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Sydney Theatre Company in association with Sydney Festival and Merrigong Theatre Company presents A Windmill Theatre production

Re-live the special kind of hell that is the...

O SCHO L A D NCE By Matthew Whittet











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rock music news five minutes WITH


me having to be on the Gold Coast and then in Adelaide – and I just kind of dreamt up riding between the two cities. I called Gregg Donovan, Grinspoon’s manager, and said, ‘I think I have a crazy idea’. He listened to it and said I should call Adam Zammit from Big Day Out. Have you got a history with motorbikes? I started on mini bikes at the age of seven or eight, when my family first moved to the NSW countryside out in Byabarra. From there I learnt to muster cattle on my grandfather’s farm, on his weird Ag-bike thing. It wasn’t until two or three years ago that I became interested in road riding.


n Sunday January 20, after the Gold Coast Big Day Out, the best bike gang in Aussie history is hitting the road for an excellent cause. Headed up by Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson, and including Chris Joannou (Silverchair), Jake Stone (Bluejuice), Paul Mac, MTV’s Kate Peck and Big Day Out CEO (and BRAG publisher) Adam Zammit, the team are zipping through four states in five days, before landing in Adelaide for the next BDO. Along the way, they’ll be dropping in to regional communities to play music, meet the locals, and

raise awareness for headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. We caught up with the Grinspoon frontman to find out more... Tell us a bit about Rock’N’Ride. How did the idea come about? I did a motorcycle ride from Port Macquarie to South West Rocks last year in August. On the way back I was daydreaming (ish), and I thought about the new route that Big Day Out is doing this year (with Sydney being the first stop). Then I thought about the actual physicality of

The ride is taking you through four states in five days. What kind of shenanigans are you expecting to get up to? I’d like us all to stay upright and on the bikes if possible! This is going to be an incredibly gruelling ride. More than anything I expect a serious amount of camaraderie; a real sense that we are doing something positive, and giving something back. The ride will be raising awareness for headspace. Can you tell us a bit about the organisation? Headspace is a youth mental health initiative that gives support to young people – aged between 12-25 – on a range of issues, including

Julia Holter

PUBLISHERS: Adam Zammit & Rob Furst EDITOR IN CHIEF: Adam Zammit 9552 6333 EDITOR: Steph Harmon 02 9552 6333 ARTS & ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Dee Jefferson 02 9690 2731 STAFF WRITERS: Alasdair Duncan, Benjamin Cooper, Krissi Weiss, Caitlin Welsh NEWS: Nathan Jolly, Chris Honnery ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant GRAPHIC DESIGN: Alan Parry SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Tim Levy SNAP PHOTOGRAPHERS: Mary-Jane Caswell, Katrina Clarke, Ashley Mar, Pedro Xavier

depression, alcohol and drug use, bullying, sexual health and sexuality. Headspace has had a long-standing relationship with the BDO, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I really love the idea of focussing on the myriad of issues that challenge our youth. Especially in regional areas, where I grew up and where my kids are now growing up too. You’ve played Big Day Out a few times now. Any sets you’re especially looking forward to catching this year? Foals, OFF!, House Vs Hurricane, Hunting Grounds and Yeah Yeah Yeahs... We adore the BDO. I have been going since 1994, and we first played in 2000. It shaped my teenage musical years. Dream bike gang, living or dead? Lex Luther, Dennis Hopper, Patti Smith, Taylor Swift, Tim Rogers, Bob Dylan, Fred Astaire, Adalita, Junot Diaz and 2Pac. What: Rock’n’Ride will be dropping into headspace centres in Warwick, Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Bendigo, Berri and loads more; to track their progress, follow them: More: For more on headspace, visit

dismiss it completely for some contrite reason before you actually hear it, until one day you find yourself tired and thirsty at the Big Day Out, fighting with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and being dragged to some band you don’t care about – when you realise that you are really, really enjoying the relentless onstage energy despite your brattiest efforts not to. Then the singer twangs “Hi Sydney, we’re Off!”, and you quietly realise that everyone was right, and critically acclaimed records are critically acclaimed for a reason. Catch their sideshow on January 17 at The Annandale Hotel, with Toe to Toe and Chinese Burns Unit in support.

Chicks On Speed

COVER PHOTO: atibaphoto ADVERTISING: Ross Eldridge - 0422 659 425 / (02) 9690 0806 ADVERTISING: Les White - 0405 581 125 / (02) 8394 9027 GIG & CLUB GUIDE CO-ORDINATOR: Conrad Richters - (rock) (dance, hip hop & parties) ONLINE & SOCIAL MEDIA: Tanydd Jaquet INTERNS: Natalie Amat, Katie Davern, Tanydd Jaquet, Mina Kitsos REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Benjamin Cooper, Alasdair Duncan, Christie Eliezer, Murray Engleheart, Andrew Geeves, Chris Honnery, Nathan Jolly, Anna Kennedy, Chris Martin, Sheridan Morley, Jenny Noyes, Hugh Robertson, Rebecca Saffir, Romi Scodellaro, Jonno Seidler, Rach Seneviratne, Roland K Smith, Laurence Rosier Staines, Luke Telford, Rick Warner, Alex Sol Watts, Krissi Weiss, Caitlin Welsh Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this address 8a Marlborough Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 ph - (02) 9552 6333 fax - (02) 9319 2227 EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, editors or staff of The BRAG. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Stephen Forde : ph - (03) 9428 3600 fax - (03) 9428 3611 Furst Media, 3 Newton Street Richmond Victoria 3121 DEADLINES: Editorial: Wednesday 12pm (no extensions) Artwork/ad bookings: Thursday 12pm (no extensions). Ad cancellations: Tuesday 4pm Published by Cartrage P/L ACN 104026388 All content copyrighted to Cartrage 2003 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get The Brag? Email distribution@furstmedia. or phone 03 9428 3600. PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204 Win a giveaway? Mail us a stamped and addressed envelope, and we’ll send your prize on over...

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Even though the ever-ethereal Julia Holter’s stunning song ‘My Baby’ isn’t a cover of the Cold Chisel classic, she’s still making quite a splash with her second record Ekstasis. And it will sound even more beautiful when performed live on Thursday February 7 at the gorgeous York Street Church (the show has moved from Paddington Uniting Church, perhaps because the architecture wasn’t epic enough?). In support at the Holter alter will be Kieran Ryan (ex-Kid Sam) and Dear Time’s Waste, who sounds all Cocteau Twins-y but with a cute NZ accent like Nil Fun. Tickets on sale now – and you can catch Julia at Laneway Festival, too.


Remember when your older brother’s friend drove you to school that time and he had the heaviest, most rumbling stoner-rock blasting from his shitty tape-deck? And you assumed that the sun had warped the tape, but he explained with a glazed glare that “Nah, that’s how it’s meant to sound”? Well, that band was Kyuss and they split up before you could see them live, so Kyuss Lives! is the closest thing you’re gonna get, with most of the core members playing Soundwave Festival, as well as a sideshow on February 27 at The Metro Theatre. It’s all ages, so bring your friend’s younger brother along and pay it forward. Tickets on sale now.


When it comes to soul-drenched rock, The Bamboos pretty much only have one person who can top them – and that is the king of all that’s sloppy and suburban, Mr. Tim ‘You Am I’ Rogers. So, rather than compete with him in some kinda Blur vs Oasis feud, the two are touring together under the very suitably named Rock‘n’Soul Medicine Show, which

stumbles into The Hi-Fi on March 7. They’ll be supported by Melbourne six-piece Money For Rope, and if you get there early enough you’ll see why that makes perfect sense.


“I’m sick of going to see Foals and having to sit through a support act that isn’t one of the bright young things on the Future Classic roster,” you yell into the phone at the poor receptionist temping at Oxford Art Factory. Well, Sinead has obviously passed on your weird rantings, because Brisbane electro outfit Mitzi is joining the bill for both sold out Foals shows, held on January 22 and 23 at Oxford Art Factory. If you didn’t get tickets, then catch Foals (who are on the verge of releasing another brilliant record) at Big Day Out – assuming you got tickets for that, because it’s also sold out now. It’s the Internet age, guys! You gotta pull the trigger!


LA punk rock band OFF! released one of those critically acclaimed albums that everyone raves about to the point where you


So, we’ve seen Chicks On Speed a couple of times now, and still can’t put our finger on what they do. It’s electro beats, and flash videos, and feminist ideals – and choreography and fashion parades and all kinds of obnoxious – and it’s happening again on March 8 at The Red Rattler. While they’re here, core members Alex and Melissa are also taking part in a BDO DJ set, an artist residency at Artspace, and a lecture for Queer Thinking at the Seymour Centre on February Saturday 16. Yoko Ono likes them, and that’s a pretty massive stamp of approval; she was the one John Lennon chose, and he was bigger than Jesus, ya know? Tickets on sale now.

eRock’N’Ride photo by Ken ‘Ridin Dirty’ Leanfore

welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Nathan Jolly





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rock music news

free stuff

welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Nathan Jolly


he said she said WITH TOM FROM THE



their courage and originality. At the moment I have Funhouse, Closer, Loveless, Wowee Zowee and Songs For The Deaf on high rotation. I gather inspiration from anywhere, really; sometimes I find it in the ambiance that surrounds me in weird and unfamiliar environments, sometimes when I’m walking around the suburbs and taking in the scenery. Marijuana also helps. The band currently consists of Nick on guitar and vocals, Harry on guitar, and myself on drums. Our friend and long-time bassist Matt left last year to pursue his own musical aspirations, and in the interim we have our friend Credo filling in for live shows.


y parents weren’t especially musical when I was growing up but, as I later found, my mother had a few choice cuts in her CD collection. I was introduced to a lot of the big guns – Led Zeppelin; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Pink Floyd – just in time for the start of high school.

I joined the performing stage and jazz bands and became acquainted with a larger variety of tasty tunes, learning about Joe Zawinul and Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Dave Brubeck. I listen to a lot of classic albums, and am inspired by

Jeff The Brotherhood

I try to write most of the songs with our particular circumstances in mind, but it never seems to work out that way. A riff or lyric will come about via aforementioned inspiration, and I’ll strive to remain faithful to its original form. I like to think I’m getting better at translating the sounds in my head to a properly

Tokyo Denmark Sweden

produced recording, but it’s never easy concluding this translation. I guess it’s impossible to mimic inaudible music, right? Live music is the lifeblood of any local music scene. You go and see a band recreate their music with hands and amps, injecting who they are into the sound you hear and the spectacle you witness. You like to think you live with these people; that you’re exposed to and inspired by the same places as the people on stage screaming into a microphone or bashing the shit out of the drums. You’re part of a room-sized crowd that’s hearing the same song, being played in and for the moment its heard. The music scene in Sydney right now relies on the enthusiasm of the people who go and watch them. What: Velociraptor, Drunk Mums, Money For Rope, Bloods, The Guppies Where: Summerslam @ Oxford Art Factory When: Thursday January 17


In the song ‘My Girls’ from our cover stars Animal Collective, they claim that they don’t care about material things like a social status, and instead just want those immaterial things, like four walls and adobe slats. Sounds like they are quite muddled up, which probably goes a long way to explaining why they


If you’re not “ooh-ing “ooh-ing”” and “aah-ing “aah-ing”” along to the catchy psych-rock chorus of ‘Sixpack’, you’re probably doing the summer thing all wrong. Nashville brothers-in-noise (and blood), Jeff The Brotherhood, Brotherhood, are heading Down Under for the mammoth Big Day Out,, but they’ve managed to squeeze in a Out few sneaky shows on the side. For Sydney folk they’ll be rocking The Standard on Thursday January 17, 17, and we’ve got two doubles up for grabs. For a straight-up summer soundtrack, the Bro’hood are your guys; to score tickets, tell us your three fave summer songs.


Ditch that tiresome Australia Day tradition of yours this year – you know, the one where you take on every single irritating Aussie cliché with aplomb (shirt off, drunken sunburn, gentle sexism). Instead, bring yourself and your people to The Rocks from midday on Saturday January 26. 26. The Festival Of The Voice is putting a bunch of Australian talent in your face, including Battleships, Preatures, Sietta, Tin Sparrow, the legendary Gurrumul and the multipleARIA nominated Ash Grunwald – all for free! Tell us your favourite patriotic tradition to win our huge prize pack: a meet and greet with the blues aficionado himself, as well as a double pass for VIP access to the Harbour Song Stage, and a signed Festival Of The Voice artist CD pack. managed to lose their luggage and will be arriving in Sydney a day late. Their Enmore Theatre show has been moved back a day to Thursday January 17, and obviously all tickets are still valid. If you can’t make this new date, take it out on your significant other (or get a refund from point of purchase).


NB: Mum at The World Bar. Friday January 18, lineup: Post Paint and 1929Indian (yeah!), supported by Cinderland, Ivory Drips, Violet Pulp, Ivory Drips, Will And The Indians, Self Is Seed, Swim Team DJs, 10th Avenue, Seabass, Cat Kings, Phiphi Does Didi and Danny Cruel.


Just a reminder to hold your transistor radio up to your ear from 6pm this Thursday January 17 and tune it to FBi 94.5, as the SMAC Awards are being broadcast (not those ones Pete Doherty wins every year; the Sydney Music Arts and Culture Awards). We are presenting the Best Major Festival award – between Vivid LIVE, The Biennale, Graphic, Sydney Film Festival and Harvest – which is the best one to present, really.


Thee Oh Sees obviously aren’t taking their reputation as Californian stoners very seriously, because since 2004 they have pumped out 11 albums, eight EPs, a few live records and countless 7-inch singles (assuming you are too lazy to count them). Plus they seem to be in Australia every few months, which is something we keep getting excited about because it keeps being exciting. They are back next month for All Tomorrow’s Parties, which is way too Melbourne for us – hence why they are playing a February 10 show at The Factory Theatre, supported by NoBunny, the sweaty garage punk side project of Hunx And His Punx guitarist Justin Champlin.


Polaroids mean nostalgia and romance, to the point where our entire generation purposely softens and blurs the focus on our perfect digital photographs so it seems that we belong to a bygone era, dripping with substance and spark. Maybe we do and maybe we don’t, but Happy Snaps – Sydney’s brand new club night launching at The Burdekin on January 25 – certainly plans to make a case for the former, with their first night featuring Tokyo Denmark Sweden and a bunch of resident DJs. The whole night is brought to you by Polaroid (hence that fumbling intro), and roving photographers will be snapping your drunk face all night – so get your hair did, yeah?


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along to either of these shows if you value music as an artform. (Here’s hoping they play ‘Rip It Up’!)


Gung Ho are one of those Brisbane twopieces that subside on Maccas fries and ‘tude and have blazed a path up and down the country with bratty punk tunes. Their bedroom-produced DIY debut EP Anywhere Else is finally ready for consumption, so they will be launching it on March 1 at FBi Social – in that Kings Cross place, where most of the Cold Chisel records were written.


Feelings is the new project from Berkfinger of Philadelphia Grand Jury, whose ‘The Good News’ is still one of the most sparkling power pop singles released in this country. His new offering ‘Intercourse’ traverses the same pop territory with with more slink and sleaze – it is called ‘Intercourse’, after all. He’s launching it on Friday February 8 at The Beresford.

Thee Oh Sees

Xxx photo by Xxxx

Ever seen The Necks play live? Well, if you’re expecting a sweep of their 16 studio albums at their February 13 & 14 shows at The Basement, you clearly haven’t seen them and must be thinking of 28 Days or something. Weird mistake to make, but that’s okay. The Necks’ albums tend to include only one or two epic, long and awesome experimental jazz songs, and when they play live they deal in immersive, improvised sets. Nick Cave and Brian Eno have been known to rave about them ad nauseam (once Eno gets chatting – ohh maaan!), so you should probably get

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The Music Network

Music Industry News with Christie Eliezer

THINGS WE HEAR * The Big Day Out’s Gold Coast site Parkland will not be available from 2014, as the Queensland government is revamping it as an athletes village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. So far, it hasn’t offered another site. Late last week, festival CEO (and BRAG publisher) Adam Zammit held the final round of talks with the QLD Govt. before looking elsewhere. Big Day Out pumps millions of tourism dollars into the Gold Coast economy. Cairns, Townsville and Mackay put their hands up to stage BDO. There were talks about Woodfordia, home of the Woodford Folk Festival; Zammit ruled out Byron Bay, which already has Splendour In The Grass and Bluesfest. Coffs Harbour is a tip – but Zammit is this week meeting with Tweed’s council. Its tourism authority, Destination Tweed, has joyously wet itself over 40,000 music freaks and their wallets turning up at their doorstep.

* Tour talk: The Polyphonic Spree let slip they’re here for Splendour; Anthrax’s set on Soundwave will be without guitarist Rob Caggiano, after he left to concentrate on record production; Swedish heavy metal band Hypocrisy angrily cancelled their tour this month, blaming their Australian agency Oceanic Sharks for not organising their work visas in time; Swedish outfit Icona Pop are here for Summadayze, with a plan to return in September; Shihad have joined the Black Sabbath tour. * When Select Music celebrated its 7th year and 16 new signings, they corralled 27 acts for a mini-festival in Sydney. The night also raised $12,000 for beyondblue. * Lily Allen has probably given birth to a heavy metal fan; her husband Sam Cooper put together a CD of Pantera toetappers to play while she was in labour. * Not all New Year’s Eve countdowns were a blast. At Falls Festival, Tasmania, The Flaming Lips roared the new

year in for 16,000 punters with confetti cannons, huge balloons, psychedelic visuals and frontman Wayne Coyne crowd-surfing inside a giant bubble. But minutes later, the Lips’ set went silent when a punter decided it would be a thrill to pull the plug on their power generator! In the meantime, some genius at KO FM Newcastle pressed the wrong button, and the station introduced its listeners to… 2012. * Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album (aka The Black Album) has notched up its 16th million sale in America, while Ride The Lighting hit the six million mark. * ‘90s Sydney punks Nancy Vandal are back, after a ten-year hiatus. They’ve launched crowd-funding (www.pozible. com/flogthephoenix) to raise $5,000. This is for a March-due album produced by Frenzal Rhomb’s Jay Whalley, and Edition 9 of their cult toilet zine The Vandal’s Voice, with art from their resident pencil monkey Fox Trotsky.

free accommodation; others will win double passes with a chance to jump. For more info, see

SONY AND BMG REUNITE FOR PARLOPHONE BID Four years after dissolving their partnership, Sony and BMG are teaming up as a one-off to try and buy the Parlophone label from Universal. To appease regulators when it bought EMI for US$1.9 billion, Universal had to promise to get rid of some EMI labels. The most prestigious was Parlophone, whose acts include The Beatles (although Universal is jolly well keeping them), Coldplay, Gorillaz, Blur and Kylie Minogue. 12 companies are interested in Parlophone, including Warner Music, and a team-up of Brit music millionaires: Idol franchise founder Simon Fuller and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. Sony and BMG will divide the bands among them if their bid is successful.

FANNY’S CLOSES PARROTS HATE DANCE MUSIC Parrots have an “intense dislike” of dance music, says a new study in The Applied Animal Behaviour Science journal. The University of Lincoln got three African grey parrots and blasted music at them. Léo, Zoé and Shango had individual tastes, but they all hated dance music. Dr Franck Péron said they bobbed along to rhythmic beats of U2, UB40 and Joan Baez, and preened themselves to classical music. But The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers saw pollies go a-cracker. Peron said, “The electronic dance music was not appropriate for them. We had the radio on in the office and when it was a very fast beat, they started to scream; not in a friendly, communicative way but in a distressed, scared way. They seem to like pop music when there is a voice.”

AMRAP FUNDING EXTENDED The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) escaped the noose at the last minute. Minister for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy,

Stephen Conroy, confirmed the Government will provide $250,000 to keep the project going for another six months. “The additional funding will ensure that Australian musicians and community broadcasters can continue to access Amrap’s services, pending consideration of the project’s long term funding in the 2013-14 Budget.”

AUSSIE ALBUMS IN 2012 TOP 100 27 Australian albums featured in the ARIA end of year Top 100 Album Chart in 2012. Of these, two were in the Top 10 – Karise Eden’s double Platinum My Journey at #6, and Guy Sebastian’s double Platinum Armageddon at #9. In the Top 20 were Hilltop Hoods at #13 with Drinking From The Sun, The Sapphires soundtrack at #15, 360’s Falling & Flying at #17 and Keith Urban at #19 with the Platinum The Story So Far. ARIA points out there were 22 Aussie albums in the Top 100 in the previous year. Top seller in 2012 was 5x Platinum The Truth About Love by Pink, followed by the 3x Platinum opus by One Direction – then Adele, Michael Buble and Ed Sheeran. It was a



This Week


Crystal Castles(CAN)


dismal result in the Singles Chart – only 11 Aussie tracks registered in the Top 100 (nine last year), and only Guy Sebastian and Justice Crew were in the Top 10. The Singles Chart was unsurprisingly topped by Carly Rae Jepsen and Psy, both selling close to 9x Platinum here. Sebastian and Timomatic had multiple entries. Such results will reignite anger over the minimal airplay of local talent by commercial radio in Australia; similar charts in the US, Asia and Europe have domestic acts representing up to 90% of the list.

GOLD FOR PARKWAY DRIVE… Byron Bay metal merchants Parkway Drive began their 10th year celebrations with a bang. Their fourth album Atlas was certified Gold for sales of 35,000, their label Resist revealed. The album debuted at #3 on the ARIA chart after its October release. Atlas, recorded in LA with Matt Hyde, is their third ARIA Top 10 album. Their latest DVD, Home Is For The Heartless, went Platinum.

…AND FLUME Sydney beatmaker Flume’s self-titled debut through Future Classic went Gold five weeks after release. It debuted at #2 on the ARIA chart and spent most of its debut week at #1 on the iTunes Album Chart. Flume began his first European tour on January 11; the album is out on February 18 in the UK/Europe through Transgressive/ Co-Op, and on February 19 in the States through Mom + Pop.

NEW WORLD, CRUCIAL SPLIT The abrupt departure last month of 360 from the New World Artists agency has spilled over to other acts on 360’s management company. Last week, New World dropped Crucial Music’s other acts, The Living End, Children Collide, Gyroscope and Hunting Grounds, from its roster.

Thu 17 Jan

Just Announced Coming Soon


Mon 25 Feb

Dub FX


Sat 26 Jan

Sat 2 Feb

From The Jam (UK) Sun 3 Feb

Sydney garage rock duo Unity Floors signed to Popfrenzy Records. New single ‘Nice Fit’ was launched on the weekend, with an album due mid-year.

Gin Blossoms (USA) Sat 9 Feb





An Evening with The Hoff (USA) Fri 15 Feb

Crime And The City Solution (USA)

Bring Me The Horizon (UK)

Thu 21 Feb

Tue 26 Feb






Bullet For My Valentine(UK)

Tim Rogers & The Bamboos

Sun 27 Feb

Thu 7 Mar



Fri 8 Mar

Fri 15 Mar

Dinosaur Jr + Redd Kross (USA) Sat 16 Mar

Mutemath (USA)

Otep (USA)

Sun 24 Mar

Thu 25 Apr


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…AND KARAOKE LIST Adele is the most loved artist by karaoke singers around the world. Karaoke website Lucky Voice, which recorded 3.1 million songs, says ‘Someone Like You’ accounts for 7.4% of all plays. She also appears in 4th and 6th place, with ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and ‘Make You Feel My Love'. At #2 were Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’, followed by One Direction’s ‘That’s What Makes You Beautiful’ at #3, and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at #5. ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ is at #10.




