Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Sufjan Stevens/Tim Hart, Tivoli, Jan 30 2011

Brisbane's hipster elite were out in force last night, even waiting in line at 7 to try and scope a place to see their poster boy: Sufjan Stevens.

As everyone jostled for space by the barricade and on the floor, I was entranced by the gear setup on the stage. There was hardly room to move with all the instruments. When the opening act, Tim Hart, came out, this was very evident. He stood out the front of everything, just a man with a microphone and an acoustic guitar.

He was good. He's part of the band Boy and Bear, but last night, I liked his solo folk music much better than his band. He had excellent finger picking guitar skills and such a great folk voice that even most of the hipster crowd stopped talking and listened. He told us a bit about the songs and the stories behind them, but he was just gushing in enthusiasm for the fact he was opening for Sufjan. I mean, what local folk artist wouldn't?

If you were also there and you liked Tim, you can download one of his tracks for free, right here.

After Tim left the stage, there wasn't much waiting time as all of the instruments were already set up. The lights dimmed, it got dark and a plethora of people invaded the stage, all self-illuminating with bright colours from lights on their clothes and black lights. Right from that point you knew that Sufjan didn't just bring his music on tour, he brought an experience for us all.

Straight away he launched into an explosively long and all-encompassing cacophonous version of the Age of Adz. Everyone just stood there in awe. He was surrounded by 10 other musicians, he had a light show, he had a video loops playing along with the music, he had so many layers of sounds that I felt like a kid with ADD, unable to focus on anything for more than a few seconds at a time.

And it was in this state that over 2 hours of music went by with me hardly even noticing. I want to note here that although I liked his new album Age of Adz, I didn't think it was amazing. Sure, it was different for him and rather complex, but I just thought it was a mediocre experimental electronic/folk crossover album.

But then I saw it live.

This is how the Age of Adz should be listened to. It's not an album as much as an experience. Sufjan took the time to apologise to all the kids "standing in the crowd wearing Illinois shirts and wondering what the hell is going on", referencing his folk past. He told us that today was dedicated purely to playing his new album and EP. When he wasn't crafting each song out to almost Mars Volta-esque lengths and jams he was explaining everything to us. The motivation to the songs, to the album. Why he did it this way. Where the art work came from. Every thing. Although he didn't look at ease talking to a crowd plainly falling head over heels in love with him (lots of fidgeting while talking and looking down) his conversation with the crowd added an even deeper dimension to the music. Deeper than the 10 extra musicians added.

And then it got even better.

With about 40 minutes left in his set the music swelled up, the balloons fell from the sky and he ripped into the song Impossible Soul.

I have no idea how long this song lasted, I'd wager half an hour though. But with the balloons bouncing in the air, everyone dancing, the musicians having fun, the crowd singing along... it was an ethereal experience. I never wanted it to end.

But unfortunately it did. But then he came out on stage, having lost all of the bright colours and the over the top get up of the show. It was just him and his guitar. He played two songs off Illinois (I think, I wasn't quite sure, I was still in some post-gig euphoria). John Wayne Gacy Jr (maybe) and Chicago (definitely). We weren't expecting him to come out and go folk at the end, but it was a brilliant end to the show, giving a little back to those that probably came just for the amazingness that was the Illinois album.

Sidewave update

In what's a rarity, Brisbane is having a few excellent sideshows to the Soundwave festival this year. One of them is a heavy music fan's wet dream, Kylesa, Trash Talk and High on Fire. But the Soundwave organisers are not one to rest on their laurels, instead they though they'd taunt me with my decision to go to Melbourne for sideshows by adding these guys on the bill:

Yes, they've added Canada's crazy metallers Protest the Hero. This is now a show not to miss. March 1 at the HiFi. Unfortunately, I'll be missing it. Maybe I'll go see the Melbourne One Day as a Lion show instead...

AC4/Star Fucking Hipsters

The guy singing in this music video, his name is Dennis. He is from Sweden. About 10 years ago he was in a hardcore band. A few years after that he was in an indie band. The hardcore band changed the musical landscape forever. The indie band, did alright too.

8 days ago I thought I'd get the only chance of my life to see him, and not only that, but see him play a Refused song. Sure, it was the Bloody Beetroots hardcore-techno remix of New Noise, but Dennis still sang. I was happy.

And then this dropped today:
Shit was lost.

You may not recognize the band names, but AC4 has Dennis as the lead singer. And another guy who was in Refused. And they are playing hardcore music together. More old school hardcore-punk than Refused style, but it's still good.

And not just that, but they are joined by the Star Fucking Hipsters, a band playing ska-punk featuring members of Leftover Crack.

April 7, the Zoo.

Star Fucking Hipsters

Kings of Leon postponed

It started as a stadium tour. A few weeks ago it was downsized to an entertainment centre tour. And now, it's not even happening.

Yes, Kings of Leon's show on March 6th has been canned. Apparently it's not for poor ticket sales though, but rather:
Doctors have advised that at least three months will be required for Nathan to recover post surgery to ensure the injury doesn't reoccur.

The injury has, at this stage, led to the postponement of Australian and South African tour dates for Kings Of Leon.

Nathan said of the postponement, "Sorry to all the fans in Australia and South Africa. My bum wing needs more time to heal but we'll be back later this year. Sorry again".

A new itinerary is currently being secured for November in Australia and will be advised to fans this week. Ticket holders should hold on to their tickets until further notice.

One sentence album reviews (#9)

Due to the floods this went on the backburner, but I'm slowly bringing it back on my Twitter.

Bad Books - ST (2010): Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine crossover for sweet indie-folk. 4/5

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today (2010): experimental lo-fi pop music doesn't really sound that good to me 2/5

1905 - Voice (2002): Female lead noise rock/screamo. It's currently one my favourite genres and I love this album. 4.5/5

Make Do and Mend - End Measured Mile (2010): This album can probably be the new yardstick for the orgcore genre 4/5

Gorillaz - The Fall (2010): Not bad for free and recorded on an iPad, especially love the almost cinematic instrumentals at the end 3.5/5

A Day to Remember - What Separates Me From You (2010): The idea of a pop-punk/metalcore crossover scares me, but I'll admit this album isn't horrible. 3/5

Anchors - Bad JuJu (2010): good, fast, melodic hardcore punk from Melbourne. Sound better on album than their last live show I caught 3/5

Athletics - Why Aren't I Home? (2010): Ambient post-rock that sounds more like midwest emo. 3.5/5.

Bad Sports - ST (2009): Garage rock that sounds like it's from the prime days of the early 70s! 4/5

Church of Misery - Houses of the Unholy (2009): Japanese/southern-rock/stoner/
sludge/metal, which sounds amazing. 4.5/5

Cloud Nothings - Turning On (2009): happy, jangly guitar-pop; refreshing as it sounds nothing like that current surf rock craze 3.5/5

Colors - Palindromes (2010): this is as cliche as screamo gets. It's neither good, nor bad. It just is. 2.5/5

Burning Love - Songs for Burning Lovers (2010): The former Cursed singer goes into hardcore punk, result is like the Bronx covers Cursed. 4/5

James Blake - James Blake (2011): I always thought dubstep was supposed to be more dancy, not this awesome laid back sound 4/5

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fires of Cako

They're bloody delicious.

(I stole this picture from my friend Danelle. If you like baking, get on her blog)

Is there anything better than cakes? I think not.

But you know what would go great with cakes? These guys:

And to make it even tastier, both are coming together in a flood relief benefit. Yes, local (fast-becoming popular) hardcore-punkers Fires of Waco are putting on a bake sale/charity gig.

On February 5, at the Via studios on Abbotsford Rd. The day starts at 2pm and also features Capeweather and Wherewolves. Skip breakfast and lunch, come in, gorge yourself stupid on delicious baked goods, listen to some great music and support the RSPCA and the Premier's Flood Relief.

You'll feel good by eating great foods and helping out others in need. Now I just need to decided what I will bake for it...

De La Soul

Having just finished a tour (of sorts) in our country opening and supporting Gorillaz last month, the De La Soul boys have decided to come back. They must've had a ball. And with their feel good hip-hop, it's no surprise.

With nary a mention of anything negative or gangster related in their rhymes, it's no surprise they've been such a long lasting force in hip-hop. As part of this tour, they'll be bringing their first producer, Prince Paul, along as well, to make a truly memorable gig.

February 18, Tivoli


The band Alestorm call themselves "folk-metal", but I'm going to go out on a limb and call these Scottish lads what they really are. Pirate metal.

Yes. Pirate metal.

Songs about the high seas, rum, pillaging and treasure. Metal songs.

So pirate and metal, that apparently they even use a keytar.

This band is just a lot of fun. There's no way, given their subject matter and stereotyping of a genre, that this will not be one of the most fun metal gigs you will ever see.

May 12. HiFi. 18+



I tell you what, it's pretty hard being a ska fan in Brisbane. Not much comes our way. But as a ska fan, I feel such sympathy for those psychobilly fans, who hardly get anything!

What's psychobilly? Well, I'm glad you asked. Imagine if the rock and roll of the 1960's, infused with country and played with basses decided to sing about subject matter best suited to a horror movie. That's basically psychobilly.

The Horrorpops formed in the wake of one of the most classic psychobilly bands, Nekromantix. And they feature one of the most memorable people in psychobilly: Patricia Day.

I mean look at her, she's like the poster girl of all things alternative. So much so that she sued Mattel for unauthorised use of her likeness for a rockabilly Barbie doll.

The Horrorpops released their album Kiss Kiss Kill Kill in 2008, but this tour finally sees them bringing it down under on the aptly titled Kiss Kiss Kill Kill tour... 3 years late. But late is better than never and you can catch them at the HiFi on April 23. 18+


The Haunted (Made Me Do It)

If there's one thing Scandinavian countries are good at, it's metal. If it's one thing Sweden is good at, it's making music with English lyrics that is just so damned good. Mix it together and you get thrash metal legends, the Haunted.

Back in my young and clueless days, my friend was trying to describe to me good metal bands (at the time, my knowledge was solely based on Metallica, Soulfly and Slipknot) and he introduced me to thrash using the Haunted. Ever since then I keep forgetting abou this band until I see someone wear their T-shirt or they pop up on repeat and I go on a crazy listening spree. So guess what, that's about to happen again.

Which is good, because it should get me ready for their Australian tour this year. May 26, the HiFi, 18+.


Saturday, January 29, 2011


All of this local music I've seen lately must be affecting me. I've been listening to a lot more local bands, especially in that style similar to Quiet Steps, Nuclear Summer and La Dispute. And lo and behold, there's a band from Sydney that does the same thing. And they're named after a Mclusky song that they cover (a song that Future of the Left played live a few weeks ago).

They're journeying north of the border for the first time in February and playing two shows with some of the bands I saw over the last few days.

The first one is February 19 with Quiet Steps at the Sun Distortion Studios in Albion (2/24 Corunna St, Albion). All Ages starting at 7.

The next one is a 4ZZZ carpark show with Nuclear Summer on the 20th of February. This is a Sunday afternoon show, all ages, starting at about 2 pm I believe. (EDIT: as seen in the comments below, there's been a scheduling mix up... so no Nuclear Summer. But heck, still get in and see a good show and maybe get some sun on your pasty skin?) DOUBLE EDIT: But wear sunscreen. We don't want cancer stupid.

You can listen to more of Intentions here.

Review: La Dispute/To the North/Marathon/Quiet Steps/Ironhide, Burst City, January 26 2011

In the last week of Burst City's short life as a music venue, I can't think of a better gig to have as one of the last ones. It was definitely one of the most memorable for me. It was Australia Day, it felt like one of the first real days of summer, I just came from a BBQ and there was great music. And Australia flags abound:

We get there at 3, but it turns out the doors didn't open until 4. No problem, plenty of time to get an ice cream and some beer to cool off. As we came back Ironhide had taken the stage, but most people were still hanging outside. When I go in and feel the heat, I see why. Bloody hot outside, no fans or air conditioning inside, but Ironhide still put on a great show.

Featuring the lead singer of Nuclear Summer and another singer I simply dub the "Umbrella Dude", they played some very hard and heavy music. And I enjoyed the shit out of it. For the end of their set they pulled the singer of To The North and some other dude out of the crowd to sing for them.

We all went outside, had a few beers, and tried to cool off and dry the sweat off before Quiet Steps came on.

I featured these guys a while back as part of my spotlight on Brisbane bands, but this was the first time I was able to see them. Although their recordings are a bit more screamo, at Burst City they came through as a more indie band. Regardless, they were awesome. And their bass player was the bass player for To The North.

And that was really the running story of the two days. Despite the main band being from America, they love Brisbane. And they assembled the best of Brisbane's music family. Most of the guys in these bands performed in two bands over the two days of the La Dispute tour. It just goes to show how amazing it is for music in Brisbane and how much of a family they really are. Even with our adopted friends in La Dispute.

At this point, it was too hot. We ran off to the cinemas to buy slurpees only to come back towards the end of Marathon. They weren't as tight as normal, maybe the heat was getting to them. That didn't stop them giving it a go, but they really fell apart towards the end, especially when playing their cover of Iggy Pop & Peaches song Kick It. I love what they do with it normally, but they were having a bit of an off day.

The heat was starting to get to everyone, but no one was going anywhere. To The North were the last of the locals and they got a much better reception at Burst City than the night before at the Zoo. However, at this sweaty point, you know everyone was just waiting for La Dispute. I even snuck into an elevated corner point in preparation, ignoring the waterfalls of sweat coming off me.

A little procession of an Australian Flag was made from the back of the room to Adam's bass amp and then things got underway.

They played a very similar set to the night before, with only a few minor changes. The main one for me was out with the Last Lost Continent, and in with Said the King to the River, the song I was most keen to see.

When most bands play Burst City, they tend to play a bit on the floor as well, due to the smallness of the stage. Unfortunantely this wasn't the case for La Dispute, as every available inch was crammed with bodies scrambling to see what could be one of those bands that on their next tour will probably be too huge to play small venues.

All up, it was a great two days of seeing great bands. I could not have asked for a better way to spend my Australia day.

And if La Dispute love Brisbane as much as they say, hopefully we'll see them again very soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Free Music Friday 9!

I really just want to post this band purely for their description on Last.Fm:
They sound like a panda bear spaghetti birthday party, that has a not funny clown but you’re kinda just laughing at him, and everyone got you pretty sweet gifts like comics/records/books/video games (even though you’re totally an adult and you don’t really care) and of course mom made you triple chocolate cake and got you peanut butter and chocolate ice cream to go along with it and she put chocolate covered strawberries on top just like she has for the past 6 years or so and the party is so indescribingly awesome, like all your friends getting splinters in their feet cause of shitty hardwood floors but your mom takes them out with tweezers, and your friends are all good to go and its just a rad time.
The band? Jazz Hands.

After spending a few days this week seeing bands like La Dispute, Quiet Steps, To The North and Nuclear Summer playing, it's no surprise that I'm staying in that vein: noodly guitar screamo. They easily fall into this seemingly becoming popular category of screamo with indie math-rock guitars. They typify the style of fast, clean and bright music overlayed with screamed and shouted lyrics.

You can name your price ($zero to $infinity) and get their new The Party EP at their Bandcamp here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: La Dispute/To the North/Fires of Waco/Nuclear Summer, the Zoo, January 25 2011

After not shutting up about this band for the better part of six months, the day finally arrived where I got to see them.

After a few delicious burritos, we rocked up early to catch locals Nuclear Summer. Their sound was similar to La Dispute in a way, however they took it to a much heavier end result with the singer at times employing an almost metal growl.

I raved about them after seeing them play Burst City a few weeks back, but I was more swept away this time, due to the much better PA of the Zoo. By far my favourite of the opening bands of the gig.

Fires of Waco came in next, showing why they are one of Brisbane's most talked about up-and-coming bands.

They played a fast melodic punk, which all of the scene kids got into. There was lots of dancing and even more sing-alongs with the microphone in the audience. Their stature is growing quite rapidly as a great live band, probably as they have one of the best drummers you'll find in Brisbane:

They finished off their set with a sublime cover of At the Drive-In's One Armed Scissor, getting the crowd nicely warmed up.

The final opening band was To The North, also from brisbane. It was because of them and their friendship with La Dispute that this tour happened. Unfortunately though, they were unable to connect to the crowd. They played a style of punky math-rock but the whole time the crowd seemed rather uninterested and you could hear the talking over the music.

I didn't manage to get any pictures as the crowd was swelling at the front of the stage in anticipation for La Dispute.

There was already a bit of bumping and shoving at the front of the stage when before they came out but it turned into an excited crowd singing and dancing when the music kicked in.

They met every expectation of mine. Although they only played a short set (about 7 songs in under 40 minutes), there was an energy and enthusiasm there that just radiated over everyone. They were truly thankful and excited to be there. Maybe less so when some of the asshole crowdsurfers kept trying to hug the lead singer and steal the microphone.

Sidenote: I'd like to congratulate 95% of the crowdsurfers on their behaviour. Most of them when landing on stage would just walk themselves directly off. That is good form. It's the other 5% that were idiots.

They played songs from their album and both of the amazing songs from their split with Touche Amore (How I Feel and Why it Scares Me). A notable omission from their setlist was the opening track to their album, Such Small Hands. I was non-fussed by this, as I consider it an intro track, but a fair percentage of the crowd (including a few of my mates) went along purely to see this song.

The set didn't seem long enough, but luckily La Dispute decided to do an encore of the song The Last Lost Continent. 12 minutes of pure emotional music. A great way to finish the set.

Do yourself a favour, go this afternoon to see these guys play Burst City. There are a few remaining tickets left at the door. I think in this smaller intimate venue they will truly shine.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mixtape: Floods

As I am sure you are aware of (and probably sick of me saying) I was caught in the great Brisbane flood of 2011. In fact, I'm still waiting for my apartment to be livable again (hopefully a week). I thought it'd give me an excellent opportunity for a mix tape, but I'll be honest, most people don't write songs about floods. They write it about girls. And drugs. But luckily there are a few songs out there about floods, so I've put them together.

But before we begin, here's a boat that got stuck in a park near my house.

As always, you can view more flood photos on my Flickr.

Before I start, I will admit that some of these songs only mention floods in passing. But fuck it, it's my mixtape, I can put whatever I want on it. And also thanks to those few people who helped me out, especially Jane and her bored work googling. My lack of internet has made it difficult to find music that didn't involve me simply typing in "Flood" in Winamp.

1. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Who'll Stop the Rain
Because seriously,
as long as I can remember rain's been pouring down
, especially this summer. It's been like 8 days in a row with hardly any rain right now, and I'm starting to miss it.

2. La Dispute - Said the King to the River
As Clus said best, "pick any song from that album, they're all basically about floods." And due to my excitement about finally seeing them twice this week, of course I'll add it. And of course I've been listening to it all week. But here's why it got in:
"Rise!" Said the King to the River,
"Never let up! No, bring us a flood and bring it hard!"
"Freeze!" Said the Wind to the Water,
"Never give in! No, build us a bridge!
And build it strong and angry.
Let it stills the King's decree.
Oh, you must contemplate the current
3. Led Zeppelin - When the Levee Breaks
What's a good mix tape without Zeppelin? Nothing.
When The Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay
And because when the levee did break I had no where to stay.

4. Dangers - Opposable
Included because I love the album and for this lyric that plays on American Pie:
Drunk drive my Chevy to the levee
Let the flood come and sweep me away
5. John Lee Hooker - Tupelo
A very old little folk/blues number. But a classic describing a flood in a town called Tupelo in 1936.
Did you read about the flood?
It happened long time ago, in a little country town, way back in Mississippi
It rained and it rained, it rained both night and day
The people got worried, they began to cry,
"Lord have mercy, where can we go now?"
6. Passion Pit - Swimming in the Floods
Why not a bit of hipster-electronica to dance to while flooding?
What can I do?
The river's overrun
We're swimming in a flood, you know?
I thought I felt your touch
But the water's rising up
7. The Saints - (I'm) Stranded
I really don't need to explain this one. Because so many of us were stranded on our own. Stranded far from home.

Bonus irony points for it being a Brisbane band.

8. Bleeding Through - There Was a Flood
Normally when metal sings about floods, it's about floods of blood. And you know what, Bleeding Through obviously stick to that formula. But you can still make parts of it about water flooding.
And breath-by-breath I'll rise to keep your flood away from me
9. The Bled - My Assassin
It's from an album called Found in the Flood. I had to find a way to put something from this album on the playlist. Luckily their most popular (I think it went on MTV) song had the following lyrics:
Maybe you could finally be the one who reaches in and saves me from the flood.
Collapse. This is our last chance.
There's no time for relapse, just listen for the flood.
If not us, can I just save you?
10. I Hate Myself - Caught In the Floods With the Captain of the Cheerleading Squad
With a band name and a song name like that, you'd imagine a crappy pop-punk band. But no, I Hate Myself is a classic mid 90s emo band from Florida. And if you don't know mid 90s emo, think of the Get Up Kids.

The lyrics are quite funny actually. It's about being caught in a tree with the captain of the cheerleading squad (obviously) and making small talk. And it's awkward high school small talk.

11. Trivium - Tread the Floods
Typical metal song about floods number 2, mainly about death. But I included it because it has floods in the title and it is from my favourite Trivium album, the Crusade.
Tread the floods so you can hope to seize,
Your own reality,
Before it escapes thee,
Watch yourself drown in disarray,
It's time to break away,
Or we all will die today.
12. The National - Runaway
This song is from their amazing 2010 album, High Violet. And like most National songs, it's got that moody kind of feel about it. Perfect for contemplating the floods.
what makes you think I enjoy being led to the flood?
we've got another thing comin' undone

You can download the whole mixtape here.

Doves cancel tour

For reasons unkown, the dreamy British indie band has cancelled their upcoming Australian tour. It was supposed to be at the HiFi on February 15, but now it's not. So far, there's the stock standard "reasons beyond our control" quote being issued.

As always, you can get refunds from the point of purchase.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tim Barry

Number 5 in my top five gigs of 2010 was the Revival Tour. The punk guys doing folk music was just amazing. And one of the 4 guys participating was Tim Barry, former lead singer of Avail.

Going in, I knew nothing about Tim Barry. But watching him behind an acoustic guitar, I swooned a little. He was just so goddamn emotive and his voice and music so powerful. He's coming back in 2011 for a show by himself; well him and his acoustic guitar. If you like the punk guys doing acoustic stuff that's been touring a lot lately, do yourself a favour and see this. You may not know all of the songs, but his performance will be amazing.

April 2. Rosies. 18+


News Update!

The floods have come and gone, but I'm still stranded. I'm the last person on my street with no electricity (even the flooded houses have it!) and it looks like it may be another week until we get it back. As a result, I have almost zero internet access outside of work hours and can't do updates too much. This is why I'll bundle all of the news up into one post! And here's a funny comic to start with:

Cyanide and  Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

So Kings of Leon originally decided they were going to do a stadium tour. Now they've decided to make the shows "more intimate" by downgrading their venues to something smaller where the punters can get up close. And by more intimate, they mean the Entertainment Centre. Read between the lines and you can see it written on the walls "ticket sales were shit. U2/Bon Jovi we are not."

I used to be a huge Kings of Leon fan with their first dirty, innuendo filled, blues inspired albums. They were fresh and amazing. Then they decided to (I think they even did an interview stating that they would) sellout and make as much money as possible. And started writing shit songs.

March 8, Entertainment Centre

Good Vibes loses yet another one to the Grammys
With Cee-Lo already pulling out of the February 19th event to perform at the Grammys, another artist has decided that playing the Grammys is better for her career than a field full of drug-riddled dance music poseurs. Janelle Monae is doing the same thing.

Thank God It's Monday
Carlton Dry kicked off the free Thank God It's Monday gig series last month, with the Hungry Kids of Hungary playing a free Monday show for us. For their second round of gigs, this month, Carlto Dry has one-upped it, with Philadelphia Grand Jury playing a gig the 31st of January at the Normanby Hotel.... Wait... The Normanby?! Am I seeing this right? So confusing. Hopefully the stop the flow of Bundy/fights for this show.

It's sponsored by a beer company at a bar, so obviously its 18+.

Gary Numan
It's been over 30 years since Gary Numan blew us all away with his synth-pop masterpiece that was the Pleasure Principle, released in 1979. Abandoning nearly all guitars and writing it mainly on a Moog, it went number 1 in the UK and lead the way for the hugeness of New Wave. So in celebration, he's touring the album.

Tivoli. May 12

If you don't know the album, you'll at least know this song (even though it's the Fear Factory version with Gary Numan singing).

God God Dammit Dammit
I am late on this, but most of my friends are already going. Tonight a 12 piece funk-punk party band called God God Dammit Dammit are playing a free show at Fat Louies with Headaches and Ironhide. Get in on that and have a great time!


Club 299 Redeems Itself
Although switching from indie/hardcore hangouts to top-40 bad pop/dance music club in an effort to be profitable, Club 299 is still dedicated to the music. I'd hope so, especially since the owner is formerly of Her Majesty's Basement, a great old music venue buried under Queen Street Mall. Every Wednesday now they will be showcasing some of Brisbane's best young and unknown bands. Entry is free to students and there are lots of giveaways to be had. So head in, what else do you do on Wednesday nights?

Free new tracks (Flooging Molly and Peter Bjorn and John)

Today brings you not one, but two new free tracks from great artists. The first one is from Flogging Molly, one of my favourite folk-punk bands. Featuring a huge Irish influence and 7 excellent musicians playing all sorts of folky instruments, they are always one to get me up and dancing a jig.

You can get their free new track, Don't Shut 'Em Down, by signing up to their newsletter here. It's less folky than a lot of their other songs and I think they are going for a little more of a mainstream rock sound, but it's still good. Especially the accordian. There needs to be more accordian in rock.

The other track is from Swedes Peter Bjorn and John, probably best known for that damn song with the whistling that always gets stuck in my goddamn head. Their new song, Breaker Breaker, can be streamed and downloaded from this website. If all you know is the song Young Folks (with the whistling) this will be different for you. It's short, it's distorted, it's faster and it's a lot noiser indie. There's no folk here. With my leanings towards noisy music, I like it of course.

Top Shelf Hardcore

It speaks abounds to the quality of some of Australia's hardcore bands, when they are ticketed above a great American band. But check out this poster for what will be a great tour:

Perth's Miles Away, above Defeater?! Huh. Random. But if you love your hardcore music to be more than just mosh breakdowns with stupid fashion and silly dancers, go to this. Featuring Defeater from the USA, Miles Away from Perth and our own rapidly-rising Fires of Waco (who have an incredible drummer and a new album getting ready to blow our minds away).

April 8, the Fort. AA
April 9, Rosies. 18+

Miles Away
Fires of Waco

Monday, January 17, 2011

Big Backyard Festival

I was going to put this under the flood news, but it turns out it is not a flood fundraiser. Rather, it's just a kick ass show. Ric's is a great bar known in the past for their indie/hipster music and support of live music. And also delicious chips during lunch time in the Valley.

Now, they're going to have a festival. In their backyard. And upstairs. And downstairs. Three stages. 21 bands. A kind of awesome bar.

So on the 26th of March, expect to see these bands and more:
  • You Am I
  • Die Die Die
  • Pangea
  • Six Ft Hick
  • King Cannons
  • the Cairos
  • the Mercy Beat
All playing intimate stages in Rics.

I for one, can't wait.
And of course, it's 18+. It is a bar after all.

Against Me! tour (v 2.0)

So last year, Against Me! pulled out of their tour at the last minute. I went through all of the emtions. I was mad. I was sad. I was happy (they weren't breaking up) and I really just sat around listening to my As the Eternal Cowboy vinyl.

But luckily they are about to make it up to us, as they promised. And even better, they are bringing out midwestern punk rockers Off With Their Heads.

yeah! I'm excited.

May 5, HiFi, 18+

Big Day Out news

So, as someone pointed out to me, Big Day Out is this weekend. Woe! I haven't got anything organised yet! And there's a lot of conflicts in my schedule for the day. But unluckily, one of them has just been resolved.

The conflict was Black Keys/Crystal Castles/Matt and Kim.

Well it turns out the Black Keys are just gosh darn worn out. So much so that they are cancelling the Big Day Out and sideshow tours. So no Big Day out on Sunday and no Tivoli on Tuesday. Slackers.
The Black Keys are sorry to announce the cancellation of the New Zealand and Australian tour including all appearances at the Big Day Out touring festival as well as a portion of the European tour in March. An arduous year of touring and promotion has drained the band and necessitated time off. Dan and Patrick wish to thank all of you who have shown such incredible support since the release of ‘Brothers’ and have helped make the album a success.
However, they have been replaced by Paul Dempsey, the lead singer of Something for Kate, who's been going great guns on his own solo stuff lately.

Paul's stuff. it's good.

Brisbane Sidewaves

So the best part of the Soundwave music festival is generally what they call "sidewaves". That is, the sideshows where a bunch of international bands get together and play longer sets in smaller venues. My favourite gig of all time was one (back when I made that list ages ago). Normally only Sydney and Melbourne get them, but this year Brisbane is getting a few. Unfortunately, it's the same time I am in Melbourne watching a few. Bad timing, but oh well. I thought I'd share them with you.

First up, is one of the greatest modern rock guitarists of all time. This guy (in the hate, not the redneck ginger).

Yes. Slash. Who's recent solo album is bloody tops. He will be playing a gig with prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria and a Las Vegas band that grew up on Slash's music: Taking Dawn. An interesting gig, but given how quickly Slash's last tour sold (and the lack of Coheed after cancelling an earlier tour) you'd best get in quick on this tour. March 2, Tivoli, 18+ and tickets go on sale tomorrow.

The next one is a gig I really, really want to see. But can't. It features metal band High on Fire, thrash/hardcore legends Trash Talk and new sludge-metal band Kylesa. I only just got into Trash Talk and Kylesa, but whoa. They are just amazing. This one is happening March 1 at the HiFi. 18+

I'm sad I'll be in Melbourne for these, I wish they'd put them before the festival, which makes sense, instead of them travelling back from Sydney. Especially since I outlayed the cash and timeoff to go to Melbourne to see a few sideshows...

EDIT: A final bit of Soundwave related news, the Blackout, who are also playing Soundwave, will put up a free track from their new album on their website on January 24.

It rained and it rained, it rained both night and day. The people got worried, they began to cry

Although the mud has been cleaned out and all the ruined crap thrown out, I'm still without power at my place, so I'm stealing internet and food and hot showers from my parents for now. Which means, I get to give you the flood related music news of Brisbane while I'm here!

Powderfinger are not reuniting for the floods. Thank goodness. Despite what people have apparently been begging for (who, seriously... who?!) they've said no. No reunion. However, in the coming days, they will be releasing a new/unreleased song with all proceeds going to the Premier's flood relief thingy.

The Whitlams, who have songs much better than No Aphrodisiac, have been doing tours with orchestras for the last few years, bringing the best out of their songs. They were scheduled to play QPac's Concert Hall on January 21 and 22, but that's now been cancelled. Possibly because QPac's underground parking lot looked like this a few days ago:

Brisbane punk boys Spitfireliar, are turning their Friday gig at the Zoo this week into a flood benefit. Come in, watch some great punk and support all those who are suffering right now. The gig includes Bixby Canyon, Groin, Bertie Page Clinic and Smokestack Orchestra. 18+, $10 at the door and it's a good cause with good music.

This next show, may be my favourite Brisbane flood benefit, and it's all local bands. Get ready for it... the following will be playing the HiFi on February 6 to support the floods:
  • Regurgitator
  • Custard
  • Kate Miller Heidke
  • Screamfeeder
  • Hungry Kids of Hungary
  • Gentle Ben & His Gentle Side
  • Little Scout
MY GOD. Custard. Regurgitator. Two of the best Australian bands of the 90s. Playing together. Get on this. The HiFi, 18+, ~$35.

And in non-music, but important to me flood news, I have this:
  • LifeLine bookfest has been pushed back to start this Saturday
  • The Big Bash 20/20 match at the Gabba last weeked was postponed until January 24
  • The Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix game at Suncorp has been rescheduled to January 26

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What can I do? The river's overrun. We're swimming in a flood, you know

All of my flood related blog titles are songs from my soon to be "Flood - the Mixtape". It's actually hard to find songs about flooding and I haven't had much time, but it will happen hopefully. Even just to live in my car.

As you can see from above, the water line on my apartment was barely head height. I got truly lucky. All I lost was the stuff in my garage: a drum kit, old golf clubs, some furniture, a fridge, a keg and random other things. Mere metres down my street was different. Poor souls. You can see my pictures on my Flickr, including a huge boat found in a park down my street.

But now, flood related music news!

Big Day Out released a release releasing the fact that they are still open for business. And they're donating $20k to the flood efforts. Honestly, I forgot that BDO is like a week away, I still have to sort out my transport/accomodation/etc. Obviously I had thought of other things this week.

The cancelled Mos Def/Talib Kweli show at the Tivoli has now been moved to January 26. EDIT: Now at the HiFi. Existing tickets will be honored.

The Beautiful Girls show at the HiFi tonight has now been moved to March 18.

As I mentioned yesterday, Burst City was hit by the flood water. Last night's Danish punk show was cancelled, but tonight's show with Blank Realm and Feathers will be going ahead.

Woodland is still open, with the Health/Death Set/DZ gig in full force tonight.

I would encourage anyone going to gigs to use public transport where possible please. It's free right now, and after being stuck in traffic for 5 hours last night trying to get to and from my place to clean, it's kind of annoying. You're not helping the flood people by being on the roads unless you have to.

And now the big one: Flood Bank, a benefit for flood victims, will be held at the Old Museum on February 3. Some of the best local indie bands will be playing, including:
Violent Soho
Ball Park Music
Inland Sea
The Medics
Bang Bang Boss Kelly
The Baby Seal Club
Blonde On Blonde
Grand Atlantic
Texas Tea
Tickets are $30 and go on sale this week from Oztix. The event is 18+ and licensed. Get in quick, it should be great and will help people much worse off than me.

If you're under 18 and want to help buy listening to music, an all-ages show will be announced in the next few days.

Good luck my fellow Brisbane music-fans that were affected by the flood.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"rise" said the king to the river

As I may have mentioned lately, we are in floods right now in Brisbane. As I may have also mentioned a lot in the last few weeks before the floods, my current favourite band/most anticapated concert will be La Dispute.

The two things in common between this is Burst City, the venue for the all-ages gig. As of yesterday afternoon, Burst City looked like this:

The brown brick fence is Burst City. As you can see from the mud that signifies the peak waterline of the flood, it's gone past Burst City and into the neighbouring building. Fingers crossed that the slightly raised venue is okay and this amazing tour goes ahead. It would be shameful to see Burst City close. Even though it is shutting down for good at the end of the January, it's had such a good run that I'd love to see it go out with a bang.

Free Music Friday 8!

I've been preaching it for a while now, silently hidden amongst my posts. I think 2011 will be the year that garage rock resurfaces into the mainstream. Which I guess ruins the whole garage rock ethos/philosophy then. Maybe it's a cycle? Whoa, I don't know, 6 am is way too early to be going into a philosophical train of thought about garage rock needing to go mainstream to refind it's garage roots.

I digress.

Garage rock is the bees knees. And Ladder Devils are a band from Philadelphia, a city known for it's dog fighting and shitty bars, that play garage rock.

Their style of garage-rock is definitely a lot noisier and you can detect a bit of hardcore influence in their music as well. A few parts of songs even have a Future of the Left vibe. All of those things just make my ears happy.

They have a five song EP entitled Forget English which is absolutely free. Unlike some of the other free links I post up, there's no way to donate to get the music. Which I totally would, because I really, really like this EP.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm Stranded

So the floods continue. It's supposed to have peak 20 minutes ago. It's dark and early in the morning and no one knows. But here's a picture from yesterday:

The floods have affected the music scene. Yesterday I blogged about the Zoo cancelling shows. There's a few others. Talib Kweli/Mos Def at the Tivoli tonight is gone. X&Y and Rics have cancelled all gigs for the forseeable future.

It seems that there is a great show on tonight that I didn't know about in the Valley. Gold Panda, an electronic producer/artist, who put out a great album in 2010 is playing at Alloneword. Here's the Facebook link. They're doing a fundraiser for the floods, like everyone. So go along and support and have a great time at one of my new favourite bars, with one of my new favourite artists.

As for me, I'm at my parents safe for now. My apartment...Who knows, probably underwater. The Saints said it best.

If anyone in Brisbane is doing any benefits or anything, leave a comment/contact my twitter/email me and I will do a plug for it. Brisbane and Queensland will need all the help it can get and what better way to do than with music?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Maybe you could finally be the one who reaches in a saves me from the flood"

Hey everyone. It's been a bit hectic in our state and our city lately, with 75% of Queensland under water. For those of you overseas, that's about double the size of Texas, all flood water. Personally, I spent the day packing up my apartment and moving things to higher ground before I buggered off out of there.

I took this picture this afternoon. They were some SES guys monitoring the flood waters of a creek that runs into the Brisbane River near my house. The creek and river are both nearby and both have drastically increased in water over the last day. Yesterday I was standing on that pontoon and now the water is about 2-3 metres above that. There are people much worse off than me, my thoughts go out to them. But it's still bloody scary. Tomorrow I'll head back and try and get some more of my valuables out.

When I get a chance I'll also post some flood pictures on my Flickr. They'll be buried amongst my gig shots right here:

Luckily for me it's not a huge week in music. What little there is seems to be disappearing with the rising flood waters though. The Zoo has announced today that it's two big international shows (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion tonight and Jason Collett tomorrow) are both cancelled.

I'll keep up with the music news when I can over the next few days. Hopefully all will be fine come the weekend. And hopefully the weather will be nice by Big Day Out/Laneway time, or else I'll be in for yet another festival and another soaking.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Heart Hiroshima

As I've mentioned on this blog in the past, one of my favourite local bands is I Heart Hiroshima. They have an interesting take on lo-fi indie with 2 intertwining twangy guitars, a stripped back simple drum sound and 3 vocalists: 2 male and 1 female.

After releasing their second album the Rip in 2009, they went on tour and then buggered off to Germany to pull a Bowie and find themselves/write new music/have fun/whatever. Little has been heard from them in the last 6 or so months, until Susie, the drummer, randomly turned up as the new Philadelphia Grand Jury drummer on their recent tour, which is still ongoing.

Susie, on her Twitter, let it be known that the rest of I Heart Hiroshima will be in town while she's touring and that there will be a show! January 29 at Woodland. 18+. Hopefully they'll be showcasing some of their new stuff in this homecoming show.


One sentence album reviews (#8)

Robert Plant - Band of Joy (2010): Led Zeppelin singer embraces his blues past for an amazing album 4.5/5

Shihad - Ignite (2010): The Kiwis have softened now, sounding more like Triple M radio filler than their anthemic hard-rock 2.5/5

You Am I - ST (2010): The more mellow Tim Rogers showed up on this album, which has more crooning than rocking. 3/5

Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer (2009): Like the Wolf Parade album, I don't like the singer, he still has his damn wavering vocals! 2.5/5

Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (2010): Moody, dark and at times noisy. It's exactly what you want after 13 years without Swans. 4/5

The Swarm - Old Blue Eyes is Dead (1999): Early hardcore/power violence featuring guys who ended up in Cursed and Fucked Up. Great! 4/5

Tanlines - Z (2010): Dreamy dance-punk/electronica. There's no vocals, perfect study music. 3/5

Titan - Colossus (2010): An almost metal take on hardcore, with lots of long songs. Bloody brilliant 4/5

Meth, Ghost & Rae - Wu-Massacre (2010): It's like half of the Wu are back! best Wu-related release in years. 4.5/5

Trapt - No Apologies (2010): These guys sound the same as they did when I was in high school 10 years ago, maybe a bit softer. 2/5

Vestiges - The Descent Of Man (2010): Deep, doom-laden hardcore. Depresses me a little with their long, long songs. 2/5

The Wives - PvII (2010): I can find absolutely no information on this band. But they are great, moody indie. 3.4/5

You Me & Everyone We Know - Some Things Don't Wash Out (2010): fun pop-punk, with a voice that ins't as whiny as the genre standard. 2.5/5

Young Widows - Old Wounds (2008): Noisy, noisy, noisy (did I mention noisy yet?) garage rock. 4/5

Ghostface Killah - Apollo Kids (2010): Ghostface's best post-Wu album yet, in my uneducated hip-hop opinion 4.5/5

The Damned Things - Ironiclast (2010): Metal/hardcore/pop-punk guys form southern metal supergroup of goodness. 4/5

Snowing - I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted (2010): emo math-rock, which is now starting to sound very cliche: 2.5/5

Headaches - ST (2010): Local hardcore/punk band's first release, good, I think the vocals need reworking. 2.5/5

The Decemberists - The Kings is Dead (2011): They drop the epic stories and songs and successfully go back to folk. 4/5

Cee-Lo - The Lady Killer (2010): Apart from his catchy and lewd hit, this is a good album of almost old-school style RnB ballads 3.5/5

Los Capitanes - Rest for the Wicked (2010): an album that straddles ska, punk, hardcore, dub.. Not sure what it wants to do really 3/5

(hed) P.E. - Truth Rising (2010): 1999 Chuck would've loved this mix of alternative metal/hip hop. 2010 Chuck, not so much. 2/5

Unwritten Law

So last night saw a bunch of drunken idiots gather in Rosies to sing along to covers of classic 90s punk songs. From my very patchy memory, they played Unwritten Law's Teenage Suicide as one of the last few songs (with the dude from Headaches singing... I think). Excellent timing, because there's talk of an Unwritten law tour!

These Californian punkers love Australia and we love them. They always get a big crowd with some excellent singalongs. And for us in the South East Queensland area, if it doesn't flood away, we'll get two days of Unwritten Law.

March 19, HiFi
March 20, Coolangatta Hotel

Tickets will be around the $60 mark


Friday, January 7, 2011

Summer Holidays vs Punk Routine

So the blog has been on the back burner over the holidays, because darn it, I can do what I want. Not to mention that there’s been about zero in music news since Christmas. It seems everyone has been taking it easy and catching up with loved ones. My plans were for a lot of hiking, golf and tennis; but well, anyone from Brisbane knows that this rain has dampened any chance of anything like that at all.

I did manage to spend a lot of time putting a dent in the backlog of albums to listen to, in order to do the compulsory-music-bloggers-top-#-albums-of- list. The first short list was about 100 albums. Right now it’s sitting at 54 albums. I’ll try and cull it to at least a top 25, but it’s been a very good year for music, which I haven’t experienced in the last two or three years. Give me another week or so and we’ll have it ready. I did however get time on New Years eve to put up my best of live music in 2010. See it here. It was a bloody great year for live music and 2011 has started off equally as impressive.

Almost a year to the day (actually a year + 1 day) from their last show in Brisbane, Future of the Left showed up to melt our eardrums away. Although with a new and expanded lineup and a handful of new songs, they still managed to blow me away. An added bonus this year was them playing multiple McLusky songs. I was too late into McLusky to ever see them, so this made me quite the happy fan boy. I would do a review for you, but my new mate did an even better one on his blog. Read it here.

A few days later I found myself standing in the drenching rain for not one, but two days of music at the Sunset Sounds festival. I suffered through it on the first day though, because I was about to see two bands on my “must-see” list: Interpol and Public Enemy. Public Enemy was sublime. I’m sure decades ago when they were actually fighting the power, they never thought they’d be standing in a field in the rain playing to a crowd of white kids in Australia; but they didn’t show it. They just played an excellent set, including an AC/DC song and having a collaboration with Australia’s finest beat-boxer Joel Turner (*shudder* at the memories of his Anthony Mundine collaboration). And for those of you wondering, no, Flava Flav’s neck-clock does not show the correct time.

Over the years my love affair with Interpol has waned since first hearing Turn on the Bright Lights (one of my favourite albums ever). However, their new album this year has been an excellent surprise so I was stoked to finally get to see them. They were probably the only reason I was heading to Sunset Sounds. I was a little disappointed with their appearance when they came on stage, because in my mind’s eye I had always seen them as a brooding band in all black with long hair. Instead we got a lead singer in plaid, with a mullet/rat tail thing looking like a bit of a bogan. Despite that they were excellent. They played a mix of new and old stuff; I swooned hard at Say Hello to the Angels and even sang along to some of the new songs like Barricade. But unfortunately they left with at least 5 minutes into their set and didn’t even bother with an encore. I was at least expecting to see them close out with PDA. Despite that slight disappointment and shortened set, they were still everything I imagined. Charlotte, who was standing next to me, said I just stood there in a musical trance for most of it.

I also want to make special mention of Sleigh Bells. I went in early to see this new electro/must-see band. Their debut album is alright and the guitarist was in one of my favourite hardcore bands of all time and responsible for some of my favourite hardcore riffs. However, despite him opening with a bit of Slayer’s Reign in Blood, the Sleigh Bells’ set was not enjoyable. Derek the guitarist only played simple riffs, or not even at all, leaving all the music up to a computer somewhere off stage. The vocalist appeared to be lip-synching most of the songs and when she was singing or screaming or making noises it wasn’t that good. A big disappointment for me.

Day two I almost wrote off, as the weather was much fouler and the lineup barely piqued my interest. So after staying warm in the pub with some beer and hot chips I eventually made my way over to what was a cesspool of mud. But I’m glad I did because I was blown away by a band I had written off as a one album wonder: Klaxons. Their excellent live set of electro-dance-punk even had me and Jacob up dancing and planning to form a band of similar style.

So 2011 has started off pretty well, let’s hope it can sustain it. Looking at the gigs calendar (on the right of the web page there-->) it definitely looks like it will be.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Guerilla Gig

And if you can't see that crappy screengrab I made, it says "7pm, Jan 7, 2011 (This Friday), Get to this South Brisbane Train Station location to catch re:enactment play in a scissor lift. This is a Guerilla gig!"

re:enactment = local electronic/rock band. Listen to them here: And it's free.