New Aleks and the Ramps Video

It’s hard to talk about Aleks and the Ramps without using the Q word. Not because they wear fun socks, or exclusively play xylophone, but because you can never quite tell what they’re going to throw at you next.

The band have a new album due out  on the 14 of February and the first single Middle Aged Unicorn on Beach With Sunset outshines it’s terrible name by being ten types of brilliant. The lyrics are witty and the delivery could almost match Stephin Merrit on the sarcastic baritone front. And it’s catchier than herpes.

The video for the song features setting soft toys on fire, trampolines and smoke machines and was made by Aleks himself. Awesome? You bet it is.



Short Stack Q&A

One of my favourite things about this blog is being able to interview bands that range from small locals who deserve more recognition to brilliant songwriters who are regarded by many as national treasures. So when the opportunity do to a Q&A with Short Stack’s Shaun Divney come about, naturally I said yes. Firstly I thought it would be interesting to get their perspective on things, and secondly I was curious about their decision to allow interviews with independent music bloggers, because let’s face it, being a little bit snarky is our thing. Nevertheless, they chose not to answer some of my questions, but here are the ones that they did.

The Story of Short Stack is a documentary about the band that will be shown in cinemas for one night only on October 27.  There will be a live Q&A and acoustic set at Event Cinemas in Sydney, which will be broadcast be satellite to selected cinemas in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Each ticket comes with a free copy of the DVD.

How did the Story of Short Stack Movie come about?

We have always been broadcasting our journey via our Youtube channel since day one, but never actually gone into this much depth before. The DVD is the story we want people to know about us.

 Are you nervous about having the event screened live to so many places are will you just treat it like any other gig?

It’s not at all like a gig, and yeah I do feel a bit nervous as we are out of our comfort zone, but at the same time we love a challenge and this is a whole new and different experience.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The fact we are on our third album now and I’m only 22 is an achievement for me.

Most bands have their first album out in their late 20s and few rarely get a second or third.

I think the fact our music has reached so many people is a highlight for me.

 Where can you see the band in five years time?

We will keep playing music as long as we are enjoying it.

 Do you have any crazy stories?

Yes, once I killed a hooker.

What bands are you currently listening to?

I got the new Patrick Stump CD, it’s awesome.

Drawn From Bees Q&A

Brisbane band Drawn From Bees often get labelled as an art-rock band. However rather than being overly pretentious and inaccessible, their music is electic enough to require multiple listens and catchy enough to be completely enjoyable. They have a habit of releasing albums in quick succession and their new single Of Walls and Teeth is a great sign of things to come. I did a quick Q&A with the band about their upcoming album and recent American tour.

You guys often get tagged with the Art Rock label. How would you describe your music? 

If Bowie and John Fogarty, played cards on a Friday night with Neil Young at Roger Waters’ and Dave Gilmor’s house, while listening to Queen on the wireless, then you’d have a pretty good idea of where we come from.

You guys went to America last year. What was that like?

America was great.  Our schedule ended up being 20 performances in 17 days.  It was hectic, but had the time of our lives.  To experience something on the scale of SXSW was an absolute thrill.  To have all 4 members end up in 4 different parts of New York after a night out after our Bowery Ballroom showcase, was also an event.  One of which we’d all love to remember.

Did you see any impressive bands a SXSW?

We didn’t see these guys at SXSW, but the BAR BROTHERS were by far the stand-out band of the trip. We spent most of our time in SXSW supporting, and sharing a few beverages, with the Australian bands who made the trek.

You seem to leave very short gaps in-between releases. Do you plan to release albums to close together or does it just happen that way?

It had started as a challenge a couple of years ago when the band was conceived.  We had decided to make song writing the key component of the band, and attempt to do a release every 6 months within the first 2 years, with the aim of making a box set at the end.  Since then, we’ve actually held back, and just focused on writing.  We’re currently half way through an album recording, and just decided to release a single, which may, or may not be on the album.  Keep posted for the new release in 2012.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest single Of Walls and Teeth

Dan actually came into the studio one day with a demo of the song already recorded.  It immediately resonated with all of us.  Essentially, we heard the demo, went into the studio, jammed it out for a bit, and then went straight in a started tracking.  Dan layered some vocals, and came up with some really hooky guitar lines.  As to the meaning of the song, I have my ideas, but I won’t be sharing those on here.

What can we expect from your next album The May King and His Paper Crown?

I think the key word for the next album is ‘DIVERSE’.  Starting very much at rock, and then going into rockabilly alt country, then ending up at dabbling in issues beyond the grave.  Sounds like every other Drawn From Bees release really…

What’s next for you guys?

For the rest of 2011, single launch, east coast, in October, then hulled up, back in the studio, ready for an album release early 2012.  Hopefully then, and full Australian Tour, and a trip back to the states in March/April, home to say hello to the family, then back in the studio to write our double album LP Opus.

