Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2011 gigs, and record store closure, top gigs and 2012 & beyond Predictions

178. BJ Morriszonkle, Becky Lee & Drunkfoot, Made for Chicken By Robots 1/12/2012
3 x 1 man/1woman band line up. Who could resist?
BJ Morriszonkle sounds like a kooky genius with a flair for melodrama, comedy, mystery, etc.... Yes that's his sound: the sound of soundtracks. And his unusual style pleases the crowd.

BJ Morriszonkle

BJ Morriszonkle sounds like a kooky genius with a flair for melodrama, comedy, mystery, etc.... Yes that's his sound: the sound of soundtracks. And his unusual style pleases the crowd.

Becky Lee & Drunkfoot is a one woman band from Arizona and she plays real nice poppy 6T's rock, a dash of girl group, and there's a twist of Holly Golightly. Yes she is very, very cool and in Melbourne until the end of January.
Becky Lee & Drunkfoot
Made for Chicken by Robots faces technical difficulties
Made for Chicken by Robots returns following his last gig a couple of years ago. He is a one man band featuring a man in a Chicken hood and sunglasses who plays in the dark & has a smoke machine. Behind the gimmicks, this man can really play guitar and percussion at the same time and is totally impressive. This act is kooky and entertaining.

179. Midnight Woolf, Guitar Wolf  The Tote 2/12/2011
If you ever wanted to learn to be a rock'n'roll star, just watch Nagasaki's Guitar Wolf.  All in black leather, sunglasses and haircuts to match. All the moves, all the sounds, total trash and comprehensively impressive. 

180. Becky Lee and Drunkfoot - Digger and the Pussycats The Tote 3/12/2011
Crowd enjoys Becky Lee and laughs with Digger and The Pussycats.

181. Gentle Ben and his Senstive Side The Tote 3/12/2011
I met a girl in a bar and found myself at this gig.
Gentle Ben shows us what leather really is

182. Fabulous Diamonds, Kurt Vile and the Violators 4/12/2011
Fabulous Diamonds are a moody two piece eletro arty act with drums and keys. Kurt Vile and the Violators seemed like a bunch of pro musicians which took the  DIY charm out of Vile but the crowd seemed to love it, and I certainly liked some of those songs from the Smoke Ring from My Halo LP that filled the set.

Kurt Vile & The Violators

As you can see, I haven't had any writing mojo - why force it?

183 Ladyhawke, The Tote 7/12/2011.

184. Dave Hogan, Hound Dog Records, Victoria Street, North or West Melbourne, 10/12/2011
Hound Dog Records is closing down and a band played out the front. Another band will play next Saturday.

185. Chigwell Sharp, Leadfinger, The Retreat, Brunswick 10/12/2011
Chigwell Sharp played a set with their new drummer. Leadfinger played their rock set which featured a song written and played on the Mandolin.

186. The Swingin' Nutsacks Off The Hip 16/12/2011
I only caught the end of this Xmas band, who claimed to be massacring your favourite songs. The band featured a bunch of serious record store nerds, regulars at Off The Hip, turned ultimate rock stars for one night only! There was two of everything: drums, bass, guitars and three singers. See it here.

Not a gig, but another indie record store in Melbourne is closing down and the store will be open for one more week.It's an oldies store that's  mainly US centric. But it does have a lot of Australian stuff. Get in whilst you can.

The first time I've ever seen Hound Dog open for more than 3 days straight - head to 313 Victoria St West Melbourne
Left wall
Right wall - it's eye candy galore!

The Shop - if you head out the back, check out the singles.

Not a gig, but another indie record store in Melbourne is closing down and the store will be open for one more week in the lead up to Christmas.

Hound Dog has been open since 1975 or 76, when Denys Williams decided to open a record store three days per week -  a hobby job. But ever since then it's been the kind of place to hang out, learn about music you never heard of, strike up a conversation with a music loving stranger. Records, CDs, DVDs -it's all at Hound Dog. And with a 36 year history you can be sure there'll still be something ace left in stock before the week is through. It's 25% off everything.  Get in whilst it's still possible.

 188. The Stevens, White Walls, Gasometer, 18/12/2011
The Stevens have catchy pop numbers, with ace melodies, harmonies and guitar bits, and I can't wait to hear their recordings. Pic by G. Tippett.
White Walls. Pic by G. Tippett.
189. Booby and the Dicktraps, Becky Lee and Drunkfoot, The Tote 20/12/2011
Booby and The Dick Traps feature 2 members of the Puta Madre Brothers meets the easy country twang of the Handsome family. Good songs, awesome guitar work. The band with the most ridiculous name in Melbourne has lots to like. Becky Lee does it again. She can do it all: drums, guitar, singing, all at the same time and she does it with so much style. It'll be a sad day when she leaves town. Catch her while you can.

