Thursday, 27 February 2014

Gig Review - Eminem

Live @ Suncorp Stadium (20/02/2014)
Supported by Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, 360 and Action Bronson

It was billed as a 'festival', but I'm going to be honest here and say this. We all know who (mostly) everyone was there to see. There was one name that carried this so called 'festival' and without that name, there is no way the other four artists could dream of filling a venue the size of Suncorp Stadium, in Australia at least. So, having said this, I will remind y'all that I am a blogger, I will admit I kept my nine to five day job and opted to stay at work while Action Bronson and 360 played last Thursday afternoon. Updated via text from a very good friend who was there early, I heard what I needed to know about the supports ("Who hasn't seen 360 and who is this Action Brosnon anyway?") and made my way to the locally known Suncorp (drop the Stadium, that's a formality) after fighting an hour of traffic to get home first (hey hip hop fans, I have news for you, if you show your concert ticket to a bus driver you'll get free transport to your gig at Suncorp. Remember that for next time, alright?) 

I'm not the world's biggest fan of Kendrick Lamar, but I did wanna see what his hype was about. I see it. He can rap. He can rap good. He has a talent for saying all those words really really quickly and he does it with a sense of style that a lot of hip hop artists would only dream of. Kendrick did everything Kendrick needed to do to entertain, he did justice to a half empty stadium who were mostly waiting for the guy after him to play, and I have to give credit where credit is due, he's a really good rapper. I don't necessarily always relate or love, but I can see why people do and Kendrick Lamar isn't an artist who is going to go away quietly anytime soon. 

Which brings us to the main guy. A white screen hanging across the front of the stage and a silhouette of a man with a hood made the audience make some serious noise. When the curtain dropped and Marshall Mathers and friend; Mr (self proclaimed 'mother-fucking') Porter ran across the stage there was roar that might have woken the dead if there were any left in the graves left under Suncorp (urban myth, probably not true). Opening with 'Survival' and busting through a bunch of songs without a breath, Eminem and Mr Porter completely own the stage, running, hopping, jumping, dancing from one end to the other, rapping, singing and screaming to each other, to the band and to the crowd, from the hardcore fans in the very front row to the suckers in the nose bleed seats.

Eminem was incredibly captivating, so it might have taken me a couple of songs to realise, but once I recognised the lights on stage in the shape of a sideways 'E' with his band standing atop said 'E', I couldn't help but admire their skills; this is a band that are tight, incredibly talented for being able to keep up with the speed and personality of both rappers and without stepping out of the shadows too much, there's no doubt this is a band that are as talented as the man that leads them.

Highlights? 'Criminal' was equally intriguing and entertaining, 'Kill You' was live rap genius, 'Lighters' was exactly as it should be in a live setting, 'Love The Way You Lie' made the crowd incredibly happy and 'Bezerk' is possibly now one of my new fave tracks. Eminem is a rapper, but there's a reason he has achieved the fame and success he has, and that's because he is an entertainer of the classic variety, ensuring that every person in the stadium has something of him in mind to take home with them. He is the type of guy that would hold the attention of the entire stadium even without the lights and the stage and the amps, he has that magic thing that so many from so many genres try to achieve, but it's the thing you either have or you don't. It's that star factor, the attention seeker and the entertainer that demands attention. I couldn't help but stare, there's something about him that just needs to be seen, needs to be watched and needs to be enjoyed. If it isn't the hilarious Slim Shady "demanding your attention please", then it's the manic, vicious and angry Eminem "I am nuts for real, but I'm okay with that, it's nothing, I'm still friends with the monster..." and if it's not that guy, then maybe it's the thoughtful, introspective Eminem "I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy..."

He left with my favourite Eminem, the one who gets it, who understands exactly what he is doing and doesn't take for granted any stadium he plays, any fan he's made. That's the Eminem that left his Brisbane audience exactly the way they should be, exactly the way any fan of music should be at the end of a gig, big or small. It's the way I left Suncorp on Thursday night, knowing I'd seen a rap god (his words, not mine), an incredibly talented musician, someone I'd be more than happy to see again. Ultimately, he's a sometimes misunderstood rap genius, with a lot of honest and important words to say and none more important than the ones he left Brisbane with last Thursday night...."you better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go..."

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

EP Review - I Remember When This Was All Trees

I Remember When This Was All Trees
by My Private Dinosaur
(out now!)

A week or so ago I was booked in to see My Private Dinosaur play their new EP live. Unfortunately due to sickness I didn’t attend. So instead here is a review of their new EP I Remember When This Was All Trees.

But first a little about this relatively new outfit. My Private Dinosaur is the brainchild of singer songwriter Dave Havea. Joining him in this project is pianist Josh Cohen. To complete the sound is Yiorgo Sgourakis on bass and Selwyn Cozens on drums. The EP was recorded in 2013 with producer Colin Leadbetter (who has worked with quite a few top quality artists such as Ester Holt and Whitely in recent times). The end result is an EP that is easy to listen to, laid back with sparks of beauty and much heart.

The title track opens the EP, 'I Remember When This Was All Trees'. Gorgeous 60s inspired keys lead the song and feature throughout as a cradle for the smooth vocal styling’s that Havea brings. Here is a taste of the opening beautiful lyrics: “Remember when this was all trees? The grass grew so higher it swayed in the breeze and nothing could be said for sure when time knocks so softly on some distant door, now long ago so far gone I wallow in memories I wait til the dawn, and pray for a dream to begin, escape from the nightmare that we’re living in”. The lyrics are moody with the kind of mystery I want to unpack with more than a couple of listens. The keys are expertly featured in this song – never overshadowing the vocals – yet somehow shining just as bright. This track was a nice start to the EP.

‘Nothing Left to Lose’ is the second track in. It’s another ballad – this time with the addition of some gentle guitar lead and simple yet effective drums. The intensity behind the song itself here is a gentle yet rousing one. There are some gentle harmonies peppered throughout that add another layer of depth to the sound. The keys have a few moments to hit the high notes in a sweet little ray of light - as does the guitar. This track reminded in its journey of the more acoustic music of Ben Harper with Havea’s voice possessing a similar quality of intimacy in its delivery and tone.

I would suggest turning the lights down low for the third track when you listen to it. ‘Song for a Lover’ is the kind of track you slip on after you’ve slipped into something more comfortable and move on in closer to the one you love. This song is one of my favourites on the EP with its sweet and playful intent to make that special someone in your life understand how much you care. The elements really flow together well in this song – the harmonies, the build halfway through, the heart in the lyrics and the soar of Havea’s pipes. It all really hit the right spots. In the 90s I was a bit of a Lenny Kravitz fan – mostly for his slower smoother tracks as opposed to his faster rock tunes. This song has the same affect on me. I was left wanting to hit the replay button on as it left me feeling so good.

The last track on the EP is a hopeful, optimistic and upbeat song called ‘All the Better’. There is something familiar about this song that I can’t quite place. But perhaps it’s just the sweet softness I feel listening to it that really lights my heart. There is a throwback feel with the percussive jazz turn a rounds played on the piano and the groove that gentle rocks the body. Easy listening music can easily enter the waters of tackiness if not handled with careful skill, but with this track I had no worries of any sense of cheese entering the picture. This is smooth and easy listening music at its best – expertly laid for our listening pleasure.

The sound that My Private Dinosaur creates had me thinking of 60s music – in particular motown ballads. Havea has a distinct quality to his voice that reminds me of a mix between legends Al Green and Bill Withers. Not a bad combination to be reminded of! This music is reflective and poetically driven with interpretation up to the listener. And it’s the voice of Havea that glues it all together.

I would say that this album is a top choice for a dinner party, late night conversations or perhaps a quiet Sunday afternoon. I really look forward to hearing more from My Private Dinosaur in the future.

Lou Endicott gives 'I Remember When This Was All Trees' four Michael Hutchence heads out of five....

Song Review - First Light

First Light
by The Twoks

I love this. I love that it makes me feel like I've just stepped into an 80s movie and everything is happy and slightly ridiculous and there's nothing in the world you have to worry about. And you might be wearing roller skates and have big hair... but you just don't care! The Twoks? I hadn't heard of them before listening to 'First Light', but I already know I'm not going to be able to get enough of them.

"Here comes the light, now I can see, that I'm ready for you, are you ready for me?" The lyrics are this mix of romance and adventure, that you can picture yourself shouting along to on the d-floor, four maybe five G and T's into the night. Those gorgeous vocals you're hearing belong to Xani Kolac. It'll blow your mind to know that she's also playing the electric violin throughout. I'm terribly curious to see The Twoks live, because I imagine seeing Kolac (along with Mark Leahy on drums) play and sing would be mighty impressive.

I love this. I'm about 101% sure you're going to love this. 'First Light' is just a day-brightening piece of shimmering pop, designed to put a smile on your dial and get those feet moving. The Twoks? Ones to watch.

Matt Bond gives 'First Light' four Kylie heads out of five...

And hey, if you want to see The Twoks live, they've got some dates lined up through March!

Feb 28
Enlighten Festival, Canberra

Mar 5
Queen Victoria Night Markets, Melbourne

Mar 7-10
Port Fairy Folk Festival

Mar 14
Howl The Moon, Adelaide Fringe Festival

Mar 29, Apr 5, Apr 12, Apr 19
“Mark After Dark: Series I”
Bella Union Trades Hall, 11pm-3am
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #8

The Medicine Cabinet Probes Terri
by Nayt Housman

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

No one is safe from the clutches of Dr Nayt’s probing brain. In some situations it just takes control of his body! It even has him talking in third person… Ahem. So anyway, I caught up with a fellow photographer recently and in amongst tech geek chats and conjuring ideas, I thought, “What a perfect time to do some music probing!” So Dr Nayt reared his curious head and said, “Terri. I need to know what makes you tick. How old are you and what is your loife passionne?” To which Terri responded, “*Nervously laughs* Ummm 35… My life passion is taking PHOTOGRAPHS!” A girl after my own heart… Then I said, “Roight, lets talk music.”

Terri by Nayt Housman

Thinking of music as medicine...

Who flicks your switch and turns up the volume?

Terri: That’s so hard it’s mood dependent but I’d say Boho… No no not Boho, Bobonos… No no Bono? NOT BONO, let me check! Let me check my phone… Bonobo! HA!

Why are they the pill that cures your ills?

Terri: It’s just ambient and relaxing, beautiful and… EVERYTHING!

What kind of high does it give you?

Terri: A very joyous high, yeah, it puts my sparkle back *laughs*.

Then there’s me making magic wand noises… So profesh.

When do you find yourself craving musical relief?

Terri: It would have to be when I feel out of my skin.

Where does music take you?

Terri: Takes me to a place internally that’s expressive, visual, creative, and joyous.

How do you share your music love? 

Terri: I share it with everybody! I share it on social media, verbally, when I’m out and whenever I hear what I like.


There are a few bands in my realm of love that need so few words to describe them because it often just seems like describing them would somehow take away from the experience they give me. Almost like I want to share them though I don’t want anyone else’s experience tainted by me shoving them in their face with unneeded words. Also, often my response when asked about these groups is just so succinct I don’t feel there is need for elaboration, it’s about the discovery and the look of love and joy for the music that is sprawled across my face that's enough. AND hell, sometimes the music is just so damn good it doesn’t need any words itself!

I shall dub this “The Painting Effect”. A picture says a thousand words and so does a face, so do soundscapes. Need I say more? I feel as though some narratives are meant to be written from the inside and never let out. Stories change over time as we grow and begin to interpret differently. Music can be the canvas you paint internally and when words become important, they are succinct and delivered efficiently.

Doctor Nayt’s prescription for this week is specifically targeted at those in industries that require a lot of speaking. Word pollution as I like to call it in my retail job. When the load has become too much, find yourself a quiet corner and breathe in the Bonobo ether. Breathe deep and visualise only what is important, take the piles of useless words you’ve been bombarded with and put them away for use at a later time. Breathe out and repeat. Do this as you feel necessary. Didn’t you know I’m a spiritual healer too now? Ommmmmmmmm…

Monday, 24 February 2014

It's My Kind of Interview - I Know Leopard

Do you know I Know Leopard? Well, you should. Last year they released this track 'She' that made a whole bunch of people take notice of the Sydney-siders. This year, they released the new track 'Hold This Tight', earning them a whole bunch of new fans. We've got a feeling that their debut EP, Illumina is going to continue this trend, because if the tracks are anywhere near as good as what we've heard so far, we are in for a treat my friends. Tonight we've got a little chat with Todd Andrews from the band and we're talking tours, music videos and music (duh!). Enjoy! 

Interview by Matt Bond

Hello hello and welcome to It's My Kind of Scene! How are you on this fine day and what have you been doing?

Todd: Hi! I’ve been relaxing inside and watching the rain. It’s been nice.

You're a relatively new outfit to my ears, but I'm sure your journey as a band hasn't been an overnight one. Tell us what brought I Know Leopard together and what keeps you together?

Todd: You’re right, we’ve all been musicians and playing in bands for a while. Matt, Luke and I have always played together, but the addition of Jenny and Sam to our lineup has been the most amazing additions. We are so lucky to have fallen together, it works so well on and off the stage.

The new single is 'Hold This Tight' which is just a damn fine slice of dreamy-indie pop. What's the story behind the song?

Todd: The song is about friendships, and cherishing good times. Things change in life, so enjoy what you have in the moment.

What was it like working with Ben Timony on the perfect, accompanying clip? I'm sure we'd all rather be hanging out in the water on floaty chairs!

Todd: Ben is amazing and extremely talented. He’s a really great and long time friend and he totally gets us. The clip was a lot of fun (and very relaxing) to make, and perfect vibe for the song. It just made so much sense and when Ben said he could put it together like he did, we knew it had to be done.

You've got a little March tour lined up as well! What do you love about the live music experience? And, I don't want to make this awkward, but most of us are in Brisbane and you're not coming here, so...

Todd: Haha ohhhh that is awkward, and we promise we’ll be there next time, but you know we were in Brisbane late last year.  We love playing live. It’s an amazing feeling to translate what happens when writing a song and then producing it in the studio to the live format. It’s a challenge and something we work really hard on. Performing songs you’ve been working on behind closed doors is such a great release.

We know the Illumina EP is coming soon and it's quickly becoming one of the most anticipated Australian releases of the year. Is there a certain theme that will run through the EP in the same vein as 'Hold This Tight'? And can you give us something a bit more... concrete... about the release date?

Todd: The release date is soon. Probably sooner than you think! And yeah, the EP flows really well sonically, musically and holds consistent themes of displacement, friendship and life from the first two singles, 'She' and 'Hold This Tight'. We’re really proud of it, all five tracks, and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

Rapid Fire:

The greatest pop song of all time is... 
Todd: 'Jump' - Van Halen

Your dream collaboration would be with... 
Todd: Connan Mockasin

The best gig you've ever been to was... 
Todd: Man I saw Drenge the other day at GoodGod in Sydney and it was pretty good.

Powderfinger or Silverchair... 
Todd: Silverchair, easy.

The best piece of advice you could offer an aspiring musician is...
Todd: practice.

Your music guilty pleasures include...
Todd: heavy metal

When they air the I Know Leopard 'Behind The Music' TV special in 46 years time, what are they going to say about you?

Todd: “He looks good for a 75 year old.”

But seriously, do any of you actually know a leopard?

Todd: Never met one. Too scary.

Thanks for the chat!

Todd: You're welcome.

And you can catch I Know Leopard live in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in March! But not in Brisbane... 

Top 25 - 24 February, 2014

The Growlers... music makers/magical high-five givers.

1. Jack Colwell and The Owls - Far From View

2. Holy Holy - House of Cards (NEW)

3. The Growlers - Humdrum Blues (NEW)

4. Harts - Lovers In Bloom (NEW)

5. Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp

6. JP Klipspringer - Bury Me (NEW)

7. Achoo! Bless You - Wild Eyes

8. Jessie Frye - Dear

9. Passerine - Free Again

10. Ngaiire - ABCD

11. Lurch and Chief - Mother/Father

12. Ball Park Music - She Only Loves Me When I'm There

13. All The Colours - Fragile (NEW)

14. Wild Beasts - Sweet Spot

15. The Preatures - Better Than It Ever Could Be

16. Tales In Space - All Messed Up (NEW)


17. Halcyon Drive - Whitewash (NEW)

18. Iluka - 12th of July (NEW)

19. I Know Leopard - Hold This Tight

20. Mr Little Jeans - Good Mistake (NEW)

21. The Griswolds - Red Tuxedo (NEW)

22. Cash + David - Funn (NEW)

23. Airling - Ouroboros (NEW)

24. The Audreys - My Darlin' Girl

25. Little Earthquake - Planets

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Song Review - Maryanne

by Millar Jukes And The Bandits

What is it about Millar Jukes that just hits the nail on the head for me? There is something authentically vintage and real about the sound that he and The Bandits create that reels me in immediately. Late last year I reviewed his single ‘All Night Long’. It’s still a staple on my list of songs to elevate my mood and put the light into the night.

Millar Jukes and the Bandits’ latest single ‘Maryanne’ could easily be a cover of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song with its beautiful southern hard rock sound and bold yet measured guitar licks. ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ (perhaps Lyrnyd Skynyrd’s biggest hit) is one of my favourite 70s rock standards with its rolling kick and soaring vocals. I was reminded of it instantly with ‘Maryanne’. Millar Jukes obviously is well versed in Americana alternate country music and recreates his own here with the help of his band – The Bandits - with sophistication and much grunt.

I first listened to ‘Maryanne’ through headphones just as I was getting off a train. As I hit the escalators on the platform the guitar solo came in. Goosebumps enveloped me as the sweet and soaring guitar filled my ear drums. The fact that I was literally rising up (on said escalator) was a bonus. This is a feel good song through and through. I am always on the search for songs that put the spring in my step and a smile on my face. ‘Maryanne’ does just that.

This song is simple in its intent. It’s a sassy tribute to the object of one’s affection: in this case Maryanne. Maryanne is the one who is just out of reach, put on a pedestal and yearned for by all who know her. The girl they want. The girl you might want to be. It’s romanticised and idealised and fits well in this genre of music. Millar Juke’s raw and real voice is icing to the cake. It’s easy to listen to without any pretention or sense of self-importance. The simple story is delivered with heart and more than a big dash of skill.

With lyrics I can’t help but want to sing along to; “Come one Maryanne I just wanna see you dance,  come on girl say hit that floor and just give me that chance, come one Maryanne I just wanna see you move, take my hand girl, take my heart and take me home with you” Millar ticks many of the right boxes. Rootsy, bluesy with plenty of sexy guitar and thumping drums, this song is best played up loud – I suggest with plenty of people around and a couple of cold ones to get the party on.

So, if, like me you are a fan of new vintage, grab some friends, a couple of beverages and turn it up!

Lou Endicott gives 'Maryanne' five Johnny Cash heads out of five...

Millar Jukes is launching this fantastic new single on Thursday, 27th February at The Workers Club in Melbourne and you can check out the important details here.

Song Review - All Honesty

All Honesty
by Foreign/National

Groove. It’s got it. Straight away. With its punchy organ with zippy little bass licks over the top, I was moving my head straight away to ‘All Honesty’ (and I may or may not have been pouting and trying to look cool. No one was around except my cat, so let’s say my cat thought I looked cool). This new single from Foreign/National is a tight and joyous ride. The rhythm reigns supreme here with its quick and upbeat journey. There is also a vocal break midway that puts the trip momentarily on hold to regroup the sound together again. Always a good choice for a track with this much going on.

With lots of vocal effects and loops and pedals throughout, ‘All Honesty’ owns its musical psychadelia with a fresh and progressive take. The lyrics “I can’t see where you fit into all this mess” suggest a kaleidoscope of emotional baggage that sends one around the bend. A jilted lover perhaps? Or a disillusioned soul wanting some answers? Whatever your take, this song will get you moving.

Perhaps my favourite aspect of this groovy little outfit is their ability to cook the right blend of jazzy chords and buoyant beats into something quite new and original. ‘All Honesty’ is a great example of creating a jazz vibe with a whole other sound. The layering here gives the song an almost lounge mood but make no mistake. This is no “sit-back-and-lose-yourself” kind of track. With its delicious warped, trippy soundscapes and beats skimming the water like a flat stone on a still lake, this song demands you to move.

So pop on your shoes and get your dance on.

Lou Endicott gives 'All Honesty' four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

Foreign/National are performing every Tuesday in February at The Toff in Town in Melbourne. Check the details and get your tickets here!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Song Review - Whitewash

by Halycon Drive

Doge review...

Actual review...

Sure, our good friend Doge sums 'Whitewash' up quite nicely and with 'much succinctness', but we could talk about how great this new Halycon Drive track is for days. The Melbourne-based duo, made up of Max and Michael, becomes the latest Australian act to make a grand declaration of their arrival with their crazy/good new single. 'Whitewash' is one of those intriguing tracks you'll find yourself listening to on repeat as you find more to love about it. I'm sure you can decide what you love about it, but since you're reading a review I might as well tell you what I enjoyed. That's why you're here, right? Oh... you just came for the Doge and the music. I'm going to tell you anyway. 

The moments with a fuller sound than two people should be able to create are just as exciting as the quieter ones where your attention is drawn to the restrained vocal performance. You're waiting for the moment where everything will boil over and it comes with the lines, "I won't forget the feeling, I won't forget the night, That I followed defeat, In to your eyes." And then everything's this perfect blur of musical goodness and you're heading back to the start so you can do it all again. You know what that's a sign of? Good times, great music. Duh. I don't know much about these guys, but after listening to 'Whitewash' I certainly want to know more. Here's hoping we get to hear a whole lot from Halcyon Drive in 2014. 

Matt Bond gives 'Whitewash' four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...       

Friday, 21 February 2014

Song Review - All Messed Up

All Messed Up
by Tales In Space
Album: TBA Debut Album (???, 2014)

I've decided what I like the most about Tales In Space is that they are fun. The couple of songs I've heard in the past have been fun. The duo is made up of Luke Bert and Pieman. Admit it. That's not only fun, it's funny. Let's say Pieman again. Pieman! Their new track 'All Messed Up' is more fun than a clown on fire. I, like most sane people/horror film fans, hate clowns... so that's really fun. When Luke and Pieman (it gets better each time you say it) were picking out a band name, it must have been annoying that 'fun' was taken by a band that is mostly lacking in what their title is selling, but Tales In Space as a name is all kinds of fun too. I'm going to stop saying fun now.

'All Messed Up' has killer guitar grooves that were made to start those feet tapping along as Tales In Space reel you in and there's some surprisingly smooth vocals amongst all the electronic goodness. "What do you mean by, 'surprisingly', seƱor?" Did you think you'd be describing some dudes named Bert and Pieman as having smooth-ish vocal tones today? No. No you did not. What I found really interesting about 'All Messed Up' is the story in the song. The first time you listen to the track you'll bop around to the music. Then you'll pay attention to the lyrics a bit more with each subsequent listen and the reality that the word picture being painted isn't all rainbows and unicorns.

There's a hugely welcome depth to 'All Messed Up' and that unexpected depth is becoming somewhat of a Tales In Space trademark and it's what will have you coming back for more. Just because the music makes you think, "WOOOOO," doesn't automatically class it as cookie-cutter pop. Luke Bert and Pieman? These guys are good. And a whole lot of fun.

P.s. FUN!

P.p.s PIEMAN!!! 

Matt Bond gives 'All Messed Up' four Boy George heads out of five...

Tales In Space will be taking 'All Messed Up' on the road in March and you can catch them live on the east coast. Dates below! 


6 March - Surfers Beer Garden, QLD
7 March - Alhambra Lounge - Brisbane, QLD
8 March - Sol Bar - Sunshine Coast, QLD

9 March - The Brewery - Byron Bay, NSW

14 March - Ding Dong Lounge - Melbourne, VIC
15 March - Torquay Hotel - Torquay, VIC

27 March - Brass Monkey - Cronulla, NSW
29 March - Beresford - Sydney, NSW
30 March - Small Ballroom - Newcastle, NSW

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Song Review - Lovers In Bloom

Lovers In Bloom
by Harts
Album: Untitled (due sometime really soon, please?)

When we counted down our Top 113 songs of 2013 late last year, there were very few songs that all five of us here at It's My Kind Of Scene agreed on. One of the few that we all adored was by Harts and although it's early in the year, I'm going to make a prediction now and say that there's probably going to be a couple more Harts tracks in this year's countdown and after listening to this one three or four times in a row already, I think I can safely assume he's going to make a lot of end of year wrap ups, not just ours, at the end of 2014.

'Lovers In Bloom' contains all the things that make a pop song so incredibly good. It's a funk filled festival of grooves, some chunky guitar work that makes me want to pick up the guitar in the corner of my room (and play, although I could look quite good just holding it, I suppose), beats that make me want to dance across my room (I'm not guaranteeing how good I look doing that), a bass line any fan of funk will want to just eat up and the vocal? This guy's vocal is from another time, another place, where music is made to dance to, where there's a party every night, everyone is dressed well and no one has any worries. It makes me smile knowing there's someone making music like this, because while there is a current popular resurgence for retro/motown/funk/disco sounding pop, people like Harts are showing the world how it really should be done.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Lovers In Bloom' four Beyonce heads out of five...

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Where Is My Mind? - Everyone Does It

Do you think Christina Aguilera and her boyfriend do it even with a driver in the car?

Everyone's Done It
by Jo Michelmore

Everyone does it. I've admitted it a million times on this here blog. I've admitted it a million times not on this here blog. Probably more than a million times. In fact, I quite happily do it, loudly. I don't care who's watching. Or listening.

Someone I know posted something on facebook about doing it in the car with the windows down and nearby roadworks, while Christina Aguilera was playing.

Everyone who can, does it, no matter how much you deny it. I was doing this the other day with someone and afterwards we started chatting about the next songs to do this to. Their opinions were a little different to mine, which was awkward, since we'd just done it. Once I started chatting about it, I realised how wide and varied everyone's tastes are. So I asked a few people I knew what they thought were the best songs to do this to and the answers I got were wide and varied and since we left off last week on a song I've done this lots of times to, that is LOTS of times, let's look at some songs some others like to do this to.

How appropriate. We left on The Flaming Lips and we start with Eternal Flame. I think this one would be a little depressing to do this with, but you know, as I say, each to their own.

From one girl group to another, this one intrigues me. Cause which bits do you like the best, the vocal gymnastics or the 'whoa' every line in the chorus? I mean, the 'whoa' would obviously be the easiest part while you're pre-occupied with other activities, but who's to say?

Interesting choice, right? Some would like your Eminems, some would prefer your old school Beastie Boys, but the person I was doing this with recently not only chooses Mr Beyonce; Jay-Z, but chooses the track with the Broadway sample in it. You really can't judge what turns people on, can you?

One more, because Jay-Z has sampled them, as has one of the people I asked this weird question to. I know I've done it to this band. Hasn't everyone?

There you go, four songs people like to sing along to while driving. You do know I'm talking about driving songs, right? Singing in the car? Everyone does it. Don't you? And yes, this is where is my mind, why? Where is your mind?

Next week? Maybe something a little simpler so your mind doesn't wander so much.

EP Review - Oh Hunter

Oh Hunter 
by Hayden Calnin (out now)

Last year I had the pleasure of watching Hayden Calnin support Asta at The Northcote Social Club in Melbourne. This week I have the pleasure of reviewing his brand new EP Oh Hunter  – which I would label as an alchemy of electro ambient folk.

