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GIVEAWAYS Oranges and Sunshine tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham, who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the forced migration of children from the United Kingdom. Almost singlehandedly, against overwhelming odds and with little regard for her own well-being, Margaret reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account and worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice. She discovered a secret that the British government had kept hidden for years: one hundred and thirty thousand children in care had been sent abroad to commonwealth countries, mainly Australia. Based on the book Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys. Starring Emily Watson, David Wenham, Hugo Weaving, Richard Dillane, Lorraine Ashbourne, Kate Rutter, Greg Stone and Tara Morice. Thanks to Icon Films we have ten double in-season passes to give away! In cinemas Jun 9. www. orangesandsunshine.com.au
Life seems perfect for John Brennan until his wife, Lara, is arrested for a gruesome murder she says she didn’t commit. Three years into her sentence, John is struggling to hold his family together, raising their son and teaching at college while he pursues every means available to prove her innocence. With the rejection of their final appeal, Lara becomes suicidal and John decides there is only one possible, bearable solution: to break his wife out of prison. Refusing to be deterred by impossible odds or his own inexperience, John devises an elaborate escape plot and plunges into a dangerous and unfamiliar world, ultimately risking everything for the woman he loves. Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment we have five copies of The Next Three Days starring Russell Crowe to give away which is released Jun 2!
Since their success in 2005 with Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town, which made the Triple J Hottest 100 compilation (#73) and received rave reviews and extensive radio play, The Panda Band have been hard at work, touring vastly across America, writing new material and building their own studio. They will be playing at the Beetle Bar Friday Jun 3, and we have got two double passes up for grabs! Entrants must be 18+.
To celebrate their new album Worldwize Part 1 North & South, Blue King Brown are taking their new grooves across the country. The tour brings them to The Tivoli Friday Jun 3. With hard-hitting lyrics and groove, socially aware and active, Blue King Brown is a band that walks their talk on many social issues. We have got three double passes up for grabs to their gig at The Tivoli! Entrants must be 18+.
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Get your music industry news from The Front Line Lowdown – news, opinions, tours, Backlash, Frontlash Art Vs Science wouldn’t mind being taken a bit more seriously Is The Deep Field Joan As Police Woman’s Let’s Get It On? My Morning Jacket’s Jim James isn’t thrilled about the implication they’re returning to their roots Find out how homesickness inspired the new An Horse record Elbow are harking back to their youth As they get older, Dave Graney’s songs are rocking harder It has been quite a year for Amy Meredith Crystal Stilts aren’t as dark as you probably think Things just fell into place during The Belligerents’ formative days Phatchance and Coptic Soldier are looking at startling new ways of approaching hip hop There’s something about cabaret that Jane Badler finds utterly alluring Havana Brown has a firm idea as to where she wants her music to go Forget everything you once knew about Greenthief Space and panic inform the songs on Tiger Beams’ debut Azari & III aren’t interested in keeping up with trends On The Record has the latest, greatest and the not so greatest new musical releases
Chris Yates spotlights the best (and worst) tracks for the week in Singled Out 10 12 16 18
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Get the scoop on what’s happening This Week In Arts Beck Cole tells us about the many elements that informed her heartfelt debut feature Here I Am Paul Capsis is happy to be a diva Cultural Cringe gives thoughts on the latest X Men Winner Adam Pretty discusses the importance of the World Press Photo competition The Looking Glass looks at the seemingly never-ending Israel-Palestine conflict
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Get the drum on all the coolest happenings in local music last week, this week and beyond in Live Dan Condon gets the dirt on the blues scene from the Roots Down Adam Curley cuts sick with another musical pop culture rant in The Breakdown Lochlan Watt gets brutal in our new metal column Adamantium Wolf Sarah Petchell has enough punk rock to Wake The Dead Cyclone has the wide urban world covered with some OG Flavas Rip Nicholson waxes hip hop with Local Dialects We take you behind the music Behind The Lines iFlog and you can too
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CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor: Andrew Mast Editor: Steve Bell Front Row Editor: Daniel Crichton-Rouse Contributing Editors: Dan Condon, Adam Curley Intern: Katherine Edmonds
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INDUSTRY NEWS SOUNDWAVE VENUES CHANGED FOR FOOTY
KIDS ON OVERLOAD With their band taking a break after years of recording and touring, Hungry Kids Of Hungary’s Kane Mazlin and Remy Boccalatte are set to release a mini-album from their side project Spring Skier during the free time. According to the band’s management the sound is “very different” to that of Hungry Kids, and is comparable to other “reverb-drenched” acts like Fleet Foxes and The Beach Boys. Hungry Kids will also be working on new material in the coming months as well, with Mazlin set to venture overseas with a four-track and guitar and other primary songwriter Dean McGrath to hopefully be lined up with some co-writes with other songwriters around the country.
Soundwave has announced the venues for the upcoming Soundwave Revolution festival and revealed that the line-up cost $12.4 million to put together. With Royal Shows and the end of seasons for various football codes around the country, Soundwave has had to nominate all-new venues in Sydney and Melbourne, while Perth has also been shifted. Saturday Sep 24 the festival’s at Brisbane’s regular RNA Showgrounds, Sunday Sep 25 Sydney’s new venue of Old Kings Oval in Parramatta Park, Friday Sep 30 Melbourne’s new Tabcorp Park in Melton, Saturday Oct 1 Adelaide’s familiar Showgrounds and Monday Oct 3 Perth’s Arena Joondalup, rarely used for festivals. Soundwave Revolution’s promoter AJ Maddah told The Front Line, “Obviously in Melbourne and in Perth we had the Royal Shows to deal with. We had to find alternative venues... Working at the end of the footy season is tough,” he added, although did admit that they had anticipated the difficulties. “We’ve been working on this for six months; it’s not something we’ve thrown together in the last week… As well as our due diligence, we’ve had a lot of planning meetings and I’ve been in Melbourne for the last two days in meetings with public transport people to make sure we can get everyone [to the venue].” On their Facebook Tabcorp posted, “We’re currently working with organisers to provide suitable options for the attendees of Soundwave and will be sure to post full travel arrangements when they are finalised.” He also confirmed the $12.4 million figure he had posted on Twitter, saying it was about $170,000 more than Soundwave cost.
ROACH WINS TOP INDIGENOUS PRIZE Archie Roach has received the Red Ochre Award at the National Indigenous Arts Awards, which were held at the Sydney Opera House. Roach received the $50,000 award for his contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts on both national and international levels throughout his life. An influence on both Indigenous music as well as the wider Australian music scene, his best-known tracks include Took The Children Away and Beautiful Child. Also announced on the night was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship, which went to actor Kylie Farmer, who’ll use the $45,000 per year for two years to pursue a career as a director.
SPICKS & SPECKS CANNED The ABC’s flagship music quiz program Spicks & Specks has been canned, despite solid ratings, and will wrap up in November at the end of the final season. Featuring host Adam Hills and team captains Alan Brough and Myf Warhurst, a statement claimed that Hills will be working towards another season of his chat show In Gordon St Tonight whilst Warhurst and Brough are working on new projects for the network – although these haven’t been confirmed and the show declined to make further comment. The show followed a similar mould to UK music quiz/comedy show Never Mind The Buzzcocks, but unlike that show’s rotating panel of hosts and team leaders, Spicks & Specks has retained the same core three throughout its seven year, 250 plus episode life. “We always said we wanted to leave when we were on top and while we were still having fun and now feels like the right time,” Hills said in a statement. “We are indebted to our loyal fans for giving us seven amazing years on Australian television”. Warhurst said, “I’ve been lucky enough to experience many great things. I’ve seen Frank Woodley’s privates, been naked under a desk with Pete Murray and met many of my childhood musical crushes… Life can’t get much better than that, so this seems like the perfect time to wind things up.” “For seven years I’ve had a job where I’ve met Gourd Orchestras, Oompah bands and Status Quo. Very few people can say that,” Brough said. “I’d rather people were upset because we stopped a little early, than upset because we stayed far too long.” The one-hour finale will screen Wednesday Nov 23.
BORN TO LEAD SILVERCHAIR SPLIT SPARKS SOLO ALBUM TALK Internationally renowned Australian trio Silverchair announced their “indefinite hiatus” – or split – last week through a post on their website, with rumours of a Daniel Johns solo album now doing the rounds. The band announced that they won’t be working together in the foreseeable future, but daily newsletter Your Daily SPA reported last week that the band had been working on material for the past year at Sydney’s Big Jesus Burger Studios, with Johns doing most of the work. Reportedly, the other members – bassist Chris Joannou and drummer Ben Gillies – were called upon irregularly by Johns to lay down instrumental tracks and it is believed that Johns was in the studio as recently as a month ago. With the announcement of their hiatus, speculation is mounting that Johns will use some of that material (which is described as a shift from previous album Young Modern) to make up a solo album, given there was enough material to make a double album at one point. The long-rumoured collaboration between Johns and Luke Steele (The Sleepy Jackson, Empire Of The Sun) is also gathering renewed interest. In the statement the band wrote, “Despite our best efforts over the last year or so, it’s become increasingly clear that the spark simply isn’t there between the three of us at the moment… At the moment Ben’s busy in the studio recording his own music, Chris is working on various business, musical and charitable ventures while Daniel is creating a film soundtrack and working on other musical projects.” The band’s management has not commented further, stating that all the information was included in the statement.
APRA NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED The nominations for the 2011 APRA Music Awards have been announced, with John Butler leading the charge with five nominations. The centrepiece category Song Of The Year will be fought out between Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone (written by Angus Stone/Julia Stone), Clap Your Hands – Sia (Samuel Dixon/Sia Furler), Little Bird – Kasey Chambers (Kasey Chambers), Plans – Birds Of Tokyo (Anthony Jackson/Ian Kenny/Adam Spark/Adam Weston) and Revolution – John Butler Trio (John Butler). Birds Of Tokyo received four nominations in total and frontman Ian Kenny told The Front Line, “This band takes everything in its stride… the harder we work the more we find ourselves in these situations.” The band also changed bassists earlier this year with the departure of Anthony Jackson, so his songwriting credits here are likely to be the last recognition of his work. “For Jacko’s part it’s a recognition [of his contribution],” Kenny said. “If you’ve ever been in a band for seven years and ever been a creative force for seven years, things start to change, sometimes to the point that it’s hard to ignore.” He said the change was eventually for “the good” of the band. Other categories included Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year, for which Anthony Jackson/Ian Kenny/ Adam Spark/Adam Weston (Birds Of Tokyo), Nikolas Kaloper/Samuel Lockwood/Hayley McGlone/Heather Shannon (The Jezabels), Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), Dan Sultan/Scott Wilson (Dan Sultan) and Megan Washington (Washington) will contest. Elsewhere, the surprise nomination in the Dance Work category is Brian McFadden’s Chemical Rush (which qualifies for being co-written by Australian songwriters Antonio Egizii/ David Musumeci/James Maas), with James Finn of fellow nominees Art Vs Science (their track Magic Fountain) telling The Front Line, “I can honestly say I have no idea how that song goes or what it’s about”. The APRA Awards will take place at Sydney’s Carriageworks Tuesday Jun 21.
DRUM MEDIA PERTH EDITOR WINS WAMI Aarom Wilson, editor of The Drum Media Perth (published by Time Off’s publisher Street Press Australia), has picked up the WAMI Award for Media – Individual. Announced last weekend, the big winners elsewhere in Western Australia’s premier music awards was Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala, who won Most Popular Act, Live Act and Best Guitarist (Parker) while Birds Of Tokyo’s self-titled album took home the Best Album award. Other publically voted awards went to Split Seconds for Favourite Newcomer, The Rosemount Hotel for Most Popular Music Venue, St Jerome’s Laneway Music Event, Jebediah’s She’s Like A Comet Most Popular Single/ EP, The Brow Horn Orchestra’s Don’t You Wanna Sing Forever for Music Video and FasterLouder for Music Website. Manager and promoter Luke Rinaldi took home the coveted Golden WAMi award.
PUBLISHING INTRO AND MASTERCLASS Q Music have announced two workshops to help songwriters and musicians get their heads around music publishing. The first workshop, Introduction To Music Publishing is free and takes place on Tuesday Jun 7 from 6pm – 8pm at the AMEB building in Ashgrove. With Matt Tanner (Creative and A&R Manager of Native Tongue Music Publishing) speaking, bookings through qmusic. com.au. The Masterclass happens a day later from 9.30am to 5pm at the Artisan Gallery in Fortitude Valley with Tanner and Tyler McLoughlan (The Sound Pound) speaking. The Masterclass costs $88 if you’re a Q Music member, $110 if not, with food included. It’s limited to 20 people though, so head to the Q Music website promptly.
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way has knocked Adele’s 21 off the top spot of the ARIA Albums charts this week, with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours holding steady in third. Foster The People managed ninth with Torches while Icehouse by Flowers re-entered the chart in 14 thanks to a re-issue. Internationally, INXS has hit the top of Billboard’s Dance/Club Play charts with Original Sin featuring Rob Thomas.
VALE GIL SCOTT-HERON Rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron passed away over the weekend at the age of 62. He died in hospital after suffering from an illness after returning from a European visit. Most famous for the song – and the phrase – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised in the early-70s, his latest comeback record, last year’s I’m New Here, was compared to Sinatra’s September Of My Years and Johnny Cash’s American albums upon release.
FRESKLY INKED Sydney’s Cameras will release their debut album through Speak N Spell (distribution through Inertia) later this year with tours lined up locally and in the US. The record is currently being finished. Perth’s Kathryn Rollins has signed to Eskimo Joe’s new label Dirt Diamonds (distribution through Warner), which currently has The Chemist and Steve Parker also on the roster. Brooklyn-based We Are Augustines – formed by Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson, formerly of Pala – have inked a deal with UNFD for the physical release of their album Rise Ye Sunken Ships on Aug 26. Compared to the American storytelling style of Springsteen, the press release says it is “as biographical [a] record as you will ever hear”. Donny Benet has joined forces with Rice Is Nice for the release of his debut album Don’t Hold Back, which is due to release in July. He’ll be supporting Warpaint in their upcoming Melbourne and Sydney shows. Modular has kept up with their flurry of recent signings with The Rapture to release their third album In The Grace of Your Love through the Universal distributed label on Sep 2. A track by 19-year-old Alexis Jordan, Happiness, has been chosen as the official song of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is happening in Germany this year. She’ll sing the song at the opening ceremony in Frankfurt Jul 17.
JAM IT OUT Entries for round two of this year’s Red Bull Bedroom Jam are now open after Welcome Wednesday took out round one and will be heading to Red Bull’s London studios. If you’re a teenage band and want to show your skills for recording in the bedroom head to redbullbedroomjam.com.au.
AWARD ENTRIES EXTENDED The Queensland Music Awards have advised that entries into the competition have been extended until midnight Sunday Jun 5. Office entries need to be postmarked Friday Jun 3.
PAIRED FOR SUCCESS
A success in Brisbane last year, the MUSIC VIDEO MASH UP now hopes to capture the imagination of bands and filmmakers across the east coast. Founder GLENN BERNAUER tells SCOTT FITZSIMONS of the push Brisbane City Council gave it to do just that.
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eld exclusively in Brisbane last year, the second Music Video Mash Up event has opened its scope to the entire east coast for 2011, with Sydney and Melbourne to involve themselves in the concept. Essentially the brainchild of Glenn Bernauer who then took it to his business partner Dorian Ribeiro and their company Ground Floor Pictures, filmmakers and bands are partnered together and then given 72 hours to create a music video for one of the band’s pre-recorded tracks in a frantic three days of collaboration and production. “It’s always been in the plan to have it down there,” says Bernauer of the expansion, “we ran it last year pretty much as a test and when it did so well we kind of thought, ‘Should we take it to the next level now or should we wait a bit here first?’ But it was actually the Council up here that encouraged us to take it national this year, they said that they thought it would be a good idea for us to go now. So we did, that seems to be how things work in our office – we have an idea and run with it.” Supported by Brisbane City Council and other Queensland companies (Q Music, for example) it would be a coup for their contributions to the music scene if the event manages to gain traction around the country and attract similar sponsors for upcoming events. If Melbourne and Sydney councils were to follow Brisbane’s lead in supporting such an event it would give considerable weight to the northern state’s efforts to rebuild the image of a vibrant scene post-flood disaster. “Once we got a few sponsors on board it was easy to get the rest,” Bernauer says. “I think it’s one of those things, if everyone’s eating in a restaurant you assume it’s good.” As it stands, Ground Floor are very much a Brisbanebased group and it’s been a steep learning curve to crack the other markets. As well as attracting sponsorship (although there are a lot of national supporters this year) the band and filmmakers have responded better to the Brisbane event. “In Brisbane we knew that we’d get a similar number to last year, so we weren’t too worried about it. Melbourne and Sydney were the real focus areas for us to really get the word out. It was a bit harder down there because we don’t have the networks, we’re from Brisbane and we’re Brisbane filmmakers so we’ve had to learn a lot of things very quickly.” Last year’s event created 19 music videos and across the three cities (it’s a combined competition) they’ve already exceeded that. “There was a big debate when we took this to Sydney and Melbourne whether they’d be their own separate events, with their own awards nights, with their own prizes, with their own sponsors or would we do a national roll-out?
In the end it came down to how much time we have in a year… so we thought the easiest way to do this would be on a national level, with national sponsors and get all cities involved on the same weekend at the same time.” With registrations closing Friday – after being extended – the organisers are looking for an evening out of the numbers. When they say there’s “limited spots” they mean that they need a filmmaker for every band that applies. While they need filmmakers in Brisbane and Melbourne, it’s the opposite in Sydney. The launch nights will be held a week later – Friday Jun 10 – and after a few speeches and instructions the teams will be paired up and sent on their way as the time starts. “Most know that they’re going to be busy for that period,” Bernauer says of dedicating the weekend to the competition. “[Last year] there were a few teams that managed to get time away and there were also a few teams that managed to combine what they had to do with the festival. “We had a few teams that were actually on tour on that weekend and the filmmakers went along with them and made the clip on the road. It turned out quite well actually, but I don’t know if that’s the best way to do it… We did find that many teams had sleepless nights and many were working through the whole three days to get it done.” Bands are “mainly left to their own devices, [but] we do go around and visit teams where we can.” Not knowing who you’ll be working with until that night, filmmakers could be thrown any type of band with any type of make-up from any type of genre, while bands will have to deal with the expertise, equipment and strengths of their filmmakers. “If you come into it with some ideas to begin with, that’s your best bet. Because the worst thing would be, you get paired up and the filmmakers say, ‘What do you want your clip to be?’ and the band says, ‘Oh, I don’t have any idea’. Also just being able to listen to both sides, be open to other people’s ideas as well. As soon as you meet them, talk ideas, come up with a concept and work on it together and have input from both sides.” Along with the main award, there are ‘craft awards’ for individual aspects of the production and the recording, but both sides of the creative process will shine brighter if the work’s harmonious. Registration is open at mvmu. com.au until Friday.
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IN BRIEF Legendary musician and poet Gil Scott Heron has died at the age of 62. Funk legend George Clinton was admitted to hospital last week with a staph infection in his leg. He has since been released and is ready to tour again as soon as possible. Trent Reznor and Karen O have joined forces, collaborating on a version of Led Zeppelin’s classic Immigrant Song for the soundtrack to upcoming film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
A RARE BEAUTY The extraordinary talents of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu have been heavily praised over the past couple of years with huge record sales figures, plenty of award nominations and wins and charming, albeit rare, public appearances. For only the second time in his career Gurrumul is heading out on the road in Australia for a series of massive shows around the country. For this tour, Yunupingu and his collaborator Michael Hohnen will be reflecting the full instrumentation featured on his latest record Rrakala in these performances as they have strived to put together a show that will be suitable to be played to the large audiences that will no doubt be drawn to the show. Gurrumul plays the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Thursday Sep 1; tickets are available from Ticketek right now.
FINN’S SHARPENED SKILLS Fomo, the highly anticipated new record from Liam Finn, is set for release on Friday Jun 17 and we are quite willing to say that it is his most assured effort yet. It can’t have been easy trying to follow up his solo debut I’ll Be Lightning, given the hugely positive response it received, but Finn has outdone himself, crafting a record that sees him mature even further as a songwriter. He has already been announced as playing this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival, but he will embark on a full headline tour following that, bringing his great songs – with full band – to more intimate environs. You can catch them at The Zoo on Saturday Aug 27; tickets are available from OzTix.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER When we heard that the massive Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull tour that is heading to Australia next month was going to be giving Brisbane a swerve, we were pretty pissed off. No-one likes missing out on things. Anyway, the promoters have decided to rectify this massive oversight and have now announced that both acts will be storming in to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Monday Jul 25. Tickets are available from Ticketek from Monday morning onwards and we’ve got to tell you, you won’t want to muck around – the Melbourne show sold out in a couple of hours and Sydney didn’t take all that much longer.
Minneapolis supergroup Gayngs have been awarded “over $100, 000 in compensatory and punitive damages” after their tour van, with all equipment inside, was directed to be driven back to Nashville before the band’s performance at the Austin City Limits festival, which they were forced to cancel. ABC TV’s music quiz program Spicks And Specks has announced it will ending at the end of this, its seventh year on the air. Lady Gaga says the costumes for her Monsters Ball tour sent her into debt to the tune of around $3 million.
It seems a lot of popular Australian artists set to release new albums are looking to test their material in particularly intimate settings before they hit the big stages again, the latest of whom is dreamy singer-songwriter Josh Pyke. Pyke has a new record by the name of Only Sparrows set for release in August, but before that happens he is taking the new material on the road and playing tiny venues so his true fans can experience these songs in an intimate environment. When he is in Brisbane he will be hitting the Beetle Bar on Friday Jun 24 with support from Jackson McLaren. Obviously these shows are going to sell out very quickly, so if you want a chance to guarantee yourself a ticket then you’ll need to be a member of Pyke’s fanclub; if you already are then you can grab a ticket now for $20 + bf. If you’re not, try your luck tomorrow morning from 9am where there may be some left over tickets available through OzTix for $25 + bf. Good luck!
Hip hop star Sean Kingston is in a critical condition in a Miami hospital after crashing his jet ski into a bridge. Amy Winehouse has checked herself back into rehab, though not before reportedly downing a bottle of vodka on her way to the facility.
CORNELL GOES BOOKISH It’s not quite the Soundgarden tour that many have been praying for, but frontman Chris Cornell has announced he will be heading our way in October to give us a taste of the Songbook tour that has seen him sell out venues all across the United States in recent times. Cornell is well established as a solo artist, with three records released under his own name, but this tour sees him playing material from throughout his illustrious career as well as a few carefully selected, and somewhat surmising, covers. This tour is a very rare opportunity to see the legend in a somewhat intimate setting and you can see it all happen when he drops by the QPAC Concert Hall on Saturday Oct 15. Tickets are available to the general public from Qtix as of 9am Friday Jun 10.
MONTH OF MUSIC Over the past couple of months we have given you a couple of examples of the amazing events happening as a part of this year’s Queensland Music Festival, but with the official program now launched we figure it’s a good opportunity to let you know about the entire program. Così Fan Tutte plays at the QLD Conservatorium Wednesday Jul 9 – Saturday Jul 30, The Little Green Road To Fairyland, featuring Katie Noonan, pictured, plays the Old Museum Friday Jul 15 and Saturday Jul 16, Vanuatu Water Music hits the Southbank Parklands Saturday Jul 16, An Idyll For The Misbegotten featuring Clocked Out happens at the QLD Conservatorium Wednesday Jul 20, Spirit Of India featuring Dr Lakshminarayan Subramanian and Kalapini Komkali hits the Gold Coast Wednesday Jul 20 and in Brisbane Thursday Jul 21, The Queensland Country Comfort Hour, hosted by Brian Nankervis and featuring the Rockwiz Orchestra and Julia Zemiro hits The Events Centre, Caloundra Sunday Jul 17, QPAC Concert Hall Tuesday Jul 19 and Wednesday Jul 20 and the Arts Centre, Gold Coast Thursday Jul 21, Randy Newman plays the QPAC Concert Hall on Friday Jul 22, Paul Kelly and Paul Grabowski bring Meet Me In The Middle of the Air to the Brisbane Riverstage on Saturday Jul 23, Anna Goldsworthy’s Piano Lessons is on at QPAC Tuesday Jul 26 – Saturday Jul 30, Blackdust plays at the Judith Wright Centre Wednesday Jul 27 – Friday Jul 29, the Illmiliekki Quartet play the Brisbane Jazz Club Friday Jul 29, the Song Trails Finale happens at the Brisbane Powerhouse Sunday Jul 31 and Vaporisation is at the Old Museum Sunday Jul 31. This is just the metropolitan program, there are plenty more events happening in regional areas and you can get all details from qmf.org,au.
Deadmau5 is looking for a new head and has asked his fans to design one for him. The chosen head will be worn for promotional and live appearances and the designer will win flights to Los Angeles as well as accommodation and VIP tickets to one of his shows.
RETURN OF THE DOG Ash Grunwald is definitely a road dog; such is the insane touring schedule he keeps up year after year. He is wearing the tag on his sleeve too with his latest upcoming tour, which hits Queensland this August, called the Road Dog Diaries tour. Grunwald will hook up with some of his surfie and muso mates as he gets around the country to seek out some of the finest surf breaks during the day before kicking out the jams every night. When he’s up here he will hit the Coolum Civic Centre Sunday Aug 21, Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel Thursday Aug 25 (free show), Coolangatta Hotel Friday Aug 26 – all of these with Beau Young, The Grains and Haldanes Daughters, with tickets $20 + bf from OzTix unless otherwise specified. Then he hits the city, playing The Hi-Fi Saturday Aug 27 with supports to be announced, tickets for this one are $22 + bf from Moshtix.
Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent has been arrested for aggravated domestic assault after allegedly hitting and throwing his wife. Police also found four dead dogs in containers at the couple’s house. Bonnie “Prince” Billy will release a 10” single There Is No God b/w God Is Love with all proceeds going to charities Save Our Gulf and Turtle Hospital. The debut solo record from Brisbane singer-songwriter Ben Salter – known for his work with Giants of Science and The Gin Club – is called The Cat and will be released though MGM Distribution Friday Aug 5.
RAP FOR CHANGE Three of the most exciting names in Australian hip hop have teamed up for a very good cause, heading around the country on the Change It For The Better tour, supported by The Line, the Australian government’s anti-violence, pro-respect initiative, rallying against domestic violence in Australia. Pez, Maya Jupiter, pictured, and 360 are three of the country’s most well renowned rappers kicking around at the moment and each of them are incredible live performers. Get down to The Spotted Cow Thursday Jun 9, Never Land Bar Friday Jun 10 and The Hi-Fi on Saturday Jun 11 to support the positive message they are spreading and get down to some kick arse hip hop.
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THREE’S A CROWD They’re the latest signing to the prestigious Modular stable and Azari & III are keen to show Australian audiences just why they are all of a sudden being held in such high regard. The Canadian group are out here for Vivid Live and are doing a bunch of DJ sets while they’re in the country, one of which will be taking place in Brisbane this weekend. Their brand of house is said to embrace the sound of New York in ‘79 and match it with that of Chicago in ‘86, with a sordid-pop edge. You can find out for yourself when they hit the Bowler Bar on Friday night.
HANDS FREE DOES BETTER It has been ages since our New Zealand buddies Cut Off Your Hands have made their way back across the ditch, but we are pleased to announce that they are going to be back in our country this month in support of their new single You Should Do Better taken from their long-awaited second album Hollow. The band have always delivered incredible live shows when playing their energetic post-punk tunes from earlier in their career, but this new record sees them redefining their sound, adding a little bit more jangle and taking cues from classic bands like The Go-Betweens and The Triffids as well as, of course, the Flying Nun sound, so we’re very keen to see how this new material slips into their set. The band hit Alhambra Lounge on Thursday Jun 16 and also play Splendour In The Grass at the end of July.
The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 have released a collaborative vinyl-only four track EP in the US. Of course it has made its way to the blogs. Mirror Traffic, the Beck produced new album from Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks will be released in the US through Matador on Tuesday Aug 23. Expect an Australian release date around that time.
FEEL THE DEEPNESS He’s topped the US iTunes dance chart and made the top five of the same chart in the UK with his recent Anjunadeep:03 collection (one disc of which was mixed by James Grant); if you had any doubts about the international appeal of Aussie Jaytech then they should well and truly be thrown out by now. The young electronic music maestro, who is the name on just about every influential producer’s lips at the moment, is returning to Australia next month to smash it up on the back of the release. He hits The Met for a big one on Saturday Jul 16.
MIGHTY SUPPORT We’ve already given you the exciting news about the mighty Helmet returning to our shores and if you thought that things could get any better than that then you’re dead wrong. Word has just come through that Brisbane metal legends Pangaea will be taking up the support slot for the tour, proving that perhaps their recent reformation may be long-term. The band will warm things up for the US legends when they hit the Coolangatta Hotel on Wednesday Jun 22 and The Hi-Fi Thursday Jun 23.
IS DON IS GOOD If you’re into fidget-house then you would no doubt already be all over the man they call ‘The Don’ – no, not Bradman – Don Rimini. The French master destroyed eardrums across the planet with his awesome NLarge Your Parties EP and recent remixes for the likes of The Count & Sinden and Rye Rye, to name but a few, need to be heard to be truly believed! Rimini is hitting Australia towards the end of this month and you can bet he will be bringing a strong party vibe with him; he hits Monastery Saturday Jun 25 before dropping by Vanity Nightclub on the Gold Coast on Friday Jul 8.
REVOLUTION LOCATION You will remember that a couple of weeks ago we let you in on the full line up for the Soundwave Revolution festival, but not the venue. Well this week we can confirm that it will indeed be taking place at the RNA Showgrounds, much like its sister festival, on Saturday Sep 24. But we have further exciting news to add this week; many were disappointed when it was announced that the great Thrice would be unable to make it over for the show as previously thought, but this has been rectified in many eyes with the addition of the wonderful American rock band Alesana, pictured, to the bill. They join the massive line-up that’s too big to republish here; tickets for the general public go on sale from soundwaverevolution. com, OzTix and Ticketek tomorrow morning (Thursday) from 9am!
HARD TO THE BONE It has been 18 years since legendary rappers Onyx released their massively successful single Slam, but anyone who has followed their career since then will be aware that these New Yorkers have released some of the most incredible hardcore gangster rap up until their awesome 2003 record Triggernometry. Their intense, in-your-face rapping style and massive production mean that this is one group you simply cannot ignore whether you want to or not. This will certainly be the case when they make their long awaited debut tour, named after their classic Bacdafucup album, which hits the Step Inn on Thursday Jun 16.
RISE UP It is not exaggerating to say that Above & Beyond are one of the UK’s most well respected production teams, which has certainly been cemented after the release of their awesome second album Group Therapy. The Anjunabeats bosses have been selling out massive concert halls in the US as well as the UK in recent times and their last visit to Australia proved that audiences over here are just as enthused about their brand of classic trance, house and electronica. So it is very exciting to be able to announce that they have announced their first headlining tour of Australia, which will hit Family on Friday Sep 16 from 10pm. You can bet that this will be one of the dance music events of the year, so make sure you snag a ticket from Moshtix before it’s too late. They’ll cost you $34.10 a pop.
