Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Daft Punk’s most polarising release to date.
How And Why The Smokescreen “Music Festival” Failed
Mushroom tried getting the kids to quit smoking by framing an anti-smoking campaign as a fake music festival. It wasn’t very effective, to say the least, because these people don’t understand why young people still smoke despite having been exposed to pretty explicit warnings about it since birth. So I gave them some advice.
Interview: Richie Ramone
We talked about how to age gracefully as a punk.
Interview: Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks
The Buzzcocks have been vocal in the past about being more than just a singles band, but Singles Going Steady is such a solid compilation it’s probably going to haunt them forever. That said, short, fast and sweet is what punk is about, and if all one could say about The Buzzcocks is that they put out 16 incredible singles, that’s a hell of a lot more than most bands of their time.
Midnight Juggernauts + Client Liaison @ The Corner Hotel - 25/4/13
Most of this is about Client Liaison, a fascinating band appropriating 80s pop signifiers as a mild form of performance art.
Interview: Super Wild Horses
Talking about their second album Crosswords and what it’s like to record in an abandoned butter factory.
A Good Town For It: Bloods
One of my favourite Australian bands. The show they played the night after this interview was wild.
Fall Out Boy - Save Rock And Roll
One of the best pop records of the year.
Grimes @ The Corner Hotel - 6/12/12
Grimes has a mesmerising presence on stage. Confident, commanding. The kind of dorky and effusive charisma of her off-stage personality is totally absent when she’s singing. It’s quite a transformation.
In Defence Of Fall Out Boy
Reevaluating all yr teenage obsessions.
ATP: I’ll Be Your Mirror @ Westgate Entertainment Complex - 16/2/13
A weekend spent drowning in sweat and listening to extraordinarily loud bands.
Electronic Punks: A Glimpse At Melbourne’s Most Dynamic Music Scene
There’s a lot to unpack with Melbourne’s current crop of electronic musicians so I could only fairly call this an overview, but the subculture growing up around them, as well as their music, is truly remarkable.
Laneway 2013 @ Footscray Community Arts Centre
A fairly by-the-numbers festival review featuring Julia Holter, Perfume Genius, Japandroids, Cloud Nothings, Nicolas Jaar and Bat For Lashes.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ An Undisclosed Location
Took a train to Sydney, snuck into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs dressing room and drank all their booze. Not really.
An Interview With Craig Schuftan
One of the most satisfying interviews I’ve done. Getting to talk to Craig about Guy DeBord and existential weariness and how it fits into the context of popular music was a rare experience.
A Good Town For It: The Smith Street Band
DIY venues and Melbourne punk rock.
A Good Town For It: Yeo
Pop music, going commercial, and meeting the expectations of Richard Kingsmill.
A Good Town For It: The Townhouses
Leigh Hannah on making gender-neutral music and gamelan.
Why Titus Andronicus Are The Most Important Band Of 2012
Facetious title but they’re at least pretty close. Too few dudes with guitars writing with a feminist, punk bent.
A Good Town For It: 8 Bit Love
Cassettes and aging titties.
A Good Town For It: Boomgates
In which we talk about the booming Melbourne music scene and The New Melbourne Jangle.
ScotDrakula @ A Vans Warehouse Party
ft. commentary on corporate sponsorship and just why exactly I saw ScotDrakula more than any other band in 2012.
Scrayfish - Get A Dog Up Ya!
The most Australian album of 2012; bogan punk poetry.
Dune Rats + ScotDrakula @ Some House Party
A secret house party put on by Shiny Entertainment turns into a night at Melbourne’s since-deceased foremost health-hazard, Godzilla Bar.
Hating Nickelback (For All the Right Reasons)
How the ubiquitous antipathy directed at Nickelback brings the world together.
Bitch Prefect - Big Time
An excellent Melbourne-via-Adelaide garage-pop band debuts with an album focused on suburban ennui and working-class confusion.
Fun. @ The Hi Fi - 27/7/2012
Despite their cheesy appeal, an incredibly good time.
Mere Women - Old Life
Gloomy and spiteful-as-fuck rock music.
DZ Deathrays @ The Corner - 19/7/2012
Someone let off a flare in the confines of The Corner. It was that kind of show.
Hilltop Hoods - Drinking From The Sun
A rare but unsurprising exception to the fetid morass of which Aussie hip-hop is largely comprised.
Japandroids - Celebration Rock
One of the most spectacular - in a literal sense - and appropriately-named records of 2012. I also spoke to drummer David Prowse shortly after the release.
ScotDrakula @ The Evelyn - 30/04/2012
The ScotDrakula residency with Keith! Party and Francolin, one of the best lineups The Evelyn saw in 2012, although the review, frankly, does a very poor job of conveying why.
ScotDrakula @ The Worker’s Club - 18/03/2012
The first time I saw ScotDrakula live, I was incredibly ill, but it didn’t stop them - and I’m aware of how this sounds but I say it with no reservation - from changing my life. Also the first time I saw Rayon Moon, whose second EP I picked up after the show, and I recommend you do the same should you find yourself in a similar situation.
The Libertines - “What Became of the Likely Lads?”
One of my favourite closing tracks, written about for one of my favourite music sites.
My week writing about The Hold Steady on One Week One Band
Five days of posts ranging from critical analysis to personal anecdotes via the history of The Hold Steady, totalling several thousand words.
Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory
Grittier than most turn-of-the-millennium pop-punk but definitely in the same vein.
Das Racist @ The Corner
In which I open a review with a bold statement and I have yet to be convinced otherwise. After the show I met a girl called Laura outside The Corner and we talked about Das Racist’s place in the hip hop pantheon between Odd Future and Kanye West, all of whom were in town for Big Day Out, and how she loved Das Racist because they were the only rappers alive making songs that weren’t egregiously sexist. I wish I’d gotten her number. Conversations about feminism and rap are unfortunately #rare.
Craig Finn - Clear Heart, Full Eyes
The acoustic solo album from The Hold Steady’s lead singer/songwriter. I didn’t know what to expect, haunted by the memory of failed solo ventures like Julian Casablancas’s Phrazes for the Young, Brandon Flowers’s Flamingo, and Kele Okereke’s The Boxer, but as a Hold Steady devotee it really held up.
Pyramid Rock Festival 2011/2012
A look at the festival renowned for its bogan congregation. Segregated by the privilege of a press pass, it was a lot of fun, but it might not’ve been so favourable if I constantly had to be around the kind of people who were at Dum Dum Girls or San Cisco. One thing I missed was that Scissor Sisters were bottled while on stage and I wouldn’t be the first in speculating it was because of the less-than-progressive views held by the type attracted to Pyramid. Naturally, Illy was very popular.
The Black Keys - El Camino
Looking back, I like El Camino a lot less, having been persuaded by some rose-tinted glasses after the circumstances in which I first heard it: a bottle of rum and several pints deep at the office with some others at 2am as we celebrated the end of the TV season.
Royal Headache @ The John Curtin Hotel
The best show of 2011. Royal Headache’s hype had peaked and they were a genuinely exciting band at the crest of a wave that would expose an untold number of great records in the ensuing break. The timing of the event and the energy there made it feel momentous.
The Internet Kills Pop Stars
One in a sea of Rebecca Black articles which explored the circumstances surrounding Black’s rise to prominence and the value of internet fame.
Youth Lagoon - The Year Of Hibernation
The only quote-unquote chillwave album I’ve ever really liked. I tried to get high and listen to Neon Indian once but I just felt really bored.
Elbow @ The Palace Theatre
Elbow were consummate performers but more importantly was pre-“Brother” Matt Corby supporting. After the review was published, Corby’s PR team were so excited they profusely thanked me via Twitter. And now he’s famous! Okay, that was probably to triple j’s credit.
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Tao of the Dead
An excellent guitar record.
Wavves @ The Corner Hotel
The first time I saw Wavves, still very much in love with their slacker bullshit. The second time I saw them was so disenfranchising I haven’t been able to listen to them since.
My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Seriously weak in parts but some of these tracks are among their best. My Chemical Romance have seen somewhat of a rejuvenation among those skeptical due to their dubiously emo heritage but once you admit that the lines in the sand being as ephemeral as they are shallow, you get to open yourself up to a huge, great rock band who take their artistic vision incredibly seriously, and have made a lot of incredible music because of it.
No Sleep Til Melbourne @ Melbourne Showgrounds
About as close as we’ll ever get to a Warped Tour. I don’t listen to too much NOFX and Dropkick Murphys these days but seeing my favourite high school bands live was really something.
Chiddy Bang - The Preview
Chiddy Bang are relatively unfashionable to like in the realm of hip-hop but they’re better at sampling the alt-mainstream than Childish Gambino and their lyrics are twice as good too.
Uffie - Sex Dreams And Denim Jeans
Surplus to demand in a post-Ke$ha world but unfairly dismissed because of it. A better parallel, although impossible to have even imagined at the time, might be Kreayshawn, whose first single was a stone cold jam and but the delay on a follow-up album and the disappointing result totally killed her. “Pop The Glock” came out in 2006, this record came out in 2010. It’s an uncharitable comparison though, because Sex Dreams And Denim Jeans is still a lot better than Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay.