Friday, 30 May 2014

Stop, Collaborate and Listen #5 - 1

by Brandy and Monica

Two divas fighting over a man: who will be victorious? Will it be Brandy? Or will it be Monica? Does anyone even care? Quite frankly I didn’t care about that in 1998 and still don’t. I just enjoy a good old fashioned cat fight. The only thing missing from the song is a whole stack of swearing, and some hair pulling in the film clip. Although, really, to me the idea of fighting over some dude does seem ludicrous. Thankfully it wasn’t a Brandy/Monica/Katie battle because I would’ve just said “no thanks, I’m out” and taken a nap.

While rumor has it that ole Brandy and Monica didn’t necessarily see eye to eye, apparently the inspiration for the song was, of all things, the Jerry Springer Show. If that’s the case I would’ve liked to have seen them beat each other with their shoes in the film clip, while people yell “fight!” and Steve the security guards pulls them apart.

‘The Boy is Mine’ had chart success, won a bunch of awards, and, for me, is one of the gems of the 90s. Try playing it around your friends and I’m sure you’ll be surprised at just how many people know the words. (Katie Langley)

by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

I won tickets to see the film 'Once' at it’s first showing in Melbourne. It was a small event considering the attention that the film and it’s music received after it’s release. I arrived late and hence had to sit in the front row. I got a little motion sick during the film. But motion sickness aside this movie and it’s music penetrated deep into my psyche and my heart and made me forget the nausea from sitting so close to a giant screen. I have been a bit of a secret piano player and song writer since I was a little kid. I guess in my private moments I mostly play folk. I have been lucky enough at times in my life to sing and play with few close friends. In these moments, my favourite combination has always been the simplicity of piano and guitar and voices in harmony. The moment in the film where Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard play this gorgeous song in the music shop had me almost immediately in tears. It’s those private moments when sound comes together that music hits the soul and sings straight from the heart. The gentleness yet emotive power of this song and the musical connection that these two artists obviously had during the recording of this song (and film) is one that artists strive to achieve when collaborating. I teared up again while watching the 80th Academy Awards as "Falling Slowly" took out the Oscar for best song. To know that a simple pairing of souls, using simple instruments and a lot of talent and heart could reach the world stage via a low budget feature film was reassuring and inspiring. Says Irglova about the song: “"This song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are..." These words sum up what our world needs most at the moment. Hope. (Lou Endicott)

by Gotye and Kimbra

When talking duets, naturally most minds wander far, far backward, to a decade where all the worlds’ superstars seemed to want to get together and sing. The 80s were an era where well established stars flaunted their respective fame with each other and made some incredible/terrible songs that people still love and love to hate today (for more information, read numbers 20 through to 6 of this here countdown. We've included a few). But one of the things that makes this particular song so interesting is that it did everything in reverse.

Gotye, a relatively unknown Australian artist to anyone outside of the JJJ audience and Kimbra, perhaps even less known at the time than her Melbournian duet partner. Together they created a song so catchy, so good, that they skyrocketed themselves into the land of superstardom for a minute or two there, and forever placed themselves amongst some pretty impressive names of artists who've dueted successfully. It topped the charts in over twenty countries and won a bunch of ARIA’s and two Grammys, but the quirky little fact I find most interesting is that it actually came third behind Kimbra’s own ‘Cameo Lover’ in the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition in 2011.

Regardless of all that, it's a little mind blowing to think that it was three years ago I first heard those now incredibly famous little guitar notes that make up the start of what was to become one of my favourite songs of 2011, then one of my least favourite songs of the next year. The curse of the overplayed song struck hard with this one, for while it was incredibly enjoyed for a good eight months or so there, it was eventually played so much those first few notes made me cringe at the sound. A testament to what an incredible songwriter Gotye is though, now, with a little space, I again welcome those notes when I hear them, for they take me on a little journey of sound that takes me back to some fun times and ends in Kimbra’s delicious vocal and that's yet to be a bad thing. Also, on a side note, my fabulous fellow blogger Matt and I may have been known to kill this one at karaoke once or twice. You can take the term ‘kill’ anyway you like. But when our own first duet is released, you'll glad you heard about it here first. Just saying. (Jo Michelmore)

by Roy Orbison and KD Lang

How do you make one of the greatest songs of all-time even better? Turn it into a duet... obviously. But if it's an incredible song that features one of the most iconic voices to have ever graced our ears, you're going to need an equally impressive singer to join in if you're going to pull it off. And so in 1987, Roy Orbison (enjoying a resurgence in his career) entered into the studio with up and coming superstar K.D. Lang to record a new take on the much loved hit, 'Crying'. The results were fan-freaking-tastic.

Have you seen that video of the kid hearing A Great Big World's 'Say Something' and having an emotional reaction to music for the first time? You know the one... the dad's all like, "it's sad, isn't it buddy?" And the kids like, "Waahhhhhh!!!" The first time I heard this version of 'Crying' was pretty much the same for me. I was just luckier to not be born in an era where parents have easy access to recording technology. That kid's going to grow up to hate his dad, but that's neither here nor there. Anywho, back in the day I was watching the old TV box and there was a programme on with Orbison and K.D. Lang in a studio performing the track. The emotion packed into their voices was enough to leave me standing in awe, likely slack-jawed. Orbison could go from quiet to booming out high notes in a flash and the tone and power that Lang has? Forget about it... she's the best. It's very easy to tell if a duet's performers don't have chemisty, but with these two the chemistry was magnetic. They kept moving in closer and closer to each other as the track built to that knockout finish. I couldn't take my eyes off them and each time I listen to the song now, I think of the genuine connection Lang and Orbison were able to create on 'Crying', despite differences in age and sexuality. These were two voices that simply belonged together. I was sure the studio recording/documentary clip would have been on the YouTubes, but I can't seem to find it. Devo.

'Crying' would be the only song K.D. Lang recorded with Roy Orbison. Sadly, he passed away the following year at the age of 52. If things had turned out differently, it's hard not to believe the two would have delivered some stunning collaborations throughout the years. But what we got is more than enough. When it's this good, you can listen to it over and over again. I certainly have, for the better part of twenty years now. As duets go, this is one of the best of the best. (Matt Bond)

by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue

This would have to be one of the first duets that I actually remember having some kind of profound effect on me. I can remember listening to it often on JJJ when it was first released and being drawn to Nick Cave’s deep, sultry voice and the darkly delicate dance it created with Kylie’s breathy, ghostly tone. There’s something about those Cave’s vocal that is just so gentle and endearing regardless of what his lips are saying. It’s like you can place yourself in the body of Eliza Day while she’s being serenaded as her life ebbs away into the water around her. Urrrrgh, so chillingly divine.

