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The rock and graphic worlds collide for this in-depth conversation with two superstar writers.
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rock music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town...with Mina Kitsos and Nick Timms
five things WITH
ROSIE CATALANO What Do You Look For in a Band? 1. A good melody. Lyrics that get into your bones and take you to another world. A penchant for minor chords without being deflating. A little mystery… Keeping Busy Being an independent 2. musician, it isn’t hard to keep busy. I’m launching my sophomore EP Dreams Are Just Movies in early October and supporting its release with an east coast tour, so I’ve been wearing a lot of different hats over the last few months – manager, booking agent, events organiser, designer. Now I’m gearing up for the performer part where I get to be a musician again!
make the show worth my while. It was a special Folk Club where all the artists on the bill – Packwood, The Falls and myself – got to play with a string quartet, and the feeling of being up there hearing the arrangements played live as I sang was pretty phenomenal. The audience were really receptive and the night ended up going so well that I had a glowing review from someone who wasn’t even there but heard about it through the grapevine. The worst gig ever was when I made the rookie mistake of booking a show in Newcastle completely unaware that it was the same weekend as a footy final, the This Is Not Art festival and a public holiday, so I had the pleasure of playing to the bar staff and the band I was supporting. There were definitely a few take-home lessons from that night.
Best Gig Ever My best gig ever began 3. Current Playlist with having to give up a I’ve had Jen Cloher’s ‘Hold My 4. free Lady Gaga ticket so I Hand’ on repeat and it’s one of those was pretty determined to
songs that grows beautifully and
takes you on a bit of a journey with every listen. Martha Wainwright’s ‘Come Home To Mama’ has also been a bit of a favourite lately since I saw her perform live at the Opera House. She’s a real character on stage and her songs have a mystery about them that I’m drawn to. Unfortunately the current playlist in my head is an earworm of Lily Allen’s ‘Not Fair’ which I’ve had stuck in my head since watching Rage and just can’t get it out – it’s really starting to drive me a little bit crazy. Your Ultimate Rider If I could have anything at all I 5. wouldn’t be adverse to a masseuse and an endless supply of my nonna’s lasagne. Honesty though, the most demanding I’ve ever been is to get some hot water for my selfsupplied peppermint tea bags. With: Rose Wintergreen, Brendan Maclean Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Thursday October 10
THE WONDER STUFF Amaya Laucirica
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The ’90s were all about platforms, chokers, halter necks and the Discman – that is, unless you were from the English town of Stourbridge, in which case that decade would have been all about you immersing yourself in the musical wonders of The Wonder Stuff. Lazily nicknamed The Stuffies, they are set to return to Aussie shores for a headline tour in February next year, centred on performances of their hit classic album Never Loved Elvis. As the band’s third album, it solidified their sound and helped establish a new sense of groove while embracing the country Celtic tinges left. Get in on the action on Saturday March 1 at the Factory Theatre.
Psst! Try not to spread this around, but I hear Amaya Laucirica will be playing a special show in Sydney to launch ‘Found Some Secret’, the first single from her latest album, Sway. Well, OK, it’s not exactly a secret. And you can tell anyone you want. Laucirica will be at The Vanguard on Friday November 8.
Good things don’t usually come in halves. For instance, half a banana is questionable, half a cat is tragic, and a metaphorical half-empty glass is usually the despondent result of the aforementioned hypothetical situations. Half Moon Run, however, defy expectations, with their shimmering performances at Woodford and Peats Ridge last summer a testament to their abilities. The Canadian indie rockers’ debut single ‘Full Circle’ has been spinning on triple j, and now their minty fresh release ‘Call Me In The Afternoon’ has the world on edge – which is no hyperbole when tours alongside Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men are under your belt. Catch them Thursday January 9 at Newcastle’s The Small Ballroom when they return to play tracks from their acclaimed album Dark Eyes. Then it’s down to Sydney’s The Standard on Saturday January 11 and The Brass Monkey on Tuesday January 14.
Boo-hoo. Your Harvest crops all died. Honey, it’s time to mop up the tear puddles, because in an unimaginably festive turn of events, those dead crops are now potpourri. And that potpourri comes in the form of Franz Ferdinand and a string of tour dates. Yes. The Glaswegians have locked in flights for an east coast tour in the land of Oz where they’ll premiere songs from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, their latest record characterised by a revamped sound. Constructed via a series of adventures to Stockholm and Oslo, the album reaffirms the band’s iconic international stature. Franz Ferdinand hit the Metro Theatre for an all-ages gig on Friday November 15.
Morrissey’s great and all, but he would’ve been nothing if not for the shy lad who knocked on his door in outer Manchester, saying he’d heard rumours of a young poet in town who might want to front a new band. That band turned out to be The Smiths, and that lad turned out to be Johnny Marr, the most influential indie guitarist of the last 25 years bar none (does riffery get any better than ‘This Charming Man’?). Marr’s been all over some great records since The Smiths disbanded – playing with Modest Mouse, Oasis, Beck, The Cribs and many more – and having finally released a solo album, The Messenger, he’s headed Down Under for Falls Festival and a couple of sideshows including Oxford Art Factory on Tuesday January 7.
Like Powderfinger lead singer Bernard Fanning before him, guitarist Darren Middleton has written his own album and will be touring later this year on his lonesome. Middleton’s altpop record, Translations, is due out on Friday November 1, and he’ll bring it to The Vanguard on Friday November 22.
Unless you yourself have been accused of douchebaggery (keyword being ‘accused’. But seriously, please put down my cat), then cleansing the world of douchebags must surely be high up on your to-do list, perhaps right before ‘world peace’. Better known as Bluejuice, our newest local “Douchebusters” are a trio committed to “upholding their duty to global harmony and the promotion of a douche-free world.” They’ve just released the video to a brand spankin’ new single, ‘S.O.S’, which features footage of the band undertaking their latest mission and saving our streets. Stich-inducing Merrick Watts, Channel [V] presenter Danny Clayton, triple j’s Tom & Alex and The Bachelor host Osher Günsberg all feature in the clip. Bluejuice take over the Metro Theatre for an all-ages gig on Friday November 8 presented by the BRAG, with tickets available now via Ticketek.
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rock music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town...with Mina Kitsos and Nick Timms
five things WITH
THE DELTA RIGGS
LOUIE MICHAEL FROM KOOYEH Marley, Carlton Barrett, Benny Greb, Jojo Mayer, Jaco Pastorius, Sting, Joe Strummer… I could go on for a while. The first time I heard one of Bob Marley’s albums I was amazed, such beauty in what he was singing and the power of the music itself. Your Band Our band is called Kooyeh. 3. We are a nine-piece band from Melbourne, originating from the Blue Mountains. I find we have become a strong family throughout our journey so far, and everyone’s musical background brings strong characteristics, strengths and creative ideas to the table during rehearsals and live shows.
Growing Up Music for me personally has always been a pretty strong foundation in my life. My parents used to own a nightclub in Katoomba called Triselies. I have many memories of that place… Going and seeing all the live bands as an eight-to-15-year-old was just mind-blowing and very inspiring. My parents were both involved in the music scene – my
mum, Lizzi, used to play piano and sing for an Australian band in the ’80s called Harpo’s Voice. My dad, Pixie, is a sound engineer and an ex-roadie. He used to work with bands such as Men At Work, Mother Goose and many more. Inspirations I have a few favourite 2. musicians: Steve Gadd, Bob
This week marks another serious lineup of highly inspectable shows at FBi Social, with Siamese Ameida, Flyying Colours, Dead Radio, Raindrop and Mezko/Mezkat arresting audiences on Thursday October 3; Kilter, Paces, Spoonty and Retiree holding up Friday October 4 and Eliza Hull, Meare, Tanya Batt and Little Fox under the lens on Saturday October 5. Of course, it’ll all be capped off by the weekly Hands Up! free dance shindig, seeping into the early hours of Sunday morning. And you’ve got an extra day to recover this weekend, so no excuses!
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but by golly, an album cover is a whole different scenario. Particularly if it comprises a black-and-white photograph of a monkey with a cartoon-drawn golden crown. Deemed “a sunny slice of Aussie life”, Brisbanite Bart Thrupp’s new release Monkey King showcases the sonic strength of his solitary set-up; his one-man band approach seeing him intersect folk-pop with hip hop. This is a soundtrack to top off those shrimp-on-the-barbie, cork-hatsswaying-in-the-wind and rubbing-sunscreenon-my-Southern-Cross-tatt occasions. Thrupp will launch his single up and down the east
The Music You Make The strongest sound in 4. our music is built around reggae foundations, although we do add large elements of soul, funk and hip hop. Soul Cleansing is our first studio release now distributed through MGM’s Good Groove Records. The album itself was recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by myself, Papa Richie, Isaac Walker,
Jimmy Bowman and Pixie Michael in our DIY studio we built in our back shed. We all have a strong ethic when it comes to playing shows; do it once, do it right. We expect people will have a ball at our shows – expect breathtaking harmonies, a horn section that will melt your face and phat, phat riddims. But hey – come judge it yourself!
In dire need of some rock’n’roll? Well, Melbourne rockers The Delta Riggs are set to spread the good word along the east coast with their America Tour. The boys will be showcasing their new single ‘America’, with The Walking Who playing in support. Saturday October 5 is the big night at The Standard, Standard, and we’ve got three double passes to give away. Just bust out your world map and email email@example.com to tell us the odd one out of the following: Hawaii, California, New York, Washington, Quebec, Florida, Texas, South Dakota, Arizona, Mississippi.
Music, Right Here, Right Now 5. Personally I think the music scene in Australia is definitely lacking compared to other areas of the world, not in quality but in support. With the introduction of programs like Spotify, it definitely makes it harder to make something of this. I, of course, believe it’s all about the music though it does cost money to tour, record, et cetera. These are obstacles I’m sure all musicians face. What: Soul Cleansing out now through MGM/Good Groove Records Where: Blue Beat, Double Bay / Coogee Diggers, Coogee When: Saturday October 5 / Sunday October 6
The Delta Riggs
coast, playing The Old Manly Boatshed on Wednesday October 9, The Newsagency on Sunday October 13 and Kelly’s on King on Sunday October 14.
It’s not tennis season yet, but we have A’Court for you. Charlie A’Court, that is – Canadian blues and roots extraordinaire, praised for his blend of six-stringed electric and acoustic mixes, and his melodic finesse. A master of the singersongwriter conjucntion, A’Court is touring his latest album Sun Is Gonna Shine, with Aussie bluesmen Dave Hole and Pete Cornelius joining him on the road. They get together at The Vanguard on Thursday October 10.
BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, i.e. arguably the most badassly named band on the planet, are revving up for a tour on our shores later this year to follow up the release of their sixth studio album and replace the cancelled Harvest dates. Spectre At The Feast soaks in melancholic overtones, inspired by the death of Robert Levon Been’s father, Michael. BRMC are set to shred The Hi-Fi (all ages) on Saturday November 16.
Since their most recent album, Controller, was their third in a row to reach the Top Ten in the ARIA charts, you would think that British India might like to just chill for a little while. Take it easy, you know? But no. They have a bit more in store for the rest of 2013. The lads have released ‘Blinded’ as the final single from the album, and to accompany it they’ll be performing at the Metro Theatre on Friday November 1. And if you think after all this they might take a break… you’d be wrong. It’s straight back to the studio for British India, so they can prepare some new material for 2014.
ROCK’N’ROLL & ALTERNATIVE MARKET
The price of avocados rise again at your local supermarket? Well avocado schmavocados, because an even-more-super-market is heading our way again on Sunday October 13 at Sydney Uni’s Manning House. The Sydney Rock’n’Roll & Alternative Market will offer three levels of prime music culture. With stalls spanning vintage fashion, jewellery, records, CDs, DVDs, books, art and collectables, partnered with international food stalls and dandy live garage rock pumping, you’ll want to pen it into your diary. The Frowning Clouds, Scotty Baker and Pat Capocci will all be crooning out tunes on the day, while DJ Rod Almighty spins upstairs.
The Frowning Clouds
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Not to be confused with similarly bald monster Mike Wazowski, Ed Kowalczyk is on the verge of a tour Down Under to mark two decades since the release of Live’s groundbreaking album Throwing Copper. In the ensuing years, Kowalczyk decided he wanted to throw shade instead and sacked his band, but not the band name (cue a $2 million lawsuit). Kowalczyk will be playing tracks from his solo album Alive and new release The Flood And The Mercy alongside selections from the Live era at the Enmore Theatre on Tuesday February 11. His reasoning: “I had no idea that songs like ‘I Alone’ and ‘Lightning Crashes’ would endure on the radio and in the hearts and minds of my fans for so many years after I wrote them.” We didn’t either, Ed. We didn’t either. Visit the ironically named livenation.com for tickets.
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Industrial Strength Music Industry News with Christie Eliezer
THINGS WE HEAR
and even plans to record together. * At the Tamworth Business Chamber Quality Business Awards before 700 guests, Mosaic Productions took the gong for excellence in media and entertainment and The Longyard Hotel Outstanding won best pub/ club or licensed venue. * Metallica were forbidden by Chinese authorities to perform a couple of â€œlyrically dubiousâ€? songs including â€˜Master Of Puppetsâ€™ â€“ but during his guitar solos, Kirk Hammett cheekily played their riffs during his solos! * The total audience figures at Yassâ€™ Turning Wave Festival are still being tallied, but director Norm Merrigan says there were enough folks turning up for it to break even, and for it to return for a third time in 2014.
learned a good lesson lately: donâ€™t eat a whole tandoori chicken before doing a frantic two-hour set. The result, after the gig, was not pretty! * Imprisoned member of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, has gone on hunger strike to protest conditions in the jail. * Drake and Chris Brown have kissed and made up. After a bottle-throwing brawl at a New York club last year, things were menacing between the two. But Def Jam music exec Abou Thiam â€“ whoâ€™s also part of Brownâ€™s management and is Akonâ€™s brother â€“ worked at getting them together. Drake and his crew went down to see Brownâ€™s set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Afterwards, a source said, there was a lot of backstage backslapping and drinking,
* Forget about heavy metal guitar squawks. A study by the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney has found the instrument most likely to send their players deaf is the French horn. * Will Soundwaveâ€™s third headliner be Iron Maiden? * Bono, supporter of Make Poverty History, was chased down a street by German anarchists wielding placards and shouting â€œMake Bono history!â€? He said, â€œEven as I was running for my life, I thought [it] was a pretty good line.â€? * What are Hunters & Collectors listening to while rehearsing for their upcoming shows? Apparently the new all-star tribute album Crucible. * The Cat Empireâ€™s drummer Will Hull Brown
RICH LISTS: DIDDY RICHEST HIP HOPPER
Diddy was named highest paid hip hop artist by US business mag Forbes, after he grinded in US$50 million for the past 12 months with Bad Boy Records, vodka brand Ciroc, clothing line Sean John and deals for his forthcoming TV channel Revolt. Jay-Z was #2 with $43 million (he and BeyoncĂŠ were the highest earning celeb couple on Forbesâ€™ couples list for the second year in a row, raking in $95 million). Beats by Dre pushed Dr. Dre into third spot with $40 million (it becomes a music streaming service next year) while Nicki Minaj, at #4, is hip hopâ€™s highest paid woman, with $29 million from records, tours, endorsement deals with the likes of Pepsi and judging American Idol. Others were Birdman ($21m), Kanye West ($20m), Lil Wayne
($16m), Wiz Khalifa ($14m), Ludacris ($12m) and Pitbull ($11m).
RADIO STARTS TO SWITCH OFF LIVE STREAMING
After the High Court told radio last month it has to pay for all live streaming, the record companiesâ€™ collection agency the PPCA cackled it was ready to talk turkey about new rates. But rather than pay, radio has decided to cease all live streaming. The first was Sydney-based Grant Broadcasters which pulled the plug last Thursday. Rumours swept the industry that DMG and Southern Cross Austereo (or at least Triple M) would follow. The High Court case dismissed radioâ€™s argument that streaming was an extension of broadcasting, which it already pays labels for.
Build Your Music Empire Today E HIFI 1300 THO M.AU
Big Sean (USA) Fri 15 Nov
Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club (USA) Sat 16 Nov: All Ages
Tue 1 Oct: SOLD OUT All Ages
Fri 4 Oct
Fri 25 Oct
Sat 7 Dec: All Ages
Hits & Pits 2.0 feat Black Flag (USA )
Fri 18 Oct
Dj Quik & Kurupt (USA) Sat 19 Oct
Sat 26 Oct: All Ages
Fri 1 Nov
Sat 2 Nov: All Ages
The Brian Jonestown Massacre (USA) Thu 19 Dec
Melvins (USA) & Helmet (USA) Sun 15 Dec
Rotting Christ Fri 17 Jan
Live music venue King Street Brewhouse has a new owner. Melbourne-based property operators Red Rock Leisure Group have snapped up the 1315 square metre venue on King Street Wharf which, aside from the band room, includes a microbrewery, large dining and bar areas and a beer garden. Meanwhile, Crown Hotel in Surry Hills has been bought by Lantern Hotel Group from Savage Hotel Management for a reported $18 million.
BIANCA JANG LEAVING PLANET After ten years at MGM affiliate The Planet Company, Bianca Jang is leaving on Friday October 4 as she is moving to New York. Jang was among the original staffers when Planet was set up by Warren Fahey in the late 1990s, after which it was acquired by MGM. Graeme Regan (co-founder of Hot Records) came on board in 1996 and expanded its distribution business.
BARGWANNA EXITS 2DAY
2Day FM Content Director Derek Bargwanna has left the building, for personal reasons. He was with owner Southern Cross Austereo for 15 years, and moved to 2Day from Perth 92.9. Brit music fan Mike Shepherd is selling his prize memorabilia â€“ unwashed urinals from Manchesterâ€™s legendary Hacienda club. He bought them in 2001 and converted them into a display cabinet for his collection of posters and records from that time, also up for sale as he attempts to fund the purchase of a new house. He refused to wash the urinals: â€œThese are the urine stains of Manchester music history. That one on the left could by Morrisseyâ€™s, the one on the right could be [Factory Records founder] Anthony Wilsonâ€™s.â€?
INDENT GRANTS OPEN
The Indent Partnership Grants are open for youth music events in 2014. There are two categories. The Grassroots Grants are aimed at entry-level events like band comps, open mic and local band nights and are set at a maximum of $2,500. The Event Development Grants are available to those who finished a Grassroots Grant in 2013 and are looking at expanding their event scope by engaging the professional music industry. Event Development grants are set at a maximum of $5000. Guidelines and application forms at indent.net.au/grants.
IS AUSTRALIAâ€™S MOBILE CRAZE OVER?
Is Australiaâ€™s craze for mobile phones, tablets, notebooks and PCs waning? Sales dropped here and NZ for the second time in six months. Phones fell by 5%, notebooks by 6% and tablets by 20% but desktop PCs went up 8%. Research company IDC calls it â€œdevice fatigueâ€? as all brands try to get into the market and consumers get over wanting to be first to get the latest features. It suggests wearable tech and lesser spending by consumers also share the blame.
NEW SIGNING #1: NEW WORLD ARTISTS GET LOVE JUNKIES
FESTIVALS #2: MANLY JAZZ NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
Manly Council needs volunteers for Manly Jazz Festival (Saturday October 5 â€“ Monday October 7) in roles in operations (setting up signage, music, physical stuff); research (getting feedback from fans); and stage management (setting up gear, look after artist demands, MC duties). All volunteers get a meal voucher, a Manly Jazz Festival t-shirt and a certificate of appreciation. For application forms, go to manlyjazz.com.au.
NEW GIG EXPERIENCE
Could we see this at rock shows? The Australian Chamber Orchestra has unveiled its new virtual interactive experience. It involves screening a pre-recorded performance during which spectators use an app on a tablet console to control which musicians can be seen and heard. The ork hopes its virtual concerts will make performances more accessible and assist students, who can substitute themselves for a member of the orchestra and play along.
