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rock music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town...with Nick Timms, Therese Watson and Helen Vienne
five things WITH
‘MAJOR’ TOM HARTNEY FROM MAJOR TOM & THE ATOMS Growing Up Here’s how I became Major Tom. Dancin’ 1. along to the golden oldies every Saturday night
The Music You Make We’ve just finished recording our debut 4. LP. We recorded it ourselves in our home
with my old man; my old Italian piano teacher Enzo helping me write my first song ‘Mum And Dad Superstar’; my cousin playing me ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ and smashing my eggshell mind; our Thai exchange student playing me Metallica and getting me hooked on metal; smoking my first joint and hearing ‘The Carny’ by Nick Cave.
studio. So we’ve got no-one to blame if it sucks but ourselves! But I don’t think it does. It’s a howlin’ growlin’ brew of jungle grooves, steampunk junkyard freak out and rock hard jail cell blues, inspired by Exile-era Stones and The Black Keys. Our live show is a frenzied orgy of honky tonk grooves and spy-chedelic shootout tunes. We got asked to play at a swingers party at our first show.
Inspirations The figure of Nick Cave looms large in my 2. musical identity, partly because I got a Nick Cave tattoo on my chest when I was in Japan. The mystery, the sensuality, the classical allusions in the lyrics. After I mellowed out a bit and got sick of listening to Nick Cave on high rotation I discovered The Doors, who gave me tingles in all the same places! Your Band After I walked out of Little Red I didn’t know 3. what I was going to do, so I called up the best musos I knew and asked if they wanted start a new band. I had no idea what it would sound like until we all got in a room together. I couldn’t believe my luck when we got in a room together for the first time and it rocked. It’s a swingin’ blues rock band in the classic ’70s Stones kinda way.
Music, Right Here, Right Now It’s nice being a real indie band after 5. being in a fake one for six years. Nothing baffles me more than the fact most of the bands at the Independent Music Awards are with record labels. There’s a really exciting indie scene in Sydney now. I don’t know what they’re calling themselves but they wear hats and they look like they’ve walked out of a prohibition-era speakeasy. I’m thinking of bands like Papa Pilko And The Bin Rats. They’ve got swing, swagger and sax appeal. Like us. Where: The Backroom, Potts Point When: Friday September 6
EDITOR: Chris Martin firstname.lastname@example.org 02 9212 4322 ARTS EDITOR: Lisa Omagari email@example.com 02 9212 4322 STAFF WRITERS: Benjamin Cooper, Alasdair Duncan, Jody Macgregor, Krissi Weiss NEWS: Chris Honnery, Nick Timms, Therese Watson, Helen Vienne, Olivia Kadir, Lucy Smith ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant GRAPHIC DESIGN: Alan Parry SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Tim Levy SNAP PHOTOGRAPHERS: Capital H AKA Henry Leung, Katrina Clarke, Chriscia Khrisnadia, Amath Magnan, Ashley Mar, Daniel Rouse ADVERTISING: Bianca Lockley - 0412 581 669 / (02) 9212 4322 firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING: Les White - 0405 581 125 / (02) 9212 4322 email@example.com PUBLISHER: Rob Furst GENERAL MANAGER, FURST MEDIA: Patrick Carr firstname.lastname@example.org, (03) 9428 3600, 0402 821 122 DIGITAL DIRECTOR/ADVERTISING: Kris Furst email@example.com (03) 9428 3600 GIG & CLUB GUIDE CO-ORDINATOR: Charli Hutchison, Therese Watson, Olivia Kadir, James Dunlop - firstname.lastname@example.org (rock) email@example.com (dance, hip hop & parties) AWESOME INTERNS: Mina Kitsos, Rachel Eddie, Therese Watson, Charli Hutchison, Olivia Kadir, James Dunlop, Nick Timms, Helen Vienne, Lucy Smith REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Nat Amat, Marissa Demetriou, Rachel Eddie, Christie Eliezer, Chris Honnery, Lachlan Kanoniuk, Jody Macgregor, Alicia Malone, Hugh Robertson, Jonno Seidler, Raf Seneviratne, Simon Topper, Rick Warner, Krissi Weiss, Augustus Welby, Lily White, David Wild Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this NEW address 100 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 ph - (02) 9212 4322 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: Luke Forrester: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Furst Media P/L ACN 1112480045. All content copyrighted to Cartrage P/L/ Furst Media P/L 2003-2013 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get The BRAG? Email distribution@ furstmedia.com.au or phone 03 9428 3600. PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: www.spotpress.com.au 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204
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ELIZA’S JUKE JOINT
As part of the Sydney Fringe Festival, pop-up venue Eliza’s Juke Joint (at the old School of Arts hall on Eliza Street) is running a series of live music gigs for the month of September. Launch night is this Friday September 6, with Pyscho Zydeco bringing their swampy dance grooves to the party. Bluesmen Dom Turner and Ian Collard play an intimate Saturday September 7 set, with support from Gramophone Man. Yup, that’s a man who DJs on a wind-up gramophone set. What’s not to love?
Ex-Magic Dirt frontwoman Adalita is due to release her second solo album on Friday September 20, and the Melbourne powerhouse is stepping out on tour to celebrate. The All Day Venus dates include the Annandale Hotel on Friday October 18 and Newcastle’s Great Northern on Saturday October 19. Expectations are high for Adalita’s new record – her 2011 self-titled record scooped the AIR Award for Best Independent Album – but for the first time she’ll have a live band onstage to help out with her solo material, plus indie folkster Laura Jean in the warmup slot.
AWME LINEUP ANNOUNCED
The Australian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) brings together a strong and diverse group of international artists, which makes it “one of the leading music events on the annual calendar,” says director Simon Raynor. And this year is no exception, with over 50 world class artists booked for the Melbourne event and further announcements to come. The lineup includes the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Hollie Smith, The Cambodian Space Project and more. The AWME also serves as a great platform for artists to mingle with heavyweights in the music industry via its conference program. To see what it’s all about get down to the Arts Centre Melbourne from Thursday November 12 to Sunday November 17. For more lineup and ticket info go to awme.com.au.
Somehow managing to blend roots, reggae dub, jazz and house, OKA are one unique act. The trio has independently made quite a name for themselves over the last decade. With inspirations drawn from their indigenous connections to the land, OKA use electro beats, slide guitar, woodwinds and didgeridoo to craft their sound. They’ve played alongside the likes of Arrested Development and Xavier Rudd and hypnotised festival crowds across the globe. Don’t miss them when they play with Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun on Wednesday September 18 at The Basement.
Eleventh He Reaches London
ELEVENTH HE REACHES HERMANNS
Don’t get creeped out, but the title of Eleventh He Reaches London’s new album Banhus directly translates from Old English to mean ‘bone house’. Spooky. The album, which will be released on Friday October 4, tells of existence, misery and death, and is emerging at last after three years’ worth of writing and recording. The Perth post-hardcore quintet has announced a tour alongside the release, hitting Hermanns Bar on Friday October 11. The band says they’ve spent a year in the studio using new recording techniques, and the result is an album that is detailed and layered with melody.
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rock music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town...with Nick Timms, Therese Watson and Helen Vienne
speed date WITH
CRABMAN FROM MONEY FOR ROPE And be willing to drive, any night, anywhere. Furthermore, poor grammar is real bad turn off for us thats’ not good. Also it would help to be female, but if not that’s OK too.
Keeping Busy We’ve been systematically translating the full works of Aeschylus (using Google Translate) and then translating them back into Ancient Greek. For the other three to four months we have been concentrating maximum energy into being pretty sweet dudes. We’ve had a pretty good shot at making a bunch of babies too but no luck yet. Best Gig Ever It’s fortunate that we are 3. certified time travellers – and we’re
What Do You Look For In A Band? 1. We’re not fussy. If we were to give up the rock’n’roll lifestyle for another group to make an honest band out of us it would only take about a
bottle of Jameson and a slab of icecold beer. Provided of course you all have an average IQ of at least 120, model looks (international model, not local shopping mall), and you must have your own car.
very proud to inform you that our shows in Sydney in September 2013 are the best shows we’ve had to date. Wasn’t that crazy? That guy did that thing and then it all happened and I swear we were all just standing there going, “How ’bout this, isn’t this the best gig we have ever played?” and it was in SYDNEY and WHAT A GREAT SET and everyone just loved it but it was funny that kinda when it
was all over we felt like it was also our worst gig ever as well. Current Playlist Money For Rope – Self 4. Titled album (instrumental mixes); Money For Rope – Been In The Wars; Money For Rope – Cherry Rock Singles; Daft Punk – Random Access Memories; Money For Rope – Nova Pilota.
Your Ultimate Rider Hand-stacked sandwiches. 5. The kind you can leave in a pocket for a day or a week and still enjoy. Or find squashed in a case between a couple of cymbals and they still retain their integrity. And cheese. God, how did I forget cheese? I don’t care what kind of cheese it is but it must be plentiful. I would swap any amount of lukewarm beer for a nice plate of cheese and a quiet lie down. Where: Beach Road Hotel, Bondi / Bar On The Hill, Newcastle / Spectrum, Darlinghurst When: Thursday September 5 / Friday September 6 / Saturday September 7
You can’t help but love Amanda Fucking Palmer. As she explained to The BRAG last week, the punk cabaret pioneer has spent the year confusing the establishment by being unfailingly erudite whilst getting her kit off. Nothing baffles the tabloid press like a shamelessly nude artist making an irrefutable point onstage. Clothes back on (probably), Palmer plays the Enmore Theatre on Saturday September 14, backed by The Grand Theft Orchestra. We’ve got a double pass to give away – just email email@example.com with the name of Palmer’s first solo album for your chance to win.
Another huge week packed full of live music at The Standard is about to begin. Catch Professor on Thursday September 5 as they launch their new single ‘Hornets’ with support from the fierce She Rex, Twin Lakes and Service Bells. Leave your politics behind the night of Saturday September 7 and head along to ‘F**K The Election Party’. Let Bell Weather Department, Lepers and Crooks, Big Nothing and Nightswimming drown out cheers of joy or anguish from the streets below.
THE REAL MCKENZIES
Bagpipes, kilts, rock’n’roll! Canadian/Scottish folk punks The Real McKenzies are returning to Australia for the first time in ten years for a nationwide tour. In support of their brand new album, Westwinds, the McKenzies are dropping in at Manning Bar on Thursday September 5 for a wild old night. Joining them on tour are Aussie group The Go Set. Both bands share the same management and record label (and often the same bus) in Europe.
Toronto power trio Metz are making the trek down to Australia this summer. They’ll be bringing their loud post-hardcore ruckus and will show us that Canada has more to offer than Bublé and Bieber. Metz released their self-titled debut record last year through Sub Pop. To capture their hectic and hammering sound they recorded in a barn with producer Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck). Metz play at Goodgod on Wednesday December 4.
ALEX BOWEN Veronica Falls
Alex Bowen has quite the CV. Over the years, he’s shared stages with Paul Kelly, Jeff Martin and Donovan Frankenreiter, pedalling a thoughtful brand of soul and blues. ‘The Deep End Tour’ sees Bowen performing songs from recent EP Feather In The Ground. He drops in at The Vanguard on Thursday October 10, Sydney Blues & Roots Festival on Saturday October 26 and Lizotte’s Newcastle on Thursday November 7.
Sam Yeldham needs a hug. The title of his new Guineafowl EP, I Hope My City Loves Me Still, says as much. It’s due out Friday October 11, but a FBi Social Lunchbreak performance this Wednesday September 4 will offer a teaser; the Sydneysider apparently easing himself into things with a nervous smile and hoping we don’t collectively chew him out. But we all love him still, right? Right. Phew.
London indie pop darlings Veronica Falls are coming to our shores for the very first time this spring. With approving nods from Pitchfork and NME this is a band ripe and on the rise. Their latest release Waiting For Something To Happen came out earlier this year and we hear their live show is a blast. Catch them at Goodgod on Wednesday October 30.
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BIG SOUNDS FROM SA
BIGSOUND kicks off in Brisbane next week and the city is all geared up and ready to play host. As the biggest music industry event in Oz it pulls in some of the best new talent from all across the country. This year South Australia is shining bright. On Wednesday September 11 four SA acts will give a special afternoon performance as well as their official showcases. The Audreys, Tkay Maidza, Ride Into The Sun and The Aves will hit up Stage SA to show the festival what the southern state has got.
A new branch of the pop music tree has sprouted. Welcome some voodoo pop with Rufino and The Coconuts. Some parts tropical, some tribal and some theatrical rock, this musical bunch mix Caribbean beats with melodic crooning. Throw in some burlesque from glamazonian Holly J’aDoll and a vine pole performance by Electric Dreams and you’ve got yourself an island adventure. They play the Gallery Bar at Oxford Art Factory on Friday September 6.
Simon Meli and his band The Widowbirds are lending their vocal chords and nimble fingers for a worthy cause this Friday September 6 at The Basement. It’s been said that Meli’s voice has “more soul than the devil could ever collect”. This soulful growl has led him to share stages with the likes of Jimmy Barnes and Bon Jovi. But don’t let the ‘hardened rocker’ act fool you, as all the proceeds from the gig will go to charity Sidetember which aims to help people with acquired brain injury. They will be joined by special guests The Model School.
Soloist Nat Dunn is on the road to launch her new single ‘Fool’s Fate’. Since first gaining acclaim for her collaboration with Urthboy, Nat has emerged as an up-and-comer in the Brisbane music scene brandishing her own particular style of what she calls ‘rock’n’soul’. She’s just been added to Brisbane’s BIGSOUND lineup on Thursday September 12 where she will be performing on the Channel [V] stage. From there you can catch Dunn supporting Busby Marou on their ‘Farewell Fitzroy’ national tour. For a soulful evening check out these dates – Friday November 8 at The Small Ballroom in Newcastle and Saturday November 9 at The Standard in Sydney.
Jordie Lane gets around with a guitar and a suitcase. It’s all you need, really. Earlier this year, the songwriter relocated to Los Angeles to write, record and tour, and now he’s coming home to show off the resulting EP Not Built To Last. Lane’s a storyteller, and you don’t live a life of travel without collecting a few great stories worth telling. Find him at The Basement on Saturday November 16, Manly’s Music Lounge on Monday November 18, Lizotte’s Central Coast on Wednesday November 20 and Lizotte’s Newcastle on Thursday November 21.
SEND IN THE CLOWNS
Melbourne punks The Clowns are less about squirting you in the face with a water pistol and more about kicking you in the metaphorical balls with their brand of old school, hardcore punk. Their debut album I’m Not Right will be released via Poison City Records on Friday October 11 and promises to offend, motivate and stimulate. Catch them in Newcastle on Friday November 22 at Hamilton Station Hotel and in Sydney on Saturday November 23 at Blackwire Records (all ages). thebrag.com
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Industrial Strength Music Industry News with Christie Eliezer
THINGS WE HEAR
* triple j had its first ever metropolitan radio win when it went to #1 in Perth with a 13% share, leap frogging Mix, 96FM and Nova. No one could explain it, least of all triple j. But The Australian reckons it could be the amount of rich and mobile young males whoâ€™ve gone to WA for mining jobs. * Motley Crue return next year as part of a world farewell tour. * Has Newcastleâ€™s Fat As Butter dropped plans to burn an effigy of Flo Rida? * Prince arrived at a New York restaurant the night after a sell-out show, complete with afro and a pimp cane, and drank royal blushes while his entourage scoffed through pasta, scallops, veggies and fries. At the end of the meal, both star and entourage discovered no-one had cash. So the Purple One scribbled out a cheque, and asked his minder to give it to the restaurant manager. The minder said heâ€™d return the next day
KICKSTARTER, SOL HEAD FOR AUSTRALIA
Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is moving into the Australian market, setting up a local website (Kickstarter.com/Australia). It has details on meetings in Sydney and Melbourne this week where those wanting to use the service can chat with Kickstarterâ€™s product manager Leland Rechis. San Francisco based headphone maker Sol Republic, so beloved by DJs, is setting up a web shop in Australia, â€œcoming soonâ€?. Sol recently signed with retailer Dick Smith to sell their products here for the first time.
PERFORMERS FOR INDIE MUSIC AWARDS
AIR announced that the performers at the eighth annual Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards will be Violent Soho, whose new album Hungry Ghost is out Friday September 6; Archie Roach, who this month took three wins at the National Indigenous Music Awards in Darwin; Big Scary who this year landed a US deal with Barsuk; RĂźFĂźS whose Atlas
with some green stuff. * Strictly Ballroom The Musical is still looking for someone to play the lead female role of Fran, the dancer who blossoms from awkward ugly duckling to someone gorg and passionate. General auditions are held in Sydney on Sunday September 22, visit lynneruthvencasting.com for info. * SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association) raised $11,000 for Bernie McGann who remains in a critical but stable condition. Theyâ€™re raising funds for a new Sandy Evans commission in McGannâ€™s honour. To donate, go to sima. org.au and use the code BERNIE or call them on 9036 6292. * The current tour by NZâ€™s Fat Freddyâ€™s Drop was a total sell-out. * Code One, Canadian Music Week, Canadian Independent Music Association, Network Canada and The Canadian Consulate are putting on a free showcase
debuted at #1 on the ARIA chart; nine-piece soul band Saskwatch; and Seth Sentry. To be announced soon are new categories, nominations and guest presenters. The awards are held on Wednesday October 9 at Revolt in Kensington, Melbourne.
THICKE REVIVES COMPOSERâ€™S CAREER
Robin Thicke unwittingly revived the fortunes of an 86-year-old British classical composer. Of the millions of fans checking out Thickeâ€™s â€˜Blurred Linesâ€™ online, 4000 last month accidentally streamed the composer John Beckwithâ€™s 1997 track of the same name, putting it back in the charts. His â€˜Blurred Linesâ€™ is a ten-minute mournful duet of harpsichord and violin. Beckwith hasnâ€™t heard Thickeâ€™s but said, â€œIâ€™m told the lyrics are â€˜bawdyâ€™.â€? Thickeâ€™s was most streamed song in the UK during the summer, reports Spotify. It is followed by Passengerâ€™s â€˜Let Her Goâ€™, Naughty Boyâ€™s â€˜La La Laâ€™ and Daft Punkâ€™s â€˜Get Luckyâ€™, with Macklemore & Ryan Lewisâ€™ â€˜Canâ€™t Hold Usâ€™ completing the Top 5.
by Canadian acts Saidah Baba Talibah, Sidney York and The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer on Friday September 13 at The Bunker (Coogee Diggers). * Michael Franti remembers that when â€˜Say Hey (I Love You)â€™ cracked the US Top 20 for the first time, he should have been celebrating. Instead he was in hospital. â€œI was in the hospital and just going in to have this surgery when I get this text, â€˜Michael, your song is in the Top 20,â€™ and Iâ€™m looking up at the doctor and saying, â€˜You better fix me, I want to hear my song on the radio!â€™â€? * The Cole Clark Guitars factory in Melbourne had $1 million in damage to instruments and equipment after a fierce fire broke out in the production plant. * Similarly, the fire engine was called when Ozzy Osbourne managed to set fire to his house while cooking a late night bacon sandwich.
THE ANNANDALE CLOSED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 16
The Annandale Hotel will be closed from this week until Monday September 16. â€œUnscheduled building works associated with the development next to the hotel,â€? explained the reason statement. When it reopens it will be under new owner Oscars Hotels, who will continue the live music until the end of the year, at least.
REALITY FOR CLUB PROMOTERS
Reality TV could be tapping at the doors of clubland. The Promoter will be filmed in Melbourne to be pitched to TV networks. Over eight episodes, the â€œnext generation of promoter superstarsâ€? will be discovered by putting them through tests in innovative marketing, ability to attract patrons, quality of patrons, presentation, people management and â€“ holy hell â€“ social skills. The prize is $30,000 or return flights with a friend to Ibiza, Miami and Las Vegas to mentor under a nightclub promoter. See thepromoteraustralia.com.
PUSH FOR BYRON CURFEW
Build Your Music Empire Today E HIFI 1300 THO M.AU THEHIFI.C
Last Drinks at 12, a new community group calling for clubs to close by 1am, drew a full crowd to the Byron Community Centre for its first seminar. Its four-point plan: reduce late night hours, set up a Byron Bay Precinct Liquor Accord with compulsory membership, put a freeze on extending liquor licences and ban discounting, and promotion of alcohol. Byron mayor Simon Richardson thinks early closing should be a last resort, and says his Council has in place plans for extra lighting, shuttle buses, education programs and more taxi ranks to combat drink-fuelled biffo.
Just Announced This Week
MOJO MOST-READ MUSIC MAG
Dj Quik & Kurupt (USA)
Thu 5 Sept: All Ages
Sat 19 Oct
& Havana Dâ€™ Primera (CUB) Sat 7 Sep
Fri 6 Sep
Mojo is most-read music magazine in Britain, moving 79,345 a month, say new figures. It toppled The Fly, the free giveaway in HMV which fell from 100,630 in February to 55,580 in June after one third of HMV stores was closed. All other mags dropped. Q fell 4.1% to 58,980, NME by 13.2% to 20,000 a week, Uncut by 8.8% to 56,894 and Kerrang! fell 6.5% to 37,604. Empire is most read film magazine (160,067) with Total Film at 60,912.
NEW FEES THREATEN BANDS TOURING CANADA RĂźfĂźs
Fri 13 Sep Fri 18 Oct
Regurgitator Fri 4 Oct
Supernova U18s Fest feat. Wasted Penquinz, Toneshifterz + More Sun 15 Sep
Rap City feat. Talib Kweli (USA)
Stratovarius (FIN) Fri 25 Oct
Sun 6 Oct
Disclosure (UK) Tue 1 Oct
Spit Syndicate Sat 2 Nov: All Ages
Mid-range Australian acts might have to rethink plans to tour Canada after a new fee introduced by the Canadian Government. Any venue where music isnâ€™t the primary source of income must pay a non-refundable application fee of Canadian $275 (A$292.70) for each band member and member of the entourage (including manager and roadies). Each must also pay C$150 (A$160) to obtain a work permit. A booker for the Palomino Club told The Calgary Herald heâ€™d have to pay C$1700 just to get a non-Canadian act on the bill, which would cut into profits. The fee does not affect festivals.
CHINESE LAUNDRY HIRING
Hits & Pits 2.0 feat Black Flag (USA ) + The Ataris (USA) + Bad Astronaut (USA) Sun 17 Nov
Deerhunter (USA) Tue 10 Dec
The Brian Jonestown Massacre (USA) Thu 19 Dec
ENTERTAINMENT QUARTER, BUILDING 220, 122 LANG RD, MOORE PARK, SYDNEY
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Chinese Laundry has a position of Booking Agent, Artist & Guest Relations going. Youâ€™ll have input into the music policy (you need strong background in electronic music, the Sydney dance scene and youth culture), choose and book the acts within a budget, and host VIPs and artists on the night. You need a basic level of AV and production knowledge to order AV requests, facilitate
sound checks and troubleshoot during regular club nights if required. Email CV and cover note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
â€˜TWERKINGâ€™ ENTERS DICTIONARY
Twerking, the rump-busting up-and-down dance move beloved in hip hop circles these past 20 years, has gone mainstream â€“ and weâ€™re not talking about Miley Cyrusâ€™ antics at the MTV Video Music Awards. Britainâ€™s Oxford Dictionaries have introduced it as a legitimate word. The Oxford definition: â€œTwerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.â€? The word probably came from dancers being encouraged to â€œwork itâ€?.
