Friday, 31 January 2014

Album Review - The Brink




THE BRINK
by The Jezabels (out now)




"She could make a rock and roller of you, son." It feels like forever and a day since we were singing about endless summers, city girls and prisoners, but The Jezabels have returned with the first 'must listen' Australian release of 2014, The Brink. Their sophomore LP follows a similar path to the footsteps of their debut, Prisoner, but The Jezabels aren't simply resting on their laurels. The scope of The Brink is wider, the writing is sharper, there's some synthy goodness to digest (with Heather Shannon playing a much more prominent role this time around) and Hayley Mary's voice is even more emotionally stirring than ever before. What you'll love the most about The Brink is that it still holds that distinct Jezabels flavour and you can rest assured this is a damn fine rock release. 


Late last year we were given an album teaser in the form of 'The End', which you're hopefully familiar with. You might even recall listening to it on Australia Day as it cemented itself as a national favourite with a placement on the triple J Hottest 100. After listening to The Brink, it's easy to understand why 'The End' was chosen as lead single. Not only is it catchy as all hell, powering along with a sense of urgency through Samuel Lockwood's stellar guitar work and Nik Kaloper's pounding drums, but it holds a bit of hope (something that can seemingly appear... distant... throughout the majority of The Brink). "And if you give me a chance, I want a life, I want to thank you for pulling me back from the brink."




Current single, 'Look Of Love', is the indie anthem with a disco vibe you never knew you wanted, but once you've listened to it, you'll wonder how you got through a day without it. Ok, I'm over-exaggerating just a little, but it's a great song that will have you spinning, jumping and twirling along, especially throughout the final moments. This time I'm not over-exaggerating. The Brink is full of world-building lyrics that spark so many images in my mind. 'Time To Dance' opens with the simple line, "Great coat, I love that hat, maybe that could bring my passion back." On paper it doesn't look like much, but Mary's voice tells a whole story in those words. As the song progresses, it feels like somewhat of a continuation of the 'City Girl' story from Prisoner. "Oh the big, bad world, you can't go home, the streets so cold."


After many a listen, I'm still undecided about what my favourite track might be. Sometimes the story and performance of 'No Country' wins for its desire to love like they do in the movies (and pirate fascination) and at other times it's the closing 'All You Need'. "When skies are grey, you had a different point of view, I had no faith, until I stuck a coin in you." 'All You Need' really brings the album full circle, from the destructive girl we hear about in opening number 'The Brink' to someone who's been pulled back from that path in 'The End' and finally someone who has what they need, if only for a little while. We're taken out with with some scorching guitar work and Mary's promise that if she fades out of reach, it will only be for a couple of beats. An absolutely brilliant way to close out The Brink


Matt Bond gives The Brink four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...


___________________________________________________________


One can only assume The Brink will be even better to listen to live and The Jezabels will be embarking on a national tour in June, with tickets on sale mid-March! 


Friday 1 June - Melbourne, Festival Hall (all ages)
Ticketmaster - www.ticketmaster.com.au 136 100

Saturday 2 June - Adelaide, Thebarton Theatre (all ages)
Venue*Tix - www.venuetix.com.au 08 8225 8888

Tuesday 5 June - Perth, Metro City (18+)
OzTix - www.oztix.com.au & www.heatseeker.com.au 1300 762 545

Thursday 7 June - Brisbane, Convention Centre (all ages)
Ticketek - www.ticketek.com.au 132 849

Saturday 9 June - Sydney, Hordern Pavilion (all ages)
Ticketek - www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 


Song Review - Lonely Arms




Lonely Arms
by Our Man In Berlin
EP: due 2014!?!?!





Dear Our Man In Berlin,


Like, come on guys. I understand things don't always go to plan. I understand that sometimes things are worth the wait. I understand that your EP is going to be a little late, but, like, really? How do you expect me to happily wait to hear it all when you release such incredible songs like this one? 


I actually don't know how you do it. How can you make something so minimal sound so full? How you can turn a few little instruments into four minutes of addiction is completely beyond me and exactly why I need an EP. There's a steady build to this track and such a sudden stop that gets me every single time, and there have been many single times. Oh, and that vocal...urgh, shivers in all the good ways. ALL the good ways.


"Who needs saving?" Me please, with an EP. From you. You're so freakin' good I demand more and I don't think I can wait much longer. 'Lonely Arms' is awesome, but it only makes me want more and I want it now.


