Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Song of the Day - Love Interruption

Jack White - Love Interruption
Album: Blunderbuss (2012)

We interrupt our current Madonna love fest for some new music awesomeness in the form of solo Jack White! Get your bluegrass on, Jack, get your bluegrass on. His solo debut effort, Blunderbuss, is out April 23/24 and if 'Love Interruption' is anything to go by, we are in for a treat. Any fears of how he'd do without the extremely talented Meg White and Alison Mosshart safety blankets known as The White Stripes and The Dead Weather must surely be dashed when you listen to this.

Rating: 4/5

Madonna, Queen of Pop, #15 - 11

That's right... it's still all about Madonna on It's My Kind of Scene! If you haven't already, you can check out part 1 of our countdown here so you're all caught up for the next five songs. Ready to get into the groove? I know I am. Let's hear some pop goodness!

#15 - American Life
Album: American Life (2003)

This type of modern life, is it for me?
This type of modern life, is it for free?

No, I'm not joking... 'American Life' is awesome! This was when Madonna was going about everything the right way. Ageing gracefully if you will. Oh, wait... she raps in this doesn't she. Awkward. (Amazing) rap aside, this is perfect. A singer at the top of her game, one of the most successful in the world who can "express her extreme point of view" if she so wants. Let's go back to that rap for a second. With almost a decade of time to reflect, can we all agree that it was meant to be ironic? A little too ironic? Yeah, I really do think. Despite the fact that she really was doing yoga and pilates (and in all likelihood she was satisfied) a little too much (the emergence of 'crazy armed Madonna' begins here), the track works as one person's perspective of a culture and world super power on it's way down and how it got there. If 'American Life' was released a year after The Dixie Chicks' famed George W. Bush comment, when everyone was bashing him, this would have been a #1 hit and no one would have even blinked at the original video.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Madonna, Queen of Pop, #20 - 16

Just a small town girl...

Madonna. We all know who she is... she's the material girl, the most successful female artist of all time, the Queen of Pop! This is a woman that redefined popular music, pushed more boundaries than any other and paved the way for our favourite pop tarts of today. I say that with all due respect of course. Who doesn't want to be a pop tart? I mean... diva? With a chart topping career spanning four decades, Madonna has become the benchmark for a legion of singers who want to rule the world. She's a smart businesswoman, a terrible actress, a cougar on the prowl and a true icon of music. Her new single, 'Give Me All Your Luvin' featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A is out February 3 so let's celebrate by looking at her greatest contributions to music. Since she's reinvented herself more times that you can count, everyone's bound to have their favourite version of Madonna. You'll pick up which version is my favourite quite quickly. Enjoy and let us know what your favourite Madonna songs are!

Honourable Mentions:

Human Nature, What It Feels Like For a Girl, This Used to Be My Playground,
Deeper and Deeper, Heartbeat.

#20 - Erotica
Album: Erotica (1992)

My name is Dita, I'll be your mistress tonight...

Erotica, the song and album, used to confuse me. Granted I was six when it came out, so hopefully you'll be understanding in my general confusion to the sexy (and not so sexy) themes this more, um, adventurous incarnation of Madonna was presenting us with. As you hit your teens and move towards early adulthood, you look at an album like Erotica and go, "why so sexy?" You then smile. A little bit of a dirty smile. Perverts. 'Erotica' was released as the album's lead single all the way back in 1992 with an accompanying video that pushed boundaries further than you'd ever imagine a pop song's clip would be willing to go. It's kinda nasty and you kinda like it. Again, you're a total perv.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Top 20 - 29 January, 2012

Can anyone stop Santigold?

1. Santigold - Big Mouth (2 weeks at #1!)

2. Ladyhawke - Black, White and Blue (NEW)

3. Shaun Brennan - Stay (NEW)

4. San Cisco - Rocket Ship

5. The Oh Hello's - Hello My Old Heart

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Song of the Day - What Would You Do?

The Polyphonic Spree: Making cults fun again!

The Polyphonic Spree - What Would You Do?

If you were going to join a cult, the safest option would probably be to join The Polyphonic Spree. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros would be a close second, but I'm not quite sure if they've reached that elusive 'cult' status yet. They're more like a travelling band of time displaced hippies. So that just leaves The Polyphonic Spree as our clear winners here. Want to be in a cult? Forget about the Order of the Solar Temple, I'm all about the Spree. Not only do you get to create catchy music that warms your cold little heart, you get to wear those oh-so-colourful robes. Making fun music and wearing a robe or being told to go all Helter Skelter on people? You'd pick the Polyphonic Spree too.

