Items filtered by date: October 2013
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:48

Suburban Dark: Top Five Things That Are Turbo

1. Jeswon takes out the turbo stakes for his straight up delivery on our track ‘Nexus 6’. There is no way you can listen to that track and not be offended.

2. Nanotechnology (Nanotech). No one can front on this kind of skill. Really, it's only a matter of time ’till we are high fiving our very own T-800 after jacking a tanker and making our way to the equator.

3. Riding a penny-farthing. Seriously, imagine mackin’ down your local street in a pimped-up penny-farthing. Maybe not the most aggressive in the turbo spectrum but I highly doubt anyone will fuck with you.

4. Cage fighting. Half the time you wonder if this shit is actually real. The fights that are real are seriously turbo.

5. Trucks. You can't deny a solid rig on the highway. For max turbo try inserting a lead-footed sleep-deprived psycho who will stop for nothing. 

Suburban Dark play Valley Fiesta, which takes over the Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct and surrounding areas Nov 22-24.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:40

Hunter: Insight And Introspection

Australian hip hop legend, Hunter, lost his battle with Endocrine cancer two years ago this month.

After Hunter passed away in October 2011, his ex-partner and mother of his son, Laura took on the enormous responsibility of coordinating the release of 'Bring It All Back', a nine-track album recorded by Hunter during his final year of life.

“It's a massive, massive relief for me. It's been a project that's been two years in the making. To be able to finally see a hard copy that I can hold on to is pretty special. Just to be able to honour his memory by releasing what he was working on. Especially because he was so close to finishing it when he passed.”

The release of 'Bring It All Back' leaves friends, family and fans with a sense of finality over the rapper’s untimely passing.

“It's definitely a feeling of closure. I feel like I've been able to do what I committed to do. It's quite cathartic being able to see that I could actually make it happen. There were times during the project where I got to the point where I thought 'how long is too long?' and at what point do you say ‘it's too hard and I can't do this?’

"To be able to actually have done it and finished, it feels pretty good. [The hardest part was] working to a timeline I guess. Because there was so many different people involved and we had to collect different bits and pieces from different producers.”

Not only did Hunter leave behind Laura and son Marley, he also left behind a legacy among Australian hip hop artists and fans.

“He was the biggest Australian hip hop fan. He was a fan first. He was always really encouraging of the young up and comers, whether they were from Perth or the eastern states.

"I think there's a lot of people out there who got a lot of confidence from having him listen to their music and say it was good or it was not good or you could improve on this or that. His dedication to the scene as well was pretty amazing.”

‘Bring It All Back’ is available now. To win a copy, click here.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:30

Horrorshow: All Hail The Kings

There’s no doubt that any label boss is taking a rather large punt when they back a new artist.

Yet when Urthboy decided that Horrorshow ought to be signed to his Elefant Traks imprint, his risk was very well calculated.

Sitting back some years later after seeing 'The Grey Space' and 'Inside Story' albums hit the big time, he can rest assured that LP number three, 'King Amongst Many', is doing even bigger and better things. It's a milestone in the group’s career that Nick Bryant-Smith — aka Solo, who teams with Adit to form Horrorshow — has been working towards for as long as he can remember.

“I always loved music from a really early age,” he says. “I was in rock bands, jazz bands, playing the drums and things. I liked to sing as a kid and when I was about 13 years old and started high school, I got introduced into hip hop around year 7 and year 8.”

Taleb Kweli and Common were the flavours of the moment, but it was really when Bryant-Smith heard '1979' by Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods that the die was cast.

“Right then, I realised that there was this whole local scene and identity in Australia that I didn’t know existed; I was hooked from that moment and fully immersed myself in the culture.

“I went to the record stores and bought all the latest music that was coming out; at the same time, Adit, who was in my year at high school — as well as some mates of mine – worked and backed each other and collaborated on some music and we sort of started to find our way.”

Fast forward a few years and the lads are flying high after performing a swag of dates around the country to launch the new album.

“'King Amongst Many' is the most forward thinking album that we’ve done,” Bryant-Smith suggests. “At least lyrically, I’ve come to a point where, having dealt with the introspective — the teenage years, the puberty and so on — I’ve now broadened my focus and interest and that’s been the focus on this new album.”

Admitting that he's always been into history, Bryant-Smith sees the LP as an opportunity to carry on a tradition.

“You’re a small part of a bigger thing,” he says. “We’re about gaining the respect of other hip hop heads and knowing where we sit amongst the world around us — as well as communicating all of that to your audience. The whole album fits into an ideology of tradition and freshness and originality.”

Unsurprisingly, the media has already welcomed their new material with open arms; punters have voted with their feet by quickly selling out shows in Melbourne and Sydney. Expect the Queensland gig — coming towards the end of the tour — to be the most hyped. The lads have had the chance to refine their performances and will want to go out with a bang.

“We’ve flipped things up a little bit for these sets,” explains Bryant-Smith. “We’ve played a lot of live shows in recent times; we’ve really cut our teeth on the live show format and with that we wanted to kick things up a notch and give people a new experience musically.”

So with Adit making a special effort with a whole swag of on-stage gear (yes, more than a set of turntables), expect transitions and live experiences not ordinarily associated with hip hop.

“We’re looking to really inject new life into this set,” explains Bryant-Smith. “Largely with a whole lot of new stuff, but also a few old favorites for our fans.”

'King Amonst Many' is out now. Horrorshow play The Zoo Friday November 1, SolBar Saturday November 2 and Byron Bay's Beach Hotel Sunday November 3.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:25

The Other Side Of Mozart: Live Review

The steam and the warm westerly follow us into the Princess Theatre as the spectacular UQ Big Band leap into the eccentricity and depths of ‘classical music’ and the J-word.

A very well presented, tongue-in-cheek view into the salacious mind of Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart; at once, the most despised and loved composer along the symphonic spectrum.

Mozart was a musical genius engaged in the average ribaldry and shenanigans of his day, and as such, I was not that amazed to hear some of the lewd and lascivious intentions and innuendos common to the courting ritual of the late 18th century.

Here they were presented as collaborative tunes (mash-ups, if you will), using correspondence between Mozart and his younger cousin et objet d’amour, Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, some 12 years old. Really, this man was an unmitigated sleazoroid.

The vibrant and immensely talented young musicians of the UQ Big band gave ebullient fanfare and funk sensuality to the life and works of Mozart; marvellous soli from the brass, with all stops and stylistic restrictions removed, groove and power evident in the whole.

The arrangement style of German composer Markus Geiselhart, presented by band leader Clint Allen (Zappa Big Band) really does draw a parallel to one Frank Vincent Zappa, in form of function and in the methods of purveyance, who was also a debauched and sex-crazed lunatic genius. (Frank I mean, not Clint. I don’t know Clint well enough to say.)

As the first set wound through a conventional form of variation in movement and spoken oratorio, we are bound and tied into the big band vibe, with the bulk of symphonic movements being performed in a powerful and progressive style; electric guitar and bass, with large brass and single reed section.

A string quartet and piano continuo fill out the spoken sections, as we hear the debauched and pretty disturbing literary overtures inherent to the Mozart method of pulling the birds.

The second set evoked a rhetoric as if he lived in this day and epoch.

The modern touches are the feature here as they seemingly encapsulate the ethos and drives of a young Mozart; tunes from Wayne Shorter, Justin Timberlake and Sharon Jones brought an analogous insight into the romantic and sensorial motivations of the classical pieces. Drive and groove were abundant, as solid and qualified funk was applied to an already taxing repertoire of bombastic and emotionally powerful music.

The whole show was right on the money, presentation and message-wise, and the players loved what they were doing. Marvellous.

Awesome work, UQ Big band. It got me going, I can tell you.

UQ big Band performed at the Princess Theatre Oct 26

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:22

Spyglass Gypsies: Eclectic Bunch

Originating in Paris in the 1920s and ‘30s, Spyglass Gypsies are one band bringing gypsy jazz back to our shores.

The Sydney act is comprised of an eclectic mix of jazz and classical musicians that came together as mutual fans of the manouche style, says guitarist Richard Ashby.

