Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Love Of Diagrams - Pyramid

For Dave

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bands 'n Stuff: October 17 to October 23


The Small Knives + Ollie Brown (Art of Fighting) + Ned and the Meds
@Northcote Social Club, 8:30pm, $10

After a plug a couple of days ago for their new record, here’s a chance to catch The Small Knives live. Surely you haven’t anything better to do on a Wednesday?

Spider Vomit residency + The Ancients + Kill Boogie
@The Tote, 8pm, $6


The Dead South + Sailors and Swine + Screwtop Detonators + Hate Club
@Ding Dong, 8pm, $6

Sailors and Swine have an EP out soon which I’m looking forward to, so do the Dead South who actually sound a bit similar to the Swine. Perhaps a bit like Tom Waits meeting The Birthday Party?

Nick Murphy with Shylo + Downhills Home
@Northcote Social Club, 8:30pm, $10+bf

Stop.Drop.Roll - Albert's Basement Fundraiser
Combover + Look! Bird Lament + Morning and the Sleepy Kids + E-Wah Lady
@Glasshouse, 8pm, $5


Light Says Solo EP Launch + Pitching Woo + Little Star + Charge Group (NSW)
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $10

The spacey, melancholic Light Says Solo features Dan Brownrigg who has produced a couple of International Karate albums and also provided on a few tracks. Emmy Heenings wrote a nice piece about Charge Group in the latest edition of Mess and Noise, which has me interested in them. Charge Group also have a gig at Gertrudes on Saturday if you can't make it.

Mia Dyson + Epicure
@The Corner, 8:30pm, $20+bf


Aleks and the Ramps + Charge Group (NSW) + Oliver Mann
@Gertrudes, 8pm

Des Miller (NSW) + Owls of the Swamp + Retail Fireworks
@The Empress, 8pm

Only local gig of this brief visit from this highly regarded Sydney indie singer-songwriter

house party
Bang! Bang! Aids! + Macaca Mulatta + Femur + Spun Rivals
@38 Stafford St Abbotsford, 5pm

The Panics + Whitley + Oh Mercy
@Northcote Social Club, 8:30pm, $17+bf

The Panics have a new album out, Cruel Guards. It’s in their typical brooding and laconic style, but a more lush affair than their last record, Sleeps Like A Curse. I expect fans of The Panics will be very pleased.

Support also from Dew Process labelmate Whitley, who also impressed me with his album launch a few weeks back at the Toff. While he was let down a bit by a rowdy Friday night crowd, the music sounded pretty good with a full band (particularly The Submarine) and Whitley himself possessed a healthy dose of charisma, which suggest he will charm many an audience in the future.

This trio of acts are also playing to a sold out Friday night crowd.

Princess One Point Five + Registered Nurse + Alex Jarvis
@Palookaville, 9pm, free

A Pharmacy Records showcase.

The Unheard (NSW) + Witch Hats + Frowning Clowns
@The Tote, 9pm, $10

Also a show at The Town Hall in North Melbourne for the headline act.

International Karate + My Empires
@Ding Dong, 9pm, $10

This gig also doubles as a Klaxons afterparty so if you're averse to neu-ravers then it might be an idea to head elsewhere after a stellar set from International Karate.


Bulls residency
@Old Bar, 7pm, free

Ce Garage La Country
The Palenecks + James McCann's Dirty Skirt Band + The Great Apes + Jacky Winter + Danny Griffith (SubAudible Hum)+ The Auralees + Matt Kulesza (Good Intentions)+ Shombi Rumbla
@The Tote, 3pm, $10

McCann and his Skirts are a good live act with their raw Australiana. Bombastic and druggy psych glammers, The Great Apes are a quite a bit of fun too. Make sure you get in early for the bbq. Last time I went to a Sunday barbie and gig at the Tote. they were in a bit stingy on the snags.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The Small Knives - Smoke and Ribbons

I really enjoyed The Small Knives’ first record, Rain on Tin, released in 2004 through Candle. It’s a familiar bunch of slow, sad, earthy, but notable tunes - not only for some uncomplicated yet gorgeously sweet and tender melodies (see Flashlight, Paper Wings, Hardin Your Heart), but direct, personal storytelling and simple yet evocative lyrics – (‘The contour of her teardrop like a raindrop on a vine’ from Down The Line is perhaps the best example of their lyrical talents). However, despite a number of strong tunes, the record is a bit too stark and introspective towards the end so whenever I listen I usually avoid three out of the last four tracks.

The Small Knives latest album, Smoke and Ribbons, retains the intimacy and organic feel of Tin, but with less overall detachment, it radiates greater warmth both thematically and musically than its predecessor, Also, with a better sequencing of tracks than Rain on Tin, overall, it's a stronger record.

Some of the best moments on Smoke and Ribbons are when the Knives leave the sadness behind, and let the band go to town such as on the wonderfully rousing pair of Hey! and Easter Everywhere. Hey! sincerely recalls a lustful lovestruck adolescent (‘She takes off her green summer dress/I lie and listen to her breath) and is the closest thing to a radio friendly hit they have written to date. I’m not sure what they’re on about with the religious themed Easter Everywhere, but whatever it is, it feels quite inspiring and spirited.

It is also interesting to hear Richard Buckner’s influence on the album. Leo Mullins’ raw robust drawl and the driving metaphors in the lyrics of Turnaround are quintessential Buckner rock (There’s a window on the backseat and we’ll keep it wound down) , while the haunting closer Space and Time reflects the atmospheric yet earnest dreaminess of Buckner’s performance at the Corner earlier in the year.

Other highlights include Summer, which fondly recalls holidays of past with poetic aplomb (Underneath the mango tree/The heat all around us/We could disappear for hours), as well as the tender balladry of The Kitchen.

Smoke and Ribbons is unquestionably a thoroughly honest and affectionate record. While the Small Knives will never ever be one the coolest bands in Melbourne, after listening to this record, one would find it hard to argue they are not one of the finest.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bands 'n Stuff: October 10 to October 16


The Brutals + Schweinhund
@The Empress, 9pm

Band names can be deceiving sometimes. Second week of this Empress residency from this guitar pop group.

The support band features Matt Sigley of The Lovetones and singer-songwriter Marcel Borrack.

Spider Vomit + Panel of Judges + Lazy Stripper
@The Tote, 8pm,

Band names can also be quite apt. It’s the start of another Wednesday residency at the Tote from another band on the rise. This time its cathartic stoner noise quintet, Spider Vomit.


Art of Fighting + Little Red

@Prince Bandroom, 8:30pm, $22+bf

Third local show of the year from the stunningly beautiful and melancholic Art of Fighting. I believe Peggy is singing again live, which should be reason enough to go for anyone who was thinking twice about attending this show.

Icecream Hands + Marisa Yeaman
@Manchester Lane, 8pm, $15+bf

An acoustic show from Chuck and co. It will be recorded too, so if all goes well, will be available as a release in the future.

Loene Carmen (NSW) + Gareth Liddiard + Poker Hearts
@The Toff

Raw garagey rock from Sydney singer-songwriter. Her live band includes both members of the Mess Hall which should guarantee a decent show. A solo show too from The Drones' Gareth Liddiard which is increasingly rare these days given The Drones' hectic overseas touring schedule.

Pretty Boy Crossover + Flying Scribble + ii
@Afterdark, 8pm, free

Headline show from the ambient electro duo who occassionally masquerade as two thirds of Mist and Sea.

Cmon Cmon
You Will Die Alone + Popolice + Dom
@The Evelyn, 8:30pm, $8

Two quality local acts who shouldn't need an introduction for regular readers.


The Gin Club (QLD) + Derbeyfield + Loene Carmen (NSW) + Dead Letter Chorus (NSW) + Matheson
@The Espy, 9pm, free

The second visit to Melbourne in recent months from Brisbane folkies, The Gin Club. On their last trip down South, I saw them at the Tote. On the whole they had more than a few decent atmospheric and poignant tunes, and were unquestionably the tightest band on the day. They mix vocalists a bit too which generally worked, although one guy lacked a bit of range and volume.

At their last show, The Gin Club alluded to a poor turnup at their other show at the Toff, so it looks like they’ve gone for the safe option this time – Friday night at the Espy.

Midget (NSW) + Shooting at Unarmed Men + Blacklevel Embassy
@Northcote Social Club, 8:30pm, $12+bf

Regurgitator (QLD) + I Heart Hiroshima (QLD) + New Pants (CHN)
@The Corner, 8:30pm, $22+bf


Flying Scribble + Light Music Club + Denim Owl
@Edinburgh Castle, 8:30pm, $2

Major Major EP Launch + Foxx on Fire + Jerry Falwell and the Gentiles + Detective Social
@Pony, 9:30pm

Plastic Palace Alice + Cuthbert and the Nightwalkers (NSW) + The Rocketsmiths (QLD)
@Rob Roy

So, the Rob Roy as we know it is finishing with the owners failing to renew the lease of the current operators. Coming only months after the closure of the Spanish Club, it’s another nail in the coffin to the once flourishing Fitzroy music scene.

There’s no confirmed word on the owner’s new plans for the venue, but, based on what I've heard, its unlikely that live music is in their plans. It will make that live CD released earlier this year an interesting collector’s item.

In the final show Plastic Palace Alice, who are launching their new video featured on this blog last week. If you haven’t seen them yet, tonight might be a great place to start, cause they’re a band with an intriguing and grand sound, and it’s likely they’ll be playing to a full house tonight.

The Nation Blue + Midnight Woolf + The Currency + Delta Reds
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $10+bf

Even if you’re not into angry raucous rock, it’s hard to disagree that The Nation Blue are one of the best live acts in Melbourne with their violently intense performances. Frontman Tom engages in a bit of behind the head guitar playing action too, and I do like a bit of novelty guitar playing.


Albert's Basement
Love Is Science Fiction + The Psuche Ensemble + Seagull + Look Bird! Lament + The Pots n Pans + A. Wallace + Suamb
@The Tote, 4:30pm, $5

I believe these fundraiser gigs are to raise money to release a compilation vinyl with some of the bands that play at these shows. I’m yet to attend one of these Albert endorsed gigs, but it seems difficult to keep up. Every gig there are another couple of acts I’ve never heard of. The Basement just keeps popping out new bands.

Laura Jean + luluc + Light Music Club
@Manchester Lane, 7pm, $8+bf

Three of Melbourne's most sombre female singer songwriters

Silver Ray + Andrew McCubbin and the Hope Addicts + Danny and Ryan (SubAudible Hum)
@East Brunswick Club, 6pm, $10

A perfect fit for a cold Sunday night. Both The Ray and Andy have new albums out too. Also, an acoustic performance from part of SubAudible Hum to round out the lineup.


Oh Mercy + Simon Moore + Touch Typist
@Manchester Lane, 8pm, $8

Oh Mercy have big wraps on them for a young band, with an Unearthed nomimnation last year, and also having featured in the recent Wireless Bollinger series for upcoming bands. I like what hear on their myspace. Slightly warped but catchy folky pop songs, although from what I saw live a month or two ago they still have quite a bit of room for improvement.

On the other hand, I can highly recommend Touch Typist based on my previous experiences.


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Monday, October 08, 2007

Souls on Board - Where The Dance Is

Is there something in the middle of those lights which I'm missing? I think I need to change the resolution on my screen. But, if my monitor isn't the problem this is the most basic video ever made... Good song though.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bands 'n Stuff: October 3 to October 9


The Brutals residency with Extreme Wheeze
@The Empress, 9pm, cheap

Fun lazy pop at this residency. Support from the craziest member of Aleks and the Ramps with his offbeat fractured popadelics.

