Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lost Valentinos - Album Launch 14/8/2009



Roxanne
Fun place; has a nicely intimate stage. On this particular night they were selling Melbourne Bitter longnecks for a reasonable $10 and in a possibly deceptive move on the venue's part I was consequently unable to recognise other key venue quality indicators.

Last Dinosaurs
This four piece from brisbane sounded heavily influenced by phoenix. Which wasn't such a bad thing as we missed them on their recent Ausie tour. Kind of happy and pretty average sounding in general. I wouldn't go out of my way to see them again but I wouldn't try to not see them again.

Ghostwood
I have to say they were the highlight of the night for me; their well executed noise interludes stood out of the slightly psychedelic shoegaze. Awesome name as well, apparently they used to be called ghosts *shit name* glad they had a change of heart! I'll look out for these guys.

Lost Valentinos
I liked the show and I was lucky enough to be really close to the stage for the main act but
to be perfectly honest, by this stage the longnecks had thoroughly taken their toll on my consciousness and I currently can't remember a thing about their performance. Jim assures me it was great, so I can't wait to see them...again?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Veludo (31/7/2009)

Veludo

Had a good night despite:  no beer taps, crappy sound, cover charge and to top it off, a guy puked in a urinal next to me; a good indicator that the clientele were what I imagine are the kind of people a "no dickheads" sign is attempting to dissuade.  OK, well it probably wasn’t that bad but I think you can judge it for yourself based on the above description!

Mr Jigga

Electro dub step funk is the genre we decided they were after the show. They made nice use of extra curricular percussion and really deep grooving bass lines. Funk is awesome in it's own right and coincidently often used to inappropriately describe music, eg. "It's, like, so funky". This however was not the case for Mr Jigga, some of their songs were genuine Brown funk. Others made use of a vocalist who's style could be compared to Wiley....and some of us agreed that one song sounded a bit too much like Rolex, but you know, it happens. I think Mr Jigga were absolutely perfect for the night, Veludo was not much of a gig venue but probably because people were there to get drunk, dance and cheat on their husbands! In this sense I'd say Jigga were loved by the majority of people in the room, but I don't go for that kind if thing and I was in the mood for some mathcore metal anyway.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Royal Derby Hotel (17/7/2009)

























So our grand plans to go to a new venue with a fun band fell through (not so much fell through as were based on lies), but we did manage to do exactly what we did the Friday before hand.... which was see Greasers at the Royal Derby. But.... just to make things interesting for the readers of this blog, management was kind enough to totally flip the furniture around, so the stage was moved, there were less couches...... but the songs remained the same.




The Cuckoos have a member of Little Red in them. They play music that sounds like it could be from a US Highschool prom. I presume all their songs are about girls in dresses. I have a dopey grin on my face when I listen to their songs. When I played lovely day on their myspace I was the 35th person to listen to it. They had an EP for sale on the night which I wish I had of bought.

The Hondas have a member of Little Red in them. They play music that sounds like it could be from a US Highschool prom. I presume all their songs are about girls in dresses. Except for the song I am a homosexual. I have a dopey grin on my face when I listen to their songs. The aforementioned song is super gay in the best way (Sans- Buttsecks). Song of the night.

Greasers have a member of Little Red in them. They play music that sounds like it could be from a US Highschool prom. I presume all their songs are about girls in dresses. Except for the song Shelly, which is about a girl getting out of her dress. I have a dopey grin on my face when I listen to their songs. You can download their whole album for free here, which everyone should do... because it's better than listening to Lady Gaga or any other shit. Apparently Jet have a new CD coming out... fuck that off and download this instead. It'll save you some coin. Wolfmother have something coming out too... if you could tape over cds like you could casettes, I would buy the wolfmother cd and tape this over the top of it. Greasers, you're fun. So fun you made me agressive just now.

They've got one more week of their residency, so check them out 31st of July. No excuses please.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shake Some Action (16/7/2009)

onesixone

Although they had what appeared to only be two beers on tap, they soon redeemed by the thursday night special: $2 pots. The venue itself had buckets of mood with a Saturday Night Fever style light-up dance floor and upstairs had a green laser lit beer garden with an open roof.

The Hawaiian Islands
They played some slightly poppy, post rock but definitely not in a bad way; like if weezer had a punk-metal side project. The singer had heaps of energy, at a couple of points in the show he came and sang in my face; not at all afraid of penetrating the crowd's space. So rather than the band inviting the crowd to move forward and occupy the void around the front of the stage the singer filled the space and dominated it - in fact he only slowed down for half a song.  It was a good show and we'll look for them again.  By the way, how cool is the gig poster!



These Vessels 
The other extreme of poppy in a bad way, a bit girly and very camp. The music was uninteresting and very typically average. I didn't really get the vocalist's off key style. I also got the impression that the majority of the crowd there because they were friends with the band. The singer did do one thing right though: after announcing about 9 times that this would be the last song, during it he jumped off the stage and crowd surfed around the small room.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shake Some Action (9/7/09)

Shake some Action is a club night for 16 year olds at 161 in Prahran. It's near my house, has bands playing and has beers for 2 bucks. So even tho I looked like a full pederast, I hit the place on it's re-opening night.

I'd seen them before, a few weeks ago, but due to a rediculous amount of Peach Schnaps I could remember shit about them, so tonight was a good re-introduction. Of course, as soon as the bassist did a handstand it all came flooding back, and it was fun. I've decided I really like this band, one of my new favourite Melbourne bands, if for no other reason than the second to last track they played at this gig. Awesome guitar noise, t-shirt tearing drums and a bass line that would put the Amazing Jonathan to shame. The sound on their myspace is a bit spaz though, so just actually go see them to check it out.


While I didn't get into Reptiles nearly as much as the above crowd, nor as much as I got into Dozers, they still had their moments, and the song Bughouse on their myspace is better than new socks. Actually.... listening to it, I think I like it a lot. But during this gig I wasn't feeling it so much, maybe I was still thinking about how Dozers rocked it, or I was worried about getting kicked out by the bouncers because I can grow facial hair. This band has Suicide as a top friend on myspace, and seeing as I have a bit of a boner for them at the moment, that's a bonus point.

Suicide are a band by the way. Don't plan an intervention just yet.

Fart. Poop. Shit. Puddle. Pants.

I didn't watch them because I don't like them and wanted the "secret act" to be someone else.



Monday, July 13, 2009

The Royal Derby Hotel (10/7/2009)

The Royal Derby Hotel  
Located on brunswick st, fitzroy. This place has a great selection of tap beers, armchairs and couches. Another cool thing we noticed was that each band's sound check played along to the venue music; this was much appreciated as the music was pretty decent and it gets annoying when it's jarring loud noises that interrupt the atmosphere. I almost forgot on fridays they have $2.50 pots of beer! Nice! The only thing going against this brilliant venue was poor acoustics and lack of a stage, but that could be seen as a good thing as you're always going to get an intimate show.

Madonna
A punky, regea band from melbourne, not the pop idol from the US as a certain gig website would have you believe (prints them as "Madonna (USA)"), luckily we were privy to this information and didn't have our hearts set on hearing 'like a virgin'. Their drummer was nuts (quite fast, he also requested that they stop playing while he tuned it: committed to the sound, like it) and their use of synth worked well.

This War
Played a slightly more regea style of music than Madonna and it's odd that I don't have more to say. Check this!

The Greasers
As I've said before, these guys are lots of fun to see. At the moment I'd say about half their songs are not all that special, but the rest are quite well written in my opinion; interesting bass lines, original riffs and one song in particular (I believe it's called "Shelly") is really fun. Catch them if you get a chance, they are well worth the outing.  Listen to them on the Triple J unearthed website.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Early Work - The Evelyn (25/6/2009)

Really hard to write about this, as it was a work colleague. So perhaps I'll lay down the facts, and you can do the review yourself. There is a myspace page here.

3/4 piece band.
Grungy pop.
Songs about dead cats and girls with long hair.
2nd gig ever.
The songs live sound a bunch louder and dirtier than on the myspaz.

The Evelyn, as always, had weird sound and it all seems really cliquey. I always feel like I'm interupting some sort of club. Don't like it very much. We only stayed for the one band, then got some pizza. yum yum. Apparently the next band we missed were a concept group about a bunch of Cannabilstic Antarctic explorers. Fun! Also, the headlining band - Your Animal - have a nice cover of Cryin' on their space. Listen and enjoy. No club silencio though.

Monday, June 29, 2009

DAN'S BIRTHDAY GIG - LOW RENT RESIDENCY @ THE NOISE BAR (27/6/2009)

Sulphur Creek Project
Are a 5 piece blues cover band. They were fun, featured some decent bongos and quite skillful guitar work. They played my least favorite Guitar Hero III track (Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan), but I'll forgive them.


Low Rent
Just like they did a fortnight ago, they rocked the noise bar once again. An aspect of their show that stood out to me was the use of reverb on the drums, it was particularly noticeable and awesome on the first track.
Another stand out feature was a cover that they performed. Not so much because the original is a great song - it really isn't - but more because the version they played was so drastically different to the original. This difference is proof of the quality of Low Rent's songwriting ability. The song is Kylie Minogue's On a night like this, but I assure you it was so different that even during the second time I'd heard it up until the chorus I didn't realise it was a cover. I recommend you make the journey over to Brunswick on Saturday the 11th, it is well worth the effort.
Now I'd like to leave you with a special treat! Below is a video I recorded during the show on my mobile - I hope you like it, please excuse the quality of the video!

video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tucker B's - The Tote (13/6/2009)

After a few attempts, we finally made it to the Tote for the first time in 2009. For those not aware, the Tote has battled the last 6 months with the crazy Licencing people which eventually caused them to close for about 2 weeks a month back. But they're all set to go now, and on this night, the Tote was at it's best. It's stinky, full of people, has plastic glasses, stupidly loud audio, and a really fun pinball machine. And the bands were reasonable too.












Another band which decided to really forgo writing a good song, instead just buggin everyone with a whole bunch of noise. I'm not against noise, but it really has it's place. Like in 1992 by Blur (Going crazy for their album 13 right now). The band is actually a way for the guy in the above picture to play his tunes live.... as far as I can remember the lady and the bear weren't on stage. But it was dark. The song playing on their (his) myspace seems decent enough, but nothing like I remember hearing. Probably won't cry if I never see them again.













I didn't expect to like this band because they are from Perth. I don't like Eskimo Joe. I don't like Little Birdy. I don't like Jebediah. But I do like the Panics. And I do like Umpire. They had cool little pop songs with titles that make pretty girls smile. Like 'Streamers' and 'Feed Swans Chocolate'. Listening to them again now confirms that I did enjoy them, and didn't just like the fact that pretty girls around me were all smiling. Listen to their songs on their myspace. Streamers kinda sounds like Band of Horses or something akin to that, so if that sounds like something you might like, than you might like that or something like that. And yes, I am aware of that last sentence.




St Helens were going to play tonight (which was the main reason for us going) but they pulled out at the last minute, and replaced by Tucker B's travelling keyboardist Spod. Win! Spod is a guy from Sydney who once snorted a party popper and has never come down from it. I had his latest album, didn't really dig it thatta much, but after finally seeing the live "experience", I dug it out and am going a little shit for it. It's fun on a bun. Spod went all huggsy with the audience, we laughed, we cried, we sang, we got scared we were going to get hugged, then we laughed again. Oh, and danced. The crowd were obviously expecting the moody rock of St Helens seemed a little underwhelmed at what I imagine is the total opposite of moody rock that you can hear above, but by the end of the show there were smiles all round. Cats! Go to the myspace and listen to Make You Sweat, may party song of the hour.
hmmm...I had to comment on this this one; I'd agree that SPOD was fun to watch, but not Cedric Baxter-Zavala (The Mars Volta) crowd surfing over your head kind of awesome fun, more like watching a retarded kid play a xylophone poorly kind of fun.  PAT


















FACTS ABOUT TUCKER B'S (Because I knew/know shitall about them)
  • The Tucker B’s were formed at the end of 1994 by Matt Rudas and Andrew Houston
  • They have released 7 albums
  • They have gone through more Drummers than Spinal Tap
End of facts. I had only previously knowingly heard one song... their latest singleish thing. They wore silly costumes and Spod was playing keyboards. They had battles on stage. Some people think they are the shit, other people think they are just shit. They're more polarising than Vanilla Sky. This is one of the reviews I do when I really need the music to speak for itself, so I write short sentences. Just go to the myspace and listen, probably worth checking out if you like the music and like silly costumes. I recommend set it on fire... which I remember enjoying quite a lotload.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Low Rent Residency at the The Noise Bar (13/6/2009)

THE NOISE BAR
Located in the slightly hippy suburb of brunswick. Not the greatest bandroom in terms of layout, location or acoustics but it is a cool place with alright beer on tap.