COMMUNITY BROADCASTING CAMPAIGN
In the run-up to this weekendâ€™s elections, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia is pushing for an extra $5 million in funding. It is also urging supporters to contact local candidates to let them know of community radioâ€™s importance via committocommunityradio.org.au. Labor promised to maintain its funding, consult with the sector over the digital radio rollout and to closely consider recommendations of the Stevens Review into Indigenous broadcasting. The Australian Greens had a $27 million package to support community radio and TV. At the time of writing, the Coalition, historically a supporter of community broadcasting, had not unveiled its plans.
FIGHT! FIGHT! #1: NIN V BIFFO
Trent Reznor, angry that Nine Inch Nails were second-tier to Biffy Clyro at the Reading Festival in the UK, lashed out via Twitter. â€œShould be an unusual show tonightâ€Ś the lying promoter and the band following us (whoever the fuck they are) fucked us on our production.â€? Promoter Melvin Benn denied all, saying, â€œThe contract hasnâ€™t changed since they signed up to it.â€?
FIGHT! FIGHT! #2: DIDDY V COLE
Sean â€˜Diddyâ€™ Combs ended up in a scuffling match with rapper J. Cole at a MTV Video Music Awards after party that he and Jay-Z threw at the PH-D Rooftop Lounge at the Dream Downtown. Apparently Cole mouthed off about Combs and his girlfriend, and Combs did some shoving, bottles were dropped and some guests went scattering. The packed room included BeyoncĂŠ, Rihanna, Leo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Pharrell Williams, Drake and Justin Timberlake fresh off the Nâ€™Sync reunion (no, they wonâ€™t tour, JT said).
Lifelines Born: son Noah to Michael BublĂŠ and Argentine actress wife Luisana Lopilato in Vancouver. Recovered: Jim Keays of Masters Apprentices fame has won his six-year battle against myeloma and plans to get back to gigging. Ill: Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty collapsed during their set at the Summerdays Festival in Switzerland and was rushed to hospital for the second time in a month after suffering a stroke. Sued: Canadian R&B singer Drake, for $76,490 by his former stylist Michael Raphael. Raphael says he was paid a monthly wage of $39,583 but that stopped in December 2012. He says he owes him thousands of dollars for outstanding â€œconsulting services, hotel bills, plane tickets, and endless shopping expenses.â€? Suing: Jamaican reggae star Frederick â€˜Tootsâ€™ Hibbert is taking action against a venue in Richmond, Virginia, and its security company for $20 million. Hibbert was performing onstage when 19-year-old William Connor Lewis threw a bottle at him, which hit him on the head. Toots is already suing the man for $21 million. The latest suit says that the venue and its security failed in their duty, by not stopping Lewis if he brought the booze into the venue, or if they sold the booze to him inside the venue. Toots says due to his head injury, he canâ€™t remember his lyrics or write new songs.
TA S M A N I A
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dec 29 2013
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READY, STEADY, MOVE • BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
fter spending the past few years ascending the ranks to become one of Australia’s most prominent partystarting DJs, Alison Wonderland switched it up in July with the release of her first original track. ‘Get Ready’, featuring Blue Mountains rap/electronica duo Fishing, showcases the production chops Wonderland has been developing concurrent to her DJ career. As she packs for the next leg of her hefty touring schedule to launch the single, Wonderland ruminates on what looks set to be a defining crossroads in her musical career. “It’s awesome,” Wonderland says of her busy calendar. “When I looked at all those dates I thought it would be quite daunting and tiring, but I don’t feel tired at all. I’m just excited to tour.” Though ‘Get Ready’ is the sole original release by Wonderland to this point, her current setlist includes more new material. “I guess I’m playing a few more of my own tracks, ones I haven’t released yet, and putting them into the set. I’m still playing everything that I like; it’s just that a set is always changing. But at the same time, I’m trying to incorporate stuff that people will associate with tracks I haven’t put out yet. I’m trying to do a little bit of everything, I guess.” Though both acts had been well established in their respective Sydney circles, Wonderland’s collaboration with Fishing was the result of a happenstance festival meet-up. “I’d already made the track and I wanted it to be an instrumental, but people had suggested I should get a rapper to rap on it. I sent it to friends in New York to have a go at it, but to me it wasn’t right. I didn’t want to put anything out that I thought was good but not amazing. I bumped into the Fishing guys at Groovin’ The Moo and I showed them the track and asked
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if they were interested in rapping, because I heard they ruled at that. Two days later they sent me an amazing vocal back, reminding me a little bit of Beastie Boys, a little bit of Das Racist. I couldn’t stop listening to it – then I knew that was the right fit.” Wonderland’s shift from working solely as a DJ to her production output was a natural move. “Funnily enough, I’ve been producing as long as I’ve been DJing, just never under the name Alison Wonderland. I would put stuff out and no-one knew who it was, and if they liked the music, they liked the music. There was nothing there to influence their opinion on it.” Though her established DJ career and rising production facet are two disparate entities, both branch off from a resounding passion for music. “[DJing and production] are very different. When you’re writing music, it’s a very selfish thing. I go crazy, everyone goes crazy, but in a good way. You need to be that way to bring out the stuff inside you that wouldn’t normally come out. Then you have to hyper-focus on things like snares and kicks – that does drive you a little mental. But in terms of what I select to DJ, that’s the stuff I love and makes me want to dance. I’ve always kind of thought that if I’m excited about a track, then maybe other people will be. But in terms of songwriting, that’s not how I write. I do it to keep me a little bit sane, to be honest.”
It’s Wonderland’s refined palate, encompassing a broad and passionate musical intake from across the globe, which informs her creative output. “I’ve always been a big fan of hip hop, so I’ve been playing that for a long time. There’s a lot of bad trap music out there, but there’s also some good stuff that doesn’t have those bad fuzzy synths,” she says, pausing to let out a sigh of disgust. “I’m very open-minded in what I choose. I can’t give you a straight answer, but if I really like the track I’ll play it and find a way to work it into my set. I’m really liking Ryan Hemsworth a lot. Then again, at South By Southwest I was exposed to more music than I usually would [be] if I was just sitting at home checking blogs and Soundclouds. I really got into Ratking. They’re amazing. I went and saw them at Glass Lounge in New York a few weeks later because I loved them so much. They’re a hip hop group from Brooklyn signed to XL, everyone should definitely check them out.” While fans may see her as a conduit to music they might not be quite familiar with, Wonderland doesn’t consciously see herself as a tastemaker. “I dunno, I’ve never really thought about it. I just want to be honest with what I play and that I actually like the songs. I’m not going to go out there and try to force people to like certain things. If you like something, you like it. I just want to stick to my guns.” With that US sojourn earlier in the year earning her a positive reception at SXSW, you can
“WHEN YOU’RE WRITING MUSIC, IT’S A VER Y SELFISH THING. I GO CRAZY ... YOU NEED TO BE TO BRING OUT THE STUFF INSIDE YOU”.
imagine Wonderland finding success on a global stage. At this point, though, she is more than happy to stick to her Australian base. “When I was overseas, everybody’s really openminded there as well. There are people in every place that will look down on people trying to be successful … But I love playing in Australia and there is some really amazing music happening here at the moment. It’s a good thing; the local crowd is warming to Australian acts more than ever before. Just to see how well Harley [Streten, AKA Flume] has done, Willow Beats are doing amazing stuff, then you have bands like DZ Deathrays. When you go to these shows and see people supporting local talent these days, it’s so different to when I first started working in this industry. It’s really awesome, there’s really something in the water at the moment.” With ‘Get Ready’ gaining plenty of traction, Wonderland has a renewed focus when it comes to the next evolutionary step. “There’s an album in the future, so that’s a big goal of mine. Then there’s the plan to do a live show at some point after the album, so hopefully people like it. They’re my short-term goals. But my goals are to learn as much as I can about my craft and what I do, just keep working every day. Finding out new things, to me, is a big achievement because there are so many things you can learn along the way when you’re producing and DJing as well.” “I just want to put my music out there,” Wonderland adds. “It’s like waiting for an egg to hatch, and now it feels like I’ve been waiting too long for this egg to hatch.” With: Willow Beats, L D R U, Sosueme DJs, Devola Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Saturday September 7 thebrag.com
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Violent Soho Hunger Pains By Augustus Welby
t’s been three years since Brisbane’s Violent Soho released their self-titled second album. Violent Soho came out on US label Ecstatic Peace! (run by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore) and a favourable reaction abroad sent the band on a protracted stint of US and European touring. Returning home at the end of the touring cycle, the exhausted four-piece struggled to feel motivated about writing their next album. Frontman Luke Boerdam admits there was a touch of despair in the rehearsal room during initial preparations for album number three. “Everything sounded boring. We were writing and doing demos and nothing excited us like it used to. We were like, ‘Fuck, this sucks, none of us are getting excited about this.’” Travelling the world and living with their music for a couple of years altered the band’s personal expectations and Boerdam admits this hindered their progress. “When you do all of that touring your list of influences grows phenomenally. As a band we got to quit our jobs and focus on music 24/7; after two years of that you come back and the same songs that excited you four years ago just don’t do it anymore.” Nowadays, Boerdam explains, the group doesn’t release new material without first reaching a mutual consensus among themselves. “We set a pretty high bar when we go to actually release
something. We make sure we’re all saying, ‘Yep, this is where we want it to be.’ It’s kind of tough because you can throw out a lot of work along the way. Because you put a lot of work into it you’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to just throw it out,’ but you’ve got to.” Violent Soho’s determined commitment to broaden their sonic palette prevailed and the results will be made public when new LP Hungry Ghost lands this Friday. The experience gathered from touring alongside the likes of Dinosaur Jr., The Bronx and Cloud Nothings was the crucial factor pushing the band to expand their sound. Boerdam says Built to Spill, his “favourite band to tour with”, were a major reference point when recording Hungry Ghost. “Built to Spill showed us how to layer guitars heaps and how to create this whole sonic soundscape. There’s a few songs in the middle of the record where we tried to work that in. It wasn’t just ten to 11 songs with the same formula repeated. We really wanted to move on from that.” The thematic focus of Boerdam’s lyrics has also developed significantly on Hungry Ghost. He describes how he’s stepped away from his former preference for episodic suburban tales. “All the songs up until that point had been really simple personal stories and I wanted to shed that. I started writing about weirdo characters
down the street and adventure stories. I was writing stories that I thought add an interesting imagery to [the album], and trying to have some sort of central theme to the record.” The release of Hungry Ghost will be followed by an Australian tour that starts in late October and Boerman underlines their intentions to comprehensively hit the road domestically before looking elsewhere. “Basically the whole idea behind this record is to tour as much in Australia first. On the other record Australia wasn’t first. It was a bit of a shame because
when the album came out we weren’t even here and it just felt weird. This time around we will do all the touring in Australia required for the record and then we’ll worry about the US and UK.” What: Hungry Ghost out Friday September 6 through I OH YOU With: Straight Arrows Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Friday October 25
Regurgitator Crazy In Love By Alasdair Duncan
here’s a certain sense of archness about Regurgitator’s music, a sense of observing the world from a position of amused detachment. This wryly humorous approach has seen the band through a career of nearly two decades, which is why it’s so surprising to hear singer Quan Yeomans letting his guard down on their new album. Dirty Pop Fantasy, the band’s eighth full-length record, contains the requisite doses of bouncy, new wave-inspired pop, as well as a few heavy guitar freak-outs – but also several tender ballads on which Yeomans, dare I say it, sounds a little bit vulnerable. It doesn’t seem so strange, however, when you consider that during the writing and recording of their new album, Regurgitator turned to the perpetually lovelorn pop of The Magnetic Fields for inspiration.
Extended Family By Krissi Weiss
hile it’s criminal to rehash the words of a press release in an interview, Palms’ description of themselves perfectly sums up their debut album, Step Brothers – “it’s a collection of short, mostly loud songs written in one bedroom, recorded in another, about wanting someone to let you into their bedroom.” Brilliant. Frontman Al Griggs and drummer Tom Wallace (both formerly of Sydney indie rock darlings Red Riders) have teamed up with Brendan Walsh and Dion Ford to create Palms. They’re four friends having fun, there’s no five-year-plan or stylised PR machine behind them and the resultant album is awash with honesty and devoid of pretention. God may have helped with it too, but more on that later. Red Riders went from strength to strength quite early, earning support slots with Jet and Franz Ferdinand before their debut album had been released, and while Griggs looks back on that time with plenty of nostalgia, Palms is not his break-up band. “I feel great about all this actually,” he says. “I would never wanna talk down Red Riders, it just felt like it had completely ran its course and right in the wake of that ending I had a massive creative burst. I felt really inspired again and energised by the change … The funny thing about Palms is that everyone keeps saying it sounds more like me than anything I’ve ever done in the past.”
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The band that Griggs has surrounded himself with has also been integral to the relaxed vibe of Palms. “On paper I could’ve done Palms on my own but I need someone to say, ‘Yeah man, that’s good’ or also to challenge me when I need to go a bit harder.” Taking that uninhibited creative process into the studio was a breeze for the band. They recorded with Owen Penglis (Royal Headache, Straight Arrows) in his kitchen on a budget of food. “He recorded it in his kitchen and it took us three days – but three days spaced out across eight months,” Griggs says. “We paid him in food, he totally did a favour for us … his pace and his attitude kept it all really alive. We didn’t jam the songs for months and even now we just practise if we have a show. I’ve done that in bands before where you play something to death and when you end up playing it live you’ve just played the life out of it.”
In the wake of his relationship troubles, Yeomans left Melbourne for Hong Kong, and the experience of living and dating there has been an eye-opener for him. “I live in Mong Kok, which is one of the most populous places in the world,” he says. “There are 130,000 people per square kilometre here, as opposed to 8000 in central Sydney.
As you might expect, Yeomans gets a lot of strange looks when he tells people he’s in a band, but he likes it that way. “A lot of people can’t compute that as a lifestyle or a way of surviving,” he laughs. “People in Hong Kong are all about the money. I mean, if you date a girl here and meet her parents and tell her what you do, it can be quite difficult. My best friend here is a magician – he does work for corporate people, which is basically all you do. The thing about Hong Kong is every art piece, every gallery show, every gig is something corporate. The only actual solo shows I’ve played here have been for Casio and Nike. You don’t really put on a show just for its own sake. That’s the way things are here. I mean, I get a kick out of it.” Being an outsider in Hong Kong suits Yeomans just fine. “I don’t do a normal job here at all,” he says. “If I go back to Melbourne, every single person is a musician and an artist or whatever, so it’s not a big deal. Here, being a musician is actually kind of exciting!” What: Dirty Pop Fantasy out Friday September 6 through Valve/MGM Where: The Hi-Fi, Sydney / Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle When: Friday October 4 / Saturday October 5
That attitude is Griggs’ new mantra – not just for Palms but for his life in music. “After Red Riders kinda become frustrating we decided that with this we just wanted to do what was fun to do,” he says. “Let’s not bother with the whole game, let’s just make the videos we want to and play the music we want to and not be pressured by anyone.”
Regurgitator by Leslie Montgomery
The creative burst was nothing new to Griggs – his writing style has always had a stream-of-consciousness approach – but Palms afforded him the ability to do that with a musically mature mind. “For me anyway, writing songs is a pretty subconscious thing. I never consciously think about what I’m about to do and I never really feel like I get a say in what comes out.” So is there an intangible, perhaps even spiritual element to the process? “Definitely,” he says before giving it some thought. “I don’t think they’re gifts from God or anything – I really hope God is writing
much better songs than I am…” The moment is broken by Griggs’ rapturous laughter and an otherwise silent audience in the background of our chat. He has to win Quote Of The Year for that one.
“We listened to The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs constantly while we were recording the album,” says Yeomans. “We learned to play a lot of the songs, and we had this idea that we’d even busk some of them.” Of course, there’s more to the story than that. “I had a few relationship problems when I was living in Melbourne. A song like ‘Mountains’ on the new album was inspired in particular by that, and by The Magnetic Fields. I remember at the time how I’d sit and listen to them while I rode the trams. On the good days, I’d enjoy singing ‘Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits’, and on the bad days it was ‘I Don’t Want To Get Over You.’ That album was a really good fit for me at the time emotionally.”
It’s pretty intense.” Socially, the city is a whole new world. “The people you meet in Hong Kong are very different from the people you meet in Australia. There’s not a lot of art for art’s sake here. People are extremely stressed about their jobs, they have difficulty expressing themselves emotionally. They can be very cold in their interactions with you, so relationships here can be very different, too.”
With: Supporting Cloud Control Where: Bar On The Hill, Newcastle / Metro Theatre, Sydney When: Wednesday September 11 / Thursday September 12 And: Step Brothers out now through Spunk/Caroline
NINE INCH NAILS HESITATION MARKS NEW ALBUM FEATURING CAME BACK HAUNTED AND EVERYTHING OUT NOW
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Summer Flake Going It Alone By Lachlan Kanoniuk
Emiliana Torrini The Heart Of The Swarm By Jody Macgregor
t’s been five years since Emilíana Torrini released her album Me And Armini and its memorably bouncy single ‘Jungle Drum’. After that she worked on but ultimately abandoned another record, and life got in the way like it tends to do. By the time Torrini started writing songs for the album she’s recently finished, Tookah, she was a different person with different ideas. “By doing records with such a big space in between you go through so many stages of development,” she says in her delightful Icelandic accent. “I guess if I would have done a record, like, three years ago, it would have been a psychedelic rock record. You just realise how much you morph into something, and also I gave birth to my son and that puts a different head on you.” Torrini discovered she was pregnant the last time she was in Australia, while preparing for a show at the Sunset Sounds festival in Brisbane. “I thought I was really jetlagged and I thought I still had the food poisoning since Mexico, but actually I was pregnant. That was huge. I have such an amazing memory from it. I was roaming around in this haze like, ‘Oh my God, this is incredible. There’s some little creature growing inside me.’ It was amazing. Then being on stage playing music to all these incredibly happy people was really good for my body.” Having huge life changes affect her music isn’t new for Torrini, whose 2005 album Fisherman’s Woman was shaped by the death of her boyfriend in a car accident. “It was such an emotional record to make,” she says. “It was a really tough record in that way, but then Me And Armini taught me to let go. When we did Me And Armini we decided, ‘Everything comes out and we’re gonna leave everything alone, no matter how different
everything is. We’re just gonna put it down.’ So that was a very quick record to work.” Tookah was not so quick. At one point, when Torrini and her songwriting/producing partner Dan Carey gave up on work completely, they decided to just kill time watching videos on YouTube instead. That was how they discovered the swarmatron, an electronic instrument that sounds like a choir of bees and was designed by two Brooklynite cousins who also created something called a hymnotron. “We got lost in YouTube watching those cousins talk about it. It was just this incredible swarming noise. It’s the same as Trent Reznor used for a movie [The Social Network]. We just fell in love with it because we were watching them play it on the internet … We became kind of obsessed with those cousins. We’re gonna go on a pilgrimage one day and meet them, I’m hoping.”
fter proving herself an invaluable fixture in the Adelaide music community for the past decade or so, Stephanie Crase suddenly found herself bereft of musical outfits after a virtual desertion by a multitude of musical peers. Following the dissolution of acts such as Batrider, Hit The Jackpot, No Through Road and more, Crase consolidated her musical prowess into the solo project Summer Flake. In the space of a year and a half, Crase has taken Summer Flake to a multitude of stages across the globe – including an eventful sojourn to the US earlier in 2013 around South By Southwest. On the eve of the release of Summer Flake’s debut album, Crase charts the project’s journey since inception.
earlier this year], and I just knew that some wouldn’t suit going on one or the other. It was easy to lock in an EP with the time that I had, because I had some time locked in in America for a little holiday. Then I gradually got the album going … It feels pretty quick, but when I think about it, it was actually five months of recording,” Crase recalls. “Because I do it at home, I have to work out the technical glitches myself. And it can take weeks trying to figure out why the programs keep crashing, and also that thing of getting fatigue from doing something like all the drum tracks back to back. You can lose all perspective. It’s good doing recording yourself because you can give yourself the breaks you need. It’s a good leisurely pace, but with a heavier workload.”
“I had the idea around the start of last year, so January 2012, and I had a bunch of songs lying around. It was about the time Sarah [Chadwick] and Sam [Featherstone] from Batrider had moved to Melbourne, Jess [Thomas] and Kynan [Lawlor] from Hit The Jackpot had moved to America, so all the people I played with had moved away from Adelaide. I was at a bit of a loose end and finding time to do my own stuff. I think I did my first show maybe in February playing solo, then put a few songs online in March, then the first EP in August. It felt like enough people were into it to keep it going. There’s no stress, no downtime – it’s all in between, really.”
The notion of solo musicianship is sometimes the result of vanity, but that is far from the case with Summer Flake. “When you do something solo it can come across really selfindulgent, which it kind of is. When I did it, it was really out of necessity. I almost felt too embarrassed to ask people to be in my band,” Crase laughs. “So I just ended up doing bits myself and getting friends to help out live.”
Since the genesis of Summer Flake as a musical project, a steadily prolific stream of releases has seen fruition. The debut album You Can Have It All marks a fairly seamless progression from two attention-garnering EPs in the past year. “At the end of last year I had almost all of the songs, as well as the ones from the Where Do I Go? EP [released
Tackling recording duties on her own time, Crase felt imbued by a sense of freedom rather than being overwhelmed with the task at hand. “Because I’m not in a studio, I can literally try anything. So if I don’t know about something, I can try it out then sit on it for a week. If I’m happy with something, I’ll keep moving on. The boundaries are set within whatever I can handle and still enjoy myself with. It would be really impossible for me to do it if it was a drag.” What: You Can Have It All out Friday September 6 through Rice Is Nice
Torrini and Carey liked the instrument so much they ordered one, but it had to be hand-made before being sent to Iceland, a process that took months. They spent the time watching more YouTube, which is where they found the next piece of the puzzle – an Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer. “I fell in love with the Oberheim and I was like, ‘Alright, let’s do electronic music. I really need to dance.’ I’ve had the baby and most women or people need to go out with friends and have a weekend of dancing. I needed to go in the studio and make dance music. So we just did [first single] ‘Speed Of Dark’ and ‘Tookah’ and danced around, and then we fell into making the record and it became much more natural.” What: Tookah out Friday September 6 through Rough Trade/Remote Control
Tigertown Vitality By Rick Wickman
ydney’s shimmering pop collective Tigertown will mark the onset of spring with a national tour in support of their new EP Wandering Eyes. The five-song release showcases a more accomplished band than on Tigertown’s two earlier EPs, partly due to their solidification as a five-piece ensemble. Co-vocalist/songwriter Chris Collins explains how the group’s consolidated understanding of what Tigertown represents allowed them to record the EP in a more organic manner.
