Oct 30, 2011

Rows Of Houses-Dan Mangan

Currently in love with the latest album from Canadian singer Dan Mangan. "Oh Fortune" is raw, emotional, melodic and quite stunning in parts. Here is a video for one of the choice tracks in "Rows Of House". Hope you enjoy!

Oct 28, 2011

New Album From Islands Coming In 2012

February 12 will see a new album released from Nick Thorburn's Islands. "A Sleep & A Forgetting" will be released by ANTI- and contains 11 tracks. I absolutely loved the first two albums from Islands, but the last one was a disappointment, so here's hoping this one is a success.

A Sleep & A Forgetting Track Listing
1 In A Dream It Seemed Real
2 This Is Not A Song
3 Never Go Solo
4 No Crying
5 Hallways
6 Can’t Feel My Face
7 Lonely Love
8 Oh Maria
9 Cold Again
10 Don’t I Love You
11 Same Thing

Oct 27, 2011

Lonely Boy-The Black Keys

"Lonely Boy", from their upcoming new album in "El Camino".

Oct 22, 2011

Feist Black Cab Sessions

Feist from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.


Oct 19, 2011

Okkervil River @ Metro Theatre

There is a good chance that Tuesday night at the Metro played host to the gig of 2011. I have seen some great shows this year, but this will be almost impossible to beat for passion, energy and excitement. Bruised glory, ragged joy and ecstatic delight. A band at the peak of its powers. A band for everyone. Well, for everyone who can appreciate great, great, music. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Okkervil River.

This was my sixth time seeing this mighty fine band and they seem to be getting better. They are certainly rocking the foundations. For this showed truly rocked, in every sense of the word. It was passion overflow from start to finish. There were no flat spots either. It was purely great from start to finish. The herky jerk rhythms of "Wake And Be Fine" opened the night and it was most certainly a great way to start. In fact, all the songs played from their latest album were sublime last night. "The Valley" was a monstrous thunderclap of a song, whilst "Rider" was momentous and grand. But I also found songs like "Piratess" and  "Your Past Life as a Blast" were much better live than on record. They were both fun. Of course a band like Okkervil River has a great reservoir of songs to draw on and so they did. Songs like "For Real" and "Black" went down a treat as did the burning beauty of "A Girl In Port". But it was "No Key, No Plam" that stole the show. For this song Will Sheff slowed it down to a slow whisper, with only Patrick Pestorius joining him on stage. It was a starkly beautiful rendition of an already beautiful song. Sublime. There was so much more though. "Our Live Is Not A Movie Or Maybe" was a rollicking end to the main set and then the encore was greatness itself. A banjo intro lit up the melodic beauty of "Lost Coastlines", before "Westfall" took us back to where it all began. Then "Unless It's Kicks" closed the memorable night with appropriate joy and power. Wow! What a band to behold. They were all great, but special mention should be made to new drummer Cully Symington who pounded the skins with immense power and Lauren Gurgiolo who has grown into a confident and commanding guitar player in her relatively short time in the band. The band was really rocking it too, with many songs extended and drawn out to maximum effect. Of course the main man is the incomparable Will Sheff. He is a huge buzzsaw of energy on stage. Singing and playing with gigantic passion and heart he embodies the live experience. He truly is one of the great singers and songwriters of our time. A night to remember. For sure. 

Set List
Wake And Be Fine
For Real
A Girl In Port
Song Of Our So-Called Friend
We Need A Myth
The Valley
No Key, No Plan
So Come Back, I Am Waiting
John Allyn Smith Sails
Your Past Life as a Blast
Our Live Is Not A Movie Or Maybe
Lost Coastlines

The Rise
Unless It's Kicks

Oct 17, 2011

Will Sheff @ Toff In Town

About two months ago we discovered that Okkervil River were going to be playing the Melbourne Festival. Great! Here comes a Sydney sideshow. But wait, there was more. Lead singer and songwriter Will Sheff would be playing a sideshow. Plane tickets and hotel rooms were booked and we counted down the days. So, last night, Sunday night was the night. After a great weekend in Melbourne, we paid our first visit to the Toff in Town (great venue, btw) and for over an hour we were bewildered, enraptured and enriched by the bespectacled genius of Will Sheff.

But what would be play? Would be choose songs that the band doesn't play? Would be give us some older gems? Would he attack the new songs? Would he have any one play alongside him? Well, firstly he did fly solo. On his trusty acoustic, with two songs on piano. Plus the closing number on electric. As for the set list it was a combination of new and old and a few lesser played tunes thrown in to delight the captive audience. So many highlights, but these ones especially stood out. A delectable "A King and a Queen", an emotion charged "A Stone", the impossibly great "Red" and a powerhouse performance of "The President's Dead". He also tried his hand at big band sound tunes like "Unless It's Kicks" and "The Valley" (with iPod backing). They both worked very well indeed. But it was the main set closer "For Real" that stole the show. Hauntingly played out on piano, it was sheer power and dripped with emotion. An encore allowed us to show our well found appreciation for the night we had enjoyed. For Mr Sheff is a unique and talented man. A great writer. A great singer. A great.

Set List
Lay Of The Last Survivor
Plus Ones
A King and a Queen
Happy Hearts
Your Past Life As a Blast
Wake and Be Fine
The President's Dead
I Guess We Lost
A Stone
Unless It's Kicks
The Valley
For Real

Love To A Monster
Our Live Is Not A Movie Or Maybe

Oct 14, 2011

Charge Group @ Goodgod

Well, what a few great days of Australian music I have enjoyed recently. Firstly it was the always wonderful Dead Letter Chorus at the FBI Social night, followed by the incredible The Paper Scissors at the very same venue. Well, now I need a new batch of superlatives and adjectives. For Thursday night I saw the great, and I don't use the term lightly, Charge Group at Goodgod. I saw them earlier in the year previewing new songs from their soon to be released (March 2012) album and they were great. Well last night it was more of the same. The night actually served as the release night of their new EP (two songs will be on the new album, plus a bunch of remixes) and they proved yet again that they are nearly untouchable on the Australian music scene.

Why? Well, the songs are superlative. A potent mix of dramatic power and sublime beauty. A great rhythm section provides the bed rock for the melody and grace of the violin of Jason Tampake. Then you have the front man in Matt Blackman. His voice and guitar can convey equal parts of gut wrenching emotion. It's a heady mix. Last night the set featured classics from their debut album and also songs from the upcoming new one. I was a little disappointed that they didn't play the majestic "Vice'd", but great renditions of "Lullaby For The Apocalypse" and "Lunar Module" more than made up for its absence. Of the new songs, "Run" was supercharged glory, but "The Gold Is Gone" was probably my favourite. A great song. A great night actually. It was my first time to the venue and it won't be my last. The place has a lot of character and personality. Great little bar area and then the room out the back for bands. Will be going back there for sure. I also caught support act Cuba Is Japan. They feature former Baseball front man Cam Potts on drums and were wickedly good. A huge dose of power and beauty was on display there too.

Set List
New Song?
Lullaby For The Apocalypse
Search Party
Broken Sunlight
The Gold Is Gone
Speakeasy Death Song
Lunar Module

Oct 12, 2011

The Black Keys Get El Camino

December 6. The Black Keys. New album. Be there.

El Camino Track Listing
1 Lonely Boy
2 Dead and Gone
3 Gold on the Ceiling
4 Little Black Submarines
5 Money Maker
6 Run Right Back
7 Sister
8 Hell of a Season
9 Stop Stop
10 Nova Baby
11 Mind Eraser

Oct 10, 2011

2012 St Jerome's Laneway Festival Announcement

Well folks, it's here. At last. The acts for the 2012 St Jerome's Laneway Festival have been announced. I think it's pretty damn good. No act of the stature of Menomena or Deerhunter as in 2011, but plenty of first time visitors with recently acclaimed albums in hand. Maybe it's a tad heavy on the chillwave vibe, but there are plenty I am excited to check out.

Laneway Festival Lineup
Feist (except Adelaide)
The Horrors
The Panics
Portugal. The Man.
Active Child
Anna Calvi
Chairlift (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne only)
The Drums
DZ Deathrays
Geoffry O’Connor
Givers (Sydney, Melbourne only)
Laura Marling
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Pajama Club
SBTRKT (live)
Toro Y Moi
Husky (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne only)
John Talabot
Total Control
Twin Shadow
Washed Out

Oct 9, 2011

The Paper Scissors @ Kings Cross Hotel

In some perfect world The Paper Scissors would be big. Much, much bigger then they are now. Why? Well, they are killer live and have a great arsenal of roaring songs. But they are not. Unfortunately. Saturday night they played to a small crowd at the FBI Social room at Kings Cross Hotel. As singer Jai Pyne put it, "a great room swimming in a sea of shit". They were great and greater. Which isn't surprising when you consider that they are drawing their set from an album I consider to be the finest released in Australia this year in "In Loving Memory". It's an album that is a dramatic exercise in soulful rock.

They actually opened with a new song that sounded pretty great as it was. "Lung Sum" followed and its delectable swagger filled the small room. Many highlights flowed along soon after, especially the thunderous "Taller Than You Then", the sublimely groovy "Dozens" and the deep soul of "Over There". They also threw in a crowd pleasing oldie in "Yamanote Line". I would say though it was confounding that the band had to finish abruptly at midnight. They were some 20 minutes late to start but I thought that the Kings Cross area would be certainly one that wouldn't be concerned with noise issues. Anyway, it did mean a somewhat short set. One though filled with power and grace. Thanks to the blockbusting voice of Jai Pine and the unbelievably tight rhythm section of Xavier Naughton and Ivan Lisyak. Next time you are searching the gig guide, make sure you underline the name of The Paper Scissors.   

Set List
New Song?
Lung Sum
Taller Than You Then
Over There
Soft Pig
Yamanote Line
Drunk Swim
Disco Connect

Oct 8, 2011

Your Past Life As A Blast-Okkervil River

Okkervil River - Your Past Life As a Blast from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

Greatness indeed! Seeing them next week!

Oct 5, 2011


I really look forward to seeing this film. "Norman", directed by Jonathan Segal. The film score was created by the great Andrew Bird. The song in the trailer is "Rabid Bits Of Time" by Chad VanGaalen. 

Oct 3, 2011


Siskiyou are from Canada. Well, that's a pretty good start in itself. But there's more. They are just about to release their second album in "Keep Away The Dead". It all started with Colin Huebert after he left Great Lake Swimmers in 2008. A self titled debut followed in 2010 and then the band slowly expanded to four. Now on October we welcome the new album on Constellation Records. It has been described as a 'rural gothic novella'. Have a listen to the album track below and tell me you're not impressed.

MP3: Twigs and Stones