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GIVEAWAYS band together with Sean and The Mob to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause. In Cinemas August 2. www.stepup4miamiheatmovie.com.au. Thanks to Universal Pictures we have 50 double passes to give away to a special 3D preview! The screening is being held Tuesday 31 July, 6.30pm at Event Cinemas Myer Centre, Queen St Mall, Brisbane. Tickets will be emailed to winners.
The Dead Of Winter Festival 2012 comes to The Jubilee Hotel on Saturday 14 July. Area 7, Dreamkillers, Brothers Grimm & The Blue Murders, Astriaal, Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls are just some of the 50 acts that will be playing over five stages. We have got one double pass up for grabs! Entrants must be 18.
Thanks to The Met we have two double passes up for grabs to Ministry Of Sound Sessions Nine feat. Tom Piper on Friday 20 July. Entrants must be 18+. Thanks to Kristian Fletcher we have one double pass to give away to the next Weird Wednesdays movie night on Wednesday 18 July, 6.30pm at Tribal Theatre. Cheesy ‘80s movies will be screening on the night. In Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987 - M) two operatives, Donna and Taryn, accidentally intercept a delivery of diamonds intended for a drug lord. Girls with guns in this ‘80s action adventure! In Trancers (1985 - M) Jack Deth is obsessed with chasing Whistler - an evil criminal who uses hypnotic powers to convert people into zombie-like creatures. Starring a young Helen Hunt. Entrants must be 18+.
Step Up 4: Miami Heat is the next instalment in the worldwide smash Step Up franchise, which sets the dancing against the vibrant backdrop of Miami. Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer and soon falls in love with Sean, a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash mobs, called “The Mob.” When a wealthy business man threatens to develop The Mob’s historic neighbourhood, Emily must
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Foreword Line – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash Australia finally gets to witness Tim & Eric live onstage for the very first time They’re one of the hottest new acts to emerge in recent times, so we chat to Of Monsters & Men with great interest What brings The Tea Party back? Local purveyors of fine indie music The Cairos spin a few yarns It’s about time we got some Say Anything headline shows. They seem fired up as well It’s been a struggle, but Dallas Frasca has a new record out Kid Mac seems too busy to be chillin’ The Dead Of Winter brings us Captain Reckless & the Lost Souls The Joe Kings have been Perth favourites for ages; where to now? We try and unravel the mystery that is Clubfeet The Hello Morning finally hit Brisbane this weekend Local mainstays The Good Ship are pleased with their new album What is going on in the world of The Incredible Kicks these days? 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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BACK TO TIME OFF! Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live 31 Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down 34 Lochlan Watt gives you brutal metal news in Adamantium Wolf 34 Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown 34 Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas 34 Go behind the music Behind The Lines 41 iFlog and you can too 42
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Check out what’s happening This Week In Arts Prepare to be suitably charmed by Ryan Kwanten Check out Cultural Cringe and go through The Looking Glass Get a look inside the Spanish Film Festival US photographer Kyle Thompson lends us a little time The always lovely Judith Lucy is back in Brisbane with a brand new show
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TIME OFF • 7
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
IN BRIEF Gotye’s world-beating single Somebody That I Used To Know, featuring Kimbra, is America’s highest selling single of the first six months of 2012, according to the mid-year charts, with over 5.5 million downloads in that time.
A LONG WAY FROM THE BURDEN Portland instrumental rockers Grails have finally announced their first ever trip to Australia after a series of critically acclaimed records that have seen them cover so many obscure genres of music in such electrifying fashion. While the band technically formed in 2000, it wasn’t until three years later that they adopted the name they now possess before releasing their debut album The Burden Of Hope in 2004. Since then they’ve kept fans on their toes with new records coming out pretty much every year, ranging from metal-inspired heaviness to spaghetti western-influenced post-rock and plenty of wild and wonderful places in between. When in Australia for the first time you can witness their exploratory instrumental rock at The Zoo on Wednesday 17 October. Tickets are available for purchase through OzTix and outlets now; they’ll set you back just shy of $40 a pop.
ON MY MIND Dave Graney & The MistLY are back on the road to tour their new record, You’ve Been In My Mind. They’ll be bringing their energetic live rock’n’roll show to Miami Tavern on the Gold Coast on Friday 24 August, Beetle Bar in Brisbane on Saturday 25 and Sol Bar in Maroochydore on Sunday 26. Catch them live to hear new tracks such as Flash In The Pantz, Blues Negative and Midnight Cats and other west coast ‘70s rock influenced tunes. It’s been a while since we’ve been paid a visit from Mr Graney and his merry bunch of collaborators so his return to our part of the country is certainly more than welcome. We’re going to hazard a guess that there will be a bit of Graney gold from the past rolled out at these shows as well as the new material, but you’ll have to get along to find out for yourself.
ANXIOUS POP New Zealand electro-pop songstress Ladyhawke – real name Pip Brown – surfaced in the Australian music scene with her punchy 2008 self-titled debut. Following her success all across the globe, she is now back on the road to promote her follow up, Anxiety. She’ll be in town for Splendour In The Grass festival but she has also announced a special intimate DJ set performance at Lala Land in Byron Bay for Monday 30 July.
8 • TIME OFF
THE BEST, IN STEREO
The line-up for this year’s Stereosonic festival was announced last week and it is an absolute monster. The festival, which was technically Australia’s biggest last year, has attracted some of the dance music world’s biggest names for its 2012 event. When we say big, we mean it – check out these names; Tiësto, pictured, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Example, Carl Cox, Major Lazer, Laidback Luke, Martin Solveig, Dash Berlin, Markus Schulz, Diplo, Sander van Doorn, Infected Mushroom, Chuckie, Flux Pavilion, Mr Oizo, Porter Robinson, Loco Dice, Bassnectar, JFK MSTRKRFT, Excision, Adam Beyer, Aly & Fila, Caspa, Datsik, Joris Voorn, Bingo Players, Tommy Trash, Simon Patterson, Gesaffelstein, Orjan Nilsen, Dillon Francis, Foreign Beggars, Zedd, Brodinski, Krewella, Nina Kraviz, Van She, Alvin Risk, Destructo, Marlo, Treasure Fingers, Beni, Kaz James and Feenixpaul. No matter how much you know about dance music, you ought to know that shit simply does not get much bigger than this. In Brisbane this enormous extravaganza will be hitting the RNA Showgrounds on Sunday 2 December. Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster as of Thursday 2 August.
Big Day Out have announced that their line-up will be revealed Monday 16 July at 12.01am, with general public tickets going on sale later that week starting at 7pm on Thursday 19 July. Full details in next week’s Time Off. Married singersongwriters Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson are set to release their second collaboration together in September. The new album Wreck And Ruin is the follow up to their 2008 platinum release Rattlin’ Bones and will be released Friday 7 September. Perth psych-rock revivalists Tame Impala have announced that their new album Lonerism will be released in October this year, with the first track Apocalypse Dreams available to download and stream online now. Twelve-piece Brisbane wunderkinds Velociraptor have signed a record deal with Create/Control, the artist-controlled offshoot of the Dew Process label.
THE HEAT IS ON
Melbournians Oh Mercy return home with a brand new record, Deep Heat, and a huge national tour that will see them visiting all states and territories across Australia. Dubbed the Deep Heat tour, funnily enough, the four-piece will be showcasing plenty of brand new material from that new record, giving audiences the first real chance to be acquainted with the songs in the live setting following the record’s release. After a successful run of shows in North America, the band then settled into a family farm in Lake Oswego – just outside of Portland – where they started creating their third album. Working with producer Burke Reid (Jack Ladder, The Drones), the album features a colourful mix of pop tunes. Deep Heat will be released on Friday 24 August and their brand new single Drums drops on Friday so keep your ears out for that. You can catch the band playing live at The Zoo on Friday 21 September and Joe’s Waterhole in Eumundi on Saturday 22.
Boutique festival promoters All Tomorrow’s Parties appear to have gone into liquidation last month, with the company’s founder Barry Hogan establishing a new company. ATP have jumped on the rumours saying that the “changes” won’t affect any upcoming events.
SO COLD INSIDE Seminal Australian rock band Icehouse have finally announced a national headline tour, the culmination of a successful 12 month return to the live scene. Having played a number of special shows, winery dates and festivals, the band will focus on their classic albums Primitive Man and Man Of Colours for a run of headline shows on their own terms. In a statement announcing the shows, the band said, “Getting the band back out touring last year turned out to be a lot of fun and excitement for us all. We’ve had varied requests to perform again and decided that in this double-anniversary year for two of the most known Icehouse albums, the best way would be to perform a few more songs from both albums.” Primitive Man is 30 this year, while Man Of Colours is 25 and these anniversaries are being celebrated with special deluxe re-releases of both albums. Icehouse play the Alexandra Hills Hotel on Friday 26 October and the Eatons Hill Hotel on Saturday 27. Tickets will be available Monday 16 July from OzTix for $61.20.
THEY SEE RED After an extended hiatus following touring in support of their 2009 self-titled studio album, this August will mark the triumphant return of Behind Crimson Eyes to stages across Australia. The Melbourne mainstays are returning to the touring circuit with a run of intimate club appearances in some of the same venues the band played while touring behind their earlier records. These shows are set to impress fans, new and old, with the energetic live performance they have spent years cultivating in an arena, club and festival setting. Tickets for all shows are available on the door only, so be sure to mark these dates in your calendar. In Brisbane they are playing Snitch at X&Y Bar on Thursday 23 August, so mark it in your diary now.
HOLD THE LINE Label mates Owl Eyes and Stonefield will head out on a co-headline tour this August to promote and support the Federal Government’s The Line initiative. Brooke Addamo – aka Owl Eyes – and the four Findlay sisters that make up Stonefield are the latest musical ambassadors to the initiative, which promotes respectful relationships amongst youths. It will be the first time that the acts, both on Wunderkind, have toured together. Owl Eyes recently released her new single Crystalised, while Stonefield released their EP Bad Reality. These shows specifically only take place in regional areas, as the initiative looks to spread its incredibly important message – which addresses the vital, simple concept of respect for all – to people outside of the metropolitan areas. You can witness these shows in Lismore at the Southern Cross University Saturday 11 August and in Byron Bay at The Northern on Sunday 12. Tickets are available now for around $15 + bf.
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TIME OFF • 9
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
Dallas Frasca has announced she’ll be launching her new album, Sound Painter, with a sweet lineup of artists. Rattlehand, Howlin’ Rabbits and Rick Steward all join Dallas Frasca for an evening of high-energy entertainment. Sound Painter was recorded in New York and is her second album. Her lead single All My Love came third overall in the AAA category of the International Songwriting Competition. So head along to The Hi-Fi on Saturday 14 July to hear it live (see interview in this issue of Time Off for regional dates)!
IT’S A CELEBRATION The relationship between Australia and Gomez is simply a beautiful thing. We have absolutely adored them for a very long time now and they clearly feel the love, coming back down here at every opportunity. So sure enough, this October, the band are returning to Australia for the umpteenth time and we’re going to absolutely lap it up like we always do, because they’re one of the most exhilarating live bands around. The Quinceañera tour is to celebrate the band’s 15 years since the band started playing live shows (Quinceañera means “one who is 15”) and no Gomez celebration would be complete without a trip down here. This tour really is one for the fans though, as the band have opened up their setlists to the audiences in each respective city, allowing punters to jump on their website and vote for what song they want to hear in their city! You can witness them at the Coolangatta Hotel on Saturday 13 October and The Tivoli Sunday 14. Tickets are available through OzTix and Ticketek respectively.
PENS OUT For the past 15 years Jonah Matranga has been making all sorts of music in all sorts of guises. He’s been out the front of bands like Far, Gratitude and New End Original, though he is best known for his work as Onelinedrawing; the project with which he released a whole slew of material between 1999 and 2004. While he said that he was putting an end to that nom de plume and would only release records under his own name from that point, he has re-adopted the name and tours Australia this September under the name Jonah Matranga’s Onelinedrawing. As well as all on his lonesome and with his bands, Matranga has appeared on records from everyone from Lupe Fiasco to Thursday and written for everyone from Taproot to Fort Minor, not to mention the huge range of bands he’s toured with and influenced over the years. There are going to be some special times when Matranga is in the country in a couple of months; he plays the Crowbar on Saturday 15 September and tickets are on sale from Thursday 12 June.
ONCE MORE WITH FEELING Melbourne electronic/trip hop artist, Chet Faker (aka Nick Murphy), has announced a national headline tour. Following his sold out EP launch tour earlier this year and a European tour with The Temper Trap, Chet Faker will be hitting the road again, this time in support of his new single Love And Feeling, off his highly-acclaimed debut EP Thinking In Textures. He first came to the attention of bloggers worldwide with his cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity (the single hit number one on Hype Machine) but since then he gone from strength to strength, having released Thinking In Textures via Chess Club Records in the UK and Downtown Records in the USA. BBC1’s Zane Lowe (UK) even gave his track I’m Into You a spin on his Next Hype segment. Faker makes his way back to Brisbane for a special set at GOMA on Friday 14 September.
GREAZED UP AGAIN Presented by Robot Productions, Greazefest 2012 is in its 13th year and will hit Rocklea Showground, providing punters with the opportunity to step back into the real, authentic sounds of the 1950s, with two nights of music set for Friday 3 and Saturday 4 August and a family-friendly day for Sunday 5 – featuring some cool cars, rockabilly music, fashion parades, dancing, art displays, tiki carvers, tattooists and a market village. On the Friday you can catch The Convertibles, Sonyta & The Incinerators, Dave Rambler & The Matadors, Dan & The Dualtones and DJ Leapin’ Lawrie, whilst on Saturday The Planet Rockers (USA), The Rechords, Rusty Pinto, Miss Teresa & Her Rhythmaires and DJ Swingabilly Ray all make the line-up – with loads more bands performing across the weekend. 10 • TIME OFF
Christopher Owens (songwriter and lead vocalist) of Californian band Girls, has announced via Twitter that he is leaving the outfit, stating that his reasons are ‘personal’ and that the decision was ‘not easy to make’. Home Is For The Heartless, the second DVD release for Byron Bay metalcore masters Parkway Drive, immediately hit Gold sales status on last week, with over 7500 copies shipped on its day of release. Sydney’s The Art have signed with American label Rocket Science, who have distribution by Sony across America and Europe. Brisbane’s Thelma Plum has won the triple j Unearthed competition for the National Indigenous Music Awards, and will travel to Darwin to perform at the ceremony alongside the Medics, East Journey and Troy Cassar-Daley in August.
DO YOU WANNA GET HEAVY?
Start stocking up on earplugs and incontinence undergarments because Sunn O))), pictured, and Pelican, two of the heaviest and loudest bands around, are coming together for an epic tour of Australia this October. Sunn O))) initially came together in 1998 when Southern Lord founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson formed the band, but over the past decade-and-a-half it has sprawled out to become quite an astonishing collaborative metal act that is constantly regarded as being in the absolute highest echelon of doom metal worldwide. They’ve released a ridiculous number of records and collaborative works in this time and their previous visits to Australia have been met with wide acclaim and sore bodies as they pull some of the most inexplicable dark and heavy sounds from their instruments as they can. Also adored in Australia are Pelican and they’re a band long overdue for an Australian tour. One of postmetal’s most interesting and musically diverse acts, their instrumental compositions see them pull from genres as wide as stoner rock, post rock and straight up metal. These two bands play a massive show at The Tivoli on Wednesday 24 October.
Sydney outfit Bluejuice have announced a new tour that sees them visiting universities all across the east coast! Dubbed the Winter Of Our Discotheque tour, the run of shows coincides with the release of their fourth single, The Recession. It’s certainly a unique tour, as it shuns many of the more traditional venues around the country in favour of educational institutions, but it’s a pretty amazing one when you look at the fact that Deep Sea Arcade and The Preachers are going to be there in support. Head along to one of their uni shows at the Red Room at University Of Queensland in Brisbane on Thursday 23 August, the Uni Bar at Griffith University on the Gold Coast on Friday 24 and Lismore’s SCU UniBar on Saturday 25; tickets are available now through OzTix for $28.60.
American punk and metal management company The Artery Foundation are expanding into the Australian market, with Matt Leost the agency’s first local representative, bringing Buried In Verona, Make Them Suffer, Built On Secrets, Saviour and The Storm Picturesque with him and taking on American act For All Those Sleeping. Shock Records confirmed last week that they’ve signed a formal agreement with American label Razor & Tie to handle their rock releases in Australia and New Zealand.
GET READY FOR THE DISCOTHEQUE
FEELING HOT NO REST
Sydney indie-psych exponents The Laurels have been the subject of a fair bit of chatter around the traps in the past year or so and this week they will be showing Australia that they can deliver the goods they have been promising in this time. Their debut album Plains is released on Friday – we’ve heard it, it’s sensational, you need to get a copy – and the band are setting out on the road to support its release, headlining shows all around the country, shows they will be nicely warmed up for, given they have been announced as the main support for Band Of Skulls for their Sydney and Melbourne Splendour sideshows. When The Laurels are in Brisbane they’ll be playing the Beetle Bar on Friday 17 August with the wonderful Keep On Dancin’s in support.
Dynamic four-piece Hot Chelle Rae, winners of the 2011 American Music Award for Best New Artist, make a triumphant return to Australian shores this October. The band announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with as avid audiences soaked up their special guest performances throughout Taylor Swift’s sold-out national tour earlier this year. This time Hot Chelle Rae bring with them one of the UK’s hottest new talents, special guest Cher Lloyd, and together they will play the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Tuesday 23 October. Tickets go on sale Friday 6 July.
What are the mascots for the Olympic games meant to be, and what have they got to do with sport? No wonder kids are frightened by the grotesque one-eyed creatures, the conceptual leap of logic required to fathom their actual existence is way beyond them…
It’s hard not to get blasé after seven series wins in a row, but well done to the SOO boys for bringing home the bacon once again. Great to see the Cockroaches still haven’t learned how to lose with humility.
Well done to Katie Holmes for extricating herself and her daughter from the whole Tom Cruise/Scientology malarkey before Suri got brainwashed and started freaking out her friends with talk of auditing and thetans and Top Gun and shit. That’s assuming the poor tike has friends…
Fantastic news that perennial freeloader Octomom – the career mother whose last litter was eight IVF babies – is moving to Australia to escape the backlash from Americans, who don’t seem to appreciate her forays into porn and stripping to raise her brood. But is she? Seems like the rumour has been quashed already.
RIP DENNIS FLEMION Sad news with the apparent drowning death of The Frogs’ Dennis Flemion, who alongside his brother Jimmy has been confusing and confounding people in equal measure for the last 30 years. Hardly famous but an integral part of pop culture, he shall be missed.
Incredible to finally see Flight Of The Conchords in Brisbane, their deadpan theatrics and awesome songs were a sight to behold. Even as they intoned “we’d love to stay but we’d prefer to leave” we knew they’ll be back soon…
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TIME OFF • 11
AWESOME IS AS AWESOME DOES SURREAL WORLD
Tim & Eric are prone to using the TV platform itself as part of their hare-brained humour, but they aren’t the first comedians to use their medium as part of their arsenal, subverting the form for their own end. Here are just a handful of their comedic predecessors in this regard: THE GOON SHOW This British radio serial ran from 1951-1960, helmed by the irrepressible Spike Milligan and his gang of reprobates such as Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. They parodied radio itself and the BBC relentlessly and were among the first to introduce the world to the inherent surrealist possibilities of the medium. Milligan later took this principle to early television with his series Q5. MONTY PYTHON When the much-loved troupe introduced the TV world to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, no-one knew how to react, with their inherent surreal bent augmented by Terry Gilliam’s strange animated links and interludes. They favoured absurdity over punchlines, opening the door for a whole new world of comedy on the small screen and beyond. MITCHELL & WEBB When David Mitchell and Robert Webb are probably best known for the excellent Peep Show, they have years of sketch comedy under their belts characterised by some incredibly surreal moments such as quiz show Numberwang! and the ‘lazy writers’, taking the baton from Python in regards sending up both the BBC and TV itself. SHAUN MICALLEF He’s playing things safer these days, but the ex-lawyer’s ABC show The Micallef P(r) ogram(me) (1998-2001) was strange right down to its title, its loose premise of being a TV variety show allowing all manner of weirdness and surrealism to run rampant. Incredibly underrated.
Those masters of madcap mayhem Tim & Eric are heading Down Under, so Tim Heidecker ushers Steve Bell into their surreal world of breaking comedic convention and avoiding AIDS threats from Internet tools.
he history of comedy is lettered with famous duos – think Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Cheech and Chong, Cook and Moore, Martin and Lewis, French and Saunders, Fry and Laurie, Mitchell and Webb, closer to home even couplings like Roy and HG or Hamish and Andy seem forever joined at the hip – but never has there been a comedic twosome as brilliantly twisted and surreal as Tim & Eric, the kings of low-budget sketch mayhem. The pairing of Eric Wareheim – the taller, bespectacled one – and Tim Heidecker – the other one – came to prominence with their insane cable TV vehicle Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, which kicked off on Comedy Central’s Adult Swim black in 2007 and ran for five brief seasons. The seasons were brief in that they all contained ten 11-minute episodes, the strange, scattergun nature of the show making this more than enough to digest in any one sitting. It’s a world of fast edits, insane characters, famous guests tooling around, old and unattractive people playing out bizarre skits and scenarios – basically just a maelstrom of shameless showboating and stupid shenanigans. Yet somehow it’s all strangely cerebral despite the proliferation of toilet humour and general inanity, and that mystique is part of the franchise’s indubitable charm. Following the show’s demise the pair branched out into the world of cinema – although to be fair their film foray Tim And Eric Billion Dollar Movie (2012) isn’t exactly as highbrow as that conceit sounds – but now they’ve returned to their roots and hit the stage, culminating in their first ever journey to Australia. It’s certainly an exciting prospect for fans, although anyone who’s seen their TV show will be wondering just how the hell they’re planning on pulling this off. “Well Eric and I actually started a long time ago doing live stuff,” explains the affable Heidecker. “We used to do little multi-media PowerPoint presentation kind of shows before we had the TV show, so in a little way it’s like going back to that. And we both used to play in bands, so we have a strong connection to playing live. We do take certain characters from the show, but it’s much more of a pep rally-slash-rock show than a replication of the TV show. There’s a lot of singing and dancing and us in leotards sweating – it feels like you went down to see your friends’ talent show in the basement, although probably not as good as
that. It’s also a way for us to say ‘hi’ to our fans and see them afterwards – it becomes like a little bit of a high school reunion for lunatics that like our show.” Given the inherent weirdness of their humour it’s fair to guess that they attract an array of interesting characters to their gigs, but for Heidecker it’s all pretty par for the course. “I’ve got to say, our audience is generally superfriendly and funny and cool, in kind of an artsy, nerdy way rather than a motorcycle-riding, leather jacket kinda way,” he laughs. “They’re like us and we’re like them and we’re all kind of in on the same joke. I think a lot of people end up watching our show alone or with a couple of friends – or by themselves on a computer – so this is a manner of experiencing it with a bunch of other people who have the same sense of humour. We find people become friends at these shows and maybe even get lucky at these shows – it’s about getting the same kind of people together.” The pair met at college, initially fooling around in bands before being drawn to the world of comedy – who were their initial comedic influences when they made the jump? “We were both really into Mr. Show – with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross – and Andy Kaufman of course,” Heidecker recalls. “Earlier it was [‘80s and ‘90s Canadian sketch show] The Kids In The Hall and Monty Python – when we were coming up comedy was pretty boring and staid, and very much about stand up comedy and sitcoms. We were approaching it from a totally different angle, being more like an independent short film art project perspective. We didn’t take it too seriously, because we didn’t think it was something that was commercially viable – it wouldn’t be something that we’d be doing for a living – so we were just doing basically to make ourselves laugh and to make our friends laugh. Luckily it turned out that [US cable TV network] Adult Swim started up and they were like an oasis in the desert of entertainment, making these crazy shows that it turned out a lot of people enjoyed as well. We found a nice little home there.” Importantly for a show so groundbreaking and innovative – and, let’s face it, weird – they were granted complete creative control by the network, a situation which allowed them to bring their twisted visions to the screen without interference.
“Yeah, I like to say that they’re there when we need them to be there, in terms of they’re the first people who get to see stuff so we get feedback,” Tim marvels of the slack given to them by Adult Swim. “They’re honest, but we all have the same intentions – to make the best show possible and the funniest show possible. Their attitude is always like, ‘Well here’s what we think, but it’s your show and you’ve got to live and die by it’, so ultimately it’s very rare that we get into situations where they say, ‘You can’t do that’. As our friend Bob Odenkirk says, ‘This is not the way that the real world works. You guys are not getting a good experience in how the world actually is’. We’re just like, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The early influence of Monty Python is indeed telling – the two camps coming from completely different places entirely but containing many parallels in the way that they subvert the sketch form and use surreal and downright strange methods to end particular segments. “Yeah, definitely, I was sort of born into Monty Python – or hard-wired with it – because my parents used to watch it when my Mum was pregnant with me, on public television in the ‘70s,” Heidecker chuckles. “And later on watching it, I don’t think we studied it too closely, but it’s certainly something that we talked about when we were putting our show together: ‘We don’t need to do things one way or another, we can do what we like’. We were also working within an eleven-minute structure, so it’s not like Saturday Night Live where we have an hour-and-a-half to kill – we have eleven minutes to squeeze in as much stuff as possible. So that kind of inspired us or forced us to look at different ways of doing sketches that were pretty quick. “We’ve never thought about boundaries in any specific way, we always thought about what made us laugh – me and Eric and the editors and a couple of other people around us. We kind of made the show in a little vacuum, without any appreciation or consideration for how it was going to be received – we just made it and made up our own rules in the process. We have our own limits on taste and things like that, so we have our own little rules and governors.” And while Tim & Eric clearly have a large fanbase of open-minded weirdos, the polarising nature of their humour must mean that they ruffle a few feathers from time to time.
