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RIGHT BACK ATCHA
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Songbook will see Katie exploring material from throughout her career including songs from George, Katie Noonan and the Captains, Elixir and her acclaimed solo album. This intimate performance mode is the perfect setting for Katie to revisit her most popular songs.
THUR 27 JUNE GOLD COAST THE ARTS CENTRE GOLD COAST
‘There is a crowd of hundreds but when she sings it feels like its just Katie Noonan, a piano and you.’
with guest Jack Carty www.theartscentregc.com.au (07) 5588 4000
SAT 29 JUNE BYRON BAY BYRON BAY COMMUNITY CENTRE
with guest Jack Carty www.byroncentre.com.au (02) 6685 6807
triple j, Street Press Australia, Select Music and Archangelsky presents
Friday 5 July Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane
Saturday 6 July Elsewhere, Gold Coast Tic k e t inf o at w w w. g ol df ie l d sm u sic . com O u t now on C D / L P / Dig i ta l on E M I I nc l u de s “ Da r k A g a in ” , “ Yo u ’ r e S t il l G one ” , “ M ov e s ” a nd “ Tr e e ho u se ”
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T I M E O F F I S S U E # 1 6 3 2 W E D N E S D AY 1 9 J U N E 2 0 1 3
“So I just made some snacks and bought some wine and had a little knob circle!” - SEJA (P14)
They still ill allll feel kinda fresh – but maybe that’s because we haven’t played them in fucking ages.”
“I’m just belting my way through the jungle, because you’ve got to have simplicity again, you need a simple life to write songs.” - Tim Freedman of THE WHITLAMS (P18)
“Is LL Cool J, aka James Smith, still the ‘Greatest Of All Time’?” - Cyclone with OG FLAVAS (P27)
“If you’ve had the right number of beers anyone sounds great doing Creedence songs.” - Dan Condon reviews JOHN FOGERTY’S WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE (P22)
- Andy Kent of YOU AM I
“The Ice On The Dune experience makes complete sense. This is music that has been created in the hope of bringing people closer together.” - Benny Doyle reviews EMPIRE OF THE SUN’S ICE ON THE DUNE (P22)
0P FROM 7:3 ESSIONS E N U J S 9 1 C WEEDMPO ACOUSTEI MAN,
T E E WHIT WITH JMYANN, MAT DUK E JESSTRY FREE EN
0P FROM 7:3 N WITH E N U J E 0 THURSPO2 MUSIC KITCIHSTAEKS,
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0 FROM 5:0 E N U J 3 S SUNUN2DAY SESSIROENET
- MUNICIPAL WASTE, Live Review (P24)
- Bethany Cannan reviews BEHIND THE CANDELABRA (P25)
O P M TAE5=BGH5;9
T TE, FO E, THE SYNDICISAT, THE CHARNGD, TUSK OPTIM, TEN THOUSA NEEERENVTREY
“The Hi-Fi becomes a sea of hair as heads thrash back and forth and stage divers dive, flip and crash land into the first few rows.” “Thorson eventually develops a drug habit care of the ‘California diet’, a destructive concoction of prescribed barbiturates.”
T A E V LI
If I wentt andd did the same material, people would say: ‘What the fuck are you doing? We want new stuff!’ It’s the reverse for musicians: people hate new stuff.” - The Look of Love star STEVE COOGAN
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0P FROM 7:3 VE BAND) E N U J L 4 MONOC2KAOKE (WITH I
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ES MIDNIGH PRIMAL WITH N BY INSTINCT, DRIVENCE + MORE EVIDERY FREE ENT 0PM FROM 6:0 ME WITH E N U J A WEDTA2T6E OF ORIGINNGG, THE SHAPES S EN ANNI STENPTH RY FREE E
AIRS AR T S N W O D OWLER B @B 10PM
(NYC $10 FROM S E E N H U C J / N 1 W A FRI 2ST KIDS BR LO E FROEMR10$P15M N U J 2 2 T SA IAN SUMM
OON COMING S
EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Contributing Editor: Benny Doyle Food & Arts Coordinator: Cassandra Fumi ADVERTISING Advertising Account Executive: Alex Iveson, Zac Gould DESIGN & LAYOUT Cover Design/Designer: Matt Davis ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Administration: Leanne Simpson CONTRIBUTORS: Time Off: Ben Preece, Dan Condon, Daniel Johnson, Chris Yates, Matt O’Neill, Adam Curley, Lochlan Watt, Tyler McLoughlan, Mitch Knox, Sam Hobson, Tony McMahon, Benny Doyle, Jake Sun, Brendan Telford, Cyclone, Siobhain McDonnell, Sky Kirkham, Bradley Armstrong, Carley Hall, Madeleine Laing, Tom Hersey, Jazmine O’Sullivan, Tom Noyes, Samantha Armatys, Amorina Fitzgerald-Hood
6 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
Front Row: Baz McAlister, Mandy McAlister, Helen Stringer, Matt O’Neill, Guy Davis, Samuel Hobson, Danielle O’Donohue, Dave Drayton, Anthony Carew Photography: Stephen Booth, Kane Hibberd, Terry Soo, John Taylor, John Stubbs, Rick Clifford, Sky Kirkham EDITORIAL POLICY The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. © PUBLISHER: Street Press Australia Pty Ltd Suite 11/354 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 POSTAL: Locked Bag 4300 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 Phone: 07 3252 9666 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTED BY: Rural Press
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[NEWS NEWS] n a t i o n a l
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GREAT SCOTT Fusing together R&B, jazz, hip hop and neu soul while managing to apply a personal stamp to all styles, Jill Scott’s music and distinct vocal style has seen her become one of the most celebrated female artists from the past 20 years. Now, she’s excited to announce her very first sojourn down our way, bringing the emotive live experience that she’s renowned for to capital cities around the country. With her 2011 Light Of The Sun hitting the top of the Billboard charts, and having worked with everyone from Will Smith and Lupe Fiasco to will.i.am and Mos Def, it seems like this is one of the Scott’s final artistic accomplishments to tick off, so check out the formidable contemporary queen at these shows and help her do it in style: Sunday 17 November, Riverside Theatre, Perth; Tuesday 19, Palais Theatre, Melbourne; Thursday 21, The Tivoli, Brisbane, and Saturday 23, Enmore Theatre, Sydney.
IN THE STUDIO BEN SALTER
SEEING RIGHT THROUGH
WHERE DID YOU RECORD YOUR NEW EP AND WHY? In random non-studio locations across Europe with a bunch of different folks as part of a collaborative songwriting trip I did in 2012. Then I finished them up at Nowhere Audio in Brisbane earlier this year. European Vacation out July. Ben Salter touring nationally. Check The Guide for dates.
ALTERNATIVE CAREER TOM SPENDER
SET FIRE TO YOUR LIVES Brace yourself progressive rock fans the country over: Karnivool are back in the fold once more. After four long years, the Perth group are ready to present their third studio record, Asymmetry, and by all reports the quintet are excited about opening new doors and evolving from their ARIA number two record, Sound Awake. And making sure these shows are some nights to remember, the old guard have invited one hell of a new contender to support them on all dates, with Northlane bringing their djent-influenced metalcore to the masses. Reacquaint yourself with one of Australia’s hard rock heavyweights and introduce yourself to the young breed when the two acts play the following shows: Thursday 1 and Friday 2 August, Melbourne Town Hall; Sunday 4, The Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney (licensed/all ages); Wednesday 7, Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, and Sunday 11, Metro City, Perth. The national tour is proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
PAYING HOMAGE TO THE GREATS
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING MUSIC, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING? I’d be the guy that checks your gas meter. It’s very low stress. Tom Spender is touring. Check The Guide for dates.
THIS WEEK’S RELEASES KANYE WEST Yeezus Rock-A-Fella
YOU AM I (REISSUE) Hourly Daily Sony
DEAP VALLY Sistrionix Island/Universal
‘TRIX OR TREAT Big-time favourite Sydneysider Dialectrix continues to push the envelope on the domestic hip hop scene, and with the prolific MC’s third album, The Cold Light Of Day, the microphone maverick shows once again that when it comes to ‘Trix, you can only expect the unexpected. Proclaimed as “thinking music”, The Cold Light... is a challenging and ultimately rewarding full-length, with the artist’s soul poured out across the release, his candour and honesty only offered in the hope of others using it to their advantage. Take it all on board when Dialectrix, backed up by turntablist DJ 2Buck, comes to a venue near you, performing Friday 2 August, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle; Saturday 3, The Standard, Sydney; Friday 9, Mojo’s, Fremantle; Saturday 10, Ya Ya’s, Perth; Friday 16, Revolver, Melbourne; Friday 23, Coniston Lane, Brisbane, and Saturday 24, Solbar, Maroochydore. All national dates are proudly presented by Street Press Australia.
Glorious Momentum is the new record from Sydney troubadour Isaac Graham and his three-piece partners in song, The Great Unknown. An album full of spirited folk punk singalongs, this tour marks the first time the full team are hitting the road, making this the perfect chance to either reacquaint or introduce yourself to the startling charm and charismatic storytelling of Isaac Graham: Friday 19 July, Yours & Owls, Wollongong; Friday 26, The Bunker, Coogee; Saturday 27, The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle; Thursday 1 August, Crowbar, Brisbane; Saturday 10, The Public Bar, Melbourne; Wednesday 14, Lizotte’s, Kincumber; Thursday 15, Phoenix Bar, Canberra, and Friday 16, Black Wire Records, Annandale. There’s a solid list of local supports too, with fresh faces at almost every gig, so head to theMusic.com.au to find out who else will be joining Graham and co. at a show close to you.
Fresh from ripping stages apart right across Europe, Lo! return home following a 25-date tour with Cult Of Luna and The Ocean to launch their own prize piece of sludge metal decay, Monstrorum Historia. Uncompromising and unable to be contained, the Sydney quartet will deliver three paint-peeling east coast shows with spasmodic post-hardcore supergroup High Tension (featuring former members of Young & Restless and The Nation Blue), happening Saturday 13 July, The Reverence, Melbourne with Jurassic Penguin; Friday 19, Crowbar, Brisbane with The Fevered, and Saturday 20, Spectrum, Sydney with Totally Unicorn.
8 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
KNOCKOUT BLOW Even with only four bands announced, Hits & Pits 2.0 was shaping up to be a genuine riot. Now, this vision has pretty much been solidified with the addition of Joey Cape’s Bad Astronaut, long-standing Indiana crew The Ataris and old school Brits Snuff. These bands add to the list of already announced headliners, Boysetsfire, No Fun At All, Jughead’s Revenge and Off With Their Heads, the combination pretty much making the event a must-attend for punk fans of any ilk. As previously announced, shows happen Friday 15 November, Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast; Saturday 16, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; Sunday 17, The Hi-Fi, Sydney; Friday 22, Palace Theatre, Melbourne, and Sunday 24, Capitol and Amplifier, Perth.
Every Time I Die
DIE ANOTHER DAY
THE FULL EXPERIENCE
OUT FROM THE SHADOWS LIGHTNING DUST
They were only together for a single decade (we know), yet The Beatles changed music, and popular culture as we now know it, forever. Between them, Paul McCartney and John Lennon amassed a collection of 23 number one singles and although they can’t play those on stage together anymore, they can be recognised and respected by other artists. Which is where LET IT BE: The Beatles Songs of Lennon & McCartney fits in. Featuring celebrated Aussie musicians Doug Parkinson, John Paul Young, Glenn Shorrock and Jack Jones, this awesome foursome will run through 32 of the songwriting pair’s most famous tracks including Eleanor Rigby, Come Together, Hey Jude and of course, Let It Be. With a limited run of capital city dates pencilled in, you can catch this show: Saturday 24 August, Hamer Hall, Melbourne; Thursday 29, QPAC, Brisbane, and Friday 30 and Saturday 31, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House.
All danceable guitar lines and sharp vocal verses, Halcyon Days, the debut album from Sydney’s Glass Towers shimmers with a summertime glow, even in these cold winter months. The band have fast become a favourite of the national youth broadcaster and are also making inroads into the overseas market, having recently toured both the UK and Japan. Now, the band will be launching the full-length with a national tour featuring Jordan Leser (excluding Western Australian dates), so make sure you check out one of the hottest young indie pop prospects in the country when Glass Towers play the following dates: Friday 9 August, Prince Of Wales, Bunbury; Saturday 10, Amplifier, Perth; Sunday 11, Newport Hotel, Fremantle; Friday 16, The Standard, Sydney; Saturday 17, The Toff, Melbourne; Wednesday 21, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane; Thursday 22, The Loft, Gold Coast, and Friday 23, The Northern, Byron Bay.
BRINGING THE HYSTERICS Their music twists and snaps with the unpredictability of a desert cobra, and over three albums British mathcore whiz kids Rolo Tomassi have proven themselves to be just as unquantifiable, striving forward on their own watch, leaving club and festival stages smouldering in their wake. Now the quartet return to Australia for the first time in three years, playing national shows with tuck-back titans Totally Unicorn and fellow hellraisers Stockades (not appearing in Perth). Enjoy these bands all up in your face: Wednesday 25 September, Amplifier, Perth; Thursday 26; Friday 27, The Reverence Hotel, Melbourne; Sunday 29, Wrangler Studios, Melbourne (all ages); Wednesday 2 October, Magpies Club, Canberra; Thursday 3, The Croatian Club, Newcastle (licensed/all ages); Friday 4, The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney; Saturday 5, Black Wire Records, Sydney (all ages); Monday 7, Yours & Owls, Wollongong (all ages); Thursday 10, Crowbar, Brisbane, and Friday 11, Sun Distortion, Brisbane (all ages). Tickets for all dates go on sale Monday 1 July.
Continuing their dominance as one of the most forwardthinking forces in all of metal, Every Time I Die refuse to be contained by what the genre demands and spread their riff wings far and wide. Fusing elements of Southern rock’n’roll, thrash, hardcore and punk into hedonistic party records with the lyrical sharps of a glistening blade, the furious Buffalo bruisers lead, not follow, and their unwavering onstage energy is the stuff of legend. With latest record, Ex Lives, reaching the Top 20 on the Billboard charts, Every Time I Die are running hot, so get ready to get heavy when the quartet arrives to tear holes in our country. They play Friday 18 October, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; Saturday 19, Manning Bar, Sydney; Sunday 20, Corner Hotel, Melbourne, and Thursday 24, Amplifier, Perth. Tickets for all dates are on sale this Thursday 20 June.
LET YOURSELF DRIFT AWAY Having sold out all the dates on his God Loves You When You’re Dancing launch tour, Vance Joy is looking to spread the love once more with a national tour to support his recent single, Riptide. With an arresting voice that allows his folk strumming to soar, Joy has fast found fans both domestically and abroad, and after lapping around the US for the past few weeks as main support for Lissie, he’s excited to return home and play for his brethren Down Under. Joy will perform the following headline dates: Friday 23 August, Fly By Night, Fremantle; Friday 30, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney; Saturday 31 August, The Zoo, and Tuesday 3 September, The Corner, Melbourne. Fraser A Gorman is supporting throughout.
WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE
OPEN MIC SHOWCASE NIGHT 7.30PM–10.30PM
THURSDAY 20 JUNE
OPEN MIC NIGHT 7.30PM–10.30PM
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5PM–8.30PM LATIN CONNECTION PRESENTS:
LATIN CAVE BRISBANES HEART OF LATIN DANCE, MUSIC AND FOOD 9PM
SATURDAY 22 JUNE
GER FENNELLY 2.30PM–6PM
MURPHY’S PIGS 4PM
LIVE WALLABIES V LIONS
JONSON STREET BYRON BAY Friday 21 June
GAY PARIS, THE NERVE, THE CHARGE & HAMMERS Saturday 22 June
THE BEARDS, LITTLE BASTARDS & ENOLA FALL Saturday 29 June
MY BYRON BAY RIOT Thursday 4 July
ASH GRUNWALD + BENJALU Saturday 6 July
OFF THE LEASH 9.30PM–12AM
SUNDAY 23 JUNE
GER FENNELLY 2.30PM–6.30PM
GUEST APPEARANCE BY:
HERMITAGE GREEN 4PM
STRINGS FOR AMMO 7PM–11.30PM
MONDAY 24 JUNE
MICKS TRIVIA 7PM–9PM
TUESDAY 25 JUNE
DEEP STACK POKER 7PM
ROYSTON VASIE Friday 12 July
WANDERING EYES + KIT BRAY + KYLE LIONHART Saturday 13 July
SLEEPMAKESWAVES Friday 19 July
LYALL MOLONEY Saturday 20 July
LIME CORDIALE Friday 2 August
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MORE BLOOD ON THE WATER x
SPRINGING BACK TO ACTION Aphids
A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME AND SPACE Aphids and Sydney Performance Space have announced their latest project, Forever Now: an outer space time capsule that contains art works that present time that we live in. The art project looks at our cultural obsession with immortalising ourselves. The project is calling for all artists to submit one-minute works in audiovisual formats, with 44 of the best works submitted to be launched into deep space in digital and physical forms. Artist submissions have opened for works via the project’s website. NASA’s 1977 Voyager Golden Records was the inspiration behind the project. Voyager Golden Records was a collection of phonograph records that were launched into space that portrayed life on Earth at the time. They were launched in the hope that future humans or perhaps even extraterrestrial life would find them. All the submissions chosen to venture into space will be screened in Tasmania at the 2014 MONA FOMA Festival. For more information go to forevernow.me.
WEDNESDAY 19 Bright Young Things Club: Kristy Chambers – author of Get Well Soon, (a memoir of her time as a nurse) will be guest at the latest Bright Young Things Club. Chambers will lead a talk about her experiences as an author, followed by trivia and games and a chance to mingle with other clever people like you. A bi-monthly book club, Riverbends Books, 6.30pm
THURSDAY 20 Das Superlaunch – the launch of the latest issue by Das Superpaer, a printed book of emerging contemporary art called The Body Politic. Guest edited by Drew Pettifer, it explores artists use of gender, sexuality and race. IMA Open Late, 6pm.
FRIDAY 21 The Songs Of The Haight Ashbury Stage Show – played to packed tents at Bluesfest this year, this live performance of songs from the 1960s. Performers are backed by the All-Star Full Tilt Band. Tribal Theatre, 8pm, to Saturday 22 June.
SATURDAY 22 Sugar – an exhibition that reflects on the history of the first South Sea Islanders coming to Australia. There are photographs, recordings of personal stories, and music from the time. There is also a selection of works from artist Max Dupain that depicts the sugar industry in Fiji during the mid-20th century. QAG, to Monday 7 October. Ballet Revolución – performed extensively across Europe, this ballet fuses together classical and contemporary dance with a soundtrack of Latin American rhythms and modern day hits from artists such as Prince and Shakira. A high-energy performance that blends the old with the new. QPAC, 7.30pm
SUNDAY 23 Southern Cross Soloists: Rhythm and Dance – a dance and percussion performance featuring guest Timothy Constable. It’s a mix a works from Baroque with vibrant twist including dance. QPAC, 3pm. Tristana – it’s closing night of the 16th Spanish Film Festival, and to bring it home there will be a screening of Luis Buñuel’s surreal masterpiece. You will also be greeted with Sangria, me gusta. Palace Centro Cinemas, 6.15pm.
MONDAY 24 Venus in Fur – a sexy play about playwright director Thomas who can’t find the right woman. He gets more than he expected when he meets Vanda and together they act out Thomas’ latest play. Taken from the 1870 novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, this is the original Fifty Shades of Grey. QPAC, 6.30pm, to Saturday 27 July.
It’s Australia’s hip hop Homebake, and in 2013 Brisbane rhyme fans get to once more feast on the goodness of Sprung Festival, taking place at Victoria Park Cricket Ovals on Saturday 21 September. This year is easily the boldest and most explosive snapshot of what’s hot in Oz hip hip right now, with 360, pictured, and Drapht heading up proceedings, followed by a plethora of heirs to the throne including Seth Sentry, The Funkoars, Horrorshow, Thundamentals, Diafrix, Brad Strut, Allday, The Crate Cartel, Bam Bam, Lazy Grey & Jake Biz, Dialectrix, Purpose, Mr Hill & Rahjconkas, K21, Eloji, Komplete, Chelsea Jane and Savo, not to mention the all conquering skip hop hero that is Urthboy! With tickets getting snapped up at a rate of knots, you better scoot and get yours, with general admission $79+BF, while VIP spots can be secured for just a bit extra at $130+BF. Head to Oztix, Moshtix, Ticketmaster and the event website now and let’s celebrate our cracking homegrown product!
come 2014. After laying waste to the southern states, HTP arrive back in Queensland to wind their tour up. Right now, the only full bill confirmed is happening at X&Y Bar, where the band will perform as part of Snitch on Thursday 18 July along with Antagonist AD, Wanderer and The Archivist. However, Headwound The Pony are also down to play another two all ages shows, at Norville Beer Garden, Toowoomba on Friday 19 and back in Brisbane at Studio 454 on Saturday 20 – we’re just not sure who else will be joining them. Stay abreast of any developments by checking back to The Guide on theMusic.com.au closer to the date.
EVERYONE’S SMILING To celebrate the launch of 4ZZZ’s On Demand service, an online radio system that provides the opportunity for ardent community radio supporters to re-stream their favourite 102.1FM programs, the crew at the station will be hosting Happy-Fest, with the announcers stepping up to curate the kick arse event. The ‘yobbo punk’ of Sydney’s Raw Prawn, pictured, and Melbourne synth poppers Forces will be flying the interstate flags at the event, while a host of local acts will be getting wheeled out including Barbiturates, Multiple Man, Happy Times and Samedi Sound System, which is said to be an utter dub bass bludgeoning of the senses. Happening in Winn Lane and just around the corner at The Zoo between 3pm and 1am on Saturday 6 July, there will also be a number of visual artists on hand to project imagery across the venue’s walls all night long. Tickets are now available through Oztix, with 4ZZZ subscribers getting there’s for $10+BF while the *gasp* non-subscribers have to pay $20+BF. Get out and support this Brissie music broadcasting institution and have a hell of a time while you’re at it!
DROP IT LIKES IT’S HOT With more than 150,000 likes on Facebook, there’s no denying the pulling power those electro dub-party starters Bombs Away hold when they step behind the decks. Having remixed and worked with the likes of Cee Lo Green, Katy Perry and Akon, the Western Australian duo have risen through the ranks fast, and are now recognised as one of the most popular dance acts in our fair country. Now, the multi-platinum selling anarchists turn up on our doorstep for one night of wild behaviour, performing at The Met nightclub, Friday 19 July.
CRYING OUT Riding the high cloud of dream pop all the way to our shores, chilled out American oOoOO (pronounced ‘oh’, because we know you were scratching your head, too) will be playing a limited run of shows on this, his debut visit. Emerging from his cave, the mysterious producer combines hip hop beats with pop-centric melodies and other more down-tempo elements to create a textural feast full of drama, love and pain. Joined on this tour by Paris-Via-Berlin vocalist Butterclock, who has provided guest verses on a bunch of oOoOO’s tracks, the two emerging artists will reveal all when they take the stage at Alhambra Lounge, Sunday 30 June with the Kush Club DJs also in the house. Grab your tickets through Oztix for $20+BF.
PONY UP Brisbane deathcore six-piece Headwound The Pony are gearing up for their first tour and are fucking exciting, potentially opening a can of worms that will see the band roll into an international touring schedule
10 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
They are the undisputed kings of metalcore – nationally, internationally – whichever way you look. So it comes as no surprise that Parkway Drive have had to add a second Brisbane 18+ show to their upcoming national tour. Celebrating a decade of riff brilliance, Byron Bay’s finest will now also be playing The Tivoli on Tuesday 1 October, in addition to the already sold out Sunday 29 September slot, and the all ages date taking place on Monday 30. Tickets for the new show and the all ages gig can be purchased through Ticketek for $46.50+BF. And of course, they are playing a home town all ages gig, too. This happens at the Byron Bay YAC Amphitheatre on Saturday 28, with tickets available through Oztix for $44+BF.
RIDE THE LIGHTNING They might have been birthed from the beachside strip of the Gold Coast, but Electric Horse are anything but sunny. The thick slabs of alternative hard rock the band deliver are full of confidence and exude talent, no surprise really given that the players involved come from the past glories of Sunk Loto, Lump and King Mungi, and on their debut album from February, Venomous, the quintet realise their vision with an accomplished collection of thunderous cuts. The band will be showcasing this record at The Zoo, Thursday 1 August (with Jericco, Forever The Optimist and Guards Of May); Friday 16, The Northern, Byron Bay (with Hammers and Moustache On Fire); and Saturday 17, Miami Tavern Shark Bar, Gold Coast (with These Four Walls and Moustache On Fire.
WE WANT MORE PARTY! Since their 2010 debut EP, local five-piece The Belligerents have continued to develop their assured sound, their indie dance progress glaringly apparent with latest single All I Have. With a bounding groove, the track marks the first taste from their forthcoming record and is sure to get blood pumping on dancefloors up and down the east coast when the quintet launch the new jam with a run of dates. The guys play two Queensland shows, happening Thursday 15 August at Black Bear Lodge, and Saturday 17 at Solbar, Sunshine Coast. Get along and get moving to one of Brisbane’s most promising live acts.
CALLING OUT The Earth Frequency Festival crew know their way around a good ol’ boogie down, and the team have put together an ultra-fat line-up of bands, solo artists, DJs and sweet smooth vibes. Headlining the evening are Kooii, pictured, who will be delivering their Afrobeat and world rhythms with vigour, abetted by fellow local crews Chocolate Strings, Ladi Abundance and Georgia Potter in solo mode. And breaking the sets up quite nicely will be the always bouncing DJ Rudekat and DJ Papa Bitcho, so there’ll be no escape from the party. If you want to reach out and celebrate the thriving roots/reggae scene that’s happening right on our doorstep, then get along to The Hi-Fi on Saturday 13 July. Tickets are available now through the venue website for $15+BF.
BLEEDING THROUGH BILL THICKENS The upcoming Bleeding Through farewell tour has just been given a further brutal boost with the announcement of national supports for all dates. Along with Perth deathcore types Make Them Suffer, Melbourne snarlers Boris The Blade will be joining the tour, the quintet continuing to impress with their full-scale riffing, while local acts Hand Of The Architect from the Gold Coast and Brisbane’s own Bayharbour round out a colossal Queensland billing. The five bands will send the pit into a flurry when they kick off the tour at The Rev, Thursday 18 July, with tickets still available through Oztix for $39+BF.
PREVIEW THE PREATURES Their show at The Hideaway on Friday 21 June is all sold out, but fans of The Preatures now have another chance to check out the group when they turn the volume right down for a stripped-back and intimate show at Southside Tea Room, prior to their plugged in headline slot. It’s free for all and kicks off from 8pm. And if you’re feeling good, why not hang around (well, leave and come back) the following night, Saturday 22, where two Sydney troubadours – Richard Cuthbert and Brian Campeau – will deliver some tune to the room. And as you’d probably guess, this is a freebie, too.
RAPID ENERGY, MATE People are loving REMi. Seriously, this is a hip hopper on the up and up, and if you’re not in the know already then get the know now. The Melbourne freestyler has a smooth flow and smart rhymes seemingly falling out of him, and with laidback production that all but matches his vibe and disposition, the package marks a refreshing change to the long-establish boom-bap heaviness of Aussie hip hop. And all this in only a few years for the young MC! Receiving plenty of love for his latest single Sangria, REMi is bringing his refreshing mix up our way for one special performance, happening Thursday 18 July at Bowler Bar, with tickets available for purchase on the evening.
