Monday, September 18, 2006

Fuck Meredith

The Meredith Music festival is awful. The past few days I haven’t been able to sleep so strong was my fear that tickets would be so plentiful that I’d be somehow deceived into accepting one, again... I remember it well. That sterile, blasphemous field in the remote Victorian countryside. Deceptively serene but amidst the hippies and indie poseurs an undercurrent of dissidence. There were drugs, alcohol and especially marihuana everywhere. Completely non commercial an entirely non profit enterprise. There weren’t even any policeman. So far we’ve established that this festival is anti- the war on drugs (and probably terror), anti- the economy and anti- law and order. And the noise, gods, the noise they passed off as music. It was a long way from what was played in my day.
Just look at the bands they’ve got playing this year;
Datarock – Norwegian “new rave” according to wikipedia no doubt a pseudonym for “old rave” just with more street credibility.
Midlake – Completely unobjectionable indie rock.
Augie March – I heard a song of theirs on Nova so I guess they’re cool.
The Drones – I read an interview with the Drones the other day where they not only bagged John Howard but also defended the ludicrous Black Armband fabrication of Australian history. Needless to say I’ll never listen to them again.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives – This band just, actually sucks.
The Bamboos – No ones listened to funk music since the early eighties.
Girl Talk – I hear this band strip on stage thus further demonstrating the complete lack of morality in our nations youth. Also, and from their myspace, “It bangs as a continuous mix packed with wildly disparate Top 40 genres and eras.”
City of Ballarat Brass band – As the great conductor Thomas Beecham once stated, ‘theres a place for everything; for brass bands it’s in an open field and several miles away.”
Tapes and Tapes – More generic indie prattle.
Concertino Trio – Not only is this band not either Australian or American but they’re actually from Communist Russia. No thanks, Comrade.

So yeah, that’s why I’m not going to Meredith this year.

And also because they sold out of tickets in about half an hour.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Review: [Alps – Needletail]

Unfortunately I missed the Could Have Moved Mountains set at the Old Bar last week. I have a bet going that I already know exactly what the sound like, from their name alone. I’ll have to wait and see. Instead I was watching a Handel organ concerto, Haydn symphony and Stravisnsky’s Rite of Spring performed by the MSO. The Stravinsky piece was amazing. The sheer energy and flux of the rhythm, the fierce dynamics and violent sonority. Certainly a confrontational modernist piece though written nearly 100 years ago. An interesting anecdote tells of the scandal that occurred half a minute into it’s premier when the Parisian audience rioted in protest and.... What’s that, sir? I’m supposed to write about rock music... I humbly apologise.

So Needletail took to the stage and immediately started rocking it out. This band is rather good. Their songs typically either employed some pretty melodic counterpoint between bass and guitar and then at the climax, a descent into a dirty maelstrom of distorted guitars, distorted screams and cymbals or else the whole thing was distorted noise. They reminded me a lot in their heavier mode of At the Drive In, which is no small compliment. Their set did lose a bit of intensity towards the end which was not made up for with their increased reliance on distortion. Nonetheless, a highly enjoyable band.

Headlining was a guest to our state, Alps of the New South Wales. This act involved a man, his Casio keyboard, drum machine, xylophone and bass drum. Basically some beats would roll, then a bit of keyboard action would come in with some plaintive whisperings into the microphone. It turned out to be pretty amateurish but it makes me glad that someone can do that even if (especially maybe) it isn’t great. Anyway Stravinsky was good.