“Just on the internet and in those dreaded comments sections,” Heidecker laughs. “Whenever we get anything on The AV Club – which is essentially The Onion’s online entertainment section, they always cover us whenever we’re doing something – within the first five minutes there’s always twenty comments like, ‘Tim & Eric should get AIDS and die, fuck those assholes!’. They pop up straight away and it sparks this debate, and people start yelling, ‘Just because you don’t get their humour doesn’t mean they’re not funny!’ For years it’s been this stupid conversation! I can’t imagine anybody caring enough to talk about what you don’t like when it comes to entertainment – it’s absurd to me that you’d publicly write about that somewhere. ”So it’s just one of those things where you know it’s out there – like our movie got terrible reviews from some critics, it’s like we’re speaking a different language to them and they don’t get it at all, they just don’t think it’s funny – but that’s probably fine, there’s plenty of examples in pop culture of things that are now considered great that were discussed and disregarded. I think it’s probably a badge of honour – I like to say that if everyone’s okay with what you’re doing, you’re probably doing something wrong.” The caustic chemistry between Heidecker and Wareheim is integral to their appeal, so is it a case of them having the same sense of humour or complementing each other by bringing in different things to the table? “I think it’s a little bit of both. At the core there’s a lot of things that we both find very funny and have a sort of secret language about, but then we’re two very different people and that creates some diversity too,” Heidecker muses. “We’re lucky that for many years now we’ve shared a sensibility that makes working easy, because there’s not a whole lot of debate and argument, it’s usually, ‘I agree, let’s do that’, which makes it easy. “Right now we have no plans [to break up the partnership] – we’ve studied famous duos enough to know how to avoid the classic break-up. We’re still very close and there’s plenty of ideas that we have together that feel like they’ll still be fun to do together. I think in general comedy’s a young man’s game, and I think that it would be silly for us to be doing this when we’re forty or fifty, but then maybe when we’re sixty or seventy it will be funny again – there will be some dark period when we’re separated and then we’ll do a band reunion.” WHO: Tim & Eric’s Awesome Australian Tour WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 4 October, The Tivoli
TIME OFF • 13
A SONG OF ICELAND’S FIRE The tiny island of Iceland continues to assert itself as a sure bet for delivering outstanding music, with Australia-bound indie-folk sextet Of Monsters & Men gaining notoriety and fans everywhere they go. But then, it should come as no surprise they’ve done well – it’s not like there’s much else to do, co-vocalist/ guitarist/Neighbours fan Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir tells Mitch Knox.
ust before Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s boyfriend arrives home, the co-vocalist and guitarist for Icelandic indie-folk wunderkinds Of Monsters & Men is in the midst of trying to remember something very important. “There was a guy called Tony, right?” she muses. “And he had long hair, and then they cut it?” She is asking the wrong person. We offer to Google the answer. “Actually, my boyfriend’s just walked in here; he’s like a fanatic. I’ll ask him.” A brief exchange in Icelandic follows before she corrects herself: “Toadie, sorry!” Yep – Jarrod “Toadfish” Rebecchi, played
by the formerly portly Ryan Moloney, is Hilmarsdóttir’s favourite Neighbours character, and an inadvertent ambassador for what the honey-voiced singer expects of the average Australian when she and her bandmates arrive on our shores for the first time this month. “I think you’re nice,” she says. “I think you’re nice people. I watch Neighbours. I watch it a lot. They all seem very nice. “I think we have such different cultures, so I am just kind of curious about that, about the culture in Australia, and the people there. I’ve found that as we’ve been travelling we’ve met all these people, and the vibe in each country is very different. I think I’m curious to be able to say, ‘Oh, yes, Australians are like that,’ you know?” She speaks with the air of a globetrotting veteran; one would never guess that this is a band that has been together for all of two years, especially given their touring schedule of late. “We just came back to Iceland,” Hilmarsdóttir says. “We were on tour in America and we did a small European tour, and now we’re resting for a short period of time before we go on a big tour – we go for twoand-a-half months through Europe and Australia and America. “The response has been very… I want to say unexpected, but you know, it’s been great. I don’t think we really expected to be where we are today, touring and doing all this stuff. But we’re really happy with it.” Despite the quick amassing of experience – and a lauded debut album, My Head Is An Animal, behind them, this whole touring business is still a very new game for the sextet, and so even a trip to the antipodes carries with it an aura of childlike wonder for Hilmarsdóttir. “We’ve never been [to Australia] before, so it’s very exciting for us,” she enthuses. “When we were hearing about where we were going next, and our manager was like, ‘Hey, you’re going to Australia,’ we were like, ‘Oh my god! That’s great!’ We kind of lost our minds a bit. We’re really far away, our two countries, and I don’t think that many people [in Iceland] have been to Australia. One of my best friends, she grew up there for a few years, and she’s always telling me about it, and all the funny names of small towns and stuff like that – but I can’t remember any now. But… we’re very excited.”
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Also new for the band is the reality that people outside of their own diminutive borders have found, listened to, and embraced their music, evidenced by their recent reaction to hearing their own song while abroad in Germany. “I don’t think it’s kind of grabbed me yet… we were at the airport, we were ordering some sandwiches, and we heard our song on the radio. That was the first time I’d ever heard our song outside of our country. I don’t listen to the radio outside of Iceland, so that was really weird. We all kind of stopped and laughed, and then we started to fool around and sing along. The guys were being awkward; they were singing very loudly. And that’s when I went, ‘Oh, they’re actually playing us in Germany,’ because you can say, ‘Yeah, they play you here,’ but you don’t actually get it until you hear it. I like that.” Starting as a solo project in 2010, Of Monsters & Men blossomed into a fully fledged band as Hilmarsdóttir brought into the fold her guitarist friend Brynjar Leifsson and recent acquaintance Ragnar Þórhallsson, who also performs vocal and guitar duties. Three more members followed and chemistry happened, as chemistry is wont to do. “I feel like we just really connected well together, and I think we really enjoyed it, too,” Hilmarsdóttir recalls. “It was very new and fresh and interesting, and we were really passionate about what we were doing. “What keeps us together now is that we’re sharing this really great experience together now, and these guys, who I didn’t really know before this, have become my best friends, so it’s this really fun experience for all of us.” Though she says the band never expected much – or anything – to come of it, knowing the country’s pedigree when it comes to groups of fine musicians had to have given them some measure of confidence. After all, it kind of sounds like playing tunes is something of a national pastime. “Many of my all-time favourite bands are from Iceland, and I really think there’s a lot of music coming out of here, if you think about how small a population we are,” Hilmarsdóttir says. “We’re only 320,000 people. I don’t know what it is, but we have this theory going on that there’s not a lot going on in Iceland, except in the summertime, but it’s like, it’s cold sometimes, and it’s dark in the winters, and you kind of have to find something to do with your time, so I think many people start writing music.” The alternative theory is that Iceland has always produced excellent musicians; it’s just, until the digital age, nobody really knew about it. Hilmarsdóttir agrees: “It’s of course very hard for Icelandic musicians to get out there because we’re an island and it’s expensive, it’s really expensive, for bands to go and get all their gear and tour so it really has to pay off, and it’s hard,” she says. “So I think, with the internet, it’s gotten a lot easier because you can get your music out there fairly easily. So… yay, internet!” Indeed – the web is at least partially responsible for the group’s meteoric rise. But the flipside of that is now they have a globe’s worth of fans to play for, they’re just not sure when we’ll get a second serve of album goodness to devour, so best you experience them while they’re here. “We’ve just got a lot of touring going on right now,” Hilmarsdóttir says. “We were talking amongst ourselves about when we would be able to record the next album, and we just really don’t know at this point. The beginning of next year and next summer, it just looks like we’ll be touring… But it’s a really new experience for us to be touring, and we’re just really enjoying it.” WHO: Of Monsters & Men WHAT: My Head Is An Animal (Universal) oztix.com.au
14 • TIME OFF
WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 18 July, The Zoo
THE EXILE & THE KINGDOM In 2005, Jeff Martin spontaneously disbanded The Tea Party – without even consulting his band-members. Ahead of their Australian reunion tour, Matt O’Neill speaks to the frontman about getting the band back together.
t’s difficult to overstate how different Jeff Martin sounds today. Three years ago, The Tea Party frontman was spruiking his debut album for new band The Armada. Then, he spoke slowly; in leaden, ponderous tones. His phrasing and demeanour betrayed a confidence and authority that would occasionally venture into outright delusion. He seemed single-minded; elemental. Antagonistic, almost. A furiously weathered rock god. Today, he sounds chipper. Animated. Bright and self-effacing, he effectively sprints across his sentences – his Canadian accent seemingly intermingled by the occasional by-product of his newfound home in Byron Bay. Even battling a head cold and preparing for one of the bigger tours of his
life, Martin actually sounds ten years younger than his younger self. It is a genuinely startling difference. “Well, it’s possible you just caught me on a different day,” he laughs down the line. “But, except for a massive head cold, I am in really good spirits. I’m producing a record for a girl from Townsville called Kimberely Dawn Lysons and I’m very happy with the way that record has turned out – it kind of sounds like PJ Harvey if she played with The Tea Party, if you know what I mean. “Anyway, that’s been a great creative outlet for me, I’m looking forward to catching up with The Tea Party guys in Melbourne, I’ve got a beautiful family, a beautiful home and the sun is shining. You know, what could be wrong? Life is good, man. I’m in good spirits.” It’s tempting to ascribe his mood to the recent reunion of The Tea Party. Martin fronted the Canadian rockers for 15 years before spontaneously announcing their demise in 2005. Their recent reunion has seen the band embraced like prodigal sons – selling out multiple venues across both Canada and Australia. Martin never even thought a reconciliation was possible after the initial split. “I’ll tell you what, for the first six years of my time in the wilderness, I really didn’t think we’d ever get back together. I didn’t think we could get over what happened seven-and-a-half years ago,” he says of the break. “But, you know, there’s the old adage that time heals all wounds. I think we all needed to put our individual issues and egos aside for the greater good. Once we were able to do that, I think we all realised how petty the argument was.” It would certainly be justifiable cause for the frontman’s invigorated outlook. The Tea Party’s schism encompassed years of conflict, dating back even prior to their official split – from Martin’s oftreferenced drug use (“I’m not afraid to admit that things in my life that were once recreational had become habitual”) to industry pressure to streamline the band’s sound for American audiences. “It probably started with the passing of Steve Hoffman,” Martin reflects of the split’s origins – referencing their manager’s 2003 death from lung cancer. “He was the glue that kept all the parties together. He kept all the egos at bay; kept the record labels away from us, so to speak. Once that line of defence left this earth, that’s when things really started to disintegrate for us, I think. “All the confidence that The Tea Party had that made it so special before - we didn’t have that anymore,” the frontman reflects. “So, the record label swooped in with all of these ideas – ‘Okay, guys, we need to break America, we need to get more commercial‘ – and I’m the guy who has to write these songs. Or, at least, bring the material to the band to shape into songs. And I don’t write for the sake of markets. I write for the sake of passion.” Still; one suspects The Tea Party’s reformation is actually symptomatic of Jeff Martin’s cheery disposition – as opposed to vice versa. The frontman (a man who once refused to so much as confirm what country he lived in for an interview) is characteristically circumspect about his time away from the band – but he says enough. The reunion seems like the culmination of a much longer, more personal struggle for Jeff Martin. “I wasn’t in the best of head spaces at the end of The Tea Party,” the frontman admits. “It was time for me to sort a few things out for myself. I left the band, I moved to Ireland for a few years – just to get away from who I was – and it really did me a world of good. I found the passion for making music again. I stripped it all away – you know, the artifice of ‘The Rock Star‘ – and I was just a musician again.” You can hear it in how Martin discusses his non-Tea Party output. The frontman released three albums following the band’s split – 2006’s Exile And The Kingdom (as Jeff Martin), 2009’s The Armada (with now-defunct band The Armada) and 2011’s The Ground Cries Out (as Jeff Martin 777). Tellingly; he only speaks kindly of The Ground Cries Out. The other two records are essentially relegated to stepping stone status. “I think of those records as a progression,” the frontman says. “I’m really proud of the 777 record. I think it’s a great rock’n’roll record. In a lot of ways, I think that record led to The Tea Party getting back together. I don’t think the guys would admit it – but I really think they heard that album and went, ‘Oh, finally, he’s back‘ and then we all started the process of getting back together. “It was good, though. It brought everything back to me – the music, the production, everything. It all just came flooding back over that record,” he explains. “You know, when those things in my life went from recreational to habitual, it really did affect my artistic output. My passion for music. I had to recollect and get my psyche back together – just so I knew what my priorities were again.” And, if nothing else, you can hear it in Martin’s demeanour. The enthusiasm. The sheer vigour. The Tea Party’s only plans for the future encompass a live album (to be recorded in Melbourne), a tour and, at some distant point, a new studio album (“I have no idea how, given they’re in Canada and I’m in Australia, but we’ll figure it out) – but still the frontman confidently asserts that the band have returned for the foreseeable future and beyond. “Regrets? Sure, I’ve had a few,” Martin briefly sings – quoting Queen’s We Are The Champions. “Of course I’ve got some regrets. I regret things that were said, the break-up of The Tea Party, I regret how I’ve hurt some people along the way – but that’s life. You just try to make up for it as you go along. I do believe I’ve become a kinder, more compassionate person as I’ve gotten older. Hopefully that’ll put some karma in the bank!” WHO: The Tea Party WHAT: Tangents: The Tea Party Collection (EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 17 July, The Tivoli
16 • TIME OFF
COMPANY KEPT Tyler McLoughlan gets a two-for-one deal as The Cairos bassist Rueben Schafer and frontman Alistair Richardson share lame ex-girlfriend stories and on-the-road bush tucker secrets.
ouring – it usually goes something like this: travel for miles, cut sick on stage, revel, sleep, repeat. And one wouldn’t expect anything too far different for Brisbane pop-rock specialists The Cairos, who have been preparing for their first full-scale national headline tour this month by accompanying Bluejuice, Mute Math and Deep Sea Arcade on the road in consecutive months since April. However, the four-man party brigade have recently discovered the importance of packing some extra-curricular fun into their touring schedule as well. “Instead of driving and sitting around in hotels or friends’ places, this time we’ve been very active about planning activities. It’s very, very mature of us,” says bassist Reuben Schafer, tongue firmly in cheek. “I’ve actually worked out a way to fit a fishing rod in my bass case so I can fly around the country and float a line whenever I want… We’re proper bushmen,” he laughs, though tales of cooking freshly-caught bream on their touring adventures and cave exploring with Bluejuice in Western Australia suggest a hint of truth. “It was just wild, like the crowds that they bring – they’re such party guys, partying afterwards every night. It was pretty great,” Schafer continues of Bluejuice’s antics, before frontman Alistair Richardson adds his thoughts on Mute Math. “They were just one of the best bands I think I’ve ever seen just in terms of being such good musicians, and they put on a show for hours… they just seemed to keep going from gear to gear and then they were such nice guys as well.”
an opportunity to take advantage of, so it’s like we really want to do everything we can the best. I mean we appreciate the good times and we want to work hard and make it last really.” “We want to keep doing what we’re doing so much. We can’t really do anything else,” Schafer laughs with a thick Queensland drawl. “We’ll be cleanin’ pools after this. Hopefully in 60 years.” WHO: The Cairos WHAT: Colours Like Features (Island/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 12 July, The Loft, Gold Coast; Saturday 14, Alhambra Lounge
Their pre-season touring has put The Cairos in fine form for an eightdate national headline run in support of their Colours Like Features EP, their first release since signing with Universal imprint Island Records. “We’ve learned watching these bands that we need to put on more of a show,” says Richardson. “We usually just get up there and play our songs and it’s like, ‘Yeah, done’, but I think watching these other bands and how they interact has really made us aware of the battle between all of these bands to try to get people to stay for the main act. So yeah, we’ve definitely got to focus on entertaining a bit more.” Having released two EPs, Lost At Sea and Summer Catalogue, prior to being scouted by Island at Sydney’s now defunct Hopetoun Hotel, The Cairos were eager to get a long-player under way. “We wanted to do an album, definitely,” explains Richardson. “I think if we did it independently we would have done an album, but it was lucky that Universal jumped onboard and they gave us advice and helped us out. They wanted to start to build up the fan base again, start with an EP, you know, so it’s not as expensive to get everything up and running, and then promote the shit out of that so that by the time an album comes around there’s a lot more hype.” “Development EP!” shouts Schafer, clearly having paid attention to the strategy lingo, before Richardson carries on to detail how success feels under the guidance of an industry heavyweight. “Just listening to [the singles] on the radio makes you really excited especially, and a lot of people are singing along to the songs live and stuff – it’s a strange feeling ‘cause we never thought it would happen. It’s just been like friends and friends of friends at gigs for years so it’s like these people, strangers, that actually know us – it’s frightening but awesome,” he explains, as the uncustomary seriousness of the word frightening sends the pair into one of their regular chuckle fits. With Shame enjoying a healthy share of the alternative airwaves, Schafer describes how inspiration struck for the current single. “Well, one day Ali and I were at where we rehearse and hang out and pretty much live – he’d had a pretty rough day with one of his ex-girlfriends; yeah, some lame shit went down. And we were just mucking around – it was fairly therapeutic for the both of us,” he admits, before Richardson chimes in. “He had this amazing bass line groove thing, and I jumped on the drums and played along and just yelled out: ‘Shame!’, and the rest is history.” If The Cairos’ bio is to be believed, the song is directed at an ex who “copped off” with his best friend. “Yeah, it was one of my oldest friends since I was about six as well, so it was pretty shit. But I mean, we got this song out of it!” he laughs. At the suggestion that perhaps more friends should cop off with his love interests to maintain songwriting fodder, Richardson is clear: “I don’t think I want that… She reminds me every time she hears it as well, like, ‘Did you have to tell everyone it was about me?’ I’m like, ‘Well, you shouldn’t have done it’… Shame, shame on her!” Luckily the lads have had far better news in recent times to keep The Cairos’ momentum rolling, particularly since manager Ted Gardner, co-founder of Lollapalooza and previous manager of Tool, Jane’s Addiction and Queens Of The Stone Age, has come onboard. “It’s crazy to have a manager that’s more well known than you, but it’s awesome,” says Richardson, going on to explain how they came to be in such good company. “…I think Universal spoke to a few people and then they played Ted the EP and he got back to us the same day and said: ‘I love it, I’m doing it, let’s do it – we’ll start tonight’. We were like: ‘Whaaaaaat!’ We didn’t even meet him for like three months; it was all Skype conversations… “I don’t think we even appreciated it at the start. You kind of know who he is but then when you sit down and have a chat with him, you realise he’s done everything that there is, and our little problems that we have you realise are just nothing compared to what he’s gone through,” he says of Gardner, who also counts The Brian Jonestown Massacre as current management clients. 2012 has seen The Cairos step it up in all facets of their career, and Richardson explains how they plan to capitalise moving forward. “We’re very proud but we’re very keen to keep the momentum going. I think we know that almost everything we do is such
TIME OFF • 17
ANYTHING GOES Say Anything frontman Max Bemis tells Danielle O’Donohue about surviving LA – it’s not all douchebags and Kardashians – living with bipolar, and the attraction of embarrassing himself.
ax Bemis is a songwriting machine. When he’s not penning tunes for his own band, enduring pop-punkers Say Anything, he’s selling songs to other artists over the Internet. Though orders for a Bemis original can only be placed every so often, Bemis spends a lot of his spare time off tour and out of the studio writing songs to spec for paying customers. In other words, you pay your money and put in your order and at the end of it, you’ll have a song written about anything you like, by a bonafide 100% rock star (though Bemis would never call himself that). In an age of dwindling financial returns for musicians, Bemis admits his song shop is a handy little money earner. “It gives me the leverage and the freedom to not force feed every idea,” Bemis says.
“There’s no urgency for Say Anything to be anything. It’s because I’m being supported creatively and financially from other places. “A, I’m able to write hundreds of songs every year for a particular reason that has nothing to do with Say Anything so it strengthens my songwriting; and B, it helps me make a living so I feel less pushed to make choices in Say Anything that a lot of people are forced to make because their primary band is all they’ve got going on.” Say Anything are punk-pop veterans. Already well travelled performers by the time their indie label debut …Is A Real Boy was released in 2004, the band mix dramatic, over-the-top punk-pop with snarky but irreverent lyrics. Four albums later, and Bemis is still taking his inspiration from across the musical spectrum for his most recent offering, Anarchy, My Dear. “When I was younger, like any kid, I had cassette tapes like Joseph’s Technicolour Dreamcoat or something like that. I’ve never been a diehard musical theatre fan, but I’ve always been a fan of over the top sentiment and entertainment whether that’s movies or comic books or books. I’ve always been a fan of the spectacle. It’s just where my tastes run.” Bemis grew up in LA. His father was in the movie business so Bemis has had a long history with the entertainment world. The Say Anything frontman says it can be hard to avoid the spectacle when Tinseltown is your home. “I think there is a big divide in what people perceive as the showbiz and entertainment world in LA and what it’s like for normal people who aren’t douchebags in that environment. Life isn’t like the Kardashians. I grew up with lots of people whose parents were in the entertainment industry and I have a lot of friends who today are in the entertainment industry and there really is a whole world of normal people but I have to say there is a lot of craziness and pretentiousness. And it is hell, to some extent. “You can completely exist outside of that if you choose to. Within my family and close friends, I had a very normal childhood despite being oppressed by the surroundings which are pretty fucking weird.”
There’s more to this story on the iPad But now Bemis really does live the quiet life when he’s not focusing on Say Anything. Home is Tyler, Texas with wife and fellow musician Sherri DuPree from Eisley. The pair are highly visible on Twitter and Bemis, who spent much of his early band life struggling to cope with bipolar disorder, hopes that his own example can help his fans see that life changes. “I think [our relationship] has a special meaning to both of our fan bases because we both had a lot of public dealings with not so nice stuff. I think it’s nice for people who are dedicated and kind of know my story to know that someone like me can end up happy and accepted and loved so deeply by someone. I think that’s why a lot people can connect to it. “I was like the most lonely, awkward guy, just smoking weed all day by myself, just lonely, depressed,” Bemis says. “And to think that I would be this happy one day, it could happen to anyone so I think it must be nice I guess.” While a young Bemis always dreamed of being a musician, there is one aspect of his career that has taken him by surprise. “I wanted it so bad I definitely imagined it. But at the same time the reality of how normal it seems… I’m not going to say I take it for granted but I mean, the fact that it’s such a normal thing for me, the way that I feel when I walk onstage, it isn’t like, ‘Oh my god, this is the first time I’ve ever done this. It’s crazy’. It’s just like ‘Here we go, this is what I do’. The fact that touring would seem so every day isn’t something I could’ve comprehended.” A big part of the connection fans have made with Say Anything revolves around Bemis’ frank and often personal lyrics. “If you think about the things we’ve released, the things I say, it’s just unbridled, neurotic mania for ten years straight,” Bemis says. “To be honest, I don’t know why I wasn’t born with a mechanism that makes me embarrassed,. but unless I’m specifically shaming or embarrassing a person I care about and love, which I don’t do – there’s no need to exploit the people I love – then I don’t feel embarrassed sharing any details of my life, or y’know, it’s always felt very cathartic and natural to me to embarrass yourself.” Though Bemis is happy to wear his heart on his sleeve musically, you won’t find the singer hanging out at a venue for hours after a show signing autographs and getting photos taken. “The odd thing about it is there are people who seem a lot more ‘rock star’ than me and they will hang out outside of the bus for hours, but I don’t actually do that. If I do meet you on the street or if I’m walking by you in the line, I will have an earnest interaction with you but I am very easily overwhelmed. That’s something that the people who listen to our music are very patient about and I’ve never received that much flack for it, though it doesn’t seem in character for me. But I do take pride in the fact that if I do see you under normal circumstances I am just like you. I’m just like anyone.” WHO: Say Anything WHAT: Anarchy, My Dear (UNFD) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 17 July, The Hi-Fi 18 • TIME OFF
TIME OFF • 19
Melbourne’s Dallas Frasca chats with Sam Hobson about hard work and her new album.
