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TIM BARRY

ROSETTA

DEVO

CARRIE BROWNSTEIN

LIARS MARK GARDENER SCISSOR SISTERS THE FALLS

N O W AVA I L A BL E O N I PA D • 1 AU G U S T 2 012 • 15 8 8 • F R E E

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A IME R FO ED T IT M LI

R U O Y O T N I N R U T E R R U O Y N TUR MENT

U R T S N I M A E DR G I B E V A S D N A

ON NOW!


NEX TW EEK !

LIVE 2012 WITH THE CITY SHAKE UP

THURSDAY AUGUST THE HI-FI 18+ TICKETS ON SALE NOW

FROM THEHIFI.COM.AU

FOR MORE INFO HEAD TO SOUNDWAVETOURING.COM TIME OFF • 3


Some records are so great we can’t shut up about them.

Simone Felice

Josh Ritter

Dawes

Simone Felice

So Runs The World Away

Nothing is Wrong

If you missed Simone’s stunning shows here, you can still grab the album.

Josh was also here and will be back for a headline tour soon. Special 2-CD edition, with new 6-track ep ‘BRINGING IN THE DARLINGS’, available now.

SPECIAL 2-CD edition, including their acclaimed debut ‘NORTH HILLS’.

“…he sets out to carry a world of ideas on a few basic chords…” THE NEW YORK TIMES

NO DEPRESSION

Dr John

Punch Brothers

Kelly Hogan

Locked Down

Who’s Feeling Young Now?

I Like to Keep Myself in Pain

The new album, produced by - and featuring - The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach..

T Bone Burnett says they’re “one of the most incredible bands (America) has ever produced.”

★★★★ “Buy two, frame one.”

SEE THEM IN AUGUST. August 6 - Melbourne Recital Centre August 8 - Sydney The Basement August 10 - Adelaide International Guitar Festival

Kelly Hogan’s ‘swoon-inducing voice’ (Pitchfork) wraps itself around new songs by Andrew Bird, M. Ward, Vic Chesnutt, Magnetic Fields and others.

★★★★★ “Passion seeps through the pores of these songs.” COURIER MAIL

STACK

Chris Robinson Brotherhood Big Moon Ritual Debut album out now. “…If you like the Black Crowes, if you like the Grateful Dead, if you like the Allman Brothers, you will be rewarded.” – RELIX.COM

WWW.WARNERMUSIC.COM.AU

4 • TIME OFF

“…nothing less than a beauty to behold.”

Tom Waits

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Bad as Me

Americana

Available on CD and LP.

Blu-ray and Double LP also now available.

“Bad As Me was the best-reviewed album of 2011” – METACRITIC.COM.

“Young unleashes his most spectacular and ornery beast, Crazy Horse, on 11 songs, the lyrical themes and sentiments of which ring as true today as when they were written, anywhere between 250 and 60 years ago” – THE AGE

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TIME OFF • 5


ON S ALE NOW

6 • TIME OFF


GURRUMUL WITH W ITH SPECIA SPECIAL AL GU GUESTS UESTS

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THE RAZZLE DAZZLE SUMMER TOUR

SATURDAY DECEMBER 1 BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE , 9Ê "6  ,ÊÎäÊUÊ1*/ ,½-Ê/ /, ]Ê" Ê "-/

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TIME OFF • 7


GIVEAWAYS The Sapphires is an inspirational tale set in the heady days of the late ‘60s about a quartet of young, talented singers from a remote Aboriginal mission, discovered and guided by a kind-hearted, soul-loving manager. Plucked from obscurity, the four spirited women with powerhouse voices – called The Sapphires – are given the opportunity to entertain American troops in Vietnam. We have five double in-season passes to give away! Thanks to The Met we have two double passes up for grabs to Brooke Evers’ gig on Friday 10 August! Entrants must be 18+.

Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes, Olivia Colman and Amelia Bullmore star in Twenty Twelve, a sixpart comedy drama about the people paddling hard beneath the water to make the Olympics happen in London in 2012. Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment we have five copies of the DVD to give away! New York glam-queens Scissor Sisters are heading back to Australia this September and we have got one double pass to give away! You can catch them at The Arena on Tuesday 25 September. Entrants must be 18+. Thanks to Kristian Fletcher we have two double passes to the John Waters Movie Double at the Tribal Theatre on Wednesday 8 August at 6.30pm. Pink Flamingos (1972, R18+ 6.30pm and A Dirty Shame (2004, R18+ - 8.15pm will screen at 6.30pm and 8.15pm respectively. Entrants must be 18+.

Off the back of his new smash single Heard It All, snowballing MC ILLY has announced a huge national tour throughout August and September. We have a double pass to give away to his gig at The Zoo Friday 10 August, and the winner will also score a signed poster! Entrants must be 18+.

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W E D N E S D AY 1 A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

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FRONT ROW

Foreword Line – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash Get retro with Regurgitator Mark Gardener is ready to celebrate the past once again It seems Rosetta loved Australia so much, they needed to return We take a look inside the fascinating world of Devo What will Liars bring to Harvest? Punk troubadour Tim Barry is back once again We get a second helping of Scissor Sisters this year Sabrina Lawrie is ready to live those LA dreams again They’ve come from nowhere but now The Falls have won our hearts with their haunting tunes Get Greazey with Eddie Angel Locals Oh Ye Denver Birds give us an update on where they’re at right now On The Record has the latest, greatest and not-so-greatest new musical releases Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out

10 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 26 28 28 30 30

CREDITS

EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Contributing Editor: Dan Condon Front Row Editor: Cassandra Fumi Interns: Keagan Elder, Sophia De Marco ADVERTISING Advertising Account Executives: James Tidswell, Jo Wallis DESIGN & LAYOUT Cover Design/Designer: Matt Davis ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Administration: Leanne Simpson Accounts: Marcus Treweek CONTRIBUTORS: Time Off: Ben Preece, Dan Condon, Daniel Johnson, Chris Yates, Matt O’Neill, Adam Curley, Lochlan Watt, Carlin Beattie, Tyler McLoughlan, Mitch Knox, Sam Hobson, Rachel Tinney, Tony McMahon, Benny Doyle, Jake Sun, Helen Stringer, Brendan Telford, Rip Nicholson, Cyclone, Amber McCormick, Brad Swob, Siobhain McDon8 • TIME OFF

themusic.com.au

Check out what’s happening This Week In Arts Carrie Brownstein chats about Portlandia and how things just… look better with birds on them Cultural Cringe and The Looking Glass focus on the Olympics Jamal Sims talks to us about Step Up choreography We chat to the writer of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

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34 34 34

BACK TO TIME OFF! Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live 35 Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down 38 Lochlan Watt gives you brutal metal news in Adamantium Wolf 38 Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown 38 Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas 38 Go behind the music Behind The Lines 45 iFlog and you can too 46

nell, Sky Kirkham, Bradley Armstrong, Carley Hall, Eleanor Houghton, Madeleine Laing, Tom Hersey Front Row: Baz McAlister, Mandy Kohler, Lauren Dillon, Adam Brunes, Matt O’Neill, Mitch Knox, Jessica Mansour, Guy Davis, Rowena Grant-Frost, Danielle O’Donohue, Helen Stringer, Alice Muhling Photography: Stephen Booth, Kane Hibberd, Terry Soo, John Taylor, John Stubbs EDITORIAL POLICY The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. © PUBLISHER: Street Press Australia Pty Ltd Suite 11/354 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 POSTAL: Locked Bag 4300 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 Phone: 07 3252 9666 Email: info@timeoff.com.au PRINTED BY: Rural Press

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TIME OFF • 9


FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

IN BRIEF Darryl Cotton, frontman of Australian rockers Zoot – who were a prominent act in the ‘60s and ‘70s Australian scene – as well as television host and actor, passed away last week at the age of 62 after a battle with liver cancer.

HOMEBAKE GOES GLOBAL

The Homebake festival has always been Australia’s ultimate showcase of the talent that is produced in our country and there’s no doubt that will be the case in 2012, except this time there’s a bit of a difference. Headlining this year’s festival is the considerably un-Australian but iconic and legendary Blondie. The rest of the bill is a real who’s who of Aussie talent though, with the likes of Tim Minchin, Hilltop Hoods, pictured, Kimbra, Angus Stone, Julia Stone, Birds Of Tokyo, Daniel Merriweather, Sam Sparro, Something For Kate, Sonicanimation, Shapeshipter, Six60, Jinja Safari, The Bamboos, Tim Rogers, San Cisco, Emma Louise, Pond, Ball Park Music, Seekae, DZ Deathrays, Diafrix, Husky and Full Tote Odds joining the bill. Oh, and a special performance from a little band called The Saints as well...! It happens at Sydney’s Domain on Saturday 8 December; tickets are available through OzTix and Moshtix from 9am Thursday 16 August.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WINO

The Amy Winehouse Tribute show in early July resulted in the biggest night The Joynt has ever seen, with many disappointed punters turned away. Due to the incredible response an encore performance will be staged at the The Hi-Fi, celebrating Winehouse’s birthday with her iconic music performed by Brisbane’s finest, including Laneous (Laneous & the Family Yah!), Ofa Fanaika (Chocolate Strings), Megan Crocombe (His Merry Men), Billie Weston (Dubmarine/Kryptimastik), Angela Fabian and Bridget O’Donaghue (Bridey O’d & The Groove). The six singers will be backed by a seven-piece band for what’s shaping up to be another special night, Friday 14 September (Winehouse’s actual birthday). Tickets via thehifi.com.au and the usuals.

BIG EARLE

As if this year’s BIGSOUND (Wednesday 12–Friday 14 September, Fortitude Valley) wasn’t already looking pretty dang sweet, they have announced that singer/ songwriter Steve Earle as the opening keynote speaker. With a career that winds its way through musician (multi-platinum hits like Copperhead Road and 14 Grammy nominations), actor (The Wire, Treme, 30 Rock), published author, radio DJ and activist, Earle has led a fascinating life. He joins fellow artists Ben Lee, Ian Haug (Powderfinger), Clare Bowditch, David Bridie, Henry Wagons and Alexander Gow (Oh Mercy) along with industry speakers including Ben Swank from Jack White’s Third Man Records, EMI Australia Chairman Mark Poston, Spotify’s Rene Chambers, C3 Presents’ Aly Ehlinger and a growing list of the who’s who in the international music industry. Head to bigsound.org.au for more info on all the acts playing and tickets.

KNIGHTS OF…

Melbournian melodic four-piece Sydonia have just released their EP Words That Don’t Exist, and it’s a cracker. With good words from Slipknot guitarist Jim Root (“They incorporate so many different vibes that it’s a little bit hard to categorise them”), the album continues Sydonia’s aim of marrying melodic hooks with wall-of-sound guitars and precise percussive potency. Having played enough shows to have an exceptionally tight set, but with the same grassroots charm, the band tour the country this August to give everyone a taste of their new work. They stop by the Crowbar on Saturday 1 September and as part of Peregian Originals, Sunny Coast Sunday 2 with special guests, Sydney’s Beggars Orchestra.

BLANK AGENDA

Christopher Gaspar Isla and Manuel Luquin are Cold Blank, Los Angeles-based electro-house DJ/producers, and they’re celebrating their album The Agenda with a quick sojourn down under, playing Electric Playground on Friday 17 August. Cold Blank have quickly risen to fame due to their chart topping success on popular digital distributors and blog aggregators such as The Hype Machine, and their tracks have received support from DJs including Will-i-am of Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, Fischerspooner, Miles Dyson, Green Velvet and many more.

10 • TIME OFF

Brookyln based indiepop outfit Friends are currently touring Australia as a four piece after key member Matthew Molnar quit the band shortly before they got on a plane to Australia. Legendary British punk band the Sex Pistols will release a ‘super deluxe box set’ version of the iconic Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols album to mark the record’s 35th anniversary. It features three CDs, a DVD, a 100-page book, a 7” single, poster and lyric sheet. The self-titled record from Los Angeles punks OFF! gets an Australian release through UNFD next month. Husker Du and Sugar founder Bob Mould will release his new solo record Silver Age through Shock on Friday 7 September.

BRAGG DOES GUTHRIE

Billy Bragg is a masterful songwriter, that is something that simply cannot be denied. He has, for decades now, committed hundreds of tales of love, politics and numerous subject areas in between to tape and is adored all around the world for his songwriting aptitude. He’s also proven that he’s a pretty damn good interpreter of songs that aren’t his own, but ones that generally bear some kind of historical significance; the most striking example of course being his work on the Mermaid Avenue records where he, alongside Wilco, delved into some lost material from the great Woody Guthrie and made it his own. So on his upcoming Australian tour, the Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me tour, he is splitting his show in half, beginning with a celebration of Woody Guthrie’s legacy – as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2012 – and finishing up with a set of Bragg’s own most loved songs from his 30 years in the game. It promises to be a special event when he hits QPAC on Thursday 25 October. Tickets are available through Qtix. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.

themusic.com.au

A rare collaboration between Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet has been confirmed for the 2013 Adelaide Festival program. The event takes place in February/March with a the full line-up to be announced in October.

SEEKAE & DESTROY

Popular Sydney three-piece beatkids Seekae will hit the road this August with a string of east coast shows. The electronic outfit have been touring internationally last year wowing audiences in Japan, America, England and Europe, and have recently dropped their album +Dome this past March. Their recent run at the Vivid Live Festival saw the trio introduce an eight-piece string section and live vocals to their performance. Expect to see both new and old elements of Seekae as they tour with special guests Kangaroo Skull and Thomas William, playing The Zoo on Saturday 1 September. Tickets via Oztix.

MELLOW YELLOW

With their debut album Never It Saw Coming set loose into the world a few month ago, Melbourne’s IOWA are keeping the ball rolling by announcing a run of east coast shows throughout August. To promote the release of new single Love Song and its accompanying video, as well as unleashing yellow 12-inch copies of the album, the boys play Queensland Friday 17 August at X&Y Bar with Tape/Off; Saturday 18, Tym Guitars (afternoon) and then later on that same evening at The Waiting Room with Seaplane, Crass Creatures and El Motel. The phenomenally intense live show this three-piece creates is an amazing experience that’s no to be missed.

BIRTHDAY BASH

2012 marks the 30th anniversary of Australia’s bestloved electro-pop pioneers, Pseudo Echo. They’re ready to celebrate, and armed with their first new single since the ‘80s, Suddenly Silently, they’ll be hitting the road for a national tour in August. After notching up over one million album sales and topping the charts in Australia, US, UK, Canada, Sweden and more, Pseudo Echo became a household name across the globe, best known for their smash hit cover Funky Town. To celebrate the exciting release of their new single, Pseudo Echo are giving away one thousand Suddenly Silently digital download cards, handing them out to the first 150 punters through the door at each gig. Catch them Friday 7 September at Eatons Hill Hotel and Saturday 8 at the Coolangatta Hotel.

A MILLION MERCIES

Brisbane indie four-piece Millions have been handpicked by Oh Mercy to be the main support of their upcoming national tour. The band, who are coming off the back of their own tour for EP Nine Lives, Six Degrees, are currently working on their second EP. On their brewing bromance, Oh Mercy main man Alex Gow said, “I was lucky enough to see [Millions] play recently and was really impressed as I’m sure Oh Mercy audiences will be. They’re young, handsome and loud. Australian cities and ‘rural centres’ are about to cop it sweet.” Together they play The Zoo Friday 21 September, and Joe’s Waterhole, Sunshine Coast Saturday 22. Tickets via Oztix or venues.


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TIME OFF • 11


FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

IN BRIEF

HARMONY FOUND

Dunedin-based post-punk smashers Die!Die!Die! have been a little quiet of late, particularly by their standards, but it’s easy to see why now that their brand new record Harmony is all finished and out in the shops. The band’s fourth record was recorded in France with Chris Townend – who has worked with the likes of Portishead and Violent Femmes. The band are celebrating by getting out on the road and treating Aussie audiences to some more of their frenetically fantastic live performances. They play The Zoo Thursday 30 August; Elsewhere, Gold Coast Friday 31; and The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba Saturday 1. Tickets via Oztix, and Royal Blood support all shows.

The Australian Recording Industry Association have announced that the ARIA #1 Chart Awards will be back in August 2012 to celebrate artists who’ve had a chart-topping album, single or music DVD in the last two years.

MAKEWAVES WHILE THE SUN SHINES

Colin Hay, frontman of Men At Work, is set to re-release the band’s iconic song Down Under without the controversial flute solo that was at the centre of a bitter legal battle last year.

With their July tour supporting Karnivool almost completely sold out, Sydney’s sleepmakeswaves have announced a headlining tour of their own, continuing a busy 2012 that has seen the instrumental rockers tour the US, Europe and Australia extensively, including the SxSW Festival and Belgium’s Dunk Festival. With plans for more overseas expeditions in 2012, they’re celebrating new single Now We Rise & We Are Everywhere by performing on Friday 14 September at Crowbar and Saturday 15 at Miami Tavern Shark Bar, Gold Coast. Tickets via OzTix.

RICHARD NIGHTS

One of Australia’s most loved and enduring songwriters, Richard Clapton celebrates his first album in eight years with Harlequin Nights, also marking the beginning of his fifth decade in the music industry. Clapton has never been rich. He has never had the pleasure of passing through life in a luxurious rock star bubble; he’s battled everything from bad managers and capricious record companies to drugs, debt, taxes, personal tragedy and a thousand room service dinners – so he’s got a few tales. No doubt he’ll be spinning plenty on Friday 28 September at Nambour Civic Centre, Sunshine Coast; Saturday 29 at QPAC Theatre; and Saturday 27 October at Twin Towns, Gold Coast.

NICKI IN PINK

American singer and fashion challenger Nicki Minaj will bring her arena tour to Australia this October, returning after her east coast May tour. The jaunt will visit Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Wednesday 3 October. Superstar and trailblazer, Minaj has become one of the world’s most in-demand acts and the numbers (whether it be the multi-platinum albums or millions of social network follows) speak for themselves in terms of her global following. American rapper Tyga will also be opening for Minaj for the Pink Friday Reloaded Tour. Tickets via livenation.com.au from Friday 3 August.

RE-REGURGITATE

It would appear (unsurprisingly) that Regurgitator’s upcoming Retrotech Tour, featuring the lads smashing out both Unit and Tu Plang, is something we were pretty keen for. Initially announced as playing the Great Northern in Byron Bay Wednesday 26 September and The Hi-Fi Friday 28, they’ve added a second Hi-Fi show Thursday 27 after the Friday one sold out. So for those that missed out, this is your chance to catch two fave ‘Gurge albums live and back to back. Tickets via the venues, OzTix, Butterbeats and Uni Co-op Bookshop, Sunshine Coast, Indonesian two-piece phenomenon Senyawa support all shows.

SHEERAN AGAIN

With this month’s completely sold out tour almost upon our shores, UK singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has announced he will be returning to the country next year. Tickets to all six performances of the upcoming shows sold out instantly with fans eager to hear Sheeran’s hits including Lego House, The A Team and new favourite Drunk. Striking while the iron is scorching, fans who missed out on the upcoming tour can start planning for Saturday 2 March 2013, when Sheeran plays an all ages show at Brisbane Riverstage. Tickets via Ticketmaster from Thursday 9 August, although pre-sales are available via Frontier Touring for members from Monday 6. 12 • TIME OFF

SPANISH PRADO

Taperjean Records have announced the signing of Sydney metalcore band For All Eternity, who will release their much anticipated debut album Beyond The Gates on the label late August.

RAZZLE ROUSER

Continuing her successful reintroduction to the music industry, Missy Higgins hits the road later this year with a national tour supporting her new album The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle. Higgins, who performed at the Splendour In The Grass festival over the weekend, will bring Gurrumul along as main support as well as Emma Louise, playing bigger venues than her recent, more intimate tour. Catch the threesome Friday 30 November at Jupiter’s Theatre, Gold Coast, and Saturday 1 December at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Tickets via Ticketmaster/Ticketek from Thursday 9 August.

NEKRO MAN

Danish American psychobilly horror legends Nekromantix, led by misfit rock’n’roll rebel Kim Nekroman, have forged their own unique image and identity in the world of modern punk-rock – a place where the decaying roots of early rock’n’roll provide the skeleton for a musical monster that spews forth reverb-drenched punk rock bile with bone chilling riffs. Celebrating latest record What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell – offering up frantic energetic romps like lead off track Bats In My Pants – catch them Thursday 4 October at the Hi-Fi. Tickets via thehifi.com.au.

ALBARE IN THERE

Having just completed a multi-city jazz club tour in Europe, playing in France, Italy, Germany, Holland and the UK, Australian jazz guitarist Albare and his band iTD are returning after his most recent tour garnered plenty of critical praise. Joined by Germanborn, New York-based harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens, catch them both Sunday 5 August at the Byron Bay Community Centre; and then just Albare Friday 17 & Saturday 18 at Broadbeach Jazz Festival on the Gold Coast. Albare will be celebrating his new music video for the track Eagle’s Way.

American punk legends Bad Religion are taking time away from their schedules record their 16th full-length album. The band are currently holed up in Joe Barresi’s JHOC studio; Barresi is producing alongside Brett Gurewitz and Greg Graffin.

TROUBLE BREWING

Having circumnavigated the country once already on his most successful tour to date, Ash Grunwald has decided to keep pulling in and riding the wave; adding another bunch of east coast shows. Still celebrating his recent Trouble’s Door album, drop in on Grunwald at Redland Bay Hotel Saturday 6 October at 4pm; Racehorse Hotel Saturday 6 at 8pm; and The SoundLounge, Currumbin Friday 19 with Mr Cassidy supporting. Tickets via Oztix, Ticketmaster and the venues; get in touch with them for more information.

They Might Be Giants have put a call out to Australian fans to get active in voicing their support for a 2013 TMBG tour. It would be their first since 2001. The latest Australian act to trouble the scorers on the American charts is Missy Higgins. Her latest album The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle has entered the US Album charts at number 83 this week. She joins Havana Brown, Nervo, Sia and Kylie Minogue on the US charts.

The Portrait Of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado exhibition will unfurl in the wings of the Queensland Art Gallery. As part of the exhibition, Prado Up Late each Friday night commences August 31 and sees performances from special guests along with DJ Scorpio providing sounds of Spain, plus weekly talks, Spanish cuisine and La Sala del Prado –interactive spaces reflecting contemporary Spanish design. Artists playing are Jae Laffer (The Panics, August 31); Stephen Cummings (September 7); Chet Faker (September 14); Future Islands, pictured, (September 21); Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side (September 28); Texas Tea (October 5); Rob Snarski with Kiernan Box (October 12); Paul Heaton (October 19); Rick Fights and The Trouble With Templeton (October 26); and finally Emma Louise (November 2). Tickets via qtix.com.au.

LOVE MUSIQ RAD MEN

London-based group Mystery Jets return to Australian in support of latest album Radlands, playing The Hi-Fi on Tuesday 25 September supported by local indie-electronic group Young Men Dead. Hailing from West London and three albums down the line, Mystery Jets have accrued success in abundance with their own quirky pop sound. Their fourth album saw the band relocate to Austin, Texas for the recording, which they co-produced with Dan Carey (Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand, Emiliana Torrini). Tickets via the venue from Friday 3 August. Proudly presented by Street Press Australia.

11-time Grammy nominee and soul superstar Musiq Soulchild is making his way to Australia for the very first time, bringing a voice that has seen the artist sell millions of records worldwide. Far from a new act, his career spans over a decade, with an array of genre-bending hits in his repertoire. While in town he may even dispense some relationship advice since he’s released his first book – 143 – Love According To Musiq. Learn a thing or two when he plays Mystique Saturday 15 September. Tickets via stasheverything.com from August 2.

BACKLASH

FRONTLASH

So gun sales in America have skyrocketed following the Colorado theatre tragedy, as people arm up in an effort to protect their homes and families. Just what they need, more fucking guns. It’s like a massive real life episode of Survivor…

Not even a freak hailstorm turning Belongil to mud could stop Splendour In The Grass being a triumph again – too much fun. There were a swag of great bands, but our special mention goes to The Afghan Whigs, their Saturday set was an all-time Splendour highlight…

SONS OF GUNS

SPLENDID AGAIN

GOLD LYIN’

HIS NAME IS…

We’ve had enough of couch potatoes paying out on Olympic athletes for not bringing home Gold medals from London, after they were expected to win. It’s pretty disappointing, sure, but unless you’ve been to the top yourself you don’t really have the right to bag anyone for being simply excellent rather than supreme.

Brilliant news that Steve Earle is coming to BIGSOUND as the keynote speaker. We want to hear him talk music, his son Justin, acting, politics, incarceration and of course epic beard tips. This year’s BIGSOUND is shaping up to be the best instalment yet…

GIVING US WOODY

DOGG GONE Snoop’s dropping the Dogg part off his name and calling himself Snoop Lion. It’s all part of some Rastafarian rebirth he went through recently in Jamaica, and while we’re sure that he’ll forget about it once the ganja wears off, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

LION SHAME

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Legendary UK troubadour Billy Bragg is returning to Australia for the first time in ages, playing us half a set of reworked Woody Guthrie tracks from the Mermaid Avenue project and then the rest of the gig chosen from his own inimitable catalogue. A complete legend still going strong…


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WHAT’S AT THE END?