Ensiferum (FIN)

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (USA) Sat 9 Mar

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (USA)

Adele topped the Forbes list of the ‘brightest stars’ in music aged under 30. Avicii was #2, and Justin Bieber #3. The rest of the Top 10 were (4) Benny Bianco; (5) Drake; (6) Spotify founder Daniel Ek; (7) Lady Gaga; (8) Skylar Grey; (9) Calvin Harris and (10) Matt Jones, of ticketing company Crowdsurge.

Channel [V] is taking its 10 metre Stage Dive drop to all five cities hosting Future Music Festival in March. A competition winner will get flown to the show with

Newcastle’s Fanny’s nightclub closed down after 30 years on New Years Eve. At 9pm, owner Russell Richardson let off fireworks to begin the farewell celebrations which continued until 3.30am. He plans to give the heritage-listed building a revamp, and reopen with a new name and a wider format.

RADIO: LISTENERS UP, REVENUE DOWN The commercial radio sector’s 2012 report card showed that 9.5 million listened to it each week (up from 9.4 million the previous year), while ad revenue in the five metropolitan markets slid 1.3% to 674 million.

Lifelines Born: First child, daughter Violet Marlowe, to Kings Of Leon drummer Nathan Followill and wife, singersongwriter Jessie Baylin. Expecting: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian could make up to US$10 million in media deals based around the birth of their baby. She fell pregnant after West took her to Rome to celebrate her 32nd birthday. Engaged: Janet Jackson, 46, and Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana, 37. It will be her third try, after singer James DeBarge, and dancer René Elizondo. Split: Rapper 360 and fiancee Crystal Bale, who runs online shop Crystallou. “We had a wild, unforgettable time together, but both agree that right now is just not the right time for us,” he said. Split: Taylor Swift and One Direction’s Harry Styles, after 65 days. They went on a romantic holiday in the Caribbean, but flew out after a huge argument. Married: Deni Hines and financier Daniel Moses, after being together for 18 months. Ill: US soul singer Bobby Womack, 68, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He’s suffering from great memory loss, including lyrics and names of associates. Arrested: Chris Selby, guitarist with US metal band Oblivion Myth, for attempted murder; he allegedly dangled a woman off a third story balcony during an argument. Died: Lee Dorman, 70, bassist with ‘60s psychedelia band Iron Butterfly (‘In-A-Gadda-DaVida’), found dead in his car in California. Died: Ministry and Revolting Cocks guitarist Mike Scaccia, 47. He collapsed while performing in Texas at singer Bruce Corbitt’s 50th birthday.

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Not even billing it on a weekday could stop Big Day Out from a sold-out show. This is the first time the massive festival tour has started in our town; the first time they’ve had a burlesque Mexican wrestling stage (yes, there will be midgets); and the first time they’ve added a kicker of a bonus: incredible eats curated by Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz of Porteno / Bodega, featuring affordable gourmet snacks from Porteno, Longrain, Hartsyard and more.

And that’s to say nothing of the lineup. Headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers and Animal Collective, this year’s Big Day Out bill is one of the hugest and most diverse in the festival's hist history, traversing the best and biggest names in rock rock, hip hop, indie and beats. We chatted with some of our favourites from the bill to get you caught up before the Big Day; you can find the map and playing times over on page 19...


here are two particularly odd things about Animal Collective. The first is the band’s popularity. Their music may be pop at heart, but it’s riven with enough druggy surrealism and avant-garde experiment to make for a pretty gritty listen. Yet they headline major international festivals the world over, and are signed to a subsidiary of the planet’s largest and most indomitable major label. The second curiosity is the name. ‘Collective’ implies a sort of internal equality, and the music’s dense arrangements back this up, suggesting a communal approach that weighs ideas equally. But it often feels as though one voice in particular rings louder than the others. Although Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) and Josh Dibb (Deakin) have both contributed songs, the vast majority of each album is given to the fidgety avant-pop of David Portner (Avey Tare). The fact that his snarling vocal seems the most prominent might not be enough to support this hypothesis. But given that Lennox went solo to fully nurture his extraordinary songs, and that Dibb’s first and sole contribution came only recently after a hiatus from the group, you do have to wonder. If there is internal conflict in Animal Collective, then it certainly doesn’t get in the way of the music. Creatively resilient bands often have a current of social tension stoking their coals, and the bristling clutter of work like 2007’s meticulously gristly Strawberry Jam would not have been nearly as compelling if a single person had been pushing all the buttons. Their most recent offering, Centipede Hz, marks a return to the ‘band’ approach of earlier records. Over the past five years, their immersive arrangements have leant heavily on computers and samplers, but here, guitars and drums are the base materials. Still, most of the songs appear to have been penned by Portner. Portner is reluctant to be interviewed over the phone, cancelling a number of calls at the last minute, but graciously agreeing to answer questions by email instead. Lennox is less shy. When we speak, he’s at home in Lisbon on an intensely hot day, but the oppressive weather doesn’t appear to have dimmed his excitement about the new material. “We knew that we wanted to do something more performance-based, or rooted in performance,” he says. “The room that we started writing the songs and practicing in was pretty small. We were packed in there pretty tight, with the drums and everything; I feel like the impulse was to kind of just crank it up, which lent a lot of the songs a way more driving and propulsive feel.”

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“To me, a lot of modern music – especially popular music – doesn’t communicate anything but a notion to mingle in the realm of capitalism, and is created for such a purpose,” says Portner, aka Avey Tare. “I think a lot of American music has lost its sense of mythology. Maybe this has something to do with capitalism. I think it’s more interesting to think of creating music in terms of mythology; to think about lost archetypes and ties to cultures of the past. It’s also interesting to think about creating new mythologies that young generations can relate to or make their own. Even if it’s just for fun.” ‘Young generations’ is apt. There’s a childish innocence at the heart of Animal Collective’s music that detractors are often quick to scorn, which, in a way, is core to the appeal of the group. “I think there’s a sense of discovery and freedom involved in our music, or that is exhibited in our songs or in our live performances, and I think that somehow triggers feelings or notions of childhood within people,” Portner continues. “For me, our music is very immediate and focused on the present and what is happening at any given moment. It really isn’t about looking back at childhood, except for a few cases. But maybe it’s also true that children perceive the world in a very present, immediate sort of way. They aren’t as concerned with the past or future like adults are, and so in that way we become like them while we are making music.” In a review of Tomboy, Lennox’s last album as Panda Bear, Simon Reynolds criticised the emphasis on boyhood and adolescence as irresponsible musical touch-points. Similar comments are often made regarding the wide-eyed optimism and boundless energy of Animal Collective’s songs, and such flourishes are all over Centipede Hz. Lennox sounds crestfallen talking about Reynolds’ review, but he rises to put comments about childhood in their place. It turns out that the childish undercurrent harks back to his own perspective on psychedelia: it’s about seeing and hearing the world anew. “I don’t know that it’s a childhood thing so much that it is hopefully an openness to stuff,” he says. “When you’re young, you don’t feel like you’ve got it all figured out. When you approach something, you approach it with a blank-slate-mind, you know what I mean? As musicians we’re always trying, like in Star Wars, to unlearn the stuff that we’ve learned. To be in a situation or be playing an instrument that you don’t feel like you totally know, [where] you haven’t really figured out a system of working with it and making songs with it. When you’re in that danger zone, I feel that’s when the most interesting stuff comes out.” What: Centipede Hz is out now through Domino/EMI Records When: 10.30pm @ The Green Stage Sideshow: January 17 (previously January 16) @ The Enmore Theatre

Animal Collective photo by atibaphoto

"When you’re young, you don’t feel like you’ve got it all figured out. When you approach something, you approach it with a blank-slate-mind. As musicians we’re always trying, like in Star Wars, to unlearn the stuff that we’ve learned."

This energy is plain to hear. The hooks on Centipede Hz are infectiously melodic, etching themselves into your memory after even a single listen. It’s also strangely great to hear Animal Collective actually riffing – ‘Today’s Supernatural’ and ‘Moonjock’ in particular have some surprisingly cathartic stadiumsized guitar rock moments. Throughout, pieces are laced with snatches of faux-radio announcements and warped ad stings. These almost feel like a nod to retro revivalists like Ariel Pink or Neon Indian, evoking fuzzy facsimiles of tinny AM-broadcasts from decades past. “It’s not so much ‘lost’ radio signals, but my feeling that these everyday radio jingles and segments are like strange alien sound collages in themselves,” notes Portner. “I’m really into how, through art, we can disassociate things from their everyday meanings or uses.”

This points to one of the most refreshing things about Animal Collective: their willingness to fully inhabit the notion at the heart of psychedelia, to step away from your preconceptions and welcome the opportunity to perceive things differently. This honesty and open-mindedness was once closely aligned with pop music. Now, it’s more common for ‘psychedelic’ bands to simply revel in the associated substances for their own sake, and re-arrange their predecessor’s music rather than reinvent it. It’s an approach that perverts the psychedelic ethos, and it’s not one that Animal Collective settles for.








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"I think what’s defined us is this subtle complexity that’s always there," he continues. "We’ve always been driven towards simplicity, but with that underlying complexity that never leaves. I think that’s important in all of our songs, that they exhibit these things. We’re not afraid of simplicity. On a more emotional level, I can say that we are hard on ourselves. We weren’t going to settle for a song that was just ‘good’ on this record. We wanted to rise above ‘good’ to be ‘great’.”


“It’s been awesome,” the bassist says. “We haven’t had a chance to play an American tour in a while. It’s great to play shows in these cities and real fun to play our own shows, because people are there solely to see you, so you get that familiarity. You’re not trying to win people over … so you can relax and stretch your legs a little bit.”

The all-round good feeling surrounding the new material has had an effect on their older songs, too, as the band play gently with their structure. “It’s always good to play the older songs because people know them really well, but we do change them up quite a bit. Like, we did ‘The Funeral’ [from 2006’s Everything All The Time] the other night with piano, and we do ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’ [from 2007’s Cease To Begin] sometimes completely acoustic. We try to keep people entertained with different styles.”

Band Of Horses have especially enjoyed taking their latest album, Mirage Rock, to the stage. “This album’s been out for a little while now, and it’s been awesome to get to play the songs. We designed this record so that we’d be able to go out and just play it and it wouldn’t take a lot of extra stuff to pull off the songs, so it’s been real fun,” Reynolds says. “It’s a rockin’ record. We wanted it to be a rock’n’roll record. We’ve changed shit around and extended stuff and changed keys of songs just to support how we do it live.”

“That’s a challenge,” he says of live recording, “but then you know after you perform it and record it that you can just show up and play it. It was a lot of fun, getting to do that. It was a different approach.” Will Band Of Horses be repeating it in future? “You take each as it comes,” Reynolds contemplates. “Now that we know we can do that, if there comes a track in the future that needs it we know it’s definitely possible. As far as the next record goes, it’s hard to know what style we’ll lay into – but I can’t imagine doing the same record.” 16 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

Band Of Horses will be touring well into 2013 on the back of Mirage Rock. First up, however, looms the Big Day Out and a good dose of summer. “I love Australia so much. It’s just such an awesome country – plus on the Big Day Out tour we’re gonna get to see Animal Collective and Alabama Shakes and a lot of killer bands,” Reynolds says. “If I could get married in Australia just so I could get citizenship, I would do it." What: Mirage Rock is out now through Sony Music When: 4.20pm @ The Blue Stage Sideshow: Tuesday January 22 @ The Enmore Theatre


Listening to the next crop of Australian artists rolling through our airwaves, there’s a noticeable strain of Vampire Weekend’s influence that shines through. It’s a legacy that belies the group’s relatively recent emergence. “Well, it’s an honour,” Rostam says simply. “I wish any of them well – I wish any band well in making music. I think music is the most rewarding thing you can try to do, and it’s the hardest thing that you can try to do. It’s not something that always comes naturally, and that’s why I love it. There’s depth to it because of that. I guess I feel lucky and I feel honoured, and it’s something that I work on every day of my life. Personally, I have not heard many Vampire Weekend sound-alike bands, but I’d be curious to.” Projecting a distinct – yet understated – visual aesthetic since their inception, Vampire Weekend ran into some legal trouble with

"We are hard on ourselves. We weren't going to settle for a song that was just 'good' on this record. We wanted to rise above 'good' to be 'great.'"

the album art for Contra, with the subject of a vintage Polaroid snap launching a lawsuit claiming the image was used without her permission. As for the artwork of album number three, Rostam isn’t taking any chances. "We have an image that I really love, and I hope we get to use it and get clearance. But there’s some controversy in there. Well, it’s not exactly controversy, but there are some hurdles in order to get the clearance. I do think it’s special and hopefully we’ll be able to get it.” Any more hints? “Well – I’ll say that there is an aesthetic shift with the music, and [the image] signifies that. There’s a shift in tone and personality, and I think that it signifies that as well.” Extracurricular to Vampire Weekend, Rostam produced a track for Das Racist and appeared in their ‘Michael Jackson’ film clip. Did the backpack rap group’s recent break-up surprise him? “Yes and no. I think that when you start a band in college, there are changes that you can undergo – you might grow closer, you might grow apart. You might need to grow apart in order to get closer. That’s something I can relate to. I don’t know if it’s the end for Das Racist; I don’t know what’s going to happen with them.” Vampire Weekend had their genesis in college as well – but while Das Racist combusted, Rostam feels that Vampire Weekend have grown stronger. “Me and Ezra had a songwriting partnership, one that over the course of the records has grown much stronger. In some ways, I feel like we’re leaning on each other more. The majority of the past records were the result of our songwriting partnership, and on this new record I feel like so much of what was written was an intertwining of us individually as songwriters. I guess we have grown closer.” As well as production work, Rostam has released solo material under the title Boys Like Us, and also appeared in a collaboration with Kid Cudi and Best Coast on the 2010 hit ‘All Summer’. As he explains, these outlets provide a necessary musical respite from his full-time project. “I think the purpose is being able to breathe; the result is that I get inspired to make more music, rather than getting drained. I think if you listen to the songs that I put out on my own, or the song I collaborated with Kid Cudi and Best Coast on, it becomes clear that they’re inhabiting distinct worlds – in the same ecosystem maybe, but they have their own worlds. I think sometimes if you have a dream, you have to chase it down. I think I’m inspired to write more music, and in the past year or so it’s been in the context of the band.” We can expect Vampire Weekend to be performing new material at Big Day Out; but just how many new tracks remains uncertain. “I think we’ll be playing somewhere between a couple and a handful." When: 5.25pm @ The Orange Stage Sideshow: Wednesday January 23 @ The Metro Theatre

Vampire Weekend photo by Søren Solkær Starbird

Integral to the more upbeat, looser essence of Mirage Rock, which made it so suited to live performance, was the production of Glyn Johns, who’s worked with everyone from Bob Dylan and The Beatles to Led Zeppelin, The Who and Midnight Oil. The band clearly catered to his approach. “We wanted to make a record that he liked and wanted to have an influence on, so we [wouldn't be] fighting tooth and nail to make it sound like some other record. We were basically like, ‘What would he like?’” Reynolds says. “He likes to record fully live, vocals and all. That’s totally different to how we’ve done it in the past, and even most people who do that re-do the vocals over.

Mixing it up even further, Band Of Horses regularly find themselves in front of crowds they’ve never played to before. “It’s tough – sometimes you go to different countries and you’re not sure which records they have. We went to Brazil this year and they’ve only just released our records there, so we were playing stuff from, like, ten years ago. It was like going back in time. It was pretty awesome.” The last two Band Of Horses albums have seen their lineup consolidated, too; needless to say, the band dynamic is better than ever. “You get that well-oiled-machine thing about it all. Things get sorted out and you know your place or something. It’s like, a lot of stuff is left unsaid; we’re able to play and communicate musically because we know each other so well. For a musician, that’s a real high moment.”


Co m “Definitely [this] year,” Rostam says, giving the broadest release date he can. “There will be things that you can hear. We feel very good about [the new album]; there’s a spirit to it that we’re proud of. It feels like fresh ground for us.

There are several songs from Mirage Rock that really encompass where Band Of Horses are at right now, Reynolds says – especially when performed live. “It’s fun to play ‘Feud’,” he says. “It’s fun to play ‘Knock Knock’. People really like ‘Undone’ and ‘Slow Cruel’ – we’re just having a hoot playing them. One of the ones we don’t get to play a lot is ‘Shut-In Tourist’; we get kind of giddy, because it’s a little different sounding. It’s always fun to play.”

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t’s been relatively quiet on the Vampire Weekend front since 2010’s Contra, the band’s acclaimed follow-up to their breakthrough debut record. Anticipation has been steadily building for the outfit’s third album, with the first taste coming in the form of ‘Unbelievers’, debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live a few months back replete with Halloween skeleton makeup. Australia will be privy to more new material when the band tour as part of Big Day Out; multi-instrumentalist and co-songwriter Rostam Batmanglij, who spent some of Vampire Weekend’s downtime working with recently defunct rap outfit Das Racist, let us in on what’s in store for the upcoming album.

hen we speak, Bill Reynolds is in his element. Band Of Horses have landed in New York, and are due to see The Rolling Stones perform that night in New Jersey, with the city still buzzing from the 12.12.12. concert a few nights before. His band is in The Big Apple on their headlining US tour, after a period of support runs in Europe for the likes of Jack White and My Morning Jacket.






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Miller is talking American football (as well as his general love of sports) when he mentions the contentment he feels living in what he calls “his own little bubble”. “It’s definitely by choice,” he admits. “There’s the kinda rock star world that you can choose to live in, or you can choose to just interact with the people who are working in and around your band. We’re on the tail-end of the tour at the moment and I’ve been basically living in one room with the same people for months and months, and I really don’t get sick of it. Some days I think it’s self-assuring – it reminds me that I’m getting to make music for a living, and I’m doing it with my friends.”

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"If you’re a hack and you’re not doing it well, you can’t get away with it – but if you make something your own, people seem fine with that. I stole a lot from Def Leppard on the last record, and Phil Collen, the guitar player, came to one of our shows and came backstage. I was so nervous to meet him – he’s one of my guitar heroes from when I was six – and the first question I asked him was, ‘Man, are you mad or flattered?’. I’d taken so much from him and, although I’d made it my own, he was there and I had to acknowledge it. He goes, ‘It’s totally cool, don’t worry. I took from them, you took from me and someone’ll take from you. That’s how it goes.’” There’s a new record coming to life in the Sleigh Bells camp, and a few tracks look set to make an appearance during their upcoming Australian tour. The album, Miller says, will be vastly different to what they’ve done before. “The last record was dramatic and came from a dark place; I was going through a really rough patch, and that made its way into the music,” he says. “I’m done with that, so I feel free to write about a lot of other things again. It’s a lot less heavy and oppressive. Reign Of Terror was just so dense and had these massive, high gain guitar sounds. I wouldn’t change it – it is what it is – but I’m onto the next thing. Everything’s a lot airier and nowhere near as dark. “I turn [against] our songs so quickly it’s almost pathological,” he continues. “People come to your shows and they still like those songs, so I don’t take it out on them – but I get over them and start tearing my hair out with them. After playing the same songs for 12 months, the only way to cope is by knowing we write every second we have off, and that shows us there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. This album is the new light.” When: 9.45pm @ Vans Essential Stage Sideshow: The Metro Theatre on Saturday January 19, with DZ Deathrays and a DJ set from Baio (Vampire Weekend)


He In the beginning, The Killers were renowned as the best British band ever to come out of Las Vegas, but since then their music has come to reflect a dusty, nostalgic sort of Americana. Flowers tells me that the shift in music came with a shift in his own perspective. “I was still very young when we started out, and I think I was still searching for a lot of things – my own identity being one of them,” he says. “I was obsessed with British culture and music, and then somebody put me on a plane–” he pauses to laugh, “and stuck me there [in the UK]. And I realised that you can fantasise about something as much as you want, but the reality is never going to be what you expect. You are who you are, and I was who I was.” This is the first of many times he’ll use this phrase or something similar – ‘I am what I am’ – to explain away awkward or uncomfortable truths. The Killers’ most recent album, Battle Born, taps their new vein of Americana pretty deeply. From its cover art, which features a stallion and a muscle car charging at each other on a dusty desert highway, to songs like ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’, whose lyrics draw on the

"We wanted something that was more crisp and simple this time. There's always so much made about the jacket that I'm wearing on stage... The live show right now is more about us just being ourselves, I guess, and hopefully letting the music and the show do the talking."

classic American themes of hot nights and heavy petting, it’s all there. If The Killers’ early music was about trying to be as far away from home as possible, now they seem to be feeling pretty comfortable on their home turf. Flowers more or less agrees with this assessment. “Since Hot Fuss, the music I’ve made has been a conscious effort to find out what exactly I am, and it draws closer to America because that’s what I’m familiar with,” he says. “I feel like I have more of a duty, and more of a… what’s the word? I guess I have more insight into America. I guess it makes more sense to me, because it’s where I’m from.” There’s a certain streak of sentimentality that runs through the music of The Killers, too; from their early smash ‘When You Were Young’ through to a song like Battle Born’s ‘The Way It Was’, they seem to constantly be reflecting on the past. There’s a dash of sadness behind the storming hooks, an urge to reflect on glory days and better times, and Flowers admits that, from an early age, he has always been the sentimental type. “Even when I was very young, I was like that,” he says. “I don’t know who I inherited that from … but I love to tell stories, and it’s inevitable that the stories end up having those sentiments. People appreciate that kind of honesty. What’s great about that is that as I grow and have new experiences, the meaning in songs starts to change – that’s true of the songs that I love, as well as the ones that I’ve written myself. I can start to appreciate them in a whole new way. I’m happy to be part of it all.” He pauses again, and then laughs. “It’s not always cool to be so sentimental, but I am what I am!” After a brief break from touring, The Killers are thrilled to be out on the road again, and are especially excited to be heading to Australia for the Big Day Out. “Every time we’ve played in Australia it’s been the summertime, so we’re very happy to be coming back,” he says. “You’re going to have four happy Killers!” During the Day & Age era, the band’s live show was all about Vegas flash and sparkle, but Flowers tells me they’ve toned it down a little since then. “We wanted something that was more crisp and simple this time,” he says. “There’s always so much made about the jacket that I’m wearing on stage and other things like that. The live show right now is more about us just being ourselves, I guess, and hopefully letting the music and the show do the talking.” As for his prowess as a frontman, Flowers is philosophical. “I feel really powerful right now,” he says. “Not to boast, but I feel really comfortable in my own skin. I’ve come to grips with what it means to be on stage, and embraced it. There are a lot of elements of glam rock and pop in The Killers’ sound, and those things both lend themselves to showmanship – it’s not something we’ve ever shied away from, let me put it that way.” What: Battle Born is out now When: 7.35pm @ The Orange Stage Sideshow: Wednesday January 16 @ The Metro Theatre (sold out)

Sleigh Bells photo by Patrick Odell

There’s safety in that way of living, but it can also be damaging. In a world driven by ego, many musicians can stay sheltered from their failings – but Miller is certainly not immune to outside criticism. For a duo that seems to hover in the ultra-hip category, their songs have found themselves in films and shows like Skins and even Gossip Girl. 20 years ago any income came with cries of of selling out, and nowadays people are somewhat more forgiving – but Sleigh Bells have still copped some flack. “Some people in the industry tell me they’d never do that, but hell, a lot of people that come to our shows actually watch Gossip Girl,” he says. “If someone wants to pay me to use a song on an ad or whatever, then go ahead. What I’m creating needs to be without compromise; we make the music we want to, we design the covers we want, we’re very hands on with how it’s all marketed and promoted – so wherever else the music fits in within the world is perfectly fine with us. You wanna give me cash for seven seconds of a song that I wrote on my own terms? Sure! The money I make from publishing enables us to keep it all up.”

anyway, as artists like The Black Keys (with their Pizza Hut and Home Depot lawsuits) have discovered. “Exactly! I hear Massive Attack rip-offs all the time; they’re out there still ripping off Mezzanine,” Miller says, before going on to discuss the blurred line between inspiration and copyright infringement that exists within the music world. “I have one song that is completely from a current Top 40 song, and I’m waiting for somebody to call me on it – but I’m not gonna give it away,” he laughs. “It sounds nothing like it ostensibly, but then again the introduction is pretty much identical.




hen you see him on stage with The Killers, Brandon Flowers is every inch the rock’n’roll star. He struts around the stage with an almost preternatural air of confidence, working the crowd expertly between songs, and throwing himself bodily into anthems like ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. Over the past decade or so, he and his band have become veterans of festival sets, and he can quite happily hold a crowd of tens of thousands in the palm of his hand as neon palm trees and oceans of LED lights flicker behind him. Off-stage, though, it’s a totally different story. Before our interview, I’d heard that Flowers was a little shy and reserved in person, but I wasn’t at all prepared for my encounter with him. Flowers is polite and softly-spoken, his conversation punctuated with the occasional nervous laugh, and he seems almost bewildered at the level of success that he and the band have achieved.

erek Edward Miller and Alexis Krauss have built a strange and chaotic noise pop harmony from a rather diverse performance history. Miller honed his onstage skills as the guitarist in a hardcore band, Poison The Well, while Krauss, after starring in an advertisement for Nickelodeon Magazine, became a teen pop singer in RubyBlue. As Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells, the pair’s 2009 selftitled EP earned them the attention of M.I.A’s label, N.E.E.T Recordings and a smattering of indie tastemaking media, while their debut album Treats and last year’s follow-up Reign Of Terror catapulted them into the adoring arms of an ever-growing audience. They’re painfully hip, they’re aurally unforgiving and, with album number three on its way, they’re eternally unpredictable.



