Meredith Announce First Two Acts

We’re starting to see the first summer festival announcements trickle through and as usual Meredith are offering the goods with the first two acts announced.

current it-women Grimes and legendary Australian band The Sunnyboys have been announced to play the festival from December 7-9 and it will be awesome.

The Sunnyboys are a particularly exciting band to have play. Lead singer Jeremy Oxley developed schizophrenia and it was generally accepted that we’ll never see them play live again. With a sound that is a throwback to the mod bands of the 1960s their albums still sound fresh today.

If you haven’t got a copy of their debut, it’s around $10 at JB Hi-Fi. Do your ears a favour, it’s excellent.

The ballot is open and you need to enter before August 12.As usual it will probably sell out.

Why You Should go to the Maths and Magic Showcase

1.It’s on tonight on the Grace Darling. A band with terrible banter once informed me that the Grace Darling was named after a lady who saved 13 men from a sinking ship in the 1800s. So that’s pretty cool.

2.How often do you get to see a showcase, a single launch and a homecoming gig all in the same night? Probably not often enough.

3. The bands are all awesome. All of them.

4. Owls of the Swamp has just returned from Europe. It’s his first show back in Melbourne which means new songs and interesting banter. Not that his banter is ever boring. He brings the dad jokes.

5. Elephant Eyes are fantastic live and just keep getting better and better. It’s their single launch and it’s an awesome song.

6. Siobhan is scarily young and talented. You should see her now to say otu saw her first to impress your super indie friends in a year or so.

7. It’s only $10 and for the cost of a pizza, you really can’t go wrong.

 

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.

Glenn Richards @ The Toff 25/08/2011

There is little doubt Glenn Richards is one of this country’s best songwriters. While commercial success may have eluded him (aside from that song) a large crowd gathered at the Toff to watch him play a set of old and new favourites with some help from Drones members Mike Noga and Dan Luscombe.

As someone who is used to seeing Mike Noga behind a drum kit, it was a pleasant surprise to see how competent he is as a solo performer. Walking on with a bourbon and coke in a red wine glass, he dived right into a set of no-nonsense folk. He has the kind of weathered, gravely voice that makes you hang on to his every word and it appeared the mostly silent crowd did just that.

Piss On A Butterfly resulted in a wager with the crowd to guess the musical heroes mentioned in the song but ended up with a few people shouting wildly incorrect guesses, while album opener M’Belle went down a treat.

His set was the first sign of things to come tonight with technical difficulties making their way into the set. Mike’s harmonica rack was all but useless and after fixing it in between songs, he ended up ripping it in half. Luckily Augie March guitarist Adam Donovan stepped in to become a human- harmonica holder.

Glenn Richards and Dan Luscombe looked nervous as they started the set, with Richards commenting on how he was unnerved by the size Melbourne after moving to Hobart. However once they started playing, they seemed more at ease, beginning with Glimjack highlights Apple of My Eye and Paint By Numbers. Glenn Richards was in top vocal form and the crowd were lapping up every minute of the their performance. While he often claimed that they lied about the quality banter in the press release, he did admit to watching Augie March videos on YouTube when he was drunk, leading into a fine rendition of The Cold Acre.

The second half of the set was plagued by technical difficulties. Richards was having trouble tuning which resulted in the crowd losing interest and an awkward impromptu cover of Whitney Huston’s The Greatest Love of All. Luckily things got back on track when the sound teach managed to source a new battery and cable for Richards’ guitar, leading into a run of some of Augie March’s best tracks.Dan Luscombe showed off his ability to play by ear on Lupus which he hadn’t practiced and One Crowded Hour’s appearance in the set was more than welcome. The set finished off with the much requested Sunstroke House and This Train Will Be Taking No Passengers, complete with an appearance from Mike Noga.

While it was let-down by technical issues, the night was a great showcase of some of Australia’s best musicians and song-writers.


[Giveaway] JD Set Presents Art Vs Science Covering Icehouse

What would happen if Art vs Science, Kate Miller-Heidke, Patience Hodgson, Tim Derricourt and Icehouse walked into a bar?

Well chances are, the folks at the JD Set were thinking exactly the same thing, as this year’s event sees Art Vs Science cover the music of iconic Australian band Icehouse.

Kate Miller-Heidke, Patience Hodgson (The Grates) and Tim Derricourt (Dappled Cities) will also be along for the ride.

2011 will be a very big year for Icehouse, with inclusions on both the Meredith and Hombake line-ups. While placing such focus on a band from the 1980s may seem odd, tracks such as We Can Get Together, I Can’t Help Myself, Great Southern Land and Hey Little Girl sound just as fresh as they did thirty years ago.

The JD set will take place in both Melbourne and Sydney. Click on the links to buy tickets and more information,

14 September- TRAK, Melbourne

15 September-Upstairs Beresford, Sydney

Because free music is the best kind of music, we have one double pass to give away to the JD Set. To be in the running simply leave a comment telling us “Which Icehouse song are you most excited to see Art Vs Science and Kate Miller-Heidke collaborating on, and why?”

Make sure you leave your email address and location in the comment so we don’t send you to the wrong gig.

Good luck!

Epic Video Post

There seems to be heaps of quality new videos out at the moment. Here are some of them.

The Decemberists always have fantastic videos and their latest, Calamity Song is no exception. Based heavily on the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace it shows the band watching a game of tennis turn into a thermonuclear disaster. While it could have turned out horribly wrong, The Decemberists have enough charm and humour to make it compelling viewing.

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From war tennis to meteors.

I dare you to watch Ball Park Music’s clip for It’s Nice To Be Alive and not smile. It’s impossible.

It’s a universally acknowledged fact that Bon Iver is amazing. It is also well-known that Iceland has some of the prettiest scenery ever.Put them together and you get the video for Holocene.

The Rescue Ships are Brian Campeau and Elana Stone. Both are accomplished musicians in their own right with multiple albums and years of experience between them but put them together and you get something wonderful.

I saw these guys a few months ago and their live show is something special. They have a winning combination of hilarious banter and engaging music.

They’ve released a video for their single Up In The Air which was recently made Rage’s Indie of the Week. Brian broke his leg filming and both band members filmed videos about filming the video which are also recommended viewing.

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Glenn Richards Interview


Glenn Richards is one of Australia’s finest songwriters. As well being the front man for Augie March and causing commercial radio to play a half decent song when One Crowded Hour was released, his solo album Glimjack featured members of The Drones and is a much darker listen than his previous work.

He will be joined by Mike Noga and Dan Luscombe for a tour in September where they will play whatever they feel like and the possible audience request. I was lucky enough to speak to Glenn before the run of shows.

How did you get the idea for the upcoming tour?

It really came down to whether we could afford to take the band out on the road and unfortunately we can’t. Dan (Luscombe) and I have done a few of these style shows a few months ago and they went really well. It allowed us to do a lot of Augie March stuff as well and spread the show out and kind of have a bit of fun with it. So I figured, we can’t afford to do the band so we might as well do as decent tour and bring Mike (Noga) along to keep us company. It’s pretty simple really. It’s a good way to get around and people really seem to enjoy the shows and it’s a bit cheaper as well to actually get to the show.

Will you be playing any songs by The Drones seeing that you have two members of The Drones with you?

[Laughs] That’s kind of up to them, but Gareth (Liddiard) is The Drones’ main songwriter and if he was here I guess we would. But I don’t think so. Mike’s got his own album out so he’ll be doing that exclusively and Dan will just be helping me with whatever I want to do.

How did you first meet Dan Luscombe?

When Augie March were doing their sixth or seventh ever gig, about fourteen years ago and we were supporting The Church at the Palace in St Kilda. The other support act was a band called the Black Eyed Susans that Dan had just started playing with. We did our show, came off stage and Dan came up and said “Hey guys that was really messy.”

We thought, “Gee, thanks I guess.” But he actually meant it as a compliment. We got chatting and ended up going out that night. And we became very good friends and we’ve been buddies ever since and happen to play in similar bands.

Did having Dan and Mike play on your album Glinjack influence the sound in any way?

I’ve known those guys for so long, I kind of knew what to expect. I wanted everybody in that band to be multi-instrumental even if they’re crap at something. I want them to be able to do it because sometimes crap is better than good [laughs].

I read you recorded your album in a Fairfield (suburb of Melbourne) warehouse and got sick doing it. What was that like?

We leased a gigantic warehouse in Fairfield and it really helped a little bit with putting it together, particularly the studio aspect of it. It was the same time last year that we did it, so it was the middle of winter, and as you can imagine a place like that is really hard to heat so it was really easy to get sick and really easy to get frozen. It made us work a lot quicker because we just wanted to get it done and sit in front of a heater.

Do you ever resent the success of One Crowded Hour as it’s the only song a lot of people associate you  with, or do you see it as a way for people to discover the rest of your music?

It would be foolish to wish a song away like that. We’ve had a problem over the years with the record label we ended up being with just not being able to get the idea of the band across to anybody, even when we’ve had a lot of success. No one knows who we are essentially. They know our songs, but apart from our fans who we’ve been building for years, it is hard for people who’ve heard our music to identify it with anything. But that’s a problem with a lot of Australian bands because we’re not as extroverted as we’re supposed to be, or something. We tend to let the music speak for itself which is a kind of old fashioned way of looking at things but it’s hard to look at it any other way when you grow up that way.

I usually ask bands or musicians what they’re listening to, but since a lot of your music has literary influences, what are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, a new one which is kind of enjoyable. As far as what I’m listening to, I just got the Phil Spector box set of pretty much everything he ever produced.

The dates for the upcoming tour are below. All tickets are on sale now.

Thursday 25th August – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
Friday 26th August – Theatre Royale, Castlemaine
Saturday 27th August – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Friday 2nd September – Manhattan Wine Bar, Launceston
Saturday 3rd September – The Grand Poobah, Hobart
Thursday 8th September – Mullum Civic Hall, Mullumbimby
Friday 9th September – Sol Bar, Maroochydore
Saturday 10th September – Old Museum, Brisbane
Thursday 15th September – Lizottes, Dee Why
Friday 16th September – Lizottes, Newcastle
Saturday 17th September – Lizottes, Kincumber
Sunday 18th September – Transit Bar, Canberra
Wednesday 21st September – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
Friday 23rd September – Bended Elbow, Geelong
Saturday 24th September – Caravan music club, Oakleigh
Thursday 29th September – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
Friday 30th September – Notes, Sydney
Saturday 1st October – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba