Volumes 2016 Mixtape

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Last year, Sydney got a huge leg up in the form of Volumes Festival, a multi-venue event that put a spotlight on all the fan-fucking-tastic music we get to call our own in this city, as well as a 11/10 show from Blank Realm. Even the piece of shit writing this sentence had a pretty good time!

Which is why I’m really happy that Volumes will be returning for another year! Not only have the team expanded to include an extra day and the Burdekin Hotel amongst last year’s venue collective of The Oxford Art Factory, Brighton Up Bar and Cliff Dive, but they’ve delivered a lineup that forces even a chode like myself to concede a gasp of “Wow…”.

The full lineup and tickets can be scored here, but if ya want a pick of the best of the bunch, read on below:

BV

Formerly known as Black Vanilla, the Friday night headliners will be bringing their ferociously dark party to Volumes for a night of hedonism. In their own words: “No once cares how well you move, so just move”.

FISHING

The last time I saw FISHING, they rapped in French, and then brought up the Al Wright from Cloud Control for a song that sounded like the spiritual successor to Underworld’s “Born Slippy”. I don’t know how the hell they’ll be able to top that, but after months away, honing new material, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that FISHING’s return to the stage will see a truly crazy performance.

Rainbow Chan

Rainbow Chan is definitely the best thing in electronic music right now. Every time I see, hear or even think about her music, the words “jilted pop perfection” brand themselves into my brain. Her debut album will be out by the time she hits the stage for the first night of Volumes, so make sure you get a good spot early, because you’ll be one of the thousands clamouring to catch the biggest sensation of 2016.

Donny Benet

It’s been far too long since the ripple of Donny’s smooth and sensual touch has been felt. The sophisticated lover will be sparing no expense on the Saturday night, enrapturing all those who dare to feel the heat. Fuck, I’m licking my lips just thinking about this.

Unity Floors

I’ll take any excuse to belt out “Nice Fit” and all the other classic hits these guys have made over the years. UF’s second album Life Admin should be out by the time Volumes hits, so there’s plenty of time to learn the lyrics to all the new classics as well.

Rolling Blackouts CF

Someone once called Rolling Blackouts CF “…the best band ever…”, and that someone is me.

Scott and Charlene’s Wedding

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, the third best Neighbours-themed band from Melbourne, hardly make the trek to Sydney anymore, so any opportunity to see them should not be missed. Besides all the classics like “Rejected”, “Lesbian Wife” and “Jackie Boy”, they also do a killer cover of the Go-Betweens’ “Karen”, so make sure you’re front and centre when they tear Brighton Up Bar a new one.

The Harpoons

I’ve sorely missed The Harpoons’ R&B-tinged synth pop – it’s lip-biting, misty eyed stuff, and I’m filled with anticipation at the mere thought of swaying along with hundreds of others to “Unforgettable”.

Summer Flake

Summer Flake’s Hello Friends has been my ‘Album of the Week’ for the past three months – I’m a lazy shit who keeps forgetting to update that section of the website, but there’s also a hint of truth to my mistake. Summer Flake’s disarming honesty, golden guitar and harrowing voice makes her the perfect recipient of such a prestigious award. Can’t wait to catch Steph Crase and co. when they swing through Sydney again!

 

Volumes 2016 takes place on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th of August, all up and down Oxford St. Once again, tix and full lineup here.

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Video(s): Scott & Charlene’s Wedding + Oscar Key Sung + Jon Hopkins + World’s End Press + Ariel Pink & Sky Ferreira + Kramies

Videos. Joke about MTV. Slight snicker, or at the very least, you breathe more air out of your nose than usual. With the introduction done, a small segue is used to seamlessly transition into the article, the reader satisfied by the author’s air of originality.

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-Charlie’s In the Gutter

By now, you’d know Scott & Charlene’s Wedding as that super awesome dole-wave band that’s part Melbourne, part New York City. On ‘Charlie’s In the Gutter’, there’s that traditional slacker vibe of rejecting bullshit that Craig Dermody does so well, but there’s also a little more electricity in the guitar. Meanwhile, scenes from the life you wish you had flash by in the video.

Oscar Key Sung-All I Could Do

The rhythmic wizard that is Oscar Key Sung proves why he’s one of the most enchanting producers in Australia right now with ‘All I Could Do’.A little bit xxyyxx, a little bit Jon Hopkins, it swishes around on those little stilts of synth magic. But Key Sung’s own voice of melted chocolate and his compatriot on the ‘hmm’ sample make this song more delicious than an explosion at the cotton candy factory.

However, the video really takes centre stage here. Its like an exploration into African tribalism and unused Hollywood sets. Starting out with 80’s glitch leftovers and moving into a cloud-covered Coliseum, this video is both trippy and alluring.

Jon Hopkins-Collider

Speaking of Jon Hopkins, its Jon motherfuckin’ Hopkins. In the spiritual video sequel to The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, ‘Collider’ shows the dark underbelly to all that trancey stuff your kids are listening to. Look, there’s a party going on here, but its so violent and diluted by other forces, you wouldn’t know if you’d actually go there. The music just accelerates the unease, Hopkins’ signature shuffling minimalism that comes off screaming harder than any Bring Me The Horizon track.

World’s End Press-Drag Me Home

Aaaand, we’re back in Australia, by way of Melbournites World’s End Press. These cool fucking cats released their debut self-titled earlier this year, and although I haven’t had a chance to check out the entire thing, what I have heard has been pretty mindblowingly great. ‘Drag Me Home’ is that case closed. Like their contemporaries Jagwar Ma, World’s End Press fully embrace the style of Madchester  love, bringing the half-rave, half-cheesy love song format that made Happy Mondays so famous.

As is par for the course of a World’s End Press video clip, a whole bunch of interesting shit happens. There are scantily clad women, nerds, fingernails and unnaturally stretchy spines, all bathed in sleazy neon lights.

Ariel Pink & Sky Ferreira-My Molly

Man, this is a team-up that makes one question why the fuck it didn’t happen sooner. If Sky Ferreira wasn’t going out with the main dude from DIIV, she should have totally hooked up with Ariel Pink aka the greatest, weirdest musician this planet has right now (slightly above Dan Deacon)  because this energy is what the world needed after Sonic Youth stopped being cool weird, and got French weird.

The New York chic sheen that covers this track pokes through the grime, and the drug-fuelled, fuck-you charged ‘My Molly’ becomes a little jail cell for Pink and Ferreira to jump around in and do their best Courtney Love impersonations. The video is pretty akin to that description, lots of lazing around, staring into the camera seductively and acting like Runaways-era Joan Jett.

Kramies feat Jason Lytle-Sea Otter Cottage

And finally, ‘Sea Otter Cottage’. This one is a tad quieter and less vibrant than the previous entries, but no less amazing. Kramies bring the melancholy poetry hard and fast on their drooping miser ‘Sea Otter Cottage’. Every time you think the track’s about to fall, it is suddenly picked up by some new instrument, like macabre organ chords or vaudevillian guitar. Perhaps its the influence of Jason Lytle of Grandaddy fame that muddles and murkies their sound, but it comes off fantastically.

Top 10 Band Names of 2013

ImageWarning: If you’re over 30 you might not want to read this list. Unless, you’re Bill Murray.

It’s a well known fact that if you have a great name as a band, you will garner some attention. Sure, that attention will last approximately 2 weeks, and be compromised of shocked, right-wing mothers and punk kids trying way too hard to piss of their parents, like myself. However, if you can back that up with some great music, then what’s the worry?

Here are the Top 10 band names that stick out in my mind. Most of them have really good music, and you should definitely check them out. Some of them suck. Make up your own mind. Here they are, the bands with the most unique names of 2013:

10. Fuck Buttons-I talk about Fuck Buttons pretty much non-stop. In the lead up to their gig on Thursday, I must have said their name a minimum of 4000 times, and shocked quite a few bystanders in the process. However, besides havin a cuss word in their name, Fuck Buttons prove they can back their ‘controversial’ name with some killer tunes, like ‘The Red Wing’.

9. Pissed Jeans-Another great fringe band with a great name and better music. Pissed Jeans blend hardcore with gargled regurgitation, coming out like a Elmo in a blender with gnarled guitars and a bloodthirsty bassline. Listening to Pissed Jeans is like having Genghis Khan shoot the shit with you whilst he’s in the middle of drug rehabilitation, and is fiendin’ for some meth. If listening to ‘Bathroom Laughter’ doesn’t either make you shit yourself in fear, or get excited to dangerous levels, then you’re deaf.

8. Lightning Swords of Death- Lightning Swords of Death are a black metal band. and because my knowledge of black metal extends as far as ‘that’s the church-burning stuff from Norway right?’, I was kind of surprised when I downloaded ‘Vorticating Into Scars’ on the basis of the band’s awesome name, and was instantly flooded by a sound not dissimilar to Satan shitting blood on your face. Each to their own, but it must be said these guys have a great band name.

7. Yes, I’m Leaving-Yes, I’m Leaving have been around for a very long time, but their name is fucking fantastic (as does their 2013 album ‘Mission Bulb’, you’d be hard pressed to find a better Aussie punk album this year). The simple message of those three words is damn powerful, surmising that yes, its time to fuck off, and no, you can’t stop us.

