Items filtered by date: August 2013
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:27

Citizen Kay: Playfully Honest

Fresh-faced rapper and producer Citizen Kay is making waves in the Aussie hip hop scene with his debut EP, ‘The Yes!’.

Alternately described as Australia’s answer to Lupe Fiasco and ‘The White Stripes of hip hop’, the Ghana-born boy has managed to keep his sound honest but moreish. The mixture of his tight lyrics, truth and boyish cheekiness is instantly gratifying.

‘The Yes!’ features four massive tracks, including his single, ‘Yes!’, which has picked up a considerable amount of airtime on Triple J, and with a hefty amount of gigs already under his belt (including a Groovin’ The Moo set), Kay is fast outgrowing his local Canberra hip hop scene.

It’s all happening for the new up-and-comer, though Kay says the most important thing for him is to be known for his versatility.

“I don’t want to get known as a guy with one style,” he insists. “When you hear new songs from Pitbull, you already know what’s coming. I want to be known for having difference in what I do, for showing different sides of myself and that I actually have something to say as well as being down to have a drink and pop champagne.”

Aside from music, it’s the random things in life that make this good-time guy happy.

“Bucket hats make me quite excited, girls with straight fringes — I don’t know what it is about bucket hats and straight fringes. And I have a new love for brass instruments. They all make me a very happy man.”

Inspired by Lupe and Kanye, Kay says he taught himself just about everything he knows, music-wise.

“I grew up playing instruments; I was a singer in a few bands and then progressed into making beats and then rapping. Now I’m rapping and producing, over singing and playing instruments. I grew up around music, mum was the head singer of the choir and dad just always had music blaring. Music for me just happened over time, and it’s still happening now.”

Kay says his single ‘Yes!’ was inspired by the beat, and is a reflection of his personality.

“I need the music first, then I try to fit in with the music, and then I change the music to fit back in with the words. With that beat, I just felt like I should just go all out and just say the first thing that came into my head, just to show the variety in what I like to do, from the serious songs to the high energy songs.

“‘Yes!’ was basically my main personality coming through. Most of it is truth and the other part is me blowing my own horn a bit and getting a little out of control. I love to go out and have a blast and be that random weirdo that always seems to be having too much fun.”

Impressively, Kay wrote three of the four tracks on the ‘Yes!’ EP in half an hour.

“All the songs on the EP were written pretty quickly. The main reason I can smash out the writing sometimes is when I’m really feeling it from the beat. Certain songs, as cliché as it sounds, write themselves. Words just come easy for some songs, when you know what you want to say, when you know what the point of the song is. With other songs you have to think a bit harder about what you have to say which takes longer.”

While songwriting comes naturally to Kay, supporting Matt And Kim on tour recently taught him a lot about connecting with his audience.

“They have so much energy. I picked up so much from them and I learned so much, performance wise, from Kim especially. I learned whatever energy you give off the crowd gives back, real quick.”

Citizen Kay plays BIGSOUND at The Tempo Hotel on Wednesday September 11.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:14

Parkway Drive: 10 Years On

“It was crazy when more than five people knew our band. Now there are people with kids named after us.”

Two Gold-certified albums, two Platinum-selling DVDs, seventy countries and countless sold-out tours are just a few of the triumphs Australia's Parkway Drive have picked up on the road to metalcore stardom.

“There've been so many,” vocalist Winston McCall says, unable to pinpoint a favorite moment in his decade with Parkway Drive. “We really didn't expect this band to last longer than a year.”

Undisputed royalty of Australian metalcore, Parkway Drive's most recent album — 2012's 'Atlas' — reinforced their position, hitting familiar marks while exploring stunning new sonic avenues.

“I think that in the last few years, [our music's] definitely varied more than in the past. We've heard so much heavy music that we've stopped listening to it and started listing to other stuff. And that's started coming into our music.”

But melodic composition is not the only thing that has seen change. After a decade of strenuous vocals, McCall says his voice “has actually gotten better”.

“I got my vocal cords checked a couple of months ago. I was expecting the worst, but the doctor said there was nothing wrong, that I've got really strong vocal cords, and to keep doing whatever I'm doing.”

