Sunday, 30 September 2012

New To The Scene - Les Marionettes


Who: Ger Eaton - Synth/Vocals, Keith Farrell - Bass/Synth/Vocals, 
Lucy Coady - Simmons Drums/Vocals and Derren Dempsey - Guitar/Synth/Vocals.
Genre: Electronic/Indie
From: Ireland
For Fans Of: The 80s, The Synthesizer

Thanks to a hot tip from our European correspondent, Sé McCormack, we're heading back to Ireland this week to have a listen to the incredibly intriguing four-piece, Les Marionettes. Creating a stark point of difference to the current music landscape, the band's sound and image are full-on 80s throwback; layered synths, multiple vocal lines... the fashion, the hair and even the videos. It's all a bit quirky, camp and undeniably retro, but Les Marionettes make it work. There's a lot to love here.

Lead singer, Ger Eaton exudes an effortlessly cool charm that most of us would kill to possess. I honestly can't say what I like more; his subdued vocals or that hair/sideburn combo he's rocking in 'Sign Your Release.' Obviously it's the voice, but still... some of us can only dream of pulling off his look. Lucy Coady similarly leaves a lasting impression. Perfectly suited vocally to the electronic environment and she looks like a total badass playing those Simmons electronic drums. The big 'L' earrings in the 'Sign Your Release' video were a nice touch too. It's the little things that make me love a band.

Les Marionettes have two EPs out that you can pick up over at their Bandcamp page. Last year's Sign Your Release EP is a lot of fun. The title track is one of their most memorable. Cooler than cool, it leaves you wanting to hear a whole lot more. The Meet My Generation EP was released in March this year and show's off a much more diverse sound. A brilliant track like 'Comatose' makes you understand exactly why Les Marionettes are being touted by some as 'the future sound of Irish music.' What can you do know? Head on over to their Bandcamp page, have a little listen to their EPs (go on and buy one, you know you want to) and then check out their Facey-book page and give it a big thumbs up. That means like it. Links below... enjoy! 

Read more:

Top 20 - 30 September, 2012

The Presets!

1. Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing (#1 for 2 weeks!)

2. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra - The Bed Song

3. The Presets - Promises (NEW)

4. Sarah Blasko - I Awake

5. Mumford and Sons - Broken Crown (NEW)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - Baby, I Go Crazy

Britney: The Queen... of the pop-star meltdown?

Baby, I Go Crazy
by Jo Michelmore

Hey! Hi! How are you? So, I’ve been gone for a week or so; yeah, you missed me didn’t you? Where have I been, you ask. Perhaps I was off gallivanting across continents in search of the greatest ice cream known to humanity. Maybe I was on an island sunning my pale Irish skin. Perhaps I was in a bar somewhere, listening to some amazing bands you don’t know yet with Johnny Depp serving me drinks (we’ve already discussed this, Johnny appears in all my fantasies. Shut up.) Maybe I was checked into that sex addiction clinic somewhere in central USA (we’ve already discussed this, I always end up in a treatment facility in Matt’s alternate world. Don’t ask.) Maybe I had a complete breakdown and couldn’t cope with the pressures of all the free stuff and the fame and fortune that comes with writing for It’s My Kind Of Scene. Maybe I spent a week wandering the streets looking for the world’s greatest handbag but discovered crack cocaine instead. What? No, I’m not Courtney Love, but maybe I had a breakdown like Courtney seems to have perfected the art of having. She’s good at ‘em. No, I haven’t had one, yet. I just didn’t write for a week, alright? Why are you hassling me? No, everything’s fine. Yeah, it’s fine I tell you. Stop telling me how to live my life! No, I don’t need anything. I don’t need to talk. Don’t look at me. Shut up. Yes, I do love Minaj AND Pearl Jam at the same time, alright? Leave me alone! Leave Britney alone! What? See, wouldn’t it be great to just snap one day? Sometimes I fantasise about the complete breakdown. Who wouldn’t love to swear lots, tell everyone where to go and throw something on the floor, out the window, off a balcony. I’ve gotten close.

Maybe I should take some p’s and q’s from the book of Jim Morrison from The Doors, who had one of my favourite meltdowns. At a gig, in 1969, in front of an audience of almost 14,000 people he cracked it, in more ways than one. He sang randomly, chatted to the audience, “Maybe you love getting your face stuck in the shit.....You're all a bunch of slaves…..What are you gonna do about it?” and when an audience member jumped on stage and doused him in champagne (who doesn’t want to be doused in champagne?) he started stripping while screaming “You didn't come here for music did you? You came for something more, didn't you? You didn't come to rock'n'roll, you came for something else didn't you….WHAT IS IT? You want to see my cock, don't you?" Now, I don’t know how many people went to that gig to see Jim Morrison’s cock, but you know, if a rock star is going to show you, you’re not going to turn away are you?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

10 and 1 - Un/Forgettable In Every Way

Tori Amos: Sorry I forget about you sometimes...

