Items filtered by date: July 2013
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:17

Hightime: How High

Adelaide punk reggae crew Hightime's lead vocalist Nina chats about Dead Of Winter Festival, new tunes and a torn Achilles tendon.

“Jay, our bassist, tore his Achilles when we played with Refused, which is the stupidest sentence,” she laughs. “It was really great. People would ask, 'how did you tear your Achilles?' He's like, 'aw, it sounds really wanky... we were playing at the Enmore Theatre with Refused'. People were like, 'ah shut up, man!'”

Since Jay's injury the band have been working on new material for an upcoming album and potential 7”.

“Yeah we will be doing the 7” thing,” Nina confirms. “Like, we got into the idea of it... we were all sitting around one night and just laughing and making the most ridiculous ideas come alive. So we really want to keep that 7” idea in our head. But we want to do the album. We were talking about it in the car the other day and it just seems like time for an album again.”

In the two years since their debut release, 'Ishe Prende', the Adelaide four-piece have progressed musically.

“I dare to say it's a step up. It's just a little bit more full, musically and lyrically. A little bit more structured, but for some reason they're real loose songs. I don't know.  There's this one song that's really different to anything we've ever written. You can tell that Rueben's written the riff, it's classic Reuben; but yeah, it's just got some new and different elements to it.”

The group are looking forward to playing the Dead Of Winter Festival and catching up with some old mates.

“I'm really looking forward to seeing the Chainsaw Hookers guys again, because we played with them in WA and they were all super nice guys. Heaps accommodating and sweet, but then they played and just ripped your face off. It was fantastic.”

The Dead Of Winter Festival is a horror culture fancy dress festival and the band can't wait to work with the theme.

“I think you've got to [dress up] and get into the spirit of things. No one likes a Scrooge. We just played the Calypso Carnival in Melbourne last weekend. It was a great night of nine bands, and it had a Hawaiian theme. So we were just thinking of keeping our Hawaiian shirts and being, like, Hawaiian zombies or something.”

Hightime play the Surfers Paradise BG on Jul 11 and the Dead Of Winter Festival at Jubilee Hotel on Sat July 13.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:10

The Devil Wears Prada: The New Nightmare

Since their genesis in '05, The Devil Wears Prada has clawed their way to the top of the metalcore scene.

TDWP have eclipsed their contemporaries since their formation by continuously refining and paying close attention to structure without sacrificing the sheer brutality of their music.

“We're really just trying to write better songs that have a better feeling from beginning to end,” guitarist and vocalist Jeremy DePoyster says. “When we started out writing music, it was just part into part into part, and that just gets old and boring.

“If we can come up with really cool parts that are aggressive and creative and find a way to make them flow … I guess that's the goal.”
You can expect TDWP to continue their amiable concoction of pummelling distortion and nightmarish-meets-angelic vocal arrangements on their forthcoming record, which is due out in September.
“Sonically, I guess it's down the same vein we've tried to establish for ourselves over the last few records, and just exploring that even more and trying to write the best songs that we can. It's heavy, it's loud, it's dark … and it's pretty at times. I'm ready for it to come out.”

Despite the departure of founding keyboardist James Baney last year, Jeremy says the new album will feature keys aplenty.

“Something really exciting for us is that we have a new keyboard player named John that worked with us on the record. He's been playing with us for the last year and a half now … and he's a super-talented kid who comes from the dance side of things.

“We [worked] that out of him when it came to this album so we could get some nastier sounds. I think people will be unbelievably surprised when they hear the amount of keyboards on this record.”

Of course, Australian fans will be given a sneak preview of the band's new songs when they play here this month.

“It's fun and it's cool because it's the first time we've been able to bring out some new songs that aren't even released in any way yet. It's cool that people are getting their first taste of the new record in the form of a live song, which is really the way they should be enjoyed.”

The Devil Wears Prada play Brisbane Riverstage Friday July 12.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:56

Some Just Trip: Pack Rat Mentality

If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like to have a local music industry legend spill the last 25 years of his life back out into the public eye, then look no further than the ‘Some Just Trip’ exhibition.

Paul Curtis has just about seen it all. To understand the circumstances, you have to imagine the mid-1980s, when he made his transition into the business side of the music industry. When the corporate world left him feeling less than enthusiastic about his work and life, he discovered a whole new world in music. His talents have seen him work with bands such as Vampire Lovers, The Headstones, The Girlies, The Celibate Rifles — and, most extensively, Regurgitator, who he focused the majority of his attention on for over two decades.

Press, promotion, CDs, flyers, and just about any other art-based material was the domain of Curtis, and after diving through the vast amount of boxes that riddle his house, his past has re-emerged to be put on display at the State Library Of Queensland. Paul explains how the exhibition was created.

