Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

Heartthrobs of Woodford

December 31, 2010

At a festival like Woodford, you’d be hard-pressed to not fall in love at least three times a day. With musicans and performers to suit anyone’s tastes, we in the 4ZZZ team have developed a few (minor) crushes.

The Bedroom Philosopher (pictured)

Performing at Woodford this year, singer, songwriter, actor, author and comedian (is there anything the guy doesn’t do?) Justin Heazlewood set the 4ZZZ team into bursts of giggles. With his witty social commentary, catchy tunes and nerdish appeal, The Bedroom Philosopher is a total catch. Spot him on Melbourne’s 86 tram. Post-modern indie heartthrob.



The girls from Baskery

 

These three rockin’ hot viking sisters brought a provocative, punkabilly passion to the stages of Woodford. A favourite amongst the 4ZZZ family, the Baskery girls are far more than pretty faces. Sweedish goddesses.

 Dan Mangan (pictured)

With his delightful ditties and humble nature, Dan Mangan is the type of boy you’d like your mother to meet. He wooed Woodford audiences with a string of toe-tapping tunes and even invited onlookers on stage for a sing-a-long session of “Robot”.Cuddly Canadian.

 

Tessa Nuku of Microwave Jenny

Fey and slender with a shows-stopper voice, Tessa stops hearts in their tracks even when she’s not singing. Seducing audiences with her graceful minimalism, this Wagga Wagga songstress is one to keep your eyes on. Femme fatale.

Gabby Huber of Dead Lettter Chorus (pictured)

This Sydney sweetheart no doubt stole the hearts of many with her darling vocie and ambrosial appeal. The antithesis of a “diva”, Gabby delighted us with her super friendly disposition. Cute as a button.

Tim Rogers of You Am I

Another object of 4ZZZ’s affections was Tim Rogers, the frontman of Australian rock band You Am I. Rogers performed with the band as well as playing a soft and lyrical solo set at this year’s festival. According to our Woodford producer, Gemma, Rogers is “sarcastic and bitter at the same time, yet really sweet, and his music is hauntingly beautiful”. Charming older man.

Kim Churchill

In contrast to Tim Rogers, 19-year-old Kim Churchill rates a mention for his boyish looks and cheeky stage antics. The guitarist and songwriter had a swarm of young females cheering for him during his performance with Jeff Lang at this year’s Woodford. Well, we think they were cheering for him… Smooth surfer style.

Mike Rosenberg a.k.a Passenger (pictured)

With his agreeable accent, lovelorn lyrics and comical on-stage capers, this Brighton-born troubadour is a charmer with the ladies (and presumably gents). Whilst he claims to lack the charisma of Hugh Grant, Passenger – a.k.a. Mike Rosenberg – managed to tickle the fancy of the 4ZZZ team. British balladeer.

The 4ZZZ Woodford team wishes you a Happy New Year & hopes all your crush-related dreams come true in 2011!

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Got your gumboots?

December 29, 2010

Mud and music are a match made in heaven, especially when it comes to Woodford.

Sure the past three days have been filled with bouts of torrential rain, but that hasn’t stopped festival goers from gathering en masse.

Perhaps the rain, mud and swampish campsites are a positive, as undercover music venues have become a place of warmth, solitude and (corny, but true) bonding.

Aside from the multitude of music offerings, the 2010/11 festival is packed with parades, workshops, dance parties and a bevy of new street performers (who you might be meeting in subsequent blog posts – shssh!).

Whether you’re celebrating with us, or on the other side of the country, 4ZZZ sends you Woodford-style love!

… Admit it, everyone likes free stuff (New Weird Australia)

November 14, 2010

Come on, you have to admit it. When it comes to music especially, nothing can top getting it for free – especially legally!

New Weird Australia is an organization based down south that loves to give give and give music away with compilation albums available for free download every two months. These compilations are fantastic and include new, interesting, weird and experimental music from around Australia. Artists involved with the New Weird Australia compilations include Alps, Paint Your Golden Face, Bum Creek, Caught Ship, Justice Yeldham, Ambrose Chapel and Anna Chase amongst other undiscovered delights.

I highly recommend New Weird Australia to anyone and everyone as it’s a fantastic way to discover the fantastic music that Australia has to offer. Check out their website here and enjoy!

