Thursday, 31 January 2013

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - Australian Music, Sometimes I Love You

Dear Chrissie, Pleasure? Pain? I don't know, but I love you.

A Love Letter To Australian Music
by Jo Michelmore

The last day of Australian Music Month. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about Australian music the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a few requests as to what I should write about. One of my favourites was ‘Mullets Of The Australian Music Industry’ but there’s some awesome mullets that weren’t Australian, so I decided I would save that one to encompass many countries instead. I’ve gathered a lot of opinions about Australian music; who people love, who people hate, what people think and you know what I’m going to do about those opinions? Something quintessentially Australian. Nuttin. All those opinions taught me were that everyone has their own opinion. Some people love Kylie, some people prefer Dannii. (Ok, just one person I know prefers Dannii.) Some people think Australian music peaked at Cold Chisel. Some people know better. Some people think Australian music is rubbish. Some people enjoy listening to Coldplay. I know, right? Go figure, you really can’t account for taste. You know what this leads me to? My own thoughts of Australian music and thinking about it, there have been some incredible Australian songs that have made their way onto my life’s soundtrack. Songs that take me to times and places of my life as soon as I hear them. Everyone has their own, but since it’s the very last day of everything It’s My Kind Of Australian Scene, let’s talk about some Australian ones on my soundtrack. Songs I love, like….

Friday On My Mind
by The Easybeats (1966)


I know, this is one of those songs that makes it to all the great Australian song lists all the time. You know why? Because it’s a damn catchy song, that’s why. It has the ability to translate genres and time, someone could record it today as indie pop, rock, dance, dubstep; it would still be as awesome. When I hear it, it takes me straight to my Mum and Dads house, to my childhood, to my teenage years, to chatting with my Dad about all the music that has made it onto his own soundtrack, which then in turn has made it onto mine. This song also contains the lyrics “Monday I’ve got Friday on my mind” which translates all time and space, right? What day is it? Oh thank God, it’s vintage Thursday, which means it’s almost Friday….love.

Pleasure And Pain 
by the Divinyls (1985)


Everyone should have their own Chrissie Amphlett. That rock star that grabs you by the back of your head, turns your face to theirs and changes the way you listen to things. Chrissie, things were simple before I saw you. Girls were just pop stars and wore pretty clothes and sung about flowers and clouds and unicorns and things. Then you started singing about the fine line between pleasure and pain and even though I had absolutely no idea what you were talking about I knew there was something going on that I should know about. I distinctly remember being terrified and impressed all at once. This song takes me to that fabulous feeling every time I hear it. It also contains the lines “It's a fine, fine line between pleasure and pain, it's all the same, it's all the same” which you can take any way you want, but whichever way you take them, they’re true. Love.

by The Mavis’s (1996)


Godamn, for a good couple of months there, I LOVED this band. I listened to their album ‘Venus Returning’ nonstop which must surely have annoyed my fellow housemates/parents/bus passengers so much. This song and another – ‘Do You Have A Brother?’ were played endlessly and this song, ‘Thunder’, had that magic ability to get stuck in one’s head for days on end. Hearing it now, I’m returned immediately to that annoyingly long bus trip that I used to make to work, every single day, the trip I knew back to front and could probably still drive with my eyes closed right now if I had to. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that. I will however be singing this song for hours to come. In my humble opinion, this is also still one of the cutest indie pop songs ever written. Love.

by Cordrazine (1997)


I have absolutely no idea who this band ever were, where they came from or where they went, but they were the little darlings of Triple J at the time and this song had me absolutely mesmerised at one stage. It’s one of those songs, I forget it exists for years on end, then suddenly it comes back to me, I listen to it a few times REALLY loudly, it takes me straight back to the exact time in my life when I first heard it and that godamn nasty boy, then bam, I’ve forgotten it again. That vocal, that falsetto, that note and the line at the end “don’t ever leave, leave me now”. Thankfully, that nasty boy did. Love.

Light All My Lights 
by Seeker Lover Keeper (2011)


It’s future vintage and I’m including it because I love it. I lovelovelove it. I’m including it because Seeker Lover Keeper never got enough recognition for being as amazing as they were. I’m including it because hearing takes me right back to the very first time I heard it two years ago and loving it. Thinking about it now, the very first time I heard it was a really pleasant time of my life. Things were looking up. It also takes me back to one of the best things I’ve ever done, one of the first things I ever contributed to this blog, my first Splendour text review! Look where that got me! You’re reading me now, right? Yep, this song reminds me of times and people I love. It ends with some of my fave lyrics ever; “We'll all be so strong, we'll all be so strong, we'll all be so strong”. Love.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Gig Review - Emma Louise (25/01/13)

 Emma Louise (25/01/13)
Live at The Powerhouse, Brisbane
by Jo Michelmore

Considering Matt and I didn’t know we were going to see Emma Louise two hours before we saw her last Friday night, with surprise tickets in hand we were happy to battle the rain and wind through the streets of New Farm to The Powerhouse, to see what we hoped was going to be a beautiful experience. We weren’t disappointed. 

Having seen her only 6 months ago at the Black Bear Lodge, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this gig. Six months ago she was a shy, cute girl; a little unsure of herself and completely charming in her own humble way. That same girl was present on Friday night, but she was also a girl confident in her own ability, a girl who is clearly growing as an artist and finding her way in her own creative process as well as the crazy world of the music industry.

Arriving on stage with her band members, it would be easy for her to get lost amongst the sound, the presence of other instruments and voices, but that incredibly strong vocal coming from that petite frame is mesmerising. Opening with an audience pleaser, ‘Boy’ she immediately had the room in the palm of her hand, ready to take them on a journey of new and old, which is exactly what she did. Moving through tracks from her new album, as well as some familiar songs, she introduced her songs one by one, letting them settle amongst her audience to take away and ponder what had been heard. Amongst her new songs; ‘Cages’ was surprisingly dark, ‘Two Mirrors’ and ‘Atlas Eyes’ were a treat, but it wasn’t until her band left the stage that the Emma Louise I have come to love returns, with only her guitar and her voice ready to take us on a journey. ‘1000 Sundowns’ is as spine tingling now was it was the first time I heard it, six months ago. Last time, Matt and I were dumbfounded, speechless at its beauty. This time, the same feeling, combined with a comforting feeling of familiarity, I was again brought to tears at such powerful song writing. Just beautiful.  


Of course, her crowd pleaser ‘Jungle’ bought the audience to the….edges of their seats and of course, it was awesome, but it wasn't until Emma and her friend and bandmate Hannah returned to the stage for an encore that I experienced what I think is her strength. Emma Louise's ability to tell a story with just her and her voice is phenomenal, this time the song ‘Temporary Friend’. It didn’t make the cut for the album, but for me, this is the real Emma Louise I love. While her new Bjork/Bat For Lashes/Ellie Goulding vibe suits her perfectly, her new styling as cute as it is edgy; it’s the heartfelt, beautiful, open and bare, songwriter I adore, her soul on the line is special and one of the reasons her talent is so incredible. While her new material is great and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her new album, this is the Emma Louise I hope doesn’t get lost as her popularity rises. 

Considering Matt and I had no idea what to expect six months ago when we first experienced Emma Louise live, it’s a testament to her talent that we both left the Powerhouse on Friday night impatiently awaiting the arrival of her first full length album later this year. It’s also a testament to the power of live music that we started as interested onlookers six months ago and left as definite fans both times we have seen her. Awating the next time she plays....