Sitting poolside in Bali on his birthday, Kid Mac breaks down how his mixed heritage and outside views have always been a blessing through his music. By Rip Nicholson.
ne afternoon, the band said, ‘What if we were to really make this count, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will be that once we’ve finished the album, we’ll fly to New York and record the whole thing live?’” That’s Melbourne singer Dallas Frasca’s summary of why her band upped and off’d to New York for her second album Sound Painter: to record an album in just six days. In total, the group had been working on the record for two years, and before leaving for New York, they spent countless weeks in permanent, intensive rehearsal. In retrospect, the decision is one that appears as much like a reward for all their hard work, as it does a kind of purging. “Yeah, before we went to New York, we spent every single night in a recording studio,” Frasca explains. “We were like, ‘We’re flying the fuck to New York – the songs had better be good, man!” In the six day span it took to record Sound Painter, Frasca recalls that its sound shifted from what the band had slavishly rehearsed, changing with its new environment. But this organic change was something the band expected, even embraced. It all became part of the mythos of the album’s creation, and formed the artefact of the album in its finished state. “We’re all pretty self-determined, and passionate,” she explains, “so we really wanted to get it right first time, you know?” But, of course, that never happens. It took the band many, many takes. “We had this big sign on the wall that my drummer painted before we went into the studio that said, ‘It Is What It Is,’” Frasca intones rather seriously. “It may not have turned out exactly how we wanted it at that particular moment,” – and here she’s talking in more a matter of degrees – “but oh my god, we listen to it now, and we’re very proud with what we achieved. It’s just so far from what we were musically capable of, say two years ago.” The challenge of recording something to sound live is quite a difficult thing, too. But, as Frasca explains, they’ve “always been quite a strong live band,” so this was sort of a natural fit.
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“I had this moment at the beginning of the songwriting of the album where my guitarist was sitting across from me on the couch,” the singer recalls, explaining how she was struck by what a ‘gifted musician’ the man was. “I could just hear him constantly [while we were] playing. I felt like, in that [moment], that we were only offering maybe ten percent of what we were musically capable of. So the idea of the album was to capture everybody’s strength in every single moment in every single song. That was our job.” As to where that expansion leaves their music now, Fransca wistfully assures that the band, despite “firing on all cylinders” still has many new places to go. “It’s like an apprenticeship that goes for a number of years,” she smiles. “I feel like we’ve done our apprenticeship together as songwriters, and now we’ve begun writing our first real album.
or Macario ‘Kid Mac’ De Souza life has taken him on journeys stretching far and abroad, all the while growing up between the surf and turf of Sydney’s beachside suburb of Maroubra. Coupled with his father being Brazilian, MC De Souza felt lost in cultural knots that have kept him from being roped solely into the Aussie way of life. He aptly titled his debut album No Man’s Land, where his external perspective of his Australia has taken shape. “When I was growing up, I always found myself caught in the middle of two elements,” De Souza begins. “I also felt caught in between certain subcultures where half of my friends were hardcore surfers and the other half were the opposite. I never wanted to be a hardcore surfer nor did I want to be a street thug. I just took bits and pieces of each culture that I felt suited me and ran with that. I did the same thing with my Brazilian heritage and being born and raised Aussie. I eventually worked out that being in no man’s land or being not quite this or that, can be a blessing if that is where you are most comfortable. “Musically, I also never felt a part of the Aussie hip hop scene and I am definitely not your typical muso. I am somewhere in the middle in no man’s land. I never took part in rap battles or kicked it in a home studio full of MCs ready to drop 16 bars after a hit of a blunt. Instead I surfed all day with my boys and in my spare time wrote songs bagging my mates and rapping about shit that we did on a surf trip up the coast. All of the above played a big role in the making of the No Man’s Land record.”
“There’s so much passion and love, and we all have the same vision, which is so hard to find, even in a friendship – in anything, you know? To have that in a band… I feel very blessed. Here’s this big thing that we’ve achieved together, and I’ve written all the stuff I want to write. I think, when you go through crazy kind’ve moments like this, it can define the kind’ve person you are.” WHO: Dallas Frasca WHAT: Sound Painter (Spank Betty Records/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 July, Noosa Heads Surf Club, Sunshine Coast; Saturday 14, The Hi-Fi; Friday 20, The SoundLounge, Gold Coast; Saturday 21, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
No Man’s Land dropped in May and was four years in the making for De Souza – work that he describes as a journey through discovering his place in this land as well as encompassing his time abroad, meeting his childhood idols and having them mentor his career along the way. “I took my time and chipped away at [my debut album] for over four years and along the way, the journey I had was an amazing one with a lot of ups and a lot of downs as well. So it was important
for me to translate this same journey into the record and I was lucky enough to meet some of my heroes.” De Souza toured the US last year with Mickey Avalon who features in his first single She Goes Off and had the privilege to chop it up with his heroes Warren G and Snoop Dogg, and chilled with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman Anthony Kiedis at his Malibu residence discussing surf, music and MMA. And when Wu-Tang’s Abbott RZA toured down under, De Souza spent a week in a recording studio with the producer, punishing him for advice on life and longevity in this music industry. “Although they were great experiences, it was the more humble moments of my life with my family, nieces, nephews, girlfriend, friends and just by myself that added most value to this record.” 2012’s MusicOz Awards’ Artist Of The Year winner, De Souza also co-directed the Bra Boys documentary about his brotherhood in Sydney’s surf culture made famous during the Cronulla race riots of 2005. Much like the ethos of his Bra Boys, he too feels that it is important for his music and Australian hip hop to incorporate a multicultural binding. “Guys like Hau [Koolism] touch on racial topics which I have a lot of respect for. We need more of these voices and I want to put my hand up as one of them.” De Souza states. “Our Bra Boys family is very multicultural, as is my immediate family and a lot of my friends. So it is only natural for me to want to convey this message with pride.” WHO: Kid Mac WHAT: No Man’s Land (Kid Mac Music/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 July, Alhambra Lounge; Saturday 14, The Northern, Byron Bay
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B R I S B A N E P OW E R H O U S E .O R G TIME OFF • 21
THE KINGS’ SPEECH
Rising from the ashes of Zombie Ghost Train, Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls are continuing to blaze down the psychobilly highway at full steam. Benny Doyle gets Captain Reckless on the line to discuss the rebirth.
Jack Stirling and Phil Leggett of musical expeditionaries The Joe Kings discuss the value of stage experience and discovering the art of the song with Jason Kenny.
asically, it was just a combination of the stress of being on tour and a few internal problems within the band that needed to be addressed,” Reckless tells, regarding the demise of his former horror-toned vehicle, “and that wasn’t going to happen while the band was still touring. A big problem was that you go on tour all the time, and you either break even or come home with a little bit of money, but you never cover all those costs of being away. That has a massive effect on you after a while. And the longer those things go along the worse they get.” Looking more like part of a Día de los Muertos parade than a rock’n’roll band, Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls are blurring the lines between stage and sound, their performance mixing spooky primal elements with traditional punk, blues and big band finesse thanks to a bottom heavy brass section made up entirely of trombones. But why did Captain Reckless, the 29-year-old frontman and his former drummer Mr (Azzy) T come back to life? “I just didn’t feel like we’d quite finished with Zombie Ghost Train and we just owed it to our fans to do more shows and give better performances,” he answers. “So having The Lost Souls, it’s still the Zombie Ghost Train vibe but in a lot bigger context. And the idea for the future is to take it even bigger again and have a sort of marching band thing with a really big brass section.” Three years in the making, the collective are planning to unleash their debut album towards the tail end of 2012. But how the album comes to life on stage is subjective to how far Reckless and his cohorts can take their visual elements. “I’ve shot some live action short movies to accompany the band; it’s a creation story about how this band came about and why we’re doing it. It’s just dependent because doing smaller venues and pubs, you don’t have a big screen that you can really show it on, so
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at the moment we’re just running as a band because all the songs still stand up on their own – it’s not like a musical or anything where the songs tell a story. Essentially, these songs can relate to anything, but I’ve also shot these short live action back storytype things that can just go along with the set.” When questioned about what storylines are found within the movies, Captain Reckless paints a strange, lucid picture. It’s a vision that sees himself and Mr T stuck in limbo with the Grim Reaper. It forces them to deal with the darkness to get a band, trading people they love, things they treasure, all for the greater good of rock. Previously, Zombie Ghost Train was taking on America and Europe and the Captain is eager to get back to those foreign lands. Currently, though, the focus is simply on distilling these grand ideas into a ground level movement, and doing so without losing any intensity, intent or focus along the way. “I’ve always wanted to do big shows,” he admits, “and having all those elements with the costumes and makeup, it’s a way to give a big show vibe to a little pub-type venue. That’s how we ran it with Ghost Train, giving those theatre elements but doing it in a flexible pub setting. Now I’ve got the bigger band I really wanted to explore more of the story, just to give people more grounding in the characters – something extra than just the music.” WHO: Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 July, Dead Of Winter Festival @ Jubilee Hotel
he Joe Kings are heading out on tour in support of their debut album Strange Individual, a short run compared to the 36-date national romp they did for their last EP. “We kind of did it backwards,” says guitarist Phil Leggett. “We moved, then we went on tour, then lost our houses and jobs and then moved and got them all again. Now we feel settled. We tried to get in as many shows [on the tour] as possible to say, ‘Hello, Australia!’” Leggett and singer Jack Stirling started The Joe Kings as a duo, adding a rhythm section of Ryan Brewer and Riley Watson-Russell after countless shows around Perth and building a reputation for long sets of sprawling blues-rock. At the end of that long tour, there was a moment of clarity for the band and they took that into the studio with renowned producer Steve Schram (The Cat Empire, Little Birdy). “We thought it would be nice to do short snappy songs and give it that punch,” Leggett says. “Like on that Yardbirds’ record he sings, ‘Good morning little schoolgirl’, and it just goes chorus/verse/chorus/outro or whatever and it just hits you. It’s a nice little punch.” “There were parts of songs that didn’t necessarily have to be part of that song or we could use for another song,” says Stirling. “In the past we’d try to cram everything in and we’d get so excited about a new song that we’d try to put in this section and that section and… cram as much in it.” Schram’s influence went beyond a basic producer role – he immediately saw through the long jams and helped refine the songs to the kernel at their heart. “He knew our style and what to do to get that,” says Stirling. “He knew how to get that part of the music out instead of being taken over by the epic dirty bluesy rock side. We’ve made a definite progression to upbeat and fun songs and a bit easier to listen to.” They point out that it’s not a huge departure, more a continued education in the craft of songwriting. Once in the studio, the producer made sure that the simplicity and directness of the songs was a conscious decision.
“A lot of the songs on this record, even progressionwise, everyone had changed what they were listening to,” says Stirling. “I was listening to a lot of Paul Simon’s songs; they’re major and not too complicated. A lot of things in the writing I was doing and in Phil’s guitar playing, it all worked its own way into feeling like that.” The Joe Kings have always had a dynamic stage show, but this tour they’re taking it up a level, hinting at stage shows and costumes. Stirling points out a particular Sufjan Stevens show a few years back that blew his mind and showed him that the stage show was as significant as the performance in entertaining the audience. “It seems a bit arrogant and wanky to go over the top with costumes,” Stirling says, “but I think it’s a bit wanky to do the shoegazing thing and being too cool. Gigs are funny when guys can laugh. At our launch for the EP at the Northcote [Social Club] last tour, we all wore hot pink shorts and scarves. I think being kind of vulnerable and being in a position where others can so easily rag on you at gigs makes people more comfortable and feel like getting up and dancing; ‘If that guy’s up there and he has a beard and short shorts then I can get up and dance!’” WHO: The Joe Kings WHAT: Strange Individual (Session/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 12 July, Beetle Bar; Friday 13, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay; Saturday 14, Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast
TIME OFF • 23
TWO FEET IN THE DOOR
THE BIG DON’T ARGUE
Between their immediate rise and widespread international acclaim, Melbourne’s Clubfeet have already developed a reputation as synth-pop svengalis. Ahead of their debut Australian tour, keys-man Montgomery Cooper explains to Matt O’Neill why they’re really not.
ontgomery Cooper is not what you’d expect. Clubfeet are such a mysterious act. In roughly eighteen months, they’ve released a critically acclaimed debut album (2010’s Gold On Gold), secured praise and support around the world (including rave reviews from Pitchfork, The Guardian and NME), performed their debut live set at New York’s CMJ Festival – and done so without even touring Australia. Even today, there’s still precious little information on their lives or careers available to the public. One interview makes reference to secret pseudonyms – strange references to South Africa act as recurring motifs throughout reviews. There is a miasma of ambiguity and mystique to their profile, in other words. Yet, Montgomery Cooper – who handles keys and synths within the band – couldn’t be more open. “Ha. Actually, it was totally unplanned. We’re not mastermind geniuses. It just happened by pure fluke,” he laughs. “I think that mystique just kind of happened. I mean, we’re just such mysterious, handsome, international gentlemen. It definitely wasn’t planned. I think it’s just a matter of not touring. All our touring has been done overseas until now and I think people don’t really get to know your band until you’re actually on stage in front of them.” Far from detached or aloof, Cooper seems more surprised. His anecdotes arrive dressed in a perpetually incredulous tone (“You go over to America and someone will ask you why you’re there: ‘Oh, I play in Clubfeet’ ‘Oh, AWESOME, I know Clubfeet!’ ‘What?!’). Each observation is punctuated by a burst of bemused laughter. To hear him tell it, Clubfeet’s career has been pure serendipity. “It just happened a bit randomly. We’re all mates and we were just fooling around and making tunes and that kind of stuff,” the keyboardist explains. “A label in the states – back in the MySpace
The Hello Morning are on their way up north, and frontman Steven Clifford tells Steve Bell about rampant gear theft and inter-band rivalries.
days, around two or three years ago – liked some of the stuff we put up on our MySpace page and offered to put out a single. It ended up getting a lot of good press. It didn’t sell many copies but it seemed to resonate really well in that tastemaker world. “You know, people like Pitchfork loved it, so it seemed logical that when we went to do shows, we would do them over there. It’s where all the following kind of originally began. When we recorded an album, it made sense to put it out there as well,” he laughs. “The album was actually out in the US for a good six months before we even so much as threw a song at triple j. It’s all very surreal.” Which leaves Clubfeet in an interesting position. When you effectively crack America from the outset; how do you tackle Australia? Furthermore; when your earliest experiments are embraced as exceptional, how do you tackle your next release? Clubfeet’s looming tour will actually be the band’s first ever run of Australia dates. They’re assembling their follow-up album in between jaunts (having just released a teaser with double A-side City of Light/This Time). Cooper is pragmatic. “We didn’t really have much of an idea of what we wanted to do when we set out. We don’t have any sort of master plan,” the keyboardist laughs. “I think you’re kind of limited by the skills and the gear you have. Maybe there are some genius musicians out there who have a plan but, really, most bands I speak to have just made what they can with what they had. That’s all we’re really going to do.” WHO: Clubfeet WHAT: City Of Light/This Time (Too Pure) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 July, Barsoma, Fortitude Valley
“I think this record and our overall journey is sort of taking us away from that original rollicking sea shanty kind of thing that was the genesis of the band, but there’s still a lot there,” explains vocalist and guitarist John Meyer. “We find that whole world inspiring as songwriters, and it’s not just the seas as such – it’s the mentality or attitude of the old sea shanty writing which is irreverent and often a bit filthy. You’ve got a lot of old men I guess, and young men, all together with not a lot of female company so you tend to debase yourself lyrically – sing dirty songs to pass the time. So even if we’re writing a pop song or a rock song, then often that attitude will come through the songwriting.” Describing their style as “porno, folk, country, cabaret music”, The Good Ship are certainly not ones to take themselves too seriously, though don’t call them irreverent. “There’s not a lot of bands that have humour in their songs, so I think people are surprised and go, ‘Oh that band’s really irreverent or edgy’ or something like that. But just because we use words like ‘arse’ and ‘cunt’ and ‘slut’ and we use them in different contexts, that’s not something that you very often hear – except in hip hop. It’s a completely different context and attitude. We don’t see us as irreverent just because that’s the way we talk to each other and our friends… why not put those words and those attitudes into the music as well? It’s just another part of life,” he concedes. Recording with Neil Coombe, whose credits include DZ Deathrays, The Go Betweens and John Steel Singers, Meyer sees O’ Exquisite Corpse as a different beast to its predecessor. 24 • TIME OFF
Now, mere months later, The Hello Morning are releasing a follow-up EP, Without You. The title track is one of the album’s standouts, but what’s remarkable about the EP is the strength of the b-sides. “Some of them [are from the album session] and some of them aren’t – some of them are actually new recordings,” Clifford tells. “We basically just wanted to do something new, and it had been a few months since we’d put something out, so we wanted to keep the ball rolling. Now we have a couple of things to take on the road with us.”
“We’d been up to Caloundra maybe a year before [the Sultan tour] – that’s our only other expedition up to Queensland,” Clifford laughs. “It was just like a daytrip – it seemed like the least sensible thing to do so we did it. After this tour we’d like to come up under our own steam – maybe over summer – but it depends what’s going on, we have a couple of other things in the pipeline for the next few months. But we love going up there, it’s warmer and it’s nicer, so hopefully we’ll be back before the end of the year.” Obviously with their sound being so indebted to alt.country and southern soul they also have their eyes on the States as an eventual destination. “Yeah, we’re planning on taking the album over there in the next couple of months, not actually going over there but sending the album over and servicing it to (hopefully) the right people,” Clifford admits. “Then if everything works out we’d love to head over there next year – obviously that’s where we draw a lot of our influences from, and that’s what we listen to. It’s essentially American-based music at its core – I think probably more in debt to alt.country than soul. Having said that, there’s six of us in the band, so it’s really a collection of all these different ideas and opinions and influences, it’s not just one thing. Some of us are more into that southern soul thing, so that’s where it comes from. It’s like a big argument, but a big friendly argument.” WHO: The Hello Morning WHAT: Without You (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 12 July, Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast; Friday 13, SoundLounge, Gold Coast; Saturday 14, The Tivoli; Sunday 15, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
As Tyler McLoughlan jumps on board The Good Ship with co-anchor John Meyer, she discovers the rag-tag eightpiece ensemble are more than just a band with a penchant for naughty words and sea shanties.
“It took a long time, probably 18 months in total,” frontman and chief songwriter Steve Clifford recalls. “We started off in a Melbourne studio, but then went up to Daylesford in regional Victoria and just hired this property and set up a whole bunch of studio gear that we hired and borrowed from people – and stole from other people – and stayed up there for a couple of months to finish it all off, just to get away from everything. Then it just kept growing as we added things – we added strings and horns – and it became this behemoth, but we were happy for that to happen, that’s kind of what we wanted.”
And on the road they are, heading up as support for Busby Marou’s massive tour. Last year they were here supporting Dan Sultan – have they been to Queensland under their own steam before?
THE SEA WORD
risbane’s The Good Ship have a new record to spruik, and though O’ Exquisite Corpse may be less obviously geared towards their love of a seafaring life than 2010 debut Avast! Wretched Sea, there’s still plenty of captivating high seas drama.
he Hello Morning have long been one of those mythical outfits from the thriving Melbourne scene, earning themselves a fervent following in their hometown but only existing as a mist of whispers and rumours for those of us in northern climes. That all changed earlier this year with the release of their selftitled debut album, an assured collection of soul-specked Americana that showcased both solid songwriting and a knack for arrangements clearly shared among the band’s six members. It’s a strong first offering, and one that will finally allow them to spread the word far outside the borders of the Victorian capital.
With new EP Ineffective Lullabies to spruik down the East Coast this month, Travis Hair of The Incredible Kicks tells Tyler McLoughlan about the Brisbane trio’s path to pop-shaped progressive rock.
“It’s a lot more complex; the first album was really light sounding which was intentional, but the first album we did pretty quickly not long after the band formed and we kind of wanted to get that energy of that first bashingit-out kind of vibe in the early stages of the band. “This one was much more unwieldy. I think there’s about five or six different studios and lots of file management, lots of editing and stuff. What we were really going for was a much bigger sound – lots of vocal harmonies, lots of strings and guest appearances and stuff, so there’s some pedal steel and fiddle, and lots of percussion.” Considering the everyday logistical challenges of managing such a big cast of performers, The Good Ship accept it as their lot, and move on to the real challenges. “It is difficult rockin’ up to the airport, eight people and all of our gear. There are many looks of fear on the staff faces as they try and check us in!” Meyer laughs. “But, we’re lucky in this band – even though there’s eight of us, everybody works together so it’s not a struggle in that sense. I think probably the biggest challenge with a band like us is the arrangements – just trying to make sure that everything’s got a place, not everyone playing at once. And then if you start bringing in guest players, you really have to make some choices about sounds and what’s the hero instrument to the song and all that sort of stuff. It’s a really cool challenge.” WHO: The Good Ship WHAT: O’ Exquisite Corpse (Autumn Recordings/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 July, The Zoo; Friday 3 August, Great Northern; Saturday 11 August, The Rails; Sunday 12 August, Nimbin Hotel
o understand the distinctive musical style of The Incredible Kicks, vocalist and guitarist Travis Hair suggests looking no further than their debut EP release from last year. “The title track off Fairytales is a song that I feel shows the sound of our band really well – a sweet guitar riff, big call-and-response vocals and a massive instrumental section… It’s got cartoon artwork; it’s sort of jokey ‘cause even though our music is sort of serious… it has this playful aspect to show we don’t take ourselves extremely seriously,” he says with a chuckle before moving on to their new EP Ineffective Lullabies. “It’s an epic journey, a little more vintage sounding, but very rock, elements of Queen and I like to think a bit of The Darkness and Muse in there… It’s an intense 20-minute listen. I give the listener a lot of credit that they’ll get it. I have to trust them that they’ll appreciate it, but I hope it’s not misplaced,” he says with slight concern.
our favourite bands together, went through Metallica, Nirvana, Iron Maiden all that sort of stuff, so we’ve played a million songs, been in a million cover bands and tribute shows, and so after all this time we’re just really good at our instruments. We just tend to write music that – I understand it sounds complex a little and it sounds like it goes everywhere… But it’s not really very difficult and it’s just fun for us,” Hair says, carrying on to describe the place for pop in their style. “The complexity of the music, or the assumed complexity of the music, a lot of people can derive that as pretentious and wanky and hard for being hard’s sake, but I just don’t feel that at all… it’s sort of like pop music in the way that it does have a lot of melody and form to latch onto, but it’s sort of on steroids – so more progressive than that.”
It’s no surprise to hear such masters of rock theatrics on Hair’s list of influences, especially upon discovering his career path to date.
And to add one further element to an already impressive mix of style, musical imagination and flair, the trio are an all-singing live force.
“I don’t want to drop the bomb here – this could be detrimental to our reputation!” he says with a laugh, before revealing his background with tribute bands. “The main one was actually a Queen tribute band, so I was Brian May for about five years… A lot of the tribute bands I’ve played in big theatres, some all around the world, so it was a lot of fun.”
“We’re selling ourselves as a band with sweet harmonies, so everyone has to sing,” he says of the prerequisite to The Incredible Kicks membership. “Brian Wilson is one of my gods. One of our attempted strong suits is to have bulk vocal harmonies and of course [The Beach Boys are] the best at it… I’ve seen a lot of bands and I just know how impressive it is to see a band with everyone singing. Not really just impressive but the sonic experience I find is more enjoyable and there’s more happening.”
Even with their progressive rock elements explained, it takes a tight unit to pull off a sound as ambitious as The Incredible Kicks. “It’s a style thing, it’s not really forced at all. Me and the guy who plays drums in the band have been playing together since before I could even play guitar and sing; I used to play bass guitar and drums for 15 years. So we’ve grown up together, listened to all
WHO: The Incredible Kicks WHAT: Ineffective Lullabies (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 July, Tempo Hotel
NEW ALBUM FRIDAY JULY 13 ALBUM OF THE WEEK INCLUDES THE SINGLES ‘BROKEN BRIGHTS’, ‘BIRD ON THE BUFFALO’ AND ‘WOODEN CHAIR’.
...MYTHIC AND PSYCHEDELIC...HIP AND SWINGING...HOLDS ITS OWN GENTLE MAGIC - TRIPLE J MAGAZINE -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------...ENGULFS YOU LIKE THE WARM ARMS OF THE MORNING SUN...GROUPIE MAGAZINE -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------...REFLECTIVE, INTIMATE, NOSTALGIC AND YET FULL OF TOMORROW’S PROMISE - MOJO (UK) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7/10 UNCUT (UK) MOJO (UK) 8/10 TRIPLE J MAGAZINE
TIME OFF • 25
SINGLED OUT WITH CHRIS YATES
ON THE RECORD
KANYE WEST/PUSHA T New God Flow
ILLY Where You Been (feat. Pez) Obese
Illy says that people are always hassling him, asking him where he’s been and what he’s been up to and where is his new record and all that stuff. He doesn’t really answer them. Festival rapper Pez says that he’s just been hanging out at home for a couple of years or something, but turns that into a verse somehow. Both of them are so lazy with their rapping styles that it sounds more like they’re just having a very boring chat. The beat from M-Phazes is mediocre, the bigger his name gets the more cast-off beats keep getting handed around the local community.
