Thursday, 31 July 2014

The A to Z of Pop - P is for Party Like It's...2014?




The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore


The letter P. It's been a sticky one for me, since the sweet young age of twelve years old, when I went to a 'P' themed party. While the majority of attendees went dressed in the colours pink and purple, but I thought outside the apparent 'P' square and went dressed as a present, all wrapped up with a curly pink bow on top of my head. It was at this party, I learnt the harsh lesson that people don't necessarily like to embrace the idea of 'fancy dress' and tend to put in as little effort as possible. I'm not going to say much more than that except to say I have never gotten over this.


Now, many years later, I have gathered a group of friends who will either A) will go to the same amount of effort as me when it comes to the themed party or B) appreciate the effort put into themed party costumes I create. I love my friends. This brings me to the letter P in the A to Z of Pop. In order to make up for the scarring devastation of wearing a cardboard box as clothing and not winning 'best dressed' at that first P party oh so long ago now, I shall stage my own P party, right here on the blog, where only my friends, you dear readers and pop stars beginning with P are invited.




Paula Abdul will show up early 'cause she's old and desperate for any friends she can get. She'll be dressed incredibly well because she hasn't changed her style since the early 90s and that cropped jacket and those shoes are so on trend right now. She'll be the life of the party...until someone else shows up.




Pitbull gets an invite because every party needs a creep glaring and drinking in the corner that everyone else is a little scared of.




Paloma Faith gets an invite because every party needs a drunk girl drunk texting her ex-boyfriend and crying manically in the early hours of the morning because no one understands how much she loved him and only love can hurt like this...(vomit). Have another vodka, Paloma.




Paris isn't actually invited, but if there's a chance someone will have a camera or an instagram account she'll show up. 




Prince gets an invite because I have this feeling if anyone can party, Prince can party...like it's 1999. Were parties better in 1999? Perhaps.
   



The last invited guest? Well, it's fairly obvious, right? She's comin' up so you better get this party...etc. Yep.

Album Review - Angus and Julia Stone




ANGUS AND JULIA STONE
by Angus and Julia Stone (out August 1, 2014)




It's been over four years since Angus and Julia Stone have released an album together. You might have heard of it. It went by the name of Down the Way and topped the Australian charts and walked away with Album of the Year honours at the ARIA Awards after spawning the triple J Hottest 100 #1, 'Big Jet Plane'. Yeah, you might have heard of it. The genetically-blessed siblings would each embark on a solo journey, before being brought back together by some dude named Rick Rubin. Whoever that is. Ok, so getting a call from a guy that's contributed production wise for artists like Justin Timberlake, Adele, System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z and Sir Mix-A-Lot (I know, right?) would have to be the highlight of your life. So you're Angus or Julia Stone and your phone rings and you're all like, "international number... this had better not be a telemarketer!" And then Rick Rubin's all like, "hey, make an album together pretty please, say yes, pleeeeease!" And you're all like, "ok, Rick Rubin." Because you're Angus or Julia Stone, remember?


It's fitting that the Stones went the self-titled route with studio album number three. Angus and Julia Stone sees the brother-sister duo collaborating as co-writers for the first time, making these songs a true representation of what Angus AND Julia Stone can deliver together as music makers. What they can deliver is pretty much awesome as, for the most part, they're proving that old saying that's like, alone they are pretty great, but together they're totally awesome. Which might have been an old X-Men tagline (better worded of course), but let's go with it. Angus and Julia Stone is our first truly cohesive collection of tracks from the pair and combined with Rubin's (the guy that worked with Sir Mix-A-Lot) production skills, the family Stone have never sounded better. For my beautiful friends that have mislabeled the wonderful music these two make as 'Aussie bore-folk' (you loveable jerks), I hope you'll be reconsidering your stance after giving this one a go.




"I met your parents they were lying, about falling in love. I met your parents they were dying, but falling in love." We open with the current single, 'A Heartbreak', a song that lives up to the title with its honest look at the way the young view that crazy little thing called love. The light bluesy touches in the guitar will have your head nodding along, with the toes tapping in time with the drums. Julia's sweet tones against Angus' reserved delivery work here in a way that goes against your standard sibling vocal arrangements. The natural harmonies aren't as prevalent as they usually would be, but there's something about the way their voices sit together that makes you melt just a little bit. Or a lot. Whatever. You don't know me. Julia takes the lead on 'My Word For It', grabbing that bluesy vibe from the opener and running with it. The roles are reversed for 'Grizzly Bear', with Angus coming to the forefront on a track you feel like you already knew was recorded in Malibu. Surf's up, man... in a nice and folky way.  It's not an earth-shattering opening run, but a welcome re-introduction to the sounds of Angus and Julia Stone.