Please and thank you. Yours sincerely and patiently awaiting your response via EP,


Jo

PS Jo Michelmore gives 'Lonely Arms' four and a half Thom Yorke heads out of five...

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Where Is My Mind? - Turn Crappy Into Happy...




Or The Other Way Around?
by Jo Michelmore


I saw an advertisement today, which stated these words: “turn crappy into happy”. I’m not going to tell you what it was advertising, but it’s probably more literal than you expect. Anyway, I digress. This ad did something which for me, was the exact opposite of turning crappy into happy; it was actually the other way around, because when I read the word ‘happy’ it reminded me of a little song. A song that appeared in my head three days ago, when I woke up one morning with it stuck there. There I was, eyes closed, far far away in a land of lollipops, tequila,  and a laundromat (don’t question my subconscious, I can’t help where my dream self takes me), when I was awoken to the sound of traffic outside my bedroom window and a tune that has refused to leave my brain since then. The most annoying part about this song is not the fact that it is stuck, but the fact that having that chorus stuck has made me almost exactly the opposite to that song's subject matter.


We left off last time on a song that probably inspired my current earworm ‘My Happiness’ which made me think of a whole bunch of other ‘happy’ songs, which, really, when you think about it, aren’t so happy now, are they?




The title explains it all. Happiness might be ice cream or beer or Sunday or a really good party or a freshly lit cigarette, but nope, happiness is not a warm gun. Or a cold one either, probably. End. Which takes us to another sarcastically happy song...




This song has won a lot of awards….for being one of the worst songs ever. Now, ‘ever’ is a big statement, there’s been a lot of songs made, 'ever', but you know, all awards given out 'ever' are right, right? Shiny. Happy. Shut up Stipe. Which reminds me of another happy song with simple, silly lyrics...




Now, I like this song as much as any other Gaga track, but you would hope that if you were so happy you could die you would come up with a few more words than “eh eh, eh eh, ye-ha, ye-ha, a-ha, a-ha” Just sayin.




And of course, the one that started it all, goddamn you Pharrell for making a song so freakin' catchy that it has now been stuck in my head for three days and made me exactly the opposite of what you’ve been singing about. If I was in a room without a roof and it was raining, I might not be so happy now, would I? Huh? Especially if I had my favourite dress on, which is dry clean only, by the way. And if I was in a hot air balloon that went into space I probably wouldn’t be so happy now would I? I’d be clamouring for ground. And you know what else? Stop telling me how to live my life. I’ll clap my hands whenever I goddamn want to, not when you tell me to. And one more thing. 




That hat, say what you want about it, but...with that jacket? Pharell, what were you thinking? Happy? I beg to differ.


Next week? More happy or more crappy? You'll have to wait and see.....!
 

Gig Review - Half Moon Run




HALF MOON RUN
Live @ The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (19/01/14)
Supported by: Tigertown and Louis Spoils
Review by Lou Endicott

 
Just over a week ago I had the absolute delight of seeing three fantastic music acts at The Corner Hotel in Richmond.


The Corner Hotel is one of my favourite places to see live music in Melbourne. It has the capacity to hold over a thousand audience members but also allows for intimacy for smaller audiences with the shape of the band room stretching out longways. Having said that – I always try and stake out a place as near to the stage as possible to get immersed in the live experience.


 

First up was solo act Louis Spoils. For those not in the know, Louis Spoils is the aka of singer/songwriter/guitarist Jake Rush. 2013 saw him release his first EP under the pseudonym of Louis Spoils. The EP was a collaboration with many a who’s who of the Australian music scene. It was a stand out of the year for me personally and is still on high rotation in my car.


Louis Spoils took to the stage with just an electric guitar. His first words had the crowd laughing. “Come on down closer. I have a hole in my pants. Take a look.” Anyone who can start a set with honesty and humour is off to a good start winning an audience over.


The first song was one of my favourites off the EP. 'The Fixx' has a rhythmic edge that discloses Rush’s experience with bass and drums. This song (like many of Louis Spoils’s numbers) has various sections to it rhythmically speaking. Stripped back with just guitar and vocals this version showcased the nuts and bolts of a great pop song. Unfortunately, half way through this first song the guitar lost volume completely. Fortunately, however, to his absolute credit (and to the delight of the audience), Rush kept singing and even changed the words something to the effect of: “I have no idea what had happened but I’ll just keep singing anyway.” The audience although at first feeling the tension of a live awkward moment were quickly on his side with his improvised singing. And to prove this, when his power came back on the crowd whooped and cheered. The song rocked back in at the right point. Now with added confidence, Rush joked, “Come closer! Or I’ll walk off!” and those at the back of the room drew in. This is live music after all. This is why I love it. It’s uncertain, it’s dangerous and it’s a communion between performer and audience.


Louis Spoils' set was brief but had impact. After a song about share housing Rush advised, “Get a drink. The next song is very depressing.” This song was about the perils of substance abuse. An intense subject matter like this might have been a downer on the audiences buoyant mood but somehow due to his banter and sense of joy to be playing for us, Rush again got us laughing. I really enjoyed this song and the lyrics: “If you need me, I’ll come running. Pull me from this burning car.”




The next song was a bright upbeat gem that had the crowd nodding along to its catchy chorus: “When push come to shove my heels slipped. I will dig myself a hole and crawl into it.” This song cried out for a drum to be added. A deep rolling echo action on pedal added an element of drama in a little instrumental break. At the end of this little section Rush said, “Well, that was my guitar solo.” This got the crowd whooping and cheering for both his humour and showmanship. It was around this point that I overheard a girl next to me say, “He’s pretty adorable isn’t he?” It’s refreshing to see a performer not hide behind any pretensions and be just completely themselves on stage. And Louis Spoils has charisma galore.


Before his last song Rush again had us laughing with his explanation of a “program” designed to help artists fix holes in their pants and in their shoes (both of which he had). He called it “Buy their CD from the merch stand for $6.” The last song was his tribute to those working in department of human services houses. Rush told us a little of his experience working as a carer for the physically and intellectually challenged. There must have been a couple of people in the crowd who knew this job well as they cheered when he mentioned this song was dedicated to his fellow workers. This song features an 80s ska sound and some killer liquorice black satirical lyrics: “We all live together in a million dollar house, watching strangers come and go and we can’t get out.”


Louis Spoils no doubt has a bright future ahead. I would love to see a full line up here as the energy of these songs led by Rush would ignite a crowd.


 

By the time Tigertown took to the stage the crowd had grown in size considerably. I had not seen this band play before and, to be honest, I did not think I was familiar with their music. The sound created by this five-piece outfit won me over immediately. The opener was a hint of what was to come: with a super tight beat, beautiful light Rhodes sounding keys, gorgeous swelling harmonies and catchy lead vocals, I was left wanting more. They have no doubt got the comparison before, but Fleetwood Mac (one of my favourite bands) kept leaping into my mind as a major “sounds like”. The first track included a delicious “oh-whoah” vocal hook and with the acoustic guitar mixed into the sound I couldn’t help but stamp “vintage deluxe” all over Tigertown.


Second song in launched into the drums with ghostly moody high harmonies and an exciting blend of male and female vocals. The stagecraft of this band became apparent as the set went on. The female lead vocalist, Charlie let loose as she danced about hyping up the crowd with whoops and squeals in between phrases. It was infectious. And every member of the band was in on it. This band love to play live, and once an audience recognises this they can't help but be affected.




Third song in we got an introduction. While Tigertown didn’t say much in between songs they made up for it with what they presented in their sound and their performance. After doing a little research after the gig it appears that the band members are all connected through family. Which perhaps explains the awesome dynamics that this team of musos create live. Apparently the two lead vocalists Charlie and Chris are a married couple. And the rest of the band is made up of their respective siblings. Coming from a large family myself (and knowing the creative shenanigans that we get up to when under the same roof) I can’t help but love this band.


There were a lot of highlights in this wonderful set, including watching the talented keys player engage in all kinds of percussion instruments in between dancing his fingers over the keys. At one point he even belted out a trumpet solo. My notes here read: “What CAN’T this guy play?” Another highlight had me literally jumping up and down with joy. When Tigertown pulled out the tune 'Go Now' I realised that I knew this song from their 2011 EP – and had had many a sing along over the last year or so. Note to self: when listening to music I love – remember the band's name who sing it!