I MANAGE MY MUSIC WORKSHOP
The I Manage My Music workshop returns to Sydney as part of a three-month national run. Self-managed singer-songwriters Jen Cloher, Mia Dyson and Liz Stringer will discuss funding streams, time and financial management, how to build a team to support your vision and touring on a budget both here and overseas. It is held on Monday November 4 between 5-10pm at UTS Shopfront, presented by Music NSW & UTS. Details at imanagemymusic.com/workshops.
WANNA HELP KIDS LEARN ABOUT MUSIC?
Didja know that three in every four Australian children have little more than â€˜airâ€™ to play, because thatâ€™s how many miss out on music education at school? Change that by getting instruments in their hands. You can support The Song Roomâ€™s PlayAir campaign by either purchasing a PlayAir Air Instrument or, even better, holding your own PlayAir fundraiser between Monday September 30 and Friday November 10. These can take the form of gigs, air guitar championships, karaoke events, a â€˜Dress as a Rock Star Dayâ€™ for a gold coin donation (or come up with something more creative), or sell PlayAir Air Instruments in your school or workplace. Go to playair.com.au to tell them all about your fundraising ideas.
NEW SIGNING #2: HUB GETS THUMPED
Dating: The Wantedâ€™s Nathan Sykes and singer Ariana Grande have made it official theyâ€™re stepping out.
NEW SIGNING #3: OISIMA JOINS NICHE AGENCY
Hospitalised: Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres, who recently had an emergency appendectomy, was rushed back again after experiencing severe pain in his abdomen. He needed gall bladder surgery.
Sydneyâ€™s HUB The Label added UK altpop duo Thumpers to its roster, which includes Glass Towers, Dappled Cities and Zeahorse. Thumpers will release their debut album in early 2014.
Sat 8 Feb: All Ages
Niche Agencyâ€™s latest signing is Adelaide beatsmith Oisima AKA Anth Wendt. He emerged last February and got international attention for a mix of jazz-infused melodies and ambient hip hop beats, getting signed to Berlin-based Herbede Records and releasing two EPs.
Dark Tranquillity (SWE)
FESTIVALS #1: DIG APOLOGISES TO TEX, HOMEBAKE
Sat 29 Mar
concept, venue and that Beasts of Bourbon were playing â€“ went to air before Homebake announced it itself. Perkins took to Facebook to explain that he was on Dig to pre-tape a podcast which airs in late October, after Homebakeâ€™s embargo. He instructed that all he said on air was to be saved until then. He wrote, â€œThe producers from the ABC decided to release that information as a news grab without clearing it with myself or anyone from Homebake, they did this with full knowledge of the consequences of putting that information out early and full knowledge that the event was yet to make any kind of official announcement, and full knowledge that the information was gathered by them under the pretence of a specific air date.â€? Sharp-eyed journos and fans picked it up and spread the news.
FAN OF THE WEEK
After Perth grunge/punk trio The Love Junkies put in a blistering showcase at Bigsound in Brisbane, booker Owen Orford wasted no time getting them signed to his New World Artists. â€œThese guys have one of the most explosive live sets weâ€™ve seen from a young band in a while!â€? he exclaimed.
Tue 10 Dec
Sun 17 Nov
Thu 9 Jan
Crystal Fighters (UK)
Insane Clown Posse (USA)
NEW OWNERS FOR KING ST BREWHOUSE, CROWN
Dig Radio apologised to Tex Perkins and Homebake over the infamous leak, in which his comments â€“ about the festâ€™s new
In Court: Townsville mobile DJ Eddie McGrath, 46, was jailed for 18 months for supplying speed to a stripper. The father of seven claimed in Townsville District Court that he got her the stuff to impress her enough to get her into the cot. Alas, the girl had been busted during a raid and her phone seized, and cops were a-waiting when McGrath arrived at their meeting place.
ENTERTAINMENT QUARTER, BUILDING 220, 122 LANG RD, MOORE PARK, SYDNEY
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A WEEKEND OF GRAPHIC STORYTELLING, ANIMATION & MUSIC
4 – 7 OCT
Robot Chicken Live Geeking Out By Alasdair Duncan
s one of the creators of the stop motion animated Robot Chicken, Matt Senreich is in a rare and privileged position – he gets to spend his adult life playing with toys, and getting paid to do it. Each episode of Robot Chicken is a quick and dirty pop culture mashup – it’s the kind of show where Voltron might find himself in a dance battle, or Skeletor might have to deal with his foreclosure on his evil lair. It’s not that surprising to learn that Senreich’s love of action figures goes all the way back to childhood. “I had a lot of toys when I was a kid, although I don’t think I was anywhere near as dirty back then!” he says with a laugh. “I had every Star Wars figure I could find, and I’d be at Toys R Us every Tuesday morning when the new figures came out. I was a geek – I was very socially introverted. It wasn’t until well into my senior year of high school when I realised that interacting with people was as important as hanging out in my own mind.” Senreich interned for Marvel Comics
in his teens, and later on, after graduating college, found himself editing ToyFare, an action figure magazine. It was here where he met his friend and collaborator Seth Green, forming the bond that would lead to Robot Chicken. “I read that Seth was a huge action figure collector, and that he’d actually customised toys for the Buffy cast as a Christmas gift,” Senreich says. “I thought that would make a really interesting story for my magazine, so I contacted him, and immediately we started geeking out on our love of toys. He told me about three figures he could never find – Bob from The Black Hole, Uncle Jesse from Dukes Of Hazzard and Isaac from The Love Boat, and so I went away and used my connections to find two of them. I essentially bribed him for his friendship, but luckily, it turned into this ridiculous, beautiful series.” Robot Chicken, which Senreich and Green dreamed up after that initial meeting, has run for six seasons, with a seventh due to start early next year. Each episode lasts for ten or 12 minutes, but the stop motion
animation process is so arduous that creating a season takes “around 14 months of the year”. The gruelling task begins in the writers room. “Our writing process is probably the most miserable experience ever,” Senreich laughs. “We have six writers in a dark and dingy room, who are required to write as many ideas as possible from 9am through to about 4pm. At 4pm, we print out everybody’s ideas then have a meeting where we vote on them. There are five of us who vote, and it has to be a three-to-two decision to get in.” Then, of course, the figures need to be created and shaped. Robot Chicken has a team of ten people who build, by Senreich’s estimation, around 120 puppets a week. “It’s our own mini toy factory,” he says, “and it’s tricky, because the puppets have to move in the very precise ways our animators need. Our animators are doing five-to-eight seconds of animation per day, moving these figures little by little, and trying to give them the life and personality they need.” Needless to say, there’s little room for things to go wrong.
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“You have one take to get it right, and kudos to the crew for doing that. We have a very close-knit crew. We always say that our animators are our actors – they have to give the performance of a lifetime on every take, because they only have one chance.” Over six seasons and various specials, Robot Chicken has welcomed an incredible array of guest stars – almost everyone who’s anyone in the world of comedy has stopped by at some point. Picking a favourite would be difficult, but Senreich says that in general, it’s the more eccentric ones that get him really excited. “I was thrilled to have Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise come in at the same time,” he says. “That was a highlight for me. Likewise Pat Morita – I get more excited for people like that than the contemporary stars sometimes. When the younger guys come in, like Zac Efron, it’s great – he’s such a talented actor, and you sit there in awe of what he’s going to be able to do with his career – but it’s different. I’m intimidated by a lot of the older guys, because in a lot of cases, they’re my heroes.” Robot Chicken have done several Star Wars specials over the year, and a short time ago, Green and Senreich announced a brand new collaboration – with the blessing of George Lucas, they would create a show called Star Wars: Detours, a comedic and noncanonical look at the lives of Han Solo, Boba Fett and the rest. They got to work on the show, and assembled an incredible voice cast, including Zachary Levi, Seth MacFarlane, Felicia Day, Donald Faison and Billy Dee Williams. Just as things were looking great, however, a bombshell dropped – Lucasfilm was bought out by Disney. With the prospect of a brand new Star Wars trilogy on the horizon, the prospect of an irreverent comedy series like Detours suddenly didn’t seem so assured.
“When the company got sold and they started talking about new movies, it started to seem like our comedic version of Star Wars might be competing with the upcoming movies as a means of introducing the series to younger people,” Senreich says. “There were a lot of conversations about what to do, and we held off, which I think is the right thing. That’s not to say it will never see the light of day.” It seems like a bummer, but he assures me that Detours will be realised at some point. “There are 39 episodes completely done, with an incredible cast and director,” he says. “When the time is right, it will be out there. I’m not sure when that will be, but we did an amazing thing and everyone was excited to be a part of it.” Senreich and the rest of the Robot Chicken crew will be heading to Sydney soon, to bring the show to life at the GRAPHIC festival. The program for the event has yet to be finalised – the guys, it’s fair to say, like to do a lot of things on the fly – but Senreich promises a fun spectacle. “We plan to show and do lots of silly things,” he says. “We literally start production two days before we get on the plane, but if anything’s worth showing, I’m going to put it on a thumb drive and bring it down. We have a couple of things to show down there – for instance, we’re working on a new show with Bryan Cranston, which is going to be great, so we’ll be showing a little of that.” What: Robot Chicken Live Where: Sydney Opera House When: Friday October 4 More: sydneyoperahouse.com And: Robot Chicken airs on The Comedy Channel in Australia and the new Robot Chicken DC Comics Special is out now on DVD and Blu-ray through Madman Entertainment thebrag.com
Photos courtesy of Adult Swim
Matt Senreich and Seth Green
“I had a lot of toys when I was a kid, although I don’t think I was anywhere near as dirty back then!”
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A WEEKEND OF GRAPHIC STORYTELLING, ANIMATION & MUSIC Gerard Way
at comics, now Morrison influenced Way’s approach to rock’n’roll. It was ten years before their paths crossed again. Morrison was watching television when the video for My Chemical Romance’s hit single ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ came on, and it blew him away. “At the same time soldiers were dying, teenage boys were dying in Afghanistan and Iran, and I felt that ‘The Black Parade’ video had kind of combined those images of the suffering emo kid back in America, the middle-class kid cutting themselves, and the suffering boy in the Middle East. And it was also like, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s dead!’ – the black band uniforms. It just hit me in a lot of different levels and I thought, ‘I’ve got to speak to the guy who made this thing, this is amazing.’ Neil Gaiman actually put us in touch because we’re mutual friends, and I met Gerard a couple of months later I think, at one of his gigs in Glasgow. We just hit it off straight away, as I might have expected. He’s into so many of the things that I was. We’ve just been friends since then.”
Grant Morrison And Gerard Way
Hellraisers • By Jody Macgregor
rant Morrison is a big enough name in comics to have had a documentary dedicated to his life and work. Called Talking With Gods, it begins with an introduction that calls him “the rock star of comics”, a title he’s earned because having a reputation as a drug-taking, world-travelling, cross-dressing fetishist dabbler in the occult isn’t exactly normal in the world of comic books. He doesn’t think it’s really accurate, however. “I’m 53 now and the last thing I’d want to be is a rock star,” he says in his excitable Scottish accent. “My career would have been over 20 years ago!” Morrison’s career in comics stretches further than 20 years. In the 1980s his work in anthologies like 2000AD brought him to the attention of DC Comics, and although he’s done work for other publishers (DC’s competitor Marvel gave him the reins of New X-Men from 2001 to 2004, for example), most of his work has
been for DC. There, he started out on oddball B-list books like Animal Man and Doom Patrol, graduated to creating his own series like The Invisibles, and was eventually trusted with their flagship characters in books like Batman: Arkham Asylum and AllStar Superman. Writing mainstream comics but injecting them with a significant dose of the strange is Morrison’s trademark, and that’s what brought him to the attention of the young Gerard Way. Although he’d go on to find fame as the lead singer of My Chemical Romance (“a proper rock star,” Morrison says), Way’s teenage ambition was to make comics, and it was Morrison’s work that inspired him. “Writers like Grant made it very possible that comics could be so much more, and so much more different than the superhero stuff that was coming out,” says Way. “I remember reading Arkham Asylum and thinking that. Like, ‘Wow, this is a Batman story but it’s the craziest
The True Lives Of The Fabuous Killjoys
Batman story I’ve ever read, and it feels like something far more cinematic and interesting than him just beating up dudes.’ It introduced thinking, real hard thinking to comics. There were a few things that drew me to it, that fired me up. Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller was my gateway into grown-up comics and then Grant was my gateway into smart comics.” As part of his animation degree, Way landed an internship at DC Comics in the early 1990s, where he got to be around his heroes although he didn’t get to spend much time with them. “I was in the back room,” he says. “I handled photocopy duties a lot.” One day he passed Morrison – who was effecting a full rubber outfit at the time – in the hallway and had a life-changing realisation. Here was a guy who obviously didn’t care what anybody thought about how he looked or acted, and was perfectly comfortable in his skin. Having already inspired him to try his hand
4 – 7 OCT
A year after they became friends, Way’s comic The Umbrella Academy began being published. It tells the story of a superhero reunion, a group of characters who had adventures together as children – including battling against the Eiffel Tower, brought to life to attack Paris – and now have to work together again as dysfunctional adults. Morrison’s comics were a direct inspiration. “When they reprinted Doom Patrol as a trade, that’s when I decided to write Umbrella Academy,” Way says. “The influence is quite obvious but I think there’s so much more than that,” says Morrison, “and it’s not so much a pastiche as influence can often become, it’s its own thing. For me, particularly the second book, the one that’s set in Vietnam, it’s even head and shoulders above the first. It’s more of Gerard’s voice than even the first book.” While their lead singer was living out his dream of becoming a comic book writer, My Chemical Romance were working towards what would be their final album, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. A loose concept album, it’s about a post-apocalyptic version of California where the desert is inhabited by road warriors called Killjoys who fight against agents of a corporation called Better Living Industries. It’s a particularly comic-book idea, made obvious by the brightly coloured and costumed characters in the videos for its singles, where the band plays Killjoys in masks and biker
“Writers like Grant made it very possible that comics could be so much more … I remember reading Arkham Asylum – ‘This is a Batman story but it’s the craziest Batman story I’ve ever read’”. leathers. Morrison went from being a fan of their videos to appearing in them, playing the villain in ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ and ‘Sing’, and doing his own stunts. “Yeah, I got to be a baddie in the videos,” he says with glee. “I thoroughly enjoyed that. Those were great days in the desert, sweltering and almost catching fire in the car!” Now that My Chemical Romance have broken up, that story continues in Way’s latest comic, The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. The videos’ villain has carried over, meaning that Morrison has become a comic book character, but not for the first time. He wrote himself into Animal Man at the end of his run on that series, with its hero learning he was a fictional character and confronting the writer to take him to task for making his life horrible. The hero of The Invisibles, a globetrotting, conspiracy-busting magical spy named King Mob, had an appearance based on Morrison’s own, and in the crossover Seven Soldiers he appears as one of the Seven Unknown Men who secretly manipulate reality. He can’t help himself, really. “I do have this alternative life in the comics I hope will continue long after I’m gone in the flesh.”
What: Grant Morrison and Gerard Way in conversation at GRAPHIC Where: Sydney Opera House When: Saturday October 5 14 :: BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13
Grant Morrison photo by Allan Amato
Way and Morrison will both be in Australia soon to appear at GRAPHIC, where they’ll be in conversation with each other. It’s not the first time they’ve done this, appearing irregularly at conventions as a double act who both have plenty of mad stories of their overlapping careers and time together. Although Morrison is fascinated by talking about Australian superheroes, they haven’t really picked a topic for their appearance here. “He and I are fans of William S. Burroughs and the beat poets,” says Way, “and so we both like to be less structured and more spontaneous. We don’t rehearse. I’ve never been good at rehearsals.”
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Islands Deeper Water By Augustus Welby
ince forming in 2005, Nick Thorburn’s band Islands has journeyed from indie-pop precision to electrospeckled introspection, while placing jaunty folk rock next to mid-tempo melancholy. Recently Islands dropped their fifth LP, Ski Mask, and Thorburn (otherwise known as Nick Diamonds, frontman of now-defunct three-piece The Unicorns) voices his opinion about the relevance of genre labels. “I hate classification. I understand that it’s important for record store clerks to direct customers, but it doesn’t reflect how I write or record music.” The frequent stylistic turns heard throughout Islands’ history have been executed with such poise that the band’s elusive character hasn’t hindered the music’s pre-eminently infectious quality. Thorburn admits his music’s amorphous nature can make it unmanageable, but nevertheless he doesn’t hesitate to follow tangential impulses. “The schematics for Islands are by their nature completely undefined. At this point, I almost feel too boundless with where I can take the music. I’d love to start zeroing in; maybe a concept record about a tree and every song could be about a different leaf. No scruples for me though – I make the music that I want to hear.”
Islands’ 2011 record A Sleep & A Forgetting revealed a more personal and wistful facet of Thorburn’s songwriting identity, and he explains that the new record conspicuously links up with the previous release. “The initial decision was to pick up where we left off with A Sleep & A Forgetting. Ski Mask opens with the song ‘Wave Forms’ which is almost a direct lead-in thematically from its predecessor. ‘The water’s calm and I am moving on’ – there is a peaceful reflectiveness and a resolute decision to move forward.” Despite this resolution to project ahead, Thorburn says that rather than being a ceaseless display of optimism Ski Mask actually further explores the weighty themes of its predecessor. “[It’s] still reflective – the water’s just a little deeper… and darker.” The band has undergone much reorganisation over the last decade, but Thorburn’s partnership with Evan and Geordie Gordon (initiated on 2009’s Vapours) continues on Ski Mask. “We just started working with a new drummer, but the Gordon brothers have been with me for the past three records and are as solid a lineup as I could ever hope for,” says Thorburn. Thorburn has been something of a nomad since forming Islands, starting in Montreal, Canada before relocating to New York City.