The EP opens with the song ‘Coward’. This track starts with a beautiful subdued intro, with keys holding the ground firmly before Hayden’s smooth and emotive voice comes in providing just the right amount of contrasting texture. For me, Calnin’s voice is one of those that moved into my heart immediately with his soft-almost-whisper-singing in your ear and incredible range. With this recording, its apparent almost immediately that this music is best listened to through either a superior set of speakers or quality head phones. The mixing here is part of the art of this music. You don’t want to miss out on the delicacy of sound. ‘Coward’ - with its gorgeous layering of voice and a serendipitous dynamic shift of beats, grabbed me by the heart. The glockenspiel hits add the right amount of dream-like longing here. ‘Coward’ sets the tone of the EP; an almost wistful ride of drama contrasting with softness and sweet contemplation.

‘Comatose’ follows as the next track and gives Calnin a chance to really showcase his vocal ability. His ability to hold the emotion of an old and wizened soul without any pretention or unnecessary flair had me thinking of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver’s) pipes. But there is something altogether unique in Calnin’s voice that gives him a whole other stand out quality; it’s haunting and almost of another world, yet it’s still very accessible.

The pensive mood of the EP continues into the third track with ‘I Corrupt’. Falsetto vocals rise above a simple almost melancholic soundscape. Like gulls majestically rising over a grey ocean, it is again the voice of Calnin that reels me in with lush harmonies balancing out the sadness with beauty. Unassuming little synth sounds add another element that creates a full and interesting sound – perhaps a little like Bjork’s early pieces.

The beautiful brood is continued with ‘Not Good for Me’. This song was a stand out for me when I saw Calnin play it live last year. And again, listening to the EP I fell in love with these lyrics “There’s a girl next to me she feels like rain, crying her eyes out all the time, speak a little louder, I could help you out if you want, but you are not good for me”. The idea of being attracted to what we don’t need is an old but relevant story. The letting go of what is no longer serving you is a hard lesson to learn. This song delivers its message clearly and with much heart and conviction. ‘Not Good for Me’ is an intimate revelation yet remains refined and elegant in its delivery. Again, the mixing here is done so well with vocal harmonies (at times manipulated digitally), stripped back sections, gentle ebbs and flows and dreamy guitar. Be sure to turn this one up.

The last song of the EP is ‘Forever A Traveller’. It opens with simple guitar strums and gentle hums and holds its power with simple yet striking lyrics; “I’m forever travelling, a hunter for stars, I’m forever travelling, a hunter for stars….” This lament weaves its magic with a layer of harmonies and lyrics that repeat over and over. This song reminded me of the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ with its use of repetition, themes of danger and its timeless ethereal feel. It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful EP.

I thoroughly enjoyed Oh Hunter. Although it’s an introspective and wistful journey I was not left feeling empty or sad. There is a sense of hope conveyed in this EP that makes me want to listen again and again and I highly recommend seeing Hayden Calnin live if you get the chance. His star is definitely rising. Be a hunter yourself and go snare the EP as soon as you can. 

Lou Endicott gives Oh Hunter five Nick Cave heads out of five...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #7

Music Is My Medicine
by Nayt Housman

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

 Enire by Nayt Housman

Like any man of the 21st century, I’m an aficionado of social media and as such, I have a few acquaintances from various parts of the world that I have become cyber friends with. NERD ALERT! So why not rope one into my clinic to do a bit of scientific music medicinal research? My delightful patient today is the enigmatic and energetic 26 year old Enrie from Italy, who’s life passion is fashion, travelling and MUSIC!

Who flicks your switch and turns up the volume?

Enrie: Tiny girls with BIG guitars. It could be either a rocking Alanis Morissette  or Courntey Love, but also pop oriented singers like Michelle Branch and Taylor Swift. Music is feminine and singular to me.

Why are they the pills that cure your ills?

Enrie: I think that music gives a name, shape and words to unexpressed feelings inside of me. It’s like she (music) knows better! Music doesn’t ask, she just gives you answers!

What kind of high does it give you?

Enrie: Ecstasy. Relief. Peace.

When do you find yourself craving musical relief?

Enrie: Especially when I’m very angry or very sad. Music can be very cathartic, a pretty good companion. Haha I feel like I sound like an emo bimbo, cutting her veins to the last Evanescence album LOL.

Where does music take you?

Enrie: DAMN these questions are difficult! To a place that is my own, where I can take my time to think or not think at all. It depends on my mood I guess.

How do you share your music love?

Enrie: By singing and dancing to it!!!!

Music is a powerful woman. She can be your mother, your best friend, your aunt or your uncle. Oh wait…no, no…actually YES, I guess she can be your uncle too. She can simply be a good companion. That person who is always there when you’re in need a figurative shoulder to cry on or to laugh on, and always has some good advice for whatever situation you may find yourself in.

