Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 2014 gigs

1. Spencer P Jones at Cherry 3/1/2014
Although I aim to see bands I've never seen before-especially when a new year commences, I was glad to catch one of the best artists in this country and he proved it yet again this evening, with his songs, his piercing, distorted guitar and raw lyrics.

2. The Citradels, Flyying Colours 3/1/2014
There seems to some kind of 90's influence surging through. Citradels reminded me of Jesus and Mary Chain, they had a really cool tambourine player/Farfisa player, Flyying Colours reminded me of Sonic Youth, Fitzroy and boy/girl lyrics, a very solid rhythm section. Both had very good moments.

4. Larry Bang Bang, Dane the Magician, Sugarfed Leopards, Dane's Magic Shop, 4/1//2014
Dane the Magician opened the evening and provided entertaining guitar tricks between acts that flawed, shocked and delighted. Larry Bang Bang seems to be a comedian, musician and general entertainer with his Swiss, mariachi, cowboy thing. It was good with real moments of hilarity. Sugarfed Leopards are such pro's[fessionals]. They sounded great, they looked great, they have moves, percussions,  and a whole lot of sparkle. They bought the party and they are one of the best fun bands around.

5. Penny Ikinger, Yah Yahs 7/1/2014
Penny Ikinger reminded us how cool she actually is, with her good songs, and her brilliant, twisted, dark guitar sounds.

6.  Loobs, Gorsha, Public Bar, 23/1/2014
Loobs are a new 3 piece band, only months old, with some really fine moments and their bass player is perhaps one of the coolest chicks ever. Gorsha is a 4 piece band from Darwin, playing swamp rock and cowpunk with a strong Australian vibe.
The aftermath of the BOSMC final show for ages

7. The Pink Tiles, AD Skinner, Gentlemen, Hierophants, Batpiss, Gooch Palms, Bits for Shit at SHITFEST, The Tote, 26/1/2014
The Pink Tiles kickstart the Australia Day festivity *where the Australian flag is banned* at the Tote. After a sloppy beginning, they find their feet by the end of the set. AD Skinner is 4 guys, playing fast and tight with some noisy guitar, & one very natural frontman screaming into the mic. One punter says it reminded him of ECSR. 4 piece Gentlemen are also a white guy punk outfit that play pretty flat out, garnering good reviews on their recordings including US distribution on their 7 inch. Hierophants change the pace with their twisted pop, with moments of fuzz and weirdness and this was ultra refreshing. They were one of my favourite bands on the line up. Everyone was raving about Batpiss, and the sound guy was under pressure to get things working for the 3 piece. Finally things got moving, and Batpiss were a powerful trio of dude punk. Unfortunately I missed Cut Sick. Gooch Palms had that quirky fun, yet musically good pop thing going on and a penis on show. But the real excitement was reserved for Bits of Shit, which had reached fever pitch by 11pm. Earlier in the week, the band announced that this was their last show for a while. The lead singer of Bits of Shit opened with  a poetry recital and then breaks into a Bits of Shit show. The crowd went wild, the mosh was violent,the crowd surfing seemed hazardous since the mosh wasn't that tight, the props included a lagerphone and a helmet, they were joined on stage by a dancer & a friend who dropped his dax. And once the sound issues were rectified, Bits of Shit were in full flight playing crowd favourites. The room was full of love for BOSMC by the end of their set the lead singer went AWOL and no-one was sure if there was going to be an encore. There wasn't..... so they were the last moment of the BOS show, which makes me think, it's really not over for them. They dedicated their show to Katie, former bar staff & DJ from The Tote, The Standard & The Old Bar.

8. Saint Jude, Labour In Vain, 27/1/2014
3 part harmonies behind a loud band. Now that is impressive. A face in the crowd says they "remind him of Burrito Brothers and there's nothing wrong with that!" unless you don't like the Flying Burrito Brothers, but then if you don't, then you probably wouldn't be there.

9.Parquet Courts, The Corner Hotel 29/1/14
Unfortunately I missed well regarded supports Constant Mongrel and Total Control but all signs pointed to this being a very good gig.  When a band is described as being punk rock, I expect something punk-esque: they don't have to look like stereotypical safety pin through the nose -  punks but at the very least I appreciate something raw. I felt that they were slightly misrepresented. I only caught a couple songs, but it seemed a little more like mid 90's Brit pop. But genre aside, although my colleague says they "played well", and they were "very Pitchfork", I must admit, I didn't dig it. Or I didn't get it. I'm sorry Parquet Floors I didn't give you much of a chance, but I just assumed - based on what I caught, it was not for me.

10. Steve Miller Band, Icy Poles, The Harpoons, Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment, 31/1/2014
Steve Miller band: not the band you were expecting

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brief Round Up 2013

Best Gigs 2013

ESG, RRR 16/1/2013
Reason: Insane drumming and feminist factor

Hunx and his Punx,  The Tote,  20/1/2013
Reason: Hunx and his Punx are fun

The Kave Inn, The Breadmakers, Yah Yahs, 27/1/2013
Reason: Good outfits, great music

NoBunny, Town Hall Hotel North Melbourne courtesy of Wooly Bully, 3/2/2013
Reason: Perfect, intimate venue for the likes of NoBunny

Ooga Boogas, GB 23/2/2013
Reason: A band with many styles, and it seems to fit this not-a-hip venue

Les Minijupes Bar Open 15/3/2013
Reason: They do that 60's French pop thing so well. Sounds good, is fun.

Tyrannamen, house/shop on Johnston Street, Collingwood for All's Good in the Wood, 24/3/2013
Perfect venue for this power pop group: someone's backyard.

Salmon and Cowie, Buzzcocks, Flamin' Groovies, The Crusaders, Dig It Up, The Palace 25/4/2013.
Kim Salmon puts on an ultimate performance, and Leanne Cowie really helps give it the structure. Together it's better than could have ever imagined. Buzzcocks were fun. Flamin' Groovies did gorgeous pop. Crusaders was a bunch of blokes havin' fun.

Flamin Groovies, Caravan Music Club 27/4/2013
More sweet pop

Peak Twins, The Tote, 3/5/2013
One of my favourite bands: possibly because they rarely play gigs. But I love their sound and I love their songs. I love their wild guitar breakouts, tambourine, harmonies, so on and so forth

Prudence Rees-Lee, Curtin 9/6/2013
A massive project of musicians that easily exceeds anyone's expectations. They do chamber pop really well.

Frowning Clouds  The Tote 12/6/2013
Good at what they do

Sugarfed Leopards LuWow 27/6/2013
This 6 or 7 piece wow everyone on this night, and are much better than their international headline

Empat Lima, The Gasometer, 19/6/2013
Their second gig, and theyve got twang and spunk and great songs. Almost everyone at this gig was spellbound by Empat Lima

Hits, Yah Yahs  18/7/2013
Straight up pub rock and roll to me, with a funny/scary lead singer, 2 cool chicks playing guitars and one mean looking drummer. OK I'm totally sold on their looks, but also on their sound and their attitude

The Impossible No-Goods The Public Bar, 2/8/2013
Anto Mac playing fuzz bass, BJ Morriszonkle on the drums and a horn section. It's as wild and brilliant as you can imagine.

Habits, Gaso 16/8/2013
3 singers who twist and turn knobs. They've got style, can really sing like 80's singing sensations and it's just plain good.

Geoffrey O'Connor Boney, 24/8/2013
Unlikely yet favourite front man for a pop act. Songs are great.

Ciggie Witch, Northcote Social Club, 27/8/2013
Ciggie Witch is another indie pop band with a slide guitar. I reckon they're one to watch for 2014.

Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Gonerfest  Hi Tone, 26/9/2013
Absolutely spectacular show and heaps of fun

Timmy and the Tumblers, Lamplighter Lounge, 27/9/2013
When a venue is empty it's easy for the performer to feel disheartened. Not Timmy who's climbing on the furniture, singing to the barflies on the stool next to him, walking the length of the dive whilst still playing guitar. And the band plays on. A breath of fresh air

Harlan T Bobo and The Fuzz, Wreckless Eric, Goner Saturday Murphy's, 28/9/2013
Harlan T Bobo and the Fuzz and Wreckless Eric are both brilliant songwriters who displayed their great work through their excellent performances.

Chuckleberries, Siberia New Orleans, 3/10/2013
Totally fun 60's covers? Drummer ex-Mummies. One member is just playing percussion and singing with everything he's got.

Gaunga Dyns, Chris Montez,Ty Wagner Ponderosa Stomp, Rock'n'Bowl 5/10,2013
All so good, please go back to review.

School of Radiant Living, Goodtime Studios 18/10/2013
Coolest chicks playing their highly enjoyable songs. If you look at the scene they came from they're truly  iconic.

El Vez, LuWOW 31/10/2013
World class performer doing a camp Elvis act with costume, political commentary and dance. What is not to love?

The Subsonics Off the Hip 15/11/2013
Brilliant sound, good songs, funny looking but one of the best bands I saw in November

Tyvek, Ooga Boogas, Nun, Melbourne University Underground car park 17/11/2013
Good bands in a unique location

Guitar Wolf Public Bar 30/11/2013
This had to be the smallest crowd of the Australian tour, but Guitar Wolf did not give in or give up and seemed to give it 130% instead of the usual 110%.

BJ Morriszonkle, The Old Bar 4/12/2013
One man band genius. Is that going overboard? Nope

Last Word
The short list is too long I know, but it's too hard to cull. Ironically, I didn't see many gigs compared with previous years, but 2013 had so many musical highlights and the artists that really stood out were the ones offering something a little bit different than what you could ever have hoped for. Whether it be musical or otherwise it doesn't really matter to me if it makes you look twice and stick around. I'm exhausted now and going to bed, but when I awake, i can't wait to see what 2014 has in store....