I listen to too much music. Do you listen to too much music? I listen to too much music. Not really though, for there is no such thing as listening to too much music. There's not enough time in the day to listen to all the music I'd like to and there's always so much new music to listen to and love. So it only makes sense that you forget about some songs that you really, really wish you didn't. Damn my inability to unlock the other 90% of my brain! You'd better hope I never figure out how to realise my mental potential. Yes, you! What? On the other hand, it's always nice to have an old favourite pop up on shuffle to give you one of those, "how could I ever forget you/never leave me again" moments. Those moments? I get them a lot. Here's hoping you do too, because so much can be hidden in an un/forgettable song. A shared joke with an old friend. An embarrassing dance move no one can ever know about. Low points, high points... a song can unlock a whole flood of memories and emotions. Music is the best, right? I've had the pleasure of enjoying the company of these ten former flames in the last couple of weeks (we are indeed still talking about music) and, as is the custom with the '10 and 1,' I will leave you with one song I really wish I hadn't heard again. One song that can drop the 'un' and just be forgettable. Don't forget to let me know about some of your recent un/forgettable tracks too!

The 10:

Goodbye Mickie Finn
by Something With Numbers

by The Cardigans


This Is My House, This Is My Home
by We Were Promised Jetpacks

Monday, 24 September 2012

New Music Monday #24

Push and Shove (Album)
by No Doubt (2012)

Here’s a question for you. No Doubt; how would you describe them? Pop? Rock? Ska? Ska-punk? Pop punk? 80s? 90s? 00s? Two-tone? Reggae fusion? Pop? Yeah, see; who are No Doubt? All of the above. It’s with this in mind we get to Push and Shove, the latest album from No Doubt, released eleven years since their last. What was one to expect when listening to it? Pop? Rock? Pop? Ska? Punk…yeah you see what I’m going with here. No Doubt have their own little sound, greatly influenced by the lead vocal of Gwen Stefani and Push and Shove, like their previous albums has the influence of many genres that make up the pop sound that is uniquely No Doubt. This album doesn’t give me that same “oh my this is awesome” feeling that Tragic Kingdom did, but then I’m not the same person I was when I first heard them, and likewise, neither are the members of No Doubt. With that little bit (lots) of time between their last release and now, what they’ve created isn’t pushing any boundaries, it isn’t like something I’ve never heard before, but Push and Shove is a nice little piece of pop perfection. The first single 'Settle Down' is a pleasant intro with a catchy hook that creeps into your brain and stays (“eh eh eh” damn you Stefani, I didn't like it at first but that one sticks), the title track 'Push and Shove' keeps a sweet bouncy reggae beat and great tempo changes to keep it interesting. 'Gravity' is pure pop with cringe worthy lyrics to match. “Just like Venus and the morning sun, you and me got gravity” (but that’s what makes great pop music, doesn’t it?). 'Undone' is the obligatory ballad that No Doubt are so good at (but probably not given enough credit for), 'Sparkle' shines with its mid-tempo-ska-punk-pop sound and 'Heaven' is a track that is made for moving to. After all, who doesn’t love a hand-clap? Push and Shove is not going to change your life (the way Tragic Kingdom did mine), but if you let it grow it’s going to make you dance, smile and sing along when you least expect it. That’s what good pop music does and that’s what No Doubt do best. 

Jo Michelmore gives Push and Shove three Britney's out of five...

Battle Born (Album)
by The Killers (2012)

It's always nice to be reminded why you once loved a band in the first place. You know, how you really loved a band that had an incredible, universally loved debut (Hot Fuss) and then that buzz died down a bit, but you still got a huge kick out of their sophomore effort (Sam's Town). Then they lose their way by straying just a little too far from their roots (Day and Age - I'm looking at you, 'Human') and you think you're done with them. To your surprise, they make an extremely focused return that not only harkens back to their glory days, but shows a band capable of growth... a band that's capable of growing with you. It's oh so satisfying and is just the reminder you need as to why you loved them in the first place. For The Killers, Battle Born is the reminder I needed. Now, there's nothing revolutionary about Battle Born. The same American rock and roll spirit from Sam's Town anchors each track, they straddle a fine line between indie gems ('Be Still' and 'Flesh and Bone') and stadium anthems ('Runaways' and 'Battle Born') like on Hot Fuss and they lightly retain their electronic influences from Day and Age. Brandon Flowers' voice still drives The Killers and still has that ability to make you want to both get up and dance and sit down to reflect. But there's a sense of purpose here that's been lacking since they debuted. A certain quality that truly makes you believe they deserve to be treated like one of the biggest rock acts in the world today. It's all very Bruce Springsteen by the way of Fleetwood Mac with a modern twist. This is Americana 2012 and, surprisingly and satisfyingly, Battle Born is just the reminder I needed as to why The Killers still matter and why I loved them in the first place. What more could you ask for?

Matt Bond gives Battle Born four Kurt Cobain's out of five...


Come Into My Head
by Kimbra
Album: Vows Deluxe Edition (2012) 


Sometimes, when I know for sure no one is watching, I'll attempt to have a little dance like Kimbra does throughout the 'Come Into My Head' video. What I don't do is grab a knife and terrorize the staff of a psychiatric hospital. This is why Kimbra is better than I am. She'll dance like everyone is watching and she will grab a knife and terrorize the staff of a psychiatric hospital. And she'll look amazing doing it. All of Kimbra's videos have been beautifully shot so far, but 'Come Into My Head' is a huge step up from previous video 'Two Way Street' in terms of story. Oh... ... ... ... sorry, I just drifted off thinking about how gorgeous she looked in the 'Two Way Street' video. Uh... ... ... ... let's wrap this up by saying, "great video, amazing artist and I am not a stalker." 

