Jan 26, 2023

Ty Segall @ Metro Theatre

Wednesday night was my second venture in a week into Ty Segall land. Again, it was quite an incredible show. His Sydney show was quite possibly even greater than the Melbourne show. Firstly the crowd was better, less talkers. And the set list was probably even a little better. I won't go into all the ins and outs as most of the details applied from the Melbourne show. But I was excited to hear the classic song in 'Finger'. As well as a favourite of mine in 'Rain'. Then the encore blew my head off. 'My Lady's On Fire' was beautiful of course. Then we received the orgasmic 'Love Fuzz'. I thought that would be it. Perfect. Bu the band then launched into 'Wave Goodbye' and I truly squealed with delight. A perfect night. A perfect show. Yes, it was definitely worth it seeing Ty two times in a week.  

Set List
Squealer (Ty solo)
Orange Color Queen (Ty and Emmett)
Saturday Pt. 1 (Ty and Emmett)
Californian Hills (Ty and Emmett)
Goodbye Bread
Every 1's a Winner
Breakfast Eggs
Break a Guitar
The Fall
Looking at You
Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)
Saturday Pt. 2

My Lady's On Fire (Ty solo)
Love Fuzz
Wave Goodbye

Jan 23, 2023

Ty Segall @ Forum Melbourne

2014. The last time the mighty Ty Segall was in Australia. A long time. Too long. I have been lucky enough to see him overseas three times in that interval but it was great to see him return to our shores. I was so excited I bought a ticket to see him in Melbourne. The show on Saturday night at the Forum was spectacular to say the least. Ty and his Freedom Band are a well oiled machine these days and the show was ferocious and spectacular and intense. The set list was a good cross section of his extensive catalogue with many a favourite played. He opened the night solo and acoustic with 'Squealer' before Emmett Kelly joined him for 3 more acoustic songs. Then the entire band joined him and the ferocious 'Wave Goodbye' set everything off perfectly. 

Last year's latest album in 'Hello, Hi' was much loved for me. But it's a very mellow affair so understandably he didn't play a lot from it. Of course the title track rocks so that was played. But only 'Looking at You' and 'Saturday Pt 1' were summoned and they sounded great. The rest, as mentioned, was pulled from his mulitude of albums. 'Harmonizer' sounded great and I loved 'Goodbye Bread' and 'The Fall'. 'Alta' is always a highlight and it was again. Ty and his band are just so great live and totally in unison. There is not much talking but they play like there is no tomorrow. The encore topped off the night wonderfully. Ty played 'My Lady's On Fire' solo and the crowd sang along and then the band finished with the orgasmic 'Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)'. Best news is I get to see it all again Wednesday night in Sydney!

Set List
Squealer (Ty solo)
Fanny Dog (Ty and Emmett)
Saturday Pt. 1 (Ty and Emmett)
Californian Hills (Ty and Emmett)
Wave Goodbye
Goodbye Bread
Hello, Hi
Breakfast Eggs
Break a Guitar
The Fall
Looking at You
Candy Sam
Queen Lullabye
The Keepers

My Lady's On Fire (Ty solo)
Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)

Jan 18, 2023

Best Songs of 2022

Horsegirl made my favourite song of 2022. From the first time I heard the urgent tones of 'Anti-Glory' I had a pretty good idea this song would give me the most in 2022. I was very excited to hear the debut album by this Chicago trio and it didn't let me down one little bit, with 'Anti-Glory' being a standout song. It has everything I need in a song. Great guitars, great melody. Something I wish was still heard more widely in society. Sadly those days are long gone, but there are still great artists out there making great music. Whether it's new artists like MJ Lenderman, Horsegirl or Sadurn or older artists like Spoon, Built to Spill and Titus Andronicus. It's all out there if you look hard enough.

1. Anti-Glory-Horsegirl
2. An Anomaly-Titus Andronicus
3. Understood-Built to Spill
4. Simulation Swarm-Big Thief
5. Back To the Radio-Porridge Radio
6. Snake-Sadurn
7. Don't Lie-Ty Segall
8. Toni-Interpol
9. Runner-Alex G
10. TLC Cagematch-MJ Lenderman 
11. Snow Globes-Black Country, New Road
12. Wild-Spoon
13. Tintoretto, It's For You-Destroyer
14. This Is a Photograph-Kevin Morby
15. N95-Kendrick Lamar
16. Slipping In and Out of The Pool-Spencer Krug
17. Hello,Hi-Ty Segall
18. Thique-Beyonce
19. Miracles-Alex G
20. Problem With It-Plains
21. Edge of the Edge-Panda Bear & Sonic Boom
22. Big Time-Angel Olsen
23. Hangover Game-MJ Lenderman
24. Running With The Hurricane-Camp Cope 
25. Superstar-Beach House
26. My Babe-Spoon
27. Don't Press Me-Dry Cleaning
28. Certainty-Big Thief
29. Strung With Everything-Animal Collective
30. Habitat-Pinegrove
31. Billy-Horsegirl
32. Bridge and Tunnel-Titus Andronicus
33. The Universe-Wilco
34. Elements-Built to Spill
35. Chaise Longue-Wet Leg 
36. Respirate-Pinegrove
37. Naked Souls-Bill Callahan
38. In Your Corner (For Scott Hutchison)-Dan Mangan 
39. Chaos Space Marine-Black Country, New Road
40. Basketball Shoes-Black Country, New Road
41. Shadow in the Frame-Daniel Rossen
42. Tastes Just Like It Costs-MJ Lenderman
43. It's In Your Heart Now-Destroyer
44. Working For the Knife-Mitski
45. Doomscroller-Metric
46. Q4-Father John Misty
47. Eye in the Wall-Perfume Genius
48. Mission-Alex G
49. Cut the Eyeholes Out So I Can See-Spencer Krug
50. Saturday Pt. 2-Ty Segall
51. Dark Blue-Caroline
52. Go On-Panda Bear & Sonic Boom
53. Born-Sharon Van Etten
54. United in Grief-Kendrick Lamar
55. The Same-The Smile
56. Rose Eater-Young Jesus
57. Dilute-The Smith Street Band
58. Gary Ashby-Dry Cleaning
59. Cruel Country-Wilco
60. Ben-Shannen Moser
61. Not Worth Knowing-Tony Molina
62. Never Alright-Built to Spill
63. I Was an Oligarch-Frog Eyes
64. Bittersweet,TN-Kevin Morby
65. The Rip-Porridge Radio
66. All the Good Times-Angel Olsen
67. Whatever Happend to Paul Sand?-Damien Jurado
68. Option 8-Horsegirl
69. Icepick-Sadurn
70. Break My Soul-Beyonce
71. Caroline-Camp Cope
72. Twirl-Whitney
73. Like Exploding Stones-Kurt Vile
74. Unpeopled Space-Daniel Rossen
75. Pink Funeral-Beach House
76. Fables-Interpol
77. The Spiral Season-Will Sheff
78. Birthday Party-Porridge Radio
79. On the Radio-Spoon
80. Red Moon-Big Thief
81. Dry-TRAAMS
82. Messing With the Settings-Craig Finn
83. Prester John-Animal Collective
84. Age of Anxiety I-Arcade Fire
85. 2010-Earl Sweatshirt
86. Flowers-Peter Matthew Bauer
87. Candu-The Rural Alberta Advantage
88. Heat Lightning-Mitski
89. Heavy Heart-Bartees Strange
90. Warning Signs-Band of Horses
91. Corncob-Martin Courtney
92. Magic-Vince Staples
93. Bethel Woods-Midlake
94. Headspace-Sharon Van Etten
95. Photograph-Perfume Genius
96. Bowevil-Bill Callahan
97. Give Me Grief-Titus Andronicus
98. Foxglove Through the Clearcut-Death Cab for Cutie
99. Training Montage-The Mountain Goats
100. Make a Picture-Andrew Bird 

Jan 16, 2023

Best Albums of 2022

2022 I believe was a pretty great year for music. Plenty of wonderful albums were released but my favourite without not much doubt was the latest epic record from Big Thief. A band that basically has done nothing wrong produced a double album of great scope, emotion and creativity. And I finally got to see them live in late November, which was my favourite show of 2022. My much beloved Ty Segall produced another great record too. An album that was more mellow than usual but completely beautiful.  And I get to see him live next week, twice! It was a great year as well for veteran bands too. Spoon and Built to Spill made records of huge quality that I totally loved. And then Alex G returned to show he is one of the great talents of the world. My favourite discoveries were exciting as well. Chicago's Horsegirl rocked my world with their debut album, which included my favourite song of the year in 'Anti-Glory'. And MJ Lenderman gave us an album that recalled the glory days of 90s sound and yet still sounded fresh and new. You might have noticed that I like guitars. People say 'Rock is dead'. But it's really not. Mainstream music might reflect that, with nondescript pop dominating but trust me there is plenty of great music being made out there. It's just very marginalised.

1. Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You-Big Thief
2. "Hello,Hi"-Ty Segall 
3. When The Wind Forgets Your Name-Built to Spill
4. Lucifer on the Sofa-Spoon
5. God Save the Animals-Alex G
6. Labyrinthitis-Destroyer
7. This is a Photograph-Kevin Morby
8. The Will to Live-Titus Andronicus
9. Ants From Up There-Black Country, New Road
10. Once Twice Melody-Beach House
11. Versions of Modern Performance-Horsegirl
12. Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky-Porridge Radio
13. You Belong There-Daniel Rossen
14. Big Time-Angel Olsen
15. Boat Songs-MJ Lenderman
16. Reset-Panda Bear & Sonic Boom
17. Twenty Twenty Twenty Twenty One-Spencer Krug
18. Cruel Country-Wilco
19. Time Skiffs-Animal Collective
20. Renaissance-Beyonce
21. YTILAER-Bill Callahan
22. We've Being Going About This All Wrong-Sharon Van Etten
23. Stumpwork-Dry Cleaning
24. Ugly Season-Perfume Genius
25. The Other Side of Make-Believe-Interpol
26. (watch my moves)-Kurt Vile
27. Mr Morale & The Big Steppers-Kendrick Lamar
28. Laurel Hell-Mitski
29. A Light for Attracting Attention-The Smile
30. Nothing Special-Will Sheff
31. Shepherd Head-Young Jesus
32. Reggae Film Star-Damien Jurado
33. I Walked With You a Ways-Plains
34. WE-Arcade Fire
35. Chloe and the Next 20th Century-Father John Misty
36. 11:11-Pinegrove
37. A Legacy of Rentals-Craig Finn
38. Radiator-Sadurn
39. Caroline-Caroline
40. The Bees-Frog Eyes
41. Life After Football-The Smith Street Band
42. Wet Leg-Wet Leg
43. The Sun Still Seems to Love-Shannen Moser
44. Magic Sign-Martin Courtney
45. Farm to Table-Bartees Strange
46. Running With the Hurricane-Camp Cope
47. Being Somewhere-Dan Mangan
48. Inside Problems-Andrew Bird
49. Personal Best-TRAAMS
50. Spark-Whitney

Jan 15, 2023

Favourite Films of 2022

So, today a look back at film in 2022. But first I would like to comment on the so called 'death of cinemas'. Of course the pandemic and the ease of streaming has meant people have changed their viewing habits. Many people are happy to wait for films to hit streaming or VOD and I see that from many people asking where did I see a particuclar film and mostly the answer is the cinema. Even though the comfort of home is appealing seeing a film on the big screen is still the best I think. No distractions, great sound, darkness, a big screen is still the best viewing experience I think. And the massive success of Top Gun and Avatar sequels show there is an appetite for that experience. And even flawed films like Elvis had great success. But absolutely wonderful adult dramas like She Said, Armageddon Time and The Fabelmans were box office failures and I do worry if there is a cinema appetite for those sort of films these days. It can't all be superhero films and sequels.

But there were plenty of films I loved in 2022 and my two favourites were released early in the year. Mike Mills' wonderful drama C'mon C'mon hit me like few films do. A shame it was overlooked in the Oscar race, I loved it. And the Japanese drama Drive My Car was an instant classic. Plenty of great foreign films I loved in 2022 such as Happening, A Hero, Parallel Mothers and many more. And two of my favourites were Irish. The Quiet Girl was immaculate and so was The Banshees of Inisherin. I loved both and the latter would be my pick to win big at the upcoming Oscars. Although TAR opens soon and could change that opinion. Also looking forward to Babylon, Aftersun and Women Talking. So a wonderful year in cinema. Hopefully you got to see some great ones too.

1. C'mon C'mon
2. Drive My Car
3. The Quiet Girl
4. The Banshees of Inisherin
5. Petite Maman
6. Armageddon Time
7. All Quiet on the Western Front
8. She Said
9. Belfast
10. Red Rocket

Jan 14, 2023

Best Live Shows of 2022

2022 was a return to normal of sorts. And what a relief. Not only did international artists return to our shores but I even managed to travel overseas to see live music. So I felt very happy indeed. My favourite show of 2022 was a band I had waited a long time to see. Big Thief. I missed them the two previous times that they toured Australia and their 2020 tour was postponed because of the pandemic. So to finally see them at the Enmore Theatre was a special experience indeed. Another postponed 2020 tour was The Hold Steady. So I was delighted to see them in Melbourne back in May. I went to the US in September where I was very lucky to see the iconic Pavement in LA, as well as Porridge Radio and The National. I also got to a couple of Splendour sideshows plus a slew of shows late in the year that eventualy made live music in 2022 very enjoyable indeed.

1. Big Thief @ Enmore Theatre
2. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis @ Sydney Opera House
3. Porridge Radio @ Lodge Room, LA
4. Pavement @ Orpheum Theater, LA
5. Kendrick Lamar @ Qudos Bank Arena
6. Sharon Van Etten @ Sydney Opera House
7. The National @ Surly Brewing Field, Minneapolis
8. Lucy Dacus @ The Forum, Melbourne
9. The Hold Steady @ Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne
10. Parquet Courts @ Metro Theatre