Items filtered by date: July 2013
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 16:03

The World's End: Film In Preview

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.

“We talked about him as The Ghost Of Sixth Form Past,” Wright says of his protagonist. “You've got five friends, and four of them are grown-ups with proper clothes and everything, and then Simon shows up wearing his black trenchcoat, Sisters Of Mercy t-shirt, dyed black hair and sunglasses. So we wanted him to feel like he was The Ghost Of Christmas Past come to haunt them.

“That's kind of what the movie's about, in a way - it's a cautionary tale about the dangers of looking backwards. Gary King is desperate to relive his glory days, and as soon as they do that, it starts to go badly wrong. They want to recreate this wild night, and they get a very different kind of wild night as their punishment.”

'The World's End' is the latest in a recent string of apocalyptic films, and Wright has a theory about why that's such a prevalent theme.

“When I was a kid,” he explains, “I felt like a lot of sci-fi was a bit more optimistic. When I was growing up, the space race still existed. I thought, when I was a little kid, that we'd all be living on the moon by 2010, and of course that isn't true. I think because of that, and because of the knowledge that we may never get to other planets in our lifetime, and maybe there isn't anything else that is actually reachable in our lifetime, the focus goes inwards. The focus is on us destroying ourselves.

“So it's a bit of a downer, but I think that's basically what it is. Most sci-fi and horror films are concentrating on smashing the world up.”

'The World's End' is in cinemas August 1.

Published in Film

BEAF will take over the Judith Wright Centre for a celebration of all things artsy and provide an outlet for emerging artists.

Now in its third year, BEAF has gone from strength to strength with over 157 people from Brisbane's art community taking part in the event in its first year at the Judith Wright Centre. Festival director Travis Dewan says they have triple the artists from any other year.

“The production value of the centre is really professional which means that our artists can realise their work to a really high standard. This year is going to be such an eclectic mix of disciplines all mixing into one,” he said.

Showcasing their talent will be visual artists, performance artists and dancers, spoken word performances, musical acts and two short films. Many of the artists are recent graduates hungry to break onto the scene.

“What it has assisted artists with is producing a professional portfolio and allowing them the opportunity to be part of that festival experience. It’s hard for young emerging artists to be in festivals so BEAF acts as a really important catalyst for artists to develop their work and show that in a festival context to the largest audience possible so it's really valuable for them,” said Travis.

Travis believes BEAF is also an opportunity for interdisciplinary mingling as well as an outlet to the wider public.

“A challenge with Brisbane is that although it's a small place, we don't tend to leave our cliches or circles and as a visual artist, they don't see a lot of music or dance. Its important that the festival supports them but its also creating a bridge to a wider audience and getting new critical perspective outside of their usual circle.”

Travis insists the audience is just as important as the artists showcasing and the best part? It's completely free. “It's for the people and it's by the people of Brisbane.”

BEAF 2013 will be take place on Saturday July 27 at the Judith Wright Centre.

Published in Events Arts
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:56

Don Giovanni: Opera In Preview

‘Don Giovanni’, Mozart’s classic operatic tale of love, betrayal, passion and revenge comes to life in Oz Opera’s latest touring production.

Directed by Michael Gow and accompanied by a full chamber orchestra, the production is a true and accurate adaptation of Mozart’s original opera, except that it has been translated from Italian into English.

“Part of it is the accessibility of the show, since we’re taking right around the country,” says Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, who plays the dual roles of the Commendatore and peasant, Masetto. “Traditionally in Australia, opera was actually done in English, it was done by the main company in Sydney and it only changed over in the 1970s. The main reason is to be able to really take it right around the country … to make it accessible to everyone.”

While some purists consider translating classic operas into English a form of musical sacrilege, Eddie is adamant Oz Opera’s production has lost none of the raw, emotional energy of the original.  

“Whether you do it in Italian or whether you do it in English, you still have to be able to communicate the story. I’ve sung it in German as well, the ‘mother tongue’; you know Mozart was an Austrian writing in Italian. That was the style of the time: all the operas were only accepted in Italian so he learnt Italian … whatever the language I’m happy to do it as long as I get the story out there.”

Based on the legendary exploits of Don Juan, ‘Don Giovanni’ tells the sordid tale of the licentious libertine and remains one of the most well-known of Mozart’s vast body of works.

“It stands out because it really touches on the raw emotional human condition,” Eddie says. “It completely goes through all the real emotions that people can go through. I mean, why do people watch ‘Home and Away’ all the time? It’s the same rubbish every freaking week, but people tune in to real emotion, so in that sense it will go on forever because of the emotional conflict. Now elevate that to the extreme of emotion of what ‘Don Giovanni does and that’s why it endures.”   

‘Don Giovanni’ plays at the Redland Performing Arts Centre, Saturday July 27.

Published in Opera
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:52

Other Desert Cities: Theatre In Preview

It’s a little-known piece of trivia that Conrad Coleby and his father, Robert, had worked together before securing father and son roles in Queensland Theatre Company’s ‘Other Desert Cities’.

“We have actually been on screen together in 'All Saints', in one episode, but I had to ignore him the whole time because he wasn’t part of my story or anything,” Coleby laughs.
“I was just an ambo in the background, and he was a highfalutin doctor.”

The dynamic will be a little different when Coleby joins his father on QPAC’s Playhouse stage for ‘Other Desert Cities’, a family drama set against the Californian desert and the 2004 crisis in the Middle East.

“Both of the parents are politically involved and ex-actors,” Coleby explains.

“There’s been a tragedy in the family [and] the daughter’s written a memoir about the family life and the tragedy that happened. And there’s secrets and buried things that the family don’t want to know about. There has been a rift between the family, and they’ve all gathered for the first time together in Palm Springs at Christmas Eve. It’s the perfect place to send people to boiling point and have arguments, because they’re a little bit bored and don’t know what to do with themselves.”

If that sounds like a familiar scene, Coleby wouldn’t be surprised. “Everyone that comes to see this play will find lots of things about it that sit close to the bone and close to the truth in their own lives.”

There’s also the fact that writer Jon Robin Baitz, best known for creating TV hit ‘Brothers and Sisters’, has family in-fighting down to an art.
“It’s one of the best-written things I’ve read in terms of family drama,” says Coleby.

“What he’s done so cleverly is he’s represented each generation, from the ‘60s and before. So, he’s kind of added some great spices into the mix there in terms of conflict and in terms of politics, [and] in terms of the way people have been brought up.”

Coleby points out that our own relatives often have the greatest potential to hurt us.

“We know how to wound each other, we know each others’ inner secrets, and each other down to the core. And I think that’s why sometimes when there is unhappiness or disagreements they can be quite traumatic experiences, because you know how to get under each others’ armour so successfully.”

Of course, between the nasty snipes and teary confrontations, there’s always room for a laugh.

“At times it’s very funny too,” Coleby assures. “So I think everyone’s in for a good treat of all sorts of elements with this play. There’s some very funny moments, some very dark moments, some very sad moments, and some very hopeful moments too. One of the major through-lines in the play is just that all that’s going to matter at the end of the day is how you loved, and not whether you’re right or whether you won the argument. And I think that’s a very important universal message.”

And for Coleby, whose on-screen acting credits include stints on ‘Underbelly: Razor’, ‘Sea Patrol’, and an appearance in soon-to-be-released blockbuster ‘The Wolverine’, theatre is probably the most powerful medium in which to explore that message.

“You get the whole experience of actually spending four weeks studying a character and bringing that to life right in front of people,” he explains.

“And, you know, there is no ‘cut, let’s do it again’. You’ve got to come with it perfect every night, and every night you’re going to have a different audience who laugh in different spots and do different things, so it sharpens your spontaneity as well.

“That’s a great thing for an actor to keep going back to. You certainly don’t do it for the money!” he adds with a laugh.

Conrad Coleby performs in ‘Other Desert Cities’ August 10 to September 1 at The Playhouse Qpac.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:39

U.G.L.Y. Bartender Of The Year

The Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland (LFQ) is on the hunt for a bartender to be crowned U.G.L.Y. Bartender Of The Year in the name of medical research and support services.

Bartenders across Queensland are getting U.G.L.Y. — Understanding, Generous, Likeable, You — for a beautiful cause. LFQ CEO Bill Petch believes the relaxed atmosphere of pubs is an ideal environment for fundraising and fun. In 2012, Queensland bartenders raised more than $228,000 which went toward support services to patients and families whose lives have been affected by blood cancer. Every $80 pays for one night’s accommodation for a regional family to stay in a home-away-from-home facility near a treatment centre to be near loved ones.

Big-hearted bartenders across Queensland are getting involved in 2013, including happy-go-lucky David Brosnan of The Royal George in Fortitude Valley.

“I wanna bartend for the rest of my life. I love it and it gives me a chance to make everybody smile. That's kind of what I'd rather do with my time,” David says.

The Royal George, Ric's, The Bank and Viva La Vodka are all joining forces to raise enough money to crown David as Bartender Of The Year.