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday, 27 January 2012

Song of the Day - Save Me

Gotye - Save Me
Album: Making Mirrors (2011)

It's My Kind of Scene says CONGRATULATIONS to Gotye and Kimbra for topping the JJJ Hottest 100 with the greatest song of 2011, 'Somebody That I Used To Know.' Our favourite Man and Woman of last year continue to go from strength to strength, securing three ('In Your Light,' 'I Feel Better' and 'Somebody That I Used To Know') and four ('Two Way Street,' 'Good Intent,' 'Cameo Lover' and 'Somebody That I Used To Know') songs each on the world's biggest fan voted countdown. They're also at #1 for a second week in Germany, have climbed to #21 on the UK charts and have hit the top 50 in the US!

Just in case you needed reminding, there's a lot more to Gotye than one song, so enjoy another fine piece of music from Making Mirrors, 'Save Me.'

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Song of the Day - Stay

Shaun Brennan - Stay

You can discover quality music, new and old, from a variety of sources. Radio, music blogs, music charts, TV shows, movies, friends, siblings... the list goes on. One untapped and extremely valuable resource? Your parents. Seriously, Ma and Pa Bond know some great music and are responsible for introducing me to the sounds of Motown, Disco, Country and Classic Rock. Sometimes they can even throw some amazing new music my way and that brings us to our song of the day.

Shaun Brennan is an emerging Irish singer with a handful of memorable tracks online, the best of which is 'Stay.' Brennan's got a great, unique voice working for him and it combines brilliantly with featured vocalist, Linda Fitzgerald. Somebody call the music director on Grey's Anatomy, get this song on the show, let Brennan gain mass exposure and see his career take off. If you're searching for more info, you're not going to find much more than some excellent music on YouTube (attempt to find a photo... fail). Really though, what more do you want from a promising new artist than quality music? He might be letting his music speak for itself now, but you'd think this is one singer-songwriter we'll be hearing a lot more about very soon. Here's to a breakthrough 2012!

Rating: 4/5

Monday, 23 January 2012

Song of the Day - New York

Snow Patrol - New York
Album: Fallen Empires (2011)

Did anyone else know that Snow Patrol released their sixth album at the end of last year? Did anyone else know that Snow Patrol had any other albums than the one with 'Chasing Cars' on it? You did? Well good for you. Aren't you Snow Patrol's number one fan. What? Anyway, like millions and millions of people (and each and every one of you), I learnt to appreciate these Irish dudes for five minutes when Izzie's fiance died on Grey's Anatomy. 'Chasing Cars' was playing, everyone was crying... it was awesome. Funnily enough, the only reason I'm once more aware of Snow Patrol is... drum roll... another one of their songs was in Grey's Anatomy. 'New York,' not quite as good as 'Chasing Cars,' not quite good enough to make me go on the hunt for more of their music, but it's a nice listen. I look forward to hearing more of them during our favourite medial drama's 12th season. Since it's highly likely that none of you watch it, they're currently in their 8th season. Get the joke now? I know... funny.

Rating: 2.5/5

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Top 20 - 22 January, 2012

All hail Queen Santigold!

1. Santigold - Big Mouth (NEW)

2. Chairlift - I Belong In Your Arms (NEW)

3. San Cisco - Rocket Ship (NEW)

4. fun. ft. Janelle Monae - We Are Young

5. The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Song of the Day - I Belong In Your Arms

Chairlift - I Belong In Your Arms
Album: Something (2012)

Here's a little dreamy track to kick off the weekend. Chairlift's new LP, Something, is out this week (Jan. 24) and it's become a definite must-buy for the month after the release of 'I Belong In Your Arms.' Another perfect song from the American duo to kick back and relax with, joining 'Met Before,' 'Sidewalk Safari' and 'Amanaemonesia' in the category of music labelled 'awesome.' Enjoy!

Rating: 4/5

Friday, 20 January 2012

Let Melbourne Shake

PJ Harvey (15/01/2012)
Live at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne.
Review by Jo Michelmore

I’ve got a secret. It’s scary and sexy and quiet and soft and loud and brash and most of all, most of all of this, it is beautiful. It’s about PJ Harvey. She’s amazing. Extraordinary. Incredible. Graceful. Breathtaking.

Sunday night, inside a stunning theatre in Melbourne, floor to ceiling dripping with history and beauty, I witnessed something special. Seated in velvet seats, the opulence surrounding was fabulous, but couldn’t compete with the performance I was about to witness.