Another highlight was a song called 'These Hands' - which we were told is hopefully to be on an upcoming full album. I have to admit here that parts of this song had me thinking of a theme song to some 80s sitcom. Don’t misread this as thinking it was cheesey or naf – it was just the joy of syncopated keys and a bouncy, bright rhythm that left me feeling as if I had just watched an episode of Perfect Strangers. It was around here that I realised there is a touch of delicious dagginess to Tigertown. I say this in the most respectful way. Let me explain. Before moving to Melbourne from Brisbane almost ten years ago I had to part with my vinyl collections. I loved to scour markets and record shops for vintage records. My collection was an odd mix of retro classics and obscurities (including a few Tijuana brass band albums, because – why not?). It was the daggiest/coolest collection (if I say so myself). I can imagine that Tigertown might have a similar collection hiding somewhere, as their sound seems to be unashamed mix of theatrics and old school grooves.


Needless to say I definitely will be keen to hear a full album from Tigertown soon. In the meantime, I would catch them live again in a heartbeat.




The crowd had reached its peak capacity by the time Half Moon Run emerged from behind the red curtain. The excitement in the room was obvious as the crowd moved in towards the action. I unfortunately had a tall man standing directly in front of me. I did a couple of quick manoeuvrers and got a new spot – behind a slightly less tall man. Tigertown’s Charlie came out onto the stage to introduce Half Moon Run. Which I thought was a little odd until later we were told by Half Moon Run that she had lost in a drinking competition with the band and so had to do the introduction.


Half Moon Run entered the stage with full support from the audience. They launched straight into the last song off their Dark Eyes album, '21 Gun Salute'. Dramatic red and blue lights painted the stage and set the tone for a bonafide rock concert. The crowd lapped it up and squashed in even closer to the action.


This was the third time I had seen HMR perform. I saw them a year ago in The Ding Dong Lounge here in Melbourne. The Ding Dong Lounge is significantly smaller than The Corner Hotel. And at that last gig there was plenty of room to walk right up to the front and dance wildly about. They even cleaned up the stage themselves after that gig while a couple of us audience members (me included) went to congratulate them. Standing in the squash of a crowd at The Corner Hotel a year later, I realised that this bands notoriety has increased dramatically over the last twelve months. I suspect they wont be bumping out their own instruments anymore. The fan list has grown – complete with screaming young groupie girls yelling out all kinds of declarations throughout the set. And it’s easy to see why. These guys are natural rock stars. They love performing. And they have talent to back it up. Their stage antics are the stuff that legends are born from. In just the first song lead singer/guitarist Devon Portielje began jumping wildly as the keyboard/guitarist/backing vocalist Conner Molander thrashed his long locks over the keys as if it were an instrument itself. Dylan Phillips on the drums kept the beat like a regimental soldier of rhythm.


Like the screaming girls around me, I lapped it up. Perhaps unlike the screaming girls, I was listening out for nuances of sound and rhythm and focusing on musicianship. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have been a fan of this band since I first saw them at Woodfood in 2012. After purchasing their album as a Valentine’s Day present for myself last year I have spent many an hour enjoying the ebbs and flows of the recording. So although I wasn’t screaming or yelling out declarations of love, I was a little beside myself with joy to hear these guys play live again. And I was happy to see them gaining popularity and moving their status up in the music industry.




For the second song in the set, Conner exchanged keys for an acoustic guitar. The fourth member of HMR, Isaac Symonds entered the stage and took to the keys/synth. This song - 'Nerve' - saw Devon engaging in hand tapping on his chest – as if the song and rhythm were born out of his heart. 'Nerve' is one of the slower tracks on Dark Eyes. Performed live, it gave Portielje a chance to really showcase his beautiful voice (with gorgeous backing harmonies provided by the rest of the band). I’ve always thought it was a bit of a swoon worthy song – and looking around at the crowd I was not wrong.


The keys intro to the next song was instantly recognisable as the track 'Judgement'. This is one of my favourite tracks off the album with its squelchy almost talking guitar, percussive keys and the bright upbeat sound. HMR obviously enjoy playing this song with its interesting breaks and twists and turns, and to hear and see it played live was a treat. The boys threw themselves into it with much movement and fun.


My partner (who I took along with me) turned to me around this point and said, “Being a rock star - it’s all about the hair isn’t it?” I had to have a little laugh. The Half Moon Run lads all sport different hairstyles of varying lengths. And they know how to use it. Devon lets his flop in his face ala Kurt Cobain, whereas Conner lets his flip around like Jimmy Page. Isaac has a delightful head of bouncy curls going on that echoes back to a 70s funk era. And Dylan has a Dave Grohl mop going on that moves in time to his quick-stick drumming. Like any performer – you use what you have. And as mentioned, these guys don’t just have the good looks – they have the talent to back it up. But yes. Hair. Rock stars love to use it.


