It’s no secret. Sydney has been extremely good to indie bands and fans of the genre in the past few years. I have no idea where it came from, but a handful of acts have created a huge ground-swell that is showing no signs of stopping. That’s what brings us to Rare Finds #1, a new indie club that launched last Friday at Enmore’s Sly Fox. Seems like a simple concept, right? Sydney loves indie, Sydney should have a dedicated indie night.
Everybody knows I have a thing for Scandinavian indie. Swedish indie exports are at an all-time high at the moment and leading the assault are quality acts like electro-pop duo Say Lou Lou. Despite spending well over 90% of their time in Stockholm, it’s also interesting to note that twin sisters Miranda and Elektra Kibley-Janssen are one-half Aussie. It’s only minimal I know, but in their latest effort Lucid Dreaming, there’s something inherently ‘Triple-J-esque’ about it all and on first listen I’d be proud as all hell to claim even 1% of it as Australian made.
If you’ve listened to Synth-pop artist Karl Kling here in Australia, like me, it’s most likely as that featured player from the RAC album Strangers. You would be forgiven for that one. Karl is not big by any means, not yet. But as usual, that’s what makes his self-titled debut album so exciting. It was released earlier this month and going off the kind of influences he’s been hanging around, I couldn’t wait to wrap my ears around it.
March Into Merivale kicked off in Sydney yesterday - a five week festival of food and drink featuring over 50 events at venues under the Merivale umbrella. At yesterday's launch festival, all Merivale restaurants had special stall featuring various dishes for people to enjoy in exchange for tokens. Needless to say, there was a LOT of amazing food - and Johnny Au was there to take it all in. Enjoy his gallery here:
Promotional material for SOHN’s current visit to Australia have mostly led with the whole London born / Vienna based thing, and it’s clear why. The talented multi-instrumentalist’s debut album Tremors was unique and brilliant, even ground-breaking in a way, in that it took that foundation of a very British sounding electronic indie and swirled it together with an inherently European influence to create something fans hadn’t quite heard before.
It had been a long time since I’d attended a show at the Hordern Pavilion, and I didn’t expect the big return to be for such an oddly mixed bill - by arena standards at least. A massive turnout at the Enmore in 2014, and one sold out show at the Hordern “forced” Manchester rockers The 1975 to extend the invitation to another Hordern-load of fans, with their friends Circa Waves tagging along for the ride.
Arriving on typically grey but strangely muggy Melbourne Sunday afternoon, Howler in Brunswick became the ideal venue for the annual Semplesize Block Party. Tucked in behind the beer garden at the entrance, the Howler band room transformed into a veritable playground of raw, local talent that seemed to catered to every music lover’s taste.
Day 2 of Armageddon was another massive day of fun and special guests including Doctor Who's Jenna Coleman and Stargate Atlantis stars David Hewlett and David Nykl as well as the favourite cosplay parade.
The Armageddon Expo dropped by Melbourne this weekend, providing a fun environment for geeks to well, 'geek out' on their favourite fandoms and share their obsessions for all things television, sci-fi, mystical and comical with other fans.
The Griswolds are home. These words seemed to be theme of the night as loyal locals packed The Metro on Saturday for the band;s first Sydney show since the release of their debut album Be Impressive. Coming off the back of a mammoth stint around the U.S, in their hometown of Sydney and on lead singer Chris Whitehall’s birthday no less, I’d say there wasn't a soul in the popular Sydney haunt that could say they weren't ready to party. As if you needed a band like The Griswolds to give you a reason.
The Beach Road Hotel in Bondi is a brilliant venue for a couple of reasons. It’s down the road from the beach for one. The majority of gigs that go down there are free, all the while consistently featuring some of Australia’s top artists. It’s also a curious venue that can fluctuate between high capacity, rowdy crowds and intimate displays of musicianship depending on the clientele on any given night. Coming off the back of BIGSOUND, Stillwater Giants and Coach Bombay stopped by Sydney this past Saturday for a night of the latter, truly earning the appreciation of the new fans they gained on the night.
Life as a solo artist could get quite lonely, I’d imagine. It’s a message you could easily take from the cover of this album if you just looked closely. After running in packs with the likes of Of Montreal and Regina Spektor, Kishi Bashi’s latest LP Lighght (pronounced “Light”) is spritely with philosophy and self discovery - or whatever. Fact is, after covertly taking the blog-o-sphere by storm with his critical masterpiece 151a back in 2012, Kishi has taken to a life of musical solitary and produced an album that makes you feel, think and... appreciate shit.
Satyagraha is the third opera of the Philip Glass Trilogy that the State Opera of South Australia has presented this week. Telling the story of Gandhi, it draws inspiration and fragments from the first two Operas. It has the repetitive melody of Einstein on the Beach but is more story based like Akhnaten.
Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach is an epic opera, usually taking five hours. It is normally performed at an outdoor event where people can move around during the performance, however, the State Opera of South Australia presented it in four one hour parts over the course of an evening with a meal break in the middle.
Poetic and grudge fuelled, Morrissey resumes his polarising solo career with studio album number 10, World Peace Is None Of Your Business. It’s a wrestle with relevance that aging icons face as every new release is met with a healthy dose of cynicism, but veterans don’t always show their age. Bowie nailed it with The Next Day, as did Tom Waits with Bad As Me but Morrissey misses the mark of true reinvention on this effort.