Friday, December 30, 2011

Free Music Friday 34! The "my new years eve plans" edition

What are you doing for New Years Eve? Going to a club with 100's of other people, drinking overpriced champagne and generally just hating on humanity as you wait for the bus/train/taxi with 100's of other people after midnight?

I'm not. I'm getting my rock on at the very last Sun Distortion Studio show. It features some great bands from all over the world. The headliners are Italian screamo band Raein and American scream band Loma Prieta. It's going to be a great (and loud) night.

If you're deciding at the last minute to come along, check out Raein's new album "Sulla linea dell'orizzonte fra questa mia vita e quella di tutti gli altri" which you can get for free on their website!

Seriously, if you've got no other plans tomorrow night, get to Sun Distortion Studios. It's 20 bucks. It's BYO and their will be a tonne of great bands.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Murder By Death

The year: 2003. An 18 year old Chuck sneaks into a bar in Iowa City (drinking age, 21, legal entry age, 19) to watch one of his favourite, yet really new bands, My Chemical Romance, put on a rip-snorting show to about 80 punters in a dive bar with a tiny stage and a low roof named Gabe's Oasis. Their set was high energy and amazing (never to be relived no matter how many times he saw them in the next decade) but it was the opening bands that he remembers fondly.

The first one was a post-hardcore band channeling Muse named Vaux, who's album still gets constant rotation in Chuck's car in 2011. The other was a country-punk band called Murder By Death.

It was the first time I ever heard anything of this sort in my sheltered mid-west American musical upbringing. Of course, these days I'm obsessed with bands like Lucero that do this constantly. But at the time, it was something new and wonderful.

Even my great mate Wes, known more for his love of Christian punk rock, enjoyed them. We bought a matching set of these shot glasses to celebrate the night:

I hope he's still got his, I know I do and always use it when I hear this song... but that's another story.

It's been a long time since I first saw Murder by Death, but now they're bringing their unique style to Australia for the first time, and I imagine this little shot glass will be filled with a lot of whiskey before their show at Woodland on February 25.

Wait... what?! SOUNDWAVE DAY. Ah shit. This fucking blows. That being said, Woodland is notorious for late starting shows, I could probably do both in a day and then be exhausted.

Brisbane Soundwave Sidewave #2

Marilyn Manson, supported by Coal Chamber and Wednesday 13.

Do I really need to explain this one to you guys? If I do, well then you weren't alive in the 90s and weren't interested in any of the more "heavier" or "controversial" music.

For me, this will be best for Coal Chamber. 13 year old me loved this band.

Eaton's Hill Hotel, February 24. All ages.

Sublime (with Rome)

To me, Sublime was the soundtrack of my mid-teens, spent lounging around with my birthday buddy Tom, taking our guitars everywhere just playing music and wasting time. To this day, their reggae-ska-punk sound is my perfect summer album.

Of course, the whole Bradley Nowell death thing (RIP) happened before my time, so I never got to see them live. Over the last few years the rest of the band (who are extremely musically-gifted) have formed with a new lead singer (named Rome) to live out the Sublime legend, as well as record a new album, under the name of Sublime With Rome.

I understand what they are doing and it's still pretty good. But it will just never be the same as the original Sublime. Bradley Nowell is just one of those enigmatic people whose struggles and outlook on live is what made the music.

That being said, the new reincarnation of Sublime will be coming to Australia (for the first time in any form of the band) and it will be the only opportunity I will ever get to see these songs live.

April 5, HiFi, 18+

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Brisbane Soundwave Sideshow #1

With the news of Brisbane's Soundwave festival selling out, now begins the agonisingly slow trickle-feed of sideshow announcements, which unlike most festivals, will include a few in our wonderful city.

The first one is a huge metal lineup: Lamb of God, In Flames and the Black Dahlia Murder. I'm already growing my hair out long and strengthening my neck muscles for the black-shirt headbanging I'll be joining in.

It's February 28, all-ages and at the "suddenly having every medium size show ever" venue, Eatons Hill Hotel. Which truly is in the middle of nowhere, and according to my friend, has no public transport after 830. And also isn't technically in Brisbane.

Future Music Festival adds a great band (What the hell, I'll ruin it in the title: NEW FUCKING ORDER!)

Future Music Festival is the dance festival that normally falls on the same day as Soundwave. For me, Future generally only has 4 or 5 bands I want to see, so it's an easy choice. However, this year, it's the weekend after. I've already blogged the first announcement, which included Aphex Twin and Fatboy Slim, which is almost enough for me to go for.

But now they've added one of the greatest bands the world has ever seen: New Order. NEW FUCKING ORDER (swoon).

Mark Ronson was also announced, but given my downtime in blogging, he's cancelled his appearance since then.

March 3, Doomben Racecourse

Florence and the Machine

If you haven't heard of Florence and the Machine by now, you must have been living under some sort of sound-blocking rock. Seriously, everyone and their dog now knows this song:

This female fronted indie-pop band are on track to take over the world with their upbeat art-rock tunes. So it's not a surprise that their next tour of Australia will be an upgraded large venue tour. Entertainment centres and sports arenas Australasia-wide will be full of their music soon, or in our case, the Riverstage. May 26.

Hip Hop Holiday! (well just a party)

Although not an avid fan of the hip-hop and related DJ genre, there's still quite a bit I like. And recently two upcoming shows have caught my eyes, purely for 2 of the names on the lineup.

First up, on January 4, is the (disputed) beatbox champion of the world: Rahzel.

He'll be playing at the HiFi with Pharoahe Monch and DJ jS-1.

The other one is February 25 at the HiFi and features the turntablist of Jurassic 5/Ozomatli, Cut Chemist!

Duran Duran

I don't know whether to blame my parents or not, but one of my favourite types of music is 80's based synth-pop. It just makes me happy. My second favourite of this era (behind the mighty Tears for Fears) would have to be Duran Duran.

Back in my younger days, this was even our drinking song/music video:

In the real version it's just gratuitous nudity everywhere.

A few years ago I had the wonder, nay, amazement, of seeing them play at V Festival. Surrounded by people 20 years my elder, we all got together and just danced. It was fun and they put on a great show as a band.

I get to live it all again at the Entertainment Centre, March 17th. Unfortunately this time it's almost festival prices, with $99 giving you the far back seats.

Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra are one of those bands that have slowly built a solid fanbase through almost word of mouth alone. Up until their latest album, Simple Math, I never really heard them get a mention in anything even close to mainstream.

Which is a pity, as they create some great indie music. Their albums just consist of absolutely beautiful songwriting. You just can't get enough of it.

I've yet to have the privelage of seeing them, but that will change come March 6th, when they play the HiFi. It's only ~$40, as far as international bands go, that's almost a steal!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: The week that was (Off!/Future of the Left/Fucked Up/Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group)

Last week was one of the best weeks of my life musically. From Sunday to Sunday there were so many bands I wanted to see and just not enough time to indulge it all. I still managed to get to 4 shows and each of them blew me away on exponentially increasing levels of awesomeness.

Off!/Dick Nasty/Mouthguard
December 4, 2011
The Zoo

It all started last Sunday with Off! Fronted by the first Black Flag singer Keith Morris, it was really a journey back to the good old days of hardcore punk. I felt as if I was back to where it all began. In a hot sweaty venue, listening to loud and fast punk, I was home.

The two local bands, Mouthguard with their skinhead punk and Dick Nasty with their comedic hardcore, complimented the night perfectly. Keith not only sang, he entertained us with stories of his past and even his preachier moments weren't too bad. When it came to the end of their set, they kicked it old school and just started playing their set again from the start as an encore.

This whole night made me wish I was back at the very start of Black Flag.

