Archive for June, 2010

Cup Suits/Skerreks album review

June 29, 2010

If you’re the kind of person who likes to listen to thirty seconds of a track and then skip your way through an album, then the Cup Suits/Skerreks split is probably not for you. Brisbane locals Skerreks (Callum Wheeler) and Cup Suits (Nicholas Rowan) have created a rolling landscape of sound that holds a very strong visual aspect, making the 75-minute long album roll with ease from one track to the next like a film. This is an instrumental album and a debut release from both parties, as well as the first release on new Brisbane record label, Unique Beautiful Flowers. The album is split with the first six tracks coming from Cup Suits, and the remaining five from Skerreks. The sounds on the album come from audio manipulation, field recordings, and traditional instruments amongst other aural delights layered and distorted into a completely new context. I love this about Cup Suits/Skerreks, as when you listen to the album you stop trying to identify sounds and just listen to the soundscape as a whole. It took me a little while to sit through the entire album on first listen, as the changes are subtle and evolve over tracks that start at 2:14 short to 18:36 long and everywhere in between. But I think you really have to listen to Cup Suits/Skerreks within the context of sitting down and watching a film. Sitting through the entire album in one sitting really made me fully appreciate the context of each individual track.
– Liza Harvey


The Outpost’s I Used To Skate Once #6 Review

June 29, 2010

The Outposts’ 6th annual “I Used To Skate Once” exhibition was definitely a night of visual and sonic delights. The artworks were all displayed and hung around the windows of The Zoo and down in the alleyway, making every turn into a new encounter of cultural pleasure. I stupidly enough forgot to copy down the names of the artists whose work I enjoyed the most, but I have included a few photos of the displays so hopefully you’ll still be able to appreciate some of the fantastic artworks.

The artworks were highlighted by local bands Per Purpose, The Deadnotes feat. The Legend, Community and Sydney group Songs donning the two stages at The Zoo. I really enjoyed the evening, as it brought together some really interesting people and the artworks and bands were chosen very creatively, making for a great night.

Per Purpose - photograph by Ashlea Gleeson

Per Purpose were the first to take to the stage, delivering their raw, high-energy sound to a capacity full laneway. I think a few people were a little confronted by the volume level, but I much rather enjoyed the boys’ performance. There were a few technical troubles I noticed in the beginning of their set, but it all seemed to work out fairly well in the end. One of the things I loved about the Per Purpose set was definitely the energy that leadman Glen Schenau and bassist Harry Byrne brought to the stage. They’re young, talented and moody and don’t have any hesitations with their style in making it as chunky and angular as possible. As I said, I think a few people in the crowd were a little confronted by this, but I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

Due to the amount of people trying to get into The Zoo even after maximum capacity was filled, I missed out on checking out Community until the last verse of their set. But it was great to see so many people supporting IUSO and getting into it.

Deadnotes feat The Legend - photograph by Ashlea Gleeson

Deadnotes feat. The Legend were definitely the highlight of the evening. They were entertaining, inventive and just downright awesome. The Legend (Everett True) added his own two-bit to the set, commenting on things here and there about the event, Brisbane and just his greater life knowledge. My favourtie quote of his for the evening was “watching Deadnotes feat the Legend won’t provide you with much economic revenue, but it will give you cultural revenue.” That along with lyrics like “I want to fuck a man with a beard” and “there two types of songs – love songs and monster songs. I love you AAHHH! I love you AAHHH!” provided some serious entertainment. Deadnotes created a great groove between them as they moved in and out of subtle melodic changes, making a set of awesome songs that drew you in with their repetitiveness. They have a real talent by making repetition interesting and keeping you involved through their entire set. They’re an awesome band and I would definitely recommend checking them out.

Songs - photograph by Ashlea Gleeson

Songs, as usual, were tight and beautiful. It was a really great end to the IUSO night with their melodic tunes filling the main room of The Zoo. In a sense they served two purposes; to entertain those who were willing to stop and listen, but also created a great backdrop of music for those still lingering around the artworks. Their stage presence wasn’t great, but I think their music really made up for it, which was why it worked so well within the context of the exhibition. Songs really made for a great end to the night.

Well done Outpost!

– Liza Harvey

Some Cultured Stuff For Youse

June 23, 2010

Yes, the heading is a joke, for any of you questioning my sanity or appropriateness in approaching cultural content.

The weekend ahead holds many a cultural delight for all you artistic types as well as the next installment of the Label Parties in Fortitude Valley.

The Outpost Presents:

I Used To Skate Once (art exhibition + music)

This is the 6th annual “I Used To Skate Once” exhibition organized by The Outpost’s Matt Brady and looks to be an absolute delight. The exhibition involves a collection of visual artists from around the world who bring with them a variety of styles, ideas, practices and intentions for your viewing pleasure. There’s also a host of local and national bands performing on the night.
Some of the visual artists involved include:
Porous Walker

Marcus Oakley

Stefan Marx
Andrew Gordon
Amber B Dianda
(see their blogspot for entire list cause there’s heaps!)

Music on the night from:
Per Purpose

Songs (Sydney)

Deadnotes feat The Legend (Everett True)
Community (formerly Stemford Hiss)
Swede Tooth

For more information check out the “I Used To Skate Once” blog. There’s an entire list of all the artists involved and on the bands as well.

Presented By the Brisbane City Council
Label Parties #4
Bedroom Suck Records

Come support Brisbane’s local music scene! Three fantastic Brisbane bands + some Sydney kids play free in the Valley mall as part of the Brisbane City Council’s Label Parties.
These bands are fantastic live and a seminal part of the Brisbane music scene so come along and see these guys in action. I recommend wearing sensible shoes and not your favourite shirt – you may just lose and rip them respectively.

Blank Realm
Polyfox and the Union of the Most Ghosts (Sydney)
Knee Chin
Kitten Party

Liza Harvey

Feathers & Kitchens Floor Review

June 23, 2010

It was a cold and windy night, when locals Feathers, Kitchens Floor and Velociraptor supported Melbourne’s Absolute Boys on Saturday the 19th of June at the Cubby Hole. Despite the temperature, it was a pretty decent turn out and one of the last for the Cubby Hole, as it’s shutting down at the end of the month.

Local all-girl surf group Feathers certainly wear their influences on their sleeve, but their doe-eyed stair will melt your heart. As a four piece, they pack a lot of punch when it comes to their longer songs, especially when drummer Susan uses mallets on the kit. It really takes over the sound and it carries through with a beautiful intensity with the rest of the band and Michelle’s vocals. This was definitely the highlight for me on the night. One criticism I do have to make is that at times during their set, they did lose momentum a little, with the energy running low. It did really vary throughout the show, which I found a little difficult to get into at points. Andrea Blake from Melbourne’s Chrome Dome performed a guest vocal appearance for Feathers’ new song, “Early Morning” at the end of their set and won the crowd over with classic surf-inspired shenanigans.

Kitchens Floor have haunted the Brisbane music scene for a number of years now, and are certainly a seminal local band of the time. Usually playing as a three-piece with Matt Kennedy, Glen Schenau and Julia Sirron, Kitchens Floor mixed it up on Saturday night with Cured Pink’s Andrew McLellan on keys for the evening. It certainly changed the often spacious and sporadic sound of Kitchens Floor, filling and changing the space and sound. For the first and last song of the set, the keys worked brilliantly and they seemed to navigate their way around the extra instrumentation with ease. However, I felt that in “Downed It” the keys overcompensated a little and didn’t leave enough space for the song to take shape in the small space. I don’t know if the members of Kitchens Floor could feel the tension between the keys in the songs, as they seemed a little stiff on Saturday night, but loosened up at the end of the set to play out in style.

Again, I’m going to link you to the Eternal Soundcheck Blogspot for videos of the evening and a couple more reviews. Enjoy !

Liza Harvey

Familjen: “Mänskligheten”

June 23, 2010

Familjen: “Mänskligheten” (Hybris / Shock)

Looking for something a little different? Swedish indie-electro/synthpop artist Familjen will deliver with his third album Mänskligheten. I started listening to this album yesterday and am a little unwilling to disclose how many times I’ve already played it. If lyrics are important to you, you might not find the same level of appreciation; they’re in Swedish – but there’s something a little fantastic about that, isn’t there? From the sad dreaminess of “Man ser det från månen” to the somewhat middle eastern funkiness of “Viggo”, but perhaps not the Ministry of Sound tackiness of “Vinter i april” (you can give that one a miss!), I’m really enjoying this album. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a back-catalogue to see to.

