Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bands 'n' Stuff: Feb 28th to March 6th

Sodastream's last gig, I think we've spoken almost enough about that. Also, some decent international shows with Calexico, Love Is All, Fionn Regan and Who Made Who in town, amongst others. But plenty of good locals as well. Here's the plan:

See Blessington on Wednesday, just a quite seven or eight at The Old Bar but in bed by midnight. Thursday night, depending on energy, either another quietish one at The Old Bar, for the excellent Silver City Highway, or a bigger night with Shooting at Unarmed Men at the Tote. But don't stay out too late, coz the weekend's coming.

Friday night could be coolsie bands at Ding Dong, led by Sydney's hype kids Red Riders. Or, Pivot are in town, and they're good for a bit of pop-post-rock. But mo' better (discounting The Bellrays, who have a huge rep) is the rock show down southside at the Espy. Dallas Crane and Bob Log should rock your weekend in.

Saturday you can sleep all day but then you definitely want to be at The Stabs and Witch Hats, at Exile on Smith, for a bit of down 'n' dirty blues-rock-punk action. And then Sunday I reckon it's Cam Butler's album launch; you can spend time up partying in Sydney Road, but make sure you get there in time for JP Shilo's atmospheric post-post-post-rock.

Happy March!

Gig o' the Week

Sodastream FINAL GIG
+ Anthony Atkinson
+ Grand Salvo
@ The East Brunswick Club
- Friday March 2nd
- 8:30pm
- $14+bf

It's their last gig. EVER. If you don't know them, well, maybe it's better you don't go, otherwise you'll realise what you missed. Sodastream craft songs with textures like a single-malt in front of a roaring fire, and captivate live. Be there.

Also, some other great songwriters. Anthony Atkinson was good at the Candle shows and his latest album is decent, and Grand Salvo make whispered understatements of folk songs, based around Paddy Mann's voice. All of these for just fourteen bucks. It's hard to argue against it.

Wednesday February 28th

Blessington, Lindsay Phillips
@Old Bar, 9pm, free

Great Big Comedy Night!
MC Justin Kennedy, Corinne Grant, Adam Richard, Toby Sullivan, Justin Hamilton
@Laundry Upstairs, $10

Hotel Wrecking City Traders, Allan Campbell, Karate Party
@Tote, 9pm, $5

Jordie Lane, Royalchord, Lilith Lane, Kid Katana
@Bar Open, 8:30pm, $5

Love Is All, Cut Off Your Hands, Young and Restless
@East, 8:30pm, $38

Stealing O'Neal, Nevereleven, Calling All Cars
@Rob Roy, 8pm, $6

Thursday March 1st

The Church album launch
Manchester Lane, 8pm, $45+bf

Cold Harbour, Each Revolving Door, Valanti, Vinyl Flare
@Pony, $6

Fionn Regan, Tobias Cummings, The Rise and Demise
@NSC, 8:30pm, $25+bf

Shooting at Unarmed Men, A Friend of Mine, Innocent Cabbage
@Tote, 8:30pm, $6

Silver City Highway
@Old Bar, 9pm, free

Friday March 2nd

The Bellrays, The Breadmakers, The Pink Fits
@The Spanish Club, 8pm, $30+bf

Best of Indie Initiative
Quadraphonic, Dirty Buzzard, Nancythompson, Contramode
@Greyhound, 8pm, $10

Bit By Bats, Nikola Sarcevic
@Corner, 8:30pm, $33+bf

Dallas Crane, Bob Log III, The Legs
@Espy (Front), 8pm, $20+bf

Austin Floyd, Fire Underground, Clinkerfield
@The Commercial, Yarraville, free

Pull Shapes
Pivot (NSW), Love Is Science Fiction, Luke Warm DJs, DJ Knackered Converse
@Laundry Upstairs, $9/$7

Red Riders (NSW) album launch, Dances With Voices, Tic Toc Tokyo, DJ Ron Smooth
@Ding Dong, 8pm, $15

Saturday March 3nd

The Dead Frenchmen album launch, Tic Toc Tokyo, Winterpark
@The Spanish Club, 8pm

Le Shlonk, The Shoes, Junior Anti Sex League
@Wintergarden Room (The Exford), 10pm, $8

Long Walk Home, Superb Lyrebird, Mushroom Giant
@East, 8:30pm, $10+bf

Moscow Schoolboy, The Dead South, Villains, The Good Intentions, DJ Applejack
@Ding Dong, 8pm, $10

My Cousin Jack, Nick Larkins and the Bones
@Cornish Arms, 9pm, $8

Salmon, Johnny Casino and the Secrets, Russian Roulettes
@Tote, 9pm, $13

The Stabs, Witch Hats, DJs Pussycat and Mikey
@Exile on Smith, 9pm, $5

Sunday March 4th

Sydney Road Street Party
including: Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing, Jaimi Faulkner, Sally Ford and the Pachuco Playboys, Motor Vehicle Sundown, Downhills Home, Monica Weightman, The Band That Knew Too Much

Cam Butler album launch, JP Shilo
@NSC, $14

Calexico, Whitley
@Corner, 8:30pm, $50+bf

SubAudible Hum
@The Great Britain, Richmond, 5pm, free

Who Made Who (DK), Glitch and Quirk, The Dardanelles, The Dukes of Windsor, Gus Da Hoodrat
@PoW, 8pm, $27.50+bf

Monday March 5th

Not much on, watch a DVD.

Tuesday March 6th

Jimmy Clinkerfield, guests

Dallas Crane, The Pictures, Mike Noga and the Gentlemen of Fortune
@East, 8pm, $20+bf

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective, Klub Muk
@303, 7pm, free

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Crashin' Amphibians - Children Collide

Children Collide are showcasing their wares around the world (well, LA, NYC and Austin) in the next month or so, and supported Regurgitator (yeah, I know, I'd forgotten about them) this week in Melbs. They've had some bloggin'. And they've been profiled by Craig Mathieson on Mess+Noise. Could be a big year for Johnny and Heath (and whoever's on drums this week).

This follows two EPs in the last couple of years, We Three, Brave and True on Reverberation and last year's Glass Mountain Liars on Flying Nun. Pretty credible labels and both EPs are decent, for mine.

We Three, Brave and True is a roughly recorded guitar rocker which ranges through all the cool genres. The opener, In the Clouds, is bouncy new-wave-by-numbers with a coupla decent guitar parts. Frozen Armies is hi-hat-skipping bass-driven post-punk; and a relative epic at almost five minutes. The higlight of this EP is Amphibious, but I'll ignore that for now as it goes on to open the newer release. Let's talk, then, about the second best track here, Look Good on Paper, high-energy speed-grunge with the best singing on the album, a distorted throat-tearing caterwaul. The song starts chaotic, pulls back nicely in the bridge then builds again to a climax. Sounds easy but it's done well. Have a listen:

[mp3 - 4MB] Children Collide - Look Good on Paper (from We Three, Brave and True)

So then the newer EP, Glass Mountain Liars, is a logical progression. The production's a little more civilized; the guitars, especially, still have punch but don't tear chunks from your brain as they did. What this does do is remove a little of the raw energy. A track like Cannibal is much more restrained than the earlier stuff and is more a grungy ballad than an edgy new-waver. Jonny only briefly unleashes the lungs right at the end. He's a bit conservative again on the power-chord-tastic Brave Robot; the highlight its the half-storming, half-skittering chorus.

But he's not at all restrained on Economy. Channeling Bird Blobs-era Tim Evans, though without the depth of snarl, it's a dank, shadowy swamp-rocker, which agreeably stretches the band's palette. Though we snap back with the not especially interesting Stranger Love, a simple rocker. The last, Devil's Child, again stretches in a different direction, this time a Joy Division-ish darker, cleaner post-punk.

But it's all about We Are Amphibious. The track's on both EPs and is the reason I bought the first one. It's a rockin' messy new-waver which almost seems out of place on the more polished second release. There's not too many lyrics but they're enjoyably quirky: "when fish crawled onto land/ with fins instead of hands". The key is the energetic stop-start feel and that great pointy guitar part, with rumblin' toms underneath.

[mp3] Children Collide - We Are Amphibious (from Glass Mountain Liars)

Lots of prickly guitar fun. The boys are in Sydney this weekend so get out there, Welshmen!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Etchings 23/2

Some random things for this immediately pre-weekend day.

Gotye continues his annus mirabilis as Like Drawing Blood is reviewed on Pitchfork. It's a generally favourable 6.8 for those who can't be bothered to click through, mostly talking it up but acknowledging the album's flaws. Good exposure for Wally de B, if that thing takes off any more he'll have to dump those other Basics.

Also in music reviews on canonical websites, one of my favourite releases of last year, Faux Pas's Entropy Begins at Home gets a writeup at PopMatters. It all sounds very favourable but then the summary is 6, so make of that what you will. For what it's worth, it's a much better album than that, if you like funky/ambient sample-based electronica, you need to get this album.

(A good occasion to post a link to a new-ish Faux Pas-ish track:
[mp3] Aleks and the Ramps - Pisces vs Aquarius (Faux Pas remix)
As discussed on Tim Faux's blog.)

And some touring news. According to Tiny Mix Tapes, newish Matador signees Love of Diagrams are spending two-and-a-half months doing 40 dates across the US, some with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists; so I guess a big US indie label is pretty handy to have in your corner.

My Disco doing some dates around the country in April including some regional shows. The Melbourne show's at The East on the 14th of April, the full list of dates is at Mess+Noise.

The night before that show shapes as interesting, also at The East. It's Melbs' own angry and eclectic Ground Components playing with Queensland's Operator Please, tipped around the traps (including by Craig Mathieson on Mess+Noise today) to be one of the next Very Big Things. They've barely had a release and have hit paydirt on JJJ so one to keep an eye on.

Also important, while I remember, is the Art of Fighting album, Runaways, coming out in early March (dates vary). The launch isn't until May 12th at The Corner, possibly because they're playing The Dirty Three's All Tomorrow's Parties in April, along with some Japan shows on the way home. Make or break for these guys this time round - as Sodastream have shown, nothing lasts forever, so make the most of it while you got it.

And, lastly but not leasterly, Who Made Who have just announced a Melbourne show at The Prince next Sunday (March 4th). They were here about six months ago and obviously liked it. It's a wacky electro show with lots of bouncing; think Midnight Juggernauts in animal suits. Lots of fun.

