Category Archives: psuedo-muso-journo articles

R.I.P. Rave

Rave Magazine 2

As a teenage music nerd, my bedroom walls were perennially populated by posters featuring various scowling dudes with guitars looking down on me lying on my bed losing myself in my headphones whilst devouring Rave magazine. Growing up I always thought that being a music writer would be the most inconceivably, unbelievably, incontrovertibly cool job imaginable. Years later, I moved into my first Brisbane sharehouse with two wonderful girls, one of whom was just starting to pick up speed as the lead singer of now superstar act the Grates. Her then boyfriend wrote for another local music mag, and it occurred to me for the first time that music writers were actual people who existed in the real world and breathed and ate and drew on the fridge and used the bathroom when you really, really needed it. 

Ive-used-objetive-criteria-to-conclude-that-this-band-sucks

It wasn't until late last year, when I'd accomplished the infinitely more arduous task of having my first novel published that I got around to signing up with Rave. In the short time since then I've reviewed countless gigs and albums and squeezed in just a handful of interviews. As a writer, it's been a fun challenge to pump out tiny bite sized non-fiction pieces at a high rate of frequency, as opposed to my primary concern of churning out massive 80 – 100k word fictional behemoths every few years (if that.)

RaveMagCover    Rave-Mag


I was devastated when I received news that Rave was shutting down, and not only because of the fact that I will now have to start PAYING for gigs like a total loser. Rave provided valuable exposure for local bands and artists, great opportunities for local writers and photographers and, perhaps most importantly, was an entirely independent operation. Independent media is important; the beauty of working for Rave was that we didn't have to serve anyone's agenda. My editors would occasionally ask me to change a few things here and there, but this was more for content quality than because we were beholden to some corporate giant with vested interests (just look at the whole Rinehart/fairfax debacle at present). Clearly music journalism is nowhere near as important as political journalism, but journalistic integrity is of fundamental importance in terms of filtering what and how information reaching the masses and and we are currently seeing a dangerous erosion of its values which the loss of important independent media sources will only exacerbate. Thank Christ operations like New Matilda and The Conversation are still afloat.

Rave3 Rave4  Rave5 

Here are a few highlights from my time with Rave; bands I would never have otherwise heard of, concerts I might never have gone to, interviews with amazing people I would otherwise have never met. Thanks to all the wonderful writers, editors and photographs and bands that I've worked with. This city is filled to the absolute bursting point with obscenely gifted artists and it's been an absolute blast working with a team dedicated to celebrating this this talent. See you at a gig sometime!

INTERVIEW with Jo Nesbo

GIGS 

Cut chemist

Bright Eyes

2011 Poetry Slam

Ball Park Music

ALBUMS

WILLIS EARL BEAL – acousmatic sorcery

 

BIG DEAL – Lights Out

 

STEVE SMYTH – self-titled

 

People often ask me: “What is the worst album you’ve ever reviewed?” Here is the answer.

 

Fenix

Amazingly, appallingly, astoundingly terrible

The cover of Tenacious D’s Rize Of The Fenix (and yes, that is how it’s spelt) features a picture of a penis stylized into the form of a phoenix with flaming wings. If you’re thinking ‘well, that sure as heck doesn’t bode well…’ then you can tell where I’m going with this. It’s honestly almost impressive how terrible this album is. And yes, it’s supposed to be a comedy album, but that’s the other problem. It just isn’t funny. There’s toilet humour galore, which would be fine if the jokes landed once every 20 minutes or so, but the truth is that the whole thing’s about as funny as the Armenian genocide. Even the dialogue interludes are appalling. They sound like a couple of stoned middle-aged men trying to re-enact scenes from Saturday Night Live. The whole shtick of having Tenacious D almost exclusively write songs about what it’s like to be in Tenacious D was entertaining enough on the first album, but on album #3 they are really just flogging a dead horse. And then kicking it. And then piling beer cans on top of its rotting corpse. To top it all off, album closer 39, which basically spends 317 seconds mocking women for being beholden to the passage of time, sounds as though it’s been written with the specific intent of pissing off feminist groups. This album gets one star for the sole fact that it features Dave Grohl on drums.

*

orginal Rave article here 

Cut Chemist @ BNE Hi Fi reviewed for Rave magazine

Cutchemist


After the debacle surrounding D12’s non-appearances at the disastrous Heatwave festival it would seem that American hip hop acts are starting to garner a reputation as being unreliable. Continuing this trend, tonight’s opening time has been shifted back an hour and there seems to be a great deal of confusion as to what time the performers are actually hitting the stage. Nevertheless, once local wunderkind Sampology starts warming up the crowd everyone seems indifferent to the confusion and ready to shake that which their matriarchal progenitors gave them and raise their hands in an upwardly fashion like they just don’t have a particular preference on the issue.

After a brief intermission, Cut Chemist strides onto stage along with accompanying VJ and launches into a rap mash-up intercut with bizarre psychedelic visuals. All of this occurs behind a slew of turntables, loop pedals and MPCs that has gearheads drooling in awe. The crowd tonight is lively and enthusiastic, but surprisingly sparse for such a renowned international act. The benefit of this is that the dance floor actually has some space to move, meaning no one has to resort to the all too familiar arms-up-head-nod-shuffle-dance that has to be regularly employed at packed hip hop shows.

Cut Chemist’s set tonight mixes classic hip hop joints like Sound Of The Police with music from Colombia and Brazil interspersed with classic J5 tracks and of course selections from his forthcoming album. During all of this he uses a variety of cameras to zoom in on his various feats of technical wizardry ranging from his trademark virtuoso cutting to mixing whilst operating loops via foot pedal to his fingers dancing over the MPC. Chemist is clearly a man who loves what he does and does it better than almost anyone else. Between samples he air guitars, pantomimes and lip-syncs in a manner that manages to be both adorably goofy and, when interspersed with prodigiously expert scratching, pretty damn incredible.

 

 

 

Exit Stage Zed

 Transmissionignitionhighlight
If you'd like to listen to my voice as well as read my words (although I'm not sure why you would, I have to listen to my voice all the time and it's pretty damn annoying.) You can check out the new show I'm doing on 4zzz with Darragh and Jodi. Exit Stage Zed runs from 4-6pm every Saturday. We'll be focusing on playing live recordings and music from bands gigging around town each week. 

You can check out our 4zzz page here facebook here and twitter here.

Hit us up on the facebook page if you have any suggestions for live albums to play or if you want to throw us demos and such. Also 4zzz is running a drive to raise money for a new transmitter and you should probably donate between nine and ten million dollars.

BNE artist interviews #1: Erica Field

Today’s entry is part of a new monthly series where I will be interviewing artists from Brisbane. For the first installment I sit down with my good friend Erica Field as she talks about transforming herself into a boy, bleeding on stage and falling in love with the audience.

Goneril
photo: Sean Young


JD: I’ve heard it said that you hate hypothetical questions. If you had to choose
 between answering a hypothetical question and getting repeatedly hit in the face with a pillow at 5am what would you do?

EF: I would prefer being hit in the head with a pillow. 

JD: You’ve worked with a number of creatives from around Australia and overseas. Do you have an organization or show that is on your wish list?

 EF: Top of my wish list would be doing Six Women again. We had offers from various places but because we couldn’t fund it, it just never happened. I think it should be seen all over the world. Seen AND felt.  I absolutely believe in that show.

Six Women Standing In Front Of A White Wall from Little Dove Theatre Art on Vimeo.

 JD: You’ve studied and performed in Edinburgh, Berlin and all over Australia. What makes you keep coming home to Brisbane?

 EF: I just think that Brisbane is really starting to get going. I feel like there’s a generation of artists that are starting to really develop a very strong creative and  artistic voice. And I’ll be here as long as I can be part of that!

LVH003photo: Fenlan Chuang

JD: What is the weirdest theatre piece you’ve ever seen?

EF: The most full on piece that I’ve seen was by a guy called Ron Athey. Does a lot of
  stuff where he cuts himself. In this one particular piece…maybe I won’t go into it. Do you want me to?

JD: Yeah!

EF: He had all these barbs in his head and he took them out one by one so that streams of blood were pouring down his face. He smeared blood all over the set.

 JD: I can just imagine the risk assessment form for that show…

EF: And then he covered himself in a kind of milky lubricating substance and fisted himself. And then he was rained on by rock salt.

JD: Why art?

EF: What else would I do? It just makes sense to me. I guess…I don’t know how else to understand the world. Or find beauty in the world.

_DSC8683 - 2010-06-30 at 19-22-02photo: Morgan Roberts

JD: You’re well known for having a highly immersive research process for your performances. For Room 328 you dressed as a boy and during this time you started eating protein powder. What else did you do to prepare for this role?

EF: Yeah, it was different each time. The first time I didn’t quite know how to just be comfortable and for the qualities of that character to become really part of me. The first time round I just spent a lot of time wearing boy clothes and just trying to eliminate I guess all the…ah…it’s dangerous territory but ‘feminine’ things out of what I did. I spent a lot of time with Liesel Zink, who was our movement consultant, just watching the young punk kids that hang outside Rocking Horse.  Just looking at the way they behave and their movements.

   IMG_0521

photo: Mircha Mangiacotti

JD: Your performances such as six women and room 328 tend to be interactive and participatory pieces which involve everything from being slapped by audience members to dancing with them. Do you have a favourite moment of audience interaction?

EF: Yes. One of them was a guy during the season of Six Women in Edinburgh. This guy came up to touch me and I was crying and I had a bit of snot and he wiped away the tears, stroked my face and just very, very gently put his hand on my side and then we just stood there together really close. And in that moment I thought we could be lovers. He was amazing and then he left, and I fell in love with him just a little bit. It was a very tiny moment but just the quality of it was so beautiful.

  Up-All-Night-3-copy-2

photo: Adam Sebestian West

JD: Tell us about your upcoming show the Raven. Are you going to punch anybody?

EF: I’m not going to punch anybody. BUT it’s immersive. It’s going to be a really beautiful meditation on the kind of fear of letting go, particularly of someone you’ve loved and you now need to let go of and the kind of loss and sadness that is involved with that and being alone in the world.

THE RAVEN, inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe, runs from the 7th until the 31st of March at Metro Arts Theatre and you should definitely go becuase it will be amazing. 

 

Chali 2na at the BNE hifi reviewed for Rave magazine

original article HERE.

Chali 2na

 

Criminally underrated local act Coalition Crew are the first of four obscenely impressive lists of performers representing three different continents this evening. They deliver a solid set of tight, clever rhymes over golden era-influenced beats and bass.

Bankrupt Billionaires, a recent addition to the local scene, are next up on stage. Their soulful hip hop-influenced sounds pack a hell of a punch. Lead singer Kel Timmons has enough sass and swagger to power a small island nation, and with a little help from Laneous and Hannah Macklin, tonight the Billionaires make a real impact. Recent Triple J unearthed single Daze Of The Dead is a highlight, but their whole show is pretty much start to finish flawless.

Lotek swaggers onto stage suited and booted and backed by Rudekat Sound. By this time the whole evening feels more like an Island Vibes sampler rather than an international headliner show with a few supports. The entire assembly of the Hi-Fi, from the front of the stage to the back of the bar, is dancing and shaking like the world is about to end. Lotek’s ska/funk/soul/reggae-influenced hip hop goes down a treat, with songs like The Rudest Dude and Paid working up plenty of crowd participation.

 

 

Chali 2na and his band take the stage a little after 11pm, greeted by a crowd that is soaked in sweat and booze and smiles. His set tonight is framed around the idea of ‘Chali 2na radio’, featuring selections from his solo work and Jurassic 5 interpolated with a bizarrely diverse selection of medley covers. Classic cuts like What’s Golden? and Freedom are satisfyingly brilliant, even without the rest of J5 in tow. The backing band tonight is phenomenal, the keyboardist/vocalist showcasing an impressive falsetto and the seven-string (yes, that’s right SEVEN) bassist really brings the house down. 2na certainly knows a thing or two about crowd participation and has the audience doing everything from clapping to introducing themselves to strangers to playing Simon Says (which turns out to be incredibly fun when played with several hundred people and a live hip hop band). The one problem with the two-hour-long ‘radio show’ format is that it leans a little towards the self-indulgent side, mixing in sections from Rock Lobster and playing a huge selection of little known songs detracts from what could otherwise be a near perfect shorter set. That said, however, when you see a guy crowd surfing in a wheelchair, you know something good is going on.


Bright Eyes @ the BNE Hifi reviewed for Rave magazine

 

Just a quick sidenote: If any crazed stalker fan wanted to murder Connor Oberst, it would be really hilarious to creep up behind him and sing the line "turn around bright eyes…" from this song before getting all Charlie Manson. Original article HERE.


Bright-eyes

The Hi-Fi – Thu Nov 17

Darren Hanlon’s story songs, presented here in simple format with just guitar and drums, are an excellent start to the evening. Kevin Devine, a surprise last-minute addition to the bill, launches into 30 minutes of captivating songs that are delivered in everything from a whisper to a primal scream and leaves the surprised crowd spellbound.