IT’S IN THE STARS When it came time to make album number three, local indie rockers Grand Atlantic certainly didn’t feel like just kicking back and doing things as per usual. Constellations, which will be released later this year, saw the band head over to Dunedin, but rather than hole up in some studio/ bedroom/warehouse to complete their sessions the band hit an abandoned psychiatric hospital by the name of Seacliff Lunatic Asylum. Word on the street is that the sounds that they came up with from these surroundings were suitably spooky, we certainly can’t wait to hear, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing when the band hit the road in support of the first single from the record Poison To The Vine. The band are going to be playing a big hometown show at Woodland on Sunday Jun 12 where they will be showing off how their chops have been refined even further following some heavy overseas touring.
PSYCHO HELL FIRE Melbourne’s masters of insane psychobilly are back with a new independently released record by the name of Hellrider and that means an all too rare trip to Brisbane is also on the cards, certainly great news for Fireballs fans. For decades these guys have been the brightest shining (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) force in the Australian rock’n’roll scene and now, with their revitalised line-up, they are ready to prove that this is the case more so than ever. The quartet are set to be as ruthless as ever as they show off their new material as well as all the old favourites you know and love with shows at the Gold Coast’s Shed 5 on Friday Jun 24 and The Hi-Fi on Saturday Jun 25. Tickets for The Hi-Fi are available from Moshtix right now for $25 + bf. The Dark Shadows play support for both shows.
STIRRING THE POT It seems like the hugely popular The Potbelleez just keep kicking goals bigger and more impressive than the last as they continue to cement their place as one of the premier live dance acts in the country. Recent times have seen them sell over 100, 000 singles and support Usher on his huge OMG tour, but the main priority for the group at this point in time is the upcoming live tour they are about to embark on that will see them smash dancefloors into a million pieces. The group are taking the show to venues all around the country, including plenty of regional areas, but in our part of the country they hit the Chalk Hotel Thursday Jul 21 and then Byron Bay’s La La Land on Friday Jul 22.
VALE MICK AND TYLER
Horrible news for the Brisbane scene with the tragic passing of two members of local act Flannelette – Mick Fisher and Tyler Gunn – after a traffic accident. Our thoughts and condolences to friends and family, plus Matt Campbell who is still in hospital…
Funny the people slagging the “comedian” for “borrowing” routines on Australia’s Got Talent (never stopped Dennis Leary’s career) don’t seem to mind the “singers” destroying songs by actual artists. These shows are rubbish, don’t suddenly try to bestow them with integrity…
RIP GIL SCOTT-HERON
Further sadness in the passing of hip hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron in New York last week. His life had many highlights and he was amidst a stunning resurgence when he fell ill after a European trip.
According to Modular boss Pav, The Avalanches may have finally finished the follow-up to their revered debut album Since I Left You. …
While we’re mining the depths of death and despair, a thought for the increasing numbers of Australian soldiers being killed and wounded while on duty in Afghanistan. Can anyone actually recall/reiterate what our soldiers are doing over there? Time to get out…
Thank God the Silverchair horse has finally been given the bullet, that band jumped the shark as a creative entity before most of them had reached adulthood. Congrats for being the youngest musicians to pull the plug on a nearly two-decade old band…
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ARTISTIC LICENCE There’s more to Art Vs Science than partying and festivals. Time Off look at some other significant artists stalked by misconception.
Phil Collins A key member of prog-rock giants Genesis and a pop star in his own right, Phil Collins is still perhaps best known for 1979’s In The Air Tonight. The percussionheavy single is notorious for documenting an incident from Collins’ youth where he saw another man leave a drowning man to die – even though that’s a complete fabrication. Collins’ has stated in multiple interviews that he has no idea what the song is actually about.
Neil Finn Any former member of Split Enz is going to be stalked by a couple of weird stories but Neil Finn’s is weirder than most. In discussing Finn’s work, a quote is often attributed to Paul McCartney. Apparently, the former Beatle was asked what it was like to be the best songwriter in the world, responding with, ‘I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Neil Finn?’ No verifiable record of the quote exists, however. It’s unclear as to where it even originated. If anything, Macca probably hates Neil Finn by now.
Earlier this year, Sydney electro-rockers ART VS SCIENCE released their long-awaited debut album The Experiment. A lot of people hated it. MATT O’NEILL catches up with drummer DAN ‘DAN W.’ WILLIAMS to discuss the album that, according to one reviewer, summed up “everything that is wrong with Australian ‘indie’ music”. Photos by KANE HIBBERD. Props supplied by Stirling Gill-Chambers, Mad Uncle Cliff @ The Manufactory (810 High St, Thornbury, Melbourne – opening June 30). Styling by clockworkbutterfly.net.
rt Vs Science are in something of a strange position. The Sydney trio have been inundated with success and popular acclaim for practically their entire career. Within a year of their 2008 formation, the band had won triple j’s Splendour In The Grass Unearthed competition, toured nationally to capacity crowds, broken through to triple j’s Hottest 100 (with early single Flippers) and topped the iTunes dance charts (with debut EP Art Vs Science). Yet – everybody hates them.
Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. This publication actually just recently awarded their debut longplayer The Experiment a glowing review and the band have managed to secure similar praise from other publications (including Rolling Stone). Couple such acclaim with their well-received appearances at festivals like Parklife and the aforesaid successes and it’s obvious that people do like the band. It’s just that those that don’t are, well, quite vocal. Consider the broader reception the band have received for The Experiment. For every favourable review in Rolling Stone, the record has been slated doubly elsewhere. Mess & Noise characterised Art Vs Science as a band “making hay while the sun still shines on their blissfully brainless patch of land” while Polaroids Of Androids claimed their album summed up “everything that is wrong with Australian ‘indie’ music”. People don’t just dislike Art Vs Science. They actively despise the band. “Yeah, I know. Isn’t that glorious?” drummer Dan ‘Dan W.’ Williams laughs of the album’s reception. “It’s a strange kind of reputation to acquire. It’s not like we set out to grab that on purpose, though. We pretty much figure that, if there are people that like us, that’s great. If there are people that hate us? Well, they can go and listen to something else. I guess we all sort of subconsciously expected it in a way. “I mean, I was shaken by the first earth-shatteringly bad review we received. It was for a live show and we obviously take a bit of pride in our live show,” the drummer muses. “It tore us to pieces. It really freaked
me out for a while but then I remembered that I enjoyed it and everyone I could see seemed to enjoy it and I haven’t worried much about reviews since. I like the album, our fans like it, my mum and her friend at the florist like it. I’m kind of happy with that reaction.” Intriguingly, such opinions rarely seem to be predicated on the basis of the music Art Vs Science are releasing for public consumption. Rather, critics seem to be responding to the perceived intention operating behind the music. The band are consistently positioned as either pop-savvy svengalis profiting from a popular style (Williams literally bursting into laughter at the suggestion – “we have no money at all!”) or brain-dead rock star idiots searching for an excuse to party eternally. “It’s a mixture of both, really,” Williams quips. “I don’t know. I’d like to think that most people would just see us as a band and not look into it much more than that. I certainly don’t look at a band and think they’re cashing in on something. I like to think that they just really like a certain thing that’s going down in popular music and they wanted to be a part of it. I’m pretty sure John McTiernan directed Die Hard because he loved action movies – and I love that movie.” Unsurprisingly, neither assumption is particularly accurate. Like most conclusions informing (and informed by) vitriolic antipathy, such views gloss over a significant number of details regarding the band’s work. Ignoring the fact that the stripped-back synthesisers and unpretentious live percussion work of the band’s sound are as far from generic electro as one can get, their live show (featuring no pre-recorded material or loops) is far too demanding to be executed by mere simpletons. “Really, the only reason we’re still doing it is because, at the beginning, we said we’d only ever play completely live – and now we’re kind of forced to stand by that,” Williams laughs. “I mean, it’s pretty cool what you can do in a studio with as many layers as you have the freedom to create but, at this stage, there’s three of us on stage and we like that. We don’t want to use backing
Lady Gaga Depending on which side of the fence you fall on, you either believe Lady Gaga doesn’t write her own songs or she writes all of her own songs. Neither view is actually accurate. A professional songwriter before she got her break as a solo artist, Gaga’s previously written songs for Britney and the Pussycat Dolls but, contrary to public opinion, she doesn’t write all of her own material for her albums. A great many of her songs are written in collaboration with producer RedOne and other professional songwriters.
tracks because, really, we don’t know how to use them – but we also just prefer the feel of a live band. “I’d like to think that feels a little better,” the drummer reflects. “I don’t know, though. One of my favourite things ever is Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense – where David Byrne just keeps inviting these musicians on stage and completely challenges the idea that Talking Heads was a band comprising a specific number of people and musicians. I mean, I’m sure we’ll never do that exactly but who knows what we will do in the future?” One of the key realities ignored by most perspectives of the band – including the favourable ones – is their relative youth. It’s important to remember that Art Vs Science only formed in 2008. The band’s members may have been playing music with other outfits prior to the band’s formation (Williams originally drumming for Philadelphia Grand Jury), but their current band is still only slightly more than three years old. They’ve yet to even figure out what they want to do as a musical entity. “All we knew when we started out was that we had some keyboards and synthesisers and we wanted to do some stuff that was like Daft Punk and Justice. That was about it,” Williams says flatly. “We spent a couple of days jamming – just trying to work out how to do Daft Punk arpeggios and basically ripping them off – but it was just too hard. We decided we couldn’t do it with only six hands. Our current sound is basically a bastard child of our failed attempt to play that music. “We became a little less restrictive, added a few elements and that was basically our first EP. I feel it’s all a bit like that Mighty Boosh episode where they’re walking around looking for their new sound. We’re still trying to work out what our sound is and stuff. I think that’s evident if you listen to the recordings. There are a lot of styles mashed-up and thrown in there. It’s still us kind of wandering in the dark looking for our identity or whatever.” The other is that there is actually a certain modicum of sincerity and intelligence at play within the band’s work. While the gonzoid choruses and lyrical themes of
singles like Magic Fountain and Parlez Vous Francais? would tend to suggest a band of similarly obnoxious individuals, there is more to the band’s work. They are, for example, well aware that ‘Parlez Vous Francais’ is grammatically incorrect French. There is actually meaning and narrative to each and every one of their works. “It’s interesting. People can accept the music on whatever level they want to. If they can get the lyrics and see what we’re getting at, then that’s great, but it doesn’t really matter if they don’t,” Williams says. “Lyrics can mean anything to you. I remember listening to At The Drive-In and, looking back now, I’m like, ‘Are you for real? These words don’t mean anything!’ I remember looking at One Armed Scissor – ‘Oh yeah, I can imagine a one-armed scissor’ – but it doesn’t really mean anything!” The amount of work the band actually invested in The Experiment, to reference perhaps the ultimate example of the band’s sincerity, was by no means trivial. The band spent nearly a year crafting and refining the record – nine months of recording and composition spread out over three sprawling studio sessions. Some may scoff at the notion, but Art Vs Science are nevertheless quite serious about their ambitions as musicians. “Do we want people to sit down and listen to our music and think, ‘This is great music’ as opposed to partying mindlessly to it at festivals? Yeah, sure, that’d be nice,” Williams says matter-of-factly. “I don’t think there’s that autonomy, though. You know, I don’t think one precludes the other. I guess we’d just like people to think, ‘Wow, these guys have really written this song well’ or, ‘This build really works great’. Everybody wants to be appreciated. “Would I like people to consider us good at what we do?” The drummer laughs. “Sure. That’d be great, actually. If you could spread the word, that’d be super.”
WHO: Art Vs Science WHAT: The Experiment (Independent/MGM) WHERE & WHEN: The Tivoli Saturday Jul 9
GIMME PLEASANT! JOAN WASSER is a curious, confident lady armed with the rich musical history and strong voice needed to innovatively explore the great mysteries of life, love and the human brain. As she reveals to TYLER McLOUGHLAN, it’s the everyday acts of being human, including the most intimate of acts, that most inspire her guise as JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN this time around on The Deep Field.
he finding of love and contentment for an artist is often an avid listener’s worst case scenario; how dare they even consider getting happy, often appearing smugly self-righteous in the process, when their morose heartbreak, loss, suffering and/or tragedy provided such deliciously depressing fodder for the tedium of our own everyday miseries? Joan Wasser, who earned her chops as a touring musician with gluttons of gloom Rufus Wainwright and Antony Hegarty, and who was the girlfriend of Jeff Buckley at the point of his untimely death, has learnt with her fourth album The Deep Field to look at her place within life’s bigger picture. “I was looking through a science magazine and there’s this part of space that Hubble named The Deep Field,” chirps Wasser in her drawn-out American drawl. “It’s a part of space that’s full
of younger galaxies – they use that area to study how galaxies are formed. The inlays were so beautiful it was like maybe six or seven square photos that were taped together to show that area. Photos of space look pretty astounding anyway – just like that black with beautiful, golden sheets of light – it’s so outrageous you know,” she giggles, as though referring to a crazy outfit rather than space. “First of all they named it such a poetic thing rather than naming it some string of letters and numbers which they could have. I think it’s really beautiful that human beings are always striving to understand, for more knowledge and to figure out how things work, how they happened, why we’re here. A lot of those questions really may not have answers [but] people strive to find the answers anyway. It’s the same in the microcosms of our brains and stuff. It’s so complicated yet people still try to work it out. I just think it’s this beautiful part of human nature and I’m always trying to figure out why I act the way I do and like [figure out] what the hell’s goin’ on in there.” Having had a slight soul bent across previous piano-heavy albums, Wasser fully utilised the medium this time as a device for honesty. “The last two albums I was really learning how to express myself and learning how to be open and really get the emotion across. I really love soul music and I love that aspect of soul music of really just telling it how it is. I’ve been working on how to do that better in my own writing. On this record I feel like I’m expressing a lot more of my vulnerability ‘cause I’ve done a couple of records that people like and that I continue to like which is good,” she admits through a delighted giggle. “I’ve got a certain amount of confidence in my writing to the point where I can actually start talking, sort of expressing some real vulnerabilities which you know, I feel like I’m starting to figure it out because that’s where the real stuff happens, when you can say: I’m really vulnerable in this way. I mean it’s really hot I think,” she says channeling Paris Hilton for a second. “I think it’s really an arrival point and this record is also so much about getting down, I mean so much. People have called it my Let’s Get It On record!” Wasser gets busy namechecking the songs from her album that were inspired by getting it on, though given her beautifully languid vocal and turn of phrase, such tracks aren’t as immediately obvious as the Marvin Gaye classic. “Run For Love pretty much is my version of Let’s Get It On. And Chemmie, that’s about the chemistry you share with a person. Nervous, I mean Nervous is more about relationships I guess. Action Man is pretty much like saying: ‘Take me now!’ [The lyric] ‘I don’t wanna talk anymore’: let’s get down, that’s pretty much what the song is saying. There’s a lot of songs on the record about that,” she says boldly, never one to shy away from the sticky subjects. Borrowing the booming, deep vocal of Peter Gabriel discovery Joseph Arthur as a modern day Barry White at times further sexualises Wasser’s lyrical suggestions. “I always have male guests on my records. I like the combination of male and female voices,” she says simply. “I just think it’s beautiful, like the Pixies. That’s one of my favourite rock bands because it’s got Kim and Frank both singing – I just like that combination. [It’s] my personal preference.” Wasser throws a challenge to listeners in the album’s opening line, a message of the lust for life to come, and a real life call to action to someone she had in her sights: “I want you to fall in love with me”. She didn’t get that someone, and she certainly didn’t intend for anyone to ever hear that song, though it became a key moment in her mission to share her vulnerabilities. “That song was written about someone in particular at the time but it sort of really encapsulated a whole feeling…” she admits. “I’m in that situation of meeting someone new and wanting them to like me. It’s like when I finished that song, Nervous, I was really just, like, ‘I will never sing this live, it’s way too embarrassing…’ I just say I have a lot to lose; it’s what I’m saying. And that’s really scary to say and now I think it’s funny. I was like I’m never gonna do this live and somehow it ended up to be the first song on the record! But I really want this to say whatever – you know, it doesn’t matter, everyone feels this kind of thing, well, a lot of people. I feel comfortable enough to express it now and I’m just glad that I do – it’s kind of like who cares? This is how I feel, I can’t help it. It did produce some positive benefits in my life, not with the person that I originally wrote it for, because that person was instantly obviously wrong, and though it didn’t really produce it I have a nice situation in my life right now.” That nice situation is about to be disrupted slightly as Joan As Police Woman brings The Deep Field Down Under. A regularenough visitor to Australia thanks to a loyal fanbase sustained outside of any significant mainstream attention, the eccentric New Yorker has always fascinated foreign enthusiasts. And it seems Wasser is just as enamored with her Australian audience, in a way that hugely characterises her current level of contentedness. “I have to say Australia in general is so pleasant to be in. You guys have a high level of basic living; good food, good climate, it’s really just pleasant! And that sounds like pleasant isn’t a word you want – yes it is!” she shouts in her animated guffaw. “I love pleasant. Gimme pleasant!”
WHO: Joan As Police Woman WHAT: The Deep Field (Reveal/Liberator) WHERE & WHEN: The Globe Saturday June 4, Byron Bay Community Theatre Sunday June 5
IN THE HANDS OF THE GODS Their sixth studio album is being touted as “a return to their roots” – even the name Circuital implies the completion of a full circle – but as MY MORNING JACKET frontman JIM JAMES tells STEVE BELL, sometimes you’ve just got to go with the flow.
everb-drenched country-rockers My Morning Jacket threw the metaphorical cat amongst the pigeons to some degree back in mid-2008 when they released their fifth album Evil Urges. The classic-sounding rock of their previous output was pushed into the margins, replaced by an eclectic and experimental batch of songs which – while still quite strong in their own right – confused and in some cases alienated the throng of fans weaned on the Southern psych stylings that had endeared the band to so many over the course of their career.
For their sixth album Circuital, however, the five-piece have jettisoned their tentative foray into the unknown and returned to what they know best, laying down a batch of gorgeous songs that are classic in tone without sounding staid, still containing enough of My Morning Jacket’s trademark eccentricity and assuredness to once again elevate them above the pack. Frontman and songwriter Jim James chuckles when he hears the already oft-bandied phrase “return to their roots”, but acknowledges that Circuital is at the very least a return to their sound of yore. “We really try not to think too much about that kind of stuff, because I’m a firm believer in the fact that the universe just gives me whatever songs it’s going to give me, and I don’t really have much of a say in what I want a particular era to be like, or if I want to return to our roots or not return to our roots – I kind of just work with what I’m given at the time,” he offers sagely. “But the phrase holds true in some ways because we did make the record in Kentucky again, so it is like a physical return to our roots I guess. There’s always some common musical bond between all of our records, but I don’t really feel like it’s a return to our roots musically – sometimes that phrase just kind of annoys me.
Excitingly for fans, while Circuital is indubitably a great batch of songs, they were written concurrently with other tunes which will form the basis of James’ long-awaited debut solo long-player. “We had a few that we didn’t end up using – I’d say we were dealing with 13 or 14 songs maybe for this record, and over the course of the record I’ve been writing songs for a solo record as well, so I’ve been kind of going back and forth between those things,” he recounts. “Certain songs when I was plotting it out in my brain I wanted to be for the band, and vice versa, but then some songs kind of get confused and you end up trying them in different ways, but these songs just felt like they wanted to be together.”
WHO: My Morning Jacket WHAT: Circuital (ATO/Spunk/EMI)
“...THIS IS OUR THIRD RECORD WITH THIS LINE-UP AND IT’S WEIRD, IT’S WHAT YOU HOPE YOUR MARRIAGE WILL BE LIKE OR WHATEVER, WHERE YOU JUST GROW OLDER AND YOU JUST KEEP HAVING MORE AND MORE FUN, INSTEAD OF IT JUST GETTING OLD OR YOU HATING THE PEOPLE.” “Every record is always a reaction to the one before it in some ways. I feel like when we made our first two records [1999’s The Tennessee Fire and 2001’s At Dawn] we really wanted them to almost be companion pieces to each other, and then we made our third record [2003’s classic It Still Moves] and it kind of felt like we wanted to make a more rocking record, because the first two did get pretty spaced-out and mellow, and then our fourth record [2005’s Z ] we really wanted to make that its own special tight little unit that still showed some of the stuff that we’d done before, but had a more futuristic edge to it. Then Evil Urges was like an experiment in trying to make a big video game, where there’s a lot of different worlds and a lot of different boards and levels that are all very different from each other – just make a different feeling thing, so you put it on and you’re kind of shocked and surprised by the different turns and twists that the road would take you on while you listened. “And this one just kind of came together naturally on its own – we just got into this space in this old gymnasium and started playing, and just with the air of the room and the way we were all feeling the shape of the songs all came from the same familial place, like they’re all members of the same family and from the same town, and they all kind of have the same weather in them and the same air. They just really feel like they all belong together.” Having their own studio space gave the band the opportunity to take their time recording, and the record clearly benefits from this relatively relaxed approach. “Yeah, it was wonderful,” James recalls. “We’ve always worked that way – we’ve never liked the clock ticking – so we always try to make our environment very peaceful and very calm. On the last record we really wanted to try and do the opposite and see what that would do – to go to New York and have pressure and have the clock running and all that kind of stuff – and it was a cool experiment but I definitely like working a lot more with peace and space and time.” Another aspect of Circuital which is immediately noticeable is how the band have meshed together so well as a unit, particularly given that the bedrocks of most of the tracks were recorded live together in the studio. “Yeah, definitely. Carl [Broemel – guitar] and Bo [Koster – keys] aren’t new anymore – they’re not the ‘new guys’,” James chuckles. “We’re a band who have gone through several line-up shifts over the course of our history, but this is the band. This is the longest the line-up has ever been the same version of My Morning Jacket, and to me this line-up is amazing and magical, and we’ve been around now for a long time – it was 2004 when Bo and Carl came in – so those guys have been in this band longer than a lot of bands have even been around. I don’t consider them ‘new guys’, but it’s been great – this is our third record with this line-up and it’s weird, it’s what you hope your marriage will be like or whatever, where you just grow older and you just keep having more and more fun, instead of it just getting old or you hating the people. It’s just kind of gotten more and more peaceful and more and more fun, and we really just enjoy each other’s company.”
BACK IN TOWN
It’s been quite the two-and-a-half year adventure for Brisbane duo AN HORSE and a long way from the day job that brought KATE COOPER and Damon Cox together. BEN PREECE chats to the former about their new album Walls.
an A&R person who we respect – if you had told me two years ago we’d be working with the person who signed Pearl Jam, I would’ve said that was funny. So to have that as a resource was kind of incredible – you can send these demos to an A&R person to see if they suck and he’s like ‘No, I really like this song’. “We did have a few months off here and there and did have time off to write,” she continues. “We had two months here and there scattered over the last two years – I’d sleep for a week and was living in Montreal, knew only had a handful of people and had a lot of time to write. It was really, really awesome for me to be able to write in a different environment. That’s half the reason I moved away from Brisbane – I love it, it’s beautiful and the weather is amazing, but I kind of wanted to try and be affected by my environment. It was cool, I was in Montreal, it was minus 30 degrees and I was inside and that’s when I wrote most of the songs. And then last January, I flew to Melbourne for six weeks, visited family but also spent five or six weeks writing with Damon in a practice room every day to finish what we’d started.” From writing to demoing and eventually onto recording – Cooper and Cox left their respective homes (Cooper in Montreal at the time, Cox in Melbourne) and gathered in Vancouver with producer Howard Redekopp, someone who had lent a hand in the past to the likes of The New Pornographers and Tegan And Sara.
ometimes life tends to throw a curveball that seems a lot like destiny. It’s a cliché perhaps but entirely true for Damon Cox and Kate Cooper, two very talented individuals from Brisbane who were seemingly plucked from their day job at Skinny’s Record Store in Brisbane and sent on an adventure. Sure, it was a crazy, often stressful adventure but mostly it was utterly surreal and often mind-blowing as the duo, travelling as An Horse, managed to tour and rub shoulders with some of their favourite bands as well as garner attention and accolades from Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork and People.
So when it came time for that little-band-that-could who went from cramming in after-hours rehearsals to playing their song Camp Out live on The Late Show with
David Letterman to record their second album Walls, it was perhaps a chance to reflect on that pipedream incredibly made real. If their debut Rearrange Beds was something of a happy accident, then this follow-up was deliberate and the duo’s chance to set the next phase. “Rearrange Beds was just us making a bunch of demos,” Cooper laughs. “We weren’t even serious about being a band and then kind of got a record deal accidentally and the label was like, ‘Hey we like these five songs, let’s get five more and make a record and do it exactly the same way you’ve been doing them and we were, ‘They’re kind of demos, but alright’. So this time with Walls, it was very deliberate and Howard [Redekopp – producer] was involved very early on. There was a lot of demoing and we were in a position to have
“He’s an awesome guy and brought a lot to the record,” Cooper is quick to state. “He actually mixed Rearrange Beds for us and was recommended to us by other musicians who had worked with him. He mixed Rearrange Beds remotely and actually came up to us at a show Vancouver and walked up to us and said, ‘Hi, I’m kind of like your blind date, my name is Howard’. We had spoken to him on the phone obviously but we clicked right away, he’s an amazing guy and very early on in the picture when Rearrange Beds was released, we realised we wanted to work with him and he wanted to work with us; even while the songs were being written and in the early demo stages, Howard was doing everything. We recorded it in summer – June/July – in Vancouver and we had ten days of pre-production with him in a studio. It was awesome – he knows how to push us and when to stop and he knows how to not make me cry. Because he’d heard the songs from an embryonic stage, he was really integral to the process.” Finding a name for the record proved to be somewhat of a cumbersome process for Cox and Cooper, that is until Cox looked a little deeper into Cooper’s lyrics.
“He found it in the lyrics and noticed I said the word a lot in my lyrics and pulled them all up and was like, ‘Look at this’,” Cooper laughs. “So yeah, I guess I do say the word a lot. I think during some of the writing, you know, I was homesick. It was minus 30 degrees and it was summer in Brisbane and no-one can make a good coffee and there was that, but also a new city, new places, my Mum got sick so that was weird being so far away. I guess a lot of it came from that. I haven’t listened to it much but sometimes I write things and should think about them a bit more before committing them to tape.” Integral to the band’s success, An Horse probably couldn’t have done it without a little help from their friends. The two toured with Tegan And Sara even prior to the release of their first album, but since have not only played with the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, Silversun Pickups, The Big Pink and Cage The Elephant, but also can call them friends. “The thing we’ve managed to get or managed to experience is that every band mentioned, we can now consider our good friends,” Cooper gushes. “It’s like we’ve met some of our favourite bands in the world and they’ve all been amazing people and now they’re amazing friends. When we were doing our record in Vancouver, Death Cab were doing sessions for their record in Vancouver and we got to go visit them in the studio and that was crazy – Chris [Walla] came and bought us lunch and hung out at our studio. At the moment, we have a tour manager and sound person in the States who works with Silversun Pickups, they’re not on the road at the moment so we’ve got him and we get texts from the Silversun dudes making fun of us and jokes about stealing their sound man. That’s incredible and the best thing is that all these people who make really wonderful records are also really wonderful people – that doesn’t happen. We just feel really lucky that we have these amazing people – the likes of Sara [Quin] have been so instrumental in our career and helping us and pushing us. When we’re tired and over it and had a really bad day, I can call her and say this happened and she will be like ‘Every story you have, I have a story that is far worse!’”
WHO: An Horse WHAT: Walls (Shock) WHERE & WHEN: The Zoo Thursday Jun 2
LUCKY, LUCKY BASTARDS Latecomers to wide-spread acclaim, England’s ELBOW have spent over two decades together doing it tough. Though as drummer RICHARD JUPP reveals to TYLER McLOUGHLAN, their upcoming Australian tour is a testament to the enduring friendship that is explored in depth across new album Build A Rocket Boys!
nglish five-piece Elbow had been together for over a decade before their debut album Asleep In The Back was released in 2001. Finally winning international acclaim with their fourth Mercury Prize-winning album The Seldom Seen Kid in 2008, they are in tip-top shape as follow-up Build A Rocket Boys! hits the shelves, though the steady achievers of heartbreak melancholia have remained the same five blokes in the streets of their hometown. Amidst a rock’n’roll meets everyday life moment, Time Off catches up with Richard Jupp post-school run, pre-exercise session outside a Manchester gym. He’s busy preparing his body for Elbow’s grueling tour schedule and admits that this business of international touring is not all beer and skittles for a 37-year-old. “I had a nightmare of a European tour on The Seldom Seen Kid where I knackered my left foot, I nearly severed the tendons in my left hand, my back was in a right state and my right shoulder was knackered, so yeah, I need to do that because I am getting on and I need to face up; I need to man up to it,” he laughs nervously, and given the obvious dedication of a band with such a stretched career path, he’s no stranger to the hard slog. Though as everyday life starts to creep back in again for Elbow, they turn to each other and seek solace in writing.
staff] Gaz and Tim and Ian and Fred who we’ve known for years are exactly the same, they’re, like, ‘Fuckin’ hell, you’re getting away with murder here lads’, “ he laughs before explaining that the space incorporating a live venue is Manchester’s hub for up-and-coming bands and visiting celebrities alike. “They get everybody from Justin Timberlake in there, Snoop Dogg; Christ everybody! People who are playing The Arena who usually come in and cut a few tracks while they’re in Manchester, so it’s a great hub of creativity.” With a long sigh he concedes thoughtfully: “We are lucky, lucky bastards.”
