Festival News

Today appeared to be National Festival Announcement Day, with The Big Day Out, Golden Plains and Laneway revealing details about their line-ups.


I'ma let you finish, but Golden Plains has today's best annoucement

Big Day Out announced their line-up in the ever annoying drip-feed style over two days. 17 of the acts were announced last night on twitter, with the three headliners announced on Triple J’s breakfast show.

With rumours ranging from Radiohead to Pearl Jam expectations were very high for next year’s line up. The Big Day Out’s website also featured past line-up which created a sense of anticipation. After all, it is the 20th anniversary.

Instead the line-up was mediocre at best. While Kanye West as a headliner is completely awesome the line-up features more of the same recycled acts. The Australian acts are great, but you can see them at least once a year anyway. Also, My Chemical Romance? I wasn’t aware this was 2006.

Kanye West
My Chemical Romance
The Living End
Hilltop Hoods
Boy and Bear
Parkway Drive
Mariachi El Bronx
Architecture In Helsinki
The Jezebels
Odd Future
Frenzal Rhomb
Girl Talk
The Getaway Plan
Cage The Elephant
Foster The People
Best Coast

Golden Plains announced two acts that would be appearing at this years festival, and already their line-up is  a million times better than The Big Day Out’s. The acts are:

Bon Iver

Rocky Erickson

The full line-up will be announced in two weeks and since every hipster and his dog will want to go, it’s best to enter the ballot.

Today Laneway announced that the 2012 festival will have 26 international acts and at least six female fronted bands or solo artists. Hopefully this means the Feist and Laura Marling rumours are true.

The Dean Turner stage has been created as a permanent addiction to the festival as a tribute to the Magic Dirt  bass player who lost his battle with cancer in 2009.

Festival-goers will have the option to donate $2.60 to the Yiriman Project when they buy their tickets. The charity assists young indigenous people at risk.


R.E.M call it a day

R.E.M have decided to call it quits after 31 years and 15 albums.

The ban posted a statement on their website stating:

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

A greatest hits package will be released in November. Until then, here’s a video of their Sesame Street appearence.

Music Round-Up: Wednesday Edition.

Things have been a bit quiet around here of late, thanks to the end of semester approaching much faster than I’d anticipated. But I have a four month break to fill in about a month’s time so I’ll make up for it then.

But for now, here’s some news.

According to the head of HMV Simon Fox, CDs will become obsolete by 2016. While the sale of CDs has been dropping for quite some time, weren’t HMV the ones who went under in Australia because they sold albums for about three times the RRP?

Personally, I think vinyl  is the king of formats at the moment and there will always be a market for the physical copy, even if it’s a small one. I can’t imagine a world where physical formats no longer exist, I’ve seen hard drives crash and delete everything. I’ve never seen a CD delete themselves.

Cosmo Jarvis is coming to Australia. While he’s just making a name for himself in this country, track like Gay Pirates and Sure As Hell Not Jesus are sheer genius.

Stephen Fry and Brian Eno are fans, and if you’re going to trust somebody’s judgement, you could do a hell of a lot worse.

Wednesday 12th October – GoodGod, Sydney
Thursday 13th October – East Brunswick Club, Melbourne

Stevie Wonder is coming to Australia. But you probably can’t afford to go.

With tickets starting at $500 it well above a cheap night out. And if you want the good seats be prepared to fork out $850.

Wednesday 26th October-Lyric Theatre, The Star, Sydney

Art Vs Science @ TRAK 14/06/11

Every September the JD Set brings together some of Australia’s best musicians to cover a classic album or band. This year we got the see Art Vs Science cover the music of seminal Aussie rockers Icehouse, with some help from their friends.

It always feels a little unatural when brands jump on the live music bandwagon, even for Jack Daniels who have been at it for a long time. The staff encouraging you to have your photo taken with a drumkit, over the top advertising and the decsion to hold the gig in an Eastern suburbs nightclub were almost enough to have me jumping on the next tram to the Northcote Social Club.

Purple Sneakers DJs opened the night and with most of the signs around the place advertising Jack Daniels’ relationship with live music, it was dissapointing to see no smaller local bands sharing the stage with Art Vs Science. I can’t really comment on their DJ set. They played a mix of indie and top 40 tunes which seemed to go down well, but it just felt like background music to the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol.

Thankfully, all was forgiven once we actually got to see some live music.

Art Vs Science opened with Great Southern Land, a song most people would associate with Icehouse. They did the song justice with the beats and synths working suprisingly well. Tim Derricourt of Dappeled Cities fame was the first guest vocalist and the least known to the punters. His cover of I Can’t Help Myself went down well and there is no doubt he won himself some new fans.

Patience Hodgson was always going to be a highlight, and she didn’t dissapoint. Bouncing around on stage like a toddler who’s had too many energy drinks, she breathed a sense of fun into the night. Her cover of Crazy got some of the crowd moving along which was nice.

