Aug 28, 2009

I Met Dan Boeckner...

So, this is a really quick post. But just wanted to say that I saw Handsome Furs in Melbourne last night and they blew my mind. So much joy, so much passion and so much fun and energy. Plus, after the gig I met Dan Boeckner at the merch table. What a generous, warm and lovely man he is. A true gentlemen. The show was predominantly 'Face Control' and it was amazing! Make sure you see the Sydney show. They played two new songs too. Plus Dan told me they would returning in 2010 and perhaps a tour from WP as well.

I will have a full report on the show next week, when I return from Melbourne.

Aug 21, 2009

Off To Melbourne

Will be away from the internet for a short break. Me and the girl are off to Melbourne. One of the best cities on the planet. I love the place. Also visiting Adelaide and the Coonawarra region, as well as a quick stop in Bendigo to visit old friends.

Some things we are looking forward to in Melbourne-
Seeing Handsome Furs at the Corner Hotel.
Salvador Dali at the NGV.
Visiting Heide.
Experiencing Ezard.
Shopping at Polyester Records.

See you soon...

Aug 20, 2009

Do, Make, Say, Think (repeat)

It only contains four songs. Do. Make. Say Think. That will be enough, I think. Enough for Do Make Say Think to make their substantial imprint on the world of music again. Their previous album "You, You're A History In Rust" was a major work. A statement of art. To the extreme. So naturally I was excited to learn news of a new album. "Other Truths" will be released on October 20 on Constellation Records. Containing 4 songs, 3 of which clock in at over 10 minutes, it is sure to be a thing of wonder. They have also enlisted the voices of Akron/Family and Lullabye Arkestra on the some of the music, another bonus. "Other Truths" was recorded at Giant Studios and Th'Schvitz in Toronto.

Other Truths Track Listing
1 Do
2 Make
3 Say
4 Think

Listen here for a sample of the album.

Aug 18, 2009

J. Tillman Gets Busy

Early in 2009 we saw the release of "Vacilando Territory Blues", an album of quiet beauty from J. Tillman, now a full time member of Fleet Foxes. The man is certainly prolific, because September 8 will see the release of a new album. "Year In The Kingdom" is coming out on Western Vinyl and contains 9 tunes of glory for you to enjoy. From what I have heard this album will resonate strongly with lovers of authentic and contemplative music.

Year In The Kingdom Track Listing
1 Year In The Kingdom
2 Crosswinds
3 Earthly Bodies
4 Howling Light
5 Though I Have Wronged You
6 Age Of Man
7 There Is No Good In Me
8 Marked In The Valley
9 Light Of The Living

MP3: Earthly Bodies-J. Tillman

Aug 16, 2009


Current favourite music? Nurses. They are from Portland, originally from Idado, and just last week released their newest album in the shape of "Apple's Acre". A full review will come in time, but suffice to say that this album is purely wonderful. Full of odd rhythms and heavenly melodies. Here the band perform "Mile After Mile". Please enjoy.

MP3: Technicolor-Nurses
MP3: Caterpillar Playground-Nurses

Aug 15, 2009

Charge Group @ Hopetoun Hotel

Well, the wait was certainly worth it. My first time in seeing Charge Group turned into a rich and rewarding experience. This band had released my favourite Australian album of last year in "Escaping Mankind", but until Friday night I had missed opportunities to see them live, for various reasons. So, a night at the Hopetoun was hard to resist. Especially as it was going to be the band's last Australian show for quite a while, perhaps a year, as they head overseas to ply their trade and show the world their talent.

So, why were they so special? It's many things. Their music is complex and nuanced. It is subtle and full of texture. It can be powerful at times, but most of all it can be downright bloody beautiful. Their music has a strong and deep emotional pull. The elements that separate the merely good from the truly great. Naturally they played a slew of tunes from "Escaping Mankind", but they also threw in a few new songs. They opened with one in "Hearth" which was long and languid, but also containing a certain power. I also loved "Search Party", which was downright heavy at times. But it was the songs I was closely familiar with that resonated the most strongly. "The Contest" was a sumptuous beast, whilst "Redcoats & Convicts" was a true statement of subtle beauty. But the absolute highlight was the stunningly gorgeous "Vice'd" which opened with a slew of harmonies, before leading into a deep emotional rush. This was truly superb. The band were all great. Despite the usual state of not absolute stellar sound, all the instruments could be heard clearly in the mix, combining with seemingly little effort. Matt Blackman led the way with strong guitar work and a voice that is earnest and solid and oh so human. It makes a strong connection. The drumming by Matt Rosetti was robust and also delicate, providing a strong base alongside the bass of Adam Jesson. The key ingredient in the mix though is the superb violin playing of Jason Tampake, ranging from mournful to ecstatic and back again. So, it was a great night of intelligent and meaningful music. When Charge Group make their way back home, make sure you see them.