Matt Bond gives the 'Come Into My Head' video four Lady Gaga's out of five...

Knock Knock
by Band of Horses
Album: Mirage Rock (2012)

A cute catchy song, comedy AND a vintage inspired clip? You know I’m going to like this. It’s a parody of a 70s style nature documentary; with the Band Of Horses playing in some stunning landscapes and being hunted down by documentary makers who are trying to capture their audio, it’s kind of interesting that it’s easy to forget to listen to the song, but this is a clip review so who cares? Almost five and a half minutes of watching a band run around a desert landscape all the while being chased by awkwardly (that is, retro awesomely) dressed academics, this clip is totally silly and that’s what makes it fantastic. To top it off, the song’s not bad either.  

Jo Michelmore gives the 'Knock Knock' video four Shirley Manson's out of five...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

New To The Scene - Breaking Hart Benton

Breaking Hart Benton
by Jo Michelmore


Perhaps it was some kind of fate or maybe it was just pure luck that I walked into a bar last week and happened to run into a friend who convinced me to stay and watch some bands, but either way I’m so glad the gods of music smiled on me once again and introduced me to the wonderful Breaking Hart Benton.

The name should probably be the first hint that this is music that’s going to be emotional, sometimes fun, sometimes tear inducing but always heartfelt. They call themselves indie/folk but there’s a little more to it than that. Somehow Michael David and Lee James make music with history, it sounds like it could be right at home in a cosy Irish or eastern American pub 100 years ago and yet it’s also right at home in a dark little Brisbane bar in 2012. Just a combination of guitar and banjo, fiddle, vocals and some serious foot stomping, Breaking Hart Benton manage to transport me to places I don’t even know, through stories I’ve never imagined before, about characters I’ve never met but have fallen in love with immediately.

Everybody's Lonesome by Breaking Hart Benton

Although I saw a stripped back band on Friday night, it seems things get even better when Michael and Lee are joined by sometimes band members Alice McDowell (who I was lucky enough to see for a couple of songs on Friday night) and Shani Forrester; whose vocals on ‘Everybody’s Lonesome’ are eerily beautiful and create a song that insists on being played over and over. The lyrics on ‘Gilding Lilies’ are exquisite, doing that thing that amazing music does, making the listener question, well, almost life in it’s entirety ; “when you find what you’re looking for, you got it all but you still want more, well I found my treasure in the valley of sin, but I wasn’t satisfied with everything”. ‘Grandfathers Hands’ is a story that sounds like it needs to be told, it’s a tale that could be played for years and years, completely timeless. Their self-titled EP is introspective but not self-indulgent; it’s sometimes heart breaking but hopeful, it’s raw and unpolished yet so well thought and that’s what makes it refreshing all the same.

Blind River by Breaking Hart Benton

Breaking Hart Benton make beautiful music that doesn’t need an amp, doesn’t need auto tuning and doesn’t need much except a big heart to sing and a big heart to listen to. This is a band that seems like they need to travel, to share their stories; they need to share their incredible talent for playing live music and making their audience feel a part of those stories.

Sometimes fate does you favours, like it did for me last week. If it happens to take you on a walk to a bar where they are playing or to a website where you can discover more, don’t ignore it. Here’s fate, on this blog, right now, telling you who this fabulous little folk band are. Let it take you to another place far away and lose yourself in the splendour that is Breaking Hart Benton for a little while.

Read more:

Official Site
JJJ Unearthed

Top 20 - 22 September, 2012

Sweet, sweet Florence.

1. Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing

2. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra - The Bed Song

3. Sarah Blasko - I Awake (NEW)

4. Kira Puru and The Bruise - When All Your Love Is Not Enough

5. Tegan and Sara - Closer (NEW)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - The Older The Better?

Madonna: When was she musically greater?

The Older The Better?

Aloha. Matt Bond here, taking over Vintage Thursday for the week as Jo sits back, relaxes and enjoys... well, whatever she wants. It's her free time. Yeah, you're stuck with me. Accept it. Embrace it. If it makes you feel any better, this week's topic was sorta kinda maybe born out of a conversation I had with Jo earlier today. It is a popular belief in many circles that older music (eg. music from the 60s, 70s and, to a lesser extent the 80s and 90s) is better than the music of today. You're not cool if you don't say the music of today sucks and attempt to explain how Bob Dylan, "just got it, man," despite countless hours attempting to decipher what he's rambling on about. Just tell us how many damn roads it takes for a man to walk down before you can call him a man? The wind tells me nothing! Uh... yeah. 

Anyway, take a look at the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time list. 326 songs that made their countdown are from the 60s or 70s and 77 are from the 80s and 90s. 26 are from the 2000s. Now, obviously the contributors to a highly respected publication like Rolling Stone are a bit older and also subjected to a ridiculous level of scrutiny by their readers, so it makes perfect sense that they would favour 'All Along The Watchtower' over 'Bad Romance.' We on the other hand say, "nay!" for we don't have no readers to scrutinize us. Ha! And also that 'All Along The Watchtower' vs 'Bad Romance' was just an example. No need to go cray-cray. Cray-cray means crazy for those music purists out there. At least I think that's what it means. Very soon we'll be tackling the wacky notion of old vs new in music and why we're stuck with the perpetual belief that what has come before is somehow better than what is out there today. 