A powerful shift comes with the arrival of 'Heart Beats Slow'. A track that wins you over more and more with each repeated listen, 'Heart Beats Slow' reminds us why Angus and Julia Stone are now one of the most celebrated and loved acts in Australian music. That rolling beat, the breezy vibe that surprises you in the way it can leave you a little out of breath and the voices of Angus and Julia weaving around each other in such a memorable way. It's hard not to think of this showing up in many lists celebrating the best songs of 2014. The lyrics are perfectly simple, but carry a weight with them that only works for an act like this. 'Wherever You Are' is the perfect follow-up, a song you can call lovely without feeling gross. Because it is. Lovely, not gross. Try not to get too lost in a line like, "And we're like the kids from Candy, kissing in the grocery store," because you'll be listening to this ballad thinking that the characters in the story are junkies. Candy is amazing for anyone that hasn't read the book or seen the movie. Back to A and J, 'Wherever You Are' is the sweetest little ballad you won't be able to get enough of and this one's got those more natural, swoon-worthy sibling harmonies to boot. 




If you were to ask me to pick a song out of the bunch that would be the 'coolest of the cool', I would send you in the direction of 'Death Defying Acts'. This is Julia's time to shine and she turns in a performance that borders on theatrical, that is a sneaky kind of sexy and has just a hint of danger bubbling under the vocal performance. "I will perform a death defying magic show, for those of you who wanna go some place else, I am brave but I can't save you, from the things you won't change for yourself." Spine-tingling goodness right here, boys and girls. Step right up! My love for 'Death Defying Acts' didn't exactly extend to 'Other Things', a song that felt a little out of place. The delivery was just a little too deadpan, the out of tune twangs not as endearing to the ears as what had come before. It's a tough one, because it's in no way "bad", but it felt like a momentary interruption on this journey I was being taken on. Repeated lines about putting the cat outside and seeing you later (tomorrow) kept me from getting into it, though I tried. A momentary setback, as I fell straight back into the Stone's world on 'Please You', a warm and welcoming ballad performed by Angus.


'Main Street' and 'Crash and Burn' move back into bluesy guitar-driven territory, with the latter stepping in a more alt-country direction. It's 'Crash and Burn' that I keep going back to, its slow beginning making way for a suitably epic finish and a killer instrumental segment that comes across like a perfect homage to Neil Young. Keep on rocking in the free world, Angus! An unexpected end to the album, but really, you should expect to be surprised quite a bit by Angus and Julia Stone. They're trying new things, exploring new sounds and learning what it is to actually be a musical partnership. While Angus and Julia Stone is great, it's not without a rocky patch here and there. Even Rick Rubin isn't perfect. Did you know Sir Mix-A-Lot made more than one album? Rick Rubin sure does. But Rick Rubin has also been part of seven Grammy Album of the Year winners. If or when Angus and Julia Stone choose to team up again, I think we'll be moving closer into the perfection zone. 

Matt Bond gives Angus and Julia Stone three and a half Michael Hutchence heads out of five... 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The K-Tizzle Sizzle - We Are Done


Apparently these are the actual Good Charlotte lyrics.


We Are Done
by Katie Langley


Earlier in the week I found myself at home from work due to sickness. I spent most of the day lying in bed thinking about how I really wished I had a more plentiful supply of pseudoephedrine, and how great it would if Cold Rock made home deliveries. Without the energy to actually fix my hair to a publically acceptable standard and leave the house to fill my desires, I laid in bed dreaming my ice cream-y dreams whilst I listened to the radio. It was all mostly inoffensive nonsense that provided a bit of a backdrop while I came in and out of conscientious… until I heard “We Are Done” by The Madden Brothers. Welcome to this week’s Sizzle.





There is something about “We Are Done” that manages to offend and irritate every level of my being. To me, this song are the nails on the chalkboard, the accidental bite you take into aluminium foil, the obnoxious phone user in the quiet carriage on the train, the eyelash in your eye that you simply cannot remove no matter how hard you try, the yappy dog next door, the milk that has passed its use-by date that you’ve accidentally poured all over your cereal… Are you picking up what I’m putting down?


At face value this song really shouldn’t push me to these sorts of limits. It’s a fairly straight forward upbeat little pop beat that should have me whistling through winter thinking about sunshine and sausage sizzles. What is it about this song that makes me recoil with repulsion? I’ve got three words for you – The Madden Brothers.


As a teenager navigating my way through the musical landscape and plentiful supply of genres I did spend some time on all things pop punk, which naturally included Good Charlotte. I thought their music was fun and cool, and have fond memories of attending one of their concerts. As the years have moved on my taste has changed, although I’ve never been someone to forget my past and completely rubbish things I once loved. I liked what I liked for a reason, and I’m usually proud to own it. Nostalgia will usually get me every single time. Not this time.