The stage in this magnificent theatre was very simple. A black curtained backdrop, a group of instruments and three lights to the right of stage with a single microphone stand on the left. The house lights dimmed and three figures appeared in the shadows on the right of the unadorned stage. Another figure emerged from the dark and there, on one side of the stage, was Polly Jean Harvey, dressed in beautiful, long flowing black clothes, a black leather corset and black feathers pouring from the back of her head, like the plumes from a funeral horse. She was a picture of Victorian era beauty. The shock of her beautiful appearance was enhanced when she began to play the autoharp she was clutching like a security blanket and her voice rang out “…the west’s asleep, let England shake”. A wave of goose bumps enveloped my entire self and the feeling only continued as she launched into my favourite song from her latest album; “The Words That Maketh Murder”. Only the second song and at that point I knew this was an evening I would not forget. At this point, my attention was bought to the rich harmonies being provided by her band, with the somewhat sinister chant of “these, these, these are the words” ringing across the theatre, it was spooky and delicious. The songs from the current album kept flowing, one after the other; her band, John Parish, Mick Harvey and Jean Marc Butty, dressed in vests and boots, as if from early last century, played almost perfectly, forming a superb companion to PJ’s amazingly strong vocals.

She continued through almost every song from ‘Let England Shake’, each one hauntingly serene, an aching and almost celestial performance of every song. Her songs seemed short and succinct and I hungered for each one to never end, the hallucinating feeling of each took me to places far away from my stunning surrounds. That is an indication of not only how strong PJ’s song writing ability is, but also her talent to take those songs to a live setting and make them as perfectly heart wrenching in the flesh as their subject matters are. After a few songs she gently put down her autoharp and swapped it for her guitar, the rocking, rigid, sexy PJ just as amazing as her current forlorn self. Long-time fans not disappointed, with carefully chosen songs from her back catalogue fitting in with the solemn mood; ‘Down By The Water’ and ‘C’mon Billy’ pleasing the audience the most. The audience treated this performance as it should be, with a reverence for an artist who has worked hard, paid her dues and deserves to be listened to, watched and admired. The response between songs was loud and appreciative and although she didn’t speak throughout the entire set, except to say “Thank You” at the end of the performance and to briefly introduce her band during the encore, for me, this was not disappointing. Her performance alone was enough, with every song she seemed to share so much of herself, her spoken word would only have shocked me back into the sad reality that at some time the performance would end and I’d be thrust back onto the streets of the big city. After nineteen songs I felt spoilt, wondering could it be possible that an artist who didn’t require a support act would not need to perform an encore either? The audience gave a standing ovation and waited, patiently, hoping she would appear again. She didn’t need an encore, but came back for three more songs, finishing with the beautiful ‘Angelene’ and ‘Silence’, and then, PJ and band left the stage quietly; just a second “Thank You” and they were gone.

So, I’ve got this secret. It’s about my love of PJ Harvey. I knew I liked her before Sunday and I didn’t think it was actually possible but after seeing her live, I think I may have an addiction that won’t be satisfied until I see her again. I think I love her more now than ever before.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Song of the Day - Big Mouth

Santigold - Big Mouth
Album: Master of My Make-Believe (2012)

Pop Princesses of the world beware! Santigold the mediocrity slayer is looking to change the pop landscape with her manic new release, 'Big Mouth.' Going off this and previous release 'Go,' it's safe to say that Master of My Make-Believe is destined to become one of the craziest, funnest and most infectious albums of 2012. These are songs you want to play over and over again for all the right reasons. How 'bout that video? The clip makes you think of Rihanna's 'Rude Boy' and M.I.A's 'Boyz,' both of which lacked the extreme coolness of Santi's back-up dancers. There's also some pretty clear subtext within, no? Katy Perry and Gaga's of the world (and the Lohan's... what's up with that?), Santigold is finally back and ready to steal your crowns. To get your free download of 'Big Mouth,' head over to santigold.com!

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Song of the Day - Rocket Ship

San Cisco - Rocket Ship
Album: The Awkward EP (2012)

Get excited Australian readers, for San Cisco are going on a national tour! The band is starting to gain quite the following on the strength of the insanely catchy 'Awkward;' a song that will hopefully hit it big on next week's JJJ Hottest 100. Second single, 'Rocket Ship,' is proving to be just as pleasing to the ears and is pushing me closer to heading to the iTunes and purchasing The Awkward EP when it's released February 3. Since San Cisco are playing Alhambra, I'll definitely be checking them out when they hit up Brisbane with The Politely Awkward Tour on February 17. Tour information for you dear, dear readers follows...



Presented by triple j, themusic.com.au and Channel [V]


Tickets available from www.eastbrunswickclub.com / 03 9388 9794 / From The Corner box office


Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au / 1300 762 545 / All Oztix outlets


Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au / 1300 GET TIX / All Moshtix outlets


Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au and http://www.heatseeker.com.au / 1300 762 545 / All Oztix and Heatseeker outlets


Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au / 1300 762 545 / All Oztix outlets


Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au / 1300 762 545 / All Oztix outlets


Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au / 1300 GET TIX / All Moshtix outlets


Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au and www.bigtix.com.au / 1300 762 545 / All corresponding outlets


Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au & http://www.heatseeker.com.au / 1300 762 545 / All Oztix and Heatseeker outlets

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Song of the Day - Broken Brights

Angus Stone - Broken Brights
Album: TBA (2012)

Well, that's 1-0 in Angus' favour. Your move Julia.

Just kidding! Sorta... kinda... maybe. It be true, we struggled to get into The Memory Machine, but the boy Stone has a chance to win us over with his solo album. 'Broken Brights' is a chilled little number, perfect for some relax-ez-vous. Now all we need is something with a bit of excitement; a song that will distance itself from every other chilled out Angus & Julia Stone and Julia Stone track out there. If we don't get something a bit more up-tempo, I'll be left wondering why the two bothered to split up instead of focusing on a follow-up LP to the insanely successful, ARIA Award winning album, Down The Way. Look's like it's going to be 'wait-and-see' for his solo album, but for now, Angus Stone's 'Broken Brights' is a good listen.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, 15 January 2012

10 and 1 - We'd Really Be Living In The 90s Again If...

Let's get grunge-y!!!

Is anyone else being smacked in the face with a whole lot of 90s music at the moment? We've had the Vengaboys here, Aqua are coming and so are the New Kids on The Block and The Backstreet Boys. Soundgarden are headlining the Big Day Out Festival, Soundwave is pretty much a 90s tribute tour (s'up Manson, Fred Durst?) and awesome bands like Garbage and No Doubt are gearing up for new releases. As someone who loves a lot of things about music from the 1990s, I couldn't be more excited. What would make me even more excited? If these pieces of 90s goodness were to return to us as well.

Unfamiliar with the '10 and 1' concept? Well, I don't like to leave you feeling too chuffed with life at the end of every post. So we'll be addressing one bit of 90s music we really DON'T want to be seeing ever, ever again. Ever. Seriously. Alright... who's ready to step back in time with me?!

The 10:


We all love Adele. 21 was a great break-up album, heavy on the pain and full of wonderful, catchy future pop classics. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill was an incredible break-up album, heavy on the, "and are you thinking of me when you f*** her." It went on to become one of the highest selling albums of the decade (in America it was the highest selling) and won Album of the Year at the Grammys. It was another generations 21, but it was just way more... angry. If Alanis Morissette channelled some of that into her music again, I wouldn't be complaining.


Let's be honest, with the exception of the exceptional Kid A, Radiohead's albums released since the end of the 90s haven't had anywhere near the impact on your life that their seminal works OK Computer, The Bends and Pablo Honey did. You can love their newer albums as much as you want, but denying your desire to see them release something that has a massive impact on the music industry, challenging our perceptions of music in the process, is ludicrous. Not Ludacris. 

Top 20 - 15 January, 2012

Lana Del Rey: But I thought Indie artists didn't use 'sex' as a selling point?

1. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

2. fun. ft. Janelle Monae - We Are Young (NEW)

3. Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes - Love Letter (NEW)

4. The Shins - Simple Song (NEW)

5. Niki and the Dove - DJ, Ease My Mind

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Song of the Day - Lafaye

School of Seven Bells - Lafaye
Album: Ghostory (2012)

School of Seven Bells fans are in for a treat, as the (recently reduced to two member) electronic group will be releasing their third LP, Ghostory, on February 28. I can't say I'm their biggest fan, but I am liking the direction they've taken on 'Lafaye.' Why am I liking it? I'm not sure. Check back in 20? It's somewhat relaxing, Alejandra Deheza's vocals are verging on dreamy and the possibility of a concept album built around the character of Lafaye is just a little mouth watering. Perhaps a late Feb album purchase is on the cards.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, 13 January 2012

Song of the Day - Love Letter

Clairy Browne and The Bangin' Rackettes
Album: Baby Caught The Bus (2012)

\Looking for the first slice of retro-delight of 2012? Look no further than Melbourne's Clairy Browne and The Bangin' Rackettes. Ms Browne fearlessly leads the group with a voice that will start your heart pounding away to the delicious beats of the band. All the while, The Bangin' Rackettes get their Supremes on, adding singalong harmonies that plant themselves firmly in your memory. Australia's next great act has arrived, so what are you waiting for? Go get their album! 

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Song of the Day - Gold Coast

Grouplove - Gold Coast
Album: Never Trust A Happy Song (2011)

Consider this my attempt at regaining some hipster cred after the bombardment of Vengaboys related posts yesterday. Not that I need to regain any hipster cred. I didn't have any to begin with! Let's talk about Grouplove. These American rockers give off that inviting sound of 90s alternative and (you may have figured this out already) It's My Kind of Scene loves it some good 'ole 90s music. Grouplove's fun track 'Tongue Tied' drew many new fans to the band when Apple used it in one of their commercials last year, but it's songs like 'Gold Coast' that show how much potential these kids have to really make an impact. Embrace the love!

Rating: 3.5/5

We Like To Party Like It's 1999!

The Vengaboys (11/01/2012)
Live at The Hi-Fi, Brisbane.
Supported by: The Herbs
Review by Jo Michelmore

Wednesday night. It's the middle of the week. Nothing special, right? Not my Wednesday. Mine involved sequins and feathers and dancing and sequins and big hair and bouncing and sequins and pop. My Wednesday night involved The Vengaboys.

The audience was a strange bunch, involving almost every facet of society; the young, fashionable, old, unfashionable, boys in girls clothes, girls in boys clothes, the emo, the filthy hippy, the boring and the interesting, the attractive and not so attractive. Everyone except maybe your hipster, but they weren't needed anyway. This was a prime example of pop music transcending almost all parts of society.

The smile on my face started as soon as I entered the venue. What was that sound? Could it be? Was that really the Backstreet Boys causing that much noise and excitement? It was. Every song a pure pop classic, the DJ warming up the crowd had them all in the palm of her hand. All the best pop, from the Fresh Prince to Beyonce, Janet Jackson to Outkast, the punters squealed with delight at the start of every song and they danced and danced and danced and yes, they danced.

The squealing and dancing was interrupted for a little while by the support band 'The Herbs' (a Spice Girls cover band) who confused us all with strange versions of previously catchy Spice Girls songs. It was ok though, it gave most a chance to update their Facebook status and the audience were so enthused a tiny little boredom didn't seem to matter. It had been 14 years waiting for the Vengabus so no one was going to miss the fun.

The four people that are The Vengaboys exploded onto the stage in a manner only old Eurodance pop acts can. One pink and silver cowboy, one green and purple feathered ensemble, one sequined sailor and one red space girl. They danced their way through forty minutes of the cheesiest, trashiest, greatest Europop this side of the 80's. I thought I only knew two songs, but three or four were familiar and the rest were so bouncy it didn't matter anyway. It was like watching a real life version of lip synching cartoon characters auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance. Of course, the best songs and biggest reactions were for 'Boom Boom Boom Boom' and 'We Like To Party' but even the slightly lesser known 'Sex On The Beach' and 'Rocket To Uranus' (yes, they're a party act) managed to keep the crowd singing along (proof pop music is a) easy to get and b) hard to hate). The back catalogue is so shallow almost everything sounded the same, but no one cared, including me. This bus is not likely to pass by again anytime soon so I would have been happy to dance to the same two songs over and over for 40 minutes.

Only The Vengaboys could bring a little part of all the greatest parts of trash pop to an audience so successfully, especially midweek. Wednesday night has a lot to live up to, I don't think it will ever be the same again.

Thank you Vengabus for visiting! You and your boys certainly do like to party.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Song of the Day - Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom

Vengaboys - Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom
Album: The Party Album (1998)

Let me tell you a story... Once upon a time there was a very patient little boy. He was so patient, that he even grew up to be a patient (and extremely handsome) young man*. Whatever could it be that he would wait years and years for? It was something extremely magical; a means of transportation that would take you to the party of your life. I'm talking about the Vengabus people! Duh. Tonight, that patient little boy has all his dreams come true (until he goes and sees Aqua later in the year) as the Vengabus finally stops in Brisbane. That's right, tonight, the Vengaboys play the Hi-Fi! Do you like to party?! I like, I like to party? We like, we like to party!!!

Just to be very clear... I'm seriously excited about this. It'll be over the top, ridiculous and a world of fun. What better way to spend your Wednesday night?

*I never said I was writing about me... it's a story, I can tell it how I want!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Song of the Day - She Smells So Nice

The Doors - She Smells So Nice

New music from The Doors? It's safe to say no one saw that coming, but we've got it in the form of 'She Smells So Nice.' This forgotten track is to be added to the re-release of the band's final studio album, L.A. Woman, out January 24. It's meant to be an expanded album, so who's to say there won't be some more pleasant surprises on it too. Anyway, what do we think of 'She Smells So Nice?' Is it worthy of being added to the catalogue of one of rock music's most celebrated bands, or was it best left hidden away? Option one? Agreed.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Song of the Day - Call Your Girlfriend

Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend
Album: Body Talk (2010)

Yo, Robyn! You know when would be the perfect time for you to release something new? Now! You don't want someone else to take out the 2012 Robyn Award for Swedish Pop Star of the Year do you? Until you give us an idea of what's to come, I'll just be dancing on my own to the awesomeness that is 'Call Your Girlfriend.' You can hang with me if you'd like. Any other Robyn songs I can work in here? Um... come on... you've got to show me love? Nah... didn't work.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

We Live In A Political World

With each January comes the most important public vote of the year. A time when you must stand up and make your voice be heard. A time when your vote can make a difference. Of course, I'm talking about the vote for the JJJ Hottest 100! 2012 federal elections be damned, for this is a real opportunity for you to get behind the people you love and help them go down in history as one of the greatest acts in music today. Vote with your heart and pick ten songs that you really want to hear come Australia Day. In need of some suggestions/inspiration? Here are the ten tracks that It's My Kind of Scene voted for...

Matt's JJJ Hottest 100 Picks:

Shake It Out
by Florence + The Machine

Contact High
by Architecture In Helsinki

Song of the Day - Skin

Zola Jesus - Skin
Album: Conatus (2011)

Yes, I heard 'Skin' on this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. What of it? Having previously only heard bits and pieces of Zola Jesus' catalogue, I'll definitely be going back to the beginning of her career after embracing the spectacular 'Skin.' Nika Roza Daniolva's voice is spellbinding and stands alongside contemporaries like Florence Welch and Lykke Li. Praise doesn't come much higher than a comparison to Florence. Now, time to go buy some Zola Jesus albums. Who's with me?

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Crystal Castles Live Review: This Is Jo's Baptism

Crystal Castles (04/01/2012)
Live at The Tivoli, Brisbane.
 Review by Jo Michelmore

When one is to attend a performance by the Crystal Castles, one wonders what one is to expect. Crystal: a solid, generally see through substance, formed by a repeating pattern. Castles: big brick buildings with (often) not so attractive people living inside. Yep, that’s about what to expect. A solid back catalogue of transparent repeating loud beats inside a big building (with some not so attractive people inside).

I’d heard some mixed reviews of the Crystal Castles so wasn’t really sure what to expect. Some people had loved them, saying they were going to be amazing, energetic, enigmatic, chaotic; I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes off Alice. Others said she spent all night screaming nonsense in the dark and not much else. For me? A little from column A and a little from column B. I mean, I didn’t see them for a life changing experience, did I? I went to dance. I went to bounce. I went to see Alice jump around like crazy, hopefully spending most of the night atop the crowd and yelling a bit, or a lot and if I was lucky I hoped for some kind of general train wreck of a performance while I was there. I went to the Crystal Castles with these intentions and although I didn’t see the train wreck, I wasn’t disappointed.

The staging is simple, a bunch of strobe lights, various bits of equipment and a microphone. They don’t seem to need much else to please their devoted audience. Alice and Ethan and the other one (ok, it’s Chris, I think, but no one really, actually cares who that is, do they?) played a set a little over an hour long, including the tracks everyone came to see; ‘Courtship Dating’, ‘Baptism’ and ‘Celestica’ and even though I’m sure there was some kind of haphazard sound check pre-performance, at times it was hard to tell, with Alice’s vocal being lost amongst the noise filling the room, especially during the opener; ‘Intimate’. It was good to see her up to her usual antics, climbing all over the (mostly testosterone driven, singlet wearing male) crowd and at one point having her cigarette lit from a lighter being held aloft from a random arm while she was held sideways over them. Everyone loves a good leap into the audience. The only problem is I just don’t know if those antics are enough to convince me to see them again. I’ve seen these antics a hundred times before and surely another cute pixie like angry girl will appear in a few years and do the whole thing over again. The performance was aggressive and cold and everything the Crystal Castles and their marketing team want it to be. The trio didn’t communicate with each other or the audience during the set, which is ok, if that’s their thing, but it kind of makes me wonder why they didn’t just project a live DVD onto a screen and turn the sound up reeeeealllly loud. Same? Same. It has to be said though, the crowd was one of the most entertaining and devoted I’ve seen in a long time and I’m not sure the 95 year old venue has seen many audiences more enthused. Kudos to the Castles (and intoxicating substances) for making an audience so darn happy they’re angry, all at the same time. I left feeling satisfied and happy (but not yet angry), which I guess is the most telling sign of a good gig.

Just one more thing: Ethan. I know it’s your schtick, your thing, but that hoodie? What are you hiding under there? It’s Australia. It’s summer. It’s hot. You look ridiculous. Just sayin'.