Now have, a weekend!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bands 'n Stuff: Feb 21 to 29

Laneway Festival this weekend but plenty else on - I can see at least five gigs I could happily attend on Saturday night. A shout out for the last night of Lisa Miller's Feb residency at the Spanish Club - she's torn the house down every night, by all reports, and will do it again on Thursday. Sunday you can go to Hepburn Springs to abolish capital punishment with the kids or see Clinkerfield at Bar Open (they were lying when they said no gigs for a couple of months).

Or, for something completely different on Sunday, get a Comedy Festival preview at the Oyster Club at the Spanish Club. Heaps of good comedians, sneak previews of festival shows, patatas bravas - what more do you ask?

Gig o' the Week

Bob Log III
+ Blowfly
+ Dr El Suavo
+ The Twits
@The East
: Saturday 24th, 8:30pm
: $30+bf

No idea what to expect from this gig. Bob Log does that mad one-man dirty blues, while Blowfly is the "original dirty rapper", so I guess there'll be plenty of mess at the usually pristine East. Blowfly is an icon and gets all respect so the show's worth it just for him. Not sure about Dr El Suavo, but then there's The Twits who are always, well, interesting. It'll be musically diverse and just generally insane.

(Blowfly's also got a headline show on the Sunday but don't attempt to go to work the next day.)

Wednesday 21st

Stephen Cummings, Betty Means Business
@The East, 8:30pm, $15

Triple J Live Recording
Howling Bells, Vasco Era, Dardanelles
@The Corner, 7pm, Free

Thursday 22nd

Cassette, Souls on Board, Motor Vehicle Sundown
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $7

Chez Guevara Presents
Even, The Temperance Union, The Currency, Day Break Giants, Run Baby Run
@The Corner, 8pm, $15

C'mon C'mon
Shooting at Unarmed Men, The Good Intentions, Like Bears
@The Evelyn, 8:30pm, $10

Handsome Family (USA), The Darling Downs (QLD)
@The East, 8:30pm, sold out

Lisa Miller
@Spanish Club Front Bar, 9:30pm, Free

Friday 23rd

Beasts vs Drones
Spencer P Jones, Gareth Liddiard, Laura Jean, Brian Hooper, Christian Strybosch
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $12

Camera Obscura (UK), Institut Polaire, Bianca Natasha
@NSC, 8:30pm, sold out

James McCann and the Dirty Skirt Band, Cassette, The Rise and Demise
@Cornish Arms, 9pm, $8

Sly Hats, Broken Hills, Luke Skehan and Matt Simmons
@The Afterdark, 8:30pm, $6

The Vandas (EP launch), The Bower Birds, Mike Noga
@Rob Roy, 8:30pm, $12

The Walkmen (US), Archie Bronson Outfit (US), Eddy Current Suppression Ring
@The Corner, 8:30pm, $36.50

Saturday 24th

(Laneway Festival)

Applecore (Backyard Stacks On #5)
Shooting at Unarmed Men, Actor/Model, Aleks and the Ramps, Pikelet, Applecross, Scissors for Sparrow, Talkshow Boy, Dane Certificate, Sarah Mackintosh
@backyard of 167 Clauscen St, North Fitzroy, 1pm, $5 donation

The Basics, Spargo
@The Empress, 10pm

Kes, Pikelet, Could've Moved Mountains, ii, Bum Creek
@The Afterdark, 9pm, gold coin

James McCann's Dirty Skirt Band, Amaya Laucirica, Redfish Bluegrass Band, Martin B Sleeman
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $10

Mexico City, The Roys, Black Pony Express, Jimmy Clinkerfield
@The Spanish Club, 8pm, $8

Subaudible Hum, Laura, Tobias Cummings and the Long Way Home
@NSC, 8:30pm, $12

The New Black, Young Lovers, DJ Steve Wide and Friends
@Ding Dong, 8pm, $10

Sunday 25th

(Laneway Festival)

Black-Eyed Susans (trio)
@Brunswick Hotel, 6pm, free

Blowfly, Dr El Suavo, Legends of Motorsport, Voodoo Trash Dolls
@NSC, 8:30pm, $25+bf

Clinkerfield, Roadkill Rodeo
@Bar Open, 8pm, $10

Regurgitator, Children Collide, Mary Trembles
@The Corner, 8pm, $20

The Oyster Club Comedy
The Bedroom Philosopher, Michael Chamberlain, Justin Kennedy, Ali McGregor, Lawrence Leung, Andrew McClelland, Josh Earle, Justine Smith, Bec Hill, Asher Treleaven
@The Spanish Club, 7pm, $8

This Precious Life (A Benefit to Abolish Capital Punishment Worldwide)
Kutcha Edwards, Darren Hanlon, Elf Transzporter, DJ Wasabi, Joel Benetti, The Outcomes
@The Palais, Hepburn Springs, 1pm, $12/$10

Monday 26th

Camera Obscura (UK), The Crayon Fields, Pikelet, Institut Polaire, Flying Scribble
@Cloud City, 6pm, $20

Tuesday 27th

Peter, Bjorn and John, The Crayon Fields
@The Corner, 8:30pm, $38

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sodastream Out of Gas

Hot on the heels of the last Candle gig, some more horrible news:

Sodastream are breaking up.

I know, how has it come to this? According to an excerpt from their email, on Mess+Noise, they have "decided not to force a situation that could potentially damage (their) many happy memories of the journey thus far". The boys have just been touring Europe for three months so possibly there was some tension building up on the road?

Can I just say, this sux. I feel bereft. I only got into Sodastream in the second half of last year, and Reservations pretty quickly became my album of the year. I saw them live at the Corner and was sufficiently blown away to buy both A Minor Revival and the Take Me With You When You Go EP immediately after the gig. Since then I've also picked up The Hill for Company. All are great releases.

Why are they so good? Well, in lieu of trying to describe too fully the transcendental, here's a selection of tracks:

[mp3 - 5MB] Sodastream - Heaven on the Ground (from The Hill for Company)
[mp3 - 7MB] Sodastream - Horses (from A Minor Revival)
[mp3 - 6MB] Sodastream - Charity Board (from Take Me With You When You Go)
[mp3 - 4MB] Sodastream - Firelines (from Reservations)

It's something about the combination of Karl Smith's silken voice and Pete Cohen's subterranean upright bass and vocal chords; in Karl's poetic lyrics and varied structures. I don't know. Don't care right now. Might just put Sodastream on shuffle for the rest of the day and weep silently at my desk.

Get thee to a CD shop and pick up some Sodastream, show them we love them and will miss them. And then buy tickets for the farewell gig:

@ The East Brunswick Club
Friday, March 2nd 2007

Do it. I can't be there. I'm distraught. Do it for me.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Pallid Ponderings

We're still undecided on Kes - sometimes his voice just scrapes across my spine - but there's something undeniably interesting about the boy. At, guest and compadre Elanor gives us good reasons to persist, and samples with which to do this. If you're convinced, you must buy the album through Mistletone Records.

On a similar yet completely different topic, Friday night holds a gig which gets more than the usual amount of plugging. The Dead Horse Ensemble contains some of Melbourne's best experimental musicians and composers, and on Friday they'll be in the magnificently gothic space upstairs at the Forum, for a night called Ground Elastic Sound. (You may have heard this plugged yesterday on Owen McKern's awesome Delivery.) What to expect? There's elements of classical and jazz mutated with electronic techniques, looping and pre-recorded sound, and an unavoidable dose of rock to tie it together. It's maybe closest to post-rock but with less predictably guitar-based arrangements. If you want something different and infectious, tickets for just $25 from ticketek.

Thanks to Mess+Noise, news of some overseas Oz showcases organised by the Australian Music Collective. Obviously this news is not a lot of use to those stuck in stifling Melbourne, but it's good to see our own Dallas Crane getting out there to the world. I loved last year's Factory Girls, especially Marsanne (Love Awaits You), my track of the year. And they rocked at Meredith. The boys are playing LA, Austin, New York and London, so it'll be interesting to see if fellow retro-rockers like Jet, Wolfmother and Airbourne have sated the rock palate out there.

Children Collide are the other Melbourne band out there - I'm not convinced they've got all the songs to wow a jaded showcase crowd, but We Are Amphibious is pretty great so who knows?

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Sunday, February 18, 2007


Do you feel flat? Is something missing in your life all of a sudden?

Well, it could just be that you are mourning the impending loss of influential Melbourne label Candle Records, whose thirteen year old life is nearly at an end with the final legs of the Candle Farewell Concerts held over the past two nights at the Corner.

Fans were treated to a little bit of everything at the gigs. We witnessed a final performance from Ruck Rover, a reunion from The Mabels, the usual band swapping shenanigans (Louis Richter and Phil Romeril better known from Mid-State Orange and The Small Knives respectively, played with no less than four of the acts each), and were inconvenienced by some rather messy plumbing problems in the Corner bathrooms.

As far as performances go, my favourite Melbourne band ever - The Lucksmiths - were the highlight. Fun, witty and tight as ever, Tali, Marty, Marky and Louis were in great form, and their improv repartee was on the mark again as well. I was kinda hoping they'd make a big announcement about a new album, a new tour and that they'd play for about 45 minutes longer, but I guess the night wasn't really about them, so that was probably wishful thinking. Here's a tracklist anyway: (Sorry I didn't write it down at the gig so it might be slightly out of order)

Young and Dumb
The Music Next Door
Sunlight in a Jar
A Hiccup in Your Happiness
T-Shirt Weather
New Song
Untidy Towns
The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco
Midweek Midmorning

I also really enjoyed the energy from Anthony "Atko" Atkinson on Friday with his band the Running Mates. For anyone that hasn't heard 'She Let Him In' from his latest release Loyalty Songs - check it out. IMO it's one of the best written guitar pop songs of recent times. (Note: I give extra points to bands with lap steel.)

Atko backed up with The Mabels on Saturday. With their distinctive brand of contemporary aussie indie folk and heartfelt personal tales of love on tracks like 'Streets of Brisbane Town' and 'Caravan Park Girlfriend', the Mabels impressed the crowd who had made it there for the early start.

A special mention should also go to country pop band, The Small Knives. These guys have been invited by the Dirty Three-curated All Tomorrows' Parties festival in London (other Aussie artists include Nick Cave, Art of Fighting, The Devastations, The Drones, The Scientists) so are possibly set for bigger things. I thought because of this they would have had a more prominent position on the bill on Friday night, but they were impressive nevertheless. They mostly played tracks from their rich melodic wistful release of 2004, Rain on Tin, but also previewed brilliant new song 'Hey' .

Probably the biggest song highlights for me came from Darren Hanlon. Number 1 highlight was 'Buzz' from The Simpletons which Dazz played in his encore. Unfortunately I didn't know much about the Simpletons prior to the gig (get Simpletons 101 and the story of their late lead singer Shane Gelagin here), but this song gave me the gooseys for some reason. I think it must have been the presence of Simpletons bassist Brad Cheers, who joined Dazza for this song and bounced around on stage like it was 1995 again.

Number two highlight was the gloriously quirky '(There's Not Enough Songs About) Squash' [ Here's an MP3 and interview with Dazza from Squash Magazine!].

But that's enough about the bands. The night was really about one man, the head of Candle Records - 'Crouchy'. There were so many thank yous to Crouchy that we thought there might be someone skolling out the back every time his name was mentioned.

While it might seem like a cliche, whenever you see the Candle bands play, they do seem like a bit of a family. Most of them are obviously great friends, and as a result they seem to thoroughly enjoy playing with each other. A lot of this must be due to Crouchy. While I've never spoken to Crouchy (Unless you count him telling me at Polyester that it all comes to $80.90 as speaking), from his normal demeanour and farewell speech he just seems like such a humble unassuming, nice guy. I think this would contribute a fair bit to the success of a independent label like Candle.

To end the festivities Crouchy was given a framed aluminum record - a fitting present given the lack of commercial focus of the label. On the Friday night the Candle labelmates all manned the stage for an enjoyable, yet quite shambolic performance of 'We Are the World'. Saturday's show intended to end with a more refined finale - a lovely rendition of 'a song they all love', 'Bye Bye Pride' from The Go-Betweens, but it was too early for the gig to end there. And we got 'We Are the World' again - this time complete with impersonations from Mark Monnone (Ray Charles) and Darren Hanlon (Bob Dylan). It was cheesy, but hey, it was fun (and better than Friday's botch up), and I loved it. Then the lights went up, the background music went on, and that was it.

Goodbye Candle.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bands 'n' Stuff: Feb 14th to 20th

A huge week what with the Valentine's Day extravaganzas tonight, the final Candle Records shows, the Sista She headline gig, the Afterdark birthday, the RRR DJ show... Please, get some sleep at some point this weekend otherwise you will die on Monday, and Tuesday.

Gigs o' the Week

What else can it be this week but the

Candle Records Farewell Concerts

Darren Hanlon
+ The Guild League
+ The Girls from the Clouds
+ Rob Clarkson
+ Anthony Atkinson
+ Tim Oxley
+ Acheron Way

The Lucksmiths
+ Ruck Rover
+ The Small Knives
+ Jodi Phillis
+ Mid-State Orange
+ Richard Easton
+ The Mabels

@ The Corner, 8pm, $22+bf

Valentine's Day - Wednesday 14th February

Aloha My Valentine:
Angie Hart, The Ukeladies, Dan Luscombe, Lilith Lane, Amaya Laucirica
@ The Spanish Club (front bar), 8:30pm, free

Bay of Pigs
@ NSC, 8:30pm, $10+bf

Stephen Cummings, Betty Means Business
@ The East, 8:30, $18

Great Big Comedy Night
@ The Laundry (upstairs), $10

Hotel Wrecking City Traders, Little Athletics
@ The Tote, 9pm, $5

Ash Naylor
@ The Rochester Castle

The Night of Love:
Braindead Lovers, Young Lovers, Lover, Geek Love, DJ Benny Valentine
@ Ding Dong, 7pm, $5

CW Stoneking and His Primitive Horn Orchestra, The Bitter Sweets
@ Ruby's, $15

Thursday 15th February

C'mon C'mon:
Hot Little Hands, Chris Brady (album launch), Downhills Home
@ The Evelyn, 8:30pm, $8

Elephant Gun, Ranch Allstars, Geek Love
@ The Espy, 9:30pm

International Karate, Radiant City
@ Bar Open, 9:30pm, free

Mach Pelican (single launch), Have Nots, The Gingers
@ NSC, 8:30pm, $12

Majorchord, Carolyn Oates, Nyssa Bradsworth
@ The Ember Lounge (Northcote), 8pm, free

Lisa Miller
@ The Spanish Club (front bar), 9:30pm, free

My Train Wreck of a Life, The Jacknives, Screwtop Detonators, Hutt River Solution
@ Arthouse, 8pm

Friday 16th February

Dan Sultan, Tobias Cummings, The Hello Morning
@ Rob Roy, 8:30pm, $10

Dave McCormack and the Polaroids, The Inches, Window, Sea Bellies, Durbeyfield
@ The Espy (front bar), 8pm

Renee Geyer, Charles Jenkins (Ice Cream Hands)
@ The Continental, Sorrento, 8:30pm, $40

Group Seizure (album launch), Children Collide, Young and Restless, Bang!Bang!Aids, DJ Digger and the Pussycats
@ Ding Dong, 8pm, $12

Leah Flanagan
@ Plan B, 9pm, free

RRR DJ Party:
San Lazaro, Nick Thayer, Declan Kelly, Ennio Styles, Brewster B, Woody McDonald, more!
@ Revolver Upstairs (bandroom), 9pm

Six Ft Hick (album launch), Dr Invisiablo, The Jackknives, The Killer Birds
@ The Tote, 8:30pm, $12

Floyd Thursby
@ The Afterdark, 9pm

Saturday 17th February

Afterdark's First Birthday:
14 Nights at Sea, Black Level Embassy, These Hands Could Separate the Sky, Rhythmbell
@ The Afterdark

The Basics, Spargo, Rocketsmiths
@ The Edinburgh Castle, $6

Bertie Blackman (NSW), Sparkadia (NSW), Armen Firman
@ Evelyn, 9pm, $12

The Black Hundred, The Sinking Citizenship, Et Al, Retail Fireworks
@ Pony, 9pm, $6

James McCann's Dirty Skirt Band, Amaya Laucirica, Redfish Bluegrass Band, Martin B Sleeman
@ The Tote, 8:30pm, $10

Paper Planes (single launch), Tiger by the Tail
@ Cherry, 9pm, $5

The Sista She Album Workshop:
Sista She, Vika and Linda Bull, Lou Bennet and the Sweet Cheeks, Angie Hart, The Bedroom Philosopher, Busty Beats
@ The East, 8:30pm, $15+bf

Spider Vomit, Kill Boogie, Lindsey Low Hand
@ Exile on Smith St

Jarrah Thompson Band, Oh Mercy, Little Red
@ Wintergarden Room (The Exford)

Andy White and the Garageband Philharmonic Orchestra, Monique Brumby (album launch), Emma Heeney
@ NSC, 8:30pm, $15+bf

Sunday 18th February

Black-Eyed Susans Trio
@ Brunswick Hotel, 6pm, free

The Boogie Ramblers, Ian Collard, Benny Peters
@ St Kilda Bowling Club, free

The Morning-After Girls, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ricky Rene Maymi, Three Month Sunset
@ Bar Open, 7pm, $15

Nuclear-Free Benefit:
Offcutts, The Go Set, Yidcore, Beki and the Bullets, Valanti
@ The East, 5:30pm, $15

Monday 19th February

early to bed, hopefully

Tuesday 20th February

Vashti Bunyan, New Buffalo, Guy Blackman
@ The Prince, 8pm, $38+bf

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V Wolf Blues News

V Festival sideshows for Melbourne, finally. The deal is:

Tuesday April 3rd
Pet Shop Boys
Groove Armada
Gnarls Barkley
The Rapture
Wednesday April 4th
Jarvis Cocker
(w/ special guests)

both at Sidney Myer Music Bowl

First night for dancey kids (on a Tuesday!!!) and second for indie types. Though Phoenix are pretty super-fun-happy in concert. I'd say zero chance of solo sideshows from any of the artists, given how tightly packed these shows are, so don't hang out for them. Missing, for electro kids, are Radio Soulwax and 2ManyDJs, but they'll surely play a club gig around the same time, and Softlightes, who I don't know much about.

Wolfmother won a Grammy! They beat NIN, Tool, System of a Down and Buckcherry (still around?) to the Best Hard Rock Performance award. Sounds good. Though possibly the awards are devalued a little when the American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, wins Best Newcomer. Not to mention the Black-Eyed Peas getting something (Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, specifically). And Dani California isn't Best Rock Song, sorry. Still, Advance Oz Fair 'n' all that.

Melbourne's own Lisa Gerrard has done some great stuff in the last twenty years. Classic albums with Dead Can Dance; film scores for Gladiator, Ali, The Insider, Whale Rider; and solo stuff like her AMP-listed The Silver Tree. Now she's playing The Forum, 2nd April, performing stuff from across her career. No idea what to expect from the show but it could be a pretty amazing experience if it lives up to some of her work. Tickets from Ticketek from Monday 19th.

In a different vein, get those black trenchcoats back out of storage, cause Nine Inch Nails are doing the Metro on the 13th of May, just after they release their new album in April. People love these guys so get in early or don't bother. Tickets from Ticketek from Friday 23rd.

And, the lion's share of East Coast Blues & Roots sideshows at the Prince:

March 29th: Eric Burdon and the Animals
April 1st: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
April 2nd: Lee "Scratch" Perry w/ band
April 3rd: Ziggy Marley
April 4th: Bo Diddley
April 9th: Ozomatli
April 12th: Taj Mahal Trio

Something for everyone there, I think. Except maybe indie-rock geeks. Step outta your comfort zone, hipster! See Ozomatli! Tickets from The Prince right now.

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A Visitor to Cookie Mountain

A couple of weeks ago at his support gig for Because of Ghosts at the East, ATR heard Ned Collette play a glorious cover of Hours off the critically lauded Return to Cookie Mountain by TV on the Radio. This week a studio version of this track floated into our inbox at ATR. (Listen to this track at his myspace.)

For Collette to have a crack at this song so soon after Cookie Mountain was released seems an incredibly bold move given the praise this album received. (In case you weren't aware see the Pitchfork review and annual Pazz 'n Jop collation of crtics best of '06 by hip NY mag Village Voice.) But he has done an incredible job, and this should help to earn Ned some cred in wider circles.

For anyone that hasn't heard Hours from TVOTR, it displays that same sonic, brooding yet sassy intensity that the Brooklynites have become famous for. The song is a second person narrative that appears to be about someone in their younger years who has who has been messed around (Delayed, seduced), perhaps as a result of being too naive and innocent. However, they are being told that innnocence is something to savour (Walk around/Know you are beautiful) but at the same time to recognise what life really can serve up (You've much to do/Now listen to the truth).