Cam Butler with Mike Noga
@The Retreat, 8pm, free

Solo performances from guys better known in other bands. Silver Ray and The Drones in case you didn't know.


Mick Turner with Fabulous Diamonds + Chris Smith
@The Toff, 8pm, $12

A mind bending ride here with Dirty Three guitarist, Mick Turner releasing his solo album. Also gothic ethereal trippiness from bro-sis duo Fabulous Diamonds, and wicked loopy guitar from Chis Smith.


Gaslight Radio + Lady Strangelove + Jarvis + The Galvatrons
@The Espy Front Lounge, 9pm, free

Perhaps your only chance to see Adelaide's Lady Strangelove before they feature at the Supernatural Amphitheatre in mid December. A reasonably diverse mix of other bands too for the Espy.

Us Vs Them
Ben Birchall and the Corrections + Mist and Sea + Mission Control + The Galvatrons
@Roxanne, 9pm

There’s been five installments of Us Vs Them so far. I’ve only been to one. Nothing to do with the lineups though. In fact quite the opposite. They always seem to book a diverse selection, which methinks is just perfect for a Friday night.

I’ve not seen anyone on the bill before. Ben Birchall seems to have slipped under my radar somehow. His new album got a few decent reviews (I saw 4/12 stars somewhere) to almost prompt me to buy it, but then there were also a few mediocre ones which swayed my decision. A good gig tonight might sway me back, so shine for me tonight Benny Boy, and a small amount of cash will be coming your way.

I also missed the Mist and Sea residency at the Toff a month ago, so it will also be good to see them. Their new album Unless is a good one with some damn fine production. Sounds like a more electronic, more mentally stable version of Mercury Rev.

Kitschy power-synth from The Galvatrons at 2am if you’re up for a dance


Ghostwood + Bachelor of Arts + Mission Control
@East Brunswick Club, 8:30pm, $10

The fourth Melbourne gig in less than two months for this new Modular signing. Supports filled by local bands with a revived arty eighties sound including the new romanitcesque Mission Control who back up from the previous night.

Hand Hell Album Launch + Ninetynine 10th Anniversary Show + The Stabs + The Holy Rose
@The Tote, 8:30pm, $10

Souls on Board + The Gentlemen Club

A week or two ago after I had eagerly purchased my Built to Spill ticket for their late December gig at the Corner, I was trying to think of who would end up supporting them, and actually found it difficult to think of a local band who would suit, except perhaps, Souls on Board. Some thoughts on their EP release late last year, Blood Face can be read here.

As an aside, I didn’t realise until recently that Anthony Petrucci, the guitarist, lead singer and chief songwriter of Souls also plays guitar in Deloris, and that drummer Clint Hyndman is with Something for Kate.

Zan Rowe, better known as the host in the mornings on JJJ also appears to be DJing at this gig

The Wellingtons + Deserters + Cooper St Exit
@Rob Roy, 8:30pm

What's going on at the Rob Roy? They haven't updated their website in a month.

Young and Restless + The Amazing Phillips Sisters + Outrun
@The Evelyn, 9pm, $15

Also an underage show here in the arvo.


Bulls residency with Brendan J Black + Night Terror Blues
@Old Bar, 7pm, free

Another good residency starting up in Fitzroy. Another Fitzroy venue without an updated website. Get with the times Fitzroy.

Sly Hats with Guy Blackman + Sir + Ned and the Meds
@Northcote Social Club, 8pm, $10

Recent European tourmates bring the show they played overseas recently to a local audience. They play a little bit of Geoff, a little bit o’ Guy, but together in the same band.


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Monday, October 01, 2007

Plastic Palace Alice - Empire Falls

The Sandwich Club posted this clip on Friday but it's such a damn fine track it deserves a post from us too. A launch will be held at the Rob Roy next Saturday October 13. Their debut album is currently scheduled for a release early next year.

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