6. Vulture Shit-Vulture Shit have the whole imagery thing down pat. When listening to ‘I Love The Way He Touches His Computer’, and silently contemplating destroying a hotel room, you can almost see a sinister vulture blatantly shitting all over  your previous conceptions that punk was dead.

5. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-The project of Craig Dermody, slacker superstar, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding has tad more romantic connotations than, say, The Clits. Its a reference to that massive episode of Neighbours, when our titular characters got hitched. It was a pretty monumental moment in Australian television history, along with Cathy Freeman winning a running race and the first time How I Met Your Mother was aired on Channel 7. Anyway, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding (the band) make some fucking great jangle tracks, such as ‘Lesbian Wife’. However, you have been warned, once you listen to that song, good fucking luck trying to get it out of your head. Its the ‘Call Me Maybe’ for people with taste.

4. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys-One of Sydney’s greatest bands, possibly one of the greatest in Australia. From love-torn ballads, to down-n-out slacker anthems, the Bad Boys make just plain great music for the average guy. Its like the love child between Alex Chilton and Paul Westerberg, only with a way cooler band name.

3. The Gooch Palms- Ahhh, The Goochies. What’s not to love about them? From regular onstage nudity, to raw garage punk infused with pop sensibility, to their no-bullshit attitude in live performance and music. However, for most, their name will be the thing to strike an unassuming radio listener. Gooch? As in, that hairy thing between your legs? Ewwwwww. Then ‘We Get By’ comes on, and all you’ll be able to think about from that point on is how fucking great a band The Gooch Palms are.

2. Diarrhea Planet- There was a story earlier this year about a grandma who got royally pissed off because her grandson wanted to buy the new Diarrhea Planet record. I think the thing we can garner from this is that her grandson has excellent taste in music. ‘Seperations’ is one of the better tracks of this year, and I doubt many people would have heard it if that name didn’t make you turn your head like witnessing Roadrunner getting his neck snapped by Wil E. Coyote.

1. Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing- Ah, finally, the crux of the article amirite? Actually, the whole point of this story was kind of just to show off the brand new song, ‘A Fraud Abroad’, by Girls Pissing On Girls. Its an absolute stunner of a track from the Kiwi group, and one that really shouldn’t go unrecognised. But don’t take that to mean these guys don’t have one of the best names in the world. Next time you want to be all mad-rebel-ish, just tell your Mum that your new favourite band is Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing, and see where that gets you. Actually, once you have a listen, they probably will be your new favourite band, so you won’t even have to lie. It’s a win-win!

Hand Games Mixtape #15 October (free download)

Hand Games Mixtape #15 October (free download)

Holy shit, new Hangames mixtape, today just went from being misery incarnate to possibly the best day of your life. Yeah, the new one is an absolute doozy. There’s no mucking around or filler on this one, the ‘Cute-Confused Tiger’ mixtape, just straightforward glorious new Australian tunes. The opener is Seekae’s absolutely fucking brilliant new single ‘Another’. You know, one of the best Australian songs of the year, the song that is physically impossible not to love. Well, Hand Games open up with that, then move onto the new Peak Twins track, and then into Major Napier. So far, the organ that produces the chemical of lust is working in overdrive, as these three songs jet you into head over heels addiction for the goodness of this playlist.

Moving on, there’s sultry stuff from Matin King, (one half of Oscar + Martin), and then a triple threat of slacker rock royalty from Yard Duty, The Ocean Party and Scott & Charlene’s Wedding. This triple treat of acts should be enough to warrant downloading this mix alone, but then we move into the feel-good production of acts like Jonti (with help from his mates Big Scary), Movement and MKO. The playlist goes out strong on the garage rock throne of the sullen ‘Drove Down’ by Full Ugly, and the sprightly title track from The Gooch Palms ‘Novo’s’.

Luckily for you, and everyone else out there, this mixtape is completely free, so there is literally no excuse for not nabbing it right now, for 0 dollar$. You’d have to be completely insane not to. Even Charles Manson would shank a prison guard to get his hands on this amazing, amazing mixtape.

Album Review: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-Any Port in a Storm

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AWWWWWWWWWW YISSSSSSSS! Mutha. Fuckin. Jangle. Pop. Jesus Christ, could Scott & Charlene’s Wedding be any more Australian? Firstly, you’ve got the band’s name, which besides being really fucking hard to say, and not sounding anything like a normal band’s name but a rather average event, is an all too subtle reference to  Neigbours. Then there’s the fact that frontman Craig Dermody (who started Scott & Charlene’s wedding all on his lonesome, and has also played participation in Lindsay Low Hand and Spider Vomit) is a beach bum babe. And the vocals are not dissimilar to that of Twerps, Dick Diver, Day Ravies, or Boomgates. All fantastic bands with all fantastic records to their names, but I’m going out on a limb here and claiming ‘Any Port in a Storm’ to be my favourite of the average Aussie narrative albums. It was a tough decision, almost as tough a decision as when Butch debates going  back to his apartment to get his father’s watch that was shoved up his ass, from Pulp Fiction.