The Madden Brothers one famously jibed about the rich and famous whilst they advocated for animal rights, only to later profit handsomely from promotional deals with KFC. Hang on, wait, is that Alanis Morrissette I can hear playing somewhere in the distance? I get it – people grow and evolve. As a corporate drone myself I wouldn’t be so bold to say that they’ve sold their souls, but somewhere along the way have they comprised their fundamental beliefs?




Whatever the case, the chicken publicity and recent stints on The Voice have thrust The Madden Brothers firmly into the Australian spotlight, and it seems that, for most people, they’re lapping it up completely. Whilst I won’t be signing the petition that’s doing the ‘rounds to have them removed from the country, it’s fair to say that I’m suffering from some serious over-exposure. Their smarmy little faces are everywhere - they’re on my TV, they’re on my chicken, and they’re in my bed whilst I’m sick and trying to have a goddamn nap.


Some would say that I’m a hater (they’d be right). Some would say The Madden Brothers deserve the success (sure, kudos to them). Some would say that I’m in a minority (when has that ever stopped me). Me? To The Madden Brothers I say… WE ARE DONE. Badoom-tish.

Song Review - Spits On Girls




Spits on Girls
by Amy Shark




Kill off the character what does she say?
What the fuck would she know anyway? 
Why would I even buy a new dress just to impress?


Pop music that's packing equal measurements of brains and brawn. That's what the Gold Coast's Amy Shark is offering up on the quirky/cool new single 'Spits on Girls'. It's one of those songs you can quickly start obsessing over, with all the repeated listens giving you time to explore all the different aspects of the track. Shark's voice and attention-grabbing lyrics have you hooked right from the get go, as she tells all the fellas straight up not to be that dude that spits on girls... because everyone hates that douche. Well, words to that effect. I hope this didn't come from personal experience. Because unwanted interaction with saliva is blurgh. 


Back to Shark's voice. I found it really engaging throughout and loved when she let fly a bit more with some wails as 'Spits on Girls' thundered through to the end. Shark brought in Eden Mulholland to assist her in making the track as excellent as it is and I believe Mulholland is responsible for the whole host of sounds in the second half that build on each other, backing Shark's layered vocals up. There's a lot going on, but in a good way, not an overwhelming one. The final segment of the track is totally random, but super memorable. You know which part I'm talking about. Sharing contraband with celebrities and so on and so forth. 


I'll be honest, I hadn't heard any of Amy Shark's other work before 'Spits on Girls', but I'm really keen to hear a whole lot more now. A bit of a stalk through her triple J Unearthed page (where you can grab a free download) promises a national tour could be in the works and I'm hoping there will be an EP or album to accompany that. Amy Shark clearly has something that makes her stand out from the crowd and we here at It's My Kind of Scene can't wait to hear more from her! 


Matt Bond gives 'Spits on Girls' four Cyndi Lauper heads out of five... 
    

Song Review - Neon




Neon
by Little Deed (available now)




There is an artist from Sydney who you may have not heard of yet. I have only just found them myself. Their (her?) name is Little Deed and while I could trawl the internet for a few hours looking for information for you, I'm gonna leave the trawling up to you, because I want to get to the important bits. What are the important bits? Welcome to 'Neon'; Little Deed's debut single.


Such a simple arrangement, it begins with only keys, a slow, slow beat and a deliciously strong but almost fragile vocal. Reminiscent of something I might have heard before, familiar, the non-threatening vocal drags you through the beat, the synths slowly building to a crescendo about half way in and suddenly I'm surrounded by a dark sky, maybe some rain, I could be standing under a bridge wearing an incredibly fashionable coat somewhere in New York City, with a train travelling overhead and some rubbish floating around while a tear falls from my eye as I pine for the love of a boy who has left me...er, sorry, I got lost for a second there. This could possibly be something I saw on the TV once, but that's where 'Neon' takes you, to a soundtrack, a place and a life far away from the boredom of everyday. I digress.


This is a fabulous little track from an artist I know very little about, but like I said, maybe whoever Little Deed is might not be that important. The important part is finding new music to sway to, a new song to obsess over for a little while and a new sound to be able to tell all your friends you heard before they did. There you go then. I've just given you all that. You're welcome.
Jo Michelmore gives 'Neon' three The xx heads out of five...

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #29




RYAN, RYAN KEEP ON FLYIN!
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


Knock-knock! Oh come in Ryan. What’s that? You want a music check up just to make sure you’re in tip-top musical health? SURE! Don’t worry though, I know it can be tough being 19 and passionate about spending money on things you don’t need and filling other voids with TV but it’s all part of the process. Trust me, I’m a professional. Now turn your head and cough…


Thinking of music as medicine:


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


Ryan: See I don’t really have any artists where I go, “yep, love all their songs.” I kind of like one or two songs by “them” and then I’ll just like somebody else and something else but… A few songs I like at the moment are 'Amsterdam' by Coldplay, I like 'My Favourite Game' by The Cardigans, I like 'Left Alone' by Flume ft. Chet Faker, 'Drunk In Love' by BeyoncĂ©, 'Don’t You Find' by Jamie T and 'Mammoth' by Dimitri Vegas.




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


Ryan: I don’t exactly know. If I like a song, I just like it, but I just find them uplifting. Basically, if I like the way it sounds, that’s about it really. If there is a meaning to it I’ll be like, “OMG this is so good,” but they just improve me if I’m having a shit day. It will make it so much better. It’s just something to fill in time as well.




What kind of high do they give you?


Ryan: It just makes me feel better. It’s something to do while driving or whatever to put me in a good mood, or if I’ve had a really shit day I just turn on some music and it will be okay.




When do you find yourself craving music for relief?


Ryan: Before work, after work, during work except I can’t hear it because the speakers don’t work down by the registers… Basically whenever I’m driving or before going out and stuff to get in the mood.




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


Ryan: It takes me back to better times or just days and events in the past I’ve really enjoyed. Just chilling with friends or simpler times when I was younger before I had to work. Like when I hear something like The Veronicas I’m reminded of my grade 5 teacher who really liked them so she played their CD during class. So there you go!




How do you share your music love?


Ryan: If I have my phone and there are speakers I’ll connect my phone to them at some point so I just force my music onto everybody. Like in the car you have to listen to my music whether you like it or not but it’s pretty diverse. I have some sick beats on there, I have some 90s stuff and some current mainstream stuff so…




-----------------------------------------------------


When you’re young and frivolous and the whole world is at your feet just ready for the taking, music doesn’t really need to be much deeper than a smooth groove and sick beat. Of course that doesn’t mean the soul in the music doesn’t fill you up but when your cup is already full there ain’t no need for more fuel to burn coz baby you can’t use it if it’s overflowing. Also being varied and unpredictable is certainly preferable for a fulfilling life because as Ryan likes to say, “outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens!”


I shall dub this “The Chocolate Sampler Box Effect”. When one is young, especially but not limited to youth, it is always a good idea to branch out and sample from all areas of life, culture, environment AND MUSIC. The world is vast and there is room for all kinds to exist and be appreciated.


Doctor Nayt’s prescription this week is only listen to your music on shuffle, or if out with a friend swap iPods. Get your friends and family to make you a mix CD/USB of their fave tracks and only listen to them for the entire week. You never know, you may end up with some new faves yourself. Of course there’s the chance that you may hate the music so much you consider smashing the side of your head with a brick but that’s the fun of the gamble right? *I don’t publically condone gambling or any other activity that affects the stability of yours or your family’s lifestyle*
 

Song Review - Fishing For Gold




Fishing For Gold (Live At The Forum)
by HOWQUA (available free to download on Soudcloud - go NOW!)
Album: HOWQUA (to be released 2014)




I’ve mentioned it before; I've been writing for this blog for a few years and I've discovered in that time that writing about music has challenged and inspired my love of music and forced me to put into words things taken for granted that just happen, the things I feel when certain sounds and notes meld and warp and gather together in beautiful and sometimes confronting ways. I write for many reasons, but sometimes, like now, I write because I have to, because if one other person reads this and hears what I hear then passes the feeling on to someone else, the effort of blogging is all worthwhile.  


Wasting precious time, well I’ve tried to chase my tail
Fearing failure, all in all, failing to prevail


The first lyrics I’ve ever heard of Melbourne artist HOWQUA and I’m convinced, immediately drawn into a story I wasn’t prepared for and a song that I know years from now will still define a certain point in time for me. While the original version was released a little while ago, it's full layered sounds intense and much more pop oriented, the honesty conveyed in this version; his simple foot taps, his exceedingly solid and oh so sincere vocal, recorded in a completely empty Forum theatre, have become instantly addictive, one guitar and one keyboard all that is needed to make a tremendously moving piece of music. After all, we all know someone or something that has made us feel less than we deserve and then there are those of us who are lucky enough to have found a song like this one, whose sounds make us feel much more than less could ever be. The simplicity in everything about this version of 'Fishing For Gold' is more than enough...


I won’t be your victim anymore
And you can’t break my spirit like before


I can’t always find the words that describe how powerful music is, but hearing artists like HOWQUA with the ability to be so honest and raw makes all the struggle of words and the time of blogging worthwhile. So looking forward to struggling with my words again later in the year when he releases his debut album (made with the help of one of our other faves Hayden Calnin). If this track is any indicator, it will be nothing short of amazing.


Jo Michelmore gives ‘Fishing For Gold (Live At The Forum)’ five Eddie Vedder heads out of five…

Monday, 28 July 2014

BIGSOUND 2014 Preview




BIGSOUND 2014
When: 10 - 12 September
Where: Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
What: The best music event in Brisbane all year!


Ermegherd... BIGSOUND.


September sees our favourite Australian music event of the year set up shop in Brisbane once again, the BIGSOUND music conference and showcase. It's sort of like SXSW, but right here in our hood. Fortitude Valley is a 'hood' of sorts, right? Over three days, more than 100 speakers from Australia and abroad will give engaging talks and presentations about their careers, their lives, their successes, their failures... all the while imparting words of wisdom you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the country. Keynote speakers for the 2014 conference are music legends, The Church and Neil Finn, as well as legend in his own right and director of Bluesfest, Peter Noble.




The rest of the lineup of speakers covers so many aspects of the music industry. From radio there's Michelle Brown from 4ZZZ (support community radio!), Nick Findlay and Dave Ruby Howe from triple J, Stephen Goodhew from FBi Radio and Meagan Loader from Double J/triple J unearthed. Martin Elbourne, one of the main bookers for Glastonbury and The Great Escape Festival will be there. Did you read that, artist friends? Yeah. This is happening. Brad First, the Music Festival Showcase Coordinator from SXSW will be there too. Are you getting how much of a big deal this is? You are? Great. You'll also be able to listen to a bunch of cool cats from a variety of record labels, online music places, music legal places and there's some great performers talking it up too, like Ruby Boots' Bex Chilcott!


Check out the full list of speakers over at QMusic...


At night, the Valley turns into the greatest mini-music festival you're even going to be part of, as all the best music venues turn their stages over to the good people that bring us BIGSOUND Live. We've fallen for so many new artists over the past two years. The Hello Morning, Thelma Plum, Kira Puru + The Bruise, Tkay Maidza, The Trouble With Templeton and Busby Marou. That's just a sample of the artists we've been blown away by and sort of stalk now. What? BIGSOUND Live is where you'll find the 'next big things' in music. The talent that is assembled to perform over the two nights is just ridiculous and the 2014 lineup is the best yet. It may or may not have caused some involuntary drool-age. The Church are bound to deliver a knockout performance, but then to live up to that whole 'next big things' line I just threw out there before, there's Little May, Client Liaison, Holy Holy, Airling, Remi, Eves, Safia and Alison Wonderland. Oh... and the ever amazing Tkay Maidza, Thelma Plum and Jeremy Neale are back for another year. Tkay was so good last year, she blew up the sound system. Thelma Plum had the Black Bear Lodge swearing up a storm to the very best in pop music. And it doesn't get cooler than Jeremy Neale... does it?


Check out the full list of artists at QMusic...




BIGSOUND offers something for those that want to immerse themselves in the music industry as a career and for those that really just love music and seeing incredible performances. If you're looking to head to the conference, which includes entrance to BIGSOUND Live, you're going to want to snap up the special rate passes. They remain at their current price until August 8 and you can register for them right here. And if you're just looking to listen to the stellar talent on Wednesday and Thursday night, you can get your BIGSOUND Live tickets (18+ y'all) for $69 right hurr. Go on... treat yo'self! We've said it before and we'll say it again... BIGSOUND Live is the funnest two nights in Brisbane all year for music fans. Running around from venue to venue. Stumbling upon acts you might not have heard before that leave you wanting to hear them forever... it's the best. Anyway... hope to see you there! 


Stay up to date with even more BIGSOUND news by giving their Facebook page a like!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Top 25 - 27 July, 2014


Tkay Maidza, Jessie Ware + Kimbra!


1. Little May - Dust





2. Tkay Maidza - U-Huh (NEW)





3. The Griswolds - Down and Out





4. The Kite String Tangle - Arcadia





5. Kimbra - Miracle (NEW)





6. Harts - Angels Walk Below





7. Jessie Ware - Share It All (NEW)





8. Velociraptor - Sneakers





9. The Presets - No Fun





10. Christine and The Queens - Saint Claude





11. Grimes ft. Blood Diamonds - Go





12. Shura - Just Once (NEW)





13. Vance Joy - Mess Is Mine





14. Thelma Plum - How Much Does Your Love Cost?





15. Meg Mac - Roll Up Your Sleeves (NEW)





16. Hopium ft. Phoebe Lou - Dreamers





17. Gang of Youths - Riverlands (NEW)





18. Angus and Julia Stone - A Heartbreak (NEW)
 




19. The Drums - Magic Mountain (NEW)





20. Kingswood - I Can Feel That You Don't Love Me





21. Death From Above 1979 - Trainwreck 1979





22. Lykke Li - Gunshot (NEW)





23. Courtney Barnett - Pickles From The Jar (NEW)





24. Ella Hooper - The Red Shoes





25. Breaking Hart Benton - More Than You Deserve


Thursday, 24 July 2014

The A to Z of Pop - O is for One (Two, Three And Four)




The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore


Whoever said pop stars weren't smart? No one probably, but just to prove it, as we've now reached O in the A to Z of Pop and a whole post dedicated to One Direction didn't really interest me and pop stars from Ohio, Oklahoma and Osaka didn't really bring up anyone that exciting, maths it is.


