Items filtered by date: October 2013
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:38

Miss Renee Simone: I Am Woman

 With a view to empower women, Miss Renee Simone is a treasure finally ready to shine on her own.

“I  trained as an occupational therapist, so I have always had a desire to work with people to help them to break down barriers and be the best that they can be – which is what this album [‘Roar’] has ended up being about. This one is in relation to women, so it's not necessarily youth work but I found myself working in that same field with people of all ages and from all walks of life.”

Over the course of the past 12 months Renee has been inspired by women’s stories from all over the world.

“I had somebody who was talking to me on Facebook. She was from Israel and she was a grandmother, talking to me about her stories of hope and what makes a woman strong. While she was talking to me there was a suicide bomber in her street. It was just so moving to know that she was sitting there, with all these things going on around her, and her concerns were for what was happening on my stage. It was very heart-warming.”

Since stepping out as a solo artist earlier this year, Renee has already been invited to collaborate with some of Australia’s finest.

“Both Angus Stone and Bernard Fanning called me up, and that was the most bizarre experience.

“When Bernard called me up he said 'Hi, it's Bernard Fanning here' — I have a guy who sold me gas, and his name was Michael Jackson — so when Bernard called me I just started laughing and asked him what he was selling, and he said 'No, I was just wondering if you wanted to sing with me'. I nearly died on the spot. “Thankfully he was still into the idea and we went on to record his single 'Tell Me How It Ends'.”

With Angus Stone describing her voice as “tiramisu topped with smooth chocolate topping”, she has come a long way since reaching the ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ semi-finals.

“I just got a call from 'The Voice'. I ended up saying no, but there was a part of me that was really interested in the idea of hanging out with Seal and seeing what that experience would bring.”

Miss Renee Simone plays the Brisbane Jazz Club October 18. ‘Roar’ is released October 14.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:31

Calski: All Eyes And Ears

Local MC/ producer Calski released his new EP, ‘Eyes And Ears’, last week, with the five track record a more polished affair than his debut album, ‘Love Drive Commission’.

“I  think these [songs] are probably a bit more polished. I spent a bit more time mixing and a bit more money on the production side of things this time around just for these five to see how they would come up,” Calski explains.

“There's a couple of songs on there that are probably a bit more sparse as well. I tried not to fill up the sound spectrum too much on this one; just tried to keep it a little bit more stripped back on a couple of these to really let the MCs take the track and lead the track rather than have the instrumental part of it being really full and thick.

“These five tracks probably date back about a year. Some of them got finished before others and needed less work. The oldest one would be about a year.”

The list of collaborations for this release reads like a who’s who of the local scene: Kryptamistik, One Sixth, DJ Bacon, Mr Hill and 4th of Vegas Aces plus slam poet Luka Lesson. Oh and Hau from Koolism.

“It pretty much makes the song, hey. If I don't have guests on there, it's just an instrumental track. Sometimes it can make it a really quick process, other times it can be a bit slower, going back and forth, sending versions back and forth to each other making tweaks here and there.

“But all in all, the beats part of it is only one half. If we don't have the features on there, we don't really have a song. I'm actually really proud of 'Lost Or Found' with Luka Lesson. We did that over about two days. He flew into Brissie, came straight to the studio with an empty book, no lyrics written and we sat down and listened to a few things. He picked one out and we just started writing and did that track over two days. I really like the content that he's on about on that song as well. I'm just proud to be a part of a song that touches on those issues and speaks for his people. I'm really proud of that song.”

While all of the guests on 'Eyes And Ears' brought something unique to each song, it was Calski's appreciation for the roots of hip hop that really defined the sounds on his new EP.

“I definitely give a nod to the roots of hip hop and the original sounds of sampling and laying beats under the samples, making things work that way. I really like that sound. That's what I grew up with and it's just always stuck with me. At the same time as it being a conscious nod to that, I think it's just inevitable. It's who I am and what I like.

"Not to say I don't like the other shit, it's just that the original sound really speaks to me.”

The entire EP was inspired by the Australian music scene, as well as Calski's personal journey over the past year.

“[The EP title was inspired by] just being around other people. The things that I've seen and the things that I've heard over the last year since the album came out. Lots of touring experience, meeting a lot of other artists and getting a collaboration going with them. I've got a whole bunch of vinyl that sort of reflects my taste and my influences. So to put it down to any one influence is completely impossible.”

To celebrate the release, Calski will be hosting a listening party this Sunday at Kerbside.

“In terms of production, there will be MPCs making live beats. We'll be using Serato and some turntablism. Not that I do much turntablism, but just for dropping tracks and doing a few rubs and cuts here and there. And Rainman and myself on the mic. They're his shows. He's bringing me along. His live performance... if you haven't seen Rainman before you just need to check him out.”

‘Eyes And Ears’ is out now. Calski hosts a listening party at Kerbside this Sunday Oct 20 from 5pm. He also supports Mantra with Rainman at Tempo Oct 17.

Published in Urban

Classical genius Mozart was quite the ladies man, and UQ’s Big Band are out to expose him.

It's Mozart with a twist – the traditional symphonies we know and love intertwined with a theatrical narration of risque letters written by Wolfgang Amadeus himself.

“Not many people know that he had this weird relationship with his younger cousin, who the letters are written to. They're probably more suggestive if anything else, and full of childish rhymes and wordplay,” UQ Big Band President Jack Biggs says.

“It's quite a unique concept in that it's a combination of classical, jazz and performance – it's also never been performed in Australia before.”

The project's experimental nature is nothing new to director and award-winning trumpeter Clint Allen.

“Clint has got such a vast experience doing lots of different projects, such as the Zappa Big Band, where he got a big band together and performed arrangements of Frank Zappa charts. He also did the same with Bjork charts.

“Because of the age of the members we are probably more receptive to doing experimental music and pushing the boundaries in the jazz forum, so to speak.”

Diversity is rife in the band, with members streaming in from various faculties.

“There's a wide array of people from different study backgrounds. We've got students studying law, commerce, dentistry and quite a few engineers.

“It's a great opportunity to work with someone of the calibre of Clint Allen and grow as a musician. So many people put down their instruments and never play them again after [high] school, and the band provides an opportunity for those who aren't music students to continue their musical development.”

“[In the future] we want to keep trying these projects. Last year we did a night called 'Jazzimation' with a screen playing animation footage in the background. So lots of Looney Tunes inspired music, themes from ‘Batman’ and ‘Family Guy’. The second thing that we are keen to do is to get our names out there and hopefully do a bit of touring.”

The UQ Big Band perform at the Princess Theatre October 26.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:13

Seventh Avenue: Live Review

The wind of music whispers in the rush of the leaves and the melismas of car-horns, drawing the ear once again to the Brisbane Jazz Club, (but only after a white BMW encountered the rear of the vehicle I was driving). Pfffft, injury? Who cares? Jazz time!

Anticipation and delight rippled through the house as local slammers Seventh Avenue infused their own stylistic twist to some of the J-word’s dearest and most loved composers; from Gershwin and Troup, to Adderly and Leowe.

Each member possesses immense talent and diverse skill, giving this group freedom to break the mold and apply loads of heart and expression to their selections, which were wide and raucous in their scope.

Technical skill and the wider vocabulary of all forms came through with force, as the house was gifted inspired soli and amazing skill from all players.

Interaction between vocalist et al was kept soft and intimate in places, florid and verbose in others that was in contrast to the more progressive feel of the wind and backline sans vocal.

Another great and innovative group brought you by the outstanding folk at the BJC.

Seventh Avenue played at The Brisbane Jazz Club October 11.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:07

The Mojo Bluesmen: Busking Hijinks

The Mojo Bluesmen live in a van and busk dirty blues on street corners across Australia for a living.

Tim and Kiam are a couple of pretty badass dudes, and you can catch them at this year's Queensland Festival of Blues.

“Both Kiam and myself were playing music before meeting each other. I was travelling around Australia, called into Port Macquarie and there he was busking on his harmonica. So I went up to him, chucked 20 bucks in his case and asked him to jam. We became a travelling duo within minutes of meeting each other,” explains Tim Everett, whose instrumental repertoire includes slide guitar, stomp box and foot percussion.

Since 2007 the pair have lived in a van touring non-stop around Australia, clocking up over 2,000 gigs and selling over 25,000 CDs.

“We just enjoy it. It's the freedom of being able to go wherever we want, whenever we want. For a long time we talked about going to the US to busk, and after a few years we found a way to do it. We managed to get the airfares together and winged it. We had no money and the little car we bought in Hollywood broke down the whole time, so it was three months of complete mayhem but a real adventure.”

The boys found themselves in as much trouble Stateside as they do at home.

“The cops over there are ten times harder than at home. Two or three cars would pull up to tell you to stop busking and to stop sleeping in the car as well. We're constantly in trouble. At home we're banned in about 80 percent of the towns on the east coast because we are very loud — Kian plays his harmonica through a megaphone.”

Hijinks aside, The Mojo Bluesmen are a real success story. They are regulars on the festival circuit, have released four studio albums and even recorded a soundtrack for, and appeared in the SBS series, ‘Housos”’.

“Playing Byron Blues Fest was a big highlight as well as being played on Triple J; all things we thought were incapable of but are now done. So it's back to the drawing board to start thinking up new dreams.”

The Mojo Bluesmen Play The Queensland Festival Of Blues At The New Globe Theatre November 2.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:01

Bertie Page Clinic: Burlesque Success

From a hairy human chocolate freckle to entertaining Japanese crowds with panda nipple tassels, this girl has done it all.

Fresh from entertaining the troops in Afghanistan, Brisbane’s Bertie Page Clinic are home to entertain with witty lyricism, rock and colourful costumes.

“There was crowd surfing, there was craziness and there was a dancing banana. The experience really gives you a window into the way that people deal with adversity. The way that people can, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by dust, mountains, suffering and danger, still know how to have a good time. The human instinct for partying is irrepressible.”

Definitely not shy of the spotlight, Bertie’s quirky intricacies transform the stage into a comedic wonderland.

“Once at The Wickham, for New Year’s Eve two years ago, I arranged for my partner, lead guitarist and leading man John Meyer to be covered in chocolate sauce and sprinkles. We made him into a human freckle. That shows you how much he loved me, because he is probably the hairiest man on the north side of Brisbane and I had to help him wash it out.”

The band’s theatrical performance comes with a dash of burlesque.

“I think it is all interwoven with a general love of glamour, extreme costuming and irreverent humour. I think people who love burlesque could just as easily love glam rock. There's not a lot of difference between what David Bowie and Gypsy Rose Lee did. It's all about using the body as an instrument of sexual exploration and pushing boundaries.

“Being as humble as possible, I do feel like a pin-up goddess when I am on stage. Although I'm not pin-up perfect, I'm not a pin-up traditionalist – I don't do pin curls, victory rolls or the hairspray stuff.”

Bertie Page Clinic’s new album, ‘Too Loud Too Naked’, feature songs that ‘weave from exotic strip clubs to blue-collar work sites’, but Bertie lists single ‘Pearls’ as the “most truthfully painful” and one she feels very sensitive about.

“It's about handing over your innocence to someone who isn't deserving of those experiences, but then coming to terms with the fact that that is a rite of passage and it's gone.”

Bertie Page Clinic play Ric’s October 19. 'Too Loud Too Naked' is available now.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:54

Asking Alexandria: Debauched

“Not too long ago a fan asked me to sign his penis, which was pretty bizarre. It was weird.”