“The four venues are really excited to get involved and get some more events going in the area and have some fun with it,” David explains.

Throughout the month of August, the four Brunswick St Mall venues will hold a number of events to raise funds including a Mexican themed day.

“We've got heaps of involvement from Mad Mex down the street and hopefully getting a dance troupe involved as well. We're going to have face painting, dress up competitions and drink specials through the night.”

Other events David and his staff are planning include a kissing booth, a dunk box and some serious male grooming.

“If I raise over $5,000 I'm going to publicly wax my legs out the front of RGs which I'm not overly keen for, it'll be a good laugh. If we raise over $10,000 which is my target goal, I'm going to shave my head, and that's going to be terrible because I have a huge skull that's never seen daylight so it's going to look like an eggshell.”

David has taken part in the U.G.L.Y. competition before in his hometown Toowoomba. He says the cause creates a positive vibe in the pub.

“When you bring up stuff like charity it promotes a giving atmosphere and that's what we want to promote and to have fun as a community.”

All money raised from the competition will go toward “facilities for Leukaemia patients and to make more headway toward research to make the whole experience less painful and less fatal as well. Every little bit is going toward that right now,” David explains.

The U.G.L.Y. Bartender Of The Year competition will run until September 2. uglybartender.org.au



Published in Rock
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:31

Tiatto: Top Five Greatest Synth Solos

 1. Ike and Tina Turner – ‘Nutbush City Limits’. Put aside the image in your head of your aunt and uncle dancing at your cousin’s wedding and focus instead on that blast of piercing electronic weirdness after the second chorus when Ike goes crazy on his Moog.

2. Roxy Music – ‘Editions Of You’. Fans of ‘70s prog might pick ‘Lucky Man’ by ELP or something equally turgid. But you gotta give props to a guy who plays a synth the way it was always meant to be – by twiddling knobs and wiggling a joystick! Brian Eno doesn’t bother trying to be a piano player, he just conjures up a noise unlike any yet heard in pop music, all while wearing a gigantic feather duster. Admire the crowning glory of British engineering, the EMS VCS3 synthesizer.

3. The Stranglers – ‘Nice ‘N’ Sleazy’. Twenty seconds of portamento action, pitch-bending madness, random modulation and saw-tooth waveforms panned chaotically. Probably had something to do with all the pints Dave Greenfield was downing with the other hand while playing it.

4. Simple Minds – ‘Hunter And The Hunted’. If you’re in an up-and-coming Scottish new wave act recording your big breakthrough album it helps to have Herbie Hancock recording down the corridor. Ask him nicely, maybe he’ll help out. Although his solo on ‘Chameleon’ from ‘Head Hunters’ is pretty legendary, this haunting melancholic contribution rates special mention for a yearning quality that your average synthesist would be incapable of summoning.

5. New Order – ‘Age Of Consent’. Forget virtuosity, the opulent melody washing through the track around the 1’45” mark lifts it with a wave of glorious synth-strings onto a new plane of existence.

Tiatto’s latest EP, ‘Full Moon’, is available now via Clan Analogue.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:26

Crate Cartel: Cream Of The Crop

One of the founding fathers of Crate Cartel, emcee and producer Fluent Form shows us that ‘underground’ doesn’t mean ‘under appreciated’. 

“I think it's great to see Sprung Festival honing some of the more underground independent artists. I think it's really good to see that it’s not just all the radio hits that gets the radio push and the media push. For us doing it independently down the bottom, to have the opportunity to get on Sprung and really showcase our abilities to a big crowd that probably would never have heard of us before is huge. I'm definitely looking forward to it. It should be good to see how our music's received. It'll be good.”

Fluent sees the hip hop music industry as being split into two coexisting worlds: the commercial and the underground.

“Everyone's trying to better their last album so you're competing with yourself and you're also competing with other artists to keep pushing the envelope, so to speak, and keep raising the bar. You've got the underground and then you've got the more commercial acts and they're all competing with themselves with the radio push, and we're all competing with ourselves in the underground with our approach to lyricism and staying original and keeping up our style.”

The arrival of his daughter has led to a host of changes in Fluent’s life, not least his music.

“It's influenced a lot of my new album which comes out in about five weeks. Before that, I was doing a lot of the aggressive, darker stuff. I've relaxed a lot more now. Having a child does influence you because you grow up as a man, which then obviously starts reflecting in your music.”

Surrounded by music at his day job at a record store during the week, Fluent makes sure he balances life as a father and an artist.   

“I only do [tours] on the weekends. I make sure I only book shows on the weekends so I have all week to be home and then off I go next weekend to the next show.”