One





A family known more for their moves than their maths, at least five of The Jacksons knew how to count and they would have appreciated the first three letters of this alphabet, if nothing else. If only Michael's maths skills could have saved him from his ultimate untimely fate.


Two




One of the Jackson sisters proved how much more intelligent than her brothers she was by having much less plastic surgery counting from five...backward. This sisters name doesn't start in La and end in Toya. Just saying.


Three




I'm not the world's biggest Bruno Mars fan, but I do love a ukulele and I especially love a singalong and even more especially I love an out of tune singalong. Throw a "like one two three" in there and everything is almost perfect...except for one of the laziest rhyming lyric counts ever. 'You' rhymes with more than just 'two' Bruno. Just saying.


Four




This one is my fave, 'cause it's so smart it's hidden. Missy Elliott might not technically be pop, but I'm not doing an 'A to Z of Hip Hop' next, so I'm gonna stick her in here. Bet you can't even find the 1, 2, 3, 4. It's there. Just trust me...and you're welcome. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The K-Tizzle Sizzle - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word


We've all had to drop the 's' bomb from time to time.


Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
by Katie Langley


Hi. My name’s Katie – I enjoy karaoke, naps and I’m completely unprepared for this week’s Sizzle. I could give you a string of excuses about how I’m a corporate drone and during the busiest period of the year in the lead up to a major deadline have found myself absolutely brain-dead. But no one likes excuses, right? We’ve all read the bullshit that tells you that you should stand tall and own up to your shortcomings. This is kind of hard for me because my shortcomings are few and far between. Others may disagree - they’re dickheads (how very Kanye West of me). However, I concede that, on this occasion, I should have planned ahead. I'm sorry.


I made a half arsed attempt at seeking input from my lovely Facebook friends (do any of you really read this tripe?) earlier in the week but due to the aforementioned lame excuse have not actually followed through on any of their suggestions. They were quite humorous and ranged from the outrageous price of tea (I’m sure I could find a link to music somehow – The Tea Party, hello) to my Mum’s dislike of rap music.  I wasn’t sure it was the right time to point out to her that my nickname is K-Tizzle.


In summary: usually I’m awesome, but this week not so much so, and I’ve decided that this week is the self-deprecating Sizzle. 


Wheatus - 'Teenage Dirtbag'




“'Cause I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Yeah, I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Listen to Iron Maiden maybe with me”


Skee-Lo – “I Wish”




“I wish I had a brand-new car
So far, I got this hatchback
And everywhere I go, yo I gets laughed at
And when I'm in my car I'm laid back
I got an 8-track and a spare tire in the backseat
But that's flat”


Radiohead – ‘Creep’





“But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here”


Kermit the Frog – “It’s Not Easy Being Green”




“It's not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky”


Korn – ‘Freak on a Leash’





“Boom nah dah mmm nah dah heema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!
Dah boom da da mmm dum na-eema!”

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #28




GRETA, CAN'T BE BETTER!
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.


In my daily life I come across some beautiful people and one of them who I just happen to know through my daily job is gorgeous Greta! How did we become friends you ask? Well 41yo Gretski, just like me, has a passion for art, a dirty sense of humour and quite exquisite taste in music, so it was inevitable that we’d hit it off and become sisters from another mister. So even though I already knew she loved great music, there’s always more to find out and besides I pretty much just wanted to draw her lovely face.


Greta by Nayt Housman

Thinking of music as medicine:


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


Greta: Okay so when I’m painting I always have to have music on and depending on the music that I listen to it really sets the mood but there’s always favourites like KT Tunstall, I love her. Drastic Fantastic and Eye To The Telescope, both of those albums I pretty much love every song because she’s a poet. Things that she says, it’s like she’s writing my life! Like 'The Universe And You', listen to that one because that’s how I used to feel about things and still do about some but things change. I always listen to Radiohead, that’s if I’m feeling like I’m a bit depressed. He’s beautiful, so beautiful but it’s hard to paint through the tears and then I will listen to a bit of Powderfinger; I love Powderfinger and because one of the first paintings when I started painting again was Bernard Fanning from their last concert in Brisbane. So I listen to them a lot but then I’ll listen to like blues, lots of different… from old, old blues then you know what? Then I’ll listen to fricken NOVA just for all the pop shit, just for whatever. Honestly a bit of everything, even INXS and I’ve just recently got back into them because my son brought me the Kick album on CD so I listen to it sometimes on full bore!