Wandering Eyes sounds more organised and premeditated than last year’s Before The Morning release, but conversely Chris suggests their experiences playing live made the recording procedure reasonably effortless this time around. “We sort of had to think about it less. All the songs came out of touring, so they’ve all been tried at gigs and we all knew
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Tigertown’s 2011 self-titled EP was created before they had determined the sort of band they’d like to become. The impetus to focus their sound came from the positive feedback directed towards radio single ‘Go Now’. “When everyone seemed to jump onto our song ‘Go Now’, that paved the way from there,” says Collins. “When we put those songs together originally, I think we liked all of them differently and didn’t think about a cohesive body. It’s sort of like the listeners chose what our sound was going to be.” ‘Go Now’ attracted the attention of triple j shortly after it was introduced to the public, giving the band’s fortunes a major boost. Collins admits the initial radio interest came as a surprise. “Charlie and I were both in bands when we first met and we were slightly getting over it. We started writing music we wanted to write and it was honestly for no-one else. When triple j played it pretty much straight away, it was a real freak-out.” The national youth broadcaster holds unrivalled efficacy in helping bands build a fan base in Australia and Collins acknowledges how central the station’s support has been in their relative rise to prominence. “It’s amazing how much difference it makes if triple j play your music,
because it goes all the way around the country. We always spin out when we get all the way over to Perth and people know our music.” Despite realising how vital airplay is for perpetuating success, Collins insists Tigertown wouldn’t write music solely to fit the triple j playlist. “If you’re chasing what you think a radio station will play, you’ll end up sounding like a trend band and it will go out of fashion. Our dream is to write timeless pop music,” he says modestly. The Wandering Eyes tour is Tigertown’s biggest headline run to date, evidence of the band’s growing appeal. Collins says recent support tours with Bob Evans and Bastille have strengthened their capacity to enthral larger audiences. “It feels like we’ve stepped it up in terms of venue size. Definitely doing the support tours helps so much. Playing to heaps of new fans all around the country has been a good build-up.” Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Thursday September 5 And: Wandering Eyes out now through MGM More: Appearing at BIGSOUND in Brisbane on September 11-13 and Festival Of The Sun in Port Macquarie on December 13-14
Tigertown photo by Josh Groom
“This is the first EP that we went in as a fivepiece and all recorded together,” he says. “The first EP was just Charlie [Collins, the band’s other lead vocalist and songwriter] and me in our bedroom. The second EP was a similar thing, it came from the bedroom stuff but we were just working out different ways to do it. Because we’ve been touring so much over the last year, we felt like an actual band. It’s the first time that we’ve gone in the room and all recorded together.”
what we were doing and we just went in and did it.”
Placebo Double-Blind By Krissi Weiss
hen the founding members of Placebo, Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal, first introduced us to their indie/glam sound and boundary-pushing image, things were a little uneasy. It was 1994, after all; the world was trying to forget the ’80s ever happened (that decadent decade seemingly now adored) and there were still people who weren’t 100 per cent sure if Freddie Mercury was gay.
Sure, Kurt Cobain could pull off mascara, but his dribbled down a chiselled jaw and manly stubble – Placebo were something new altogether, and even lovers of their original greats like ‘Pure Morning’ and ‘Every You Every Me’ struggled with the band. Time healed the early wounds of confrontation as Placebo became the soundtrack for a generation – sometimes more in hindsight than at the time – yet when they moved forward and beyond their 1998 album Without You I’m Nothing, their audience once again seemed uneasy about moving with them. Now they’ve arrived with album number seven, Loud Like Love, and they’re approaching their 20-year anniversary. Christ. The most refreshing part of all this is that Loud Like Love is a return to Placebo at their best. They stumbled on 2006’s Meds and downright collapsed on 2009’s Battle For The Sun, but just like the ’80s those days are behind them, and this album might even give Without You I’m Nothing a run for its money.
the director,” says Olsdal. “The video deals with a lot of issues to do with social media and social commentary and Bret is very prominent in that. He was perfect as the narrator of sorts for this video and it really works.” At almost 20 years it seems obvious but essential to ask: Will Placebo keep on going? “It’s what we do. I’ve been doing this since I was 19 and sure, there are plenty of times it’s tough and it’s lonely, but I don’t know anything else I could do. I don’t think there’s anything else that could give me this much fulfillment. Showtime is the best and most rewarding time in all of this and is the reward for everything we do and everything we deal with.” What: Soundwave Festival With: Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains, Korn, DevilDriver, Newsted, AFI and more Where: Olympic Park When: Sunday February 23 And: Loud Like Love out Friday September 13 through Caroline/Universal
Producer Adam Noble helped the band refine its sound for the new effort, and for a group that has been (sometimes unfairly) labelled as egotistic and difficult, they embraced Noble’s guidance. “I think it’s paramount for a producer to not be intimidated by the band, otherwise it’s a non-starter,” Olsdal says. “The challenge for a producer is to kind of coax a band out of their comfort zone and get something out of them that they wouldn’t by themselves – but in doing so, not trying to break their identity, and Adam did that very well. There were days where things would get a little bit heated, but so be it – we had to get it right.”
“I feel like in this band I’ve overexposed myself by being too open in the media, and for my wellbeing I need to protect myself.” Olsdal’s open and relaxed manner dispels any ideas of the ‘difficult band’. He’s nice, really nice; but he does admit that age has a lot to do with it. Age hasn’t just influenced their public personas but also their work ethic. “You’re not the same person when you’re approaching your forties as you were when you were in your twenties. There is a lot of growing up, even though in some ways it seems you’re allowed to be a perpetual teenager when you’re in a band. We’re better at time management now, we don’t spend nine months in the studio like we used to. We used to do 50 or 60 takes to get one song down and squeeze the life out of it. We’ve found our way of recording now that’s more free-flowing and more productive.” When Placebo were coming through the ranks of Brit rock the media were the gatekeepers to a musician’s true personality – if you were having a bad day when you got interviewed you were labeled an arsehole for a decade. Social media seems to be the antidote to misrepresentation but Olsdal suggests otherwise. “I think you’re still misrepresented these days,” he says. “People seem to take things out of context all the time on social media. Personally I’m not very active on it – when I tried it caused me a lot of anxiety.” Why the anxiety? “I was faced with so many friend requests from people that, well, there was a reason I hadn’t stayed in touch with them. It’s like this emotional blackmail – ‘You must be my friend or else you’re evil.’ I have a hard enough time as it is staying in touch with my true friends that I can call up and be vulnerable and call for help – with social media I just couldn’t keep up. I’ve realised over the years I truly value my privacy. I feel like in this band I’ve overexposed myself by being too open in the media, and for my wellbeing I need to protect myself.” Social media and the negative feedback loop of social commentary it produces were the inspiration for the video accompanying the single ‘Too Many Friends’. Directed by Saman Keshavarz, and with a voiceover supplied by modernity critic extraordinaire Bret Easton Ellis, the video moves beyond a simple film clip and into a truly bizarre and intriguing short, short film. It is completely Placebo, and absolutely suited to a song with the opening line: “My computer thinks I’m gay / I threw that piece of junk away.” “[Ellis] was suggested by thebrag.com
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FBi Turns Ten We Like To Party By Lachlan Kanoniuk music. Back then, the high rotation of a small amount of Australian quota content on commercial radio wasn’t making much room for new artists. The pub scene had been displaced a bit by poker machines, and the electronic scene had risen up a bit separate to the indie scene. We decided that the biggest boost we could give to the local music scene was by making sure more people could hear it. We felt that if people would hear how great Sydney music was, they’d go to it, buy it, read the street press and go to the venues – be part of the scene.”
member Cass Wilkinson tell us what the station means to them. “Well, at the very start, it was just a cool thing to do,” McMullan says. “I didn’t know much about FBi before I started. But I think what it’s come to mean to me is that it’s the thing that makes Sydney bigger, more exciting. I feel like Sydney has grown in my estimation so much because of FBi, it’s made me love Sydney so much more than I used to. I maybe took it for granted before.” “Back in ’95,” recalls Wilkinson, “if you’ll excuse me going back before the beginning, we were in a living room in Surry Hills saying that what Sydney really needed was a radio station that would play all of our great local
The ardent philosophy in regards to broadcasting local music doesn’t come from a contrived mandate, but rather from a genuine passion to provide an outlet for audience tastes. “I think FBi is really good in that we have a mission to play local music, but we don’t pander to anybody,” McMullan says. “We only play local
While countless bands have gained their breakthrough on the FBi airwaves since 2003, the station isn’t going to lay claim on their successes. “It’s kind of hard to put a finger on who was helped by what,” says McMullan. “I think it says a lot that The Presets are playing this festival, which is essentially a benefit for FBi. It’s not part of a tour. Every single one of these bands are donating their time, it’s amazing. There was a really amazing moment last week when Boy & Bear came in [to the station]. This is a band that sold out their Enmore show six weeks in advance. The whole band came into our show on a Friday to play a song. I said, ‘Thanks so much for coming in,’ and they were like, ‘No, thank you. It means a lot to us.’ You can look at it as this thing that FBi has helped these bands, or you could look at it as FBi means something to these bands.” “You would have heard all the apocryphal stories about The Vines, Wolfmother and other bands who came to us with no manager or label,” Wilkinson offers. “They had made records at home that we could play … We’ve provided the infrastructure for a generation of really gifted Australian musicians who had this unprecedented ability to get themselves into the industry, and an audience that was ready to take Australian culture as the world’s best and something worth listening to. And that put us in this position to generate this audience of 250,000 regular listeners for the music that we love.” What: FBi Turns 10! With: The Presets, Hermitude, Sarah Blasko, Urthboy, Midnight Juggernauts, Seekae, Kirin J Callinan, Deep Sea Arcade, The Preatures, Oliver Tank and more Where: Carriageworks When: Sunday September 8
SEPTEMBER 7 & 8
Taking applications September 1 - November 1 aftrs.edu.au/awardcourses ays
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ver the course of the past decade, notfor-profit radio station FBi has more than established itself as an intrinsic and necessary force in Sydney’s thriving music community. Though the station has experienced such rapid growth, it very much stays true to the grassroots philosophies that were laid out in its foundation. Since commencing full-time broadcasting on August 29, 2003, FBi has retained its manifesto of playing 50 per cent Australian content (half of which is from Sydney) to amass a weekly audience of a quarter-million listeners. Speaking ahead of the all-star celebratory festival at Carriageworks – featuring a lineup of the likes of The Presets, Hermitude, Sarah Blasko and many, many more – Friday arvo presenter Shag McMullan and founding board
As Wilkinson explains, FBi’s emergence came at a critical time in the Australian music industry. “The interesting thing that happened is that we started the project just as digital production was on the cusp of becoming mainstream. Digital downloading was starting. Also I think, critically for us, it was a point when Australian audiences were starting to see off the last of the old cultural cringe … The thing I was told when I started spruiking the idea of starting a radio station to play Australian music is that I’d never find enough Australian music to play 24 hours a day. Of course, we at FBi have never believed that. But by 2001, thanks to GarageBand, cheap gear, Chinese guitars, all the changes in the industry itself, the digitisation of things, we’d gone from having the six pillars of the industry to having a fractured but quite dynamic Australian scene to replace the old industry culture. So FBi was right there on the spot with 24 hours a day to fill when there were a huge number of kids that wouldn’t have been able to make a record without the permission of some random A&R guy from an international company, that were now making music at home with their mates and bringing it in to us.”
music that’s good. We hold local music in the same way we hold international music that’s really good. It feels like we can put a Sydney band next to an international band and they’re on the same level. “
*The Hollywood Reporter
Arctic Monkeys Simmer Down, Pucker Up By Chris Martin
hese days, Arctic Monkeys call the desert home. The Sheffield-raised group’s latest record, AM, is the third they’ve worked on in the sunny, hazy expanses of California – and ahead of its release, all four of the band have officially uprooted to the US west coast. “It’s one of those ‘grass is always greener’ things,” explains bassist Nick O’Malley. “People [from California] that haven’t been to England are always saying how much they want to go, and how amazing Sheffield must be, and we’re all like, ‘Well yeah, I suppose it is – but there’s palm trees and sunshine here.” Weather aside, the Arctics’ decision to trade Hillsborough for Hollywood rested on musical reasons. “There’s just so many great studios out there, great gear’s really easy to get your hands on,” O’Malley says in his heavy Northern drawl. “And obviously there’s a lot of history involved, which sort of makes it a bit more special when you’re recording there. When you think about all the albums that have been made in California, it’s magic.” “[The] first time we ever did it, when we did Humbug, we were recording with Josh [Homme], and we just went out and tried it in the desert and we really enjoyed it. Ever since then, we’ve been back. This time we did the demos in the desert and then when we were actually recording the tracks for the album we did it in a little studio in LA that we found. It was sort of run down and abandoned and a lot of things in it didn’t work or anything, so we just rented that out, got it really cheaply and got it fixed up, and it were like our own studio for a couple of months.” As per Arctic Monkeys’ last two releases, Humbug and Suck It And See, the new record carries a palpable Golden State influence. Those early Alex Turner tales of taxi ranks and scumbaggery remain consigned to the past – but while the more recent efforts were soaked in shimmering, sun-fuelled riffery, AM explores a tougher, more primal space. It’s as if the sleeves have finally been rolled up; the band at last ready to get down and dirty on the streets of LA. Witness ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, the stomping and seductive album opener unleashed – with little prior warning – as a single in June.
“Once we got an idea of what we were doing, that became the general thing – that we wanted it to be quite stripped back,” O’Malley says. “It’s probably the least Matt [Helders] has ever done on drums, he’s really simplified what he’s done this time, and I suppose that’s given space for me to come through now a little bit more. That was never really set out as the plan from the beginning, but once we did ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, once we got that recorded, we thought, ‘Oh right, this could be cool.’ So we just explored that [direction] more.” Long-time Arctics chum and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Homme recently described AM as a “sexy after-midnight record”; O’Malley thebrag.com
“When you think about all the albums that have been made in California, it’s magic.” throws in it’s “a bit kinky,” too. But AM moves in broader circles as well – it’s Arctic Monkeys’ most adventurous album yet, featuring some of their slowest songs (‘No. 1 Party Anthem’ and the plucky folk ditty ‘Mad Sounds’ in particular) and some piano here and there. ‘I Want It All’ bears the shoo-wop choruses of ’60s soul, while crowd favourite ‘R U Mine?’ – first heard last year – is reworked with some extra, outer-space layers on top. “That was the blueprint,” says O’Malley of the 2012 single, not originally planned for inclusion on the album. “We recorded ‘R U Mine?’, and that was the best reaction we’d had to anything we’d released for a while … We were like, ‘Right, let’s go and make an album, 12 songs like that on it.’ Whether that worked or not I don’t know, but I think we’ve simplified it a lot more.” By far the least familiar sounding of the new set is ‘Knee Socks’, a cut of playful guitar pop that features a cameo from Homme himself. “He just came down [to the studio] one night,” O’Malley explains. “The song he features on, that wasn’t really the one we got him down for. We wanted him to sing on ‘One For The Road’, that high backing vocal on that song, and me and Matt had already done it … And then we were like, ‘Alright, well what about this other song called ‘Knee Socks’? Just go and do something on that.’ He did, he just let rip – it was unexpected [it’d be] that great. He definitely made his presence felt, like he always does, in a great way.” Five albums in, the lesson learned is this: Arctic Monkeys are a band comfortable with taking risks – and proud of themselves for it, says O’Malley. “The first and second records [aren’t] too far away from each other, but then I think – you know, we were really sort of young when we did those, we weren’t very good at playing those instruments then because we’d only been playing a few years, and that’s probably part of the charm of those first few records, the naiveté of it … When we came to recording [this time], we personally wanted to explore for our own curiosity, and do what we want to do. We never really wanted to just fall back on the success of the first and the second album and just keep doing that over and over again. Which would probably work for some people, and a lot of people would probably really like that – but a lot of people wouldn’t, and that includes us.” What: AM out Friday September 6 through Domino/EMI BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13 :: 19
free stuff email: email@example.com
arts news... what's goin' on around town... With Olivia Kadir and Lucy Smith
five minutes WITH
a live to air, live audience TV show where I played a feminist weather woman. The positive response towards that character was overwhelming and I knew I was onto something. I was hooked from that very moment and I have been performing stand-up all over Australia, North America and the UK with feminist undertones ever since.
n response to this past year’s proliferation of misogyny in Aussie politics, sports and everyday life, stand-up comedian Kirsty Mac is about to make her Sydney Fringe Festival debut with Feminazi. We caught five with Mac ahead of opening night. How was Feminazi conceived? I performed stand-up comedy for the very first time on
SMALL AND TIRED
Belvoir’s Angels In America star Luke Mullins is back in Small And Tired. Written and directed by Kit Brookman, the play vibes on themes explored in the ancient Greek myth of Orestes and the House of Atreus, but in a contemporary setting. Ideas of restlessness, modern love and
This radio host guy in the US has been persistently calling feminists ‘Feminazis’ since the ’90s and he came out recently and said: “The war on feminism has been won, women don’t want to call themselves feminists anymore.” He believes this is attributed to the many years that he’s filled American airwaves with his anti-feminist assaults. Then Katy Perry won Billboard’s Woman of the Year award and remarked “I’m not a feminist” in her acceptance speech. The connection between these two events was inescapable. Then to top it all off, there was that insulting line of questioning from another radio host towards our then Prime Minister and her partner. That combined with the shocking Liberal party menu incident and Abbott’s comments about ‘sex appeal’. It all just screamed that now’s the right time to unleash Feminazi. What kind of audience is Feminazi geared towards? I think people have started to become very intolerant of everyday sexism. This show is geared towards everyone who has ever experienced, witnessed or thought about being boxed in by their gender. It’s also for those who like laughing. the brokenness of family and humanity are brought to life by Mullins alongside Tom Conroy, Paul Gleeson, Sandy Gore and Susan Prior in an intimate performance at Belvoir’s downstairs theatre. Brookman’s plays are gentle, wise and oddly funny, reminding the audience that we’re all human. Small And Tired is presenting from September 26 through October 20. Head to belvoir.com.au for more information.
How do you turn heavy-loaded social commentary into comedy? The comedians who appeal to me the most are the ones who drop spectacular truth bombs. I love Sarah Silverman, Louis CK and George Carlin. I take everyday events that make me angry and I turn them into jokes until they’re so funny that I laugh until it hurts. Then I share them into a microphone. When a room laughs hard together something magical happens to everyone in it. What excites you about performing at Sydney Fringe Festival? Performing standup in comedy clubs is awesome, however, the Sydney Fringe will be the first opportunity I’ve had to perform to an audience that has come specifically to hear about a topic that I’m passionate about. Also, there’s a real movement happening right now with feminism. Bridget Christie just won the Edinburgh Comedy award for her show, which ridicules everyday sexism. A new feminist wave is upon us and we’ve all got a ticket to ride. It’s exciting! Exciting future projects? Go to kirstymac.com for all the breaking news. There’ll be more to come. Oh yes, there’ll be more. Watch this space. What: Feminazi for Sydney Fringe Festival Where: Bedlam Bar + Food When: September 19-21 More: kirstymac.com
PENELOPE! TIX! WIN!
Penelope is the latest to come from director Kate Gaul and the Siren Theatre Co. Penned by multi-award winning playwright Enda Walsh, Penelope is a poetic work based on the final chapter of Homer’s The Odyssey, which sees four men plot to win the love of Penelope before facing certain death at the hands of her returning husband. The Sydney premiere hits Darlinghurst’s Tap Gallery on Thursday September 12 and runs until October 6. For a chance to nab one of five double passes to the Tuesday September 17 performance, email freestuff@thebrag. com with the name of one other Enda Walsh play.
Branden Christine as Penelope
Arthur Horner and Gwenna Welch
FESTIVAL OF DANGEROUS IDEAS
Indonesian art collective ruangrupa and Australian artist Keg De Souza have teamed up with international students in Sydney to bring you Vertical Villages. Showing at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art from September 5 through October 26, Vertical Villages is an exhibition comprising a series of maps, assemblages and temporary inflatable walls that re-create Sydney as seen through the eyes of our city’s students from abroad. And everyone loves a good house party, right? In conjunction with Vertical Villages there’ll be a public program of talks called House Party presented by international students themselves. The program will see a number of after-dark events like an opening night shindig hosted by Indonesian DJ Geo Asasi and a Chinese hotpot dinner. Rumour has it, there’s even going to be a demolition party to wrap things up. Head to 4a.com.au for more information.
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It’s time to unleash that daredevil within. From November 2-4, Sydney Opera House is presenting the Festival of Dangerous Ideas for punters who like sharp debate and compelling discussion. This year, it’s all about crime and punishment – drugs, prison and flogging will all be hot topics. And talent this year’s pretty darn impressive. With 80 speakers from 10 countries on the lineup, expect some pretty far out stuff. The opening address will be given by David Simon (The Wire), who’ll tackle the matter of social equality before opening up the stage to a slew of speakers including technology cagerattler Evgeny Morozov, sex columnist Dan Savage, eco-feminist Vanada Shiva, doco maker and social commentator John Safran and journo Hanna Rosin amongst others. Visit sydneyoperahouse.com for further details.
INDIE GEMS FILM FESTIVAL
This year, the Indie Gems Film Festival celebrates its fourth anniversary. Australian comedian Akmal Saleh’s controversial depiction of Egyptian slavery, Pharaoh Vs The Egyptians, will kick things off on Thursday September 12 before the best of local and international independent cinema hits the silver screen over the weekend. Festival highlights include Cynthia Wade’s short doco Born Sweet, Genevieve Bailey’s I Am Eleven, Indian family film Dekh Indian Circus and Thai murder mystery Mindfulness And Murder. On Saturday September 14, closing night feature Gossip Nation will give viewers insight into the lives of African immigrants and refugees who have settled in Sydney’s West. Visit riversideparramatta.com. au for further details.
History’s yours for the taking! The History Council of NSW is taking us back in time with a week-long tribute to Sydney’s rich cultural history. Running from September 7-15, program highlights include exhibition Picture This showcasing new work by some of Australia’s most iconic artists including Mambo’s Reg Mombassa, Wendy Sharpe, Jenny Sages, Leo Robba and Jane Gillings, and a lavish ball! Yes, like a proper ball! On Saturday September 7, David Jones will be transformed into a flamboyant set, re-creating the famous Sydney Artists’ Ball that happened at the peak of Australia’s artistic modernism in 1933. For more info visit historyweek.com.au
ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Italy’s the home of all things superb, from pizza to Andrea Bocelli. Returning for its 14th season, The Lavazza Italian Film Festival will remind us just how much we love the Mother Land by brining 27 new film titles and one classic to our shores. The lineup offers an evocative journey of love, laughter and raw human emotion. The Great Beauty written and directed by Paolo
Sorrentino will open the festival with a dramatic narrative of love and regret. And to leave us with a real sense of la dolce vita, Federico Fellini’s homage to the eternal city of Rome, Fellini’s Roma, will draw things to a close. Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema and Hayden Orpheum Cremorne will host the festival from October 9 through November 3. Head to italianfilmfestival.com.au for more information.
