Tag Archives: rave magazine

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. 

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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orginal Rave article here 

BLACKLIGHT featuring Pigeon / Lunch Tapes / The Medics reviewed for rave magazine


View and comment on the original article at Rave Magazine HERE.

BLACKLIGHT: The Medics / Lunch Tapes / Pigeon / Boss Moxi

Lightspace – Fri Nov 4

The promoters of tonight’s event describe the venue, Lightspace, as a ‘classy warehouse.’ Sheer white curtains adorn the walls and stage, candles cast flickering shadows and my friend (name withheld by request) comments that the luxury hand soap in the bathroom is worth $40 a bottle and she is considering relocating it to the interior of her handbag. From the very beginning, it is clear that this is not going to be your standard warehouse party.

Boss Moxi are the first of four bands this evening, they greet an initially sparse crowd with a sonic smorgasbord of bouncy psychedelic rock tunes and twin guitars soaked in delay. There are a few average tracks scattered amongst their better material, but songs like Esso and Hospital Drums are catchy enough to make this a memorable performance. Halfway through, the second guitarist switches to saxophone and their act really starts to pick up. The last few songs bring their set to an explosive, frenetic finish.

 

Pigeon parallels 4tj

Pigeon are next on the bill, and their five members proceed to set up an impressive arsenal of brass, electronic and rock instrumentation. Essentially, Pigeon sound like The Knife jamming with the Happy Mondays in Ibiza in the ‘80s whilst watching Eurovision. The really appealing thing about watching this band is that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Their five members switch from laptops and synths to guitars and drums to brass and back again. The crowd responds to their brilliantly unpredictable performance with a frenzied display of raving and moshing, and by the time they pull Boss Moxi’s sax player onto the stage for a ‘sax off’, this has become one of the most outstanding local shows in recent memory. From this they segue into a bizarrely brilliant synth and brass cover of Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise with a quick cameo appearance from the iconic sax solo from Baker St. Watching this band play is 16 kinds of fun, and by the time they finish the crowd is soaked in sweat and smiles.

 

Lunchtapes

Announcing this is their final performance “as Lunch Tapes” I can only guess as to whether the band means they are planning a name change or undergoing some kind of superhuman metamorphosis. Playing a fun, energetic selection of loud ‘70s psychedelia-influenced rock songs, Lunch Tapes’ standout track The Thrills Of Being Young exemplifies their whole approach to performance: violinist Harriet Straker adding lift and energy to their sound, and lead guitarist Julian Holland playing some absolutely blistering licks. I look forward to seeing Lunch Tapes 2.0.

 

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The Medics are the last in an extraordinary line-up tonight. Their four members (and their hair, which is collectively shaggy enough to clothe a small Alaskan village) don their instruments and begin. Their classic rock band line-up looks almost underwhelming after this evening’s selection of violins, trumpets, synths and saxophones, but they have an undeniably commanding presence. Somewhat reminiscent of The Temper Trap, they play a series of epics that ebb and flow from quiet, dreamy moments to soaring electric crescendos paired with ethereal vocals. However, the band sometimes gets a little lost in themselves, during one particular odyssey the audience performs that awkward ‘clapping at the assumed end of the song only to discover that there is another section’ two times over before the song eventually ends. Finally, a storm of drums and throbbing bass and strummed guitars brings the evening to a close.

JOSH DONELLAN

 

Ball Park Music review (for Rave Magazine)

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View and comment on this article on the Rave website HERE

Ball Park Music / Northeast Party House / The Jungle Giants

The Zoo – Sat Oct 15

The Jungle Giants open proceedings by serving up a sonic selection of fun and friendly guitar pop that is summery enough to convince an Eskimo to invest in a pair of board-shorts and a badminton set. Next, six-piece dance rock outfit Northeast Party House unleash a swathe of thick fuzz bass-lines and twin guitars drenched in delay. Some of their songs are uncomfortably reminiscent of Bloc Party, but the second half of their set reveals some original material that really lifts the roof. If these guys aren’t huge in the near future, I’ll eat my hat. Of course, my hat is a novelty hat constructed from nachos, but nevertheless…

Ball Park Music greet a rapturous crowd by opening with Literally Baby, the first track from their recently released debut album, before segueing straight into Rich People Are Stupid and then announcing, “Hi Everybody, we’re The Jezabels.” At the end of their first five minutes on stage tonight they’ve already displayed an impressive mix of skilled musical performance and ridiculous humour. By the time they hit All I Want Is You the crowd is more than ready to participate in a good ol’ fashioned clap-along, which is followed shortly thereafter by a trombone-led cover of Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People.

Throughout their set BPM give the impression that they are having even more fun than the crowd, (if that’s even possible). The band closes with the obscenely infectious iFly, Sam Cromack deciding to conclude a consistently brilliant evening by pouring a bottle of red wine on the crowd. It’s the kind of move that would be career suicide in any other line of work. Tonight, however, it seems nothing but appropriate.

JOSH DONELLAN