I feel like I’m watching a video clip that The Clash or the Sex Pistols would have made for an infant MTV.
Monthly Archives For June 2007
The Smallgoods – ‘Traipse Through The Valley’
A rich and woody western ride with lolloping bass lines and ghostly harmonies, The Smallgoods return with this kitsch and peculiar single as a prelude to their forthcoming album, Down on the Farm, due out in September. Alongside the sounds of Lonestar, the boys have worked the misty magic of Simon and Garfunkle into their gothic trail ride, and the result is familiar but unusual.
Magic Dirt – ‘Bring Me The Head Of’
Still angry after all these years, Magic Dirt are back with a seven track EP of furious rock ravages, starting here with Bring Me The Head Of. A heart-racing squealer, it starts out fast and plunges on blindly through the steady stream of Adalita’s thick punk growl, pounding mercilessly with nary a break until the band all collapse on each other at the end. Much better than things have been with Magic Dirt for a long while.
Small Mercies – ‘Innocent’
I’m having one of those moments you sometimes get flying long-haul in economy class. Squished in with all those unwashed bogan freaks for so many hours, it becomes apparent that most people in this world are not like me. Most people in this world think that Sam Newman is pretty hilarious and that Kyle Sandilands in a credible judge of talent. ‘But don’t you see?’ I want to scream, ‘Kyle Sandilands is a no account fat head from commercial radio. He is, by definition, incapable of telling you what good music sounds like.’ But actually, plenty of people think that Kyle is worth listening to. He’s got his finger on the pulse, old frog-face. And he would probably give Small Mercies a hearty thumbs up. Because lord knows it’s time our country produced more bands that sound like they’re secretly Christian.
Cut Off Your Hands – ‘Oh Girl’
After a brief tour with them last two weeks this song stood out the most for me from their fast and frantic repertoire. It’s probably because the order of each night was rock-punk-hard-hard music and it’s good to get slower love song in the middle, a break for the ears. The lyrics are pretty standard courting lines that any guy would have thought of, but I guess the more important things in life are usually cliches.
Cut Off Your Hands used to be called The Shaky Hands until an identically named rock band in the US sent a cease-and-desist or something. Recently they did a deal with Levi’s jeans where the clothing label flew them to the UK, paid for the recording of their EP while letting the band keep the copyright, gave them some free band merchandise to sell at shows and lots of promotion in the press. In exchange for all this Levi’s got to use their band image for their current advertising campaign. Aligning the music and fashion world isn’t anything new, but this is the first that I know where a fashion label actually started a record label just for short term commitments, without having any intention in creating any assets in the form of copyright. Their only benefit is being seen as the fashion label that is closely involved with the local and up and coming music scene. The Levity label is in the lookout for more bands once they’re done with COYH.
I’m not entirely sure this would work for everyone. I think in COYH’s case it has worked well and the ads were done very tastefully. This idea could easily go very wrong with less discerning labels and their marketing teams, in fact I could see a copycat program happening real soon, much like how every liquor brand have their own talent search program. I’m definitely not against commercialising music, and I do believe for most music genres (excluding pop/rnb) this is a better way of doing things rather than getting involved a major label nowadays.
Macromantics - ‘Physical’
Recorded with Tony Buchen as a prelude to a tour, Macromantics opens her new track with the warning that she’s gonna get cardio in this shit, missing somehow both irony and comedy (and surely she can’t be serious). From here, she launches into a better brand of battle rap than I’ve heard previously from this Miss, mouthing off about her own excellence in mixed rhythms and bouncing rhymes with the able-bodied Buchman providing flickering low-profile beats behind. She’s sporting a good run of words (in her self-aggrandising way), but its humourless. And the chorus has a slick appeal, but it’s not quite memorable.
What a great song.
The kids are at it again…
Kate Miller-Heidke – ‘Words’
Apparently the folks on Sunrise are big fans. They took some time out from their heavy programming schedule to run a little advertising feature on the ex-opera singer from Brisbane and her inevitable forthcoming success. I myself didn’t need to actually hear the manic, warbling Kate Bush-wannabe tremors of this determinedly wacky pop poppet. Koshy’s recommendation was enough for me.
The Go-Betweens & Patience Hodgson – ‘Lee Remick’
The history of The Go-Betweens is folklore amongst the Australian music industry. They’re one of the most influential Australian acts of all time, coming to fame during the New Wave boom of the late 70s, and finding success during the 80s.
Though they were quiet during the 90s, the band reunited when the 21st Century came around, recording an album entitled The Friends of Rachel Worth with all three members of Sleater-Kinney. However, the Go-Betweens came to a tragic end when frontman Grant McLennan passed away due to a heart attack in 2006 at the age of only 48.
So, what do you do when an iconic band dissipates? You record a tribute album, that’s what! It all came about from a tribute concert held at the Tivoli Theatre in Brisbane in 2006, spearheaded by Dave McCormack, best known for his work in Custard and his own band The Polaroids. The original members of The Go-Betweens are all involved here, but Grant’s vocals are replaced by some of Australia’s best contemporary singers, including Sarah Blasko, Josh Pyke, Dan Kelly, Bob Evans and Dave himself.
Patience Hodgson from The Grates contributed vocals to ‘Lee Remick’, The Go-Between’s very first single, originally released in 1978. I’m not sure if it’s about the actress or not, but I’d assume so.