Parkway Drive's ten-year anniversary tour will be held in some of the most intimate venues the band has played in years. On the subject of intimacy, McCall describes his ongoing awe at the band's staunch fanbase.

“I've never related specifically to bands or artists, so for someone to freak out about us is really strange. There was this kid who scaled about three storeys of a building to break into our backstage room. It was like, 'What the fuck are you doing? You could have died.'”

Parkway Drive will play the YAC Amphitheatre, Byron, Sept 28 and the Tivoli Sept 29-30 and Oct 1. They also play the Vans Warped Tour at RNA Showgrounds Nov 29.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:04

Die Rude: Tin Shakers

Brisbane locals Die Rude are about to embark on their first tour of Japan, but require a little help from their friends.

The ska-reggae outfit have been commended for their flawless ability to fuse 'cool reggae chops with a blast of psychedelic dub and anarchic punk'. This is what they’ll be doing at their Japan tour fundraiser event at the end of August. The event has been created to help the band raise funds for their eight-date tour of Japan in a few weeks time.

Die Rude's frontman — and Island Vibe Artistic Director — Morgyn Quinn describes his last trip to Japan as "probably one of the nicest experiences of my life".

"I went there with an Aboriginal band as a bass player because I had a little bit of [knowledge about] Japanese language and all that stuff."

Quinn may have played in Japan before, but Die Rude as an entity have not. The band is "excited to play shows [in] Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. It's always fun playing to a home crowd, but I think it gets to a point where you just want to be playing to new and different people,” Morgyn enthuses.

Die Rude have recently finished their second studio album, 'Bullet Train'.

"Over the last year and a half [we] gathered a bunch of tracks for an album … we just needed one more tune to make it complete. I had been working on something, just on my guitar in my bedroom and I [thought] maybe this could be the song that could piece it all together and give it some kind of meaning.

"We got together in the studio only like a week ago, and finished the tune. It was actually perfect, it gave the album some direction and cohesiveness."

The 14 tracks on 'Bullet Train' vary from 'swamp ska, rocksteady to psychedelic reggae vibes', with the group to debut many of the new songs at the fundraiser. The show will also feature reggae soul group Paua and local rocksteady DJ Papa Bitcho.

Die Rude play The Joynt Saturday August 24. You can also catch them at Island Vibe Festival October 25-27.

Published in Reggae/ Roots
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:54

Moonshine Sally: Freaking Folks Out

You can thank Newmarket Coles for Moonshine Sally.

Singer Martin Norris and guitarist Reegan Slack were longtime friends and wrote together before picking up members Beau Stegert and Sebastian Erdelyi at Martin's work.

“Then Billy [Dickson] our drummer just walked in one day and Martin said ‘Hey, you want to come play drums with us?’ and he said ‘hell yeah!’” guitarist Reegan says.

For a band that started out wanting to be a psychedelic outfit, they've turned out more Jim Morrison than Tame Impala. By stripping back their sound to an old school '60s vibe, they've produced a cleaner and more simplistic tone in their music.

“It was the simplicity, really. We didn't want to get carried away, we sort of wanted to rebel in a way against that culture of too much sound.”

With a single in the works and potentially more material ready to demo at the end of the year, Moonshine Sally are determined to make sure that when they do release music, it makes a mark.

“We're not really in a big rush to get it out, we want to make sure that if we do release something, it's going to get heard.”

The band have an incredible live presence. Playing venues like Ric’s and X&Y, they're invested in getting the audience to believe in the music.

“We like the spectacle of the art being put out there. As much as it's about the music, it's the idea that goes around that.”

Being a part of the Brisbane music scene, right now the band are just trying to build street cred.

“You know, there's so much good music here, so you talk about in five years, we just wanna dig in and get a bit of brand recognition in Brisbane.”

Moonshine Sally are a polished band; energetic and talented with a sound that has potential to transpire into something as great as the 1960s rockers they sound like.

“It's not so much about pushing the boundaries, they were just freaking people out. We kind of like the idea of freaking people out as much as possible as well.”

Moonshine Sally headline The Zoo Thursday August 22.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:41

Gregg Arthur: The Real Deal

He refers to jazz giant Vincent Falcone as Vinnie and names Sinatra albums at the drop of a hat. Gregg Arthur is the real deal.

Gregg Arthur grew up on a diet of classic jazz. On a property in rural NSW he devoured his Father’s extensive vinyl collection and continues to collect records today.

“I've always loved the genre since I was a kid and I’ve been listening to Stan Getz and Miles Davis, Chet Baker and of course Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole all my life. So I've always been in love with it, it's pretty much in my blood.”

Although he covers The Great American Songbook, Gregg is known for and praised by many in the industry for making the songs his own and indivdualising the renditions.

“I've got my own way of doing it and even though you might think ‘well, that song’s been done a lot’ it's a real pleasure to be able to interpret it; as I said before it's an artform. You get to interpret it in a new way, a fresh way, and it's like the song is fresh, like it was written last week.”

Set to play the Noosa Jazz Festival next weekend, he’s teamed up with the relatively unknown Casper Tromp, a Dutch musician, and his band The Casper Tromp Quintet.

“I heard Casper playing one night and I thought he sounded different to anybody else I've heard. It's a really refreshing style of playing that he has, there was a real chemistry because I've toured the world a lot and I like being able to present something a little refreshing and a little different.”

Gregg Arthur plays the Noosa Jazz Festival Aug 29-Sep 21.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:36

Bertie Blackman: On Poetry

Poetry may not be her official profession, but eccentric Australian songstress Bertie Blackman is stoked to be a part of the Queensland Poetry Festival’s opening night.

“I’m a musician at heart … but I have always loved writing stories, and songwriting is a form of poetry. My experience of falling in love with poetry was through song.”
Being approached by the QPF organisers was not something that Bertie Blackman expected, but it’s not something she rejected, either.

“It’s kind of out of the blue … being a songwriter I dabble in a bit of poetry … [but] I've never played a poetry festival before so I am actually really looking forward to it.”

Bertie may not have been traditionally trained in poetry, but in her opinion, poetry is about a “singular voice expressing a moment or an emotion that is a part of you”.

Bertie was raised in a very creative and artistic environment, so poetry is not a strange world to her – her grandmother, Jane de Couvreur, was a self-published poet; and her father is the well-known Australian artist, Charles Blackman. So it goes without saying that “communication and being expressive was a huge part of [her] childhood”.

A lot of people believe poetry as an artform is decaying. But Bertie is not one of those people. Rather, she argues that the internet is keeping poetry alive.

“The fact that you can self-publish … and post up different forms of expression [on the internet] has opened up bigger doors for the traditional poet ... I think it is an artform that has been around for a long time and isn't in any danger of disappearing any time soon.”

She might not be a traditional or professional poet, but her last record, ‘Pope Innocent X’, begs to differ. “‘Pope Innocent X’ is quite a cinematic record, it’s really about the words.”

The album, written far away from home in Chicago, explores the intimate stories of her childhood. “I'm really excited to play this record at the [Queensland] Poetry Festival,” Bertie exclaims.

Bertie Blackman Performs at The Queensland Poetry Festival opening night at The Judith Wright August 23.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:27

Bloods: DIY But Do It Later

Procrastination is a hell of a drug.

Bloods wanted to record their EP, 'Golden Fang'. No, really, they actually did want to record it. The trouble was, so Dirk tells me, that the trio were just so incredibly busy. There were so many beverages, he says, and they weren't just going to drink themselves. Yet somehow between the foggy haze of drinking and hanging out Bloods remembered they still hadn't recorded their EP. This troubled them. Something had to be done. The three of them cracked open a beer to figure it all out.

"We went to the Hunter Valley and hired this house in the middle of nowhere. It had no internet or phone, so we were totally dedicated to working on this stuff! When we got there there wasn't even a landline, so even if anything went wrong we couldn't call anyone. I think we just wanted to get away from all our partners and all the distractions. We needed to force ourselves to actually do the work! But we had so much fun just drinking and hanging out that we only got about two songs down, and this was over a couple of days."

Even Bloods know that two songs does not constitute an EP, but luckily the trio had the sense to book some extra studio time and actually do some work. By some miracle, 'Golden Fang' has made it to completion.

