Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010: Gigs

So it's that time of the year again, when the internet is overloaded by bloggers arguing over what in fact was the best-faux-hipster-lofi-core-pop-punk band of the year and why their opinion is better than NME/Rolling Stone/Pitchfork. And don't worry, mine will show up at some point in time, but I still have about 20 albums to listen to and not much free time to do it. So for now, with only a few hours left in the year, I thought I'd do my top five gigs of the year.

49 gigs (2 festivals).
182 bands.

It's down on the last few years, that's for sure. I'm not sure who to blame... My old job with it's travel, my new job and settling in, old age, having seen a lot of bands before and not wanting to see them or the GFC, I just didn't go to as many gigs this year. That being said, some of my favourite gigs of my life have been this year, specifically the last few months. So let's begin:

5. I've had to call this one a tie, as I just could not take one of these off my list, they were both amazing.

5a) Mark Lanegan, July 6 @ the Zoo
Two men: one standing with an acoustic guitar; the other singing such beautiful songs. I can't remember last time I stood there absolutely spellbound by someone's voice (maybe the Thrills in 2008). I didn't know most of the songs (except for the one Queens of the Stone Age song he threw in at the end) but it didn't matter. When someone can sing that beautifully and command such a presence with just his voice, it is truly memorable. I may have even swooned a little.

5b) Revival Tour (Tim Barry, Ben Nichols, Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan), April 28 @ the Rosemount Hotel (Perth)
Sure, I was disappointed that I was travelling for work through their Brisbane show, but seeing this in Perth was probably even better.

4 great punk singers on acoustic guitar, with 2 backup multi-instrumentalists, getting together randomly on stage for 3 hours, playing their own songs, each other's songs and whatever they felt like in a neo-punk-folk-country style. Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Frank Turner, Tim Barry (Avail) and Ben Nichols (Lucero) are even better performers acoustic than they are with full bands. Not to mention the fact that I made some great friends that night and even met the guys.

4. The Pixes, July 31 @ the Zoo
A last minute announcement was made that this was the warm up show for the Pixies before they headlined Splendour in the Grass the next day. The show was unexpected. Earlier in the year I saw them play a fairly mediocre and lacklustre performance at the Convention Centre and had actually written them off as no more than a cash machine living off our fond memories. But then, given the opportunity to see them play a tiny-ass club with ~450 other people, I could not say no!

They rocked through 28 of their classics on a stage that couldn't even fit their setup properly. I was standing less than 2 metres from them (compared to the Convention Centre where I was probably 100 metres away). It was a very rare one-off gig, and I will never go see them again, so as not to tarnish this special performance.

My full review is here.

(FYI, apparently their headlining set at Splendour the next day was horrible. So I'm glad we got to see it privately).

3. Graf Orlock, Dangers, June 19, Burst City
One of the main reasons I started blogging was for the band Dangers. At the start of the year I was obsessed with this band, and still am. I started blogging because I wanted to share this album with as many friends as possible. So when they came out on a little DIY tour of Australia I had to go, as it may have be the only chance we will ever get.

Having seen Dangers and Graf play the Tempo Bar the day before, I was already excited. But seeing them play a little club hall, with an amazing all ages crowd (and BYO alcohol) was an experience. Everyone there was really getting into it and the main bands went all out. Even the four local bands opening were great, leading to just a huge evening of hardcore music (which was followed by seeing Carpathian play another gig and Australia play a World Cup soccer game. It was just a huge day).

My short review is here.

2. Dave Hause, Hot Water Music, Bouncing Souls, December 11 @ the Zoo
This gig would have been amazing purely for Hot Water Music playing one of their rare live performances or for the Bouncing Souls doing their first Australian tour in about 3 years or even for a nice unplugged set from the lead singer of the Loved Ones. But what made this gig memorable was the encore. All 3 international acts came on together to sing each other's songs, changing instruments/singers mid song sometime. This was what an encore should always be and capped off an amazing evening.

My full review is here.


1. Baroness, October 17 @ the Zoo

I've never seen a band enjoy themselves on stage so much. I've never seen a predominantly metal crowd like so spellbound and in awe of what they were seeing. Put those together and Baroness just fed off the raw energy and put on an amazing show. They showed how talented they were as musicians and just couldn't stop smiling and enjoying themselves the whole set. A set, mind you, which went an extra 30 minutes past the scheduled ending time. A set which included an encore of a song they hardly play, because they enjoyed themselves so goddamn much. And a set which ended with a band absolutely humbled and thanking us like it was also the best night of their life. Lucy and I just walked out smiling and giggling like little school girls in love, it was that amazing.

My short review is here.

2010 was full of great gigs for me. Some of these will be top 5 of all time for me, I just know it. However, 2011 is shaping up to be even better. I'll be seeing some of my favourite bands like Future of the Left, Interpol, Sufjan, Streetlight Manifesto, La Dispute, Primus, Belle and Sebastian and the Hold Steady. I'm also heading to at least 4 more festivals. And that's just all in the first few months of the year. 2011 is set to blow me away with live music.

Happy New Year to my readers

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mos Def and his partner in crime

The gifted MC, Mos Def, is coming out for a tour in about a fortnight's time. Unfortunately, he's had to delay the start of his tour due to some sort of reason. But this doesn't bother us at all. Not one bit, as he'll still be playing the Tivoli on January 13.

To make up for it, he's bringing along a good friend of his, Talib Kweli, who's also a genius MC. And if we're lucky, we may get them to play a few of their collaboration songs, known as Blackstar:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Klaxons Christmas Present

Klaxons, here next week for Sunset Sounds, are also giving us free music for Christmas! You can grab their free EP over at their website:

As all of these free albums download, I'm going to go nap away all the champagne and food and listen to my new Modest Mouse 7" I got for Christmas.

Happy Holidays to all!
Love Chuck.

Gorillaz Christmas Present

Gorillaz, to celebrate the end of their (maybe last) tour and Christmas have released a new album today. For free! Get it here:

It was mainly recorded on Damon's iPad, but hey, it's free!

La Dispute Christmast Present

My current favourite band, La Dispute, is offering a gift to you. You can download all of their music for free today only! Get on it right here:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Free Music Friday 7!

Girlfriends is the project of a single man. A man named Jerry Joiner. And I hope that name is not made up, because Jerry joins things. Literally. He is a looper.

A looper? Up until listening to this I had no idea why he was either. But I guess it's self explanatory. He takes sounds and loops them together to make music. Most songs start with a little bit of guitar, playing a sort of bright, almost mathy riff. This then loops and he slowly adds other instruments in layers over it, ocassionally finishing with some shouted vocals which are like a hybrid of garage rock with hardcore.

I love it. And to make it more awesome, you can get his 2009 self titled album for free at his Bandcamp: (or, if you dig it, you can donate a bit of cash). Get on this, it's awesome to think it's just one guy making this music.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I mentioned a while back that Motorhead and Black Label Society were going to do a co-headlining tour. Well since that news was announced, the dates were taken off the Black Label Society website and replaced with a China tour. So no Zakk Wylde for us (lucky I saw him in Ozzy years ago). However, we still get the masters of thrash, Motorhead:

1st April, Gold Coast Convention Centre.

