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
Soundgarden
Kasabian
My Chemical Romance
The Living End
Röyksopp
Hilltop Hoods
Boy and Bear
Parkway Drive
Mariachi El Bronx
Architecture In Helsinki
Battles
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.

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New Bon Iver track

The words ‘long awaited’ don’t even come close to describing the upcoming release of Bon Iver’s second album, which is due to be released on 20 June. Since he released For Emma, Forever Ago, which was famously recorded in a log cabin, he’s toured the world, released a Volcano Choir album and an EP and has featured on Kanye West’s My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy. Despite all this, it will be the first time fans have heard a new  Bon Iver album in quite some time and all signs point to it being amazing.

The first track to be released from the album is Calgary. It’s been compared to Coldplay because of its bigger production and atmospheric synths, but don’t let that put you off. Justin Vernon’s falsetto is just as effective and the build up towards the end is nothing short of brilliant. You’ll soon find yourself hitting the repeat button.Multiple times.

You can download the mp3 here.

Splendour 2011 Line-up

I’ma let you finish but Splendour in the Grass had the best line up of ALL TIME!

Ahem.

After months of speculation the official Splendour line-up has been released and looks a bit like this:

KANYE WEST (Only Australian show)
JANE’S ADDICTION
THE HIVES
PULP
THE LIVING END
THE MARS VOLTA
REGINA SPEKTOR (Only show for 2011)
BLISS N ESO
PNAU
MOGWAI (Only Australian show)
DJ SHADOW
GLASVEGAS
THE GRATES
DEVENDRA BANHART
MODEST MOUSE
THE MIDDLE EAST
KAISER CHIEFS
JAMES BLAKE
KELE
THE VINES
ELBOW
ESKIMO JOE
NOAH AND THE WHALE
CHILDREN COLLIDE
THIEVERY CORPORATION
CUT COPY
ISOBEL CAMPBELL AND MARK LANEGAN
BLUEJUICE
THE KILLS
BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS (featuring THE RELATIVES)
ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI
FOSTER THE PEOPLE
THE PANICS
FRIENDLY FIRES
JEBEDIAH
THE VACCINES
GOMEZ
BOY AND BEAR
GOTYE
DOES IT OFFEND YOU YEAH?
CLOUD CONTROL
MONA
SPARKADIA
WARPAINT
MUSCLES (Live)
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
THE JEZEBELS
DRAPHT
BRITISH SEA POWER
TIM & JEAN
LEADER CHEETAH
GROUPLOVE
SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (Holly Throsby, Sally Seltmann, Sarah Blasko)
YELLE
KIMBRA
PHRASE
OH MERCY
DANANANANAYKROYD
THE BLACK SEEDS
MARQUES TOLIVER
THE HOLIDAYS
GHOUL
LIAM FINN
THE HERD
YOUNG THE GIANT
GUINEAFOWL
HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY
JINJA SAFARI
WILD BEASTS
ILLY
CUT OFF YOUR HANDS
GARETH LIDDIARD
ALPINE
WORLD’S END PRESS
MOSMAN ALDER
LANIE LANE

Plus DJ sets

ASTON SHUFFLE
FLIGHT FACILITIES
D-CUP (WE NO SPEAK AMERICANO)
AJAX (MEGA JAM SET)
HOODRAT & DANGEROUS DAN
LIGHT YEAR
HOOPS
CASSIAN
WAX MOTIF
KATO
TONI TONI LEE
CHARLIE CHUX
TRANTER

Pretty good, right? Kanye would be mental, Regina Spektor would be lovely and Coldplay would magically cure insomnia.

I have one little gripe though: the price. I know running a festival is expensive. And I think it’s great that they include so many Australian bands as well as internationals. But $510 is a lot of money especially when a) you’re a uni student, b) there’s going to be a ton of horrible clashes and c) none of the bands made me squeal with excitement like a 15-year-old (If Guillemots were on this list, then yes, that’s exactly what would have happened).

For those of you who like what you see the tickets go on sale May 5.

 

Best Releases of 2010

Most years I spend a lot of time trying to find the best new music. This time it was a bit different. Thanks to the joys of VCE I spent almost every waking moment studying or on one of my many sanity savinghttps://electricskeleton.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=785&action=edit trips to cafes and the pub. The only music I really found myself listening to was stuff that I could sleep or study to, which narrowed my listening habits down to Sigur Ros and Belle and Sebastian.

Because of this I’ve decided to make this a list of best releases rather than albums because it contains a live album and few EPs. Also, I want to give a huge thanks to anyone who’s recommended or sent me music over the past year and saved me from my Dear Catasrophoe Waitress hell.

20. The Drums Self-Titled

While there are many acts jumping on the lo-fi bandwagon, The Drums are one of the best. Their debut album is satisfying mix of 80’s britpop and Beach Boys style surf. While it isn’t the most original album out there, there are enough hooks to keep you interested and is the perfect soundtrack to a summer road trip.

19. John Steel Singers- Tangalooma

I had a hard time deciding if Hungry Kids of Hungary or The John Steel Singers should take this spot, however I gave it to the latter for improving on the EPs (if only slightly). Like you would expect, this album is full of the catchy and off-kilter pop songs John Steel Singers are known for.

18. Girl Talk – All Day

While we could get into all sorts of debates about the legality of Girl Talk’s (AKA Greg Gillis) mash-ups, you can’t deny that they are extremely entertaining. All Day is his fifth album and contains, 373 samples from the likes of The Arcade Fire and Jay-Z. Hearing Ludacris rap over Black Sabbath still hasn’t lost its novelty value and probably won’t for quite some time. The album was released as a free download with no prior notice and is meant to be heard as a seamless mash-up, with tracks added for convience. Highly recommended for long train trips.