Hair aside, this gig just had so many highlights. So much so it was hard to pick an absolute favourite of the set. However, 'Call Me in the Afternoon' (another one of my favourite songs off the album) will stick in my memory. It features a repeated rousing section of drums – both played by Devon and Isacc simultaneously standing. This embodiment of the beat with the novel visual was one of the first things that drew me to this band when I first saw them at Woodford. There is almost a tribal, war like feel when the drums kick in. It’s primal in it’s heart but sophisticated in it’s delivery. I sung along to this song and danced about as best as I could in my 30cm square standing space as the drums kicked in with perfect timing and force.


I also loved the live rendition of 'Drug You' with its mantra like echoes and rolling guitar. The moment when Devon effortlessly soared up into his high falsetto voice (as the rest of the band provide three part harmonies) produced the right amount of goose bumps and had me grinning ear to ear. Other songs off the album such as the soulful 'Fire Escape' and the sexy 'Need It' hit the mark squarely.


Perhaps a crowd favourite was the single 'Full Circle'. We were invited to sing along if we knew it. Another goose bump moment was created when in the chorus the lights turned to the audience, the music on stage stopped and a thousand plus room sang out, “And I watch as your head turns full circle”. After the song Devon joked, “You guys should all start a band together. Come tour with us. We’d take you on for fifty cents a day. That doesn’t include drinks.” To which a young groupie girl next to me screamed out, “Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! You’re so sexy!!!” I don’t think they heard her – because the cheers and whoops and call outs like this were over the room blending into one big bundle of adoration.


I think a favourite moment for the band might have been in the song 'Give Up' as Conner and Devon moved closer together with their guitars and swayed inches away from each other strumming together as if to invoke some god of rock. These guys are obviously tight as brothers. I guess this closeness must be natural giving that they keep touring the world together and leaving their hometown of Montreal, Canada in the rear view mirror.


If I was to pick one moment that blew me out of the water though – and one that I had not seen HMR do before - it would have to be the first encore song. The boys all walked down to the front of the stage with just two unplugged guitars and a harmonica. I don’t know what the song was that they sung but it had the ilk of a country blues ballad with its harmony, heart and melody. I was reminded of the Coen Brothers film Oh Brother Where are Thou? during this song. If you’ve seen the film you might remember The Soggy Bottom Boys and their harmonies and energy when performing. In the bathroom after the gig I overheard a couple of girls saying that they cried their eyes out during this song (no, I didn’t cry). But it was incredibly beautiful and powerful to have such a raw and real delivery included in the gig.


I think I was left on a bit of a high for a couple of days after this gig. It was everything I had hoped it would be with some little surprises thrown in. Half Moon Run promised to return to Australia again next year. I suspect that the next time I see these talented men play live, the venue will be bigger and the fans a little more weepy and desperate. So catch them before they hit the stadiums if you can. And by all means, buy the album!


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The K-Tizzle Sizzle - Why Does It Always Rain On Me?


You can stand under my umbrella, ella ella eh eh eh


Rain Rage
by Katie Langley

It never ceases to amaze me how rain can throw traffic into total and utter chaos. Last week I pre-empted an inevitable long ride home after work when it began to sprinkle, so thought I’d play it smart and hit the gym first. My thinking was that by the time I’d finished sweating my face off, the traffic would be bearable, and perhaps the rain would have even stopped. Wrong. I sat on the bus, having moved only 200 metres in 15 minutes, and I cursed under my breath. I cursed all those fucking idiots who are incapable of driving in the rain. This is for them.


‘Bad Habit’ – The Offspring



“They say the road's a dangerous place
If you flip me off I'll get in your face
You drive on my ass
Your foot's on the gas
And your next breath is your last”





‘Road Rage’ – Dizzee Rascal


“Beep! Beep!
Comin' through
Move over
Yeah you
Don't argue
Just blurt
Hurry up or you're gonna get hurt!

You don't wanna see a road rage!
Nah!
You don't wanna see a road rage!
Nah!
You don't wanna see a road rage!
I'll put you in an early grave!”





