Thursday, 29 November 2012

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - The Best and Worst of the ARIA Awards

The Best and Worst of the ARIA Awards
by Jo Michelmore

So, the ARIA’s. (For those readers outside Australia, they’re the Australian Recording Industry Association Awards.) They’re on tonight, you know? Did you know? You do now. Whether you watch or not is totally up to you. I suggest finding a tasty beverage and a good book; you’ll at least be using some portion of your beautiful brain if you spend your evening that way. Maybe you should download an Australian album and have a dance around your lounge room. That would be productive as it would support the Australian music industry in some small way. Even better, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, find a little bar and a local band and actually go and watch some live music. You might discover something amazing. For goodness sake, even going to a dubious pub and watching someone sing INXS numbers at some dodgy karaoke event would be more exciting than the actual award ceremony.

If you do happen to watch the ARIA’s, you’re going to witness all sorts of under-dressed musicians (probably intoxicated) and a lot of awkward speeches, international ‘celebrities’ that have nothing to do with the Australian music industry and a bunch of old people that you won’t know, clapping for artists they’ve never heard of. I know this first hand. Yes it’s true, I myself have attended an awards ceremony, the ARIA’s poor cousin, the Australian Music Awards (no longer in existence), when I was a wee child, many years ago, a lot shorter and somewhat less fashionable than I am now (thank you to my parents for being so cool and taking me to a music awards show. Yep, it’s true, my parents rule.) I don’t actually remember a lot, except that it was full of annoying pauses, being told when to applaud and a lot of boredom. I don’t suppose the ARIA’s are much different.

It kind of upsets me that the ARIA’s are a bit of a joke. I mean, they’re Australia’s music industry night of nights, but they just end up being an embarrassment; to everyone. On the bright side, they were responsible for one of my favourite live TV moments ever, that infamous moment when Jessica Mauboy presented an award to Tame Impala for their ‘dee-but’ album in 2010. Then she said it twice. Brilliant. (It’s ok Jessica; I still like you, probably more after that.) One day I shall attend an ARIA ceremony and I shall be better dressed than the majority of those that liked to be called ‘celebrities’ and I shall also probably be more deserving of an award than most of the people who win. I shall drink some colourful beverages and I shall find Tim Rogers (who will be attending because he will still be as self-important as ever, years from now) and I shall slap him. It will be a good day. Until then, let’s look at when the ARIA awards have got it so right and then sometimes, so wrong….

Kylie Minogue

Let’s start with one of the most well-known and probably one of the best. Kylie. What is there to say about her that hasn’t already been said? This year marks her 25th year in the music industry and in that 25 years she’s managed to win three Brit awards, a Grammy, a whole bunch of MTV awards, she even won a couple of Logies and of course, sixteen ARIA’s so far, as well as being inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame, whatever that means. OK, I’ll admit it; every now and then the ARIA’s get it right.

Dannii Minogue

Yes, well, Kylie has this sister you see. She’s won some awards too. Like, the Glamour Award in 2007 (what?), a Smash Hits Award in 1991 (Smash who?) and the Number One Celeb Of The Year Award in 2008 (who votes and presents this award remains a mystery. Dannii herself, perhaps?) Dannii hasn’t even won a Logie, let alone an ARIA and rightly so. Congratulations ARIA’s, another time where you got it right. After all, there’s a reason Dannii is our ‘one head’ for some of our reviews. Among other atrocities, she was responsible for ‘This Is Shit It’ in 1993.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The K-Tizzle Sizzle - Judge Judy? Judge Katie More Like...

Court is in session.

Judge Judy? Judge Katie More Like...
by Katie Langley

I love live music. I love the swell of anticipation from the crowd in the moments before the show begins. I love letting the music wash over me. I love the shows which absolutely blow my expectations. A twisted part of me also loves the shows where it’s like watching a train crash (Ben Lee, anyone?). But my absolute favourite thing to do is people watch (read: judge).

Having an eclectic taste in music, and a somewhat “open heart open mind” policy means that I’ve been to all sorts of concerts from Job for a Cowboy, to Crystal Castles, to Prince, to Static-X, to Aqua. The latter is much to the embarrassment of some of my friends. I don’t want to name names, but one of these people actually owns the single “Freestyler” by the Bomfunk MC’s. Enough said.

I have never felt like I belong to any particular group. I’m not a hippie. I’m not a punk. I’m not an emo. I’m not a hipster. I’m not tan-o-rexic. Yes, I wear a lot of black, but goth I am not! I feel like I sit somewhere outside of all of these groups, which means I’ll quite happily pass judgement. Hey, don’t pretend like you don’t either.

Hed PE
@ The Hi-Fi  (2012)

It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that I was one of 10 women at this concert. At first, this excited me. The expression sausage-fest sprang to mind. But it wasn’t long before I realised that this explosion of testosterone was not a good thing.

Looking around me it became apparent that I was rubbing shoulders with all of the white boy wannabe gangstas of Brisbane. There was a common theme of baggy Dickies, trucker caps, and a whole lot of aggression.