WHO: Elbow WHAT: Build A Rocket Boys! (Universal) WHERE & WHEN: Splendour In The
Grass, Woodfordia Friday Jul 29 – Sunday Jul 31
“We were planning to take three months off because we’d been touring The Seldom Seen Kid for about 18 months, so we had a massive homecoming show at Manchester at The Arena which was incredible; like 17,500 people giving you a massive hug and saying well done,” he gushes of the show which was to start their three month sabbatical. “Basically within probably about three weeks, we were back in the studio. We just thought, ‘sod this, we’re gonna hammer on and just get back to what we’ – that sounds terrible! – but ‘what we do’,” he cackles. “It was like, ‘Right, we’ve had enough of Tescos and school runs, lets balance that with doing a bit of work; lets crack on with it!’” A boys weekend on Scotland’s Isle Of Mull kickstarted the writing for Build A Rocket Boys!. “It wasn’t the lottery win or anything but we’d had some success and we’d obviously got some awards and we just thought, ‘Let’s get our heads together – get up to Mull just the five of us, cook for ourselves, clean, get pissed, just be the five lads that we are’, do you know what I mean? We came out with one track in a week, which is kind of our speed of writing, which was Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl. That was the pivotal track of the album. It was stripped down, dead simple and it survived five or six culls out of the 30 tracks we had originally for the album.” Using Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl as a guide track for simplicity when writing the rest of the material for Build A Rocket Boys!, the song also set the lyrical tone of the album which looks back on the life of the 20-something-year-old Elbow members with the hindsight of how their lives would unfold. Shrinks would call it regression therapy. “The only splashes of colour are from Craig [Potter]’s keyboard which kind of have an underlying sort of excitement, a bit of passion there with the lyrics; you’re on the cusp of what you’re gonna do with your life. You know, you’re dicking about with your mates, you’re having a great time, you’re getting to know people, you’re getting to know yourself but these little splashes of colour from Craig was that [idea of] ‘what’s life gonna hold?’ You are on the cusp,” he says reliving the process. “…the lyrics were pertaining to regression and anticipation – what we were feeling at 22. We had literally fuck all, not a pot to piss in between us, but we had – going onto sentimentality – we had each other, we had some kind of musical instrument to play with, and we were doing what we wanted to do. So basically that was the driving force of the album. “It always takes us quite a while to write an album, but especially this time we spent most of our time going, ‘Fuckin’ hell! I remember that, oh my God!’, you know? To make a point the single yellow duvet lyric in Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl – I remember that duvet! I remember the room; I remember the parties that we had there. We could only smoke in [frontman] Guy [Garvey]’s house because he was renting and we were all living with our parents still. Smoking! In the house! Oh my God!” he exclaims. “So yeah, it was a very therapeutic process for us. Also remembering how fucking long we’ve been together. It was good.” Having used splashes of the group lyric approach previously, the themes at play in Garvey’s lyrics were fully explored in the trip down memory lane. “Guy brought all of his notebooks into every session. We printed out all the lyrics and put them on the walls of our control room and we all sort of ticked little bits of his lyrics that we thought were either relevant or pricked an idea within us and it was very much an open door thing with his lyrics,” Jupp tells, clearly having enjoyed the high level of consultation. With Build A Rocket Boys! coming across as somewhat of an Elbow retrospective ahead of their Splendour In The Grass and sideshow appearances in Australia, Jupp is adamant that this is certainly not the case, admitting the real crux of the album and therefore revealing the nuances of everyday life that lie at the core heart of his band. “Everybody’s got to that stage where they’re thinking, ‘Oh fuckin’ hell what am I doing with my life? Where do I want to be, how do I want to be perceived?’ What do I want to wear?’ It’s just that we’ve had the luxury of being together all through that process and surviving, really.” Surviving for Elbow is allowing themselves the nuances of everyday life as they go about their business of music through recording in Manchester’s Blue Print Studios, not far from all five members’ homes. “The guys that own it and run it we’ve known for donkey’s years – almost as long as we’ve been together. So there’s that sort of giggle aspect of, like, ‘Christ, we’re getting away with it!’ [Studio
HERE ALL ALONG The talented DAVE GRANEY has spent the past three-ish decades fronting some iconic cult bands in genres spanning post-punk to blues rock; his latest album might dabble in old songs, but it’s all about new creative life. He and wife/creative partner CLARE MOORE chat to MITCH KNOX.
gig that they want to hear these songs. Also, we’ve played them, we’ve bashed them around and sometimes left them alone for maybe a decade and then maybe come back to them. Clare and I are the only ones that played on the original records, and the others bring new stuff to them – we just went into the studio for two days, put them down, one take, no overdubs, and sent them to our friend Victor Van Vugt to mix in New York, and that was it.” With somewhere around 23 releases to his name in some form or other, it’s hard to understand how any release could still have the feeling that surrounds a debut, but Graney clearly ascribes to the idea that this, in some way, feels like a first album. So does Moore. “It is [like that] a little bit,” she chimes in, with a natural melodious quality in her vocal timbre. “It is, I guess because we’re working with a whole bunch of new people, as in Liberation Music, so in some ways it does feel like that. But I think it was more that we’d played them for so long, those songs, it is that way when you’re in a band and you’re younger and you have the material together to go into the studio: you put down something that you’re absolutely sure of.”
hen you’re a musician as experienced as Dave Graney, you shouldn’t really have to justify your creative decisions to anybody. You especially shouldn’t have to justify them to someone who was learning how to walk when you were fronting bands like post-punk cult heroes The Moodists, The White Buffaloes and Coral Snakes. But, when pressed about his decision to re-record a dozen or so old songs from throughout his distinguished career and release them as a new album (Rock N Roll Is Where I Hide), Graney proves most amicable in explaining himself. “Well, we’ve been very prolific with new material,” Graney says, not immodestly. He shifts focus for a moment as his wife and long-time creative accomplice Clare Moore enters the room and then resumes, “We were doing an album with Liberation, and they’ve had a series where they do acoustic reworkings of their past songs, but Clare and I have always maintained a band. We said to them that we’d love to do an album with our band because we just wanted to do a rock’n’roll album and
we really wanted to feature our band – especially our young guitarist, Stu Perera, and it’s a way for people to hear our band through some familiar songs.“ In terms of which familiar songs made the cut, Graney had his work cut out for him. A recording artist since the early-80s, the man was positively spoiled for choice. “I like all my songs,” he says, “and these are songs from mainly the 90s period when we worked with Universal Records. There’s four songs from an album called The Soft ‘N’ Sexy Sound , four from the one that came after that, called The Devil Drives , two from Night Of The Wolverine , and one new song, called We Don’t Belong to Anybody. So it’s mainly songs that everybody knew – they were all in our live set, and everybody knew the parts. We could just throw them down like it was our first album. In our press release, we say it’s our third debut album. “They’re all songs that we always play in our live set,” he elaborates. “Y’know, ones we think if people come to a
“We’ve made some varied records over the last decade,” Graney offers. “We took great liberties with form of songs and presentation and instrumentation, and we might’ve, in some ways, confused people. Keeping presenting new stuff is very difficult, and getting people to come along with you – in some ways we wanted to remind people what we actually did; what our band is like. Some people might have only read some stuff about us, and they come to see us and the two things are so different, it’s silly. So yeah, that’s another reason we wanted to do this album.” Although they both make the whole experience sound easy, the truth is that recording Rock N Roll is Where I Hide was a slightly more tumultuous experience than they’re letting on – Graney fell sick two days into recording, which affected other duties he had at the time, including promoting his then-just-released book 1001 Australian Nights: An Aesthetic Memoir. “That’s right, shocking swine flu added to the drama of the occasion, because I was putting out the book at the same time and you get locked into production of things and that had to come out – that was already in the works – so we did one day, and then I couldn’t make the second day,” he recounts. “But our band is such a tight commando unit that they went in and did it, which you could take negatively, that they didn’t need me.”
“We didn’t need Dave!” Moore laughs. “I tried to ignore that.” “No, we only managed to do one or two songs by ourselves without Dave, to be honest.” “Bullshit.” “We didn’t know where we were in the song without him singing it! We got lost!” “So I was useful in some way!” Listening to Graney and Moore, their natural chemistry is evident. Creative partners since the late-70s, they’ve seen and done a lot together – they were both there when these songs were written, and they’re both here now that they exist as they do. Though the album is credited as a “Dave Graney” album, his and Moore’s band The Lurid Yellow Mist all contributed to the recording, and will be joining them on the ensuing tour. But these songs have changed before – inevitably, they will change again. Graney and Moore know this, and they’re not committing to creating “defining” versions of their music. When it comes down to it, this album is more about expanding their audience to new demographics rather than solely appeasing existing die-hards in the ranks. “Well, the older [versions] were quite good, but they’re not so readily available,” Graney explains. “I think my singing is a lot better on these ones, and it’s just – they’re a bit more up-tempo. I’m not really worried about making definitive versions of things. I think they’re different, is all – they’ve changed over time…” “You’re also playing guitar now,” Moore reminds her husband. “Dave, you weren’t playing guitar on the originals, were you?” “Yeah, I never used to play electric guitar – or any kind of guitar,” Graney confirms. “I was just a stand-up singer on the old recordings. I just used to come to a gig, stand there, put my hand on the microphone and that was it. Now I have to bring a fucking amp and a guitar…” He laughs. “I don’t know why I got that stupid idea. It was sweet before that.”
WHO: Dave Graney and The Lurid Yellow Mist WHAT: Rock N Roll is Where I Hide (Liberation Music)
WHERE & WHEN: Globe Theatre Friday Jun 3, Sol Bar, Maroochydore Saturday Jun 4, Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay Sunday Jun 5
GETTING LUCKY WITH AMY Since forming around five years ago in old Sydney town, upstart pop juggernauts AMY MEREDITH have come, seen and conquered in all aspects of their career, smashing charts and their own expectations everywhere they’ve gone. On the eve of their biggest headline tour to date, skinsman KOSTA THEODOSIS brings MITCH KNOX up to speed.
inally, we’ve got our first real break since last year,” Theodosis says, almost breathlessly. “We were on tour pretty much all year and we’ve been playing non-stop since the album came out, but at the moment Christian [Lo Russo – vocals] and Joel [Chapman – guitar] are actually in LA working on the next album; they’re writing with some big names over there. That’s really cool. We’ve already written a bunch of songs together with the whole band and now they’ve gone off together to write some pop hits [laughs]. It’s good to have a little break at the moment.” He’s not kidding. Since the release of debut long player Restless in July last year, the Amy Meredith train seems to have been upgraded by way of having all semblance of brakes and other momentumstoppers completely removed, leaving Theodosis with one word at the tip of his tongue to describe the ensuing experience. “Amazing,” he succinctly states. “It’s been pretty ridiculous actually, though. We’d hoped that we’d have the success we’ve had, but I never really expected it to get to the level it’s gotten to. I mean, it’s still pretty surreal to be playing big shows and having so many people turn up every night; yeah, it’s amazing.
“The best thing is when you turn up at the venues and you see a few hundred people lined up outside,” he laughs. “So that’s always really exciting. But I mean, if we play a really great show, no matter how many people are there, we’re stoked. Some of the best shows we’ve played have been in, like, Mandurah in WA. Not best playing-wise – we were a bit loose that night – but some of these small towns, they just really appreciate it. They don’t get to see a lot of live bands, so they appreciate it.”
WHO: Amy Meredith WHERE & WHEN: Coolangatta
Hotel Wednesday Jun 1, Beach Hotel, Byron Bay Thursday Jun 2, The Zoo Friday Jun 3, Princess Theatre, Saturday Jun 4 (under 18s)
“We’re always pushing for the next thing, you know? We’re never content with what’s going on. Even though it’s amazing and beyond my expectations or dreams, we’re still always pushing on to see what the next thing is we can achieve. But, I mean, all that stuff is ridiculous to me; it’s a complete dream.” Dream-like though it may seem, the figures are nothing but reality: with no less than four chart-thrashing singles under the belt (2009’s Pornstar and last year’s trifecta in Lying, Young At Heart and Faded White Dress), not to mention ARIA nominations and the approach of Gold status for Restless, it’s no stretch to say that Amy Meredith have blown any pre-conceived notions about their ability to make it way, way out of the water – even their own. “I’m just basically a massive drum nerd, and before I was in this band I was just doing a lot of session playing and a lot of lower-level stuff,” Theodosis recounts modestly. “Then suddenly we have our own album out and it’s doing so well. Pop records, for some reason, in this country are not selling that well, or it’s not really… I don’t know what the word is, but to have it going so well is just unbelievable.” Arguable assessment of the state of pop music in Australia aside (can pop really ever struggle? Isn’t that why it’s a truncation of “popular” music?), Theodosis remains pragmatic about the strength of the young outfit’s appeal. With the band having embarked on their most expansive headline tour to date in mid-May, the Higher Education tour, the rhythmist is – if not convinced – at least relatively sure about why folks around the nation are all feverishly chasing Amy. “It’s hard to say; I mean, a lot of it would probably be down to the way we interact with our fans,” he reflects. “We really appreciate our fans. Whenever someone tries to get in touch with us, we’re always quick to get back to them, using social media and stuff. We really appreciate our fans and try and do what we can for them, so I think that helps to some extent, but I think it’s just good music. I hope.” He laughs but, really, that hope is fundamentally what you would expect from any professional musician: it would be a difficult task to pinpoint any band who sets out with the express purpose of releasing bad music (with the possible exception of drone metal bands, but that’s another discussion for another time for an audience potentially less inclined to get all justifiably uppity about the insinuation). Still, the sentiment is valid – people would simply not flock to a band in the manner they have with Amy Meredith if there wasn’t a degree of positive differentiation to be found within their finely-crafted melodic, harmonic and rhythmic arrangements. Nor would the quintet find themselves here, a couple of weeks into a 17 date-long tour around the nation, the massiveness of which evidently has not escaped Theodosis’ notice. “It’s huge,” he says emphatically. “We spent all of last year on the road, and – for me, anyway – if I could just stay on tour for the rest of my life, I’d be pretty happy. It’s gonna be a big tour. We’re playing some bigger venues this time, and it’s our biggest headline tour to date, and we’re just super-excited. We’re going to be pulling out some new songs that we’ve just written for the next album, so that’s really exciting.” He’s right, but the excitement he speaks of should really be shared by both the performers and the audience: while the members of Amy Meredith face the useful and presumably enjoyable prospect of being able to road-test some unheard material, those songs’ very presence in the sets in turn will make these shows different to those that people who were privy to seeing them during earlier tours are used to, for one major reason. “We’ve done a fair bit of touring on this record already,” Theodosis says. “So I think the thing that’s going to separate this one is that we’ll have some new songs that no-one’s ever heard before; so yeah, that’s going to be the big thing.” But not the only thing, naturally; the Amy Meredith lads do, after all, have more than one trick up their sleeves, and Theodosis promises the band will be giving their all for this run of shows – and then just a little bit more. “I know everyone comes off stage and we’re completely wrecked; like, we can’t breathe,” he laughs of the live AM experience. “We just put everything we’ve got into it – a lot of energy. It’s the Higher Education tour this time, so I think there’s going to be a bit of an 80s prom theme, so there’s going to be a new stage design, and we’ll have some fun things going along with that theme.” Perhaps the most rewarding thing about the experience to date, though, is the symbiotic sense of appreciation evidently shared between the band and their listeners, and Theodosis is not shy admitting it.
HATE OVER HAPPINESS YOU CAN’T RUSH ART New York noise pop exponents CRYSTAL STILTS are back with second long-player In Love With Oblivion and, as vocalist BRAD HARGETT tells BRENDAN TELFORD, they’re not quite as dark as their music would have many believe.
helped establish the band’s modus operandi whilst showing more breadth and musical dynamism.
As one of the lesser known of the four Brisbane bands flying flagship for the new Track And Field shindig, THE BELLIGERENTS have had a remarkably sudden rise to that feverish place that exists just outside of prominence. But, as founding member KONSTANTIN KERSTING explains to SAM HOBSON, it took a lot of work to get there; the band may be lesser-known, but they’re by no means any less deserving.
“2008 is a long time ago, you know?” he continues. “It’s natural to want to change, to try something a little different. It’s natural to develop, to advance as a band. I listen to a lot of music, we all do, so it’s natural to want to show quite a few more influences on our sound, and this is likely to continue as our music progresses too. There’s no need to talk about it – it all comes out in the songs.”
with no hesitation as ‘really unique’ – they’d certainly not be in the position they were today. But that too, wasn’t something that came to the guys from the outset. “I guess at the start we were [very influenced by other bands]. The first couple of songs that we wrote were very sort of Foals-ish; that British, almost math-rock sort of vibe, maybe like the early Metronomy stuff,” he offers. “But yeah, I think [all] that was a major influence on Lewis [Stephenson – guitar/vocals]’s early songwriting. I think by now, we don’t have any major influences anymore, we just go with what we have; what’s our own.
Crystal Stilts are renowned for their cellar-dwelling darkness that pervades their back catalogue. Hargett states that this thematic aspect is deliberate.
he past decade saw perennial sonic hotspot New York spew out a slew of jangly lo-fi garage pop acts that had raided their parents’ record collection, strapped on the Stratocasters and injected the sounds of Phil Spector and The Troggs with a dollop of modern swagger. Riding the crest of this zeitgeist was Crystal Stilts, whose first album Alight Of Night set the critical world on fire, straddling vintage and modern influences whilst infusing the sound with a level of darkness and wanton disaffection. Cut to today, and the band find themselves with a sense of anticipation awaiting their sophomore effort In Love With Oblivion. Hargett intimates however that there was not much thought put into how to shape the record. “All we knew is that we wanted the record to sound good,” he recalls. “Most of the songs we have been playing live for around two years. We came up with a couple of new ones when we got into the studio, just from messing around, and they sounded good too. But you never know what sounds good until you’re done and you can sit back and listen. It’s never clear – but we are happy with what came out.” Hargett admits that there was a certain sound that came to capitalise “the New York scene” when Crystal Stilts burst forth in 2008. The new album has
“Absolutely,” he stresses. “Last time (on Alight Of Night) was hit and miss – it was what it was, you know? We hadn’t done this thing before. This time around it was something we really wanted to look at. We had the time of years together to think about it, to put more effort in how we wanted the album to be. We still didn’t have much time in the studio – we couldn’t sit around, we just got in and got it done – but I got to put a lot more effort into the lyrics. At the production and mixing stage we spent a lot of time getting everything to sound right [to us]. This album feels like it’s going somewhere. The last one, not so much.” Even so, Hargett is quick to stress that the darkness is necessary to music in general, not just to the band. “We joke a lot about how we are shown as these dark guys, but if people toured with us they’d see we joke around all the time, we aren’t serious at all,” he offers. “Yet, if I’m happy, I’m not writing, you know? If I’m happy, why would I be sitting down writing? Why bother to work things out? My life’s not dark, but unfortunately the world is a dark place, and music is a way to deal with that. It’s just natural. I don’t understand happy songs, or people who are happy all the time. I don’t trust them.”
WHO: Crystal Stilts WHAT: In Love With Oblivion (Popfrenzy)
eally, too little is known of The Belligerents. Having formed only so far back as early last year, the Brisbane math-rock cum disco-punk outfit – a melange of ostensibly disparate genres that, in the flesh is damn close to as good as it sounds – have, yet, in such a short time, made some serious headway. “It’s a bit weird,” Kersting explains, of the way the guys met. “We sort of came together as friends. All of us have lived together, in one way or another…and then we just decided to make music, gather a group of songs, and it just went from there. We all really enjoy what we’re doing, and it’s not something we do just for the sake of being in a band.” He talks about their collaboration much like one would of a relationship still its honeymoon period. There’s a palpable sense of excitement buzzing still around the newness of things; a heady mix of awe and pride. “When we first started out, we didn’t know anybody,” he continues. “A lot of bands start out, and they know people in the industry, they know people who put on shows – we didn’t have anything like that. At the start, this meant that we played heaps and heaps of shows. In 2010, I think we played 35-40 shows, something like that, and just to get a fanbase; just to get people to know who we are [without] those other sorts of connections.” That truly herculean effort aside, Kersting intimates that without the band’s particular sound – one he describes
“But you can’t really do anything really new,” he further contextualises, with a rather blunt pragmatism, “unless you do something crazy and experimental that nobody really gives a shit about, and no-one really listens to. What I feel, though, is that we might sound like some bands in some aspects, but they’re no longer a direct influence to our songwriting process anymore. That’s how we’re unique.” The title of band’s first EP, released just four months ago, echoes that rather no-nonsense ethic. With Less Arty, More Party, Kersting explains, the band resolutely cut the fat, and are adamant they won’t be pressured into rushing anything ‘bigger.’ “All of us know that in a set of music, there will always be the good songs, and the fill-in songs,” he muses. “There’s rarely any bands that have just crazy good songs. So we just went through our set, and we just decided on those four, really. To release an album, the first album especially, that’s you, you know? You’ve had your whole life to work on that, so you want it to be something great, and amazing. I don’t think any of the boys want to rush it.”
WHO: The Belligerents WHAT: Less Arty, More Party (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Track And
Field – Old Museum Saturday Jun 4
HIP HOP: UNPLUGGED QUEEN OF THE NIGHT Two Sydney MCs have teamed up to take their music in a new direction. MATT O’NEILL speaks to CHANCE ‘PHATCHANCE’ WATERS and LUKE ‘COPTIC SOLDIER’ GIRGIS about writing and performing acoustic hip hop.
Burgeoning Melbourne DJ HAVANA BROWN may have been conquering all and sundry in recent times, but as she tells AMBER McCORMICK, she’s had to overcome numerous hurdles on her voyage towards the top.
Clocking in at number seven, We Run The Night has been the first Australian single to debut inside the Top 10 of the ARIA Singles chart this year, and while its instant success may have surprised many, the Melbourne DJ explains that producing her own club hit has been on the agenda for some time.
both sides of the coin when it comes to doing that – there’s been some backlash from purists but, on the whole, people have been very supportive of what we’re doing.”
he music of Chance Waters and Luke Girgis has always defied convention to some degree. Both artists have managed to find some measure of acceptance within the mainstream Australian hip hop community – Waters’ work as Phatchance having supported local luminaries like The Herd and Bliss N Eso, Girgis’ Coptic Soldier invited to support international heavyweights like Method Man and De La Soul – but their respective discographies have always stood apart from those of their peers. Whereas Australian hip hop has typically been defined by minimal rhythms bolstered by organic instrumentation and lyrical bravado, Waters’ work over the past three years has been defined by a deeply personal lyrical perspective augmented by rich and eclectic productions drawing on everything from acoustic to electronic music. Girgis’ political and spiritual commentaries, similarly, are diametrically opposed to the naturalistic narratives typical of Australian hip hop culture. “My music library is probably 30 or 40 percent hip hop at this point,” Girgis admits. “I love hip hop and I obviously used to listen to it a lot more back in the day than I do now but you can’t help but be listened to and move towards the things that you love. You know, there’s one Maroon 5 album, there’s one Killers album and there’s all these albums that I just love obsessing over and that’s obviously going to have a big effect on the music I create.” “We’re definitely not ‘pure’ hip hop artists. We’re both cross-genre,” Waters reflects. “I still very proudly operate under the flag of hip hop but hip hop is a very ‘big tent’ genre with a very broad range of sounds and I really prefer to dabble with the entire spectrum. I think we experience
All of which serves to make the pair’s current trajectories a little less surprising. Of late, both Waters and Girgis have been consciously shifting their respective sounds away from conventional hip hop structures and into the realms of acoustic, folk and indie music. Long-time collaborators in the live environment, the pair delivered a DualDisc EP of acoustic material earlier this year through their independent music collective I Forget, Sorry! and, in the coming weeks, will be touring the release with an almost purely acoustic five-piece backing band.
“I have actually known what type of song I wanted to release first for a long time. I’ve been working on my own original music with my label Universal for over a year-and-a-half and have been very adamant about it being a good fusion between the pop and the club. “I knew what I wanted to do in the song and I just wasn’t going to settle. It’s taken me a little while but now I am out there and I am proud of it. It’s calmed my nerves a bit about releasing my own music as the response has been so positive. I am very happy about it.”
“I guess I dabbled in it first,” Girgis says of the duo’s new fascinations. “I did a stripped-back acoustic song on the bonus disc of my Sounds Of Wings 1 EP. Me and my guitarist Jon Reichardt basically just decided to do it and plotted out the entire thing in a couple of hours. Chance did a similar thing but a lot more in-depth – with more instruments and in a proper studio sort of set up. Basically, we’d both done it, both loved it and both thought there was a lot more to be done with it.” “We wanted to take it somewhere new,” Waters adds. “I’ve noticed that in hip hop, when people approach an acoustic rendition of a song, it’s a really stripped-back kind of number. There’s not much texture, not much layering. It’s always about simple arrangement with lots of space for the vocals. We kind of wanted to have music that was as flowing and kind of multi-layered as the words themselves.” “It’s actually been really inspiring,” Girgis reflects. “We’re both working on albums at the moment and I know that I’ll definitely be exploring some of this stuff further on mine.” “Yeah, it’s just been so much fun,” Waters laughs. “It’s been a completely new kind of experience.”
WHO: Phatchance & Coptic Soldier WHAT: Inkstains (Acoustic)/The Sound Of Wings (Acoustic) (I Forget, Sorry!)
WHERE & WHEN: X&Y Bar Sunday Jun 5
CRYING CABARET JANE BADLER initially rose to fame as a sci-fi actress in the early-80s. MATT O’NEILL chats with the Melbourne-based performer about her gradual transition to recording artist.
over that aspect of performance. I don’t just sing, I think about costumes, I think about headpieces, I think of props. I think about how to bring out the essence of a song in a humorous theatrical way.”
Meunierv has certainly come a long way since she first began her DJ career which was always been somewhat against the odds.
he rise of ‘Australia’s No 1 Female DJ’, Havana Brown, over the past two years has been unparalleled to say the least. As the only female DJ to sign a major label recording deal in Australia, the petite 25-year-old – born Angelique Meunierv – continues to surpass expectations following a series of successful national and international club tours supporting the likes Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, The Pussycat Dolls and Rihanna, scores of exclusive VIP parties and multiple releases of her Crave compilation series. Having certified her status as the country’s most commercially successful female DJ, Meunierv has now raised the bar even higher with the release of her first single as a recording artist – We Run The Night – which she debuted while on tour with US rapper Chris Brown earlier this month. “The first time I got to play my song was much more nerve-racking than I expected it to be” Meunierv shares. “The week before it releases you just have this thought, ‘What if people are not going to like it’? There are all these fears that come into your mind but I love that stuff – the adrenalin and the nerves is what makes it exciting.”
“It’s kind of what I do,” Badler laughs. “You know, I have a shtick and I have a theatrical persona and that’s kind of what people know me for in the world of television. I just did a festival recently where I was asked to be part of a weird little project – a little bit Fellini, a little bit Talking Heads – and I was kind of roped in on the basis of my persona. It’s what I feel comfortable doing and it’s something that’s very much come out of me.” Her work outside of television, however, has been quite removed from such fantastical realms. An accomplished vocalist, Badler has performed extensively throughout both the musical theatre communities and cabaret circuits – even tackling two one-woman shows (Shakin’ The Blues Away and The Love Goddess: Rita Hayworth). Her performance in Brisbane this weekend is actually part of QPAC’s 12 Acts Of Cabaret series. “I’m pretty comfortable being known as a cabaret performer,” Badler reflects. “Because I think I am. Cabaret spans a huge spectrum. I mean – what is cabaret? It brings to mind a theatrical bent and, for so many of my performances, I’ve spent hours obsessing
Her recently released sophomore album Tears Again, meanwhile, only confounds matters further. Once again collaborating with Sir, Badler has torn off in another direction with the enlisting of producer, composer and arranger Paul Grabowsky. Building on the foundation of her debut, Tears Again employs Sir’s angular theatricality and embellishes it with richly layered instrumentation – brass and orchestral arrangements changing the flavour of Badler’s work entirely. “It feels good to have it out. It was a long time coming,” the actress says with a smile. “We finished it last year but then I got offered this role in the new V series that meant I was pretty much out of the picture overseas for nearly nine months. I feel like a lot of movie promoters feel – you know, the movie was made over a year ago and it’s only just now that other people are getting to see it. It’s interesting, I think, because you still have no idea how it’s going to received. “My attitudes to it have actually changed in that period of time,” Badler chuckles. “I think, when I first finished work on it, I was a little bit shocked by it. You know, I’d come from this kind of minimal, electric indie-style sound and we thought it was going to be a bit Grace Jones – it kind of went off into this whole other direction. It’s taken me a while to really come to grips with it all, actually.”
WHO: Jane Badler WHAT: Tears Again (Remote Control/Inertia) WHERE & WHEN: QPAC Saturday 4 Jun
Years of spinning dance floor hits in clubs around the world has certainly given Meunierv the opportunity to get up close and personal with her vast fanbase and tailor her own sound to suit the ever-evolving tastes of the market. “I’m in the clubs all the time so I am always playing commercial music,” she concedes. “The fusion between R&B and dance music has been a big thing for a very long time so I just knew that was the route I wanted to go down. I always wanted to play my own music in the clubs too so I didn’t want to stray too far from the world I live in.”
WHO: Havana Brown WHAT: We Run The Night (Universal) WHERE & WHEN: Glam @ Family Sunday Jun 12
PAYBACK TIME Although the path of 2011 may have started off in a bumpy fashion for JULIAN SCHWEITZER, with a thick new rhythm section and an accomplished EP ready for consumption, the GREENTHIEF frontman is more than prepared to take on all comers. BENNY DOYLE catches up on the latest. sound and just the fact that’s it’s all dudes now means there’s a lot more testosterone so I guess it’s more aggressive and heavy in a good way.”
The really surprising part of Badler’s career, though, has been her recorded output. Her 2008 debut album The Devil Has My Double saw the veteran actress – who relocated from America to Melbourne in the late80s – collaborate with Melbourne band Sir to deliver a series of detached, funky contemporary songs. While Badler’s delivery owed heavily to cabaret, Sir’s musical backdrops were strange, angular pieces of work – owing as much to Portishead as Nick Cave. t’s difficult to reconcile the various facets of Jane Badler’s work. As an actress, Badler is best known for his work within science fiction and fantasy. She’s perhaps most famous for her role as ice queen Diana, leader of the reptilian invaders in acclaimed 1980s television franchise V (recently re-imagined by America’s ABC for contemporary audiences) but she also starred in the original incarnations of both Fantasy Island and Mission Impossible.
“When I first started I did get a few laughs like, ‘As if as if you DJ’. At the time I thought that is just something I am going to have to deal rather than look at it negatively and let it put me off,” explains the Melbourne DJ animatedly. “There are so many things you can say against me because I am female but rather than take it to heart I just pursued it. I just looked at it as an advantage that there were not many females around.”
The Retribution EP is the band’s latest offering and sees the three-piece tie in fantasy ideas and stories with more relatable material drawn from feelings and sensation. Schweitzer talks about the lead single Salad Days and why it’s a good indication of what fans can expect from the five-track release.
n the infancy of 2011, Greenthief were moving down to Melbourne to cement their line-up with a permanent drummer. It seemed like the final step for the band to take their bombastic rock to a greater audience and the excitement with Schweitzer was more than tangible. However things haven’t exactly turned out as planned. “Okay, well a lot’s happened this year,” Schweitzer understates. “It’s a long story, I’d rather not talk about it too much but basically we’re a new band. Before it was essentially me and Gwen [Warnick – bass] and we just never found this drummer. We would have really good drummers for like six or 12 month periods but they always became too busy. Then me and Gwen just decided that it wasn’t really working between us so I started what I guess is a new band. It’s going really well at the moment but I don’t like the fact that it’s come like that, it feels a bit weird.” With Maui Manu behind the kit and Tom Abbott now locked in on bass duties, the already large sound of Greenthief has been taken to the next stratosphere. Destruction is a form of creation after all. “That’s a nice way of putting it,” Schweitzer laughs. “It’s just been really hard for years and now the right two people have come along so it’s good, I feel like it’s complete now. I used to play in another band with Tom called Sunflower and it’ll be nice to get on the road and do a whole heap of shows to increase the gelling process further. It’s like it’s a totally different
“Salad Days is a term that refers to an old expression of your youth,” he expands. “The song is just about the idea of being loyal to your ideology of yourself as a young person, which I kind of refer to and reflect of as being an honest view of the world – by sticking by your guns almost. It’s just got that fresh take on everything and they’re the times when stuff gets exciting. But it’s a lot heavier record,” he continues, “and one thing that I’m quite proud and happy about is that it definitely has that sound. Salad Days is definitely just one of the five tracks that really blend into each other but in a good way. I really think that it’s a more aggressive record.” Behind the desk for the production duties is Steve James, the acclaimed English producer who’s now based in Byron Bay. Having been involved with everyone from The Screaming Jets to The Sex Pistols, Schweitzer says he brought a particularly tough guitar sound into the equation, perfect for the new line-up. “I think we we’re something really different for him,” he says. “He’s worked with more straight-up rock people, but I guess we’re a bit alternative and that was something different so he was keen to almost ride with us and ride with the ideas that he heard. I think he didn’t really get it to begin with but he gets it now.”
WHO: Greenthief WHAT: Retribution (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Rock The Valley (Step
Inn) Saturday Jun 4, Woodland, Saturday Jul 16
WATCH THIS SPACE An album based on space and panic by a duo formed through the making of YouTube videos? TIGER BEAMS prove it’s not as outlandish as you may think. Guitarist JEREMY NEALE talks DAN CONDON through how the band got to the stage of releasing their debut album.
