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1. Howlin Wolf. One of history’s most influential bluesmen, Wolf was an electric live performer. His long time guitarist Hubert Sumlin had a profound impact on most of the rock players that followed him. Song titles such as ‘Built For Comfort’ and ‘300 Pounds Of Joy’ say it all.

2. Hollywood Fats. This LA blues guitarist was given his nickname by Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and played as a sideman for Muddy Waters. He also performed with the likes of James Harman, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, John Lee Hooker and Albert King before he died way too young.

3. John Belushi. The Blues Brothers introduced an entire generation to the blues and also resurrected the careers of most of the great musicians who played in the Blues Brothers Band.  Belushi was a passionate blues fan who sadly went the same way as Hollywood Fats at a young age.

4. Willie Dixon. He may not have received as much stardom, but Willie Dixon was the songwriter/ arranger/ producer/ session musician behind many of the classic cuts by the likes of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin Wolf and others during Chess Records’ golden age.

5. 1970s Elvis. By the ‘70s, Elvis may have become a drugged and bloated parody of himself but his 1950s recordings with Sun Records, featuring some covers of classic blues tunes are some of the most raw and exciting ever made.

Morningside Fats performs as part of the Queensland Festival Of Blues at The New Globe Nov 2.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 08:08

Jazz Scene

UP, UP AND AWAY
After forging a great teaching and performing career in Australia, local jazz chanteuse Lauren Lucille will be departing our shores to embark on a European career. Before she jetsets, Lauren has two final local shows at Lock N Load November 26 and December 3.

THE WINNER IS....
A big congratulations to Queensland's Joseph O’Connor (now based in Melbourne) for winning Australia’s most prestigious jazz competition, the National Jazz Awards. Congratulations also to Queensland's Dave Spicer who also made it into the finals. Joseph will receive $10,000, plus an ABC studio recording session, and an invitation to perform in the 2014 Stonnington Jazz Festival.  The Award has been a central feature of the Wangaratta Jazz Festival since it began in 1990. A different instrument is featured every year, and this year it was the piano.

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 04:28

DJ Rudekat: Top Five Musical Moments

1. Playing bass on a cultural tour of Japan, getting stage rushed by the Queen of the Ainu who played mean Djembe. Scored mad embroidered jacket and headband.

2. Getting a sneaky handjob on stage during Die Rude’s pirate set at Woodford Folk Festival.

3. Touring PNG with Sunny Dread — DJd a delightful hell-hole club called Shooters in Port Moresby, hired a bodyguard called Moses, narrowly missed getting robbed at machete point by Raskols. Much betel nut consumed; I looked like Dracula.

4. Eating a tab of acid on stage at Kuranda Amphitheatre with my most ridiculous band ever — Derek And The Cabbages — and leaving my body for most of the set. MC burned us on the mic as 'legends in our own minds'.

5. Giving the Liverpool Kiss to obnoxious punter while performing with Lotek at the Bohemian Masquerade Ball in Melbourne. My face was painted with what I thought looked like Mighty Boosh's Spirit of Jazz, but he thought I was being racist!

DJ Rudekat supports Kooii’s last Brisbane show for the year at the Hi-Fi Saturday July 13.

1. ‘The Life Aquatic’. At the end of the film when Steve Zissou finally locates the Jaguar Shark that killed his friend Esteban, Steve says “I wonder if he remembers me”. Sigur Ros’ song ‘Starálfur’ then plays; utterly heartwrenching and unexpected.

2. Real life. Instead of giving some guys an autograph, Bill Murray gives them a Slow Motion Walk, like the end of ‘Life Aquatic’. Similar incidents have occurred where Murray has sung karaoke with complete strangers and tended bar at a party at SXSW in Austin.

3. ‘Rushmore’. Murray doing a bomb into his pool at his son’s birthday party, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. There is something I find very sad about Murray's deadpan delivery in this scene. I would do almost anything to have Bill Murray perform in a music video for me.

4. ‘Coffee And Cigarettes’. Delirium with RZA and GZA from Wu-Tang Clan. Bill drinking coffee straight out of the coffee decanter. Also the sound of Bill off-camera gargling oven cleaner to get rid of his smoker’s cough as prescribed by alternative medical doctor RZA. I like this scene because Murray seems so effortlessly kooky while the Wu-Tang guys seem very scripted, uncomfortable even.

5. Rushmore. Bill smoking two cigarettes in an elevator. Once again the deadpan performance in this scene is hilarious, but somehow very poignant.

Eden Mulholland supports David Bridie at the Brisbane Powerhouse July 13. To win a double pass and a copy of each artists’ latest release (Mulholland’s ‘Feed The Beast’ and Bridie’s ‘Wake’) visit scenemagazine.com.au

Araabmuzik had a fairly big crowd for the small Red Bull Stage, and given its location outdoors in the sun he did well in holding his audience for the full hour living up to his moniker as the MPC king. Playing mostly techno and dubstep, Araabmuzik seemed a little out of sorts playing in the huge DJ box where his MPC couldn’t even be seen. Nonetheless, it was still what people wanted to hear and he got a huge send off when he finished.

Acts like Mark Ronson, Eddie Halliwell and Hudson Mohawk had the crowd in raptures, but it wasn’t until the appearance of M.I.A. that things were taken to the next level. Hitting the ground running after a short delay with 2005’s ‘Galang’, M.I.A. had the audience in the palm of her hand from the get go. Flanked by a trio of two back-up dancers and a hype woman the stage show frequently resembled a war zone as M.I.A. fought feedback problems, but ultimately overcame it all through sheer power with tracks like ‘Sunshowers’, ‘Bucky Done Gun’, a remixed ‘Bird Flu’ and crowd favorite ‘Paper Planes’ coming off like monsters. M.I.A. has been criticised in some quarters for her political activism, but after an hour of unrelenting intensity its clear that she has a serious message to push, even if that message sometimes gets lost in the noise.

Pulling the pieces together for anything else was always going to be hard, but scores of people still managed to make it to The Chemical Brothers’ DJ set. Exactly what the difference between their DJ set and their regular set is I’m still not sure, but it really doesn’t matter as Ed and Tom flawlessly segued between beats throwing in the occasional hit like ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’. The light show was as epic as ever and the crowd lapped it all up with most staying for the entire two hours despite the temptation of Hot Chip just across the way.

SEAN PEARSON

Mark Ronson’s DJ set went off with a bang – literally – with the Brit producer’s new single opening a performance worthy of the three Grammys that grace his mantle. It was a real mix bag with Bruno Mars, Adele, Missy Elliott, Jay Z, and Ludacris in rotation as well as a tribute to friend and collaborator, the late Amy Winehouse. Helping Ronson out on the vocals was a member of the Business International and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt.

We then made the short trek over to the Field stage to catch Disclosure’s Aussie debut. The brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence, opened with ‘Control’ and worked what was a relatively small but appreciative crowd with their funky, electronic beats.
Smouldering before a pulsating orange backdrop and wearing his trademark tribal mask followed SBTRKT who had punters transfixed by his tasty basslines and beautifully delivered vocals.

KIM VLASIC

Kimbra (wearing a multi-coloured dress resembling a pom-pom rainbow jellyfish) kicked off her performance with the jumping all-star track 'Warrior' (featuring A-Trak and Mark Foster). The fans present for this post midday show had chosen the fantastically unedited voice of Kimbra and her colourfully clothed band as a dazzling way to start the festival. Playing tracks from the jazz-inspired electro pop album 'Vows', Kimbra's strong hooks and catchy melodies made the Field Stage crowd dance. Kimbra dropped an unexpected Busta Rhymes chorus line from 'Touch It' and those roaming near the stage joined in the dance.

Hudson Mohawke has received critical acclaim from the likes of Drake and Chris Brown. And like using those names in the same sentence the music started like a fight, thick and ominous. The low-end production beat was built up when Kanye West's 'Mercy' dropped to a riotous crowd. The barrier separating us from Hudson shook under the pressure of the heavy beats. In true hip hop fashion four short-shorted girls booty popped onstage to Kendrick Lamar's 'Backseat Freestyle'. Hudson Mohawke's adaptability to fresh and classic samples showed why the young man is making major moves.

Fake Blood's electro-house DJ set predicted the reactions of the afternoon crowd without flaws. Deep basslines began with a mix of Velvet Green's 'La La Land' chorus 'those little pills'. He set a dark night scene in the daytime. Water bottles were tucked away as the crowd's arms flared and twisted. Fake Blood stood solo in front of expectant ears and ran his game like a professional.