PERFORMERS AND SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR LITTLE BIGSOUND Anticipation has been building steadily for 2013’s Little BIGSOUND, the younger sibling of the main BIGSOUND shebang which is now recognised as this country’s most important music conference. The Little version, however, isn’t designed for established players in the industry; it’s been put together to assist future managers, label owners, A&R reps and more discover their feet, develop their skill sets and learn from those who live and breathe music. Performers and speakers for the day have just been announced, with angelic voiced Wafia Al-Rikabi, young Rockhampton group on the rise Weathered, and folk popster Hannah Karydas all playing live. There will also be loads of speakers including Kahl Wallace and Jindhu Lawrie from The Medics, Chris O’Neill from APRA and Michelle Brown from 4ZZZ plus many more. For tickets to the event, happening 9am-6pm, Friday 12 July at The Edge, Southbank, head to the BIGSOUND website now – $33+BF.
THIS WEEK at The Hi-Fi The Beards Fri 21 Jun The Red Paintings Sat 22 Jun
JUST ANNOUNCED Ash (IRL) performing 1977 Wed 21 Aug The Paper Kites Fri 6 Sep Every Time I Die (USA) Fri 18 Oct Mickey Avalon (USA) Thu 24 Oct
COMING UP Mono (JPN) Wed 26 Jun La Dispute (USA) Fri 28 Jun Baby Animals Sat 29 Jun Ash Grunwald Fri 5 Jul Tall Poppy Indie RockParty Sat 6 July Kooii Sat 13 Jul Saint Vitus (USA) & Monarch! (FRA) Thu 18 Jul Stereophonics (USA) Fri 19 Jul Nejo Y Dalmata (PUR) Sat 27 Jul RevFest Sat 3 aug Shapeshifter (NZ) Sat 10 Aug Flyleaf (USA) Thu 15 Aug Clare Bowditch Fri 16 Aug Midnight Juggernauts Fri 30 Aug Anberlin (USA) Wed 4 Sep Soilwork (SWE) Wed 2 Oct Amorphis (FIN) Sat 12 Oct Enslaved (NOR) Rescheduled to Sun 3 Nov
Hits & Pits 2.0 Feat.
The Ataris (USA) Sat 16 Nov
Nile (USA) Thu 14 Nov
TIX + INFO THEHIFI.COM.AU
1300 THE HIFI
125 BOUNDARY ST, WEST END
[FEATURES FEATURES] Oz rock legends You Am I are turning back the clock to revisit the incredibly fertile period in the mid-‘90s that spawned their killer first three albums. Bassist Andy Kent takes Steve Bell for a stroll down memory lane.
“I think the [change in sound was because] we did have time to stretch out a bit and look at how each section of the song might work – we could add extra guitar parts and look at it from a point of view that was not just three dudes in a room, which was the mindset we had prior to that – and look at it as songs that have beginnings, middles and ends, and take into account that the record needs to have flow. Tim had an idea of how the record should roll out – whether it got exactly there you’d have to ask him – but the record has a bit more depth and breadth to it. Maybe that’s because we had more time and more space and more gear and all that kind of stuff.” It’s quite staggering in hindsight to reflect on the sonic change that the band underwent and the goals that they managed to achieve in these three short years. “I don’t know. I think when you’re young and you’re into it you just get on with it,” Kent laughs. “I don’t recall thinking, ‘Jeez, this is too much’ or ‘The pressure’s on.’ I think we were just hungry to make it work and just get it done pretty much.” Now they’re on the verge of a tour that finds them playing Hi Fi Way and Hourly Daily in their entirety, and Kent says that You Am I are collectively relishing the opportunity to revisit their roots. “I try not to listen to them too much – obviously I’ve been listening to them because we’re putting them out again and mastering, but I try not to go forensically through them and learn them again. It’s all in there. But we got in the room on the weekend for the first time and smashed through it, and it sounded great actually. We’re trying to put it together in a simple way – not overthinking, not adding anything, just playing them as they were – and they sound great. It’s nice to know that you can do something and twenty years later you can pull it out, do it again and it doesn’t feel like anything’s changed or too much time has actually passed, which is kind of odd. They still all feel kinda fresh – but maybe that’s because we haven’t played them in fucking ages.” WHO: You Am I WHAT: Sound As Ever, Hi Fi Way, Hourly Daily reissues (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June, The Tivoli; Friday 26 July, Splendour In The Grass, North Byron Parklands
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“There is some pressure when you’ve got number one records happening, but we also had some time to relax and reflect – we made it in Sydney, where we lived, in a big studio, and got to stretch out a bit with sounds and arrangements and extra instrumentation. It was nice to be able to do that – the last two records were like, ‘Okay, let’s turn up – we’ve got from here to here and we have to walk out with it done.’ So we could rent in what we wanted, or beg, borrow and steal for things like Mellotrons and different amplifiers and bass recording
techniques – all of those things that you start to want to explore we could and we did.
“The beer sort of came out of nowhere – I ran into the guys from Young Henrys about a year ago and said, ‘Your beer’s really good you guys,’ and they said, ‘Fuck, let’s do a brew!’ So we just nutted it out,“ Kent chuckles. “The demand has been insane, so those poor guys are now scrambling to make enough so it doesn’t just run out after a few weeks. We’re going to sell it at gigs if we can, depending on the venues, which is exciting – if I was a fan of a band and I turned up to the Enmore Theatre or wherever and I could drink their booze I’d be stoked, so that’s what’s going to happen.
the back of a stream of radio-friendly singles and some brilliantly successful tours, but there was to be no rest for the wicked. They say that success breeds success, and You Am I now had the luxury to record at their leisure and experiment even further with their sound, the result being another huge stylistic turn for album number three, Hourly Daily, this time recorded at home by Wayne Connolly and Paul McKercher.
The Hi Fi Daily Double Tour and the CD reissue of the first three albums isn’t all that lucky You Am I punters have to look forward to – those same first three albums are also getting a long overdue vinyl release (“We’re getting them made in a high-quality pressing plant in Germany... We’ve gone all out and hopefully the punters will appreciate the effort that’s gone into them,” according to Kent), and there’s even a special beer (titled ‘Brew Am I’, natch) being crafted by Sydney microbrewery Young Henrys for the occasion.
and who you were as a group and how things have changed – it’s kind of healthy in a way. It’s good to stop, collect your thoughts and look back briefly before you move ahead. It’s been interesting and positive so far.” Back in 1993 You Am I were a brash trio – comprising Kent, frontman and creative lynchpin Tim Rogers and drummer Mark Tunaley – and they decamped to Cannon Falls, Minnesota with Sonic Youth’s Lee Renaldo in the producer’s chair (they’d already worked with him on 1993’s Coprolalia EP), with the aim of capturing their propulsive live show in the studio. “I think that’s how we approached anything, as though it were a gig, whether we were in the studio or not,” Kent laughs. “No one sat down and had a cup of Horlicks beside them while they were making that record – you put the headphones on and you go at it. I think that’s all we knew to do back then. We didn’t have a pile of stuff, but we’d been throwing out EPs before that – it’s not like we’d been around for two years collecting songs and got to unleash the whole lot – but what we had we were happy with. We were pretty efficient really; it’s not like there’s a ton of stuff left over on any record. What’s on there is kind of it.” The album was a great calling card for You Am I – singles Adam’s Rib and the evergreen Berlin Chair in particular securing a lot of airplay – but it wasn’t until the next album they really hit their straps. By then Russell “Rusty” Hopkinson had replaced Tunaley behind the kit to forge the nucleus of the You Am I we know and love today (Davey Lane joined the ranks on lead guitar in 1999 to form the now “classic” line-up), and in a short time the sound of the band changed dramatically. “I think we’d just been listening to more English stuff, like late-‘60s Kinks and The Pretty Things, and there was less Black Crowes-via-Seattle which was the vibe of the first record,” Kent ponders of Hi Fi Way, recorded once more with Renaldo, this time in New York. “It was a little more powerful ‘60s English rock, but with its own songwriting skill, like The Kinks for example. And obviously the Seattle boom was a big influence with all of those bands. “Lee [Renaldo]’s thing was to not try and take what you did and manipulate it and turn it into what he thought was the right thing to do – he was into clearing a path really, and letting the band let what they do best come out and come to fruition. He was coming at it from a musician’s point of view, and wanted to talk about music rather than too much controlling and analysing. He was like, ‘Let’s get in there and get going, and I’ll comment where I think I need to’ – it was, ‘Let’s hit record’ pretty much. I think if he was the other way around we would have got different records, because we were pretty impatient bull-at-a-gate types at that point. It was a good mix.” Hi-Fi Way went to the top of the Australian album charts on
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WHEN IT REIGNS IT POURS
he passing of time is a hard thing to get a handle on sometimes. For instance it’s difficult to believe that Sydney outfit You Am I have been at the forefront of the Australian rock’n’roll vanguard for two decades now. Somehow they still seem like the brash upstarts who burst onto the scene in a blaze of hooks and attitude back in the early-‘90s, carving a swathe through the competition with their adroit songwriting, powerful live show and endearing gang sensibilities. They seemed to live too fast and with too scant a respect for authority to survive to become elder statesmen of the scene, but that’s exactly what has transpired. Indeed it’s now been two decades since they released their incendiary 1993 debut, Sound As Ever, which ushered in an incredible era for the band. In the next few years they released two more critically-lauded albums – 1995’s Hi Fi Way and the following year’s Hourly Daily, which both topped the Australian album charts – and won a swag of ARIAs and similar accolades, setting them up for their long and distinguished career. They’ve never seemed a bunch keen to dwell on former glories, but even iconic bands such as You Am I need to acknowledge important band milestones every now and then. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sound As Ever they’re reissuing this seminal first triumvirate of albums – re-mastered and with a swag of bonus material – and embarking on a lengthy stint of album-themed concerts that will celebrate both their tenure together and their ongoing friendship, as well as giving their many fervent fans the chance to revisit this glorious and fertile era of Aussie rock’n’roll. “You never really plan these things, they just come about,” muses bassist Andy Kent of the celebration. “I think we decided to maybe kind of play these records and have a look back, and re-release them just because it’s hard to find some of this stuff – you know, the singles and the B-sides are selling on eBay for money, and people are always chasing the old EPs or whatever. So we just thought that the time was right to get all of this old gear out, add some good stuff to it and reward the punters for being with the band such a long time. We’re all getting on better than we ever have and we’re playing well, so why not? “We never have [looked over our shoulders before], it’s not how we roll, and we always wonder whether it’s a good idea or not, so it’s proving to be interesting. Looking back twenty years at what you used to do and how you were
MAKE IT ALL SHINY AND NEW
“But we haven’t tried it yet – tomorrow is the tasting, so we’ll see. If I wake up the next day with a screaming hangover then I’ve made a giant mistake and handed some pain to all the You Am I fans, so hopefully it’s good!”
NEVER COMING, FINALLY HERE The Red Paintings have finally dropped their debut album The Revolution Is Never Coming this month after more than five years in the making. Frontman and songwriter Trash McSweeney talks Tyler McLoughlan through the process of becoming $230,000 poorer in pursuit of his epic creative vision.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 22 June, The Hi-Fi; Saturday 6 July, The Coolangatta Hotel
WHAT: The Revolution Is Never Coming (Bird’s Robe Records/MGM)
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WHO: The Red Paintings
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before. I lost my girlfriend during the experience, I neglected my parents and my family – for months I didn’t speak to them, sometimes longer – I lost friends, I lost a lot of money; I put everything on hold to create that artwork, so it’s nice to let it go.”
rogressive theatrical performance group The Red Paintings are far from your average rock band. Their stage costumes incorporate robots, aliens, sea creatures and geishas, they create artworks live onstage, often using naked, human canvases, and their musical expression is driven largely by the synesthesia of eccentric frontman Trash McSweeney. Their modus operandi attracts both awe and contempt in significant amounts, the latter considerably heightened after generating $40,000 from fans back in 2008 to record a debut album that seemed like it would never materialise. Late in 2011, McSweeney told Time Off that The Revolution Is Never Coming was finished and ready for a 2012 release; stepping off a plane from his part-time home in LA, he explains why it took another long 18 months to release. “I’ll tell you what happened,” he starts with a sigh. “We’d go and do a mix and we all decided, ‘I think it’s good – let’s get ready to release it.’ And then I’d get on a plane, [listen to that mix] and go, ‘Oh, my body doesn’t like it.’ Instincts were saying, ‘This isn’t the right mix… Nup, I can’t release it.’ And I’d be pissing a lot of people off; people were like, ‘Oh fuck, Trash, do you want to commit artistic suicide here? You can’t just do this.’ And I was like, ‘I’m really sorry, but I said to the fanbase that I would put out the record that I wanted to put out’… So we would lose $50,000 and then go researching different engineers and try to achieve the vision that I had, and sadly it took $230,000 and eight or nine studios and eight or nine engineers.” The right mix was finally nailed through the skills of late LA producer Bryan Carlstrom (Alice In Chains, Anthrax, The Offspring), who likened The Revolution Is Never Coming to a 21st century War Of The Worlds, though it still took him a few goes before the producer in McSweeney was satisfied. “We finished the mastering of the record for vinyl and CD and mp3 in January or February this year. It took ten times to master the album. It cost a lot of fuckin’ money,” he admits with a weary chuckle, each step of recording, mixing and mastering taking an inordinate amount of time. “It’s hard to make an album like this; I didn’t realise how big of a mammoth journey it was going to be. It wasn’t like we were just recording some indie band who can just throw a couple of guitars in there and a drum kit and it sounds like shit and it works; you can’t do that with The Red Paintings – well, you can’t do that with this album. And when you’re trying to mix a 35-piece orchestra against a massive choir, and Theremins and huge guitars and drums and blah blah, it’s like a Leonardo da Vinci painting in the sense that you have to work out where you’re gonna come in with different colours and different shading. And you know, [you have to decide] what black you’re going to use that’s gonna define certain aspects of the painting; do you want people to see it straight away rather than have them spend time looking at the painting and realise, ‘Whoa, that’s just popped out – I didn’t see that?’ There’s lots of hidden treasures in The Red Paintings’ The Revolution Is Never Coming; [it] is an album that people will find things in years down the track, and that’s the album I needed to create. If it’s the last album I ever make, so be it – at least I created one artwork in my life I believe in.” Though McSweeney is resigned to the fact that people will either love the record or hate it, he’s buoyed by early rave reviews that appear to have been able to detach from the history of The Red Paintings to simply hear the music of The Revolution Is Never Coming. An unconventional, outspoken personality such as his will always attract forthright criticism though, and the naysayers have taken their toll. “A lot of people in Australia are very negative and have abused me, called me many things; there’s even been forums saying I ripped them off. It got really bad there for about twelve months where I went into a really depressive state, ‘cause it was like – oh shit, if only you understood what I was going through and that you realise that I haven’t given up; I’ve been working my arse off on this… The best way I could approach it was to just be like a normal person, and not try and act like a rockstar; I just physically went to those people and got their names and numbers, and I would call them around the world and go, ‘Hey, it’s Trash,’ and they’d freak out like, ‘What the hell, you’re actually calling me?’ I’m like, ‘Let’s discuss what I’ve been through and why the album has come out late and why what you are getting for your $40 is so much more than you would have got in 2009 if I’d have released it then.’ And then what I found was 99 per cent of those people were like, ‘I’m so sorry, I apologise – I’m gonna delete my post and I’m gonna give you more money to help you because I really believe in you; you’re a good guy.’” There’s no doubting McSweeney has suffered for his art; one can hear it within the terrifying highs and lows of emotion and sonic imagery that exist in The Revolution Is Never Coming. But one question remains – is he finally happy with it? “Yes, I am,” he says quietly as his animated fast-talking subsides. “My body all the way through [listening to the final master] was calm, and I knew that I’d achieved what I wanted to do… I feel like The Red Paintings are like an onion – there’s so many layers to it and a lot of them hurt your eyes,” McSweeney admits of his own experience rather than that of the casual observer of the band’s activity over the past 14 years. “I feel like I’ve shed a part of my life almost, like a skin or something, or more spiritual than that because I put my heart and soul into that like nothing I’ve ever done
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 13
Synth whisperer Seja Vogel shares her friendships with some of Australia’s most revered musicians with Tyler McLoughlan, and explains what it takes to create a giant felt Moog synthesiser ahead of the release of her sophomore album All Our Wires.
THE REPLACEMENTS Let It Be
MAKE IT POZIBLE
“I had quite a few things that were on my mind I guess, and my friends always joke that I have lots of feelings! So I had a lot of feelings; I needed to get them out. I was actually thinking of calling the album So Many Feelings, but I thought that that would just be funny to my friends and everyone else would think I was a dick,” chuckles Vogel. “The title track on the album is about untangling all your wires with people in your life. I think I reached a point where I just thought I really just wanted to be great with everyone in my life; I don’t want any problems, I don’t want any drama, I just want to have a nice time with the people I love…” she admits of the album’s theme. Vogel certainly has the musical chops to justify the title of synth whisperer, though is truly deserving considering she has a business replicating instruments in miniature using felt – mostly her beloved Moogs. Taking orders worldwide, Vogel had become so adept at her craft that she proposed to make a giant felt synthesiser for her album cover in a grant submission to Arts Queensland.
Illustrator and writer Jennifer Skelly is trying to self-publish her first illustrated book that will contain a collection of 50 illustrated collective nouns from the animal kingdom. Most are already drawn and can be seen at redparka.com.au. Pledge: $5,000 Rewards: Illustrations from the book, ad space on Red Parka’s blog, jewellery from Red Parka’s Etsy store. Deadline: Tuesday 23 July
FROM THE ARCHIVES
9 SEP 2009
“Part of my grant application was to replicate this picture of Keith Emerson from Emerson, Lake And Palmer. Keith Emerson was famous for this huge modular synthesiser that he had and they used to call it the monster Moog and there’s this famous story of him saying, ‘It’s not big enough’ – so they put a television on top of the Moog so it would be even more monstrous. I had this picture and I thought that it just looked so amazing and I’m such a synth nerd that I love the way those things look anyway, so I was like, ‘I’m gonna make this…’ And then I got the grant and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my god I got the grant’,” she exclaims excitedly. “And then, ‘Oh no, I’m gonna have to make this thing and it’s gonna take me forever’. It took me about four months; I hand-sewed the Moog and I had one sewing circle with a bunch of my friends who helped me sew some of the knobs because I think I had to make about 164 of those felt knobs. So I just made some snacks and bought some wine and had a little knob circle!” she says with a big laugh. Hiring a
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eja Vogel is a delight. The German-born local songstress with the chatty nature and infectious laugh struck out solo in 2010 with her pretty and playful debut album ode to the analogue synthesiser, We Have Secrets But Nobody Cares. She’s broadened her instrumental palate across All Our Wires, moving away from the bedroom recordings and the childhood themes of her debut in favour of a more robust and considered effort that gets to the bottom of all her bountiful feelings while still honouring her instrument of choice.
WIRED FOR SOUND
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ON THE TIME OFF STEREO
truck to cart her creation to The Hi-Fi for a photo shoot with Stephen Booth, Vogel played around with poses until an epic smoke-machine backed head-banger was captured. “It was such an amazing photo. I feel like it’s a real misrepresentation of my songs, but Stephen said, ‘Seja – you’ve made a giant synthesiser out of felt and hired two smoke machines – you’ve made a few decisions’,” she admits in a fit of giggles. Prior to going solo, Vogel was already a notable identity. She toured worldwide with her brother Mirko in the power-pop trio Sekiden, and cemented her reputation as a talented synth nerd as a member of Regurgitator, who she still tours sporadically with. Recording All Our Wires with her producer brother who she describes as an “amazing wizard of sound”, the pair had access to a host of impressive guest musicians. “[For Like Fireflies] I really wanted a sort of Stereolabesque running bassline and Mirko and I were struggling to think of something cool to do so we asked a professional bass player!” she says of getting Regurgitator bassist Ben Ely involved. “It was kind of nice because Quan [Yeomans] did some stuff on the first record and Ben did stuff on this one, so maybe I’ll get Pete Kostic to do something on the next one,” Vogel ponders of her Regurgitator pals, adding that Tim Hoey from Cut Copy added some noise out guitars on Imaginations In Hyperspace. On the German language Die Wolken, the inimitable Robert Forster features. “I wanted it to be a duet with a male voice singing in unison with me and I guess Robert was the first person I thought of to do that because we run into each other in Brisbane every now and then, and his wife is German and quite often we talk in German and it’s kind of fun. We set up facing each other and sang and every now and then I’d sort of close my eyes when I sang it and every now and again I’d open my eyes and I could see Robert dancing to my song. It was so great!”
Vogel even had Wally de Backer work on an arrangement: “Wally and I share a love for nerdy aspects of music so we always talk about organs and synths and stuff,” she explains, noting their affinity for cult organ record Yamaha Superstar. “He bought the organ, the actual organ – the Yamaha Superstar organ. It weighs about 500 kilos and it’s amazing! I had this really great day of playing with heaps of Wally’s stuff and nerding out,” she says of taking him up on an offer to visit his Yamaha EX-42. As Vogel left his peninsula studio, she handed him a copy of her freshly mastered album. She experienced a serious car crash on her way back to Melbourne, and finally arrived after the ordeal to a host of messages from de Backer asking to work on When You Said You Were Mine. The following day he left for the Grammy Awards and international acclaim. “He just became the most popular person in the world straight after, and I felt like I didn’t want to hurry him along obviously. It ended up delaying the album a little bit I guess but it was well worth it – he came up with some really good ideas that have definitely made the song better. As we say in the industry, he made the choruses pop!” she giggles. “I feel really excited. I think it’s gonna be fun to tour it and it’s definitely been fun to talk about,” Vogel says of All Our Wires, offering a quick recap of the process with her trademark humour. “I almost died and then Gotye worked on my song, yay! I made this giant synthesiser that almost killed me but yay, it looks great!” WHO: Seja WHAT: All Our Wires (Rice Is Nice) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 23 June, Black Bear Lodge
A CHANCE OF RAIN Only a few years ago, Devon Welsh was sitting in his parents’ basement writing songs on his computer. Daniel Cribb gets the rundown on the evolution into Majical Cloudz, an act that often incites tears in audiences worldwide.
he subject in question in the title of Majical Cloudz’ sophomore record, Impersonator, is singer-songwriter Devon Welsh. After graduating college with a degree in religious studies a few years ago, the Toronto resident found himself in somewhat of a rut. He spent countless hours in his parents’ basement writing song after song, most of which now sit forgotten on harddrives somewhere. There was no denying he was creative enough to brand himself a musician, but without fame or riches he felt the title wouldn’t be justified. He didn’t quite know who he was or where he was headed, so he kept writing, as a way to articulate his angst.
T We sent the intern into the archives to select at random an old Time Off.
INTERVIEWS I Heart Hiroshima, Muse, Juliette Lewis, Anvil, Tech N9ne
ALBUM OF THE WEEK Harum Scarum Joe Gideon & The Shark
GIG OF THE WEEK Vegas Kings, Miami Tavern Shark Bar
14 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
It wasn’t long before the tunes took on a life of their own via Majical Cloudz’ debut record, II, and ripped him out of his creative dungeon. “With that album, II, it was when this project was kind of more of a recording project and I didn’t play live and I was just sort of experimenting with different styles of songwriting and different ways of approaching music,” Welsh says, with a map of Australia in front of him as he tries to pinpoint Perth. Unfortunately he’s not sketching out an Australian tour – although says the pair hope to venture Down Under early 2014.
“After that I had some pretty specific ideas of what I wanted to do and that’s when I started working on the songs that turned into this recent album, Impersonator, and so I guess in a lot of ways this album is kind of a debut in the sense that it comes from a totally different process and a totally different understanding of what I wanted to do, and it was the beginning of Majical Cloudz as a full band, and as a live project where performance was important, whereas in the past it had just sort of been a hobby, recording project.” To describe Welsh’s lyrics as brutally honest would be an understatement. When he was experimenting with different recording techniques and ways of writing music, he discovered the perfect platform to best articulate his emotions. “I had recorded a lot of music with a guitar, and I got kind of tired of that. I wanted to make music where it would be possible for me to just sing and not have to play anything live,” he says. “Using synthesisers in the format of using loops and taking that approach appealed to me because it allowed for things to be even more minimal than they would be if you were using a guitar, because using a guitar sort of sets a limit on the songwriting process…you can have as many chords as
you want and changes whenever you want, but when you’re just working with something as minimal as a set of chord changes that loops over and over again you’re left to work with the vocal melodies as the intriguing part of the song, instead of the chord changes.” Things have become so emotional at recent gigs that Welsh has looked out into the crowd and seen tears in fans’ eyes. “It’s started to happen with more frequency as people get familiar with the songs, and I think it’s cool… I realised early on that it’s not about us – that was the difficult thing to figure out when someone would be crying in the audience. Normally when you see someone crying and they’re with you, it’s because you know them really well and you’re on intimate enough terms, but in that case I usually don’t know that person at all. [But] it’s not about me, it’s about their own personal experiences that the music is allowing them to tap into in some way.” WHO: Majical Cloudz WHAT: Impersonator (Matador/Remote Control)
TO BEARD, OR NOT TO BEARD Catching up with singer Johann Beardraven and guitarist Facey McStubblington after The Beards’ heavily populated showcase at The Great Escape in Brighton, UK, Bryget Chrisfield is scolded for plucking stray chin hairs and therefore tampering with a potential beard.
adelaide novelty act The Beards go down swimmingly at The Great Escape in Brighton, UK. When Johann Beardraven, The Beards frontman, introduces songs bearing titles such as You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man, hearty laughter fills Jubilee Square. Band members make beelines for hirsute spectators in order to stroke their beards, which prompts the following question during our post-set interview in the media hub: Can you describe the feeling of having your beard stroked? Beardraven offers, “I’d probably describe the feeling as outstanding.” When asked to compare said sensation with that of someone playing with the hair on one’s head, Beardraven announces, “I don’t care for the hair on my head. It’s very subsidiary.” Facey McStubblington (guitarist/John Goodman lookalike) goes one louder: “The time spent stroking any other part of my body could be better spent stroking my beard.”
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“Yeah, he had MORE than enough time,” McStubblington agrees. How long did Beardraven give him? “Oh, it would’ve been – what?” He looks to McStubblington
Eden Mulholland is on tour. Check The Guide for dates.
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Both Beardraven and McStubblington confirm that every member of The Beards holds a current passport containing a picture of their bearded self. Did any of them have to apply for new passports? “Ah, a couple of us did, yeah, and burnt the old ones,” Beardraven explains. McStubblington, as he’s prone to, takes this even further: “And every other photo of anyone without a beard.” It’s game-on for Beardraven. “And I burnt my father as well. He had his chance to grow a beard.”
Considering The Beards are in the middle of their first world tour, how many beards have been looking back at them on foreign soil? “More than we probably anticipated,” Beardraven deduces. “I think maybe a lot of people over here just happen to have beards anyway.” On which country boasts the highest percentage of beardos in the audience, the singer ponders, “I dunno. The Berlin show would’ve been pushin’ 70 to 80 percent, I reckon. It was quite bearded.” McStubblington jokes, “There was only three people there and two of them had beards, so that increases the percentage,” and there’s laughs all ‘round.
“You don’t understand that we’re all about the beard,” Beardraven emphasises. “Any other thing – whatever! Not interested. Beards, everyone.” Surely the fairer sex is exempt given that we can’t really cultivate chinwarmers. “Well, we don’t really subscribe to that,” Beardraven scolds. “My grandmother has a very good beard.” You’ve gotta pluck out the odd stray. “But that’s exactly the same as shaving,” Beardraven chastises. “Don’t pluck, ladies!” What if it’s just the one? “No!” he insists. “That’s the start [of a beard], you know?”