Future of the Left
December 6, 2011
TYM Guitar instore and The Zoo

The band so nice, I saw them twice! I managed to find out at the last second that Future of the Left were playing an instore at TYM guitars, so I headed over there to watch them play 4 songs for free, with about 50 other people. It was a great time, although slightly awkward. The band and the crowd weren't sure how to react.

A few hours later I was upstairs watching Future of the Left do what they do best. They made a lot of noise, played some old songs, played some new songs, played some McLusky songs and tore down their equipment in a large sonic blast at the end of the set, as pictured above. As always, a great bloody band to see live.

Fucked Up/DZ Deathrays
December 9, 2011

When Fucked Up were announced as the openers for the Foo Fighters/Tenacious D tour, I was mighty jealous. When Fucked Up announced they were going on hiatus not long after this tour, I made a pledge to go to wherever they were playing a sideshow. When the shows in Melbourne and Sydney turned out to be during work trips, I cried inside.

And then magically, a little over 2 weeks ago, they announced a club show in Brisbane. I was so excited I got ticket number 2. A pleasanst surprise came from the DZ Deathrays who were the secret opener, playing their noisy 2 piece drum+guitar rock in Australia for the first time in a very long time.

But then.. Fucked Up. Yes. Alhambra wasn't ready for it. The little barricade in front of the stage could barely hold the band or the crowd away from each other. The security didn't know what to do. They threw out someone next to me, but Damian stopped singing and went out and fetched him back in. The set included many songs old and new, playing my favourites Son the Fater, Police and a hardcore cover of Jingle Bells. There were guitarists crowd surfing, half naked lead singers going crazy throw the crowd, and me singing into the microphone while taking a photo (as above). An amazing night. So glad I finally got to see them play a club show.

Being the nicest guys in hardcore, they even stayed back afterwards and got photos taken with us, gave signatures and just chatted. What a night.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group/Le Butcherettes/Coerce
December 11, 2011
The Zoo

No cameras were allowed at all to this gig, so no photos. It was also the busiest I've seen the Zoo yet this year. Sold out completely, the crowd was almost at capacity as Adelaide band Coerce won me over with their sludgy prog-rock.

Le Butcherettes were an experience, featuring Omar on bass and a girl on vocals/guitar/keyboard and another on drums, this Mexican garage punk band broke many hearts and surprised everyone else. The lead singer put in a performance that had everyone spellbound with the lead singer going absolutely nuts in her gothic Alice in Wonderland-esque blood stained outfit. To me, all I could think of was a combination of The Dresden Dolls with old school Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a bit of the Grates, but with a heck of a lot more attitude and energy. The music was great too. They definitely have a new fan with me.

But the reason everyone was there, was of course Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, of At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta fame. He, and his three-piece band, just played an hour of jam numbers characterised by that guitar sound Omar has made his personal trademark. The skill of these three musicians was amazing, especially Omar. And the best part was how thankful he was to be playing for us. This, from a man that has been selling out stadiums for over 10 years and has been the key guitarist of two of the most influential bands of my time. It was such a privelage to witness this.

I don't think I'll ever have another week of music as amazing as last week was. Time now to rest my weary ears.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Free Music Friday 33!

I've been waiting for this album for what seems like forever now. And finally, it's here. And even better, it's free! The band is Nuclear Summer and they are from Brisbane. And I took this picture of the guitarist doing some finger tapping at Fat Louies.

I've been raving about this band for the better part of the year now, with their mix of noodly riffs, clean harmonies and thrash-like vocals (not surprising, given their lead singer is one of the two from Ironhide). They dub this sound Sunshine Metal... I like that tag.

Their first album is pretty damn good. Get it for free (or give them some a donation) over at Bandcamp.

You can also catch them touring around supporting this album on the following dates:
December 26, Billionaire (18+ and with Mourning Tide!)
December 30, House Show, Sunshine Coast
December 31, Sun Distortion Studios, supporting Raein and Loma Prieta (all ages)

That las tshow is one you do not want to miss out on. Seriously. I just bought my tickets today. It's an all ages show, so it should be done well before midnight so you can still go off and party for NYE and kiss your girl. It also features to great skramz bands, Raein from Italy and Loma Prieta from the USA. It's also the very last show Sun Distortion Studios will host. Which is sad, as it has been an amazing all ages venue in Brisbane.

One sentence album reviews (#19)

Zebrahead - Get Nice! (2011): Just a fun pop/punk/rock album that doesn't take itself seriously at all, making it enjoyable to listen to 4/5

The Living End - The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating (2011): I promised not to write a review saying I miss their rockabilly days. So... um.. yeah. Very mainstream rock 3.4/5

The Horrible Crowes - Elsie (2011): The Gaslight Anthem's lead singer creates a stripped back folk album that is just beautiful 4.6/5

Saves the Day - Daybreak (2011): A surprising upswing in mood from their last 2 albums sees them lapse back in time to sound like 2003 4/5

Engineer - Crooked Voices (2011): Sludgy hardcore that seems to want to be metal, but just can't quite get there with it's vocals 3.6/5

Powerman 5000 - Copies, Clones & Replicants (2011): sounds like a bad nu-metal band butchers good songs to sound like bad new wave 2/5

VA - A Tribute To Alkaline Trio (2011): 39 mostly unknown mediocre artists for the most part butchering Alkaline Trio songs 2.2/5
There are a few good songs in there, but after a while they have the sameness that 90% of Alkaline Trio songs already have

Kevin Devine - Nevermind (2011): Sounds like a note for note copy musically of the Nirvana album, but with K-Dev's less gravelly voals. 3.9/5

VA - SPIN Presents Nevermind (2011): An interesting mix of different interpretations of Nirvana. Falls short on all but a few tracks 2.5/5

VA - Kerrang! Presents Nevermind Forever (2011): Heavier bands covering the Nirvana legacy. Some of the metal interpretations put a new spin on it. 4/5

Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind Of Fix (2011): I'm definitely getting a Coldplay meets Radiohead and goes hipster vibe from this 3.7/5

Wilco - The Whole Love (2011): An uncharacteristically noisy, electric and long opening song gives way to the classic Wilco sound 4.5/5

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (2011): 70 minutes of lush and beautiful shoegaze. This will be my future album for long hot baths 5/5

Tokyo Police Club - 10 Days, 10 Covers, 10 Years (2011): When they cover indie bands they sound okay, but there's some horrible song choices 2.4/5

Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire (2011): He's about 1 album and a few whiskeys away from being Neil Young now. 4.4/5

I Am The Avalanche - Avalanche United (2011): I was not expecting this to be the fun punk album it is. Preconceptions can be very very wrong 4.3/5

Bjork - Biophilia (2011): typical Bjork: layered, quiet, weird, discombobulated and full of odd instruments and wavering vocals 3/5

This Is Hell - Black Mass (2011): it truly is a strange time we live in when one of the best thrash albums this year is by a hardcore band 4.2/5

Kevin Devine - Between The Concrete & Clouds (2011): More of his style than his Nirvana album this year, but nothing that really stands out 3/5

Northington - Borrowed Time (2011): An orgcore album that harks back to some of the punk of my earlier years 3.8/5

Polar Bear Club - Clash Battle Guilt Pride (2011): Solid, but doesn't make me pump my fist in the air and sing along like their 1st album 3.3/5

Chuck Ragan - Covering Ground (2011): He was one of the first punks to go folk-country, and he's still the best 4/5

The Medics - Dance Into The Dark (2011): I dub these boys the Two Door Cinema Club of the Netherlands. But better. 4/5
Misfits - The Devil's Rain (2011): Sounds like they haven't changed sound in 20+ years. Which is not a good thing. 2.4/5

Star Fucking Hipsters - From the Dumpster to the Grave (2011): A great mix of old school punk, hardcore and ska. It's me, in an album 4.3/5

The DC3 - The Future Sound Of Nostalgia (2011): The song "I Was the Guy in TISM" sums up this album perfectly. Best TISM spin-off yet. 4.7/5

Skalapper - Go Along Sing Along (2011): Japanese ska-punk in poor English. Or is it just bad Japanese? I can't quite tell. 3/5

Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist (2011): Unlike their previous albums, I like all of the songs on this, not just one good song 4/5

Dude Jams - How To Abuse Everything (2011): raw, rough and edgy punk which tips its hat to the sounds of the 70s and 80s 3.6/5

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical (2011): Another album of weird falsetto-vocals indie music. 2.8/5
We Were Promised Jetpacks - In The Pit Of The Stomach (2011): Embracing more of a post-rock sound on this album really pays off 4.3/5

Maylene & the Sons of Disaster - IV (2011): stepping away even further from their hardcore roots, this album is very mainstream US radio rock 3/5

The Kooks - Junk Of The Heart (2011): Embracing a 1960s Brit-pop sound, they've finally produced an album that lives up to their hype! 4.4/5

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man (2011): Quirky, acoustic-folk-punk. Although a common genre now, their more comedic take is a good spin 4.7/5

Nuclear Summer - ST (2011): locals' noodly heavy band's 1st album is good, with some ex-Ironhide thrash vocals thrown in for a surprise 4/5

Screaming Trees - Last Words: The Final Recordings (2011): a soft, for grunge, recording from the late 90s, highlighting Lanegan's brooding vocals mainly 3.6/5

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Brisbane's Big Day Out Sideshows

A recurring issue on my blog is the lack of festival sideshows in Brisbane. Big Day Out this year are doing an alright effort to overcome that. Sure we don't get the massive amount of sideshows Melbourne and Sydney gets, and we even miss the big ones (no Soundgarden and the Bronx... *cries*).

However, we are getting these:

Hip-hop guys Das Rascist at the Zoo January 24. 18+  (This song reminds me of my younger, more confused days were I spent a lot of time at that store).
My Chemical Romance at Eatons Hill Hotel January 24 (I was obsessed with this album when it came out. They lost me quickly after it). And if you're wondering, Eatons Hill Hotel is north of Brisbane, even further out then the Entertainment Centre.
Former Sepultura and Soulfly boys in the Cavalera Conspiracy will play the HiFi February 6.
Foster the People play the Tivoli January 23 (my vote for the song most likely to get stuck in my head and annoy the crap out of me 2011).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fucked Up

Today at work, I was having a miserable day. Then I read something on Twitter that just turned my day around. It went by in what seemed like seconds after I heard the news. Fucked Up are doing a club show in Brisbane.

I've been preaching Fucked Up for a while, for good reasons. Their smart hardcore is amazing and not just for people that like hardcore. This year they release a concept album, David Comes to Life, which was just mind blowing. I remember thinking at the time "they're going to have to break up, they can never top this." Well it turns out my thinking was right, as they are going on indefinite hiatus very soon. But not before they finish a tour with the Foo Fighters. 

Part of the tour was a few sideshows, of course in Melbourne and Sydney. I tried to get tickets to either one, but my work schedule would not allow me to make it. I was depressed. So depressed. Then today, a simple Tweet: Fucked Up playing Alhambra, next Friday. The 9th.

I squeed. I actually made the squee noise. And bought my ticket straight away. I missed Iron Maiden to see Fucked Up at Soundwave this year and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Strip that show down to the small stage of Alhambra... My god. Insane. I cannot wait.

Fucked Up. 18+. Alhambra. December 9

Sunday, November 27, 2011

La Dispute

I feel bad posting about this tour so late, as tickets are already on sale, I already have mine, and it will probably sell out. La Dispute are heading back to Australia.

Last year they came out and played two shows, an 18+ at the Zoo and an all-ages at Burst City. It was an amazing two days. And almost a year after that tour, which blew me away, they are doing it again.

(Photo I took at the Zoo show)

Their unique style of emotional and noodly hardcore is really on display in their newest album, Wildlife, which evokes more emotions in me than anything I've listened to in years. It's a cracker. I can't wait to see those songs, as well as their awesome back catalogue, played live.

February 8, the Zoo (18+)
February 9, Between the Walls (all-ages)

Brian Setzer

If there's one man that you would consider the godfather, the legend, of Rockabilly, it's Brian Setzer. Whether with the Straycats, his big band, or any of the hundred of other combinations of rockabilly bands he's been in, he's been rocking the country-60's-hot-rod-rock 'n' roll sound for 40 + years. And goddamn, he's a legend.

His latest band is Rockabilly Riot! And it features:
  • Brian Setzer (of course)
  • 2 stand-up basses
  • 2 drummers, including Slim Jim from the Stray Cats
  • A honky-tonk piano
This is going to be insane rockabilly. Brian Setzer will be bringing this down under and be playing through his back catalogue. The hits, the covers, and then Brian and Slim Jim getting together for a special Stray Cats set. It's going to be an amazing night of classic Rockabilly.

So girls, get on your polka-dot dancing dresses; boys, slick back your hair and fire up your hot rods, and let's all get down and boogie at the Tivoli on March 28. 18+

Henry Rollins

What happens when one of the greatest punks of all time gets old?

He goes from doing this:

To getting on his soap box and making angry, and very often hilarious, rants. Or in this video's case, letters:

Ahh Henry Rollins. The former front man of legendary punks Black Flag and now world acclaimed poet, comedian, angry man and just general all-round opinionated asshole and performer. I've never had the honor of seeing him stand on stage and do his stuff, but he's been coming to Australia for many years, winning over our crowds with his brutal honesty.

2012 will be my time to finally see it. 
May 1, Tanks (Cairns)
May 2 and 3, Powerhouse (Brisbane)

British super-indie tour 2012

It's good getting one of these bands coming over for a tour, but two? Together? On the same bill?

Headliners will be the long-serving British band Elbow, who have put together over 20+ years of excellent music.

And opening for them will be Bombay Bicycle Club, who if you ignore their abysmal cover album this year, actually do make good indie music.

March 24, the Tivoli.

Jay and Silent Bob

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, what a classic rap (that is also part of their worst movie):

But even if we ignore this movie, and Jersey Girl, Kevin Smith is one of the directors of our generation. I still quote Mallrats on an almost daily basis, over 10 years since I first saw it as an impressionable 14 year old. Now I know this is a music blog (mainly), but a tour is coming to Brisbane, not music related, that I just have to share.

Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, the re-occuring comedy side-characters of all of the Kevin Smith universe) are doing a comedy tour through Australia. I hope it's not just Jay standing there with Silent Bob saying one sentence at the very end (like in his movies). But by all reviews I've seen, it's supposed to be quite funny.

April 19, the Tivoli.

Death Grips

It's not often an album from an obscure American act, hip-hop at that, gets posted on my website (for free even!) It's even less often when a lot of people like it. It's even less often when the artist then gets booked on a tour of Australia.

But that's what we're getting with Death Grips. You can get the free album, that I posted way back in June, here. And to see them, get to the Zoo on January 25th. 18+.


It's been a little over a year since the crude and rude skate punks Guttermouth did a regional tour of Australia, but apparently we're a great market, because they're coming back to do it all over again, with even more dates!

And proving both their love of Australia and their old school punk-ness, here's them on Recovery in the 90s:

If you want to revisit your punk past, there's a handful of Queensland shows to see them: (all 18+):
January 27, Woodland (Brisbane)
January 28, Billy's Beach House (Gold Coast)
January 29, King's Beach Tavern (Caloundra)
February 2, Magnums (Airlie Beach)
February 3, The Venue (Townsville)

Festival second announcements

While I sit here and recover from the awesomeness that was Harvest festival last weekend, here's the latest announcements for more festivals coming our way:

Soundwave third announcement
This lineup is already stunning, especially if you love 90s heavier music (which most of us at this age do). Somehow, to make it even more difficult to see all the bands you want to now, they've crammed more bands into the lineup. Of the list I'm keen for:
  • Bush
  • In Flames
  • Fireworks
  • The Black Dahlia Murder
The others I've never really heard of, but they are: Holy Grail, Hyro Da Hero, These Kids Wear Crowns, In This Moment, Conditions, Black Tide, Kids In Glass Houses, Cherri Bomb.

It's going to be a very long day on February 25, that's for sure.

Bluesfest second announcement
I'm trying my best this year to keep my Bluesfest hate-filled "why-no-Brisbane" rants down to a minimum, but there's a few bands on the second announcement that make me swoon. These include
  • The Specials
  • Crosby, Stills and Nash
  • Seasick Steve
  • Alabama Three
Seriously Bluesfest? Fuck you. Have a few shows in Brisbane. Byron for the festival is not something we can all do, especially over Easter. I'd love to see so many of those bands. You'll sell out, get huge crowds, make lots of money and still let us see NONE OF THE FUCKING BANDS. Argh.

April 5-9, Byron Bay. If you're able to get there.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: After the Fall (USA)/Anchors/Army of Champions/Friends with the Enemy/Milestones, Jubilee Hotel, November 17 2011

Last night was a great night of Australian (and mainly Queensland) punk rock, topped off by the first Australian show by After the Fall (the New York band, not the Triple M rock Australian band). It was my first time at the upstairs bar at the Jubilee and although the crowds were small, they still had a great night.

First up was Milestones. I cam in late and didn't catch much of their set or get a chance to photograph it. One of these days I'll catch a full set of theirs I hope, as their sound was tight.

Next up were the female-fronted Friends With the Enemy. Imagine if you crossed A Wilhelm Scream with a cute punk-girl for a lead singer. That's what you get with this band.

They were great fun and it was good to finally catch a full set of theirs, even if I did accidentally knock the power cord out while trying to take a photo, causing the bass and guitar to go off for a minute. Sorry guys.

Army of Champions were a band I knew nothing about, except their drummer is the guy from Headaches. But after half a song I was head over heels for them. They're basically Queensland's version of Against Me. Their three singer combination though makes it even better. I found myself grinning like an idiot within about 3 songs, just enjoying it immensely.

You can get one of their tracks for free at their Triple J Unearthed website. Do it, if you like any of that folk-styled-punk in the vein of Against Me.

I'd seen Melbourne's Anchors once before, over a year ago, and were not that impressed with them. But at this gig they were a well-polished band and had a great mini-mosh going with the small crowd, much to the hatred of the bouncer.

They've also got a new track out that you can check for free. They played it last night and there were lots of fists pumping the air in time to it.

Finally, closing in on 1130 pm, After the Fall played for the first time in Australia. Looking a little bit jet-lagged, having only arrived at 6am that morning, they rushed through their set to try and fit as much in as possible before midnight. Live they sounded like a mix of NOFX and A Wilhelm Scream which got the crowd up and moving even more, despite the slippery floor.

If you get a chance, see them while they are on their short tour of Australia. These guys are rad and you will have a great punk night.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie

If there was ever a band that had my parents concerned about the music I listened to, it was Death Cab for Cutie. Not for the music, given the beauty of their songs, but more for the band name.

That song, nay, that whole album, just blew me away in 2008. I've never seen them (or should I say him?) live. Come February 27, that will all change (as long as I'm still alive after Soundwave). Death Cab will be playing at the Tivoli. Tickets are already on sale, so I really need to get my ass into gear.

Dresden Dolls

One of the first gigs I ever went to in Australia was the Dresden Dolls in 2004. At the Zoo, with it's red curtains around the stage and with lots of live art surrounding the performance, it was pretty much everything the Dresden Dolls are about. And when they busted into a Sabbath War Pigs cover, I melted.

For a two piece, they are a great live act.

It's no surprise that Amanda Palmer (they keyboardist/singer) loves Australia. She's out here almost twice a year on solo or even ukulele tours. But it's been a while since we've seen the Dresden Dolls as a whole. Well.... January 5. Tivoli. It all changes. They are back.


If there's a band I've fallen endlessly and madly in love with in 2011, it has to be Boris. They've put out 3 albums this year alone. THREE ALBUMS! Here's what I rated them:

New Album - Experimental metal band go electro J-pop... Confusing, But oh so good in a guilty pleasure way. (4/5)
Attention Please - Their 2nd album this year sees them make stripped back, yet bloody catchy, J-Pop, still with overtones of heavy rock (4.7/5)
Heavy Rocks - their only album of the 3 this year that channels their older metal sound, but with a garage rock twist (4.3/5)

That's a pretty damn good average score for 3 albums in one.

The thing about this Japanese band is that they push the boundaries and try so many new and interesting things. Consider this song from the album New Album:

Now consider some of their earlier work:

They did originally start as a doom metal band, but you know what, they'll try anything. And they'll do it great.

The HiFi
March 23

News news news!

The best of the 90's
Lenny Kravitz and the Cranberries, together at last! In what would get so many of our 14 year old selves excited (surprisingly not me though, I wasn't the biggest fan of these two, although the Cranberries had some crackin' tunes), they are coming out for a tour. And to make it even more radio friendly, they've got Wolfmother coming with them!

March 24, Riverstage.

Now relive the magic!

I've had this video on my computer since I was about 12:
It's the Karate Kid guitar duelling Steve Vai. Amazing, right? Well Steve Vai is touring as part of the G3 tour next year, when 3 kick-ass guitarists go around showing us their chops. Next year it will be Steve, with Joe Satriani (who's casette I used to have lying around somewhere) and Steve Lukather. April 5th at the Convention Centre. For some reason it's also 18+.

Joy Divsion live (sort of)
Peter Hook, the bassist of Joy Division (and member of New Order) is set to cash in on the Joy Division legacy again this year, by once again touring a full band playing an entire Joy Division album. Last time it was Unknown Pleasures, but this time he will be playing all of Closer. To me, Closer was a dark and moody album, but the songs on it aren't really anything I remember when I think of Joy Division. The show is Black Friday, April 13 at the Tivoli. Maybe he'll do something extra special for it?
Ariel Pink
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti were out at the start of the year for the Laneway festival. I watched a few songs, but to be honest, it wasn't my thing. Their music is sort of a hipster psychedelia. Maybe it was just that he was playing on a bloody hot day under a tin shed, but I just didn't get into it. I'm willing to give it another shot though, as the recorded stuff isn't too bad. I can do that at the Zoo on the 8th of March!

Dan Deacon
Everyone's favourite electronic party animal is going on tour! He'll be partying it up in Woodland on January 12. Tickets are about $32. This will be a great party night.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Music Friday 32!

Almost exactly a year ago to the day, I was in a very hot and humid Fat Louies on a Saturday night, camera in hand.

And I took some really awesome photos of the Adelaide band In Trenches.

These guys have a pretty good heavy music pedigree, featuring members of I Killed the Prom Queen and Day of Contempt. With the history of those two bands, it's not surprising that they have a very metal sound influenced by a fair bit of hardcore too. It's the kind of heavy music I like, mixing together the best of both worlds.