‘Traffic Jam’ – James Taylor


“Damn this traffic jam
How I hate to be late
It hurts my motor to go so slow
Damn this traffic jam
Time I get home my supper'll be cold
Damn this traffic jam”





‘Move Bitch' – Ludacris


“Move bitch, get out the way
Get out the way bitch, get out the way
Move bitch, get out the way
Get out the way bitch, get out the way”




‘Traffic Jam’ - Weird Al Yankovic


“Traffic jam
I haven't moved one inch from this here spot
Traffic jam
The freeway's one big parking lot
Traffic jam
My radiator's boiling hot
And I'm stuck right here in the middle (right here in the middle)
Right here in the middle of a traffic jam”






Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #4




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.


 'Ryan' by Nayt Housman


I came across a breezy young guy by the name of Ryan, living the gypsy life at the ripe old age of 22. I spotted him walking barefoot down the street carrying a huge backpack, with a guitar slung over each shoulder, long scruffy hair blowing in the breeze and I thought, “I have to see what makes this guy tick”.

                         
Thinking of music as medicine:


Who flicks your on switch and turns up the volume?


Ryan: Have you heard of a guy named Devendra Banhart? Who else? Um, who else would I say? Bon Iver! You know like folky, interesting stuff and then at the same time I love a lot of old school funk and jazz, especially jazz, lots of jazz.


Why are they the pill that cures your ills?


Ryan: With Devendra Banhart it’s the carefree nature of the music, there’s no heavy context of care. It’s all just relaxed and easy, we’re all just having fun and anything you can dance to really, that you can move your feet and groove to, I’m into. Taking life too seriously is the worst thing humans can ever do and you can sit there and write all these meaningful songs about stuff or you can just be “HEY…” (shrugs and smiles) you know? Just be happy.




What kind of high does it give you?


Ryan: The highest kind of high I guess.


Nayt: Enlightenment?


Ryan: Yeah levels or fluctuations of enlightenment, to you know, sit on the street and I do a lot of busking and to have people appreciate it, it’s cool, it’s a bit of a buzz. You know we don’t do anything unless we get a buzz out of it in life I don’t think. Why do people smoke cigarettes, do drugs or go out and drink? Because they get a buzz out of it, it’s the same playing guitar; it’s the connection with something greater than yourself.


When do you find yourself craving musical relief?


Ryan: I don’t think there’s a time when I don’t. When I’ve had too much, when someone’s pissed me off, when I’ve had a bad day or when I’ve had a good day, just to submerse myself in music, it’s like meditation, get all of the things out of my mind that were there lingering, itching away, just shake them off with a few chords.


Where does music take you?


Ryan: Around Australia at the moment I guess. So at the moment it’s doing well. The last few years I’ve just been moving around playing music, don’t have a job, not on Centrelink, it’s solely my instruments and me, and my friends that I play with. I’m heading to Byron today. Only just stopped in (to Brisbane), I had this in at cash converters, this guitar, I was like, I’ve got to go and get it because it had like a week left, so I went and got it, now I’ve got to get out of this place. It’s too much! Too much traffic! 




How do you share your music love?


Ryan: PLAYING IT! Playing it on the street, playing it for people, if someone wants music I’ll give it to them. It’s been something I’ve learned, you’ve just got to share it, get it all out there, not be worried about it. Last time I was in Brisbane, would have been about three months ago I was on a radio station here with a couple of friends, one of the community radio stations…


Nayt: 4ZZZ?


Ryan: Yeah that’s it. That was cool, first time I’ve been on the radio so yeah it’s about just trying to push it out as much as you can, push the music. Walk down the street playing, play everywhere!


I’ve always wanted to be able to play an instrument and people like Ryan stir the musician within me. I’ve tried to learn guitar twice in my life and keyboard a few times, every time though the distraction of shiny and colourful things marred my desired results. I was always good at playing the recorder; maybe I should take that up again? The reason that I kept on and will continue trying to learn is because of the freedom I see expressed by musicians who exhibit skills as if their instrument is a mere extension of their body. I want that. The cathartic release of all emotions carried by the musical notes released by our manipulation of a tool that makes a noise.


I shall dub this the “Dude! I can see the music!” effect. It affects individuals differently depending on their current state and what is going on in their lives at the time or what they might be reflecting upon. It’s always good to share the experience with friends and sometimes, even strangers will be positively affected by your use of this therapy.