I started feeling really uneasy, and with good reason. Some idiot came charging through the crowd, walked right up to a man standing near me, and punched him in the face. How this didn’t descend into an all-out brawl I’ll never know. What I do know is that I was very grateful of the company of my tall beardy bud Brendan.

Hed PE fans.

Hed PE crowd judgement: Angry white boys. Steroid takers.

@ The Arena (2003)


I jumped on the AFI bandwagon following the release of “Sing the Sorrow”, and was ecstatic to get a ticket to this concert. Oooo, Davey, I looooove you. Or something.

I muscled my way to the second or third row, and had a prime viewing position. To this day, it remains one of my favourite concerts. There was electricity in the crowd that is hard to put into words. So much so, that a grown man in front of me literally started weeping. Actual water. Actual tears.

AFI crowd judgement: Emotional. Onion cutters.

@ BEC (Last week)

Now, I’d like to make it clear that I didn’t actually attend this concert. I happen to get off at the same train stop as the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. I didn’t realise until later in the evening that Nickelback were playing, but on the train ride home I did notice an increase in the number of white jogger wearing people.

As I got off the train and started walking to my car I stumbled across a “gentlemen” pissing near my vehicle. Charming. Just. Charming.

Just your average Nickelback fan.

Nickelback crowd judgement: Bogans. Animals.

@ RNA Showgrounds (2011)


It’s true, I have a love of cheesey r’n’b and hip hop. They don’t call me K-Tizzle for nothin’!
I can honestly say that I have never felt so out of my depth in a crowd. Apparently I missed the memo on booty shorts and midriff revealing tops. Needless to say, the comfort and sun safe option (jeans and long sleeved shirt) had me standing out like a sore thumb.

There was a lot of grinding. A lot of skin. And I even saw some nipples.

Look, don’t get me wrong, Snoop Dogg might get me to drop it like it’s hot (badoom-tish), but there’s no way I’m showing him my nips.

Supafest crowd judgement: Skank ass ho’s. Ho’s from different area codes.

@ The Arena (2007)


The Hellyeah crowd are a drinking crowd. They get knocked down, and they get up again. Repeat.
I knew I was in for a big night when I met a man named “Hellvis”. Yes, he was a heavy metal Elvis complete with mutton chops and a cape.

I know I had a good time and was flung around like a fool with the rest of the crowd, but the specifics are somewhat blurry. Needless to say, the night ended with me vomiting on myself. Always the sign of a good time, right?

Hellyeah crowd judgement: Drunks. Blank.

@ The Tivoli (2006)

Mid-way through Devildriver’s set I felt my arse being squeezed. Initially I thought it was an accident. But then, the squeezing continued. This was no accident. Now, if you’ve ever been to a Devildriver show you’ll know that there are a lot of burly dudes with long hair. This may not excite you, but it sure does make me happy. So imagine my surprise when I spin around in anticipation, only to find a goth lady decked out in her finest PVC giving me a sly grin as she says “well hello, sweetheart”.

Devildriver crowd judgement: Perverts. Lesbians.

Skrillex. Just your average Lesbian.

And what does this say for me? After all, I’ve been to all of these shows! Pervert? Sure. I’ve been known to leer and make inappropriate comments. Skank ass ho? Yep, sometimes. But bogan? No. Remember, I wasn’t actually at that concert.

You have entered the courtroom of Judge Katie. The concerts are real. The crowds are real. The judgements are final.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Predictions: ARIA Awards 2012

In two days time the biggest acts in Australian music (aka the good, the bad and the Reece Mastin) will compete against each other for Oz's greatest prizes. Nope, not talking about the J Awards. They've been given out already. I am of course talking about the ARIA Awards, to be shown not on a normal television channel, but on the less glamorous 'Go.' Wow.

It's been a huge year for the local industry, with Gotye kicking chart butt all over the world with 'Somebody That I Used To Know' and buzz bands like The Jezabels and The Temper Trap getting a whole lot of attention with the incredible albums, Prisoner and The Temper Trap. Aussie hip hop found a new king in 360, while the Hilltop Hoods have secured their status as a pioneering force for the genre. In a sign of the changing landscape, 360 leads the nominations list and is up for six awards including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Artist.

Not-so-Australian, Kimbra is also looking to score back-to-back wins for Best Female Artist and has vowed to tear up the stage with a showstopping performance. The Jezabels, The Temper Trap, 360 and Jessica Mauboy are all lined up to perform. With that line-up, I might even watch the show. Just kidding. In all honesty though I'll just be watching because I'm sorta-kinda-maybe stalking Kimbra. What of it?

Anywho, since we all love to predict what's going to happen at these awards shows, I thought I'd throw my two-cents in. Let us know who you're tipping for top honours as well.

Breakthrough Artist - Release


360 - Falling and Flying
Alpine - A is For Alpine
Lanie Lane - To The Horses
Matt Corby - Brother
San Cisco - Awkward

Let's start with an easy one. All five artists are deserving winners (a rare moment of clarity, ARIA peeps?), but seriously... this is 360's to lose. Always go for the acts that are in contention for Album of the Year.