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Clubfeet Rad Stuff Happens By Benjamin Cooper


hen you’re a relatively new Australian band, it can be fairly daunting to play in New York – let alone to a room full of models and rock royalty. Not so for Cape Town via Melbourne’s Clubfeet, an unassuming and talented crew of artists whose collective heads are still whirring from their American tour. “It’s quite strange, in a way,” admits keyboardist Montgomery Cooper. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to get amazing support from radio, in particular triple j, but all of the original love for our work came from the US. Even before we had really laid down anything official we were getting these opportunities from the States. You really can’t say no to something as exciting as that.”

by critical bible Pitchfork, drawing comparisons to chill popsters like Junior Boys, Hot Chip and fellow townsmen Cut Copy. The American love affair continued in October 2011, when the band played CMJ Music Marathon in New York. “Doing that tour was really something else: seeing all these new fans who we didn’t even know we had, and they were absolutely loving what we were doing,” Cooper says. “At the same time, we were fairly busted afterwards – we were doing something like three or four shows a day for weeks on end. But that just brings an extra level of euphoria.”

The five-piece’s USA jaunt came just prior to the release of this year’s sophomore album, Heirs & Graces. It’s a supremely chilled affair that perfectly couches the kind of saxed-up assurance called for by the ridiculous heat of the Australian summer. Fans may be familiar with early single ‘Heartbreak’, an almost bratty turn by the Melburnians, whose padded strings are perfectly offset by the dynamic vocals of triple j Unearthed artist Chela.

But as thrilling as it was, the US tour was not without its fair share of spills, too. “Our singer Sebastian had some visa issues getting into the country, which meant that we were only just able to play our first show. It was essentially our very first fucking outing as Clubfeet,” Cooper laughs, “and we had to go to this venue, which was up a set of stairs to this rooftop where there were models everywhere… There were even members of The Strokes at some of those first shows, which was just mind-blowing and strange.”

But by the time their profile raised in Australia, Clubfeet were well acquainted with acclaim. Their 2010 debut Gold On Gold – released on New York tastemaker Plant Music – was hyped

One advantage that the group have, which has allowed them to stay relatively grounded, is that they’re all incredibly gifted producers. “Everyone enjoys the production side of things in different

ways,” Cooper explains, “so when it comes time to add vocals, we’re quite happy to just figure out what works in the room at the time. Heirs & Graces is ten songs, but it evolved from about 60 different and pretty decent song ideas – plus all the remix work we’ve been doing with people like French Horn Rebellion and Body Language.”

off the toothpaste,” Cooper laughs. “I think the important thing, though, is that we don’t take a very businesslike or overly considered approach to what we do. Our band is kind of ad hoc, and we’re not worried about hit singles. It means we enjoy everything more, and rad stuff just happens.”

Collaborating with other artists keeps the group’s sound fresh and their temperaments steady. “We’re all old friends and are fairly close – but after a few years of touring together we may be having screaming matches about leaving the lid

What: Heirs & Graces is out Friday January 18, through Liberation Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Saturday February 16

High Highs Riding High By Josh Fergeus


e’ll try and keep the arrangements really simple and keep the melodic lines really clear, but at the same time we want a cavernous wash of sound and colours around the core parts,” says Oli Chang, one half of the Sydney-born High Highs. “We really like playing with synth parts opening and closing around the guitars and vocals; rather than having smashing loud drums, we like cinematic splashes of cymbals. We like to go into a dreamscape sort of set and take people there with us, within the songs but also between the songs. That’s what we hope to try and do.” That’s the show that Chang and vocalist Jack Milas are bringing back to their hometown at the end of January, ahead of the release of their debut album, Open Season. “If it was up to us we would have released [the record] a while ago, but it was a process to finish it. In terms of style and so on, Jack and I feel really strongly that instead of writing something we think will be fashionable at the time at the risk of going out of fashion later, we should try really hard to just write really good songs which will sound good to us in five or ten years. The idea is for it to stand the test of time.” Open Season came into being organically, without much in the way of strategy. “We knew we wanted to keep momentum, keep the ball rolling, keep some energy happening around the band, but there wasn’t a master plan. The plan we did have was always changing, as different opportunities presented themselves, as things came up. As we went from point A to point B to point C, things just kept changing. The only plan we had really was to keep forging ahead.” The album follows their self-titled EP, which had the band touted as ones to watch when it was released in 2011. “There has always been a feeling that something good was going to happen,” Chang says. “It’s just a funny thing. Jack and I have worked on other things and

other projects before and they’ve been really fun, but with this one we really felt like we were approaching it from the right place and for the right reasons. We were approaching it with good sense. We were trying to keep the logistics solid. There’s always been a good feeling and a good energy around the band and the music. “We write the songs together, we turn up and we play them together on one instrument each. It’s very organic,” he continues. “We’re often in a rehearsal space and just start jamming on something or writing something new – the process is very natural. It’s natural and so it feels good. So I am glad that this is the project that seems to be going well. It just feels good to play, it’s not a chore.” Although originally from Sydney (Chang is ex-Theatre of Disco, and Jack Milas played with Pip Branson Corporation), High Highs now reside in Brooklyn, playing regularly to everexpanding audiences across New York. “I didn’t know what to think of moving here. I’d been here briefly before, but Brooklyn is a really big place; there are so many different areas. It’s just so lovely – there’s amazing restaurants, amazing bars, and this fun, young energy that’s just around; it’s very cosmopolitan. But I can’t wait to come back to Australia, to be around not only my friends and family but to be in the culture as well. I miss the friendly interactions that Aussies have. I miss the culture.” What: Open Season comes out January 23 on Fine Time, through Sony Music Australia With: City Calm Down Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Thursday January 31 More: Also playing Laneway Festival alongside Alt-J, Yeasayer, Pond, Of Monsters And Men and more, held on Saturday February 2 at Sydney College of the Arts


Out Of The Dark By Joshua Kloke


ne of the first things people notice about Woods’ guitarist/vocalist, Jeremy Earl, is his intense and intriguing falsetto. It’s so disarming that it often draws comparisons to another famous falsetto, that of Neil Young – but while his voice may be part of the Brooklyn lo-fi band’s allure, Earl remains relatively mild-mannered in conversation. While many were quick to slap the “hippie” label on early Woods releases, the band has steadily evolved through the seven full-length albums they’ve released in the past six years. “The experience of travelling and being on the road is a big inspiration when it comes to writing new material,” Earl says. “I’d say that’s where I get most of my inspiration; seeing new sights, even if it is from the window of the van.” Their latest record, Bend Beyond is another step forward for the band, on which Earl exposes some fairly dark subject matter, married with newfound, sharp and concise arrangements – and that trademark falsetto. Much has been made about the band’s turn down dark corners, but for Earl, the sound of Bend Beyond is just par for the course. “I guess I can see it,” he says of recent reviews that have labelled the album the band’s darkest yet, “but for me, it’s along the same lines of previous records as far as subject matter goes. It might come across a bit darker because of the approach we took to the production. Perhaps it’s more noticeable, but I tend to gravitate towards that kind of darker stuff. It’s my style, I guess.” Pressed a little more, Earl reveals that if Bend Beyond does feature darker themes, it certainly wasn’t a premeditated decision. Woods’ relentless creative output in the last

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six years shows that they are anything but casual in their work ethic, and Earl insists any changes within the band come naturally. “I don’t usually come up with a theme, but a bunch of stuff always seems to come together at the right time. There’s nothing premeditated. I’m of the belief that things will come together naturally.” Woods put their music out through Woodsist, a label founded by Jeremy Earl in 2006, which has also released records by The Fresh And Onlys, Kurt Vile and Moon Duo; with eight releases so far this year alone, Earl may well be one of the hardest working people in indie rock. His decision to start Woodsist has given the band the kind of creative freedom and control that most artists could only dream of – and it hasn’t hurt their evolution one bit. “There’s a level of freedom that means we can kind of do whatever we want, which I love,” he says. “On our last record, Sun And Shade, we had a couple of longer, stretched-out jams that I’m not too sure other labels would have gotten on board with. We have a great foundation with the label, and we’re happy.” Earl admits that while the band has been approached by other labels, he’s in no hurry to jump ship. That would only complicate matters – and if he has any ideas for the band’s future, it’s that they should continue to evolve as they have: quietly, humbly and effectively. “I like to keep things fairly simple and straightforward,” says Earl. “I like it that way. Short and sweet.” What: Bend Beyond is out now Where: Goodgod Small Club When: Saturday January 26









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five minutes WITH


odd is one of Sydney’s bright young art-things: 24 years old, talented, awardwinning, prolific, and somewhat polymathic: besides working on his animations and sculptures, he teaches, does community radio for a lark, curates the occasional exhibition, and runs a animation/dance collective called



FLATLINE. He’s just returned from the Asian Art Biennale, where he received an honourable mention, and this week he’s opening a show at The Tate – a work-in-progress wall-drawing from which an animated film will emerge.

Pitch Perfect has severely infiltrated my music sensibilities with adverse and embarrassing effects! I listen to an eclectic mix that includes rock, pop, indie and an unhealthy amount of musical theatre...

When did the art start? I guess I was always an artist, but I was more so a storyteller. I would draw characters, make my own comics and newspapers, and my toys had elaborate houses in detailed cities that I built. For days I would amuse myself by acting out elaborate narratives with intersecting arcs and story lines. I constructed my own worlds. In hindsight, this is still the basis of my artistic practice. My family are plain working-class people from the Hunter Valley, they loved sport; my desire to go to art school was a big shock to the system!

Tell us about the Tate show: Never Really There is working towards a new animation. Each day I spend a few hours pushing it forward, then I edit the sequence late at night (when the best editing happens). It is a wall drawing on a human scale, which is extremely time consuming but gives it an eerie authenticity – drawing yourself at human scale, looking it right in the eyes. It is created using charcoal, chalk and pastel directly on wall.

What’s your general creative process/ritual? I always try to begin a project with nothing more than a loose idea and a pile of reference material that may come in handy. Despite being a filmmaker, I try and avoid storyboards as they lock me into ideas, and I find it boring to build an animation when I already know the ending. Instead, I pace between the wall and the camera, exploring what is presented. I like to have the same surprises in the creation process that my audience will later encounter when watching the finished film. I also tap when I work; I was a tap dancer in my youth, and it is one of the weird things I do as I process my work. Of late I have been working to choral mash-ups and covers.... the movie

It wasn’t until a few hours into the film that I realised the piece had two different version of myself emerging within the marks. This is how it usually works, without meaning to: the drawing will present an option that I have no choice but to pursue. The characters then began stealing body organs from each other, and as of this afternoon's session at the wall, one has tackled the other. I suspect that they may do battle. Actually, I don’t know what will come next – you will just have to come see the show! What: Never Really There by Todd Fuller When: Wednesday January 16 from 6pm Where: The Tate @ The Toxteth / 345 Glebe Pt Road, Glebe Todd is repped by IN CINEMAS FROM JANUARY 17

BONDI OPENAIR CINEMA Spike Lee's controversial satire Bamboozled

Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinema launches next week at the amphitheatre next to Bondi Pavilion, with a 2K HD digital cinema system and a program that will get you across Academy Award nominees The Master, Life Of Pi, Les Misérables, Argo and Django Unchained, top notch action flicks Skyfall and Jack Reacher, retro screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Grease (a sing-along version, no less), Top Gun, Mad Max, Pretty Woman (on Valentine's Day) and Point Break (the first film from the director of Zero Dark Thirty, lest we forget), and funtimez like Pitch Perfect (a charity screening on Sunday January 27 that includes pre-film performances by babes Stonefield and Amy Meredith), This Is 40 and Gangster Squad. First cab off the rank is Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom on January 25 – for the full program and tickets, see


If you like your cinema provocative and free, head to MCA on Thursday nights for their TABOO screenings, accompanying the Brook Andrew-curated exhibition currently showing. Kicking off last week with SALO, the January slate includes Scarlet Road (Jan 17), the documentary flipside of recent arthouse hit The Sessions; Darlene Johnson’s emotionally raw doco Stolen Generations (Jan 24); and Bhutto (Jan 31) about polarising Pakistani political figure Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. On February 21 the series concludes, with Spike Lee’s savage entertainment-industry satire Bamboozled, starring Damon Wayans. Screenings start at 7pm at the Veolia Lecture Theatre and are FREE, but 18+. More info at


Centennial Park is celebrating its 125 anniversary with a mini-fest of free nighttime activities dubbed In The Light Garden, running from January 18 – 27. Activities range from the illuminating (night-photography workshops) to the cosmic (Sydney Observatory telescopes), the playful (Doggie Night!) and child-friendly (Park After Dark tours), or you can just grab a picnic/longneck and head along the ‘Boulevard Of Light’ to the ‘Light Garden’, which has been augmented with 4,000 individual lighting elements. Apparently there’s also ‘European Jazz’ playing most nights, and roving stilt-walkers inauspiciously called The Illuminati... More at


If you’re interested in what happens in the rehearsal rooms at STC, head along to Rough Draft this Friday – the latest instalment of their ongoing series of ‘works in progress’. Rough Draft #19 is a collaboration between director Naomi Edwards and playwright Kylie Trounson, who will spend the week 22 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

Judd Apatow invented the current tone of Hollywood blockbuster comedies, which is a pretty mean feat for someone whose two (brilliant) television shows were each cancelled before making it through a single season. His latest bittersweet opus picks up with married couple Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd), who were first seen in 2007’s hilarious Knocked Up, as they hit middle age and deal with a bump in their relationship. It’s whip-smart, contains a slew of amazing comedic actors, and we have ten double passes up for grabs. If that sounds like your cup of cake, tell us one comedian who appears in the film (see our review on p.27) and your postal address.

If you’re Enmore-centric this weekend, tall, and handy with balls, head along to The Projects (2 Addison Road – aka the carpark at Vic on the Park hotel) for their Basket Ball Day, co-presented by Easts Basketball

League. There’ll be something called “3on3 & 3 point competition”, so we suggest backing a winner and waiting for them to score that $150-bar-tab prize, then making your presence known… Besides this, there’s The Projects’ usual Sunday arvo mix of chunez, graffiti, beers and free rotisserie. Warmups and registration start from midday this Sunday January 20, and the comp begins at 2pm, so make sure you get down early.


Sam Simmons, Tom Ballard and Hannah Gadsby all got their big breaks through the Raw Comedy stand-up comp, and the annual grand final has pretty much become a sure thing in terms of scouting fresh talent. Bearing that in mind, if you like your comedy free and fresh, head along to The Comedy Store (Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park) any Tuesday night in January and February to see wannabe comics compete in a series of heats – or head along Tuesdays in March for the semi-finals, climaxing on Tuesday March 21 with the NSW State Final. Or of course, you could compete – if you’re brave, have a short set of killer jokes, and haven’t earned more than $500 from comedy (you haven't). Register at

in development on Trounson’s script The Waiting Room, a kaleidoscopic examination of scientific invention – and intervention – in everyday life. The cast includes stage veterans Alan Dukes, Darren Gilshenan and Belinda McClory, and you can join them, Edwards, Trounson et al for a free showing of the work on Friday January 18 at 6.30pm in Wharf 2, followed by a Q&A. Reserve a seat at


If you like your graf work "gronk steez" (aka "full retard") and wearable, put this show in the diary: on Wednesday January 23 at The Tate (345 Glebe Point Rd), local lads Roach and Retro will be unveiling their latest collaboration: a limited-edition tee released through creative agency The Hours, featuring a combo work. 50 hand-screen-printed t-shirts will be available on the night for $30 a piece, or you can just look at the art for free: a series of original illustrations by the boys, and an indoor mural. If you hate free booze and good folks (or are busy that night), check it out on Thursday and Friday from 12-6pm.

Not Happy Janet


While we’re not unequivocal fans of Sacha Gervasi’s new film (see our review on page 27), it does compel us to see Psycho on the big screen, as it was intended. You should do that too. Take your pick between The Chauvel’s session this Friday January 18 at 8.30pm ($15) or The Cremorne Orpheum’s double bill of Psycho + The Birds on Sunday January 20 at 7pm ($16 conc.). And while you’re feeling adventurous, consider the Chauvel’s double-bill of The Birds + Rear Window on Saturday January 19 at 8.30pm ($15). That should be all the cool blondes in distress you can handle. You’re welcome. /


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La Soirée [BURLESQUE] Circus, sideshow and cabaret – OH MY! By Benjamin Cooper & Dee Jefferson

La Soirée returns this month with the same winning formula: a rotating mix of crowd favourites (Bath Boy, Captain Frodo and MC Mario Queen Of The Circus, for starters), fresh acts, and lashings of local flavour, with special surprise guests dropping in

throughout the season. “There’s really nothing like it on earth,” says the show’s resident ‘hoops’ artist, Marawa. “It manages to capture forms of entertainment that people don’t often see, and it’s all done in the most gripping way.” “No one has an attention span any more,” the performer says matter-of-factly, “so all our acts are five minutes long at the most… It’s kind of like YouTube theatre, back-to-back and relentless from start to finish!”

“We’re such a funny, mixed bunch of characters; we’re like the slightly dysfunctional family you always wondered about, and that you always secretly knew was a lot of fun... and the one thing that binds us together is that we’re all nomads...” — Marawa

Below we sample La Soirée’s menu, but for the full lineup, head to lasoiree

Captain Frodo

David O’Mer aka Bath Boy The bath-time antics of this Berlin-based aerial acrobat have been making waves in the altcabaret scene ever since David debuted as part of La Clique at Edinburgh Fringe, in 2004. His totally-ripped torso and drenched-denim aesthetic is also quite easy on the eyes, we hear. Mario Queen Of The Circus So-called because of his love of Queen, this Spanish lothario channels Freddie Mercury’s younger and sexier brother. He’s totally charming – and totally adults-only. As MC, he juggles the audience, the lineup, and assorted other things, often from atop a unicycle. Prepare to fall a little bit in love.

Cabaret Decadanse (Montreal)

Marawa This Melbourne-born, London-based international hoop champion can take on 133 at the one time – but then you prolly wouldn’t be able to see her cute-as-a-button face. With a bangin' taste in music that spans from disco to Dizzee Rascal, bootylicious costumes and a sponsorship from MAC, she’s the Nicki Minaj of the neo-burlesque tribe.

The English Gents

Nate Cooper

Hold on to your poles, Aussies Hamish McCann and Denis Lock are back this year with their finely-tuned two-hander routines (imagine two really buff Tim Brooke Taylors from The Goodies stripping and pole dancing at the same time), and a couple of new solo acts – one of which involves a kimono.

This veteran of the alt-circus circuit combines the slapstick comedy chops of Charlie Chaplin with the tap skills of Gene Kelly, and the machete-juggling skills of Bobby May on ice. And he can do all of it on roller skates. Don’t let his clowning around fool you – this guy has you in the palm of his hand.

