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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'Couldn't Care Less' Video Review || Teischa


"Couldn't Care Less is an honest and personal piece of songwriting that portrays a fuse of pop, soul, R'n'B and electronic genres. It's what I think is my best work yet and I'm very proud of how it's come together." [Check out my artist interview here.]

The last time I featured this talented 18-year-old, Couldn't Care Less was Teischa's newest offering that I just couldn't stop listening to. And really, not much has changed since those few months ago. Her voice is still spell-binding, skin tingling, goosebump producing goodness and I'm still just as in awe of her musicality. And our close ages only heightens my love for her music; after all, there's nothing like a fellow teenager who is out there killing it!

Teischa has since released her accompanying video, shot live at The Base in South Melbourne, which is just as beautiful as the track itself. There is something really special about live performances. Music is such a digital thing nowadays that seeing someone live, even if it's recorded and posted back out onto the internet, that I personally love.

And seriously, this is a beautiful ode to a song as powerful as Couldn't Care Less. Perfectly capturing the mix of raw power and softness, this is a video I could nearly watch even without the song. (Not that I would want to, really.) And I really want to head along to a show sometime soon, so I think it's definitely done its job.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Go Van Go / Kill Dirty Youth || Double Review



With a slow, drawling style of rock, Kill Dirty Youth certainly know how to cover their bases.

Not ones to shy away from a heavy bass line either, their latest tracks Slowdive and Lexipro are as similar as they are different. Slowdive stays solid throughout; Lexipro winds up and down, with the driving riff lines are repetitive slap in the face. 

Honestly though, I feel like rock, especially this more subtle version, is universal. I am yet to play these tracks to anyone who truly dislikes them. Which is, in my mind at least, one of the greatest compliments I can give.

The Melbourne-based alt-rockers, Kill Dirty Youth are exactly what the name suggests: dirty, gritty and refreshing. There is no hiding from rock like this.

www.facebook.com/killdirtyyouth


Hailing from Brisbane, Go Van Go are fully committed to surfing the wave of rock.

I'm Lost, But Well Travelled may sound like a slightly cheesy tourism ad, but it is instead a pleasant surprise of hard hitting garage rock. Going heavy on the drums, guitar, and, well, pretty much everything really, the guys of Go Van Go are proving that they produce great music, cooked up their way.

There is no mistaking this as anything but Go Van Go, which is a true talent. Although I admire musical experimentation, it's often stronger to stick to your roots. They are, after all, why you are where you're at.

This isn't the type of music you'd have to pretend to like if it came on in a friend's car. It's just honest, rocky goodness. Thank you very much lads.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

We're all a Believer || Paper Lions


Canadian quartet Paper Lions have hit us all again with their latest dance/rock track Believer. Pulled from their upcoming album, which is currently in production, this foursome have produced a track that'll make you sit up and listen, and then get up and dance.

Filled to the brim with serious feel-good lyrics and a driving beat to match, Paper Lions have bundled up a whole lot of musical genius into one song. It's a real talent to make people feel good with just 3 minutes and 45 seconds, but Believer is proof of why music is so powerful.

And while it does remind me slightly of one of the cheesy, you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to scenes TV producers absolutely love, it does make me incredibly keen to hear the rest of album. I'm sure you all understand why.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Two Year Masterpiece || Garrett Kato


“some songs have themes which stretch further into my past, but the majority are about my new life and love in Australia… it’s basically a personal diary of manhood and letting go.”

Two years in the making, Garrett Kato's That Low and Lonesome Sound is the latest from this impressive folk singer/songwriter. Written largely about his relocation from Canada to Byron Bay, Garrett followed the release up by opening for Pete Murray's National tour, running from October to the start of December.

Garrett's willingness to tweak and fine tune his tracks at his home studio is rewarded with the richly dynamic EP. An album that is as heartfelt as it is moving, this new feather is making Kato one very fine hat.