17. Washington I Believe You  Liar

It’s been a big year for Washington with an album release, record-breaking shows at The Corner Hotel and an epic ARIAs performance that managed to be the one redeeming feature of this years awards ceremony. While the endless radio play, shopping centre soundtracks and festival appearances have dampened the enjoyment of this album for many people, it still stands out as a great collection of pop songs.

16. Scott Spark- Fail Like You Mean It

This is one of those times you shouldn’t judge an album by its cover. Because while it looks like the kind of comedy you’d generally find in an op shop, it’s actually a collection of smart and touching indie-pop songs that cover everything from Christmas to Elvis. If you’re a fan of piano-playing songwriters then you’ll be a massive fan of this record.

15. Outoto- Pip

In the wrong hands this album could come off as being arty for the sake of being arty, but Outoto turn it in to a highly listenable album of quirky and off-kilter pop songs.

14. Darren Hanlon- I Will Love you At All

I couldn’t have an end of year list and not include Darren Hanlon. I Will Love You At All continues his tradition of mixing detailed lyrics about the everyday with gentle folk. While this album isn’t as playful as his previous releases, tracks like the 7 minute ode to visiting your old house and the call and response of All These Things make it an enjoyable listen.

13. Los Campesinos!Romance Is Boring

On Romance Is Boring Los Campesinos! sound frustrated.  The title pretty much gives away the main theme of the album, with plenty of songs detailing failed relationships while the music, while noisier contains all the shouts and claps we are used to hearing. While it could all come off as being too much for one release, Gareth Campesinos’ gift for witty and attention grabbing lyricism holds it all together.

12. Steering By Stars- Cables

Post-rock often gets branded as repetitive and inaccessible, because let’s face it, 10 minute build-ups to a one minute crescendo aren’t exactly the most entertaining thing to listen to. However when it is done right, the results are amazing. Steering By Stars are an Adelaide band whose music could stand up against the likes of Sigur Ros. There is so much going on musically that it draws you in and makes you forget you’re listening to largely instrumental album.

11. Vampire Weekend- Contra


The success Vampire Weekend’s debut album was the catalyst for every band and their dog deciding to add tribal beats and jangly guitars to their sound. unsurprisingly, their second album Contra didn’t have the same impact. That said, it does see the band branch out. California English sees the use of auto-tune and Diplomat’s Sun features a very effective M.I.A sample.

10. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


This album does nothing to disprove Kanye West’s reputation of being completely bat-shit insane, but this time it’s a good thing. This whole album is crazily ambitious and features guests ranging from Nicki Minaj (who is surprisingly not annoying on this album) to Justin Vernon. Hell, even Pitchfork gave it a 10.

9. Local Natives- Gorilla Manor

For those of you disappointed that we didn’t get to hear the promised Fleet Foxes release last year, this album is a godsend. Featuring three-part harmonies, hand claps and a Talking Heads cover, Local Natives are one of the best things to come out of L.A in quite some time.

8. Jonsi- Go

For years Sigur Ros fans have been attempting to decipher Jonsi’s icelandic lyrics, however when we hear him sing in English on Go, it feels like some of the magic is gone now we can understand what he’s singing. That said, the music is still amazing, and quite surprisingly, mostly upbeat.

7. The Jezebels- Dark Storm


The Jezabels have gained a lot of attention this year but it’s for a very good reason. The songs off Dark Storm sound like they belong to a band who have released a number of albums rather than a few EPs, combining soaring female vocals with the atmosphere of  The National.

6. Laura Marling- I Speak Because I Can

When Laura Marling released Alas I Cannot Swim at the age of 18 many people were surprised at the quality and depth of her song-writing, which seemed to reflect the life of someone much, much older. On I Speak Because I Can she shows even greater maturity with folkier accompaniments, more serious lyrics and enough variety to prove she is one of the best things to come out of the London folk scene.

5. Boy & Bear- With Emperor Antarctica


I love it when Australian bands make music that can stand up against the international acts we all obsess over. Case in point: Boy & Bear’s debut EP With Emperor Antarctica. They play indie-folk like nobody’s business,  have got the harmonies thing down perfectly and write some incredibly catchy tunes.

4. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs

Many people hoping that Arcade Fire would release another funeral were disappointed with this album. But truth be told, I don’t think we’ll ever get another album like that from these guys. The element of surprise is defenitly absent now and it seems we expect them to release brilliant albums, rather than it being a bonus of sorts. The Suburbs may lack the orchestral swells of their previous work and at 16 tracks it can be a long listen for some. However, when they get it right on tracks like Ready To Start and Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) it is a very rewarding listen.

3.The Basics- The Basics

The Basics recently played what could be their final show, however for those of us who miss seeing them live, they’ve released The Basics, which was recorded at the Northcote Soical Club. This album is a definitive album of sorts featuring tracks from all their albums as well the obligatory cover or two. The Basics are more of a live band than a studio band and if you’re yet to hear them, this is the place to start.

2. Dan Kelly- Dan Kelly’s Dream

There was only a tiny difference between this album and my #1 album and Dan Kelly’s Dream and I have feeling most of it came down to my strange listening patterns this year. This album is Dan Kelly’s first with his dream band and features songs about indie bands blowing up power stations and playing classical music at one of Melbourne’s more interesting train stations, all set to catchy and slightly psychedelic pop music.

1. The National- High Violet


The National have always sounded unhappy, but never more so than on High Violet. The moment the demo-like Terrible Love kicks in you know it’s going to be a dark album and even the more soaring moments such as the brilliant Bloodbuzz Ohio seem restrained. What makes this album so great however, is the way it sounds like a complete album. It does not overstay its welcome and like all The National’s releases, it slowly draws you into to its multiple layers until you cannot stop listening. Addictive and amazing.