This week: ATP Australia, part two
So there I was, in the ABOM bar, top of Mount Bullah.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had just finished a triumphant, good-natured set, headlining at the inaugural ATP Australia--and Sir Nicholas had left us with instructions to go see the grind/splatter/demento/screamo/everything-o-core of Passenger Of Shit, same bar as I was psyching myself up to DJ in. I was shattered: a knee gone from walking up and down the punishing ski slopes all day long, and from dancing side-by-side with Warren Ellis to the sax-led noise explosions of Brisbane's reformed Laughing Clowns. Beer wasn't an option, neither were the pre-mixed whiskey drinks my photographer was pressing upon me. As Passenger Of Shit grew louder and ever more demented, and patrons began beating a tribal response on overhanging pots, I wondered quite how I was going to follow that...More »
This week: ATP Australia
ATP Australia is nearly upon us--and man, it's nice to be feeling those butterflies one more time.
I've been asked to DJ, and I'm feeling nervous about my choice of music. Initially, I had the idea that, as this is the first ever Australian ATP, and features several well-established Australian names (Nick Cave curates, and The Saints, Robert Forster, Dirty Three, Primitive Calculators, Laughing Clowns all play, alongside such regular ATP stalwarts as Fuck Buttons and Bill Callahan), I should play an Australian-only set, thus to emphasize the great lineage that seems to get ignored these days, what with those wankers from the Vines, and a thousand other wannabe American indie acts clogging up Triple J's airwaves and also to stress my own credentials, as a lover of great music, wherever it occurs.More »
This week's installment of Hugs and Kisses from Brisbane-based Everett True comes a few days early. You're thrilled, we know.
This week: iTunes memory-jogging
The beauty of iTunes when you're stuck in a still unfamiliar country, which most press agents and musicians clearly think doesn't actually exist, is the way it can throw up random memories.More »
Another installment of Hugs and Kisses from Brisbane-based Everett True.
This week: Charles Schulz's Peanuts
Inspired by the presence of the latest awesome Peanuts box set reissue from Fantagraphic Books on my desk, I fell to idly wondering what music its characters of Peanuts would be enjoying if they were still around (and, uh, real).
I saw a great homemade video years back of the entire cast freaking out to OutKast's "Hey Ya" (the original was presumably taken from A Charlie Brown Christmas)--the reason it works so well is because the juxtaposition doesn't feel ironic on any level: rather, you feel that Linus, Sally and the gang would totally have appreciated OutKast's enthusiastic groove, and the synergy is natural.
When long-time creator Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, his room was preserved with a Brahms album on the turntable and a couple of Buck Owens records and a best of ABBA nestling among the classical and jazz albums on the shelves. But since when did a cartoon's mentor have any say over the musical taste of his creations?
The amount of agonising and pontificating Charlie Brown and friends did over the strip's run of nearly five decades places them naturally among today's indie kids. Charlie Brown himself, with his constant self-doubt and tormented thoughts, is a natural Sebadoh or Bill Callahan fan--too navel-gazing to realise his attraction to the opposite sex (particularly Peppermint Patty), he spends his days agonising over his lack of character amid occasional naïve bursts of optimism. Snoopy, on the other hand, would like the bubbly outpourings of a Los Campesinos! or These Dancing Days: life is too short not to be spent in constant enjoyment. And occasionally, he might indulge his darker (Red Baron) side with a little Neu! or Harmonia. No really: forget all that sugary Sixties stuff and doo wop.More »
This week, another installment of Hugs and Kisses from Brisbane-based Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press)--another book about one of the most overrated bands of the Nineties. Sometimes, Everett performs live as the Legend! At least we think that's what this week's column is about.
Everett True, rocking the Matthew-Houck-in-20-years look
This week: Old Time Music
Five songs I covered recently, in support to LA/K Records charmer Jeremy Jay (who jived and spun like a 21-year-old Robert Forster, uncanny for the streets of Brisbane). Five songs on the Troubadour's stage, unaccompanied save for a glowing yellow lamp and some enthusiastic applause.More »
This week, another installment of Hugs and Kisses from Brisbane-based Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press)—another book about one of the most overrated bands of the Nineties. Although Everett's lived in Seattle and Brighton, these days he's in Brisbane, Australia, where the weather's been shit. You think the recent cold snap is rough here in New York? At least we've got clean water.