HARRY PATCHETT
After an arduous year of waiting, the time had come again for potentially the most anticipated festival on the SEQ electronic music calendar. View Photos here

Now in its third year, Manifest has rapidly become one of the most talked about festivals and its easy to see why. With the amount of love organisers Praxis have thrown into this event over the past few years it has come along in leaps and bounds from its hopeful beginnings to the roaring success we witnessed over the weekend.

With an impressive international and equally incredible local line-up of acts from all across the musical universe, the punters in attendance were certainly not left wanting for a variety of incredible music and equally entertaining performance pieces. 

Production-wise Manifest easily shows up festivals twice its size: everything from the decor, a plethora of market and food stalls (thank you to the Ja Joint for one of the best festival meals I have had in years!), amazing performance art, two beautifully-tuned Nexo rigs and an incredibly friendly vibe — the Praxis crew truly deserve more than a thanks and a few hugs for the effort they have put into this party.

Unfortunately a word limit will not allow me to mention all the amazing acts so I apologise for not being able to mention everyone but the following certainly deserve a mention.

Daily Meds absolutely killed it, throwing down in a style all of their own — super tight rhymes, top notch production and absolutely mean basslines showing that Australian hip hop is certainly in a healthy place right now.

Lotek and the Rebel Hi-Fi & Mista Savona rolled out some of the sweetest dub inspired hip hop I have heard in a long time, obviously heavily influenced by the dancehall movement — both of these acts were certainly some of the more memorable of the day and the crowd responded with many a pair of feet compacting the earth below them.  

A fair bit of time was spent checking out our local talent on the Forest and Chillout stages and special mention goes to ResistoR, Electrocardo, Dusty Fungus and Blatwax for some absolute dancefloor business. Although there were numerous great acts on this stage, I feel that these four brought something truly special to the event and I hope to see them all making more appearances at future Manifests (of which I am certain there shall be many).  

As the night moved on the main stage was in full force with The Mank bringing an incredibly memorable set absolutely dripping with soul. Beautifully put together soulful hip hop vibes with a touch of dub and an incredible vocal performance these guys were close contenders for the set of the weekend, but I do have to save that accolade for the incomparable Mr Bill.

With production values on par with a Dave Tipper show, it truly makes me happy to see this kind of talent pouring from Australian shores. The crowd was absolutely heaving to Bill's incredibly melodic, bass and glitch heavy brand of electronica.

By the time Circuit Bent took to the stage to show off the wonky off-kilter wares of yet another brilliant Australian act both stages were absolutely packed with people for the final sets by Slackbaba and Tranceducer who both delivered killer sessions to polish the night off.

The quiet period post 12pm is certainly an interesting (though I understand required) move at an outdoor party but the Praxis crew had this well under control with a wealth of live performances from some incredibly talented groups and hours of psytrance on a smaller stage bending minds with its custom 5.1 surround sound system.   

At 7am on Sunday the generators were back online and the sound systems were yet again made live with the final day of festivities underway. Local monsters Kosha D, Hydrophonics, Duos and the Pushy Vagrants have forever changed the idea of a wakeup call rolling out some serious basslines straight off the bat.

The Main Stage had switched into psy mode for the remaining sets with Logic Bomb being an absolute standout. Unfortunately a move had to be made back to reality and we reluctantly made the (thankfully) short drive back to Brisbane only to wish I didn't have to wait another 362 days for next year’s event.

Again many thanks to all the promoters, organisers, DJs, market vendors, performers of all shapes and sizes and every person who was just up for a chat and a jam on the dancefloor.  Without any of you the event wouldn't have been the roaring success it was. Big ups to you all!
James ‘Hifire’ Paramor

View Photos here
Thursday, 13 September 2012 15:12

BIGSOUND 2012: Night One

BIGSOUND should be renamed; big doesn't even come close to describing the scale of this event — even massive is only a little better.

As soon as I set foot in the Valley I could feel the excitement in the air, and I doubt there are few groups of people who know how to get loose better than music industry types after a long day conferencing.

