Monday, July 9, 2012

July 2012 gigs

131. Ausmuteants, Fighting League, Liberty Social Club 6/7/2012
Sound problems for Ausmuteants keyboardist/guitarist forced Ausmuteants to plug the keyboard into the PA. The result? A larger sound, with some good Gay anthemic electro pop. For a moment in time the world was theirs.  Fighting League told us they were the Kings from Canberra, that they were from Canberra, and all that Melbourne people do is drink coffee and don't go to the gym. The lead singer adopted Sharpie style moves, and performed topless, punching the air, and threatening he'd bash us. At best it was a refreshing break from the good manners abound in a very middle class music scene. But at worst, their songs weren't amazing, lacking a clear direction, but they had some good guitar moments. Was it ironic? Who knows, but Fighting League are not the best band I've seen from Canberra - and I haven't seen that many. If they truly are the Kings, then it's time for a Republic.

132. Tough Troubles, Bits of Shit 8/7/2012
Apparently this was a rare gig for Tough Troubles who had a couple of guitars and a screamy vocalist. Bits of Shit delivered an exciting set and in the lead up to their record launch August 3.

133.Freedom Williams, Red Bennies 12/7/2012
South Yarra is another world. For the girls, high heels are a yes, make up is a definite yes. For the guys, tight tshirts if you're pumped, loose shirt if you're not, and team it with loose jeans. But tonight was a weird one, it was like going to Silvers R & B night over 10 years ago, but the crowd had grown up, got married, mortgages and careers mixed with a gay club.
There were a whole bunch of supports for tonight, but it was difficult to know who they were because it didn't seem to be published anywhere. The first act on was a female soul singer, backed by a fonky white guitarist, who also played the mac. The other band member was a fonky sax player. Yes it was sax neo soul music. Between acts the DJ spun old school commercial R & B hits. Next up duelling MCs from Sydney covered hip hops greatest hits, but only for 20 seconds a piece. This was followed by an R & B singer named Pretty who was signed that day.

Finally, the reason the crowd turned up: C & C Music Factory's MC Freedom Williams performing the hits of C & C Music Factory. For anyone who doesn't know C & C do You Tube search, and you'll find  them next to Snap, KLF, Technotronic, Hammer, Black Box. So Freedom Williams came on stage, after much waving our hands in the air like we just don't care. He had half a bottle of Grey Goose and what looked like Cranberry or Ribena in his glass. Joined by a singer that was not Zelma and a DJ, they started with Things that make you go hmmmm, performed 3 more songs, and finished the set with Everybody Dance Now.

So it was 5-6 songs for $55. But I don't feel ripped off since anyone who knows anything about C & C Music Factory know they only had two hits. But some interesting things happened tonight: Williams altered the lyrics - rapping into the mic how he was gonna make money: make money repeatedly.... The other thing that happened between the dancing, and tongue flicking, was that when the singer sang THE MUSIC IS MY LIFE, Freedom agreed "ain't that right" and the singer nodded, finally I don't recall Williams taking a swig from the Vodka-only tipping it out on stage which suggested it was merely a prop to make him seem relatable to the good time audience. These are just guys trying to get by making music. Sure some find it to be cheese, but they're out there and they're doing it. Tonight was a portrait of what can happen when success happens too fast and or when success comes too early in a persons life and for that reason, Freedom Williams did not appear to lack soul-but it wasn't completely tragic either because those who left their inhibitions at the door had a really fun time.

134. Palm Springs, The Ocean Party 14/7/2012
Palm Springs consists of one woman who looks remarkably like Louise Please from radio program Mixing Up the Medicine on PBS. Wielding an electric guitar, and powerful pipes, it was light and shade. The Ocean Party are at least a 5 or 6 piece big indie pop band with youngsters from other bands. Nothing new, but highly likeable. If you like the Twerps, you'll probably like these guys.

135.  Batpiss, Bits of Shit 14/7/2012
Batpiss are an intense 3 piece semi hardcore group that do the job reasonably well, with their two screaming vocalists and at least two bar guys from The Tote, it's no wonder they're the talk of the town. Bits of Shit perform with a sheet with their name on it, and some ghostly figures spray painted on. Tonight the lead singer jumps into the audience with the mic and stand, giving forewarning. The attendees go nuts in the same way that 5 year olds might if served fairy bread, lolly snakes and red cordial at a party. Failed crowd surfing was   totally appropriate for the band named Bits of Shit. 

136. Spencer P Jones, Macka 15/7/2012
Spencer P Jones played two sets to a ridiculously small audience, and this show was free. I believe he did new songs and a few repeats at the request of audience members. SPJ is a such a good musician and such a gifted songwriter, it was a shame to see the venue almost empty. But let's not allow that factor to eclipse the point: the sets were good - the music was good.  I think the guy who followed was referred to Macka and is in fact Mad Macka who'll be playing Goner. The performance was improptu, but for the audience, it was one man playing Spencer P Jones' see through electric guitar, and this was in the style of Tote Rock.

137. Stu Mackenzie, The Sam Cooper Band 17/7/2012
Stu Mackenzie is one of the members of King Gizzard, doing a list of 10 songs tonight, all on his own. He pulls off the one man act successfully, playing kick drum, cymbal, guitar and singing, largely in falsetto tones.  People may CAN these guys, but it's like bagging someone because they're good looking, talented, popular and rich. Yes it's easy to do that, and possibly fun, but there seems to be a lot of genuine talent within King Gizzard, that's really undeniable. The Sam Cooper band consists of a number of members including those from Fraser Gorman's band & King Gizzard & Murlocs, fronted by a young guy named Sam Cooper. Apparently Sam Cooper was in a band named Sambrose Automobile. Apparently that band have finished up. Sam apparently plays guitar for Fraser Gorman and this seems to be his own special project. There's a lot of people in this band making a lot pop tonight, with bursts of pub rock. Some songs have a melancholic country vibe, highlighted by boy/girl vocals. Their sound is mature beyond their years, reminiscent of some Triffids, Go Betweens & Oh Mercy.  There seems to be much potential here, my only advice would be to ditch the funky fillers. My hope for this band is they aim to be interesting, otherwise they risk sounding very adult contemporary and may end up on a DIG radio playlist.

Plagued by sickness, complacency and new hobbies this is my worst gig going count in 3 years.

138. Mesa Cosa, Reprobettes, Off The Hip Record shop, 20/7/2012.
Mesa Cosa have a new guitarist, and I really adore the dynamic between the two singers. The Reprobettes were a fun 60's styled garage band consisting of all women.

139. Alex Burns Adventures in Paradise, The Bluebottles LuWow 20/7/2012
Alex Burns' Adventures in Paradise have a new Uke player, and I love their instrumentals. The Bluebottles are a thrilling party band. Although the songs are not new it's a whole lotta fun.

140. Slim Dime, The Fox 22/7/2012
This group consists of a woman, strumming a tenor guitar, singing lead vocals, and a man, playing acoustic guitar. They've got one mic, and their style is old timey. Beyond the facts, there's layers of depth here. His guitar picking is exceptional and suitably complements a song. Her bold voice and strumming style impresses too, and with a quick glance, she can reign it in. This is an act full of talent, whose varied skills enrich what the other does, hence the overall sound is more than merely front bar music.

141. Afghan Whigs Hi Fi 26/7/2012
Judging by members of the audience,this was the best night out in the history of man and woman kind. Vocal based pop rock, with 3 guitars with a frontman that seems very popular with the crowd. But forgive me, I just couldn't get into this. There was a place and time for these guys, and I feel that 2012 is not it. 

142. Murlocs, Frowning Clouds, Grace Darling Basement 27/7/2012
A tiny room in a basement with no public address system that makes for a great room to have this gig in. Sure it's either too loud or you can't hear it properly, you can see it all, or you can't see anything, depending on where you're standing, but there's a whole lot of vibe for this 60's inspired garage rock gig.

143. MSG[Mia Schoen Group], The Ocean Party The Tote 28/7/2012
Led by Mia, MSG are indie pop that you might have seen in the 1990's. The Ocean Party are also that way. But the emphasis with this group is on pop. It's sugar coated and lovely for some. 

144. Wet Lips, Messed Up, Cholesterollers IdGaff 28/7/2012
Tonight it's an almost all female line up. Wet Lips play their first gig ever. They're a 3 piece, inspired by riot girl rock. Catch them at their next gig at the Gaso Sunday August 19. Messed Up play a tight set. Cholesterollers are a funny 3 piece with, gaffer tape covering up nipples. A night of developing talent which was exciting to witness. It seems like this could be the sound of the future.

145. Mr Sippy, St Kilda Bowls Club 29/7/2012
White guy blues band, playing front bar style blues. Not my bag by a long stretch. Good on them for having a go.

146. Buried Horses, Jack on Fire Wash Winter's Willies Away with Whisky, The Tote 29/7/2012
Buried Horses make me laugh because musically they seem so very serious. But with the house music on whilst they were playing, the tremolo arm falling off the lead guitarists Jaguar and a pot plant falling onto them midset, made it seemed they are struck by bad luck.  What can you do except laugh it off right? They've got a new drummer, and  a residency coming up in August. Jack on Fire had a good time, played  a cracking set. Good build ups, well developed songs and very entertaining. Perhaps the best thing I saw all weekend.

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