Who Should Win: Lanie Lane
Who Will Win: 360

Best Pop Release


Gotye - Making Mirrors
Guy Sebastian - Battle Scars
Jessica Mauboy - Gotcha
Kimbra - Vows
San Cisco - Awkward

See, this is where the ARIA's tend to be a bit of a fail to me. How can you have albums competing against singles? Last year Gotye won with 'Somebody That I Used To Know,' so should he even be allowed to go for awards again since Making Mirrors stood out based on that song alone? Sorry if the truth smacking you in the face hurt, Gotye fans. Regardless, Gotye is likely to come out of this year's show as a big winner. Even if Vows is the far superior album. 

Who Should Win: Kimbra
Who Will Win: Gotye 

Best Dance Release


Havana Brown - When The Lights Go Out
Hermitude - Hyperparadise
Ivan Gough and Feenixpawl ft. Georgi Kay - In My Mind
Knife Party - Rage Valley
Sneaky Sound System - From Here To Anywhere

I'm not going to pretend I know anything about Hermitude and Feenixpawl and friends, so let's remove them from the equation. H Brown. She's had a profile boost since that time I saw her DJing with no pants on at the Family. Chart success in the US of A with 'We Run The Night' and that song where she lures a dude to a party by leaving shoes everywhere in the video (I think he just wants to be friends?) make her a frontrunner. ARIA voters love it when someone hits it big overseas. But she shouldn't win. This is really between Knife Party and Sneaky Sound System. Two dudes from Pendulum who are wildly in demand on the dance scene (and deservedly so) versus a mostly forgotten but progressive electronic/pop duo that features one of the funnest vocalists in the country. 

Who Should Win: Sneaky Sound System
Who Will Win: Pendulum Knife Party

Best Group


Boy and Bear
Cold Chisel
Hilltop Hoods
The Jezabels
The Temper Trap

Who are Boy and Bear again? Cold Chisel get the nostalgic nod and if it's a hip hop heavy night, the Hilltop Hoods could walk out winner. But remember what I said about Album of the Year nominees? When they're up for a lesser award, expect them to win. In this case, there's two of them; The Jezabels and The Temper Trap. Both are deserving, so who's it going to be?

Who Should Win: The Jezabels
Who Will Win: The Jezabels

Best Male Artist


Angus Stone
Guy Sebastian
Keith Urban
Matt Corby

You know, part of me wants to see 360 win this. But Gotye did lead the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks this year. But that was in America. Oooooh. Tough one.

Who Should Win: Gotye
Who Will Win: Gotye 

Best Female Artist


Jessica Mauboy
Lanie Lane
Missy Higgins

I love you Kimbra, but following my trusty formula there's only one logical winner here. And she's Australian music's golden girl. Who's actually Australian. Thanks for coming Washington, Lanie Lane and J Mauboy!

Who Should Win: Kimbra
Who Will Win: Missy Higgins

Song Of The Year


360 ft. Gossling - Boys Like You
Delta Goodrem - Sitting On Top Of The World
Guy Sebastian - Don't Worry Be Happy
Hilltop Hoods ft. Sia - I Love It
Jessica Mauboy ft. Stan Walker - Galaxy
Justice Crew - Boom Boom
Matt Corby - Brother
Reece Mastin - Good Night
Ricki-Lee - Do It Like That
Timomatic - Set It Off

Sweet. Merciful. Zeus. I believe this is a fan voted award... which terrifies me. The thought of Delta Goodrem's 'Sitting On Top Of The World' winning should make me feel sick, but the thought of Reece Mastin or Timomatic or Justice Crew or Ricki Lee or Guy Sebastian winning for those songs... I need to take a moment. 


This is the worst thing to happen. Ever. Never put power like this in the hands of the general population.

Who Should Win: 360 ft. Gossling
Who Will Win: Someone awful.
Who Will Lose: People with taste. 

Album Of The Year


360 - Falling and Flying
Gotye - Making Mirrors
Missy Higgins - The Ol' Razzle Dazzle
The Jezabels - Prisoner
The Temper Trap - The Temper Trap

Five pretty awesome albums, but you can't really say who it's going to be. A 360 win would be huge. Gotye winning would cap off a ridiculously successful eighteen months. Missy Higgins is one of the country's greatest musical assests. The Jezabels have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with and The Temper Trap are... well... they're like Coldplay. But good. They should be playing stadium shows around the country right now. I honestly have no idea who's going to take this one out... and that kind of makes it a little bit interesting. Right?

Who Should Win: The Jezabels
Who Will Win: 360... or Gotye.  

Monday, 26 November 2012

New Music Monday #33

For The Wolfman
by Tired Lion


Probably my favourite thing the past couple of days has been hitting the play button again and again on the new track ‘For The Wolfman’ from Perth four piece Tired Lion. Beginning softly with the sweet voice of singer Sophie Hopes it only takes a verse to fall in love before the emotionally charged guitar kicks in and the vocal pleads “stay away from me….” There’s such a fresh, almost live sound to the song so with every listen I’m waiting for something different to happen and pleasantly surprised when it ends because it means I can hear it again from the start. The hypnotic guitar riff throughout is mesmerizing and with one song it’s obvious this is a band that know the power of light and dark and understand the pleasure in taking their listeners on a little journey through song. Although there are comparisons to a whole bunch of shoe-gazing 90’s alternative bands, I don’t like to cast a pre-conceived shadow over a band that clearly have their own talent and sound and hopefully have a big future ahead of them. You really should just press play, but be warned, you’ll be pressing it again and again….and again.