ANGE
Not sure if this is the name of the four piece collective, the name of the frontman or if that's what they call themselves at all as I'm just going from what a friend said. they played a bit of country, bit of blues and did some rockin'. Had a couple of originals that I thought greatly outshone the numerous covers they performed. I was going to rip shreds through the bass player who played terribly and obviously hadn't practiced but it was then announced that he had joined the band 3 days prior to the gig, so I'll give him a break. The second guitarist was OK and it was interesting to hear some banjo; we also came to the conclusion that banjo is massively under-utilized in modern music. The lead guitarist, harmonica and lead vocals guy was excellent.

LOW RENT
Their core sound is grounded in country but their style is a bit more rockin' with a recognisable prog influence in the timing changes and song structures. It's the closest representation of prog-country I've heard, and I like it.
All members of the band certainly pull their weight in terms of playing skill in throughout their many well written songs.  You can listen to some tunes at their MySpace here and over the next 3 weeks I recommend catching them at their residency at the noise bar starting at 2pm each saturday.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ding Dong Loung (4/6/2009)

So after the last two travesties at the Ding Dong lounge, like a bunch of morons, we returned for round three..... but this time it was for Rock and Rocll Trivia... something we would no doubt excel at.

Well we didn't... we kinda sucked... but somehow we won a bunch of drinks anyway and got properly loaded. I had a really good shot of what tasted like a melted Peppermint Crisp. But I digress, there was also a band... who were kind of fun.

DOZERS

OK, from what I remember, the band was good fun, lots of noise, some cool drum beats. One song went for ages and I really got into it. The bassist did a few handstands and at one point did a rock pose on the drummers back... and the drummer didn't lose it once. BUT.... that may have been another band, another time. I had a lot to drink. And it is not helped at all by the fact that I cannot find any trace of a myspace or online presence. What year do they think it is? The best I can do is provide a line on the Empress website for their upcoming gig this Thursday night....

"Dozers punch you in the face and invite you inside with their abrasive, yet welcoming noise."

Do anything for you? Works for me... see you Thursday. No promises though.
Here's what happens if you GIS sexy bulldozer.


The JD Set (29/5/2009)

Once again, the Prince of Wales dissapointed me with it's lack of tap beer and expensive bottled drinks. But, being the fact it was a free gig were there there for softened the blow somewhat. The gig tonight was to promote some up and coming bands, with classic Aus band You Am I headlining. Sounded like fun on a Friday, so after arriving early to secure entry (we could have arrived two hours later and we still would have made it in), we eagerly awaited the first band we had never heard of.

The Glass Ceiling
This was a perfect electro-pop band. They had 'the' in their name, wore skinny jeans, were from Sydney, had songs about the 80's, and the lead singer looked like Jules from the Presets. Sounding kind of like a poppier Placebo, they weren't too bad, and considering they were all pretty young looking. I enjoyed it, but can't remember any of their songs, and the music playing in my Itunes (right now Slipknot) is just that little bit better than listening to the songs on their myspace . But here's a video incase you're not lame like me.



The Glass Ceiling
Ah... they're from Adelaide... that explains it. This band were also decent, but nothing to keep me interested longer than the 45 minutes alloted to them. The singer had wayyyyy too much energy and enthusiasm for a crowd that wasn't really returning any of the love... but I guess that's hardly a bad thing, can't blame a man for trying. They're a band that you could describe as having 'Angular Riffs'. Don't ask me what the hell that means... just watch the video.



You Am I
After being a quasi-fan for ages, this was amazingly the first time I'd seen You Am I in a proper live venue. And..... I was somewhat dissapointed. The show was rockin, Tim Rogers is a perfect rock star, admitting that he'd given up everything in his life for his tunes, for this band, almost as a warning to the youngins that had preceded him in the night. While You Am I have a lot of respect from Australian music lovers, they never really achieved the worldwide success which some had expected of them when they first hit it big in Grunge city USA in the early 90's. And while I respect the band wholly, I know shit all of their songs, and that is why I didn't enjoy the gig as much as I had hoped. To be honest... I knew about 5 songs they played. Out of the 7 You Am I songs I can name. But the ones they played they played the hell out of, but not enough for me to want to go out and buy an album. I'm lame for wanting to hear the hits, but everyone has a moment of weakness right?

