#003 the summer holiday issue

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#003 the summer holiday issue Powered By Docstoc
					#003: the summer holiday issue
   The Lucksmiths · Girl Talk · Emiliana Torrini · Mountain Goats
  Purple Sneakers · Fleet Foxes · Howling Bells · Franz Ferdinand
          Tegan & Sara · Laneway Festival · Born Ruffians
#003: march 2009

So, you were probably expecting this issue in mid-December or
something, right? Well, to be honest, we’ve not been busy with
work, we haven’t been in hospital and we haven’t been eaten by
(fuck yeah) sharks. We’ve been holidaying and festivaling it up.
Not to rub it in, frozen-to-the-bone Northern Hemispherians.

In between all our frolicking, we’ve scraped up enough content
to bring you issue #003. Inside we have photos and reviews
galore, an interview with Sara Quinn of Tegan & Sara, another
one with Joel Stein of the Howling Bells, and a few articles. How
about that?

So we hope you enjoy issue number three. Check back in two
months or sign up for our mailing list - link’s on the home
page, as always! And a call out for all those who are willing
to give us their blood, sweat & tears, we’re always looking for
contributors, especially writers. So if you’re interested, hit us
up on

Kate and Natasha xo

Co-founder and Art Director:               Co-founder and Contents Editor:
Natasha Theoharous                         Kate Walton

Stephen Box· James Chen· Conor Curtis· Cass Grant· Roanna Manlutac· Nicola
Moore· Natasha Theoharous· Elle Vee· Kate Walton
4      insight: monumental music
6      in review: the lucksmiths
9      insight: girl talk
12     photography: emiliana torrini
22     insight: in our bedroom after the
25     photography: the mountain goats
30     photography: purple sneakers nye
40     self-indulgent wank: top 10 of 2008
44	    photography:	fleet	foxes
50	    in	review:	fleet	foxes
52     interview: howling bells
56     photography: franz ferdinand
65     interview: tegan & sara
72     photography: tegan & sara
80     photography & review: laneway
106	   photography:	born	ruffians
112    see+listen+read
                                                                 by elle vee
    One afternoon in my senior year of           months of a relationship. He made me
    high school I skipped class with a friend    a mixed tape, I made him a mixed tape.
    and we drove to the local Burger King        The one he gave me was in constant
    to see if T was working. He was in           rotation. Walking to my classes on
    a really cool indie band that played         campus, it was playing. Sitting in my
    around town. I had met him the other         bedroom doing homework or talking
    night and I was going to flirt with him,     on the phone, it was playing. Driving to
    maybe even ask him out. The blood            see him two hours away, it was playing.
    shot through my veins, my heart sat up       And then we broke up. I listened to the
    in my throat. On the way there, we           tape with an increased frequency, if only
    listened to Bee Thousand by Guided by        to torture myself further. That depth of
    Voices. I was unaware at the time that       feeling coupled with the connection with
    this record would forever resurrect          the music left me crippled upon hearing
    feelings of anxiety deep in the pit of my    it.
    stomach. Playing it reminds me of the
    overcast skies that day, the excitement      And now, years later, when I run into
    of knowing that all of my other friends      anything by the Trashcan Sinatras or
    were in school, and of handing my phone      The Sea and Cake, or particular songs
    number over the counter to him on a          by Catherine Wheel, Morrissey or Billy
    Burger King napkin.                          Bragg, I’m nearly brought to my knees
                                                 with the flood of memory. But it wasn’t
    Flash ahead a few years.                     only the anxious moments that led me
                                                 to bond so intensely with the music. It
    I was in the throes of the kind of passion   happened while screaming the lyrics
    that can only exist in the first few         to The Pixies’ ‘U-Mass’ in a car full of

teenagers. It happened listening to Belle       without the swinging feelings. And maybe
and Sebastian on a road trip to New York        when the emotional waters are less
City for the first time. It happened by         rough (there are less crests and troughs),
playing Sonic Youth on an airplane flying       the music that you listen to during those
over the Atlantic.                              moments just doesn’t have the chance to
                                                hit as hard.
But I can’t remember the last time that
I’ve really connected a moment of life          And so I’m now at a time when I find
to the music that surrounded it. I think        myself selecting music from Back Then
I may be moving into a time in my life          more than ever before. When I used to
when I stop having monumental music             complain about my dad playing only classic
moments. During the teens and early 20s,        rock and would tease him about knowing
every major life event had a particular         very little about my music (though he did
soundtrack. Who am I kidding; even the          buy a copy of Mother’s Milk by the Chili
minor life events had soundtracks. The          Peppers!), he told me to wait until I’m
examples listed above were easily selected      older, that the music I was playing would
from the many that rushed instantly to          someday become the classic rock of my
mind.                                           generation. Upon thinking about it, I
                                                suppose it does sadden me a bit to think
And it’s not that I’ve stopped listening to     that I’ve already dipped into the waters of
new music or stopped exposing myself            nostalgic music listening.
to the possibility of music making an
impact. I read the music blogs and buy          But maybe my dad was right. The music
the records. I have satellite radio and a       of your most formative years sticks with
campus radio station in near constant           you, inside you, as a helpful reminder of All
rotation. I still go see bands play and have    The Things You Went Through. And unless
a great time. I have lots of favorites that     others were in the car, on that road trip,
I carry around in the car (The National,        part of the breakup, their monumental
for example, gets lots of car play, as does     music will be different from yours. They
Phoenix, and Devendra Banhart). I really        will have their own ‘classic rock’ to turn
like this music, but I wouldn’t say that I’m    to for comfort. I always thought that
particularly moved by it anymore than           if I had kids, they would think I was so
I seem to be moved by the day to day            cool because I listened to Pavement
occurrences in my life. Back then, daily life   and the Jesus and Mary Chain. They
was scary, unknown, varied, impromptu           would see how much I felt it. No one
and dramatic. It was also a collection          else’s parents would listen to such cool
of firsts. Experiencing so many different       music! But the deep seat of your own
things for the first time changes you. And      nostalgic memories, music linked and
if the radio is on, the music gets to come      music sustained, will never be as relevant
along for the ride, becoming an unwitting       or accessible to others. Look out
reminder of every tear and laugh you            your window. See the next generation,
happen to let go along the way. Maybe           headphones on? They are in the process
it’s that growing up makes life more            of building their own monumental music
stable, that we are able to deal with things    moments.

    in review:

