Wednesday, April 30, 2008



Sunday, April 20, 2008

Putting up my defences.

There are many things that I am defensive about. I am just a defensive person. Some people poke fun at me and I usually put up my defences instantly unless I know that too well they are just trying to stir me up. But I am especially defensive when it comes to the music I like. Yes, I understand that everyone likes different genres and sounds and most people have an opinion on music but today I have become irritated after doing some YouTube research on Joanna Newsom and research on one of my favourite Australian bands, Dardanelles. Both of these artists are an acquired taste, understandably because they do not follow the mundane mainstream cookie-cut-outs of pop and rock bands, pretty much because neither are mainstream and both defy these genres.

Joanna Newsom.

When it comes to Joanna Newsom some think she has a voice that makes the listener want to clench their teeth and grate their skin, but like many others I see more to her than just her vocals. Everyone knows that she doesn't have a smooth singing voice but some people are stupid enough to just focus on her singing and be ignorant of the fact that she is a classically trained harpist which in itself intrigues me already. Her lyrics are story-telling in poetry form and reflect Romanticism along with the magical elements that contribute to the dreaminess that embodies her. After I listened closely to her music and watched interviews of her I realised that although she is mannered and gentle (reminiscent of a little girl) she is idiosyncratic which is where the eccentricity of her singing voice fits her perfectly. Then there are jerks who post comments on her videos on YouTube who say that she's "retarded" and think she sounds horrible. I believe people can have their own opinion but that irritates me because people like that are so quick to criticise and post comments like that to spark up everyone elses defences. Like my own. Really, if people like that have nothing nice to say then they shouldn't say anything.

Then a few hours ago I stumbled across an article someone wrote on about Dardanelles, accusing the Melbourne band of being "unoriginal" and "stealing" the main guitar riff to Scott Walker's 'Cossacks Are' in their newest track 'Mirror Mirror'.I had a listen to the guitar riffs and both are simplistic and jolt in and out during the tracks but it is extremely lame to think that one is copying the other, especially since Walker's riff is longer and has a miniscule pause in the middle of it. For someone who doesn't study music even I can tell there is a difference between both riffs. I just think some people cannot understand the fact that sometimes other people's intellectual property can be similar to others without intention.

Dardanelles-'Mirror Mirror'

I think that Dardanelles debut album 'Mirror Mirror'is one of the best albums released recently that I have listened to mainly due to the fact that they have a consistent and innovative post-punk sound with impressionist lyrics that separate them from the indie-electo sound that has emerged everywhere in the past year. It is clever in the way 'Mirror Mirror's tracks blend into one another, making the album into a personality of the Dardanelles at that particular time instead of just being an album of singular tracks with no purpose to the flow as a collective.
But who am I to think that when they are quote,"..talentless hacks who steal guitar riffs from Scott Walker". I just discovered the author of that journal even wrote about "people who make defiant stances against people who get e-angry when someone doesn't like a band that they're fond of". Am I now too predictable?

Die! Die! Die! last night at Oxford Art Factory


Lachlan. Bringing him in on bass was the best move ever, he has great stage presence and his bass lines are increasingly becoming the centerpiece of the band's songs, to great effect. He also wears an awesome jacket.

The crowd being rowdy, out of control, inconsiderate, and making for an amazing exchange of energy with the band. Usually i'd hate a crowd like that, but it was very fitting.

The guy who stood on stage near the end of the set, took off his jacket and his shirt, and stood there for an entire song while he was pelted with schooners.

Blue Skies. That song still floors me every time.

It was a great night, and they definitely got me out of a sagging mood. I reviewed it for Fasterlouder, I'll post a link when it's up.


This winter i've decided i'm going to be one of those squirrels who stow away a whole lot of nuts in winter. And by that, i mean I'll stop being a squirrel who never has any nuts because he traded them all for records. Seriously, i've bought 14 records and 18 cds in the past fortnight. Ridiculousness for someone working 12 hours a week.

So no more superfluous record purchases for a while! (And no, getting the new My Disco LP at the launch next week is not superfluous, it's essential). I'm also going to try to hustle more free tickets to things, stop drinking at shows, and eat out less.

I'm sorry, music industry. You know I love you, right?

It will all be worth it when I can afford to go to Splendour (especially if i can review it for somebody or something).

In other news, will there ever be an album that feels as much like home as Sunset Studies? If a record was a warm blanket, a favourite old jumper and a childhood-defining candy all in one, it would be Sunset Studies.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I like boys with dark hair..

Adam has done a few posts recently and because my muse is on vacation I'm resorting to gossip.
No I'm not going to turn this into a 15-year old girls blog about who in Hollywood is releasing a new perfume or clothing line, who recently got engaged and the "shock-horror" of what celebrity is cheating on their partner with another celebrity.
BUT what I will say is that Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom are a couple..


I think all of us girls know that Orlando (with a gorgeous Australian girl like Kerr) is never ever ever going to be single again.

While completely diverting our attention away from two gorgeous celebrities who will have amazingly gorgeous babies..I have been listening to 'KONK' the second album from The Kooks. I have had this album on repeat and while I find there are some tracks I absolutely adore, i.e "Stormy Weather", "Mr Maker", "Always Where I Need To Be", "Tick of Time" and "See The Sun", there are some tracks that I still find a bit middle of the road but I wouldn't entirely say that they have 'second album syndrome'. This album just needs to be given a chance. On initial listening it can seem a bit disappointing but giving it more goes makes the tracks more enjoyable and the album as a whole more enjoyable too. I still rather 'Inside In/Inside Out'.

Talking about bands who don't really live up to past albums, I had a listen to 'Brain Thrust Mastery' by We Are Scientists and got through half of it before I put on their previous album "With Love and Squalor" to remind me that their older music isn't bland. Sorry but I don't think Keith Murrays cuteness could save this album. Nonetheless I still like these boys.

We Are Scientists.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gig Guide: 13-20 April

What's more worthwhile? My uni assingment? Or a gig guide!
That's right, it's gig guide time!
In keeping with the new layout of our blog, i'm going to keep it more consise than last time. But totally useful!

Let's party!

This Week in Sydney:

Wednesday 16th April: Grand Salvo, Holly Throsby, Machine Translations, Firekites
Factory Theatre, Marrickville, 8pm, $15+bf

I haven't seen Grand Salvo before, but word is that in Melbourne he's a pretty big deal. I've heard him compared to a quieter Sufjan Stevens, and the bunch of songs i've heard confirm this and excite me for this show. He's launching his new record "Death" with an ensemble of musicians, and his recent Melbourne launch has recieved some pretty big kudos. Supports are great too, coming from a bunch of his labelmates on Spunk records - most notably Holly Throsby, who is about to record a new record... so expect some new material from her.

Thursday 17th April: Laura Jean
Seymour Centre, University of Sydney, 8pm, $17

Laura Jean is another Melbourne artist launching an album this week, her album Eden Land. Her last album "Our Swan Song" was a lovely folk record that seemed to slip under the radar, at least in Sydney, but elsewhere she's getting noticed - randomly enough, Snow Patrol have been big fans for some time. Maybe you will be too.

Friday 18th April: The Lucksmiths, Cloud Control, The Small Hours
Hopetoun Hotel, Surry Hills, 8pm, $12

The Lucksmiths have been around for over 15 years - basically, they were doing the indie twee-pop thing before most of their current contemporaries even started school. Not least of all Cloud Control and The Small Hours, two of Sydney's finest going around right now. Check out both the godfathers and the fresh faces of nice Australian boys playing sweet music, with a triple bill charming you'll want to blog all about it.

Saturday 19th April: Die! Die! Die!, Talons, The Ripping Dylans
Oxford Arts Factory, Darlinghurst, 8pm, $15+bf

Die! Die! Die! are one of the first bands i got into when I was a young kid who could suddenly go see bands. A bunch of years later they're still gaining popularity, and while they've slowed the tempo a bit it's been to their benefit - their album "Promises Promises", which is launching here, is their best yet, and live they are one of the best bands going around. Support comes from Talons, who are one of the better new bands around in Sydney, as well as The Ripping Dylans.

Saturday 19th April: Ro Sham Bo
Supper Club, Darlinghurst, 10pm, $20+bf (facebook says $10, hmmm!)

Ro Sham Bo were the best dudes to go see DJ, back when they held crazy parties. But then people realised that they were the best dudes, and now they play big parties with huge headliners all over the place. Go Ro Sham Bo! But i kind of miss cramming into a little bar surrounded by amazing people and going nuts to all the party jams these guys would throw out. So i'm pretty excited that they're taking it back a bit with this new monthly party, playing the rather small and posh-looking Supper Club. No bullshit, just themselves playing some big jams while (i assume) heaps of great people pack in and go nuts.

That's all for this week!

On The Horizon:
08-04-23 Vialka + The Laurels, La Capana
08-04-24 Klever, Club 77
08-04-25 My Disco, Oxford Arts Factory
08-04-26 Against Me!, Metro
08-05-01 Kes Band + Moonmilk, Hopetoun Hotel
08-05-10 El Guinco, Supper Club
08-05-17 Grey Daturas, Hermann's
08-05-31 Ampere, tba
08-06-01 Ampere, tba
08-06-02 The Silents, Spectrum
08-06-05 Dead Farmers + Halal, How Are You + Art Rush, Lewisham Hotel
08-06-16 Whitley, Annandale Hotel
08-06-18 Institut Polaire + Cuthbert & The Night Walkers, Spectrum
08-06-20 Kimya Dawson, Manning Bar
08-05-25 Mark Kozelek, Factory

Happy gigging!

Oh, childhood!

This is probably the coolest, most nostalgic thing i've come across on the internet for a long time.

Al Jaffee's fold-ins for Mad magazine, from the 1960s to the present, in interactive form.

Some awesome stuff there, and such a great format.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Miranda July, VBS TV....

These are a few of my favourite things! is full of greatness. They should release a compilation dvd, because the videos buffer weirdly and i can only watch properly when my connection isn't being problematic (rarely)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Watch this band!

The Diamond Sea

Saw them last night, fantastic new band reminiscent of Sonic Youth and Sleater-Kinney. But a little faster paced.

Thats all from me for now, by body hates me today.

Monday, April 7, 2008

British pop music.

I think I have a soft spot for Britpop.
And I am so forgiving of it if it all sounds the same as well!

A repeat offender is Jack Penate who uses the same guitar line in about 5 of his songs (approximately the chords in order: G,Bm7,Cmaj7 and D)and does some erratic dancing on stage, but it is so hard not to sing-a-long to his hopeless romantic songs and watch the videoclip to "Have I Been A Fool" and just go "awwwwww!". But when I saw him on stage at The Factory I stopped going "awww!" when I couldn't understand a thing he was saying inbetween songs. hmmm.

Jack Penate.

There is also The Kooks who produce songs with guitar lines that are a bit repetitive (ie 'Sofa Song' and 'She Moves In Her Own Way'), bouncy drums beats, lyrics about sexual inexperience and letting go of love, and Luke's whimpering singing. Their new single "Always Where I Need To Be" hasn't exactly impressed critics here but I still love it because those songs elicit the inner teeny bopper in me who finds their tracks 'romantic' and addictive. I'm sure I would scream, blush and jump up and down if they were to announce a tour to Australia anytime soon. I don't care how many times Simon Amstell bags them out, they are one of my favourite Britpop artists. And their track and videoclip to "She Moves In Her Own Way" makes me melt inside. They have even done a cover of Peter, Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" and have taken out the infamous whistling and replaced it with melodic humming and "do do's", they have also slowed the tempo down a bit giving it a 'cruising down the countryside on a sunday afternoon in the sun' kind of feel to it. Although Luke still whines in spurts of emotion as he usually does, but I'm so use to it now that I like it.

The Kooks.

I'm thinking maybe I'm just hopeless when it comes to cute British accents and pop music..
Except I'm not into Pete Doherty. Ewwww.
I received a mix of indie music from a friend that included The Hoosiers in it, the track being their new single "Cops and Robbers" is very much a 'single' song in that it has catchy tunes and hooks and the opening of it reminds me of "Cats" by The Cure. The Hoosiers have this track and another called "Worst Case Scenario" which is another fun pop tune although it is predictable just like "Cops and Robbers" and has a guitar line reminiscent of The Kooks et al.
But I admit it, I really really liked 'Let's Dance To Joy Division' by The Wombats when I first heard it.
Please don't hurt me now.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Anyone using Muxtape? I'm using it now. I'll be using it to post songs that excite me. And generally songs that everyone hasn't already heard. So that people will find it interesting, or something.

Anyway, check mine out. And comment me with your address.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Splendour in the Grass 2008 is better than 2007.

So, if you head along to Devo's website right now, you'll see...

But guess what it said in that space a few hours ago?


• JULY 31: Melbourne, Australia @ Festival Hall
• AUG. 1: Sydney, Australia @ Hordern Pavilion
• AUG. 2: Byron Bay, Australia @ Splendor in the Grass Festival
• AUG. 5: Adelaide, Australia @ Thebarton Pavilion
• AUG. 6: Perth, Australia @ Metro City

This is such, such spectacular news. Unless the rest of the lineup completely jumps the shark, i'll be going.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sook Against The Machine

Australia's videogame censorship is ridiculous. We are basically the only developed, democratic nation in the world that still holds onto an archaic ratings system that relies fundamentally on the definition of video games as exclusively used by children.
It's reared its head again today, as Rockstar confirmed that Grand Theft Auto 4 (which is probably the most ridiculously hyped game ever) had to be modified to fit into a MA15+ rating - the highest possible videogame rating before the OFLC declares a game "refused classification" - and therefore, illegal to sell in Australia.

The absence of an adults rating (which would logically be R18+) is incredibly condescending and frustrating to adult gamers, who now form an overwhelming majority of videogaming's markets. Despite logic, research, and popular opinion making it seem obvious that an addition to the classifications system is nessecary, ignorant officials such as South-Australian attorney-general Michael Atkinson continue to block any motion to change the law. Like the annoying kid at the cinemas who won't stop shouting in the silence, people like this ruin everybody's fun for no logical reason by simply doing things that annoy almost everybody except for themselves. When somebody designated to reflect the will of the public comes to the conclusion that the fastest growing entertainment medium in the world, with the majority of its users being adults, should not allow games designed for adults to be sold in Australia at all, they have clearly become completely irrelevant and need to be relieved of their duties. This way, their ignorant railing against games they have never seen in an entertainment genre that they have never played don't actually spoil anyone else's fun.

I mean, in terms of practical uses it hasn't been that important so far. The content removed from GTA will be anecdotal if not unnoticable, and most games banned have been rubbish anyway. But it's infuriating that we are still faced with this ridiculous kind of censorship.

In other news, the new Panic at the Disco song is a lot of fun, but the album in general reminds me way too much of Silverchair's Diorama. It's not quite as bad, and certainly doesn't take itself as seriously, but it has the same self-conscious attempt (and by attempt, i mean it is really obvious in the way it strives) to come across as an "opus", a timeless classic in the vein of Pet Sounds or OK Computer that is grandiose, consise, and timeless. Unfortunately, like Silverchair, PATD haven't realised that tacking some string arrangements and slightly modifying their song structures doesn't achieve this - instead, it comes across as hackneyed and overdone, carrying with it the same amount of class as a wannabe celebrity in an ill-fitting dress with a fake leather Prada bag from Chinatown on their arm. Who takes themselves far, far too seriously.

But yeah, that first single is still pretty fun.

Tonight was going to belong to Baseball, but i'm only just coming out of the most hectic flu in years, plus i've hardly slept properly. I think tonight now belongs to green tea, my ridiculous chocolate and liquorice darrel lea easter egg, and either John Hughes films or Wrestlemania 24.

Far too much complaining by me. Let's focus on something awesome. Here's an amazing comic that i got sent last night.

It's by Matt Furie, whos book I now plan on getting.

Over and out.