I'm pretty certain the above review is an uncohesive mess, so much so that I don't want to read it to check. But here is a video of Heavy Heart live, a song I desperately wanted to hear... and am pretty certain the only time I'll ever see it live was when they played it on Hey Hey it's Saturday 10 years ago.


And because it's cold outside and there's nothing better to do than watch videos on the net... here are my three other fave You Am I tracks. (You Am I fans probably hate me right about now).


Purple Sneakers



Berlin Chair - Acapella


Rumble - Awesome Tune

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kashmir Nights - Ding Dong Lounge (23/5/09)

After the travesty that was the week before at Ding Dong, for some reason we chanced it again. The pull of $10 jugs outweighs the chance of seeing shit bands. Or so we thought.


I hated each of these bands. I'd heard it all before, and didn't like it the first time. I was so dissapointed in the world that let what were talented musicians (they could all play pretty well) turn into a pile of boring, FM radio shit shit shit. It was shit. No individual reviews, because I couldn't tell them apart. I also suspect it was god rock, but their myspaces do nothing to verify that.

Ding Dong Lounge... this is for you.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Groovin The Moo (16/5/2009)

Apologies for this being so late.... seeing as it happened almost a month ago. But rather than make excuses, I'll just write about how it was a particularly awesome day....

That started at some stupid time in the morning. A music festival in Bendigo of all places meant leaving the real world at stupid o'clock in the morning. Luckily, Hungry Jacks breakfast wraps are the shit. (Stay tuned for 2010... 100Wraps). After the long drive, we ended up in Bendigo, prepared to tackle the unorganized mess that is the rural Festival. However, there was no such mess... we strolled in and found ourselves right in front of the stage. Superb. Time for band one.

For the record, I didn't take any of these photos.














They were here because they one Triple J unearthed. I remember seeing this band last year at Pogo... or Wow... definitely a place with one word that 17 year olds can get into. Which works because these guys don't look like they could walk into a place full of people who were old without someone yelling "You're Young", or "Get out of here Youngsy". They played music that sounded like everything I've heard, but did it pretty well. White Stripes, Pixies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs etc. Pretty fun. Listening to their songs again I remember enjoying Killer on the Tracks. Ah... they're from Bendigo too... looks like the J's are a little cheap for a bus fare these days.

This band was here because they won Pushover. From what I can guess, it must have been a hard competition to judge... because if these were the winners. Whew. It's metal... I'm not impressed. There weren't enough middly solos to keep me interested. And wow... what is it about Metal bands taking themselves way seriously. Smile. That's all I can say. The crowd brewing for Tame Impala on the other stage was bigger than the crowd for this band. I felt bad. But then felt better. They all did this weird guitar pose... which I admit, I'd never seen before.... but it looked like they were doing poo. Strange stuff.




























This band was here because they rock my tits off. If you haven't read the stupendous review of their show by Pat earlier in May, do it now, coz it's better than something I'd write. But I am shocked by the amount of people who were watching Tame Impalas 60's garage inspired psych rock. How quickly the young electro crowd (you can tell them because the girls are wearing tights as pants...) changes to what's awesome. I just hope they don't ruin Tame Impala like they ruined TV Rock. The set rocked, although some of the crowd seemed a little bored during the wiggin out. An you know what that leads too.... Drinking solo out of your shoes. And Drenching your socks in solo then wringing them out into your friends mouth. Great time.













I saw these guys last on the eve of 100Gigs, so it's cool to have them finally mentioned for proper. It's really fun rock tunes. Every song is as catchy as the last, and everyone should go out and buy the album because it has a scratchy on the cover. For the record, I got the planet one. The set flew by, the growing crowd moshed for the first time of the day, and went totally spazzo for the song from the Hottest 100 (Farewell Rocketship). Which I like, but I prefer say.... every other song on the album. They finished the set with an awesome instrumental, but the crowd was sort of disappearing after hearing the popular one. After this set, I liked Children Collide even more than I did.

Everyone knows by now that I love the drones... if not... look here. We got the usual Drones show, awesome as usual. Even people who'd never heard them enjoyed. We laughed at Dans wit then got yelled at by Gareth. Nail it Down was awesome. Here's a video. Not from where we were.


It was this point in the day when we noticed there weren't stupid lines everywhere, the bands were all playing on time, security weren't being dicks and the crowd was having a generally good time. It was groovy. Gedddit.


Pat's seen this band a lot, but I never had, and I didn't really do much to change that by getting some lunch while they were on. What I did see was a guy jumping around in a red jumpsuit, poopooing K-Rudd and asking a lot of questions to the crowd. All over some kind of OK but not that great sounding metal. But the crowd was getting into it, and lead dude could have said anything and they would have got a cheer. My kransky in bread was tasty in case you were wondering (stay tuned for 2011... 100GermanSausages).


















Awesome Helmet!

Miami Horror

















Our next wise move was into the Moolin Rouge tent (geddit?) for some dancy dance. First in line was Miami Horror, who had disappointed me previously with what were decent DJ sets, but no live show. This time was to be different, my little guidebook assured me. The next 45 minutes was a fun romp through a bunch of Miami Horrors live songs and originals, played by a 4 piece band. Like a live DJ set... much like Soulwax do. Sadly though, I didn't get the same buzz from it, there were some cool moments, but it maybe lacked a little something. Can't put my finger on it... Also, they went overtime so we missed out on hearing Summerfest '86, which would have no doubt been the highlight. Decent show, but my expectations may have been too high.

The Twelves



After Miami Horror, the tent emptied fairly quickly, obviously nobody had heard the awesomeness that are Brazilian DJs the Twelves. Anyone but me that is. And they killed it... playin predominately their own remixes (The Reckoner by Radiohead is excelent - which you can hear above), plus chuckin a bit of Beatles made it one of the best DJ sets I've seen all year. The crowd had rejoined by the end of the set, and a big yellow munter danced until he was thin.

Little Birdy

Hardly saw any of this, but I do remember hearing their cover of 6 Months in a Leaky Boat. Which I think is rad. Everyone thinks Katy Steele is a hotty, but I don't really. Didn't see enough of their set to warrant a picture, even to verify if said singer is a hotty.

Architecture in Helsinki


















Back on the main stage, we battled through the what was now a largish crowd to check out AIH, who I'd surprisingly never seen live before. I'm not a huge fan, their songs seem to be a little too all over the place for my liking. BUT..... They did a cool cover of Womack & Womacks 'Teardrops', which had everyone singin like a stupid. It was fun... then they played all their other popular songs, That Beat was fun, but the songs just don't seem that great. I prefer the US version, Still Flyin... which I think are their best buds or something.

Ratatat




I think my highlight of the day, back in the dance tent we were treated with two guitarists playing some mean psych-electro-hip hop, with creepy videos from Predator and of Abba's faces melting. Ratatat are an instrumental duo that I once said that if you'd heard one song, you'd heard them all. How wrong I was. They played through most of their latest LP (LP3) as well as the popular tunes from earlier two albums. Everyone needs to check out the song Seventeen Years... I had a hair standing up at the back of my neck moment.... something I can't remember happening for ages (which then happened the next night at Tame Impala funnily enough). Excellent excellent band.

The Grates
Wasn't really paying attention, except they played the one song I like off their first album, and I think Patience looks nicer now with Blonde hair rather than brown. I still really don't like the sound of her voice though. Not worth the ctrl-v it would take to put in a picture.

With what was to be a long drive home, we didn't stick around for the shitness that is The Living End or Hilltop hoods. While in the dance tent Infusion and Muscles were to play, it didn't seem enough of a drawcard to warrant me driving off the Calder at 1am.

Organisers take note... this is the way a day festival needs to be.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ding Dong Lounge (13/5)

A quiet Wednesday night mid-may. What to do, what to do. With a lack of any decent gigs around, we decided to do something that rarely provides any real gain. In the past this action has almost crushed my soul, destroying everything I love about live music. One time in February I almost threw in the towel, even that early in the game. I'm talking, of course, about seeing a bunch of bands we've never heard of. 

Ding Dong Lounge
After a big dinner of dumplings in soup, we headed to Ding Dong (via a bar or two on the way)... as usual, I was one of the first people there. While it's great to have a full selection of comfortable booths and couches, there's something very unsettling about being in a near empty bar... especially with the 'Holier-than-thou' attitude of some of the bar staff. But a jug of cheap beer soon cures any uncomfortableness, and the first band jumps on stage. Well, they didn't jump... more of a small step. There may have been a moment when both feet were off the ground though, so it could be a jump. But that may have only been one or two members, not the whole band. So the band didn't really jump onto the stage at all. 

