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Birds of Tokyo – ‘Plans’ video


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Dear Matt Hickey,

I know your position on Birds of Tokyo and this blog. Ordinarily I would respect your wishes. However, the ousting of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by his ranga deputy has indicated that this is no ordinary day.  So, in the spirit of things that are a bit distasteful, but make me feel proud to be an Aussie, here is the new Birds of Tokyo video.

Your pal,

Sophie Benjamin.

Richard In Your Mind – ‘This Face’

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Richard In Your Mind – ‘This Face’ (mp3)

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Richard In Your Mind’s latest My Volcano actually reminds me of Beck’s classic Odelay in that both are kind of a melting pot of genres and schizophrenic production, elements of folk, hip hop and psychedelia interchangeably drifting to the fore. And, like Odelay, it’s not entirely successful – some parts try a bit too hard, other kind of miss the mark – but every song that strays that bit too far or clashes against the previous makes this album what it is. It’s a bit of a mess, but it revels in it and it works in that weird way.

I like the WTF factor of RIYM. Although on first listen you’ll likely find the more direct tracks like ‘I Will,’ ‘Losing Our Mind,’ and ‘The Sun Broke Into Your Heart’ the stand outs, others will eventually work their way under your skin as they did mine. It’s an album that not only sustains but rewards repeated spins, and every time I put it on I find a new track that I dig. Today, it was ‘This Face,’ which sits comfortably between their straightforward and more far-out tunes.

Edward Guglielmino – 50 ways to get people to care about your band in Australia.

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There are a few things I like about singer-songwriter Edward Guglielmino –  unfortunately, his music is not one of those things.
What I am a fan of are his occasional witticisms and bouts of trolling on the the internet. His list of 50 Ways To Get People to Care About Your Band In Australia is full of tips for aspiring musicians or alternatively, jokes for snide hipsters. Read on and pass judgment.

1. Pick your favorite overseas act and copy them exactly, give yourself a similar name, about put in your bio “Australia’s answer to”
2. Tell people you are all under 18.
3. Use “tokyo, russia, euro,” in your band name, make sure on paper your band name means nothing.
4. Sign to the first label that shows interest, hand over any chance you have of making any money to the company for a minimum of 25 years.
5. Use “Fresh, cool, straight out of, bluesy, roots” in your band bio.
6. Be an Aussie Hip Hop group.
7. Openly endorse a soft drink.
8. After two years tell everyone you’re quitting for good, only to reveal a new project which is identical, only with a very slightly different name.
9. Hire a young manager who will sign anything put in front of him or her.
10. Talk purely about music you really like, how awesome everything is, and never ever criticize anything openly.
11. After gigs in the backstage area openly bitch about every other act in Australia.
12. Find someone famous and start sleeping with them, pretend it is a secret to the public but tell every single person you can in private.
13. Listen to commercial radio for 48 straight and then write a song immediately.
14. Use awesome and wicked to describe everything.
15. Accept your aria and make a joke about how you are still the underdog and still have have no money in your bank account.
16. Have no cultural awareness, have no idea of music history.
17. Live in a share house with more than 10 other people in Northcote.
18. Live in your parents multi-million dollar house and have them bankroll you for 20 years.
19. Live in a share house in Newtown with 40 people, and 10 junkies.
20. Live in the Gap in Brisbane, be seen shopping at Gap Coles, tell people how much you hate fortitude valley, play acoustic guitar.
21. Make lists that people will pretend to like, but secretly they are infuriated.
22. Go to 1971 and copy.
23. Go to 1983 and copy.
24. Go to 1992 and copy.
25. Sound like “Television” (the band see rule 16).
26. Write negative things on forums about your band “Tokyo Russian Underground” Australia’s answer to Fleet Foxes.
27. Turn up to gigs after the band has finished and bitch about the bands performance.
28. Grow dreadlocks, play roots.
29. Be easy to pigeonhole, complain about being pigeonholed.
30. Use pigeonhole in every interview to describe your band, for example “I don’t want to be pigeonholed as Australia’s answer to Animal Collective but…”
31. Be ugly and write joke songs.
32. Continually act surprised that your are successful.
33. Move overseas, and play a couple of gigs, come back and claim that your famous in London, New York, Berlin ect. (note won’t work for 3rd world countries)
34. Go OP shopping before every photo shoot.
35. When being interviewed make ironic jokes that acknowledge that your currently famous.
36. If you are a woman, play up the girl next door thing until you are 45.
37. Talk about your fans as if you know them, if one approaches you in front of a camera act like you know him or her.
38. If a fan approaches you in Australia off camera, tell it to fuck off.
39. If a fan approaches you outside of Australia try not to act surprised.
40. Be from Melbourne.
41. Be from Brisbane
42. Be from Melbourne or Brisbane but play gigs in Sydney every other weekend.
43. Sleep with someone on the radio.
44. Put “despite only being around for 6 months” in your bio, even if you have been around for 10 years.
45. Never change a single thing about your band accept the the name.
46. Call any tour, the final tour ever.
47. After you turn 30 write a book.
48. After you turn 40 write another book.
49. After you turn 50 enter politics.
50. If a fan approaches you overseas, and they aren’t Australian, discount all rules above.

Ernest Ellis debut album


Ernest Ellis – ‘Taking Shapes ‘(mp3)

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Dew Process finally released Ernest Ellis’s debut album Hunting on Saturday! Huzzah. That’s right, you can get yr hands on this chestnut right now, and  I highly recommend that you do.

I’ve been posting about EE for a couple of years now so you can do a lil search and check out a bunch of his tracks, all of which are featured on his debut (except the version of ‘Bad Blood’ is slightly different, maybe some overdubs and a new mix/master?) The clip for the latest single ‘Want For Anything’ is below, and above you can check out ‘Taking Shapes,’ which open the last third of the album and pulls it out of the singer-songwriter territory Hunting briefly wanders into and back into whatever canyon/cave/church he layers his guitar and vocals in. The fact that the back end of the album features tunes like ‘Taking Shapes’ and his original buzz-making tune ‘Bad Blood’ shows that the album has some real depth.

You can also check out the impressive ‘I Am The Beast’ over at Polaroids of Androidz (as of about two weeks ago).

Ernest Ellis – ‘Want For Anything’ from Dew Process on Vimeo.

Magnetic Heads – 'Blind' video

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Here’s the debut video for ‘Blind’ from Magnetic Heads out of Sydney. The clip was directed by Michaela Sanders, whose work includes ‘Keeping It Clean’ for Songs.

Jonathon Miller’s vocals edge on the verge of Morrissey and Ian Mc Culloch, but this track would could have been just as at home on a b-side  on the Go Betweens’ iconic 16 Lovers Lane. There’s a sincerity underlying ‘Blind’ that reminds me a lot of growing up in the suburbs. Commanding percussion, staunch vocal tenor, echoing riffs; I can’t quite put my finger on what characterises that distinct ‘Australian’ sound of these sort of bands (Panics, Triffids, You Am I, Church etc.), but there’s a real touch of nostalgia here I keep drawing back to.

Magnetic Heads are on the verge of releasing their debut EP, recorded and produced by Simon Berkfinger (Philadelphia Grand Jury).

Real gem of a track, looking forward to the release.

Steering By Stars – 'Closer' video

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This is the video to ‘Closer’ by Adelaide act Steering By Stars which Matt blogged last year (read more here). The clip was directed by Nick Matthews, the cinematographer for Beautiful Kate, Look Both Ways & 2:37.

Steering By Stars debut album ‘Cables’ will be released digitally via iTunes & on 12” vinyl (including a free digital download of the album) from on Thursday 8 July 2010.

The Boo Hoo Hoo's


‘Children of the Sun’ (mp3)

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‘Into The Wild’ (mp3)

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Hailing from the shire of lush rolling hills and farmland greenery that is Bacchus Marsh, Benjamin Dowd, Sam Reale & Jordan Hicks aka The Boo Hoo Hoo’s, have been kicking around the Melbourne scene since 2008. It seems that a long trek into the metropol area, bagging the comp bragging rights of incompetent city bands, then returning back to school the following day with a semi-trailer sized hangover seems to be a rite of passage for most regional bands. I saw these dudes supporting DZ late last year. Children of the Sun is a charismatic feel-good pop number sweet enough to poke  gorging harmonic cavities in your molars. In brief, the track is basically Little Red dubbed over the chord progression of the Strokes’ ‘Someday’. I was wondering why these dudes sounded so much like Hungry Kids of Hungary….and it’s probably because both bands have made very similar songs (see Hungary Kids of Hungary’s Let You Down’).

As much as these chirpy indie-pop numbers get everyone in the room in a mutually happy mood, they tend to plateau. If you’re in band and you want to lend yourself some hype beyond playing tunes to seditious posers battling it out for dancefloor space at streetparty digs, give us something more. There is only so much bopping around I can adhere to, before the act starts to feels reheating stale microwave dinners for the third day in a row.

Comparative nit picking aside, I’m glad the Boo Hoo Hoo’s have shown dynamics on both side of the cards. Into The Wild shows off a more subtle pace compared to the previous track, as well as the band’s proficient songwriting abilities.This one is a definite grower, and after a few listens the full extent off Dowd’s clean tones backed up by a handful of gorgeous riffs proves a maturity that a lot of young bands lack. Into the Wild evokes melancholy without the unnecessary saccharine. The song fuels a wonderful, stripped back feeling of casual remoteness. The track will feature on the band’s debut EP which will be released through Trusty Chords Music later on this year.

Don’t be weeping for the The Boo Hoo Hoos, because if they steer to the right side of the tracks, I’m sure they’ll definitely go on to do great things.

The Boo Hoo Hoos play The National in Geelong on the 24th of June, Cubby Hole in Brisbane on the 24th of July and World Bar in Sydney on the 6th of Aug.