THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT FU MANCHU WAVVES SICK OF IT ALL
N O W AVA I L A BL E O N I PA D • 2 M AY 2 012 • 1575 • F R E E
WITH SPECIAL GUEST
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6 THE TIVOLI TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Tickets available from www.ticketek.com.au or 132 849 OUT NOW | NEW ALBUM
COMING JUNE 1
MASTER OF MY MAKE-BELIEVE includes Big Mouth & Disparate Youth
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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
TIME OFF • 5
“Formidable... energising ... magniﬁcent.” THE GUARDIAN
ALL NATURAL TOUR 22 MAY
Returning after sell out performances to thrill audiences with their amazing hip-hop and Motown infused Vocal Play.
BOOK NOW QPAC.COM.AU OR 136 246
6 • TIME OFF
SELECT TOURING PRESENTS
FRI 10 MAY THE HI-FI
ALSO APPEARING NATIONALLY ON GROOVIN THE MOO TICKETS ON SALE FRI MARCH 09
www.selecttouring.com.au // www.facebook.com./selecttouring
TIME OFF • 7
GIVEAWAYS Cheap Thrills is a brand new all-ages gig series happening at The Judith Wright Centre. The first gig is on Saturday 12 May and will feature King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Kira Puru & the Bruise, Glass Towers and Gung Ho in the Performance Space, Cheap Thrills will also include free sets in the Shopfront from DJ Black Amex and DJ Hot Flush, plus photographic projections by Dane Beesley. We have got three double passes up for grabs!
After a successful 2011, this year’s Caxton Street Seafood & Wine Festival on Sunday 6 May is set to raise the bar even higher with a fantastic selection of seafood, a tantalising array of wines, and an incredible line up of performing artists from across the country. We have got two double passes to give away, which includes a meet and greet with Clint Boge! In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. Soon, this unstoppable attack fleet will swarm towards Earth, heralding the triumphant return of the Fourth Reich! Thanks to Hoyts Distribution we have ten double preview passes to Iron Sky up for grabs. The screening is on Wednesday 9 May at Event Cinemas, Chermside at 6.45pm.
To celebrate the new album by Buckley Ward, So Pretend, we have one double pass to give away to their CD launch at X&Y Bar on Friday 11 May. Entrants must be 18+. Air Supply The Ultimate Collection features 19 tracks from 1976 through to 1983 and includes all the classics: Love And Other Bruises, Lost In Love, All Out Of Love, Every Woman In The World, The One That You Love, Even The Nights Are Better and more. Thanks to EMI we have four copies to give away!
TICKETS $10 FROM THE VENUE OR FROM TICKETMASTER
Brisbane all girl band The Androgyny launch their debut single ‘Like Air’ on Saturday 5 May at Coniston Lane (Ex Woodland). We have got three doubles up for grabs! Entrants must be 18+. The Mountain Goats are coming back to Australia this month. You can catch them at The Zoo on Friday 4 May and we have got one double pass to give away! Entrants must be 18+.
ORS DO 7PM 0 M FROTRY $1 EN
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W E D N E S D AY 2 M AY 2 0 1 2
Foreword Line – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash Why was ice cream so important to Django Django? The Darkness still believe DevilDriver are made of pretty strong stuff Don’t go looking for nostalgia at The Mountain Goats’ show The Butterfly Effect talk about the end of an era Check in and blaze out with Fu Manchu Wavves give us a couple of chances to understand what they’re on about We hear about the exciting return of Teargas Emo rap would be nothing without Atmosphere What is on the agenda for the rockin’ Calling All Cars these days? Sick Of It All are still going strong The ever-intriguing Heirs talk their future plans On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out
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EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Contributing Editor: Dan Condon Front Row Editor: Cassandra Fumi Intern: Sophia De Marco ADVERTISING Advertising Account Executives: James Tidswell, Jo Wallis DESIGN & LAYOUT Cover Design/Designer: Matt Davis ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Administration: Leanne Simpson Accounts: Marcus Treweek CONTRIBUTORS: Time Off: Ben Preece, Dan Condon, Craig Spann, Daniel Johnson, Chris Yates, Matt O’Neill, Adam Curley, Lochlan Watt, Roberta Maguire, Kenada Quinlan, Carlin Beattie, Tyler McLoughlan, Mitch Knox, Sam Hobson, Rachel Tinney, Tony McMahon, Benny Doyle, Lily Luscombe, Jake Sun, Sarah Petchell, Helen Stringer, Brendan Telford, Rip Nicholson, Cyclone, Amber 8 • TIME OFF
LAGERSTEIN EMPYREAN LYNCHMADA MA THE 19T Y H CONSTRUCT
Check out what’s happening This Week In Arts Stephen Merchant talks about wrangling an international idiot We hear from Clocked Out’s pianist/ composer Erik Griswold Vikram & The Vampire’s Lizzie Ballenger gives us a lesson in Hindu Mythology Cultural Cringe with Mandy McAlister Helen Stringer looks down The Looking Glass
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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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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: firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTED BY: Rural Press
12 gorgeous tattoo models battle it out for MEDUSAS MIRROR TRINATYDE the Gold Coasts number one INKED BEAUTY!
HELLFIRE PASS 4 DEAD IN 5 SECONDS NEXT WEEK:
THE STONE FOX TAKE TO THE SKY’S THIN WHITE LINES NASJAP DOOR CHARGE $5.00
CNR CAVILL AND ORCHID AVE, SURFERS PARADISE
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NEWS FROM THE FRONT
IN BRIEF Tommy Marth, saxophonist for The Killers and a number of other Las Vegas musical projects, has died in his Las Vegas apartment. The cause of death of the 33-year-old musician was not suspicious.
THREE OF THE BEST
The Rap City series of events is back in 2012 with its biggest installment yet, bringing to Australia three absolute masters of the hip hop world in one enormous show. Ghostface Killah, pictured, might always be remembered first for his part in the incomparable Wu-Tang Clan, but thatâ€™s before you start thinking about the incredible records he has cut as a solo artist. Both Ironman and Fish Scale are practically classic records in the hip hop world and he continues to pump out track after track of fresh, vital and hard-hitting hip hop to this day. DOOM has set the underground music world on fire countless times with his cutting-edge brand of hip hop. The masked man hit Australia last year for a bunch of massive shows and is ready to do it all over again as a part of Rap City. Rounding out the bill this year is the veteran â€œPuerto Rican Rhyme Slayerâ€? Chino XL, who, after a few years away from music due to his following a career in acting, is ready to hit back with his first LP in years, a double album with a whoâ€™s who of underground hip hop getting in on the action. Catch these three hip hop masters when they play Arena Friday 8 June. Tickets on sale now.
A MILE IN THEIR SHOES
Sydneyâ€™s Heroes For Hire will kick off their biggest national tour ever this June! So far this year the pop-punk party boys have released two new tracks, Heart Stops and Set In Stone. The former was released prior to their appearance on the Soundwave festival nationally and the latter, which features The Amity Afflictionâ€™s Joel Birch, was launched through American website Property Of Zack. This will be their first proper headline tour for the year and is dubbed Just Shoe It. Supports come from Tasmaniaâ€™s Luca Brasi, who are set to make a play at the mainland with this tour, and emerging pop punk outfit Carry Me Home, which features members of Confession and I Killed The Prom Queen. Catch them at Basement 243 Friday 29 June, The Prince Street Hall, Nambour Saturday 30 (all ages) and The Loft Sunday 1 July (all ages).
METAL MOST EVIL
Three years might not seem like that long, but when youâ€™re a hungry Cannibal Corpse fan, it feels like a lifetime. Yep, the undisputed kings of death metal are returning to Australia for the first time since their 2009 tour to treat us to what has been promised as a â€œsarcophagic frenzy of sordid and demented proportionsâ€?. The band recently released Torture, the 12th album of their 24-year career, and itâ€™s an unsurprisingly powerful and dark piece of work that showcases the bandâ€™s typically ruthless approach to the most evil of death metal. If you like your metal unabashedly dark, furious and evil as hell, itâ€™s time to start getting excited for another brutal Cannibal Corpse tour, which will hit our shores this October. Witness the brutality at The Hi-Fi on Monday 8 October.
Art rockers Charge Group are hitting the road this June/July on a national tour to promote the release of their self-titled second album. The LP has been released to rave reviews and acclaim, with the song Run becoming something of a cult hit. Given the band have just released the video to Broken Sunlight, the second single off the album, itâ€™s highly possible that song has the same fate in store. The lead singer for now-defunct, former-Perth outfit Snowman, Joe McKee, will join the Sydney band on the tour in support, he himself touring on the back of a new album Burning Boy which has just been released. You can get along and see what all the fuss is about when they drop by the Beetle Bar Friday 6 July.
Splendour In The Grass guest Azealia Banks has opted out of a long string of UK and European festival dates in June, July, and August, though she says the only reason is they were confirmed by her old management without full consultation with her. Super-hyped indie goddess Grimes has launched a jewelry line.
THE PARTY NEVER ENDS
In the ten years between 1994 and 2004 Canadians The Tea Party toured Australia a total of 12 times. Calling it a day in 2005 after eight albums and 15 years together, Australian fans might have thought their days of seeing the band together were over. Not so, as Jeff Martin & co. last year reformed for a string of Canadian shows and festivals, which has spawned into The Reformation Tour. The Tea Party are now on their way back to Australia to treat their huge fanbase over here to some shows that are bound to bring back many sweet memories. The band will play The Tivoli Tuesday 17; tickets are available through Ticketek right now for $85 + bf.
FRIDAY MAY 4TH
243 BRUNSWICK STREET FORTITUDE VALLEY COMING SOON ")8"9 #!.9/. 3),6%2 !00,%3 4(% 052'!4/2)%3 ")44%2 %.$ 53! (90./3% 3%6%. 3+)%3 10 â€˘ TIME OFF
The Beach Boys have released a new single called Thatâ€™s Why God Made The Radio, which comes from an album of the same name, featuring 11 new tracks and set for Australian release on Friday 1 June. The band are expected to announce an Australian tour soon. This yearâ€™s Splendour In The Grass festival sold out in record time, with all tickets to the event snapped up in a mere 43 minutes.
STARTING UP THE MACHINE
There can be no overstating the importance of the great Def Wish Cast when it comes to talking about Aussie hip hop; they were among the pioneers, influencing a raft of rappers who top the charts these days, and they continue to release fresh and exciting material to this day. The latest evidence of this comes with Evolution Machine, the groupâ€™s fourth record and only their second since reforming last decade. The record features a huge number of special guests lending their considerable talents to proceedings (everyone from M Phazes to Katalyst to Toe To Toe frontman Scotty Mac), but most important is that the kings of Aussie hip hop are back and full of life. Theyâ€™re heading out on the road following the albumâ€™s release; you can catch them at the Mustang Bar Thursday 7 June and Runaway Bay Tavern, Gold Coast Friday 8.
Tom Hartney, one of the vocalists, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists in Melbourne pop band Little Red has announced that he is leaving the band immediately to focus on his new project Major Tom & The Atoms.
138 SKATEBOARD BENEFIT
British website musicnews.com reported last week that The Smiths were in serious talks about a reunion tour. Johnny Marr very quickly took to Facebook to vehemently deny them.
SATURDAY MAY 5TH
THE CITY SHAKE UP SKINWALKERS THE TAKEDOWN PAPER WOLVES
SMOKE MASH POTATO JOHNSON THE 50 BAGS CITIZEN JOHN
LAST PARTY & BULLSHIT
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NO TROUBLES Aussie bluesman Ash Grunwald has been one of the more innovative musicians kicking around the Australian rock scene over the past few years, so news of him releasing an album of new material is always pretty darn exciting. The dreadlocked guitarist hasnâ€™t put out a record since his very well received Hot Mama Vibes release of 2010, but now comes Troubleâ€™s Door, a record that Grunwald has funded with the help of his fans pre-purchasing the record through an online crowd funding platform and one which sees him matching his love of hip hop, blues, dubstep and rock with his unmistakably biting, political lyricism. The record will be released at the end of next week and Grunwald hits the road soon after. You can catch him at The Northern, Byron Bay Friday 25 May, The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba Thursday 14 June, The Hi-Fi Friday 15 June and Coolum Civic Centre Saturday 16 June.
EAST MEETS WEST Considered by many to be one of the few key connecting artists between music of the east and the west, Harry Manx is truly more than just your average musician. Heâ€™s a devotee of his craft, even going so far as to spend five years studying the Mohan Veena â€“ a 20-stringed instrument that can loosely be described as a cross between a sitar and a slide guitar â€“ in India with its creator Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. His love of American blues and folk styles as well as Indian Hindustani classical music means that the music he produces is utterly unique, but thankfully he pulls it off with aplomb. Manx must really love Australia as he has toured here countless times over the past decade or so, and he is back very soon with dates all across the country through May. He plays the Brisbane Powerhouse Friday 11 May, Woombye Pub Saturday 12 and the Mullumbimby Civic Hall Sunday 13.
SUNDAY MAY 6TH
TOTAL ATTACK FESTIVAL SHIT WEATHER UNDEAD APES LAST CHAOS + OTHERS 0- s
MICK’S TRIVIA FROM 6:30PM
STEVE & MITCH’S OPEN BUSKERS NIGHT 8PM
O’MALLEY’S EVERY THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER THE FEATURE BANDS TIL 3AM:
DJ MICHAEL SIDEWAYZ
COME DOWN AND MEET OUR NEW RESIDENT DJ. TOP 40’S, R&B, DANCE AND MUCH MORE TILL LATE
T A E LIV
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THURSDAY 3 MAY
O’MALLEYS TRAD SESSIONS 7PM FRIDAY 4 MAY
LOCK & LOAD WITH LOCKY 5PM SATURDAY 5 MAY
STEVE FOTHERGILL (SOLO) 6PM ALTER EGOS 9:30PM SUNDAY 6 MAY
OMALLEY’S SUNDAY SESSION FEATURING: TULLAMORE TREE! MONDAY 7 MAY
CLOSED FOR LABOUR DAY!
0PM FROM 6:0 M Y A M SUN 6IAN KEYS, JETSTREA
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ROC IVE BAND) (WITH L RY FREE ENT
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INDIE HE PRETTY N, WITH TS, CITIZEN JOH FINGER + MORE UPSTRIYZE FREE EN
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FIRE THE TR Y
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INC GASOTRLY INE
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NEDY TRIAL KEN 6 JULY THURS 2 URRICANE H S V E S U HO Basement Level - Wintergarden Centre Queen Street Mall - Brisbane City PH 07 3211 9881 FAX 07 3211 9890 Email email@example.com
THE TEMPO HOTEL 388 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley. 18+ ID Required. Management reserve the right to refuse entry. TIME OFF • 11
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
IN BRIEF HEART ON THE LINE It has been a while since we heard from moody rockers Expatriate, but the band are well and truly ready to get back into it with a brand new record by the name of Hyper/Hearts all set for a release in July. The band played a couple of shows down south upon returning from Berlin, where they had made their home for the past couple of years, but now they are finally getting back up to Queensland to show us what they have been up to during this lengthy absence. The band are heading up here to play two shows this month, hitting Cobra Kai @ Oh Hello! on Thursday 17 May and then returning to do it all again at the same venue on Thursday 31. Tickets are only available on the door so get in early!
PAINFUL FUTURE Intense. Ambient. Brutal. Sweeping. They’re not only the kind of words we use when talking about our own news section, but also when describing the music of Hypno5e. These French metal titans have just released their second full-length album Acid Mist Tomorrow, have made their name touring with the likes of Gojira and The Ocean, and will be bringing their live show, which boasts an audio/visual accompaniment, to Australia in May. Catch the Montpellier quartet at Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Thursday 17 May and the Tempo Hotel Friday 18.
BLOWING FROM THE EAST It has been at least a week since we announced another bunch of ‘90s pop stars heading back our way, so it is with great, um, pleasure that we announce the return to Australia of the one and only East 17. The band had 18 singles land in the Top 20 during their glory days, including the likes of Deep, It’s Alright and Stay Another Day, which ought to be very familiar, and with record sales topping the 20 million mark, it just wouldn’t be right to be having this big ‘90s pop revival without them dusting off the vocal chords and getting down to business Down Under. It will be interesting to see just how rabid the fanbase for these boys remains in 2012, a good 20 years since their heyday, and you can see for yourself at The Hi-Fi on Thursday 14 June. Tickets are available through Moshtix and outlets right now for $49 + bf.
MORE HANSON Well, you people love Hanson; that has been very well established. The first Brisbane show set to hit The Hi-Fi on Thursday 20 September sold out in absolutely no time so the lads have decided they’d better give Brisbane fans another chance to get in on the action, announcing a second show at the same venue for Tuesday 11 September. We’re not sure whether it’s a bunch of you looking to relive those glory days in the mid-90s, people ironically looking forward to getting shitfaced and singing all their hits in annoying tones for hours on end before, during and after the show, fans who genuinely love the music that Hanson are releasing in 2012 or a mixture of the three, but we’re not going to argue with those of you who’ve voted with your wallets. Tickets for the new show are on sale now from Moshtix for $59 + bf.
WE WANT THE FUNK The Hydrofunk label has been an intrinsic part of the Brisbane music scene for a hell of a long time now and those behind it are taking this opportunity to celebrate a pretty special milestone as the label celebrates its 15th birthday. They’re throwing a big old party with plenty of all-star guests coming along to join in the festivities, guaranteeing there will be plenty of very danceable Aussie hip hop music to enjoy on the night! The likes of Resin Dogs with Mantra and DNO, Bankrupt Billionaires, Tigermoth, Fort Kilsby, Thavy Ear, 2 Dogs and Kool Von DJ Katch are providing the music while visuals will be taken care of by Monkwhy. It happens at Coniston Lane (ex-Woodland) on Saturday May 12 and entry is $15 with a mini-mix EP or $30 with an EP and t-shirt. 12 • TIME OFF
Gossip site TMZ are reporting that TLC will tour the United States this year with a film projection of deceased member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. This is how the band last performed in 2003 at a radio stationhosted concert in New York City. It has been reported that Jack White will write, produce, and perform the score for The Lone Ranger, the Disney film set for release in May next year. The new record from Passion Pit, their first since 2009’s Manners, will be called Gossamer and released late-July.
TRAIN KEEPS ROLLIN’
He’s arguably Australia’s most notorious one-man party machine, and there are a lot of people around the nation very excited to hear about the return of Muscles to our stages and our airwaves. He has his second record Manhood in the can and all set for a mid-June release, with the first single from it, Ready For A Fight, starting to gain some traction all over the place in the lead up to its release. The record will have barely hit the shelves by the time Muscles gets himself back on the road for the Manhood album launch tour. You can witness the party spectacle that is a Muscles show when he drops by the Cobra Kai Club @Oh Hello! on Friday 22 June.
A massive restructure from the iconic Roadrunner Records will reportedly see the closure of a number of offices around the world, resulting in major layoffs. No word yet on the Australian arm of the company. Matt Corby has signed a record deal as a part of the joint venture between Atlantic and Elektra Records, who will cover the UK and US markets respectively. Last week Inertia and Hub Artist Services announced the creation of HUB The Label, a partnership between the former indie label and the latter management company. The first two releases will be albums from Sydney’s Dappled Cities and Winter People.
Having set out to create a band that sings about vampires and werewolves and ghosts (oh my!), Graveyard Train have made a foot-stompin’ gothic-country sound all of their own. After the release of their 2010 record The Drink, The Devil and the Dance, the band became pretty hot property, quickly becoming renowned for rowdy live performances as well as their killer rollicking dark country. With a new album called Hollow hitting shelves Friday 11 May, the Melbourne sixpiece are setting out on a national tour of macabre musical mayhem. The Train will roll into the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Thursday 24 May, The Hi-Fi Friday 25 and the Woombye Hotel Saturday 26; tickets are available through the venues right now.
WICKEDLY EVIL SOUNDS
This winter, prepare for darkness, because the zombie apocalypse is nigh. (Also nigh is the need for beer.) The Dead Of Winter Festival 2012: The Zombie Apocalypse is set to take over the Jubilee Hotel, Fortitude Valley Saturday 14 July, massacring your souls with the darkest rock, punk, metal, goth, and blues. Bands on the bill include Area 7, Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders, Astriaal, Dreamkillers, Segression, Los Capitanes, Mz Ann Thropik, Charlie Greaser, No Idea, Ramshackle Army, Frankenbok, HITS, pictured, Heaven The Axe, The Wrath, Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls, Shellfin, Darklight Corporation, Dead Letter Opener, Darkc3ll, Witchgrinder, The Wrath, Spitfireliar, Defamer, D-Nine, I Nation, Mandy Meadows & The Madness Method, Horrorwood Mannequins, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate, Felinedown, De La Cruz, Bronson, Graveyard Rockstars, The Meaniacs, Acacia, Malakyte, Bound For Ruin, Perpetual End, Hell & Whiskey, Snakes & Daggers, Perpetual End, Battleaxe, Death Valley, Midnight Creepers, The Undeadnecks, Loose & Nasty, In Death, Demoniker, The Creptter Children, and Regular Gonzales, with burlesque and sideshow acts, fashion shows and roving entertainers all getting in on the action as well.
Soft rock acolytes America had a whole string of radio hits back in the 1970s that you’ll still hear on any given classic hits station to this day, and they were one of those bands that were so popular over here that there’s no doubt you or a close relative has a beat- p copy of one of their records in a cupboard somewhere, whether it gets any play these days or not. Two of the band’s original members, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, still tour the world under the America banner and are making their return to Australian shores this September. If you’re still unfamiliar with the work of the band, seek out A Horse With No Name, Sister Golden Hair and I Need You and you’ll know what the hell we’re talking about. If you feel so inclined, you can head along and catch them live (if you don’t, the least you can do is notify your baby boomer relatives) when America play Twin Towns Auditorium, Tweed Heads, Saturday 15 September.
CELEBRATION TIME Local mixmaster extraordinaire Sampology has announced an extensive tour of Australia, which he calls the Super Visual Apocalypse tour for 2012 – an “audiovisual celebration”. The tour will follow the release of his single, Stars, which is set to drop on Tuesday 1 May with his debut album, Doomsday Deluxe, to follow shortly after on Friday 1 June, featuring a number of collaborations. The Super Visual Apocalypse hits Oh Hello! On Sunday 10 June and Southern Cross University, Lismore on Thursday 28.
Allegations are flying around the interwebs that Delta Goodrem’s new single badly rips off Arcade Fire’s Rebellion (Lies). We’ll never know because we aren’t willing to take that plunge and actually listen, but if true it’s surprising that she has such good taste…
The airline wars are on the verge of returning with a vengeance – keep your eyes on flight prices and get some good deals while the airlines strangle each other out of business!
