Items filtered by date: July 2013
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 20:16

Shapeshifter: Take It Easy Bro

Beneath the name 'Shapeshifter' lies an unexpected puzzle.

Did the band called themselves 'Shapeshifter' because they're unable to keep still, or does their style keep changing because their name is 'Shapeshifter'? In reality it's a stupid question and one I'm glad I didn't put to P Digsss when chatting to him on the phone.

Given that drum & bass is their craft, the New Zealand outfit can't help but feel the changes that have swept over the audio landscape since their 1999 inception. After mentioning Shapeshifter to a friend of mine the response was, "You can do Drum & Bass live? That's amazing!"

It's really not, although the gentlemen from Shapeshifter certainly are. Poised to drop their latest LP 'Delta' on ear-shaped orifices across the globe, the band still seem surprisingly nonchalant about what they do. Maybe that's the Berlin Effect coming to fruition.

"We decided to live in Berlin for the summer ‘cause it's winter over here but it's still warm over there, you know? It's a really beautiful place. Everywhere there's really amazing art, music, I think it started to impact on us. I mean, I don't know if there was a direct impact on the album. We always approach every album a little differently. It's about trying to make something different, and we always try to do that. But, you know, we also try to find a little bit of inspiration from our surroundings as well."

About half of 'Delta' was ultimately recorded in Berlin, and it will be up to the audience to decide if the European endeavour has left a lasting impact on the final product. Perhaps the release's three lead singles contain a clue — 'Monarch', 'Diamond Trade' and 'Gravity' each showcase Shapeshifter coming from a different angle, as if the band shattered apart before reinventing itself each time. The result is as startling as it is satisfying. I suggest to Digsss that that's why Shapeshifter chose the tracks as singles, and he laughs for quite a while.

"Why pick any song! Well, cause they're three songs on the album, you know? Seriously though, I guess we wanted to show the different sides to ('Delta')... you take those songs, particularly ‘Diamond Trade’, I think, and you can really see the sort of different approaches that we've taken on this LP, you know? Plus we've got some killer videos for those tracks in the works."

The jovialness of Digsss is disarming; it's very hard not to be put at ease by the constant laughter that echoes down the phone line. Not everyone feels that way, though. After opening for Tool, Shapeshifter were left feeling a little bemused, if not bewildered. Few things seem to phase the band, and while they certainly don't view the experience in a negative light, Tool perhaps aren't remembered for the best reasons. Never has a frontman been so aptly described by his band name.

"When we opened for Tool, we never saw Maynard. It was funny, dude. And apparently before he would go anywhere his people would tell everyone not to look at him, like not to make direct eye contact with him. No one was supposed to look at him. But actually we met up with the guys from his band, they came up to us after a show and started chatting to us and asking us stuff... they were some of the nicest guys I've met."

‘Delta’ is out now. Shapeshifter play The Hi-Fi on Saturday August 10.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 20:09

Pond: Hobo With A Rocket Launcher

Pond is the sound of your favourite Perth musicians having the time of their life.

'Hobo Rocket' is the fifth LP from the WA five-piece, made up of Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson, Cam Avery, Joseph Ryan and Jamie Terry. It's also their most immediate, a 30-minute blast of twisted psychedelia and Sabbath savagery.

“This was supposed to be an EP,” guitarist Jay Watson — who splits his time between Pond, Tame Impala and his forthcoming solo project — explains. “And then… we don't really like EPs, so we put two more songs on it. I don't know, I just can't be bothered. I wouldn't bother with an EP. So it's really short, and it's only seven songs, and I feel bad for people who are, like, buying it.

“But I think it's kind of cool. Traditionally, 34 minutes isn't really short, at all, for an album. I've got heaps of albums on iTunes that are shorter. It's kind of cool that you can just listen to it on a car ride to your friend's place or whatever and it's over. It's half an hour of super intense sonic chaos.”

'Chaos' is the right word. Watson likes to refer to the album as 'rogue'; it's his diplomatic way of referring to the frenzied recording process. “We rushed it,” Watson says, “because we never have any time. We recorded it in, like, three days. There's a lot of stuff we could have done better or tighter. A lot of the takes are first takes. But I think that means it sounds kind of rogue and chaotic, like our live show does, just because we never rehearse properly.

“We all get a perverse kick out of doing things slightly more shittily. I mean, it's not actually 'more shittily'; it's just for the sake of being more real. Each of these takes would have been the first or second take, and someone would have whinged about it at the time. Usually Cam [Avery], because he's playing drums and he's not even really a drummer. He'd be like, 'man, I didn't do a very good job on that', and we'd say, 'fuck it, sorry, we're movin' on! Deal with it!' So we do that, and then I spend six months being really paranoid that we fucked up and we should have recorded more takes.

“I think we're just passionate about the rogueness, because that's what Pond is, you know? We could sit there on the computer for hours and make it sound way better, technically better. But that's not really the point.”

Pond's next album has already been written, and Watson promises that it's “more original” than most of their output so far; that the band are “sick of retro rockin'”. He also hopes to release his solo album (which he's already recorded) later this year. The members of Pond and Tame Impala may not look particularly industrious at first glance, but there's clearly something pushing them to create at such a prolific rate.

“I think it's just that we've got a lot of ideas,” Watson says. “I mean, we've got more ideas than we have talent, that's for sure. We've got more ambition than talent, as well, and that's why we keep making lots of records. None of them are perfect or our best thing, but I feel like it's all gearing up to a run of really amazing records one day.

“I don't think any of us think that we've done our best yet. I mean, maybe Kevin [Parker] has, but I think we have some classic songs in us. That's motivation.”

‘Hobo Rocket' is out on August 2.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 20:02

Clare Bowditch: Shadowboxing

Clare Bowditch is her own worst enemy.

The songstress goes about her craft in ways that send her counterparts into the depths of self-focused frustration. She makes it look easy, as any Bowditch fan will profess. Yet what we the audience don't see is what goes on underneath; the pains and pitfalls of each creative struggle through which every song is born, a struggle which seems somewhat romantic to those of us on the outside. Ironically it's that process which forms the basis of Clare's latest single, 'One Little River'.

"I can't quite remember where I was when I was writing it. But basically it's a story about the things that get in our way when we go to do something that requires courage. Usually the things that get in our way are just the way that we talk to ourselves."

I ask Clare how often she finds herself tripping over her own feet, hoping that she doesn't take the question literally.

"At least 30 million times a day! I don't know that I overcome it, but I just let it be there and I keep doing what I need to do anyway. The worst thing that we can do is stop because we believe what we're telling ourselves. Everyone in the world, at some stage in their life, has a story about how they're not good enough. Some of us believe those stories and we let it prevent us from doing what we suspect we should be doing in the world and this is a song for that very time."

Clare laughs while making these confessions. Getting where she is has taken generous amounts of both determination and luck, and it's perhaps her refusal to take things for granted that allows Clare to understand that the glass really is half-full. I ask Clare if she has ever, as she put it, prevented herself from finishing what she started. Her voice suddenly drops into a measured, quasi-serious tone.

"It depends on the song! The song 'You Make Me Happy' just flopped out of me in ten minutes. The song 'An Amazing Life' I started writing when I was 18 and finished when I was 36. The most difficult thing in any creative endeavour is to actually finish it. Paul Dempsey and I did some muck-around songwriting last year and all the songs are great and they're just sitting there on our iPhones completely unfinished. The main thing is just allowing time to finish what you start, and I'm regularly guilty. I have about a one out of every fifteen strike rate in things that I start and finish in terms of songs."

Clare's strike rate may be low, but when a connection is made the entire nation seems to feel it. Her development of 'Winter Secrets' is a perfect example; not so much a tour as it is a roving art piece, utilising audiences in each city to create something different, something unique.

"It started off four or five years ago as just a little solo tour where I could do random creative experiments. So basically I make the use of my audiences and teach them quick backup lines to sing back to me, and have a lot of play, a lot of cabaret, a lot of humour, and a lot of honest conversations between the audience and myself. It was a completely different format of show for me, it was very much about diminishing the fourth wall."

'Winter Secrets' now involves a collaborator joining Clare on stage, with the torch being passed to Melbourne's Spender. I had to admit, I'd never heard the name before. I asked Clare what it was that had led her to chose him. "You haven't heard of him?" she responds, as if she'd found out that I'd spent my life living in the desert. "Holy shit, look him up now. You are in for a treat."

Clare is happy with where she is for now, yet is wary that a future may exist where others are not so lucky and where any flame of creativity in others may be more easily extinguished. Funding cuts to the arts have been especially severe in Qld.

"Arts funding was the leg-up that I had early in my career that actually allowed me to create my first album. That was a small grant at the right time in my career, so I think investing in the art is just clever because like any other successful artist in Australia I've been able to turn over millions of dollars of income for my country."

For the record, Clare doesn't want you to take that quotation too seriously. After all, no one is that patriotic. Clare's true passion is for the arts, yet it extends far beyond her own career as a singer-songwriter. After a decade of dreaming, 2013 saw her launch 'Big Hearted Business', an initiative aimed at helping musicians better manage the business side of their careers. With a stanza such as that on her resume it's no surprise that Clare is not impressed with the way politicians have played with funding to the arts, particularly in recent years.

Funding hasn't been the only hurdle Clare has been forced to overcome over the course of her career. Long before she had even turned 30, record label executives both home and abroad considered her too old to start a successful career. Yet the shocking part isn't that Clare faced discrimination at such a young age — what's shocking is the possibility that the practice remains in place today.

“If you think record labels don't take your age into account you're fooling yourself. Early in my career there was definitely no interest from record companies to sign a 27-year-old mother of one who was making her debut solo album. I remember going into a meeting in the UK to sign over there and having a great conversation and it all going well, and then it came up that I was 33 and a mother. I was basically dismissed from the meeting! Record companies are under the impression that there was a very narrow ideal of how to be a successful female singer songwriter. But thanks to independent technology which allows people like me to build careers, I think labels are much more open to diversity now.”

Clare Bowditch plays The Hi-Fi on Friday August 16.

Published in Rock
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 04:00

Last Drinks For Time Off

I'm calling it. Time Off is being executed and it has seven days to get its affairs in order.

Time Off, Drum Media and InPress will disappear forever after next week's editions. These long-standing titles will be given a new name, 'The Music', given a new smaller shape and gettin' all glossed-up, according to their publisher, Street Press Australia. I say you can't change a magazine's name!! and change its shape and change its stock and still say it exists... no one would, except perhaps Craig Thompson or Eddie Obeid.

One can only wonder whether this decision was precipitated by this suggestion on MusicFeeds noting that no one under the age of 30 carries around newsprint titles any more, or whether spiralling page count is to blame (Time Off is down almost 40% in just 12 months). Scene Magazine changed its format from tabloid newsprint to A4 gloss a decade ago — hearty welcome to the 21st century, lads.

Street Press Australia should have the class to say 'it's over' with grace — not a self-serving bullet to the back of the head on a moment's notice. Where was the long-lead announce befitting the cessation of these grand old titles? Hundreds of old-timers of my vintage no doubt have very fond memories, and many (those without vested interests) won't be happy with either the execution or the manner of its announcement.

In recent years, SPA has parted with the best part of a $2,000,000 to acquire the goodwill from these mastheads (if you say it quickly it doesn't seem so much). It was the goodwill they bought, not the publishing know-how. Anyone can start a glossy mag and call it The Music or The Vibe or The Pits or whatever, but to pay 2 very large ones for the names and then kill them off to start afresh…

Goodwill is a title's masthead, its blood, its legacy — all that is evoked at the drop of its name. And now those names have been terminated. Something's obviously stopped resonating.

Moralising aside, on an upbeat note, we can always enjoy the spin. This latest effort to frame the undeniable regarding the future of print and the actual death of Time Off, Drum Media and InPress has been presented as ... "exciting news!". It should be respectfully billed as the end of an era.

TimeOff-announce

Published in General

An intense international and national touring schedule has been vital to the growth of The Trouble With Templeton, says vocalist Thomas Calder.

It’s been a huge 18 months for Thomas and his band, named after the eponymous ‘Twilight Zone’ episode. Now a five-piece, they’ve travelled the US twice, playing with international acts like Of Monsters And Men and national heroes Matt Corby and Julia Stone. Now they’re set to release their new album, ‘Rookie’.

“I can't speak any more highly about it,” Calder says. “I’m extremely, extremely proud of the end result.”

Creating ‘Rookie’ was a completely different experience to the last record, ‘Bleeders’, which Thomas recorded in his bedroom. “They're both really amazing and I think ‘Rookie’ really pushed us to do different things, as it was our first record as a band and the first time working with a producer, which is always different — especially for someone like me, who is used to doing everything by themselves.”

The songs on ‘Rookie’ seek to evoke a certain feeling, rather than recount specfic chapters from Thomas’ own life. “This record is a lot more about different perspectives and a lot more about seeing things from different people's points of view.”

The universal themes of their music are also conveyed through dramatic film clips, which stem from Thomas’ love of acting. “I grew up making films and acting was the first thing I did when I was a kid before music. Having concentrated for music for a while, the film clips are just a great opportunity to expand on the story.”

As well as performing with some musical heavyweights, TTWT have graced the stage at Harvest, BIGSOUND and Falls Festival, all experiences Thomas says was vital to the growth of the band.

“I've had the honour of playing some of my favourite rooms in the country. It threw me and eventually the band in the deep end.”

‘Rookie’ is out Friday Aug 2. The Trouble With Templeton play The Zoo with Holy Holy on Friday Aug 30.

Published in Rock
Monday, 29 July 2013 05:32

Scene Magazine Covers 201-300

201-Bjork #201 - 1.10.1997

202-Event-Horizon #202 - 8.10.1997

203-Ultra-Nate #203 - 15.10.1997

204-Roachford #204 - 22.10.1997

205-Spice-Girls #205 - 29.10.1997

206-Bentley-Rhythm-Ace #206 - 5.11.1997

207-CDB #207 - 12.11.1997

208-Salt-N-Pepa #208 - 19.11.1997

209-Ultra-Sonic #209 - 26.11.1997

210-Corduroy #210 - 3.12.1997

211-2Pac #211 - 10.12.1997

212-Titanic #212 - 17.12.1997

213-InandOut  #213 - 23.12.1997

214-Kylie #214 - 7.1.1998


COMING SOON!

#215 - 14.1.1998

216-Allure #216 - 21.1.1998

217-Pressure-Drop #217 - 28.1.1998

218-Roni-Size #218 - 4.2.1998

219-Boogie-Nights #219 - 11.2.1998

220-Goldie #220 - 18.2.1998

221-John-Digweed #221 - 25.2.1998

222-Natalie-Imbruglia #222 - 4.3.1998

226-Arman-Van-Helden #223 - 11.3.1998


COMING SOON!

#224 - 18.3.1998


COMING SOON!

#225 - 25.3.1998

226-Arman-Van-Helden #226 - 1.4.1998

227-Air #227 - 8.4.1998

228-Portishead #228 - 15.4.1998

229-SJ #229 - 22.4.1998

230-BluesBrothers2000 #230 - 29.4.1998

231-Space #231 - 6.5.1998

232-Public-Enemy #232 - 13.5.1998


COMING SOON!

#233 - 20.5.1998

234-Peter-Andre #234 - 27.5.1998

239-Massive-Attack #235 - 3.6.1998


COMING SOON!

#236 - 10.6.1998


COMING SOON!

#237 - 17.6.1998


COMING SOON!

#238 - 24.6.1998

239-Massive-Attack#239 - 1.7.1998

240-Dave-Matthews-Band #240 - 8.7.1998

241-Ndea-Davenport #241 - 15.7.1998

242-Deni-Hines #242 - 22.7.1998

243-Intl-Bris-Film-Fest #243 - 29.7.1998

244-Pocket-Ken-Cloud #244 - 5.8.1998

245-Armageddon#245 - 12.8.1998

COMING SOON!

#246 - 19.8.1998

247-Something-About-Mary#247 - 26.8.1998

COMING SOON!

#248 - 2.9.1998

COMING SOON!

#249 - 9.9.1998

250-Anne-Savage#250 - 16.9.1998

251-Lauryn-Hill#251 - 23.9.1998

252-Moloko#252 - 30.9.1998

253-Depeche-Mode#253 - 7.10.1998

254-Faithless#254 - 14.10.1998

255-Robyn-Loau#255 - 21.10.1998

256-HalloweenH20#256 - 28.10.1998

COMING SOON!

#257 - 4.11.1998

258-Nick-Skitz#258 - 11.11.1998

COMING SOON!

#259 - 18.11.1998

260-Occas-Course-Language #260 - 25.11.1998

261-Boyz-II-Men#261 - 2.12.1998

262-R-Kelly #262 - 9.12.1998

263-Zorro #263 - 16.12.1998

264-Roni-Size#264 - 22.12.1998

265-The-Wiseguys#265 - 6.1.1999

266-Big-Day-Out#266 - 13.1.1999

267-Brandy#267 - 20.1.1999

268-Judge-Jules#268 - 27.1.1999

269-Hideous-Kinky#269 - 3.2.1999

270-The-Faculty#270 - 10.2.1999

COMING SOON!

#271 - 17.2.1999

272-Pleasantville#272 - 24.2.1999

273-Cube#273 - 3.3.1999

274-Analyze-This#274 - 10.3.1999

275-Angelique-Kidjo#275 - 17.3.1999

COMING SOON!

