Wow! Mind equals Blown! The lead in to the track ‘What If’ by Milan Ring immediately captured my attention causing a momentary diversion from the mundane status updates that were occupying my screen. A soulful temptress, her voice and lyricism further seduced me into the track where my imagination ran wild picturing a feasible accompanying video clip filmed in a dimly lit, sophisticated and intimate jazz club where Milan lingers in the shadows partially revealing her face as she prowls in the darkness; her eyes playing “cat and mouse” with the camera. Or maybe my thoughts have been a little too influenced by the above image.
The guitar on the other hand produces a raw edginess suggesting that there is a slightly sinister; playful and menacing, side that she either struggles to keep under control, or is looking to unleash. The track is short and sweet at just over 2 minutes in length which left me somewhat disappointed as I felt it had more to offer and was in the process of rising to a greater peak. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic teaser track that left me hungry to hear more. A truly top-notch versatile artist, Milan is definitely one to watch. ‘What If’ is currently available for free download via Triple J, so get it while you can.
For more info on Milan visit www.milanring.com
A rollicking remix of the song ‘Alive’ by Empire Of The Sun has an edgy essence as it contains more bumps thumps and grooves, a product of the dub, trance-techno and house influences, scratching the spectrum of the music variety.
An amplified version of the song, the M4SONIC remix offers a wider range of sound that are manipulated and added to the track. This explosive variation would definitely be a hit at the common dwellings of heavy club goers where neon lights and smoked up dance floors (from smoke machines…) are the norm.
Nick Littlemore ‘s comment about ‘Alive’ having “an emotional intensity that everyone can relate to” is right on the money, the remix on the other hand is faster and louder, has more potency in passion and overwhelmingly vibrant sound.
The simplistic creativity of the synth-pop original is already a pleasing tune. However this remixed and rehashed techno-fied track certainly emphasizes the dynamic technology of the M4SONIC and the flavour that it presents.
The previously unreleased “Alive” (M4SONIC Extended Remix) is now available for free download!
The flamboyant electro-pop duo Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore aka Empire Of The Sun, return with another set of compositions that are sure to excite the musical appetite of audiences from the synth-pop genre. Released on the 14th of June, the album Ice On The Dune certainly offers a lot of flavour to satiate one’s tuneful palate.
Whether it’s grooving on the dance floor or perhaps laying back in the living room enjoying a nice glass of red sauvignon, this album is sure to tickle all audiophiles to a stimulating state. It would not be a surprise if this album wins another ARIA, Following their first album, ‘Walking on A Dream’ in 2009.
The build-up introduction sets up on a subtle note, as it progresses to a crescendo, leaving listeners booming on the high with ‘DNA’. All throughout the album the formula for mashing up great music has been established. Each tune is a quality creation made for the listeners’ fancies.
The title-track ‘Ice on the Dune’ is chillingly upbeat. It is flawlessly synthesised, with vintage guitar licks, shoulder-shrugging loops and snappy bass accompaniment. A much more cultured taste that with experience, the Empire of the Sun showcases how each and every song was well crafted, as you listen to their new material.
This album was made in collaboration with an ensemble of distinct influences, including various musicians and studio producers from Sydney to L.A and New York. The ambiances that resonate from this riveting new record are indeed colourful. But of course, the identity of Empire of the Sun is well within the essence of each song.
After listening to this record, I was absolutely amazed, to the point where the neighbours complained to how loud I was pumping up the music, specifically the song ‘Celebrate’, at eleven o’clock at night. The melodies, the rhythm, the harmonies; were not only pleasing but also reached the depths of your core that ripples exhilaration. As I skimmed through the song list, it made me want to jump around… then I listened to them all for several times, and I did.
For more information on Empire Of The Sun visit their:
Thirty years ago a San Francisco punk band by the name of The Dead Kennedys toured Australia for the first and only time. They had a huge underground following given the nature of their music being perfect to slam dance and stage dive to and the political slant to their music. They caused a lot of feathers to ruffle and on that tour the band encountered police, riot squads and members being randomly arrested at different stages of the five week tour. The tour went into folklore and The Dead Kennedys became one of the most revered and respected punk bands of their generation.
Thirty years on, former front man, spoken word artist and political agitator Jello Biafra returns to front a musical project and perform for many of us who were not around for that DK tour of ’83. Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine carry the same vein of The Dead Kennedys. Jello snarls with sarcastic and oft caustic wit to a back beat of soaring garage guitar riffs and rollicking bass lines. The man might be well into his fifties, but he still bounces around the stage like he did thirty years ago.
On the back of the bands second album White People And the Damage Done, a full house at the Metro were treated to the classic Biafra theatrics and stage presence that very few have been able to mimic the way he does. Coming out in a blood splattered lab coat and his hands dripping in blood, waving empathically with his cheesy, politician smile, they launched into tracks off the album like ‘Road Rage’ and ‘John Dillenger’. In between songs, Biafra gave us his opinion on the likes of Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer’s influence through wealth on our political landscape, reasons why we shouldn’t just let Tony Abbott win the next election (or be led into the ABBOTToir, as he called it) and why how we can do our part to stop corporate greed – which is central theme to new album.
