Video: Noel Fielding in Auto Boosh (The Mighty Boosh) @ 2001 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Get thyself to see Noel Fielding at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival before its too late. It probably is already too late as Mr Fielding is no stranger to our lands, and always brings the house down with his crazy popular pastry humour.
I was lucky enough to see Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett live during the Auto Boosh tour, and I was a lifelong Mighty Boosh convert from there on. After you’ve greedily scoffed down your last episode of all three seasons of Mighty Boosh, there is nothing better than seeing the boys live. But… they’re not performing together at the moment, so seeing one of them will do you just fine!
Noel Fielding’s solo show is as bizzare as his wonderful Luxury Comedy TV show – with lots of costume changes and interesting characters. He loves a good prop. My absolute favourite was when he used a screen to show us his man in the moon sketch, which became part of the Mighty Boosh series.
Video: Mighty Boosh Moon
This time around I’m counting on Noel to bring Fantasy Man and his lovely tights to the peoples.
Nina Conti and Monkey at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala 2008.
The 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival (25 March – 19 April 2015) is underway and you’re wondering who to go and see over the next few weeks. Well, look no further, Nina Conti is one of the great comedians on this year’s line-up and she’ll even bring along some puppets with her.
I saw Nina several years ago and I was blown away by her ventriloquist act. She not only had her longtime buddy Monkey with her, but a series of puppets that she used throughout the night to entertain and amuse us.
Conti did far more than the standard person with hand up puppet scenario (there may have been human sized costumes involved), as the content of the show was more risky and clever than I anticipated. Despite the use of cute puppets, I’d recommend avoid bringing along small children. Besides, parents are entitled to a night of freedom once in awhile, isn’t that what grandparents are for?
Little Monkey sounds a lot like Sean Connery. Has anyone seen Sean lately? Does he travel with Nina Conti and throw his voice from backstage?
Catch Nina Conti tonight (Saturday 28 March 2015) on the Melbourne Comedy Festival Allstars Supershow, 8.30pm on Channel Ten.
Video: Chet Faker Talk Is Cheap Live @ 2014 ARIAS.
Chet Faker advised that he grew up listening to his father’s Van Morrison records. Aha! Charm, soul and sex appeal can be passed on from generation to generation via song. However, Chet’s short white socks appeared to be inspired by Michael Jackson.
The scene was The Palais, Melbourne (25 February 2015), and I began my night seated under a picture of Chet Baker in St Kilda. Not that I planned it that way, I just felt like Malaysian on the night and the restaurant is a short stroll from Luna Park.
Chet took advantage of the immaculate seating of The Palais to open with some of his more softer numbers. It worked as the crowd stayed pinned down to their seats for half the show. It was a total contrast to the show he performed at The Forum the previous year where the entire crowd were bopping along non-stop. Naturely, his No Diggitycover and 1998definitely had the crowd up on their feet dancing.
I’m pretty sure I’m not prone to seizures but I think I was on verge with the many, many lights strobing into my face during the night. I did enjoy the light show but my retina could have used a few time-outs to recuperate.
The crowd seemed to be a real mix of ages and sexes, and it was great to see lots of underage fans out enjoying a live show from a great musician. The guys next to us seemed very enamoured with Chet (they may have wanted his babies), and I think the Flume co-written track Drop The Gamewas a highpoint for the younger folk.
Chet talked about needing to hold down a job in order to make his own music, and the realities of being a modern independent musician who relies on local fans purchasing his music to make a career. You’re welcome, Chet!
Half a year on from The Forum show and I noticed that Chet is reworking his songs, evolving them into new beasts. He is challenging himself, and improving his stage act considerably. Next time he visits his hometown he’ll need to be playing at Festival Hall or Rod Laver Arena as his multitude of dates in the one city are likely to be hard to squeeze in when he is dominating world venues.
He played the Van Morrison track Moondance, and I’m sure his feet may have been possessed by Mr Jackson at times. He isn’t quite at the level of Smooth Criminal trick yet, but time will tell. Melt, So Into You, andTo Me were a few song highlights of mine this time around.
Ending the night with Talk Is Cheapwas spine-tingley as he mesmerised the audience with his pause. 2014 proved to be a massive year where Chet took home a few ARIAs and topped the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2014 with that very song.
I’ll leave you with this equation… Chet Faker + Sidney Myer Music Bowl = Make It Happen*
* Plus, while I’m at it since Chet hearts Banks, and I heart Banks, let’s get her on as the support act!
Video: Sharon Van Etten Taking Chances Live at 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival.
Ms Sharon Van Etten is a tiny women with a big majestic voice that can haunt you around corners. She is also one of the best singer-songwriters of our time, and if she had decided to play her last album Are We There?in full at her Hi-Fi show in Melbourne (3 March 2015) we all would have agreed (and died and gone to heaven).
I swear I would have taken whatever I was given on the night! And weren’t we given something? We were treated to a mighty new song folks! Rejoice, Ms Van Etten is writing again!
Sharon played the absolutely lovely Taking Chancesearly on, followed quickly by Tarifa, Break Me, and Nothing Will Changefrom the stunning album Are We There?. We also heard Magic Chords, Tell Me and the killer track Your Love Is Killing Me where you can feel her bleeding all over the room as she performs.
The show was far looser than I imagined, Van Etten was quite funny between songs, and the band were a bit groovy. Obviously, my preconceived notions of the band revolve around clips I’ve spied on YouTube and therefore proves you can’t just sit at home in your undies on the internet and enjoy the same live experience*.
Ending the night with the brilliant Serpentstaken from Tramp, because it is such a fine rocking tune that you can’t ask for another encore once you hear it. Well actually you can, but when the house lights go up you know they are saying “fuck you” and its time to head home.
* By all means, sit at home in your undies while on the internet, but do not fool yourself for a minute that it is just as good as being at the show 😉
Video: Deltron 3030 City Rising From The Ashes Live on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Hip-hop messiahs Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan The Automator and Kid Koala (aka Deltron 3030) totally blew the audience’s minds, and mine, at the Hi-Fi Melbourne (27 February 2015).
The hip-hop gods started by giving us a 45 minute show from the one and only #1 turntablist, Kid Koala! Throw on a koala suit with bouncy ears, name your three turntables after Aussies (in your cute Canadian accent), use your knees to scratch and I’m yours.
Playing a bunch of songs from Deltron 3030self-titled first album (Mastermind, Positive Contact) and the 13 years in the making Event II (City Rising From The Ashes, Melding Of The Minds, My Only Love), the show was electric the entire way through.
It was obvious from a few songs in that Dan Nakamura was experiencing some technical difficulties (missing drum machines) so Del gave us an impromptu performance of his solo raps, Sir Dzl. Dan explained that the previous night Kid Koala (Eric San) had lost his vinyl in transit between cities. His vinyl. A turntablist loses his vinyl and the show must go on!
Del regaled us with stories about quitting smoking and not being able to find any stores in Oz that sell vape accessories*. Luckily he had his own stash with him as his was able to create a smoke machine from his vape. Instant ambience!
Soon the fun engulfed time and an hour passed in what seemed like 5 minutes**, and the band decided to leave the stage which whipped the audience into a complete and utter frenzy. Deltron 3030 played a few additional tunes that melted our minds, and from memory they might have snuck in the reminiscent track featuring Jamie Cullum, Do You Remember.
But no, we would not shut up as we needed another encore because we are greedy bastards… and this might have just been one of the big gigs I’ve been to in the last decade! The band encouraged us further in a bid to entice Del back out on stage one last time… as he probably had to get back to the future or something.
Holy crap, without warning the band start playing the original, and best Gorillaz song Clint Eastwood! The Del-Automator-Koala knock-out punch. Sorry, Damon Albarn – you should’ve been there!
The crowd floated into the heavens as one in a giant musical stupor, and you couldn’t wipe the grins off our faces for a week.
Deltron bass player, Juan Alderete (Doctor Octagon, The Mars Volta) had this to say:
* In my mind I see a vision of Del skating back to his hotel room, and stopping bystanders to ask them about where to buy vapes. ** We might have been transported to the years 3030 and 4010 and back again.
Video: Deltron 3030 Nobody Can Live on Soundcheck.
Video: Killer Be Killed Snakes of Jehovah Music Video.
Killer Be Killed just played their first ever club show (and only their third gig) overnightat 170 Russell, Melbourne during a sidewave with Lamb of God for the Soundwave Festival.
Their first ever tour began on Day 1 of Soundwave in Melbourne on Saturday (21 February 2015), where in some quarters Killer Be Killed were tagged as the band of the entire festival.
Luckily for us Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), and Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) found some free time in their diaries to orchestrate a mini-tour to Australia.
Ben Koller (Converge) was on drumming duties due to Dave Elitch’s (Mars Volta) pre-commitments to Antemasque, and Juan Montoya (MonstrO, ex-Torche) joined in on guitar.
Killer Be Killed were ferocious in their intensity. Imagine watching a medley of your favourite metal bands live, resulting in pure musical insanity!
Cavalera holds the fort guiding the audience to chant alongside him, Sanders stands poised behind the microphone as he croons, and Puciato tries and fails to resist the urge to jump into the crowd on every second song. Old habits die hard!
A longtime fan of each of these metal legends, I seriously had to stop from pinching myself at one point to prove that I was watching all this unfold.
As expected the first single Wings of Feather and Waxeliciteda great response from the crowd, as the song gives each vocalist a time to shine, Puciato in particular. Snakes of Jehovah also stood out as a high point in the show, there’s something about Cavalera singing about Greek mythology (Medusa)!
Other great moments included Face Down, Dust Into Darkness, and my favourite song of the night was Melting of My Marrow which the band collectively knocked out of the park “we forge down the road less travelled”.
The train might have left my station, but don’t let the Killer Be Killed freight train pass you by.
Video: Troy Sanders talks to Metal Hammer about Killer Be Killed.
Video: Ministry Just One Fix Live, Sphinctour 1996.
Don’t talk yourself out of seeing industrial gods Ministry at Soundwave because you think they’ll be too old to impress you. You’re wrong.
If Al Jourgensen can haul his arse to Australia after releasing their very last album From Beer To Eternity in 2013 to honour the death of his mate and guitarist Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis, Revolting Cocks, Lard) then least you could do is be there to watch!
Just wait until you hear N.W.O.and Just One Fixin-person and that will be worth your ticket to Soundwave alone.
Soundgarden Birth Ritual Live at Soundwave Festival Melbourne, 22 February 2015.
In 1992, I suffered through the Cameron Crowe love story Singlesjust to hear any remnant of one of my favourite bands from Seattle. Luckily, Alice in Chains appeared briefly in the film (on stage as a band) and I enjoyed 3 minutes of an otherwise waste of 99 minutes. Despite the fact that I’ll never be able to burn the image of Matt Dillon with faux long hair out of my eyes.
But alas, there was the SinglesSoundtrack which became the soundtrack to my summer that year. After I stopped obsessively playing Would?for 16 hours a day, I did find other tracks on the soundtrack that I loved.
Birth Ritual is one such track and it was from the first Seattle band I had a crush on, Soundgarden. Those Louder Than Loveblokes had me in 1989 with Chris Cornell’s wail and standing on speakers in his long shorts.
The band stopped playing the song in 1992. Coincidence, or were Soundgarden as deeply scarred by the movie Singles as I was?
Nevertheless, it is now 23 years later and Soundgarden have been playing the Soundwave Festival in Australia and have started playing Birth Ritual again.
Le Butcherettes I’m Getting Sick Of You Live @ MTV Iggy.
The most powerful and captivating band of the day at the Melbourne 2015 Soundwave Festival was hands down Le Butcherettes. That rare quality you find in a handful of great artists across the stratosphere that have equal parts harmony, conviction and entertaining menace, is all mixed up in lead vocalist Mexican Teri Gender Bender.
Reminiscent of watching Kathleen Hanna perform with Bikini Kill, nobody knew what she was going to do next, but we could not leave that sweltering shed that was persisting to melt off our faces without seeing it for ourselves. Alternating between jiving behind the keyboard, and flinging her guitar around on stage while she sang Teri was completely enthralling to watch.
At one point Teri stared deep into the crowd and ran straight off stage and into the alleyway to accost unsuspecting patrons, and the band played on nonchalantly like she does this all the time. The crowd went nuts upon her return to the stage, as this entertainer can conjure up her own whirlwind any time she goddamn pleases!
Video: Killer Be Killed Wings of Feather and Wax Official Video.
Take 3 kings of metal – guitarist Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbomb), bass player Troy Sanders (Mastodon), vocalist Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and add one amazing prog-rock drummer Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Antemasque).
Killer Be Killed thus have 3 amazing metal vocalists in one band! Just try to stop your feet from walking over to their stage to watch them perform!
Hearing that guttural scream of Max Cavalera and watching a sea of metal zombies rush across the field to hear him play.
Banging your head to the sublime bass of Gandolf the Grey Troy Sanders.
Waiting patiently until Greg Puciato throws down his guitar and climbs some dangerous scaffolding.
Throwing your chips in the sand as you realise Dave Elitch isn’t playing with the band due to the new two-day festival bullshit (he’ll be playing on the opposite day with his good mates in Antemasque*). Converge drummer Ben Koller will be filling in on drums. But don’t worry, he’s good – have you checked out his band Mutoid Man?
* Why will Elitch play for Antemasque instead of Killer Be Killed you ask? Well, because Killer Be Killed is a side project. Antemasque appears to be a front-project, and are likely to constantly be on the road (ala Mars Volta).
Muso Rule #1: Always choose the side of the constant paycheck!
Video: Antemasque 4AM Live @ Union Transfer, Philadelphia 6 November 2014.
2/5 of At The Drive In, and 3/7* of Mars Volta = Antemasque who are touring for the Soundwave Festival 2015. Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is good friends of Le Butcherettes who will also be performing at Soundwave – so cross your fingers for some kind of guest appearance along the way.
German electronic music pioneer Edgar Willmar Froese sadly passed away on 20 January 2015 in Vienna from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 70. Founder of krautrock band Tangerine Dream, Froesereleased an epic 100 albums with the band since their conception in 1967, and provided scores for over 60 films (Sorcerer, Risky Business, The Squid and The Whale) and computer games (Grand Theft Auto V).
The average album is only played 1.6 times according to some American researchers from the 1980’s*. You probably bought many albums last year that you discarded after 1.6 plays never to be listened to again, unless you want to get your monies worth via self-sabotage by listening to dodgy crap over and over again.
A great album will be on your repeat listen playlist. Nowadays your music player can even keep count of how many times you played a track**, proving what your album of 2014 was without prejudice.
Your favourite album doesn’t need to be cool and get the hipster seal of approval. I share with you my favourite 10 albums of 2014, so you can find a little goodness that you may have missed in 2014.
Video: Shudder To Think So Into You (cover) Music Video.
I read a Pitchfork interview recently that was from 2008 with the lead singer of Washington DC’s indie-rock band Shudder To Think, Craig Wedren. Wedrenwasn’t exactly sure if Shudder To Think had left a lasting legacy on music since their break-up in 1998.
I thought that was kind of sad, given how interesting the music of Shudder To Think was. It had heart, swagger and style. So I decided to start a quest. Okay, some might call it a list.
From music highways, kick ass human clones, supposed true stories, hunting down serial killers, late night TV hosts retiring, movie reviewers retiring, absurd news hosts, to time travel comedies. TV in 2014 was truly bizarre and two choruses of the Everything is Awesome Lego classic tune.
Join me on the journey to celebrate 365 days on the tube:
Video: Augie March There Is No Such Place Music Video.
One Crowded Hour was a wonderful little ditty by Melbourne indie-folk band Augie March. Before that international hit, the band spent many years playing in pubs across my hometown to craft their fine music.
There Is No Such Place is a song from their first album Sunset Studies (2000)and I’m sure you can hear the way the song is delicately delivered, and you would understand why Augie March would go on to become one of Australia’s greatest bands.
In 2014, after a 5 year hiatus the band returned in remarkable form with a new album Haven’s Dumb. The album contains one of the most chilling songs I have heard played live in my life, Definitive History. It captures the starkness of Australia today all too well.
Video: Banks Performs Beggin For Thread, Alibi, and Brain Live at NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts.
It is no secret that Los Angeles alt-pop artist Banks has impressed me in droves this year. Her album Goddessis an absolute stunner and I fall for her songs a little more every time I hear them.
By far it is her vocal delivery that keeps me enthralled. A short example of her amazing tone and ability to sing the heck out of a song is in this video from NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts. NPR Music always seem to capture some of the best desk concerts you’ve never been to.
I’m yet to get to a desk concert of any kind, but they sound fantastic. Anyone featured on this little blog is hereby invited to perform live at my desk anytime they feel like. But it would be better if you called ahead to make sure I’m at home 😉
Video: Run The Jewels A Christmas Fucking Miracle Film Clip
I saw Santa today, and he wished me a Merry Christmas. I thought he had forgotten about me! He did seem a little thinner than I remember, so I presume that he doesn’t want you to leave out any cookies for him tonight or you might ruin his health kick.
Ah, Christmas music, doesn’t it make you a little sick in the mouth? The 8-year-old me used to love Last Christmas by Wham, I thought it was the best of the Christmas songs. Thankfully, I’m over my Wham phase. Rest assured parents of One Direction afficionados, your pain and suffering will one day end. Until then, be strong.
I dished out my Run The Jewels self-titled CD the other day and chucked it on the old beatbox, and low and behold after track 10 (A Christmas Fucking Miracle) I discovered a few bonus tracks including Pew Pew Pew. I was enlightened.