Presently, he calls Los Angeles home. However, he isn’t inclined to directly associate the city he lives in with the music he makes. “I have always said that living in LA has had zero influence on my music. Whether or not that’s absolutely true remains to be seen. I lived in NYC for three years and I never noticed a particular influence from that city emerge. I’m more interested in specific incidences and events in my life than the geography of a place.” Last year Thorburn appeared on rapper El-P’s glorious ‘Stay Down’ single, and in 2011, together with Man Man’s Honus Honus, he administered the doom-wop project Mister Heavenly. Working with musicians from a
variety of genres and backgrounds clearly helps prevent his writing habits from turning stale. Additionally, Thorburn is outwardly an avid music listener, which brings about the discovery of many new loves and unique inspirations. “I just picked up three records today that I’m excited about: a ’70s Romanian electro-prog producer named Rodion G.A.; a Nigerian compilation called Nigeria ’70, which collects Afro-funk, highlife, and Afrobeat; and a live Ike and Tina [Turner] record. I am constantly trying to outlive the indie rock ghetto.” Where: Ski Mask out now through Stop Start Biffy Clyro photo by Anthony Mandler
Diesel Sharing The Love By Keiron Costello
n a musical career spanning back to the mid’80s, Diesel – AKA Mark Lizotte – has been touring as a solo act for over 20 years. So it goes without saying that he has a fair idea of how to get things done on his own. Yet despite a long history of doing it all by himself, 2013 has found the celebrated singer-songwriter in a very collaborative mood, both in the studio and live onstage. His latest album, Let It Fly, includes contributions from his daughter Lila Gold and Canadian folk artist Tim Chaisson, and the upcoming Sydney Blues and Roots Festival will see him reunite with blues musician Chris Wilson to perform as Wilson/Diesel. Despite the inbuilt isolation that is part and parcel of being a solo artist, Diesel is not one to turn down the help of other musicians. “Collaborating comes naturally to me, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing right from the start,” he says. “Even back in the Johnny Diesel and The Injectors days I’d jam and work on songs with bandmates. I like collaborating but I can be a bit of an island sometimes when I’m writing. I’ve never written with three or four people – you see some songs credited with, like, seven writers. That’s not me.” The two collaborations on Let It Fly are two of the highlights of the album, yet they both came about almost by accident. The excellent ‘Last Shower’ features Chaisson lending his vocals and fiddling skills to the record, but it was only a chance introduction from a mutual friend that brought the two artists together. “I was playing with another great Canadian musician, Matt Andersen; we were doing a live record together and he suggested we get Tim Chaisson in to play on it, and I said, ‘Who?’” laughs Diesel. “It could’ve gone either way, but I trusted Matt’s judgement and Tim turned out to be great. Then we were at a songwriting conference in eastern
Canada, and we were paired off together to write a song. We wrote ‘Last Shower’, and then performed it at the conference and people were really digging it, so we went from there.” The duet with 18-year-old daughter Lila Gold on ‘If You Let Me Give’ came about more tentatively, after Diesel senior had problems with the song in the studio. “It was one of the last songs written and I needed to get somebody to sing on it otherwise it probably wasn’t going to make it onto the album,” he says. Having already done backing vocals on the album, Lila was a natural choice. But not wanting to look like a “daggy dad”, Diesel approached his daughter with hesitation. “I asked her to come in and sing a verse. I never used the word ‘duet’ because, you know, I’m still Dad,” he laughs. “But she was great; I’m really chuffed with how it came out.” Another partnership is the one Diesel is about to reignite with Wilson. As Wilson/Diesel, they’ll be playing songs from the 1996 album they released together, Short Cool Ones. It’s been 17 years since the album’s release, but Diesel is looking forward to the challenge of playing the collection of blues covers in one of his favourite settings. “I love that we have a blues and roots festival in Sydney, and to play in such a cool old place in Windsor ... I’m really looking forward to getting out there.” What: Let It Fly out now through Liberation Music With: Tim Chaisson Where: The Basement When: Friday October 11 / Saturday October 12 And: Playing Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, Windsor, Thursday October 24 – Sunday October 27
Biffy Clyro Believe By Augustus Welby
hen observing the long list of bands spanning various heavy genres on the 2014 Soundwave lineup, Scotland’s Biffy Clyro stand out as one who evade easy classification. The trio’s affable bass player James Johnston says that since emerging in 2002 the band has steadfastly upheld its individuality, which has seen the three-piece experiment widely with time signatures and textures over the course of six albums. “We’ve just tried to stay doing our thing and not be too worried about what other people think we should be doing,” he says. “We know we’re a rock band with guitars, but we don’t really think about it too much thereafter. I think you should be allowed to do what you want and that’s certainly what we’ve always done.” The band’s prevailing autonomy has generated significant dividends in 2013. Released in January, the double album Opposites garnered an especially fervent response (reaching number one in the UK and cracking the ARIA top 30), which subsequently propelled the band into packed arenas and onto festival main stages. One particularly notable gig was their recent headline slot at the UK’s legendary Reading Festival. “[We’ve] reached a spot that we could only have dreamed of and in some ways wouldn’t even have dared dream of when we were younger. You don’t think it’s going to happen to you. It showed us that we can do these gigs, we pulled it off and it feels really great.”
Biffy Clyro’s lineup is completed by Johnston’s twin brother Ben on drums and vocalist/ songwriter Simon Neil, who is a childhood friend. Johnston indicates the close bond between the trio has stopped them from 16 :: BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13
While the group’s closeness serves to keep the individuals honest, Johnston explains that their intimate companionship also helps strengthen the band’s self-regard. “In some sense you’re always examining yourself through your music, and people examine you. I think it is important to have a certain amount of self-confidence, and believe in what you’re doing, because that will be questioned along the way. It’s a lot easier if you’re with a group of people that you believe in and that believe in you, because then you can take on the world and you feel strong with that kind of community around you.” Biffy Clyro have expanded their global presence with each album they’ve released and this year’s enormous success certainly reaffirms the virtues of their vocation. Johnston believes there are plenty of bountiful experiences still to come. “As your band becomes more popular then maybe some bands end up becoming less satisfied or doing things they’re less happy with, but we feel re-energised and certainly our relationships are better than they’ve ever been. We feel really excited about the future and we’ve just done some of the most exciting gigs we’ve ever done, so it definitely feels like we’re on another bit of an upward turn.” What: Soundwave Festival 2014 With: Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Placebo, Alice In Chains, Korn, DevilDriver, Newsted, AFI and more Where: Olympic Park When: Sunday February 23 And: Opposites out now through Warner
Diesel photo by Todd Barry
Johnston admits additional mental preparation was necessary to prevent the band being completely bewildered by tens of thousands of screaming audience members at Reading. “We kept trying to tell ourselves, ‘It’s just another show, you know what you’re doing.’ But the other half of your brain’s just saying, ‘Fucking hell, this is the craziest thing you’ve ever done – don’t mess up!’”
adopting megalomaniacal attitudes that the increasing adulation showered on them could encourage. “These are the people that know you best in your life, and I think if you start acting out of character or getting too easily influenced by some of the hangers-on then you could get lost. We do help to keep each other’s feet on the ground, you definitely need your brothers by your side to look after you.”
Chvrches From Glasgow To The World By Alasdair Duncan
he past year has been a massive one for Chvrches – the Scottish synth-pop group has gone from toiling away in cold, rainy Glasgow to the international festival circuit on the strength of songs like the crystalline and beautiful ‘Recover’. It’s been a rapid rise to success, but keyboard player Martin Doherty is determinedly keeping a cool head about it. “In the old days, a band like ours would’ve slowly gotten big in our hometown, then moved on to the UK, and then taken other countries step by step. These days, the internet creates a situation where bands can come to people’s attention all over the world, all at once. That makes for a hectic tour schedule,” he says with a laugh, “but you’ll never hear us complain about it. It’s a real privilege.”
All three members of Chvrches are products of Glasgow, and I ask Doherty if the chilly city has any direct influence in shaping their particular brand of synth-pop. “Well, it certainly shapes us as people, and informs us as to where we go musically and creatively,” he says. “Glasgow has a very rich history of successful bands and musicians – you’ve got bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Belle and Sebastian, and Mogwai, right up through to today where you have really successful electronic producers like Hudson Mohawk. We love all of those people, and I think more than anything, watching people on career paths like that has been a source of inspiration.”
thought that we could be playing to such big crowds on the other side of the world was incredible.” They also spent a decent amount of time catching up with old friends around the country. “A mate of mine has a boat and one day he took us out on Sydney Harbour, almost all the way out to the sea, and at that point, I had a wee moment – I really felt like I was a long way from Glasgow, you know? That stuff’s grand.” Chvrches will return to Australia next year for Laneway Festival – they’ve experienced the country in the cooler months, but I ask Doherty if he’s prepared for the scorching summer heat. “I absolutely am! I’ve spent every January of my life in the freezing temperature of Glasgow, so I can’t say how excited I am. I’d love to just chase the summer around all year. I come from quite a grey, depressing place, so I’d definitely say I prefer the sunshine.” What: St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2014 Where: Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle When: Sunday February 2 And: The Bones Of What You Believe out now through Liberator Music/Goodbye Records
“When I was younger, I did a lot of heavy drinking on the road. I think with Chvrches we’ve all realised that we’ve got a big chance, and it’s by no means a done deal – most of the hard work is still ahead of us”. One particularly Scottish trait inherent in Chvrches is a refusal to take themselves too seriously – listen closely to the majestic pop of their debut, The Bones Of What You Believe, and you’ll hear quite a few odd musical jokes mixed in. Take a song like ‘Recover’. “That one has a bit of an emotional punch to it,” Doherty explains, “so we decided to put a proper ’90s trance synthesiser in the chorus. It’s contextualised in a certain way that it fits, but it’s very silly. We’re not afraid to have some fun. We take the music seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously, and I think that’s important. We’ve all seen the po-faced electronic bands who wear all black, who ignore the audience and do their thing and walk off.”
Chvrches photo by Christina Kernohan
Another very Scottish aspect of Chvrches is their willingness to swear – the first few tracks on their debut are peppered with f-bombs, which sound all the more naughty when delivered in singer Lauren Mayberry’s sweet voice. “I don’t know if that’s entirely down to us being Scottish!” Doherty laughs. “I think it’s just Lauren, because she’s not afraid to go for that. It makes for interesting situations when it comes to performing on live radio. You find out how many different, creative ways people have of masking swear words. I guess you guys don’t have that problem in Australia – or at least on triple j. In other places, people are very strict.” All three members of Chvrches had played in other bands, to varying degrees of success, before getting together, and Doherty says these experiences taught them a lot – specifically, the importance of not repeating their same mistakes. Doherty himself was a live member of indie rockers The Twilight Sad, and playing with them gave him a dose of perspective. “When I was younger, I did a lot of heavy drinking on the road. I think with Chvrches we’ve all realised that we’ve got a big chance, and it’s by no means a done deal – most of the hard work is still ahead of us if we want to truly make a success of the band. We’re working as hard as possible, because it would be terrible to look back on this in five or ten years and think, ‘Well, if I’d have only been sober or had a better work ethic, things could have really changed for the better.’ I don’t want to end up saying that.” Chvrches received a very warm reception when they arrived in Australia for a brief tour earlier in the year, charming everyone in their path. “I had the absolute best time down there,” Doherty says. “Those shows were amazing – just the thebrag.com
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Devin Townsend Project
Jae Laffer The Man In The Iron Mask By David James Young The Panics have been on an extended break following the release of their 2011 album, Rain On The Humming Wire. In that time, Laffer has been hard at work on When The Iron Glows Red – an earnest slice of folk rock full of warm harmonies, strident acoustic guitar and a newfound sense of purpose. Laffer felt that Iron Glows Red was an album that he had to make. “I just wanted to test the waters. I’ve gotten to the stage where the band and I want to change up what we do and start afresh. We’re still very close, but I also wanted to keep up creativity on all fronts.”
Puppetmaster No More By Krissi Weiss
trapping Young Lad, the Devin Townsend Project, Synchestra and many more – most all things Devin Townsend reaches for turn into some sort of freaky gold. He has a musical Midas touch and while it hasn’t been an easy journey for himself, his collaborators or his audience, rehab, reinvention and emotional instability has never got in the way of Townsend delivering the goods. He’s been working on the almost mythical album Casualties Of Cool – it’s been a long time in the making, with chatter around the album beginning in 2011 – but it is still yet to appear. When I speak with Townsend, and knowing he’s in a studio, I safely assume he’s continuing work on Casualties. Any ‘safe’ assumptions are futile. “We are in a studio in Vancouver and we’re filming a pilot episode for our proposed TV show; it’s gonna have puppets and guests and news,” Townsend says with an explosion of excitement. “It’s an unbelievably awkward and strange heavy metal/sci-fi/puppet show. Today was the first day we were filming it and it’s been so rewarding. Apart from music this is another creation that feels creatively limitless.” For a man so used to being in complete control – a master of his creations – entering into the world of TV is a stimulating challenge. “I’ve got a lot of people here who are far more skilled in this than what I am,” he says. “We’ve got people experienced in directing and artwork and puppeteering and my role in all of this is more of a creative direction. I don’t really wanna be hands-on; I don’t want to learn 3D animation, I just want it to look a certain way and have other people bring that together.” While Townsend has a control freak reputation, it appears unfounded. In a way, taking control
has been the result of needing rather than wanting to. “Typically in my career it’s been that I have a vision and then I try and rally the troops in to make it come together. I’m finding now I’m surrounded by people who have actually the same levels of motivation, so now I can come in with an idea and everyone gets going without having to crack a whip.” TV shows aside, it’s time to steer Townsend back into the medium he’s most known and loved for – and the obvious question of when Casualties Of Cool might finally be released. “Here’s the thing; Casualties is something that I’ve been working on for a number of years, and if I’m honest, it’s a record that I love almost more than anything I’ve done, in some ways. But it’s also a record that I feel could ostracise a lot of the fan base if I’m not careful with it. I can’t compare it to the last record, which was really loud and boisterous and joyful and layered … Music is a reaction – not only to my life but also a reaction to what came before – so if I’ve done an album that’s commercial and boisterous and loud then the chances are what will come after that will be dark and complex and quiet and subtle. That’s exactly what’s happened with Casualities. It’s self-funded, it’s not on a label and it’s hard because without those things, how do you get it heard? If you do get it heard, how do you ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the momentum you’ve established with the rest of your stuff? So I’m kind of juggling it now – but on a technical level it’s almost done, I have three more days of mixing then the artwork. We’re starting a video for it next week so I suspect it will be available around next April.”
“I felt it was a good time to do this album,” he continues. “After the last Panics album took a little longer than we wanted – it certainly had its particular stresses here and there – all I really wanted to do before starting on any new Panics stuff was just to show myself that I could create an atmosphere, write a whole bunch of songs really quickly and record them. For many years of compromising, it just felt great to be freely creative for creativity’s sake and take control of a record – produce it, play most of the stuff on it. It just felt good, and it worked.” Laffer points to two iconic fi gures – John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen – as being greatly infl uential on the sound of Iron Glows Red. “I think a lot of what I was listening to was refl ecting being 30 years old and having new kinds of pressures in life,” he says. “It’s that struggle of trying to keep our dreams alive and not compromising too much, not letting things stop you from being your true self. So I found myself really relating to the workers’ ballads of Springsteen, and Lennon crazily talking so abruptly about his relationship. I might not be up there with those guys, but it’s just that kind of feeling that resonated with me.”
Where: Metro Theatre (all ages) When: Friday October 11
013 not only marks the release of Jae Laffer’s debut solo album, it also marks a milestone of ten years since the release of A House On A Street In A Town I’m From, the debut album from Laffer’s day job, The Panics. Laffer exudes a sense of pride at what the band achieved – particularly at such an early age. “It reminds me of that time in your life when you’re waking up out of being a dreamer in high school,” he says. “I listen to that album and I hear myself crazily imitating all of my heroes. It’s so exciting, though – and when it starts catching on, it’s the most invigorating feeling. There’s a great energy, and that’s the great thing about the kind of music you make when you’re in your teens – it’s naïve, but it’s not afraid of anything.”
The album will be launched with a national tour, starting in mid-October in Melbourne and winding up with a Sydney date in early November. Laffer will be joined by a fourpiece backing band, and promises a mix of new solo material and some Panics favourites. Don’t worry about backlash should you request ‘Don’t Fight It’, either – against all odds, Laffer is at peace with The Panics’ biggest single. “It’s just a cool song,” he says calmly. “As far as having a track that sums you up to people, then I feel ‘Don’t Fight It’ puts our reputation in good hands. It’s got a certain something to it… I’ll always be proud of it.” What: When The Iron Glows Red out now through Dew Process/Universal Music Australia With: Georgia Fair, Karl Smith Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Friday November 8
All Hands On Deck By Kristie Nicolas
n industrial warehouse is the last place you’d expect to be the birthplace of a roots-rock album steeped in soul, but that’s just the case with American collective Dr. Dog’s soon-to-be-released eighth LP, B-Room. According to keyboardist Zach Miller, putting together the studio itself was a hands-on job. “We started completely fresh on this one, by building the studio we were to record in.” “Everything was covered in black dust – silver dust? – and we had to tear down walls, build a control room and tracking room, haul out all the debris; it was a pretty big job but it was a real bonding experience, and it really got us into the rhythm of working together on a physical level which then morphed into the recording process.” A new recording studio and a new take on their sound sees B-Room bear a distinctively soulful element, most notable in lead single ‘The Truth’. It’s a new direction for a band better known for its psychedelic rock tendencies. “There are lots of elements of soul music on this record,” Miller explains. “I’m starting to see that thread run through the whole album.” The bluesy overtones of the album are sprinkled throughout as well, from the
aforementioned lead single to ‘Minding The Usher’ and the haunting harmonies of ‘Too Weak To Ramble’. In fact, they come as no surprise when Miller starts talking about the band’s biggest influences. From industry heavyweights like Jeff Lynne, Isaac Hayes and Phil Spector to relative newcomers such as Californian rock musician Ty Segall, it’s clear Dr. Dog pull from those who do their craft well, regardless of genre boundaries. Another overarching theme of B-Room is the creation of a sound that is transcendent, raw and real – and the group again altered their habits to record using a new approach. “We’ve become tighter as a band, for sure,” Miller says. “So much so that we actually recorded a fair amount of this album live.” At last, then, Dr. Dog have figured out what works best for them creatively. They’ve survived through quite a transformative time for the music industry, and according to Miller those years have taught his band how to gauge their success in their own way, despite the labels’ downhill slide. “Everyone’s selling fewer and fewer records each year. So we’d sell, say 50,000 records in 2008 and 2010, and it would still be progress because record sales had gone down so much in that time.”
Record sales aside, touring and live performances worldwide have helped the band endure and master their sound, despite increasing competition from the new generation. Of Australia, Miller offers, “We love it” – although it’s not yet clear whether they’ll be touring Down Under again off the back of the new record. It is, however, obvious the band now feels comfortable in
the creative cycle. “By the time we’re done recording, we’re ready to hit the road and play live for people, and when we get burnt out on the road it feels really good to get back in the studio.” What: B-Room out Friday October 4 through Anti- Records xxx
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Busby Marou Feeling The Buzz By Krissi Weiss
wo lads from Rockhampton – Thomas Busby and Jeremy Marou – seemed to wander out of the rainforest a few years back and straight onto the playlists of both indie and mainstream Australian radio. The then-duo, Busby Marou, brought their country-tinged, sea-folk sound with them as they casually and effortlessly made their mark on the Australian and international music industry with their self-titled debut. They won awards, hearts, and coveted spots on Australian television, and yet remained seemingly devoid of ego and full of life. They have since expanded permanently into full band mode and are readying themselves for the circus that will accompany album number two, Farewell Fitzroy. Tom Busby decided the best thing he could do before getting sucked up by the vortex of a new album cycle was head off to Vietnam and get engaged. “I knew it was going to be a really big couple of years and that’s the way I want it to be,” Busby says. “But I had to get some holiday time and a bit of relaxed travel out of my system before that all began. My girlfriend was also well aware that she was probably
Talking to Busby is like chatting with an old mate who you haven’t seen in a while and is demanding you have a beer with them. The funny thing is, by the end of the chat you really feel like having that beer. He seems to have the sort of relaxed energy that, if able to be bottled, would put anti-depressants out of business. When Busby Marou’s debut album hit, though, even they were a little rattled. Suddenly they were thrust into a media swarm with virtually no experience. They handled it well – from the outside, at least – and Busby is confident they’re ready for the oncoming attention this time. “We had absolutely no idea the first time around, and that was what made it so exciting but so overwhelming. We had our first radio spot and then our first TV interview and it was all so new. Our first radio interview was terrible, but then we got better. The first TV interview was even worse and we were so dead set nervous, and then we got better. This time – well I kinda forgot for a second about what last time was like; it was two years ago. But this time, although I haven’t really had that much time to think about it, I know we’re better at doing all the little parts of the promo world. Playing the songs is what we do best, so that’s no trouble at all.” In fact, Busby Marou’s musicianship has always been the least of their worries. They have, however, had to endure the syndrome that occurs when a band who were self-made fall into the guidance of the industry. Initially, Busby Marou did it themselves and did it well. They wrote the first album with little expectation and very little pressure, and the resultant collection of songs was sublime. This time they have a label – and when a label is involved in the creative process things can become somewhat tense. The band wants the freedom they had first time around and the label wants to ensure it helps the band realise their full potential. And then
there’s the matter of selling product. It gets murky but usually works out for the best. “We’re not like any other band, we don’t rehearse – I know it sounds crazy,” says Busby. “Jeremy’s talent comes out just so naturally. He doesn’t work on things like other musos; he hates being called a muso. So we did have the pressure of label people saying, ‘Where are the new songs?’ and we were just like, ‘We’ll be right.’ They wanted us to show them all these songs before they’d let us get into the studio. Eventually we went in over a weekend and we smashed out a whole heap of songs and then everyone seemed happy. I still knew we were gonna have at least three or four songs on the album that hadn’t even been written yet, but we just had to get everyone off our back. “There was also this tiny comment that kept appearing for us not to be too ‘country’ – not that we’re country at all – but Jeremy’s guitar
playing has some flaring country riffs to it. It really kept annoying me and it was the only part that I hated, because this is Jeremy Marou. He’s a Torres Strait Islander from Rockhampton who doesn’t wear shoes and can grab a guitar with four strings and entertain the hell outta ya – he should be allowed to play whatever he wants. And you know what? He’s going to, whether you try to make him do something else or not. That’s our sound, that’s who we are, and if it comes out that there’s a country lick over a pop song I’ve written, then that’s us.” What: Farewell Fitzroy out Friday October 4 through Footstomp Music/Warner Music Australia With: Harry Hookey, Nat Dunn When: Friday November 8 / Saturday November 9 Where: The Small Ballroom, Newcastle / The Standard, Surry Hills Xxx
“Jeremy Marou is a Torres Strait Islander from Rockhampton who doesn’t wear shoes and can grab a guitar with four strings and entertain the hell outta ya – he should be allowed to play whatever he wants.”
going to hardly see me for a couple of years and I figured it was the perfect time to propose. So yeah, I asked her to marry me.”
‘Gloamer’ album launch Wed 9 oct, Spectrum 34 Oxford st, Darlinghurst Tickets: loonlake.oztix.com.au Debut album ‘Gloamer’ out Oct 11 thebrag.com
Also playing Big Day Out 2014 www.loonlake.com.au BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13 :: 19
free stuff email: firstname.lastname@example.org
arts news... what's goin' on around town... With Rachel Eddie, Mina Kitsos and Ben Steven
five minutes WITH
Fight The Landlord
ight The Landlord explores the incredibly complex economic climate of today’s China during a time of unprecedented change. Presenting at Carriageworks from October 2-5, the collaborative production from Ireland’s Pan Pan Theatre and Beijing’s Square Moon Culture will be performed entirely in Mandarin with English subtitles to bridge the gap between two of our city’s most prevelant cultures. We caught five with Fight The Landlord’s producer, Zhaohui Wang, to gain further insight.
Gemma Arterton in Byzantium
Tell us about the collaboration between Pan Pan Theatre and Square Moon Culture and how it came about. This is the second time we have collaborated with Pan Pan Theatre. Our first collaboration was in 2006 when Gavin Quinn came to China to direct The Playboy Of The Western World. The show did well in China and Ireland. After this experience, in 2010, Gavin suggested we produce a new show together with the same group of artists. Instead of presenting a classic work, he wanted to create a new show about contemporary China with three performers. Writer Sun Yue was the one who came up with the idea of using a game of ‘fight the landlord’ as the format. Three people play the game and their relationships with one another change with each, so the play mimics peoples’ roles in real life.
time working on the subtitles. Translating jokes is one of the hardest things. In many places, the jokes only make sense to native speakers, so we needed to replace them with English jokes. We were worried that foreign audiences wouldn’t enjoy last year’s shows in Darwin and Melbourne, but to our surprise the Western audience enjoyed the show as much as the native speakers.
Fight The Landlord explores various themes relating to modern day China from celebrity gossip to property prices. How do all these different topics come together? These are the most popular topics in China today. No one can avoid them. For instance, property prices have gone up dramatically in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Housing has become a major issue in China. It’s natural to include these topics in the play.
What will we take away from the show? We hope the audience will understand what China’s really like. I believe it’s not the same as what people read or see from newspapers or television. It’s true that China’s economy has grown dramatically, but problems have arisen because of that. Many of these issues are also universal.
The production uses a cast of Chinese actors who perform in Mandarin with English subtitles. How will this influence how we receive the work? We spent a lot
Would you describe Fight The Landlord as absurdist theatre? I would. The play doesn’t have a narrative story; the three performers play multiple characters in the play. There’s also no fixed time and space. The three characters play cards while dressed in panda suits and talk about contemporary issues. All these combinations make the play look absurd.
What: Fight The Landlord Where: Carriageworks When: October 2-5 More: carriageworks.com.au
BYZANTIUM! DVDS! WIN!
It’s time to sink your teeth in, my friends. Byzantium, directed by Neil Jordan (Interview With The Vampire), tells the tale of a mother-daughter vampire duo who escape a violent crime by setting up shop, quite literally, at a seedy guesthouse of the same name. Eleanor’s (Saoirse Ronan) mother, Clara (Gemma Arterton), turns the joint into a pop-up brothel to bring in some cash for the penniless pair, but soon deathly consequences prevail. Eleanor and Clara must drink human blood to survive and so begins the torture of a small town at the hands of these two blood-suckers. We’ve got five copies of Byzantium on Blu-ray to give away. For your chance to win, email freestuff@ thebrag.com and tell us what your vampire name would be and why.
It’s predicted that one in three households will have just one occupant by 2020. That’s a pretty scary stat. And while most of us curse the skyrocketing rental costs New Theatre’s production Singled Out embraces the issue and responds to the trend. Running from Wednesday October 2-12 at the Seymour Centre’s Reginald Theatre, the show comes from director Augusta Supple and delves into the private lives of our neighbours with a stellar troupe to boot. Singled Out is brought to us by playwrights Vanessa Bates, Wayne Blair, Luke Carson, Sarah Carradine, Grace De Morgan, Emma Magenta, Alli Sebastian-Wolf and Tim Spencer with actors Paul Armstrong, Roland Baker, Alex Bryant-Smith, Richard Cox, Josipa Draisma, Kate Fitzpatrick, Leof Kingsford-Smith, Rosie Lourde, Amber McMahon, Eloise Snape, Michael Howlett, Bali Padda and Amanda Stephens Lee. We’ll be signing a lease on a rabbit hutch if you need us. Visit seymourcentre.com for more.
KINO KABARET ’13
MY ASS IS HAUNTED TOO
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TRIUNE Brave New World will soon be known for more than just the Huxley classic, because Sydney’s innovative theatre company by (almost) the same name, Brave New World Theatre Company, is about to present its second production. Tap Gallery will host Triune from Friday November 22 until Saturday December 7 in the wake of Body Language, the theatre company’s debut. Directed by Ava Stangherlin (Burley Theatre’s The Importance of Being Earnest), Triune is a collaborative work that asks the universally lamented question, ‘What if?’ Including performances from James Culbert,
Simon Gleeson, Charlie Hanson and Luke Holmes, Triune’s words are bound to be brave and certainly new. Head to tapgallery.org.au for further details.
NATIONAL YOUNG WRITERS’ FESTIVAL
The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is turning Sweet Sixteen, but asks only for the gift of your presence to celebrate. And if you’re of a similar age, it’s in your interest to oblige because the festival has been the launch-pad for Aussie writing talent since the midriff days of ’98. With a free program, NYWF is the perfect platform to be inspired, entertained, and to jealously stalk the overachievers three years your junior. NYWF will host over 100 artists across 75 events in Newcastle from October 3-6. Catch movers and shakers Steph Harmon (BRAG’s former Editor, yo!), Neha Kale, Alice Bell, Anna Krien, Benjamin Law, Romy Ash, Jill Stark, Adam Liaw, Nadia Saccardo, Tom Ballard, Tom Tilley among others as they hook you up with a fix of all things new and traditional writing. Get the full low-down at youngwritersfestival.org.
ANTENNA DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL Antenna Documentary Festival will press play for its third year running on Wednesday October 2. In collaboration with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 37 feature
documentaries, 10 shorts and seven DocTalk sessions will grace Chauvel Cinema, the Art Gallery of NSW and Berkelouw Books. Antenna will open with Aussie feature-length doco The Network and close with The Life And Crimes Of Doris Payne, while also screening Cunnamulla to mourn the passing of powerful documentary maker Dennis O’Rourke. Three cash prizes will be presented to local and international filmmakers. And for the first time, the festival will be extended to our dear Melburnian folk. But we started it. Visit antennafestival.org for further details.
WORD TRAVELS FESTIVAL Think your poetry packs a punch? The Australian Poetry Slam is just around the corner, hitting Sydney as part of the Word Travels Festival. Running from October 11-13 in The Rocks, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Theatre, the three-day fiesta will serve as a literary haven, with spoken word, poetry, stories, lyrics, monologues and slam aplenty. Special guest, Ursula Rucker, will take to the stage with our finest local wordsmiths before bookending the festival with a poetic keynote address at the Australian Poetry Slam Final at the Opera House Drama Theatre on Sunday October 13. Other festival highlights include An Evening With Ursula at Sydney Theatre Company on Friday October 11 and Poetry And Story Bordello at The Rocks on Saturday October 12. Visit wordtravels.info for more.
Chrys Columbine photo by Gregory Michael King
Since winning over the hearts and gazes of Sydney’s nightlife four years ago, burlesque act The Peel has brazenly conquered skeptics and fanatics alike. The troupe prides itself on offering “virgin and emerging performers a chance to strut their stuff”. And with a show called My Ass Is Haunted Too, we’re pretty sure The Peel will bring the romp with a blend of slap’n’dash grassroots performance. With a bill of established performers including UK starlet Chrys Columbine, Ivana B Serious, Cherry Lush, Mystique Rose, Harley Quinn, Chocolate e Claire and Frenchie Baby, it’s just about time to slip on your silk gloves and shimmy on over. The special Halloween issue of My Ass Is Haunted Too sashays into the Slide Lounge on Thursday October 31. Head to slide.com.au for further information.
Instagram might have enabled a video function, but that ain’t a wrap; you’re no Spike Jonze just yet. Thankfully, Kino Kabaret is happening again this November to give us a shot at the reel deal.Now in its eighth year, the event brings together budding directors, screenwriters, actors, lighting technicians, sound recordists and editors to make a film from script to screen in just 32 hours. Held over three weekends – November 16 and 17, November 23 and 24, and November 30 and December 1 – the workshops take place at Metro Screen at Paddington Town Hall and are open to everyone over the age of 18. All subsequent films premiere at a screening party hosted by the Police & Justice Museum in Circular Quay. Head to kinosydney.com for more information.
BODY TORQUE. TECHNIQUE A NEW MOVEMENT IN BALLET. 31.10.13-03.11.13 Six new ballets from the dance stars of today and the choreographic stars of tomorrow
SYDNEY THEATRE AT WALSH BAY 31 OCT − 03 NOV TICKETS $39 – $69 Transaction fee of $7.50 - $8.00 may apply
BOOK NOW sydneytheatre.org.au or 02 9250 1999 MORE INFO australianballet.com.au/bodytorque behindballet.com Brett Chynoweth Photography—Georges Antoni
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A WEEKEND OF GRAPHIC STORYTELLING, ANIMATION & MUSIC
Dave McKean: 9 Lives [MUSIC AND WORD] Comic Protégé By Adam Norris There’s enough new work coming out now that isn’t focused on superheroes or things like that, which are just really beautiful, interesting books often published by actual book publishers as opposed to the traditional comic publishers. I mean, the superhero stuff plays its part, of course. But what’s much more interesting is this new generation of people coming along now who don’t have any of the baggage of thinking that comics have to be done a certain way. They’re trying new things and telling new stories. AN: I often see your output being described as coming from the ‘signature world of Dave McKean’. I imagine that’s a bit of a doubleedged sword. On the one hand, you’ve developed a unique style that people respond to. On the other, you might find yourself caged in by your fans’ expectations.
ave McKean. Filmmaker. Jazz musician. Illustrator of the most successful graphic novel of all time Batman: Arkham Asylum, and cover artist for Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking The Sandman. A man who may no longer actually be appearing at his 9 Lives performance since I told him Australians like to throw snakes at people to make them feel welcome. But we reckon he’ll get over it in time, so here’s a little more about what McKean will be bringing to the GRAPHIC Festival lineup with his performance of original songs and stories accompanied by still images, film clips and animations. Adam Norris: Hi Dave. You’re widely considered to be the most prolific graphic artist of the past 50 years. That’s a pretty unique position from which to see the crossover of graphic novels into mainstream audiences. Do you feel that acceptance is now complete?
DM: I’ve never been too bothered about what the audience is expecting. I’ve been happy to try different things, to try different stories in different ways. For me, success is getting the most out of a story. I want to do the story justice, and I want to be entertained. I’m really no different to anybody else. If I think it’s entertaining or moving, funny or frightening, whatever, I’m sure there must be someone else out there who’ll think the same. AN: Is there a certain standard you worry about maintaining because the expectations of your fans are so high? What happens if you reach the Opera House and find that the audience starts booing, throwing chairs, lighting fires? DM: Oh, thanks. That’s great. You know, I’d been doing quite well. I thought it was going to be this nice trip to Sydney … everyone would be really friendly.
[MULTIMEDIA] Riffing On The Graphic Novel By Shirin Borthwick
ORDLESS! is a look at the history of the graphic novel through the playful lens of a most audacious creative duo: graphic novelist Art Spiegelman and avant-jazz composer Phillip Johnston. Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning MAUS (1991) singlehandedly elevated comics to the status of literary art form, while Johnston made an indelible mark on the downtown New York jazz scene starting in the early 1980s with his pioneering outfit the Microscopic Septet, as well as composing across a range of media forms, including writing new scores for silent films. What unites the two is an artistic sensibility that’s simultaneously respectful and irreverent towards their material. “[We share] a love of the history of our respective art forms and yet we don’t treat that history as a dry, historical thing, but as something to play around with,” says Johnston. In WORDLESS!, a hybrid multimedia presentation, Spiegelman gives a talk melding history, autobiography and new artwork, while Johnston performs live music that he composed especially for the show. The result, Johnston says, reveals both “our love for [the history of the graphic novel] and our sense of humour about the irony of the times we live in, and how that history fits into it.” First drawn together in 1999 by their mutual passion for underground comix and ’20s jazz, in WORDLESS! the two use their encyclopedic knowledge to reference and pay homage to all manner of works
AN: Oh, no, we’re really quite terrifying here. If we don’t like you, we throw snakes. If we do like you, we still throw snakes, only bigger ones.
Dave McKean: Well, it’s certainly what we had hoped for. Back in the ’80s, that was the great enthusiasm led by writers like Alan Moore to take the medium somewhere important. I’d always loved comics as a kid and the older I got I found I just wanted to see more challenging stories. There were certainly some people doing that, but that was what we were hoping for. And I thought it was all going to happen then, that by 1989 everybody would be reading comics. And somehow that never quite happened…
DM: Good God. I … I was expecting good times, that the whole trip would be a lot of fun. It’s really quite a gentle performance, and I really like the stories I’ll be sharing. People expecting some sort of strange version of Arkham Asylum will be disappointed. No superheroes, no big adventurers. It’s a series of short stories about life in general. But now you’ve got me thinking I probably shouldn’t get on the plane. I’ll just send a video message to everyone. ‘Sorry I couldn’t come, but I was scared away by your love affair with snakes.’
AN: And now in 2013 you’ve been invited to perform at the Sydney Opera House as part of the GRAPHIC Festival…
What: Dave McKean: 9 Lives Where: Sydney Opera House When: Saturday October 5, 1pm and 6pm More: sydneyoperahouse.com
DM: Yeah, it’s taken longer than we expected, but it does seem to have finally happened.
Art Spiegelman's WORDLESS! (including early 20th century silent picture stories by Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward and Milt Gross), thrilling the fanboys while introducing newcomers to a cultural treasure trove. “This is not a slavish imitation, but something that has fun with the things we love,” says Johnston. It’s something anyone can enjoy, “because of the humour and the beautiful graphic artwork. And it’s a wonderful opportunity to turn people onto this stuff.” The same goes for his silent film repertoire, “The majority of people that you meet have hardly seen any silent films, but there’s this incredible body of work out there.” The freshness of live performance is important to Johnston. “The idea of performing live in a collaborative art form is a very, very exciting thing,” he says. “There’s just such a kinetic energy. It’s like going to the circus – you never know when the trapeze artist is gonna fall off the trapeze. To stay in sync with the films and keep everything working is quite a balancing act, and to me, that lends a tremendous excitement to the event. It’s totally different to seeing something with prerecorded music.” Moreover, Spiegelman is, “funny and smart and very ingenuous. Audiences love him. We’re really excited to see how people respond.” How does Johnston find collaborating with another artist? “With any collaboration, whether for theatre, dance, or film, whenever somebody says, ‘No that’s not it,’ that always hurts,” he says. “But even if at the time you don’t agree, in the end it’s for the best for the entire work. Because a lot of the time you can’t really be objective – you’re too close to it.” And Johnston’s advice for aspiring creatives? Keep new projects ever on the horizon, and embrace mistakes as a necessary part of experimentation. “I do go back and revise things sometimes, but I don’t spend too much time looking back. I’m always pursued by some kind of ravenous deadline, so I just try to do the next one better. It’s part of the creative process to feel free to make mistakes – I don’t really look at them as mistakes. You have to commit totally to the choices that you make.” What: Art Spiegelman’s WORDLESS! with music by Phillip Johnston Where: Sydney Opera House When: Saturday October 5, 3pm More: sydneyoperahouse.com
Workshop: Len Wein [STORYTELLING] The Biggest Fan By Cameron James
en Wein is a cultural icon, behind the scenes. Well, behind the pages. As a comic book writer, he has leaped the tallest buildings in a single bound. He’s worked regularly for the giants DC and Marvel, having his stories adapted for film and TV, oh, and also being the co-creator of beloved characters such as Swamp Thing, Batman’s Lucius Fox, and a hairy guy named Wolverine.
words. It was magical to listen to,” says Wein.
This weekend, Wein will come face to face with his Australian fans at the GRAPHIC Festival – a notion he describes as surreal, “I never imagined I would have fans anywhere, let alone halfway around the world.” But if anyone understands fandom, it has to be Wein, who proudly praises his contemporaries and icons throughout our chat. And it’s a mixed bag, with Disney’s Phineas and Ferb sharing breath with screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky. “Although, arguably the greatest influence on my work was the late, great Rod Serling – the creator of the Twilight Zone. I found there was music in his
Yes, Wein is a fan first and foremost. In fact, he attributes his career to the fact that he writes the stories that he himself wants to read. “The fan in me is always right up front, saying ‘Hey no one’s ever done that story! I’d love to read that!’” he says.
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You could say that being a fan is what got Wein the gig to begin with. As a teen, and amateur fanzine artist, he was often hanging around the DC offices, buddying up with the suits. He was so well known in the hallways that once he finally got the nerve to submit stories, they hired him on the spot.
Nowadays, this friendly neighbourhood comic writer counts a legion of popular film and TV writers, authors, songwriters, and young artists among his followers. He finds the praise “very humbling”, stating that he is often treated as a sage. “I often get asked what part of the process I enjoy more, and to be honest, I enjoy editing the most.
Because that way I get to control the entire package. I feel like it’s my book, even if I haven’t written a word of it,” says Wein. But, this keeper of wisdom is an artist in the rare position of having his work adapted to the big screen – with perhaps the highest profile adaptation being Hugh Jackman’s now iconic portrayal of The Wolverine in the X-Men franchise. For a creative who takes joy in total control, surely watching his work be interpreted by actors and a film crew must have been difficult? Quite the opposite, as his story would suggest. “When I started writing on the Batman animated series, I had to adapt one of my own comic book stories. When I turned it in, the producer said, ‘You made changes to your own story?’ I said, ‘Yeah, the original was a comic book, but these changes work better as an animated story.’ So, I don’t mind what they’ve done to my characters, mostly. You work for the medium you’re working in.”
only relative, but vital to the world of comics over the past 40 years. His love for the art has left its imprint on Watchmen, the DC universe, and even animated series such as Nickelodeon’s Ben 10. As a constant creator, I couldn’t help but challenge him to pitch an Australian superhero to me, with the proviso that it couldn’t be called ‘The Kangaroo’.
It’s this openness to the creative process that has kept Wein not
“I think it’d be somebody whose origins come from the Outback,
someone who comes from what makes the native aspect of Australia unique and beautiful. Not ‘The Kangaroo’. That would be horrible.” What: Len Wein in a Q&A session and workshop Where: Sydney Opera House When: Sunday October 6, 10am More: sydneyoperahouse.com
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Comedy & Film Reviews Hits and misses on the bareboards and silver screen around town
David Callan and Marko Mustac
JASON BYRNE: SPECIAL EYE
The Act Of Killing
Friday September 20 On a blustery Friday evening, in a theatre resembling the inside of Noah’s Ark, Ireland’s overly-animated comedian, Jason Byrne performed to an audience of middle-aged North Shore suburbanites and faithful British and Irish ex-pats.
ODDFELLOWS Tuesday September 24 Oddball entertainment doesn’t begin to describe the quirky and amusing hour that was Oddfellows at the Old Fitzroy Theatre. As part of the 2013 Sydney Fringe Festival, Oddfellows is not your average play; it’s not even scripted, supposedly. Jenny Hope directs comedy and improvisation savants David Callan and Marko Mustac in a peculiar mix of improv and slapstick while Bryce Halliday knocks about on keys. And the chuckles came rolling. Callan and Mustac seem to want audiences to recognise the simplicity of what they’re trying to achieve, but they’ve obviously put a lot of work into this performance, which is just one of the many confusing aspects of the show. Nevertheless, the clever journey that unfolds onstage is hilariously chaotic; who knew that there existed a sordid underworld of corrupt coffee roasters and crazed coffee bean cartels? This is what Callan and Mustac discover on their quest to deliver the best homebrewed coffee beans at their coffee shop. Travelling from Bondi Beach to Calabria and back, the duo come across some eccentric types, which they somehow manage to embody while still playing their original characters. Yes, like I said. Chaos. While the storyline is amusing enough and contains just the right amount of pop culture references – Breaking Bad seems to be the order of the day – the sharp wit of Callan and Mustac that’s musically punctuated by Halliday, is what keeps the show going. With over 20 years of improv and comedy experience between the two, their fi nely honed stagecraft and comedic timing is what gives this performance a unique edge.
Byrne’s unstructured and high energy set turned the crowd into the main attraction, or in some cases, victims, deploying his quick wit and observant social commentary with mixed results. Renowned for involving audience members into his show, there was orchestrated crowd Space hopper line dancing and pranks played on crowd members who left halfway during the set. Bouncing around the stage, Byrne relied heavily on cheap gags and tirades of expletives yelled in a thick Irish accent. There was, however, an undeniable rapport with the appreciative crowd as he ridiculed the North Shore’s middle-class pretensions – ‘Oh, I’m so poshhhh. I’m from the North Shawwww’ – and compared the differences in behavior between a teenage and middle-aged couple. His anecdote of an encounter in an Australian pharmacy provided the obligatory tale of stuffing suppositories up where the sun doesn’t shine, while his story of childhood discipline failed to hit the mark. Admittedly, Byrne was suffering from a heady mix of jet lag , fever and hangover, which may have explained a number of stuff ups when it came to his prepared material. That’s not to say the packed-out crowd didn’t lap up every second of his show as Byrne’s mad hatter energy went down a treat. One moment that summed up the show was Byrne instigating the classic school ground trick of a whole row moving up a seat. This provided the memorable image of a bemused yet seemingly nonchalant Irishman standing in the middle of the crowd sipping his beer. Running close to an hour and a half, the show trailed off by the end but the crowd, in high spirits, had clearly enjoyed Byrne’s energetic brand of wisecracks and agitated impressions.
Larry Lai Haylie Pretorius
See www.thebrag.com for more arts reviews
Arts Exposed What's in our diary...
This Is Not Art October 3-6 TiNA Arena, 4/451 Hunter St, Newcastle
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unprecedented access to the perpetrators, footage of which resulted in this current work.
In cinemas October 3
They not only describe the killings they have committed but, at the bequest of the filmmaker, play themselves (or sometimes their victims) in an imagined film about the Communist purge. This process leads to different reactions from the killers – some are happy to retell and inflate their stories of cruelty while others admit their unease with what they have done.
THE ACT OF KILLING The Act Of Killing is more than your average documentary. It’s an exposé of the horrific and brutal regime that continues to exert control on the lives of the Indonesian people via the government and military. The film focuses on the systematic killings of more than half a million actual and alleged Communists, intellectuals and ethnic Chinese between 1965 and 1966. Although the Indonesian Government maintains the killings were a reaction to an attempted Communist coup, the facts surrounding the actual events seldom support this justification. US filmmaker and director, Joshua Oppenheimer, became aware of these events after spending three years in Indonesia making unrelated films. As the scars of these gruesome and relatively recent events started to show, his focus shifted to the events of 1965. He began by secretly interviewing victims and over time he managed to gain
There is no doubt that this is an important and unique piece of cinema and the access gained by Oppenheimer is truly extraordinary. However the end result is not as gripping as the subject matter warrants thanks mainly to the three-hour running time. Lingering shots that allow audience digestion of complex subjects are one thing, but when used constantly the message becomes diluted. A more ruthless approach to editing would have resulted in a more impactful and succinct documentation of these shocking events. Lee Hutchison
SOCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS WANTED inner west Can you take photos? Love the Inner West? Join The Brag!!! We are after one more dedicated, keen and reliable social photographer to join the team and help us capture the essence of the Sydney’s Inner West on our Snap pages. You MUST: ■ Be available most evenings ■ Own camera & gear ■ Have a car ■ Be over 18 years of age (we’ll check!)
Photo by Sam Whiteside
This is Not Art (TiNA) is an institution-free forum that’s been allowing artists to trial and experiment with ideas since 1998 and it should be your number one priority this long weekend. Today, TiNA’s one of the country’s best emerging arts festivals, facilitating creative spaces to be used by writers, performers, thinkers, independent and industry musicians, dancers, visual artists, thespians, arts workers, media makers, creative researchers, electronic artists, physical performers, dilettantes and DIY culture makers. This year, TiNA’s partnering with Crack Theatre Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, Critics Animals and Electrofringe to realise new projects. Trust us. It’s going to be worth it. Head to thisisnotart.org for more information and the full program.
Please send your application to: email@example.com thebrag.com
Game On Gaming news with Adam Guetti
Releases OCT New The release of Grand Theft Auto
Sydneysiders take note – the biggest gaming show of the year is almost here. From October 4-6, EB Games Expo Sydney 2013 hits Sydney Showground with the hottest games you’ll be dying to get your hands on. Heavyweights Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Titanfall will all be playable, as will next-generation consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For most, this will be the first opportunity to see and hold the new devices.
V has opened the floodgates for video games to hit the shelves in the lead up to Christmas. And yes, the heavy hitters are out in force – get ready as October offers up some cute and cuddly creatures, a little bit of plundering and lots of Hollywood spectacle. For Nintendo fans, Christmas comes early on Saturday October 12 with the release of yet another iteration of the insanely-popular Pokemon series. X and Y versions for the 3DS (the first for the new handheld) will have you role-playing a Pokemon master as you continue to delve into the mystery surrounding the legendary Xerneas and Yveltal. Kids and adults alike are sure to lap this one up.
There will also be a League of Legends stand streaming live games for fans and a Home Grown Gaming area showcasing all the finest local developers trying to make it big.
Aussie Takes EA’s Top Spot
Come Friday October 25, it’ll be time to don the cape and return to Gotham in Batman: Arkham Origins (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U). An origin prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, Origins focuses on a young and unrefined Bats as master criminal Black Mask enlists the help of Gotham’s finest super villains to take out the Dark Knight on Christmas Eve.
After months of internal company drama, video game publisher EA has finally appointed a new CEO and it’s none other than Aussie Andrew Wilson who’s been with the company for a number of years. “From my start at EA in Australia back in 2000, through stops in Asia, Europe and now North America, I’ve worked with people in this company who have consistently amazed and inspired me,” said the once Executive VP of EA Sports.
Gametraders Go Super Size
Then on Thursday October 31, the first contender for 2013’s first person shooter crown appears. Yes, Battlefield 4 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) will bring gaming joy with stunning visuals, a more comprehensive singleplayer campaign and the usual slew of addictive multiplayer modes.
Popular video game store Gametraders is set to expand its stores to be large social hubs – dubbed Gametraders Live – with a plan to start offering snacks, coffee and couches. It’s the first retailer to try and successfully initiate such a bold idea, but Mark Langford, Founder and MD of the company, remains positive. Penrith is the first location to receive the upgrade. “For Gametraders’ customers this means not only video games and a broad range of pop culture and Cosplay outfits and accessories, but is also offering in-store trading card, Warhammer and gaming tournaments, plus Anime and Cosplay events,” said Langford after the announcement.
Rounding out the month is the latest Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (Xbox 360, PS3, PC). After copping criticism from its predecessor, Black Flag is aiming to inject the series with jolly antics of the pirate life. Less Johnny Depp and more sailing the seven seas, you should definitely keep your telescope trained on this one.
Review: Grand Theft Auto V
The release of a Grand Theft Auto (GTA) game is something of a spectacle. It’s one of the most popular and highly regarded series in the history of the medium, and rightly so, providing sprawling, chaotic entertainment for hours at a time. In that respect, GTA V is much the same; but then it’s also so much more. Set in Los Santos, a fictional sun-soaked metropolis, it follows the plight of three very different criminals all trying to make a bit of cash. There’s Franklin, a former street gangster, now looking for real opportunities and serious money; Michael, a professional ex-con whose retirement is not all that he hoped it would be; and Trevor, a violent maniac driven by the next big score. With time and money running out the unlikely trio are forced to risk everything in a series of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life.
were self contained narratives, but combined they transform into a tale bound to keep you chuckling and wanting to push on. Most importantly, GTA V is the end result of years of practice and learning. Both driving and shooting mechanics have been vastly improved since GTA IV, while the level of detail and effort put into the world of Los Santos is truly outstanding. For a game being released at the end of a console generation, it’s a technical achievement worth every ounce of praise. At its core, GTA V isn’t just one of the best video games of the year. It’s one of the best games of this generation. Buy it. Adam Guetti
It’s a fun tale that, by offering up three separate protagonists, allows Rockstar North to focus on a variety of wildly different beats that will keep you constantly entertained. Michael’s mid-life crisis and Franklin’s wannabe gangster ways would grow tiring if they
Visit dustycartridge.com for more gaming news. thebrag.com
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Album Reviews What's been crossing our ears this week...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD
energy as a party that’s over though no-one can finish saying their goodbyes, so the music simply keeps on going.
Float Along – Fill Your Lungs Flightless/Dot Dash
When King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard released Eyes Like The Sky early this year – an album which consisted of a story, written and narrated by Broderick Smith while the band provided the atmosphere of an old western – one was left wondering: what the hell was supposed to follow this audiobook of a release? Xxxx King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard possess a unique flair, one which arguably sets them apart to float above the rest of the crowd, and this album proves it.
The question is immediately answered with this album’s opening song, ‘Head On/Pill’ – a sixteenminute odyssey of psychedelic sitar illusions. Sixteen minutes does sound like a long runtime for a song, and it is, but it contains the same atmosphere and
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You Anti- Records
Can a trademark ever be a burden? Neko Case’s unmistakable voice is pure country, but for her sixth album she’s decided to branch out. As one of alt-country’s premier artists, it’s surprising to hear her only draw from that genre’s well only half the time. The remainder is a wildly diverse affair, incorporating power pop, a cappella, and at times something close to musique concrète. Luckily, no matter what style of music Case attempts, the results are stunning. That goes for her lyrics as well. It’s a dark album, but a sharp wit underscores everything. So when you hear the nonchalant delivery of lines such as, “He died because I murdered him,” you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Depending on your fondness for the country genre, the experiments will either be the clear highlights or the ones that need more time. ‘Man’, for instance, is a rave-up – complete with duelling guitar and piano solos! – closer to her work in The New Pornographers than her normal mode. But even The New Pornos never got quite as noisy or fast as this. Maybe the aggressive choice was made to help sell the idea that she is indeed a man (another example of her brilliantly skewed lyrics, changing from “I’m a man” to “I’m a man’s man” as the track progresses). But even the country songs have odd flourishes, like the snare rolls in the opener ‘Wild Creatures’ and the horn lines on ‘Bracing For Sunday’. Country purists should just relax and embrace the album and its diversity, because they’ll be missing out otherwise. Leonardo Silvestrini
This is a mood album, but unlike the recent influx of albums in this style that pick one mood and stick with it, Tookah is very hard to pin down; the music often counteracts what the lyrics are actually saying. Which is interesting, considering the album is very stripped back. The songs often include just a programmed beat, an additional instrument and her blissful voice double tracked, sounding like a mix of Joanna Newsom and Lykke Li. This helps create a very relaxed atmosphere that’s not quite ambient, not quite trance, but always comforting. The album is anchored by her voice the entire time, until final track ‘When Fever Breaks’. Various percussion, keys, bass and guitar lines are all piled onto one another, successfully creating something out of a mess of nothing. Halfway through the song, Torrini finally begins to sing. In contrast with the restraint shown throughout the rest of the album, the broad sonic palette heard here is all the more effective as an album closer. Torrini ends the album with the line, “I will kill you.” It’s completely unsettling, as it’s not cathartic; she sings it in the same relaxed tone she has all over the album. At this point, while you may not die, there’s a good chance you’ll be floored. Leonardo Silvestrini
Float Along – Fill Your Lungs is a difficult album to listen to if you’re unsure whether or not you like psychedelic music, but after what has been an already impressive year of psychedelic releases, if you’re still unsure then you probably have found your answer. Daniel Prior
BALANCE AND COMPOSURE
SHE REX She Rex MGM
Tookah Rough Trade/Remote Control
Emiliana Torrini has an almost 20-year-long career in music, but she rarely gets the respect that such a long career deserves. Hopefully with Tookah that will change, because over the last few years a lot of artists have tried to make a similar album, but none have done it quite so effectively.
After the freak-out of ‘Head On/Pill’, the slow, distorted swagger of ‘I’m Not A Man Unless I Have A Woman’ is welcome relief. Each song on the album leaps from strength to strength; ‘Let Me Mend The Past’ possesses a sweet quality and an almost soulful tone while ‘Mystery Jack’ is somewhat of a nod to Eyes Like The Sky with its heavy surfing-western guitar.
Often young bands know what type of music they want to make before they know how to make it. She Rex is one such band. They’re fans of M.I.A. and Queens of the Stone Age, and here on their debut EP they attempt to merge both influences. Unfortunately it ends up sounding like an awkward mash-up mix, where someone has just taken a garage album and a rap album and squished them together, without much care or thought in what they’re doing. The fact they’re making ‘rap-rock’ is satisfying enough. The band obviously wants to convey a degree of danger – seen in the EP’s cover and lyrical content – but the music has no teeth. The vocal delivery is so straightforward and bland that the militant lyrics are rendered embarrassing, as if even vocalist Nikkita Rast doesn’t care about what she’s saying. The chorus of ‘Power’, for instance (“P-O-WE-R to P-E-O-P-L-E”) comes across as an uninspired chant at a street protest. There’s a good garage band buried within the EP – in particular the keyboard flourishes are quite inspired – but it’s nowhere near diverse or interesting enough to accommodate the stilted vocal delivery shoehorned over it. The vocals never change, making everything awkward and leaving the listener praying for some kind of change that never arrives. It ends up hard to know where to point the blame. Either the band needs to shake up their approach, to make Rast’s vocals more accommodating, or Rast needs to come up with a fresher delivery. They’re still a young group, so hopefully they can develop a unique sound of their own soon. Until then, She Rex is all bark and no bite. Leonardo Silvestrini
Novo’s Anti Fade Records
There is a lot of pressure on a debut album when a band has gained a reputation for an energetic stage presence, a vibrant sound, and wearing incredibly tight pants. It can be an easy thing to screw up, with the energy of a live performance missing when recording in the studio. On The Gooch Palms’ debut, Novo’s, the duo absolutely live up to their own
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reputation, with a stripped down and highly energetic garage-punk-pop sound that barely fi ts into its own ridiculously tight trousers. Opening with the album’s first single, ‘We Get By’, The Gooch Palms immediately establish a feeling not unlike that of a tongue after a long night of drinking booze and smoking cigarettes. The album maintains a solid pace, picking up with faster, more pop-centric songs such as ‘False Identity’, ‘The Slide’ and ‘Hungry’, while maintaining a steady groove with ‘Hunter Street Mall’; love crooners
Golden Fang Shock
The Things We Think We’re Missing No Sleep/Shock
Coming out of the current US posthardcore scene that seemingly can’t put a foot wrong at the moment, it’d be unfair to lump Balance and Composure together with bands like Touché Amoré, La Dispute, Defeater or Title Fight. Sure, they frequent the same bills with the aforementioned bands, and they’re all friends. Really though, Balance and Composure’s ’90s alt-rock leanings make them a completely different beast. The Things We Think We’re Missing sees lead singer Jon Simmons trying to take a more mature approach. In interviews, he said he wanted to replace the aggression heard in the band’s 2011 debut Separation with beauty and melody. But this is a heavier album than B&C’s first. Perhaps not heavier in the classifiable musical sense, but it’s heavier in tone, in emotion. There is a real weight to it. Despite the navigation towards more melodic songwriting, the strongest songs are still the heavier moments. Album opener ‘Parachutes’ is a fistclenched greeting and the bombastic guitars on ‘Notice Me’ is probably the only time they remotely sound like their (constantly referred to) greatest influence, Nirvana. When B&C delve into their “melodic and beautiful” repertoire, the listener is taken back to their favourite ’90s rock classics. The shades of Placebo, Bush and the stadium riffs of Billy Corgan are unmistakable. Lyrically, Simmons comes across with sledgehammer subtlety. Well-thumbed themes of loneliness and love lost get retold in the beaten imagery of rain, drowning, breaking, falling and most other adolescent angst descriptors, but it’s a snug fit against the uber-distorted backdrop of the album. The Things We Think We’re Missing is a crash course in ’90s rock for a new generation of listeners.
Over the last couple of years, Bloods have built a fairly hefty rep as one of Sydney’s hardest-working bands. Their exhausting-just-to-look-at list of live dates, as well as a handful of infectious singles (‘Goodnight’, ‘All The Things You Say Are Wrong’, ‘This Town’) have helped hone them into expert purveyors of tight, no-nonsense garage pop. ‘No Fun’ opens Golden Fang with a punchy call-and-response vocal. The guitar solo powers into the mix with unhinged lunacy. Don’t let the sugary sweet harmonies and upbeat party vibes fool you, though. Lurking throughout all of these songs is a strong underlying current of angst and menace. The Buzzcocks-esque ‘Into My Arms’ is a fine example of this method of delivery. The incessant buzzsaw guitar of ‘Bodies’ is the perfect complement to its venomous lyrics. ‘Back To You’ turns the pace down to a slow and sultry level before building up into a cacophony of drums and screams. The swing of the drums and the melody in ‘Hailing Down’ gives the track a slight psychedelic feel that’s emphasised further towards the end with a spacey guitar solo. ‘Language’ rounds things out with a guitar line and dual vocals that are beautifully melancholic. In comparison to the track lengths on the rest of Golden Fang, ‘Language’ is an epic at nearly four minutes. It’s a fine wind-down after the speed and power of its forerunners. Golden Fang is the result of the trio’s unrelenting work ethic. Much like its namesake Chinese eatery on City Road, Bloods’ Golden Fang serves up a delicious assortment of goodies packed full of punch. Michael Hartt
INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK THE GOOCH PALMS
‘You’ and ‘Don’t Cry’ provide a muchneeded breather for the album without cause any disruption to its fl ow. Some of the songs do feel a little drawn out and could easily stand to have a minute shaved off, but it’s a minor gripe. The album was recorded in a single day at the “Gooch Farm”, and the frantic energy of this comes through the tracks, echoing the same energy one would see at their live gigs. Novo’s is an excellent album: a debut with a lot of bite, and a strong fi rst step from the band.