190. Circle Pit, The Axemen, The Tote 21/12/2011
Circle Pit from Sydney, play sloppy, charming indie pop with a punk attitude. There's [malnourished] Boy/[blond bombshell] Girl vocals, as they both switch and swap rhythm and lead guitar. There's a real fresh feel to begin with but it's easy for the mind to ponder when standing in the audience of a Circle Pit gig since there's nothing really outstanding or mindblowing happening. That said, they all look pretty cool on stage.
Circle Pit have got the look

With a rotating cast of players over a 30 year history, The Axemen walk on stage and they're a motley looking bunch, but for a group that's infamously sloppy, they can really play, really well. Upbeat, raucous, Kiwi slobs, they really bring it on with good songs, underscored by powerful drumming.  It's tight and loose all at the same time, with moments of indie bliss, boogie, power pop, rock'n'roll trash, and punk. And they have a song that feature's Barney Rubble. Nope, I can't help myself but buy the album. They play 2 encores, repeat a song from their set, ready for another but are told by the bar man to cease playing. So ends The Axemen's Melbourne dates on their Australian tour in 2011.
The Axemen are awesome

191. Plast Her Ov Paris, The Tote, 22/12/2011

Plast Her Ov Paris
Stabby guitar and awe inspiring pop inspired lead singer with serious moves. That's what I remember about Plast Her Ov Paris.

192.Microflora, The Jackals, The Sherriffs, Pagents, Gasometer 23/12/2011
 Microflora is a male singer songwriter whose banter between his songs is more charming than the music he's making - which is not to say it's bad, but it could do with either more time in the incubator or could be aided by collaboration or poignant insights. It's not really for me but kudos for being so bold, and playing new songs.

The Jackals are an arty dark, swampy, rock band - think Birthday Party with a wailing Clarinet, lots of noise, catchy songs, brooding vibes... Loads of drama with the pretention. This was the band of the evening for me.
The Jackals

The Sherriffs are a 6 piece pop outfit which are seemingly melody and harmony are driven, but unfortunately tonight it's hard to hear the vocals. There's four guitars, and some great slide moments that fit that great Aussie indie songbook. At times they possess a Western Cowboy tilt, but the pop is dominant and they remind me of The Thrills.
The Sherriffs

Pagents are a 6 piece indie pop troupe with intriguing twists and turns.


193. Van Walker, The Livingstone Daisies, Labour in Vain, 24/12/2011.
I thought Van Walker the folky singer songwriter was the best version I've seen [compared to Swedish Magazines, Reigning Men, etc]. But a Power pop group named The Livingstone Daisies with his brother, Liz Stringer and a guy in a Hawaiian shirt works really well this afternoon.

194. Smoke Signal and Rayon Moon, Bar Open, 29/12/2011
Smoke Signal

Smoke Signal are a local high intensity 4 piece, mostly instrumental and featuring guitarist[with multiple pedals], bass drums and a synth guy who does wailing vocals. They call it "future vibe". I call it boys with a keen interest in creating blistering rock build ups and Enya like soundscapes, messin' about on these instruments and making it up as they go along. My hat's off to them - trying to do something new and creative. A friend later explains to me their sound is classic Kraut rock and I still don't get it. Then someone else tells me their songs are back drops and their sounds are the textures. Go and see them if this appeals to you.

Rayon Moon

Are hard to capture

because of their youthful, energetic moves

Rayon Moon start off their set with a surfy-Crampsy number. They seem to be kids with an immature - ratbag element that makes the pop music appealing and cheeky, but also makes them slightly grating. Their second song is that sloppy yet fast indie pop punk that's really popular now, and the rest of the performance seems to follow in this vein. As the set wears on the two guitarist/singers seem uncontainably merry; moreso than the new drummer and bassist. And their friend-fans find this so contagious, they stripped down to their underwear, and gave each other homo-erotic piggy backs in front of the band. Yes there was a private school boys [gone wild] vibe but ultimately it just seems that Rayon Moon are a young band, that seem to be having fun, fucking up, but show some real moments of talent. Ultimately they seem in search of their sound.

The following is a list of the
Best Gigs of 2011

16. Nick Murphy The Gem 26/1/2011
If you love the sweetest pop music, beautifully crafted songs, exquisite harmonies, and going to gigs with intimate crowds that are often free, go see Nick Murphy [who usually plays with Jeff Samin or his band].

18. The Jim Jones Revue The Corner 31/1/2011
Exciting, explosive and this black clad English band of rock'n'roll revivalists made you forget it was Monday night after a heatwave and The Big Day out.

20. Marysville Pans on Fire BMW The Edge 6/2/2011
Have you ever heard the steel drum? I only associated it when Trinidad and Tobago are mentioned on beauty pagents, or at Notting Hill Carnival. These guys score a mention because the Steel drums were made in Australia, they're a community group of young and old who'd never played the steel drum, and they're a lot of fun. Who knew Victoria had a a steel drum band?

24. Assassins 88 Tr-Mould, 12/2/2011
A Canberra band who astounded me, as the lead singer is the drummer, and the microphone is gaffer taped in his mouth during the entire set.

29. Los Impenetrables Builders Arms 18/2/2011
Musically diverse, brilliant, and a heap of fun. If you're looking for a party band for a mixed group, choose this three piece.

36. Ukeladies Orchestra Marquis of Lorne March residency 2011
It's remarkable that this group of musicians can pull off the soft Hawaiian feel to their set Hawaiian themed songs in 2011. But they do it time and time again, with their beatiful voices, dresses, flowers in the hair and Ukelele's. Clare Moore on vibes. Phil K on Double Bass, Dan Luscombe on  guitar making it sound like slide. Bliss!

40. Dick Diver Old Bar 15/3/2011
Boys can't really sing, but they play guitar, it feels a bit of an introverted effort. I love this indie pop stuff.

57. Lower Plenty, The Empress 2/4/2011
More of the same as No. 40, but with almost a different cast of musicans.

60.  Drab Doo Riffs Bar open 7/4/2011
Drab Doo Riffs get this mention because they are a bunch of Kiwi misfits [outsider types] who attract an audience equally odd, and it all becomes one hell of a party.

68. Buffy Sainte-Marie The National Theatre 20/4/2011
Some schmaltz, but heaps more beautiful shit going on here. I'm awestruck. This lady can write, play, sing and tell excellent stories. That's enough for me to make this a memorable gig.

79. The Paul Kidney Experience 13/5/2011 The Old Bar
I had a physiological response to the Paul Kidney Experience. It felt like my body temperature was rising, my face was going to melt, and that I was going to piss and shit everywhere. No it wasn't the food I had before. It's the intensity of the free Jazz or noise band The Paul Kidney Experience. See them if you need to be affected by a band.

85. Keith Party, Baptism of Uzi, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, Cat Food Press 4/6/2011
This gig wins it's place partly because of the line up: Keith Party - 90's fun; Baptism of Uzi- ridiculous; King Gizzard - alive and amazing performers. But also the crowd made this great, and the location of the gig. Three things: young and interesting line up, odd location, good crowd that love music - that are the recipe for success if you want to put on a cool gig.

93. The Painkillers Yah Yahs 17/6/2011
Solid WA act with grouse songs. They're mentioned here since I've been hanging out to see them for a few years.

101. Bits of Shit The Tote Front Bar residency July 2011
I saw every residency for BOS because they are fun, have good, fun songs, but mostly the singers antics are so hilarious, I couldn't miss these guys.

110. BJ Morriszonkle The Old Bar 11/7/2011
Something new and refreshing  - a guy with a keyboard and percussion instruments making music I'd imagine would work on soundtracks.

121. Pulp, Festival Hall 30/7/2011
Life dream come true.What more can I say?

125. The Stevens YahYahs 4/8/2011
Excellent young indie band who on this night had it all. Good songs, played well and all parts well heard and understood.

130. Tek Tek Ensemble Marquis of Lorne 13/8/2011
Unbelievably brilliant music troupe.

145. Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/9/2011
My favourite Camp Chicano rocker leading an equally excellent band.

165. School of Radiant Living, Gasometer 3/11/2011
This was a return gig for School of Radiant Living who've been gradually getting better and better, working on their sound and skill. They're an exciting band to watch.

171. Mofo Brothers The Old Bar 20/11/2011
The Puta Madre Brothers standing up playing as a band rather than 3 x 1 man band. It just proves that when you take away the novelty aspect, they're still excellent.

190. The Axemen, The Tote 21/12/2011
Kiwi slobs that put on a solid show and surprised everyone when they could play their instruments.

192.The Jackals Gasometer 23/12/2011
An exciting, youthful Australian band following in the footsteps of the Birthday Party.

And Gonerfest and Ponderosa Stomp 2011 were bloody unbelievable, and exceeded all expectations

Worth Watching

Mesa Cosa

The Blue Bottles

Richard Fyshwick and The Nuftys

The Stevens

Deep Heat

School of Radiant Living

The Murlochs

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