Set List
The Contest
Lunar Module
Speakeasy Death Song
Redcoats & Convicts
Search Party
Morning Of Superheroes
Lullaby For The Apocalypse

Aug 14, 2009

Yes, This Is The Cover...

"Embryonic" will be released on October 13 on Warners Bros.
The Flaming Lips. What will they bring...

Listen to new track "See The Leaves" at Pitchfork.

Aug 13, 2009

Le Loup; Keeping It In The Family

One of my favourite releases of recent years was the debut album from Le Loup. "The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly" was a wonderful exploration of the possibilities of melody. Somewhat under rated and perhaps overlooked, it was a delight from start to finish. The good news is the band is about to release their second album. "Family" was recorded in a remote cabin in North Carolina and a Maryland basement, eschewing anything artificial and embracing everything organic and natural. Containing 11 tracks, the new album was produced by band originator Sam Simkoff and band mate Christian Ervin.

"Family" will be released on Hardly Art on September 22.

Family Track Listing
1 Saddle Mountain
2 Beach Town
3 Grow
4 Morning Song
5 Family
6 Forgive Me
7 Go East
8 Golden Bell
9 Sherpa
10 Neahkahnie
11 A Celebration

MP3: Beach Town-Le Loup

Aug 12, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are (Trailer 2)

Yeah, I want to see this.

Aug 11, 2009

Black Mold

No, this is not a community service announcement about things that go wrong in the bathroom. Rather it is new music from the multi talented Chad VanGaalen. Black Mold is VanGaalen's electronic alter ego. "Snow Blindness Is Crystal Antz" is the debut album from Black Mold and will be released next week on Flemish Eye Records. The album contains 19 tracks and is the product of several years of instrumental experimentation, mainly on vintage analog and hand built modular synths. From the sound of the two tracks available for download this album sounds like it could be a bold, exciting and intriguing concoction.

MP3: Metal Spider Webs-Black Mold
MP3: Tetra Pack Heads-Black Mold

Aug 9, 2009

Games For Days-Julian Plenti

I am pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying the Julian Plenti album. After the last Interpol album, a major disappointment, I wasn't wildly excited at the prospect of a Paul Banks solo project. But, here is "Julian Plenti... Is Skyscraper" and I am enjoying it immensely. It is a great combination of Interpol sounding numbers and more quieter moments that suit the atmospheric voice of Banks.

Now we have the first video. For "Games For Days". Starring the wonderful Emily Haines!!

MP3: Fun That We Have-Julian Plenti

Aug 6, 2009

Black Hat Brigade

A little while ago I introduced you the excellent Toronto based band Black Hat Brigade. The five piece band released a wonderful EP last year that contained 5 songs of explosive joy. Now they have been hard at work and have recently released "Fathers", an EP in name but LP by nature as it clocks in at just over 30 minutes and contains 8 tunes to make you smile. This band is very good at producing the kind of music that makes me smile. Glorious melodies, vibrant and explosive guitar, urgent passages, unique and striking vocals and crisp and dynamic movements within each song. Hey, that seems to be a trend befitting alot of Canadian bands of recent times. Let's all be grateful for that. Self released, this record glows from start to finish, brimming with ideas and drop jaw moments. Particular favourites of mine are "Kitchen Party" and "Castevania". This is damn good stuff.

MP3: Castlevania

Thanks to Black Hat Brigade, I have an extra copy of "Fathers" to give away to one lucky reader. The first person to email me with their address (my address is at the top of the page) will win.
Just answer this simple question.
Which Canadian duo are touring Australia this month? (I know, too easy!!)

UPDATE: I have a winner. Congratulations Cara!

Aug 4, 2009

Port O'Brien Return With New Album in October

A severe disappointment of my gig going earlier this year was missing the wonderful Port O'Brien in concert. In Australia for the Laneway Festival, their sideshow clashed with that of The Hold Steady. The Hold Steady were always going to win that battle. The consolation was going to be seeing them at Laneway, but work got in the way and I couldn't attend. But here is the good news. Port O'Brien are releasing a new album in October. "Threadbare" is the name and it contains 13 tunes. Recording was started in Jason Quever's (Papercuts) living room in San Francisco, before moving to the Ship Studios in Los Angeles for completion.

"Threadbare" will be released on TBD Records on October 6.
Dew Process will be handling the Australian release.

Threadbare Track Listing
1 High Without the Hope 3
2 My Will Is Good
3 Oslo Campfire
4 In the Meantime
5 Tree Bones
6 Sour Milk / Salt Water
7 Threadbare
8 Calm Me Down
9 Leap Year
10 Next Season
11 (((Darkness Visible)))
12 Love Me Through
13 High Without the Hope 72

MP3: Sour Milk / Salt Water

Aug 2, 2009

The Flaming Lips Live In Sydney

My mind is still spinning from the awesomeness of last week!