Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back With Devils

Beat the Devil's Tattoo is the fifth album by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, set for release on 8th March. It is the first full-length on the band's own Abstract Dragon label and with new drummer Leah Shapiro. The first single, also named 'Beat the Devil's Tattoo' starts off with the stripped-down folk sound on Howl, then it forges with the raw fuzzy bass we heard in the the first two albums. So this is Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with their distinctive style that encompasses all, we can't wait to hear the album.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -
Beat the Devil's Tattoo

On the other note, Laura Marling's second album, I Speak Because I Can is due for release on 22nd March. A new celtic influence is heard in the new single 'Devil's Spoke' as her grace-filled voice canters over deft fingerpicked guitars and celtic violin. Her debut Alas, I Cannnot Swim is a folk pop gem that I treasure, so I am looking forward to hear her new progressive sound in the upcoming album.

Laura Marling -
Devil's Spoke

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Grizzly Bear covers Hot Chip

Grizzly Bear dropped by Triple J Like A Version recently to drop a haunting cover of Hot Chip's "Boy From School". The track is transformed into the band's trademark folky approach, with melodramic vocals and beautiful harmonies, which is awesome in its own way. Why didn't they play this in Southbound!?

Grizzly Bear -
Boy From School (Hot Chip Cover)

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Southbound Festival @ Sir Stewart Bovell Park Busselton, 08.01.2010, 09.01.2010 & 10.01.2010

Hearing all the fuzz about Southbound, it is foolish to even think of passing this annual arts, camping and music festival. Taking the advice of the co-writer, voluntary role it is. Work a couple hours as a wristbander and get free campsite and entry to the festival in exchange, sounds like a awesome deal to me. So off I go on a bus ride 3 hours south of Perth, where I spent a magnificent weekend of some good rock and roll and campin'.

The campgrounds and base-camp were delightful and festive. There were rides, market areas, a general store, an internet cafe, atmospheric Indian dining room, a chai tent and even a indoor cinema. The Lounge was set up to provide the opportunity for upcoming acts to get exposure. While Saturday and Sunday may host the big-name headline acts, the campers who were able to make it to Friday's festivities were rewarded with stellar performances as warm -up. Straight from my wristbanding shift, I headed to the Other Stage to catch the experimental pop sound of The Boxer Rebellion, followed by Dappled Cities. Their sets were tight, and I'm starting to dig their music. Next up, Emiliana Torrini Emiliana Torrini took up the stage with her heavenly Icelandic accent, playing beautiful folk with her 5-piece band. Jamie T and the Pacemakers followed Torini, showing off most of his new materials off the Kings and Queens album. with 'Stick 'N' Stones' being particular standout. Coincidently it was his birthday as well, where the crew brought up spirit shots for a celebration toss. Rodrigo Y Gabriela may have seemed an unusual choice to clsoe the night, but they certainly put on an energetic spectacle with their fingers flying over the fret board and strumming, drumming and picking with all fingers and all parts of the hand, influenced by everything from rock, jazz and flamenco. Great start of the weekend.

Saturday saw 2 main stages (This Stage and That Stage), a smaller undercover stage (The Other Stage) and a DJ Stage (Coconut Club), hosting over 30 acts. Taking a break from work, Philapelphia Grand Jury were impressive and energetic, playing infectious pop tunes like your drunken mates over at This Stage. Staying at the same stage, The View made an impression on the punters with an intense set, performing mixed materials from both the old and new albums like "Wasted Little DJs", "5Rebbeccas" and "Same Jeans".

Completing a day's shift, I then ventured to The Other Stage for Andrew Bird. First of all, he can definitely whistle like no one you’ve ever heard. Teaming this up with the violin, both plucked and bowed, using a loop pedal to create multi-layered, intriguing sound, Bird's set was mesmerising for those in attendance. With a spinning gramaphone, a sock monkey and a three-piece band, Bird showcased tracks from latest album Noble Beast, demonstrating his incredible musicianship. At one point power was lost for the band's intruments and Bird seamlessly launched in to an acoustic version of Some Of These days with delightful harmonies from the band. Incredible indeed.

Staying at the same stage, indie folk imperfectionists "Grizzly Bear" took on the stage. One of the most hyped bands in 2009, they proved more than capable of delivering live. The rich textures of sound, coupled with eye-pleasing visual lighting, made the set highly enjoyable. Howling out their astonishing harmonies, the band performed tracks from the highly acclaimed "Veckatimest", exposing their music craft with omnichord, flute and clarinet at some points.

After grabbing a quick dinner, it was Editors heating up This Stage. Their synth-heavy and dark sound comes across particularly well, producing an engaging and tight set. Lead singer Tom Smith had that ability to mesmerise people with his movements that defines great frontmen. Munich and Smokers Outside The Hospital Door were predictably received with the loudest cheer. The band certainly injected enough anthemic qualities into the show that felt good in a festival setting.

Next up, Wolfmother attracted a huge crowd with their festival-perfect brand of booming guitar rock. The band sounded exactly the same last time I watched them. Andrew Stockdale's solos and slides catapulted the crowd from a good time to a rock frenzy, jamming up the old favourites of "The Joker and The Thief", "Dimension" and "Woman" as well as new materials from the latest album "Cosmic Egg".

Most of the crowd kept its place at This Stage for Moby, but I headed off to That Stage to catch the cosmic rockers Midnight Juggernauts. It was colour lasers and fog machines aplenty as the band performed electronic numbers of Into The Galaxy and Tombstone, as well as new materials for the upcoming album. A great set to cap off the evening.

Sunday's merriment started in the form of Aussie-produced music, with Sugar Army, Lisa Mitchell and Tame Impala hitting up This Stage. The latter took the main stage opportunity to show off heaps of impressive stoner rock tunes, with "Half Glass of Wine" and "Remember Me" being particular highlights. Kaki King treated all to a performance of acoustic guitar at That Stage, showing off precision throught her words and music.

Due to a late evening shift, I was only able to catch The Temper Trap from a distance at This Stage. The band drew a large crowd due to the success of their debut album "Conditions". Unsurprisingly "Sweet Disposition" was received with the most opened arms. I definitely hope to catch them again without having to work in the near future.

After dinner, it was Datarock doing their thing with a full live band at That Stage, with Fa Fa Fa and Give It Up garnering the most noise. Their red band uniforms, coupled with the stage lighting was indeed some pleasant visual effects.

As the sun started to set, it was finally time for the main headliner everyone has been waiting for. The crowd swelled to near capacity to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The band hit up the stage in front of a giant eyeball, and as soon as the unmistakeable frame of Karen O appeared in a, er let's just say unique outfit, rapturous applause and cheers can be heard. Justifying their headliner spot, they were amazingly tight throughout the whole set, running between the electronic numbers from it's Blitz to the garage post-punk and more down tempo melodies of Fever To Tell and Show Your Bones. Confetti cannons, frenzied run, jump, dance and pose of O and even two giant eyeballs floating it the crowd, the night couldn't be ended better.

Southbound was defnitely a spectacular music event that I will long remember, and I certainly hope this will not be my last.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (The Ramones Cover)
Editors - No Sound But The Wind

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