I just really fell in love with the bittersweet imagery conjured by Cave’s remorseful and achingly gorgeous lyrics. The intensity of the mood is overwhelming and his love for the wild rose he plucked too soon is made more spectacular by the accompanying video. Kylie was probably the most unlikely partner at the time but her inner dramatic diva proved to be the most perfect choice for a torch song that burnt so bitingly hot and has smouldered for years to come. A modern classic for sure. (Nayt Housman) 

Video Review - Buck Up And Pay The Reaper

Buck Up And Pay The Reaper
by Dear Plastic

Nayt: Imagine a cauldron bubbling away with the machinations, emotions, insecurities and impulses of several minds that boil up and overflow as a bristling tune, fizzing and prickling with powerfully uneasy vocals, moaning guitar and nervously lashing drums. The result being 'Buck Up And Pay The Reaper' by Melbourne’s Dear Plastic, which is a dark, beautiful George/Bjork-esque indie rock song, that utilises heavy atmosphere to capture and tangle simple poetry that wriggles tantalisingly like a fly in a spiders web.

Jo: It's funny how these things are. Dear Plastic have been a fave of our very own Lou's for a little while now. A five piece from Melbourne, they're everything she has said in only the fabulous way Lou can say things; "squelchy trip hop beats with dark and dramatic swells", "immediately engaging", and "very unique, very original and for lovers of all things left of centre"; kind of like our fabulous Lou herself. I'm still yet to declare myself a full time fan, but it can't be denied, this is a moody little band capable of some special sounds. I can see why Lou likes them so much. Which brings us to a little song Lou reviewed for us back in March and now we're lucky enough to watch the new video clip that goes with it.

Nayt: That’s the good but there is bad, depending how you view it… The video, Urrrgh. What to say? On one hand you have this powerful and gorgeously brooding song and on the other hand there’s an oozing potato nipple and a few awkward looking band members who look like they’re drinking tea and thinking they’re getting high for the first time while acting like awkward teenagers. A song this amazing with vocals this penetrating is deserving of an equally brooding video to accompany it. I get what they’re trying to be quirky but it doesn’t do the song any favours and I wish I’d heard the song without seeing this.

Jo: It's funny how video clips work. Some are worth watching over and over again, some are confronting, some have absolutely nothing to do with the song they exist for and some ask questions of the viewer. This little clip has elements of some of those things, but I'm not going to say too much and leave it up to the viewer (that's you readers, hit play!) to decide which. What I will say is that I kinda like it. Its concept is cute, its story a little confusing and confronting in a really, really simple way, I finally get to see who all of the cuties in Dear Plastic are and they all seem to like something that I adore, which doesn't involve potatoes or illicit dealings but something much more simple and delightful.

Nayt: So I’m going to pretend I’ve never seen this video and just focus on how gorgeous this song it. It’s got the right magic to make me fall in love with Dear Plastic. 'Buck Up And Pay The Reaper' is a brilliant left field, avante-pop song with vibrant, expressive vocals, a deliciously moody vibe and some sweetly sinful lyrics. I’m not a harsh critic and seeing as they’re fairly new kids on the block I won’t read them to filth for the little visual faux pas but it is my opinion and it does give me slight stink face to watch while I’m trying to enjoy a grand song.

Jo: It's funny how sometimes all it takes is a conversation, a little controversy and a little video clip for you to recognise something you may not have noticed before. A couple of days ago, thanks to Lou, I knew who Dear Plastic were, but I wouldn't have been able to say much more. Thanks to my fellow bloggers, a little conversation, a quick press of play and some visuals have made me take more notice of a song than I had ever bothered in the weeks before. The clip, it's a little bit odd, a little bit funny, a little bit cute and it involves cups of tea, how could I not like it?

Nayt Housman and Jo Michelmore both give Buck Up And Pay The Reaper three Bjork heads...

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The A to Z of Pop - G is for Gaga

This just seems kind of awkward. Kinda like Gaga, so it's fitting really.

The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore

Gaga: adjective, informal: slightly mad, typically as a result of old age, infatuation, or excessive enthusiasm.

When you google Gaga, you get one of a couple of things. Either a bombardment of ‘news’ about Lady Gaga, who probably does deserve the G is for title in the A to Z of Pop, or you get the definition above and because I generally don’t like being obvious, let’s not talk about the only pop star who is a bit gaga, let’s talk about a few of them.

The lady of Gaga may have worn a meat dress, but that doesn’t make her the craziest.

Britney. Head shearing + bodyguard fighting + 55 hour marriage + becoming friends with Will. I. Am = a little bit crackers. In fact, gaga.

Mariah Carey. Moment + moment + moment = a little bit crackers. In fact, gaga.

Beiber. Vom + vom + backing track + vom = a little bit crackers. In fact, gaga.

Miley. Not the twerking, not the tongue, not the bad habits, but the thinking she can sing a Fleetwood Mac song = a little bit crackers. In fact, gaga.

Gaga. Really, need I explain? A little bit crackers. In fact, gaga. That's Lady Gaga to you.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #20

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. 

Jan by Nayt Housman

Last week I shared with you all the music loves of my father, so this week I bring you the Queen of my world, my 67yo mumma Jan. As children we always wonder how much of an influence our parents have on all aspects of our life. I definitely felt some connections to my dads taste in music (maybe not Nickelback) so how do my own musical flavours compare with mother dearest? In her youth mum was a bit of a keen fashionista, a pretty snazzy dancer and was pretty good with a ball or two (basketball and netball duh). Of course I take after her in those aspects though these days the words “breathe in peace; I am peaceful” are more likely to be uttered by Jan than “Lets get loose and cut loose bitches!!” So how does my music taste compare?

Thinking of music as medicine:

Who are the musicians and/or bands that flick your switch and turn up the volume?

Jan: Fleetwood Mac, Goldfrapp, Bee Gees, Everything But The Girl, Sade and a bit of Shania Twain. Oh and Icehouse particularly the Man Of Colours album.


Why do you think they are the pills that cure your ills?

Jan: A lot of them take you back in time to a time and place that is very different. Some make you feel that you want to dance, some make you feel calm like you want to sit and listen and some make you feel very emotional.

What kind of high do they give you?

Jan: Some of them give me goosebumps. It’s a euphoric feeling, makes you feel alive. Makes you want to do things that you haven’t done for a long time. TO DANCE!


When do you find yourself craving music for relief?

Jan: Probably I don’t. I used to a long time ago. I enjoy listening but I don’t really crave to listen to music, probably because I’ve become boring dull and uninteresting *laughs*. I don’t know?

Where in life, home, and your world does music take you?

Jan: Some music takes me back to Melbourne. Where I used to work we had a pretty crazy social life at Hertzfeld’s department store. So it brings back memories of that and my boss Mari.

 Those tight, white pants! We know who dresses to the left...

How do you share your music love?

Jan: I probably don’t. There’s music that I like, but no I don’t. We used to go to concerts and live shows and pubs where we’d sit and listen to people with friends and sometimes strangers.


I almost don’t know how to process this interview with Jan. On one hand, this is the person I spent the most time in my youth listening to music with and the one who taught me how to love these sounds, but on the other this is a woman who has seemingly grown passed that very music.

Even though it has the power to conjure vivid memories and to force a worn and tired body to desire the stimulating movements of dance maybe it’s not as powerful as I always imagined it could be? Music can ignite emotions we’d forgotten were there, it can inspire change and move, can bring the world together and split people apart but what happens when that power is lost? Maybe all of this is just a phase of life that is no longer significant and those memories and emotions no longer feel relevant. This could be why some, like Mother Dearest, no longer crave the stimulation of music? I wonder how I will feel in 30 years? Will music have become more of a novelty and just something that plays in the background while my focus is on more serious aspects of my reality?

I shall dub this “The New Prescription Effect”. When music has served its purpose for most of one's life but loses its effect. The memories of how it once worked are still there but the need to take a daily dose has been replaced by something else. It’s time for a new prescription then. What can take the place of music? Maybe when a person loses the need to listen it’s time to learn to play? Take a tap dancing class and channel music in a different way? Learn to DJ?

Doctor Nayt’s prescription is to find new ways to include music in your life. Music doesn’t have to be purely for listening pleasure and there’s no such thing as age limits in music. However if you’re not feeling it when it’s coming from the radio then there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it. Next time you’re sitting in silence staring into space, grab that pen next to you and start tapping on the table. Then with your other hand start tapping your fingers and BAM you got a rhythm. Then start whistling if you can whistle or humming if you can’t and POW you got a melody. Before you know it you’ll be channeling your own experiences into lyrics and do you know what a beat + lyrics + melody =? A MOTHER QUACKING SONG! Music is everywhere you go. It’s the rhythm when you walk, the birds that sing when you stroll the neighbourhood, it’s in the laughter of the kids playing down the street or the dog barking in the back yard. Don’t ignore it. Explore it!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Top 25 - 25 May, 2014

Bertie Blackman, Andy Bull + Alison Wonderland!

1. The Griswolds - Beware The Dog

2. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - Fancy

3. Kimbra - 90s Music

4. Boyeur - Cupid

5. Dustin Tebbutt - Bones (NEW)

6. Alison Wonderland - I Want U (NEW)

7. Jack White - Lazaretto

8. Andy Bull - Talk Too Much (NEW)

9. La Roux - Let Me Down Gently

10. Bertie Blackman - Run For Your Life (NEW)

11. Rae Morris ft. Fryars - Cold (NEW)

12. Ruby Boots - Oh Lover

13. Airling - The Runner (NEW)

14. Our Man In Berlin - Flight

15. Ball Park Music - Trippin' The Light Fantastic (NEW)

16. The Trouble With Templeton - Heavy Lifting (NEW)

17. Little Bastard - Be My Kind

18. The Hics - All We'll Know

19. Ed Sheeran - All Of The Stars (Re-Entry)

20. Noosa - Clocktower

21. Lykke Li - Just Like A Dream

22. Lancelot ft. Ngaiire - Ain't Nothin' Going On But The Rent (Re-Entry)

23. Remi - Tyson

24. Torres - New Skin

25. Seinabo Sey - Hard Time

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Gig Review - Dustin Tebbutt

Live @ Northcote Social Club, Melbourne (15/05/2014)
Supported by The Tambourine Girls
Review by Lou Endicott

There is something of a happening flowing through indie music of late. It’s not hard to notice a genre taking shape as I collect playlist upon playlist of beautiful music that has transcended the notion of traditional folk/acoustic and delved into a more hybrid form of dream pop. I would perhaps call this the age of the Bedroom Bard. Or Hybrid Folk. Or Dream Philoso-rock. But then again, I just love naming things.

Genre names aside, what this style of music seems to include is philosophical and introspective lyrics, melodic sensibilities, gentle vocals (often with a high vocal range), slightly melancholic but achingly beautiful acoustic instruments and a mix of electronic soundscapes that could easily accompany one of those sun soaked happy dreams that are hard to wake up from. This music is finding its way into the ears and ultimately hearts of listeners in a big way.

I recently reviewed the talented Hayden Calnin and Eliza Hull who fit well into this genre. I have tickets bought for Icelandic musician, Asgeir. It seems that I can’t get enough of this introspective sound – and I’m not the only one.

I recently heard the song 'Bones' by Australian artist Dustin Tebbutt played on the radio while working in my office. I stopped what I was doing and let myself be set awash in the beautiful falsetto dream world that he created. Straight after listening I jumped online to research just who Dustin Tebbutt was and whether he might be playing live anytime soon. He has spent time living in Scandinavia, and won the attention of Triple J through Unearthed (and even earning a nomination for Artist of the Year). To my joy, I found that Tebbutt had just announced a live show at The Northcote Social Club. In a matter of minutes I had sent links to two friends who I knew would love Tebbutt’s sound and then booked tickets for us all. Lucky we did, as the first gig in Melbourne had sold out and we got the last few tickets for the second by-demand show.

The evening opened with a solo guitar player who told us he was Simon from the Tambourine Girls. I heard half of his set and enjoyed his Dylan-esque style of songwriting as well as a similar scoop in his voice. Simon told us that this was his second gig ever. I wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t have told us. I would like to hear his songs played with his full band to hear the whole texture of his work.

Tebbutt was a little late schedule wise. Perhaps this was due to setting the scene for the performance. A crew of people came and set the stage for the gig by hanging beautiful flickering lanterns along the front and back of the stage. The ambience was set for a very chilled performance. No one seemed to mind the wait. Or perhaps this is the demographic of audience members who are attracted to this kind of music - introspective and perhaps a little shy. The very respectful and somewhat quiet audience welcomed Tebbutt to the stage with some polite yet warm and encouraging claps.