I shall dub this ‘The Diva Affect’. One of my fave karaoke tracks so wisely states; “any time you need a friend, I will be here, never be alone again, so don’t you fear, even if you’re miles away, I’m by your side, so don’t you ever be lonely, love will make it alright.” Yeah sing it gurrrl…

Doctor Nayt’s prescription is to firstly realize, you’re never alone. Baby, Lady Music has always got your back. So when the days are all blending into one and the light at the end of the tunnel has gone; STOP, collaborate and listen. There’s a diva out there who can bring back your glisten. Shine, shine, listen to the rhyme, rhyme and the wise words within is where life begins. The mother divas of the music world have the power and magic to reverse the bland and tragic. Have a dose.

Video Review - Tonight

by Phebe Starr

I should be straight up from the beginning. I have absolutely no idea what's going on in this clip. The song is everything Phebe Starr is; delightful, powerful, tense and danceable, all at once. The clip on the other hand is an interesting take on an already interesting song topic, so while I'm no music video maker, I can only offer my humble and amateur opinion, which is this.

This clip is strangely beautiful and this clip is strangely awesome. 

I love how a clip set in a mostly white scape can be so creepy and almost scary, in a really eyes wide open way. I love how the imagery of snow and the odd couple and some dramatic costuming matches the dramatic song so well. It's the perfect timing of hair flicking, the perfect kind of vacant stares and the perfectly subtle shadows that tick all the right boxes and make this a beautiful collection of images set to a beautifully creepy song. All of those things only make me ask one question though. Is a glass of milk the appropriate choice of beverage for a plate full of red sausages? I'm vegetarian, don't ask me. 

Jo Michelmore gives 'Tonight' three and a half The xx heads out of five...

Monday, 17 February 2014

Video Review - Bury Me

Bury Me
by JP Klipspringer

I thought one word but I had numerous questions when I first saw this clip. The questions were:

Q: Who is JP Klipspringer?

A: JP Klipspringer is a little project by a guy named Jack Poulson who happens to reside in Melbourne. This is the second single from this little project, but details are so dull when the music is so good.

Q: Where is this magical forest that so many beautiful clips seem to be set in and why aren't I there?

A: I'm going to assume this magical forest must be somewhere cooler than where I live. In every clip I see set in said magical forest, the people are dressed so astonishingly well, all rugged up in clothes I only dream of wearing while I swelter at my laptop. They are always looking so longingly at each other and the trees, staring into an abyss that must only be seen from this magical forest and there is always something a bit sinister about this forest, like there is something lurking behind a tree, waiting to attack or give you sandwiches. I must find this forest. I like sandwiches and it looks so fabulous.

Q: How can I possibly have existed before this song? 

A: I don't really know. This is so incredibly beautiful I have listened to it so many times it's almost becoming an obsession. The keys, the beats, the voice, they all meld so beautifully into each other and become such a sense of comfort I don't know whether to dance or cry when it starts. A little bit of dancing when I think I know what the words are and a little bit of crying when I realise what they are. Maybe a little of both. Damn, this is so good. You know that saying about what has been seen cannot be unseen? I'm so glad. I never want to not know this song is in the world.

So that brings us to the words I thought when I first heard this song and saw this clip. I write for a blog, but I'm no wordsmith. It was simple, but it describes the feelings and the thoughts so well. Just press play and say it slowly and you'll understand.


Jo Michelmore gives 'Bury Me' four and a half Thom Yorke heads out of five...

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Top 25 - 16 February, 2014

Jack Colwell makes a big debut...

1. Jack Colwell and The Owls - Far From View (NEW)

2. Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp (NEW)

3. Jessie Frye - Dear

4. Ngaiire - ABCD

5. Wild Beasts - Sweet Spot (NEW)

6. The Preatures - Better Than It Ever Could Be

7. I Know Leopard - Hold This Tight

8. The Presets - Goodbye Future

9. Ball Park Music - She Only Loves Me When I'm There (NEW)

10. Circa Waves - Stuck In My Teeth (NEW)

11. Our Man In Berlin - Lonely Arms

12. The Good Ship - Sea Monster (NEW)


13. Shura - Touch (NEW)

14. Passerine - Free Again (NEW)

15. Lurch and Chief - Mother/Father (NEW)

16. The Jezabels - Look of Love

17. Little Earthquake - Planets

18. Achoo! Bless You - Wild Eyes (NEW)

19. The Audreys - My Darlin' Girl (NEW)

20. The Velvets - Lover

21. Sally Seltmann - Catch of the Day

22. St. Vincent - Prince Johnny

23. Imogen Brough - Heart

24. Dan and Amy - Pretend

25. Horegeous - The Wild Ones