“You know what's weirder? I did it. I made him stretch it out over the table and I signed it, but I didn't touch it... I remember walking away from the table going, 'Yeah, I can't believe I just signed his cock'.”

Ben Bruce, lead guitarist of UK metalcore band Asking Alexandria, has had some weird experiences. Another strange moment for Ben came when he found out the band's last album, ‘From Death To Destiny’, had climbed to the top end of the Billboard Top 200 chart.

“Yeah, I definitely shat myself. Literally. A little bit of poo came out when I found that out. It was mental.”

‘From Death To Destiny’ debuted at number five on the charts, the group's highest charting album to date.

“We like to count it as number four, because if you look at the week our album was released that 
stupid Now That's What I Call Music 1092 [Now! 47] or whatever number they were on was also released. Which is bullshit because that's a bunch of different, really famous artists, so that shouldn't really count.”

The success of the album isn't the only thing that excites Ben — the band is also keen to head back to Australia for Soundwave 2014.

“Our first time ever going to Australia [was for Soundwave 2011]. We are based in America even though we are from the UK, and we decided to fly the wrong way around the world to get to Australia. So we were a bit pissed off and grumpy when we landed. But all that changed the second we got to Hungry Jack's because that place is a proper good Burger King and not the shit one we get, which is awesome. And there appears to be way more women in Australia than dudes, so that also cheered us up.

“[Also] I think you're a bit mental, if I'm honest. I remember playing a venue [in Australia]… there was a second balcony floor. It was just like lemmings throwing themselves off the edge of a cliff… I think there were eight or nine ambulances called in after that and they all got carried out on stretchers or limping out with bloody noses or broken ribs, but still grinning with their thumbs up. We were like, 'What the fuck is wrong with these people?' Mental.”

Asking Alexandria fans were thinking similar things about the band 12 months ago, with many fans questioning the band's stability. 

"I guess that, since day one, we have always drunk too much and partied too hard. I guess for a while, probably about a year ago, it got to the point that it was too much. We were getting ill from it, and we were arguing … It's just [wasn't] a healthy way to live, and it was causing a lot of turmoil in the band and we weren't all getting along as we used to.

“We sat down and went, 'What the hell are we doing? We've got the world at our fingertips, we can throw it all away to get drunk and fucked up every night or we can take this seriously and remember why we started doing this in the first place.' And obviously we chose the second option. And honestly, now, I think that we're stronger than we ever have been as a unit.”

The band isn't claiming to be angels though. Ben's favourite part about touring is still “being able to [get] completely obliterated every night and not be judged for it because apparently it's normal when you're touring”.

There is no doubt the boys from Asking Alexandria love touring and especially love festivals.

“The [good] thing about [them] is just the general atmosphere, there's like a million bands – some of them you're already friends with, some of them you make friends with during the day, you can walk around and watch a bunch of different bands. There's always a lot of fun backstage with drinking and stuff.”

Asking Alexandria play Soundwave at RNA Showgrounds Saturday February 22.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:48

Sticky Fingers: Anarchy In Oz

Sticky Fingers don’t care much about their image.

Unpredictable, raucous and loud, their infectious enthusiasm for all things rock and roll has earned them significant success and a well deserved fan base. Following a massive 2012 that culminated in their single, ‘Caress Your Soul’, reaching number 61 in Triple J’s Hottest 100, they released their debut album of the same title this year to glowing reviews.

Born out of the suburbs of Sydney, the band made their mark in 2010 when after being knocked back repeatedly they crashed the Newtown Festival on a stage made of milk crates. It was an anarchic act that not only made people sit up and pay attention but set the tone for the kind of band they were to be.

“We were kind of no holds barred like ‘yep, this is what we’re doing now and if people aren’t going to take notice then we’re going to make them take notice,” the group’s drummer, Beaker says.

The one factor defining them in a significant way is the complete sincerity they have as a band. Without constantly working to create a specific image or reach a particular demographic, they have opened their music to a wide spectrum of different people. Furthermore, their music has an aspect of honesty to it that other bands can lack when trying to stick to a formula for success.