THE GUILTY CULPRITS Here’s a brief rundown of the two albums that Regurgitator will be playing in their entirety during the RetroTech 2012 tour:

TU-PLANG Year Released: 1996 Label: Warner Singles: I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am (vinyl), Kong Foo Sing, Miffy’s Simplicity Highest Chart Position: 3 Sales Certifications: Platinum Awards: ARIA for Best Debut Album, ARIA for Best Alternative Release

UNIT Year Released: 1997 Label: Warner Singles: Everyday Formula, Black Bugs, Polyester Girl, ! (The Song Formerly Known As)/Modern Life Highest Chart Position: 4 Sales certifications: 3 x Platinum Awards: ARIA for Album Of The Year, ARIA for Best Alternative Release, ARIA for Producer Of The Year (Magoo), ARIA for Best Cover Art, ARIA for Engineer Of The Year (Magoo) Accolades: #27 100 Best Australian Albums (Creswell, Mathieson, O’Donnell), #10 triple j’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time

They’re hardly noted for being tragic nostalgics, but for their RetroTech 2012 tour, seminal Brisbane outfit Regurgitator are returning to their roots and playing their first two records Tu-Plang and Unit in their entireties. Frontman Quan Yeomans reflects with Steve Bell about cashing in on creative control and being your own best critic.

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ven though these days the concept is quite de rigueur, of all the bands that you’d expect to take the revivalist road and play some of their classic albums in full Brisbane’s Regurgitator aren’t one who’d readily spring to mind. They’ve always been known as a forward-thinking bunch, more likely to be setting the pace and analysing new trends and recent developments than wallowing in past glories. But that’s exactly why the announcement of their RetroTech 2012 tour – which finds them playing their 1996 debut Tu-Plang and its 1997 follow-up Unit back to back – isn’t completely a surprise: this is a band who are not beholden to convention, and who will steadfastly do what they want when they want to do it. Just don’t expect them to enjoy it. “Never! But sometimes you just have to do it,” deadpans vocalist/guitarist and founding member Quan Yeomans, before breaking into a hearty laugh. “No, it’ll be fun. We’ve kind of had a taste of it with the last little run of Unit shows that we did. It has its positives and negatives – it’s a very controlled environment, as opposed to our normal chaotic shows, which can be a little bit restrictive, but I think people really enjoy [it] so it’s all good.”

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The Unit shows that Yeomans is referring to were when the ‘Gurge played that album in its entirety during 2011’s Falls Festival run, which in turn provided the impetus for the RetroTech concept. “The idea had been floating around for a couple of years, and then we just thought, ‘Why not?’” he continues. “The timing seemed to be pretty good, and there seemed to be a lot of demand for it – people were really interested, so we thought, ‘Fuck it, why not?’” Yeomans started Regurgitator back in 1993 with partner-in-crime Ben Ely (bass/vocals) and drummer Martin Lee (who was replaced in 1999 by Front End Loader’s Pete Kostic), and by the time Tu-Plang was ready to drop in 1996 they’d already made quite a stir locally with two 1995 EPs (Regurgitator and New) and the increasingly ubiquitous Blubber Boy single which preceded the album. “We were incredibly excited about it all, and there was a real buzz around us at the time,” Yeomans recalls. “We were just hitting that creative peak 14 • TIME OFF

as a young band at the time – everyone was arguing heaps already, and there was a lot of tension and a lot of good creative tension going on as well. So we were all starting to feel it definitely, and just for us being in the studio – because we were so young – and working with [renowned producer] Magoo, that was enough. We didn’t really care that much about anything else, and playing live was really great fun as well, so we just got swept up in it I guess.

of bands are like that in their early phase and that’s what gives them their edge, because you’re not self-conscious yet and you haven’t had any success to drag you into self-analysing and wondering why you’ve made it this far and how you can keep going. When you don’t have that it gives you that raw edge.”

“I think we’d got really, really lucky with a couple of the early supports that Paul [Curtis – manager] organised – we played with Primus really early on in our career to like a thousand people, and we managed to get the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers support as well not that far into it, so we were really, really lucky that we scored those supports. And we were the kind of band that was so weird and awkward and different compared to a lot of the other bands who were around at the time, so we couldn’t really help but make some kind of impression on people.” Signing to major label Warner Music prior to releasing Tu-Plang didn’t curb Regurgitator’s enthusiasm either, the fact that the first song on their major label debut was called I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am reeks of a band granted full creative control. “Yeah, I mean we had a couple of arguments [with the label] – particularly early on – but if you’re selling records, that’s enough for them generally,” Yeomans smiles. “They’ll say their piece, but I don’t particularly remember worrying about I Sucked A Lot Of Cock... being called that on the album, or stuff like that. These guys are salesmen and that’s what they do best – and they’re good at what they do – but if you’re selling stuff you can usually get your way. If you stop selling shit things change obviously, and they want to sit in on sessions and they want creative input sometimes, which is just a nightmare, but we certainly got away with a hell of a lot at the beginning, for sure. “It was all worked up pretty quickly, and we had this deadline so we just moved really quickly on it. Back then, we were actually rehearsing a lot more than we do now obviously, and we had a back catalogue of riffs that we wanted to get out there – just that exuberance that you have when you’re young and into something that you’re doing – so that was just the way we approached it, we didn’t think about it too much. “The thing about this band is that there is a kind of unconsciousness about it – maybe a lot

For a debut album from a fledgling band Tu-Plang did incredibly well, but that was nothing compared to the reception that its follow-up Unit received the following year – that record dragging Regurgitator to a whole new level on the back of a raft of irrepressible radio singles. “I’m not sure how successful the first record really was at the time,” Yeomans ponders. “I don’t know how long it took to get platinum, I think it maybe didn’t kick on until after Unit broke, so I think we were still a relatively underground band and didn’t really crossover into that mainstream area until (February 1998 single) Polyester Girl, I guess – that was completely different, and that’s when the crowds changed. We were lucky with the new triple j set-up that went national around the same time, we were playing big shows before then but I don’t think we crossed over until after that.” Unit was completely different in tone to its predecessor, and in typical Regurgitator fashion it noted this by kicking off with the self-deprecatingly hilarious I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff. “That song kind of set the tone for the record – we were listening to a lot of Devo and a lot of ‘80s stuff, but we were umming and ahhing about what we should do for the sophomore record,” Yeomans chuckles. “We’re the sort of band who didn’t give a damn about what other people thought of us, so we just thought that we should do a complete 180 and put out something that would piss our old fans off, and see how many people were flexible enough to follow us. “If you listen to it it’s a much more user-friendly record, and it does sound like a commercial record even though it’s weird – it’s a really odd record. The thing I get listening back to those records is that they’re pretty weird records, and there’s not many bands that fall into that category that do that well, so I was really surprised. And I was supercritical of that record as well: I basically said some really negative things about it, and I remember Ben pulling me up about being so negative about it in the press. In a way, it works for you if you can be the best critic of your own stuff – reviewers and people who aren’t really into you don’t have anywhere to

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go, so in some ways it does work for you doing that. And I was just being honest, I thought it was childish and poorly put together and amateurish. We recorded the thing on ADAT for god’s sake – it’s a really harsh-sounding record, and I think Magoo did a great job with the gear we had for sure. I think it stands together as a really eclectic piece, and certainly in a weird kind of timeframe as well, which makes it really kind of stand out.” There’s a fantastic humour inherent in the work of Regurgitator, in Yeoman’s songs particularly – does he consider this to be an important or integral part of his craft? “I think it’s just the way you look at life – some people look at it as a tragedy and some people look at it as a comedy, and I think I’ve always been on the comedy side of things,” he posits. “There’s no point getting anxious about it, because it’s going to be over so bloody quickly, so you might as well make fun, have fun and not take it too seriously. Don’t make decisions that put you into those ridiculous positions that stress you out or make you anxious or make the world seem like a ridiculously difficult and serious place because it isn’t really – it’s a silly thing that passes. Everything passes. That’s always been inside me and it’s always come out in my music. “It is kind of an era thing as well – for a while there things got a lot more serious, and you didn’t see that much humour crossing over into the musical side of things. It was either like ‘musical comedy’ or it was serious music made by serious musicians, there wasn’t that crossover until a while after that era. I think it’s a cyclical thing, like everything – a big fucking sine wave going up and down. “But I think the great thing about the band is that we bounce from one thing to the next, so not all of our songs are gaggy and not all of our songs are serious. Ben and I get a good balance as well off each other – we have different strengths and we play off each other quite well – and that competitive spirit was certainly there in those first couple of records, particularly Unit. He would try a bit of humour and I would try a bit of seriousness and we’d mix it up throughout the record. I think it’s about maintaining some kind of balance, whether it happens intuitively or whether you have to think about it, but I think the more intuitive it is, the more successful you’re likely to be, because people respond to honesty more than anything else.” WHO: Regurgitator WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 1 September, Red Deer Festival, Mt Samson (normal set); Thursday 27 (new show) and Friday 28 (sold out), The Tivoli


TIME OFF • 15


VAPOUR TRAIL Twenty years after the release of his band Ride’s second album Going Blank Again, UK singer-songwriter Mark Gardener is coming down to Australia. He tells Steve Bell about coping with normality after the bubble of fame bursts.

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ometimes it’s as hard to recover from blinding success as it is from devastating failure. When Mark Gardener started the band Ride with school friend Andy Bell at the tail end of the ’80s they would have had little inkling of the rollercoaster ride ahead of them, the band becoming the pin-up boys of the burgeoning ‘shoegaze’ genre and one of the leading lights of Alan McGee’s Creation Records stable before imploding upon the release of fourth album Tarantula in 1996. After Ride’s acrimonious dissolution Gardener tinkered around in an outfit called The Animalhouse, before they in turn split after one album and the singersongwriter retreated to France, hoping to extricate himself from the machinations of the industry. But the interest in Ride

never abated – if anything it gained traction with time – so when Gardener emerged from his hiatus at the turn of the millennium and started playing solo shows there were plenty of people interested in what he was doing, and phase two of his career began in earnest. In the intervening years he’s released one solo album (2005’s These Beautiful Ghosts) and a raft of standalone releases, and now he’s coming down to Australia with LA underground band Sky Parade as his backing band, covering the whole gamut of Gardener’s career as well as celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the release of Ride’s sophomore album Going Blank Again. Most recently Gardener scored the soundtrack to the 2010 documentary Upside Down: The Creation Records Story – quite fitting given the large role that Ride played in the label’s narrative – and he enjoyed the challenge of working instrumentally. “I love it,” Gardener marvels. “When I’m in the studio, I’ve always had this ‘kid in a toy shop’ approach in that there’s these things all around me that make noises. When I did the Upside Down soundtrack I worked closely with the directors and editors, and when you get them on the phone saying vague things like, ‘Make them sound sort of distorted and purple’, it’s like, ‘Right, okay, I think I know where you’re going with that’. It’s really nice because it’s just a way that you can make the weirdest and maddest music without worrying too much about the fact that you’ve got to go and perform it. “To me McGee’s almost like an uncle or something, he feels like family to me. It’s a nice person to have in your life and feel a familial bond with, because I was eighteen or nineteen when I first encountered Alan and his bottle of champagne with shampoo in it. That’s a hell of a good label guy to have at that age, it’s perfect. That’s why all those bands and all that music rose and elevated everybody and everything, it was great. I was dealing with labels like Creation and Sire Records in the States – Seymour Stein, I have total respect for that man as well – but sadly after that every label and every deal just seems like a massive anti-climax. “You come back to earth with a massive bump when you have to deal with labels after that, which are like all the nightmares that you read about. After dealing with all of those dodgy people after those days that’s why I ended up going to France for two or three years just to get right away from them all, because it was just a bunch of idiots basically.” Gardener took those few years off in France to clear his head, a move he still believes was worthwhile in the overall scheme of things. “It needed a good cleaning! It needed a good wipe!” he laughs. “But it was also just purely because after the Ride days dealing with labels was just disastrous really. And it was also the time when the industry realised that everybody was going to start downloading so the money was going to disappear, and everybody was in meltdown – it was horrible. During the Ride days I had a great friend from art school who moved to France and lived in an old mill that we used to go and party in – from time to time we’d go there and get away for a couple of weeks, but this time I thought, ‘Actually I need to get away for a couple of years’ – so I went to a place where it feeds me, because I just felt completely drained. I needed to get some soul food back in, and the medieval countryside of France – and the cheese and wine – certainly did the trick. “Of course after a year or two I went a bit stir crazy there because we were so in the middle of nowhere, and I also started getting my act together and feeling good about the prospect of playing solo shows. From there South By Southwest in America started to try and get me out of my bolthole in France, and from there on I started touring and playing and making records again. I’m back to the land of the living basically. I never really lost music, I just wanted to lose that feeling of the industry that was just so awful – being part of the dreaded machine.” But even after being dragged through the ringer by the machinations of the industry, Gardener enjoys reminiscing about his band’s early-‘90s glory days. “It was really golden, yeah,” he smiles. “Even though it was strange it was basically our normality because we didn’t know anything different, but you realise at the time that these are real golden moments and you make the most of it. When you’re fifteen or sixteen you have these dreams that you want to achieve in your life, but you never for one minute think you will – my ambition when I was fifteen was to play the New Theatre in Oxford, where I’d seen people like The Damned and The Cult and Big Country and The Cure – that just blew me away playing there a few years later. “Then you find yourself in the middle of Creation Records, and it was lovely – we were their first charting band and you realise that our album sales are paying for My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless record. It was completely ramshackle, but you could see that what you were doing had an effect on the label and other people, it was a great team and the start of the great ‘indie era’ where we were giving the finger to the major labels. We were all winning in our own way with our own different types of music on our own terms, and it just doesn’t really get better than that. It’s a great feeling and a great thing to be a part of, but when the bubble bursts and you’re not in a band anymore then it’s pretty weird – it took a good couple of years just to come back to some form of normality and a life that everyone outside of Creation Records and the music industry had been living.” WHO: Mark Gardener WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 August, The Hi-Fi

16 • TIME OFF

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TIME OFF • 17


SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY The brutal ingenuity of Rosetta has shown no signs of abating since their inception almost ten years ago. Guitarist Matt Weed discusses their longevity and the beauty of being DIY with Brendan Telford.

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hiladelphia four-piece Rosetta are returning to Australian shores after what guitarist Matt Weed proclaimed was “the best tour we had done up to that point” some four years ago. The visceral shifting sands of their sound, which entwines elements of post-hardcore, shoegaze, ambient and dirge rock, has struck a chord both here and abroad, developing an international fanbase more fervent than they had gleaned in the States. Weed maintains that it makes a warped kind of sense. “Philly is a strange city in the sense that it’s a city that is constantly down on itself. Because it is so close to New York, Philly has a lot of insecurities. It feels like the band has had a strange relationship with the city because I’ve been in many cities

and lovely cities, but I can’t imagine a better place to live. By the same token though, the music scene can swing from being really supportive and really hard. There are not a lot of great venues to play in, there are not a lot of all ages venues, and most of these are taken by national tours, so there aren’t a lot of opportunities for local bands to get a foothold in their own backyard. I kinda feel bad that the response to the band has generally been better outside of Philadelphia. We play these small, nondescript shows at home, then travel for two-and-a-half hours to New York City and play to three times as many people. That’s not meant to be an indictment on the people so much on how the scene is set up right now.” Rosetta are using this tour to venture into some regional areas with a number of all ages events being scheduled, something that Weed thinks is integral to what the band do, yet isn’t always an option. “We always want to do more all ages shows than what we actually get to do,” Weed concedes. “The touring schedule in the States is such that you are forced between breaking even on a show and getting gas money, and playing to audiences you want to play to. The beauty and the curse of the all ages shows is they are very much DIY and low-key, which is incredibly fun, but at the end of the night when you have to fill the gas tank and find a place to stay, it becomes more problematic. My sense is that when you are outside the States you get to do a lot more all ages shows. For us we like to have no requisite age, to have all kinds of people at the show, and the younger kids always get more excited than us older folks.” Rosetta have built their reputation around being a self-sustaining DIY machine, organising every facet of their business to the point that in the past they have referred to themselves as a “part-time band”. Weed intimates that this is still very much the case.

There’s more to this story on the iPad “Rosetta is part-time in the sense that it is not the primary income generator for the members of the band. We all have really consistent employment. For example Michael [Armine – vocals] is a schoolteacher, which is why we have our long tours during the summer. It means we have a rigorous schedule during the academic year. I have a fair amount of flexibility because I work on guitar and bass amplifiers for a living, repairs and modifications. The band is at the stage where it supports itself, but it doesn’t allow us to do it full-time. That situation is actually okay though, because being a DIY band means we make our own decisions about how much of our lives we want it to take up, how serious we want to make it at any given time. If we need to take a couple of months off, there’s no one behind you saying, ‘You need to go on tour because you need to meet this budget projection.’ We have a four-track EP in the works, and after that’s out we will be without a label also. It’s a system that works for us and I don’t think that will change in the foreseeable future.” Since the release of their last album A Determinism Of Morality two years ago, Rosetta have put out a series of split releases with bands that they find an affinity with, and it allows them to create music for a specific purpose which continually fuels their creative bent. “Most of the splits resulted from opportunities to work with bands that we are friends with or tour with a lot,” Weed explains. “When you spend enough time with other bands there comes that point where you talk about wanting to collaborate on something, and we generally have the freedom to do that when we see fit. They take different forms based on the bands’ sounds and what they are interested in at that time. For us it’s an interesting way to release songs that we didn’t necessarily feel fit into the arc of a full album, yet were worth releasing, and the splits afford us the opportunity to experiment with the lyrics, the sonics, and the recording techniques. It’s an incredibly rewarding way of trying out new ideas.” Another venture that Rosetta are involved in is a live documentary, although Weed admits it’s not something that the band initiated. “A filmmaker approached us about doing a doco. It’s been something of a happy accident. He’s been working with us for a year-and-a-half now, we took cameras to our last European trip, to Russia, and we’ll be bringing them down to Australia for this run of shows. He’s got hundreds of hours of footage, interviews with us and pretty much everyone we’ve ever worked with, collating this story of the band. He is defining a narrative for the film, and soon will move forth with more of an authorial hand, so in the end it will be his interpretation of what the band is all about. We are aiming for June of next year for its completion because that will be the tenth anniversary of Rosetta.” A decade on and Weed maintains that the creative energy that flows within the band continues to grow in strength. “We have a strong collaborative and improvisational process of writing songs that hasn’t changed at all over time. Depending on the season of life we are in the process might be faster or slower – it took us forever to write [2005 debut] The Galilean Satellites, it took us three or four years before we had put out an album and went on a tour. [2007’s] Wake/Lift on the other hand came together really quickly. However the core of the process and the fact it happens so collaboratively has remained constant. We have never had a line-up change, we’re the same four guys, we’ve gotten extremely comfortable with how each of us works – old habits die hard.” WHO: Rosetta WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 9 August, Crowbar 18 • TIME OFF

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HOPELESSLY DEVOTED If Devo have oysters on their rider, you better watch out. Bryget Chrisfield discusses listening parties for cats, wowser major labels and uncontrollable urges with the band’s bassist/synth player Gerald Casale.

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evotees who caught Devo during their last Australian shows in 2008 were left gobsmacked by how relevant their music still sounds. The band formed almost 40 years ago and, although they fill out their matching radiation suits a lot more these days, tracks such as Whip It, Girl U Want and Here To Go still wipe the floor with a lot of the electronic schlock out there now. Booji Boy made an appearance, there were fluorescent superballs pinging about and mass euphoria was experienced. When asked what some of his favourite memories were from Devo’s last visit Down Under, the band’s bassist/synth player Gerald Casale struggles.“The last visit, well, you know, we had never been there that time of year so it was kind of shocking that it was all damp and cold. Our first tour of Australia was life changing

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and mind-blowing – we were there in January into February – and it was all incredible. The whole experience was great and the weather was, of course, sunny and hot, and the people were wonderful. We were staying in Kings Cross in the Sebel Townhouse and going out every night to the clubs, it was one big, long party. We didn’t see any of that action this [most recent] time - maybe they hid it from us.” Devo’s party-hard reputation must have preceded them. “Yeah, we had that famous party in Sydney Harbour on a yacht and it got in all the tabloids.” Did it get out of hand? “Well it did.” Did anyone go overboard? “Only in how many oysters they ate and how much sex was going on.” Let’s rewind to 2006 when Disney reached out and suggested Devo re-purpose their songs for a demographic of four to eight year olds. “And that was truly Devo, ‘cause that was Devo in substance: the fact that they wanted us to do that,” Casale recalls. “They came to us and said, ‘Could you re-purpose all your most-known songs for children?’ And we said, ‘Well, which ones do you want them to be?’ And they picked the songs and then I spent three months casting a band, and I finally found a band of kids between ten and 12 that could really play and sing. We recorded them doing our songs and then I shot video of them playing the songs mixed with all these computer graphics for a DVD. I shot video and at that point they had to – the people at the top, you know, the suits – for the first time they took a look at it, and then somebody ordered a book of our lyrics ‘cause they hadn’t paid any attention, ever in their whole lives, to Devo lyrics. So then they were looking at the lyrics and they were freaking out! It was so funny.” Considering some of the racey lyrics tweens sing along with these days (we’re looking at you, Azealia Banks and Rihanna), Disney has some nerve targeting Devo. “I know, and those are hardcore lyrics,” Casale agrees. So which particular lyrics did they find offensive? “Oh, well they said, ‘You can’t say, “It’s a beautiful world for you but not for me,” you can’t say that,’ [laughs]. We go, ‘Well what do we have to say?’ and they go, ‘Well how about, “It’s a beautiful world for you and me too”.

The Winter I Chose Happiness Album Launch Tour

“Uncontrollable Urge, they hated that,” he continues. “They said that the ‘uncontrollable urge’ was a sex reference and that it was undefined and so people were allowed to think that the urge must be sexual, and that the only way they could put the song out is if we defined the urge as something else. And so we asked them what that would be and they said, ‘Make it about junk food,’ haha.” That’s really gonna help tackle childhood obesity! “You got it! Well then you can see where this is going. And then the funniest one was a song called That’s Good. We have a verse about how life is full of surprises and it says, ‘Life’s a bee without a buzz/It’s going great ‘til you get stung.’ And they said, ‘You better get rid of that whole verse.’ And I said, ‘Whaddaya mean?’ And they go, ‘We know what you’re talking about…’ and it’s as if I had written hip hop lyrics! They said, ’”Life’s a bee,” means life’s a bitch. “Life’s a bee without a buzz,” meaning life’s a bitch if you’re not getting high. “It’s going great ‘til you get stung,” means you get away with it until the cops pop ya.’ See? They were really thinking.” Did they ask the junior band members what they thought the lyrics meant? “They never asked the kids and the kids didn’t think that.” Backtracking a little, three months seems an awful long time spent auditioning to find the right candidates for Devo 2.0. “Yeah,” Casale agrees. “Because I mean you would think, ‘Oh, it’s Hollywood, there’s gonna be so many kids that can sing and play,’ and then you find out it’s not true.” Devo are set to embark on a Stateside co-headline tour with Blondie, after which they’ll grace our shores for a stint with Simple Minds. “They’re really interesting time warps,” Casale offers. Harking back to when he first became aware of Simple Minds, Casale shares: “I really liked them and then I was shocked to read how much, uh, what’s the lead singer’s name? Jim Kerr. I was shocked to read how much he hated the song that they had in the movie The Breakfast Club, haha, and he kept putting it down in the press – got Hollywood all upset with him. We really liked that song, but then we found out apparently he didn’t write it – a producer wrote that for the movie, and Simple Minds recorded it and it became their biggest hit [laughs]. But then he went and married Chrissie Hynde. She was such a powerful artist.” The promotional campaign leading up to Devo’s last album, Something For Everyone (2010), set a new standard in terms of creativity. There were focus-group questionnaires to decide which colour they would change their famous energy dome hats to and interactive online surveys to determine which 12 out of a 16-song selection would make the final tracklisting cut. And then there was the listening party for cats! Casale and co ought to be congratulated. “Thank you, yeah we were having a really good time with that, and we were working with an agency called Mother. Mother was a very cutting-edge agency outta New York City and we had a great, kind of almost tongue-in-cheek, Dada campaign going. We actually did a lot more than what anybody ever saw. “The label, Warner Brothers, they didn’t really support it, they didn’t really like it and they kind of felt they needed to be gatekeepers and stop some of it,” he laughs. “There was a five-part reality series where Mother created a fake agency and then we interacted with fake record label people and fake agency guys that were all actors, and so it was like [This Is] Spinal Tap but it was presented as real. It was satire and they felt it was disrespectful, but it was just hilarious. We made fun of ourselves, the agency made fun of themselves, everybody was an idiot, you know? That was the whole point. I guess now, at this point, enough time has passed that, just for posterity, somebody should see it. That’s what I think.”