OFFICE MIXTAPE And here are the albums that have helped BRAG HQ get through the week... VARIOUS - Young, Gifted And Black, Vol. 2 CHVRCHES - The Bones Of What You Believe BALL PARK MUSIC - Happiness And Surrounding Suburbs
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST - The Anthology MICHAEL JACKSON - Thriller
What we've been out to see... PHOTOGRAPHER : JAY COLLIER
LAMB OF GOD, MESHUGGAH UNSW Roundhouse Saturday September 21
Australian metal fans have a habit of questioning pairings of bands on a bill in cases when said bands fall into slightly differing sub-genres. Meshuggah and Lamb Of God, for instance? “I don’t want any part in that commercial crap,” chorus the just-pubescent voices of the math-metal devotee choir when discussing the latter act. Meanwhile, in ‘modern’ metal land, fans attempt to perform a sarcastic slow clap and are baffled when the fifth clap doesn’t fall into a second consecutive measure. Differences were put aside at the Roundhouse, however, where Meshuggah kicked off with an explosive rendition of ‘Swarm’, and went on to masterfully navigate their way through an Obzen-heavy set. The Swedes’ live show is more about an appreciation of sheer tightness and intricacy, as opposed
to a frontman sprinting back and forth. Sure, Jens Kidman can bark seamlessly over an impossibly syncopated 21-minute math-bonanza when called upon, but the guy’s only human. Punctuated by favourites ‘New Millennium Cyanide Christ’, ‘Bleed’ and ‘Rational Gaze’, the set left jaws on the floor, which begged the question: Who the fuck would want to follow Meshuggah? Admirably, Lamb Of God did. It was difficult to tell if the sloppiness of the first couple of songs was true, relative or imagined. Regardless, by the time ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ rolled around, the energy had well and truly translated to the crowd. “Look at you bogans packed in here like sardines in a fucking can,” laughed Randy Blythe. Being LOG’s first Australian show following the frontman’s stint in a Czech prison (a result of the tragic death of a fan following a 2010 show; Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter in March), the air was thick with anticipation of comment. “It’s
been a tough year,” Blythe sighed eventually. “This is our first time here following some legal issues. You know what happened, so I won’t go on, but I will say: Look around you. If someone falls down, pick them up.” Fans were convinced the night had hit its peak. Though as we all know, whenever a peak is hit, Steel Panther’s Michael Starr is near. And so it was that Starr emerged from backstage to shocked gasps, announced a) a December Steel Panther tour; and b) that he was entirely strung out on cocaine; before unsuccessfully requesting the display of “titties”, and refusing to give back the microphone. In the 40 seconds or so it took security to forcibly escort a buzzing Starr offstage, fans concluded the gig had been a success, and had an encore of ‘Redneck’ and ‘Black Label’ as the perfect soundtrack to the end of their night. Sheridan Morley
Goodgod Small Club Thursday September 19
The Holidays’ debut release Post Paradise saw the four-piece hit Splendour, SXSW and Laneway. It was an album that propelled them into the Sydney gig scene, but even then the crowds were pretty sparsely populated. But I do remember having an amazingly rollickin’, percussive good time at those early gigs, happily floating along to the tropical tunes and breezy guitar riffs.
H PHOTOGRAPHER : KARL BRAASC
peace + millions
PICS :: ALN
“My girlfriend got me a present before the show,” states lead singer Simon Jones at the beginning of the gig. “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, I think she thinks I’m really nervous.” Which he evidently was. But no matter, the crowd at Goodgod seemed to compromise 80 per cent family and friends, and 20 per cent randoms, so the audience responded with appropriate amounts of good-natured heckling and cheering. It made for an intimate night within the confines of Goodgod’s den-like Danceteria – a perfect opportunity for the band to demonstrate just how far they have come in the last few years.
18:09:13 :: The Beachroad Hotel :: 71 Beach Rd Bondi Beach 9130 7247
The gig was an even mixture of Post Paradise and tunes from the new album, due to be released in 2014. ‘Voices Drifting’, the lead single, was a standout as Jones crooned, “And I like you ’cause / You don’t care too much / You say what you want / You go where you want.” I couldn’t help but be nostalgic for the old album though, and the crowd seemed to agree. The party really only started when the band got into old tracks like ‘Golden Sky’, ‘Moonlight Hours’ and ‘Broken Bones’. Maybe it’s not so much fun growing up after all. Liz Brown thebrag.com
PICS :: KB
In 2013, the boys are producing a much more grown-up sound. Although there are still elements of the pina-colada-flavoured, happiness inducing poppiness, it’s harder, much more prickly around the edges and much less easy to dance to. But it’s also richer, and the intimate, completely packed out venue allowed the band to really showcase their new sound, accompanied by Jones’ endearing between-song banter.
19:09:13 :: Eliza's Juke Joint :: 5 Eliza St Newtown 9550 6087 D HONCHO) :: KARL BRAASCH
S : TIM LEVY (HEA OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR :: DAVID ROUSE
:: JAY COLLIER
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snap sn ap
20:09:13 :: Brighton Up Bar :: Level 1/77 Oxford St Darlinghurst 9572 6322
the john steel singers
PICS :: AM
PICS :: TL
up all night out all week . . .
20:09:13 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587
my bondi riot
It sounds like: Remember the first time you heard ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’? It sounds like that but with a Sailor Jerry in your hand. Acts: Goons of Doom, Cabins, She Rex, The Owls, Pirates Alive, New Lovers, B-Massive, Siamese Almeida, Waxhead, Bad Porn, Flyying Colours, Pilots, Alex and The Shy Lashlies, The Troubled Romantics. DJs: Timothy Snape, Havas, The Rumours, The Dark Hawks, The Chitticks, Samo an Punks. Sell it to us: 14 killer bands, party DJs, half-p ipe, Jerry, Silent Disco, Riot Art exhibition – a breas barber, TruckStop BBQ, Sailor t cancer fundraiser for our mate Pete Howard’s mum. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: You partie d like crazy with your buddies and some of the best independent bands for a great cause. Status update: #MYPANADOLRIOT Crowd specs: Cool cats, rad cats, fun cats, mellow cats, tattooed cats, sexy cats, all kinda cats. Wallet damage: Free entry baby – but bring money for art raffle! Where: Beach Road Hotel, 71 Beach Rd, Bondi Beach. When: Sunday October 6 (Labour Day long weekend) noon – midnight.
PICS :: KB
It’s called: My Bondi Riot
PICS :: AM
way of the eagle 21:09:13 :: Oxford Art Factory :: 38-46 Oxford St Darlinghurst 9332 3711 28 :: BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13
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20:09:13 :: Annandale Hotel :: 17 Paramatta Rd Annandale 9550 1078
20:09:13 :: Upstairs Beresford :: L1 354 Bourke St Surry Hills 8313 5000 D HONCHO) :: KARL BRAASCH
S : TIM LEVY (HEA OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR :: DAVID ROUSE
:: JAY COLLIER
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20:09:13 :: The Standard :: 3/383 Bourke St Darlinghurst 9331 3100 PICS :: TL
PICS :: TL
up all night out all week . . .
21:09:13 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587
PICS :: KB
PICS :: AM
20:09:13 :: FBi Social :: Kings Cross Hotel 248 William St 9331 9900
19:09:13 :: The Vanguard :: 42 King St Newtown 9557 9409
BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13 :: 29
g g guide gig g
send your listings to : firstname.lastname@example.org
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC Big Band Tuesdays - feat: Sirens Big Band The Basement, Circular Quay. 8pm. $5. Jazzgroove - feat: The Chris Poulsen Trio 107 Projects, Sydney. 8pm. $15.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4
The Cult + Redcoats + Beaches 8pm. $89.80. MONDAY SEPTEMBER 30 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Songs On Stage - feat: John Chesher + Chris Brookes & Massimo Presti Kelly’s On King, Newtown. 7pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC Mariachi Mondays - feat: Victor Valdes And Friends The Basement, Circular Quay. 5pm. free. Motown Mondays - feat: Soultrane The White Horse, Surry Hills. 8pm. free. 30 :: BRAG :: 532 : 30:09:13
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
Musos Club Jam Night Bald Faced Stag Hotel, Leichardt. 8pm. free. Pulp Kitchen And Folk Club - feat: Live Rotating Folk Bands Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. free.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Hump Wednesdays - feat: The Petting Zoo The Little Guy, Glebe. 7pm. free. Kinetic Jazz St Luke’s Hall, Enmore. 7:30pm. $20. Lionel Cole The White Horse, Surry Hills. 8pm. free. World Music Wednesdays feat: El Orquestron The Basement, Circular Quay. 8pm. $5.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Andy Mammers Duo Maloney’s Hotel, Sydney. 9pm. free. Chris Stretton Stamford Grand, North Ryde. 5:45pm. free. City Slickers Band Competition Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 7pm. $15. Katie Noonan - ‘Songs That Made Me’ With Abby Dobson, Ella Hooper & Thelma Plum Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 8pm. $35. Mark Travers The Orient, The Rocks. 9pm.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Bernie Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free. Frankie’s World Famous House Band Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney. 9pm. free.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 1
Co-Pilot The Orient, The Rocks. 9pm.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3
Kinetic Jazz - feat: Polymorphic Orchestra + Kinetic Cinema St Luke’s Hall, Enmore. 7:30pm. $20. Organ Groove - feat: Dave Goodman + Darren Heinrich + Lionel Cole The White Horse, Surry Hills. 8pm. free.
Reggae Monday Civic Underground, Sydney. 10pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
free. Me First And The Gimme Gimmes + Batfoot + Everything I Own Is Broken Manning Bar, Camperdown. 8pm. $40. Nikita Rolleston - feat: Kd + Tayla Degan The Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $12. Sarah Paton Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Scat (Live In 2D) Colbourne Avenue, Glebe. 8pm. $15. Uni Bar100 Bar100, The Rocks. 9pm. free. Victoria Avenue Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill. 7:30pm. free.
Hugo Race Fatalists Hotel Steyne, Manly. 9pm. free. Live Music Thursdays Bar100, The Rocks. 5pm. free. Liz Frencham - feat: Paul Greene Colbourne Avenue, Glebe. 8pm. $20. Songs On Stage - feat: Peach Montgomery + Blonde Baggage + Guests Forest Lodge Hotel, Forest Lodge. 7:30pm. free. Songs On Stage - feat: Chris Raicevich + Abbey Gardner + Olivia & Gus Ruby L’otel, Rozelle. 7:30pm. free. The Mountains + Christo Jones + Bad Valley Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Alex Gibson + Travis James + Nikita King The Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $17. Alex Hopkins Open Mic Night Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 7:30pm. free. Andy Mammers Australian Hotel And Brewery, Rouse Hill. 10pm. free. Cambo + Carl Fidler Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Dan Spillane Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why. 7pm. free. Dave White Duo Maloney’s Hotel, Sydney. 9:30pm. free. David Agius Marrickville Ritz Hotel, Marrickville. 7pm. free. JJ Duo Brighton RSL, Brighton Le Sands. 7:30pm. free. Joe Echo Duo The Orient, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Katie Noonan - ‘Songs That Made Me’ With Abby Dobson, Ella Hooper & Thelma Plum Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 8pm. $35. Me First And The Gimme Gimmes + Local Resident Failure + Nerdlinger
The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle West. 8pm. $43.80. Passive Resistance + Fisherman Of The Aqua Dome + Monte + In Hydes Shadows + Reckless Empire + Jaju Choir Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 7pm. $10. Reckless Scruffy Murphy’s Hotel, Sydney. 10pm. free. Sarah Paton Duo O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross. 9:30pm. free. Soilwork + Death Audio + Tensions Arise Manning Bar, Camperdown. 8pm. $50.50. Steve Tonge Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill. 7pm. free. Steven Wilson Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $86.90. The Lachlan Doley Group + Adam Miller The Vanguard, Newtown. 8pm. $20.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4 ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Live Music Fridays Bar100, The Rocks. 5pm. free. The Pigs The Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 8pm. $25. Wolf Mail Lizotte’s Dee Why, Dee Why. 9pm. $29. Xavier Rudd + Donavon Frankenreiter + Nahko And Medicine For The People Big Top Sydney - Luna Park, Milsons Point. 7pm. $72.20.
JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC Balkan/Gypsy/World Party feat: Marsala Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 9pm. $25. Kinetic Jazz - feat: Waldo Fabian Quintet St Luke’s Hall, Enmore. 7:30pm. $20.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
A Night Of Horror At The Valve - feat: Risen Dred + Carbon Black + Cryptic Scorn + Hematic + Acid Nymph + Foundry Road Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 7pm. $15. Carl Fidler & Brad Johns Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 6:30pm. free. Craig Thommo Duo Courthouse Hotel, 10pm. free. David Agius Duo Cronulla RSL, Cronulla. 7:30pm. free. Deep Sea Arcade + Hey Geronimo Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $17. Edward Guglielmino + Richard Cuthbert + Disgusting People Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst, Sydney. 8pm. $10. Frances Madden Novotel, Darling Harbour, Sydney. 5:30pm. free. Gary Johns Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 9pm. free. Geoff Rana Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater. 8pm. free. Greg Byrne Duo Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross. 12am. free. Hitseekers Scruffy Murphy’s Hotel, Sydney. 10:30pm. free. Hugo Race Fatalists - feat: Sacri Cuori The Vanguard, Newtown. thebrag.com
pick of the week
free. Katie Noonan - ‘Songs That Made Me’ With Abby Dobson, Ella Hooper & Thelma Plum Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 8pm. $35. Rob Henry Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free.
g g guide gig g
send your listings to : email@example.com 7pm. $23.80. James Fox Higgins Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Woolloomooloo. 6pm. free. Joe Echo Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why. 7pm. free. John Vella Cock Nâ€™ Bull, Bondi Junction. 7pm. free. Jordan LĂŠser EP Launch â€˜Just Like Autumnâ€™ The Beresford Hotel, Surry Hills. 8pm. free. JP Duo Stacks Taverna, Sydney. 5pm. free. Live Music At The Royal The Royal, Leichhardt. 9:30pm. free. Michael McGlynn + Outlier Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest. 6:30pm. free. Oliver Goss Customs House Bar, Sydney. 7pm. free. Original Sin - INXS Show Bull & Bush Hotel, Baulkham Hills. 10pm. free. Pete Hunt The Eastern, Bondi Junction. 8pm. free. Rapture North Sydney Leagues Club, Cammeray. 9:30pm. free. Reckless Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Reels On Fire PJ Gallagherâ€™s, Leichhardt, 9pm. free. Regurgitator The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 8pm. $39.40. Renea Kearney Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 4:30pm. free. Riz Hallows Oâ€™Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross. 8pm. free. Sosueme DJs National Tour + Pigeon + Conics Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. The Basics + Hoy Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $20. The Cannanes - feat: Beef Jerk & Destiny 3000 Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $15. The Cult + Redcoats + Beaches Hordern Pavilion, Sydney. 8pm. $89.80. The Lonely Boys Unity Hall Hotel, Balmain. 9pm. free. The Pigs The Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $20. Victoria Avenue Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill. 8pm. free. Zoltan & Paul Duo Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point. 8pm. free.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
Kinetic Jazz - feat: Noise Exposure With Clocks & Clouds + Kinetic Cinema St Lukeâ€™s Hall, Enmore. 7:30pm. $20. Yuki Kumagai & John Mackie Well Co. Cafe And Wine Bar, Leichhardt. 11:30am. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS Alex Hopkins Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why. 6:30pm. free. Andy Mammers Duo Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill. 7pm. free. Black Diamond Hearts Golden Sheaf Hotel, Sydney. 9pm. free. Carl Fidler, Shane Flew, Gemma & Antoine thebrag.com
Observer Hotel, The Rocks. 3:30pm. free. Craig Laird The Belvedere Hotel, Sydney. 8:45pm. free. Dave White Experience Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest. 9:30pm. free. Electric Anthems Trio Paragon Hotel, Sydney. 9:30pm. free. Elevate Tattersalls Hotel Penrith, 8:30pm. free. Generation Gap Carousel Inn Hotel, Rooty Hill. 8pm. free. Harbour Master Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee. 9pm. free. Heath Burdell Clovelly Hotel, Clovelly. 8pm. free. James Englund Duo PJ Gallagherâ€™s, Leichhardt, 9pm. free. Johnny Rock PJ Gallagherâ€™s, Moore Park, 7:30pm. free. Kye Brown Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 4:30pm. free. Michael McGlynn Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point. 8pm. free. Midi In The City - feat: Advanced Human + Alphatown + Null Objects + H.P.S. + The Honeymakers + Methodix + Trinity + Weâ€™D + Simon Mann + Luke Killen + Drox & Illbot + Nik Forrest + Squarepeg + George Sadlik + Oliver Gurney + Endosound + Shahin Basdimir + Simon P + Aaron & Harry Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 9pm. $10. Money For Rope + The Lazys + Los Tones Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Nicky Kurta Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 5:30pm. free. Nicky Kurta Duo Town Hall Hotel, Balmain. 10pm. free. Nova Tone North Sydney Leagues Club, Cammeray. 9:30pm. free. Old School Band Bull & Bush Hotel, Baulkham Hills. 9:30pm. free. Panorama Scruffy Murphyâ€™s Hotel, Sydney. 10:30pm. free. Shaggin Wagon Botany View Hotel, Newtown. 7pm. free. Singled Out Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 9:30pm. free. Skyscraper Engadine Tavern, Engadine. 9:30pm. free. Steve Tonge Australian Hotel And Brewery, Rouse Hill. 10pm. free. Tales In Space + Hey Geronimo Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. The Delta Riggs â€˜Americaâ€™ Single Tour The Standard, Surry Hills. 8pm. $15.40. The Fallon Brothers Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 9pm. free. Words Xpress - feat: One Foot In The Grove + Kirrakamere The Brass Monkey, Cronulla. 7pm. $20.
ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Acoustic Dave Courthouse Hotel, Newtown. 10pm. free. Live Music Saturdays Bar100, The Rocks. 4pm. free. Paul Hayward And Friends Town & Country Hotel, St Peters. 4pm. free.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 6 JAZZ, SOUL, FUNK, LATIN & WORLD MUSIC
Roger Vs The Man + Aaron Lyon Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 7:30pm. $15.
ACOUSTIC/ COUNTRY/BLUES/ FOLK
Benjalu Hotel Steyne, Manly. 7pm. 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. Liz Frencham - feat: Ryan Morrison The Clarendon Hotel, Katoomba. 3pm. free.
INDIE, ROCK, POP, METAL, PUNK & COVERS
Alex Hopkins Mill Hill Hotel, Bondi Junction. 3pm. free. Blood Sweat & Beers #7 - feat: The Nation + Grim Fandango + Lo! + Safe Hands + The Ramshackle Army + Army Of Champions + Firearms + Batpiss + Harbourer + Ivan Drago + Ebolagoldfish + Oslow + Jen Buxton + Lincoln Le Fevre + Lucy Wilson + Pinch Hitter Hermannâ€™s Bar, Darlington. 3pm. $28.60. Bring Me The Horizon + Of Mice And Men + Crossfaith Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park. 8pm. $76. Funky Town - feat: A Tribute To The Best Of The â€™80s And Old Skool R&B feat. DJs Nasser T + Jimmy Jam + Mo Green Blue Beat, Double Bay. 8pm. $25. Greg Agar Duo Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 9pm. free. Greg Byrne Duo Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Woolloomooloo. 3pm. free. Heartical Sessions Presents The Strides - feat: Ziggy & The Wild Drums Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Jamie Lindsay Northies Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla. 2pm. free. Matt Jones Band Three Wise Monkeys Pub, Sydney. 10pm. free. Mighty Ash Album Launch Party + Jen Saunders And The Corruptibles + Baskiat + DJ A.S.K. + The Funkhouse Collective Agincourt Hotel, Ultimo. 8pm. $5. My Bondi Riot - feat: Goons Of Doom + Cabins + She Rex + The Owls + Pirates Alive + New Lovers + B-Massive + Siamese Almeida + Waxhead + Bad Porn + Flyying Colours + Pilots + Alex and the Shy Lashlies + The Troubled Romantics + Timothy Snape + Havas + The Rumours + The Dark Hawks + The Chitticks + Samoan Punks Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 12pm. free. Reckless Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 8:30pm. free. U2 Elevation Orient Hotel, The Rocks. 2pm. free.
wed (9:00PM - 12:00AM)
(9:00PM - 12:00AM)
(9:30PM - 12:30AM) (4:30PM - 7:30PM)
(9:30PM - 1:30AM)
SUNDAY AFTERNOON (2:00PM - 5:00PM)
(4:30PM - 7:30PM)
(9:30PM - 12:30AM)
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DDEA EAAL AL
Aged 18-25 and struggling to cope?
We are currently looking for participants for an online research trial to who are DE ALcohol regularly. It consists of only
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BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13 :: 31
up all night out all week... Katie Noonan
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes + Batfoot + Everything I Own Is Broken Manning Bar, Camperdown. 8pm. $40.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3 TUESDAY OCTOBER 1 Katie Noonan - ‘Songs That Made Me’ With Abby Dobson, Ella Hooper & Thelma Plum Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 8pm. $35.