It wasn’t until he delved into some of The Dead Kennedys back catalogue with tracks like ‘California Uber Alles’, ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ and ‘Kill The Poor’ when the crowd completely lost control and the pit went wild and a constant stream of stage divers climbed up and leapt from the stage. (Kudos to security letting them and to Biafra for insisting no barriers at the front of the stage) The frenzy, reminiscent of footage I’ve seen from Dead Kennedys shows also inspired Biafra to join in not once, but twice. How many 50 year olds do you know who would be prepared to do that? Hell I’m 33 and I wouldn’t!
Supported by Australia’s pub punk icons The Hard Ons who mixed it up with their sound that floats between punk rock and thrash metal. It’s good to see Blackie back on stage after his bashing incident. (Blackie was beaten up on his taxi route last year) Opening the night was Zeahorse who have this great mix of sound that sits somewhere between The Rollins Band aggressiveness and Kyuss over distorted cruisiness, but it was Biafra and his band of merry men who put on a show that many bands could learn from. Not content with one encore, they came back out for a second encore that included the legendary Dead Kennedys song‘Holiday in Cambodia’.
Tonight was the closest we came to seeing the “real” Dead Kennedys perform onstage. (Let’s not talk about the atrocity of an act the former band members are touring with) Jello Biafra still has the stage presence and frenzy that really should defy him at his age but it probably just goes to show that age is a number and you feel as young as you want to feel.
The Metro Theatre is one of Sydney’s leading venues hosting an array of notable and emerging local and international artists across a wide variety of musical genres and more. But once you step foot into the venue, categories and stereotypes are no longer existent. People begin to embrace the music and one another. This was evident on Friday night at Julian Marley’s Sydney show (son of reggae legend Bob Marley). The Metro presented with a diverse range of individuals from the youthful to the old timers, cultures, from all walks of life and there was such a great sense of unison. After all, that is the essence of reggae music – ‘One Love’.
I must mention that the lady who stood next to me at the front row told me ‘this is the first time I’ve ever heard reggae music, I got dragged along to this show and I’m fucking loving it!’. Music is powerful, but reggae music can change your mentality!
Upon arrival, Sydney based 10 piece roots-reggae band The Strides took to stage with songs from their album Reclamation. Still rocking out since we last saw them perform almost two years ago at Notes Live in Newtown.
After The Strides it seemed like a prolonged set up time for Blue King Brown, however, it was well worth the wait. The audience was greeted by the ladies of Melbourne-based reggae-roots band Blue King Brown, with an acoustic set featuring lead singer Natalie Pa’apa’a and vocalists representing West Papua. With only three vocalists I predicted that this would be an intimate and engaging experience, and we were immersed in the rhythm of the music as well as the message that they wanted to share. Natalie illustrated a song about a couple that were separated due to the hindrance of bureaucratic red tape, however they were reunited again. At the end of BKB’s set I was left with a resonating message “Free West Papua” which was clearly stated on Natalie’s acoustic kickbox.
The crowd was anticipating Julian Marley and as he entered the stage, it was apparent that his father’s spirit continues to live on. Marley shared his Rastafarian faith, knowledge, music and of course his father’s life and spirit. There was a sense of nostalgia growing up to the Marley’s voices in my cassette player. No doubt Marley is acknowledged as an individual artist, but he is also an inclusive collaborator with his 12-piece Uprising Band, performing some original tunes as well as father Bob’s hits. Some memorable songs were ‘Boom Draw’, ‘Babylon Cookie Jar’ and Bob Marley’s ‘Kaya’.
It was refreshing to join some of the country’s most thriving reggae bands alongside Julian Marley, and no doubt they were aptly chosen to support him. With a combination of ‘Worldwize’ humanitarian reggae-roots acts, it became an insightful and memorable show. Although I could see that a larger venue could have easily accommodated a larger crowd.
Click here to check out our photographs from Julian Marley’s Sydney show!
Set upon the rooftop of the Boulevard Pool bar at the Cosmopolitan Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Canadian twin sisters Tegan & Sara played a preview show before their Coachella appearance in a few days time. The setting was perfect. The Las Vegas skyline surrounding the open air stage. A large screen behind the stage projecting the gig out onto the Vegas strip and a cool, clear spring evening contributed to one of my favourite Tegan & Sara shows ever.
The humble twins repeatedly thanked the crowd for coming out and for supporting their music. In return we got a great set by the duo mixing crowd favourites such as ‘Walking With A Ghost’, ‘Back In Your Head’ and ‘Where Does The Good Go’ along with a fair chunk off this years record Heartthrob. The newer songs received an amazing reception as fans have taken to the new record and more keyboard driven sound.
For me the highlight was the brilliant ‘Why Don’t You Want Me’. The song is great track about rejection from a lover and is written so perfectly. The girls have a great knack to write a good “love lost” tune and this one is probably their best. Live, it sounded amazing and judging by the crowd singing along, it will find a place on their set list for years to come.
Other tracks off Heartthrob like the albums opening ‘Closer’ and ‘I’m All Messed Up’ had the crowd swaying and dancing along. A short encore to end the evening leaving the crowd satisfied with the show and me desperate to see them again now that I’m missing their Australian tour for Groovin’ The Moo.
Castlecomers latest single, ‘Rosie’ (directed and edited by Sean Dooley) expresses a fun and energetic foot tapping experience. Involving YouTube‘s famous comedian Superwog and a variety of different cultured people. This video will no doubt put a smile on anyone’s face and could potentially make you dance.
Starting the video with a question “how do you dance?” following through with some fun dance moves and psychedelic patterns to brighten up your day. To quote one viewer “it’s the kind of song I blast in my room while getting ready for uni, and dance stupidly on my bed!”.
This video clip definitely holds a sort of innocent and happy energy within it. This will definitely go viral quickly amongst the fans and fans-to-be of Castlecomers in the very near future. I can definitely see this clip spreading into the top 40 scene.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
It could be easy to write this band off as another Black Keys rip off, but that sort of ignorance will make you miss the beauty of this record. Yes, it has plenty of swampy bluegrass riffs we’ve all come to love from The Black Keys, but the execution of these songs will leave them lingering in your mind. On their third album, The Blackwater Fever have crafted tracks that requires you to listen to them over again and with each listen, you will pick up something different. Intentional or not, its a great tool that great songwriters have.
The two piece from Brisbane have really welded in various styles into their dark blues filled rock. There’s LO-fi garage mixed in with a bit of Nick Cave broodiness, some rock n’ stomp from old White Stripes and plenty of Deep South, whiskey vibes. ’Won’t Cry Over You’ is a stand out track that rattles the speakers, as does the album’s opener ‘When The Night Comes’. These tracks are then contrasted with the more brooding tracking such as ‘Over Broken Bones’ and ‘End Of Time’.
Listening to this record and the instrumentation used makes you wonder how a two piece can pull this off live with the use of guitar and organ to create the harmonies and drums and bass to lay the platform for the tracks. Then add Shane Hicks vocals, that has a blues trademark minimalism on top of that. The Depths is a solid record and I think the songs will translate even better live.
Birds of Tokyo took to the stage and the Enmore Theatre quivered with applause and screams from the crowd. This show marked the end of a tour for Birds of Tokyo with their new album ‘March Fires.’ They get straight to it with a song off the album.
The crowd, whilst not the most lively, are taken on a journey from the bands most recent stuff, to their early songs, and they are receptive.
Ian Kenny, the vocalist, keeps the front of the crowd moshing by dancing along to the tunes on stage.
The backdrop lights up in flashing images, telling a story to accompany each song.
A woman next to me leans over to her friend and says ‘what do you think?’ The friend replies ‘thank you SO much for introducing me to them. They are amazing!’ She then gets back to gyrating and head-banging with the rest of the crowd.
The big winners aka the most popular songs, ‘Plans’ and ‘Lanterns’ got a round of sing-alongs from the audience, and coming from such a large audience, this was a delightful experience.
Whether you’re a newcomer to Birds of Tokyo, or a seasoned fan like myself, you will love their live show.
Their new sound, while not a huge leap away from their previous albums, is slightly more melodic and careful. That said, though, I think anyone that is a fan of their previous albums will love ‘March Fires.’
You really can’t lose with this band, because they are simply such a fun night out.
The support act for the night was Regular John. You might have heard this band doing the rounds on Triple J lately with their tracks ‘Sky Burial’ and ‘Strange Flowers.’
If you haven’t heard of them though they are a red-hot, psychedelic, punk rock four-piece band from New South Wales.
Their set-list on the night consisted mostly of songs from their most recent album ‘Strange Flowers’ and some from their previous album ‘The Peaceful Atom is a Bomb.’
Regular John have made up a huge step up from their first album to their last and have evolved into a sophisticated hard rock band.
They are still slightly experimental, particularly with their latest album, simply in that no two songs quite sound the same, but that’s something that, personally, draws me to them.
These guys are a gold-standard support act and I definitely recommend checking out one of their stand-alone live shows.
The Guppies are your standard teenage-y-punk band from Newcastle, which I guess is not that standard. They are great, all the same.
They have a fluid musical styling with a penchant for easily-accessible, very catchy tunes, like ‘Never Liked Mondays,’ and ‘Bad Blood.’
As terribly cliché as this might sound, the three-piece just simply know how to rock out on stage and gave us all a ‘rocking out’ lesson on Sunday night.
I also have to recommend catching these guys live.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has recently scored number one spots across music charts worldwide including Australia with their single ‘Same Love’ featuring Mary Lambert.
Tonight we get to celebrate with them on having over 100 million YouTube views as they will perform live in Sydney.
After an overwhelming fan demand, the Sydney show was relocated from the Oxford Art Factory and Metro Theatre to the larger venue, Enmore Theatre. Last night’s show in Melbourne also sold out.
Check out the video clip (below) and stay tuned for our music review of the show this weekend!
‘SAME LOVE’ – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert