Why do these kids, who annoy me so profoundly with their vacuous fashionista posturing, insist on writing these awesome songs? I mean Christ. It’s inconsiderate. That’s the problem with rock and roll, though, you know? Talent blesses the most random assembly of knuckleheads.
Former Child Stars – ‘These Demons’
Former Child Stars is an Adelaide indie-rock five piece who formed in 2006 and have since released a debut EP, which was recorded at HotHouse Studio in St Kilda, Melbourne with engineer Finn Keane. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to listen to the EP, yet if the songs on their myspace are anything to go by then they have a knack for song writing, with the tunes baring catchy hooks not unlike the Strokes, yet without the jadedness of the New Yorkers. The band are getting stacks of good press around Adeliade, and much love from fans (not just the female fans either) on their myspace.
They are as dashingly handsome as the biggest major label band and though I haven’t seem them live, they seem to be a golden child of Triple J, with the demo of The Next In Line featured on Triple J before the band had even done a show. Former Child Star have a number of shows planned in Melbourne and Adelaide in the upcoming months, with plans to get to Sydney soon. Have a listen and let us know how bright you think they shine.
Sly Hats – ‘Vampire Sips’
Geoff O’Conner of the Crayon Fields steps out solo as the Sly Hats, uniquely cute and unassuming against bongo beats, wooden scrapes and a dreamy choir of sweet girl angels. Bespectacled and mooning over the long kisses of his vampiric love, he sings quietly and bravely with the full conviction of his geek lord stature. Fragile but adorable.
The Crooked Fiddle Band – ‘The Butcher of Bessarabia’
Always had a soft spot for a good fiddler. I don’t know I guess it’s all the imagery of period films that comes to mind everytime I hear a violin getting ripped in the middle of a world music tune. This song jumped out of the radio when I heard it on Triple J as one of their unsigned finds. On their page they jokingly (or not) described their sound as folk/hardcore/roots music. I suppose it is pretty hardcore for world music. And some of the rhythms do have hard rock qualities, in reverse fashion as how System of a Down infuse elements of Armenian music into their rock songs. It’s not too hard to imagine that maybe, in days gone by Europe, gypsy music like this was the rebel underground movement that cool kids mosh to. Maybe they have their have their equivalent bands of Ramones-like concept bands or Sex-Pistolesque outcasts decried by their government as practicing the devil’s music. Would be an interesting art film festival entry I’d say. Gotta be smoking something good tho.
Kiosk performing live at the Cake Shop in New York City last year. It’s not the greatest quality vid, but it’s raw as fuck which is part of the reason I wanted to throw it up here.
Also, for those living in Sydney, Cat Kelleher, the vocalist for Kiosk (and you might know her from her solo hip-hop project Catcall) is performing in a play penned by playwright Wayne Tunks called Unrequited, which is on at the Newtown Theatre. It’s running from May 30 – June 23. Tickets are $27, or $22 if you’re lucky enough to still be a student. Go, it’ll be cool. They’ve even got a MySpace site – www.myspace.com/unrequitedtheplay.
The last time we talked about Dukes of Windsor I mentioned about how they sided with an iPod me too product to be able to record their album independently and keep ownership of the record. Since then their song ‘The Others’ have been remixed by hyper commercial electronic duo TV Rock, and have gained lots of mainstream airplay and boosted the band’s profile in the mainstream media, even getting the opportunity to perform in the cheesefest that is Australian Video Music Awards (MTV Awards down under). Again a good example of what can extend the life of a record, and in this case elevate it to another commercial level.
For those of you who really love this song, here’s the original clip:
Cuthbert and The Night Walkers – ‘Newtown (La La La)’ (mp3)
I can unabashedly say I love this song! If you live in Sydney. especially the Inner West like myself, it’s a great geographical name-dropper of a song. If you don’t live in Sydney, you can hear about some of our great suburbs.
Cuthbert and the Night Walkers really are one of those great feel-good bands. Yes, there are 10 members in the band. This includes five wonderful backup singers. So it gives the band a kind of Polyphonic Spree vibe. Richie Cuthbert is the brainchild of the group, and his songs, at their core, are indie-folk tunes, with lyrics that tell a story (Bob Dylan is listed as an influence) and music that’s heavy on melody. Add 9 more people to the equation and you get a Sufjan Stevens / Architecture in Helsinki type feel.
I had the group (not all of them, they wouldn’t have fit in the studio) on my radio show a few months back, and they were such awesome guests. I implore you to go and see them when they do their thing live. Although, they’re taking a 3 month break, so, I dunno… write yourself a Post-It note to remind yourself of this 10 piece extravaganza.
Their new single is posted here – ‘Newtown (La La La)’ – and it’s such a happy-go-lucky number. It’s my MySpace profile song now, because it makes me smile.
The Seabellies - ‘Song We Don’t Speak Of’ (mp3)
I once got an SMS from one of my mates saying “Come down to the Hopetoun and watch the Seabells play. It’s the finals fo the Fasterlouder comp”. So I jumped on fasterlouder.com.au and searched for this band called the Seabells (the comp was to win a spot on the Australian V Festival lineup) and I couldn’t find them. And he kept raving about them. And then I found out they were called The Seabellies.
Pointless story sure. I don’t care. It’s my blog. Needless to say, these guys are awesome. Jonno Seidler, former Who the Hell cohort, is a big fan of The Seabellies. I’ve never seen them live, but I will endeavour to do so very soon. There’s six members in the band, but they each play about a thousand instruments each – just check out the list on their MySpace site! Don’t you just hate multi-talented people? I hear they even swap instruments during their sets. That’s cool.
They’re just unleashed their debut EP Wave Your Fingers To Make The Winters and I’m itching to grab a copy. Their style is maybe what you’d call baroque pop: layered indie pop rock tunes, channelling 60s Beach Boys with a dab of Brian Eno. Think Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Architecture in Helsinki, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah but not as aggressive (and in the case of CYHSY, much better singing). They’re doing a handful of East Coast Australia dates, so keep an eye out for them and make sure you go see them.
The Baggsmen – ‘Bubblegum’
These guys produce the freshest beats in the country, and though their second album Eleven Stages did well on radio, in the stores, and earned them two Big Day Out tours, the did not make it big enough. Maybe their luck will change with this new album. The Baggsmen are producer/bassist Tony Buchen (who has done work with Macromantics, Kid Confucius and Earl Gray), drummer Lok Brahe and new addition to the lineup Welshman Brad Munn. In this record they again collaborated with friends Jake Stone of Bluejuice, who featured on this track, Janny Cassanova of Rastawookie and Earl Gray of, well Earl Gray. This is the only song that I have heard from the album, so looking forward to hearing more
I don’t mean to detract from Baggsmen’s musical merits, but for those of you who remember, Jake Stone was once arrested mid-show on stage for wearing a police uniform. He was cleared of all charges, but the accompanying youtube is priceless:
The Third Cycle - ‘The Turning Day’ (mp3)
It’s been a while since I’ve posted something on Who The Hell. Perhaps I was too busy. Perhaps I was lazy. Nah, not lazy, busy… I promise!
So these four Northern Beaches kids like to call themselves The Third Cycle. If you’ve gone to at least a handful of gigs in the past few years where the bands on stage turn their amps up to eleven, then you’ve probably seen the members around, either in this band, or in their previous bands. Vocalist Jess Donnellan used to play in an all-girl group called Charlie. Bassist Clint Ossington and drummer Scott Chandler used to play in a band called Unsaid (Clint used to sing and Scotty used to play percussion). And Matt Dobson… well, I just can’t remember what band he used to play in!
They hit the stage in 2006 surrounded by a lot of publicity – smart move really on their behalf: build the hype and watch the people come, which they did at their first official show at the Annandale Hotel (they played a warm-up show under the name “The Turning Day” – yep like the song – at The Lair, Metro Theatre in Sydney).
They’ve played a bunch of shows, and are starting to build a pretty solid fanbase. They’ve got a 3-track demo floating around, and you can hear all the songs off it on their MySpace page. I think they’re currently recording an EP with producer Dave Petrovic, so keep your ears out for it.
Oh, and P.S. I don’t know what “The Third Cycle” actually is.