You've always been introduced to me as, at least on paper, as Canadian born singer. Is it important to you that people know your home country?
It's more the fact [that] when I speak, my accent is Canadian, so it saves some explaining later on for people. I do love my home country and often miss the place, but Australia is honestly God's country and has been so far very kind to me.

When and why did you decide to leave Canada for Byron Bay?
I left for Australia in 2010 for just a little holiday away from Vancouver. I met my brother in Byron Bay and he had arranged a room for me at a share house. The first day at the house I met the girl from across the hall. Now five years later everything has changed, I have a home studio I work out of and tour and we have a 1 year old at home. Life is crazy.

Was there anything that you found unexpectedly difficult about relocating such a long way?
The hardest part is not having family around. You don't really think about it while you are relocating, but the circumstances can be often challenging for a young father trying to navigate through that on the other side of the planet.

You recently released your new sound, That Low and Lonesome Sound, can you explain the title to me? Why is it a low and lonesome sound?
This album is basically a concept about my relocation to Australian. During the five years in Australia I've gone through any different phases of life and have grown into manhood. That Low and Lonesome Sound is a narration of the past few years and deals with my biggest challenge and change in my life. So I am kind of the low and lonesome sound.

I know you recorded between two different studios, but why was this album in the works for two years before its release?
I recorded the majority of the of the record myself at my home studio. By doing this it gave me unlimited time to demo and explore every possibility of the songs. It was a liberating experience and also exhausting as my expectations were very high and if a song wasn't something I knew I was 100% proud of, I'd cut it. I think I recorded close to twenty-five songs for this record.

If I could only listen to one track off the album, which would you recommend to me?
Depends on the listener, but for me the most well rounded track is Ghost Town. It's about my home town of Port Coquitlam, which is famous for only one thing... The most notorious serial killer in Canadian history. The man lived about 5km away from me and the town is more or less a beautiful place with darker shades about it.

You've played a lot of shows recently - both your own and as the opening act for Pete Murray - what is the major difference between opening and headlining?
Headlining a show is really great, but it's more pressure to give the fans an amazing show and I stress about it sometimes. Opening for Pete has been amazing. The shows and crowds are the best shows I've ever played. It feels like a dream when I'm on the stage in front of huge crowds in beautiful venues. So to answer your question, I prefer opening for Pete at this point in my career!

Have you met Pete before? Why do you think your music will work as his opening slot?
I've known Pete for about five years. I was playing at the Treehouse and met him there, we hung around after the show and passed around guitars with Mikey B from MT Warning and sang songs..it was a great night. So far the crowds on the tour have been overwhelmingly amazing during my sets. Pete and myself have a similar singing style..[I'm] really digging my set. I'm one lucky dude.



Saturday, December 12, 2015

2016 Australian Tour || Josh Pyke



"The world would feel a lot smaller and we'd have a lot more of a community if we didn't have these shrinking hearts. It sounds negative, but it's more like a call to arms to remind everybody that we're all in this together."

Since the release of Josh Pyke's latest full-length album, But For All These Shrinking Hearts, the Aussie singer-songwriter has continued the same dependably ace musical career he has fostered from the beginning. The LP has gone from strength to strength; being dished positive reviews from both fans and critics alike and soaring to top two placings on both the ARIA and Australian Albums charts. 

Josh continued to give back to his fans with a run of intimate, fans-first gigs after But For All These Shrinking Hearts' release. But now it's time for the rest of the nation to see Josh in live glory; with his new run of 2016 tour dates being unveiled. 

With support national support act, Banff (with the exceptions of Melbourne and Sydney who will instead see Winterbourne open), Josh is keen to head back out on the road and take his fifth studio album to an even greater audience. 

"I'm extremely excited to share this tour news with you! It's been ages since I've done a full band tour, but it's all happening next year, and I've tried to make as many shows 'All Ages' as possible."

JOSH PYKE ‘BUT FOR ALL THOSE SHRINKING HEARTS’ ALBUM TOUR
Presented by Music Feeds

FRI 29 JAN | TWILIGHT AT TARONGA, SYDNEY NSW (ALL AGES)
Tickets available from www.twilightattaronga.org.au

SAT 30 JAN | CANBERRA THEATRE PLAYHOUSE, CANBERRA ACT (ALL AGES)
Tickets available from www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au | 02 6275 2700 | Canberra Theatre Box Office

THU 04 FEB | STUDIO 56 @ MIAMI MARKETTA, GOLD COAST QLD
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

FRI 05 FEB | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

SAT 06 FEB | STAR COURT THEATRE, LISMORE NSW (ALL AGES)
Tickets available from www.starcourttheatre.com.au | 02 6622 5005

FRI 12 FEB | MELBOURNE ZOO TWILIGHTS, MELBOURNE VIC (ALL AGES)
Tickets available from www.zoo.org.au/twilights

SAT 13 FEB | THE WOOL EXCHANGE, GEELONG VIC
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

FRI 19 FEB | HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA (ALL AGES)
Tickets available from www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au | 131 246 | All BASS Outlets

SAT 20 FEB | ASTOR THEATRE, PERTH WA*
Tickets available from www.astortheatreperth.com | 1300 111 369

*U18 can attend with parent/guardian


joshpyke.com

Friday, December 11, 2015

Music & Muses - Alyssa Palombo || Guest Post

In light of Alyssa Palombo's fabulous new musically drenched new book The Violinist of Venice, Alyssa has kindly agreed to guest post for you all. So grab a snack and enjoy!

Given that I wrote a novel largely about music and musicians, it's probably no surprise that music is a huge part of my life, and something that I love passionately. I got a great musical education from my parents growing up, and heard everything from Stevie Ray Vaughn and B.B. King to Led Zeppelin and The Who to Metallica to rock operas like Jesus Christ Superstar. I love musical theatre (Phantom of the Opera is and always will be my jam) as well as opera, and as a classically trained vocalist I have sung my share of opera music. I've been a huge heavy metal fan since the age of fifteen, when my dad bought me a copy of Black Sabbath's Paranoid and told me, "You have to hear this". I've dabbled in piano and violin and even spent a few ill-fated months trying to learn the flute. I listen to music while working at my day job, while driving, while cleaning, while working out. And I listen to music while writing. Especially while writing.

Since music has worked its way into my life in so many other ways, it only stands to reason that it would become part of my writing routine as well. I know that every author is different in this respect, but I just can't write without music playing - I think simply having it on helps unlock the creative parts of my brain to get the words flowing.

Many authors make playlists for their novels or works in progress, and I do as well, though The Violinist of Venice was the first project where I really got serious about doing so. I'm a bit obsessive about it, actually. I like to find just the right song to go with most scenes (especially the important ones!) as well as songs that fit with the theme and feel of the story generally. I start compiling the playlist from the time I first conceive of the idea, and keep at it all through revisions and edits and pretty much every part of the process. One song on the playlist for The Violinist of Venice, Kamelot's Under Gray Skies, got added when I was reading through the pass pages for the novel - basically at the very last moment that I as the author had my creative hands on the book.


Sometimes I'll know just the right song for a scene before or as I'm writing it; sometimes I'll hear a new song for the first time and realise right away that it fits in with a scene or character; and sometimes one will fit in by happy accident: something that I happen to be playing will end up fitting in perfectly with the scene that I'm writing at a given moment (this happened with another Kamelot song, Veil of Elysium, when I was writing the very end of my second novel, and it was magical).



Other than the playlists just being a fun thing to compile and to have, for me they've also become a very useful writing tool and an integral part of my writing process. I load up the playlists onto my iPod and will often listen to the playlist for whatever I'm working on while at my day job, and that helps me keep my head in the game even when I can't be writing or revising. Too, listening to and thinking about a song in relation to a certain scene or it can help me clarify what a character's motivations might be, or what may be happening in that scene beneath the surface. One scene in Violinist took a complete left hand turn on me in revision because I was listening to Lacuna Coil's song End of Time while working on it. That song - which is beautiful and bittersweet and about the end of a relationship - changed what was previously a happy, lighthearted moment into something very stark and real and painful. It changed, to a degree, some of what needed to come afterwards in the relationship between my two main characters. And it improved the scene exponentially. That was what needed to be happening there, at that point in the story, as it turned out. To this day those are some of my favourite paragraphs in the book.