Jo Michelmore gives 'For The Wolfman' four Michael Hutchence's out of five...

Deep End
by Future Relative

Brooklyn's Future Relative are one act you can mark as 'keep an eye on' in 2013. If their new track 'Deep End' is anything to go by, they're going to be offering us some of the greatest electronic/pop jams of the year. Borderline industrial and 100% ready for the floor, 'Deep End' is that perfect track to get you in the mood for a good dance and one massive night out. Future Relative bravely distance themselves from dance trends while maintaining a good grasp of what makes a pop tune work. It leaves you jumping around screaming, "I am a lonely hunter," along with vocalist Armand Aviram and, at the end of the day, that's all a great track really needs to do. We'll be keeping a close eye on these guys.

Matt Bond gives 'Deep End' four Shirley Manson's out of five...


Florence: She's just really sad and stuff.

Lover To Lover
by Florence + The Machine


Despite my attempts to resist the video for what seems like Florence's seventy-first single from Ceremonials, I just can't. It's Florence + The Machine. It's 'Lover To Lover.' It's beautifully shot and tells a great little story. Just one thing. Why is every indie chanteuse hooking up with an old fella in her video these days?

Matt Bond gives the 'Lover To Lover' video three Karen O's out of five...

Guy: He just really cares and stuff.
Get Along
by Guy Sebastian 

Guy Sebastian, it's not that I dislike him, it's just I can't find much to really like. There’s nothing especially offensive about this clip, but there’s absolutely nothing inspiring about it either, which is a problem when it’s obviously supposed to be a political statement; “dear God, dear soul, dear Mary, Mohammed, can we all just get along, can we all just get along?” Well, obviously not, or the world would be a very different place, wouldn’t it? Shots of Sebastian looking pensive interspersed with newsreel footage of people from all corners of the planet; this isn’t new, this isn’t life changing and this isn’t very good. Some musicians seem to be able to tread a fine line between entertainer and preacher/political analyst/commentator, but those that do it well are rare. The rest just seem fake and a little ignorant. I’m sorry Guy, but could you leave your preaching sentiments at home, there are already enough people with ill-informed opinions on this planet. How about you just stick to entertaining teenagers?   

Jo Michelmore gives the 'Get Along' video one Nikki Webster out of five... 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gig Review - Gay Paris

Live @ Ric's, Fortitude Valley
Review by Katie Langley

I’ve told you all before, but I’ll tell you again. I love Gay Paris. They are one of my absolute favourite bands to see live. There are always beards, and a whole lot of boogie. Their show at Rics for the Death to Spring tour was no exception.

I was sceptical of their choice of venue; however, it proved to be the perfect place for crowd interaction, participation and perspiration.

They opened the set with “My First Wife? She Was a Fox Queen!”. The band were in fine form, as usual, however front man Luke Wailin’ H Monks was quick to observe that the crowd lacked a little spark, and assured us all that although their 9pm set was early, it was not too early to party. Thrust. No, really, he jumped off the stage and grinded on a man in the front row.

As the band introduced us to their new material, including single “The Demarcation Of Joseph Hollybone”, and the crowd downed a couple of extra drinks, the room started whipping into a frenzy. There was the usual hi-fiving, and victory cheering between the band and audience at the completion of each song. That will never get old for me.

My favourite moment in the set was when Luke encouraged crowd members to take off his pants, while he lay back on the stage and rapped. Could it get any better than this?

The antics continued with an impromptu crowd surf which saw drinks spilt everywhere. As everyone took a step backwards we realised that our head thrust-master was about to clock his head of the ground. Uh oh. The lady in front of me saved the day. Phew.

By the time the band launched into “The Black Tooth Supper Club", the crowd was well and truly in the zone. Random punters started pouring in, intrigued by the skinny ginger man in his underpants. During this song a member of the audience jumped on stage and lent a hand to vocals. It was amazing.

There’s a certain standard that you come to expect from their shows – stripping, hi-fiving, thrusting – but there’s always the element of surprise. The band really thrive off of the audience, be it men with obnoxious shirts, or busty goths. It’s this element of surprise that keeps me going back for more. That, and all the beards.

I love Gay Paris.

Top 20 - 25 November, 2012

Crystal Castles' Alice. She got sad eyes...

1. Flight Facilities ft. Christine Hoberg - Clair De Lune

2. Crystal Castles - Sad Eyes (NEW)


3. Guards - Coming True (NEW)


4. Sarah Blasko - Cast The Net

5. Abbe May - Karmageddon

Thursday, 22 November 2012

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - A Love Letter To The 90s Pop Ballad

90s Whitney. Sigh...