TVOTR build momentum in this track with clever key changes between verses, haunting vocals (the oohs aahs nos and dahs are sumptious) and variety of different sounds (guitar feedback, sax, keys). The melody of the first verse repeats several times throughout the track with added urgency with every repeat.

Collette on the other hand provides a more reflective interpretation - one that is consistent to the sound on his debut album Jokes and Trials. What we get then is something that is not quite as angsty or foreboding as what Tunde Adebimpe creates from TVOTR, but Ned's earnest sounding voice feels so trustworthy and wise that he doesn't feel as disengaged as other artists might performing a cover of this note. With his particular brand of folky loop layered instrumentation, he masterfully builds momentum - first with Elliott Smith sounding finger picking, then layer after layer of guitar melody as well as drum machine, organ and bass. When you get to about the fourth verse there are too many layers to count. Ned's voice then rises and you can tell that he is just having a whole lot of fun playing what must be one of his fave tracks of 06.

Ned is next playing in Melbourne supporting the second album launch of New Buffalo at Curtin House on March 15 and 16. Buy tix from the Corner Box Office.

Hours will availabe for purchase soon via iTunes.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Basics - Essentially Great

The ATR gig of the week last week was headlined by a little three-piece called The Basics.

These guys have been around for a little while and in the last six months or so have been mentioned on every blog in the country. Helping this along is that they have the biggest phenomenon of the past year, Gotye (Wally de Backer) on drums and vocals.

Unforgivably, no member of the ATR team had seen them before last Thursday, but we were well and truly converted to the cause. The schtick, for those who've missed it (and judging from the packed East, there's not many of you) is basic old-school 60s-style rock and/or roll. Think The Beatles or Chuck Berry or The Kinks. Even, on the new single, the 80s reggae of The Police. Sounds easy and maybe a tad boring - but boy, it works so well.

The obvious comparison is with ATR favourites Little Red who do a very similar 60s revival close-harmony thing and in fact played support at this gig. The difference is that The Basics are so, so damn tight - they hit all their notes, every time, and drive the show forward like a train. They've obviously been playing together for a while and the performance is just magnificent.

You have to see them. And you have the chance. But you will have to wait until April - pretty sure we'll be talking it up then. What they're doing, as reported first by Geoff, is playing a three-state residency. Nah, I've never heard the term before either, but apparently it means that they play April residencies at venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Tuesdays at The Hopetoun, Wednesdays at The Troubadour, Thursdays at The Empress!

Yep, they've gone mad. That's gonna be ridiculous. It's all in aid of their second album, coming out way soon now. In the meantime, buy the EP from Redeye or your local shop.

Nah, really, buy it. Cause if you read the interview with Wally in the last Inpress, you'll know that the boys are getting a bit fed-up with plaudits and brokeness. Everyone loves them but no-one plays them and so this album and tour are all about launching them into the big time. Otherwise, and this is no idle threat, they'll move to Europe where you better believe they'll be appreciated.

So, sports fans, move it or lose it. It's up to you.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Big Shows for February

So, another month, another set of shows. Last month was the usual Big Day Out triggered extravaganza, but Feb's just as big with some of those reprobates still hanging round. The big ticket items are Good Vibrations and the Laneway festival - but the Candle farewell gigs at the Corner will be pretty huge, and just a little emotional. And that same Saturday, the Sista She headline show at the NSC will be enormous and heaps of fun.

If you've got nothing to do Valentine's Day, see Angie Hart and friends at Northcote. The continually amazing Lisa Miller's doing a Thursday residency at the Spanish Club - she's always good. SubAdible Hum have a headline show at the NSC. And looking forward, I like the look of Sodastream's first gig in a few months, cause they had my album of the year last year. And some big Augie March shows coming up. Do ya reckon they'll play that song?

Scissor Sisters - Feb 9th, Vodafone Arena

Violent Femmes - Feb 13th, Corner

Valentine's Day Spectacular!
Angie Hart, Dan Luscombe, The Ukeladies, Lilith Lane, Amaya Lauricia - Feb 14th, Spanish

Tim Finn - Feb 15th, Forum

Jenny Wilson - Feb 16th, Prince

Darren Hanlon, Guild League, Girls from the Clouds, Rob Clarkson, Anthony Atkinson, Tim Oxley, Acheron Way - Feb 16th, Corner
Lucksmiths, Ruck Rover, Small Knives, Jodi Phillis, Mid-State Orange, Richard Easton, Mabels - Feb 17th, Corner

Sista She Album Workshop
Sista She, Vika and Linda Bull, Lou Bennett and the Sweet Cheeks, Angie Hart, The Bedroom Philosopher - Feb 17th, NSC

Jon Auer - Feb 18th, NSC

Snow Patrol - Feb 20th, Festival Hall

Vashti Bunyan w/ New Buffalo - Feb 20th, Prince

The Handsome Family - Feb 22nd, East

The Walkmen, Archie Bronson Outfit - Feb 23rd, Corner

Camera Obscura - Feb 23rd, NSC (SOLD OUT)

SubAudible Hum, Laura, Tobias Cummings and the Long Way Home - Feb 24th, NSC

Regurgitator - Feb 25th, Corner

Peter, Bjorn and John - Feb 27th, Corner

Love Is All - Feb 28th, East

Deftones - Feb 28th, Festival Hall

Fionn Regan - March 1st, NSC

The Bellrays - March 2nd, Spanish

Sodastream - March 2nd, East

Witch Hats - March 3rd, Exile on Smith

Calexico - March 3rd and 4th, Corner

Dallas Crane, Mike Noga and the Gentlemen of Fortune - March 6th, East

Yo La Tengo - March 6th and 7th, Corner

Augie March, Joel Plaskett and the Emergency - March 7th, Ruby's

The Dears - March 7th, Prince

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Bands 'n Stuff: Feb 7 to Feb 13

Yes, this week actually does see the return of the St Kilda Festival Day after being noticeably absent from the calendar last year. The cover of Beat magazine did a good job of fooling me last week. At least we didn't get any complaints, although I guess that could be because no-one actually reads the gig guide :(

About from the mass of bodies down on the foreshore on Sunday, there'll be delay pedals everywhere as the most ecletic man in Melbourne music Kes launches his new record. Seeing Ned Collette with band should be great too. Another album launch out at the Tote with power popsters the Wellingtons launching a new record. A few quality acts have also come down from North of the border for a taste of Mexico (Angus and Julia Stone, The Mess Hall, Dappled Cities). For anything I missed see below. There is a shedload of stuff on Fri and Sat. I think I could be quite busy...

Wednesday the 7th

Angus and Julia Stone, Guy Blackman
@Northcote Social Club.

Kashmir Nights
FEAT: Bachelor of Arts, Fabulous Diamonds, Oh Mercy, Outsiders, DJ Booby Jon
@Ding Dong Lounge, 7pm. $5.

Thursday the 8th


The Basics
+The Shambles
+Little Red
+Lachlan Bryan
@The East, 8pm, $15

There'll be plenty of skinny ties and sweet as punch harmonies at this gig as The Basics launch their new single Lookin' Over My Shoulder. ATR favourites Little Red will be there too.

Also on...

Lisa Miller
@Spanish Club Front Bar, 9:30pm, Free

Friday the 9th

Kes, Ned Collette & Band, The Fabulous Diamonds
@NSC, 8:30pm, $10

The Mess Hall, Witch Hats, I Heart Hiroshima
@The Corner, 8:30pm, $15

C. W. Stoneking, The Devil Goat String Band
@Spanish Club Salon, 8pm, $10

The Wellingtons, The Rumours, Grand Atlantic, Oh Mercy
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $9

Conway Savage, The Orbweavers, Zoe Randell
@The Laundry, 9pm, $10

Penny Ikinger
@Gem Bar, 8pm, Free

Saturday the 10th

Dappled Cities, Radiant City, Julian Nation
@Bootleg, Geddes Lane, 9pm, $10

Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Onyas, The Sailors, The Breadmakers
@The Tote, 8:30om, $10

Expatriate, Kiosk, Souls on Board
@NSC, 8:30, $12

Little Red, Bachelor of Arts, Pomomofo, Streetparty, Tranterco
@Click Click, Brown Alley, 9pm

Tic Toc Tokyo, Worlds End Press, Dolly Wilds
@The Empress, 9pm

Sunday the 11th

St Kilda Festival

(I can't be bothered writing who will be there. See last week's post)

Downhills Home
@Retreat, 7:30pm, free

Monday the 12th

FA (Sorry, to anyone playing then)

Tuesday the 13th

Spencer P Jones
@Gem Bar

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Deloris - Ten Lives

Last week was obviously far, far too large. BDO sideshows, Neko, Newsom, Smog. Etc. We apologise for the interruption to service. It won't happen much.

Here's something good:

Deloris - Ten Lives (Dot Dash)

So these Deloris chaps have been around for a long time (since '99, apparently) without jumping up and down in front of my earholes. Shame, that, because they're great!

Ten Lives was last year's release from the band, a kinda messy group with Marcus Teague in the middle writing the songs. In fact, the band barely existed as of recording time for the album, with Teague playing pretty much everything on the record, as well as his usual singing frontman role.

Teague's singing, in fact, is one of the first stumbling blocks with Deloris. It's distinctive, not by any means tuneless but certainly limited, a little nasal but with low-register body. It's most exposed on Down the Mountain, a fragile ballad given a strained, exposed air by the vocal cracks and uncertainties. His voice is undistinguished in a good way; a blue-collar voice, it belongs to a rocker, not to a singer.

And as a result, rocking is what Deloris do best. Loup Garou has had some JJJ airplay and deservedly so. It's got a rollicking guitar riff, played live with panache by Anthony Petrucci (of Souls on Board) and kick-drum-heavy drive through an great verse-verse-verse structure, building tension, hitting all the pedals until three minutes into the song the chords rise under a shouted "Loup Garou" and we're in a chorus, of sorts. And then a jam outro into an abrupt stop - bang! Rockin'.

[mp3 - 5.6M] Deloris - Loup Garou

Just as good as this masterpiece, if more conventional, is Everything Ever, the album hitting its straps at track three. This is indie-rock-anthem perfection, reminding me most recently of Holychord by Dappled Cities Fly. Soaring vocals over a bounce groove with just enough stop-start to keep the tune interesting, first verse quiet, the rest loud. Beautifully done.

[mp3 - 6.4M] Deloris - Everything Ever

Scratch that indie-rock itch, go on, with Deloris.

ADDENDUM: Fixed those crappy links. Let's try these guys instead.

[buy Ten Lives direct from dot dash]
[visit Deloris' official site and their myspace]

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