    the lucksmiths
    songs, the harpoons

    hopetoun hotel
    sydney, NSW
    15th november, 2008

    by cass grant

Sometimes I wish The Lucksmiths               neatly avoided the label of ‘pretentious’.
would get off their arses and hit the         Also, they played a damn good version
road more often. Bass player Mark             of ‘Shaking All Over’ that had Lucksmiths
Monnone may call Tasmania his current         lead singer Tali White dancing jerkily
home, but that’s hardly an excuse for         on the dance floor. White himself drew
the mostly Melbourne-based band to            stares of polite horror from those
tour as infrequently as they insist on        around him, something I suspect had less
doing. They’re popular enough to make         to do with his enthusiastic flailing and
it worth picking up their game; their last    more to do with the scrappy moustache
show in Sydney speedily sold out and I        he was cultivating in the spirit of the
was one of the fans turned away at the        month. It certainly didn’t help matters
door. That’s why, when the band rolled        when he bantered between songs in his
into town to promote their new album          own set. (“I’ll still drink the beer that’s
First Frost, I made sure I was there early    been sitting in the spotlight.” Pause. “I
enough to catch the first opening act.        like it at body temperature.” Leer. Cue
                                              audience recoil, but laughingly, tempered
What a good idea. The Harpoons are            with affection. After all, this band has held
a really excellent cover band more than       the hearts of Australian music fans for
anything else; when I first arrived they      fifteen years. We’re old friends.)
were wrapping up a version of ‘Smokers
in Love’ that, for a panicked moment, had     For the sake of balanced journalism I
me convinced I’d missed the Lucksmiths        really ought to dedicate the same level
themselves. The most striking thing           of analysis to the second opening band
about the members of The Harpoons             Songs as I did for The Harpoons, but
is their slightly neurotic resemblance to     there are times when personal bias
celebrities in their youth. It seemed only    will overcome any sense of fair play.
fitting that Zooey Deschanel sang lead        This is one of them: I’ll readily admit to
vocals, though the upturned cuffs of her      preferring The Harpoons’ toe-tapping
jeans fascinated me more than Gary            catchy tunes over the shoegaze-
Sinise as drummer. Pete Doherty, puffy-       country-rock-inspired sounds purveyed
faced and barefoot, clutched his guitar       by Songs. You know you’re in murky
to his chest as he played as if he’d never    territory when you start to draw on
heard of Kate Moss or crack. Ryan Ross        genre labels to describe a band, more
would have savaged Pete’s Hawaiian shirt      so when you then proceed to mention
before the end of the first song, but since   entirely unrelated bands like Kings of
he was only a Ross imitation any sartorial    Leon and Crowded House in order
fits of rage were thankfully averted.         to find a common point of reference,
                                              as I’ve just done. Nonetheless, Songs
A cover band covering celebrities, what       delivered a well-rehearsed set that
a bright idea! Not really. The Harpoons       steadily built up into an impressive wall
redeemed themselves easily enough,            of sound. Also impressive was the level
since they were refreshingly unaware of       of grooming each member dedicated to
the comparisons they drew and thereby         their appearances—excepting the lead

    singer, whose impression of a balding        another, or worse, Oasis performing
    roadie was singularly convincing until       covers of Oasis songs. The Lucksmiths
    the moment he stepped up to the              have instead stamped out a formula
    microphone and opened his mouth.             that works well for their low-key
    Speaking of grooming: Tali White’s           pop concerns, and earned them the
    moustache deserves another mention           dedicated respect from an array of fans.
    due to its horrifying prominence under       They still need to work on coming back
    the orange spotlights. Three songs into      to Sydney sometime soon, and preferably
    The Lucksmiths’ set, the humid conditions    without any hirsute accessories: at
    soon had White scrubbing his face and        this I draw the line and say no, Tali,
    palms against the sleeve of his shirt, the   impersonating John Holmes will not
    cymbals, the drapes behind the stage. It     result in a good outcome for you.
    didn’t help much; twice his brushes went
    flying out of his hands. Still, the band
    performed a typically tight set, dropping
    old favourites ‘Camera Shy’, ‘Hiccup
    in Your Happiness’ and the terribly
    appropriate ‘T-Shirt Weather’ in between
    songs from their forthcoming album.

    “It’s good to know you guys like the new
    stuff so much,” Marty Donald said to an
    appreciative audience. “I guess that’s a
    good sign. Now here’s one that’s pretty
    rustic in comparison.” They launched
    into ‘Under the Rotunda’, and it was
    easy to see what Donald meant; when
    held up against new songs like ‘California
    in Popular Song’ and ‘Pines’, the later
    songs have a fullness and quality that the
    earlier tracks can’t match, due in large
    part to the presence of Louis Richter
    on second guitar. His addition to the
    line-up in 2004 helped to build on the
    signature Lucksmiths sound, and continue
    a process of musical growth that can be
    traced in the band’s lengthy discography.

    Judging from their performance the night
    I saw them play, there’s little chance of
    them churning out variations on the
    same theme. Other bands may end
    up sounding like pale imitations of one


                It shouldn’t feel like old news to talk
                about Girl Talk with under a year
                elapsed since his record dropped...
by sam yurick
     It shouldn’t feel like old news to talk      Girl Talk is that he occasionally fails on a
     about Girl Talk with under a year elapsed    musical level (chipmunking vocals, mixes
     since his record dropped. However,           that yield shit dynamics, dissonances
     without that kind of ratcheted up curve      between different keys etc.) and while
     for how fast we consume music, without       I’m not usually conscious of these things,
     the synaptic glower engendered by the        let alone bothered by them, (possibly just
     web 2.0 tendency to put everything           a sign that the onslaught aspect of the
     within a few degrees of everything else,     music is working) it made me realize that
     we’d probably be talking about him a         I’d love to see him change it up. What
     lot less in the first place. This isn’t to   would the Girl Talk answer be to Slint’s
     say that failing to outsource some of        seminal post-rock epic “Good Morning
     your life to the Internet keeps you out      Captain”? What about the dense
     of the club as far as enjoying his music.    technical grindcore of Discordance Axis?
     However, if you’ve ever held facebook        How many more iterations of Feed The
     vigils over a crush, if you’ve ever had a    Animals will the market bear and, given
     vertiginous 2001: moment with RSS,           that mainstream music is incidental to
     Girl Talk makes visceral sense in a way      a large chunk of his audience, what will
     he might not otherwise. This is music        he be mashing up in five more years
     as a perfect modern lifestyle accessory;     and how will it be arranged? I’m already
     schizoid wallpaper for an era that forces    nostalgic for the first time I heard “Juicy”
     you to unearth tiny infinities and process   + “Tiny Dancer” on Night Ripper and
     sprawling contradictions just to stay        that wasn’t even two years ago.
                                                  Bottom line is that I think Girl Talk is
     Physical exhaustion is a key component       immensely unique, often moving, and
     of Girl Talk’s shows because this is         dense enough to remain rewarding
     music that sets out to terraform your        after dozens of listens. There are solid
     senses. However, you rarely lose             cases to be made that he embodies
     yourself in Girl Talk record. Part of        the decline of Western Civilization and
     the point is that shiver of recognition      the bastardization of the very notion
     when an old favorite takes center stage      of authorship. However, to my mind,
     or something you’d dismissed spills          he works in the tradition of Situationist
     it’s guts. Everyone is working through       detournment (the reappropriation of
     his or her context, picking up different     a known work, but with some aspect
     punchlines, and misapplying different        changed; often to subvert the work’s
     dance moves. However, when the               original meaning) albeit with an inverse
     surrender to an ecstatic moment does         level of malice towards popular art.
     arrive, it’s a detourned kiss from The       Instead of cutting pop distractions with
     Beast that unshellacs buried wiring,         piss takes, he seeks to inflate what
     leaving everything to spin like planets in   might seem trite into something epic.
     mid-formation.                               Inasmuch as he detourns, it’s often
                                                  towards the hyperreal, inflating the
     One of the more salient critiques of         ostensibly human scale of pop music into

something so big it can only be collective.   sample-based musicians to approach it
His emphasis on creating an event as          as an artform and to think of themselves
opposed to a spectacle certainly fits with    as songwriters as opposed to simply
this idea as well, as does his tendency to    curators, performers, or technicians. In
undercut the produced, expensive quality      the same way that punk stripped rock
of many of his samples by ripping them        and roll down to its sonic nucleotides,
out of context and contrasting them with      leaving exponentiating possibilities in its
rawer sounds.                                 wake, Girl Talk creates a whole new set
                                              of possibilities by laying bare the genetics
Most importantly, however I consider him      of popular music while showing that it
a liberating force. Not that he’s “year       can all be reintegrated into something
zero” for mashups as an artform, but that     fresh and genuinely affecting. That isn’t
by staking out “art” territory with what      old news, that’s history.
he does he encourages the next wave of

                                                                             photo by Miles Tsang:

     emiliana torrini
     charge group

     metro theatre
     sydney, NSW
     17th november, 2008

     by james chen



     in our bedroom
     after the war:
     the australian musical id.

