Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Gig Review - Clairy Browne And The Bangin' Rackettes (26/05/12)

Live at the Powerhouse, Brisbane.
Review by Jo Michelmore

They say that soul is back. I don’t really know when it went away or where it went, but apparently its back. If soul did indeed take a little holiday somewhere, then it certainly announced its return on Saturday night when I had the pleasure of seeing the delicious Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes.

For those who don’t know (Wake up! Where have you been? What are you listening to? Turn it off for a second and check this out!), Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes are a nine piece from Melbourne and they play soul, they play rhythm and blues, they play doo-wop and they play gospel. They play like it’s the '60s with a 2012 attitude and they play it good. Really good. Don’t be mistaken though, this is not a tragic cover band; playing a combination of originals, tributes, reprises and covers, these are some smooth cats you should listen to, then, if given a chance, you need to see them live to really appreciate them. 

Clairy and her band begin the show without the Rackettes, Clairy appearing onstage looking fabulously '60s diva like, in a figure hugging full length silver dress. Before she even hits a note there’s a feeling this is going to be a fun show, but when she starts to sing, there’s no doubt about that. Without her trio of backing vocalists, she really shows off her incredibly powerful voice, but when the three splendid Rackettes take the stage the show heats up and suddenly it’s like it’s 1965 in 2012 and it’s fantastic. With their powerfully strong harmonies, gorgeous '60s mini dresses and cute dance moves (and hand clapping! I LOVE clapping!), they really pull the show together. The band are incredibly tight. Darcy McNulty on saxophone keeps the retro feel alive, Ricky Martin (true!) on drums solidly keeps the band together and Jules Pascoe, the bass player, is one of the most enthusiastic I’ve seen in a long time. It seems it’s impossible for him to play without manically nodding his head, but this I understand. It’s awesome and it’s impossible to listen without moving as well. They play through a bunch of songs from their album and a couple of covers; ‘Love Letter,’ ‘Bang Bang,’ ‘Whattaman’ and especially ‘Aeroplane’ are highlights. These guys are just so smooth it’s unbelievable and so, so much fun to see. Clairy Browne is one of those people born to be on the stage. She plays the lead diva so well, demanding the audience dance when she requires and at one point requesting nine whisky’s on stage. She’s seems like she’s having so much fun and that translates perfectly to the audience. 

(Just one thing, if your name is Stephanie and you see a Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackette’s gig, maybe just don’t admit your name at the door. You stole Clairy’s man and she ain’t happy about it and she’s going to let you know in the most staggeringly, angry, heart wrenchingly soulful way and everyone will love it, but just don’t admit who you are.)

Soul, wherever you went, please don’t go back. You need to stay and you need to stay for good. You’re so damn fun and so damn heart breaking and so damn great to dance to I demand you stay forever.

Monday, 28 May 2012

New Music Monday #9

Kids of 88!

by Kids of 88 ft. Alisa Xayalith
Album: Modern Love (2012)

New Zealand just wont stop churning out quality music primed to make a worldwide impact. I'm ok with it. I'm sure you're ok with it. When the music is as good as 'Tucan,' the new single from Kids of 88, everyone's going to be ok with it. Alongside another rising NZ star, Alisa Xayalith of The Naked and Famous, Kids of 88 have produced an exceptionally dreamy slice of electronic pop. A touch of tribal influenced beats kick off the track in a fashion that automatically brings a smile to your face. Sam McCarthy's voice draws all your attention with the opening line, "give me what I want, I want to leave me behind," and from here on in you easily lose yourself in the magic of 'Tucan.' The sweet tones of Xayalith  alongside McCarthy are the... icing on the cake? Sprinkles on the ice-cream sundae? Let's just say their voices are the perfect compliment to one another and make an already fantastic song just that little bit better. Looks like Modern Love just became a must-buy for later in 2012. 