The Day Late
Named after an unfortunate 'breakage' mishap and the resulting anxiousness of the bassists girlfriend (I made that up), The Day Late sound like Dream Theater. Lots of bass that sort of makes a warble sound, and cool 8-bit sounding keyboards. Unfortunately, Dream Theater have about 25 years experience on these guys, so they can get away with it. They weren't totally horrible, but I just couldn't wait for the keyboard to go into some nuts solo, but it just didn't happen.  Also, the vocals were kind of Butterfly Effectish. Which I really don't appreciate. Here's a picture of the band when they went to the Basketball once and they stayed behind until after the cleaners went home. 



 
Forgiven Rival
I kind of like the Spun Rivals. They were a fun band that we saw early in the 100 gigs. So, using my strange logic which does nothing but disappoint in the long run, I presumed I'd like any band with Rival in the name. Like how I like both LCD and Sneaky Soundsystems. How wrong I was/am. Screamo is a poor excuse for music, and a poor excuse for a name of a genre. The songs generally have shitty screaming verses, and nice shitty singing choruses. Sometimes they go wacky and do it the other way. There is generally no solos. It's like Heavy Metal lite. Forgiven Rival performed it perfectly. And I hated every moment. Boring, no spontaneity. Yuk. Here's a picture of them looking serious. Actually screw it... here's a better picture. 





















Addison
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse.... it got remarkably better! No, I lied, it got worse. Addison really didn't have a lot going for them. Bad name. Bad Haircuts. Screamo. From New Zealand. The singer pulled down the roof, which was entertaining for a second, but then thanked everyone for loving Jesus. Suddenly their by the books 'hardcore' performance with a distinct lack of passion made a lot more sense. I have no problems with Christians. But I do have problems when their boring bands invade my fun venues. Give me an interesting Christian band and I will take a vow of celibacy. At least then I'll have an excuse. 

 I looked around at the big posters of Beasts of Bourbon, Iggy Pop and Black Flag and was sad. Tex, Iggy and Henry must be rolling over in their graves. The set finished after 4 songs, maybe somehow reading my mind so I could go home and wash myself off with goats blood. In the words of my best friend the bouncer, 'Shortest show I've ever seen here'. Here is picture that comes up when you GIS Addison. Far more interesting than the band.
 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Espy (29/5/2009)

After a good free gig at the Prince of Wales on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, be walked around the corner where we had heard one of our favorite up-and-comers: The Fearless Vampire Killers were playing...
The Espy


Cool refreshing beer straight from the tap, why a venue would not have such a fantastic commodity beats the hell out of me - stick that Prince of Wales! The Espy is dirty, smelly, airless hot and awesome! Beer taps are a big part of venue rating in my books, but each to his own.


The Fearless Vampire Killers

Getting out of You Am I kinda late (1am) we weren't really expecting much more from the espy than a beer and a game of pinball but man were we in for a surprise - when we walked in the front door of the front bar, I am pretty sure we heard the start of the first song of their set as by the end I couldn't think of any of their other songs that I didn't hear. After their opening song they followed it with The Sinner (see my previous post on TFVK to hear it) - awesome song. They were playing well and the crowd near the front of the stage were either off their tits or overcome with a need to dance inspired by the music; I'm thinking it was a mixture of the two. In an unexpected turn of events and to phrase it in Sean's words "The kick pedal is fucked" - so whilst another friendly drummer on the night saw to that issue, the remaining members of the band on stage proceeded to continue the show without drums, they managed to pull of a version of something I didn't directly recognise but the style was familiar and heavily bass driven - it was interesting anyway. Luckily by the time that song was complete the drum kit for back to a fully functional state and they were ready to rock again! Around the end of their set I recognised the dudes from the frowning clouds were amongst the munters near the front of the stage and they were hilarious! One of the dudes climbed on to the stage in a crouched stance with a silver coloured serving platter full of spring rolls and crawled along the front of the stage distributing them to the folks in the audience. Once he arrived at the other end of the stage he stood up and threw them at people - funny stuff. Once he was out of spring rolls he frisbied the tray at some dude's head, then erratically ran the front-centre stage and launched himself like a horizontal javelin into the crowd in what I'm sure he intended to be a very rock-and-roll crowd surf but ended up resembling a wrestling spear tackle on 2 poor girls that failed to see him coming or everyone around them moving away. Greatly entertaining show, I cant wait to see which members of which bands will disgrace themselves at the next TFVK show!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slocombe's Pussy @ The Toff (21/5/2009)