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for back-up. “At least two hours,” the guitarist giggles and Beardraven continues: “Yeah, he had heaps of time. It’s a poor attitude and we’re here to change attitudes.” McStubblington jumps in with, “And that’s the only way to change an attitude is just to burn it,” before Beardraven adds, “Yeah, to kill a man! Well, we will go to whatever length necessary to make sure that people grow beards.” On whether they have any clean-shavens on the payroll, Beardraven enthuses, “Oh, yeah, absolutely! But that’s because we don’t like to tell a bearded man what to do. If we’ve got a bearded sound guy or a bearded tech working for us, it doesn’t feel right for him to do our bidding so we always like to employ cleanshaven…” McStubblington interrupts: “As underlings.” “Yeah, exactly. So our business is like a structure for how we see our Utopian society eventually becoming: The Beards on top and everything else below it… There’s this certain thing that exists called The Bearded Code and that’s all about lookin’ out for your fellow beard.” McStubblington declares, “Actually now we’re on that, Johann Beardraven, singer for The Beards: Your beard looks awesome. Great job.” “Thanks, man, so does yours. Wow, we really have good beards! Golly!” McStubblington concurs: “Yeah, we really do. You should see them, reader of this article.” Beardraven teases, “We do actually have beards. We’re pro-beard. We like beards. We are for beards not antibeard.” McStubblington stresses: “Don’t make that mistake. We don’t want the message to get confused.” “It keeps me awake at night,” Beardraven proclaims. “Like, after we’ve done a gig, which seemed to go quite well and everyone had beards, I’ll be back in the room and I’ll be lying awake thinking, ‘Did they really understand how pro-beard we were? Would they have maybe walked away not knowing whether we were for or against beards?’” What about if a member of The Beards’ audience decided to grow a beard post-gig, but then shaved out of habit the following morning! “That’s a big concern and that’s why we are on this planet to
make sure that people grow beards.” McStubblington cracks open another can of Red Stripe. Where did that tinnie come from? “Oh, it actually came out of my beard!” He’s on fire. “It’s an excellent cooling mechanism.” Writing lyrics about beards is one thing, but how does one ensure the instrumental accompaniment also stays true to the beard? “Are you kidding? That’s easy,” McStubblington claims and then Beardraven clarifies, “The beard really guides us in that respect.” There’s no release date for a new album as yet. “It’s a work in progress,” Beardraven reveals. “We’re still in the writing phase at the moment and, I gotta tell ya, some of this new material is groundbreaking. Like, there’s one track where we just scream the word ‘beard’ for a good 40 minutes and, you know, it’s the future of music obviously.” So how many songs is it exactly that The Beards have penned, about beards, to date? “Oh, it’s hard to say,” Beardraven contemplates. “When we first started writing songs – we had beards, obviously we had beards, but they weren’t as good as they are now. And because we were new beardos, I guess we just didn’t know as much about beards as we know now, and so I think that comes across in some of the early work. [The songs] show that we like beards but we’re not really living the beard at that point.”
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Don’t mosh outside the mosh. That’s what the mosh is for, moshing.
“And that’s what it’s all about: we’re method musicians,” McStubblington contributes and then Beardraven’s off again: “As our beards have gone on to become longer, our songwriting has in turn become beardier and therefore better.” McStubblington: “Last year we would’ve written upwards of a thousand songs and they’ve all just been awesome.” Beardraven opines, “The public’s not ready for the level of beardiness that we have.” WHO: The Beards WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, The Hi-Fi; Saturday 22, The Northern, Byron Bay
WE ART THE WORLD MOVEMENT IMAGE BY IAN BURNS (AUSTRALIA)
OUT OF THE SHADOWS It’s been a while since songstress Lenka graced either the TVs or radios of Australia, but following her huge international success and with a third album out, that may just change, as Cam Findlay discovers.
espite being a homegrown Australian, the last few years of Lenka Kripac’s career might be a bit of a mystery to home audiences. Before that, she was probably best known as an actor, with roles in everything from ABC drama series GP to hosting Cheez TV. Musically, you may remember her from the two albums she worked on with Decoder Ring. But that all belies the massive success she’s had overseas, with a move to LA in 2007 foreshadowing success in the States and Europe.
“I started acting when I was 13, and by the time I was in my early 20s I was almost a little bit bored with it,” Lenka explains when asked what made her shift gears from acting to music originally. “Creatively, I wanted to have a little more control, and more involvement in the whole process of putting out something into the world, rather than just being an actor. I sort of grew up with music because my dad’s a jazz musician. I never seriously pursued it at first, but I started to do a bit of singing through acting gigs. So I just sort of discovered that I was enjoying it more than the acting, I guess. I put a little bit more effort into it and eventually chose to focus on it. But it wasn’t until the whole Decoder Ring thing happened that it really made me completely shift gears and make me focus on music entirely. And then it just took over everything.”
This journey has eventually led her into the songwriter’s dream job: writing music for films and television adverts, all the while maintaining her own identity through three albums, the third of which Shadows, has just been released. While many may have been upset about her leaving Decoder Ring, she maintains her time with the band was a formative experience. “I learnt a lot of the democracy of being in a band, and that collaboration kind of thing, and how special it is to create music with other people,” she says. “Which I still do, obviously; I love to collaborate, working with other musicians on my music. And I learnt a lot about the practical ins and outs of being on the road and the way it works with venues, the way it works with labels and stuff like that, just from the experience of doing a couple of records with them. So yeah, it was quite invaluable. “I ended up feeling like it wasn’t satisfying enough for me [though], because it wasn’t a vocally-driven project, and I wanted to do more lyrical stuff, so that’s why I [left]. But it was really an amazing experience for me, and I think it was a great way to start. Particularly from being in such a kind of indie scene, it was great getting out on the road and playing festivals. That, as a way to start, was really healthy for me I think.”
While Decoder Ring’s electronic rock crossover did maintain some indie capacity, Lenka’s solo output has been unapologetically in the pop stream. Her first two albums, Lenka and Two, are full of major-scale ditties and love anthems. With Shadows, she seems to have gained a lot more confidence in both her voice and her composition. While there’s still the tales of love and happiness, there’s a much greater depth to her message. “It was a bit of a weird one, it felt pretty different,” Lenka says of Shadows. “It’s supposed to be an album of nursery rhymes or lullabys, but for adults as well. I love the power of music that is subtle, that you can fall asleep to. And now that I’ve got a child and I’m married, there’s different things that matter now. You care about other people, and I think that really came through in the music.”
Wood, lights, trestle, magnifying glasses, timing system. Part of Burns’ solo exhibition In The Telling Source: ianburns.net
WHO: Lenka WHAT: Shadows (Skipalong) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 24 October, Black Bear Lodge
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 15
FAVOURITE CITY TIM ADDERLEY FROM SLEEPMAKESWAVES
A SAUCY TALE A very lucky Anthony Carew sits down with the supremely talented Steve Coogan to hear about his latest venture – porn. Well, kind of.
eligious fundamentalism, Puritanism, feminism, the exploitation of women, changing social mores: all these things were in the air in the ’70s, and Paul Raymond was a lightning rod for them,” says Steve Coogan. Coogan is talking about Paul Raymond, the one-time ‘King of Soho’, who presided over a property and soft-porn empire —gentlemen’s clubs and magazines— that found him as England’s wealthiest man in the 1970s, and whom the English comedian and actor portrays in the biopic The Look Of Love.
“I’d say anyone under 40 in Britain would have no idea who he was,” says Coogan. “He was the subject of tabloid fodder in the ’70s, so unless you’ve got a long memory, or you’re old, you wouldn’t remember.”
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‘Michael’ is Michael Winterbottom, the workaholic English director whom Coogan has now worked for, as leading man, four times over; The Look Of Love following 2002’s 24 Hour Party People, 2005’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story, and 2010’s The Trip. “Working with anyone else, I feel more in control, but with Michael I feel less in control,” says Coogan. “With Michael I tend not to over think things, and instead just throw myself into whatever he’s suggesting. I feel like I get fresher results. Michael taught me how to act unselfconsciously. He also helped liberate me from comedy, and let me explore more subtle modes of performance. For that, I’m forever grateful to him.” Coogan is at pains to point out a distinction between the pair’s last biopic of a smart-mouthed entrepreneur, 24 Hour Party People, and this one; seeing essential differences between Paul Raymond and his prior subject, Factory Records founder Tony Wilson. “Tony Wilson was more a champion of the artist more than a businessman. Paul Raymond was the opposite, he was a businessman first; anything he did that was creative was wholly accidental,” he says. “Tony Wilson was someone who affected a lot of people’s lives, someone who was beloved by a lot of artists, especially in Manchester. Paul Raymond is someone remembered by very few people, and whose life was questionable in a lot of ways.”
For all its obligatory T&A, and Boogie Nights-esque evocations of pornography in a time long, long before it was anything resembling an ‘industry’, the film never buys into the myth or mystique of its ‘high-life’. “It’s about creating a fantasy world around you and
Andrew Stockdale Keep Moving
Super Wild Horses at the Tote
Sick Tunes by Dan Condon
Even though they’ve changed direction somewhat, Kora are still staying true to their roots, as Richie Allen tells Samuel J. Fell.
Case in point is their second record, Light Years, released late last year, a record that was (almost literally) a world away from their eponymous 2007 debut. Whereas Kora blended elements of reggae, funk and rock, Light Years invented its own genre, space funk (or alien funk), and relied heavily on an electronic foundation. Such a sonic deviation, however, isn’t as ‘out there’ as it may seem on paper. In the five years between records, Kora developed as a band, they evolved of course, and given they are so interested in the exploration of music, it’s not too much of an odd prospect that they’d end up where they did. Speaking to Fran Kora shortly after the record was released last November, he opined that it was a natural progression, something backed up by fellow bass player, Richie Allen, this time around. As Allen also states though, despite the fact their growth has been natural, it’s not always charted territory. “Yeah, well it’s always experimental,” he
16 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
WHAT: The Look Of Love
“A lot of hot air has been expelled over the years,” he laughs, when talking of the big-screen translation, which was first rumoured to be on its way in 2002.
In cinemas Thursday 27 June
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The Look Of Love isn’t Coogan’s only top-billing film performance in 2013: he’ll soon be seen in full serious-thesp mode, in Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s much-acclaimed divorce drama What Maisie Knew; and, thereafter, in full comedysuperstar mode, in the long-awaited feature-film debut of Coogan’s most beloved comic creation, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. “It’s in the middle of being edited. It’s being chopped up and assembled, and it’s definitely coming out this year,” Coogan confirms.
AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT
iwi quintet Kora have been world-beating for a little over a decade now, their infectious mish-mash of genres striking chords the planet over, and with good reason. These five are never wont to sit in the one spot, idly watching the world pass them by. No, they’re far more comfortable investigating, exploring, evolving their sound, and we’re all the better for it.
When I suggest it’s like a band performing the Classic Album as a choice, Coogan whoops with delight: “It’s like I’m doing an ’80s revival tour!” Yet, as glad as he is to think of himself as Primal Scream, Coogan sees rock’n’roll as a different racket. “Bands can play the same stuff, and people like it, but with comedy, even when you return to the character, you have to do new material,” he sighs. “Those shows where bands go out and play the old album in order, I’d compare that to me going out and literally doing the exact same thing that I did on TV years ago. If I went and did the same material, people would say: ‘What the fuck are you doing? We want new stuff!’ It’s the reverse for musicians: people hate new stuff, and they only want to hear the old hits. The curse of being in comedy is that you constantly have to invent new material. Whereas musicians will get a huge cheer just for playing that same song they’ve played a thousand times before; they’ll be commended for that repetition! That’s a pretty big distinction to make.”
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There’s a whole sub-genre of the sex-industry that plays on the soft-and-friendly nostalgia of old-timey titillation – see: the burlesque revival – but Coogan cautions on seeing any past era as either being worse or better. “Some people see what they perceive to be a glamorous decade with retrospective chic, retrospective charm, but any simple reading of that time, whether it’s of it being stylish and libertine, or repressive and sordid, is too simple,” he says. “This is, really, a conversation about changing social attitudes. To modern perspectives, it really looks like it’s exploiting women, and perhaps it is; but what I really like about the film is that it’s not some politically correct piece, out to make itself likable to contemporary sensibilities. It’s about portraying the zeitgeist of that time, not pandering to the current zeitgeist.”
sleepmakeswaves touring nationally. Check The Guide for dates.
Coogan holds no resentment against the ongoing cult of Partridge; each time he slips on the Conrad Knight socks and dons the Sports Casual wear being by choice. “I’ve always been more enthusiastic about Alan than any other character I’ve done,” he says. “Whenever I have revisited him, it’s because I’ve wanted to, not because I had to; if it was the only thing I did, I’d find it quite frustrating, but I’m glad it’s not.”
No favourites! Every city has an exciting aspect about it. Whether it’s because it’s familiar and comfortable, or somewhere we’ve never been. I am however looking forward to some warmer weather at this time of year.
Of course, getting Coogan, writer Peter Baynham (“I couldn’t afford to pay him what Sacha Baron-Cohen pays him”), and satirist Armando Iannucci (“always too busy to call me back”) in the same room proved an “impossible task.” Yet, when brothers Neil and Rob Gibbons turned a cash-grab faux-biography into something more sterling with 2011’s I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan, they then set about writing the film “with a refreshing energy”.
trying to convince yourself it’s reality,” Coogan says. “We created this exact version of Paul Raymond’s luxurious house, but then when you walked behind the set, it was all plywood. To me that serves as the perfect metaphor for his own life, because beyond all the glitz and the tinsel there was nothing of substance. He was a triumph of style-over-substance. He was almost like a living experiment: the way he lived his life was almost like a man who’d picked up GQ, and bought everything that was in the magazine, and tried to live his life by the articles in the magazine. It was as if by accessorising his life, he thought he could make himself happy. And, of course, he couldn’t.”
concurs. “And the good thing is, the next one, not ne.” even we know what to expect from the next one.”
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Now 47, the icon of English comedy has a long enough memory – or is, indeed, old enough – to remember a boyhood peering at “top-of-the-shelf soft-porn magazines” at the newsagent. “His photograph was often on the back of those magazines, so he was always this very curious figure for young lads,” says Coogan. “Looking at him now, his life seemed very colourful and surreal, and it was dealing with sex and sexuality. It seemed in some ways uncomfortable subject-matter, which meant that, paradoxically, I knew it’d be interesting to Michael and interesting for me.”
And speaking to Allen, it’s obvious that Kora are fully immersing themselves within this new direction, particularly in the live setting. “It’s been good,” he enthuses. “[I mean], there’s more gear involved, like laptops and sequencers, for backing tracks and stuff, which has been interesting.” It’s also interesting to query, still in the live setting, if as a result of the electronic nature of Light Years the band’s older stuff has become more electronic, or if their new stuff has been affected by the more guitar-oriented material of their beginnings. “The older stuff is still played exactly the same, we haven’t changed that. But yeah, the newer stuff, we’ll probably add a guitar in there, and there’s a lot of bass playing and stuff along with the electronic – we use real bass lines.” This, no doubt, would offer up more diversity for the band. “Yeah, yeah, that’s actually quite good,” he agrees. “And it’s been great to translate the studio album to the live [setting] with some jamming as well… it adds a lot of freedom to jam [in there].” Allen goes on to say that at the moment, around 40 per cent of
a typical Kora set is improvised, something which is no doubt contributing to the free nature their live sets have always exhibited. It’s also pleasing to note that even though space funk is the order of the day, the band’s older material is still strong on its own, and is played in the manner it was created, which of course garnered the band its current rabid fanbase. Even though Light Years is only approximately six months old (although older for the band themselves), it’s exciting to hear that, as Allen stated, the band don’t know how their next offering will end up sounding. But for now, they’re still heavily immersed within this latest release. However, there are some samples and bass lines being written – constant writing as every good band does – so it’s best right now to just buy the ticket and take the ride – Kora won’t disappoint. WHO: Kora WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 22 June, The Zoo
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Ghostpoet, aka Obaro Ejimiwe, ain’t no rapper, nor is he sure if he’ll ever record another album. But for now he’s waxing lyrical on the every day, one day at a time. Stuart Evans gets the low down. here is generally a clue to Obaro Ejimiwe’s lyrics. Ejimiwe, better known as Ghostpoet to the masses, is a melancholic MC with a reputation for lyrics that chronicle life’s variances. His prose is firmly rooted in the abstract. He laughs, “It’s not really that complex as it’s me mumbling over my diverse musical tastes and then getting people to like it. I don’t make records for anybody but myself and most times I go in with the mindset of making a record that I would like listen to.” He says he doesn’t want to be a pop star and his lyrics aren’t complex. “I mean, my lyrics aren’t as straightforward as an abc rhyme or anything and they’re not Bob Dylan. It’s just me talking about the world as I see it.”
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He says Some Say I So I Say Light is a different album, and different for a reason. “Subconsciously, I’d stored up enough material since my last album so when it came down to write new material just flowed. I didn’t feel pressured or stressed as it was about having fun and making music.” He says he wanted to experiment and explore. “The new album’s still experimental in nature as this time I wanted to work with acoustic instruments and continue my exploration with electronics. I feel it’s evolving me as an artist. I work full-time in music and I’ve been able to immerse myself in the genres that I love.”
Having received such critical acclaim for Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam, Ejimiwe’s followup album was always going to stoke comparisons. Was he little more than a one-album wonder? The thought never crossed his mind, although the success
He is also candid about the need for him to progress. “I knew that whatever I did after Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam I needed to develop as an artist and that my next album would have to be recorded in studio.” So his latest effort is slicker and more
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“It came very fast and it came on the back of a lot of work from Glenn, who had been championing the idea of a band with myself for many years,” Ox informs. “And in the end Glenn just literally... I was on Skype with [him] and he just said, ‘I’m coming to Melbourne, I’ve got a
WHO: Ghostpoet WHAT: Some Say I So I Say Light (Liberator) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 15 September, Brisbane Festival, Famous Spiegeltent
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Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” - Martin Luther
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Ezekiel Ox has never been short on drive and focus, and right now the provoking and fiery vocalist, poet, actor and activist is stressing the importance of a fresh slate. The Nerve – made up of the former Mammal mouth, ex-Cog drummer Lucius Borich, bassist Davarj Thomas (formerly of Pre.shrunk) and guitar maverick Glenn Proudfoot – have smashed into the Australian hard rock landscape with such a force you’d have thought this band and sound was years in the making. However, as Ox levels, this simply wasn’t the case. Calling it “a very 2013 process”, the singer explains that the band and songs were all put together over the past summer via Skype, Dropbox and the web, between Melbourne (Ox and Thomas), Sydney (Borich) and Prague (Proudfoot).
You’d think that he’d have plenty of material for a third album. After all, life changes daily; new books arrive and the information age is relentless with who does what and why it matters. “I don’t have a clue if I’ll ever make another album,” he admits. “I still love making music and I’ll probably make another one at some point. What? How? When and where?… Who knows? I don’t.”
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Even with a band full of proven warriors, The Nerve are well aware that reputations can be destroyed as quickly as they’re made. But as Ezekiel Ox tells Benny Doyle, the past “counts for fuck all in this instance”.
Content-wise, the lyrics and storytelling remain as abstract as ever, even if it’s relatable. If there’s an evident rationalisation for the new ideas on Some Say I So I Say Light, it’s because life has a canny knack of changing. That Ejimiwe writes about life and not about themes gives him plenty to say. “I just write about stuff. It could be something I’ve read or something I’ve watched on TV. It could be a bit of art I’ve seen. Themes don’t mean anything to me. It’s about exploring the world of emotions. We all feel some kind of emotion – black, white, tall, short, Australian or English – emotions are the one thing we all have in common.”
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Some Say I So I Say Light was largely recorded in analogue and in a studio, a stark contrast from the home recorded Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam, which was recorded via digital instrumentation. Established producer Richard Formby (Formby co-produced Some Say I So I Say Light) helped the transformation, or advancement. Although there was a need to bring in assistance, Ejimiwe’s quick to clarify that Formby’s contribution was a value-add, not a must have. “I knew I needed to bring in a co-producer as I wanted to get the best of this experience. Having a co-producer was about aiding and improving the music I was already making and not him making music for me.”
refined that his debut, yet manages to trend between gritty realism and over-the-top production. The other difference is the list of guest contributors – Tony Allen, Lucy Rose, Woodpecker Wooliams to name a few. Ejimiwe says the choices were deliberate. “I wanted real musicians to feature on the album. They may not be the typical commercial big headline acts but they are people with a reputation for their music.”
of Some Say I So I Say Light has surprised him. “I didn’t expect such great reviews as I didn’t think people would like it. I’ve realised as I’m getting old I’m getting more pessimistic. I’m really pleased with the reaction though, so it’s so far so good.”
Released in 2010, Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam was picked up by Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label and the album immediately earned praise for lyrics that spoke of everyday life. And by everyday life, that’s exactly what Ejimiwe speaks of: lyrics could reference a past takeaway, a movie or a dream he had last year. On paper it’s hardly the subject matter that speaks to a generation, yet Ejimiwe has achieved the feat of being completely and easily identifiable. He sees the funny side: “I just say what I want and what I feel. It’s me talking about everyday life, the people I meet and the situations that arise.” Nevertheless, the comparisons with rap are easy to reconcile. If rappers tell stories of personal adversity, triumph, hardships and life’s twists and turns, so too does Ejimiwe. Still, if comparisons are to be made it’s probably with Mike Skinner (The Streets) or Roots Manuva. Like Ejimiwe, both artists combine tales of gritty urban life with electronic and atmospheric influences. It’s evident in Ejimiwe’s latest and equally conceptual album title, Some Say I So I Say Light. “As strange as it sounds the album title came to me in a dream,” he laughs.
e’re all very proud of our previous work as a group, but it – and we – have got everything to prove to ourselves and we’ve also got everything to prove to our audience because they don’t owe us shit – we owe them.”
After his 2011 debut album, which carried an abstract moniker (Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam) was shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, some tagged Ejimiwe as a neo-rapper – a guy who represented a new direction for British rap. He disagrees. “I’m not a rapper and would never describe myself as one. I’m a fan of rap music but I’m a fan of many genres. I listen to hip hop, trance, indie and all kinds of music and don’t need to limit myself to one genre. I hope the diversity comes out in my music as I don’t write to sound like one particular style.”
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d’. studio booked and we’re making this fucking record’. d ’t Basically. He was sick of my vacillating, I guess. I don’t think anyone could accuse me of procrastinating – I was very busy at the time – but he just wanted to get it done.” Proudfoot then arrived in Melbourne with 24 rough songs and the band begun working them up. “We all knew when we heard it that it was something that gave us a real energy bolt and it gave us a sense... it’s kinda indefinable, it’s just about, ‘Something is going on here, this is worth pursuing’... [Now], to say [something] worth pursuing would be understating it; it’s truly something that has the potential to be remarkable, and that’s exciting.” Highlighting the power of the digital age, it wasn’t until four days before their first gig at the Espy in February that the foursome all stood in a room together: “a unique moment as far as music goes”, Ox understates. “But when Lucius counted us off and it sounded really good, it was awesome – as thrilling as we all hoped. And then we just went to work. We had three rehearsals before [the] gig, and that [night] really was something to write home about.” The Nerve’s first track to surface, The Witness, is a solid slab of riff and roar that hits hard, but does so with flair. However, when pushed for a comment
whether this song is indicative of their debut (working title: Audiodacity) Ox is unwilling to make a definitive comment. Right now, all we know is that there are ten songs, approximately 30 minutes of music and plenty of ideas bubbling to the surface. “If we can use the fitness analogy,” Ox gests, “it’s going to be a super fit, toned up personal trainer drill sergeant, barking, barking orders at you to sort yourself out and lift those knees, soldier. [But] you can’t try to imagine what people are going to think of it, you just have to make sure it makes you bob your head when you listen to it and you’re still getting those goose bump moments when you work on it, and we are.” WHO: The Nerve WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, The Brewery, Byron Bay; Saturday 22, The Tempo Hotel
Wolfmother main man Andrew Stockdale returns to us with a surge of creativity in the shape of Keep Moving, his first self-produced studio album under his own name, and an honest exposé of Stockdale’s poetic point of view within his day-to-day experiences. Thanks to the good people at Universal music we have five copies of the album to give away! To enter this and checkout heaps more head to the Time Off Facebook page.
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 17
LOVE THIS SYMPHONY Reinventing his songs with orchestras, working with Australian legends and the inevitable growing apart from triple j, The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman has a lot on his mind, as Andy Hazel discovers.
EATS ON TOUR
JUSTIN STREET FROM AIRBOURNE
WHAT IS YOUR STAPLE MEAL WHEN ON TOUR? Kebabs. They are everywhere and the shops are always open. Airbourne touring nationally from July check The Guide for dates.
PRESENTS THE BREEDERS
Tuesday 29 October, The Tivoli
espite fronting one of Australia’s most beloved independent bands of the last 20 years, singer and songwriter Tim Freedman is not content to leave his songs as finished products to sit high in triple j ‘…Of All Time’ polls. Reinterpreting them with Australia’s most notable orchestras, he welcomes a chance to perform with the comparatively smaller Melbourne Pops Orchestra; “A leaner, hungrier beast,” he describes with a grin, as we discuss the origins of their show, sitting in a busy cupcake café.
“It was actually [Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) leader] Richard Tognetti’s idea,” Freedman explains, receiving a cup of green tea. “He likes to do strange collaborations. He got [drummer] Terepai [Richmond] and I to do a tour and arranged about nine songs. Then the West Australian Symphony Orchestra asked us to do a whole concert with a four-piece band and a symphony orchestra and they commissioned a lot of arrangements,” he pauses. “It surprised us that it worked, so we commissioned more songs over the next four years and did shows all around the country. It just grew organically, and now we’re at this stage where we’ve spent so long polishing the arrangements and the repertoire we can do it reasonably easily. The charts are all in order, musicians can come in for three hours, everything is there for them just to sight-read, and we know how to shut up and let them shine,” he says smiling, sipping his tea. “That’s the secret.” The experience of rearranging and relearning has brought Freedman into contact with the cream of Australian classical composers, whose breadth of influences he welcomes. “Working with different composers is a blast. Sitting down with Peter Sculthorpe and listening to him compose something on an old beaten up piano – it’s a privilege. He’s one of the giants of Australian modernism. Brett Dean is a world-class composer as well. He just did one song, Buy Now Pay Later, but it’s the most challenging and discordant song in our repertoire. It took me a while to get used to it, but it’s genius. He’s always willing to push it further than you imagine in terms of sonic strangeness. That’s one of the reasons the concert is so interesting, I think, because there isn’t just one style of arrangement. There are eight different composers so the orchestras are playing in a different style and configuration every ten minutes. It’s quite playful for the ears.”
The balance of honouring the often very personal subject of songs – “They’re not precious; they’re just songs,” he laughs dismissively – and keeping things interesting for those familiar with them is something that The Whitlams have become masters at doing,
Amidst all this looking back and reinvention, Freedman admits that there are other things occupying his mind besides writing new songs. “I won’t lie, I haven’t got many plans,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m a single dad and I made some exotic investments that went wrong. I’m just belting my way through the jungle, because you’ve got to have simplicity again, you need a simple life to write songs I guess,” he pauses before smiling ruefully. “I don’t think a song has ever been written about the land and environment court, which is where I spent half of last year but they’re my trials and I’ll get through them.”
While current financial issues may not be presenting him with inspiration, challenges of a different nature recently resulted in a solo show entitled How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Hate Triple J. “It was really just a catchy title,” he says happily, “there’s no hatred there. I told some stories about how you get songs on the radio and how that’s sometimes down to who you know. When I turn it on now it’s so in-your-face that I can only handle ten minutes whereas I used to be able to handle an hour. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m old and grumpy or because they’re playing fewer songs. I tend to listen to FBi in Sydney, it’s a bit more eccentric and all-over-the-shop as opposed to focused and in-yourface. Triple j was so important to me; I wouldn’t have a career without them. They were the only station that played me and I certainly acknowledge that.” The power of the js to impress Freedman isn’t gone however, as he explains after draining his cup. “I started getting texts one day last year from friends saying ‘The Whitlams are on triple j’, and I was like ‘bullshit’, because we hadn’t been for ten years, so it was a real surprise to turn on and hear these album tracks. I thought someone had dropped acid in my drink but they were playing a whole album because we were like number 17 or something in the Best Aussie Albums Of All Time list. That was a really sweet surprise, and it was nice for MGM to ring up and say ‘man we just sold 120 of your albums on iTunes last night!’,” he laughs. “It’s always nice to be on the radio. It’s not somewhere I’ve been lately, but you live with it.” WHO: The Whitlams WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, Queensland Performing Arts Centre
THE LONG HAUL Once considered also-rans, Japan’s Mono have since evolved into one of post-rock’s most respected and beloved outfits. Ahead of their latest Australian appearances, Matt O’Neill speaks to guitarist Takaakira Goto.
THE GENDER STEREOTYPING SWEET
ith their early albums, Mono frequently found themselves sidelined by commentators. It wasn’t until 2004’s Walking Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And Sun Shined that the quartet really established their current aesthetic. A raw blend of stretched dynamics, blissful guitar scree, delicate melodies and surprising string arrangements recorded by Steve Albini, the band’s third album was also the point when audiences began to accept Mono as an act of especial significance. “We feel very lucky to tour around the world and create music every day,” guitarist Takaakira Goto says humbly. “This was our only goal when we were first started so we’ve been pushing forward since then. Each album has been a stepping stone and learning experience. I think we’ve grown more confident as a quartet and are able to take larger risks in composition. Albums are separate entities, but each one feels a part of a continuum in a strange way. It’s almost like watching a timeline of a person’s life.”
With each successive album, they’ve grown into a more remarkable outfit. 2005’s You Are There expanded upon the foundation of Walking Cloud… with more ambitious compositions and more sophisticated arrangements. 2009’s Hymn To The Immortal Wind was a bona fide
18 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
while still acting as a conduit to a certain era for the audience. “They’re remembering a time in their life, I’m doing the same,” he says matter-of-factly. “Quite a few of the songs are from the 2006 album [Little Cloud], and some are from the 1993 album [Introducing The Whitlams], so it’s those 13 years. When I’m not playing my new album or playing solo, I’m fulfilling a role that has a nostalgic streak. I don’t mind that, as long as I’m playing it for the people that have come often, and they think it’s changing. Always different songs, different formats, different stories between songs. As long as I don’t feel like I’m sitting still with it.” Unsurprisingly, Freedman is grateful for the work done by the composers for keeping things fresh. “The composers add a lot of melody lines, so in a song like You Sound Like Louis Burdett we got a lot of great Dixieland brass lines coming through, but now I try to pick them out on the piano when I’m playing in the four-piece because I feel like they’re part of the song. Similarly, Sculthorpe added this beautiful solo violin part and it’s part of the song now. He added this kind of sultry Duke Ellington melody on the violin; they’ve improved the songs, made them richer at least.”
concept album, with accompanying short story. On 2010’s Holy Ground, the band performed with a 24-piece chamber ensemble, The Wordless Music Orchestra. “Walking Cloud…, You Are There and Hymn To The Immortal Wind were completely concept albums. I had a particular vision from the beginning stages of composition,” Goto says. “I think music (and many other art forms) is a bridge that allows people to connect. We’re all in a room sharing the energy of a song, and in that space we remember that all humans derive from the same source. Narratives and concepts may contribute to a record, but I believe music has a sort of transcendence that can be felt, but not explained.” The irony being that Mono actually seem increasingly ill-suited to that association. In truth, Mono have always had an oddly punk ideology to their music, and a subversively political edge. Their most recent record, 2012’s For My Parents, intertwines the personal and the political in paying tribute to the previous generation and the sacrifices they made for today’s world. “Some people believe this is a very personal album written only for our parents,” Goto says of the record. “But actually we wanted to express the respect and gratitude to the generation of our parents and grandparents. Thinking about our history, just 70 years ago we were killing each other during World
War II. We don’t want to ignore our history or focus on the negative energies either. So we chose this album title as a happier message with love for the future.” Aside from their political and social conscience, some of their most cherished collaborators have sprung from the worlds of post-punk, noise and post-hardcore. They’ve worked with two members of Shellac in producing their albums. It’s perhaps most evident in their relationship to touring. As suggested by their production choices, Mono crave the immediacy of live performance. “We have been touring non-stop around the world since last summer and we feel great now... We hope we can continue even when we are 80 years old. Our bodies may be getting older but our souls have not changed at all. I feel like we tour with the same spirit that we did in our youth. We are truly thankful to our fans around the world. They are the ones who keep us going.” WHO: Mono WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 26 June, The Hi-Fi
Singer-songwriter Mark Moldre gambled on an entirely new writing approach for sophomore solo effort, An Ear To The Earth, and he tells Steve Bell that despite a few hurdles he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Along the way from singing in church to singing in bars, American singer-songwriter Paul Thorn has lived one full life. He tells Michael Smith all about it. isconsin-born, Tupelo, Mississippi-raised, Paul Thorn had the elements for becoming a singing, songwriting storyteller in the grand tradition of the Deep South right there in the family gene pool.
fter years fronting various bands – most notably mid-2000s outfit Hitchcock’s Regret – NSW Central Coast musician Mark Moldre recently embarked on a solo career, and any inherent risks involved in such an undertaking have already paid handsome dividends. His 2010 solo debut The Waiting Room earned serious plaudits, and after a lengthy gestation period his new follow-up, An Ear To The Earth, has already proved a more-than-worthy successor.
“To tell you the truth, normally [songwriting] comes a lot easier than it did this time,” he admits. “This time was really hard. I don’t know why – maybe because in my mind I’d decided that I wanted to make a different kind of record. I really struggled this time, and I didn’t want to write the way that I usually do – I didn’t want to write about myself, I didn’t want to write any sad songs... I just wanted to make a really different record to the last one, which was a pretty melancholy, so I forced myself to look for inspiration in places where I hadn’t gone before. I was finding inspiration in books and movies and not writing like I normally would, which is from a diary and my own experiences – I wanted to look outside the box a little bit.”
Possessing a vastly different tone to its predecessor, the album’s folk-tinged indie stylings are characterised by watertight songwriting, deft imagery and imaginative arrangements, and it has a far coarser feel overall than his previous fare. “I think I was heading that way in The Waiting Room, but as [it] was progressing it started changing – it didn’t go where I originally thought it was going to go,” Moldre considers. “With this album I held my ground a bit more and took it to where I wanted it to go, which was a bit rawer and looser.
And while this approach may partly account for the record’s eclectic nature – it incorporates jazz tinges, calypso flourishes and elements of blues – there were some traditional touchstones as well. “I was listening to a lot of old music this time around – when I say ‘old music’ I was listening to pre-war jazz and gypsy jazz, and I was listening to European folk music,” Moldre reveals. “I was listening to old calypso stuff and doing research – just hopping on YouTube and watching old clips. [That’s] where a lot of the inspiration came from.”
”I’d been wanting to make a record like this for a long time, and I’d been talking about [it] – even as far back as when I was in my last band, Hitchcock’s Regret. You get into the studio, and especially when you’re sitting in front of computers, you can sit there for so long taking songs in different directions, and they usually end up just more produced than you maybe planned them to be. This time we fed ourselves limitations and restrictions and I think that’s maybe what I needed – just to have restrictions right from the beginning, so you have to get the take right the first time.”
WHO: Mark Moldre WHAT: An Ear To The Ground (Laughing Outlaw) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, The Brewery, Byron Bay; Saturday 20, Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Gold Coast; Sunday 23, Ric’s Bar
While his father is a Church of God Pentecostal Minister, his paternal uncle spent time making a living as a pimp, so, influenced by both, Thorn had the whole “saints and sinners” thing playing out in front of him. “If there was ever two people with silver tongues, it was them,” Thorn admits of his father and uncle, on the line from his home on the eve of his first visit to Australia. “So I literally spent a lot of time around pimps and preachers – I know it sounds crazy but it’s the actual truth.” That phrase, Pimps & Preachers, is the title of Thorn’s most successful album to date – his seventh, released in 2010. Not that he’s up there in the big league by any stretch – the album peaked at number 83 in the Billboard 200 chart – but he’s happy with that. More on that later. “Both of them have tremendous social skills and they always tell stories, so I think I got a lot of what I got from them. I started writin’ songs when I was 12 years old; you know, just typical stuff – when you’re 12 years old all you know to write about is whatever girl you like at school that didn’t like you back.” However typical or immature those early songs might have been, there was obviously something there because a few years on Thorn found himself a mentor that’s been with him ever since. “When I was about 17, I met a gentleman, his name was Billy Maddox, and at the time I met him he was a world-class, successful songwriter. He started meeting with me a couple of nights a week teaching me how to write songs, and I am 48 years old now and actually now, he’s my manager, record producer, co-writer, tour manager – he’ll be comin’ to Australia with me. Billy Maddox – had he not come into my life, I’d probably still be workin’ in a furniture factory.”
This new approach wasn’t without its pitfalls – the process of songwriting itself suddenly proving more challenging for Moldre.
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Scott Spence, drummer of Sydney band Hailer tells Sky Kirkham about the band’s new album, NHA D E NC the challenges of broken bones and how to tell when a track is finished (it’s never finished). ailer’s latest release, Another Way, is a taut affair that emphasises the pop aspects of their writing without shedding the psych underpinnings. “Reviews have mentioned that there are darker songs at the front and end and bright ones in the middle, but it was pretty organic” Spence says, when asked about putting the album together. “We never really set out to make something sound a certain way. Songs kind of just evolve over time and then they end up sounding a little bit different. I guess that’s just the sort of band we are – we don’t fit into a specific sound or genre or whatever. We kind of play and we end with a different mix of songs on an album, but hopefully they all tie-in together to make something good.”
BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY
The road between Hailer’s debut album and their latest release, Another Way, has been a somewhat bumpy one. Things started off well: the addition of a new guitarist, Pete Beringer, who also happened to be a studio engineer, gave the band the freedom to play with their sound, working on their new tracks in a studio without the time limits and costs that normally implies. “It’s so much easier when you don’t have the cost, six-hundred dollars a day or however much you spend on a studio, over your head,” Spence admits. A promising start ended up interrupted by injury though, as Beringer broke his shoulder partway through the recording, but Spence seems happy to take the bad with the good, now that the album is out. “That kind of put the brakes on things,” he acknowledges. “But on the plus side, I think it let us explore the songs a lot more, so it kind of… we ended up a little different in that respect, because we just had time to work on it and really, you can never finish a song, you’ll always be tinkering with it if you have no deadlines.”
20 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
That process oof tinkering continues into the live environment for Hailer, as the songs continue to change and evolve. “I guess we’ve always been, not a jam band, but there’s always been that psych influence, so we play the songs a little differently, we’ll play extended pieces here and there. We mix it up, keep it fresh. I hope people get more from the live shows and the live version of songs than just hearing a wellreplicated album. That’s something I really like, when a band adds more to what they’ve done on a record live. I think it makes the experience a lot better.” Hailer are heading out across Australia over the next few months, but looking further forward, the plan is to head over and test the waters in the US. Spence mentions that they’ve sent the new album over to American College radio and there are around 120 stations that have picked it up already. He points to the bigger and more diverse market and is hopeful that it will prove easier to break through with what he sees as greater competition outside of the major market. There’s no rush though, and Spence suggests that the band are happy to take their time exploring the country as they tour. “We’ll just get a van and play around. We’ve got a few things happening over there at the moment, so we’ll see [how it goes], but it’s not like a tenshow tour over fourteen days or whatever. We’ll probably go over for three months and get into it.” WHO: Hailer WHAT: Another Way (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba; Saturday 22, The Hideaway; Sunday 23, Brisbane Powerhouse
Between 17 and that furniture factory, Thorn took what might seem an unlikely sidetrack for a budding songwriter – boxing. He was a professional for a decade, the highlights being ranked ninth middleweight boxer in the States and his loss – broadcast on national television in 1988 – to four-time world champion Roberto Durán, a fact that he’s still proud of. In the end though, the real world demanded a real job, so that furniture factory beckoned. Then in 1997… “At night I was playin’ in this pizza restaurant in Tupelo two nights a week,” he remembers, “and [The Police manager] Miles Copeland came and heard me play there of all places and the next thing I know I got a record deal on A&M Records. Because my father was a minister, we weren’t allowed to go to secular concerts, so the first time I ever attended a concert in my entire life, I was opening for Sting. Within two weeks of quittin’ the furniture factory I was opening for Sting in front of 13,000 people.” His years of often singing solo in church to large congregations meant that Thorn found he was perfectly comfortable in that stadium, which led to a national US tour opening for Jeff Beck. The A&M deal fell through not long after, when the label was bought out, but Thorn is happy to be independent and on his way here. “The only thing that’s gonna last in the future, in my opinion, is artists who put on a good show.” WHO: Paul Thorn WHAT: Pimps & Preachers (Planet/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June, Broadbeach Country Music Festival
REVOLUTIONARY DANCE Having wowed the world since its premiere in 2011, Cuba’s Ballet Revolucion returns to the country where it all began. Comrade Paul Ransom tackles socialism, dancing and the Oz connection with Lianett Rodriguez Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Hernandez Osma.
ell may we say ‘socialista o muerte’ because nothing will save the ballet from the forces of the Cuban revolution. Returning to Australia for the first time since their rampart storming ‘ballet for masses’ sell out tour of 2011, Ballet Revolucion will once again tear up the tutus and set fire to the stage with their sweaty, muscular routines. By blending legendary Cuban dance academy technique with chart-topping pop lollipops from Usher, Beyonce and J-Lo, Havana’s hottest dance troupe have trumped both the cigar and the suburban salsa school as their island home’s boldest cultural export. Sell out shows across Europe and Royal Command performances have only served to underline the inexorable momentum of the revolution.
Indeed, for Cubans, dance is both a source of pride and escape. According to Ballet Revolucion’s Lianett Rodriguez Gonzalez, “Everybody dances there. They have music in their blood. This is why there are so many Cuban artists teaching and performing worldwide. We are very proud when we can show our art. I think maybe it’s the reason why so many people want to see Cuban artists perform.” Since Castro and his July 26 Movement overthrew the notoriously brutal Batista regime in 1959, Cuba has gained a worldwide reputation for the excellence of its dance and arts training. August institutions like the Escuela Nacional de Arte and the Escuela Nacional de Ballet have consistently turned out graduates of exceptionally high technical and artistic quality. For many, the obvious propaganda comparison is with the former Eastern Bloc’s obsession with athletics. However, dancer Juan Carlos Hernandez Osma see it in slightly different terms. “We have the same life as any Cuban,” he declares in response to the notion that
dancers have a gold plated existence in Cuba. “The only difference I could say is that living our art helps us deal with the everyday stress. It allows us to forget the hardships while we practice and perform. I think any artist goes through the same process.” Fascinating though all these politics may be, it will not exactly be front of mind for Ballet Revolucion’s 20 young dancers or its thousands of fans when the curtain rises on its Australian return. After all, it was the show’s high energy excitement and sheer sensual spectacle that had us raving last time. Of Ballet Revolucion’s intricate blend of high and low art, Gonzalez says simply, “The challenge is to make the difference between the one and the other. During the show we have all the numbers following each other and, without getting off stage, you have to change styles and situations.” For Osma, the street dance parts of the show were the most difficult to blend in. “Being a classical dancer the challenge for me was to learn the contemporary, pop and hip hop steps that the show offers in a short period of time and be ready to perform as a professional.” Aside from its genre smashing, box office busting choreographic oomph, Ballet Revolucion also has a distinctly Australian flavour. Its creator Mark Brady and the original 2011 choreographer Aaron Cash are both Aussies. The show’s irreverence, energy and earthiness have brought crowds to the ballet that would rather have died than be seen anywhere near a tutu. WHAT: Ballet Revolucion WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 June, QPAC, Lyric Theatre
1000s OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
THE GUIDE AT 21
SINGLED OUT SINGLE OF THE WEEK
WITH CHRIS YATES
LONDON GRAMMAR Metal & Dust
Dew Process/Universal UK three-piece London Grammar’s debut EP has future coffee shop classic splashed all over it. Singer Hannah Reid’s voice is frankly amazing – it’s massive and powerful when she needs it to be but also remains just as strong and deliberate when she is whispering. With the minimalism of the production, her vocals become the main point of dynamics, and the listener gets swept into her rhythms. Title track Metal & Dust has a nice breaky, hip hop loop as the rhythm track and the combination of the strings laid over the top of this beat and the massive amounts of delay on everything conjure up trip hop memories of a better time. Everyone will say it sounds like The xx, which it does, but there’s much more interesting touchstones as well.
ALEX THE KID
Friends With Hangovers Independent It’s always surprising to see bands with “...influenced directly by Blink-182 and Alkaline Trio” on their bio, but Perth punk rock losers Alex The Kid are telling it as it is. I assume their name comes from the fact that everyone always calls that free game that came on the Sega Master System Alex The Kid when in fact it was called Alex Kidd In Miracle World. So it’s a funny name, and their song titles are great – Actually, High School Was Pretty Important After All and Checkpoint Gnarly being particularly excellent. The whole thing is what it says on the box really, which incidentally has a cartoon drawing of a stubby ‘giving it’ to a tinnie.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
[REVIEWS REVIEWS] a l b u m
All Our Wires Rice Is Nice Seja Vogel has cut an intriguing figure in the local music scene, having cut her teeth on quirky pop doyens Sekiden and Regurgitator. As a solo artist, however, she’s wavered between sanguine pop whimsy and more rustic fare, a sonic chameleon whose talent has always been evident yet an inherent restlessness never allowed her to take root. Her 2010 solo debut We Have Secrets But Nobody Cares fits such a description too – captivating, filled with great tracks, but not hanging together as a whole. The follow-up album All Our Wires runs a tangent once more, but instead of chimeric pop songs there’s a robustness, an assuredness, that’s a welcome added bow to Vogel’s string. Standout opening track Like Fireflies sets the wheel in motion – her devotional love for synth (in this instance a Korg MS-20) is forceful yet playful, underscored by Vogel’s breathy vocal delivery and an assured bassline courtesy of Regurgitator’s Ben Ely. It all adds up to a smart pop track devoid of pandering or cutesiness – an incredible relief, but more importantly, a mature, longstanding song. The pounding drums and soaring vocals of I Killed A Day feels like Mates Of State filtered through The Raveonettes in Shangri-Las mode; When You Said You Were Mine offers a simplistic synthetic percussion over lusher production, and Vogel’s voice evokes Dido, albeit far more involving. There are elements of Seja’s musical heritage in All Our Wires, with the saccharine Casiopop of Sekiden, naïve synth playfulness of her time in Regurgitator and spaced-out dreaminess of We Have Secrets… floating to the fore. Yet it’s the willingness to step outside these securities that proves the largest coup. ★★★★
EMPIRE OF THE SUN
Lost & Lonesome
It opens with the twinkling mystique of Lux and finishes roughly 40-minutes later with the drifting wistfulness of Keep A Watch. In between those two tracks, Empire Of The Sun lead you on an expedition to the outer reaches of pop music with their sophomore album, Ice On The Dune. Nick Littlemore and Luke Steele have managed to craft a full-length that carries on the musical adventure the pair started back in 2008 with debut Walking On A Dream, however, it’s very much done with its own identity, its own charm.
Great Earthquake is Noah Symons. That’s it. Almost unclassifiable as an artist, Symons proceeds to loop a wide array of acoustic instruments, vocals and field recordings into a whole that oft-times beggars belief. His Drawings debut of 2010 was a harbinger of things to come; Mind Maps is a further movement forward in creativity and confidence, out of this world and into the next.
Ice On The Dune
The originality of the compositions here reflects two farreaching minds, dipping into the depths of their creative psyche to discover something completely foreign yet ultimately familiar. Balearic guitars morph into throbbing layers of synths on DNA; childlike wonderment abounds on the title track; dream pop magic glides through the speakers during I’ll Be Around. But for all these varying shades of emotion, the defining moments of the record come from the straight ahead bangers that are found in the second half of the LP; the minimalistic Old Flavours, the euphoric rejoicing of Celebrate. On first listens, the tones of each track can slide into each other a little too comfortably. But with every further spin, the singular songs gain a stronger identity, until eventually, it all just clicks, and the Ice On The Dune experience makes complete sense. This is music that has been created in the hope of bringing people closer together, and if you take the heavy levels of glitter with a grain of salt, then you’ll be kept warm with this icy winter wonder. ★★★½
The cacophony of the opening and title track quickly brings to mind the kind of freak-form practitioners that are equally adept at defying tradition and categorisation – Akron/Family, Tune-Yards and Gang Gang Dance – yet holds a sonic tenderness, a honeyed malaise brought on by the synth burblings in the final third. The warm harmonics continue on Do.Make, the female vocals a comfortable, melodic cocoon that interweaves with the oscillating percussion, building in effervescent intensity and euphoria. Appropriate is a deliberately fun experience, an eclectic melange of sounds that succeeds in moving the body electric. Human Activity is almost a misnomer, so in tune with the wild it appears to be – field recordings flitter around the melody, dragging the tune into the wilderness never to return. In Nature (Song For Owen) procures hesitancy, then urgency, Symons’ tapestry of sound emitting an epiphany in progress. Even Mountain Dweller, starting out with ephemeral drone, becomes a claustrophobic mind stretch, crowding on all sides, offering little space to breath. Mind Maps is an album that never sits still, with so many ideas zinging off in all directions, that it can be a little daunting for some. Don’t be dissuaded, though; in Great Earthquake, Australia has an energetic, creative force that is only getting started. ★★★★
The Blueprint Remote Control There’s nowhere near enough comedy in music these days – actually there’s very little humour at all really. Everyone takes themselves way too seriously. Tripod’s ode to the pram pushers and 4WD mums taking over the inner city and closing all the pubs down falls into the, ‘It’s funny because it’s true’ category all too efficiently. Joggers with iPod Nanos listening to playlists of their favourite Aussie rock bands while petitioning to close down the local pubs where it all came from is a pretty damn accurate picture.
Liberator I must have listened to The Mother We Share by Chvrches hundreds of times at this stage and it still hasn’t gotten old. They have no shortage of these pop masterpieces up their sleeve it would seem. Gun is a little bit more electro, but no less pop. The beat is quicker and the synths are even more punchy in their short bursts. The chorus is like a revisit of The Mother We Share, but I really like that they are rolling with such a great little formula for some more tracks. If it ain’t broke, etc.
Crooked Smile (ft TLC) Sony For whatever reason, TLC seem to be having a massive resurgence out of what seems like nowhere. That ‘90s R&B sound that was for so long the subject of ridicule has been rediscovered by a whole generation of fans and producers, and with so many sounds from that era making their way into modern production it all seems to make sense again. J Cole’s raps are pedestrian and altogether secondary to TLC in this track, however, it’s a sign of good things ahead from their new album as a two-piece, RIP Left Eye.
Jamie Cullum’s sixth studio album Momentum is a solid collection of primarily his own material and finds him in fine form consistent with any of his previous releases. Whilst more distinctly pop in songwriting flavour, there are still piano solos and jazz inflections across the record, and the production by Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Kasabian) and Jim Abbiss (Adele, Arctic Monkeys) gives each song its own sonic world while creating a cohesive whole.
Anytime is a good time for Creedence, and John Fogerty ought to celebrate his outstanding catalogue of work in any way he sees fit. But we just don’t need Wrote A Song For Everyone. Sure, Foo Fighters playing Fortunate Son sounds pretty cool, but it’s the kind of performance best left for charity concerts or TV specials. Keith Urban sounds great on Almost Saturday Night, but about one per cent as great as Fogerty did in 1975 and while having the legendary Bob Seger and Fogerty together on Who’ll Stop The Rain, it’s a bit late in their careers for it to be doing either artist any great favours.
Montreal two-piece Majical Cloudz are a bit of an odd venture. Being at its core synth-pop, it also ventures into minimalist art-pop and even blends elements of folk into this weird musical cyborg. Impersonator is the group’s debut LP for ever-illustrious indie Matador, and to say it’s a bleak affair is an understatement, with each track making you feel like your dog has died.
Themes explored on earlier albums are still here – stardom, being caught between youth and adulthood, identity – and all delivered with Cullum’s irreverent humour and earnest rasp, and nestled in artful melodies. There’s a definite energy and colour to proceedings from the bouncy shuffle of The Same Things and Everything You Didn’t Do, to the tongue-in-cheek When I Get Famous and the jazzier Anyway. Later track Save Your Soul is near pop perfection with its ascending chords and building chorus, and is the album’s standout track. Get A Hold Of Yourself is Cullum at his most restrained, intimate and vulnerable with hushed vocals and acoustic guitar, and the falsetto phrases are affecting and lovely. The strength of his originals is complemented by the inclusion of two fantastically-executed covers. The highlight is Love For $ale, a pulsating reworking of a Cole Porter standard featuring Roots Manuva with a nod to his hit Witness (1 Hope) in the production. It shouldn’t work but it really does. Pure Imagination is a delicate take on the iconic Willy Wonka song and is a quiet pause that adds beautiful light and shade to the record. Cullum knows what he does well, and he does it here. ★★★★
22 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
Wrote A Song For Everyone
New track Mystic Highway is a friendly white bread country-gospel romp; it’s one of Fogerty’s best performances on the album, but lacks the grit of the early days, while Zac Brown’s vocal on Bad Moon Rising is pretty arresting and his band’s loose, slacker take on the arrangement brings the best parts of Jimmy Buffett and CCR together. The highlight is easy to pick, though; My Morning Jacket make Long As I Can See The Light stunning as Jim James’ falsetto sounds effortlessly cool. It’s also one of the songs where Fogerty seems comfortable to show his age, his vocal is weathered and imperfect, which, in turn, means he sounds at his most powerful. It can be difficult to separate your feelings for these songs with the performances on this disc; if you’ve had the right number of beers anyone sounds great doing Creedence songs. But skip this record and buy another copy of Green River instead. ★★½
MAJICAL CLOUDZ Impersonator
Charismatic vocalist Devon Welsh can’t really sing. Well, traditionally he’s not a trained vocalist, but his delivery in combination with his lyrics makes this record. Lead single Childhood’s End is a prime example, with a simple synth part underneath Welsh’s soul-rooted delivery of hopeless, pleading lyrics such as, “Love me, it’s a sin/Can you see me caving in”. Following track I Do Sing For You is equally interesting in its delivery, acting as a hopeless unrequited love letter. Turns Turns Turns is perhaps the closest to a normal synth-pop track, as opposed to an emotional drag. Bugs Don’t Buzz and Silver Rings are perhaps the record’s most sparse outings and Welsh’s vocals once again make the affair. By the time you reach closer Notebook it doesn’t feel as if 38 minutes have passed and the song itself is a bit of an odd finish; halfway between a ballad and a hymn, it’s appropriate for the album but not as its closure, and is the record’s only real misstep. Impersonator is an album that captures the influence of the electronic sounds that are quickly becoming an integral part of much modern alternative music, giving it a very authentic backing to create one of the most interesting records in recent times. ★★★★
a l b u m [REVIEWS REVIEWS]
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MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS Uncanny Valley
Siberia/Remote Control There’s a laziness to Midnight Juggernauts’ sound which usually works, but on Uncanny Valley it all feels a little unfocused. The slower pace of the album (sitting just around the magic heartbeat rate) helps to induce a hypnotic resonance but also makes it harder to concentrate on the tunes without drifting away. Opening track HCL is not quite an intro and not quite a whole song, it just never quite gets over the line. Ballad Of The War Machine follows closely and it is one of the most fully realised tracks on the album. The synth arpeggios double up for the chorus, and the “ahhhs” that make the hook are fantastic – it’s up there with the best songs they’ve written. Straight away they break the mould and go for the disco light of the second single Memorium, which works fantastically with its video, but misses something important without the visuals. Sugar And Bullets takes full advantage of the disco as well, and it really starts to get a bit cheesy. As usual, their darker more subversive songs and moods work better, but these moments are heavily outweighed by the lackadaisical, hammockdwelling apathy that drowns most of the album. The overall sound of the record and the cohesiveness really serves it well, but the concepts and songwriting are too loose to provide any real lasting satisfaction. The Juggers have always sounded on the verge of making a really great record, but they still haven’t quite hit it yet. ★★★½
THE BAPTIST GENERALS
Denton, Texas outfit The Baptist Generals essentially disappeared following the release of their debut album No Silver/No Gold back in 2003. They spent a few years playing exclusively unamplified on their travel rug in out-of-the-way places, and then just seemed to run out of gas. Once a duo, the band now revolves around singer-songwriter Chris Flemmons (drummer Steve Hill left the fold in 2007), and he set the bar high for the band’s sophomore effort by scrapping several versions of the album over the years, before settling on the songs which would become Jackleg Devotional To The Heart.
