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Posts Tagged ‘brisbane’

 

Tune-Yards (or tUnE-yArDs if you want to go with the stylised way of writing it) pretty much exploded onto the scene last year, gaining quite a bit of attention with the release of their second album w h o k i l l. The brainchild of frontwoman Merrill Garbus, she started the project alone utilising looping pedals to create drum beats and combining elements of R&B and afro-beat. The live lineup nowadays includes bass player Nate Brenner (who often assists with percussion and synths as well) and two saxophone players, which really helps to fill out the sound and add a lot of funk and energy to Garbus’ live performances.

 

It was amazing to watch Garbus create the live drum and vocal loops so effortlessly on stage, never once seeming to misstep. Right from the opening, the four-piece displayed a high level of energy and excitement which was helped greatly by the enthusiastic crowd who cheered, danced and shouted lyrics. They played most songs from their latest effort w h o k i l l, with the standouts being ‘Es-So’, ‘Gangsta’ and ‘My Country’. However, the real highlight (unsurprisingly) was ‘Bizness’, which is easily one of Garbus’ most impressive vocal performances where she changes between registers and between a soft whimper to a bellowing howl with such ease. The softly spoken frontwoman politely thanked the crowd for coming out on a Sunday night, but it seemed all too appropriate to thank her back for coming out to play such a marvelous show in the first place. It was refreshing to see this calibre of performer who approaches music in such a unique way. The entire band gave a downright flawless performance in all respects and was easily one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.

 

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So I’ve been a bit quiet lately. But I write for Rave Magazine now! The first review I’ve done for them can be found here.

HIS MERRY MEN – Super Secret Spies EP

Monday, 12 December 2011

(Independent)

Brisbane’s own funktastic nine-piece release debut EP

In a city that seems to be revolving around indie-pop lately, His Merry Men are a breath of fresh air on the scene. Combining elements of funk and jazz, featuring strong vocals from frontwoman Megan Crocombe, the nine-piece are bursting with energy. The title track opens with a ‘50s-inspired surf guitar lick and horn accents in just the right places, while Crocombe advises us to “Just get out and enjoy yourself” over a languid chromatic riff in Njoy. Energy remains high throughout the EP, even during the slower Motown-influenced Bobby Got, thanks to thick textures and a beautifully layered brass section. The band have quickly made a name for themselves because of their vivacious live performances, and thankfully they’ve managed to capture this perfectly on record.”

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Acts Seen:

Imaginary Cities, Boy in a Box, Emma Louise, World’s End Press, Evil Eddie, The Jungle Giants, Little Scout, DZ Deathrays, Jonathan Boulet, San Cisco, Oscar and Martin, The Adults, Eagle and the Worm, Seals

I went into Big Sound Live with one goal – to only see bands I had never seen live before. The thing with this showcase is that it can be so easy to go see the acts you know will be good (Ball Park Music, Velociraptor, The Cairos, The Paper Scissors, Inland Sea etc etc) but for me that seems to kind of defeat the whole purpose. Isn’t the whole idea to help punters discover new local bands and showcase local emerging artists? I mostly succeeded, I had seen a bit of Little Scout earlier this year at Belle and Sebastian and I heard a bit of World’s End Press at Splendour in the Grass but for the most part I saw a lot of acts I had never seen before, or even heard of before.

Highlights:

World’s End Press – I stayed around to catch their whole set and it was well worth it. A genre I can only describe as retro electro, they’re very 80s complete with the loud shirts and bad awesome dancing. Lots of synths and grooving basslines. I compared them to a more subdued !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – well worth seeing again.

Oscar and Martin – I’m still trying to work out how I would describe these guys, because pop or RnB simply don’t cover it. They had two of the most amazing voices I’ve heard in a while and a really unique approach to their music.

Lowlights:

While there weren’t exactly any acts that I would say that I would never see ago, I felt a little let down by Emma Louise. With the amount of hype she’s had over the last couple of months, perhaps I had just set my standards too high. Or maybe it was an off night or a bad venue to see her in or the crowd was just too loud. It could have been anything, but I wasn’t blown away and I’m struggling to even remember anything about her set.

The Venues:

I managed to make it to every venue available for the event – Electric Playground, Bakery Lane, Black Bear Lodge, Ric’s, Tempo Hotel, Woodland, The Aviary and the Zoo.

It was actually my first time to Black Bear Lodge and I was quite impressed! I never thought the atmosphere of the Troubadour (RIP) could be matched, but Black Bear Lodge could even be an improvement. Lots of seating at the back and just generally a more open feel, I’m excited to return to this venue at some point.

Electric Playground was certainly an interesting choice of venue, but it seemed to work out okay. The sound was okay, the stage set up was okay, the scantily clad girls taking drink orders on the floor was a bit out of place but overall it’s an okay small venue. I don’t see it turning into a live music venue full time but it would be interesting to have the odd show here and there.

The only venue I was disappointed in was The Aviary. Absolutely no airflow, and beyond packed both times I went. I swear it was over capacity for Jonathan Boulet judging by the amount of people crammed into the stairwell between The Aviary and Birdees.

The Verdict:

It’s one of those ‘the more acts you see, the more you’ll enjoy it’ kind of events. It’s nice to be able to move around between different venues, and it’s nice to see members of local bands wandering around seeing other acts as well. I felt like I probably enjoyed last year a little bit more, but for the most part this year was very enjoyable and it was great to be able to see some bands I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

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Well, the song isn’t all that new but if I’m not mistaken this is the band’s first video! If you’re still yet to hear Brisbane’s 12-piece retro sounding garage rock band Velociraptor, familiarise yourself now – they’re only going to get bigger.

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‘Twin Rays’ is the latest release from Brisbane three-piece Gung Ho. The first single from their upcoming EP, it comes some lo-fi and surfy qualities with a general laid back indie feel. A nice cruisey track to bring us into the warmer months.

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‘Hologram’ is the latest release from Brisbane’s own sextet Founds. The first taste of their upcoming EP, ‘Hologram’ is built around luscious layers, creating a beautiful atmosphere. Gently plucked guitars grow against with a steady pounding drumbeat into a hypnotic breakdown to the end of the song. Be sure to check out ‘Gypsy Horse’ as well, both tracks are available for free download from the band’s Bandcamp page. I absolutely love the vocals in both of these tracks, as well as the way that they’ve managed to stay upbeat and catchy but laid back and relaxed at the same time.

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It had never occurred to me before that Brisbane artist Hunz had never realised a music video. Always one known for his interest in animation, Hunz has managed to created a pretty damn fine debut music video for his song “I Get Chills”. The track is a bit heavier than previous stuff we’ve heard from him, but the style suits quite well.

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