– Michael Campbell

Angry Banana Person Reviews CDs

June 16, 2010

on the wall...

Survived my first Brain-Banana and it a good way. Dub-step is hard to dance to but still fun and painfull. Even the 2 hour trip home was worth it.
Now Cd reviews….

Los Amigos Invisibles- “Commercial”(GOZADERA RECORDS)
Effortlessly Smooth is all I can think of when listening to “Commercial”. This is the first time I’ve heard of the Venezuelan latin-dance group and I’m hooked. The first three shots really sets the mood of the album with disco and funky mixes and hits keep giving. Listening to this, I’m reminded of the stuff my parents/elders listened to when I was younger and the Amigos do a good job bringing that era of music with the sensibilities of the now. I enjoyed my fifty minutes and I’d gladly dance to “Mentiras” or “Viviré Para Ti” even if it makes me look like an idiot.

A French Butler Called Smith- “The Milkdrop Circus”
Gold Coast lads A French Butler Called Smith let loose their debut album and it’s quite a ride. I saw them a while back down in the coast and despite knowing zilch of them, was pleasantly surprised. Their brand of “organic dance music” had the crowd of mostly women dancing gleefully. Very high energy, upbeat stuff. “Milkdrop Circus” brings all that live energy shenanigans into album form and it’s mostly there. The lad’s funk-latin-gypsy fusion make for a good excuse to dance with your significant other or a random cutie. Definitely worth checking out live or at least the next best thing. Oh, and they were fun to sketch despite all of the cute women dancing.

That was a fun gig!

dance-tastic evening!

-Manuel Zig Poska

Calling all Musicians, Artists and Performers

June 16, 2010

Hey Team,

This is a plug, but a good one. It’s about Backbone’s 2high Festival for 2010.
2high Festival is calling all artists, musicians and performers to apply for this years Festival on the 12th&13th of November at The Powerhouse

Come one, come all. 2high is Brisbane’s own grassroots, emerging art festival (17th year and counting).
Stir the sleeping machine.
Observe it rumbling, roaring, pushing, pulling, trembling, hissing, sighing…breathing.
You are the missing part. Rewire its senses. Awaken the Machine.

2high Festival is Australia’s one-of-a-kind multi-arts experience for young and emerging artists & cultural producers.
It is an unpretentious showcase of the amazing mix of the local visual artists, musicians and performers we have haunting this great city.
This is our biggest year yet, so don’t be shy.

may I redirect you here?

any questions?

look forward to it.

1. 2. 3…

Review: Primavera Sound 10, Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain. May 27-29th

June 15, 2010

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By Giordana & Olivia Caputo

Summer arrives in Europe in spectacular fashion, all poppies, earthy heat and never-ending daylight.  With it comes the pilgrimage of music lovers crossing the continent alongside the band-of-the-moment to the latest seaside party. Whether it’s the beach in Brighton or the DIY punk fests of Budapest you can be sure bands you only ever dreamed of seeing in Brisbane will be playing there.

Deciding which festival to go to for an Australian travelling to Europe in the northern summer is simply a matter of throwing a dart at a map and locating the right phrase book.   Or find the one euro festival an Australian artist is performing at and beg for a golden ticket.  (more…)

Little Perks for Volunteering…also reviews

June 7, 2010

I usually come in on Sundays to do my bit which equates to sitting in front of the computer for a few hours. It’s useful, and gives me an excuse to listen to the radio without any static but it can get boring. Luckily, there’s always a regular occurrence of live music in the studio. This was one of them. A definite perk in my books.
..And now reviews…

Compilation- “Afro-Rock Volume One” (STRUT / INERTIA)
I came into this compilation with little knowledge of the players involved but I had blind faith that I’d enjoy to excursion. “Afro-Rock” provides a tiny of slice to the jazz, funk and soul scene of East Africa in the early sixties/seventies. Old school, groovy tunes abound this compilation with the sole intention of getting your dance on. The track selection is solid with nary a filler in all it’s ninety minutes. Top groove picks would be “Heavy Heavy Heavy”, “Africa” and “Envy No Good”. This compilation is a wonderful soundscape to a past era of East African music and I enjoyed the outing.