Kate Miller-Heidke has a gorgeous voice, but her slower numbers seemed lost on many memembers of the crowd who insisted on talking. Man of Colours sounded fantastic but it was Hey Little Girl that stole the first part of the set. The lack of percussion and atmospheric synths lent themselves to relealing the more sinister aspects of the song, all with Miller-Heidke’s angelic voice floating over the top. Brilliant.

Everyone got back onstage for a reindition of one of Icehouse’ s biggest hits Electric Blue. While Art Vs Science were flawless, especially thanks to a killer guitar solo, it felt a little bit like watching awkward karaoke.

Just when things started to go downhill, Iva Davis unexpectedly came onstage to perform Great Southern Land for the second time in the evening. While he may be looking a lot greyer than at the time of the song’s release, he’s still got it and put a few of tonight’s performances to shame.

We we then treated to an encore of Icehouse’s (or Flowers as they were then called) first hit, We Can Get Together with everyone up on stage. It was a wise decision to keep Iva Davis on lead vocal duties and the result was electrifying.

Overall, the night showed how many great songs Icehouse have released over years, with many of them still getting a flogging on certain radio stations. While the covers were a bit hit and miss, Kate Miller-Heidke and the last two songs made the trek to Toorak worth it.

Eliza Hull Single Launch

If you’re sick of waif-like female singer-songwriters, than perhaps you should give Eliza Hull a good listen.

Using beats instead of guitars, she stands out from the pack in the best possible way. Her debut single Five is moody and has a little bit of 90s vibe about it. Be warned that it will get stuck in your head.


She will be  launching  Five at the Northcote Social Club on the 15th and will be backed by a nine piece band. Entry is only $10 and since there’s nothing good at the movies, it’s a wise investment.

The Vines @ The Hi-Fi 03/09/11

Not many people thought The Vines would make it to 2011 but after witnessing their show at the Hi-Fi this week, it’s clear to see how they’ve managed to stick around.

First up were Money For Rope. It’s a shame more people weren’t there to witness their set of bluesy rock and roll complete with two drummers. It was obvious that they were having fun on stage and put some of tonight’s other bands to shame as far as energy is concerned. These guys are constantly gigging around Melbourne and it’s highly recommended to see them live.

It seemed fitting that current NME darlings Bleeding Knees club were supporting The Vines, a position they were in back in 2002. Although they work a guitar and drums combo similar to The White Stripes, musically they would easily fit in the same bill as Wavves and Best Coast. While the set was a little disorganised, with no setlist written down, it only added to their slacker charm.They are great at what they do and watching them play live, it was easy to see why drummer and vocalist Alex Wall was downing red bull. The only criticism is that most of the songs shared the same tempo, and tended to blend into one another.

Papa Vs Pretty have gone from strength to strength in the last few months. With their debut album finally seeing the light of day and steady Triple J rotation, their live show has grown much more confident than when I saw them last. While some of the crowd were restless in the lead-up to The Vines, for the most part the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves. Wrecking Ball, One of the Animals and Sgt. Suffer caused some head banging amongst the crowd however some of the quieter moments such as Heavy Harm seemed lost in the sizable venue.

Regardless of what you think of their music, The Vines certainly know how to put on a good show. The crowd went off and security must have had a heart attack when they witnessed the amount of girls wearing high-heels and shirtless men in the mosh-pit. Luckily the band alternated their rockier moments with ballads, giving everyone a chance to catch their breath.

New tracks like Candy Flippin Girl and Future Primitive didn’t sound out of place with the new tracks, however the crowd response was nothing compared to older tracks. Even Gimmie Love didn’t get the response front man Craig Nicholls seemed to be hoping for.

Get Free and Ride went off, with the crowd transported back to the days when The Vines were being heralded as the saviors of rock. Nicholls threatened to tear apart the stage on numerous occasional, but fortunately he saved it for the encore. F.T.W was the perfect close to the evening with Nicholls destroying his guitar, a drum skin and a microphone stand, showing why the band are still around.

Festival News

The 2011 Raggamuffin Festival has been cancelled in Australia after five years. The reggae festival’s acts included UB40, Billy Ocean and Marvin Priest. The organisers will refund ticket and will be focusing on New Zealand’s leg of the festival instead.

More acts have been announced for Harvest, with many of them already rumoured for sometime. They are Mogwai, Tv on the Radio, Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah and Seekae. Kevin Devine has also joined the line-up after the Soundwave Revolution disaster.

The clashes can and will make you cry.

It’s Big Day Out rumour time again. We’ve already had a bunch of rumours that proved to be false (Eminem, Blink 182) as well as the usual culprits (Radiohead, David Bowie, Elvis) but now a new source has emerged.

@BigDayOutSpy has been posting clues on twitter about who will be playing the festival. So far five acts have been “announced.” Best to take these with the biggest grain of salt you can find:

The Vaccines

Josh Pyke

Boy & Bear

Florence and the Machine

The Decemberists