Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2012 gigs

Sonics set list
72. Raised by Eagles, The Standard 1/4/2012
Front bar country-folk stuff by a bunch of guys who seem to be in Idle Hoes and some other bands around town.

73. Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot, The Palace, 3/4/2012
The whiff of the Glade plugin smell was strong at The Palace, on this Tuesday night. I missed Lanie Lane, and walked in as Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot commenced. Three guys on stage, gigantic quiffs, Creepers, and two of which wore lime green and black punkabilly attire to suit Setzer's guitar, and the backdrop. In a 3 piece set, Setzer stripped off during the course of the performance to reveal more layers of green and black. Tonight was more than a regular gig. It was a show, and they played with gusto and finesse. Setzer makes amazing and unusual sounds with his guitar and it all appears so easy.  Even when he yodels there's no struggle.The rockabilly songs have very big endings.
A burst of new energy onstage

What I like about good rockabilly is it bubbles and seethes  because it's desperate and dangerous. I felt the show to this point, didn't do that. That was until the piano player came out with his stand up - Jerry Lee Lewis style and his gave the gig a whole new dimension, and I wished all the songs had rnr piano. Then the band walk off stage, and Setzer plays Red Roses for a Blue Lady [I think] solo and it's beautiful soft and glowing. Setzer tells us that's his gift to Melbourne for coming out to his gigs.
But it's not over yet. Setzer introduces ex Stray Cats Slim Jim on minimal drums [2 cymbals/1 bass drum/1 snare], and 1 member of Melbourne's Firebird: Chris D'Rozario. The crowd goes wild, and D'Rozario goes nuts playing a double bass with lime green metallic flames.With energy to burn he's lifting it up, playing it behind his head, standing on it. Later, the other three players join the stage, the two bass players have a bass off, and Setzer joins in too.
Bass off
 It was large, ridiculous but it was fun, with polished performances from all.
This was a structured show, with thrill upon thrill added. They knew when to bring it down and when to turn it up. By the end Setzer looked like he was melting, but his guitar playing ability remained in tact.

74. Sex Tape, The Tote, 5/4/2012
Playing their first ever gig, they're the first band on for the Popular Favourites showcase, Sex Tape are a four piece featuring members from Thee Mighty Childish and Bad Aches. In the pit they play loud, short, punk songs that aren't great. But they've got something else going on. With loads of spunk and energy,  the audience stuck around for their mostly intense entire set -which I think is a good start.

75. Swingin' Nutsacks, Bits of Shit, Los Chicos, The Old Bar 6/4/2012
Swingin' Nutsacks are the Off The Hip Xmas party band who played a vast array of covers, with their two drummers, two bassists, two guitarists and three singers. The crowd got into it. Bits of Shit are one of my favourite bands in Melbourne, so I can't give an objective opinion except to say they were as ludicrous as ever, and I really just like their songs, although the talk in the crowd was that they could do with 4 more great songs. Los Chicos, the Spanish party rock outfit that has a country swagger impressed the crowd with their fun, engaging set. After playing a string of shows in Melbourne, this was their fourth this year, and made for a sold out night.

76. Leslie Avril, The Standard, 8/4/2012
Avril is a boomer. That's right, she's a singer with a booming voice, so it's fitting she sings the blues. Backed by her 3 piece band she let it rip, creating the right kind of atmosphere for the middle aged crowd paying attention.

78. The Guilts, The In The Out, Skyscraper Stan The Old Bar 8/4/2012
Although I didn't get to spend too much time watching, The Guilts struck me as a folky pop band with darker edges. 3 piece The In The Out played their pop rock set with power. Unfortunately I cannot be objective about them, so I'll cease to write. Skyscraper Stan is back in town with a residency and a much larger band. He still does his storytelling songs, executing them well. This time he's supported by a horn section and it seems to give a New Orleans vibe, which it doesn't, but still creates a party vibe for the young crew of dancers who are very keen. And his two female backing singers can really sing. Skyscraper Stan is an interesting performer to me and I'd watch to see if he can outgrow The Old Bar scene.

79. Messed UP, The Tote, 11/4/2012
Messed UP are a three piece group. It's not tight, but it's alright! Featuring a lady drummer with oodles of spunk bashing away without repent, a lady lead singer with a good set of pipes treated with reverb playing rhythm guitar, and a boy guitar player singing backing vocals. Essentially they sound like 60's girl group music with an indie rock treatment, a twist of trash. And they've even got their own theme song. There's a nod to Dinosaur Jr without the long moments. All songs seem to be catchy and under 3 minutes. 5 gigs in and they're doing well I says.

80. Ice Claw, Bush Walking, The Tote 12/4/2012
Ice Claw make intense sounds with a guitar, a voice and knob twitching, in a way that made my temperature rise, my tummy squeamish, and my head dizzy. Bush Walking are a three piece with a guitarist, drummer and bassist. The guitar has maximum twang, but the vocals are soft and dreamy, making the band an interesting one to me.

81. Jackals, Mesa Cosa, Peep Tempel, The Tote 13/4/2012
Jackals could have sounded meaner and muddy, but the twang on their homemade guitars was bliss. In any case, I still like them. Mesa Cosa sounded pretty good with their rhythmic phrasing, profuse shouting, and relentless energy. But there were a couple of irk moments. Namely: sassy sax [rock out but you can afford to tone it down], and a guitarist that looked like he had a very bad case of the flu, or very tired because it seemed he was on the nod like a Smith Street junkie. It's great to throw yourself into something wholeheartedly, but it's important to remember: don't believe the hype. Peep Tempel did their thing with a new bassist that should invest in a pair of sunglasses. It's true, I'm biased since I liked the two piece best, but seriously invest in those sunnies... The crowd present loved it though.

82. Udays Tiger, Ships Piano, The Tote, 14/4
Udays Tiger is a 2 piece: drums and guitar/singer, with an abrasive rock sound that didn't stick in my memory. Ships Piano is a poppy outfit of what seems like Melbourne Uni undergrad band; lyrically they're like the Lucksmiths. Soundwise, it's just a nudge grittier simply because they've got louder instruments.

83.Gruntbucket, The Murlocs, GB, 14/4
The Murlocs did what the previous band couldn't do - and to Gruntbucket's credit, most bands can't: capture the diverse crowd of suburban kids at The GB, and fill the room with bodies. Although the harmonica playing continually cut out, the sound of the Murlocs is just so damn likeable. And although I feel like I've seen them a million times, I can't get enough.

84. Ana Nicole, Jane Dust and the Giant Hoopoes, Alley Oop and the Hoopsters, The Old Bar 19/4/2012
Ana Nicole was a slow burn female fronted band. Jane Dust introduced a new way tonight. Doing something that a lot of bands aren't doing, Dust did disco inspired drama pop with an outer space theme. Great songs, great performance, I found the sounds irresistibly head bopping and toe tapping. Alley Oop and The Hoopsters was more than two Aussie lady hip hop stars and a computer. Tonight they were joined by a rock and roll band featuring a bassist, drummer,  and two ex Sailors: the guitarist and keys donned in gold rope. It was a fun event, but in my mind I see Noize Bunny as a star on her own.

85. Hank's Jalopy Demons, The Savages, LuWow, 20/4/2012
Hank's Jalopy Demons do 1950's rock'n'roll, with a hillbilly twang, great Hawaiian shirts, excellent quiffs and a value added Fez. Highly enjoyable, and the LuWow have the kind of band room that permits dancing and fun times. The Savages are the kind of band you'd expect to see if you were going to a high school prom in the late 1950's doing covers and maybe originals. They had a sax, and a lady singer, a couple members from Midnight Wolf, and an older guy on guitar.  I don't know I'm no expert, but it was fun party stuff at a venue to match.

86. Eagle and The Worm, The Old Bar 20/4/2012
More fun party band from a party orchestra-ish group, with their rich, lush sound and two guys that can really sing in tune to produce beautiful harmonies at times.

87. Saint Jude, The Tote 20/4/2012
Classic country rock from a local band that does it well. It was the night of their launch, and although it wasn't a full house 'til the end, many in the crowd dug the melancholy yet uplifting sounds. Ironic isn't it?  Easy to nod yer head in appreciation.

88.The Stevens, Instore Polyester, Record Store Day 21/4/2012
I regrettably missed their EP launch a week ago, so I really enjoyed this instore set, which had a spectrum of the ages present. Today the Stevens sound warm, and glowing with their brand of classic indie pop with some rough edges, irresistible harmonies and sublime guitar moments. Good songs with great hooks, the strength of his performance made me buy the EP, which [BTW]I am absolutely loving. I cannot get enough of The Stevens.

89. Thee Wylde Oscars, GB 21/4/2012
Thee Wylde Oscars are a 4 piece older gent 60's styled garage rock band with a younger drummer. They're fun, have great lead breaks, 1 main lead singer, and one backing/alternate singer, and a drummer who pulls the most expressive faces to tell us he's into it. I have nothing bad to say about this band. Their songs were catchy, they're a good band and It was a laff.

90. Dig It Up! The Hoodoo Gurus invitational featuring: Frowning Clouds, Murlocs, Royal Headache, Beaches, Fleshtones, 5678's, Redd Kross, The Sonics, Died Pretty at The Palace 25/4/2012
It was seems  like so long ago since I was here, but things didn't warm up until Beaches commenced and they sizzled in the attic with their dense guitar textures.


Redd Kross


Died Pretty


90. Fearless Vampire Killers, The Sonics, Caravan Music Club, 27/4/2012
At the Caravan, you could get close

Real close!

I don't recall the Fearless Vampire Killers so much, but they were young, loud, and the Sonics said they liked them. The Sonics at Caravan was very fitting. It was an oldies show at an RSL. But to their credit, they've got great songs, that make you want to party with them and they can carry it off.And although there was much criticism about the sit down aspect to the venue, to see the Sonics at an intimate venue was a genuine treat.

91. The Fleshtones, Yah Yahs, 27/4/2012
Fleshtones at Yah Yahs played late

NY party rockers have choreographed dance moves, complimentary attire and seemingly lightly themed rock'n'roll party choons, but manage to get the medium sized crowd dancing like idiots.And that's what it's about on a Friday night right?

92. Sonyta and The Incinerators, 5678's, LuWow 28/4/2012
I'd like to say good things about rockabilly Sonyta and the Incinerators, so hear this: it'd be great if Sonyta could get a bit meaner and dangerous because for me, that's what rockabilly is about. The 5678's played their most intimate show of their tour. The sound wasn't great, but the kitsch- gaudy tiki vibe was so appropriate, that despite other factors, this was a good gig to be at. It was just a lot of fun.
DJ Greazy introducing 5678's, with oustanding Go Go dancer Stella Angelico


5678's setlist

93. Facetime, Murlocs, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Bar Open, 29/4/2012
I just caught Facetime on their last song, an epic track with layers of guitars that seemed to go on for a million years. No - not quite that long. Murlocs did their standard set, warming the crowd up for who they were here to see: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard who played an exciting set, encouraging mosh, crowd surfing and unruly behaviour on a Sunday night. I know what the cynics and the critics say and I understand where they're coming from but KGLW are a convincing act, with decent tunes - some anthemic and are playing music in the now. Of all the gigs I witnessed in the last week, KGLW was the most vital of the lot, and that says so much.

94. ScotDrakula, Evelyn, 30/4/2012
3 piece garage poppy band with a female drummer and singer, a male lead singer/guitarist that can really screech, and bassist with charm and a sense of humour.  It's obvious why kids like this band: they've got the sound without the danger, so I assume if they're not already, they'll be a big hit on JJJ. The Evelyn was 1/3 full on the last night of their residency, but although it wasn't packed, they really won the crowd over. On the two last songs, half of that crowd joined in on stage to celebrate.

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