Aquatic Lab Sessions Vol. 2 recalls a different era. The second compilation of material from Sydney’s Aquatic Lab Records, Sessions Vol 2 is reminiscent of dubstep’s adolescent period – a rewarding phase in the latenoughties wherein the genre had started to outgrow its more niche 2-step/garage origins but had yet to morph into its current Skrillex-sponsored behemoth status.
By default, it’s a fascinating listen. In an era where dubstep is considered the province of ‘roided-up festival jocks, Sessions reminds of that largely forgotten period when the style was predominantly considered minimal, experimental and decidedly fringe. However, to Aquatic Lab’s considerable credit, it’s also a profoundly rewarding listen; potentially one of the most consistent compilations you’ll hear all year. Aquatic Lab’s standards have been unnervingly high from the outset – 2009’s Sessions Vol 1 was and remains a high watermark of its genre – but, in recent years, they’ve grown even stronger as a label. There isn’t a single misstep on Vol 2. It’s brutally effective from Moving Ninja’s scalpel-sharp Saw start to Seven’s cinematic Dark Tribe finish. Even more impressive, it’s as diverse as it is consistent.
Jackleg Devotional To The Heart
Surprisingly, the end results don’t feel laboured at all, the tone considered but not atrophied. It’s still folk music at its core but also somehow far beyond that, in the same way that Neil Young transcends the Americana tag. Flemmons owns a voice reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum, but both his songwriting and music are miles removed from that of NMH: while they both favour dense, verbose tracts of lyrics, The Baptist Generals’ songs tend to hone in on the minutiae of given situations in order to shed light on the bigger picture, akin to The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle. The lyrics are mainly ruminations about love and relationships rather than the grog-addled musings of yore, but their pain-wracked delivery suggests that booze was definitely still a factor (after the fact at least). The stripped-back numbers (Clitorpus Christi, Oblivion) are ultimately just as powerful as the more visceral highlights (Dog That Bit You, Bromides), just because Flemmons’ unabashed honesty and sincerity is prevalent throughout. A welcome return. ★★★★
Aquatic Lab Sessions Vol 2
Given their clear affection for dubstep’s older eras, Aquatic Lab’s latest could easily have fallen into nostalgia and predictability. Instead, they’ve privileged artists who use the skeletal foundations of their forebears as a platform for advancement. Throughout, you can glimpse shades of techno, industrial, breakbeat, ambient, reggae and countless other styles woven into the disc’s classicist fabric. Honestly, it’s pretty much a faultless piece of work. Dubstep skeptics would be well-advised to seek it out. ★★★★★
OUTSIDERS CODE Exiled From Birth
“It executes an established template with utter conviction and without wasting a single note.” Mark Hebblewhite
BUCHANAN Ripe “This debut is polished, with a collection of those magic moments of whimsy and temperament that will soon enough set them apart from the pack.” Lorin Reid
THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
Love Lust Faith + Dreams Universal “This album is built on big ideas that never actually come into fruition – even with the schmick production sensationalising every aspect of the album.” Justine Keating
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 23
[REVIEWS REVIEWS] l i v e THE BELLRAYS, THE BOYS, SOME JERKS
even display the same broad disinterest in the audience – but this is a shinier version of both music and attitude, more pop than outsider. The psych trappings are dominant here and somehow clearer for being played off against catchy riffs. Traditional indie-rock leads into several minutes of instrumental guitar play, where the band seems to be particularly enjoying themselves.
THE HI-FI: 13/06/13 It’s time to rock’n’roll tonight with US mainstays The BellRays returning to the country after a lengthy absence. There’s a decent audience already present as Some Jerks kick into gear – they’re like little Rory Calhouns standing upright towards the front. The band control the large Hi-Fi stage and the sound really works, their blend of garage and pop coming through clear as day and everything sitting just perfect in the mix throughout the set.
It’s a surprisingly effortless melding of styles – Toy are equally convincing as psych as they are rock, plus they manage to revel in what could be a retro style without feeling in any way dated. There’s more control than wildness to the instrumental freak-outs, but that’s what allows them to cross back-and-forth comfortably and the band use the space well, playing with bass melodies and keyboard leads that are, by necessity, relegated to backing parts during the straighter points of the set.
Then we reach The Boys – the all-girl ‘grunge’ group that tries to do everything the label says. Firstly, the group’s mix is good and the band have obviously spent a lot of time honing this sound, rarely missing a beat. But unfortunately what’s on offer resembles a bland cliché at best, one that brings nothing original to the table apart from an in-between song hat change. The banter the group toss up between tracks is nearly as torturous as their ‘rock’ moves – which even Bon Jovi would use more sparingly – and when they bring out the acoustic guitar, the following track is as middle of the road as the set gets. This group are a bad choice for tonight, even though they have a solid fanbase; it just doesn’t really fit and Smashing Pumpkins would be turning over in their Siamese Dream grave while Courtney Love is probably calling her lawyer.
The keys do sit out a little too prominently at times, but the high sweeping notes make for an interesting interplay with singer Tom Dougall’s deep voice and, when the keys do go quiet, it’s a noticeable absence, with the guitars too rhythmic to pick up the slack. The set is well structured, taking advantage of the different ground that the band covers to keep the elements fresh and appealing. Psych-rock has a tendency towards over-indulgence – too many extended instrumental breaks without genuine intent – but Toy use them sparingly and wisely. It’s a great set and hopefully the next time the band tours, word of mouth and a weekend night will see them playing to a much larger crowd.
Fortunately, we then reach tonight’s headliners. Instantly The BellRays kick into gear and it’s a high-octane trip throughout, with the group rarely stopping for a breather between tracks. It’s hard not to immediately pick up that this group are seasoned performers, with powerhouse frontwoman Lisa Kekaula leading the charge with her bad-arse attitude and simply amazing vocals. The songs are quickfire in delivery and draw primarily from the latest record, Black Lightning, and the new material definitely holds its own within this already bubbling set. Over time, as a song breaks down and then works up to a peak – it’s hard not to stand on the tip of your toes and go through the motions with the band. The track Black Lightning is quick, powerhouse blues and shows the group’s wide variety of influence, but it’s Sun Comes Down that steals the set and embodies everything that you want to see from this band, showcasing the class rhythm section underneath Kekaula’s vocal gymnastics. When it all ends it feels like it’s finished a little too soon – the encore is inevitable, but we’re still left wanting more. Perhaps that’s just the power of this great band, and as the lights come on it’s not surprising at all to find the room full of smiling faces.
WIL WAGNER, WE SET SAIL, PADDY MCHUGH, VIRGINIA SOOK CROWBAR: 14/06/2013
The BellRays @ The Hi-Fi Pic by rcstills
BEACHES, PER PURPOSE, OCCULTS BLACK BEAR LODGE: 14/06/13 Brisbane-based trio and self confessed ‘gloom lords’ Occults draw a commendable crowd to Black Bear Lodge considering they’re the first of two support acts tonight, possibly due to the fact they have been touring up a storm of recent months, earning positive reviews around the country for their unique blend of dark, sultry and gothic rock. While strumming it out with admirable dexterity, lead guitarist Jasmine Dunn is throwing herself around the stage in trademark gloomy splendour, while Sam McKenzie’s deep, dark and seductive vocals reverberate throughout the venue to great effect. We’re treated to the delightful sounds of songs including Sex After Death and Failures, before the set wraps up with Soiled Bibles. Fellow Brisbanians Per Purpose are next to command the stage, offering an interesting visual spectacle: frontman Glan Schenau is sans shoes, donning arguably punk’s prettiest haircut and using what looks like a scarf as a belt, while comparisons between drummer Joe Alexander and Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Riff Raff are undeniable – it’s fantastic! Their quirky, off-beat style of punk wins the crowd over effortlessly, and commendations must be given to lead guitarist Mitchel Perkins for his contributions – his sound resembles jazz music in that he hits the most unexpected notes in succession, yet they sound so perfect together. While tracks like Trod On The Tip and Reaction stand out as highlights, the entire set is a success. It’s a full house by the time Melbourne’s Beaches take the stage, and there’s something about seeing four bodacious babes on guitar, lined up together on a small stage, backed by a bangin’ female beatmaster that’s oh so right. Coming together from bands such as Love Of Diagrams, Panel Of Judges and Spider Vomit, these ladies are nothing but professional; they know exactly how to work their sound and this crowd. The set commences with Out Of Mind, which coincidentally is the opening track from the album they’re here to launch tonight, She Beats. A couple of tracks down the line, Allison Bolger takes over from Antonia Sellbach on lead vocals for Send Them Away, which is beautiful from every way you look at it; angelically
24 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
sweet vocals, serene guitar and amazing team work from the group. Distance and Runaway – where Bolger and bassist Gill Tucker swap guitars and vocal duties – also leave a lasting impression, before the set concludes with a blast from the past, Eternal Sphere from their 2010 EP of the same name. It’s always a privilege to witness a strong and talented group of females rock a stage, and despite slight difficulties with sound and feedback throughout the set, Beaches have been no exception to the rule. Rock on girls! Jazmine O’Sullivan
MUNICIPAL WASTE, MALAKYTE, THE SCAM THE HI-FI: 15/06/13 It’s been seven years since Richmond, Virginia’s Municipal Waste have killed it on Australian shores. Seven long years in which a lot of things have changed, like the popularity of the thrash revival has peaked and passed. But the Waste have emerged from their movement as its Darwinian survivors, and tonight they’re ready to prove to Brisbane crowds that what doesn’t kill you only makes you thrash harder. With a nod to the headliner’s crossover proclivities, local openers The Scam take to the stage with a set of furious punk rock. Delivered with speed and precision, without speed or precision sounding like much of a concern for the three-piece, the band’s crusty set is a winner. It also keeps things short and sweet, which seems to suit a crowd more focused on getting a beer buzz on. Malakyte don’t play like your average support band; there’s none of the regular, ‘Hey, are you guys ready to see tonight’s headliner’, or ‘We’re so grateful for the headliners for putting us on the bill’. Instead, the five piece play like they should be onstage, and they should, which means that the crowd responds with a hell of a lot more than the polite indifference generally afforded to the support band. Malakyte have obviously studied their ‘70s and ‘80s metal and have honed their own brand of slick, thrashy/speedy metal from their influences. The tunes hit home tonight because the guys hit them with near-boundless energy – they’re jumping around, indulging in old world metal stage theatrics and shredding out solo after solo. By the time they’re done, the crowd is officially warmed up.
Four men, four bandanas, zero shirt sleeves. If you were unsure whether or not it was the case, Municipal Waste come out and immediately let you know that they’re way more thrash than you. Driven by the back-beat of man/drum machine Dave Witte, the four-piece kills it as they venture back throughout their discography. The Thrashin’ Of The Christ, Terror Shark – helpfully prefaced by a note that “this is a song about a shark” – I Want To Kill The President and Wolves Of Chernobyl all sound like note perfect replications of their recorded counterpart, except now there’s Tony Foresta jumping around, getting in the crowd’s face, and Ryan Waste’s pointy as hell and amazingly awesome custom guitar to make everything so much cooler. The Hi-Fi becomes a sea of hair as heads thrash back and forth and stage divers dive, flip and crash land into the first few rows, especially as the band hit The Art Of Partying material, at which point it becomes evident that Municipal Waste are gonna, and do, fuck us all up. And it’s actually kind of brilliant. Tom Hersey
TOY, COBWEBBS THE ZOO: 17/06/13 Cobwebbs are given the task of warming up the sparse crowd tonight and they do a credible job. Their sound hovers somewhere around Joy Division with a touch of shoegaze thrown in and the tracks have a distorted, muddied appeal. Vocalist Sam Wightman’s voice is atonal and disinterested, the guitars are all mid-end, repeated notes and consistent tone, while a propulsive drum beat ensures the tracks don’t bog down in the slower moments. Unfortunately, the banter mostly consists of requests for changes in the foldback and cultivated disinterest, limiting their stage presence. The tracks begin to blur together after a while – without any defining features, what is immersive for 20 minutes becomes repetitious over a much longer set. Still, the sound is enjoyably abrasive and played with conviction – definitely a band worth following as they evolve. The crowd has swelled somewhat by the time Toy take the stage, but it’s still suffering from the expensive-show-on-a-Monday-night-in-Brisbanewinter blues.The band seem to take influences from the same place as Cobwebbs – indeed they
Walking down the stairs into the Crowbar tonight, the cold night air is mitigated by the heat of bodies in the club. It’s warming to see such support for Australia’s own punk rock troubadour and Smith Street man Wil Wagner. Virginia Sook are up first. Their set is quiet and arresting, their lovinglycrafted harmonies and subtle instrumentation unlike most else currently on offer on Brisbane’s scene. It’s because of this that Virginia Sook’s set comes across feeling haunting and lovely. Frontman of modern country outfit Paddy McHugh & The Goldminers, Paddy McHugh is doing the solo thing as well tonight. Material off the band’s latest full-length record gets strippedback and reworked for McHugh’s set, and it’s a treat to hear how all the changes go down. Feedback is an always welcome addition to a show, and We Set Sail offer it up before things get too sappy and acoustic up in the Crowbar. Their set drones around the intersection of post-hardcore, shoegaze and indie rock, the songs sprawl out and captivate the room. The Smith Street Band sound like The Gaslight Anthem, if The Gaslight Anthem weren’t awfully hackneyed and tremendously over-sentimental, but frontman Wil Wagner comes across more in the vein of The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle tonight as he plays his headlining solo set. With boundless goodwill and an unwavering earnestness, the singer wins over the entire crowd in the basement club. Supplementing the material off his eight-track solo EP with Smith Street Band cuts like I Want Friends, there’s plenty to stir up rousing singalongs. With his, presumably, autobiographical songs about getting high, falling in and out of love and realising how important your friends are, Wagner has the power to transport listeners to their teenage years, where feelings were amplified and an engorged sense of wonderment allowed them to approach situations without the film of cynicism that settles upon those on the wrong side of 20. It’s powerful stuff, hearing what the singer can do onstage, accompanied by only his guitar, and after a few or more drinks it’s damn hard not to yell/sing along, engulfed in the passion of songs like the upbeat celebration of friends, community and bad choices, Young Drunk, or the superbly diminutive retrospective Laika. Though he might not be on stage for very long, Wil Wagner puts on a damn fine show – a different animal from The Smith Street Band, but one that feels similarly honest and stirring. Wagner is a luminescent talent in the current milieu of Australian alt.rock, and if you missed his show tonight you should do yourself a favour and catch The Smith Street Band the next time they roll through town. Tom Hersey
ARE YOU LOCAL? BRISBANE SINGLES AND EPS BY CHRIS YATES CHRIS@TIMEOFF.COM.AU
Brisbane continues its fine tradition of ace allfemale groups with the Go Violets, and with a couple of singles making waves in 2012 they are gearing up for the release of their first fully-fledged EP later in the year. Josie kicks in with Ramones drums and then the guitars aren’t too far off as well. With some distinctly sunny Brisbane melodic guitars cutting in over the top, the song really takes shape. The handclaps and extra guitars on the chorus give the impression that you’ve heard this song before which is just a result of nailing a classic pop song so effortlessly. Simple songs sometimes work the best and say much more and Go Violets are apparently well aware of this.
Local producer Andrew Foley tells us that his Mattzart project is inspired by computer games and ‘80s sci-fi soundtracks. A few seconds into Stargazer’s opening track Friendship Bracelets and it’s not an unfounded claim. The synths are big and washy, the drums have a nice rounded crunch and their minimalist patterns really work. Much like the entire decade of the 1980s, it does get a little overblown at times, but I don’t think this indulgence is any accident. When he does leave a bit more space in the tracks like on Palm Trees it’s a bit easier to get swept up into the dreaminess.
The Black Angels @ The Tivoli Pic by Stephen Booth
THE BLACK ANGELS, THE LAURELS, ZEAHORSE THE TIVOLI: 13/06/13 A scattered crowd and an early timeslot greets Sydney’s Zeahorse, who proffer a short stab of a set that is full of crunchy scuzz and noisy abandon, with only a whiff of the psychedelia that imbues the rest of the lineup, most notably in the distorted breakdown halfway through the deliciously warped Tugboat. It’s not often that a full-frontal aural assault comes at the beginning of the night – their inclusion here starts to make sense. Also hailing from Sydney, The Laurels walk onstage to an oscillating drone that permeates their decidedly shoegaze-driven set. The vocals are unfortunately washed out of the mix in the first two songs, but once the layers are set the four-piece truly deliver. Luke O’Farrell thrashes about while Piers Cornelius remains relatively still in comparison, yet their dual guitars drench the audience in swathes of atmosphere and distortion. Conor Hannan’s basslines cut straight through to the bone, and Kate Wilson’s metronomic drums propel everything into the stratosphere. A set heavily influenced by their Plains record of last year, the band are all smiles, clearly revelling in their time onstage and promising even greater things in the near future.
Rumour has it that purveyors of all things psych rock The Black Angels have never played a bad show. Although this does sound like heretical hearsay, it is clear from the minute the first astral (and jawdroppingly mesmeric) projections hit the wall that these Texans have crafted their art meticulously, nothing being left to chance. So it is tonight as the band promote their newest album Indigo Meadow, a record that highlights the newly four-piece (joined tonight by Rishi Dhir) continuing to play with the sprawling, dirge-like formula that saw them become instant gods back a decade ago. Opening with the older, darker Vikings, Alex Maas’ iconic voice holds sway, reverbed, barbed, an aural hypnotic narcotic. Christian Bland slays on guitar, encapsulating an entire genre, while Stephanie Bailey is scintillating on the skins. I Hear Colors and marching, taunting mantra Don’t Play With Guns come next; Entrance Song spirals downwards, inhabiting its own parallel world. When Telephone hits the trajectory is complete – this no longer sounds like an aberration, but a joyful alleviation. There are moments which are true touchstones to the band’s forebears (The Day; Yellow Elevator #2), while old favourites The Sniper and Young Men Dead are brutally magnetic. Two-plus hours and one encore later, and The Black Angels’ track record remains resolutely intact.
CHINESE BURNS Not My Girl
Swashbuckling Hobo Despite rarely playing a show and not even living in the same town as each other, The Gladstone-, Bundaberg- and Brisbane-based members of Chinese Burns keep cranking out 7” singles that are timeless garage punk, which the wider garage rock worldwide community is paying close attention to. The B-sides on this particular 7” reveal two sides of the band: Goose Step is fast punk, relentless in speed and aggression, while In My Jungle sees the band slow things way down. It’s a slow dirge that revels in its disgustingness, and it’s brutal for completely different reasons than Goose Step – it’s like a dark cloud that you don’t ever want to clear up. Probably their best track yet.
GOLDEN YOUNG Predators Independent Electronic-ish duo Golden Young have created some really interesting sounds on their first offering Predators. The song is a pretty straight-up pop song with female vocals really loud in the mix, being assisted by the other half on melodic moments with a much more subtle treatment. The drums sound really cool, like a heavy drum machine that’s been sampled and run through an amplifier or something – I’m just guessing, but there’s something cool going on. The guitars also add great textures and the most remarkable aspect is that the sound of the whole track comes across as something quite different.
ARTS WATCHING (MAD) MEN THE QUALITY OF MERCY S6, E12
This Week On Mad Men: Bob Benson is out of the closet: his blue-blooded, Beloit-schooled, big-smiling ways a façade; he just another Don Draper, a hustler from the inbred boonies whose CV – whose very identity – is “written in steam”. For Pete, keeper of Don’s secrets, that means keeping Ken close, his newfound nemesis closer. Drunk Dick, dodging his about-to-combust marriage, is now wed to his job; keeping an “eye out” for SC&P by trolling Peggy-eyed Ted, his own in-office rival; daring to lecture another on thinking with their wang. Don’s a sanctimonious “monster”, whose daughter so longs to avoid him she’s willingly going to boarding school. In oversized bow and schoolgirl plaid, Sexual-Awakening Sally’s
still a little kid; her bad-girl façade – dialing up Creepy Glen and joint-rollin’ pal for some hazing-ritual blazing/drunk-on – not yet extending to actual casual kissin’. No-longer-fat-and-sad Betty, unlikely proud mother, offers Sally a passing-the-torch smoke. How Big Is Thy Weiner?: In a season filled with extended Rosemary’s Baby homage, a Polanski-aping ad-spot makes it all overt. Pete Campbell’s Punchable-Weasel-Face Watch: When Pete “nobly” takes Chevy off Ken’s hands, ol’ Mr Cooper punches him with mocking words: “crocodile tears, how quaint!” Anthony Carew Screening every Monday night, 5.20pm and 8.30pm, on Showcase
Behind The Candelabra
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA FILM Michael Douglas is magnificent as flamboyant entertainer Liberace, with Matt Damon embracing the role of his younger lover, rugged animal wrangler Scott Thorson. Liberace and Thorson meet briefly in the late 1970s, and under the guise of driver and bodyguard, Thorson soon becomes Liberace’s permanent live-in companion. Portrayed through bold love scenes, the two develop a convincing and highly dysfunctional co-dependent relationship. Liberace physically moulds Thorson into a younger version of himself, simultaneously projecting his yearnings for a son, lover, confidante and guardian. Thorson eventually develops a drug habit care of the ‘California diet’, a destructive
concoction of prescribed barbiturates provided by Dr Startz. Performed by a fantastic Rob Lowe, Startz is an opportunistic and grotesque caricature deformed by a severe amount of plastic surgery and selfmedication, while Dan Ackroyd and Debbie Reynolds play almost unrecognisable supporting roles in the film. Filled with extravagant emotional excesses of love and jealousies that rival the grandeur of their palatial kitsch mansion, the combination of too much leaves Liberace and Thorson feeling unbearably lonely, which eventually consumes their relationship. In what Steven Soderbergh has discussed as his final work for the foreseeable future, HBO produced this cinebiopic despite it being accused of being ‘too gay’. Bethany Cannan In cinemas Thursday 25 July
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 25
[COLUMNS COLUMNS] a r t s THE LOOKING GLASS
A JOURNEY THROUGH ARTS WITH HELEN STRINGER
ARTS NEWS WITH MANDY MCALISTER
Joel Madden It’s been a rough week for culture. Adopted Australian Joel Madden – he of the follicular versatility, shocked the nation by revealing that he is not an infallible role model but a normal human being who smokes weed like the rest of us. Reactions to this shocking event ranged from ‘Oh, the betrayal’ to ‘Enforce mandatory deportation’. Mostly the latter. This is because we like to pretend that we don’t watch The Voice and that we haven’t been completely endeared to Madden. I am not ashamed – even though I don’t inhale* I’d happily share a joint with Joel while taking turns spray-colouring our hair. I am, however, in the faux-minority in standing up for the right for Madden to stay in the country for as long as he wants. I don’t subscribe to the Dave Grohl view that TV talent shows are destroying the music industry with insta-fame (I tend, in fact, to think: fuck off Dave Grohl, like the music industry has been particularly harsh on you). Shows like The Voice are cultural relics that should be celebrated. In 200 years our descendants will find images of chair swivelling ex-pop stars and reach the conclusion that our judges are deities. That’s right: in the future Joel Madden will be a demigod. His presence will make Australia the holy land, thus attracting millions of pilgrims whose tourism dollars will keep our economy afloat when we run out of natural resources to exploit. But before continuing in defending Madden, I’d ask that you excuse me if my drug lingo is out of date. I’ve attempted an update by referring to parentingteens. com, but I’m pretty sure their list is comprised entirely
of bullshit super high kids have deliberately fed to them in order to avoid detection. Incidentally, the website has a nifty quiz to help parents determine whether their sweet little angels have partaken in some “vipe, bale or bambalacha”. Questions include: “true or false: you have smelt marijuana on your teenager’s breath or clothes” because, obviously, olfactory evidence of drug use is such an indeterminate indication of your child’s proclivity for “bhang, belyando spruce or bo-bo” that you need clarification as to whether it constitutes proof. Anyway, I’m of an age where I can get away with calling marijuana whatever the hell I like without the risk of being grounded, so I’ll just sit back and employ any euphemisms I want. It’s indicative of the average Australian’s view on marijuana that nobody gave a great number of shits about Joel’s lax attitude to the drug until Seal took to Twitter to lambast the entire country. Using his muchcelebrated eloquence, Seal said, “…Shame one [sic] the Star...you ask him to meet n greet a cancer victim in your hotel then send police to his room?’’ What Seal was trying to say was, ‘Joel Madden was alleviating the pain of a cancer victim with the liberal application of medical marijuana’. The real shock in Seal’s rant was the nightmarish implication that Delta is partial to a bit of bud; frankly, I cannot imagine anything worse than getting high with a woman in a jumpsuit**. Oh dear lord, the horror. On a personal note, we should all deeply sympathise with toothpick man. We can safely assume that the only explanation for the miniscule amount of weed found is that he had already smoked the rest of his stash. As everybody knows, having the police knock on your door when you are seriously stoned is absolutely fucking terrifying. Moreover, given that approximately 92 per cent of Australians are partial to a bit of ganja, Madden’s indiscretion is simply evidence of his ongoing assimilation into this great, frequently high nation. More power to you Joel and remember: never hold more weed on your person than the minimum amount the law dictates is a chargeable quantity. Not that I know what that quantity is. *Facts may be changed to avoid self-incrimination. **If, that is, I got high, which I don’t.
meeting you they are the ones who visually move their heads up and down when they give you the once over. Of course not all men are sexists, so if you don’t work for one or marry one you should be able to get by without considering homicide a viable option. Yep, I sure have the goods on how to be a lazy feminist; don’t snog, don’t marry, just avoid sexists and wait till both you and them are too goddamned old to give a shit about anything other than bowel movements and impossible packaging. Only it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes sexism pops up in unlikely places.
Doctor Who A girl doesn’t know she’s a girl until she hits puberty and she’s forced into her first bra by the embarrassment of her newly rounded out chest. Until then, Barbies or not, she’s just a kid who knows not the weary battle of sexism. From the day she grows those baubles to the day when age levels the playing field once again and renders herself and peers of all genders equally incapable, every day will present a new opportunity for some thoughtless twit to underestimate, objectify or marginalise her on site, regardless of ability. Hell, if the leader of the country can’t do her job without being asked about her fashion sense and having her body made fun of on a menu, it’s reasonable for the women of Australia to ask if odds aren’t stacked against them. No doubt women’s lib has won some hard battles, but just when you think the war is over some old fuck puts his fat hand on your shoulder, calls you ‘possum’, sends you off to do some menial task, and stares at your arse as you leave. It’s crap, it’s weary, it’s boring, but sooner or later you come to expect it. After a while, rather than being a sneak attack that fucks up your day, an encounter with a garden variety sexist becomes just another annoying thing in a world of annoying things. You recognise the signs, think ‘Oh, you’re one of them’, and brace for the idiocy. If you’re having trouble spotting a sexist, upon
Recently, Matt Smith announced that he’ll be leaving Doctor Who, thus launching a million geek-gasms as fans worldwide started speculating on who would be the new Who. In consideration of this, the not at all sexist Matt Patches of hollywood.com wrote a piece called The Next ‘Doctor Who’ Star Could be a Woman (and it Should be!). It was a neat piece quoting showrunner Steven Moffat, in regards to a female doctor, as saying, “It is a part of Time Lord lore that it can happen. Who knows, the more often it is talked about the more likely it is to happen some day.” Fair enough, it’s part of the (fairly flexible) mythology, ‘Why the hell not?’ Then you read the comments to the piece and realise that some people that like the same stuff you do are idiots. There was a barrage of fairly tired jokes about the Doctor needing to change her tampon before saving the world, or demanding the toilet seat in the TARDIS be left down. However, the argument that gained traction was the idea that casting a female Doctor would be like casting a female James Bond. Counter arguments suggested that since Bond is human and the Doctor is a time lord who can regenerate, and whose personality changes, this is an unfair comparison. Nice try. Truth is there is no reason why James Bond could not be female. She could still drive fast cars and fuck women. You wouldn’t have to address the gender change at all. It’s not like anyone has ever said to Bond, ‘Hey James, what’s with the Scottish accent? I thought you were English or is it Australian?’ It’s okay to say you don’t like big changes in stuff you like, but we live in a world of change where shows don’t survive without it. Red Wedding anyone?