First up were Kingfisha, performing at one of BIGSOUND’s few outdoor venues, Bakery Lane. Despite the sun having only just set a mere two hours prior, Kingfisha's psych-reggae swing was already moving people’s feet. The vibe in the place was perfectly summed up by their keyboardist’s' ‘Meat Is Murder’ shirt — chilled.

kingfisha

Following that, we skipped over to Alhambra to catch Grey Ghost and Gung Ho, the former producing some pretty cool 'post-rap' (as it's apparently called), and the latter playing one of the best sets of the night.

grey-ghost

I've seen Gung Ho in the venue a few times before, but on this occasion they really turned up the heat, and their reverb laden, skater-chill, jangle pop shimmered brighter than ever.

Then Electric Playground was the venue, and Millions the band. Millions were obviously conscious of creating an impression, because they're matching black suits were sharp and their performance was particularly focused and impressive — they'd come with a game plan. Their Triple J played songs made an otherwise stagnant crowd sway slightly. But to be honest Millions deserved better — they deserved a crowd like Gizzard...

Undoubtedly the highlight of the night were Melbourne's King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Their psych-rock stomp managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy within minutes of turning their amps on (full volume of course).

king-gizzard--the-lizard-w
An extreme lack of security also enabled the rabid audience to divulge into stage diving.

crowd-surfing

The night was wild, and tonight promises (threatens) to be even wilder. So it's time to shake off this hangover and get back out to sample what other great, young bands have to offer.
Nash Johnston

I arrived at Electric Playground for the beginning of the first night of BIGSOUND Live and caught the end of Money For Rope before Boy In A Box took to the stage, lead singer and guitarist Tobias Priddle sans shoes; perhaps due to all the beer — the guys admitted to have been drinking since earlier that day.

Shoes or no shoes their energetic pop rock set can be summed up by the slogan across Priddle’s shirt: ‘Shit Fucking Yeah’. The audience immediately recognised the drum and guitar riff into radio hit ‘Moon Comes Up’ and continued dancing into another familiar favourite, ‘On My Mind’.

Having only heard a couple of their tracks I was looking forward to seeing Gung Ho. Instrumentally you cannot fault them, they’re talented musicians and their set was tight. ‘Twin Rays’ was a highlight of the set and their newer songs have a similar blend of surf rock. The performance as a whole though was somewhat lacklustre and the audience wasn’t really getting into it, everyone hung back from the stage until guitarist Michael McAlary encouraged them to move forward.

From there I arrived at The Zoo to an already packed venue for Ball Park Music. “Let’s play some fucking music” were the first words out of Sam Cromack’s mouth before they launched into their opening number.

ball-park-music-2
We were treated to the first live performance of the first song from their new album ‘Museum’, ‘Fence Sitter’, before the band went back in time and played ‘iFly (I Fucking Love You)’, for which Cromack relinquished his guitar and danced like only he can.

Safe to say everyone in that room fucking loved Ball Park Music. You couldn’t wipe the smile off Jennifer Boyce’s face as the crowd sang along to their ridiculously catchy tunes.

ball-park-music

The performances from night one were just a sample of some of the great bands Australia has going on and I can’t wait to see what the second night has to offer.
Tara Capel
Photos: Lachlan Douglas & Stephen Sloggett
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 16:32

Splendour In The Grass: Review

Splendour In The Grass went back to Byron, and we were there. These are the sets our reviewers can’t stop raving about…

DZ Deathrays
set up their own equipment before taking the stage, usually the music industry's tell that the band is yet to make it big. Ironic really, seeing as opening track ‘Cops/Capacity’ had the thousands of punters present behaving like they'd been listening to DZ since their mothers stopped breastfeeding them. The entirety of debut album 'Bloodstreams' pelted from Shane Parson's tormented respiratory system harder than the torrential rain that fell throughout the set. Kind of like Richard Kingsmill's tears.

James Mercer brings The Shins on stage and you realise that every other band you've seen was merely a sound check. It was the band's first opportunity to road test new album 'Port of Morrow', and to Mercer's delight the market testing delivered some pleasing results. The polish that we have come to expect from this outfit was duly applied to renditions of 'Simple Song' and 'The Rifle's Spiral', with 'Australia' also getting a healthy dosage of Mr Sheen.

