Nov 28, 2012

New Nick Cave In 2013

"Well, if I were to use that threadbare metaphor of albums being like children, then Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator and Warren's loops are its tiny, trembling heart-beat."

And so the news comes of new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album. "Push the Sky Away" will be released in February 2013. It was produced by Nick Launay and recorded at La Fabrique, a recording studio based in a 19th Century mansion in the South of France, where the walls of the main studio are lined with an immense collection of classical vinyl.

Push The Sky Away Track Listing
1 We No Who U R
2 Wide Lovely Eyes
3 Water's Edge
4 Jubilee Street
5 Mermaids
6 We Real Cool
7 Finishing Jubilee Street
8 Higgs Boson Blues
9 Push The Sky Away

Nov 25, 2012

Headed For The Door-Moonface

OK, well let's get this out of the way first. Spencer Krug is a genius. His music is a gift from somewhere special. His album this year "Heartbreaking Bravery" was pretty great. "Headed For The Door" was my favourite song from said album, so I am really pleased to show new a brand new video.

Also, good news for 2013. Moonface will be releasing a new album on Paper Bag Records.
Stay tuned for more details!

Nov 18, 2012

Sydney Harvest Festival 2012

The first year of Harvest was such a great success that it would take a big effort to top it in 2012. In someways it did, in others perhaps not. Full credit to the organisers for making changes to the layout. They moved all the stages to different areas, creating more space in between, with the Great Lawn Stage (the main stage) being situated in a valley creating a huge ampitheatre with great views from everywhere. Movement between stages seemed easy too and I didn't notice too many queues for food, drink or toilets. So, in all a smooth day for all. 2011 was such a huge lineup, for me, that it would be hard to top this year. And they didn't. Of course it's all subjective but many acts weren't for me. Mike Patton's Mondo Cane was hard to take seriously and Cake were OK I guess but apart from "Frank Sinatra" it all seemed a bit pedestrian. Can't say I have ever loved Beck or Ben Folds Five or Beck either, although I'm sure for some people they were huge draw cards. But I still had a great day. See below...

The War On Drugs were on way too early. I know the reasons why they had such an early slot, but they are so talented they deserved a bigger audience. They sounded great, pounding out in a short time their trademark waves of beautiful guitars. So glad I got to see a full set Thursday night.

Set List
Best Night
Baby Missiles
Your Love Is Calling My Name
Come To The City
I Was There
A Needle In Your Eye #16

Liars were definitely a huge standout of the day. Although I think their driving, pulsing synth driven rock would be better suited at night rather then 3pm in the hot sun, they gave their all and then some. Playing mainly from this year's stellar "WIXIW" they pleased no end. I really loved "Brats" and "Who Is The Hunter" in particular. I was also very happy to hear the older "The Other Side of Mt Heart Attack" close the set in magnificent style.

Set List
To Hold You, Drum
Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
Who Is the Hunter
We Fenced Other Gardens With the Bones of Our Own
Flood to Flood
No.1 Against the Rush
Plaster Casts of Everything
The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack

To many people Beck is huge. To me not so much. I mean I like a few of his songs, but he never struck a huge chord with me. The songs never made a strong emotional connection. And I had massive guilt on missing the sublime Grizzly Bear. I did this mainly to ensure a good spot for Sigur Ros. Plus I had seen Grizzly Bear the night before and that was perfection which couldn't be improved upon. But in the end I enjoyed Beck, not hugely but enough to put a smile on my face, Plus every one was having such a good time. Especially with the closing section of "Devil's Haircut", "Loser", "Where's It At" and "E-Pro".
So to the climax of the day. As the sun set we waited with great anticipation for the mesmeric Sigur Ros. They didn't let us down, playing a blockbuster set that pulled out all the 'hits'. Playing before sublime visuals, it was an aural and visual feast. "Glósóli" and "Olsen Olsen" were delicate and superb. "Festival" was triumphant and ecstatic, whilst "Varuo" was a thunderbolt. Then they closed with "Popplagið" reducing us to puddles of water. A perfect end to a fine day.
Set List
Í Gær
Með Blóðnasir
Olsen Olsen

Nov 17, 2012

Grizzly Bear @ Metro Theatre

In a year that has featured some brilliant and at times sublime live music I think Friday night might have topped everything. I witnessed a band in perfect harmony (and perfect harmonies). A band so in the moment that it was scary. A band that has released three albums in a throw of such impeccable detail and beauty that it was almost a spiritual performance to see them performed live. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the church of Grizzly Bear. Quite simply, sublime.