                       A typically successful Australian
                       artist must not only sound
     by conor curtis   good on record, they must be
                       a relatable and enjoyable live
                       performer. This ties in with the
                       notion of ‘mateship’; in short,
                       Australians want musicians to
                       be their real-life friends.

Some time ago, I walked into Sydney           The problem with this is that it restricts
community radio station FBi with              the opportunities for bedroom musicians
several copies of a demo CD I hoped           to flourish. Contests such as V Festival’s
they would play. I sat down with one          Garage2V and Triple J Unearthed offer
of the volunteers from the station and        the chance to play a desired concert as
discussed my work, ran briefly through        a ‘prize’ without even considering that
the biography that I had appended to          some artists do not create their music
each copy and suggested radio-oriented        with the ultimate goal of playing at a
tracks. The girl smiled and nodded and        festival. Some artists never intend to play
coaxed me alone until when I was done         a single concert in their lifetime.
she asked if I had any gigs lined up for
the near future. When I asked why, she        The idea that this makes them more
replied that gig advertisements were the      difficult to associate with is in and of itself
easiest way to gain airtime on the radio      a foolish one; modern-day artists such as
station.                                      Atlas Sound and Rick White composed
                                              entire albums in their bedrooms,
I’m a bedroom musician; I use an old,         albums that have been noted for their
cumbersome desktop computer to                accessibility and emotional content. And
write and produce my songs. This has its      I’m fairly positive most people reading
advantages, the most notable of which is      this article would have listened to a little
that I always have a progress recording       album called Pet Sounds.
of whatever song I am writing at any
one time. And indeed, given my position       Moreover, this assumes that every artist
within Generation Y, I’m constantly           should aspire to the common Australian
uploading my songs onto the Internet          ideal, that performing live is the apex of
to be critiqued by other like-minded          musical achievement. Albums like Britney
bedroom musicians.                            Spears’ Blackout dispel this notion
                                              convincingly through their use of the
Despite the advent of social networking       human voice as an instrument, morphing
websites such as MySpace that allow           and twisting it into snarling forms that
bedroom musicians worldwide to                not only sound completely dissimilar
communicate and self-promote with             to the source material but forms that
ease, Australia’s musical identity seems      also rob the voice of its gender. Critical
to be intrinsically tied to the rock’n’roll   acclaim has been lavished upon groups
culture we’ve bred over the past fifty        who have utilised this line of thought;
years. A typically successful Australian      both Kid A and Silent Shout were met
artist must not only sound good on            with unanimous approval from the press.
record, they must be a relatable and
enjoyable live performer. This ties in        Of course, none of these artists are
with the notion of ‘mateship’; in short,      Australian, so why am I even talking
Australians want musicians to be their        about them? Put simply, the chasm
real-life friends.                            between Australian and international
                                              pop music is a vast one, and one

     that threatens to stereotype our               Anyone who’s listened to “Guitar Over-
     musical output in the future. The most         Drive” by the Wild Cherries will attest
     internationally well-known Australian          to that, as will anyone who’s listened to
     band to date is arguably AC/DC. Two            The Birthday Party or The Saints. The
     of our most successful exports this            recent All Tomorrow’s Parties festival
     decade have been Wolfmother and Jet.           highlighted the depth of Australian music
     We are getting a reputation as being a         created within the past thirty years or
     backwards-thinking nation musically, and       so, and proved that we have a lot to
     it’s a problem that’s tied intrinsically to    offer the world. Modern-day groups like
     the Australian virtue of ‘mateship’.           Hunter Deanna, Bridezilla, and Beaches
                                                    all show that Australia could easily be
     When reviewing Bernard Fanning’s               a force upon the international music
     “Wish You Well”, Drowned In Sound’s            landscape.
     Jonathan Fisher writes:
                                                    Two of my favourite Australian albums
        “It seems apparent that the only reason     of recent are On Second Thought by
        he has a solo record deal is that his       Sandpit and Hope Springs by Gersey.
        other band, Powderfinger, are quite         Both of these albums convey an insular
        the ‘rock stars’ in Australia. So, anyone   environment, one though loneliness and
        looking to make a quick buck could          the other through dreaminess. Neither
        do worse than starting an Incubus/          was picked up upon release, one of
        The Black Crowes tribute band and           the bands is no more and the other is
        emigrating to the land famed for its        on hiatus as far as I know. Bands who
        sun, surf and, on this showing, utterly     mine similar emotional territory, such as
        appalling music.”                           Sodastream, are also no longer with us,
                                                    in their case after a decade of living with
     While more than a bit blunt, Fisher            little fanfare.
     makes his point clearly. The archetypal
     Australian rock band is typically              For a long time, Australia’s most well-
     male. They are strongly influenced             known music has evoked our beaches
     by Australian rock heritage such as            and our bars and our easygoing lifestyle.
     Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs and the              There’s more to us than that, but in
     aforementioned AC/DC. They drink               order to convince the world of this first
     regularly, they laugh heartily, they tour      we have to convince ourselves. We’re
     their home country frequently. And             not just a country of Working Class Men,
     above all, they come across as distinctly      we’re a country of Internationalists. Or at
     down to earth. In Australia, if an artist      least, we could be.
     seems like a good Australian, then their
     output gains additional credibility.

     The thing is, Australia has been host
     to several creative outlets in the past.


mountain goats
manning bar
sydney, NSW

5th december, 2008

by kate walton



     purple sneakers
     frightened rabbit, yves klein blue,
     british india

     manning bar
     sydney, NSW
     new year’s eve,
     31st december, 2008

     by stephen box


     self-indulgent wank:

     You didn’t think you were going to walk away from
     this issue without us throwing some self-indulgent
     end-of-the-year album lists in your face, did you?

                             by kate walton, roanna manlutac
                             & natasha theoharous
       10. Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum        enjoyable as its predecessor,
       við spilum endalaust                   but it’s definitely a grower, and
       I wasn’t much of a Sigur Rós fan       has remained a staple of mine
       until this year. A casual one, sure,   throughout the year.

       but not one who’d rave about
       them to anyone who’d listen.           4. Santogold - Santogold
       This record persuaded me that          Completely deserving of
       doing so would be a good idea.         the hype, Santogold sees our
                                              new favourite Brooklyn girl,
       9. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours         Santi White, dipping her toes
       Antipodean pride represent. My         in everything from hip-hop
       electronic/dance/whatever-you-         to perfect-for-summer 80s
       call-it fallback of the year.          throwbacks. It’s undeniable that
                                              Santogold will go down in history
       8. High Places - High Places           as one of the indie icons of 2008.
       This came totally out of the blue
       for me. I downloaded it on a           3. Foals - Antidotes
       whim and have been singing its         Math rock with feeling. Antidotes
       praises ever since. Island pop         runs the gamut from echo-y,
       has never sounded so good.             rainy-day music to some of the
                                              catchiest and most danceable
       7. Los Campesinos! - Hold on           tunes of the year.
       One of two records put out             2. Lykke Li - Youth Novels
       by the Welsh indie popsters            Lykke Li’s charming debut is full
       this year (well, the second was        of quirky details you only notice
       described by the band as an            over the course of multiple
       “extended extended player”),           listens. It’s like nothing I’ve ever
       Hold on Now, Youngster... could        heard before, mixing Caribbean
       well end up being the poster           rhythms, off-beat R&B sensibilities,
       album for zine-loving, vinyl-          and vocals that are alternately
       buying, internet-addicted kids of      breathless and soaring. And
       the late Noughties.                    judging by videos splashed all
                                              over the internet, Youth Novels
       6. Frightened Rabbit - The             translates even better in a live
       Midnight Organ Fight                   setting.
       A devotional and sometimes
       almost too earnest album about         1. The Kills - Midnight Boom
       life and its frustrations. It’s a      Undoubtedly my most-played
       record to lose yourself in, and a      record of the year. It was
       great one at that.                     criticised by some as being too
                                              much of a pop-focused excursion
       5. Wolf Parade - At Mt. Zoomer         from The Kills’ usual raw and
       Somehow I’d completely missed          bluesy stripped-back guitar rock,
       Apologies to the Queen Mary            but just because it doesn’t sound
       when it was released; I don’t          like the lovechild of Animal
       know how, but I did. And boy,          Collective and of Montreal via the
       am I regretting that now. At Mt.       surrogate mother of Deerhoof,
       Zoomer isn’t as immediately            doesn’t mean it’s not a bloody
                                              good album.
                                    9. Hercules & Love Affair -           albums, B/E/A/T/B/O/X should’ve
                                    Hercules & Love Affair                come first. B/E/A/T/B/O/X is pure
                                    Another primary disco album           dance floor gold.
                                    that is as smooth as the milk
                                    in your morning coffee. With          4. Gang Gang Dance - Saint
     roanna                         its beats varying from tribal to
                                    funk, Hercules & Love Affair’s
                                                                          Saint Dymphna is a record of
                                    self-titled release is an album of    surreal landscapes but delivered
                                    thorough joy.                         with potency and strong
                                                                          conviction. Its rather confusing
                                    8. Thao Ngyuen & The Get              if a record makes you physically
                                    Down Stay Down - We Brave             twitch. So on that alone, it must
                                    Bee Stings and All                    be something special ...I hope.
                                    If only Katy Perry put a sock
                                    in it, we might see someone           3. No Age - Nouns
                                    like Thao Ngyuen surface to           With the contrasting styles
                                    prominence. Ngyuen has a              of Randy Randall and Dean
                                    talent for crafting the most          Spunt, No Age are certainly a
                                    adorable pop tunes and if Perry       band worth hearing. Nouns is a
                                    can beatbox like Ngyuen, I will       kick to the gut, knees, face and
                                    happily withdraw the earlier          ears. Stemming from an entire
                                    statement.                            subculture, No Age have certainly
                                                                          traveled long and far to get to
                                    7. High Places – High Places          where they are now. Finally a
                                    The Brooklyn duo have risen           band that actually doesn’t give a
                                    from no where with some               fuck.
                                    fascinating instrumentals this
                                    year. Experimental in approach,       2. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever
                                    technically resolved on record,
                                    High Places’ self-titled release is   Ago
                                    an exploration into sound and         Justin Vernon’s retreat into
                                    imagery.                              discovery, heartache and isolation
                                                                          manifested into the debut album
                                                                          of the year. Vernon presents
                                    6. Mount Eerie - Lost Wisdom          a vulnerability so sincere and
                                    Phil Elverum’s (predominantly)        evocative through his falsetto and
                                    duets with Julie Doiron produce       bare instrumentals. For Emma,
                                    some of the most heart-tugging        Forever Ago is a romance in reality.
                                    songs this year. Simply stunning.
10. Pivot - O Soundtrack My
Heart                                                                     1. Beach House - Devotion
They could be the best              5. Glass Candy - B/E/A/T/B/O/X        This Baltimore duo have made
export this land has to offer       Disco has been riding high on         some of the most luscious,
right about now. O Soundtrack       my radar this entire year and         dreamy psych-pop gems this year.
My Heart thumps and                 technically this album shouldn’t      Devotion holds your hand and
provokes you in the most            be here because its release           takes you on the most wondrous
delicate and alluring of plagues.   date was last year. However,          journey ever. Before you know it’ll
O Soundtrack My Heart is a          if repetition was a factor in         hold your heart too. It is simply
revelation for Pivot.               determining the ranks of these        beautiful.

          10. Stephen Malkmus & The             5. of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
          Jicks - Real Emotional Trash          Like an hour-long groping.
          A tokenistic entry into my            Although exhausting to listen
          top ten as a result of my poor        to, Skeletal Lamping provides us
          listening habits in 2008. Whilst      further insight to the 24/7 acid
natasha   the efforts of Malkmus and co.
          are more cohesive here than
                                                trip taking place in Kevin Barnes’
                                                head. Or should I say, Georgie
          on their previous offerings,          Fruit’s head? God, I don’t even
          frustration sets in as potentially    know any more.
          interesting songs go nowhere.
          9. Foals - Antidotes                  4. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
          You say “math rock”, I say UK         Dan Whitford delves deeper into
          indie finally gettting it right for   his record collection and emerges
          the first time in a long while.       with this gem. Taking everything
                                                that was good about the 80s,
          8. Be Your Own Pet - Get              swirling it around and pepper-
          Awkward                               ing it with his painfully earnest,
          One of the many bands to              vulnerable, romantic lyrics, Cut
          break up in 2008, Be Your Own         Copy achieve something rare
          Pet delivered us this raw, girl-      in this world of the indie-dance
          group-influenced garage punch         crossover act; producing an album
          to the face before taking off into    with heart.
          the sunset. Crack open a cheap
          beer, sit back and try not to take    3. The Dodos - Visiter
          it so hard.                           This San Fransican duo produce
                                                one of the most potent, manic
          7. Girl Talk – Feed The Animals       and interesting albums of this
          Pop culture enthusiast                year. Coming from a person who
          extraodinarre Gregg Gillis takes      never thought she would use the
          your typical family wedding           last three adjectives to describe
          and mates it with a bunch of          what is essentially a folk record,
          alternative favourites, some          that is a powerful statement.
          hip-hop, and all those guilty
          pleasures you and everybody           2. Born Ruffians - Red,Yellow &
          else knows word for word.             Blue
          The end result is music that          Born Ruffians have taken my
          makes you want to rip all your        heart with their debut record.
          clothes off and grind against a       Twitchy, nevous, mid-song change-
          stranger in a dark, sweaty room.      filled, completely endearing but
                                                never tiring.
          6. Deerhunter - Microcastle/
          Weird Era Cont.                       1. No Age - Nouns
          Microcastle is the sound of           I actually bought this album. Holy
          someone grabbing you by the           shit.
          hair of your nape, thrusting your
          head into a fish tank and watch-
          ing you slowly drown (except,
          you know, more fun than that


     fleet	foxes
     metro theatre
     sydney, NSW
     3rd january, 2009

     by stephen box


 in review:

     fleet	foxes
     the dodos
     metro theatre
     sydney, NSW
     3rd january, 2009

     by nicola moore

A good concert is one that can convince         like this atmospheric crossover, between
you of something. Fleet Foxes managed           pretentious Vogue-smoker and prolific
to convince me that I was, in fact, there       VB-consumer; inhibitions lost in favour of
solely to see them, and not just for their      sharing something we all really know is
supporting act (The Dodos – amazing,            sort of special.
bluesier live than recorded, but still not as
good as the headliners.) Whether it was         As mentioned afore, their harmonies are
the powerful performance of Fleet Foxes         almost chilling, and though I know that in
themselves, or the potency of the seven         the wide world of Fleet Fox reviewing,
dollar gin & tonics I was drinking down         the comparison is becoming tired, there
like mother’s milk, I don’t know – but I        definitely are echoes of Crosby, Stills
was also convinced of a sudden pining to        & Nash about them. Listening to them
take up violin, mittens, and pre-civil war      I feel like my Dad, only slightly more
north-eastern America.                          modern, a little more choral. I spent
                                                all of high school wishing the hymns
Atmosphere was the strong point                 we sang sounds like this. It was gospel
of the night. The hour and a half set           re-education, with the added benefit
seemed momentary upon reflection;               of much more snowflake and scarf-
I awoke from something dreamlike at             wrapping imagery.
eleven o’clock. Opening with a deafening
five man harmony, they stunned their            The encore showed lead singer, Robin
audience into total silence. After the          Pecknold, address the crowd most
first twenty or so awestruck minutes,           personally, stepping out from behind
I wondered whether Fleet Foxes were             his mic and playing an acoustic piece
one of those live bands; technically            (which I’d not heard before, apparently
brilliant but with not much else going on.      in the style of “ye olde Englande”) to
But no, their banter was redeeming, and         calm us all down and ensure that we left
they managed to break the stillness, that       remembering their impact. A packed out
frigidity which can smother the greatest        Metro Theatre standing in silence as a
live potential. When it came time for           single man serenaded us all with only his
the likes of ‘White Winter Hymnal’ and          voice and a tinny guitar.
‘Oliver James’, the crowd pretty much           Basically, this concert was like good sex.
lost their shit. And I know for a fact that     Exhausting, surprising, powerful. And
no one else had been frequenting the            like all good sex, there was nothing to
rear bar as much as my boyfriend and I,         do afterwards but laugh, and then step
so that must tell you something about           outside for a Vogue.
the quality of the performance.

In this second half a corner was turned,
from sophisticated-reverence-of-old-
(Lord knows she’s good with a hyphen),
to boozy feelings of group unity,
whooping, heckling, laughing. I particularly


     by natasha theoharous
Sidestage: So how are you this-- I’m           they just came together in the country.
assuming it’s not morning over there?
Joel Stein: No, I don’t even know what         How was the song-writing effort this
time it is, let me— oh, it’s still morning.    time around, being a more collaborative
Forty minutes until the morning is gone.       effort whereas your debut was more
                                               singular? (Lead singer, Juanita Stein,
Oh, you’re currently back in Australia?        solely penned the first album.)
Yeah but being in a band, it’s always the      It was really, really good. We’ve all grown
morning [laughs].                              [as musicians] so we’re all writing more
                                               now than when it was just Juanita,
I’ve also been sleepless, but no matter.       whereas before, [when we each tried
Yeah? Well, a few ecstasy pills and a few      writing ourselves], it just wasn’t all
lines of coke will get you through that.       coming together and it wasn’t what the
(Ed’s note: He’s joking, kids. Drugs are bad   band wanted at the time. This album, or
for you.)                                      this process, we all connected more, all
                                               grew together more and fit into the idea
What have you and the band been up             of what we wanted more.
to of late?
Rock climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving,     Was it a case of all being at the same
a pool comp... our bassist has become          place, at the same time mentally?
an excellent ping pong player and the          Uh, maybe, possibly; I’ve never actually
drummer has just invented the first            thought of it in that way. It’s just when
tricycle that can ride up walls.               you spend so much time with a person,
                                               like you do in a band, the band’s ideas -
Now that’s an innovation. Patented it          they’re all still different - but they’re more
yet?                                           united.
Not yet. Soon, soon.
                                               You wrote the album’s closer, “How
I take it you’re still based in London, but    Long”, by yourself though. How did that
you wrote your new album, Radio Wars,          song come to be?
somewhere in country Victoria. What            I’d love to give you an interesting story
made you want to write there?                  but— [pauses] it’s about me getting my
I guess isolation; it’s just so much easier    heart ripped out.
for us when we’re not being distracted
by the jungle of the city.                     Oh. Okay. I feel horrible now.
                                               It’s okay. [laughs] I’m just telling you the
Where exactly did you write these              truth.
Well the songs weren’t actually written        Moving awkwardly on, this album
there, some of them were written in            touches on some more traditionally
London. Actually, the majority of the          post-punk themes and instrumentation,
songs and ideas were written in London,        evident in tracks such as “Radio Wars”

     and especially in “Digital Heart”, with       experimentation is going into the studio
     its thrumming, mechanical rhythm.             with nothing and coming out with this
     Where do you think the influence              experimental album. Don’t tell the
     comes from: now living in a city much         record company or they’ll kick me out.
     larger than Sydney, or what you’ve
     been listening to of late...?                 Ha, they don’t tend to look so
     I think it’s a big melting pot of all those   favourably on these things, do they?
     things, actually. I guess we don’t all sit    No [laughs]. Maybe [I can leave that]
     down in a circle and make a conscious         as a solo project for when I’ve built a
     effort to be all “so this is going to         sandpit in my house with a piano inside
     be like this” and “this’ll be like that”.     it.
     I think we’ll have this idea for a song
     and then dress it in the way that it calls    Nice. How did you find your producer
     for. But definitely,                                                     for this album,
     I think our                                                              Nigel Godrich
     frames of mind                                                           (who has
     are completely                                                           produced for
     different to                      [Our producer, Nigel                   the likes of
     the first album;                                                         Radiohead,
     we do want to                     Godrich] used to say                   Air and Paul
     experiment more.                  “don’t do this” and                    McCartney)?
     I don’t think we                                                         Through our
                                       we used to tell him to
     enough on this                    fuck off but he— he                    We sent
     album. It’s just a                stood his ground.                      him some
     number of things;                                                        recordings and
     ideas and feelings.                                                      well, he liked
     And then some                                                            them. It was
     more ideas, again.                                                       great working
     [laughs]                                                                 with him, he
                                                   was very very – what’s that word?
     In terms of experimentation, did you          Enthusiastic and passionate and—
     try a lot of experimentation in the
     studio - well, even if it was not enough?     Would work with you rather than
     [laughs] We tried! We were really             trying to impose a certain direction?
     rushed, trying to record all our songs,       That’s right. Nigel definitely has more
     but you can definitely hear it on this        of a pop, electronic mind which was
     album. For example, in “Treasure Hunt”        great, because we’re always open to
     we were marching on this big wooden           new things, and just this fresh set of ears
     stage all the way throughout, I got this      because, and this happens a lot, you just
     new analogue keyboard, Brendan got            end up getting lost inside yourself. He
     one too and we were coming up with            was challenging to work with, too. He
     all these new sounds. But my idea of

used to say “don’t do this” and we used     to be like when the album drops, like
to tell him to fuck off but he— he stood    anybody, but the UK music press is kind
his ground. [laughs]                        of like one giant school: one day you’re
                                            the coolest kid, the next you’re sitting in
The album release date has been put         the corner, staring at some marbles on
back more than once. When were you          the floor.
originally supposed to release it?
I think late October but then it was        Conversely, the Australian music scene
pushed back and back again. To be           has started to swing away from that
honest, it wasn’t finished; we still        “rock” dominance that held five, ten
haven’t gotten the final product back.      years ago and has started to embrace
It is finished now, though. We ended up     a further diversity in their acts.
finishing recording in August, uh— you      Being connected to this as Australian
know what? Don’t hold me on those           musicians but having uprooted
dates.                                      yourselves into a completely different
                                            scene, what are your views on this?
Ha, sure. How have you been spending        I think it’s brilliant. I’m really happy that a
that downtime from then until now?          band like The Presets have gotten really
We have been back in Sydney for the         big. There’ll always be a few bands, in my
past two and a half weeks, but before       opinion, that shouldn’t be big [laughs]
that, we were playing a few shows, doing    and bands that need to be big. The best
some promo in London, a bit of writing.     pub rock band that we ever had were
                                            AC/DC, and they were brilliant but I
Getting a start on the next release?        think what the Australian scene [as a
Always, we’re always writing.               whole] traditionally did was try to follow
You’re not the types that try to prolong
the writing process?                        I guess when there’s a success in one
Well I didn’t say we’re always writing      area, others will try to follow.
good stuff [laughs] but we’re always        Exactly, exactly. Everybody wants another
writing, whether it’s electronic stuff or   AC/DC but you know, AC/DC were
more classical stuff or more art nouveau-   AC/DC. I think what is happening now
style.                                      is really positive and I hope it keeps
                                            expanding and getting better and better.
You’re set to play an NME Shockwaves
show in early February. How has the         Sadly, I think our time is up but I hope
UK music press continued to treat you,      you enjoy the rest of your day, hope
considering their less-than-spectacular     that it isn’t one big perpetual morning.
track record with these matters?            I shall. I think it should be quite chill. You
Good. Surprisingly good. We’ve only         have a good day, thanks a lot!
done some very limited shows of late,
but the reflections of the mirrors have     Radio Wars is now out through Liberation
been good. I don’t know what it’s going     in Australia and Independiente Records in
                                            the UK.

     franz ferdinand
     red riders, temper trap

     enmore theatre
     sydney, NSW
     6th january, 2009

     by kate walton



by kate walton
     Sidestage: Hi Sara, how are you?              So you prefer being in the studio to,
     Sara: Fine, thank you. How are you?           say, touring?
                                                   Oh yeah. Obviously, I couldn’t be in
     I’m very well. Where are you today?           the studio a hundred percent of the
     I’m in New York City right now.               time, that would make me crazy. But
                                                   I think I feel the most challenged and
     Oh, cool. What’re you doing in New            the most satisified, artistically, when I’m
     York?                                         writing and in the studio. Touring is a
     I’ve just been sort of hanging out,           really weird thing, it’s like-- that hour or
     actually. Just over the last couple of        two hours or whatever, when you’re
     months, since we got off tour. Just sort      performing, is often incredible, yet you
     of like hanging out, working on some          probably spend 22 hours of the day
     other music stuff, not my own stuff,          doing nothing. You’re travelling or you’re
     but just helping                              setting up but there’s a real monotony
     out with some                                                          and boredom that
     friends, and being                                                     comes with that,
     social, and going              Oh yeah, well I mean                    and that’s when I
     to museums. I                                                          start to ger really
                                    some people are giant                   anxious. You only
     would call this
     a vacation, but                assholes. But I mean, I                 get to be creative
                                                                            for like an hour or
     it’s the probably              feel like that, and I feel              an hour and a half
     most busy thing
     I’ve down all year,
                                    like that’s what’s always               every day, really.
     being in New York              been awkward for me,                    And so, for me
     City on vacation.                                                      when I’m in the
                                    having quote-unquote                    studio it’s like this
                                    “fans”.                                 unbridled-- just,
     Do you find it                                                         you’re working and
     hard to settle                                                         making music for
     down and actually relax?                      twelve or fourteen hours a day. It’s like,
     I don’t know this thing you speak             oh, so satisfying.
     of - “relaxing”. [laughs] I think-- You
     know what? I recently realised that my          Have you started working on the
     favourite thing to do is to be in the           next Tegan & Sara album yet? Are you
     studio. I’m very, like, OCD and I like          planning it?
     to be very intellectually stimulated by         We have planned it, and we have about
     activities and whatever, so I find it really    40 songs written. We just went down to
     hard to relax because when I start to           New Orleans actually, and wrote, Tegan
     relax I start to get really anxious and I       and I did, for the first time together,
     need to like work out or something.             wrote about seven songs together. We
                                                     starting to look at studios, and I think
                                                     we’re about to go in and start making it
                                                     in May. May or June.

With the lyrics and everything so far,         musicians for me. It can be writers or
do you think it’s going to be similar to       people who’ve done art or who have
The Con?                                       a job I’m really impressed by, I’ll just
I’m not so sure. You know, it’s tough right    feel unworthy. Or I’ll feel really-- well,
now. It’s hard to sit back and really see      I really like to deconstruct and analyse
it for myself. It’s a strange way to look at   what people do and how they do it
things. It’s like when you look at yourself    and that makes me feel really insecure
and it’s hard to see changes in who you        because I want to like ask them a million
are as a person or your body or your           questions and that makes me kind of
life. Sometimes in retrospect when a           feel vulnerable. So I think that’s why we
lot of time has passed, it’s easier to see     geek out a bit. We’re not like, oh hi nice
the differences. Like, I can go back now       to meet you. We’re really inquisitive, we
and listen to previous albums and think,       want to know a lot about people.
wow this sounds so different to how it
sounded to me when we made it. So,             I think that’s quite reassuring for fans
right now because the material is so new       of bands, to know that even people in
it sounds really different to me. But for      bands themselves feel like that, too.
all I fucking know it sounds like the same     Oh yeah, well I mean some people are
thing. [laughs]                                giant assholes. But I mean, I feel like that,
                                               and I feel like that’s what’s always been
Okay, so because you’ve already toured         awkward for me, having quote-unquote
Australia for The Con, I thought we            “fans”. I’m a fan, so like I understand it,
might just have a bit more of a general        but I also feel very uncomfotrable with
chat today. Is that alright?                   that attention turned on me. I think
Oh sure, yeah.                                 we try to sort of stabilise the audience
                                               sometimes in that fashion, by being really
Great. So, I read this old interview           human and being really genuine and
where you were talking about how               authentic, which I think even grosses
when you meet other bands that you             people out sometimes. Like, especially--
come across as fannish or geeky. Do            People who are there who are like
you still feel like that?                      journalists. We’re kind of over the top
Oh yeah. But I mean, I feel that way           with this every person kind of banter,
about most people. Meeting most                all hey I’m just like you! And being so
people. Like a twelve year old came up         authentic, I think that-- It’s just so strange
to me the other day on the street and          to me. Sometimes it’s really exhilarating
wanted to take a picture with me, and I        but when they’re just screaming, like
felt totally geeky and intimidated and like,   I love you! I’m just like, [sounding
you know just sort of socially-- maybe         exasperated] oh come on, how could
not intimidated but certainly socially         you love me? You don’t even know me!
awkward. I think that it’s just strange        So I think sometimes we really try to
when you feel that you’re meeting              calm the audience down, to the point
people who have had a really serious           where we’re actually awkward.
impact on you. Sometimes it’s not even         While you’re out here in Australia, is