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Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons
[MARTIAL ARTS] Riffing On Bruce Lee By Lily White ydney-based performer Khanh Trieu is a jack-of-all-trades. He’s an actor first, and model, musician and dancer second. A creative whose stylistic influences are as diverse as the mediums he uses to express his ideas, Trieu’s versatility as a performer will come to the fore at Slide Lounge’s upcoming Pan Asia. BRAG caught up with Trieu to get the low-down on his history in the industry and what to expect when he takes to the stage as part of Pan Asia.
I’ve appeared in web series The Newtown Girls starring Renee Lim from the TV show East West 101. Other prominent actors I’ve shared TV and film credits with include Rachael Taylor (Headland, Transformers), Daniel Henshall (Snowtown), Patrick Brammall (The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting), Matthew Moore (Burning Man), Sarah Murdoch (Australia’s Next Top Model), Justin Smith (Sleeping Beauty) and Nicholas Hope (Bad Boy Bubby).
Tell us about your beginnings in the entertainment industry as a violinist and actor. I was introduced to musical and dramatic performance during my time at Warwick West Primary School in Queensland. Being a part of the Suzuki Violin program and later the Warwick Community Youth Orchestra established a passion and interest in music. I learnt that musical performance, like any performance, depended on discipline and lots of practise. Later in life I swapped the violin for the guitar.
You’re on the lineup for Slide Lounge’s upcoming Pan Asia. What can we expect? I’ll be performing with a friend and colleague of mine, Andy Minh Trieu, in two acts during the night. The first will be a surprise for guests so I won’t elaborate and the second will be an on stage weapons demonstration/performance.
You’re a bona fide model/actor/musician/ dancer slashee. Who inspires and influences your work stylistically? Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Donnie Yen are martial arts and choreography inspirations. Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page and Slash are musical and guitar influences. Daniel Craig (the best James Bond!), Matthew McConaughey (he went to law school!), Johnny Depp (he started out in a band!) and Brad Pitt (he dressed up as a chicken for work!) are some of my favourite actors who inspire and influence me stylistically. I respect the creative and character choices they’ve made and how they carry themselves. You’ve been involved in a number of different screen projects. Elaborate. I’ve worked with prominent Aussie actor David Field on Convenience, a film that was selected for the Busan International Film Festival 2012.
After so many years of professional gigs the ideas for the performances came instinctively after checking out the venue, speaking with the show’s producers and getting a vibe of the place. I want to do things that haven’t really been done before and do things that have been done before in my own unique style. What role has your ethnicity played in realising the performance you’ll be showcasing at Pan Asia? In my opinion, martial arts play an intrinsic part of Asian culture. I was exposed to Bruce Lee films when I was very young. Both he and the practice of martial arts left a permanent mark on my psyche, influencing how I view myself as a performer and also as a human being. There will be PG rated comedic, violent and heroic elements to my performances on the night! What: Khanh Trieu for Pan Asia Where: Slide Lounge When: Wednesday October 2, 9, 23, 30 More: slide.com.au
Sydney Underground Film Festival [FILM] Blurred Boundaries By Ian Barr
he term ‘underground film’, moreso than ‘independent’ film, has always had an amorphous definition. In 1957, Underground Films was the title of an essay by New York film critic Manny Farber, in which he banged the drum for the B-movie craftsmen of the era – “such soldier-cowboy-gangster directors as Raoul Walsh, Howard Hawks, William Wellman” – whose art collectively “played an anti-art role in Hollywood”, consequently undervalued by critics in favor of more ostentatious fare. However, after the mention of underground films in the essay’s title, it’s conspicuously absent from the remainder of the piece, suggesting the slipperiness of the term from its very beginning. So, what is an underground film? “That’s a large question, because it’s got a real historical grounding,” explains Sydney Underground Film Festival director Stefan Popescu. “Traditionally, underground cinema relates to low-budget filmmaking, and it’s got roots in transgressive cinema, and also experimental cinema… For us, today, to call the festival ‘underground’, it’s more of a gesture in a way, because personally I believe there’s such a blurring of boundaries between mainstream and independent and transgressive. Now it’s just a big melting pot.” The chief curation principle behind the festival, then, is “about searching out adventurous cinema, and cinema that’s doing something different, that’s not trying to uphold the status quo – whether it’s economic, or cultural or ideological”. This year’s Sydney Underground Film Festival lineup reflects what its programmers deem lacking from the major festivals, but also the unstable definition of “underground film”, in accordance with the fractured global landscape of cinema. Festival highlights include the muchpublicised Paul Schrader/Bret Easton Ellis/ Lindsay Lohan collaboration The Canyons, the first film in 25 years from midnight movie pioneer Alejandro Jodorowsky The Dance Of Reality, a hair metal mockumentary Discoverdale and special screenings of
Top Of The Lake
unintentional comedy favorites like Troll 2, Birdemic, and The Room. While underground cinema purists (whatever that is) might on first glance raise an eyebrow at the inclusion of a Lindsay Lohan movie in the program, Popescu offers that The Canyons is absolutely of a piece with the festival’s ethos. “[The film] was crowdfunded, they voted on certain things, voted on casting … it was a really different model, in terms of traditional filmmaking. So for a Hollywood name to do that sort of thing I thought was really interesting.” On the other hand, the transgressive side of underground cinema is well-represented in the various short film programs, with compilations like Love/Sick, LSD Factory and The Best Of The Fetisch Film Festival offering the kind of experiences that you won’t get from Tropfest. “If you look at the shorts, there might be one that had a bit of government support, but [otherwise] they’re self-funded, crazy projects. So that’s definitely an element that we’ll always retain”, says Popescu. The festival wouldn’t be what it is without a controversial title, and one whose mere screening isn’t a guarantee is Unlawful Killing, a documentary exploration of Princess Diana’s death and the cover-up conducted by the British press, which Popescu argues should not only stir debate but defy expectations built up by its logline. “Keith Allen (Lily Allen’s dad), made this film two years ago. It was privately screened at Cannes, and the only public screening it’s had before us was at the Galway Film Festival in Ireland. Since it was screened two years ago, it’s been painted as a poor documentary, and completely conspiratorial, and some people say it’s defamatory, but it’s not at all … it’s really a summary of the inquest.” What: Sydney Underground Film Festival Where: Factory Theatre When: September 5-8
Top Of The Lake
[MINI-SERIES] Falling Off The Edge Of The Earth By Rick Wickman
et in the natural splendour of New Zealand’s South Island, six-part miniseries Top Of The Lake tells the story of Detective Robin Griffin who is visiting her hometown as an outsider after relocating to Sydney. Griffin investigates the pregnancy and subsequent disappearance of 12-year-old Tui; concurrent to the crime’s investigation, Griffin unearths parallels of innocence lost within her own history. Mysteries deepen as we discover that the idyllic setting provides a veneer for the close-knit community’s unpleasant, ambiguous, and plain ruthless characters. Unlike seasonal serial television dramas, Top Of The Lake is definitively self-contained within its six episodes – it’s a cohesive, satisfying whole. Academy Award winning director Jane Campion has reunited with writer Gerard Lee, marking the first time the two have worked together in 17 years. “I love crime mysteries and I wanted to write one that had room to expand like a true novel, so the idea of doing a six-hour long story was very exciting to me,” says Campion. Coinciding with the discovery that Tui is five months pregnant, a group of women mysteriously arrive to set up a shipping
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container commune on the picturesque lakeside, much to the chagrin of the domineering, and plain scary, figurehead Matt Mitcham. “I wanted to write about a group of women who feel like they have fallen off the edge of the earth,” says Campion. “They’re older, disillusioned and not really part of the dominant patriarchal community or culture we live in. So I imagined a patriarchy up in Laketop, led by Matt Mitcham, and that the matriarchy and patriarchy could be in a dance together – a dance that could also turn violent. “The women’s camp and the Mitcham family are struggling over the same piece of land, called Paradise. Matt Mitcham has been trying to manipulate the owner of the land into selling it to him at a very reduced price, but then out of nowhere, these women have arrived and offered twice the price and bought it, and he’s absolutely furious. He’s been living there his whole life and suddenly the prize has been ripped out beneath him. And as difficult and aggressive as he is, he does have a genuine love of the land, and another complexity – his bullying mother is buried there, in expectation the land would be his.”
Elisabeth Moss, who gained a breakthrough role as Peggy on Mad Men, is responsible for brining protagonist Robin Griffin to life. While it might be counter-intuitive to cast an American actor as a Sydney-based New Zealander, especially amongst a stellar cast of local talent, Moss pulls off the role with uncanny aplomb. “Robin is returning home to a place where traumatic events happened to her. She feels strong, invincible, she has become an accomplished detective, but she discovers she can be brought to her knees by her past, by what she has denied and is hoping to forget,” says Campion.
“It’s a strange thing when you go to cast your leading character and you find yourself having not a clue who they are. I just wanted someone to show me who Robin Griffin is. And no one did that in a way that convinced us all until Elisabeth Moss’ audition tape came in. She brought the dialogue into a place where it felt deep and true and complex and she did it quite quietly. I was really surprised, but I totally believed her.” What: Top Of The Lake is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now. thebrag.com
7.5pt Univers 57 Condensed
36 Gosbell Street, Paddington NSW 2021 Australia tel 61 2 9331 7775 fax 61 2 9331 1648 email firstname.lastname@example.org web stillsgallery.com.au
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4 September - 4 October 2013 BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13 :: 23
Giveaway What's been on our TV screens this week email: email@example.com
Hits and misses on the silver screen around town
S AY W EA IV G
WIL ANDERSON! TIX! WIN! Y
’all know him as the babe on The Gruen Transfer and Gruen Nation, and you’ll also remember his hilarity as host of The Glass House. Well, get ready because said babe, Wil Anderson, is returning to the live scene with a new stand-up show that might just split your sides. Goodwil saw a month-long stint at Melbourne International Comedy Festival and now it’s finally Sydney’s turn when he takes to the stage for a number of gigs throughout September and October.
stigma when a multinational hydro-electric dam project forces his family off their native land and towards a resettlement camp. Revelling in the captivating Laotian and Thai mountainous countryside, Ahlo encounters and befriends the pixie-like orphan, Kia, played superbly with eyes-wide open innocence by Loungnam Kaosainam. Thereafter, determined to prove his doubters wrong and overturn his ‘cursed’ label, Ahlo enters the traditional Rocket Festival. No other setting could be more fitting in witnessing the magical sense of delight that overcomes the protagonist; cinematographer, Andrew Commis does well to capture it.
THE ROCKET In cinemas now As far as Australian feature film debuts go, The Rocket, written and directed by Kim Mordaunt, is one of the more inspiring and ambitious productions to materialise in recent years. War-torn Laos is the backdrop for Mordaunt’s feel-good tale about Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), a 10-year-old boy deemed cursed by native villagers who is determined to prove his worth. The Rocket is a fictional comedy-drama exploring Laos’ volatile political conditions and rich indigenous folkloric culture with an entertainingly whimsical gravity. Ahlo is the village’s black sheep, considered a living omen of bad luck, who stumbles from mishap to mishap. However, Ahlo is given an opportunity to sever himself from the village’s shackling ■ Film
BLUE JASMINE In cinemas September 12
We’ve got three double passes to give away to Wil’s gig at Enmore Theatre on Friday September 13. For your chance to win, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us the name of Wil’s 2012 tour.
HE SAID. SHE SAID: AT IT AGAIN WRITTEN BY AND STARRING HOLLY SUMMERS-CLARKE AND JULIAN KUO WITH MUSICAL DIRECTION BY JOEL JENKINS
Woody Allen’s newbie Blue Jasmine is outstanding. Following New York socialite, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) after her not-sofairy-tale marriage to corrupt businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin) cataclysmically falls apart, this movie’s about the dangers of ignoring truths you don’t want to hear and listening to advice you shouldn’t. From the moment Jasmine arrives at her sister Ginger’s (Sally Hawkins) modest San Fran apartment in an attempt to claw her life back together with those perfectly manicured nails at the ready, viewers are glued to the screen like spectators
Combining pathos and light humour, it’s not surprising that the film has garnered critical praise worldwide, winning awards at the Berlin and Tribeca Film Festivals. Despite the risks attached to writing a film in a foreign language with a largely amateur cast, there’s a pleasing vitality in the performances and dialogue. Though The Rocket sticks to the happy coming of age narrative, there’s a greater depth to the film possibly due to the director’s desire to raise awareness about the pain incurred by the Laos people due to the ravages of constant war. The Rocket is, however, mainly fixed on what the future presents, ensuring an uplifting experience that will leave viewers with a gratified smile. Larry Lai
of a building demolition. You know this is going to be messy, but you can’t wait for the destruction to begin. This ain’t no pull the plunge and boom watch it all fall over, however. Allen uses flashbacks of Jasmine’s previously hedonistic lifestyle to show us just how much damage has been done to our protagonist’s mental foundations. And there’s something seriously wrong with modern cinema if Blanchett doesn’t at least get nominated for Best Actress at the next Academy Awards. Her performance as a woman teetering on the verge of insanity is fascinating. Baldwin, too, plays his part as a generous, cheating liar effortlessly. Similarly, the rest of Blue Jasmine’s cast bring nuance to the table. Hawkins as Jasmine’s wild and economically struggling sister, contributes a strong cinematic contrast against her Chanel-clad sibling. Overall, Blue Jasmine is funny, fabulously styled and continually interesting. It’s also extremely refreshing as Allen’s other recent works haven’t been anywhere as good as this (I’m talking about Midnight In Paris here, people). Jack Arthur Smith
See www.thebrag.com for more arts reviews
Arts Exposed What's in our diary...
Serve The People White Rabbit Gallery 30 Balfour St, Chippendale Until February 2, 2014
LIVE @ RAVAL 40-44 WENTWORTH AVENUE SURRY HILLS, SYDNEY 9TH / 12TH / 18TH SEPTEMBER, 8PM ADULT $25 - CHILD/CONCESSION $20
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TICKETS AT THE DOOR OR AT WWW.THESYDNEYFRINGE.COM.AU
White Rabbit Gallery’s spring show Serve The People has arrived. If you didn’t catch our feature on it published in last week’s BRAG, here’s an abridged version: former Art Gallery of New South Wales director Edmund Capon has buddied up with White Rabbit founder and philanthropist Judith Neilson to curate a provocative showcase of contemporary Chinese art based on the three themes of fear, anarchy and hope. Hell, the work on offer is so good it’s enough to have you frothing at the mouth in contemporary art ecstasy. Think a slew of artists comprising Lui Hadong, Shen Shaomin, Sun Furong and Yan Siwen among others whose work shares the power to enlighten viewers with an enriched understanding of the state of China’s cultural ethos under the oppressive rein of Mao Zedong. For more information visit whiterabbitcollection.org
Shen Shaomin, Laboratory Three-Headed SixArmed Superhuman, 2005, bones, bone-meal, glue, glass, dimensions variable.
BRAG’s Guide To
It Takes A Village By Alasdair Duncan
his year’s Sydney Fringe Festival is the biggest ever, featuring more than 600 acts, spread out across dozens of venues all around the city. The program spans everything from music and theatre to performance art and beyond, and the sheer size may seem overwhelming, but the organisers have come up with a novel solution. For the first time ever, this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival is split into five distinct ‘villages’ – each in a different part of the city, each with something unique to offer. Kerri Glasscock, who has been involved in the festival since its inception, says that this approach represents a natural progression for the festival as it grows and expands. “One of the trickiest things about Sydney is that it’s so large,” Glasscock says. “When you’re at the Adelaide Fringe or Melbourne Fringe, you can walk from one venue to the next very easily, and the whole city feels like it’s in festival mode. It’s tricky to do that in Sydney, because everything is so spread out. For the past few years, the festival has been focused on the inner west, because there are so many strong fringe venues and artists there. Over the years, though, we’ve found really strong communities of fringe artists and venues all over the city, and this village-based approach feels like the best way to unlock as many of those as possible. This way, each village feels like it’s in festival mode.” The five villages of the Sydney Fringe are Newtown, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Surry Hills, and Glebe and Chippendale. These five villages radiate around the central hub of the Seymour Centre, where the festival hub Emerald City is located. “The Seymour Centre is a great place to start, because it’s right in the middle of everything,” Glasscock says. “You can start your evening there and get some ideas about where to go, if you want to head to one of the villages. Hopefully, it will encourage people to go to places they haven’t been before, and may not consider as places to go for entertainment. With any luck, you’ll discover some quirky little places that you like, that you can then go for the rest of the year.”
Newtown is the largest festival precinct, taking in Newtown itself as well as St Peters, Erskineville and Enmore – there are hundreds of events happening all around the area, although the Fringe Comedy program is one of the highlights. “There’s a Fringe Comedy Showcase happening nightly at The Factory Theatre, on the edge of Marrickville and Newtown,” Glasscock explains. “There are eight performers a night, giving a taste of what they’ll be doing. That’s a great place to go if you want to get a bit of an idea of what’s happening, and plan out who you might want to see.”
Leichhardt is one of the newest areas for the Sydney Fringe, but it’s shaping up to be one of the largest this year. “The Forum is an amazing venue in Leichhardt, and it has a whole lot of great stuff,” Glasscock says. “They’re going to have the 40th anniversary production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus, and there’s some great dance stuff happening there as well. The Twisted Element Dance Company are putting on a production of a show called Gothica, which is really dark and interesting. There’s also quite a lot of music happening in Leichhardt. Parramatta Road is revitalising itself as a live music precinct, so I’m hoping in years to come, we’ll be able to use that stretch even more.”
Camelot Lounge in Marrickville have come on board with Sydney Fringe this year, and will play host to a number of intriguing live music events. “Their focus is on things like world music,” Glasscock explains. “They’re putting on a full three weeks of programming this year, like Peña Flamenca, a terrific flamenco group. They’re also hosting the Sydney Sacred Music Festival, which I think is going to be really interesting.”
“Surry Hills is a big one, and it’s branching out all the way to Oxford Street this year,” Glasscock says. “Slide Lounge will be hosting an event called the Gin Mill Social, which is a mixture of cabaret and burlesque. They have a terrific restaurant there as well, so it’s a whole night out.” Traditional festival participant Venue 505 will be involved in a big way. “Every Friday of the festival, you can come along for Feel Good Friday Jazz, to have some drinks and listen to some great music.” “There’s a terrific show called Small Talk, coming from Melbourne,” Glasscock continues. “The show features a puppeteer called Lana Schwarcz, who’s bringing an adult puppet show to the Old 505 Theatre. The Tap Gallery always has really interesting things as well – it’s an artist-run space, with a gallery as well as a theatre, so that’s really worth checking out.”
Glebe and Chippendale
“These areas naturally have an eating and drinking focus,” Glasscock says, “just because there are so many little tiny bars and restaurants around there. They’re great places to explore, because there’s lots of great food, there are a lot of great drinks, but there are also a lot of little galleries and artisan-run shops. There are some really quirky venues, like Café Church, a live music venue with art-based projects. Glebe and Chippendale offer something very different from the other villages.”
May Street Studios
As for the places you might discover, Glasscock offers a glimpse of some highlights from each individual festival village.
The May Street Studios facility in St Peters was formed as an initiative to encourage and promote the practice of emerging visual artists in a comfortable, affordable and secure environment.
The Wires Project
For Sydney Fringe Festival, May Street Studios will present its second group exhibition from September 17-29. It’s time for aspiring collectors keen to cultivate their inner John Kaldor to cut out the middleman and go straight to the source. You’ll be able to deck your walls with art purchased directly from one of the resident artists, and with an excellent selection of artwork on show you’re bound to find something that truly speaks to you Dah-link!
The Wires Project is an international multimedia arts collaboration comprising four Sydney-based musicians, a photographer from Singapore and a Sydney-based videographer. The group has taken inspiration from cross-cultural interactions between Australia and Asia to create a visual, improvised jazz, film experience. Get it on your shortlist! Where: Glebe Café Church Space When: Thursday September 19 Bianca Lockley, Advertising Executive
Brag Staff Picks
Not personal enough for ya? You’ll also have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and chat to over 20 paint brush-carrying creatives in their working space when the May Street Studios doors are flung open on September 26, 28 and 29. Sarah Bryant, BRAG Art Director
Ronny Chieng: Work In Progress Malaysian-born Chinese comedian Ronny Chieng sure is causing a stir across the international comedy circuit. Whether it’s at a major comedy festival or an intimate sold-out gig on his home turf in Melbourne, this guy’s got us laughing. He’s just genuinely very, very funny. Chieng’s got some serious cred in the biz, too. He’s appeared on ABC shows It’s A Date and Problems. He was also given the title of Best Newcomer at the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It's got to have something to do with being “the new face of Australian comedy” or something.
Jude The Obscure Set to be a highlight at this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival, comedian Judith Lucy’s Jude The Obscure takes us on a journey out of this world. Lucy tells us what it’d be like to be the sole female survivor after a catastrophic worldwide disaster ravages Earth. And who knows? She might even throw in some spiritual enlightenment for us! We’re looking forward to catching yet another evening of Lucy’s tall tales and jokes made at her own expense. Where: PACT Centre For Emerging Artists When: September 4-7 and 11-14 Bianca Lockley, Advertising Executive
Love In The Key Of Britpop Remember those tunes that held your hand during adolescence, soundtracked your first romance, nursed you through a broken heart? For spoken word performer Emily Andersen, these were the songs of Britpop: that era of mid-’90s guitar-soaked excess that gave us Jarvis Cocker, the Gallagher brothers, Blur and Suede. Love In The Key Of Britpop is the evocative account of Andersen’s own Disco 2006, a hungover and neatly bob-cut tale that’s more Damon and Justine than Romeo and Juliet. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s sad; regularly it’s a thrill for those of us who still take joy in obscure lyrical references to Pulp and Oasis. Won’t it be strange when we’re all fully grown? Where: The Other Room at Factory Theatre When: Thursday September 12 Chris Martin, BRAG Editor
Dan Ilic: A Rational Fear Satirist Dan Ilic’s A Rational Fear has been likened to ‘Q&A on crack’. Ilic’s show started out modestly as a live comedy segment on FBi Radio then rose through the ranks to emerge as fully-fledged impro gold by securing a weekly live broadcast on Radio National. So what’s the deal? Ilic and a slew of guest comedians bring the romp with 60 minutes of witty piss taking where sketch, standup and interviews reign king. Participating jokesters are given a topical issue to discuss – organ donation, climate change and what it’s like to be a Mexican drug lord in Sydney have all made the cut previously – as audience members embrace the impending highwire danger that comes with mocking the bullshit surrounding controversial matters. A Rational Fear is all about sticking it to The Man. It’s unfiltered truth at its best. And with the Federal Election having been put to bed by the time Sydney Fringe spectators get the chance to catch the show, here’s hoping we at least get some juicy political lampooning. Where: Factory Theatre When: Wednesday September 25 Lisa Omagari, BRAG Arts Editor
The Green Mohair Suits These guys are the musicians’ musicians. Not only have The Green Mohair Suits worked as a backing band to some of Sydney’s most talented artists, they are some of Sydney’s most talented artists themselves. Brian Campeau, Richie Cuthbert, Jason Mannell and Ben Romalis lead the collective, and their recipe is simple: bluegrass, twang and folk sounds augmented with a healthy soaking of lager.