Doctor Nayt’s prescription for this week is to exercise. That’s right exercise the musician within at least once a week. Sometimes it’s hard to find at first but reach deep inside and you’ll feel a lump. Get a good hold and squeeze it until it releases a ‘LAAAAH’ or a ‘tap-tap stomp tap-tap’. Keep on doing it until you can form a beat or a melody and then if you get good enough mix them together. Never be discouraged, keep practising weekly and always remember…karaoke is for everyone.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Song Review - Chemical Motivation




Chemical Motivation
by The Love Junkies
EP: TBA, 2014




‘Chemical Motivation’ was not the song I expected it to be. And believe me, I mean that in a good way. The best way to describe this song is to imagine that The Dandy Warhols and The Vines are dating. After a moonlit stroll during which they held hands and stared longingly into each other’s eyes, they consummated their union. As a result of this love making a baby was conceived. That baby is ‘Chemical Motivation’.


The song begins with a cool, blissed out hippy vibe (hence The Dandy Warhols reference). As I listened for the first time I thought, “I know this, I get this” and went about mentally pigeonholing them. But then something happened, something magical. It got all grunge and garage rock (hence The Vines reference – think ‘Get Free’) and I had the desire to head bang feverishly and dive off of my bed. This is my own personal test for a good song. It only seems fitting when I discover that vocalist Mitch McDonald’s old bedroom at his parents place provided the setting while the band self-produced, recorded and mixed the track.


It’s going to be a big year for these Perthians. They recently signed a deal with German based label Siiick Records to release their debut album Maybelene early in 2014, and have plans to release an EP on limited edition vinyl in the not too distant future.


Katie Langley gives 'Chemical Motivation' four Kurt Cobain heads out of five...


The Love Junkies are about to embark on a tour and can be seen here:


February 6
The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
February 7
The Northern, Byron Bay, NSW

February 8
Trainspotters @ Grand Central Hotel, Brisbane QLD

February 12
Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW

February 13
Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice, Sydney, NSW

February 14
World Bar, Kings Cross, Sydney, NSW

February 15
Rock The Bay @ The Espy, Melbourne, VIC

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Top 25 - 26 January, 2013



The Jezabels!


1. The Jezabels - Look of Love (NEW)





2. Jessie Frye - Dear





3. Seinabo Sey - Younger (NEW)





4. Chelsea Wolfe - Feral Love





5. Montmartre - Tell My Body I've Gone (NEW)





6. The Velvets - Lover (NEW)





7. Horegeous - The Wild Ones 





8. Arundel - Chimpanzee





9. Asgeir - Torrent (NEW)





10. Dear Plastic - Everything's Coming Up Roses





11. Curxes - Avant-Guarded





12. Mirror Talk - Don't





13. Mwansa - Burn This House





14. Angel Olsen - Hi-Five





15. Big Tree - Like A Fool





16. Anna O - Sleepless (NEW)





17. Passerine - What About Love





18. Wild Beasts - Wanderlust 





19. Little Earthquake - Planets (NEW)





20. Halfway - Dropout





21. Kaiser Chiefs - Bows and Arrows





22. The Dead Weather - Rough Detective (NEW)





23. James Vincent McMorrow - Red Dust





24. Elephant - Elusive Youth (NEW)





25. St. Vincent - Digital Witness



Friday, 24 January 2014

Text Review - Big Day Out 2014




BIG DAY OUT 2014
Live at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (19/01/2014)
Reviewed through the wonders of text messaging
by Jo Michelmore, Matt Bond and Katie Langley


Ah, the Big Day Out; festival of...dust and sun (if you're lucky) and heat and booze and ridiculous costumes and inappropriate clothing and bogan upon bogan and wait, oh that's right, the music. Yet again, Jo braved the crowds and faced the dust, sun, heat, booze, ridiculous costumes, inapproriate clothing, bogans, wait, what's it about again...? Ah yes, the music. So, Matt and Katie, each in their seperate parts of the country, faced sitting down (probably) in air conditioning and (probably) enjoyed a cool beverage or two and waited for the text messages, while Jo faced the music on the Gold Coast. Yep, while the Big Day Out makes it's way around the rest of the country with Sydney, Adelaide and Perth still yet to join in on the fun, we here are celebrating the music festival by giving you another edition of the It's My Kind Of Scene version of the festival review, the only way we know how; via text.


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