‘Any Port in a Storm’ gets it’s bonus points for it’s casual warmth, and wears it’s amateur tendencies on it’s sleeve, displaying them proudly instead of shoving them in the corner like the incest cyclops son in Harold & Kumar. In fact, the opening track ‘Junk Shop’ makes it’s catchy chorus from ‘Yeah, you see my insides/they sing out of tune/ they go WAAAA-AHHH-AHHH-AH, They go WOAAHH-WOAAAHH-WOAAHHH’. Those big swoops of sound towards the end of the phrase are delivered in painful yet unabashedly bad singing, something you can’t help but admire and smile to. ‘Junk Shop’ is just the one-two punch out, followed swiftly by ‘Lesbian Wife’, a song I reviewed a couple of days, or weeks ago (memory of a goldfish). Be careful, as ‘Lesbian Wife’ is dangerously catchy, and you do not want to be caught singing that at the top of your lungs outside a lesbian bar. Just trust me on this one.

Besides the super down-to-earth, dude with a guitar and some pot vibes, another major point of the album is Craig Dermody’s residency in New York City. This comes up on tracks like ‘Fakin’ NYC’, ‘Gammy Leg’ and ‘Spring St’. It’s like Sonic Youth all over again, except completely different, and devoid of any arty 15 minute noise-feedback solos. Anyway, back to the topic of New York songs, ‘Spring St’ in particular inspires a longing and sadness song not felt  in a twee pop since the last Belle & Sebastian. When listening to it for the first time, it’s so subtle and nuanced, it almost seems like filler, but on closer inspection, it’s the standout of the album. It’s heartfelt and swoopingly beautiful and sort of acts as a general map of the entire album. In fact, it’s so goddamn heartbreaking, if you’re not blowing your nose and dabbing your eyes with tissues like the sullen twelvie you are, you are not a human being. And that’s a fact.

Simplicity works in favour in the album. Oh yes, it does. It works in favour of the album like a boner works in favour during a porn shoot. It almost seems like a given, but you’d be surprised at how often the vital element has disappeared. ‘Any Port in a Storm’ is so laidback, it makes Laidback Luke feel like a dickhead for even attempting to utilise the adjective. It’s so normal and average, yet heartfelt and warm, that it’s damn nigh impossible not to fall in love with every song on the album. Every description, every theme, every story, it all seems so random and trivial. However, these are the things that make Scott & Charlene’s Wedding a human and accessible band, a band that’s relatable to every Average Joe that’s had a shit day, wants to get the attention of a special lady, or can’t decide whether to spend the last of their rent money on booze or weed. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have released such a great album in ‘Any Port in a Storm’, I feel like I might cry with happiness and how saved I feel right now. Wait, too late, Niagra Falls has proceeded in my bedroom, and the Sonic Youth poster is already mildly soaked. I need to stop listening to this fantazeballs album before I’m swimming in a water-protein solution.

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-Lesbian Wife (free download)

‘Lesbian Wife’ is a title that will disappoint a lot of people. Thousands upon thousands of horny 13 year olds/recently confused husbands will type that phrase into Google, looking for 2 minutes of satisfaction, only to find…this brand new and amazing Scott & Charlene’s Wedding.

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding is a band from Melbourne, that have fucking exploded since their signing to Fire Records in England. It’s the same fucking label that Guided by Voices are on, how could shit not go perfectly for a slacker pop band? Regardless, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have put in the hard yards and their more recent stuff, such as previous single ‘Fakin’ NYC’, is a nice build up from the older material on ‘Para Vista Social Club’.

Anyway, back to ‘Lesbian Wife’ and horny boys. ‘Lesbian Wife’ features the jangly guitar and deadpan vocals that we’ve come to expect from the band, but the song carries a little bit more weight than that. Sure, the swashbuckling narrative of the everyman done in blow-by blow-form that is favoured by Scott & Charlene’s Wedding  (as well as other exploding Aussie talents like Twerps and Dick Diver) is there, but there seems to be more confidence and prowess behind the song that pushes it from simple my-girlfriend-dumped-me territory, to a well-worn gem that the band should be more than proud of. Excellent lyrics (‘Keep on keepin’ on is my favourite song/that’s what I do, even when I’m wrong/on the outside I feel old, but I still don’t do what I’m told), a superb chorus that you’ll be singing to your grave, and the amount of fun and realism balanced with musical genius to ensure that it panders to even the most Calvin Harris-esque of fans.