It's been seven hours and fifteen days (not exact number) since….” I found myself out on a Friday night, well, actually, a Saturday morning, about 2am, surrounded by intoxicated people singing along, word for word to a song I've been known to love “…I go out every night and sleep all day, since you took your love away…” yep, it’s an involuntary thing isn’t it? You know the words, we all know the words, whether you like the song or not. They find themselves being screamed at people across bars at 2am, unexpectedley, they find themselves being sung along to whenever they're played. “I said nothing can take away these blues, 'cause nothing compares, nothing compares to you”. Yep, the curse of the pop ballad is that they manage to seep into your subconsious and no matter where you hear them, you'll know some of the words at some stage and before you know it you'll be singing along. No decade was more in love with the pop ballad than the 90's. I’m happy to admit it, I love some of them. Like the 80’s rock ballad we discussed earlier this month, the 90’s pop ballad is a secret (not so secret) love of mine. They’re the types of songs that you will either cry with or laugh hysterically at, but either way, we've all belted out a pop ballad at some stage....right?

Show Me Heaven
by Maria McKee, 1990

It starts with the words; ”There you go, flashing fever from your eyes”. I have no idea what that means. Flashing fever from your eyes sounds quite dramatic and possibly something that should be checked out by a medical professional. There’s also references to shaking like a breeze (which begs the question, how do breezes shake?) and shivers down her spine, which sounds like the possibility of a disorder of the nervous system. This song is just full of symptoms of larger medical problems, isn’t it? At least she’s polite, I suppose, for she does ask "show me heaven, please". My mum said politeness would get you far in life, but maybe she was wrong. I mean, where are you now Maria?

All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You
by Heart, 1990

Long story short: girl in relationship with man wants kid, man can’t manage to help produce kid. Girl finds a one night stand, one night stand 'helps her be woman numerous times' in one night (yes, first of many terrible lyrics in this song) and gets her pregnant. She tells man she is in relationship with that the baby is his. One day she runs into one night stand on the street, in a shop, at a burger joint (the place is irrelevant, but I imagine they are the types of places she hangs out). One night stand recognises the kid as his own. She begs him not to tell anyone, then continues on her chorus about all she wants to do is make love to you, which is either her partner or the one night stand, who knows by this stage? It’s a four minute song. A lot can happen in that time. Ok, so long story not shortened that much, but I have to say, this song also contains some of my least favourite lyrics, in any song, ever. Here, I'll share them with you; “I told him I am the flower you are the seed, we walked in the garden we planted a tree”. (Yes, that’s referencing sex. Unsafe sex in which someone gets pregnant. There's a lesson boys and girls. If you don't want babies and have unsafe sex with someone of the opposite sex someone may end up pregnant. Duh.) How cringeworthy. How awful. What an awful pop ballad. What an awesome pop ballad.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The K-Tizzle $izzle - Ke$ha and K-Tizzle

Ke$ha and K-Tizzle
Separated at birth?
by Katie Langley

When Ke$ha first burst onto the scene advising us all that she brushed her teeth with Jack Daniel’s dentists all over the world “tut-tutted”. Me? I resisted the urge to jump on a plane and push her down a flight of stairs. “Who is Ke$ha?” I pondered, and “has she showered in the last 4 weeks?”

Fast forward several years and it is only love (may be a slight over-reaction) I feel for Kesha Rose Sebert aka Ke$ha. Shocked? Look, I was too, until I realised why she warms the cockles of my heart… We are sisters from another mister! Actually, that’s a lie, we’re not sisters at all. But we do share a lot of similarities. Allow me to explain why “Keh dollar sign ha” is not so bad.

1. We have nicknames that make people cringe.

Ke$ha. The dollar sign… Annoying! What’s wrong with the letter “s”? Is it not sexy enough? Is the dollar sign sexy? What happens when she travels internationally?

K-Tizzle. Why does a white girl have a rap name? Is she really the blackest white woman in Brisbane? Why does she talk about herself in third person all of the time? Annoying!

2. We have an unusual love of beards.

My love of facial hair has been well publicised. But did you know that Ke$ha also shares a fondness for beards? Ke$ha loves beards so much that she has started her own blog called “Put Your Beard In My Mouth” ( . Gross to many, appreciated by yours truly. 

Ke$ha gate crashed a recent Gay Paris gig in Sydney and had a nice nibble of the ever-so-daper Blacktooth’s beard. But really, who can blame her?

3. We have hair that cannot be tamed.

As a little izzle my parents would read “Katie’s Curls” to me most days. It was the story of a girl whose hair would never lay straight, and would never lay flat. Katie tried all sorts of tricks to get that pesky hair under control, but nothing worked. By the end Katie learned to love her wild flowing locks.

This story is not too dissimilar from my own hair story. It’s curly. It’s unruly. And often it will not be tamed. As a side note, it’s also been known to attract men of the African variety.

I think we’d all agree that, some days, Ke$ha’s hair could do with a brush and some gel. But as a fellow curly girl, I can relate and empathise with the trials and tribulations of kinky hair.

4. Neither of us can rap.

If you’ve listened to Ke$ha’s music, and been lucky enough to get a ride in my car, then you know this to be true. And if you’ve been in my car while we’ve listened to Ke$ha, then boy, you really hit the jackpot.

Me and my bud KeSha, we only rap caucasionally. Hell, someone even brought be a shirt that says so.

5. We dance to the beat of our own drum.

This is just a polite way of saying that we’re bat shit crazy. Wait. This might be a slight overreaction. We might be better described as kooky, zany. Or even fun. Yes, fun. Fun people convince their team of 13 to flash-mob a colleague in the workplace.

Have you ever seen a Ke$ha video clip? “Blow” features James Van Der Beek (James Van Der Douche), a make-out scene with a unicorn and rainbows. Fun!

In the world of cookie cutter perfection, a la Katy Perry, it’s refreshing to have a pop-tart who’s comfortable in their own skin. Shit. Who am I kidding? I’m just happy there’s another weirdo out there who’s as obsessed with beards as me.

P.S. Unlike Ke$ha, I shower every day.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

10 and 1 - Guess That's Why They Call It Window Pain

For some unknown reason I've been listening to a whole lot of Eminem lately. Not just his newer albums, I've been listening to practically his whole catalogue. Like many of you, I was a big fan of the outrageous white boi rapper from Detroit who seemed to be on a mission to offend as many people as humanly possible. Who didn't love that? Maybe this love was what was blinding me to just how painfully funny some of Eminem's lyrics are. The emphasis there is on the painful section of painfully. I've compiled ten of my favourites below, for your perusal. Some are the good 'ha ha' kind of funny. Some are really not that kind of funny. But they're so bad, they're... you know the rest. And since this is the 10 and 1, I'll throw in one of the King of Hip Hop's best lines too. Enjoy!  

THE 10:

I feel like my head has been shredded like lettuce and cabbage.
'Cum On Everybody' - THE SLIM SHADY LP

It's funny... because it's so bad. You would think the worst thing about a song called 'Cum On Everybody' would be the title. You would be wrong. Nothing says total badass MC like comparing your state of mind to the two most harmless vegetables in the world. 

So Gwen Stefani, will you pee pee on me please?
I ain't never seen an ass like that.
Cuz the way you move it, you make my pee pee go doing, doing, doing.
'Ass Like That' - ENCORE

It's funny... when you think of the look on Gwen Stefani's face when she heard that line. I imagine it was something like this: 

Oh hell no.

Monday, 19 November 2012

New Music Monday #32

Put it away, love...

Lotus (Album)
by Christina Aguilera


Open ears, open mind. I promised myself I'd listen to Christina Aguilera's latest album, Lotus, while embodying that mantra. She made it hard. Oh boy... did she make it hard. Over sixteen tracks that range from pop gems to absolute garbage, we're reminded in a most frustrating way that Aguilera has completely lost any sense of who she is as a performing artist.

Let's wind the clocks back for a bit of storytelling. The lazily nicknamed Xtina emerged as the skankalicious rival to the sweet and innocent Britney Spears. She went from dirrty assless chaps and rat-like dreads to Golden Age Hollywood glamour as cray cray Britney got into fights with cars armed only with an umbrella. Christina took home the Grammys and won respect from the industry and her fans with hit after hit and her undeniably amazing voice. People loved her when she was a skanky ho, leaving not a soul shocked when she pashed Madonna at the VMAs and people loved her when she had a bit of class. She had direction and she was incredibly talented. One of the most celebrated vocalists of her generation. Now? She's sort of just there, enjoying her reclaimed fame as a judge on The Voice who's trying a little too hard to compete with the Lady-Katy-Ke$ha's out there.

Lotus, Aguilera's seventh album is all over the place. Different genres, out of place collaborations, heartbreaking ballads, ready for the club anthems; there's too many different Christina's fighting against each other and I'm pretty sure you can figure out which one stands out. The one you want to hear more of. Christina Aguilera, badass vocalist. Duh. As she sings through the Sia penned 'Blank Page,' you have no choice but to appreciate how beautiful her voice is. This is the young woman who blew us all away when she tore the house down with 'It's A Man's World' at the Grammy Awards in 2007. With 'Blank Page' you almost find yourself forgiving the indistinguishable bulk of Lotus; 'Red Hot Kinda Love,' 'Let There Be Love,' 'Cease Fire,' 'Around the World.' I could keep going. Is that even Xtina singing on 'Circles?'


The duets with Voice judges Cee-Lo Green and Blake Shelton aren't necessarily bad, they just seem bizarrely placed amongst the other tracks. Especially the Shelton duet, 'Just A Fool.' Kelly Clarkson must have bailed on Blake in the studio that day. It's a nice showcase for Aguilera's voice, but it's a country-rock ballad. How does it fit in with the other songs? It doesn't. 'Light Up The Sky' is the big torch anthem. It's a great pop track that shows off Aguilera's voice with a memorable, thundering and uplifting chorus. A much more suitable choice for a second single than the already selected 'Just A Fool.' All good things must come to an end and in this case, things get ridiculous with the album's closing track 'Shut Up.' Seriously, after hearing that chorus I really did want you to "shut the f--- up" Christina. Closing with a tacky, annoying number really doesn't do you any favours. 