GET THE JOB DONE
Out in Australia for the first time as part of Vivid Live, CHRISTIAN FARLEY, otherwise known as DINAMO AZARI from Canadian dark house maestros AZARI & III, educates BENNY DOYLE on the complicated idealism associated with modern dance music.
sounding riffs? But it’s really brutal as well. “It’s like rap; you can kind of rap over anything in the background. But this is in the reverse order. I’m pretty sure if you make a rap track you put everything down and rap over the top but he pre-writes the rap and I come in and write what the background music should have been. I don’t even know if I want to teach him guitar, if I teach him guitar it could destroy everything.” The band’s debut album In Your Dreams is ambitious, particularly for a group so relaxed about the way they operate. After a couple of failed attempts at making the record themselves, they shipped out to local lad Cam Smith’s Incremental Studios to lay down the record in “three or four sessions”. But just as important as the music on the disc is the record’s visual accompaniment.
he meeting of drummer Jesse Hawkins and guitarist Jeremy Neale starts off typically, the two engaging at a party and hatching creative plans. But that’s about where the normality ends. “I met Jesse at a 21st birthday party maybe four years ago now and at the time we didn’t start working together on music, we worked together on film,” Neale explains, swigging from a mug of mulled wine. “He and a couple of friends were doing some funny YouTube videos so I got in on that action. Then at that point it was established that he could play drums. “There were several other bands before Tiger Beams, but they were bands who never played and jammed maybe two or three times. It was an idea that was cool and we’d catch up every so often to do it and then something kind of clicked and Jesse got more focused.” Neale struggles to describe the band’s sound, when he describes the process the duo go through when it comes to writing songs, it’s unsurprising. “[Hawkins] writes all these songs in this really crazy way where he plays them on drums and sings, but he has no idea how to play guitar, so that’s where I came in. It’s real rhythmic and then I come in and do, I don’t know, video game
“It’s an album with a 20 page booklet – that’s the most important part!” Neale enthuses. “Jesse had a couple of books from a few years ago that he made up but didn’t have the money to publish, so the idea was we would get maybe 15 or 16 of those pages and put them into the middle of this booklet.” Thematically the band work to a strong concept on the record, but stumbled across it accidentally. “A lot of it’s about a bit of a space quest,” Neale says, a glint in his eye. “We both like Star Trek – not to make it seem like it’s a nerdcore band, it’s just that theme kind of overrides everything. It’s sort of conceptual, but only accidentally. Space kept coming into it as well as the overriding theme of panic inducement – space and panic. “We’re doing an album just because we have the material and we want to move on to something else, take it to a new direction,” Neale reveals. “It’ll be more of a digital frontier. At the end of this album you’re left in hypersleep, you don’t know where you made it up to. You assume you made it back to earth, but you don’t know where you made it up to.”
WHO: Tiger Beams WHAT: In Your Dreams (Independent) WHERE & WHEN: Woodland Saturday Jun 4
iming their signing to Modular perfectly for a debut trip Down Under as part of the Vivid Live extravaganza in Sydney curated by Modular boss Steve Pavlovic, Azari & III are looking forward to not only the shows, but also catching up with old friends. Following their stellar remix of Cut Copy’s Take Me Over, the Toronto four-piece are especially eager to catch up with Dan Whitford and the rest of the Cutters boys. “We’ve been working with them since we started,” Farley explains. “Take Me Over I believe is coming out somewhere on their re-released album as a bonus. Because we switched it up so much from the original song, I think we turned it to almost a new song and I think they dug that. So there’s definitely some history with us and some other Modular artists so it’s exciting to be able to meet everybody on the other side of the world and see a few of these other bands on the label.” Remixing to the point of creating a new song is a tricky one, especially when you’re dealing with protective artists. Farley is clear that egos are not a concern for the band. “No not at all,” he says. “That’s the thing about us, we’re artists and we have confidence in what we do. When somebody hires us to do something, they hire us as a mind and our minds do what they do. So whatever we’re going to come up with, we’re confident in whatever’s going to happen and whatever comes out. We’ll present it to them with confidence and not really have to worry about them not believing in our rework. I think the more you rework a song and take it to another level, the more belief you have to have in that final product.” With rich sinister vocals courtesy of the Fritz Helder and Starving Yet Full, and minimal beats that reek
of Berlin, hedonism seeps through the music of Azari & III. But bucking the superstar DJ trends of dumb beats for dumber people, the Canadians are thought-provoking in their ideals and clinical in their execution. Farley provides wide reaching answers as to the experience they want to create. “It’s up to the listener I suppose. And it depends on what city you’re in and what energy you’re feeding off of,” Farley admits. “I guess you could say a lot of this music is named after places and times from when it’s been made; Frankie Knuckles, Chicago late night warehouse, wood floors, very dark, strobe, red light maybe, and just pounding speakers until the sun comes up. “I don’t like to get caught up in this throwback thing,” he says. “I just don’t buy that. I’m not buying any of these trends. I mean, music comes, music goes. For us, I don’t think we’re going to get caught up in a trend and I think that’s going to be the difference between us and maybe some other bands out there. We don’t want to limit ourselves to late night dance music or get too caught up in any direction. We make music for the night – we make music for the day. We’re looking for longevity,” he finishes. “We’ve been at this for a long time, we’d be stupid to just jump on a small wave – we’re looking beyond that for sure.”
WHO: Azari & III WHAT: Azari & III (Modular) WHERE & WHEN: Bowler Bar (Tempo Hotel), Friday Jun 3
IT’S POINTLESS TO TRY TO PIN NEW YORK CITY’S BATTLES TO EITHER THE HE THROCK OR ELECTRONIC BOARD. PICKING UP SONIC SPLINTERS FROM MATHROCK, FUNK AND KOSMISCHE AND JABBING THEM INTO RHYTHMS AND PERCUSSION DRAWN FROM ACROSS THE ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC AND BEYOND, THE GROUP HAVE CRAFTED SOMETHING BOTH RARE AND OF THE RD MOMENT WITH THEIR SECOND STUDIO ALBUM, GLOSS DROP. THE RECORD NTAKA FEATURES CONTRIBUTIONS FROM UK SYNTH GOD GARY NUMAN, YAMANTAKA EYE OF JAPANESE ALT.ROCK EXPERIMENTALISTS THE BOREDOMS AND KAZU MAKINO OF BLONDE REDHEAD, AND FURTHERS THEIR STANCE AS ONE OF THE S. IT’S NEW FLAGSHIP ACTS OF THE OBSESSIVELY FOLLOWED WARP RECORDS. OOR. EXPLOSIVE, VIBRANT, CHALLENGING AND WELL FIT FOR ANY DANCEFLOOR.
ON SALE JUNE 3
POWERED BY STREET PRESS AUSTRALIA
SINGLES BY CHRIS YATES
BLACK DEVIL DISCO CLUB (feat. Nancy Sinatra) Too Ardent
The French rule at things such as pastries, cheeses, looking cool while smoking cigarettes and disco music. Black Devil Disco Club is Frenchman Bernard Fevre, who started making beats in the late-70s. After his work was discovered and re-released by the Rephlex label in the mid-2000s, he has started making music again, and this collaboration with Nancy Sinatra proves his rebirth to be a godsend. Oozing with all the goodness that the first era of electronic music overflowed with, such as squelchy synths, real drums mixed with mechanical ones, gurgling basslines and effective songwriting, Too Ardent is a fantastic vehicle for the great Nancy Sinatra to shine, as well as introducing the guestheavy album Circus from which this single was lifted. An amazing array of remixers gathered for this single package making it worth it in its own right.
VAN DYKE PARKS Dreaming Of Paris (Bananastan)
VDP’s unique sense of musicality has been called upon by everyone from the genius Brian Wilson to the retarded Daniel Johns to try and make them better. His compositional style is whimsical yet complicated and always delivered with a wry sense of humour. For his first new release in 15 years, he is delivering two 7-inch singles, packaged here together as one disc. The four tracks sit together beautifully – instrumentation and style is consistent throughout despite the divergences of the lyrical matter and structures. Latin rhythms, classical strings, jazz arrangements and Parks’ unmistakeable lyrical wordplay. The track Wall Street is particularly stunning, like the entire MGM musical Wizard Of Oz condensed into four-and-a-half minutes.
LILI KENDALL Fly Away
Why do child labour laws not apply to the music industry? I’m not even being facetious – it’s a serious question. I don’t understand why it’s okay to try and make a living out of selling music made by a 13-year-old, marketing and capitalising on the fact that she is that young age, expecting it to be a point of interest. Maybe it is the old ‘child prodigy’ mentality, but unfortunately Lili isn’t a genius chess player or mathematician – she’s just a Gold Coast girl with a sweet voice that I’m not supposed to make a harsh judgement on because it would probably, understandably, make her cry. Lili, hopefully Google Alerts will get my message through to you – stay in school, sing in your school plays and concerts or whatever and put the music career on hold for a few years at least. Jesus Christ what is wrong with people?
Out Of My Head (feat. Trey Songs) (Universal)
Wow, Lupe really has gone soft. Not like he ever was a badass gangster or anything, but Out Of My Head is some next awkward level pop shit. There’s no way it has the mainstream crossover potential of Black Eyed Peas or anything, but it’s still drenched in diabetes-inducing amounts of sugar. Trey Songs’ R&B singing is amazing, and it seems like the track would have been a lot more successful creatively if the hook was the whole song and Lupe just dropped a rhyme at the end or something. It definitely creates something new out of sounds borrowed from the 90s R&B era of Bobby Brown and Ready For The World etc, but it just doesn’t quite pull it all together.
Opening up with It’s Him! – a track that in three minutes presents a laidback country jam, some jazz flourishes in the middle third before exiting via crunching its way to a rustic Led Zep finale – Texans White Denim waste no time in stating their intent on D, their fourth studio album. Having made a name for themselves as a an incendiary live act, the quartet have spent the last five years burning up stages and producing a gamut of material that ticks off almost every benchmark of 60s and 70s Americana, blues and garage that has ever existed. This suggests that White Denim on record are messy and hard to rein in – on the contrary. D showcases a band that for all intents and purposes is an exemplary jam band with an endless supply of energy, emotion and rock nous, yet is intent on presenting their entire oeuvre in bite-sized pop song chunks. Next up is Burnished, an incessant-yet-languid psych groover that segues into At The Farm, a brilliant psych jam outro that is obligatory on a WD release, yet feels more satisfying than its four-minute running time would let on. Street Joy is a euphoric rambler that Bon Iver would be happy to carve out, whilst River To Consider spews forth a legitimate Jethro Tull-esque flute solo and Bess St jumbles it all together into a concise rocker that embraces all these touchstones without barely breaking a sweat. In fact that is one of the biggest features here – that no matter what idea these boys try to convey, it is kept within a succinct, structured framework. D shows that White Denim aren’t fraying with age but strengthening, gaining colour, and effortlessly defying the wear and tear that others of their ilk are likely to take on. ★★★★ Brendan Telford
Friendly Fires’ Pala is a record entrenched in the sonic framework of early-90s Detroit house, Italian disco and 90s chart pop. It’s an album so drugged up on its own euphoria that the overwhelming optimism at times becomes a rather repetitive narrative, but regardless Friendly Fires have created this year’s dance record for the masses to shaft ecstasy to. Pala begins with the mid-90s UK house excursion of Live Those Days Tonight, setting the tone of the record whilst sonically resembling East 17’s House Of Love. More concerning perhaps is Blue Cassette, which unrepentantly reuses the phrase “heart on fire”, the phrase which underpinned Cut Copy’s hit of last summer. Regardless the album becomes somewhat more interesting when focused on the Talking Heads-esque post punk of Running Away, and the avant-garde electronic work of Hawaiian Air. Pala as a record suffers from lyricisms so trite that it reduces the rather complex electronic work to the realms of comical, yet there are moments throughout the album where Friendly Fires prove they can craft a record of perfect club hits. Hurting and the title track are evidence of this and truly show Friendly Fires’ ability to move between pop perfection and innovative R’n’B. As the album nears completion the Manchester sound of Happy Mondays rears its drug-damaged head, True Love sounding like a modernised interpretation of 24 Hour Party People or even a New Order classic. Friendly Fires were never a band due to be praised for their inventiveness, rather their role is to create club tunes so universal in their appeal that trite lyrics like “all I want to feel is true love” stand to reason and anything else would seem widely inappropriate. Pala is the album that may propel Friendly Fires to the status of dance superstars.
Henry Wagons is one of the more enigmatic country rock performers strumming a guitar in this country. Mixing dark humour with colourful storytelling and a personable persona, he holds a stage with poise and character. But that’s more of a personal summary of the man and sadly isn’t reflected completely in Rumble, Shake And Tumble, Wagons fifth studio album with the full band along for the bumpy ride. It’s not to say that the songs aren’t catchy and dusty with a vintage appeal. I Blew It is a fantastic example of giving the typical country format and bit of a shake with tough grit blending seamlessly with bouncy soulfulness. It’s almost verging on the sort of southern fried electricity that Kings Of Leon plied in their earlier records, back when they weren’t trying to become U2. It’s just that, well, a lot of the choruses here fall pretty much flat. Tracks like Downlow and Moon Into A Sun blandly rehash their subject matter while, their cover of The Wayfaring Strangers’ Willie Nelson seems closer to a parody than a legitimate tribute to the man. It’s a shame because the bridging verses have some lovely hooks and the musicianship around Wagons’ husky words offers the songs many great guitar lines and jerky note progressions. This actually keeps Rumble, Shake And Tumble from dissipating completely the moment the tunes leave the speakers. The dark and slightly hypnotic mantra of Love Is Burning and the stripped-back, traditional heart tugger of My Daydreams see Wagons really making a mark on the listener with direct beauty and feeling. It’s just unfortunate that with some incredibly weak tunes scattered about the pack, the album as a whole is dragged down – a few rotten culprits spoiling an otherwise ripe bunch. ★★★
★★★ Henry Garfield
The English Riviera (Atlantic/Warner)
With the chirp of seagulls, the soft crash of waves breaking on sand and the honk of a ship leaving the harbour, Metronomy signal their departure from the eclectic disco of their breakthrough album Nights Out, and return with The English Riviera, one of the smartest and most unique pop albums you’re likely to hear this year. Self-produced by founder and leader Joseph Mount, the tracks mesh together as a whole cohesive piece, working like an album of holiday photos, painting a vivid picture of the musical journey you’re being taken on. And further removed from the earlier work of Metronomy, these days the moniker is very much a unit – a band. We Broke Free recalls west-coast chill-vibe rock of the 70s with lazy guitar breaks and a raw sound far removed from studio wizardry, while the beatification of vocal hooks throughout courtesy of drummer Anna Prior recalls the bisexual vocals that made Fleetwood Mac so massappealing. This is the bold pop statement that Mount has been threatening to make for the past 18 months and more than fulfilling his mission, he encompasses the salty and sandy hooks from beach parties of yesteryear. Not that it’s summertime all year round. The English Riviera pushes the boundaries that were once threatening to pigeonhole the band as a mere quirky afterthought in the clubs of East London. In parts, darker (She Wants), daring (Love Underlined), and more dance driven (The Bay), there is such a cacophony of sounds explored, so many genres entered, that this album develops and morphs with every listen. The English Riviera is just the sort of twisted mash-up of new school music with an old school soul to strangely score the perfect soundtrack for your next weekend down to the seaside. ★★★★
Cautionary Tale Of The Beautiful Blackout (Half A Cow/MGM)
You’ve got to hand it to Sydney four-piece Sierra Fin who’ve kicked off their album career with a ballsy move: assembling their own 30-piece orchestra for use across debut long-player Cautionary Tale Of The Beautiful Blackout. With the orchestra carrying the album through three interconnected movements – yesterday, today and tomorrow – the impetus behind the album, Beautiful Blackout, is the junction linking yesterday with tomorrow. The intrinsic nature of orchestral music is beautifully demonstrated within the command of crashing highs alongside quieter moments of restraint, and becomes almost operatic at climax, though it grows difficult to hear where Sierra Fin’s apparently indie-rock style lies amidst such opulence. Is such a concept album too premature an undertaking at the outset of finding one’s own musical voice, or is this indeed the musical voice that will establish Sierra Fin? It’s a tough question to answer, though various vocal moments provide enough holes to ponder the former. Frontman and key orchestrator Russ Tainton at times fails at mirroring much-heard vocal techniques that make his growls and vibrato sound contrived, and elsewhere complete inappropriateness such as the talk-sing of Claustrophobia and the recurring bawdy theme of polystyrene hamper the ambition. In those moments the audacity to use a symphony orchestra across the entirety of a debut album seems foolish, though there are plenty of opportunities across Cautionary Tale Of The Beautiful Blackout to revel in the gutsy show of intelligent musical thought, particularly the songs in which the orchestra allows room for the band’s compositions to breathe. But that just raises another question: how the hell do Sierra Fin plan to top an orchestra for their sophomore album? ★★★ Tyler McLoughlan
Rumble, Shake And Tumble
PAPA VS PRETTY United In Isolation (Peace And Riot/EMI)
Settling on exactly what makes this, Papa vs Pretty’s longawaited debut, so special isn’t an easy thing. Their sound is so mired in the experience of their fantastic live shows, it’s hard to consider them an entity whose electricity it’s capable of encapsulating in meek, polycarbonate plastic; they are, without ado or hyperbole, the tightest live outfit around. Perhaps it’s with trepidation, then, that one approaches this album. Just how will that spark translate? Essentially the flagship band for EMI’s subsidiary Peace And Riot label, Papa vs Pretty last year released the immensely popular, Paul Dempsey-produced Heavy Harm EP, but there was something of this je nes sais quoi missing; some fervent, begging gap between reputation, and recording. On United In Isolation, under the wings of producer Paul McKercher (You Am I, Augie March, Sarah Blasko) and mixer Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Silverchair, The Sleepy Jackson) the band have at last bridged that expanse, flexing into totally different dimensions of sound, and bottling their supreme fury into a musical experience, much like their live shows, that’s totally unto itself. And ‘brazen’ would be the best way to summarise the album’s sound. It’s Papa vs Pretty: bold and unleashed. Punchy, highly-strung riffs swirl in a malaise of crashing cymbals, and swerving, syncopated drums, all the while the band’s trademark and giddy sense for sublime and unpredictable melodies tethers their technical bravura. The boys truly have a deep understanding of compositional ingenuity, with each track a dense alchemy of styles blazed through with vocal affectations so precisely realised, and carrying with them all the twitches and spasms of their small frontman’s delivery. You’ll be humming their gorgeous modulations for weeks. Because it’s hard to keep things away from the impressionistic, think Radiohead’s The Bends, meets Kiss Kiss’s Reality vs The Optimist. ★★★★
TEETH & TONGUE
(Dot Dash/Remote Control/Inertia)
(Golden Era Records)
When a girl knows what she wants, she’s going to get what she wants. After becoming a four-piece (with a live drummer) following the release of their debut album Monobasic in 2008, Jess Cornelius and co. from Teeth & Tongue demoed and recorded a bunch of songs with a view to churning them out as their sophomore album. But something wasn’t right and armed with her trusty old 505 drum machine, Cornelius scrapped the recordings, and the drummer, and set about making it the way she wanted. Her instincts paid off because Tambourine is a pretty darn captivating album. With only 16 drum sounds at her fingertips, Cornelius works with metronomic precision to create raw hypnotic beats that play smoothly against her PJ Harvey-esque voice. Add to that the sinister snake-like guitar tones of long-time collaborator Marc Regueiro-McKelvie and you’ve got an album that combines pop, garage and post-punk that plays out like a lost girl’s haunted dream. Battling with themes of love gone wrong, the songs are still beautiful and mysterious without getting bogged down by the gloom and regret of it all. Rot On The Vine is sadly forlorn but the notes sliding around her lyrics make it a musically gorgeous song. Actually, despite the reflective and interesting lyrics – “your epiphany, when it comes is liable to hurt” on Unfamiliar Skirts and “I don’t even like you but I can’t say no” on Love As A Word for instance – the whole album is musically gorgeous, making it both enchanting and unsettling at the same time. It’s a good thing Jess Cornelius had her heart set on what she wanted for Tambourine; it may have taken twice as long to get it happening, but in the end, it turned out to be a damn fine album. ★★★★
Marked For Death Adelaide’s Vents has delivered a classically hardhitting Aussie hip hop sound on his second album. After a four-year break since his debut Hard To Kill, the Seagal references keep coming with Marked For Death. It’s worth the wait. The album is one of those charming rarities – a record made not out of desperation, but a desire to create, and it shows. Vents has secured the talents of Funkoars’ Trials (a frequent collaborator) for production duties, arguably one of the most sought-after producers of the moment. His presence on the album speaks to Vents’ impressive talent and standing within the hip hop community. Marked for Death in one word? Fierce. From start to finish, the album is packed with ferocious beats (the swaggering kind that characterise much of the Adelaide hip hop scene) and Vents’ uncompromising vocal flow. He’s not afraid to take on the big issues – politics, identity and racism are just a few examples of topics traversed – and nor does he shy away from airing his personal grief through his lyrics. History of the World is an early highlight, with a rollicking beat and catchy, shout-out-loud vocals – the stuff that festival anthems are made of. Another Funkoar pops up in the form of Sesta, who appears on the rather excellent Where’s God Now?, a slow build of a track that draws the ear, rather than attacking. His label owners, the Hilltop Hoods, even put in an appearance on Chaos. Marked for Death is one for the Australian hip hop scene. It’s too confrontational and unrelenting to convert many new fans to the style, but for those who love their hip hop served furious, it’s a welcome release. ★★★★ Alexsia Barron
English melancholic gloom-rockers The Horrors surprised all and sundry when they followed up the fairly perfunctory 2007 gutter punk debut Strange House with the polished and ambitious Primary Colours. Refusing to travel along an easy route, lead singer Faris Badwan has gone out on a side project with Canadian classical multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira to form Cat’s Eyes, a collaboration that offers another very different side to the moody indie rock fans will be used to. On their debut self-titled record, Cat’s Eyes have tried to strike a mood from the outset, and the blurry darkness of the artwork relays a sense of nostalgia intermingled with Gainsbourg-like baroque effeteness. It opens with a dark echoey swirl in the title track that echoes Raveonettes circa Chain Gang Of Love before swinging to a melancholic The Best Person I Know and I’m Not Stupid, Zeffira’s vocals kept at a crackling radio distance, whispering across gossamer string instrumentation. It’s steeped in gauzy reminisces of 50s/60s pop, numbers that wouldn’t be out of place in some off-Broadway musical. Elsewhere the tempo picks up, usually with the deeper vocals of Badwan intertwining with Zeffira’s call and response – it’s all breathy Bond-esque chicanery in Face In The Crowd, whilst Sooner Or Later lurches forward like a ground-out Birthday Party. The instrumentation on display is widespread, utilising the likes of horns, bassoons and vibraphone to overblown effect.
Sing For Your Meat – A Tribute To Guided By Voices (No More Fake Labels)
There’s been a slew of tribute albums made in honour of Robert Pollard’s ridiculously awesome lo-fi indie-rock superband Guided By Voices, but the list of artists who have contributed to this particular collection is truly a testament to the legacy of the band, and it’s never ending influence. Starting with fellow Dayton, Ohio native Kim Deal and her band Buffalo Killers’ rendition of Scalding Creek, it just keeps on getting better – Thurston Moore follows it up immediately with a dark and thundering take on Stabbing A Star. The anthemic call to arms A Salty Salute is presented as a live version (really the only way to hear it) by Knoxville’s Superdrag. Of course, personal highlights will vary depending on your favourite artists and the songs they have chosen, but seriously, it’s pretty damn hard to top Eric Bachmann’s Crooked Fingers doing Tractor Rape Chain, or Lou Barlow taking a crack at Game Of Pricks. Pollard has long cited New Zealander David Kilgour’s The Clean as a major inspiration, and Kilgour shows the feeling is mutual with a Casio-electro laced cover of How Loft I Am? from the obscure 1990 record Same Place The Fly Got Smashed. The Flaming Lips give the classic Bee Thousand track Smothered In Hugs the sensitivity it deserves and Jason Isbell And The 500 Unit do the same for Everywhere With Helicopter.
Yet at 28 minutes Cat’s Eyes doesn’t outstay its welcome either, leaving us with I Knew It Was Over with its soft piano and wistful lows. It’s an eclectic album, but one that strikes enough elaborate chords to warrant repeat listens whilst also heralding Badwan as an interesting musical character to watch.
Many of the recordings are as primitive and under-produced as the originals, giving the album itself the atmosphere and feeling of an actual Guided By Voices album, capturing the magic that happens when ideas are jotted down quickly, loose performances are left without amendment and the beauty of the song is left to enjoy the spotlight.
THIS WEEK IN
WEDNESDAY 1 La Boite Scratch Number 3: 1000 ways to say I miss you — 1000 ways to say I miss you is about memory. It is a performative installation that you will navigate by yourself. It is about love, loss, joy, memories, old decaying buildings, trinkets, nostalgia and the need to mark time in objects and words. It is ultimately about you. A performative installation that you navigate by yourself. Roundhouse Theatre, from 6pm.
THURSDAY 2 2001: A Space Odyssey — Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, one of the finest films of all-time; a metaphysical sci-fi film that’s been unmatched in the 40+ years since its release. Presented on 35mm. Tribal Theatre until 8 June. Nosferatu — the original vampire film, a silent classic based on the immortal tale of Dracula. Tribal Theatre until 8 June. Rachel Beck & Ian Stenlake: You And I — a set of favourites from the television stars, from Cole Porter to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Part of 12 Acts Of Cabaret. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, 7:30pm.
FRIDAY 3 Lisa Adam in Amy Winehouse: Back To Crack — Amy’s been to hell and back and got the tats to prove it. They tried to make her go to rehab, but she wouldn’t have a bar of it. Now, though she swears she’s finally cleaned up her act, to be frank, the jury’s still out on that one. And so the car-crash of her life comes to QPAC in a show that dishes the dirt on her life as a singer, poet and professional crack-whore and features classic songs like Love To Have A Beer With Amy, If I Only Had Cocaine, and, of course, the ironically iconic Rehab. Part of 12 Acts Of Cabaret. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, 7:30pm. The Runaways — recent portrait of the Joan Jett and Cherie Currieled rock’n’roll band (portrayed by Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning respectively) and their quick accent to superstardom. Look out for a particularly in-form Michael Shannon as their manager. Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 6pm. The Sunwrae String Quintet — grand piano and string quartet Sunwrae unite to perform works inspired by a recent music residency in Brazil and older pieces; mindbending textures, persuasive rhythms, spectacular improvisation, and evocative interweaving melodies. Judith Wright Centre, 7:30pm.
SATURDAY 4 Jane Badler In Sir With Tears Again — playing every inch the aging, wounded and yet still statuesque starlet, musician and cult classic TV star American Jane Badler performs from her latest album, Tears Again — a razor sharp, highly stylised collection of songs set in a soapy world of betrayal and boozy melancholy. Produced and arranged by internationally-acclaimed composer Paul Grabowsky, the album pays homage to the smoothness and the melodrama of Badler’s long and varied career in Hollywood B-films and television soaps throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Part of 12 Acts Of Cabaret. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, 7:30pm.
Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster — a candid and intimate look at the turbulant times surrounding the creation of the heavy metal group’s 2003 album, St. Anger. Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 3pm. Neil Young: Heart Of Gold — concert film concentrating on Young’s album Prairie Wind, but filled with classics such as Harvest Moon and the film’s titlular song. Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 1pm. Paper Jam Roll — combine 20 metres of paper, an artist who draws like a maniac, a double bassist who thinks he is Mingus, inks, pastels, brushes, electronic drawing projections, a time limit, and what do you get? A Paper Jam Roll. Live performance drawing artist Kellie O’Dempsey and the improvisational musician Mick Dick (The Knie) draw inspiration from their direct encounter with you, the site, and the experience. Judith Wright Centre, 7pm. The Rocky Horror Picture Show — the cult film that’s always screening somewhere makes itself at home amongst the Julian Opies and Ron Muecks of GoMA. Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 8pm. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll — biopic of legendary new wave/punk rock icon Ian Dury, with The Lord Of The Rings’ Andy Serkis putting in the performance of his career (well, aside from Gollum, of course). Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 6pm.
C U LT U R A L
WITH MANDY KOHLER The latest of this year’s comic book adapted superhero movies, X-Men: First Class, comes out this week. I had the pleasure of seeing a preview and it’s a fairly competent romp through the ups and downs of the dichotomy of good and evil. Being a sequel, X-Men: First Class has the luxury of dealing with one of those good old fashion worries like nuclear war. Now there’s an evil I can cower behind a desk from. The horror, squalor, and everyday ordinariness of modern evil is hard to make entertainment out of. If you wanted to market a film about things that really get up the ire of people in the X-Men target demographic you’d need heroes who can get you out of a never ending contract with Vodafone, make drivers use their indicators, and force CEOs of major corporations to take reasonable salaries. To gain the love and admiration of the First World you’d need heroes with very mild super powers. Let’s face it, if Superman were here to leap over a building in a single bound, that’d be amazing but you’d miss it because you’d be on hold with Optus. A friend had invoked an even better idea when she misheard and thought I’d said I was seeing “Sex Men”. There’s a film for your next Chicks at the Flicks night. It could star John Hamm whose power would be splitting into two identical people so you could have a John Hamm sandwich. Colin Farrell’s power would be his constant state of partial arousal, character name: Semi Colin. Jonny
Depp as Depp and Meaningful would solve all your problems by looking into your eyes and talking very intently. Ah, it went on. Get thee to a punnery. Kick-Ass director Mathew Vaughn has done a good job with X-Men: First Class but it is very safe. It takes someone with kahonas the size of Christopher Nolan’s to kill off an innocent woman and you have to wonder if Anne Hathaway, Marion Cottilard, and Juno Temple can all survive The Dark Knight Rises. Only 2012 will tell. In one of the better superhero films of this year, Kenneth Branagh gave us an interesting take on Thor with the God of Thunder being depicted as not actually a God but an other worldly being worshiped as a deity by Vikings. Not exactly a man of the people but a handy man to have around should a damsel need rescuing or a nail need knocking. However charming Chris Hemsworth’s cheesy grinning Thor is, my favourite kind of hero is the reluctant hero. They look past the glory, and honour of it all, see how much fucking work people actually are and decide to save them anyway. Seriously, if Batman whisked a person out of the clutches of a dangerous situation but they dropped their iPhone on the way out, I bet at least two out of 10 people would complain about that. Luckily Bruce Wayne has that old money to fall back on. Few people are impervious to stress and super heroism does not come with workers comp. Poor Wolverine has to take gigs as a lumber jack in between jobs.
TUESDAY 7 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour — hot on the heels of the largest, and one of the most prestigious, mountain festivals in the world, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour hits Brisbane. This year’s tour features a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking active, action, and adventure mountain films. Opening night, 7pm. Judith Wright Centre until Friday 10.
QPAC’S 12 ACTS OF CABARET IS FAST APPROACHING. HELEN STRINGER TALKS TO ONE OF ITS STARS, PAUL CAPSIS, WHO WILL BE PERFORMING HIS SHOW MAKE ME A KING. Paul Capsis is largely lauded as one of Australia’s best loved divas – a crown he’s happy to bear, even if he no longer feels it’s accurate. Coming to Brisbane for QPAC’s 12 Acts Of Cabaret performing his show Make Me A King, the excitable and hugely entertaining Capsis happily explains when asked what the show is all about, “This show isn’t about anything.” To be fair, it’s a statement proffered so expressively that Capsis still comes across more endearing than merely frank. As part of his show Capsis is bringing a band to Brisbane for the first time, and while he might joke that his show is about nothing, the songs included in Make Me A King are taken from his latest album by the same name.
YOU’RE THE VOICE ON THE RELEASE OF HER DEBUT FEATURE, HERE I AM, FILMMAKER BECK COLE TALKS TO IAN BARR ABOUT WOMEN’S STORIES AND CONNECTING WITH AN AUDIENCE.
SUNDAY 5 Activist Film Festival — films for those passionate about change. A daylong festival of cinema from around the world, including the Academy Award-nomiated GasLand; Australian premieres of Sundance 2011 entrants The Green Wave and If A Tree Falls; Restrepo, directed by photographer Tim Hetherington, recently killed in the front line in Libya; and Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop. Tribal Theatre from 10am. Beyond The Thunder: sneak peak — a 20 minute preview of the upcoming documentary Beyond The Thunder, which focusses on AC/DC and its fans, and features interviews with member from the likes of Twisted Sister, Anthrax, and Mastadon. Free entry. Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 1pm. ODDSAC: A Visual Album by Danny Perez and Animal Collective — physcedelic imagery and music combine to form a visual album from one of the most interesting bands of the past decade. Screening as part of Let There Be Rock at Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA, 2pm.
THE SAVING GRACE OF CABARET
Here I Am, the heartfelt debut feature from writer/director Beck Cole after her string of acclaimed short films, fits neatly into the growing subgenre of low-key melodramas about women recently released from prison, and trying to get their life back on track: the Maggie Gyllenhaal-starrer Sherrybaby and the French film Angele & Tony being among the most prominent recent examples. Cole’s film, however, differentiates itself by using this simple setup to examine the realities of disenfranchised indigenous Australian women. “About five or so years ago, I had the character of Karen in mind, and basically a very simple premise: An Aboriginal woman gets out of prison and wants to turn her life around. I had
that written up on my wall, for years and years just worked at it.” During a Q&A after the film’s screening at the Adelaide Film Festival, a round of applause greeted Cole’s admission that the film would be screened in Aboriginal women’s facilities. As a morale booster for women in Karen’s position, the film is highly uplifting in its message of love and hope, all while staying true to the hardships and ennui (especially unemployment) that accompanies such a period of limbo. “I suspected that would be an audience for it”, says Cole on the film’s conception stage. “First and foremost I’m writing for Aboriginal women like Karen… but it’s a universal story. There are lots of people that have
broken families and difficulties with relationships between their mums and their daughters”. The use of music plays an integral role in the film, with an assortment of moody tunes from female singersongwriters creating an enveloping sense of Karen’s psyche. “I’m a huge fan of PJ Harvey, I had to do a lot of begging my producer to get her [on the soundtrack]”, Cole tells of the difficulties of working big names into a small film. Harvey’s “Shame” is put to memorable use, while Little Birdy and Yeah Yeah Yeahs also figure in, with songs by Archie Roach and Kris Kristofferson rounding out an eclectic mix. “It’s another layer of storytelling of what Karen’s going through”, Cole adds. Cole claims that writing a novel is something she’d like to try her hand at; unsurprising, considering that Here I Am shows an interest in the interior life of its subject, through its rapt attention to the mysteries of the human face. In Shai Pittman as Karen, Cole has a lead who more than holds up to the camera’s close-up scrutiny. Pittman says, “We sort of improvised where would Karen come from”, referring to the backstory that is both partially inferred but mainly ambiguous. That ambiguity is mandatory for Karen’s characterisation – she’s trying to put her past behind her and move forward. It’s this sense of the present moment that pervades the film’s declarative title, which Cole coined “near the end of the edit… We wanted it to be something punchy, and a statement too.” WHAT: Here I Am WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from Thursday Jun 2
“This year is the first chance I’d had to tour the album because last year I recorded the album and basically went into eight months of theatre commitments,” he says. “So I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve recorded an album and now I’m not even going to go out there and perform any songs’. “I’m so excited because I love Brisbane,” Capsis says of his QPAC appearance. “Every time I come there I have such a great time. I think the audiences there are very different from the audiences in other places of Australia. Brisbane audiences are less inhibited. I think [they’re] the wildest ones. The first time I ever went there...I was terrified just going, ‘Oh my God they shoot people there in the street’ because I was hearing all this crap, and I went there and performed and every night was a crazy night of madness with screaming and cussing and standing ovations...I love it.” As for the diversity of artists he’s performing – from Janis Joplin to Nina Simone – Capsis explains, “I didn’t really like what was going on around me when I was a kid. I didn’t get into ABBA or disco...I spent a lot of time in second hand stores...and there was a treasure trove of great stuff.” Despite his enduring status as a beloved cabaret singer, as Capsis tells it, his performance career had a rather inauspicious start. He began performing cabaret, he says, “because no-one else would give me gigs”. “Before the whole cabaret thing started,” he continues, “it was like, I was performing mainly at comedy festivals because there was nowhere else to go because there was no cabaret scene. I’m not saying there was never a cabaret scene in Australia, because I’m pretty sure there was, but for whatever reason it died out... When I started it was initially all musical theatre performers doing, you know, their favourite Andrew Lloyd Webber songs. And that wasn’t me. “The thing about cabaret,” Capsis continues, “is it’s the one place that’s allowed me the most freedom just to sing songs that I like. We need [cabaret]. So many performers don’t fit into a category and it’s a chance to show people who they are. Performers can say, ‘I’m not waiting for the phone to ring so someone can give me the lead role in Mary Poppins’ or whatever. They can just perform... Without cabaret, there was a stage there where I probably would have never worked. No one was going to give me a job... Cabaret came to the rescue for me.” WHAT: 12 Acts Of Cabaret / Paul Capsis: Make Me A King WHERE & WHEN: Cremorne Theatre, QPAC from ThursdayJun 2 – Thursday Jun 23
ADAM PRETTY’S WINNING PHOTO
THIS WEEKEND THE ANNUAL WORLD PRESS PHOTO RETURNING TO BRISBANE POWERHOUSE, EXHIBITING THE BEST PHOTOJOURNALISM FROM THE PAST YEAR. HELEN STRINGER SPEAKS TO AWARD WINNER ADAM PRETTY.
Pretty began his career as a news photographer but found that there was an unsavoury tendency to take advantage of victims. “I did a year and a half of news photography,” he says of his early career. “There were some school girls in Bega who were murdered and we had to go to their parents house. I was just like,” he trails off for a moment, “I don’t want to knock on people’s doors when they’ve had these tragedies happen. I found out some newspapers before has stolen some pictures from the families’ homes. I don’t want to pry into people’s lives in moments of tragedy... Not all news is like that, but some of the stuff I had to do I wasn’t all that happy about. [But] photojournalism definitely needs to happen,” he continues, “that’s the whole point of the World Press Photo.”
CAPTURING LIFE For the fifth year running Brisbane’s Powerhouse is hosting the annual World Press Photo exhibition. World Press Photo has been recognising the work of photojournalists since 1955, aiming to promote freedom of information with a prestigious, but often controversial competition. This year’s travelling exhibition has not escaped the controversy; the Beirut stop of the tour was closed early due to sudden protests in Lebanon over the inclusion of a series of prize-winning photographs by Israeli Amit Sha’al. Refusing to capitulate to censorship organisers chose to close the exhibition early rather than remove Sha’al’s photographs. The entries for 2010’s contest are often shocking; this year’s winning photograph, by South African Jodi Bieber, shows Afghan woman Bibi Aisha, who was disfigured after fleeing violence in her husband’s home. In retribution Aisha’s ears and nose were brutally cut off. Images of the Haitian rescue efforts after last January’s catastrophic earthquake will be displayed alongside photographs of Chinese firefighters attempting to rescue workers caught in the massive oil slick released after a pipeline rupture in July. Amongst the photojournalists awarded is Australian Daniel Berehulak who was won first place in the ‘People In The News’ category for his series of dramatic photos of the aftermath of the Pakistani floods.
Despite the predominantly serious content and the lingering controversy the exhibition is not all shock and horror, with sports photographers also being recognised by the non-profit organisation. Given the Australian propensity for sports it’s fitting that two Aussies were 2010 prize winners: Adam Pretty, the first prize winner for ‘Sports Stories’; and Steve Christo, a third prize winner in the category of ‘Sports Singles’. Sports photography may seem an incongruous addition to a competition purporting to promote the free exchange of information but as prize-winning photographer Adam
Pretty explains sport can mean more than merely kicking a ball around for entertainment. “It’s news as well. People care about it, it’s going to be reported, it’s a story. Sport is a huge part of all culture. It plays a big social role; a massive social role,” Pretty explains. “Whether it’s a rich country or poor country, wherever it is. A lot of people’s lives revolve around it, so I think it sits along side the more serious, tragic events. Hopefully it brings a more positive feel to it...Even though there’s destruction and death going on there’s still people really into competing. It
I’ve spent some time in the Holy Land, living on a Kibbutz in the mountains of the Israel-Lebanon border, where gunfire was indeed audible but disparagingly referred to as the sound of Arab weddings. There was a bomb shelter next to my room, but it was only used for international ping pong tournaments. I may have discovered many things in Israel: how to drink three-Shekel beer and enjoy it; how to escape from an orthodox Jewish suburb whilst driving, smoking, and being female on Shabbat (the great escape included driving up a one
way street in the wrong direction and crashing into a police station). I did not come any closer to believing that there is a solution to the never-ending conflict. As Palestine prepares for a likely UN bid to be recognised as a sovereign state in September another squabble has started over the ownership of ancient cultural artefacts found in the West Bank. As a Jewish tour guide whose reliability as a source is seriously questionable (he did pass me off to a fake Rabbi who gave me a pretend blessing in exchange for Australian money I didn’t have)
A multi-award winning photographer, Pretty has spent a significant amount of time overseas and agrees that there’s a difference between how Australians and other countries approach sport in the news, “Everyone always says, ‘Australians are so into sport’,” says Pretty, “and maybe we
explained, in the contested areas of Israel artefacts equal ownership. Finding ancient art is the equivalent of having minded a seat for a friend for 2,000 years; it’s a big sign which says “We were here first”. Which is, to grossly oversimplify, really important. So both Israel and Palestine are pumping money into excavating the West Bank in the hope of finding artefacts which will help prove heritage. The Israelis are claiming that the UN is inherently pro-Palestinian and attempting, as President Netanyahu has said to “disconnect the nation of Israel from its heritage”. The
X MEN FIRST CLASS (M) THURSDAY, 2 JUNE 2011
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So there seems to be a little bit more at stake overseas.” While we all enjoy a grandiose climax in our sporting events, Pretty is less concerned with capturing the definitive moment than with getting the best shot. “You do want to get a defining moment,” he says, “but sometimes the defining moment isn’t the best picture... A lot of sporting events, there might be a moment a match turned but it won’t be the best picture. I always try to get that and hopefully you get the defining moment as well.” WHAT: World Press Photo 11 WHERE & WHEN: Brisbane Powerhouse Saturday Jun 4 to Sunday Jun 26
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Director Matthew Vaughn didn’t quite bring the edgy style for which he’s known to X-Men: First Class. I suppose I would’ve liked my X-Men movie with a bit more grit, the way I like all my comic-book adaptations. But, maybe the man’s a great director because he stuck steadfast to the tone of the comics, and in doing so managed to masterfully balance comedy with drama, action with kitsch. And, at the end of the day, it is a film about people in jumpsuits controlling things with their minds. Kick-Ass will forever be the Vaughn film I’ll return to for my fix of superhero grue. XM:FC instead looks like something from an Austin Powers film, moves at utter breakneck speed, has some great nods to the ‘future’ instalments from the Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner
films, goes very appropriately dark when it needs to — thank you, the seeds sown in Kick-Ass — skimps on the development and backstory of nearly all its peripheral characters, gives Kevin Bacon some long-needed room to flex, again proves January Jones is hopeless outside of Mad Men, and really thrives on the fact it has two fantastic leads in Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. And, as hammy as it sounds, there’s something positively Shakespearean about the brotherly clash hanging over the unfolding of the film’s events. In a perfect world, the climax perhaps could’ve been given more weight as a middle film, one too in which the Strangelove themes are fleshier, and the peripheral characters are given dimension. A great start, nonetheless. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas fromThursday Jun 2
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HANGOVER 2 (MA15+) (NO FREE TICKETS) WED 10.00, 12.10, 2.20, 4.30, 6.45, 9.00PM THU/FRI 10.00, 12.10, 2.20, 4.30, 6.45, 9.00PM SAT-TUE 10.00, 12.10, 2.20, 4.30, 7.15, 9.25PM
THURSDAY 2ND JUNE TO WEDNESDAY 8TH JUNE 2011
GET LOW (M) WED 11.30, 4.35, 6.30PM THU-TUE 11.40, 4.30, 7.15PM
Sometimes the art world is so pompous it’s impossible not to ridicule with acerbic glee. Living in a country that is, for all its faults, still one of the most secure and rich in the world it’s easy to forget that art is more than a pretty, decorative thing. It’s also a documentation of culture and heritage; a family portrait for entire societies. When those societies are locked in a fight to the death over the right to the same tiny sliver of land, art can be a crucial piece in the ownership puzzle.
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To avoid a futile analysis of the IsraelPalestine conflict, we’ll just accept that everything that happens in the West Bank is potentially critical. Even so, it might seem a little bit far-fetched to presume that art, albeit ancient art, could be the catalyst for more gunslinging, but having lived in Israel I’ve
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Palestinians, who are much better at dealing with the media than the Israelis, are insisting that it’s the location, not the cultural links of the ancient art that matters. It’s turned into a bit of a slinging match. Only in this particular slinging match both sides have guns and they’re not afraid to use them.
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Pretty adds that in countries less fortunate than our own sport can have a greater impact. “In China, just for an example,” he says, “if you do succeed in sport the change that you can bring your family is just immense. It still happens in Australia, I mean if you’re a professional sportsman you get paid a lot of money, but you don’t take your family from living in abject poverty to be living in a fancy house in a big city.
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Besides his distaste for the more unpalatable practices of some journalism, Pretty’s over-arching love of sports made the move into the area practically inevitable. Starting his lengthy career with a work experience stint at the Sydney Morning Herald Pretty explains, “I really like sport... Sport, you know, people are on a stage. They’re performing for you. It’s up to you to try to get something out of it...you can capture it how you want. It’s going to happen regardless and you don’t have to get involved too much.”
just have more opportunities to do it... We are a wealthy country, we don’t have to worry about anything whereas other countries you just have to survive. I do think the fans are more fanatical overseas because they care about it more. A lot of other countries you can go only to [one event].”
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doesn’t mean much but it helps a lot in bringing different culture’s together. I mean that’s a bit stereotyped, but from what I’ve seen it certainly does.”
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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES 3D (M) (NO FREE TICKETS)
ANGELE AND TONY (M)
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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES 2D (M) WED 12.30, 3.15, 6.30, 9.10PM THU-TUE 10.30 (FRI BABES), 1.15, 6.45, 9.25PM
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NY MET OPERA: IL TROVATORE (CTC) (NO FREE TIX)
THE HANGOVER PART 2 (MA15+) (NO FREE TIX)
MRS CAREY’S CONCERT (PG)
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LET THERE BE ROCK ODDSAC: A VISUAL ALBUM BY DANNY PEREZ AND ANIMAL COLLECTIVE It’s an entirely visceral experience, ODDSAC. Much like Animal Collective’s approach to writing music, the film relies on repetition to relay its meaning. Repetition of symbols, and of shapes, all understood, like an exercise in rote learning, by arranging in you certain standards of expectation, and intuition. You’re bombarded by things that are pleasant to look at, and things that are odd; but the odd things nonetheless fascinate, and thus are pleasant then to watch. And ODDSAC’s a very tactile experience, too. It has taste, and texture; character, and viscosity. Just like their music. It has movement, and kineticism, melding these manic, ID-licking images to impress upon you some un-utterable impression; in short, it’s Animal Collective’s music gone Videodrome. ODDSAC is also largely concerned with the form of things, and takes a rather structuralist approach to dissecting that form. Understanding the controlled madness that comes from repetition, the band’s film evokes the psychology that an object or image’s meaning can be revoked, and can be diluted, by repeating its name or form into nonsense. And there’s real rapture in this distortion of things.
Structured in movements, each one a different ‘song’, cinematically the film is very much like Matthew Barney’s Cremaster series, or the films of Kenneth Anger meets the occasional splash of Harmony Korine’s surrealist vérité. People have tried to level the film with the criticism that it’s just like watching media-player visualisations. But even those have some artistic aleatory to them. ODDSAC’s every image and movement was pre-planned. WHERE & WHEN: Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA Sunday Jun 5, 2pm
SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL Where many choose to portray passed rock heroes through rose tinted, celebration of life glasses, the producers of the 2010 Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (borrowed from the new wave heroes’ controversial 1977 single)
REVIEWS have remained true to Dury’s chaotic yet at times strangely charming existence. Following his rise to fame as the cockney twanged frontman of The Blockheads which was heavily impacted by his disability from childhood polio, the filmmakers do nothing to suppress Dury’s character flaws particularly across his personal relationships, from the outset. In an early scene he shows no regard for his mid-birth wife upstairs as he fights with his drummer in band rehearsal downstairs. In a later visit as an adult to his disabled school, he is openly chuffed at the death of a former bully teacher to the disdain of all. Andy Serkis, known by most as Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings, provides an unrivalled performance as Dury, from visual appearance down to the mannerisms needed to represent the complexities of such a contradictory subject. This is complemented with a cut and paste, flashback style of cinematography that allows room for fantasy, and a storyline that lends itself to the hectic mixing of scenes. While most are familiar with Ian Dury’s output with The Blockheads (Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick in the least), Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll is a moving, and shamelessly detailed portrait of the man’s tormented soul and tortured body by way of his music and relationships. WHERE & WHEN: Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA Saturday Jun 4, 6pm
METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER Putting their legacy on the line and showing the bullshit behind the brilliance of the most successful metal band of all time, Some Kind Of Monster earned Metallica a new level of infamy and still holds weight today as the most assumption shifting music documentary ever filmed. It would have been easy to produce a self-masturbating piece of a band at the top of their game. This film tears that idea apart, providing a fragile look into what seemed like an impenetrable fortress of unity and brotherhood. Planned as a fan-only doco following the band recording their 2003 album St Anger, the inner turmoil that developed after the departure of bassist Jason Newstead proved to be too groundbreaking not to release as a full-length film. It borders on surrealism to see a band that released Kill ’Em All pouring their emotions out to a freckle headed shrink, having juvenile arguments over “stock” guitar parts and laying vocals down while holding their pint-sized sprog within their tattooed frames. The film puts you in the inner sanctum and demystifies the name Metallica while humanising the band. That they survived this film without any great backlash from fans is testament to what Metallica mean to so many across the world. But by exorcising their demons for all to see, they somehow managed to earn even greater respect in the process. WHERE & WHEN: Australian Cinémathèque at GoMA Saturday Jun 4, 3pm
THE HANGOVER PART II Up until the conclusion of this sentence, this review was going to be an exculpatory whinge about how little more can be said about this film, given the smothering critical consensus on it being a ‘remake’ and not a sequel, and how funny it is to then make a find/ replace joke about its script. Instead, let’s acknowledge those things, and move on. As bizarre as it sounds to assess a film because of some imaginary entity that may or may not proceed it, there are some subtle differences in tone between this film and the last that make you excited for what’s to come; for a conclusion, and for the killing blow. Things are darker in part two, and things are devilishly more debauched.
Roger Ebert, a beautiful man, wonderful writer, and renowned critic, took crying umbrage recently to an image in the film’s closing titles, a drunken recreation of that horrible photograph from the Vietnam war which managed to capture the moment in which a man was shot in the head. It’s that little snippet of, ‘yes, we fucking will go that far’ which aroused in me a kind of cannibalistic hard-on for more of that depravity. I got that kind of primal flush that you have to grit your teeth in order to weather knowing that that kind of unapologetic comic-cruelty existed, evil and gloriously transgressive in the filmmakers’ minds. It was like a little nipple-tweak for next time. Bring on part three. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now
ST JUNE 2011
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THE JUNGLE GIANTS MEMBER/ROLE: Sam Hales, lead singer.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? We’ve been playing together as The Jungle Giants for about three months now. But we had our ﬁrst show in November last year.
HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?
We all went to the same school. Keelan, Cesira and Andrew were a year below me and we all met through music.
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?
It’s really great because we pretty much all love the same bands. No doubt one band that we’d probably crank the whole trip would be Band Of Skulls. Absolutely love them. Either them or Local Natives. Both amazing bands.
WOULD YOU RATHER BE A BUSTED BROKE-BUT-REVERED HANK WILLIAMS FIGURE OR SOME KIND OF METALLICA MONSTER?
Deﬁnitely Hank Williams. That guy did some amazing things while he was alive, and still gets recognised for them. He also wore a lot of cool hats.
Hmm. The Amazing Race. It’d suit everyone in the band. Andrew and me like travelling, and Cesira and Keelan love playing games where dirty tactics are allowed.
WHICH BRISBANE BANDS BEFORE YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION (MUSICALLY OR OTHERWISE)?
IF YOUR BAND HAD TO PLAY A TEAM SPORT INSTEAD OF BEING MUSICIANS WHICH SPORT WOULD IT BE AND WHY WOULD YOU BE TRIUMPHANT?
I am a massive fan of Yves Klein Blue. I have loads of respect for those guys and their music. I also really love the Rocketsmiths, and can’t really go past The Go-Betweens.
WHAT PART DO YOU THINK BRISBANE PLAYS IN THE MUSIC YOU MAKE? We usually write songs that will translate well in a live format, and so far that’s pretty much just been a Brisbane audience. It’d be cool to see how people respond to it down south.
IS YOUR BAND RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE MAKE-OUTS OR BREAK-UPS? WHY? Make-outs. Our music is pretty fun to dance to, and it’d be great to think that most of the crowd is getting drunk and pashing on.
WHAT REALITY TV SHOW WOULD YOU ENTER AS A BAND AND WHY?
I actually did some ﬁ lming recently for this weekend’s Track & Field bash. A bunch of the band members met up and played a game of Bike Polo. It seriously is one of the best sports out. Pretty sure we’d all be good at that, because we all ride bikes and love hitting things.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE FOR THE BAND IN THE SHORT TERM?
We’re looking forward to some cool shows in the next few months. Possibly even a little bit of touring here and there. The Jungle Giants play Track & Field @ Old Museum this Saturday. Photo by ALEX GILLIES.
GIG OF THEWEEK
BOY & BEAR: The Hi-Fi Jun 4 PHATCHANCE & COPTIC SOLDIER: Byron Bay Brewery Jun 4, X&Y Bar Jun 5 BLISS N ESO: Brisbane Riverstage Jun 10, Lake Kawana Community Centre Jun 11 THE MIDDLE EAST: Old Museum Jun 15, Joe’s Waterhole Jun 16 BAD MANNERS: Step Inn Jun 15 STORM IN A TEACUP: Mullum Civic Hall Jun 18 THE BLACK ANGELS: The Hi-Fi Jun 30 THE GRATES: The Hi-Fi Jul 1 MIAMI HORROR: The Zoo Jul 1 WAGONS: Spotted Cow Jul 1, The Hi-Fi Jul 2
TRACK & FIELD
OLD MUSEUM SATURDAY JUN 4 This weekend marks the inaugural run through of Brisbane’s newest boutique music shindig, Track & Field. Brought to you by those caring folk at Mucho Bravado and Ampliﬁre, this Saturday’s debut at the Old Museum ﬁnds live sets by local hotshots Last Dinosaurs, Ball Park Music, pictured, The Belligerents and The Jungle Giants, as well as DJ sets by local luminaries from Hungry Kids Of Hungary, The John Steel Singers and The Honey Month. What the fuck more could you ask for? If you have even the slightest interest in local bands (or music in general) then you’ll get along to what promises to be a red letter day for the Brisbane music scene, tickets through Oztix or at the door (which opens at 7.30pm). Queenslander!
BELLES WILL RING: Sol Bar Jul 7, Step Inn Jul 8 ART VS SCIENCE: The Tivoli Jul 9 FLAVOURS OF SCUZZ FESTIVAL: Jubilee Hotel Jul 9 SEEKER LOVER KEEPER: Mullum Civic Hall Jul 15 SEBADOH: The Hi-Fi Sep 22
DESTROY MUSIC: THE AMITY AFFLICTION, I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN, DEEZ NUTS, OF MICE & MEN
Hungry Kids Of Hungary @ The Hi-Fi by John Taylor
BRISBANE RIVERSTAGE: 28.05.11
Preceding their entrance to the stage with Darth Vader’s Imperial March, American openers Of Mice & Men have all the right moves and bust into Those In Glass Houses with stylised precision and a suitable amount of energetic angst. Headbanging in time and at one stage even falling onto their backs like synchronised cockroaches, the band plays through half a dozen tracks both new and old as the sun’s last light disappears.
AMY MEREDITH: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 1, Beach Hotel Byron Bay Jun 2, The Zoo Jun 3, Princess Theatre Jun 4 AN HORSE: The Zoo Jun 2 PEGZ: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 2, Step Inn Jun 3, Great Northern Jun 4 THE DELTA RIGGS: Beetle Bar Jun 2 BLUE KING BROWN: The Tivoli Jun 3 DAVE GRANEY & THE LURID YELLOW MIST: Jubilee Hotel Jun 3, Sol Bar Jun 4, Great Northern Jun 5 JEBEDIAH: The Hi-Fi Jun 3, Irish Club Toowoomba Jun 4 LOWRIDER: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 3, The Zoo Jun 4 SUNWRAE STRING QUARTET: Judith Wright Ctr Jun 3, Byron Community Ctr Jun 4 TEETH & TONGUE: X & Y Bar Jun 3, El Cabino Jun 4 THE PANDA BAND: Beetle Bar Jun 3 BOY & BEAR: The Hi-Fi Jun 4 PEZ, MAYA JUPITER, 360: The Spotted Cow Jun 9, Never Land Bar Jun 10, The Hi-Fi Jun 11 BLISS N ESO: Riverstage Jun 10, Lake Kawana Community Ctr Jun 11 HUSKY: Beetle Bar Jun 12 THE MIDDLE EAST: Old QLD Museum Jun 15, Joe’s Waterhole Jun 16 DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: The Zoo Jun 16 MARK SEYMOUR: The Tempo Hotel Jun 16, Joe’s Waterhole Jun 17, Lonestar Tavern Jun 18
PEGZ: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 2, Step Inn Jun 3, Great Northern Hotel Jun 4 BLUE KING BROWN: The Tivoli Jun 3
KYLIE MINOGUE: BEC Jun 3 & 4 JANE BADLER: QPAC Jun 4 JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN: Globe Theatre Jun 4, Byron Bay Community Ctr Jun 5 OFWGKTA: The Hi-Fi Jun 5 EMMURE: Expressive Grounds Jun 10, Thriller (Orient) Jun 11 STEVE IGNORANT: Prince of Wales Hotel Jun 10 THE PAJAMA CLUB: Great Northern Jun 11, The Zoo Jun 12 BAD MANNERS: Step Inn Jun 15 CRUEL HAND: Byron Bay YAC Jun 15, X & Y Jun 16, Sun Distortion Studios Jun 17 ONYX: Step Inn Jun 16 CUT OFF YOUR HANDS: Alhambra Jun 16 MILEY CYRUS: BEC Jun 21 HELMET: Coolangatta Hotel Jun 22, The Hi-Fi Jun 23 VAN DYKE PARKS, KINKY FRIEDMAN: Brisbane Powerhouse Jun 24 & 25, Joe’s Waterhole Jun 26 JOSHUA RADIN: The Zoo Jun 25 BRIAN MCKNIGHT: The Arena Jun 26 MICAH P HINSON: X & Y Bar Jun 29 THE BLACK ANGELS: The Hi-Fi Jun 30 TY SEGALL: Woodland Jul 7 RISE AGAINST: BEC Jul 18 DOOMRIDERS: The Zoo Jul 22 RANDY NEWMAN: QPAC Jul 22 NO USE FOR A NAME: The Zoo Jul 23, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 24 ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, PITBULL: BEC Jul 25 AVENGED SEVENFOLD: BEC Jul 28 FUNERAL PARTY: The Hi-Fi Aug 9 OWL CITY: The Tivoli Aug 15 PINBACK: The Zoo Aug 18 LIAM FINN: The Zoo Aug 27 TITLE FIGHT, TOUCHE AMORE: Old Museum Sep 8 ABOVE & BEYOND: Family Sep 16 SUZI QUATRO: Twin Towns Sep 17 & 18, Empire Theatre Sep 20, Events Ctr Caloundra Sep 22 SEBADOH: The Hi-Fi Sep 22 CHRIS CORNELL: QPAC Oct 15 STEELY DAN, STEVE WINWOOD: Sirromet Wines Oct 23 MAD SIN: The Hi-Fi Nov 3, Shed 5 Nov 4 KINGS OF LEON: BEC Nov 8 K.D. LANG: Riverstage Nov 22 ELTON JOHN: BEC Nov 30
HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY, THE CHEMIST, ANDY BULL, DANIEL LEE KENDALL THE HI-FI: 28.03.11
The sticky ﬂoor of The Hi-Fi these days must hold history like the rings that circle the inside of a tree, or like the earth does, from lithosphere to crust. It’s thick with aeons of built-up overdraft; froth, and sticky vodka-slick ﬂung from the peak of wild salutations, or sparkling sweat, spilled in beady rivulets on the downbeats of centuries-worth of mosh. Aside from that, the place is absolutely packed. An easy Daniel Lee Kendall utters some lazy facsimile of ‘g’day’, leans back from the applause, and begins his acoustic set. Recalling the bare-bones stylings of an early Ray LaMontagne, and with a mouth-strapped harmonica wetting the edges of his songs with a sincere, and lived-in melancholy, that his set’s rounded out by a Passion Pit cover, and a kitschy turn on the Casio is no great insult. Andy Bull has a gorgeous, candyﬂoss falsetto tone; an aﬀectation that shapes his music very particularly, with an erring tendency sometimes to overshadow everything else. Though his set’s strong and dreamy, and the music intimates that it’s ranging in dynamics, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moments and instruments from which this is translated. Saving these small faults, however, is a gorgeous, rainy cover
of Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World. The Chemist, up next, have always been an enigmatic musical entity; a band whose sound it’s so far been impossible to pin to any particular style. How this’ll translate live – how they’ll structure a set – is a question that looms with the green plumes of dragonsmoke that swamp their entrance. From indie-western, they start, onto the joyous, vocoder-heavy Lullaby #1, to the gothic romance bleeding from a stage-side accordion; from the theatrical, to the sentimental, though predominantly allegorical, and always in excess, the band’s strength clearly lies in that inability to be tied down. Hungry Kids Of Hungary, lastly, the penultimate collective of famished foreign infants – following, of course, the Malnourished Minors Of Marrakesh – clamber the stage to what sounds like Metallica’s Blackened. Lifting their guitars, the façade clips short, and the room’s a-bathe in the lull of their beachside sound; a god-sent synchronicity of ﬁnely-tuned melody, nostalgia-bottled fun, and poignant, incisive lyrics. Jaunting from the beachball bounce of Scattered Diamond seamlessly into Closer Apart they prove again they’re indie rock at its most modern, and vital. From extended bouts of gorgeous a capella then, then move into the roaring Last Waltz, joined again by Andy Bull, to a new song that rockets their sound all-thecloser to Vampire Weekend, before being joined in a duet with a plaintive Mel Tickle from Little Scout, and ringing out the night with Wristwatch. SAM HOBSON
The ﬁrst half of his back-to-back double set arrangement, the hood-clad and increasingly charismatic JJ Peters leads Deez Nuts through the land of hard riﬀ s and semi-serious lyrical content. The swelling thousands appear to be loving the singalongs as the four-piece tear through tracks like Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like There’s No Tomorrow, Don’t Call It A Comeback and Sex Sells with guitarist Stu Callinan and bassist Jon Green providing heavy backup screams. Announcing that it’s drummer Ty Alexander’s last show with the group, JJ has the audience yelling “I love you Ty!” as an appropriate send oﬀ. Back in action after saying goodbye in 2008, Adelaide vets I Killed The Prom Queen bust back onto a Brisbane stage with some music taken from the Inception soundtrack before heading straight into Your Shirt Would Look Better With A Colombian Necktie. The light show starts to get truly impressive at this point, with guitarist Kevin Cameron ﬂailing from one end of the stage to the other with reckless abandon. New vocalist Jamie Hope doesn’t say much between songs – perhaps prior vocalist Michael Crafter left some pretty big boots to ﬁ ll in the banter department. The band delves no further back than the song Never Never Land, with guitarist Jona Weinhofen promising the crowd a new album and return trip next year. Though it was perhaps surprising for some to see The Amity Aﬄ iction billed above the prior act, the locals make short work of proving it was a sound decision with huge levels of energy from both band and crowd, and a stunningly clear mix piercing the air as soon as they open with Youngbloods. Bassist Ahren Stringer proves to be the only singer on the night with a consistent handle on melody, with screamer Joel Birch’s bouncing energy holding centre stage. After ten anthemic songs the crowd is left begging for more, the band ﬁnishing up the biggest hometown show of their lives with I Hate Hartley as an encore. MARTHA GOULBURN
Propagandhi @ The Hi-Fi by Alex Gillies
PROPAGANDHI, STOLEN YOUTH, LUNGS
nicely. Just like the accompaniment, Groom’s songs have a sort of grittiness about them but still sound quite peaceful, something the already packed room is delighted to hear.
Sydney three-piece Lungs have a well-earned reputation as one of Australia’s tightest punk bands and the lads are in typically ﬁne form tonight. The band kick oﬀ their set with Avalanche At Last, from 2007 album An Anatomical Guide, before ripping through an all-too-brief set that includes Ghosts/ Robots (Robots Win), For Dad, Forever Eighty-Four and rousing set-closer The Machinations Of Gilbert Ryle.
Next to take the stage is Myles Mayo, a boy who looked up “country singer” in the dictionary and took the description as though they were words from The Bible. Armed with an acoustic guitar, a trucker cap and a bunch of songs with names like How You Done Me Wrong, Cat’s Got Your Tongue and Daddy’s Lambs Are Slaughtered, Mayo croons his heart out to a crowd who seem to be becoming a bit restless. Mayo’s songs have a very open and honest feel about them, and his voice isn’t bad either, on the contrary actually, but many people have decided they’ve had enough.
THE HI-FI: 29.05.11
South Australian ﬁve-piece Stolen Youth’s accessible brand of melodic thrash/hardcore ﬁts tonight’s bill perfectly. Led by vocalist Sean McLoughlin, the band – who secured the support slot for the entire tour – possess a conﬁdence and dexterity that can only be attained through hard work and regular gigging. Highlights include Humans, which originally appeared on last year’s self-titled EP, and Antidote and Fear Among The Masses from recently released longplayer Dark Century. Propagandhi waste no time with formalities, and launch straight into the title track from their latest album Supporting Caste. During their 2009 tour, Propagandhi played a veritable greatest-hits set, with large portions of early albums How To Clean Everything and Less Talk More Rock getting an airing, but a few songs into tonight’s set it’s clear the setlist will be predominantly drawn from more recent eﬀorts. A couple of songs in, drummer Jord Samolesky stops to comment on Australia’s refugee policy, before the band plays 90s favourite And We Thought The Nation States Were A Bad Idea, which earns a predictably rapturous response from tonight’s crowd. Samolesky and bassist Todd Kowalski’s tight rhythm section is as faultless as it was last tour, and vocalist/ guitarist Chris Hannah and rhythm guitarist David “Beaver” Guillas’ interplay is even more intuitive than it was last visit. The band progress through near album-perfect renditions of Supporting Caste’s Night Letters, Tertium Non Data and Dear Coach’s Corner, before delivering a couple of older tracks, including an extended version of Purina Hall Of Fame, which gives Beaver a chance to showcase his impressive solo abilities, Back To The Motor League, the Kowalskisung Fuck The Border, new song Failed State and Less Talk More Rock’s The Only Good Fascist Is A Very Dead Fascist and set closer A Speculative Fiction. After their last tour, Propagandhi pledged to be visit again in “another 13 years”. Th is time – with tongue planted ﬁrmly in cheek – Hannah tells us they’ll be back in 17, but if the jubilant response the band receives from tonight’s audience is anything to go by, hopefully the band will be making another relatively swift return. DANIEL JOHNSON
ESKIMO JOE, MILES MAYO, FELICITY GROOM THE ZOO: 26.05.11
A normal Eskimo Joe tour would see them supported by the latest up-and-coming pop/rock band in a venue that holds thousands of people but this is no ordinary tour – it’s all about intimacy and acoustics. First up though, songstress Felicity Groom appears alone onstage bar from a boy strumming a distorted Les Paul guitar while she plays an autoharp – it’s an odd mix but the result compliments her Florence Welch-type voice quite
Finally it’s Eskimo Joe’s turn and after a strippedback take on New York, singer Kav Temperley explains tonight is the chance to see them a bit diﬀerently, a bit less rock, a bit more acoustic. And if you don’t like it, “well sucked in”. The electric and bass guitars have been replaced by three acoustics (there are an extra two guys on stage helping out) but most songs still sound pretty similar to what we’re used to hearing – with the only real exceptions being Don’t Let Me Down and Foreign Land. A fairly solid drumbeat and keys throughout makes this semi-acoustic night barely acoustic at all. As this is a show for the more diehard fans, a fair few older tracks make up the set list along with two sneaky new songs giving us a sliver of what’s next to come. From the Sea closes out the night on stage but wait, there’s more! Upon leaving, everyone gets handed a free copy of their latest single, When We Were Kids, on vinyl – which is great, except this reviewer doesn’t own a record player. RACHEL TINNEY
SIERRA FIN, DEF RADIO OLD MUSEUM:27.05.11
The Old Museum is set up like an old town hall tonight – chairs set out in a semi circle, tables up the front, red paper lanterns on stage – setting the scene for an intimate night of thought-provoking music. Not if locals Def Radio have anything to do with it, however. It’s not that the four-piece don’t have anything to oﬀer – one track in particular sounds eerily similar to Size Of The Ocean-era Big Heavy Stuﬀ, and that is never a bad thing – yet there is very little originality on show. The lead singer buoys their set by oﬀering quirky facts about the history of the Old Museum, and is generally good with the banter, but this is small consolation for a set made up of mediocre emotive indie-by-numbers. Which is something that cannot be said for Sydneysiders Sierra Fin, whose concept album Cautionary Tale Of The Beautiful Blackout, recorded with a backing orchestra, has been stirring up a lot of good press lately. The stage is incredibly busy, as the band have brought along their own Sierra Fin Orchestra that huddle at the back. Being the album launch, it is stated that the set will be the album in its entirety, and after watching this set it’s unclear how it could be any other way. Th is is highly ambitious conceptual art, and it’s brandished from the outset with opener Death By Alarm Clock (Overture). Technically a three-minute track, it nonetheless goes through a series of movements that sweeps from Sigur Ros level grandeur and bombast to more ﬂamboyant fare and back again – an operatic metronome of sorts. The ﬁrst few songs bleed into each other, creating the sense that these boys have cassettes of A Night At The Opera and of latter-day Muse that have lain in the sun and melted together into a warped mixtape. Angel’s Way Down even has a touch of the Ben Folds around its edges, whilst Polystyrene Dream #2 echoes Matt Bellamy et al back in their Showbiz days. Yet despite
being able to pick apart their record collections, the set is extremely well-balanced, with the interplay between drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and synth melding beautifully with the more traditional instruments wielded by the orchestra – and on the whole it works admirably well. Lead singer Russ Tainton embodies the role of impassioned showman, ﬂitting from bombastic to introspective with aplomb. All of this hinges on pivotal track Beautiful Blackout, an epic tale of a man frittering away his life that is as sonically uplifting as it is lyrically verbose. There’s even room for a baroque barroom belter in Lost Man’s Lie, the penultimate track also breaking down into some brilliant frenetic keywork. Yes, it’s ambitious. Yes, it’s pompous. And tonight, in the beautiful conﬁnes of the Old Museum, it really works. BRENDAN TELFORD
FAT FREDDY’S DROP, ELECTRIC EMPIRE, SENOR RUDEKAT THE TIVOLI: 27.05.11
West End vinyl slinger Senor Rudekat plays some bridging sets between the two live acts on the bill tonight and keeps the bodies gyrating and sneakers shuﬄ ing with a textured mix of fun dancehall, dub, reggae and plenty of other sub-genres spawned from the three blends. Running two turntables and a laptop, he is able to sequence his set seamlessly while adding little tweaks and scratches of ﬂavour to pepper the tunes with individuality. Soulful, sexy and musically smouldering, you couldn’t imagine are more suitable support tonight than Electric Empire. Like a soundtrack to a Blaxploitation ﬁ lm, theirs is a sound that moves through your body and ﬁ lls you with positive vibes. The vocals and harmonies sell Electric Empire for sure but it’s the keys of Aaron Mendoza and drumming centrepiece Jason Heerah that are the stars of the show. With a vocoder jammed in his mouth, Mendoza sends out a robotic love ode to Brisbane while a brief cover of Empire State Of Mind get’s the room working their vocal cords. Following this, Heerah adds to his controlled stick work with the best James Brown vocal impression you could ask for. Only a scissor split would have made this slot anymore entertaining. Fat Freddy’s Drop have decided to treat the lucky hordes of Brisbane to a two night stint before wrapping their way to sold-out shows across the planet. And from the rapturously received ﬁrst shout outs from hypeman and mic terrorist MC Slave, it’s obvious fans here are more than deserving of the mutual love shown. The seven-headed soul monster are on ﬁre immediately with a sharp and translucent take on Cays Cray’s, the blues and greens only adding to the Wellington vibes from across the Tasman. From sharply dressed to slackly styled, the band visually seem at odds with each other but their tight musicianship and ability to extend, rework and play with their tracks from the standard album takes show a band completely comfortable with its own sound and shape. It’s atmospheric and knee-tremblingly deep, with the dub undercurrent maintaining throughout without ever stepping over the mark. The band testdrive a few new tracks, but the cuts are right at home amongst older favourite like Black Bird, Boondigga and Roady. The three-pronged brass section dominate all evening also, and by the time trombonist Hopepa has ditched his three-piece suit for his trademark tidy whities, the movement in the venue is hypnotic. Not so much songs as individual journeys into danceﬂoor ambience, Fat Freddy’s Drop are more than able ﬂag bearers for the sound of New Zealand to be taken on a musical journey across the world.
AIRBOURNE: Villa Noosa Jun 16, The Hi-Fi Jun 17, Coolangatta Hotel Jun 18 JACK LADDER AND THE DREAMLANDERS: Alhambra Lounge Jun 17 EVIL EDDIE: Step Inn Jun 17, Sol Bar Jun 18 LITTLE RED: The Hi-Fi Jun 18, Great Northern Jun 30, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 1 STORM IN A TEA CUP: Mullum Civic Hall Jun 18 JOSH PYKE: Beetle Bar Jun 24 COERCE: Sun Distortion Studios Jun 24, Fat Louie’s Jun 25 FIREBALLS: Shed 5 Jun 24, The Hi-Fi Jun 25 KARNIVOOL: The Hi-Fi Jun 24 & Jul 4, Coolangatta Hotel Jun 25, Caloundra RSL Jun 26 SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: Old QLD Museum Jun 24, Great Northern Jun 26 GEORGIA FAIR, DANIEL LEE KENDALL: Ric’s Jun 30, The Loft Jul 2, Railway Friendly Bar Jul 3 MIAMI HORROR: The Zoo Jul 1 PAPA VS PRETTY: X & Y Jul 1 PAPER SCISSORS: Great Northern Jul 1, Step Inn Jul 2 THE GRATES: The Hi-Fi Jul 1 THE WINDY HILLS: The Brewery Jul 1, Coolangatta Hotel Jul 2, Noosa Surf Club Jul 8, Brisbane Powerhouse Jul 16 WAGONS: Spotted Cow Jul 1, The Hi-Fi Jul 2 OSCAR+MARTIN: The Hangar Jul 2 BELLES WILL RING: Sol Bar Jul 7, Step Inn Jul 8 ART VS SCIENCE: The Tivoli Jul 9 SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM: Family Nightclub Jul 9 JINJA SAFARI: Alhambra Lounge Jul 14 SEEKER LOVER KEEPER: Civic Hall Mullumbimby Jul 15 SHORT STACK: The Tivoli Jul 15 & 16 THE PANICS: The Zoo Jul 16 JAYTECH: The Met Jul 16 THE POTBELLEEZ: Chalk Hotel Jul 21, La La Land Jul 22 CLARE BOWDITCH: Joe’s Waterhole Jul 22, Old QLD Museum Jul 23 PAUL KELLY, PAUL GRABOWSKY: Riverstage Jul 23 DAMIEN LEITH: Jupiters GC Jul 29 JAMES BLUNDELL, CATHERINE BRITT: Coolum Hotel Jul 29, Hinterland Hotel Jul 30, Jimboomba Tavern Jul 31 JORDIE LANE: Beetle Bar Aug 4, Joe’s Waterhole Aug 5, Mullum Civic Hall Aug 6 REGURGITATOR: Great Northern Aug 18, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 19, The Hi-Fi Aug 20, Kings Beach Tavern Aug 21 DIESEL: Redlands Sports Club Aug 19, Norths Leagues Aug 20, Springlake Hotel Nov 3, Twin Towns Nov 5 ASH GRUNWALD: Coolum Civic Centre Aug 21, Beach Hotel Aug 25, Coolangatta Hotel Aug 26, The Hi-Fi Aug 27 FELIX RIEBL: Byron Bal Community Ctr Aug 24, Old Museum Aug 25 GURRUMUL: BEC Sep 1 THE CAT EMPIRE: The Zoo Sep 29 & 30, The Tivoli Oct 1
COOLY ROCKS ON: Gold Coast/Tweed Heads Jun 3 - 13 RED DEER FESTIVAL: Mt Samson Jun 18 LIQUID ARCHITECTURE 12: Brisbane Powerhouse Jul 1 FLAVOURS OF SKUZZ: Jubilee Hotel Jul 9 QUEENSLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL: Statewide Jul 15 – 31 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: Woodfordia Jul 29 – 31 GYMPIE MUSTER: Amamoor Creek State Forest Park Aug 23 – 28 REGGAEFEST: Missingham Park Sep 17 – 18 THE GATHERING FESTIVAL: Old Museum Sep 17 SOUNDWAVE REVOLUTION: RNA Showgrounds Sep 24
HEART SO BLUE
DON’T STOP THE ROCK The people of Coolangatta were dealt a pretty crappy blow when it was announced that the Wintersun festival was going to be moving down south, so a group of folk have taken the initiative to ﬁ ll the gap the festival has left in their scene with the Cooly Rocks On festival which kicks oﬀ this weekend. Check this out for a line-up: Calibre Cats, Big Ol’ Bus, Brandi & the Badcats, Cool Change, Corn Liquor, Dirty Boogie Band, Flattrakkers, Flying Saucers, The Headliners, I. C. Rock, No Brakes, Old 45’s, On the Move, Retro Rockets, Shindig, The Silverados, The Sugarshakers, The Bakelites, The Bobkats, The Chevrolets, The Chrome Daddies, The Detonators, the Rockafellez, The Velvet Set, West Texas Crude, Dean Vegas. Round Mountain Girls, pictured, Deejay Jimmy Dee, The Breakaways, Paulie & His Crazy Rhythm Boys, The Mighty Guys, Joe Daniels & The Mighty Guys, Sweetrock, Doug Wilshire & The Tailspinners, Black Hill Ramblers, SwitchBack, Kevin Barker & the Beagle Boys, Miss Teresa & Her Rhythmaires, Toe Jam’n, DJ Leapin’ Lawrie, Roland Storm & the Mighty Guys, Ray Burton, Catﬁsh & The DJs, Tony Worsley, Little Sammy Gaha, Little Pattie, The Quick Draw McGraws, Zoluka, Route 66, Darren J Ray & The Love Bugs, The Beach Boyz, The Sonics, The Cordobas, QACI Funk Band, The Well Swung Daddies. It happens all over the Tweed from Friday through to Monday Jun 13 – hit coolyrockson.com.au for full playing times and more details.
Local outﬁt My Cerulean Heart pride themselves on incorporating cutting edge synth sounds with more traditional instrumentation to put together a sound that has leanings towards pop, electronica and a certain something else that is simply too diﬃcult to put your ﬁnger on. The group have been purveying this sound around the stages of Brisbane for a while, but have also taken their sound to the stages of Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, New York and outback Queensland. This Sunday afternoon they are back on home turf and they will be bringing their Bat For Lashes meets Miss Kittin brand of electro goodness to the Brisbane Powerhouse for a special free, all ages show. It kicks oﬀ at around 3pm and they will be joined by the wonderful likeminded locals The Sabre Siren.
Th ings are starting to get pretty exciting up on the north coast these days; there is a dedicated community of bands, punters and venues who seem to be determined to ensure the Sunshine Coast music scene gets a bit of a kick in the pants and we’re starting to see some very cool events emerge. One of these is the Curra Blues Stomp, happening early next month and featuring the talents of both established and up and coming blues acts including Asa Broomhall Band, Mojo Webb, Cleveland Blues & The Red Eyed Junction, Barry Charles, Triple Shot and Apollo In Peril. It happens at the Currimundi Hotel on Saturday Jun 4 from 2pm and you can grab tickets from OzTix or the venue now for $12 + bf or grab one on the day for $15.
YOU GOT TROUBLE
The release of the debut album from local lad The Trouble With Templeton has been pushed back to September, but don’t sweat it too much, the debut single from it Bleeders is out now and he is doing all he can to get himself out there to play to as many people as possible so that he can build up as much hype around the record’s imminent release as he possibly can. He starts his campaign tonight with a show at The Zoo with support from Kate Martin and Surface Paradise, he then hits the Brisbane Powerhouse on the afternoon of Sunday Jun 12 for a free, all ages show alongside Laneway and then, later that night, heading to the Beetle Bar to perform alongside Montpelier and Husky.
SEEK THE UNKNOWN
Listen to Place Unknown, the debut EP from local upand-coming singer songwriter Lili Kendell, and you’ll be charmed by the smooth indie-pop that seeps from the speakers throughout its duration. When you ﬁnd out that she is just 13 years of age, your mind will be blown. Th is incredibly young talent has put together a stunningly accomplished release that you must hear to believe and she will be launching it with a special show at West End’s Music Kafe this coming Sunday afternoon. For the show she’ll be playing the EP in its entirety, as well as trying out some new material and a few of her favourite songs from other artists. Entry is free and the music starts from 3pm.
THEY ARE ROCKET MEN
Sydney’s Rockets are just about ready to release their debut EP and given the ﬁrst single from it, Toad, has already been granted some fairly decent airplay from the likes of triple j and FBi, you can bet that this is one debut release that comes quite heavily anticipated by a great number of people around the country. The band worked with Pound System’s Woody Annison – known best these days for his production work with the likes of Children Collide – on the EP and they’re conﬁdent that it will be the release that sees them go on to bigger and better things in the near future. The band head to Brisbane to launch it next week, playing Lambda at Alhambra Lounge on Thursday Jun 2; entry is ten bucks or just a ﬁver if you’re a student.
SIX PACK DAVID AURORA
BEFORE HE BEGINS WORK ON HIS DEBUT ALBUM, GOLD COAST MUSICIAN DAVID AURORA IS TAKING SOME OF THE MATERIAL OUT FOR A TEST RUN. TONY MCMAHON FINDS OUT WHAT LUCKY PUNTERS CAN EXPECT.
SYDNEY INDIE ROCKERS ROCKETS ARE LAUNCHING THEIR DEBUT, SELFTITLED EP IN BRISBANE THIS WEEKEND. TONY MCMAHON CATCHES UP WITH SINGER PAUL TAYLOR FOR A CHAT ABOUT SHENANIGANS AND DIANE KRUGER.
“To me it feels like working without a safety net,” Aurora says, talking about playing works in progress at a live show. “I know musicians who won’t go on stage without planning and rehearsing every little detail down to onstage banter, but that would bore me to death. I like taking chances and getting out of my comfort zone on stage. Sure, sometimes it backﬁres horribly and you forget a chunk of a new song. But with that risk, when things go right it’s a huge buzz.” Aurora has released two terriﬁc EPs, 2007’s An Exercise In Futility and 2010’s Paradise Is Burning, but says that the new record will still be something of a departure. “I’ve probably got 20 songs sitting around right now to demo after the tour, but I only want the record to run about 40 minutes, so there’ll be a lot of culling. Some new songs aren’t a huge departure from my older stuﬀ; others are a little further away from what I’ve done in the past. Overall it’s quite a bit more stripped-back and more musically mature.” In closing, Aurora acknowledges all the help he’s had in what can be a super tough game.
READY TO FIRE
Loaded Gun is the name of the forthcoming album from local rockers Black Mustang and you can be among the ﬁrst to hear a taste of it when the band cruises their way through a couple of Brisbane venues this weekend. They kick oﬀ on Friday night with a show at Ric’s alongside fellow rockers Obliterati (who feature a number of familiar faces from around the local scene) from 7pm and then pack up the van and head out to the Royal Mail Hotel in Goodna where they’ll turn in a couple of sets from for free from 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon. Look out for the new record soon!
“I’d just like to thank everyone who has helped make this tour so much fun. Between friends and family helping out behind the scenes, the other acts at shows, the crowds, the venues, mags like this one, everyone has been really supportive. It’s easy to get jaded when you’re slogging it out in the musical trenches and you see acts getting loads of attention purely thanks to autotune and clothing sponsorships from Whores ‘R Us, so when you’re working really hard to make honest music and people show you support it’s something you really don’t take for granted.”
“The fact that it was our ﬁrst record I don’t think really had any bearing on how it was to manifest itself,” says Taylor, when Time Oﬀ asks him about whether his band took the careful or the hurried approach with their ﬁrst ever recording. “To be honest, the process seemed almost entirely riddled with hindsight and retrospect in that whilst we had an idea as to what songs we wanted to put on the record, it all seemed to make much more sense once we’d ﬁnished the process. Th is is not to deny the prospect of thought and eﬀort, though I think we were quite fortunate with a number of things working in our favour to make the sleepless nights and worrisome days few and far between.” And it seems that some of the circumstances of the recording might be hard to duplicate live, but Taylor says Rockets are up to the challenge. “We recorded in an old modiﬁed church, so there are some nice big, ambient sounds particularly with the drums. Most of the songs did come out quite powerfully because of the environment. So, I suppose at least in terms of the grandeur of the record, we just need to make sure that we play the songs with grit and power live.” Talking of live power, Taylor says his band’s music might cause an altercation or two at the Brisbane EP launch, or maybe not. “We’ll no doubt ﬁnd ourselves in at least a riot or two, a sacriﬁcial cult gathering, a witch hunt, a game of badminton. You know… the usual. Actually, what’s sad is that the night will probably end quietly with all four of us just brushing our teeth, saying our prayers and going to bed – completely shitfaced. And the girl who plays Bridget Von Hammersmark in Inglorious Basterds is really, really attractive and I think that it could be plausible for her to have my children.”
WHO: David Aurora
WHERE & WHEN: Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast Saturday Jun 4, Treehouse Cafe, Byron Bay Sunday Jun 5, The Music Kafe Saturday Jun 18, The Loft, Gold Coast Friday Jun 24
WHAT: Rockets (Creative Vibes) WHERE & WHEN: Alhambra Thursday Jun 2
Hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell. Email punk news to email@example.com First up, Earth Crisis are back! This seminal straight-edge hardcore outﬁt are at album number seven, which will be released this July through Century Media Records. The album is called, Neutralize The Threat, a title that has all the bombast of previous releases like Destroy The Machines and their last album, 2009’s To The Death. To go with this, the band have unveiled a new track from the album via the Lambgoat website. It is called Raise and it is everything that you would expect from Earth Crisis, from the chugging riﬀs to the barked declarations. It is heavy and it’s good, so get online, check it out and get psyched for the album release. H2O have let it be known for a while now that they’re working on a covers album. Since their inception in 1995, they have been a staple of the punk and hardcore scenes, and are vocal about exactly who their inﬂuences are. In an ultimate statement on this topic, Don’t Forget Your Roots will tip H2O’s hats to the likes of the Ramones, Dag Nasty, Madball, Rancid, Circle Jerks, The Descendents, Cro-Mags, Bad Brains, The Clash, Government Issue, Gorilla Biscuits, Sick Of It All, Social Distortion, 7 Seconds and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (it basically looks like a point by point guide of who you should check out if you’re starting to get into hardcore…). The complete track list and release date should be announced soon, in the meantime vocalist, Toby Morse, said of the record: “This album is extremely important to us. These are bands that inspired us to start a band and who have inspired our personal lives. Also with so many young kids getting into hardcore every day, it’s good to always keep exposing them to the ROOTS of this music and getting them into some of the originators of hardcore/punk.” You may or may not have heard about the crazy situation regarding Vancouver punk act Living With Lions and the artwork for their new album Holy Shit. To get you up to speed, the whole situation began with a blogger from the LA Weekly (that had a limited understanding of the process relating to Canadian cultural grants) drew attention to the controversial artwork
for the album, which includes the packaging looking like a heavily used bible and featuring an illustrated image of Jesus Christ as “a turd in a toga”. It was also revealed that the album was partially funded by the Canadian government through are arts funding program called FACTOR. The whole situation got blown out of proportion, with many statements being made about how wrong it was that the Canadian government should fund an album with artwork like this (despite the fact that the grant process does not involve an examination of the album artwork) to calls that the Canadian government (and it goes without saying, the band as well) should burn in Hell for endorsing the artwork. In a resolution (somewhat of one anyway) to this controversy, Living With Lions released a statement last week indicating that they are returning the government funding in full that assisted the release of the album. It’s good to know that people can take a joke and that satire and humour still have a place in this world. Yes, that was sarcasm. Pre-sales to Soundwave Revolution have commenced, so if you’re signed up to the Soundwave Festival mailing list, make sure that you head over to the website to secure your tickets, before they go on sale to the general public at 9am this Thursday. It was also revealed last week that the location for the Brisbane leg of Soundwave Revolution will be at the RNA Showgrounds. It has also been revealed that the North Carolina post-hardcore act, Alesana, will be joining the Revolution line-up. The band’s most recent release is The Emptiness – an ambitious album, based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem Annabel Lee – which was released earlier this year. Finally, tickets are on sale now for a whole bunch of tours including the Emmure and Shinto Katana tour, the Cruel Hand and Phantom tour and also the Touche Amore and Title Fight tour. I’ve talked about all these tours in previous weeks’ columns, so check out the bands and head to the shows.
Progressive fellows ‘Neath launch the doublepackaged re-issue of their two albums The Spider’s Sleep and The Small Untruths on Friday night at the Globe Theatre. The band promises the show to be a more grandiose aﬀair than normal, with vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Boyd Potts set to take advantage of the venue’s projection system while they perform. They’ll be joined by atmospheric Sydney group The Veil and locals The Nihilist. It will cost one $15 from 8pm. Also on Friday night, One Shot Salute, Something For The Missus and Shrapnel thrash out at Sun Distortion Studios in Albion. Get along for some all ages punk and metal from 8pm for only $5. Sunny Coast death dealers Signal The Firing Squad break in Thriller’s new home at The Orient Hotel this Saturday night as part of the Earth Harvest Australian tour. They’ll be joined by the straight-edge heaviness of Deceiver and melodic bounciness of All My Friends At Sea. They’ll also play an all ages show at Sun Distortion Studios from 1.30pm the next day with Emerald Vale, Tomb Of Doom, All My Friends At Sea and The Schoenberg Automaton for $15. Next Wednesday the Step Inn’s free metal show includes Kinoath, Kablammo!, Battleaxe and Chemical Cascades. The line-up for the Devolved ‘Technologies Tribute’ show with Widow The Sea on Jun 18 at the Step Inn has been revealed and will feature support from The Schoenberg Automaton (three times in the one column!) and dark hardcore group Abraxis. Melbourne progressive metalcore group In Trenches, who feature members from the ranks of I Killed The Prom Queen, The Abandonment and Day of Contempt, have announced that
In recent years Seasick Steve has been a hit among Australian audiences and it seems the feeling is mutual. “I’m such a fan,” he says, unprompted, of Australia. “People probably say that all the time, but you oughta ask my wife, she had such a hard time getting me to leave; I was trying to make all kinds of excuses not to go back. I just like it down there; I don’t know what it is. I just settled in quickly down there. I like the frankness about the place. That would suit me just ﬁne, sitting out there in that Byron Bay by the beach, man I could do that.” Seasick Steve has just ﬁnished up his ﬁfth album You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks, a record that sees him step ever-so-slightly away from the grimy hobo blues he’s made his own. Four-and-a-half years on from what most consider his ‘breakthrough’ performance on Live With Jools Holland, Steve still can’t believe the popularity that he has found in the public eye. “When you’ve had a whole life in the music business of failing – well, I hardly was in the music business to be honest, I was working jobs – and all of a sudden you get something going, it don’t ever seem real,” he admits. “It seems like I’m getting away with something and someone’s gonna pull the plug on me and say, ‘Alright, you done now. Go back to work.’ I ain’t trying to be humble or nothin’ like that but it don’t seem real!”
like me if I do this or that’,” the 70-yearold says. “I think if I was a lot younger then I’d sure be a lot more concerned about my future, but I feel if I don’t do what I wanna do now, it probably ain’t gonna happen. “I can’t think about what’s popular because I don’t even know what’s popular. I can tell you one thing, if someone were to come to me six years ago – if I had some money – and say, ‘Look, I got this old guy, he just had a heart attack, who plays this muddy, not so technical countryweird-blues music. You wanna invest?’ I tell you what; I wouldn’t have invested any money! Shit man, I ain’t got no clue what’s happening.” The majority of songs on this new record are written from the perspective of Seasick Steve in the modern-day. He lived a hell of a rambling life as a young man and says it felt natural to focus on the songs inspired by these days early on, but now he wants to present songs more relative to his life at present. “I have so many songs about the past but no one was ever interested in them so they’ve just been sitting there, some of them were written in the past,” he explains. “So they were the ones that were ﬁrst to come out of the gate when there was any reason to make records. A lot of the time when I’d be sitting around with my guitar, I don’t think about the last 30 years when I was trying to raise my boys and working as a carpenter or whatever, it doesn’t have a lot of ring to it to me. So my mind would always drift back to when I was young and wandering around a little bit.
Steve is generally relaxed when talking about music, the way it’s made and how he’s inspired, but becomes passionate upon touching of the subject of staying true to himself.
“So a lot of the songs are just about when you’re sitting around and remembering the ‘good old days’ – which weren’t so good. But I started thinking about things now, about people I knew a few years ago and I wrote some songs about my wife and some things that have been happening to me a little bit lately. So for me this is really modern.”