“I think that you’re going to get a more real band and you’re going to get real music that people are going to relate to more, if you don’t have people posing or whatever. If you’ve just got people being themselves, the crowd is going to relate to that more and people like that.”

Currently writing and demoing songs for a new album, Sticky Fingers are set to record in December. However, it could have a completely different sound compared to ‘Caress Your Soul’.

“We’re writing a new album now and the way we are doing it, is basically someone will bring in a riff or a whole song, it can go either way. There’s no real set standard to the way we write. We just love every style of music so we write it all. We’ve been listening to a lot of Gorillaz and a lot of The Clash, I don’t know what kind of direction we are going in.”

Combining a mixture of reggae, Britpop and psychedelic rock, frontman Dylan Frost’s voice adds a beautiful smooth layer to the bass heavy tunes.

“Everyone loves a good bassline, don’t they? Get down and dirty? I don’t know. Pat, our bass player, really likes to crank his own bass — he likes to be heard. Yeah, it’s just kind of the way it’s worked out, we’ve never really set out to write any particular music in any particular way, we just write.”

With the majority of their music videos looking like acid flashbacks, it’s no surprise that the clip for their latest single, ‘Freddy Crabs’, contains not only a character vaguely reminiscent of ‘The Mighty Boosh’s Old Gregg but also flares, World War Two gas masks and mermaids.

“That ‘Freddy Crabs’ [video] actually came from a drive from Melbourne to Sydney with a bottle of gin. So that’s like a nine-hour drive and, you know, that’s a lot of gin.”

Set to play Island Vibe Festival at the end of the month, Sticky Fingers are no strangers to a festival stage, but don’t necessarily favour them over their own headline shows.

“I don’t think we really mind, it really depends on the crowd that you’re playing to because we just like to make sure everyone is having a good time. That’s what our music is about so it can work either way, at a festival or a bar.”

Having done an extensive tour of Europe earlier this year, they played and sold out the infamous Barfly in London.

“We sold out a show in London at the Barfly, a lot of really cool bands come through like Oasis and Muse and stuff, that was really fun playing there. In Amsterdam we played this other place and sold out there, the Paradiso. Which is probably the coolest venue in the world. It’s an old church.”

Wonderfully talented and unashamedly extroverted, the band found the main difference between playing to an Australian crowd and playing to a European crowd was simply a lack of exposure.

“Because a lot of them really hadn’t heard us, we were still kind of proving ourselves overseas, you know. But they like to get rowdy too, which is good. So they get more rowdy as we get to know them and they get to know us.”

Sticky Fingers perform at Island Vibe Festival October 25-27.

Published in Rock
Friday, 11 October 2013 16:49

Robin Williams Off The Wall DVD

Before ‘Live On Broadway’, before ‘Live At The Met’ and even before Eddie Murphy was ‘Delirious’ or ‘Raw’, Robin Williams was OFF THE WALL.

It is impossible not to laugh out loud at this extremely enjoyable barrage of Robin Williams live at The Roxy, New York, from 1978.

To win one of three copies of Robin William’s DVD ‘Off The Wall Live’ 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 4pm Thursday 17th October 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, 11 October 2013 16:20

Design For Living Tickets

Queensland Theatre Company's next production is Noel Coward’s famous and scandalously risqué play 'Design for Living'.

Kellie Lazarus as Gilda (‘Road To the She Devils Salon’), Tama Matheson as Leo (‘The Tempest’) and Jason Klarwein as Otto (‘A Streetcar Named Desire’) take the lead roles to form Noel Coward’s intricately woven threesome based on the sexy, boundary pushing 1930s play set in Paris.

To win one of ten doubles to the exclusive VIP preview on Monday October 21, 6:30pm, at the Playhouse QPAC 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 4pm Wednesday 16th October 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.

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