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The Winter I Chose Happiness

Ou t Se p t e m b e r 1 4 t h through Island Records

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WHO: Devo WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 9 December, A Day On The Green, Sirromet Wines, Mt Cotton


WIXIW WERE HERE The brilliantly confounding Liars have defied categorisation once again on their fifth record, WIXIW. Vocalist Angus Andrew invites Brendan Telford into their world.

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he arrival of a new Liars record is always met with a heady mixture of anticipation and anxiety. The three-piece – frontman Angus Andrew, guitarist Aaron Hemphill and drummer Julian Gross – consistently offers vastly different sonic soundscapes, rarely traversing the same musical territory twice. Yet an approach that could alienate has proven to be their ingenious calling card, as each album becomes a microcosm that stands alone from its counterparts; an exemplary, stand-alone product in and of itself. This modus operandi hasn’t changed with their latest record, WIXIW (pronounced wish you), the palindromic title coming from a rushed, makeshift title by Hemphill for what became the title track. Andrew feels that rather than being particularly obtuse, WIXIW provides a multi-layered reading that perfectly encapsulates the internal thematic nature of the album. “On the most basic, visual level, I found it hard to get (WIXIW) out of my head,” Andrew explains. “It was such a visually striking set of letters strung together. But the fact that it is a palindrome in some ways is even more important. I like the idea of starting off at a given point and ending up in the same place. In many circles this is deemed a negative thing, this idea of ending back at square one. But in terms of making a record, or any creative process, I think that it is a really positive and reassuring result. But also, the word when pronounced as ‘wish you’ is open-ended; it can move in a multitude of directions. The way you could finish off that phrase could be vastly different – ‘I wish you were here’ as opposed to ‘I wish you would leave’, for example. Having a word that holds such contradiction in its usage holds great power, and I think that many of the songs on the album mirror that – they ask for one thing, but really want another.”

than most it’s an objective subject matter like Los Angeles or witch trials, yet in those instances we’re projecting our personal feelings on these things as a way to talk about them and ourselves. With WIXIW, the decision was to focus on the process of making the records as the subject matter. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was effectively like holding up a mirror to ourselves and the result was a much more introspective and personal record that we’ve ever made. Very scary.” WHO: Liars WHAT: WIXIW (Mute/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 18 November, Harvest, City Botanic Gardens

The band has gone to great lengths to ensure that the public understand the pronunciation of WIXIW, which seems like yet another contradiction for a band that seems to revel in confounding their audience. Andrew insists that the knowledge of the word is just as important as its mystery. “We felt that we had to be adamant about how we felt the word should be interpreted because we hadn’t created it to be obtuse. A lot of time could be wasted through misinterpretation, which isn’t the point here. We felt that it was more powerful by letting everyone know that it was actually a common and universal phrase. The spelling then informs itself – it’s done in such a fucked up way that it’s telling about how we go about creating our records. There are moments when we feel there is something simple in what we are trying to convey, yet it invariably becomes shrouded in a lot of confusion.” That said, WIXIW is still a confronting listen for a band whose only predictability is in their unpredictability. Prominently foregoing guitars, the trio rely heavily on electronics, samples and effects to create their tense and intimidating aural world, with nary a note of angular angst in sight. This sinuous evolution and invention of the Liars aesthetic can be equally freeing and restrictive. “I feel that we are incredibly lucky to be able to defy categorisation,” Andrew opines. “Yet when the only thing that people expect from you is the unexpected, it becomes in itself a challenging prospect to live up to. People get excited about what ways we will approach things next, but I don’t think we have made that into any kind of formula. In fact, there are moments where we as a band feel like we have attacked similar notions and concepts across a few albums, but other people approach it from a different angle and it changes for them. I guess that is almost a genre in itself.” The new focus on synthetic musicality on WIXIW led to a number of changes, one of which saw Andrew collaborating on songwriting duties with Hemphill. Notably an insular person, especially when it comes to constructing creatively, Andrew admits that it was incredibly difficult to alter his process. “I have been used to the process of being able to work on my own, to go off and work on your ideas until you feel like you’re at a point where you’re confident enough to bring them to the rest of the group, for as long as I’ve been writing songs. When you work in a collaborative situation you have to give up that opportunity of gaining confidence on your own. I went through a process of heightened anxiety because of that uncertainty. I found it hard, but I also found it a different kind of rewarding experience because I felt like we had all agreed on every single detail within the process of making the record.” Such challenges were further exacerbated by foregoing the musical instrumentation that the trio were familiar with and delving into the electronic world. Whilst much of the process involved exploration through trial and error, there was nothing accidental with the end result. “One of the goals from the onset was to veer away from the way we had mostly recorded in the past, what you would call a demo kind of way, which we would then take into a studio and get engineers and basically recreate what was there. We have always felt that there is something being lost in translation during that process, because although these people are amazing and gifted at what they do, we ultimately are left out of that process. There is a magic that’s created when you first make or discover a sound that is near impossible to find again the second time around. By working with computers we knew we could create a self-contained world that was ours alone. That was the first impetus, but it evolved as we grew more excited with the notion of experimenting with new sonic landscapes where instruments and the ways to play instruments were constructed in ways we never knew existed.” In the end, all of these elements coalesced into an album of a personal nature, both thematically and lyrically. Andrew asserts that there was nothing predetermined when it came to the songwriting process, despite the deliberate nature of past records. “Normally we start out the album making process with a discussion about what concept or theme will inform the record. More often

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BOXCAR WEIGHTING After a couple of successful solo tours of Australia in recent years, Virginian folk singer-songwriter Tim Barry is packing his guitar case and coming back. Daniel Johnson catches up with Barry in between tours at his home in Richmond.

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etween his time as frontman of punk band Avail and his ensuing solo career, Barry has spent more than half of his life making a living out of music. His latest album, 40 Miler, has received plenty of critical acclaim since its release in April and when asked how pleased he is with the finished product now he’s had time to reflect on it, Barry is characteristically frank. “That’s the funny thing about me – when I finish a record and then once I approve the mastering I generally don’t listen to it again,” he laughs. “Since I sent the mastering out from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the day that we finished it up I’ve only listened to it once and that was for reference because I was dropping some lyrics here and there, so I had to listen to a couple of songs and figure out what I’d done. “To answer the question with that reality perfectly in place; I’m happy with the way it came out, I’m happy with the collaborations on it, I’m happy with the relaxed attitude in the studio when we recorded it, tracking most of it live and doing it as a group, it felt really good and I’m glad some people enjoy it. There’s something I understand about music and that’s when you make it and present it you can’t assume that everyone’s going to like what you do, so the fact that some people enjoy it stokes me out beyond belief.”

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The first track on the album, Wezeltown, is an ideal choice to open the record, an upbeat slice of Americana that sets the tone perfectly for what’s to come. When asked if he knew the song would lead the album as soon as he’d written it, Barry reveals he approaches tracking his releases in an interesting way. “I’m never really sure what will start something off but what I always strive for is to pick a song that might represent what’s coming throughout the album because

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I have a tendency to move pretty low and pretty high at points,” he says. “I record way more songs than are possibly needed and then I’ll do something that’s a sort of obscure subculture in the US – I’ll take the demos of the songs and get on a freight train and illegally hide in a boxcar and roll around southwestern Virginia for a little while and sort of listen to the songs and decide what I like and what I don’t, and that song seemed to hit at a perfect spot on the record if I sequenced it the way I was thinking and it felt good and then it drops drastically low with the next song.” One of the standout tracks on 40 Miler is Adele And Hell, a bittersweet duet that features fellow Richmond singer Julie Karr. As Barry explains, he had Karr earmarked for the song from the moment he heard her sing. “The first time I heard Julie Karr sing I was living in a shed and I was always working on carpentry projects back there and a friend of a friend had dropped off a live recording of her playing at a local eatery here in Richmond,” Barry says. “I kept listening to it on repeat and somewhere along the line I started listening to some old blues that same night and a whole idea of meeting this woman named Julie Karr and writing a song that was conflicting and a duet that was an argument in a sense. It all came together in my head and it took me a good long time to write and I told her, ‘I’m gonna write a song that we’re going to sing together’ and I’m glad it really worked out; she killed it, it was really pretty phenomenal. I’m real stoked on it and she’s a hell of a singer.” When listening to the album, one gets the feeling Barry is torn between being a vagabond folk singer and his life at home, where he lives reasonably self-sufficiently. “The recordings always will have that overall theme of travel and coming back and I don’t know why… I try to fight it,” Barry agrees. “That may be the only consistency in my life; how much I leave and how much I long to get home. Right now, sitting in the backyard of my home in Richmond, Virginia, with my cat and

my dog and my chickens and staring at my garden, this is a very peaceful place and somewhere I feel truly content, but all I’m thinking about is tomorrow and being in Boston and then being in Providence the next day and how to get there and the challenges and the sort of drive that keeps me moving forward. “I’m not the type of person who always thinks backwards but I pretty quickly learn when I get on the road that I really do miss this content peacefulness back home and I think it’s always going to be a push and pull in my life. In a lot of ways I’m lucky to have that because I actually live in a city but we have a quarter acre. I’m seriously the luckiest person in the world; both to be able to play music and to come home to a place that really does sustain me in a lot of ways.” When asked if he ever thought he’d still be making a living out of music this far into his career, Barry admits it was the furthest thought from his mind when he was fronting Avail. “When I was growing up playing in punk bands there was no longevity in it, you know?” he chuckles. “After twenty-five it was time to retire and now I see bands… shit, I opened for Stiff Little Fingers

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recently and the songs they were playing were from 1977 and young folks and old folks were going crazy with leather jackets on on the dancefloor. “It seems like people are playing music a lot longer than they used to be and me and a handful of other hippies that picked up their guitars to play Kumbaya have fallen into that longevity category and I’m not sure why. In the United States the economy’s so bad that people are hanging on to folk songs like it’s the Great Depression days. “If you can recall, when Woody Guthrie was singing American folk songs during the depression and once things got really good after World War II people stopped paying attention to him, so I figure we’re next in line once the economy flips around, people are going to want to do cocaine and go to dance parties instead of listening to our hippy asses complain about everything.” WHO: Tim Barry WHAT: 40 Miler (Resist/Shock) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 August, Sun Distortion Studios


B R I S B A N E P OW E R H O U S E .O R G TIME OFF • 23


NEW SLANG Scott Hoffman – aka Babydaddy – teaches Tyler McLoughlan some New York slang on a private tour of Scissor Sisters’ latest kiki, Magic Hour.

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ince the release of their eponymous 2004 debut, New York’s Scissor Sisters have owned a sound few could mistake despite their stylistic promiscuity across club banging anthems, pop chart climbers, subdued ballads and camp-as-hell hits. Though the quintet may be hard to categorise, the title of their new record is a timely reminder of the outfit’s inimitable ability to drag audiences into their weird and wonderful musical world, and pull a cast of high-profile guest writers and producers too.

”I think Jake first met Calvin working with Kylie [Minogue] actually… it was on Aphrodite – he co-produced a track. Jake co-wrote one of the songs and it worked together. He knew Calvin and Only The Horses was a song we had around for a little while but we just couldn’t quite nail the production. We really wanted it to sound big and epic and like a fun dance track and he was a name that we had in the rolodex, and we said, ‘Listen, Calvin can fix this’, and he did – we love what he did with it.”

“The record came together really organically I think,” says Scissor Sisters’ founding multi-instrumentalist Scott Hoffman of their fourth long-player Magic Hour. “We got off the road with [2010 album] Night Work, and [frontman] Jake [Shears] and I as usual just wanted to pop into the studio. Jake and I just happened to get back in and started making some music. So we contacted some of our friends like Alex [Ridha] from Boys Noize who we wanted to work with, and just started kind of collaborating and making tracks and starting stuff. We kind of just collected a whole great group of people to try things out with – probably more collaborations than we’ve ever been used to but it was something that we wanted to try…” he says, adding that the album’s long list of collaborators ranging from Azealia Banks to John Legend were collected along the way as the songs saw fit.

Though Scissor Sisters have been dubbed the best pop group in the world by no less than U2’s Bono, Hoffman is no stranger to a fanboy moment himself when it comes to Pharrell Williams who, at the suggestion of an assistant, wrote and produced Inevitable alongside the New Yorkers.

“I think one thing kind of led to the next; we kind of decided, you know Alex is a friend of ours so lets try working with him a little bit. And it just kind of led us to one day in the studio with Alex, Diplo was in town and he said, ‘Oh can my buddy Diplo come down?’ and we said, ‘Yeah sure, we love what he does’ – so Diplo had a beginning of a song that he brought in and we took it and finished it. It just went from there. We had some great people around us kind of helping us get to the people we wanted to work with as well, so we went on a little journey with it.”

“We worked with some great people but my favourite moments are kind of when Jake and I and maybe another member of the band come up with something on our own… I’m most proud of just the album as a whole – I think it works all together as a whole…” Hoffman states, before outlining how each Scissor Sister album, though individually eclectic, comes to be a cohesive collection.

The Scissor Sisters’ lead single journey saw them picking up the unmistakable production skills of Calvin Harris along the way, the result a neon synth-filled northern hemisphere summer hit Only The Horses.

R E W PO 50 N IO T I ED

“…There’s so many classic songs to me that he was behind. And everything from the production to the N.E.R.D stuff, to being aware of his involvement in the art world and culture – he’s such a cool, across-the-board, interesting, smart guy. And that was one of the things where we just said we’re absolutely not gonna turn down the chance to work with Pharrell – it was a great experience,” he says excitedly, though points to his inner circle for providing the best experiences across Magic Hour.

“We don’t work like a lot of pop bands out there work; we don’t ship our songs off to someone and say, ‘Can you just make this?’ and then it’s just done. At the very worst we’ll have to work with someone over the internet and you have to send ideas back and forth; well we’ll send them our ideas but the usual case is that we’re actually sitting in a room with them, we’re on a

computer that I know how to work, and co-producing and writing together. Our hands are all over this album...” With a sly chuckle, Hoffman shares the inside story behind some of the characters that shape Magic Hour. “Yeah, our buddy Pickles,” he says, referencing the owner of the voicemail device used on Let’s Have A Kiki and Ms Matronic’s Magic Message. “It’s actually our nickname for Sammy Jo who’s our tour DJ and a really, really good friend. We always like giving shout outs to our friends and making them feel like everyone’s kinda joining the party – we want everyone to learn the cast of characters around us… A lot of the characters aren’t necessarily named but there’ll be like a trashy pregnant teenager or like housewives that wanna hit the town or something like that. Jake especially is always filling these things with these strange characters…” Hoffman laughs. But back to the matter of this kiki business. “What is a kiki?” he says, drawing out the vowels. “A kiki is a party! A kiki is a party when you get together with your friends and you gossip and you have a fun little time and you know, it’s probably more of an impromptu kind of party with just a few friends. It’s probably where you end up at the end of

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a night once most of the people have left and you’re stuck with your best friends,” he says, pretty much summing up Magic Hour as a whole. “It’s definitely not a common term for parties in America but it’s maybe a bit of a New York thing, or drag queen speak or something like that – it’s a bit underground.” Due to bring their flamboyant cast of characters and musical fantasies to Australia for a three-date run that includes the Opera House in September, Hoffman can’t wait to share Magic Hour with audiences. “We had rehearsals a couple of hours ago and its been going great. It’s gonna be really, really fun – we’re loving doing these new songs… And I just love going to Australia, it’s such a pleasure for us. I’ve been going there since I was 20-years-old when I went and visited my brother and did a roadtrip down the east coast. I love it there – we have great shows there, they’re such welcoming people when we come, we have just a great time…” WHO: Scissor Sisters WHAT: Magic Hour (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 25 September, Arena

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COMING TO AMERICA

FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE

Sabrina Lawrie has been a mainstay throughout Brisbane’s music scene for over a decade – and now she’s leaving. Matt O’Neill catches up with the veteran singer/songwriter to find out what America has that we don’t.

Sydney duo The Falls managed to put a positive spin on a broken relationship, and as Chris Hayden finds out it wasn’t easy.

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abrina Lawrie stands out. There are a handful of reference points that afford some insight into her work – PJ Harvey’s grit, for instance – but they largely fall short. It hits hard. Distorted, bruised and almost painfully human, Lawrie’s work doesn’t sit comfortably alongside that of other Australian female singer/songwriters. Indeed, it demonstrates how ridiculous such illconsidered categorisations have always been. “It’s an interesting question. I feel good about the level of female musicians in Australia that are out there enjoying success right now – you know, I love rocky stuff, I love Abbe May and the path she’s taken as a musician – but I’m definitely coming at it from a different angle,” Lawrie muses. “That’s certainly part of the reason I’m going back to the US. My music was received very differently over there compared to how it is here.” Lawrie’s been a part of Brisbane’s music scene for over 15 years. Most recently, she’s earned a reputation for supporting Brisbane music in her capacity as booker for the Beetle Bar – but she’s an accomplished musician as well; boasting stints with local favourites Little Vegas & The Fuzz Parade and Tongue. Of late, she’s been focussing on her solo career. The past two years have seen her gradually piecing together her debut album. “It’s taken a while. I didn’t rush myself. Things just changed and developed over the course of recording it. I funded it all myself and did everything myself. I recorded it locally. It was good, I think, to just do it over a couple of months with no pressure. You know, to just let the songs change and develop as necessary,” she reflects. “I’ll be glad to finally get it out, though.” It’s that record that will take her away from our shores. She’ll be performing one final fundraising show this weekend and then she’s relocating to the US to finish mixing the record and begin new

projects (including one with Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Dave Catching). Surprisingly, she harbours no real ambitions for her career. Lawrie doesn’t speak of markets or opportunities or commercial success. It’s simply a chance to make music. “I’m pretty easy-going. I just really need to get this album out,” Lawrie laughs. “I know that once I do that, I can get back to releasing more music. There wasn’t any real pressure with the making of this album. I’ve just been writing songs all my life and want to get them out there. The last three bands I was in, we got to a certain point, and then broke up before we released an album. I just want to get this out there. “You know, stardom’s never been that important to me,” she says. “In my first band, I was very young and kind of fell into that trap but, since then, I haven’t been at all interested in that sort of stuff. I really just want to make music. You know, I have no real clear ambitions or expectations about going to the States. I just really enjoyed my time there last time and worked with some really great musicians. “There are a lot of kind of clichés about musicians leaving Brisbane because they hate it or want to be famous – but that isn’t really what I’m doing at all. I’m still going to be booking the Beetle Bar while I’m in the US. I still love Brisbane and I still love Brisbane music.” WHO: Sabrina Lawrie & The Hunting Party WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 August, Beetle Bar

good back story is sometimes a tough thing to lose. Many artists over the years have found trouble shaking off the tag attached to them at their first foray into the public eye. The Strokes were the snotty rich kids of New York socialites. Lana Del Rey is reportedly trailer trash tarted up by an overambitious A&R rep. Even Coldplay took two albums to shake the “wimpy Englishmen” moniker (some say they’re still raging against that particular machine). Most of the time though, guided by talent and ambition, the artists themselves move on and prosper. Sydney’s The Falls are one such band. This is how the story goes: Simon Rudston-Brown meets Melinda Kirwin. They fall in love and start to make music together. They argue. They make up. They break up. They form a band. It all went down in that exact order and if you think this would make for some interesting songs, you’d be right. Down the line from sunny Surry Hills, Kirwin explains that it’s not always easy to pour your heart out every night over the distracting clatter of a pub or venue. “Before we released the EP, we didn’t really talk about it at all. I don’t think many people knew the story behind the songs, or even asked. A lot of people didn’t know we were together or ever had been. Now, it’s all out there and it can be really confronting at times. Particularly at gigs when you have to lay yourself bare on stage and sing those songs. Sometimes the lyrics get to us and that’s what makes it most difficult.” First single, Home, is one of the results of this emotional process. A bittersweet lament to better times, it’s taken from The Falls’ debut EP, Hollywood, named for the Hotel Hollywood in Surry Hills where the duo have spent the last few years cutting their teeth. As opposed to just jumping on to other bills as most bands would, RudstonBrown and Kirwin decided to take matters into their own hands, building their own folk night from the ground up. “We just went into the Hollywood one day and asked the bar manager if we could play,” Kirwin explains. “He wasn’t really convinced so we just asked him to let us

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have one night. If he hated it we’d never come back. So we played that week, came back the next week and eventually we’d been there for a year.” These nights at their local eventually led The Falls to an idea called Folk Club. Inspired by Communion, a similar event in the UK run by Mumford & Son’s Ben Lovett, Folk Club is a chance for the purveyors of the more delicate genres to be heard. “We’re hoping that Folk Club will become a place for different artists to have the opportunity to do what we did,” she continues. “We found for us it was such a great chance to play to new people. It’s a free night and a lot of people come down just to check out who’s playing, which is nice.” So, at this point we have The Falls down as lovers, creators and curators. Considering the fact that they’ve only been around for approximately a year, they’ve managed to stack their resume fairly impressively. Their recent tour with Of Monsters & Men and an upcoming jaunt with regular UK visitor Passenger won’t hurt either. The only real question left is: what’s next for these whiz-kids? “We’d really love to do an album,” Kirwin says excitedly. “With the EP, it was really difficult for us to decide which songs to record and it was mostly a decision made on budget than anything else, to just record five tracks. I think it will really feel like the whole picture for us, having the whole collection of songs in one place. That would be awesome.” WHO: The Falls WHAT: Hollywood (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 16 August, The Hi- FI


TIME OFF • 27


STILL ROCK‘N’ROLL TO ME

BIRD NOISES

Eddie Angel has been playing surf, garage and rockabilly for over 30 years. Matt O’Neill speaks to the guitarist about his strange career ahead of this year’s Greazefest.

There’s been nary a sound from Brisbane’s Oh Ye Denver Birds in well over a year. That is, until now. Sam Hobson chats with silencebreaker Josh Spencer about their debut album, their upcoming show, and potentially (finally) an album tour.

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ddie Angel doesn’t mince words. He isn’t rude or obnoxious. He’s simply direct. He’ll freely admit, for example, that his style as a guitarist has been almost exclusively influenced by a single decade of music history. He boasts a relatively broad palette – touching upon rockabilly, blues, surf, garage and jazz – but Eddie Angel is only really concerned with one particular era and isn’t apologetic about it. “Oh, I don’t see myself as a varied musician at all. It’s all branches of the same tree – mid-twentieth century rock’n’roll,” the guitarist admits candidly. “As far as I’m concerned, rock’n’roll happened within a single decade. It began in 1955 and ended in 1965. I don’t actually think my guitar playing has been influenced by any record past 1965. In my mind, that’s sort of the cut off for music I’m interested in. “That doesn’t just go for rock music, either. Jazz, folk, blues...You name the genre, I probably won’t be interested in much of it post-’65. I just don’t think it’s as good,” he explains. “I understand that’s an opinion a lot of people would disagree with and that’s fine. I’m really just generalising. As far as my guitar-playing goes, though, it really is just mid-twentieth century rock’n’roll.” He’s an interesting contradiction. In a number of ways, actually. Already strangely anachronistic (influenced by the ‘50s and ‘60s, began playing in the ‘70s, found success in the rockabilly boom of the ‘90s), Angel’s career has been consistently decorated with surprising kinks and leftfield developments. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Melrose Place and Sex And The City have all featured his music, for example. “Yeah, I’m surprised by it all. Pleasantly surprised,” Angel reflects of his career. “And, really, very lucky to be able to do this at all. I get to make a living playing music I like – and I know that’s particularly rare for the kind of music that I like to play. I’m kind of two minds about it, though. You know, I’m very aware of how rare it is to be able to do what you love – but I worked for years before anything happened for me. I made sacrifices. I worked hard.”

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thick blanket of quiet has cloaked the last year of Brisbane experimental pop band Oh Ye Denver Birds’ existence. The quartet some time ago quite literally disappeared, promising fans that on their triumphant return, they’d come carrying on elated shoulders their debut album. And, while the band certainly delivered the latter part of that promise, what emerged at the other end, and pointedly without any of that fanfare, was a band thoroughly exhausted. So much so, in fact, that Oh Ye Denver Birds decided to just stay quiet.

