00PM SAT 10.10, 12.15 PM THU/SUN/TUE 9.00PM CAVE OF FORGOTTEN SUN 10.00, 12.00 FRI 2.30PM DREAMS 2D (G) MON 11.30, 1.40, 3.50, 7.15, SAT 9.15PM WED 11.10AM 9.10PM MON 8.30PM THU/SAT-TUE 3.25PM TUE 11.30, 1.40, 3.50, 7.00, RED STATE (MA15+) WED 1.40PM FRI 10.10AM 8.55PM
BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PLAYING UNTIL NOV 13
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20TH BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: (ALL NO FREE TIX) NY MET OPERA: ANNA BOLENA (CTC) (NO FREE TIX)
THU 10.30 (BABES), 1.00,
4.15, 6.50, 9.00PM
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. (M)
SAT 10.30, 4.00, 6.20PM
FRI/ MON/ TUE 11.00, 1.00,
SUN 10.30, 4.10, 9.10PM
WED 11.30, 1.50PM
3.00, 6.30, 8.40PM
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (PG)
SAT 10.20, 2.20, 9.00PM
WED 10.40, 12.45, 2.45, 4.45,
FRI 11.30, 2.00, 4.30PM
SUN 10.00, 2.20, 9.15PM
NT LIVE: THE KITCHEN
THU/ FRI 12.00, 2.15, 4.30,
(CTC) (NO FREE TIX)
WED 10.20, 12.30, 2.30, 7.00,
SAT/ SUN 1.00PM
SAT/ SUN 12.10, 4.30, 6.40,
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SDAY 9TH NOVE UE 1552 - WEDNE
LAWRENCE ENGLISH NAME/INSTRUMENT PLAYED:
Lawrence English, lapsed drummer now pretty well open to anything. I’m a harmony and pulse guy, rather than say a rhythm and melody guy…
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING? I’ve managed to squander my youth and now a good bit of my 30s on the outer orbit of rock and/or roll.
YOU’RE ON TOUR IN THE VAN – WHICH BAND OR ARTIST IS GOING TO KEEP YOU HAPPY IF WE THROW THEM ON THE STEREO?
First issue to address; what’s happened, I’m touring in a van now? I became a solo guy to avoid vans and follow my dreams to experience the true glories of airport food on each continent of the globe. If it was road music, well something with nice horn arrangements maybe and something to hum along to – Scott Walker 2 or 4 maybe, of Jim O’Rourke’s Eureka, if it’s an overcast day Elliot Smith’s XO might work.
WOULD YOU RATHER BE A BUSTED BROKEBUT-REVERED HANK WILLIAMS FIGURE OR SOME KIND OF METALLICA MONSTER?
In the world I’m operating in there’s no risk of turning into Lars Ulrich that’s for sure. I still think Master Of Puppets is a great record, but Christ, could these guys try any harder to make me not like it? Some bands should know when to call it a day.
WHICH BRISBANE BANDS BEFORE YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION (MUSICALLY OR OTHERWISE)? I grew up in the 90s enjoying that revival of the Brisbane Sound, but if I had to look over my shoulder to some acts, I’d imagine people like DNE are the folks who inspire most. Totally off the radar and making amazing music that should be more widely known!
WHAT PART DO YOU THINK BRISBANE PLAYS IN THE MUSIC YOU MAKE?
Originally Brisbane served as a great cheap base from which I could come and go easily. Now that cheapness seems to have vanished in a barrage of $12 Burritos, $15+ burgers and other somewhat questionably priced foods. What happened to value Australia? Anyway, to be honest I love this city because it’s still growing. It’s evolving, flexing its wings and really taking the shape of something interesting.
IS YOUR MUSIC RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE MAKE-OUTS OR BREAK-UPS?
Why? Ytamo, a young musician from Osaka once described my music as ‘Moses parting the oceans’, following that statement I guess my music is the soundtrack to exodus?
IF YOU HAD TO PLAY A SPORT INSTEAD OF BEING A MUSICIAN WHICH SPORT WOULD IT BE AND WHY WOULD YOU BE TRIUMPHANT? Is coffee appreciator a sport? And if not, why not?
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE FOR YOU MUSICALLY IN THE SHORT TERM?
Launching this new LP The Peregrine, a couple of new projects ‘Lonely Women’s Club’ a new LP coming on Important in the USA in 2012. Also just launched a new duet project with Grouper – you can check the latest video here: http://vimeo.com/30846604. Lawrence English launches The Peregrine (Experimedia) at The Judith Wright Centre on Thursday Nov 17. Photo by TERRY SOO.
GIG of theWEEK X BEETLE BAR SATURDAY NOV 12
KINGS OF LEON: Gold Coast Convention Ctr Nov 9 DRAGON: The Tempo Hotel Nov 10, Tewantin Noosa RSL Nov 11, Lone Star Tavern Nov 12 DAS MOTH: Barsoma Nov 11 FLIGHT FACILITIES: Elsewhere Nov 11, Bowler Bar Nov 19, Buddha Bar Nov 27 GOOD CHARLOTTE: Eaton’s Hill Hotel Nov 12 CHILDREN OF BODOM: Arena Nov 13 AFTER THE FALL (USA): Jubilee Hotel Nov 17 BRIGHT EYES: The Hi-Fi Nov 17 BLIND IMAGE: Jubilee Hotel Nov 18 CUT OFF YOUR HANDS: Alhambra Lounge Nov 18 DJ KRUSH: The Hi-Fi Nov 19 CLAP YOUR HANDS AND SAY YEAH: The Zoo Nov 20 THE MOODY BLUES: Brisbane Convention Ctr Nov 20 K.D. LANG: Riverstage Nov 22 DAEDELUS: Bridge Club Nov 23 JAPE: Mick O’Malley’s Nov 23 THE CONTORTIONIST: Blackbox Theatre Nov 23, Sun Distortion Nov 24, Shed 5 Nov 25 THE DYNAMITES FEAT CHARLES WALKER: The Zoo Nov 24 DOLLY PARTON: BEC Nov 25 – 27 HTRK: The Bridge Club Nov 26 ALL SHALL PERISH: Globe Theatre Nov 27 ELTON JOHN: BEC Nov 30 MISFITS: The Hi-Fi Dec 2 GUITAR WOLF: Jubilee Hotel Dec 3 JEDI MIND TRICKS: The Hi-Fi Dec 3 STEVIE NICKS, DAVE STEWART: Brisbane Riverstage Dec 3 OFF!: The Zoo Dec 4, Sun Distortion Studios Dec 6 THE CASUALTIES: The Hi-Fi Dec 4 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 OMAR RODRGUEZ-LOPEZ GROUP: The Zoo Dec 11 THE INTERNATIONAL SWINGERS: The Zoo Dec 9, Coolangatta Hotel Dec 10, Kings Beach Tavern Dec 11 THE SWISS: Elsewhere Dec 9, Bowler Bar Dec 10 FOO FIGHTERS, TENACIOUS D: Metricon Stadium Dec 10 SIGHTS & SOUNDS: Sun Distortion Dec 10, Thriller Dec 10, Shed 5 Dec 11 XZIBIT: Shooters Nightclub Dec 11 SADE: BEC Dec 12 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: The Hi-Fi Dec 13 FRANK FAIRFIELD: Judith Wright Ctr Dec 15, SoundLounge Dec 16 OPETH: The Tivoli Dec 15 ROUND TABLE KNIGHTS: Family Dec 23, La La Land Dec 26 THE KOOKS: The Tivoli Jan 2 ALOE BLACC: The Tivoli Jan 3 THE JIM JONES REVUE: The Zoo Jan 3 CRYSTAL CASTLES: The Tivoli Jan 4 LYDIA: Elsewhere Jan 5, The Zoo Jan 6 TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS: Woodland Jan 5 PETE ROCK: Alhambra Lounge Jan 6 J MASCIS: SoundLounge Jan 7, Brisbane Powerhouse Jan 10 FLEET FOXES: The Tivoli Jan 10 & 11 GROUPLOVE: The Zoo Jan 10, Great Northern Jan 11 THE VENGABOYS: The Hi-Fi Jan 11, Coolangatta Hotel Jan 15 ABSU: Globe Theatre Jan 12 BEIRUT: The Hi-Fi Jan 12 DAN DEACON ENSEMBLE: Woodland Jan 12
Sydney punk legends X – not to be confused with the LA outfit of the same name – burst onto the scene in the late-70s like a furious dervish from hell, driven primarily by the powerful bass of former Rose Tattoo member Ian Rilen and the chaotic howls of then vocalist (now guitarist/vocalist) Steve Lucas. Recently early recordings of the band honing their craft at their very outset in 1977 were unearthed, and have been released as X-Spurts: The 1977 Recordings (Aztec), showcasing the very earliest incarnation of the seminal Aussie band. Lucas, pictured, is the only surviving member from the original line-up, but to celebrate this important release he’s put together a new version of X, and after playing Lennox Hotel on Friday Nov 11 the trio will smash into the Beetle Bar on Saturday Nov 12, with an awesome line-up of local rock talent also strutting their stuff in the form of HITS, Lords Of Wong and New Jack Rubys. There would be no Aussie rock scene without bands like X, get along and pay your respects, and maybe chuck some earplugs in your back pocket...
Nova Scotia @ The Zoo pic by Terry Soo
PRESENTS 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 RARE FINDS 2011: The Zoo Dec 3 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 TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS: Woodland Jan 5 GROUPLOVE: The Zoo Jan 10, The Northern Jan 11 FLEET FOXES: The Tivoli Jan 10 and Jan 11 BEIRUT: The Hi-Fi Jan 12 THE DAMNED: The Hi-Fi Jan 19 JESSIE J: Brisbane Riverstage Mar 1 BLACK LIPS: The Zoo Mar 2 FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: Doomben Racecourse Mar 3 WILD FLAG: The Zoo Mar 11
few tracks including previous single Nintendogs. But once she leaves the stage, the boys kick into party mode. A hearty cheer from the crowd meets Problematic, a clear dancefloor favourite, with a friend remarking “wow, they’re really fucking good!” That’s one of the great things about Re:Enactment, they are really fucking good at writing pop songs. Whether they’re the indie/electro-pop version with shouty vocals and clashing guitars or the slower, breezier, loungier style seen best on Nintendogs, they pull it off effortlessly. Switching between frontmanwith-guitar and frontman-without-guitar, Jacob Hicks steers the night to a close before prolific dancer and keyboardist extraordinaire Shane Rudken kicks over his keyboard and all is done. RACHEL TINNEY
JOE PUG, ALEX HENRIKSSON, PADDY MCHUGH OLD MUSEUM: 02.11.11 A moderate crowd sits in the warm light of the Old Museum’s studio this evening, as three young men regale us with three very different brands of acoustic songsmithery. Paddy McHugh is up first with a bunch of generally lively, very Australian songs; this quintessentially Australian nature means he teeters on the precipice of retaining his authentic voice and descending into ockerism. His reworking of the Bob Dylan penned Johnny Cash tune Wanted Man is bold, but the Australian references are quaint. Flanked by banjo player Mike Hennessy, McHugh’s set takes an intense turn as he debuts a song written about a friend lost to heroin, but this darkness is important to counter the set’s upbeat tone.
RE:ENACTMENT, MR MAPS, NOVA SCOTIA, AHEADPHONEHOME THE ZOO: 03.11.11 Kicking things off tonight at The Zoo for this special lofly label showcase are aheadphonehome – four guys making hazy indie kraut like it’s going out of style. It’s a little bit like going into a strangely appealing murky otherworld, filled with echoes, darkness and just a tiny hint of Nintendo. Performing together for what could possibly be the last time for a long time, Nova Scotia are sometimes a little bit messy, sometimes joined by a little bit of feedback and most times a little bit loud – but that’s what makes them so good. With their minds still stuck in the 90s, their three-guitar attack gives you a blast of the past
with classic basslines and shouty lyrics that are a bit hard to understand due to the aforementioned volume. But that doesn’t matter because it makes Maritime Disasters even better than it is on tape. Mr Maps are next, launching a limited edition vinyl release of their album that didn’t actually turn up on time to launch. A purely instrumental band, boasting beautiful and complex orchestration, Mr Maps truly let the music do the talking. Wave after wave of completely mesmerising audio hits you, filled with layers of cello, guitars and electronics that slowly wear you down and suck you into their own enchanting little world. Finishing up with their latest single, Tennis Party, it’s actually a bit disappointing to once again be reacquainted with the real world. Re:Enactment kick off their set on a rather subdued note and with the help of Chloe Cooper of Toy Balloon fame on vocals, they breeze through a
Tonight Bang Bang Boss Kelly’s Alex Henriksson proves he has the ability to captivate as a solo performer, but isn’t the full package quite yet. The tender Angel Child dropped halfway through his brief set is the first real indication there could be something great here, but missteps with songwriting and song choices make for a bumpy ride. Mumford & Sons’ Liar doesn’t have much impact and while there’s nothing wrong with Drunk And Happy, there’s nothing exhilarating about it either. Thankfully the set closes remarkably, Henriksson’s final song is stunning and while the entire set has seen him aping Caleb Followill, here he sounds more like Joe Cocker or Jimmy Barnes in the best possible way. Joe Pug steps to the microphone unassumingly, compliments the venue and rips into the bright Nobody’s Man, the Steve Earle-esque Lock The Door Christina and the utterly fantastic Unsophisticated Heart before the high-pitched wail of his harmonica resonates gorgeously through the room as he moves into Hymn 35. It takes next to no time to recall why
we’re here tonight and what made Pug’s last visit to Brisbane so special. Heartbreaker’s lament In The Meantime is arresting, as the audience hangs onto every forlorn word. Pug makes this engagement even stronger by stepping away from the mic for How Good You Are while his unique spin on everyman tales with My Father’s Drugs and Disguised As Someone Else are brilliant; seemingly simple, but crafted masterfully. Hymn #101 – sans mic again – touching ode to friendship Not So Sure and Harvey Thomas Young cover Start Again close up the sedate part of the set as Pug brings things home with a flurry; Nation Of Heat ensuring everyone’s awake for the singalong that ensues on closing salvo Speak Plainly, Diana. After such an amazing performance it’s hard to believe the highlight is yet to come. Pug is chuffed to be called on for an encore and leaves us with a rendition of Blaze Foley’s Clay Pigeons. It’s hard to fathom how a young man so charming can convey heartbreak so effectively; but that’s the beauty of Joe Pug, at one point he’ll have you grinning, the next you’ll be searching for your soul in a deep, dark pit. Incredible. DAN CONDON
CHARGE GROUP, EPITHETS, QUIET STEPS, STILL RAIN FELL THE ZOO: 05.11.11 With an awkward stage presence that’s equal parts charm and fear, Still Rain Fell don’t really demand the attention of the room when they kick off their short set. But my god, when vocalist Daniel Van Zutphen opens his lungs, the world almost skips off its axis and considering the band are only playing their second ever show, it’s all a bit frightening really. Dark and brooding with tones that call back as far as Joy Division and as recent as Interpol, tracks like Nostalgia wash waves of emotion through the listener’s system and offer class chorus hooks chopped amongst continually curious guitar tones. A complete musical revelation, and there are still three acts to follow. Backing up with a second support set in the way of Quiet Steps, Josh Strange and his troops waste no time in marking their territory, the attractive dissonance of their left-field rock immediately catching the ears of many in the room. With the type of shambolic charm that injects an element of danger through the music, the tempo changes of Robb Perkin make the songs shift directions with sharp angles. The local three-piece always sound like they could spiral off course at any second, but impressively, the band and the songs never totally derail. The contained chaos of Quiet Steps is a truly beautiful thing. With a break long enough to lose some of the momentum from the first two supports, the five members of Epithets provide the final warming set for the evening. The drum work of Simon Reynolds is impossible to turn away from, a flowing jazz style that is made even more capturing by his highstooled set-up. The violin and keys give the tracks a cinematic edge but the whole slot just feels slightly meandering, as if it’s constantly on the verge of transforming into something utterly divine, only tonight, it just doesn’t take that final step forward. The crowd has inexplicably peeled away for headliners Charge Group, but the Sydney lads quickly corral the people back to join them as they embark on an uncompromising and unique ride through song. The songs are full of ebbs and flows in mood, the pulses coming not only in pitch, but power and passion also. The set is a journey from the outset, providing noise and poignancy in equal measures with every raw guitar note matched by violin drama and spiralling lines of prose from Matt Blackman. Although there are enough tracks off Escaping Mankind to keep older fans happy, it’s new material such as Run and The Gold Is Gone which makes the current live proposition of Charge Group all the more enticing. BENNY DOYLE
NIKKO, CARSICK CARS, KEEP ON DANCIN’S WOODLAND: 05.11.11 A spray of disco lights dance a dizzying carousel across the Woodland Bar’s empty ochre dance floor; the darkened booths to the rooms each side hiding the majority of the night’s early-comers. Though the crowd’s small, you can still sense an excitement in the air. In scorched, molten tones that shimmer like heat haze from the stage, the female-fronted Keep On Dancin’s attack their spot with a bark that seems to swallow the venue’s empty spaces, pulling at the seated to come to the fore. And, like zombies to some master-signal, they do. Unshakably, like something you’d hear scoring a David Lynch film, their sound is like the nightmare crawl of a manyarmed thing; tangled, tendrilous, and outreaching. Moving next into some shadowy, cowboy blues and then finishing on a shimmering 60s dance number, their dark, apathetic cool is a perfect starter for the evening’s hearty meal. Chinese indie-rock three-piece Carsick Cars take the stage next; their neat appearance a sensibility that’s explored ten-fold in their music. Precise to a twinkling pin-point, the band layer insistent basslines below furious, single-note shredding, resulting in a wonderfully cacophonic severity. Like pop-punk with a razor edge, the band boasts some truly dense and structurally minded songwriting, burying great hooks beneath their treble-heavy, TVstatic frontage. These shine amidst the noise in a way that almost defies the logic of how sound naturally layers. Gorgeous modulations shrink and expand from somewhere deep within, like the sun glancing off a precious stone at the bottom of a raging river. The venue’s mixing tonight is particularly crisp, and so the band’s unique sound hits like a spray of ballbearings to the face. The ably-bearded Nikko have a sound very much like melancholic Japanese post-rock giants Mono. There’s no avoiding it. And ah, how great it is to hear some solid post-rock – to hear dissonance that wails with such yearning, to hear heaviness become mournful, and to have something joyous and uplifting rising from the silences between those towering sounds. And Nikko’s particular brand of landscape atmospherics is very broad-shouldered; it’s confident and commanding. Great monolithic slabs of white noise expand to suffocate the room’s walls, like an airbag deployed within the floppy confines of a cardboard box. To add lyrics to post-rock, as Nikko do, is a brave thing – and a very Silver Mount Zion thing – but they pull it off splendidly. The vocals rise and sink within the band’s dense walls of sound, sometimes hushed and sometimes screaming. Evoking everyone from Kayo Dot (Wedding Song, I’m looking at you) to bands like mewithoutYou, it’s a proud pleasure that’s warmed in the knowledge that our city can produce some great, and really studious, post-rock. SAM HOBSON
COLD CHISEL, YOU AM I BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE: 01.11.11 You could forgo a ticket, set up a chair in the BEC courtyard and have a great night people-watching tonight, as hordes of ecstatic Chisels devotees from literally every walk of life clamber excitedly towards the venue, many clearly cherishing a long-awaited first meeting with their heroes. That’s not being condescending, mind you; it truly is a fascinating experience watching the quintessentially Aussie throng mingle and merge like a pulsing, living entity, one perhaps slightly drunk but in too good a mood to be any trouble for anyone. Inside the arena, meanwhile, another Aussie institution is going through its paces – one not quite as old, but certainly as special as the headliners. Tim Rogers leads You Am I through a career-spanning set tonight, the band playing with trademark gusto despite being relegated to the relatively unfamiliar
role of support act. The crowd is thin at first but slowly fills the void throughout the set, and they’re treated to a slew of classics such as Purple Sneakers and Trike (which somewhat laboriously segues into Dylan’s How Does It Feel? and back again midway though). Rogers self-deprecatingly quips, “I wish we’d written a few hits or popular songs – it wasn’t for a fucking lack of trying!” before bursting into the jubilant Rumble, followed shortly by the equally upbeat Cathy’s Clown. They struggle at times against a diffident mix and a slightly reticent crowd, but the arrangements are fleshed out nicely by The Gin Club’s Dan Mansfield on keys (doing the whole tour, not just Brissie), and when they bring out big guns like Mr Milk, a raucous Berlin Chair and strident closer Minor Byrd you could easily be excused for thinking that this was their night alone. Soon, though, things are taken to an entirely new level. The adrenalin rush that courses through the arena when the lights dim is incredible, and shrill screams break out as the first silhouette is gleaned in the darkness. Static blares out and the sound of a radio flicking between stations can be ascertained, clearly Aussie AM stations from the 70s and 80s as you can hear snippets of Joh and Bob Hawke (amongst other such characters), and soon the crowd is transformed once again into that strange singular beast as the lights smash on, Cold Chisel enter the fray and we’re all singing Standing On The Outside as one, Barnesy of course leading the way, his voice somehow as powerful as ever. The frontman has donned his trademark Japanese headband, Ian Moss dominates stage left, with a lithe Phil Small rocking sunglasses to the right, and they pound into Shipping Steel like they’ve never been away. The ever-stately Don Walker up the back behind his keyboard kicks off new song HQ 454 Monroe, which gets a strangely rapturous reception – it seems these guys can do no wrong tonight – but then the opening chords of Choir Girl elicit the first mass hysteria, and the entire room sings along like it’s some peculiar Aussie rite of passage, the whole group blindly familiar to every nuance of every note. The communal experience continues with Forever Now and reaches a crescendo during Cheap Wine, the love hanging thick in the air. The band sounds amazing – if you shut your eyes you wouldn’t be able to guess the vintage of the performance it sounds that strong – and their versatility shines when Mossy takes over and Barnesy is relegated to sideman for My Baby, complete with rollicking sax solo. Rising Sun is a treat, authentic riot footage backdrops Star Hotel, and Tim Rogers rejoins to add guitar histrionics during Hound Dog, before an incredibly moving tribute to their much-missed bandmate Steve Prestwich plays out; a montage of photos of the recently deceased drummer dominates the massive screens as the band gather solemnly at the front of the stage to run though When The War Is Over, and there’s barely a dry eye in the house. They stay in this semi-acoustic mode for Yakuza Girls and Breakfast At Sweethearts, which finds Prestwich’s replacement Charley Drayton – who’s acquitted himself well all night – strumming along on an acoustic guitar. A rocking You Got Nothing I Want restores order to proceedings, and Flame Trees proves to be so much more than sentimental bullshit, especially with the old Aussie bush footage rolling out behind it. Khe Sanh is a complete celebration, and it’s hard to tell why they thought they needed to scroll the lyrics over the big screens, as if anybody here doesn’t know the words backwards – regardless, all and sundry sing in unison, embracing the pure release of seeing their heroes sing this song they know so well, the shared familiarity a bond so strong it’s slightly frightening. Mossy smashes Bow River to finish the set, but of course there’s more in store: an a cappella intro to Saturday Night kicks things back into gear before a Brisbane montage lights up the screens, and they finish with Letter To Alan, the plaintive Four Walls and fittingly pummeling Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye). More than just a concert, tonight shows how music can, over time, seep into the national psyche and become part of our shared heritage. A uniquely Australian experience, and one to cherish for a long time.