The Wheel Of Time [BOOKS] The BRAG talks to writer Brandon Sanderson ahead of the series’ epic finale. By Kayla Brock & Dee Jefferson


With that daunting hurdle already well behind him, Sanderson releases his third Wheel Of Time book this month: A Memory Of Light. The 14th in the epic series, it is also the final chapter, and the end to an adventure that began more than two decades ago, with a group of teenagers who were plucked one night from the backwater village of Emond’s Field and hurled into a dangerous world torn between the forces of Light and Shadowspawn. Presiding over the Wheel Of Time and four of his own series, while also making time for various fantasy conventions (including the annual JordanCon), Sanderson – now 37 – is prolific and hardworking. He took time out from a hectic pre-launch schedule to answer some of our questions, appearing in truncated form below; for the full transcript, see What led you to read, then write, fantasy in the first place? My passion for fantasy comes from a teacher in eighth grade, when I was 14, who challenged me to read a book. I share this story a lot, but I think it’s an important part of who I am. I didn’t enjoy reading when I was 24 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

younger. I had tried reading many other novels and had been bored by them. And it was the discovery of fantasy literature as a genre— the imagination, the power of it—that really changed me as a person and turned me into a writer. I mean it's really bizarre: the book that I read was called Dragonsbane, by Barbara Hambly. And this is an interesting thing, because when you know anything about literacy, there are certain things they say that you’re supposed to give to boys. You’re supposed to give them a book about a boy, and more specifically, about a boy who’s two or three years older than them, not their age but not too old. And it’s supposed to be very fast-paced, and it’s supposed to be very adventuresome. That’s what boys are supposed to like. Dragonsbane is about a middle-aged woman, who’s the main protagonist. She is not going on fast adventures – actually she and her husband are pig farmers. And he is the last living dragonsbane, a man who has killed a dragon. And she is a witch, and it’s the story of her balancing her family life and her magic. … And that’s what I liked! And I still look back at it as an academic and think: “Why did that work?” And actually it’s an illustration of what I think is great about the fantasy genre. I feel that fantasy can do everything that any other genre can do, plus can have this added layer of world-building. And that forces you as a reader to put together a puzzle; what is the world, how do things work here? It’s this wonderfully intellectual exercise and imagination exercise that a fantasy novel can give you, that other novels generally can’t. And this novel worked for me, because of my own mother. She got a very prestigious job offer, to go work for an accounting firm, and she turned it down because she wanted to

have me, a kid. And she has always balanced her career and her family. And I read this book, which was about a man killing a dragon, and when I got done, I felt like I understood my mother better. KB: What and who have provided the most formative experiences and lessons for you in terms of developing your craft? Well, I would say that the first most important thing was reading books. As a young reader, just reading and starting to internalize these things was the most important. As I became a college student, as I started spending more time on the craft and writing, being a reader was very helpful for me because I could then read and say, “Okay, what is it that they’re doing?” As I was trying it on my own I would see different things in the writing. So I really do think that the best thing you can do is to read a lot and write a lot. I would say that the other big event for me learning-wise was taking the class at BYU that was taught by a professional writer, David Farland. Until then I had met writers, but I had never learned from someone who was making a living as a writer. Having practiced enough on my own at that point, I was able to really listen to what he said and put it to use. It was very eye-opening for me. In WoT, is there a character that you are particularly fond of or identify with? Probably Perrin. Growing up I identified most with him, and in many ways he’s the character most similar to me. But when I'm writing, when I’m in a character’s head, that character is the most important in the book. They’re all my favorite when I’m writing them—that’s just the way it has to be as a writer. Towers Of Midnight saw key female characters in the series rise to positions

What: La Soirée When: Until March 10 Where: The Studio @ Sydney Opera House

“Fantasy can do everything that any other genre can do, plus can have this added layer of worldbuilding. And that forces you as a reader to put together a puzzle; what is the world, how do things work here? It’s this wonderfully intellectual exercise.” of considerable power. Do you feel that Jordan’s treatment of female characters is particularly progressive in the context of the fantasy genre tradition? It’s kind of interesting because I started reading all female writers. I started with Dragonsbane, and it just happened that Anne McCaffrey and Melanie Rawn were the next writers I discovered. … [And] when someone offered me a David Eddings book that summer, I said I wasn’t convinced that guys could write this genre. There are people who complain about [Robert Jordan’s] female characters; I’ve never been one of them. He was writing about a world with female privilege as opposed to male privilege, and I think this did certain things to the attitudes of some of his characters that are very much at cross-purposes to the way that we sometimes view this issue. But he had a great progressive look at a lot of these things. The gender [of his characters] was important, which is great, but it also wasn’t limiting in any way, both male and female. They weren’t there just to play roles—they were people. That’s one of the things that I’ve always loved about the Wheel of Time. What: A Memory of Light When: On sale from January 8


efore Game Of Thrones hit the small screen, George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Ice series had sold 15 million copies, worldwide. The Wheel Of Time series (for which Universal Pictures currently holds the screen rights) has out-sold that by more than three times. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that anyone seriously into fantasy already knows who Brandon Sanderson is: if they weren’t already fans of his Mistborn or Alcatraz series, then they probably discovered him when, at the age of 32, the Nebraskan native was chosen to inherit the Wheel Of Time series, after its creator Robert Jordan (aka James Oliver Rigney – a pal and contemporary of Martin, incidentally), died in 2007.

Puppets for grownups – grownups who like their puppets sassy, singing and a little bit sultry. Pro puppeteers-cum-choreographers Serge Deslauriers and Enock Turcotte have got their act down to a fine art, and their skills are as bewitching as their diva puppets.

Nate Cooper photo by Adam Silversmith, Captain Frodo and Marawar photos by Perou, Denis Lock/English Gents photo by Olivia Rutherford


year ago, Brett Haylock’s La Soirée variety show made its local debut at Sydney Opera House, off the back of a sell-out season in London. With Haylock’s background with La Clique, and sharing many of the tried and tested acts from that globetrotting show, it seemed like a sure thing – but not even the House predicted it would run for a record-breaking ten weeks.

The Secret River

Rust and Bone

[THEATRE] Re-writing History By Rebecca Saffir

[THEATRE] Page To Stage By Rebecca Saffir


lavish devotion doesn’t make good theatre,” writer Caleb Lewis declares. He’s spent the last two years, on and off, adapting three of the short stories from Craig Davidson’s Stories Of Rust and Bone into a play, so he’s probably qualified to comment. “The process of adaptation is one of breaking something and making it anew. The best prose writing in the world is still not a play.” Something about Davidson’s Stories must have been shouting out for this making anew, however, because there’s a French film (directed by Jacques Audiard) due for release in March, also based on the book.

Rust and Bone photo by Benjamin Liew / The Secret River photo by Ellis Parrinder

“As soon as I started reading the book several stories gripped me,” Lewis says. “The prose was at once taut and visceral while at the same time, Davidson managed to conjure these images of such startling beauty. Each story offered a glimpse at worlds unknown to me (dogfighting, boxing, killer-whale training) and did so with such honesty and insight. And the characters felt so real. These three men grappling with regret and clinging on to these small shreds of hope, even as their life collapsed around them. Their stories arrested me powerfully and I began to imagine a way they might be told on the stage.” Davidson’s book is a collection of ten short stories, but Lewis has pulled together just three for his adaptation. “These three together make for a gripping exploration of masculinity and power, our capacity for tenderness and acts of shocking brutality, what it means to have power and what it means to lose it. Each of these men is broken in some way, physically and psychically. The play asks how do you go on? How do you continue to survive in a brutal world and hold on Renato Musolino - with dog

to your humanity? What do you lose in giving it up? And can it be earned back?” After several developments, the play opens Griffin Theatre’s Independent season for 2013, directed by Corey McMahon. “I think it’s really important for a playwright to ‘hand over’ the play to the director early on in rehearsals," says Lewis. "I've found it works best for me to attend the first few days to consult on the text and then to return intermittently to see runs of the show and be available to the director – but it's really important to absent yourself from the room and allow the actors and director to grapple with the words and take ownership of them.” But Lewis is clear on what draws him to the theatre: “I think theatre’s strength (and one it doesn’t necessarily take enough advantage of) is its immediacy and malleability compared to say a film or TV show. There is something about sitting in a room full of people who have all come here, agreeing to suspend their disbelief, and for an hour or two to journey some place new and unfamiliar. Every night the performance shifts subtly depending on how the audience responds to it. Theatre is a place of imagination. It’s a place we come to dream.” Rust and Bone will transform three actors into over thirty characters and must also overcome the challenge of bringing a killer whale into the Stables’ tiny corner stage, so it’s fair to say full advantage is being taken of the theatrical contract. Lewis has been writing stories for our stages for the last decade, and 2013 is shaping up to be a big year for him: with a new production of an older work in Perth, premieres in Adelaide and Sydney, and work on two commissions already on the cards, Rust and Bone won’t be the last we hear of him this year. What: Rust and Bone by Caleb Lewis from the short stories by Craig Davidson When: Until February 2 Where: SBW Stables,10 Nimrod St, Kings X More:

School Dance


espite the impeccable Sydney sunshine sparkling on the water outside the building the Sydney Theatre Company calls home, it’s been a dark couple of days in rehearsals for Anita Hegh and the cast of The Secret River. “We had our first full run through of the play on Friday,” she tells me on the Monday before Christmas. “We didn’t quite make it to the end of the play because it’s quite overwhelming. I think it’s going to pack quite a punch.”

Anita Hegh and Nathaniel Dean

The Secret River, adapted by Andrew Bovell from the novel of the same name by Kate Grenville, is a story of the dangers and difficulties of newly-settled Australia, told through the eyes of convict William Thornhill (played by Nathaniel Dean) and his wife, Sal (Hegh). Deported to Australia for the term of his natural life, he seeks to make a new one, on a patch land just by the Hawkesbury River. Sal, on the other hand, just wants to go home. He promises her a maximum stay of five years, but of course things go rather astray. The land William starts farming is home to the Dharug people, and after a series of misunderstandings and disagreements between the settlers and traditional owners of the land, an act of brutal and devastating violence occurs. Unlike the novel, Bovell’s adaptation gives voice and life to the Dharug characters. With this highly charged and emotional story ricocheting around the rehearsal room, it’s no wonder the cast have been emotionally overwhelmed. “I think they [the Indigenous actors in the cast] felt it’s a story that needs to be told, and they need to be involved with the telling of that story,” Hegh says. “In our adaptation the Dharug speak; they speak language which isn’t in the book… We have scenes of interaction which I think are the best things in the play, really, because some scenes are confrontation and others are them trying to understand each other.” Grenville’s novel was hugely popular when it was published in 2005, and Hegh believes that it’s this theme of confronting and understanding our nation’s history that grabbed so many people. “In my high school it was pretty appalling what we learnt, it was really, ‘Captain Cook came and…’” She rattles off a noise vaguely akin to gentle machine-gun fire, meant to indicate that the horrors inflicted on black Australia by white settlement were glossed over. “You didn’t realise how many people had been… What the stories are. People might see something like this and go, 'Oh! I might do some research about what happened in my area, and my ancestors… I wonder what the story is there.'” It’s not easy to enter into the world of a character with a world-view vastly different to your own. “It is very conflicting,” Hegh says of playing Sal. “She is kind of complicit in her silence, at the end. It is kind of awful, to play these kinds of characters, but you have to see the bigger picture, take your ego out of it, see that’s what fits in with the story.” There’s wistful hope in her voice as she tells me: “You

get an insight into what it would have been like for those early settlers, how they couldn’t understand at all where [the Indigenous people] were coming from, and you think if they’d just learned something, about them, about how they lived, it could have benefitted everybody. It would be a completely different world we’d be living in. You think about what could have been done if they’d just been a little more openminded.” When: The Secret River adapted from Kate Grenville by Andrew Bovell; Dir. Neil Armfield When: Until February 9 Where: Sydney Theatre / 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay More:

L-R Matthew Whittet, Luke Smiles, Amber McMahon, Jonathon Oxlade

[THEATRE] Revenge Of The Nerds By Benjamin Cooper & Dee Jefferson


School Dance photo by Tony Lewis

t’s a ritual we can all relate to: spotty almost-adults gather in large, poorly lit halls in an exercise of forced interaction; awkward bodies shuffle together to cheesy tunes, and memories – of the rose-tinted and the haunting variety – are made. With his ongoing fascination with childhoods imagined and real, it was only a matter of time before Sydney playwright and actor Matthew Whittet (Old Man – Belvoir 2012) tackled the seething emotional territory of the school dance. Whittet’s latest production, in collaboration with acclaimed South Australian company Windmill Theatre (The Book Of Everything – Belvoir, 2010), looks at the pain and hilarity of adolescence through the prism of the school dance – and more specifically, through the misadventures of a trio of nerdish teens played by himself, designer Jonathon Oxlade and dancer-turned-sound-designer/ composer Luke Smiles. Whittet wrote the play for himself, Oxlade and Smiles to perform, and infused it with their school memories. The narrative turns around the idea that his character, Matt, is literally becoming invisible to the girl he likes. Rounding out the cast is former STC Actors Company member Amber McMahon, who has the challenging task of playing all the female roles.

“The most interesting thing for me is how the show appeals to both teenagers and adults,” says Whittet. “Our show is mashed in between the two groups, but everyone is collectively going on the ride with us. That’s something that’s incredibly special.” School Dance will make its local debut at The Wharf as part of Sydney Festival (during school holidays, appropriately), following a sell-out South Australian run in 2012. The glorious mix of comedy, pathos and ‘80s pop culture – ranging from the kitsch of My Little Pony through to the heroics of BMX culture – hit exactly the right note with Adelaide audiences, winning the prestigious South Australian Ruby Award for Best Work last year. Even so, when we speak, Whittet and Co. are busy rehearsing with director Rosemary Myers in Adelaide, adjusting the story for a new audience and a new space. “We’re kind of having a really great time, because this team has done a few different shows together now and we’ve found a lot of shorthand in what we do,” says Whittet. “We’re able to get to the heart of things and solve problems a lot quicker.” And it doesn’t hurt having a design team on call: “We’re able to actively solve a moment within the show through design,” the writer-performer explains.

“We don’t actually have to act our way through it – because of the range of skills we all bring, we’re able to do quite a lot of problem solving, and we all do it together. It’s work that really happens on the floor, and it doesn’t happen unless we’re all together and enacting the choreography exactly." The result, Whittet admits, might look like mayhem on stage – but the devil is in the detail: “[the show] is incredibly tightly

choreographed and really only works through absolute precision of detail.” What: School Dance by Matthew Whittet; Dir. Rosemary Myers When: Until February 3 Where: Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company Pier 4/5 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay More:

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Arts Snap

Film & Theatre Reviews

At the heart of the arts Where you went last week...

Hits and misses on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.

■ Sydney Festival


Until January 27 / Famous Spiegeltent

sydney festival 1st day 'fun run'


Of the many pleasures of watching Cantina, the most unexpected is looking across the Spiegeltent’s stage and seeing your own wide-eyed, childlike wonder mirrored in other upturned faces as they marvel at the astonishing feats of human strength, control and flexibility unfurling on stage in front of them. And the best part? They’re all grown ups.

05:01:13 :: Hyde Park ::

Lingering in the wings of Cantina, however, is a latent violence, which is most brutally felt in a somewhat sinister reworking of the Parisian Apache dance: moving from the seductive to the violent when the man (David Carberry) aggressively dominates the woman (McGuffin), and then to the slapstick when the tables are turned and the power is given back to the woman, it is the one sour note in the otherwise delectable show. With nothing in the way of connective narrative tissue holding the vignette-style scenes together, and little on offer within each scene to engage with emotionally, the violence was just violence – charmless and cruel.



The vaudeville-circus style of Cantina, presented by Strut & Fret Production House, is perfectly suited to the magical, anything’spossible, bygone-era atmosphere of the Spiegeltent. It opens with a joyous, oldschool tightrope routine by Daniel Catlow, quickly upstaged on the tightrope by co-director Chelsea McGuffin in stilettos, followed by a series of mesmerising moments of mind-boggling talent: Mozes is captivating in his aerial act on the corde lisse, blindfolded and head shrouded in a black bag like a condemned man; Finnish contortionist Henna Kaikula, elicits squirms and yelps from the audience with the seemingly impossible twisting of her body, accompanied by a honky tonk soundtrack created live by musical director Nara Demasson.

06:01:13 :: The Famous Speigeltent ::

In general, the show suffers from this lack of narrative thread and emotional engagement. Once the initial wonder and amazement has worn off, the acts tend to feel somewhat repetitive – and any attempt to be confrontational or subversive sadly falls flat when all you want is for it to soar.

with so much promise is reduced by virtue of clumsy programming and imprecise dramaturgy to so much less than the sum of its parts. Veronique Valerio ■ Sydney Festival


Until January 27 / Famous Spiegeltent Let’s be honest, if you’re thinking about going to see this show, it’s probably because of Frank Woodley. As half of possibly Australia’s most-loved comedy duo, Lano and Woodley, he charmed the nation for two decades with his delightful mixture of intelligence and idiocy. Unfortunately, his talent is half-used in INSIDE, a show that fails to deliver on its promises. A two-man ‘tragi-comedy’ with acrobat Simon Yates, whose career has spanned a similarly successful 20 years, INSIDE is the tale of identical twins Viktor and Vissilli, imprisoned and forced to do absurd tasks. Billed as a mix of comedy and acrobatics, the hour-or-so is loosely based around the pair (who also at times appear to function – or dysfunction – as lovers) trying to escape their fate, but runs more like a series of skits than a structured narrative. This wouldn’t be a problem except that the jokes fail to come thick and fast and the best moments are marred by their less hilarious surroundings. In the show's best parts, you can recognise Woodley’s comedic gift and Yates’ acrobatic talent, when Woodley delivers a perfect line, or when Yates suspends himself from Anna Cordingley’s spare cage design. I have to admit, the encore musical number almost won my heart back – but overall I was left wanting more from the scenario. Neither the depths of despair nor the comedic possibilities of a prison existence were satisfactorily explored. A disappointing showing from a team who have the chops to do better. Henry Florence ■ Sydney Festival

Jonathan Hindmarsh ■ Sydney Festival


mca summer opening


January 8-11 / Seymour Centre

19:12:12 :: MCA :: 140 George Street, Sydney 9245 2458

Arts Exposed What's in our diary...

SYDNEY FESTIVAL: PARRAMATTA OPENING PARTY Saturday January 19 from 4-11pm In the streets and parks of Parramatta City Sydney Festival are making a hoopla in Parramatta this Saturday to celebrate their program, and besides being seven-hours of free-stuff, it’s got all the funk, soul, hip hop, French food and alt-circus/ sideshow treats you can wrap your eye and ear holes around: event planneurs La’Toosh will take over Market Street, turning it into a Parisian street fair; Church Street will explode with fire and beats, courtesy of the Pyrophone Juggernaut (aka 'massive fire organ’), and Michael Chin (aka Tokyo Love-In) will take over the I.C.E. premises with his Tablatronics show, which mixes Mongolian throat-singers and Indian tabla players with photographic projections. The day will culminate in a double-bill of live music down by the river, when oldschool funksters Kashmere Stage Band (above) and Malian songstress Rokia Traoré take over the Parade Ground @ Old King’s. For the full program see Some of these Kats will be there...

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A foreign correspondent. A sniper. A revolutionary’s father. These are just some of the people you might find in any pocket of the world where civil unrest has broken out. And they’re three of the voices in Sulayman Al-Bassam’s In The Eruptive Mode, a series of six monologues responding to the events – past and ongoing – of the so-called Arab Spring. If you’re not already deeply invested in the issues facing the Middle East as it hurtles through one of its most turbulent times in history, however, much of the significance might be lost. Al Bassam’s writing is dense, poetic and highly allusive (and occasionally elusive), with some stunning images and phrases conjured up. The three performers – Raymond Hosni, Hala Omran and guest Australian performer Kym Vercoe – are tasked with wrapping their minds and tongues around this forest of ideas, with varying degrees of success. Al-Bassam has chosen to write and have the work performed entirely in English (as opposed, for instance, to Arabic for the Arabic characters and English for Vercoe’s two outsiders) and something about this decision doesn’t quite fit. It seems to flatten the characters out, create an illusion of bringing them closer to us – when in actual fact most of them have experiences so vastly different to ours you could feel the audience struggling to fit it into their frame of reference. It’s one of several things that jars slightly about the work – the cavernous space of the York Theatre is all wrong, too, and more prosaically, there were technical hitches on opening night. It’s a shame that a work

THE BLIND DATE PROJECT Until January 20 / Seymour Centre In a dodgy karaoke bar, Bojana Novakovic waits for an unknown man with whom she will spend an hour as they get to know one another. Each night her suitor is played by a different actor, and the audience watch as they stumble through the greetings, jokes and awkward moments that we know as a first date. Throughout the night, the pair are guided by text messages and phone calls from director Tanya Goldberg. This is The Blind Date Project, where theatre trades in rehearsal for a karaoke song menu. As I waited for the show to start, I had moment of worry, thinking ‘Wait a second, have I come to an improv night?’ but as the evening got underway, those fears quickly subsided. What makes this experiment so interesting (other than the obvious class of the actors) is that blind dates themselves are inherently theatrical. People are constantly making decisions about how they want to portray themselves to a possible partner; do they want to come across as funny? Do they tell a few lies to try and stay in the game? Or do they offer themselves bare, and hope for the best? Watching Damon Herriman (who I only know as the repulsive sex doc Marcus from ABC’s Laid) do his best to charm Novakovic offered some genuine drama, as each tried to out-manoeuvre the other. Although the concept began to show its weaknesses as the night wore on, it managed to come to a satisfying conclusion. Obviously, this can’t be guaranteed every night, but between Novakovic and the possibilities of the karaoke bar setting, The Blind Date Project guarantees a fun night out. Henry Florence

Film & Theatre Reviews Hits and misses on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.

Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy riff in This Is 40

■ Film

■ Film

In cinemas from January 17

Released January 10

There are cases (most of them comedies) where a film’s sloppiness, shapelessness and unwillingness to hold together collectively emerges as a virtue rather than a drawback. This Is 40, Judd Apatow’s thoroughly shambolic pseudosequel to 2007’s Knocked Up, is just such a film.

In the last two months, two films have dealt with Alfred Hitchcock’s taste for on-screen violence and blondes – The Girl, a TV movie about the director’s relationship with Tippi Hedren during the making of The Birds, and Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, about the making of Psycho. I’ve not seen the former, but the latter trumps it on cast alone, with a trifecta of Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville, and Scarlett Johansen as the blonde actress Janet Leigh (wife of Tony Curtis, mother of Jamie-Lee).



Taking Knocked Up’s sidelined married couple Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) as a focal point, the film is best viewed as a slice-of-life drama with modest ambitions, charting the trials and triumphs of married life at the titular age, albeit over an immodest 140-minute running time. The autobiographical content of the film has been proudly trumpeted by its creator – Mann is Apatow’s wife, and Pete and Debbie’s daughters are played by the junior Apatows. Even without that foreknowledge, or identification with the specific predicaments (financial, sexual, emotional, etc), much of the film has the bracing and refreshing sting of watching presumably lived experiences, from a candid opening sex scene interrupted by Paul’s admission of using Viagra, to the discussions between Paul and his financially unstable father (a scenestealing Albert Brooks).


Hitchcock is a film about a creative partnership as much as it’s about a director and the making of his iconic film, Psycho. It’s satisfying for several reasons: besides the pleasure of seeing Mirren and Hopkins verbally sparring, Johanssen is quite wonderful as Leigh, an already likable character; and there’s something reassuring about the idea that every genius has his flaws and fallibilities, and that behind every famous man is a brilliant woman. This aspect of the film, however, has to be treated with some scepticism; Gervasi & Co would have us believe that Alma was nothing less than Hitchcock’s secret weapon – a notion to which people more familiar with his work and personal life take exception.

Oh, and it’s pretty damn funny too.

The truly interesting through-line of Hitchcock is the making of Psycho, a film that was a watershed moment for Hitch’s career, film censorship, and cinema itself (for more on this see David Thomson’s book, The Moment Of Psycho). Gervasi & Co. cast the aging director as a rebel in the backlot at Paramount, stalwartly resisting the studio’s pressure for another action-thriller like North By Northwest (a huge success for MGM just a year earlier). Instead, he decides to self-fund an adaptation of the cold-blooded Ed-Gein-inspired novella Psycho, after Paramount refuses (ultimately the film made between two and three-times as much as North By Northwest, from a budget of less than a third). The birthing of the film, through excruciating production, censorship and marketing complications, proves to be gripping stuff – and far less treacly than the marriage plot.

Ian Barr

Dee Jefferson

It’s this honesty that makes the whole thing work. This is 40 would’ve been frankly intolerable (and to some, might already be) without the aid of its cast, with Rudd and Mann bringing authenticity to their many squabbles, and strong support from John Lithgow (as Debbie’s father), as well as Apatow alumni Jason Segel, Charlyne Yi, Chris O’Dowd and Lena Dunham in supporting roles. Megan Fox doesn’t fare as well, as an employee of Debbie’s clothing boutique suspected of embezzling money, but she gets some good lines, which can be credited to the overriding spirit of generosity that Apatow brings, which primarily ensures that neither Pete nor Debbie are favoured as victors.

OPEN TIL 3AM Hopkins sizes up his co-star in Hitchcock

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live reviews What we've been to see...


fame via Veni Vidi Vicious’ ‘Die, All Right!’, and ‘Wait A Minute’ from their latest, Lex Hives.