Jaga Jazzist- “One-armed Bandit” (NINJA TUNE / INERTIA)
Is it silly of me to think of “One-armed Bandit” as space jazz?
This is my first taste of Jaga Jazzist’s brand of jazz-rock-experimental instrumental and I was apprehensive at first. It’s probably to do with fact that most of the jazz I’ve enjoyed tended to be of the classical, vintage variety.
Lars Horntveth and his fellow Norwegians are very comfortable blending classic jazz sensibilities with modern electronica to create an exotic cocktail of atmospheric sound. Luckily, with some persevering the cocktail grew on me and I began to appreciate the atmospheric, ambient flavours. Tracks like “Toccata”, “One-Armed Bandit”, “Book Of Glass” and “Touch Of Evil” would have to my favourites.
The effect may not be immediate but it’s a grower and before you know it you’ll feel like flying into something…er spacey. There you go, space jazz or perhaps I just watch too much Doctor Who.

Bastila- Debut Album (SUNDAY BEST / SHOCK)
I confess I took this CD because of the cover. Blame the art nerd in me and that red in the composition probably didn’t help matters. With that out of the way, I found Bastila’s first strike to be another grower(sensing a pattern here).
Initially, I found the foursome’s combo of ska and gypsy punk to be a little undercooked. Once again patience and a couple more big bites convinced me otherwise.
What I found was a very catchy guitar work coupled sweet beats borrowing the best of ska and gypsy punk sensibilities. The result is a debut that makes me want to dance like a nut.
“The Slacker” would have to the most obvious gypsy punk influence while “Jackie Boy” and “Heart(don’t)Beat” have a infectious guitar riffs and are quite catchy. “Ghosts” is mellow and haunting with lovely harmonies while “What The Jester Saw” is smooth and maintreamy. I also like the closing track “Bring Me The Head” with it’s guitar work and vocal harmonies.
All in all, a pretty solid and catchy first strike from this band. I’m glad the cover got me attention.

-Manny Zig Poska

Music Review: Beach House ‘Teen Dream’

June 3, 2010

Beach House – ‘Teen Dream’ (Sub Pop)

I’d heard the positive murmurings surrounding Beach House, but I confess, I hadn’t investigated until now. Wow my bad – time wasted! And for those of you who dig subtle yet stirring melodies that are brought to life by husky and soft female vocals, ‘Teen Dream’ may well be one of your choice albums of the year so far.

This is the third album (released in January 2010 courtesy of Sub Pop) by Baltimore residents, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. The duo have explored the harmonization of Legrand’s vocals (reminiscent of Stevie Nicks) and core keyboard riffs with Scally on the guitar since 2006.

‘Teen Dream’ is ten dreamy, transcendent tracks, each as beautiful as the last and all of which are filled with often cryptic meanings – the album opens with the thumping ‘Zebra’, and me thinks Legrand is not just singing about black and white horses.

A few standout tracks deserve a special mention. In ‘Norway’, Legrand pushes her vocal capacity with fantastic results – you’ll find yourself singing out ‘Norwaaaaaaaaaaay’ in an imitation of her soft and husky cry.

‘Walk in the Park’ catches your attention and holds it for the full 5.26 minutes, rising to an ever so soft and beautiful climax in the last minute. The lyrics are simple, yet they tell a story that pangs the heart. And that’s a feeling that comes through in this album, with its hints of loneliness and confusion. However, these undertones are subtle and do not make the album overly melancholic – it’s more like heartbreak is wistfully acknowledged, and Legrand and Scally are reminding us that beauty takes many forms in life, as it does in their art. This ‘feeling’ is most noticeable in the more sombre tracks like ‘Better Times’ and ‘Take Care’ (which are also awesome – I especially like ‘Take Care’, as Scally gets a chance to shine on the guitar).

Beach House are currently on an extensive tour of the Northern hemisphere until the end of the year, so fingers crossed they swing our way after that. Until then, I’m off to explore the back catalogue. Enjoy!

Jessi Whitby, 2 June 2010