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26 • For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog
m u s i c [COLUMNS COLUMNS]
BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTS@INPRESS.COM.AU
URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE
POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
LL Cool J
ZZ Top A couple of big – and somewhat related – festival announcements have been coming through the last few weeks, dropping some exciting international artists on our doorstep. First of all, the first part of the Caloundra Music Festival bill was announced with the likes of Boy & Bear (whose new single is actually pretty great if you’re into cruisy west coast pop), Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter, The Basics and Blue King Brown catering to the younger set. There’s a fair amount of vintage Aussie blues and rock action with the likes of Russell Morris, The Screaming Jets and a Time Of Our Lives revue kind of show, that will feature the likes of Joe Camilleri, James Reyne, Ross Wilson and Daryl Braithwaite playing their finest hits. But we haven’t even started on the international acts, and they’re pretty tasty for fans of somewhat under-the-radar blues, soul and funk. Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk make their first ever visit to Australia to play the festival, alongside The Holmes Brothers, who had already announced they’d be at the Great Southern Blues festival and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a group who will surely provide the most uplifting performances of the festival. More acts are set to be announced Thursday, so keep your eyes on theMusic.com.au and in this paper for that info as it comes to hand. Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk have also been announced for the Narooma Great Southern Blues Festival while they are out here, which will make plenty of people very happy, and that bill has swollen even further with the announcement of the likes of Pete Cornelius & The Original Devilles (for their first show together in almost 15 years), The Continental Blues Party and very young up-and-coming indie pop leaning group (and Michael Chugg favourites) Lime Cordiale. On top of this, the Brisbane Festival has confirmed it will bring the mighty Tucson Western-noir group Calexico back to Australia this September, with performances from the likes of Russell Morris, Australian and Timor-Leste collaboration Doku Rai Band and indigenous country master Roger Knox. Brisbane is beautiful in spring, but if you’re not able to be at the Brisbane Festival there will no doubt be other dates announced soon enough. The mighty ZZ Top were recently in Australia (my dislike of Guns N’ Roses and the fact they weren’t playing any other shows in my area meant I missed them) and given the quality of their most recent LP La Futura, I was pretty bummed about that. There has been some more good news coming from the ZZ Top camp of late though, with the band announcing their first ten LPs will be remastered and re-released on CD and iTunes (why they don’t do it on vinyl is mindboggling, but there you go). Considering these first records are ZZ Top’s First Album (1971), Rio Grande Mud (1972), Tres Hombres (1973), Fandango! (1975), Tejas (1976), Degüello (1979), El Loco (1981), Eliminator (1983), Afterburner (1985) and Recycler (1990), there’s a whole lot of good time bluesy boogie rock’n’roll to sink your teeth into with these reissues. They were re-released on Friday just passed through Warner, and the ten CD pack sits at around the $60 price point. As far as forthcoming releases go, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is very much looking forward to getting to hear the new LP from the stunning Neko Case. After the sheer brilliance (and much deserved commercial success) of her most recent LP, 2009’s Middle Cyclone, she has managed to amass quite an incredible fan base and it’s looking like the release of her next record, which will be her sixth, could see her putting her music to more people than ever before. The album is called – wait for it – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, and it will be released through Anti-/Warner on Friday 6 September. You can hear the first single from it, Man, online now.
Don’t call it a comeback? Bah! Daft Punk worked with not only Chic’s Nile Rodgers but also, crucially, Pharrell Williams on Random Access Memories – aka ‘Disco For Dummies’. Williams’ pop career has languished ever since his Neptunes (and N*E*R*D) partner Chad Hugo pulled back – and Kanye West emerged. His 2006 solo foray, In My Mind, faltered. But the producer/MC/ singer’s prestigious cameo on Daft Punk’s ubiquitous Get Lucky should revive his fortunes. Williams isn’t alone in reinventing himself. Glam femcee Eve just dropped Lip Lock, her first album in over a decade, while LL Cool J has returned with Authentic. Coincidentally, the canny Snoop Dogg – not Lion – shows up on both joints. Philadelphia’s Eve Jeffers was repping for femcees way before Nicki Minaj. As Eve Of Destruction, she rapped on The Roots’ beguiling You Got Me with Erykah Badu. The former stripper signed to Dr Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, but was sidelined. Jeffers defected to Ruff Ryders, premiering with 1999’s street Let There Be Eve… Ruff Ryders’ First Lady. She reunited with Dre for her biggest hit, Let Me Blow Ya Mind, featuring Gwen Stefani – and won a Grammy. Her career stalling with 2002’s Eve-Olution, Jeffers pursued acting roles, her most improbable film The Woodsman about a child molester. Jeffers’ fourth album was continuously bumped, prompting her to quit Interscope. In the meantime, she enjoyed an Australian number one with Guy Sebastian in Who’s That Girl. The long wait for Lip Lock, out via Jeffers’ own fledgling imprint From The Rib, puts the delay of even Azealia Banks’ debut into perspective. Jeffers has gone EDM on her comeback, hiring largely unknown producers clearly into Major Lazer (she’s collaborated with Wolfgang Gartner in the past). Lip Lock is dominated
by bangers like Jukebox’s She Bad Bad – not far away from Banks’ intense Yung Rapunxel. Missy Elliott joins Jeffers on the dramatic Wanna Be. Snoop materialises on the repetitive Mama In The Kitchen. The incongruous Make It Out This Town (featuring Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta) is meant to be the monster crossover single, but it’s generic pop with guitar. (Jessie J’s US ally Claude Kelly is involved.) Jeffers, a reggae fan, ventures into dancehall with Eve. Forgive Me, helmed by Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse), is Caribbean fusion that, while offering respite from the grinding electro-rap, is too flimsy. Angel Haze has hooked up with Canadian techno rebel Grimes. Eve would benefit from a similarly cred – and original – association. Is LL Cool J, aka James Smith, still the ‘Greatest Of All Time’? The New York MC is following a different strategy to Eve with Authentic. Instead of modernising his steez, he’s reverted to a ‘90s epic hip hop template. Smith was discovered as a teenager in the ‘80s by Def Jam’s Rick Rubin, the man now executive producing Kanye West’s Yeezus. He swaggered impressively on Rock The Bells but also invented the rap ballad with I Need Love (the ‘LL’ does stand for ‘Ladies Love’). Smith responded to the gangsta-era backlash with Mama Said Knock You Out. However, he’d trail Will Smith into Hollywood. The rapper has starred in the sitcom In The House and crime series NCIS: Los Angeles, plus movies like Toys. Smith expressed frustration at Def Jam, then under JayZ’s stewardship, for not promoting him. He farewelled them with 2008’s Exit 13. Authentic, his 13th album, is a throwback to 1997’s blockbuster Phenomenon. Smith’s lyrics aren’t so deep – 1998’s autobiography, I Make My Own Rules, is more revelatory – but the album is very musical. The smooth MC has roped in outlandish guests, from guitarist Eddie Van Halen to country rocker Brad Paisley to Earth, Wind & Fire (the retro funk Something About You (Love The World)). He’s likewise sought out ‘90s R&B/hip hop producers Trackmasters. Smith’s DJ pal Z-Trip, who led the mash-up boom, co-produces Whaddup, a rock-hop posse-cut with Chuck D, Travis Barker and Tom Morello. The obvious hit is We Came To Party with Fatman Scoop, the rowdy hypeman of Be Faithful infamy, and, yes, Snoop (who appears twice). Oh, and Seal sings huskily on Give Me Love.
ADAMANTIUM WOLF METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT Thy Art Is Murder will support Parkway Drive at The Tivoli on 29 September and 30 September, with Confession also jumping on board for 30 September. There’s a third show scheduled to take place on 1 October at the same venue, with no supports yet announced.
The Smith Street Band Western Australia’s prog rock/metal masters Karnivool are ramping it up off the back of their forthcoming third album, which was recently revealed to be titled Asymmetry. The band has released a new video/ song by the name of We Are, and will release the album on 19 July. With Sydney metalcore sensations Northlane supporting on all dates, you can catch them at Eatons Hill Hotel on 7 August. Every Time I Die have made no secret of their love for Down Under, and will be back in October to follow up on this year’s earlier Big Day Out appearance. The tour will kick off in Brisbane on 18 October. The band’s sixth album of Southern-styled metalcore, Ex Lives, was released last year. Tickets go on sale this Thursday. UK experimental, mathy post-hardcore group Rolo Tomassi will return to Australia for their third visit in September. Having previously played on Soundwave 2010 and another support tour that year, this time around will see the band headlining their own shows. Wollongong animals Totally Unicorn and Melbourne’s finest noodlers Stockades are supporting nationally. Catch them at Crowbar on 10 October and Sun Distortion for an all ages on 11 October. On the off chance you live in central Queensland or feel like making a weekend of it, you can even see them at The Saleyards Club in Rockhampton on 12 October. Tickets go on sale 1 July, and you can hit up monolithmonolith.com for more details. Melbourne beard-punks The Smith Street Band recently debuted their new track Bigger Than Us on triple j’s Home & Hosed program. The cut is from their new EP entitled Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams, which will be launched through Poison City Records on the band’s national tour in August and September with Joyce Manor and Cheap Girls. Catch them on 29 August at The Zoo.
The Schoenberg Automaton have unveiled the disturbing new video for their single A Stone Face of Piety, taken from the Brisbane band’s debut album Vela. Directed by their former vocalist Colin Cadell, you can check it out over at YouTube. The massive Evil Invaders festival, a once-annual occurrence of death, black, thrash, doom and sludge metal in the town of Sydney, will reportedly be no more. A Facebook posting from promoter Hushy, overlord of underground metal label The Coffins Slave, reveals that he cannot afford to keep it up and running, and that Evil Invaders IV, which took place on 7 and 8 June this month, was the last. An excerpt from his statement reads that “although everything from the outside might have looked sweet as, from the inside it’s a rotting corpse. These shows are supposed to grow in size! Not get smaller. This year was the biggest one we have done so far and much to our surprise once again we have been left in the red, even with three international bands. We needed many more heads to cover our costs! But once again, as the piggy bank of this fest I’m left in the red but this time it’s worse, I have to move my business back home and re-arrange everything from scratch... when it gets to this stage there’s no turning back!”
GIGS OF THE WEEK: Thursday: Jamie Hay, Mitch Tierny, Ash McIntyre, No Trust – X&Y Bar. Friday: Stockades, Seahorse Divorce, Palisades, Capeweather – Sun Distortion. Heroin SS, Common Enemy, Heralds of Destruction, Noxious Rhetoric, Viscid – Chardon’s Corner Hotel. Zodiac, Frown, Black Deity – The Waiting Room. Saturday: The Disables, Spitefireliar, Spike City – Crowbar. Endworld, Cast To Stone, Deceptions, Dollarosa, Bayharbour, Wretched – Tall Poppy Studios.
Joel Madden It isn’t a requirement that one must be a regular viewer of The Voice in order to experience the symptoms of Voice Guilt. Even those for whom Channel Nine’s flagship talent show exists only in the background of generic life scenes – on magazine headlines outside newsagents or on mumbling airport televisions – can succumb to a fleeting desire to engage. “He’ll never be a pop star, not with that nose,” one might think, followed by the strange need to be immersed in a bath of spirits. Or, “She could really make it globally; just look at the way she holds a note while balancing on a rotating platform in ten-inch heels and holding a chicken between her knees.” That thought might be followed by a few minutes in which the thinker imagines a high-flying career in A&R for Universal Music before blacking out and waking several hours later under a bed amidst a mess of empty chip packets and meth pipes. Voice Guilt transpires in interesting ways, but those ways are usually related to shame and self-harm. Who are we to judge? And what are we judging anyway? What even is a Joel Madden? Australia has a long history of turning music into a sport. The culture began way back when Rolf Harris won an egg and spoon race against Bon Scott and Ned Kelly awarded him with a record deal. As little as he’s contributed to a meaningful culture of music criticism in recent years, British music writer Everett True wrote a resonating piece about Australian music press in The Guardian in 2008: “Sport is the predominant culture here, and music is similarly viewed as a leisure activity – it’s all about ‘work rate’, ‘dedication’ and ‘goals scored’.” The editors of Australian music titles understandably threw up their arms in response, but there was something we couldn’t ignore in his harsh appraisal. We talk about punters at a gig being won over. We turn our national holiday into an all-day, bet-taking competition between the previous year’s songs and champion Australians to take out the top spot (which they usually do because we’re the ones voting). At every level, from the dickhead on TV yelling “touchdown!” at a singer, to smiled band-room praise for leaving a pint of sweat on the stage, we have displayed or rewarded a sporting mentality to music in one way or another. Following triple j’s recent countdown of songs that have appeared in the station’s Hottest 100 countdown over the past 20 years (yes, a countdown of a countdown), a local independent label owner posted to Facebook: “Feels good to live in an alternative reality in which music isn’t sport.” That realm of reality is pretty tiny. We judge, we back winners, and because it’s the Aussie way, we often let losers hang around for quite some time out of fairness and then reward them for dues paid. The Voice? It’s our shame dressed in sequins, belting out Olivia NewtonJohn’s Xanadu. We can ignore it all we like, the judging spirit gets us in the end (and that Xanadu cover was a bit of a letdown for Team Delta). But if Oprah and the Kardashians have taught us anything, it’s that we must air and conquer our shame. We can take ownership of this sporting mentality and see its True Worth (trademark pending). We can release our Voice Guilt. There’s an upside to judgement, to competitions and countdowns, and it’s that they cause us to consider what it is we value in music. Aside from the cynical and snarky surface appraisals, every time we point-score, we’re mentally calculating what it is we hope to hear from a piece of music and rewarding what comes closest. We’re thinking to the future, to what a musician could achieve – to what music could achieve. Sure, this could be done in an intelligent environment through reasoned criticism, but hey, whatever lets us sleep easier at night. Suck it, Madden.
For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog • 27
[THE GUID IDE]
IRONSIDE Member answering/role: Daniel D i l KKuhle hl – guitar/vocals it / l
How long have you been together?
If they were the only two choices, definitely the Hank Williams end of the spectrum. We’re not in this to make money but wouldn’t it be great to never have to work the 9-5 again?
If your band had to play a team sport instead which sport would it be of being musicians whic and why would you be triumphant?
In total, the band has been around for nearly three-and-a-half years, however, the current lineup is only around one year old.
Which Brisbane bands before you have been an inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
How did you all meet?
I actually started Ironside because I really missed playing in Shrewms after I left them, and wanted to keep playing balls-to-the-wall rock. Disco says that for him, it’s Blowhard: style, substance and giving people what they want to hear whether they like it or not...
Anyone who knows me would know just how much I hate sport and the whole concept behind throwing so much money at a handful of elites and growing ‘big business’ out of it when such people as musicians have to fend for themselves and far fewer of them are actually able to make a living from their art. But I’ll get off my high horse for a second and respond to the question with lawn bowls, because you get to drink really cheap alcohol while you’re tossing your balls down a well-manicured pitch. This is well aligned with Ironside’s core values.
What part do you think Brisbane plays in the music you make?
What’s in the pipeline for the band in the short term?
Well, it’s most definitely the town in which we play occasionally.
We’re playing the Sunday Rock N Roll BBQ at 633 Ann in the Valley on Sunday 23 June, then heading up to Nambour the following weekend for a show at The Commercial Hotel with River of Snakes and Hotel Wrecking City Traders. We’re also trying to organise a weekend trip to the Capricorn Coast in a couple of months, just trying to broaden our horizons and audiences. At some stage, we’ll get around to putting the finishing touches on our album too so that we can do a proper tour back down to Melbourne etc. later in the year. Then there’s the 7” split we’re looking into doing with Wollongong’s Leadfinger…
Through the lovely big family known as the Brisbane live music scene. I met Disco (bass player) via friends in other bands, and we both met Ben (drums) through playing shows with his former band, Raygun Mortlock. We had actually started another band together with Ben, so it was a pretty easy transition for him to just drop into Ironside when Graham stayed in the UK after our tour there.
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? I’m pretty sure we could all happily listen to Red Fang, Black Sabbath or Nashville Pussy but at some stage, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook would make an appearance: “You know what gives me the ‘orn?”
Would you rather be a busted brokebut-revered Hank Williams figure or some kind of Metallica monster?
Is your band responsible for more make-outs or break-ups? Why? Break-outs. We’re talking prison, rashes, all kinds of breakouts. I could tell you the “Why?” part, but I’m not sure anyone’s really ready for the whole truth surrounding this.
What reality TV show would you enter as a band and why? Today/Tonight.
Ironside play Rock N Roll BBQ at 633 Ann on Sunday 23 June and The Commercial Hotel, Nambour on Saturday 29 June.
a song about leaving home for better opportunities and this new release has a bit of a similar theme.”
Swift and his band have supported some awesome acts recently. Surprisingly, though, he says that the behaviour hasn’t been all bad.
Andrew Swift from Andrew Swift & The Rattlesnake Choir owes Emma Louise an apology, which he delivers while talking to Tony McMahon about his new EP, Up With The Anchor. “The last record I made was The Way We Were Raised,” says Swift. “It was a reflective album, lots of reminiscent stories. I made it over in El Paso, Texas with Jim Ward (At The Drive-In, Sparta, Sleepercar) and Gabe Gonzalez (Sparta, Frank Turner, The Lusitania). Working with those guys in a foreign city was amazing and really sparked a new love for travelling and experiencing life in other areas of the world. The last song on that album is the stepping-stone to this new EP. It was
“There’ll be fireworks, illusions, a full orchestra and celebrity guest singers... In all honesty though, the show will be an intimate acoustic show, unfortunately the guys couldn’t get away from commitments in Melbourne so I’m travelling solo. It’ll display stripped-back versions of our songs, which is how they’re originally written, except this time I won’t just be playing them in my bedroom.” WHAT: Up With The Anchor (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 23 June, The Palmy Café, Gold Coast
“I feel that each of my songs have a story and a message that I’m trying to impart and I love it when the audience feedback shows me that they ‘get’ the song,” she tells. “I’m always hoping to connect and move an audience in some small way, whether through the lyrics, melody or just the way I move around onstage. So I hope they take away a new view on their lives... and hopefully a CD, too!”
Notable for mixing grunge and classic rock, Interim, according to their singer Alec Snow, are just kind of seeing what happens.
Tony McMahon talks to local rockers Interim about their impending The Aesop’s Tour and their upcoming recording schedule. “Basically everything we’re doing is leading up to an album being released in early-2014,” says bassist Jock Houston. “But this is the first chance for everyone to hear where we’ve gone stylistically since our initial EP in early-2012, which frankly was a long time ago. We’re still deciding on whether we want to release a single or closet them away for the album and instead release two video clips of these new tracks, and with the way physical distro is going these days, the latter is probably a better option.”
Intimate and acoustic songwriting which holds its focus on intense lyrics and strong melodies: it’s time you get to know Snez. The musician takes five with Benny Doyle to talk about her new record. Led by first single Green, a track regarded as the “most commercial song on the album”, 8 Lives Left To Lose is a cluster of folk pop ditties from Snez, a Sydney lass committed to the road, eager to share her personal tales in the hope of immediate connection with audiences near and far.
WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, Fete de la Musique, Brisbane State Library (10am) and Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Gold Coast (7pm); Tuesday 25, New Farm Bowls Club; Wednesday 26, Red Hill Folk Club, Red Hill Community Sports Club; Friday 28, JazzCat Restaurant; Saturday 29, Upfront Club, Maleny; Saturday 30, Country Life Hotel, Kin Kin
World magazine for years. I only realised who he actually was after properly meeting him! He is a freaking mean guitarist, let me tell you!”
From smashing through dance routines to smashing out dancefloor-filling jams, Spacie is doing things the same, but different, learns Benny Doyle. Having transitioned from professional dancing to DJing, Lennox Head vixen Spacie has rolled her energy levels into another creative form, albeit rooted by the same foundation, as she explains. “Well, they are both nothing without music! Music has always been a huge part of my life. I think I learnt to mix easily because I understand music structure from years of dancing and piano. Another
“[These first few shows] have gone down really well, we couldn’t be happier!” exclaims Jones, The Charge’s 27-year-old lead singer and guitarist. “They’ve been packed out and everybody has been ready to rock! Touring with The Nerve is a great honour for us – we’ve followed all the guys in their previous bands (Cog, Full Scale, Mammal and Pre.shrunk), [and I’ve] been following Glenn Proudfoot’s [The Nerve guitarist] Betcha Can’t Play This column in the American Guitar
“It’s about energy, riffs, Sabbath-meets-Mastodon and plenty of other random shit done in our own way! [Rock’n’roll] is a code we live by, to stay true to who we are as a band and to our sound... although Harry ‘Junior’ Mills [guitar] has his own personal motto, ‘What would Ozzy do?’, which has served him well so far.” WHAT: Requiem For A Dream (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, The Northern, Byron Bay; Saturday 22, The Tempo Hotel
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 27 June, The Zoo; Friday 28, Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast
similarity is they are performing arts; connecting with an audience is essential in both. You get sweaty doing both, too! Dance is a lot more disciplined and specific though – no time for partying!”
Impressed with the latest output by boundary pushers such as Disclosure and What So Not, Spacie is currently striving forth with her own production, committed to finding an individual sound that encompasses who she is as a DJ and an artist: “Maybe I will start my own genre!” she laughs. But before she does that, she’ll be soundtracking Cheated Hearts Queer Prom with a banging set specific for the night. “I’m gonna mix it up,” Spacie informs, “lots of different genres. For me, it’s all about testing the crowd. I don’t like to be too prepared, I like to wing it but you can expect to hear some electro, trap, indie... hopefully I can drop some techno – I love playing techno!” WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 June, Cheated Hearts, Electric Playground
helped create. My major driving force for this concert was to give kudos to this wonderful group and share this influential collection of music with the public.” The revue is an evening of hits from some of music’s most revered artists, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes. As such, is it something Perry could see taking on the road? “I have several future ambitions for the band,” he concedes. “I’d love the opportunity to take this show to the beautiful and iconic Sydney State Theatre. This show has immense potential for large stages and concert halls all around Australia. I sincerely hope we get the opportunity to travel interstate and share our show with all lovers of Motown.”
“We’re currently working through a heap of new songs at the moment, trying to see which ones will come together best so we can start to look at recording a follow-up EP,” Jones tells. “If all goes well, we will be hoping for it to be released by the end of the year.” And as for their focus and where it lies with regards to recording and performing; it’s old school rock’n’roll, and they like it.
WHAT: She’s The Devil/Jack (Independent)
“I still dance, [but] I’m now glad that things worked out how they did – I found a new love! There’s this euphoric feeling I get when I do a cool sounding mix or get a great crowd reaction. It’s hard to explain. I feel I can connect with people better through music.”
Fast becoming a Melbourne riff institution, The Charge have just dropped their third single from 2012 debut Red Flags to tie in with these dates, however, Requiem For A Dream looks to mark the end of the album’s cycle, with the band focused on fresh sounds.
Currently on the road with musicians they’ve long looked up to, Ashley Jones and his buddies in The Charge are honouring the rules of rock to write some of their own. Benny Doyle gets the latest.
“When the band first started we were all taking a lot of influence from bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Seether. As a vocalist I felt Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell had such unique and amazing voices. However, as the band kept jamming and changing, I began to listen to a lot more stuff like Led Zeppelin, The Doors and even The Black Keys, taking all different types of elements and singing styles from them. I then found myself one day mixing together grunge, classic rock and blues into one big fuck pot and just going with whatever sounds came out.”
It wasn’t that Spacie grew tired of dancing, though. The classically-trained ballerina simply had to accept that her obsession couldn’t take her to the upper echelons of the discipline. But as with most every break-up, a brighter side eventually revealed itself.
Having performed in almost every corner of the country with her musical other, guitarist, co-writer and producer Stewart Peters, Snez admits the pair have taken a myriad of experiences onboard with their second album, and try not to sidestep feelings or topics that may seem too hard. “I tend to write about the struggles of loss and joy of love, women’s issues, of people passing onto other planes, envy, painters, rainbows, people I’ve met on my travels and the lifestyle of being on the road. This particular album is very special to me – I feel that I’ve expressed something from deep within myself, but I’m always learning, moving on and trying to write an even better song next time.”
How excited are Interim to be back on the road? Apparently, it’s all about the car stereo. “All of us are pretty damned excited for the tour,” says guitarist James Basnett. “We’ve all been looking forward to doing an east coast tour since we got started back in high school. It’s a ten-hour drive down to Sydney, but it’s just a good excuse to chill out and listen to music for ten hours straight. I think without a stereo and decent music, bands touring by road would probably kill each other.”
“We probably owe Emma Louise an apology for some rowdy behaviour the last time we were in Hobart. She was staying down the hall from us and there may have been some singing of her songs to closed doors by an acquaintance of ours during the early hours of the morning. More than anything though, the best thing about playing alongside bigger names is the little things you learn from them along the way, the modesty, professionalism, et cetera.” When it comes to what Swift has planned for his upcoming Queensland show, it seems that intimacy will be a keyword.
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Tony McMahon discovers the intricacies of a unique one-off show, Vincent Perry’s Motown Revue, as well as the answer to the question of soul music’s never-ending appeal. “This show was originally purely a recording project in conjunction with my studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music,” says Perry, talking about the review’s impetus. “Last year I completed an honours degree in popular music and the major focus was the Motown backing band – The Funk Brothers. This is the legendary band that performed behind Motown’s finest singers and infamously didn’t receive any fame, fortune or even recognition. I formed a replica band in order to study and analyse the sound that they
On the subject of Motown’s enduring appeal, Perry is more than eloquent. “Collectively, these songs are infectiously upbeat and positive. Despite often containing lyrics pertaining to heartbreak, the civil rights movement and foreign wars, this music was something everyone could dance to and provided people hope – especially those AfricanAmericans living in segregated communities. Today, these tunes still provide hope and positivity to people of all walks of life. In 2013, all lovers of groove, R&B, funk and soul music can trace their musical heritage to this phenomenal music recording company.” WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 22 June, The Basement, Gold Coast Arts Centre
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 29
(MAY CONTAIN GLUTEN)
THE GUIDE [THE GUID IDE] f o o d
Brendan Hitchens looks at the implications Natasha Leefor consumers with coeliac disease if Food Standards Australia New Zealand allowed a minute amount of gluten in products labelled and sold as ‘gluten-free’.
BRAD PITT LOVES TO EAT ON SCREEN, AT LEAST WE KNOW THE MAN DOESN’T GO HUNGRY ON SET. CAROLYN JONES
MEET JOE BLACK
Pic taken at Natural Tucker
ustralian standards surrounding food labelling are amongst the strictest in the world, but if the Australian Food and Grocery Council get their way that could significantly change. The group are planning to lobby Food Standards Australia New Zealand to allow a food that contains up to 20 milligrams of gluten per kilogram to still be called and sold as ‘gluten-free’. The proposition, which came to light late last month, has stirred controversy, particularly amongst coeliac sufferers, whose health could be significantly affected if the changes are implemented. Coeliac disease is triggered by the consumption of gluten, a product found in wheat, barley and rye. While the exact intake levels vary from person to person, when people with coeliac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system can respond with symptoms ranging from diarrhea and abdominal pain to irritability or depression. In October 2007, Dr Robert Anderson, a specialist in adult internal medicine and gastroenterology, put the issue on the agenda, writing to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to change laws surrounding labelling. “I believe it is essential that we have a definition of ‘gluten-free’ that is both achievable in commercial food manufacturing processes and is also safe for coeliacs,” he wrote. “A level of 20ppm will achieve both these goals. It is also essential that the term ‘gluten-free’ be retained as it is used internationally in the medical profession as the treatment for coeliac disease.”
NEW CHEF NEW MENU COMING SOON $15 LUNCH & DINNER MENU
irishmurphys.com.au 30 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
In an official statement recently released through their website, Coeliac Australia said they support changes to a gluten-free standard of less than 20ppm. “A gluten free standard of less than 20ppm would result in more choice and affordability in the gluten-free food market. The high cost of gluten-free food is a significant barrier to compliance with the gluten-free diet, for people with coeliac disease.”
I believe that society has sold out to bigger business at the risk of people’s health.” - Shane Stephenson (Absolutely Gluten Free owner)
Health food manufacturer Freedom Foods rebuke Coeliac Australia’s claims. “The Australian glutenfree market is one of the most developed in the world and compares more than favourably in terms of cost, variety and availability,” says company CEO Michael Bracka. “This issue comes down to the simple concept of truthfulness in food labelling. If a product contains 20mg per 1kg of gluten yet makes the absolute gluten-free claim, consumers will have every right to ask whether the product contains gluten or not. The Australian food industry can ill afford to support a proposal that risks increased consumer confusion and erosion of trust.” Absolutely Gluten Free is a gluten-free grocery store and cafe located in Werribee, Victoria. If their store title wasn’t clear enough, they too oppose the proposal. “This is a subject very close to my heart as I believe that society has sold out to bigger business at the risk of people’s health,” says owner Shane Stephenson, a coeliac sufferer for 15 years. “I have had many an argument over the introduction of foreign products that are labelled gluten-free that The Australian Food Act does not recognise by our and New Zealand standards as permissible, but we still see introduced to the market,” he says, of the products his store refuses to stock. Rebecca Kerr, from Scarborough, Western Australia is a coeliac sufferer. So incensed with the issue, she started a change.org petition that in the first fortnight amassed the signatures of close to 19,000 supporters, ranging from fellow coeliac sufferers to food manufacturers and medical practitioners, including Dr Wendell Rosevear OAM. “The reason I am so passionate in the area is because I have coeliac disease and struggle with a rather sensitive version of it. I need to have zero gluten in my diet,” she says. “My thoughts are that if it is labelled gluten-free it should be free from gluten, not contain trace amounts, regardless of what they do in other countries.” Saffron Urbaniak, the Communications and Stakeholder Relations manager of Food Standards Australia New Zealand says that while they are aware of the issue, a formal application has not been received. “Food Standards Australia New Zealand is aware that the Australian Food and Grocery Council is preparing an application regarding gluten-free claims in the Food Standards Code. However, we haven’t received an application yet and if we do, we will consult with all stakeholders before making any decision.”
FOOD TRIPPIN’ SOFIE MUCENIEKAS LLOYD HONEYBROOK EATING AROUND THE USA WITH SOFIE MUCENIEKAS AND LLOYD HONEYBROOK
Taqueria Cancun in the Mission, masssssssive marinated pork burrito, two tacos (one chorizo, one beef head) and a root beer. @lloydhoneybrook #iphoneforperspective
STRIKING IT HOT We know you’re always like, ‘What’s happening at Rock N Roll BBQ this week?’, which is why we at Time Off are committed to giving you the scoop each and every issue. Sunday 23 June you can freak out to the ultra boogie joy that is Ironside, while heavyweight crew FAT will serve up large and fast servings of punk. Rounding out the bill will be Smoke and The Strums, rocking every inch of your senses no doubt. Things get loose from 2pm with free fun all throughout 633 Ann.
RIP ARTURO VEGA While hardly a household name, NY artist Arturo Vega designed the logo for his friends the Ramones back in the ‘70s, creating not just an enduring brand image but also one of the great pieces of rock’n’roll iconography. He shall be sorely missed.
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THE WEAKEST LINK
PENCIL IT IN
Shame on Julia Gillard for her sexist ‘blue tie’ spiel, desperately trying to reignite the flames of misogyny she started when (successfully) dissing Abbott all that time ago. She’ll soon be a footnote in history – if only there was a decent replacement on either side…
Following the successful release of their Turning A Page EP back in November of last year, Dan & Hannah Acfield are looking towards the ‘next chapter’, planning to record their first full-length together later in 2013, but not before they return to their former Queensland stomping ground. The sibling pair play four shows while they’re back in town: Thursday 27 June, Treehouse on Belongil, Byron Bay; Friday 28, The Loft, Gold Coast; Saturday 29, Solbar, Maroochydore; and Sunday 30, Live Spark, Brisbane Powerhouse (afternoon).
ANTI–SOCIAL MEDIA What’s with all of these people trying to “shame” strangers on social media? No matter how big a jerk someone is being, if you secretly film them and post it online than you are automatically a bigger wanker than them, end of story. The world is fucked.
THE CHANCE TO FLY KERBSIDE COLLECTION
In roughly 12 months, local producer Danny Harley has shown himself to have a touch of silk, and with his warm pop-centric guise The Kite String Tangle, he has used layers and textures to create fullyfledged musical emotions. If you’re a fan of artists like Gold Panda, Mount Kimbie and Super Magic Hats, then get taken away by Harley’s live show. Get along to Alhambra Lounge on Thursday 11 July, where he plays with Rat & Co and Tincture, with tickets on the door for $10 ($5 for students).
FRONTLASH TRY AND UNDERSTAND IT Of course Joel Madden is self-medicating with ganga, have you seen what he’s been putting up with on The Voice? That dickhead Seal for starters. How about fucking off home spotty if you hate it here so much and we’re all so uncouth?
PLACEMATS ARE BACK! Holy crap, The Replacements are actually playing shows again! Only in the States so far, but that opens the door for their first Aussie visit! And check out the line-up for Riot Fest in Colorado this September which they’re headlining, holy shitballs…
CASE BY CASE Awesome flame-headed Americana icon Neko Case is back with her first new solo music in four years – new single Man (from her new album due this September) is fantastic, containing all of the songwriting chops we’re used to, and of course THAT voice…
Band: Kerbside Collection Member answering: Jason Bell Album title: Mind The Curb Where did the title of your new album come from? The group’s name comes from the neighbourhood hard rubbish service. Talking to the ‘take care you never know what you could find’ notion.
TWO SHADES TO THE STORY Get taken away by the sharp and chic vocals of local singer Louise Isackson when she brings her treasure box of songs to the Brisbane Powerhouse, Friday 21 June. The evening is in celebration of her new record, Red To Blue, and her performance will no doubt showcase everything from the burning emotions of love to cooler feelings of sadness and regret, a reflection of her five-year journey of introspection that has seen Isackson refine her craft to the most pure of forms.
DOING WHAT FEELS GOOD Faleepo Francisco is the result of three high school mates grabbing their instruments and releasing what’s inside them, together. Now, they’re bringing their ultra smooth brand of rock to The Zoo, Thursday 11 July. Grab your tickets through venue Oztix page for $8 or pick them up on the door for $10, with support on the evening coming from Ball Of String and Windrest.
HAVE YOU HEARD
How many releases do you have now? Two (the first little 7” and now this album). There’s a limited edition 7” out soon for the ‘collectors’.
SQUEEZING IT OUT It wasn’t a good start to the year for guitar-shredding dynamo Jackson Dunn. Wet weather put an end to his much loved Gold Coast Sunday sessions, and it also hit the brakes on his day job as a house and high-rise painter. But the rocking roots artist used those lemons to make lemonade, heading north and west chasing work, picking up various gigs along the way, writing music and reinvigorating himself in the process. Now returned to his usual flow, make sure you’re in the house when Dunn launches the single that spawned from those times, Lemonade, at The Loft, Gold Coast, Friday 5 July, and Beetle Bar, Saturday 6, with support at both shows coming from Monkiblood and Suicide Swans. $10 entry for both dates, with tickets available on the door.
TURN UP THE AMPS They come from the streets of the Gold Coast, but the classic rock of England is what drives Underwood Mayne. Influenced by everyone from Oasis and Zeppelin to The Rolling Stones, you can catch the quartet’s own twist on the traditional when they play The Hideaway on Friday 12 July and Ric’s Bar on Sunday 28.
How long did it take to write/record? The ‘playing’ recording took three-and-ahalf days; all the band playing at once, in the one room, together ‘live’. Plus a couple of days for mix down and sonic tweaks. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Sure. The ‘way’ in which it was made was key, I think. I mean we all knew our parts, but the extra ‘sizzle’ came from playing it live together (no click/no single tracking, etc.). What’s your favourite song on it? My personal favourite? Eesh... mmm, as a drummer I dig the frenetic JB’s workout of Cat Whip. Will you do anything differently next time? Maybe not. There could be some extra instrumentation that we didn’t use on this record (i.e. strings/vibes perhaps?). Kerbside Collection launch Mind The Curb (Independent) on Friday 21 June at Beetle Bar.
HUSKA JAGWAR MA HOWLIN Where did the title of your new album come from? Jono Ma: It’s a lyric in the second track on the album, Uncertainty. We just thought the word Howlin sort of summed up the attitude of the record. How many releases do you have now? This is our first album. We’ve released three singles with B-sides prior to this. How long did it take to write/record? About a year... Give or take a year. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Nothing in particular other than years of drawing inspiration of other musical adventures. What’s your favourite song on it? That’s a little like picking your favourite child. I used to love The Throw. Now I love Backwards. Will you do anything differently next time? Yeah, instead of mixing it in Berlin in winter, we’re gonna mix it in Barbados or Jamaica. When and where is your next gig? Next Australian gig is Splendour In The Grass with a national tour around that. For more info? facebook.com/jagwama
How did you get together? Jas: Hushka kind of came together over a couple of months... We were trying new things and new people and just settled when it felt right. Sum up your musical sound in four words. Dreamy, sunshine, love, rock... If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? The Rolling Stones man! Who could go past them? You’re being sent into space, you can’t take an iPod and there’s only room to bring one album – which would it be? The Wish You Were Here LP I think that would be appropriate for space... Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? Ha ha, I think most of these moments are forgotten by the next morning... Or shouldn’t be talked about ever again! We did play at a house party a few weeks back that got shut down by the cops, that’s always fun! Why should people come and see your band? I think we are just something different... We’ve really tried to find our own place in the music scene, away from the same old... Oh and we are ridiculously good looking, especially Darren! Hushka play Ric’s on Friday 21 June, Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday 22 June and Brisbane Festival on Sunday 15 September.
SAIL ON YOU BOOZY DIAMOND There’s some big time fun happening just around the corner at Grand Central Hotel, with provider of delicious rum and classic tattoos Sailor Jerry throwing a bit of a shindig in partnership with the Trainspotters crew. Heading up the entertainment on the evening are The Belligerents, pictured, Jeremy Hunter, Surfin’ Bird and Pool Shop as well as the Arab Israeli Crisis DJs. It’s free fun happening on Saturday 29 June, and we assume there’ll be some sort of drink promotions or something of the ilk. At the very least there’ll be some frickin’ drinking going down, which is enough really, isn’t it?
For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news • 31
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HAVE YOU HEARD
ON TIME OFF STEREO From The Hills Below The City HOUNDMOUTH Pythons SURFER BLOOD Desire Lines CAMERA OBSCURA Glorious Momentum ISAAC GRAHAM The Art Of Partying MUNICIPAL WASTE Laika WIL WAGNER Sound The Alarm BOOKER T
Not Art BIG SCARY
RIDING THROUGH THE DUNES Brisbane nouveau boozing blues exponents the Desert Blues Cartel will be performing three free gigs this weekend starting with two Fete de la Musique shows on Friday 21 June at Southbank (3.30pm), followed by a second slot that day in the Queen Street Mall (5.30pm). They’ll then round it all out at Black Bear Lodge the following night, Saturday 22. Get on down to one of these shows and discover why this outfit are recognised as one of the most innovative and downright stomping acts doing the local rounds.
CAN’T WAIT NO MORE Ten dollars is all it will cost you to get among a sweet triple bill of folk and jazz sounds at The Waiting Room on Saturday 29 June. Headlined by Amy Vee, pictured, who will be launching her long-awaited debut Fits And Starts with the help of her fabulous band. On the night they’ll be joined by the Tobias Moldenhauer Trio and Hannah Jane as well.
THE OTTOMANS How did you get together? Mitchell Dave-Lewis (singin’): We all ran into each other at the shops. Sum up your musical sound in four words. High-pressure, ominous, multi-faceted exhibit.
BRISBANE BOUND ROHAN COOPER (AKA SADGLINT) Best record you stole from your folks’ collection? Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline. That weird moment when you realise your parents actually had a life before they had you. Mum told me her and one of her friends spent a whole day sitting in her room learning all the lyrics from Highway 61. Also, she saw Black Sabbath live. Bizarre.
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? Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones. Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? Lachy getting pulled apart every show by teenage girls. Why should people come and see your band? Ezekiel 25:17. The Ottomans play The Hideaway (supporting The Preatures) on Friday 21 June.
On Thursday 27 June, make sure you’re in the house at Room 60, QUT Kelvin Grove, when sonic manipulators Brian Drain and Andrew Tuttle perform a free show, 7pm-9pm. Both artists take a stripped-back approach that ironically incorporates varied instrumentation, with loops and electronic flurries bringing mood, while acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals hold the heart. Take a bite out of something new.
BOW AT THE ALTAR Once you get in contact with the music of Seven Sermons, it will be crawling under your skin in no time. The alt-rockers are bringing their clutch of tunes new and old to the stage on Friday 5 July, playing The Zoo with a bill that also includes the likes of Zombie Apocalypse Theory, Vervet Thirst and The Rared.
TALKING ALL THAT JAZZ If you’re down with the smooth sounds of jazz, then you’d best be at The Turnaround Jazz Club on Thursday 11 July, as the Dave Jackson Quartet will be sharing their tuneful sounds, launching a new record the saxophonist and composer put together in New York City last year.
Kerbside Collection will be picking themselves off the street for a selection of cuts from their debut record Mind The Curb, when they launch the release at Beetle Bar on Friday 21 June ($12 on the door, $10 for students). With the good time grooves of the release captured the old-fashioned way, with band members facing each other in a room, the sound of each instrument bumping into the next, live is the only way to see this Brisbane four-piece, so be in the house when they play with Stormy Weather alongside dancefloor selektas Blunted Stylus and Paprika.
PERSONAL BEST RECORDS
Bearded beat duo wordlife have just dropped their Breakthrough/Small Talk EP, a release that is pushing the boundaries of what is expected and can be achieved by dance music coming out of this country. Signed up to the Modular roster earlier this year, the Sydney pair play a special Gold Coast show at Elsewhere on Friday 12 July.
If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? OutKast, touring their Atliens album in ‘96.
DON’T THINK, JUST DO
KICKIN’ IT WITH THE KERB
Sonic Masala returns to The Waiting Room on Saturday 22 June for a night of leftfield pop transgressions. Leading the pack is glacial explorer Sadglint (aka Rohan from Tragic/Athletic), with kaleidoscopic constructs from You and rustic ruminations from St Augustus. $10 on the door, BYO, huddle and stay warm.
Kiss My Art PAINTERS & DOCKERS
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action FRANZ FERDINAND
COOKING IT UP
RATTLIN’ BONES Wild men of the local rock scene in the ‘80s, The Skeletones will be reforming to play a special fundraiser to assist with the medical treatment of Toyah Cox, a good friend of the band. Coxfest will be happening at Brews Brothers from 1pm on Sunday 6 July and will also feature Throttle, The Bollocks, Viscous Kites, P3, Goldstool, Kombi Killers, Eat City, The Dustbin Hoffmans and The Kramers. With entry only $8 on the door, head along, lend a helping hand and enjoy some fine rock’n’roll in the process.
32 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
TEN THOUSAND Member answering/role: Luke (bass) Home ground: Melbourne Describe your live music/performance style as succinctly as possible. A Ten Thousand show is like stepping into a world that’s both familiar and alien, a rock gig with a futuristic twist. We see ourselves not just as musicians but also storytellers, taking the audience on a journey that explores the screwed up side of life in a most re-energising way, and treating every show as though it’s our last night on earth. So as you can imagine it’s one hell of a party! Is this your first foray to Brisbane? If not how many times have you performed in our midst? Yes, this will be Ten Thousand’s first ever Brisbane show. We’re very excited to be playing up there, particularly as our frontman, Jay was born and raised in Queensland, it’ll be a homecoming of sorts for him. Plus, being from freezing Melbourne we absolutely can’t wait to soak up the Queensland sunshine (and Jay tells us the local girls are quite friendly too!) Has anything exciting been happening in your world of late? Over the last few months the band has been particularly busy. We were privileged enough to play at Sydney’s Stone Music Festival alongside Aerosmith, Van Halen and Jimmy Barnes. This was an incredible experience and a moment in time we’ll never forget. We also completed a five-week residency at Melbourne’s iconic Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane, which is often the watering-hole of choice for many international touring acts including Metallica, Rammstein and Lady Gaga. And now we’re doing what we love the most: being out on the road on another mad-capped adventure, bringing our music to new places and getting up to all sorts of mischief wherever we can find it! Ten Thousand play the CBD Hotel, Gold Coast on Friday 21 June and The Tempo Hotel on Saturday 22 June.
First record you bought? Silverchair – Freakshow. They don’t make ‘em like they used to. Record you put on when you’re really miserable? The Microphones – The Glow pt 2. Record you put on when you bring someone home? At the moment probably something like Gonjasufi – A Sufi And A Killer. Most surprising record in your collection? Probably Jay-Z – The Black Album. What possessed my 19-year-old self to purchase this on vinyl I will never know. Last thing you bought/downloaded? Found a copy of David Axelrod’s Songs Of Innocence at Egg Records in West End. I’m pretty poor at the moment so have banned myself from buying records but I couldn’t pass this guy up. Sadglint plays on Saturday 22 June at The Waiting Room (with You and St Augustus, presented by Sonic Masala).
HARDCORE LEGENDS ANNOUNCE SUPPORTS Turning straight-edge when the tides of such beliefs had changed, Youth Of Today have done things their own way since their formation in 1985, and now after reforming following a break of more than 20 years, the Connecticut punks are coming out to Australia next month, just announcing local supports for all shows. The Brisbane date, happening Friday 12 July at Crowbar, will be bolstered by Vigilante and It Runs Deep, with tickets still available through Oztix for $36+BF.
TAKE A PEAK Dishing up a solid serving of original local music from our state’s best independent new talent, the SEED Volume 2 compilation will be launched at Brisbane Powerhouse, Saturday 29 June (5pm-7pm). Head along to the free event and check out the likes of funk/soul crew Electrik Lemonade, lady rap group Sneeky Picnic, as well as GOVS, the moniker of multiinstrumentalist Josiah Birrell, and Timber Bones.
my OPEN day 321 BRUNSWICK STREET MALL, FORTITUDE VALLEY WEDNESDAY 19TH JUNE
LE PARTY SOUL WITH DJ REDBEARD FEATURING TAKE TO THE SKIES (10:30PM) + THE BLACK CATS (9:45PM) + DAMEENA (9PM) THURSDAY 20TH JUNE
IWISH RISKY (10:30PM) + YELLOWCATREDCAT (9:30PM) + DJ VALDIS FRIDAY 21ST JUNE
DOWNSTAIRS – OLD FASHION (9:30PM) + COOPER STREET (8:45PM) + GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT (8PM) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS – DJ SIMON – 9PM–5AM
SATURDAY 22ND JUNE
DOWNSTAIRS – SABRINA LAWRIE (9PM) + YOU IN REVERSE (8PM) + DJ VALDIS UPSTAIRS – DJ CUTTS – 9PM–5AM SUNDAY 23RD JUNE
EXPOSED #5 HEAT #6 7:00PM – ONE OFF THE PACE, 7:30PM – THE KEEPAWAYS 8:00PM – WAAX, 8:30PM – ARTISAN KIN 9:00PM – TOTAL SETUP FOLLOWED BY MARK MOLDRE (11PM) + TALL TAILS (10PM) MONDAY 24TH JUNE
REDSKIN RIVER (9:30PM) + ABI READMAN (8:30PM) TUESDAY 25TH JUNE
KATHRYN MCKEE (9:30PM) + QUINTESSENTIAL DOLL (8:30PM)
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[THE GUID IDE] g i g s
1,000’s of gigs at your fingertips. The Guide at
CLARE BOWDITCH: The Hi-Fi Aug 16, Byron Community Centre Aug 17 DIALECTRIX: Coniston Lane Aug 23
MARK SULTAN: Friday 28 June, Black Bear Lodge
PRESENTS THE BEARDS: The Hi-Fi Jun 21
JAPANDROIDS: The Zoo Sep 1
YOU AM I: The Tivoli Jun 26 and 27
THE REAL MCKENZIES/THE GO SET: Miami Tavern Shark Bar Sep 6, Prince Of Wales Sep 7
GOLD FIELDS: Elsewhere Jul 5, Alhambra Lounge Jul 6
INTERNATIONAL KORA: The Zoo Jun 22 MONO: The Hi-Fi Jun 26 MARK SULTAN: Black Bear Lodge Jun 28 LA DISPUTE: The Hi-Fi Jun 28, Trinity Church Hall Jun 29 (AA), Sunday Jun 30 Byron Bay YAC (AA) OOOOO: Alhambra Lounge Jun 30 ENABLER: Crowbar Jul 4 FEAR FACTORY: The Tivoli Jul 4 MICK FLANNERY: Old Museum Jul 11 A DAY TO REMEMBER: Brisbane Riverstage Jul 12 (AA) YOUTH OF TODAY: Crowbar Jul 12 FAR EAST MOVEMENT: Club LIV Jul 14 BEN OTTEWELL: Old Museum Jul 14 STEVE VAI: QPAC Jul 16 BLEEDING THROUGH: The Rev Jul 18 SAINT VITUS: The Hi-Fi Jul 18 DIZZY WRIGHT: Coniston Lane Jul 19 STEREOPHONICS: The Hi-Fi Jul 19 P!NK: BEC Jul 19, 20, 22, 23, Aug 29, 30, Sep 7, 8 JONNY CRAIG: X&Y Bar Jul 20, Studio 454 Jul 21 (AA) ONRA: Coniston Lane Jul 25 A LOSS FOR WORDS: Snitch Jul 25, Studio 454 Jul 26 BARDO POND: The Zoo Aug 2 SENSES FAIL: The Zoo Aug 7 SHAPESHIFTER: The Hi-Fi Aug 10 ATTILA: Thriller Aug 10 THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS: BEC Aug 13 MDC: The Zoo Aug 13
RUDIMENTAL: Eatons Hill Hotel Sep 20
DEAD OF WINTER FESTIVAL 2013: Jubilee Hotel Jul 13
GANGSTERS’ BALL: The Tivoli Sep 21
KARNIVOOL: Eatons Hill Hotel Aug 7
XAVIER RUDD: The Tivoli Oct 8
SHAPESHIFTER: The Hi-Fi Aug 10
THE BREEDERS: The Tivoli Oct 29
19 JUNE 2013
OBIE TRICE: Coniston Lane Jun 27
Bass Kleph: Agenda Nightclub, Toowoomba A Cartoon Graveyard + Young Night + Makeout Creek: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Bruce Mathiske: Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm Black As Blue + Double Lined Minority + Gentlemen + The Roshambos: Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill Locky: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane MKO feat. Texas Kate + Vulture St Tape Gang + DJ Stagger Lee: Kerbside, Fortitude Valley The Black Cats: Ric’s, Fortitude Valley Mark Sheils: Royal George, Fortitude Valley Psychocandy: The End, West End Open Mic Night feat. various: The Loft, Chevron Island Tempo Acoustic Sessions feat. various: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley
ALESANA: X&Y Bar Aug 14, Studio 454 Aug 15 (AA) FLYLEAF: The Hi-Fi Aug 15
OBEY THE BRAVE: Thriller Aug 24, Tall Poppies Studios Aug 25 (AA) DON MCLEAN: QPAC Aug 23, Twin Towns Aug 25
20 JUNE 2013
ALL TIME LOW: The Tivoli Aug 28 (AA) GUTTERMOUTH: The Northern Aug 29, The Tempo Hotel Aug 30, Parkwood Tavern Aug 31 FAT FREDDY’S DROP: The Tivoli Aug 30 JAPANDROIDS: The Zoo Sep 1 ANBERLIN: The Hi-Fi Sep 4, Coolangatta Hotel Sep 5 THE REAL MCKENZIES: Shark Bar Sep 6, Prince of Wales Sep 7 CYNDI LAUPER: Jupiters Casino Sep 10, QPAC Sep 11, 12 VOLUMES: Crowbar Sep 12, Eagleby Community Hall Sep 13 AMANDA PALMER AND THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA: The Tivoli Sep 12 GHOSTPOET: The Spiegeltent Sep 15 CALEXICO: The Spiegeltent Sep 17, 18
Devola: Alhambra Lounge, Fortitude Valley Mercury Sun + Skinnie Finches + Ian Jenkinson: Beetle Bar, Brisbane Tigertown + The Starry Field + Mountains: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley I Used To Skate Once Afterparty feat. Johnny & The Fembots + Terrible Truths: Black Bear Lodge (late) , Fortitude Valley
BEACH FOSSILS: The Spiegeltent Sep 19
34 • To check more gigs online go to themusic.com.au/theguide
RED DEER FESTIVAL 2013: Mt Samson Sep 7
BLISS N ESO: Eatons Hill Hotel Jul 12
MOLLY RINGWALD: Gold Coast Arts Centre Jun 22
JOSH PYKE: Kings Beach Tavern Aug 29, SoundLounge Aug 30, The Tivoli Aug 31
Cachaca Groove: Brisbane Brewhouse, Woolloongabba Dee Dee Lavell Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Mike McClellan: Brisbane Powerhouse (Visy Theatre), New Farm Asa Broomhall: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Non Cents feat. Jonathon Terrific + Six Shooter Cahill + Chris Miller: Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise Jabba: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane Stormy Weather: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Bruce Mathiske: Nambour Civic Centre, Nambour Darren J Ray: Redlands Sporting Club, Wellington Point Iwish Risky + Yellowcatredcat + DJ Valdis: Ric’s (downstairs , Fortitude Valley Mark McConville + Corey White + Casey Talbot + Melinda Buttle + Cameron Duggan: Sit Down Comedy Club, Brisbane Black As Blue + Double Lined Minority + Gentlemen + The Roshambos: The Arts Centre Gold Coast (The Basement) , Surfers Paradise Tim Carroll: The End, West End Savage + J-Free + D-Pax + Mitch Hills + That Swedish Guy: The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane Emma Bosworth + Luke Peacock: The Hideaway, Fortitude Valley Gold Coast Comedy Club feat. various acts: The Loft, Chevron Island The Music Kitchen feat. Spent Rent + The Misaeks + Tagline + Faleepo Francisco + more: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley Bill Oddie: The Tivoli, Fortitude Valley I Used To Skate Once #9 feat. Terrible Truths + Major Leagues + Special Guests : The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
FOALS: The Tivoli Oct 2
FRI 21 JUNE 2013
Kerbside Collection + Stormy Weather + Blunted Stylus + DJ Paprika + guests: Beetle Bar, Brisbane No Diggity feat. Various DJs: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Le Groove: Brisbane Brewhouse, Woolloongabba Martha Baartz Quintet + Leigh Carriage: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point Louise Isackson: Brisbane Powerhouse (Turbine Platform), New Farm The Nerve + The Charge + Transvaal Diamond Syndicate + Hammers: Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay DJ Pipeline Pedro: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Who’s Charlie: Coolangatta Sands Hotel, Coolangatta Open Mic Night feat. various: Coorparoo Bowls Club, Coorparoo Cheated Hearts feat. Spacie + DJ Jane Doe + Dotwav + more: Electric Playground, Fortitude Valley Lancelot + Audun + Chris Miller: Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise DJ Y.O.Z. + Hey Now Rave: Family Nightclub, Fortitude Valley Peter Cupples: Gazebo Restaurant, Hotel Urban, Brisbane P!nk/Lady Gaga Tribute Show: Hamilton Hotel, Hamilton Berst + B-Rad: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane Motion feat. various DJs: Irish Murphy’s (Upstairs) , Brisbane Brother Fox: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Snez: Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Mermaid Beach
Craig Roberts + Flash + DJ Tommy: Platinum Nightclub, Broadbeach Jess Holland : Porters Plainland Hotel, Plainland Cold Vengence + The Stone Fox + Lavidius + SkullDragg + Maltheist + Bone Crown: Prince of Wales Hotel, Nundah The Whitlams + Symphonie des Femmes: QPAC Concert Hall, South Bank Goodnight Midnight + Cooper Street + Old Fashion + DJ Valdis: Ric’s (downstairs) , Fortitude Valley DJ Ryan Clague: Ric’s (upstairs) , Fortitude Valley Paul Atkins: Saltbar, South Kingscliff Tigertown + The Starry Field + Mountains: Solbar, Maroochydore The Preatures: Southside Tea Room, Morningside Stockades + Seahorse Divorce + Palisades + Capeweather: Sun Distortion, Brisbane Bruce Mathiske: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise That Swedish Guy + Trademark + Danizm + Sammy Rowland + J-Free: The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane Amber Duo: The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane The Beards + Little Bastard + Enola Fall: The Hi-Fi, West End The Preatures + The Ottomans: The Hideaway, Fortitude Valley Hermitage Green: The Irish Club, Brisbane Casey Barnes + Teale Jakubenko + Garrett Kato: The Loft, Chevron Island Gay Paris: The Northern, Byron Bay Hailer + Daisie May: The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba Breaking Orbit + MofoIsDead + Them Foreign Objects + Them Bruins + Waxhead: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley
Lost Kids + Branchezs: The Tempo Hotel (Bowler Bar , Fortitude Valley Zodiac + Frown + Black Deity: The Waiting Room, West End Far From Paris + Black Side Down + The Scatterred Vision + Parislane + Minus Nine: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley Darren J Ray: Twin Towns, Tweed Heads
SAT 22 JUNE 2013
DJ Indy Andy: Albany Creek Tavern, Albany Creek Devola: Alhambra Lounge, Fortitude Valley Minority Report + Hitz & SMV + Maupower + Phreaze + more: Beetle Bar, Brisbane Desert Blues Cartel: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Locky: Brisbane Brewhouse, Woolloongabba Ingrid James + Infusion: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point The Idea of North: Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm DJ Nato: Cafe Le Monde, Noosa Jess Holland: Commercial Hotel, Kingaroy
Country On The Coast feat. Adam Harvey + Beccy Cole + Gina Jeffeys + Sara Storer: Jupiters Casino, Broadbeach Cleveland Blues + Table For Two: Kings Beach Tavern, Caloundra Devil’s Kiosk: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Mark Moldre: Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Mermaid Beach Ger Fennelly: Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane Silver Sneakerz + Craig Roberts + Flash: Platinum Nightclub, Broadbeach Sabrina Lawrie + You In Reverse + DJ Valdis: Ric’s (downstairs) , Fortitude Valley DJ Cutts: Ric’s (upstairs) , Fortitude Valley Nicky Convine: Saltbar, South Kingscliff The Pigs: Solbar, Maroochydore Richard Cuthbert & Brian Campeau: Southside Tea Room, Morningside Colin Hay: Suncorp Stadium, Milton (opening the Wallabies/British & IrishLions rugby union international) Juzzie Smith + Joel Salmon: Tallebudgera Valley Community Hall, Tallebudgera Valley
MAJOR LEAGUES: Thursday 20 June, The Zoo
Sean Wade: Coolangatta Sands Hotel (Lounge Bar), Coolangatta The Disables + Spitfireliar + Spike City: Crowbar, Fortitude Valley What So Not: Electric Playground, Fortitude Valley Vivi + Lyndon Kidd + Giv: Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise Surecut Kids: Family Nightclub, Fortitude Valley Jabba + Locky + James Forde: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane Motion+Various DJs: Irish Murphy’s (upstairs), Brisbane Out Of Abingdon: Jazzcat Restaurant, Paddington
Molly Ringwald: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise Vincent Perry’s Motown Revue: The Arts Centre Gold Coast (The Basement), Surfers Paradise Jonny Taylor: The Envy Hotel, Broadbeach DJ Emmet + Savage + D-Pax + Sammy Rowland: The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane The Red Paintings: The Hi-Fi, West End Hailer + Soviet X-Ray Record Club: The Hideaway, Fortitude Valley A Salute To Johnny Cash feat. Corn Liquor: The Joynt, South Brisbane
1,000’s of gigs at your fingertips. The Guide at
GIG OF THE WEEK
[THE GUID IDE]
PANTHA DU PRINCE: The Spiegeltent Sep 20
LAURA IMBRUGLIA: Beetle Bar Jul 5
SUNDAY 23 JUNE, BLACK BEAR LODGE
RUDIMENTAL: Eatons Hill Hotel Sep 20
TEX PERKINS: Eatons Hill Hotel Jul 5
LAMB OF GOD, MESHUGGAH: The Tivoli Sep 20
She’s been an integral part of the awesome Brisbane scene for many moons now – first as part of indie kingpins Sekiden, then during a lengthy stint with Regurgitator – but it’s only in the last few years that the multitalented Seja has really stepped up to the plate as a solo entity, first with her excellent 2010 debut We Have Secrets But Nobody Cares, and now with the even better follow-up All Our Wires. We don’t know who she’s playing with at Black Bear Lodge on Sunday for the launch of the sophomore effort, only that she’s promising a couple of female guest singers, but given that the new album features guest spots and conceptual help from artists the calibre of Robert Forster, Ben Ely and some dude called Gotye, we reckon it’s gonna be pretty bloody great. But don’t take out word for it, vote with your feet on Sunday night and support the local scene!
