Author: Justine McNamara

Hotel Review: The Shack Up Inn brings together music and comfort in Clarksdale, Mississippi

February 4, 2019

When I was a child learning to count and spell, I never thought I would visit Mississippi, the word used to measure time and to prove how good I was at spelling. But, I took a chance on Clarksdale. It’s a small town located in the north part of Mississippi, about an hour south of […]

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Album Review: Kira Puru – Self-Titled (2018 EP)

October 2, 2018

If you haven’t heard any of Kira Puru‘s music, exactly how big is that rock you’re hiding under? Her single “Molotov” has had a lot of airplay on Triple J, and her undeniably cool ‘Like A Version’ performance of Katy Perry‘s “Last Friday Night” is what dreams are made of. Her debut self-titled EP contains the […]

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Review: Eminem addresses the Nicki Minaj rumour on the final day of Boston Calling

May 28, 2018

The hot weather and sun we’d had on the first two days felt like a distant memory by Sunday afternoon. The temperature dropped 20 degrees overnight, and the cold wind made the light rain feel a million times worse than it was. The weather inspired me to check out The Arena stage, held in a […]

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Review: St. Vincent reigns supreme and adds edge to second day of Boston Calling Music Festival

May 28, 2018

The second day of Boston Calling had the biggest headliners, and a solid late afternoon run on the Red and Green stages. The Pod Saves America podcast was a good idea until the line ended up going out the door and around the corner, but Manchester Orchestra on the Green stage was a good enough […]

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Review: The Killers show everyone how it’s done on the first day of Boston Calling

May 28, 2018

Boston Calling kicked off the weekend to a mid-sized crowd on a hot, windy day, which gave me major flashbacks to the Big Day Out and Falls Festivals past. Within the first ten minutes I was sweaty, covered in dirt, and had sneezed about a hundred times. But if you don’t get a little grimy and […]

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Five Hidden Gems on the Boston Calling Festival Lineup

March 23, 2018

This year’s Boston Calling Music Festival takes place between May 25 and May 27, at Harvard Athletic Complex in Massachusetts in the USA. A festival with this many headliners – Eminem, The Killers, Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, and Tyler, The Creator – doesn’t really need to do much else to get […]

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Live Review: British India play to their strengths at huge Sydney show at The Metro Theatre

December 12, 2017

British India returned to The Metro with songs from their latest album Forgetting the Future and two support acts, Deadlove and Planet, in tow. First support act Deadlove were loud and energetic, their set could be heard from the bar at The Metro. Playing to a small crowd that gradually grew throughout the set, the […]

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Review: The Guild Red River offers a unique hotel experience in Austin, Texas

November 29, 2017

The Guild has three locations in Austin, and I chose to stay at the one on Red River and 9th Street – right across from the iconic Stubb’s BBQ. It proved itself to offer something quite different to the usual hotel experience. Upon booking, I received a text asking me to send photos of my […]

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Review: Holiday Inn’s Ontario Airport location boasts exceptional service and comfort

October 17, 2017

My experience with the Holiday Inn Ontario Airport, California (about an hour east of Los Angeles) started two days before I was set to arrive. I wanted to make sure that arriving late at night after a music festival would be acceptable, and that I could have a late checkout the next day. The woman […]

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Album Review: St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION (2017 LP)

October 15, 2017

I have never listened to St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) before this album, and while I feel I need to go and do that now, I am happy that MASSEDUCTION was my introduction to her music and her amazing talent. MASSEDUCTION is, quite frankly, the best thing I’ve listened to in a while. The production […]

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Review: Lisbon Marriott Hotel lacks luxury and location, but serves its purpose (Portugal)

October 10, 2017

The Lisbon Marriott Hotel is the stereotype of a hotel that would have been considered classy in the ’80s, but hasn’t been updated since. The lobby has a huge revolving door – something about them always makes me nervous – a bar and restaurant immediately opposite the entrance, and a large check-in desk to the […]

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Album Review: British India – Forgetting The Future (2017 LP)

October 9, 2017

I have been a British India fan from the start. I remember playing “Tie Up My Hands” on repeat back in 2007, and since then, I’ve followed their progress and danced in their moshpits in venues and festivals all over Sydney. To say their sixth album, Forgetting the Future is great is an understatement. Their […]

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Live Review: The Foo Fighters’ CalJam Festival proved to offer a one of a kind rock n roll experience out in San Bernadino

October 9, 2017

For anyone not in the know, CalJam is the birth child of Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Debuting in San Bernadino, about an hour and a half drive from LA, the festival hosted a huge lineup including Cage The Elephant, The Kills, Royal Blood, Liam Gallagher and Babes in Toyland. Like any […]

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Review: Marquis Reforma Hotel and Spa is a palace in Mexico City’s Reforma district

October 6, 2017

Stepping into Marquis Reforma in Mexico City is what I’d imagine stepping into a palace is like. Staff greeted my friend and I as the taxi dropped us off, and held our suitcases for us while we checked in. The lobby is decorated with marble-effect tiling, gold and black statues, and large plants. There are […]

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Review: Have fun taking time out at Time Out Hotel in Barbados

October 4, 2017

When I checked into my original Barbados hotel, in the Carribean, I was sorely disappointed. The bed was uncomfortable, bathroom dirty, and, because of the open plan of the building, was barely private. The next morning I trawled Booking.com for a better hotel nearby and found a deal at Time Out Hotel, only a ten […]

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Album Review: The Preatures – Girlhood (2017 LP)

September 1, 2017

The Preatures‘ second album Girlhood, follow up to their 2014 debut Blue Planet Eyes, explores matters that affect us as girls in a fun, pop-driven way. Opening track “Girlhood” blasts in without an intro, and makes me want to jump around my bedroom while singing into a hairbrush. If they were intending to make female […]

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Album Review: The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding (2017 LP)

September 1, 2017

The War on Drugs‘ Adam Granduciel has a lot to live up to with latest album, A Deeper Understanding. 2014’s Lost in the Dream received high, widespread acclaim – our review even called it a masterpiece – which means this album is given the unlucky task of upholding or exceeding the hype. A Deeper Understanding […]

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Live Review: Midnight Oil bring the power and the passion to New York’s Terminal 5

August 23, 2017

It was a different kind of set to the ones I’m used to from The Living End. This is a band that headlines festivals, starts mosh pits, and causes all ’round chaos in Australia. But on this sticky Monday night in New York, they were very much a support act. It wasn’t from lack of […]

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10 Things We Learnt at Belgium’s Rock Werchter Festival

July 5, 2017

I have been to one European festival before – Main Square in France – but that was six years ago. In that time I got used to the stricter, but definitely more organized, festivals in Australia and the US. If there’s one thing you should take away from this piece it’s this: if you’re going […]

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Sarah Blasko talks touring solo and the development of her new album

May 30, 2017

One of Australia’s best known and celebrated singer songwriters, Sarah Blasko is touring around Australia, but this tour is special because she’s playing completely solo at all of her shows. We caught up with Sarah to find out why she’s decided to play solo now, and get the insider information about her new album. I […]

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My Cinco de Mayo with Frida Kahlo: A weekend away in Mexico City

May 16, 2017

I didn’t have a real reason to head to Mexico City for a weekend getaway, other than the flights were cheap (from mainland USA) and I love Mexican food. The only real plan I had was to go to the Frida Kahlo Museum… so the rest of our weekend was (naturally) spent exploring, eating, shopping, and drinking. One bonus […]

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Live Review: LCD Soundsystem – Brooklyn Steel, New York (11.04.17)

April 13, 2017

LCD Soundsystem did a run of shows at the brand new venue Brooklyn Steel. The band showed they’re not losing their edge whatsoever. And, we all know. I was there. I have to preface this by saying LCD Soundsystem was my ‘white whale’. My friend invited me to see them at the Hordern all the […]

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Live Review: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard + Orb – Webster Hall, New York (01.04.17)

April 6, 2017

It may have been April Fools’ Day when King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard played, but these boys weren’t foolin’. This show was added because they’d sold out the night before, showing their live antics and talent have reached fans on the other side of the world. Opening act Orb had a strong following, and […]

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From New York to the Lesser Antilles: What I learned travelling solo in Barbados

March 27, 2017

I’m an Australian who’s lived in New York for the last nine months, and two months in I managed to lose my passport and visa. I replaced the passport, but $300 and three arguments you only have with government employees later, I had to replace my visa too. I had to leave the country to […]

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Album Review: Hanni El Khatib – Savage Times (2017 LP)

March 13, 2017

Listening to this 19 track long album before you realise it’s a collection of EPs can be confronting. Hanni El Khatib produced five separate EPs last year and this collection is all of them thrown together. The first track, “Baby’s OK” has a strong drum beat and starts with the line, “I was high as […]

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Album Review: Augustines – This is Your Life (2017 LP)

March 13, 2017

The first time I listened to this album, I had questions. The first: why are they breaking up their band when their latest album is this good? The second: where are the subdued, quiet Augustines I remember from their 2014 self-titled album? Opening track “Are We Alive” assaulted my ears with a drum frenzy and […]

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Album Review: Laura Marling – Semper Femina (2017 LP)

March 13, 2017

Let me preface this review by saying I am in love with Laura Marling. I have been since 2013, when she enchanted the entire tent at Splendour in the Grass. Her songwriting shows wisdom and depth beyond her years, and many of her songs make me feel like they’ve been written just for me. I’ve […]

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Album Review: Ty Segall – Ty Segall (2017 LP)

March 8, 2017

Ty Segall‘s latest, self-titled album – the ninth in his discography – starts with the dirty, riff-driven track “Break a Guitar”. It’s the perfect opener for an album full of more dirty, riff-driven tracks and sets the scene. Segall’s voice stays within an easy range and complements the rest of the instruments, with its familiar […]

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Live Review: The Jezabels – Music Hall of Williamsburg, New York (01.12.16)

December 5, 2016

The Jezabels played to an adoring crowd on a freezing cold night, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in New York. Going to see The Jezabels is something I associate with summer. Both because I’ve only seen them at summer festivals in Australia – Falls Festival, Homebake, and Laneway Festival – and because I remember […]

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Review: Grouplove reign frenzied supreme, making a Big Mess in Brooklyn, New York

November 7, 2016

Grouplove brought their fun and energetic live show to Brooklyn, and showed off new tracks from latest album Big Mess. The irony of arriving late and dishevelled to see a band whose latest album is called Big Mess – and is about how chaotic life can be – was not lost on me. I arrived […]

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