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A FESTIVAL OF MUSIC FOR SMALL ENSEMBLES 10-13 MAY, 2012 70 diverse performances, 7 superb venues, 4 jam-packed days. Queensland Conservatorium in association with Queensland Symphony Orchestra, ABC and South Bank Parklands, presents Crossbows: a four-day festival of music for small ensembles. Don’t miss this significant event highlighting one of Queensland’s great musical strengths from 10–13 May, 2012. From classical to jazz, popular to new music, electronic to world music, workshops to discussion forums, there’s something for every musical palate.
Highlights include Katie Noonan + Elixir, Elision, Southern Cross Soloists, Topology, Emma Dean, Paul Grabowsky, Lawrence English and Tripod. Get a day pass for just $30. To find out more, visit griffith.edu.au/crossbows
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GIVEAWAYS Making their Australian debut last year with a small club tour and a blistering set at Golden Plains, Wavves left quite a mark on audiences across the country with their signature lo-fi punk rock. They’re back in the country to play headline shows and at Groovin The Moo. You can catch them at The Zoo on Tuesday 8 May, and we have two double passes to give away! Entrants must be 18+. Smirnoff No. 21 is ten times filtered and triple distilled, making it the perfect vodka for creating great mixed drinks. Inspired by this dedication to producing quality vodka, acclaimed Australian artists Beastman (Brad Eastman) and Nanami Cowdroy were invited to create their own interpretation of purity, starting with a blank canvas. The result is two distinctively different designs that evoke a sense of both beauty and imagination. We have got one Smirnoff No. 21 pack up for grabs which includes one of each of the limited edition designs. Entrants must be 18+ and photo ID must be shown when collecting the prize from the Time Off office.
childhood friend, Hamlet. But Rosencrantz and Guildenstern aren’t quite aware of which lines they’re supposed to learn. Can they change their fate, or is their script written? Tom Stoppard’s absurdist comedy is a reflection on the nature of reality, and whether things can change on the flip of a coin. Thanks to Brisbane Arts Theatre we have five double in-season passes (excluding opening night) to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead to give away! The season runs from Saturday 28 April to Saturday 26 May. London’s premiere postdubstep duo Mount Kimbie are returning to Australia in May as part of the The Hi-Fi Shoreline Series and Oscar ‘n’ Martin will be joining them for the ride. You can catch them at The Hi-Fi on Monday 2 May and we have got three double passes up for grabs! Entrants must be 18+. A star-studded line up of country artists tops the 2012 Urban Country Music Festival Friday Night and Saturday Night Concert series. To be held in Caboolture this Queensland Labour Day weekend (Friday 4 May – Monday 7), acts include a slew of winners from the recent Country Music Awards in Tamworth – Lee Kernaghan, Dean Perrett, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole and more! We have five double passes to give away!
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W E D N E S D AY 2 5 A P R I L 2 0 1 2
Foreword Line – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash 8 There are few people more inspiring than Andrew W.K. Find out why. 14 It sounds as if An Horse have found a nice balance in order to make touring life bearable 15 His plans for the future are modest, but Clint Boge cannot wait 16 Mt Kimbie don’t particularly like the music of their imitators 16 There’s comfort to be found in Big Scary’s chaos 18 Mick Thomas tells us what was and wasn’t familiar about making his killer new record 19 Gossling knows she can sing, she just doesn’t like to hear it 20 Working collectively is how New Manic Spree achieve their unique sound 20 Things are really coming together for the young Kate Martin 20 The Toot Toot Toots talk us through the mindset behind their epic Outlaws album 21 It shouldn’t be long before we hear new Step Panther material 21 On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases 22 Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out 22
Check out what’s happening This Week In Arts No one wanted Rob Heydon to make a film about drugs. He talks about about Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy We hear from Natalie Weir about R & J Cultural Cringe with Mandy McAlister Helen Stringer looks down The Looking Glass Tom Stoppard chats about his absurdist comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
McCormick, Brad Swob, Siobhain McDonnell 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, Brad Marsellos, Terry Soo, John Taylor, John Stubbs EDITORIAL POLICY The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. © PUBLISHER: Street Press Australia Pty Ltd Suite 11/354 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 POSTAL: Locked Bag 4300 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 Phone: 07 3252 9666 Email: email@example.com PRINTED BY: Rural Press
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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 Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down Lochlan Watt gives you brutal metal news in Adamantium Wolf Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas Go behind the music Behind The Lines iFlog and you can too
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NEWS FROM THE FRONT
IN BRIEF Men At Work multiinstrumentalist Greg Ham was found dead in his Melbourne apartment last week. The musician was 58-years-old.
BETTER BELIEVE IT
They have just returned from their first tour of the USA and Canada and now Busby Marou have announced an east coast tour in support of their new single I Still Don’t Believe, as well as announcing the very exciting news that they’ve signed with The Agency Group in Canada to book their live shows. The tour they’re embarking on is a pretty epic one, finishing up in their home state with a series of shows mid-July and will see the supported by Leader Cheetah (in duo mode) and The Hello Morning. The new single they’re touring on the back of was recorded in Byron Bay with Anthony Lycenko (Elvis Costello/Xavier Rudd) between shows on their last hectic tour and is available on the recently released deluxe edition of their album. The Rockhampton duo will be heading back to Canada and the USA for the end of the year, so this tour may be the final chance to catch them for a while. They hit the Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast Thursday 12 July, The SoundLounge, Gold Coast Friday 13, The Tivoli Saturday 14 and The Northern in Byron Bay Sunday 15.
This July, a seemingly unstoppable group of hardcore musicians return to Australia: Terror, ready and raring to tear things up in Australia for the first time in years. After playing over 300 shows per year and with over nine releases since their inception in 2002, the band have cultivated a fanbase from all over the world. Their long-awaited return to Australia will see Terror bringing with them their commitment to keeping hardcore “pure and fun”, as well as a whole new string of frontman Scott Vogel’s ‘Vogelisms’ for your enjoyment. Sydney’s own infamous hardcore group Iron Mind will support on all dates, including shows at the YAC, Byron Bay Monday 9 July (all ages), The Loft (the Brisbane one) Tuesday 10 (all-ages) and The Hi-Fi Wednesday 11. Tickets are available from OzTix for the all ages shows and Moshtix for The Hi-Fi date.
Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist of The Band, lost his battle with cancer last week at the age of 71.
THE INDUSTRY SPEAKS
It’s Australia’s biggest music industry conference and, for 2012, the team at BIGSOUND are looking to make it even bigger again with a dynamite first round of speakers and showcasing artists announced this afternoon. Held in Fortitude Valley from Wednesday 12 September – Friday 14, the event attracts a who’s who of industry heavyweights from across the globe as well as a fine selection of some of our country’s most promising musical talent. The first round of speakers announced last week include Ben Lee, pictured, Ben Swank of Third Man Records, Spotify‘s Rene Chambers, Aly Ehlinger from C3 Presents, David Jimenez-Zumalacarregui, EMI’s Mark Poston, Charles Caldas from Merlin, Nick Findlay from triple j, Village Sounds’ Jessica Ducrou, Ian Haug – Powderfinger/producer, Nicky & Ben Berger of Berger Management, Richard Moffat from Way Over There, CMJ’s Lisa Hresko and musician David Bridie. Heading up the music side of things – the BIGSOUND Live showcase series – local artists Kate Miller-Heidke and Violent Soho head up the bill with a very strong set of acts filling it out, including Eagle & The Worm, The Paper Kites, King Cannons, The Cairos, Oliver Tank, Kira Puru & The Bruise and The Trouble With Templeton. Head along to bigsound.org.au for details on tickets.
This year’s Splendour In The Grass line-up has been announced, and it looks like an epic three days and night of seriously good music are ahead! On Friday 27 July Jack White, At The Drive-In, The Shins, pictured, Explosions In The Sky, The Afghan Whigs, Kimbra, Spiderbait, Gypsy & The Cat, DZ Deathrays, Howler, Lanie Lane, Big Scary, Michael Kiwanuka, Yacht Club DJs, Bertie Blackman, Youth Lagoon, Pond, Ben Howard, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Kate Miller-Heidke, Emma Louise, Chet Faker, Canyons, Nice And Ego, Alison Wonderland and Flume get things started the right way. Saturday 28 you’ll have Bloc Party, Hilltop Hoods, Miike Snow, Dirty Three, 360, Lana Del Rey, Tame Impala, Ladyhawke, Mudhoney, Band Of Skulls, Last Dinosaurs, Muscles, Seekae, Friends, Jinja Safari, The Beautiful Girls, Tijuana Cartel, Bleeding Knees Club, Shihad, Here We Go Magic, Mosman Alder, The Cast Of Cheers, Wolf & Cub, Danny T, Sampology, Gloves and Luke Million keeping you entertained, while on Sunday 29 the music of Smashing Pumpkins, The Kooks, Gossip, Azealia Banks, Wolfmother, Missy Higgins, 50 Years Of Dylan, Metric, Django Django, San Cisco, Electric Guest, Angus Stone, Fun., Blue King Brown, Yuksek, Ball Park Music, The Rubens, Zulu Winter, The Medics, Husky, Father John Misty, Parachute Youth, Gossling, Nina Las Vegas, Beni, Alley Oop and Harris Robotis will be ringing throughout the grounds. It returns to Byron Bay’s Belongil Fields this year and tickets go on sale Friday 27 April through Moshtix. Three day tickets will be going for $350 + bf, camping tickets cost $99 + bf and single day tickets are available for $135 + bf.
In tribute to Levon Helm, John Fogerty joined The Black Keys live on stage at Coachella to play The Band’s classic song The Weight. Classical music label Melba has been informed by the Australia Council that its funding will be abruptly cut at the end of June after critics raised concerns at the $750,000 it was awarded last year. The company has pronounced said critics as jealous. Gotye and Kimbra’s Somebody That I Used To Know has become the first Australian song to top the American singles charts since Savage Garden did so in 2000 with I Knew I Loved You. Sia is at number six with Flo Rida collaboration Wild Ones and Havana Brown is at 96 with We Run The Night, featuring Pitbull.
THE FINAL TRIAL
Last week the fellows from Trial Kennedy took to Facebook to announce their imminent split. In their time together the Melbourne band released two albums, New Manic Art in 2008 and Living Undesigned last year, this after a number of EPs that garnered them major supports and festival appearances early on in the band’s career and before they were picked up by Sony for their first album, which cracked the top 25 on the ARIA Album Chart. The band said that they have decided to split up for a number of reasons and say they are doing so with their heads held high and announced that they would not be leaving without saying goodbye, announcing a series of dates in June set to be their final farewell to their dedicated fanbase. They are bringing up-andcoming Melburnian rockers My Echo along for a ride which stops in at The Tempo Hotel Friday 8 June and the Gold Coast’s Miami Tavern Saturday 9. Tickets are available from OzTix right now.
ANOTHER SPLENDID YEAR
Missy Higgins is set to hit the road this June for her first national Australian tour since 2007. Her comeback onto the touring circuit coincides with this week’s unveiling of her comeback single, Unashamed Desire – her first release in over five years also. A private decision to quit music – which was essentially revealed through her absence – came after the release of her first two albums The Sound Of White and On A Clear Night, which sold over a million copies combined. The new single Unashamed Desire is the first from her new album, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, which will be released Friday 1 June. This return to music will be much welcomed by her enormous fanbase across the country and Brisbane supporters can see her playing The Tivoli Wednesday 6 June. Tickets are available through Ticketek from Wednesday 2 May. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
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STAY MEDICATED Aussie modern funk outfit The Bamboos have announced a national tour this June to coincide with the release of their fifth album Medicine Man. The record features an array of guests, something of a star studded line-up, including Aussie rock legend Tim Rogers, the soulful young go-getter Daniel Merriweather, the hugely popular Megan Washington and internationally-acclaimed Aloe Blacc. The first single from the record is called I Got Burned, it features Rogers on vocals and has already made its mark on the airwaves and debuted at number 19 on the ARIA charts. Medicine Man will be released on Friday 1 June and a few weeks after that the band will be up our way once again, delivering their trademark slick and soulful shows at The Northern, Byron Bay Thursday 28 June, Coolum Civic Centre Friday 29 and The Hi-Fi Saturday 30. Tickets are available now through the respective venues.
Somebody That I Used To Know also became the fourth most downloaded single in one week in recorded history last week, with 542,000 downloads in the April 9-15 tracking period. Xavier Rudd has announced his new record Spirit Bird will be released in Australia on Friday 8 June through Universal Music.
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NEWS FROM THE FRONT
THE A-GAME He was in Australia earlier this year for a promotional visit and now Ed Sheeran will embark on his first headline tour of Australia this July. The red-haired singer-songwriter is the latest British acoustic musician to capture the hearts of the UK public – like James Blunt and James Morrison before him – after dropping out of school and forging a career for himself through relentless touring; in 2009 alone he played over 300 shows in the UK and Ireland. But it wasn’t until 2011’s debut album, +, that he really gained traction with the general public, that record propelling him into the charts after it spawned singles like The A Team (which has gone platinum three times in Australia) as well as You Need Me, I Don’t Need You and Lego House. See all of this magical music in the flesh at the QPAC Concert Hall Tuesday 30 July. Tickets are available through Qtix.
TOURING ZOO With their Rohnert Park album of 2010, Californian punks Ceremony showed a side that not a lot of people knew they had in them. Moving away from their powerviolence roots a little bit, it showed that they were taking on a more considered style of songwriting and embracing more straight-ahead punk rock, rock’n’roll and post-punk styles in their music. Just last month they released the follow up to that record, Zoo, and once more it sees them wandering down that same musical path with stunning results. A captivating record, Zoo is the band’s fourth, but first since signing with Matador Records and arguably their best to date. Having said that, we’re hoping the band will be showing off a wide selection of their material when they head out to Australia midyear; up here they play an all-ages show at Between The Walls on Thursday 5 July and an 18+ show at Basement 243 Friday 6. You can grab your tickets from OzTix now for $28.60.
STREAM OF BRILLIANCE If you’re yet to try out the Rdio online streaming service then you should get onto it pronto, it’s pretty amazing. What’s even more exciting is that the company behind it have decided to throw a big party in Brisbane to celebrate its Australian launch. The bands involved are freakin’ sweet; Gold Fields, Bleeding Knees Club, Velociraptor and Cannon will be playing live and there will be a whole bunch of DJs on board spinning some mighty sweet tracks. Hell, you might even see some of your favourite Time Off staff members dropping some seriously/ questionably good music for you to groove to. It is all going down at Coniston Lane (the old Woodland) on Friday 4 May. If you wanna get on the guest list, hit facebook.com/rdio right now!
STILL IN TOUCH It’s been a busy few months for Bodyjar, and that’s something we didn’t expect we’d ever be saying again. After reforming late last year to oversee the reissue of their first three albums Take A Look Inside (1994), Rimshot (1996), and No Touch Red (1998) – which has been given a vinyl pressing – they launched into their No Touch Red tour, visiting Victoria and South Australia, before a broken arm delayed their live return to Queensland on this tour. Well, the wait is over with the Melbourne pop punk group announcing dates in our state last week, with support from fellow blast-from-the-past pop-punk bros One Dollar Short and For Amusement Only. They’ll play The Hi-Fi Brisbane Friday 24 August and you can grab tickets from Moshtix and the venue’s website for $32 + bf. 12 • TIME OFF
At The Drive-In’s Acrobatic Tenement and Relationship Of Command albums will be reissued in Australia by EMI offshoot Stop Start. Release dates are yet to be announced. Three members of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot, who were arrested after a protest they staged in February, have had their request to be released on bail turned down. They were arrested for performing a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Christ The Saviour Cathedral, ahead of the recent Russian elections, and may face up to seven years in jail. New York-based superstar DJ Danny Tenaglia has announced his resignation from DJing, citing financial and lifestyle constraints as the reasons behind his decision.
FAR FROM LONELY
Last week The Black Keys took us all somewhat by surprise, announcing a massive national tour for October seemingly out of nowhere, one which is by far their biggest to hit Australia yet. The Akron, Ohio two-piece soulful rockers have exploded to become even bigger than they once were on the back of their latest and seventh studio record, El Camino, which was led by the infectious single Lonely Boy, an anthem you couldn’t get away from in the months after its release and one that will no doubt live on for many years to come. This upcoming tour will feature 20 projectors and giant mirror balls according to the band, and to top it all off they have Sydney’s amazing Royal Headache joining them around the country, the band who took out Time Off’s number one album of 2011. You can see it all happen at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre Friday 26 October; tickets are available through Ticketek right now for $99.90.
Sony has been granted approval by the European Union to purchase EMI’s publishing business.
The Audreys have announced their first tour in 18 months today in support of their brand new compilation release, Collected. Dubbed the Cool, Calm And Collected tour, The Audreys’ Taasha Coates and Tristan Goodall will tour as a duo playing tracks from across their three ARIA Award-winning albums, as well as b-sides and new material. Essentially, the set lists will be representative of the Collected release, which is out now. An interesting aspect of this tour comes with the news that they are partnering with animal rights movement PETA on this tour as the duo, dedicated life-long vegetarians, look to raise awareness for the ethical treatment of animals. The shows around our area will take place at the SoundLounge, Gold Coast on Thursday 21 June, the Brisbane Powerhouse’s Visy Theatre Friday 22 and the Woombye Pub Saturday 23. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
The New York Times has reported that Sony will cut over 60 percent of the staff from EMI’s publishing division after their takeover of the company. Hacktivist group Anonymous are said to be developing a social music platform called Anontune, which will allow users to create playlists drawing from places like YouTube, SoundCloud, and MySpace.
KEEP CALM AND HIT THE ROAD
The biggest hip hop group to ever come out of Australia, Hilltop Hoods, released yet another massively successful record (we’re talking number one on the charts, platinum sales already), Drinking From The Sun, last month and have now announced their intentions to deliver their unmistakable brand of Aussie hip hop to audiences all over the country in the inimitable fashion that has made them such a renowned live act over the years. This is the group’s first big headline tour of Australia since 2009, so there’s no doubt they’ll be welcomed back with open arms as they run through tracks from the new record as well as from their considerable back catalogue; Brisbane audiences can witness that at the Eatons Hill Hotel on Friday 29 June when the band play a special all-ages performance (though all punters under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult) with support from Horrorshow and Briggs. You can grab tickets as of Monday at 12 noon through OzTix and outlets.
If you missed out on a ticket for Prince, or you really want to be able to see him twice on the forthcoming Welcome 2 Australia tour, then you’re in a shit-tonne of luck! A second show has been confirmed for the purple-obsessed funky, soulful, rock’n’roll master, meaning that everyone will have a chance to see him in action. As we mentioned last week, the show is apparently freakin’ amazing so if you’re thinking about going, we suggest you just bite the bullet and grab a ticket. They’re available through Ticketek now from $99.90 up to $450.
EXPLOITED TOUR CANCELLED The upcoming tour from UK punks The Exploited has been cancelled due to a serious illness in the bass player’s family. The band are very disappointed they’ve had to ditch the dates but hope to come back as soon as possible. All ticketholders must return to point of purchase to obtain a refund as these tickets will not be valid for rescheduled dates.
The Australian music world is mourning the loss of Men At Work’s Greg Ham, who passed away in Melbourne late last week. Sadly it seems that the ludicrous Down Under litigation mess sullied his final years. Hope those responsible sleep well at night…
Splendour In The Grass is returning this year to its spiritual home at Belongil, and to celebrate they’ve announced a cracker three-day line-up up there with their finest bills. No denying we’ll miss the amphitheatre, but with a line-up this good we won’t be complaining!
RUN AROUND, SUE
CAN YOU DIG IT?
This recent spate of vexatious litigation has to stop. People suing for run-of-the-mill schoolyard accidents will have a flow on effect that will literally ruin society and erode our personal liberties. Has no-one heard of the vicissitudes of life? Toughen up people…
The Dig It Up! extravaganza in Sydney on the weekend was one of the greatest days of live music ever conducted in this country. Highlights abounded, but the triumphant return of the Sunnyboys was an absolute sight to behold. Oz rock still rules, okay?
Again? Really? Matt Newton is out Russell Crowe-ing Russell Crowe, what the hell is he trying to do over there? It’s getting serious now, that lad needs some help pronto… VALE GREG HAM
Speaking of Aussie success stories, it would be remiss of us not to congratulate Gotye for hitting the top of the American singles charts with his ubiquitous worldwide hit, a fine effort. Better if he doesn’t think about the last locals to do it being Savage Garden though…
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DEAD LETTER CIRCUS
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mick McHugh Johnny Jump Up * Pipe Band Cnr George and Elizabeth Streets, Brisbane Ph 3221 4377 irishmurphys.com.au
Live music 7 nights a week
www.thenorthern.com.au TIME OFF • 13
QUEST FOR ECSTATIC EUPHORIA PARTY TILL YOU PUKE
Although he’s now a happily married man who divides his time between music, motivational speaking and children’s television programs, W.K. still assures us that when it’s time to party, he will always party hard. Drinking, drugs and debauched living is part of the rock’n’roll code and a true rite of passage for the real believers. Let us look at a few of the greats:
FUCK S CLUB 7 – THERE AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE AN ANDREW W.K. ONE-MAN PARTY. READY TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTHDAY WITH THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF BRISBANE, THE WILD MAN OF ROCK WIPES THE BLOOD FROM HIS MOUTH TO CHAT WITH BENNY DOYLE. PHOTOS BY LEILA MORRISSEY
f you ever want your day started on the right foot, simply jump on the phone line and get Andrew W.K. talking; 20 minutes later you will feel ten-feet tall and bulletproof. A parody; a maverick; a hero or just utterly insane; whatever you call the 32-year-old Brooklyn-based musician, producer and presenter, you cannot deny the engulfing energy that seems to emanate from everything he says or does. W.K. quickly rose to notoriety in 2001 following the release of his debut LP I Get Wet. The album was unabashed in its glorious stomp and shout simplicity and instrumental density. Listen to the record and you can hear layer upon layer of guitars and synths, stacked to the ceiling, all set to a senses bludgeoning volume, W.K.’s authoritarian vocals the only thing climbing above the melee. The American has divided audiences ever since; some following him like a Neanderthal piped piper; others decrying his music as the death of rock’n’roll. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, however, there is no denying W.K. as one of the most unique and genuinely electrifying performers on the planet. Calling in from Boston, Massachusetts, a month out from his eagerly anticipated one-man party tour, W.K. wastes no time in professing his love for the land Down Under. “Australia’s been a constant source of joy and power and high energy, but also a place showing extreme kindness, extreme enthusiasm and a deep love of high-energy music,” W.K. gushes. “I think that really spreads across the entire continent as far as I can tell, I’ve never met someone in Australia that, (a) I didn’t like, and (b) that didn’t like rock’n’roll music – it’s one of those places. It reminds me of Japan where there is a real importance put on excitement, celebration and a free-spirited revelry, and there is just so much incredible music made in Australia, performed in Australia and enjoyed in Australia – it’s such a unique place in the world. If you’re someone that likes rock’n’roll music, there really is no better place.” The cynic in all of us might question the unbridled sincerity of such glowing sentiment from anyone else. But with Andrew W.K., it’s obvious everything is given from the heart. He recalls his past tours around the nation with the same intensified levels of fondness and gratitude. “All my friends and members of my team that do this party adventure, we were consistently surprised and delighted when we’d find more than a few folks here and there that also believe in this physical feeling,” he admits. “Because it really is; it’s not so much an attitude or a personality type, it’s more a sensibility that pushes you to find this kind of physical joy in your surroundings.” W.K. then takes it back even further; opening up about what first grabbed him off his piano stool and shoved a guitar in his hands as an impressionable young man in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was raised. “What I liked about rock’n’roll music was that everything was more intense,” he states. “The sound,
the performance, the delivery, the style – everything was more intense. It wasn’t about comforting you – it wasn’t about placating or soothing or making someone feel safe. It was about blowing your mind and stirring up your soul, and that’s what I look for in culture and the outside world. I have plenty of comfort from within myself. Once you find that comfort then you get to enjoy all the extremes of culture and the radical, mind-blowing, disturbing, freaky, crazy feelings it can conjure up.” Although the white-shirted knight was last in the country as part of the 2011 Big Day Out tour, it’s been over four years since he brought his one-man party show to these shores. Watching clips of his rapturously received slot at that year’s Meredith Music Festival, one thing is glaringly obvious. These shows really provide the best platform for the performer to develop rapport and get the crowd more responsive in a shorter period of time. “It’s a very different type of show,” he explains. “I’ve got my keyboard, sometimes a drum machine, of course a microphone. It’s more reduced to a pure understanding that we have this time together, whether it’s in a room or a festival environment, but we have chosen to be in this particular geographical location for this particular amount of time, and we have to extract the maximum amount of excitement and joy out of this moment as possible. So there is a level of gratitude, appreciation and intent, a very clear focus, that we are here to feel this way, and we are going to make this feeling, we are going to conjure up and manifest this feeling no matter what. So there becomes this moment of camaraderie where the audience becomes the band for me – we’re all making this,” he drives home. Which begs the question – what does a one-man party mean to Andrew W.K.? It’s almost an oxymoron... “If you can’t have a party by yourself and enjoy your own company, then you’re probably not going to be a very good partier when it comes to mixed company or celebrating with other folks around,” he levels. “You want to be your own best friend, you want to find security and strength within yourself and find it in the world around you. Ultimately, you want to be not only a one-man party, but a one-woman party; a one-man army, a one-woman army; an entire universe unto yourself – and everybody is. But realising that can be challenging at times.” Challenging, even for Andrew W.K. Rewind back to 2002 and that gloriously in-your-face debut I Get Wet was handed arguably one of the harshest album reviews ever written on Pitchfork, a 0.6 out of 10, direct from the founder of the website Ryan Schreiber. Incredibly, even with passages like “This is about as empty as rock music gets...”, W.K. still manages to find positives beneath the knives. “Sometimes people are confused and sometimes they wake up in a certain mood that day – maybe his Mum died that day? God forbid,” he says, managing to balance sarcasm and concern in equal measures. “It’s pretty easy to forget about people’s own personal experiences; their own life, colours, perceptions. That’s been an exciting thing for me. Every single opinion, every
single critical review, everyone’s perception of what I do or what anyone does is valid and it’s fun getting to play with those different perceptions. For the most part I only get to see through my eyes. But getting to see through other people’s eyes, especially when you get to see yourself, it’s something else – it’s very entertaining and at its best completely revelatory.” That album review did nothing to derail the direction of W.K. though, the young man following his debut with similarly gregarious rock fare in the way of The Wolf (2003) and Close Calls With Brick Walls (2007). Since then, the albums that W.K. has released haven’t exactly been your typically hard partying fare, the musician appeasing his rabid Japanese fanbase with J-pop and anime music interpretations (The Japan Covers, Gundam Rock) , as well as returning to the ivories with the freeform piano album 55 Cadillac. However, with talk in the media of a new record, is this year going see a return to the hedonism? “There are definitely no returns, and I don’t think it will come out this year,” W.K. states matter-of-factly, “I’m going to continue recording it [the album] as soon as I get back to New York in June after this world tour.” The extrovert won’t let on as to the working title of the release thus far, but goes on to hint at the mental bearing that his musical compass is set to. “We’re always pushing forward to new horizons of joy and new forms of pleasure and trying to find exciting ways to get to that ecstatic euphoria that I think all of us are searching for in music or whatever else we are coming across in life. Music just happens to be a very sure fire and proven way of getting to that physical state of pleasure, and rock’n’roll music especially delivers upon that promise. I’m on a path that was predetermined and I’m following it as best as I can. I certainly have the freedom to interpret it and react to it along the way as I see fit, but when you are doing what you were born to do, you relinquish some of that control in favour of your destiny.” The irrepressible Mr W.K. concludes by offering his tips to those eager to party solo. Expert instructions no less, from the man who all but encompasses the mantra Party Hard. “Bolster, water, stretch and tenderise your hamstring – it’s a four-step process,” he educates in a Zen-like mantra. “You must tender that beautiful muscle running up and down the back of your thigh; I want you to stretch, bolster, tenderise and water the hamstring. Just water it; whether it’s pouring water on it, you can pour water onto the skin of course and hope that it absorbs using thick lotions and oils. You can actually inject water into the muscle tissue; you’ve got to be very careful about that one, but otherwise you can just massage and enjoy that tender, tender tissue fibre and make sure you’re a loose goose and ready to go.” WHO: Andrew W.K. WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 9 May, The Zoo
Guns N’ Roses were one of the most elegantly wasted bands of all-time, and Slash was their depraved commander-inchief. When he wasn’t prepping one litre cups of vodka and juice next to his bedsit for breakfast, you could find him running naked around golf courses covered in blood and glass – as you do.
ANTHONY KIEDIS Kiedis’ danced on and off with Mr. Brownstone for the better part of two decades. It inspired some of the Red Hot Chili Peppers greatest musical triumphs and almost tore the band apart. Mixing high-grade girls, with higher-grade class A, Kiedis is Los Angeles personified.
JIMMY BARNES When Barnesy partied, he didn’t do it in halves. His vodka consumption is the stuff of legend and in Cold Chisel’s heyday, the wild frontman was known to knock down a bottle of Russian water without breaking a sweat. Booze, drugs, girls, venues; Jimmy destroyed them all, his volatile reputation helping Chisel establish themselves as the most dangerous band in the country.
OZZY OSBOURNE Want to clutch to the edges of reality for over three decades? Right, simply get a boatload of acid, consume tabs, repeat continually for a year. Batshit crazy? Yep, and that was before he even bit the head of a rabies-filled critter. The sheer fact that Ozzy can still stand and speak, let alone perform, is a modern-day miracle.
HOME STRAIGHT BRISBANE-BRED DUO AN HORSE ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THEIR FIRST PROPER AUSTRALIAN TOUR IN MORE THAN A YEAR. DANIEL JOHNSON CATCHES SINGER/ GUITARIST KATE COOPER AT HER NEW HOME IN CANADA IN BETWEEN TOURS.
he story of An Horse’s origins has been recounted dozens of times in this tome alone. For latecomers, here’s an abridged version. Cooper – then of local indie-rock frontrunners Iron On – and drummer Damon Cox – then a member of Intercooler and Mary Trembles – were working at now-defunct indie-record store Skinny’s. After bonding over their shared musical tastes, the pair began writing demos, which went on to become their debut EP Not Really Scared. They then recorded a few more tracks with producer Magoo, which were mixed by Howard Redekopp, and released their debut album, Rearrange Beds, which received almost universal critical acclaim and resulted in the band scoring coveted Australian support slots with the likes of Tegan And Sara and Death Cab For Cutie. After deciding to focus on their US fanbase, in a matter of weeks the band had snared the US tour support gig for Tegan And Sara and performed on The Late Show With David Letterman. Since the release of their second album Walls a year ago, An Horse have been touring almost non-stop, playing festivals including Falls, Rolling Stone Weekender and Lollapalooza and sharing stages with the likes of Kevin Devine and Nada Surf.
When asked what Brisbane audiences can expect on their forthcoming tour, Cooper promises it’ll be a flaming good show. “They can expect maximum rock’n’roll... but that’s not really true because I don’t even know if it’s maximum rock’n’roll but I feel like we’re going on tour for a month in the US and then we have ten days off and then we’re back in Australia, so we’ll be on fire. And if we’re not on fire metaphorically maybe I’ll set something on fire... maybe, I’m not sure – I’ll probably get arrested by the club owner but why not, let’s go with that.” WHO: An Horse WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 29 April, The Zoo
The band decided to work with Redekopp from the get-go with Walls, and Cooper says his approach was “very different” to Magoo’s. “I guess Magoo was more a friend of ours and we didn’t even know we were making a record then but with Howard, he mixed Rearrange Beds and he’s a friend of ours now, obviously,” she says. “Pretty much from when Rearrange Beds came out he indicated that he wanted to make a new record with us and he would like to be involved, so we spoke to him a lot beforehand and leading up to the record, so there was a lot more deliberate planning with that record. “Howard was really a producer, we let him in a little bit and had pre-production with him in Vancouver so he heard all the demos from very early on. Howard is an awesome guy and we had an awesome time with him in Vancouver. He’s a good dude.” When asked if she’s been surprised by the diversity of acts she and Cox have performed with, Cooper is characteristically frank. “It’s really funny, it doesn’t surprise me, because I always thought that I played in a heavy metal punk band,” she offers, “and then people tell me it’s a pop band, so I’m always surprised when people say, ‘You’re in a pop band’. I’m like, ‘Really? I thought this was like Fugazi crossed with something else amazing,’ and they say, ‘No, it sounds more like Kylie Minogue crossed with someone else.’ “I’ve always been really interested in playing with a diverse line-up of bands because I think when I grew up my dad was always on my case about liking all sorts of music, so I would never blink an eye if we were listening to Cold Chisel one minute and Motown the next minute and then ZZ Top the next minute kind of thing… so it was a really broad spectrum of influences in music and I guess I think that a lot of musicians are kind of similar thinkers, so I don’t think it’s really weird for them to put us on line-ups, but I think punters find it strange.” Cooper admits to feeling a little homesick at times while on tour, but she is equally grateful for the experiences she and Cox encounter on a daily basis while on the road. “It’s so weird. There’s definitely part of me that misses Brisbane a lot… playing shows around, sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh, that was pretty cool,’ and then I’m over here doing this and I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, how crazy,’ but then you get in the zone and you start to play these shows with these bands and be around these people and then that feels normal. “I do occasionally say to Damon, ‘Oh my goodness, we’re going out with Nada Surf,’ or, ‘Oh my goodness, we’re about to go do our laundry at Nicky from Silversun Pickups’ house, how insane’, but I also have those moments of missing Brisbane and missing living there for sure, too.” An Horse recently released a new video for their track Airport Death, and as Cooper explains, the opportunity pretty much fell into their laps. “It was graduates from the NYU film school and that was the coolest video shoot I’ve ever done,” she says. “They emailed us for months trying to get us to make a video and we didn’t need one and didn’t want to do one and they kept pursuing us and they were so awesome and professional and basically it came down to the fact that we had six hours off in New York City on one particular morning and I was kind of like, ‘Do we have to do a video? I could sleep in, I haven’t slept in three weeks,’ and our manager was like, ‘Yep, you’re going to make a video!’ and our manager told the director he’s got six hours. “Music videos usually take days and we turned up at 10am in the morning, groggy as hell at the end of a tour I think, before we were flying out to Europe and they fed us, got us dressed, sat us down, made the video in like three hours and we left. It was the best shoot I’ve ever been on, it was amazing. It’s cool, it’s a great video. We had nothing to do with it in the conception or anything, but I dig it. I don’t even really remember it, it was just three hours of sitting there folding clothes.” Despite the long periods on tour together, Cooper says there is very little conflict between her and Cox. “It’s pretty good, it’s pretty fine. It’s kind of a brother-sister dynamic and the thing is, we go on tour for so long together and then we don’t see each other for six weeks or two months so that’s kind of good – by the end of a tour you’re like, ‘All right... see ya later’ – no-one’s hit anyone yet and we get on fine so it’s good.”
TIME OFF • 15
AFTER-EFFECTS IT’S BEEN THREE MONTHS SINCE THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT ANNOUNCED THE DEPARTURE OF CLINT BOGE. MATT O’NEILL CATCHES UP WITH THE VETERAN VOCALIST TO DISCUSS HIS PENDING SOLO CAREER AND FINAL DAYS WITH THE BRISBANE HARD ROCK STALWARTS.
lint Boge sounds surprisingly calm. The vocalist has just recently quit The Butterfly Effect. Always a passionate and animated conversationalist, the former frontman nevertheless seems uncharacteristically sedate when discussing his departure. Not muted or despondent – but calm, peaceful, untroubled. Philosophical, even. Regardless of specific terminology; it’s not the outlook expected of an artist walking away from a ten-year relationship. “It was pretty difficult when we made the official announcement, I’ll admit. I don’t think it really sunk in properly until it was announced,” Boge says of his state of mind. “But I’d made the decision back in September. We just decided not to say anything until February because we wanted to get all the stuff for the final tour together. And, you know, it gave us all time to have a good think about whether we were all on the same page… Now, though? Now, I’m feeling pretty good about it.” As conversation unfolds, it’s revealed that time actually plays a significant role in Boge’s optimism. Not simply in regards to time spent reflecting on his pending departure – but time spent by The Butterfly Effect as a whole negotiating various conflicts that would eventually lead to said departure. Boge, for example, quite candidly speaks of disagreements and schisms dating back to before the release of the band’s last album – 2008’s prophetically-titled Final Conversation Of Kings.
“I think we jumped too early to record it. I think we should have waited another six to 12 months and written another ten songs to flesh out that album,” the frontman says of the band’s third album. “I don’t think the album sounded very good. I actually asked for a remix for the entire album – and was quite unanimously opposed. I got a very blunt ‘no’. More than that, though, I felt, as a band, we missed a lot of key elements that go into making an album. “There should have been more group input on the songs, on the sounds, on the recording of those sounds – and none of that happened,” he elaborates. “Whoever was recording at the time was the person in charge. I still think it’s a good album – but it could have been a great album. Certainly, we all feel within
the band that it could have been a lot better and none of us wanted that to be our last album together. Unfortunately, our relationships just couldn’t hold.” Calm demeanour acknowledged, it’s obvious that Boge is still somewhat troubled by the disagreements. The frontman refrains from accusations and complaints but nevertheless makes frequent and consistent reference to the disintegration of trust and relationships. The Butterfly Effect’s new compilation Effected, for example, does not feature new material on account of aforesaid disintegration of trust. That said; Boge doesn’t sound angered so much as saddened. “I just couldn’t be in a band with those guys anymore. I had to leave before the relationships decayed any further,” he says matter-of-factly. “We did talk about doing some of the songs we’d written for the fourth album for the compilation. Like I said, none of us wanted to go out on Final Conversation Of Kings. I said to them, though, that I wanted to record the vocal parts by myself – without them looking over my shoulder – and they didn’t go for it. They simply didn’t trust me. “It really is all in the past, though, man. You know, once it was decided that I was leaving, it all kind of evaporated. I’m not just saying that to be a nice guy, either. We’d been trying to write an album for three years and we just couldn’t get on the same page. They didn’t like what I was doing, I didn’t like what they were doing. It took us two years to write five songs. Once the pressure of writing was gone, though, we could kind of enjoy our time together again.” In truth, Boge’s quiet demeanour seems indicative of a much broader shift than a simple change in musical association. It’s hard not to suspect that, even without The Butterfly Effect’s interpersonal problems, Boge could not have endured much longer as the frontman for the notoriously hard-touring hard rockers. It’s telling that, following the band’s final tour, Boge’s plans are not to form another band or to work with side-project Thousand Needles In Red. “I’m really looking forward to just doing a tour by myself,” he smiles. “I just want to take the guitar out
by myself and go play. Just really small rooms, the back corner of a dinner club or something, just blend in with the artwork at the back of the room. That’s going to be cool, man. I’ve never done it before. Just me and my guitar. I’m really looking forward to it. “I really do think I’m kind of over bands – the whole, ‘Does this idea work? Does mine? I don’t like it, do you like it?’ – it’s just too messy. [The Butterfly Effect sideproject] Final Days Of Autumn was supposed to be my solo stuff but that just got too messy with the band and imploded,” the singer sighs. “I’m still looking forward to working with Needles eventually but, really, I’m just excited to be kind of getting my solo stuff out there.” He just doesn’t seem interested in being any form of rock star. The Butterfly Effect were, at one point, Australia’s most promising hard rock export – signed to a major label, critically acclaimed, commercially respected and with strong overseas prospects. Boge’s soaring vocals and charismatic presence frequently saw him discussed as one of the country’s great young rock frontmen. Ten years later, Clint Boge – now a family man – doesn’t seem interested in stardom. He just wants to work.
“For me, I don’t want to be one of those guys. I look at Bon Jovi and Aerosmith and those guys still jumping around on stage at their age and, good on them for doing it, but I don’t want to be like that. I’ve never wanted to be like that,” he says with a chuckle. “I think it works for them but, for some dude to be like 50 and doing some kind of screamo, emo, nu-metal – that’s how old I am, I don’t even know what I am anymore – I just think it would look really ridiculous. “You know, I’ve been really enjoying doing my vocal coaching clinics every now and then – teaching young singers how to sing without damaging their voice – and I’m hoping I can develop that into the future,” the singer reflects wistfully. “Just kind of sit at the back of some pub on a residency or something on the weekend, teach during the week and work on music in between. I’d be really happy doing that, I think.” WHO: Clint Boge WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 6 May, Caxton St Seafood Festival
BALANCING THE DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD TWO YEARS AFTER WOWING THE WORLD AND COINING THE TERM POSTDUBSTEP, UK WUNDERKINDS MOUNT KIMBIE FIND THEMSELVES ON THE PRECIPICE OF OVEREXPOSURE. KAI CAMPOS ASSURES BRENDAN TELFORD THAT THEY HAVE NEW HORIZONS TO EXPLORE.
ubstep as a genre exploded onto the UK, then the world scene in the mid-2000s, becoming a commercial and culturally fashionable style of electronica at the turn of the decade. As with most genres though, by this stage it was overcrowded with a glut of soulless imitators that cashed in on the credibility that the music intelligentsia had given it, and the birth of tight, dark production, incessant drumand-bass lines and static interplay between samples and vocals appeared headed for a meltdown. Two unlikely London lads set about revamping the sound and by 2010 with their debut LP Crooks And Lovers, Dominic Maker and Kai Campos, under the moniker Mount Kimbie, had changed the face of the electronic dance landscape. Alongside close friend James Blake and US compatriot Flying Lotus, Mount Kimbie heralded a new dawn, a zeitgeist at once spontaneous and seemingly overnight. The existence of the record is almost as accidental as the effect its existence has since had. “I guess it was new to a lot of people, what we were offering, but when we brought the record out we saw it only as the album we wanted everyone to hear,” Campos explains. “Essentially we had done two EPs beforehand and there was this push to put out a longer one. I didn’t really see the point – I enjoyed writing these shorter records and I wasn’t sure that it would work in a longer format. Yet people kept saying that we wouldn’t ever be taken seriously if we didn’t go ahead and do it. I mean, we did want to do an album, but even we weren’t sure if we were ready, but we were contractually bound to do one! Even on the eve of its coming out I wasn’t sure if we’d done the right thing. An album is such a statement, you know? Four tracks can be taken as is, but an album is a big undertaking and has added weight and structure, how the tracks are placed and where. It was a daunting experience.” The success of the album still resonates now, a fact that has helped the band to grow into themselves. “Our success has been a slowburner,” Campos muses. “It grabbed people, but has kept on rumbling for two years! And at different place, at different times. I 16 • TIME OFF
remember getting our royalty collection statement and you get these pie charts indicating where it’s coming from – and there’ll be this huge fucking chunk from Australia or something. In Australia, triple j played the hell out of Before I Move Off, which wasn’t even a single; no one had cottoned onto that one here at all!” Whilst dubstep originated in the UK, Campos doesn’t feel that the advent of Mount Kimbie has as much to do with geography as other musical movements. “I think it’s been a mish-mash,” admits. “Living in London has had a profound on our lives in general, it’s an amazing city. But we were around 13 or 14 and on the internet we were hearing all kinds of music – and not always things that were already big here. In fact the first direction that people like us in our 20s take tends to be something we’ve discovered, rather than something that we’ve lived with and become a part of. I remember when I was at university before we started the band and I heard the first Flying Lotus album, all I wanted to do was replicate that. I wasn’t paying attention to anything else. I think that’s affected the way we access music forever more, so that idea of something being borne from geography is becoming more infrequent. London has loads of inspirational aspects – we wouldn’t have met, for starters, and there are a lot of people having ideas and acting on them – but it doesn’t define us or our music.” The now-iconic template of Mount Kimbie resulted from the melding of elements of post-rock, garage beats and traditional songwriting has been used by a multitude of bands all with their own agenda and degree of musical creativity, stretching the boundaries of what post-dubstep meant until the term became loose, indefinable and almost redundant within a year. “After Crooks And Lovers came out, we thought we had at least a year of hitching up vocals and using 808 toms before everything sounded the same,” Campos laughs. “It’s not a sound or a term we particularly aspire to anymore. For me now the term brings to mind a lot of fairly bland music… I don’t wanna sound like a bit of a dickhead or anything, but a lot of music that sounds like
that album; I don’t really feel anything for it. Of course it’s completely flattering that our music has touched and inspired so many people in different ways. But it’s like anything, really – because people say we did something first, there are people who have come along who have clearly done it better than us, have actually improved upon what we were trying to do. But at the same time there is a lot of stuff that really misses the point. It can sound like an imitation; therefore we can’t connect to it personally, which is what music is supposed to do.” It has become a double-edged sword for them musically, for as much as Maker and Campos may want to distance themselves from the base sounds they helped create, they run the risk of ruining what it was that made them special in the first place. “That reaction to Crooks And Lovers leads us to want to do something radically different to what we have done previously,” Campos declares. “I’ve had to rein my ideas in though; [at one stage] I thought we might even be a punk band by now. We’re trying to find a way for our sound, which we’re still really proud of, to morph into something else entirely that’s interesting but can be seen as an honest progression rather than a kneejerk reaction.”
