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Tomaki Jets – 'Fact or Fiction'

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Tomaki Jets – Fact or Fiction (mp3)

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In recent years, the humble town of Frankston has been doing everything in it’s path to shake it’s bogan credentials. If the Tomaki Jets are part of a wave aiming to deplete connotations of mullet citizens, crack cocaine, hardcore bands and overbearing postcode proud paraphanelia associated with Frangas, then they’re on a roll.

Fact or Fiction is a contagious antidote with Tokyo Police Club trimmings on the side. The punch of this track is harnessed by it’s brisk energy. Backed up by melodic embellishments, sharp calls and dextrous drumming skills, the song has apt party presence but has the right amount of atmospheric, jewel-toned scuzz for long car trips. I’ll definitely be putting this one on the iPod for the long trek up to Splendour.

The single is being released on a compilation with other up and coming Mornington Peninsula bands The JSB’s, These Patterns and Cult Visions at The Toff on the 18th of July. I’ve heard swell things about Tomaki Jet’s live do’s from many. Check the gig out, and you might get the chance to barter for some I-Heart-Frankston merch.

UnConvention Brisbane

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If you’re in Brisbane this long weekend, come and check out UnConvention. From the presser:

UnConvention is a not-for-profit grassroots led music conference for D.I.Y. and independent promoters, labels, entrepreneurs, writers, technologists, innovators and artists. UnConvention Brisbane will bring together some of independent music’s most innovative thinkers to discuss the future of the music industry and strategies for building up our local scene.

Held 12-13 June 2010 at The Edge in Brisbane’s South Bank precinct, the weekend event will be comprised of panel discussions and networking events focused around creating sustainable careers within the music industry.

Over 30 key participants from the local independent music scene will appear as guest speakers, including Andrew Stafford (author of Pig City), Paul Curtis (Regurgitator manager / Valve Records founder), Graham Ashton (BIGSOUND executive programmer) and Kellie Lloyd
(Screamfeeder bassist and vocalist / Q Music project officer).

The goal of UnConvention is to bring together like-minded individuals to discuss the future of Independent music and how it will develop and flourish in the technological age. UnConvention isn’t concerned with discovering rock-stars, but instead building and enabling a community of practitioners who want to work in and around music.
UnConvention doesn’t believe in ‘do it yourself’. We believe in ‘do it together’.
I’ll be speaking on the Music and Media panel on Sunday if you want to give me a personalised punch in the face.

Tusk Tusk – ‘Crazy Little Birthmarks’

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Tusk Tusk – ‘Crazy Little Birthmarks’ (mp3)

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Dominic Fagan used to live in Brisbane and play keys for Screamfeeder singer Tim Steward’s solo project. Like so much Brisbane talent,  he up and moved to Melbourne and has been writing sweet pop songs like this ever since.
Rollicking finger-picked guitar and choral backing vocals support Fagan’s plaintive, unsteady voice as he repeats the song’s refrain – somebody help to hold this poor girl down. ‘Crazy Little Birthmarks’ isn’t an angsty whine though – it’s more a suggestion than a panicked cry for help.

Midnight Juggernauts interview

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Self professed control freaks when it comes to music, the Midnight Juggernauts have always done things their way. And it’s paid off.

Following the success of 2007’s Dystopia, the Juggernauts have just dropped their second album The Crystal Axis.

Who The Hell chats to Andy Szekeres about the new record, the toils of running your own label and what it’s really to have your gig ruined when John Travolta decides to throw a Scientology bash at the same venue.

What was the big idea behind The Crystal Axis?

Well, I suppose it changed over time. After we finished touring at the end of 2008, and we’d spent that whole year away from home, we just wanted to come back and start working on the album. I think the live touring really carried over into the recording process, we just wanted to work on a much rawer sounding album, and I suppose the three of us were a lot more involved…

People seemed to be fascinated by the hype of that whole indie-dance thing when you put out Dystopia in 2006. How did you keep ahead of the game when other similar acts like the Presets and Cut Copy we’re putting out records at the same time?

That whole indie-dance thing became really popular and helped push along internationally in 2007 and 2008. But for us in the way we approach music, we’ve never really thought of ourselves being tied to a scene. I think even doing interviews at the beginning of that, we always said we were in to exploring new things and that each of our albums would be really different. We still didn’t know what the second one was gonna be like back then, but we went with an idea we had at the end of 2008 and it morphed and evolved.

It’s interesting because we have a lot of fans from that more dance music scene, and it will be interesting to see how fans will take it. We’re really proud of it and it’s definitely a different album for us. I guess we’ve written so much in our time, and a lot of it has been different styles so I guess that it’s not really weird that we’ve come up with an album like this. So if you only knew Dystopia, it’s a whole different flavour to that…

But I suppose you’re expanding your audience by trying new things?

Hopefully there’s gonna be a whole lot of new people who get a chance to listen to it. Its hard to know how anythings gonna go. And for us the next six months is just touring throughout Australia and the US and Europe and the UK. We kind of go back and forth constantly. Its good just to be able to have a new set to play

How do you juggle label duties with touring?

I mean its extra work, but we’ve chosen for it to be that way. With this album and the build up for us, like organising and co-ordinating the label side of things with releases in all the different territories was a lot of work and especially when you’ve got people in different time zones. It’s okay at the moment coz we’re in that mode of just getting up the album and working on it. But when you’re touring it gets hard, which is where you need people who you’re working with that you can trust and to handle things when you’re away, so that’s what we’ve set up with the label now.

What was it like with Chris Moore in the picture?

When Chris came along, we hand’t met him before so it was really strange. But we really liked his work and we’d spoken on the phone a few times, and it was great having him here in the role engineer and in certain times when we’d need a certain sound and him being there to facilitate that. He was really easy to work with.

Maybe we’re control freaks, but we have ideas of how we want things to be. He wasn’t there to work as a producer, but as an engineer working alongside us. He was a laid back guy so it worked well.

I read somewhere that John Travolta kicked you out of one of your shows in Paris?…


Papa vs Pretty – ‘Heavy Harm’

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Papa vs Pretty – ‘Heavy Harm’ (mp3)

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When I was first introduced to Papa vs Pretty they were significantly more weird and electronic. ‘Heavy Harm’ retains an offbeat feeling and roughness to it, but it sounds surprisingly a lot like The Okkervil Rivers, down to Thomas Rawle’s imperfect, Will Sheff-aping yelp. It’s a pretty sweet tune that shows their song-writing has matured to leans less on weirdness and more on, you know, melody. No doubt this move to more folk-rock territory was helped by Paul Dempsey who produced the EP from which this track is pulled.

Obviously being the lead track you would assume that it’s the more accessible thing on there, so it will be cool to see how reigned in (or not reigned in) the rest of  their stuff is – hopefully not too much more than in ‘Heavy Harm.’ I say “hopefully” because I notice that their Myspace has had that major label makeover, with OTT customisation that hasn’t impressed anyone this side of 2006 (sorry y’all, but it looks a bit like an emo band). Not that we should draw concrete conclusions based on Myspace redesigns or anything like that…

Point is, I like where ‘Heavy Harm’ is at. It’s a cool track. Let’s stick around here.



The biggest news in Australian music press today is the website, whereby artists or labels can pay for the site’s services to move their songs up the ARIA charts. As ridiculous as this sounds, the reaction from all corners reminds us that chart rigging practices are not unheard of.

Fasterlouder has a good few comments for their coverage of the story. Today/Tonight even has a little vid you can watch here.

Meanwhile, industry writer Ben Butler sums up the financials of Australian major labels in 2009 on the Herald Sun