FLYING HIGH 1
FLYING HIGH 2
You’ve got to love the shirtless dude at Creamfields in Sydney who got his 15 seconds of fame before plummeting from the top of the scaffolding. It’s only funny because he was okay, but now it’s hella-funny! Of course DJs make you want to jump from high places, he’s only human…
Reports also abounding that David Hasselhoff’s “shock” exit from Celebrity Apprentice was actually faked, and was planned all along. Totally dig why he’d want to get as much distance between himself and that show as possible – there ain’t much ‘reality’ left in reality TV these days…
HARD LUCK LIFE
TOUGHEN UP Stalking and death threats aren’t acceptable in any guise, but the recent news of an AFL player being stalked and bullied on Twitter is hilarious on pretty much every level. Ummm, stop using Twitter for a while? Do some more weights instead? The world has gone mad…
CREAMFIELDS OF DREAMS
Check out the Brisbane production of Annie while it’s still running – a world-class production of a great musical, and if you get good enough seats you have the chance to berate Alan Jones at the curtain call. Fun for all the family!
JONSON STREET BYRON BAY Wed 2 May
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT Thurs 3 May
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS Fri 4 May
FAT ALBERT BAND
Craic’n Sundays Irish Music Fest
Sat 5 May
Sunday 6th May
DAN HANNAFORD BAND
Kicks f 11am (drs open 10am) until 2am
Fri 11 May
THE STRUMS Sat 19 May
TIJUANA CARTEL Fri 25 May
ASH GRUNWALD Sat 26 May
PARACHUTE YOUTH Thurs 31 May
DEAD LETTER CIRCUS Fri 1 June
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE
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
Exploring the Django Django songwriting process with vocalist Vincent Neff.
It wasn’t sex and drugs that fuelled the recording of Django Django’s debut album, but ice cream. Nic Toupee talks to vocalist/guitarist and “old auntie” Vincent Neff.
o begin with, one might ask what exactly is a Django, anyway? There are people – Django Reinhardt, the gypsy guitarist; there’s film – Django, the classic spaghetti Western; even Django, some piece of fancy coding software. But at the heart of it, there seems to be no meaning to ‘Django’. Perhaps that’s liberating – an onomatopoeic opportunity to use a word with sound but without meaning. Certainly, something about it appeals to British psych-dancepop band Django Django who like the word so much they use it twice. Django Django formed in 2009 but have only recently released their first album and just to further show their love for the word that sounds like a guitar strum and looks like a spaghetti Western, their album is self-titled – which gives us Django squared. Currently on tour in Europe, to promote a release given five stars by The Guardian and a glowing review by the ever-unpredictable NME, singer/guitarist Vincent Neff gives some surprising insights into the making of Django Django. “It took us quite a long time to write the album,” he confesses. “It was all self-produced – we did it in Dave’s [Maclean, drummer] bedroom. We had written an initial few tracks, so we converted Dave’s bedroom into a home studio and worked on them there. We decided that we actually liked the way the sound was progressing and also, because at the time we were still unsigned, we didn’t have any money to go into a big studio anyway. So we decided to keep on with the way it seemed to be working.” Neff and the rest of the band – who have become known for an unconventional-sounding collage-ist approach to some well-worn forms (psychedelic, electronic, minimal, lo-fi) – found that after putting together those initial sessions in Maclean’s bedroom studio, they enjoyed the imperfections and uniqueness of the acoustic space far more than they might have a more glossy and produced result. “Dave worked really hard on getting a nice ambience to it and we realised we wanted to keep on with the way we were going. If we had gone with a producer, the album might have gotten cleaned up. All that highend production would have lost the earthiness of it.” The sonic results were gained by a delicate mystical balance of domestic chaos and luck, something the band lost forever when the album was done and they moved out of Maclean’s grotto. “Dave’s place is just a dirty flat,” Neff laughs. “It’s really small and has a double bed with a table at the end and lots of shit everywhere. He’s a hoarder and collects loads of masks, old broken record players that are in pieces, and heaps of vinyl. I’d go over there and spend thirty minutes cleaning up his room enough that we could work and then after he’d gotten himself together we’d start working “ Whilst his description suggests a certain bohemian charm – you can imagine the dishevelled yet cool squat, the kooky ornaments, the teetering piles of records and bits of audio equipment all leading to a charming lo-fi warmth – Neff recalls it in a far less romantic light. By the end of the recording the gloss of independent studio life had worn off and uncomfortable grotty reality was giving him splinters. “I hated it, in the end. I went around one time only to end up ringing the buzzer for half an hour just to try to get Dave to wake up. He was always in bed and I’d 14 • TIME OFF
usually have to go to the shop and get him a Cornetto ice cream; he couldn’t start the day without it. I was like an old auntie buying him sweeties to keep him happy.” Whilst he had no background in studio production, Maclean’s Cornetto-fuelled ‘trial and error’ methodology came up trumps. “The recording process for the album was... very not typical,” Neff struggles to find adequate terms to describe climbing over bricolage and crouching on Maclean’s bed in search of the right minimal tonality. “Dave hasn’t done a course in recording or production, so it was very much his own process of experimentation. Over time, he’s learned – and we both learned – the best way to get something we were happy with out of what we had. It was all cheap equipment, we even didn’t have a drum kit so we would sample electronic kick drums and snares and use trebly sounds from recording guitar noises. Also, my vocal style is, I would say, quite unelaborate so Dave would layer it out to make me sound more impressive,” he laughs. Whilst Maclean was conjuring impressive vocal layers and percussive guitar squeaks, Neff took his developing resentment towards their cramped creative environment, added some design nous gained from a rather handy side career in architecture and built the band a new studio. He enjoyed the pristine and clean simplicity of it – at least for the first two days until Maclean moved in. “Dave mixed the final part of the album at his house and while he was doing that I was building a studio. I managed to get the studio soundproofed so we were in it for the last sections of mixing the album. I’m an architect as a second profession, so I did loads of research on acoustics and isolated Dave from it so he could concentrate on working. The new place is quite a big room – at least by London standards – and has big windows so there’s a lot of natural light. It feels quite homely for an old warehouse. But when it was done, Dave slowly started bringing crap there from his home, so now it’s starting to feel like Dave’s bedroom again! And once again I’m getting into my auntie cleaning mode. I’m not painting a very good picture of him, am I?” he laughs again.
stripped-back track, the next one we would make more up-tempo. Once we had done something with synths, we’d want to make something more raucous and rock‘n’roll. We kept trying to push ourselves in areas we didn’t think we could go.” Candidly, Neff also hears the points where those experiments haven’t quite come off. But the band is comfortable with their imperfections. “We realised, by the end of producing the album, that we had done a lot of things wrong at the beginning, but some of it was done so wrongly that it can’t be undone and has ended up as just a part of the song,” he laughs. “We decided that if we can’t get rid of something, we just have to try to make it as good as we can. We quite like accidents in songs, actually – weird and unconventional recordings. If something’s not recorded brilliantly but has a memorable sound, we’re interested.” He recalls a particularly pesky drum sound that became at first a cause for immense frustration and then finally a loveable quirk. “We couldn’t properly mic up the drum kit, because we weren’t in a proper recording studio. So we were getting this weird, bad drum sound. We spent ages trying to improve it and then in the end just accepted it is there – and now it’s actually the thing that makes the recording memorable! It’s a bit Bo Diddley. So sometimes when there’s not enough time to make stuff perfect, we have just gone with it and done something quick and really spontaneous.” Rather than rashly deleting some of those rougher diamonds and plump for a couple of singles, Django Django took a risk on their peculiar geology, a risk that seems to have paid off handsomely. Meanwhile, it leaves Neff and co. free (apart from fulfilling touring obligations and talking to inquisitive journalists) to fantasise about album number two.
I’D USUALLY HAVE TO GO TO THE SHOP AND GET HIM A CORNETTO ICE CREAM; HE COULDN’T START THE DAY WITHOUT IT. I WAS LIKE AN OLD AUNTIE BUYING HIM SWEETIES TO KEEP HIM HAPPY.”
Because the finished album spans a couple of years and two studios, not to mention an experimental and developing approach to writing and recording, it’s no surprise to hear Neff can hear the layers of their evolution as clearly as a geological slice. “I definitely think you can hear the different periods in our writing on the album and it’s kind of weird to hear some of them from even three years ago now. We would do a song over a few weeks, sit with it, do some gigs and then find a gap and do another song – and we did that for about two years. Only when we got to having nine or ten songs did we think, ‘Here’s an album.’ We weren’t writing songs we thought should go together, we were always just reacting to the last song we did. If we did a
“We love the album format and we’re keen to make a ‘the story so far’ type record. We love how an album can get a snapshot of a place and time and wouldn’t break from putting out albums. We’re already thinking of our next one, to be honest, planning what we think we’re going to do.” WHO: Django Django WHAT: Django Django (Because/Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 29 July, Splendour In The Grass, Belongil Fields, Byron Bay
“I write a lot of the initial melodies and guitar lines. I write a bit on guitar and some on piano. I come up with a lot of the initial starting points and small ideas for lyrics and then take them to Dave. In the early days it was just me and him before Tom [Grace, synths] and Jim [Dixon, bass] came on board, so I’d take him a melody, a guitar part or some bass. He would put a drum machine on and try different drum sounds and rhythms. We would find something that suited and go straight into the room where the computer was set up and start recording. Dave would then start mixing and arranging and he’d come back to me maybe three days later and say, ‘We need a part for this,’ and we’d write some more. “Once we had the basis of the track worked out and were ready to develop the lyrics, there would be a point for two or three days where I would go through lyric options and Dave would condense my ideas, distil them and then tell me what I was trying to say. He’d then suggest the basis of the story we are going to tell. We’d fire lines at each other and drink a lot and finally we’d come up with some narratives and stories – and some alternative narratives and stories. “Occasionally our songs have been based on live jams and then I’ve gone away and come up with some lyrics and melodies. Then Tommy comes up with some hooks and brings that back to us and we jam it again until we’ve come up with our final ideas. In a lot of those early songs where it was just Dave and me, we had a pretty limited palette to work with – just one keyboard that was kind of crap and a guitar. So those earlier songs were built around that really limited set-up. When Tommy came in we started to get more instruments to work with and so the songs started to take a different path. But I liked in the early songs how you’d have these different textures just squashed up against each other – the same instruments but one track acoustic and the next one a big loud ruckus and then something else again.”
PARALLEL UNIVERSE Although The Darkness have an unwavering bravado onstage, it’s actually fear that is driving the band. With the British rockers returning to stages around the world, immaculately curled bassist Frankie Poullain puts Benny Doyle on notice.
own the phone from his Hackney apartment in East London, Frankie Poullain is sounding like a man enjoying his second bite of the cherry. His former band The Darkness are riding high once again following their return to the stage last year and the boys haven’t wasted a moment making up for lost time. They’ve already completed tours around their native England, and America, as well as recording a new album as the follow-up to their 2005 release One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back. It’s casually mentioned that the morning after this interview they have a photo shoot with Scarlet Page, the daughter of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Yep, it seems like rock’n’roll has well and truly returned to Poullain’s world and the 45-year-old is more than chuffed. “First it felt unreal; then it felt nerve-racking; then it felt a bit magical coming back y’know,” Poullain tells. “Now it just feels a bit surreal really, it does. Actually, surreal is probably the right word. Not often in life do you do that, do you go back and do something that you thought that you’d never do again. So it’s a pretty strange feeling and it sort of feels like a parallel universe really.”
waiting – we were all really petrified,” he confides. “So we try to really create this element of fear and really encourage it. We do it on purpose because we really want to be on note and fear creates those great moments within yourself. It’s a strange place to be, like, you don’t want to be vomiting every night or you’d turn into Karen Carpenter. It’s just all ‘bout making things hard for yourself, y’know, you don’t want to be in that comfort zone – that’s the worst place to be,” he concludes. “But right now, we’re probably more energetic than we were in 2004, just because we are trying to make up for lost time.” WHO: The Darkness WHEN & WHERE: Friday 4 May Eatons Hill Hotel
Poullain isn’t wrong in voicing his disbelief. It’s doubtful many rock fans expected to see The Darkness on stage again, let alone back in Australia, following their split in 2006. The fact that Poullain is with them on this journey is all the more incredulous, considering his rash departure in 2005. Depending on which reports you believe, the circumstances were either due to musical differences or a proclaimed ‘freeze out’ by a cocaine-addled frontman Justin Hawkins. But that is neither here nor there. Whichever the case, Poullain regrets it got to that point in the first place. “I never thought it should’ve happened,” he laments. “I got offered a few different things in various bands, but it wasn’t really the kind of thing that I wanted to do. So I hadn’t really played in a band for six years actually until I stepped into a rehearsal room with these guys and we went through a few songs – and it sounded terrible just because we hadn’t been together for so long. Then we just started laughing and soon we were playing again like we did back in the day. Obviously, there are a lot of talented musicians out there, but I feel very blessed to have that kind of chemistry when we connect with each other; I feel very fortunate.” Although The Darkness last toured Australia in 2006, for Poullain it’s actually been almost a decade since he’s hit our shores, his last visit during the 2004 Big Day Out. Slotted in barely after lunch on the main stage, The Darkness thrived in the stifling conditions, the set full of costume changes, pompous glances and the anthemic singalongs that a field full of beer swilling revellers were gagging for. The bassist recalls the experience with reciprocated fondness. “Ah yeah, the Big Day Out,” he draws out the words with a dreamlike ease. “I remember The Dandy Warhols. I remember the girl playing keyboards in The Dandy Warhols was at the side of stage dancing and her boobies were jiggling up and down, ‘cause she never used to wear a bra. I remember Courtney from The Dandy Warhols too; he was quite an articulate guy and a real interesting character. And I remember Peaches – she was just amazing and really kicking arse back then. She blew me away and that was a great discovery, her music. “The Kings Of Leon were there too, they were really nice little kids at the time, just getting into it, really young pups,” he continues. “But in those five, six years following they’ve probably aged 15 to 20 years because they have just worked so hard and that’s probably what screwed them up, y’know? They just toured too much. But they’re great guys; really nice lads, very talented and I hope they can come back and sort out all their problems.” In early 2011, it was announced that the original Darkness line-up would be reuniting, Poullain reclaiming his former role from replacement Richie Edwards. The quartet returned to stage in emphatic fashion at the Download Festival, a celebration only made possible by one thing. “We just needed time really,” he admits. “We needed different people involved in the band and around the band – guiding us – and just more positive energy, y’know, realising what we missed, realising we all missed each other and that we missed having the most fun you can possibly have, being in a rock’n’roll band together, just standing onstage together – you really miss it.” The response to that show was critical to the position the band now find themselves in, ready to take on all-comers once again. “Big time,” he agrees. “You always feed off the energy of the crowd and you enjoy receiving that visceral kinda response from people. There’s a real symbolic relationship between you and the crowd and it’s a really important part of it. It’s just something you sense, when you are playing a song to someone and you feel as though you’ve got that edge, that unknown quantity, the X-factor that makes people excited again.” Poullain explains that album number three is in the bag for the band. If lead single Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us is anything to go by, then the only shock for Darkness fans will be the wild, upper-lip caterpillar Justin Hawkins will be trying to smuggle through passport control. He says that the album will be a 14-track extravaganza, full of the trademark bombastic rock that exploded on to the scene like a codpiece full of dynamite back in 2003, however, he remains mum about the title. What is obvious though is that The Darkness are embracing their identity once again and are riding that horse into the sunset. Sure there is apprehension, but being able to capture that unstable energy and build their performance on it might see The Darkness growing on us just one more time. “We’re always egging each other on. Before Download we were imagining standing in chicken feed, just scratching around, just
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TIME OFF • 15
ROLL ON In the space of two weeks Devildriver lost a member to ill health and had gear stolen while on tour. But frontman Dez Fafara tells Lochlan Watt the band’s goals have changed little: “They’re not too lofty, my bro – they’re just to have a good time and keep rolling”.
en years, five albums, two lineup changes and one of the most constant international touring schedules in the industry could be an apt way to summarise the life that DevilDriver have led with their band so far. DevilDriver (2003), The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand (2005), The Last Kind Words (2007) and Pray For Villains (2009) were all executed like clockwork with the utmost professional ferocity, and showcased a steady evolution of the Californians’ identifiable sound. The release of Beast in February 2011 provided fresh hardwood to their everburning fire – did the band subsequently achieve all they set out to achieve throughout the remainder of the year?
“We did some grindy touring, our record came out in the Top 40 in the United States with very little press or radio, and we’ve been having a good time,” singer Dez Fafara quickly responds. “That’s first and foremost for me – so yeah, we’ve achieved our goals. They’re not too lofty, my bro – they’re just to have a good time and keep rolling.” Turns out there isn’t exactly a great deal left for the band to conquer, apart from maybe a support tour with Metallica, and at this stage it’s more about just keeping the giant metal boulder on a sustained path of destruction. “Our recognition is there. You know who we are. The only way we’re going to get bigger is to go and open for larger bands. What Beast did for us was put it out there that we could make a different sort of record. I think that’s important, that there’s evolution in our music. So we came to the table with something that I thought was heavy, technical and different. With the conglomeration of heavy music that is on the scene right now, it’s definitely on its own. It doesn’t fit in a genre. It’s making its own statement. With all that said, I think it’s all going right, and it’s all going correct.” When asked about the dramas that life on the road has thrown them this year, Fafara is quick to say that he does not like to focus on the negatives. However, the mid-March hospitalisation of former Bury Your Dead member and touring bassist since 2010, Aaron ‘Bubble’ Patrick, seems a little too intense to not want to find out more. Diagnosed with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Patrick reportedly suffered adverse effects to his liver, kidneys, and even bone marrow. “You’re on the road, and stuff’s going to happen. Aaron is probably one of the fittest guys you’ll ever know. He’s straight edge, he works out every day, he is a total health nut, but I think the constant running got to him and put him in the hospital for over two-and-ahalf weeks with pneumonia. Between that and some other things, it got real critical, to where prayers were needed, you know.” He reveals that Chris Towning, a current member of Bury Your Dead, is filling Patrick’s place until he can make a full recovery. “Aaron is at home. I don’t want him back out on the road until he’s 100%. He lost a lot of weight. I’ve got to know that he’s 100% before he goes and does the sort of runs that we do. For instance, right now I’m on 22 shows in a row. You’ve gotta be mentally in a good place, and you’ve gotta be extremely healthy to go run like that.” Further to that, guitarist Jeff Kendrick had his guitar stolen by a not-so-smooth criminal in the small town of Mojoes, Illinois, barely two weeks later. “It got returned in two days because we put a lot of pressure on that town on Twitter and on Facebook,” he explains. “We got a picture of him on a video camera of him stealing it. So we put his picture all over the town, and the pressure just got to him, and he wrote an ‘I’m sorry’ note and turned it in. They’re still going to prosecute, because it’s a felony, it was an almost $3000 guitar, and it caused a lot of drama. Although I accept his apology, I still believe he needs to pay for what we went through. I don’t like a liar or a thief.” Fafara’s generally positive outlook once again shines through. “But you can’t really dwell on the negatives, you have to move forward. In everybody’s lives, things happen. Don’t dwell on the negative and just roll.” In terms of moving forward, a question about DevilDriver’s next album reveals that the band have fulfilled their contractual obligations to Roadrunner Records. This may come as a surprise to some, given that Fafara has been operating within the legendary metal stable since his earlier days fronting gothic nu-metal pioneers Coal Chamber. “We have moved on from Roadrunner Records. Will we re-sign with the different Roadrunner factions around the world? Who will it be? My personal favourite company is Roadrunner Australia. If I have it my way, within our deal, it’ll be built in that we re-sign with Roadrunner Australia. We don’t have any firm date on when we’re going to release. Right now we’re free agents. We’re talking to record companies. As soon as we’re done touring, we’re going to come off in July and get all of that straight. We’re going to get in with a label, then we’re going to get in with a producer, and figure it out. But right now I have no time and no dates for you. We are yet to see. The business has to be done, and until the books are closed on the business I can’t comment any further on that.” The band have toured Australia several times; with their forthcoming return in addition to Coal Chamber’s run of reunion shows for Soundwave this year, down under must be starting to feel like a second home for Fafara. “I’m actually looking for a house – my wife wants me to start looking for a house,” he reveals. “It’s going to be a side house, so it’s going to be a house where we spend a limited amount of time, but it’s definitely going to be in Australia. We just have to figure out where it’s going to be and we’ll try and work it into things.” Asked to outlay the band’s plans for the remainder of 2012, Fafara gives it out down to an exact date. “We come over to Australia for eight days, and then we go over to do European festivals for six weeks, which will be the longest festival run of our career – all main stages, and all through Europe. Then on 7 July we come off the road for nine months, the first break we’ve had in ten years. The first break that I’ve had in almost 16 years.” WHO: DevilDriver WHAT: Beast (Roadrunner Records) WHEN & WHERE: Friday May 4, The Tivoli
16 • TIME OFF
DON’T LOOK BACK Doug Wallen doesn’t get nostalgic with The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle.
ith his wracked-nerves guitar strum and biting sneer, there’s no mistaking The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle for anyone else. Even when he turns down the volume, the man’s sharp, talky voice is as well known as his powerful lyrics. It’s been a decade since The Mountain Goats graduated from a cult treasure to a mid-level indie mainstay, but it still feels somehow unlikely that so unfashionable and idiosyncratic a songwriter should have found such a reliable audience.
But let’s be glad he has, because that success has kept the world in regular Mountain Goats albums and tours ever since Darnielle signed to 4AD for 2002’s breakout Tallahassee. Now signed to Merge and backed by bassist Peter Hughes (Nothing Painted Blue) and drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk), Darnielle’s latest album was last year’s All Eternals Deck. While it doesn’t revisit the “going to” road songs beloved by fans, there are specific references to his native California. One song that only made the cut as an Aussie bonus track nods to one of our own cities: the heartbreaking Brisbane Hotel Sutra was written at The Point hotel. But it ultimately didn’t fit the album. “That’s a really direct expression,” Darnielle admits, “and All Eternals Deck is not an album of direct expressions. It has a couple of windows that open where you can see something raw, but that song is fairly autobiographical and naked. When you’re making an album, you have to focus on the good of the album and what’s going to make the best shape.”