This week: Old Time Music
There was a band called East River Pipe, from New Jersey, I believe. Its sole member, Fred Cornog released a series of home-recorded cassettes, before teaming up with the UK’s cutie lynchpins Sarah Records in the mid-Nineties. His songs were fragile, near-broken—beautiful in a way, too redolent of heartbreak and trauma to be dismissed as more sensitive white-boy bedroom output.
(You’ll have to forgive me for sounding a bit shell-shocked. Three days without power, no clean water, trees strewn liberally everywhere, army on the streets…I thought Queensland was supposed to be sunny.)More »
This week, another installment of Hugs and Kisses from Brisbane-based Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press)—another book about one of the most overrated bands of the Nineties. Not content with pissing off his own locals, this week he's taking aim at ours.
This week: Factory Floor and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Listen to this, the man says—and sends me a few music files.
So I do. Both bands are very retro. Is that why he’s asking me to listen? I am indeed older than many who comment regularly upon such music. I like Factory Floor a lot, in an early, um Factory Records way (do you see what they’ve done there?), but the whole time I’m listening to their sinister, late Seventies, chilled electronica with its disembodied voice and hints of proto-noise band This Heat, I’m fervently hoping that the lads—cos they’re obviously lads, cos only lads could be this serious—are from Istanbul or Beirut, not Williamsburg or Cardiff, because otherwise it’s more than a little inexplicable why they’re exploring the same avenues that were so thoroughly covered 30 years back. Although I guess three decades is another lifetime, and just cos I’m old I shouldn’t . . . grumble, grumble.More »
This week, another installment of Hugs and Kisses from Mr. Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press)—another book about one of the most overrated bands of the Nineties. Again, ahem, we revisit his desk.
TWO UNOPENED CDs
To one side is a brace of CDs—The Real Tuesday Weld, Heartbreak—with press releases attached, received yesterday from Australian pop culture magazine JMag. In my now infamous summary of the Aus music press I vaguely dismissed JMag—a made-to-order magazine for the highly influential Aus indie radio station Triple J—as being a “passable imitation of NME” That’s not fair: JMag's brief is far wider, taking in regular book reviews (for example) and fashion spreads; its design is at odds with its weekly British counterpart, being stacked full of words, sometimes contributed by recognisable music critics (Chris Roberts, Martin Aston). The CDs in question are those that intrigued me from a longer list: to the best of my recollection, Tuesday Weld compose a pop collage that draws inspiration from Serge Gainsbourg and Seventies film composers, crackly and gently psychedelic; while current-day Aus faves the Presets have described Heartbreak as being like “Eurovision—if Eurovision had a crack baby” . . . and anyone who knows of my love affair with Pop Music, Pop Music reading as ABBA, first album Spice Girls, ELO and that crazy multi-cultural trans-European pop music competition known as Eurovision, will know how a sentence like that will draw me in. The CDs are unopened right now, because it's too hot for even such a minor exertion.More »
This week, two installments of Hugs and Kisses from Mr. Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography (da Capo Press)—another book about one of the most overrated bands of the Nineties.
This week: David-Ivar talks about Herman Dune’s new album Next Year In Zion
We were driving through a forest, on the way to Jolly’s Lookout. There was music softly playing on the stereo—a wash of acoustic guitars, gentle laments and sensurround percussion. It suited our mood: a flicker of orange and red among the dappled green, the deceptive curves and churned-up tarmac. The mood in the car was quietened, reflective: three of our company had just come direct from a record industry conference and we were looking for some relief. So, without much interruption, we listened to the easy, graceful, Leonard Cohen and Jonathan Richman inflections of the male singer’s voice, the odd splash of brass and abrasion of guitar, the easy call-and-response of the female backing singers…No one mentioned it, it wasn’t like record industry music, there to be listened to with a view to maybe seeing how many units it could shift, haircuts it could inspire—it was for our own private listening pleasure.
It was the new album from Herman Dune—their first since the departure of founder member André (brother to singer/guitarist David-Ivar, who's since changed his name to Stanley Brink) sometime around the release of 2006’s Giant. Afterwards, one of my companions—the CEO of a large US record label—wanted to know who’d been playing during our trip through the woods. I didn’t want to tell him. I didn’t want to destroy the magic.More »
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