“When I moved to Sydney about five years ago I was playing other styles of music, but a few of the musicians I was working with, we were sort of just chatting about the style of music and we started to rehearse and have a casual jam and it really just unfolded from there.”

They're just one Australian act getting back into the old Parisian style, currently making a resurgence around the country.

“I know Melbourne has had a good history of this style of music and I wonder if it has anything to do with the style of venues they have down there. There's a lot of smaller venues and the whole cafe scene and that's happening more in Sydney now as well.”

With everything from clarinet to accordion, you'd think producing their brand of manouche would be chaotic, but Richard claims it’s quite the opposite.

“We tend to be fairly organised. A lot of us, we work in other groups. We really make the most of the time that we have and there is usually really specific goals when we are rehearsing or recording.”

And they have to be. The group just recorded their debut album, which they had to record live, one session at a time.

“We did everything in the room all at once. Which in one way is good because you can get through a lot of songs in a session, but you also have that added pressure [that] if one person messes up that's the entire take gone.”

Spyglass Gypsies will unveil snippets of a new record when they play Brisbane in late November. They'll also pay homage to Django Reinhardt, the great jazz guitarist from the early 1900s and a huge influence in the genre.

“We understand there's a lot of heritage involved so we'll be playing some of the more traditional and original music.”

Spyglass Gypsies will play OzManouche Festival at the Brisbane Jazz Club Friday November 29.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:14

Old Man Luedecke: Banjo Man

At 37, Chris ‘Old Man’ Luedecke isn’t actually old.

He is, however, a Juno Award-winning singer, songwriter, and banjo player from Nova Scotia who will tour Australia throughout November in support of Jordie Lane.

At what age did you start playing music, and how did you settle on the banjo as your instrument of choice?
Pretty early. My parents had me in a program called Kinder Musik in Toronto at four or so. We played glockenspiels and sang nursery rhymes. I played and loved the clarinet and piano through grade and high school. Gave up music, I thought, when I did a lit degree but I was playing banjo and writing songs two months after graduation. I don't remember singing much until I met my wife. We had an early date where we drove a borrowed ‘60s Chevy pickup up the Top Of The World highway to Alaska from Dawson City one night and I sang her every song I knew.

What can Australian fans expect from an Old Man Luedecke show in 2013?
Great stories and tunes. Thumping foot and rhythm with sparkling banjo, catchy melodies and thought provoking lyrics.

Recording your new album, ‘Tender Is The Night’, the album took just four days in Nashville. How intentional was that?
I've always worked pretty quickly in the studio because I tend to arrive with finished songs that I can already play myself. Nashville wasn't much different, but the cats were really heavy and I was able to get comfortable quickly. I really like the live sound of my records. They're not over thought, they just sound like people making music with my tunes.  

Your songs reveal your fondness for language and literature. What literary influences went into this album?
Well, off the top of my head there's Melville, Tom Paine, the Bible, Aesop’s fables, John Prine, Robert Service, Walt Whitman, Ginsberg...

‘Tender Is The Night’ is out now. Old Man Luedecke supports Jordie Lane at Black Bear Lodge Friday November 1.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:27

Sonny & The Sunsets: Cali Dreaming

Sonny Smith counts Siberia on his gig bucket list, but for now he’s got a date with The Sunsets in Brisbane.

San Franciscans Sonny & The Sunsets embody all that is laidback and irreverent about California. Although Sonny doesn't necessarily agree with it.

“I feel like it never had anything to do with me. I don't hang around Haight St or anything or have anything to do with that culture. People might wonder about me in connection to San Francisco, it's not exactly as romantic as people think.”

Sonny says growing up in California might position him too much on the inside to appreciate the culture. “The whole California sound, I don't deny that it's there and all that stuff,” he admits.

Very much involved with the closeknit San Fran scene, Sonny is a songwriter, novelist, comic book artist, filmmaker and everything in between. Add multi-instrumentalists such as Tahlia Harbour (the Dry Spells) and you've got an interesting mix of talent.

“I think ultimately it's better for everybody to be having lots of creative experiences. I'm supportive as much as possible until they have to miss a gig. Then I get bummed out. I say, 'Please, please I don't care if you're making a major motion picture, please remember your priorities'.”