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


Greta: Some like INXS it’s purely the rhythm of the music, that’s a big thing for me, is the way it sounds and how that makes me feel but then other artists like Adele and KT Tunstall, it’s about what they say. You know another favourite of mine and he always makes me cry too is Ben Harper. They’re all deep and that’s good for when I’m painting.




What kind of high do they give you?


Greta: It’s hard because usually I’m pissed so usually I’m on a high anyway HAHAHA! But if I’m in the car singing along, because usually I’ve had a shit customer or something like that, I’ll get in the car and I’ll sing at the top of my voice. It is cathartic and it just makes me feel better about the day if I can REALLY sing because I sing a lot by myself, really loudly too.




When do you find yourself craving music for relief?


Greta: As mentioned before and if someone’s upset me, disappointments, like if someone disappoints me I try to get out of that feeling sad or whatever by putting some sort of loud music on. Especially KT Tunstall because a lot of the stuff she says in her songs I relate to.




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


Greta: It actually takes me away from reality like you know even sadly enough, sometimes I fantasize about being on The Voice, X-Factor or Australia’s Got Talent. I fantasize about just DOING IT, not that I ever will because I’m an old lady and that would be really embarrassing.




How do you share your music love?


Greta: Well it’s really translated through especially Jack [my son]. Jack is extremely musical and I think it’s because I sing all the time and it’s always been like that with the kids, always singing and Jack is a fabulous guitarist. He’s really getting into the singing as well now and he’s actually got quite a good voice. I think it does translate, I think obviously his dad being an ex musician and a singer, it’s in the blood but I think just having it around them all the time they’ve just absorbed it.


Do you have a main motto or mantra in life?


Greta: Drag my fucking arse out of bed and get through the day!


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It’s pretty obvious now after doing this for six months that “creativity” and “fantasy” are two of the main driving forces to why we listen to music. Music stimulates emotional and physical responses, which drives creativity through fantasy. The most powerful thing is how people who feel this way about music are brought together almost magnetically. Music is like a magnetic drug for dreamers and inspiring for the people around them. 


I shall dub this “THE DREAM MAGNET EFFECT!” (Imagine that was in a booming echoed voice). When people are randomly drawn together through the music that allows them to be free and creative. That to me is a pretty powerful thing and when people come together through their music it has the power to inspire others.


Doctor Nayt’s prescription this week is, when you meet someone new just start singing your fave songs to them. They’ll either look at you weird and probably walk away, or they’ll possibly look you in the eye and knowingly smile while giving you the nod of approval. If you’re truly kindred they may even start singing along with you. Actually why not just start singing to people who you THINK you know? You may find a new link that brings you together with a familiar or that makes you closer friends than you originally thought.

Song Review - U-Huh




U-Huh
by Tkay Maidza (single out now)





Chitty bang-bang, chitty bang-bang... Tkay Maidza is undeniably the new Queen of Cool, following up last year's 'Brontosaurus' with the insanely infectious new tune 'U-Huh'. This is in no way a slow burner. One listen is all it takes to have you cursing those haters and making poor attempts to spit out these rhymes with expert execution like superstar in the making, Maidza. The lady is clearly already a master of the rap craft, leaving many of her local contemporaries in the dust. The Azealia Banks comparisons are going to be a thing, but you've got to believe Tkay's going to be a more permanent fixture in the industry and she's definitely pulling off more of an M.I.A swag on 'U-Huh' with the help of Elk's production skills. 


Comparisons suck though and really, there's no need for them here. Maidza is paving her own way and the sounds she's creating are very much her own. 'U-Huh' is electronic, it's rap, it's hip hop, it's oh-so-poppy and it's totally brilliant, fresh and unique. It's so many things, but the most important 'thing' is that it's fun and will make you want to dance as you listen to it over and over again. How you would not be able to dance to this, I couldn't tell you. I heard it on my laptop for the first time and was dancing in my living room. I heard it in the car and was.... being very safe and driving appropriately... while dancing! I want to hear this out at 'ze clubs' because I think when it gets to the chitty bang-bang segments people will come up with some really creative moves. Anyway... you will want to dance. You will dance! 


This is your new jam, this is the real sound of Australian hip hop in 2014 and this is the next big thing right here. To think this is still just the start of Tkay Maidza's music journey is crazy. I'm going to be loving 'U-Huh' for a long, long time, but I can't wait to hear what she's going to come up with next. 


Matt Bond gives 'U-Huh' five Jay-Z heads out of five...   