"It's just so great having it out there and having people able to hear it," Dirk assures me. Apparently it's a great EP to just drink and hang out to. The irony is that if Bloods took their craft more seriously they'd likely cease to exist. Professionalism goes against the DIY ethos inherent within the bloodied, beating heart of Australian garage punk. Musical ability? Optional. Accurate release dates? Unlikely. The result is, of course, excellent.

"It seems like a real movement happening at the moment. Having Royal Headache is a big part of it, their royal assent to popularity, I think, has led to a lot of people picking up guitars and, you know, doing it. I mean, it shows you that you can do it yourself, you can start out and not even... like, with Bloods, when we started none of us played the instruments that we're playing in the band."

Silly me. I assumed that, given those drumsticks he's holding, Dirk must be a drummer. Wrong — he's a guitarist, one that just happens to be playing drums.

"We were all playing in another band before and we picked up other instruments and thought ‘Yeah, let's just swap it around’. In the old band MC was just singing with no guitar, but she could play guitar. Sweetie has been playing violin since she was three years old, so she thought, ‘Oh, bass could be good because it's also got four strings!’ For me I've always loved drums. I'd played them on and off but I'd never owned a kit. In the past when I was playing guitar in any break I'd get on the kit and have a go. It was probably really annoying for the actual drummer."

Dirk assures me that learning to play drums is very, very tough. One has to partake in a strict regimen of only light-to-moderate pre-show drunkenness. It's a level of self-discipline that requires concentration, deep-breathing, and the repetition of a mantra over a burning stick of incense. Oh, and there's other stuff as well. Like actual drumming. Right. That's hard as well, maybe.

"I'd always tapped along on a desk at school listening to my Walkman. But actually starting this band and recording really early on... it was harder than I thought. Just trying to keep time! You can't get drunk or anything, if you do you totally blow the whole show! Over time I've gotten way more confident with it, but it was just stressful at first."

Dirk and I blow the rest of the interview time reminiscing about the qualities of our respective Walkmans. In a vain attempt to bring substance back to the dialogue I pull the cheap shot of asking who the band will be voting for this election. This is assuming, of course, that any of them actually manage to pull themselves away from drinking and hanging out to vote at all. It could happen, sure.

"Whatever happens, I think I speak for all of us that as long as Tony Abbott doesn't get anywhere near power ... We've already decided we're moving to New Zealand [if he gets in]. It's great over there. A couple of radio stations have picked up the single, so it's perfect!"

Bloods play BIGSOUND at Electric Playground on Wednesday September 11.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:18

Kick-Ass 2: Tough Mother

When ‘Kick-Ass’ was released three years ago, it left the door wide open for a sequel — but even the film's stars weren't sure they'd ever walk through it.

“I think we were all very surprised, yeah,” says Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who plays the villainous Chris D'Amico (aka The Mother Fucker) in the ‘Kick-Ass’ films, but will probably always be best known as McLovin from ‘Superbad’.

“We filmed ‘Kick-Ass’ about four years ago, it came out three years ago, and it didn't make as much money as I think people wanted it to. So a couple of years went by, and we just thought, 'Well, alright, we made it and we're proud of it and we'll just leave it be'.

“And then we got word that through DVD sales, iTunes and digital downloads, people were really becoming fans of the movie. Soon enough, [‘Kick-Ass’ director and ‘Kick-Ass 2’ producer] Matthew Vaughn called me and said he found a great guy, Jeff Wadlow. He wrote a great script; it was funny and dark and action-packed, so we all signed on and wanted to do it.”

Naturally, Mintz-Plasse felt some trepidation about recreating what worked in the first movie, especially with the unheralded Wadlow — whose last film was 2008's unremarkable ‘Never Back Down’ — in the director's chair instead of Vaughn.

“I think that's always a fear, you know? When you make a movie like the first one and you're very proud of it, you're always worried that if you make a sequel it could ruin the first one. And yeah, I was a little sad that Matthew wasn't coming back. I thought ‘Kick-Ass’ was his baby. He made the first one strictly out of his own pocket, which was amazing, so when he called me [about Jeff Wadlow] I was a little bummed. But I had a meeting with Jeff and he seemed very passionate; he understood the movie and where it needed to go.”