A question on everyone's lips had been whether Jack White could match the hype that had followed him on the road to Splendour - even for someone like Jack White, tall tales had been told. Yet as his band emerged to play 'Dead Leaves On The Dirty Ground', those lucky enough to have spines immediately felt chills creeping up them. Regardless of your opinion of White's solo album 'Blunderbus', seeing the man perform over a decade's worth of material from a music empire spanning The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather is the equivalent of an auditory pilgrimage. Jack White concluded the set with 'Seven Nation Army', a song that 15,000 people continued to chant long after he'd left the premises.
James Pearson

Playing the penultimate slot on Friday, At the Drive-In were perhaps worthy of closing the night – given how many people seemed to have come solely to see them perform their reunion show. Although the reasons behind why they reformed after so many years may be varied (from re-patching their friendship to money), the band nonetheless put on a searing performance once they hit the stage. Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Jim Ward were especially animated from their opening rendition of ‘Arc Arsenal’ right through to their closing track and success ‘One Armed Scissor’.

Also on a reunion tour of sorts (having gone on a break while Kele Okereke dabbled with electronica), Bloc Party looked to be having a great time on stage. Mixing old crowd favourites and moving through their subsequent albums to include the opening cuts from their new album, ‘Four’, it felt like a celebration for both the crowd and the band.
Colleen Edwards


Even in the midst of winter, The Beautiful Girls warmed the crowd with their smooth, laidback sounds of summer. Favourites on the festival circuit, they were well within their element at Splendour. The tent packed to the brim with love as front man Mat McHugh introduced his fellow band mates through song. “This is our third Splendour and by far the best,” he announced to the crowd. For many, it will be the last gig they see the band perform under The Beautiful Girls name.

As the end of another Splendour bender crept closer it was time to prolong the sadness once more and bring on a third wind as headline act
The Smashing Pumpkins took the stage. Five years on since their reformation, and with another album under their belt, the band was in fine form to say the least. They covered a range of older favourites, B-sides, and tracks off their latest offering ‘Oceania’.

Corgan performed a customarily epic guitar solo during ‘Ava Adore’; even during slower songs, they stayed engaged with the audience and maintained a gripping intensity in classic Pumpkins style. Corgan asked the audience if they were feeling alright and after a cheered response he replied, “Don’t fucking lie to me, you’re tired!”

If Corgan is looking to usher in a new era of The Smashing Pumpkins then, judging by Sunday night’s Splendour performance, he’s doing just that. Brace yourselves as the revolution may just be starting all over again.
Liesl D’Rozario
1. Ibiza. If you’re into the electronic music scene this place will be your heaven. Also, make sure you get plenty of sleep before you go because that is one thing you will not be getting on this island.

2. Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas! Everybody MUST go to Vegas at least once in their life! There’s entertainment of every kind and places to stay from seedy motels to the grandest five-star hotels in the world. There’s no need to gamble; the entertainment is endless! While you’re there don’t forget to visit the Grand Canyon — breathtaking!

3. San Francisco. This is a truly beautiful place; it’s so classic but still very up to speed. You must go down to Fisherman’s Wharf and get a fresh clam chowder! TO. DIE. FOR! But beware of the seagulls... they’re quadruple the size of ours! You can ride a cable car (tram) almost anywhere through town and hang off the side like in the movies. Or ride a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge.  

4. New York City. ‘Sex In The City's and ‘Gossip Girl’s Manhattan is so hectic but in a good way, a travellers dream! In such a small space, it has everything: Central Park, Times Square, Broadway, tall buildings, the BEST shopping, restaurants, hotels, theatre. The one thing I especially loved about New York are all the street performers, they’re all so talented.

5. Venice. One of Europe's most romantic cities. Ride a gondola through the canals lined with beautiful little buildings and magnificent masterpieces, while a man sings ‘That’s Amore’ — just wow! All the food and wine is so traditional and absolutely mouthwatering. This is definitely a place to visit with a partner.

DJ Bliss plays the Hamilton Hotel Saturday July 21.
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 15:13

Chopper Read: Top Five Memories

1. I’ve got lots of memories, some good, some ‘bloody’ good, but I can’t go past the birth of my two kids: Roy and Charlie.

2. Marrying my wife Margaret.

3. Meeting Mark ‘Hammer’ Dixon, my partner in crime and the other bloke on tour with me.

4. Meeting Vic Hislop The Shark Hunter… you can run but you can’t hide!

5. Shooting at Mark Dixon in the bush for target practice, but I actually I didn’t hit him so it shouldn’t be a top memory. Via Con Dios.

Chopper & Hammer’s The Final Chapters tour stops off at the Tempo Hotel July 18, Park Ridge Tavern July 26 and The Arts Centre Gold Coast July 27.
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