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.