It's good to be back to writing after spending the last week or so enjoying all lights of various gigs/concerts and mixing with some interesting people (some very interesting people). One thing that had me extremely delighted was from an email I opened today consisting of a brand new video from YACHT. The video is for the already-well loved and adored track, Summer Song, and is incredibly amusing not just for the video's simplicity but by the rip off of Tapeheads as well. It's well called for, and If there was going to be one artist in this day and age that was going to pull off such a stunt as this, and do it so damn well, it surely had to be YACHT, there's no other possible answer. The video just works, and it's great to see something so simple work a hell of a lot better then that of a high-paid full on production shoot. Hopefully, in the not to distant future (edit: possibly early next year by the looks of it), we might get something new in the form of an album from this, now (Claire L. Evans is an official member), duo.
Melbourne's very Whitley is set to play a once-off show before leaving the country to tour America with everyone's favorite, Ben Kweller. Joining Whitley for the show will be Panics lead-singer Jae Laffer, and Sime Nugent. This is most defintely one of those rare chances you get to expereince to extraordinary artists at their finest as they perform the best of their repertoire, some new tracks, and collaborative material. The Panics are also set to head off to the UK and Canada in the next coming months to record their follow-up to 2007 J-Award winning album, Cruel Guards. So this is most definitely a last chance to see two rising Australian acts before they take on the world. The show will take place at Northcote Social Club on the 18th September. This will sell out.
I confessed my undying love for this band a little while back but now it's time to once again. This isn't a bad thing; credit where credit's due, these guys really know what their doing and I am just in awe of the music they produce. So, the single for 'Social Currency' is out and about now, and getting the attention it very much deserves, but now there is an accompanying video as well. If anything, this video further proves just why this song is brilliant in all forms. The cheesy slow-motion so very much suits this song, it just works. The groups debut album, 'The Long Now', is soon to hit store (October 11) and I couldn't be anymore excited. There's too many anticipated releases coming up and this is just another to the list.
I've been meaning to make a post about this band for some time but for some reason or another (which seems to be a fair bit) I never seem to get around to it. Not today though, I think Melbourne's Tic Toc Tokyo needs a good old push in the right direction. What amazes me most about this band is their decision to go for the mix of bongo's and drums and it works out an absolute treat. It adds this whole new sense to their music, makes that lot more easier to dance too and very enjoyable. It's flirtatious in the same way that TV On The Radio are flirtatious. The band's EP has been doing some rounds as of late, and getting a bit of air play here and there but hopefully with an album maybe on the horizon things will really pick up for the band. I'd love to see it happen.
I thought it was about time that I gave in a posted one of my guilty pleasures for the moment. It's a New Zealand (currently located in Sydney) artist by the name of Gin Wigmore, who is only just started to get some real hype behind her. But, just from listening to her music, you know the obvious comparisons that are going to be made against her. "Yet another Amy Winehouse" you can imagine some saying, but as a good friend of mine put it, Gin is "a white Macy Gray". Now there's not to many of those around is there? I'd like to see Gin take off, her music is most definitely something different. Ignore what everyone else says about this girl that's in any way negative. I can see her making a big impression pretty quickly, and These Roses will be the song to spark it.
This is something worth anticipating. The Drones are just about ready to unload their new album upon us lucky Australians, and the rest of the world shortly after. The album will be called 'Havilah' (Oh! which reminds me, the band has a pronunciation competition going) and it looks like it will see the light of day sooner than their "early next year" prediction on September 20th. Coming off the album will be lead single (and a huge step-up might I add), The Minotaur, which looks to be doing all guns at the moment coping a hell of a lot of air play world-wide. There's a lot of love for this band, and it couldn't be more deserving. When it comes to hard-working Australian artists, The Drones are sitting pretty towards the top of that list. The band has just been announced to partake in the end of the year festivities that is Falls Festival, and if all goes well their could be a headline tour of their own. Keep your eyes peeled.
I love Liars; there is absolutely no other way I can possible put it. Their the biggest mystery to hit music since Paul McCartney's "mysterious disappearance" all those years ago. Over the groups time we have seen them evolve from being funk punk perfectionists, to freak-folk missionaries, to story tellers, and with last years self-titled effort (and #2 on my end of the year list) becoming this frantic white noise avant garde band. So you can imagine the excitement that was built all over my face when I had the pleasure of speaking to lead-singer Angus Andrew a little while back. It didn't feel like an interview, but rather a conversation for I was a little dumbfounded when he revealed some childhood stories. Angus was very willing, and over the moon might I add, over the opportunity to compile a playlist for Off The Record. And with that, I give you yet another '5 Songs with'. Enjoy.
ANGUS ANDREW OF LIARS TOP 5 SONGS OF ALL-TIME, MAYBE.
America Horse With No Name I grew up in Mt. Eliza, Victoria (James - That's like ten minutes from where I live!) on the beach. When I was about 6 they screened "World Safari I" at the local town hall. For some reason my whole family went to see it. This song seemed to play through the whole thing and I remember thinking that it had to be the Australian National Anthem. How disappointed I was when in my teens when I realised it was written by a band called 'America'.
Chamillionaire Game Gonna Cost A Fee I feel so let down by modern hip-hop. If I could I'd just listen to Biggie forever. But man, I still really try. I mean the new Wu is rad but honestly I think the last entire hip-hop album I loved was Under Construction and that was ages ago. Anyway, like I said, I'm always trying and this song by Chamillionaire is really nice. I like Pharoahe Monk too.
Devendra Banhart Shabop Shalom Since I heard this song I've emailed it to practically every Jewish person I know. I told Devendra it made me wanna become one. His voice is just amazing like Roy Orbison or something and the production is so beautiful. I love the whole album.
Tunnel Of Love Sex Freak If your back-stage with Liars before a show your guaranteed to hear a Tunnel Of Love song, or 12. They were one of the first bands we played shows with and I still can't get enough of 'em. I've lost track of how many records they've made, its that many! This song is the first song on their first album called Tunnel of Love. They're currently on tour in Europe, I think.
Unwound We Invent You I just wanted to put an Unwound song on here cause they're so damn important. But which song? They made start to finish albums with each track as good as the next. I've chosen the first song on Leaves Turn Inside You which was their last album and makes me really sad. I count Sara Lund as one of my favorite drummers of all time. Their discography should be everyone's iTunes.
So, I was going to post another '5 Songs with' list today (and by god was it a good one) but Mercy Arms just had to come along and let everyone know that their soon to be released debut self-titled album was now streaming on their Myspace. This had me excited, much like a lot of releases this year it would seem. You don't have to guess twice to figure out just how much I love everything this band does; you can go through the archives just for further proof, but I have to say that this album is definitely something else. One thing I immediately love was the non-inclusion of previous EP tracks and instead opting for 10 brand new songs. The album is what most have come to love about the group. It's spontaneous in the right spots, it's atmospheric whilst sticking to a familiar grunge/rock/distorted sound that is absolutely irresistible. Mercy Arms can't put a foot wrong in my eyes and it's with so much pleasure that I offer you all a few select favorites. Album of the year contender? I think so.
The band will be hitting the road very shortly to promote the absolute hell out of this new record. So if the above tracks grab your fancy and the gigs just so happen to be local to you, I can't see any reason as you why you wouldn't attend. I know I will be.
Aug 28: Lucky Country, Newcastle Aug 29: Oxford Art Factory, Sydney Aug 30: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne Sep 04: Oxford Tavern, Wollongong Sep 05: Green Room, Canberra Sep 11: Ed Castle, Adelaide Sep 12: Bakery Artrage, Perth Sep 13: Globe Theatre, Brisbane
It was only a month ago that I was raving and harping about The Grates new single Burn Bridges and how much this band continues to delight it's fans again and again with everything they do. Well, now they have just dropped their new album upon Australian audiences, entitled 'Teeth Lost, Hearts Won', and after giving it a few listens their is so much single potential behind all their songs. God knows how they do it, but they do it well. The new album will be what you'll expect from a Grates record but with a few little changes and surprises *cough* Tom Fite guest vocals *cough*. It's hard not to like these guys and with this new release under the arms I'm sensing another Grates take-over.
I've been doing interviews and the such for about two and a half years now, and in that time I have the greatest opportunities to meet and greet some of my idols. From meeting Sarah Blasko, to talking with The Grates (my first ever interview mind you), I feel pretty good with where my writing career has taken me. It got even more sweeter a few weeks ago when I had the pleasure of speaking to Noah (aka Panda Bear) from Animal Collective on the phone about solo projects, the new AC record, and when they would be making their way back to Australia. He is possibly the kindest person to talk to, and doesn't give one sentence responses. It was a conversation that only went for a half an hour, but it felt longer. Noah was kind enough to compile a playlist for Off The Record of his 5 favorite songs, as many artists have done so far (and there's plenty more to come).
