Thursday, August 31, 2006

Little Athletics

Another Thursday night spent down at the old Pony bar. And if I had been unimaginative in choosing a venue then this was more than made up for by the nights second band, Go Genre Everything. These crazy kids play music that, as their name subtly alludes, was confused and erratic. Their second song in was played very much in the style of Do Make Say Think i.e. repeated, surging guitar melody playing counterpoint to a complex bass line, but their very next song was a loud, fast and utterly dreadful clamour of punk, rock and noise. They offhand manner in which they played this completely eclectic blend of musical bombast completely won me over. Furthermore I have never seen a band so completely unpretentious. They weren’t afraid to wear shabbyclothing or to banter at length onstage in a painful, boorish manner. So, Go Genre Everything.

The first band that played were the Bright Yellow Doors. They played their rock and roll music in the old rollicking style. They sounded a bit like the Kings of Leons or the QOTSA. (Good, I managed to save some valuable internet space there though at the expense of clarity if you didn’t decipher the acronym) But I was pretty impressed with this band because their music, if not it’s fashion was actually pretty innovative. This will be a band who I will not actively be avoiding in the coming years. (A high achievement by anyones books.)

It seems as if the headline of the night show was Dane Certificate. This probably (though I’ll never really know) wasn’t justified. He was just a man, with a guitar and a bass drum. What could he do with it, you may well ask. Well, as you would expect. I decided to leave after the second song.

Before I did leave the Pony that night, in favour of spending some quality time watching quizmaster, the Little Athletics played their set. I liked them but in a rare display of autonomy in these matters my friend, A did not. I argued that though they’re music was derivative and though the songwriting was poor it was overshadowed by the quality of their musicianship. He argued that virtuosity is irrelevant to musical merit and that my position was in conflict both to reason and to my own opinions, claiming I just liked them because they were girls. He was probably right on this but whatever, I still liked them.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Dumb Earth

The Dumb Earth played a few weeks back at a bar which I’m henceforth going to stop advertising. Their music was solemn, poetic and human. There was a bass saxophone and a trumpet. The atmosphere was somber and they wore dark suits, in my notebook I recorded (carelessly) the word noir. That’s probably all you need to know, at least it is all that I care to relate.

Preceding the Dumb Earth was a band called the Gentle Blooding. This band has no business playing music outside the setting of some seedy businessman's lounge.

And to the news writer of the Beat, just because someone sings dreadfully does not mean you can just start bandying about Tom Waits comparison. Keep up the good work though.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Band Meme

A meme, (noun) as I have just learned is defined as a unit of cultural information.
Stumbled across a book meme at comrade armaniac's website. And now I'm tagged to do one? Well since you probably care less -if possible- about my love for Cervantes than about my taste in music -this indeed being the purpose of this site- I'll modify it slightly to suit my purposes.

1. One band you have seen more than once

The Triangles. I really don't know why I love the Triangles so much, I hate just about everything about them. They're young, clean cut, well mannered and just have such a great attitude. They play happy, colourful pop songs with an array of different instruments and paraphernalia. Once when I saw them they handed out lamingtons to everyone. Another time they had balloons decorating the stage shaped like birds and a big picture of Aslan out front. Yes, they even met on a Christian youth camp.

Just delightful, really.

2. One band you would want on a desert island

I'm going to have to go with the Young Professionals on this one. Those girls are really, really hot. I think I'm most in love with the bass player...

Oh, and the music of course.

3. One band that made you laugh

This songs about rock and roll. It's called... Lets Rock!

Airbourne. Remember them. They're still rocking it oud old style in hilariously comic fashion.

I've got my Harley round back and my girls out front. This songs called... Lets ride!

4. One band that made you cry

As above, on finding out they had scored the biggest Australian contract for a previously unsigned Australian band.

5. One song I wish I had written

Deep water by the Dirty Three. Really just beautiful.

6. One band I wish had never existed

Jet. Overhyped, uninspired, derivative bollocks. These poseurs shamelessly rip off about every great rock band and yet they still manage to suck.

7. One book I am currently reading

I couldn't think how to set this question to music.

I've just started One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez after finally concluding a protracted campaign against the long and convoluted -yeah it's rubbed off- Tristram Shandy.

8. One band I have been meaning to see

Sodastream sound pretty good from what Russ tells me.

9. One band that changed my life

I don't know about life changing but the Dirty Three and the Necks both had a pretty big effect on me. Are you guys familiar with the Necks? Maybe I should write about them some time.

10. Now tag 5 people

If you're one of the first five people to read this, then sorry you're tagged as they say. Now you have to make one of these lists. Or don't, whatever.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Emo is Dead

When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart:
"Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that God is dead!"
Friedrich Nietzsche

Well, at least acting deputy chief subeditor of Sunday magazine, Amelia Dalton seems to think so. This weeks Age featured a short article claiming "emo is over - and metal killed it."

To justify this statement Ms. Dalton points out that metal band Queensryche toured in July, German thrash band Kreator play this month, my once idolised Fear Factory play in September while perennial favourites, Cannibal Corpse are touring in October.

Convinced? Well unfortunately thats the whole argument.

Last week the Hawthorne Heights played at the HiFi bar, Dashboard Confessional are touring in September while October sees Melbourne play host to an entire emo festival!
As much as I would really like Ms. Dalton to be right about the death of emo her evidence is unsound.

So dear reader I ask you.
Do you think the emo movement is ending?
Would the emo kids switching to the metal bandwagon really be an ideal resolution?
Should we instead just organise an efficient and bloody pogrom?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Just Listen To The Fucking Music!

I held little doubt, after seeing the poster reproduced below, that anyone who held as distinguished a predilection to psychedelia as I would converge to the Pony late Thursday night.

And so it was. A large and largely disreputable crowd was already packed into the modest club to witness the brash clamour of PBR Space Program. Playing only their second gig the Program impressed the crowd, judging from the attention and applause they received, to no small degree. Their method was to play long jams, broken intermittently - and ineffectively – with standard verse singing about whatever. Where the Program were really let down though was with their triple guitar attack. Why in the blazes would you need three electric guitars? I know that question was loaded with rhetoric but really, most of the time they were all playing the exact chords anyway. It’s an interesting paradox I guess, that by increasing guitar numbers you actually decrease the amount that can be done with any of them. In fact it was necessary for PBR, so as to produce any actual variation in their music, to have the solo parts played by a trumpet. Still it wasn’t an altogether bad set for a new band.

It was disappointing to see a large number of patrons leave after PBR’s set, evidently they were friends with the bandmembers, because they missed out on inventive musical journey courtesy of The Sun Blindness. The beat described this band as an ‘absorbing drone-folk duo’ which is probably a good description although I wouldn’t say they played anything like what I’d describe as drone-folk. -If anyone, by the way wants to actually start a drone-folk band then
count me in.- The Sun Blindness are also the winners of my now weekly prize –nb really only a metaphorical prize- for inspiring me take the most amount of notes during or directly ensuing a show. This prize is in response to readers of this site tiring of the scarcity of detail and the vague and confused manner in which I review the bands. Anyway the complete and unabridged notes I took that night were ‘first like airport 2’. This comprehensive document was supposed to remind me that their first song sort of sounded a bit like 2-1 off Brian Eno’s Ambient 1 – Music for Airports. If you have no idea what that is, don’t worry you’re in the absolute majority of people I know.

So they had two electric guitars and one of them spent the most part holding notes with one of those Electronic Bows you may have seen around. They’re these handheld devices that produce a magnetic field that vibrates the guitar string as opposed to plucking it. The other guy made random noise and played chords and –again disappointingly- did a bit of singing as well. It was interesting stuff, well worth a look, but not pulled off to the greatest effect possible.

Headlining the night’s performance was Blue Sunshine Mind -how awesome are all the band names- who played admirably. Before doing that however a large white sheet was draped from the roof, so obscuring the entire stage. You can imagine the shocked bemusement that ran through the –again swelled- crowd. It would be easy to label this an act of complete pretentiousness and I had decided to do so but the sheet was left up the entire set and not in emulation say of Sigur Ros and torn down after the first song to rapturous applause. So as the band played through their set the sheet defiantly stayed up. I say defiantly because the crowd, still alarmed at being denied the use of their most valuable sense, were baying for the screens immediate removal. These calls were delightfully answered between songs by an annoyed bandmember, ‘just listen to the fucking music’. Admirable advice and those who took it were treated to an outstanding display of musicianship. It seems that Blue Sunshine Mind were really just interested in getting their music across to people for the reason, that it really deserved listening to.

Their music is really hard to describe on paper –though probably only due to the fact I’ve forgotten what it was like. I’ve written, rewritten and ultimately deleted, several paragraphs trying to accurately describe it already. If you know the Melbourne band Laura then they’re a bit like them. If not then I’ll offer the beat's description of,‘trance-dancing’ but I’d say thats almost exactly what they’re not, though the music is a bit more danceable than other post rock bands. You know! Just check out their fucking MySpace page.

Unfortunately the reaction from the large part of the audience was not as would have been envisioned by the band. Rather than get lost in the psychedelic sounds –aided if need be by the strobostropic light effect being played across the screen, the crowd decided to resume talk amongst themselves. Though perhaps that was what the band really intended. Either way the experiment was terminated towards the end of the set when some audience members pulled the screen down to reveal the band as well as –seated in the back corner- the now redundant stroboscope operator who quickly left the stage after the song.

Right, this has been a long and I dare say tedious review so in quick summary; PBR Space Program are pretty ok, The Sun Blindness are well worth a look while Blue Sunshine Mind are a great -possibly pretentious- band.