This band of Brooklynites came to the Metro Theatre Friday night and spellbound a delirious audience for over 100 minutes. They connect like few bands can. Their melodies are faultless, songs rising and falling with ultimate ease and delicacy. Harmonies flourish and flower, washing over us and nestling in our hearts. Ed Droste's voice is angelic and smooth, Daniel Rossen's voice is warm and human and aching. Full of melancholy and regret and solitude. His guitar is glowing and rapturous. Chris Bear provides intuitive drumming and Chris Taylor does basically everything else. Filling the gaps with clarinet and saxophone and guitar. It's a heady mix, striking and emotional punch. I found myself several times just closing my eyes and letting the sounds invade me. Floating to the ceiling on a cushion of grace and beauty. It would almost redundant to list the songs and speak about them. Although I will say that "Sleeping Ute" was beyond perfection and "I Live With You" was searing and soaring "Sun In Your Eyes" was ecstatic and euphonious. But oh the encore, the encore. It was great enough to receive two older classics from "Yellow House" but when the band set up for an acoustic version of "All We Ask" I trembled with excitement. It delivered and how, the band making a statement. That being, there might not be a finer band right now on the planet then Grizzly Bear.

Set List
Speak In Rounds
Sleeping Ute
Yet Again
A Simple Answer
Gun Shy
Ready, Able
I Live With You
While You Wait For The Others
What's Wrong
Two Weeks
Half Gate
Sun In Your Eyes

On A Neck, On A Spit
All We Ask (acoustic)

Nov 16, 2012

The War On Drugs @ Oxford Art Factory

In a huge week for live music in Sydney, The War On Drugs more then held their own Thursday night at the Oxford Art Factory. The Philadelphia foursome ably displayed their guitar driven melodic rock to full effect. Here for the Harvest festival their music washed over us with waves of warm and fuzzy guitars. It was a small night but a damn good one.

The show took a little while to warm up. Perhaps the mix felt a little muddy early on or maybe it was a smattering of idiots in the crowd who felt the need to make the viewing a slightly unpleasant one. Nevertheless "Brothers" was still trying to impress and "Come To The City" was pretty stellar with its syncopatic drumming. The show really took off in the second half though as Adam Granduciel's dylanesque vocals took us under his wing. "Black Water Falls" was sublime and hypnotic. "Best Night" showed off the band's great strengths. Warm and supple guitars, rhythmic drumming and woozy keyboards. It all adds up to a potent mix. I then got a little delirious as they pulled out their classic "Arms Like Boulders" and also gave us a stripped back version of their little gem in "Buenos Aires Beach". They also gave us a stupendous closer in "A Needle In Your Eye #16" which was pounded and stretched out to 10 minutes of guitar paradise. This would turn out to be their last song. I don't know if this was by design or the venue intervening. Either way I couldn't complain. The band had given us their all and more. A little slice of Philadelphia rock greatness.

Set List
Your Love Is Calling My Name
The Animator
Come To The City
Comin' Through
Taking The Farm
I Was There
Baby Missiles
Black Water Falls
Best Night
Arms Like Boulders
Buenos Aires Beach
A Needle In Your Eye #16

Nov 13, 2012

Radiohead @ Sydney Entertainment Centre

To put it mildly Radiohead's credentials are impeccable. A slew of critically acclaimed albums and massive credibility to go with it have made them iconic. Perhaps even the most important band of this generation. I would say though that they are not my favourite band. There are others closer to my heart. But I have huge respect for their creativity and pure honesty. And I have never seen them live. Until last night in Sydney. So I was pretty excited.

They didn't let me down. For over two hours they were blissfully spectacular. A wondrous, splendid and at times elegant show. A show of strength. A colossal display of their powers, grabbing their material from basically every release with emphasis on their more recent albums. Such as "Bloom" which opened with a languid fluidity. This was followed by the emotional OK Computer classic "Lucky" which a tore a hole in our hearts. I could follow on, simply lauding the set list but you probably get the drift. There were lesser moments. I don't really feel the "The King of Limbs" tunes and so some such as "Morning Mr Magpie" lagged a bit. Conversely the "In Rainbows" tracks fairly sparkled live, especially the stunning "Videotape" performed on a grand piano. "Nude" followed and was sublime as well. Other shining moments were "Planet Telex" and the stunning to the core "Pyramid Song" as well the the monumental "Paranoid Android". I should mention the lighting display. It was spectacular, with floating screens hanging above the band with the group's images being displayed on each. The lighting was subtle, elegant and quite beautiful. Thom Yorke led the band in complete mastery. He doesn't say much but he can actually move with a certain grace, busting out some very groovy moves. This was certainly a night to remember. I don't know if I will get a chance to see them again, but I'm glad I saw them last night.

Set List
Morning Mr. Magpie
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
The Gloaming
Full Stop
Lotus Flower
There There
Planet Telex

Give Up the Ghost
Pyramid Song
These Are My Twisted Words
Paranoid Android

15 Step
Everything in Its Right Place


Nov 11, 2012

The Master

At the very least The Master will be the most unique film you will see in 2012. More then likely though it will be the best film you will see. I would have it say it is for me. That is, unique and incredible, if not perfect. Although it comes pretty close. Paul Thomas Anderson is a singular film maker. In my opinion the greatest film maker of his generation. In 15 years of film making he hasn't put a foot wrong. In fact 3 of his films would find a place in my five favourite films of all time, with Magnolia being the film that I think is his greatest achievement. The Master isn't his best film, but it's so full of majesty, drama and originality that it fits easily somewhere between extraordinary and breathtaking. It will more then likely divide audiences. It's not an easy film by any means. But it reaches for the stars. I will definitely see it again.

The Master has germinated for quite a while. At one point shelved before Annapurna Pictures and Megan Ellison came to the rescue, it was filmed in the middle of 2011 in California. Originally Jeremy Renner was tagged to play Freddie Quell, a lonely, unsettled naval veteran struggling to come to terms with life after World War Two. After Renner dropped out Joaquin Phoenix came aboard and his performance is sublime and extraordinary. Surely it will earn him an Oscar. He certainly deserves it. Quell is unpredictable and prone to fits of rage. After a string of jobs after the war he happens upon a boat that is holding a wedding and bound for New York. The man at the head of the boat is Lancaster Dodd, also known as 'The Master'. Dodd sees something in the broken Quell and takes him under his wing. As you may know people have tied this film to the origins of Scientology. But Anderson has stated that even though there are elements in this, it is certainly not a strict history of that religion. This is certainly no biopic. In fact Anderson doesn't try to give a full rundown of  'The Cause', the teachings of Dodd. He gives an insight, a feeling. But this more a story of two men. The older man who is strangely charismatic and defensive and the younger man who is erratic and lost. In some strange ways they need each other and the scenes between them are quite remarkable. The story moves along through several cities including Philadelphia and Phoenix, charting the stormy relationship between the two men and giving glimpses into cult and devotion. It is shot in rich and beautiful colour and the score by Jonny Greenwood is unsettling and hypnotic. As great as Phoenix is Philip Seymour Hoffman matches him step for step as Dodd, 'The Master'. Amy Adams is also great as his steely eyed wife. This is a powerful film, full of many great moments and faultless performances. It takes its time and doesn't have any sort of traditional story arc, but by the end you will be knocked out and asking for more. I certainly was. Questions abound and that has to be great thing for any worthwhile cinema.

Nov 9, 2012

Frightened Rabbit Announce New Album

It's coming. Scottish emotional renderers Frightened Rabbit will be releasing a new album on February 5. It will be the band's first album on Atlantic. "Pedestrian Verse" was produced by Leo Abrahams and will contain 12 tracks.

Pedestrian Verse Track Listing
1 Acts of Man
2 Backyard Skulls
3 Holy
4 The Woodpile
5 Late March, Death March
6 December's Traditions
7 Housing (In)
8 Dead Now
9 State Hospital
10 Nitrous Gas
11 Housing (Out)
12 Oil Slick