NOAH LENNOX (AKA PANDA BEAR) OF ANIMAL COLLECTIVE'S 5 FAVORITE SONGS.
Mary J. Blige Real Love This song maybe more than any other I can think of identifies a period of my life and instantly recalls my mental makeup and dreams and hopes and loves and those kinds of things. I would listen to the radio a lot in late middle school and high school and this song was real popular. These days its sort of a totem for an era of music that I get excited about. The rhythms and particularly the production techniques and processes for the rhythms from the time of this song are getting me really psyched recently; they're all so chunky and rugged.
The Idle Race Days Of Broken Arrows I heard this song first in Richie Jacksons part in a Death skateboards video and I kind of can't disassociate the song from the part if you know what I mean. I really like to watch skateboarding videos and I like to skateboard even though I'm no good and don't often do it and I guess I'm a poser. But the movement involved and the process of capturing brave and impossible tricks hits home very hard for me.
Cocteau Twins Know Who You Are At Every Age We (Animal Collective) heard this song maybe 5 times while we were in Athens, Georgia and I spent a little bit identifying who it was because I don't think I'd heard it before. I know the treasure record well but not much else I should say. I really like her voice and the way she sings and all the trilly and warped things she does although not so much on this jam.
The Dovers About Me I don't know that they put out a full record or not and I think I've got just a collection of their singles or something like that but it really rips. I really like the repeated guitar thing in this song and I like how its kind of implied in your head the whole song even though it only kind of comes in every now and then. I like songs that have subliminal features I should say.
Blues Control Call Collect I like the mellower side of their music the most even though I like the rockers too. They use some simple keyboard sounds almost like new age sounds and I really like that. I've been really into korg synth sounds and the korg 0/1 pro was the first thing I ever composed songs and sounds on so maybe it's kind of a memory connection. These dudes have a very casual and easy going way of playing and recording and I find that very pleasing and refreshing.
2008 has proven with each passing week that it really is the year for music. We all think that each can't get better and better but it does just that, and we all end up eating our words. This year has been a phenomenal year for releases, there have been some excellent debuts, perfect follow ups and returns from some greats. One album that has really impressed me is that of Dr. Dog's latest, and in my opinion, their most solid release and brilliant follow up to last years effort, We All Belong. Fate is the name of the new album, and it's a complete wake up and a smack in the face for me. Prior to listening to this album I wasn't much of a fan of the group, and pretty much snobbed them off but what this band has produced is something a completely new direction. It's the perfect blend of The Beatles, Cold War Kids (if they were just that little bit better), and old-folk country records. Fate is something unique to this era of music, and going just by their hectic tour schedule and countless plays both here in Australia and overseas, people seem to be getting behind this record as well. Indulge into this album, it's one well worthy of a listen.
Dr. Dog Army Of AncientsRemoved by request. Dr. Dog The BeachRemoved by request. Dr. Dog The Old Days Dr. Dog The Ark
Chaingang are a band that have always been in my sights ever since the formation of the group about a year ago. Whilst going through countless spam mail and other assorted junk everday I would occassionally stumble across an email from the group stating that they have a new song available or their touring or just any news in general. This was enough to keep me interested, and watching the four-piece transform from the very beginning to where they are now has me a full-fledged fan and somewhat a stalker. The band has seen it's bumps, mainly that of the sudden drop out of their drummer (only to be replaced by the divine Skarlett Saramore), but have most definitely seen their fair amount of highs. Most notably that of their competition win to support Panic! At The Disco, who hand-picked the group (Yes, you read that correctly), for their Sydney concert at the end of the month. I have posted about the band previously stating that they was no doubting whatsoever that the group would create some sort of a stir amongst the Sydney music scene, and they have done just that. The band's combination of 70' punk hooks, franticness only known to few bands, and charisma that is impossible to ignore, Chaingang are only going to continue with succession. I couldn't recommend a band more than these guys at the moment. Seriously, get on board now.
MP3s are for sampling purposes only.
Please buy the album if you like what you hear.
If you have a complaint about the ownership of a track,
please contact either one of us and we will be happy to take it down ASAP.