“It’s like I meet people from my past and I remember [obscure] stuff, but then I forget things that are personally important to me. My memory is full of holes. It’s something that somebody stood in front of with a machine gun for a while.” That said, he points out: “I always feel like the lyrics become muscle memory at some point.” But then there’s Riches & Wonders from 2002’s All Hail West Texas, a song he can’t play live because he can never remember all four verses in a row. “That will just not get itself into my head no matter what I do,” he laments. “Which is a shame, ‘cause it’s one of the best songs I ever wrote. But that’s how it goes.” WHO: The Mountain Goats WHEN & WHERE: Friday 4 May, The Zoo
Unlike more autobiographical albums like 2004’s We Shall All Be Healed and 2005’s The Sunset Tree, All Eternals Deck is shrouded in allusions to kings, crusades, vampires and the mythology of popular culture, from Liza Minnelli and her mum Judy Garland to Charles Bronson and the Eagles hit Hotel California. The fact that Brisbane Hotel Sutra was penned in Brisbane at all is only because Darnielle adapted his songwriting habits. “I used to be really strict,” he recalls. “I’m the king of arbitrary rules. I decided when I was new: ‘I don’t write on the road. I tour on the road. I focus on my shows.’ Then it got to the point where we were touring so much that to not write on the road would be to not write at all.” He continues: “So I started writing on the road, and I was also in a super emotional state [at the time]. The songs I wrote on that tour turned out to be the core of The Sunset Tree. Well, that was a lesson for me. If you write when you literally only have an hour to do it and in an inconvenient location and during times of emotional duress, you can maybe actually tap something a little deeper.” Now Darnielle writes both on the road and at home. For his tentatively named next album Transcendental Youth, however, he’s also road-testing the ten songs planned for the record. That’s despite YouTube’s reputation for capturing early versions of songs live, before they’ve necessarily come to fruition on an album. That’s not to say, though, that he’ll play all – and only – new songs on tour. “There isn’t even any new album,” he reminds. “We haven’t recorded it yet. So who knows what’s gonna be on it? I’m just gonna play what I want, which is usually playing new stuff. People wanna hear older stuff, but if you only play older stuff, then you are a nostalgia act and I consider nostalgia a toxin.” Laughing, he adds in the same breath: “There’s nothing wrong with older songs, but if you’re not constantly moving forward and constantly trying to push yourself a little – and push audiences and let everybody have new experiences instead of just reliving songs they already know – then to me it’s a lot less fun.” If not a nostalgic person in general, Darnielle still loves plenty of music from the past. In March The Mountain Goats took part in a massive tribute to The Rolling Stones at Carnegie Hall, playing Paint It Black on a line-up that included such heroes of his as Rickie Lee Jones, Roseanne Cash and New York Dolls’ David Johansen. He cites New York Dolls as well as Johansen’s later band The Harry Smiths for changing his life. And on tour, The Mountain Goats have also covered the Silver Jews’ Pet Politics and Plains by the late, underrated indie rock act Silkworm. Oh, and Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back in Town for a while there.
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Despite having the charismatic drummer of Superchunk on board for years now, Darnielle doesn’t like the idea that having a permanent drummer has made the band more “rock”. “[Maybe] in the ears of the listeners,” he says, “because few listeners will count something as rock unless it has a drummer. But I will contend that if you put me alone in front of any audience, I’m gonna bring more rock than half the bands you’re gonna see. I know that sounds very egocentric, but I mean it. We rock no matter what our formation is. That’s what we do.” He may not agree with the distinction in most people’s minds, but he’s come to accept it. “I think that’s a weird rule,” he adds. “I used to be really aggro about it when I would stand in front of audiences solo and people would all sit down.” With what’s soon to be 14 studio albums to the band’s name, it’s a wonder that Darnielle can keep track of his sprawling songbook, let alone retain lyrics and chords. And this is a man who earlier in the interview calls his memory “spotty.”
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“My memory’s not good or bad: it’s weird,” he elaborates later.
TIME OFF • 17
REMEDIAL CHAOS THEORY The Butterfly Effect have been rocked by the departure of vocalist Clint Boge. Matt Oâ€™Neill catches up with drummer Ben Hall to discuss the bandâ€™s storied history â€“ and uncertain future.
ntil recently, Brisbaneâ€™s The Butterfly Effect had largely faded into local legend. The four-piece were, for the majority of the past decade, their hometownâ€™s most successful hard rock export. Their relentless touring saw them signed to Sony within years of their 1999 formation and, beginning with their debut self-titled EP in 2002 (which sold over ten thousand copies), each release seemed to bring the band new levels of success. Yet, 2008â€™s Final Conversation Of Kings heralded a strange hiatus for the outfit. â€œMaybe even before the last record, there were signs that we werenâ€™t working together as a band,â€? drummer Ben Hall reflects of the bandâ€™s most recent album. â€œI havenâ€™t listened to that record in a very long time but I still feel it wasnâ€™t really us working at our best, so
to speak. Weâ€™d just lost our management and we knew we needed a record to take the next step in our career as a band â€“ but I think we forgot that if you donâ€™t have ten great songs, youâ€™re actually in trouble.â€? Aside from the occasional tour, The Butterfly Effect have barely existed since that album. The intervening years have ostensibly been spent writing their follow-up record but, between their atypical absence from the live arena and an increasing array of member side-projects (from vocalist Clint Bogeâ€™s Thousand Needles In Red to bassist Glenn Esmondâ€™s A Family Of Strangers), it was hard not to think of The Butterfly Effect as a defunct (or soon to be defunct) entity. â€œWeâ€™d been trying to write this fourth record for three years now â€“ and we havenâ€™t been getting anywhere at all,â€? Hall says of the bandâ€™s apparent absence. â€œWeâ€™d had lots of kind of group sit downs, discussions and little therapy sessions to try and figure out why it just wasnâ€™t happening but we never really cracked it. It really just felt like Clint was moving in one direction and the rest of us were moving in another. I canâ€™t really blame him for having different tastes.â€? Announced in February, Clint Bogeâ€™s departure has once again placed The Butterfly Effectâ€™s work within the spotlight. Originally said to be leaving to pursue other musical projects, Boge has since explained that his departure was more related to issues of interpersonal conflict. Regardless, the bandâ€™s uncertain future has brought inadvertent but deserved emphasis to the accomplishments of their past. â€œItâ€™s definitely not how I ever thought itâ€™d pan out. I thought weâ€™d be together for twenty years,â€? Hall muses. â€œI knew eventually it would end â€“ either because we got older and had kids or whatever or some other reason â€“ but I never thought one of us would just go and leave the band. Still, the support weâ€™ve received since making the announcement has been monumental. People have been so supportive of our work. Itâ€™s been very inspiring. â€œTo be honest, I wasnâ€™t really prepared for the response that we got when we made the announcement. The way the band had spent the last couple of years â€“ weâ€™ve basically locked ourselves away in a rehearsal room for three years â€“ I kind of expected everyone to have moved onto some other band. You really do forget that people actually do care about your work. It was really amazing.â€? Make no mistake; The Butterfly Effect were and remain an important band in Australian music. They arguably laid the foundation for many of their more successful peers and followers. They were the first band of their kind to break through to mainstream audiences in Australia. Their success predates that of Cog, Karnivool and Birds Of Tokyo â€“ Dead Letter Circusâ€™ first official gig was actually a support slot for The Butterfly Effect at the QUT Guild Bar in 2006. â€œItâ€™s actually been really good to look over everything weâ€™ve done,â€? Hall says. â€œI just recently got the masters back for our new compilation Effected and listened through it all in sequence to make sure it all worked out. Itâ€™s chronological â€“ from beginning to end â€“ and itâ€™s been really cool. You know, thatâ€™s covering nearly ten years of releases. Our entire career, pretty much. In a strange way, it says more to me about who we were as people than anything else. â€œLike, I look back at our first EP and our first album [2003â€™s Begins Here], and I can kind of see us beginning to take it much more seriously than weâ€™d ever had to before as a band. We started to get a bit of success and it became our job â€“ whereas before we just wrote music because the formula was right. We met Clint and then did a gig six weeks later. Then, I can look at the tracks from Final Conversation... and I can see where it stopped working. Itâ€™s been good to look at it all in context. â€œYou know, looking back on the past ten years, what will always stick with me is the work ethic. Thatâ€™s not just for us; bands like Cog and Karnivool as well. We all toured our arses off. We had no support when it started â€“ no-one buying big ads in street press or pushing our records. It was just based on a shitload of hard work. So, really, regardless of whatâ€™s happened to us, itâ€™s been hugely gratifying to see it take off over the past couple of years.â€? Still, it leaves the band in a precarious position. Bogeâ€™s departure appears to have reinvigorated both the bandâ€™s public profile and its individual members â€“ but even Hall is unsure as to what the future will bring for The Butterfly Effect. Theyâ€™re the midst of a farewell tour and have just released the Effected compilation. Following those plans, they have to find themselves a singer and record a fourth album. Hall sounds both excited and wary. â€œInitially, I thought weâ€™d break up. I didnâ€™t think weâ€™d keep going without Clint,â€? he admits frankly. â€œBut then, I looked at what we were doing and how weâ€™d always done things and kind of figured that nothing really has to change. We would always write the songs and Clint would come in and kind of put the icing on the cake. The three of us are still enjoying what weâ€™re doing and, to my mind, writing the best material of our careers. â€œItâ€™s just a case of finding someone else who can kind of put the icing on the cake. Weâ€™re keeping it low-key. Weâ€™re not going to be INXS about it, if you know what I mean. Weâ€™re just putting our feelers out and hoping that some friend of a friend of ours is the guy for the job. If we canâ€™t find someone, it will pretty much be the end of the band.â€? â€œIâ€™m staying optimistic, though,â€? Hall enthuses. â€œClintâ€™s leaving has opened up a lot of the possibilities for us. We can kind of changeup whatever we want for the band â€“ and Iâ€™m excited by that.â€?
FRIDAY 4TH OF MAY
WHO: The Butterfly Effect WHAT: Effected (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 2 May, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay; Thursday 3, The Arena; Friday 4, Coolangatta Hotel; Saturday 5, Kings Beach Tavern, Sunshine Coast
18 â€˘ TIME OFF
KEEPING IT SIMPLE In a world of constantly changing tastes, Fu Manchu have kept their heads above water and stood by their old ways. Cam Findlay chats to frontman Scott Hill about the early days and el caminos.
id you grow up in the ‘90s? Did you have long hair, a skateboard, blue jeans and a trucker shirt that was way too short for you? Fair enough, not everyone did. But if you did, you were more or less a part of a very unique and uncompromising culture that grew out of ‘80s punk bands, and eventually developed into the sludgy stoner rock of the late-’80s and early-‘90s, before it arguably died on its arse with the rise and fall of grunge. And, if you were part of that culture, you’ve most likely heard of - or more likely loved - Fu Manchu, one of the great progenitors of that sound (before the eventual arse-dying). Releasing their debut single Kept Between Trees in 1990, Fu Manchu have survived the last 20 years, albeit with constant line-up changes, in relative safety as a band; they have never really compromised their sound, retaining the hard-rock edge tempered with a casual attitude that came to be with bands like Melvins, Kyuss and Acid King. Fu Manchu were just one in a long line in that aesthetic, but the fact that they have stuck buy it (latest album Signs Of Infinite Power was released in 2009) means that they have a healthy base of respect from fans and musicians alike.
“With the skating, I guess maybe because it’s aggressive and it gets people pumped up, which is a lot what skating’s about. I know when I go surfing, I wanna hear something heavy, so I just think it gets people amped. It’s not like a bring up religion or war or anything in my lyrics, it’s always just really basic stuff that appeals to me and the band in a simple way. And if that appeals to fans, then that’s great; that’s probably what we’re aiming for. We just want people to get into it, bob their heads and move around a little. There’s nothing really more to it.” WHO: Fu Manchu WHEN & WHERE: Friday 4 May, Hi-Fi
Speaking from his beachside SoCal home, founding member, guitarist and vocalist Scott Hill explains how the style of Fu Manchu developed. “I grew up listening to a lot of hardcore punk rock stuff from 1980 to 1987,” he begins, the musician’s laidback attitude exuding through his Californian drawl and penchant for the word “stuff”. “I still listen to all that stuff today as well. You know, I still look at it as Fu Manchu’s tunes as a slowed-down hardcore band. That’s the kind of stuff that got me amped to start a band and play guitar in the first place, going to see those bands play. It’s always there; there’s always a bit of that aesthetic entering into the stuff we write.” Speaking of the great stoner rock pilgrimage of the time, Hill goes on to rattle of a list of the big names in the movement, but not solely as inspiration; Hill explains that the growth of the sound lead him to go back in time to find its roots. “I’d heard bands like Soundgarden and Nirvana and the Melvins were always pretty big where I grew up. And The Obsessed, stuff like that,” he reflects. “Around about ‘88 was when that stuff became big and we went, ‘Oh, maybe we should put on our old Blue Cheer records and KISS records and check this stuff out again’. That’s where we eventually drew it from, from those old metal and rock bands that brought in a lot of fuzz and distortion and stuff that had lead on to the bands we were listening to at the time,” he reflects.
There’s more to this story on the iPad “It was still loud stuff, but it was slower and there was this whole new life the music took on with that.” Fu Manchu’s adherence to those principles may at first make them seem stale in the current climate of flash-in-the-pan styles and genres, but Hill is flippant about the need to accommodate. “I know people want to hear bands evolve and progress,” Hill elucidates, when asked whether there was any impetus to adapt. “I mean that’s great, I do to, but at the same time I don’t want to get a record from a favourite band of mine and all of a sudden there’s a drum machine and no bass or whatever and you go, ‘Huh?’. But you know, I can understand how people wanna hear something different. And we do try some different stuff sometimes, some mellower stuff, like California Crossing was a little cleaner than the previous records. But we’ve never really wanted to change, the old rock thing’s still there. “We’re just a straight-ahead rock band. That’s how we started and I think that’s how it’s always been. Obviously, everyone’s gotten a little better musically, but it’s pretty much always stayed the same. I knew what I wanted to play when I started and, like I said before, you know what you’re getting when you buy a Fu Manchu record; it’s gonna be a loud rock record. We’re not gonna be pulling out a reggae song on the record, you can be rest assured,” Hill says with a wry chuckle. “It’s always stayed the same, it’s just all four of us doing that really basic thing.” In some ways, the band takes avoiding trends to the extreme; Hill admits that he has very little knowledge of where music is nowadays. “It’s never really been something that’s important to us. You know, we’re friends with a whole lot of different bands, but to be honest, I really have no idea what’s happening in music today,” Hill laughs. “The last band I saw was [legendary Californian doom metal band] Fear and the played through their whole first record. I’m still spending my time seeing those bands that I grew up with. Whatever’s really happening, we don’t pay much attention to. In 1996, we were touring with Limp Bizkit and Deftones. So, you know, definitely out of our element there about what was happening with music, but whatever,” Hill finishes with breezy casualness, assuaging the point that he’s not too worried about that tenuous connection to certain musical abominations of the last 15 years. Along with the stringent belief in the basic rock format, Hill does little to complicate his lyrics. Instead, he bases everything on simple ideas, which goes par for course in connecting with fans. To this end, there has always been three very strong elements to the lyrical and contextual content of Fu Manchu songs; cars, skating and girls. “Growing up on a beach, there’s always been like custom vans and El Caminos and choppers and stuff around me and the band and we all grew up skating at the same time. And then our lyrics are very literal – I don’t get religious or anything, I just write lyrics about stupid stuff like cars and, like, UFOs,” Hill laughs. “There’s no deep meaning behind those lyrics, there just all things I see and like. It’s just stuff you remember. My dad got me into big muscle cars and customs and stuff and I just really liked that whole scene for the record artwork and song titles and stuff.
TIME OFF • 19
ALL THIS SOUNDS GAS
Will Learmonth of Teargas has spent the last five months getting a whole bunch of hardcore bands to come up to Brisbane for a full blown three day festival across three different venues. He tells Chris Yates about how the Total Attack Festival came together and what’s in store for Teargas.
ith the band being split between two cities, Will Learmonth says that although he has been keeping busy playing in another band Last Chaos, things are still rolling along for Teargas. “We’ve been trying to keep up our motivation and have been doing occasional shows in Melbourne and Brisbane,” he says of where Teargas is at for the time being. “We’ll be putting out a record pretty soon hopefully and have some pretty grand plans about touring. We went to the US in late-May last year, which was pretty amazing. It was a lifelong dream for all of us. The next place we really want to go is Japan, that’s been another dream of ours. We released a 12-inch last year and we have a split coming out with a band from Japan called Forward, which we’re all really excited about. The previous records we’ve put out have been pretty well distributed in Japan so hopefully it would be a pretty good tour.” On their trip to the US, Teargas were invited to play at the Chaos In Tejas festival in New Mexico alongside such massive acts as Killing Joke, Doom and Fucked Up. Learmonth says this was a big inspiration to get involved with putting on the Total Attack Festival. “The first one was last year and I didn’t really have anything to do with that one other than helping out on the day,” he explains. “My friend Jane [McKeller] who plays in a band called Heroin SS organised that one and we started working on this one about three months after that. It took about five months altogether. The one last year was a little bit thrown together as opposed to a pre-planned festival, there were just some interstate bands that wanted to play so it was put together around that. On the days it was great.”
20 • TIME OFF
One week, numerous phone calls and a not-so-sober Nathan Williams later, Daniel Cribb gets an update on the new Wavves album.
he sonic brainchild of Nathan Williams has manifested itself to be an unstoppable force since its origins in his parents’ rat infested shed in ’08. Even though Wavves has become a full-time affair, he still finds ample time to blow off steam. If anything, it’s given Williams and his bandmates somewhat of a right to party their days away, under the category of rock stars.
Total Attack expands to three days this year and has grown from about 20 bands to more than 30. “On the Friday we’ve got Straightjacket Nation, they’ve been playing for a long time and are probably one of my favourite Australian hardcore bands at the moment, their singer is also in Total Control and UV Race, so they’re a bit of a mixed bag that band. We’ve got Kromosom as well, which has ex-members of Pisschrist, so I think people are looking forward to that as well. Both of those bands have been up here a few times. “The stress is definitely worth it at the end of the day,” he laughs. “We have plans on continuing it next year. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself claiming that because it hasn’t even happened yet, but yeah, we have plans to keep it going. It’s not really about making money. There’s already been a lot of interest in the festival and if we can cover our costs, which I’m confident we can, then that will be a good enough reason to do it next year.” Learmonth says that interest in the hardcore scene goes up and down over the years, like any other styles of music, but things are looking pretty healthy in Brisbane and Australia at the moment, if only judging it by the strength of Total Attack’s line-up. “It makes sense I suppose,” he says. “People don’t want to come and see the same bands every week, so if you have a good handful of bands prepared WHO: Teargas WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 May, Total Attack Festival @ Jubilee Hotel
The first time Williams answers his phone he’s playing NBA 2K on PS3 with bassist Stephen Pope. The pair, who have been drinking all afternoon and are admittedly under the influence of more than just alcohol, hung up on another interviewer moments earlier because “they were talking shit”. A directionless conversation, in-between yelling at his TV and constantly losing his train of thought, results in a confusing conversation driven by false-truths, admittance of impotence, their guitarist changing gender and memories from their trip to Australia last year. “I was sober, so that was on my shit list,” Williams recalls of the visit. “I guess I wasn’t completely sober for Australia. I smoked a shitload of weed. I didn’t drink, or do mushrooms. Actually, I took mushrooms. So for me it was sober. I didn’t drink, but I took mushrooms and I smoked weed every day. That’s sober right? Is that sober in Australia? If that’s sober then I’m home in Australia. But yeah, Stephen and I decided that we weren’t going to drink in Japan and Australia for a little bit just to level ourselves because we had gone through 943 days of straight drinking and we had a big fight – dicks out, pubic hair ripped, all sorts of stuff.” The following week, after sobering up, Williams apologises and reschedules in order to clear a few points up. One of few truths from our initial conversation was a progress update on their new album, hopefully coming out in September. “We’ve been in the studio for two months and we’re probably 85 percent done. It’ll probably be a bigger sound, as opposed to my early recordings. We’re recording the record with this producer, John Hill, who’s done a lot of big pop-
oriented stuff,” he says, mentioning the producer who’s worked with Rihanna and Santigold. “There are a lot of angles from [last album] King Of The Beach and then a lot of new sounds and stuff like that. Stephen and I wrote together a lot more on this record as well.” The last time Wavves went in the studio was last year for the production of their Life Sux EP. The single I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl received extensive airtime and, despite touring the world and gaining popularity wherever they go, they are yet to cross paths with the rock icon. “I don’t think Dave Grohl is detached from local music,” Williams reacts to his previous, less sober analysis of the Foo Fighters frontman. “He’s the only guy of that stature who knows who Fucked Up is, as far as I’m concerned, so that’s pretty cool. My friend Damian from Fucked Up has met him – they’ve toured together extensively. I talked to Damian and I told him, ‘You’ve got to hook it up’ and he said he was going to, but he never did.” Filtering through previously answered questions, the one other point that remained factual was the band’s view of Australia. “Australia is my favourite place to be,” Williams offers. “Relaxed weed laws, it’s really pretty, it reminds me of home. I feel like I’m in California when I’m in Australia. Our shows were all really good last time we were there. A lot of people came and we had a lot of fun... Seriously, I feel like Australia’s my second home. Australia is the California that I always wanted.” WHO: Wavves WHAT: Life Sux (Ghost Ramp/Pod) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 6 May, Groovin’ The Moo, Townsville; Tuesday 8, The Zoo
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! TIME OFF • 21
APB TO ROCK
Alt.rappers Atmosphere may be the most famous musical act to emerge from Minneapolis since Prince. In between tales of performing with The Purple One, Sean Daley – aka Slug – tells Cyclone why he’s so eager to make an impression on the mainstream.
tmosphere’s Slug (aka Sean Daley) may have been the first emo rapper. He made it cool to articulate urban neuroses. But alt.rap’s original anti-hero isn’t about to suggest that he opened the way for that sweater-loving introspective Drake. “I don’t wanna claim that I have,” Daley says evasively, “but I’m not gonna argue with anybody else that says that I have.” The Minneapolis native – who, ironically, started out as a DJ – has never been into the braggadocio. The duo Atmosphere – Daley’s partner is lowkey DJ-cum-beatmaker Anthony “Ant” Davis – initially left a mark in the late-‘90s with the album Overcast!, after which Daley’s early MC cohort Spawn quit. He and Davis built up their own indie, Rhymesayers Entertainment, then signed to the punk label Epitaph for their third outing, Seven’s Travels, which garnered them unprecedented attention. The pair have been prolific with not only albums, but also EPs, side-projects and collabs. Indeed, Atmosphere could yet be the most famous act to spring from Minneapolis since Prince. And Daley, “a Prince obsessionist” from the age of ten, has a tale about the R&B legend. In the mid-’90s he was MCing in a small local venue as a member of the jam collective Freeloaded. One night a local newsreader, pals with Prince, brought him along. “We all were just sweating with the fact that Prince was in there listening to us make a mess. Then midway through the night, he got on the stage and got on the piano and played with us – and I got to freestyle with Prince. If you were to ask him about that story, he probably would deny it, but I’m here to tell you it’s true.” A little more than a year ago Atmosphere delivered their seventh album, The Family Sign, following the huge US crossover success of When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. This time the outfit actually involved their band members in the
Some bands play for years and never get anywhere close to sharing a stage with their idols, but Calling All Cars did it before they even put out an album. Chris Yates talks to singer Hayden Ing about the band’s continuing trend of playing with the world’s biggest rock bands, and tries to get to the bottom of the many urban myths surrounding the band.
recording process. The Family Sign was, even by Daley’s standards, very cathartic. The MC remembers it as “a lot of fun to make,” although, unusually, he recorded his bits “in solitude” in a garage. “I really appreciated that, because I was able to get a lot of other work done at the same time.” Daley is planning new music. “It’s too soon for me to confirm any details, but I’m always plotting another album – I’m plotting three more albums right now. I don’t know how to not plot and continue plotting more music.” The ongoing challenge for him is to “properly communicate” his ideas – and explain them better in interviews. “It’s never really just about the records,” he says. Self-effacing as ever, Daley worries that he isn’t an authentic musician, his “only real skill” being an ability to “spit”, so he strives to make the best of it. “I wanna be Billy Joel! I wanna be Stevie Wonder! I wanna learn how to write a song that affects a person the same way it affects me.” What hasn’t changed is his easy rapport with Davis. “Overall our dynamic is: Daley cracks a joke, Ant laughs at the joke. That’s kinda been our schtick for almost 20 years now – and in between we make songs.” Their “bond” is strong largely because they are “very similar”. “We don’t agree on everything, we don’t even hang out all the time, but, when we do, it’s always familiar because of the fact that he could have been my sibling.” WHO: Atmosphere WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 May, The Hi-Fi
hile getting prepared for the tour to launch their first album Hold, Hold, Fire, Calling All Cars got a call in the car that it’s pretty safe to say they weren’t expecting. “Well we got a call from our manager,” Ing starts, “just saying, ‘you’re not going to believe what’s happened, we’re gonna have to cancel your tour’. I was like, “Oh no, what’s happened?’” It was at this point the band discovered they would be supporting AC/DC for their 2010 Black Ice tour. But the good supports didn’t stop there. The band have since gone on to warm up crowds for Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters, to name just the heaviest hitters. All of this is fact; you can Google it for yourself to see the evidence. There is, however, a lot of information floating around about the Melbourne band that is, well, dubious to say the least. Let’s try and shine a truth torch and see what comes up. “Well that may or not be true,” Ing laughs when asked about the contested story that, when Shihad drummer Tom Larkin was recording the band’s debut, he imposed Bikram yoga-style torture on the singer in the studio to get the best possible performance from him. Whether he is refusing to answer this for legal or hilarious reasons is impossible to ascertain. “He has been known for his unorthodox recording techniques, that’s for sure,” he hints. Hmmm. Next – Haydn’s brother James, the band’s drummer, is reportedly a skilled and passionate actor who was in strong contention for a role in Lord Of The Rings. “That may or may not be true as well…” he trails off before debunking that one completely. “Well, he went for some things a long time ago but he never get any callbacks. It’s just ‘cause he sucks I think [laughs]. He should just stick to the drums.”