HILARY HAHN & HAUSCHKA
Rice Is Nice/Inertia
Finally dropped after a lengthy wait, the debut album from young Sydney quartet The Laurels, Plains, finds them replacing the reliance on volume that characterised their early shows with a quest for tone and nuance, the interplay between both the guitars of Luke O’Farrell and Piers Cornelius and the rhythm section engine room (Conor Hannan on bass and Kate Wilson on percussion) – and the way those two camps are juxtaposed – betraying a music obsessive’s knowledge of rock’n’roll, both in form and performance.
Returning with studio album number four, Flo Rida began releasing singles from Wild Ones back last year, the combination of which makes for the first half of his latest record. This small handful of (now very familiar) sounds is an effective start to this party-jam album, and with each a commercial hit, it’s been left up to the latter half of the album to confirm if the artist’s been able to evolve his talent for producing charting singles to that of full-length album success.
The blissful songs are immediate but rife with intricacies, and there’s enough diversity amongst the tracks to make Plains a valid journey, complete with peaks and troughs. There’s no doubt that their influences are far broader than the ‘shoegaze’ genre to which they’re so readily relegated – ‘60s psych another obvious yardstick, among others – but there’s no denying that Swervedriver are an apt touchstone for the beautiful washes of guitar that colour the album. The epic, sprawling opener, Tidal Wave, kicks things off, followed by the punchy urgency of single, Changing The Timeline, before the smooth dreamy psych of Traversing The Universe pulls us gently on another tangent. The airy This City Is Coming Down comes complete with bendy Built To Spill-esque guitars, while Manic Saturday is probably the pick of the bunch with its chirpy guitars and joyous demeanour and A Rival proves an emphatic closer, keeping things hypnotic to the end.
HilaryLIVE Hahn & Hauschka bring different classical approaches to their main bodies of work. Hahn is a virtuosic violinist who has played with the London Symphony and New York Philharmonic orchestras, among many others. Hauschka works with prepared piano, inspired by the likes of John Cage and Erik Satie. For most of their combined oeuvres though, they have dealt in beauty, occasionally abstract as that may be.
As with hit tune Let It Roll, Flo Rida teams up with Swedish DJ/producer Axwell to record In My Mind (Part 2), featuring guest vocals from Melbourne singersongwriter Georgi Kay. What surfaces during the fourand-a-half minute listen is an uninspiring re-take of the rapper’s ‘duet’ with Australian success story, Sia. What worked once in production has seriously flopped upon imitation; strike one for any hope of Flo Rida crafting an album that’s not solely reliant on its single releases. The same story can be told on comparing the Jennifer Lopez collaboration, Sweet Spot, and its innuendo-laden precursor, Whistle. Laboured with poor sexual overtones and double entendre, the most offensive flaw here is the studio work on J.Lo’s vocals, leaving her voice unrecognisable even to the most avid fans of her work. Strike two.
There are no rough edges, everything feels smoothed over to ensure a blissful, lazy experience, with enough going on in the margins to keep you coming back for more. Tough yet thoughtful, Plains is a wonderfully well-crafted, assured and audacious debut album.
As we enter the closing minutes of Wild Ones, it’s strike-three-and-out as Lil Wayne is hurtled into the mix for a throwaway 60-second cash grab. Doing little to enhance the record, Let It Roll (Part 2) shuts the door on another Flo Rida release which, while it has merit within its lead singles, is an overall unpleasant play.
Silfra saw the pair retreat to the Icelandic studio VD of Valgeir Sigurdsson, head of the Bedroom
Community record label, to work together on a series of improvisational pieces that have combined their compositional aesthetics and bred something entirely different. Krakow is the closest to traditional classical, a sepia-tinged track with slow melancholic string progressions and pretty piano melodies (this is in fact the only track on the album to feature entirely non-prepared piano).
Best Coast turn one of Fleetwood Mac’s most important moments into a ridiculous pianobouncing, hand-clapping farce. It sounds like it was programmed in about ten minutes – Bethany Consentino struggles to hit Stevie Nicks’ notes and just doesn’t even sound like she gives a shit. The most poignant moments of the song are glossed over like they don’t matter, with integral arrangement pieces removed altogether. Gross.
Ahead of the G.O.O.D Music Cruel Summer compilation that’s on its way, Kanye’s giving us a hefty preview with the New God Flow. It’s looking like the mix is going to be a Pusha/ Kanye record featuring a bunch of Yeezy’s other cohorts and will no doubt totally rule everything. Pusha shines on this heavy beat, laced with a little bit of a piano melody giving it a classical feel. Kanye always raps a bit harder when he’s trying to impress Pusha, but as usual, it’s his immaculate production where he excels.
Most of the other tracks are closer in spirit to the work typically found on Sigurdsson’s label. Hauschka’s piano twitches mechanically, while Hahn’s violin stretches and shrieks, creating an unsettling wash of music that dances on the border of discordance before settling back into melody. The more ambient tracks, meanwhile, give a powerful sense of place; wind seems to blow and footfalls creak across empty halls while distant strains of music echo, lost. For all the unsettling moments, the unusual treatment of instruments and the occasional atonality, each track reaches a point of resolution that fulfils and changes the nature of the piece, the sunrise after a dark night, and proves that experimentation aside; these two composers are still working in the realm of beauty. ★★★★½
BLUR The Puritan/Under The Westway EMI
In Under The Westway Blur have come up with a brand new British anthem, the kind that Damon Albarn seems to make begrudgingly every now and then just to prove he can. It has been spiced up with the same production flourishes he has learned during his time with Gorillaz etc. The Puritan is a lot more lighthearted, and the lo-fi drum machines and synths are almost an antidote to the grandiosity of Under The Westway. Both tracks are better than they should be really.
HEY GERONIMO Hey Geronimo Independent
Opening with Why Don’t We Do Something, Brisbane’s Hey Geronimo don’t really have to do too much after this track to win over listeners – if they haven’t already snagged them with that explosion of rad happiness there’s nothing that can be done. The EP is loaded with ‘60s-laced pop rock – Dreamboat Jack is a fantastic if ludicrous number about playing in bands. I Got No Money starts out like a Supergrass charger and then drops into the band’s favourite gear of handclaps and stupidly catchy hooks.
THE HELLO MORNING Without You Independent
With a dark, skanky shuffle The Hello Morning sound like the morning after, peering through the haze of last night’s boozing and whatever else with the horrific memories of fun gone wrong slowly starting to form blurry pictures of regret. They restrain themselves nicely throughout, the bass player content to thunder on the root note, horns coming in tastefully when they’re required and even the syrupy vocals are low key in delivery. One Way Ticket has the pop hooks, but that’s not to say it’s the best track – the whole EP sticks together really well. 26 • TIME OFF
It is obvious from the album title – Cock Rockin’ – and artwork of a naked lady that Mildura duo Jackson Firebird aren’t into making anything arty or intellectual. In fact this record could be one of the dumbest albums to be released in 2012. This isn’t exactly a detrimental thing however – there is a time and place for rock to discard the robes of concept, pretention and intricacy and just belt out the tunes. From the opening title track yelps of “Motherfucker!” to upholding the merits of various degrees of sex/drugs/rock’n’roll, Cock Rockin’ is not mincing about. The lyrics are barely beyond basic for the most part also, with most songs consisting of repetitive lines, grunts and yeah’s.
The third long-player from Milwaukee outfit Jaill is a much different beast to their second effort, 2010’s That’s How We Burn. The lyrics of frontman Vinnie Kircher are still fairly inscrutable, but it seems like something fairly heavy has happened to dampen the mood, resignation now rife where there once resided revelry. It just seems somehow slower across the board, and while there remain catchy moments and hooks aplenty, there’s no one track as insistent as the prior album’s standout, Everyone’s Hip. In fact the corresponding cut would probably be Everyone’s A Bitch, the new track fittingly slightly more down-tempo and downcast in tone.
Before grabbing live audiences by the scruffs of their blue-collared necks, King Cannons’ frontman Luke Yeoward earned his punk-rock stripes busking and boozing in New Zealand dives. Rounding out the King Cannons lineup with an equally angst-fuelled group of guys and a gal, the Melbourne-via-Auckland six-piece swiftly garnered a steadfast following doing what they do best in the live setting: reincarnating music for the working man with raw, honest vocals and punchy rockabilly-infused punk. Two EPs later, debut album, The Brightest Light, harnesses this intensity and delivers a proud take on their self-proclaimed brand of ‘soul’n’roll’.
Kircher’s nasally vocals and worldweary outlook dominate proceedings, whether it be the indie pomp of Perfect Ten – sounding more akin to The New Pornographers than their previous garage contemporaries – or the toe-tapping I’m Home, which isn’t miles removed from mid-era The Shins with its incessant bounce and numerous quirky vocal hooks. There are a few mellower, almost acoustic tracks that fit in well: Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs) is indeed pleasant on the ear while quite despondent lyrically (“No one to take care of/No one to take care of me”) and the meandering Madness both hold up to close scrutiny.
Yeoward’s stamp is all over this record; his delivery is honest and forceful but capable of variation, spitting at times and defeated at others. References to Bruce Springsteen are inevitable and true; Stand Right Up, Too Young and the title track all channel The Boss and his knack of soundtracking workaday struggles with all-in-together rock’n’roll interplay. What lifts these 12 tracks above being simply good pub-rock fodder can perhaps be credited to producer and Shihad drummer Tom Larkin. With the inclusion of some unexpected Caribbean and honky tonk flavours on songs like Charlie O and The Last Post, Larkin’s firm hand on the rudder has ensured there’s enough to interest without over-polishing or sacrificing the band’s live sound.
And that is the point. Brendan Harvey’s guitar is amazingly raucous, at times mirroring Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys (a huge influence as Red Light shows) and at other points aping The Mess Hall’s Jed Kurzel (Goin’ Out West). In fact there are so many influences littered all over the shop, lit with neon – an Angus Young riff here, a Tex Perkins growl there – that it threatens to overshadow how sinuous and muscular these tracks are. Harvey and Dale Hudak (drums/vocals) are an explosive team. There are elements of Beastie Boys rap on Quan Dang and Sweet Eloise that fall flat, whilst the generic nature of all the tracks will grow old for some in a very short period of time, yet Jackson Firebird are obviously a live band, and these tracks are made for blowing roofs off corner pubs. With that in mind Cock Rockin’ is a strong calling card. ★★★
But the main problem with Traps is that there aren’t really any. It’s all too predictable – hazy laidback indie pop music with just enough nods to the worlds of surf and psych to keep it interesting, but not enough to make it imperative. It’s a tad too refined, like they have something in reserve. Here’s hoping they rekindle the spark which makes their music – and seemingly their lives – much more enjoyable. ★★★½
The Brightest Light
Some refreshing acoustic guitar noodling rounds things out in Everyman’s Tale and it’s obvious at this point that King Cannons are indeed a hard-working group. Every member has a job and they do it; it’s not messy or chaotic, it’s purposeful and defined. Reinventing blue-collar music, while already steeped in Australian tradition, is quite welcome in the current economic state. ★★★★
Rough Trade/Remote Control
Radlands is Mystery Jets Star Spangled album, the record homage to their time spent recording in Austin, Texas with Hot Chip/Franz Ferdinand producer Dan Carey. Titled after their Colorado River-resting studio, Radlands holds onto all those delicious English indie-pop quirks that have always made the band’s songs so instantly warm and likeable, but brought with it are moodscapes created from a sense of longing, wonder and their journeys down many a dusty road.
Generally the release of a new album by The Melvins warrants a certain amount of celebration, and this is by no means an exception to the rule. Freak Puke departs from their last three studio outings in that the Big Business duo are sitting this one out. Trevor Dunn has stepped into the lineup once more, however, this time he plays an acoustic stand-up bass, bringing a wealth of possibility to the band’s explorative elements. So they’re again down to one drummer and one fro, but that can’t be held against them.
New York-based artist George Lewis Jr’s project Twin Shadow burst onto the scene with debut record, Forget, a suite of refreshingly intimate synth-pop that was steeped in soft wash and warmth. Follow-up, Confess, forgoes any second-album misgivings; rather than rock the boat, the same aesthetics remain, yet Lewis’ songwriting and melodies have grown in stature and strength.
In 2009, Ballarat sextet Howl took out triple j’s inaugural Unearthed High competition with Blackout, an instant radio favourite that was a kind of Craig Nicholls take on bluesy rockabilly. Since then, two EPs and a significant name change have followed. Along with their new moniker, Hunting Grounds bring some depth and maturity to their long-awaited debut album In Hindsight. While it may seem to have taken an eternity for their first long-player to drop, it’s clear the boys have taken stock, listened widely and honed in on exactly what sound makes them stand out as much as their first single did nearly three years ago.
The Eel Pie Island pack have always known how to bend a song to create something unique. On Radlands they’ve continued to do this, but have done so with an ear firmly entrenched in roadside America. You Had Me At Hello sounds like The Eagles in bed with Mamas & The Papas while Greatest Hits has a bit of Steve Miller Band moving in the background that’s impossible to avoid. Everything is familiar but nothing feels old. It’s post-pop with a burning folk exterior and it sounds utterly magical. Throughout the middle chunk of the record you’ll find glam, blues and soul all holding hands, while the back end of the album holds a few torchbearers that would serenade the coldest of hearts. And as for the paranoid protopunk waves of first single Someone Purer, it could be the best five minutes of music the Jets have ever written, the track slowly winning you over before celebrating right beside you like your new best friend. Although the album isn’t as bad arse as a cereal bowl of bullets would have you believe, Mystery Jets have stretched their wings, got some scuff marks on their boots and simply delivered. ★★★★
They’re calling this incarnation of the band Melvins Lite, but this should by no means be taken as a detractor or an indication that it’s a lesser project. No, these experimental-rock stalwarts lay on the blazing adventurism as thick and weighty as always. While their ever-remarkable riffs continue to invite one’s face on a brief departure from the skull, it isn’t until third track, Baby, Won’t You Weird Me Out, that the lurching riffs really begin to flow. Overall Freak Puke navigates slower terrain more often than their recent albums, but it’s within such spaces that this album reveals many of its most extraordinary moments. Holy Barbarian is quite simply one of the most intriguing pieces of their career, and Dunn’s bowed bass continually works wonders, adding a haunting classical quality to much of the work. And before creepy, slow experimentalism becomes too much of a good thing, a cover of Paul McCartney and Wings’ Let Me Roll It balances the contrast. Another remarkably curious and confident effort, and after nearly 30 years in the game – what troopers! ★★★★
The inspiration for much of Confess came from a motorcycle accident Lewis had last year, with a friend on the back, and the split second before impact when time stops and the words needed to tell your loved ones everything float into being. Opener, Golden Light, feels like a welcome return from a prodigal son, Lewis’ beautiful croon taking on an emancipated tone that comes from a new lease on life. Single, Five Seconds, speaks even more strongly to such themes, a euphoric New Wave anthem with ‘80s chugging riffs and Lewis sounding like TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimp at his most exhilarated. The positive imploring emanating from Run My Heart marries a murmured guitar line not far removed from Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire and atmospheric synths with the aching lyrics like “You can’t run my heart/Don’t pretend you can/I’m workin’ on making it start again” plucking the heartstrings. Such subdued, heartfelt affairs litter Confess, injecting Lewis’ trademark suave grooves (Beg For The Night) with understated beauty (I Don’t Care). Confess is a consistently seductive listen from start to finish, Lewis’ songwriting and production incredibly strong, and a strong notice of intent that Twin Shadow is a master of finding both the confidence and insecurities that come from being in love and the fear of losing it. ★★★★½
For starters, the new name appears to have tracked the boys in a new, more subtle direction. The title track, for example, is a huge departure from the aggression of Blackout; it’s a shoegazey wash of textural synths pulsing under the words “No idea where we are from/ It’s clear where we are going/ I fear it’s nowhere”. While they’ve loosened the reins and embraced surrounding influences, these simple lyrics speak some truth about the album’s cohesion. A bigger space has been created and crammed with distorted guitars and chunky bass, with tracks like Flaws, Kill My Friends and single In Colour retaining that garage rock attack, but the collaborative effort amongst three vocalists hinders this sense of progression on Star Shards and Liquid Air. All Eyes cements their sound as their own with its lazy drawl, layers of noise and unrelenting pace. Overall, In Hindsight suffers only slightly from an approach that lacks guidance but shows off the band’s growth and mature approach to songwriting since their reincarnation. ★★★
ADRIAN BOHM PRESENTS THE STAR OF ABC TV’S BLACK BOOKS Music Industry College and Valley PCYC presents
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F R O N T R O W @ T I M E O F F. C O M . A U
THIS WEEK IN
La Voix Humaine – translates to The Human Voice, is a reinvention of Jean Cocteau’s classic. The script was originally written in French in 1932 and has been adapted for a 21st century audience using text, dance, multimedia and bilingual performances in an agonising depiction of a voice lost in translation. Directed by Dave Sleswick “…we talk, we talk, it never occurs to us that we’ll have to stop talking, hang up and return to the emptiness, the darkness…”. Closing night, La Boite Indie, 8pm
WEDNESDAY 11 Dangling My Tootsies – German cabaret artiste Agnes Bernelle’s songs and stories using the wry lyrics of 1930s poet Joachim Ringelnatz (as well as those of Marc Almond and Tom Waits) brought to life in this unique cabaret performance by Annie Lee. She is joined by three musicians who each bring their own richly layered twist to this curious and enchanting show. Opening night, Brisbane Powerhouse, 7pm until 14 July.
FRIDAY 13 Richard Ford – American author Richard Ford, in conversation with Steven Lang, author and Director of Outspoken Maleny, are having a discussion about Ford’s latest book, Canada. A novel of vast landscapes, complex identities and fragile humanity, Canada questions the fine line between the normal and the extraordinary and the moments in our lives that take us into new worlds. Ford’s novel Independence Day was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. A Brisbane Writers Festival Bookend Event, Brisbane Powerhouse, 7.15pm.
SUNDAY 15 Boxing Clever – an exhibition from artist Miles Allen, he uses wooden fruit and vegetable boxes which been cut up, coloured with ink and rearranged into a variety of shapes and patterns. The art is consistent with Allen’s ongoing exploration into the use of a variety of materials and mediums to create geometrical artworks with lines and rhythms. Closing Today, Percolator Gallery in Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, 10am-5pm.
ONGOING Ben Ely Game Over & Brian Graydon Hateful But Shy – Regurgitator’s Ben Ely and Korpus’ Brian Graydon have joined forces for a showing of their new works. Bouncing from the inspired visual direction demonstrated on the most recent Regurgitator album SuperHappyFuntimesFriends. Ely has assembled for Game Over a collection of painting provoked by his love of old-school video and board games. Hateful But Shy is collection of works largely centring on the travails of a lone protagonist in a variety of archetypal situations. Lust for Life Tattoo Gallery, 7pm exhibiting until 29 July.
After referencing what he believes to be a Ben Kingsley quote about letting the audience think what your character’s thinking (in relation to his Not Suitable For Children character Jonah), Ryan Kwanten jokes, “Just don’t compare that performance to Gandhi.” Bryget Chrisfield is suitably charmed.
So you can get a visual, at the time of our chat, Ryan Kwanten is “in the car on the way to a meeting” in LA. “It’s riveting stuff,” he observes with a chuckle. Work-wise, Kwanten is “on the set of the tail end of Season 5 of True Blood” and, since this season’s currently airing in Australia, he eagerly enquires: “Whaddaya think so far?” Well, apart from the obvious eye candy, we’ve certainly missed the hilarious script. A reference to his sister on the show, Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin) and her “supersnatch” springs to mind. “Oh, yeah. Pam’s line,” Kwanten correctly identifies the vampire quip. Does Kwanten have a favourite zinger from his oversexed, loveable-dumbarse character Jason Stackhouse? “There’s so many,” he admits. “Jason’s just had some doozies. The one that I kinda like the most is when he says, ‘This town might be full of rednecks and dumbarses, but they’re still Americans’… Most of the time the more conviction he has the less sense he makes: he’s geared up for action [in] a scene where he’s sorta looking like Rambo and he quotes something and he thinks it’s from the Constitution, but he’s not sure.” It has to be said that Kwanten nails Stackhouse’s Southern accent. “Because I don’t come from any formal acting background, I really don’t know where my ability to pick up accents comes from, because
BARRACKS 07 3367 1954 61 PETRIE TCE, TOP OF CAXTON ST
BATMAN MOVIE MARATHON BATMAN BEGINS (M) WED 6.00PM
THE DARK KNIGHT (M) WED 8.45PM
HYSTERIA (M) (NO FREE TIX) THU 11.00 (BABES) 1.50, 7.15, 9.15PM FRI/MON/TUE 11.40, 1.40, 7.30, 9.25PM SAT/SUN 11.40, 3.35, 7.30, 9.25PM WED 11.40, 1.45, 7.35PM
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (CTC) (NO FREE TIX) – THU 12.01AM NOT SUITABLE FOR MARGARET (MA15+) (NO CHILDREN (MA15+) (NO FREE TIX) THE 15TH SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL JULY 11
THU/FRI/MON 10.30, 1.15, 6.30, 9.15PM SAT/SUN 10.45, 3.45, 6.30, 9.15PM TUES/WED 10.45, 1.30, 6.30,
happen here I’ve gotta at least pretend I’m going somewhere.’” Between filming True Blood seasons (and yes, HBO has renewed the hit show for a sixth season) Kwanten often returns to his homeland to star in local films, something he is passionate about: “I love the filmmakers I’ve worked with. I’m really proud of all of [the films], particularly Not Suitable For Children.” In his latest film Kwanten plays Jonah, a carefree, partyhard playboy whose priorities are shaken up when a casual sexual partner discovers what turns out to be a cancerous lump in one of his testicles. You’ll giggle, you’ll get teary… “Oh, we got you welled up! I like it!” Kwanten enthuses. “You take me back to the first time I read it too. It has a lot of those moments where it’s almost like those little half-giggles that escape out of you because you’re not quite sure what else to do.” Speaking affectionately about his character, Kwanten observes: “For a free-spirit guy, Jonah is relatively internal for a lot of it.” Which would surely have put the actor’s facial expressions to the test. “Or lack of, yeah,” he disputes. “I don’t remember who it was, it might’ve even been Kingsely but don’t quote me on that: Sometimes it’s better to let the audience think what you’re thinking as opposed to you doing it yourself. So I feel like Jonah does a lot of that.” Perhaps Ben Kingsley said that circa Gandhi, who was a man of few words. “Right, yeah probably. Just don’t compare that performance to Gandhi,” Kwanten stresses with a laugh. There are regular house-party scenes throughout Not Suitable For Children and, remarkably, everyone’s rocking out in time with the music and looking suitably
MARGARET (MA 15+) EXCLUSIVE TO BARRACKS
THURSDAY 12TH JULY TO WEDNESDAY 18TH JULY 2012
28 • TIME OFF
Did playing Vinnie Patterson on Home And Away help Kwanten get used to acting shirtless? “Um…” There’s a pause, as if he’s disappointed the conversation had to veer this way. “No, I don’t think you ever quite get used to it.” Just weird? “Well, it’s not normal.” (Quick subject change.) So how old was Kwanten when he moved to LA? “I was – what is it? Eleven years ago, so I was 23.” That must have been some adjustment. “Yeah, I mean I really look back on it now as sort of a rebirth of Ryan Kwanten, because it was a chance for me to let go of the inhibitions and the things that were perhaps holding me back in Australia and really just create a new version of who I wanted to be.
CENTRO 07 3852 4488 39 JAMES STREET, THE VALLEY
I’ve done so many, now that I’ve been over here for as long as I have, and I’ve never once had an issue, you know, never had a director come up or a producer saying, ‘How about we use someone for you?’ So I’ve never used a dialect coach. I’ve always just taken great pride in nailing it myself.” Do people in the US still freak out when he speaks with an Australian accent? “Oh yeah,” he laughs. “All the time. Probably not a day goes by where I don’t get that.”
“I was so secluded, because I really knew no one out here. I literally had no friends and no money so everything was so new and – it’s not exactly a culture shock out here, but in some respects it is because there’s a way that they do things here that’s very different to the laidback way that we do things back in Australia. Everyone’s very driven and they’re all trying to get to somewhere. And so that kinda helped me when I first started out here, was that ability to just, ‘Well if I’m gonna make things
Feeling Sexy – the only feature film from visual artist Davida Allen, it explores the stress and anguish experienced by a passionate young woman as she becomes a wife and mother; a searingly honest insight into a creative person’s search for survival. Davida Allen’s visual acuity is on display here, enriching the film immeasurably. Director Davida Allen in-conversation discussing her project after the screening. Part of the Contemporary Australia: Women in Film Series, GOMA, Cinema 1, 2pm.
The Room – from Tommy Wiseau, who is either a genius or the luckiest guy, comes a screening of this cult hit. Dubbed the ‘Citizen Kane of bad movies’, it’s-good movie in all its glory; a piece of cinema so awful that it has become a cult phenomenon. Audiences around the world have embraced Wiseau’s film, dressing up as their favourite characters, throwing plastic spoons at the screen, tossing footballs to each other and yelling insulting comments about the quality of the film. Truly unforgettable with glaring plot holes, strange editing and a bizarre lead performance from Tommy Wiseau himself. “You’re tearing me apart Lisa.” Tribal Theatre, 7pm.