Matt Bond gives 'Tucan' five Madonna's out of five... 

by Seekae

See, this is the type of thing you shouldn’t watch or listen to, after say, 3pm if you have plans for doing something else more active afterward. Delicious beats, delicious keyboards and delicious debut vocals for this Sydney based electronic act, filmed in the spectacular Sydney Opera House, this one is chill out/hear it in a café/winter-sunny-afternoon-lie-down music at its best. Its repetitiveness will grip you and make you want to hear more, just to avoid doing something else more active like going to the gym. Someone get me a cup of tea! Lounge it is. Yep.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Yech' three Karen O's out of five...

by Antony and the Johnsons

You can always count on Antony Hegarty to deliver something extremely classy. Beautiful composition, lyrically sound... hopefully this is the start of something big. A new Antony and the Johnsons album in 2012? One can dream...

Matt Bond gives 'Rise' three Karen O's out of five...


by Kylie Minogue

I’d like to say this is a clip of Kylie doing what Kylie does best, but she does actually do more than just wear short shorts. It’s not Kylie pushing any boundaries, it’s not Kylie being as interesting as she can be, it’s not even Kylie being as sexy as she can be, it’s just Kylie. Released as a single to celebrate 25 years in the music industry, it’s probably exactly right, enough to keep fans happy until her next album release, poppy enough to sell, simple enough to sing along to, easy to move to on the dance floor. The clip is typical Kylie, filmed in Soho, London (she just loves walking doesn’t she? Walk some more Kylie, like we haven’t seen enough of your ass already!), there’s few clothes, a cliché motorbike bit during the bridge and lots of black and white switching between colour images flashing around for three and a half minutes. It’s not bad and enough to keep her in the public’s minds until she does something better, which she no doubt will. Marketing genius is what this is and that’s one of the things that Kylie does best.

Jo Michelmore gives the 'Timebomb' video three Kylie's out of five...

Gig Review - Florence + The Machine (26/05/2012)

Live at the Riverstage, Brisbane.
Supported by: Blood Orange
Review by Jo Michelmore

Florence + The Machine - 'Leave My Body' and 'Seven Devils,' live at the Riverstage.

Sometimes you can go to a gig and love it, dance and bounce and sing along and have the time of your life and remember it fondly in the weeks following. Sometimes, just every now and then, you can go to a gig; sometimes in a tiny venue, sometimes in a giant arena and something magical happens. It’s indescribable. It’s not words but a feeling, a shiver, a wave of unspeakable goose bumps that will stick with you for life. I love all forms of music, especially live music, but this is when I love music the most.

It was a chilly evening for an outdoor gig, but the cool wind was quickly forgotten when support act Blood Orange appeared on stage, a man, a mac and a guitar, he managed to make some impressive sounds with such simple things. Clearly a lover of all things ‘80’s, his smooth half hour set was good enough to keep the eager crowd happy and he was a brave guy, covering the artist he was supporting, but it worked incredibly well, his fabulous version of ‘Never Let Me Go’ keeping the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. Such an interesting act, Blood Orange is a name I’ll be keeping my ears and eyes open for in the future.

As the lights dim, the crowd roars and Florence’s Machine make their way across the art deco inspired stage; the haunting, chiming bells of the intro to ‘Only If For A Night’ hang in the cold night air and Florence, draped in a beautiful bead encrusted deco inspired cape makes her way to the microphone before that first note of the keyboard hits hard. The lyric “And I Had A Dream…” encompasses the feeling of the audience and this performance, only seconds in, was already dreamlike, a stunning spectacle that would not be easily forgotten. They play through the first three songs with little chatter, each song better than the last, Florence running and jumping manically around the stage, keeping all members of the audience happy by paying attention to everyone equally. From the people in the very front row to those on top of the hill, her stage presence is incredible. Her cape dramatically flowing with every elf like movement, it’s obvious this band understands the importance of a show. They are here to entertain, which comes especially easily to the exceptionally charming Florence Welch. About half way through the set we get to know her a little better. As she chats to the audience in her quiet, high pitched voice she asks them to, "see whoever they have come to the show with, whether you love them, like them, or don’t really know them, just lift them up." Then she bounces feverishly around the stage counting all the people now atop others shoulders, it’s fun Florence style, before she launches into ‘Rabbit Heart’ and ‘Say My Name’. It’s obvious she clearly enjoys what she does and this translates to the audience all the way through the set. There is an interesting take on ‘Heartlines,’ one of the richer songs from the Ceremonials album. Stripped back as the two acoustic guitarists sit forward on the stage, it’s a beautiful rendition and one of the great things about live music; you get to hear such different interpretations of your favourite songs. ‘Seven Devils’ is another highpoint, the band creating such layered sounds and the control Florence has over her voice is astonishing.