You can stream Of Walls and Teeth on the band’s Bandcamp page.

Silverchair on ‘indefinate hibernation’

In a move makes them sound like woodland creatures, Silverchair have announced their ‘indefinite hibernation’ after almost 20 years together.

A statement released by the band today said:

We formed Silverchair nearly 20 years ago when we were just 12 years old. Today we stand by the same rules now as we did back then … if the band stops being fun and if it’s no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop.

Therefore after much soul searching we wanted to let you know that we’re putting Silverchair into “indefinite hibernation” and we’ve decided to each do our own thing for the foreseeable future.

We assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. In fact we’ve been struggling with it for quite a while now.

Back in 2009 we went into the studio to start work on a record. Initially things were going well and as a result we did some shows in 2010 to maintain creative momentum. However, over the months that followed in the studio it became clear to us that we were moving in different directions. Despite our best efforts over the last year or so, it’s become increasingly clear that the spark simply isn’t there between the three of us at the moment.

As a result we’ve decided to put the band into ‘a deep sleep’ while we all do other things that we find more inspiring right now. This means that Silverchair won’t be making music together or playing shows any time soon. It also means that the three of us won’t be working together unless and until it feels right again.

We understand some of you may be disappointed by this news but we really see it as a liberating and positive step for us at this point in our lives.

We also want to make it really clear that this decision has been made with the best possible intentions. We’ve always tried our hearts out to make the best music we could possibly make at the time – regardless of commercial consequences.

The three of us still truly care about each other. At the moment Ben’s busy in the studio recording his own music, Chris is working on various business, musical and charitable ventures while Daniel is creating a film soundtrack and working on other musical projects. We hope you’ll continue to take an interest in our individual work over the years ahead.

In closing we’d like to acknowledge all the people ‘behind the scenes’ who’ve helped us keep this train on the tracks since we first started playing in a garage. There are too many to name but they know who they are and we truly appreciate all their love and hard work.

Above all though we want to thank you for all your support in good times and bad. You’ve put up with our long breaks between albums, our constantly changing musical styles and lots more. The unbelievable loyalty we’ve been shown by you our audience, and our friends, has never gone unnoticed or unappreciated. That’s why we wanted to tell you first.

With Sincere Thanks For Your Understanding.

Sweet Dreams.

Daniel, Ben and Chris

While fans will probably be upset by the news, it’s almost surprising it didn’t happen earlier. With both Powderfinger and now Silverchair broken up (oops, I mean hibernating), it will be interesting to see how it affects festivals such as Homebake. In a way, it might see more support for lesser-known bands, which can only be a good thing.

Goodnight Owl name change

Name changes can always cause a bit if confusion, however for Melbourne band Goodnight Owl it signifies a change in direction.

From the 2nd of July they will be known as Love Migrate. With the electronic glitches of their EP replaced with a fuller sound, their newer tracks are catchier that anything they’ve ever released.

On July 2 the band will play their final show as Goodnight Owl and their First as Love Migrate at the Grace Darling Hotel in Melbourne.

You can buy tickets here.

Have You Heard: Carus

Carus Thompson’s music falls into that awkward gap between folk and country. His music doesn’t sound like it comes from Nashville yet he has too much swagger to fit in with the current crop of folk artists filling the airwaves. He hasn’t been played on Triple J or won a Golden Guitar but he has a very loyal following and is one of the greatest hidden gems in Australian music.

He plays both solo and with his band The True Believers and has released a number of albums, including Three Boxes which is a must-hear for any folk music fan. His songs range from the joys of erm… spare room horticulture (Grow To Overthrow) to the heartbreaking loss of a friend (Thrown) with the odd political song thrown in for good measure.

However it’s his live shows that are truly something else. He seems to have an ability to read the crowd and tailor the gig accordingly. Oh, and he has this habit of playing on a milk crate in the middle of the crowd:

He will be playing some Christmas shows next month and I highly recommend you come along.

December 1: Grace Emily, Adelaide

December 9: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

December 29: Lost Lakes Winery, WA

January 1: Southbound Festival, WA

January 2: Fremantle Arts Centre

Carus and The True Believers- This Time.mp3

Scott Spark Covers New Buffalo

Scott Spark is one of my favourite artists at the moment. Despite the glut of male singer-songwriters in this country, he manages to stand out and his debut album Fail Like you Mean It is quirky, honest and rediculously catchy.

He has finally recorded his version of New Buffalo’s I’m The Drunk and You’re the Star, which he has been playing live for the last little while. Although it isn’t drastically different from the orginal, it’s still a fanstastic listen and if you’re yet to hear any of Scott Spark’s music, I recommend you give a listen and then quickly rush out and buy his album.

Scott Spark- I’m the Drunk and You’re the Star.mp3