Thursday, 31 October 2013

Where Is My Mind? - Halloween Is...

Yep, Celine Dion makes me do that too...

...So Yesterday Already
by Jo Michelmore

Yep, today's the day, tonight's the night. Halloween. I know you're probably sick of it all already, 'cause I kind of am. I mean, when Halloween falls on a school night, the celebration is either the weekend before or the weekend after, isn't it? For me? The weekend before. While I didn't have a costume planned pre-Saturday night, I was kind of impressed with my suppressed goth/emo tendencies and the ability to pull together a black lace maxi dress, a whole lot of black beads, some black make up eyes, a lacey shawl and a whole pile of black flowers in my hair and wha-la! What have you got? A black widow/ghost type thing. Ok, that's what I told myself and what got me through the night, so leave me alone.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that's old news! That's last weekend! It might be Halloween today, but where I live, no one cares! Scary clowns? Zombies? Vampires? Ghosts? Whatever! You're done for the year again! So, because I'm so over it, what I'm here to celebrate are the sweetest, nicest, most darling pop songs ever. Anything and everything BUT scary. Or are they?

We left last week on an incredibly depressing note with 10CC's I'm Not In Love, so I thought it would be appropriate to start on another depressing song with love in the title..

Well, that's probably a bit unfair. I mean, the song itself is sweet, a forlorn and heartbroken Whitney Houston singing her little heart out about her lost love, who in this case, happens to be her co-star in The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner. Yes, Kevin Costner. Actually, Kevin Costner? Is there anything about Kevin Costner one would want to sing a love song about? No, no there's not. Actually, he's a little bit creepy, that Kevin Costner. Nope, this one's not so sweet then. Let's put that in the creepy Halloween pile and move on.

Ok, let's go from one vocal powerhouse to another, Celine Dion. Her song 'My Heart Will Go On' was one of the biggest selling singles in the world in the 90s and what a beautiful ballad it was, taken from that film, Titanic, about that giant floating coffin, the boat on which more than 1500 people died in 1912. Actually, that's not very sweet at all. That's tragic and Celine Dion made millions off that tragedy with this song! Right, another one we thought was sweet but actually belongs in the creepy Halloween pile. Let's move on.

Well, if the girls can't be sweet, let's look at some boys. I've gone for some Australian boys, because that's where I'm from. It's Savage Garden, of course. Who could forget this beautiful ballad? I think people might have played this at their weddings in the late 90s. Isn't that sweet? Except right at the end of the song he says he wants to "stand like this forever, until the sky falls down on me" What Darren? Forever? Well, that's just not possible, unless you're a vampire or a zombie. Also, you want the sky to fall down on you? Are you wishing for the apocalypse? Seriously? You want to be a vampire/zombie who witnesses the end of the world as we know it? I thought you were so sweet Darren Hayes. Seems I was wrong, another one for the creepy Halloween pile. Let's move on.

Well, I've looked to the girls, I looked to the boys, let's try a girl with a boys name (Toni's across the blogosphere gasp "my name is not a boys name! Sorry, it is.) Toni Braxton. Such a dramatic, sweet ballad about the loss of a true love...except, it's not actually possible to 'unbreak' a heart or 'uncry' a tear. You can stop crying, yes, but you can't uncry them. As for unbreaking a heart, I'm not even sure unbreak is a word. Unbreakable, sure, but unbreak? That's just poor use of words Toni. I'm going to have to stick you in the creepy Halloween pile for such abuse of the English language. Let's move on.

Surely old Taylor Swift won't disappoint, right? This is the sweetest little pop song, ever, isn't it? I got a gift once from a very, very, very good friend; a birthday card that played this little song every time I opened it. How...sweet(?). Romeo, Juliet, marry me you never have to be alone..."it's a love story baby just say yes" would be beautiful except, it's so incredibly sweet it makes me wanna vom. C'mon, seriously, you didn't think I could do a post about sweet love songs, did you? Really? I mean, I'll sing along to this one as much as anyone else, but there's a reason that friend gave me that birthday card...'cause it was so bad it was good. Like, laugh til you vom good. Yep, Taylor, you're just too sweet, let's stick you in the so sweet I don't trust you and you're actually a little bit creepy pile...

Where will my mind take you next week? Somewhere much less creepy, one hopes, right?

10 Very Good Reasons To Make A Trip To Woodfordia...

Woodford Folk Festival 2013 Preview:
by Matt Bond

Woodford has grown into one of the most intriguing Australian music festivals and, heading into its 28th iteration, is offering the best line-up yet for potential punters. So instead of making New Year's plans that are certain to end with a three hour wait for a cab and a waste of money on entry to an overcrowded club you'll be sure to hate for the next five years... why don't you grab a bunch of your friends and head to Woodfordia for the 2013 Woodford Folk Festival, which runs from December 27 - January 1

Trade in the Krispy Kreme donuts from 7-11 and the dirty kebab from that shop in the Fortitude Valley you're convinced is bribing the health inspector for some fine food and drink from one of fifty-one cafes or restaurants, like Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts or Jerusalem Felafel. Instead of listening to your friend having a drunken break-down in the bathroom, you could be hanging out with Bob Hawke giving a talk in defence of modern democracy. And instead of listening to the mind-numbing doof-doof beats, surrounded by teenager chewing their faces off and vomiting in decorative pot plants, you could be listening to festival headliners - Beth Orton, Tim Finn and The Basics.

There's a hundred and one reasons to go to the Woodford Folk Festival, but we are all about the music around these parts... so here's ten very good reasons to make a trip to Woodfordia in December. 

Busby Marou
Performing Friday and Saturday!

Performing Saturday - Wednesday!

Chance Waters
Performing Saturday - Monday!

Clare Bowditch
Performing Sunday and Monday!

Half Moon Run
Performing Friday - Sunday!

Karl S Williams
Performing Saturday and Monday!

Michelle Xen and The Neon Wild
Performing Sunday! 

Phebe Starr
Performing Friday and Sunday!

The Bombay Royale
Performing Saturday and Sunday!

Thelma Plum
Performing Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday!

Grab a bunch of good friends and head to the Woodford Folk Festival this New Year's! There's still pre-festival online discounts on tickets which you can get all your info on from the Woodford site. While you're there, check out the rest of the program and all the events. Trust me, it'll be better than waiting an hour and a half for a drink in an overcrowded club, surrounding by increasingly sweaty "people". P.s. you're welcome.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Candy Shop #26

Nayt's going all out with his costume this year.

How To Make A Frankenstein Clown Cake
by Nayt Housman

*WARNING! This post contains clowns not of the happy friendly kind…

It’s that time of year again when the flowers are blooming and the weather is warm, all the kids are out playing and the ghouls and ghosts are readying to knock on our doors. That’s right it’s HALLOWEEN!
I’ve never really been the type to get all dressed up and go trick or treating, but I still love Halloween and what I love most about it is one thing that scares the pants off most people but I adore them. CLOWNS. I secretly (not so secretly) want to be a clown. A creepy, sinister, sexy clown. I’m sure it’s possible… The recipe follows.

Add one cup of - The Clown (Le Queloune) 

[Editor's note - Nayt did provide a warning. The following video is not for the faint of heart.]

This actually the whole film. Its soundtrack is peaceful, beautiful and warm like a summer breeze that wraps around the antagonist clown's twitchy limbs while he discovers himself and his newfound palette for delicacies not uncommon on the plate of Hannibal. I need a big helping of this kind of quirk in my creepy, sexy clown.

A teaspoon of - Saw's Billy the Puppet (Original short film = less gory) 

This is the scariest, creepiest puppet clown ever invented. I do not condone the whole “making people choose their death” thing but I will imbibe a small amount of his scary.

One litre of - Goldfrapp's Clowns 

Alison Goldfrapp as a sexy clown? I needs this. I wants this. I must have this. Also if it means I get to dance around in a clown moo-moo then I’M IN!

A tablespoon of - Krusty and Sideshow Mel's Send In The Clowns

Possibly (or definitely) the most famous TV clown and his sidekick would make an excellent addition to my Frankenstein clown cake. HEY HEY KIDS!

Half a litre of - David Bowie's Threepenny Pierrot

“Gaytime eyes” need I say more. I’m not the biggest Bowie fan but damn this man put the sexy in clown. I’ll take one to GO. Combine all the ingredients well, pour into a cake tin and bake at 180 for 30 mins.

Once cooked add a sprinkling of - Amateur clown doing things to Bjork’s Pluto 

What’s crazier than a badly done up clown being weird in an abandoned house to a soundtrack of Bjork? Ummmmmmm… I’m dry with ideas but I want what she’s having, so she’s in the recipe!

And finally!

Serve with a big scoop of – Lucille Ball


She’s the sweetest, most adorable, and definitely most delicious clown the world has ever seen ever and all I really need to say is “LOOOOO-SEEEEEEE!” “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHT?”


Monday, 28 October 2013

New Music Monday #75

Everything's Coming Up Roses
by Dear Plastic (out now)

I got a delightful parcel in the mail yesterday. It was a little package from a songstress called Scarlette Baccini - lead singer of Dear Plastic. What immediately stood out about this package was the beautiful handwriting on the front. Inside was a beautiful note (on paper with flowers embedded into it no less) also in the same hand, written by Scarlette Baccini (saying her name again - so you will remember it!) At the first chance (today) I have sat down, reread over the letter and listened to 'Everything's Coming Up Roses'.

Before I get to the music can I just say: I love a good CD sleeve. Particularly if lyrics are included like they are here. 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' features a gorgeous illustration on the front of a little girl examining rocks under a twisted old tree trunk devoid of leaves. The theme follows through to the inside of the sleeve with the little girl held safely in the arms of an adult. The back of the CD features two frames with the little girl in profile in one and a heart in the other. As an illustrator myself, I am always delighted to see lovely art accompanying music. The artwork here it turns out is done by none other than the multi talented Scarlette herself. Top points for skill and creativity already. Upon looking at this CD sleeve for the first time, note still in hand, I had the thought “How could I NOT love this?”. This was before I heard the music. Had I set myself up for disappointment? Let’s see....


The name of the song immediately had me thinking of old musicals. There is an old 50s musical called “Gypsy” which features a song of the same title. It’s been covered by all the great musical theatre belters over the ages. So I had to put Angela Lansbury, Ethel Merman and Bette Midler OUT of my head before pressing play. I advise you do the same (if you are a bit of a dork like me and have the same association).

'Everything's Coming Up Roses' starts with a skipping synth sound that immediately jolts the ear. Perhaps like an electronic alert: “The song is about to start!” It definitely caught my attention. It's a bold way to begin, but I encourage experimental starts. Because, well, why not.

I love the strong piano chords that follow directly after the intro and the opening lyrics “I’ve been a drifter on an empty sea”. These story-book-like lyrics along with the warm and well rounded voice of Scarlette Baccini (accompanied by the sustained piano) has a touch of the Bacharach’s (this is definitely a good thing!) Baccini’s voice has a similar quality to Karen Carpenter (who if you are a fan of golden oldies sung a few Bacharach numbers). Baccini has a beautiful way of rounding off each word with a delicate vibrato as well as a raw and earthy belt - that would probably suit just as well on a cabaret stage as it does on the original music scene.

After the initial verse we are then brought back to a more darker and somber electronic space for the second verse before we hit the sunshine behind the clouds with the chorus. The lyrics are aptly suited to the sound here: “And now... everything’s coming up roses”. Dear Plastic do the moody thing well here with their mix up of squelchy synth and traditional instruments.

A steady drum then adds into the mix with a tasty Boom baboom Boom baboom Boom baboom Boom baboom (yes, I love writing drums sounds into words). It’s a heart beat to bring us through to the next chorus. Simple but effective. The next chorus features overlapping of vocals and more synth sounds (the latter more of an effect and soundscape than a melody). There is a definite feel here of Bjork and perhaps her Vespertine album as the track progresses into a more experimental platform. The song finishes on this overlapping element mixing up melody, sound effects and beats. Quite trippy indeed.


I really like this second track. It opens with rock heavy drums that have an industrial vibe to it. It’s got a dark edge to it which contrasts well with Baccini’s breathy vocals. Although there is a sultriness here, the song upon deeper inspection holds more than just sass. There is an element that reminded me of Radiohead lyrically: “Hey did you know that everyone that has ever existed is completely disposable”. As with Radiohead lyrics this is presented as confronting and a little bleak but perhaps a reminder and little window into the human condition in our fast paced, throw away society and the fate we all face. This is definitely a track to listen to again to mull over the themes and lyrics.


This track initally has a lighter feel to it. The lyrics are again worth questioning. I got a sense of a heart that fears hurt from witnessing damage previously done to others. By this third track in, a definite signature style is obvious with Dear Plastic. Moments of sweetness with a piano sound shift to moments of heaviness with the hyper reality of synth, beats and keys. And we go back and forth in this kaleidoscope of sound. I kept imagining an electronic beach of sorts with little waves of synth rolling in with their juicy rolls.


The last track is an acoustic version of the title. I always love to hear how a song sounds stripped back. I also like listening out for subtle changes. This version is just piano and vocals. The piano here is a real old upright piano (I know this as it says so in the sleeve). You can even hear the feet on the pedals towards the end. I love this. I’m a sucker for this simple arrangement of vocals and piano. And this is done extremely well. In fact, I think I enjoyed this version even more than the studio track. It gives Baccini a chance to let loose the emotion with absolutely no where to hide. And nor should she hide. Vocally she comes out shining like a rough diamond. Gutsy, bold, raw and very powerful.

The sound of Dear Plastic is definitely genre specific. Electro trip hop fans in particular will love this. It's mind bending at times but definitely grounded by the voice of Baccini. There is a new feel to the music with it's 90s electronic throw back and overall moodiness. I really enjoyed 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' and look forward to hearing more from Dear Plastic soon. I would love to see this band live (but as the fates have it, I am already booked that night - 24 October @ The Grace Darling!).

Lou Endicott gives 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' four Kylie heads out of five...

I Don't Need A Man
by Don and The Mobsters

There's something exciting about brand new music and there's something especially awesome when that new music is nothing at all what you expect. When I heard the name Don And The Mobsters, I was intrigued, how many mobsters are there and who is Don anyway? Why does Don have mobsters? What really is a mobster anyway, when one thinks about it? Well, let me just say this; when I pressed play on 'I Don't Need A Man', Don was obviously not the large Italian man I had pictured in my head, but this Don was possibly just as alarming. Bluesy, rootsy, a band that mean business, like a good blues band should do, the mobsters manage to go from soft and gentle, easing the listener into a sense of relaxation into full on intimidation, Don screaming some words that I wouldn't have expected Don to scream, but you know what? Let's just say don't mess with Don. Or probably Don's mobsters actually. This is just the beginning of Brisbane based Don And The Mobsters, so I look forward to hearing much more of this interesting little band. 

Jo Michelmore gives 'I Don't Need A Man' three Supremes heads out of five...

If Living The Good Life Is Easy (Why Is This So Hard?)
by Ben Wright Smith
 Album: TBA (???, 2014)

Ben Wright Smith is a singer/songwriter from Melbourne, whose initials make up the letters BWS. Where I live in the world, there is a shop called BWS, which sells, among other things; beer, wine and spirits, so it would only be natural that after my recent weekend activities, I have a healthy respect and appreciation for all of those things, so I would naturally have a healthy respect and appreciation of Ben Wright Smith, right? Right. Other than his initials, there's a whole list of things I like; his latest single 'If Living The Good Life Is Easy (Why Is This So Hard?)' has one of the longest song titles of the year and is taken from his sophomore album due for release in 2014. It's utter perfection with just the right combination of guitar, drums, harmonica and Ben's cute raspy vocal and was produced with Oscar Dawson (one half of one of my fave bands of 2013, Holy Holy). The clip involves beautiful underwater shots of scary zombie type mermaids, so of course I'm finding it difficult not to love everything about this track. This is a song I can hear myself listening to all through the upcoming summer, there’s something fun and hopeful and incredibly catchy about it and there’s something that makes me want to listen to it, while sitting in the shade with a beverage in hand on a hot spring afternoon. Perhaps I’ll visit a BWS this weekend and do just that.  

Jo Michelmore gives 'If Living The Good Life Is Easy' four Dave Grohl heads out of five...


by Lady Gaga
Album: Artpop (out November 8, 2013)


Matt Bond gives 'Venus' two Ke$ha heads out of five...

by Lady Gaga
Album: Artpop (out November 8, 2013)

Yes. A million times yes. Even with that ridiculous 'stache. German fans are also the cutest, yeah? Look at those girls in the front row. Now, Lady Gaga. The woman is undeniably talented. Get her in front of a piano, remove any and all distractions and she's the best in the world. Excellent vocals, great storytelling... 'Gypsy' is her best offering from Artpop thus far, unlike 'Venus' which sits alongside 'Aura' as the... not... best... offering. When Gaga's focus is on the pop and the art is pushed to the side, she kills it. More of this please. 

Matt Bond gives 'Gypsy' four Lady Gaga heads out of five... 


by Panama
EP: Always (out now)

Isn't it funny how sometimes music clips are purely just a selling tool for a song, visions of often nothing important and certainly not mind altering in any way but then there are clips that are so addictive you can't help but watch numerous times over, you can't help but picture when you hear the song and they somehow make you love a song even more than you ever did when you heard only sound? The first time I heard 'Always' by Sydney based Panama, I liked it, sure, in fact, I'll admit, I really liked it. Sweet keyboards, layered vocals and a beat I couldn't help but tap to, it was quite good actually, but it wasn’t until I saw the clip for this dreamy indie song that I truly fell in love. While the song itself is light and bright, it's the underlying sounds of keys that are the true killer and they're obviously the sounds Panama (and the fabulous German creatives from A Nice Idea Every Day) drew from to create the dark and moody clip for 'Always'. The story follows on from a previous video for 'It's Not Over'; shots of cute children running through a seemingly abandoned house, playing with objects of another time combined with the creepy forest shots make for a clip that has me questioning all the lyrics and sounds and had me pressing play a couple of times to watch the beautiful four minutes a few times over. While I'm still aware that the music clip is a tool for selling songs, what I love is that selling doesn't always have to be for the lowest common denominator, sometimes selling can be creative and meaningful too and Panama have managed to create something dark and creepy and essentially stunning to sell their song of the same nature. I love it. 

Jo Michelmore gives the video for 'Always' five Nick Cave heads out of five...

by Little Mix
Album: Salute (out November 11, 2013)

So, you know that thing about music clips being purely a tool for selling music and how some people do it really well (please see above clip by Panama), well here's the other end of the music video spectrum. I can't even work out which one of the four girls they're trying to push as the star, because they're all as bland as each other, really. This is like every other average pop clip you've ever seen and you won't remember it five minutes after it's done. Just like the song itself. There's fun pop music, there's fun clips, then there's just dull and if that's what the marketing team were trying to achieve then congratulations to them, they've achieved that one perfectly. Boooooring.

Jo Michelmore gives the video for 'Move' one Germaine Greer head out of five...

Feet In The Sand
by Rose Wintergreen
EP: Chasing Shadows (TBA)

When Matt sent me the clip to this song and asked me to watch and see if I wanted to write something about it, I thought sure, it sounds lovely, it looks lovely, I'll write about that. How funny that I've sat at my laptop for twenty minutes or so trying desperately to figure out what to say, because sometimes it's really hard to know what words to use about such a delightful three and a half minutes. Such a simple concept, Rose lying in the sand, but what beautiful imagery, the pretty keyboards perfectly matching the images created in the sand and the obviously graceful Rose being buried and re-emerging from the sand at exactly the right time make it a clip that deserves to be watched from very beginning to end, a couple of times over. The song, shortlisted for the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition earlier this year, is so breathtaking and chilled, like the clip itself, it’s a pleasure to be stuck for words to describe clips like these. That just means I get to watch it again and again until I come up with something to say and I’m not going to complain about having to watch this lovely clip over and over again. In fact, even now after I’ve written all this, I might go and press play again, just because I can.      

Jo Michelmore gives the video for 'Feet In The Sand' three Gotye heads out of five...

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hipster Halloween 2013

Well, I guess we're actually pretty late on putting up some sort of Halloween playlist. It seems there were a lot of Halloween parties this weekend. Which makes no sense because Halloween isn't until Thursday and there's a closer weekend to it. Maybe people are just partying more and will celebrate Halloween twice (in a different costume?) next weekend too. Maybe not. Whatever though... Halloween itself is on Thursday and all you hipsters in the crowd must be in need of some music to get you through the night. Songs about ghosts, demons, werewolves and witchcraft. But they've got to be pretty new songs. You can't be caught listening to the 'Monster Mash' or 'Thriller'. You're just too cool for school in your totally ironic costume. Which is probably no costume at all because it's a Thursday and you're not at a party or anything. Is it even cool to go to Halloween parties anymore? The answer is yes, but you'll probably say no, sweet hipster.

Anyway, we've got your ghoulish tunes covered with the Hipster Halloween 2013 playlist. Listen to the end and you might just be in for a real scare too. OoooOoooOooooh. That's a ghost sound. Not really as effective in text, right? Just enjoy the music... and happy Halloween! For Thursday.

It's not exactly terrifying... just awesome.