“I'm a bit of a fanatical archivist, or as my wife refers to me — a 'hoarder'. When I was talking to them about a collection like mine, they referred to the term 'pack rat', relating to an archival style focus collection, which I liked. I pulled out a ridiculously large amount of posters, some by me, some by shows I'd been involved with, all alongside a collection of CDs, press, promo and a range of other stuff, including content relating to Regurgitator, and just turned up at the library.”

The entire process sounds so organic, but as Curtis explains, it’s been hard work since the word go.

“It took bloody good luck — tenacity, patience, stupidity and persistence too. You can kind of manage and control things to a point. I don't think I could live off just visual art, and in the beginning I refused to take payment for it. I had this naïve concept that it would taint or corrupt it. But there was a point where I went, 'holy shit, I actually need to live', and after working for one of Rupert Murdoch's news organisations as a publisher, I realised I could change things up and make a living.”

Curtis is proud of the fact that he has worked from the ground up on a lot of projects. “A lot of the time this stuff comes down to the right timing and place,” he says.
“And you could argue that some things have a greater propensity for larger scale commercial appeal because of the type of thing they are — and some things there you can't argue about — but I think that the sorts of things I've gotten involved with, don't really lend themselves to that kind of greater commercial status. It’s just the way I’ve chosen to do things.”

The construction of the exhibition left Paul feeling reflective, and more than a little amazed. 

“It was really weird going through it all because it left me with this mixture of inspiration and excitement because I couldn't believe I'd accomplished all that I had,” he says. “The whole process has been odd.”

Twenty five years is a long time to grow with the work you love, and with time comes change. The technological revolution that has pressed itself into every facet of daily life over the years makes Paul’s showcase of work all the more interesting. When asked how far things have come, he can barely fathom it himself.
“The sheer shift in the value of music has been huge,” he says. “Each time there's been changes in technology, it's created fear and panic, but it's never stopped advancing ... these changes that have happened are ridiculous and inspiring at the same time.”

‘Some Just Trip: Archival Hoardings Of A Music-Ridden Pack Rat’ displays as part of ‘Live!’ at The State Library Of Queensland July 13 – August 11.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:50

Josh Pyke: Shed To Stage

 Sydney's much loved folk singer-songwriter is back with new material and a full-on national tour.

New single ‘Leeward Side’ has been receiving ample airplay and much love from fans, and the singer is stoked with the song’s success. “Every time I do a song I think that it's got to be judged on its merits rather than what I've done in the past,” he says, “so it's always a real kick and a real thrill when you know one of your singles is having this life outside of your own head on the radio and getting into people's lives, wherever they are listening to it.”

The single is an upbeat introduction to a new record, ‘The Beginning And The End Of Everything’, that explores a varied emotional terrain. “The ideas of legacy and death and desire are all wrapped up in one for me in the way that I process decision making in my life,” he explains, “and the way I think, 'if I did this would I be proud of it and would I stand by it after I'm gone? Is this decision that I'm making spurred on by desires for things that I don't actually need or is it a pure desire?'

“So they were the sorts of things that I was thinking about when I was writing this record – trying to balance a sense of ambition for the songs and my career, but also trying to stay very true and honest to the original reasons I want to write songs and that's to create art that I'm in love with and have no real agenda. Just to do something I'm proud of.”
Fresh from a sold-out string of intimate ‘Fans First’ shows, Josh is set to tour Australia in August to promote the new album. He’s bringing his swag of new songs as well as a selection of old favourites.

“It's a full band and I'm going to be covering a lot of stuff from the new record but also from all the other stuff that I've done. It's hard, four records and a mini album is a lot of songs to choose from, but I think I've got a good mix.”

Always one to keep experimenting, the singer-songwriter is keen to add a new spin on his songs in the upcoming shows, and fans can expect to hear their favourites reworked in different ways.

“The thing I always try to do with live shows is to bring a new dimension to the songs. We don't try to make them exactly like they are on the album, we create a live version that does the song justice but in a different way, and for me that's a different way of engaging with the songs. I hope that the audience can hear a song from the record and then see it performed live in a different way and then it breathes a new life into it. That's really what I hope people get out of it.”

The new record was largely created in Pyke’s home studio shed, and being able to write and record on a whim made for a more organic recording process.

“For instance, I wrote ‘Bug Eyed Beauty’ in my head on the way to the guitar shop and bought a 12 string guitar, and then instead of having to wait around for time in a studio somewhere I was just able to go to the shed and record it straight away and that's actually the version that ended up on the record. [Recording at home] allows you to have spontaneity and keep those creative juices flowing.”