Where: Factory Theatre When: October 2-5
Where: Eliza’s Juke Joint
Les White, Advertising Manager
Chris Martin, BRAG Editor
When: Thursday September 19
BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13 :: 25
Bringing The Tunes By Stephanie Yip
eeting up with the venue owners and having a chuckle over a couple of beers while sorting through the nuts and bolts of the Sydney Fringe Music Trail was an absolute horror!” says event curator Ben James. An avid music and Sydney Fringe Festival fan, James says: “The Fringe is one of the best festivals this city has to offer. It’s given me experience and fun times aplenty.” But when the Sydney Fringe Music Trail curator realised that past festivals lacked music, he “couldn’t think of a better way to make an impact on what is already a wonderful treat for Sydney” by establishing this new project to provide local acts and venues with the spotlights they deserve. “Put simply, it’s a heap of free live music events in some of our favourite venues around town,” says James. From his personal favourite The Midnight Special in Enmore to the
Fringe’s main music hub Emerald City, James upheld the same prerequisite when determining the trail’s venues. They had to “get” the Fringe to get the gig. “Working with like-minded people is how the Sydney Fringe gets its spirit. If people aren’t excited to get in on the Fringe, then why bother?” The Sydney Fringe Music Trail vouches for our city’s musical variety. “It’s important for the Fringe, the Inner West and our musicians to put on show the amazing talent we have here,” says James. There’ll be alt-country at The Union, improvised jazz at The Café Church Space, a Bill Murray portrait exhibition at Young Henry’s and Cowboys In Emerald City. So in short, expect a mix of genres. Says James: “It’s a huge part of what makes this area so great.”
What: Sydney Fringe Music Trail Where: Various venues When: September 6-29
Newtown, Erskineville, St Peters & Enmore
Animorphed Simon Binns in Animorphed
Eliza’s Q&A Juke Joint Transforming the historic school of arts hall in Newtown, Eliza’s Juke Joint will bring a taste of Mississippi tradition to Sydney Fringe Festival’s neck of the woods. The three-week only pop-up bar will play host to music, cabaret, fine liquor and soul food. We caught up with the joint’s Boss Man, Ben Johnston, to get the low-down on what to expect.
An average night’s festivities? From deep in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, way down by the bayou back behind the railroad tracks, the sound of good times pour out of an old shotgun shack. Every day at about this time, the locals gather at Eliza’s Juke Joint to shake off the work day and kick up their heels by jitterbugging, tap dancing, and shucking and jiving. The band’s in high gear, the drinks are flowing freely, young folk are flirting while the old timers sit a spell. From all walks of life, from the poorest sharecropper to the minister’s son, they all come together to celebrate the end of another day and the beginning of the night that lies ahead. Program highlights? The opening weekend with Psycho Zydeco on Friday September 6, and Dom Turner and Ian Collard on Saturday September 7 will be amazing. The Zombie Reggae party on Friday September 13 should also be killer! In short… Eliza’s will be an intoxicating brew for the senses held in a mythical venue ephemeral by nature. It’s sure to live on in the minds and hearts of punters and performers alike. Where: 5 Eliza St, Newtown When: September 6-29
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Riffing On The Land Of Oz By Lisa Omagari
t ain’t no festival without a hub bringing the party, right? Right. This year Sydney Fringe Festival crowdians will experience Emerald City, the dazzling epicentre of festival activity, live music and boozey good times. “Emerald City was conceived in the afterglow of Vivid Lights with a little inspiration from the land of Oz,” explains event curator Dan Freeman. “Partnering up with Seymour Centre, we’re transforming their courtyard into an otherworldly hub of lively entertainment all bathed in an emerald hue.” The festival hub will give punters the chance to familiarise themselves with the broader Sydney Fringe program by creating “a place where people can have a taste of what’s featuring in the festival overall”. There’ll be sweet tunes, comedy, cabaret and visual art installations to woo us into the caring arms of the makeshift city. “We have 2SER on board each Thursday night with the History Of Hip Hop, Funk & Soul series. We’ll also be celebrating Australia’s longest running funk radio show Back To Funk’s 33rd birthday on Friday September 27,” says Freeman. “All other Fridays in September, we have our Fringe Tease nights, which feature a smorgasbord of Sydney Fringe’s finest acts including comedians, cabaret and there’ll even be some magic! DJs Dean and Dave from HAHA Industries will get us all dancing with Beat Kitchen every Friday night after Fringe Tease.” But what we’re really anticipating is Cowboys In Emerald City. A three-part series running across Saturdays September 7, 21 and 28, the event is designed to showcase our city’s best romp stompin’ blues and country artists. Luke Escombe, All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Green Mohair Suits, Lily So & The Bellows, Achoo! Bless You, SteamGrass Boys and Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers are all on the bill. And did someone say party? “The last night will also serve as the 2013 Sydney Fringe Festival final celebration, so everyone involved in the Fringe and everyone who enjoyed it should definitely get down for that one and dig their boots in!” says Freeman.
n the broader context of Sydney’s creative landscape, comedy’s a scene boasting one of the most far-reaching talent pools with a whole lot of pizzazz. But for those in the biz, working the circuit’s a damn tough gig – with few venues, it’s pretty difficult for comedians to get their material out there if they don’t meet the ‘grownup comic whizz’ quota. Behind the glitzy veneer of major festivals and comps, however, the importance of creating opportunities for emerging jokesters to face the bright lights hasn’t been forgotten. “Fringe Comedy is about the freshest, smartest and spiciest acts,” says program director Julia Barnes. “We’re conscious to look for quality comics who we know can deliver thought provoking, dynamic and canny material. Sydney Fringe supports emerging acts because anyone can host a whole bunch of middle-aged pros. We’re all about the innovators.” For Barnes, the key priority when curating Fringe Comedy’s 2013 program was diversity. Sydney Fringe-goers can expect a range of styles beyond traditional stand-up. “There’s some really groundbreaking new stuff this year. It’s like getting an exotic mixed bag of nuts instead of just peanuts. In Sydney we have some excellent theatrical comics, musical comedians, improvisation specialists, satirists, impressionists…” Program highlights? Says Barnes: “Becky Lucas and Aaron Chen, both RAW finalists, are bloody adorable. And Scott Dooley is back! After warming up the airwaves Dooles is hitting the stage again. Most exciting is John Conway’s New Conway Tonight Show. It’s comedy anarchy – Conway hosts a Tonight Show with different comedians each night. It’s the best thing since the invention of the Whoopee Cushion.” And a crucial part of encouraging new talent is providing inspiration. “It’s a place where some of the more established comedians can trial material for the next year of international comedy festivals... You can see a show at Sydney Fringe in its infancy and then come back and see the same show fully fledged at Sydney Comedy Festival,” says Barnes. What: Fringe Comedy Where: Various venues When: September 11 – October 5
What: Emerald City Where: Seymour Centre Courtyard, Chippendale When: September 6-29
Adulthood vs Childhood By Haylie Pretorius
imon Binns is no stranger to the world of uninhibited creativity. As part of the daring performance collective Applespiel, Binns has had plenty of experience wowing audiences with stimulating performances based on topical issues. Binns is, however, new to the world of one-man shows that climax with him morphing into a rabbit.
Animorphed, a play based on the popular children’s fantasy series Animorphs by K.A. Applegate, is Binns’ latest performance piece. In essence, Binns uses the Animorphs series to pose a few very philosophical questions about childhood memories, and whether the fantastical lessons we learnt as children were worthwhile. Playing himself, Binns shares excerpts from the books, and comical and sentimental memories from his childhood to dig deeper into the universal theme of childhood innocence. Whether or not you were into writings of the sci-fi genre as a child, the Animorphs series would’ve been on your radar. I myself was more of a Goosebumps gal, but still remember the tales of Jake, Marco, Tobias, Rachel and Cassie battling an evil alien invasion on Earth. What made these characters so unique was their ability to morph into any animal they touched, which allowed them to change their identity and inherit special powers – a concept that is explored and questioned in Animorphed. The idea to reveal the darker side of childhood literary experience came to Binns during an Applespiel workshop called Awful Literature Is Still Literature I Guess. The team was looking
at a selection of badly-written books bought at an op-shop and trying to understand why crappy books still lure readers. Then Binns came across the first book in the Animorphs series with the same excitement he felt for the books as a child. He read a few pages to see if the stories were as good as he remembered. Unfortunately they weren’t. Shocked by the realisation that the stories he treasured as a child were actually far from revolutionary, Binns saw an intriguing performance piece waiting to be realised. As an avid Animorphs reader in his youth, Binns recalls what it was like to be transported away from reality through the characters and themes created by Applegate: “I have a clear memory of walking around my primary school oval with my friends and us pretending that this bird in the sky was a fellow Animorph and that we were making plans with him to attack Yeerks somehow.” While this level of escapism was comforting for Binns – as it would have been for most kids who loved the series – the premise of Animorphed is to shed light on the picture perfect world of childhood stories and question the role they play in our lives. “I think there’ll be a lot of pleasure for the audience in reliving their own childhood experiences through mine. I think the process of realisation that I’m talking about is universal. I think the main thing will be about grappling with whether or not it matters if the things that we loved as children are objectively bad.” What: Animorphed Where: PACT Centre For Emerging Artists, Erskineville When: September 20-21 and 27-28
Festival Village 1 Corridor Bar
How was Eliza’s Juke Joint conceived? The way most babies are conceived; after a few too many drinks!
LOL Central By Lisa Omagari
The Green Mohair Suits
Sydney Fringe Music Trail
153A King St, Newtown
Onion rings with blue cheese sauce and one helluva rooftop terrace. Go! Now!
The Midnight Special 44 Enmore Rd, Newtown
DJs spinning, $6 margaritas and Coopers on tap. Hells yeah.
33 Enmore Rd, Newtown
A comfy deep south-inspired homestead with fried chicken aplenty.
The Green Room Lounge 156 Enmore Rd, Enmore
Live music, DJs, cocktails and all sorts of other fun stuff.
93 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville
Every Wednesday’s vinyl night. Enough said.
416 King St, Newtown
Mt. Gay XO Rum, Maraschino and Averna Amaro stirred down with Whiskey Barrel bitters. Do it.
The home of Cabaret, Roots, Blues, Soul Food, Good Times and Fine Liquors From deep in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, way down by the bayou back behind the railroad tracks, the sound of good times pours out of an old shotgun shack. Every day at about this time, the locals gather at Eliza’s Juke Joint to shake off the work day and kick up their heels – jitterbugging, tap dancing, and shucking and jiving. The band is in high gear, the drinks are flowing freely, young folks are flirting while the old timers sit a spell. From all walks of life, from the poorest sharecropper to the minister’s son, they all come together to celebrate the end of another day and the beginning of the night
y a d y r e e g v n i e r F n Opeing the dur e fac
m /E o c . ok
Ju s a z i
tN J oi n
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2 Sydney Here And Now By Rachel Eddie
isual art enthusiasts at ready – Sydney Fringe Festival has just the thing for you. Among the many events tempting your brain’s left hemisphere is Fringe Arts At The Forum, the festival’s group visual arts show. Set to the backdrop of Leichhardt’s Italian Forum, the exhibition brings together the best of the festival’s art exhibits to unveil the diversity of Sydney’s creative landscape. Fringe Arts At The Forum “basically stands to show the diversity of the inner west art community,” according to curator David Greenhalgh. “We want to show the wide range of practices out there.” We’re keen to see paintings made from cake icing (yes, cake icing) in a series called My Coloured World by Bridget Betzold. Another highlight is Yvonne Lam’s sound installation Maneki Neko, which features tiny robotic cats ringing bells to create a percussive work. Then there’s 101 Vagina Book – Exhibition by Philip Werner showcasing a series of messages, stories and poems that accompany black and white photographs of vaginas (vulvas, actually, if we want to get technical). And don’t expect to see any portraits of The Royal Family. Fringe Arts At The Forum is all
Gen Fricker Gen Fricker’s a youngster with the goods. She’s a comedian, writer and classically-trained musician. Want more? She was a national finalist in RAW 2011, she writes for ABC’s The Roast and freelances for the Sydney Morning Herald. For Sydney Fringe Festival 2013, Fricker’s testing the waters with some new material, namely her new show The Day After. We caught up with her to suss things out. What can we expect from The Day After? It’s a little experimental. I’m trying a few things I haven’t done before, incorporating some new elements. But at heart, it’s just about me telling some stories about some dumb and not-so-dumb things that have happened. Best/worst gig ever? Louis CK dropping in at The Sydney Comedy Store for a surprise set and then having to go on stage after him. I don’t remember how I did it, but it was a pretty special night. I still have to pinch myself when I think about it. Your view on heckling? Please don’t. Please. What inspires you about Sydney’s comedy scene and what excites you about being on the Sydney Fringe lineup? I love Sydney’s comedy scene because it’s so nurturing. There’s a place for every voice to develop, and lots of opportunities for comics of differing ages and experiences to mix and collaborate. And you can see that reflected in the Fringe Comedy program – the many interstate acts who are migrating here, and the crazy mix of traditional stand-up with theatre and format shows et cetera. There’s literally something for everyone. Give us your best punchline. “A /// D /// A / D /” (lights to blackout). I’m a musical comic.
345 Parramatta Rd, Leichhardt
Parramatta Road’s party pub offering a diverse lineup of jazz, country, blues and karaoke. The beer garden’s pretty ace too.
The Forum 23 Norton St, Leichhardt
Bona fide Little Italy. Pizza, pasta and piazza goodness.
The best part? It’s all free. So there’s no excuse not to join in on the “celebration of the inner west’s creativity” with artists Bridget Betzold, Benjamin Carey, Andrew Ensor, Libby Hackett, Dorien Kay, Soyoun Kim, Yvonne Lam, Nara Peek-Silva, Katya Petetskaya, Jovana Terzic, Alana Tracy, Sophie Verrecchia, Lauren Webster and Philip Werner. Greenhalgh reckons it should be quite a fun little festival and who knows, maybe it’ll be you exhibiting weird and wonderful works next year.
Festival Village 3
The Vic 2 Addison Rd, Enmore
A boozey sports bar dishing up pub grub sans in your face fieldside hooliganism.
Django Bar 19 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville
Camelot Lounge’s liquor den. Live world music’s also on the menu.
Below: Tien Tran
Where: Italian Forum, Leichhardt When: September 11-29
To Agree, Or Not To Agree By Stephanie Yip
Tien Tran doesn’t agree with most people about most things. And you won’t see glowing reviews on his Facebook page either (more on this later). But having been nominated for the Best Comedy award at last year’s Sydney Fringe Festival, it’d be incorrect to assume that Tran is without acclaim. It’s just that he’s not wired to take on the same perspectives as the general public. “I think I look on the side of life that people don’t often look at. And I think I look in places where most people don’t tend to look in,” he says. It all started at the age of 20 when Tran tried his hand at screenwriting. “I wanted to be a screenplay writer originally, like movies and stuff,” he says. But then he discovered he was actually quite bad at it. “I wrote a screenplay and when I read it again I thought, ‘this is horrible!’” says Tran. And that’s when the light bulb moment came. “I had all these ideas left, so I translated them to stand-up comedy.” Tran fans will be familiar with the comedian’s unconventional method of posting bad reviews of his own gigs on his Facebook page. “It amuses me,” he says. “Negative feedback amuses me way more than positive feedback. All comedy is about tragedy. All comedy is about taking hostage.” When Tran sees a reviewer taking a stab, he laughs. And sometimes even offers them a signed poster. Which is what happened when the Perth native was criticised online by an audience member who claimed Tran was a racist “Vietnamese guy with a Greek wog-boy accent” who picked on minorities. “I thought it was the funniest comment I’d ever seen!” says Tran. “If I’m with a political crowd then my more political material gets the better response… I perform in a lot of inner city clubs where it’s very ethnically diverse, so I think the racial stuff hits the hardest with those crowds.” But you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not Tran’s material is racist. Maybe you’ll catch his gig at The Container at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre and make your judgment call. “If you’ve never been there before, The Container is a refurbished shipping container with the lounge on the inside. There’s air-con and a stand and mic and it’s really cool,” says Tran. “It’s like a little niche thing. I’ve performed there once before and I thought it was great. To first walk into a shipping container and then see live comedy? It’s quite the alternative to a traditional room.” And while on the topic of the alternative, Tran says: “I’d like to call myself more of an alternative comic. You don’t want to say what you are because somebody will always say something else. But I think I’m alternative and I think the Sydney Fringe Festival is alternative in all aspects from music to comedy to performance arts. And that’s where my style lies.” What: Tien Tran
Where: Factory Theatre, Marrickville
Where: The Container at Factory Theatre, Marrickville
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What: Fringe Arts At The Forum
What: Gen Fricker: The Day After When: Thursday September 12, 19, 26 and October 3
Festival Village 2 Bald Faced Stag
So, “anyone who wants to see a diversity of style, and anyone who wants to see a pretty distinct reflection of what’s happening in Sydney at the moment in terms of art” ought to head along. And if you’re new to the art world, you needn’t bother practicing conceited mannerisms, because “that’s not what Sydney Fringe is about”. Says Greenhalgh: “We’re not about only drawing the art aficionados. Sydney Fringe is for everyone. It’s for anyone who’s interested in seeing something outside of the usual...”
about breaking your expectations and exploring artistic possibilities. “There’s a misconception that art is a very narrow field … that it’s a painting, it’s a drawing, it’s hung on the wall. That’s not the case at all,” says Greenhalgh. It’s about celebrating and encouraging the artists who “push those boundaries, who don’t want to work within conventions and tradition”.
Fringe Arts At The Forum
When: September 11-14 and September 18-20
Why Magic Is There’s no denying y’all love a bit of magic in your life. Even if you won’t admit it, you know it’s true. Sydneybased magician Harry Milas is here to raise your eyebrows with some of the most entertaining impro talent going ’round the Sydney traps. He’ll be exploring a range of magic tricks in an intimate setting at the AV Union in Leichhardt. And for those hoping to unearth Milas’ secrets behind the tricks, you’d better look elsewhere. This guy’s not going to be giving anything away, folks. Tell us about your first encounter with magic. A magician made the moon disappear at my birthday party when I was eight. No joke. I’ve still no idea how he did it. He just waved his hand in front of it and it wasn’t in the sky anymore. I own the book that contains the method for how it’s done but I’ve never read it. How could I possibly do that to my childhood? What kind of tricks will you be performing? A wide variety! There are many genres within magic and I wanted to explore as many as I could without spreading myself too thin. There are some explorations on cheating with cards, some predictions and thought control, and some pretty strange old vaudeville geek acts. How will audiences react to Why Magic Is? Rather than attempting to convince the sceptic that magic is real, I want to show them that not knowing the secret is a wonderful place to be. It’s been said that ignorance is bliss, and I think within the context of magic that's a good philosophy. The secrets of magic are strange, dirty and disappointing. Letting something impossible exist is a lovely thing to do. What does your performance brings to the broader context of the Sydney Fringe Festival? Hopefully some variety! Magic is performed less and less these days, and I’d hope that it highlights the true diversity of the festival. What: Why Magic Is Where: AV Union, Leichhardt When: September 6-7 and 13-15
Official Cider Sponsor of the Sydney Fringe Festival 2013.
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festival village 1/133 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
134 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Four levels means quadruple the amount of drinking fun, right?
You can get longnecks and wine in tumblers at this joint. Yeah, we thought so too. Totally beatnik.
Festival Village 4
Change Is Going To Come By Lisa Hamilton
tephanie Merriman’s toast. is a coming of age tale celebrating indecision. “Broadly, the play deals with the subject of decision making by looking closely at a generation that’s completely characterised by indecision,” says Merriman. “The main character is a woman in her 20s who’s stuck in a rut of typical Gen Y uncertainty… Celebrating baby steps is what toast. is really about.”
And taking baby steps is how it all began. “We started quite a while ago, auditioning about 60 actors,” says Merriman. “We knew exactly what we were looking for and the six actors have developed accordingly. Naturally, we wanted a youthful energy. We were looking for not only a group dynamic, but the lead actor had to encapsulate the main protagonist, and that’s exactly what we have.” toast.’s primary topic appeals to a broad audience. “Yes we’re targeting Gen Y because the main premise is something that’s been characteristic of that age group, but the play is not just about being that age,” says Merriman. “toast. is concerned with finding those crossroads that can happen in everyone’s life, at any age. “I think the audience will react to the leading character in one of two ways, either with empathy or annoyance. I think that will depend on what point the audience member is in within their own life. If she’s found to be annoying it’ll possibly be because the audience member may be in a place where they find themselves really stable, and really certain. My hope is that the audience will empathise with her.” The play is also really relatable. “I wanted toast. to be relatable, but I especially wanted the dialogue to be something that was really natural. I didn’t want the dialogue to reflect some kind of other world that so often happens in theatre,” says Merriman. toast. is meant to make you laugh, but also meant to make you think. “The main thing I want to draw attention to is the fact that a lot of people believe that change has to be overnight or the result of a massive life changing event. But often it’s those small and relatively insignificant steps that can be a mechanism for change,” says Merriman. “Ultimately, you can seek help from others, but change has to come from yourself. You need to open yourself up to the possibility of change before you can attempt to move on further.” What about the experience of producing a piece of independent theatre? “Navigating independent theatre is definitely a learning curve,” she says, “I’m lucky I have such a dynamic team to get me through.” And how does a piece of warm crusty bread come to have the starring title? All will be revealed in the final scene.
FRED Lisa Chappell has transformed from a McLeod’s Daughter into a school teacher who’s being tortured by two cannibals. Yeah, that’s what we thought. What the? Chappell’s latest project FRED sees her play multiple characters in a story of survival against insurmountable odds. Can’t quite get your head around it? Let Chappell explain it to you. “A one-woman show about cannibalism and ice cream,” runs the slogan. Explain. It’s a black comedy that follows the story of Deidre, an out of luck school teacher who lets two travelling salesman into her apartment – they turn out to be cannibals. They hold her hostage for two weeks and dine on her until Fred, Deidre’s imaginary friend, saves her with a particular brand of ice cream. How has director Christopher Stollery’s vision help shape the show? Stollery has this amazing scientific brain, which brings real clarity to this subconscious upchuck (I wrote the play in six hours). His vision has helped define both the story and the many different characters I play. How did you prepare yourself for the role? My main preparation has been learning the 10,000 words that I wrote – yes, I’m the woman wandering the streets talking to myself all the time. The characterisation process has been an experimental one on the floor with Christopher. He’s given me the freedom to try all sorts of ideas and thrown me many an interesting curve ball. His balls usually work. What will the audience take away from the performance? According to Christopher, they will be entertained, surprised and intrigued – in that exact order. Personally, I’m hoping you come on this mad rollercoaster ride with me, have a good old laugh, then go debate the story within the story over drinks afterwards. What: FRED
Where: Old 505 Theatre, Surry Hills
Where: Old Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo
When: Until September 8
The Catastrophists Festival Village 5 The Little Guy
87 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Aussie craft beers, boutique wines, a rotating cocktail list and open mic nights. Nab your stool at the bar, folks.
Bedlam Bar + Food
2-12 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Student/cheap eat heaven: all burgers under $20.
Loft Bar UTS
15 Broadway, Ultimo
The ultimate uni bar comprising main bar, lush outdoor courtyard and upstairs lounge.
Harold Park Hotel 70A Ross St, Glebe
A pub-glorious comedy hangout bringing the LOLs.
Expecting The Worst By Alasdair Duncan
catastrophist is someone who makes the worst of a bad situation, a person who focuses on the negative, over-thinking and over-analysing every situation until it takes on the portions of a major disaster. This term applies to young Sydney-based playwright and actor Jordan King-Lacroix, but rather than wallow in his own anxiety, he decided to make the best of things, and create a work of theatre inspired by his tendency to blow things out of proportion. “Writing The Catastrophists was a way for me to let off steam,” he says, “but really, I just wanted to make people laugh. I’m presenting them with a work that says ‘hey, this is my particular type of crazy, and maybe you have some of that same crazy in yourself’. That’s a helpful and healthy thing to be able to do.” The show, one of the centrepieces of this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival, tells three distinct stories about people in times of crisis. The first of these concerns a character named Trevor, played by and possibly maybe based on King-Lacroix himself. “We see him at the start of the show, in the middle and at the end,” he explains. “He’s just been on his second date with a girl and she hasn’t called him back, so he leaves a series of phone messages for her, each one more desperate and angry than the last.” The second story is about a socially-inept man named Jack, who finds himself stuck in an elevator with his crush, Rachel. The third and most bizarre tells the tale of a deadly assassin named Desiree, who experiences a crisis of confidence in her work, and goes to see a mob psychiatrist for advice. It’s The Catastrophists’ unconventional approach to narrative that makes the show truly unique – in between each segment of the show are dance sequences, which tell the stories again using movement rather than dialogue to emphasise the themes and emotions. The show’s co-creator Naomi Hibberd worked on these. “Naomi spent five years working with various dance companies in London,” King-Lacroix explains, “and came home with this desire to liven up the dance scene in Australia. At first, the idea was to have the dancers perform along with the actors, but we realised that would be too distracting. We decided instead to give the dancers their own scenes, where they could offer their own interpretations of the different story beats.”
When: September 24-28
Glebe & Chippendale
Surry Hills & Oxford St
When asked if he has any final word on the show, King-Lacroix tells me that he and Hibberd are determined to pay their performers fairly for their time and effort. “That’s something that’s incredibly important to us,” he says, “because a lot of performers in Australia are expected to work for free. There’s this constant refrain of ‘there’s no pay, but it’s great experience’. We wanted to stop that.” What: The Catastrophists Where: Reginald Theatre at Seymour Centre, Chippendale When: September 17-21
Past Tense What do you get when you combine a defeatist heroine, an agoraphobic narrator, a violent roommate and a narcissistic ex-boyfriend? You get Past Tense, a romantic comedy looking at the complex relationships between friends, lovers and their experiences past and present while they keep a close eye on their uncertain future. We caught up with the play’s Narrator, Joshua McInnes, ahead of opening night. Summarise Past Tense for us. Past Tense is a really sweet, hilarious love story. Friends, lovers, exes; the play has all these characters who romanticise their past and are terrified of their future. They’re all interested in changing each other, but not themselves. It’s a new, totally relatable and completely insane story. You’re Past Tense’s Narrator. What’s he like? Well the Narrator’s job is to perform, so I was able to draw on my own experiences. He’s been around for hundreds of years doing this, yet treats each story like it’s brand new. He’s both the old man, and the excited kid. Not to go all Daniel Day Lewis on you, but I did keep a book with all of the Narrator’s thoughts and feelings about the other characters and their story. You should see what he wrote about Terry. You perform alongside Liz Jameson who plays the part of Terry. Tell us about the relationship between your two characters? The Narrator and Terry drive each other insane. He wants her to do better, but criticises everything she does. She just wants to be left alone to eat and sleep. That dynamic totally changes though. Things get crazy. Emerging theatre company Awkward Duck helped develop Past Tense… Working with Awkward Duck has been amazing. I’ve been able to explore some weird, fun ideas, and collaborate with some very talented people. Our director, Kara Schlegl really pushed me to test myself and experiment with my performance. What: Past Tense Where: Reginald Theatre at Seymour Centre, Chippendale When: September 17-21
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Album Reviews What's been crossing our ears this week...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK HIATUS KAIYOTE Tawk Tomahawk Flying Buddha
Xxxx Hiatus’ debut is groundbreaking and incredibly innovative, qualities that remind one of the old days of revolutionary musical fusion.
The frightening cover art on Hiatus Kaiyote’s debut LP Tawk Tomahawk displays the ferocious fl oating head of a coyote. Perhaps it conveys the horror that a narrow-minded, conservative listener may experience when hearing this record for the first time. This LP is unsuitable for an ear obsessed with conventional music; an ear that is unable or unwilling to look beyond genre. Highly controversial, Tawk Tomahawk, with its enigmatic lyricism and musical transcendence, will send ignorant listeners into a terrifying state of confusion. For the rest of us, Tawk Tomahawk is a delicious remedy to jaded ears.
Opener ‘It Was My Season’ tells of two childhood friends being kept apart. It’s a heart-wrenching experience – “If you want to stop our thing you’ll stop my heart” – but the pain doesn’t last. The two central themes established in this song (the exigency of youth can’t be returned to, and being told what to do shapes the person you become) recur throughout the 13-song sequence. On ‘Down Down The Deep River’ Sheff muses, “We can never go back, we can only remember”, and ‘Pink Slips’ contains the confession “I can’t stop without going all the way, it’s a habit someone gave me”. In the record’s best moments, Sheff’s figurative impressions of experience evoke a palpable sense of longing. The record’s learned instrumentation (incorporating horns, strings and synthesisers into the standard rock band setup) remains reasonably disciplined and John Agnello’s spacious production fends off potential claustrophobia. Moments of towering melodic uplift nominate the album as the bent cousin of Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. Elsewhere, ‘On A Balcony’ is marked by vehement Born To Run-like conviction. There are times when Will Sheff’s insistence causes The Silver Gymnasium to feel bloated, however it’s an arresting formula when it succeeds and giving too much thought to subtlety might file down the record’s most vital moments.
The album is made up of both long and short tracks, the latter providing temporary respite from some of the heavier songs. Tracks like ‘Ocelot’, ‘Boom Child’ and ‘Rainbow Rhodes’ are layered with synths and hip hop beats; electronic interludes that further validate the band’s musical dexterity. Like the instrumentals, Palm’s voice never stagnates. Where she might sing in one song, she will put her own spin on rap in another. She also harmonises a lot,
BLACK JOE LEWIS
The Silver Gymnasium ATO/Spunk
Something’s happening at all points on The Silver Gymnasium, giving off the sense that every movement is essential. This feeling largely comes from the pulsing presence of vocalist/ songwriter Will Sheff. Hearing someone broadcast from the source of alarm, lust or melancholy is rather captivating and many songs on The Silver Gymnasium benefit from this urgency.
Influenced by the eclectic mix of Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and pretty much anything Flamenco and Columbian, Hiatus have produced a sound that dips a toe in pretty much every single groovy musical movement of our time. There’s a bit of jazz, a splash of Latin, half a cup of hip hop and a whole bunch of electronica. All of this is interconnected with the soul-drenched voice of singer-songwriter Nai Palm.
Recently, Black Joe Lewis said of this album’s title, “‘Electric Slave’ is what people are today with their faces buried in their iPhones and the only way to hold a conversation is through text. The next step is to plug it into your damn head.” Lewis has a point, but it’s sadly ironic that his group’s message for the masses to unplug themselves from their iPhones will mostly be heard by people on their iPhones. Electric Slave suffers from this somewhat half-baked message, and resembles more a snake eating its own tail than it does a fully thought-out album on which soul and blues and punk mingle together harmoniously. It seems to be at war with itself, with songs hitting the right notes but never assembling into a cohesive collection in the process. Instead, we are treated to a patchwork of distortion-soaked blues stompers (‘Skulldiggin’’, ‘Blood’); soulful hip-shakers (‘Young Girls’, ‘Golem’); and punk strut and swagger tunes (‘Guilty’, ‘Hipster’). Most of these are enjoyable listens, however the overall experience is hampered by a lack of direction that affects the flow of the album, leading to a lull halfway through. It’s down to Lewis’ admirable determination not to be pigeonholed into genre, nor to allow his group’s various musical influences to dictate the tone of the album one way or the other. In the end, though, it makes Electric Slave feel more like an album whose creation was dictated by what the band didn’t want to do, resulting in some good songs but a forgettable record.
Australian Songs Liberation Music
Lovers of musical comedy across the country all got a little bit excited when Tripod announced they were banding with that nice young man Eddie Perfect to form Perfect Tripod. No-one seemed to know quite what the result would be, but hey, it sounded like a recipe for awesome. And it was. With a series of live shows showcasing a range of beautifully arranged, harmony-driven Australian songs, these four allstars of Australian comedy showed the true scope of their musical muscle. The resultant album, Australian Songs, captures some of the magic they created through their live shows. Although a good deal of the comedy present in those shows is lost in the recording, what is left is 13 really beautiful interpretations of classic Australian songs such as Australian Crawl’s ‘Errol’, Men At Work’s ‘Overkill’, John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’, and even Kasey Chambers’ ‘Not Pretty Enough’. Perfect’s vocal range and skill is really impressive, although Yon, Scod and Gatesy more than hold their own, demonstrating their growth as artists over the years since they got around in coloured skivvies. A really great album put together by four men with terrifi c musicality. Josh Fergeus
All Hat And No Cattle SideOneDummy/ Shock
It’s a little country, a little rock and a whole lot of tobacco spitting, foot stomping and toe twisting, guitarlicking tunes. All Hat And No Cattle follows from the Dead Peasants’ 2010 debut album, and continues Chris Shiflett’s love for rockabilly rhythms. Renowned for his heavier guitar work with Foo Fighters, Shiflett also leads this country-flavoured side project. Inspired by artists like Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens and Don Rich, this album is the reverse of the Dead Peasants’ debut and features nine classic covers from such artists. The record starts slow and steady, introducing the country rock sounds of Rich’s ‘Guitar Pickin’ Man’, and then moves its way to the honkytonk vibrations defined by a range of rockabilly musicians. ‘A Woman Like You’, the only original song, is sharply written and draws inspiration from the musical styles visited throughout the record, complementing the overall sound and leaving you intrigued. Faron Young’s vintage ‘Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young’ really shows off the vibrant guitar work by Shiflett and Luke Tierney, only adding to the upbeat and funky vibe. Without straying too much from the original version of the songs, Shiflett’s voice blends well with the guitar tones and together the band sounds tight, producing a much fuller and fresher homage to the late 1950s era while still incorporating Shiflett’s rock drive. Bursting with flavour, these raw recordings will most certainly wear your boots down. Jayde Ferguson
Crimes Of Passion Permanent/Shock The latest album from this San Diego duo follows on from last year’s ten-track Endless Flowers and pares things back even further by averaging out the songs at three-and-a-half minutes each. It’s a taut, accessible offering that drags Jesus And Mary Chain drudgery into Raveonettes-style pop trappings. Think Crystal Stilts’ In Love With Oblivion, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica or The Raveonettes’ Lust Lust Lust.
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LITTLE SCOUT Are You Life MGM
Little Scout is a band of curious juxtapositions. On the one hand, the centre and spiritual heart of the Queensland quartet is the gorgeous, honey-sweet vocals of Melissa Tickle. In stark contrast is the dark, at times abrasive music that tugs at Tickle’s heels, like a forest of shadows forever threatening to swallow her but never quite succeeding. Are You Life – Little Scout’s second full-length – opens with the title track, an excellent three-minute slice of bruised dream pop. After an initial burst of frayed beats, Tickle’s pristine, reverb-drenched voice takes centre stage, singing: “Are you fired up? Are you life?” Before long the sparse opening gives way to a jagged, distorted groove. The razor sharp guitar grows and swells, expanding from the fringes, threatening to take over. By song’s end, music and voice become one, a glorious tangle of effects-saturated noise. If Tickle’s voice is the angelic face of Little Scout, then the drum and bass combination are the band’s indefatigable backbone, its secret weapon. These aren’t guitar-driven songs. The bulk of the album stems from precise, muscular drum and bass grooves, which build and expand exponentially. Take ‘March Over To Me,’ for example, with its foreboding drum and bass rumble. Or lead single, ‘Go Quietly’. The drums and bass anchor the song, giving Tickle’s effects-laden, double-tracked vocals the freedom to soar into space. The second half of the album takes the foot off the pedal and suffers somewhat as result. That said, there are still some lush, tender moments. Album closer ‘Don’t Teach Me To Sing’ is about as intimate as it gets. With only a guitar by her side, Tickle sings defiantly: “Don’t teach me to sing, I have my own voice”. And what a voice it is. Wayne Marshall
INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK CROCODILES
CHRIS SHIFLETT AND THE DEAD PEASANTS
Electric Slave Vagrant/Shock
showcasing her ethereal vibrato. An acquired taste, each track is vastly different to the one preceding it. Hardly hinting at any melody, Tawk Tomahawk is polyrhythmic, weird and heterogeneous. But this is exactly why it is so brilliant.
And here are the albums that have helped BRAG HQ get through the week...
Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez continue their business of delving headlong into seedy worlds of dark sex, from the sadomasochism of ‘Marquis De Sade’ and the purist fantasy of ‘Virgin’ to the rousing, faithless opener, ‘I Like It In The Dark’. The latter song embraces gospel and features some surprising bursts of vocal gymnastics, while the remainder of the album confidently walks a tightrope of scuzzy garage rock and classic British indie guitar music. Final cut ‘Un Chant D’amour’ takes its title from Jean Genet’s highly charged 1950 film: savage and sordid, but also a simple, sweet story of love.
OFFICE MIXTAPE BECK - Odelay DIZZEE RASCAL - Maths + English JARVIS COCKER - Further Complications
Crocodiles’ fourth album has no filler, pulling together a tightly wound collection of lust-driven, loaded tunes with an undercurrent of cutthroat violence. Above all else, it’s just a great pop album.
JAGWAR MA - Howlin’ RÜFÜS - Atlas
What we've been out to see...
LYALL MOLONEY, BOOTLEG RASCAL The Standard Friday August 23
Hitting Taylor Square’s The Standard as a part of his ‘Before The End Of Time’ tour, Lyall Moloney played to an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers. Having only known a few songs, I went into the gig relatively blind. That said, it did not take long for the boys to win me over. The band that got the crowd standing was Sydney/Gold Coast four-piece Bootleg Rascal, a solid act definitely fitting the overall ambiance of the night – pretty impressive for a group that only formed earlier this year. A clear highlight was their rendition of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’. Accompanied by Moloney, it was as if we were watching the boys in their true jamming habitat. It’s always a delight to see when artists really engage in what they do – while being pretty damn good at it. When the time came, Lyall Moloney’s voice completely infiltrated the atmosphere with the incorporation of beatboxing, guitar, loops, percussion and the harmonica. Laid-back psych and surfy melodies fused with smooth hip hop beats and lightly applied percussion, generating considerable good vibes and a summery haze. ‘Go That Low’ proved a crowd-pleaser, with Moloney stacking up layers of guitar with loop pedals whilst spreading his voice over some slick beats.
JIMMY BARNES Enmore Theatre Thursday August 22
In fine form, Jimmy Barnes AKA Barnesy rolled through Sydney in the midst of his first full tour since the last Cold Chisel jaunt in 2012 – and if the Working Class Man has any thoughts about slowing down, he certainly doesn’t show it. Hordes of people danced in the aisles from the beginning and you could tell Barnesy was charged up because of it. The band was tight as they began to charge through a setlist chock-full of classic Chisel tracks, alongside Barnes’ solo work, with great energy. It was a family affair as well, with Jimmy’s daughters Eliza-Jane and Mahalia in the band as backup singers. And when Mahalia wasn’t doing backing vocals she was at the front duetting with her father, after earlier opening the night as his support act. Although the gig itself seethed energy for its entirety, the second half of the show was definitely when it went from excellent to epic. Listening to them, you’re reminded
just how many great songs Barnes has sung over the years: ‘Lay Down Your Guns’, ‘Ride The Night Away’, ‘No Second Prize’, ‘Flame Trees’, ‘Last Frontier’, the sprawling ‘Driving Wheels’ and the Chisel masterpiece ‘When The War Is Over’ – all part of the fabric of Oz rock’n’roll, as is Barnesy himself. From there, the show proceeded to blast through the roof of the Enmore with the riotous closer, a searing cover of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke’s ‘Resurrection Shuffle’ (a version of which Barnes recorded with The Living End for his album Double Happiness). And of course, when those first signature notes of ‘Khe Sanh’ rung out through the theatre there was scarcely anyone not standing to belt out the anthem. With only just a sprinkle of new songs in the setlist, they held up well in comparison. Say what you will about 57-year-old Barnesy, you can’t deny he still hits those screaming high notes. It hurts my throat just thinking about it. Carla Pavez RKE :: PHOTOGRAPHER :: KATRINA CLA
Put simply, these two acts are on the cusp of something great. If this gig was anything to go by, we have certainly haven’t seen the last of them. Kiera Thanos
RKE :: PHOTOGRAPHER :: KATRINA CLA
THE BEASTS OF BOURBON, GRETA MOB
Factory Theatre Saturday August 24
Greta Mob launched into their set with confidence despite the sparse and motionless punters that lay before them early on in the night. The lesser-known predecessors to the Kelly Gang, the original Greta Mob was a crew of larrikin bandits in the late 1800s, and their modern namesakes are as ballsy and subversive as the originals. They blow you away with their dirty mix of blues, folk and badass rock’n’roll. There are zero frilly hipster pretensions with these guys – their sound is sexy and punchy as hell. Lead vocalist/guitarist Rhyece O’Neill immediately hooks you in with his powerfully husky vocals and bold stage antics. There’s a hint of Peter Garrett in his theatrical package. Their album producer and special guest synth player Shane Fahey injected a refreshing extra layer of edgy, experimental sound effects into the Mob’s performance. He proudly grooved away to the whole set with his silvery long hair reminiscent of Doc from Back To The Future. The Beasts of Bourbon’s third and final Sydney stop on their 30 Years Of Borrowed thebrag.com
Time tour was blow-up-your-skirt impressive. The Factory’s floor was packed out, as you would expect for a band of this calibre and notoriety. The Beasts proved once again why they have maintained a fierce foothold in Australia’s rock music landscape since the ’80s – the skills and professionalism of each member are simply astounding. Their sound is not always tight and in tune, but there is a fantastic loose synergy bouncing between each band member like a well-oiled but rusted machine. Tex Perkins boldly leads the Beasts with his bad boy charisma, trademark strutting and microphone slinging. Gritty chainsaw riffs and gutsy rhythms are delivered with intensity by Spencer Jones and Charlie Owen on guitar and Brian Hooper on bass. Jones’ nonchalant cool and cowboy swagger are always fantastic to watch while he strums away with talented dexterity. Tony Pola packed loads of sweaty stamina and power into his drumming performance despite being quite stone-faced for the entire set. The night ended with a charming touch of the rock’n’roll spirit as a bra was flung up on stage. The Beasts were completely unfazed – a testimony to their legendary don’t-give-a-fuck rock attitude.
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snap sn ap
lepers & crooks
PICS :: TL
up all night out all week . . .
hungry kids of hungary
PICS :: KC
21:08:13 :: Brighton Up Bar :: Level 1/77 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 9572 6322
PICS :: TL
23:08:13 :: Oxford Art Factory :: 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 9332 3711
the sleep walkers club
23:08:13 :: FBi Social :: Kings Cross Hotel 248 William St 9331 9900 34 :: BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13
PICS :: KC
PICS :: AM
24:08:13 :: Oxford Art Factory :: 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 9332 3711
23:08:13 :: The Hi-Fi :: Entertainment Quarter 122 Lang Rd Moore Park 1300 843443
:: KATRINA CLARKE :: CHRISCIA S : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) :: DANIEL ROUSE OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER MAR LEY ASH :: NAN MAG :: AMATH KHRISNADIA :: HENRY LEUNG thebrag.com
snap sn ap
21:08:13 :: Name This Bar :: 197 Oxford St Darlinghurst 9356 2123
17:08:13 :: AIM :: 51 Foveaux St Surry Hills 9219 5444
PICS :: TL
aim open day
rolling stone live lodge
PICS :: CK
22:08:13 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587
PICS :: HL
king gizzard and the lizard wizard
PICS :: AM
up all night out all week . . .