The highlights continue, every song unbelievably more amazing than the last. ‘Leave My Body’ is dramatic and intense; ‘Shake it Out’ is incredible enough for me to make an international mobile call so someone (hi editor!) on the other side of the planet could experience it too (Editor - much appreciated!); ‘Dog Days’ is pure fun, so much bouncing and singing along, I can’t imagine anyone in the venue not enjoying it. The band leave the stage an hour and twenty minutes after they first appear, but this is nowhere near enough for the sold out crowd, and after some screaming, pleading and stomping, they re-appear for two more songs, finishing this show and their Australian tour with 'No Light, No Light.' I’m left astonished, happy to have been involved and sad for it to be over. That is the curse of live music.

Sometimes there are just no words to describe music, especially live music, to describe the feeling of absolute elation that the sounds of guitars and keyboards and harps and drums and incredible voices give you. There’s just no words have been invented to describe what those feelings are and that’s the beauty of live music; reading about it is ok, but you need to experience it to appreciate it. I am so glad I got to experience this one. The goosebumps re-appear just thinking about it. This is one of those special live experiences I will love and keep the thoughts with me for a long time yet. I love gigs, but I don’t even want another one for a little while just so I can savour this one. Thank you so much Florence and the Machine, please, come again soon?

Gig Review - The Trouble With Templeton (24/05/2012)

Live at the Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane.
Supported by: Timothy Carroll and Bryce Schneider
Review by Jo Michelmore

There's something about this little band I’m having trouble putting my finger on. Some internet chatter, a bit of hype on the street, there's something, just something I can't quite work out. Having been recommended by numerous friends and having heard only bits and pieces of their album as well as watching some clips on YouTube, I saw The Trouble With Templeton supporting Husky a few weeks previously, but will admit I wasn't sure what to expect from this gig at the Black Bear Lodge. I liked what I'd heard but while not disappointed last month it can be difficult for a support band to shine. Last Thursday night at the Black Bear was a lesson learnt. Sometimes second impressions are the best.

A relaxed crowd gradually filled the Lodge, enjoying the mellow sounds of Timothy Carroll and Bryce Schneider first, but it was obvious as they began to sit closer and closer to the stage that the punters were here to see something special; the first headline gig by this Brisbane three piece. They walked onto the stage seemingly a little nervous, but once they see the venue filled with a supportive audience, their nerves seem to slip away and they play comfortably, the charming lyrics of Thomas Calder floating in the air, the gorgeous sounds of keyboard and guitar carrying them through the warmth of the cosy venue. Although clearly led by Thomas Calder, the other members of this three piece are instrumental in making the music as lovely as it is. The voice of Betty Yeowart is phenomenal, her vocals perfectly complimenting Thomas.’ It would be great to hear more of her. The talent of bass guitarist Hugh Middleton holds the band together, he plays solidly and naturally all the way through the set. About a third of the way through their performance, Thomas is given a chance to shine in his own right, with Betty and Hugh leaving the stage to let him and his guitar do their thing. This is when the audience are given the opportunity to really appreciate his unique and beautiful voice and his particular talent with lyrics; his words resting lightly on the shoulders of the crowd.

They play through a little under an hour of material, performing numerous songs from their EP and their first album Bleeders, with the cute ‘I Wrote A Novel’ clearly a crowd pleaser. It is surprising this band only released their first material last year, for such a new trio they look like they belong together on stage and have been there forever. Their sweet and sometimes dark songs are delicious but it’s in the live performance that they really shine. I left this gig via the merch stand, purchasing a CD and an EP and receiving a warm introduction and handshake from Thomas Calder himself, which is the sign of a great musician; genuinely thankful to those who braved the cold on a Thursday night to support local independent artists. My friends and I left, braving the chill of the mall below with smiles on our faces and some lovely indie pop circling our heads; this is definitely the sign of a good gig.