The first number started with dreamy waves of ambient synth before fading into the acoustic guitar. It was such a soft and gentle beginning – just two haunting chords and those oh-so-beautiful delicate vocals that Dustin possesses. The ambient drums mixed with a swirly guitar somehow then took the song into a new gear and lifted the sound into the air as the synth and the bass provided the ground beneath.

Around here I noticed that the backdrop was a painted mountain scene – with snow capped peaks. This wintery, natural scene almost is the visual counterpart to the sound that Dustin Tebbutt makes. Artists like Sigur Ros and Asgeir seemed to hold that other wintery world feel that speaks to warm the heart and hold hope for a distant spring.

Next up a guitar was switched with some open tuning and a slower kick in rhythm set in by the capable drummer. The set was hooked up to a laptop to help provided the synthy fills that really bring that dream element to Tebbutt’s world so well. The digital effects however never overtook the intent or the gentle heart warm that the songs provided in their acoustic instrumentation and in Tebbutt’s voice. After the second song Dustin thanked the audience for coming and for our quiet engagement. He did this in such a grateful and humble manner that I felt we could have been sitting in his living room.

The high falsetto voice of Tebbutt that reminds me so much of Bon Iver took us into the next song accompanied by just an acoustic guitar. The drums then expertly laid the landscape with carefully selected thumps and tambourine hits. I imagined riding in a train through cold and icy landscapes. Warming yet thrilling to see a white out outside the comfort of my own introspective little cabin.

After this song Tebbut joked, “Just so you know, I’m generally an upbeat guy. Particularly after one coffee. Before that I’m an arsehole. My songs are sad. But don’t expect me to be the sad guy. Because I’m not.” For me personally, I wouldn’t say that these songs make me sad. They leave me thoughtful and perhaps a little inward searching. I was glad to hear that Tebbutt himself knows that behind these gorgeous tunes is a life worth living. The hope is hard to miss in all of his songs. I suppose that this shines from the artist himself and flows through into the music.

For me the highlight of the evening was the single 'Bones'. I only saw the film clip a few hours before the gig. It was lovely to hear the back story. The clip was filmed at the last minute. In Sweden. Tebbutt is singing in the snow (which I think totally captures the wintry essence of his sound). 'Bones' was filmed in double speed to add to the dream quality of the clip. Hearing this played live was a joy – and just as good as the recording – if not even a little better.

The other highlight of the set was a song my housemate (who came with me) adored. The song 'Breach' was a single from Tebbutt’s last EP. It’s a gentle and addictive guitar little gem that has a gorgeous and lilting vocal line that leaves me all a-sigh. The hypnotic beat underneath make this song a standout in his repertoire. And Dustin and his band obviously love playing it live. The crowd had a gentle sway and head nod dance going on during this song.

The evening ended with another lovely track accompanied by a rousing shaker to perhaps provide us all with a little movement to wake us all out of our little warm cabins and send us back into the night homeward bound.

Dustin Tebbutt’s music is good for a big breathe out against the hustle and stress of the modern world. It’s music to lie on the floor to, or find a patch of sun to warm your skin on a cold day. I look forward to hearing a whole album from Dustin Tebbutt and I would love to see him play live again. If you like me you are loving this new Philoso-rock (said it again, just in case it catches on….) then grab a copy of the Bones EP or the earlier EP, The Breach and let all your cares go.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Stop, Collaborate and Listen #10 - 6

by David Bowie and Annie Lennox

Well, obviously the original version of this song has got power and punch. But it’s this version played live after Freddie’s passing that gets my heart up in my throat. It was performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. Two of my favourite artists – David Bowie and Annie Lennox - shoot this song straight into the eye of grief and find a new power for life behind it. It’s almost a guaranteed play on nights when I have friends over for a drink and a music/youtube playlist night. There is something so wonderfully dramatic yet uplifting in this rendition that tributes the artist that Freddie was and the ability to write such a killer song. I love that this song in this live version has a male and female counterpart. And I love that the two artists that make this combination have never been a stereotype for their gender – or for their art for that matter. The grace and style that both Lennox and Bowie bring to this mammoth concert and backed by the surviving members of Queen before adoring fans to me is a moment in rock history that stands in my books as golden. And the addition of some theatrical makeup and costuming, well, it’s a winner in my books. (Lou Endicott)

by Queen and David Bowie

If you want me to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to writing this review. When you have a love of music and certain artists are almost like the definition of said love, then how do you possibly put into words what one of your all-time favourite songs could mean? Maybe I should start with the concept of the duet.

So we wanna talk about duets? This is where things get real, because for me, when the idea of a duets countdown was mentioned, there was always this one song that absolutely, no doubt at all makes the top of my duets list. Take two of my all-time favourite artists, and I mean, not just favourite as in “oh I just love that new Nicki Minaj track so much right now” but as in, outright, all time, idols of music. If I was an actual musician, these two would be some of the many I would quote when people asked me where I get my inspiration from.  So you take David Bowie (no explanation of awesome talent needed), take Queen (no explanation of awesome talent needed), you stick them together in a studio in Switzerland in the early 80s and what you end up with, is, in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest rock(?)-slash-pop(?) songs ever written. That bass line is undeniable, immediately recognisable, the simple keys infectious but for me it’s the vocals of Bowie and Mercury that make a maybe, possibly forgettable hit such an incredible masterpiece.

It’s probably the memories this song holds for me, the emotions it evokes after being part of my life for so long, the amount of times I’ve listened to it are countless, but sometimes I get angry with myself for not being able to articulate exactly what a song means to me. This is one of those times when there’s nothing I could write that can actually describe the journey this song takes me on with every single listen and there are no words to exactly describe what it feels like to hear those two incredible voices at that crescendo. It’s when music makes my heart leap out of my body and it’s probably precisely the feeling that Queen and David Bowie were trying to describe when they wrote some of my favourite lyrics of all time...

Love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure

(Jo Michelmore)

by Seether and Amy Lee

Most of the time I’m shiny, happy Katie who has a love for music which is quirky and a bit silly. But buried deep down beats the heart of a mopey little goth who loves nothing more than a song which will get my mascara running. There’s no point in me trying to hide it or be embarrassed – I’m owning this one. So when you put together two mopey little goth singers to sing a song about being mopey little goths, well shit, of course I’m going to like it.

I really do have a soft spot for Shaun Morgan’s vocals. There’s something about his brooding, raspy voice that does something to me (that something does also include giving him a big hug and a lollipop). The contrast between his and her vocals is what makes the song for me. Whilst lyrically there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a crying in your cornflakes kind of deal, his doom and gloom is offset against something more hopeful in Amy Lee’s sound. In any event, whatever hope ole Amy was trying to give just wasn’t enough, because much like the song their real life relationship was broken. Badoom-tish. (Katie Langley)

by Run DMC & Aerosmith

I’m disappointed this song didn’t rank higher in our count down. I mean, Aerosmith, Run DMC – what’s not to love? It marks one of the first rock/rap collaborations. Sure, Limp Bizkit went on to bastardize the whole thing (nu-metal, yewwww!). But we shan’t speak of that now.

Aerosmith originally released ‘Walk This Way’ in the mid-70s, but it wasn’t until Run DMC re-visited and re-arranged the track with Steven Tyler in the 80s that it became a success. This version of the song actually charted higher than the original. Let’s face it; it’s better.

The film clips features both groups in a music battle of sorts, before they bust through the dividing wall and jam out together. It’s so symbolic, man. Here’s a fun fact though, Run DMC couldn’t afford to pay for the whole of Aerosmith to appear in the clip, so the only real members are Steven Tyler and Joe Perry – the other dudes are actors. (Katie Langley)

by PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke

Some time in about 2001 my radio alarm went off and while this was no unusual occurrence I usually wouldn’t wake rapidly. However this one morning I awoke more suddenly to something more aurally pleasurable than I had heard in quite some time. It was the familiarly atmospheric tones of Thom Yorke but there was another voice, another I hadn’t yet bonded with, another that like Thom’s stirred something primal within me. This was to be the introduction that spurred a musical love I still carry over a decade later and one that has moved me more than almost any other. It was this pairing of Thom Yorke and PJ Harvey that sent me on the music driven path I continue to the day.

‘This Mess We’re In’, breathes the lust and desire of a fleeting relationship, draped in the drama that a city like New York has inspired for decades before and decades to come. It conjures imagery both radiant and submerged in shadows. A love story that feels more bitter and mournful than its words suggest. PJ and Thom both feel so effortless with their vocals gently writhing and prickling like a soft, sensual touch over the pulsing rise and fall of minimalist guitar. It is this minimalist approach which gives ‘This Mess We’re In’ a power that mesmerises and unbuttons my outer layers, revealing a certain masochistic desire to wallow in my own heartbreak. (Nayt Housman)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The A to Z of Pop - F is for WT...F?

Human F. Exactly. WTF?

The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore

See, the thing is, if this was an A to Z of rock, I'd be sorted. I thought of three that begin with F, immediately. Two of them some of my favourite artists, ever. But pop? That's another story. So that got me thinking, what the F am I going to write about for the F in the A to Z of Pop? Then that got me thinking, WTF? Damn right, if I think about it, pop music is full of them. Matt pointed one out earlier this week when he reviewed the latest Kylie clip...

I mean, we all love a bit of Kylie, but really, WTF?

Which reminded me of someone else who has spent a fair portion of time in recent years trying to remain relevant by also appearing as a judge on a TV talent show. Ronan Keating performed one of the most annoying-ly titled songs, ever; 'When You Say Nothing At All'. So what he's saying is that he prefers it when his said loved one shuts up. Ronan, WTF?

Which then made me think, in all boy bands, why is their always an unattractive one? WTF?

Which was probably a controversial question to 1D devotees, everywhere. As is my opinion of Sia performing on Ellen this week. I mean, love, if you don't wanna actually perform, then why don't you just keep selling your best pop songs to Rihanna instead? WTF? But, really, it's pop music and the WTF is half the fun. WTF indeed.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #19

Hello Raaaay
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.

Ray by Nayt Housman

We learn a lot from our parents generally just by growing up in their presence but how much of your music taste do you get from your folks? During a recent visit back to the homeland (Rockhampton…) I basically forced my folks into being my patients so I could discover or more likely re-discover how much I’ve learned from them when it comes to music. This week I’m chatting with the “Mr Brady” of my crew, 65yo Ray. Now Ray these days, spends most of his time pottering in his garden trying to keep fit and healthy, whilst reminiscing about the days when cars, boats and motorbikes were the focus of his desires. So let's see, am I musically a mini Ray?

Thinking of music as medicine:

Who are the musicians and/or bands that flick your switch and turn up the volume?

Ray: Pink Floyd, Nickelback and um… Kylie Minogue. No not really but she’s alright. There’re thousands of them! I like all music. Don’t mind a bit of Deep Purple and Dire Straights I love.

An epic 95 minutes of sociopolitical disturbia...

Why are they the pills that cure your ills?

Ray: They’re mostly ones that can play guitar really good because I love listening to guitar music. And nobody plays banjo anymore, so… It’s pretty hard to buy anything that’s got good banjo music.

A generous yobbo mocking...

What about Mumford And Sons, they play banjo?

Mum (in the background): Oh I love Mumford And Sons!

Ray: George Formby playing Banjo Boy was the best thing ever. That’s what made me originally love banjos.

Diddle ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding dang...

Ray: Also because they make me feel good, relaxed, and happy, it’s just enjoyable.

What kind of high do they give you?

Ray: Just good enjoyable listening, they don’t do much else apart from that. They make me feel that I’d love to be able to do it as good as they do but that’ll never happen.

When do you find yourself craving music for relief?

Ray: Ummmm sometimes on a weekend if I’ve got nothing to do I’ll go down [to the shed] and put a record on or something or a CD, whatever. Then I turn it up so the rest of the neighbourhood can listen to it as well *laughs*.

Serving childbirth realness...

Where in life, home and your world does music take you?

Ray: Down to the shed so I can put the record or CD on. Pink Floyd takes me back to when your mother and I first moved into Lakes Creek Road together, I had a big Technics stereo system and I used to play 'Dark Side Of The Moon' flat chat and old Mrs Ford next door used to come over later on and say, “I heard your music!” We used to think, “Well if you didn’t there’s something wrong with ya. You’d have to be deaf!”

Mum: It used to make the house shake. That’s how loud it was.

How do you share your music love?

Ray: By turning the volume up!


Now just for good measure.