TOUR GUIDE ARCTIC MONKEYS: Riverstage Jan 14 BETH ORTON: Old Museum Jan 15 THE DAMNED: The Hi-Fi Jan 19 THE WHITEST BOY ALIVE: The Tivoli Jan 19 TUNE-YARDS: Brisbane Powerhouse Jan 22 ROGER WATERS: BEC Feb 1, 2 & 4 DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES: Sirromet Wines Feb 5 SEETHER: The Hi-Fi Feb 7 INCUBUS: Brisbane Convention Ctr Feb 10 ROXETTE: BEC Feb 14 & 24 ROD STEWART: BEC Feb 22 BLACK LIPS: Coolangatta Hotel Mar 1, The Zoo Mar 2 JESSIE J: Riverstage Mar 1 RYAN ADAMS: QPAC Mar 1 TAYLOR SWIFT: BEC Mar 6 & 7 MADELEINE PEYROUX: QPAC Mar 8 URGE OVERKILL: The Zoo Mar 9 WILD FLAG: The Zoo Mar 11 CHARLES BRADLEY: Brisbane Powerhouse Mar 12 BON IVER: The Hi-Fi Mar 15 – 17 FIRST AID KIT: The Zoo Mar 16 NICK LOWE: The Tivoli Apr 4 MELISSA ETHERIDGE: QPAC Jul 10
BOY & BEAR: Kings Beach Tavern Nov 9, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 10, The Tivoli Nov 11 & 12 KING CANNONS: Sol Bar Nov 10, Beach Hotel Nov 11, Old Museum Nov 12 KOBRA KAI: The Hi-Fi Nov 10, Uber Nov 11, Buddha Bar Nov 12 PIMMON: Institute of Modern Art Nov 10 UPS & DOWNS, HUXTON CREEPERS: The Hi-Fi Nov 11, The Brewery Nov 12 TIJUANA CARTEL: SoundLounge Nov 11, Great Northern Nov 12, Solbar Nov 25 & 26 X: Lennox Hotel Nov 11, Beetle Bar Nov 12 ANTHONY CALLEA: Family Nov 13 GUINEAFOWL: Beach Hotel Nov 16, Spotted Cow Nov 17, The Zoo Nov 18, Sol Bar Nov 19 GYROSCOPE: The Zoo Nov 16 THE GRATES: Great Northern Nov 16, Coolangatta Hotel Nov 17, Kings Beach Tavern Nov 18 BUSBY MAROU: Empire Church Theatre Nov 17, The Hi-Fi Nov 18 DIG (DIRECTIONS IN GROOVE): Old Museum Nov 17, SoundLounge Nov 18 EMMA LOUISE: Sol Bar Nov 17, The Loft Nov 18, The Zoo Nov 19
GOLDEN DAYS FESTIVAL: Coolum Beach Nov 19 – 20 HARVEST – A CIVILISED GATHERING: Botanical Gardens Nov 19 MULLUM MUSIC FESTIVAL: Mullumbimby Nov 24 – 27 PIGAPOLOOZA: The Tempo Hotel Nov 27 STEREOSONIC: RNA Showgrounds Dec 4 FESTIVAL OF THE SUN: Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park Dec 9 & 10 WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL: Woodfordia Dec 27 – Jan 1 BLAH BLAH BLAH BOUTIQUE MUSIC FESTIVAL: South Bank Dec 28
REDLANDS ARE THE GOODLANDS
SPRING IN YOUR STEP If you’re scared of the suburbs and you’re scared of the Valley, then there’s a new Sunday afternoon of rock’n’roll goodness you really ought to try out. The Spring Hill Hotel is a fantastic, centrally located venue that has just recently agreed to start hosting rock bands every Sunday afternoon and they have some mighty exciting bills coming up to kick things off. This Sunday you’ve got performances from the likes of Voodoo Hounds, Big Bongin’ Baby and Helical Sun as well as a special mystery guest while Sunday Nov 20 will see HITS, pictured, The Busymen, The Madisons and Spook Hill all christen the stage. Entry to each of these shows is completely free and we are told that the drink prices are more than reasonable. The fun begins at 2.30pm each Sunday.
If you’re out in Capalaba and craving some bold rockn’roll then you need to get your arse down to the Koala Tavern where there will be one hell of a raucous party going on this very Sunday afternoon! Four diverse but awesome rock bands are coming together to put on a seriously good bill of entertaining and loud musical entertainment. The Jim Rockfords will be there in all their rockin’ glory, Ah Fuck That! Bring their special brand of comedic grindcore to the table, the crazy lads of Stone Chimp will be thrashing it out hard and the Redlands own secret weapon Righteous and The Wicked will be showing everyone how it’s done on their home turf. Doors open at 2pm and so long as you’re wearing a decent pair of shoes you’ll get in for nix!
HYH HAVE YOU HEARD?
DOWSED IN INTIMACY
Australian Weather, the debut album from Brisbane boys Plastic Wood, has been a long time coming but make no mistake, the wait is well-and-truly worth it. They are excited to be launching the record to their hometown audience and to help them is a deep line of support made up of David Aurora, The Flumes and straight-up rockers The Fuss. This fantastic evening of music happens Saturday Nov 12 at the Globe Theatre. Tickets can be found on OzTix for $10 or $15 on the door if they haven’t been snapped up.
CHILDREN OF BODOM SUPPORT ANNOUNCED
Adding to the already exciting announcement from earlier this year that belting Finnish metal quintet Children Of Bodom are touring the country, the bill has just become even more dangerous with news that Brisbane’s epic prog metal four-piece ‘Neath will support the Scandinavians on their Brisbane date. Catch both bands as well as previous announced support Voyager, when they erupt on stage at The Zoo Sunday Nov 13. Tickets are available through OzTix for $73.
PRETTY FLY FOR SOME WHITE GUYS
You would’ve surely heard their track fly as it’s been getting a lot of airplay as of late, and after winning the triple j Unearthed spot at Sydney Parklife, Nantes have gained momentum very quickly having formed just earlier this year. Now, these Sydney indie-rock gazers are set to release their debut self-titled EP and hit up an east coast tour to celebrate, the boys will be at Alhambra Thursday Nov 10 and you can snag your tickets on the door, five bucks if you’re a student and only ten for everybody else.
MIGHTY BIG STEPS
A culturally chameleon and mind-altering mash up of reggae, Afrobeat and hip-hop, The Strides are making moves in all the right places, their recent Reclamation album just being picked up for European and American distribution while their blistering live shows are the stuff of legend. Kicking off in a month, the band will be busy on the road until the end of 2011. Catch them at The Joynt Friday Nov 11 and at Nambour Full Moon Party Saturday Nov 12 before they arrive back in our neck of the woods with shows at Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Friday Dec 16, Nimbin Hall Saturday Dec 17 and Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour Sunday Dec 18.
Remember we announced a little while ago that Sydney dreamy pop five-piece Guineafowl were playing a whole bunch of shows in November? Well it gets better – local supports have just been announced and they are absolutely stellar. 2010 Unearthed High finalists Glass Towers, pictured, join Guineafowl at Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel (Wednesday Nov 16), The Zoo (Friday Nov 18) and SolBar, Maroochydore (Saturday Nov 19), while recent Dew Process signings Mosman Adlar fill out the bill at The Zoo, with Go Violets doing the same at SolBar. The tour is proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
The Dowse Bar in Paddington simply refuses to stop serving up quality live musical acts and let us tell you that this week is absolutely no exception. For starters, on Thursday night you will see Christen McGarry and Vincent Kemp take the stage for a charming night of song before Mardi Lumsden and Cameron Elliott show their faces on Sunday evening to do much the same. As is usually the case with the venue, both gigs are free with cheap drinks, cheap food and an awesome atmosphere that one of Brisbane’s newest venues is very proud of.
Sadly departing our shores for the power of love, Brisbane songwriter Tom Cooney has taken inspirations from across Europe and injected them into his emotive second album The Repetition. But the young musician is returning back to the great southern land for a stop-gap holiday and happily breaking up the time to treat his local fanbase to a run of shows. Find Cooney at a variety of dates including the confirmed full band album launch at Brisbane Powerhouse’s Livespark Sunday Nov 13 (4pm), the El Nino El Nino Cabin Show Saturday Nov 19 and the Tree House, Belongil Sunday Nov 20. Keep an eye on Tom’s Facebook page (tomcooneymusic1) for further show announcements. Following in the worn alt-country footsteps of his father, Melbourne-based troubadour Tristen Bird and his emotion-charged storytelling are embarking on a massive tour to varied corners of the country in support of his new release Horse To Water. Treating fans to his lush new material, Bird will land in our region Friday Nov 11, playing The Treehouse, Byron Bay before hitting Three World’s Music, Byron Bay Saturday Nov 12 and The Cave, Gold Coast Sunday Nov 13.
GUINEAFOWL DEAL SWEETENER
Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Chunky grooves. Still silly.” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “Faith No More. Not many bands can rock that hard without taking themselves very seriously at all… That’s an ethos we definitely aspire to also.” 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? “Firstly, I’m not sure how much I trust a spacecraft without capacity for digital storage, but my first thought is to pick the new album by Dub Trio, who (for those who aren’t in the know) play this gnarly dub-infused metal, sans vocals. After all, there’s no-one in space to hear them scream, right? Right?” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “Big Day Out 2011. We actually had no idea that we were being considered for the festival until friends told us that we’d been officially announced on the BDO website.” Why should people come and see your band? “We have an in-your-face sound that doesn’t fit into any particular genre movement in the Brisbane scene. If you have any expectation of what you’ll see if you come to a TKT show for the first time, you’re almost certainly wrong. The band’s relocating to Europe indefinitely in a little over 12 months so the opportunity to catch a show at a local venue is drawing to a close…”
A huge thanks goes out to all the generous Zed supporters who donated during our October Office Month Drive. We received office chairs, monitors, hard drives and whiteboards! So, this month we want to give back! Do you know someone whose Zed subscription has lapsed or are thinking about subscribing but they need a good reason (apart from the obvious good reasons)? 4ZZZ are offering one lucky person the chance to go to Dub Day Afternoon with five friends just for subscribing to our humble station before Sunday Nov 20. So, get your mates to visit our website 4zzzfm.org.au/subscribe and go into the draw to win six passes to Dub Day Afternoon, Saturday Nov 26 at the Jubilee Hotel.
EXHIBITION AT BRISBANE SQUARE LIBRARY 4ZZZ invites you to take a trip down memory lane as we dust off our old memorabilia and historical recordings for a special exhibition at the Brisbane Square Library. Reacquaint yourself with Brisbane’s oldest community radio station and let your senses be delighted by an aural and visual feast. Find out about 4ZZZ’s colourful and sometimes controversial past, across eras of political upheaval and musical experimentation. Kicking things off from Friday Nov 11 (and running until the end of December), we’re bringing out bucket loads of posters, photos, publications and classic audio recordings. The exhibition launches on Friday Nov 11, from 5-6.30pm on level 2 of the library. Brisbane Square Library is situated at 266 George Street, Brisbane CBD, (07) 3403 4166.
The Kidney Thieves play Pigapalooza at Tempo Hotel on Sunday Nov 27 How did you get together? Jason Coates aka Crafty J (bass/vocals): “The three of us with no formal musical education began playing silly sort-of eastern-influenced prog together about seven or eight years ago with a different line-up and under a different name. More recently our ranks have been joined by three insanely talented jazz-heads who share our love of loud distorted guitar and have really helped to define a sound (and make the rest of us look really good by association).”
GOSSLING TO JOIN TIM FREEDMAN Adding to the already inviting prospect of Tim Freedman and The Idle, the haunting voice of Melbourne’s Gossling has just been announced as main support for the tour. The gorgeous songstress accompanies Mr Freedman on all his Queensland dates, kicking off solo at Spotted Cow, Toowoomba Wednesday Nov 9 and Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi Thursday Nov 10, before her backing band joins her for two slots at The Zoo Friday Nov 11 and Saturday Nov 12. Tickets for all dates can be purchased through OzTix or the venues direct.
After holding the 4ZZZ AGM last Wednesday we are proud to announce our new Board Of Directors! And here they are: Chris Hunter (Chairperson), Sean Gallagher (Secretary), Brendan Eales (Treasurer), John Willsteed (Director), Eryani Marlin Othman (Director), Danielle Golding (Director), Kiley Gaffney (Director) and James Tidswell (Director). We are very happy that our current board members are continuing and welcome our new members with open arms. We are looking forward to their fresh perspectives and ideas for the year ahead at Zed!
4ZZZ PRESENTS Ups & Downs and Huxton Creepers this Friday night. Two of Australia’s finest exponents of guitar driven pop/rock from the 80s are reforming in support of their retrospective CD releases and will join forces for a mighty night of jangling guitars and power pop at The Hi-Fi on Friday Nov 11. Special guests will be Mick Medew & The Rumours. Tickets are available from www.thehifi.com.au.
BRISBANE BOUND with Northlane
Please relate your impressions of performing in our fair city. We love playing in Brisbane, not only are the crowds great but the climate is nice and warm which is always a nice departure from the southern cities. There’s always lots to do when we have time off and lots of friends to hang out with.
NAME OF ACT: Northlane MEMBER/ROLE: Josh (guitar) HOMEGROUND: West Sydney Describe your live music/performance style as succinctly as possible. Energetic, chaotic and loud! Is this your first foray to Brisbane? If not how many times have you performed in our midst? We’ve played in Brisbane quite a number of times since our first trip up in early 2010.
What can we expect different this time around? We will be playing lots of new songs from our brand new album and with our old bass player back in the fold, we feel like we’re at our best ever! Has anything exciting been happening in your world of late? We recently signed a record contract with We Are Unified and have our debut album Discoveries coming out on 11-11-11. In support of this release we’ll be headed on a national headline tour with our friends In Hearts Wake. Northlane play Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast (afternoon, all ages) and Thriller (evening, 18+) on Saturday Nov 12, Blackbox, Nambour Sunday Nov 13 (all ages)
It’s been a while between drinks for Adelaide indie outfit City Riots, BUT the wait for EP number two, Matchsticks, has been decidedly worth it. vocalist/ guitarist Ricky Kradolfer tells Tony McMahon all about it.
She doesn’t mind being called ‘enchantingly quirky’ and is genuinely trying to do something unique with the launch of her debut EP. Miss Elm, AKA Erin Harrington, talks to Tony McMahon.
Part of the reason it’s taken City Riots so long to make another record is that they recorded an entire album in Chicago with renowned producer Bjorn Thorsrud, but things didn’t quite work out. Kradolfer tells the story and, in the process, speaks volumes about the band.
“I really wanted to push the boundaries of the usual ‘band show’ idea,” says Harrington, talking about the launch of her record to be held in conjunction with live arts, hand-crafted merch and photography. “[I wanted] to make a night that was more of a creative experience than just a concert. There’s such a diverse arts community that’s been rapidly growing, so I wanted to give other photographers, artists and fine art students a chance to amalgamate their art in new ways, also a great chance to promote their own work and network with others.”
“I guess for a young band like we are, it’s very easy to get caught up in the fanfare of doing a big, elaborate album with a big US producer. There were some great things about the original recordings, but we didn’t want to put something out that we weren’t 100 percent proud of. I never did become comfortable with the record and started thinking about re-recording the songs. We eventually came to terms with the idea that we’re basically going to scrap what we’d spent four months working on, and in a way, start again.” This begs the question, of course, how is Matchsticks different from those recordings? In short: no Warrior Queen covers. “It’s not like it was dubstep or anything. The original Chicago recordings were very slick, over-produced, layered, and really didn’t let the song come through. Matchsticks still has its catchy hooks and the edgy, jangly guitars, but I think the songs and arrangements have been given much more attention, and the unique breathy, reverb qualities of the vocal have been emphasised more within the song.” City Riots have played SxSW, BigSound, CMJ, Cultures Collide, and supported Smashing Pumpkins, but one rock’n’roll moment sticks in Kradolfer’s mind. “Having Billy Corgan come into our tiny backstage area, which was classed as our dressing room, asking if we could iron his pants was a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”
“I’m comfortable with that title, I think it really suits as it’s not strictly pop, rock or jazz (but if you had to label it, those would be the words I’d use), and the lyrical content can be very left-ofcentre (either very blunt, or the opposite). The instrumentation on the EP is quite lush, but at the same time can be stripped back to simple percussion on songs such as 2nd Hand.”
ALTHOUGH NANTES’ DEBUT FOURTRACK EP HAS ONLY JUST ARRIVED, THE BAND ARE LOOKING FIRMLY AT THE FUTURE. DAVID RODGERS EXPLAINS TO BENNY DOYLE HOW TODAY’S LESSONS MAKE FOR TOMORROW’S LEGACY.
“I’m good at making people smile, whether they intended to or not. The full band show is really fun and upbeat, we star instruments such as the melodica, flute and violin, so there’s always something going on that’s interesting to look at, and the music is catchy – you’ll be singing it on the way home. I’m really excited about this launch, not just because it’s promoting my first EP, but because it’s not your usual band gig. It’s everything to do with the word ‘creative’ rolled into one night, and something I plan on making bigger in the future.” WHO: Miss Elm WHAT: Miss Elm (Independent)
WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Wednesday Nov 16
WHERE & WHEN: Browning Street Studios Friday Nov 11
GETTIN’ COMFY with TIMOTHY CARROLL feature BigStrongBrute, week two will feature Tom Cooney and band (back briefly from Dublin) and week three will feature McKisko who has just released a wonderful 7-inch vinyl called Good Grief. We’ll also have some vignettes from a local puppeteer or poet between sets to make the night truly memorable.
Any special guests going to make an appearance during your tenure? Quite a few actually. Each week we’ll have a band down to play after us. So week one will
Favourite position at the venue when you’re not on stage? The Joynt has a few good vantage points from which the band can be enjoyed from a window ledge while sitting just outside and watching the milk factory workers come and go into the night... but for the guest acts I’ll be found front row. What have you been up to of late? I got back to Brisbane from a year in Sweden in July. It all seems like a very beautiful and expensive dream now but I’ve been settling back into a routine of live music, rehearsals, bike rides and socialising. Already I’ve seen some great shows including a wonderful Wilson Pickers gig at The Zoo just last week. Brisbane has a lot to offer in terms of live gigs and I’m seeing as much as I can. Timothy Carroll plays The Joynt on Wednesday Nov 9, Wednesday Nov 16 and Wednesday Nov 23.
LONG LIVE THE CROWN There are some places in the world where the rock just doesn’t stop; Lutwyche’s Crown Hotel is well on its way to becoming one and that’s something that we really like a hell of a lot. Hell, the next couple of weeks is jammed with awesome rock’n’roll to satiate any discerning appetites; check these bills out! Friday Nov 11 sees West Texas Crude, pictured, bring their infectious rockabilly to the pub, Saturday Nov 12 has 4ZZZ’s Club Zed night raring with performances from the likes of The Dirty Eastwoods, Hap Hathaway, Big Iron and Shoot! The Piano Player. The following week is just as exciting as Screamin’ Stevies Australia take the Friday Nov 18 slot and Club Zed is inhabited by Vaginabillies, Ah Fuck That! and Second Hand Smoke. Entry is always free, there’s food available and the beers are at your regular public bar prices. Why not get amongst it?
SIX PACK the scam CON SWINE OF GOLD COAST STOMPERS THE SCAM TALKS PUNK ROCK HEROES, SPEEDY NEW RECORDS AND THE BAND’S SPIRITUAL HOME WITH BENNY DOYLE.
Besides being a multiple art extravaganza, Harrington says that her launch will also be a real frown upside down affair.
WHO: City Riots
Same set every week or mixing it up? We have a bunch of new tunes we are keen to get comfortable with. I wrote a new album of material while I was in Sweden and Berlin last year so this will be chance to break in the new tunes and see how they feel live. Over the month we’ll through in a few old tunes and a cover or two also.
So, how does Harrington feel about being referred to as ‘enchantingly quirky’? No big deal, it seems.
WHAT: Matchsticks (MGM)
What is it about the venue that makes you want to do a run of shows there? I’ve always had a soft spot for The Joynt. It’s relaxed, they sell Mercury cider, there’s a free jukebox, it’s central but still kind of out of the way, it’s a small room with a decent PA and the staff are nice folks too.
Nov 9, 1963 – Louie, Louie was released by The Kingsmen. To this day no-one knows what the lyrics are... Nov 10, 1958 – Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls are injured in an auto accident near Marion, Arizona. Sam Cooke’s driver is killed in the accident. Nov 11, 1989 – Melissa Etheridge and Joe Cocker entertain Germans that are celebrating the newly tumbled Berlin Wall. Nov 12, 1987 – Sly Stone is arrested for non-payment of child support when he arrives an hour late for his “comeback” concert in LA. Nov 13, 1997 – Ray Charles conducts his first-ever online chat at www.rhino.com. Nov 14, 2000 – The trial of Michael Abram begins. He had attacked George Harrison and his wife in their home in Britain on Dec 30, 1999. Nov 15, 1990 – Frank Farian, producer of Milli Vanilli, publicly admits that Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus never sang a note on the Milli Vanilli album and that they lip-synch when they perform live.
“It was really good fun doing the EP and a real learning experience. It was our first attempt at recording something of our own and we had to develop the tracks and the sounds which made the end result really satisfying. We learnt a lot which is great, so we know what to do better on the next recording.” Vocalist and bass player for hyped Sydney crew Nantes, Rodgers fronts a brooding, angular four-piece. The band sharply spins new shapes on the British form of popinfluenced post-rock, just don’t tell them they’re starting a domestic revolution. “I mean it’s all been done before,” he frankly admits. “We’d love to hopefully grow into a band that makes its own waves into a new area. Dark rock and pop, new post-punk, indie gazers, there’s so many labels. We just hope that we can at least stand out in the electronic-indiepop scene that is populating Australia. We like contrast and colour in our recordings, so we try to make things have different moods and add certain qualities to each song to bring that across. Doing choral vocals just felt right to us, so we recorded various ideas and this is how the tracks grew to form the shape of the EP.” Following their recent well-received support slot for Earnest Ellis and The Panamas, Rodgers is eager to bring the Nantes live experience back to Brisbane. The frontman is looking forward to creating a captivating journey from which the audience can’t escape its clutches. “Our set is filled with different sounding songs. We play three songs off the EP and there’s all the new stuff we’re writing which is quite diverse, from some big anthemic chanting to some electronic noise,” he adds. “Hopefully each individual song will leave a different impression and a strong impression.”
“It’s almost done,” Swine explains about the first proper full-length from GC punks The Scam. “We recorded 16 tracks in around five hours. That’s got to be a record. We’re aiming to have it released in early-2012 and we’ll follow that up with another tour. Like the EP, the album is still very DIY but we like it that way, that’s how the bands we love did it and that’s how we want to keep doing it.” With the warning that it’s only going to get faster and louder, the guys will no doubt be firing on all cylinders with a few massive support slots coming up with some of punk rock’s most iconic names. “It’s a fucking dream,” Swine gushes. “We’re about to play with The Casualties, then in December we have The International Swingers. Like so many of us, Casualties songs provided some of my first exposure to street punk and that changed my life, so we’re stoked! And International Swingers features members of the Sex Pistols, Blondie and The Cult. It’s going to be insane, and we are all so proud and psyched to be on these shows.” For any punk band developing from the GC in recent times, it’s also hard not to tip their mohawks to Arundel institution Shed 5. Swine drives home how important the venue is to the local punk rock community. “Any scene is going to have a hard time surviving if it doesn’t have a home. Seven years ago, the Coast was dead. There was nowhere punk bands could play without a lot of hassle. And if you were under 18, you had no choice but to make the trips to Brisbane every week to see a punk show. With the help of Shed 5 and a few hard working people, that has all changed. Shed 5 has given a home to all of us.”
WHO: The Scam
WHAT: Nantes EP (Deadhand Music)
WHAT: Since When Is Hardcore Rated G (Independent)
WHERE & WHEN: Lambda @ Alhambra Lounge Thursday Nov 10
WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Sunday Nov 13
Hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell. Email punk news to email@example.com Endless Heights
New York’s Backtrack will be heading to Australia this January for the very first time, bringing with them their take on the tradition NYHC style. Since their inception in 2008, the band have slowly built up their reputation as a hardcore powerhouse, and have only recently backed up their reputation with the release of their highly anticipated debut album Darker Half (out now through Reaper Records). Joining Backtrack, will be Melbourne’s Iron Mind, fresh from the release of their debut full-length Hell Split Wide Open (which I’ve raved about quite a few times now). You can catch the pairing when it hits Brisbane on Thursday Jan 26, 2012 for an 18+ show at Snitch Nightclub in Brisbane. Then there was an all ages show scheduled for Sun Distortion Studios on Friday Jan 27, however due to the impending closure of Sun Distortion, I’m not sure where the new location will be, but I will keep you all updated! Sydney’s Endless Heights are set to release their second EP Dream Strong in the coming weeks. The six tracks that make up their EP show a band that is maturing both in their outlook and in their songwriting, drawing inspiration from the likes of The Carrier, Balance & Composure and More Than Life, to create something that owes as much to punk rock as it does to hardcore. To celebrate the release of the Dream Strong EP, the band are embarking on a massive tour across the country, having lined up some big shows with even bigger line-ups. Continuing the tradition of as yet unknown venues for shows, there will be an all ages show somewhere in Brisbane on Friday Dec
9. On Saturday Dec 10 there will be an 18+ show at Fat Louie’s in Brisbane, and then another all ages show, this time in Toowoomba, at the CWA Hall on Sunday Dec 11. Congratulations have to go out to Sydney pop punk act, Tonight Alive, for capping off a massive year with their signing to Fearless Records in the United States. The release of their debut EP Consider This, will coincide with an appearance on the Fearless Friends tour, before their debut fulllength, What Are You Scared Of? gets a US release early next year. Tonight Alive are in the process of wrapping up a massive regional tour, before heading to the States, returning in time for their appearance on Soundwave 2012. The newest band to join the roster of Brisbane based label Arrest Records is San Francisco’s Alcatraz. Having been around since 2005, what started as a side-project for most of the members (who were in First Blood at the time) turned into the main focus for the members by 2010. Arrest Records will release the band’s album Smile Now Cry Later on Friday Nov 11, with the release containing 14 brand new tracks from the band as well as six songs from their out-of-press debut release. With the release, I also hear rumours of plans to tour Australia in 2012. Hit up the Arrest Records Big Cartel for all information relating to ordering and purchasing. One of the bands that I keep hearing about in the wake of the mass exodus to the US that took place earlier this year (for Sound & Fury and This Is Hardcore festivals), is the Los Angeles Straight Edge act Minority Unit. The band have a demo under their belt and look to be releasing a 7-inch soon. Last week a new track that is to be featured on the record was debuted on a US radio program, called Mind Your Fucking Business. Keep an ear out for more information on the release as it arrives. And check out the demo, as Minority Unit are somewhat of a supergroup, featuring members of Soul Control and Rotting Out. If you like what you hear, watch some footage of them on YouTube and try to figure out just how many singers they have as well.
Now almost entirely based in Brisbane as opposed to Sydney, especially since having booted original guitarist Gary Markowski and replacing him with ex-The Ailment guitarist Tom Brown, death metal group Thy Art Is Murder will tour again in December. Joined by Germany’s furiously technical, genre-defying War From A Harlot’s Mouth, Sydney’s The Bride and Perth’s Make Them Suffer, they’ll be playing at Shed 5 on Dec 2 and at the Globe Theatre on Dec 3. Tickets are on sale now. Melbourne post-black metallers Encircling Sea are still set to make their Queensland debut in December, there’s just been a venue change in the wake of Sun Distortion being forced to cancel most bookings. Catch them for a free show on Dec 2 at Fat Louies with IDYLLS and the first show from Hope Drone, and again on Dec 3 at Between The Walls in West End with The Matador, Nuclear Summer, Courting Pandora and Fvck Mountain for $10. Gold Coast post-metal/alternative rock group Helm, who recently added A Secret Death guitarist Scott Reid to their lineup, will also play on Dec 2 at Arena in support of their new single Home. Having bowed out of the live arena for the past few months while the drum tracks for their album were recorded and certain medical issues were dealt with, The Schoenberg Automaton is back and booking shows. Catch them locally on Dec 16 at Monstrothic with Down Royale, Shifting The Paradigm, The Secrecy and The Archivist. For any southern readers, they’ll also appear in Melbourne at Sonic Forge Festival alongside dozens of other bands on Nov 26.
The first announcement for Bluesfest has dropped, it’s massive, it’s awesome and here’s the first installment of my mixtape for the 2012 bill.
allowed to. Anyway, this tune is from their excellent Z record from a few years back.
THE POGUES: Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn One of my fondest ever Bluesfest memories was seeing Shane MacGowan stumble his way through a set with The Popes on back in 2003. The Pogues are, for me, one of the best punk rock bands this planet has ever seen; their fusion of traditional Irish music and punk rock just kicks you in the guts like nothing else and every line of this song is pure genius.
THE JAYHAWKS: Blue Forgive the hyperbole, but this might be one of the greatest songs ever written. Fans will argue it’s not their best, but that‘s always up for debate. This is a finely-crafted pop masterpiece; complex but catchy, beautiful without being overly sentimental and every single note is utterly perfect. How this song didn’t become a massive hit I’ll never know. I saw Mark Olsen and Gary Louris play as a duo a couple of years back and it was great; this will be greater.
THE WHO: I Don’t Mind I don’t like Tommy all that much. I mean, I like it, but I just never got into it as much as I did The Who’s first record My Generation. So I’m glad Roger Daltrey will be doing other Who tunes as well as playing that record in full. This James Brown cover from that record is just classic 60s British mod rock.
BUDDY GUY: A Man and The Blues Buddy has proven he is back to his finest as a performer. While he’s been here a bit lately, don’t take the opportunity to see him for granted, he is truly one of the greats of all time. This song proves it.
STEVE EARLE: Devil’s Right Hand You might know him from Copperhead Road, you might know him as Bubbles’ buddy on The Wire, but if you’re a fan, you know Steve Earle as one of the truly legendary American songwriters of all time. There are so many songs I could choose, I’ve chosen this one from his smash hit 1988 record Copperhead Road because I just feel like listening to it. JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE: Yuma Steve’s son is always in Australia, the past couple of years have seen him here at least once per year. If you still haven’t seen him perform live, you must! He’s a consummate performer; supremely talented as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and charming to boot. Yuma is from Justin’s first EP and it is one of the saddest, most affecting songs I’ve ever heard. MY MORNING JACKET: Anytime They’re one of those bands who have always been considered a perfect fit for Bluesfest, MMJ are a great, jammy, roots rock band with such wide appeal. Their live shows are incredible; question is, will Bluesfest give them a long set? Their club shows can stretch for over three hours if they’re
EARTH, WIND & FIRE: September Okay, so they’re a bit cheesy, but these dudes are one of the most iconic bands from the disco era and they should put on a pretty fun show. Bring your dancing shoes! MACEO PARKER: Soul Power ‘74 Bluesfest 2008 was one of the best ever and Maceo was an unexpected major highlight. He’s played with James Brown, P-Funk, Prince, Brian Ferry and so many more, but when he’s leading his own band he lays it down in the classiest of fashions. This tune shows both Parker’s hard groove and proficient soloing. BETTYE LAVETTE: Joy I didn’t really like her last record very much; but Bettye Lavette’s 2005, Joe Henry-produced ode to ladies in music I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise is so good that I’ll forgive just about anything she does for the rest of her life. This version of Lucinda Williams’ Joy is brutal. Joining these acts are John Butler Trio, Yes, G3 (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Steve Lukather), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Yann Tiersen, Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot!, Trombone Shorty and Great Big Sea.
Pop culture therapy with Adam Curley
Metal with Lochlan Watt Oddities of pure darkness and unfathomable time signatures, Portal shall make their yearly local appearance this Friday night (11/11/11) at the Globe Theatre. They’ll be joined by South Australia’s Stargazer and the local blackness of Spire. Tickets are on sale now but you should be able to grab one at the door for $20 from 7pm. Moon will also perform at the after party at the Jubilee Hotel from midnight.
Blues ‘n’ roots with Dan Condon firstname.lastname@example.org
On the back of their latest album Conjure and Command, US old school thrash metal solo-project-come-touring-band Toxic Holocaust will return to Australia in January. They’ll be joined by Melbourne punks Kromosom (ex-Pisschrist). Tickets go on sale for $30 plus a booking fee this Friday, and they’ll play at The Zoo on Jan 7. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, Scott Kelly of Neurosis and John Baizley of Baroness will be touring Australia together in February of next year. While Mr. Kelly has released two solo albums over the years between his time with Neurosis, Shrinebuilder and Tribes Of Neurot, Mr. Baizley will reportedly play acoustic variations of Baroness classics, a bunch of covers, acoustic originals and maybe even some new Baroness stuff. Personally, Adamantium Wolf thinks it’d be better if Neurosis just pulled their fingers out and sacrificed a week of their European summer festival runs next year to come here as a full band just once before they die... but perhaps we’ll just have to sit here and wallow in the knowledge that such a tour will never happen. Local grind lords Brazen Bull have nearly finished tracking their debut full-length The Travelling Parasite with producer Sacha Yarrow. Further details are expected shortly. Melbourne prog group The Eternal will soon enter Colour Sound Studios to record their fifth full-length album, which is for now titled When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade. The band estimates the recording will span across six months, with singer/ guitarist Mark Kelson commenting that “we are approaching this recording quite differently than our previous albums, usually we have very comprehensive and complete demos, but we have decided to start tracking at the basic idea stage and see where it takes us,” before going on to reveal that he himself will be the effort’s sole producer.
It might seem obvious that drinking and pop music go hand in hand. For some of us, the only time the kind of whirring dance-pop that fills the charts can be heard is while traipsing past a bar or club on the way to somewhere better, or perhaps coming out of the radio on the way home in a cab. For others, being barely conscious (or just straight-up unconscious) is what would be required to make the likes of Jason Derulo or Maroon 5 bearable. But there’s another way alcohol and chart music are linked, and it seems to be growing more prevalent, or at least currently making itself very well known. I’m not talking about the general post-Skins themes of pop-song film clips, although it could be argued that we’re currently seeing the Americanisation of British ‘chav’ culture as the US version of Skins, shown on MTV, infiltrates pop culture. Film clips like Rihanna and Calvin Harris’s We Found Love and Calvin Harris and Kelis’s Bounce and Tinchy Stryder and Calvin Harris’s Off The Record feature, if not direct drug and alcohol consumption, then some very obvious references to them. Smoky hand-held camera footage of sweaty dudes jumping around in a lounge room with their eyes rolled back doesn’t happen after sharing a couple of soda waters. And it’s not hard to pick the link here – Calvin Harris has branded himself the mischievous British puppeteer of the new American ‘highenergy rave’ fad. There are even more blatant ties, and Rihanna’s We Found Love clip is a good example. In the clip, Rihanna is seen drinking Budweiser products on two separate occasions: first a bottle and then a can of Bud. In her previous single, Cheers (Drink To That), Rihanna namedrops Jameson whiskey in the lyrics of the song and, in the clip, gets a live audience to sing that particular line back to her. Elsewhere, Taio Cruz displays Florida’s 4 Orange Vodka prominently in the clip for his new single, Hangover. Post-Ke$ha Californian newcomer Dev gives Grey Goose pride of place in the clip and lyrics for her Bass Down Low track, which has clocked up over 30 million YouTube views. Of course, Ke$ha has become the poster girl for booze branding following her rep-making talk of
brushing her pearly whites with a “bottle of Jack” in her debut single Tik Tok. Since that track, she’s advertised Revolucion tequila in We R Who We R and Cristal champagne in Blow. Product placement is nothing new, although it’s undoubtedly becoming a more widely used and accepted method of advertising. It’s certainly not limited to alcohol brands, either – however, as has been often noted, alcohol sales thrive in hard economic times. Many US fast food chains are adding alcohol products to their menus to boost sales. Some towns in the country’s south have even reconsidered their booze bans, left over from Prohibition, to keep themselves alive. It makes sense, then, that as the music industry looks to brands for funding, the alcohol industry has stepped up as one with money to invest. The placement of alcohol has also recently exploded in the film world. Binge drinking has become not just prevalent but without the usual ‘moral consequence’ in recent rom-coms, acting as a regular social lubricant for the fit, attractive and career-successful stars. And the characters are very loyal to their brands, from the downing of Grey Goose in Crazy, Stupid Love, to Stella Artois in No Strings Attached, Heineken in Something Borrowed and – randomly – Texan brew Shiner Bock in Friends With Benefits. And all this comes just after widespread discussion of alcohol-related social problems in the western world, no less. Perhaps not surprisingly, that discussion has largely been silenced as booze has lifted its game to help keep economies afloat. Not everyone is selling out to booze brands. And there are some surprising names amongst those who aren’t. Despite their sleazy party shtick, LMFAO don’t use a brand bottle of champagne in the clip for their single Champagne Showers, instead opting for a plain black bottle. And not one alcohol brand pops up in Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night (TGIF) clip, which is almost unbelievable considering the amount of product placement in the singer’s previous clips. Then again, the entire song could be funded by the American bar chain TGI Fridays for all we know.
CLUB GUIDE WED 9
OGFLAVAS With Cyclone
Byronic soulstress Amy Winehouse will have been gone less than six months when her first posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, drops on Monday Dec 5. The ‘Lioness’ bit is derived from the singer’s label, Lioness Records, which she created in 2009 to issue music by her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield. Lioness… clearly isn’t the actual third album that Winehouse was rumoured to be making. Possibly that project doesn’t even exist. Instead, Winehouse’s producers, Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, together with her family, management and label, have selected 11 songs from the vaults – alternate versions of Winehouse classics (including Valerie), demos and previously unreleased tracks. They date from “before, during, and after the release of Frank and Back To Black”, according to Island Records’ press blurb – which, coincidentally, reuses or shares content published “exclusively” in The Sun tabloid. Lioness… will take in Winehouse’s recently aired duet with Tony Bennett, Body And Soul, her last-ever studio recording – rounding the track listing to 12. She cut the ‘jukebox’ Between The Cheats with Remi in May 2008, potentially for an album. It alludes to the breakdown of her marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil. There’s also a new song, Like Smoke, with Nas, who inspired Me And Mr Jones, from the same sessions with Remi. Nas’ contribution was arranged in post-production. Aside from Body And Soul, Lioness… showcases Winehouse’s covers of the bossa nova standard The Girl From Ipanema, the earliest recording here, The Shirelles’ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (helmed by Ronson and featuring players from The Dap Kings), and Leon Russell’s A Song For You, a number usually associated with the equally tragic Donny Hathaway. An emotional Winehouse performed A Song… on guitar with Remi in her home studio two years ago. The album’s lead single is Remi’s reggae-fied Our Day Will Come, a hit for Ruby & The Romantics in the 60s (and later Frankie Valli). The collection’s highlight is likely to be Halftime, a song that Winehouse was working on even amid the Frank era. Her buddy ?uestlove from The Roots has finished it off.
NME’s Dan Martin attended a Lioness… listening session with Remi introducing the songs and reports that Winehouse’s original collaborator insisted, “This is not a Tupac [Shakur] situation.” Presumably, Remi doesn’t envisage a stream of Winehouse LPs. Infamously, more 2Pac albums have surfaced posthumously than the rapper released in his lifetime – although, to be fair, cynical commentators often neglect to mention that his politically engaged mother Afeni has used sales to fund the worthy Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which runs arts programs for disadvantaged youth. Still, Martin adds, no one is officially precluding further posthumous Winehouse sets. Nevertheless, Island is obviously mindful of the controversy surrounding last year’s Michael – members of the Jackson family disputed the King of Pop being the legit vocalist on several songs. Assures Winehouse’s cabbie dad Mitch, “Had the family felt this album [Lioness…] wasn’t up to the standard of Amy’s others, we’d never have agreed to release it. We believe it will stand as a fitting tribute to her musical legacy.” A portion of sales will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The ‘Amy’ industry was in full swing well before her death from alcoholic poisoning, Winehouse callously exploited by a sensationalist media culture. Most sickening were those morbidly gleeful announcements of her joining the socalled 27 Club. NME deserves props for a superb Winehouse tribute. It was among few outlets not to re-publish paparazzi photos of her in distress. Regardless, Winehouse is now credited for today’s surge of mercurial female performers from Adele, her most conspicuous heir, to the theatrical Lady GaGa to Florence Welch. Welch, inclined to make heroes of tragic women like modernist novelist Virginia Woolf, praises Winehouse for “kick[ing] the door open for female singers” in an NME cover story for her new album, Ceremonials. “Growing up, it was such a male band-dominated music environment and [Back To Black] was seminal – [it proved that] women could be strong, powerful and rebellious, but as a singer, not a band.”
DANCE MOVES New Currents with Tim Finney TOK
I’ve not really paid a huge amount of attention to dancehall since a period of absolute obsession in the early-2000s; in the past year, though, Jamaica has been on. My sense is that this year has seen the flowering of several trends: a will-to-perversity, dancehall artists trying to make bigger and more insane songs, and demanding bigger and more insane riddims from producers to match; linked to that, a certain density: many tracks are fast, layered, and cover a lot of ground very quickly; and finally, lots and lots of amazing girl tunes this year. Or is this new golden age just in my head? Here’s a summary of my favourite 2011 dancehall tunes so you can judge for yourself. Mad Sick Head Nuh Good Division: TOK’s Heroin Needle is the rawest music you’ll hear this year, a frenzied explosion of clattering percussion, violent cellos and menacing performances from TOK and Sleepy Hallowtip, like an extended death threat. Busy Signal’s Pon Dem (production courtesy of producer of the year Di Genius) is schizophrenic and morphological, Busy and the beat both constantly mutating into ever more histrionic displays of overwrought triumphalism, a montage of all the bloodiest battle scenes throughout history. Cherine Anderson’s Make Up Sex meanwhile is an exhausting panorama of lust and fury, from Ward 21’s gonzo beat to Cherine’s shocked declaration, “Boy you got me breakin’ breakin’ glass/Boy you got me cussing so low class!” Mellow Vibes Division: Vybz Kartel’s recent album was disappointing, but preceding single Colouring Book is totally devastating, sounding melancholy and wounded and forlorn; when Vybz sings “galla said me pretty like a colouring book” over dolorous minor-key strings I can’t help but imagine some Where The
Wild Roses Grow-style ending. Tanya Stephens’ Shame On You is deceptively breezy summery fun, Tanya trying literally to shame the object of her desire into spending the night, but as the song progresses things get tinged with desperation and outrage, Tanya finally warning “I want to take legal action, if I don’t get no satisfaction!” Girls On Top Division: Aisha’s My Loving is a gloriously effervescent slice of consummate, high-energy, no-nonsense female dancehall, the graceful pounce of the beat contrasting with the joyful torrent of Aisha’s multi-tracked vocals. Meanwhile Jordanne Patrice’s quicksilver performance on Ready When Yuh Ready (slipping imperceptibly back and forth between chat and singing) subtly alights on enough hooks for five songs over relentless high-drama string stabs.
Casa De Salsa Latin Dance Party: Casablanca Hydophonic Sonic, Astrid And Asteroid: X&Y Bar Kai: Bullwinkles Miss Wild Heat II: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex: Shooters Frat Club: Pete Smith, Mark Z: Regatta Hotel Sammy OG, Rhys Bynon: Elsewhere THURS 10 Grace Owen: Elsewhere Karaoke In The Front Bar: Casablanca King Cannons, Jackson Firebird: Sol Bar Kobra Kai, PCD: The Hi-Fi MBar Thursdays: Vita, DJ Climate; Fitzy’s Loganholme Onra: Barsoma Too Damn Glam: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Tredman: Shooters Too Damn Glam: Dezastar, Mister P, MC Fortafy: Republic
FRI 11 Abbey Road: Jupiters Afro Disa, Joe T., DJ Misqo, DJ Levi: Casablanca Alex Gaudino, Craig Roberts, Joey Mojo: Platinum Nightclub And Oh!, Nubi: Elsewhere Flight Facilities, Tim Fuchs, Tropics, Audun: Elsewhere Hardwell, Bella, Tai B, Bossy, Mr Sparkle, Rich Curtis, Andee, Pete Smith, Nick Galea, Flash: The Met Laneous & The FamilyYah: Sol Bar The Upbeats, Kobra Kai: Uber Morgomega, Voodoo Dred, Science Project, Potato Mastah, Dot Ay: Beetle Bar Reichelt & the Concealed Knives, Leyte, Bee Loustar, Riot Dance Party: The Loft Thundamentals: James Cook University TJR, Danny T, Kayli, J-Row, Flecks, Hertz, Initial B, Sweatshop Millionaires: Electric Playground Vision Friday: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Tredman: Shooters Vision Friday: EA Kut, Bluffsta, Flo, MC OP: Republic
Vision Friday: Mister P: Rendezvous Yo Yo Ma, Nova & The Experience, Ball Of String, Rolando, Danny Cool, 7’ To 12’ Inches Of Love: X&Y Bar
SAT 12 Afro Disa, Joe T., DJ Misqo, DJ Levi: Casablanca Asterix, Giv: Elsewhere Hardwell, Craig Roberts, Joey Mojo: Platinum Nightclub Kobra Kai: Buddha Bar Beergarden MBar Saturdays: DJ DC: Fitzy’s Loganholme Regatta Saturdays: MC Bossy, Paul Bell, Marky Mark Z, Scotty R, DJ Tom Walker: Regatta Hotel Rhys Bynon: Elsewhere Secret Room: Beaker: Abode Sensation Club: Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Tredman: Shooters Sensation Club: Mister P, Stevie Z, Ea Kut, Trippa MC: Republic Sensation Saturdays: DJ LP, Mister P: Rendezvous The Clues, Arcade Made, Hawkmoon, Sangers, Charlie Hustle, 7’ To 12’ Inches Of Love: X&Y Bar The Upbeats: Coolangatta Hotel Touch Saturdays: Masta K, Otto, Dezstar, MC Loudmouth Len: Fitzy’s Loganholme
SUN 13 Giv, Stretch Paper Crane: Elsewhere Glisten Pool Party: Vanilla Ice: Jupiters LL Cool James: X&Y Bar Salsa Seduction: Casablanca Sweet Sunday Session: Masta K: Rendezvous
MON 14 Karaoke In The Front Bar: Casablanca Mad Hatters Tea Party: The Heritage
TUES 15 Envyus: DJ Dezastar, Eakut, Bluffsta, Oscar, DJ Owe, Dj Premix, Dj K-otic: Shooters Indie 500 Vs Loaded: The Heritage
Pop Crossover Division: Toi’s charming dancehall/r&b fusion on You’ll Be Mine what sounds like a novice singer with a novice song to create heartwarming summer pop that sweeps you up in its precarious loveliness. Denyque’s When We Touch is smoother but equally seductive, a faux-mournful sigh of frustrated desire that cradles your ears with comforting reggae-pop vibes. Laza Morgan’s One By One is maybe the only current dancehall tune you could describe as “Balearic”, coming on like Wayne Wonder singing over some awesome disco edit of a Lionel Richie hit: stirring, resonant, an ever-swelling ripple of boundless goodwill gradually enveloping the entire dancefloor in its winsome vibes. Tune of the Year Division: Konshen’s Nuh Pull It Up feels positively epic, moving from smooth slow-jam to frenetic party-starter to impassioned exhortations with a major case of ADD which would be jarring if it wasn’t executed so flawlessly. Konshen skewers DJs who rewind tunes too often, not letting dancers settle into the groove; is matching this rant to such an unpredictable tune a moment of ironic self-awareness or actually the perfect meta-move? Or both?
ON THE TIME OFF STEREO The High Country RICHMOND FONTAINE Royal Headache ROYAL HEADACHE Japanese Engines THE FAUVES Life Is Full Of Possibilities DNTEL Violent Masturbation Blues THE SAILORS Cargo Embargo SCREAMFEEDER The World Of Daptone Records VARIOUS Wowee Zowee PAVEMENT Stoneage Romeos PAVEMENT Fruit Loop City I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY
the strides Sydney reggae/Afrobeat/hip hop outfit The Strides are hitting the road hard in support of their new album Reclamation. Tony McMahon gets the lowdown from trumpeter Nick Garbett.