Their debut album came out a few years ago and is not the easiest thing to buy. But luckily they've put it up for free on their bandcamp. So get over there and get it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekly news update

I've given up fighting it, until things get less busy (which never happens at Christmas) I'm going to just post updates when I can, even if it means compressing them in one.

He's decided instead of the Brisbane show on December 5, he'd do another Sydney show again. Sorry kids. C.R.E.A.M.

Omar Rodríguez-López Group & La Butcherettes
I'm not even going to say anything about this one. The legendary guitarist and producer of At the Drive-In and Mars Volta fame will be playing solo material, and bass in a mexican punk band in the one night. At the Zoo. Holy shit fan boy overload. December 11. 18+

Death Grips
I posted a link to his free album a while back and now he's coming to do a club tour of Australia! The only downside is, Brisbane is the only place yet to have a date booked... A bit dodgy if you ask me. If it does go ahead, it will be January 26th. TBD

This will be yet another night celebrating all things heavier in Brisbane music. Featuring bands like Numbers Radio (okay, maybe not all heavy), Dollarosa, Resist the Thought, the Kidney Thieves and Torn Usunder, it will also be headlined by a very non-Brisbane band, American death-core band All Shall Perish. It's a whole day event at the Tempo Bar over 2 stages, on November 27th. 18+

There's literally no festival in Australia that gets me so excited but then makes me a bitter man as quickly as Bluesfest. Every year, without fail, the Byron Bay festival announces amazing bands. Then I realize that I can't possibly make it down there for it at all. And then, to top it off, they basically think Brisbane is Byron Bay (fuck off) and have no sideshows whatsoever. So next year, between April 5 and 9, I'll be missing out on bands such as the Pogues, Roger Daltry (performing Tommy (I may cry missing this)), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yes, Buddy Guy, Brian Setzer, My Morning Jacket and the Jayhawks.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY CAN'T BRISBANE GET A BREAK WITH THIS. If you can get more time off than I can, head to Byron Bay for this. Or you'll hate yourself as much as the alt-country guy inside of me is.

Ryan Adams
Speaking of alt-country, Ryan Adams is coming down to Australia to tour his red hot new album (which I'll be reviewing tomorrow on Twitter if I get a chance). March 1st at QPac. This should be a great show of just him (without his Cardinals). This will be incredible. If you haven't heard his album Ashes and Fire, get it now. He's the best thing to come out of Canada since Neil Young and Maple Syrup.

Brisbane punk night
What are you doing December 2? Nothing? Well get your ass over to the Basement on Brunswick St to see the reunion show of Brisbane punkers Stolen Bikes Ride Faster, supported by a bunch of awesome local bands including Friends with the Enemy. It's $10. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES. I also imagine a lot of beer will be drunk. A LOT.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nevermind: 20 years of tributes

As I mentioned a while back, it's been 20 years since the release of an album that left us all wondering "could we be busted for child pornography for having this on our shelves?"

Yes, Nirvana's Nevermind. The kickstarter of the entire alternative music genre (if you ask some people). Whatever you think it's legacy is for music, there's no denying it's a great fucking album. But with a great album, comes even greater covers. And as part of the anniversary celebrations, I have been inundated with tribute albums, recreating the classic track by track. Here's a summary of what I've come across so far.

Kevin Devine
The lovely red-head is better known for his softer side of folk-rock. However, as was the time I saw him open for Brand New, he has a full band he sometimes put together for the whole rock show. On his Nevermind tribute, he's gone the electric path.

So, how does he do? Well, for starters, the music itself sounds almost note for note from the original Nirvana cut. There's a few differences in tone, but it's very minimal. In no way has he put his own spin on this. It's Nirvana, but with a slightly higher pitched voice of Kevine Devine. His voice is not so suited to the Nirvana sound, as it lacks that rough edge that was Kurt Cobain. I like Kevine Devine normally, but his Nevermind tribute is just copy, paste and nothing new added.

Spin is offering this CD up for free at their website. Taking together a handful of old and new artists across varying genres, it offers a glimpse of the wide-range appeal of Nirvana. At times the tracks go lounge, cabaret, art-rock, twee, electronic and my personal favourite, the last "bonus" track goes all-out fuzzy noise-rock.

There are some great interpretations of Nirvana on this album. However, there are some horrible ones as well. The worst of all of the covers in my mini-review is from an Australian band too. It hurts me. Midnight Juggernauts Come As You Are has me hitting fast-forward every time. The album is a bit more indie than most Nirvana fans are used to, but it is a good bridging gap for old-school fans to check out the lighter and sometimes completely different side of things.

It's probably not a surprise that the tribute album by British magazine Kerrang! is my favourite. It features two of my favourite artists (Dillinger Escape Plan and Frank Turner) and to me, their bias towards heavier music is more in tune to the Nirvana and Nevermind legacy: the way it helped heavier, alienating music cross to the mainstream.

This album still covers a bit in the heavier genre though, from acoustic punk to metal to hardcore to whatever the heck you want to call Dillinger Escape Plan. For me, this is the pick of the Nevermind tribute albums.

There's more to come though and as I dig my way through my giant inbox of CDs I'll add more to this.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Local Brisbane Music extravaganza

Every few weeks I harp on about this, but goddamn Brisbane has some of the best local music around. So much good stuff is happening lately that I just have to share it with you all.

I stole this picture from Jess. Sorry, but it was the only one I could find of the month's poster. I'm normally not a fan of any Destroy All Lines clubs. They have good bands ocassionally, but the crowd of scenesters isn't my favourite at all. They just kind of annoy me. But this month I'm going to have to make an exception with so much good music coming up at Snitch, their Thursday nightclub.

This Thursday, the 3rd of November, old Brisbane punk rockers The Gifthorse will be playing an acoustic set, while two of my favourite (and not to mention great) bands Fires of Waco and Quiet Steps will be playing full sets.

Then come 24th of November, my friend's band Castles Sunk Below the Sea will be playing their post-rock/emo stylings alongside Jud Campbell (former singer of the Disables doing acoustic), Fires of Waco and Perth's hardcore giants Break Even. It is two great Thursday night gigs of great Brisbane bands. Get on it.

Quiet Steps
Speaking of Quiet Steps, they will be playing the last ever show at Sun Distortion Studios. Come New Years Eve, they will be playing a show with Nuclear Summer as well as the awesome Italian screamo band Raein.  I may have squee-ed out loud when I heard of this show.

Lofly records
Also on this Thursday night (but at the Zoo) the local record lable Lofly will be putting on a showcase of their local acts. Included on this will be Mr. Maps (who's new music video you can see me in) and Re:Enactment.  It's $10 for great indie and post-rock.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some more news

These three slipped under my radar while I was updating a few minutes ago.

No Years
I always find New Years Eve to be the worst day of the year. There's so much anticipation for a huge party that'll be memorable, but it generally ends badly and in disappointment. From all reports, most people's are like that. So instead of being predictable with bars/parties/fireworks, why not go out and see some killer live music? That's the theory behind No Years at the Powerhouse anyway, which brings a kick-ass indie festival to New Years Eve. The first announcement this year has The Dum Dum Girls, as well as Australian acts Ball Park Music, Charlie Mayfair and Last Dinosaurs. There's more to be announced. December 31 at the Powerhouse, spread over 2 stages.

Track and Field
Track and Field is an occasional indie music night-club. It's been a while, but it's time for another incarnation, this time at the Arena. Featuring Bleeding Knees Club, Deep Sea Arcade (launching their new single all the way from Sydney) and Velociraptor, it'll be a good night of Australian indie. And drinks. Don't the two go hand in hand. The Arena, November 25.

After the Fall
I mentioned a while back that the awesome New Jersey melodic hardcore (not the Australian rock band) After the Fall are coming on a tour with Melbourne band Anchors. Well they've just named their local opening bands and it is shaping up to be a huge night, with Friends with the Enemy and Milestones opening. I'll be there early at the Jubilee come November 17.

The almost monthly "oh crap I ran out of time to blog so here's the big update" post

See the title. I've been bad lately, I know. But here's everything I've had written down to share with you lately.

The Blanks
Ever watch Scrubs? I hope so, it's one of my all time favoure shows (pre season-5). You probably know Ted, the lawyer with horrible flop sweat. You may also know his acapella band that appears sporadically throughout the show.

Well, they are a real band. Called the Blanks. And they will be playing the Old Museum on March 12. 18+. I'm not even kidding. I'll be fanboy-ing there.

Chali 2na
He has one of the best voices in rap. It's so unique. If you hear it, you'll know him from Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli.  He's done a bit of solo work lately and it's pretty good. He'll be coming down for a show at the HiFi on December 10. 18+.

The Casualties
These old-school punk rockers were supposed to do their first ever Australian tour (in decades of being a band) a few months back, but it got cancelled. Now it's going to be November 13 at the HiFi. 18+. UP THE PUNX.

The Damned
Speaking of old-school punk, the Damned are coming to Australia as part of their 35th anniversary tour. These gothic punk-rockers were one of the very first punk bands (see my history I did a while back) , so it's amazing to see them still going strong. January 19, the HiFi. 18+. Not that many people under the age of 18 will even know who the heck they are.

Bright Eyes
So many of my female friends just swoon at the mention of Bright Eyes, aka Conor Oberst.  He's coming out for Harvest Festival in a few weeks time, but they've announced a sideshow. Which is weird, given Brisbane's history of not having sideshows for any music festival ever. November 17, the HiFi.

There's been lots of announcements, cancellations, back-pedalling and rumour-milling surrounding an Ice Cube Australian tour over the last few months. I've posted nothing about it, but it seems that he's finally coming down, but as part of next year's Supafest. He'll be touring alongside Lupe Fiasco, Diddy, Kelly Rowland and more to be announced. Not normally my scene, but Lupe Fiasco, Ice Cube and Diddy together may be too good to pass up. April 14, RNA Showgrounds.

The Red Paintings
A former Brisbane band, I saw these art-rockers a few times before they relocated to the USA. Known for mixing together their orchestral indie sounds with live art , they put on an amazing and involving live show. At the least you'll get someone painting on stage to the music, at the best... well you don't know what to expect. The first time I saw them they covered Nick Cave's the Mercy Seat, in one of the most haunting and beautiful ways. Now when I listen to this music video, I still get shivers.

Their homecoming is January 7 at the HiFi. 18+.

Howling Bells
Another former Australian band that relocated overseas (this time to England) is the Howling Bells. I've loved their music for a while, which is like a moody-folky female-fronted slightly noisey indie. They even throw in a bit of country every now and then. They're coming back to support their new album which sees them play Alhambra on December 16. 18+.

Soundwave 2012, take 2

Well, Soundwave festival has been quite busy in my blogging downtime of the last fornight. First off, Hole pulled out after a massive Twitter tiff between her and Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah. There's way too much back and forth for me to go into much detail, but basically she's a cow and a primadonna and he is... well.. I can't read her Tweets, they are just not English as far as I can tell. And now her Twitter seems to be gone.

Apart from that there was a 2nd lineup announced.
Bad Religion
Strung Out
Wednesday 13
The Pretty Reckless
Shadows Fall
Tonight Alive
Motionless In White
Break Even
Heaven Shall Burn
Your Demise
A Rocket To The Moon
The Ready Set
The Menzingers
Dream On, Dreamer
Attack! Attack!
The Smoking Hearts
The Summer Set
It's a bit more punk related, and even some Australian acts (which is a rarity at Soundwave). But the big surprise there is Staind and Kittie. I can't believe how much of the 90s is coming out for this festival. It's amazing.

And for you metal fans, this festival will be the last shows that Cathedral will ever play. EVER. THE END. FINITO.

Also Melbourne has already sold out, and Brisbane is towards the end of its ticket allocation. So if you want to go on February 25 at the RNA Showground, you'd best hurry up and get your tickets. I picked mine up from the post office yesterday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One sentence album reviews (#18)

It's really built up lately, what with a 2 week blog absence and the push to review as many albums before the end of the year. But here we go:

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde (2011): Maybe it's the name, but I get a very country feel to this lo-fi rock 4.1/5

Social Jet Lag - The Monster Inside (2011): Generic modern post-hardcore, but with a female that can actually sing. She should do pop instead 2/5

Starfucker - Reptilians (2011): Hipster indie-dance. At times I think Flaming Lips, Of Montreal or Avalanches. The whole time I think "YES!" 5/5

Tennis - Cape Dory (2011): an album seemingly transported from the pop music of a hot 1960s summer 3.9/5

Whirl - Distressor (2010): The Jesus and Mary Chain, if they wrote good music after the 90s. 4/5

White Lies - Ritual (2011): Editors get drunk at New Order concert, hooks up with Interpol; 9 months later their baby sounds like this 3.8/5

Autre Ne Veut - ST (2010): It's a modern Prince album basically, with the same level of annoyance 2.3/5

Tim Blood & The Gutpanthers - Summer Of Our Discontent (2011): lofi pop punk, with a sound that makes me think of a non-folk Defiance Ohio 3.4/5

The Cab - Symphony Soldier (2011): If I was a teenage girl that likes soft contemporary rock, this would make me swoon. Too bad I'm male. 2/5

Nekromantix  - What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell (2011): Songs about ghosts and devils... Never would have guessed that in psychobilly 2.5/5

Kimbra - Vows (2011): A beautiful funky and jazzy album of soul from a talented kiwi female singer 4.2/5

Bomb the Music Industry! - Vacation (2011): The album starts nothing like a BTMI! album, but luckily the quirky ska comes back at the end 3.3/5

311 - Universal Pulse (2011): A 311 album in 2011 just sounds dated and so forced. Nothing even remotely funky about their current sound 2/5

Regurgitator - Superhappyfuntimesfriends (2011): As disjointed and random as any 'gurge album, but doesn't have a noticeable hit song on it 3.4/5

Staind - ST (2011): Less nu-metal than they used to be, but the song Wannabe makes me laugh so hard I can't take this album seriously 1.6/5

Frenzal Rhomb - Smoko At The Pet Food Factory (2011): Tyical Frenzal: fast songs with very non-PC yet hilarious subject matter 3.8/5

Puddle of Mudd - Re(Disc)overed (2011): This cover album takes everything I love about the original songs and destroys them forever 0.3/5

The Drums - Portamento (2011) & Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams (2011): surf rock albums almost identical, minus the female singer of Dum Dum Girls 3.3/5
(I had those 2 albums queued up back to back and I didn't notice when the album changed. They are so similar, except Dum Dum Girls is louder)

La Dispute - Wildlife (2011): an emotional trip with some of the best lyrics I have heard recently, each song is a story 4.7/5
(it took me ages to listen to the album, as seemingly each song is about dealing with death. Hits close to home. But unlike their last album, I don't think I heard the word "darling" once. In Wildlife the repeated word seems to be "cancer")

Mates of State - Mountaintops (2011): I listened to this 10 times without forming an opinion; which means it is still perfect lofi pop 3.8/5

Bury Your Dead - Mosh N' Roll (2011): In my world, this album is how I imagine all good straight edge hardcore to sound. 3.8/5

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows - ST (2011): At times he gets close, but Craig Owens' new band just can't sound as good as Chiodos 2.3/5

Thrice - Major/Minor (2011): The post-hardcore sound is almost fully gone, but it has been replaced with some amazing rock song writing 4.6/5

Trivium - In Waves (2011): Enough heavier thrash for old fans & melodic metal for newer fans. Summary of their career really... 3.2/5

The Rapture - In The Grace Of Your Love
(2011): They've lost the dance-punk edge and this album just sounds like modern elevator music 2/5

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You (2011): A watered-down version of their past (needs Frusciante!) that would be suited for AM radio 2.4/5

I Break Horses - Hearts (2011): This Swedish male/female synth-pop duo stands out from the pack because of their My Bloody Valentine influence 4/5

Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost (2011): They've lost a bit of the dreamy hipster sound and now almost sound alt-country. My Weakness! 4.3/5

Primus - Green Naugahyde (2011): The first new album from Primus in 12 years sounds as if it is from the Brown Album years. Funky and quirky 4.3/5

Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer (2011): Very quiet ambient synth music, like every Ladytron album. Just no stand out songs on this one 3.4/5

Eskimo Joe - Ghosts of the Past (2011): A very brooding mainstream-rock album, I can imagine the radio loving it. It just sounds cliche to me 3/5

Owen - Ghost Town (2011): Absolutely beautiful folk/indie/acoustic album, with just subtle touches of his noodly emo past showing 4.5/5

Skyway - Finders Keepers (2011): Imagine New Found Glory circa 2000, but Australian. That is this album. 3.6/5

Monday, October 24, 2011


It's been what, 12 years, and I still know all of the words to this song:
For those of you that have been frozen in ice like a prehistoric caveman for the past decade or so, the white guy in there is Eminem. One of the most popular rappers to ever emerge. And he's white. Oh so white. And more than controversial.
He is booked for a 2 date tour to Melbourne and Sydney soon, which sold out rapidly and tickets are being scalped for 3 to 4 times their going rate.

And then out of nowhere, he announced a Brisbane show. Suncorp Stadium. December 5. This will sell out ridiculously fast, so make sure you get on it quick.

EDIT: Apparently he changed his mind and he's now playing Sydney again, instead of Brisbane. Of course.

Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles are a male-female electronic duo that dabble in lo-fi. You can't get any more cliche in this day and age than that, can you? But this Canadian duo has something that makes them stand out from the crowd. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's the fact that they like pushing the boundaries on a lot of their songs and experimenting with sounds and noise. Lots of noise at times.

Like a lot of bands hipsters love, they'll be coming down in the new year for a southern music festival. Which means, of course, that we Brisban-ites get sideshows! January 4 at the Tivoli. Bring ear plugs, it could get very loud.

Mr Maps: A music video, and a cameo

A while back I mentioned that Nabs and I were at a filming for the new Mr Maps music video. Well, here it is. And you can even see me after 2 minutes making an idiot of myself. I also saw flashes of me, camera in hand, in the first few minutes. Just flashes though.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Airwaves: a late pass

I don't normally blog about albums individually, but I got my hands on one this week that has just blown my mind. The only problem is, it came out years ago. It's an odd collaboration between 2 Brisbane music collectives: Topology and Loops.

Together, with the archives of 100 years of radio transimissions, they've put together a 99 track album called Airwaves. This album features samples (in reverse chronological order) of some of the most important radio broadcasts in our history, put together with a jazz, and at times noodly post-rock, backing track. I sat at work today, enthralled by how it all worked together, at times the samples and the music were at complete opposites, but at times they worked magnificently together, especially the track Gough Whitlam: Well May We Say.

What makes this late pass even worse is that they performed it live less than a week ago at the Powerhouse. GAH! A chance to up my culture, history and general awesomeness and I just missed out.

There's something to be said for music that makes you sit back and really pay attention. Although I'm young, I still found myself listening to this and remembering where I was during some of these historical speeches (even though with me it was only the first few tracks that were relevant).

If you're willing to take a risk with something new and interesting in music, do yourself a favour, get this. And if you like what you hear, and have some management skills, Topology are looking for a new manager. This job popped up in my daily updates today, completely unrelated to the fact that I was listening to the band.

Future Music Festival

The summer of music festivals is all coming together nicely right now, with a second announcement today. This time Future Music Festival. I've never made it out to the Future Music Festival as it nearly always falls on the same day as Soundwave, which for my music tastes, is a better value for money. But this year it's the week after!

Here's the first announcement of the lineup and I've bolded the ones I want to see:
Swedish House Mafia
Fatboy Slim
Paul Van Dyke
Tinie Tempah
The Wombats
Chase and Status (live)
Jessie J
The Rapture
Aphex Twin (live)
Frank Ocean
Die Antwoord
Gareth Emery
LCD Soundsystem DJs (James Murphy and Pat Mahony)
Naked and Famous
Hercules and Love Affair
Sven Vath
Alex Metric
Azari and Ill
Jamie Jones
Holy Ghost!
Horse Meat Disco
The Juan MacLean
Benoit and Sergio
Stafford Brothers 
Much like Laneway, it's not a stellar cast, but between Fatboy Slim and Aphex Twin I could almost be talked into going.

March 3, Doomben Raceourse

Laneway 2012

Festival season rapidly approaches! Two announcements today, the first of which is next year's Laneway festival. I went last year for the first time ever, and had a reasonably good time, purely for Les Savy Fav. The rest of the bands were a bit similar sounding and the day was a bit of a let down due to the non-chalance of the predominantly "hip" audience.

Well this year is looking the same again... almost. Presenting, the Laneway lineup!

There's some good bands there, but the ones that really get me going are M83, Girls, Portugal the Man, the Drums and Yuck. M83, I saw at V-Fest a few years ago, Portugal the Man aren't playing Brisbane and the Drums seem to be touring here every 6 months or so now. So almost not worth it. But then, there's Yuck. This band sounds like a noisy reincarnation of the great 90's Brit-rock sound. This band is my front runner for album of the year. At the start of the year I was more than mildly obsessed with them. And M83 always put on a good show.

So yes, I am weighing up the advantages of going. We'll see how much the tickets are. January 28, in the usual RNA laneway area.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Soundwave 2012: for reals yo

I was close, but I got a few big ones wrong. Especially bummed at lack of Tea Party, Kyuss, Ministry... maybe the second announcement?

Here's the full lineup as of today:

Soundwave 2012

Warning: I'm pre-blogging this because I will be at work on a railway line in the middle of the Darling Downs when the announcement is made. So this is going purely off my information ascertained from many sources. $10 says I'm wrong. But here's the additions to Soundwave 2012, that I've yet to mention.
  • Limp Bizkit
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Ministry
  • The Offspring
  • System of a Down
  • Slipknot
  • Kyuss
  • Alice in Chains
  • A Day To Remember
  • Bush
  • Chimaira
  • Dragonforce
  • Biohazard
  • The Tea Party
Oh yes, Allan of the 90's/2000's is very excited for this festival. Oh so excited. Of course there's more I didn't mention and don't know about it.

February 25, RNA Showgrounds.

I'll update this when I get home and can check against the actual list.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Free Music Friday 31!

Last night the ever wonderful Kelly won tickets to see Japanese post-rock band Mono and was wonderful enough to bring me along. As good as Mono were, I was blown away by one of the local opening bands. They consisted of 2 bass guitars and a drummer.

I fucking love bass guitar. So much. Two bass guitars in a band? They have to be amazing. And they are. They are No Anchor.