Crate Cartel play Sprung Brisbane at Victoria Park Saturday September 21. Fluent Form’s ‘Fluseason’ is released Aug 2.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:20

Verbill: Live Review

As the sun dropped over George Street, the lights at The Transcontinental Hotel began to swallow a hoard of town revellers. But it wasn’t the neon displays that were keeping the punters occupied.

Instead, hip hop enthusiasts from across the board turned out to show their support for a cast of talented emcees hailing from Brisbane and Melbourne respectively. It was the debut launch of Verbill’s EP and the stage was set for a huge night as the heads began to roll in. The event was christened with a DJ set from Pydrt, before Chelsea Jane – winner of the Hilltop Hoods initiative this year – raised the bar altogether with her fiery and unique flow.

Boomtown’s own, The Optimen, were up next to showcase their skills to both new and old listeners, and as the bodies started piling in, the whole room began to bounce. Chubba — host of the 4zzz Phat Tape hip hop show – kept the audience engaged between sets and not long after the third interval, the guests from down south made their presence known.

1007-verbill

Raven and Myk Reid absolutely burned their set, and drew out a fresh and gritty sound to connect with. The masses stayed well behaved, and the jovial attitude stayed strong as the headliner took to the microphone.

There was absolutely no mistaking why everyone was there, as Verbill crushed his way through a list of new releases and old tunes that people happily sung along to. It was a show that was unparalleled by anything else in recent times, and best of all, he just looked like he wanted to be there and was loving every second of it. I’ve found Verbs to be underrated at times, but if there is any shred of hip hop sensibility left in anyone who hasn’t recognised his talent by now, then you better get up to speed. One word, dope.

Published in Urban

1. Being a DJ at a ‘60s disco night for Singaporean women who asked me to dress up like John Travolta. WINNING!

2. Bad collaborations. I drove out to Ipswich to meet a man who had emailed me to be the vocalist for his new 'hit song'. But it turned out he lived in a fake tanning salon/ caravan, had a crazed orange look about him, didn't speak English, and had run his lyrics through Google translate. The spoken-word chorus said: "Then the red traffic light broke down and she dance!"

3. Singing in a bad Jamaican accent. I had to sing ‘Get Up Stand Up’ for a protest gig in front of hundreds of people. Reggae isn't really my specialty. I failed. And everybody knew. Especially the Jamaican guy in the front row. 

4. Giving strange singing lessons. I received an enquiry from a parent asking if I could teach their child 'visceral' (pretty sure that means poop) breathing, to help HER become the next Michael Buble. Everything about this was weird. Of course, I said yes. 

5. Singing at funerals. For some reason, nobody wants me to sing at their wedding. I must have that 'special' look. Whatever it is, I know most funeral directors in Brisbane on a first name basis. 

Astrid & The Asteroids launch new single, ‘Autopsy’, at The Hideaway August 3. They also play a free show at Lock n Load this Saturday, July 27.

Published in Pop/ Electro
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:04

Live Review: Bernard Fanning

Mr Fanning carries the weight of expectation well. Playing to a home crowd can sometimes be the most daunting gig for a singer/ songwriter, with nowhere to hide if the reception isn’t favourable.

Luckily for Bernard, the response was raucously warm and welcoming and with a median age of 45, it was an older crowd, faithful fans who have followed Fanning since Powderfinger days. They also seemed to be loving the Bundy cola cans (the drink of choice for the night it appears).

Supported by Vance Joy and Big Scary, the crowd watched politely while both played their sets, but it was obvious most were waiting for the headliner.

When he walked out on stage to catcalls, wolf whistles, screaming and clapping, it was obvious how devoted his fans are. Starting with a sparse band of three, Fanning launched into a mix of songs off his new album 'Departures' and his old 'Tea & Sympathy', almost going one for one for the first half of his set.

1007-bernard-fanning

It was a few songs in before he even spoke to the crowd but once he started bantering, he peppered conversation between most songs. Adding an extra couple of musicians for the rest of his set, he was an easy showman on stage, completely in the flow of his music with a grace that belies his pub rock roots. With a voice that sounds exactly as it does on his albums, it was effortless to listen and the crowd were captivated. With years of touring and playing gigs all over the world, Fanning has no problem addressing hecklers or rude punters, at one stage confronting a woman who talked through one of his most emotional tracks and the crowd roared its appreciation at her telling off. So for Fanning, as for most of his fans, it is always about the music, the story that comes from his simple and sincere lyrics and the easy hummability of each tune.

To view more photo's from the gig visit Scenestr

Published in Rock

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