It's an odd location, what with Brisbane up the road... Apparently tickets are about $100 as well. I'd pay that for the two originial bands, but Motorhead by themselves, on the Gold Coast? It may be a bit too much for me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Bright Eyes track

This is Conor Oberst

Hailing from the sleepy midwest town of Omaha, he hit it big in the late 90's/early 00's with his band Bright Eyes and their folk music. People now worship the ground he walks on.

Bright Eyes went their separate ways a while ago and Conor did a tonne of solo stuff, including last year's folk supergroup Monsters of Folk. But now he's back with Bright Eyes again and in the process of putting out new music. The new album comes out in February, but right now you can get the first single for free. Right here.

Old Music for Old People

Did you enjoy the punk ending to the No Sleep Til Festival? Did you grow up on a healthy diet of 90's punk? Then you should go to Thriller at Rosies on the 8th of January.

Old Music For Old People is a covers band featuring people form NSW punk bands such as One Dollar Short and Something For Numbers. And when they play Brisbane my old boss Scott will even jam with them a few times. So if you like plenty of Descendents, NOFX, Unwritten Law, Bad Religion, et al, head on in and sing along to your heart's content!

No Sleep Til...

So I just got out of the longest hot shower I've ever had, following one of the coldest and wettest days of my life at the No Sleep Til festival at the RNA showgrounds. It was such an interesting day for me, that I am feeling compelled to blog it down before I go to bed.

As I was waiting in line to get in early to catch Break Even, my heart sank. All I could see for miles was young, teenage scene kids, with their horrible hair cuts, makeup and band shirts. After following them in and scoring a seat out of the rain, I proceeded to watch them make their way back and forth between the two stages, following the popular scene bands. From one stage to another they followed Confession, House vs Hurricane, We Came as Romans, Suicide Silence and August Burns Red.

We just sat in the stands waiting out the rain, staying dry and watching them herd like cattle on my grandad's property. Eventually the scene kids made it up into the stands and the metal crowds disappeared into the stages. Although the festival had fairly staggered bands and genres, it just seemed that it started scene and then split into metal and punk onto either stage. Not that it bothered me, I followed the split into the punk side.

The second tragedy of the day (the first being the consistent rain that just kept getting heavier) was during NOFX. With it being the last day of the tour, Fat Mike seemed to have almost lost his voice. He kept changing to songs that El Jefe could sing. Although his notes were off, he did manage to finish out a very good and fun festival set, where he spent the majority of the time slagging off the metal bands and crowds.

The third, the final, the greatest tragedy of the day came in the punk headliner: the Descendents. Anyone that knows me knows I have been obsessing about this day of seeing the Descendents ever since the tour was rumoured. Having already seen most of the lineup of this festival before, it was only the Descendents I was really there for. So when they came out to play, I was in heaven.

But oh no, something was wrong. The songs just didn't sound right and Milo stopped pretty much mid song. He had completely lost his voice. The band, on their first (and maybe only) tour to Brisbane had lost their main (and iconic) vocalist.

Now Milo, Steve, Karl and Bill, I don't think you will ever read this, but if you do, I would just like to applaud you for your professionalism and resolve. Most other bands would've stopped playing, but you decided to keep going and work your way around it. And it almost worked.

The set that followed was a one-off rarity that not many people will ever get to witness. Milo went off to get some tea or something similar for his throat, and the rest of the Descendents kept playing. On some songs they all sang the lyrics. On some songs one of the techies did. On other songs members of NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Frenzal Rhomb and Dropkick Murphys came out and did vocal duties. You could see all of the other punks running out to check the setlist and see what songs they knew the lyrics to so they could join in.

And best of all, Milo showed extreme bravery (or stupidity) and came out and sang a few random songs, spending most of the time throwing himself into the crowd and letting us sing. He could barely speak into the microphone to talk to the crowd, but he threw everything that he had left into singing his set.

Fat Mike and the rest of the punk crew were amazing as well, showing such concern and care for Milo, much like a kid to a father. They kept trying to help him out however they could, when they weren't singing the songs (or backflipping and rolling across stage while singing, ala Fat Mike).

Unfortunately Milo had to call it to a stop 5 or 10 minutes early, it was just too much. To me, it seemed like the set had only been 10 minutes long. I craved more.

Luckily, after persistant cheering and clapping from the crowd, they came out, but with a twist. Bill (the drummer) on guitar, Milo on bass, Stephen (guitarist) on drums and Karl (bassist) singing. It wasn't as clean (probably not even practiced) but they managed to play us one more song with Karl spending most of the time above me crowd surfing.

It wasn't the day I ever imagined it would be, but I was thankful enough to the Descendents for giving it their all today in such a tough situation, and also giving us something special.

EDITED to add this video. Obviously someone else thought the same as me:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cee Lo cancels Good Vibrations

The title says it all really.

This guy:

Has pulled out of the Good Vibrations festival on the Gold Coast in February. Apparently it's so he can play the Grammy Awards.

I don't blame him really.


It's not Australian unless you think of this video when you think of Lamb:

However, on this occassion, it's the British electronic/trip-hop duo. Having just released their first album in 8 years, they are taking it on the road for the Playground Weekender. Of course, that's not coming here, but we will get a sideshow for them to play their relaxing electronica, hopefully including their hits Gabriel and Gorecki.

Feb 18, HiFi


Bad Day Down

The last of my Brisbane bands may not even exist anymore. I don't know. They mainly aren't Brisbane people either, with members hailing from the USA and Sydney, but they are still based here. They are Bad Day Down.

For years every punk show I would go to in Brisbane, whether locals or internationals, they'd be playing. Probably by pure repetition alone, they became one of my favourite punk bands, even with their ultra-political songs. I saw them so many times that I knew their songs without even owning an album. I eventually did track down their CDs, but now that no longer matters.

A while back they put their latest CD online for free, so grab it here. A few songs on this album did the rounds of Triple J for a while, but since they opened Propaghandi last year, not a peep from them. They could be broken up, but I have no idea. Just enjoy the free album and the great punk.

Hungry Kids of Hungary

One of my friends just worships the ground that Hungry Kids of Hungary walks on. It's not hard to see why, they're good guys and they have some really upbeat guitar indie-pop.

I've blogged about them a few times before, so I won't go into too much detail about these Brisbane boys. But following on from their excellent Australian Music Month show in November, they are now going around and doing a string of regional Australian dates. They'll be taking the Honey Month with them and be playing around appearances at both the Laneway festival here in Brisbane and Good Vibrations on the Gold Coast.

Feb 3, Joe's Waterhole, Eumundi
Feb 5, Hoey Moey, Coff's Harbour

Get a free MP3 from their Unearthed site.

Quiet Steps

I have no idea how I stumbled across this band. I've yet to see them live, but somehow they rocked up in my playlist one day. This is Brisbane's own Quiet Steps:

These guys tick all the boxes for me right now, as I am currently in a weird mood of listening to a lot of screamo and mathrock/noodly indie bands. And hey, guess what, they combine math rock/noodly indie and screamo!

They've put out a new album this year and you can get it for free as well. Right here.

If you like what you hear, go check them out playing Ric's on December 29. 18+

Numbers Radio

Numbers Radio are a great rock and roll band from Brisbane, who blew me away when they opened for the Bronx last year. It was an unexpected combination, as they play more of an alternative/indie rock style than the Bronx's hardcore punk, but they were still great.

These boys are still young, but they've already played in other great Brisbane bands. Numbers Radio started as a side project, but it's starting to go off. They've released a debut album and you can get some of their tracks on their Unearthed website for free.

They've got a few shows coming up in January, touring with some other great Australian bands:
Jan 6, Boys & Girls (X&Y), 18+
Jan 25, Lifeboat (Southbank Ferris Wheel) with Cola Wars
Jan 27, Noosa RSL (with Cola Wars)
Jan 28, Beenleigh Tavern (with Cola Wars)
Jan 29, Runaway Bay Tavern (with Cola Wars)
Mar 18, Step Inn (with Trial Kennedy)


In the Walls

I don't know if there's an actual scene, but In The Walls are as local as it gets for me: Indooroopilly-core.

They're a metal/hardcore band with a sound that reminds me a little of I Killed the Prom Queen (and that's definitely not a bad thing). In the Walls have an EP coming out in the next few weeks and a slew of dates to support it.

Dec 31, Basement 243
Jan 1, Thriller (Rosies) 18+
Jan 8, the Fort, All Ages. This is their EP release and it shall be a crazy night.

They've got a few tracks on their Facebook, check it out. That is some great production for demo/EP tracks.

The Honey Month

I've always said that the best place to find new music is by getting to gigs early and watching the opening bands. Sure, sometimes you have to sit through some absolute garbage, but sometimes you just get an amazing band like the Honey Month.

A few weeks back I saw them open for Girls at the Zoo. I wasn't expecting much, but when I saw the band set up instruments such as an upright bass, an acordian, a two string ukulele, a tiny elmo kids piano, two drums and others I can't remember, I instantly paid attention. What followed was some great folk-tinged indie pop. There was a lot of them on the stage with a lot of instruments, but they all complemented each other beautifully, creating some very lush music.

You can get some of their songs for free of their Unearthed website.

Nuclear Summer

The first band in today's Brisbane music special are a band I saw play the Roma House benefit gig on Saturday at Burst City. They are Nuclear Summer and here's a picture I took:

They may actually have been my favourite band of the day. Not taking away anything from the other great bands, but I really enjoyed Nuclear Summer. From their live show, I imagined my description of them to be This Town Needs Guns, crossed with La Dispute with much heavier vocals. Basically indie-math rock with heavy screaming vocals. They had me in at the start of their set though, with their guitarist just hitting his guitar and yet making some beautiful noise out of it.

They were handing out a demo at the gig, for free, which I managed to pick up. But lucky for you at home, they've also put it out on their website, right here:

(EDIT: The link may be broken, try this:

The demo has the vocals a bit more gravelly and punk style, but it still shows off how excellent this band is.

Rather unsurprisingly, they'll be opening for La Dispute on their Australian tour, so catch them January 25th at the Zoo. 18+

Local music day!

On Saturday I went to a superb local fundraising gig (I may even call it a mini festival) at Burst City full of local bands. And it just reminded me of how good the music in Brisbane is. I know I go on and on about it, but we have always had a great music scene. Like it or not, great bands have come from this city. Bands such as Powderfinger, the Go Betweens, Custard, the Saints, Regurgitator, Savage Garden, Wolfmother and tonnes more have all started within our city's confines, probably in the Valley. So I'm dedicating today to be Brisbane music day! Where I celebrate all things good about Brisbane music.

To kick things off, here's a highlight video of the benefit gig from the weekend:

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Continuing on my run of emo-bands from my teenage years, it's time to talk about Finch. At about the same time as Taking Back Sunday, they released the album What It Is To Burn, featuring a mix of emo, alternative rock and post-hardcore. I dug it hard.

They had a few acoustic songs that my friends and I always used to mimic in our jam sessions. As I write this I'm listening to a demo Kenny and I recorded... Halfway through, we start yelling about ducks. Good times.

After What It Is To Burn we waited for what seemed like an eternity. The band kind of disappeared. And then they came back with a single track to the Underworld soundtrack. It went a lot heavier than their earlier work and showed an interesting twist, which came to fruition with their second album, Say Hello to Sunshine. This album, although alienating a lot of fans, has now become one of my all time favourites. It's amazing.

They then broke up and disappeared. Only to reappear with a disappointing EP and a spot on the Soundwave Festival in 2009. I was lucky enough to see them twice on that tour and was just blown away. There was hope for them in the future! They were recording again! Demos existed!

But then, this week, the end. They announced they were done. Differences of opinions. No longer able to collaborate together. Which is sad, because they left us two finished songs. And they are awesome. You can get them here.

I'm going to go listen to Say Hello to Sunshine now and be all sad in my room while clutching my Finch drumstick.

Taking Back Sunday

As a young, impressionable teenager, the band Taking Back Sunday meant a lot to me. Their emo-stylings and lyrics spoke to my constantly heart broken self. As such, their first album, Tell All Your Friends, was played pretty much every day. Heck, I still bust this song out on guitar every now and then:

Time went on, members came and went, albums were released and they just never seemed to recreate the brilliance of Tell All Your Friends at least as far as I was concerned. Maybe it was just the time and place and the memories linked to the album? Like when Joe and I drove to Colorado listening to this album over and over again, trying to convince his parents there were no swear words in it like modern music? Ahh, the memories.

Anyway, for the first time in years, the band is back together with the original lineup. Well not the original, original lineup with Jesse Lacey (of Brand New fame) in it, but the lineup that recorded Tell All Your Friends. And they've put out a new song!

You can listen to it here.

After one listen I'm a bit undecided. They don't really do the dual vocals on it like on Tell All Your Friends, but hey, it's not finished yet. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Grinderman Tour

As I copied and pasted a few hours ago, Nick Cave is without a doubt the greatest Australian musician of all time. His current musical project is Grinderman and they've just released an excellent album which combines Nick's brooding and gloomy music stylings of past and puts it all in a garage rock setting.

Ah, it's so refreshing to see some real music.

They'll be touring as part of the Big Day Out festival in January, but they're also going to play some sideshows. We get them on January 24 at the Tivoli.


One sentence album reviews (#7)

As always, you can get these regularly on my Twitter.

Atlas Sound - Logos (2010): Very soft and quiet shoegaze crossed with electronica; very dream like. 2.5/5

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010): Bieber(-1), Raekwon(+2), autotune(-1), Bon Iver(+1), samples King Crimson(+1) and a "I'm gonna let you finish" joke(+1)=3/5

UNKLE - Where Did the Night Fall (2010): One track features Mark Lanegan. #swoon. Apart from that, great relaxed electronica. 4/5

Less Than Jake - TV (2010): ska covers of tv tunes, may confuse many with American TV references. Worth it for the Animaniacs theme alone. 3.5/5

Bomb the Music Industry - Adults!!!... Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!! (2010): As always, just fun ska-punk. Bonus point for being free. 4.5/5

Tigers jaw - Two Worlds (2010): everyone is raving about this, but I find the lead singer's voice too whiney. 2.5/5

Underoath - Disambiguation (2010): The loss of the singer/drummer has somehow steered them towards a more awesome and heavier direction. 4/5

Grinderman - 2 (2010): Dark, brooding garage rock which sounds like a culmination of Nick Cave's entire career. 3.5/5

Ben Folds and Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue (2010): The author's lyrical contribution just makes it seem Folds is trying too damn hard 3/5

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush to Relax (2010): excellent home grown garage rock; surprising number of long songs. That's not the garage rock way. 4/5

Nas & MF Doom - Nastradoomus Vols. 1 & 2 (2010): The 'best of' Doom's beats with new Nas' raps. Most of the songs aren't as good as the originals. 2.5/5

Nick Cave

Nick Cave is, without a doubt, Australia's greatest gift to music. Ever. I wish I had written the following rant, but I infact found it in the comments section of this article.