PICS :: AM
the trouble with templeton
20:08:13 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666 thebrag.com
PICS :: AM
24:08:13 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587
23:08:13 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587
:: KATRINA CLARKE :: CHRISCIA S : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER MAR :: DANIEL ROUSE LEY ASH :: NAN MAG TH AMA :: KHRISNADIA :: HENRY LEUNG
BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13 :: 35
g g guide gig g
send your listings to : firstname.lastname@example.org
ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Songs On Stage - feat: Helmut Uhlmann + Chris Brookes + Massimo Presti Kelly’s On King, Newtown. 7pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
Latin & Jazz Open Mic World Bar, Kings Cross. 7pm. free. Mariachi Mondays - feat: Victor Valdes And Friends The Basement, Circular Quay. 5pm. free. Motown Mondays - feat: Soultrane The White Horse, Surry Hills. 8pm. free. Reggae Monday Civic Underground, Sydney. 10pm. free. Visible - feat: Taqi Khan + Sinit Tsegay + Anbessa Gebrehiwot + Morganics Venue 505, Surry Hills. 8:30pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8 Carriageworks, Eveleigh
FBi Turns 10! The Presets + Hermitude + Urthboy + Seekae + Decoder Ring + Spit Syndicate + The Laurels + Thundamentals + The Preatures + Sampology (AV Show) + World’s End Press + Straight Arrows + Collarbones + Naysayer & Gilsun (AV Show) + Zeahorse + Movement + Citizen Kay + Hoops + Ro Sham Bo + Joyride + Simon Caldwell + Kato + Shantan Wantan Ichiban + Mike Who + Mealo & Space Junk + FBi DJs 12pm. $69. 36 :: BRAG :: 528 : 02:09:13
Bernie Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free. Frankie’s World Famous House Band Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney. 9pm. free.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3 INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Co Pilot Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 9pm. free. Steve Tonge Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
Big Band Tuesdays - feat: Sirens Big Band The Basement, Circular Quay. 8pm. $5. Fat Freddy’s Drop Enmore Theatre, Newtown. 8pm. $66.60. Old School Funk And Groove Night Venue 505, Surry Hills. 8:30pm. free.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Pulp Kitchen And Folk Club - feat: Live Rotating Folk Bands Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. free. Songs On Stage - feat: Buried Spheres + Johnny Wildblood + Peter Jones + Cheyne McFarlane + Alan Watters The Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 8pm. $15. Songs On Stage - feat: Helmut Uhlmann The Loft (UTS Loft), Ultimo. 6pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Andy Mammers Duo Maloney’s Hotel, Sydney. 9pm. free. Gemma Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Joe Echo Duo O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross. 9:30pm. free. Lunchbreak w/ Guineafowl FBi Social, Kings Cross. 1pm. free. Pigeon + Sosueme DJs Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Souled Out Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 9pm. free. The Fontaynes - feat: Edema Ruh And Plateu’s Knife Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 7pm. $10. The Growl + Peter Bibby & His Bottles Of Confidence + Melodie Nelson Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $12. Uni Bar100 Bar100, The Rocks. 9pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC A Day In The Life Album Launch - feat: Dave Ades + Zac Hurren + Cameron Undy And Dave Goodman Venue 505, Surry Hills. 8:30pm. $10. Hump Wednesdays - feat: The Petting Zoo The Little Guy, Glebe. 7pm. free. Lionel Cole The White Horse, Surry Hills. 8pm. free. World Music Wednesdays feat: El Orquestron The Basement, Circular Quay. 8pm. $5.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Brian Campeau Venue 505, Surry Hills. 8:30pm. $10. Live Music Thursdays Bar100, The Rocks. 5pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC Organ Groove - feat: Dave Goodman + Darren Heinrich + Lionel Cole The White Horse, Surry Hills. 8pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Alex Hopkins Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 7:30pm. free. Andy Mammers Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why. 7pm. free. Cambo Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free. Dave White Duo Maloney’s Hotel, Sydney. 9:30pm. free. Dead Letter Circus + Closure In Moscow + Sleep Parade Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $33.70. Good Stuff Scruffy Murphy’s Hotel, Sydney. 10pm. free. Harriet Whiskey Club - feat: Hattie Carroll + Draw Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $5. Mandi Jarry Marrickville Ritz Hotel, Marrickville. 7:30pm. free.
Pleasure Overload - feat: Dreamer’s Crime + The Gunn Show + Scott Sunday And Tiffany Britchford Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 7pm. $10. Psychlops Eyepatch - feat: Sister Jane + Bad Jeep + Deep Space Supergroop FBi Social, Kings Cross. 8pm. $10. The Coconut Ruffs Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $20. The Real McKenzies + The Go Set Manning Bar, Sydney University. 8pm. $18.70. Tigertown + MTNS + Evan And The Brave Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15.30. Tonight Alive + Hands Like Houses + D At Sea The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 7:30pm. $27.50. White Bros Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Live Music Fridays Bar100, The Rocks. 5pm. free. Ocean Leaves - feat: James Forbes Hermann’s Bar, Darlington. 7pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
Alexander Abreu & Havana D’Primera + Mi Tierra + DJ Dwight ‘Chocolate’ Escobar & MC Rafa The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 7:30pm. $84.50. East Coast Band Scruffy Murphy’s Hotel, Sydney. 10:30pm. free. Heartical Sessions Presents - feat: The Strides + Ziggy & The Wild Drums & Guest DJs Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. The Woohoo Revue - Pure Decadence Tour Venue 505, Surry Hills. 7pm. $21.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Aimee Francis Spectrum, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $12. Anon Anon Lazybones Lounge, Marrickville. 8pm. $10. Bno Rock Show Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest. 10pm. free. Creo - feat: Dr Goddard Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 7pm. $12. Dave White Trio Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point. 8pm. free. David Agius Duo Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross. 11pm. free. Gemma Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 10:30pm. free. Heath Burdell Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why. 7pm. free. Heath Burdell Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 9pm. free. Hue Williams The Oasis On Beamish, Campsie. 8pm. free. Jack Carty - The Predictable Crisis Tour Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15. Joe Echo Cronulla RSL, Cronulla. 7:30pm. free. King Tide - feat: Benjalu Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $25. thebrag.com
pick of the week
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2
g g guide gig g
send your listings to : email@example.com Mad Season Moorebank Sports Club, Hammondville. 9:30pm. free. Major Tom And The Atoms + The Owls The Backroom, Kings Cross. 9pm. $10. Mandi Jarry Novotel, Darling Harbour. 5:30pm. free. Marty Simpson Customs House Bar, Sydney. 7pm. free. Matt Jones Stacks Taverna, Sydney. 5pm. free. Michael McGlynn Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest. 6:30pm. free. Ocean Leaves - feat: James Forbes Hermann’s Bar, Darlington. 7pm. free. Olivers Army + Bears With Guns + Betty And Oswald The Gaelic Club, Surry Hills. 8pm. $10. Phoenix Red Ent. Presents Devastator Fest - feat: Dawn Heist + Red Bee + Not Another Sequel Just Another Prequel And Emersus Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 7pm. $10. Pigeon World Bar, Kings Cross. 9pm. free. Psycho Zydeco Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown. 8pm. $18. Reels On Fire PJ Gallagher’s, Sydney. 9pm. free. Rob Henry Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free. Sheppard - feat: Lurch And Chief + Rohin Brown + DJ Kristy Lee Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills. 6pm. free. Simon Meli + The Widowbirds + Special Guests The Basement, Circular Quay. 7:30pm. $24.80. Snarski Vs Snarski The Vanguard, Newtown. 7pm. $20. Spooky Land - feat: Bud Petal + Nic Cassey + Jessie Squire FBi Social, Kings Cross. 8pm. $10. The Preatures - Is This How You Feel? EP Tour + Chela Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $18.40.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Live Music Saturdays Bar100, The Rocks. 4pm. free. Paul Hayward And Friends Town & Country Hotel, St Peters. 3pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC Emma Pask Venue 505, Surry Hills. 8:30pm. $20.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS Anberlin + The Maine + William Beckett The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 8pm. $60. Bell Weather Department, Lepers And Crooks, Big Nothing & Nightswimming The Standard, Surry Hills. 8pm. $10. Brendan Deehan Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Carl Fidler Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 4:30pm. free. Dave White thebrag.com
Scruffy Murphy’s Hotel, Sydney. 10:30pm. free. Dom Turner & Ian Collard feat: Gramophone Man Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown. 8pm. $18. Electric Anthems Trio Paragon Hotel, Sydney. 9:30pm. free. Elevate Duo PJ Gallagher’s, Sydney. 9pm. free. Furnace & The Fundamentals + Benny & The Guruve Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Gemma Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free. Heath Burdell Clovelly Hotel, Clovelly. 8pm. free. Hue Williams Crown Hotel, Sydney. 9pm. free. Jack Carty - The Predictable Crisis Tour Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15. Kieran Ryan Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $10. Leon Fallon Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why. 6:30pm. free. Martini Club Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest. 10pm. free. Metal Thrashing Productions Presents Bangers And Thrash - feat: Blacksmith + Amora + Til Rapture + Torrential + Head In A Jar + Atomesquad + Exekute + Mason + Inslain Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 3pm. $15. Peter Northcote’s Drive Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $30. Richie Ryan Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Sarah Paton Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 5:30pm. free. Saturday Live Band Oatley Hotel, Oatley. 8:30pm. free. Shane Flew Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 4:30pm. free. Straylove - feat: King Colour + Midnight Pool Party + Slicker Cities (DJ Set) FBi Social, Kings Cross. 8pm. $10. The Cookie Monsters Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 9pm. free. The Starliners George’s River 16 Ft Sailing Club, Sandringham. 8pm. free. Venom Club Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 9pm. $10.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8 JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC Peter Head Band Harbourview Hotel, The Rocks. 4pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Antoine O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross. 8pm. free. Arthur B’s Sunday Best Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown. 4pm. free. Class 1C - feat: Papaya Cosy + Shinra + The Buzz + Essefex Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 6pm. free. Craig Woodward & The Lonely Dogs - feat: English & The Doc + 2am Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $16. FBi Turns 10 - feat: The Presets + Hermitude + Urthboy + Seekae + Decoder Ring + Spit Syndicate + The Laurels + Thundamentals + The Preatures + Sampology (AV Show) + World’s End Press + Straight Arrows + Collarbones + Naysayer & Gilsun (AV Show) + Zeahorse + Movement + Citizen Kay + Hoops + Ro Sham Bo + Joyride + Simon Caldwell + Kato + Shantan Wantan Ichiban + Mike Who + Mealo & Space Junk + FBi DJs Carriageworks, Eveleigh. 12pm. $69. Jamie Lindsay Duo Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 6pm. free. Joe Echo Duo Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Woolloomooloo. 3pm. free. Mandi Jarry Mill Hill Hotel, Bondi Junction. 3pm. free. Marty Simpson Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 2pm. free. Matt Jones Band Three Wise Monkeys, Sydney. 10pm. free. Michael Votano Duo Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point. 8pm. free. Rob Henry Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8pm. free. Rockchick Ent. Presents “As Chaos Unfolds” - feat: Disengaged Au Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 12pm. $10. Slapdash Son Night Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown. 7pm. free. The Sunday Roast - feat: Bernie Dingo Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 3pm. free. Three Wise Men Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 4pm. free.
ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Anthony Hughes Oatley Hotel, Oatley. 2pm. free. Elevation U2 Acoustic The Orient, The Rocks. 4:30pm. free. Intimate Sessions Paragon Hotel, Sydney. 6pm. free. Little Sundays - feat: Stephanie Grace The Little Guy, Glebe. 7pm. free. Live Music Sundays Bar100, The Rocks. 1pm. free. Taos & The Dreamers, Michigan Water & The Book Of Vilah Trinity Bar, Surry Hills. 4pm. free. The Preatures
(9:00PM - 12:00AM)
(9:00PM - 12:00AM)
05 Sep fri
(9:30PM - 12:30AM) (4:30PM - 7:30PM)
(9:30PM - 1:30AM)
(4:30PM - 7:30PM)
(4:30PM - 7:30PM)
(9:30PM - 12:30AM)
(8:30PM - 12:00AM)
BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13 :: 37
up all night out all week...
Tigertown + MTNS + Evan And The Brave Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15.30.
The Preatures - Is This How You Feel? EP Tour + Chela Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $18.40.
Tonight Alive + Hands Like Houses + D At Sea The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 7:30pm. $27.50.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6 Alexander Abreu & Havana D’Primera + Mi Tierra + DJ Dwight ‘Chocolate’ Escobar & Mc Rafa The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 7:30pm. $84.50. Creo - Feat: Dr Goddard Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 7pm. $12.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5
Fat Freddy’s Drop Enmore Theatre, Newtown. 8pm. $66.60.
Dead Letter Circus + Closure In Moscow + Sleep Parade Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $33.70.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4 Lunchbreak w/ Guineafowl Fbi Social, Kings Cross. 1pm. Free. The Growl + Peter Bibby & His Bottles Of Confidence + Melodie Nelson Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $12.
38 :: BRAG :: 528 : 02:09:13
Psychlops Eyepatch - Feat: Sister Jane + Bad Jeep + Deep Space Supergroop FBi Social, Kings Cross. 8pm. $10. The Coconut Ruffs Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $20. The Real McKenzies + The Go Set Manning Bar, Sydney University. 8pm. $18.70.
Jack Carty - The Predictable Crisis Tour Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15.
Emma Pask Venue 505, Surry Hills. 8:30pm. $20. Anberlin + The Maine + William Beckett The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 8pm. $60. Bell Weather Department, Lepers And Crooks, Big Nothing & Nightswimming The Standard, Surry Hills. 8pm. $10. Dom Turner & Ian Collard - Feat: Gramophone Man Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown. 8pm. $18.
Dom Turner & Ian Collard Jack Carty - The Predictable Crisis Tour Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15. Kieran Ryan Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $10. Straylove - Feat: King Colour + Midnight Pool Party + Slicker Cities (DJ Set) FBi Social, Kings Cross. 8pm. $10.
Olivers Army + Bears With Guns + Betty And Oswald The Gaelic Club, Surry Hills. 8pm. $10. Psycho Zydeco Eliza’s Juke Joint, Newtown. 8pm. $18. Simon Meli + The Widowbirds + Special Guests The Basement, Circular Quay. 7:30pm. $24.80. Snarski Vs Snarski The Vanguard, Newtown. 7pm. $20. Tonight Alive
BRAG’s guide to dance, hip hop and club culture
dance music news club, dance and hip hop in brief...with Chris Honnery
speed date WITH
SAM GILL FROM NAYSAYER & GILSUN cold sober and remember nothing about it. Pure, unbridled joy. Current Playlist I’ve been totally into this 4. wave of progressive and kind of confronting new material from guys like Jon Hopkins, James Holden, John Roberts and Blondes. They’re not even close to all being in a single, definable genre but definitely appeal to me for the same reasons, I guess. It’s kind of easy to feel as though you’re being pulled apart by horses when trying to make music that reflects all of the disparate, disconnected sounds you want to vaguely emulate and build on, but guys like that make it look simple. Also, it’s also pretty cold right now so my monkey brain just wants to hear dark-sounding tunes.
19-year-old Brooklyn hip hop impresario Joey Bada$$ will perform in Sydney for the first time on Thursday December 12 at the Metro Theatre. Bada$$ made his mark last year with his 1999 mixtape, which attracted plenty of buzz online and led to bigger and better things – further proof of the P.O.I (power of the Internet, mister). triple j picked up the single ‘Waves’ before Bada$$ dropped Rejex: a collection of songs that did not make 1999. In June of this year, Bada$$ released Summer Knights and announced that his fulllength debut album would arrive early 2014. Joining the fray will be fellow Brooklynites The Underachievers, a duo that has signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint and has toured alongside Kendrick Lamar, while hometown boy Remi will also represent.
Your Ultimate Rider No matter where the gig 5. is, I’d love to have a family-sized What Do You Look For In A DJ/Producer? 1. I think we both value originality and artistic ambition most. Maybe it’s just me but even if it sucks or fails miserably, music is always more interesting if it seems like it’s yearning to be something bold and individual. Ironically this answer is amazingly bland and unoriginal. I’m really sorry I dropped the ball here, guys. Keeping Busy We’ve been in a strange 2. holding pattern for about six months. Very little touring, but a lot of work on new material. We signed a number of tracks to Club
Mod in February, and basically pulled down the blinds and stayed quiet while the release was being planned out. In the meantime we did manage to start a semiregular club night at Melbourne’s Mercat Basement called LUMA, where we get to play all night with our friends Two Bright Lakes DJs and Acolyte. It’s such a great venue, atmosphere and crowd. Hopefully we can bottle it and ship it all the way up to Goodgod. Best Gig Ever When we initially started 3. discussing and making our audiovisual show, NGTV, we always used the fantasy of
playing Meredith Music Festival or Golden Plains as the ultimate goal. Given that we’re such enormous fans of both festivals and their shared location, this obsession acted as a kind of aesthetic anchor for figuring out everything from content to the general mood and structure of the show. You can only imagine our excitement upon being invited to play in 2012 – somehow landing the job of following Nile Rodgers and Chic at 2am on the final night of Golden Plains. Though we’ve been unbelievably lucky and played many very, very special shows, this was like an out-ofbody experience. I was stone
Mexican pizza delivered from our local pizza joint in Coburg. Even if it’s freeze-packed and shipped overseas, I’d still be well and truly into it. We’ve considered asking for ‘1x Very Cool Golden Labrador (sunglasses and stunt training optional)’, but were told it would be “a bit of a stretch”. What: All That Good Work/ Blue out Monday September 9 through Fatdrop Where: Goodgod / FBi Turns 10 at Carriageworks When: Saturday September 7 / Sunday September 8
R.A. THE RUGGED MAN Seekae
New York hip hop legend R.A. The Rugged Man has always been honest in his art and his interviews, and he’s on his way back to Australia to share some more of himself with fans. Over the years, the pioneering emcee has worked with Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep and The Notorious B.I.G. among many more. Next Saturday September 14 is his date at The Standard, where he’ll show off some verses from new album Legends Never Die, released earlier this year.
New Zealand producer Opiuo will perform at Chinese Laundry on Friday September 20. Opiuo relocated to Melbourne from his homeland and has since established himself through productions that meld melodic bass, glitch, funk and psychedelic influences. Opiuo has played at world-renowned festivals such as Burning Man and Shambhala, along with Australian institutions like Victoria’s own Rainbow Serpent and Sydney’s Subsonic, while notching up releases such as 2010’s Slurp And Giggle. DJs Samrai, Adam Zae and Joe Barrs will all be spinning in support, with doors opening at 10pm.
Sydney three-piece Seekae have recently released a new single ‘Another’ as an appetiser for their third album, set to drop early next year on Future Classic. Seekae have a sound that ranges from post-dubstep to experimental ambiance, and have received rave reviews from outlets like UK website Inverted Audio, which described Seekae’s sophomore LP +Dome as depicting “a far more ambitious vision of the future than any other Australian act has ever attempted”. (It is slightly patronising and presumptuous for a UK-based outlet to claim to possess an omniscient overview of the Australian music scene, but you get what they’re going for – maybe I’m just still sensitive after the Ashes). Seekae have incorporated vocals on ‘Another’ for only the second time – it will be interesting to hear whether they continue on the vocal trajectory now that they’re releasing on the label that also put out Jagwar Ma’s album. Seekae will perform at FBi’s tenth birthday fiesta at Carriageworks this Sunday September 8 alongside the likes of The Presets and Hermitude in what promises to be a monster party.
KARNEVIL AT THE BIG TOP
On Saturday October 26, the inaugural Karnevil will descend upon Luna Park’s Big Top for a fancy dress Halloween party featuring DJ sets from the likes of Bombs Away, Nina Las Vegas and What So Not. Bombs Away are coming off the back of consecutive #1 singles in the ARIA charts, while they also came in at #32 on the Worldwide DJLIST in 2012, a result that will no doubt be used as ammunition by those who denigrate such polls. Meanwhile Nina Las Vegas is renowned for her work as triple j Mix Up presenter and Hoops member, while What So Not have gained accolades for their body of
remixes. The revelry will be given a cinematic dimension courtesy of the EGO AV set. Doors open 7pm, with first release tickets available for $50 from September 5 via bigtopsydney.com.
ANDY STOTT AND SHIGETO
Astral People have revealed that they will treat Sydneysiders to shows from Shigeto and Andy Stott before the year is out. Shigeto is the moniker of jazz-orientated beatmaker Zach Saginaw, and means “to grow bigger” – appropriate in light of Saginaw’s premature birth weight of less than a pound. Saginaw’s family has roots in Hiroshima and his greatgrandfather was held in an internment camp during the Second World War. All of these interesting tangential facts may or may not have contributed to his unique sound, which has been displayed on three full-length albums including the recently released Lineage on Ghostly International, which critics are lauding as his best. The other drawcard, Andy Stott, is a dexterous producer who trades in dub techno under his own name while also pushing more bass-inflected sounds as Andrea. With both artists slotted to play Strawberry Hill Festival in Victoria on the weekend of November 22-24, it’s safe to hypothesise – nay, declare – that their Sydney shows will take place at around this time. BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13 :: 39
dance music news
club, dance and hip hop in brief...with Chris Honnery
he said she said WITH
DANNY T Your Crew When I’m not spending my time on 3. studio lockdown you can find me working in the A&R department at Sweat It Out. After a humbling phone call from Team Sweat I couldn’t decline joining the crew – it’s soulcleansing to talk tunes all day with the people that inspire me.
The Music You Make I make and play boompty beats, head boppin’ ragga tech funk, new school hip house and rasta horn booty jams… I dig shit that’s funky! I’d rather heads down than hands up. My new single on Sweat It Out just dropped; it’s called ‘Shake Yo Hands’, a collab with Matt Sofo. It best sums up my sound. I also have an alias, Mankinde, which allows me to get a little weird in the studio and stretch my legs musically.
Music, Right Here, Right Now I can’t keep up, but it’s very exciting. Kids 5. are so tech-savvy these days and boundaries
Growing Up Raised by party-crazed, hip-hop-inspired 1. Ewoks on the bass moon of Brisbane, music
Inspirations Travelling out of my comfort zone 2. inspires me, whether it be to another
was encouraged at an early age but through the screen. My fascination with film and sound led to enrolling into film school to pursue a career as a sound engineer. I wanted to make laser sounds and Death Star force field sound FX... then I found house music.
country or to see a band play that I’ve never heard of before. I grew up with The Doors and the Stones but my affair with house music was triggered by Pique & Nique – ‘You Will (Miss Me)’ (Kid Crème remix).
HOUSE OF MINCE, DARKROOM
.darkroom and The House of Mince will join forces for a party at Regent Street institution The Gladstone on Saturday September 21. Melbourne DJ/producer Simona Kapitolina will be headlining, ahead of an assortment of local DJs. Kapitolina is the founder of the label Girls Who Smoke Poke, through which she runs New Beat trans/queer party The Shock of the New and releases her own music and remixes. She released her debut dance album Trouble In Utopia earlier this year, and is also the drummer with synth rock four-piece Ana Nicole and part of the synth pop act Fluorescent. Spinning across two rooms will be Kate Doherty, Andrew Wowk, Lovertits and Annabelle Gaspar.
are being pushed from such an early age. I’m really into RüFüS at the moment, their debut album is dope! Motez, Hot Since 82, Disclosure, Duke Dumont and Justin Martin are frequents in my playlist. I’m excited to see house music be rejuvenated but still tip its hat to the old school. Who: The Only, Danny T, Luke Chable, A-Tonez, Acaddamy, Fingers and more Where: Chinese Laundry When: Saturday September 7
SOUL OF SYDNEY
Can you keep a secret? Soul of Sydney is throwing a Disco Block Party Special as a tribute to 30+ years of funky house music and it’s set to take place in a secret Disco Oasis. Providing the beats on the night will be Amsterdam’s underground disco deity Marcel Vogel and Sydney’s own DJ and producer Stephen Allkins AKA Love Tattoo. This shindig is set to take place on Sunday September 29, five minutes from the CBD. For the chance to win a double pass, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your favourite pick up line.
MINISTRY OF SOUND
If you aren’t following the election results this Saturday night you’re probably looking for a place to get down, and where better than Chinese Laundry? Saturday September 7 will see The Only, Danny T, Luke Chable, A-Tonez, Acaddamy, Fingers, DJ Just 1, U-Khan, King Lee and Aleviate Keys spinning tracks in a Ministry of Sound takeover from 10pm. And guess what? We have three double passes to give away for the night. Holler at email@example.com to be in the running and tell us the name of Pauline Pantsdown’s 1998 election hit.