Open ears, open mind. You're going to need both to survive an encounter with Lotus. The brief glimpses of a bonafide superstar are rewarding, but, like I just said... brief. Here's hoping Christina takes a step back and reflects on just who she really wants to be now. Because, sadly, this album is her worst. Ever. And I can't even name a song other than 'Genie In A Bottle' from her first one. Except for 'What A Girl Wants.' And 'I Turn To You.' That is all.

Matt Bond gives Lotus two Ke$ha's out of five...

Coming True
by Guards

New York City's Guards sure know how to make you forget about crappy music you may or may not have just been listening to. I know nothing about them, but I'm loving this track 'Coming True.' As anthemic and catchy a chorus as you're likely to hear in the indie world these days and that's saying a lot. Guards don't seem like they're trying to force anything or be who they aren't. Just listen to the song. You'll love it.

Matt Bond gives 'Coming True' four Shirley Manson's out of five... 


We Own The Sky
by Neon Wolf


We love Neon Wolf. We love 'We Own The Sky.' It really shouldn't surprise you then that we love the video for their new single 'We Own The Sky.' Young Irish kids living it up in the sunshine and rocking out in the forest at night. I'd say it's perfectly complimentary. The closing shot of the smiling lass with the flare was perfect. And almost enough to make me forget how... interesting... some of the kids looked dancing. Great video and we hope 'We Own The Sky' kicks chart butt in Ireland and beyond.

Matt Bond gives the 'We Own The Sky' video three Karen O's out of five...

Text Review - Harvest Festival 2012

Live from the Botanic Gardens, Brisbane - 18/11/2012.
Reviewed through the wonders of text messaging...

Ah, the one day music festival. A day chock full of rushing around to catch glimpses of your favourite acts, wasted time in toilet queues, wasted time in drink lines, sunshine, friends... it's pretty awesome. Did I say sunshine? Sorry, I meant rain and hail and getting kicked out of tents because of lightning strike fears and superstorm Shaz! That's what you would have copped today at the Harvest Festival. While Jo Michelmore was dancing in the rain and reviewing bands (and dodging ice bullets) with Cordell, Matt Long and Nayt (friends of It's My Kind of Scene), Matt Bond was sitting at home eating cakes and pie while sending Jo useless text after useless text. You now get to read about all this and more in the 2012 Harvest Festival text review. Because there's no better way to review something than by text. Enjoy.


Jo: Harvest review part one (from my bed): awoken by loud claps of thunder and heavy rain. This would normally be lovely. Today? Not so. Weather, you suck. Thoughts of where are my gumboots and where did I put my poncho? Actual thoughts of can I be bothered? Uuuuuurgghhhh. 

Matt: Did you see this superstorm is called Shaz? Only in Australia. 


Matt: Has Harvest kicked off yet?

Jo: Started at 11 but I'm just trying to convince myself to get ready now. Aiming to see Dandy's at 2. The weather is a little teeny bit clearer now, so to poncho or not to poncho, that is the question. 

Matt: To poncho. Stay dry. Fuck you Harvest! 

Jo: Wise you are. Poncho it is then. Fuck you Harvest! 


Jo: Hi from Harvest! Any textual grammar and spelling imperfections can be blamed on texting through a ziplock bag. Dexys: it's raining. You old. Dandys: its sunny. You old. (On a side note, CTT has lost weight and it doesn't look like a train wreck is going to happen. Both disappointing and impressive.)

Matt: Yell out I love Jim Jones and see if he has a meltdown. 


Jo: Silversun Pickups: wow, I didn't realise there was a Dandy Warhols not as good as the originals cover band in the lineup. Twice the Dandy! Maybe. Mike Pattons Mondo Cane: what a weird great weird slightly portly weird unattractive weird multi-linguist weird great probably talented man you are Mr Patton. You also managed to attract an audience containing bogans yelling Faith No More lyrics and others drinking Jamesons straight from the bottle. How interesting. Well done.


Jo: Cake: what do I say about a band that tells me to enjoy it cause they're probably never coming back again? Um, I say this... shut your cakehole and fuck off. It's indicative of your performance that all I can think about while you're playing are sweet treats. Maybe there's a bakery caravan here somewhere. The Black Angels: at every festival there's always a band that you accidentally stumble across and love. This is that band for me. Bluesy, rootsy, rock, goodness. Love. 

Matt: Hey I just ate cake! 

Matt: ...And pie. 


Jo: We were kicked out of a tent due to risk of lightning strikes. Its hailing on us. Its cold and Matt is getting molested by a fat NZ man in the happy high herbs tent. This is so bizarre. Help me. Help us somehow. The apocalypse has begun. 

Jo: This text review has taken a weird turn...

Matt: Sweet merciful Zeus. First things first; save Matt Long. If it's the end of the world, no one deserves to be going out whilst a fat new zealander molests them. Second, Beck isn't worth it. What? Sorry. Awkies. 

Jo: Beck can suck it! Matt is ok but the food vans have closed. Now we'll die of hunger while we wait for the next storm to roll through. Also, my arse is uncomfortably wet and cold. This is equally hilarious and crap.