I always ask my patients at the end of my interview if they have a mantra or motto that helps them through life. When asked, Ray’s response was “Can’t win, don’t try. That was always a favorite.” Maybe this explains my lacking ability to start anything particularly daunting and trying of my skills. This is probably the attitude that has lead me to a life of consuming my time by listening to music and dreaming of having their skills and distracting myself from the task at hand, so I guess I inherited that. As for the music itself, I can vividly remember many weekends running around the back yard while Pink Floyd blared from the speakers in the lounge room. I still adore Pink Floyd to the day. I also remember having not so fond memories of Dire Straights but with maturity have found a certain joy in their sound and intelligence to the lyrics. I’m sure Kylie found a little hole to nestle inside me too… HA!

Some of us like music for the beats, some for the emotion, some for the lyrical prowess and others, like Ray, for the technical prowess. There’s something beautiful in the precision plucked strings of a refined instrument other than just the sounds they create. It’s more than that, it’s the sheer love you can see on the face of the musician, it’s the time you know they’ve put into their craft, it’s the victory of watching them capture an audience, one that you’re part of; that feeling that you are part of their world, their story.

I shall dub this “The Fantasy Effect”. When we listen to music because it makes us think of what could be or what never was, we can imagine for those few minutes the song is playing or that hour the record is on that we have those skills, we are that musician, we’re in the band. I guess this is the kind of feeling that birthed the air guitar phenom or even Karaoke and lip-synching for that matter.

Doctor Nayt’s prescription is to grab your hair brush microphone, air guitar, air drums or whatever the hell you want to air play, head down to the shed, lock yourself in the bathroom or get up on the couch with your fave records playing and I want you to swallow those air fantasy pills and for just a few minutes become the best damn guitar player in the world. Your audience is freakin massive! THEY’RE GOING WILD FOR YOU! “Oh my lumping glob you’re the best instrumentalist I’ve ever seen in my life!!” That’s what your fans are screaming at you. Embrace it. Feel it. I dare you to. You will find yourself invigorated and feeling vibrant afterwards and that can only be a good thing.

EP Review - Drip Dry

Drip Dry 
by JP Klipspringer (out now!

You know those times when something awesome comes along just when you need it, like life was looking at you and said “you’ve done alright today, you deserve this” and then a little present is dropped right into your hands? Like those times when you already know how much you like coffee, but then you stumble across a barista that brews those beans with so much passion that suddenly coffee on a midweek morning becomes a not-so-secret new love affair with caffeine? You know those little presents? I got one of those little life presents recently except it wasn’t in the form of caffeine, but I already know the addiction is just as intense.

I knew I liked JP Klipspringer a few months ago when I first heard the layered vocals and the beautiful keys on ‘Bury Me’, the first single from his new EP, Drip Dry, and I kind of had a feeling someone who could come up with those sounds was surely a talent to be recognised, someone who was bound to become one of my favourites with each new song I heard, but I didn’t really expect to become this addicted, this quickly to his magical sounds.

The first track and the first I heard, ‘Bury Me’, is still now, three months after first listen, everything I said it was then; “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”. It's sense of loneliness is still so comforting and it's haunting keys are simultaneously calming and lonely which lead perfectly into ‘Anastasia’, with its childlike lullaby rhythm, the immediate sense of innocence is not all as it seems with Jack Poulson’s lyrics leading somewhere darker than the sweet melody suggests. What is it about Anastasia that can’t be loved might never be known, but that’s exactly what makes it so fabulous. I could listen to these three and a half minutes for weeks on end and wonder about what Anastasia has become…in fact, I’ve already done that and the answers are no clearer but the question has become more and more enjoyable with every listen.

By the time the beats and sounds of the third track 'Phat Controller' begin, the world of JP Klipspringer becomes more and more desperately attractive and the JPK mystery deepens, I'm not sure what it is that is making this all sound so good. Is it the gentle beats or the soft harmonies and layered vocals that make the world surrounding me disappear with each listen or is it the subtle yet all encompassing keys on each track that I can't get enough of? It could be any of these things or it could be the lyrics, the lyrics each time sung so sweetly and gently but hiding a character I know I would love to know and love to love as much as love to hate should they really be a person. None more so intriguing than those in the last track 'Bring You Home'...

As blind as night that finds us all 
I'll cut you to pieces and bring you home
Now the sun has come and gone
Oh, to be with you alone

...they describe exactly how I feel about these sounds, what I think of what is to become one of my favourite EP's this year. A little obsession, oh to be alone with four simple tracks that are more powerful in their subtlety than most artists take a lifetime to acheive and four tracks that have been the most fabulous little musical present exactly when I wanted them.

You know those times when something awesome comes along just when you need it, like life was looking at you and said “you’ve done alright today, you deserve this” and a then little present is dropped right into your hands? I already know how much I love music, even more than a good cup of coffee, but then something like JP Klipspringer comes along and the love becomes a little deeper, a little more addictive than I could ever imagine it could get. This little Drip Dry present wasn't caffeine, but the high is better than one cup of coffee could ever give a caffeine addict like me anyway, and if this is what Jack Poulosn, aka JP Klipspringer, is capable of so early in his career, then we have a long, lovely addictive relationship ahead of us. This is only the beginning.

Jo Michelmore gives Drip Dry four and a half Thom Yorke heads out of five...

Monday, 19 May 2014

Video Review - I Was Gonna Cancel

I Was Gonna Cancel
by Kylie Minogue
Album: Kiss Me Once (out now)

"This video is an abstract look at pedestrian life and how we're all just trying to get through and rise above everyday challenges. Although the song talks about a real life event that happened the day I recorded the song with Pharrell, the video has a more conceptual approach and I love how surreal it looks. I found myself almost directing traffic and it made me think about how we're all just trying to negotiate our way through day to day life." - Kylie Minogue

I say the following as a fan of Kylie. 'Pedestrian' is the perfect word to describe this song and the only 'challenge' I've had to get through and rise above today was the accompanying clip. Also, it's nice that you recorded this song with Pharrell, however it only confirms to me that Pharrell in 2014 both sucks and blows. Clap along if you feel that this is the worst.

Minogue has released some iconic videos throughout her career. From 'Confide In Me' to 'Can't Get You Out of My Head', 'Come Into My World', 'Slow' and gosh... even 'German Bold Italic'... she's always managed to put on an entertaining show. Even that 'Sexercize' clip was classy/skanky and by that I mean well shot. With 'I Was Gonna Cancel', shock turned to surprise and then I just got bored really quickly, before clicking on the clip for 'Into The Blue'. And I don't even really like that either.

After that debacle of a performance at The Logies (aka a performance that managed to make an incredibly awkward night even more awkward), you'd think a decision would be made not to go forward with 'I Was Gonna Cancel' as a single, but here we are. I'm a fan of Kylie, just not a fan of this.