It also allowed for some creative experimentation, as Josh posted pictures of his process on Facebook using, of all things, newspaper and plastic knives to create interesting sounds.

“It was just about finding different sounds. I love production and I've co-produced or produced on all of my own records. Sometimes your instinct tells you that your hand claps aren't sounding clappy enough, so I just thought if I wrapped my hands in paper it would give it a bit more crackle. Then, we just wanted a particular snare sound that we weren't getting from drumsticks or brushes so we just strapped some plastic knives together and used that. The whole point of being in the studio is acting like a kid and playing around with things and getting different uses out of things that you wouldn't necessarily use. It was just fun, basically.”

That spontaneity was a welcome return to the singer’s earlier work, as he steered away from musical influences and focussed instead on everyday life and the freedom of his previous records as inspiration for the new album, choosing experimentation over traditional band arrangements.

“Day to day, doing things and looking at things, reading things, imagining things – it all kind of culminates for me in latching onto a topic and dissecting it and then trying to interpret it a certain way to try and make sense of my own life. The way I do that is to write a song … I try not to have too many musical influences going into a record because I don't want to accidentally be influenced too much. I did want to have a full-sounding record but not necessarily have traditional band arrangements all the time.

“In some ways, I was more inspired by my earlier records. I just wanted to get back to that spontaneous feeling that I had on my first album because I had no idea what I was doing back then and it was all about experimentation.”

That experimentation crossed over aesthetically, as Pyke enlisted the help of the girls at Greedy Hens to create a masterful video for single ‘Bug Eyed Beauty’ which involved painstaking stop-work animation and a lot of paper cut-outs.

“They're just amazing and I've worked with them quite a lot in the past … the ‘Bug Eyed Beauty’ video was just me giving them the song and the lyrics and telling them what I wanted and I really only went in for two hours while they filmed me singing the song. Then, they created all the other stuff by painstakingly cutting out all these pictures and doing collages. It was just a real process of trust on my part and they just did a beautiful job. It's a really great compliment to the song to have something so beautiful image-wise come out of it.”

'The Beginning And The End Of Everything' is out now. Josh Pyke plays Kings Beach Tavern Aug 29, Soundlounge Aug 30 & The Tivoli Aug 31.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:35

Video: The Red Paintings Live

Currently on tour in the US with And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (who invited them when ...Trail of Dead were in Oz recently), The Red Paintings recently launched their new album, ‘The Revolution Is Coming’, at The Hi-Fi (Sat June 14). Scene was there to film proceedings.


Videographer: Stewart Munro

Published in Rock
Monday, 08 July 2013 02:58

Queensland Beer Week: Make Mine A...

Good time enthusiasts rejoice, for Queensland Beer Week is back in 2013, with even more venues and tantalising brews to savour.

Stroll into Paddington to witness a chilli cook-off complemented with some of the finest Australian craft beers. Or pop over to Woolloongabba to 'meet the brewer', and try some exclusive craft beers that may never be seen again.

These are the opportunities that arise during Queensland Beer Week, and they’re only the tip of the iceberg. The event boasts a variety of good times, with initiatives from over a dozen venues to educate the public on craft beer. Event organiser Mark Midro explains the best way to approach the week.

“The idea would be you get a group of people together, go down in a great environment and try a whole different range of beers and learn about what you're drinking. That's what we're aiming to do, is provide an easy in, and make it accessible for people to come into the market and realise; beer can have flavour!

“It's all about education. That's why we have the brewers involved, that's why they design specific food to match the beers and explore flavour within the brew. It's all about learning how to enjoy and appreciate good beer.”

Mark says there's a lot of drinkers that are missing out on another world of beer experience, and it stems from lack of knowledge.

“It can be intimidating; rocking into some of these craft beer bars, where there's these huge menus full of words and names, and you're left scratching your head thinking about what you're gonna have. That's what I like about this year, is that you don't have to know a lot about craft beer to enjoy yourself.”

The future looks bright for craft beer growth in Queensland.

“I think it has massive potential to grow, but I think the consumer is more aware of what they're drinking nowadays. We all know what our standard beers are, but people are thinking’ 'there's something else out there'. It's up to the pubs now to provide their consumer with a bit more variety, and what you're going to see now is more venues adding craft beer to their menus, because people want change.”

Queensland Beer Week runs July 13-21.
queenslandbeerweek.com.au

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 17:04

The Lone Ranger Packs

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, (the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster 'Pirates Of the Caribbean' movies), comes 'The Lone Ranger', a thrilling adventure that combines action and humour, and brings the famed masked hero to life through new eyes.

Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice.

To win one of five prizepacks (that each contain a double inseason pass and The Lone Ranger branded iPhone case and adult watch) 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 4.30pm Friday 5th July 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
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 15:40

Little Orphan Trashley

Lovers of the original Annie musical are in for a rude awakening, as Trevor Ashley’s adults-only pantomime presents an entertaining and cheeky transformation titled ‘Little Orphan Trashley’.

Ashley frocks up as ten-year-old Frannie, a resident at Sutherland Shire Orphanage for Talented Children, and embarks on a journey to find her parents. She still wants to discover her true self, but in a much different way, as Ashley explains.

“In terms of the writing, I had the idea that Annie became a trannie, and the plot that she's looking for her parents so she can get gender reassignment — which I think is a much better reason than in the actual musical,” he laughs.

The cast also includes Australian veteran actors Rhonda Burchmore as Miss Trannigan, and Gary Sweet as Daddy Warhorse, with the jokes not confined to one source.

“Nothing and no-one is sacred and we certainly don't discriminate in our ridicule. The reaction we get is just people laughing their heads off, and I'm very thrilled to be doing it again because it's been about six months and we've made some updates.”

Trevor himself is a busy man. With a range of other projects in the pipeline, the actor says he's always kept occupied, and for good reason.

“I usually have so many going on at once, that's really what keeps me interested. It's never a dull moment. Right now I've got about seven different shows that I do, so keeping all of that in my head is enough to make me say 'oh god, how many of these do I have to remember?. But it's a good thing I think.”
After enjoying cabaret success in New York as a 21 year old, Ashley details his extensive history in the industry, and how he has almost become almost immune to performance butterflies. It's still thrilling either way, as he explains.

“In terms of this sort of panto show, I only started to really revive it in the last two years, but I've done musical theatre for quite a long time and cabaret theatre for even longer. It's always sort of the first show I get nervous on, and after that I'm fine. Performing is just what I do. It's certainly not difficult and I won't get stressed out on stage much at all.”

The transition from a classical musical to pub drag is major, but a change that Trevor says was organic nonetheless.

“I did a show at the Glenn Street Theatre in Sydney and a drag queen came to see it, and she said that I should try her style because I could sing. I started to learn make-up, and how to dress, and started getting up and doing numbers with them and eventually, within eight weeks or so, I had three jobs. I was doing six nights a week and sometimes three venues in a night for years, and it was great.”

After all the hard work has paid off, ‘Little Orphan Trashley’ is a brilliant display of panto and something audiences will love.

“Literally this is just there for people to come and have a laugh and ultimately have a great night out. You can grab a cabaret table at the Powerhouse, have a few drinks with your friends and have a good giggle. It's hilarious, wrong and fun.”

‘Little Orphan Trashley’ is at Brisbane Powerhouse July 17-20.

Published in Cabaret
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 15:32

Man Of Steel: Film Review

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon. Directed by Zack Snyder.

This is big.

Big doesn't necessarily equate to good, of course, but the first thing that must be noted about ‘Man Of Steel’ is its sheer size and scope. This is a proper epic, and whether you can enjoy it on that level will very much depend on your tolerance for incredibly loud noises and the sight of dudes punching other dudes through skyscrapers. (Believe it or not, there are people who get sick of that sort of thing.)

Screenwriter David Goyer and director Zack Snyder take a few cues from each of the comic book interpretations of Superman's origin story, but aren't beholden to any of them. Their vision stands apart as a bold, original take on the mythos from the outset, thrusting viewers straight into an 18-minute sequence set on a truly alien version of Superman's homeworld.

Goyer and Snyder's version of Krypton is an allegorical jackpot — not only have the Kryptonians depleted their natural resources, they've also stopped funding space exploration. No, it's not subtle, but it works, as does the decision to make baby Kal-El "the first natural birth in centuries", casting Superman as both an environmental refugee and something of a political asylum seeker.

The decision to jump from Krypton's destruction to an adult Clark Kent working a series of odd jobs and pulling off super-rescues on the sly is a smart one, structurally. It saves us from having to go over every inch of the same territory ‘Smallville’ just spent 10 years covering, while allowing Snyder and Goyer to flash back and flesh out Clark's past when it suits them.

The other benefit of skipping forward is that it means we don't have to wait too long to see leading man Henry Cavill (unlike ‘Superman: The Movie’, which kept Chris Reeve on the bench for an hour). Cavill is a revelation, possessing the physicality, empathy and charisma necessary for the role and capably carrying the hopes of a franchise on his shoulders.