“I just wanna do what I wanna do and not think about it too much like, ‘Oh people won’t
You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks is out Friday through PIAS/Liberator
Pop culture therapy with Adam Curley
Metal with Lochlan Watt Gold Coast post-metallers The Matador play at X&Y Bar this Thursday alongside technical maestros The Schoenberg Automaton and metalcore group Greenstreet. There’s twofor-one entry for students from 9pm.
Blues ‘n’ roots with Dan Condon firstname.lastname@example.org
they will begin recording their second album in June. So far no other details have been released. There’s a full song’s worth of rehearsal footage online from new Melbourne-based group Deluge. The band features ex-members of Brisbane groups Brazen Bull and The Lytic Cycle and plays a ferocious and technical onslaught of metal. Search YouTube for ‘deluge song 3 rehearsal’. However competent the clip shows the musicians to be, the band is reportedly still in the process of reﬁning their line-up, and has plans to make their live and studio recorded debut by the year’s end. A handful of releases from Brisbane death metal legends Misery are set for re-issue on vinyl later this year through Dark Symphonies. First up is their 1993 debut A Necessary Evil, which, on a double LP, will also feature an unreleased track from their Astern Diabolus demo and the entirety of their 1992 demo Sorting of The Insects as bonus material. The label promises to soon after reissue their 1994 EP Insidious and 1997 album Revel In Blasphemy though release dates are yet to be set. Members of Misery went on to take part in such current bands as The Dead and Laceration Mantra. Lurk darksymphonies.com for details as they arrive.
Seeing as The Breakdown’s last ‘decent music wrap-up’ thing consisted mostly of bedroom-style electronic sounds, this month’s is going almost in the other direction (almost – not quite to Anthony Kiedis), beginning with some atonal post-punk from Hobart. Drunk Elk have been getting a hand from Melbourne’s tiny Inverted Crux label for a couple of years and have now become the ﬁrst act released on new US label Quemada Records with their Seneca’s Last Breath 7”. If you’re aware of the brasher sounds Inverted Crux has been involved with in the past then you’ll know what to expect – ‘kitchen gunk’ is probably a good term for it, because all these bands only ever seem to play in kitchens at house parties and also kind of sound like something the sink threw up.
Black metal/hardcore crossover enthusiasts Night Hag enter Capitalsound Studios in their hometown of Adelaide this week. The band is tracking their ﬁrst full-length album with engineer James Balderston, and are eyeing a release through Capitalgames Records in mid-July. You can expect it to be “short, fast as fuck, and black metal” with “so much tremolo it hurts.”
In Melbourne, a new band called Teenage Mothers have been trying to stir up some departmentstore-model shit – and winning, if they’re to be believed – with their track Orlando And Miranda, which features the opening line, “Miranda, when he’s fucking you, do you ask who blessed your name?” It’s not so much an appraisal of Orlando Bloom’s ‘after-work’ skills as it is a simple and excellently whiny/yelpy complaint about the treatment of the poor and mentally ill. It’s also unassumingly accomplished, with layers of delicate and dark piano and psych guitar lines imbedded into the otherwise bratty garage melody. Have a listen at teenagemothers.bandcamp.com.
I Killed The Prom Queen guitarist/singer Jona Weinhofen conﬁrmed that the reformed metalcore group, which now features ex-The Red Shore vocalist Jamie Hope, is planning to get together later this year to write a third full-length album for release in 2012. Two disc re-releases of their 2006 breakthrough album Music For The Recently Deceased and subsequent Sleepless Nights and City Lights DVD are currently available through UNFD.
Sydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys and Woollen Kits have a split 7” out featuring the former’s grungeleaning, gurgling Nobody Else and the latter’s plucky yet fallen-down Washington-style pop number For You. The 7” is out through RIP Society Records and the bands are getting together for an East Coast run in late June with some great supports like heroin-glam (is that a thing?) band Blank Realm at the Brisbane show. Speaking of RIP Society, Sydney via every US-based music blog band Naked On
The Vague also released a new 7”, Abstract Figures/ Reﬂections Of Strangeness, in late April and it’s a doozy, as opposed to a dozey – there’s a real glittery guitar spark to their deep-vocal nod-oﬀs. To electronic sounds. Dream Kit, the project of Melbourne’s Declan Kelly (of the Kelly clan), released a new EP, Future Tense, through Two Bright Lakes/Remote Control, which comes as a 12” or digital download. There’s something almost motorik underneath the EP’s chopped up synth grooves, though it never drops into repetition, Kelly’s short attention span for a warped melody, blippy interlude or elated-eﬀect moment pushing the tracks along quickly and making for a crazystimulating listen. It’s easy and pretty ridiculously fun to get lost in. Have a listen and/or buy it for $10 at dreamkit.bandcamp.com. Sydney’s Faker are a rarity in 2011: an Australian band on a major label (EMI). Rarer still is that songwriter Nathan Hudson has managed to keep a considerable amount of media attention over the years focused on the band’s music instead of their ‘after-work’ activities, with the exception of his ‘oﬃcial coming out’ a couple of years back, which landed him on Perez Hilton’s blog and was followed by a ‘so what?’, showing (importantly at the time, and still now) that more mainstream gay songwriters can be ‘out’ without having to trade solely oﬀ their sexualities. There can be visual representation without it always becoming overtly political. Also rare: over recent weeks, Hudson has been using the Faker website – faker.com. au – to release and talk about the origins of old demos in a way that, really engagingly, takes the creative process away from the idea of being the possession of the elite/other and paints a ‘creative life’ for what it is: one of trying, searching, failing, occasionally stumbling onto something good and trying again. Mostly it’s the idea of love that Hudson is concerned with, on page and in song, and that’s evident too in the new CSS remix of Faker’s upcoming single, Dangerous, which is also up on their site and which Robert Smith would do naughty things to on a night oﬀ. This is smart, heartfelt and kind of wonky-in-a-good-way Australian pop we can be proud of, which is… rare.
Everything old is new again. Just as the neo-soul movement lost momentum with the inactivity of artists like D’Angelo, Maxwell and Erykah Badu, it was revived by emerging British soul stars such as Amy Winehouse – not to mention Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Maxwell has since resurfaced, sounding as if he were never away on 2009’s BLACKsummers’night. And now fresh strains of neo-soul are emanating from the US. The real ‘King of Neo-Soul’ is not D’Angelo but Oakland’s Raphael Saadiq (AKA Charles Wiggins), who masterminded the new jack swing troupe Tony! Toni! Toné! in the late80s. As with new jack swing, neo-soul was always about the hip hop generation putting its stamp on old soul music. Saadiq is rarely credited for laying down the neo-soul blueprint, but The Tonys, as they were nicknamed, were more sophisticated than their peers. Saadiq is also, if not wildly proliﬁc, then certainly more consistent than D’Angelo. He launched his solo career with 2002’s Instant Vintage, songs like the sublime Skyy, Can You Feel Me lauded by tastemaker supremo Gilles Peterson. Saadiq last proﬀered The Way I See It three years ago. Over time, he’s likewise produced other acts, among them, ironically, D’Angelo, who, in turn, cameo-ed on Instant Vintage. However, Saadiq’s latest project, the expansive Stone Rollin’, will surprise even long-time fans. This album he’s revisiting vintage R&B, as in ‘rhythm & blues’, the kind associated with everyone from Chuck Berry to Ray Charles to The Rolling Stones, while straying into early funk-rock. The ﬁrst half of Stone Rollin’ has a rawer, grittier and more rock’n’roll ethos than we’re accustomed to hearing from the smoother-than-smooth Saadiq. The Stones-y Radio typiﬁes the album. Funnily enough, it might be a modern – and teasing – missive at radio programmers! The frenetic Heart Attack is a tribute to Sly Stone’s
with Rip Nicholson psy-funk. The swaggering title-track is elevated by its harmonica... and dirty grunts! But, towards the end of Stone Rollin’, Saadiq veers back into familiar territory – 70s Motown and Philly soul. Movin’ Down The Line evokes a mellow Marvin Gaye. Just Don’t has psychedelic overtones – a coy Yukimi Nagano from the Swedish electro outﬁt Little Dragon pops up on vocals. Saadiq perhaps gave a clue as to his new direction when at the Grammys he and his band joined Mick Jagger on stage to honour Solomon Burke. Saadiq co-produced Stone Rollin’ with longstanding cohort, engineer Chuck Brungardt. The pair worked with an epic cast that includes legendary bassist Larry Graham, keyboardist Larry Dunn, and pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. Saadiq himself plays bass, guitar, percussion, drums, keys and the Mellotron. If there’s a criticism of Stone Rollin’, it’s that Saadiq is too eager to recreate classic music without bringing a contemporary twist – the whole point of neo-soul. The only number with a real hip hop sensibility is Good Man – you could mistake it for some Isaac Hayes-sampling blunted soul from RZA. Meanwhile, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, among those involved in Duﬀy’s disastrous Endlessly, has moved on, co-producing Booker T Jones’ The Road From Memphis. Hip hoppers deem the ‘ﬁnal’ Booker T & The MG’s LP, 1971’s Melting Pot on the iconic Stax label, to be cult. Here, The MG’s frontman, jamming with members of The Roots, focuses on the instrumental side. Thompson doesn’t impose, rather rolling with Jones’ Hammond-led grooves (The Dap-Kings’ Gabe Roth engineers.) Jones covers Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy plus Lauryn Hill’s Everything Is Everything (the latter very tautly). Nevertheless, the guest vocalists are eccentric choices: The National’s Matt Berninger duets with Sharon Jones on Representing Memphis, and Lou Reed’s The Bronx is actually closer to funk than punk!
A revamped column covering hip hop both local and international, this space will attempt to conjure up some thought-provoking shit like if a rapper spat a wack rhyme in the woods to an empty audience, does he still suck? Or if hip hop on the home front got caught up in beef wars that have been the bedrock of hip hop’s origins would we have battle raps and radio station shoot-outs between rival record labels? What if Obese Records was running shit like Death Row Records but keeping the battle on wax, how would it have changed the frontiers of Australian hip hop? While most wars are fought over resources and religion, hip hop, since the early-80s, has been about reputation and record sales. In Australia, hip hop is not regulated regionally, no one coast is hitting up another coast. Respect is paid on the skill of rhyme and musicianship and your reputation is as strong as your last show. It can never be about record sales, because frankly they never scale to ﬁgures worth measuring. Talking yourself up only gets you felled harder and faster down here, but throwing down on the competition over tracks is stuntin’ for publicity – something the Australian market has done without. It’s a labour of love down here, although there is no choice. The truth is, beef sells and over the time of 30-something years it’s been a proven and eﬀective tool. From the early Bronx-Queens emergence, KRS-One’s response to MC Shan’s cutting lyrical insults gave the legendary activist supreme status that he may not have ascended to had he not taken part in repping the Boogie Down movement, and in the same breath killed the career of MC Shan. Hip hop lived and died over this shit. Kool Moe Dee sold records by the crate when he threw L.L. Cool J’s Kangol under his Jeep and even as late as 50 Cent giving healthy competition to Kanye which proved two things – one, that Kanye is hands-down a better artist
and two, sales climb steeply when there’s drama involved. If ticket sales are slow on a boxing event, schedule a dust up at the weigh-in, bring their mothers into the conversation. So, like The Juice Crew’s legendary throw down on the BDP in the “Bridge Wars” what if Adelaide’s Certified Wise put the hard verses on Melbourne’s Lyrical Commission to represent their own hip hop dialect and project it into new frontiers. Or if Bias B and Brothers Stoney went in on Reason, Pegz and the Hoods before the lead up to the drop of Beezwax with a Roxanne’s Revenge or a How Ya Like Me Now track, despite the contrived theatrics, it may have taken the industry to new heights of creative marketing between the borders. Adelaide versus Melbourne? NSW versus QLD. State of Origin anyone? Both sides would beneﬁt and Stealth mag would print every cutting verse creating a momentum of hype that would eventuate into sales. It was a simple strategy that has always paid oﬀ, only the Australian franchise has never adopted it and the antagonist would be cast as the villain who wouldn’t last to the end of his punch line. The conﬁdence of an MC wanting to go at everyone on the same shelf can be construed as cocky and arrogant, and those Australian artists who dare are left to be picked apart by a tall-poppy society. While Our-Thing is gaining strength without artists spurning each other on, and any change now will only get in the way of progress, hip hop is an art that demands competition to shine, an opponent on which to deliver blows of lyrical genius with maximum impact. This IS hip hop – fat gold rope, record label shining oﬀ it, full-tilt blazing swagger like you’re the best that ever did it. It’s all about the hard sell, something that is very lacking in Australian music when in this arid climate, is leaving artists’ throats dry. Humility holds no place in hip hop.
LOCAL PUNK/RIOT GRRRL TRIO GUNK ARE GETTING TOGETHER WITH LADIES OF A SIMILAR ILK THIS WEEKEND TO MELT FACES IN NUNDAH. NOT FOR ANY GOOD REASON, BUT THEN – AS DRUMMER LAURA MACCORMAC, BASSIST CAROLINE TOWNSEND AND VOCALIST/GUITARIST ALEX CAMPBELL ASK MITCH KNOX – “WHY SHOULD WE HAVE A REASON TO ROCK OUT, REALLY?”
LOCAL FIVE-PIECE METAL OUTFIT TRINATYDE ARE GETTING READY TO LAY THE SMACK DOWN – AURALLY – AT 4ZzZ’S UPCOMING ROCK MUSIC/ RASSLIN’ EVENT, RUMBLE ROCK. MITCH KNOX SMELLS WHAT VOCALIST DAN ROBINSON AND BASS PLAYER MICO MADUNA ARE COOKING.
Why, indeed? Well, it would seem like there are some perfectly good reasons from over here. The Gunk girls have been keeping busy, after all. “We’ve just made our EP,” Campbell begins, “and we are going on tour in Sydney and Melbourne towards the end of June where we will be supporting Valentiine and playing with another Brisbane band, Dirtybird, which is cool.” So that’s two reasons to rock out right there. Made an EP, interstate tour. Nice. That’s not even including the fact the trio have been getting airplay love on 4ZzZ lately, which aﬀords them the beneﬁt of having their uniquely aggressive punk delivered directly to your ear drums, in the comfort of your homes or cars. That’s got to be a third reason to rock, surely; at least a second-and-a-half. “It’s been awesome,” MacCormac conﬁrms. “Every now and then someone will send me a message being like, ‘Hey, you’re on the radio again! That’s epic!’ Which is always a nice little boost to the ego.” Okay, everybody else counts three, right? It’s not just us? Well, with reason or without it, the fact remains that Gunk, alongside acts like Legless, Bertie Page Clinic and Harming Monica, will have their minds set on bringing one thing only to the Prince Of Wales come Saturday: as Townsend puts it, “fucking awesome music from fucking awesome women.” Reason, be damned; for the girls of Gunk and the others playing this weekend, the night essentially boils down to doing two major things: rocking up and rocking out. “Everyone should go,” Campbell says cheerfully. “It’ll be rad.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the sonic ﬂavours of Brisbane’s Trinatyde, all you need to know is that they’re quiet (er, so to speak) achievers who’ve been keeping well busy and slyly working their way deeper into the collective conscious of our ﬂourishing metal scene. “We have a heap of shows in Brisbane and Sunny Coast up until the end of July,” Robinson says. “We will be having a month’s break in August and then we are back into it with gigging in September including playing The Hi-Fi again and starting pre-production on our debut album before the end of year.”
KIDS WILL BE KIDS
For the past year or so, young Sunshine Coast dude Giles Higginson has been spending a lot of time in his room, experimenting with his home studio set up to make some interesting pop music, his compositions released unto the world under his moniker of The Electro Kid. He has, like so many youngsters these days, embraced the internet in order to establish and build on a solid fanbase and it has worked wonders for him with thousands of people hearing his tracks online. But the real test comes with live performances and whether the young artist is able to replicate his engaging songs in front of an audience. You’ll be able to see for yourself when he heads down to the Legions Club in Fortitude Valley this Friday evening, playing in support of Sydney’s Northie alongside fellow locals Nine Sons Of Dan, The City Shakeup and Fort Knox.
Local groovy, rootsy pop rockers The Rooftops deﬁnitely play summertime music. It’s a good thing they come from up here because it never gets too cold, but even so they have decided to skip out on winter and hit some overseas hotspots where the weather is somewhat more conducive to their music. Before they jump on the plane they will be turning in two sets at The Joynt this Saturday evening. Kick back and soak up the sounds one last time, entry will set you back just ﬁve bucks.
The ﬁnal of this year’s Rockschool Challenge is on tonight and there can only be one winner! Will it be Gravity Scam, Trepidation, Prague, Flooded Nation, Shotgun Daisy or The Missing? Head to the fourth ﬂoor of E Block, Southbank Institute of TAFE from 6pm to ﬁnd out; it’ll cost you ﬁve bucks to get in and it’s an all ages, drug and alcohol free event.
It’s little wonder, then, with a proﬁle so solidly developing, that the band have found themselves on the bill for 4ZzZ’s upcoming Rumble Rock event at the Jubilee. As Robinson explains, “It’s a 4ZzZ fundraiser, there will be nine bands – including our good mates Shotgun Halo and Idle Theory – on two stages with wrestling action with the ring out in the carpark and its own bar as well!”
Trinatyde wouldn’t be ill looked upon if they did. But, failing that, at least they’ve got good things in store. “Got a huge show lined up with a few new songs to unleash on the public!” Maduna enthuses. “We hope that everyone comes along to support the event!”
WHERE & WHEN: Prince of Wales Hotel Saturday Jun 4, Home Festival, Raymond Park Sunday Jun 19, Too Poor For Splendour Festival, South Leagues Club Saturday Jul 30
WHERE & WHEN: 4ZzZ Rumble Rock, Jubilee Hotel Saturday Jun 4, Club 299 Thursday Jun 16, Nambour QCWA Hall Saturday Jun 18 (all ages)
PICK IT UP Kiwi drum’n’bass heroes The Upbeats are heading back to Australia this weekend with a nice and intimate show set to hit Brisbane courtesy of the Rukus and BassCreepz crews. These guys put together Jamaican dub, Memphis funk, Detroit techno and so much more to make for killer tunes and their infectious energy makes for incredible live performances. It is going to be top class quality from go to whoa with support from Kurrupt, De La Haye, Lincoln, Duos and D-Trap, so make sure you’re at the Step Inn upstairs bar from 8pm this Friday night. Entry is $20.
WHAT A DIVE A listen to the latest song from local indie team The Bell Divers would suggest that the band have somewhat stepped away from their roots as a quintessentially Brisbane indie-pop outﬁt and driven their sound towards a decidedly more modern and hip yet still uncontrived and beautifully executed style of reverb-drenched, heavier indie-rock. There’s been a bit more activity in their camp of late, a couple of new members have come onboard and one gets the feeling the group are somewhat rejuvenated as a result; this has resulted in some more appearances on the live stage, one of which takes place this very Saturday night at X&Y Bar. The band shows oﬀ their slightly new sound and slightly new line-up with the help of psyched-out shoegaze duo The Scrapes from around 8pm.
Those crazy ladies are at it again, with another show in the Punk Rock Grrrls series set to take over the Prince of Wales Hotel in Nundah this Saturday night. The ﬁrst show must have been an absolute cracker because the team behind it have wasted no time in putting together another one, and just like the ﬁrst, they’re doing it for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. But there are plenty of reasons why you should get yourself along to the show, not least being the fact that there will be musical performances from the likes of Bertie Page Clinic, Harming Monica, Legless, Gunk, The Cassingles as well as some good old fashioned dancing courtesy of the Fix8 Dancers and a bit of music for you to shake your own limbs to thanks to DJ Hexus. It kicks oﬀ at 8pm and entry will set you back just ten bucks at the door.
Q Music is oﬀering a free Introduction to Music Publishing workshop on Tuesday Jun 7 from 6-8pm. For those who would like to gain a more in depth understanding there is also a full day Publishing Masterclass on Wednesday Jun 8. Cost is $88 for Q Music members and $110 for non-members. Special guest for both events is Matt Tanner – Creative and A&R Manager at Native Tongue Music Publishing. Joining Matt at the Masterclass will be Tyler McLoughlan – Synchronisation & Licensing Agent of The Sound Pound. Space is limited so book early through the Q Music website.
Sound Summit is a four day festival of independent and innovative music featuring national and international artists, occurring on the October long weekend alongside the Th is Is Not Art annual festival. They are now calling for proposals for this year’s festival, from a broader spectrum of participants than ever before! If your practice relates to independent, exciting and emerging music in any way than they want to hear from you – musicians, producers, artists, ﬁ lmmakers, authors, journalists, publications and fans. Visit www.soundsummit.com.au for more information.
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR THE MUSIC VIDEO MASH UP MVMU is a time-based ﬁ lmmaking competition where bands and ﬁ lmmaking teams have just three days to create, shoot and edit a music video clip. All types of musicians are encouraged to enter, from solo artists, rock bands and pop musicians, through to yodellers and choirs. Registration closes on Jun 3 and can be done online at www. mvmu.com.au.
OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM AND TOUR IN CHINA
JEWEL OF LUTWYCHE
We probably won’t surprise too many people when we say that Lutwyche’s number one spot for live music is the Crown Hotel. Frankly, the fact that we can’t think of any other venues in said suburb shouldn’t matter – it’s still number one. Th is Sunday afternoon there will be a veritable feast of quality garage rock as one of Brisbane’s favourite exponents of the genre The Dangermen dust oﬀ the tools of their trade and headline a bill full of dudes doing what they do best. The other dudes in question include the Birdman inspired The Snatch, dream popsters Generation Jones and lovable ﬁ lth-monger Robert Lee who will all strike up their respective instruments from 2pm.
Q MUSIC PRESENTS A PUBLISHING WORKSHOP AND MASTERCLASS
SOUND SUMMIT 2011 OPENS FOR APPLICATIONS
“We are looking forward to supporting 4ZzZ in this gig as well as a huge night full of awesome bands,” Maduna adds. “It’s just good to be involved.” It seems that depends on what you classify as “being involved”, though. After all, the band seem reluctant to get in on the real action and perform some chair-shot run-ins on the grapplers. “Well we won’t be doing that, even though it may be fun to try it,” Robinson contemplates.
Q MUSIC IS A NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANISATION SUPPORTING QUEENSLAND MUSIC, MUSICIANS AND INDUSTRY WORKERS. THIS COLUMN WILL PRESENT YOU WITH INFORMATION ON GRANT AND EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES, CONFERENCES AND THE GENERAL LOW-DOWN ON THE STATE’S MUSIC INDUSTRY.
Planetary, Split Works and Sonicbids are oﬀering an opportunity for artists to perform and tour in China with the next Tour China event for September 2011. One act will receive an all expense tour to China, including airfare, hotel, meals, and a performance slot at the Black Rabbit Music Festival in Shanghai and Beijing. All logistics are taken care of but you must be over 18 years of age to participate. Visit the Q Music website for more information.
EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE Brooklyn based DJ and producer Tommie Sunshine has always been a leader rather than a follower and the street cred that has come with his recent remixes of acts like Major Lazer and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have cemented him as one of the coolest names in house music at present. You can expect to hear plenty more of his work in the near future, with a big Katy Perry remix set for release soon as well as some more hard hitting tech house originals and you can certainly expect his ﬁnest work to be pulled out when he hits Brisbane for a set at Family on Friday Jul 15.
RECORDING OPPORTUNITY WITH ‘LIVE @ THE TRAIN STATION’ Beau FM and Scenic Music are seeking expressions of interest from musicians and bands to perform and be recorded live for the “Live @ The Train Station” project, July to November 2011. Performances will be mixed and mastered in house for airplay on Beau FM. All genres of music are encouraged to apply and applications are particularly encouraged from SE QLD regional musicians as well as metropolitan musicians. For more information and application forms please email email@example.com.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? For these stories and more, go to www.qmusic. com.au.
HAVE YOU HEARD?
HAVE YOU HEARD?
Apollo Inperil play Curra’s Blues Stomp 2011 at Currimundi Hotel on Saturday
Lili Kendall launches her Place Unknown EP at Music Kafe on Sunday How did you get started? Lili Kendall: “I had never sung and nobody in my family is musical. A couple of years ago I sang Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and my family was quite shocked.” Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Candlelight indie pop music.” If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “Angus and Julia Stone.” You’re sent into space, there’s only room to bring one album – which would it be? “I would like to give you an interesting answer to this but hey I am a 13-year-old girl, it’s going to be the Biebs.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “I went to Nashville last year and spent some time with Tom Jackson who is the guru of stage performance and works with artists like Taylor Swift.” Why should people come and see you? “Because you will leave with a smile on your face, I love performing my originals but I also like to mix it up and perform covers with my own unique twist.”
BRISBANE SCENE VETERANS RVLR WILL BE LENDING THE BENEFIT OF EXPERIENCE TO THIS YEAR’S ROCK THE VALLEY EVENT. BUT IT’S NOT WITHOUT RETURN: IT WILL PROVE A MOST EXCELLENT PLATFORM FROM WHICH TO EXPAND THEIR HORIZONS, AS BASSIST/VOCALIST JESS RALPH TELLS MITCH KNOX.
IRRESISTIBLY NAMED LOCAL GROUP STREAMER BENDY WILL BE PREVIEWING TRACKS FROM THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM AT THE HIFI. VOCALIST/ GUITARIST ALEX WOODWARD TELLS TONY MCMAHON ABOUT SWEDISH TOBACCO AND BAD MARGARITAS.
Recorded between Australia, LA and Sweden, Woodward tells us that Streamer Bendy’s new record is sure to reﬂect, well, snus.
If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? “For me personally, Red Hot Chili Peppers. But if it was a band decision then probably one of the oldies like Hendrix or BB King.” You’re sent into space, there’s only room to bring one album – which would it be? “White Album.” Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? “Sunshine Coast Blues Festival 2010 had a lot of people in a small shed and everything went right.” Why should people come and see you? “Because if you do we’ll be your best friends.”
NAME OF ACT: Teeth & Tongue
in the eye through the window of our car.
MEMBER/ROLE: Jess Cornelius – guitar/vocals
PLEASE RELATE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF PERFORMING IN OUR FAIR CITY. Warm, damp, inner-city fake beach, good times.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST FORAY TO BRISBANE? IF NOT HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU PERFORMED IN OUR MIDST. We’ve performed a couple of times in Brisbane over the years. One of those times the drum machine spontaneously broke into calypso beats mid-set, the other time our drummer got punched
Sum up your musical sound in four words. “Pure catchy funk tunes.”
with Teeth & Tongue
DESCRIBE YOUR LIVE MUSIC/ PERFORMANCE STYLE AS SUCCINCTLY AS POSSIBLE. Th ree people, two drum machines, two guitars and a bass. Quite a bit of singing. Not electro.
How did you get together? Lewis Elliott (bass): “Me and Michael (drums) started playing at local jams and he knew Brodie (guitar) from school and invited him over and one thing lead to another. A few years later we decided it was time to get a singer. Brodie happened to be dating an amazing one so we got her on board.”
BRISBANE BOUND HOME GROUND: Melbourne
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND? No calypso beats, and we have no car. HAS ANYTHING EXCITING BEEN HAPPENING IN YOUR WORLD OF LATE? Lots of excitement. We put out a new record, Tambourine, and I learnt how to make ‘Cake in a Mug’. Teeth & Tongue play X&Y Bar on Friday and a backyard gig at El Cabino (117 Enoggera Tce Paddington) on Saturday (doors 6pm)
“Rock The Valley is being put on by a Melbournebased company, Saltar Hype,” Ralph explains of the event. “There are 15 bands playing over three stages … [Saltar Hype] have put on shows in Victoria before and decided to bring it up to Brisbane. They did their homework on the rock/ alternative bands up in our scene and approached us to play. We were deﬁnitely keen on the initial idea and even more so when we heard what other bands had been oﬀered spots. Hopefully it will open doors for RVLR to get down and do some shows in Melbourne in the not-so-distant future.” There’s the sweetener; but think not poorly of them for holding that hope. These folks have worked hard together to bring their current line-up to a place where they’re happy with it, so it’s only natural they would want to spread the love as far as they can – and come Saturday, they will prove why they should. “It is going to be a really great night for Brisbane’s music scene,” Ralph says. “We have great bands in our city and it is exciting to be able to showcase them together on the one bill. Punters attending this event can expect to be impressed by the quality of bands that will be put in front of them at Rock The Valley and we are glad to be a part of that. “We have a great slot at 9pm in the main room so there’s no excuse to miss our set! We are also looking forward to performing to people who have never seen our band before – that’s the best part about mini-festivals, sharing audiences. It is also our guitarist Josh Bowie’s birthday, so it is going to be eventful to say the least.”
“Cruising the streets of Stockholm for Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce was too much fun. Sleeping on a ﬂoor in LA for two months was a real hoot. We’ve worked hard, but when you go from recording demos in your parents’ basement, to working with some of the world’s coolest producers and all-round dudes – Martin Hansen (The Rasmus), Wayne Beckford (Robyn), Trinity, and Macho Psycho (Pink) – it’s worth the chronic back pain. We are so proud of the record, and stoked to have the pre-release copy in our possession. I suppose the hardest part though is now being back from Sweden trying to break our snus (Swedish tobacco) addiction. It’s hard to get and damn it’s addictive.” What particular parts of the record can punters expect a preview of at The Hi-Fi? It doesn’t matter, according to Woodward: from now on, Brissy’s coolest venue is up for a name change. “The Hi-Fi will, from June 8, forever been known as the place our new record lost its virginity. We’ll be previewing just over half of the tracks, in all their dirty pop rock Euro-inﬂuenced glory. Think Robyn, Michael Jackson and Iggy Pop had a baby named Katy Perry Jackson and The Stooges. Punters can also expect a set from the glorious Tourism and The Party Shark. Swell dudes.” Famous for their dislike of a bad margarita, Woodward says the worst Streamer Bendy have ever had was in that place down south with the new football team. “It was at Surfers Paradise, where for some reason you can’t get a good drink anywhere with a decent view of the ocean. Go ﬁgure. Honestly, how hard do you have to try to fuck up a margarita? It’s basically just tequila. Make it strong. Make it limey. Put salt on the cup. Yum.”
WHO: Streamer Bendy
WHERE & WHEN: Rock The Valley, Step Inn Saturday Jun 4
WHERE & WHEN: The Hi-Fi Wednesday Jun 8
Alter Egos Royal Exchange Hotel Amy Meredith Coolangatta Hotel Dog And Dry, Hawkmoon, Ultrafeedy, The Clues, Maggie Collins X & Y Bar Far From Paris, Interim, Bitch Fish, The Decoys Tempo Hotel Open Mic Night, Rules Of A Diagram, Anthony Branagan The Loft Chevron Island Open Mic Night The Music Kafe Retro Elephant & Wheelbarrow Sacred Earth Maleny Community Centre Solar Rush Victory Hotel The Trouble With Templeton, Kate Martin, Surface Paradise The Zoo Treva Scobie Fibber Magee’s, Toowoomba Tyson FaUlkner Fiddlers Green
Alex Jones, Fat Tuesday Tempo Hotel Alter Egos Victory Hotel Amos Pella Story Bridge Hotel Amy Meredith The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay An Horse, The Gold Coats The Zoo Bluehouse, Silver Sircus The Judith Wright Centre Boys And Girls X & Y Bar Dan England Coolangatta Hotel Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist The Gollan Hotel
Grant Carruthers The Basement Jazz Night, The Root Note The Loft Chevron Island Lambda Alhambra Lounge Pegz, Dialectrix, Simplex Coolangatta Hotel Spike Hamilton Hotel The Abby Skye Show Mick O’malley’s The Delta Riggs, Blonde On Blonde The Beetle Bar The Quimms, Cover Charge The Music Kafe The Trip Tatt’s Lismore Woody Elephant & Wheelbarrow
8 Ball Benowa Tavern Afro Disa, Crosstown Traﬃc Casablanca Amy Meredith The Zoo Band Of Frequencies, Dead Beat Band, Bobby Alu Soundlounge Currumbin Blue King Brown, Diafrix The Tivoli C4 Miami Tavern Chester Hamilton Hotel Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist Globe Theatre Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist, The BusyMen Jubilee Hotel Deon Powter Meadowbrook Hotel Dos Voce’s Alderley Arms Hotel Double Dose Jimboomba Tavern Downlode Parkwood Tavern Emma Dean, Melissa Forbes Usq Arts Theatre, Toowoomba Fat Albert Broadbeach Tavern Glenn Esmond Kenmore Tavern
Helm Fusion Villa Noosa Helm Villa Noosa Hotel Hemi Kingi Trio Morrison Hotel Herb Armstrong And The Royal Street Krewe Brisbane Jazz Club Hiding From The Light, Azari & Iii (Can), Classixx (Usa) Bowler Bar James Johnston Transcontinental Hotel Jebediah, Violent Soho, Numbers Radio The Hi-Fi K2 Duo Redbank Plains Tavern Kylie Minogue, Gypsy And The Cat Brisbane Entertainment Centre Lobster Prophet, The Chokes, Teenage Wolves Step Inn, Front Bar Lowrider Coolangatta Hotel Macka Everton Park Hotel Mark Hayden Cannon Hill Tavern Mark Sheils Soﬁtel Monkey Business Coolum Beach Hotel Nick & Sal Gazebo Restaurant, Hotel Urban Nine Sons Of Dan, Young Bloods Legions Club Paul Clarke Morningside Aﬂ Club Pegz, Dialectrix, Simplex Step Inn Powerplay Palace Hotel Rob Cini, Berst Elephant & Wheelbarrow Scooby Don’t Stones Corner Hotel Scott Dean Club Hotel Silver Sircus, Bluehouse, Erin Louise The Loft Chevron Island Sunwrae Ensemble Judith Wright Centre
Sunwrae String Quartet The Judith Wright Centre Teeth And Tongue, Mckisko, Tape Oﬀ, Sangers, Bacon, Maggie Collins X & Y Bar Test Pattern Kedron Park Hotel The Big Duo, Plan B Tempo Hotel The Delta Riggs Miami Tavern Shark Bar The Front Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Panda Band The Beetle Bar The Replicants Albany Creek Tavern The TriP The Brewery Tld Crown Hotel Lutwyche Todd Burns Centenary Tavern Trash Queen, Dirtybird, While Bridges Burn Prince Of Wales Hotel Venus Envy Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Vertigo Hinterland Hotel
Afro Disa Casablanca Ah F@#K That!, Sausage Chopper, The Hits, Mercy Beat, Delorean, Shotgun Halo, Idle Theory, Desolution, Trinatyde Jubilee Hotel Amy Meredith Princess Theatre Asa Broomhall, Mojo Webb, Triple Shot, Cleveland Blues, Barry Charles, Apollo In Peril Currimundi Hotel Bats Djs, Jane Doe, StasH, Annie Lou Basement 243 Belldivers, Scraps, Charlie Hustle, Dirty Clouds X & Y Bar
THE ALLEY - PA FOR SALE: • • • • • • • • • • • •
22 Mic input Peavey 24FX Mixing Console 2 x 500 Watt Peavey power amp 2 x 700 Watt 2 x 15" + Horn speaker enclosures 15" Peavey 400 Watt Prosub Subwoofer 15" Peavey Drum Monitor 2 x Wharfedale foldback Monitors 2 x Shure SM57 Instrument Mics 1 x AKG D5 Vocal Mics 8 x Mic Stand 2 x Mono and 1 x Stereo DI All Cables Everything ready to play Asking $6000 ONO • Lighting rig, with 4 Ashton LEDs plus stand Asking $600 ONO • Items are located in Spring Hill.
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Ben Salter Black Bear Lodge Bounce Story Bridge Hotel Boy & Bear, Jinja Safari, Emma Louise The Hi-Fi Craig Shaw Centenary Tavern Dan England Crown Hotel Lutwyche Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist Sol Bar, Maroochydore Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist Solbar Coolum David Aurora, Plastic Wood, Talltails, Stellar Green Miami Tavern Shark Bar Fat Albert Surfers Paradise Beer Garden Helm Springwood Hotel Hemi Kingi Trio MOrrison Hotel Hiding From The Light, Azari & Iii (Can), Classixx (Usa) Bowler Bar Jabba Elephant & Wheelbarrow James Johnston Titanium Bar Jane Badler, Sir Qpac Jebediah, Violent Soho, Numbers Radio Irish Club Hotel, Toowoomba Joan As Police Woman Globe Theatre Jo’s Boys Brisbane Jazz Club Kylie Minogue, Gypsy And The Cat Brisbane Entertainment Centre Leith Stuart Redland Bay Hotel Lowrider The Zoo Mason Rack Palmwoods Hotel Mick Danby, Michael Bryers Tempo Hotel Mirror World Royal Exchange Hotel Monkey BusIness, Dean Watkin Hamilton Hotel
Murphy’s Pigs Mick O’malley’s Paper Jam Roll The Judith Wright Centre Pegz, Dialectrix, Simplex Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay Phatchance, Coptic Soldier The Brewery Punk Grrls Unite, Gunk, Bertie Page Clinic, Harming Monica, Legless Prince Of Wales Hotel Remedy, Venus Envy Broadbeach Tavern Rock The Valley, The Kidney Th ieves, Sonic Porno, The Jon Experiment, A Family Of Strangers, Blonde On Blonde, Greenthief, Engine Th ree Seven, More Step Inn Scooby Don’t Paciﬁc Pines Tavern Scott Dean Palace Hotel Shoda Ish, Rukus Crew, The Power Walkers, Lou Star The Loft Chevron Island Stellar Green, Two Way Active Miami Tavern Steve Towson, The Young Liberals, Fever Pitch Fat Louie’s Sunwrae Ensemble Byron Theatre Sunwrae String Quartet Byron Cultural & Community Centre The Re-Mains Scu Uni Bar The Trip Paciﬁc Hotel Yamba Tld, 3 Legged Dog Wharf Tavern Track & Field, Last Dinosaurs, Ball Park Music, The Belligerents, The Jungle Giants, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, The John Steel SingerS, The Honey Month Old Qld Museum Tyson & Shake, Stairway Nerang Rsl
Vaughan Ney Narangba Valley Tavern Viva Bon Jovi Cleveland Sands Hotel Wheeler The Music Kafe
Bigger Than Texas Dublin Docks Tavern Block Party Djs Elephant & Wheelbarrow Blue Sunday, Doug Wilshire Tempo Hotel Brett Hitchcock Waterfront Hotel Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra Cannon Hill Anglican College Bruno Cunha & Friends Canvas Bar Dan England Blue Paciﬁc Hotel Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay Dune Rats, Lunch Tapes, The Ovaries, Jason Lowe, Daisie May Tribal Theatre Geoﬀ Rayner Chatswood Hills Tavern Hippopotamus Broadbeach Tavern Hodads Miami Tavern James Johnston Eatons Hill Hotel - Beer Garden Jess Preston Burleigh Heads Hotel Jhonny Russell & The Mystery School, David Aurora The Tree House Joan As Police Woman Byron Cultural & Community Centre Kellie Lloyd & Tim Steward (Screamfeeder) Black Bear Lodge King Louie Band Riverview Hotel, Murwillumbah Leith Stuart Benowa Tavern Lili Kendal, CarlY Bennett & The Captain’s Daughters, Nothing But Trouble The Music Kafe
Magpies Attack Titanium Bar Nick Muir Dog And Parrot Tavern Ofwgkta The Hi-Fi Phat Chance, Coptic Soldier, Charlie Mayfair, Sexypie X & Y Bar Rick Barron Hamilton Hotel Robert Lee, Generation Jones, The Snatch, The Dangermen Crown Hotel Lutwyche Stewart Fairhurst Cleveland Sands Hotel Sunday Jam Sessions Hard Rock Café Swing Th ing Redland Bay Hotel The Mute Canary Project Brisbane Jazz Club Tyson & Shake Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern Tyson Burrell Meadowbrook Hotel Venus Envy Royal Exchange Hotel
MON 06 Alex Hendriksson Black Bear Lodge
Amber Williams Elephant & Wheelbarrow Chloe Hall And Silas Palmer, Ewan Mackenzie New Farm Bowls Club Chloe Hall And Silas Palmer, Ewan Mackenzie The Bug Cuttooth, Planet Fiction, Stormchasers Tempo Hotel The Verge The Music Kafe Tyson Faulkner Fiddlers Green
BEETLE BAR 350 Upper Roma St. Brisbane email@example.com
THUR 2ND JUNE
THE DELTA RIGGS
+ BLONDE ON BLONDE + HOWLER $10 - 8PM
FRI 3RD JUNE
THE PANDA BAND
FRIDAY 3RD JUNE
+ DRAWN FROM BEES + NIKKO $10 - 8PM
‘NEATH DUAL ALBUM LAUNCH
SAT 4TH JUNE
RUSH HOUR SOUL + LITTLE STORM + LEWIS MACKEE
THE VEIL THE NIHILIST
$8 - 8PM
SUN 5TH JUNE
SUNDAY BLOODY SABBATH SESSIONS
+ BRENT MCMULLEN (EVEN) + SABRINA LAWRIE (SOLO) FREE ENTRY - 2PM - LATE
THUR 9TH JUNE
+ THE DARK BOWER + NOT PICTURED $10 - 8PM
FRI 10TH JUNE
SATURDAY 4TH JUNE
JOAN AS POLICEWOMAN
+ BROMPTON RD + GUEST $12 -8PM
SAT 11TH JUNE
$66+BF THROUGH OZTIX.COM.AU
+ YOLK PIXEL + PREFONTAINE $6 - 8PM
THE SCULL HAZARDS $5 - 1AM LATE SHOW SUN 12TH JUNE
SUNDAY BLOODY SABBATH SESSIONS
BRENT MCMULLEN + GUESTS
FREE ENTRY - 2PM - LATE
LLOYD SPIEGEL $10 - 6:30PM LATE SHOW
FRIDAY 10TH JUNE
MODERN THEORY 321 BRUNSWICK STREET MALL, FORTITUDE VALLEY
FRIDAY 24TH JUNE
WEDNESDAY 1 JUNE
THURSDAY 2 JUNE
LE PARTI SOUL W DJ REDBEARD (8PM) + THE SCRAPES (9.30PM) + LEOPARD PRINCE (8.30PM)
GALAXY (9.30PM) + FEVER PITCH (8.30PM) + DJ VALDIS (8PM)
FRIDAY 3 JUNE DOWNSTAIRS: BLACK
MUSTANG (9PM) + OBLITERATI (9PM) + DJ VALDIS (8PM) UPSTAIRS :DJ WILDEBEATS (8PM)
SUNDAY 5 JUNE
SATURDAY 5TH JUNE
WORDS VERSING VERSES (TIGERS VIDEO LAUNCH)
RIC’S EXPOSED # 2 – HEAT #5 – 7PM BOWEN AND THE LUCKY DUTCHMEN (2 SETS) 9.30PM
TUESDAY 7 JUNE ARRY WILSON BAND (9.30PM) + EMMA WHITE (8.30PM)
SATURDAY 4 JUNE DOWNSTAIRS:
WE ALL WANT TO (9PM) + SILENT FEATURE ERA (8PM) + DJ VALDIS (8PM) UPSTAIRS:
DJ CUTTS (8PM)
It’s a win/win situation
MONDAY 6 JUNE CONNOR CLEARY (9.30PM) + GUESTS (8.30PM)
FREE LIVE MUSIC AND INDIE DJS
WANT TO PLAY? EMAIL BOOKINGS@RICSBAR.COM.AU
FUSION VILLA NOOSA
Friday Hiding From The Light, Azari & III, Classixx Saturday Hiding From The Light, Azari & III, Classixx
BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE Friday Kylie Minogue, Gypsy And The Cat Saturday Kylie Minogue, Gypsy And The Cat
COOLANGATTA HOTEL Wednesday Amy Meredith Thursday Dan England Thursday Pegz, Dialectrix, Simplex Friday Lowrider
ELEPHANT & WHEELBARROW Wednesday Retro Thursday Woody Friday Rob Cini, Berst Saturday Jabba Sunday Block Party Djs Tuesday Amber Williams
Friday Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist Saturday Joan As Police Woman
GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL BYRON BAY Saturday Pegz, Dialectrix, Simplex Sunday Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist
HARD ROCK CAFÉ Sunday Sunday Jam Sessions
JUBILEE HOTEL Friday Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist, The Busymen Saturday Ah F@#K That!, Sausage Chopper, The Hits, Mercy Beat, Delorean, Shotgun Halo, Idle Theory, DesoLution, Trinatyde
MIAMI TAVERN Friday C4 Saturday Stellar Green, Two Way Active Sunday Hodads
MIAMI TAVERN SHARK BAR
Friday The Delta Riggs Saturday David Aurora, Plastic Wood, Talltails, Stellar Green
MICK O’MALLEY’S Thursday The Abby Skye Show Saturday Murphy’s Pigs
QPAC Saturday Jane Badler, Sir
STEP INN Friday Pegz, Dialectrix, Simplex Saturday Rock The Valley, The Kidney Thieves, Sonic Porno, The Jon Experiment, A Family Of Strangers, Blonde On Blonde, Greenthief, Engine Three Seven, More
STEP INN, FRONT BAR Friday Lobster Prophet, The Chokes, Teenage Wolves
SURFERS PARADISE BEER GARDEN Friday Venus Envy Saturday Fat Albert
THE BEETLE BAR Thursday The Delta Riggs, Blonde On Blonde Friday The Panda Band
THE HI-FI Friday Jebediah, Violent Soho, Numbers Radio Saturday Boy & Bear, Jinja Safari, Emma Louise Sunday Ofwgkta
THE JUDITH WRIGHT CENTRE Thursday Bluehouse, Silver Sircus Friday Sunwrae String Quartet Saturday Paper Jam Roll
THE TIVOLI Friday Blue King Brown, Diafrix
THE ZOO Wednesday The Trouble WitH Templeton, Kate Martin, Surface Paradise Thursday An Horse, The Gold Coats Friday Amy Meredith Saturday Lowrider
X & Y BAR
Wednesday Dog And Dry, Hawkmoon, Ultrafeedy, The Clues, Maggie Collins Thursday Boys And Girls Friday Teeth And Tongue, Mckisko, Tape Oﬀ, Sangers, Bacon, Maggie Collins
TIME WARP CLUB GUIDE
Jun 1, 1969 – John Lennon and Yoko
Ono record Give Peace A Chance with Tommy and Dick Smothers, Derek Taylor, Murray the K and Timothy Leary. Jun 2, 1989 – Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones) marries 19-year-old model Mandy Smith. They divorce two years later. Jun 3, 1987 – George Michael’s I Want Your Sex is banned by the BBC. Jun 4, 1997 – The body of Jeﬀ Buckley is found ﬂoating in a harbour leading to the Mississippi River. Buckley had disappeared the previous Thursday while swimming in a Memphis harbour. Jun 5, 1959 – Bob Zimmerman graduates from high school in Hibbing, Minnesota. He later changes his name to Bob Dylan. Jun 6, 1990 – A Federal judge in Florida declares that 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be album is obscene. Jun 7, 1993 – Prince changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol ( ). Hilarity ensues...
CHANNEL [V] VIDEO MUSIC CHART 1. Party Rock Anthem LMFAO FT LAUREN BENNETT & GOONROCK 2. Rolling In The Deep ADELE 3. Give Me Everything PITBULL FT. NE-YO, AFROJACK & NAYER 4. Run The World (Girls) BEYONCE 5. Loveless CHILDREN COLLIDE 6. We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN 7. From The Music THE POTBELLEEZ 8. California King Bed RIHANNA 9. Own This Club MARVIN PRIEST 10. Smile AVRIL LAVIGNE
4ZzZ FM NOW PLAYING 1. Fairytales THE INCREDIBLE KICKS 2. Sport RE:ENACTMENT 3. The End Of Everything KEEP ON DANCINS 4. The Deep Field JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN 5. Gunk GUNK 6. Chase The Sun Hold The Night TIN CAN RADIO 7. Fiasco MY FRIEND THE CHOCOLATE CAKE 8. Dead Fold Dance GRAVEYARD TRAIN 9. I Am Very Far OKKERVIL RIVER 10. Moment Bends ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI
ON THE TIME OFF STEREO
Errant Charm VETIVER
Phosphene Dream THE BLACK ANGELS The Joys Of Living 2008-2010 SHARKS D WHITE DENIM Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER Circuital MY MORNING JACKET Those Shocking Shaking Days VARIOUS In Your Dreams TIGER BEAMS Rolling Papers DOMO GENESIS Royal Headache 7” ROYAL HEADACHE
Dog & Dry, Hawkmoon, Ultrafeedy, The Clues, DJ Maggie Collins X&Y Bar Jam Open Mic Night Alloneword Zoo Weekly Swimsuit Calendar Search Shooters
Afrojack, Apster, Craig Roberts, Joey Mojo Platinum Boys & Girls, The Matador, The Schoenberg Automaton, Green Street X&Y Bar Love Cats Student Night Alloneword Lambda Lambda Lambda, Velociraptor/ Rockets, PHDJ Alhambra Millions, Pirates Alive, C.R.A.N.E.S Elsewhere Notorious at the B.I.R.D Birdee Num Num
And Oh!, Ryan Rushton LaLa Land Andee, Pete Smith, Nick Galea The Met Sidwho?, Audun Elsewhere Bossy Bamboo DJ Misqo Casablanca DJ Playmate Zuri Dirty Dollz House with Lady Elektra, Harvey, Wahoo, Systamatix, Private Property Electric Playground Hello Australia DJs Coco Hookers and Deviates Party Shooters Mind Electric, Craig Roberts, Joey Mojo Platinum Nick Skitz feat. MC Sazzman, Brooklyn Bounce, Karma, F & E Family Basement Shockone, Roayle-T, The Kid, Kayli & Panda Family Surecut Kids, Slynk, Paul Master, Rhythm & Cutloose Alhambra The Upbeats, Kurrupt, De La Haye, Lincoln, Duos, D-Trap StepInn DJ Sangers, DJ Bacon X&Y Bar
Charlie Hustle, Dirty Clouds X&Y Bar Adam & Eve, Giv Elsewhere
Disko Diva, Andee, Pete Smith, Aydos, Paul Ison The Met DJ Sheep, Nikk C Alloneword DJ Jason Rouse, Benn Hopkins Zuri DJ Misqo Casablanca Dynamism, Dr Rob, Aniki, Jordan Who, Nic’d Family GTronic, Noy, K.OH!, Killafornia, Jmac, Wil E, Alex Terrell Monastery Goodwill, Jeremy Iliev, Tim PLunkett, Jason Morley, Habebe Family Basement Karma, Wahoo, Private Property, Jessie Weyand, Kandiman Electric Playground Mr Sparkle, Roman Bamboo Mandy Onassis, Jason Rouse feat. Sharif D, Malcolm feat. Ellie Coco Rhys Bynon LaLa Land Saturday Sessions Birdee Num Num Shannon Marshall, Shaun Warner, Aydos, Trav White, Bert Brown Alhambra Vandalism, Craig Roberts Platinum
Bird and Prey, Archdukes, Wilde Child, Dom Elsewhere Daniel Webber, Discrow LaLa Land Phat Chance, Coptic Soldier, Charlie Mayfair X&Y Bar Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All The Hi-Fi OFWGKTA Afterparty feat. Syd The Kid, Cutloose, Nikk C, Charlie Hustle Alhambra Step Up Sunday with DJ Gavin Boyd, Oscar V, Bella Di Frio Cloudland
MON 6 Trivia and Bar Wars Birdee Num Num
TUES 7 Karaoke Casablanca
BEHIND THE LINES FLOWERS IN BLOOM BROUGHT TO YOU BY
BEHIND THE LINES WITH MICHAEL SMITH BTL@STREETPRESS.COM.AU
GEORGE KOLLIAS DRUM CLINIC
ICEHOUSE frontman IVA DAVIES takes BRYGET CHRISFIELD back to a time when being “crash-tackled by a couple of girls” onstage was commonplace and songs were often composed while exploring new gadgets.
US titans Nile’s blast beat metal extremist drummer George Kollias is coming to town exclusively for Allans Music + Billy Hyde to present a blistering drum clinic from 7pm Tuesday Jun 28 down at the Globe Theatre in Fortitude Valley. A Pearl endorsee, the double-kick maestro will be providing insights into the way he’s developed his blistering speed and pinpoint accuracy across his 11-drum, 18-cymbal kit, showcasing his mastery with his Vic Firth sticks and more. Also joining Kollias as his special guest is Tasmanian four-piece death/ grind giants Psycroptic’s Dave Haley, who also plays in Ruins. Tickets are a mere $20 and you can book at any Allans Music + Billy Hyde store.
GET INTO RED OCTOPUS
On collating material for the live CD, Icehouse frontman Iva Davies reflects, “Keith [Welsh, bass] and I went though a lot of stuff. And then I had a lot of stuff in the lock-up, which I hadn’t looked at for 30 years, and, to be honest with you, I thought it was quite amazing that these tapes could be restored, because they weren’t stored in an optimum situation at all… It was way before DAT, so we’re talking quarter-inch, analogue, oxide tapes. Some of them were in the archives of the ABC – Double J live to air concerts – and some of them [were] from RRR. They were sourced from all sorts of places; some of them were in the national archive.” Although Davies says these original recordings were “pretty rough” he praises the mastering engineer for “making it all work as one CD.”
Being based in Moorooka, Brisbane, hasn’t stopped Red Octopus become one of the most respected and sought-after creators of band merchandise in the country. Now the company has announced their new T-shirt design competition – Shirtistry 2011. Two winning designers will win a print run of their own design on 30 T-shirts, worth over $500, which would make a nice kick-start to any career in fashion design. There are also prizes for voting for your favourite designs on Facebook once submissions close Friday Jul 1. For more information, check into facebook.com/redocto.
THE MARK OPITZ MASTERCLASS If you know your Australian rock history, then you’ll know the name Mark Opitz. Back in the mid-70s, he started working as a sound engineer at the EMI Studio 301, when it was still located up on the seventh and eighth floors of the old EMI building in Castlereagh Street, and worked his way up to house producer assigned to Australian acts. It was here he got to record bands like The Angels and The Reels and, most importantly, produced the East, Swingshift, Circus Animals and Twentieth Century albums for Cold Chisel, as well as INXS’ Shebooh Shoobah and The Divinyls’ Desperate, a band he signed to Warner Music when he became that label’s head of A&R. Internationally, Opitz has worked with artists as diverse as KISS and Ray Charles, so it’s obvious he knows his chops. Opitz and Studios 301, no longer part of EMI but now a part of the internationally renowned SAE group and based in Alexandria, Sydney are presenting an intensive weekend masterclass in music production, 10am through 7pm Saturday Jul 2 and Sunday Jul 3. Limited to just two groups of ten participants, the masterclasses, in which Opitz will be assisted by four further instructors, will cover everything from mic selection and positioning to mixing, the use of EQ, compression and other outboard gear to capture sonically pristine recordings to understanding the mysteries of mastering, the latter presented by special guest, mastering engineer Steve Smart. For details and booking for the masterclass, which includes course notes, lunch and Opitz’s new iPhone app, call (02) 9698 5889 or email adam@ studios301.com and if you register before Wednesday Jun 8, you’ll get 20 percent off the course fee.
house – they were having a housewarming party, their first share house – and not even getting to the kitchen out the back where everybody was hanging because I walked through the lounge room, which was dark, and heard the helicopter or the heartbeat or whatever and just sat down in the corner and went, ‘Oh my god! How do you make that stuff fly around? I’ve gotta get into a recording studio and do stuff like that.’”
t’s 30 years since Flowers changed their name to Icehouse, which they did to avoid confusion before touring internationally – a Scottish band called The Flowers was active at the time. Since the Sydney band’s debut album was called Icehouse, a decision was made to switch title and band name. A three disc, 30th anniversary edition of Flowers’ Icehouse album – which includes a remastered version of the studio album, 19 live tracks originally recorded for radio and a 50-minute DVD – has just been released to mark the occasion and sounds remarkably current. This release is also the first from Icehouse’s catalogue to be made available in digital download format.
Of the live tracks that made the final cut, Davies acknowledges, “They are a very good historical document… One of my favourite moments is in a version of a song, which was a b-side from one of the singles on that first album, called Send Somebody. It was one of the earliest songs and then in the live recording you can hear there’s a place in the song where I stop singing. And Keith and I were listening to it going, ‘Huh? What’s going on there?’ And then of course I came back to the microphone laughing and, what had happened was I was crash-tackled by a couple of girls – some stage invaders. The line when I got back to the microphone was, ‘They do what they can’ (laughs)… In the end, that version of Send Somebody was the most satisfying musically, even though it was flawed. So I thought, ‘No, we should keep that moment. Those sorts of things happen.’”
From Icehouse’s raw beginnings (“We started off as a covers band and we just gradually learned how to do it and added our own songs one at a time”), Davies recalls being distracted by sampling technology. “At a certain point I got diverted into the technologies,” he says of when he deviated from the guitar. “I was one of the first three to own a Fairlight [synthesiser], which was the very first sampler, for example.” Does Davies remember who the other two proud owners were? “I think Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder,” he speculates. “The sampler changed the world, of course, and I firmly believe that great slabs of dance music and electronic music and hip hop and whatever just wouldn’t have existed without the sampler. And it was an Australian invention, which very few people know. But I got diverted from my original agenda and the original agenda, now that I’m viewing all this stuff in the Flowers period, was that I was besotted by the guitar to the point where I had a Marshall stack in my bedroom. And when I now see the film footage that’s included in the DVD, the live songs from New Zealand – it was a big, outdoor concert – I see myself playing that Les Paul with the Marshall and [recall], ‘I just used to live and breathe this guitar.’” Davies identifies his “absolute idol” when he first strapped on an electric guitar as Mick Ronson from The Spiders From Mars: “That was the sound that I was trying to get on the Flowers’ album. And that remained my benchmark for many years.” When asked what he had on high rotation while composing the Flowers material, Davies shares: “When my older friends got Dark Side Of The Moon on import, before it was famous, that album kinda blew my head off. I just remember walking into their share
DOMINIC MCGLINN, DOMC MASTERING
Having built their own studio over in Perth, The Panda Band got down to recording their new album, Charisma Weapon, then called in Magoo (Regurgitator, Kate Miller-Heidke, Midnight Oil) to mix it before sending it off to Steve Fallone to master at Sterling Sounds in New York City.
“I’m kind of revisiting my youth to the extent that I now have a rig set up – not in my bedroom, but in my home studio – and Fender have built a custom guitar for me,” he observes. “I’ve played Stratocasters for years and the electronics of it are quite particular, and I’ve designed it with them. So this is my thing again. I’m now getting back to that ‘Marshall amp in my bedroom’ mentality except now I’m using Fender amps. But the whole process of actually exploring the potential of a guitar – it’s the first time I’ve done it for 20 years, probably… So that’s where I am now is actually getting back to that situation where I’m really interested in getting the optimum result out of this instrument.” Flowers Icehouse 30th Anniversary Edition is out now on Universal.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN STUDIO? IF SO WHAT KIND OF SETUP ARE YOU USING? A full rundown can be found on my website www. domc.com.au but I run Samplitude Pro and Wavelab 7 on Mac and PC with various outboard and in the box equipment. I have most things covered from tape machines to digital limiting.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG OR INEXPERIENCED ARTISTS WHO ARE HEADING INTO A RECORDING STUDIO?
The new album, Standin’ On The Rooftop, from Madeleine Peyroux, was produced by Craig Street, who has worked with, among others Norah Jones, k.d. lang, Chris Whitley and Cassandra Wilson, whose 1993 Blue Light ‘Til Dawn album was his production debut.
Very much the self-sufficient, indie “cottage industry” these days, The Cruel Sea’s James Cruickshank has just released his third solo album, Note To Self (Vitamin), recorded at his far north coast NSW home in Bangalow and produced by himself with a little help from UK/Australian producer Steve James, who mixed it with Sam Hannan at The Den, mastering being covered by Tim Young at Metropolis UK.
Davies has since come full circle and finds himself drawn to his beloved Stratocaster once more.
Late last year, Adelaide’s Leader Cheetah bundled themselves into the van and headed to Sydney’s Surry Hills to check into Big Jesus Burger Studios with producer Scott Horscroft (The Panics, Little Red, The Sleepy Jackson) to record their forthcoming album, Lotus Skies, due out mid-July.
Blending organic and electronic elements came to define Icehouse’s sound, “Really quite by accident. I remember writing the song Icehouse,” Davies offers, “and I had a tape recorder in my flat which you could layer stuff on. For example, I recorded the drumbeat using cardboard boxes and bits of paper on the floor as snare drums and made this loop up. But we’d just bought this new string synthesiser called Solina String Ensemble, which are legendary now but it was a brand new thing and it had four different sounds. You could push buttons – it had four buttons on it. And I stayed up all night playing and developing the parts to the song Icehouse and changing the buttons every now and again. So a verse would be with ‘that’ button and a chorus would be with ‘that’ button and so on and so forth. And the entire development of that song was just this new gadget, exploring this new gadget, and by the morning I’d written lyrics to go with it and I sang the vocal on it.”
Go in with a good idea, but be prepared to change and adapt.
WHAT AREAS OF ENGINEERING DO YOU SPECIALISE IN? I specialise in audio mastering and restoration.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE KIND OF PROJECT TO WORK ON? I love working on full albums of diverse amazing music… or singles of something new and cool as well.
ARE THERE ANY PIECES OF GEAR THAT YOU COULDN’T GET BY WITHOUT? My EQs – and my mastering console, could not live without it.
WHAT SONG/ALBUM CAN WE LISTEN TO TO GET THE BEST IDEA OF YOUR WORK? The new Words Versing Verses EP I did,
also the new album from Charlie Koranias and the latest Regurgitator singles.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO SEE FROM AN ARTIST OR BAND IN THE STUDIO? Clear direction and a good idea of what they want.
HOW MUCH HAS THE RECORDING INDUSTRY CHANGED IN THE TIME YOU’VE BEEN AN ENGINEER?
WHAT NOTABLE ACTS/ PROJECTS HAVE YOU WORKED WITH/ON? Regurgiator, Thirsty Merc, Paul Mac, The Living End.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR THOSE WANTING TO BECOME AN AUDIO ENGINEER? Go to school and save your money – it’s an expensive hobby with long hours, but it is worth it.
Quite a lot, I have seen a lot of high end studios close and also a lot of new bedroom/music production ones open. It is exciting times.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING FOR A STUDIO OR ARE YOU FREELANCING?
I run my own studio called DOMC Mastering, at Margate.
DOMC Mastering Dominic McGlinn B.Mus.T. (Hon) firstname.lastname@example.org www.domc.com.au 0421961641
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ARE YOU COMING ?
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RISE HIGH COMMUNICATIONS
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Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...
Published on May 30, 2011
Time Off is Australia’s longest-running street press publication, and has positioned itself as an iconic Queensland brand. For past 18 years...