Matt Bond gives the video for 'I Was Gonna Cancel' one Dannii Minogue head out of five...

Sunday, 18 May 2014

It's My Kind of Interview - Ron Pope

Ron Pope is making his way back to Australian shores in June for a national tour that coincides with the release of his new album, Calling Off The Dogs. Ahead of his arrival, Ron stopped by for a chat about the new single, 'Lick My Wounds' and marsupials, while offering up some excellent advice for budding musicians. Enjoy! 

Interview by Matt Bond

Ron Pope! Welcome to It's My Kind of Scene and thanks for joining us. How are you on this fine day?

Ron Pope: Doing great. Thanks a lot.

You're returning to Australian shores in June to tour your soon to be released album, Calling Off The Dogs (out June 6) and this time you're bringing your full band along with you. What will the Ron Pope live experience be like for your Aussie fans this time around?

Ron: My last tour in Australia was more like a “preview” with just me and my guitar. This will be the full live experience that other fans around the world have been getting from me for years. I’m excited to get on stage with the band and deliver that energy! Expect to walk out of the show with your clothes drenched in sweat and with your voice hoarse; that’s my goal.

We've had a taste of Calling Off The Dogs in the form of the incredibly catchy single 'Lick My Wounds'. What's the story behind the song?

Ron: “Calling Off The Dogs” is a concept album that follows two people from the first moment they meet each other on through falling in love and then falling out of love. 'Lick My Wounds' is about that first moment when two people see each other; that moment when the possibilities of what might happen between them are absolutely limitless. I’d never written a song about that experience and it’s such an exciting, powerful moment. To me, that song is really about hope.

And how does 'Lick My Wounds' fit into the rest of Calling Off The Dogs? Does the sound give us a good idea about where you'll be going musically with it?

Ron: For “Calling Off The Dogs” I’m painting with a pretty varied palette. You’ll find great big orchestral arrangements, choirs, huge electric guitars, drums, bass, wild synths, soundscapes that take you to the moon and back, and all sorts of other exciting twists and turns blended together to make something distinctive. All the things I love are in there.

I have a confession to make. The first time I heard your music was while watching The Vampire Diaries. I have a thing for teen angst and vampires. Let's not make a big deal out of it. You've also been featured on other shows like 90210. Is it pretty cool having your music show up in these formats? Do you find yourself with thousands of new fans whenever it happens?

Ron: It’s always quite flattering when someone takes a song you created with one thing in mind and then uses it for something else entirely. When I see videos of people doing wild choreographed dances to my songs, or when the tunes are placed on television, I’m honored. It’s exciting to see people incorporate my work into their own art. In terms of where my fans come from, I don’t know how many of them come from hearing me on television. That’s a good question that I don’t know the answer to!

What is your favourite and least favourite thing about Australia? Go on, be as brutally honest as you like. We can handle the truth.

Ron: My least favorite thing about Australia is easy to pick; it’s so incredibly far from the US! That flight from LA is a killer. I love so many things about Australia, it’s hard to pick just one. I really love the plethora of marsupials y’all have down there. The marsupial situation in the States is pretty dismal. Your marsupial game is really on point; as a marsupial fan, you can’t help but have love for Australia. Also, the Thai food? Are you kidding me? And the waves; I really love to surf (I’m absolutely terrible at it, but I love it).

What do you think the most important lesson is for an aspiring artist to learn? And what's the best piece of career advice you've ever been given?

Ron: If you’re meant to be a musician, you won’t give up. People will tell you to be reasonable, to have a backup plan, to take a job with good benefits and make music at night in your free time. People who don’t absolutely need to make music for their mental well-being will give up and walk an easier road and that’s totally fine. Making a career out of music is incredibly challenging; if you’re meant to do it, you won’t ever back down.

The best piece of advice anyone’s ever given me? “Remember that they can’t stop a hit record.” I came to believe in that adage and it’s served me well over the years and has always buoyed my hustle.

When they air the Ron Pope 'Behind The Music' special in thirty eight years time, what are they going to say about you?

Ron: I don’t even know what people would say about me today, and honestly I don’t really care. I just do my thing and hope for the best; you can’t control what other people say about you.

After the Australian tour, where will you be jetting off to? And you've been known to be quick at heading back to the studio after an album's been released. Are you already looking ahead to what comes next?

Ron: I’ll be headed to Europe for the rest of the summer after Australia. I love “Calling Off The Dogs” and want to give it time to reach as many people as it can, so I’ll be promoting this record for the foreseeable future.

I'll leave you with one of my favourite YouTube comments on the 'Lick My Wounds' clip. This one is from Romango Sorbet - "Idk I love this song and Ron Pope no matter what he sings. He could rap Nicki Minaj for all I care and still be incredible." That sounds like a challenge to me. What say you?

Ron: I’ve released two Kanye covers, so this is not totally unprecedented! You never know what I might do next.

Massive thanks to Ron Pope for stopping by for a chat! The new album, Calling Off The Dogs is set for a June 6 release, but you can stay up to date by checking out Pope's official website and Facebook. For local fans, June 6 is also the first date of Ron's Australian tour. Tour dates are below! 

Ron Pope Australian Tour 2014

Fri 6 Jun Brisbane | Princess Theatre (All ages) | 132 849
Sat 7 Jun Sydney | Factory Theatre (All ages) | 02 9550 3666
Sun 8 Jun Melbourne | Workers Club (afternoon) (Under 18 show) | 1300 762 545
Sun 8 Jun Melbourne | Workers Club (evening)    (18+) | 1300 762 545
Fri 13 Jun Perth | Astor Lounge (Solo acoustic) (All ages) | 08 9370 5889

Top 25 - 18 May, 2014

The Griswolds, La Roux + Noosa!