With Wadlow replacing Vaughn at the helm of the film, it was up to Jim Carrey to replace the star power of Nicolas Cage. A self-professed fan of the original ‘Kick-Ass’, Carrey was tapped to play Colonel Stars And Stripes, an ex-mafia goon turned vigilante. Playing against type as a grizzled tough guy, Carrey excels in the role; a couple of months before the film's release, however, he withdrew his support for it.

“I did ‘Kick-Ass’ a month before Sandy Hook,” Carrey tweeted in June, “and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

Mintz-Plasse is diplomatic when asked for his opinion on Carrey's decision. “It came as a surprise,” he admits. “He read the script. He loved the first movie, so we know he wanted to be a part of it. We came to him, and we were just so happy that he wanted to do the movie. When you read a script, there's violence on the page, but you never know how it's actually going to play out in the movie. So when he read the script, I think he said, 'Alright, it's violent, but I've done some movies like this in the past and I've seen movies like this, so it's fine'.

“In all his scenes, he doesn't have a gun, and there's not too much blood, so everything he was shooting was fine. Once he left the set and we shot everything without him, and the action came to life off the page, it got really, really violent. And when he saw the finished product, it was just too much for him.

“I think people definitely have the right to think what they want and say what they want, and with all the tragedies that have happened, it's totally understandable why he and other people are against the violence... I love violence in movies. I think it's a fun escape. If done right, it's great. But I totally understand why people say that.”

Of course, the wisdom of objecting to the high level of violence in a film called ‘Kick-Ass 2’ is debatable. Like its predecessor, this is a movie targeted at an audience that has long since been desensitised to screen violence.

“I think that's absolutely what it is,” Mintz-Plasse agrees. “I'm very desensitised to action and violence. I was talking to someone recently about how in all the action movies that I see lately, the third act is always, 'What's the biggest city or the biggest monument or the craziest thing that we can blow up and destroy?' To see New York City explode should be the craziest thing you see in your life, it should be the craziest thing of all time. But you see it in every movie. So it really numbs your brain and desensitises you to that.”

While he doesn't share his co-star's concerns about the film's content, Mintz-Plasse admires Jim Carrey's career arc. In much the same way that Carrey was able to go from 'Ace Ventura' to 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind', Mintz-Plasse hopes to go from 'Superbad' to dramatic roles of his own.

“I think that'd be a blast,” he says. “It's always so much fun to challenge yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone. I think that's really good for a person to do. But I'm still young, you know? I've only done, like, seven or eight movies, so I'm still trying to figure out who I am in the film industry.”

‘Kick-Ass 2’ is in cinemas August 22.

Published in Film
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 14:33

Queensland Poetry Festival Tickets

Queensland Poetry Festival is Australia’s premier poetry festival, enjoying a reputation as both a world-class literary festival and an important community event.

Each year the Festival brings some of the finest poets from Australia and beyond to set the stage alight with poetry, music, and performance.

The 17th annual Queensland Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word, will be held from August 23-25 at the wonderful Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts.

The opening night extravaganza, Set Fire To The Air, will feature poets Jacqueline Turner (Canada) πO (Vic), and the 2013 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence Shane Rhodes, with a special feature set from acclaimed singer-songwriter Bertie Blackman.

The rest of the weekend of FREE programs is packed with poetry talent from local, national, and international artists.

To win one of three double passes to the opening night extravaganza This competition has closed.
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Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 5pm Thursday 22nd 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, 16 August 2013 19:08

AICE Israeli Film Festival Tickets

Social and political commentaries; tales of love, loss and redemption; stories of history, friendship and unlikely alliances — 2013 sees the AICE Israeli Film Festival celebrating its first decade in Australia, and second year screening in Brisbane, with one of its strongest programs yet.

From Oscar-nominated documentaries to award-winning features, from challenging dramas to crowd-pleasing comedies, the AICE Israeli Film Festival presents the best of Israeli film to Australian audiences.

To win one of five in-season double passes to the August 20-26 festival 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 6pm Monday 19th 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.

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