Hailing from Brisvegas, Dune Rats are greasy-haired skater boys with a surprisingly melodic surf-rock sound. With the aid of a sweet Fender Jag, they did a decent job of warming up the growing crowd, with a set that included their Unearthed hit ‘Pogo’ and a frenetic cover of ‘Blister In The Sun’ (minus a few key lyrics).

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of seeing The Hives in action knows they’re ridiculously charming, with entertaining banter and hyperbolic confidence (“I have good news and bad news. The bad news? This is our last song. The good news? It rules!”) that had us eating out of their hands. During the final song of the encore (The Black And White Album’s ‘Tick Tick Boom’), Pelle even hypnotised the audience to sit down mid-song – the few standing stragglers managed to withstand some flying water bottles and a glare from the puppet master himself – before the band finished with a flourish and a bow alongside their ninja roadies.

Bombay Bicycle Club are not ponces. The first thing to know about the band, who rose to fame after winning the 2006 Road To V [Festival] Competition, is that they don’t sound like competition winners. They don’t sound a lot like what you’d imagine Bombay Bicycle Club sound like, either. Listen to commercial singles ‘Shuffle’ or the pretty ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?’, or even the tropical-themed ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ from their latest long-player A Different Kind Of Fix, and you’ll get a very different kind of band to the one on show at the buzzing Factory Theatre. The crowd might have been dominated early on by screaming girls, but this was about as far away from teenage heartthrob as you could get.

The Metro Theatre Monday January 7

Ever the consummate Scandinavian showmen, The Hives were brought onstage with a dramatic orchestral score that seemed to emanate from the giant black and white backdrop of a stringpulling puppet master. With the band resplendent in top hats and tails, we knew we were in for a treat. It was the night before the hottest day on Earth (or at least in Sydney’s history), and frontman/ scissor-kicking extraordinaire Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist offered up a theory: “The mercury’s working its way up to a scorcher and The Hives are in town. Coincidence? I think not!” The set was a barrage of hits from across their five albums; highlights were a frantic ‘No Pun Intended’ of Tyrannosaurus Hives

We were treated to microphone acrobatics, face-melting bass solos and high fives throughout the show, and the crowd did well to match the band’s tireless and insanely energetic performance. It was undoubtedly worthy of the 1239.7/10 score awarded by popular vote. By the end of the night, we were all true believers, worshipping at the altar of The Hives. Natalie Amat

The Factory Theatre Wednesday January 2

Surely, there were some delicate spots. ‘Leave It’ saw the band bring on a female guest vocalist, a cutesy Lisa Mitchell-type, who certainly bolstered the harmonies. Those aforementioned cruisier tracks also came off with the help of some vocal assistance but somehow sounded disinterested, as though the band were playing the tracks more out

of obligation than adoration. It was in the breakdowns to these slower tracks, when superb frontman Jack Steadman stepped away from the microphone and headbanged alongside the band’s guitarist and bass player, that we got insight into the real Bombay Bicycle Club: a band that is far louder and grungier than their comparatively clean-cut discography would suggest. In the midst of ‘Always Like This’, as the room happily erupted into the football chant chorus that underpins the song, BBC made themselves known. They can easily cycle through indie vibes, crooner rock, folktronica and more in the space of one song, but grungy tunes that see the band double up on bass guitarists ultimately win out. The demo of a new track, the percussion-heavy, noisy ‘Carry Me’, confirmed that the London quartet are at their best when they are loud and rambunctious. Sweating, heaving mess suits BBC better than quiet, serenading intellectual, but we got the best of both worlds tonight. Closer ‘What If’ from 2009’s I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose was explosive, aural dynamite. They can shake alright. David Seidler


Morrissey spits some of his lyrics and caresses others, picking his moments like canapés off a cocktail platter.

Enter the Church of Morrissey. Kristeen Young was temporarily excommunicated back in 2007 – thrown off that year’s tour for a remark about Morrissey and oral sex – but His Mozness has since forgiven Young her sins, and tonight she’s in top form. Young sings only to a backing track, but she performs her pop art with the overwhelming intensity of a symphony orchestra. The musical accompaniment is but a guiding line to her frenetic energies; without it, she would take off like an untied balloon.

But there’s a substantial outline of affectedness in all this, too, and unlike the older material, some of Morrissey’s solo work doesn’t stand up to it. The fivepiece band is lined up towards the back of the stage, and though they’re permitted out front for solos, The Mozfather is left alone through the weaker tracks, naked and treading water. Then again, nudity is all they’re after in the gallery – when Morrissey removes his shirt and throws it into the audience, he immediately rescues the night from the embarrassed mood instilled by ‘Meat Is Murder’, certainly the flattest point of the set.

The Enmore Theatre Friday December 21

Morrissey in his live setting is a very different beast than that encountered on record. The miserable and intimate crooner that so many of his devoted fans cast as their only friend in a darkened room (I know it’s true, I’ve done it myself) becomes, on stage, a barely containable personification of public masculinity. And this really is worship – the singer takes a deep bow with his band to start the show before speaking his first abrupt homily, a cryptic couplet about the final judgment. ‘Shoplifters Of The World Unite’ begins the set proper, followed by ‘You Have Killed Me’, which matches The Smiths’ original for every inch of its vigour. The microphone cord is sent flailing through choruses as

‘How Soon Is Now?’ commands the room for sheer volume; later, there’s a stunning passage of beauty as ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ precedes ‘I Know It’s Over’. Together they serve as a reminder of that moodily poetic and often feminine voice we know from our more private Morrissey moments. And yet in person, before an audience, Morrissey becomes so physical, so dominant. Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? How will we ever know? Chris Martin


SHARON JONES & THE DAPKINGS Sydney Opera House Friday January 4

Ever since their first tour in 2006, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have been staples of our festival circuit, winning over audiences and slowly building what is now a big, dedicated fanbase. Now, seven years later, they’re well-established, selling out the Sydney Opera House ahead of (and despite) a free show in The Domain the following day. The Opera House is perhaps most often associated with high art, but it’s proven itself in recent years as a versatile contemporary music venue as well. Who can forget the sense of intimacy afforded The Cure’s otherwise arena-sized concerts, or the way that the Concert Hall somehow made Kanye West’s beats feel even more opulent when he toured for the first time? For Sharon Jones, though, the results are a little more mixed. At her best, she’s a high-energy funk powerhouse, taking her songs to new heights with an equal measure of swagger, skill and force. But it’s a power that’s fuelled by the reciprocation of an invested audience, and the formalised surrounds of the Concert

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Hall seemed to quieten some of that energy. Those concerns aside, Sharon is an incredible performer, with a contagious charisma that’s well-matched by the obsessively revivalist Dap-Kings. While the band have essentially (and effectively) reverse-engineered classic American funk into one of the most skillful outfits of the present day, Sharon’s performance comes across more organically. At 56 years of age, she’s clearly spent many years engrossed in her art, yet as an act that began later in life she has the enthusiasm and energy of an artist still at her peak. It’s the best of both worlds, and despite clearly trading in a musical trend that peaked decades ago, her delivery is so compelling that it avoids coming across as simple homage. The end result is that she is one of the few performers who can convincingly channel the classic cool of long-gone artists like James Brown and Otis Redding. A subdued vibe can’t change that, and when her set reaches its peak with an ecstatic rendition of early hit ‘Got To Be The Way It Is’, it’s hard to imagine a more compelling living example of classic soul. Adam Lewis :: PHOTOGRAPHER : ASHLEY MAR

live reviews What we've been to see...

THE CRIBS, SURES Oxford Art Factory Wednesday January 2

In the twisted world of rock-star etiquette, The Cribs could give lessons. All is going smoothly in Sures’ support slot until a guitar string snaps during ‘Poseidon’. None other than Cribs co-vocalist Ryan Jarman is on hand to lend the Sydney youngsters a guitar, and repair the offending Stratocaster at the side of stage. Instrumental malfunctions aside, Sures sound reenergised for the new year. Over the last 12 months, their set has got immeasurably stronger, and their immediate future looks bright. I’ve always thought of Oxford Art Factory as our version of Madchester’s famous Haçienda club, complete with its visionimpairing poles in the middle of the dancefloor. It’s fitting The Cribs hail from that part of the world – but then the Jarman brothers were never big on the coked-up grandiosity that informed much of the ’90s Britpop scene. They’re all about directness, and Ryan Jarman attacks the point right away. With dented microphone and ripped singlet, he doesn’t favour overdone concepts like singing all the lyrics or hitting all the notes – not when there’s so much else going on to worry about.

Hurling his mic stand around the stage and chasing it, for instance: if this piece of equipment were a person, it’d be sent for counselling. Beside him, twin sibling Gary stalks the stage at double time; meanwhile, drummer Ross spends much of the night standing atop his throne, somehow managing still to reach the kit from there. All of this is why The Cribs, unlike other bands that Johnny Marr has left, don’t suffer as a live act without him. The Jarmans have brought along another anonymous guitarist to mimic Marr’s parts anyway, and their overall change in direction feels like the difference between technological warfare and old-fashioned trench battle. Witness ‘Cheat On Me’ against ‘Chi-Town’ – Marr’s laser-guided guitar lines are replaced by bullet sprays of garage distortion, and on stage, it just about works better.



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“Awarded Best

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Because for all their hyperactive showmanship, The Cribs are no optical illusion. As if to prove it, Ryan requests the lights down before leading an impressively layered and forceful version of ‘Back To The Bolthole’. The night closes in the near chaos of ‘City Of Bugs’, with a drum kit strewn across the stage and Ryan surfing the crowd. They’re not a band for ritualism, least of all encores – this way, it’s much more fun.


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Sydney Opera House Thursday January 3 Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg are all smooth glossy locks and sweet folk ballads on the surface, but their lyrics are often sharp and poetic observations of emotion and experience. Their sold-out show at the Opera House was an exercise in stunning vocals and mesmerising performance. Their rich, noteperfect harmonies filled the cavernous space of the Concert Hall, and the duo held the audience in awed silence for many of the songs, their voices intertwining with sparse instrumentation. Klara played acoustic guitar while Johanna was on keyboard duty, backed by pedal steel and percussion. A stand out moment was when they stepped back from the microphones and played a haunting version of ‘Ghost Town’, with just Klara’s guitar. It’s a testament to their talent that we had no trouble hearing them sing unassisted – and Johanna leading the audience in a murmured sing-along was pretty spine tingling. Their banter was endearing – “I’m going to tell my grandchildren, ‘Once upon a time I played a sold-out Sydney Opera House’”

– and then, before they played break-out single ‘Emmylou’, Klara continued, “They’ll say ‘Grandma stop talking about Emmylou Harris, we don’t know who she is.’ Oh god, my grandkids will be terrible!”


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Natalie Amat

“Awarded Best

nment presents Fairplay Entertaid Local 16 Coopers Live an Mark Dawson JAN Ed Kuepper with JAN


But it wasn’t all silken hair and ‘70s flower children. The intro of ‘The Lion’s Roar’ featured the riff of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, and the girls did a lot of intense folk-metal hair-tossing throughout the set. Johanna opened the encore screaming “SYDNEEEEEEEY! Who wants to hear another song?” before apologising – “but sometimes I like to pretend that I’m a rockstar.” What followed was a cover of the Paul Simon-penned ‘America’, with glorious harmonies (naturally) which they had performed for the man himself last year at the Polar Music Prize. Then they launched into biting ditty ‘Sailor Song’, from debut The Black And The Blue, before closing out the evening with a stirring and energetic ‘King Of The World’. The Söderberg sisters may still be young, but they have the talent and gravitas of performers much older and more experienced – which makes for a captivating show.

STLE A C W E N ’S E T T O LIZ Entertainment Restaurant in Australia” iana Rouvas

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nment presents Fairplay Entertaid Local 23 Coopers Live an JAN nwald 24 Ash Gru JAN nee Geyer 25 Re ith Oz Legend JAN Australia Day w 26 Doug Parkinson JAN

d 27 Sarah McLeo JAN

Lizotte’s Sydney 629 Pittwater Rd Dee Why

Lizotte’s Central Coast Lot 3 Avoca Dr Kincumber

Lizotte’s Newcastle 31 Morehead St Lambton

W W W. L I ZOT T E S.CO M.AU BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 29

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mariah carey


up all night out all week . . .

children collide


03:01:13 :: Allphones Areana :: Sydney Olympic Park 8765 4321

03:01:13 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666

maximo park


best coast


29:12:12 :: Annandale Hotel :: 17 Paramatta Rd Annandale 9550 1078

03:01:13 :: The Hi-Fi :: 122 Lang Road Moore Park

21:12:12 :: FBi Social :: Kings Cross Hotel 248 William St 9331 9900 :: S : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER :: PEDRO XAVIER :: MAR LEY ASH :: L WEL CAS JANE

30 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13


party profile

go here go there


chichadelica It’s called: Chichadelica It sounds like: A mountainous well of sexy salsa-infused chicha (Peruvian folk), tropical Africano, psychedelic Peruvian rock, Afro-Peruvian ballads, boleros cantineros, salsa and soul! Acts: DJ Salacious Melon and guests Three songs you’ll hear on the night: ‘Ya se ha muerto mi abuelo’ – Juaneco y su combo; ‘Dulce Morena’ – Tropicombo; ‘Bamboleo’ – Gypsy Kings! And one you definitely won’t: ‘Rock Lobster’. Sell it to us: Chichadelica is a monthly fiesta at our much-loved Freda’s bar! It’s a unique opportunity to sit and enjoy some spicy rhythms while you sip on their immaculately made Pisco Sours – and once you get warm, have those hip-movin' moves fire up the dancefloor. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: That sexy girl shakin’ her booty all up in your face. Crowd specs: Everyone and anyone who wants to be in the right place at the right time. Wallet damage: It’s free, free, free – dancing is free too! $10 Pisco Sours and Mediterranean tapas-style feeds. Where: Freda’s in Chippendale / 107-109 Regent Street When: Saturday January 19, from 8pm





IN THE WORLDS LUSHEST PARADISE OF SHORT FILM! Don’t miss 10 days of the best short films from home and the world screening eening under the stars at Sydney’s iconic onic stralia’s Bondi Beach! Flickerfest is Australia’s only Academy® Accredited andd BAFTA recognised short film festival. hilled Come early and enjoy some chilled sounds and yummy organic food od and drinks at our panoramic festival al bar and festival lawn. Open every day throughout the festival! al and Comedy shorts, international rts, kids Australian shorts, Oscar shorts, e! shorts, Elvis shorts and more! Presenting partner

View our trailer!


BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 31

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unknown mortal orchestra


up all night out all week . . .

02:01:13 :: The Standard :: 3/383 Bourke St Darlinghurst 9331 3100

summer slam! party profile

It’s called: SUMMER SLAM! It sounds like: Running through sprinklers, doing wonky cartwheels, snags cooking on the BBQ, DIY waterslides and high-fives with your best pals – all magically expressed through SONG. Acts: Velociraptor, Bloods, Drunk Mums, The Guppies, The Upskirts, The Chitticks, Money For Rope and Grease Arrestor. Sell it to us: Eight cool bands, cheap drinks, fine company, summer cocktails plus air-conditioned comfort. No brainer. SUMMER TIME. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Dancing up a storm with the Cries Wolf DJs. Crowd specs: Everybody will come lookin’ real fine, fresh from the barbershop or fly from the beauty salon. Wallet damage: Only $15 entry / $5 beers + $6 vodka all night. Where: Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst – across two rooms!


32 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

beck hansen's song reader 19:12:12 :: The Standard :: 3/383 Bourke St Darlinghurst 9331 3100


peats ridge festival


When: Thursday January 17, 8pm

BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 33

The apocalypse wasn’t the only thing we survived in 2012 – the year was also responsible for ‘Call give a kick-ass speech, we were brought whole binders full of women (and a Higgs boson particle) Houston, MCA, Maurice Sendak and Count Dracula – but hey you guys, we’ll get a baby Kimye! Team

2012 Steph Harmon Top three Australian albums: Collarbones – Die Young Good Heavens – Strange Dreams The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology Top three international albums: Cat Power – Sun Frank Ocean – Channel Orange Grizzly Bear – Shields Most overrated albums: Cat Power, Frank Ocean and Grizzly Bear probably, but you can’t argue with Most Played. I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: Shearwater’s ‘Animal Life’ and Kishi Bashi’s ‘Bright Whites’. Both were a fail-safe way to demolish the baddest of moods all year. I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: Any more air time given to Chris Brown. Radio... TV... Stahp. Top gig from an Aussie act: Dappled Cities, Jonathan Boulet, Caitlin Park, Aidan Roberts, Josh

Frank Ocean

Tame Impala


Pyke, Richard In Your Mind, Tom Rawle, Melodie Nelson, Elana Stone and The Green Mohair Suits, performing Beck's Song Reader under the music direction of Brian Campeau – with hilarious cameos from Sarah Blasko and Brendan Cowell. Organising that with Caitlin Welsh was the most stressful thing I've ever done, but also the most rewarding: we raised $15k for Sydney Story Factory, and looking at that list of humans still blows my tiny mind. Top gig from an international act: Sigur Ros at Harvest. Three Sydney artists to watch: Day Ravies, Dro Carey, High Highs. Favourite new Sydney discovery: Arcadia Liquors. Top three films: Beasts Of The Southern Wild – dir. Benh Zeitlin Cosmopolis – dir. David Cronenberg Cabin In The Woods – dir. Joss Whedon

Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: Sydney Film Festival, if only for the glowing orb of exhilarated wonder it turns Dee Jefferson into each year. 2012 highlight: Standing within grabbing distance of Bill Murray, David Fricke and James Mercer up the front for Jack White’s set during his Third Man showcase in Texas. Blogging daily from SxSW was pretty unbeatable. 2012 lowlight: Still no gun laws. Still no gay marriage. Still no jetpacks. What I’m looking forward to in 2013: Parks & Recreation's return, Arrested Development season four, Mad Men season six, You Are Here, Monsters University, Dirty Projectors for Sydney Festival, Nick Cave at The Opera House, and new Haim, Frightened Rabbit, Bad Seeds and Arcade Fire – plus some new adventures...

Kendrick Lamar

Caitlin Welsh Top three Australian albums: Tame Impala – Lonerism Hermitude – HyperParadise Pony Face – Hypnotised

Australian music festival of 2012: Laneway yet again, but I’m absolutely kicking myself for not doing OutsideIn.

Top three international albums: Father John Misty – Fear Fun Frank Ocean – Channel Orange Perfume Genius – Put Ur Back N 2 It

Top three Sydney artists to watch: The Dead Heads, Day Ravies, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys.

Most overrated album of 2012: fun. – Some Nights. Unbearably calculated main-stage sing-along bait, anchored by a bland megahit that completely wastes Janelle Monae. I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: ‘Call Me Maybe’, obvs – but the slinky bluster of Lakutis’ ‘Death Shark’ gave me a shot of no-fucksgiven whenever I needed it (which was often). I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: “Shine BRAT like a DYMUND? Shine BRAT like a DYMUND?” Top gig from an Aussie act: I’m biased, but Beck Hansen’s Song Reader featured some of the best talent in Sydney, nay, the WORLD – and every single act brought their gorgeous, sweaty A-game. Top gig from an international act: Ryan Adams in January, Morrissey in December, and Robyn in my pants.

Dappled Cities at Beck Hansen's Song Reader

Dee Jefferson Top three Australian albums: Tame Impala – Lonerism Collarbones – Die Young Rapids – Holland Air Top three international albums: Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan Jonny Greenwood – The Master OST Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city Most overrated album: Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (which I actually really like). I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: ‘Is your arts news written?’ Hahaha. (Yes.) I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: 'YOLO'. Please stop. Top gig from an Aussie act: Sures and Bloods at our office Xmas partay – as close as I’ll come to having a gig in my lounge room. Top gig from an 34 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

Arts & Associate Editor

international act: Radiohead. The love affair continues, and even better in the flesh, natch. Best Aussie music festival: Harvest – for maintaining the improbably awesome vibe of the first year into its second. Favourite new Sydney discovery: Mr Wong; much as I hate jumping on bandwagons, it’s hard to deny the level of design, service and cheffin that Dan Hong’s new Merivale escapade brings to the table. And that cocktail list… Top five films: The Master – dir. Paul Thomas Anderson; La Cinquieme Saison (unreleased) – dirs Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – dir. Tomas Alfredson; The Deep Blue Sea – dir. Terence Davies; Safety Not Guaranteed – dir. Colin Trevorrow Top three theatre productions: Thyestes – Dir. Simon Stone; Sydney Festival/Belvoir

Face To Face – Dir. Simon Stone; STC Death Of A Salesman – Dir. Simon Stone; Belvoir (well, this is embarrassing). Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: Sydney Film Festival is still my magic hour. 2012 highlight: 25 minutes with Paul Thomas Anderson, with a cameo by Harvey Weinstein. 2012 lowlight: The new Malick and De Palma, just for starters. Oh boy. What I'm looking forward to in 2013: The new Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost colab, Spike Lee’s take on Old Boy, Gatsby, new Lars Von Trier, Gus Van Sant, Almodovar, Haneke and Baumbach. Stage-wise, seeing Tim Minchin be Rozencrantz (or Guildenstern?), Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert in The Maids. On TV, more Girls, Newsroom, Arrested Development...etc.


Favourite new Sydney discovery: Eat Art Truck’s shichimi chicken wings. Top three films: Safety Not Guaranteed – dir. Colin Trevorrow; The Artist – dir. Michel Hazanavicius; Magic Mike – dir. Steven Soderbergh 2012 highlight: Apart from tricking all those amazing musicians into performing the new Beck album for me? The PM’s sexism smackdown, no President Romney, and a Swans premiership. 2012 lowlight: The political conversation was pretty dire both here and in the US. I’d rather have a pap smear every day until the election than listen to Tony Abbott say any more words ever. What I’m looking forward to in 2013: World’s End, my maiden jaunt to the Meredith Amphitheatre for Golden Plains, ALL THE TV SHOWS, and the zany adventures I’ll likely have trying to obtain Springsteen tickets.

Benjamin Cooper Top three Australian albums: Chet Faker – Thinking In Textures Axxonn – Beyond Light Tame Impala – Lonerism Top three international albums: Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city Future Of The Left – The Plot Against Common Sense Most overrated album: Grizzly Bear – Shields. Oh hai there chamber pop’n’roll of the future! You know what? The game is up, and pretense-gone-pop is still a load of shiny ass. I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: Old dudes in the pub discussing how Australian fast bowler Pete Siddle’s gone soft since he quit eating meat. I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: That omnipresent Of Monsters And Men track. Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros has happened before, people, and it wore pretty thin pretty quick, too. Top gig from an Aussie act:

Songs with Camperdown & Out and Day Ravies at The Chalk Horse Gallery. Max from Songs simultaneously shredded and giggled on the stage floor in front of his young children (who were watching his band for the first time). Top gig from an international act: Afghan Whigs in the G.W. McLennan Tent at Splendour. Greg Dulli and his crew appeared before the 20 peeps not watching ATDI in well-cut black threads to the strains of ‘Crime Scene Part One’, all watery and powerful guitars straining against the dark of the tent. Best Aussie music festival: Harvest Sydney (arts component). Despite blundering about in heel-andtoe-killing cowboy boots (AT LAST, LADIES: I FEEL YOUR PAIN!), I had a supremely relaxing day observing rare film footage, nudey dancing people, and Wollongong’s first and finest bogan opera. Three Sydney artists to watch: Jackie Onassis, Claire Finneran, Maree Freeman Favourite new Sydney discovery: Yeah, yeah, I’m really late to the party, but

Staff Writer how about those food vans?! Top three films: Beasts Of The Southern Wild – dir. Benh Zeitlin; Once Upon A Time In Anatolia – dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan; The Avengers – dir. Joss Whedon Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: MCA ArtBar. Tunes and art on the roof of the refurbished MCA, with the final instalment featuring an elevator performance by Pete Oxley from The Sunnyboys. 2012 highlight: Partying through the day and night at Newcastle’s Sound Summit with Gooch Palms; waking up sitting in a chair next to a morning campfire in their yard and being given a cold can of beer convinced me that Newie’s orright. 2012 lowlight: Four hours later, lying face-down in the beer garden of some shitty early opener confronting the terrible knowledge that, when combined with brekky beers, it is humanly possible to eat too much bacon. What I’m looking forward to in 2013: Having the self control to not listen to quite as much Drake.