Today though, I'll be looking at when I believe older definitely does mean better. Confused? Remember what I said about embracing 'it.' Figure out what 'it' is, embrace it and stay with me beautiful internet peruser. At some stage of your existence you would have heard the classic line, "I liked their old stuff better." Sometimes it's a friend unwilling to accept that a band they loved has become popular, somehow making their new material a pale imitation of who they used to be... even though it sounds exactly the same and is just as good as their old 'stuff.' Sometimes it's a sibling who liked The Black Keys before all of you jumped on the bandwagon and honestly isn't into 'Lonely Boy.' Hey Sam! Sometimes it's just true. Their old stuff was better and their new stuff is either average, inaccessible or, in the worst cases, horrendously bad. When does older really mean better? Let's find out...

I Prefer 1995 No Doubt 


2012 No Doubt

Get, get, get in line and settle down Stefani fans. You love 'Settle Down.' You're excited to get your hot little hands on a copy of Push and Shove next week. That's excellent and I hope you enjoy the album. Just do one thing after you've given it a listen. Dig out your dusty old copy of Tragic Kingdom and let me know, in all honesty, which album made you love music more. Somewhere along the way the band actually became what they were portraying in the music video for 'Don't Speak.' Just some guys standing in the background, not doing a whole lot while Super-pop-Gwen and some electronic beats bop along at the front. 

I Prefer 1993 Smashing Pumpkins 


2012 Smashing Pumpkins

But who doesn't?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

10 and 1 - Put Your Paws Up If You Beliebe

Stacey and Tiffany would regret their new tattoos in the years to come...

So you want to be a pop superstar (and live large)? Unless you can come up with some snazzy/incredibly lame name for your stalkers fans, you're not going to get very far. Every singing sensation and their miniature schnauzer has come up with a moniker for their supporters that binds their obsession for their larger than life overlords into a movement that the casual YouTube comment skimmer will either find hilarious or annoying. "You're not a real Directioner, you're just a stupid Belieber! You'll never love One Direction like I do, you'll never KNOW them like I do." I see.

Making the mistake of listening to Nova the other day, I had the pleasure of listening to Cher Lloyd explain why her fans are called Brats. Alright, I wasn't really listening to what she was saying. I briefly asked myself, "who is this Cher Lloyd and why would anyone want to be her Brat?" before thinking of all the other farmies (fan armies) running around the internets. Deciding this list would make an excellent 10 and 1, I give you the ten worst named groups of obsessed-crazy-Misery-esque fans and the one group that is perfectly named. Enjoy!

THE 10:

Little Monsters
of Lady Gaga

Put your paws up if you're a Little Monster! You can blame the modern trend of naming your fans on the 'Mother Monster' herself, Lady Gaga. Yes, there have been Fanilows (amazing), Phans, The KISS Army and more, but things were a bit quiet on the fan base front until LGG started referring to her followers as tiny freaks. Little Monsters worship Gaga as a deity. They're vicious when attacked and will defend their leader with their lives. Unless you're wearing your meat suit, avoid at all costs. Do not mention the name Madonna around them. They really don't like that old hag. What? Why would you think I'm a Little Monster? 

of Beyonce

We get it. Your name is Beyonce and you can work that into so many different things. Like how you called your album B'Day. That's classic, but you should have really made it Bey'Day, just so everyone knew it was definitely a Beyonce album. Wouldn't want anyone to be mistaken now would we? Beyontourage just wasn't working for Knowles, so she went with BeyHive. If you're a member of the group (you lucky devil you), you will be known as a Bey. Don't think that sounds like Bay. It's Bee. But it's spelt Bey. Get it? Because her name is Beyonce. Not Bayonce. It's like Beeyonce. Understand? You don't want to understand? That makes you a WASP! You will now be stung by the Beys for you are a hater! 

of Katy Perry

Taken from Urban Dictionary:

"The massive followers of Katy Perry. They would take a bullet for her. You can find them on twitter, the Katy Perry forum or wherever Katy Perry is. 

What the f**k is up with that chick, she's crying?
Katy Perry just tweeted her. She's obviously a Katy Cat."

She obviously needs help.   

Monday, 17 September 2012

New To The Scene - The Hello Morning

by Jo Michelmore

So, you want to make your friends think you know something they don't and make yourself look good at work? Don’t be self-conscious, everyone wants to be cool. Here’s a piece of advice. You're at a music festival and you find yourself armed with a program and the concept of seeing one of sixty or so bands live. If you see the name ‘The Hello Morning’ anywhere on that list, drop everything and get to where they are. I was faced with this exact situation last week at Big Sound and luckily I managed to find myself in the same venue The Hello Morning were. It only took a couple of seconds of the sound for me to be captivated and ten minutes or so for me to decide I was a fan.

Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You by The Hello Morning

Your workmates still aren't convinced you're more fashionable than them? Here’s another piece of advice. Once you’ve discovered The Hello Morning, don’t let them go. Buy a CD or a download and listen until you know it backwards. Get their self-titled album and relish in the delicious vocals of Steve Clifford, whose rock voice with incredible control will have you swooning. Let the depth of sound of many guitars carry you away and the lyrics of heartbreak and observation and fear take you to places far from where you are. Let your thoughts run away and your shoulders swing the way they should when great music is playing. Listen to the songs, some of these songs are amazing. Let’s talk ‘Don’t Wait On Me’, ‘Drive You Home’, ‘Edge Of Town’. Songs about all sorts of concepts; of the young being afraid of growing old, the harsh admission of being wrong and admitting it, of travellers being the loneliest souls; “you keep coming home just to turn around and tell your stories loud, like you’re brave for moving on but there’s nothing brave about walking out, and all your reasons don’t make sense to me”. These are lyrics to wrap yourself up in. They aren’t just the usual stories of love won and lost, this is an album you need to actually listen to. If you listen properly you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Your friends are still listening to the latest Minaj track? Hmmm, this may be difficult, but maybe try this: don’t forget The Hello Morning once you’ve discovered them. Play them at home, play them in your headphones and play them in the car, they’re music made for driving to, music made for sharing; so play them to your friends. They are a band that won’t slip into nothingness without a fight. You’ll be one of the people who heard this band before your friends did. Taking inspiration from incredible artists like Otis Reading or more recently, The Black Keys, this is a band that are going to be hard to forget anyway. Remember their names; Steve, Matthew, Dave, Joe, David and Matt. They are all as important as each other in creating the rich sounds they manage to make together.

Edge Of Town by The Hello Morning

One more thing and this is the advice you don’t want to ignore and you should remind your friends of it: sometimes the best bands are found close to home. They're not played every twenty minutes on an FM radio station or Channel V. They don't look or sound like Katy Perry or One Direction because they're not like them. They don’t conform to trends but they relate to sounds, to feelings, to storytelling, things that have a long history and are full of meaning. Bands like The Hello Morning are formed by people with a love of genres of music that are bigger than last week, last month, last year and they play that music with all their heart. That’s music that should be celebrated in every sense of the word.

Now you know who The Hello Morning are, share. Let your friends in on the secret. Go on. They’ll thank you for it, or they should. See what’s happened here? I saw them live last week, fell in love and now I’m cool ‘cause I knew of something amazing you didn’t. So, I’m letting you know how awesome they are and then you in turn fall in love with your new favourite band and you get to be as cool as me. Be nice and let someone else be as cool as us. Your turn.

Read more:

JJJ Unearthed

Sunday, 16 September 2012

BIGSOUND Live 2012 Recap Bonanza

Bigsound winners; The Hello Morning!

Bigsound Live has come and gone, with some of Australia's most promising new talent performing for industry peeps and thousands of Brisbane based punters to varying degrees of success. It's My Kind of Scene was in attendance with Jo, Katie and Matt running around the Valley in pursuit of amazing music... and the occasional coffee and Pie Face. For the first time ever, the three of us come together to review the acts we saw over the two nights. Let's get to it!



The first band of two midweek nights of music, Kingfisha had a lot to live up to. While they were ok, it was the people watching Kingfisha that provided the most entertainment, which probably says a lot about Kingfisha themselves. The people who liked them really, really liked them but the people who were there to pretend they were interested in music didn’t do so well in pretending they were interested. Who are you, check shirted guy? Why are you telling that woman beside you that you didn’t know she was into live music? When was the last gig you went to? Things have changed since 1991 my friend. You, with the bag. Stop drinking and start watching. You, with the hair. Stop pretending you’re important and start watching. You with the big mouth. Stop talking and start watching. There’s a band up there who’ve rehearsed numerous times in their garage to play for you. Have the decency to watch at least one song before you twirl your VIP lanyard around again. Kingfisha? Yeah, they were alright. (Jo)

On the way to Bakery Lane to see the first act on day one of BIGSOUND 2012 I saw the most impressive handlebar moustache. I took this to be an omen that two awesome evenings of music would follow. And I was right. For me, the only thing missing from Kingfisha’s set was a joint. They had a totally chilled, funk vibe. I was really into it, and particularly enjoyed the dancing of some audience members. Shout outs to curly haired man whose dancing was led by his wild mane, and the blonde girl who had a funky chicken thing going on. The only distracting thing was the lead singer’s resemblance to Ellen DeGeneres. (Katie)

While Australiana-dub-reggae will likely never be a favourite genre of mine, I have to admit I enjoyed what I heard from Kingfisha and they were a perfectly acceptable way to kick off our Bigsound experience. The band was having a good time, the crowd was having a good time and they drew a decent amount of punters throughout their set. I too was drawn to the dancing members of the audience, but more in the way that I could see the dandruff flying from the curly haired dude, falling like snowflakes onto his t-shirt in time with the music. Time for a wash? (Matt)

Top 20 - 16 September, 2012

Bigsound's breakthrough artist; Kira Puru!

1. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra - The Bed Song (#1 for 2 weeks!)

2. Kira Puru and The Bruise - When All Your Love Is Not Enough

3. The Hello Morning - Stone Cold Lover (NEW)

4. Mia Dyson - Pistol

5. Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing (NEW)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

10 and 1 - BIGSOUND Live 2012

Brisbane's greatest mid-week music experience kicks off tomorrow night as BIGSOUND Live takes over the Fortitude Valley! A healthy mix of established and ready-to-break-out acts will perform at twelve venues, including Ric's, The Zoo, Alhambra, Oh Hello and our favourite little live music establishment - The Black Bear Lodge! I've planned out my Wednesday and Thursday night so here are ten acts that I will endeavor to see live. Since there's a bit of overlapping, it might just be for a song or two... but I'm making the most of my BIGSOUND experience. Are you?  Tickets are still on sale, so come along for what is sure to be two incredible (and pretty darn cheap) nights of music.

THE 10:

Wednesday Night...

Kira Puru and The Bruise
(9:10 - 9:40pm @ The Black Bear Lodge)

Monday, 10 September 2012

New Music Monday #23

by The Presets (2012)

After four long years, The Presets have finally returned with an album so different from Beams and Apocalypso, but one that retains their ability to make you want to get up, walk out that door, get in a cab, find a club, have a drink and dance like you've never danced before. Sadly, you aren't likely to hear many of the tracks on Pacifica played at the club. Just Nicki Minaj. So much Minaj. No, there are no tracks so undeniably brilliant in their silliness (aka pop perfection) like 'Talk Like That' or 'Are You The One?' Instead, you have well crafted tunes that create their own world and throw you right into it. Tracks that make you want to dance while providing lyrics that make you smile, make you think, make you reflect. That's not pop perfection, it's music perfection. So they haven't rested on their laurels and delivered Apocalypso 2.0. This is a good thing! There is a dramatic improvement in their lyrical work, the album is more cohesive than their previous efforts and did I mention they still make you want to go out (or stay at home!) and dance? Yes, this is Australia's finest electronic duo delivering a homage to countless dance genres that defined the 80s and 90s. Yes, you're going to want to hear Pacifica over and over again and, more importantly, you're going to want to hear it performed live. 

We knew the tracks 'Youth In Trouble' and 'Ghosts' going in and they work as an excellent introduction to the album and The Presets' new direction. I'm sure I wasn't the only one waiting before both drops in 'Youth In Trouble' for the music to just go absolutely mental after so much build-up. In typical Julian Hamilton/Kim Moyes fashion, we get some douchey Presets lyrical gold that you forgive them for because they pull it off so well. "With the music taste so abominable, man I'm worried sick for a youth in trouble." Yeah, yeah... everyone sucks but you. Pacifica perks up a little with 'Promises.' Or does it? The music is certainly sunny and cheery in the opening and chorus, but it's actually kinda depressing. Hamilton's voice hovers around that place in your mind reserved for favourite vocalists as he asks, "wouldn't it be nice if we, could leave behind this mess we're in?" One of the album's stand-out tracks and surely a future single release. 

And then 'Push' happens and everything just goes crazy. If this doesn't make you want to dance, go and breathe on a window and see if you've got a soul... because I'm pretty sure you don't have one. 'Fall' continues the incredible run started by 'Promises.' "Darling it was on a night like this, I remember we first touched. Fearless in the face of all hostilities. We're on this runaway train, only need you next to me." Surprisingly romantic lyrics drive a track that I can't help but refer to as The Presets' take on Rihanna's 'We Found Love.' Come on, it's about falling all the way down to hell and in hell they find their heaven. It's 'We Found Love' for grown ups? Work with me, people. 'It's Cool' falls within a more chilled out atmosphere. It's a nice enough downer, but following the previous three tracks it falls a little too flat. 'A.O.' and 'Surrender' bring back some of the magic before 'Fast Seconds' gives you a small taste of The Presets of old. Tenth and final track, 'Fail Epic' brings Pacifica to a close after less than fifty minutes and I think... why is the album over already? You couldn't have added in another two songs? Whatever though, they still leave you wanting more and at the end of the day, what more can you ask of an album?  

Matt Bond gives Pacifica four Michael Hutchence's out of five...

Any other week it would have been a five for sure, but...

Theatre Is Evil
by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra (2012)

Any music lover will have experienced it. That moment when you listen to an album for the first time and you just know. You know that this is an album you will be listening to for the rest of your life. It will not be sitting on the sidelines waiting to be rediscovered. There is no possibility you'll get sick of it. You know that this is an album that you will love, learn from and listen to for the rest of your life. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra's Theatre Is Evil gave me that moment and I couldn't be happier. Or more excited. And incredibly heartbroken in the way that you can only forgive the most indescribably breathtaking music. Amanda Palmer takes you on a journey of epic proportions. She reaches for dizzying heights and takes you down to crushing lows. 

Now, this far into my "review" you're already questioning my lack of objectivity. It's true, I'm an Amanda Palmer fan. This year I've seen The Dresden Dolls live, pledged as part of AFP's ridiculously successful Kickstarter project and participated in our most gushing countdown ever (Amanda Palmer's Greatest Hits). Throw in the countless hours I've spent listening to The Dresden Dolls' catalogue, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, thousands of live clips on YouTube and it's safe to say at this point I'm pretty much obsessed with the woman. Borderline 'celebrity stalker' tag aside, the point I'm trying to make is that my expectations for Theatre Is Evil were so high, I don't think I've ever anticipated the release of an album more. Palmer took my expectations, shoved them in a rocket ship and launched them into space. Destination? A galaxy far, far away. She exceeded my very high expectations, ok? I am an Amanda Palmer fan, but this album doesn't even need me to look for reasons to defend it. The music speaks for itself.

Cabaret diva, Meow Meow gloriously introduces The Grand Theft Orchestra who launch into the bombastic, anthemic 'Smile (Pictures Or It Didn't Happen).' Amanda Palmer has always had a wonderful way with words and no trends are being bucked just because she's upped the pop sensibilities ante. As she laments the world's current obsession with documenting every facet of life through photography she professes, "we're the last ones laughing, pictures or it didn't happen, get it because we'll all be dead and no one dead can use a camera." Post-punk follow-up 'The Killing Type' showcases a strong rock frontwoman. It's a far cry from her start as the cabaret songstress sitting behind a piano. Her evolution is further addressed in 'Do It With A Rockstar.' It's not often we get to refer to a Palmer-penned track as being a mood brightening, get up and dance number. The Grand Theft Orchestra should be applauded for that. It's the most light-hearted number on the album ("his cousin left his DVD of swingin' in the seventies!"), yet it still leaves you wanting to hear it again. And again. And again and again and again. Even more strange is thinking of an Amanda Palmer track as being commercially viable, but that's exactly what 'Want It Back' is. One of the most energetic, catchy and amazing slices of indie pie to be released in 2012 and yet it still manages to remain Palmer-fied with gorgeous lines like, "I will let you go if you will let somebody love you like I do." 

That energetic bopping thing you think you won't be able to get your head to stop doing automatically ceases as 'Grown Man Cry' begins, giving us our first real reminder that this is still Amanda Palmer we're dealing with here. Always at her best when openly discussing the worst aspects of a relationship, she details her problems with what seems to be a highly, um, sensitive man. "You're standing on the corner, and you're throwing down the gauntlet, it is not a life decision, you just need to pick a restaurant." For our listening pleasure, that songstress sitting behind the piano fully emerges in all her glory alongside a haunting string arrangement by GTO member, Jherek Bischoff on 'Trout Heart Replica.' Stuck in that lonely, in-between relationships state of mind, Palmer visited a trout farm (with future husband Neil Gaiman) where she forced herself to watch the farmer/fisherman/whatever club the trout to death, gut the fish and watch as he pulled out the trout's still-beating heart. It continued to beat for over a minute. She saw her own heart to be the same as the trouts. What's your heart like after hearing 'Trout Heart Replica?' Broken. It's broken. "And killing things is not so hard, it's hurting that's the hardest part, and when the wizard gets to me, I'm asking for a broken heart." In a sign of acknowledgment that you'll need a moment to recover, The Grand Theft Orchestra perform a brief intermission number. Well played, Palmer. You're just about stable enough to catch the opening lines of the more upbeat 'Lost.' Everything's wonderful again as playful tunes fill your ears. And then it happens. 'The Bed Song.'

'The Bed Song' is... it's everything. Joyously opening with 'exhibit A'; happier times that seem to be the start of something wonderful and ending with the devastating 'exhibit E,' it's a story that chronicles the crippling breakdown of communication, intimacy and love in a relationship. "And I lay there wondering what is the matter, is this a matter of worse or of better, you took the blanket so I took the bed sheet, and I would have held you if you'd only... let me." Performed simply, piano and vocal, it stands out amongst every other track on Theatre Is Evil because of its minimal production. It's a move to be celebrated. Palmer's voice subtly delivers blow after blow, her pain as stifled as her inability to be open and honest with her lover. That pain is momentarily unleashed in the bridge after 'exhibit C,' the first instance of communication between the two characters. In a bid not to spoil 'exhibit E,' I'll just say that the second time the two communicate is just as tear-inducing as the first. In my non-professional opinion, there is no greater songwriter in music today than Amanda Palmer; exhibit A - 'The Bed Song.' When VH1 do their storytellers program, Amanda Palmer is who they should be going after. Not P!nk. 'The Bed Song' is a story. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, breathtaking, an artistic achievement. It's everything... and then some. "You picked a mattress and had it delivered, and I walked upstairs and the sight of it made my heart pound, and I wrapped my arms around me." 

'Massachusetts Avenue' and 'Melody Dean' provide a nice pick me up, as The Grand Theft Orchestra triumphantly return to make sure you don't remain too emotionally wrecked. A look back at our star's old stripping days (not so much a dedication to the German capital), the ballad and penultimate number, 'Berlin' has you thinking everything's about to get all 'Bed Song' up in here again, but then the horns start blaring and you picture yourself old and drunk at a cabaret bar having the time of your life. It's that awesome. Well, I know how I'm spending my retirement. The opening and closing piano line is stunning. Expecting a final ballad, I was pleasantly surprised with the footstomping rock and roll riot that is 'Olly Olly Oxen Free.' My emotions say thank you, Amanda. I don't think they could have handled another downer. 'Olly Olly Oxen Free' leaves you with a smile on your face and before you know it, you've convinced yourself why you're going to run an emotional gamut all over again. You know why you're going to do it? Because that's what the best music out there is supposed to do to you. Take you on that journey that makes you think, makes you feel. There's no better guide for that journey than Amanda Palmer. Thank you Amanda for giving me that moment that made me know. Made me know that I'll be listening to Theatre Is Evil for the rest of my life. 

Matt Bond gives Theatre Is Evil five Bjork's out of five...   

by The xx (2012)

See, if you’re looking for a cock-sucking-The-xx-are-the-best-band-ever-to-come-out-of-London-Mercury-award-winning-blah-blah-use-of-minimalism-technically-perfect-review, you’re probably reading the wrong blog. Chances are if that’s what you’re looking for you’re not reading this blog anyway, so I guess that’s a useless point. Some people are going to love this album, some are going to hate it, but regardless, let me start my review with the information that I walked into a shop on Friday and handed over my own hard earned cash to purchase The xx’s actual CD; it didn’t arrive in my emails, I didn’t sit at home in my pyjamas and download it, or worse yet, I didn’t appropriate the music via illegal sources. This should say a lot about what type of review you’re reading. 

For me, The xx do not produce the type of music that I immediately love, that grabs and shakes me and makes me glad to be alive, which makes reviewing them as new music a little difficult. For me, they make the type of music that lives with me, that slowly wraps itself around me like the beginning of winter, which day by day becomes colder and colder until the depth of the season has set in and I live comfortably inside it. Coexist is exactly the same. It hasn’t pushed any boundaries; it’s The xx doing what they do well, but perhaps even more sparse than their first album; yet still comfortably xx-ish. There’s a lot of space in the tracks, a lot of room to fill, and while I know spaces don’t always need to be filled, sometimes there’s enough time for me to wonder why they weren’t. Those spaces, the room for thought, is what can make this album a little hard to digest, as it’s so very mellow I have to keep reminding myself to listen. When I do listen I’m surprised and amazed, but it’s the concentration, the remembering to listen that’s the problem. 

Which songs will be the singles are obvious, the songs to be remixed evident, the songs perfect for TV are recognizable. My favourite track, the opener ‘Angels’, remains my favourite, but that’s not to say that over the next few months other songs won’t seep into my consciousness as I play them in the car, over dinner, floating through my house and maybe (hopefully) I’ll fall in love over and over again (I’m looking at you 'Reunion,' 'Sunset' and 'Our Song.') Let’s go back to the start of this review then. On Friday I went to a shop and physically purchased this album to savour on my drive home. Now, having listened, would I do that again? Yes, I suspect I would and that probably says all you need to know about what I think of this album.

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


Anything Could Happen
by Ellie Goulding

Marry me, EG! That is all... 

Matt Bond gives the 'Anything Could Happen' video three Britney's out of five...  


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Top 20 - 9 September, 2012

Amanda Palmer; more than happy to write songs that will emotionally cripple you.

1. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra - The Bed Song (NEW)

2. British India - I Can Make You Love Me (NEW)

3. Muse - Madness

4. Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen

5. Laneway - Love Is A Devil

Saturday, 8 September 2012

It's My Kind of Interview - Alexander Gow (Oh Mercy)

Alexander Gow (Oh Mercy)
Little BIGSOUND Performing Artist

Q. Along with the rest of Oh Mercy, Alexander Gow is having a pretty good year, yes? You've got new album Deep Heat out to rave reviews and it was recently the feature album on Triple J. The Deep Heat tour kicks off this month, but before that you'll be stopping in Brisbane for a solo performance at Little BIGSOUND. What's the best thing that's happened to you in 2012?

Alexander: Visiting the Pendleton factory in Portland was maybe the best thing. I saved up a bit of money and bought a beautiful blanket.

Q. What's the worst?

Alexander: Rohan (accidentally) turning onto 4 lanes of oncoming traffic in Manhattan.

Q. What do you think about the concept of a day like Little BIGSOUND, where young artists can listen to and learn from established performers and industry professionals?

Alexander: I think it will be helpful for young people to understand how some of the mechanics of the music industry work. It's all very mysterious from the outside and breaking down those barriers will help emerging talent to build a foundation for themselves.

Q. What advice can you offer to someone searching for their big break into music?

Alexander: Try to figure what satisfies you musically and stick with it. If the thing that makes you different to everyone else is also satisfying, all the better.

Q. Oh Mercy's Deep Heat tour kicks off on September 21 at The Zoo in Brisbane. What can fans, old and new, expect from the show?

Alexander: I'll be sans guitar for the majority of the set. Eliza is the star of the show

Q. Who have you been listening to the most this year?

Alexander: Jorge Ben - Forca Bruta.

Q. We talk about Brisbane based acts a lot on this blog. You're from Melbourne. So, who are some awesome emerging Melbourne-based acts we should be listening to?

I have just started listening to a Melbourne band called Lower Plently. They have an newish album called Hard Rubbish. It's great.

In the near future debut albums from Slow Dancer and Kieran Ryan will be excellent also.


Don't forget, Little BIGSOUND is next weekend, just after BIGSOUND! For more info, check out our preview.