     there anything you want to do here           I hate-- no, hate is a strong word. I
     that you didn’t get around to last time?     generally don’t have a great New Year’s
     Like holding koalas or anything like         Eve. I’m not like, an organised celebrating
     that?                                        kind of person. Birthdays make me really
     [laughs] We did a lot of the quintessional uncomfortbale. Maybe Christmas is
     Australian tourist kind of stuff when we     okay? I get bummed out on holidays, so
     first went years and years and years         I’m excited that we’re actually working
     ago. We occasionally do the koala thing,     on New Year’s Eve. We’ll have friends
     I mean that doesn’t get old for us. But      around and we’ll be with all of our band
     I think this time, we have a lot more        and crew. One of my aunts is travelling
     time off. We’ve really made some great       with us. So it’s going to be really nice, like
     friends in Australia. So we’re gonna like    a group family thing. If I was at home,
     go surfing and do some beach stuff. It’s     I’d probably would do something really
     nice to have friends in cities. When we      reclusive, like watch a movie and drink a
     used to tour in                                                        bottle of wine.
     Australia we
     didn’t really                  I still kind of groan                   You’re still living
     know people in                                                         in Montreal,
     the cities and                 when we’re doing                        right?
     stuff, so we’re                [interviews], but I used                Yeah. That’s sort
     going to try                                                           of my main
     and see it from                to be like a kid having                 residence, yeah.
     their perspective              a tantrum, you know?                    I feel like I’m
     and get more                   [puts on a childish                     floating around
     of a local hang                                                        the world a bit
     out kind of                    voice] “But I don’t                     right now, but
     vibe instead of                want to. “                              yeah.
     like, on tour,
     in the hotel,                                                          And Tegan’s still
     the promoter                                                           in California?
     recommends a restaurant or something         She’s been going back and forth
     and that’s all you see of the city. I’m      between Vancouver and LA. She’s home
     really looking forward to this trip. We      now for the holidays right now. She’s the
     also have a lot of family in Australia, in   good daughter, she spends so much time
     Brisbane. So coming to Australia now is      with my mom that even if I spent the
     a lot more familiar and homey for us.        rest of my life with my mom, I’d never
                                                  be able to catch up.
     You’ll be in Australia over New Year’s
     Eve, playing Falls Festival. If you weren’t  The reason I ask is that I was wondering
     playing at Falls, how would you be           if we could talk a bit about Proposition
     celebrating?                                 8? [Proposition 8 is a bill that passed
     [immediately] I hate New Year’s Eve.         in California in the US election last
                                                  November that banned gay marriage

in California, despite gay marriage being      that’s genetic, that’s not a choice,
previously legal in the state.]                then it becomes even more upsetting,
Oh yeah, sure. I guess the thing that’s        obvsiously. And I think that’s what’s really
been really upsetting for me is... I mean,     beomce a challenge for me, that I don’t
I’m not really involved myself politically     really understand why in America it’s
in America or the gay rights movement          still being put to a public vote. I don’t
in America. I mean, I’m obviously very         think that’s fair. And I think that a lot of
concerned about Canada and when the            the advertising and the commericals
Civil Marriage Act was passed in Canada,       and whatever that were happening at
I was thrilled and I was in a long-term        the time, they’re just so slanted and they
relationship and we’d been, y’know,            don’t really explain, that it’s not just, “hey,
we’d done notorised common-law                 we wanna have a wedding and a cake”.
documents for immigration purposes.            It’s what comes with any marriage, that
So I really thouht of myself as married        you have rights and benefits. If you die
and I’d come to accept and almost              or you end up in the emergency room.
become complacent that in Canada, not          And health care and dental care, and
only can you marry, but you can adopt,         just, you know, just sharing your life with
and-- we have basically the same rights.       somebody. It just pisses me off but it
And once you have those rights, you            also makes me so sad. It directly affects
realise how tremendously unfair it is, that    people that I know now, because I have
people don’t have those rights based on        so many friends in the state. Like, my
sexuality. And if you believe that sexuality   sister has been living in California. It’s
is something that’s pre-determined,            really just so sad, especially when you

     think about it as a human rights issue.
     People in the future will look back on       On a lighter note, what have your
     this as being really fucked up, so we’re     favourite records of 2008 been?
     really part of that movement right now       I’ve just been making my top ten list.
     to change that and to draw attention         I really loved the No Age record and
     to it.                                       I loved the Atlas Sound record, and--
                                                  [laughs] I love Rihanna. I would marry
     It’s really good that people have            her. I would ditch any girl for Rihanna.
     recognisable figures in that scene--         [laughs more] But, um-- I like a lot of
     Well, yeah, I mean-- We’re at a really       instrumental stuff, like this record called
     interesting time right now. It’s different   flying lotus. Honestly, though-- I haven’t
     now, because it’s normal to have gay         been listening to a ton of music, because
     people in the public and you’re not          i’ve been writing. So I get really hooked
     marginalised the                                                        on certain
     way you used                                                            things.. I bought
     to be. Doing                                                            a best of Patsy
     what Tegan and I                                                        Cline the other
     do-- we still get                                                       day -- well, not
     a lot of the “girls                                                     the other day.
     as gay people”                                                          About three
     thing. There’s                                                          months ago.
     only so many                                                            And that’s all
     battles we can                                                          I’ve listened to.
     fight, because                                                          I stare at my
     people are going                                                        iTunes, and it’s
     to stereotype us                                                        like, What am I
     or judge us or                                                          going to listen
     be homophobic                                                           to? Hmm, Patsy
     anyway. So, we’re                                                       Cline! I just
     just trying to be                                                       haven’t stopped
     ourselves-- like,                                                      listening to it.
     for teenagers and for people who feel
     uncomfortable or who feel ashamed.           You’re playing a lot of festivals while
     We’re part of a movement for people          you’re here in Australia. Why should
     who need role models. I feel really          people drop by and check out your
     happy about that, but we still have so       set?
     much more to do. It’s not just the stigma    You know.. This question always stresses
     and the humiliation and the stereotypes,     me out. Because I don’t know why! I
     when you don’t even have the rights          think we’re at a really good time in our
     on a government level. It’s very hard to     career, and I feel like you could pop us
     change people’s views when you don’t         in front of people who don’t know us.
     even have the rights on a government         And we’d definitely entertain them and
     level.                                       potentially get some converts. What’s

starting to happen is that we have a              What are your favourite festivals to
body of work, we have six albums -- five          play?
albums. [laughs] Getting ahead of myself.         Oh geez.. I don’t really like festivals all
[imitating herself] Yeah, we have 100             that much.
albums. Lots of material. But yeah, there’s
not necessarily something for everyone,           No?
but we’re not just touring one album.             No, not really. It’s totally not conducive
We have a lot of different material and           to-- I don’t know. It’s like playing in a
a lot of different energy with different          wind tunnel. You’re dealing witht he
albums, different songs. If anything, at a        element,s and it’s hot and the sun is
lot of festivals, there’s barely any girls. So,   out, and people are just-- loitering and
I guess if you wanna see both genders             drinking. Huge amounts of people. it’s
represented, I guess you can come see             hard to connect one on one and that’s
us because we’re                                                               kind of what
girls. [laughing]                                                              we do. There’s
No, no, don’t                                                                  always like
even quote that.                                                               sound problems.
That’s terrible.                                                               But this year, our
                                                                               goal was to play
Do you think                                                                   festivals, and to
your audience                                                                  try to actually
has changed                                                                    get into it. And
as you’ve                                                                      honestly we had
progressed as a                                                                a great festival
band?                                                                          season I loved it,
Oh my god,                                                                     we played a lot
yeah. It definitely                                                            of US festivals,
grew with us.                                                                  and a bunch
We started out                                                                 of festivals in
playing to like 20                                                             Europe-- and
people, maybe                                                                  Germany in
not even that sometimes. We’ve seen               particular was amazing. So I’m starting to
different tiers of audiences - college kids,      feel better about it. I still kind of groan
girls, queer kids. Then you start to see a        when we’re doing them, but I used to be
real mix across the board, even though            like a kid having a tantrum, you know?
it drives me crazy when people say                [puts on a childish voice] But I don’t
that -- I’ve def noticed a lot more boys.         want to. And now I’m kind of like, oh,
When we started out, we really did have            okay.
a huge female audience. We’re definitely
seeing the dudes come out. Rock out               Sadly, our time’s up now, so thank you
to The Con and stuff. Our audience has            very much for talking to me, and we’ll
definitely changed, for sure.                     see you soon!
                                                  Thank you!


     an horse

     enmore theatre
     sydney, NSW
     8th january, 2009

     by kate walton


& review:

              photos by k
              review by c

            reiby place
            sydney, NSW
            8th february,

te walton                   35
ss grant




ve s



jack ladder

When I think of festivals I think of
cheap beer, pub rock bands, dusty
grass or churned mud (or both,
depending on the season) and
impolite boys who cannot keep
their shirts on or their hands to
themselves. St Jerome’s Laneway
Festival sidesteps any distaste I
feel for the whole phenomenon
by providing an experience so far
removed that at times I forget that
I’m really at a music festival.

 At other times it’s hard to deny
 what’s staring me in the face. Long
 drinks and bathroom queues are a
 given at an event like this, but when
 the line for The Basement stretches
 well into two set lists’ worth
 of songs you start to question
 the logistics of it all. At least the
 Sydney festival crowds remained
 at a manageable level, unlike the
 near-riots that threatened to break
 out in Melbourne the previous

temper trap
week. With all four Sydney stages            presence at a festival, any festival, taking
neatly contained in the one locale,          photos and pills in equal measure.
the organisers avoided having to             Listening to bands both home-grown
negotiate the re-entry of festival-          and from overseas in the Basement
goers from city streets back into the        or on the Reiby Stage afford fans
enclosure. The wire fencing didn’t           a relative amount of intimacy that
stop people from peering through             is difficult to achieve in most larger
an adjoining hotel’s windows, hosting        festivals.
impromptu Laneway parties in the
foyer and dancing to the music               The informal nature of Laneway leaves
echoing from the Park Stage.                 its mark on the bands. Solid acts I
                                             saw included the impossibly tall Jack
This is the drawing card of Laneway,         Ladder curling around his guitar and
or at least one of its key selling points.   microphone, belting out soul-country
In bringing lesser-known international       croons; Yves Klein Blue, whose singer’s
acts to our shores and staging them          strangely British accent nonetheless
in the backstreets of multiple cities,       had the crowd bouncing along;
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival meets           Canadian band Born Ruffians; and Kiwi
the demands of a niche market who            favourites Cut Off Your Hands, who
care about the music more than their         used the set to announce...



     the depa
     still deliv

arture of
vering a


     A personal highlight was Port O’Brien’s outstanding show in The Basement; the
     cramped conditions worked in their favour as they riled up the crowd and had them
     singing along at deafening levels. Closing with their hit ‘I Woke Up Today’, the band
     invited members of Yves Klein Blue and Papa vs. Pretty onstage so they could flail
     around madly and add to the general noise of the show.

     Collaborating seemed to be a popular idea among the bands. Architecture in
     Helsinki were briefly joined by Greg Gillis of Girl Talk in order to sing a truly bizarre
     cover of what we could only identify as possibly being a Metallica song. Architecture’s
     unusual set of covers and revamped versions of their own songs left fans at a loss
     for how to respond. Later, Girl Talk continued the stage invasion theme when he
     took to his headlining slot at Reiby Stage and immediately filled the decks behind
     him with some very excitable ladies, including festival organisers. Given his reputation
     as a mash-up artist, Gillis’ set packed an effective party-starting punch, with smooth
     transitions between tracks that soon had the crowd cheering upon each recognisable
     sample and singing along with everything from Kelly Clarkson to AC/DC.

     Sadly, a council-imposed noise curfew meant that the night ended fairly early and we
     were summarily ejected from the venue. Half the crowd looked set to carry on, while
     the rest (myself included) shuffled home in tired contentment. I don’t know whether it
     had to do with the wildly varied audience that Girl Talk’s music drew, or the inevitable

     port o’brien

 flattening effect as St Jerome’s
 grows and reaches mainstream
 audiences, but the shift in the
 festival’s attendee demographic
 was remarkable.

 The number of carefully-
 groomed indie hipsters
 is slowly shrinking when
 faced with the glossy
 ladies and buff lads who
 normally frequent electro,
 Modular-style       events.
 I could be reading into
 things too deeply. Perhaps
 the absent hipsters
 were at Playground
 Weekender, which was
 running at the same time.
 Or they might feel that
 Laneway no longer serves
 their interests and simply
 left for more exclusive

born	ruffians

                                                                likely at
                                                      would                  ing
                                             ce tent                headlin
                           Red   Bull dan with specific and The
               that the               mbined                eacon
  It’s tr ue ival fiends, co 2008, Dan D demographic
                st                                            a
   more fe ir l Talk and, in sed by such me’s Laneway
    ar tis ts (G               ge  r s po              t . Jero               ts in
                      he dan                  int of S               pop ac
     Pre  sets). T ificant: the po howcase indie r s are also
                 e sign                   n to s              al-goe
      shift ar as always bee electro festiv e no problem
                   h                       e                    av                   .
       Festival te setting. If th reat. I also h am audience
        an   intim  a
                             this, that’s    g
                                                      rm    ainstre ut to this
                   ted in                    a wide               ing o                t
         interes ging bands to hat in reach ight lose sigh
                     in                       t            iser s m em succeed
          w  ith br             ow    ever             an
                      rried h                 the org               d th
           I’m wo emographic, nity that helpe ig too fast and

                                               u                     b
            broade ssroots comm ay grows too I may lose one

             of the   gra            . If Lan  ew              eve  nt,           lash in

                           t place                instream               e back
              in the fir s t another ma ily attend. Th organiser s.
                         to ye                   happ                 r the              inal
               turns in w festivals I’ll g moment fo                          eir orig
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                 I hop  e th             r futu re re
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                  goals in


  born	ruffians
  oxford art factory
  sydney, NSW
  5th february, 2009

  by roanna manlutac


                                                      3rd April: The Kills
                                                      (with Louis XIV) – Prince
                                                      Bandroom, Melbourne

                                                      We’ll sure as hell be there, will

                                                      2nd, 9th & 16th May:
                                                      Groovin the Moo Festival
                                                      - Townsville, Maitland &
                                                      Bendigo, Australia
                                                      Australia’s most well-traveled
                                                      festival, with a rotating roster
                                                      of regional locations each year.
                                                      Worth the trip out of the city.
                                                      22nd-23rd May: Yo!
                                                      Gabba Gabba – Brisbane
                                                      Convention Center, South

                                                      No, we’re not kidding.
                                                      Holy fucking shit.


      Wavves - Wavvves   Various Artists - Dark Was      The Pains of Being Pure
                         the Night                       at Heart - The Pains of
                                                         Being Pure at Heart

And you call yourself a music fan. Pick up yourself a copy and learn.
(and if possible, try and track down this edition; the American edition
has been severely edited down.)

sidestage	magazine	∙	issue	#003∙	march	2009	∙
                          watch your back.

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