Delving into so many creative endeavours can sometimes wear thin, Sonny admits.

“I mean hopefully it doesn’t last too long but sometimes I have a week or two where I feel overwhelmed. You have creative questioning and doubts. All the things that everybody goes through, and then hopefully the down times don't last too long but sometimes they can.”

The Sunsets’ latest offering, 'Antenna To The Afterworld', was released in June and explores dark themes juxtaposed with the band's trademark playful, retro feel.

“I often write dark or very sardonic or grim lyrics and marry them to major key music. It was always an interest of mine. It's just another chapter in that direction.”

Sonny & The Sunsets will play California Design Up Late at the Queensland Art Gallery Friday November 22.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:17

Tumbleweed: A Tale Of Fate

The '90s really were the golden years for alternative rock. It was the era which cemented names like Nirvana and Mudhoney into rock & roll history. Australia also had its own share of psychedelic grunge rockers, but Wollongong's Tumbleweed are perhaps the most revered.

You see, not only has the band recorded a slew of internationally released records, but they've also toured with both of the aforementioned acts — the Nirvana gigs being the only ones they ever played down under. Tumbleweed then went on indefinite hiatus during the early '00s, and they would have stayed on hiatus if not for a few twists of fate.

“The original catalyst was Joe [Segreto],” frontman Richie Lewis explains. “He was our manager for years and he started up Homebake with one of his bands. It was our 15th anniversary and he wanted to have us on. He rang us all up individually and asked if we'd be into it. It wasn't really a positive response and we sort of said we'd just see how things went.”

By coincidence, an article was published about the band weeks after the initial talks of reuniting. Then, again purely by chance, Richie met with guitarist Paul Hausmeister.

“There was an article in the Mercury Sun which was basically a retrospective, or a 'where are they now' kind of thing,” Richie explains. “It alluded to the fact that I was the one holding out on the reformation. I accidentally ran into Paul later that week at a restaurant. I said to him, 'hey, it's not me holding out; maybe we should talk about this'. A few bottles of wine later and we were talking about it, and we decided to get back together to see what we sounded like in the jam room.”

Tumbleweed then played Homebake as thousands of exhilarated fans savoured the moment, knowing it could have been their last chance to see the quintet. But Tumbleweed continued; they toured; they played festivals. Then a dilemma struck.

“We got to a point where we were like, 'what are we gonna do? We can't just keep playing this nostalgic stuff for the rest of our lives because we're a creative band and we make records'. And that's what we decided to do.”

The band then went on to record their latest album, 'Sounds From The Other Side' — an LP which is not only the first Tumbleweed's classic line-up has written together in 15 years, but also the first produced by Paul McKercher since '95s 'Galactaphonic'.

“We just work really well with Paul,” Richie says. “We knew it would be a nice, easy collaboration, and we knew that he was the only person who came close to capturing that sound we hadn't heard on records. It was really important to have Paul because he's dynamic as a human being. We relate to each other, and when we work together, it's just really natural and fun.”

It seems Tumbleweed revisited the vault of lost tracks and outtakes when writing 'Sounds From The Other Side'.

“There were [songs] like 'Wildfire' that existed on cassette tape and there were others which might have just had a riff or something like that. We grabbed ideas from old songs and moulded them into new songs ... It wasn't like the songs were finished and we just re-recorded them.”

Tumbleweed placed the greatest importance on capturing their barnstorming yet loose live sound on their latest record — something which eluded them in the past.

“One of the things where I think we always fell short or we weren't happy with the records we did for major labels was that they were really clean and precise. They had a fair bit of soul, but they lacked the vitality of what we're like at a live gig.

“A real big part of us is our strength as a live band. It's not always precise and it flows in and out — it's got a human element to it. We were really conscious about that, but at the same time we didn't want it to sound shit.”

'Sounds From The Other Side' is out now. Tumbleweed play The Tempo Hotel Thursday December 5.


Published in Rock
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:09

Danny Brown: Old School

2011 saw the breakthrough release of 'XXX', a fully realised concept album released for free online by firebrand Detroit rapper Danny Brown.