“I’d say it’s a continuation,” says Garbett, talking about whether Reclamation is similar or a departure from The Strides’ self-titled debut album. “There are definitely new elements in both the music and production and our approach to the music has developed a lot, but it’s still predominantly a reggae/Afrobeat album. For both albums we were lucky to work with very talented engineers, both with completely different approaches to the sound. If anything, with Reclamation, we placed more emphasis on using analogue recording and production techniques in the studio to get the sounds we were after.” As mentioned above, The Strides are about to embark on a mighty large tour, but Garbett is confident there’s no stereo hogs in his group. “Actually we’re really lucky to have a band that gets on so well, especially considering the amount of hours the eight of us will be spending together in an uncomfortable 12-seater! I think we have about eight ten-hour legs over the next month or so, which will take its toll no doubt, but we’ll get through it in one piece… I hope.” Talking of the tour, Garbett says listening to his band on record as opposed to getting out and seeing them live is a totally different thing. “You can’t say you’ve really heard The Strides till you see us live. We have a very open approach to our live shows so every night is different in some way. I think that’s what keeps our music fresh for both the audience and the band, which is really important when you have a 20-show tour to get through. Improvisation is a big part of our live shows, from song forms to instrumental solos, and everyone in the band gets a stab at highlighting their skills. We’re so lucky to have a band made up of some of Australia’s most exciting improvisers.” WHO: The Strides WHAT: Reclamation (Earshift/Fuse) WHERE & WHEN: The Joynt Friday Nov 11
4ZZZ NOW PLAYING 1. Higher Duties RE:ENACTMENT 2. Fortune INLAND SEA 3. Hunter’s Moon FEATHERS 4. About The Spirit/ Smoke Alarms NIKKO 5. Only In Dreams DUM DUM GIRLS 6. Miss Elm MISS ELM 7. Find Someone DANNY WIDDICOMBE 8. Teenage Girls THE BLEEDING KNEES CLUB 9. Espionage IMMIGRANT 10. Island Vibe Episode #6 Tiki Voyager Compilation VARIOUS ARTISTS
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SIX PACK tristen bird AS THE SON OF A TROUBADOUR, TRISTEN BIRD ALWAYS HAD MUSIC IS IN HEART. HE REFLECTS WITH BENNY DOYLE ON INFLUENCES PAST AND RECENT THAT WENT INTO THE MAKING OF HIS DEBUT ALBUM HORSE TO WATER.
“My first memories of music with my father would have to be when I was about four or five and Dad used to sit me down with him to listen to radio documentaries on The Beatles or John Lennon,” Bird reveals. “I learnt a lot about things from Dad, especially about bands, the dynamics and travelling on the road to do gigs. Dad worked hard on music which was good because some of that rubbed off on me.” Finding his feet musically, Bird jests that his new boots, or in this case songs, fit perfectly. Working with Shane O’Mara on his debut record Horse To Water, he’s managed to create something completely unique. “I’ve decided to create a new genre of music and drop mine into it,” he says. “I’m calling it ‘cinematic country’; so big string movements, old-time sounding guitars and vocals. I really dig the Glen Campbell production, Witchita Linesman-era. This was a record written around concepts of temptation and testing your morals. I also had a close friend die around the time I started writing and that changed a lot for me too.” Bird also uses his music to help the aptly-named conservation organisation Bird’s Australia. He expands. “In Adelaide as a bird specialist a decade ago,” he recalls, “I worked closely with a number of critically-endangered bird species which Bird’s Australia were involved with. I always admired the efforts these people would go to for our feathered friends. So, whilst I am not on the front line doing that kind of work at the moment, I really wanted to find a way to be a part of it still and contribute somehow, and this is it.” WHO: Tristen Bird WHAT: Horse To Water (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: The Treehouse, Byron Bay Friday Nov 11, Three Worlds Music, Byron Bay Saturday Nov 12, The Cave, Gold Coast Sunday Nov 13
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THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER
Le Party Soul with DJ Redbeard from 8pm
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BEHIND THE LINES SCREAMING ANGELS BROUGHT TO YOU BY
BEHIND THE LINES WITH MICHAEL SMITH BTL@STREETPRESS.COM.AU
MEET THE MEMOTRON
Back in the day, UK band The Moody Blues made their name fusing pop/rock with classical orchestra, never quite tipping over into the kind of thing Deep Purple attempted but obviously successfully enough to still be touring today on the back of having sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. The problem was reproducing those orchestral sounds, created by real classical musicians, on stage as a five-piece rock band. The answer in 1967 was the Mellotron, originally developed and built in Birmingham in the UK, which was essentially a polyphonic tape replay keyboard where you played a key and it triggered an audio tape of a string instrument playing that note. A couple of years ago Moody Blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Justin Hayward came across a German-made digital keyboard called the Memotron, manufactured by Manikin Electronic, that replicates that sound, which they’ve incorporated into their shows. “Yeah, it’s actually digitally preserved all of the cranky old Mellotron sounds,” Moodies drummer Graeme Edge explained recently with a chuckle, “so we’ve gone full circle. Back in the day, when we originally got it we were trying like mad to stop it sounding like a Mellotron and sounding more like an orchestra, and then you get stuff that makes orchestra sounds perfectly so now you’ve got a keyboard that reverts right back to where it sounds like a Mellotron!” The Moody Blues play the Brisbane Convention Centre Sunday Nov 20.
SOUND BYTES CMI Music & Audio have been appointed the Australian distributor for Antares Audio Technologies. Apple has now made GarageBand available for iPhone and iPod touch users. Girl In A Coma took themselves over to Austin, Texas to cut their new album, Exits & All The Rest, with producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, … Trail Of Dead), recording live to analogue tape.
Out of the ashes of their last reunion, THE ANGELS have found themselves reinvigorated by a shot of Dave Gleeson. MICHAEL SMITH catches up with them at Albert Studios.
euniting in 2008 in the classic original line-up of singer Doc Neeson, guitarists John and Rick Brewster, bass player Chris Bailey and drummer Buzz Bidstrup after several years where various members worked in a variety of configurations, 2011 began with that line-up once again going its separate ways. Throughout the previous four years, the Brewster brothers had continued pursuing their own career path and it was in that capacity that they found themselves performing at a venue in Hahndorf, in South Australia’s Mt Lofty Ranges, called The Haus, when a familiar face gradually insinuated itself and was invited up to sing a few Angels songs – Screaming Jets frontman Dave Gleeson. It didn’t take long for the brothers to realise the mix had potential, and here they are in Albert Studios in Sydney’s Neutral Bay recording a new album together, the studio itself a reincarnation of the one where their original career began. “We’ve always kept very close contacts with Albert’s,” John Brewster explains. “Harry [Vanda] is no longer with Albert’s although George Young and [A&R Manager and manager of all things AC/DC] Sam Horsburgh are, but whatever happened over in [original premises] King Street [in Sydney], the spirit’s survived and it’s over here now too. This is a great studio and Rayne [House – studio manager] is a fantastic engineer. And much as I love the old analogue recording and those old records still sound great to me, but, you know, if you wanted to go back and work with that technology now I reckon it would drive you mad.” Albert Studios, set up by the late Ted Albert, who was instrumental in establishing the careers of The Easybeats and then Vanda and Young as the studio’s house engineers, relocated to Ranger Road in Neutral Bay in 1986, when the original King Street premises were demolished. “I reckon we’ve come full circle; we’ve come back to just not getting too precious about stuff. When you’ve got engineers like Rayne, he just makes everything sound so fantastic, and we use a combination of old things and new things. An old Les Paul I purchased in LA in 1985 when our truck was stolen – the second truck!”
track I used just a small thing too. I mean it all sounds good. Those little amps are brilliant.”
Just how open the sessions are to any and every idea is exemplified by this anecdote from John Brewster: “I was in the bathroom a couple of days ago and I heard this guitar thing going off and I thought, ‘Oh, somebody’s making a nice little overdub on some track – I really like that.’ Then I realised that sounds like my brother, so I walked up to him and said, ‘What were you just playing?’ He said, ‘I don’t know,’ and I asked to play it again and he started playing this thing and I went, ‘That’s it! That’s a song there.’” Over the years, The Angels’ guitar sound changed from the original template of John Brewster’s power chord rhythm and Rick Brewster’s tight lyrical soloing as the band endeavoured to keep up with the times, particularly when guitarist Bob Spencer brought his more exploratory bluesrock style. In recording this new album, the brothers have in many ways come full circle, returning to the sounds of their classic albums Face To Face, No Exit and Dark Room. “The last time we were in,” Rick Brewster explains, “I used a Marshall quad box with a Fender Bassman 50 watt head, and it’s a really good sound, but I went home and did some overdubs with what I’m using now, a little 15 watt Vox Night Train, a single Celestian box… And I like it better.” “For me it’s still a big Marshall and a big quad box,” John Brewster admits, “though for one
Rick Brewster has also dusted off his old trusty white Strat again, after “rediscovering” it a couple of months ago when he and John were invited to be a part of a Jimi Hendrix tribute night at the Enmore Theatre. Nick Norton, a multi-instrumentalist who was in a young band John Brewster used to mentor, Gangawry, has picked up where original drummer Buzz Bidstrup left off and for the sessions he’s content to use the Albert’s house kit. “It’s a Pearl Reference, one of their premier kind of kits, but the various other noisemakers, the cymbals and snare, are mine. I’m not too precious about my own drum sounds because Rayne has the studio kit tweaked to sound perfect in this room and it suits the sound of The Angels perfectly.” “It just makes more sense to play a kit that’s tuned to the room that you’re playing that’s been tuned by the guy who’s recording it,” Gleeson adds laconically. As for the vocals, Gleeson says, “Once again, I’m just happy to be guided by the engineer who runs the place, which is funny ‘cause live I can’t use anything but a 58 – even the Beta 58s I don’t really like so much. An SM58 is what a rock singer should use on stage, I don’t know why – works for me. But in here they’ve got a huge range of Neumanns and all the good gear. The hard part for recording vocals, always for me, is to keep my hand off the microphone [laughs]. You can’t get away with it, can you? They’re gonna hear it.” The band – Chris Bailey remains on bass – are recording all together in the one room to capture as much of that spontaneity and natural interplay that comes from putting parts down together as possible. The Angels (feat. Dave Gleeson) play Redlands Sports Club Thursday Dec 15, Norths Leagues Club Friday Dec 16, Twin Towns, Gold Coast Saturday Dec 17
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Indie humstrum and drum open mic night. Every wednesday night from 8pm at the manly hotel drums p.a. provided just bring your guitars and sticks. Call chris for details 0414340954. Cambridge parade Manly
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Post-Hardcore/Pop-Punk/Metalcore Guitarist/Bass Looking For Others (Brisbane) To Join/Form A Band. Think a mix of D.R.U.G.S, EscapeThe-Fate, Falling-In-Reverse, DreamOn-Dreamer, Parkway-Drive, Atreyu, Behind-Crimson-Eyes. Have Gear & Extra Contact Matt On; 0451673733 or firstname.lastname@example.org. iFlogID: 15713
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Professional bassist currently on tour with members of Buena Vista Social Club. Electric & Upright bass. Many years of experience performing and touring. Affordable rates. All ages, levels, styles. 0403810714 iFlogID: 16161
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Alchemix Recording Studios Inner Brisbane city Recording Studio. Record, mix, mastering, duplicate. Established 1998. Large studio with lots of Vintage Gear & the latest in Digital Technology. Obligation free studio tours available,. PH: 0407 630 770 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WEB: www.alchemix.com.au iFlogID: 15600
Published on Nov 8, 2011
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...