Judith Wright Centre presents CABARET/MUSIC
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22 • TIME OFF
The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts is a Queensland Government initiative operated by Arts Queensland
The last one isn’t really a myth at all, there’s video evidence and everything, but the circumstances still seem a little strange. Ing was knocked unconscious after some over-zealous crowd engagement at the Sydney Big Day Out this year, and his band were unable to complete their set. It was ironically during a cover of McLusky’s To Hell With Good Intentions, somewhat of a pisstake of this sort of ‘my band is tougher than your band’ tomfoolery. “When you’re in the moment you feel indestructible, but I went for it and copped an elbow in the jaw,” he recalls sheepishly. “I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and I was like ‘Oh shit’ and it all came back to me. I was like, ‘quick, turn around, turn around! I’ve gotta go back’, but they said they had to take me to get some scans done and stuff. I was a bit bummed about that but we got a lot of press out of it and it could have been a lot worse, so I can’t complain really.” While the band are doing this ‘victory lap’ tour around the country celebrating the success of their second album Dancing With A Deadman, Ing says preparations for their next record are underway. “It’s still early days, we’re still demoing as much as possible,” he says. “We’re at about fifteen songs at this stage, but we wanna try and get to about fifty and cut back all the fat and hopefully have something good in the end.” WHO: Calling All Cars WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 May, The Zoo; Sunday 6, Caxton St Seafood and Wine Festival
TIME OFF • 23
THE THRONE AWAITS
25 YEARS AND COUNTING
Melbourne-based Heirs exist in the ether between instrumental music’s darker genres. Drummer Damian Coward informs Lochlan Watt of their position in the greater scheme of things.
Few believed Sick Of It All would survive to see 25 years in the game, but the New York hardcore stalwarts are not only surviving: they’re thriving. Mark Hebblewhite discusses this longevity with vocalist and co-founder Lou Koller.
e-recording material is an extremely tricky proposition. Often they’re done for the wrong reasons – to get out of contractual obligations, or as a result of intra band strife. But even when the intention is good – say a desire to update classic material for a new audience, or to correct some technical problems that marred the original recording – a host of things can still go wrong. Most often the new recordings simply fail to match the spirit of the original – sometimes it’s the adversity and unfortunate circumstances that make a recording great. All this makes Sick Of It All’s Nonstop – an album of re-recorded material from across their career – all the more amazing. Think you can’t make the likes of Injustice System, Ratpack and Clobbering Time sound better than the originals? Then think again, as these versions simply kill. “We knew we were taking a risk going in and re-recording these songs,” frontman Lou Koller admits. “Some bands do it and they’re full of themselves. They try and make the songs reflect what’s hip at the time and they just end up ruining them. Our reasoning for doing this was nothing like that. We’ve always felt that these songs are freight trains when we play them live, but on the old recordings they sound like crap. At one stage we played around with just re-doing the entire [1989 debut] Blood, Sweat And No Tears album, because that’s the one where we really didn’t know what we were doing and our inexperience shows in the sound of the record. But as time went on we each of us got the idea to do certain tracks and so we just ended up doing an album that covered a wider spread of our albums.” In many ways Sick Of It All are the most high profile example of the venerated New York hardcore scene. But do the boys really relate at all to the metalised offerings of Sheer Terror, Cro-Mags and mid-period Agnostic Front?
“In the beginning we were known as being a very ‘metallic’ hardcore band – or so the punk fanzines thought. But over the years a lot of other New York hardcore bands really did embrace metal a lot more than we did ‘til it got to the point where we weren’t considered that kind of band in comparison. It’s funny, we grew up listening to the whole New Wave of British heavy metal, but as musicians we had limited ability – in the beginning at least – which made us more ‘punk’ than a really proficient metal band. And of course we also grew up listening to all the Oi punk bands and the West Coast punk rockers like Face To Face and Bad Religion, so that was also a influence for our band’s sound as well.” With 25 years under their collective belts, Sick Of It All could be forgiven for easing off on the intensity levels, but according to Koller that’s the furthest thing from their minds. “As you get older you do mellow a bit,” he laughs, before going on to note that many members of the band are now ‘punk rock parents’. “But when it comes down to it we love what we do and the energy and excitement is still there, whether it be touring or making new music. So we’ve got no plans to ease up. We’re playing plenty of shows and are in the early writing stage for a new record that will hopefully come out early next year. This is all we know – and it’s too late for us to get nine-to-fives.” WHO: Sick Of It All WHAT: Nonstop (Century Media/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, The Hi-Fi
eirs dropped the post-metal vibes of their debut album Alchera in 2009, followed up the next year with the significantly broadened and critically-acclaimed Fowl, and subsequently toured large portions of the globe. In late-2011 the group released the mesmerizing Hunter 10”, which has seen their music reach a pinnacle of ambiguity. By now, elements of shoegaze, industrial, gothic, noise, post-rock and more have settled into a mix that can’t be pinpointed. “It’s hard to really say, purely because there’s two different ways of looking at it,” says Coward of his band’s ability to avoid being pinned down into a specific scene. “It’s fantastic if you’re what I would classify as an ‘open genre’ band - purely because you get to play with a lot of different bands, you get exposed to different scenes. But also the downside of that is that you don’t receive as much communal support as you would if you were a solid genre. I think that’d be the only real drawback from being open – you can float between different genres, and play with different bands, but you don’t have the support of a specific scene all at once. The positive to it is, we’d really like to think that we’re doing something that can’t be classified. There’s never going to be a band in this world that can’t be classified into a genre – I mean, you can probably classify us into 15 different ones if you wanted to – but the idea was always to take the musical ideas or ideals from the genres that we enjoy and form them into a cohesive whole that we can move forward with. “So far we’ve spent 2012 writing,” he explains of their recent live absence. “We’ve only done one show – that was with Coerce. We’re not really looking at playing Australia that much this year. We’re just going to do this tour, a few showcase shows in August, and probably head off to Europe for 42 shows. Then we’ll get back, record, and release in the new year. As much as it seems like we’re pretty relaxed these days, it’s actually pretty hectic in its own way.”
Coward reveals that the band has 12 songs written for album number three – but they plan to write as many jams as 18, and whittle it down to what works best. “The idea is that we actually want to output something that is sonically sound. If we’ve got an amount of days that we’re able to afford and put aside for recording, we’ll make it a little more realistic and look at just doing an album. But if we could throw a couple of songs in just to keep for split releases or any promotional stuff, then we’ll smash some more out.” Speaking of their tour with French black metallers Alcest in October last year, he admits that “the worst parts of tour are the best stories. There was a couple of issues on tour, where a trailer fell off a bridge which was quite exciting. Then a trailer exploded in the middle of one of Sydney’s main roads, which was also extremely exciting. “Having said that, it was easily the best tour for Heirs in Australia, purely for the fact that I think we connected with the right audience for us. I think the metal scene is a little bit more interested in seeing something as sonically heavy as what we’re doing. I wouldn’t say it was a metal crowd 100%, but there was a lot of black metal fans, a lot of shoegaze fans, a lot of doom and stoner dudes. In essence, I couldn’t have really thought of a better band for us to be playing with.” WHO: Heirs WHAT: Hunter (Denovali Records) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, Tym Guitars; Friday 4, Alhambra
GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD
A STATEWIDE SEARCH FOR QUEENSLAND’S BEST SONGWRITERS AND MUSICIANS THE QUEENSLAND MUSIC AWARDS 2012
Twelve categories to enter including Rock, Pop, Jazz, Blues/Roots, Country, Folk/Singer Songwriter, World, Heavy, Dance, Urban, Schools and Children’s Music. Judged by top music industry professionals.
ENTRIES EXTENDED TO 13 MAY! Winners announced at The Queensland Music Awards Ceremony 14 August 2012 at The Old Museum
B R I S B A N E P OW E R H O U S E .O R G / 24 • TIME OFF
B E M AC . O R G . A U
DRIVERS WANTED CONTACT LEANNE
TIME OFF • 25
SINGLED OUT WITH CHRIS YATES
ON THE RECORD
THE RAVEONETTES Into The Night
Although this Bat For Lashes cover of Depeche Mode’s Strangelove has it’s dubious origins as a commission for the fragrance Gucci Guilty For Him, it gets a second lease of life as an exclusive for Record Store Day, which redeems any moral vagueness that may have existed. It’s a pretty faithful version that sits somewhere between the Depeche Mode album and single versions, with the tempo of the single but more of the moodiness and darker edges of the distinct album version. Incidentally, she played it live for the first (and so far) only time at the Sydney Opera House for Vivid Live last year. The fact that the B-side features an etching as opposed to another song does not bode well for the promises of new material, but an album is expected sometime this year.
This isn’t to suggest that there’s trickery afoot to hide a lack of vision or talent – au contraire, White’s blatant love of the musical form is so strong that it threatens to inhibit rather than liberate as he follows his muse to places that his fans may never have ventured. Yet this is what makes him so important, as these days so few are doing it so clearly for the music. Fans of his previous acts will find nothing slavishly familiar yet will discover plenty new to love. Freed from the minimalist shackles of The White Stripes, on his solo debut White is free to roam and does so; whether it be the inspired bluesy swing of I’m Shakin’, the carnival pop of Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy or The Kinks-ian country of the title track, there’s vast tracts of ground covered, yet it ultimately fits together like an intricate jigsaw that suddenly reveals a gorgeous whole from its seemingly disparate pieces. Lyrically White is open about his recent pain and vulnerability, but moves such as getting ex-wife Karen Elson to sing backing vocals on songs clearly tackling their divorce add that aura of inscrutability that White so clearly craves (and which serves him so well). Strange, intoxicating, rewarding: Jack White strikes again.
It’s been a long time since Sydney’s Catcall (Catherine Kelleher) parted ways with her Kiosk bandmates and branched out on her own to start making some tunes that can only fairly be described as starkly different to her previous endeavours. Her experiments with hip hop that were the main focus of her earlier Catcall work have been put aside for a focus on polished pop, and the results are outstanding. After the short intro of The Warmest Place, a line referenced in the album’s superb opener August, it’s a reworked version of the track that appeared first on her debut EP. It’s bigger and beefier, but the production flourishes have not taken away any of the charm of this infectious success. It takes no more than a looping organ line with big stomping beats for her to pull an amazing track out of almost nothing. Satellites follows immediately – an Empire Of The Sun-styled indie dancefloor classic waiting to happen, steering away from some of the more ‘80s pop sounds that populate the record. These moments can be found most obviously on first single The World Is Ours, the unashamed pop of That Girl and Shoulda Been or on the slower electro ballad Swimming Pool. But there are more moments where she displays a refrained approach to the slower burning hooks of August such as on I Believed and the Europop-flavoured I’m In Love With A German Film Star.
Over his past three records, Chris Clark has established himself both as one of electronic music’s most restless LIVE and most consistent artists. Since 2006’s breakthrough Body Riddle, he hasn’t failed to deliver albums of divergent style and meticulous craftsmanship – whether rooted in complex IDM rhythms (Body Riddle), blisteringly futuristic tech-house (Turning Dragon) or genre-smashing electro-pop (2009’s Totems Flare). Iradelphic maintains the winning streak with style. His greatest departure yet, Iradelphic finds the British producer largely eschewing fetish for manipulated rhythms in pursuit of processed D Vhis texture and melody. Percussion is still present (and exquisite) but it’s a component of Clark’s compositions as opposed to their foundation. Observe Com Touch – a gorgeous, swirling, unpredictable synthscape that doesn’t develop a defined groove until the literal halfway point. Even when the producer does fall into old tricks (as on the squelchy, percolating The Pining Pt 2), his grooves are bolstered by truly sumptuous melody.
Has there been another character in music as enigmatic, confounding and contradictory as Jack White in the internet age? Mystique was once a rock’n’rollers stock in trade, but these days it’s possible to discover what most stars had for breakfast this morning without too much effort. Yet Jack White is staunchly old school, preferring to shroud himself in smoke and mirrors whilst conjuring his retro-tinged music, figuring all else to be a distraction at best.
The Warmest Place
A long time coming it may have been, but Catcall’s debut is a rich treasure trove of the kind of intelligent pop that for obvious reasons only shows up these days when indie artists take a risk on being popular. ★★★★
BAT FOR LASHES
Ahead of their Australian tour supporting The Brian Jonestown Massacre, this track’s a great reminder of how exciting The Raveonettes can be and proof that they still have it. There’s little in the way of surprises, and a lot in the way of big pop magic. Into The Night itself is a delicious pop classic, fuzzed out to the max. The scratchy production sounds cheap and cheerful, and there is more reverb washed over everything than should even be possible. Night Comes Out is slightly less immediate but even more satisfying. When the big guitar riff cuts through the fuzz, it gives you yet another reason to get excited about it. They get their Ramones on for Too Close To Heartbreak and things get even sweeter.
Those fearing Clark has mellowed needn’t worry. Iradelphic is a less abrasive record – and folksy Secret (featuring Martina Topley Bird on vocals) is admittedly his poppiest number to date – but it’s nevertheless daring, adventurous and beautiful music on par with all of his previous work. He’s retained the unpredictable song structures of Totems Flare and the experimental sound design of Turning Dragon and Body Riddle. He’s just recontextualised his breathtaking innovations within warmer, more accessible arenas. In actuality, there’s an argument to be made that Iradelphic is Clark’s finest work to date. That said, with a catalogue such as his, such distinctions are ultimately quite arbitrary. Suffice it to say, Chris Clark has delivered another excellent piece of music. ★★★★ ½
THE FLAMING LIPS/ MASTODON
A Spoonful Weighs A Ton Warner
One of a few perhaps unexpected Mastodon covers to show up for Record Store Day (another being Feist’s A Commotion), the most surprising thing about how they approach this epic pop ballad is they play it straight out of the gates. It’s like they laid the original down on tape first and just played over the top of it, with only the big orchestral pop ending really getting a bit of a metal by numbers make-over. It would have been interesting to see them rework the track a little more into their own personality, but it does imply that Mastodon have a lot of respect for the work and pay it tribute accordingly. The Flaming Lips’ original version is on the other side for comparison.
You Broke My Cool Modular/Universal
The big organ that signals the start of You Broke My Cool also signals the intentions of the band to get a bit psyched out, and the guitars that crash in straight after push the point further. When the singer descends into his bizarre, high-pitched T-Rex warble, the mood shifts to a bit of an indie dance kinda thing, which does feel a little tacked on, and then the chorus is that descending chord thing that you do if you wanna sound a bit Britpop. Despite the disparate ideas cobbled together and the influences that are so close to the surface, it’s hard not to like this track and hope for some big things from the band. Oh, and the descent into pitch-shifted chaos for the outro is killer.
“I’m standing in the sun, smokin’ a cigarette; no plans,” Jimmy Barnes growls before Cold Chisel circa-2012 come in and chug along behind him on the eponymous opening track of Cold Chisel’s first album in 14 years, before barking “fuck you!” with all the antagonistic cheek and aggression he may have been renowned for as a younger man. The nostalgia that goes hand-in-hand with Cold Chisel is incredible in this country and, while it’s helped these guys forge careers as performers, it makes new material a prospect that perhaps not all of their fans are thrilled about. The biggest risk is, of course, that Chisel might dull their considerable legacy. Well, they haven’t.
When superlatives such as “super” and “seminal” are thrown at a debut record from a native from Brooklyn, one should tread with caution. However with Romancing, revivalist muso Devin has scratched an itch that many people didn’t know they had. Paying dues to past glories has worked incredibly well in the past – hello, Jack White – yet there is something in the classic rock tropes that this youngster harnesses that seems truly effortless. Opening number and single Masochist is everything that New York hasn’t been for decades; wailing guitars, bow-legged swagger and ample amounts of rockabilly soul. Raw, passionate and frenetic, its flamboyant energy hasn’t existed in such a form for a very long time. I’m Not A Fool sounds like Mick Jagger before the Stones became caricatures. You’re Mine juxtaposes modern grittiness with the old-time innocence that Buddy Holly made his own. If he broke out into a hip-swinging rendition of Heartbreak Hotel, it wouldn’t feel out of place at all.
With their debut record Stay Frosty, Emperors may no longer be Perth’s best kept secret. Their amazing 2011 EP Sam was released to little fanfare and, although they’ve got a decent chunk of independent radio play and even a WAMI to their name, they’ve seemingly slipped between the fingers of many. With this album, you can’t help but take notice; it’s gutsy, full of fantastic individual playing, and has this immediate punch that makes every track simply leap from the speakers. Detractors will immediately note the unapologetic ‘90s sound of Stay Frosty but, seriously, who gives a fuck? If more bands from that era released an album as consistent and energetic as this debut, they might still be around to share a stage with Emperors.
The aforementioned opener shows they are still a vital rock’n’roll band, while first single Everybody follows with a far more laidback gait, but is powerful in its own way; Barnes’ vocal tackling Don Walker’s biting lyrics with the right amount of venom. Of course it can’t be long before a classy Chisel love song and All For You is no slouch in that department, while Missing A Girl covers the ‘lonely, fucked up bloke who should have known better’ ground, and HQ454 Monroe keeps enthusiasts/bogans interested with a little car talk. All this isn’t to say that No Plans is predictable, it’s just that it has the kind of ingredients a Cold Chisel record should have. Though it must be noted that I Got Things To Do, a song penned and sung by sadly deceased Chisel drummer Steve Prestwich, is something of a surprise in its sheer quality. Its inclusion was no token gesture, it’s a gorgeous end to a solid album from our favourite (aging) sons. ★★★½
26 • TIME OFF
Okay, so the over the top superlatives don’t stop. But Romancing really is a record that has come out of the relative blue. With his coiffed hair and sharp suits, Devin could be mistaken for masquerading in the massive shoes of his musical forbears. But the sheer energy that emanates from these songs suggests someone who lives and breathes rock’n’roll, something that is often aped but never with the requisite amount of authenticity. There are other left-of-field characters in the modern rock movement – King Khan, Mark Sultan, Seasick Steve – who live and breathe the medium, and now you can add Devin. Long live rock’n’roll. ★★★★
Be Ready When I Say Go gets straight to the point. When Adam Livingston’s vocals rise over the dense layers of riffing, you think you’ve found the climatic chorus of the album already. But then Song Of The Year comes at you, I’m Not Dead holds you down and by the time you get to Plastic Guns you get the message – awesome no-bullshit rock is the only thing on the menu here and it’s being served at a frantic pace. Zoe WorrallJames’s harmonies add colour and charm to the tunes, especially on Rebecca and Tired Of Winning, and the powerful rhythm section of herself and Dane Knowles provides the sturdiest of foundations throughout. Without a weak point, Stay Frosty is as solid a rock record as you’re likely to hear all year. There are no gimmicks or tricks to Emperors, and it makes them a band you can quickly believe in. ★★★★
OF MONSTERS & MEN
THE TEMPER TRAP
It’s telling that, of the guests featured on Madonna’s 12th studio album, Lady Gaga isn’t included. While tracks like Give Me All Your Luvin’ and I Don’t Give A boast appearances from young luminaries like MIA and Nicki Minaj, Madonna’s most obvious successor is conspicuous by her absence. Taken as a whole, MDNA reads as Madonna’s attempt to show her world-conquering protégée how it’s done. The question is – does it work?
There’s something about the constant vocal unison on Of Monsters & Men’s dream-pop debut that’s positively exhausting. Every bit of force on this album, sonically, every bit of momentum and brusqueness is quickly emasculated by a dry sweetness. Which isn’t to say the album is itself a mild-sounding thing: in fact, despite the vocals, there’s not a hint of sleepiness to it. It just feels like a fight without firmly planted feet.
In 2009, The Temper Trap went from nowhere to everywhere quicker than swine flu. On the back of some bold choruses and the festival song of the summer, the Melbourne boys became the band of the moment, harnessing the right sound for the right time.
Not really, no. MDNA is a competent album but it isn’t a tremendously interesting one. Madonna has precisely targeted Gaga’s Born This Way sound and delivered a more streamlined, polished variant. Whereas Born This Way sounded like Gaga and her homegrown crew crudely slapping together a raw hybrid of her various contradictory influences (eurodance, heavy metal, ‘80s pop), MDNA cherry-picks modern production heavyweights like Benny Benassi and Martin Solveig to deliver an exquisite-sounding melange of noughties trash-trance and ‘80s sheen.
My Head Is An Animal is an album that seems fixated with memory, and nostalgia, an attempted incantation of a poetically recalled past. But, with a mean irony, none of this evokes anything close to being universally affecting, and instead plays as undercooked. There’s a penchant for chanted choruses and brass work, but this only dilutes or depersonalises the band’s sound. The cadence of their male singer’s voice is curly, and goes straight to clasp at your heart, but his strength within the band isn’t flexed enough.
Make no mistake; MDNA constitutes an absolute triumph of mechanics. Still, Madonna misses the point of those mechanics – both in Gaga’s work and her own. It’s not about mechanics. It’s about personality. Personality – and songs. MDNA boasts a vague handful of decent tunes (I’m Addicted is killer, as is the aforementioned I Don’t Give A and the gloriously stupid Gang Ban) but the remainder are hollow, dross and, in regards to personality, utterly devoid of all signs of life. Put simply, it’s a faceless album made from plastic by the very artist who proved that pop could be so much more than that. Rubbish, in other words. ★★
My Head Is An Animal
The Temper Trap
The production is spacey, and untethered; it feels unfocussed, and synaesthetically reads more like a dutifully speckled mist than proper atmospherics. Their drum sound is recorded naturally, with all the fuzz and fur and dust you can hear being beat up, but, after heralding the beginning of each track, that line is dropped way back in the mix just as each song gets going. There’s hints that this album should hit with a sound that listeners can grab hold of and hold up to their ears, and know even with their eyes closed that it’s theirs. It’s a strong enough debut, but not one that really holds its head above the crowd. ★★★
Three years on and the quintet have returned with The Temper Trap, Need Your Love opening proceedings with thick synths and nodding rhythms. It’s an able first track that moves in all the right places and seems like a natural extension of the band’s Conditions work. London Burning follows, offering probably the most stimulating and creative four minutes on the album; the chanted back-up vocals, the creepy plucking guitar – it all pushes forcefully to a rousing crescendo. However, there is just something rather insincere about sampling disenchanted youths and then trying to spin it into a commercial hit. And The Temper Trap are not Pink Floyd. The tunes are still very much centred around the transcending falsetto of Dougy Mandagi, which is fine – it’s the band’s ace card and signature. But the music supporting his lovelorn lyrics just doesn’t hold up consistently enough. There are some real engaging moments of aquatic wash, Miracle especially abuzz with gorgeous production work. But the pedestrian finish to this self-titled release simply unravels any solid work that was placed within the first half of the album. The Temper Trap is flush full of grand ideas, but the execution is lethargic, the sound already spent. Oh, and a warning: if you’re specifically spinning this album to hear anything resembling Sweet Disposition part two, prepare to be disappointed. ★★½
The Journey Is Long: The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project Fuse Jeffrey Lee Pierce was an underground pioneer, his efforts in visceral blues outfit The Gun Club blazing a deliciously tawdry trail of grittiness and excess that ended in his tragic death in 1996. His influences linger though through The Journey Is Long, the second Sessions Project highlighting his oeuvre stemming from rehearsal tapes found by close friend Cypress Grove. Pierce is accredited for providing guitar on many of these tracks, but just like We Are Only Riders that preceded it, The Journey Is Long has been fleshed out by a smorgasbord of talent. Nick Cave lends his iconic baritone to opener City In Pain, the perfect vocal accompaniment to highlight the tightrope Pierce walked between melody and anarchy. The Hugo Race-led I’m Going Upstairs is a rustic charmer, as is Grove’s plaintive LA County Jail Blues. Things get more shambolic when The Amber Lights tackle The Jungle Book and Thalia Zedek/Chris Brokaw garage crunch Zonar Roze, whilst Rose’s Blues has a clammy swagger due to Warren Ellis’ Gothic violin, Pascal Humbert’s bowed bass and Bertrand Pascal’s whiskystrained caw. Elsewhere there are worthy contributions from Barry Adamson, Mick Harvey, Lydia Lunch, Tex Perkins and The Jim Jones Revue (whose Ain’t My Problem Baby is typically, balltearingly brilliant), yet it’s the two renditions of The Breaking Hands – one by Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell, the other by Cave and Blondie’s Deborah Harry – that provides the breathtaking piece de resistance. Nuanced and elegiac, these tunes touch on the bruised beauty that lay under much of Pierce’s devilish bravado. Brendan Telford
TIME OFF • 27
F R O N T R O W @ T I M E O F F. C O M . A U
THIS WEEK IN
Casablanca/ Singing in the Rain- a Friday double screening of two classics. Casablanca- the classic love story starring a young Humphrey Bogart and Singing in the Rainremember that glorious feeling. Blue Room Cinebar, 11.30pm. Henry Rollins -The Long March spoken word artist Henry Rollins has toured as frontman for both Rollins Band and Black Flag his wicked sense of humour has made him one of the most interesting commentators of a generation. Closing night, Brisbane Power House, 8pm.
Comedy at Birdees- a group of comics, such as Damian Power, Melinda Buttle, Lindsay Webb & Kat Davidson jump up to supply some causal Monday night laughs. Birdees, 8pm.
SATURDAY 5 A Hoax- directed by Lee Lewis and written by Rick Viede whose first play Whore won the Griffin Award, toured to New York and took out the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award. A Hoax is his provocative and hilarious second play and winner of the 2011 Griffin Award. Inspired by the recent spate of fabricated misery memoirs, this is a vicious satire on the politics of identity, modern celebrity and the peddling of abuse culture. Preview Performance, Laboite 6.30pm until 26 May.
SUNDAY 6 Clocked Out and Topology - two of Australia’s most adventurous ensembles have teamed up for a brand-new album, brought to you live. Toy instruments and found objects create off-kilter grooves. More like a landscape than a story, you’ll find yourself transported to different places by John Babbage’s Dance of the Pleiades, Erik Griswold’s Ecstatic Descent, and Robert Davidson’s Above Ground. Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre, 1.30pm Swan Lake- Matthew Bourne’s triumphant re–interpretation of Swan Lake turned tradition upside down, best–known for replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble. This is the ballet filmed in 3D at Sadler’s Wells, London last year. The 3D filming creates an illusion of space around the dancers, drawing us as the audience onto the stage and bringing a dramatic realism to the story. Palace Barracks, 1pm.
ONGOING Romeo and Juliet- one of Shakespeare’s greatest love stories and tragedies. The famous prologue begins, “Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny. Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life…”. Directed by Jennifer Flowers and starring Thomas Larkin and Melanie Zanetti . Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Playhouse, 7.30pm until 13 May. Contemporary Australia: Women - an exhibition that celebrates the diversity, energy and innovation of contemporary female artists working 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 (GOMA until 22 July. Daydream Believers- an exhibition that showcase glass paintings, monoprints, tapestries, furniture, and figurines. A celebration of historical fantasy, craft, decor, and other ‘ciphers of regression’. Institute of Modern Art, until 9 June. Greatest Hits Volume 3- a mixed tape of recent videos by Queensland artists. The sequel to our shows Greatest Hits (2006) and Volume II (2009). Featuring, Chris Bennie’s The Commonwealth Perspective and collaborative duo Catherine Sagin who stage a ‘residency’ in car that just drives around Brisbane’s domestic airport listening to the ‘Shire Theme’ from The Lord of the Rings. Institute of Modern Art, until 9 June. G WIN SHO W NO
Encompassing everything from avant-garde percussion to post-classical jazz, Topology and Clocked Out are two of Brisbane’s most respected musical ensembles. Matt O’Neill catches up with Clocked Out pianist/composer Erik Griswold to discuss new collaborative album From Small Things Grow. It’s no exaggeration to describe Topology’s members as some of the most gifted instrumental players and composers in Brisbane. Similarly, it isn’t overstating matters to describe Clocked Out as one of Brisbane’s most innovative musical outfits. The prospect of their collaborating for a full-length album is, therefore, more than a little exciting. “I’m feeling good, yeah,” Clocked Out co-founder Erik Griswold says of the forthcoming From Small Things Grow. “It’s a compilation of all our collaborative work going back to 2007. I’m really proud of all of that material so it’s been great to get it recorded and polished up. I’ll be really glad to have it out there for people.” It’s an ideal collaborative relationship in many ways. One of the few unifying facets of Topology’s oeuvre – which spans everything from classical G WIN SHO W NO
the players personally and you know their work, you can really create something a lot more personal and specific with them.”
be enjoyed by 40 or 50 or however many people. When I create a work, I do so in the hope that anyone will be able to approach it.”
“We’ve worked together on a lot of really great projects over the years,” Griswold reflects of the partnership. “We first worked together back when we collaborated with Terry Riley for the Pulsate festival. We played with him on stage back in 2007 – which was surreal – so our relationship really goes back over five years.
The expanded line-up encompasses violin, viola, piano, upright bass, reeds, organic percussion instruments (Clocked Out’s Vanessa Tomlinson will use anything from toys to tools as percussion) and Griswold’s unique prepared piano (a piano physically tweaked to produce unique sounds). Fittingly, the resulting material runs the gamut from minimalist classical to MC Hammer.
“Anybody with an open mind, anyway,” the composer laughs. “Whenever we have had an opportunity to connect with a larger audience at events like Queensland Music Festival, we’ve always had very positive experiences. It’s not so much that people can’t get the work we and Topology do. It’s simply a case of getting them to the work. I honestly believe that.”
“The obvious thing about the collaboration is that it gives me a chance to expand my thinking instrumentally,” the composer enthuses. “It’s one thing sitting and thinking of writing a string quartet in the abstract but, when you know
“There’s a limit in any city to the number of people that are going to be involved in or excited by experimental music such as ours,” Griswold says pragmatically of the ensemble’s music. “But I never create a work with the assumption that it will only
to electronics – is their fascination with rhythm. Yet, their unique line-up arguably lacks a defined rhythm section. Clocked Out’s combination of prepared piano and experimental percussion rounds out Topology’s sound exquisitely (and vice versa).
WHAT: From Small Things Grow (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday May 6, Brisbane Powerhouse
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WHO: Topology and Clocked Out
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SAT & SUN 1.00PM
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(NO FREE TIX)
THE AVENGERS 2D (M)
THU/MON-WED 10.30, 12.45, 6.30, 8.45PM FRI 11.25, 1.35, 6.45, 9.00PM SAT/SUN 10.45, 1.15, 6.45, 9.00PM
THU-WED 12.05, 4.50, 9.30PM
(NO FREE TIX)
THU-SAT/MON-WED 12.30, 6.30, 9.30PM SUN 9.30, 2.35, 5.30, 8.40PM
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THE LADY (MA15+) THU/MON/TUE 10.40AM FRI/WED 12.45PM SAT/SUN 10.30AM
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (M) THU/MON/TUE 1.15, 3.30, 9.25PM FRI/WED 10.15 (FRI BABES), 4.25, 9.25PM SAT 4.00, 9.25PM SUN 12.25, 9.25PM
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LUNCH), 3.15, 6.30, 8.45PM
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8.40PM SAT/ MON/ TUE 1.00, 3.15, 6.30, 8.45PM SUN 1.30, 3.45, 6.30, 8.45PM WED 10.30 (GOLDEN
THU 10.30 (BABES), 4.10, 8.50PM FRI 10.30, 3.30, 8.00PM SAT/ MON/ TUE 10.30, 3.30, 8.50PM
SUN 10.30, 1.00, 8.50PM THU- WED 10.00AM WED 12.45, 3.30, 8.50PM SALMON FISHING IN
WISH YOU WERE HERE (MA15+) (NO
THE YEMEN (M)
A DANGEROUS METHOD (MA15+)
THU- WED 10.00, 2.30, 6.40, 9.00PM
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THE LADY (MA15+)
THU- WED 12.15PM
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C U LT U R A L
WITH MANDY MCALISTER It sometimes strikes me as odd that jobs such as ‘social media specialist’ exists. Social media, after all, was the frontier of communication for common folk to wrest some control of the internet away from code-writing IT geeks, so it seems odd to hand some of this control back to paid professionals. Somewhere along the way, however, it all went a bit haywire and now social media is another term for “some stuff you care about and a lot of shit you don’t” and it’s good to know that there are people who can navigate their way around it. Don’t scoff; in the zombie apocalypse these people could become vital resources – who else could put together an effective “Get me the fuck out of Dodge” event page on Facebook? I guess my point is that there’s a lot of content floating around without context. Consider tagged tweets, for instance. Say you follow Joe X and he tweets “@bigmikey good one”. You don’t know Big Mikey but he’s done something good, or maybe Joe X was being sarcastic and Big Mikey’s full of shit. Either way there’s no reason for you to care. You certainly shouldn’t let your curiosity get the better of you and hunt down the tweet that started the exchange; then again if you don’t know what half the tweets in your feed refer to then it’s hard to justify having it. You may as well be reading messages in bottles. I guess this is why I like the photoa-day challenges that have been popping up around the place. No
doubt these have been inspired by the case of Jamie Livingstone, a New York-based filmmaker who took a polaroid picture every day between 31 March 1979 and 25 October 1997, the day he finally succumbed to a long battle with cancer. Over the last couple of years artists and celebrities have had similar projects featured in galleries and magazines but my favourite current incarnation of this trend is the challenge set forth by Sydney writer Chantelle Ellem. On her blog, Fat Mum Slim, Ellem sets a photo-a-day challenge every month, providing a list of subjects for your photographs, one for each day of the month. You then share the photo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr or wherever you want to share it. So, Tuesday being the first of May, by the time you pick up your trusty Time Off on Wednesday I will have taken a picture of the first two on the list, ‘peace’ and ‘skyline’ (not the skyline mind you, just whatever I interpret “skyline” to be). It could get confusing when we get to day 20, when participants have to take a picture of something they can’t live without, since they’ll be using it to take the picture. I like Ellem’s format firstly because it gives inspiration to look at objects in the everyday in a new light, and secondly because it’s a project that can reflect and connect the lives of social media users without serving up 100,000 pictures of people you don’t know. While Jamie Livingstone’s life looks interesting I don’t think I couldn’t handle 18 years of Big Mikey’s happy snaps.
TALL TRAVELLING TALES If Karl Pilkington is the monkey, Stephen Merchant (along with Ricky Gervais) is an organ-grinder on travel show An Idiot Abroad. He tells Baz McAlister about wrangling an international idiot. Now in its second series, hit travel program with a difference An Idiot Abroad chronicles the voyages of everyman philosopher Karl Pilkington, a mostly dour chap who’d be happier sitting at home in London eating sausage, egg and chips. His sometime benefactors, sometime tormentors are none other than Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, creators of The Office and Extras. They first met Pilkington at London radio station XFM, where he was assigned to them as producer and quickly became the butt of their jokes. “My friends who are parents tell me they love watching their kids grow and develop minds of their own,” Merchant says. “They laugh at the silly shit they say, try their best to answer their questions. This is what it’s like for me and Ricky. Neither of us have kids but we’re like the proud parents of Karl, who we’ve seen grow from a moron to a simpleton.” On An Idiot Abroad, the pair plunge Pilky into strange situations all over the globe – wing-walking on a biplane, which Merchant says looked “genuinely terrifying” for Karl, and performing with a Glee-style high school troupe. But Pilkington will invariably
respond to these once-in-alifetime bucket list moments with horror. “It angers me that he doesn’t appreciate getting to swim with sharks,” Merchant says. “True, he thought he would be swimming with dolphins that day – but I always say when you’re given lemons, make lemonade. Though he’d probably say ‘I fookin’ hate lemonade’.” Merchant says he’s had people say to him they hate he and Ricky, and wish they weren’t in the show, bullying Karl. “I have to point out that Karl wouldn’t do all the stuff they love if we weren’t behind him, poking him with a stick the whole time,” Merchant reasons. “And as Karl says, if it is bullying, why is no one coming to his rescue?” Despite Pilkington’s understandable reticence to do another series – he was dubious enough at the end of series one, which was in many ways far less extreme then series two – Merchant says plans are afoot for a one-off special where Karl goes travelling with actor Warwick Davis, star of Gervais and Merchant’s recent sitcom Life’s Too Short. “We haven’t nailed down the details yet, but it should be interesting to see Karl with a travelling
BECOMING THE BLOODSUCKER
The titular vampire is being played by 2010 QUT graduate Lizzie Ballinger, but she explains it’s a character that’s a far cry indeed from Dracula, or even Edward Cullen. “I’m not playing a stereotypical vampire,” Ballinger says. “I’ve done my research on these creatures – they’re called vetala. In Hindu mythology, it’s quite a sinister creature. It does suck blood, like a vampire, and Hindus believe that this spirit would go and cause mischief in villages, such as miscarriages, or deaths of little children. They’re evil spirits – but in this play, my character doesn’t have that evil personality. Vetalas tended to be the spirits of children who didn’t have proper burial rites, and my character is the spirit of a young boy.” Ballinger describes her character as impish and mischievous, with a
There comes a time when you have to accept that not only are you neither rich nor famous but that the likelihood of ever being so is decidedly slim and getting more anorexic as the days go by. When your career plan consists of two steps – 1) be plucked from obscurity and 2) familiarise self with riches and fame – realising that you’re less recognisable than a first-round MasterChef reject and totally unprepared for life amongst the masses is enough to make you believe that you are, from here on in, completely fucked.
“My character is very mercurial, and one of his personas is that of kind of a stand-up comic. So Michael and Helen, at the beginning of rehearsals, told me to go and watch Robin Williams – during the period when he was on crack, of course! And it helped – I mean, I’m not condoning drug use, but he did have a manic energy he was known for back then.”
As the production rockets towards opening night, Ballinger’s vampiric make-up has come together. “It’s amazing, I look like Batman,” she grins. “So cool. And at my request, we’ve eBayed some fangs for me, proper little ceramic ones that go over the teeth.”
Real world dilemmas suddenly appear like, how will I pay the rent? Will my landlord accept avant-garde poetry in lieu of actual currency? Is there really a black market trading in human organs? And if so, what’s the going rate for kidneys? I’m pretty sure I’ve got two. But the dream may not be over yet; in the final death throes of your delusions of grandeur and failing absolutely everything else there’s still time for internet fame. That request speaks to the collaborative spirit that Futcher and Howard foster in their talented company – which for this production includes Brisbane stalwarts such as Sandro Colarelli and Bryan Probets. “Michael wanted this to be a collaborative creative process, he wanted things to come alive on the floor during rehearsals – and it has,” Ballinger says. “It’s amazing to
come to work with these creative, amazing, crazy people. Sometimes I pinch myself when I think, ‘This is my job’. It’s not the most lucrative job in the world but it’s so rich in so many other ways.” WHAT: Vikram & The Vampire WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 until Saturday 19 May (no shows Sunday and Monday), The Old Museum
“Once The Office took off, I didn’t get enough of a kick from performing to warrant driving up and down the motorway to gigs, eating bad food in service stations at midnight. I used to look at Ricky doing stand-up and think, ‘Why’s he bothering? It’s so much effort.’ Then I just woke up one day and I had the itch again. When you work in TV you get very insulated. Stand-up is so raw and direct, there’s nowhere to hide. It reminds you how hard it is to make people laugh – and hopefully the experience feeds back into the TV writing.” WHAT: An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List DVD (Roadshow)
WITH HELEN STRINGER
lewd imagination and a tendency towards innuendo. When you consider who she was guided towards for inspiration, it makes perfect sense.
Ballinger has a natural talent in that discipline, too. Studying stand-up was part of her acting course at QUT, and as a comedian, she gravitated towards the lewd. “My comedy teacher, [Brisbane comedian] Andrew Nason, put me last in the set because my comedy was so dirty,” she says. “He was like, ‘Everyone will have to be drunk by the time you go on, because your material is filthy’.”
Best-known as Gervais’s co-writer for TV, Merchant made the decision last year to return to stand-up comedy with a solo show called Hello Ladies, which he toured around the UK. It’s all about the 2m-tall comedian’s so-farunsuccessful hunt for a mate, and he says he would love to perform it in Australia. “Originally I joked that the show was going to be me literally trying to find a wife onstage, but then I started getting some crazy love letters in the post and I saw a few odd-balls sat in the audience – so in the end the show was just me talking about why I’ve failed to find a wife.
Playing a most unusual creature of the night for Zen Zen Zo in Vikram And The Vampire, actor Lizzie Ballinger gives Baz McAlister a lesson in hindu mythology. This month, Zen Zen Zo’s stately playground in the Old Museum is transformed into ancient India when the company takes on an adaptation of the fantastical Hindu folk tale of King Vikram and the vampire. Vikram And The Vampire marks the beginning of husbandand-wife team Michael Futcher and Helen Howard’s directorship of the company – and they’re continuing the wonderful Zen Zen Zo tradition of offering up something quite out of the ordinary.
companion, who also happens to be a dwarf,” Merchant says.
There are many ways to get yourself viral, but if you want to retain a modicum of credibility and the keep alive the hope of real world crossover there are only two worth pursuing: YouTube pop star glory or performance art. The first involves pulling a Bieber and YouTube-ing the shit out of yourself until someone notices the brilliant shine of your sweeping fringe and the timbre of your falsetto. If, however, you are not a pubescent boy with one hell
of a stage mother this is a tactic unlikely to succeed. Sure, you could try the Rebecca Black route but even the most tragic of famewhores must have their limits. No, the preferred method must be to become a performance artist. You don’t have to do a lot to be a successful performance artist other than relinquish all dignity and embrace sociopathic levels of narcissism. If you’re not a complete arsehole, then heed the age-old adage that there is no problem so difficult that it can’t be solved with the liberal application of hard liquor. Forgoing modesty is a vital step because performance art is all about the over-share, and not the kind that fills your Facebook timeline with Instagram-ed photos of your food. Look at Marni Kotak, who generously shared childbirth with a live audience and is now blogging tips on her very own brand of child abuse, instructional videos and all. Or perhaps look to Miru Kim, who likes to get naked and writhe around with pigs. Take cues from reigning queen of the discipline, Marina Abramovic, who, in the name of art, spent more than ten hours a day sitting in a chair, sparking furious speculation about her various bodily functions. It’s tawdry, but no longer being in possession of youth, beauty or talent, internet fame could be my only option left. The internet may be sub-D-list. It might be the place where childhood dreams go to die, but I for one am prepared to give it a go. What the hell, here’s one last shot at the big time. TIME OFF • 29
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Queensland Theatre Company @ The GreenHouse presents Polytoxic’s
“This is circus meets dance meets vaudeville, delivered with incredible energy. The performers are sexy as all hell and the vibe is seedy bordello... this is physical theatre with characters and story at its heart” ourbrisbane.com
May 10 - 26 Queensland Theatre Company Bille Brown Studio To Book: queenslandtheatre.com.au or call 1300 723 038 First developed and presented as a scratch performance at World Theatre Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse. Premiere season produced by Polytoxic and Queensland Theatre Company. Polytoxic is supported by MAPS for Artists, a management and producing service delivered by Metro Arts. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. This project has also received ﬁnancial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, and the Brisbane City Council. 30 • TIME OFF
NINE SONS OF DAN Members answering/roles: Jay (singer), Flakey (drummer)
How long have you been together? We have been playing together for three years now.
How did you all meet? We all grew in a small town down south called Coffs Harbour, surfing and playing music in different bands. So when Flakey needed a band to record for a uni project when he started uni in the Gold Coast, we all just came together slowly to make Nine Sons Of Dan.
You’re on tour – which band is going to keep the most people happy if we throw them on the stereo? Blink-182. Everyone our age love at least one song from those dudes.
