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.