THU 12.55, 4.00, 9.30PM FRI/MON 9.45, 4.00, 9.30PM SAT/SUN 9.45, 1.30, 9.30PM TUE 9.45, 4.15, 9.30PM
WED 9.45, 4.15, 6.45PM
TED (MA15+) (NO FREE TIX)
THU-WED 12.10, 2.25, 4.40, 7.00, 9.15PM
THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2D (M) (NO FREE TIX)
THU-WED 10.10, 3.10, 6.30, 9.20PM
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (M)
THU 10.05, 3.30, 6.45PM FRI-TUE 10.05, 3.30, 9.25PM WED 10.05, 3.30, 8.45PM
A ROYAL AFFAIR (M) THU 12.45, 9.25PM
FRI-TUE 12.45, 6.45PM WED 12.45PM
THU/WED11.40AM FRI-TUES 1.35PM
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (MA15+) BARRACKS EXCLUSIVE! THU-TUE 5.40, 7.35PM WED 5.40, 9.30PM
BRAVE 2D (PG)
THU 10.00, 2.55PM FRI-TUE 10.00, 5.30PM WED 10.00, 1.40PM
up for it minus the cringe factor. “I couldn’t agree more,” Kwanten concurs. “That was a huge thing for Peter [Templeman, director] and I that we got that right. We felt like that sorta cheeseball way that Americans – and even Aussies sometimes – can portray those party scenes, it just looks like the kinda parties that you would not go to in a million years... Ultimately I feel like it’s down to the element of the crowd, ‘cause if they’re not dancing to the same song, sometimes you can see one of the extras looking out of the corner of his eye to see the camera there – we had none of that, everyone was just so into it and the camera just sorta became another character.” Having read with interest that Kwanten had been cast as notorious serial killer Charles Manson in a film potentially called The Family, it’s disappointing to hear this project’s “been put on the back burner for a little while”. Kwanten expresses his frustration: “It’s funny, I don’t necessarily think of myself as the best actor but it’s dealing with things like that, which is the rejection and having the tenacity to keep coming back. I don’t mind getting hit and being told that I didn’t get a job or that a job fell through and it’s the old, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’-type thing.” So does Kwanten feel he’s getting better at dealing with these unpleasant aspects of his chosen profession? “Look, I’m a pretty sore loser and I take everything to heart, but I’ve really learned to just enjoy the best of making the film as opposed to getting it or the success of it once it is made. I’ve learnt to separate those things.” WHAT: Not Suitable For Children WHEN: Opening nationally Thursday 12 July
HYSTERIA (M) OPENS JULY 12
07 3852 4488
15TH SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL (ALL NO FREE TIX) AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT (MA15+) THU/ SAT 6.30PM
TORRENTE 4 (18+) THU 9.00PM
CHINESE TAKE-AWAY (M) FRI 6.30PM
SLEEP TIGHT (18+) FRI 8.30PM
SIX POINTS ABOUT EMMA (MA15+) SAT 2.15PM TUE 8.30PM
MY FIRST WEDDING
THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE (18+) SAT 8.45PM
FISHERMAN (18+) SNOWFLAKE, THE WHITE SUN 10.00AM GORILLA (PG) CAPTAIN THUNDER AND SAT 10.00AM THE HOLY GRAIL (MA15+) MADRID, 1987 (18+) SUN 12.00PM
THE BAD INTENTIONS (MA15+)
COUSINHOOD (18+) SUN 5.00PM
WINNING STREAK (18+) SUN 7.00PM
UNIT 7 (MA15+) SUN 9.00PM WED 6.30PM
SAVING PRIVATE PEREZ (18+) MON 6.30PM
DARK IMPULSE (18+) MON 8.45PM
WRINKLES (MA15+) TUE 6.30PM
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (MA15+) WED 8.45PM
NY MET OPERA: DIE WALKURE (CTC) (NO FREE TIX) ENCORE SCREENINGS!
SAT 11.30AM SUN 1.00PM
NT LIVE: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (CTC) (NO FREE TIX) BY POPULAR DEMAND!
SAT/ SUN 1.00PM
F R O N T R O W @ T I M E O F F. C O M . A U
C U LT U R A L
WITH MANDY MCALISTER Last week was an interesting week for theatre openings in Brisbane. Tuesday saw La Voix Humaine open at La Boite and Thursday the deceptively titled He’s Seeing Other People Now kicked off at Metro Arts. Both are products of these institutions’ independent programs, La Boite’s thriving Indies and Metro Arts’ long-established Independents. Productions from these programs always make for interesting viewing. Often it’s because the work is showing to the public for the first time since development, or it’s because these programs embrace the experimental. La Boite in particular has become known for modernising texts through innovation. With La Voix Humaine, in step with La Boite’s house style, Indies participants Motherboard Productions have adapted Jean Cocteau’s 1930 play to the point of experimentalism. Traditionally performed by one actress, La Voix Humaine shows one half of a long conversation between a woman and her ex-lover who is due to be married the next day. Three beautiful yet diverse actresses are used for one role, and dance and video – devices that belong in contemporary theatre – are incorporated into the production. However, with the cultural improvements ushered in with women’s liberation, these days fiercely co-dependent and painfully high maintenance women – such as the play’s protagonist – are the stuff of parody for B-grade rom-coms and it’s difficult to empathise with a character who is so very disempowered and deluded.
Given that director Dave Sleswick has done such a fine job with the contemporary elements it’s a shame he hasn’t chosen a source material more open to retrofitting. La Voix Humaine and He’s Seeing Other People Now don’t immediately draw comparisons. However, both deal with desperate attempts to connect with fellow human beings in the face of a lack – or perceived lack – of empowerment. He’s Seeing Other People Now is a doublehander set in a dystopian future where citizens have been driven to riot by an oppressive government. Amid the chaos, two people struggle to make a connection. Their every movement is filmed, a midnight curfew is enforced and touching another human being in public has been outlawed. Some might say this is a timely production given that the Newman government is anathema to art and outright discriminatory towards the LGBTI community. However, given that those communities are generally prone to creation and progression rather than destruction, the onset of a riot may require more than one ignorant bogan in disguise to have people undermine those principles. He’s Seeing Other People Now still can, however, serve as a cautionary tale as to what can happen when normal citizens are pushed too far. As choppy as the script sometimes is, Katy Curtain and Norman Doyle as Fay and Archie are natural and likeable, while the striking video design, which places the story in our fair city, is evocative and pulls the audience into the story though the sheer power of familiar landscapes. The play’s end could prove divisive but those willing to embrace it will find it very satisfying.
WITH HELEN STRINGER If you’ve ever thought that looking like a total wanker is an unavoidable side effect of visiting an art gallery, spare a thought for those punters attending London’s Hayward Gallery who are paying to look at nothing. Invisible: Art About The Unseen is the gallery’s current exhibition; it’s a retrospective of conceptual art that’s almost entirely invisible. Tautologies aside, yes, that means people are staring, furrowed brows and all, at (mostly) nothing. Invisible art is nothing new; everyone from Yves Klein to Martin Creed has had a go at spruiking the unseeable. More recently the man for whom I can no longer be bothered adding the requisite forward slashes to cover his largely unsuccessful attempts at polymath glory, James Franco, extorted dollars from the public for his own invisible project. Let’s never again mention that I can verify Franco’s foray into invisibility with the certificate of authenticity I received for donating $25 to get his invisible museum off the invisible ground. Some would say that this is conceptual art taken to its logical extreme where the concept itself becomes the art and the art itself becomes superfluous. Others would say this is the perfect exhibition for such a harsh economic environment, what with it being so cheap to install and all. Still others would suggest that we now live in an invisible world and then proceed to quote Nietzsche or Flaubert or some such pretentious shit. I, however, am inclined to say that this is just the beginning.
Why leave invisibility to visual arts? I propose that I receive generous government and private funding to write an invisible novel. We can all but guarantee an inundation of state government cash; after all, this is a project which fits perfectly with the LNP’s invisible arts policies. For the bargain price of $39.99 (remember, this is a piece of revolutionary art) readers will receive a physical book filled with blank pages which are really filled with invisible words (incidentally, this is a rather accurate replication of the forthcoming visible novel I’m currently writing, if invisibly). Rather than provide a plot synopsis to titillate the imagination I intend only on collecting hyperbolic endorsements from celebrated Australian authors which will be emblazoned across the title-less cover. I’m predicting words such as “generation defining” and “instant classic” will be used. I await replies from Anna Funder and Bryce Courtenay with bated breath. By leaving the pages blank I’m inviting the reader to construct, to actualise, if you will, their own novel. It’s an all-inclusive process; you define your own generation with your own experience by imposing your own personal narrative on the negative space of the blank white page. As a side benefit, this renders the otherwise inevitable accusations of “white, middle-class, private-school educated whinging” untenable; the invisible novel speaks for everyone, or perhaps no-one. I do, however, expect to be paid in actual money which I can actually spend on actually elevating me to the luxury I actually intend on becoming accustomed to.
AMIGOS Y AMIGAS... FESTIVAL DE CINE Anthony Carew previews the 15th Spanish Film Festival. The 15th Spanish Film Festival opens with the latest flick for one of the few Spanish filmmakers to have found recent local-release love: Álex de la Iglesia. As Luck Would Have It is his follow-up to last year’s hysterical, maniacally-violent The Last Circus, and it features the same kind of pitch-black comedy, gymnastic camera-work, saturated-colours, and way-overthe-top tone he’s based his career around. Effectively a satire on media hysteria, de la Iglesia gives us a luckless, unemployed father who becomes an instant celebrity when he’s involved in a calamitous accident; our fallen hero negotiating media deals with circling vultures whilst hanging onto life by a thread. Closing night is a far more uneasy proposition: Sleep Tight chronicling a creepy concierge who methodically, obsessively messes with the tenants and staff in his building, stalking one dame with a perversity that’ll repulse closing-night patrons. No Rest For The Wicked is one of the SFF’s big draws, a Goyahoarding procedural that unfolds with a meticulous sense of slow-burn pain; Enrique Urbizu’s picture seemingly modelled on the drawn-out dissatisfaction of David Fincher’s colossus Zodiac. Where the picture starts with its drunken anti-hero coldly slaughtering a barful of lowlifes, there’s few salacious
five minutes with
SALMA HAYEK IN AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT notes thereafter; the story unfolding through an investigation that uncovers plenty of dark connections, yet never suggests, for a minute, that justice is to be served. Dark Impulse is a far more idiotic policier, dredging up clichés —this time it’s personal!— and tipping into the slow-motion-sex-scene realm of the ‘erotic thriller’. Cousinhood slums it in another nefarious genre: the rom-com. So utterly dire you could confuse it for an Italian commercial comedy and those are, indeed, fighting words— it tells the tale of three ‘hilarious’/mismatched cousins who spontaneously go on a road-trip back to their old village; encountering a colourful cast of comic caricatures that grow almost instantaneously grating. But, hey, if you’re excited by the fact that there’ll be a ‘down’ moment ten minutes from the end followed by a pleasing resolution, run wild. Chinese Take-Away reminds me of a terrible —yet bafflingly crowdpleasin’— movie from Israel called Noodle, where a Chinese orphan is treated less as human being, more as exotic pet. The set-up here’s basically the same: Argentina’s eternal leading-man Ricardo Darín playing a gruff loner who comes into possession of his very-own lost Chinese immigrant. Darín thinks he’ll have to teach him the Argentine
EVERYBODY LOVES LUCY Dialling her comedy back to the core, Judith Lucy is promising nothing but quality gags on her new tour. In other words, Nothing Fancy, as she tells Baz McAlister. On the morning Judith Lucy picks up the phone, the coffee’s on the boil and she’s in fine spirits despite a rather rough night being kept awake by the intermittent lowbattery beep of a smoke alarm. “I tell you, Baz, I felt like I was in Guantanamo Bay,” Lucy says. Your correspondent discreetly inquires if she’ll have time for a mid-afternoon nanna nap. “Probably not, but that’s showbiz. I’m not 90 – I’ll struggle on,” she laughs. With her 25th anniversary in comedy on the horizon in the next couple of years, Lucy has tweaked her shows almost every way a stand-up can. But with this run of shows, under the moniker Nothing Fancy, she vows they will be no-singing, no-dancing extravaganzas. “I’m promising jackshit!” she says. “I’ve done quite a few shows over the years and quite a lot of them have had narrative
structure and I’ve often chucked a song or a dance in, despite the fact that I have no talent in either of those areas, and I just thought, ‘Let’s just do some good oldfashioned stand-up’. So it’s going to be me, a microphone, maybe two props. There might be a turnip, that’s all I’m saying. But outside of that it’s just wall-to-wall gags, fingers crossed.” Lucy says after all these years she doesn’t even really transfer her material onto paper, she just gets on stage and has a chat. This show’s subject matter, she says, is a combination of observations that catch her eye or make her angry – “stuff that’s floating around in the flyblown shop that is my mind”, as she delicately puts it. It’s also bound to include a fair few behind-the-scenes yarns from the making of her recent TV show for the ABC, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, a six-part odyssey
ways —eating bull’s testicles!— but, woah, it’s our foreign visitor that, like E.T., will teach us the lessons… The Bad Intentions operates in a micro-genre of far more interest: the coming-of-age-tale-set-to-atumultuous-political-upheaval. Here, a pre-adolescent child-of-privilege lives a sheltered life in a large country-house, ferried by a private driver to-and-fro her Catholic girls school. But the rise of the Shining Path —and a sense of hoped-for Communist insurgency amongst the lower-classes— has young Cayetana questioning her bourgeois position-on-high, all whilst cultivating a fatalism informed by both the tense political mood and South America’s history of martyred freedom-fighters. Wrinkles is an animated picture rendered in glorious 2D shades, a grown-up, downbeat drama taking place in an aged-care facility, which uses its cartoon palette to depict the slow slide into dementia with great artistry. Ignacio Ferreras’ gracious picture conveys the sad plight of the aged and infirm with an undeniable plea for compassion; Wrinkles deeply touching and at-times genuinely brilliant. WHAT: The 15th Spanish Film Festival WHEN & WHERE: Opening tonight and running until 22 July, Palace Centro. into religious thinking in her own inimitable style. “The whole point of the exercise was getting free trips,” she says. “I got to go everywhere in this country, from Byron Bay to Alice Springs where I spent time with three female Aboriginal elders. Then I got to go to India. The only reason I’m trying to come up with an idea for another television series is I’m due for another trip.” Today, when she puts the phone down, she’s set to forge ahead with a book based on the show, which is the project she says is making her want to blow her brains out. “It’s my answer to Eat, Pray, Love,” she says. “At this stage it’s called Drink, Smoke, Pass Out. I like to think people will relate a little bit more to my journey than Elizabeth Gilbert’s.” But that idea for another series is bubbling in the back of her brain. She says when she is ready to pitch she’ll be leaving the topic of religion alone, in favour of perhaps the only topic that’s deeper. “If the ABC is foolish enough to employ me again and I get another series up it’ll be quite different. One day I’d like to do a series about death. There’s a lot of material there and it’s something none of us can avoid. We are just so ill-equipped for it. People don’t know what to say or do about it. I think it’s pretty much the only taboo we have left in society.” The other great taboo being the C-bomb, this writer suggests? “Not in my shows, Baz,” hoots Lucy. “Come along!”
Despite lacking any formal training in photography Kyle Thompson has certainly created a huge following, which can only mean his work is crafted on raw talent, though his use of camera technique tells a different story. Thompson’s photographs do stem from somewhere. “Francesca Woodman, she’s who got me started with photography,” he explains. Despite the world saying otherwise, Thompson believes his less than traditional path was exactly the right course to take. “I’m learning more by myself, taking photos every day, than I would in art school.” Thompson is 20 and lives in Chicago, Illinois, and he burst onto the social media scene clogging up Facebook newsfeeds with his powerful images: “I started experimenting with photography over a year ago. My friend and I started going to abandoned houses and took photos with his parents’ camera.” Little adventures into abandoned houses never seem to end well in films, so it’s no surprise Thompson found a house that was less than comfortable to shoot in. “One had old guns all over and deer heads…” Fear of scary places doesn’t stop this artist though because there’s no way he can despise the places that inspire him. “I love the emptiness and how you can piece together how in the past people used to live. It’s crazy how much you can learn about people from the ruins of their past homes.” Thompson certainly doesn’t lack depth in his thoughts or photography; he skilfully pins down a sense of emptiness in every photo with vibrant, contrasting colour, eccentric ideas, simple ideas and a diverse use of exposure. Spaces such as empty houses then have obviously been a huge influence in his work with an array of eerie rooms filled with a definite sense of quirky darkness, and even a balloon or 20? “I think they give a burst of colour to photos and can represent playfulness, which can contrast with some dreary scenes.” Thompson’s photos look technically profound and are certainly well thought out before the click. “I often draw concepts beforehand. I go out as soon as I can capture the thought in a photo.” Such long concentration on conceptualising each unique idea must require some hearty sustenance but Thompson assures the opposite: “I usually don’t eat breakfast, I wake up too late!” Who says champions need breakfast anyway? Emily Adams WHO: Kyle Thompson – Photographer WHAT: 365 Day Project – www. flickr.com/photos/kyle_thompson
WHAT: Judith Lucy WHEN & WHERE: Opening Tuesday 17 July until Sunday 22, 8pm, Brisbane Powerhouse TIME OFF • 29
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DEFAMER Member answering/role: Tim – voice
How long have you been together? Defamer is in its seventh year of rising gorges and bludgeoning ear drums in the name of death metal.
How did you all meet? We were drawn together for a variety of reasons and bound by our love of extreme music.
equipment and profound pyrotechnical displays. That said I don’t know too many musicians who wouldn’t.
BBQ Master Chef. It hasn’t been invented yet but when it is, it will unite the nation.
Which Brisbane bands before you have been an inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
If your band had to play a team sport instead of being musicians, which sport would it be and why would you be triumphant?
Many local acts inspired the spawning of Defamer. Misery shared our love of twisting classic, all-tube guitar tones and using them for evil, sickening grooves. Astriaal were our black metal brothers-in-arms. Portal resonated our horror-thirst. Lastly, The Dead displayed a certain lust for chaos and brutality in their first two demos that definitely made its way into ours.
You’re on tour in the van – which band or artist is going to keep the most people happy if we throw them on the stereo? What part do you think Brisbane During the day we all party like fiends to Aussie plays in the music you make? extreme-metal classics like Destroyer 666, Misery, Abramelin, The Day Everything Became Nothing and Gospel Of The Horns. During the graveyard shifts however, the driver gets to be as self-indulgent as they like.
Would you rather be a busted brokebut-revered Hank Williams figure or some kind of Metallica monster? I’d rather wind up a rich megalomaniac than a quiet achiever. More budget equals more fuel for the death metal engine. Truth be told, I’d probably squander the extra dough on booze, unnecessary musical
Our dirges would flow irrespective of geographical location, but Brisbane holds for us a lot of invaluable fans, friends and peers.
Is your band responsible for more make-outs or break-ups? Why? Make-outs and break-ups in equal measure. In my opinion, good death metal inspires both excitement and despair.
What reality TV show would you enter as a band and why?
Is worshipping at the altars of madness a sport? We come from a diverse range of sporting backgrounds so I believe that the only way we could pick a code would be to find the one with the most explosions… WWE? If so, I believe that we’d emerge victorious because our vile entrance music would incite despair in our opponents. That and we’d side with The Undertaker.
What’s in the pipeline for the band in the short term? We’ve just finished off a Japan/Australia tour in support of our recently released second album, Decrepit Rituals, and it has left us with a mighty need for more live domination. We’re playing this year’s Dead Of Winter Festival, but keep your eyes out for the announcement of more local shows in the coming months. Defamer play Dead Of Winter Festival at Jubilee Hotel on Saturday 14 July. Decrepit Rituals (Obsidian) out now. Photo by TERRY SOO.
TOUR GUIDE FEATURE TOUR
DEAD OF WINTER FESTIVAL SATURDAY 14 JULY, JUBILEE HOTEL
Like your shit loud and dirty? Like value for your hard-earned scratch? Damn, are you gonna be fuckin’ pumped about this weekend’s imminent Dead Of Winter Festival 2012: The Zombie Apocalypse shenanigans! You can catch an incredible line-up of bands from all of the non-limp genres at the Jubilee Hotel this Saturday, including Area 7, Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders, Astriaal, Horrorwood Mannequins, pictured, Dreamkillers, Segression, Los Capitanes, Mz Ann Thropik, Charlie Greaser, No Idea, Ramshackle Army, Frankenbok, HITS, 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 and many, many fine purveyors of darkness from Brisbane and beyond. There’s also burlesque entertainment, stalls, roving entertainment and costume competitions, so if you’re 18+ and want to get amongst it get your tickets through an Oztix outlet or on the door, it kicks off at 1pm!