Monday, 21 July 2014

Song Review - Her Name




Her Name
by Humans As Animals (available on bandcamp)
 EP: Eukaria (due August 1)




Whoa, this certainly isn’t where I was expecting to end up this weekend. Let me look around, where am I? What is this place? I see a guy over there with a nose piercing and a girl over there with a Japanese inspired tattoo. There’s someone wearing baggy cargo pants with about a thousand pockets and yes, that’s a guy wearing a skirt, a flannel shirt and some Doc Marten boots, in combination. You don’t see that every day in 2014. Now give me a moment to compose myself and listen. There’s a simple beat and a funk track that is oh so familiar I can’t even put my finger on where I’ve heard it before, but it’s comfortable, not at all out of place in this strange place.


An Australian twang, some voices harmonising some “bah bah be-yow” and suddenly I’m right there, in the afternoon sun, in the middle of a field with a thousand or so other people and an unnamed Australian band who are really hot right now on the J’s, playing to an audience more interested in not liking anything the mainstream do, man, regardless of how good or bad that is (insert any festival late-90s here). Luckily for them, four piece Humans As Animals aren’t actually that bad. They may be re-living an era long gone, but it was a good era, so why complain about that? It’s a little bit 90s Faith No More/Red Hot Chili Peppers/Brisbane band Custard, a little bit mid 00s Butterfingers, and a little bit early 00s Foo Fighters (no one in the rock world does poorly dressed man as woman quite as well as Dave Grohl though) and throw in a guy who looks like a reject from 90s Sydney band Tumbleweed and you got the debut single; ‘Her Name’ from Melbourne’s Humans As Animals.


It’s a little bit of stoner rock fun and even though I was lost in the time machine that took me back to the mid 90s for a few minutes there, the mid 90s seemed like a good place to land. I’m not going to complain about being taken there whenever I press play.


Jo Michelmore gives ‘Her Name’ three Kurt Cobain heads out of five…


If you want to hop in the 90s time machine you can join Humans As Animals at their Eukaria EP launch show at The Evelyn in Melbourne on August 14. August 14 2014, that is.

Song Review - I Love You Money




I Love You Money
by Lowell
Album: We Loved Her Dearly (out September 16)




This week, a friend of mine posted a status on facebook about his disappointment in the new Sia album. While I don't necessarily agree, we can't all agree on everything, each to their own and that's the beauty of our separate tastes and pop music. This status in turn started me on an internet search for more pop, not the usual top 40 commercial radio pop, but something with a little more grunt than that.


That's when I stumbled across Lowell, a Canadian/American/English pop star who I haven't stumbled across before, but now that I've found her world, I'm not sure I can leave. It seems her brand of pop is strong, ruthless, unforgiving and unquestionably catchy, all things I like and all things I love in all music, not just pop. 'I Love You Money' is a true musical delight; original enough to force a stop and listen, catchy enough to make me want to bounce around at every second beat and there are enough unusual sounds, yelps and woos to have me throw my hands in the air but not enough to alienate me. This is one of those tracks that makes you pump your fists at the sky because goddamn, you've heard something amazing and it's different enough to make you think you've found it before all your friends, even though it's on the internet for everyone in the world to hear (and you're welcome if I've just introduced you too. Good, isn't it?)


'I Love You Money', the first track from her debut album We Loved Her Dearly, is available in the US/UK and Canadian markets on September 16 and if the rest of the album is anything like this, I may need to relocate in a few months time to get my hands on a copy (alternatively, thank goodness for the internet). Now I don't know if my friend who had thoughts about Sia would like Lowell, but thank goodness for them both anyway, because each to their own, we can't all agree on everything, but I found someone new I like, and that is the beauty of pop music.
 

Jo Michelmore gives 'I Love You Money' four Kimbra heads out of five...

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Top 25 - 20 July, 2014


Little May, The Kite String Tangle, Angus and Julia Stone + Ella Hooper!


1. Little May - Dust





2. Harts - Angels Walk Below





3. The Kite String Tangle - Arcadia





4. The Presets - No Fun





5. Grimes ft. Blood Diamonds - Go





6. The Griswolds - Down and Out





7. Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora - Black Widow





8. Thelma Plum - How Much Does Your Love Cost?





9. Ella Hooper - The Red Shoes





10. Angus and Julia Stone - Death Defying Acts





11. Jessie Frye - Shape of a Boy
 




12. Kingswood - I Can Feel That You Don't Love Me





13. Christine and The Queens - Saint Claude





14. Vance Joy - Mess Is Mine





15. Jessie Ware - Tough Love





16. Pepa Knight - Clams





17. Velociraptor - Sneakers





18. Nussy - Dizzy





19. Lana Del Rey - Old Money





20. Hopium ft. Phoebe Lou - Dreamers





21. Foxsmith - Pentimento





22. Breaking Hart Benton - More Than You Deserve





23. Augie March - After The Crack Up





24. Death From Above 1979 - Trainwreck 1979





25. Cash For Gold - Black Metal Queen