1. Sharon Van Etten - Serpents
2. Esben and the Witch - Deathwaltz
3. MS MR - Bones
4. Little Boots - Superstitious Heart
5. Disclosure ft. AlunaGeorge - White Noise
6. Crystal Fighters - Bridge of Bones
7. Abbe May - T.R.O.U.B.L.E
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sacrilege
9. Ride Into The Sun - Hunt Like Wolves
10. Ginger and The Ghost - One Type of Dark
11. Chela - Guts
12. The National - Demons
13. Ella Hooper - Haxan
14. MGMT - Alien Days
15. Escort - Barbarians
16. Snakadaktal - Ghost
17. Astrid and The Asteroids - Autopsy
18. Gin Wigmore - Kill of the Night
19. Deep Sea Arcade - Black Cat

Top 25 - 27 October, 2013

It's better than a meat dress... right?

1. Astrid and The Asteroids - House of Cards (NEW)

2. Harts - Leavn It All Behind

3. Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly - Do What U Want (NEW)

4. Son Lux - Lost It To Trying (NEW)

5. Our Man In Berlin - Airhead

6. Japanese Wallpaper ft. Wafia - Breathe In

7. Chloe Howl - Paper Heart (NEW)

8. Bec Sandridge - Stones (NEW)

9. Katy Perry ft. Juicy J - Dark Horse

10. Adventure Club ft. The Kite String Tangle - Wonder (NEW)

11. Passerine - Paris Morning

12. Circa Waves - Get Away (NEW)

13. Gossling - Harvest of Gold (NEW)

14. Client Liaison - Feeling

15. The Griswolds - Mississippi

16. Ngaiire - Uranus (NEW)

17. Arlissa - Into The Light

18. Little May - Hide

19. Deja - Split

20. The Jezabels - The End

21. Rae Morris - Grow (NEW)

22. Jeremy Neale - Swing Left

23. New Regulars - Stolen Honey (NEW)

24. Deep Sea Arcade - Black Cat

25. I Know Leopard - She

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Where Is My Mind? - 1, 2, 3, 4...

S Club 7. Then there were 6. See, I can even count backwards.

...Tell Me That You Love Me More
by Jo Michelmore

I heard that song this week. That song that gets stuck in my head for days after every time I hear it.

I sang along and then, as usual, sang it for numerous days. Then I realised I never count to four without singing that song. Then I started thinking about numbers. They've never been my thing. I mean, I understand their purpose in life and I do have a healthy respect for them, especially since I'm such a lover of music and music and maths go hand in hand. They say if you're good with music you'd be good at maths. Does that mean Katy Perry should be a neuro surgeon of some description? I don't know what a neuro surgeon is, actually. Is there such a thing as a neuro surgeon? Someone surgerising neurons? Surgerising isn't actually a word. Can your average neuro surgeon count to ten? I digress.

As for me, I'm sure I would have been awesome at maths in school, if I knew it had something to do with music and I probably shouldn't have sat next to one of my besties as well. We had a lot more important things to discuss other than maths. Don't get me wrong, I can count to ten (and a few more) but what I'm really interested in is the music. That bit's much more fun. So while last week we left off on One Direction, this week I'm going to prove I can be good with the music and the maths by counting to ten, via bands. Let's start with the one after One Direction, number 2.

2. Sister 2 Sister

Yes, I could have picked U2 or 2Pac or my favourite K-Pop stars 2AM or 2PM, but that all seems a bit dull. I decided to go with one of the worst. They're actually sisters, but that's about the only interesting thing about them. Every now and then they apparently sing back up for Delta Goodrem. Isn't that nice?

3. The Three Degrees

Ok, admittedly, I had to google this one, because I couldn't think of anyone involving three off the top of my head, but wow, what a find. Check out the sparkles, check out the splits in those maxis. This is 70s in all it's glory, isn't it? I was pleasantly surprised to know these three are the ones who sang this song, which I could sing from beginning to end, but never knew who sang it. While google researching, I also discovered another single of theirs, which I think I could possibly love. It was called Dirty Ol Man and contained the lyrics; "You're a dirty ol man, you can't keep your hands to yourself..." can someone please cover that? Please?

4. 4 Non Blondes

Even though I could say all sorts of things about all the other songs that singer Lisa Perry has done with all sorts of amazing artists like Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani and Vanessa Carlton (um, er?) but I've included this one in tribute to my fellow blogger Nayt, who has dueted with me on this one numerous times at karaoke. Which reminds me; I haven't done karaoke in so long! I love karaoke! Karaoke, anyone?

5. MC5

Oh so many fives. The Jackson Five, Ben Folds Five, 5ive, but I've gone with someone from way back. MC5. You might not know them, but you should. They are a rock bands band, the musicians musician. They also had Fred 'Sonic' Smith as a member, who was the husband of the legendary Patti Smith who is the mother of Jackson Smith, who is married to Meg White of The White Stripes. But if you don't know who Patti Smith is, you should really know without her there'd be none of the girl rockers you love, so be a pal, use the googles and educate yourself. You won't regret it.

6. Sixpence None The Richer

The funny part about this group is that they're like a Christian rock group, and their most famous song 'There She Goes Again' is a cover of a song which is about heroin addiction. Huh! Christian rock bands? Weird, hey?

7. S Club 7

I could have chosen L7, but I couldn't resist the temptation to post a Seven Club 7 song, while they were still S Club 7, because everyone secretly loves a bit of S Club (7) at some stage and well, we all know it right? There ain't no party like an S Club party. I've never been to an S Club Party, so can't actually say that for sure.

8. MN8

It's interesting, because the only clips I could find for this song were really poor quality, but then, that kind of suits a song that's of very poor quality. Someone takes their jacket off in this clip. That's probably meant to keep the viewer interested, but it doesn't. One of these guys apparently lives in Australia now. Hi, whichever one you are! How are you?

9. Nine Inch Nails

There was no way I was letting this one go without a song by Trent and friends. C'mon! They've just announced an Australian tour, which I'm very interested in. Trent Reznor recently said he wouldn't play Soundwave next year because the line up sucked. This made me remember how much I like Trent Reznor.

10. 10CC

I didn't say things were going to get better as we counted to ten, did I? No, I did not. Hence, we finish on 10CC, which isn't the worst thing to end on, but it could be better, couldn't it? Still, you probably know the song, 'cause everyone does, don't they? "I'm not in love, so don't forget it, it's just a silly phase I'm going through..." damn, it's so depressing, isn't it? Sorry! Where will my mind take you next week? Hopefully somewhere a little more upbeat.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Candy Shop #25

WOOF! MEOW! MOO! BLUB (that’s the sound a fish makes)
by Nayt Housman

Since I was a kid I have been surrounded by music revering and educating me about our life companions. Some call them “fur/feather/fin children” or “kids of the four legged/winged/finned kind”, even simply my best friend. Of course I’m talking about our partners… I mean pets. Pets always find a special place in our soft lil hearts and musicians often find inspiration to write about them. This weeks Candy Shop is dedicated to all the pets out there in the world and is a plea to my loving partner to GET ME A GUINEA PIG! Oint oint oint (that’s the sound a Guinea Pig makes)!

So most musicians seem to find inspiration for writing from their dogs.

You Can Run (Ferns Theme)
by The Orbweavers  

Oh lordy cheeses sliced this song makes me weep like a baby. A song about Marita Dyson and Stuart Flannigan’s rescued race greyhound Fern.

by Cub Sport

This delicious little morsel from Cub Sport makes me squeal and giggle like a five year old girl with new pink glitter sneakers that have flouro yellow shoe noodle laces.

by Joanna Newsome


Love her or hate her, Newsome’s child like voice is the perfect tool for engineering a song about a dog. Her story telling ability is humbling and totally endearing (until she hits one of those shriek notes).

by Thelma Plum

I hadn’t heard much Plum goodness until Bigsound a lil while back but I’m so glad I got to hear Rosie, a song about her dog. Bless.

Sometimes marine life is even inspirational...

Rock Lobster
by B52’s

Sooooo a rock lobster isn’t really a pet I know BUT I’m sure some people have them and possibly love them very much, also clams, mermaids, snappers and thankfully for this post a dog-fish and a cat-fish feature in this grand classic.

Sometimes though we don’t have pets so we just fantasize about being an animal…

I’m Like A Bird 
by Nelly Fur-tado (gettit? Fur? Pets? Lol)

Nelly was probably so angry that she was denied having pets (this is not fact, I really don’t know/care) that she went a little crackers and pretended to be a bird until she was heavily sedated and institutionalized and forced to write about her experience which then was made into this song (again this is definitely not fact)…

In honour of all the pets that were ever a part of my life, in no particular order, Bear the dog, PJ the dog, Lady the dog, Bubbles and Squeak the ducks, Red the chicken, Mickey the budgie, Snuffie the Cockatiel, the several unnamed and short lived guinea pigs (Lady the dog ate them as well as one of the ducks), the many unnamed mice that never stopped breeding, Princess the cockatiel, Dexstar the dog, Mikey the dog, Chocolate, Vanilla, Honey and Cinnamon the fish and all the rescued animals, Tawny Frogmouth, Magpie, Kookaburra, Baby Pigeon and Lorikeets x a million (drunken bastards would booze up on fermenting mangoes)....

Monday, 21 October 2013

New Music Monday #74

by Katy Perry (out October 25, 2013)

Katy Perry has certainly come a long way. Emerging as a girl who was into kissing girls who had a case of a love bipolar and woke up in Vegas (or something), she would go on to become arguably the biggest solo female pop star on the face of the planet with her second album, Teenage Dream. You know that album... the one that hit the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 with 'California Gurls', 'Teenage Dream', 'Firework', 'E.T.', 'Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) and 'Part of Me', the latter which was from the supposed 'Complete Confection' edition of the album. With the new album, Prism, it looks like Perry isn't going to be losing her pop crown anytime soon.

K-Pez has already shown she's got the eye of the tiger, hitting #1 on multiple charts worldwide with lead single, 'Roar'. As the opening track on Prism, it works almost as a coda to the Teenage Dream era, before ushering in a new one with 'Legendary Lovers'. Electro-meets-bhangra as Perry coos, "take me down to the river, underneath the blood orange sky, say my name like a scripture, keep my heart beating like a drum." I'd do it. I mean, like, if she asked me... I'd totally do it. From here, it's a mess of thrown-at-wall ideas concocted by a super team comprised of Perry and hit makers Dr Luke, Max Martin, Klas Ahlund, up-and-coming Canadian super-producer, Cirkut and even Sia. Because Sia is anywhere and everywhere.

Feel like a disco-inspired pop smash to sing to your friends on their birthday? Well, there's a song called 'Birthday' so you're in luck. If there was ever a song you're destined to embarrass yourself singing to at karaoke in the near future... this would be it. Need that dose of 90s house music that will make you dance the night away? Introduce yourself to 'Walking On Air' and let the good times roll. 'Unconditionally' is the sorta-kinda power ballad that will be played ten thousand times a day on the radio and have a disgustingly soppy video to accompany it. I'll hate myself for liking it, but meh... what are you gonna do? "I will love you unconditionally, there is no fear now, let go and just be free, 'cause I will love you unconditionally." If I go to a wedding and this song is played and/or someone uses the lyrics in their vows, my face will show disgust, but inside my heart will be breaking. Shut up.

'Dark Horse' is a million times more ghetto than a Katy Perry song has any right to be, but it just shows that the woman can pull off anything right now. She even sings about how she's capable of anything on the track. Stop rubbing it in our faces! Combine the trap beats with magic and mysticism in the lyrics and you've got my personal favourite track on Prism. Not even a sub-par rap segment from Juicy J can bring it down. "Are you ready for, a perfect storm, perfect storm?" Yes. Yes I am. Now, by the time you've arrived at 'This Is How We Do', you're starting to ask where the filler tracks are. We're now seven tracks in and, really, any of them could be chart topping songs. What is going on? Where's the 'Peacock' or 'Thinking Of You'? They're nowhere to be seen! What is going on? Even 'International Smile' manages to take advantage of Perry's breathy tones to create a piece of pop that will wedge itself in your memory. It has to be pointed out though that 'International Smile' sounds a little too familiar, compared to the rest of Prism.

We've found the filler! It's 'Ghost' and 'Love Me'. Two out of thirteen ain't bad, right? Moving right along, 'This Moment' is a nice little slice of forced inspiration that could have fallen out of Kelly Clarkson's folder of future hits. "Be here with me now, 'cause the future is right now, right in front of you, don't let the clock, the clock tell you what to do, a future is right now, I'm in front of you, baby don't blink and miss." I'm already hearing K-Clarks forcing a belt of that out now. P.S. shades of Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' anyone? Huh? Huh? Of course the track named 'Double Rainbow' was co-written by Sia. It's catchy and reaches for an emotional connection, but surprisingly fails next to another ballad and the final album track, 'By the Grace of God'. I've heard a lot of praise for Perry's performance on 'Double Rainbow', but her less digitally altered vocal on 'By the Grace of God' (sans-chorus) is way more heartfelt.

If there was one thing to fault with Prism, it would be the lack of any real emotional connection to the tracks. Each song is meticulously crafted by pop smash experts. Katy Perry's performance on them is deserving of a daytime Emmy. But it's just performance... acting. And really, who cares? I don't. Do you really care? Are you picking up a Katy Perry album to feel Lorde's teenage angst or have a cry with Adele or hate men with Taylor Swift? No way, man. You'd be picking it up because you love fun pop music that you aren't opposed to singing along to in the car when no one else could possibly see you and you'd even be willing to dance to it in the living room with all the blinds drawn (and when there's no one else home). Ms. Perry's certainly come a long way, but thankfully for fans of all things 'pop', she's still very much the same. Get ready to hear a whole bunch of these songs everywhere and anywhere over the next year.

Matt Bond gives Prism three and half Ellie Goulding heads out of five...


by Bec Sandridge 
EP: Wild Heart (out October 24, 2013)

Holy wow - what a voice! As soon as Bec Sandridge started singing in the opening moments of 'Stones' I was in love. No, not a potential stalkery love, because that leads to all sorts of complications, but I was sold on her voice and the music she makes. Those lines, "my mind is gone, like a rolling stone, out the window," could only be delivered in the effortlessly perfect way they are by a voice like that of Sandridge. It's almost a voice that's removed from time... somehow both vintage and modern sounding. I suppose you could say it's Feist-ish, but at the same time it's not Feist-ish either. There's a bit of old-time magic in the music and I want to hear more. Thankfully the EP Wild Heart (fans of Stevie Nicks are already swooning) is out this week so I can hear more. And those of you lucky enough to be in Sydney should head to the launch show at the Brighton Up Bar on Thursday October 24. If the other songs are half as good as 'Stones', you'd be in for an excellent night!

Matt Bond gives 'Stones' four PJ Harvey heads out of five...

The Mark Of Hearts
by Ginger And The Ghost

'Fairytale Pop' seems like an appropriate title for the delicious and dreamy brand of music Ginger And The Ghost have given us a taste of thus far and 'The Mark Of Hearts' is no different. Sampling the melody from 'When The Saints Go Marching In', the song opens with the lyrics “and we all go tumbling down” followed by beautiful rolling acoustic guitar setting a slightly sinister tone for the clip and building the foundations for Ginger’s sweet, sweet vocals to begin the journey into the dream scape fantastic.

Although I wouldn’t directly compare 'The Mark Of Hearts' to any other song (though obviously the sampled parts of the melody sounds like the original song) I’m continually reminded of the likes of Kate Bush, Bjork and Goldfrapp and at times even the likes of Joanna Newsome and Katie Jane Garside as they occupy the same 'art music' space with a definite quirky story telling quality and fearlessness that makes their music so endearing. The video clip introduces us to a world of terrifyingly beautiful spectres in the form of paper, masked trees; dreamy pools, ethereal figures, moving wall creatures, amazing costumery and my favourite part, the acting out of Ginger’s heart going “WoooOOOOooooh”. Ghost either saunters around being ghostly and handsome while Ginger tries to keep her heart safe from the evils that surround.

In 'The Mark Of Hearts' the duo have created yet another beautiful, capturing story that for just under four minutes draws it’s listeners into their imaginary world of tragedy, magic and beauty before releasing us back into reality. I had the pleasure of seeing this performed live at BIGSOUND and was blown away by the energy and theatricality that G&TG had and I’m equally impressed they’re able to translate that same feeling into their videos.