TIME OFF PRESENTS THE JOE KINGS: Beetle Bar Jul 12, The Northern Jul 13, Woombye Pub Jul 14 DEAD OF WINTER FESTIVAL: Jubilee Hotel Jul 14 OF MONSTERS & MEN: The Zoo Jul 18 LONG PLAYER SESSIONS: Brisbane Powerhouse Jul 21 and Aug 18 THE MEDICS: QACI Aug 4, The Northern Oct 5 RUFUS: Oh Hello Aug 10 PASSENGER: The Hi-Fi Aug 16 THE LAURELS: Beetle Bar Aug 17 THE JUNGLE GIANTS: Elsewhere Aug 17, The Zoo Aug 18 XAVIER RUDD: Rumours Aug 29, The Tivoli Aug 30, LKCC Aug 31, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 1, Byron YAC Sep 2 RED DEER FEST 2012: Samford Sep 1 BIGSOUND 2012: Fortitude Valley Sep 12-14 JULIA STONE: Spiegeltent Sep 19 and 20, Byron Community Centre Sep 21 TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW: The Tivoli Oct 4 BASTARDFEST: The Hi-Fi Oct 13 MUMFORD & SONS: Brisbane Riverstage Oct 17, Gold Coast Convention Centre Oct 31
TERROR: The Hi-Fi Jul 11 THE TEA PARTY: The Tivoli Jul 17 OF MONSTERS & MEN: The Zoo Jul 18 ED SHEERAN: QPAC Jul 31 TIM BARRY: Sun Distortion Aug 3 MARK GARDENER: The Hi-Fi Aug 3 BILLY TALENT: The Hi-Fi Aug 9 NASUM: The Hi-Fi Aug 17 OPOSSOM, WHITE ARROWS: The Hi-Fi Aug 18 SLASH: Brisbane Riverstage Aug 23 CHRIS LAKE: Family Aug 24 PENNYWISE, THE MENZINGERS, SHARKS: Coolangatta Hotel Aug 23, Eatons Hill Hotel Aug 24 THE BEACH BOYS: BEC Aug 28 PITBULL, TAIO CRUZ: BEC Aug 29 APOCOLYPTICA: The Hi-Fi Aug 30 KATCHAFIRE: The Hi-Fi Aug 31, Kings Beach Tavern Sep 6, Caloundra RSL Sep 7 THE REMBRANDTS: The Tivoli Sep 1 CARTEL: Crowbar Sep 5, Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Sep 6 THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES: The Hi-Fi Sep 6 PATRICK WOLF: The Tivoli Sep 7 EARTH: The Zoo Sep 9 RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: QPAC Sep 12 32 • TIME OFF
SIMONE FELICE @ OLD MUSEUM PIC BY SKY KIRKHAM
SIMONE FELICE, JOSH RITTER OLD MUSEUM: 05/07/12
INGRID MICHAELSON: Spiegeltent Sep 12 SUBHUMANS: Prince Of Wales Sep 13 RIVAL SCHOOLS: The Zoo Sep 14 JONAH MATRANGA’S ONELINEDARWING: Crowbar Sep 15 MACY GRAY: Jupiters Casino Sep 19, QPAC Sep 20 HANSON: The Hi-Fi Sep 20 EIFFEL 65, N-TRANCE: The Hi-Fi Sep 21 WHEATUS: The Hi-Fi Sep 23 JAMES MORRISON: Eatons Hill Hotel Sep 28 DEFEATER, BLACKLISTED: Mount Gravatt PCYC Sep 30, Byron Bay YAC Oct 1, The Zoo Oct 2 JOE BONAMASSA: QPAC Oct 3 STEEL PANTHER: Eatons Hill Hotel Oct 4 TIM & ERIC: The Tivoli Oct 4 RUSSIAN CIRCLES, EAGLE TWIN: The Zoo Oct 5 CANNIBAL CORPSE: The Hi-Fi Oct 8 MARTIKA: The Hi-Fi Oct 10 EVERCLEAR: Coolangatta Hotel Oct 10, The Hi-Fi Oct 11 TORTOISE: The Zoo Oct 12 GOMEZ: Coolangatta Hotel Oct 13, The Tivoli Oct 14 GRAILS: The Zoo Oct 17 MUMFORD & SONS: Brisbane Riverstage Oct 17, Gold Coast Convention Centre Oct 31 HOT CHELLE RAE: BCEC Oct 23 SUNN O))), PELICAN: The Tivoli Oct 24 WEDNESDAY 13: The Zoo Oct 25 THE BLACK KEYS: BEC Oct 26 RADIOHEAD: BEC Nov 9 BEN HARPER: BCEC Nov 9 RICK ASTLEY: Twin Towns Nov 16, Ipswich Civic Hall Nov 17, The Tivoli Nov 18 RON POPE: Old Museum Nov 18 COLDPLAY: Suncorp Stadium Nov 21 DARK FUNERAL: The Hi-Fi Nov 23 GEORGE MICHAEL: BEC Nov 27 SIMPLE MINDS, DEVO: Sirromet Wines Dec 9
VAN SHE: Byron Bay Brewey Jul 11, The Hi-Fi Jul 12 SURES: Alhambra Lounge Jul 12 BUSBY MAROU: Woombye Pub Jul 12, SoundLounge Jul 13, The Tivoli Jul 14, The Northern Jul 15 OVER-REACTOR: Spotted Cow Jul 13, Basement Jul 14 KARNIVOOL: The Northern Jul 19, The Tivoli Jul 20, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 21, The Hi-Fi Jul 22 TIM FREEDMAN: Old Museum Jul 21, SoundLounge Sep 21 HOUSE VS HURRICANE: Tempo Hotel Jul 26 ILLY: Tomba’s Aug 9, The Zoo Aug 10, The Northern Aug 11
There’s a slightly homespun feel to tonight’s proceedings, the makeshift stage facing rows of temporary chairs, yet the ornate side room of the beautiful Old Museum still proves a perfect backdrop for the events about to unfold. The composed, black-clad figure of US singer-songwriter Josh Ritter commands attention just by dint of his effortless elegance, the artist proving incredibly engaging, utilising just his acoustic guitar and stately voice, with his string of numbers such as New Lover, Monster Ballads and the plaintive Another New World compelling in both content and delivery. Ritter’s self-effacing manner and thoughtful between-song banter perfectly complement his literate narratives during numbers like jaunty war ballad Harrisburg, and he steps away from the microphone and uses the large room’s acoustics to segue Naked As A Window into Galahad before completing a fantastic set with the gorgeous Kathleen. After a short interlude a hush once more transcends over the room as Simone Felice and his band – multitalented violinist-vocalist Simi Stone (an alumni of Felice’s previous project The Duke & The King), drummer Tommy Goss and guitar/mandolin player Matt Gray – take the stage and, after a quietly rambling intro, he eases into the gorgeous New York Times in solo mode, with the band coming in softly for the second verse before building up gradually to a raucous climax. It’s a much different experience than when Felice played on his lonesome last year but no less intimate: the suited singer’s hair is cropped closer and seemingly darker but his Zen-like charisma remains completely intact; his smooth voice dripping gently over the crowd like honey as he moves through You And I Belong and the haunting If You Ever Get Famous. He lauds the vibe of both the building and the occasion before taking proceedings to the next level with The Felice Brothers’ classic Don’t Wake The Scarecrow which literally gives goosebumps with its power and poignancy, plus the amazing hooks hidden away in the verses. A rousing upbeat band arrangement of Summer Morning Rain gives way to a poignant reading of One More American Song, before a moving monologue finds The Band’s legendary drummer Levon Helm being dedicated the remainder of the set. The Felice Brothers’ Radio Song ushers in the return of Ritter, who joins the fray for a joint version of Neil Young’s Helpless, thus closing the main act. You can tell that this night has more to offer, prolonged applause coaxing back Felice and Stone who delve into old Felice Brothers’ track Your Belly In My Arms, before the full band return to smash out a ramshackle countrified rendition of The Boss’ Atlantic City, then proffering one more tribute to Helm in the form of Dylan’s immortal I Shall Be Released, ending a beautiful performance by this serene and prodigiously gifted master of velvet-bound Americana. Steve Bell
CHARGE GROUP, JOE MCKEE, THE CLUES BEETLE BAR: 06/07/12
Winter is attempting to crash the party, yet the cozy confines of the Beetle Bar ensure that it is the perfect evening to partake in some of Australia’s more eclectic musical offerings. Local five-piece The Clues open up the night, launching their new single, Occupied, to
boot, and they are in raucous form, gravitating from the atmospheric pop of Nine Years to the tropically-inclined jangle of a new track they recorded for the QUT 100 Songs project. The quintet particularly impresses with their precision and musical finesse, and they finish with Flights, leaving their raucous fans suitably sated. Ex-Snowman leader Joe McKee is up next, and his brand of hushed, eloquent majesty seems illsuited to the largely unappreciative crowd. McKee struggles to create the intimacy and immersive atmosphere that the material from his Burning Boy record demands, and whilst his set is awash with beauty and fragility, backed on occasion by violinist Jason Tampake, it’s a shame he isn’t able to capture these sonorous heights tonight. Hopefully McKee will be back soon under his own banner so that his material can find a more enthusiastic audience. Bursting forth from the ashes of Purplene, Charge Group have forged a rock sound that is equally energising and cinematic in scope. The three remaining members – Matt Blackman, Adam Jesson and Matt Rossetti – remain an indelibly tight unit, their dynamic interplay augmented by the addition of the aforementioned Tampake on violin. Focusing primarily on their latest eponymous album, the quartet work through a taut set that bounces ebbs and flows from sonic aggression to tempered vulnerability with grace and precision. The feverish instrumentals inherent in Search Party and single, Run, is breathtaking, the urgent sonic dynamics by turns audacious and electric. This is juxtaposed by the effervescence of Broken Sunlight and the occasional psychedelic meandering, yet such undulating scope is woven together beautifully by the band’s innate knowledge of each other’s strengths. Blackman is an affable frontman, clearly pleased with the response to their new material, and responds in kind, often writhing behind his guitar, and the grin such a performance elicits is infectious. Finishing with the soaring epic, The Gold Is Gone, Charge Group leave no stone unturned in providing a set bursting with glistening highlights. Brendan Telford
EVEN, THE FAUVES, HALFWAY THE ZOO: 07/07/12
Brisbane’s Halfway warmly welcomes an early crowd with the full sound of eight members and a newbie Honey I Lied. Off-nights just don’t seem to ever be a concern for these country lads – every musician has his considered place in the mix, and when co-frontmen Chris Dale and John Busby get into the full swing of a thumping song like Tell Them I Called, the dual vocal approach tops it all off. Rolling onto stage with maroon duds and a faded blue Foster’s t-shirt, it’s amusing to note how little co-frontman Andrew Cox has changed since the beginning of The Fauves‘ 11-album career back in 1988. And though that’s certainly part of the appeal tonight, the ‘90s underdogs aren’t here for a nostalgia set as they get right into last year’s Japanese Engines release with the chugging opening track Don’t Say When. True Love Waits mixes sweet, simple vocal melodies with interesting rhythms, a trademark of the Melbourne quartet when sitting alongside the sardonic humour of Metrosexual and the looping riff of Don’t Get Death Threats Any More that so perfectly epitomises the sound of Australian rock in the mid-‘90s. Coxy is in usual chatty piss-taker form throughout, particularly after a rousingly chunky version of Celebrate The Failure:
“It’s a tough song folks – we’ll send you the guitar tab if you want to try and learn it but I’d settle on one of our easier songs if I were you because that’s really humming at the high end.” Ah, The Fauves, perfectly scruffy in every way and still criminally underrated.
stronger, more complete, versions now. Oliver Tank is an engaging performer and despite some continuing sound problems manages to put on a wonderful show, with an infectiously happy grin whether he’s rearranging his own dream-pop tunes or miming along to Drop It Like It’s Hot.
Despite being Melbourne rock compadres for almost two decades, wondrously this is the first time Even has ever teamed up with The Fauves on tour. Frontman Ash Naylor blends right into the side of stage darkness, appearing diminutive alongside the commanding figure of bassist Wally Meanie but for the startling clarity with which he projects a spot on vocal. Though they pull out a fair chunk of golden oldies including the glorious harmony work of Stop And Go Man, these guys are intent to show off the newer content of their 2011 record In Another Time too – clearly this is no tour to simply relive the glory days for both sets of southerners. Playing off their clear ‘70s rock and psych influences, Which Way To Run makes room for epic jams in which Naylor asserts himself as an accomplished axe-wielder and band leader alike, directing his charges in and out of rock segments that sends the largely blokey crowd into an extended dream state. Even are total pros, though one can’t help but walk away with the tunes of Coxy and co rattling between the ears.
The light show is turned on and the electronic drum pads arrive onstage, yet the crowd has barely appreciated in number as Melbourne’s Forces pump out their dark synth pop. The duo simply look cool, sporting classic electro moves waiting for samples to kick in during songs like the arpeggio-heavy Delight. Their set really is quite good, despite the vocals being buried too far down in the mix to really be distinguishable. The only real criticism lies in the thought that it would be nice to see more of the samples played live, not that this detracts from their solid showing, the act highlighting just why they they were recently part of Sydney’s acclaimed Vivid Festival.
OLIVER TANK, OUTERWAVES, RAINBOW CHAN, CHARLES MURDOCH BARSOMA: 07/07/12
Charles Murdoch is throwing down some tasty beats early in the night, as Silo celebrate their first birthday in style at Barsoma; with an appropriate selection of solo performers, the release of their first physical album and some very tasty cupcakes. Rainbow Chan, out of Sydney, is the first of the artists featured on the new vinyl to take to the stage tonight and she starts off with a very spare pop song; beats composed of looped and layered breaths, and whispered vocals. Most of the set is a much more intense affair, although the songs all feature cleverly looped organic instruments – voice, melodica, thumb piano – along with triggered drums and melodies to create an interesting and slightly off-kilter sound, while still managing to maintain that pop sensibility. Live, Rainbow Chan loses some of the tweeness that threatens to overwhelm her recorded work, and new single Rabbit & Fox is much more impressive in this environment. Dom Stephens mentions that he’s losing his voice as he begins his set as Outerwaves, but it’s barely noticeable. Indeed, this is probably the strongest and most consistent set he’s put together in a while, with the different aspects of his sound melding effortlessly. His side of the new single, Goods Inwards, shows up quickly; a wonderfully catchy slice of electronica. For the middle of the set, Outerwaves abandons upbeat pop for the sort of downbeat electro that the collective is best known for and while there are a few too many pauses between tracks, he shows that he can mix it up in that realm as well. With the lights dropped low and the crowd pushing forward, it’s time for headliner Oliver Tank to take the stage. Fighting some initial feedback problems he starts off with an extended version of Up All Night. Simple plucked guitar and vocals slowly give way to the sparse and instantly recognisable hook. A live bridge is a welcome inclusion, further changing the song and pushing the focus firmly onto Tank’s lovely voice, before the main melody takes hold again and his voice fades back to be another instrument in the song, albeit a very pretty one. The set tonight is very similar to the one he performed at Bridge Club earlier in the year, but there are a couple of new songs, and it’s heartening to see that some of the tracks that were new at that point have changed into
THE NIGHT TERRORS, FORCES, SCRAPS CROWBAR: 05/07/12
Having undergone a change cosmetically and managerially from its former Basement 243 moniker, the Crowbar offers up a very healthy dose of alternative electronica this evening, music that until recently would never have been heard coming up from the subterranean music dwelling. Local songstress Scraps takes to the stage a bit after 9pm. The crowd is somewhat lacking, however those present are clearly lapping up every minute of the metallic-wigged artist’s vintage synth-driven pop. 1982 and Secret Paradise showcase Laura Hill’s hypnotic delay-driven vocals, which are draped over simple beats that are impossible not to enjoy.
It’s a quick turnaround considering the addition of a drum kit and a hulking Theremin, as fellow Melbournians The Night Terrors – launching their latest 12”, Monsters/ Lasers For Eyes – take to the stage. Their performance from the outset is simply engrossing, as the heavy electronica transfers across so well onto the live stage despite the occasional mixing dilemma. Watching mainman Miles Brown play the Theremin is almost like watching a world-class orchestra conductor, as every hand twitch and finger movement affects the sound and simply pulls you in – especially during latest epic, Monster, which has an almost Mogwai/ SigurRos grandeur to it. The band leave little breaks in their set, Brown leaving his Theremin for stints on the bass and synth, even fitting in the occasional Vocoder duties. The whole set feels as if it is one big psychedelic freakout from the wrong decade, and it works so well it’s clear that the hype behind the band is warranted and they’re not some flavour of the month ‘look at me I play the Theremin’ ordeal.
Discussion points include freeballing the eclipse (not recommended), the flick, Marley & Me, (not recommended, despite a passable Owen Wilson impersonation) and the Michael Phelps marijuana monologue (tasty greens definitely recommended for medicinal purposes), but it’s Barker’s laidback charm and clear affinity with this country that helps him effortlessly win over the enormous crowd.
TOUR GUIDE TOMMY EMMANUEL: QPAC Aug 9 THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS: Coolum Civic Centre Aug 10, The Tivoli Aug 11
Arj deftly segues the end of his set into the entrance of tonight’s heroes, Flight Of The Conchords, the duo emerging with their heads covered in cheap speaker props to a backing tape blaring disco beats, proffering Too Many Dicks (On The Dance Floor), with Barker rapping a verse in character as Dave, before taking their seats – Jermaine Clement on stage right and his foil Bret McKenzie to his left – and beginning the pattern of awkward banter that makes tonight’s performance so special, all captured on the respective big screens on each side of the stage for people in the cheap seats. They take up their guitars and spin around their helmets to reveal robot costumes (props tonight are sparse; it’s all about the chemistry and the pair’s wonderfully naive worldview) and jump into Robots, following quickly with the epic The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room). There’s a lot of such well-known material, but also some equally strong songs which aren’t as ubiquitous – such as ye olde worlde ballad, The Summer Of 1353, and the hilarious new Fuck On The Ceiling – which add a sense of surprise to proceedings. That the pair can entertain so many people so frugally (aided only by freaky-haired cellist Nigel) is testament to both the material and the delivery, augmented by some of their incredible tales of debauchery on the road (“it’s not all muffins and undies” apparently). They’re complete masters of deadpan – although they occasionally verge on breaking character during improvised moments – but ultimately it’s the string of killer material such as Business Time, Hiphopopotamus Vs Rhymnoceros and the awesome pastiche, Bowie, being witnessed live for the first time in Brisbane that makes the performance a triumph. They rip off their clothes to reveal glam bodysuits for rocking finale, Demon Woman – followed by lamest geartrashing in rock history – before returning for an encore by riding bicycles through the crowd (complete with stack hats), then finishing with the rampant fish sodomy of Back On The Road, the awkward We’re Both In Love With A Sexy Lady and the hilarious (if slightly disturbing) Sugalumps. It’s not that far from here to where FOTC live across the ditch, so here’s hoping we get to enjoy their invigorating company again soon without having to undergo another such interminable wait.
SNAKADAKTAL: The Hi-Fi Aug 10
ICEHOUSE: Alexandra Hills Hotel Oct 26, Eatons Hill Hotel Oct 27
SOPHIE KOH: Brisbane Powerhouse Aug 12 ALPINE: The Northern Aug 16, The Zoo Aug 17, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 18 THE LAURELS: Beetle Bar Aug 17 LOON LAKE: Alhambra Aug 17, SolBar Aug 18 JINJA SAFARI: The Hi-Fi Aug 18 CHILDREN COLLIDE: Spotted Cow Aug 23, The Zoo Aug 24, The Northern Aug 26 DAVE GRANEY & THE MISTLY: Starcourt Theatre, Lismore Aug 23, Miami Tavern Aug 24, Beetle Bar Aug 25, SolBar Aug 26 BODYJAR: The Hi-Fi Aug 24 GRINSPOON, SPIDERBAIT, THE MISSION IN MOTION: Eatons Hill Hotel Aug 25 KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: The Hi-Fi Aug 25, 26 XAVIER RUDD: Rumours Aug 29, The Tivoli Aug 30, Lake Kawana Community Centre Aug 31, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 1, YAC, Byron Bay Sep 2 DREAM ON DREAMER: Tempo Aug 30, Paddington Community Hall Aug 31 LANIE LANE: The Spotted Cow Aug 30, SoundLounge Aug 31, Bangalow A&I Hall Sep 1, Spiegeltent Sep 27 1927: The Tivoli Sep 1 JULIA STONE: Spiegeltent Sep 19, 20, Byron Bay Community Centre Sep 21 OH MERCY: The Zoo Sep 21, Joe’s Waterhole Sep 22 REGURGITATOR: The Northern Sep 26, The Hi-Fi Sep 28 THE AMITY AFFLICTION: The Tivoli Sep 25 – 27 FRENZAL RHOMB: Spotted Cow Oct 19, The Hi-Fi Oct 20
THE LIVING END: The Zoo Dec 1 – 7
FESTIVALS DEAD OF WINTER: Jubilee Hotel Jul 14
It’s an out and out shame that the crowd tonight is so undersold given the wealth of talent on show and the inherent potential of this new venue – it feels so unjust. What is irrefutable, however, is that those present tonight were simply blown away by proceedings, and at the end of the day you can’t ask for much more than that.
GREAZEFEST: Rocklea Showgrounds Aug 3 – 5
BASTARDFEST: The Hi-Fi Oct 13
SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: Belongil Fields Jul 27 – 29 RED DEER FESTIVAL: Mt Samson Sep 1 BIGSOUND: Fortitude Valley Sep 12 - 14 PARKLIFE: Botanic Gardens Sep 29 WHIPLASH: The Hi-Fi Oct 21
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, ARJ BARKER
ISLAND VIBE: Point Look Out Oct 26 – 28 QUEENSLAND FESTIVAL OF BLUES: The Hi-Fi Nov 3
BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE: 07/07/12
The vast hordes of everyday folk who’ve converged on BEC for this auspicious occasion are treated to a surprise in the form of US comedian Arj Barker, who plays the erratic Dave in the Flight Of The Conchords series, the funny man relaxing the crowd with 30 minutes of both new material and old chestnuts.
SPRUNG HIP HOP FESTIVAL: RNA Showgrounds Nov 10 FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS @ BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE PIC BY STEPHEN BOOTH
HARVEST: Botanic Gardens Nov 18 STEREOSONIC: RNA Showgrounds Dec 2 BIG DAY OUT: Gold Coast Parklands Jan 20
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
EMMIYLOU HARRIS While there is no doubt he was known best for his work as a comic actor, it should not be forgotten that Andy Griffith, who passed away at the age of 86 last week, also made some pretty decent records. In 1959 he released an odd half-comedic/half-straight record by the name of Shouts The Blues And Old Timey Songs, which featured renditions of songs like Midnight Special, The House Of The Rising Sun and Pick A Bale Of Cotton. Okay so it’s not the raw, primal blues that black America was giving us – in fact it was quite a camp kind of slick blues – but that was the kind of realm he was in. But if you want to hear Griffith at his best, you really can’t go past the classic A Face In The Crowd, it’s classic vintage blues that transports you back to an American diner in 1957; well, it does to me anyway. Rest In Peace, Mr Griffith. I wasn’t sure whether I’d talk about the Ben Harper tour because I think he jumped the shark a really long time ago, but then I realised that a lot of people still like him and that he’s largely responsible for the kids who have a semblance of an interest in blue and roots music in the 21st Century, so I’ve decided to put my snobbery aside. Ben Harper’s relationship with Australia cannot be overstated; it was in Australia that he really found his first success in the mid-late 1990s and he hasn’t forgotten that, coming back over here just about every year for the past decade and a bit to treat his Aussie fans – and there are a lot of them – to his music in all different musical guises he adopts and projects he takes on. It’s surprising then to hear that he has never actually performed a solo, headline tour of the country; well, not until now. Harper is making his way to Australia to perform a series of massive shows all on his lonesome; he’ll play for over two hours and pull hits from throughout his storied career at these shows, meaning that no matter what era of this great songwriter’s ten-album, 18-year career you’re most interested in, he’s likely to delve into that kind of territory at some stage. Catch him playing the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Friday 9 November. Tickets on sale now. One of the most enduring country music artists still kicking around has to be Emmylou Harris and it is with great joy that the reports of her coming out to Australia for the first time in many years late in 2012 have been completely confirmed. Where do you begin with this wonderful artist? Sure, she has won 12 Grammys and sat up the top of charts the world over plenty of times in her 40 year career, but with all that put aside the only thing that really matters is the songs – and what songs they are! Even looking at her latest release, 2011’s Hard Bargain, there are plenty of incredible tunes on there and given that’s her 26th record, that’s no mean feat. It will be great to see Emmylou Harris & Her Red Dirt Boys back in Australia and when in Queensland they will be performing at Jupiters on the Gold Coast on Friday 16 November. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster from $109.90 to $129.90. The return to Australia of Gomez is not surprising; they’re here all the time (because we love them). But they have announced a pretty cool tour for October where they are opening it up to their fans to choose the setlists. I am, of course, going to suggest you hit their website and vote for their bluesiest numbers so that we can all go along and have a real bummed out time when they drop by the Coolangatta Hotel on Saturday 13 October and The Tivoli Sunday 14. Of course you can do what you like and just write Whippin’ Piccadilly 20 times and be done with it if that’s your prerogative. 34 • TIME OFF
Australian urban music has never been as viable. Hilltop Hoods brought the cred skip hop into the mainstream, but there’s now also a greater acceptance of hip hop’s R&B-oriented strain, with sung hooks galore. (Remember all that hatin’ of the ‘Americanised’ J-Wess?) In ARIA’s mid-year sales charts, the ‘Hoods have the top Australian album, with Drinking From The Sun at No. 3, but the poppy 360 is at No. 8 with Falling & Flying (the Melbourne rapper’s Boys Like You is at No. 7 on the singles list). Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t yet have a real grassroots R&B (not soul) megastar. Still, last year the electrosoul Sietta premiered on The Herd’s Elefant Traks, the label recently releasing Sydney femcee Sky’high’s genre-busting Forever Sky’high. The neo-soul Daniel Merriweather even pops up on Urthboy’s funky single Naïve Bravado, produced by TZU’s Count Bounce and Hermitude. Obese Records, too, has ventured into soul with Jess Harlen. So who are this season’s buzz acts? The slept-on MC Kean (AKA Michael McKean) could yet be Australia’s J Cole – a conscious MC and serious beatmaker with potentially mass appeal. The industrious Sydneysider is back with his third album in The Brainchild (mckean.bandcamp.com). OG loves it. McKean has a knack for making classic ‘90s hip hop sound brand-new. He offers smooth R&B grooves (Masterpiece, featuring diva Zoë Lester), Jay-Z-style epic retro rap (the wonderfully gospelised Glory), and cruisy, almost deep house, neosoul (the title-track, again with Lester, sounding here like Amerie). Adelaide’s rare groove ensemble The Transatlantics perform on the playful Another Sureshock – a cool surprise. And Sareem Poems of LA Symphony cameos on the jazzy (and Biggie-ish!) Where We At. McKean, whose lyrics deal with daily struggles (in hip hop, love and life) shows his flair on the cerebral Esoteric Arts. What else? In September Illy, Phrase’s successor, will drop his third LP, Bring It Back. So far he’s aired
two singles, the latest Where Ya Been (with Pez). The streetwise Melbourne MC last riveted us with 2010’s boldly expansive The Chase (home to the high-electro It Can Wait, featuring Owl Eyes). Neo-soulstress Paris Wells, who should be as big as Sia, has been in the UK working on an EP following the electro-fied Various Small Fires. But right now it’s all about R&B fave Jade MacRae. The classically-trained singer has been lowkey of late, though she was heavily involved in hubby Phrase’s Babylon and guested on Katalyst’s Deep Impressions. Now MacRae has reinvented herself as Dune, selfproducing the single Shoestring – avant sci-fi electro. Kelis will be jealous. It’s certainly a long way from 2004’s hit You Make Me Weak. MacRae will launch Shoestring (and Dune) late next month with gigs in Melbourne and Sydney. MacRae is leaving behind the overtly commercial (and Americanised) world of Aussie R&B, but we still have Jessica Mauboy – and her male counterpart Tim “Timomatic” Omaji. OG typically ignores reality TV stars – they garner enough attention elsewhere – but, happily, Mauboy has long transcended any association with Australian Idol. With Get Em Girls, the shy Darwin girl toughened up her urban-pop, channelling Rihanna more than Beyoncé. The songstress’ last single was Galaxy, a duet with labelmate Stan Walker. Next Mauboy, who starred in the smash movie Bran Nue Dae, will return to the silver screen in The Sapphires, which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival to rapturous response. The flick, about an Indigenous ‘60s girl group, will charm fans of Dreamgirls. The soundtrack (a defacto Mauboy LP, surely) is out late July. Omaji, a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance and then Australia’s Got Talent, supported Nicki Minaj – and, going by the screams, he may as well have been the headliner. The Nigerian-Australian dancer-cum-singer – also big in Mexico, apparently – just released the anthemic Can You Feel It. His major label debut is due. Omaji’s big challenge is to project his own steez. Indeed, in the same way that Mauboy emulates Beyoncé and Rihanna, Omaji is derivative of Usher and Chris Brown. He needs to be more. Finally, according to his website, J-Wess is plotting another comeback after that failed attempt three years ago. Bang This, the sequel?
THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
KIRIN J CALLINAN Is Sydney’s Kirin J Callinan the post-punk world’s Carly Rae Jepsen? Both have been working in the background of their genres for years and are now enjoying widespread attention. For Jepsen and her hit Call Me Maybe, it had a bit to do with a YouTube plug from Justin Bieber. Callinan got no such eyes from the Beebs, but the media coverage – more than he’s ever previously received for his solo work – for his single W II W (Way To War) and its accompanying tour didn’t shy away from mentioning his signing to America’s Terrible Records, co-run by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, and his place as the first signing to Australia’s Siberia, run by Midnight Juggernauts. Of course, W II W is no Call Me Maybe – looping and stuttering and without melody, it could be the anti-Maybe. But the nauseating black-and-white clip for the track has been reposted and shared plenty online, no doubt adding to the burst of interest in Callinan, who is working on a debut album. At his late-June Melbourne show at the Tote – which sold out ahead of doors opening – the audience appeared to be there for Callinan despite support draws DCM (featuring Juggernauts’ Daniel Stricker) and My Disco offshoot Kangaroo Skulls, who’ve been the subject of many overheard bar-room conversations around the city. Callinan’s solo shows have always been dishevelled but triumphant things; the guitarist improvise with pedals, jumping from the front of stage to a place behind the drum kit, howling and growling, all without much regard for what the audience was up to. Those shows were spectacles: you went to watch Callinan make a musical oddity of himself, not to relate to him. At the Tote, not only were Callinan’s songs more
developed – with some exciting glimpses of what might appear on the record – but he was on side. He’s still an oddity. It’s unlikely he could ever be anything other than an oddity, which is a relief for those who love what he does. But he traded smiles with the crowd, gave us articulated lyrics and even some soulful melodies, as well as some incredibly touching moments. He related to us in order to take us into his world. Give it a year, and we’ll do the Carly Rae vs Kirin comparison again. This Friday sees the release of the self-titled debut album from Melbourne’s New War through the Sensory Projects label. Unlike Callinan’s freeform origins, the record’s nine songs are highly structured and rhythmic pursuits, albeit with equally harrowing undertones. ‘Pursuits’ is a fitting term for the synths employed by Jesse Shepherd on the first few tracks of the album, all unleashed bouts of screaming air cut through with clattering percussion. It’s chase-scene music. But then watery beats and corner-hanging basslines take over, as if the centrepiece lyric of early song Ghostwalking has come true: “When there’s no more dead we’ll be ghostwalking.” There’s a bit of Jim Morrison to vocalist Chris Pugmire, who once pinned down the discordant twangs and bows of his old Seattle band Shoplifting, of which New War bassist Melissa Lock was also a member. Pugmire plays a shamanistic figure here, his repeated chants and vocal calls either an attempt to access some spirit world or coming from a place that isn’t in our physical world. “I kill the women/I kill the children/And I’m so proud/Proud are we, proud are we, proud are we,” he delivers in a third-quarter groove of the seven-minute Calling From The Inside. He often sounds as if he’s in a separate place looking on, or as if we’re looking on at him: like Callinan in those early shows, he’s behind a wall. But the otherworld is used as an extension of humanity on New War: Pugmire wanders into purgatory to relate back visions of what’s happening on earth, and in that way it’s also entirely relatable. As he tells in Revealer, “I sing for you.” He doesn’t get us on side in order to take us into his world as Callinan did at the Tote. Instead, he treks into that strange world and then tells us what we look like from where he’s standing.
FEAR FACTORY The epic Dead Of Winter Festival is on again all day this Saturday at The Jubilee Hotel. The gargantuan line-up covers all sorts of punk, metal, goth, rock, blues and more. Among the ranks is Area 7, Dreamkillers, Astriaal, Segression, Heaven’s Axe, Darkc3ll, I Nation, Dead Letter Opener, Defamer, The Wrath, D-Nine, Mz Ann Thropic, In Death, Shellfin, Horrorwood Mannequins, Brothers Grimm, Felinedown, Malakyte, Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls and Bound For Ruin just for starters. There’ll also be various sideshows, burlesque performances and giveaways throughout the day. Bands start at 1pm with tickets going on the door for $50 (with a discount for those in costume). The recently released The Industrialist is the eighth album from the pioneering Fear Factory and the band has announced that they will be bringing their industrial sounds down under once more. Catch the group at The Hi-Fi in Brisbane on Wednesday 26 September before they head off on down the coast. Defeater and Blacklisted are both returning to Australia together. Both acts are certainly both more interesting and creative than your average hardcore bands and you can catch them at Mt Gravatt PCYC on Sunday 30 September, Byron Bay YAC on Monday 1 October and The Zoo on Tuesday 2. No thanks to “unforeseen circumstances put upon all parties”, Chilean doom group Procession will not tour with Mourning Congregation as was expected to happen in September. Promoters The Coffin’s Slave have promised a rescheduled run in 2013. New Zealand metalcore group Antagonist A.D released their third album Nothing From No One through Mediaskare Records last week and will be hitting up a headlining tour across the East Coast of Australia to launch it. US group Lionheart will join them, as will Sydney’s Shinto Katana, and you can catch them on Saturday 18 August at Thriller and Sunday 19 at The Eagleby Community Hall. Get ready to have you bones shaken to the core when doom/drone wonders Sunn O))) hit Australia this October. Fellow Americans Pelican are on board for the ride. Catch them at The Tivoli in on Wednesday 24 October. Parkway Drive’s new movie Home Is For The Heartless came out last week on DVD and Blu Ray and has already achieved gold status in sales. Aussie punk label Pee Records has just signed on New Zealand hardcore band Out Cold A.D. The band’s debut album This Is Survival is due out in early August. Have a listen to first track and suss pre-orders over at peerecords.bandcamp.com. Perth-based hardcore band Blkout has a new album named Point Of No Return. Thanks to Resist Records, you can pick it up from your local record store in CD or LP format. The album has also seen a European release through Six Feet Under Records. The Amity Affliction recently unveiled the title track to their forthcoming third album Chasing Ghosts, just in case you missed it.
GIGS OF THE WEEK:
Thursday: Make Them Suffer, Signal The Firing Squad, Aversions Crown – Snitch. Short Life, Dirty Charlie, Dire Wolf, Shields – Crowbar. Friday: Marathon, Snakes Get Bad Press, The Fevered, Hope Drone – Fat Louie’s. Make Them Suffer, Emerald Vale, Aversions Crown, Signal The Firing Squad – Niche Event Space. Saturday: Relentless, Vile Eye, Snakes Get Bad Press, Only Sleeping, Short Life – Empire Studios. Army Of Champions, Homeward Bound, Paddy McHugh & The Goldminers, Jud Campbell – Crowbar. Brazen Bull, Thedowngoing, Vassals, Courting Pandora, Dirty Charlie – Fat Louie’s. Relentless, Ghost Town, Shorelines, Unpaid Hostility – X&Y Bar. Make Them Suffer, Signal The Firing Squad, Aversions Crown, Place Your Bets, For Salvage – Hungerford Hall, Nambour.
performing on the night include Brisbane-based Papua New Guinean reggae artist Jagarizzar, local songstress Georgia Corowa, as well as Cathy Lee, Erin Gilbert, Cific Nesians, James Aru, Yung Yanny and Niuna K. Tickets are $30 or $25 via brisbanepowerhouse.org.
Luke Hosking, the frontman for Gold Coast metal stalwarts Azreal, chats to Benny Doyle about their long awaited, highly-anticipated debut record. “The [recording] process for me as the singer was very bloody enjoyable,” 32-year-old Hosking tells, “hanging out, drinking, listening to our tracks come to life – that is the shit right there.” Recently recorded in the chilled surrounds of Currumbin, Better Dead is aptly getting launched on Friday the 13th and as Hosking states, “this show is going to be all out war from start to finish”. The record challenges tuned ears with the sort of punishing, no bullshit metal that has made legends out of Lamb Of God and, before them, Pantera. Moving between themes of life, death, earth and atheism, Hosking’s lyrics are empowered with the passion drawn from the social injustice and other views he’s formed during the creation process. “The album goes through different phases, lyrically and musically; playing on the range of emotions felt while engaging our minds in these lines of thought,” he explains. “Religion makes me angry and I don’t see the point in screaming about shit unless you have something to be pissed off about. Perhaps the theme is more about the gradual realisation that a lot of the everyday things we do feed the monster some of us constantly struggle to escape. I think if you focus too much on imaginary things that miraculously guide the course of your existence you miss out on what is right in front of you. Hence the wolves, wind and crows woven throughout the music and artwork. They’re symbolic of the fact that there’s more to this planet than whether or not you have the latest pair of fancy pants. Take off your fancy pants and run with the wolves.” WHAT: Better Dead (Rare Breed Records) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 July, Shark Bar, Gold Coast
Describing themselves simply as “Melbourne fucking metal”, Bronson are set to make their Queensland debut. Tony McMahon talks to super-pumped vocalist Jay Clair. “We’re very excited to be part of one of Australia’s up-and-coming festivals,” says Clair, talking about Bronson’s upcoming show at the Dead Of Winter Festival. “We’ve had a few mates who have travelled to play at the festival, including our drummer Shane, who was up with his other band Hatchet Dawn last year. We rarely leave Melbourne, only having embarked on one show outside of home turf. It will be good to share with other heavy music fans our brand of metal.” Bronson’s long-awaited debut album is not far from being released now, and Clair says it will have been worth the wait. “It’s something that’s been in the works for the past couple of years. We had some roadblocks last year with a couple of band members exiting from the fray and now that we’re back as a solid five-piece, we’ve been able to punch out a whole lot of new material. We currently have around ten new songs on the go and plan to double that in preparation for choosing the right songs for the album, which is due to be released early next year. What to expect? Well in true Bronson fashion, there will always be that element of groove metal as it’s a great influence on many members of the band. Overall we’re aiming for something that has its own unique elements, but still staying true to what we do.”
“Expectations, well they are set pretty high, we’ve heard great things and just hope the metalheads of Queensland really show us how it’s done. People keep bragging about how good Melbourne’s live scene is so it will be good to get a comparison.” WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 14 July, Dead Of Winter Festival @ Jubilee Hotel
I, A Man have announced a small East Coast tour, to coincide with the release of their first music video, which was shot at Bakehouse Studios in Melbourne in June. They’ll be hitting the road to celebrate its release prior to buckling down in the studios to write and complete their debut album. Known for their washed-out guitar sound, they’ve garnered much attention and interest. I, A Man have also released a new single, The Scenic Route, which continues with their penchant for jangly guitars and hypnotic beats. Catch them playing at the Alhambra Lounge on Thursday 26 July with Tape/Off and The Oyster Murders.
DOUBLE THE FUN
It’s double the fun at the Beetle Bar on Friday 20 July, with two of Brisbane’s finest rock’n’roll outfits teaming together for a massive EP launch. Race Of The Harridan and The Arachnids will be launching The Boozy Rouge and The Vulture EPs respectively. The show will be the final leg of a six-date East Coast tour for The Arachnids but the beginning of Race Of The Harridan’s run of shows. Celebrate the beginning and the end! Supporting duties for the evening go to heavy blue rockers The Royal Artillery and prog-punk purveyors The Johnny Mustards.
Tim Steward will be hitting up The Hideaway for a month-long residency every Wednesday in July. Each week, the revered local singer/songwriter will be performing solo, but mixing things up a little. Wednesday 11 July will see him playing Screamfeeder songs with support (naturally) from his former bandmate Kellie Lloyd, on Wednesday 18 July Steward will play solo songs with support from Seja, and finally on Wednesday 25 July he’ll be playing a bit of everything with support from Greg Cathcart. Performances start at 8pm each Wednesday.
Melbourne based six-piece The Hello Morning are shortly due to embark on their first ever national tour in celebration of their highly anticipated EP, Without You. It’s a big one too, as it sees them supporting Busby Marou and Leader Cheetah and it finishes up with some big Queensland dates this week. If you’re heading to these shows make sure you get in early so you can catch The Hello Morning, they’ll make it worth your while, and you can see them at the Woombye Pub on Thursday, the SoundLounge on Friday, The Tivoli this Saturday night and then it all wraps up at The Northern in Byron Bay this coming Sunday night.
MAKE THEM SUFFER
MUSIC OF MELANESIA
In celebration of the Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre’s (BMAC) 25-year anniversary, they’ve teamed up with the Brisbane Powerhouse to present the 2012 PLANET Series. This year, the series features a stellar line-up of world music performers, some of which will be performing free on the turbine platform on the first Saturday of every month. PLANET have just announced the next instalment in their ticketed Visy Theatre program: the Rhythms Of Melanesia will take over the theatre on Thursday 19 July from 7pm-8.30pm, bringing audiences a lively musical journey that taps into a plethora of worldly genres including contemporary and western styles of Melanesian reggae, hip hop and dance. Artists
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.
QUEENSLAND MUSIC AWARDS 2012 NOW ON SALE
Music fans have the chance to celebrate Queensland’s musical talent at the 2012 Queensland Music Awards on Tuesday 14 August at Brisbane’s Old Museum. Nearly 50 judges from across the country have selected an amazing list of finalists, including Cub Scouts, Mosman Alder, Harmony James, Dubmarine, The Medics and many more. Winners across 20 categories will be announced at the 2012 event and this year’s QMA will also showcase performances from the legendary Ed Kuepper, Ball Park Music, Art Of Sleeping, Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side, Marialy Pacheco, Rainman, The McMenamins and Velociraptor. Tickets are available through Oztix. Visit queenslandmusicawards.com.au for further info.
BIGSOUND SEEKS PROGRAMMER QMusic is inviting Expressions Of Interest to be submitted for the position of Executive Programmer of the BIGSOUND Conference and artist showcases for 2013. EOIs close at midnight 26 July 2012. More details at bigsound.org.au.
While they’re here, it looks like Bronson are up for some serious cultural exchange.
HE IS THE MAN
Sydney indie art-rockers Siren Lines are set to release new single Dance In Clouds on 20 July. The single release will be followed with a tour of the East Coast. Dance In Clouds is about the pursuit and obsession of reaching a single goal regardless of what others think; produced by Lachlan Mitchell (The Jezebels) and mastered in New York’s West Side Music by Alan Douches (Ben Folds, Mastodon), it’s certainly a track to obsess over. This single, available as a free download, provides a little insight as to what’s to come with the release of their debut EP later on this year. Catch the Sydney boys on Saturday 11 August at the Tempo Hotel, Brisbane with Arctic and Glacier supporting, without having to spend a cent! Yes, free entry.
TELSTRA ROAD TO DISCOVERY ENTRIES NOW OPEN Symphonic deathcore outfit Make Them Suffer have released their debut album, Neverbloom. Guitarist Nick McLernon talks to Tony McMahon about the process. “I think any band who records their debut album wishes they had more writing or recording time. We wanted to avoid becoming old news, so we worked as hard as we could to get the best thing out in the least amount of time, however, I doubt it would have compromised the overall quality of our release.” To celebrate the release of the album, the group are heading off on a massive tour, but it seems your typical on the road type shenanigans might have to wait. “It’s our first legitimate headline tour, and we are just going to take the backseat and see what our reception is like, how to treat everybody and how to be treated. As for doing things like being intoxicated before the set and engaging in bar brawls, maybe give that a few more years.” Make Them Suffer’s support for this tour comes from Signal The Firing Squad, and McLernon says they’re excellent people in a number of different ways. “I’ve been stoked with the response Signal The Firing Squad have had so far. I think our music has a lot to offer to some of their fans. They are a much more brutal band than we are but they have certainly been bringing the numbers to shows. They’ve been really helpful in lending us their gear too.” When it comes to what a Make Them Suffer live show is all about, McLernon says the band’s name isn’t a factor. “The performances are energetic. The record might not represent the same kind of visualisation as when our songs are played live, but based on a general consensus by our fans our live show certainly has entertainment value.” WHAT: Neverbloom (Roadrunner/Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 12 July, Snitch @ X&Y Bar; Friday 13, The Loft, Gold Coast; Saturday 14, Hungerford Hall, Nambour
Performers and songwriters are invited to enter to win a 12-month music mentorship. The Telstra Road To Discovery music mentorship consists of a return trip to Nashville, including a showcase gig at the Americana Festival, gigs in Australia, face time with some big names plus a $14,000 tailored music development fund. For more information visit beinvolved.com.au/telstraroadtodiscovery.
In 2011, ‘the crowd’ pledged almost $1.5 billion to projects on crowdfunding platforms across the world. The Australia Council For The Arts, led by its philanthropic arm, Artsupport Australia, invite you to attend their national roadshow to hear the results of a pilot program and research commissioned by the Australia Council. The Brisbane seminar will be held at Metro Arts on Thursday 2 August from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. To register, visit australiacouncil.gov.au.
HEAD TO CANADIAN MUSIC FEST If you are an artist or band ready, willing, and able to play 19-24 March, 2013 in Toronto during Canada’s largest new music festival, now is your chance to submit. Head over to sonicbids.com and give them your best. Submissions close 10 July.
WANT TO KNOW MORE OR BECOME A QMUSIC MEMBER? For these stories, memberships and more, go to qmusic.com.au
ON THE TIME OFF STEREO Plains THE LAURELS Early Times SILVER JEWS Longtime Companion SONNY & THE SUNSETS Slay Me In My Sleep GRAND SALVO The Money Store DEATH GRIPS Small Feces Vol 1 & 2 TURBONEGRO Bein’ Free JERRY JEFF WALKER Lay Down My Arms THE LUCKY WONDERS American Country Legend MERLE HAGGARD Open Your Heart THE MEN TIME OFF • 35
MONEY FOR ROPE
LONG PLAYER SESSIONS SILVER SIRCUS
HAVE YOU HEARD?
A CARTOON GRAVEYARD
Album: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) Bringing a devilish mix of rock and horror to Brisbane this Friday, MofoIsDead are keen to let the blood run free. Benny Doyle speaks with Paul Galagher.
Ten Times is the new single from Melbourne indie rockers Money For Rope’s debut, self-titled album. Bassist Michael Cini tells Tony McMahon all about being in a band with two drummers.
There’s an undeniable stigma attached to Friday the 13th. Although birthed from a dark and sinister social underbelly, it now creates a creative platform of sorts, one that Brisbane trio MofoIsDead are going to use to their full advantage. The band will be treating The Elephant & Wheelbarrow punters to the hard-edged riff goodness that they’re renowned for, but they’ll be splicing their performance with some horror clips to backdrop the shredding suitably. Galagher gives us a hint of what to look out for.
“We had no intention of rushing the release of a debut album,” says Cini of the approach his band took to their first long-player, “so we released four seven-inch singles in the first two years instead. Whether our approach appears to be tactful or not, we had a bloody good time doing it. Having said that, recording the album at Newmarket earlier in the year with Steven Schram couldn’t have come at a better time.”
“Jason Voorhees [Friday The 13th] leads the pack, obviously,” he says. “There’ll be a few original classics including The Exorcist, Psycho, Halloween, mixed with some modern slashers like Scream and Saw – you may even see a Simpsons’ horror tribute or two. And we couldn’t leave out Freddy Krueger. We can even say that Freddy himself will be making an appearance onstage – the rest is a surprise.”
For most bands, one drummer is more than enough to cope with, but Money For Rope have taken the unusual step of employing two. Cini explains that it had to do with cutting down drinking costs. This strikes Time Off as false economy, because everyone knows drummers drink more than other musos, but there were extra factors as well.
With a bunch of prizes on offer for the most horrifically dressed, Galagher is looking forward to seeing some gory attire, admitting he feels at home with society’s oddballs.
“We had two bands between us: Act Bar Skirt and Shark In The Dark. We always have a bangin’ time, so basically, we joined the two groups together to reduce the individual cost of a Melbourne Bitter slab at rehearsal. Unfortunately, only then we discovered Aldi. By the way, can someone please tell me, how does one ask a friend to politely ‘fuck off?’ We couldn’t imagine being a single drummer band.”
“Every day in the real world is a horror story,” the frontman deadpans, “but Friday the 13th gives us misfits the chance to feel like we’re a relative part of the community.
For Queensland punters who may have heard Money For Rope’s recorded work but never seen them live, Cini says that the two experiences are a complete chalk and cheese type deal.
The band are also using the night to treat fans to a first taste of their sophomore record.
“Our lead guitarist Carl might trip over his own feet on stage. Sonically, hearing us on tape compared to hearing a live set are two completely different things. We’re proud of everything we’ve tracked to this point, but we equally pride ourselves on putting on a great show.”
“We’ve been writing new tunes and making videos lately,” he excitedly says. “We’re working on a new record which we hope will be ready for a spring release. Get excited.”
WHAT: Ten Times (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 July, The Elephant & Wheelbarrow
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 12 July, Oh Hello; Friday 13, Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
Why did you choose this album? Lucinda Shaw: “James Lees, our drummer and musical director, had been envisioning a Velvet Underground show for a while (following his great success interpreting Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album) and when the Long Player Sessions came up it was the perfect opportunity to make it fall into place. The album is incredibly influential for so many musicians of our generation who grew up intrigued by the dark poetry, the boldness, the intensity and audacity of the music.” When did you first hear the album? “I can’t remember when exactly but I was drawn into Lou Reed’s and John Cale’s writing when they put out Songs For Drella (1990) after Andy Warhol passed on because I’d been a fan of his work and what his contemporaries were expressing across a number of art forms. Then I went backwards and realised that the glimpses of Nico that had echoed briefly here and there in the past were calling me to that iconic and mysterious persona.” Does playing the album in its entirety present any specific challenges.? “The rehearsals have been crazy fun. The challenge is to be true to the spirit of the music – the intention and meaning while playing it from our own point of view. Doing vocals on both Nico’s and Lou Reed’s songs is exciting for me because of all the facets to the lyrics to explore in performance. Guy Webster brings a new intuition to the work and the collaboration is energising for all of us.” Favourite songs from record? “Too hard to call, but Venus In Furs is profound and very hot. Naturally we’re reading Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s novel (purely for professional research). I also love I’ll Be Your Mirror, feeling that empathy with Warhol’s Chelsea Girls – the beauty and the addictions.” Album synopsis: Long considered one of the greatest records ever committed to tape, The Velvet Underground & Nico first saw
How did you get together? Sonny J Chin (rhythm guitar/mouth organ): “We’ve known each other since high school, and thought having a band would be a lucrative idea. We were wrong.” Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Rock, paper, scissors.” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “Toto.” You’re being sent into space, you can’t take an iPod and there’s only room to bring one album – which would it be? “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. It’s a beautiful album, and I’m reasonably sure Mr Bowie has left clues in there on how to survive space travel.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “The time I played Johnny B Goode at my parent’s Enchantment Under The Sea high school dance after Marvin Berry hurt his hand.” Why should people come and see your band? “We have a reasonable understanding of the space-time continuum. Also, our music is a blend of rock, folk and surf stomp guitar delivered with relentless fervor, which is worth hearing at least once.” A Cartoon Graveyard play The Hideaway on Friday 13 July
the light of day in 1967. The band’s debut, the bulk of the album was recorded in a four-day stint during 1966 featuring a line-up including Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker. Joining the band for the album was German guest vocalist Nico – a move driven by the band’s champion, manager, financial backer and producer Andy Warhol. As with so many classic albums, the release was initially a commercial flop with radio and music press at the time largely ignoring it. Decades later though, the enduring influence the album has had is impossible to ignore. Silver Sircus cover The Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground & Nico as part of the Long Player Sessions at Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday 21 July.
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neo-psych favourites Moses Gunn Collective and shoe-gazey The Scrapes. The visual projections will be created by artist Amy Longworth. It’s all happening on Saturday 14 July from 7pm-12pm.
NEVER ENDING BARBEQUE
The Sunday Rock’n’Roll BBQ has been a hit since it found its new home at the Mustang Bar, bringing
in a huge variety of bands from ‘60s-style girl groups to surf to garage and even hard rock – each show is pretty much a mixed bag of fun. Along with a free BBQ, raffles and giveaways, Sunday 15 July will see Drouser, New Jack Rubys, Heroine Chic and Le Murd take the stage, while on Sunday 22 Ironside, Helical Sun, Space Rocket and Weazal will provide the entertainment. Doors open at 1pm sharp and hey, it’s free!
ALL THINGS NEW AND WEIRD
New Weird Australia will be presenting a two-night gig series, Vagrant, at The Waiting Room. The first night will be held on Thursday 12 July, and will feature Talkshow Boy, Scraps and Feet Teeth. The second evening on Saturday 14 July will see No Anchor, pictured, The Rational Academy and Anonymeye Vs Ambrose Chapel on the bill. It’s $10 entry for each night and doors open at 8pm.
FEELING BLACK & BLUE
Brisbane three-piece Aerials have announced dates for the We Are Aerials Tour. They’ll be starting the festivities down south in Melbourne and will head north to celebrate the release of their second single Black & Blue, which channels cinematic post-rock bliss. They’ll be gracing the stage at the Beer Garden in Surfers Paradise on Thursday 12 July, Spotted Cow in Toowoomba on Friday 13 and X&Y Bar in Brisbane on Saturday 21.