Connor Oberst and the accompanying six musicians that compromise the Bright Eyes cohort walk on to rapturous applause and launch straight into Four Winds. Oberst and co. present the bulk of the songs tonight in a majestic, almost gospel format, playing a slew of their better-known tracks and a few hidden gems across a massive two and a half hour set. The band gives the impression that they are having a brilliant time on stage (with the exception of the keyboardist who looks about as thrilled as a hung-over misanthrope filling out a tax return). Their performance is somewhat grandiloquent, Oberst at times getting his Bono on and reaching out to the hands of the adoring crowd, but this has never been a band to do things by halves. They close with an epic rendition of Road To Joy and an almost religious performance of One For You, One For Me.


FUTURE SPECS: putting the “art” in party

Future specs 

 

YOU: "Oh hey man, how's it going?"    

THEM: "Oh hey there guy! Well, you know, pretty good, Carol's been redecoratising the living room and my little girl got a triple double goldstar trophy sceptre for her report on Miley Cyrus."

YOU: "Um…I'm pretty sure that there's no such thing as a triple double trophy sceptre…"

THEM: "what about you?"

YOU: "I'm going to FUTURE SPECS with all my heart and most of my liver!"

THEM: "Future Specs? I don't know Jimbo Jones, that sounds like lefto hippie commie pinko bullshit propoganda juice. Will there be….arty things?"

YOU: "All the types! Sound types! Look at it with your eyes types! Touchy touch with your fingies types! Watch the people do the things types! Plus there will be super cheap booze."

THEM: "Well Jackie James, that does sounds like all the fun things in the world. I guess I'll go. How when why wherefore?"

FUTURE SPECS

20th Feb TwentyTen

@

26 Church st, 

Fortitude Valley (just near the PCYC)

Brisbane

MUSIC>>>

RE:ENACTMENT

Reenactment 

THE CITIZEN LOUD IPHONE QUINTET

Citizen loud 

MONSTER MONSTER

MONSTER MONSTER 

 Lix Anna

 

VISUAL ARTISTS>>>>

Beau Allen, Lix BacskayAnna Cooke & Rozina SulimanRenata Fojtikova, Andrew Forsyth, Hannah Groff, David Heckenber, Monica Rohan, Jose William Vigers  

PERFORMANCE ARTISTS>>>

Daniel Santangeli, Giema Contini, Kieran Law, Gen Ganner, Thomas Quirk & Manda Boyd, Leena Reithmuller, Emma Schofield, Robert Millet's Amazing Time Machine

presented by the 4c arts collective 

FACEBOOK: 4c arts collective

TWITTER: @4carts

fourcarts@gmail.com

0406 083 976




SOUNDS OF SPRING REVIEW (simulcast from 4zzz)

You’d
be forgiven for thinking that 2009’s Sounds of Spring was a government
conspiracy to lure all the violent bogans in Brisbane into one concentrated
area for scientific observation. Whilst shirtless, ass-grabbing, beer
can-hurling jerks are an unfortunate certainty at just about any festival,
today it seems like they constitute the vast majority of the crowd, by way of
illustration:

SOS 09

Astronomy
class

One
of many elefant traks artists on the S.O.S. bill. Astronomy Class deliver a
solid, high energy set. Bass lines from here ‘til new year underpin fluid flows
and rapid rhymes. This is a group that obviously loves what they do and they
crowd responds enthusiastically. Although, just quietly, most of the people in
the tent appear so blitzed that you could just place one of those toy monkeys
with a cymbal and a motorised disco ball in front of them and tell them it was
the chemical brothers and they’d be happy.

Hermitude

Hermitude

Another
elefant traks act, this is a duo that not only takes the cake, but remixes it
into a delicious funk and hash laced truffle. This is top level instrumental
hip-hop. Fuzzed up, dubbed out, spliced up beats and scratches all cut up with
the samples that matches. It’s not every day you see a group that can
seamlessly blend dubstep, dancehall, salsa and aussie hip-hop all within the
time it takes to prepare a pack of maggi noodles. Hermitude pull out some crowd
pleasing scratch technique and keytar solos that leave an already ecstatic
crowd nearly catatonic with glee.


The
Fauves

Stalwarts
of the underground rock scene (I was going to say indie, but that word has been
inconveniently re-appropriated) the Fauves are a solidly entertaining act.
Bouncy basslines form the backdrop to some very catchy melodies and hilariously
self-effacing banter; both in lyrics and between songs. If you want to quit
your job, start dating a girl who works in a comic book/record store and start
a band then this is the perfect soundtrack for your misadventures.