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes + Local Resident Failure + Nerdlinger The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle West. 8pm. $43.80 Soilwork + Death Audio + Tensions Arise The Basics
Manning Bar, Camperdown. 8pm. $50.50.
Deep Sea Arcarde
Steven Wilson Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $86.90.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4 Xavier Rudd + Donavon Frankenreiter + Nahko And Medicine For The People Big Top Sydney - Luna Park, Milsons Point. 7pm. $72.20.
The Basics + Hoy Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $20.
Deep Sea Arcade + Hey Geronimo Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $17.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5
Regurgitator The Hi-Fi, Moore Park. 8pm. $39.40.
Money For Rope + The Lazys + Los Tones Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. Free. The Delta Riggs ‘America’ Single Tour The Standard, Surry Hills. 8pm. $15.40.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 6 Bring Me The Horizon + Of Mice And Men + Crossfaith Hordern Pavilion, Sydney. 8pm. $76. My Bondi Riot - Feat: Goons Of Doom + Cabins + She Rex + The Owls + Pirates Alive + New Lovers + B-Massive + Siamese Almeida + Waxhead + Bad Porn + Flyying Colours + Pilots + Alex And The Shy Lashlies + The Troubled Romantics + Timothy Snape + Havas + The Rumours + The Dark Hawks + The Chitticks + Samoan Punks Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 12pm. Free. She Rex
32 :: BRAG :: 532 : 30:09:13
BRAG’s guide to dance, hip hop and club culture
dance music news club, dance and hip hop in brief...with Chris Honnery
five things WITH
JAGWAR MA REMIXED
Future Classic has just released a remix package of Sydney outfit Jagwar Ma’s track ‘Come Save Me’, which features remixes by revered tastemaker Andrew Weatherall, local lads Flight Facilities and Kompakt duo Pachanga Boys. Jagwar Ma have enjoyed a breakout year off the back of their debut LP Howlin’, and this batch of remixes illustrates how far the Jagwar star has risen. Primal Scream producer Weatherall draws out ‘Come Save Me’, giving it a slightly acidy edge and a more robust techno spine while ramping up the bassline to ensure it will really get listeners moving when it is played loud. The Flight Facilities remix has apparently been in their vault since 2011, while anything that Superpitcher and Rebolledo churn out together under their Pachanga Boys moniker demands a listen – even if their output has been somewhat inconsistent.
N’fa Jones Growing Up I used to live in this little place in the 1. north of Italy called Omegna, there was almost nothing there – a lake, couple of old tourists, two hotels and one club where they were playing shitty Italian pop music. My parents were against me making music since the beginning – they wanted me to become a dentist [but] now they’re happy about all the fights we had in the past. For sure, where I lived influenced me in doing music as I wanted to be different and music was the best way there… I [got in] a lot of trouble with people because of it but at the end I was right in [pursuing] this dream!
the Italian Wu-Tang. That didn’t happen but we had so much fun! I get a lot of DJs/friends/ producers coming in my house showing me the weirdest stuff [on the] internet or just listening to my latest productions… I love having people around me! The Music You Make I make music for myself first, it’s always 4. a technical challenge to find a way to make the perfect ‘ghetto house’ track. I love making rap beats, instrumental weirdness, electronica and all the bumping beats that make Crookers recognisable … to have people having fun dancing is my goal.
Inspirations Everything inspires me. I’ve got a 2. strong hip hop influence, and I think it’s not
Music, Right Here, Right Now Right now I listen a lot of sloooow 5. instrumental rap beats, almost ambient stuff
that difficult to understand it. I love J Dilla’s productions and sound so much – sometimes I spend the whole night just listening to his old school beat tapes. Amazing!
to enjoy my house landscape, and thousands of mixtapes… luckily having two labels I have to listen to a lot of new amazing producers all day everyday.
Your Crew My first crew was a hip hop crew, 3. Lacustre Clan – me, my best friend and a couple of other guys were really hoping to be
The crew behind Sydney hip hop party staple Halfway Crooks, DJs Levins, Franco and Elston, will launch a new party, Crooks Live, on Saturday October 19 at Goodgod Small Club. The concept behind the party is to have local rappers performing live alongside the Halfway Crooks DJs. The launch will feature performances from Monchichi, B Wise and Baby Veeno, three rappers who bring a similarly fun aesthetic to the mix of rap, hip hop and R&B. Monchichi is a triple j Unearthed winner who released his first mixtape Welcome To The Mad House with one-time Halfway Crooks guest DJ Leon Smith. Monchichi released an thebrag.com
What: Courtyard Party feat. Crookers Where: Ivy When: Sunday October 6
EP with Sydney producer Chasm earlier this year, and has supported international artists like DJ Quik, Lloyd Banks, Smoke Dza. Not to be outdone, B Wise won the Outstanding Performer gong in the Celebrate African Australian Awards earlier this year, and is currently gearing up for the release of his first solo EP in early 2014, having previously performed at Halfway Crooks with his group K1. Finally, Baby Veeno moved to Australia from Sierra Leone over a decade ago, and he has since established himself with his single ‘Paradise’ and Pain mixtape, which dropped earlier this year. Doors will open at 9pm, with a cover charge of $10 being asked of revellers upon entry.
The frontman of genre-bending Australian hip hop collaboration 1200 Techniques, N’fa Jones, has teamed with Drapht to craft the forthcoming album Black + White Noise, which will be released through Drapht’s label The Ayems early next year. Black + White Noise is touted as a “journey through hip hop, future beats, soul and roots soundscapes,” and will be preceded by the release of single ‘Life’s A Game’, which features vocals from Sydney artist Brave and beats by Ta-Ku, Sensible J and Dutch. Jones effuses, “I’m just so happy and so amazed to be officially releasing my music. To be doing so with producers and people whom I really love and share true friendship with, is an amazing and humbling gift. I hope you will enjoy this song, and the album. It’s pretty different, but for me, different is a good thing… Different is what I’m all about.” Jones will headline Sosueme at the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi on Wednesday November 20.
BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13 :: 33
dance music news
club, dance and hip hop in brief...with Chris Honnery
speed date WITH
GTA a few, as well as working on some original club tracks and other original beats we’ve been making for singers/rappers. Also, we just put out the third instalment of our mix series called Death To Genres. Best Gig Ever The best gig we’ve ever played was in 3. Philadelphia last month at this festival called Made In America. The energy in that crowd was insane, not to mention the other huge acts that were playing. People like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Nine Inch Nails, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and a bunch more played and it was the coolest festival ever. Current Playlist We’ve been listening to a lot of Clouds, 4. Toro y Moi, Shadow Child, Kaytranada and A$AP Ferg. We also saw Kendrick Lamar perform for our first time at Made In America, and that was such a dope show! Your Ultimate Rider Our ultimate rider would include a TV 5. and Xbox with Grand Theft Auto V, Connect
What Do You Look For In A DJ/ Producer? 1. For us, a good producer is someone who can
we like, but as of right now we’re into techno like Clouds – ‘Terrorcore’.
make all kinds of music, including stuff that makes us ask, “How the hell did he come up with that??” A good DJ to us is basically someone who can keep their crowd dancing and basically throw a dope party. We’re really into everything when it comes to DJ/producer styles, and it’s hard to pick specific ones that
Keeping Busy Lately we’ve been travelling a lot! 2. Between our own club dates in the States and
The lineup has been announced for Harbour Party 2013, the annual New Year’s Eve party at Luna Park, which adds musical performers to one of the best vantage points for the fireworks. Headlining proceedings is Havana Brown, who announced her arrival with her debut single ‘We Run The Night’. She has since performed at Korea’s ABU TV Song Festival (where she represented Australia), the Spring Groove Festival in Tokyo and, uh, on America’s Got Talent. Brown’s debut album Flashing Lights will drop later this month. US producer Ian Carey, the man behind hits such as ‘Rise’, ‘Last Night’ and ‘Get Shaky’, will also represent, along with the man behind TV Rock, Grant Smillie. The ubiquitous Timmy Trumpet is on the bill, along with Samantha Jade, Chardy and Ember, with more to be announced. First release tickets go on sale for $99 at 9am on Thursday October 10.
touring the world with Rihanna we try to fit in as much studio time as we can. We’ve been doing a bunch of remixes for people like Kylie Minogue, Calvin Harris and Kaskade to name
Four, balloons, pizza and gift cards. Our real rider really just has drinks like champagne, beer and tequila. We also ask for a bag of Doritos Cool Ranch for those late night parties! Where: The Argyle House, Newcastle / Chinese Laundry, Sydney When: Wednesday October 2 / Friday October 4
Long weekends are great aren’t they? Well, you can celebrate this glorious extra night out with Budapest’s electro icon, Jay Lumen. The vaunted producer began DJing at the age of 14 and since then has skyrocketed to the top with his pumping electro/house sets. Lumen has impressed audiences all over the world and now he is set to impress you. Supported by Alex Taylor and Matt Cahill, you can catch Jay Lumen on Sunday October 6 at Goldfi sh and in celebration of the long weekend we’re giving you the chance to win one of two double passes to dance your night away. Email freestuff@ thebrag.com with what you love most about long weekends for your chance to win.
DANNY HOWELLS MIXES BALANCE 24
Revered veteran DJ Danny Howells will compile the 24th edition in the Balance compilation set, following Radio Slave into the hot seat of Balance Music’s flagship series. Two years on from compiling the Phase One set for his Dig Deeper label and five since Renaissance: The Mix Collection, Howells is once again ready to put together another official mix. “I’m seeing two distinct areas that I’m going to focus on,” he divulged when discussing the forthcoming mix. “The more midtempo, melodic, not super cutting edge but more towards home listening clubby, still very soulful melodies. And then the deeper end of house music as well.” No tracklist has been revealed at this stage, but with Balance 024 scheduled for a mid-November release, it shouldn’t be too long before further details surface online.
SKRILLEX A SHORE THING
Fuzzy’s annual Shore Thing bash returns on New Year’s Eve at Bondi Pavilion to ring in 2014 with international EDM monolith Skrillex, who will apparently be bringing his massive Skrillex Spaceship stage show to Australia for the first time. A winner of six Grammy Awards, Skrillex was named MTV’s 2011 Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year, and has remixed megastars like Lady Gaga and Snoop Dogg. Skrillex’s two-hour long BBC Essential Mix became the most played piece of content in Radio’s 1 history across all media, a stat that is indicative of his current standing at the zenith of the musical hierarchy. Even Four Tet went to a Skrillex show, with Anthony Naples recounting that Four Tet had likened the experience to “a movie; it’s entertainment. In a sense, it’s just like a rock show too. [I] never saw so many people taking photos of themselves with the stage behind them.” More acts are still to be announced, but if they had you at Skrillex, grab your presale tickets online at shorething.com.au.
FBI SOCIAL FT KILTER AND PACES
PATRON AFTER DARK FT BLOND:ISH + HUNTER/ GAME
The first Agwa Yacht Club of the summer will take place this Saturday October 5, and for those wanting to carry on once the Starship docks, there will be an after party at The Star’s Boom Box club, where both headliners Blond:ish and Hunter/Game will play encore sets. Blond:ish have experienced a rapid ascension in club land since bursting onto the scene in ’08, releasing on labels such as Kompakt, Get Physical and Defected. The girls garnered accolades for last year’s Lovers In Limbo EP, and have also demonstrated a knack for churning out a decent remix, reworking tracks by Pete Tong, Tomas Barfod, Kate Simko and Maya Jane Coles’ ‘Everything’. Meanwhile, Hunter/Game have notched up releases for Get Physical, Hot Creations and Last Night On Earth, quickly establishing themselves in house circles. $15 tickets can be procured through the Pulse Radio website.
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This Friday FBi Social is putting on a party co-headlined by Kilter and Paces, who have both been dubbed as ‘Local Producers to Watch in 2013’ by inthemix. Kilter is the moniker of Sydney beat architect Ned East, a 20-yearold whose productions encompass a broad spectrum of influences, from electronic to experimental and hip hop genres. Kilter has supported the likes of Shapeshifter, Elizabeth Rose and Klaxons, and was recently signed to the etcetc label, a Ministry of Sound affiliate and home of PNAU. Meanwhile Mikey Perry, AKA Paces, has remixed the likes of Parachute Youth, YesYou and Sampology, while his bootleg of the xx’s ‘Angels’ was something of a Soundcloud phenomenon. His sound has been described as a combination of 808 drums, chopped vocal samples, synths and “wonky” pianos. Spoonty and Retiree will also be performing, with the revelry commencing from 8pm at Level 2 of the King’s Cross Hotel.
LE1F + MESS KID
Cult Sydney party brand The House of Mince will join forces with FBi Radio to host Khalif Diouf, AKA Le1f, at Arq Sydney on Thursday December 12. Le1f will be returning Down Under for the third time this year, and will also perform at the Subsonic Music Festival at Barrington Tops. Initially known for producing tracks for hip hop group Das Racist, Le1f broke out as a solo rapper last year with the release of his debut mixtape, Dark York. While comparing himself to mermaids, unicorns, Angela Bassett and Amber Rose, Le1f refused to be typecast based on his homosexuality – “‘gay rap’ isn’t a genre,” he told one interviewer – and rather made his mark with a unique flamboyance that is bound to come from someone who studied ballet and modern dance before deciding rap was the go. Le1f will be supported by his tour DJ Mess Kid, Brothers Hand Mirror and Black Vanilla, whose haunting brand of electronic R&B was described by FBi Radio as “Ashanti and Justin Timberlake in the shower together, with bass shaking the glass.” thebrag.com
Moby Homeward Bound By Rachel Davison
ou only have to take a quick listen to Moby’s latest euphoric single, ‘The Perfect Life’, to make the assumption he’s quite content with things, not least his most recent creative offering. Innocents, his 11th studio album, is a return to the vintage Moby we know and love, more akin to 1999’s Play and subsequent 18 than his many stylistic deviations of the past seven years. It’s lo-fi, despite being produced by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent – a big shot pop producer who’s worked with the likes of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. There’s a whole lotta soul injected by some powerful female vocalists like Skylar Grey and Cold Specks; a warm richness added by the unique voices of Damien Jurado and Mark Lanegan, and a collaboration on ‘The Perfect Life’ with The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne. All of this warmly cocooned in Moby’s signature, downtempo pop-tronica.
“I’m 48 years old making records in 2013, so my expectations of success are pretty small.”
and making music, I’m actually much happier and satisfied being in my studio writing it,” he explains. “So that’s the main reason why I’m not touring, I’m just trying to stay home so I can write more music. This of course drives my manager insane, given the only way musicians make money now is by going on tour … I’m sure my manager is on the verge of breaking up with me.” But the comfortableness that shines through on this record is essentially all about doing the things that make Moby happy. “I really do believe that life is short, and I guess I look at a lot of musicians and public figures who seem to judge their success based on so many things they’d like to buy – and I don’t want to judge them or be critical of it, but I feel like my job as a musician is not to make music so I can buy things, it’s to make music because I love making music. So even if I’m making considerably less money, I’m just happier staying home making music that probably no-one will ever listen to.” What: Innocents out now through Warner
“It’s a tricky thing to talk about,” says Moby, poolside, on the phone from his home in LA when asked if he’s ‘happy’ with his latest record. “I’m really happy with how we made it because we used a lot of very strange, old equipment, and at the end of the day I wanted to make a record that was more vulnerable and that also had a quality of fragility to it. I wasn’t looking to make a big, bombastic, super-slick pop record – I wanted something warmer and more inviting. “It’s funny, it almost worries me because the process of making this record wasn’t very frustrating at all and usually the more frustrating it is to make, the more successful the record is. My most successful album was Play and making that was incredibly frustrating. So the fact this record wasn’t frustrating means it’s probably doomed to be a complete failure.” Moby says it was actually a very nice process making the record, in part due to the producer and collaborators – but he is realistic about his prospects of success, his honesty bordering on self-deprecation at times, especially given his longevity as an artist to date. “The thing is, I’m 48 years old making records in 2013, so my expectations of success are really pretty small. It would just be absurd at this point in my career to want to go out and try and sell millions of records, because that would involve so many distasteful compromises … Almost no-one sells millions of records anymore, certainly not 48-year-old guys who aren’t willing to compromise.” Our conversation leads onto the existential angst one can experience as the years creep by; our interview occurring the day before Moby’s 48th birthday – and just because the video for ‘The Perfect Life’ sees Moby and Coyne dressed in mariachi costumes wandering the streets of LA, singing their hearts out and living a seemingly idyllic existence, Moby isn’t typically all sunshine. Is this, then, the happiest song he’s ever written? “Back in the rave days I wrote some really happy rave songs but ‘The Perfect Life’ is a very happy song, especially if you listen to the song in conjunction to the video – it is pretty silly, but there is a degree of darkness in the lyrics.” While the collaboration of Moby with Coyne seems like a rather strange teaming, the pair met in 1995 while on tour supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers and they’ve remained friends ever since. “The Flaming Lips and I were the opening acts, so for about two and a half months we shared a dressing room and had to deal with the frustrations of being an opening act for a big rock band. When I wrote ‘The Perfect Life’, it honestly sounded to me like a Flaming Lips song, so I thought to myself, ‘Well, if I’ve written a song that sounds like The Flaming Lips, then maybe Wayne will sing on it.’ He really is the nicest person on the planet and just his whole approach to music, art and live performance I find really inspiring. I think of myself as being really lucky that I was able to get him to sing on the record.” In what is considered a pretty controversial move these days, Moby’s refusal to compromise means there won’t be any touring in promotion of the album, except for three shows in an LA theatre close to home. “I realise that as much as I like being on stage thebrag.com
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Blond:ish A Perfect Pair By Mina Kitsos “Psychedelic, sexy, twisted,” adds Vivie-Ann. “We’re more influenced by what they did, in terms of … extracurricular activities – how they came about making their music”. “The exploration of all different types of eastern instruments – that whole era is really fascinating to us,” finishes Anstascia. In a season where producers are forced from flash dance to flash in the pan, Blond:ish have managed to re-energise each record by injecting their tracks with exotic new influences. “Everyone knows that they have to keep pushing forward to stay relevant,” says Vivie-Ann, “but at the same time, try not to think about it so much because you can get bogged down with it. We get to travel a lot and take influences from a lot of different places and cultures, and our friends as well – a lot of our friends are really artistic. We’re constantly learning new things so we constantly incorporate that into our music when we go back into the studio.” And how exactly does this happen? “There’s not really one process that we go through,” says Anstascia. “It’s kind of a mish-mash of ideas. Viv really likes to work on drums and the groove of the track usually, and I like to add the main melodies, riffs and weird sounds. I’m more patient than Viv and like going through a million sounds. We work in different ways on every track, but for Inward Visions we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do, because we were writing for [EDM label] Kompakt and we just wanted something different from our last [Lovers In Limbo] EP. More energetic, more clubby, as you can see with ‘No Place Like Gnome’. Whenever we say, ‘We’re gonna make a song like this,’ it ends up completely different, so we learn not to box ourselves in.”