WED 11TH JULY
THE WHISKEY ARCHIVE
WITH ROB FITCHETT
Circadelia – a contemporary performance that combines live psychedelic music, circus antics and visual art projections – will be landing at the Ice Cream Factory in West End on Saturday 14 July. The event will see some of the best local psychedelic bands teaming up along with some crazy circus shenanigans, for a unique sensory experience that will blow your mind. Dreamtime will headline the event, along with
MAP OF THE WORLD
Brisbane-based post rock outfit, Mr. Maps, pictured, have announced some good and bad news. Their show on Friday 20 July at the Judith Wright Centre with Hunz and Saturday 11 August at Tym Guitars (in-store performance) will be their final shows with the original line-up, as their drummer and friend Jac Hicks is heading overseas in August. The band have said that they do wish to make future plans to keep Mr. Maps rolling, but that the Mr. Maps live shows may soon become a rarity. But, the good news is that the six-piece have released a 7” with Hunz, featuring two singles which includes the Maps’ Those Boards Don’t Work On Water and Hunz’s Owl Highway – grab it at the launch!
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TIME OFF â€¢ 39
WED 11 Fret Fest, Rene Ranke, The Deep End, Michael David And Lee Chalk Hotel Hope Springs, Jakarta Criers, Tall Tails Coolum Beach Hotel James Johnston Victory Hotel Leanne Tennant The Music Kafe Locky Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Mandy Meadows, The Madness Method, The Fun Team Alhambra Lounge Mark Sheils Royal George Terror The Hi-Fi The Bowery Hot Five With Mal Wood The Bowery The Brodie Graham Band, Rachel Mac The Tempo Hotel The Later Dates, Hannah Rosa, Elka The Zoo Tim Steward, Kellie Lloyd The Hideaway Van She Afterparty La La Land
THU 12 Az Kerwin Elephant & Wheelbarrow Ballad Boy Loving Hut Charlotte Mclean Group, Boperation Turnaround Jazz Club Commercially Sound, Leanne Tennant, Run Circle Run, Connor Cleary The Music Kafe Deon Powter Mon Komo Fifth Column, Lucky 13 The Tempo Hotel Hill 60, Moonshine Sally, Signiture Series The Zoo I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Satellites The Bowery Jabba Irish Murphy’s Brisbane James Johnson Royal Exchange Hotel Mark Sheils Boardwalk Tavern Nick Trovas Chalk Hotel Rhys Bynon La La Land Sam Cahill, Chris Miller Elsewhere The Cairos, The Preachers The Loft Chevron Island The Clues Scu Uni Bar The Joe Kings, The Cleveland Blues, Dana Gehrman The Beetle Bar Treva Scobie Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Vagrant, Talkshow Boy, Scraps, Feet Teeth The Waiting Room Venus Envy Victory Hotel
40 • TIME OFF
FRI 13 Alex Jones, Le Groove, Dj Youth, Dj Hammo, Dj Hazard Chalk Hotel Ash Grunwald, Fingers Malone Ensemble Magnums Hotel Blind Dog Donnie The Music Kafe Body & Soul J’s Restaurant & Bar - Toowong Brett Allen, Apollo Flex, Eakut, Bluffsta, Mister P, Dj Premix, Dj Masta K, Dj K-Otic Shooters Nightclub Cedric Gervais The Met Clint Boge Fitzy’s Loganholme Clubfeet Barsoma Craig Shaw Pine Rivers Bowls Club Dachunga Coolum Beach Hotel Dave Bentley Trio Ecco Bar And Bistro Grindhouse 13 Miami Tavern Shark Bar Hot Shots Band Club Helensvale Hotwire Duo Alderley Brewery Bar Ingrid James, Julian Jones The Lido Café Restaurant IntersTellar Overdrive The Waiting Room Jabba, B-Rad Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Jak The Zoo James Johnson Wharf Tavern James Whiting Quartet Brisbane Jazz Club Jan Lennard J’z Jazz Crew Chevron Renaissance Centre Joel Salom, Tiger Lil Fleet Lane Knxwledge, Total Stranger, Sauce, Walrii Alloneword Kymera The Royal Gympie Hotel Lucas Stone Byron Bay Brewery Make Them Suffer, Signal The Firing Squad, Aversions Crown Loft - Red Hill Mark Boulle Band, Anna Smyrk And The Appetites, Leopold’s Treat The Loft Chevron Island Matrix Paradise Point Bowls Club Mofoisdead, Silence Of The Sun, Ramjet Elephant & Wheelbarrow Monkey Business Nudgee Beach Hotel Nadine Zion Gazebo Restaurant, Hotel Urban Nic Tango Crown Hotel Lutwyche Nicky Covine Trio Cbx Out Of Abingdon Diana Plaza Hotel Powerplay Hamilton Hotel Regrooved, Tom Drumond, Paul Masters, Mc Kitch La La Land
Sarenda Albany Creek Tavern Solar Rush Rocky Glen Hotel Stewart Fairhurst Cannon Hill Tavern Sures The Clock Hotel The Belligerents, Blaue Reiter Elsewhere The Clones Captain Cook Tavern The Clues Buddha Bar The Darren J Ray Band City Golf Club Toowoomba The Decoys The Tempo Hotel The Febs Deception Bay Tavern The Feel Murrumba Downs Tavern The Madness Method, Alla Spina, The Fun Team X & Y Bar The Rational Academy, Idylls, Sucks, The Waiting Room, Nikko Brisbane Powerhouse Turbine Platform The Smart Greenbank Rsl Tomas Ford, My Cerulan Heart, The Bertie Page Duo The Beetle Bar Twiggy Berserker Tavern Val Kilmer’s House Party Bowler Bar Venus Envy Hinterland Hotel Vivarta, Zelita, The Slow Riots, Stellar Green Billy’s Who’s Charlie Kingscliff Beach Hotel Wooly Cookies Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba
SAT 14 A La Carte In The Park feat. David Devito, Liam Burrows, Renae Suttie, Josh Lovegrove Lionel Perry Park, Surfers Paradise Adrian Keys, Mission X Elephant & Wheelbarrow Brassknuckles Brass Band, Bullhorn, The Mouldy Lovers The Beetle Bar Brett Hitchcock Club Helensvale Brett Sellwood, Kendall James, Giv Elsewhere Busby Marou, Leader Cheetah, The Hellow Morning The Tivoli CedrIc Gervais Platinum Nightclub Circadelia Ice Cream Factory - West End Colombian National Day:, Chukale, La Tropa Latina, Peligro Australian Hellenic Sports Centre Dagsville Newmarket Hotel Daimon Brunton Quintet Brisbane Jazz Club Dallas Frasca, Six Foot Hick, Rattlehand, Howling Rabbits, Rick Stewart The Hi-Fi Dan England Sugarland Tavern, Bundaberg
Dead Of Winter Festival feat. Area 7, Brothers Grimm, Astriaal, The Dreamkillers, Segression, Los Capitanes, Mz Ann Thropik, Charlie Gr Jubilee Hotel Deon Powter Brook Hotel Emma Mackenroth Palace Hotel -Woody Point Fiddle Me Please City Golf Club Toowoomba Foxes, Thewhiskeyarchive Ric’s Geoff Rayner Manly Hotel Ger Fennelly, Berst Irish Murphy’s Brisbane Gold Coast Roller Derby Present, La Revolution Carrara Indoor Stadium Jabba, Dj Monique Unique, Matthew Ough, Andrew Daniels, Liam Clancy Chalk Hotel James Johnson Mon Komo Jeff Wright Kenmore Tavern Kiku, Cruise Control, Rear Vision, George Moustache The Music Kafe Kingswood, Dan Terran, Money For Rope Hard Rock Café Mark Easton Chinderah Tavern Nikko, Waxing Lyrical Brisbane Powerhouse No Anchor, The Rational Academy, Anonymeye Vs Ambrose Chapel The Waiting Room No Standing Noosa Surf Club Overreactor Crow Bar - Brisbane Pat Capocci Combo, Dan & The Dualtones Wellers Hill Bowls Club Piano Bar With Tony Llewllyn, Tyney Charles Coolangatta Sands Hotel Recharge Beats Cbx Redlands Bluegrass Convention, Kristy Cox Redland Bay Hotel Relentless, Ghost Town, Shorelines, Unpaid Hostility X & Y Bar Remedy Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Rhys Bynon La La Land Rockabilly Bop, Pat Capocci Combo, Dan And The Dualtones, Dj Lori Lee Balmoral Bowls Club Roulf Kingscliff Beach Hotel Sacred Earth Tallebudgera Valley Community Centre Solar Rush Rocky Glen Hotel Stewart Fairhurst Hamilton Hotel Take On 2 Arundel Tavern The 4(Teen)Th, The Bbj’s Bowler Bar
PERSONAL BEST RECORDS
As Davey Romain of The Unofficials tells Benny Doyle, it’s all about “the whole experience”, a mantra his new psych nights hope to play on further.
DAVID ORR FROM NUMBERS RADIO Best record you stole from your folks’ collection? Discovery by Electric Light Orchestra. First record you bought? We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister. My brother bought this record for me when I was a kid, I jumped around my bedroom so hard once I fell over and cracked a window with my head, still have the scar! Record you put on when you’re really miserable? Definitely Second Toughest In The Infants by Underworld. Record you put on when you bring someone home? Anything by Curtis Mayfield. He is the love master! Most surprising record in your collection? I have a few Ravi Shankar records, I love a good raga. Also I have an original pressing of Elvis’ Blue Hawaii. Last thing you bought/downloaded? Led Zep – When The West Was Won. It’s a live album, taken from an old recording Jimmy Page found in his archives. They rocked so hard! Whole Lotta Love goes for like 20 minutes! It’s epic. Man, every human should hear this record. Numbers Radio play Valley Vibes Festival at Fortitude Valley PCYC on Saturday 14 July.
The Clues, The Vernons, The Better MousEtrap Treatment, Rylie Comrie The Loft Chevron The Good Ship The Zoo The Incredible Kicks, Cute Machines, Cherry Dove The Tempo Hotel The Lazy Valentines Wharf Tavern Valley Vibes Festival feat. Numbers Radio, The Winnie Coopers, Drake The Fake, Steve Grady, Those Clever Foxes, Interim, Yesyou, Fushia Fortitude Valley PCYC Venus Envy Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Vote For Pedro, Dj Jonny L Billy’s
SUN 15 Brass Knuckle Brass Band Brisbane Jazz Club Cc The Cat Mandala Arts Cafe Chris Boyanton Coolangatta Sands Hotel
Chris Talbot, Booster Chalk Hotel Dan England Bayswater Hotel Daniel Webber, Discrow La La Land Darren Scott Mon Komo Dave Ritter, Owie Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Deon Powter Robina Tavern Drouser, New Jack Ruby’s, Heroine Chic, Le Murd Mustang Bar He Said, Liam Bryant, Lust For Words The Tempo Hotel Istanbul Gypsy Groove, Neil Oxtoby Returns, Calango Lazy The Music Kafe Itrish Celtic Dance Festival, Sasta Irish Music, Ger Fennelly, Wasabi Irish Murphy’s Brisbane James Johnston Lost City Jeff Carter Duo Blue Pacific Hotel Jezza Southern Hotel Toowoomba Leigh James Club Helensvale
With a focus on delivering an evening made up of music, paintings, lighting and other art installations, Brisbane bands The Unofficials and Magenta Voyeur have joined forces to look towards a new beyond as The Psychedelic Syndicate. “Me and Mark Cosgrove [Magenta Voyeur – guitarist/singer] have known each other and been jamming together for ages,” Romain educates, discussing the formation of the collective, “and our two bands are always hanging out together and we both play experimental music. We all share the same interests and similar musical styles, so we figured the two bands could merge and become a syndicate with the goal to put on regular psych shows that have interesting things for people to do while they experience the music – a kind of musical, artistic journey.” Like the start of many great movements before them, it was friendships and literature which was behind the Syndicate’s formation. “We always had the intention to start doing shows together, and a few of us in the syndicate were reading [Tom Wolfe’s 1968 acid classic] The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – I think that was probably the other main catalyst for the Syndicate. The ideas of doing the psychedelic nights, well, there is no real scene for psych and experimental music in the kind of setting we want.” Although the bands want to eventually write together, currently the focus is simply on hosting these exciting new nights, playing tunes and bringing the passion back to music. “Creatively both bands drive each other,” he admits. “There’s a small element of cheeky competition which is great, but the big picture is we’re both working together to create this experience – that idea is enough to inspire all of us many times over.” WHEN & WHERE: Friday 13 July, Interstellar Overdrive @ The Waiting Room
Lucus Stone Titanium Bar Murray Brown, Brett Allen, Craig Obey, Apollo Flex Shooters Nightclub Paul Clarke Noosa Reef Hotel Peter Farnan, Morganics Tully Masonic Centre Powerplay Breakfast Creek Hotel Royale Sundays, Stretch Paper Cranes Elsewhere The Bell Divers, The Stress Of Leisure, Swaying Buildings Black Bear Lodge The Rhubarbs, Bubble Boys Elephant & Wheelbarrow Venus Envy Victory Hotel
MON 16 Funky Monkey The Music Kafe
Mark Sheils Elephant & WheeLbarrow Raw Connection Broadbeach Bowls Club Woody Lives Here Irish Murphy’s Brisbane
TUE 17 Mark Sheils Samford Hotel Mark Ziza, Karen Anderson, Ewan Mackenzie The Bug Pop Rock Escalate, The Belligerent Goat, Trash Fairies, The Roshambos The Tempo Hotel Say Anything, D At Sea The Hi-Fi Tea Party The Tivoli
BEHIND THE LINES CRUISING ALONG
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
WITH MICHAEL SMITH
BRASS WORKSHOP WITH JAMES MORRISON
Schagerl Australia wants to introduce all you trumpeters out there to their new “James Morrison” model Schagerl Trumpets, so they’ve hooked up with Ellaways Music and organised a free workshop in the Basil Jones Orchestra Hall at the Queensland Conservatorium, South Bank on Tuesday 24 July with the man himself. All you have to do is bring your own mouthpiece, but you should register for this event by calling 3290 5656 or email email@example.com.
MAPEX MYDENTITY KITS
Literally days after announcing that he would be debuting his new Mapex MyDentity drumkit on the current leg of the Alice Cooper No More Mr Nice Guy tour of the US, drummer Glen Sobel has had to pull out of the tour because of a persistent neck injury. MyDentity kits are the latest innovation from Mapex whereby drummers can custom order kit details such as sizes, drum and hardware finish options via an online kit builder program. Sobel’s kit has been outfitted with a custom Gibraltar cymbal rack set-up.
ABBEY ROAD: THE BOOK
In a collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing, Abbey Road Studios is celebrating their 80th anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the first Beatles recording at the studios and the 40th anniversary of the recording of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, with the publication of the first ever pictorial exploration of the iconic British studio and its history, Abbey Road: The Best Studio In The World. It’s written by freelance music journalist Alistair Lawrence and features interviews with many of the artists, engineers and producers who have made music there, and comes with a foreword by its most famous alumnus, producer Sir George Martin. The last “biography” of the studio, titled simply Abbey Road, was written by Brian Southall, Peter Vince and Allan Rouse, the third, updated and revised edition of which was published by Omnibus Press in 2002.
The new album, Frantic, from Seattle-based veteran rockers Heart, due for release in October, was recorded in hotel rooms and studios up and down the American West Coast with Grammy Award-winning producer Ben Mink. The Vaccines recorded their forthcoming second album, The Vaccines Come Of Age, at ICP Studios in Brussels, Belgium, and Distillery in Bath, UK, with producer Ethan Johns. The Pet Shop Boys took themselves over to Los Angeles earlier this year to record their new album, Elysium. It’s due in September, and was recorded with co-producer Andrew Dawson, who has picked up three Grammys for his work on Kanye West’s albums. Kiss’ latest and 20th album, Monster, was produced by guitarist Paul Stanley with Greg Collins at Conway Studios in Hollywood, and The Nook in Studio City, California.
It’s been six years since Something For Kate released an album, so Michael Smith got onto bass player Stephanie Ashworth over in Dallas to check out how the new album is coming along.
he recording is cruising along,” Something For Kate’s bass player Stephanie Ashworth explains, from the relative cool inside Elmwood Studios in Dallas, Texas, where they’re working on their sixth album and where, outside, the temperatures had been – at the time of this conversation – regularly hitting 35 degrees outside. “We’re getting a lot more done than we’re used to in that sort of time frame,” she laughs. “We were laughing at how with the last record we made [2006’s Desert Lights], we were in Los Angeles with [producer] Brad Wood, and I think we were there for four months to make a record! Which is kind of a ridiculous amount of time to make a record. Here, we’re already at day ten and we have nine bass and drum tracks down, which is much faster for us, so that’s good.” Booked in to record for six weeks, Elmwood Studios features a Neve 53 series console, 36 input with 3119 modules with 52 inputs available at mix; Pro Tools HD2 24 in/out, an MCI JH 24 2” 24-track and an Ampex 102 ½” two-track, so another best of both analogue and digital studio worlds. Though for this recording, they’re going through the desk straight to Pro Tools, but, as Ashworth points out, the engineer “has an enormous amount of equipment in there, beautiful old warm-sounding compressors and modules he’s running things through.” The studio belongs to producer John Congleton, whose CV includes records for St. Vincent, Explosions In The Sky, Okkervil River and Modest Mouse. “He’s a Dallas-based producer, and we met him while he was out in Australia working on somebody else and then we just decided we’d come to his studio here in Dallas because he obviously knows his studio really well and is very comfortable working here. It’s a really great studio and we thought it would be just a really good change of scenery to come over to Texas and record.” As a producer, Ashworth feels Congleton is really challenging them. “I mean, it’s been a few
Byron Bay four-piece The Lucky Wonders called on Govinda Doyle, who co-produced Angus & Julia Stone’s Jet Plane, to record their new album, Lay Down My Arms, before sending it off to LA to Grammy Award winner Tom Baker to master. Five-times ARIA Award-winning producer Paul McKercher (Josh Pyke, Papa Vs Pretty, Sarah Blasko) produced the latest and self-titled album from Melbourne Celtic punk institution The Go Set. He recorded it with Nick Huggins at Hothouse in Melbourne and A Pocket Full Of Stones at Port Lonsdale; Colin Leadbetter mixed it at Sing Sing Studios and Graham Goldman mastered it at Master Disk in New York City.
“The studio has a really kind of eerie atmosphere. Some years ago it used to be a funeral home! I didn’t know that until we’d been here a couple of days and I walked in the door and noticed this little thermometer in the doorway that said, ‘Cat Funeral Home,’ and had the temperature. After being a funeral home it was a realtor’s office, but for some years it’s been a recording studio and it’s got this… Maybe I’ve just put that onto the atmosphere, that I sort of feel it’s kind of got a little bit of this eerie vibe [chuckles]. The acoustics are beautiful.” Ashworth primarily plays a 1966 Fender Precision bass, running it through an Ampeg SVT Classic in an Ampeg 4x10 cabinet. “I’m using a really beautiful old Ampeg [100 watt] B-15 from 1960, something like that. I think
volume and gain began to produce a thick, magical drive when switching to my bridge humbucker. Moving onto the second channel the gain, volume and EQ response were completely different. It was possible to go from low gain breakup to complete liquid overdrive by messing with the gain. Incorporating the foostwitch to engage the solo function brought out a nice wide mid boost perfect for clean or driven passages, and you could also use master level to finetune a sweet spot for perfect feedback.
Melbourne five-piece The Smith Street Band recorded their second album, Sunshine And Technology, at Three Phase Studios in their hometown with Sam Johnson, while Matt Voigt (Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, The Nation Blue) mixed it at Sing Sing Studios.
Just FYI, all the music recording, mixing and mastering for the TV latent show The Voice was done over four months at Sydney 301, with Steve Smart completing the bulk of the mastering work.
“At the moment it’s all still pretty raw and unmixed and stuff – as I said, we’ve only recorded bass and drums – but everything sounds really good and I think we’re just trying different things and not spending ridiculous amounts of time on getting ‘the perfect’ kind of ‘precision sounds or anything. We’re just kind of capturing more of a live feel.
The new album, Blood Speaks, from UK duo Smoke Fairies was once again produced by PJ Harvey producer, Head, but this time recording and mixing at Eastcote Studios in West London, with John Dent mastering it at the facility he shares with Jason Mitchell in Taunton, Somerset, LOUD Mastering.
The latest, and first proper studio rather than bedroom, album, The Middle, from Sydney three-piece Circle, was produced by founding band member, Radi Safi, with the help of engineer Mike Stavrou (America, David Bowie, Kate Bush), with some finishing touches from Brian Gardner (Phoenix).
years since our last album and I think we’ve all changed, as all people do over a period of four or five years, and I think we really wanted to make a really different-sounding record that captured where we’re at at the moment. And a lot of the stuff that he’d done, it’s all very ‘live’ feeling, a bit more spontaneous and just being a little bolder with the recording, I think, generally.
The DV Mark 40 112 Combo is a great, simple to use amp for just about any style other than metal perhaps. The Clean tones are rich and sparkly and the driven tones are thick and juicy. This sort of amp works really well at beefing up single coils and pushes humbuckers into extreme fuzz territory.
DV MARK DV40 112 COMBO
Unlike most valve amplifiers, which weigh a tonne, the DV Mark 40 112 comes in at just under 16kg, which is unheard for a full valve amp. The DV 40 112 is a two-channel 40-watt all-valve combo with one ECC83 in the preamp and two El 34s in the power amp. The output is also modified by what they refer to as “CPC” or Continuous Power Control, as well as a pentode/ triode switch on the back of the amplifier that switches between Class A and Class AB operation. In Class A the CPC ranges from 0.5 watts to 15 watts, whereas in Class A/B it operates from 1 watt to 40 watts, so think of the CPC working as a power soak enabling you to get cranked tone at bedroom to stage volume. I plugged my Strat into the clean channel, set the gain to about “6”, engaged the “Bright” switch and set my EQ to have a lot of bass and lot of mids. The single coils sounded thick and juicy because of the warm gain, and I maxed out the “Reverbero” (how Italian!) for some delicious Hendrixy chops. The clean channel was very warm and clear and cranking the
For more information head to cmcmusic.com.au. Review originally published in Australian Musician.
ENGL POWERBALL II HEAD It would be an understatement to say that I was excited to have the opportunity to review one of the finest quality amps of the modern era. Engl are an amazing company that has brought quality German engineering and affordability to guitarists in search of flexible and quality amplifiers. I remember the early days when these amps first arrived at Billy Hydes in Blackburn, Victoria, where the Screamer combo simply blew my mind with its juicy lead tones and crystal-clear clean tones.
I did use one of those on some songs on the last record – no, maybe the fourth record [2003’s The Official Fiction]. It’s a nice old, worn-in kind of sound and I’m using a lot of distortion actually, on a few of the tracks. There’s one particular song that is, um, quite nasty. “Cheese Sauce it’s called [Lovetone Cheese Sauce Pedal fuzz distortion] – it’s just a really obnoxious sort of fuzz pedal, and one of the songs I’ve got that in, it’ll be very loud in the mix – it’s not polite,” Ashworth laughs. “There’ll be a bit of nasty in there. It’ll definitely be a bit of a departure from, you know... I think people will be saying, ‘God, what’s wrong with the bass? That just sounds completely broken!’ In a good way, I think. “We were just recording a very quiet track actually [before this call], which our drummer [Clint Hyndman] couldn’t help laughing throughout, which completely ruined everything! It’s always the way when we’re doing that really, you know, hymnal kind of song. In the old days, I used to do my bass parts by myself, completely separately, alone, and it was a very solitary, nerve-racking experience, but now it’s a lot less formal I think; we’ve stopped being so serious about it all. So if there are going to be bass mistakes, there are going to be bass mistakes right along with those drum mistakes,” she laughs. Something For Kate’s as-yet untitled album is expected to be released later in the year.
First up, I plugged into the Clean channel and was rewarded with extremely clear tones with endless amounts of headroom perfect for contrasting clean/ heavy tones that have been around since the early ‘80s. Increasing the gain pushed the amp into Fender Deluxe/Bassman territory with thicker, juicier drive perfect for anything from blues to indie rock. The next channel was the Crunch channel, which was perfect for guitarists into rock or old school metal, where the gain was not out of control and the sound was very tight and responsive. Up next were the two lead channels, which were essentially identical and could be used for dialing in a metal rhythm tone and a metal lead tone with a difference in lead gain and master volume, or by either utilising the mid boost function to boost solos. A wonderfully subtle noise gate sat on top of these channels keeping them extremely quiet even at the loudest of settings. All the switching took place with a Custom Engl Z-9 footswich, except for Master Channel switching, which required a separate footswitch. This amp pumps out a roaring 100 Watts with four ECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes and four 6L6GC power tubes offering massive gain, headroom, volume and bottom end for a guitarist that wants an amp to do it all. Reza Nasseri For more info, head to imd.com.au. Review originally published in Australian Musician.
The Engl Powerball II is a second generation marvel that boasts four discrete channels of tonal bliss for the rock/metal enthusiast. On top of that, there’s a separate mid boost for each channel, as well as two independent master volumes for even more flexibility.
TIME OFF • 41
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Published on Jul 9, 2012
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...