I think I know what it is. You know what the Trouble With Templeton is? They’re good. They’re very good and if the gods of the music industry smile on them, which I hope they do, they won’t be playing lovely intimate gigs like this one for very long. They’ll be supporting Emma Louise at the Black Bear on July 11 and 12. If you are in that part of the world on either of those nights, trust me, you’ll want to be there.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Top 20 - 27 May, 2012


1. Kimbra - Come Into My Head

2. Kids of 88 ft. Alisa Xayalith - Tucan (NEW)


3. Garbage - I Hate Love

4. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra - Do It With A Rockstar (NEW)


5. Gossip - Move In The Right Direction

Thursday, 24 May 2012

10 and 1 - The Queen of Disco

Donna Summer (1948 - 2012)

It's been a pretty rough week for disco. Fans of the genre have lost a King (Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees) and its undisputed Queen... the late, great Donna Summer. A true international icon throughout the seventies and eighties, Summer dominated the charts while playing an integral role in the development of electronic music. She produced music from an era I generally like to pretend couldn't have happened, but I've always been fond of the Queen because of, who else, my mum. I'm sure there's a lot of us out there who had mother's that are big fans of Donna's, in turn making them mini-fans. I've had 'Bad Girls' on every iPod I've owned... thanks Mum. This week, 10 and 1 goes vintage in honour of one of music's greatest acts. Here are our ten favourite Donna Summer tracks and, as is required of these posts, our least favourite. Enjoy!

THE 10:

Love To Love You Baby (1975)

Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over) (1977)

I Feel Love (1977)

Last Dance (1978)

Hot Stuff (1979)

Bad Girls (1979)

Dim All The Lights (1979)

She Works Hard For The Money (1983)

There Goes My Baby (1984)

This Time I Know It's For Real (1989)

THE 1:


You didn't actually think I was going to pick a bad Donna Summer song did you? Oh, you did. Fine... um... 'Macarthur Park.' What? Thank you for the music, Donna. RIP. 

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - We All Love The Clap

George Michael: Still going for the clap today... what?

by Jo Michelmore

Following on from the ‘whistling’ vintage post of last week, I was this week inspired by the delicious Ruby and the Rib Cage performing ‘The Clapping Song’, which reminded me of another feature in songs I’m a fan of: the clap. Everyone loves the clap, right? What is there not to love? You’re listening along pleasantly and then bam – surprise – clap! Sometimes double clap! Sometimes weird rhythmical clap! Sometimes solid beat keeping clap! I love being at a gig and listening to an audience try and keep time with the clap, or lose time, or never have time with the clap. I love participating in the clap. In honour of the clap, this week we look at some vintage songs featuring various types of claps.

The Supremes – Where Did Our Love Go, 1964

Ok, so there’s not a huge amount of clapping in this one, but it starts with clapping, so it seemed appropriate to start our collection with it and it was an excuse to feature The Supremes. 1960’s, this is true vintage and The Supremes first number one, although, it wasn’t the first time they’d clapped hands. Part of the legend of The Supremes involves them convincing Motown execs they could do background vocals and claps for other Motown artists like Marvin Gaye, in order to get themselves signed to the legendary label. Wow, without those handclaps where would music be today? Without Beyoncé? Without Rihanna? Without Christina? Unthinkable. Who knows?

Stealers Wheels - Stuck In The Middle With You, 1972

Who were Stealers Wheels anyway and who’d heard of them before Reservoir Dogs? Some people alive in the early ‘70’s I suppose. This one has some of my favourite type of clapping – the single clap followed by the double clap. Although the lyrics could apply to so many situations, I love the fact that it was apparently written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan after a dinner at a restaurant where they were literally sat between record executives and producers doing business, hence the lyric; “….clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you”. No! Music industry execs being referred to as clowns and jokers? Surely not! That’s genius. Clap. Clap clap.

Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure, 1982

Completely indulging here. Even though it was top ten in countless countries and supposedly performed at every single Queen concert between ‘82 and ‘86, this is not the best of either Queen or David Bowie’s back catalogues, but it was a total excuse to feature two of my favourite artists in one hit and it also features the clap as well as the click. Amazing combination talent there. Clap, click, clap, click, bass line. Genius. It’s also one of my favourite road trip songs as it features the scream out loud in the car with the windows up or down while drumming on the steering wheel lyric; “(deep breath) love's such an old fashioned word and (deep breath) love dares you to care for the people on the (deep breath) edge of the light and love dares you (deep breath) to change our way of caring about ourselves (deep breath) this is our last dance this is our last dance (deep breath) this is ourselves, under pressure…” and then it ends with the clap, click, clap, click. Yes, Bowie, yes Freddie, yes. Perfect.

George Michael - Faith, 1987

Faith. When I think of the late ‘80’s, this is one of the songs I think of. Such an iconic song at the time it was from George’s first solo record and the clip features some of the most distinctive images of the 1980’s; the jukebox, the blue stilettos, the blue ripped jeans, the leather jacket, the unshaven George. All of that and it’s got the clap. The song that is, not George. This one’s got a variation on my fave combination, the double clap followed by the single. So catchy. So cheesy. Love it.

Madonna - Like A Prayer, 1989

We couldn’t visit the late ‘80’s without mentioning Madonna. That’s just not possible. This song and clip were so controversial at the time, the lyrics with their sexual innuendo in combination with religious tones, the black Jesus in the clip, Madonna lounging around a church in a skimpy dress, ok, so it’s not weird or confronting now, but this was the 80’s. (Without Madonna doing this we’d never have had as much ass in clips as we do now. You should be thankful for this. ) The best part of all though, of course, is the gospel choir kicking in toward the end, clapping like there’s no tomorrow and Madonna in the clip, facing them, clapping along herself. This is 80’s awesome. 

OutKast - Hey Ya! 2003

I was reminded of this song a couple of weekends ago while participating in a little karaoke. There’s clapping all the way through this song. It’s catchy and I still love it, but at karaoke, instead of clapping, I slammed a tambourine into my leg for four minutes. My leg bruised, which taught me the important lesson; tambourines are good but clapping? Clapping rules. Got it? Itsmykindofscene – we love the clap. Er, what?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Who Do You Think You Are - Lou Endicott

Meet Lou! She loves to boogie on down, has touched Janet Jackson and always has a flock of animated birds flying around her head. Do you have a flock of animated birds flying around your head? Didn't think so. 

That's right kiddies, it's that time of the week... 'Who Do You Think You Are' is back again and today we're chatting with the lovely Lou Endicott about road trip tunes, amazing live performances and much, much more. Let's get to it!

Q. What are you listening to at the moment?

My iTunes is on random shuffle. At the moment I am listening to the impeccable and sadly missed Eva Cassidy singing 'Fields of Gold.'

Q. What were you listening to this time last year?

I have such an eclectic mix of music - new and old. New music: I started listening to Imogen Heap last year and got all her albums. So in terms of new music I was probably digesting her back catalogue and new album. I can't remember when it came out, but last year I bought Gotye's album and it became an instant classic and most played album in my car. New old music: I started listening to Nick Drake last year after a friend gave me an album. I now have all of his albums. Amazing musician who again, sadly left the world too soon.

Q. What are some of your favourite live music moments?

This is hard as I LOVE seeing live music. Here's a few (too many!):

Imogen Heap - at The Palais in Melbourne rocked my world. She sampled all kinds of sounds live (including the audience) and played piano, keys, synth and was backed by a band. She was so charismatic live - funny, warm and clearly having a ball on stage - which made the audience join in on the party.

Monsieur Camembert - at Woodford Folk Festival. I randomly walked into a packed tent of people and saw this incredible gypsy swing fusion band playing. Everyone was seated but I couldn't sit and not dance so I found a spot near the front and danced by myself. The most amazing thing (apart from the can't-sit-and-just-watch music was the saxophonist who played the sax and the clarinet - SIMULTANEOUSLY!! The band thanked me at the end (when I got my newly purchased album signed) for dancing and said that my dancing egged them on. LOL.

Woodford in general holds a lot of fond memories of live music (too many to mention!). Some of the best stuff I have seen has been in tents with a small audience. I remember seeing Kate Miller-Heidke with about ten other people at Woodford. By the end of her set, the passerbys had stepped in and packed it out. Magic.

Janet Jackson - Brisbane Entertainment Centre. I saw her when I was about 18. I literally had back row tickets. I got there with two girlfriends mega early as Mum had dropped us off to wait in the foyer so that we wouldn't be waiting n the dark. While waiting we met Omar - one of Janet's dancers. He asked us where we were sitting and we showed him our tickets. He gave us front row centre tickets instead. And yep, I totally touched Janet's hand! LOL.

Roget Waters, "The Wall" - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne. I have been a Pink Floyd fan since I was a teenager, so seeing Roger live was an incredible treat. I loved how at this concert they used high tech huge multi media screens to create a whole world that we were brought into as an audience.

Jon Gomm - Thornbury Theater. This guy is an internet sensation more so than a star of radio etc. A friend showed me a clip of him a few months ago and my mouth flapped open and remained that way for the whole song. His style is guitar drifting - playing guitar as a percussion instrument while at the same time strumming and plucking. His live show was superb. Her came down into the audience at the end, unplugged and walked around the crowd singing the Radiohead song, 'High and Dry.' I think a lot of people choked up at this song and his willingness to just be the unplugged bard amongst the fans who support him.

Mager and Smythe - All over the place. These guys (Tim Mager and Kai Smythe) are two old actor friends of mine and will be huge stars in the near future. They have been touring a show called In Search of Atlantis for the last year and a half. I have seen it seven time. The music is incredible - similar  style to Tenacious D. Tim plays guitar and Kai plays mandolin. Their voices blend in gorgeous harmony. I just can't get enough of the songs. They are firstly hilarious, but secondly so darn beautiful that I get shivers. Thank god they made an album of the show or I would be out of pocket travelling around to each festival to hear them!

The Trouble With Templeton - Corner Hotel, Melbourne. I used to teach the superbly talented Tom Calder acting - between the ages of 9 and 14. I have remained in contact with a lot of my past students. So when he launched this outfit in more recent times, I was really keen to hear what his sound was. First time I heard his music I promptly bawled my eyes out as he had turned into a man - and a darn fine artist. Seeing him live (now a 21 year old man) was amazing. His voice and stage presence are simply magic.

OK, LOOK... I COULD BE HERE REMINISCING FOREVER ON AMAZING LIVE MUSIC! LOL [:-)] Live music in general rocks my socks! Be it Irish, Spanish, Gypsy, rock, jazz, folk, original, etc... Sometimes the obscure and small gigs are my favourite. I always try and buy the CD if I can and meet the artist if the gig is small.

Q. Do you have any music guilty pleasures? 

Fleetwood Mac rock my world - particularly when I am cleaning my house! I also admit I write and record my own music and have a secret playlist to listen to so I can mull over ideas when I am out walking. My own music is a big mash and clearly influenced by all the eclectic stuff I listen to (I write folk, modern instrumental on keys, dance loops, accapella - but not at the same time!). This is pretty much for the iPod only!

Q. How has your taste changed as you've grown up?

I have no idea what's on the top forty (SOOOO important when I was a teen/tween). I remember being teased for listening to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald at my talent school that I went to as a teen and told, "you will be soooo embarrassed about these CDs one day!" Actually, the opposite. I am more embarrassed by the crud I danced to at the talent school back then. My jazz CDs are still on rotation.

Do you still love now what you loved as a teenager or child and what's your favourite musical memory from your childhood? 

My favourite music moment as a teen was seeing All You Need is Beatles at the Lyric Theatre, Brisbane. When I was 16, my older brother and I got tickets to see the Queensland Youth Orchestra with a host of Australian musicians pay tribute to The Beatles. My brother had only just introduced me to them. Hearing the music with a full orchestra and lead guitar by Tommy Emmanuel - well, I just went to musical heaved. I have adored The Beatles ever since.

Q. What song would you love to have written and why? 

'Imagine' by John Lennon - simple but beautiful. 'Mess Around' by Ray Charles - the piano is SOOOO amazing. I have to dance when I hear it. I have played this song to five year olds and asked them to sit and listen. They can't. They get up and go crazy. And I join in. Any ballad that Tom Waits has written - he writes such beautiful ballads. Any song by Joni Mitchell - one of the world's best female songwriters. Any Crowded House or Split Enz songs - incredible songwriters.

Q. What are your favourite songs for a road trip?

Again, eclectic is the way to go. I have a huge six hour trip to NSW next week (doing a drama regional tour). I think I will start with Tom Waits' new album, Bad as Me. It has so many gems on it, including a song called 'Get Lost,' which is about leaving work to go on a road trip. I hope I don't get lost! LOL.

Wow. I just wrote A LOT! On my nights in at home, my favourite thing to do is share a bottle of vino with my man Troy and play YouTube DJ. I enjoy theming my evening. Last week I made a playlist of greatest dance moments over the last seventy years or so. I added songs from musicals, movies and favourite video clips. The week before I trawled for Motown hits. The week before that I went looking up new music. Triple J Unearthed is a good starting point for new sounds.

I think I kinda dig it.
In fact, it's my kinda scene.

See what Lou did there? We like it. Thanks for a fantastically amazing read Lou! Don't forget readers... you could be next, so be prepared! 

Monday, 21 May 2012

New Music Monday #8

Amanda F'n Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra!

Do It With A Rockstar
by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra
Album: Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra (2012)

Any semi-regular reader (hello, anyone?) will know how much we here at itsmykindofscene love Amanda Palmer; lots. This single is just another example of why. She’s been making all sorts of internet waves recently with her kickstarter campaign to fund her new album and raising over $750,000 so far she is showing the major labels how to work the music industry in a whole new way (you can still join the fun by pledging some cash before 31 May 2012. Do it! Matt and I have!) ‘Do It With A Rockstar’ (which you can download for free at amandapalmer.net) is the first single from Amanda’s next album to be released in September and it’s an Amanda Palmer I love, rocking with a rich, full sound, and some great harmonies. Of course, in true Amanda Palmer style, the lyrics drag you in and demand you listen, with the slightly dark and fabulous lines “I’ll be fine in a minute, fine in a minute” repeating over and over again at the end, leaving you begging for more. Love it. September can’t arrive quickly enough. Please, Amanda, more?!

Jo Michelmore gives 'Do It With A Rockstar' four Shirley Manson's out of five...

by Sparrow
Album: However Did The Wolf Get It (2012)

What is it about Brighton and its surrounds in the UK that produces such great bands and why do I live so far away? I’m currently smitten with this cute four piece, Sparrow, from the aforementioned place. This single, ‘Move’ is the second from their deliciously named album ‘However Did The Wolf Get In?’. It starts simply, just a catchy little guitar riff until everything kicks in and the lyric “It’s time to lose yourself, come and let’s go, my favourite song on the radio” sucks you in and starts you bouncing and keeps you listening. The clip matches this charming pop song perfectly, so simple you can’t help but keep watching and the little chorus will be stuck in your head at the end of these cute three and a half minutes. This is a band I don’t know much about, but after discovering this (and the first clip ‘Beautiful’ from the same album) I’ll definitely be checking out the back catalogue and falling deeper and deeper in love with them! This song will most certainly be on repeat for a few days yet.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Move' three Karen O's out of five...


You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
by Lisa Marie Presley
Album: Storm and Grace (2012)

I was having a conversation with someone a month or two ago about Lisa Marie. We talked about her choice in husbands, her foray into music many moons ago, living in the shadow of her famous father, her audio tour of Graceland, that constant look of, "why, yes... I do self-medicate in every single way," that's on her face. Was it you? Were you the lucky one I had this conversation with? Because we were saying, "I wonder if she'll ever make the music again?" To answer our question... yes. Yes she has. Lisa Marie Presley has released the video for 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' and... it's perfectly acceptable, isn't it? The tone of the video compliments that of the song, it holds your attention (AH - snake!) and Lisa herself occasionally looks interested in being there. She also looks like she's found a way to stop ageing. At 44, she's never looked better. Probably because she's not standing next to Nicolas Cage or cray-cray MJ. Less attractive by association? At the very least, the video for 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' has got me interested in checking out new album, Storm and Grace. What more can you ask a music video to do? 

Matt Bond gives the 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' video three Alanis Morissette's out of five...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Gig Review - Prince (18/05/12)

Live at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Review by Jo Michelmore

I received two reactions when I told people I was going to see Prince live. One reaction was of shock, “why would you want to see a has been like that?” The other of awe; “You’re so lucky, he’ll be amazing, he’s a legend,” etc. I thought the show could go either way too, maybe completely tragic and sad, watching a train wreck happen or I would see a show not to forget, something special that would leave me more than impressed. The thing is, there’s a certain something about seeing an artist like Prince live. He’s been in the music industry for over 30 years, won numerous Grammy Awards, released thirty-five albums under his own name, produced and written for countless others, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, influenced so many artists since the mid 70’s and was one of those magical mega superstars of the 80’s, this is a guy who naturally demands a little respect and once you’ve seen him play live, it’s hard not to respect him as a talented musician, whether you think he’s a little odd, a has been or a genius, he’s certainly an incredible entertainer to watch. 

With no support act, the house lights dimmed and a figure arose from the middle of the ‘lovesymbol’ shaped stage, Andy McKee appearing and playing an acoustic guitar for seven minutes with a single windblown dancer on the opposite end of the stage, probably not the start the audience was expecting, but when they picked up on the chords of Purple Rain, acoustic style, it appeared this was not a regular concert, this was a Prince show we had come to see. With three incredibly strong backup singers, Prince arrived on stage and took us through almost 3 hours of song after song with few breaks in between, and when the audience really begin to react at the third song with the opening of ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ things get fantastic, Prince telling the crowd to get on their feet, it’s hard to believe anyone could be seated anyway. It’s about half hour into the set that we truly get to witness something I think often gets overlooked about Prince; his incredible guitar skills. His solo before he launches into ‘Empty Room’ leaves me speechless. Throughout the night he shows us his ability to make his guitar talk funk, metal, rock, dance; I don’t know how he does it but his ability to take his guitar across genres seamlessly and successfully is astounding. He shows off his incredible piano skills throughout the night too, especially during his beautiful medley of ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ and ’The Beautiful Ones’, then smoothly moves into one of my favourite Prince tracks of all time ‘How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?’ (so lucky to see that one, I can take that off the bucket list now, it was just breathtakingly awesome). He shows off his still unbelievable dance skills as well, especially during ‘Kiss.’ I was almost embarrassed to be dancing in the same room and hope I can still sway with a small amount of rhythm when I hit 50 or so years old. Midway through the night the band and backup singers launch into The Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’, a pleasant surprise to see one of Michael Jackson’s contemporaries do justice to an awesome song. This is one of those gigs where you spend so much time saying, “Oh yeah, this song! I love this song!” His back catalogue is so extensive it’s impossible for him to play every hit, but the ones he does play are just incredible. ‘When Doves Cry’, ‘Raspberry Beret’, ‘Kiss’ and ‘Cream’ wedged in between some of his lesser known songs are what made it a great show. He managed to show off his hits but his talent as a musician is so strong even the lesser known songs are astounding to watch. I suppose a review of a Prince show can’t be a review without mentioning his probably most famous song ‘Purple Rain’ and the rendition we saw was not disappointing. It went on forever, the crowd singing along all the way through and being showered with purple confetti and gold glitter. It was definitely a Prince moment, a little cheesy but incredibly fun.


Prince is one of those performers, love him or hate him, he’s had such a prolific career he’s probably had an influence over someone you like or some random song you’ve sung along to at some stage. His performance wasn’t life changing, but it was far from disappointing. He’s an entertainer in every sense of the word and I left his show just as impressed as I had the last two times I’ve seen him. So impressed that I would get tickets again if I wasn’t already going to two other gigs next week when he plays another show in my part of the world. You can’t leave a Prince gig without being a little impressed. His musicianship, his dancing and his showmanship is compelling. I was impressed and still have the “whoa ooooh ooooh oh” from Purple Rain spinning around my head. Apologies to anyone I see in the next couple of days; like the song itself, this could go on for a while. “Whoa ooooh ooooh oh….”