The VICMOD Ensemble
What I understand The VICtorian MODular Synthesiser Ensemble to be is a group of guys that use homemade modular synthesisers to perform wondrous sounds to live audiences. To can view their blog here. The show they put on was not exactly what I was expecting but it was a unique sight: 5 expressionless guys sitting in front of synthesisers on the front of the stage appearing to not move at all. My first impression was that it resembled a LAN party or this scene from southpark.
The sounds they were producing were amazing but I admit I couldn't get into it. There is no way in hell I would dare to make fun of something I don't properly understand though. This video below may give you an idea of it a bit better. Throughout the show they also have some imagery flashing around on a projector screen which added to the show. I think you would need to be a fellow modular synthesiser operator or be high to thoroughly enjoy this show.




Schweinhund
The red curtains opened wide to reveal a dark stage with 5 tyvek suited dudes using more traditional instruments (kind of) to play some psychedelic rock. By "kind of" I mean I only remember seeing one less conventional band instrument: one had what looked like a lap steel mounted on a stand, which added some interesting and unique sounds to the mix. It was refreshing to see a band that had semi original matching costumes (and not a goddamn suit!). I found the Seth Rogan look-alike lead guitarist a bit distracting but the visuals that were playing on the projector screen throughout the show were a nice touch. Please excuse the shithouse quality of these images - they were taken with a phone, not a camera.

I would want to hear more of them to get into a little more; as it was I can't say I found their music adversely skillful and I don't recall any awesome moments but don't write them off - it shat all over anything we saw on Wednesday night!

Slocombe's Pussy
From the moment the red curtains parted I think most people in the room would have been a little amazed by the spectacle on the stage: the five of them were dressed in robes - 2 had human faces 2 appeared to have loofahs for faces, the stage have bubbles raining down on it the whole time whilst being lit with predominantly green light with a strobe flashing away. It was quite a unique sight. You can check out their MySpace here and check out a live performance below.


A stand out moment for me during their set was the operation of a mysterious instrument I can only describe as a Scull Wand by pink loofah face. As he (or she?) moved it up and down it seemed to produce higher or lower sounds - very cool. The music was fairly hardcore, which I like but didn't really hook me in enough to want to see them again. Spectacular show though.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I haven't forgotten

Sorry about my lack of posts, I've been without internet for a few weeks.... currently doing this in an internet cafe. Stay tuned next week for a stupid amount of reviews. There's 23 bands I've seen recently that I haven't rwritten about...... stay tuned..

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tame Impala @ The Toff (18/5/2009)

Triple J hosted a fantastic free gig in the city of Melbourne for 300 lucky people to experience the wonder of Tame Impala. We were lucky enough to be counted amongst this group of keen punters.

The Toff -
Cool place, it was perfect for this kind of function, free entry and mood pouring out of it's walls creating a cosy, yet classy atmosphere.

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Oh Mercy -
This was the first time I had heard them, but first impressions: think of a slightly poppier Blonde Redhead and add a pinch of The Bends Radiohead? Maybe check out their MySpace and decide for yourself. They played a good show and I think they impressed the majority of the crowd. They had a decent sound and I would like to see them again!

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Tame Impala -
Fucking awesome gig, I might even go as far as to say...Best of the year? maybe it was due to the fact that I had seen them on saturday and all their songs were fresh in my head... I had an awesome time. I won't really understand how they pull such a massive crowd considering that psychedelic stuff doesn't always do it for everyone, but I guess MGMT might have provided a stepping stone for the modern mainstream alternatives into this genre; interesting.... I was having a great night, even though my taxi driver made me listen to some indo-pop on the way home nothing could get me down!
ok, so the show started with a usual familiar song (sorry don't know the names) and kept them coming until the third or forth song where they pulled a complete surprise piece and whipped out an awesome rendition of angel by massive attack. But the fun didn't stop there, I really can't express this effectively in words but suffice to say it had me smiling for the length show, so much so the guy next to me insisted I have a swig of his pint of wine! These guys play the style of music I appreciate most and you are in to the psychedalia, I highly recommend you see them.