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Music Features

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 11:41am

There are some who believe art is but a whim, a passing fancy to be indulged whenever the mood takes you.

 

But more often than not, those are the people who don’t make a cent via creative means. If you want to earn a living from putting work out into the world, you have to approach it as you would a nine-to-five, gruelling away at drafts for hours and sometimes wasting time to...

Posted 12 Jan 2017 @ 5:32pm

2016 produced some absolutely stellar albums, and 2017 is already shaping up to knock it out of the park. We've used our detective skills to compile a roster of albums you can look forward to this year, from up-and-coming gems and major releases to the return of some old favourites. 

 

Bonobo : Migration 

 

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Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:52pm

No, community broadcaster Channel 31 isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

 

Channel 31 – now known as C31 – was scheduled to go off air on December 31, after a 2014 government decision was made to close the self-funded network and bring 22 years of television broadcast to a close.
 
But an announcement from the Federal Minister...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:54am

Those who can’t do, teach.

 

Or so the old adage goes, in any case. Certainly it doesn’t apply in the case of Shannen Wick, lead singer of seven-piece soul titans Fulton Street. In addition to her commitments with the band, Wick also happens to moonlight at a school, working as an instructor in Indonesian, and though maintaining that balance does sometimes prove difficult, it...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:53am

Ed Kuepper isn’t particularly disposed to analysing his legacy. But maybe he doesn’t need to be. After all, there are people out there willing to do that for him: the discography of the celebrated musician, a player who has contributed to bands as diverse as The Saints and Laughing Clowns, has been lauded as one of the most celebrated in contemporary Australian music history, and he is an...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:51am

Celebrating the rich wonder and diversity of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, Wominjeka Festival is back with its typical abundance of artistic flair.

 

For Associate Producer – and performer in last year's festival – Brett Lee, the crafting of the incredible week-long event has been a rewarding and interesting experience.
 
"It gives a...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:49am

Chatting with Conner Molander from Half Moon Run is an odd occasion.

 

Not because of anything overtly peculiar, but at the time of talking the focus of our interview – the ethos of the band, the development of their touring lifestyles – wouldn’t actually be experienced by Australian audiences for many months. It’s a long gestation period, which really means that their sophomore...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:46am

Five years ago, Thando was a budding young artist who had just moved from Canberra to Melbourne in grand pursuit of a music career.

 

With a slew of achievements behind her, it’s easy to say she’s succeeded.
 
As a well-recognised name in the Melbourne nu-soul scene, she’s performed in several bands and musicals, receiving rave reviews for her performances in The...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 11:32am

In May 1989 Dinosaur Jr. toured Australia for the first time. 

 

For the cult American indie-hardcore band, it was a time of upheaval. Earlier in the year bass player Lou Barlow, increasingly frustrated with the stifling behaviour of guitarist and principal songwriter J Mascis, had voiced his displeasure to his band mate. Mascis responded by exiling Barlow from Dinosaur Jr. With...

Posted 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:58pm

Gillian Welch’s lyrics appear in the liner notes of Deborah Conway’s latest album, Everybody’s Begging.

 

They conjure the image of an artist faced with the songwriter’s eternal dilemma: how do you fill the blank page with something meaningful and worthwhile? Conway, a legend of the Australian music scene, could quite easily have sat back and taken pleasure in the recognition she...

Posted 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:53pm

“There are certain things that resonate with different individuals about ska.  For me ska has a sense of community.

 

“From a musical perspective, ska has a percussive aspect that’s almost from another world, the one-drop, the skank and the sharp guitar,” says Nicky Bomba, drummer and notional leader of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra.  “The important thing about ska is that it has...

Posted 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:46pm

The perfect New Year ’s Eve party is a mythic beast, as rare and elusive as it is desirable.

 

You can set out to a shindig with all the best intentions in the world, but nine times out of ten you’ll still find yourself in a corner of some cramped apartment at quarter to midnight, chatting to your partner’s mate’s neighbour while necking some cheap red wine and wishing you were...

Posted 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:42pm

“The Naked and Famous might very well be the most successful thing I ever do. I like to think I’m realistic. I can’t imagine I’ll be flipping my hair around singing ‘E-yeah, e-yeah, e-yeah, e-yeah,’ forever.”

 

Thom Powers of The Naked and Famous possesses one of the most refreshing qualities a musician can boast: self-awareness. Awareness of the fragility of his career choice,...

Posted 30 Dec 2016 @ 9:55pm

Find out what each of our writer's was loving in 2016.

 

Name: Abbey Lew-Kee
 
Top Ten Albums of the Year:
1. Camp CopeCamp Cope
2. The Ride Catfish & The Bottlemen
3. Warm on a Cold Night HONNE
4. Chamomile Slowly Slowly
5. SIX  Cottonwood Firing Squad
6. Phase Jack Garratt
7. First Light Dustin Tebbutt
8. Boronia...

Posted 28 Dec 2016 @ 9:39pm

However your 2016 went down – good, great or terrible – one thing's for sure, it's come to a rather dramatic conclusion. Now, all that's left to do is to leave it behind in a wave of good music, good friends, and even greater memories. From house parties to live music at your local, bucket-list New Year's festivals to New Year's Day action, there's something in here for you. All you've got to...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:59pm

For many touring musicians, ‘home’ is a strange word, one that often refers less to a location and more to a nebulous, hard to define concept.

 

After all, the life of a performer is a migratory one, and the demands of the road are ceaseless: one need only briefly scan the travels of DJ and beatsmith Ryan Hemsworth to realise that few who make music fulltime ever really stay...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:58pm

Idle hands may well be the devil’s work, but Austin Brown wouldn’t know.

 

The guitarist and co-frontman of Parquet Courts hardly ever stops working, and his phone call with Beat begins with some audible musical tinkering going on in the background. “I’ve been doing some recording and hanging ‘round the house,” Brown says. “You caught me in the middle of doing some maracas....

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:56pm

“I’ve always been so sure of my musical and artistic direction, and what I want. And for the first time in my life I had artist's block, I couldn’t write, because I’d think ‘Fuck, what do I want to say?’ ”

 

Lean On was an inescapable sensation in 2015, becoming the most streamed song on Spotify of all time. Appearing on charts and ‘Best of the Year’ lists worldwide, the Major...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:37pm

The Dunies love to sink a couple of XXXX Gold tinnies before a show.

 

It might seem like the music industry isn’t doing too well, if a band as high flying as Dune Rats have to drink that kind of poison, but as vocalist/guitarist Danny Beusa explains, it’s just about being thrifty.
 
“We’re saving money on the beers so we can buy more weed or something,” he laughs. It...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:35pm

Back at my high school in 1984, Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It was the protest song de jour of the disaffected and frustrated kids in the class. 

 

The song’s lyrics were carved into school desks, and the band’s name proudly adorned many a hessian school bag. Over 30 years later, and Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider says We’re Not Gonna Take It has morphed into a folk...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:33pm

When it comes to the electronic music scene, Aluna Francis, vocalist of electronic duo AlunaGeorge, is ticking all the right boxes.

 

She’s taking the world by storm with a fierce attitude, hand-crafted lyricism and an ever-changing, diverse sound that’s empowering fans around the globe.
 
Like their name suggests, you can almost visualise the brain waves...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:30pm

In 1976, eager to shed his Thin White Duke persona and noxious cocaine habit, David Bowie escaped to Berlin and galvanised one of his most defining musical advancements.

 

Forty years on and the significance of this era resonates more than ever – the Berlin modern pop identity, it’s nightlife, even the public perception of the East and West severance. A year after saying goodbye...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 12:28pm

“I’ve been thinking about this concept of the dark, and I think the dark has gotten off with a bad rap. 

 

“I think it’s become a very easy term to use to refer to anything bad these days,” says guitarist, singer/songwriter and performer Mikel Simic — commonly known by his creative mononym Mikelangelo. 
 
The context for Mikelangelo’s musings is the idea behind his...

Posted 16 Dec 2016 @ 12:58pm

Born out of whimsy and imagination, Rabbit Hole Festival is a creative arts, music and leisure festival located in Merton, a mere two hours from Melbourne. Nestled on a dairy farm in the foothills of the Strathbogie Ranges, the festival site boasts a scenic lookout perched atop a hill and a pristine fresh water creek.

Rabbit Hole intends to highlight all forms of Australiana,...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 3:30pm

What do books, Bluesfest, breaking stuff, and bondage all have in common? They're all some of the top-notch Christmas gifts we've handpicked and put together in this year's gift guide. Forget the tropes of new socks and handwritten cards. Sure, it's the thought that counts – but who doesn't want to give and receive some downright cool shit that won't be re-gifted as a First Communion present...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 1:59pm

In an industry that relies on the love of its audience, not much time is spared for the mental health of those both on stage and behind the scenes.

 

Sitting at my desk in my bedroom, still quite dark with the blinds slightly open on a dreary, overcast afternoon, I’m listening to one of my most prized records – Nirvana’s Nevermind. At the moment I’m midway through track five;...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 11:24am

In the early 1980s Shayne Carter was sharing a flat in Dunedin with Graeme Downes. Downes, who as protagonist in New Zealand guitar band The Verlaines, would become a central influence in creating the so-called ‘Dunedin sound’, was at the beginning of an impressive academic career.  Carter, on the other hand, was working as a radio journalist.  When Carter’s band, the Doublehappys, was offered...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 12:37pm

Most hardcore techno-heads around the world would almost cringe when anyone says the word EDM, but it's hard to deny the market saturation of such a trend.

 

Every time you turn the radio on you'll hear a repetitive and overdone beat from the latest flavour of the month DJ that just got his hands on a pirated copy of FL Studio and is churning out beats at a massive quantity....

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 12:31pm

Benzo Baseline is a musician’s musician.

 

Though he’s best known these days for his dark, funky electro tunes – slabs of deep house perfectly suited for both the pumping dance floor and the quieter introspection available in your living room – he’s shown a fondness for toying with genre over the course of a career that has seen him tackle a range of musical types and instruments...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 12:27pm

There are performers out there who slave away at music degrees for years, taking to the classroom to learn the skills that carry them when they step up to the stage.

 

Then there are performers like Reuben Stone. After deciding music was what he wanted to do with his life at the tender age of 11, Stone didn’t turn to books, or adopt an academic approach to gigging: he turned to...

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