Not only was it a star-making record, but its distinct and druggy style went on to reverberate as an influential force throughout broader pop music.

Following on from his long-time-coming ascendency to fame, Danny stepped things up yet again with 'Old', a sprawling and dichotomous insight into the psyche of one of modern rap’s most compelling minds.

You might expect Danny to be in the midst of a whirlwind of activity in the wake of 'Old's release, but it’s apparent that isn’t the case as he answers the phone. “I’m in my home, man, in Michigan. Just chillin’, haven’t been doing too much.”

Danny’s emergence onto the world stage happened as he entered his thirties, sparking some debate about whether rap is no longer just a young person’s game. Whether or not that is the case, Danny doesn’t feel like the title, 'Old', is a self-descriptor.

“I don’t feel old at all. The name of my album has nothing to do with age or anything like that. Rap music gave me the chance to never grow up. I knew what I wanted to do from a young age, so I just stuck to that.”

After the phenomenal response to 'XXX', Danny’s next move was a hotly anticipated one. The two sides of 'Old' could very well make for satisfying standalone releases, an indication of Danny’s resolve to provide a comprehensive package.

“I just took my time, to be honest. Everyone was like, ‘Are you gonna do some tapes?’, so I made it with that in mind — like a tape or a vinyl [record].”

As for the lasting influence of the molly-drenched 'XXX', Danny hasn’t exactly measured its cultural reach.

“I dunno, I haven’t listened to it in a long time. It was where I was at in my life at that time. That’s what I do, I just write about what I’m going through, and that’s it. So 'XXX', it’s just me in 2011, you know?”

'Old' features a variety of guests, ranging from a broad variety of genres, with artists from all across the globe.

“I was pretty much just working with my friends, to be honest. I play them something and they say, ‘Lemme help on on that’, or something like that. Like Charli XCX and Purity Ring, y’know, I had the songs and really wanted them to be a part of it. It was fun, but they take music really seriously, I take music really seriously, so it was great working with them.”

Danny recently welcomed Siren — a Bengal cat, a rather large domestic breed — into his family.

“I got her from Ohio, they drove her up. She’s crazy. I had a cat before her that died, so I was missing a cat. I went online to try to find a nice cool cat. She cool, she just bad, man,” he says with his distinct laugh. “She likes to get in trouble.”

In spite of Danny’s recent international success, he’s managed to find a comfortable work-life balance.

“Like I said, I just rap about living my life. So I have to live my life to have something to rap about. I’m in the living stage right now. I just want to hang out,” he offers with a relaxed air.

“But sometimes I’ll be bored at home, then start to miss the road. We all like making money, and money take care of me and pay my bills, so if I have to go somewhere to make money, I’m gonna go.”

After a series of Australian club shows in mid-2012 — “I remember having a good time, but I don’t remember much else” — Danny will return for a run of Laneway Festival dates in 2014.

The festival environment, as Danny explains, is the most conducive one to his live show. “I didn’t make [the songs] for the club, I made them to perform at festivals, if anything.”

As for what the future holds, Danny is philosophical. “I’ve been doing this since I was in kindergarten, so as long as I’m able to breathe and talk I’ll be rapping. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.”

Danny Brown plays St Jerome's Laneway Festival at RNA Showgrounds on Friday January 31.

Published in Urban
Monday, 28 October 2013 17:41

Supanova Double Passes

Supanova Pop Culture Expo is Australia's biggest celebration of all things pop culture!

Drawn from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, animation and gaming, a stellar line-up of guests — including Game Of Thrones legends Lena Headey, George RR Martin, Mark Addy and Jerome Flynn, as well as fan favourites Joe Flanigan (Stargate Atlantis), Dominic Monaghan (Lord Of The Rings, Lost), Summer Glau (Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, Arrow, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity) — will assemble at RNA Showgrounds from November 8-10 with the usual great exhibitors and cosplay fanatics.

Supanova-Fett

We've got four double passes to give away; for your chance to win, simply This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and contact details!

For more info, visit supanova.com.au

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winner will be drawn at random at 11am Wednesday November 6 at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley.
2. Winner will be notified by e-mail.
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

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