Most intriguing is his idiosyncratic approach as a musician. Firmly rooted in genres dressed in nostalgia and interpretation (his appearance at Greazefest this year will see him perform a tribute set to pioneering guitarist Link Wray in addition to a performance with his band The Planetrockers), Angel is nevertheless a dedicated songwriter. Unlike many of his peers, he insists on writing his own material rather than revisiting classics. “Oh, songwriting has always been my priority. Always. I actually didn’t realise that was unusual until just recently. I thought every musician wanted to be a songwriter – I didn’t realise there were guys out there who had never even tried to write a song,” the guitarist muses. “I think that’s something that sets me apart. You can apparently hear it in my guitar-playing, too. “You know, I live in Nashville, so I’m surrounded by amazing musicians. I know I’m not the greatest guitar-player. I’m confident that I’m good at playing rock’n’roll but what I really think I have is a style,” he elaborates. “Somebody heard me playing recently and kind of analysed my guitar-playing for me – they told me I played guitar like a songwriter. The way I handled my melodies, the phrasing or whatever. I think that’s what sets me apart. WHO: Eddie Angel WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 4 (with The Planetrockers) and Sunday 5 August, Greazfest @ Rocklea Showgrounds

Released back in April of this year, the band’s debut album Good Ivy is, unsurprisingly, a monumental work. And the band knows that, and they’re very much proud of the album they’ve created. But they’ve still not yet arranged a tour in support of it. Hell, they’ve not even played half of its songs live before. “Man, we’ve pretty much done nothing all year,” Josh Spencer laments sheepishly. “I think our first shows back were with Jonathan Boulet a few weeks ago, and the only reason we did those was because we were friends with Jono, and it was just another chance to hang out. “Prior to that... well, actually, that was all we’ve really done of live shows for the whole year, isn’t it? We’ve just been out of it; we haven’t really kicked it into gear.” Upon its release, the news of their hard work came not from the rooftops, nor bellowing lungs, but instead through iTunes, coupled with a few meagre tweets. Their Facebook page was left like a ghost ship; a cold, tuneless wind whistling over its long-shadows; frozenup ‘like’ buttons time-encrusted, untouched. All that exhaustion and effort for a whimper of an announcement. But, lucky for them, an album launches when a band says it does, and, until now, the group have simply not felt ‘ready.’ “After the album, I was just over it,” Spencer recalls. “And everyone else definitely wanted a break. We went on hiatus for a bit, and

that was really nice. But now we’re excited to get back into it, and we really miss playing shows. We haven’t even played a lot of the songs on the album live; we’ve not properly shared them.” Good Ivy’s production is a monumental part of how the band’s creative vision has been showcased, and it’s complicated their already dense sound considerably. Spencer assures, however, that recreating that new benchmark live is something the band haven’t thought twice about. “We’re used to putting on a big show with lots of layers,” he assures. “We’re used to pulling off a big sound pretty easily.” In fact, Spencer suggests that the band are much more at home in the unpolished, raw setting of a live show. That’s where their sound was first conceived, he intimates, and that’s where they know it the best. “It’s weird,” he agrees, “because the studio recording, it was [in] a really good studio, and we weren’t used to [that]. It was so clean and perfect, it was very different to us, we’d only done before that very ‘home recording’ stuff.” Still, their upcoming show at Coniston Lane isn’t the start of their new album’s tour. The latter, Spencer says, careful not to overpromise just yet, is tentatively planned for September, but even still, he stresses, nothing’s certain; there’s no physical commitment. But this weekend won’t just be a practice-run; an oiling of old joints. It’ll be a chance for the great band to reconnect, to let people know, this time, what’s on its way. It’ll be a homecoming. WHO: Oh Ye Denver Birds WHAT: Good Ivy (Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 August, Electric Bloom House Party @ Coniston Lane

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TIME OFF • 29


SINGLED OUT WITH CHRIS YATES

ON THE RECORD

DAN DEACON True Thrush

Independent

BAT FOR LASHES Laura EMI

While she’s generating more hype for being nude on the cover of her new album, Natasha Kahn (better known as Bat For Lashes) has actually been making some music as well. The first single from The Haunted Man is almost as bare as Natasha is on the album’s cover. It’s a highly emotional piano ballad with very little accompaniment other than some equally sparse strings. She hasn’t skimped on hooks though, and the sad and mournful overtones should ensure it finds its way onto funeral playlists for everyone called Laura from here on in.

Ivy League

Local self-proclaimed grunge pop duo Tiny Spiders have grown from strength to strength after what feels like a very short period. Not surprising seeing the pedigree of guitarist Innez Tulloch (Feathers, Pastel Blaze) and Cameron Smith (Ghost Notes, Mt Augustus, Tape/Off) and the energetic live shows they have spewed forth over the past year. Now after a couple of single releases comes their eponymous debut, and it’s just as energetic, frenetic and schizophrenic as could be possibly dreamt for.

Alpine know how to stick to a theme when it’s working. From their first EP Zurich (and early band name Swiss) they’ve referenced wintery European ideas and sounds, creating a coollydetached image that blogs and radio have eaten up, and A Is For Alpine is no radical departure.

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VD

Opening with a squall of obnoxious noise, the album erupts into Shadows, a rocking number that could be classified as indie pop if it wasn’t so loud. This is Tiny Spiders’ calling card, and is the inherent constant across the rest of the album. This mood is maintained on Roger Roger, Tulloch’s guitar bursting out of the speakers. Hooks are rife on Shoot The Rainbow Rays Out and fun closer Big News, whilst elsewhere are instrumentals in the form of the batshit Fresh Pots and meltdown-inducing Blurst, and slower moments on Young Swans and Midnight Movie. In fact, although the raucous numbers aim for scoring your next bulb-and-bathroom demolition soiree, it’s these tempered numbers that truly impress and create a vacuum necessary to allow the duo’s scuzzy aesthetics to explode with all the more fury. Tiny Spiders is a deceptive album in that it succeeds through its simplistic mission statement, yet the interplay between Tulloch and Smith combined with succinct songwriting and adoration of the volume knob ensures that this is no happy accident. A better pop record that requires earplugs is yet to be made in 2012. ★★★★½

Yellow & Green Relapse/Riot

The first two tracks, Lovers and Lovers 2, lead the listener down a rabbit hole of icily pretty, stripped-back pop music. Next up is the weightier Hands, which builds and drops with layered vocals and synth melding effortlessly with empty space. The middle of the album however suffers from a lack of ideas as well as hooks. It feels like every guitar line and drumbeat is on its tiptoes, trying to match singers Lou James and Phoebe Baker’s ethereal, indistinct vocals, which robs the tracks like Softsides and Seeing Red of most of their bite. Singles Gasoline and Too Safe manage to rise out of the haze of chilled out atmospherics and breathy vocals: the former with an insistent beat and vocal that’s immediate and catchy, and the latter with sharp, repetitive guitar. Into The Wild gives hints at something a little different, using more forceful rhythms to inject some welcome fun into their sound. This lighter, more energetic tone continues on The Vigour, completely with frantic handclaps, before Multiplication carries the album out on some more gentle, frost covered electro-pop.

Baroness have a lot riding on third full-length offering Yellow & Green. This is the album where LIVEto extricate themselves from the they attempt sludge metal ghetto, and fans are going to have to decide whether Baroness are unassuming saviours of alt-rock or blowhards who sold out their metal cred for a shot at the big time. What makes things interesting is that at different points during Yellow & Green, you might be inclined to agree with both. Beneath frontman John Baizley’s lush album art lies VD one of the most involving, and likely divisive, rock

A Is For Alpine is an assured and polished debut, but it feels like the band is a little too comfortable in this sound, and that a little more experimentation might lift the whole album to the level of their killer singles. ★★★½

Madeleine Laing

Brendan Telford

records of the year. Disowning the metal influences that lingered throughout 2009’s Blue Record, Yellow & Green sees Baroness create something with an entirely new sonic palette, and the daring they demonstrate makes tracks like Eula and Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor) such unexpected gems. There’s also an incredible intricacy to the album, March To The Sea sounds like an indie rock band discovering distortion pedals and the melodydriven dreariness of Little Things is awe-inspiring.

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Although an occasional throaty sound creeps into Melbourne dude Hayden Calnin’s voice when he’s over-thinking the quiet singing, his debut EP City offers some very nice treats generally speaking. The production is minimal and affecting, and the songwriting is concise and extremely tuneful. When his natural voice does come through it seems almost accidental, and is easily when he is at his best.

Incremental/Lofly

BARONESS

A Is For Alpine

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City

ALPINE

Tiny Spiders

VD

HAYDEN CALNIN

LIVE

TINY SPIDERS

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Baltimore’s Dan Deacon has a new album on the way, and even though his output is incredibly prolific, it’s never a half-hearted effort. True Thrush is the kind of bent electro pop that leaves you scratching your head as to what is actually going on to make these noises. Even with all the random bleeping and twisting arrangement the track is ultimately very hummable and up with the catchiest stuff he has done. The video itself is a work of art, with a simple concept that involves a Chinese whispersstyle scene recreation that keeps mutating.

VD

Domino/EMI

But that’s one side of the album, and Yellow & Green has an undeniably pompous flipside; it’s never a good sign when a band takes less than 80 minutes of material, splits it across two discs and calls it a double album. Yellow & Green takes itself so seriously that it completely ignores rock’n’roll’s intrinsic sense of hedonism and fun. For the litany of pros and cons that jump out throughout Yellow & Green, Baroness’ creative ambition is evident and unwavering. If nothing else, Baroness have produced a record that you really need to sit with and have a think about. ★★★★

Tom Hersey

BLACKCHORDS Dance Dance Dance Independent

Blackchords from Melbourne take the idea of moderate rock and really run with it, or at least sidle along the middle of the road with it. While the drums give a surface illusion of a danceable beat, the vocals and clean guitars give the whole thing a very easy-listening slant. Big props to the vocalist for not really trying to sound like Chris Martin, which is really the only thing standing in the way of Blackchords ending up sounding like Coldplay.

CRYSTAL CASTLES Plague Shock

With an atmospheric, building pulse of white noise, Crystal Castles confirm their intention to continue making experimental pop in different and interesting ways. The sounds are treated so heavily it’s all but impossible to work out what they might once have been. The noise becomes a riff that builds into something similar to a classic Euro-house piano line except that it actually sounds nothing like a piano at all. Sparse shouty vocals are buried in the mix and a tiny electronic drum kit help to make things sound like an actual song, as much as they need to.

THE SHINS It’s Only Life Sony

While they’ve always had a certain amount of polish applied to their indie folk pop, the new record from The Shins is an even shinier affair. Vocalist James Mercer relies heavily on the upper end of his falsetto range to give light and even more sparkles to the mix – every time he gets up in the high octaves it creates an extra hook. Even though there are some interesting effects applied liberally, it’s a pretty straightforward track and probably their most mainstream outing yet.

BEN SALTER

DAN DEACON

FEAR FACTORY

Independent

Domino/EMI

Candlelight/Riot

Ben Salter moved to Melbourne from Brisbane with the intention of searching out his craft and letting it grow organically. Yet the workhorse found himself playing up to seven shows weekly in no time, and the fruits of such labour are evident on Live At Bar Nancy.

The second you start listening to Dan Deacon’s new album America you feel disorientated, as opener Guilford Avenue Bridge shows so much aggression that you wonder what may have happened to one of music’s constantly smiling faces. From Guilford…’s harsh electronic distortion and manipulation, second track True Trash sounds more familiar with its bustling eclectic weirdness and the sound of an octaved-up chipmunksounding Deacon wailing in the background. There are so many changes from the synthesizer-happy last album Bromst, with the use of woodwinds, strings and a more noticeable variety of percussion and looping effects.

It’s been 14 years since the release of Obsolete, the epic third chapter to the Fear Factory saga. Then they stood atop their game, arguably improving with every album, and things looked promising for the future. Utopian tomorrows, however, were never a part of the Fear Factory narrative. As the clouds overhead began to darken with the release of the follow-up Digimortal, the dystopia of their dreams began to invade their reality, signalling the demise of the band as we knew it. From there on the release of each new album was an affair with disappointment, and the prolonged dismay led many to all but abandon hope.

First single Lots is typical Deacon, a frenetic electronic groove bubbling over to hyper-pop territory as he wails through distorted microphones with almost unrecognisable lyrics. Prettyboy, although owning a similar build up to Slow With Horn, has such a new interesting sound, really showcasing Deacon’s skills as a musician with piano periodically taking the forefront despite being buried in a sea of electronic ambience ending with a medieval-sounding horn melody and Celtic strings.

Enter The Industrialist. The conceptual scene is set, on the stunning title track and opener, as looped samples and spoken-word head a mounting crescendo, which detonates into a fury of controlled riffs and mechanical blast beats that are systematically scrutinised by a scanning synth beam. Recharger and Messiah both hit their mark with a precision that’s as equally admirable, before a Holloween (Theme)-like melody on keys raises God Eater and showcases an exciting emergence of evolution in the creative camp. Like clockwork, the chords keep striking home right ‘til the end of Human Augmentation; a nine-minute soundtrack of industrialised ambiance and mechanised spoken-word that brings the album and narrative to a devastating close in what is possibly one of the greater moments in Fear Factory’s whole catalogue.

Live At Bar Nancy

Recorded over three sets on a hot February evening at the titular Northcote haunt, the 26 tracks on offer cover the breadth of Salter’s prolific songwriting as well as expertly tracking his influences. Every song from solo record The Cat is present, the plaintive recordings adding resonance to excellent tracks West End Girls, So Tired Tonight and Opportunities in particular. A few Gin Club compositions float to the fore, from obvious additions Drug Flowers and Wylde Bitch to a fun Gas Guzzler. There are a plethora of covers present also – Salter’s affinity with DIY masters Guided By Voices is evident from Teenage FBI, whilst rustic renditions of songs by the likes of Sam Cooke, Neil Young, John Prine and The Velvet Underground elevate themselves above the standard corner pub offerings into something of great love, care and affection. The power of this recording is that it strips away peripheral elements and shines a harsh light on Salter’s lyrics – with incredibly affirming results. Evocative, rousing, acerbic and hypnotic, Salter not only has a way with words, but happily and effectively inhabits others’. It’s also proof of how strong Salter has become without an engine room behind him to provide the requisite heft and bluster. His voice soars, especially on Wylde Bitch and staple Smokey Robinson ode Tracks Of My Tears, which has never sounded stronger or more impassioned. ★★★★½

30 • TIME OFF

America

Brendan Telford

Crash Jam is an array of electronic distortion that at first you think you can skip over, but then the song changes so much throughout that you can’t stop listening. The album ends with a series of tracks underneath the banner of USA I-IV which clock in at 21minutes, which has this Sufjan Stevens Age Of Adz grandeur to it that sends you through an array of emotions in the truest metaphorical sense of a rollercoaster ride. Bromst happened three years ago. America is clearly the future, quite possibly the best Deacon album to date and definitely one of the year’s great pop releases so far. ★★★★½

themusic.com.au

Bradley Armstrong

The Industrialist

All the parts are so perfectly in place that The Industrialist figuratively affects a transportation to a time and place that would never give way to the prospect of the band’s post-‘90s nightmare. Fear Factory’s fourth chapter has finally arrived! ★★★★

Jake Sun


MAXIMO PARK

THE OFFSPRING

PASSION PIT

Goodbye Broken Sled

Universal

Columbia/Sony

Sony

An Ocean Awaits

It’s album number four for alt-punk rockers Maximo Park, and while the quintet has always managed to straddle the safe side of the mid-noughties Britrock resurgence, The National Health stakes a claim in the territory of more polished production with some flourishes of the avant garde amid lyrics absolutely teeming with social commentary.

Four years following the release of their previous record, and 23 after their studio debut, The Offspring return with album number nine, Days Go By. Having initially scheduled this latest offering as a chaser to Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace (2008), the Californian punk-rockpop group have since tinkered with the material with an aim of bringing fresh production to the record.

Gossamer is the long-awaited second outing for hyper-pop electronic group, Passion Pit. After the wildly successful breakthrough Manners, Passion Pit try and occasionally exceed the magic contained within their acclaimed debut.

What makes this album viable is that while there’s indeed a distinct shift from the sharp and clean, bare bones rock of previous albums, not an ounce of Paul Smith’s instantly recognisable vocals has been lost in the process and that same raw, MP attitude is all the more infectious when spiked with state-of-the-world jibes and moments of respite.

Opening the album, The Future Is Now is an efficient summation of the 42-minute listen that follows – with ‘fresh’ failing to make the list of adjectives that best describes the experience. With no singular or obvious driving force behind the music (besides from the fact that it has come into existence), the track plays through lacking in emotional impulse and creative propulsion. It makes for an introduction to a tracklisting that is so varied in theme, genre and sentiment that it fails to engage as an album. What occurs is a listen akin to that of an anthology of b-sides from The Offspring – even featuring a re-recording of the band’s 1992 tune, Dirty Magic.

FORTY THOUSAND SISTERS If A Current Affair had better/any taste, they’d use this album as the soundtrack to one of their stories about disillusioned young people, as this is the kind of gritty and honest angst that’s only found in Australian towns. Recorded in only two days by two people thrown together after meeting on a train, Goodbye Broken Sled sounds like the result of using drugs and alcohol to deal with the boredom of being unhappy in one of the most lucky countries in the world. This potentially sounds like irritating upper-middle-class whingeing, however one listen to the record quickly dispels any bratty notions. The darkness, and happiness for that matter, sound like they come from a very real place. This formula has worked, and the dissatisfaction the artists feel about life translates to an incredibly satisfying album. Forty Thousand Sisters would be Melbourne’s answer to I Heart Hiroshima, with equal nods to suburban life and iconography. Ferny Taylor’s endearingly nasal vocals are surprisingly smooth and ideal for a guy the producer found on a park bench. Dyana Gray, presumably the other backpack-toting railway-track walker on the cover, yells and howls in one song then whispers harmonically in the next, easily being the most perfect foil imaginable to Taylor’s guitars. It all comes together with drums and bass by two guys presumably not found on park benches, as they pull the sound back from the brink of being too unpolished or unstructured. In Tinker, I’m Lost Gray crows “Daddy, I want to be a star”, and if this debut is anything to go by, she may not be waiting too much longer. ★★★★

Eleanor Houghton

The National Health

Days Go By

This is how MP introduce us to their take on the world’s backslide into strife, with opener When I Was Wild easing into a piano and cello-laden crooner that sets the tone for the whole album. That familiar Geordie pout soon takes over in the title track as they let rip with their trademark upbeat and playful fast-paced drums and layers of guitar lines. The galloping onslaught continues in Write This Down, Banlieue and Waves Of Fear, while Wolf Among Men grabs for some ‘80s synth and lifts it into a realm just a cut above the rest. Reluctant Love sees more incongruent, relenting sound splashed throughout where Smith and co exercise restraint to offer sweet, falsetto lyrics and pop-rock bliss with warm, driving melodies that are instantly likeable, particularly in The Undercurrents and Take Me Home. HHHH

Carley Hall

While Days Go By showcases The Offspring’s ability to span genre and sub-genre, it does so with little cohesion between individual tracks – distorting any vision the band might have started with when recording commenced three years ago. The result is an assortment of songs that is at times entertaining, but for the most part is a strain to listen to.

Gossamer

Opener Take A Walk begins with an upbeat spacedout intro that sounds like it was almost lifted from Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots before transforming into the familiar stomping drumbeat and jangle synth in an inevitable build up to frontman Michael Angelakos’ trademark falsetto wailings. Lyrically, the album’s also matured as playful ditties to impress girls evolve into themes of having a wife, depression and wealth. Second single I’ll Be Alright is bound to be a summer festival fave amongst fans, it’s catchy and lures you in with upbeat hooks and little quirks. Constant Conversations is one of the more interesting tracks with a laid back R&B type groove with harmonies and synth noodling laying low. Mirrored Sea feels like the ‘rock’ track on the album with a more ambient, darker feel before turning into dancefloor fodder. Cry Like A Ghost is DJ Shadow-meets-Michael Jackson with what’s hopefully a theremin creating a dense atmosphere that sucks you in and spits you back out. Not without fault, Carried Away appears a tad too early on the album, losing the vibe created earlier.

Days Go By is an uneven breakdown of The Offspring’s shifting styles and musical passages (from the early1980s through to now), which by album’s end emerges as an easily forgettable snapshot of this successful band.

Sophomore releases like this are about recreating the atmosphere created on the first effort whilst pushing the limits on what made it great. Gossamer does so on many of the tracks and shines a whole new light onto the group for the listener.

★★½

HHHH

themusic.com.au

Carlin Beattie

Bradley Armstrong

TIME OFF • 31


F R O N T R O W @ T I M E O F F. C O M . A U

THIS WEEK IN

SATURDAY 4:

BRIWYANT

WEDNESDAY 1 Abba: The Movie – radio dj Lasse Hallstorm tried (emphasis on tried) to get an interview with Abba at the height of their fame during the week- long tour of Australia in 1977. Even if you wern’t alive then surely you’ve heard of this monumentous music event of the 70’s. Part of Cult Screenings at Room 60, 6.30pm.

THURSDAY 2: Fiona Morrison: Limen – photographer Fiona Morrison takes a dark yet illusive trip through Darwin’s streets at night and explores unique saturated lighting in the suburban areas. It almost feels as though you are stepping alone into the hardening light and reaching quite creepy places. Eerie and creative Morrison’s work is perfect for those looking for some photographic genius. Queensland Centre for Photography, 10am until 12 August.

FIONA MORRISON

FILM

OH, PORTLANDIA

ARTS Pasar Rakyat 2012 – the Pasar Rakyat is a traditional Indonesian market that delves right to the centre of Indonesian fancies, hitting your tastebuds with traditional food and a rich Saman dance workshop. Not a bad way to spend the weekend. The Lawn, 4pm. Briwyant – directed by Vicki Van Hout, pronounced ‘Brillliant’based on a Yolngu paiting bir’yum describes the brilliance and shimmer of the pattern animated by the essence of ancestral forces. Closing night, Powerhouse Theatre, 7.30pm. Across the Sea – screen based installation artist Anita Holtsclaw brings her latest work to Metro Arts and explores the part the landscape and narration in cinematic constructions of gendered identity. Closing night, !Metro Art Galleries.

ONGOING Hysteria – female hysteria being cured by a vibrator. Well this film couldn’t be more interesting really; a journey back to the 1880’s where a doctor finds the idea to create the vibrator in order to cure female hysteria. Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy. Dendy Cinema. La Stupenda and Friends – opera is a unique art form and most likely we know little about its intricacies. A rare glance behind the stage of Opera is what La Stupenda and Friends provides. Focussing on Joan Sutherlands season at Her Majesty’s Theatre in October 1965 we get to see all the extravagant costumes and history behind Brisbane’s Opera scene. Tony Gould Gallery, until November 24.

REVIEW

MAGIC MIKE Steven Soderbergh is sly. From the outset, his Magic Mike touts itself as something like the male equivalent of Coyote Ugly when it’s really a languid character study of malaise and ‘adriftness’ in a urine-tinted Tampa Bay, Florida, among a closeknit group of sadsack male strippers. Each is united by their stage prowess as much as their dreaming of a better life, chief among them being Mike (Channing Tatum, whose past experiences as a stripper were Soderbergh’s impetus for making the film). That ‘dreaming big’ for Mike entails moving to Miami to sell custom furniture is indicative of the film’s unsentimental eschewal of the usual rise-and-fall trajectory.

The beefcake gyration performance scenes are its selling point, but the energetic choreography only serves to punctuate the mood of numbed inertia that Soderbergh sustains in the offstage screentime (ironic, month-announcing title cards wittily draw attention to just how little of consequence has happened in the elapsing time). A weak romantic interest (Cody Horn) and pat conclusion don’t diminish much from an otherwise strikingly original and stylish curio that, like most of Soderbergh’s recent output (Contagion, The Girlfriend Experience), looks better upon reflection. Ian Barr In Cinemas now

Determined not to reduce the conversation to simply listing all the things that would look better adorned with birds, Sam Hobson instead chats to Carrie Brownstein about why her show, Portlandia, is what it is. And why she should put a bir… Damn it! Maddening and brilliant, US sketchcomedy series, Portlandia, is a keen, loving look at middle-class ennui and its birthing of an adorably impotent, utterly un-self-aware class of suburban hipster-dom. Creators Carrie Brownstien (of bands Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag) and Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live) poke fun at everything from the Organics movement to militant, reactionary feminism, to gender roles and safe-words, and even the nature of sketch shows themselves. Portlandia takes aim at an earnest, eager counterculture brimming with well-meaning hypocrisy and clumsy, half-formed ideals; a culture of youth-withoutyouth whose cries of standing up for their rights and saving the world ring hilariously vague in a sleepy town of leafy, sunny streets and well-manicured, trust-funded lawns. Portlandia is, however, so much more than just a sketch-comedy series. It’s a sketch-comedy series where each vignette, each phrase feels like someone you know. “Like Melbourne, like St. Kilda, [Portland] exemplifies all of the traits that you’d want for a show like this,” Brownstein explains, well versed on our country’s hotspots from her time as a touring musician. “It has a kind’ve idyllic quality, Portland: it’s a dreamy place.” But Portland the town, she stresses, is not quite the Portlandia of the series’ setting. “Portland is kind of a good representational city, a place that’s always got an incessant optimism and is a

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“We’re throwing a lot of ideas out there, but then seeing what actually isn’t just conceptual. You don’t want to make a conceptual show. You want to make a show that has a kernel of truth to it; one that has real characters.” If nothing else, it’s definitely a very human show, Portlandia. Sure, its characters are very recognisably caricatures, but they’re often crafted with such startling nuance that even through their outlandishness, they feel real; they feel relatable. “I think about the shows that we love,” Brownstein adds, “and what brings us back to those shows, we all realise it was the characters, and relatability, and

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certain situation might bring out the most essential qualities of two people, or the most extreme.

With a particular focus on writing character, Brownstein insists that crafting those traits into a short sketch is no different from how she would write something otherwise. “It’s a host of things. Sometimes there’s a premise that we want to explore, or a concept, or a character trait that we’re interested in. Often it’s a relationship between two people, how it manifests itself, how it’s aggravated under certain circumstances, or how a

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Brownstein herself grew up in the American Northwest, and co-creator Fred Armisen, she says, “always had a fondness for the place,” so both of them have lived lives and in modes in many ways inseparable from the cultures and behaviours they’re sending up. “I think it’s pretty uninteresting to satirise something that you don’t have a fondness for,” Brownstein sggests. “I think that that becomes crass and cynical, and this is not a cynical show – it’s a show that’s very earnest and optimistic, just like the city itself. Humour is one way, one lens with which to understand a situation. I think that some of the complexities and questions which we’re exploring are much more interesting to explore through a satirical lens, not, say, a documentary lens – at least for us.”

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little bit on the cusp in terms of progressive thinking and ideologies. It also just looks different. It’s not a city that’s portrayed a lot on television, so it can also just look different for us, aesthetically.”

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feeling invested in someone’s [fictional] life. I think, for [the new] seasons, we’re taking some of the characters we’ve built upon and really exploring their lives further. “And yes, I think that part of the reason the show works is that it does have a very absurd quality to it. You don’t want to lose that frivolity or silliness, but I think that, in order to sustain, or push forward, you do kind of have to dig a little bit deeper and give people things to attach themselves to instead of just concepts. Concepts are interesting on paper, but characters are something people can really embrace and helps the longevity of the show.” WHAT: Portlandia Season One (Umbrella) Released Today

CARRIE BROWNSTEIN AND FRED ARMISEN

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WITH MANDY MCALISTER After a successful trip to Ireland visiting the in-laws my passport’s going in the drawer for a while. It was a long arduous journey home via the beleaguered city of Beijing and it was nice to finally set my bags down in the cosy flat I share with my husband, and sling into the me shaped impression on the couch. Living in a small flat that is all open plan, there’s really no room to not express yourself in some way. There’s no front room decked out in neutral tones where a guest can sit without being bombarded with reminders of our particular tastes. When we first viewed the flat the then occupants had every wall hung to capacity with gothic art, figurines topped overloaded bookshelves, and bicycles and assorted furniture hogged space on the balcony. I remember thinking how goddamned cluttered it was, and wondered how these nice normal people functioned in the chaos. After five years here my husband and I have been assimilated. While it’s occasionally assaulted by noisy neighbours, and too much sun, it’s a bubble in which not even we can move in without a reminder of who we are, even with the telly on. More and more the television tells us who we are not; that in itself is a reminder of our own values and passions. We’re not masterchefs, or tanned, privileged youth, we’re not farmers in need of wives, or powerful athletes, or parents, or dwellers of a seemingly peaceful suburb that sees more than its quota of scandal. We’re not

interested in stopping the boats, cutting services, or doing down society’s most vulnerable. We’re not represented on telly much at all. In a pinch I’d say we’re First Tuesday Bookclub and Good Game people, or the people news crews put on the spot by asking them about something horrible that’s happened in their neighbourhood. Even then, those people always say, “We didn’t think that would happen here.”. We’d have to say, “Yeah, it’s a pretty dodge place. Fully expected that to happen.”. In any case, I find myself and like minded folk under-represented in the broader media and I have to wonder if this is an indication that I my values are inconsistent with the dominant ideology and perhaps I need to consider no longer calling Australia home. Queensland is already under the guardianship of a man with the diplomacy of a hook worm. Claiming refugee status in NSW or Victoria is pointless as no sooner would we have our DVDs alphabetised than the nation will be lead by a man who puts God before country. Frankly, that’s not good enough for me; it’s not good enough for anyone. I was happy to be back in the bubble after days of flights but the usual flood of relief to be back in Australia after a trip abroad did not greet me this time. The landing gear hitting the tarmac in Brisbane was a great moment not because I was back in the lucky country, but because it meant I’d get a shower soon. A lack of national pride sure makes the Olympics less thrilling. Luckily Djibouti, Djibouti, Djibouti, oi, oi, oi! is pretty fun to say.

JUST ADD VAMPIRES

when inspiration struck. “It was the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth,” he recalls. “And it seemed that everywhere I went, every bookstore I went into, there were two displays in the front: an Abraham Lincoln biography display table and then next to it was Twilight.”

It takes a special kind of person to combine Abraham Lincoln and vampires. Guy Davis chats to that person, Seth Grahame-Smith.

Combining the two “seemed so obvious to me,” says the author, and his subsequent research into Lincoln revealed a life rich in dramatic incident and a man abundant in character and ability. “So it seemed natural to add vampires to it,” he laughs.

The story of Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th president and arguably one of its greatest ever leaders? Well, it’s kind of a superhero story when you get right down to it. Here was someone who was born into poverty and who received little to no formal education. He was dealt a bad hand by fate, suffering tragedy and loss at various stages throughout his life. But despite these obstacles, he was a self-made, self-taught man who not only rose to the most powerful position in the United States but led the land through a harrowing civil war and was instrumental in the abolition of slavery. Oh, and he also hunted and killed vampires.

SETH GRAHAME-SMITH

Okay, that last part is open to debate. But if you believe Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a gaudy and genuinely entertaining new action-horror-thriller opening in cinemas this week (see it in

ALL FOR MJ

The storyline on this fourth film deviates from what Sims calls the “battle-driven” plots of the previous two movies, where dance crews were pitted against one another. In Miami Heat, a flash mob crew stages striking performance-art routines in public places – an art gallery, a restaurant, an office building – “so we were able to unite the dancers and have them working together for a purpose.” 34 • TIME OFF

Directed by Wanted’s Timur Bekmambetov and starring talented stage actor Benjamin Walker in the title role, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (c’mon, it’s a title that begs to repeated in full over and over) is really the brainchild of author and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who had made a healthy career out of gruesome, action-packed yarns that mash up horror, literature and history. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which adds the walking dead to Jane Austen’s classic novel? Yeah, that’s one of his.

“One of the things I’m proud of is that it’s not a sequel, it’s not a remake, it’s not based on a board game or a toy. It is a summer movie that is just so weirdly and wonderfully its own different thing. I hope that people will get the message, that we understand how insane the concept is. But we are doing it 150 per cent. We are doing it unflinchingly and unapologetically. And if you want to go to the cinema and have a kick-arse time, watching America’s sixteenth president beat the shit out of some vampires, then this is the movie you’ve been waiting for.”

Grahame-Smith was touring the US promoting that title in 2009

WHAT: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is in Cinemas Nationally

THE LOOKING

GLASS

WITH HELEN STRINGER

Choreographer Jamal Sims chats to Guy Davis about his fourth time working on Step Up, the heat of Miami and not being able to teach rhythm. If the Step Up movie series has a star, it’s fair to say that it’d be Jamal Sims. After all, the dancefilm series doesn’t tend to rely on its actors for its star power (although Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike moves were first showcased in the original Step Up), instead drawing in audiences with its innovative and ingenious dance routines. And the man behind that is Sims, a veteran choreographer who has called the shots on all four Step Up movies, including the latest, Step Up: Miami Heat.

3D!), Honest Abe was not only an outstanding lawyer, orator and politician but also a dab hand at beheading bloodsuckers with a silver-edged axe.

Sims says that it’s vital for each of the Step Up movies to have their own individual personality when it comes to their dance numbers. “This movie’s storyline lends itself to different styles of dance. And we always want to keep the audience guessing. We don’t want the franchise to be this one-trick pony where everybody knows what to expect.”

The film is also a bit sexy, he adds, mainly because of the “undeniable chemistry” of leads Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick. McCormick was featured on the US version of So You Think You Can Dance and has appeared in music videos. Guzman had absolutely no dance background to speak out – he was actually a mixed martial-arts fighter prior to taking on his Miami Heat role.

The vibrant culture and diverse locations available in Miami helped a lot in this regard, he adds. “The Latino community is very big in Miami, so of course there’s that. Even if we don’t have actual salsa numbers, there’s a lot of freestyle salsa dancing in the routines. And everything in Miami is about the outdoors, so we have a lot of the numbers outdoors – using the architecture of Miami inspires a lot of different movement. It all came together just being in a place like that.”

“With every project you take on, you never know what you’re gonna get – you don’t know if you’ll get someone who’s never danced before but has natural rhythm or someone who thinks they can dance but...” laughs Sims. “So it’s kind of job-specific. You’ll find that actors can be insecure when it comes to dancing – some people can dance in the club but can’t dance in front of a camera? It’s up to you to make them comfortable and confident that you’re not gonna let them look

crazy. For Guzman and McCormick, this was their first big film and they came in with this great attitude that they just wanted to learn everything.” For Sims, his infatuation with dance started early, and like many modern dancers it was Michael Jackson who provided inspiration. “The Wiz [Jackson played The Scarecrow] was the first musical I saw in a theatre – I fell in love with it and it’s still one of my alltime favourites,” he admits. “Then the Thriller video solidified things for me. It made me realise what I wanted to do. I actually auditioned for Michael Jackson when I was seventeen and appeared in the video for Remember The Time. From there – I started dancing, and that led to choreography. This is my twenty-third film now, and I feel I owe it all to MJ.” WHAT: Step Up: Miami Heat WHERE & WHEN: Opening nationally Thursday 2 August

Grahame-Smith is well aware that something titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter could well be regarded as a bit of a piss-take. But the story, while not without humour, takes its vamp-vanquishing business seriously. “The joke ends at the title,” he says. “You come to the cinema, you know you are seeing a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. So, you know, what we try to do is then take that and make it the most fun, satisfying product we can to really just light a fire under people and do something different.

Sport has never been my thing; I was probably one of the few Australian children who managed to avoid involvement with team sports for pretty much the entirety of my formative years. In high school I turned getting out of PE into an art form. I’d raid sick bay for gauze and iodine and create fake wounds, fabricating elaborate back stories to explain how I’d managed to develop septicaemia after being attacked by guinea pigs. If I had to watch steroid-enhanced cycling race I’d need to prop my eyes open with toothpicks; if I had to choose between watching test cricket and having a colonoscopy daily for the duration of the competition I’d readily choose the latter. I am, however, an Olympics junkie. During the Sydney Olympics I carried around a life-sized cut-out of Ian Thorpe’s flipper-foot as a good luck charm. When Michael Diamond won gold in the men’s trap and dedicated his performance to his recently deceased father I literally broke down and wept. When France was playing beach volleyball and Australian spectators started shouting “Froggy, Froggy, Froggy, Oui, Oui, Oui” in support I felt a nigh-on irrepressible urge to sing the national anthem and drape myself in a flag. The Olympics, in short, turn me into a batshit crazy Australian with a six-word vocabulary consisting of go, you, good, thing, Aussie, and oi. On Saturday, however, I had to face the horror of knowing that I’d missed most of the opening ceremony. I missed the Queen and

James Bond make their way to the Olympic stadium. Sure, I still wept at Dizzee Rascal’s heart wrenching performance of Bonkers. And yes, I shared the disappointment when David Beckham turned up in a speedboat without an emaciated, couture-doused Posh Spice superglued to the bow by the bottom of her 6-inch Louboutins, miming the words to 2 Become 1 (“I need some love like I never needed love before/wanna make love to you baby”). But I didn’t get to see it all and I didn’t get to see it live. I’m therefore sharing the pain of other batshit crazy Australians everywhere that the Olympic Committee failed to take into account the effect holding the Olympics in a country with a ten hour time difference would have on the land down under. Australia’s overwhelming, incomparable and unrivalled enthusiasm for the greatest show on earth should henceforth be taken into account by the IOC. If we’re not going to host Olympics every four years from now until the end of time then the games should be held on our time so we can bloody-well watch them without inducing an economic recession. Since this new policy cannot be implemented this year, I hereby decree that for the remainder of the games Australia will adopt the UK’s time zone and Australians will only have to work when not sleeping or supporting any person dressed in green and gold do any sport-related thing whatsoever. Now excuse me, I need to practice the national anthem, it goes “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie,” right?


MILLIONS Member/role: Ted – guitar.

How long have you been together? Since December 2010

How did you all meet? I went to school with Campbell and played in a band with him before this one. I met James and Dom while being brothers in arms at Q&A Market Research.

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? Ghetto classics – whether it be The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Madlib, Nas or Strawberry Alarm Clock. It has to be ghetto classic.

Would you rather be a busted broke-but-revered Hank Williams figure or some kind of Metallica monster? I want to make money out of music but retain credibility. I’m pretty sure that’s the goal of every musician.

Which Brisbane bands before you have been an inspiration (musically or otherwise)? Our contemporaries – Gung Ho, Last Dinosaurs and Dune Rats all push the envelope.

What part do you think Brisbane plays in the music you make? Probably on a scale of 1-10 about a 6.5. All of the songs we write are trying to be as good as songs we listen to and love and I’d say about 95% of that music doesn’t come from Australia. On the other hand, though Brisbane

influences us by the people we hang out with, the places we go and also aids us with such great initiatives like the NEIS program which pretty much funds us when we’re on tour.

Is your band responsible for more make-outs or break-ups? Why? Make outs, a dude in Sydney made us sign his CD of ours so he could “get constant sex from his girlfriend”.

What reality TV show would you enter as a band and why? Either Survivor or Wipeout. I have wanted to go on either of these shows for some time now. I am very competitive and think I could outwit, outplay, outcon and outlast on both shows.

If your band had to play a team sport instead of being musicians which sport would it be and why would you be triumphant? Well, it’s funny you should ask this as Dom and myself played in the Divison 5 premiership-winning Tang Bangers FC team at Sunday indoor soccer last season (we have since been promoted to Division 4). Campbell has also started a rival team called Revenge Attacks with some other young hoodlums who are now on the prowl for the crown this season.

What’s in the pipeline for the band in the short term? We are recording our next EP next week in Melbourne with the genius that is Malcolm Besley, the first single from that should be out in early September and then we have BIGSOUND and the Oh Mercy album tour in September/October. Party on Wayne. Millions play 4 Walls Festival @ QACI, Kelvin Grove on Saturday 4 August and BIGSOUND Live during 12-14 September. Photo by Terry Soo


TOUR GUIDE FEATURE TOUR

THE MEDICS

4 WALLS FESTIVAL

SATURDAY 4 AUGUST, QUEENSLAND ACADEMY OF CREATIVE INDUSTRIES Missed out on Splendour, or were there and having withdrawals from seeing tons of bands in the one place? Never fear, the cream of our burgeoning musical crop are put on display this Saturday at QACI, Kelvin Grove at the annual 4 Walls Festival – there’s three stages, a full day of action and a host of great bands including The Medics, The Paper Kites, Millions, Cub Scouts, The Belligerents, Fairchild Republic, Mountains, Bandito Folk, Stephen Smith and many, many more fine acts. It happens between 1.30 and 10.30pm, is all ages and you can get tickets from Moshtix ($20+BF) or on the door ($25). Where would we be without walls?

TIME OFF PRESENTS 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 LONG PLAYER SESSIONS: Brisbane Powerhouse Aug 18 LONG PLAYER SESSIONS: Brisbane Powerhouse 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 PLUS ONE RECORDS SHOWCASE: The Zoo Sep 11 BIGSOUND 2012: Fortitude Valley Sep 12-14 JULIA STONE: Spiegeltent Sep 19 and 20, Byron Community Centre Sep 21 OH MERCY: The Zoo Sep 21, Joe’s Waterhole Sep 22 MYSTERY JETS: The Hi-Fi Sep 25 BLACKCHORDS: Ric’s Sep 29 TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW: The Tivoli Oct 4 CLARE BOWDITCH: Old Museum Oct 11 GROUPER: Brisbane Powerhouse Oct 11 BASTARDFEST: The Hi-Fi Oct 13 LAST DINOSAURS: Alhambra Oct 13, The Hi-Fi Oct 19 MUMFORD & SONS: Brisbane Riverstage Oct 17, Gold Coast Convention Centre Oct 31 BILLY BRAGG: QPAC Oct 25 XIU XIU: Brisbane Powerhouse Nov 18 GOLDEN DAYS FESTIVAL: Coolum Beach Nov 17-18

INTERNATIONAL

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 COLD BLANK: Electric Playground 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 DIE! DIE! DIE!: The Zoo Aug 30, Elsewhere Aug 31 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 36 • TIME OFF

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 INGRID MICHAELSON: Spiegeltent Sep 12 SUBHUMANS: Prince Of Wales Sep 13 SIX60: The Tivoli Sep 13 RIVAL SCHOOLS: The Zoo Sep 14 JONAH MATRANGA’S ONELINEDARWING: Crowbar Sep 15 BARRY ADAMSON: Beetle Bar Sep 16 MACY GRAY: Jupiters Casino Sep 19, QPAC Sep 20 HANSON: The Hi-Fi Sep 20 ENTER SHIKARI: Eatons Hill Hotel Sep 20 EIFFEL 65, N-TRANCE: The Hi-Fi Sep 21 FUTURE ISLANDS: GoMA Sep 21 WHEATUS: The Hi-Fi Sep 23 AMERICA: Twin Towns Sep 15 MUSIQ SOULCHILD: Mystique Sep 15 SCISSOR SISTERS: Arena Sep 25 MARIANA’S TRENCH: The Zoo Sep 25 MYSTERY JETS: The Hi-Fi Sep 25 FEAR FACTORY: The Hi-Fi Sep 26 FERRY CORSTEN: Family Sep 28 JAMES MORRISON: Eatons Hill Hotel Sep 28 ULCERATE: Beetle Bar Sep 30 DEFEATER, BLACKLISTED: Mount Gravatt PCYC Sep 30, Byron Bay YAC Oct 1, The Zoo Oct 2 JOE BONAMASSA: QPAC Oct 3 NICKI MINAJ: BEC Oct 3 STEEL PANTHER: Eatons Hill Hotel Oct 4 TIM & ERIC: The Tivoli Oct 4 NEKROMANTIX: The Hi-Fi Oct 4 RUSSIAN CIRCLES, EAGLE TWIN: The Zoo Oct 5 GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL: Coniston Lane Oct 6 CANNIBAL CORPSE: The Hi-Fi Oct 8 MARTIKA: The Hi-Fi Oct 10 EVERCLEAR: Coolangatta Hotel Oct 10, The Hi-Fi Oct 11 GROUPER: Brisbane Powerhouse 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 XIU XIU: Brisbane Powerhouse Oct 18 SMASH MOUTH: Jupiter’s Oct 21 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 AT THE GATES: The Hi-Fi Oct 31 CHERRY POPPIN’ DADDIES: Tempo Hotel Nov 1 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 NICKELBACK: BEC Nov 22 DARK FUNERAL: The Hi-Fi Nov 23 GEORGE MICHAEL: BEC Nov 27

JACK WHITE @ SITG PIC BY STEPHEN BOOTH

SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS 2012

BELONGIL FIELDS, BYRON BAY: 27-29/07/12 After a couple of years at Woodfordia there’s an inevitable element of déjà vu returning to Splendour In The Grass at Belongil Fields, and when the heavens open mid-afternoon on the first day and spew forth a torrent of rain and hail we’re reminded of the mud that so often dominates proceedings here. Somehow the weather stays fine for the remainder of the weekend and a cracking time is had by all. Here are just a few of the weekend’s myriad highlights: FRIDAY Kicking things off at the GW McClennan tent, Melbourne’s Chet Faker draws in the crowds like bees to a honeypot, playing to his biggest crowd yet, laying down his mellow, chilled-out beats and sweet melodies from his EP, Thinking In Textures, which perfectly resonate with the occasion. Finishing up his set with his own rendition of Blackstreet’s No Diggity, it has everybody feeling the groove. Devonshire surfer lad, Ben Howard opens his set under the Friday mid-afternoon sun rather surprisingly with his sombre Oats In The Water. From then on he kicks up the intensity with The Wolves, getting the crowd to back him up. His hair-tingling howling opens up the skies, from where mid-set rain and hail bucket down, which only adds to the mood – but leads to that infamous mud. Over at the Supertop the massive storm has done local duo DZ Deathrays a huge favour, ensuring that the huge tent is packed to capacity with people avoiding the deluge as the pair go through their frenetic paces. It’s hard to tell how many people are here to see the band and who’s here to stay dry, but as they smash out a succession of party bangers like No Sleep and Dollar Chills, it’s obvious that they’re winning over a heap of converts. Emma Louise may look diminutive onstage but her sweet voice shines through as she opens with an ethereal a cappella before the stunning Al’s Song. Playing new single, Boy, early, the dedicated crowd is captivated enough to stick with her through the dirgy keys and smacking percussion of Cages until the obligatory uproar signals the pulsating introduction of Jungle. From the first chords of opener I’ll Get Along, Michael Kiwanuka is in cruise control and provides the perfect complement for the day’s declining sun. Over a backing band that is gentle in their stride, his smooth vocals are carried throughout the tent with a crystal-like clarity that delivers gentle touches of hope and sorrow along the way. Introducing themselves as Jack White, Howler offer a rollicking mid-afternoon set. Whilst it takes a while for the quartet to warm to the occasion, Brent Mayes’ rifle-shot drumming and a basketball jersey and sunglasses-clad Jordan Gatesmith sneering with a reckless swagger has the crowd in thrall. Too Much Too Blood is a particularly strong counterpoint to their indie rock shtick, while a beautiful cover of Husker Du’s Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely is a welcome surprise. Kate Miller-Heidke looks resplendent in a sequined red dress as she launches into the poptastic Words, though the set feels a little flat until her four band members gather centre-stage mid-set for a quick little ditty where she sings: “Someone’s drawn a penis on a poster of my band” in typically irreverent style. The highlight comes with the hilarious medley of Eminem’s

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The Real Slim Shady and Kanye’s Monster, showing off Miller-Heidke’s vocal acrobatic ability, and when placed in a set including the beautifully sad Sarah and Last Day On Earth, exhibits the full breadth of her talent. The Shins are no strangers to these parts and their set beautifully mixes the classics with newer fare from latest album, Port Of Morrow. The gang ramp up the instrumentation as far as they can take it, providing highlights such as a Beatles-esque instrumental sojourn through Saint Simon, a soporific Mine’s Not A High Horse and an exuberant So Says I. By the time the final strains of New Slang ring out, the crowd is hypnotised. Over at the GW McLennan Stage a small but enthralled crowd have gathered to see the first ever appearance in these parts by seminal US alternative heroes The Afghan Whigs, and they’re not disappointed. Frontman Greg Dulli is in scintillating form, leading his stately and elegant band through a bevy of classic tunes, tracks such as I’m Her Slave and Gentlemen captivating in the extreme. It’s beautiful and powerful in equal doses, and they even find time to cover Frank Ocean’s Love Crimes before Debonair raises the bar once more. Brilliant. After the opening pulses of Arcarsenal escape the stage, At The Drive-In erupt into their furious brand of song and dance, and simultaneously burst the anxious-anticipation born of their 11-year absence. Cedric Bixler-Zavala shrieks and flails across the stage throughout, while Omar Rodriguez-Lopez stands motionless with eyes fixed on the thrashing of time-keeper Tony Hajjar. Some of the sharpness and brutality of their assault seems lost on the large stage, however, a thrilling rendition of Quarantined goes some way to neutralising this effect. And by the time One Arm Scissor brings the set to its climatic close, the transmission is sent loud and clear. Texas post-rock quartet Explosions In The Sky “can’t help you with the mud, but grab somebody close and we’ll help you get warm” – and, boy, truer words were never spoken. From go to whoa, through the crescendos, decrescendos, lifts, drops, ebbs and flows of EITS’ lush, complex instrumental rock, it’s easy to tell that all in attendance are simply enthralled by every single technically perfect note. The Birth And Death Of The Day, Your Hand In Mine and finale, Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean, are all particularly sublime, but then, really, the entire performance is. Jack White starts off his headline set with his male band in tow and all bombastic, channelling his inner Led Zep as he intersperses solo material such as Missing Pieces with older tunes such as The White Stripes’ Hello Operator. At the halfway mark the men leave and suddenly White is surrounded by sensuous ladies, the mood still rocking but instantly more refined as they move onto the classic Hotel Yorba and The Saboteurs’ Top Yourself. The opening notes of Seven Nation Army sends the packed tent into raptures, and the communal celebration ends with White surrounded by both bands, taking a huge group bow to wrap up proceedings on day one. SATURDAY Gold Coast brats Bleeding Knees Club brazenly confirm that they’ve come a long way since their slacker inception. The most impressive thing about the brace of frenetic punk rock tracks is that they’re tight and driven with purpose, an inimitably good thing.


Sick) elicits some old school moshing, while Suck You Dry gets fists pumping and the dirgy When Tomorrow Hits shows a different side to the veteran performers. Perth psych troubadours Tame Impala walk out to a packed Supertop and launch into a set that leans heavily on Innerspeaker whilst offering some pieces of what’s to come on their imminent follow up. It’s clear from the crowd’s reception that the band have really made an impression, yet there’s something missing from their live performance that would help these great songs transcend their recorded template. It is an efficient performance, but one wishes they’d truly let go.

MUDHONEY @ SITG PIC BY STEPHEN BOOTH Highlights include sneering tracks Problem Child and Rachel (Is A Slut), whilst the boys get some very keen female punters up to sing the chorus of Girls Can Do Anything. A band growing in ability and confidence. Hoo-boy, we hope you brought your dancing gumboots, because Dublin-based math-poppers The Cast Of Cheers are here to get your bodies moving in ways you didn’t even know they could. All angular, technical guitar, precision loop pedals and almost epileptic bodywork, the pale-skinned foursome bring a sense of fun and vitality to proceedings. Sure, the well-known Family goes off, but it’s songs like Human Elevator and Goose that are more engaging musically and thus a little more rewarding in the grand scheme of things. Top stuff all round, though. The last-minute sickness of a member isn’t enough to stop Brisbane’s Mosman Alder from making a powerful impression. Their fill-in keyboardist does well to transition into the fold, and the dynamic six-piece holds strong to deliver their emotive and thought-provoking blend of rock. Latest single, Raisin Heart, shines bright amongst a potent set that sees them playing to their strengths and making the most out of the band’s multiple singing talents. Brisbane lads Last Dinosaurs are not-too-long home from a European tour and it’s clear that their time abroad has given them a newfound confidence, as though they’ve come to terms with the idea that they just might be cut out for this kind of thing. They appear super at-home in front of the main stage’s audience, launching straight into the well-received Time & Place and stopping for nary a breath as they belt out their jangly, hook-laden tunes, all the way through to old favourite Honolulu and new favourite Zoom. Here We Go Magic treat an intimate crowd to an alluring set of pop songs with psych and Krautrock leanings that are as hypnotic as they are fun. Make Up Your Mind lays the groove down early, with the incongruous crunch of organ an eccentric delight. Hard To Be Close and Tunnelvision offer upbeat jams, juxtaposed by the funky jangle of I Believe In Action. English rockers, Band of Skulls, smash it up at the Supertop, drawing in the late afternoon crowds. As darkness draws in, the tempo rises, making the band’s clattering drums and massive authentic riffs all the more awe-inspiring, especially when it comes to their big singles I Know What I Am and The Devil Takes Care of His Own , with which they finish their set. A great songwriter and musical talent, Ladyhawke unfortunately just doesn’t have any vibe in a live setting – she doesn’t even seem to notice the crowd in front of her as she bangs through Back Of The Van, Black White And Blue and Paris Is Burning with her four-piece band. New single, Love Don’t Live Here, is deliciously fuzzy but her lack of movement makes it difficult to not go spend time in the toilet queue instead. A relatively massive crowd has assembled to witness grunge stalwarts Mudhoney, and the four-piece are in caustic mood from the get-go, frontman Mark Arm looking lean and aloof as he smashes out tunes such as Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More and F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers). The classic Touch Me (I’m

Gliding ethereally onto the stage wearing a wedding dress complete with veil and flowers, Lana Del Ray is certainly a sight to behold, but will she back up the hype? The beautiful songstress opens with Blue Jeans as elegant images of ballet, clouds and beach holidays show off her full production. Without percussion though, by the time she gets to a mournful rendition of Born To Die, it’s all very same samey. Her cover of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box drags, though the mass singalong of Video Games is hair-raising. To sum up Miike Snow in one word – amazing. The Swedish trio open with a massive intro, before unleashing their electro-pop grooves across the packed Supertop. The hour-long set features songs spanning all their albums, laden with crowd favourites such as Burial, Silvia to Devil’s Work and Paddling Out. The incredibly energetic set draws to a close with no less than Animal, of course, which is followed by rapturous applause. Curtains shroud the Dirty Three, who waste no time launching into a truly iconic set. Ringleader Warren Ellis flails about like a malevolent scarecrow, ranting interminably between songs, but such madness never supersedes the trio’s majestic dynamics though, as they swing between newer tracks like The Pier and classics like Restless Waves. Whilst Ellis conjures magic from his violin, the growing prominence of Jim White behind the skins increases the impact of their songs. Mick Turner, as always, remains their core, ensuring that their wilder moments stay in check. Finishing with a blistering rendition of Sue’s Last Ride, Dirty Three reinforce their iconic place in Australian – nay, global – musical history, the dotted line signed in their own feverish blood. Returning for their fourth Splendour, it’s clear that Bloc Party are no strangers to this crowd as their arrival sparks an unparalleled celebration en masse. They’re mighty tight and their sound is near faultless, with even the more busy compositions coming across marvellously in the mix. The energy hits peak after peak with gems like Mercury, Hunting For Witches and Banquet, to name but a few, providing delicious tastes from each album. Kele seduces the crowd with his between-song banter, but ultimately it’s the epic set of treasured songs that forms the bond across this vast crowd. SUNDAY The opening strums from The Medics set a fascinatingly dark and brooding tone, layered with additional drumming from guitarist Andy Thomson that pierce like gunshots before the sweet vocal contradiction of Golden Bear. Continuing with Beggars, the energetic four-piece show their knack for pulling off big, epic rock melodies with quieter, clear-riffed moments. Melbourne’s Husky are on early, humbly setting up their own stage at the GW Mclennan tent – which is pretty much full of punters who looked like they’ve seen better days. Husky’s tender, chilled-out acoustic performance is perfectly apt. Opening up with Tidal Wave, before breaking mid-set into a piano solo, which mesmerises the audience. London’s Zulu Winter do their best to energise the by-now ailing crowds, who seem to be succumbing somewhat to the inevitable fatigue brought on over the course of the weekend. That sense disappears, though, as an infectious atmosphere takes over, vocalist Will Daunt endearing himself to us with his everymanstyle banter (“this is the first festival I’ve ever gotten sunburnt at… Why are you clapping? That’s not cool!”). He’s rewarded by a lift in enthusiasm that sees the masses appreciatively sway and groove along to catchy compositions such as We Should Be Swimming, Let’s Move Back To Front and People That You Must Remember.

Django Django have their sights clearly set on some fun as they arrive sporting a uniform of matching T-shirts. An uplifting string of melodies is carried across a feast of percussive playfulness as they run through selections from their eponymous album and the ever pleasant B-side, Skies Over Cairo. A daytime set may come as a curse for some, but for these Scottish lads it’s a chance to work in unison with the uplifting energies of the steaming Aussie winter sun. Wielding a golf club, Ball Park Music frontman Sam Cromack swings onto stage and surprises the crowd by connecting with an exploding golf ball and moving into a ripping version of iFly. “You’re giving me a serious boner and it’s very embarrassing so don’t look,” he says to a packed tent whilst expertly guiding the outfit, Jarvis Cocker-style, through the super-fun Rich People Are Stupid and the beautifully sensitive Alligator. Ex-Fleet Foxes skinsman Father John Misty belies the idiosyncratic nature of his album to turn in a stellar set. All gangly frame and thrusting hips, he’s a flamboyant showman, and he and his band race through stellar renditions of his eccentric and ramshackle take on Americana. What to say about New York alt-rock/indie-pop outfit fun.? Frontman Nate Ruess has an amazingly powerful voice with an equally impressive register, so due credit there. He simply soars above the (not exactly quiet) audience singers during Why Am I The One?, All The Pretty Girls and, of course, their somewhat boring radio single, We Are Young. As the sun slowly goes down, Canadian band Metric make their way onstage, graced with the presence of a massive crowd, returning the favour with their iconic sound. Scuzzy riffs, thunderous drums and Emily’s rock-goddess-like voice rumble across the Supertop as they smash through their back catalogue. Midway through their set, however, they suffer a power outage, thankfully returning shortly afterwards with Emily simply saying, “It’s gonna do that,” before belting out Gold Gun Girls as if nothing had happened. Any doubts about whether Azealia Banks can live up to the hype are immediately squashed as she storms the stage and spits her rapid-fire lyrical provocations over her DJ’s stock of bludgeoning beats. New cut, Jumanji, is outrageously infectious in its live incarnation, but before things have barely had the chance to get carried away her set is sadly interrupted by technical problems and the stage is abandoned to the care of her two smartly-clad backing dancers. When Azealia returns she announces her final track, and in all its gloriousness, 212 is dropped with a violent fervour that communicates the frustration behind the fate of her only Australian show. Splendour is nothing without its Britpop, and 2012’s quota is filled by The Kooks. They deliver a punchy set that covers the new (Rosie) alongside “classic” fare such as Sofa Song, Ooh La and Junk Of The Heart (Happy). There are strong moments, especially the heftier tracks like Sway and perennial crowd-pleaser Naive, but when the set being interrupted by a reveller climbing up a pole becomes the highlight, it underlines how perfunctory and by-the-numbers this set is. With new album, Oceania, to plug, The Smashing Pumpkins don’t indulge in the nostalgia set many were looking forward to, though they get in enough ‘90s favourites, including Bullet With Butterfly Wings and Zero, to keep most happy. Billy Corgan is comfortable as hell with his new line-up, a point proven by a perfect, spine-tingling rendition of Today. Though 1979 sounds tired, as does Tonight, Tonight with its string section backing track, Cherub Rock is vicious and urgent. Once Corgan shows his guitar hero skills in Bowie’s Space Oddity, the set ends with a drawn out, screaming version of XYU, the towering frontman visibly moved by the support as he lingers on stage in a cloud of feedback. So there you have it, yet another Splendour is a raging success despite the elements. Not sure yet where the festival will be held yet next year, but if the lineup is this strong again it doesn’t really matter where it’s held… STEVE BELL, KEAGAN ELDER, MITCH KNOX, TYLER McLOUGHLAN, JAKE SUN, BRENDAN TELFORD

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TOUR GUIDE THE SELECTER: The Zoo Nov 29 REGINA SPEKTOR: BCEC Dec 6 SIMPLE MINDS, DEVO: Sirromet Wines Dec 9 NIGHTWISH: Arena Jan 4 WEEZER: BEC Jan 13 ED SHEERAN: Brisbane Riverstage Mar 2

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TOMMY EMMANUEL: QPAC Aug 9 THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS: Coolum Civic Centre Aug 10, The Tivoli Aug 11 SNAKADAKTAL: The Hi-Fi Aug 10 BLACKIE: UniBar, Lismore Aug 10 Prince Of Wales Aug 11, Tym Guitars Aug 12 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 IOWA: X&Y Bar Aug 17, Tym Guitars (afternoon) & The Waiting Room Aug 18 JINJA SAFARI: The Hi-Fi Aug 18 CHILDREN COLLIDE: Spotted Cow Aug 23, The Zoo Aug 24, The Northern Aug 26 TIM ROGERS: Old Museum Aug 23, The Northern Aug 24, Spotted Cow Aug 25 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 CHANCE WATERS: X&Y Bar Aug 24 KING CANNONS: SolBar Aug 24, Shark Bar Sep 15, The Northern Sep 15 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 SYDONIA: Crowbar Sep 1 SEEKAE: The Zoo Sep 1 PAUL GREENE: Dowse Bar Sep 6, Woombye Pub Sep 7 PSEUDO ECHO: Eatons Hill Hotel Sep 7, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 8 RICKI-LEE: Family Sep 9 CHET FAKER: GoMA Sep 15 JULIA STONE: Spiegeltent Sep 19, 20, Byron Bay Community Centre Sep 21 SETH SENTRY: The Zoo Sep 20, The Northern Nov 8 OH MERCY: The Zoo Sep 21, Joe’s Waterhole Sep 22 REGURGITATOR: The Northern Sep 26, The Hi-Fi Sep 27, 28 THE AMITY AFFLICTION: The Tivoli Sep 24 – 27 BLACKCHORDS: Ric’s Bar Sep 29 ASH GRUNWALD: Redland Bay Hotel Oct 6, Racehorse Hotel Oct 6, SoundLounge Oct 19, Star Court Theatre Oct 20 CLARE BOWDITCH: Old Museum Oct 11, A&I Hall Bangalow Oct 12

TIME OFF • 37


ROOTS DOWN

OG FLAVAS

ADAMANTIUM WOLF

BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTSDOWN@TIMEOFF.COM.AU

URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE

METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT

NAS STEVE EARLE Steve Earle is coming back! Yep, he’s just been announced as one of the keynote speakers at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND music conference and, as someone who has been lucky enough to speak with the man in the past, I can strongly recommend you try and get yourself along to see him if it is at all possible. Earle is of course one of the true legends of modern day roots, blues and country and just an all ‘round bloody legend. He’s funny, he was in The Wire, he wrote Billy Austin, he was mates with Townes Van Zandt, he’s a great author and visual artist; the man is a legend. No word as to whether he’ll play any shows while he’s down here, he’s such a hard worker that I reckon he will if he’s allowed to. But there’s a good chance he won’t be allowed to so don’t hold your breath! I’ve always had a real soft spot for Corb Lund and over the years his dedication to touring Australia has ensured that I am not alone in my appreciation for this Canadian country singer-songwriter. Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans have a new record by the name of Cabin Fever all ready to go and its Australian release comes on Friday 10 August through New West/Warner Music; I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet so I have no idea whether it is any good or not, but considering it features a song by the name of Drink It Like You Mean It, I think there’s a fairly good chance there’ll be enough quality on there to enjoy. Mr Lund and his merry men are going to be back in Australia not long after the record is out; you can catch them doing their thing at the Gympie Muster on Thursday 23 August and Friday 24. Fred Smith recently released his Dust Of Uruzgan, a hugely acclaimed record that features Smith performing what are essentially 12 vignettes from the war. As the title alludes to, Smith was the first Australian diplomat to be posted to Uruzgan in Afghanistan, where he spent his time fostering relationships with local tribal leaders and trying to build trust and understanding between the vastly different cultures; that of the coalition who were coming into the country and the locals. After 18 months in the area he collected a great amount of material which he has decided to put together on record; during the course of the album he looks at the difference in perspective between someone coming from his background and those who are born and bred Afghani and on a number of songs he pays touching tribute to fallen Australian soldiers Private Ben Renaudo, Darren Smith, Jacob Morely, Grant Kirby and Tomas Dale. He is presenting songs from this record with a special show at the Old Museum on Saturday 4 August with support from Dave Flower with Caroline Trengrove, doors are at 7pm and tickets are $20 through the venue’s website. Apparently the show also features a stunning series of photos from Afghanistan, so it promises to be quite an eye-opening evening. If you can’t make that show then you can also catch Smith playing Peregian Originals on Sunday 5 August. The new record from Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson came across my desk last week and I was very excited to be able to have a listen to what this colourful duo have been able to put together. Obviously Fitzy has been a huge part of the Australian blues scene for many a year and his recent exploration into more Celtic-influenced fare after meeting and falling for Robinson has meant that his music has never gone staid; quite the opposite in fact. The record is called Wiley Ways, it’s out Friday 1 October through Only Blues Music and you can bet I’ll give you a full report after I’ve had a chance to listen to it with a table full of booze. 38 • TIME OFF

It’s been an undistinguished year for urban music, until now. Suddenly we’ve had three successive blockbusters: Nasir “Nas” Jones’s Life Is Good, Frank Ocean’s illwave opus, Channel Orange, and Plan B’s post-Occupy iLL Manors. The least hyped of them is surely Jones’s tenth (and ostensibly final for Def Jam) album. In recent times Jones, who showed his flair early as a literary MC on 1994’s Illmatic, has presented conceptual – and controversial – albums like Untitled (aka Nigger), his rumination on race relations. The New Yorker last collaborated with Damian Marley for 2010’s Distant Relatives, but Life... is less conceptual than autobiographical – Jones, 38, reflecting on how far he’s come against a backdrop of struggle. However, the album’s theme – established in No Introduction, a gospelly, grand and swaggering opener worthy of Jay-Z himself – is change as much as tribulation. Jones has had his stresses lately. In some ways, Life... is a divorce album comparable to Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear, as Jones himself has suggested. (A cash-strapped Gaye cut the 1978 cult LP to pay off his ex, Anna Gordy, the older sister of Motown’s Berry.) Jay-Z may have found bliss with Beyoncé Knowles, but Jones’s romance with Kelis Rogers ended messily. He split from the Acappella singer while she was pregnant with their first child – a son, Knight. The sleeve of Life... depicts the desolate MC, white-suited and seated in a club’s VIP suite, Rogers’ green (!) wedding gown falling from his knee (all she left him, apparently). Nevertheless, Life... isn’t tainted by acrimony. Jones’s scope is too wide for that. In 2011, J Cole shunned electro-rap for hip hop classicism. Jones does the same, albeit with greater

conviction. Life... is steeped in ‘90s (and ‘80s) urban – it’s epic hip hop with funk, soul and orchestral influences, boom bap beats and samples galore. On No ID’s hard-hitting Loco-Motive, featuring Main Source’s Large Professor, Jones wryly acknowledges his “trapped in the ‘90s niggas”. Then the Queen of hip hop soul, Mary J Blige, lets rip on Reach Out, based on an old DJ Hot Day mastermix and sampling both New Edition and Isaac Hayes’ familiar Ike’s Mood. Still, nostalgia is the preserve of the privileged and the Queensbridge native doesn’t rock rose-tinted shades. Nor do Jones’s chronicles gloss over life’s mundanities. The biggest initial surprises on Life... concern what didn’t make it. The lead single, Nasty, has been relegated to the deluxe edition. Jones’s homie AZ is absent. And that much-discussed Odd Future collab is missing. Many producers were attached to Life..., but Jones has mostly worked with longtime ally Salaam Remi and the aforementioned No ID. Jones demonstrates his narrative genius on A Queens Story, cinematic hip hop sampling Chopin, the thug realism of Accident Murderers (with Rick Ross), and the murky World’s An Addiction – which The Notorious BIG would have admired. ‘God’s Son’ (well, Olu Dara’s) grapples with a different kind of (family) dysfunction on Daughters. He wonders how to best guide his teen daughter Destiny, who recently displayed condoms on Twitter. Fatherhood has made Jones better understand the playa as a male predator. The MC addresses his divorce from Rogers directly, and honestly, on the chilly yet still-affectionate closer, Bye Baby. For many, the album’s revelation is the jazzy Cherry Wine, Jones’s posthumous duet with friend Amy Winehouse, arranged by mutual producer Remi. Sadly, media types have ignored the late Heavy D’s classy contribution to The Don. Where Jones ultimately triumphs with Life... is in fending off those young hotshot rappers with his compelling street poetry. Alongside Hova, he’s unassailable. If MCs once had to contend with short careers, the likes of Jones have achieved parity with rockers such as The Rolling Stones – and eternally cool soulsters (Bobby Womack, step up).

THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY

AZEALIA BANKS For the best part of a year, those with in an interest in the future happenings of pop music have been playing a game called What Will Azealia Banks Do Next? It began with the appearance and viral spreading of her 212 video, which pitted the 21-year-old Harlem rapper and singer as a hyper-aware, post-Avenue D (with finer technical skills), acid-tongued schoolgirl for the YouTube age. The song landed Banks, a former student of the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts (Nicki Minaj is a graduate; Banks never finished), a record deal with Interscope, known for developing both urban-pop and indie-pop crossover acts. MIA, Feist, La Roux, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Cold War Kids and NERD are all on Interscope’s books. But the deal wasn’t Banks’ first, nor were the French electro beats of 212 (provided by Belgian producer Jef Martens under the name Lazy Jay) the first sounds Banks had trialled. Banks had, at that point, already been signed to XL Recordings and begun work on a debut album with the label’s head honcho and producer Richard Russell, a man known for taking a vested interest in the details of his artists’ recordings. It was Russell who tracked down Gil Scott-Heron and worked with him on his final album, I’m New Here, actively leading Scott-Heron to the kind of record Russell thought he needed to make. Banks departed XL due, reportedly, to creative differences. She then began working with British producer Paul Epworth (Florence & The Machine, Bloc Party, Adele, Friendly Fires) on an album without label backing. That’s when 212 and the Interscope deal happened. So the trajectory seems simple, right? Artist gets attention, signs to a label, records album, label releases album. Right? Not quite. There’s been plenty to suggest that the rollout of Banks’ career is being handled carefully by those (including Banks no doubt)

aiming to find the precise formula for commercial success. The clearest piece of evidence is the time it took to release a follow-up video to 212; the slick clip for Liquorice appeared only in June, and it was the second clip made for the song, which had been floating around online long before it got an official release on Banks’ 1991 EP in May. The end product, shot by UK fashion photographer Rankin, pits Banks as a highend fashionista and a provocateur; like Lana Del Rey, Banks in an American flag bikini sucking an ice block can be interpreted by various audiences as simply sexy or as commentary and a statement of control. But Banks is not Lana Del Rey and Interscope will be attempting to avoid a scenario where 212 remains Banks’ biggest hit, as Video Games has for Lana Del Rey. As a commercial artist, especially considering the worldwide media attention she has attracted, Lana Del Rey has so far been a very mild success. Banks is also coming up behind Nicki Minaj, who won over online, rap and ‘indie’ audiences early but had to endure the backlash that came with an overtly radio-oriented album and quickly reposition herself. Banks has aimed to foster ground-level support with her Fantasea mixtape, released as a free download earlier this month. Releasing a mixtape might be an obvious and ubiquitous move for artists seeking street cred before releasing an album, but for Banks it’s a smart one, adding 17 tracks to her tiny output and showcasing her ample skills without giving away anything that will detract from an official release. The aesthetic of Fantasea is also smart: it recalls the tongue-in-cheek warehouse party adoption of the ‘sea-punk’ meme while giving Banks her own version of Minaj’s ‘Black Barbie’ character. In Hollywood, midJuly, Banks even held a Mermaid Ball, performing in a sequined tail, bare-chested but for stars over her nipples. It was as in-character-sexy as anything Minaj has done, adding to the possibilities for Banks’ future incarnations. The answer to What Will Azealia Banks Do Next? is seeming less and less likely to be one thing. Banks is learning from recent history, from other acts’ successes and mistakes. She wants it all, and she’s on her way to having it.

themusic.com.au

With eight albums under their studded belts, psychobilly horror-punks Nekromantix will be heading back to Australia again in October. Their most recent release came in the form of 2011’s What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell. Check the Danish-American group at The Hi-Fi on Thursday 4 October – tickets are on sale this week through thehifi.com.au. Nightwish have announced their triumphant return to Australia. The symphonic Europeans haven’t toured since a sold-out run back in 2008, and this time around will be performing tracks taken from their latest album Imaginaerum. Swedish group Sabaton will bolster the bill, with Melbourne’s Eyefear as well as Black Majesty on national support. Tickets are on sale now through Oztix and reportedly running hot – catch them at The Arena on Friday 4 January. Stone Sour confirmed their involvement in Soundwave 2013 in a recent interview with Blunt Magazine. AJ Maddah isn’t stoked on the leaked information, but didn’t deny the confirmation. Sydney-based hardcore band Phantoms have announced that their upcoming tour with the USA’s Harm’s Way will “most likely” be their last run of shows. The band just released a new 7” record S.O.S. through Broken Hive Records – you can grab one at the shows, which are listed below, or pick one up from phantomshc.bigcartel.com. Sydney metal legends LORD have announced a 22-date Australian and New Zealand tour to launch their new album Digital Lies – with more dates supposedly to be announced. Melbournebased glam metal group Electrik Dynamite will support on all shows except for New Zealand and Darwin. Queensland shows include Friday 19 October at The Tempo Hotel, Saturday 20 for an all ages at Shailer Park High School, and later that night at Billy’s Beach House on the Gold Coast. Breaking Orbit last week dropped their debut album The Time Traveller. Two years in the making, the progressive Sydney group selfproduced the effort with a little help on the mastering side by Forrester Savell (Dead Letter Circus, Karnivool). There’s a launch tour coming up and you can put Friday 7 September at Crowbar in your calendar. It’s still some while away – but a two-night festival by the name of Doomnations has been announced for 29-30 March 2013. Boston-based stoners Elder have been confirmed to headline the event, which will also see sets from New Zealand groups Beastwars and The House Of Capricorn. A few other bands including Clagg, Motherslug, Hotel Wrecking City Traders, Adrift For Days and Law Of The Tongue have also been announced, with more bands expected to be gradually announced as time goes on. The Levitation Hex is a new Australian metal band of near-supergroup proportions. Formed by Alchemist’s Adam Agius, Mark Palfreyman of Alarum quickly became a major player in the game, with Ben Hocking of Aeon Of Horus and ex-Alarum member Scott Young rounding out the line-up. The band’s intention is to “create the heaviest prog metal possible” and they will unleash in the live arena before the year is out, including a European tour for October. No Brisbane dates have been confirmed yet, though you can check out the band’s debut album out over at levitationhex.net.