Zeta says:

01:07pm | 16/12/10

Taste in music is subjective, but in my quest for mathematic excellence I’ve compiled a simple standard for which all excellent music can be judged - can you dance to it? can you make love to it? can you wear a trenchcoat while walking through a dystopic cyberpunk landscape to it? Is it Bowie? Assuming all good music adheres to at least one of these key metrics you can know what is good and what is bad. We call this game ‘Ziggy’s Gambit’.

In pure mathematical terms we establish Bowie as the greatest recording artist of all time. From there, all artists are established at a game theoretical ‘distance’ from Bowie at -1 -2 -3 -4 etc or for those bands that acheive greatest in areas Bowie did not, such as filthy UK dubstep outfits, or anti-masonic outsider country and western acts, +1 +2 etc etc.

Where Bowie equals Z, Nick Cave is therefore Z+3/X (where X is the number of times you’ve been in a bar fight while Stagger Lee is playing on the juke box) - Y (where Y is the number of times you’ve listened to Cave after breaking up with your girlfriend) to the power of How Many School Shootings Were Inspired By Nick Cave (answer is 2).

Thus Nick Cave is good. You can’t argue with the maths.

Ziggy’s Gambit can also calculate which David Bowie incarnation was superior by Z being the metaphysical notion of Bowie and X being the Bowie aspect you wish to compare. The answer, alarmingly, continues you to be the Thin White Duke. Controversial? But the maths don’t lie. The equilibrium point is actually Spaceboy, from the Hello Spaceboy album.

Whoever this Zeta person is, his comments are always hilarious and well researched. Hence me having to quote it here for posterity.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Years Noise

My favourite New Zealand band, hands down, is Die! Die! Die! Not only do they have a great name, they play some great noisy garage rock. Which is a particular favourite genre of mine right now.

Although they've been through town a few times in 2010, they thought they'd squeeze one more show in just before midnight on New Years Eve. They'll be playing Woodlands on New Years Eve, before the venue transforms into the official after party for the No Years show at the Powerhouse.


Amanda f**king Palmer (the tour)

Amanda Palmer, avant-garde-cabaret-piano-player extraordinairre, is half of the band the Dresdon Dolls. Lately though, she's been doing her own solo thing. Including the incredibly random CD that is Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele. It's bloody good though. Check it out.

She's also got a new album coming out at the start of next year, called Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under. I have a feeling it has something to do with our country, especially since she now comes here a few times a year.

As part of the album, she's doing a tour.

February 12. The Old Museum.

No word yet on if she's going to do her Dresden Dolls songs, but she's such a performer that it's worth seeing her no matter what she's performing. I saw her on the first Dresden Dolls tour, and it was just amazing.


Monday, December 13, 2010

City & Colour

This is Alexisonfire:

And coincidentally one of my favourite songs of all time. Hear the guy singing at times? He's Dallas Green:
And his solo project is also known as City and Colour (you're a smart cookie if you can figure out the link between his solo project name and his real name). His side project takes the melodies that he brings to Alexisonfire and pairs it with stripped down music, generally just his acoustic guitar.

You can listen to here:

The last time we were lucky enough to get some shows was when Alexisonfire were doing the Soundwave festival (barely a year ago!). At the time Dallas would play a City and Colour set early in the day and then bugger off to the main stage to rock hard with Alexis. This time though, it's just him playing solo.

April 8. Tivoli.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This speech is my recital, I think it's very vital, to rock (a rhyme), that's right (on time), it's Tricky is the title, here we go...

When you think of the genre of trip-hop, you will nearly always think of Massive Attack. Without fail. Well this guy was part of Massive Attack as a teenager, before he struck off on his home (and did a damn fine good job of it too):

He's coming down during the summer for a run of festival dates, none (of course) of which are in Queensland. But that's even better, as we get our own Tricky show. In a very awesome venue.

February 20th. The Zoo. 18+

Tickets are looking to be about $75! Quite steep I know, but for experiencing Tricky with a crowd of about 450 max, it will be amazing.

And for those of you not familiar with his music, you may be familiar with his acting. He plays the creature in this Tool video epic.


A few years ago I was hanging out at Summerfest in Milwaukee. The headliners of that particular day were Stone Temple Pilots (on the main stage that you had to pay extra for) and the Roots. There were three of us there and someone gave us two free tickets to the STP show. It was quite the debate as to who should go in, but eventually I fell on my sword and went to the Roots instead, letting my boys go to STP.

I had some regrets about that decision, even though the Roots were amazing and put on one of the best festival sets I've seen. Everyone just kept telling me how awesome Stome Temple Pilots were, and I figured there'd be some sort of drug relapse and we'd never see them again.

In the end, it turns out I made the best choice for two reasons:
  1. The Roots announced a few months later that they'd play no more live shows
  2. Stone Temple Pilots are coming to Australia
23rd March. Riverstage.

You don't know Stone Temple Pilots?! Well, what did you listen to in the 90s? They were a post-grunge "alternative" rock band that scored a stream of number 1's in America. Until drugs had their way. Pay attention:

Hopefully Scott stays clean and out of trouble long enough to actually get down here.

Gorillaz Advent Calendar

With the wonderful animated Gorillaz passing through Brisbane next weekend, I thought I'd share with you their gift to us fans: an advent calendar.

Every day this Christmas season, they will post a new gift on this website, culminating on Christmas day with a brand new song that we can get for free! So make sure that after you gorge yourself on food, drink yourself into a coma and play with all of your new toys, that you go check out the new Gorillaz track!

Headaches/Dave Hause/Hot Water Music/The Bouncing Souls, the Zoo, 11 December 2010.

To say that the punk community of Brisbane was waiting for this show would be an understatement. The lineup to get into the Zoo almost had as many people in it as the entire crowd was on my last foray into this venue on Thursday night. After about 15 minutes watching the great mix of old and new punks in the line, we finally got in.

Headaches, featuring half of the band the Gifthorse started off the show just as I was making my way up the stairs to suss out the large selection of merch, including a few excellent limited edition vinyl (I managed to score the Bouncing Souls/Hot Water Music split 7", where they cover each other's songs). They played a very short set to a rapidly filling venue, blasting us with their hardcore punk.

Next up a small man took to the stage with his acoustic guitar and little golf cap, blowing the crowd away with large voice. Dave Hause, the lead singer of the punk band the Loved Ones belted out a bunch of his songs, switching between acoustic and electric guitar with no backing. He seemed ecstatic to be there and even more excited when the crowd started singing along to his songs. He got a great response to some of the Loved Ones more popular songs, some of which I even recognized and sang along to. But the crowd went wild when Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music came out to help him sing.

The sold out crowd was then at capacity as Dave cleared his own gear from the stage and started helping the next band set up. Apparently he was paying his way on to the tour by being a roadie. But when he finished setting up, the legendary and oft-elusive Hot Water Music came on to stage. The crowd at this point featured many members of Brisbane's punk scene (I saw so many band members of punk bands old and new) and all were seemingly here for this moment. And none were disappointed. They played through most of their songs, the highlights for me was Rooftops (with a great crowd singalong) and Remedy. It was an amazing set, even though Chuck seemed to struggle a bit with his vocals. But given it was the last day of the tour and he was still putting his everything into the music, I'm not surprised.

A few people left after Hot Water Music, but there was no way in hell I was going to leave for the Bouncing Souls, one of my all time favourite bands. They came out to loud cheers from the crowd and launched straight into a set list of classic punk. They pulled out songs from their entire 20 year career, except for songs of the Gold Record album. I guess they agree with most fans about the not-so-quality of the songs on that album.

Although the band was clearly high, with puffs of smoke appearing every now and then, they put on a great set. It's been an age since I have sung along to almost every lyric of a band's set, but it seemed most of the Zoo were going along with it. They took requests from the crowd playing songs that people requested, including an old rarity Inside Out. My night was made however when they pulled out Manthem (set here to some brutal crashes). The whole crowd pumping their fists in the air and chanting oi was just magical. All in all they played over an hour set before leaving the stage to a crowd that was absolutely in punk nirvana.

But little did we know that it was just about to get better. Dave Hause came out to get the guitars ready for the encore, or so we thought. He ended up picking one up and belting out his song Jane. Halfway through though, a mixture of both the Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music came out to be the band. Following that, the Bouncing Souls took over the instruments, with Chuck Ragan coming out to play Hot Water Music's Wayfarer. By about halfway through the song Dave and Hot Water Music were all out on stage, switching instruments mid song and all singing along (as well as numerous stage crashers and divers getting in on it). They then all joined together for an absolutely stunning rendition of Bouncing Souls' True Believers.

The encore itself was amazing, but set to the backdrop of the entire gig, it could be my favourite show of 2010. I am still getting goosebumps as I type this up the next morning. If anyone has the footage of the encore, please link me to it!

EDIT: Here's the encore footage mother truckers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pick up your game crowds: a rant

My friend Paul once told me that being an indie music fan in Brisbane was to lead a life of constant disappointment. I laughed it off at first, but after a few years of being an indie music fan in Brisbane, I can't help but find myself agreeing with him. Although we have plenty of quality local indie bands, we constantly miss out on tours that the indie-flavours-of-the-month undertake, generally only to Melbourne and Sydney. And when they do come, we only get them in festivals with no sideshows. Brisbane is a black hole for festivals doing sideshows.

That doesn't bother me too much, as we still get some okay bands, even if I am paying through my nose to see them and sit through 10 hours of the same local acts that play the same festivals year in and year out. No, that's not what grind my gears. What does trigger a rant like this is the crowds. Brisbane indie crowds have to be some of the worst music crowds I've ever been in (or as is the case these days, standing on the outside edge of).

Anyone that knows me, or even reads this blog more than a few times, knows that I go to all variety of gigs. I like most genres and will give any band an opportunity at least once to impress me. My favourite crowds have to be hardcore and punk crowds. Sure, they have their really silly fight dancing and if you get in the middle of it when you don't want to be there you'll generally take a hit to a place you don't want to (see Enter Shikari, 2008, fight dancer's fist to my groin). But if something is wrong, they'll stop right away and help you. If you fall down, they'll pick you up. If you lose a shoe, they'll clear an area and help you find it. A lot of them are also straight edge, which takes out a variable which ruins most gigs: substance abuse. In the middle of a hardcore crowd there's only a rare chance that you'll end up covered in booze. Most of the drinkers stand to the outside.

But what I love best about hardcore and punk crowds is that they show their love for the music. Even if it's just one guy who likes the songs, he will be there dancing up a storm. People sing along without even knowing the lyrics. If it's a good show, the crowd has no qualms with showing the band their appreciation. They love the music and they know how to have a good time.

I have no problem with hip-hop crowds. Sure, most of the audience is either high as a kite or drunk as a skunk, but they tend to keep it between themselves and their friends. There may be more curse words and profanities, but they also show their love of the bands. And the beauty of hip-hop is the music encourages you to jump up and down on the spot and shout out along with the bands. You don't interfere with the other punters.

Metal gigs sees an interesting mix. Metal crowds are drunks, without a doubt. They'll be pounding drinks away during the opening acts, sometimes being rude and chanting out the headliner's name so they don't have to put up with this shit act. But when they finally hear the headliner or the band they love, they'll get right into it. They have no qualms with losing their cool in front of good music. There'll be dancing, circle pits and some good old fashioned shirtless-and-sweaty moshing. They are more violent than the hardcore crowds but generally just as friendly and kind if something goes wrong.

My point is, with all of these genres, they love the music and are enjoying being there. The same can also be said about classical, hippy-jam bands, country and even sit-down-in-a-giant-arena pop music shows. I've always seen crowds have a good time, even if it's just for the headlining band they went to see (sidenote: watching an old couple in front of me suffer through Mudvayne and Rob Zombie before an Ozzy Osbourne show was still one of the funniest things I've ever seen).

The same can not be said for last night's crowd at Girls' show at the Zoo. The crowd was lacklustre at best. But the most disgusting thing was that I could hear the mainly hipster crowd talking over the band the entirity of the show. The band they just paid $45 to see! It's not like the band was quiet either, although a majority of Girls' songs are dreamy and contemplative with lots of quiet moments. The din of the crowd kept getting louder and louder and you could visbily see the band's disgust.

Unfortunately that wasn't the only thing the crowd did. Through the course of the night I saw drinks tossed in the air, glasses and bottles thrown around, the flowers from the band's microphones ripped off, the petals torn to shreds and thrown at the performers; I even saw joints being smoked and blown directly into the face of the lead singer. All this time I saw the crowd take constant repeated trips to the bar, text/tweet/Facebook while the band was playing and have their backs to the band taking pictures of themselves over and over again with the flash on (warning: future rant about using flash photography at gigs imminent). But the biggest crime of all: standing around and looking like you didn't care to be there and had better things to do. Come on hipsters! You paid good money to be there, enjoy it!

I wish this was a one-off occurrence, but as long as I care to remember now I've seen shocking crowd behaviour from punters at Brisbane indie gigs. This is especially prominent on any band that is the played-on-the-radio flavour of the month band, which seems to bring out the dregs of concert attendance society. As I type I'm having flash backs to the Cops show at the Zoo when they had their song Call Me Anytime on high rotation. *shudder*

These indie kids and hipsters get absolutely drunk before and during these shows. They show no respect for anyone else in the crowd. They spill drinks on everyone, throwing them in the air and into the bands( I saw someone throw a glass tumbler at Ladytron once. Ladytron! How much more of a non-violent band can you get?!). They don't shut up. They yell at the band to play "that one song we heard on the radio" and then they'll leave (another great example: Gnarls Barkley. They all left after playing Crazy even though he had two songs left. I remember Cee-Lo asking the crowd "where y'all going?"). They'll push into the crowd and force you out of the way but then yell and berate you if you try to do anything similar. They'll jump up and down for the one popular song and yell at you for not joining in, but then they'll shun you if you try and do it for one of the opening bands, or heaven forbid, any other song they play. They'll then take non-stop photos of themselves and the band using flash photography which makes everyone blind.

Heck, even a few weeks ago at the Aus Music Month show I kept getting repeatedly fondled by a girl. Even though I old her to stop, her friends said "she's just having a good time" before spilling drinks over me.

Indie crowds, learn some respect and learn how to enjoy being there to see the music. I know it's not everyone, but that 20% of the crowd that is like this are ruining a great night out for me and everyone else in the crowd.

For those of you interested, Girls last night were very good, even with the shit crowd and their obvious discomfort. When things got tough, they just increased the feedback and played some great noise-rock shows.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Free Music Friday 6!

Yes, I know it's not quite Friday yet. But it's got to be in New Zealand, right? Plus I'm off to see Girls tonight and work golf day tomorrow, so this may be the only chance I get. Today's album I gave a 1 sentence review to earlier in the week.
The State Lottery - When The Night Comes (2010): Very folky punk, with lots of random instruments; just what I like. 3.5/5
You may think, "Allan, 3.5?! That's not very good!" To me 3.5 is good. It's nothing new and earth shattering, but it's damn enjoyable.

The State Lottery does folky sounding punk. It's kind of like a gypsy version of the Lawrence Arms crossed with old Against Me! Punk with lots of gravelly vocals, but with a bit more of a folk sound. Includes lots of trumpets and stuff. If you like punk, get this. It's amazing that they are putting this out for free.

Free download of the album When the Night Comes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Brisbane's Montpelier is one of those bands that play dreamy indie-pop. The kind that can put you in a good mood for the whole day, while still leave you contemplating things.

If you like bands such as the Shins or Doves, you will love the crap out of this. Here's a free song you can download and swoon over.

They were playing a free acoustic show last night that I was going to blog about, but unfortunately I got caught up in life amongst other things. Being locals though, we've still got plenty of other chances of seeing them!

Sat Dec 11 – The Hive (all-ages)
Jan 15 – The Zoo (18+)

New Years Eve goodness

Billionaire, it's the Destroy All Lines nightclub the night before a public holiday. And what better night before a public holiday is there on the party calendar than New Years Eve?!

And what better band to party with than the Gold Coast's best party band? Mourning Tide! Nothing like 80's inspired hardcore to get you in a great party mode. It's all going down at Rosies on December 31. 18+.

The death of all ages shows in Brisbane

I was lucky as I spent my formative teenage years in mid western America, where drinking/concert rules were muddled. Bars could hold all-ages shows before 10 pm, but you had to be over 19 to stay in the bar after that. And you had to be 21 to buy alcohol. Very odd laws, but luckily I got to see some great all ages shows and some great bands in awesome little bars, many of who are doing massive stadium tours now.

When I first moved to Brisbane the all-ages scene was great. There were lots of DIY venues in and around the city for bands and most venues were licensed to serve alcohol and have underage children. As time went on and as the "hardcore/scene" kids with their fight dancing rose in numbers I noticed a sharp drop off in all-ages venues. Some of the little ones closed down, including the milk-bar. And then there were two incidents that became the catalyst for the slow death of all ages shows in Brisbane, both at the Arena (my favourite Brisbane venue, now turned into an R'n'B night club).

They happened within days of each other, from memory, but one involved the lead singer of Escape the Fate getting his penis out on stage and playing with himself. Charming. The next one I was present at, which was the Parkway Drive Horizons tour. It was carnage. Fights broke out everywhere. Cops were carrying kids out. Blood and ripped clothing was everywhere. At the end of the show, the kid I was standing behind punched the fire alarm, broke the glass and set of the alarm. As we made our way outside the freaking riot squad was assembling.

Well, that was pretty much the end of the Arena.

Little venues popped up to fill the void, because let's face it, the kids love their music. And when it comes to hardcore especially, the kids will always turn up to shows. A few venues took in the slack. The Princess Theatre did a lot. But it's main money was always in Sunday morning church revivals/services. When one show too many went insane, that was the end of that. I have a feeling I was present at the last show there too. Amity Affliction/Deez Nuts/Daylight Curse. I remember naked kids running around covered in blood. I was just standing back petrified. It's not what I go to shows for.

Two venues recently have tried their best to fill the void. And both have done amazing jobs. The Fort in Fortitude Valley and Burst City in South Brisbane. Burst City is amazing. It's an old RSL hall and it hosted one of (if not #1) my favourite shows of the year: Dangers and Graf Orlock.

(Edit: Thanks to the wonderful Ellie, I found out I made a mistake. This picture is actually from the Red Rattler Room show in Sydney, and as always taken by the talented JHat. It looks very similar to Burst City though. And I'm at work now and can't be bothered changing it).

But now we are losing Burst City. Apparently it's up for sale and it's last show will be in January. Which makes it's second last show one of my most anticapated shows of 2011: La Dispute. So get in kids while you can, and enjoy this great venue. Also, for you over 18's, it's BYO. Yes. You can show up to a hardcore show with as many tallies as you desire.

Next Saturday is a great show as well. Get in there and see some great local hardcore bands, raising money for a good cause. The Friday also sees America's Heavy Heavy Low Low play there on their last tour.

Come January 29th, it's the last show. Bands playing include:
Teargas (Thrash Thrash Thrash)
No Anchor (Death to those who wait)
Loose Grip (Noise not music)
Thick Skin (Positive negativity)
Last Chaos (Final Bloodbath)

Facebook Event page here.

So get out there and enjoy Burst City while you can. Before you know it, there won't be any all-ages venues left in Brisbane and you'll lose the passion and fun that comes with these shows.

Suicidal Tendencies

There were many things Tony Hawk Pro Skating (the video game) brought to popular culture, one of which was skate punk. And one of the greatest songs on the soundtrack (after Primus) was this:

Oh joy. Because of this we went on to form a very short lived band named Suicidal Garden Gnomes (I think we were a band for 4 hours until we gave up). Of course, it was really only the one Suicidal Tendencies album that was skate punk. But it got me into them.

Their main sound is crossover hardcore/thrash/funk metal. Which ticks a lot of boxes for me. A few of the members live in Queensland now, so it wasn't a surprise last year when we got shows on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts. But now we're getting a full fledged Australian tour.

May 12, Coolangatta Hotel
May 13, HiFi

I saw Suicidal play the original Soundwave. Although the lead singer was a bit preachy about Jesus at times, I can tell you they've still got it after 30 odd years of punk life.


One sentence album reviews (#6)

Ólafur Arnalds - ...and they have escaped the weight of darkness (2010): modern classical music, much less brooding than his debut album, more happy 3.5/5

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz (2010): It's as if Sufjan had a late night encounter with Animal Collective and spawned this album. 4/5

Small Black - New Chain (2010): Very relaxed lo-fi, slightly electronic album. Perfect rainy day music 3/5

Sirens - The Gates (2010): First metalcore album I've enjoyed listening to in years. Probably because there's no cliche electronica. 3.5/5

Buckethead - Spinal Clock (2010): Avant garde, almost minimalist guitar album. Half of the tracks are guitar sounding like a shamisen. 4/5

Buckethead - Captain Eo's Voyage (2010): A more sombre and somewhat dreamy instrumental guitar album than his earlier blistering shredding days. 4/5

She Likes Todd- A Story Still Untold (2010): Fun pop-punk, in a bit of a late 90s style. 2.5/5

The State Lottery - When The Night Comes (2010): Very folky punk, with lots of random instruments; just what I like. 3.5/5

My Chemical Romance - Danger Days (2010): Better than the Black Parade. Story is confusing and half the songs rip off famous riffs. 1.5/5

Terror - Keepers Of The Faith (2010): Quality hardcore album, but funny, because there's a serious hardcore love song on it. 4/5

Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History (2010): Upbeat dance indie, as if Death Cab for Cutie decided to get his groove on 4/5

The Walkmen - Lisbon (2010): The vintage-sounding indie of this album is how they should've sounded over the last 3 albums. 4.5/5

Ke$ha - Cannibal (2010): Autotune + cute girl = profit, but not good music. 1/5 (half a point is for her knowing and capturing her market)

Useless Children - EP (2008): Indie, screamo from Melbourne with a female singer. I'm in love. Reminds me of a better Young and Restless 4.5/5

The Black Pacific - The Black Pacific (2010): New band from former Pennywise lead singer stays rooted in 90s punk, sounds just like Unwritten Law. 3/5

Wolf Parade - Expo 86 (2010): I like thier music, but his wavering vocals still drive me insane on this album. 3/5

The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt (2010): I've yet to see a review not compare him to a young Bob Dylan. That's why this is good. 4/5

Weezer - Death to False Metal (2010): ...Wait, they released 2 albums this year? I could've sworn it was the same album. 1.5/5

Monday, December 6, 2010

Phantoms/I Exist

I know I've talked about this a fair bit, but one of the best shows I went to this year was in a little-ass basement rehearsal room in West End, featuring Phantoms and I Exist, before I headed over to the HiFi to see Converge.

I'm standing next to Ellis in the background of that picture. You can see the side of my head. As always, thanks to JHat for taking the kickass photo. Hopefully with a few more years of practice I can take gig photos as good as him.

These two had such fun times on their tour up here, that they fell in love with Wet n Wild. And are currently in the process of recording a split EP about their experience. If you know me, you know Wet n Wild is my favourite place in the world, where I take my yearly pilgrimage.

In celebration of the EP, the two are hitting the road again.

Catch them February 10 at the Step Inn. 18+. It's within a week of my annual Wet n Wild pilgrimage, so maybe they'll be up earlier and want to come along? Guys? *nudge*nudge*

are probably my favourite Australian band of 2010. I love their new album.
I Exist may be a close second.

You can also order the new split 7" here.

Ben Folds

When I was 15, Heather, my girlfriend at the time, made me my first ever mix tape. It wasn't much of a mix tape, just a bunch of Ben Folds's songs. And ever since that day, I've been in love with his music.

Ben Folds Five - Army (Official Music Video). Watch more top selected videos about: Ben Folds Five

He's got style. He's got class. He's got humour. He's an amazing musician. And a bloody good songwriter. I've been lucky enough to see him a few times now, including playing with a symphony orchestra and even playing with a Tegan and Sara. He is just such a good performer with such great songs that I recommend everyone go see him at least once in their life.

Luckily for you, you can go and see him again very soon. May 17th at QPac. A great venue for the great performer. Unfortunately, tickets will be pushing past $100, but it should most definitely be worth it. This tour will feature a lot of his new album, which he co-wrote with author Nick Hornby. But you can guarantee he will pull out all of his hits, and hopefully some covers too. I'm still waiting to see him play his Dr. Dre cover live.

Ting Tings

In 2008 this little UK duo put out an annoyingly catchy song about someone getting called the wrong name. It was bloody annoying, but gosh darn if it didn't get stuck in your head. And apparently it got stuck in everyone else's, because they sold out a very hastily organised tour of Australia.

At the time I made the call that they'd be a one-hit wonder band. Time went by, we all forgot about them. Then they announced they were playing Splendour with some new songs in hand, only to pull out merely days before the festival. I took this as validation of my 2 year old theory.

So after taking time off from not showing up to Splendour and to work on their album, you think they'd have dropped their new album by now (and not become a Chinese Democracy farce). But no. Although there is now hope... they have been announced to be playing the Good Vibrations festival, sweeping into the Gold Coast on February 19th next year.

There's a new song on their MySpace, so maybe they'll prove my thoughts of the last 2 years wrong.

Santana Tour

I guarantee that Carlos Santana has motivated more people to play guitar than you will meet over the span of your entire life.

Considering it's been 41 years since he put out his first album, you can only imagine that his guitar playing has gotten to god-like status. Which it has. He has such a unique sound, bringing together jazz, Mexicana and that bright-sounding blues-inspired guitar which is his trademark. Over the course of his career he's played and recorded with some of the best (Chad Kroger not included) artists of modern music. Just check out the last 15 years of his career:

Come March 24th, I'll be grabbing my dad and heading to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre to see Santana's chops live, fulfilling a little boyhood ambition of mine since poring over my Dad's bootleg casettes on the old hifi.

Disappointed EDIT: This is the exact same night as Doobie Brothers. That's some bad organising on Chugg Entertainment's part (isn't it always with them?). The two will be competing for the same crowd, a lot of who will only go to one or two gigs a year. This will be a tough choice for me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

News news news!

I'm watching the cricket and have been meaning to blog about few things, so here's that entry where I squeeze everything into one, much like a ladette squeezing into a tank top a size too small to dress sexy for a night out at the Vic.

And yes. I went there.

The Chariot
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Chariot were announced to play for Easterfest in Toowoomba. I had it from a fairly reliable source that there were going to be a few other Queensland tour dates on the back of the festival appearance, but it appears no longer happening. We'll get them playing Easterfest on April 22 and then they're buggering off to NSW the next day. Sad. Although looking at the tour dates, it's going to be a very tiring tour for them, crossing the country back and forth in what seems to be a baffling order.


Motorhead/Black Label Society
Heavy metal legends Motorhead are teaming up with guitarist extraordinairre Zach Wyld (and his Black Label Society) to shred our ears off next year. They've announced the tour dates, but no venues have been mentioned yet. Which is really odd. But we will get them here April 3rd.

Black Label Society

Philadelphia Grand Jury regional tour
Following a successful return to Australian shores last month, Philadelphia Grand Jury have decided to take their show on the road to regional Australia, dancing the nights away with fellow rockers Bluejuice. The gigs in our area are:

Tuesday 4 January – Ballina RSL, Ballina
Wednesday 5th January – Kings Beach Tavern, Caloundra
Thursday 6th January – Coolongatta Hotel, Gold Coast
Friday 7th January – Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay

Philadelphia Grand Jury

Wolf Parade
Apparently are on a very extended break now. Rather sudden, especially since they've been saying they'll tour here since October. I only just listened to their new album this week, and it's pretty damn good.


This is Hell/Rolo Tomassi/Comeback Kid/Architects, the HiFi, December 3 2010

The HiFi was surprisingly empty last night for such a high calibre international hardcore show, spanning bands from three countries. It may have been something to do with the price though, a paying $60+ for a hardcore show is a bit steep by the genre's standards, with even half of the bands repeatedly acknowledging the fact. Also, I think a lot of fans of these bands are under 18 and an all-ages show would have lead to a much bigger turnout.

First up where This is Hell, a hardcore punk band from New York. And boy, did they sound and look everything like the New York Hardcore bands I know and love. I couldn't help but think of Sick of It All, as I watched their shaved head, tattooed, muscle-bound, bandana clad guitar player shred while stamping across the stage. I enjoyed it, but no one else in the crowd seemed to, and the band looked very pissed off at the poor turn out. But that only seemed to fuel their set, playing half an hour of very loud hardcore.

The next band saw a very attractive female come out on stage in a slinky little black cocktail dress, pick up a microphone and then come out with an insanely good grindcore-style scream/growl. Probably like half of the crowd there, I was in love. The band was Rolo Tomassi, hailing from England, playing a very intense synthesiser driven mathcore. Most of the crowd didn't know what to do with it, but I loved it. It reminded me of seeing Genghis Tron a few months back in the same venue, but with a much more attractive lead singer and a much larger sound.

As Canada's Comeback Kid hit the stage, the crowd swelled to probably it's biggest size of the whole night. Still not large, but a crowd that finally found their feet and enjoyed the show. Comeback Kid themselves kept thanking the crowd for coming along, realising that the cost of the show was ridiculous.

The tore through a very quality set of hardcore punk, playing a great mix of songs, including a few off their brand new album Symptoms + Cures. But the highlight for me, was the second last song, Wake the Dead. They lead it in with a call and response from the crowd before I got the chance to tape this:

An excellent set from an excellent live hardcore band.

The headliners for the night were Architects, also hailing from the UK. Although the crowd numbers dropped off after Comeback Kid (including some of my friends), they managed to get an excellent response from the crowd with their fast and heavy music. I didn't know much about them going on, but I felt that their live show was just a little bit less heavy than their recordings, with a lot more singing than screaming. Still, they capped off a great night of bands, playing to a rather disappointing and lacklustre crowd. Good effort by the bands all around.

Blues-fucking-fest, 2nd announcement

I mentioned the other day that ZZ Top had been announced to play the already stellar Bluesfest line up in Byron. Just look at the lineup already. So there's now been an official announcement, and the bands include
Jethro Tull
ZZ Top
John Legend
Gurrumul (Bluesfest exclusive)
Toots & the Maytals
Pete Murray
Funky Meters
Irma Thomas
Booker T
Los Lobos
Kasey Chambers
Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band
Tim Robbins & the Rogues Gallery Band
The Dingoes
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
B.B. & the Blues Shack
Joe Louis Walker
Phil Jones & the Unknown Blues
The Snowdroppers
Ray Beadle
Nat Col & the Kings
Barrence Whitfield
Sure, there's a lot of local stuff in there, but there's still some stellar names. Booker T?! He wrote one of the most memorable tunes/riffs of all time. Jethro Tull, they who popularised Jazz Flute that even gets parodied in classic movies. And then my favourite one, nestled halfway down the list: Los Lobos. A Hispanic/American roots band that most people will know for this song. However last year they put out an amazing album covering Disney songs, a lot from classical albums from my youth.

Just wow. This will be an amazing Easter in Byron.


One of the greatest hip-hop artists of our generation is coming to Australia for his first visit ever. He's visiting Auckland, he's visiting Perth, he's visiting Adelaide but goddammit he's not coming to Brisbane!

I'm crying a little inside.

If you want dates, look them up. Since he's not coming here, I'm just going to fume in silence.

Justin Bieber

You want to go see him? April 26th, at the Entertainment Centre.
Personally, I wouldn't. But then again I'm not a 12 year old girl.
Tickets go on sale on Thursday and I'm sure they'll go very, very, very quickly.

I feel dirty for posting this.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Streetlight Manifesto

So I blogged about it in a rush earlier in the day, but here's the real deal now. Streetlight Manifesto.

I know a lot of you find ska a laughing matter and don't take the genre seriously. Which is understandable, there's a lot of silliness that goes on in the genre. But that's the beauty of it. It's fun as all hell. And when you throw in some absolutely amazing musicians you get a band that is as good as Streetlight Manifesto.

Streetlight has about seven people in their band, all absolutely talented. It's ridiculous. Never in the history of ska will you hear the layers and intricacies of music that you will in Streetlight. Normally you get horns playing the token part between words, all playing the same melody. Not in Streetlight. The horn section itself consists of 3 to 4 musicians all playing different and intricate parts that works together to make some beautiful, beautiful sounds. And when I play it to my more classical trained muso friends, they occasionally point out the fact that there's some very, very classical pieces woven in.

Enough fan boy gushing. They're about to embark on a world tour, and we get the last week of it in Australia.
April 1st. The Zoo. If you like any sort of punk (not even ska) check out their album Somewhere in the Between. It's just brilliant.


New songs!

So it's not quite free music Friday yet, but I thought I'd rock your world with two free tracks that got put out on the world wide web today.

The first I heard on Triple J last night and is the new release from one of the main bands at the upcoming No Sleep Til Festival. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the punk cover band featuring everyone who is anyone in the world of Fat Wreck Chords who has free time to play, are about to release an Australian tour EP in celebration of the festival. Covering great Australian songs. And the first one is Air Supply's All Out of Love, which the festival has put up for us all to keep. Right here. It's a bloody good cover.

The next one is the first of what I'm sure will be many Christmas songs, just in time for the opening of all of our advent calendars. They do a version of the classic carol Angels we Have Heard on High, which you can get from their webpage right here.


Streetlight Manifesto

It's not often I get the scoop on a concert announcement, but I somehow stumbled across this one. My favourite ska band of all time, Streetlight Manifesto, is playing the Zoo, April 1st next year. It could be an April Fools joke, but there's also a date for Perth on April 2.
Mar 31, 2011 Auckland, New Zealand Kings Arms
Apr 1, 2011 Brisbane, Australia The Zoo
Apr 2, 2011 Perth, Australia Rosemount Hotel
Apr 3, 2011 Adelaide, Australia Enigma Bar
Apr 6, 2011 Sydney, Australia The Gaelic Hotel
Apr 8, 2011 Newcastle, Australia Cambridge Hotel
Full blog post to follow after work and when I stop screaming like a little Japanese school girl in excitement.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Sleep Til Festival

The No Sleep Til Festival is just over 2 weeks away now and they've released a timetable. Here it is:

I think I'll probably be at the Red Stage most of the day, maybe wondering over for a bit of Gwar and Megadeth. I'm a little concerned about the layout of the two stages, I hope they don't conflict too much.