#276 - 24.3.1999

277-Pandora#277 - 31.3.1999

278-The-Matrix#278 - 7.4.1999

279#279 - 14.4.1999

280-Steve-Thomas#280 - 21.4.1999

281-Judge-Jules#281 - 28.4.1999

282-American-History-X#282 - 5.5.1999

283-Lamb#283 - 12.5.1999

284-Human-Nature#284 - 19.5.1999

285-Britney-Spears#285 - 26.5.1999

286-PeeWee#286 - 2.6.1999

287-Alastair-Whitehead#287 - 9.6.1999

288-Chaise#288 - 16.6.1999

289-Inertia#289 - 23.6.1999

290-Pandora#290 - 30.6.1999

291-South-Park#291 - 7.7.1999

292-Derrick-Carter#292 - 14.7.1999

293-Shanks-Bigfoot#293 - 21.7.1999

294-Wayne-G#294 - 28.7.1999

295-Carl-Craig#295 - 4.8.1999

296-Steps#296 - 11.8.1999

297-Mary-J-Blige#297 - 18.8.1999

298-Cutlaroc#298 - 25.8.1999

299-Alex-Gopher#299 - 1.9.1999

300-Leftfield#300 - 8.9.1999

Published in Flipbook
Saturday, 27 July 2013 00:00

Shapeshifter Tickets

With their fifth studio album, ‘Delta’, recently debuting at number one in New Zealand, Shapeshifter are about to hit the road once again, bringing their live show back to Australia, and they’ll be bringing the best local electronic talent with them.

The Brisbane show will include rising electronic star Kilter — the moniker of young Sydney beat architect Ned East, who’s sound is reminiscent of J Dilla and Madlib and was recently signed to etcetc (home of PNAU).

To win one of three double passes to Shapeshifter’s show at the Hi-Fi Saturday August 10 This is competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 12pm Monday 5th August at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Friday, 26 July 2013 00:00

Last Days Here DVDs

‘Last Days Here’ chronicles the triumphs and downfall of an underground icon who finds himself at the crossroads of life and death.

Bobby Liebling, frontman of the hard rock band Pentagram, is more dead than alive when the camera picks him up in his parents' basement.

In the midst of the mess that he calls home, Liebling smokes his crack pipe and mumbles about the hard rock days of time past.

At the end of the 1980s, things looked promising for Liebling and his band. But bad luck and trouble pursued them: record deals gone wrong, internal disagreements, and last but not least, Liebling's tendency toward self-destruction.

Until Sean ‘Pellet’ Pelletier, hard rock enthusiast and passionate record collector, buys a second-hand Pentagram record, experiences a sort of revelation, and makes it his personal mission to resurrect Bobby Liebling.

He goes looking for his idol, becomes his friend, and does his utmost to get Liebling back onstage.

To win one of three DVDs copies This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 1pm Thursday 1st August at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Friday, 26 July 2013 00:00

The World's End Tickets

Edgar Wright has a strike rate that would make the world’s finest batsmen blush.

In the last decade, the director released three films — ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’ — and all three achieved 'instant classic' status with legions of dedicated fans.

His latest effort, ‘The World's End’, concludes the Cornetto Trilogy that began with ‘Shaun’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’, and it's about as bittersweet an ending as you could hope for.

The film tells the tale of Gary King, an absolute train wreck of a human being played by Simon Pegg. Once considered the king of the castle in high school, King has been unable to move on with his life, and his attempts to relive the past culminate when he gathers four of his old friends to finish off a pub crawl they started 20 years ago.

To win one of five in-season double passes to the film This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 2pm Thursday 1st August at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners drawn]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Thursday, 25 July 2013 16:22

100 Bloody Acres Tickets

‘100 Bloody Acres’ is the story of brothers Reg and Lindsay Morgan’s struggling organic blood and bone fertiliser business.

The use of dead car crash victims in their product has been a huge boon to business, but it’s been months since their last find and an important new customer is waiting on a delivery.

When Reg (Damon Herriman), the junior partner in the business, comes across two guys and girl stranded on a remote country road, he sees a radical solution to their supply problems, and a way of finally gaining the respect of his bossy big brother, Lindsay (Angus Sampson).

To win one of five inseason double passes to ‘100 Bloody Acres’ This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 2pm Tuesday 30th July at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.  

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