Me Maybe’, Chris Brown’s no stars EVER, and a strange man fake-riding a horse. We watched Gillard – and who could forget Kony 2012? (Short answer: everybody.) We lost a lot of legends – Whitney BRAG talks the highs and the lows of 2012, and what the new year will bring…

Nathan Jolly Top three Australian albums: The Smith Street Band – Sunshine And Technology Lower Plenty – Hard Rubbish Sarah Blasko – I Awake Top three international albums: Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory Frank Ocean – Channel Orange Japandroids – Celebration Rock Most overrated album: Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Only because it’s being hailed as a revelation and a revolution rather than just a great hip hop record. Needs more posthumous Nate Dogg choruses. I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: ‘No Future/No Past’ by Cloud Nothings, despite nostalgia

Chris Honnery

Rock News / Contributor

running counter to the song’s sentiments. I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: Another DJ playing in a fucking pie shop/pizzeria. Pop on a CD instead? Top gig from an Aussie act: Missy Higgins at the Seymour Centre, because it turns out she is a hilarious stand-up comedian! Top gig from an international act: Morrissey, because Morrissey! Best Aussie music festival: Big Day Out, because the CEO is my handsome, handsome boss. Three Sydney artists to watch: Ken Done, Yoram Gross, Banksy. Favourite new Sydney discovery: Selwyn catches the same morning bus as

one of my friends. Top three films: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower x3. Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: Beck Hansen’s Song Reader because it was a triumph, organised by two of my favourite people. 2012 highlight: Julia Gillard’s amazing decimation of Tony Abbott, and Jezebel sending it viral. 2012 lowlight: Shootings and famine and that. Also, The Jezabels are filling the Hordern now? Really? What I'm looking forward to in 2013: The girl I will meet who will say, “This seems forward, as we just met, but wanna lie in my bed for a week and re-watch all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls?” Stone Roses will be good, too. Psy

Sarah Blasko

Top three Australian albums: Thrupence – Voyages Deepchild – Neukolln Burning  Tame Impala – Lonerism

Dance News / Deep Impressions Röyksopp

Top three international albums: Hot Chip – In Our Heads Matthew Dear – Beams Voices From The Lake – S/T Most overrated album: In many ways a harsh call, but I had big expectations for Nina Kraviz’s self-titled debut, and was disappointed. The Syberian starlet set high standards with her early EPs, but failed to recapture the form across an entire album. Still one to watch, however. I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: A tie between Andrés – ‘New For U’ and Hot Chip – ‘Look At Where We Are’. Both are beautiful songs that soundtrack memories of good times with friends.   I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: ‘Gangnam Style’ was a big step up from LMFAO, so maybe my murderous tendencies are mellowing with age. Top gig from an Aussie act: Tame Impala. Believe the hype. Top gig from an international act: Röyksopp at The Enmore in January. Melding electronic

pop sounds with improvised interludes of surprisingly robust techno and oozing charisma, they had the venue enthralled – and bouncing – for two of the funnest hours I’ve had with clothes on.   Best Aussie music festival: Subsonic. World heritage location + 48 hours of continuous music from an interesting selection of artists that belie the ‘all tip, no iceberg’ festival act blueprint that more publicised events work off.   Top three mixes of 2012:  Levon Vincent – Fabric 63 Norman Nodge – Berghain 06 Zip – Fabric 67   Favourite new Sydney discovery: The recently opened Suzie Qs cafe, Surry Hills. Rare records

Rebecca Saffir

Luke Telford Top three Australian albums: Grand Salvo – Slay Me In My Sleep Ned Collette And Wirewalker –2 Rites Wild – Ways Of Being Top three international albums: Burial – Kindred Laurel Halo – Quarantine Scott Walker – Bish Bosch Most overrated album: Grimes – Visions. Grimes fans, please: douse yourselves in cold water and go listen to the Cocteau Twins. I’ll get nostalgic about 2012 when I hear: Frank Ocean – ‘Thinkin' About You’. This song resonates with me in ways that I don’t think Frank Ocean would’ve intended, but I’m sure he’d be pleased about. I will murder someone if I ever have to hear: Many would put ‘Gangnam Style’ or ‘Call Me Maybe’ or probably ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ here, but honestly, those are all good songs that I’m happy to hear a few more times before I die. So bring it on, queasily saccharine/

Top five productions: Babel (Words) – chor. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Damiel Jalet; Sydney Festival I’m Your Man – dir. Roslyn Oades; Belvoir/Sydney Festival Thyestes – dir. Simon Stone; Belvoir/Sydney Festival The New Electric Ballroom – dir. Kate Gaul; Griffin Independent Death Of A Salesman – dir. Simon Stone; Belvoir


omnipresent chart-toppers of 2013. Top gig from an Aussie act: Besides Sky Needle and perhaps Robin Fox at Serial Space, Joe McKee was pretty spectacular at Paddington Uniting Church. Witnessing him deliver the final song off Burning Boy from the pulpit with a fiery passion was both rousing and chilling. Top gig from an international act: Earth at The Hi-Fi, Sydney. Molten, elastic, disciplined, minimal – faith-restoring guitar music that may never return to Australia. Best Aussie music festival: Harvest – second year running, it’s easily the most effortless and enjoyable major music festival for a punter to amble through. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get much bigger or dumber next year. Three Sydney artists to watch: Top People, Half High, Making. Favourite new Sydney discovery: The Dock. The dive bar just around the

corner from Arcadia Liquors does free popcorn, spins broken 78s, and pours a revolving selection of cheap international tap beer. Top three films: Moonrise Kingdom – dir. Wes Anderson; Beasts Of The Southern Wild – dir. Benh Zeitlin; Solaris – Andrei Tarkovsky Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: Biennale on Cockatoo Island. 2012 highlight: Seeing Api Uiz play at Bimhuis in Amsterdam. French guitar trio rock that sounds like Captain Beefheart might have if he could’ve played guitar himself and listened to way too much noise/ samba.

Favourite new Sydney discovery: Palmer & Co in the CBD. I feel dirty for liking a Merivale venue, but I just can’t argue with an underground prohibitionera-themed cocktail bar that stays open til 5am.

Ian Barr Top three Australian albums: Blank Realm – Go Easy Lower Plenty – Hard Rubbish Rat Columns – Sceptre Hole Top three international albums: Chromatics – Kill For Love Demdike Stare – Elemental Tyvek – On Triple Beams

2012 lowlight: Watching Hercules & Love Affair play to about 12 other people at Future Music Festival.

Favourite new Sydney discovery: Kinema Microcinema in Leichhardt.

What I’m looking forward to in 2013: ATP Festival. Unsound Adelaide. Seeing how the world responds to records from Angel Eyes, Brainbeau, Soft Power, Making and Absolute Boys (if at all).

Top five films of the year (released): Hail – dir. Amiel CourtinWilson Holy Motors – dir. Leos Carax Margaret – dir. Kenneth Lonnergan

across electronic, jazz and rock genres play while you gorge your way through the delectable menu, before you stagger home three hours later with a new record. It will be a regular haunt for the Sydney cognoscenti in 2013. Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: Spiral Sounds, every Thursday night on 2ser, gives me my weekly digital dose of culture. The learned hosts know their electronica better than you or I, and I always end the show with my musical database enriched.  2012 highlight: If you’ll allow me to blow my own bugle, to be involved in hosting the two auteurs Vladislav Delay and Efdemin for the first time in Sydney is something I’m pretty proud of. 2012 lowlight: The ‘nanny state’ over-regulation of Sydney nightclubs continues to undermine the growth of our club scene. Sydney nightlife will remain shackled so long as adults are treated like children. What I’m looking forward to in 2013: Continuing to discover and share music I find interesting. Having my BRAG column as an outlet for this purpose has, and always will be, a privilege.

Contributor – theatre/dance

Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: The Festival Of New Writing at Griffin – a program of events that made theatre artists want to hang out there for a week, balanced the polished, practical and preposterous, and managed to throw in some free booze to boot. 2012 highlight: The Hayloft Project’s Thyestes. It’s one of the only shows I’ve bothered to pay for twice; almost twelve months later the visceral, physical memory of sitting in that theatre pumps in my blood still. 2012 lowlight: Every Breath by Benedict Andrews at Belvoir, not only because show itself was such a

disappointing delivery from a usually excellent theatre artist, but because of the almost gleeful way its failure was received by certain embittered sectors of the arts community. A truly unedifying experience for all involved. Top five theatre picks of 2013: Hamlet – dir. Simon Stone; Belvoir Stories I Want to Tell You In Person – wr. Lally Katz; Belvoir Beached – wr. Melissa Bubnic, dir. Shannon Murphy; Griffin The Maids – dir. Benedict Andrews; STC Waiting for Godot – dir. Tamas Ascher; STC

Contributor - film The Master – dir. Paul Thomas Anderson The Kid With A Bike – dirs Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne Top five films of the year (unreleased/festivals): Leviathan – dirs Véréna Paravel & Lucien CastaingTaylor Only the Young – dir. Elizabeth Mims & Jason Tippet Oslo, August 31st – dir. Joachim Trier Tabu – dir. Miguel Gomes Two Years at Sea – dir. Ben Rivers Best arts/cultural event in Sydney: Sydney Film Festival – more important with each year, as the divide between big films and small films increases; also, The State Theatre

remains my favourite cinema. 2012 highlight: The return of Leos Carax with Holy Motors, and this quote of his from the film’s Cannes press conference: “I don’t know who is the public. All I know is it’s a bunch of people who will be dead very soon.” 2012 lowlight: Numerous short-sighted ‘death of cinema’ ‘think’-pieces, issued for the most part by scribes who should know better. Most anticipated films of 2013: Before Midnight – Richard Linklater; The Grandmasters – Wong Kar-Wai; Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón; Nightingale – James Gray; Under the Skin – Jonathan Glazer. BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 35

g g guide gig g

send your listings to :

pick of the week Red Hot Chili Peppers

505 Club, Surry Hills free 8.30pm Sing The Truth: Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright (USA) Sydney Festival @ State Theatre, Sydney $95-$115 8pm Underscore Orchestra (USA), Feel The Manouch, Bloody Lovely Audrey, Edema Ruh Valve Bar and Venue, Tempe 7pm


Orchestre National de Jazz (FRA) Sydney Festival @ City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney $45$70 7.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK Darren Bennett George IV Inn, Picton free 7.30pm The Firetree Café Lounge, Surry Hills free 8pm

FRIDAY JANUARY 18 Sydney Showground, Homebush Bay

Big Day Out: Red Hot Chili Peppers (USA), The Killers (USA), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (USA), Vampire Weekend (USA), Band of Horses (USA), Animal Collective (USA), Against Me! (USA), 360, Foals (UK), B.O.B (USA), Sleigh Bells (USA), Jeff the Brotherhood (USA), Off! (USA), Jagwar Ma, Delta Spirit (USA), Every Time I Die (USA), House Vs Hurricane, Alabama Shakes (USA), Childish Gambino (USA), Logo, Death Grips (USA), Adventure Club,

Gary Clark Jr, The Bloody Beetroots (ITA), Kaskade (USA), Crystal Castles (CAN), Deep Sea Arcade, Royal Headache, Bob Log III (USA), The Griswolds, Fishing, Donny Benet and more sold out 12pm MONDAY JANUARY 14 ROCK & POP

Sing The Truth: Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright (USA) Sydney Festival @ State Theatre, Sydney $95-$115 8pm Sye McRitchie, Kallidad Bondi FM Café free 8pm 36 :: BRAG :: 495 : 14:01:13


Marcello Maio Trio 505 Club, Surry Hills $10 8.30pm Open Mic Latin Jazz The World Bar, Kings Cross free 7pm


Royal Band Cabravale Diggers, Canley Vale free 7pm Russell Neal, Bonnie Kay, Chris Brookes, Massimo Presti


Afro Nomads, Duano Martinez 505 Club, Surry Hills $10 (conc)–$15 8pm Bridezilla, Cabins, Swimwear, Kirin J. Callinan (DJ Set) Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $15 8pm Childish Gambino (USA) The Standard, Surry Hills sold out 8pm Donny Benet, Spod Goodgod Front Bar, Sydney free 8pm Gang Of Brothers, Grace Senituli Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7pm Immortal Band Competition Valve Bar and Venue, Tempe 7pm The Killers (USA) Metro Theatre, Sydney sold out 7.30pm Live & Local: Alex Gibson, Taj, Frenchy & The Buzz, Revolution Incorporated Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $10 8pm Liz Callaway (USA), Alex Rybeck The Basement, Circular Quay $50 (+ bf) 7.30pm Maxine Kauter Band, Genevieve Chadwick, Faye Blais (CAN) The Vanguard, Newtown $18.80 8pm Replika Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm


Music In The Void: Members of Orchestre National de Jazz (FRA) Sydney Festival @ Art Gallery of NSW, The Domain 12pm Orchestre National de Jazz (FRA) Sydney Festival @ Concert Hall, The Concourse, Chatswood $55-$70 7.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK Kellys On King, Newtown free 7pm


Lonely Boys Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm Old School Funk & Groove Night

Daniel Hopkins, John Chesher, ScandalGate, Lily Ray, Jill Riddiford Coach & Horses Hotel, Randwick free 7pm The NEO, Simon Paparo, Alan Watters, Brad Myers, Brian Manning, Russell Neal Cat And Fiddle Hotel, Balmain $10 7pm


Against Me! (USA), The

Smith Street Band, Hoodlum Shouts Manning Bar, Sydney University, Camperdown $49.50 (+ bf) 8pm Alabama Shakes (USA) Metro Theatre, Sydney sold out 8pm Alex Gibson, Aaron Martin, Dan Shepherd The Basement, Circular Quay $20 (+ bf) 7.30pm Animal Collective (USA), Africa Hitech Enmore Theatre $64.10 7.30pm Carmen Smith, Diana Rouvas Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $35 8pm Carter Rollins, Bones Atlas Brass Monkey, Cronulla $12.25 7pm Crystal Castles (CAN) The Hi-Fi, Moore Park $55 (+ bf) 7.30pm David Byrne & St. Vincent (USA) Sydney Festival @ State Theatre, Sydney $85–$109 8pm Don’t Mention The Wall Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $20 7pm The Drey Rollan Band, Two Timin’ Playboys, DJ Dylabolical Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7pm Hot Damn: Thy Art Is Murder, Electrik Dynamite, Life Beyond, World In Cinematic, Hot Damn DJs Spectrum, Darlinghurst 8pm Hunx and His Punks (USA) Sydney Fesitval @ The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park $32 11.30pm Jeff The Brotherhood (USA), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Gooch Palms, Bloods The Standard, Darlinghurst $27.50 (+ bf) 8pm John Vella Manly Leagues Club free 6pm Mess & Noise Lunchbox: Step-Panther, Owen Penglis (DJ Set), MC, Silky Doyle Goodgod Small Club, Sydney free 12pm Nathan Cole Sackville Hotel, Balmain free 7pm Off! (USA), Toe To Toe, Chinese Burns Unit Annandale Hotel $40 (+ bf) 8pm Outlier Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm The Phonies Opera Bar, Circular Quay free 5.30pm Reptile Park, Maux Faux, Ashes, Feick’s Device Valve Bar and Venue, Tempe 7pm Sandy Thom Notes Live, Enmore 8pm She Rex, Twincest The Vanguard, Newtown $15.80 8pm Summerslam!: Velociraptor, Drunk Mums, Bloods, The Upskirts, Money For Rope, The Guppies, The Chitticks, Grease Arrestor Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $15 8pm


Jazzgroove Summer Festival: JazzGroove Mothership Orchestra, Jonathan Zwartz Band, Roger Manins’ Hipflask Tom Mann Theatre, Surry Hills $30 (conc)–$35 8pm The Moods 505 Club, Surry Hills $10 (conc)–$15 8.30pm


Daniel Hopkins, ScandalGate Olympic Hotel, Paddington free 7.30pm Russell Neal, Bonnie Kay, Oliver Downes Forest Lodge Hotel, Glebe free 7.30pm


Big Day Out: Red Hot Chili Peppers (USA), The Killers (USA), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (USA), Vampire Weekend (USA), Band of Horses (USA), Animal Collective (USA), Against Me! (USA), 360, Foals (UK), B.O.B (USA), Sleigh Bells (USA), Jeff the Brotherhood (USA), Off! (USA), Jagwar Ma, Delta Spirit (USA), Every Time I Die (USA), House Vs Hurricane, Alabama Shakes (USA), Childish Gambino (USA), Logo, Death Grips (USA), Adventure Club, Gary Clark Jr, The Bloody Beetroots (ITA), Kaskade (USA), Crystal Castles (CAN), Pretty Lights, Nicky Romero, Morgan Page, Sampology, The Medics, Something With Numbers, Urthboy, Thy Art is Murder, Deep Sea Arcade, Royal Headache, Bob Log III (USA), Chance Waters, Good Heavens, Stereogamous, The Griswolds, Fishing, The Gooch Palms, Donny Benet, Propaganda DJs Sydney Showground, Homebush Bay $165–$265 12pm Black Caeser, Glenn Be Trippin, Kilter, Slamagotchi, Trappist Gallery Bar, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst free 8pm Chronolyth, Drop Bear, Sierratonin, Turn From Temptation Sydney Livehouse @ Lewisham Hotel $12 8pm Dane Rumble, Elle May, Kingswell, DJ Kitsch78 Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 6.30pm David Byrne & St. Vincent Sydney Festival @ State Theatre, Sydney $85–$109 8pm Dead Farmers, Red Red Krovvy, Ruined Fortune Band, The Revisionists The Square, Haymarket $10 8pm Ed Kuepper, Mark Dawson Notes, Newtown $34.70 7pm Elizabeth Rose, Ollie Brown, The Firetree, DJ Bernie Dingo Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills free 6pm ESG (USA), No Zu, Terrible Truths Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $55 (+ bf) 8pm Fire Tree Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills 7.30pm Hip Not Hop Customs House Bar, Circular Quay free 8.30pm Kang, Nerdlinger, Handball Death Match, Dress To Riot Valve Bar and Venue, Tempe 7pm Keith Potger Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $29–$71 (dinner & show) 8pm Lianne La Havas (UK) Sydney Festival @ The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park sold out 5.30pm Love Parade, Sleepy The Green Room Lounge, Enmore free 9pm Missing Children FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel $10 8pm MUM: Post Paint, 1929Indian, Cinderland, Ivory Drips, Violet Pulp, Will & The Indians, Self Is Seed, Swim Team DJs, 10th Avenue, Seabas, Catkings, Phiphi Does Didi, Danny Cruel, MUM DJs The World Bar, Kings Cross $10-$15 8pm Osaka Monaurail (JPN) Sydney Festival @ Joan Sutherland Performing Arts

g g guide gig g

send your listings to : Centre, Penrith $46 8pm Paper Crane, After Thirteen, The Prospects, The Merchants The Roxbury Hotel, Glebe $12 8pm Robocop Sings The Blues: Bog Log III The Vanguard, Newtown $33.80 8pm Rokia Traore (Mali) Sydney Festival @ Sydney Town Hall $56 8pm Saskwatch Sydney Festival @ Salon Perdu Speigeltent, Parramatta $30 7pm Shannon Noll Brass Monkey, Cronulla $42.85 7pm Staff Picks: Wires Annandale Hotel $5 7pm A Tribute To Woodstock – 44th Anniversary The Basement, Circular Quay $25 (+ bf) 7.30pm Vanity Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm The X Factor Live Tour: The Collective, Bella Ferraro, Nathaniel Willemse, Samantha Jade, Shiane Hawke, Jason Owen Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park $71.90 6pm all-ages


Gervais Koffi and the African Diaspora with Yannick Koffi Blue Beat, Double Bay $20 (+ bf) 8pm Greg Poppleon & His Bakelite Broadcasters Square Waffle, Leumeah free 7pm Jazzgroove Summer Festival: Elana Stone Band, Harry Sutherland

Trio, The Alco Hotlicks 505 Club, Surry Hills $15 (conc)–$20 8.30pm Marsala Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $25 7.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK The Enterprise Band Cabravale Diggers, Canley Vale free 8.30pm


Adam Katz, Swrls, Brett Hunt, DJ Devola Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills free 6pm Alestorm (UK) Manning Bar, Sydney University, Camperdown $51 (+ bf) 8pm Back To The 80s Oatley Hotel free 8.30pm Brothers In Arms – A Tribute To Dire Straights Brass Monkey, Cronulla $25.59 7pm Death Grips (USA) Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst sold out 8pm Elevate Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm Gary Clark Jr (USA) The Factory Theatre, Enmore sold out 8pm Jacob Pearson, Bec Sandridge, Sarah Humphreys, Dan Crestani FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel $10 8pm Jive Bombers St Marys Band Club free 8.30pm

Joe Moore The Lair, Metro Theatre, Sydney $23 (+ bf) 5pm allages Kittens: She Rex, Bell Weather Department, Kittens DJs Spectrum, Darlinghurst $10 9pm Left For Wolves. A Sleepless Winter, Polaris, Paradise Found Sydney Livehouse @ Lewisham Hotel $12 8pm Louis London, Briscoe, The Grease Arrestor, DJ Bernie Dingo, DJ Rumforrd The Standard, Surry Hills $10 8pm Osaka Monaurail (JPN) Sydney Festival @ Sutherland Entertainment Centre $45 8pm Parra Opening Party: Kashmere Stage Band (USA), Rokia Traore (Mali) Sydney Festival @ Parramatta CBD free 4pm Party Anthems Paragon Hotel, Circular Quay free 8.30pm Rai Thistlethwayte, Mark Da Costa & The Blacklist, Vivienne Kingswood Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7.30pm Rokia Traore (Mali) Sydney Festival @ The Parade Ground at Old King’s, Parramatta free 9.45pm Safe Hands, Snakepit, Travels, 10 Paces The Square, Haymarket $10 8pm Sleigh Bells (USA), DZ Deathrays, Baio (DJ Set) Metro Theatre, Sydney $60 8pm Southdown, The Existance, A Walk In The

Woods, Xater Bay The Roxbury Hotel, Glebe $12 8pm The Starliners Canterbury Leagues Club free 8pm Tumbleweed, Money For Rope, Kaleidoscope Annandale Hotel $22 (+ bf) 8pm Tycotic, Nix, Double, Lomas, DJ Ntaprize, Doel Valve Bar and Venue, Tempe 7pm Weezer (USA), Cloud Control, Ball Park Music Sydney Entertainment Centre, Darling Harbour $99.90–$119.90 7pm


Heat Wave: The Magic of Marilyn Monroe The Basement, Circular Quay $30 (+ bf) 7.30pm Jazzgroove Summer Festival: Steve Barry Trio, The Midnight Tea Party, Andrew Gander Quartet 505 Club, Surry Hills $15 (conc)–$20 8.30pm Kashmere Stage Band (USA) Sydney Festival @ The Parade Ground at Old King’s, Parramatta free 8.30pm Lah-Lah Sydney Festival @ Riverside Theatre Courtyard, Parramatta free 5pm Nadya and the 101 Candle Orkestra Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $25-$30 7.30pm Ray Beadle Blue Beat, Double Bay $20 (+ bf) 8pm Yuki Kumagai, John Mackie

Well Co. Café . Wine Bar, Leichhardt free 7pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK The Enterprise Band Cabravale Diggers, Canley Vale free 8.30pm The Firetree Mars Hill Café, Parramatta $10 8pm Lianne La Havas (UK) Sydney Festival @ The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park sold out 5pm Muddy Feet The Belvedere Hotel, Sydney free 9pm Songs On Stage Showcase: Brad Myers, Chris Neto, Collin Gosper, Michael Scott, Daniel Hopkins Notes, Newtown $15 7pm


The Fabulous Rumble’ators Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 3.30pm Leah Flanagan Sydney Festival @ Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Parramatta $30 7pm Norman Blake and Joe Pernice (UK/USA) Sydney Fesitval @ The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park $48 5pm The Re-Mains Botany View Hotel, Newtown free 5.30pm Rokia Traore (Mali) Sydney Festival @ City

Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney $40-$65 7.30pm Screaming Sunday Annandale Hotel $15 12pm A Sleepless Winter, Left For Wolves, Truth Or Tragedy, Paradise Found Sydney Livehouse @ Lewisham Hotel $15 1.45pm all-ages Suite Az, DJ Kitsch78 Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 9.30pm


Jazzgroove Summer Festival: Ken Allars, Julien Wilson, Roger Manins 505 Club, Surry Hills $15 (conc)–$20 8.30pm Jive Bombers Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $24 12pm Paradiso: Kashmere Stage Band (USA) Sydney Festival @ Sydney Town Hall $46 7pm Picture Box Orchestra Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $20 6.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK The Enterprise Band Cabravale Diggers, Canley Vale free 8pm The Firetree Bucklers Canteen, Bondi free 6pm Harmontate Beach Road Hotel, Bondi free 3.30pm Helmut Uhlmann Salisbury Hotel, Stanmore free 2pm Sam Marks Oatley Hotel free 2pm Summer Chill Out Session: Lesha Pavlis Valve Bar and Venue, Tempe 3pm



16 Jan

(4:30PM - 7:30PM)

(9:00PM - 12:00AM)


17 Jan

(4:30PM - 7:30PM)

(9:00PM - 12:00AM)


18 Jan





(5:00PM - 8:00PM)

(9:30PM - 1:30AM)




19 Jan

(4:30PM - 7:30PM)


(9:00PM - 1:30AM)


20 Jan

(4:30PM - 7:30PM)


(8:30PM - 12:00AM)



BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 37

gig picks

up all night out all week...