I've heard a lot of buzz about these guys lately. But I've never had the chance to see them. Until I got lucky last night of course. Their two bass sound borders between crazy detuned sludge hardcore/metal, post-rock (their 5 minute feedback bridge last night an excellent example of this) and even a bit of drum and bass, with some parts giving me a DFA 1979 vibe. But all around, it's the kind of music I just like.

They have a few albums, but their latest one is free over at their Bandcamp. Get on it, and support a great local band.

And if you really dig it, get on over to Waiting Room in West End this week, where they are playing 7 days of shows. All at 8pm, all with different bands, all $5 and all BYO. Every night from October 15 to October 21st. My picks will be October 15 with local hardcore punks Dick Nasty, or October 21 with the USA Shoegaze band Happy New Year.

Southern Indie Music Festival Sideshows Coming North to Brisbane

Apologies. I promised myself I wouldn't do this ever again, but there's been so much news updates in the last 2 or 3 days and I have so little free time that the only way I'm going to get it out to you right now is in one of those "one-size-fits-all" blog update. Except this one size happens to be Shaq-size. So there's plenty of room for all of the news.

The following news items are in no way in an order of importance, more or less just which tab I have open in my browser closest to the blogger editing window.

The Kooks
The weird thing is, I saw this on a bus stop near my shopping mall days before the official press release. But yes, indie darlings the Kooks are coming to Australia for all the southern New Years festivals, which means we get sideshows up north! January 2nd at the Tivoli.

Appearing at some of the same festivals will be the folky indie sounds of Beirut. We get them at a full gig, January 12 at the HiFi.

Let's just presume every indie band playing in that fortnight is on one of these festivals. Deerhoof would be one of the ones I'm most excited for though. Their experimental indie style is quite an inspiration to many modern indie bands, and they are playing Woodland for like $24! It's on the 10th of January. I can guarantee it will be a sweatbox, but bloody hell, it'll be great.

Fleet Foxes
Is this folk-rock band playing a southern New Years festival?
Are we getting a sideshow?
You bloody well know it.
January 11, the Tivoli.

J Mascis
The creative genius behind the legendary noise band Dinosaur Jr is also coming out for some festivals, but in his solo acoustic mode (which is still bloody good). He'll be playing sideshows at the Sound Lounge on the Gold Coast on January 7 and the Powerhouse on January 10. Given Woodland's late starts, you could probably do this before Deerhoof. I'm thinking of that plan anway...

Kings of Leon
Despite the rumours of their break-up, alcoholism, etc, they are coming down under to play their postponed tour from last year. This band really polarises me. Their first two albums, were amazing. I still love them to this day. They inspired me to relearn guitar when I had given up on it, and they blew me away on their first Australian tour oh so many years ago. Then they released a bunch of tripe. And continue to. But hey, if you like them now, they've added a new Queensland date on their tour, at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. It will be November 9, the day after their show at the Entertainment Centre.

Switching genres now, Off! are a band made up of former members of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Rocket From the Crypt. I don't think you can get anymore punk credibility there. But they're bringing their old school style of skate-hardcore punk to Australia.

If you can't see the tour poster above, I'll tell you what's on it. We get two shows. Dec 4 at the Zoo for the 18+ and Dec 6 for an all-ages at Sun Distortion (this will be insane). I cannot wait.

Quiet Steps

I may almost be too late for this, but I got sidetracked with life/work/free tickets to Mono last night. I bang on and on about how good Brisbane bands are, and some of my favourites are playing tonight at Snitch at X and Y. Quiet Steps and Nuclear Summer to be exact. Rad dudes, good music, not too expensive drink prices.

If it's too late notice (and I don't blame you if it is) never fear, you can still catch Quiet Steps playing the afternoon of October 16 in the 4ZZZ car park in Bowen Hills.

As for Nuclear Summer, this may be the last chance you ever get to see them, as one of their members is off overseas. Which sucks, because they are about to release their debut album. So let's hope it's just a temporary thing. Here's a track off it though:

Endless Kickflips Forever (unmixed/unmastered) by Nuclear Summer

Monday, October 3, 2011

Abbe May

Although most of you know Abbe May for her new album cover where she's in a bra wearing a steer's skull (and looking pretty damn good at the same time... odd) she does excellent female led blues/in your face rock.

It's quite refreshing.

Normally whenever I hear of a female releasing an album under her own name, I just think it's going to be the normal singer-songwriter fare. Which is great, don't get me wrong, but it can take me a while to listen to it or even distinguish it from the rest. I wish I hadn't waited with Abbe May. Her rock and roll style is refreshing for a solo artists and her new album, Design Desire, is just bloody great.

You can catch her November 20 at the Tivoli

Here's another good song of her latest album:

Bon Iver

I was going to do a great big blog about Bon Iver and his shows in Brisbane in March, but the tickets went on sale the day it was announced, then sold out, then a new show was announced then that sold out. All within a few hours while I was at work. Crazy.

So unless you were quick, you won't be seeing Bon Iver at the Tivoli on March 15 or 16 next year.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Big Day Out first announcement: as it happened

For 2012's Big Day Out, the promoters took a leaf from the Soundwave festival school of promotion: they leaked the artists one at a time over Twitter. However, unlike Soundwave, they did it over 2 nights, instead of just whenever they hell the feel like it for months at a time. And now, here's the list, with my initial reactions as I sat at my computer:

But before we start, let us not forget what you will see a lot of during your day if you do decide to go: bad patriotism tattoos.

Why yes, that is the map of Australia. And yes, the interior is the Australian flag over a bunch of $100 bills. And yes, apparently Tasmania isn't part of Australia. (I took this picture during Matt and Kim this year. Couldn't stop laughing).

Anyway, the first announcement, with my reactions:
  • Best Coast "huh.. first band announced, and I'll probably want to see them. This could be a good year... maybe..."
  • Foster the People "Triple J listener's cliche band of the moment at the festival."
  • Cage the Elephant "Yes, I'll see them. They're good and a lot of people won't see them! They'll be on a side stage outside of the crowds"
  • The Getaway Plan "Christ I saw this band like 100 times in 2004-2008. Pass"
  • Girl Talk "An artist that will get me to the boiler room this year!"
  • Frenzal Rhomb "Already seen them twice in the last year, they must be desperate for money now!"
  • OFWGKTA "Weren't they here a few months back? Probably still trying to cash in their short-lived earning potential. Don't want to see them though"
  • The Jezabels "They are becoming one of those Australian bands that play every festival now!"
  • Battles "YES! Highlight of a Big Day Out a few years ago... But are they as good without their old frontman now?"
  • Architecture in Helsinki "They wrapped up a tour only a few days ago. Back on it already?!"
  • Mariachi El Bronx "OH HELL YES. I hope that means the Bronx does a sideshow too!"
  • Parkway Drive "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA"
  • Boy And Bear "More Australian music content filler. Should not be as high up over some of these great overseas bands"
  • Hilltop Hoods "well it's not a Big Day Out unless the Hilltop Hoods play... is it?"
  • Royskopp "Was not expecting this... More of a V-Fest or Laneway band, but could be excellent late in the afternoon"
  • The Living End "It's not an Australian music festival unless they play it"
  • My Chemical Romance "They've never been the same since their first album. Glad I saw them in lots of small club shows when I was younger"
  • Kasabian "ohhhhhhhhhhh yes. Excellent festival band"
  • Soundgarden "wait.. Back up. WHAT?! They're back together? HECK YES"
  • Kanye West "not a logical choice. He was too expensive for Splendour (yet still played it) and they didn't even get close to selling out. Just gives me a reason to leave early"

So will I go? At the start it was a definite no. Now it's a maybe. Soundgarden together again will probably be the one band that tips me over the edge into "fuck it, I'm going." But we'll wait for the second announcement.

January 22. Gold Coast Parklands