This has been my year of discovering amazing Australian artists and Ginger And The Ghost are right at the top of my 'must watch' list. 'The Mark Of Hearts' is another spectacular work of art that doubles as a toe tapping, butt shaking, dancing like only Kate Bush is watching kind of experience.

Nayt Housman gives Mark Of Hearts four out of five Ellie Goulding heads...

The Future
by Jenny Wilson

The human condition seems to have infected Jenny and its effects are clear as she sets out to affect change with her new single 'The Future' (see what I did there?) The new tune showcases Wilson’s sassy vocals both spoken and sung piercing through an ominous electro heavy backing track with an Atari/arcade appeal glitching and pulsing along like an elevated heart beat.

Jenny has mounted the podium and taken on the role of social commentator and activist for change as a few of her contemporaries have also done on their latest albums (The Knife, PJ Harvey) and her agenda is clear by slamming home the not at all subtle message of human consumption, waste and total disregard for anything but ourselves. The choppy video features carcasses that glide by as rubbish and waste pulse and protesters invade; industrial scenes, animals marching to be slaughtered and people marching to consume while Jenny and her gang of hooded 'hoodlum' activists wreak havoc in protest protest to the organised chaos that is our human existence.

If 'The Future' marks the tone for the album to come then it will be a grand departure from Wilson’s previous works, which are all together more introspective, and story telling on a personal level. I like the fact that Jenny hasn’t rested on her laurels by just reproducing another quirky fun pop album and has adopted what seems to be an all together edgier persona and electro/industrial sound that at least in 'The Future' works so well. I’d almost go so far as to say Jenny has been having a kiki with her contemporaries The Knife in regards to the new direction/tone and I look forward with enthusiasm and a pinch of cautious curiosity as to what the near future will bring from this stand out Scandinavian songstress.

'The Future' is a punchy, in your face, eletro-musical interpretation of the anti consumerism documentaries that have been doing the rounds in the last several years and makes want to get out on the streets in my protest best to help affect change for the betterment of my conscience and our planet.

Nayt Housman gives 'The Future' four Lady Gaga heads out of five...


by Bonnie McKee

Bonnie McKee has songwriting credits on some of the biggest hits of the past decade. With Katy Perry (and a cast of thousands) she helped craft words that would make Shakespeare jealous on tracks like ‘Roar’, ‘Part of Me’, ‘Teenage Dream’ and a song that has words very close to our own Jo’s heart, ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)’. She’s even partly responsible for the masterpiece that is Britney Spears’ ‘Ooh La La’. Could she be the one (out of a possible seven candidates) responsible for lines as brilliant as, “you don’t have to wear no designer clothes, just as long as we’re dancing on the floor, fingers in my hair and I’m letting go tonight, so free,”? Bonnie McKee’s 'success' as a songwriter is without question. Bonnie McKee, who admittedly I have only just been acquainted with, as a performer is… not my… favourite… person? I think her video for ‘Sleepwalker’ is meant to be going with a horror theme and it sort of gets there because it is horrible. The opening narrative is like a wonderful piss-take on a Lana Del Rey monologue. But it’s not a joke, it’s supposed to be moody and dark and it ends with the line, “funny how your priorities change when you’re faced with extinction,” and I don’t know if I can put myself through another four minutes of this. After some lame zombie (?) moments, McKee saves the young heroine, kisses her (and if she’s anything like K-Pez, she likes it) and then the two team up to make an escape from the lamest zombies (?) of all time. We live in the days of The Walking Dead. YOU DON’T GET AWAY FROM ZOMBIES THAT EASY! The video’s meant to support the song and sell it to you. I wasn’t even listening to it, which is probably for the best.

Matt Bond gives 'Sleepwalker' one Germaine Greer head out of five…

Gig Review - Chance Waters, The Griswolds and Oceanics

Chance Waters and The Griswolds
@ Alhambra Lounge (04/10/2013)
Supported by Oceanics
Words by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Cordell Sanders

If it's Friday night and The Griswolds are on a lineup somewhere and you like to have a dance when you go to a gig, then it's probably worth heading out of your house to wherever they are. Combine them with Chance Waters and their other friends, Oceanics and you're almost guaranteed to have a good time. 

When the three came together at the Alhambra Lounge in early October, it seemed most of the crowd who came to see them wouldn't disagree. Oceanics played a solid set to a very small group of people, which is a shame, because they're actually really good. By the time The Griswolds hit the stage the venue had filled considerably and they smashed through an impressive set of a lot of unfamiliar songs which I look forward to hearing on their album (when it's finally released) and of course they impressed their (mostly female) fans with crowd favourites 'Missisippi' and  'Heart Of A Lion'.

Chance Waters was clearly the one most came to see, with the venue having filled by the time he got to the stage and while he and his band played the first couple of songs to a welcoming audience it was such a shame the disappointing sound at Alhambra disappointed yet again and his set was cut mid way through by a technical issue. Luckily someone in the crowd had a banana to save the night (who takes a banana to a gig is a question I'm still yet to answer) and a small amount of awkwardness was stopped when the band launched into 'Young And Dumb', before some of The Griswolds were called back to the stage to sing 'Bonnie'. How sweet. 

While it wasn't a gig that would change the world, it's nice to see Australian bands being supported by punters loving their live music on a Friday night. While the venue can often be a little disappointing, it's nice to have a venue that supports punters loving their live music on a Friday night. While there's live music being played, there'll always be something fun to do on a Friday night. So, what are you doing next Friday night?