Top 20 - January 7, 2012

Niki and the Dove score the first #1 of 2012!

1. Niki and the Dove - DJ, Ease My Mind

2. Justice - On'n'On

3. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

4. Simian Ghost - Wolf Girl

Simian Ghost - Wolf Girl by Playground Music

5. Miike Snow - Devil's Work

Friday, 6 January 2012

Yes, The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls (05/01/2012)
Live at The Tivoli, Brisbane.
Supported by: The Bedroom Philosopher and The Jane Austen Argument

After five long years The Dresden Dolls have finally brought their live punk-cabaret goodness back to Australia's shores. As only the great Amanada Palmer can do, she hand picked some perfectly suitable and entertaining support acts too! The Dolls personally introduced The Jane Austen Argument, The Bedroom Philosopher and some random hometown juggler/stripper dudes combo and in all honesty the three groups combined to become one of the greatest pre-show line-ups I've seen. I probably should have prefaced that by saying my enjoyment was solely based on how much laughter was had, but I was laughing with them so that's all good, right?

After 9:00 the crowd was pumped and ready for the night's main event; Boston's pride and joy, The Dresden Dolls! With no new album to promote, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione played an extremely tight and energetic set that Palmer herself described as a tribute to the band's faithful followers. All the big name songs were present, from JJJ faves, 'Coin-Operated Boy' and 'Girl Anachronism,' to personal loves, 'Missed Me,' 'Gravity' and 'Mrs. O.' When I saw AFP at the Old Museum last year, the perfect vocal delivery present in her live performances made me fall in love with so many different songs I didn't appreciate enough on Who Killed Amanda Palmer? The same can also be said of last night's performance. 'Utlima Esperanza' has a beautiful backstory, with the track itself telling the story of a friend of Palmer's in Berlin who found himself engaged, via the internet, to a girl he had never met before in the USA. Listen to the lyrics closely to understand the gravity of how incredible that story really is.

Our ballad for the evening came in the form of 'Boston.' How I've never heard it before I can't quite seem to comprehend. Along with 'The Perfect Fit' (which sadly missed the set-list cut), this could be the greatest piece of songwriting you'll find in The Dresden Dolls' catalogue. The downers were few and far between and the show went on with more highlights than a pack of Smiggle highlighters. Brisbane fan, Steve, got a chance to rock out with the band, playing bass on a cover of The Beastie Boys' '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!).' Everyone was loving the shit out of Steve, demanding more of the guitar hero once he left. "Oh, it's all about Steve now!" Don't worry Amanda, everyone was focused solely on you and Brian. The two stood out as world class performers, perfectly in sync with each other. Since the early days of The Dresden Dolls through to Virginia's (Yes and No) Palmer's voice has developed in leaps and bounds. Viglione's comic timing is great, but the man is one of the best darn drummers out there too.

Other awesome moments? How about The Dresden Dolls' take on AFP's 'Astronaut?' That was delicious. How about their cover of 'Mein Herr?' Now that is a brilliant encore track. Overall this was one of the funnest shows I've seen in a long time and well worth the $$$ spent. My anticipation for a new Dresden Dolls album begins now! If you're in Perth, (r)Adelaide or any of the other cities that are part of The Dresden Dolls' national tour and you don't have a ticket... GO GET ONE NOW!

Song of the Day - I'm So Postmodern

The Bedroom Philosopher - I'm So Post Modern
Album: In Bed With My Doona (2005)

If you ever get a chance to see The Bedroom Philosopher, you must get yourself a ticket! Never having heard much of his comedy music, I could only refer to him as 'the weirdo in a red shirt' when he walked on stage as the final support act for The Dresden Dolls at The Tivoli last night. When he walked off the stage I still called him 'the weirdo in a red shirt' but I added hilarious between 'the' and 'weirdo.' This man had me literally LOLing throughout his entire set, which highlighted his conflicted past as a Christian ('Saving Myself for Marriage') as well as his desire to find more suitable acronyms for men than S.N.A.G ('Acronymphomaniac'). I'm not one that usually buys a comedy album, but after seeing The Bedroom Philosopher I went on the iTunes and purchased In Bed With My Doona. I think I'll be enjoying it all weekend... and beyond?

Dresden Dolls review to come later today!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Song of the Day - Melancholy Sky

Goldfrapp - Melancholy Sky
Album: The Singles (2012)

A couple of weeks ago we heard Goldfrapp's 'Yellow Halo,' the first of two new tracks to be released on their first collection of singles. Today, we gots the seconds one! 'Melancholy Sky' is oh so dreamy and a wonderful addition to the group's catalogue of singles. Goldfrapp are closing the door on the first chapter of their careers with the February 6 release of The Singles, a collection of all the delightful tracks they've released from their five delicious albums. If you haven't had the time to get into them, now's the perfect time! All their greatest songs on one album with new material to follow later in the year. Is 2012 the year of Goldfrapp?