Nina Las Vegas
POTBELLEEZ SINGLE, TOUR
The Potbelleez will headline Marquee this Friday September 6. The Irish-Australian electro house trio are best known for the gargantuan single ‘Don’t Hold Back’, which was thoroughly rinsed in the clubs back in 2008 and led to such prestigious honours as the group being invited to perform at the NRL grand fi nal. Far from being a one-hit wonder, The Potbelleez released a follow-up album Destination Now which was co-produced by Australian veteran Paul Mac and Justin Shave and spawned another number one single in ‘Hello’. 40 :: BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY
The next in Subsonic Music’s Subclub series goes down this Saturday September 7 at the Burdekin Hotel. Headlining the party is rising German DJ Chris Schwarzwälder, who has built up an underground following through remixes and co-productions of renowned Berliners such as Nu and Acid Pauli, who played at last year’s Subsonic festival. Schwarzwälder has already performed at this year’s Fusion festival in Berlin, and will be making his Sydney debut alongside a lengthy lineup of DJs including Marcotix and Jordan Deck.
This Thursday September 5 the Red Bull Music Academy returns to Goodgod Small Club for the third time. For this bout, London percussionist and singer Mo Kolours will make his Australian debut, showcasing his mix of soul, dub, hip hop, the ‘Sega music’ of his Mauritian homeland and various other electronic styles. “I’ve thought about music for most of my life, contemplating the ins and outs, like, ‘how is this guy making that noise’. But I like to work on instincts and feeling and just see what happens,” says the Gilles Peterson-endorsed producer of his musical inspirations. Mo Kolours will be joined by rising Adelaide artist Oisima and emerging Sydney experimental producer Thomas William. William was a finalist in FBi Radio’s Northern Lights competition last year, and garnered comparisons with Flying Lotus for his album Deccan Technicolour, which was praised for being “at once genuinely eclectic and totally coherent; full of far-out, lopsided beats, glitchy grooves, ingeniously butchered samples, and woozy, psychedelic soundscapes”. Doors for this Red Bull Music Academy showcase open at 8pm, and entry is free for those who RSVP via dashtickets.com.au.
Party crews Our House Sydney and Soul Of Sydney will host a block party at a “secret oasis location” on Sunday September 29. Headlining proceedings will be Amsterdam’s Marcel Vogel, who oversees the record labels Lumberjacks in Hell and Intimate Friends. Vogel trades in soul, funk, disco, boogie and garage sounds, while Lumberjacks in Hell is a driving force in the new
school disco scene, releasing cuts from the likes of DJ Rahaan, Jamie 3:26 and Hugo H. Sydney veteran Stephen Allkins, well known for his productions as Love Tattoo, will also be spinning, building on a reputation that he began forging in 1978 when he started DJing in clubs. The promoters caution that their last six parties have sold out, urging would-be revellers to purchase presale tickets online. thebrag.com
Nina Las Vegas photo by Matthew James Woodward
The inner west hip hop pairing that is Spit Syndicate are preparing to embark on their Money Over Bull$hit tour, which takes its title from a lyric from ‘Amazing’, the third single to be pulled from their ARIA-charting Sunday Gentlemen album. The release featured guest spots from ARIA award winner Styalz Fuego, Horrorshow’s Adit, M-Phazes and Raph Dixon, and received rave reviews in tastemaking publications such as – well, no less than this very magazine. Support at this allages show, which is slotted for The Hi-Fi on Saturday November 2, will be provided by DJ Joyride, who recently dropped a free EP called Chivalrous. Those on the northern beaches should note that Spit Syndicate will also play at the Mona Vale Hotel on Saturday October 5.
London Grammar Wait Is Over By Alasdair Duncan
London Grammar photo by Jem Goulding
ondon Grammar’s Dan Rothman and Hannah Reid met when they were undergraduate students at Nottingham University – the story goes that Rothman saw a Facebook picture of Reid with a guitar and sent her a message, interested to see if she wanted to make music together. The pair began playing music in bars around town, and before long their friend Dot Major joined them, bringing keyboards and percussion – not least of all a collection of African drums – to the group. In those days, they stuck to low-key acoustic covers, a sound very far removed from the lush indie/ electronic ballads they now make – but the crucial element, Reid’s haunting voice, was always there. “A few months after we played our first gig,” explains Rothman, “we were spotted by a record company, and there was a bit of hype that started developing around us. We hadn’t found our sound yet, we were still working on that, but people were all incredibly taken with Hannah’s voice. There was a lot of excitement around that, and that was probably the thing that really started it.” After fielding various offers, the band eventually found a deal they liked with Ministry Of Sound, and once signed they holed up in garages and studios to tinker with their haunting, sparse sound until they had it just right. “We spent a year and a half making our album, but it was only in the last six months we found a sound we were really happy with,” Rothman says. Throughout the development process, the three worked to find an identity that was uniquely theirs. “I think a lot of bands build up a lot of early excitement,” Rothman continues, “then they rush into making an album and they end up with a sound that’s not necessarily theirs, an outside producer has created it for them. We didn’t want that to happen to us.”
The three members of London Grammar brought different influences to play, but Rothman says that they were all particularly inspired by the likes of Radiohead, The National and the xx. “We were listening to a lot of those three at the time we were making the record. I don’t know that we wanted to emulate them necessarily, but we liked that all those bands had a very consistent sound across each record, and that they had a sound of their own. We’re also big fans of movie soundtracks. Hannah loves Thomas Newman, and we’re all big fans of the Drive soundtrack by Cliff Martinez. We tried to get a lot of those lush sounds on the album.” I’m intrigued to ask Rothman more about the band’s connection with Ministry Of Sound, a label more generally associated with Ibiza-ready club bangers than with London Grammar’s particular brand of atmospheric indie. “Yeah, it was fucking weird, actually!” he says of the label’s initial approach. “They’d heard of us from a few people, and seen a few YouTube videos of us playing live, and they approached us about doing a remix,” he says. “We got to know them a bit more, and I was really struck by their approach, and their passion about music, and so we ended up signing with them.”
was the best thing anyone could have offered us at the time.”
“I think with us, Ministry were quite interested in doing something that they had never done before,” Rothman continues. “They wanted to get into a new sound that wasn’t just dance music, something that was more alternative or indie, if that’s what you want to call it, and they were willing to give us time to develop our sound. They let us do it on our own imprint as well, which we thought was very important, because it gave us a lot more freedom. They were happy for us to do that – to give us a bit of money and let us do our thing. The deal with Ministry Of Sound
London Grammar’s debut album, If You Wait, comes out this week, and I ask Rothman what exactly we can expect from the release. “It’s more of the same, really,” he says a bit sheepishly. “There are a couple of surprises on it. There’s one song that’s a little more acoustic, that harks back to our original sound. There are some more dramatic songs on it as well. I think we wanted to make an album that felt unified sonically.” As for the more electronic sound of early singles like ‘Metal & Dust’, Rothman says the album does go into this territory a little bit. “There
are a few tracks that are more beatbased,” he says, “and one or two that definitely have the influence of that ’90s electronic sound, especially of bands like Massive Attack.” Earlier this year, London Grammar collaborated with fellow UK upstarts Disclosure on the track ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’, and I ask how this hook-up came about. “Back when we were starting out, their managers offered to sign us,” he says. “This is when Disclosure were just starting out themselves. We didn’t go with them, it just didn’t work out, but we remained friends and they got back in touch when Disclosure were making their
record and asked if we wanted to be involved. We went into the studio and it happened really quickly. Hannah started singing some top line vocals, and the whole thing came together in about two or three days, which is really quick for us. They have an incredible sound and style.” With: If You Wait out Friday September 6 through Ministry Of Sound/Dew Process Where: The Falls Music & Arts Festival at Byron Bay, Marion Bay and Lorne When: Saturday December 28 – Friday January 3
AN INNOVATIVE MIXED MEDIA LIVE ART INSTALLATION.
THU 19 SEP 8PM
GLEBE CAFE CHURCH SPACE
37 - 47 St John’s Rd, Glebe Singaporean photographer Chia Ming Chien Sydney based VFX artist Aymeric De Meautis Vocals Briana Cowlishaw Piano Gavin Ahearn Drums Nic Cecire
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club guide g send your listings to : firstname.lastname@example.org
club pick of the week
9pm. free. Superhero And Villians Party - feat: Matt Nukewood + William Bradshaw + Monstrum Australian Hotel And Brewery, Rouse Hill. 9pm. free. Take Over Thursday - feat: Resident DJs Trademark Hotel, Potts Point. 9pm. $10.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6 HIP HOP & R&B
Low The Argyle, The Rocks. 12am. free. Machine Gun Kelly Manning Bar, Sydney University. 8pm. $40.90.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7 Oxford Art Factory
Alison Wonderland + Willow Beats + L D R U + Sosueme DJs + Devola 8pm. $18.40. TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3 CLUB NIGHTS
Chu - feat: Various World Bar, Kings Cross. 7:30pm. $5. Coyote Tuesday - feat: Resident DJs Trademark Hotel, Potts Point. 9pm. free. I Love Goon - feat: Resident DJs Scruffy Murphy’s Hotel, Sydney. 7pm. free. Rumba Motel Salsa - feat: DJ Willie Sabor The Establishment, Sydney. 8pm. free.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4
Lewisham Hotel, Lewisham. 7pm. free. Kit Wednesdays - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. Salsa - feat: Resident DJs Ivy Bar/lounge, Sydney. 8pm. free. Sosueme Presents Sosueme DJs Le Tour De Froth + Pigeon + Yon Yonson & Resident DJs Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. The Supper Club - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. The Wall - feat: Various World Bar, Kings Cross. 8pm. free. Whip It Wednesdays - feat: DJs Camo + Snillum + Jaimie Lyn Whaat Club, Kings Cross. 9pm. free.
HIP HOP & R&B
The Wall - feat: Resident DJs World Bar, Kings Cross. 8pm. $5.
Falcona DJs Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Garbage 90s Night - feat: Garbage DJs
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THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5 HIP HOP & R&B
Professor, She Rex, Twin Lakes & Service Bells The Standard, Surry Hills. 8pm. $10.
Balmain Blitz - feat: Various Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. 7pm. free. Chakra Thursdays - feat: Robust + Brizz Whaat Club, Kings Cross. 9:30pm. free. Dip Hop - feat: Levins And Guests Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. free. Hot Damn - feat: Hot Damn DJs The Exchange Hotel, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15. Kit & Kaboodle - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. Miami Nights - feat: Jay-J + Husky + Liam Sampras + Tom Kelly Goldfish, Kings Cross. 9pm. free. Mo Kolours (UK) + Oisima + Thomas William Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. free. Pool Club Thursdays - feat: Resident DJs Ivy Bar/lounge, Sydney. 5pm. free. Propaganda - feat: Gillex + DJ Moody World Bar, Kings Cross. 9pm. $10. Rewind - feat: Resident DJs Sapphire Lounge, Potts Point.
$5 @ 5 On Fridays - feat: Resident DJs Jacksons On George, Sydney. 5pm. free. Alto Tango - feat: Resident DJs Zeta Bar, Sydney. 6pm. free. DJ Jizz - feat: DJ Skeeta + DJ Psychopomp + DJ Buddha + DJ Buzz Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 9pm. $10. El’Circo - feat: Resident Circus Act Performers Slide Lounge, Darlinghurst. 7pm. $109. Factory Fridays - feat: Resident DJs Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. free. Fridays - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. Mashed Fridays - feat: DJ Ric C Oatley Hotel, Oatley. 8pm. free. Mum - feat: Mum DJs World Bar, Kings Cross. 8pm. $10. Pink Hope Block Party / Martini Club - Anne Maree Bowdler Record Launch Marquee At The Star, Pyrmont. 6pm. free. Soft&Slow Parkside W/ Softwar + Parkside DJs + Pink Lloyd (Softwar) + Dreamcatcher (Slow Blow) The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $10. Soho Fridays - feat: Kronic + Skinny + Zannon Rocco + Fingers + Pat Ward Soho Bar & Lounge, Potts Point. 9pm. free. Something Wicked - feat: \ + Audio Trash + Harper + Robustt + Aydos + Oh Dear Candy’s Apartment, Potts Point. 8pm. free. Steve Spacek’s Tonight! Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 11pm. $10. TGIF - feat: Resident DJs Trademark Hotel, Potts Point. 10pm. free. The Guestlist - feat: Various Home Nightclub, Darling
Naysayer & Gilsun
She Rex Harbour. 9pm. $15. The Mane Event - feat: Nick Thayer + The Mane Thing + Audiobotz + Them Kids + Yolo Swaggins + Empress Yoy + Oski Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 9pm. $25. The Potbelleez Marquee At The Star, Pyrmont. 10pm. $20. Unwind Fridays - feat: DJ Greg Summerfield Omega Lounge, Sydney. 5:30pm. free.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7 HIP HOP & R&B
Citizen Kay - feat: Safia + Lavers + DJ S. Kobar Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills. 6pm. free.
After Dark - feat: Resident DJs Whaat Club, Kings Cross. 8pm. $15. Alison Wonderland + Willow Beats + L D R U + Sosueme DJs + Devola Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $18.40. Argyle Saturdays - feat: Resident DJs The Argyle, The Rocks. 5pm. free. FBi Hands Up! - feat: DJ Clockwerk + Special Friends With Benefits FBi Social, Kings Cross. 11:30pm. free. Homemade Saturdays feat: Resident DJs Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour. 9pm. $25. Jacksons Saturdays - feat: Resident DJs Jacksons On George, Sydney. 9pm. free. Masif Saturdays Space, Sydney. 10pm. Ministry Of Sound Clubbers Guide Tour - feat: The Only + Danny T + Luke Chable + A-Tonez + Acaddamy
+ Fingers + DJ Just 1 + U-Khan + King Lee + Aleviate + Keyes Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 10pm. $30. Miss Nine + Kid Massive Marquee At The Star. Pyrmont. 10pm. $30. Motion Third Birthday - feat: Dave Fernandes + Dean Dixon + Burn-Hard + Poster Boy Hollywood Hotel, Sydney. 8pm. free. Naysayer & Gilsun - feat: Wordlife + Club Mod DJs Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 11pm. $10. Pacha Sydney W/ Peking Duk + Uberjak’D Ivy Bar/lounge, Sydney. 8pm. $38.20. Skybar Saturdays - feat: Resident DJ The Watershed Hotel, Sydney. 9:30pm. $20. Soda Saturdays - feat: Resident DJs Playing Disco And Funk Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. free. Spice w/ Murat Kilic - feat: Space Junk + Oncum Yilmaz The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $20. Sub Bass Snarl - feat: Mark N + Mainstream + Kate Doherty + Ritual The Imperial Hotel, Newtown. 8pm. $25. The Suite - feat: Resident DJs Sapphire Lounge, Potts Point. 8pm. free.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8 CLUB NIGHTS
Beresford Sundays - feat: Resident DJs Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills. 3pm. free. Easy Sundays - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. Random Soul - feat: Yogi & Husky The Argyle, The Rocks. 6pm. free. S.A.S.H Sundays - feat: Kali + Cassette + Ben Fester + Marc Javin + Sam Francisco + Matt Weir The Abercrombie, Broadway. 2pm. $10. Soup Kitchen - feat: The Soup Kitchen DJs World Bar, Kings Cross. 7pm. free. Spice After Hours - feat: Steven Sullivan + Murat Kilic + Robbie Lowe + Nic Scali And Guests The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 4am. $20 Sunday @ Gay Bar - feat: Resident DJ The Gay Bar, Darlinghurst. 3pm. free. Sunday Sessions - feat: DJ Tone Oatley Hotel, Oatley. 7pm. free.
club picks p
send your listings to : email@example.com
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4 Sosueme Presents Sosueme DJs Le Tour De Froth + Pigeon + Yon Yonson & Resident DJs Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. Free.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5 Professor, She Rex, Twin Lakes & Service Bells The Standard, Surry Hills. 8pm. $10. Mo Kolours (UK) + Oisima + Thomas William Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. Free.
Luke Chable + A-Tonez + Acaddamy + Fingers + DJ Just 1 + U-Khan + King Lee + Aleviate + Keyes Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 10pm. $30. Miss Nine + Kid Massive Marquee At The Star. Pyrmont. 10pm. $30. Naysayer & Gilsun - Feat: Wordlife + Club Mod DJs Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 11pm. $10. Pacha Sydney W/ Peking Duk + Uberjak’D Ivy Bar/Lounge, Sydney. 8pm. $38.20. Spice w/ Murat Kilic - Feat: Space Junk + Oncum Yilmaz The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $20. Sub Bass Snarl - Feat: Mark N + Mainstream + Kate Doherty + Ritual The Imperial Hotel, Newtown. 8pm. $25.
Deep Impressions Underground Dance And Electronica with Chris Honnery
The Asphodells photo bu Steve Guillick
SUNDAY FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6 SEPTEMBER 8 Machine Gun Kelly Manning Bar, Sydney University. 8pm. $40.90. Pink Hope Block Party / Martini Club Anne Maree Bowdler Record Launch Marquee At The Star, Pyrmont. 6pm. Free. The Potbelleez Marquee At The Star, Pyrmont. 10pm. $20. Soft&Slow Parkside W/ Softwar + Parkside DJs + Pink Lloyd (Softwar) + Dreamcatcher (Slow Blow) The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $10. The Mane Event - Feat: Nick Thayer + The Mane Thing + Audiobotz + Them Kids + Yolo Swaggins + Empress Yoy + Oski Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 9pm. $25.
S.A.S.H Sundays - Feat: Kali + Cassette + Ben Fester + Marc Javin + Sam Francisco + Matt Weir The Abercrombie, Broadway. 2pm. $10.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7 Ministry Of Sound Clubbers Guide Tour - Feat: The Only + Danny T +
Machine Gun Kelly
ack in February, Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J. Fairplay released an album together entitled Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust under the moniker The Asphodells. Lauded by critics upon its release, Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust has now spawned a remix album that is officially ‘out’ as of this week. As one would expect, the remixers that have turned out to rework tracks on The Asphodells Remixed are all top shelf, with many representing from The Axis, the group of locally-based producers who hang out in Weatherall’s Shoreditch studio bunker. Parisian Ivan Smagghe – a man who regularly DJs b2b with Weatherall – remixes the track ‘One Minute’s Silence’, creating a result that one reviewer described as “crunchy and feral and blissed-out”, while Scott Fraser and Dan Avery also offer remixes. Phil Kieran represents, as does Justin Robertson under his Deadstock 33s alias, while Daniele Baldelli adds some Italodisco sheen to the whole affair. If you happened to miss the original release, then The Asphodells Remixed should be the catalyst for you to go back and discover the source material – and upon first listen, the remix album is a worthy counterpoint to the original. Former Deep Impressions headliner Sasu Ripatti, who plies his trade as Vladislav Delay and Luomo along with an assortment of other aliases, is set to launch a new vinyl-only label this month called Ripatti. As the name suggests, the label will be all about Sasu himself, releasing the Finnish producer’s own tracks along with “collaborations with people who’ve come over to my studio,” which is located at Sasu’s house on a secluded island off the Finnish coast. Ripatti will be inaugurating the imprint with a new “club music project,” also named Ripatti, that apparently “focuses on faster tempos”, before a sophomore EP released by Ripatti and his Moritz Von Oswald Trio co-member Max Loderbauer under the moniker Heisenberg (insert the obligatory Breaking Bad reference of your choice here – “I’ll send you to Belize!”). The third release will be another solo Ripatti affair, this time under his Vladislav Delay moniker, before the fourth release introduces fellow Finnish electronic producer Teeth into the mix. In Sasu’s typically esoteric style, the tracklists for all releases will consist of only a ‘#’ and a number. “I’m seeing the label as something like a studio diary,” Sasu told the techno media. “It’s a chance for me to follow progression over certain time, but also to build a coherent musical catalogue … I feel like nowadays it’s so little about music and it’s about fashion and hype, weird things to sell music or book shows or something. But maybe I’m getting a little bit older, or maybe it’s the location of where I live, or maybe I always should have done
it this way. I just really had to think what I want to do and it just all came down to this. I didn’t do this in a rush – I thought about it for some years.” Luke Slater will drop a new album called Unknown Origin in November under the L.B. Dub Corp alias. One of the few UK producers to emerge during the early ’90s whose output remains relevant (read: cutting edge) today, Slater regularly throws down at some of the world’s foremost techno dungeons, such as Berghain and Fabric, and is responsible for one of the better installments in the fabled Fabric compilation canon. Slater’s back catalogue comprises the windswept ambience of his seminal 7th Plain pseudonym – encapsulated in the classic The 4 Cornered Room album from the mid-’90s – through to his releases as X-Tront and Planetary Assault Systems. Unknown Origin features collaborations with Benjamin Zephaniah and Function, who played in Australia only a few weeks ago, and will be released on Ostgut Ton, which also released the L.B. Dub Corp 12” Take It Down (In Dub) back in 2010.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7
Sub Club feat. Chris Schwarzwälder The Burdekin
SEPTEMBER 21 Eric Cloutier Venue TBA
Kenny Larkin The Goldfish
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28 Peter Van Hoesen The Abercrombie
Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through firstname.lastname@example.org thebrag.com
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brighton up bar
PICS :: HL
up all night out all week . . .
PICS :: AM
24:08:13 :: Brighton Up Bar :: Level 1/77 Oxford St Darlinghurst 9361 3379
jjj house party
PICS :: AM
23:08:13 :: Chinese Laundry :: 111 Sussex St Sydney 8295 9999
24:08:13 :: The Abercrombie Hotel :: 100 Broadway Ultimo 9211 3486 :: KATRINA CLARKE :: CHRISCIA S : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) :: DANIEL ROUSE OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER MAR LEY ASH :: NAN MAG :: AMATH KHRISNADIA :: HENRY LEUNG
44 :: BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13
PICS :: DR
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20:06:13 :: FBi Social :: Kings Cross Hotel 244-248 William St Potts Point 9331 9900
21:08:13 :: The Beach Road Hotel :: 71 Beach Rd Bondi Beach 91307247 thebrag.com
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PICS :: KC
hook n sling
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up all night out all week . . .
24:08:13 :: Marquee :: Star City Pyrmont 9657 7737
fbi hands up!
24:06:13 :: FBi Social :: Kings Cross Hotel 248 William St 9331 9900
PICS :: KC
PICS :: HL
23:09:13 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587
PICS :: HL
24:08:13 :: Q Bar :: 34-44 Oxford st Darlinghurst Sydney 9331 3100 46 :: BRAG :: 528 :: 02:09:13
PICS :: AM
23:08:13 :: The Goldfish :: 111 Darlinghurst Rd Potts Point 8354 6630
24:08:13 :: Chinese Laundry :: 111 Sussex St Sydney 8295 9999 :: KATRINA CLARKE :: CHRISCIA S : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) :: DANIEL ROUSE OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER MAR LEY ASH :: NAN MAG :: AMATH KHRISNADIA :: HENRY LEUNG thebrag.com