GOLD FIELDS: Elsewhere Jul 5, Alhambra Lounge Jul 6
OLAFUR ARNALDS: The Spiegeltent Sep 22 SWERVEDRIVER: The Zoo Sep 26 ALAN JACKSON: BEC Sep 26, 27 RIHANNA: BEC Sep 28 FOALS: The Tivoli Oct 2 SOILWORK: The Hi-Fi Oct 2 DAVID LIEBE HART BAND: Crowbar Oct 4 BRING ME THE HORIZON, OF MICE & MEN: The Marquee Oct 5 ROLO TOMASSI: Crowbar Oct 10, Sun Distortion Oct 11 (AA) AMORPHIS: The Hi-Fi Oct 12 KIM WILDE, NIK KERSHAW: The Tivoli Oct 16
SUN 23 JUNE 2013
Ironside + FAT + Smoke + The Strums: 633 Ann (Afternoon) , Fortitude Valley Seja: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley UQ Big Band: Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point We All Want To + Hailer: Brisbane Powerhouse (all ages/ afternoon), New Farm
B-Rad: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane Redskin River + Abi Readman: Ric’s, Fortitude Valley Rockaoke: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley
DEEZ NUTS: Crowbar Jul 26, 27 (AA)
FLEETWOOD MAC: BEC Dec 2
ISAAC GRAHAM: Crowbar Aug 1
PASSENGER: The Tivoli Dec 6, Dec 7 (AA)
ELECTRIC HORSE: The Zoo Aug 1, The Northern Aug 16, Shark Bar Aug 17
BRUCE MATHISKE: Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 19, Gold Coast Arts Centre Jun 21
24 JUNE 2013
KINGSWOOD: Eatons Hill Hotel Jul 20
JILL SCOTT: The Tivoli Nov 21
BOMBS AWAY: The Met Jul 19
PAUL KELLY: Brolga Theatre Jul 28, Gold Coast Arts Centre Jul 30, Lake Kawana Community Centre Jul 31, QPAC Aug 1
OLLY MURS: BCEC Nov 16
BRUNO MARS: BEC Mar 7
With This Guitar feat. Ahliya Kite + She + Zac Gunthorpe + Meredith + Jarrah: Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley Blind Dog Donnie + Ladi From Mars: Brisbane Brewhouse, Woolloongabba Woody Lives Here: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane Lauren Grace Duo: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Kathryn McKee + Quintessential Doll: Ric’s, Fortitude Valley Snez + 3 Miles From Texas: The Bug, New Farm Angharad Drake: The End, West End Escalate Semi Final #8 feat. Strings For Ammo + Primal Evidence + Driven By Instinct + Midnight Show: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley
BEN SALTER: The Spotted Cow Jul 12 July, Cafe Le Monde Jul 18, Black Bear Lodge Jul 19
REMI: Bowler Bar Jul 18
BON JOVI, KID ROCK: Suncorp Stadium Dec 17
25 JUNE 2013
SLEEPMAKESWAVES: The Tempo Hotel Jul 12; The Northern Jul 13
CLUBFEET: Oh Hello! Jul 18
TAYLOR SWIFT: Suncorp Stadium Dec 7
WHITLEY: Black Bear Lodge Jul 12
YELLOWCARD: The Tivoli Oct 25 ENSLAVED: The Hi-Fi Nov 3
Bart Thrupp: Solbar (afternoon), Maroochydore Richard Cuthbert & Brian Campeau: The End (afternoon), West End Trademark + Mitch Hills + D-Pax + J-Free: The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane Nick Trovas + Mattyboi + Russ Walker Trio: The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane Lucy Street: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley Western Front Music: X&Y Bar, Fortitude Vall
BLISS N ESO: Eatons Hill Hotel Jul 12
ONE DIRECTION: BEC Oct 19, 20, 21 THE BREEDERS: The Tivoli Oct 29
THE PREATURES: Friday 21 June, The Hideaway
DAVID BRIDIE: Mullum Civic Memorial Hall Jul 11, Brisbane Powerhouse Jul 13
EVERY TIME I DIE: The Hi-Fi Oct 18
NILE: The Hi-Fi Nov 14 Band of Frequencies: Cafe Le Monde (afternoon), Noosa Matt Buggy and Carley Veale: Coolangatta Sands Hotel (Lounge Bar), Coolangatta The Jason Recliners: Coorparoo Bowls Club (afternoon), Coorparoo Matt Walters + Andrew Lowden: Dowse Bar (Iceworks), Paddington Royale + Sessionkatz + Stretch Paper Cranes: Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise Jabba + Mic Travers Band + Mick McHugh: Irish Murphy’s, Brisbane Motion feat. various DJs: Irish Murphy’s (upstairs), Brisbane Orphan Ann: Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro, West End Ger Fennelly: Mick O’Malley’s, Brisbane Mark Moldre + Tall Tails: Ric’s (late show), Fortitude Valley One Off The Pace + The Keepaways + Waax! + Artisan Kin + Total Setup: Ric’s, Fortitude Valley Jazz, Swing & Rock feat. various: Robina Bowls Club, Robina Lindsay Webb + James Tinniswood + Mitch McCutcheon + Petrina Macpherson + Corey White + Ryan Keogh + Darren Low: Sit Down Comedy Club, Brisbane Black As Blue + Double Lined Minority + Gentlemen + The Roshambos: Solbar, Maroochydore
BUCHANAN: Black Bear Lodge Jul 10, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 11
BERNARD FANNING: Nambour Civic Centre Jul 14, Empire Theatre Jul 16, The Tivoli Jul 18, 20, Gold Coast Arts Centre Jul 19
RICKY MARTIN: BCEC Oct 16
SMOKIE: Brolga Theatre Nov 12, Empire Theatre Nov 14, QPAC Nov 15 Midnight Show + Brutet Ben + Josh Deveta + Crossroads: The Loft, Chevron Island Polka Dots & Moonbeams Ball feat. various: The Majestic Theatre, Pomona The Beards + Little Beard + Enola Fall: The Northern, Byron Bay Tigertown + The Starry Field: The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba The Nerve + The Charge + Transvaal Diamond Syndicate + Forever The Optimist + The Shapes: The Tempo Hotel, Fortitude Valley Indian Summer: The Tempo Hotel (Bowler Bar), Fortitude Valley The Janoskians: The Tivoli (all ages), Fortitude Valley Sonic Masala feat. Sadglint + You + St Augustus: The Waiting Room, West End Kora + Cheap Fakes + special guests: The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
THE NEVER EVER: Studio 454 Jul 7 (AA)
TIGERTOWN: Black Bear Lodge Jun 20, Solbar Jun 21, The Spotted Cow Jun 22
PSYCROPTIC, KING PARROT: Crowbar Aug 3, Norville Hotel Aug 4 SIMON MELI AND THE WIDOWBIRDS: X&Y Bar Aug 4 KARNIVOOL: Eatons Hill Hotel Aug 7 MARK SEYMOUR: Noosa Heads Surf Club Aug 8, Hamilton Hotel Aug 9, Racecourse Hotel Aug 10
GAY PARIS: The Northern Jun 21
FOR OUR HERO: Old Museum Aug 11
THE WHITLAMS: QPAC Jun 21 STOCKADES: Sun Distortion Jun 21 (AA)
GLASS TOWERS: Black Bear Lodge Aug 21, The Loft Aug 22, The Northern Aug 23
THE PREATURES: The Hideaway Jun 21
THE SMITH STREET BAND: The Zoo Aug 29
THE BEARDS: The Hi-Fi Jun 21, The Northern Jun 22
JOSH PYKE: Kings Beach Tavern Aug 29, The SoundLounge Aug 30, The Tivoli Aug 31
THE NERVE: Byron Bay Brewery Jun 21, The Tempo Hotel Jun 22
MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS: The Hi-Fi Aug 30, The Northern Aug 31
TEN THOUSAND: Hotel CBD Jun 21, The Tempo Hotel Jun 22
VANCE JOY: The Zoo Aug 31
THE RED PAINTINGS: The Hi-Fi Jun 22
ROGER KNOX: The Spiegeltent Sep 8
THE JANOSKIANS: The Tivoli Jun 22
RUSSELL MORRIS: The Spiegeltent Sep 11
KIM, BENI: Beach Hotel Jun 22
THE BASICS: The Spiegeltent Sep 12
SEJA: Black Bear Lodge Jun 23
DOKU RAI BAND: The Spiegeltent Sep 13
YOU AM I: The Tivoli Jun 26, 27
DICK DIVER: The Spiegeltent Sep 14
I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN, HOUSE VS HURRICANE: The Tempo Jun 27, Eagleby Community Hall Jun 28 (AA) THE VAUDEVILLE SMASH: The Loft Jun 27, Solbar Jun 28, The Joynt Jun 29 BALL PARK MUSIC: The Tivoli Jun 28 THE TONGUE: The Tempo Hotel Jun 28 ESKIMO JOE: Old Museum Jun 28 KIRIN J CALLINAN: The Zoo Jun 29 BABY ANIMALS: The Hi-Fi Jun 29 DEBORAH CONWAY & WILLY ZYGIER: QPAC Jun 30 ASH GRUNWALD: The Northern Jul 4, The Hi-Fi Jul 5, Kings Beach Tavern Jul 6, Rabbit and Cocoon Jul 7
BIG SCARY: The Spiegeltent Sep 21 HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGRY: The Spiegeltent Sep 24 EMMA LOUISE: The Spiegeltent Sep 25, 26 PARKWAY DRIVE: The Tivoli Sep 29, 30 (AA), Oct 1 XAVIER RUDD: Byron YAC Oct 7 (AA), The Tivoli Oct 8 LENKA: Black Bear Lodge Oct 24
FESTIVALS DEAD OF WINTER FESTIVAL: Jubilee Hotel Jul 13 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: North Byron Parklands Jul 26-28 RED DEER MUSIC FESTIVAL: Samford Valley Sep 7
CLOSURE IN MOSCOW: Black Bear Lodge Jul 4
SPRUNG FESTIVAL: Victoria Park Cricket Ovals Sep 21
ROYSTON VASIE: Alhambra Lounge Jul 5, The Northern Jul 6
HITS & PITS 2.0: Coolangatta Hotel Nov 15, The Hi-Fi Nov 16
To check more gigs online go to themusic.com.au/theguide • 35
BEHIND THE LINES SOUND BYTES
Japanese five-piece Crossfaith called on the producer who goes by the moniker Machine, whose credits includes records for Lamb Of God and Every Time I Die, to record their latest album, Apocalyze. David Bridie recorded his latest album, Wake, at Richard McGrath’s old farmhouse, Cranekelly, Taralga and his own Haus Bilas Studio in Thornbury, with engineer and “co-producer” Brett Doig, Simon Polinski then mixing half of it at Steaming Gents in Black Rock and Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, with the odd overdub done here and there, like the drums and percussion on some tracks, recorded in Michael Barker’s studio “on the swan-filled banks of Lake Rotorua” in New Zealand, while Ryan Coseboom did the other half at The Racquet Club in San Francisco. Sydneysiders The Never Ever took themselves off to New York City to record their new EP, Ghosts And Ghouls, with producer Shep Goodman (Forever The Sickest Kids, Mandy Moore). The Toot Toot Toots have been busy recording in The Grove Studio’s Studio 1 up the NSW Central Coast with producer Burke Reid. The Hot Shots recorded their eponymous album of pub blues favourites with producer Rob Grosser at his Disgraceland Studio, where he also recorded the new album for Chris Turner & The Cavemen. Slava’s younger brother Leonard Grigoryan recorded his debut solo album, appropriately titled Solo, at Rainbow Studios in Oslo, Norway, with recording engineer Jan Erik Kingshaug, sitting in on several other sessions before his own. Melbourne hardcore band Warbrain recorded the guitars, bass and vocals for their new album, Void Of Confusion, “in-house” with vocalist Lloyd Carroll at Itchy Brother Studios in Melbourne’s west, while drums were recorded at Three Phase Studios with Sam Johnson, the album mixed and mastered by Taylor Young (Nails, Twitching Tongues, Disgrace) at his studio The Pit in Van Nuys, California.
36 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
MEET THE MTD BASS As used by recent visiting bass wizard Thundercat, aka Stephen Bruner, MTD basses are handcrafted by American luthier Michael Tobias, who has been making instruments since 1974, initially in Washington DC. Most of his early work was on acoustic instruments, often repairing them as he learned about the construction methods of various other luthiers. He began making Michael Tobias Design (MTD) instruments in 1994 in a small shop in Woodstock, New York State, producing, with his son Daniel and fellow luthier Charlie Kniceley, about ten instruments a month. MTD handmade basses are specifically tailored for each customer using state of the art electronics and the finest machined components to date. Thundercat plays a custom MTD six-string through an SWR 750x head with two SWR 4x10 cabs, using either Dean Markley SR2000 (.030–.125) or La Bella 0760M flatwound (.052–.110) strings. “They bring out different qualities in my playing,” he explains of the basses. “Michael Tobias, he handcrafts his instruments and he’s literally spinning his heart into these fine pieces of equipment and you can feel it, you can absolutely feel it in the process of creating. I feel that everything I want to go to on that instrument is what it is.” For details, check out the MTD website or, locally, Thump Music Online.
MUSIC MAN JPXI Ernie Ball Music Man has released the latest in their John Petrucci line of signature guitars put
out a couple of years ago, the JPXI, which features a combination of top appointments from JPX and BFR Petrucci signature instruments. Most notably, the JPXI neck has been streamlined to a symmetric, extra-slim profile featuring a flatter 20” radius, medium jumbo stainless steel frets with a finished mahogany neck and an ebony fingerboard. It features a solid alder body, mahogany tone block and maple top, and, similar to that of the JP BFR line, controls include two threeway toggles perfectly wired for its Custom Dimarzio LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers, in addition to a redesigned Wide-Spread Pivot tremolo with a Music Man/Fishman piezo system bridge pickup. The JPXI guitars are available in six and seven-string versions, adorned with chrome hardware, mother of pearl inlays and a new onyx finish. You can even play it with the newly released John Petrucci Signature guitar pick. By the by, the next Dream Theater album, self-titled, will be released on Roadrunner, Tuesday 24 September.
THE V-DRIVE PEDAL From clean boost to creamy-smooth sustain to raging harmonic complexity, the new VHT V-Drive AV-VD1 overdrive pedal’s unique controls offer an amazingly wide range of tones and textures. In addition to standard Drive and Volume controls, the VHT V-Drive offers four more unique controls. The 11-position Select switch provides ten different clipping diode configurations plus a clean-boost diode-bypass mode, and replicates the diode type and configuration of the most popular overdrive pedals of the ‘80s and ‘90s as well as some of today’s most sought-after boutique designs. The Texture control adjusts the overdrive texture and harmonic content. Working in conjunction with the Select switch, these two controls provide an unprecedented range of fine-tuneable overdrive choices. The unique 11-position Depth control finetunes the low-end response to perfectly voice the overdrive depth to suit a wide range of guitars, pickups and musical styles. And the Tone knob is voiced higher than is commonly expected.
Unlike most overdrive pedals, it adjusts the treble content without altering the midrange. The Tone control works in conjunction with the Depth control to provide a wider and more useful EQ-shaping range than conventional overdrive tone controls.
IBANEZ’S BTB BASS The acronym for Beyond The Bounds, Ibanez’s latest addition to the world of bass guitars is the BTB range, featuring through-neck construction providing greater sustain, super-deep body cutaways to provide full access to the 24th fret and a 35” scale length to provide tighter, defined tone over an extended range with superior articulation. A Mono-Rail bridge ensures string-to-string isolation, the spring spacing being 19mm for five-string and 17mm for six-string editions, while the BTB 405/1406 five-string boasts Nordstrand ‘Big Single’ pickups and the BTB 675/676 boasts the new Bartolini pickup, which coils provide tighter bottom end in the lower resonant frequencies, while the dual-coil style configuration maximises articulation. There’s also a three-band EQ with mid-frequency switch.
NEXT, THE WOODEN VINYL ALBUM American nanotechnology whiz Amanda Ghassaei from a company called Instructables has produced wooden vinyl editions of albums by Radiohead and The Velvet Underground. As she explains it, “These records were cut on an Epilog 120 Watt Legend EXT to a theoretical precision of 1200dpi (the kerf of the cut and some tricks I used to avoid crashing the laser cutter dropped the actual precision down by ~1/6). The audio on the records has a bit depth between 4-5 (typical mp3 audio is 16 bit) and a sampling rate up to about 4.5kHz (mp3 is 44.1kHz).” These first ever vinyl records were cut onto plywood by a 3D laser printer. Not quite sure how they can be wooden and vinyl, but there you go.
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For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 37
MARSHALL HEADPHONES MAJOR GATOR CASES Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris founded Gator Cases in Florida in 2000. Initially they made moulded plastic guitar cases. From there they expanded the product line to include case and bag solutions for pro audio, IT, audio visual, general utility, band instruments and percussion. They now have over a 1000 different lines that are made from vacuum-formed plastics, rotational-moulded plastics, wood and EVA materials. They’re distributed in Australia by Jands and are available at outlets all around the country. This reviewer checked out three of their cases: a lightweight guitar case, a soft and a hard drum case. The guitar case is great, very lightweight and durable, and is somewhere between a soft and hard case, with the best advantages of both. The only criticism is that the bag uses a plastic zip and already it is showing signs of not going the distance so maybe a steel zip or Velcro might be longer lasting. Fits a Strat very nicely. Hard drum cases have never been this reviewer’s thing (unless there’s a truck and crew handy) – they’re bulky and hard to handle and this one is no exception. It has curves that stick out from the main body of the case – a guess is for extra strength – but it just adds to the overall bulk of the case.
The Major headphone model is Marshall’s poster set of portable listening accessories, taking all the style and sound quality that the manufacturer has built its business on, moulding it into a tiny over-head set of speakers that gives you a clean and ultra-responsive listening experience with impressive comfort and style. There’s nothing really out of the ordinary here – no bells and whistles that you can’t find with almost every top of the range headphones. However, the Major is just so damn cool, playing on that sense of vintage to make the model seem immediately familiar. And the sound is excellent, handling high volumes especially well. For an additional cost you can get an on-cord remote with volume control, which is fine albeit not really necessary, at least not for extra dosh. But the actual remote is positioned far too high, which means you can’t see what you’re doing, which will surely be annoying for some users. And while we’re getting critical, this reviewer found the headphones themselves a bit too constricting over the ears for long periods of time, even with the ultra-soft cushioning. But in saying that, the average user will not be a music journalist, therefore they probably won’t have them on their head for roughly seven hours a day, almost straight. They are super light, however, and fold away easily for the discerning music lover on the go.
The soft drum case is great, once again lightweight, durable and padded in the right places. Having schlepped these cases around for a few weeks now, they stand up to road treatment very well. All in all they’re a good product and well worth a look.
The Marshall legacy has been more than maintained with the Major. Simply put, these really are great headphones. Every element pays homage to the incredible history of the brand, but does so in a progressive manner that isn’t looking anywhere but forwards.
38 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
ALLEN & HEATH ZED60-14FX The Allen & Heath ZED mixer range now has 14 models to boast and the ZED60-14FX comes with the AmpliTube 3 software for guitar processing, but for some reason does not come with a USB lead. The desk can be used as a two-track audio interface, where AmpliTube actually becomes very tangible. There are eight XLR, two instrument and six line inputs, with 12 source inputs being available at once. The inputs are nice and clean with no noise and the mixer would be easily at home in a live or home studio setup. The build quality is nice, with the 60mm faders feeling nice, and the onboard effects package is of excellent quality but rather limited with large decay times and plates that require a lot of fiddling with if you want to record a clean and intimate vocal performance. Therefore, the effects package that this reviewer would recommend is very much focused towards a live use. This is a 16 bit-only desk, but with onboard effects, a heap of routing options, two instrument inputs and a good quality sound, there’s little to complain about. The only issue would be the USB 1.1 connection, which is a little strange considering the kind of equipment you may be connecting this to. The USB output for recording is the same as the RCA outputs and can be made to output main, record, aux and FX. All in all it’s a neat package, it looks good and it will satisfy the target market. Whether you’re mixing a little band, doing your own two-man shows, recording some home studio projects or recording some location work, this unit will handle it all very nicely. Barry Gilmour
AUDIO TECHNICA AT2020USB As the name suggests, this is a USB version of the traditional AT2020 and is closely matched to the specification of its older sibling. Here at Sound On Stage in Sydney, we have experience with most microphones on the market and have come across USB models from most manufacturers. This offering from Audio Technica is as no fuss as it gets. Plug it in and you’re ready to go. There’s no gain control on the mic, so that’s done on your computer and a headphone socket is also not offered on this mic, so again you’ll need to listen from your computer or mixer. The dynamic response for spoken word is very pleasing, and would offer avid podcasters or home moviemakers an excellent result with a nice presence and tonal reproduction. The frequency response is 20Hz to 16KHz, and the mic delivers consistent tone across a broad range of dynamics when singing or recording acoustic instruments. When connected there is a little blue LED that confirms you have signal and the package comes with a small tripod stand, which leans the mic towards you, helping with directional response. All in all it’s a neat little package that lets you plug in and get going straight away without any fuss. There are several quality USB offerings from different manufacturers on the market now, but if signal quality is what you’re after, the AT2020USB has got to be on your list. Barry Gilmour
Published on Jun 18, 2013
Published on Jun 18, 2013
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...