Liza Harvey

Frankly! It’s a Pop Festival

September 6, 2010

Frankly! It’s a Pop Festival graced our fine Powerhouse this last Saturday past, bringing with it an enviable lineup of some serious pop bands. In the last year or so my definition of ‘pop music’ has done a complete backflip. So, I can understand if you’ve read this review so far and thought “hells no! A pop festival??” But, Zeders, fear not – this is pop music at its purest, with just plain mother fucker catchy tunes. The lineup was made up of Fabulous Diamonds (Melb), Guy Blackman (Melb), Surf City (NZ), Crayon Fields (Melb), High Places (US) and Xiu Xiu (US). I found it interesting that there seemed to be a pretty decent crowd right up until Xiu Xiu played – perhaps the lure of pretty and colourful fireworks got people’s attention. Lawrence English who curated the festival certainly did a great job at piecing together this fantastic pop festival!

Fabulous Diamonds
One of the things that really struck me about Fabulous Diamonds was there skill in keeping repetition interesting. Sure, there songs are a collection of one drum beat and a keyboard riff that slowly develops over a period of about 7 minutes or so, but for some reason I find it really easy to get into it. I thoroughly enjoyed their set at Frankly on Saturday, much more so than at their LP launch the night before at Burst City. Fabulous Diamonds seemed to balance the right amount of tension and drone quality across their Frankly show and I’m not sure if anyone else could have pulled it off quite as well as they did.

Guy Blackman
I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the Guy Blackman set at Frankly. For a lot of the time his simple pop keyboard melodies, clean vocals and daggy jokes made me feel like I was watching my Dad perform. But maybe that was just his charm? I think I kind of appreciated it in the same sense that you can appreciate a dad-joke, and his set did get more interesting as it went on. By the last two songs, the boys from Crayon Fields had joined Blackman on stage to perform a super up-beat version of “Gayle”, which ended the set on a fantastic note.

Surf City
Surf City really carry on that classic New Zealand pop sound that is reminiscent of bands like The Clean and even Songs (yes, I know they’re from Sydney but three of them are from NZ!). There was a real particular nostalgic pop sensation that flowed through the Surf City set and I really enjoyed it. However, listening to music that makes you feel like dancing, while it’s really the middle of the day and everyone’s sitting down inside a big brick building just didn’t seem to bring the right vibe to their set. There was definitely something missing in the middle, some kind of translation or understanding where even though the Surf City boys performed really well, the crowd just didn’t respond in the way that I think they deserved.

Crayon Fields
There was something extremely wholesome about watching a bunch no particularly attractive guys play 60s inspired pop with a geeky precision! Crayon Fields are now one of my favourite bands, and I think it might be just because I feel like if I took one of them home my dad would be very happy! Their set at Frankly was really great and they injected a fair dose of renewed excitement into the festival air. Not that the previous bands didn’t perform well, but the whole timetable had been pushed forward by about an hour and this made everything feel a little rushed, like the organizers were trying to rip off a band aid as fast as possible. So when Crayon Fields played fantastically, there was a fair amount of excitement that seemed to drive up the vibes a little bit.

High Places
There were a few things about the High Places set that really distracted me from really enjoying their set. There were a fair amount of sound issues before they started playing which pushed back their time by half an hour (and actually bringing the festival back to its original playing times) and there’s always a nervous tension in the air when even the audience can tell that something’s gone wrong. Then when they started playing the mix just seemed a little bit out, like there was some phasing or something happening with the speakers… and then I realized it was all because of a photographer who was leaning his entire body against the right hand speaker to steady his camera and in doing so cutting out most of the higher frequencies and quite radically changing the sound. As a trained engineer/producer, these little things really get to me and I’m sure even those in the audience who don’t know anything about the physics of sound would have heard the extreme change in sound. As I said, I was pretty distracted through the High Places set, and so while their beats came across really brutal and meaty from their drum machine, I felt like for most of the set the entertainment value of watching two people on stage and a drum machine just didn’t hold its worth. It was real shames because their recorded works are fantastic and pack a shitload of punch, but it just didn’t seem to translate live. This, doubled up with my audiophile distractions proved High Places to be a bit of a disappointment.

Xiu Xiu
While in their stage setup, Xiu Xiu weren’t all that too different from High Places in term of two people on stage adorned by drum machines, keyboards, guitars and a few percussion bits and bobs, their live stage presence was surprisingly overwhelming. I felt that they were super intimidating on stage, especially Angela Seo. Maybe because I’ve seen her throw up for the entire 3:56 of the “Chocolate Makes You Happy” filmclip I thought ‘wow, there’s really not much these guys wouldn’t do for their art’. And that completely translated into their set at Frankly. Xiu Xiu had an air about them where they really came across as being completely there for the audience and for their music. I know this sounds cheesy, but they really ‘performed’, and it was thoroughly entertaining, engaging and exciting. Even though the crowd had maybe halved by the time Xiu Xiu graced the stage, I really don’t think it altered anything about their performance and it was really flattering.

Liza Harvey

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

Job hunt stunt

August 5, 2009

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By Chris Carlaw

An article hit the media the other day which is prevalent to young job seekers. The article in The Age newspaper suggests that young people should not be picky about getting employment in these economic times and that they should not knock jobs back if they are available. (more…)

How to start up a buisness with 50 bucks.

July 4, 2009

By Chris Carlaw.


Australian_$50_note_paper_front

The other day I received a question from one of my new Brisbane friends that was struggling to find work. It went along the lines of ‘Ive got a really cool idea to start a business, but how would I be able to get up and running with limited savings? (more…)

AUTOTUNE MUST DIE!!

June 5, 2009

AutoTune needs to die. Seriously.

I don’t think I’m alone in suggesting that AutoTune, the musical effect that has been used by practically every current pop artist in the past four years, needs to die a slow, agonising and painful death. (more…)

How to save up for a house deposit

May 23, 2009

house 1

By Chris Carlaw

I know that one of the most publicised issues for not only young Brisbaneites but also Australia wide is the difficulty of home ownership. It is daunting, but at some stage, young people will have to start thinking of the thought of buying property.

Whether you delay it because you would rather travel, or you would like to spend your money on clothes and or a fast car, it is inevitable that you will come to the same cross road.  How do I actually save a house deposit? How is it possible? It’s too difficult! (more…)

Are Qld drivers safer than NSW drivers?

April 21, 2009
speeding-again3

Graphic by K. Brownlie-Smith

By Chris Carlaw

There is constant ongoing debate about which state is better NSW or QLD? I realise that you, as readers will be massively biased here, but just remain subjective just for a few minutes. The debate often revolves around what state has the best beaches, what state has the best weather, and what state has the best football teams, but that’s what state of origin is for right?

But when it comes down to driving safety, which state comes out on top? Who would win in a state of origin battle on road safety?

I was curious about this when the latest results came out with the Easter road toll. I know it is rather macabre to use this as a barometer but in all truth, it’s the best and most recent gauge.

Well the answer in this poll states that QLD wins. 5 deaths in QLD while 6 in NSW according to this news article.

The good news out of it is that crashes causing death or serious injury were down 20 or 30 per cent on this time last year. This is something that whether you are on the NSW or QLD side we should all pass on our praise to the relevant police forces that do their job to save lives.

Thus, going back to the topic at hand. QLD 1, NSW 0.

Here is more food for thought. QLD drivers don’t indicate, especially at roundabouts.

Being someone who has lived in both Sydney and Brisbane now, I can stand up and count for this.

It’s so incredibly annoying when you are unnecessarily giving way at a roundabout due to another car (or several cars) not indicating. You feel like a fool.

 If you don’t believe me, here is the article from NRMA QLD to prove it.

QLD 1, NSW 1.

So now to the decider.

For the final approach, let’s look at the holistic picture over time. Below are the deaths on NSW and QLD roads per 10,000 people, between 1975 and 2006:

speeding-data

 

The source is a study from the Australian Government, labeled, International Road Safety Comparisons: The 2006 Report’.

Whilst we can see that the NSW figure has decreased over time, we can see that the QLD figure has also decreased but has taken a plateau between the years 2002-2006. Credit where credit is due, NSW wins hands down in this example.

NSW 2, QLD 1. The statistics don’t lie, you be the judge!