Would you rather be a busted broke-but-revered Hank Williams figure or some kind of Metallica monster? If we can still live near the beach and play music with our friends at the end of the day then call us Hank Williams all you want!
Which Brisbane bands before you have been an inspiration (musically or otherwise)? Stoked on the success of bigger guys such as The Amity Affliction, but a lot of local underground acts get us stoked on playing shows as well.
expectations. We know there are a lot of killer bands here so we want to make an impression!
Is your band responsible for more make-outs or break-ups? Why? Break-ups because of make-outs for sure.
What reality TV show would you enter as a band and why? Fuckin’ Iron Chef! A few of us know our way around a skillet. Throw down some serious dill-infused poached salmon.
If your band had to play a team sport instead of being musicians which sport would it be and why would you be triumphant? I would say footy/soccer for a few of the guys, Jay goes okay at baseball, maybe like team surfing?
What’s in the pipeline for the band in the short term? We are about to leave for a six-week tour down south for Rock The Schools and are going to be main support for glam rockers The Darkness at their Eatons Hill Hotel show in Brisbane on 4 May! We are also about to drop our new single called Diamond Skin to iTunes on 27 April and have just announced our own headlining show at the Zoo on 19 July to launch our new EP. It’s on!
What part do you think Brisbane plays in the music you make?
Nine Sons Of Dan support The Darkness at Eatons Hill Hotel on Friday 4 May and play The Zoo on Thursday 19 July, The PA @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast on Saturday 21 July and The Hive on Saturday 4 August (all ages). New single Diamond Skin available from iTunes now.
It’s always a cool little adventure for us coming up to Brisbane from the Gold Coast, so performing here has always elevated our own
Photo by TERRY SOO.
TOUR GUIDE FEATURE TOUR
SUNDAY 6 MAY, PUNKFEST @ PRINCE OF WALES They’ve been around for as long as anyone can remember, but unlike most bands who become fixtures on the scene Sydney noise merchants the Hard-Ons have never stopped being relevant, they’ve just got louder and more belligerent. They’re at that stage of their career where they have to re-release early material since it’s all out of print and the old formats have become obsolete, hence their Smell My Finger tour celebrating the reissue of their seminal 1986 debut. They rock as hard as ever, they have decades’ worth of great songs and they’re still the real deal so head along to Punkfest at Prince Of Wales, Nundah on Sunday (no work the next day!) to catch them alongside a heap of great bands such as SixFtHick, Spitfireliar, Crooked Face and Main Street Brats, or if you can’t make that they also play Spotted Cow, Toowoomba on Thursday night, King’s Beach Tavern, Caloundra on Friday and Shark Bar on the Gold Coast on Saturday, all of these shows with mighty locals Undead Apes. Call them rock, call them punk, call them whatever the fuck you want – just head along and catch ‘em live!
TIME OFF PRESENTS MOUNT KIMBIE: The Hi-Fi May 2 LAST DINOSAURS: The Zoo May 3 FU MANCHU, BLACK COBRA: The Hi-Fi May 4 BIC RUNGA: Brisbane Powerhouse May 5, A&I Hall May 6 GROOVIN’ THE MOO: Townsville May 6 ANDREW W.K.: The Zoo May 9 THE MACCABEES: The Hi-Fi May 9 PUBLIC ENEMY: The Hi-Fi May 10 TIM “RIPPER” OWENS: the Hi-Fi May 19 DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: The Northern May 31, Spotted Cow Jun 1, The Hi-Fi Jun 2 YOUNG GUNS: The Hi-Fi Jun 1 GASOLINE INC: Tempo Hotel, Jun 1, Miami Shark Bar Jun 2 MISSY HIGGINS: The Tivoli Jun 6 BOY & BEAR: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 6, Beach Hotel Jun 7, The Tivoli Jun 8, Lake Kawana Community Centre Jun 9, Empire Theatre Jun 10 TRIAL KENNEDY: The Tempo Jun 8, Miami Tavern Jun 9 THE AUDREYS: SoundLounge Jun 21, Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 22 FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: Brisbane Entertainment Centre Jul 7
INTERNATIONAL HENRY ROLLINS: Brisbane Powerhouse May 2 – 4 MOUNT KIMBIE: The Hi-Fi May 2 THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: The Northern May 3, The Zoo May 4 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: 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 DIGITALISM: Family May 9 THE MACCABEES: The Hi-Fi May 9 MUTEMATH: The Zoo May 10 32 • TIME OFF
PUBLIC ENEMY: The Hi-Fi May 10 HARRY MANX: Brisbane Powerhouse May 11 FRANK TURNER : The Zoo May 13 BITTER END: Basement May 17, The Loft May 18, YAC Byron Bay May 19 MORGAN PAGE: Family May 18 PRINCE: Brisbane Entertainment Centre May 18 & 26 TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS: The Hi-Fi May 19 MICKEY AVALON: Coolangatta Hotel May 19 DANNY BROWN, MED: The Zoo May 23 THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, THE RAVEONETTES: The Hi-Fi May 24 THE OCEAN: The Zoo May 24 FLORENCE & THE MACHINE: Riverstage May 26 ANTI-FLAG: The Zoo May 30, Coolangatta Hotel May 31 YOUNG GUNS: The Hi-Fi Jun 1 ZOLA JESUS: Alhambra Jun 1 MARK KOZELEK: Black Bear Lodge Jun 7 REEF: The Hi-Fi Jun 7 THE BLACK SEEDS: The Northern Jun 7, The Hi-Fi Jun 8, Southport RSL Jun 9 SIMPLE PLAN, WE THE KINGS: Southport RSL Jun 8, Eatons Hill Hotel Jun 9, Caloundra RSL Jun 10 GHOSTFACE KILLAH, DOOM, CHINO XL: Arena Jun 8 SISTER SLEDGE: The Hi-Fi Jun 9 CHRIS LIEBING: Coniston Lane Jun 10 EAST 17: The Hi-Fi Jun 14 SILVERSTEIN: The Zoo Jun 16 THICK AS BLOOD: The Loft and Thriller Jun 23 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 TERROR: YAC Jul 9, The Loft Jul 10, The Hi-Fi Jul 11 THE TEA PARTY: The Tivoli Jul 7 SUBHUMANS: Prince Of Wales Sep 13 EIFFEL 65, N-TRANCE: The Hi-Fi Sep 21 WHEATUS: The Hi-Fi Sep 23 CANNIBAL CORPSE: The Hi-Fi Oct 8 THE BLACK KEYS: BEC Oct 26 RADIOHEAD: BEC Nov 9
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: The Northern May 2, Arena May 3, Coolangatta Hotel May 4, Kings Beach Tavern May 5 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, The Beetle Bar May 4
HUSKY @ THE ZOO PIC BY JOHN HUDSON TAYLOR
HUSKY, THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON, DOM MILLER THE ZOO: 26/04/12
Husky’s return to Brisbane feels like it should be a little more triumphant than what the early number of punters indicates, but this evening’s of entertainment promises to be nothing short of stellar nonetheless. Sure enough, ex-Rocketsmith Dom Miller takes to the stage armed only with an acoustic guitar and suitably impresses and charms the pants of the small but eager crowd that has shown up early. Miller is easily part of the Brisbane furniture and extending on that analogy, he’s a comfy recliner as he warmly enchants the crowd with warm banter and cleverly executed folk songs, including one highlight towards the end called Gone Away and a cover of The Beatles’ White Album favourite Rocky Raccoon.
CONISTON LANE: 26/04/12 It is well into the evening before Brisbane’s Brainbeau take to the stage, however, the attendance is still thin enough to warrant a slight bit of concern. The two-piece don’t seem the least bit disheartened by the reclusive attendees whom haunt the margins, and rather exert a playful enthusiasm whilst performing their self professed “new-new-wave-intelligent-dance with a freak-folk-electro-romantic-jazz-punk twist?” style of music. With an effectual display of mutating textural-masses projected above, Brainbeau’s presence is heightened and their songs succeed beyond that of their recorded offerings to date.
Husky’s up next and by now there is quite the crowd in attendance, all clambering up front to get near the Melbourne four-piece. They present themselves in a line at the front of the stage while opening with the brooding Dark Sea that quickly and neatly flips into the bouncy Hundred Dollar Suit. The quartet are now signed to Sub Pop but nothing has changed, the outfit as subtly brilliant and effortlessly classy as ever while there isn’t anyone more charming in Australian music right now than frontman Husky Gawenda. There isn’t much on offer in the way of bells and whistles tonight, just four guys armed with an incredibly captivating set of songs, mostly lifted from their debut album Forever So. Not much touches the sublime beauty of Tidal Wave, but the likes of Fake Moustache and The Woods are as good in another way. Their recent stab at triple j’s Like A Version – INXS’ Need You Tonight – gathers a rapturous response, while their encore consisting of Farewell and biggest single to date – History’s Door – sends this captivated crowd away happy.
Unfortunately it is a sad reality that Brisbane is all too often bypassed by artists of this ilk, and thus it is of utmost importance that our city affirms its support through attendance on these rare occasions; so it comes as a great relief to see a healthily populated dancefloor by the time Clark commences his set. Upon commencement the room is saturated by a rather immense volume of cavorting beats and melodies. After flying high for a good few minutes, the volume is regulated to a less harmful detonation, and the soundscape sinks into the murky depths of an aquatic-like terrain. The excellent visual display utilises loops of footage which often reflect the palette of recent album Iradelphic’s cover art and project ominous visions of obscure prophesies. Shifting between laptop and Moog, he forges through an eclectic mix of his music, and rarely exploits his more familiar material as the crutch to prop the performance upon. When he does mine his own back catalogue he positions it so far out of context that it is simply born anew in a fresh wonderment of surroundings. The live arena further illuminates Clark’s spellbinding ability to be able to navigate somewhat dark, and often oppressive, terrains whilst simultaneously summoning an aura of positivity and optimism. Perhaps this is due in most part to a delightful use of melody, which often acts to permeate the oppressive mist with a gleaming ray of light and elevate the dancefloor toward momentary states of euphoria. The evening’s encore is host to yet another remarkable display of audio-visual synchronicity, and by the point of its closure it certainly seems that Brisbane has been rewarded for the long wait. Now hopefully more will follow.
Next is The Trouble With Templeton, a local solo project of singer-songwriter Thomas Calder, though tonight he possesses a couple of secret weapons in Betty Yeowart and Hugh Middleton, a pair Calder clearly has much affection for. Tonight’s performance is nothing short of jaw-dropping, to the point of almost stealing the limelight from the headliner all together. Songs like Please Don’t Ask Me, single I Wrote A Novel and the title track from album Bleeders absolutely kill while Calder’s presence captivates entirely.
CHET FAKER, OUTERWAVES, MOTION.PICTURE.ACTRESS. ALHAMBRA LOUNGE: 27/04/2012
The weather has taken a turn for the worse on the start of an action packed weekend of live music. Within the confines of the Alhambra Lounge no-one seems to be the wiser, although the crowd is somewhat scarce for Motion.Picture.Actress’s opening set. The oneman sound collage likened to the electronic glitch-pop of Baths and Four Tet goes largely underappreciated with a painfully low level mix, making it sound like a poor DJ set. This gradually worsens with audience members shouting out requests and talking to him whilst he’s playing. However, for those who really make the effort to hear it, it’s an impressive set full of intricate changes, noise and samples. For those ducking out vying for a dry place to have a cigarette, when re-entering the venue the atmosphere has dramatically changed with the room just being shy of full for Outerwaves. Dominic Stephens (primarily of Oh Ye Denver Birds fame) explores a more elaborate and experimental set tonight as samples and delay pedals provide the backbone to the Outerwaves vehicle. Stephens’ reliance on samples does run thin towards the end considering his history, but ultimately the songs are well layered and work nicely in the live environment with a more beefed-up sound. It is without a doubt an eclectic, packed out crowd when Chet Faker takes to the stage. The four-piece band files in without mastermind Nick Murphy and open with the opera-infused instrumental, Cigarettes And Chocolate. Straight off the bat the track is unfortunately littered with sound issues and when Murphy takes to the stage it has spiraled out of control to the point where the set is halted whilst another lengthy soundcheck is conducted. With things marginally improved the group launch into I’m Into You. Unfortunately little has changed soundwise and in addition, due to the massive throng viewing the band is impossible beyond the second row. If you concentrate the band are quite talented as they explore the ever expanding world of alternative electronic jazzbased hip hop, with tracks like Solo Sunrise and Terms And Conditions from tonight’s centerpiece Thinking In Textures EP clearly showing a massive amount of detail. Following on from Murphy taking to the piano solo, the band returns and the set ends with the catchy obligatory cover of Backstreet’s No Diggity. Jay-Z and whoever sings Coco Jumbo take over the PA, courtesy of an enthusiastic shirtless DJ. Musically there is nothing wrong with tonight’s bill – the bands on show performed well but were overshadowed by some unfortunate sound issues. Without a doubt Chet Faker will not have to suffer the same fate next time he is in town as his EP spirals out of control into the realms of popular culture. Bradley Armstrong
GOSSLING, WINTER PEOPLE, HAYDEN CALNIN BLACK BEAR LODGE: 26/04/12
There are some venues that make you want to dance and spill beer over everyone within a two-metre radius of you, then there are others that make you want to sit on the slightly sticky floor and just soak it all in (the music that is, not the beer). Black Bear Lodge is the latter. First up tonight appearing before a smattering of floorsitters is Melbourne soloist Hayden Calnin. Armed with a loop pedal, Calnin is best described as a cross between Matt Corby and Bon Iver. He’s got both the deep, emotive growls and the bittersweet angelics down pat and his subtle instrumentation draws you into his own little world. He’s transfixing to watch. To follow is Winter People and with six in the band (including two violinists!), they barely fit on the stage.
Starting off down-tempo to show off their harmonics with Valley Hymn, they soon launch into a number of driving folksy numbers that play on all of their musical strengths, including one of the violinist’s abilities to multitask with a xylophone. A few songs in, lead singer Dylan Baskind remarks on the oddness of the floor-sitting before launching into their most aggressive track, The Banker’s Lament (“[It’ll be] a bit like Metallica at a John Lennon sit in”). Unfortunately for Baskind, no-one rises to their feet, but looking around there is a bit of seated dancing going on. My Town also causes a few more people to stir but it’s the closer Gallons that really gets those arms moving.
and their mash-up cover of Modjo’s Lady (Hear Me Tonight) and Spiller’s Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) seamlessly makes late-‘90s Brit beats sound awesome. With the voice of the crowd helping the local lads see out the show with Honolulu and Zoom, tonight is the culmination of all the hard work Last Dinosaurs have put in over the past three years. However, if the mass adulation is anything to go by, they’ll be having a few more of these ‘defining’ moments in the future. Benny Doyle
KELLIE LLOYD, KEEP ON DANCIN’S
Soon enough the floor is littered with even more bodies as Gossling steps onstage proclaiming tonight’s set is like a mullet: “business up the front, party at the back”. It’s lines like these and her sweet disposition that make this girl more than just a cutesy voice. Actually, it’s her ability to write powerfully heartfelt songs that make her more than that girl. Sending her band offstage halfway through and stepping out from behind the security of her keyboard, Gossling picks up a guitar (admitting she’s not the greatest at it) and busts out a beautiful cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. Remembering she’s forgotten to pay her phone bill during The Only Way she’s soon back on track, ending I Was Young with the chorus of Boys Like You, which even Gossling admits sounds a bit awkward (“You’re not here because of 360 are you?”). After her final song and latest single Wild Love, everyone gets up, stretches their legs and disappears up the back to stand and greet the girl that’s more than just a little voice.
BRISBANE POWERHOUSE: 29/04/12
Kellie Lloyd has made waves with her solo debut Magnetic North, and the sizable and very appreciative audience is rapt with an exhilarating performance. Backed by the bombastic drumming of Branko Cosic, Lloyd looks completely at home with a guitar replacing a bass slung over her shoulder. Opening with Foxes Down A Hole, Lloyd cements the fact that she can write a killer hook in her sleep. Her sugar-sweet vocals combine with a raucous musical delivery to energise tracks such as Insect Wings On Ice and Dead Man’s Hand. This is no soft singer-songwriter faff; this is consummate rock. Cosic and Lloyd make for a dynamic duo, the mismatch on paper working in the songs’ favour – a propulsion that moves these songs into another realm. Lloyd even offers a wailing guitar solo that highlights her admonition of her own guitar skills as being a misstatement of gargantuan proportions. Lloyd finishes strongly and confidently, offering a new song that that is more powerful than it has a right to be. Music like this is rare these days, which is an incredible shame, and a premise that the surprisingly jovial crowd could attest to. Despite the unexpected level of brooding rock tension inherent in these songs, they would be nothing without a strong pop backbone, and Lloyd proves today that in this regard, like influences Mazzy Star and Swervedriver before her, she is a master.
LAST DINOSAURS, MILLIONS, GUNG HO THE ZOO: 24/04/12
Timed to perfection on the eve of a midweek public holiday, tonight’s celebrations were never going to be anything short of fun and Gung Ho are the perfect soundtrack to encourage some playful vibes in the room. With Oliver Duncan in full voice and his bass locked in tight with the heavy hands of drummer James Wright, the band sound larger tonight than they did during their recent support of Bluejuice, and as on that night, Twin Rays, their three minutes of perfect pop perfection, closes out a superb slot suitably. With the room really starting to fill, Millions amble out on stage; however, there’s a few confused looks in the crowd when it’s registered that Last Dinosaur frontman Sean Caskey is slinging on a guitar for the band. Turns out their regular riff operative Ted Tilbrook has busted up his hand, forcing the band to soldier on with various strummers including Caskey and Gung Ho player Michael McAlary. The set is solid, especially considering the circumstances, but you get the feeling the band are happy to keep it in second gear with a lot of their tracks, a shame because when they do stretch their abilities, they sound all the better for it.
It’s a glum and dreary Sunday afternoon, yet the weather and the cavernous confines of the Brisbane Powerhouse’s Turbine Hall are a perfect fit for drinking an ale with Keep On Dancin’s. The quartet play the gamut of brilliant debut album The End Of Everything, and it is clear that they have lived inside these songs for a very long time, inhabiting a warm groove from the onset and holding it incessantly. Lead Jacinta Walker is a commanding presence with her seductively nonchalant vocals, complemented by Yuri Johnson’s reverb-heavy guitar. Your Love Is Mine emanates throughout the room, a slow-burner that couldn’t be more noir if the band had been adorned with feathers and fedoras. Hewitt Eyes swirls with an understated menace, and Houston hasn’t sounded more desolate and forlorn. There Goes Your Guy is, as always, an unexpected turn towards an upbeat tone, and it is this fine balance that gives them their distinctive edge.