British india  

British
India

Obviously
a band that is well suited a festival crowd, British India tear straight into a
riotous set that has punters singing along at the top of their soon to be
dust-encumbered lungs. The radio singles are the obvious highlights; ‘run the
red light’ in particular is well received. The band don’t waste a lot of time
with banter, but make use of the ol’ live version breakdown/build up and give
the crowd more they want in spades. A mid set power cut only serves to enamour
punters even more when the amps click back on. The band rip through a selection
of old and new material, before departing to thunderous applause.

Panics

The
Panics

The
WA based 5 piece draw their material tonight almost entirely from the excellent
‘Cruel Guards’ record. Making their way through the uplifting JJJ favourite ‘Don’t
fight it,’ the majestic ‘Get us home’ and the sombre but enchanting title track
of their recent album. ‘Ruins’ would have been a set highlight for me, if not
for the couple who instead on furiously macking in front of me. Just a note to
you two lovebirds: singing along to a song where the lead vocal hook is: “I
don’t know what we’ll become / I just know that I’m not the one / Yeah I know
that I’m not the one.” with absolutely no trace of irony whilst staring
sickeningly into each other’s eyes may have been hilarious if it wasn’t so
tragic.

Little birdy

Little
Birdy

Fellow
Perth pop-rockers (what the hell do you call people from Perth? Help me
wikipedia help me!) Little Birdy take the stage next, opening with catchier
than syphilis-on-a-convict-ship single ‘come on, come on.’ A black and white
clad Katy Steele leads the band through a wide selection of material old and
new including ‘Relapse,’ ‘Beautiful to me’ and other helium voice drenched pop
melodies. The songs form a strangely sweet sonic backdrop to the arrival of a
dust storm that makes the sky resemble the set of Apocalypse now.

The
Butterfly Effect

The
Butterfly effect deliver everything you’d expect and then some, their set is a
sonic wall loud guitars paired with Clint’s distinctive melodic roar backed by
a solid rhythm section. No strangers to the festival stage, the Brissie quartet
have the crowd in the palms of their sweaty hands. Regardless, all I can think
whenever I see this band’s name is how pissed off they must have been when that
2004 Ashton Kutcher movie came out.

Unfortunately
at this point I was forced to depart due to the least rock and roll end to an
evening possible: severe and heinous reaction to tiny dust particles that
caused my brain to feel as though it had been invaded by two morris dancing
elephants. I’ll make up for it by getting into a fight with a bouncer Lady
Sovereign style next weekend, I promise.

 

 

INTELLECTUAL CELEBRITY GOSSIP FILE: RICHARD DAWKINS + JESSICA SIMPSON

Well now, Richard Dawkins has become a
real A-list of late, ever since his massive success with the god delusion he’s
been seen partying at the Viper Room with Lindsay Lohan, Yasmine Bleeth and
Robert Downey Jr. Friends say he’s been hitting the ‘party powder’ a little too
hard, but the real news is the recent announcement that he’s dating Jessica Simpson.

Dawkinsjessfinal

 

The doe eyed couple have been
spotted at several A-list venues,holding hands, discussing the political and
sociological benefits of a secularised society, and giggling. While they
haven’t been shy in front of the cameras, they also haven’t been too public
about their relationship. A close friend had this to say:

0930heather-locklear 

comment taken from a friend during her recent publicity shoot.

“Well, you know, those two kids
are just taking it easy. They really get along, but obviously the issue of
religion is a big one, I mean, like, just the other day Richard was saying: ‘Sugarcheeks,
do you not think it imbecilic to invest faith in an invisible, intangible deity
whose supposed existence has negatively influenced the various strata of
society for millennia?’ and then she was all like: ‘Baby, the expression of a
belief in an intangible deity is not the cause of the behaviour of isolated
extremists okay? It’s just, like, how those particular individuals manifest
their own violent insecurities behind a flagship. Now what movie should we see
Hannah Montana or Transformers 2?”

 Transformers_2 vs miley

Rumour has it that Dawkins and Simpson
eventually agreed on Transformers 2, but only on the proviso that they got
popcorn AND choc tops.

Some celebrity experts have even
suggested that wedding bells may not be too far off, but the pair are coy about
this, Simpson has commented:

“Well, if we were talking about
it, and I’m not saying that we are, but if we were, then obviously Richie wouldn’t
want to have it in a church, so we might compromise and go somewhere with the
illusion of spirituality that is actually completely soulless, like a
scientology chapel.”