Jeff The Brotherhood (USA), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Gooch Palms, Bloods The Standard, Darlinghurst $27.50 (+ bf) 8pm


Mess & Noise Lunchbox: Step-Panther, Owen Penglis (DJ Set), MC, Silky Doyle Goodgod Small Club, Sydney free 12pm Off! (USA), Toe To Toe, Chinese Burns Unit Annandale Hotel $40 (+ bf) 8pm Summerslam!: Velociraptor, Drunk Mums, Bloods, The Upskirts, Money For Rope, The Guppies, The Chitticks, Grease Arrestor Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $15 8pm



Sing The Truth!: Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright (USA) Sydney Festival @ State Theatre, Sydney $95-$115 8pm

Against Me! (USA), The Smith Street Band, Hoodlum Shouts Manning Bar, Sydney University, Camperdown $49.50 (+ bf) 8pm


Animal Collective (USA), Africa Hitech Enmore Theatre $64.10 8.30pm

The Last Dance: Bridezilla, Cabins, Swimwear, Kirin J. Callinan (DJ set) Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $15 8pm Donny Benet, Spod Goodgod Front Bar, Sydney free 8pm The Killers (USA) Metro Theatre, Sydney sold out 7.30pm

38 :: BRAG :: 495 : 14:01:13

Crystal Castles (CAN) The Hi-Fi, Moore Park $55 (+ bf) 7.30pm David Byrne & St. Vincent (USA) Sydney Festival @ State Theatre, Sydney $85–$109 8pm Hunx and His Punks (USA) Sydney Fesitval @ The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park $32 11.30pm

Louis London, Briscoe, The Grease Arrestor, DJ Bernie Dingo, DJ Rumforrd The Standard, Surry Hills $10 8pm Parra Opening Party: Kashmere Stage Band (USA), Rokia Traore (Mali) Sydney Festival @ The Parade Ground at Old King's, Parramatta free 8.30pm Sleigh Bells (USA), DZ Deathrays, Baio (DJ Set) Metro Theatre, Sydney $60 8pm Weezer (USA), Cloud Control, Ball Park Music Sydney Entertainment Centre, Darling Harbour $99.90–$119.90 7pm

SUNDAY JANUARY 20 Leah Flanagan Sydney Festival @ Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Parramatta $30 7pm

ESG (USA), NO ZU, Terrible Truths Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $55 (+ bf) 8pm Lianne La Havas (UK) Sydney Festival @ The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park sold out 5.30pm MUM: Post Paint, 1929Indian, Cinderland, Ivory Drips, Violet Pulp, Will & The Indians, Self Is A Seed, Swim Team DJs, 10th Avenue, Seabas, Catkings, Phiphi Does Didi, Danny Cruel, MUM DJs The World Bar, Kings Cross $10-$15 8pm

SATURDAY JANUARY 19 Death Grips (USA) Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst sold out 8pm

Crystal Castles

BRAG’s guide to dance, hip hop and club culture

brag beats e: insid uide bg + clu b snaps + clu eekly + w mn colu

darshan jesrani


cove featu r re


We has internets! Extra bits and moving bits without the papercuts BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 39

dance music news

free stuff

club, dance and hip hop in brief... with Chris Honnery


five things WITH

Softwar Xxx

EGO videos. It’s a party for the ears and eyes.

Cutloose, the Purple Sneakers guys, Track Team in Adelaide – they’re probably top of the list.


broody teenager, and wanted to be a DJ.

steady diet of Tool and The Deftones. Then, when I was about 16, my buddy introduced me to The Beastie Boys and Fatboy Slim, and everything changed. All of a sudden I stopped being a

Inspirations I draw the most inspiration 2. from people I know, because you get to see how they approach their craft and watch them grow with it. Guys like Surecut Kids and Paces,


The Music You Make I make and DJ videos; I’m an audio visual artist. Live, I play an anything-goes party set complete with visuals – from custom animations to movie and TV samples to YouTube clips to music

Flower Fairy and Dub FX

Music, Right Here, Right Now 5. I think I’m at the relative start of a wave of people who’ll be pushing both music and visuals. All the technology is there, and DJing and producing is becoming so competitive that I think people will be looking for the next thing to add an edge to their show. The art of DJing has been lost a little, so anything that gets people thinking about how they’re engaging with audiences is great. I saw Major Lazer recently and it just reminded me of what it’s all about: good vibes, hands in the air, 100% of the crowd engaged and feeling like they’re part of something special. What: Watch Your Ego AV mixtape is out now Where: Cakes @ World Bar When: Saturday January 26 More: Also playing with Clubfeet on Saturday January 16 at Oxford Art Factory



What do you get when you cross a lollipop man with a school bus driver? A Sydneybased galactic house, disco, funk and soul duo: Softwar. Really. Since meeting in 2005, the pair have remixed an impressive host of names, including Two Door Cinema Club, Groove Armada and The Temper Trap. Having wowed crowds at Parklife, they’re set to spin at Goodgod Small Club this month, headlining SlowBlow’s night of ‘90s nostalgia. Fear not – there will be no Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC or Hanson ditties to jive to. The Friday January 18 set will be strictly dedicated to the garage, jackin’ beats and acid rock soundscapes that blared through your discman in their heyday. Oh, and Marc Jarvin and DJ Jungle Snake will be making an appearance. We have two double passes to give away; just tell us what ‘90s music you listened to most on the school bus.

xxx photo by xxx

Growing Up I grew up in a small South 1. Australian coastal town, on a

Your Crew When I started DJing in Adelaide, there was a rad, tightknit party scene, but then a bunch of the DJs left and it was either learn to DJ, or find a new scene. I’ve since lived in Byron Bay and now Melbourne, and have crew all over. I was working with Mr Nice as Nice And Ego for the past couple of years, but am now solo since he’s moved back overseas. But I’m starting to collaborate again – I’m working with Clubfeet at the moment, doing visuals and support for their upcoming tour, and I’m looking at teaming with some producers on some other projects too.


As part of Sydney Festival, Norway’s Hans-Peter Lindstrøm will perform on Saturday January 26 at Paradiso (Sydney Town Hall), where he will show us all how to get our space disco on. Properly. Lindstrøm seems to resonate with lovers of disparate electronic genres, and with good reason: he creates a sound that is oft-imitated, but rarely replicated. On top of releasing two LPs with Prins Thomas on Eskimo Recordings, and a collaborative outing with Christabelle, Lindstrøm has remixed the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Roxy Music, The Horrors, Boredoms, Best Coast, The Juan Maclean and Franz Ferdinand. He’s coming off last year’s Six Cups Of Rebel solo album, and is ready to fire up the space (disco) ship. Tickets are just one small step (for man) away on the official Sydney Festival website, and support will be ably provided by the Future Classic DJs, who lay down smooth tunes every Saturday via their Sunsets show on FBi Radio.


UK-based Australian street busker Dub FX (aka Benjamin Stanford) will headline The Hi-Fi on Saturday January 26. Using only his voice, aided by live looping and effects pedals, Dub FX creates intricate hip hop, reggae and drum’n’bass rhythms. His story began with busking in the streets of St Kilda, before the scene shifted to the UK, where Dub FX met labelmate Flower Fairy (who he performs and tours with). Dub FX soon found himself selling so many of his recordings at his live performances that he created his own label, Convoy Unlimited. Initially set up to sell his own material, Dub FX ended up signing acts he identified with, some of whom will also join the Australian tour from the UK: Flower Fairy, Mr Woodnote, Lil Rhys, Eva Lazarus, Snareophobe and CAde.


40 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

LOOSE KABOOSE BIRTHDAY Local techno institution Loose Kaboose celebrates seven years of flying the underground flag on Saturday February 2 with a warehouse party at an as yet undisclosed location. Headlining the event is Loosekaboose’s favourite from Melbourne, Christian Vance of Haul Music. One of Australia’s leading techno live acts, Vance has a formidable production pedigree; he’s remixed Etienne Jaumet on the Versatile label, worked on a project with Derrick ‘Strings Of Life’ May in Carl Craig’s studio, and had his second Haul Music release signed to a Carl Cox mix CD. Not that Vance will be allowed to bask in the limelight solo: Claire Morgan and your hostess Trinity will also throw down, to ensure the crowd sweats it out till after dawn. Furthermore, you’ll be able to avoid the criminally overpriced club drink prices, as this will be a BYO affair. A limited number of $25 presale tickets are available from Resident Advisor.


debut studio album Airdrawndagger in 2002, an atmospheric and ambient release that more than holds up a decade on. His Involver compilations have also garnered considerable acclaim, while his remix output has become increasingly eclectic over the years; check out his Depeche Mode and Kasabian reworks if you haven’t already. Doors open at 10pm for this one.


Sheffield’s Jamie Roberts, who goes about his business under the moniker Blawan, headlines Chinese Laundry on Saturday February 16, making up a salacious double bill that also includes Marcell Dettmann (read more on him in Deep Impressions, a few pages in). Blawan broke through with his debut release, ‘Fram/ Iddy’, and followed it up with the white label, Brandy-sampling single ‘Getting Me Down’ – named best single of 2011 by Resident Advisor – along with a remix of Radiohead. Blawan also works with Pariah under the moniker Karenn; the pair formed the collaborative label She Works The Long Nights. Other highlights of Laundry’s February program include Flosstradamus’ performance on Saturday February 23 and Norfolk’s Nathan Fake, renowned for the seminal club anthem ‘The Sky Was Pink’, on Saturday February 2. Xxxx

Hip hop stalwarts Ultramagnetic MCs will grace Australia’s shores for the first time next month, to perform at Oxford Art Factory on Friday February 8 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their seminal album, Critical Beatdown. Released in 1988 – the height of hip hop’s golden age – Critical Beatdown remains a classic LP, showcasing Ced Gee’s pioneering implementation of the E-MU SP1200 sampler, and the lyricism of Kool Keith and Ced Gee. Despite the crunchy lo-fi aesthetic, tracks like ‘Ego Trippin’ and ‘Travelling At The Speed Of Thought’ became genre-shaping singles that would later be sampled by the likes of Nas and Gang Starr, and influenced legions of imitators and fans, from Odd Future to Eminem. An appropriately lavish support cast has been assembled for the night, including Big Village supergroup Loose Change, comprised of Ellesquire, Rapaport Sam Z and P Major. General release $50 tickets are available online.

Rightfully revered Alexander Coe, aka Sasha, will play a five-hour set at The Metro Theatre on Saturday January 26. Sasha has remained a staple presence in the club realm since he started out, playing illegal parties around Manchester in the early ‘90s with a certain John Digweed. His versatility was evinced on his




BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 41

dance music news

free stuff

club, dance and hip hop in brief... with Chris Honnery


on the record WITH

How To Dress Well

HELENA play when I DJ – the music I love. A track normally gets about 3-4 seconds to grab my attention, as you have to listen to so much music to find the good stuff. I love the music I play as it has good energy, uplifting feel-good vibes, and big dirty drops. Emotion mixed with mayhem is what I love. The First Thing I Recorded: 3. I made about 100 tracks before

The First Record I Bought: Sneaker Pimps – ‘Spin Spin 1. Sugar’. The bassline was so filthy. It was the first physical vinyl I purchased, and it kicked off my passion for DJing. After that I bought Laurent Garnier – ‘The Man With The Red Face’ (the vinyl off eBay for £20!). Both are still all-time favourite tracks of mine. The first actual music tape

I remember buying as a child was the Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan duet. (Probably should not be admitting to that.) The Last Record I Bought: Today I spent about $80 on 2. Beatport to catch up on music – some big new bangers in there, a mix of progressive and electro house beats. That’s the music I


I ever officially released any music, including a track called ‘Nasty Boys’ and one called ‘Disco Sucks’ – on the ‘Disco Sucks’ track, I did a vocal in a posh English accent saying “DDDDDDD Disco. Disco Sucks!”, which is pretty funny. I’m so glad that I waited to refine my sound before I released music! The Last Thing I Recorded: 4. The last single I released was ‘Girl From The Sky (feat. Mr Wilson)’. It went #1 in Australia, which was insane! I have a new remix coming out in the next week for Jono Fernandez & Pauls Paris


(feat. Amba Shepherd) – ‘Let It Out’ – which has been going off in my sets. I’ve got more originals lined up to release, and some sick collabs including one with Nilson called ‘Bugged Out!’, which has been going nuts, too. The Record That Changed My Life: 5. Daft Punk – ‘Around The World’. I got my first proper dose of electronic music when I snuck into a festival well underage, at 14. Daft Punk were playing live, and I remember it being one of the best nights of my life. I danced on a podium all night. I was hooked; dance music had me from that moment on. I drop mixes of it now still in my sets, it will never get old to me – it has too many memories! A true classic. With: Animal Collective, The Bloody Beetroots, BT, Crystal Castles, Childish Gambino, Nina Las Vegas and more Where: Big Day Out @ Sydney Showgrounds When: Friday January 18


How To Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) is ready to hit our shores again this summer – this time with a three-piece outfit. You could say wear more than a little excited (sic intended). Mixing ethereal RnB with experimental pop, Krell’s penchant for avantgarde compositions and sound manipulation is embroidered (last pun, promise) into his latest release, Total Loss, co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Vampire Weekend). Krell will be hitting up Oxford Art Factory on Saturday February 23, and we have one double pass to give away. Just tell us in 25 words or less what musical talent you’d like to have up your sleeve, and why.

Midnight Juggernauts

Manchester’s David Wolstencroft, aka Trus’Me – the chap behind the Prime Numbers label – will play The Spice Cellar on Friday February 22. Wolstencroft proved an immediate hit with dancers and critics alike when he released his acclaimed debut Working Nights back in ’07. In fact one excitable critic was so taken by Wolstencroft’s mix of disco, soul, house and jazz influences that they labeled him “Moodymann with a smile” – or maybe that was his own press agent… Wolstencroft followed up his debut LP with his album In The Red, which features collaborations with Amp Fiddler, Dam-Funk, and Paul Randolph of Jazzanova, but has started exploring more techno-influenced soundscapes in recent times. For evidence of this change in sonic direction, check out Trus’me’s ‘Need A Job’ – and particularly the Vakula remix.



Shrug will open their 2013 with a passion project. The man behind the brand, Dave Stuart, has finally lured the Netherlands’ Eelke Kleijn to Sydney for the first time. Kleijn melds the boundaries between (good) progressive house, techno and tech house, with a strong emphasis on more melodic sounds. Kleijn announced himself with the track ‘8 Bit Era’ on Nick Warren’s GU Paris compilation back in 2006, and has subsequently released two albums: his debut, Naturally Artificial, dropped on Global Underground back in the sun-kissed spring of ’07, which he followed with Untold Stories on Manual Music, a label based in Kleijn’s hometown of Rotterdam. Rodskeez, Garth Linton and Dave Stuart himself will also be spinning. $20 first release tickets are available through Resident Advisor, and at the time of writing half of them had already been snapped up. They’re coming out of the woodwork for Eelke…

The Newtown Hotel will celebrate Australia Day in appropriately patriotic fashion, with a free BBQ and DJ sets from the Midnight Juggernauts and Van She. Van She are fresh from playing Field Day and dropping their latest record, Idea Of Happiness. The Midnight Juggernauts boys can better that, though: they’ve spent recent years jetsetting around the globe supporting the likes of Justice and M83, and playing festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury. The Newtown Hotel will be following triple j’s Hottest 100 through the day, which kicks off at midday – and there’s talk of a pool in the Tiki Garden!


DJ duo/bloggers/‘label guys’ Bicep make their Australian debut at Adult Disco on Friday February 15. With a camp and playful aesthetic, the Irish pair have been pushing – and more recently making – straight-up house jams like ‘$tripper’ and ‘Vision Of Love’, released on their very own Feel My Bicep imprint. Before jumping into their production and remix work though, Bicep built up a strong following through their Feel My Bicep blog, which is essential reading if you want to bypass the crate-digging process and discover a spate of house records you’ve never heard of. Supporting Bicep at Civic Hotel will be the Future Classic DJs, alongside Touch Sensitive and Parkside. $25 presale tickets can be procured online. 42 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13



SBTRKT followed up his Field Day performance by announcing via social media that he would be releasing a live album. And shortly thereafter, the creatively-titled Live was released digitally. The recording was made at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and features numerous contributions from regular collaborator Sampha and orchestral go-tos The Heritage Orchestra. For anyone who missed SBTRKT on his recent tour, or wants to relive the moment (although it’s never really the same), this is the appropriate aural prescription.

Derrick Carter returns Down Under to play Goldfish on Saturday January 26. Carter was one of the earliest second-wave Chicago house impresarios to make it big in Europe, and has been an Aussie favourite for years. Since first making his mark back in 1987 with the cut ‘Love Me Right’, Carter has remained at the forefront of the club realm, remixing the likes of Cajmere, Ian Pooley and Felix da Housecat, and releasing a litany of mix compilations, the latest being the House Masters mix on Defected Records, which only just hit the commercial market. Carter will be supported by local house proponents Matt Cahill, Johnny Gleeson, Illya and Phil Toke.

Aleka SAE Institute Graduate SAE was key to gaining an insight into the world of sound. Since then, I’ve been applying all this knowledge to my career in the music industry.


ENROL NOW for our February intake. Spaces limited. Audio Production | Film Production Electronic Music Production FEE-HELP Approved

INFORMATION NIGHT | January 24th 4pm-8pm Register for our information night and learn how you can start your career in the creative industries. TO REGISTER Call: (0)2 8241 5200 /saeinstitutesyd Visit: | 55-57 Wentworth Ave, Sydney NSW 2000

BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 43

Darshan Jesrani


Disco Devotion By Alasdair Duncan

Who You Judging? By Krissi Weiss


arshan Jesrani is one of the foremost electronic producers of the past decade, and with his bestest bud, Morgan Geist, he’s part of the forward-thinking disco duo known as Metro Area. He’s also renowned as a DJ – but unlike many beat-makers who get behind the decks, he views these as two very separate areas of expertise. “I don’t like [the fact] that producing music and DJing have become conflated,” he says. “Many talented producers have bored dancers to tears. I’m not talking about the kind of crying on the dancefloor that one reads stories about from the clubbing days of yore, mind you – I’m talking about actual, palpable, hopeless boredom, because of a complete lack of awareness of how, or what music, to play at a party. Conversely, there are many great DJs who should never, ever make records.” As Metro Area, Jesrani and Geist rose to acclaim with the wave of disco and punkfunk purveyors that included the likes of LCD Soundsystem and the DFA Records crew. Their releases, while only sporadic, are uniformly excellent; I ask Jesrani how often he catches up with Geist, and if there’s anything new from them on the way. “We’re good, long-time friends, so we’re always in touch – we tend to meet at least weekly for lunch,” he says. “We’ve finally decided to finish a new album – not an album of music, per se. It’s a photo album called Metro Area – Out To Lunch, which chronicles our various lunches over the past two years. It features such hits as Empanada Café in Corona, Queens, Golden Mall in Flushing, and ends on a refined note with Jean Georges...”


ussie hip hop has always played it comparatively safe. The sound itself, within the mainstream at least, has become more and more pop-driven, without any of the Biggie Smalls-type slayings or senseless violence of the US scene – until recently. A controversial MC by the name of Kerser appeared a few years back armed with a street sound, bitterly humoured lyricism and a truckload of baggage, and it seemed as though things were changing. Hell, there was even a drive-by shooting at Ferntree Gully Hotel last May with Kerser the target, but luckily, they had a shitty aim. Despite the image that precedes him, and the lyrical content of his music that occasionally pushes the envelope of good taste (“I’m a warm good feelin’/Like a dick in a c#*t” – ‘Out To Do’), the Sydney-based MC’s latest album No Rest For The Sickest topped ARIA’s Urban Chart, and is doing surprisingly well with the masses. Even Kerser was shocked at the commercial success of his latest offering; under any hardtalking bravado lies a young man in love with music who’s just trying to get by. “I think a lot of Australian hip hop artists had that whole happy, BBQ vibe, which was good for its time,” Kerser says. “A couple of years ago I was really into it, but [based on] the YouTube views I’ve got and other stuff like that, it’s clear people are getting sick of all that.” With growing success and hordes of online fans has come a bit of hate (and the aforementioned bullets), but Kerser is dealing with it all as best he can. “I do get some shit on Facebook and my YouTube channel, but as soon as it appears I have people working on those pages that just delete and block the users straight away,” he says. “They can go and have their say on blogs and other places, but these are my spaces for my fans so they can enjoy what I do. We try to eliminate it, but honestly I don’t let it get to me – and you can’t stop it. Plus, the more things grow for me the more it’s gonna happen. I know that.” The mention of having “people” begs a question: is Kerser afraid of being watereddown or censored as his profile grows. “Not at all,” he says. “If I sensed that anyone was trying to curb me or change me, I wouldn’t be a part of what they’re doing. A big part of joining Obese Records was that I keep total creative control. I think it would become quite obvious to my fans quite quickly if I had a team telling me what to say or do.” While gimmicky, offensive raps have always been and probably always will be, Kerser acknowledges that some of what he says is simply to rile people. “If I’m taking shots at other rappers or other music artists that’s never personal – that’s just a tactic to turn a lot of heads, ya know?” he admits. “But when it comes to my personal stories, I never make stuff up to get attention; if I spill my heart out, it’s all true. I’m prepared for most

44 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

“A big part of joining Obese Records was that I keep total creative control. I think it would become quite obvious to my fans quite quickly if I had a team telling me what to say or do.” stuff to come out about me, and I write about a lot of it, but I’d prefer, when I talk about my upbringing, that my mum and dad aren’t looked down on. They tried to do the best they could and I want to keep my family life separate to the media.” Even though Kerser stands by his opinions, he has grown up a lot over the past few years and admits to a few regrets. “On the first album there was a lot of drug talk and party talk and funny shit, but now when I write a track I actually think about what I’m gonna say,” he says. “I’m still gonna do the comedy tracks, but I’ll make it clear it’s a joke. I’m taking a more mature approach to things; I think things out. And there’s more pressure. I get comments every day from young kids anywhere from the age of even 13 telling me they look up to me, and I don’t want some kid to listen to those old tracks and then wanna go and try drugs. That was never the intention. I was just writing about my life; I wasn’t picturing a 13-year-old kid listening to those songs.” As the face and tone of Aussie hip hop changes, Kerser thinks that the violence that has plagued so much of the scene in America might find its way here. “Those people that were making that BBQ, party music had a different upbringing to the people that are writing this gutter, street sound,” he says. “There’s a street essence to it all, where you’re watching you’re back. This style of music isn’t about portraying an image, but you’re talking about real stuff, and it brings out that street mentality in other crews where they’re like, ‘Fuck that and fuck you’. I think as this grows, there’s gonna be a lot more violence, that’s for sure. Once I’m on stage, though, I’m not thinking of that shit at all. I’m just so pumped to be there.” What: No Rest For The Sickest is out now through Obese Records Where: The Hi-Fi (lic., all-ages) When: Saturday February 2

Jesrani is not the most prolific of producers; he takes a while between releases, all of which makes his collaboration with Tracey Thorn all the more special. A few years back, when the Everything But The Girl singer released a solo album, Jesrani contributed in the form of the sublime disco-house hybrid, ‘It’s All True’. He tells me that the collaboration came about by accident. “Tracey and I have never met,” he explains. “I was in Berlin staying with Sasse Lindblad of Moodmusic, and we were just jamming at his studio, which was in his apartment at the time.

“Please don’t be taken aback by my hatred of MP3s! It’s the necessary flip side of my complete devotion to music. Philosophicallyspeaking, it has to exist. I’m really a lot of fun, I swear. Let’s party!” Ewan Pearson came by and got down with us – Ewan was in the middle of helping put together Tracey’s album, and played her a demo of what we’d done that day.” The singer liked what she heard and decided to write lyrics around it. “I mocked up string parts and had them recorded when I came back to New York,” Jesrani explains, “then I sent them to Ewan in London who mixed the whole thing, and it became a single!” In his capacity as a DJ, Jesrani travels the world a lot, although his busy schedule sometimes prevents him from indulging in the crate-digging he loves so much. “A lot of my visits to cities revolve around the gig itself, with not much extra time to do anything else,” he says. “But when I stay somewhere for a few days, I might get a chance to find some music.” He has, however, made a few interesting discoveries of late: “I have some friends in Berlin who are pretty deeply involved in the second-hand record store scene, and one of them turned me on to a crazy, electronically-produced East German Schlager song called ‘Mingo’. It’s from the early to mid ‘70s, and my friend tells me it’s about a monkey. I’m gonna take his word for it because I understand very little German.” The technology available to DJs has changed a great deal over the last decade, but Jesrani finds it hard to pinpoint what’s been the biggest shift. “I’m not sure,” he considers. “I mean, there was always a chance you’d hear really shitty music at the club because plenty of bad music was pressed to vinyl records, but now you get to hear really shitty music which also sounds like complete shit because it’s played back from MP3s. I also hear a fair amount of good music which is ruined because it’s played from MP3s.” In short, he says, the proliferation of digital formats has led to a proliferation of mediocre music and unremarkable DJ sets… not that he wants to be a grumpy old man about it. “Please don’t be taken aback by my hatred of MP3s! It’s the necessary flip side of my complete devotion to music. Philosophically-speaking, it has to exist. I’m really a lot of fun, I swear. Let’s party!” Disco music represents extremes of emotion – it can be euphoric and also very sad, often at the same time – and before I let him go, I have to ask Jesrani what it is that has drawn him to the genre for all this time. “It’s the stylistic range as well as the emotional,” he answers. “Disco can take on many different forms – electronic or earthy, futuristic and sleek or folksy. The only constant requirement seems to be that it is dance-oriented music and, classically speaking, embodies its original ingredients: African American, Latin and European influences.” What: Picnic Presents: Darshan Jesrani and Daniel Wang Where: Sydney Festival Paradiso @ Sydney Town Hall When: Saturday January 19 More:



BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 45

club guide send your listings to :

club pick of the week

Lo-Fi, Surry Hills Kool-Aid Thursdays Launch Party E-Cats, King Lee, Ctrl Alt Delicious, Heke free 9pm Sapphire Lounge, Kings Cross Loud Egasm, Syd Kids, Sky High, B Wise 8pm Space, Sydney Naked Resident DJs free 9pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross Bel-Air Miami Robust, Brizz free 9.30pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Propaganda DJ Dan (UK), Gillex, Dan Bombings, Becci Hearts free (student)-$5 9pm



Darshan Jesrani

Paradiso @ Sydney Town Hall

Sydney Festival: Picnic Presents Darshan Jesrani (USA), Daniel Wang (USA), Kali, Andy Webb $36 8pm MONDAY JANUARY 14 Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket Mother Of A Monday DJ Smokin’ Joe free 7pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Latin Jazz Swim Team DJs free 7pm

TUESDAY JANUARY 15 Establishment, Sydney Rumba Motel Salsa DJ Willie Sabor free 8pm Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket I Love Goon Resident DJs free 7pm Trademark Hotel, Kings Cross Coyote Tuesday Resident DJs 9pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Jam Jam DJs free 8pm 46 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 16 Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Falcona Presents Sosueme DJs free 8pm The Lansdowne Hotel, Broadway Frat House Mean Dartin, Camo, Ra Bazaar free 5pm The Ranch Hotel, Epping Hump Wednesdays Resident DJs free 8pm The Standard, Surry Hills Childish Gambino (USA) sold out 8pm Tatler, Darlinghurst P O S T presents Principals Charles T Drakeford, Bradley Zero, Nic Tasker, POST DJs free 8pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross Whip It Wednesdays Vertigo DJs, Jonny Reay, DJ Brett Atkin free 9pm The World Bar, Kings Cross The Wall Hydaurlix, E-Cats, Autoclaws, Pablo Calamari,

Brothers Grimm, Judson, Taylor Wold, Pat Ward, Prescription Only, Baby Gee $5 8pm

THURSDAY JANUARY 17 Beach Road Hotel, Bondi FBi Radio Presents DJ James Taylor free 8pm Ching-a-Lings, Darlinghurst Sounds From The Underground Shantan, Mike Who free 8pm The Cool Room, The Australian Brewery, Rouse Hill Gaz (UK), Big Will, Troy T, Jagged Beatz $10 8pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Boiler Room X Goodgod Cliques, Tuff Sherm, Michael Ozone, Prize $20 8pm Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross Resisdent DJs free 10pm

Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Lola Siren, Playmate free 8pm Candys Apartment, Kings Cross Grindhouse DJs $10 8pm Chinese Laundry, Sydney Bass Mafia Micky Finn & MC Shabba D, Thierry D, Ghosts Of Muttley, Reload, Big Deal GIllspie, No Good Mischief, Struz $15-$25 10pm Cohibar, Darling Harbour DJ Toby Neal, Anders Hitchcock free 5pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Slowblow: Can U Feel It Softwar, Marc Jarvin, DJ Jungle Snake $10 10pm Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour The Guest List Launch Party Doorly (UK), Peewee Ferris, Mitch Lowe, Brown Bear, Kyle Bourke, Sherlock Bones, Floth, Nanna Does Smack, Mindquad, John McGowan, InHouse Councel, Rcnt, Coltek 9pm Ivy Pool Club, Sydney Moonshine Ben Ashton, Alley Oop, About Jack, Dubious (UK), Magic Happens $20 9pm Jacksons On George, Sydney DJ Ivan Drago, DJ Rain Julz free 9pm Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross KK Fridays Resident DJs 9pm Oatley Hotel We Love Oatley Hotel Fridays DJ Tone free 8pm Phoenix Bar, Darlinghurst Alien Disco Safari Shift (South Africa), The Commercial Hippies (South Africa), Raptor $28 (+ bf) 9.30pm Q Bar, Darlinghurst Teen Spirit: BDO After-Party Teen Spirit DJs $10 10pm The Red Rattler, Marrickville Roller Derby Fundraiser – Choose Your Own Adventure DJs $10 9.30pm Sapphire Lounge, Kings Cross Summer House Sessions Resident DJs 8pm The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour Bring On The Weekend! DJ Matt Roberts free 5pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross Think Fridays Kit Kat, Discobusy $10 9pm The World Bar, Kings Cross MUM Post Paint, 1929Indian, Cinderland, Ivory Drips, Violet Pulp, Will & The Indians, Self Is Seed, Swim Team DJs, 10th Avenue, Seabas, Catkings, Phiphi Does Didi, Danny Cruel, MUM DJs $10-$15 8pm



Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Sufur (Rufus DJs), F.R.I.E.N.D/s DJs, Hansom, Sina free 8pm Candys Apartment, Kings Cross Big Guns Sherlock Bones, Bloodbath Bob, Stalker, Nightmare, Acid Mouth, Front

Italoboyz To Back, Knight Life, Random Knight, DJ Buuu $20 8pm Chinese Laundry, Sydney Pleasurekraft (USA), Feadz (FRA), Kito, A-Tonez, U-Khan, Sydney Be Heard DJs, Raulll, Mars Monero, Whitecat, DJ Just 1, King Lee, DJ C-Bu $15$25 9pm Civic Underground, Sydney Audio Injection / Truncate (USA), Advanced Human, Martin Stace, Scott Kilpatrick, Leyla, Kate Doherty $28-$35 9pm Club 77, Darlinghurst Starfuckers Starfuckers DJs 10pm Cohibar, Darling Harbour Strange Clouds 03 Shivers, Alley Oop, Mars Monero, Brenden Fing, Reno $10-$15 2pm Cohibar, Darling Harbour Yellow Sox DJ Anders Hitchcock free 8pm Establishment, Sydney Sienna Saturdays Resident DJs 8pm The Famous Spiegeltent, Honda Festival Garden, Hyde Park Sydney Fesitval Hot Dub Time Machine free 11.30pm FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel Hands Up! Staggman, Clockwerk free 11.30pm Goldfish, Kings Cross Italoboyz (UK), Dan McKie, Levi 5star, Matt Cahill, Johnny Gleeson $20 6pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Compound Templar Soundsystem, Ben Fester, Subaske, Zeus, Community $10 11pm Ivy, Sydney Pacha Chardy, Matt Caseli, Bill Patrick (USA), Mo’ Funk, Baby Gee, Ben Morris, YokoO, Pablo Calamari, Matt Nugent, Marc Jarvin, Devola, Georgia, Magic Happens, U-Khan, Thomas Lisse, Adam Bozzetto 6.30pm Jacksons On George, Sydney Lunacy DJ Simon Laing, DJ Michael Stewart free 9pm Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross Sugarmill Block Party Alison Wonderland, Joyride, Devola, Hobophonics, Baby Gee, Steve Frank, Chris Coast, Mista Kay, Micky D 10pm Nevermind, Darlinghurst Swagger Launch Party Swagger DJs $15 11pm One22, Sydney Mantra Collective Audiojack (UK), Space Junk, About Jack, Whitecat, Antoine Vice, Dan Baartz $25 10pm Sapphire Lounge, Kings Cross The Suite Resident DJs 8pm Secret Warehouse Location, Marrickville The Fly Trap Warehouse Party Fundraiser Kieran Helmore, Max Gosford, Prize, Kate Doherty, Typhonic $15 (+ bf)

9pm Space, Sydney MASIF Saturdays Resident DJs 10pm The Spice Cellar, Sydney Ricardo Ferreira (POR), Spice Troopers $20 10pm St Peters Warehouse Raf Daddy (UK), Inkswel, Edseven, Henry Compton, Fred Tectonic $25 8pm Sydney Town Hall Sydney Festival: Picnic Presents Darshan Jesrani & Daniel Wang (USA), Kali, Andy Webb $36 8pm Tonka Bar, Darlinghurst Darling IT Hurts Dallas Dellaforce, DJ Kitty Glitter, DJ Jimmy Dee $15 9pm Trademark Hotel, Kings Cross Trademark Saturdays Resident DJs 9pm The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour Skybar Saturdays Resident DJs $20 9pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross After Dark Brizz, Night Riot, Valentino $20 8pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Cakes Alison Wonderland, Danny T, Go Freek, Fiktion, Brown Bear, Thomas Lisse, Hannah Gibbs, Mike Hyper, Kid Crokes, Deckhead, Fingers, Made In Paris $15$20 8pm

SUNDAY JANUARY 20 Abercrombie Hotel, Broadway S.A.S.H Sundays Bill Patrick, Gabby, Reno, Monkey Tennis, Rabbit Taxi, Kerry Wallace, Matt Weir $10 2pm Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Rich Ryan, Clockwerk free 3pm Jacksons On George, Sydney Aphrodisiac Resident DJs free 5pm Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross Easy Sundays Resident DJs free 10pm Oatley Hotel Sunday Sets DJ Tone free 7pm Sapphire Lounge, Kings Cross Sapphire Sundays Resident DJs 8pm The Spice Cellar, Sydney Spice After Hours Morgan, Murat Kilic $20 4am Tatler, Darlinghurst Dust Toby Neal, John Devecchis, Alley Oop, James Taylor free (early bird)-$10 The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour DJ Matt Roberts free 2pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Soup Kitchen Matt James, Rcnt, Ethan Winzer, The Soupy DJs free 5pm

club picks

Deep Impressions Underground Dance And Electronica with Chris Honnery

up all night out all week...

Pantha du Prince Childish Gambino


Alison Wonderland

SATURDAY JANUARY 19 Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Sufur (Rufus DJs), F.R.I.E.N.D/s DJs, Hansom, Sina free 8pm Chinese Laundry, Sydney Pleasurekraft (USA), Feadz (FRA), Kito, A-Tonez, U-Khan, Sydney Be Heard DJs, Raulll, Mars Monero, Whitecat, DJ Just 1 and more $15-$25 10pm Cohibar, Darling Harbour Strange Clouds 03 Shivers, Alley Oop, Mars Monero, Brenden Fing, Reno $10$15 2pm Goldfish, Kings Cross Italoboyz (UK), Dan McKie, Levi 5star, Matt Cahill, Johnny Gleeson $20 6pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Compound Templar Soundsystem, Ben Fester, Subaske, Zeus, Community $10 11pm One22, Sydney Mantra Collective Audiojack (UK), Space Junk, About Jack, Whitecat, Antoine Vice, Dan Baartz $25 10pm


The Spice Cellar, Sydney Ricardo Ferreira (POR), Spice Troopers $20 10pm

The Standard, Surry Hills Childish Gambino (USA) sold out 8pm

Inner City Warehouse Raf Daddy (UK), Inkswel, Edseven, Henry Compton, Fred Tectonic $25 8pm

Tatler, Darlinghurst P O S T presents Principals Charles T Drakeford, Bradley Zero, Nic Tasker, POST DJs free 8pm The World Bar, Kings Cross The Wall Hydraulix, E-Cats, Autoclaws, Pablo Calamari, Brothers Grimm, Judson, Taylor Wold, Pat Ward, Prescription Only, Baby Gee $5 8pm

THURSDAY JANUARY 17 Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Boiler Room X Goodgod Cliques, Tuff Sherm, Michael Ozone, Prize $20 8pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Propaganda DJ Dan (UK), Gillex, Dan Bombings, Becci Hearts free (student)-$5 9pm

FRIDAY JANUARY 18 Chinese Laundry, Sydney Bass Mafia Micky Finn & MC Shabba D, Thierry D, Ghosts Of Muttley, Reload, Big Deal GIllspie, No Good Mischief, Struz $15-$25 10pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Slowblow: Can U Feel It Softwar, Marc Jarvin, DJ Jungle Snake $10 10pm

The World Bar, Kings Cross Cakes Alison Wonderland, Danny T, Go Freek, Fiktion, Brown Bear, Thomas Lisse, Hannah Gibbs, Mike Hyper, Kid Crokes, Deckhead, Fingers, Made In Paris $15-$20 8pm

SUNDAY JANUARY 20 Abercrombie Hotel, Broadway S.A.S.H Sundays Bill Patrick (USA), Gabby, Reno, Monkey Tennis, Rabbit Taxi, Kerry Wallace, Matt Weir $10 2pm Bill Patrick

he man who delivered one of the more memorable cuts of 2012, Andrés, aka DJ Dez, will be making his Sydney debut at Tatler on Friday January 25, courtesy of Boom Boom – and by that I mean the promoter, not Shahid Afridi. Andrés had been bubbling under for some years before his breakthrough, exploring house, soul, hip hop and funk over three albums and many more solo singles since 1997, mostly on Moodymann’s labels – first KDJ, then Mahogani. Andrés’ CV includes holding down a slot as live DJ for Slum Village after J Dilla provided mutual introductions back in 2000, and a membership with Theo Parrish’s Rotating Assembly collective. Yet many dancers will be drawn to the gig on the strength of ‘New For U’, a European summer anthem that launched Andrés’ new label La Vida in some style last year. Channelling the Larry Levan zeitgeist, the track is a genuine feel good anthem that’s deserving of all the praise it gets. But there’s plenty more to Andrés than just ‘New For U’, as you will see at Tatler next Friday.

revolves around the concept of DJs playing intimate sets that are broadcast to thousands of club voyeurs watching online from home. While some have suggested that the Boiler Room lineup should be more reflective of Sydney’s club scene – assuming our city does have a single scene – the fact remains that far too often Sydney parties are devoid of imagination in both the lineups booked and the music played. This will be something different. People will go in with less of an idea what to expect sonically, and respond spontaneously, which is what the boiler room concept is about: documenting peoples’ spontaneous reactions to music. More kinds of lineups like this are needed going forward, otherwise it all gets a little predictable – which is hardly what you want from a night out, musically or otherwise… Marcel Dettmann

The new collaborative album between Pantha du Prince and Norway’s The Bell Laboratory, Elements Of Light, is out this week, oozing typical Pantha quality. The project conflates electronica, percussion and bell carillon, a threetonne instrument comprising 50 bronze bells. But don’t dismiss it as a self indulgent concept album – I had no idea of the album’s back story when I heard it for the first time, and was soon immersed in beautiful atmospheric melodies that are conducive to both mellow ‘morning after’ listening or late night chillin’. Especially if you like bells. Austere Berghain poster boy Marcel Dettmann plays Chinese Laundry on Saturday February 16. A resident DJ at Berghain before it was Berghain (that’s the last 'Berghain' I’ll drop, promise) back in the Ostgut days, Dettmann has forged a close allegiance with Ben Klock over time, but more than holds his own as a one-man show. Dettmann’s vaunted reputation is founded on his productions for the self-conducted MDR label, his remixes for the likes of Fever Ray, Junior Boys, Modeselektor and Scuba, and his debut long player for Ostgut Ton, the label affiliated with a notorious Berlin nightclub that I won’t mention again. The lineup for the Sydney instalment of Boiler Room TV, slotted for next Thursday January 24, has been announced, and the organisers deserve credit for delving beyond the obvious choices and assembling a lineup that should have those in attendance moving to unpredictable beats. Representing will be Cliques, the duo of 48/4 and Hensen of Seekae fame, who are signed to the label of London tastemaker Oneman and trade in bottom-heavy, fluid future-techno. Tuff Sherm (the alter-ego of Sydney’s Dro Carey) and Prize (the Sydney selector who co-hosts 2SER’s Shadows Of Tomorrow show and the renowned Space Is The Place parties), will also be spinning. To bring the slackers at the back up to speed, Boiler Room TV


FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1 Jeremy P Caulfield One22


Christian Vance @ Loose Kaboose Secret Inner City Warehouse

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 23 Dixon and Guy Gerber AGWA Yacht Club

Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13 :: 47

snap up all night out all week . . .

boiler room It sounds like: Sydney’s most exciting DJs, broadcasting live to the world. Who’s spinning? Cliques, Tuff Sherm, Micha el Ozone, Prize – and more to be announced soon! Three songs you’ll hear on the night: Tuff Sherm – ‘Shrapnel Cabinet’; Michael Ozone – ‘Perfect Systems’; Cliques – ‘Rooty Hill’. And one you definitely won’t: Be prepared for anything in the Boiler Room! Sell it to us: Boiler Room TV is an internationa l internet underground party phenomenon, and they’re headed to Austra lia for broadcasting a hand-picked lineup of our city’s the first time. They’ll be most forward-thinking DJs to a huge online audience – live! The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Partying to Sydney's most futuristic beats while becoming a part of one of the world’s most famous, in-demand parties. Crowd specs: Fans of cutting-edge party music . Wallet damage: $20 (+ bf) through Moshtix Where: Goodgod Small Club / 55 Liverpool St, Sydney When: Thursday January 17, 8pm

hold tight!


party profile

It’s called: Boiler Room

nye 2012 on the harbour


05:01:13 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666

kendrick lamar


field day 20:12:12 :: The Enmore :: 118-132 Enmore Rd Newtown 9550 3666 48 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13


31:12:12 :: Cargo Bar :: 52-60 The Promenade Sydney 9262 1777




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up all night out all week . . .

thomas gold


28:12:12 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666



26:12:12 :: Marquee :: Star City Sydney 9657 7737

goodgod nye

31:12:12 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587 PICS :: TL



26:12:12 :: The Abercrombie Hotel :: 100 Broadway Ultimo 9211 3486

04:01:13 :: The Enmore :: 118-132 Enmore Rd Newtown 9550 3666

50 :: BRAG :: 495 :: 14:01:13



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The Brag #495  

SYDNEY’S HOTTEST INDEPENDENT WEEKLY STREET PRESS Hitting the streets with the best music, This week: Animal Collective and Big Day Out Speci...

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