Then after a lengthy interim, Last Dinosaurs appear from within a plume of smoke and waste no time all but owning their night of nights. With an extra set of hands manning keys and additional percussion duties, their excellent debut album is really brought to life, Time And Place and Weekend sounding excitingly sharp early in the set, the big finish of the latter especially impassioned. The visuals behind the band work wonderfully during the set, trippy 3D deer busts, snapshots of Swiss mountains and psychedelic shots of the band all adding to the experience, while Lachlan Caskey’s guitar playing throughout the night is nothing short of stadium-worthy, his shredding really injecting a bombastic energy into the music, his effects varied and forever entertaining. Shit, at one stage it even sounds like he’s channelling a steel drum through his six strings. B-side Beaux Mont sounds that good, you wonder why the hell it never made the final cut,
TOUR GUIDE 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 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 DEF FX: The Zoo May 31 MATT CORBY, ALPINE: The Tivoli Jun 1 FUNKOARS: Great 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 NED COLLETTE & WIREWALKER: Black Bear Lodge Jun 14 BLANCHE DUBOIS: Black Bear Lodge Jun 17 NEW EMPIRE: Black Bear Lodge Jun 20, The Loft Jun 21, Bon Amici Jun 22 THE BRIDE: Snitch Jun 21, Railway Hall Jun 23, Expressive Grounds Jun 24 DEEP SEA ARCADE: Cobra Kai Jun 21, Beach Hotel Jun 22 THE AUDREYS: SoundLounge Jun 21, Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 22, Woombye Pub Jun 23 MUSCLES: Oh Hello! Jun 22 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 50 YEARS OF DYLAN: QPAC Jul 7 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
KELLE LLOYD @ BRISBANE POWERHOUSE PIC BY STEPHEN BOOTH
URBAN COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL: Caboolture Showgrounds May 4 GROOVIN THE MOO: Murray Sports Complex May 6 COOLY ROCKS ON: Coolangatta Jun 1 – 11 DEAD OF WINTER: Jubilee Hotel Jul 14 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: Jul 27 – 29 BIGSOUND: Fortitude Valley Sep 12 - 14
TIME OFF • 33
BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTSDOWN@TIMEOFF.COM.AU
URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE
METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT
TREY SONGZ LIL BAND O’ GOLD At deadline time I have very little information about this tour, so please stay tuned to this column for more information later on, but I can confirm that swamp pop legends Lil Band O’ Gold are on their way back to Australia for a tour this June. The band is made up of some of the finest musicians Louisiana has ever produced, true legends, and when they came out to Australia for the first time a couple of years ago, the reception they received was absolutely enormous. So much so that the band’s new record, a tribute to Fats Domino simply called Lil Band O’ Gold Plays Fats will be available in Australia before anywhere else in the world. The record shows the influence that these guys have purely through the guests they have enlisted; the likes of Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams and Ani DiFranco join in, as do our very own Jimmy Barnes and Tim Rogers! All I’ve heard so far is that they’re playing The Basement in Sydney on Sunday 24 June, hopefully we can announce a shitload more dates, including Queensland ones, next week. Considered by many to be one of the few key connecting artists between music of the east and the west, Harry Manx is truly more than just your average musician. He’s a devotee of his craft, even going so far as to spend five years studying the Mohan Veena – a 20-stringed instrument that can loosely be described as a cross between a sitar and a slide guitar – in India with its creator Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. His love of American blues and folk styles as well as Indian Hindustani classical music means that the music he produces is utterly unique, but thankfully he pulls it off with aplomb. Manx must really love Australia as he has toured here countless times over the past decade or so and he is back very soon with dates up and down the East Coast all through May. World music journeyman Yeshe supports and you can catch them both at the Brisbane Powerhouse Friday 11 May, Woombye Pub Saturday 12 and Mullumbimby Civic Hall Sunday 13. One of the greatest bands in the country, both live and on record, are local deep soul masters The Bamboos and I’m very excited to hear that they have a new album by the name of Medicine Man just about to come out, with its release date set for Friday 1 June. They have gone even further when it comes to enlisting singers to accompany them than they ever had before, getting people like Tim Rogers, Aloe Blacc, Daniel Merriweather and Megan Washington (again) in on the action this time around. But really, it’s all about the band, which is comprised of some of the classiest players in the country. In support of the record they are jetting around the country yet again and you can see them bringing that funk at The Northern, Byron Bay Thursday 28 June, Coolum Civic Centre Friday 29, The Hi-Fi on Saturday 30; grab your tickets right now. If you went along to see The Pogues last month and enjoyed it as much as I did then you’re probably still on cloud nine after such a triumphant performance, one far better than what Shane MacGowan delivered alongside his other band The Popes around ten years ago. Well in an interesting turn of events, it appears as if The Popes (who it must be said were great, it was just their frontman who struggled) are going to be over in Australia later this year for a tour of their own. The band have a new record called New Church which is set to be released very soon and will be out here for the first time sans MacGowan in support of it. As far as what you can expect musically, it’s pretty standard Celtic punk, but it’s executed by some of the best in the business and as such very much worth seeing. The promoters have confirmed shows in Sydney and Melbourne and have announced on Facebook that Brisbane will be getting a show, more info when it’s confirmed. 34 • TIME OFF
Trey Songz (aka Tremaine Neverson) hasn’t always been on OG Flavas’ radar. Other R’n’B artists are more hyped, or simply more notorious. But now OG is on the wagon. The self-proclaimed Prince of Virginia lately hosted intimate playback sessions of his new album material in Sydney and Melbourne, impressing industry figures with his professionalism and downto-earth demeanour. Big American urban stars never, ever court Australians this way. Of course, Neverson was in the country for Supafest, the urban festival embroiled in controversy after it emerged that Diddy and Missy Elliott weren’t coming. (Bet the promoters wish they’d thought of that 2Pac hologram idea.) Most of the post-tour coverage has centred on Chris Brown, a tabloid magnet. To be fair, even Brown’s critics would have to acknowledge that the dude works hard. Still, it’s a mystery why sweetie pie Neverson, who’s cut countless strategic cameos, isn’t as big as Brown – although he’d be the last one to start a beef. The two are friends. Hopefully, Neverson’s fortunes change when his fifth album, Chapter V, drops in August. In Melbourne’s Sing Sing Recording Studios, the slim Neverson, sporting all-black casual attire and a baseball cap, previewed five tracks, in addition to Chapter V’s lead single, Heart Attack. Heart Attack is a quiet storm ballad with production by Benny Blanco – who’s worked on such hits as Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl and California Gurls and Maroon 5’s Christina Aguilera-featuring Moves Like Jagger – plus Rico Love. Kelly Rowland appears in the video. Neverson grooved to the songs in a chair, his back shyly turned. 2 Reasons (with TI) is a hip hop banger with tongue-in-cheek lyrics, the two reasons for Neverson’s partying being “drinks and bitches”. The third song, Dive In, is the one OG rates the highest. It’s a slow
jam that evokes Prince’s classic balladry (especially Insatiable), as well as R Kelly with its wordplay. But the production of Dive In is cutting-edge, possibly influenced by Drake’s illwave posse with its ambient synths. Frank Ocean devotees should love it. Neverson shared another song inspired by his mum, Without A Woman. Simply Amazing is a power ballad with an acoustic rock vibe (think: Ryan Tedder). Neverson finished the sesh with a second club track, Ladies Go Wild, which he actually wrote in a portable studio on his tour bus during an informal afterparty! Neverson and his friendly management team spent time discussing his new game plan in the candle-filled studio, guests served cocktails named for his songs. The singer is aware that today’s music business is transient – audiences can be fickle. Neverson candidly admitted, too, that his early albums (starting with 2005’s I Gotta Make It) floundered, but he’s learnt from them. He finally broke through with 2010’s Passion, Pain & Pleasure. (Nicki Minaj cameo-ed on the popular single Bottoms Up.) Neverson has recently issued two freely available mixtapes – again unusual, not to mention generous – and an EP, Inevitable. And he’s cultivated his fanbase, Trey’s Angels, by gigging solidly in North America. However, Neverson also wants to interact personally with music’s “gatekeepers”, as he refers to them – the press, radio and retailers. These days urban acts are bona fide pop stars and so they often circumvent the old R’n’B networks, favouring the mainstream media, who, ironically, once shunned them. Not Neverson. He’s an inclusive kinda guy. When one journo asked him about his new songs’ production credits, Neverson sought a piece of paper and pen and wrote them out. The star joked that he’s not used to handwriting – but his script was neat, the details meticulously recalled. Following his session at Sing Sing, Neverson stayed on to record more music – and this on a Friday night! He was stunned to learn that Aaliyah laid down some of her final songs in the same complex while in town to shoot Queen Of The Damned. Trey Songz an Aaliyah fan? That’s gotta be another reason to dig him. And Neverson himself is pursuing an acting career. He’ll next star in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.
THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY The thinking behind opening up an individual’s listening habits to a public network also isn’t difficult to guess. Taste-sharing has been a building block of social groups since animal hides were the fashion; for the music industry, peer-to-peer publicity is a major part of how music is sold and careers made.
I’d been having one of those days, wallowing in the misery of one song that I kept skipping back to again and again. It began at my laptop and moved to my iPhone as I left the house, then later to the iPod dock in my kitchen which is hooked up to an old stereo, making loud company of my sullen soundtrack as I washed the dishes and let my neighbours in on the fact that I was having ‘a moment’. It had occurred to me already, however, that even without subjecting my neighbours to my one-track playlist, others could have been in on my mood. I was listening to the song through Rdio, the subscriber-based streaming site and app that also acts as social media. That means it allows you to ‘share’ albums and songs, to create playlists and be recommended music to which others in your Rdio network have been streaming. (Like Twitter, you ‘follow’ people, record labels, magazines, etc.) It also means that on any given occasion, anyone in your network can see what you’re listening to that minute and also look at your listening history. If I’d synced the site to my Facebook account and not opted out of the site posting my listening activities in Facebook’s Music Dashboard on my Timeline, even more people would have known what I was up to. The pairing of music-streaming and social networking isn’t exactly new. Last.fm has long listed ‘top artists’ on user profiles. Other existing streaming services in Australia such as JB Hi-Fi’s NOW and Rara allow item-by-item sharing to Facebook and Twitter. But with Swedish-based streaming service Spotify still to launch in Australia and Rdio (created by Danish Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom) getting its official launch via club-based events around the country this week, an integration of music taste into online social lives this deep is relatively new to us.
But Rdio is also a progression in social media that speaks to an old conflict in music-based subcultures: how you act alone versus how you present yourself in the company of others. Even without stepping into that sociological minefield, we’re readily presented with how it relates to evolving social media etiquette and privacy issues: navigating which details of your life you keep to yourself and which you share with your online networks. In Rdio, viewing someone’s listening history requires visiting their profile on the website. To see what someone is listening to, you hover your curser over their name in a list of those who are online at any given moment. I wouldn’t presume too many in my network noticed my repeated misery song – except that, as a social media site, Rdio is hugely successful. (Full disclosure: I, along with other music writers and those in the ‘music industry’, have been given short-term free access to Rdio as it launches. The cost of the service starts at $8.90 a month for web-only access.) The simple, interactive interface and its use of album artwork makes discovering new music fun and easy. Making ‘mixtapes’ feels social again. Perhaps it’s because you see everything your network is listening to and not just what they’ve chosen to show you, the site feels friendly and unpretentious. It isn’t perfect: there are major gaps in the collection on offer. I dare say that had specific other albums been available, my misery song would have been different, which throws up all kinds of issues around how taste and the presentation of an online self can be limited by technology (or licensing deals). But as a teacher of how we really listen to music – and what we really listen to – Rdio is perhaps unprecedented in Australia. Which is why, for now, I don’t mind too much that others can see my weird little habits – or who I listen to when I’ve got a case of the sads.
Legendary UK punk band The Exploited have unfortunately had to cancel their Australian tour that was scheduled to occur last week due to a “very serious family situation” with their bass player Irish Rob. A statement from vocalist Wattie Buchan read; “apart from feeling sorry for Rob, we’re all totally gutted as we were really looking forward to this, but it is out of our control. I don’t really know what else to say except for I’m sorry to have to be saying this in every aspect.” The band and Soundworks Touring plan to reschedule for later in the year. Often heralded as the pinnacle of death metal, Cannibal Corpse will make their triumphant return to Australia this October for five shows, stopping off in Brisbane on 9 October. The band’s 12th album in 24 years, Torture, was released in March on Metal Blade Records. These Hands, an instrumental Melbourne postrock/hardcore band formerly known as These Hands Could Separate The Sky, have finally released their debut album. You can check out Endlessly over at thesehandsband.bandcamp.com. Those in Melbourne can hit up the launch and physical copies this Friday night at The Evelyn. One man holy terror hardcore unit Abraxis will release a split-7” with multi-national and musically like-minded group VVEGAS on 11 May. Limited to 300 copies and with artwork by Dwid Hellion of Integrity, pre-orders are now available through Midnight Funeral. Perth’s symphonic deathcore youngsters Make Them Suffer have unveiled a lyric video to their new song Widower in addition to an absolutely massive 18 show national launch tour, with the Sunshine Coast’s recently revamped Signal The Firing Squad in tow. The bands will play in Brisbane on 12 July at Snitch and 13 July at The Loft, both with Aversions Crown. Make Them Suffer’s debut album Neverbloom is due out on 24 May through Roadrunner Records. Sydney-based industrial death/black metal geniuses The Amenta will digitally release a new EP through Listenable Records sometime in mid-May. Chokehold will feature a new song in the title track, a cover of Godflesh’s Christbait Rising, two live tracks and a remix of V01D – for which a new video clip has also been released online. Those wacky Sydney pop punk guys Heroes For Hire will return to the road across June and July for the Just Shoe It tour. They’ll be joined by Tasmania’s Luca Brasi and Carry Me Home – a new pop punk band featuring Shane O’Brien and Dan Brown of Confession notoriety, as well as Jamie Hope of I Killed The Prom Queen, which is hopefully no indicator of an early mosh retirement for any of those players. Catch the trio in Queensland on 29 June at The Basement, 30 June at The Prince Street Hall in Nambour, and on 1 July at The Loft. 4Arm from Melbourne are on the up and up. After releasing their third album Submission For Liberty with UK label Rising Records in February, and locally soon after through Riot! Entertainment, the band will head over to the UK to play the legendary Download Festival in June – performing on the same day as Metallica, no less. The thrash metal band will then follow it up with their first US tour in July with fellow Australians Deprivation and US bands Prey For Sleep and Casket Of Cassandra.
GIGS OF THE WEEK:
There are simply far too many band names to fill out here... TOTAL ATTACK FESTIVAL is taking place over this weekend. MDH Studios on Friday with Straightjacket Nation, The Jubilee Hotel on Saturday with Teargas, and Basement 243 on Sunday with Shit Weather. More crust punk and raging hardcore than you can handle. Thursday: Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Toe To Toe – The Hi-Fi. Heirs – Tym Guitars. Friday: Heirs, No Anchor, Hope Drone, Golden Bats – Alhambra. Dead Letter Opener, A Breach of Silence, 308, Prophets of War, Rad Rockets Are Go! – Monstrothic (last one at The Jubilee!). Saturday: Far West Battlefront, Aversions Crown, Belle Haven, As Paradise Falls, Ennui Breathes Malice, Arbour Lane – The Loft. Sunday: Buried In Verona, Aversions Crown, The Endless Pandemic, The Archivist – X&Y.
HAVE YOU HEARD
PERSONAL BEST RECORDS Robert Wyatt’s Rock Bottom. Seminal album from the depths of despair. Sad music is always uplifting. Record you put on when you bring someone home? Bring someone home? I sometimes have friends for dinner. Does that count? Open the door to guests with Arthur Lyman’s Taboo. Nancy and Lee over dinner. When you’ve had enough, I’ve always found a full-volume Borbetomagus record helps show them the door. Fools!
THE WALTERS How did you get together? Mark Gibbons (harp/vocals): “Being into the same music, we’d all crossed paths both as fans and musicians numerous times.” Sum up your musical sound in four words. “1950s rhythm and blues.” If you could support any band who would it be? “There’s no answer that we’d all be happy to settle on, but I guess one who’d be up there, would be Little Richard! In his prime!” You’re being sent into space and there’s only room to bring one album – which would it be? “Professor Longhair or Little Walter. Don’t make me choose.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “Not sure if it’s considered a ‘rock’n’roll moment’, but just this weekend while in Melbourne with Mojo Webb, we got stuck in the band room at a gig, behind a door that had no handle.” Why should people come and see your band? “I guess ‘cause we need drinking buddies. We have a ball playing our music and we love to have other people digging it with us.” The Walters play the Press Club on Wednesday 2 May, The Hideaway Friday 4 May (and the first Friday of every month) and Boundary Hotel, West End on Saturday 5 May (and every Saturday night).
LEIGHTON CRAIG FROM PRIMITIVE MOTION Best record you stole from your folks’ collection? Without a doubt the jewel in the crown is Gerry Anderson Presents TV Favourites Vol.1, featuring standout adventures like Captain Scarlet vs Captain Black and Perils Of Penelope (Thunderbirds). I covet that record. First record you bought? I can’t recall exactly – serious buying started at age 16, when I used to purchase cassettes. After several misfires, the teenage purchase that flicked the switch for me was The Chills’ Lost EP. Record you put on when you’re really miserable?
SEASONS MIXED UP
Most surprising record in your collection? Most friends probably don’t realise how much I like Randy Newman. Particularly the Good Ole Boys and Sail Away LPs. Last thing you bought/downloaded? The three new LPs on the exemplary Negative Guest List records – landmarks in Australian primitivism: Mad Nanna’s I Made Blood Better, Sky Needle’s Rave Cave and Ragtime Frank’s The Truth. Part of the rich legacy of Brendon Annesley. With respect. Primitive Motion play Crossbows Festival @ Queensland Conservatorium on Saturday 12 May. Home Of The Future EP available for free download at www.kindling.bandcamp.com. to Berlin. Supporting the evening will be Epithets and former local lass now Melbournian Carry Nation. Since its inception, Big Strong Brute has mesmerised audiences all over Australia and around the globe with the ever changing line-up that ranges from a six-piece band to a solo show. This will be your last chance to see the band and bid them farewell (for now).
Following the release of the brand new video for their single, This Summer, RUFUS will be wrapping up their This Summer tour, along with special guests Polographia, in Queensland with two shows this May. The single is taken from the sophomore EP, Blue. The Sydney three-piece will be playing at The Loft, Gold Coast on Friday 4 May and Alhambra Lounge on Saturday 5.
THE FLOORS ARE MOVING
HAVE STRENGTH, WILL TRAVEL Paul Donoughue’s Big Strong Brute will be farewelling Brisbane in style with a final show at Black Bear Lodge on Sunday 13 May, ahead of his 12 month relocation
Perth trio The Floors will be releasing their debut album in a couple of months’ time, but in the meantime have announced a national run of dates for their debut single, You Got To Move. The band are dedicated to producing an organic style of music that incorporates rhythm and blues with intricate and
skillful guitar work – head along to one of their single launches and you’ll see what we’re talking about. They’ll be playing X&Y Bar on Friday 25 May, The Joynt on Saturday 26 and then heading up the range to hit The Spotted Cow in Toowoomba on Sunday 27.
Following the successful launch of their self-titled debut album, Bullhorn will be hitting the stage once more. The eight-piece (one drummer and seven hard-hitting horn players) will be performing at The Joynt on Friday 11 May, and carry with them the sole purpose to inspire even the most conservative audience and get everybody moving on the dancefloor with their hip hop, soul and funk-inspired tunes. They’ll be joined by B.O.S.S. on the night.
ON THE RISE
It’s a good time for Kindread. After a busy 2011, in which the Sunshine Coast dub group released two singles, toured the east coast of Australia and crossed the Tasman to visit NZ before finding time to hit the studio, the quartet have produced yet another single in Rise It Up, which they’ll launch at Woombye Hotel on Friday 11 May. The gig will act as a goodbye of sorts, as Kindread will then be packing their bags for Europe where they’ll embark on their first-ever tour of the continent, whilst two of the members temporarily relocate there. The band will then return in early-2013 with their follow-up to 2010’s Free World long-player.
DIAMONDS IN THEIR EYES
Gold Coast pop-rock outfit Nine Sons Of Dan are set to release their highly-anticipated brand new EP The New Kids all across the world on Friday 29 June, but thankfully we won’t have to wait that long to get our first taste of it. Its first single, Diamond Skin, will be available on iTunes from Friday morning and following this, the band have announced their upcoming The New Kidsnational tour which is set to hit the road from July to August 2012. You can catch Nine Sons Of Dan at The Zoo on Thursday 19 July with supports Willows and We Were Giants and again concluding their Australian tour at The Hive Saturday 4 August (all ages) with special guests Rawr Vanity and Adventure Land. Tickets available through Oztix, City Beach Queen Street Mall, Kill The Music, Rockaway Records and Rockinghorse Records.
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FEET TEETH Q MUSIC IS A NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANISATION SUPPORTING QUEENSLAND MUSIC, MUSICIANS AND INDUSTRY WORKERS. THIS COLUMN WILL PRESENT YOU WITH INFORMATION ON GRANT AND EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES, CONFERENCES AND THE GENERAL LOW-DOWN ON THE STATE’S MUSIC INDUSTRY.
QMUSIC MASTERCLASS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Due to popular demand QMusic is pleased to bring you a full day Social Media Masterclass on Thursday 17 May. Special Guests Ned Dwyer (Native Digital), Vanessa Picken (RUN DNA) and Deborah Gann (Reservoir Media and Marketing) will be sharing their expertise on social media strategies for this special one day event. Attendees will be provided with in depth information on a wide range of social media platforms. Purchase your tickets at qmusic.com.au.
QUEENSLAND MUSIC AWARDS ENTRIES EXTENDED
Entries for the 2012 Queensland Music Awards have being extended until 13 May. Queenslandbased artists are encouraged to enter their original music into the 12 different categories. All entries will be judged by members of the national music industry judging panel. For more info visit qldmusicawards.com.au.
BIGSOUND 2012 LAUNCHES: FIRST SPEAKERS & ARTISTS
BIGSOUND returns this 12-14 September with the first round of speakers including Ben Lee, Mark Poston (EMI), David Bridie and Ben Swank from Jack White’s Third Man Records. Showcase applications are open until 4 May with the first ten announced artists including Kate MillerHeidke, Violent Soho and King Cannons. Early Bird tickets are on sale now for a limited time.
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC TOURING PROGRAM
The Contemporary Music Touring Program helps emerging and established musicians take their music on tour to Australia’s regional and remote areas. The program provides assistance with touring costs such as transport, accommodation, insurance, production and marketing. Round 23 of the Contemporary Music Touring program is now open until 1 June.
PERFORM AT SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS
Triple j Unearthed are giving one lucky band from anywhere in the country the opportunity to open the Splendour In The Grass festival’s main stage. They will also be looking for three local bands from the Byron Bay area to play. To be in with a chance you need to have your tracks uploaded onto the triple j Unearthed site before 24 June.
WANT TO KNOW MORE OR BECOME A QMUSIC MEMBER? For these stories, memberships and more, go to qmusic.com.au.
36 • TIME OFF
ALTHOUGH THEY CAME FROM TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS, FEET TEETH ARE NOW SIMPLY ONE. PERCUSSIONIST PAUL YOUNG CHATS WITH BENNY DOYLE.
With first introductions shared as self-proclaimed “little nerdy kids at QUT”, Paul Young and Joel Saunders (trumpet, laptop) have combined their disparate musical backgrounds to form the sprawling project FEET TEETH. “We became friends through other mutual people and [then] we met up in Berlin when Joel was travelling and I was on tour,” Young recalls. “After seeing some performance in a dodgy warehouse we were walking and talking about different experimental projects we were engaging in. It was Joel who had the genius idea of sampling live drums, percussion and trumpet through a laptop processing program. I loved the idea as I was looking for more expressionistic forms of improvisation.” Integrating electronica, ambient, jazz and other niche contemporary elements, the Brisbane pair have focused their improvisational journeys, the music Young admits, taking both the musicians into areas unknown. “FEET TEETH is a benchmark for both of us in terms of crossover into other musical realms and challenging our own perceptions of musical boundaries,” he says. “This has inevitably led to us planning to work collaboratively with other art mediums such as silent film and dancers.” As part of Griffith University’s upcoming Crossbows showcase, the band will be sharing the stage with a wide selection of musical makers. But the event is just the beginning of a large 2012 involving semichoreographed movement, marathon performances, potential festivals and a new EP. But for now, settle in for FEET TEETH and enjoy refined musical danger. “Joel is a courageous risk-taker and I can barely keep up with him,” Young states, “so when I know what to expect, I will let our audiences know. Whether nasty or nice, it’s bound to be entertaining.”
PLANET LOVE SOUND
MIKE CARUANA, GUITAR PLAYER WITH LUSH CANBERRA OUTFIT HOODLUM SHOUTS, TELLS TONY MCMAHON ALL ABOUT HIS BAND’S DEBUT ALBUM, YOUNG MAN OLD MAN.
BERLIN-VIA-MELBOURNE PSYCHPOPPERS PLANET LOVE SOUND HAVE JUST RELEASED A NEW SINGLE, MY SHADOW, AND THINK JACK WHITE IS PRETTY COOL, BASSIST JOE FRANKLIN TELLS TONY MCMAHON.
“We recorded it in March of 2011 and, while we would’ve loved to get it out as quickly as possible, we were happy to sit on it to see what release opportunities might arise. Finishing it also coincided with some of us shuffling around the country so the decision to hold it back was kind of made for us. It wasn’t until late-2011 that [label] Poison City got on board and so we knew it was worth the wait. The thought of it being an album we’d be remembered for wasn’t in our heads, the focus was more about trying to make something we could be happy with and proud of regardless.” Matt Voigt, who has produced for Dirty Three and Midnight Oil amongst others, was called in to work on Young Man Old Man, and Caruana says the choice was a real no-brainer. “We figured he’d understand what we were trying to achieve. A few people recommended him and seeing as we’re inspired musically and sonically by so many of the artists he’s worked with, it was a natural choice. Turned out he was a really good guy with lots of ideas and encouragement, and he had a genuine care for the project.” When it comes to what they’ve got in store for Queenslanders with their live shows, it seems that Hoodlum Shouts are all about the mood. “Live you get the added element of venue ambience – the clatter of glasses, the chit-chat, the heckling – which becomes part of the songs as well. Playing live for us is less about trying to replicate exactly what’s on record and more about upping the intensity and enjoyment and seeing where the mood of the night can take us.” WHO: Hoodlum Shouts
WHO: FEET TEETH WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 12 May, Crossbows @ Queensland Conservatorium (4.15pm)
This year Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. As such, they’re in festive spirits and are planning a lot of events to help celebrate the occasion. One of these is the always popular Planet at Brisbane Powerhouse, a monthly showcase of world music, spanning everything from Latin to reggae, Indian to African, that’ll take place on the first Saturday of each month. May’s program will span South America to Eastern Europe, and feature local duo Yemanja (comprised of singer Anita Fernandes and Brazilian guitarist Eddie Gazani) delivering jazz, samba, bossa nova, and gypsy music, and Greška, a high-energy group who’ll perform the music of Eastern European klezmer and Balkan brass bands,
“Living in Europe absolutely affected the way the songs ended up sounding,” Franklin says, talking about recording their EP, Part 1, in Berlin. “Geography plays such an important part in the art you create. We also wrote and recorded both EPs [the second to be released mid-year] without a drummer, which also played a huge factor in the way the recordings sound. Our live show has completely surpassed the recordings since drummer Cristo Kollias joined the group. It sounds much more like a band now, as opposed to studio-written tracks performed live.” Naturally, playing in a musically fascinating city such as Berlin does have its benefits. “After our show with Karen Elson in Berlin, we were hanging backstage with her and the band and she was chatting to someone called Jack on the phone and was kissing the handset as they spoke. Cute. We realised soon after that she was talking with Jack White. We were all pretty star-struck by that. I love what Jack White does – even if I don’t always love the music. He takes risks, strips it back and is a total purist. All of these things we’re striving for.” Planet Love Sound have also released Part 1 on 12” vinyl. Being huge vinyl fetishists here at Time Off, we ask Franklin all about it. “Pressing vinyl was an important thing for us to do. We feel that CDs are a little dinosaur-like in the way that they’re a physical object storing digital files. Vinyl sounds and feels better and the people that listen to vinyl are generally avid music lovers. These are exactly the kinds of people we want listening to our vinyl. One other cool thing is that we’re donating 20% profits to the Against Malaria Foundation.”