Michael Shannon, too, is tremendously (and typically) intense as Kryptonian zealot General Zod, while Antje Traue ends up stealing a few scenes as his second-in-command, Faora-Ul. Zod is the best kind of villain, one whose motivation is understandable, even while his actions are reprehensible enough to warrant the audience's hatred.

Amy Adams' portrayal of intrepid reporter Lois Lane can't be faulted (and she's certainly more capable than Margot Kidder and Kate Bosworth), but her chemistry with Cavill isn't quite as strong as it needs to be. It's easy to believe Superman could sweep Lois Lane off her feet, but they just don't have enough time on-screen together to explore anything beyond that.

The biggest problem that most of the film's critics have with it is the action — or, more accurately, the length of the action sequences — and honestly, I don't know what to tell you there. We're talking about a character who debuted in the pages of ‘Action Comics’; whose earliest adventures were characterised by their raw, primal energy. I am very, very okay with watching him duke it out with Kryptonian bad guys in extended action sequences, particularly when they're as creative and as technically impressive as the ones Snyder has cooked up.

Ultimately, ‘Man Of Steel’ is the best Superman movie ever made, if only because all the others were so deeply flawed. It's also Zack Snyder's best film. This is a big, loud movie, and sure, there were a lot of computers involved in making it, but it's also the most human take on the character that I can recall. It's occasionally cheesy and it's never subtle, but it's not cynical, either, and I think that's something Snyder and Goyer should be very proud of.

4/5

‘Man Of Steel’ is now showing.   

Published in Film
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 15:26

The Great Gatsby: Director Interview

In the age of Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, sites that aggregate critical reviews and attempt to assign definitive scores to every movie at the multiplex, it seems like the lines between good and bad, adored and reviled, are pretty clear.

Sometimes, though, the audience decides that the critics have gotten it wrong.

‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of those cases. Not a critical darling by any stretch of the imagination, ‘Gatsby’ — a period romantic drama, not usually the stuff of blockbusters — has taken north of $300 million at the box office, and it's not done yet.

Curious about this disconnect, I get director Baz Luhrmann on the phone at his New York home and ask him if he’s read the bad reviews.
“Well, yes,” he says, “and I'm used to it. I mean, the critical response to ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘Moulin Rouge!’, ‘Strictly Ballroom’, and ‘Australia’ for that matter, but especially ‘Romeo + Juliet’... the critical response to ‘Romeo + Juliet’ was identical to ‘Gatsby’.

“Look, I feel for critics, because what I make isn't exactly cookie cutter. So you're sitting there in a screening and you're with some other guy who's maybe 65 or whatever and he's a revered critic, and you're looking at him sideways going, 'what am I supposed to make of this?' I think if you're with an audience ... when audiences go and see it, they just go: 'It's my Saturday night. I hope this comes alive, affects me, engages me, moves me.' You know?

“I always admired Owen Gleiberman, who's one of the big heavy hitter critics for Entertainment Weekly. A couple of years ago, he put ‘Moulin Rouge!’ in his top 10 films of the past 10 years. Great honour. Lovely. Except that when the film came out, he totally slated it.

“But this is the balls he had, and I'll always admire him for this. He wrote: 'I have never re-written a review in my life, but I'm going to re-write my review of ‘Moulin Rouge!’ Because I've seen it 10 years later and I realised that I just totally couldn't read what Luhrmann was trying to do. I saw it again on Blu-Ray and I'm making it one of my top 10 films of the last 10 years.' So I'm used to it, is all I'd say. I'm used to that. Look, audiences have made it move past $300 million, and we're not done yet, you know? The audience decides.

“What's a shame is when someone's sitting on the fence, and they read a review, and they go, 'ooh, is it all going to be just noise and crazy town video clip stuff for two hours?' And I don't think that's, in any way, an honest description of the film. So that person might miss it in the cinema, and end up seeing it on an aeroplane somewhere. And then they always say, 'oh, I wish I'd seen it at the movies'. You know? So I think audiences should decide for themselves. Which they have, in this case.”

The film’s box office success is certainly a vindication of sorts for Luhrmann, who sees a lot of himself in the title character.

“I think we fellows that weren't born into privilege and have imagined a big life and have dreamt with dimension can relate to that character in some regard,” he admits. “You know, I came from a very small town and I had big dreams from day one. I wasn't sitting in a small town thinking, 'gee, I'm going to stay here in Herons Creek and maybe run the farm', and then someone stole me away to the circus. No, I ran away to the circus. I ran away to a big life. Even as a young child, I imaged a life not too dissimilar to the one I'm living. So I guess I relate to that, you know?”

‘The Great Gatsby’ is in cinemas now.

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