Campos is currently trying to relax during their first tour of Russia, using it as a warm up for their impending Hi-Fi Shoreline shows here in Australia, yet it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. “It’s been interesting, quite different,” he offers wryly. “St Petersburg has been lovely, but Moscow is a bit of a headfuck, unlike any other place I have been to, it holds a certain intensity. The traffic is fucking horrendous and everything is just not… right! There is little organisation, we haven’t been allowed to do any soundchecks… We wanted to try out some new things, trial them before Japan and Australia, but it’s just been too hard, so we’ve just played and seen what happens! The audiences have been great though and, seeing as we’ve never played in front of these people before, it helps to create interest in the songs again. We’ll have a few days to get things together though. I’m sure we can come up with something a little different.” WHO: Mount Kimbie WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 2 May, The Hi-Fi
Judith Wright Centre presents CABARET/MUSIC
AN END TO DREAMING EMMA DEAN & JAKE DIEFENBACH
An exquisite pop cabaret fairytale Supported by Pixie and The Halloran
Sat 28 April Tickets from $26 “Their ethereal vocals and the sounds of piano blend ﬂawlessly to create a bewitching world of their own. There is no doubt that these two immensely gifted performers will continue to take Australian contemporary cabaret to new heights.” CABARET CONFESSIONAL
judithwrightcentre.com 07 3872 9000
The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts is a Queensland Government initiative operated by Arts Queensland
ﬁnd us on TIME OFF • 17
STOP MAKING SENSE BIG SCARY’S SOUND STRETCHES FROM PIANO BALLADS THROUGH TO PUNK-ROCK FREAK-OUTS. AS THE MELBOURNE TWO-PIECE GIVE THEIR TYPICALLY ECLECTIC DEBUT ALBUM VACATION ITS LONG-DESERVED LAUNCH TOUR, MATT O’NEILL CATCHES UP WITH DRUMMER JO SYME TO DISCUSS THEIR BACK-CATALOGUE.
ig Scary confuse in an oddly comforting way. Australian musicians have of late showcased an uncanny knack for branding. Even our most minor successes have learnt to arrive with specific sound and aesthetic; sharply pre-packaged for apprehensive audiences. Big Scary haven’t grasped it yet. The Melbourne two-piece confound expectations with almost alarming frequency; from distorted live shows on the back of folksy EPs to simply surprising hip hop influences. “Lately, we’ve both been listening to a lot of Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne,” drummer Jo Syme explains. “It’s funny because, when we were making the album, we were trying to explain how we wanted our drums to sound and, in my head, I confused myself because I wanted them to sound hip hop – but I also wanted them to sound like John Bonham. I didn’t actually realise until later that they sound quite similar.” The pair effectively began as an acoustic act. Formed in 2006 by Syme and multi-instrumentalist/ vocalist Tom Iansek, Big Scary were initially a folkdriven act; idly writing and rehearsing songs in Syme’s parents’ loungeroom. By 2008, however, their work had become unpredictable. Their debut recorded efforts – six increasingly eclectic EPs released across 2009 and 2010 – showcased a band seemingly opposed to the idea of a specific sound. “When we first started jamming, it was a totally different band,” Syme says. “It was a totally folk band. It wasn’t for quite some time that Tom even brought an electric guitar to the rehearsal room. Neither of us took it very seriously at the start. I think, when we made our first demo, we started to realise that we could make songs we were proud of together and that we had something that was kind of worth pursuing. It’s always changing, though. “With genre, I wish people would actually tell me what we sound like because I find it to be the
hardest question to answer – ‘oh, what kind of music do you play?’ – I have no idea how to answer it. I mean, even pop has a whole set of connotations attached to it,” the drummer reflects. “I think we have all different attitudes to genres and so we end up kind of flitting between them all the time. I think the only constant, really, is Tom’s voice.” Even the band’s live shows have proven to be shock affairs. Having secured their reputation through quieter efforts like 2010’s Four Seasons (four EPs themed around the four seasons, later released as a single compilation), Big Scary’s blistering,
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garage-rock live performances supporting acts like Hungry Kids Of Hungary and Florence & The Machine took audiences more accustomed to their lush studio eclecticism by considerable surprise. “I think we mostly got that kind of reaction after Four Seasons. You know, that compilation was quite folky and we don’t really touch a lot of it when we play live. We still haven’t really figured out how to play our quieter songs live,” Syme explains. “And back then, whenever we were a support band, we just wanted to bring the party. We’d just play all the rock songs. There was definitely a big distance between what we were releasing and what we were playing on stage. “We were actually thinking quite seriously about expanding our line-up for our live show around last year – but we just never got around to it. We’ve been too lazy to go out and look for someone and, even if we did find someone, we’d have to write a part for them. We’ve adapted all our songs to be played live by a two-piece. Still, every time we talk about expanding the line-up,
we have a lot of people tell us not to – people seem to have embraced us as a two-piece.” Still, their chaos is a genuine comfort. In a strange way, Big Scary’s inability to make sense of their own music makes more sense than their peers’ precocious flair for marketing and branding. Big Scary are as a young band should be – excitable, ambitious and vaguely clueless. Be it professionally or artistically, they don’t actually know what they’re doing. Even their acclaimed 2011 debut album Vacationer seems more a collage of inspiration than a concentrated work. “We had so many songs. We really just wanted to get stuff out there. Tom’s just a really prolific writer,” Syme says of the pair’s ambitions for the album. “I think we also thought we were making a more consistent genre album – but obviously that didn’t happen. I think we just didn’t want to keep sitting on songs. We’re already kind of working on our next album because we just don’t want to have to sit on the songs for too long – but we are trying to make it a more concise record. “I mean, it’s not something we do deliberately. I think life would be way easier for us if we could just stick to one genre. Or, at least, less confusing for listeners. As Tom writes, we don’t try and fight what’s coming. We just try and let the
song be what it is – when it comes to recording, we try to surround each song with appropriate sounds, but we’ve never sat down and gone ‘oh, let’s write a hip hop song’ or whatever.” Particularly inspiring is Big Scary’s success. Cursed with scattered musical interests and a marked disinterest in industry, Big Scary have nevertheless secured both national and international success over the course of their brief career – aside from their already-respectable list of supports and considerable critical acclaim from mainstream publications, their tour in support of their debut album had to be postponed until now on account of overseas commitments. “Going overseas was incredible. We’d obviously never been before and it was just a huge, eyeopening experience,” Syme gushes. “It was actually really good that we had that between the release and the tour because it allowed us to really kind of find our feet with the new material before doing a really big tour. Having been overseas, I’m now really excited to hit up all the venues across the country and really get stuck back into it.” WHO: Big Scary WHAT: Vacation (Pieater/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 28 April, the Zoo
FRIDAY MAY 4 AT
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MATT SONIC AND THE HIGH TIMES DOORS: 8:00PM TICKETS FROM WWW.MOSHTIX.COM.AU 18 • TIME OFF
AWAY AWAY FOR HIS FIRST EVER SOLO RELEASE AUSSIE SONGWRITING ICON MICK THOMAS TRAVELLED A LONG WAY FROM HOME, AND HE TELLS STEVE BELL HOW HE EVENTUALLY FOUND SOLACE IN A FAR FLUNG LAND.
alk about stepping out of your comfort zone. Mick Thomas might have been one of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters for nigh on three decades now, but until the recent release of his debut solo album The Last Of The Tourists he’d always gone through the process as part of a band – for years as the focal point of esteemed folk rockers Weddings, Parties, Anything and then later with his vehicle The Sure Thing. You’d think the mere act of going it alone would be daunting enough, but Thomas further acquiesced to the wishes of his producer Darren Hanlon – himself no slouch at the singer-songwriter game – and decamped to Portland, Oregon to record the album in an unfamiliar environment and surrounded by (mostly) unfamiliar faces. Those familiar with Thomas’ oeuvre won’t be surprised at all that he totally nailed the project – the album not only hangs together well as a whole but also contains a couple of tracks up there with the best work of his career – but the process sure wasn’t without its nervous moments. “I am happy,” Thomas ponders of the result of his labours. “It’s as hands off as I get on a record in a lot of ways, because I kind of let Darren call a lot of the shots. I reckon the thing I would have changed is that we did it all in a week – basically five straight days – and then there were a few overdubs to be done, and I kind of left them in Darren’s hands and that was really like pulling teeth because he was travelling so was getting stuff done here and there and sending me back the files. After a while that just got so messy and convoluted, and by the time the guy started mixing we weren’t even sure which mix we were listening to half the time – I guess it’s a peril of the digital age. “Then I was a bit unsure of how it sounded so we found this guy to master it – again, I just looked on the internet and found this guy who’s got good credits and he seemed like a nice guy, so all of a sudden it’s being mastered by a guy that I’ve never met – and then all of a sudden you’ve got an album! I really felt a bit disconnected towards the end of the process for me, but that just made me pleasantly surprised when I put it on.”
Even the beginning of the process was relatively roughshod, Thomas flying over to the States armed with a batch of songs but no real idea about how they were going to be committed to tape. “Darren’s got this funny kind of paradox in that on one hand he’s got this really stringent idea about what he wants and a really strong work ethic, and on the other hand he’s really disorganised in some ways,” Thomas chuckles. “I didn’t even know he was going to play on the record – I thought that it might end up being pretty acoustic-based, because when we were going to Portland I just had no idea about who was around to play on it, but Darren would just say, ‘Oh yeah, the engineer plays drums, he’s pretty good’, but when the engineer played drums Darren had to do the tape machine – it wasn’t like a big operation – so there was a lot of making it up as we went along really in that regard. But I reckon that gives the record a sound.” The Pacific Northwest isn’t somewhere that you’d imagine a songwriter like Thomas would trek to for a recording session – his songs are generally intrinsically Australian to the core – but it proved to be the perfect locale. “Darren was there and wanted to work there,” he shrugs. “We live in this era where you can just check things out straight away, and everything I saw [about Portland] on the web I liked. It’s very arty, it’s got this massive bookshop that they’re very proud of, they’re into coffee, they’re into food, they’re into beer – it’s all micro-brewing, they call it the micro-brewery capital of the world – so it’s just like a massive Fitzroy really. We were really comfortable there, and it was great spending a week in an American city and not coming out feeling like you’ve got scurvy – you can actually eat pretty well and cheaply. The fact is with the Aussie dollar being what it is it’s actually costeffective to record over there – the poor old Yanks need some money injected into their economy.”
“A lot of [the songs] have been around for a while, and Darren had a big role in shaping them into the album,” Thomas admits. “I had about 30 songs and Darren said, ‘Just give me everything you can lay your hands on’, so I dragged every song that I thought was a possibility out and said, ‘We’ll both pick ten, but let’s do it at the same time so we’re not influencing each other’, so we both sent through ten songs. There were four or five which were on both lists and they automatically got in, but then the five that weren’t on my list that he’d picked were ones that I wouldn’t have gone near in a million years – I thought they were songs that were just gone, I wouldn’t have picked them. But then I thought about it and decided that it’s pointless me working with someone different if I’m not getting to let them say what they think, so I just went, ‘I’m going to do this’, and I think that’s where some of the odder choices came from.”
Of course it’s ultimately the batch of songs which makes The Last Of The Tourists so strong, and apparently Hanlon played a significant role in the track selection as well.
There were some concessions to familiarity – Thomas did let his good friend Mark “Squeezebox Wally” Wallace come along for the ride, his sidekick since the early days of WPA.
“Darren was adamant that it wasn’t a Weddings record and when I said Wal was coming along he was a bit funny about it, and I had to relay that to Wally, but he ended up playing on over half of it,” Thomas tells. “Once I got there and realised that I was comfortable outside my normal comfort zone – that sounds like a dumb thing to say – from Wally’s point of view he got to do some stuff outside of his normal thing like autoharp and keyboards, and I reckon that’s really important to do that stuff. Like The Gin Club operandi, where everyone’s playing an instrument that’s maybe not their first instrument. I did some percussion stuff and Wal was playing weird keyboards and this engineer was playing drums and Darren was playing bass – we were making it up pretty much as we went along, it was good.” WHO: Mick Thomas WHAT: The Last Of The Tourists (Liberation) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, SolBar, Maroochydore; Friday 4, Beetle Bar
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TIME OFF • 19
STEPPING UP KATE MARTIN IS THE LATEST EXCITING ARTIST TO EMERGE FROM NORTH QUEENSLAND’S FERTILE MUSIC COMMUNITY. AHEAD OF HER LATEST TOUR, MATT O’NEILL SPEAKS TO THE YOUNG SINGERSONGWRITER ABOUT TAKING THE NEXT STEP WITH NEW ALBUM HAND ME MY BOW & ARROW.
GOSSLING – AKA HELEN CROOME – TALKS WITH SAM HOBSON ABOUT HER LOOMING FIRST ALBUM, HER NEW EP, AND THE PAINS OF HEARING HERSELF SING.
ossling owns that voice you at first thought was Joanna Newsom’s, but couldn’t place why it made you feel uncanny to leave that conclusion there. It was too chirpy to be Newsom, surely – and there was something in her delivery that was a bit curter, perhaps a bit feistier, even a little more earnest. So yes, that was in fact Gossling, who, it should be known, is not only a singer-songwriter called Helen Croome from country Victoria, but who has a new EP out, called Intentional Living. The first single from that EP is the collaborative effort Wild Love. “I had a bit of a writing block for a while there,” Croome softly explains of the song’s creation, “and the idea came up that I should get together with some other musos and collaborate, and see if anything came out of it. I caught up with Dann [Hume – Evermore], and we wrote the foundations of Wild Love, and then I went away and collaborated with a few other people, and though none of those other jam sessions created anything for the EP, they got the juices flowing, and I was able to come home, and write the other tracks. “I just really wanted to get some new music out as I hadn’t done any in over a year. As an independent artist, [an EP] was really the thing I could come out with the quickest, so I thought I’d do another one, and then concentrate on an album [after] this one’s released in April.” That’s three EP’s Croome’s released in a row now. It’s put to her that maybe she doesn’t feel within herself entirely ready for an album yet, either. “That’s true, actually,” she admits. “I find the idea of an album a bit daunting, as far as having a complete…soundscape, and a complete message. I think I can do an EP alright, and it’s safer for me.” But it’s not solely a confidence thing, she assures. It’s not even entirely about where she feels she is artistically at this point. Creating an album, for
Croome, is so much a confluence of small difficulties from all of these influences that, for the here and now, an EP simply expresses her most able self. “I think just because, being an independent artist, and being self-managed for a lot of my career, I’ve had to concentrate on lots of other aspects,” she answers thoughtfully. “Being able to be creative was easier just to do just through doing an EP.” She adds, after a thought, “Look, I want to do an album! I just have to work a few things out before I’m able get there.” But back to her current output now, and if one was to approximate what an album of Gossling’s would sound like, she assures that at least thematically it wouldn’t stray too far from what we’ve heard from her so far. “I guess a lot of my songs have a theme of love in them,” she says, “which just seems to be what comes out of me the easiest. I’ve never [done anything like] sat down and thought about an overall theme for each EP; they’ve all just come out like that.” And, though there’s a lot of love in music to go around, one thing that will forever distinguish Gossling’s sound from her peers’ is that incredible, unique voice of hers. “You know, I don’t actually enjoy listening to myself sing,” she laughs. “It makes me a bit nervous listening to myself, for some reason. I get that I’m…different. I’m confident in my singing abilities, but I don’t know! I don’t really enjoy listening to myself a lot.” WHO: Gossling WHAT: Intentional Living (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 26 April, Black Bear Lodge; Sunday 29 July, Splendour In The Grass
“We’ve got another single [as well] that we’ve been working on that’s not far from being finished,” Baker says, “but we’ve got an albums worth of material. We’ve recorded five tracks live in the studio and we’re thinking of using them as well. We’ve got heaps of stuff we’ve been working on, we’re just thinking of the best way to release it. An album? Maybe two EPs? I always love albums but the time has got to be right. It’s a lot of work and a lot of built up repertoire to just throw away if it’s not ready to be heard. “ Dignified intensity is a good way to sum up the music of the Brisbane four-piece. A plethora of ideas are injected to each of their songs, the end result an inspiring mix that cajoles the listener into a false sense of calm before impacting like a cannonball to the chest. Walking this tightrope is critical, Baker says, to really squeezing the most out of each individual part. “I always think that if you have a heavy sound the whole way through a song, it’s not heavy – it’s all relative. Something is only big or heavy, or fast or slow, or soaring in relation to other parts of the song, that’s why I think it’s really important to have that contrast, even if it is a subtle contrast. And it’s about doing that tastefully without chopping and changing too much.” Baker explains this is done through a group songwriting process that’s reflected in their sprawling, ambitious songs. “We write everything pretty collectively,” he informs. “Someone will bring in an idea and we’ll just jam on that idea and work on that and then expand from there. We very much work from a ‘band’ point of view. 20 • TIME OFF
“It’s been really humbling and overwhelming,” Martin reflects. “People have just taken to the album really well. It kind of blows my mind that people have responded to it at all – maybe I shouldn’t say that! I guess I just didn’t expect people to connect with it so deeply but they have and I get such a kick out of that.”
“I really wanted to have a sense of diversity. I wanted it to be a really vast album that really played with dynamics,” Martin says of the record. “I really wanted to go nuts with post-production. I came to my producer with just the skeletons of the songs and we just had a blast reinventing and reprocessing all of these songs.”
Far from a happy-go-lucky newcomer, however, Martin has actually been operating as a musician for years. Hand Me My Bow & Arrow is, somewhat surprisingly, her second album. The Townsville-based singersongwriter has been working towards being a musician her entire life and actually released her debut album Synthetic Shoes, Leather Boots in 2010 at age 18.
Indeed, even Martin’s music is deceptively complex. Hand Me My Bow & Arrow may seem like an overwhelmingly personal and intimate record but Martin’s waifish voice and lithe lyrical sensibilities ride atop oceanic soundscapes – the album filled to the brim with diverse instrumentation and unconventional sonic flourishes.
“It’s pretty much always been music. I grew up in a really musical household. Where I’m at right now, I’m actually really appreciative of having that background because both of my parents were very supportive of me pursuing music professionally,” the singer-songwriter says of her upbringing. “I’ve never really thought about my age or youth in relation to my music. “I mean, I do think my first album was very reflective of where I was at as a person when I made it,” she reconsiders briefly. “I don’t want to speak ill of it or anything because I am still quite proud of it but I was only 18 when I made it and I think I’ve grown and changed a lot in the past two years. When I do listen to it, though, I’m still happy with what I did with it at the time.”
“We just delved into the creative process – string arrangements; cool, quirky little things here and there. You can really get lost in it because it’s just a neverending onslaught of variables,” she muses. “It came to the point where my manager and my producer had to sit me down and force me to finish the album. “They had to have an intervention!” the songwriter laughs. “Because I was just exploding with all of these different ideas and approaches!” WHO: Kate Martin WHAT: Hand Me My Bow & Arrow (Shock) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, Black Bear Lodge; Friday 4, The Brewery, Byron Bay
CELEBRATING THEIR FIRST 7”, ADELAIDE’S NIGHT HAG TOOK THEIR BRAND OF LIGHTNING AGGRESSION TO SOUTH EAST ASIA, ROAD TESTING THE NEW SONGS AND BECOMING PART OF THE GROWING HARDCORE PUNK COMMUNITY. NATHAN STEER SHARES HIS EXPERIENCES WITH BENNY DOYLE.
ALTHOUGH THE BAND HAVE OTHER REAL LIFE PURSUITS AWAY FROM MUSIC, SUCCESS ONSTAGE FOR NEW MANIC SPREE IS STILL VERY MUCH THE FOCUS. FRONTMAN TIM BAKER STATES THEIR AGENDA TO BENNY DOYLE.
Martin is that kind of artist. There is always more to her work than initially suspected. Hand Me My Bow & Arrow, for example, becomes doubly impressive when one places it in context as a followup album – its lush, densely layered eclecticism a significant artistic development when compared with the largely acoustic work of Martin’s debut.
angria is the brand new single from local rockers New Manic Spree, a song about breaking loose and the exciting first taste of a possible release in 2012.
ate Martin’s career has been blossoming of late. The young singer-songwriter’s new album Hand Me My Bow & Arrow was released to considerable critical acclaim just a month ago; singles like Apples and Candle Burnin’, Wax Drippin’ have been similarly well-received; and triple j Unearthed have just selected her to perform at Groovin’ The Moo.
Sometimes someone will bring in an idea on guitar; sometimes it’s drum beats; sometimes chords and vocals. So we don’t really have a set way of working. “None of us really like to tie down the ideas of other people. If I was to bring in an idea I wouldn’t want to work on it too much. I’d keep it skeleton so I didn’t influence the ideas that everyone else gets. I might have ideas of how things can go, but I won’t show them to after they have shown me their [parts] – theirs might be better,” he reasons. “I think it can hinder the creative process a bit because when you hear something it’s hard to get out of that creative mindset, especially in a rhythmic context.” Those familiar with New Manic Spree will notice a new arse on the drum stool at this upcoming single launch, regular drummer Dave McMonagle concentrating instead on getting his pilot’s license. But more than able support has quickly been found in the way of Brendan Chu from fellow Brisbane rockers Aerials. Baker acknowledges the incestuous nature of the tight local alternative clique, but with a common goal of success, they are all happy to be pushing forward together. “There’s not a huge alternative scene in Brissie,” Baker admits. “There’s a lot of bands but there isn’t as much of a scene as the indie scene. It’s small but it’s close – we exchange a lot of ideas. I mixed Aerials latest single Silhouettes and I’ve done mixing for Julian [Schweitzer] from Greenthief and production with him as well. We’ve played a lot of gigs together, it’s really cool, and it’s good we’re starting to make inroads.” WHO: New Manic Spree WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 28 April, Tempo Hotel
eparated from his South Australian band mates with a new job in Sydney, Nathan Steer has just finished working like a boss. But if the ever-friendly drummer is bummed out at the move north, he’s failing to show it. Not that there’s much to be down about – Night Hag are very much on the up-and-up in the heavy scene both domestically and abroad. Confidence Man, the band’s first vinyl release, is a four-track cut that acts as their debut on Brisbane’s Monolith records. Behind the scenes of the label is one Lochlan Watt, “Chief metal overlord” and the new host of triple j’s The Racket. After originally meeting the guys on the live circuit, Steer is quick to sing praise of Watt and the Monolith team, admitting that their established friendships have formed a great foundation to build on in the future. “It’s totally a plus for us to have someone who is really keen on the band and someone who is active in the scene,” Steer informs. “But for us, the main thing is that he’s a good friend who’s looked out for us. Obviously, it’s a huge bonus that he’s got Monolith going and they’re awesome and now he’s on triple j, but the main thing for us is that he’s been a really nice guy from the start. With this kind of music, if you’re a jerk and you fuck people over then you’re never really going to get very far.” With two EPs and a full-length behind them, this crunching vinyl release is the fourth body of work the band have put out in a little over two years. Night Hag’s continual output is reflected in the band’s zeal to get the job done, even up against tough time constraints. “We recorded to a really tight deadline [this time around],” he acknowledges, “we left on a Wednesday night to South East Asia, and on the Monday we’d just wrapped up the recording process. I think working
like that is good for us because it really kicks our arse in terms of what we’re doing. It makes sure we don’t buggerise around and waste time.” Steer carries on, talking about the sonic kick of Confidence Man comparatively to their back catalogue. “The first EP we did, New Tourists (2011), all the songs were a bit longer than Confidence Man, while the Gilded Age album was a bit shorter and more intense like this new release. That suited the vibe of a lot of the shows we played on the South East Asia tour. A lot of the songs on Confidence Man, which again are those shorter songs, really work well in that environment, real up-tempo and energetic.” Not just a few scattered shows, the boys took to the region with vigour, bouncing between 13 dates in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Steer admits that although the quintet are concentrating on the domestic scene for now, the journey is one that the band would like to embark on again in the future. “It became a blur by the end of that tour but it was just amazing – I think everyone in the band is quite unanimous in that feeling,” he says, the joy in his voice obvious. “The reaction was unreal – every town we went to had a good, enthusiastic crowd, and they were so happy to see a band come from overseas. But they have a really strong scene as well – it’s so incredibly strong. We played a weeknight and like 200-plus people rocked up and we were just like, ‘Fuckin’ hell!’ It was a very humbling, surreal sort of experience.” WHO: Night Hag WHAT: Confidence Man 7” (Monolith) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 April, Fat Louie’s
IN THE WILD STEP-PANTHER FRONTMAN STEVESIE TELLS STEVE BELL ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF TAMING NEW FRONTIERS, AND WHY YOU SHOULDN’T WORRY ABOUT THINGS THAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE.
he Australian underground rock scene is blessed at the moment with an embarrassment of riches, every major city counting itself home to a slew of burgeoning bands who are killing it on the live front and building up passionate followings without much help from the usual establishment suspects. Down Sydney way one such band is indie-rock outfit Step-Panther, who deliver doses of fun, ferocious rock with a slightly slacker bent, their music accessible but not mired down in a particular style or era. “We’ve just been touring pretty much since then – we went up to Brisbane that one time and Melbourne a couple – but just playing and touring,” offers laconic frontman Stevesie about what they’ve been up to since dropping their self-titled debut album in late2011. “We’re just about to head over to the UK to play some shows over there, which is really exciting. It’s a pretty solid little tour and we’re pretty happy about it – I haven’t even been to the UK before let alone played there, so it’s going to be a cool little trip.” Given that they’re playing at The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City festivals as well as some cool London club shows that observation seems to be a slight understatement, but according to Stevesie the band are equally excited about the prospect of recording some new material. “We’ve got heaps of songs in the works at the moment and we’re not sure if we’re going to put out an EP later this year before we do another album, but we’re definitely thinking about it all the time,” he enthuses. “I dunno exactly what’s going to be different about it – it’s a bit early – we’re just compiling a lot of data at the moment. It’s very raw. “I’m pretty much constantly writing stuff, so there’s never a time where I feel dead in the water or like there’s nothing inside. I’m really looking forward to doing it actually – I’m really excited to do some new things, so I’m hoping that it happens sooner rather than later.”
With Step-Panther amongst the aforementioned surge of independent rock bands dominating all across the country – think acts like Royal Headache, Twerps, Dick Diver, Velociraptor and Undead Apes – do they feel a part of some larger picture? “I dunno, I guess,” Stevesie ponders. “I can only really feel like part of our band, I find it hard to look at it from outside that and see where we fit in. It’s all happening and people are into it so I guess there’s a movement of some sort happening, and if there’s something going on I’m happy to be involved or included. It’s cool to go and see bands like Dune Rats – those guys are just killers, just no-holds-barred playing for the sheer fuck of it. Their shows are amazing because of it, their attitude is really sweet. “But at the end of the day I just want our shows to be really great. The best thing about being in a band is writing songs you like and then pulling them off onstage really well, the other stuff is just too hard to define so I just don’t think about it.” In the short term, the Step-Panther crew are looking forward to reintroducing themselves to the people of Brisbane. “I love playing in Brisbane, every time we’ve played there it’s been awesome,” Stevesie enthuses. “I don’t know why – people are really nice and really get into it there. I always marvel at how good it is and then forget, and then get surprised again the next time. And there’s so many cool bands in Brisbane, which is probably why the scene is so strong and people are always out partying.” WHO: Step-Panther WHAT: Step-Panther (Speak N Spell) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 26 April, Alhambra Lounge
A SPAGHETTI WESTERN ROCK OPERA. DON’T DENY IT, YOU KNEW IT WAS TIME. BRINGING TO LIFE THE BLOOD AND BRUTALITY OF THE GOLD RUSH ERA, THE TOOT TOOT TOOTS ARE BREAKING NEW MUSICAL GROUND ONCE AGAIN. BORN STORYTELLER GIULIARNO FERLA TAKES BENNY DOYLE BEHIND THE CURTAIN.
long with Melbourne peers like Graveyard Train, Brothers Grim and the Puta Madre Brothers, The Toot Toot Toots are yet another choice cut of dark country blues goodness from the Victorian capital. More movie soundtrack than standard band fare, the quintet are not so much creating songs as complete and complex stories. Their new record Outlaws transports the listener to Gomorrah Fields, a gold rush town that is rocked to the core by rape, murder and deceit, and follows the bloody vengeance journey of a single émigré named Eli. Sounds incredible, huh? It is. In the midst of a subtle midweek wine haze, co-frontman and trombone acrobat Ferla opens up about the success the five-piece have found mixing stage and sound. “Both Dan [Eucalyptus – vocals/guitar] and I have theatre backgrounds,” he says. “We both did a performing arts class and we both just love telling stories and love performing and that was where the whole performance thing took off. I guess it’s easier for us to write stories than it is to just sorta come up with nothing,” Ferla levels. “I think some of our first songs that were written without a concept driving behind it were awful, like one of our first songs was called Sandra Bullock’s Baby and it’s just a love letter to Sandra Bullock. It was just all these ridiculous ideas that got turned into songs, but now we’ve got a purpose driving a whole album, it has made it come together for us, just giving us something concrete to really work towards.” To find these dangerous and at times rightly disturbing ideas and inspirations, one would naturally assume that the headspace would be equally as volatile. Ferla, however, explains that keeping an arms distance from your own self is key, as is maintaining a smile, even when it gets vicious. “It’s so easy to become self-indulgent with negative emotions, so I think for us at least we try, even though
we are dealing with quite heavy topics and that type of thing, we try to keep a sense of humour about it, a sense of lightness,” he informs. “Like, you’ve got the drama but you don’t want to make it too murky.” Although there were many false starts and characters that didn’t go anywhere, the boys toiled for 18 solid months, delivering a barroom brawl of an album and one hell of a protagonist in the form of religious zealot Eli. Through the music you can feel his maddening vigilant emotions burst through the surface, both Ferla and Eucalyptus more than slipping into character for the occasion. Although there are no plans to go completely cabaret on us just yet, this commitment to colouring their music with more than simply personal emotion is a key fact as to why The Toot Toot Toots live performances are quickly becoming the stuff of legend. “I think people have a good time if they feel you’re having a good time,” Ferla responds. “I know when I go to see a show I’m always empathising with the people onstage, and that can be a great thing when the people are having a good time and when they are in their element, or that can be a horrible time when people are awkward onstage, y’know, because you feel the awkwardness. So I think that is something that we’ve tried to work towards, making sure that we are having a great time and then everyone else can join in.” WHO: The Toot Toot Toots WHAT: Outlaws (Spooky Records) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 April, The Joynt; Saturday 28, Queen St Mall (afternoon show) and X&Y Bar
TIME OFF • 21
SINGLED OUT WITH CHRIS YATES
ON THE RECORD
BIG SAD Missed
Two of the biggest names in R&B five years ago have teamed up for a new track that’s a long way from the weepy ballads that made them both famous. It’s straight from the Black Eyed Peas school of “tonight’s gonna be a real good night” nightclub party anthem for people who are drunk or stupid enough to not really need much encouragement getting drunker or stupider. T-Pain has eased the mix on the autotune back a little but still not enough to get a proper glimpse of his voice, although I’m pretty sure he sings “suck my balls” at one point which is definitely the best lyric he’s ever written. Ne-Yo is totally wasted, as in his voice is not really utilised to its potential, not drunk, although it would explain a lot if he was.
Kate Miller-Heidke’s incline to the toppermost of Australia’s poppermost feels like a gradual one – perhaps a little longer than should’ve been necessary – but still, the longevity has served well and her third album Nightflight feels like the one that will forever cement her here at home.
Nightflight might be a subtle animal but as each and every song unfolds excitingly, it turns into one mighty brilliant beast. It seems bizarre to comment on the progression of her songwriting with longtime collaborator Keir Nuttall – as the pair have some incredible songs under their belt – but it’s truly a thing of beauty. Ride This Feeling is a stunning opener, forced forward comfortably with percussion and a soaring hook. Sarah is the tale of friends at Brisbane’s Livid, 1997, watching Ben Folds Five before one of them goes missing – to call it intense would be an understatement. The title track possesses a commanding grandeur that only KMH could achieve while the acoustic treatment given to The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child couldn’t be more perfect and I’ll Change Your Mind takes care of the radio side of things, thank you very much. The crowning jewel of the piece, however, has to be Humiliation. It’s forward-thinking in its production, confessional in its lyrics, restrained in execution and outright, jaw-droppingly brilliant. In fact, it’s perhaps restraint that makes Nightflight such a flawless collection of work. Kate does extend those incredible vocal chords when necessary and combining those with male backing vocals is a stroke of genius. Overall, it’s not only darker than what we’re used to, but also it’s cohesive from start to finish and, most importantly, the songs and execution are top shelf. ★★★★
PINK MARTINI & SAORI YUKI
Melbourne band New Estate has an esteemed history in their hometown, and an ebullient relationship LIVE label Chapter Music. Yet it’s with renowned been a while since we have heard their skewed shambolics. Fourth album Recovery speaks for itself – a re-emergence onto the scene, and immediately scrambling to the top of the scrap-pop heap.
Now, an album of covers drawn mostly from the late-‘60s/early-‘70s sung in Japanese with a ‘mini orchestra’ reinterpreting the rather distinguished songs isn’t traditionally an album that would get folk excited. But somewhat cult orchestral legends Pink Martini have really pulled out an interesting collection of tracks on their collaboration with 63-year-old Japanese singer/actress, Saori Yuki. The album opens with Yuuzuki (Evening Moon) as originally performed by Japanese composer Jun Mayuzumi, a grand track that recalls James Bond theme songs from the ‘70s. The pace is changed with Mayonaka No Bossa Nova (Midnight Bossa Nova) and Du Soleil Les Yeux (Eyes Full of Sun) with Yuki duetting with Timothy Nishimoto in a more laidback, almost karaoke feel. Peter, Paul & Mary’s Puff The Magic Dragon is reinterpreted with a ukulele leading the charge into a lush upbeat string section which also sees Yuki flirting with the original English lyrics of the song. II Janaino Shiawase Naraba (It’s Okay If I’m Happy) once again changes the pace into a more darker territory. A few of the tracks do begin to mix into each other and sound the same with the language barrier also not helping the casual listener to differentiate between the songs. A re-recording of the original Yuki track Yoake No Scat (Melody For A New Dawn) defies all that being a more guitar-based track with the majority of the vocal line being instrumental-based.
Having put it all together on Garageband over the period of two years after 2010’s departure of bassist Brad Cozier, the quartet were revitalised with the D Vaddition of Flywheel’s Toby Dutton on bass duties. The lead-in title track is the perfect precursor of what’s in store, with Mia Schoen’s vocals as sweet as the twee moments of Electrelane, whilst the guitar interplay on Get Out is hook-laden yet just a smidge off-kilter. The quirks take centre stage on Can’t Live Without You, with horns and organ fleshing out the bruised composition, whilst Marc Regueiro-McKelvie takes the vocal reins on Ghost In My Room and in doing so creates a slacker track reminiscent of Custard. There are moments, as on Everything In The Sea, where the spectre of ‘90s guitar pop acts like Gaslight Radio and Pollyanna coalesce with current day wunderkinds Twerps and Dick Diver in their dexterity, verve and nous. Parallel is a cultured pop gem, whilst Dutton and drummer Larry G makes his presence felt on the elegant cacophonies that is Whiskey Spider and No Hedgehogs.
Turn All The Lights On (feat. Ne-Yo)
Ultimately, 1969 is an album that‘s not really all that accessible, but it’s most definitely an interesting listen which spawns some interesting takes on classic late-‘60s pop, and an album that’s as ambitious musically as it is on paper. ★★★
The music made by Brisbane’s Big Sad is most easily summed up with the simple description of ‘minimal electronica’ but this really doesn’t narrow it down much. Interestingly, despite the sparseness and careful effort not to overuse instruments or much of anything at all, he still creates a broad texture with his simple approach. Both tracks on the Missed EP use the same basic musical palette and match each other nicely in this package, but they conjure up very different feelings. Goner is wistful and sad, the slow ebb of the delay effected organ give the track a sense of mourning, without being depressing. Its companion Infinite Front feels a little more random and darker, with the aforementioned sadness being substituted with a more mysterious edge. Early days for this bedroom artist, but already he has a couple of fantastic releases under his belt.
Recovery sways and staggers from warmth to windmilling, from fey to flamboyant, to rambunctious to restrained, all with an understated grace that is a quality that many reach for but never truly grasp. There aren’t enough Australian releases coming out like this anymore, and it’s a goddamned shame. ★★★★
CATCALL The World Is Ours Ivy League
Sydney’s Catcall had a whole bunch of big names working on this track with her, but on the strength of the other material of hers that has already surfaced, she didn’t really need them. It has helped her get the quality of the recording up to the point where it’s polished so hard that it compares easily with any of the slick mainstream pop coming out of anywhere in the world, but even when she is being this light-hearted and pop-centric, the integrity of her work shines through and it’s completely obvious she’s not a manufactured pop singer. Fans of her (much) earlier band Kiosk may not be able to get their heads around how far into the pop realm she has wandered, but this is even more to her credit.
DEF WISH CAST Forever
Creative Vibes Australian hip hop originators Def Wish Cast are back with the kind of fire in their belly you’d expect from a crew who were pretty much winding down as Aussie hip hop became an actual thing that more than just the hardcore heads knew about. Forever is a collision of new and old ideas, fellow Sydneysider Katalyst (currently gaining worldwide acclaim as part of Quakers) gives the guys an old school beat to rap on, complete with big heavy drums and subtle horn breaks. Expertly cut up samples add to the classic vibe of the track, but there’s a definite contemporariness to it all as well. The vocoder conjures up memories of electro boogie but it works as almost a vocal hook instead of just sounding like a robot.
22 • TIME OFF
Having self-released a bunch of spectacularlycolourful 7”s on their own Aerial Mines label, Never Saw It Coming is Melbourne rockers Iowa’s first long player – and the title cannot be any more apt. It is nigh on certain that people haven’t heard these guys before – but with the advent of Yuck and resurgence of the likes of Dinosaur Jr, the Pixies and Pavement, this act are on the cusp of something great here.
With a scabby knee adorning the cover and the title being a reference to the British emergency ward, A+E marks Graham Coxon’s eighth solo outing, with this being the fourth since his departure from Blur and his first since their eventual reunion, it’s an album that can be erratic, however at other points familiar.
Seattle native Damien Jurado has been around for a good 15 years in his folk-ish bitsa guise – a long time to experiment across every genre that should be teamed with folk. 2010’s acclaimed Saint Bartlett set him on course to deliver his 11th studio album Maraqopa, if the sweeping, wistful synth found therein on Falling Snow is to be trusted as a legitimate point of reference by the fourth track of Maraqopa on the Neil Youngesque This Time Next Year. The doo-doo introductory vocal is misleading as it turns into a tumble-weedy mainstreet of rimmed percussion and staccato western strums, though it’s a ruse that Jurado employs well across this record – corralling the ear in one direction, only to bend it back with either an unexpected turn or a return to the unfolding dreamscape beyond Reel To Reel which begins to delightfully weld atmospheric, background synth with foreground whirligigs aplenty. Wayne Coyne would indeed be proud.
Never Saw It Coming
It’s J Mascis’ crew whose influence can be most readily felt on the album, with Dylan Stewart’s aggressive buzz saw guitar prominent throughout. Complete Control and Panic Attack, the one-two single explosion that opens up the album, are a doublebarrel blast to the soul, seesawing between melody and abrasion beautifully. There is more of the same in Should’ve Known, slowing down the pace yet upping the tension, whilst the slow burner Sunday offers a shake-up that is a welcome respite, despite the slickness of what came before. The trio – rounded out by bassist Jordan Barczak and skinsman Matt Rooney – crank it back up again for the latter stages of the album, and kick up their Dinosaur Jr fetish a notch on Love Song, whilst retaining the incessant hook.
Advice is a rather bland opener for the album and a track that tries to sound witty but unfortunately comes off more like a working class version of Primal Scream. Affairs become far more interesting with the krautrock feel of follower City Hall, with its one verse, jam and repeat method becoming rather addictive by the end. A+E also draws a fair bit of inspiration from the electronic spectrum with What’ll It Take being a Pete Doherty version of a Pulp song while The Truth gets rather dark with its ground moving bass under a melancholy synth loop. Coxon isn’t afraid to open up on guitar on tracks like Meet + Drink + Pollinate and the six-and-a-half minute Knife In The Cast which finds him exploring the fret and pedal board.
Instrumental killer Serotonin allows the engine room to hold sway, something that is overlooked with the guitar solos and hero worship. It highlights the strength that this trio has, and that they can, at the opportune time, mirror their evident role models. What’s more, there is no overt sense of grandiosity or pomposity. This is an impressive debut.
While Graham Coxon has received nowhere near the acclaim of part-time rival Damon Albarn for his solo outings, there’s definitely a market for A+E. Fans of his previous solo material or his work within Blur won’t be too shocked with what’s on offer, with new fans perhaps being able to take more away from the spontaneity of some tracks or the more conventional feel of others. However, it is not an album worthy of sitting high on your record collection, rather an album that deserves a good listen here and there.
★★★ Bradley Armstrong
When it seems that Jurado has slipped away into his own world of ghostly choirs, he glides back into the reality of a voice clear enough to articulate on Working Titles: “You could mess up my life in a poem/Have me divorced by the time of the chorus”. Though he saves his moments of pop clarity for album’s end; Museum Of Flight pleads: “Don’t let go/I need you to hang around/I’m so broke/And foolishly in love”, and with Jurado’s falsetto amidst simple acoustic strums and thoughtful lead embellishments, it makes one want to wallow in foolish love forever. Maraqope is a beautiful album; enchanting, defiantly dreamy, and with ample room to build one’s own daydreams in the spaces Jurado has purpose built. ★★★★★
THE GO SET
With surely one of the international debuts of the year for tastemakers and indie music fans alike, British fourpiece Django Django have crafted an impressive first step in what promises to be an impressive career.
The Go Set have clearly opted for a “less folk, more rock” approach for this self-titled release, their first studio album since their brilliant 2008 offering Rising, even recruiting renowned Oz-rock producer Paul McKercher to twiddle the knobs. The mandolins, bagpipes and accordions are still there, but they’re no longer front and centre.
Sui Zhen (the alias for Melbourne singer-songwriter Becky Freeman) specialises in the sort of wide-eyed twee indie-folk that should automatically appeal to fans of The Lucksmiths, Darren Hanlon and Isobel Campbell. She has been performing around Australia and worldwide for nearly a decade, supporting international artists like Kimya Dawson and CocoRosie, but Two Seas is her first full-length album, and her first release since a self-titled EP in 2007.
The psychedelic-loving nerds have produced what could be the perfect album for fun in the sun. It fires from the get go, brimming with bravado and bombastic beats that spills everything from glammed up drums to power riffs and infectious-as-hell melodies. The upfront rhythm of opener Hail Bop possesses acidic guitars driven by duelling vocals while Waveforms shows off their penchant for percussion and Firewater could’ve been something The Rapture produced, had they been heavily influenced by the heady mid-to-late-‘60s. You can practically see the pounding Splendour fists as lead single Default falls into one of the greatest guitar riffs this year – the guitar-line sounds like The Shadows, and add whizzing electronics and a repetitive chant and, yep, it’s that surefire festival anthem. The record keeps on giving with the likes of the delightful Zumm Zumm, the ballad Hand Of Man and WOR, a snazzy piece of work that feels part Kraut, part-surf, while using Public Enemy’s sirens for urgency. If the Beach Boys harmonies and title of Life’s A Beach didn’t provoke the right cruisy, sun-soaked images, then the crashing waves will do the trick. Django Django is clearly a band made up of four smart guys who clearly the product of their own diverse record collections and their self-titled album is a marvellous listen that’ll move your mind as much as it will your feet. Don’t think about it too much, dance like a caveman. ★★★★
The Go Set
Opener Drums Of Chelsea doesn’t stray too far from familiar territory, with a mid-paced melodic punk-rock beat, a bagpipe-based melody and a “three sheets to the wind on the rolling sea, to where that fortune waits for me” chorus. The New Age is a more straightforward rocker and Television Education follows a similar no-frills rock‘n’roll approach, coupled with some effective percussive elements and vocal melodies. The narrative of All Our Friends, a track that incorporates bagpipes and a pinch of ska, tells an easily relatable story of flawed friends; while Speakers Distort is probably the best chance the band have of getting some much-deserved triple j airplay. Halfway To Hell, which features Weddings, Parties, Anything’s Mark Wallace on accordion, is another highlight, as is the slower-paced reggae-based Rooftops. The album lulls a little for December and Liberty Bell, which is about as close as the band comes to ballad territory, before rounding out the 11 tracks with the even more sombre, piano-led Belfast Hill. While The Go Set are to be applauded for charting slightly new territory on this release, the album doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights set by its predecessor. Nevertheless, compared to the vast majority of Australian music doing the rounds at the moment, The Go Set are still a step ahead of most of their peers. ★★★ ½
It‘s easy to see why she has been taking her time, as there‘s not a sound out of place in these ten meticulously crafted folk-pop songs. Freeman‘s sweet, almost childlike voice is accompanied by sparse arrangements of plucked acoustic guitar and percussion, with sparing use of clarinet, cello and other instruments adding texture. She sets herself apart from the average whimsical indie-folk singer-songwriter with some interestingly subtle lyrics. On Imagined Ships she fantasises about selling her belongings and leaving her life behind for “two years at least“, while Tuesday Sometimes expresses ambivalence and frustration about a distant, moody lover, concluding poignantly “When I am with you/We are happy sometimes“. While her delicate vocals occasionally hint at a deeper sadness, for the most part the mood remains innocently hopeful. Listen to the entire 37 minutes of Two Seas from start to finish and you might just be in danger of overdosing on all the sweetness, like drinking an entire glass of strawberry syrup, but taken one or two tracks at a time it‘s utterly charming. ★★★
YANN TIERSEN Skyline
Anti/Epitaph Multi-instrumentalist composer Yann Tiersen is perhaps best known for his soundtrack to the film Amélie, but if you expect his new album Skyline to feature more of the same bittersweet piano-accordion music, you’re in for a surprise. Tiersen’s 17-year career has encompassed a variety of styles, and his latest release is a meditative, lightly experimental post-rock album, with hardly an accordion in sight. The elaborately layered sound often recalls artists like M83 and Explosions In The Sky, while The Gutter is reminiscent of post-rock icons Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the way it slowly builds in intensity to a crashing climax, offset by a crackly sample of a Spanish radio broadcast. Yann Tiersen himself plays almost all instruments on the album, from synths to guitars to violin to glockenspiel, although at times it sounds as though an entire orchestra is involved. Most tracks include vocals, but they’re used as another instrument in the mix, rather than anything approaching a traditional pop song. On Forgive Me, another of the album’s highlights, a chorus chants the two words of the title repeatedly, taking on a eerily hypnotic quality. Perhaps the only misstep is the opening of Exit 25 Block 20, featuring Tiersen barking and howling maniacally, accompanied by a sweet toy piano melody. On paper it sounds like an interesting idea, but in execution it’s more annoying than effective, and this track may have many listeners reaching for the skip button, which would be unfortunate, since the second half of that song is rather beautiful. On the final track, Vanishing Point, elements from several other songs resurface briefly, bringing a satisfying sense of closure to a highly rewarding album. ★★★★
TIME OFF • 23
F R O N T R O W @ T I M E O F F. C O M . A U
THIS WEEK IN
THURSDAY 26 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – this film festival is held the first week of November in Banff, Canada before it hits the road. Over 300 films enter the annual competition to include award-winning films and audience favorites chosen to travel the globe. The 2012 tour features a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking active, action, and adventure mountain films – travelling from remote landscapes and cultures, to up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports. Opening night, Powerhouse Theatrette, 7pm until 28 April.
FRIDAY 27 Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy– a dark romantic comedy based on the controversial book, Ecstasy by Irvine Welsh, also author of Trainspotting. A film that combines Welsh’s provocative characters and superb story telling with shocking thrills and dark humour, it weaves and dodges its way through neon soaked night clubs to the historic streets of Edinburgh. Directed by Rob Heydon, Part of the Gold Coast Film Festival, Australia Fair Cinemas, Southport, 7.15pm & 9pm.
SATURDAY 28 X- your ticket into the whimsical world of Caitlin, Jamie, Naked and Fancy- two best friends and two puppets searching for an escape from reality. Stop-motion animation, puppetry and live performance meld in this fast paced one man show, a tongue-in-cheek exploration of quick fixes and fixations which are hard to quit. Grounded in LGBTIQ experiences, Sunny Drake presents a raw and honest look at addiction. Closing night, Metro Arts. Midsummer (a play with songs) - after sell out seasons in the UK and USA, Scotland’s smash hit musical rom- com is here, with its original cast. Bob and Helena meet at a wine bar. He’s a failing car salesman waiting to pick up the keys to a stolen car. She’s a divorce lawyer with a taste for other people’s husbands. She’s totally out of his league; he’s not her type at all. They absolutely should not sleep
feeling that maybe I would be able to create better work if I had a group of dancers who – I had a shared history with. Now we’re just trying very hard to get noticed and do the right things and be a national company that just happens to live in this beautiful state.”
There’s little doubt that EDC is getting noticed; Weir’s first major work as Artistic Director of EDC Where The Heart Is picked up some significant accolades including Australian Dance Awards and a couple of Helpmanns. “It was incredible,” she says of the recognition, “They were for the first big work I did here as Artistic Director and it was a work I was really proud of. I think it really helps that it happened very quickly during my directorship, to help bring notice to it. We have immediately had national recognition.“
together. Ever. This is why they do. Written and directed by David Greig. Closing night, 7.30pm, La Boite, Roundhouse Theatre. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead- Tom Stoppard’s absurdist comedy directed by Natasha Kapper is a reflection on the nature of reality, and whether things can change on the flip of a coin. These two Danish courtiers have a crucial part to play in the great drama affecting their childhood friend, Hamlet. But Rosencrantz and Guildenstern aren’t quite aware of which lines they’re supposed to learn. Can they change their fate, or is their script written? Opening night, Brisbane Arts Theatre, 8pm Until 26 May.
Having worked all over the world, Weir is in a good position to comment on dance in Queensland. “Without going on about that cultural cringe,” she says, “I do think it’s harder here… I do think it’s more difficult for us to be recognised in the Southern states, which I don’t quite understand,” she continues. “It doesn’t matter where you are, if you’re creating good work it should be able to travel and be of an Australian or international standard. Why shouldn’t lots of famous creative come out of Queensland? There’s no reason why not. They just need an opportunity to be seen.”
SUNDAY 29 Safe- a former elite agent takes on a two-pronged mission, rescue a Chinese girl who’s been abducted by the Triad and use a safe combination to outwit the Russian Mafia. Starring Jason Statham, directed by Boaz Yakin. Closing night film of the Gold Coast Film Festival, Australia Fair Cinemas, Southport, 8pm.
MONDAY 30 Let Me Refresh Your Memory- a group exhibition that features a collection of eclectic photographic work from artists; Alix Perry, Camilla Birkland, Imogen MacDonald, Ray Cook, Kate Bernauer, Lydal Petzke, Hugh Swingler-Manning and Tara Callaghan. Closing today, Bleeding Heart Gallery.
ONGOING Contemporary Australia: Women - an exhibition that celebrates the diversity, energy and innovation of contemporary women artists working in this country today. It features more than 70 new and recent works, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, textiles, video and performance by 33 artists and collectives, a total of 56 visual artists. The exhibition also includes Embodied Acts, a program of performative works; the Children’s Art Centre installation art work ‘Fly Away Home’ by Fiona Hall; and a film program curated by renowned Australian producer and critic Margaret Pomeranz. Gallery of Modern Art until 22 July.
“I DO LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE CRY,” R&J CHOREOGRAPHER NATALIE WEIR ADMITS TO HELEN STRINGER, ON HOW SHE HOPES TO MOVE AUDIENCES WITH HER MODERN TELLING OF THE FAMOUS STAR-CROSSED LOVERS. Townsville-born Natalie Weir was just 20 when Brisbane’s Expressions Dance Company first commissioned her to choreograph professionally. Weir parlayed that early opportunity into a hugely successful freelance career. She’s spent the past two decades working as a freelance choreographer, creating work for dance companies from Brisbane to
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Beijing and back again. Since 2009 she’s been trying out staying still, taking the helm as Artistic Director at Expressions Dance Company, the very company that launched her career. “It was amazing,” she says of her return to EDC, “It felt significantly right. I always worked with this company over the years and have always been associated
with the company. When this position became available and it felt like I’d come full circle. “I’ve freelanced for the last 20-something years,” she continues, “It certainly has its highs; being able to walk into a company, create a work and then leave. But I started to feel that I wanted more out of the work I was creating. I started
WHAT: R&J (Expressions Dance Company) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 April to Sunday 13 May, Redland Performing Arts Centre, Cleveland
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24 • TIME OFF
This month sees Weir’s R&J back on stage. It’s a modern telling of Romeo And Juliet; three short pieces set in different times working with the story’s perennial themes. Weir explains that she took on dance favourite Romeo And Juliet to explore those themes in an accessible way. “All the work I do is reflective of humanity and love and loss and all of those big issues and this one is certainly full of that,” she says. “The whole idea that it’s timeless, that it was written so long ago and yet the themes there are really something I wanted to explore, that was attractive to me: even though time passes these big human conditions never really change.” It’s a moving piece, the final of the dance triptych and a guaranteed tear-jerker. “I do like it when people cry,” she laughs, “It makes me really happy. I feel like I’ve really done something well to affect someone like that.”
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THE WAY (PG) (NO FREE TIX) THU 10.15, 2.05, 6.30PM FRI 10.15, 1.00, 6.30PM SAT/SUN/TUE/WED 10.00, 2.15, 6.30PM MON 10.00, 2.15, 8.55PM
ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS (M)
THU 12.15, 4.30, 6.15PM FRI 11.10 (BABES), 3.30, 6.15PM SAT/SUN/TUE/WED 12.25, 4.40, 6.15PM MON 12.25, 4.40, 7.10PM
THE LADY (MA15+)
THU-SUN/TUE 9.45, 4.25, 9.30PM MON 9.45, 4.25, 9.20PM WED 9.45, 4.25, 9.15PM
THU/FRI 10.15, 3.20, SAT/SUN 10.15, 12.55PM MON-WED 10.15, 3.40PM
FRI 12.55, 8.05, 9.00PM SAT 10.15, 3.20, 8.05, 9.00PM SUN 12.35, 3.20, 8.05, 9.00PM MON 10.15, 3.45, 7.00 PM TUE 10.15, 3.45, 8.05, 9.00PM WED 10.15, 3.45, 6.55PM
AMERICAN PIE: REUNION (MA15+) SALMON FISHING IN THE THU-SAT/MON-WED 12.35PM YEMEN (M) THU-TUE 10.20, 2.15, 6.45PM THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (M) WED 10.20, 2.15, 8.05PM THU-SUN/TUE/WED 9.45, THE BEST EXOTIC 2.25, 9.00PM MARIGOLD HOTEL (PG) THU 12.55, 3.45, 8.05, 9.00PM
MON 9.45, 2.25, 8.50PM
WISH YOU WERE HERE (MA15+) NOW SHOWING
07 3852 4488
STATE ACADEMIC BOLSHOI THEATRE OF RUSSIA: LE CORSAIRE (CTC) (NO FREE TIX)
NY MET OPERA: MANON (CTC) (NO FREE TIX)
SAT 11.30AM SUN 1.00PM THU (03/05) 11.30AM
THE WAY (PG) (NO FREE TIX)
THU 1.20, 4.20, 8.30PM FRI/ MON/ TUE 10.00, 4.10, 8.30PM SAT 1.20, 4.10, 8.30PM SUN 11.40, 4.30, 8.50PM WED 10.00, 4.00, 8.50PM
WISH YOU WERE HERE (MA15+) (NO FREE TIX) INCL. SCRNING AWARD KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND WINNING SHORT FILM (M) (NO FREE TIX) ADVANCE THE PALACE SCREENINGS
FRI/ SAT 10.00AM
THU- WED 12.10, 2.30, 6.50, 9.10PM
ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS (M)
SUN 10.00, 2.00, 8.40PM
THE DEEP BLUE SEA (M)
THU 9.45, 2.40, 6.40PM FRI/ MON/ TUE 12.20, 2.10, 6.40PM SAT 9.45, 12.20, 6.40PM SUN 10.00, 12.20, 7.00PM WED 12.20, 2.10, 7.00PM
THU- WED 4.40PM
THU 10.30 (BABES), 3.45, 8.40PM FRI/ MON- WED 10.30, 1.20, 8.40PM SAT 10.30, 3.45, 8.40PM
A DANGEROUS METHOD
THE LADY (MA15+)
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (M) THU/ MON/ TUE 10.00, 4.50, 9.20PM FRI- SUN 4.50, 9.20PM WED 10.00, 4.50, 9.00PM (MA15+)
THU/ SAT/ SUN 10.10, 6.20PM FRI/ MON- WED 10.10, 4.00, 6.20PM
F R O N T R O W @ T I M E O F F. C O M . A U
C U LT U R A L
WITH MANDY MCALISTER This week, Gotye (aka Wally de Backer) managed to do what only three other Australian artists (INXS, Men At Work and Savage Garden) had managed in the past 30 years and bagged himself a US Billboard number one with his hit Somebody That I Used To Know. This success was due largely to the inclusion of a cover of the song in a recent episode of Glee. Not entirely happy with the result, in an interview with the Sunday Mail, de Backer is quoted as saying, “They did such a faithful arrangement of the instrumentals but the vocals were that pop Glee style, ultra dry, sounded pretty tuned and the rock has no real sense, like it’s playing to you from a cardboard box.” Some might reckon de Backer is slapping a hand that’s shovelling money into his coffers but you can’t blame a guy for delivering a fairly rounded critique. For all its pop culture sensibilities, Glee is a very polished production. The lip syncs are spot on, the archetypal characters are as ethnically diverse as the crew of the starship Enterprise with equally oriented moral compasses, and the songs are produced to within an inch of their being. Like a magazine carrying the almost unrecognisable, airbrushed face of Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee leans towards perfection at the expense of any nuance that might resemble real life. Given this lean, I’m wondering what Glee co-creator, Brad
Falchuk, can offer as the scribe chosen to rewrite the screenplay of Dirty Dancing for an upcoming remake. It’s hardly high cinema but given that the film’s charms lay in its more unpolished elements, ie. Jennifer Grey’s delightfully imperfect nose, Patrick Swayze’s half-mumbled lines and the hipgrinding dancing, could any of the original’s attraction be retained? Looking back on popular ‘80s movies I have to wonder if filmmakers of mainstream movies will ever again hire lead actors whose appeal isn’t wholly based on appearance. Would a young Anthony Michael Hall get a look in as a romantic lead these days? Could Zac Efron ever pull off playing the extremely likeable but evidently dumpable Lloyd Dobler? If Ferris Bueller looked like Chris Evans, would his teacher be less resistant to his having a day off? It was a unique era for American filmmaking in particular and perhaps one that should be left alone. If we mine that reservoir too often some bizarre films just won’t translate will be brought to the surface. The last thing we need is a neat, polished version of the gender-swapping teen comedy Willy/Milly or some smart director trying to make Weird Science look factually viable. I’m not expecting Christopher Nolan to take on Dirty Dancing and turn out something between Flashdance and Fight Club but if Falchuck tries to turn it into a musical I hope somebody puts him in a corner.
WITH HELEN STRINGER Humanity lost a little part of its soul the day Big Brother hit our small screens. It lost the part which had read 1984 and understood that Orwell w as giving us a warning, not pitching a TV show capable of filling those hours of dead air on Sunday nights. It was the same part that believed that if we worked hard or were born with above-average good looks success would likely find us. It was the part that could stand up and say, “No, I do not know what a Snooki is.” The part which could, with hand on heart, swear, “No, I have never watched a sex tape starring Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, not even that time when I was drunk at home alone, researching reality TV stars and asking Google, ‘why is Kanye dating this buxom lady who seems to lack any discernible skills or talents?’” But now that part of our collective soul concerned with grace and dignity is dead we can revel in the awesomeness that is back-to-back reality television on free-to-air every Sunday without fear of judgement. Trust me, when your Saturday night started with a first drinks call at 10am, featured a heated three-in-the-morning discussion on the merits of various nicknames for Ryan Gosling (‘Baby Goose’ being the only one I’m comfortable repeating here) and finally ended with an El Maco, 20 chicken nuggets and a frozen cCoke the size of your head, the quality of available television is almost a matter of life and death.
Back in the days before reality TV Sunday television came in three packages: religion, sport, or black and white. It was as though the people behind the television were actually trying to bore you into go outside and do something wholesome. It was torturous. Sure, going outside is fine when you’re young, blessed with the metabolism of a rodent and thus able to move from drunk to sober fast enough to prevent your parents from suspecting that you’ve used your reverse-Jesus skills to turn their gin into water and their whisky into tea. A few short years later, however, and your face will melt upon coming in contact with UV rays on the day of rest. Post-25 and every week you’re thanking the gods of poor taste that someone thought of committing the acts of stupid people to film. Finding out you’ve stumbled upon four hours of nonstop episodes of The Bachelor will have you pumping your fist in the air and praising the Lord. Reruns of The Voice, encore presentations of Dancing With The Stars, even Celebrity Apprentice will bring tears of joy to your eyes. This week while physically attached to the couch I watched David Hasselhoff make ‘art’ representing the day he personally knocked down the Berlin Wall and introduced the German people to freedom. For a brief few hours I was so emancipated from the shackles of high culture that I genuinely appreciated the Hoff’s attempts at creativity. Dead soul be damned, it was a moment of true, crazy-eyed beauty.
NO ONE IN THE UK WANTED TO GIVE ROB HEYDON MONEY TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT DRUGS, THE DIRECTOR OF IRVINE WELSH’S ECSTACY TELLS ANTHONY CAREW. Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy – a pillpoppin’, rave-hoppin’, broguegarglin’, free-framin’, small-timin’ to-screen adaptation of a short story (The Undefeated) from ‘The Author Of Trainspotting’– is, at times, painfully ’90s; a shrine to a zeitgeist two decades gone. So, the question begs: why, then, wasn’t it actually set in the ’90s, as an embrace of the fact? “We originally set it in the ’90s!” defends Rob Heydon, the energetic Candian video-clip maker – a clubber-since-hewas-13 who’s worked with John Digweed, Richie Hawtin, et cetera – who’s taken Ecstasy from page to screen. “We even had dialogue about different football games that would give it a specific time and place. But Irvine thought we should get rid of those specific cultural references, because he thought it’d distract from the story.”
That would be Irvine of the Welsh variety; he the opposite of every literary titan who’s ever distanced themselves or derided an adaptation of their genius. He’s been hella involved: giving script notes, shooting a cameo, doing press, introducing screenings at the Winter Music Conference and the Glasgow Film Festival. “He’s a huge supporter of the film, probably our numberr one fan. To get that endorsement from the author of Trainspotting, Marabou Stork Nightmares and so on is incredible,” Heydon marvels. “Having him there at the Glasgow Film Festival, in February, that was huge for us. [Because] we thought they were going to be our harshest critics; Glaswegians can be very, very hard, it’s one of those places where they love you or hate you. And they’re probably his biggest fans there… But they loved the film, and that felt really important to us.”
Welsh’s introduction was filled with all the difficulties faced, over the years, with getting Ecstasy made. “There’s a generation of clubbers who started in the UK in the mid’80s and ’90s who’ve been waiting for this for years,” Heydon says. The ‘why’ of why it’s taken so long isn’t much of a shocker. “We approached every film fund in the UK, and none of them were interested in making a film about drugs,” recounts Heydon. “There’s obviously a lot of politics that goes into getting film funding in the UK; a lot of film funds just give money to their friends. It’s not really about ‘what’s the best film?’ or the commercial viability of a project, it’s usually more ‘these are people we know locally, let’s give them some money’.” Or, in the infamous case of former Scottish screen CEO John Archer, giving money to his wife (who, as the back-in-the-day scandal went,
had never made a film of any kind before). So, Heydon and crew got funding from Canada – working a Canadian wrinkle into the script – for the most Scottish of stories. “Irvine Welsh writes in this Scottish vernacular that, to me, is almost like A Clockwork Orange; it’s this other language that you have to come to understand,” Heydon laughs. And, with that, the filmmaker skips off, with business to attend to. “[The film] opened today in London,” Heydon beams. “We had our premiere at Ministry Of Sound on Tuesday night, and now I’m about to go meet my dad and my brother and a few friends, and we’re going to go and see it in a few different cinemas. I honestly can’t believe it’s happening.” WHAT: Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy WHEN & WHERE: Part of the Gold Coast Film Festival, Australia Fair Cinemas, Southport, 7.15 & 9pm
HUMAN QUALITY ABSURDIST CLASSIC ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD MAKES AN APPEARANCE AS PART OF BRISBANE ARTS THEATRE’S 2012 SEASON. DIRECTOR NATASHA KAPPER TELLS HELEN STRINGER THAT SHE THINKS THE PLAYWRIGHT MIGHT BE OKAY WITH THE REVAMPED VERSION. In the final scenes of Shakespeare’s Hamlet we’re informed that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern can be added to the now rather long list of characters Shakespeare decided to kill off. “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead,” it’s declared, but it’s a statement that might leave some in the audience struggling to remember just who the hell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were in the first place. In Hamlet, the two courtiers are minor characters; plot devices so lacking in personality that some printed versions of the play incorrectly attribute one character’s line to the other. But in acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard’s breakout 1966 play, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, the same two characters are given strange if brief life; their sometimes confounding, often hilarious actions taking centre stage. Hamlet, after so long in the limelight, becomes a minor player
to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s leading roles. Stoppard turns the feted narrative inside out; what the audience sees is off-stage to the main action. If Hamlet is the greatest play ever told, then Rosencrantz And Guildenstern… is its absurdist second cousin. Brisbane-based director Natasha Kapper is adding Rosencrantz And Guildenstern… to the rejuvenated Brisbane Arts Theatre’s 2012 season. Having a long association with Brisbane Arts Theatre, she says, she was eager to work with the theatre again and Stoppard’s absurdist classic was at the top of her list. Having previously directed Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot – a play with which Rosencrantz And Guildenstern… is regularly compared – Kapper confesses a love of absurdism and is quick to dispel the perception of the genre’s density. “It is a really fun play,” she assures.
“I think if you are able to bring that human quality to absurdism, then people are able to enjoy it more, instead of it just being existential and just something that the audience isn’t able to get into.” And certainly, productions of absurdist plays that don’t hit the mark are generally considered some of the less bearable of theatre. Kapper, however, is conscious of the risks and confident of avoiding the potentially off- putting density. “We got a great response from what we did with Waiting For Godot. If you’re able to bring that human quality and that laughter to it… the audience can appreciate it for its comic value. I think that’s really important with absurdism,” she says. Happily tackling yet another playwright whose name has made its way in to the English language as an adjective, Kapper is clearly unintimidated by the lineage, changing Stoppard’s script significantly. “We weren’t allowed
to change Waiting For Godot in any way, shape or form,” she says, “There are really strict guidelines with that play. Fortunately there’s not those restrictions on this production so we’re able to really play with it and do things that we think the audience are going to relate to better,” she says, “And I really have changed it quite a bit.” As to whether the lauded playwright would approve of her changes, she explains she’s used Stoppard-directed film version, now a cult classic, as a reassuring reference. “Stoppard had changed the script so much,” she says. “So I think he would be cool with me playing around with it.” What: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, 8pm until 26 May, Brisbane Arts Theatre TIME OFF • 25
THE BANDS THE INDUSTRY THE LOCALS THE ENCORES THE DJS THE GIGS THE PRODUCERS THE CLUBS THE REMIXES THE ARTISTS THE FESTIVALS THE GROUPIES THE ALBUMS THE TOURS THE FANS
LIVE NOW! 26 • TIME OFF
KELLIE LLOYD Name/instrument played: Kellie Lloyd. Guitar and vocals.
How long have you been performing? A very long time.
You’re on tour in the van – which band or artist is going to keep you happy if we throw them on the stereo? Kyuss’ Blues For The Red Sun is going to be on for long distance driving as is Mezcal Head by Swervedriver. For city driving… currently Flammable by The Soft Pack and Fun House by the Stooges.
Would you rather be a busted broke-but-revered Hank Williams figure or some kind of Metallica monster? My aim is to become a psychologist and get paid ridiculous amounts of money to be able to sit around in recording studios with incredibly rich rock stars and shrinking them.
Which Brisbane bands before you have been an inspiration (musically or otherwise)? I’m not sure if Died Pretty is classed as a Brisbane band, but them and Ups And Downs are two bands that changed my life and are still an inspiration to me.
What part do you think Brisbane plays in the music you make? Brisbane is where I live. I go away from it all the time but I always come back. It inspires the music I make whether I realise it or not.
Is your music responsible for more make-outs or break-ups? Why? I hope people will be making out to my new album rather than breaking up to it. But it’s kinda sad and melancholy, so maybe it could be the soundtrack to post-breakup situation.
If you had to play a sport instead of being a musician which sport would it be and why would you be triumphant? Is Op Shopping a sport?
What’s in the pipeline for you musically in the short term? Album release, Brisbane album launch, fly to London, play some shows, down to Sydney for Song Summit, then national album tour in June… making more music videos… more shows… write more songs… record another album… do it all over again. Kellie Lloyd launches Magnetic North (Independent) at Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday 31 April. Magnetic North can be downloaded at kellielloyd.bandcamp.com or purchased physically at kellielloyd.com or all good record stores. Photo by TERRY SOO.
HOODOO GURUS @ THE TIVOLI PIC BY STEPHEN BOOTH
TOUR GUIDE FEATURE TOUR
THE ZOO FRIDAY 27 APRIL Usually Aussie hip hop collective The Herd are content to let their music speak for itself – after all, it is pretty freakin’ good – but for their impending A Thousand Lives tour they’re breaking out of their comfort zone to try something a bit different; they’re using an innovative blend of narrative and video to weave the themes and context of their decade-long history into one thrilling visual and aural extravaganza. If that doesn’t sound like enough to entice you to The Zoo on Friday night, they’re bringing with them the equally awesome Thundamentals and burgeoning Sydney artist Sky’high. If you can’t make Friday night you can road trip down to The Northern in Byron Bay for the same line-up on Saturday, but either way check out this great array of homegrown talent!
TIME OFF PRESENTS
DIGITALISM: Family May 9 THE MACCABEES: The Hi-Fi May 9
LAST DINOSAURS: Spotted Cow Apr 26, Elsewhere Apr 27, Sol Bar Apr 28, The Zoo May 3
PUBLIC ENEMY: The Hi-Fi May 10
GOSSLING: Black Bear Lodge Apr 26
FRANK TURNER : The Zoo May 13
BIG SCARY: The Zoo Apr 28
MORGAN PAGE: Family May 18
MOUNT KIMBIE: The Hi-Fi May 2
PRINCE: Brisbane Entertainment Centre May 18 & 26
FU MANCHU, BLACK COBRA: The Hi-Fi May 4
TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS: The Hi-Fi May 19
BIC RUNGA: Brisbane Powerhouse May 5, A&I Hall May 6
MICKEY AVALON: Coolangatta Hotel May 19 DANNY BROWN, MED: The Zoo May 23
GROOVIN’ THE MOO: Townsville May 6
MURDER BY DEATH: Surfers Paradise Beergarden May 24, Spotted Cow May 25, Jubilee Hotel May 26
ANDREW W.K.: The Zoo May 9
HARRY MANX: Brisbane Powerhouse May 11
THE MACCABEES: The Hi-Fi May 9
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, THE RAVEONETTES: The Hi-Fi May 24
PUBLIC ENEMY: The Hi-Fi May 10
THE OCEAN: The Zoo May 24
TIM “RIPPER” OWENS: the Hi-Fi May 19
BELL BIV DEVOE, GINUWINE: The Tivoli May 26
DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: The Northern May 31, Spotted Cow Jun 1, The Hi-Fi Jun 2
FLORENCE & THE MACHINE: Riverstage May 26
YOUNG GUNS: The Hi-Fi Jun 1
ANTI-FLAG: The Zoo May 30, Coolangatta Hotel May 31
GASOLINE INC: Tempo Hotel, Jun 1, Miami Shark Bar Jun 2
YOUNG GUNS: The Hi-Fi Jun 1
MISSY HIGGINS: The Tivoli Jun 6
MARK KOZELEK: Black Bear Lodge Jun 7
BOY & BEAR: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 6, Beach Hotel Jun 7, The Tivoli Jun 8, Lake Kawana Community Centre Jun 9, Empire Theatre Jun 10
REEF: The Hi-Fi Jun 7
TRIAL KENNEDY: The Tempo Jun 8, Miami Tavern Jun 9
SIMPLE PLAN, WE THE KINGS: Southport RSL Jun 8, Eatons Hill Hotel Jun 9, Caloundra RSL Jun 10
THE AUDREYS: SoundLounge Jun 21, Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 22
SISTER SLEDGE: The Hi-Fi Jun 9
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: Brisbane Entertainment Centre Jul 7
SILVERSTEIN: The Zoo Jun 16
INTERNATIONAL KEVIN GRIFFITHS: Brisbane River Boatcruise and Barsoma Apr 28
SHOWTEK: The Hi-Fi May 26
THE TIVOLI: 20.04.12
ZOLA JESUS: Alhambra Jun 1
THE BLACK SEEDS: The Northern Jun 7, The Hi-Fi Jun 8, Southport RSL Jun 9
EAST 17: The Hi-Fi Jun 14 MACABRE: Jubilee Hotel Jun 28 JAY BRANNAN: Old Museum Jun 29 GOATWHORE, IMPIETY: Beetle Bar Jul 5 CEREMONY: Between The Walls Jul 5, Basement 243 Jul 6
LIL JON: The Met Apr 28
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: Brisbane Entertainment Centre Jul 7
HENRY ROLLINS: Brisbane Powerhouse May 2, 3 & 4
TERROR: YAC Jul 9, The Loft Jul 10, The Hi-Fi Jul 11
MOUNT KIMBIE: The Hi-Fi May 2
ED SHEERAN: QPAC Jul 31
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: Great Northern May 3, The Zoo May 4
THE BLACK KEYS: BEC Oct 26
DEVILDRIVER, SIX FEET UNDER, DARKEST HOUR: The Tivoli May 4 FU MANCHU: The Hi-Fi May 4 THE DARKNESS: Eatons Hill Hotel May 4 ATMOSPHERE, EVIDENCE: The Hi Fi May 5 BIC RUNGA: Brisbane Powerhouse May 5, A&I Hall May 6 ORBITAL: The Tivoli May 6 CITY AND COLOUR: The Tivoli May 8 & 9 KAISER CHIEFS: The Hi-Fi May 8 WAVVES: The Zoo May 8 ANDREW WK: The Zoo May 9 28 • TIME OFF
RADIOHEAD: BEC Nov 9
HOODOO GURUS, THE SONICS, THE 18.104.22.168’S
AYA LARKIN: Black Bear Lodge Apr 25 HUSKY: The Zoo Apr 26, SoundLounge Apr 27, Woombye Hotel Apr 28 THE HERD, THUNDAMENTALS: The Zoo Apr 27, Great Northern Apr 28 BIG SCARY: The Zoo Apr 28 AN HORSE: The Zoo Apr 29 THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Great Northern May 2, Arena May 3, Coolangatta Hotel May 4, Kings Beach Tavern May 5
With the Brisbane leg of the Dig It Up! extravaganza selling out in lightning time it’s no surprise to see a huge turnout early, guitar fans of all ages waiting expectantly for tonight’s grab bag of rock’n’roll goodness. Japanese all-girl garage pop-rockers The 22.214.171.124’s are up first, and despite a mix so soft that at first you don’t even realise a band’s playing from the adjacent bar, they delight all and sundry with their catchy anthems and infectiously sunny demeanours. Both the band and their music are cute as a button and you can’t help but smile and tap along to tracks like Hanky Panky and The Barracuda, it’s a downright fun experience that ends all too quickly. It’s taken them some 50 years to get here, but US garage legends The Sonics don’t disappoint in their first show on Australian soil, the black-clad veterans opening with a ferocious opening salvo of I’m Waitin’, a pumping version of ‘50s hit Money (That’s What I Want) and a cracking take on Cinderella (featuring an incredible harp solo by saxophonist Rob Lind). Original singer-organist Gerry Roslie’s voice is holding up well for someone approaching his 70s, although he occasionally labours at the top of his trademark scream, but the recent addition of bassist Freddie Dennis takes up some slack, his incredible vocals taking the reins for tracks such as Keep A Knockin’ and Lucille. The band seem like they’re having a blast – almost incredulous at the reaction they’re afforded – and the place goes nuts when they play classics such as Have Love Will Travel and Boss Hoss. They throw in a new song Vampire Killer which taps into a zeitgeist they might not even know exists (it’s not miles removed from their typical lyrical fare anyway), but it’s older gems like Strychnine , Louie, Louie and Psycho – which brings the girls from The 126.96.36.199’s back out for a dance frenzy – which make this performance so special, and when they finish with an explosive The Witch it’s like we’ve all been transported back in time to a glorious bygone musical era.
A short time later when the Hoodoo Gurus run onto stage to a heroes’ reception they seem like young sprites compared to their predecessors, and as they blast into (Let’s All) Turn On – the opening track of their classic 1984 Stoneage Romeos, which they’re playing in full tonight (although pedants would claim that this is isn’t the real opening track, but that’s a story for another time) – the full room writhes with excitement and yells the words back en masse, the resulting joy almost tangible as people are swept up in their private memories of this amazing record. The initially restrained I Want You Back builds into a frenzy, and it’s hard not to be overtaken by patriotic fervour as you realise that we’re the only nation on the planet that knows these amazing songs so intimately. Knowing what’s coming next doesn’t dull the fun one iota, hearing songs like Arthur and Death Ship which rarely get aired these days more than atoning, while the gorgeous proto-emo of My Girl entices a singalong of epic proportions. Frontman Dave Faulkner is dressed for the occasion in a gold lame shirt while guitarist Brad Shepherd has opted for the more traditional Gurus paisley, and when an impassioned take on Zanzibar leads into the stomping fury of Leilani the place erupts, the crowd singing the vocal hooks back at them with unreserved gusto. Straight away Tojo elicits more mass singing and dancing before some respite arrives with the relative restraint of In The Echo Chamber, but the album recital finishes on a massive high with the rocktastic I Was A Kamikaze Pilot sending The Tivoli crowd into spasms of joy. The four Gurus take a bow at the front of the stage but of course there’s more to come and they treat us to a slew of gems from across their amazing catalogue – Bittersweet, Right Time and 1,000 Miles Away all get a look in before they encore with Death Defying and Like Wow – Wipeout – but the damage has already been done. One of our greatest ever guitar bands treating us to the entirety of arguably their greatest album – rock’n’roll moments don’t come much better. TERRY MILERA
sweatball pummelling the skins while the guitarist stands tall, both vying for the punters’ attention. They rip through their set with tracks such as Cajun Style and Midnight Movie growing in stature with every listen. They are a tight unit, so much fun, and nice and loud. Perfecto.
MARK LANEGAN @ THE TIVOLI PIC BY MINO PERIC
MARK LANEGAN BAND, HOWL AT THE MOON THE TIVOLI 21/04/12
Melbourne four-piece Howl At The Moon are a fitting choice of support for Mark Lanegan, with their dark, foreboding yet perversely melodic sounds setting the scene nicely for what’s to come. Led by Katie Scott, the band’s set goes down well with the couple of hundred early arrivals, with Janet Leigh, Just A Kid and Let The Mainsheet Down, My Love particular highlights. As Mark Lanegan and his band make their way on to stage and launch straight into When Your Number Isn’t Up from 2004 album Bubblegum without so much as acknowledging the audience, it’s clear we won’t be treated to much in the way of between-song banter tonight, but Lanegan has always been one to let his songs do the talking. Blues Funeral opening track The Gravedigger’s Song is up next, before Lanegan delves into his back catalogue for Sleep With Me, Hit The City, Wedding Dress and Field Songs highlight One Way Street. Near album-perfect renditions of Wish You Well and the hauntingly beautiful Gray Goes Black – one of the standouts from Blues Funeral – are up next, before Lanegan dusts off Screaming Trees classic Crawlspace, much to the crowd’s delight. Over the next half hour, the majority of his latest longplayer gets an airing, including Quiver Syndrome, Riot In My House, Ode To Sad Disco and Tiny Grain Of Truth, as does Lanegan’s idiosyncratic cover of ‘80s indie rock band Leaving Trains’ Creeping Coastline Of Lights. Lanegan’s distinctive baritone still sounds as evocative as ever live, but he is hardly what you’d call a dynamic or energetic performer – from the start of the set, he grips the mic stand halfway down the base with one hand and holds the microphone tight with the other, and he stays in virtually the same spot for the entire set. After a brief exit, the band returns for an encore consisting of Bleeding Muddy Water, Pendulum, Harborview Hospital and Methamphetamine Blues, which garners the biggest cheers of the night. Lanegan then leaves it up to his bassist to thank the crowd for coming and tell us Lanegan “will be signing tour CDs somewhere over there, I think”. There’s no denying his considerable talent, but a performer with such a long and varied career would undoubtedly have some interesting tales to tell and it’s a shame Mark Lanegan chooses not to share some of these stories. DANIEL JOHNSON
PIGEON, CHINATOWN CARPARK ALHAMBRA LOUNGE: 21/04/2012
There’s a considerable wait before the bands start here at Alhambra. When they finally come, the vocals from openers Chinatown Carpark are hard to hear over everything else. Their thick, typically indie sounds – stuttered riffs, calypso sensibilities – are delineated by some great, lolling bass work, and the band’s considerable knack for layering their
twinkling melodic refrains. The lead guitarist is very active - always climbing, talking - and as a whole, the band have a gorgeous tone. It aches, but in the happiest way – the way nostalgia kindly hurts. Favourite propels itself with a wild, giddy stagger, gaining speed, and debris; it’s a great, rolling Katamari of a track. As things draw to a close, their amorphous set takes a decidedly more post-rock leaning with Regret – soars of shrilling guitars start small before thoroughly swallowing the memory of everything else. After a short wait, there’s a clambering on the stage. The light catches on a Christmas beanie, then there’s a flash of sax, and what looks like a trumpet. The figures disappear, and the floor is shaken by a grinding dance number from the house speakers. Then, somehow, before we’re even aware of it, the stage is again full, and the floor is a mess of moshing and pulsing – people rocking wildly back and forth. Before their similarities to Justice eclipse that first impression of Pigeon completely, the air is broken by the bleeding heart of a saxophone, shrill and unchained, leaving the crowd a little airless in their shock. This onetwo punch of entrance and volume becomes the booming Smart Casual Calvary. It’s followed by a new song, which sounds joyously like Skrillex gone Gary Numan. The gorgeous, proud strains of a trumpet open a track that’s notable for its more organic approach to dubstep. Apex doesn’t sound like machinery, or the dying moans of old buildings: it sounds like life, and dancing. To the lazy ear, Pigeon appear very cluttered, excessive and overstuffed: everything accented with a bold, primary-colour garishness, but in that noise, there are very clear flashes of ingenuity, and an undeniable sense of fun. The wobbling synths below the siren-like screeches of brass are together so stark, and insistent, they’re almost, by force alone, a revelation. SAM HOBSON
GOD BOWS TO MATH, TINY SPIDERS, QUIET STEPS THE WAITING ROOM 22/04/12
A busy weekend means that it’s an even smaller and wearier audience that filters into the ever-excellent Waiting Room for an intimate night of alcohol and noise. A bus-related failure has G Charles stranded in Toowoomba, so it’s up to Quiet Steps to kick off proceedings. In what is likely to be one of the last shows the trio do for some time (bassist Robb Perkin leaves for Melbourne in a week), they leave no stone unturned in harnessing their newly-melodic sounds for the small but very appreciative crowd. Singer/guitarist Leon Perkin has embraced singing over yelling in what is one of many marked changes in the band’s aesthetic over the past 12 months, and it really suits their new material, which is predominantly on display here. Echoes of …Trail Of Dead permeate the set, and they leave the venue humming in appreciation. Another band making their last appearance for a little while as they recede into reclusion to finish recording their debut LP, Tiny Spiders hand in a predictably rambunctious and fun set. Cam Smith and Innez Tulloch are the perfect juxtaposition, with the drummer a flailing
Auckland noise trio God Bows To Math sign off their maiden East Coast tour with this electric set. The space in the audience doesn’t deter as Martin Phillips shreds, Sam Cussen ducks and weaves and Tom Morrison destroys at the back. Sticking predominantly to their self-titled album, the guys are a veritable tour de force, alternating between tension, friction and full blown meltdown aggression. Phillips is a prolific string-snapper, and he doesn’t disappoint tonight either, but as is their wont it remains ferocious throughout. Slow Decline is bruising; Yr Kids Aren’t Special But I Am is surprisingly melodic, despite its overt angularity; Teenagers Is Lazy Journalism is ecstatically brutal. The hero in this dissonant dish is the guys’ propensity to infuse a sense of frivolity amongst the fracas – not an easy virtue to uphold. Yet these amiable heathens hold it all together admirably well, making them a no-wave band that reach the upper echelons of power, rather than wilt in the shade of the giants they emulate. It’s a shame so few people have come out to support three of the strongest DIY acts floating in our TransTasman corner. For those who made it, though, the throbbing ears and bleary eyes are well worth it. HOWIE TANKS
THE MEDICS, GLASS TOWERS, FAIRCHILD REPUBLIC THE ZOO 21/04/12
With the room already abuzz with energy, clinking bottles and laughter intertwining with the noise of pool balls colliding, the six members of Fairchild Republic take the stage and provide the perfect soundtrack to the social Saturday night vibe. Their bold, assured sound is cohesive, but every player in the sextet is dancing to their own beat, immersed in their individual parts and fucking nailing it, Villages especially epic. Sydney quartet Glass Towers are another exciting rock band with age on their side and a slew of quality tunes in their pocket. Tipping their cap to the thicker end of UK indie, a northern vibe wafts through their songs, driven by the sharp guitar playing of Sam Speck. The biggest response of the set is saved for Triple J fave Jumanji, but it’s the heavier elements in their sound which are more intriguing and engaging, Daniel Muszynski especially enjoyable to watch as he throws himself across his kit like a rubber-limbed metronome. But this is The Medics’ night and theirs only. The energy is intense, the musicianship flawless, the performance utterly consuming. Only weeks out from the release of their debut album, the band are on form from the outset, Kahl Wallace dripping his heart into every note vocalised across his pair of microphones. Beggars is an early treat that sees the first hands-in-the-air epiphany for many in the crowd, while Golden Bear proves to really encompass everything this band are about: chilling harmonies, unpredictable rhythms and frantic climatic moments. But the real power of The Medics comes from their ability to connect with the audience on a deeper level. Watching this band play live is more than a set; it’s an experience, a visual feast that befriends your every senses. The You Built Walls tour was only ever going to conclude in one way, however, it’s delivered in a form surprising to even the most avid followers of the band. The punchy, abrasive Joseph becomes a sprawling journey, the song moving in parts that seamlessly shout with, at and for you. Over the final 15 minutes of the set, bearded drummer Jhindu Lawrie can be found having an exorcism from atop the speaker stack; Charles Thomas and Andrew Thomson both take turns ripping riffs while crowd surfing the pit while Wallace creates a variety of sounds and effects grounded at the centre of the stage. By the time symbols and guitars are being triumphantly raised, acknowledging the roaring room, there is no denying it; The Medics don’t simply make music – they move people. And it’s this vital point of difference that will take these boys a hell of a long way. BENNY DOYLE
TOUR GUIDE HARD-ONS: Spotted Cow May 3, Kings Beach Tavern May 4, Shark Bar May 5, Prince Of Wales May 6 MICK THOMAS: Sol Bar May 3, Beetle Bar May 4 GOLD FIELDS: Coniston Lane May 4 CALLING ALL CARS: The Zoo May 5 SAN CISCO: Elsewhere May 10, The Zoo May 11 BALL PARK MUSIC: The Hi-Fi May 11 KIMBRA: The Tivoli May 15 CATCALL: Alhambra Lounge May 17 EXPATRIATE: Oh Hello! May 17 & 31 JOSH PYKE: The Tivoli May 18 THE MISSION IN MOTION: Shark Bar May 18, X&Y Bar May 19 SPLIT SECONDS: X&Y Bar May 18, SolBar May 19 TZU: The Zoo May 19 GRAVEYARD TRAIN: Beach Hotel May 24, The Hi-Fi May 25, Woombye Pub May 26 ASH GRUNWALD: The Northern May 25, Spotted Cow Jun 14, The Hi-Fi Jun 15, Coolum Civic Centre Jun 16 OWL EYES: Oh Hello May 25, SolBar May 26 CLAIRY BROWNE & THE BANGIN’ RACKETTES: Brisbane Powerhouse May 26 LANIE LANE: Woombye Pub May 30, The Hi-Fi May 31 DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: Great Northern May 31, Spotted Cow Jun 1, The Hi-Fi Jun 2, Kings Beach Tavern Jun 10 MATT CORBY, ALPINE: The Tivoli Jun 1 THE FUNKOARS: The Northern Jun 1, The Zoo Jun 2 MISSY HIGGINS: The Tivoli Jun 6 THE JEZABELS: Brisbane Convention Ctr Jun 7 FRENZAL RHOMB: Kings Beach Tavern Jun 8, Parkwood Tavern Jun 9 LISA MITCHELL: St John’s Cathedral Jun 8 TRIAL KENNEDY: Tempo Hotel Jun 8, Miami Tavern Jun 9 360: The Hi-Fi Jun 10 & 11 DEEP SEA ARCADE: Cobra Kai Jun 21, Beach Hotel Jun 22 THE AUDREYS: SoundLounge Jun 21, Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 22, Woombye Pub Jun 23 THE BAMBOOS: The Northern Jun 28, Coolum Civic Centre Jun 29, The Hi-Fi Jun 30 HEROES FOR HIRE: Basement Jun 29, The Loft Jul 1 HILLTOP HOODS: Eatons Hill Hotel Jun 29 CHARGE GROUP: Beetle Bar Jul 6 BUSBY MAROU: Woombye Pub Jul 12, SoundLounge Jul 13, The Tivoli Jul 14, The Northern Jul 15 KARNIVOOL: The Northern Jul 19, The Tivoli Jul 20, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 21 BODYJAR: The Hi-Fi Aug 24 KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: The Hi-Fi Aug 25
URBAN COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL: Caboolture Showgrounds May 4 GROOVIN THE MOO: Murray Sports Complex May 6 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: Jul 27 – 29 BIGSOUND: Fortitude Valley Sep 12 - 14 WHIPLASH: The Hi-Fi Oct 21
TIME OFF • 29
BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTSDOWN@TIMEOFF.COM.AU
URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE
METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT
LEVON HELM So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of the legendary Levon Helm last week. There has been much written about him in the past few days, celebrating the life of an incredibly influential musician, and there’s not much I can add to what has been and will be said. Even though he himself was not a fan of the film, it must be said his performance in The Last Waltz is one of the toughest things you’ll see on stage and testament to just how much he put into the music of The Band. He has been pretty busy in recent years with his solo career, with both his 2007 record, Dirt Farmer, and 2009’s Electric Dirt excellent releases that showed Helm was still a great interpreter of song up until his final years. May he rest in peace. The Splendour In The Grass lineup has been announced and thankfully there are a couple of excellent artists who roughly fall into the blues and roots basket (and a couple of not so excellent ones, but you can’t win them all). I’m most excited about Michael Kiwanuka making his first trip to Australia for the festival; his debut record, Home Again, was a massive hit upon release in his home territory of the UK and while it hasn’t exactly set Australia on fire I get the feeling it’ll be a bit of a slow burner down here. It’s a gorgeous record, beautifully layered and diverse with some incredible arrangements that provide the perfect bed for Kiwanuka’s rich, soulful voice. He took out the BBC Sound Of 2012 award, beating the likes of Frank Ocean, Skrillex, Niki & The Dove and fellow Splendour guest Azealia Banks and now it’s time for Australia to fall in love with him, which I’m sure we will. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble return to Australia quite quickly after their last visit, in which they absolutely blew me away. The nine-piece brass band were simply a hell of a lot of fun and their music was absolutely incredible; they put kind of a modern twist on the more traditional New Orleans brass band sound. Given eight of the nine members are brothers, there’s a pretty good musical interplay between them and they certainly had the crowd dancing (in the middle of a scorching summer day, no less) when I last saw them. There’s plenty of Australian ‘rootsy’ and ‘folky’ stuff on the bill, but I don’t really have anything particularly interesting to say about any of it. I probably can’t justifiably shoehorn The Afghan Whigs into this column as a blues or roots act, but let it be known their spot on the bill is one you should be very pleased about indeed. The festival is happening at Belongil Fields from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July and if you don’t want to go to Byron keep your eyes peeled for sideshows, which should be announced soon, though don’t go expecting much up here. The new record from Eric Bibb is out now. I must admit I’ve been a little confused by his output of late, with the Troubadour Live record with Staffan Astner and the Blues, Ballads And Work Songs album – three-quarters of which is traditional songs – but this seems like, for want of a better word, a proper studio release from the bluesman. It’s another predominantly country-blues record from the 60 year old singer, songwriter and allround guitar gun, although there are a few little sidesteps in there. Opening track, Bayou Belle, is a good example – a stompy kind of junk band feel pervades the track, though it still has that utter crispness that Bibb achieves on all of his recorded output. One would imagine he’s pretty finicky about his recording because the sound of his records is always faultless. The record, his 15th, is out through Flatbrim Recordings/ABC Music/Universal Music now. Just so you know, you can now go to theMusic. com.au and argue with me about anything I say in this column, which is far less weird than yelling at your copy of Time Off while you’re on a packed bus, cursing my opinion of your favourite records and bands. 30 • TIME OFF
LABRINTH The UK really is leading the way with fresh urban talent. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation signing Rita Ora is challenging Rihanna – and apparently she’s already snagged herself a celebrity boyfriend in Rob Kardashian. Simon Cowell is no Hova – at least he’s not a guy you’d associate with ‘urban’ music – yet lately his Syco Music has introduced two credible acts. Liverpool neo-soulstress Rebecca Ferguson, just here for a promo tour, has cracked local charts with her album, Heaven, and single, Nothing’s Real But Love (not even the best song). Ferguson is closer to Adele than Syco’s other chanteuses, Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, all three discovered through The X Factor. And now we have Timothy “Labrinth” McKenzie’s debut, Electronic Earth, arriving on the back of the platinum Aussie hit, Earthquake, featuring Tinie Tempah. McKenzie aligning himself with Syco – home to boy band One Direction, we should add – is significant as he’s not a talent show spawn. Hailing from London’s Hackney, he initially established himself as a beatmaker, the architect of Tinie’s drum‘n’bass Pass Out (his vocals can be heard on the track), Frisky and Wonderman (with Ellie Goulding). McKenzie’s first notable record was for rapper Master Shortie (Dead End). He’s likewise produced material for Professor Green, Devlin and Ms Dynamite (the comeback Neva Soft). Today McKenzie is a multiinstrumentalist, producer, MC and singer. In fact, he has his own Syco subsidiary, Odd Child Recordings. Electronic Earth is simultaneously a mash-up of
British urban genres (grime, dubstep, electro, hip hop and R&B) and futuristic pop. McKenzie has evidently been working on the sci-fi-themed LP for a spell as songs like Climb On Board, a melodic collision of drum‘n’bass and aerial trance, are heavily Auto-Tuned – dated in 2012. Ironically, Climb… has a jazzy piano breakdown in which he sings naturally, channelling Stevie Wonder. Electronic Earth takes in his earliest solo hit, the twee Let The Sun Shine, from late 2010. Earthquake came out last year. The dubstep banger remains Electronic Earth’s most cutting-edge moment with its squealing rave synths – and an eerie Gregorian chant in another break (Enigma goes street?). McKenzie’s current single is actually Last Time, future disco equally indebted to Daft Punk and David Guetta and, again, with Auto-Tuned vocals. Jason Derülo coulda recorded it. Electronic Earth has few guests. Aside from Tinie on Earthquake, Emeli Sandé joins McKenzie for the X Factor-y ballad Beneath Your Beautiful (no ‘sic’ if you listen to the lyrics). It’s very Bruno Mars. McKenzie loves his rock, too – especially the commercial variety, going by the Coldplay-inspired Treatment. Sundown – which nabs its line “…you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” from Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi – is emo. Alas, Sweet Riot isn’t a subversive iLL Manors-like commentary on modern Britain but a party tune with chiptuney bits. Express Yourself is ol’ skool funk with McKenzie trumpeting, “I don’t make the papers, I’m far from JLS/Ain’t got The X Factor, I’m not what they expect.” Hmm. That said, he still co-wrote the landfill rock‘n’B finale, Vultures, with American Claude Kelly, who counts among his credits various Britney Spears songs, Mars’ Grenade and Jessie J’s Price Tag. On a ‘deluxe’ digital version of Electronic Earth you get the All Stars Remix of Earthquake with Tinie plus Kano, Wretch 32 and Busta Rhymes (whose Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check was, incidentally, a ‘90s jungle fave). Certainly, McKenzie, who has a band, is ambitious. But Electronic Earth disillusions because it’s over-polished.
THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
CATCALL Time to look at new Australian releases – or, really, exciting first signs of records, free streams and stuff that warrants leaving the house to hunt down the physical copy, preferably at a gig merch stand. The first comes from Melbourne’s Infinite Void, who launch their self-titled debut LP inside the Gasometer band room this coming weekend. That information isn’t incidental to interstaters: there’s something about the kind of sullen, downplayed post-punk Infinite Void make that feels connected to the Gas and a handful of other small, nurturing Melbourne band rooms at the moment. The lineup for the gig is certainly a who’s who of bands making new dark and washy sounds: the brilliantly metallic White Walls, young fall-apart-grunge band Eastlink and post-hardcore-ish outfit Apt 223, made up primarily of staff members from the Gas, in fact. A single from the Infinite Void LP, titled Pay For What It’s Worth, can be heard at infinitevoid.bandcamp.com. East Coast launches will follow the hometown show. A few new Dro Carey tracks have cropped up thanks to a compilation released by Sydney’s Templar Sound label. The comp features a collaboration between the much-talked-up manipulator of electronic sounds and the far more dancefloor-friendly Canadian duo Grown Folk. The track, Southern Smoke, is a beguiling posttrance-like thing and can be heard at soundcloud. com/grownfolk. The compilation can be ordered on CD from templarsound.bigcartel.com, with a limit of 100 copies on sale. Far more accessible, perhaps, is Catcall’s debut album, The Warmest Place. Sydney’s Catherine
Kelleher has made an album that draws from ‘70s guitar-pop and ‘80s girl groups but adds plenty of new production and lyrical ideas. And then there’s her wonderfully broad post-punk vocal. The mix makes for a record both instantly likeable and complex. It’s out through Ivy League on 4 May. Before that, it’s worth seeking out the cheerleader revenge clip for single, The World Is Ours, as well as the FORCES remix of previous single, Satellites, which can be downloaded free from the Ivy League Facebook page or found in a remix EP package of the single on iTunes. Melbourne wall-of-sound-and-screaming group Damn Terran are gathering steam, coercing an impressive list of acts to play with them on their current East Coast tour to launch new 7”, Rebels, including DZ Deathrays, Corpus and Bodies. The single is massive and certainly justifies the band-love. Go listen to at damnterran.com.au – but there’s no substitute for seeing this band live. The last we heard of Melbourne post-glitch producer Max Kohane – drummer for Agents Of Abhorrence, formerly known as Crumbs and now going by Max Crumbs – was his 2010 free-download Pieces & Portions Vol 2 album. As with his kosmische project with Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young, Brain Children, it seemed unlikely Kohane would ever kick his Crumbs project beyond the realm of the internet and few DJ appearances. It’s perhaps a sign, then, that Kohane is looking to do more with his solo work that he’s releasing his next album through the Sensory Projects label – and even that he’s added his first name to his moniker, no doubt in an effort to avoid complications with a US group also named Crumbs. The first release from his upcoming Maidenhair record is the smooth, chant-led track, Baby Thighs, which can be heard at soundcloud.com/ sensory1. Lastly, still in Melbourne, garage punks Bad Aches are releasing a 7” of their incredibly fun Stoogesthanking track Hypochondriac. The song and gig dates can be found at badaches.tumblr.com – which also bears the band’s generous motto: “Being shit so you don’t feel shit.” Cheers, guys.
Local hardcore/punk/metal amalgamations Marathon encountered a bit of a scare whilst on tour over the weekend. The band ran their van off the highway on Saturday as they were en route to Melbourne to perform two shows. Fortunately, none of the four members were injured, and the shows were made thanks to a bus, however they are now very much in debt to hire company Hertz – the van effectively written off. Head to marathon. bigcartel.com to pick up a copy of their latest 7” I’ll Never Look At You The Same Again or a t-shirt to help out their financial situation. Mutilated Promotions has begun work on a collaborative compilation album, reportedly inspired by the Roadrunner United release from 2005. However it’s going to be a completely localised affair, with all key players set to come from Brisbane and the surrounding area’s various metalcore, hardcore and deathcore bands. We’re interested to see how this pans out. Melbourne’s Okera brand themselves as a melodic doom metal band that doesn’t limit itself to the one genre. A Beautiful Dystopia is the name of their forthcoming debut album, which will be available for pre-order through okera.bandcamp.com along with a streaming and two downloadable tracks on 27 April. Comparable to My Dying Bride and early Opeth, the band will launch the album at The Tote on May 11 in support of France’s Hypno5e. Heirs have announced a second Brisbane show. In addition to their scheduled appearance at Alhambra on May 4 with No Anchor, Hope Drone and Golden Bats, the band will do a special one off and perform their cover of The Sisters of Mercy’s Never Never Land on Thursday 3 May at Tym Guitars. Inhailed and Malakyte have been confirmed to support Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and his band at The Hi-Fi on 19 May. Owens is known for his vocal work with the likes of classic metal greats Judas Priest, Iced Earth, and Yngwie Malmsteen, as well as his own solo material, and is expected to perform songs from all across his career. This year’s installment of Sydney’s annual Hardcore festival has been announced by both Resist and Trial And Error Records. With two shows at The Hi-Fi headlined by international hardcore legends Terror, the 18+ on 7 July will also see sets by Mindsnare, the USA’s Ceremony, Miles Away, Break Even and I Exist. The all ages gig the next day will include Ceremony, Break Even, Miles Away, Extortion, Iron Mind, Warbrain, Vigilante, Survival and Civil War. Pre-sold tickets are available now. Ceremony aren’t coming over just for Hardcore 2012 either. The band will tour extensively in the lead up to the shows, playing an all ages show in Brisbane on 5 July at a venue TBC, and an 18+ at Basement 243 on 6 July. The band is touring in support of this year’s release Zoo, which has seen the band head further away from the thrashing intensity of their roots into a slightly odd sounding, old-school punk rock direction. Terror will also back it up with a full national tour with Melbourne’s Iron Mind in tow. The bands will play Brisbane on 10 July at The Loft and 11 July at The Hi-Fi. Terror is set to enter the studio pretty soon to record a new album Live By The Code. The band has just released a retrospective CD/DVD set covering their decade-long career thus far, entitled No Regrets, No Shame.
GIGS OF THE WEEK: Thursday: Resist The Thought, Brazen Bull, As Paradise Falls, Arbour Lane – Snitch. Friday: Night Hag, IDYLLS, Palisades, Fvck Mountain – Fat Louie’s. Adriatic, Hung, Feed, Echotide, Vayer – Beetle Bar. Saturday: Mongrel’s Cross, Innsmouth, Black Jesus, Vilifier – Beetle Bar. In Your Last Moment, Nyvosus, De Memoria, Restrictions, Arbour Lane, Centurion, Midnight In Alaska, Ashes of December, Signals, Never Lose Sights – House Show, Loganlea. To The North, Quiet Steps, Palisades, Capeweather, Waiting Room, Little Shadow, El Alamein – Red Hill House.
NO TROUBLES HERE
Program monitoring and reporting Music Department Volunteers Music processing and admin Radiothon Administration Project Manager Front desk & administration
MIND YOUR Z’S & Q’S!
Do you want to be represented by Brisbane’s leading community youth radio station? This month we’ll be putting up our Listener Survey, your chance to help us out by getting to know what you think. Love us? Hate us? We want to know. For years here at 4ZZZ we’ve been hands on with the local community in trying to make it a better place to live. Since 1975 our aim has been to provide a fresh take on the world of radio by giving to you local musical talent and topical news stories. Following the tradition of broadcasting the most relevant community conscious radio programming we can, this month we want to know more about you. Listeners have until 18 May to tell us about themselves, what they like about the station and what can be improved. The best thing of all is that you have the chance to win some great prizes simply by filling out the survey. We have cartons of beer, tickets, merch packs and more! Visit the website for more details and to fill in the survey, www.4zzzfm.org.au.
Ever wanted to volunteer at the greatest radio station in the world? Well, now you can! We’ve got a bunch of positions open for those current subscribers who are ready and willing to give us their all. Do any of these sound appetising to you? Head to www.4zzzfm.org.au/volunteer to find out more. 4ZZZ Indigenous Contributor Content creation & announcing Programming Review Committee
4ZZZ and The Sunroom bring to you the 4ZZZ Brisbane Music Stall. A fresh-faced 4ZZZ music outlet that provides a simple, one-stage retail stream for Brisbane independent artists and labels. Discover and buy independent music at a price set by the artist. Listen to new and old music on vinyl, cassette and CD. Are you an independent artist with recorded music from demo to album? Email thesunroomaus@ gmail.com to find out more info on how to stock your music at the 4ZZZ Brisbane Music Stall every second and forth Saturday from 4-9pm at the West End Twilight Markets. We encourage demos, samplers, EPs, albums and back catalogues. Also vinyl, cassette, posters, stickers, t-shirts and other clothing. There will also be 4ZZZ merchandise for sale at the stall! www.facebook.com/ brisbanemusicstall. Come and say hi!
CONFIDENT MEN The month of April sees Adelaide’s hardcore black metal band Night Hag to release their 7” record entitled Confidence Man following an east coast tour to coincide with its release. Confidence Man will be released through Monolith Records, embodying a sense of both DIY and professionalism. Subsequently, Night Hag will commence their Confidence Man 7” headline east coast tour in April 2012. Night Hag is set to tour the East Coast of Australia including Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. Kicking off the tour in Brisbane, catch Night Hag at Fat Louie’s on Friday 27 April with support from Idylls, Palisades and Fvck Mountain. Entry is totally free.
Thomas Calder, better known as The Trouble With Templeton, must be doing something very right at the moment as he has been afforded many amazing opportunities to have his music heard by a wide audience. He has just been announced as a BIGSOUND Live showcasing artist, just returned from playing some shows down south on his lonesome and returns to Brisbane to support Husky on their forthcoming tour, dropping by The Zoo on Thursday night, Gold Coast’s SoundLounge on Friday night and the Woombye Pub on Saturday night. He then travels to the southern states in support of the band, only to return to play a couple of even bigger shows still, with the young artist securing the local support on the forthcoming Matt Corby tour, alongside Alpine. This will see Calder support both nights at The Tivoli on Thursday 31 May and Friday 1 June; both of those shows are sold out though, so tough luck if you were after a ticket.
SUNNY STATE OF MIND
Brisbane’s avant-garde musician Edward Guglielmino has just announced his second album release entitled Sunshine State. The album will be released on Friday 18 May and following its release the artist will tour extensively from May to June 2012. The Sunshine State tour kicks off with a very special hometown show at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts with special guests including an always exciting outing from the side-project of Velociraptor main-man in The Jeremy Neale Five and Moneet In Air. See Edward Guglielmino & The Show in full force on Saturday 19 May at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts; tickets are $15 + bf and available through the venue right now.
BACK TO THE BOOGIE
The Ninjas are back! They have taken a little bit of a break in recent years but are well and truly announcing their return with Boogie On It, the band’s latest single, taken from their forthcoming EP. Recorded by notable producer Magoo (Powderfinger, Regurgitator and Midnight Oil) and mastered by Steve Smart (Jet, You Am I and The Presets) Boogie On It is an infectiously catchy pop song you won’t be able to get out of your head. The single launch will be held at Barsoma on Friday 11 May and following that the band will play a free show at Ric’s Bar on Saturday 26.
HAVE YOU HEARD
WE ARE MILLION How did you get together? Benjamin Breitenstein (drums): “A mutual friend thought we’d be good for each other. Turns out she was right.” Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Music nerds would like.” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “Probably Queen. No-one ever mixed genres in popular rock music like Queen, this is definitely something we try to do.” 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? “Siamese Dream – Smashing Pumpkins.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “Teeing up a show with two of Brisbane’s best bands and nicest dudes, The Mercy Beat and The Quickening. We’re gonna have a blast with those guys even if no-one shows up.” Why should people come and see your band? “It has everything – action, romance, comedy, the lot.” We Are Million play Basement 243 (with The Quickening, The Mercy Beat and Arms Of The Ocean on Saturday 28 April. New single Bird’s Nest is available for free download at million.bandcamp.com.
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TIME OFF • 31
ENIGMATIC MELBOURNE MUSO CHET FAKER ALREADY HAS A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE, BUT DEBUT EP, THINKING IN TEXTURES, SHOULD SEE HIS POPULARITY EXTEND TO A WIDER AUDIENCE, ACCORDING TO TONY MCMAHON.
BEN WELLS & THE MIDDLE NAMES
BEN WELLS, THE (OBVIOUS) FRONTMAN OF BEN WELLS & THE MIDDLE NAMES, CHATS TO BENNY DOYLE ABOUT THEIR NEW EP AND STABILITY IN THE APPLE ISLE.
NO MORE POTATO
Misinterprotato is one of the more noticeable band names that has existed in the Brisbane scene in recent memory, but the band have had enough of it and have decided that they will no longer be using that name whatsoever. It has been well over a decade since they started but they’re happy with their decision to move on and will be, from now on, known as Trichotomy. The name change comes at a pretty exciting time for the band as they look to a number of collaborative performances throughout the year and the recording of their brand new album, set to begin in July. Before all that, the band are setting up for a good old fashioned live performance, taking place at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts Shopfront this Saturday evening from 7.30pm. You can grab tickets through the venue now for $15.
If you’re planning on heading out and seeing former Brisbane band An Horse at their massive homecoming show set to hit The Zoo on Sunday night then we guess you’ll probably want to know who is supporting. They’ve kept things local for the show, which is always nice, and main support duties are being taken up by the three-pronged guitar attack of indie/punk/noiseniks We Set Sail, who will be showcasing their wares to one of the more decidedly indie crowds they would have played to in a while, one would suspect. Opening things up on the night will be relative newcomers to the local scene Go Violets, the final act ensuring that three will be a number of different musical styles covered on the night. There are still tickets available and they can be purchased through OzTix and outlets right now for $15 + bf or $20 on the door if there are any left.
ARGENTINA “It wasn’t a conscious effort to hold off from releasing the record,” says Faker, talking about why he spent so long doing online only releases. “When I first started I was simply making music and uploading it onto Sound Cloud whenever I finished it. I hadn’t actually considered releasing anything until the opportunity came around; at that point I’d just sort of released a whole bunch of music. I put Terms And Conditions out as the first single and that went well, but then radio stations overseas started playing I’m Into You so a lot of people were chasing that one down. Next thing I knew I kind of had two singles going on at the same time which was funny. I dropped the EP as soon as it was ready. This record is my first release ever so I suppose I was bound to do something peculiar.” During his career to date, Faker has exuded an air of mystery: going under an alias, ‘hiding’ behind a beard, but the man himself says it was all a bit of an accident. “It’s not so much mystery as it is privacy. It just depends on what angle you look at it. I’m not massively interested in trying to sell my personality as a brand. So initially I didn’t put up detailed biographies or information on who I was or where I’d come from. I just wanted to focus on my music and make people look to that for information. On top of that I hadn’t been working on the project for long, so there was no backlog of second hand information on the internet, next thing I knew I was being called mysterious. It kind of worked out well, but it certainly wasn’t an intentional approach.”
“I think being from Hobart is actually a massive advantage for us,” Wells counters when proposed with a possible change of scenery in the future. “We have our own rehearsal and writing space and there isn’t the rush of a big city down here so you have time and space to write music. The downside is it is expensive to tour, but for the moment we’re very happy being based in Hobart and these days I don’t think it’s completely necessary to be based on the mainland.” Off the back of their second slot at Falls Festival, Ben Wells & The Middle Names are building on their profile further with the release of their debut EP, a warm and layered affair that showcases Wells as a playful and coloured lyrist. “With House, Come Home most of the songs had been written and worked on within the band for some months, rather than writing whilst recording,” he explains, “which meant we had explored the songs 100 percent before we recorded them.” He opens up further, discussing the experiences he thinks have wormed their way into the music. “I had just moved out of home, so they are about the first experiences you have of that freedom of not being under your parent’s roof,” Wells says. “I think that’s why there is such diversity in the EP musically, because some of those experiences are good and [some] not so much.”
WHO: Chet Faker
WHO: Ben Wells & The Middle Names
WHAT: Thinking In Textures (Opulent/Remote Control)
WHAT: House, Come Home EP (Green)
WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 April, Alhambra Lounge
WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 2 May, The Round (solo); Thursday 3, Black Bear Lodge; Friday 4, Byron Bay Brewery; Saturday 5, The Loft, Gold Coast; Sunday 6, Livespark @ Brisbane Powerhouse
THE AIR UP THERE The first single Like Air by Brisbane-based three-piece all girl rock outfit The Androgyny has just been released. The track is lifted from their forthcoming EP, I Don’t Desire Your Empire, a six-track release which is set for release in July 2012. But they’re not going to make us wait that long to hear the songs from it, with the single launch for Like Air taking place on Friday 4 May at the Log Cabin (which was formerly Woodland) with special guests Cute Machines (featuring ex members of Melodyssey), Bat Nouveau and Faith DJs to keep you on the dancefloor. Entry to the show is gonna cost you $12 (or ten bucks if you’re fall under the concession banner) and that includes a free download of the single.
32 • TIME OFF
ALONGSIDE THE MOUNTAIN
Post-dubstep outfit Mount Kimbie have announced the support acts for their upcoming appearance at The Hi-Fi on Wednesday 2 May. Very hip indie group Oscar + Martin, whose For You record of last year was adored by many, will join the London lads on stage for all three shows of the band’s tour, while locals Arundel have been given the nod to open things up at the Brisbane show. You can still get tickets for this, which promises to be a very special night of diverse music, they are available from Moshtix right now for $38.50 + bf. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
WITH A SIMPLE MANTRA UNDER A DARK EXTERIOR, ARGENTINA HAS CREATED UTTER POP PERFECTION. ALEX RITCHIE, THE MAN BEHIND THE COUNTRY, TALKS TO BENNY DOYLE.
“The idea came from a conversation I had with a friend about being happy,” he tells. “I guess I still think it’s strange that people settle for being unhappy for a large part of their lives. It came out dark in parts, I guess, because that notion sort of annoys me, and I realised that this would contradict my message unless I made it a bit more obviously positive. After all I shouldn’t be cranky that people are settling for being miserable, I should be trying to help. Hence the little reminder ‘We could be happy all the time.’” With Passion Pit-esque vocal harmonies meshed with M83’s expansive electronica style, all filled out by a robust live band sound that gives the beauty a tribal edge, Chalk Outlines is an exciting taste of Brisbane producer Argentina’s debut EP. Ritchie admits, however, that this isn’t the truest of indications as to what to expect from the anticipated release, stating that “This one was a bit of an experiment.” It is though a nod to what fans can expect from his exciting live shows where he directs a five-piece ensemble made up of good pals and musical cohorts. “The band are absolutely amazing at taking what I’ve done on my own and putting it in a different context,” he joyously explains. “It’s great because that’s exactly what I wanted from the live show – something obviously quite different to the recordings. To have my friends come in and help make this happen has been great, they are really talented, and the project wouldn’t be what it is without them.”
SYDNEY CHANTEUSE SAM BUCKINGHAM HAS FOUND BOTH A NEW WAY TO TOUR AND THE BEST LOOKING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, DISCOVERS TONY MCMAHON.
Last year, Buckingham spent time playing backyards, paddocks and fans’ lounge rooms. Sounds a delightful philosophy to Time Off. “Delightful is an understatement! I was looking for a new way to tour, reach more people and see a bit more of the country, but it’s turned into this really beautiful thing that, not only is a smart way to tour, is also just a whole lot of fun. I pretty much leave it up to the hosts to run the gig how they want it, so I go in there never knowing quite what to expect. I’m always pleasantly surprised.” According to Buckingham, her forthcoming album sounds exactly right. “Well, I’ve been writing it for a bit over two years, so it’s been a long time coming. We’ll be finishing it next month and releasing it later in the year with lots of touring which I’m super excited about. For the first time in my life, each song is coming out exactly how I’ve been hearing it in my head and I feel like it’s going to be a beautiful finished product that I can be really proud of.” How were Brisbane audiences on Buckingham’s last tour here? Easy on the eyes, apparently. “I’ve always had beautiful gigs with the Brisbane crowd. I love playing there! And I’m not just saying that because a whole bunch of Brisbanites will be reading this. Actually I’m on my way back from Melbourne now and all the crowds there were amazing too. And I was in Canberra before that and they were incredible. Everyone’s good! I really believe there are true music lovers everywhere you go and I guess I’ve been lucky enough to come across quite a few recently. But the best looking people are definitely in Brisbane.”
WHO: Argentina WHAT: Chalk Outlines (Independent)
WHO: Sam Buckingham
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, Alhambra Lounge
WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 & Sunday 29 April, Dowse Bar
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WED 25 Angela Fabian Limes Hotel Aya Larkin Black Bear Lodge Bon Fromage The JOYnt Casey Fogg Band, Found Out Of Dust, Mark Bono Duo Elephant & Wheelbarrow Darren Scott Fernvale Hotel DJ Redbeard, Thirteen Seventy, Galapogos, BMX Ray Ric’s JAM SESSION, CRAM Prince of Wales Hotel Joss Fairbrother, Rene Ranke, Jayen Whiteman, Dave Di Marco, W.A.T.C.H, Fadi Fawez, J Free, Ricky D, Tooshoes Chalk Hotel Locky Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Open Mic The Loft, Chevron Island Open Mic The Music Kafe Owie, Dave Ritter Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba The Bowery Hot Five with Mal Wood The Bowery The Quims The Tempo Hotel Triplickit Victory Hotel Tyson & Rob Fiddlers Green Venus Envy Royal Exchange Hotel
THU 26 Berst Duo Elephant & Wheelbarrow Clark Fortitude Valley Cobra Kai Club:, Vasy Mollo, Alone With Wolves Oh Hello! Coco Loco The JOYnt Coisa Linda Glass Bar & Restaurant Daisie May, Bree Bullock Dowse Bar Geoff Rayner Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Gossling, Winter People, Hayden Calnin Black Bear Lodge
Horris, Wild Acre, DJ Adam Ric’s Husky, The Trouble With Templeton, Dom Miller The Zoo I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Satellites The Bowery Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Meet n’ Mingle with Nick Trovas Chalk Hotel Midnight Highways, Gravy The Music Kafe Seen with the Seen DJs Bowler Bar T.J Quinton, Sawtooth, Andy Ward Brew The Suite with Lazy Tuesday, Fistful Of Dingers, Vibration, Elation, Tundra, Bedlam DJs The Tempo Hotel The Viridian Abstract, Benny and the Jets The Loft, Chevron Island Vasy Mollo, Alone With Wolves Cobra Kai
FRI 27 4 Enzik Lone Star Tavern, Gold Coast About Time Locknload West End Alan Boyle Powerhouse Theatre - Brisbane Benjam Royal Exchange Hotel Brad Lee, Jabba Elephant & Wheelbarrow Brad Wild, Berst Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Brazen, The Local Residents, Jung Hearts, Auto Pilot, Hammo Chalk Hotel Cold And Need, The Royales, St Petersburg, Montgomery The Loft, Chevron Island Dan Quigley Quartet, Paul Henderson Duo Queen Street Mall Dave Bentley Trio Ecco Bar and Bistro DJ Brooke Evers, Ash Tobia Love Nightlife DJ Helenda, Benibee, Tooshoes, Morgan Baker, J Free Eatons Hill Hotel
Elixir Feat. Katie Noonan Tank Arts Centre, Cairns Fat Albert Surfers Paradise Beer Garden James Ball Trio QPAC Playhouse Green Harmonic Generator, Forever The Optimist, Galactic Acid, Kill The Apprentice Miami Tavern Husky, The Trouble With Templeton Soundlounge Currumbin Inigo, Isolation In Numbers, Dave’s Pawn Shop, Interim, Wayward Smith The Tempo Hotel James Ball Trio QPAC, Melbourne St Green John Course, Craig Roberts, DJ Flash Platinum Nightclub Last Dinosaurs Elsewhere Le Groove Hinterland Hotel Monstrothic, Dead End Kings, Kaleidoscope, After Earth, Micasa Jubilee Hotel Nadine Zion Gazebo Restaurant, Hotel Urban Night Hag Fat Louie’s Out Of Abingdon Diana Plaza Hotel Sandra Beynon, Sean Mullen Duo J’s Restaurant & Bar - Toowong Scat Brisbane Jazz Club Stevenson St Kallangur Tavern The Bloodpoets, Bang Bang Boss Kelly, Rawr Vanity, Sam Perren The Hi-Fi The Clem Four, The Impressionists, Blind Dog Donnie The Music Kafe The Herd, Thundamentals, Sky High The Zoo The Toot Toot Toots, Rattlehand The JOYnt Tin Sparrow, Babaganouj, DJ Adam, DJ Strex Ric’s Trashbags Bowler Bar Venus Envy Racehorse Hotel Wasabi Broadbeach Tavern
Woolie Cookies Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba
SAT 28 Andrew Baxter Band Locknload West End Ash Tobia, David Ferrini Love Nightlife Big Scary, Geofrrey O’Connor, Mosman Alder The Zoo Bowls Club Bowler Bar Emma Dean, Jake Diefenbach, Pixie & The Halloran, Trichotomy Judith Wright Centre of Performing Arts Geoff Rayner Manly Hotel Ger Fennelly, Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Gung Ho Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Harmonic Generator, Forever The Optimist, 1.1.1., Mums Tennis Friends Racehorse Hemi Kingi Trio The Morrison Hotel Husky Woombye Pub Jakarta Criers, DJ Adam, DJ Cutts Ric’s John Course, Craig Roverts, DJ Flash, Paul Dluxx, Chloe Emma Wilson Platinum Kara-Mia & Franke, New Man Duo, Joe Tamaira, Brizband, Dillion James Band The Music Kafe Kevin Griffiths, Manesh Magan, Jaymin Doe, Fuzion, James Hunter Barsoma Last Dinosaurs Sol Bar, Maroochydore Lil John The Met Matt Hoffman, Alter Egos Elephant & Wheelbarrow Meridian O’Malley’s Irish Bar, Mooloolaba Mitch Davis & the Dawn Choir, The Flumes The JOYnt Oka Coolum Civic Centre Passenger, Daniel Lee Kendall, The Phoncurves The Hi-Fi
Beatlemania, had written their names over their faces with a ball point pen and drawn love hearts all over it. Record you put on when you’re really miserable? Probably Mount Eerie’s Dawn record. It really paints the picture of someone trying to find enlightenment and instead confronting absolute insignificance – much like Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums book.
Best record you stole from your folks’ collection? When I was five I stole my mother’s Johnny Diesel & The Injectors cassette. I was sitting in the car outside the Alrose Cafe in Pittsworth and it was playing through the stereo. It’s funny but I can remember everything about that moment – like the dash of the car, it must have been the first moment I decided I wanted to play music. Thankfully, following that I delved further into my parents’ old vinyl and came up with The Beatles, Sabbath, Dylan, Cream, Frank Zappa etc. My parents still tell me conflicting stories about whose records they were. First record you bought? I think this kid at school, Damien, stole his parents copy of The Beatles album Rubber Soul and he sold it to me on the playground for $5. Big money when you’re in grade 5 or 6. It was a very original pressing... at some point someone, in a fit of 34 • TIME OFF
Triplickit Breakfast Creek Hotel
SUN 29 Alex Jones, Locky, Booster, That Swedish Guy, Hammo, Auto Pilot, Dave Flynn, Phil G, Pieces Chalk Hotel Amber & Co., Buggalugz Elephant & Wheelbarrow An Horse The Zoo Astrid and the Asteroids Ric’s Aussie Rebels The Tempo Hotel Burton, Sunde And Fix Bond University Fat Albert Miami Tavern Flyin Solo The JOYnt Jam Sessions With Cram Prince of Wales Hotel Keep On Dancin’s, Kellie Lloyd Brisbane Powerhouse
SHOWING BOTH BRUTALITY AND BEAUTY, BRISBANE FOUR-PIECE FEED ARE AN UNHINGED YET REFINED BEAST. GUITARIST MICHAEL LUCK TALKS TO BENNY DOYLE.
Launching their new EP All At Once Dreaming, Luck explains how FEED focused on really pulling together the tracks that captured the band’s current sound, even though the origins of some tracks go back for years. “We chose the heavier songs from our existing set and as we pieced the track list together a theme of an observer started to emerge,” he says. “Some people become swept up in this existence, others actively avoid it and some simply observe it. I think this last one gets captured in the EP.”
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BENJAMIN FROM STAR LION
Planet Fiction, Chasing Grey, Where I Stand, Trust & Fall, Burn Down Hollywood Prince of Wales Hotel Ramjet Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Redglo, Samuel Rees, The Bad Roots The Loft, Chevron Island The Decoys, Monique Unique, That Swedish Guy, Phil G Chalk Hotel The Good Ship Royal Mail Hotel Goodna The Graeme Norris Quartet Brisbane Jazz Club The Herd,Thundamentals The Northern The Toot Toot Toots Queen Street Mall The Toot Toot Toots X & Y Bar The Vagrant, City Scandal, Project 62, Lion Island, New Manic Spree, Plan B The Tempo
Record you put on when you bring someone home? That really depends on the person and how long I want them to stay. If I had “intentions” I might try to be cool – something slightly obscure yet recognisable... like say John Coltrane Blue Train?.... its quiet but still really fucked up. But that might come across corny in a low light, quiet situation. I can’t say I have a formula for this sort of thing. Most surprising record in your collection? Sandwiched somewhere between the very predictable chunks of Sonic Youth, The Beatles etc is a double-LP version of Madonna’s Immaculate Collection.
A measured balance of metallic blasts and textured refrain, Luck says that maintaining both sides of the sonic spectrum was a concentrated effort from the band. “You can launch into straight out frontal lobe rearranging riffs, structures and arrangements, but in the end people need to digest what they are hearing, so we ease off a little,” he reasons. “We had been thrashing the EP tracks for at least 12 months before we took them to the recording studio. Having them refined was pretty important for us as a collective because it gave us a very clear picture of the loud/soft dynamics.” Technically challenging, concentration is the key for FEED in the live realm, a fact which Luck acknowledges. “These are the type of songs which you need to have your own part down and you also need to have each track sorted as a band,” Luck informs. “The main focus point for getting the set right live then becomes hooking in with the other lads, and it’s a pretty sweet feeling when you sense that happening.”
Last thing you bought/downloaded? Steady Dedicated by Aoi. Matt (Aoi) used to play in one of my favourite bands Shuriken and for a while we played together in The Rational Academy before he moved to Melbourne. I really love the guy and he’s a continuing source of inspiration. Star Lion plays Sonic Masala Presents @ The Waiting Room on Friday 27 April.
WHO: FEED WHAT: All At Once Dreaming EP (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 April, Beetle Bar; Saturday 12 May, Shark Bar, Gold Coast
MKO, Killbot Kindergarten Black Bear Lodge Owie, Dave Ritter Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Sasta, Mic Travers Band, Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Sebastian’s Habit Locknload West End Sonia Serin, Tigers & Emporers, Fuzzy Poalroid, Dark State Silence The Music Kafe The Chop Tops, The Ten Fours, Corn Liquor, DJ Leapin’ Lawrie Morningside RSL The Febs Broadbeach Tavern Triplickit Victory Hotel Venus Envy Royal Exchange Hotel
James Morrison King George Square Mark Sheils Elephant & Wheelbarrow Oxis Moon, The Shayne McIntyre Duo Ric’s Rockaoke The Tempo Hotel
TUE 01 Illicit, Final Thought, Cry Havoc, Chris Timms Band The Tempo Hotel Jeremy Hunter, Dave DiMarco Ric’s Mark Sheils Samford Valley Hotel Peter Miller, Sue Wighton, Wayne Jennings The Bug Rob Cini Elephant & Wheelbarrow
B-Rad Irish Murphy’s Brisbane
SONJA VAN HUMMEL, KEYBOARDIST, VOCALIST AND PERCUSSIONIST WITH SYDNEY FOUR-PIECE TIN SPARROW, TELLS TONY MCMAHON ALL ABOUT THE BAND’S NEW SINGLE AND EP.
“I think with this EP we graduated to a darker and more complex sound than our previous EP From The Sun. I also think it’s a little more raw and natural, which might hint to the album artwork we chose, too. Our single Azzuro is a taste of that change, but it’s got that slightly western-surf vibe with the slide guitar and Hammond organ sounds. I don’t think that’s the whole story. In fact, I think what ties all of the songs together is a kind of western-folk style and some thematic similarities too, and then each track adds a taste of something else again. Our previous single Hector Myola is just textbook dirty western and on this EP you get to hear its extended edit, which we’re excited about releasing. My Own is a little more upbeat and country and hopefully something you can sing along and boogie to. Our newest track Sides almost ventures into psych territory with some heavy distortion and attitude, while Bricks is stripped back to mostly acoustic guitar and ambient vocals.” The as-yet-untitled EP was recorded in four days. Van Hummel says this was neither a philosophical statement nor an accident. “It was kind of a necessity. We’d had such a busy few months on tour with Husky and then Matt Corby, as soon as we were back in town we had to record and we had to do it fast, because we’d already booked our tour to launch it! It’s not ideal to do it in such a small window of time, but funnily enough it also forces you to completely focus and strive for the best result without mucking around too much. There was no time for that. It also forces you to be decisive.” WHO: Tin Sparrow WHAT: Azzuro (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 27 April, Ric’s Bar
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SATURDAY 28 APRIL DOWNSTAIRS: JAKARTA CRIES (9PM) + GUESTS (8PM) + DJ ADAM UPSTAIRS: DJ CUTTS 8PM - 5AM
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ATKINS JOINS RODDY IN CLINIC
FORMING IN 1999, UK POWER METAL SIX-PIECE DRAGONFORCE HAVE JUST RELEASED THEIR FIFTH ALBUM, THE POWER WITHIN. GUITARIST HERMAN LI TALKS TO MICHAEL SMITH ABOUT ITS MAKING.
In news just in, Dave Atkins, whose stickwork has enhanced the performances and recordings of Wolfmother, Pangea and Resin Dogs, will be the very special local guest when American death metal drummer Derek Roddy comes to Allans Music + Billy Hyde’s Southport store at 7pm on Monday 7 May to present a clinic.
WAX LYRICAL Waxing Lyrical returns to the Brisbane Powerhouse’s Turbine Platform again 5-7pm Saturday 12 May with the songwriters talking, in the round and with performances, about their approach to the art and craft this time being singer-songwriters Loren, Dana Gehrman and Shelley Evans, who travels with The Horse Darkly, and as always it’s free.
INTERNATIONAL RØDE ROCKS COMP The Australian-owned microphone manufacturing company, RØDE, has announced an international band competition, RØDE Rocks, designed to discover and showcase the best in independent, unsigned talent around the world and reward them with an all expenses paid recording session in Hollywood with renowned producer Alain Johannes, as well as studio prize packs consisting of microphones and speakers. To enter, you need to record an original composition of more than two minutes in length and then create an accompanying video that features at least one RØDE microphone. After uploading the video to YouTube, you simply visit the RØDE Rocks website and submit your details along with a link to the video. Saturday 30 June, a panel of judges including Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult), David Catching (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal), Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist (The Hives), James Lavelle (UNKLE, MoWax), Band of Horses, Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), Har Mar Superstar, Deuce and Warpaint will pick ten finalists, their videos then being showcased on the RØDE website for two weeks during which time visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite performance. First prize is return flights to Los Angeles to record at The Record Plant studios in Hollywood, with producer Alain Johannes (Chris Cornell, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Mark Lanegan, Them Crooked Vultures). Providing additional production and engineering support during the session will be John Merchant (Michael Jackson, R.Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Phil Ramone) and Grammy Award winner Francis Buckley (Aerosmith, Alanis Morisette, LL Cool J, Black Flag). Additionally the winners will receive vocal training throughout the sessions from SLS-certified instructor Robert Stevenson (Kelly Rowland, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, The Singing Office), and the resulting recording will be professionally mixed and mastered, and provided to the winning artist to release as they see fit. Second and third prizewinners will each receive a studio prize pack of a number of studio and live performance microphones and studio monitors from RØDE affiliate, Event, worth over US$15,000 each.
he new DragonForce album, The Power Within, their fifth, is the first to feature new singer Marc Hudson, who replaced original singer ZP Theart and whose presence has revivified the six-piece. His arrival also changed the way the band approached not only the recording but also the composing of material for the album, as Hong Kong-born guitarist Herman Li explains, on the line from London: “We needed to integrate Mark into the band, so instead of the old days where we would write songs and go straight into the studio to record, now, on this album, we actually played all the songs and jammed them out before recording, old school style. And I think that adds the organic feel and energy on this album.” The album was recorded through last year, once more at Li’s own LamerLuser Studios in London and Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, with some parts being laid down at Li’s house in the south of France and fellow guitarist Sam Totman’s place in California. “In the old days, we used to record live, I guess most things but we didn’t record the drums of course – we didn’t record the singing either – but for this record we pretty transformed it into almost everything, so apart from the drums we recorded everything here, with the vocals, and we also rehearsed it. So we were basically rehearsing and recording in a house where we just kind of split it in half. It’s cool because we needed to really rehearse a lot with Mark and play a lot to make sure we were a band together, not a band plus a singer – we had to work as a unit. “With our previous singer, ZP, he used to go in the studio himself after we wrote the songs and he would just sing what was written, but we wouldn’t be there. This time we were there, pretty much for every single word, listening to the recording, you know, playing it together, and you can really focus on the song more.” Li’s studio is based around a ProTools set-up, but he doesn’t think there’s anything particularly special about it. “It’s all about the sound actually, really on this album,” he continues, “more than anything else. So as long as the sound was good, that’s the take we would keep. We didn’t really care how it looked like on the computer or whatever. I guess from all the rehearsing and all the playing together, definitely we were trying to make the band sound really alive. I think the last [studio] album [2008’s Ultra Beatdown], we basically sat down, recorded and looked at the computer, made sure we played everything perfectly.
This time we don’t even care about that, so it’s really the organic, the live… the band is alive – you can feel the energy of everything.” That said, Li himself, and Totman have been far more meticulous about their solos, composing and playing them in a much more concise way. “I usually always improvise until my fingers are bleeding,” Li admits, without the slightest hint of irony. “This time, you know, I just really kind of let the natural kind of thing go – what do I mean? You know, when you record something, you sit in front of the computer and you look at the way the waveform kind of goes and things like that, and I just don’t even look at the computer anymore, I just really play with the music. Before, I was obsessive about playing in time, with click tracks and everything – this time I’ve just recorded solos, no click track to keep me in time. I just listen to the drums and everything, so I think the whole thing sort of fits better in the, how you say, band organic environment. “Not that I don’t like the other way – I love to be obsessive and lunatic about perfection and everything – but it’s a different kind of feel you can get. You can feel the energy in a room when you’re playing a song, and then when you record the album, you want that – you don’t wanna just kind of destroy everything that you do together and the band energy.” All the drum parts were recorded at Thin Ice, set up by another UK guitarist and producer, Karl Groom, who plays with Threshold and has produced, engineered and mixed all
of DragonForce’s albums. It’s another Pro Tools HD3 accel-based studio complete with Apogee and Digidesign converters, Soundcraft Ghost 72-input console and Genelec S30 and Yamaha NS10 monitoring. Both Li and Totman have designed and built their own signature guitars, Li the Ibanez E-gen 18, based on his old Ibanez S Series guitar, equipped with versatile tone selection with coil tap switching for both the bridge and neck pickups, Edge Zero bridge and custom DiMarzio HLM pickups, and he uses a Rocktron Prophesy II MIDI preamp, into a Mesa Boogie Stereo 2:Fifty power amp and then into a Peavey JSX cabinet and a battery of effects, among which is a Source Audio Hot Hand. What? You might wonder… “People ask me what this remote control ring I have in my hand, which is a remote control expression pedal. I found at a music convention in America and it does all kind of weird wah wah and stranger effects and I thought, I’ll take that and see what I can do with it. “I always use the live sound, the amp set-up, in the studio because we’ve spent all these hours and days developing the sound so I don’t see the point of then going into the studio and saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to use a completely different amp and I’m going to use a guitar which is completely different to the one I’m used to.’ So we use everything live in the studio.”
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EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION 15year old bass player looking to join metal or punk band. influences include metallica, slayer, megadeth, anthrax, pantera, ozzy osbourne/ black sabbath and many more. email email@example.com
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FOR SALE BASS 1980 RICKENBACKER 4001 BASS 1980 Rickenbacker 4001 Bass Natural Finish
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All original in excellent condition! All electronics working perfectly! Stereo “Rick-O-Sound” NO chips or cracks in finish! NO major scratches or “buckle rash” Neck is perfectly straight with minimal fret wear Plays great, sounds great and looks great! Original case in excellent condition!
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HIRE SERVICES For as low as $100, you get a professional sound/pa mixer system with operator for the evening. Suitable for weddings, pub/clubs band gigs, private parties etc. Infovision@yayabings.com.au. Contact Chris 0419272196 iFlogID: 15173
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w w w. l e u m a s s t u d i o s . c o m . a u ph:0754626319 by appointment.
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Recording Studio, Parramatta, $30hr casual rate. No kits! Singers, songwriters, instrumentalists for acoustic, world, classical genres specialist. 25+yrs exp, multi instrumentalist, arranger, composer, producer. Ph: 02 98905578, 7 days. iFlogID: 15160
http://www.sydneypa.biz, Chris 0432 513 479 iFlogID: 13943
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Short run also available.
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PART TRADE CONSIDERED
People needed to send eMails offering a new music Book for sale. Must have own computer - payment by commission via Paypal. Contact Bill on (02) 9807-3137 or
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++ play more chinese music - love, tenzenmen ++ www.tenzenmen. com
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At STRINGS ‘N’ SKINS:
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DRUMMER A1 PRO DRUMMER AVAILABLE for freelance gigs, tours etc. Extensive touring experience, gret time/tempo/ groove, great drum gear and pro attitude. Sydney based but will travel. More info, ph 0419760940. www.mikehague.com iFlogID: 13230
TOP INTERNATIONAL DRUMMER available. Great backing vocals, harmonica player and percussionist. Gigs, tours, recording.
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GUITARIST 18 year old guitar player looking to form Rock N’ Roll band. Influences: Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, New York Dolls. Preferably in South. Call Tom on 0401722767. iFlogID: 13358
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DRUMMER + BASSIST + US = BAND! Inner west Sydney two piece looking for a drummer & bassist. Structured dissonance within pop songs. we like brainiac. melvins. pj harvey. sonic youth. my bloody valentine. plus a million more. total music nerds. le passione! text nat 0406727076 include some details about yr experience, history and location etc. or email liam synthetic.pigeon@gmail. com iFlogID: 18207
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4-piece established Grunge/Rock band on Gold Coast seeks tight, dedicated drummer. infl. Melvins, Tool, Nirvana, Pumpkins etc. Some bits fast and complex, others reeaal slow. Contact Jason at tpsband@ hotmail.com
from $299 including Hosting and email addresses!
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Songwriter - If you want to rhyme I’ve got the time. Jingles, songs, you can’t go wrong. If you’ve got the music, I’ll make it the number 1 pick. Tommy-0434021675.
Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY -
Private lessons/mentoring also available.
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THE BANDS THE INDUSTRY THE LOCALS THE ENCORES THE DJS THE GIGS THE PRODUCERS THE CLUBS THE REMIXES THE ARTISTS THE FESTIVALS THE GROUPIES THE ALBUMS THE TOURS THE FANS
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...
Published on Apr 24, 2012
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...