WHAT: Young Man Old Man (Poison City/Hellosquare)
WHO: Planet Love Sound
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 May, X&Y Bar; Friday 4, Between The Walls (all ages)
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 May, X&Y Bar
mixing it with classical, jazz, and even a little metal. Planet launches at the Turbine Platform, Brisbane Powerhouse Saturday 5 May and entry is free.
GET YOUR FEET DIRTY Brisbane collective, Painted Feet Orchestra, are focused on breaking the barriers and throwing away the traditional etiquette that comes with the concert hall. Led by young violinist, Imogen Gilfedder-Cooney, The Painted Feet Orchestra will be performing their debut concert on Friday 18 May, which will see them throw in a little bit of Jimi Hendrix, Piazzollo tangos and a whole lot more. Head along to the Ian Hanger Recital Hall at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music to see what else the orchestra has up their sleeve.
WHAT: My Shadow (Independent)
DOWN THE LANE
You may be a little confused about the venue which sits atop the Mustang Bar (formerly Woodland) and what exactly is happening up there. Well, first of all, it’s now called Coniston Lane so you can forget any of the other names you may have heard it called in recent weeks. Secondly, it is open at the moment but only up until late-June/early-July so that people can get a slight idea of what kind of music the venue will be pushing upon its eventual reinvention. The venue’s focus is on beats, and beats across the full spectrum – from blunted beats to glitch and wonk to raw funk to hip hop, minimal tech, drum and bass and everything in between. So there you go, when you hear about shows at Coniston Lane, then you know where it’s at.
WED 02 Calling All Cars The Zoo Henry Rollins Brisbane Powerhouse Left Lane Band, The Quims The Tempo Hotel Mount Kimbie The Hi-Fi Pat Tierney Railway Bar, Byron Bay Pete Smith, Mark Z Regatta Hotel, Toowong Rick Fights, Martyr Privates, Kitchen’s Floor Black Bear Lodge Sandi Flav, Old King Jones, Angela Toohey Elephant & Wheelbarrow Striptease, Plexus The Music Kafe The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio, Greenthief The Northern Byron Bay
THU 03 Argentina Alhambra Lounge Az Kerwin Elephant & Wheelbarrow Dialectrix, Calski, Joe Average, 2buck Mustang Bar Dublo With Dj Rime The Joynt Fear Like Us, Toy Boats, Hoodlum Shouts, Marathon X & Y Bar Hard-Ons Spotted Cow Heirs Tym Guitars Henry Rollins Brisbane Powerhouse I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Satellites The Bowery John Wilkinson Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Kate Martin, Ben Wells Black Bear Lodge
Last Dinosaurs, Millions, Gung Ho The Zoo Lee Griffin, Ernieburner, Shelley Evans, Pete Chapman & Rache, Suburban Dingos, Blind Dog Donnie The Music Kafe Mick Thomas, Shelley Short, The Good Ship Sol Bar, Maroochydore Nick Trovas’ Chalk Hotel Parachute Tavern, Tim Fuchs, Bowler Bar Djs, Jorgo Kings Beach Tavern Rhys Bynon La La Land Sam CahIll, Chris Miller Elsewhere Steve Cummins Club Helensvale Stick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Toe To Toe The Hi-Fi The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio Arena The Mountain Goats The Northern Byron Bay
Kato, Charlie Hustle, Alex Terrell, Van Tovier, Caramel, Funk Djs, Yahn Oh Hello! Mark Sheils The Comslie Hotel Mick Danby, Punchline The Tempo Hotel Mick Thomas, Shelley Short, The Good Ship The Beetle Bar Monstrothic, A Breach Of Silence, Dead Letter Opener, 380, Prophets Of War Jubilee Hotel Parachute Youth, Fairchild Republic, Audun Elsewhere Rufus, Polographia The Loft Chevron Island Scott & Gil, Berst Elephant & Wheelbarrow The Bennies, Prophet Margin, Kingston Stompers, Set The Record, The Ribbon Men Prince Of Wales Hotel
The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio, Greenthief Coolangatta Hotel The City Shake Up, Amy Cushway, Trust & Fall, Drawcard Billy’s Beach House The Darkness, Nine Sons Of Dan Eatons Hill Hotel The Mountain Goats, Catherine Traicos The Zoo Tin Can Radio, The Mank, Adam Scriven Sol Bar, Maroochydore
SAT 05 Atmosphere, Mc Evidence, Seven, Kudos The Hi-Fi Ben Wells, The Middle Names, Marcus Blacke, Kate & Liza, Holly Terrens The Loft Chevron
FRI 04 Alex Jones, 3 Days Off, Jung Hearts, Auto Pilot, Hammo Chalk Hotel Boom Boom Room Bowler Bar Devildriver, Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under The Tivoli Dubmarine, Darky Roots Soundlounge Currumbin Fu Manchu, Matt Sonic And The High Times, Black Cobra The Hi-Fi Hard Ons, Phantom Lighter Thieves, Infirm Persons, The Seal Club Kings Beach Tavern Heirs, No Anchor Alhambra Lounge Henry Rollins Brisbane Powerhouse
THE ANDROGYNY Member/role: Tessa Richards, vocals/guitar Name Of Single: Like Air Stand-alone release or precursor to something more substantial? Like Air is from our forthcoming EP I Don’t Desire Your Empire due for release in July. How does the single differ from previous work? This is our debut single. We spent months working on our songs to get them right to record and are happy with how they developed. What do you have planned for the launch? Debauchery! We play Coniston Lane (exWoodland) on Saturday 5 May, with special guests Cute Machines, Bat Nouveau, The Halls and Faith nightclub is coming to us. We have not played for a while in order to make sure our live show is as good as it can be and we’re looking forward to hitting the stage again. Where to from here? We have upcoming dates in Melbourne including Rock n Load at the Espy - 32 bands over three stages on 26 May. We will release our second single and the EP in July with more shows up and down the east coast. The Androgyny launch Like Air (Independent) at Coniston Lane on Saturday 5 May.
The Butterfly Effect, Numbers Radio, Greenthief Kings Beach Tavern The City Shake Up, Takedown, Drawcard, Skinwalkers The Basement Tiafau, Giv Elsewhere We Salute You, 3 Days Off The Tempo Hotel Yemanja, Greshka Brisbane Powerhouse
SUN 06 A French Butler Called Smith Sol Bar, Maroochydore Bowler Bar, Parachute Youth, The Bbjs The Tempo Hotel Bubble Boys, Rhubarb & The Family, Watkins, Amber & Co. Elephant & Wheelbarrow Chalkfest, Locky, Booster Chalk Hotel
Daniel Webber, Discrow La La Land David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Dirty South, Alesso, W&W, Giuseppe, Gottaviani, Congorock, Vitalic Parklands Showgrounds - Southport Groovin The Moo Murray Sports Complex, Townsville Krafty Kuts Oh Hello! Moses Gunn, Morning Harvey, Silas, The Seasons Black Bear Lodge Oribital The Tivoli Ajax, Stretch Paper Craness Elsewhere Hard Ons Prince Of Wales Hotel The Upsteppers, John Malcolm The Joynt
MON 07 Mark Sheils Elephant & Wheelbarrow Pat Tierney The Cave
TUE 08 Amber Williams Elephant & Wheelbarrow City & Colour The Tivoli Dugong & The Riotards, Bumbacluts The Music Kafe Gonzales 3 The Bowery Indie Rock Escalate, The Pretty Fingers, Citizen John, Upsize The Tempo Hotel Kaiser Chiefs, Deep Sea Arcade, Loon Lake The Hi-Fi Latin Nights With Voice And Congas Southport SharKs Mark Sheils Samford Valley Hotel Stockdale, Out Of Abingdon New Farm Bowls Club Wavves The Zoo
THE CITY SHAKE-UP
LOCAL PUNK OUTFIT THE CITY SHAKE-UP DECIDED THE CRANBERRIES’ ZOMBIE WOULD BE A GOOD SONG TO COVER FOR THEIR LATEST SINGLE, ACCORDING TO DRUMMER WOODY. TONY MCMAHON CAN’T DISAGREE.
SHANON WATKINS HAS RETURNED FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO LEAD HIS MERRY TRIBE SHANON WATKINS & THE SCATTERED VISION IN THE SUN. HE REGALES BENNY DOYLE.
IF TOM MILEK’S BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE VOICE DOESN’T GRAB YOU, THE LUSH SOUNDS ON HIS NEW EP CERTAINLY WILL. HE TELLS SOME TRUTHS TO BENNY DOYLE.
“We’ve been covering the song for a couple of years now and had lots of positive feedback, there were a lot of people asking us when we were going to release it. We thought the time was right, since we love the track and The Cranberries were touring.” Did the band follow the golden rule of covers: namely that anyone playing someone else’s music needs to bring something new to the table? If so, what was it that The City Shake-Up contributed? Woody says there’s plenty that’s different.
38 • TIME OFF
Bic Runga Brisbane Powerhouse Blind Lemon Prince Of Wales Hotel Elisha Kemp, Elesa B Williams, No Right Turn, Backroads The Music Kafe Hard-Ons Miami Tavern Kaldis Trio Black Bear Lodge Martin Party, Jabba Elephant & Wheelbarrow Mich Medew The Beetle Bar Mick McCombe Band, Massey Smith, The Brodie Graham Band Sol Bar, Maroochydore Rhys Bynon La La Land Rufus, Polographia Alhambra Lounge Backsliders Woombye Pub The Androgyny Coniston Lane
“Just a different dynamic to the original: more upbeat and singalong. It was always going to be different with Dave singing when the original is sung with female vocals. We had the guitars pushed out in the mix to give it a bigger sound and worked super hard on our harmonies, which was so much fun, and for the drums a lot more kick and snare.” Anyone who knows anything about this band knows they pride themselves on their live shows. In describing the experience, Woody does little to discourage the notion that live, TCSU will be huge fun. “We do pride ourselves on our live show. You can be a great recording band but you have to have the live aspect to back it up. When people come and see us play we give 150% and play the most energetic show we can. We love what we do and play the same show whether it be five people or 500. We give the punters a show they will never forget from the moment we walk on to the moment we leave. Party!”
“When you work for $8 and hour and live in Whistler staff housing, after boarding all day there isn’t much else to do at night but sit around in the common room with a guitar.” Watkins recalls. “Before you know it you are jamming, drinking cider and Kokanee beer and strangers are playing rice shakers and ice-cream buckets, which kept a lot of us broke staff members entertained.” From skint, humble beginnings Watkins has taken big steps in a short period of time. In his most recent incarnation with the four-piece Scattered Vision, Watkins has put down his second EP Laugh Til’ It Hurts. It’s a record full of honest tales, including the on-point ditty Fuck You Cloudland. “Everyone should be equally accepted and not discriminated against because their shoes aren’t leather or whatever other rules they choose to make up at the time, like no tattoos, collared shirts etc. I think everyone can relate to this song at some point in their life.” Perpetually stoked with music and the world around, nothing is grey with Watkins. By putting his cards in full view, he’s given himself the vital ability to bond with the masses. “I think people connect better with the song if they can relate to it and understand the pain or the happiness of what I’m singing about,” he tells. “It’s a big buzz for me when someone comes up after a gig and says that they really felt what I was singing about and got into the moment, ‘cause that’s what it’s all about, telling stories and feeling the music.”
WHO: The City Shake-Up WHAT: Zombie (Independent)
WHO: Shanon Watkins & The Scattered Vision
WHEN & WHERE: Friday 4 May, Beach House Tavern, Gold Coast; Saturday 5, The Basement; Sunday 6, The Hive (all ages)
WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 6 May, Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival
WHAT: Laugh Til’ It Hurts (Independent)
“When I first began singing I was about 13, and was trying to imitate Blink-182’s Tom Delonge, which was very nasally and American,” he begins, discussing his first forays as a vocalist. “Once I began writing more folk-influenced songs my singing style changed after listening to songwriters like Damien Rice, Lawrence Greenwood and Thom Yorke. They all raised the bar being able to hit such high notes in falsetto, as well as the resonance they achieved singing much lower, which really pushed me to develop my voice.” A tough school from which to emulate from, but Milek does a more than able job, his new EP a collection of haunting, fragile and understatedly optimistic ditties that whisks the listener away to the depths of their own inner being. “Although I write about issues people have being writing about forever, I believe the storytelling element makes the songs more personal and poignant,” he admits, “especially because when I sing them I relive parts of the story which in turn effects the way I sing the song every time.” The Melbourne songwriter recorded the tracks with Nick Huggins (Whitley, Kid Sam), the music encompassing Milek’s own personal vision, one that has taken many years of his young life to develop. “The meaning behind the title Love & Ambition originated from the fact that although we endeavour to find love, that’s not all we strive for,” Milek reveals. “Ambition is the unquenchable thirst beyond love – it is what we seek to define who we are. That was and still is where my head is at with regards to creating music and writing songs.” WHO: Tom Milek WHAT: Love & Ambition (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 9 May, Black Bear Lodge; Thursday 10, Solbar, Maroochydore
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Prince of Wales Hotel Friday 4th
THE BENNIES (MELB) Prophet Margin Kingston Stompers Set the Record The Ribbon Men Saturday 5th
BLIND LEMON Sunday 6th
THE HARDONS Sixfthick Spitfireliar Main st Brats Crooked Face 1154 Sandgate Rd, Nundah, Queensland, 4012
PPH: (07) 3266 8077 www.princeofwaleshotel.com.au
321 BRUNSWICK STREET MALL, FORTITUDE VALLEY WEDNESDAY 2 MAY LE PARTY SOUL WITH DJ REDBEARD FROM 8PM FEATURING TEEN SENSATIONS (10.30PM) + PUSSYWHIPS (9.30PM)
THURSDAY 3 MAY RICABILLY FEATURING THE SHAKINâ€™ QUAVERS AND DJ MIKEY FROM 8PM
FRIDAY 4 MAY DOWNSTAIRS: YOUNG GRIFFO (9PM) + CHASING THE JEFFREY (8PM) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS: DJ STREX 8PM - 5AM
SATURDAY 5 MAY DOWNSTAIRS: DAVEâ€™S PAWN SHOP (9PM) + INTERIM (8PM) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS: DJ CUTTS 8PM - 5AM
SUNDAY 6TH MAY BLIND LEMON PLAYING 2 HUGE SETS FROM 9.30PM
MONDAY 7 MAY (TBC)
TUESDAY 8 MAY MEDICORE (10.30PM) + DONNELLE BROOKS (9.30PM)
FREE LIVE MUSIC AND INDIE DJS
WANT TO PLAY? EMAIL BOOKINGS@RICSBAR.COM.AU
TIME OFF â€¢ 39
BEHIND THE LINES IN THE STUDIO: LISA MITCHELL BROUGHT TO YOU BY
WITH MICHAEL SMITH
GRANT COLLINS DRUM CLINIC
An innovative and revolutionary soloist and clinician, Queensland master drummer Grant Collins is definitely your man if you’re looking for new ways of approaching both playing techniques and instrument combinations. Tuesday 15 May, Allans Music + Billy Hyde, Level 1, 90-112 Queen St Mall, Brisbane, will be hosting another of his very popular drum clinics, kicking off 7pm, with tickets just $10, so book a place early.
ANGUS YOUNG SIGNATURE HUMBUCKER
AC/DC’s eternal schoolboy, guitarist Angus Young is synonymous with the Gibson SG. If you’re not a fan of that particular guitar but want to get something of Young’s tone out of your preferred axe, perhaps you might be interested in checking out the Angus Young Signature Humbucker. Designed for the bridge position, it’s based on an Alnico V magnet with special balanced-coil windings with vintage enamel-like coated wire, with shielded four-conductor wiring so you can hook it up for series, parallel or split coil operation. The pickup is also fully wax potted to eliminate microphonic feedback, which is of crucial importance if you play at Angus-approved ear-splitting volume levels. Pair it with a ’57 Classic in the neck position and you’ve got yourself a very Angus-approved setup.
The second album, Sunshine State, from Brisbane’s avant-garde musician Edward Guglielmino, was recorded in Brisbane across last year with producer/engineer Jamie Trevaskis (The Wilson Pickers, The Gin Club, Texas Tea, Timothy Carroll and former co-owner of The Troubadour) at his Junkship Studios in Bardon. The new album, Banga, from Patti Smith, her 11th, due for release in June, was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City and co-produced by Smith and her band. Former Black Flag/Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson, whose production credits include records for Rise Against, NOFX and Propagandhi among many, has been enlisted to produce the next album by San Diego metal five-piece As I Lay Dying. American hardcore/metal innovators, Shai Hulud, are recording their fourth album with Hulud vocalist and current New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert (H20, A Day To Remember, Terror, Trapped Under Ice) producing. Swiss five-piece Gotthard recorded their latest album, Firebirth, in their own Yellow House Studios in Ticino, in the southwest of the country, their guitarist Leo Leoni coproducing with Paul Lani (Robbie Williams, David Bowie, Adrian Belew, Megadeth). New York five-piece The Walkmen recorded new album, Heaven, with producer Phil Ek at his Seattle-area studio in the woods. Brooklyn’s POP ETC, formerly The Morning Benders, recorded their self-titled album over much of last year at both Headphone Cave and Pull Studios in New York City as well as in Los Angeles at SoundEQ Studios. Though largely producing themselves, the album also features contributions from Danger Mouse and Andrew Dawson (Kanye, Lil Wayne).
THREE YEARS AFTER RELEASING HER DEBUT LP, WONDER, TO A CHORUS OF PRAISE, LISA MITCHELL HAS RETURNED IN FULL FORCE. SHE TALKS TO ANTHONY CAREW.
isa Mitchell’s new single, Spiritus, has just been released digitally and is due out on an EP of the same name on Friday. It sets the table for her second full-length, due September, and effectively finished. And, so, how does she feel with the album done? There’s a long pause. “I don’t really know what to say,” Mitchell answers, eventually. “But I’m just smiling as I’m not saying anything. So I guess I’m feeling really excited. It’s like I’ve got this secret that I want to tell everyone. I’ve got this really expectant feeling, like I’m pregnant or something. I can’t wait to tell the world all about it.” The 22 year old is not saying anything whilst travelling in a car, en route from Sydney to Goulburn, where she’s shooting a giant-dress-and-dancer-filled video for Spiritus — with regular video-clip collaborateur Vaness Caswill — in an open field. Mitchell describes her new single as “a real moment of extroverted joy and expression… full of energy and light and hope and joy,” and the video’s “loose choreography” is meant to convey a sense of freedom. Mitchell is full of semi-mystical sentiments when talking about Spiritus, but the as-yet-untitled LP doesn’t carry the same kind of happy platitudes. “Right near the end, I wrote a lot of heavier songs, and that totally changed the dynamic of [the album].” One of those songs is Halloween, for which Mitchell took inspiration from a viewing of Gus Van Sant’s youth drama, Restless, which starred Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper as star-crossed lovers. “There’s this really beautiful scene in it where they run away on Halloween, and they first get together. It’s a really heavy film, and it really clicked with me. So, after I watched that I wrote this really heavy song with just Dann [Hume] on drums and me on a really overdriven electric [guitar]; so it’s really heavy both sonically and emotionally. “When a song like that comes into the mix, it makes you re-look at what the whole vibe I was going for was,” Mitchell countinues. “I like that there’s really dark and annoyed areas to it, because there’s real dark, annoyed moments of my life. And, contrasting with that, there’s these real moments of joy. I feel like it’s a good, honest account of my life.” Another source-of-inspiration came from minimalist French composer Erik Satie, to whom Mitchell tips her hat with Erik, a tune found on the Spiritus EP. The piano-playing on the album itself, though, is not nearly so delicate and minimal. “There’s a lot more songs on the record with more of a driving, fuller band sound. And a lot where I’m playing on the piano. I find when I’m writing on piano it feels a lot more cathartic, heavier. The physical action of hammering a piano is, for me, much more forceful, more passionate.” Mitchell recorded the album at The Stables, a studio built by the Hume brothers of Evermore on a property in Gisborne South, an hour outside of Melbourne. “I have a feeling it could turn into one of these iconic Australian studios,” she suggests. “It’s built into the shell of an old stable; they’ve built it themselves within that structure. And their dad was an interior designer, so
he has an amazing sense of how to use the space, so it just looks so beautiful. It’s an amazing space to be in.” Having grown up in Albury, Mitchell easily took to the almost-rural surrounds. “Because I’m from the country, being out there made me feel really at home, really safe, really at one with the cosmos,” she laughs. “We’d just get out of the studio, go for a walk, get inspired that way. And being out of the city, you can really lock yourself away for two or three days at a time and be away from distractions, not get lured out by coffee shops.” The ‘we’ in this equation largely boils down to Mitchell and Dann Hume, who served as producer and multi-instrumentalist on the record (“I think he’s almost overqualified for Evermore; for just being the drummer in a band”). The pair first collaborated on her debut album, Wonder, that found Mitchell finally shaking off her teenaged Australian Idol baggage and finding critical acclaim, credibility, and platinum-selling local success. Befitting that narrative, it seemed more telling that Mitchell won the Australian Music Prize in 2010, than it
did that she scored three ARIA nominations. All that commercial and critical success meant that, when time came to follow up Wonder, Mitchell “definitely” felt the weight of expectations. “I definitely went through this period, at the start, when I was just writing, of feeling so pressured, and really quite trapped. I felt unspontaneous, if that’s even a word.” Eventually though, Mitchell came to a liberating conclusion. “I realised this was just one of several – or ten or twenty or fifty or a hundred – albums I was going to make, or projects I was going to embark on and that I shouldn’t get so hung up on it. That felt like this real revelation to me, and even now I keep thinking that way whenever I’m doing something; it’s a real freeing perspective to have.”
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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 May 1, 2012
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...