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Jim Jones Revue... Review

The Jim Jones Revue (03/01/2012)
Live at The Zoo, Brisbane.
Review by Jo Michelmore

Remember that episode of Glee with the mega Adele mash up and all those girls in the pretty, sparkly dresses? Remember that cute song by Taylor Swift about someone being for someone and the cute lovey story and the fairy tale clip? Remove those images from your mind. The Jim Jones Revue are nothing like that, NOTHING like that. The Jim Jones Revue rock and they rock oh so well. A five piece band from London (Huh?! Who would have thought it? I thought they were from the middle of the U.S. somewhere. That’ll teach me. English people can rock too), I was lucky enough to see them this week on a balmy night in a small and incredibly warm venue cooled only by some open windows and a couple of giant fans.

The heat and sweat seemed to suit the mood and add to the experience though, with Jim and gang playing their version of 50’s inspired rock and roll in a dirty, sweaty way. Unless you’re over 60, it’s music inspired by stuff your parents or your grandparents listened to, but it’s filthier, much filthier, in a great and very, very loud way. They slammed through sixteen songs, the small crowd initially quiet but three or four songs into it, the couple of hundred loyal fans cast aside their walking sticks, managing to get into the mood that JJR clearly work hard to create. Jim himself is a musician from the school of rock that I like, people pay to be entertained by him and he doesn’t let you down; jumping all over the stage, doing the classic rock moves, getting the crowd to scream, encouraging everyone to visit the bar, holding the mic out to the audience for sing-along-time, especially during ‘Shoot First’ and bantering between songs.

This particular gig I witnessed one of my favourite introductions to a song “…this is one for the ladies, it’s the musical equivalent of dry white wine, it’s called Killing Spree”. I like a band that doesn’t wait to play their singles until last, and this band spread their favourites “Elemental’, ‘Burning Your House Down’ and ‘High Horse’ throughout the set. You also can’t help but admire a band that doesn’t skip a beat when their lighting rig explodes in a flash of light and smoke during ‘512’, but they just keep on playing in the dark. If the building was on fire around them, they’d probably keep playing and still be there at the end, rocking away in the smouldering embers. The last time I saw them was at the Big Day Out 2011, but being a festival and needing to see numerous things, I only caught their last two songs, which is when I decided I NEEDED to see this band again. I won’t make that mistake again anytime soon. Jim Jones Revue! Come back! I want to see that all over again!

Song of the Day - Safe and Sound

Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars - Safe and Sound
Album: The Hunger Games OST (2012)

It's become the norm for the vast majority of movie soundtrack songs to both suck and blow. This little 'Safe and Sound' number that's being used for The Hunger Games? Not bad. Not bad at all. Since she sells a butt load of records, most people know that Taylor Swift is capable of a lot more than what we get on super radio friendly songs like 'Love Story' and 'You Belong With Me.' If you're likely to scoff at that T-Sweezy, I say give this song a go. Not only is it a decent film song, it's a fairly darn good country song too. If it was more depressing it would be a GREAT country song. For country music is the music of pain. Enjoy!   

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Song of the Day - Make Your Move

Teyana Taylor ft. Wale - Make Your Move

All I know about Teyana Taylor is that she's made appearances with Missy Elliott and Kanye West on 'Put It On Ya' and 'Dark Fantasy.' All I remember about Wale is that Gaga slummed it with him for a song way back in The Fame days. They were the best of times... sigh. Moving on, I'm going to be remembering these two for a whole lot more after hearing 'Make Your Move,' especially featured artist, Teyana. Now that's a voice I want to hear more of! Smooth and surprisingly deep for a young lady of the R&B persuasion. No high pitched whines, just a highly engaging voice that shows that the future is looking very bright for Teyana Taylor.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 2 January 2012

Song of the Day - Origins

Tennis or the guy from Franz Ferdinand and Jewel? You decide.

Tennis - Origins
Album: Young and Old (2012)

Tennis are getting back into the game. If new single, 'Origins' is the standard for their second album, Young and Old, this husband/wife duo are going to be up two sets to love in my book. Yes, I made a tennis joke. What are you going to do about it? Wait! Don't leave yet. At least listen to 'Origins,' fall in love and then forgive my lameness. Young and Old is out February 14, 2012 through Fat Possum records.

Rating: 3.5/5