Vivie-Ann insists their origins were less glamorous. “Anstascia stalked me on Facebook,” she jokes. “Actually, when I first met her, we were at an afterparty and there was a bunch of DJs there – old-school DJs – and she
was DJing, but mixing two laptops with YouTube videos.” So how do two girls from Canada get from trawling through YouTube pages to packing out rooms at Ibiza and the notorious Burning Man Festival? “The beginning of Blond:ish was insane,” says Vivie-Ann. “In Mexico, there was a good pivotal moment in our career when we were at a jungle party and Philipp Jung was playing, and all of a sudden Philipp opens up with this track that’s really familiar. We’d never heard our track in a club or at a party before – this is one of the best parties of the year in North America. All of a sudden the vocals come in and we were like, ‘Shit, this is our song.’ Anstascia runs back from the porta-potties
and basically football tackles Philipp in the DJ booth. We’re on the floor, and he’s like, ‘Who the hell are you?’, right before asking if we were signed.” It’s the same sanguine attitude that permeates Blond:ish’s distinct sound. Merging psychedelic grooves and ’80s rock nostalgia, the duo has piqued the interests of record labels worldwide, with their latest output Inward Visions proving to be their most experimental record yet. “Right now, our sound is pretty indescribable,” says Anstascia. “We play a lot more techno-ish these days; but romantic, quirky techno, not really manly or anything. We’re influenced by The Zombies, The Doors, Pink Floyd…”
“The rest of the dates for the year are pretty much set up. Every weekend we’re somewhere different in Europe. We’re just gonna conquer Sydney,” chuffs Vivie-Ann. “...And pet a kangaroo,” Anstascia adds. What: Agwa Yacht Club 17 With: Hunter/Game, Brohn, Co-op, T-Boy, Sam Roberts and Alan Thomas Where: King Street Wharf When: Saturday October 5 And: Blond:ish appearing at Patrón After Dark at The Star, Saturday October 5
Sander van Doorn Pulling Strings By Joshua Hayes
ince initially emerging as a trance music star – management requested that we not ask about trance during the interview – Dutch superstar DJ and producer Sander van Doorn (AKA Sander Ketelaars) has gone from success to success. He’s been a regular fi xture near the top of both the Beatport charts and DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list (he fl irted with the top ten for several years before dropping slightly to number 18 on last year’s list), while his track ‘Nothing Inside’, with Detroit vocalist Mayaeni, was signed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. He’s done this through a relentless schedule of touring and production – all while running his own label, Doorn Records, and hosting his weekly radio show, Identity. The first difficulty, Ketelaars says, is fi nding the balance between the road and the studio. “Sometimes it is a bit of a challenge, actually, to get the two things combined, but what we are trying to do is to fi nd a few weekends a year where I can just have a pretty ongoing session,” he says. “Like, last week I had one weekend off just to be locked up in the studio. And besides that, it’s all about producing on small set-ups and the laptops while I’m on the road.” Ketelaars has just been in the studio working on a collaboration with DVBBS, who were recently confirmed as the producers of Doorn Records’ monster hit ‘Tsunami’. “My release schedule, already, it’s pretty much locked down for the next couple of months, so [the DVBBS
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collaboration] won’t be released [until] next year – besides that, I’m working on a few projects which I can’t tell too much about yet,” he laughs. “There’s a lot actually in the studio right now, which I need to fi gure out.” In between all Ketelaars’ singles and collaborations, another solo album may be in the works, following on from 2008’s Supernaturalistic and 2011’s Eleve11. “I don’t know if it’s going to happen next year … that could actually be the case since I’ve been working on so many tracks that it would be possible.” After splitting his time between the road and the studio, Ketelaars’ studio time is then divided between his production, his label and his radio show – which has just celebrated its 200th episode. But lately, he has been dedicating more time to Doorn Records. “I’m doing a lot of A&R for the label, so I’m pretty much working together with the artists to perfect their tracks, give some tips on how to produce certain things. I work together with a brilliant label manager who has pretty much fi lled the Doorn Records schedule now, I think already until the start of next year, so there’s gonna be a lot of releases, and the great thing is, every single release on there is going to be pretty insane.” And with his production, radio and record label commitments bedded down for the short term, Ketelaars can get back on the road. He’s had a busy northern summer festival season, during which he says he thinks he’s done more festivals than any
other year – in fact, he’s fl ying straight into Australia from a high-profi le slot at Atlanta’s TomorrowWorld electronic music festival. “[I’ll be playing] a lot of new tracks, from myself, from other people signed to Doorn Records, so it’s going to be a lot of new tracks, and an extension of my sound as it is. I like club shows for their being a lot more intimate. I’m a lot closer to the fans, and also I play longer sets so I get to play out a lot more new tracks, and educate people about the new music on my label and generally new sounds – so it’s a better platform, actually, to showcase myself.”
Where: Marquee At The Star When: Sunday October 6
he suffix ‘-ish’ is usually hinged onto the back of things unclear or uncertain. Genre-bending chart-shifters Blond:ish, however, have made their sonic title synonymous with an authoritative dance demeanour that has been manifested behind decks across the globe. Canadian-reared and now London-based DJs Anstascia and VivieAnn joined forces in 2008 to the demand of partygoers in Montreal’s Cherry nightclub, and have been trailblazing with their slick cuts since.
October will mark Blond:ish’s first trip Down Under, but they won’t be resting on their laurels till then.
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club guide g send your listings to : firstname.lastname@example.org Xxx
club pick of the week
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2
HIP HOP & R&B Standish/Carlyon
The Wall - feat: Resident DJs World Bar, Kings Cross. 8pm. $5.
Alison Wonderland + Paces + Fishing Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. Alta + Ginger & The Ghost Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $10. The Supper Club - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. Whip It Wednesdays - feat: DJs Camo + Snillum + Jaimie Lyn Whaat Club, Kings Cross. 9pm. free.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3 CLUB NIGHTS
Red Bull Music Academy feat: Flako (UK) Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. free.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4 HIP HOP & R&B Low The Argyle, The Rocks, Sydney. 12am. free.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 Goodgod Small Club, Sydney
Goodgod Birthday Night (Smash Hits!) Montero + Standish/Carlyon + The Murlocs + Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys + Alex Cameron + Mining Boom + Four Door + Major Napier + Black Vanilla Yo Grito! + Silky Doyle + DJ Principal Blackman 7pm. $20. 38 :: BRAG :: 532 : 30:09:13
Che Fu - feat: 612 + DJ Secrt Wpn Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. free. El’Circo - feat: Resident Circus Act Performers Slide Lounge, Darlinghurst. 7pm. $109. Factory Fridays - feat: Resident DJs Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. free. GTA - feat: DJ C-Blu + Mike Hyper + Blackmale + DJ Celsius + Ramske Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 9pm. $30. Kilter + Paces + Spoonty + Retiree FBi Social, Kings Cross. 8pm. $12. Mashed Fridays - feat: DJ Ric C Oatley Hotel, Oatley. 8pm. free. Soft & Slow - feat: Arkside + Pink Lloyd (Softwar) + Dreamcatcher (Slow Blow) The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $10. Something Wicked - feat: Harper + Robustt + Dosage DJs Candy’s Apartment, Potts Point. 8pm. $10. The Guestlist - feat: Various Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour. 9pm. $15.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 HIP HOP & R&B
Kooyeh + Gang Of Brothers Blue Beat, Sydney. 8pm. $22.
After Dark - feat: Resident DJs Whaat Club, Kings Cross. 8pm. $15. 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. Goodgod Birthday Night (Smash Hits!) - feat: Montero + Standish/Carlyon + The Murlocs + Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys + Alex Cameron + Mining Boom + Four Door + Major Napier + Black Vanilla Yo Grito! + Silky Doyle + DJ Principal Blackman Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 7pm. $20. Homemade Saturdays feat: Resident DJs Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour. 9pm. $25. Jacksons Saturdays - feat: Resident DJs Jacksons On George, Sydney. 9pm. free. Jealous Much? Surprise International Guest - feat: A-Tonez + Black N Blunt + Acaddamy + Kerry Wallace + Matt Weit + U-Khan + Pharley + Fingers + GG Magree + Ra Bazaar Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 10pm. $25. Joey Negro The Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. Masif Saturdays Space, Sydney. 10pm. Pacha Sydney - feat: Duke Dumont + John Glover + Ben Morris + Matt Nugent + Splender C + Offtapia + Fingers + Pablo Calamari + Pat Ward + Trent Rackus + Nanna Does Smack + Stu Turner Ivy Bar/Lounge, Sydney. 6:30pm. $30. Professor Groove & The Booty Affair Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 7:30pm. $20. Seamus Haji + Alex Taylor + Johnny Gleeson + Lavida + Liam Sampras Goldfish, Kings Cross. 9pm. $15. Skybar Saturdays - feat: Resident DJ The Watershed Hotel, Sydney. 9:30pm. $20. Spice - feat: Mantra Collective + Space Junk + Whitecat + Aboutjack + Antoine Vice + Robbie Lowe + Nic Scali The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $20. The Suite - feat: Resident DJs Sapphire Lounge, Potts Point. 8pm. free.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 6 CLUB NIGHTS
Beresford Sundays - feat: Resident DJs Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills. 3pm. free. Courtyard Party - feat: Crookers Ivy Bar/lounge, Sydney. 1pm. $55. Easy Sundays - feat: Resident DJs Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross. 10pm. free. Goodgod Birthday Night (Goodgod All-Stars) - feat: Nina Las Vegas Vs Levins + Mike Who Vs Jimmy Sing Slow Blow + Shantan Wantan Ichiban + Pelvis + Ariane & Marcus King Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 9pm. $15. Jay Lumen + Alex Taylor + Matt Cahill + Tom Kelly + Husky Goldfish, Kings Cross. 9pm. $15. Random Soul - feat: Yogi & Husky The Argyle, The Rocks, Sydney. 6pm. free. S.A.S.H Sundays - feat: Laura Jones + Blond:ish + Linda Jenssen + Rachel May + Kerry Wallace + Matt Weir + Morgan The Abercrombie, Broadway. 2pm. $10. Shakedown Party - feat: Freemasons + DJ Alex Taylor + Beth Yen + Chip Glenn + Dan Murphy + Dan Slater + Murray Hood + Nelson De Sousa + DJ Philthy Holster & Kitty Glitter Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour. 10pm. $59. Soup Kitchen - feat: The Soup Kitchen DJs World Bar, Kings Cross. 7pm. free. Spice After Hours - feat: Steven Sullivan + Murat Kilic 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 OCTOBER 2
Alison Wonderland + Paces + Fishing Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach. 8pm. Free.
Alta + Ginger & The Ghost Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. $10.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3 Red Bull Music Academy - Feat: Flako (UK) Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 8pm. Free.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 4 Gta - Feat: DJ C-Blu + Mike Hyper + Blackmale + DJ Celsius + Ramske Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 9pm. $30.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 Kooyeh + Gang Of Brothers Blue Beat, Sydney. 8pm. $22. Jealous Much? Surprise International Guest - Feat: A-Tonez + Black N Blunt + Acaddamy + Kerry Wallace + Matt Weit + U-Khan + Pharley + Fingers + Gg Magree + Ra Bazaar Chinese Laundry, Sydney. 10pm. $25. Joey Negro The Soda Factory, Surry Hills. 5pm. Free. Pacha Sydney - Feat: Duke Dumont + John Glover + Ben Morris + Matt Nugent + Splender C + Offtapia + Fingers + Pablo Calamari + Pat Ward + Trent Rackus + Nanna Does Smack + Stu Turner Ivy Bar/Lounge, Sydney. 6:30pm. $30. Seamus Haji + Alex Taylor + Johnny Gleeson + Lavida + Liam Sampras Goldfish, Kings Cross. 9pm. $15.
Spice - Feat: Mantra Collective + Space Junk + Whitecat + Aboutjack + Antoine Vice + Robbie Lowe + Nic Scali The Spice Cellar, Sydney. 10pm. $20.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 6 Goodgod Birthday Night (Goodgod All-Stars) - Feat: Nina Las Vegas Vs Levins + Mike Who Vs Jimmy Sing Slow Blow + Shantan Wantan Ichiban + Pelvis + Ariane & Marcus King Goodgod Small Club, Sydney. 9pm. $15. Jay Lumen + Alex Taylor + Matt Cahill + Tom Kelly + Husky Goldfish, Kings Cross. 9pm. $15. S.A.S.H Sundays - feat: Laura Jones + Blond:ish + Linda Jenssen + Rachel May + Kerry Wallace + Matt Weir + Morgan The Abercrombie, Broadway. 2pm. $10. Shakedown Party - Feat: Freemasons + DJ Alex Taylor + Beth Yen + Chip Glenn + Dan Murphy + Dan Slater + Murray Hood + Nelson De Sousa + DJ Philthy Holster & Kitty Glitter Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour. 10pm. $59.
“ .. an EP best served raw and cold. Like all truth, you need to check it out yourself.”
Mute MC (Reverse Polarities, Mute X Roleo, Mute Oblivion)
“.. Scatter the Rats is an attack on what we know and the status quo.” Deadbeat (Deatbeat and Hazy)
4TH WALL CITY NEW EP ‘SCATTER THE RATS’
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up all night out all week . . .
20:09:13 :: Oxford Arts Factory :: 38-46 Oxford St Darlinghurst 9332 3711
21:09:13 :: Chinese Laundry :: 111 Sussex St Sydney 8295 9999
19:09:13 :: Chinese Laundry :: 111 Sussex St Sydney 8295 9999 D HONCHO) :: KARL BRAASCH
S : TIM LEVY (HEA OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR :: DAVID ROUSE
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:: JAY COLLIER
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It’s called: Summit DJs & Bootleg Social Recor ds presents House on the Harbour It sounds like: It’s all about to go off! If previo us cruises are anything to go by. Acts: Tobie Allen (UK), Hannah Gibbs, Levi5S tar, Shaun Warner, Ron Maran, Emmet Greene, Scott Lamont, Mog Vilder percussion feat. Captain Trumpet and Rob Morris plume, with live brass & h. Three songs you’ll hear on the night: Shaun Warner ft Dawson – ‘Sunrise In Ibiza (Southlight Radio Edit)’… if he remem bers!!!; Eddie Amador – ‘I Don’t Trip (Afm Groove Remix)’; DJ Chus & Patrick M – ‘Estela (Anthony Attalla Remix)’. And one you definitely won’t: We wouldn’t want to appear disrespectful to any artist! Each to their own. Sell it to us: We’ve got an international lineup alongside local talent, with a backdrop of two of Sydney’s finest brass and percussion musicians… and all this on the most scenic harbour on the planet! The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Perhaps none of it … but hopefully the music. Crowd specs: 18+ with one condition – you must like your ‘House’. Wallet damage: We’re almost giving this cruise away! $45 presale tickets online now. Limited and subject to availability. Where: Aboard the Lady Rose on Sydney Harbo ur. When: Saturday October 12, midday – 5pm; boarding Cargo Bar, King St Wharf, Darling Harbour.
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house on the harbour
22:09:13 :: The Abercrombie Hotel :: 100 Broadway Ultimo 9211 3486 thebrag.com
snap Deep Impressions
up all night out all week . . .
Underground Dance And Electronica with Chris Honnery
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ne of the finest DJs of the ‘now’, Ramon Lisandro Quezada – better known in nightclub circles as DJ Qu – will headline the next Boom Boom bash at Tatler on Saturday October 26. The New Jerseybased Qu has referred to himself as “the dancer’s DJ,” and while anyone not familiar with the man may misconstrue that statement as typical DJ selfaggrandising backslapping, to do so is wrong on multiple counts. Firstly, Qu has a background in competitive house dancing, secondly he is extremely humble, and finally – well, he is the dancer’s DJ. Of all the DJs I saw in Europe last summer, none topped Qu warming up for Levon Vincent at Berlin’s Panorama Bar and stealing Levon’s thunder. Rising to prominence through Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality stable, Qu released a mix as part of that label’s promotion for their celebrated 2009 party at the now defunct Berlin club Tape, which took the form of an mp3 CD comprising mixes from everyone on the bill (which included Jus-Ed, Fred P, Levon Vincent and Nina Kraviz along with Qu). Qu’s mix more than held its own against the offerings of his more illustrious counterparts, providing an early indication of his formidable abilities as a DJ, with Resident Advisor declaring: “Jus-Ed may claim to be the one ‘bringing all the muscle,’ but based on this mix, Qu sounds like the toughest one.” (Not that dance music should be reduced to a macho contest – we’re not talking about the sort of guys who settle disputes with a bench press competition.)
14:09:13 :: The Factory :: 105 Victoria Rd Marrickville 9550 3666
live review What we’ve been out to see... RUDIMENTAL, GORGON CITY Enmore Theatre Tuesday September 24
WOB-WOB-WOB. UK duo Gorgon City brought their juicy, hypnotic sounds to the Enmore stage tonight at one of the best gigs I’ve been to this year. As a standard rule, usually any DnB or electronic artists emerging from the UK are bound to be incredible – sweeping generalisation, I know, but you do the math. These two gentlemen need to be seen live. It’s obvious Gorgon City had one vision for the night, and they executed it divinely with a party-minded setlist, a sequence to die for and transitions to boot. They have a luscious sound that is constantly ear prickling, incorporating a bit of dub and some electronica to cook up a beautiful mixture of deep, sultry bass seasoned with the stimulation of sweet electro melodies. It was a perfect warm-up for the awesomeness of what came next – Rudimental.
Rudimental emerged from backstage to see a venue at capacity, a crowd swarming with pent-up energy and a mass of hands making love hearts. The set was thick with musicality, like deep reggae/dub inspired solos vibrating up the walls and through ears. The stage was packed with instruments and sweaty musicians in baseball caps; a picture straight out of a Sting and The Police gig. Rudimental played every track on the album, the standouts obviously being ‘Feel The Love’, ‘Free’, ‘Waiting All Night’ and ‘Not Giving In’. They performed with so much energy, passion and vibrance; the Enmore was electric. Their technicality was outstanding – each one of them performed with overwhelming engagement, power and swag, in particular the drummer. That kid is a freak. Watching the gig was better than listening to the album; in fact, I would listen to a live recording of the album more than the studio album if one existed. Rudimental are nuts. 10/10. Liz Elleson
D HONCHO) :: KARL BRAASCH
S : TIM LEVY (HEA OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR :: DAVID ROUSE thebrag.com
:: JAY COLLIER
Qu maintained his profile with a steady succession of dark house cuts on his Strength Music imprint, which launched back in ’05, before dropping his debut LP, Gymnastics, in 2011. Melding house and techno sounds, the album entrenched Qu at the forefront of the ‘Jersey House’ scene. Qu has also accumulated original releases and remixes for labels such as Rekids, Desolat and Synchroph, reworking the likes of Nina Kraviz and Sascha Dive along the way, while his recent EP, ‘The Way’, was a deep and brooding cut featuring guest Blaze vocalists Peven Everett and Josh Milan. But for all his production prowess, my defining memories of Qu are from when he’s behind the decks. As the man himself says, “I come from the tradition where the DJ is there to work for the crowd and not to be the focus point. The DJ is there to make them dance by any means necessary, so you could easily be replaced if you weren’t moving the crowd.” We can safely say that Qu won’t be getting hauled off the decks at Tatler, and you’d be ill advised to miss his Sydney debut in such an intimate setting. Presale tickets are available online now.
The German duo of Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz, collectively Super Flu, will release their second album, Halle Saale, on Wednesday October 23. With a playful and robust take on tech house sounds that combines quirky pop influences with outand-out techno, Super Flu are a hugely popular drawcard on the European club and festival circuit. The pair delivered the standout set of Fusion 2012 with a set studded with their own productions, while the pair’s discography also includes remixes of Cascandy, Dominik Eulberg and Format B. Listening to the preview of Halle Saale reveals that Super Flu are forging ahead with the same formula that’s proved so successful for them thus far in their career; it’s all about irresistibly catchy grooves and not being afraid to throw vocals into the mix. Super Flu’s releases are anything but highbrow, and that’s precisely the point; the pair couldn’t care less for chin-strokers when they can make a dancefloor tremble like they can. File Halle Saale under capital ‘F’ for (plenty of) fun – it’s sure to offer some summer-friendly gems for Sydney DJs to rinse as the weather gets warmer and the silly season begins.
LOOKING DEEPER SATURDAY OCTOBER 12
Sigha & Shifted The Civic Underground, Sydney
SATURDAY OCTOBER 26 DJ Qu Tatler, Darlinghurst
Mad Racket ft Aardvarck Imperial Hotel, Erskinville Coma The Abercrombie, Chippendale
Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through firstname.lastname@example.org BRAG :: 532 :: 30:09:13 :: 41
PICS :: AMT
up all night out all week . . .
PICS :: AM
20:09:13 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666
42 :: BRAG :: 530 :: 16:09:13
PICS :: AM
20:09:13 :: Chinese Laundry :: 111 Sussex St Sydney 8295 9999
21:09:13 :: The Ivy :: 1/330 George St Sydney 9254 8100 S : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR :: DAVID ROUSE
:: KARL BRAASCH :: JAY COLLIER
SUNDAY 02 FEBRUARY
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