1. The Griswolds - Beware The Dog (NEW)

2. Kimbra - 90s Music

3. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - Fancy

4. La Roux - Let Me Down Gently (NEW)

5. Jack White - Lazaretto

6. Ruby Boots - Oh Lover

7. Anna Cordell - I'll Wait Here (NEW)

8. Boyeur - Cupid (NEW)

9. Our Man In Berlin - Flight

10. Lykke Li - Just Like A Dream

11. Little Bastard - Be My Kind (NEW)

12. The Hics - All We'll Know

13. Montaigne - I'm A Fantastic Wreck

14. Noosa - Clocktower (NEW)

15. Torres - New Skin

16. Little Earthquake - Brightside

17. Al Parkinson - Like This

18. Seinabo Sey - Hard Time

19. Airling - Ouroboros (Re-Entry)

20. Remi - Tyson

21. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - As Always (NEW)

22. Gold Spectacles - What We Might Have Been

23. Japanese Wallpaper ft. Pepa Knight - Waves

24. Tired Lion - Are You Listening... Listener?

25. Howling Bells - Slowburn

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Gig Review - Ella Hooper

 Ella Hooper
Supported by Airling and Gena Rose Bruce
Live @ Black Bear Lodge (15/05/14)
Words by Matt Bond
Pics by Nayt Housman

 Good things come to those who wait…

Everyone has been raving this week about the Rocky Horror twitter joke that took five years to pay off. If you’re unfamiliar, it went down a little something like this:

If you condense the timeline from five years to two, the release of Ella Hooper’s debut solo album, In Tongues is quite similar to faux Furter’s antici... patory build up. The recently re-released single, ‘Low High’ initially surfaced around this time in 2012. Catchy and all mysterious like, ‘Low High’ showed a new side of Hooper, a stalwart of the Australian music industry since the late 90s. Her transition to indie chanteuse was solidified with ‘Häxan’, a bewitching number that stands in line with the best songs of 2013. But where was the follow through? In Tongues would pop up on release schedules and then quietly disappear. My heart would break… *cough*. What? Nothing. And then it was announced late last year that Ella would be taking on the role of team captain on a revamped version of ABC’s popular music quiz show, Spicks and Specks. Some prominent exposure on national television can go a long way (just ask anyone that’s ever been on Home and Away), so what better time than now to really have a crack at launching that solo career! After quite some time between visits, Ella Hooper returned to Brisbane on Thursday night on one of the last stops of the Low High Tour. We were finally going to get a real sense of what In Tongues will be. It’s been a long road that has felt like forever, but the pay off? Let’s just say our antici… pation is going to pay off in spades.


Four out of five It’s My Kind of Scene-sters were on hand at the Black Bear Lodge for Ella’s show (we missed you Lou!), a night jam-packed full of the very best in live music. There was also a lot of unnecessary pelvic thrusts coming from Nayt and surprisingly Katie (Jo’s dignity remains intact), but that’s a tale for another time. Up first was Brisbane’s own Airling aka Hannah Shepherd, who was joined by multi-instrumentalist Graham Richie for their first ever gig! Airling’s dreamy sound is just so full of win, with Shepherd’s ethereal voice shining amongst the beats and fancy electronic wizardry. Technical terms are not my strongpoint, but Shepherd and Richie had some cool looking gear on stage with them. The previously released track ‘Ouroboros’ was a highlight of the set, with other tracks like ‘Runner’ and ‘Take Care Of You’ showing off Shepherd’s skills as a songwriter. One might even call them ‘mad’ skills. Bro. Shepherd and Richie make quite the team and if they hadn’t mentioned it, you wouldn’t have guessed this was their first gig. Anyway, Airling… release some more recordings soon please. You provide many good feels.

Gena Rose Bruce

After a short break, Gena Rose Bruce walked on up to the stage and picked up her dream catcher adorned guitar. She had a big, floppy red hat on that left an eyebrow raised because, you know, nighttime and indoors, but as soon as soon as she started to sing… wow. What a voice. There’s a bit of Taylor Swift in here, but it’s like if T-Sweezy let go of the nice girl act and embraced the fact that she’s the problem in all of her relationships. Rose dropped songs on the crowd like ‘Homewrecker’, ‘Cheated’ and a stellar rendition of Nancy Sintatra’s ‘Bang Bang’ for the encore. I’m pretty sure there was a song in there about killing someone too. The darker lyrics against the sweet vocals are all kinds of crazy good. It’s safe to say Bruce won over many new fans at the Black Bear, myself and Nayt included. We each picked up a copy of her ‘Wild One Baby’ EP, which I’ve only just realised Katie has in her bag. Katie, if you’re reading this, I know where you live, thief!

Ella Hooper

Just after 10pm the night’s headliner, Ella Hooper joined her band before graciously thanking her Brisbane fans for coming out on a school night. An announcement came that In Tongues would be released in June… or July. But it is coming this year. For reals this time, y’all. Ella had been out hitting the Brisbane op shops during the day and was rocking an all-white ensemble, complete with a silver moon necklace. A sister of the moon, she was. Before you can sing, “just like the white-winged dove, sings a song sounds like she’s singing… ooh… ooh… ooh,” Hooper launched into the opening number. She was ready to rock and or roll, busting out quirky dance moves that had you wanting to bop along with her. As compelling a performer as ever, her charismatic presence on stage draws you in. Those killer yodeling vocals have always been a trademark and with years of experience, from Killing Heidi to The Verses and now as a solo artist, Ella is in complete control of it. The live performance of ‘Haxan’ is a perfect example. Seductive and sultry one moment and seething with a fiery rage the next, Hooper can wield her voice like a weapon.

My favourite ‘artist banter’ line was delivered as Ella said she was, “going to take it down” for a couple of songs. Which is always code for ‘taking a trip to ballad town via the emotional train’ and we got not one, but two of the quieter moments from In Tongues, ‘Everything Was…’ and ‘Reels’. Apart from two drunk chicas wearing ugly sweaters, Hooper had the crowed completely transfixed, particularly with ‘Reels’ which was written for some friends in the crowd that had made the journey up from Melbourne for the gig. I didn’t need any more convincing, but ‘Reels’ reaffirms my belief that In Tongues is going to kick all kinds of awesome music booty. I forgot to mention, but the album’s title track was shit hot too. It was the second song of the night and has a hook that will grab you and jab in its claws. Like all of the other non-ballad tracks, it too came with quirky choreography you will never be able to successfully emulate.

Ella Hooper

Following the ballads, it was onto a track described as Hooper’s disco number, ‘Dead Star’ which saw the energetic, upbeat vibe return and then we were suddenly at our last song of the night, ‘Low High’. Everything was ending too soon… but time flies when you’re having fun or something, right? Hooper had addressed that she loves a bit of a chat with the audience, so she found herself running a bit behind. This meant no encore, but whatever, ‘Low High’ sent us off on way more of a high than a low and got those shoulders shaking. If Ella Hooper proved anything at the Black Bear, it’s that she’s an artist worth waiting for. We’ve waited patiently for her to return to Brisbane and to get our hands on In Tongues. She certainly proved with the former that good things come to those who wait. As for the latter, that long shiver with antici… pation is almost over. June… or July… can’t come soon enough.