Matt: It's making for a wonderful review though... ?


Jo: Storm: cold, heavy and electrifying, you demanded a lot from your audience, you left the crowd in fear and slightly bruised, but goddamn, you were more entertaining that a whole bunch of others in todays lineup. 


Jo: Ben Folds: if you organised that storm as a support act, it was one of the best I've seen, but you're alright too. I will admit I'm distracted by what came before you. Sorry! Your adoring audience loved you though! Beck: I was thinking Beck was a funny little guy, kinda like Prince, then he sang Raspberry Beret and things about devils and haircuts and nachos and I was happy and maybe also a little bit psychic. Then I danced. 


Jo: Grizzly Bear: neither grizzly nor bears, this is somewhat confusing. Is Santigold on yet?

Matt: Why were the dandy warhols on so early?

Jo: I don't know! They are old. Probably time for bed by now.


Jo: YES!!!! Santigold! Front row baby!!!!

Matt: Is anyone else still at the festival? I joke. I kid. Have an awesome time. 

Jo: No, duh, everyone left. It's just me, a weird guy in a spotty poncho and some weird skinny creep. Shut up! Santigold! Yay!

Matt: Why do you have to pick on Nayt and Matt all the time? I keep telling you, Matt is not creepy. And I bet Nayt looks quite fetching in a spotty poncho.  


Jo: Santigold: I got my ticket purely for this. It was worth every second, every hailstone, every single minute of waiting. Love love love. A-MA-ZING!!!!!! Was cut short because of the storm and was only 30 mins but the best 30 mins all day. Love. Love. Love. Happy face.

At this point, Matt is already in a pie-induced sleep coma. 


Jo: There you go! Another text review complete. Harvest! Hot, cold, sunny, rainy, hailstorm and hunger, bananas and bums and lots and lots and lots of music. Just another festival really, but most definitely fun. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Gig Review (?) - Henry Wagons

Henry Wagons
Live @ Jet Black Cat Music, West End
by Jo Michelmore


Two unexpected things happened this weekend. One involved dark clouds and pounding rain and a little havoc and a lot of unhappy trees in my neighbourhood. The other one was an unexpected event of a different kind. It involved guitars and stories and laughs and the type of entertainment that can only be had every now and then, usually in tiny, comfortable spaces, one of those being a record store.

Henry Wagons has been doing his thing, well, probably all his life, but I first happened across him (probably a little late) supporting Seeker Lover Keeper last year, although I believe he’d been making a name for himself for a few years before that. I didn’t know what to expect from that gig in St Johns Cathedral and I was at first taken aback with his country/rock/bluesy sound in such a venue, but once he’d finished I was won over with his charm, incredible voice and sense of humour and performance. Having not seen him live since, I was pleasantly surprised to be wandering the streets of West End in Brisbane and visit Jet Black Cat Music, who were lucky enough to have the fabulous Henry Wagons grace the doors of their delightful little store. Although normally accompanied by his band of cohorts, various friends and others, this was solo Wagons, just Henry and his guitar, a microphone and mobile phone which was keeping everyone updated on the whereabouts of his band mates who were stuck at the airport, drinking champagne while their front man entertained a tiny but appreciative crowd of fans and passers-by. Those who did pass by missed out, for those of us who ventured inside Jet Black Cat were treated to what was not just an excellent performance but a conversation with Henry. We heard about his experiences at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and his love of Elvis Presley, his friend’s issues with sewer rats and flies, his Aunt’s family suitcase, his experience of working with Robert Forster, his need to never see any ghosts (agree wholeheartedly Henry!), what sounded like great and unfortunate times that led to the writing of a requested song, ‘Goodtown’ and we were introduced to the concept of a solo duet with oneself. It was an intimate performance and it was the perfect way to spend lunchtime on a stormy Saturday. His voice is amazing, so strong, almost robust in some instances and calm exactly where it needs to be. His song writing is wonderful, every song a story I can’t stop listening to, a glimpse into the world of Wagons.

I wasn’t expecting the performance I saw in that tiny little record store this weekend. I thought it might be nice to swing by and pick up a couple of LP’s, but what I discovered was so much better than a simple vinyl could provide. To hear a musician chat about their songs, belting out their tunes and playing their guitar with everything they have only a metre or so away is incredible. There’s something awe inspiring about seeing your favourite musicians jumping about and singing their hearts out in front of thousands of fans but there’s something spine tingling and precious about seeing someone with the same amount of energy and love for their music put in the same amount of effort for twenty or so people in a record store, in the middle of the day. I could see Henry easily in either situation and be equally impressed by both. There’s a special talent in the ability to do that and it’s a talent that should be applauded and admired more. I applauded it by leaving Jet Black with an LP and a tea towel (now that’s impressive merchandise!) but what I had been given in return was a musical experience that I’ll remember with a smile and talk about for weeks and months to come.

Maybe three unexpected things happened yesterday. A storm, a performance and a little bit of me found a new favourite love. One little room, one little performance and I could be hooked. Henry Wagons? Hi! Come back soon? I think I could be your newest, biggest fan.