GIGS OF THE WEEK:

Thursday: Harm’s Way (USA), Phantoms, Survival, Thick Skin – X&Y Bar. Friday: Before Nightfall, Dark Symphonica, Awaken Solace, Kaerulean, Postscrypt – Crowbar. Aversions Crown, Hunt The Haunted, Empires Fall, Nightmares – Billy’s Beach House. Harm’s Way, Phantoms, Shackles, Survival, Deadlift – Expressive Grounds. Saturday: Tim Barry (USA), Josh Small, M.E. Hour – Sun Distortion Studios. Aversions Crown, Hunt The Haunted, As Paradise Falls, Empires Fall, Curse of Albion – Mt Gravatt PCYC. Deus Ex Machina (Sing), State of Integrity, Inhailed, Dead End Kings – Springwood Hotel.


BLONDE MOMENT Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a busy year for Brisbaneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blonde On Blonde after playing at MUSEXPO over in LA in April. Not only that, they have also played four huge support slots with Australian legends INXS over July. However, the five-piece indie-rockers are showing no signs of slowing anytime soon

with the release of their new single Act 1, which follows their last release, 2010 EP Tease. Their new single has been described as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;collision of The Dandy Warhols and Depeche Mode,â&#x20AC;? which will have you â&#x20AC;&#x153;boppingâ&#x20AC;? along as the catchy riff bursts to life in the intro. Blonde On Blonde are throwing a launch party for their new single at the Alhambra Lounge on Friday 7 September.

TINY NAME, MASSIVE SOUND

Local duo Tiny Spiders have spent a whole bunch of time on the road following the release of their debut, selftitled, full-length record as a limited edition 12â&#x20AC;? LP but the time has finally come for the home audience to get a chance to party along with them as they play a â&#x20AC;&#x153;properâ&#x20AC;? launch for the record. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been touring the east coast throughout July and August, but Tiny Spiders will be back in Brisbane to play West Endâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Waiting Room on Friday 3 August. They have some pretty fantastic supports in tow as well, with pop-punk sensations Undead Apes, the brutally awesome Golden Bats and the downright epic beatmaking talent of the always very cool Green Nose. Ten bucks gets you in but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only room for 80 people, so youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll wanna be quick.

DREAM ON DREAMER DREAMING

Melbourne six-piece hardcore band Dream On Dreamer are set to begin their first big headline tour around the country. Kicking off their tour at the end of August, they will be thrashing all around Australia, finishing it all up September 9. Joining Dream On Dreamer on their tour are fellow Rise Records band Moths To Flames from the States, UNFD label mates Hands Of Mercy and Byron metalcore band In Hearts Wake. Dream On Dreamer will be playing at Brisbaneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tempo Hotel on Thursday 30 August with triple j Unearthed band Awaken I Am amongst the others (18+). They will also be playing at the Paddington Community Hall on Friday 31 August with special guests Endworld.

MONK BUSINESS

ON THE SIDE

The Monks Of Mellonwah have been coined as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the best band youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never heard ofâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t heard of them, you are not alone. However, they are playing to sold-out crowds in Hollywood and won Best Indie Rock Artist in the Los Angeles Music Awards 2012. The Sydney-based indie four-piece are gearing up to release their latest EP Neurogenesis, having just announced a national headline tour later this year. Catch Monks Of Mellonwah when they play Ricâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar on Saturday 8 September.

The Side-Tracked Fiasco have hit the road and commenced what will amount to be a crazy couple of months. Touring from June to September with a total of 16 tour dates nationally, the Sydney-based funkcore band are promoting their new single, 547 off latest EP Enter The Motivational Sasquatch. The Ignore The Big Scary Dinosaur & Get On The Bus east coast tour concludes in Brisbane where you can see The Side-Tracked Fiasco on Saturday 1 September at Ricâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar, supported by Hack.

Sophie Koh

Oh My Garden Album Launch Tour 4VOEBZ"VHVTUtQN 5IF1PXFSIPVTF with 4BCSJOB-BXSJFt'3&&&/53:t"--"(&4 119 Lamington Street, New Farm

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New album â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh My Gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in stores now! Features the songs Lo-Fi and I UnderstandtAvailable on iTunes themusic.com.au

TIME OFF â&#x20AC;˘ 39


STEREO ADDICTS

ARGENTINA

ARE YOU LOCAL? BRISBANE SINGLES AND EPS BY CHRIS YATES CHRIS@TIMEOFF.COM.AU

The venue formerly known as Woodland has undergone a rebranding, and Brisbane’s own bedroom solo project-turned-all-out band Argentina will be front and centre. The main man behind the name, Alex Ritchie, takes some time with Mitch Knox.

PHIL BARLOW One Sunny Day Independent

While Barlow is certainly keen on getting along with the newest generation of acoustic folkies or rootstype indie style outfits, One Sunny Day borrows as much from the old school stable of Australian artists like Not Drowning, Waving or even Weddings, Parties, Anything. Although classic instrumental elements like some violin or pianos are missing, there would be plenty of room for these flourishes, to the point where it almost sounds like space has been left. Digging back through some Australian classics could give Barlow an edge over the many other bands and singers in Australia following this well-trodden path.

BLONDE ON BLONDE Act 1 Independent BOB have a great knack of mashing together various styles of guitar rock shit and making it sound like something new and classic all at the same time. They’re on a mission to take their sleazy sounds to every dive bar in the world, and are well on their way to kick this rock’n’roll goal. Big riffs saturated with reverb slink all over each other and combine to form a big wall of slightly psych rock for the chorus. Previously wearing their influences on their t-shirts a lot more obviously, they have well and truly established a sound that references classic rock without aping it. Rock!

THE BETTER MOUSETRAP TREATMENT Sidewalk Glass Independent You’d be hard pressed to find a band that more embodies the classic sound of Brisbane pop via The Go-Betweens via The Zebras than The Better Mousetrap Treatment. Their video is even shot in a beautiful old Queenslander and one of Brisbane’s great big open parks (and then some segments which contrast in a depressing office environment – something almost everyone can relate to). If there is one definitive Brisbane pop sound, with their jangly guitars, quirky lyrics and summer melodies, these guys and gals are nailing it.

Northern New South Wales alt.rockers Stereo Addicts are coming to Queensland to celebrate the release of their new single, Goin’ Away. Singer/guitarist Benny Francis tells Tony McMahon all about partying with Tim Rogers. “We’re stoked to have the first single out and it’s been awesome to see the response we’ve had so far since it’s been released on iTunes and radio,” says Francis. “A lot of people have been asking us for more, so we can’t wait to get our follow up single In The Shadows out there. The sound and vibe of the Goin’ Away is fairly representative of our influences and where we’ve come from. It’s similar in some ways to the rest of the music on the EP, but the songs do diversify and move in different directions. They all have their own personality, which makes it an interesting record.” Stereo Addicts have supported some awesome acts in recent times, including two of this country’s all-time greatest rock bands, but Francis is reluctant to share any good dirt. “Yeah, we played a show with the guys from You Am I back in Melbourne and with Magic Dirt the last time they played the North Coast. It was wicked to share the stage with them. They’re both absolute legends and played killer shows as usual. I don’t have any dirt on ‘The Dirt’, and all I can say is that Tim knows how to party.” According to Francis, seeing his band live is a vastly different deal than listening to their records. “The sound is much bigger in our live shows, of course, and there’s a lot more energy. We put everything into our shows and we want to give people a higher experience when they come and see us live. There’s definitely a lot more to see and hear, and things that we couldn’t fit on the record.” WHAT: Goin’ Away (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 23 August, The Hi-Fi

“We just finished a tour supporting Emma Louise; that was a lot of fun,” Ritchie says of his schedule of late. “Since I’ve been back home every day I’ve just been putting the finishing touches on my EP, which I want to have out in September. It’s very close to finished. I’m just tweaking little bits and pieces, as well as getting the band to come in and play some parts on it.” To clear up any lingering confusion, Argentina was, and still technically is, a solo project, at least away from the live arena. But after Ritchie’s Unearthed profile was featured by triple j, he recognised the need for an expanded roster to get his tunes out to a wider audience. “I quickly called a bunch of musician friends and asked them to help me play the songs live, as I was getting a lot of offers for shows at that point,” he explains. “It all came together within about a month.” This is not to say the touring members – Lauren Moore, Christian Walsh and Tim Bainbridge-Brown – don’t leave their own imprint on the final product, however. “I have no problem with the songs sounding really different live, and it’s important for me to let the guys (and girl) have the freedom to play the songs in the way that is most natural for them,” Ritchie says. This is probably fortunate, given how busy Ritchie and his cohorts will be in the coming months. With plans to hit the road again in October, now is as good a time as ever to get acquainted, as Ritchie promises big things in store. “Our show is without a doubt tighter and better than ever,” he says. “I’m really happy with the show we’ve been doing. It’s definitely what I think the Argentina live show should be right now.” WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 August, Electric Bloom House Party @ Coniston Lane

SCOTT MATHEW The Wonder Of Falling In Love Groovescooter Although he now spends a good part of his time either playing sold-out shows throughout Europe or working on stuff in New York, Brisbane’s Scott Mathew is an export the city can be proud of. With his new album released on Sydney electro label Groovescooter, Scott Mathew’s The Wonder Of Falling In Love has been given some very interesting remix treatments to help give it an extra push. The Hot Cock remix by Alex Crowfoot from Sydney’s blippy electro crew Ollo gives the song the same Kraftwerk/New Order edge that can be heard on the recent Ollo work, while the Daktari 9 reworking is an electronic dub reggae organ-fest of immaculate smoothness.

ROUSING ROSHAMBOS

Queensland indie-pop outfit The Roshambos are soon to bring their sun-drenched sound to Currumbin’s SoundLounge. Influenced by many great bands both past and present, from Bob Dylan through to The Strokes, what they have come up with are some catchy pop tunes with an eclectic vintage sound. The Roshambos have attracted some major attention in the industry over the last year, supporting the likes of Empire Of The Sun and Little Red. Support act Gold Coast’s Tall Tails are also making quite a stir following the release of their recent EP The Young Mind, A Juvenile Jail. Catch Queensland’s up-and-coming talent on Friday 3 August at SoundLounge, Currumbin – tickets cost $12+BF online and $15 at the door. It is an 18+ event, first in best dressed, get in quick.

DREAMTIME

Local psych outfit Dreamtime will be joining in Black Bear Lodge’s birthday festivities as part of their Black Bear Plays Black Bear evening. Bassist Catherine Maddin gets into the party mood with Mitch Knox. “From the beginning of Black Bear the owners always wanted the staff to feel free to jump up and play a couple of songs without too much pressure, so it’s nice we are doing it,” Maddin says of Dreamtime’s involvement in the evening, which features a line-up of bands and artists featuring staff from the bar itself. “I’m looking forward to seeing us all in our natural habitat, so to speak. It’s very interesting knowing someone away from their music side and then seeing them onstage – so many layers. There are seriously some of the best musicians working for Black Bear. Sometimes [we] have little sing-alongs after work when everyone’s gone; it’d be nice to show this side to the people that come into the bar all the time. We are a sensitive bunch!”

“We basically live in each other’s pockets,” Maddin says. “We see each other every day now, which is nice … Even our individual pursuits seem to intertwine with each other. That’s probably a good sign.” Asked what sets Dreamtime apart from the other Black Bear-based acts appearing on the night (which you can attend for all of five bucks), she explains, “it’s not really what sets us apart, it’s more about what brings us together.

Surrender Stop/Start

40 • TIME OFF

Taking a brief moment to catch his breath from his last tour – A Year On The Road – which took a little longer than expected, Dan England is ready to hit the road once more. The multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter who made a name for himself on Australian Idol is set to make a return to the touring scene once more. Bringing with him his “trademark dreadlocks and husky smooth voice” and special guest Clint Boge (former lead vocalist of The Butterfly Effect), he is all set for another tour, although this one is a little shorter. Catch Dan England and Clint Boge on their national tour, where they will play a string of Queensland dates. You can catch the both of them at the Buderim Tavern on Friday 10 August and the Albany Creek Tavern Saturday 11. There are a whole swag of regional dates on the cards which take them right up to October, so perhaps keep your eyes peeled for a return to the city from these two lads.

And a close bunch, too, it would seem. As the four-year-old band prepares for the launch of their second album this October (or thereabouts), one wonders if this sense of camaraderie expands to their time outside of the rehearsal room as well.

BALL PARK MUSIC Ball Park Music have reached that point where they have become comfortable enough with their songwriting, and their own forged sound, that they are able to play around with it and experiment with some different textures and still maintain their identity. They’ve become increasingly sophisticated and Surrender, even though it is not a cover of the Cheap Trick classic, is still a very accomplished work for the band, who really do keep raising the bar higher for everyone.

BACK ON THE ROAD

HIGH FLYIN’ FEW

Brisbane-based electronic/dance five-piece Pigeon are out and about once again following their huge festival shows of last year, working on new material, with an upcoming EP due out in October. Oh Hebe, Pigeon’s first single of 2012, with its surging bass line, is just as energetic as ever but more refined and polished, showing signs of a more mature outfit. Finalists of this year’s upcoming Queensland Music Awards (Electronic/ Dance Category) and supporting Sydney electropop outfit Van She’s upcoming Queensland shows, Pigeon are certainly becoming birds to reckon with. Catch them on their national tour; Friday 10 August at the SolBar, Maroochydore, Saturday 11 August at Alhambra Lounge and Friday 31 August at The Northern, Byron Bay.

themusic.com.au

“It’s a pretty wacky line-up, so it will be a feast of all the best things! A common thread will be that due to Tara [Wardrop – drums] being away, our amazing friend Myka will be filling in for Dreamtime and then will play with Timmy Carroll on the same night.” WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 5 August, Black Bear Lodge


INSPIRATION CORNER

HAVE YOU HEARD

got me a brand new shiny saxophone to play about six months before my dad passed away. It’s still almost the proudest I’ve ever been. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw4Hy6MtBLE 3. Run DMC – Sucker M.C’s

On the eve of their final tour, and ten years since The Beautiful Girls released their debut EP, Morning Sun, we sit down with singer/songwriter Mat. McHugh and asked him to a look back and share some of the music which inspired him. 1. Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right I’ve always played guitar because my dad played and there was always one around. I don’t remember ever thinking it was ‘cool’ until I heard this song on one of my dad’s records. I remember being struck by how stark it sounded compared to most of the other albums in his collection. In some weird way I could relate. Even as a little kid I remember thinking that playing guitar and singing was all you really needed to say what you needed to. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZPh3hpxLKs 2. John Coltrane – My Favourite Things Another one of my dad’s records. I used to love to listen to his mellow ballads and thought the sound of his playing was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. I begged my dad to try and get me in the school band, on saxophone, when I was in first grade. It was a couple of years before I was ‘technically’ allowed to join. They let me in on the proviso that I had to play the shitty, beat-up saxophone that they had in storage. I stuck with it and the school

When I was in my early teens, and my friends were all listening to rock music, I was listening to Run DMC on my cassette walkman. I thought it sounded so tough and I had no idea how they got the drums and the music to sound like it did. Run DMC were kind of like my Beatles.

BIG DEAD How did you get together? Reuben Nielsen (bass): “We have been making music together since sometime around 2008. After some of our former members were claimed by rabid zombie death, we settled on our current line-up and have been busy writing and recording an EP.”

http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=qOhRE4wDK6w 4. Minor Threat – Look Back And Laugh These guys (and Bad Brains) were pretty much the only guitar bands I listened to in my teens. It just always felt like, until Nirvana came along, that guitar bands just sung about stupid stuff. It was all a bit too ‘rock star’ for me. I liked all the early hardcore stuff because I could relate to it. I could imagine my friends and I making songs like this. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=boRw7_ORR_Q 5. The Clash – Guns Of Brixton I came to The Clash kind of late. I knew about Rock The Casbah and songs like that but I actually thought they were sort of cheesy. Later on, as I dug into their records, I realised how important and influential they are. To me, as a person who likes to mix up genres, a band that mashes reggae, dub and punk rock and have something to say will always be a shining light. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqcizZebcaU The Beautiful Girls play Coolum Civic Centre, Sunshine Coast on Friday 10 August and The Tivoli on Saturday 11 August.

WHO’S IN THE HOUSE?

“Australia’s own rock/roots larrikin” Asa Broomhall is set to release his fifth studio album, Jangle House, on Friday 19 August. Recorded in an iconic old guitar shop in Brisbane, which acted as a source of inspiration, it has resulted in a soulful record with a ‘live’ feeling behind it. The Jangle House launch party will be held at Brisbane Powerhouse, coinciding with his Round The Yard tour of QLD and NSW where you can be sure to experience Asa’s dynamic live show driven by the sounds of rapturous guitar. The Round The Yard tour hits Sol Bar, Maroochydore Friday 17 August (with Band Of Frequencies), Brisbane Powerhouse Sunday 19 (from 3.30pm with Jimi Beavis), Irish Club Hotel, Toowoomba Saturday 25 (with The Jackrabbits), Red Deer Festival Saturday 1 September, Peregian Originals Sunday 2, Byron Bay Brewery Friday 7, Harrigans Drift, Calypso Bay Marina Sunday 9 (1pm) and the Caloundra Music Festival at the end of that month. There are more dates to be announced, so stay tuned.

Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Loud, Quiet, Slow, Fast.” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “I always wanted to play with The Beatles.” 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? “Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um. I could listen to that album over and over again.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “Realising I had gingivitis after a tour.” Why should people come and see your band? “Because we have recently finished recording an EP and we are very excited about playing our new material live. People should come along to our single launch at Black Bear Lodge because Motion Picture Actress, Ghostnotes, and Levi Hansen are all wonderful.” Big Dead play Black Bear Lodge on Saturday 19 August.

ELEFANT TRAKS, NEW WORLD ARTISTS & UMBRELLA PRESENTS

FEATURING JANE TYRRELL & ELGUSTO NAÏVE BRAVADO TOUR 2012 New single: Naïve Bravado featuring Daniel Merriweather Taken from the forthcoming album Smokey’s Haunt Out on Elefant Traks through Inertia — October 2012 Tickets from urthboy.oztix.com.au | Details at www.urthboy.com

FRI 14 SEP BYRON BAY THE NORTHERN WITH THE LAST KINECTION | RAINMAN

SAT 15 SEP BRISBANE THE ZOO WITH THE LAST KINECTION | RAINMAN   themusic.com.au

TIME OFF • 41


SINGLES ONLY

SKINNY JEANS Band Name: Skinny Jean Member/role: Shêm Allen – frontman Name Of Single(s): Pulverem, Abort Abort and They’ll Blush Anew, Scales Stand-alone release or precursor to something more substantial? Forthcoming album: The Diving Saucer Returns From A World Where The Sun Never Shines. These three songs are a taster. How does the single differ from previous work? Our previous work was wrought with musical references to American music like blues, spirituals, country. These days we’ve focused more on texture variety, electronica-inspired pop, sequencing and contemporary art music from Messiaen to Reich. Throughout all of our music, however, is a brazen push from within the band to make the song sound as original as possible. What do you have planned for the launch? We are currently promoting an ice-breaking show on Saturday 4 August at the Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse. This intimate and beautiful-sounding venue is a perfect environment for people to hear our hard work come into living fruition. Where to from here? We will set about organising our album launch (November?) and from there we’re hoping to get ourselves heard down south. Skinny Jean play Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday 4 August.

SILAS AND THE SEASONS

DEATH OF THE SHOW

No, this is not the end. Queensland’s very own Edward Guglielmino And The Show have been at it once again, releasing new single You’ll Be The Death Of Me following the release of their latest LP Sunshine State only two months prior. Showing no signs of slowing down, critically acclaimed Edward G. And The Show will unveil this Smiths-esque single all about our sunny state. Starting their tour at The Judith Wright Centre’s Bands Of Your Town show on Friday 3 August (tickets from the venue are around $20), they then move on to play a series of other dates, hitting The End on Thursday 16 August, The SoundLounge, Gold Coast Friday 17 and The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba Saturday 18 August.

ON TIME OFF STEREO Researching The Blues REDD KROSS Gentlemen THE AFGHAN WHIGS The Lumineers THE LUMINEERS The Rubens THE RUBENS No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel PETER BLACK Ramonesmania RAMONES A Different Ship HERE WE GO MAGIC Ocean Songs DIRTY THREE Songs Of Our Soil JOHNNY CASH Wiley Ways HAT FITZ & CARA ROBINSON

Returning to the stage after a short break from shows to hit the studio, synth-toting quintet Silas And The Seasons will be bringing the good-time vibes on night one of Black Bear Lodge’s birthday weekend celebrations. Member Andrew Gough chats with Mitch Knox. “We started playing together a few months ago, originally as a two-piece, but sort of expanded into playing with a live drummer and live bass player,” Gough says of the group’s recent (few-week-long) live hiatus – taken to help “sort our set-up and… general organisation of the band out” – “but we do [still] play the occasional show as a two-piece. “We have Andy, who writes the beats and plays synth, and Andrew – ‘Fred’ – on synth, trumpet and vocals. Our idea for the band was inspired when we started getting into electronic music, hearing bands like Mount Kimbie, Oscar + Martin and James Blake. We combine a fusion of jazz and electronic music; often quite dark when we play as a two-piece and a bit more poppy when we are a full band.” Their impending appearance at Black Bear Lodge seems to be celebratory on a couple of fronts, then – both for the venue’s birthday

and for the appearance of the band’s expanded line-up – and Gough exudes palpable excitement for the opportunity. “I think our sound really suits the venue and the crowd and organisers really seemed to dig our stuff [the band played there previously with Moses Gunn Collective],” he says. “Plus, Black Bear is one of the grooviest places in Brisbane; they are open to different genres and some amazing music. “We are looking forward to playing with our new drummer and bass player, and it’s always good to play a fun night like this after taking a break from shows.” The band have just finished work on a new single, with plans to release in August or September alongside more shows, at which “you can expect to see some old-school analog synths, MIDI cables, super-effected trumpet, and minimal stage talk, ‘cos we get scared,” Gough says. WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 4 August, Black Bear Lodge

NDUSTRY THE LOCALS THE BLOGS THE ENCOR HE GIGS YOUR DAILY SPA THE CLUBS THE R BANDS THE INDUSTRY THE LOCALS THE BLOG RES THE DJS THE GIGS THE PRODUCERS THE REMIXES THE ARTISTS THE FESTIVALS THE GRO THE INDUSTRY THE LOCALS THE BLOGS THE S THE GIGS THE PRODUCERS THE CLUBS THE TISTS THE FESTIVALS THEMUSIC.COM.AU THE THE FANS THE BANDS THE INDUSTRY THE LO S THE ENCORES THE DJS THE GIGS THE PROD 42 • TIME OFF

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321 BRUNSWICK STREET MALL, FORTITUDE VALLEY WEDNESDAY 1ST AUGUST LE PARTY SOUL WITH DJ REDBEARD FROM 8PM FEATURING VINCENT KEMP (10:30PM) + DANE ADAMO (9:30PM)

THURSDAY 2ND AUGUST RICABILLY WITH THE MAYHEM COUNTY BOYS FEATURING DJ MIKEY

FRIDAY 3RD AUGUST DOWNSTAIRS - DISPARITY (9PM) + DIRTY COCKTAIL (8PM) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS - DJ ALAN B 8PM - 5AM

SATURDAY 4TH AUGUST DOWNSTAIRS - WANDERING EYES (DOUBLE SET FROM 8PM) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS - DJ CUTTS 8PM - 5AM

SUNDAY 5TH AUGUST EXPOSED #4 HEAT SEMI FINAL 2: 7PM - THE LIONS CHILDREN, 7:30PM - ULTRAFEEDY, 8PM - JAMIE-LEE FOX, 8:30PM SUPER KALEIDA, 9PM - DAVES PAWN SHOP, 9:30PM - RUSH HOUR SOUL FROM 10PM BLIND LEMON (AFTER EXPOSED)

MONDAY 6TH AUGUST LOST TEMPEST (9:30PM) + SUPPORT

TUESDAY 7TH AUGUST SABRE SIREN (9:30PM) + THE HALLS (8:30PM)

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TIME OFF â&#x20AC;¢ 43


WED 01 Brodie Graham Band, Sean Sennett Tempo Hotel DJ Redbeard, Vincent Kemp, Dane Adamo Royal George Go Go Fish, Wafi a, Guards Of May The Zoo Hanna Morrison, The Deep End, Sally Ann, Georgia Rose Chalk Hotel Jason Chong, Damien Powers, Kat Davidson Jupiters Casino Karaoke, D 3 Amigos Latin Dance Party Casablanca Lauren Lucille Limes Hotel Lindsay Webb, Linus Lee Sit Down Comedy Club, Paddington Locky Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City Open Mic Night The Loft, Chevron Island Soula Band, Open Mic The Music Kafe The Bowery Hot Five With Mal Wood The Bowery Thomas Cullen, Brother Fox, Love Like Hate Elephant & Wheelbarrow

THU 02 Az Kerwin Elephant & Wheelbarrow Ballad Boy Loving Hut

Velociraptor, Cannon, Crass Creatures, Occults Black Bear Lodge Wasabi Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City

FRI 03 About Time Lock ‘N’ Load Archie Rye Due, The Decoys Elephant & Wheelbarrow Before Nightfall, Awaken Solace, Dark Symphonica, Postscrypt Crowbar - Brisbane Blind Dog Donnie The Music Kafe B-Rad, Berst Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City Caxton Street Jazz Band Brisbane Jazz Club Claire Walters, Ryan Livings, Capitol Groove Press Club Cobwebbs, Sewers, Multiple Man Black Bear Lodge Darren J Ray Murwillumbah Rsl Disparity, Dirty Cocktail, Dj Valdis Royal George Downstairs DJ Alan Royal George Upstairs Ebb N Flo Beach Hotel Byron Bay Electric Bloom House Party Coniston Lane

Chris Sheehy, Cognition Tempo Hotel

Fat Tuesday, The Local Residents Tempo Hotel

Craig Scott Quintet The Turnaround Jazz Club

Fletcher, Ms Jackson Neverland

Eran James, Kristy Apps Dowse Bar I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Satellites The Bowery Jason Chong, Damien Power, Katrina Davidson, Ben GrAw Sit Down Comedy Club, Paddington Jazz Singers Jam Night, John Reeves, Andrew Shaw, Paul Hudson Brisbane Jazz Club Karaoke, Zouk Lambarda Casablanca Midnight Son & The Crime Scene, Corn Liquor, We The Ghosts The Zoo Nick Trovas Chalk Hotel Roboduck And The Decoys The Loft, Chevron Island Something Whiskey, Cody & Co The Music Kafe Soula’ Flare Glass Bar & Restaurant Ten Hands Brisbane Powerhouse The Mayhem County Boys, DJ Mikey Royal George

Gerald Keaney And The Gerald Keaneys Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerley Hunting Grounds, Gung Ho Elsewhere Bar Surfers Paradise Ingrid James, Julian Jones The Lido Café Restaurant Iwish Risky, Zero Inn, Magenta VoyeUr The Zoo James Johnston Gladstone Reef Hotel Jason Chong, Damien Power, Katrina Davidson, Ben Graw Sit Down Comedy Club, Paddington Karaoke, DJ Misqo, DJ Levi, Que Saudade Casablanca Mark Gardener (Ride), Underground Lovers, Sky Parade (Usa) The Hi-Fi Mark Sheils Story Bridge Hotel Mick Danby, Mark Chomyn, Kel Harper, Joel Claxton, Hammo, Oli Frost Chalk Hotel Nat Dunn Gazebo Restaurant, Hotel Urban Out Of Abingdon The Deck Bar - Diana Plaza Hotel Rod Christensen Trend Noosa Harbour Wine Bar

44 • TIME OFF

Sabrina Lawrie, The Mercy Beat, New Jack Ruby’s, Lords Of Wong, Meadowfoot, DJ Wolvie Trash Beetle Bar Sally McLennan, Scott Spark, Edward Guglielmino, Kellie Lloyd, Laneway, Sue Ray Judith Wright Centre Of Performing Arts Snakes & Daggers Dolphins Hotel Ten Hands, Laneway Brisbane Powerhouse Test Pattern Prince Of Wales Hotel The Convertibles, Sonyta & The Incinerators, Dave Rumbler & The Matadors, Dan & The Dualtones, Dj Leapin’ Lawrie Rocklea Showground The Roshambos, Talltails Soundlounge Currumbin The Royales, Elliot The Bull, Thieves Of Dreams, Pirates Of The Tempest The Loft, Chevron Island Tim Barry, Josh Small Sun Distortion Studios Tiny Spiders The Waiting Room Val Kilmer’s House Party Bowler Bar

SAT 04 Celestino, Mojo Webb, Josh Lovegrove, Juke Box Heroes, Franklyn, Leah Turlai, Tori Sommers, + More Kurwongbah Deus Ex Machina, State Of Integrity, Inhailed, Dead End Kings Springwood Hotel DJ Cutts Royal George Upstairs Dub Temple Records, Samedi Sound System, Science Project, Brainbeau, Green Nose, Sujaama Beetle Bar Ebb N Flo The Joynt, Brisbane Eran James, Kristy Apps, Alexis Nicole, Kerryn Fields The Loft, Chevron Island Fred Smith, Dave Flower, Caroline Trengrove Old Qld Museum Ger Fennelly, Berst Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City Herb Armstrong And The Royal Street Krewe Brisbane Jazz Club Hunting Grounds, Gung Ho X & Y Bar Jason Chong, Damien Power, Katrina DaviDson, Ben Graw Sit Down Comedy Club, Paddington Karaoke, Chukale, Azukka, La Tropa Latina, Locura, DJ Misqo, DJ Levi Casablanca Little Kitty Big Meow Lock ‘N’ Load

MAYHEM COUNTRY BOYS

Mad World Blues Band Tempo Hotel Mal Woods Quartet The Woombye Pub

WEIGHTLESS

Mick Danby, The Decoys The Tempo Hotel Mission X Elephant & Wheelbarrow Mosman Alder, Silas & The Seasons, Black Bear Jazz Band, DJ Back Amex Black Bear Lodge Pepperazzi Big Band Kawana Waters Community Ctr Punkfest, The Strums, Jack Flash, Ben David, Fun With ExplosivEs, Ever Since Darwin Prince Of Wales Hotel Rob Reeves Zegatos Saturday Jazz At Era Era Bistro Sex Panther, Fletcher, Ms Jackson Neverland Skinny Jean Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse Steve Allison, Mark Mcconville, Stu Fisher Colmsile Hotel

Drummerless rockabilly trio The Mayhem County Boys are back at Greazefest. Vocalist/ guitarist Mitchy ‘Mayhem’ Humphrys tells Tony McMahon all about it.

After a series of small-run demos and tapes, Adelaide four-piece Weightless have released their debut album, Self-Adjustment. Guitarist and vocalist Nick Yap gets all emotional with Tony McMahon.

“We played in 2010 at the Sunday Hot Rod show, when Greazefest found its new home at the Rocklea Showground. It was great to be able to kickstart the morning and wake everybody up from the crazy show the night before. However, this year we’re privileged to have our good friend and world renowned musician, Mr ‘Diamond’ Doug Wilshire joining us on the steel guitar. He’s recently returned from a massive tour of the UK and will also be performing in his own band at Greazefest as well.”

On the vexed question of whether or not the band took their time with their debut album, or whether the rush to get it out there as quickly as they could co-opted the program, Yap indicates that it was perhaps a little bit of both.

The Cassingles The Music Kafe

A drummerless band hey? Humphrys says it’s all about lugging stuff.

The Fabulous Sounds Of The Sixties Southport Rsl

“As I also play drums for the band The Tenfours, I know what it’s like to have to cart drums everywhere and worry about noise restrictions in certain venues. So when I started The MC Boys, I wanted to get back to the traditional rockabilly, country and bluegrass sounds that were so prominent without a drummer in the late-1940s to the mid-‘50s. So, it’s certainly not a new idea, but I was intrigued by how the double bass and acoustic guitar provided the essential rhythm and the percussion to keep things driving and the lead guitar does the fancy stuff on top. My ‘drummerless’ influences include early Elvis, Johnny Burnette, Johnny Cash and more modern bands such as High Noon, Roy Kay Trio and of course my favourite The Bellfuries.”

The Kamikaze Thunderkats, Le Suits, His Merry Men The Zoo The Medics, The Paper Kites, The Belligerents, Millions, Stu Larsen, Avaberee, + More QlD Academy Of Creative Industries The Planet Rockers, The ReChords, Rusty Pinto, Miss Teresa & Her Rhythmaires, Dj Swingabilly Ray Rocklea Showground Wandering Eyes, DJ Valdis Royal George Downstairs Wellswung Daddies Robina Bowls Club

SUN 05 Albare Byron Cultural & Community Centre Damien Power Sit Down Comedy Club, Paddington

For those who’ve never seen MCB live, it seems the show will be jumping but not necessarily ear-splitting. “You’ll definitely get to see rockabilly in its most raw, boppin’ and wildest form just like the good ol’ days. You can dance if you feel the need, but if not you’ll still be able to listen whilst talking to the person next to you without straining your voice.” WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 and Saturday 4 August, Greazefest @ Rocklea Showground

Live Jazz Robina Bowls Club

Ebb N Flo Coolangatta Hotel Eddy Angel, The Flattrakkers, The Whiteliners, The Sin & Tonics, Scotty Baker, Jordan C Thomas, Paulie & His Crazy Rhythm Boys, + More Rocklea Showground George Ferguson, Kimberly Davis Lauxes On The Park Restaurant - Broadbeach Ger Fennelly, Johnny Jump Up, Lucky 13 Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City Hunting Grounds, Gung Ho Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay James Johnston The Code Bar & Nightclub

Live Spark Brisbane Powerhouse Locky, Booster, Art House Killers, Dirtie Clouds, Hammo, Olie, Woodie, Jack This Chalk Hotel Mad World Blues Band The Tempo Hotel Martin Party, Scramjet Elephant & Wheelbarrow Rattlehand Dowse Bar Seventh Avenue Trio Botanical Café Sunday Jazz Sessions Story Bridge Hotel The Enthusiastic Musicians Orchestra Brisbane Jazz Club

Karaoke, Salsa Seduction Casablanca

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The Lions Children, Ultrafeedy, Jamie-Lee Fox, Super Kaleida, Daves Pawn Shop, Rush Hour Soul, Blind Lemon Royal George The Satellites The Bowery Therefore, Stovetop Lock ‘N’ Load Uncle Bob’s Jug Band Prince Of Wales Hotel

MON 06 B-Rad Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City Funky Monkey Jam The Music Kafe James Blundell Queen Street Mall Lost Tempest Royal George

“In terms of recording it, we set a date before the songs were fully written to motivate ourselves. We initially spent two days in the studio and then had to go back to touch up some stuff. In retrospect I would have preferred to take my time a bit more, but I’m really glad it’s out and I’m happy with the end result.” And what are the excitement levels for the tour like? Time Off imagines that hitting the road with a debut album feels quite different to doing it without one, and Yap agrees. “Yeah, well, before the album we’d only toured to Melbourne with a self-recorded/self-released EP that not many people outside of Adelaide had heard. It’ll be interesting to hit up some new cities especially with a bit of the album buzz surrounding us.” For those familiar with Weightless’s earlier work, it’s said that Self-Adjustment takes the band in some unexpected directions. In talking about this, Yap gives a terrific little insight into his band’s songwriting process. “I guess there is quite a bit of diversity in the songs on the album and they’re all progressive. We’ve tried to stay away from the intro/ verse/chorus/verse/chorus formula.” When it comes to describing a Weightless live show for first time Queensland punters, Yap is to the point, but does manage to make suggestions about both furniture and feeling. “Pretty relaxed. Pull up a bean bag and get emotional.” WHAT: Self-Adjustment (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 11 August, Fat Louie’s

Mark Sheils Elephant & Wheelbarrow

Mark Sheils Samford Valley Hotel

Rockaoke Tempo Hotel

Paul Young Trio Lock ‘N’ LoAd

TUE 07 Best Of Escalate, Birds Of A Feather, Strings For Ammo, Kinda Sexy Tempo Hotel Blind Dog Donnie, The Bumbacluts, Denizens The Music Kafe Gold Coast Comedy Club The Loft, Chevron Island Gonzales 3 The Bowery

Rose Water, Caroline Hammond, Craig Claxton, Suzanne Hibbs The Bug Sabre Siren, The Halls Royal George Woody Lives Here Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane City


BEHIND THE LINES FINALLY THEMSELVES

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

WITH MICHAEL SMITH

WAXING LYRICAL

The Brisbane Powerhouse presents Waxing Lyrical on the second Saturday of the month; it’s a chance for songwriters, aspiring and professional, to join a few of their peers as they discuss what makes them tick, what inspires them and some of the stories behind their songs. This time, the songwriters in the spotlight are Ed Guglielmino, McKisko and Harry Ward from The Harry Heart Chrysalis and Arcade Made, with ABC Radio’s Kellie Riordan hosting proceedings from 5pm on Saturday 11 August in the Powerhouse’s Turbine Platform. It’s proudly supported by APRA/AMCOS and totally free to attend.

WHY JOIN APRA?

Well, if you write your own songs and perform them anywhere – pubs, clubs, cafés, radio, television – then you’re entitled to a slice of the license fee each of these venues pays the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) each year in order to legally use the copyrighted intellectual property of its members. It costs nothing to join and guarantees that, quite apart from any fee you or your band or anyone else might get for playing your songs, the person who wrote those songs gets an additional payment collected on your behalf by APRA. The more you’ve played your songs or those songs have been played, the bigger the cheque you get. So why haven’t you joined already? APRA is currently calling on members and prospective members to get organised and submit their Live Performance Returns forms before Friday 31 August, so get onto your local branch or get online for more details.

NICK DIDIA JOINS BYRON 301

While he will continue to return to the US to work on projects as and when they arise, US producer, engineer and mixer Nick DiDia has decided to relocate to Australia and is joining the team at Studios 301 Byron Bay, though he will also be working on projects in Studios 301 Sydney. Over the past couple of decades, DiDia has engineered albums for, among others, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, Train and Incubus, as well as producing, engineering and/or mixing records for Australian acts Powderfinger, The Living End, Trial Kennedy, Katie Noonan and more.

SOUND BYTES

Jakob Dylan and his band The Wallflowers recorded their new album, Glad All Over, at Easy Eye Sound studios in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce (Emmylou Harris, Cage The Elephant), then called in Rich Costey (Bruce Springsteen) to mix it. Englishman made good in the US, producer Peter Asher, whose credits include mega-selling albums for James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt among many, did the honours on three tracks on the new album, Two Worlds Collide, from The McClymonts. It was recorded at Conway Studios in LA, while two tracks were produced by Nathan Chapman at Pain In The Art in Nashville, the other six tracks produced by Luke Wooten at Station West, also in Nashville. Due in September, Pink worked with producer Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Shins) on her new album, The Truth About Love, though she also worked with long-time collaborators Max Martin and Shellback, Billy Mann and Butch Walker. Recently inducted into the Rock’n’Rock Hall Of Fame for his work as an engineer and producer on some of the most seminal albums of all time by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Faces and Eric Clapton among many, Glyn Johns produced the latest and fourth album, Mirage Rock, by Band Of Horses at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. The new album, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, from metal five-piece Between The Buried And Me, was recorded at The Basement Studios in Winston-Salem in their home state, North Carolina, with producer Jamie King, who also engineered, mixed and mastered the album. Byron Bay metal-core five-piece In Hearts Wake took themselves to Random Awesome Studio in Michigan to record their debut album, Divination, with Josh Schroeder. Six-piece Adelaide metallers Octanic recorded their self-titled second album at Deep Blue Studios in their hometown, then sent it to Swedish producer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Soilwork) to get it mastered. Tony Espie, whose CV includes records for Cut Copy, The Avalanches and Midnight Juggernauts, produced the new EP, She’ll Never Know, for Melbourne’s Polo Club.

Forget the first two albums – Hellyeah reckon they’ve finally cut a record that’s true to who they are, and they invite you all along to try it out. Singer Chad Grey explains the making of Band Of Brothers to Michael Smith.

H

ere in February this year as part of Soundwave 2012, Hellyeah started out as a bit of fun on the side for Mudvayne singer Chad Grey, a chance to jam with former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. Along the way, they cut two albums, 2007’s self-titled debut and 2010’s Stampede, but it’s only now, with third album, Band Of Brothers, the guys – guitarists Greg Tribbett and Tom Maxwell, and bass player Bob Zilla from Paul’s post Pantera band Damageplan – have allowed themselves to be themselves. “I think the whole vibe of the record is that we’ve kinda taken our lives back,” Gray explains, “bringing what we’ve done individually in the past to Hellyeah. We’ve never really done that at all. I was doin’ Mudvayne and Hellyeah simultaneously, and whatever was influencing me in Mudvayne was going to influence me in Hellyeah, and you really have to unzip yourself and step out of your own skin and then put the Hellyeah skin on; you have to arrive from a different standpoint, write from a different place, and we had never really done that, never brought fully the style or the full sound of what we do individually to Hellyeah. I remember writing Hellyeah songs and writing parts that sounded too much like Mudvayne I’d scrap it and write something different and then I’d really go out of the box. “I didn’t want anything to cross, Hellyeah in this box and Mudvayne in this box, but with Mudvayne being on hiatus for an indefinite amount of time, I thought, ‘Fuck it’. I went to Vinnie, ‘Be Vinnie Paul – not only your sight but your sound. I wanna be me again. I wanna write the way I wanna write in this band.’ I wanna write a happy record with one of my favourite drummers, with a guy I’ve been a fan of for twenty-five years, know what I mean? The sound that Hellyeah had was getting more broody, with kick and stuff like that and his drums in general,

and I think, you know, Pantera had that really slacky kind of tight-focused drum sound and I wanted that sound back. And I wanted to be able to write darker lyrics, work up more harmonies and more helpless songs, more aggressive more angry songs versus Hellyeah alcohol and hash! But it was kind of unspoken. There was no big discussion. We just turned on the amps, Vinnie set up the kit and we’d just go. The first song that was written was War In Me, which pretty much set the tone for the attitude of the record. We were writin’ a heavy record and we were ready for that, you know what I mean?” The band started working on Band Of Brothers in the northern summer of last year, again, as with their previous two albums, at drummer Vinnie Paul’s home studio in Dallas, the self-styled “VP’s Upstairs Studio”. Guitarists Tribbett and Maxwell messed around with some riffs, combining different ideas until they had coherent structures. Then they presented them to Paul. Frontman Chad Gray started doing his vocals in his home in Arizona but felt he wasn’t fully in sync with the others so scrapped what he’d done and headed into Paul’s place. “It’s his house! He just calls it Upstairs because the control room’s upstairs,” Gray explains with a chuckle. “Everything else is downstairs. I mean his drums are set up in his living room, all the guitars, the amps are off in another room on the other side of the house.” Paul is endorsed by ddrums, Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks, and plays a ddrums signature kit, which includes two 24” bass drums. Both Tribbett and Maxwell play through the exact same rig, the new Egnator amp series on the market called The Impregnator, while Maxwell plays his Dean guitar through Ibanez tube screamers, Dunlop 535 wah pedals, Boss super chorus and MXR carbon copy analogue delay, and Tribbett uses an Ibanez Weeping Demon wah pedal. It took eight months to complete the record with engineer/ producer Jeremy Parker, with whom Gray had worked on Mudvayne albums, and whose CV includes albums with Godsmack and Evanescence among others – more than twice as long as it took them to make Stampede, which was coproduced by Gray, Paul and Sterling Winfield. “Jeremy is really just a fuckin’ master at what he does. My experience of working with Jeremy in the past with Mudvayne was [Ugly Kid Joe guitarist] Dave Fortman

GEAR REVIEWS

EQ as channel two) ensures some tonal consistency to channel two, but allows for more mids, gain or reverb by tweaking settings. In addition, using the massive multi-button allows you to permanently switch in the master midrange so a mid boost is available between channels two and three, perfect for guitar solos.

EGNATER ARMAGEDDON

Once again I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing another Bruce Egnater creation. This time, it’s the Egnater Armageddon. The idea behind this amp is pure METAL. Egnater spent three years designing this head so he could once and for all silence his critics who say that Egnater amps don’t do metal (see Hellyeah story above – MS). This amp is a three-channel, 120-watt brute with six 12AX7s and four 6L6s capable of producing a wide array of tones anywhere between pristine clean and soggy saturation. You also have the option of dipping down to 60 watts for less headroom and more push out of the power amp. The first channel is primarily a clean channel with volume, gain and three band EQ, two voicing switches for “tight” and “bright” as well as a high/low gain switch. I was able to get some lovely round clean sounds reminiscent of warmer Fender tones of days gone by. Accessing one of the three independent reverb knobs on the back of the amp really brought this channel to life, especially with the cool spill-over function that keeps the reverb tail intact when switching channels. Adding some chorus or delay in the effects loop will do wonders in mimicking a classic metal clean tone. Next in line is channel two. Again we have the same features as channel one, but the gain structure changes to provide crunchy, Marshall-esque tones or scooped “hi-fi” modern rhythm sounds. I really loved going for a mid-heavy Marshall tone, then boosting the midrange depth and level for a wonderfully fat, Darkness-style tone. Increasing the gain and scooping the mids made for a killer tight metal rhythm, then incorporating the onboard ISP decimator noise reduction took that sound to the next level of “uber-chug”. Switching to the channel three (which shares the same

Other features on this amp include master presence and density, as well as tube biasing on the back (so you can change the power tubes to EL-34s if you wish). This amp also has full MIDI capability if you wish to use a MIDI footswitch or incorporate other MIDI gear as well.Finally the AR-412A cabinet is an absolute beast of a cab with two Egnater Celestion Elite 100 speakers and two Celestion GT-1275s. The back panel features an incredible mic eliminator speaker emulation function, which alters the output and changes between on and off axis mic tones! The Egnater Armageddon is an amazing amplifier that really does it all and would not only suit metal enthusiasts but players that are after a wide array of high-quality guitar sounds. Reza Nasseri For more info see cmcmusic.com.au. Originally published in Australian Musician.

PEAVEY TRIFLEX II PA SYSTEM

As a lot of you may be aware, the guys at Peavey not only lend their talents to creating some fine guitar amps but also extend their catalogue to include instruments and pro audio gear such as PA speakers, mixers and power amps. Let’s take a look at the second-generation Peavey Triflex II PA system, a 1000watt, three-piece, two-channel system perfect for live sound re-enforcement, DJs and other applications. The system comprises two 250-watt mid/high boxes with a 10” woofer and 1.4” tweeter, a 15” 500-watt subwoofer, Peavey DDT compression in-built over the satellite speakers, and a left and right input on the back of the amp with gain levels for left, right and sub. The Triflex is very much a plug-in-and-play PA system that is already tuned and ready to go, lending itself to people that aren’t necessarily PA savvy. The two top boxes have a unique carved design that allows them to lock into the sub so you can move the unit as a whole (with the casters on the back of the sub making the job that much easier). The whole package also comes

themusic.com.au

[Eyehategod, Slipknot, Evanescence, Simple Plan] was the producer and Jeremy was the engineer, and that was pretty much Jeremy’s role in this. We brought him in kind of as an engineer, but in doin’ that we’re getting’ sounds and stuff and he’s makin’ comments, you know? We always used him as a sounding board. Jeremy isn’t the driver – he’s kind of the passenger, the guy close enough to be in it with you but he’s not in it ‘in it’. He’s close enough that you can trust him and he trusts that you’ll trust his feedback. “I mean there’s a lot of vulnerability and weirdness, you know, that goes into that relationship, but once it’s established, you’ll be able to look at Jeremy and go, ‘What do you think?’ And he’ll tell ya. He doesn’t know what’s goin’ on in my head as far as melodies and lyrics and shit like that, which is my idea of working with him, harmonies and shit – ‘What do you think about it?” He’d always answer a question with a question, but when you’re questioned by somebody you’re using as a sounding board, it makes you re-evaluate it and you kind of process it differently, and sometimes it’s exactly how you want it and sometimes it’s, ‘You’re right, I don’t really feel this is getting where I’m goin’.’” Band Of Brothers is out now through Sony Music Australia.

with two 15’ speaker cables and a nifty cover that accommodates cables, pins and stands (not included). To test the Triflex II, I headed to Manny’s Music in Melbourne where I had the chance to put this PA through its paces. I brought along my POD HD 500, Line 6 Variax and Creative Zen mp3 player (yes, I realise I’m one of the few people in the music industry to not have an iPod). I began by hooking up my Variax and mp3 player to my HD 500 so I could jam along to some backing tracks in the store and act like a rockstar, only to look around and realise I was the only person in there… Overall, I was fairly pleased with what I was hearing. The Triflex II had a smooth, modern tone that was nothing like the harsh plastic boxes of which most portable PAs comprise, and even with the huge 15” sub cranked the overall sound was remarkably even. I removed the POD and plugged my mp3 player directly into the stereo input, and spun some familiar tunes I’d saved as uncompressed WAV files earlier on my PC. The sound was pretty decent and easily good enough for multi-purpose applications in schools, churches, rehearsals, small cafes or parties.To sum up, the Peavey Triflex II is a decent portable PA system that is good for a number of different applications. It’s both sturdy and portable as well as being and designed to last. Reza Nasseri For more info see audioproducts.com.au. Originally published in Australian Musician.

TIME OFF • 45


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Free online and print classifieds Book now, visit iflog.com.au 46 • TIME OFF

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SINGER

DJ

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WANTED OTHER

THE SUICIDE WATCH PROJECT

Wanted! Your love and support for our hip hop collaboration for suicide prevention. Help us break down the taboos and barriers. Share the message ‘it’s ok to talk about suicide’. Releasing digital mixtape early September to co-incide with World Suicide Prevention Day and RU OK Day. Visit: facebook.com/TheSuicideWatchVolume1 Web: crazybandplans.com/SWV1 iFlogID: 19155


Mild coarse language and violence

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Time Off Issue 1588  

Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...

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