And I just love writing about music, about a specific piece of music, about a certain melody or orchestral part or ornament or vocal line. The passages in which I'm describing music are also some of my favourite sections of the book.

Two of the vocal pieces in the novel - the first movement of the Stabat Mater and the aria Cosi potessi anch'io from the opera Orlando furioso - I have actually performed myself, When I chose to learn Cosi potessi anch'io I knew that it would fit into a later scene in the novel that I hadn't written yet, so that was another form of research in and of itself. The Stabat Mater I confess that I worked into the novel just because I love it so much - to this day it's one of my favourite things I've ever sung. Of course, when I started writing the scene with that piece I realised that it fit what was happening in my heroine's life better than I had originally anticipated!

Every writer has many different wells that we draw from for inspiration: our own lives and experiences, other books, our education, movies and television. I draw from all these wells too, but music is the well that I draw from the most often, and I'm happy to have it so. I'm definitely not done writing about music and its effects on people and their lives; but whether I'm writing about it or not, it will always be a part of my writing.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alive - Wren || Review


If I had dreams in black and white, this is what I would want it to be like. 


Catapulting straight into a haunting mix of colour-drained cinematics and enticing guitar, Sydney-sider Wren has offered up a ridiculously stunning video clip to accompany her also ridiculously stunning track Alive. The track has been pulled from her debut EP Raw, which you can read me rave about here.

Alive, as a single, is an enchanting song in its own right, but adding a video such as this can only be seen as an asset. Hooking you in from the very beginning, Wren has astutely served up a simple video that you just can't look away from. Its laid-back nature is the very essence of what makes it so powerful. Surrounded by high intensity, this relaxed, daydream-esque clip stands out. As it should.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Crashing Down || Book Review


Title: Crashing Down
Author: Kate McCaffrey
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Buy the book: Book Depository

Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. 

The last thing she needs now is an intense boyfriend. Breaking up with Carl feels like the only way to keep her dreams on track.


But good decisions can have bad consequences.


And leaving Carl is going to be a whole lot harder than Lucy could ever have imagined. 





To be honest the cover and blurb for this book were so unappealing to me that I nearly just shoved it on my bookcase and left it there. But thankfully I pulled it out anyway and got over the lacklustre start. Because I know what they say about judging a book by its cover and I didn't want to not start just because it didn't look as pretty (sorry to all my English teachers for using that adjective..) as some of the other books on my TBR (To Be Read, for anyone who's confused) list.


Crashing Down tells the story of Lucy and Carl, who within the first chapter lands himself in a coma after a drunken car accident. Which is basically what the synopsis had already told me, but the rest of the book was so dramatic and fast-paced that I felt like I was watching an over-the-top soap opera.

I don't want to give anything away, but there was so much going on in this book that I couldn't believe how short the timeline of this book was. Everything that happened to Lucy was, although far-fetched perhaps, realistic, but it did feel like a lot of ground for one book to cover.

Lucy was the character that I had the most mixed feelings about. She was the obvious centre of the book, and had a superwoman amount of strength about her. But at the same time I often felt that she was unrealistic, or at least foreign to me in a way that made it quite difficult to connect with her. Usually I leave books feeling like the main characters are friends, but Lucy didn't end up that way.

Crashing Down is a book that covers a lot of ground in a very short space of time. It wasn't the best book I've ever read but I would recommend it you if you're into coming of age stories. Just keep the tissues handy and don't go into this book if you're having a down day.


Friday, December 4, 2015

The Sunnyside - Dallas Crane || Review



Is there anything better than an ace song for nothing? Download The Sunnyside for free here.

I'm not sure how much of my love for rock music I can attribute to my dad's constant playing of Cold Chisel when I was a child, but I'm going to go with a whole lot of it. Which is lucky really, because I'd be totally missing out if I couldn't appreciate Dallas Crane's latest track The Sunnyside. So kudos Dad, you did good.

The Sunnyside is a drum heavy, soaring vocals type of rock that continues to stand the test of time. The thing that really attracts me to rock, and in turn to this Dallas Crane tune, is the rawness of the music. There is no pretending, no computers or tricks here. If you can't play it live how it sounds recorded then it would miss the best thing about this rocky genre. It's honesty.

Maybe I'm just nostalgic (can you even be nostalgic at seventeen?), but this is a track that you can love now, tomorrow and in a decade's time. Dallas Crane doesn't slow down, they build their momentum until the very last note, it's a clever technique, really, because you'll only ever want more.

Tour Dates
Saturday December 26 - Barwon Club Hotel, GEELONG
Sunday December 27 - Lorne Hotel, LORNE
Saturday January 16 - Ballarat Beer Festival, BALLARAT

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

'Release Me' Colour Dazed || Single Premiere



Melbourne's latest post punk ensemble, Colour Dazed is sitting in the eye of the storm, ready and waiting for their world to blow up.

The band's new single Release Me, pulled from their upcoming EP Synesthesia Blues, is an old school quality of new fresh punky rock. With a sound that is familiar as it is unique, Colour Dazed are the fresh faces of a rocky, punk inspired genre that should be blasted from speakers far and wide.

The track, a recipe of heavy drums, strong bass, driving guitar and subtle vocals all stirred together is two minutes and nineteen seconds of musical artistry. This is a track for anyone that truly appreciates music made in its rawest form. Just three blokes making tunes people want to listen to.

With summer here (although very reluctantly down in Tassie), I'm always after tunes that go hand-in-hand with an arvo out in the sun. And I've definitely found a new one to add to my list. With the balance fine tuned, you'd be forgiven for thinking this trio had been releasing tunes for years. They may be newcomers but their music is timeless, honest post punk.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

'I would just sit there mute' || Tim Wheatley



Fresh off the back of his latest rendezvous in Los Angeles, Tim Wheatley has followed up his latest album Cast of Yesterday with a fresh folky tune. The Heathen is a song about the Tim's eye-opening early experiences with the City of Angels. Continuing on from the success of his previous single, Valerie, Tim has penned his latest track featuring the "seedy" nightlife that he fell into. Although the lifestyle mightn't be something Tim is likely to return to, the sound is something that he plans on keeping from now on.

While Niko and I were mixing it, we thought it could use just a little something else, and so Niko suggested we take it to legendary guitarist Waddy Wachtel who has played with Keith Richards, Tom Waits, John Mayer, Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks just to name a few.  Waddy just played along and gave the song a dynamic that builds and builds,” enthuses Tim.  Having him play on my album was a surreal experience.  Waddy would ask for my input, and I would just sit there… mute!

The Heathen is a hearty mix of bluesy harmonica and some seriously smooth vocals from Tim. The track, which was recorded in Melbourne and in Hollywood, is already an international track. But trust me, it also deserves to be an international hit.


Now back in Australia, Tim is pumped to be back on home turf playing his tracks with "the same old bad jokes". After the success of his previous releases their was no time to waste for Tim, who has another four shows to play for his audiences down under. 

2015 Tour Dates

WED 25 NOV  |  THE BATCH BREWERY  |  MARRICKVILLE 
SAT 28 NOV  |  HAYCOCK THEATRE  |  GOSFORD 
WED 02 DEC  |  PANTHERS  |  PENRITH 
THUR 03 DEC  |  LIZOTTES  |  NEWCASTLE 
FRI 04 DEC  |  DEEWHY RSL  |  DEEWHY 
SAT 05 DEC   |  THE BASEMENT  |  SYDNEY  

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