SINGLE REVIEW: “Cheap Wine” by VOIID

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There was a quote from Kurt Cobain at some point during his life where he said that the next great rock revolution would be lead by a woman or something like that. Whilst I don’t want to get too political I think it’s a relevant stance because in this godforsaken local music scene known as Brisbane, the only relevant music being made and the only music that resonates with me is the stuff driven by Female Human Beings. Make of that what you will but you know, there is only so much “hell fuck yeah” I can fucking take and I feel like VOIID might be the antidote to all that white middle class macho rock bullshit that is swelling both above and below ground at the moment.

The bands sole recording exists via the following SoundCloud and YouTube link and it is a 1 minute and 18 second pure kool thing lo-fi rock n roll thrill – put on the headphones and turn it up loud:

 

 

The production is supreme and perfect for this musical communication delving deep into the whole late night party drunk as fuck boredom shtick. This approach truly amps up the vocals and adds a nice contrast to the crunch of the guitar as it creeps along like a distorted washed out sigh. VOIID combine smart lyrics with simple pop melodies all the while slapping together some righteous chords that mix the hiss of shoegazing and the dust and dirt of the whole Sebadoh aesthetic. It has one foot in the past and one foot in the future and displays a desire to at least re-shape some of the established dynamics of the genres influencing them. Whilst the music is more party than arty there are hints of surrealism and dadaism weaving in and out of their overall presentation. There is a mystique to it all and that mystery begs repeated listens. This song along hints at future punk rock greatness and I can see this band taking it all the way, from the house party to the festival stage.

 

 

This is smart music and I’m a big fan of what VOIID is communicating. I get the feeling that in 12 months time they’ll also be everyone else’s favourite band as well but for now, keep them as your own little secret before you have to share them with the rest of the world.

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/voiidtheband/

SINGLE REVIEW: “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll

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There are moments in my life where I fucking hate rock music with a passion. It can produce some of the most uninspiring art in the world and when it’s bad it is really bad and when I hate rock n roll, I really want to destroy it. All of the leather pants wearing fuckholes, the guitar solos, the fucking rolling stones and all of their disgusting songs, all of the fucking humans who pretend to be Dandy Warhols, all those fucking 60’s / 70’s / 80’s revival throwback bands, all the fucking grunge revival bullshit and the army of humans who just love love love rock n roll and live life on the edge by adhering to the sex, drugs and rock n roll ethos. Fuck it makes me so very sick to witness and it honestly stands in the way of progress, you’re holding up evolution fuckwit, but I digress. Sometimes I just need to break free of it and to escape into something a little less generic in terms of musical communication.

This is not a new feeling for me, I’ve had it for as long as I’ve been listening to music and through the years this disgust with (sigh) “rock n roll” has lead me to some truly radical places. One artist who has been the shining light for me for the past few months has been Quintessential Doll. The freedom of her music really left me feeling inspired because I’m always on the search for new extremes and new ideas when it comes to the punk rock spirit. It seems that she has birthed a new kind of creative language for the riot grrrl scene (at least that’s how I interrupted it) and instead of being literal with her influences and sound she scatters all kinds of art reference points across her brand of pop music.

Quintessential Doll is one of the most original artists coming out of Brisbane at the moment and her sound is absolutely fascinating to me. That is how a lot of the music I invest in starts off, a fascination and an attraction to the way an artist conducts themselves and how they use their creativity to communicate to the outside world. A lot of this fascination starts because of the mystery and wonder of this particular person or persons and it just drives me to the point of wanting to know and hear more. I like to think of myself as a human that is genreless, I think art is about communication and I’m only ever attracted to those who are masters of communication and Quintessential Doll is brilliant with the way she communicates via her art.

This brings me to Quintessential Doll’s recent song “Beautiful Violence” which was released earlier this year.

Here is the film clip to the song:

 

Once again I’d like to use this review to get a bit controversial in terms of how and why I think Quintessential Doll is the perfect remedy and true evolution of psychedelic music. In order to do that I guess I have to outline my problem with the modern psychedelic movement happening across the musical community of late. I’ve got a big problem with all of the modern psychedelic bands popping up here there and everywhere. The reason why I find them difficult to enjoy is because they add nothing to the evolution of the genre of psychedelic music. They simply replicate what has come before them and it essentially starts to sound like a whole range of different tribute bands simply doing psych music circa 1960’s / 1970’s and whilst enjoyable it just adds nothing to our humanity. The music press certainly eat it up and shit out reviews praising the mediocrity of it all but those of us with seasoned ears and a desire to move the world into a place of equality for all, just hears a bunch of fraudulent humans adhering to a formula that can’t fail and that will help them achieve an empty kind of success.

Upon first listen of “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll I started to feel like that finally we have the first real movement of music that will help push and evolve the idea of psychedelic music into the new decade. This is a song and artist that is trying to reach some kind of true sonic revolution.

Now before the internet warrior humans pull my review apart (I’m mainly talking to the straight white males who work in guitar shops with this next sentence), let me dull down your fiery trigger finger by outlining to you that in order to evolve any genre aesthetic you need to do a bit more than purely replicate it. Proving that you can do intricate Beatles harmonies and adding some weird orchestral twists and turns and other psychedelic flourishes does not show that you are evolving the idea of psychedelic music, you’re simply paying tribute and pat yourself on the back sunshine you’ll make a lot of money in the process being a fucking fraud. All the bros will love your band but your basically just a covers act.

That is why I love “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll so much, because her music has this quality where it certainly exists within certain pop music structures and hip hop genre dynamics but it still stands alone as a unique musical communication. After listening to “Beautiful Violence” you can tell just how important it is for Quintessential Doll to present her music like art as opposed to just an exercise in commerce. It is her fearlessness that will allow her to not only be successful but also to do it with a unique creative dialogue.

I’m pretty confident not a lot of humans will buy into my assessment of Quintessential Doll being a leader of the evolution of Psychedelic Music but you see that’s just the problem with the world that Quintessential Doll is also attempting to rebel against, most humans automatically assume that the kind of evolution I was referring to was and will still come from a group of weak bodied white male humans playing guitars and potentially have a horn section or theremin or sitar for good measure. Sometimes this world has the capacity to make me feel fucking sick with the way it breathes in and breathes out.

This review of “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll is starting to potentially sound like some kind of feminist rant and for that I make no apologies because I am a fucking feminist you stupid jerks. Sorry, I forgot that music is subjective. My mistake, I’ll keep my pleas for equality and the way forward to making the world a better place to myself. You’re free to go back to sleep and live under the 1960’s / 1970’s / 1990’s rock that you all love so much, you know the one where revolution and evolution comes in the form of white middle class males.

Anyway, fuck it, I don’t really care too much what you all think of my crazy theories, yeah, yeah, musical taste / resonance and subjectivity and all that, I get it fuckwit, but trust me when I say that “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll is the way forward and considering we still have humans pretending that it’s 1960, 1970 and 1990 it’s fucking refreshing to have an artist pushing sound into some truly evolutionary places. I am just glad that finally somebody is trying to fucking be a bit creative and artistic with their music and that someone from Brisbane isn’t using bad Dandy Warhols or Brian Jonestown Massacre riffs to communicate how “out there” and “weird” they are – fuck, you don’t know how refreshing that is.

The new single from Quintessential Doll is called “Beautiful Violence” and it is a modern punk rock / psych rock / pop music classic and trust me when I say that she will be the Tom Waits of our generation.

Shut your fucking mouth and just listen – she’s a healer

 

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Official Website – http://quintessentialdollmusic.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/quintessentialdoll

FILM CLIP OF THE WEEK: “PDFC” by post-dusk

 

post-dusk is Ruby Smith, Brisbane producer and multi-instrumentalist who earlier this year shared debut single ‘PDFC’ which enjoyed attention across national and community radio, local and international publications alike.

Smith now shares a video for the hazy, dreamy track which she wrote, performed, produced and mixed herself while halfway through an honours thesis in psychology.

Created in tandem with director Pernell Marsden and director of photography Samudranil Chatterjee, post-dusk has created a mysterious, awe-inspiring realm bathed in gold glitter and candle light.

‘PDFC’ is just the first taste of post-dusk’s debut EP which we will see released before the year is out.

I reviewed ‘PDFC’ earlier this year and this is what I had to say:

“The moment the chords open up on post-dusk’s new single “PDFC” you relax into the groove of this amazing little heartbreaker. It swoons and aches like a late afternoon connecting directly to that part of your eternal sigh for a better place. This song is pure perfection and beautifully ethereal, I just fall deep inside of it every time I hear it and it becomes a glorious explosion of escapism that is heightened ever so magically when the vocal melodies weave in and out like a cool breeze. It’s like being caught in a divine shiver and it just takes over your body and you get fucking elevated to some truly righteous places.

I love when pop music is moody and atmospheric as opposed to being sticky and obvious. That’s exactly what “PDFC” is, a moody masterpiece that connects due to its darkness as opposed to its sunshine. It takes an artist to be able to be this direct and deep. What “PDFC” illustrates is the importance of a solid and consistent groove in order to build the atmosphere and mood of a song. The simple drone gives “PDFC” the direction it needs to unfold with the array of keys and synths flowing over this track with a Twin Peaks spookiness allowing for the guitar lines to erupt enough Cocteau Twins via Sonic Youth orchestral tone to provide the ethereal frame. This is a pure dream pop masterpiece and the kind of song that belongs on a mixtape for someone you are secretly crushing on.

The vocal performance and lyrical direction of “PDFC” is a simple ode to the desperate pulse of loss and I know it’s a typical thing for me to search for in most music but I think it is a musing on the power and turmoil of death. It may be masked inside the rhythm of a break-up song but I think at the core of the song lyrically is an ode to the angst of loss and the claustrophobic fear of aging in a world that prefers to move quickly as opposed to being a slow cheetah. Regardless of the muse it is clear that post-dusk is yearning for escape from the crippling sting of routine and for an extreme new experience to help her feel comfort and satisfaction with the moment as opposed to the dense haze of being stuck in the fear drenched cycle of feeling powerless and unable to stop the motion of time. The real joy is the way it connects and relates with your own personal experiences and provides the ultimate pain relief from your own life dilemmas.

 

 

“PDFC” is a timeless piece of art carefully crafted and communicated to ensure that all of your emotions are beautifully serenaded to a place of extreme relaxation and dislocation. This song is a personal and very warm invitation into the world that post-dusk creates for you and although the song is awash with personal and very relatable experiences it is the stylistic swoon of the dream pop genre that allows you to engage with her landscape but to also instill your own imagination and to arrive at a place of pure escapism. This movement of music is very open and as a result it provides you the ability to become tangled in your own ache stained sighs for the one you love / loved with the only logical resolve to hit repeat on your stereo in order to sail deeper into the beautifully delicate yet emotionally raw sound of post-dusk’s music.

This song will not just become the most trusted pain reliever but also the early morning rush of a sunrise after spending an evening of discovery in the arms of someone you hope will learn to love you back.

There is a very famous lecture that Nick Cave gave about the importance of the love song that I’d like to quote in order to conclude this review. The following quotes are important to understanding what post-dusk communicates as an artist and what makes “PDFC” so important:

“Though the love song comes in many guises – songs of exultation and praise, songs of rage and of despair, erotic songs, songs of abandonment and loss – they all address God, for it is the haunted premises of longing that the true love song inhabits. It is a howl in the void, for Love and for comfort and it lives on the lips of the child crying for his mother. It is the song of the lover in need of her loved one, the raving of the lunatic supplicant petitioning his God. It is the cry of one chained to the earth, to the ordinary and to the mundane, craving flight; a flight into inspiration and imagination and divinity. The love song is the sound of our endeavours to become God-like, to rise up and above the earthbound and the mediocre”

“We each have a need to create and sorrow is a creative act. The love song is a sad song; it is the sound of sorrow itself. We all experience within us what the Portuguese call Suadade, which translates as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul and it is this feeling that lives in the realms of imagination and inspiration and is the breeding ground for the sad song, for the Love song is the light of God, deep down, blasting through our wounds.”

“The love song must be born into the realm of the irrational, absurd, the distracted, the melancholic, the obsessive, the insane for the love song is the noise of love itself and love is, of course, a form of madness. Whether it be the love of God, or romantic, erotic love – these are manifestations of our need to be torn away from the rational, to take leave of our senses, so to speak. Love songs come in many guises and are seemingly written for many reasons – as declarations or to wound – I have written songs for all of these reasons – but ultimately the love songs exist to fill, with language, the silence between ourselves and God, to decrease the distance between the temporal and the divine.”

This accurately describes what post-dusk has done with her music and with “PDFC” she takes a deeper plunge into the abyss of her hurt shaped experiences in order to clean her wounds and create an incredibly divine movement of music. The safety of pop music is not on the agenda here and whilst this song has hooks it is the overall atmosphere of loss and despair that lets it hang inside your heart and soul. You carry this music with you and it buries itself deep inside of you long after you’ve listened to it. A song like “PDFC” will haunt you and wrap itself around you like a warm blanket. Like all great pieces of art it is not an instant or easy communication to digest but this is not music designed purely for the beat of major label consumerism. This is music created by someone who has loved and who has been damaged by the madness of it but who also uses heavy optimism to communicate just how much joy she gets from the rush of rejection and connection.

On “PDFC” post-dusk proves that depth, intensity and atmosphere are more important to the successful communication of pop music than the emptiness of one hit wonder world domination. I feel privileged to be able to review this song because it provided me with so much personal comfort and I’ve only lived with it for seven days. I look forward to what long term listening will do and how “PDFC” will soundtrack the many more adventures I plan to take into the landscape of broken hearted disco dancing and new romancing. This is a flawless song from a true artist who has successfully entered the realm of being one of the few modern contributors to the timeless dialogue of beauty, honesty and truth.”

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/postdusk | www.soundcloud.com/post-dusk
www.instagram.com/postdusk | www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/post-dusk

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “Baby” by Angharad Drake

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Angharad Drake is a bright light in an often predictable and redundant landscape of singer songwriters. Her music is dark and moody and is clearly influenced by the many different faces of music. Now Brisbane based, Drake grew up on Australia’s famed Sunshine Coast, where she began writing music during her early years of high school, and scoring gigs at small local venues. She later went on to study a Music degree at Brisbane’s QUT. Influenced by the stylings of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Laura Marling and Bon Iver, she began to develop her own individual style during her University years and recorded a self titled debut EP in 2010. Since then she has completed two more self-­produced EP’s (2013’s ‘Lay Down’, and 2014’s ‘Swing’), all in preparation for her debut full ­length album, ‘Sword’ which was released in 2015.

The genius of Drake’s music comes down to the mood and how she approaches the melodic structure of her songs. Drake saturates each song with darkness and a spooky whisper and it becomes hard not to be pulled into her psyche. It is real journey-person material and you can hear that Drake has lived every inch of pain contained within her lyrics. There are also pinches of resolve and hope swirling in and out of the music but it is more attached to an acceptance of ones weirdness as opposed to anything found in positive thinking handbooks. As is the case with all good pop music, the intensity is front and centre and Drake doesn’t waste time grabbing your soul and taking you on a journey through the dark and light regions of our existence and the other dimensions she is channeling. Drake makes both very intellectual but also very spiritual music and when you mix the science with the soul you get a beating heart that is well balanced and rooted in purity.

Today we are very proud to be premiering Angharad’s new single “Baby” which is from her forthcoming second album which is due out in early to mid 2017.

 

Once again we see Angharad digging deep and delivering a beautiful slice of melancholy sweetness that feels autobiographical in terms of the story she’s telling. The melodic changes that swing in and out of the verses and choruses of this song are so heavy emotionally and you get dragged into the drama of it all. This is perfect pop music that is communicated with such beauty and grace. Production wise we see a few stylistic changes helping to provide the song with some interesting dynamics. These new additions sonically don’t spook Angharad’s delicate and almost whispered playing style or take away from the poetically somber tone of her music. This is music for those of us who need the rush of a broken heart in order to give purpose to our creative muse.

All in all Angharad Drake proves once again what an important up and coming artist she is. Her music is the secret weapon against this fast paced need for technology to swoop in and strangle the pure musical experience. Her voice will haunt you and her songs plant themselves deep into your existence. She will help you understand that the best art comes from those who communicate honestly and with a sense of bravery. With “Baby” we glimpse just how powerful and emotionally violent a hushed heartbroken whisper can be. It’s truly fucking “stop what you’re doing” stuff and utterly flawless.

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Download the song for free from JJJ Unearthed:

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/angharad-drake

Do the right thing and support the artist – visit Angharad’s Bandcamp and buy her stuff:

https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/track/baby

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/angharaddrake
Official Website – http://www.angharaddrake.com
Bandcamp – https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/

 

Heavy and Weird Presents: Collapse Into Now – Volume One

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Heavy and Weird Presents: Collapse Into Now – Volume One

A night of new Progressive, Experimental, Psychedelic and Pop music from Brisbane and Beyond – true future music

Thursday 8th December 2016 – 6:00pm at the Bearded Lady – $10.00 entry fee

Line-Up to be announced soon

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “PDFC” by post-dusk

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The moment the chords open up on post-dusk’s new single “PDFC” you relax into the groove of this amazing little heartbreaker. It swoons and aches like a late afternoon connecting directly to that part of your eternal sigh for a better place. This song is pure perfection and beautifully ethereal, I just fall deep inside of it every time I hear it and it becomes a glorious explosion of escapism that is heightened ever so magically when the vocal melodies weave in and out like a cool breeze. It’s like being caught in a divine shiver and it just takes over your body and you get fucking elevated to some truly righteous places.

I love when pop music is moody and atmospheric as opposed to being sticky and obvious. That’s exactly what “PDFC” is, a moody masterpiece that connects due to its darkness as opposed to its sunshine. It takes an artist to be able to be this direct and deep. What “PDFC” illustrates is the importance of a solid and consistent groove in order to build the atmosphere and mood of a song. The simple drone gives “PDFC” the direction it needs to unfold with the array of keys and synths flowing over this track with a Twin Peaks spookiness allowing for the guitar lines to erupt enough Cocteau Twins via Sonic Youth orchestral tone to provide the ethereal frame. This is a pure dream pop masterpiece and the kind of song that belongs on a mixtape for someone you are secretly crushing on.

The vocal performance and lyrical direction of “PDFC”is a simple ode to the desperate pulse of loss and I know it’s a typical thing for me to search for in most music but I think it is a musing on the power and turmoil of death. It may be masked inside the rhythm of a break-up song but I think at the core of the song lyrically is an ode to the angst of loss and the claustrophobic fear of aging in a world that prefers to move quickly as opposed to being a slow cheetah. Regardless of the muse it is clear that post-dusk is yearning for escape from the crippling sting of routine and for an extreme new experience to help her feel comfort and satisfaction with the moment as opposed to the dense haze of being stuck in the fear drenched cycle of feeling powerless and unable to stop the motion of time. The real joy is the way it connects and relates with your own personal experiences and provides the ultimate pain relief from your own life dilemmas.

 

 

“PDFC” is a timeless piece of art carefully crafted and communicated to ensure that all of your emotions are beautifully serenaded to a place of extreme relaxation and dislocation. This song is a personal and very warm invitation into the world that post-dusk creates for you and although the song is awash with personal and very relatable experiences it is the stylistic swoon of the dream pop genre that allows you to engage with her landscape but to also instil your own imagination and to arrive at a place of pure escapism. This movement of music is very open and as a result it provides you the ability to become tangled in your own ache stained sighs for the one you love / loved with the only logical resolve to hit repeat on your stereo in order to sail deeper into the beautifully delicate yet emotionally raw sound of post-dusk’s music.

This song will not just become the most trusted pain reliever but also the early morning rush of a sunrise after spending an evening of discovery in the arms of someone you hope will learn to love you back.

There is a very famous lecture that Nick Cave gave about the importance of the love song that I’d like to quote in order to conclude this review. The following quotes are important to understanding what post-dusk communicates as an artist and what makes “PDFC” so important:

“Though the love song comes in many guises – songs of exultation and praise, songs of rage and of despair, erotic songs, songs of abandonment and loss – they all address God, for it is the haunted premises of longing that the true love song inhabits. It is a howl in the void, for Love and for comfort and it lives on the lips of the child crying for his mother. It is the song of the lover in need of her loved one, the raving of the lunatic supplicant petitioning his God. It is the cry of one chained to the earth, to the ordinary and to the mundane, craving flight; a flight into inspiration and imagination and divinity. The love song is the sound of our endeavours to become God-like, to rise up and above the earthbound and the mediocre”

“We each have a need to create and sorrow is a creative act. The love song is a sad song; it is the sound of sorrow itself. We all experience within us what the Portuguese call Suadade, which translates as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul and it is this feeling that lives in the realms of imagination and inspiration and is the breeding ground for the sad song, for the Love song is the light of God, deep down, blasting through our wounds.”

“The love song must be born into the realm of the irrational, absurd, the distracted, the melancholic, the obsessive, the insane for the love song is the noise of love itself and love is, of course, a form of madness. Whether it be the love of God, or romantic, erotic love – these are manifestations of our need to be torn away from the rational, to take leave of our senses, so to speak. Love songs come in many guises and are seemingly written for many reasons – as declarations or to wound – I have written songs for all of these reasons – but ultimately the love songs exist to fill, with language, the silence between ourselves and God, to decrease the distance between the temporal and the divine.”

This accurately describes what post-dusk has done with her music and with “PDFC” she takes a deeper plunge into the abyss of her hurt shaped experiences in order to clean her wounds and create an incredibly divine movement of music. The safety of pop music is not on the agenda here and whilst this song has hooks it is the overall atmosphere of loss and despair that lets it hang inside your heart and soul. You carry this music with you and it buries itself deep inside of you long after you’ve listened to it. A song like “PDFC” will haunt you and wrap itself around you like a warm blanket. Like all great pieces of art it is not an instant or easy communication to digest but this is not music designed purely for the beat of major label consumerism. This is music created by someone who has loved and who has been damaged by the madness of it but who also uses heavy optimism to communicate just how much joy she gets from the rush of rejection and connection.

On “PDFC” post-dusk proves that depth, intensity and atmosphere are more important to the successful communication of pop music than the emptiness of one hit wonder world domination. I feel privileged to be able to review this song because it provided me with so much personal comfort and I’ve only lived with it for seven days. I look forward to what long term listening will do and how “PDFC” will soundtrack the many more adventures I plan to take into the landscape of broken hearted disco dancing and new romancing. This is a flawless song from a true artist who has successfully entered the realm of being one of the few modern contributors to the timeless dialogue of beauty, honesty and truth.

By: Dan Newton

Heavy and Weird’s Daily Mixtape – Volume Two – Happy 50th Mike McCready

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On the 5th April 2016 Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready turned 50 – a milestone that has inspired me to create another daily mixtape in order to pay tribute to the great human that he is. Throughout his 25 plus year career as a musician McCready has lent his other worldly guitar skills to not just Pearl Jam but other outside projects like the one of a kind gem that was Mad Season.

You instantly recognise the McCready sound when he lends his lead guitar skills to any song. When it comes to lead players he is one of my favourites because beyond being able to fucking wail he can use his skills to take a song to another level emotionally. He is also an accomplished songwriter in his own right and has been responsible for some of Pearl Jams more interesting tracks. He always brings a moody and deep feel which when filtered through the Pearl Jam machine provides some godlike moments.

 

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With this playlist we wanted to collect 20 of those moments when McCready has totally transformed a song. A lot of these tracks are ones he had a hand in writing but a few of them simply showcase his amazing guitar skills. So here we present to you, 20 of our favourite Mike McCready moments:

 

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Big Love

Dan Newton xo

 

Heavy and Weird’s Daily Mixtape – Volume One – Nirvana

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On Tuesday the 5th April 2016 a lot of human beings around the world remembered the life and music of Kurt Cobain. It’s hard to believe that he has been dead for 22 years. I was just 11 years old when he passed away and it wouldn’t be until 1995 that I would become a fan of his music and greatest legacy, Nirvana.

Anyone who has read my personal stories across any of the blogs that I’ve written will know that at age eleven I discovered Pearl Jam. This discovery helped open up the door to a scene and community of musicians and artists who came from Seattle. The media and uneducated called it “grunge” but the reality of it all was that it was just rock n roll that paid tribute to all that was wonderful about punk rock, art rock, pop music and heavy metal. The music from Seattle wasn’t just “rock n roll” though, it had a special energy at the centre of it and it’s hard to deny the power bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Mudhoney had. On the surface these bands were some of the most popular bands from that scene but in all honesty there were so many other bands from Seattle that were equally as unique and powerful.

I can never really put my finger on it but I believe that there was a special kind of magic happening in the universe at the time that allowed these bands from Seattle to break through. The way this music resonated so deeply with youth culture was without a doubt a phenomenon. We had of course seen it before but for those of us that lived through it and were there as it was happening, it was an excitement and level of artistry that I’m confident in saying has not been repeated. To those who weren’t there and who only have hindsight and history and the fucking misinformation of the internet to provide you with the (sigh) “grunge” experience, I hope that I can do my best to give some context to how special and pure this period of time was and how Nirvana and Kurt Cobain are the reason why you have the freedom to have your “alternative” lifestyles so accepted in today’s society.

I feel a tad bit out of my depth writing this because although I’m quite a big fan of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, it is in fact my brother Ben who was the superfan growing up and that remains to this day. All of his artistic pursuits were inspired by Kurt Cobain and I’m yet to meet a human being more in-tuned or understanding of the Kurt Cobain legacy than Ben.

Nirvana first came into my life via my Brother Ben who in 1995 brought a cassette tape copy of “In Utero” by Nirvana. This was my first experience with Nirvana and it had a lasting effect on my soul and personality. Ben was 14 years old and I was 11 going on 12. The music contained on “In Utero” was some of the harshest and soul bearing I had ever heard. It had a different energy to Pearl Jam and via the different physical media I was reading at the time the word “Punk Rock” got thrown around a lot. So in all reality “In Utero” was my first encounter with what “Punk Rock” was.

My brother brought Pearl Jam’s classic third album “Vitalogy” one afternoon not long after and after some intense negotiations I agreed to swap my cassette tape copy of “VS” for his cassette tape copy of “In Utero” – so we switched. This all happened in early to late March of 1995 and this was the point in time that Nirvana took over my whole world.

I can safely say that Nirvana were my favourite band at that point in time and “In Utero” was one of the coolest movements of music that I had ever heard. There was a cathartic nature to it all and being in Grade Seven at the time and being on the verge of entering the Teenage Wasteland it was the album and band that I needed in order to help set me free.

To this day “In Utero” remains my favourite, not because I’m some kind of insecure asshole who prefers to pick a favourite album from Nirvana that isn’t “Nevermind” but because it was the first album I heard from the band. It was the first time the band resonated with me and I feel it is their best record. A lot of my favourite Nirvana songs come from this album including “Serve The Servants,” “Scentless Apprentice,” “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle,” “Very Ape,” “Milk It,” “Pennyroyal Tea,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter,” and “All Apologies” – these were the songs that my eleven going on twelve year old self was getting off on back in 1995, this music protected me and understood me and Kurt Cobain sparked my fascination with being creative. I was obsessed with the lyrics he wrote and I would look up all the different words he used in my dictionary (when I should have been doing my school work) to try and understand what they all meant and how they related to the emotions he was delivering in his music.

The next album I brought on Cassette Tape was “Bleach” and this was in around June of 1995 whilst I was visiting my Nana and Pop in Brisbane (I lived in Mackay at the time). The reason I brought “Bleach” was because it had the song “About a Girl” on it which I had heard via their unplugged concert. I loved that song quite a bit and the album “Bleach” itself was quite an interesting record. Again, not because I’m some jerk-off purist but simply due to my journey I list “Bleach” as my second favourite Nirvana album. I feel that in 1995 and now in 2016 nothing sounds as middle finger as “Negative Creep” and the opening trilogy of “Blew,” “Floyd the Barber” and “About a Girl” is punk rock heaven. Then there is of course the amazing “School” and “Love Buzz” and not to mention the amazing second side of the album. I loved this album in 1995 and I still love it in 2016, it is one of the best debut albums ever and represents everything that a debut album should be.

This brings to me the moment that “Nevermind” came into my life. It was once again in 1995 and although I didn’t buy a copy of this album proper I did secure a cassette tape copy of it through a friend. To set the scene, in 1995 the grade seven humans traveled to Canberra for a week. It was a grade seven tradition and with the spending money I was given I was committed to buying a copy of “Nevermind” – unfortunately when we did make it to a shopping centre the music store was closed. A friend of mine at the time (my best friend) Stephen Angelucci informed me that he had a copy of it on Cassette tape (he had older brothers) and that if I wanted it he’d give it to me when we got back to Mackay. True to his word, Stephen gave me an original cassette tape copy of “Nevermind” with the only set back being that it didn’t have the inlay card / cover. This was a minor setback for me personally, I was just glad that I owned it.

The sound of “Nevermind” was overwhelming and the opening trilogy of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “In Bloom” and “Come As You Are” is flawless. Beyond being great punk rock it was great pop music and I would have to nominate “Lithium” as the first real “HOLY SHIT!!!!!” moment of the album for me. That song was so amazing; the way Kurt showcased such emotion simply by screaming the word “Yeah” over and over again is brilliant. The second side of the album has three of my favourite Nirvana songs ever “Drain You,” “Lounge Act” and “Something in the Way” all which showcase the genius of Nirvana, the collision of punk and pop skills.

I soon fixed the issue of not having the inlay card as well; we went to the local record store and asked if we could photocopy the inlay card via colour copying. The lady who owned the store let us do this because she knew us, so finally I had the inlay card for the album. In terms of Nirvana’s discography “Nevermind” is my fourth favourite album from the band.

By the end of 1995 I would own the remaining discography buying both “Insecticide” and “MTV Unplugged” on Cassette Tape with Birthday Money I received when I turned twelve in December 1995. This was also the same birthday where I got a brand new Walkman with not just bass boost but also an equalizer so I could adjust the sound. That was one of my favourite Birthday’s ever and I reckon that you Ipod generation fucks missed out on the joy of Walkman’s and cassette tapes, but I’ll save that indulgent rant for another blog.

My twelfth birthday also saw me get another piece of the Nirvana family tree, the debut self-titled album by Foo Fighters on cassette tape. It was given to me by my friend Lincoln Grady after I had raved to him and my Brother about how exciting it was that Dave Grohl was making music again.

Just a sidenote here, before he became the household name that he is now Dave Grohl was considered a joke by the music press and fellow Nirvana fans I knew at the time for starting his own band. He has earnt every inch of his success by fielding a very ugly backlash when he started Foo Fighters. That debut album from Foo Fighters is still one of the greatest albums ever and I’d certainly list it in my top eleven albums of all time. Back to the point, finally owning “Insecticide” gave me access to so many more awesome songs by Nirvana.

This is my third favourite album by the band and it contains my favourite Nirvana song of all time which is “Dive” and of course this is the album that has everyone’s teenage anthem “Aneurysm” but for me it is songs like “Stain,” “Hairspray Queen,” “Aero Zeppelin” and “Big Long Now” that really make this an amazing album.

In 1996 my brother overtook me as the biggest Nirvana fan ever and after he secured a job he upgraded to CD’s and a CD player and brought all of the Nirvana CD’s and Pearl Jam stuff. This meant that I got all of the Pearl Jam cassette tapes back and I resumed my love affair with the band. I continued to love Nirvana but it was bands like Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and Metallica that started to take over my life in 1996. I remained a fan of Nirvana and to this day I still love and adore their music.

So when all is said and done, what does Nirvana and Kurt Cobain mean to me?

The music of Nirvana saved me when I was eleven going on twelve in 1995 and inspired my interest in punk rock, heavy metal, art, poetry and of course the currency of saying “fuck you” and going your own way. I didn’t feel the need to victimise myself as a result of Kurt’s influence because although I related to his lyrics and music I understood that his pain was far removed from mine. I had my own demons and my own pain and his music helped me identify that from a young age and how to use music as an outlet of escape and honest expression.

Nirvana taught me that music could be more than just entertainment and that it is indeed about honest and raw emotional expression. When I first dabbled on guitar, it was the music of Nirvana that I learnt and took great joy in playing. I’ve formed friendships with human beings over the love of Nirvana and most of all I’ve witnessed the way Nirvana inspired my brother Ben to become one of the most talented and gifted artists I know.

Kurt Cobain’s suicide may have been the death of the innocence that everyone talks about but with adult hindsight I view it as a selfish act committed by a confused and conflicted human being. To feel the way he did and to have the level of empathy that Kurt did put him in an unfortunate position. Kurt Cobain may have killed himself but for me it was the feeling of being misunderstood by his audience that really killed him and that his message of finding your own voice and own vehicle was being lost on the youth culture who looked to him as a saviour.

Kurt Cobain was not a god he was a human being and like all human beings he has the same emotions that fill all of us. He was given the burden of power and responsibility with the success of his band and whether he did or didn’t want to be the “spokesman of the generation” he is who we got. I’m always glad it was Kurt Cobain but I think the tragedy of it all is that he felt misunderstood and so lonely even in his success. To see people rip him off instead of finding their own individuality would have no doubt been frustrating. I find myself as an adult human getting mad that he took the easy way out and he didn’t find the personal and spiritual strength to live, to survive.

I never blame the pressure of success, his wife or the drugs for his death – I always blame the fans, mainstream culture and the media who misunderstood his message and to this day cash in on his creative legacy and genius. We all killed Kurt Cobain and that is a fact that I believe to this day.

After 19 years it still leaves me empty that we won’t get to hear how he would have evolved musically. I often believe he would have either gone more in the R.E.M. pop direction or possibly he may have gone more noise driven like Sonic Youth. Either way it would have been beautiful and relevant.

Kurt Cobain changed so much in our cultural landscape and for those of you who were born in the 90’s; you are all reaping the benefits of his legacy. The music industry changed and now has business / marketing templates for “alternative” bands. That was because of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. The mainstream culture accepted and now promotes “alternative” culture. That was because of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. A lot of people post 1991 started bands and brought guitars and some of them became famous and others became bedroom players only. That was because of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Triple J became a household name for being the “youth culture” radio network in Australia on a mainstream level. That was because of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.

So as you can see, Kurt Cobain has brought a lot of positive light to this world and after 22 years we are still not any closer to feeling satisfied or happy that it should of ended the way it did. The music landscape went to some ugly places after Nirvana ended and the grunge revivals and constant search for “the next Nirvana” continues to this day. We’ll never find it because in 1991 no one was looking for it. That is when revolution happens in art, when no one is looking for it and it always come from a band that no one initially cared about and is made by human beings who are outside of your popular agenda.

With the oversaturation of Alternative and Indie culture in music it is getting harder and harder for people to recognise that just because they feel “alienated” and play “angsty” music does not give them claim to be some sort of brand new “spokesperson” for youth culture. Trust fund babies who dress the part are not welcome at the revolution. You can put pearls on a swine, but it’s still a pig. The next Nirvana is the band you all laugh at and mock because they aren’t cool enough for your modern youth agenda. Trust me, the next Nirvana will be a band you already bully and mistreat.

The energy and feeling of youth culture in 1991 was that they felt misunderstood. Nirvana was the band they all connected with but Nirvana was just the end result of an underground punk scene that had been functioning for years. On paper you can indeed just call them a combination of Black Flag and R.E.M. but unlike those two bands Nirvana made music that resonated on a deeper emotional level. It was indeed a revolution and I believe that only the Beatles and Nirvana are relevant players in the nomination for who revolutionised Rock N Roll and pop culture.

We miss you Kurt Cobain and we say thank you for the music

May Nirvana’s legacy inspire youth culture for another million years

What better way to kick off our Daily Mixtape series than with a collection of Heavy and Weird’s favourite Nirvana songs which you can listen to via spotify:

 

If you love it – subscribe and stay tuned for more daily mixtapes

Big Love

Dan Newton xo

 

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – nine of nine – Cassette Cathedral

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the ninth of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Cassette Cathedral

Cassette Cathedral are as sophisticated guitar rock band who pay tribute to the history of slacker indie noise rock with massive slabs of psychedelic dream pop swirls, think The Church meets The Brian Jonestown Massacre with a massive nod to Deerhunter. They are a journey band where you hang on every note and go on the ride. There are some new cosmic touches that are added to the usual guitar noise slackerisms that make the band one of the true local purveyors of future punk music.

Their music surrounds you, it engulfs your environment until you are in a cocoon of nightmarish divinity and stark late night highway swirls. There is a loneliness and spooky feel to it all and somewhere buried deep inside the stories being spun there is a real sense that loss has somehow themed these songs. Audiences are always deeply moved at the way the bands songs flirt with a sense of beauty but then before they get too refined and layered they rip themselves apart and become excursions into pure self-destruction and chaotic bliss.

 

 

Cassette Cathedral unfolds deep noise meditations that appeal to everything that aches within you. More aftermath than initial detonation, their music rarely gives you a chance to remain grounded and you’ll unlock new levels of emotion and also wonder what the fuck just happened. Like a foreign injury, your heart and soul will never truly be the same again and when the noise settles and resolves the smile will return to your face. This becomes the moment that you understand the power of sound, more than before and you’ll mourn the fact that there isn’t enough time in your day to listen to a band like Cassette Cathedral. You’ll walk around your house searching for ways not to return to the band and try and throw yourself into something else but while you attempt to be still your mind will be humming every note inspiring you to boycott routine and return to Cassette Cathedral, like a hit and run lover.

You won’t get answers, only questions and that is what good rock n roll should do.

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cassettecathedral
Bandcamp – https://cassettecathedral.bandcamp.com/album/cassette-cathedral-ep
Soundcloud – http://soundcloud.com/cassette-cathedral

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

 

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – eight of nine – Pat Hehir

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the eighth of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Pat Hehir

Pat Hehir is the lead singer for Brisbane rock band Hawkmoon. A lover of pop music and the art of rock n roll, Hehir is a rare commodity among the stylish Brisbane music landscape because he deals and trades in sincerity as opposed to the fashion of the day. The sound and mood of his music harks back to the mid to late 90’s and early 00’s where bands like Powderfinger, Custard and You Am I dominated that youth demographic of 18 to 24 and served as the soundtrack to a summer spent doing wonderfully pointless things in New Farm Park whilst fighting a “three bottles of wine” hangover and trying ever so hard to impress girls named Emily and Jill and Beth who have become more interested in ecstasy culture as opposed to rock guitars now that they have returned from London.

 

 

It is Hehir’s sincerity as a songwriter that is the key to his authenticity and throughout his short career he has highlighted that sometimes the most experimental thing you can do as an artist is to strip back music to its most basic elements and to tell a story rooted in a deep emotional yearning. If Springsteen lived in the Sunshine State he may have sounded like Pat Hehir but comparisons aside, Hehir is just beginning to showcase what he’s capable of and when he’s in full flight it’s the kind of music that saves lives.

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Hawkmoon.music
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/hawkmoon-1/tracks

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – seven of nine – Pale Earth

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the seventh of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Pale Earth

There is a lot humans can learn from the healing power of Benjamin Thompson and the music he makes. After spending a decade making radical noise pop music with his band The Rational Academy, Thompson released his Pale Earth project in 2013 and has since released an array of EP’s, Cassette Tapes, 7 Inch’s, Collaborations and full lengths.

There is so much hurt and loss buried inside the electronic mood pieces that Pale Earth create. You can just relax into the songs, with the lights turned off and just be lulled into all kinds of landscapes. You can feel the beauty and ugliness of life all at once but you can also taste the regret dripping from each movement of music being presented. It’s the kind of music that one both creates and yearns to listen to in times of loss. Considering the music is largely instrumental it is amazing how lyrical the noise is.

Thompson’s manipulation of noise is where the story is told and it speaks louder than any words and you can hear the pain pouring out of him even as you sink inside the drone of his music. Pale Earth makes music that sends your imagination crazy with an inundation of life’s best and worst memories. Pale Earth deserve to be worshiped and Benjamin Thompson deserves his own chapter in the music industry textbook so that all of the little children can understand how to be an artist as opposed to a musician (trust us, there is a big difference).

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/paleearth
Official Website – www.paleearth.com
Tumblr – http://paleearth.tumblr.com/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/paleearth
Bandcamp – http://paleearth.bandcamp.com/ 

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

 

 

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – six of nine – Wild Horse Mountain

 

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the sixth of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Wild Horse Mountain

Wild Horse Mountain is the brand new project from Emma and Kassie formerly of Brisbane “Space Jam Pop” Pioneers Foxsmith. Leaning on their eclectic taste in music, Wild Horse Mountain sees the dynamics and moods of their prior band explored on deeper and darker levels. There is a renewed focus on creating deep groove orientated jams shaped by the progressive nature of modern psych rock. Expect to hear dark hypnotic pop songs full of atmosphere that will showcase a more personal and poetic side lyrically without sacrificing the kool thing drone of their previous noise meditations.

It’s music funded by heartache and a real good time, that late Friday night movement from party queen to “what does it all mean” melancholy. It’s soaked in cool, but the kind of cool that artists like Courtney Barnett exude, hard to mimic but easy to admire. Its pop music covered in all kinds of dreams and schemes designed to destroy all your emotions and to make you swoon.

This will be Wild Horse Mountain’s debut performance and as long time fans of the music made by Emma and Kassie we are humbled and very excited to be bringing you this exclusive – so come and be part of history as they pay tribute to Bowie whilst also indulging us with a few of their new tunes – heavy and weird feel incredibly fortunate to have Wild Horse Mountain be part of this line-up.

Useful Links:

Choose your own adventure…

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – five of nine – Galapogos

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the fifth of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Galapogos

Galapogos are purveyors of everything and nothing favouring the sweet release of pop skills soaked in the energy of the moment in order to birth an explosion of hushed harshness dripping with cinematic nonsense that is in debt to all of the vibrations that connect with humans on an emotional level.

Established in 2010, Galapogos have managed to become one the most prolific and best kept musical secrets in the country. In the past five years the Galapogos live shows and album releases (Established Ghosts (2011), Feel Or Suffer (2013), Strange Species (2014) and An Emptiness (2015)) have become legendary with a heavy focus on improvisation, pop skills and a lot of noise nonsense experimentation. It has the capacity to be quite an intense journey that travels the full gauntlet of emotions both known and unknown.

The uneducated have labeled Galapogos many things but the band simply refers to their intense noise meditations as Progressive, Psychedelic and Experimental – a beautifully rapturous sound designed to summon the true aliens among us. Despite their funny coloured feet people seem to like what Galapogos do and in return they love them back. Galapogos are always happy to wear the claws if you’d like that.

Dadaism – Surrealism – Noise – Pop Art – Sprechgesang – Free Atonality

Yoko Ono and Kim Gordon

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/galapogosbrisbane
Bandcamp – http://galapogos2.bandcamp.com/

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – four of nine – June Low

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the fourth of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

June Low

June Low is the project of singer-songwriter, Emma White. Best served with a glass of red, her songs dish up flavours of love, disaster and nostalgia but always leave you feeling full. Her music slithers with an intense heat. You can almost feel the perspiration dripping from each note she performs. Her music has a power to it that stops you in your tracks and requires you to just be still. The seductive swoon of her debut album “Exhale” allows you to be taken to that zone where you are desperately trying to find the hope after the heartbreak. A true poet and disciple of the ache that allows for all good stark pop music to be communicated.

 

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juneislow
Official Website – http://www.junelow.com

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “We Made It” by Huntly

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The test of a good song is how it sounds when you are alone in the dark laying in your bed with the headphones on. A good headphone song will transport you so far away from yourself that it will be like an out of body experience where you get to muse on her or him or them and basically every other circumstance that shapes the ache you have deep inside you for that face and that place.

As the journey unravels and your stillness becomes animated in your mind by the pace of your ache you’ll leave the dread behind and transform from a key into a lock as you attempt to shut down the yearning and the heavy secret that is the memory of the face. The fate of this illusion will keep you drowning as you start to understand all that you mourn as the shiver unlocks and unravels. This music feeding your imagination helps frame this hidden love like a cinema for a human written like fiction and as the final notes dissolve you’ll remain haunted but at peace and deeply satisfied at your silent and still form of self-expression.

When you lay there motionless after the music has stopped a sweet sense of melancholy will erupt like some kind of spooky magic. This dream you have, of that face and that place will continue to go forever inside every inch of air that you breathe as they remain so far away. Once you press play on the song once again, all you can really think is how you missed your loneliness but you imagine once again that they are somewhere near. You delve deep into regret for a human who never knew just how much you needed them. The ache radiates through every inch of your body as you cling to it like oxygen and realise that this music is helping you heal, giving you a moment of pure peace. As you negotiate sleep you hope that your thoughts will not be taxed with these thoughts of ghosts who don’t talk.

This is the kind of strong emotional reaction that occurs when the fantastic new single from Huntly – called “We Made It” – hits your headphones. It doesn’t take long for you to understand that sometimes it feels right to be so invested in this kind of sadness when it comes to pop music and Huntly have crafted a new modern classic with “We Made It.”

 

 

On a scientific level the headphone listen will always expose you to the deeper layers of sound being manipulated and in the case of “We Made It” it has cracked the song wide open for me framing the genius of Huntly. The way they have pieced this song together is utterly amazing and it really does come alive during the headphone listen.

My reaction to this song was so strong that I had to take it out on the highway with me. When I want to test the validity of a good song I jump in my car really late at night put the song on the car stereo system and just drive for the sake of driving. Last night I was in a position where I couldn’t really sleep so I thought that it was the perfect time to give Huntly the dark highway test.

I find the late night drive process births a lot of joy in me, it is the moment where I start to feel like a truly blessed human and I achieve a healthy degree of inner peace. So satisfying is this inner peace that I rarely ever want to go home. I’m yet to work out if it is the music or the act of driving that births the peace, either way it is a ritual that helps calm me down, disconnect and recharge so that I can once again interact with the world around me. It’s becoming a bit of a theme I know but essentially escapism is at the centre of any listening ritual that I have.

During the course of my drive I fell deeper in love with “We Made It” and I also started to understand what it is that I really love about it. The excitement and feeling I had in my stomach was like a cross between the first date jitters when you really have a crush on someone and the relaxation and joy that comes from hanging out with your oldest and dearest friend who you haven’t seen in ages. There is just joy to the whole proceeding with a deep emotional frame that peppers the joy with glimpses of the pain, the hurt and the ache. I think the joy comes from the excitement of discovering a brand new artist and all that other dark / hurt related stuff is what you’re trying to escape. It’s about being saved and it’s about redemption.

By the time I arrived home and spent three hours with “We Made It” on repeat I understood more about myself than I did before and made peace with a lot of my past, present and future self. I also fell deeper in love with the song and felt privileged to have such a wonderful soundtrack for my life circa 2016

I slept well once I returned home, with a satisfied mind and “We Made It” playing through my headphones. If “We Made It” teaches us anything it is that survival is a lot more satisfying then self-pity and that all good things in this world come from a struggle and that love is just as much about the darkness as well as the light.

“We Made It” by Huntly is a Shiver Pop masterpiece designed for those of us who like a bit of drama mixed with our quest for love life bliss.

By: Dan Newton

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Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/huntlymusic
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/huntly
Bandcamp – https://huntly.bandcamp.com/
 

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – three of nine – O.J Mengel

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the third of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

O.J Mengel 

O.J Mengel beautifully crafts music that has a strong folk narrative at its core whilst lyrically it has the travelling troubadour flavour with some real powerhouse vocals. Caught somewhere between Neil Finn and Bon Iver, Mengel’s sound is an exercise in simplicity which helps amplify the emotional yearning underneath the melodic and lyrical passages presented in his songs. All in all, Mengel’s music is a late afternoon elegy that recalls the romanticism of overseas travel and the yearning for your hometown with an ache for some kind of romantic partner buried deep inside.

Mengel specialises in that floaty inner city feeling that a band like the Go-Betweens illustrated so perfectly on songs like “Bachelor Kisses” – perhaps it’s a Brisbane thing. Mengel’s acoustic daydreams produce an atmosphere that slowly seduces you surrounding your environment with that special sigh that reminds you that all great music is about giving shy lonely souls the chance to prove to the world just how perfect they are at revolutionising people’s feelings.

O.J Mengel is one of the few modern day revolutionaries attempting to help restore peace to the galaxy and allow people to fill those god shaped holes with some kind of meaning.

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/O.JMengel
Bandcamp – https://ojmengel.bandcamp.com/releases

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – two of nine – Willow

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the second of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Willow

Willow uses her voice and guitar to create a unique modern take on the blues. Willow’s musical dialogue is influenced and informed by the pure emotional experience that music can provide. It tingles every bone in your body and makes you want to scream. There is no agenda to her music other than to connect with her audience on that kind of level where the business of art doesn’t matter. Willow is another fine example of a young artist striving to make music for music’s sake and to avoid the pressure and cliche’s of what modern audiences have come to expect.

Willow’s early demos illustrate what a master communicator she is as a creative human being and as music history has shown, if you want to be an artist that connects with other humans you got to be a great communicator. Dynamically and Stylistically Willow crafts a wonderful wall of mechanically aided landscapes through various instruments but it is her voice that is the true star of her creative arsenal as it roars with all kinds of pain and celebration. There is a very human element to her sound and its warmth and sincerity is what allows for the mood of her music to build and rush in and out you, it’s a fucking thrilling experience.

There is nothing more refreshing then experiencing an artist as real as Willow. Although her journey has just begun, Willow has the potential to soundtrack the lives of many different human beings who are always on the hunt for a movement of music to help them heal from being dragged down by the weight of existence. Her mysterious yet majestic sounds are the best trusted pain reliever for those who still believe in the kind of rock n roll that Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones tapped into all those years ago.

This will be Willow’s debut performance as a solo artist – so come and be part of history as she pays tribute to Bowie whilst also indulging us with a few of her own tunes – heavy and weird feel incredibly fortunate to have Willow be part of this line-up.

Useful Links:

Choose your own adventure…

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – one of nine – Angharad Drake

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the first of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Angharad Drake

Angharad Drake is a bright light in an often predictable and redundant landscape of singer songwriters. Her music is dark and moody and is clearly influenced by the many different faces of music. Now Brisbane based, Drake grew up on Australia’s famed Sunshine Coast, where she began writing music during her early years of high school, and scoring gigs at small local venues. She later went on to study a Music degree at Brisbane’s QUT. Influenced by the stylings of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Laura Marling and Bon Iver, she began to develop her own individual style during her University years and recorded a self titled debut EP in 2010. Since then she has completed two more self­produced EP’s (2013’s ‘Lay Down’, and 2014’s ‘Swing’), all in preparation for her debut full­length album, ‘Sword’ which was released in 2015.

The genius of Drake’s music comes down to the mood and how she approaches the melodic structure of her songs. Drake saturates each song with darkness and a spooky whisper and it becomes hard not to be pulled into her psyche. It is real journey-person material and you can hear that Drake has lived every inch of pain contained within her lyrics. There are also pinches of resolve and hope swirling in and out of the music but it is more attached to an acceptance of ones weirdness as opposed to anything found in positive thinking handbooks. As is the case with all good pop music, the intensity is front and centre and Drake doesn’t waste time grabbing your soul and taking you on a journey through the dark and light regions of our existence and the other dimensions she is channeling. Drake makes both very intellectual but also very spiritual music and when you mix the science with the soul you get a beating heart that is well balanced and rooted in purity.

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/angharaddrake
Official Website – http://www.angharaddrake.com
Bandcamp – https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

ALBUM REVIEW: “Post Pop Depression” by Iggy Pop

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There is a great sadness weaving in and out of the new Iggy Pop album “Post Pop Depression” and as satisfying as it is for long time fans musically the fact that this stands as a potential final statement stains the listening experience. It doesn’t hijack the joy of hearing Iggy once again hitting some career best form but if the recent David Bowie loss has taught us anything, no one is safe no matter how immortal we thought they once were.

Perhaps it is my own personal sadness that infects the listening experience with “Post Pop Depression,” still spooked by the madness of what happened with Bowie and the whole “Blackstar” experience, an album which mirrors “Post Pop Depression” at least lyrically in how it highlights the psyche of two creative giants facing their own mortality. Where Bowie may have sounded cryptic with his fear, all reports point to the fact that he didn’t want to die (who does really) and he wanted to just keep making music. In the same way it sounds like Iggy has had an injection or jolt creatively but if you are to believe the lyrics of “Post Pop Depression” this sounds like Iggy is fed up with the struggle and is looking for the next great adventure, death.

The first time this becomes clear is on album highlight “American Valhalla” which puts the theme of death and one’s own mortality front and centre. In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard ruled over by the god Odin. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well a various legendary Germanic Heroes and kings as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarok (thanks Wikipedia). It’s a pretty strong metaphor when applied to what Iggy is tackling emotionally in the lyrics to this song.

That’s not to say that “Post Pop Depression” is a funeral dirge affair. Scattered among the sadness are lots of groove laden rock tracks that realistically rival the strength of Iggy’s debut album “The Idiot.” A lot of this comes from the fact that Josh Homme has been one of the first collaborators since Bowie to really push the strengths of Iggy to the front and centre. I’m a strict disciple to Iggy’s full discography and while there have been some high points post 77 across the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s the sounds contained on “Post Pop Depression” outline that Iggy is at his best when he has a collaborator who takes the time to push the intellectual side of his ego to the front. Iggy has always been a great wild rock n roll frontman but his intellect has always been downplayed and misunderstood by both his fans and his critics. Lucky for us Homme has approached this project like a true fan and brought the best out in Iggy.

 

 

On a basic level this is a just a flawless rock record full of groove and glam rock riffage. Not quite punk but not quite rock and not quite nostalgic throw back. That dark desert mood suits the Iggy Pop mythology perfectly. Fans of Homme’s work will embrace the warmth of his production with the music contained within being able to offer a sonic duality where it can be both mournful but still thick with swagger. It makes you realise just what a musical giant Josh Homme is and how with time people may finally catch up and see that like Bowie and Iggy, he is indeed a legend and genius in his own right just as responsible for adding a few different dynamics to the rock n roll and pop singer rule book.

For long time Iggy Pop fans this album will be beautifully satisfying and for fans coming to him for the first time via Homme’s involvement this album will stand as the perfect launch pad. If this is the final statement from Iggy then he has made it a strong one, leaving the way he came in. People will have their various reasons for loving an artist like Iggy Pop – for me I was always in love with his wit and intellect. The way he could be so poetic but so vulgar without ever having to resort to shock tactics. He is the great misunderstood performer who the greater music industry have admired from afar but rarely ever given or paid dues to for his deep influence. Everyone who discovers Iggy Pop has a life changing experience that helps sort out parts of themselves they didn’t know they needed sorting out. He set me free and gave me the confidence that I could be some kind of artist and I’ll always be in debt to his influence.

With “Post Pop Depression” we are reminded that Iggy Pop is, was and always will be the Godfather of everything and anything to do with Punk Rock. The world’s forgotten boy, the one who’ll forever search and destroy.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/iggypop
www.iggypop.com
https://twitter.com/IggyPop
www.youtube.com/user/iggypop

ALBUM REVIEW: “Incarnate” by Killswitch Engage

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There is something exciting for me about a metal band releasing a new album, an excitement that I’ve been attached to since I was a teenager. For some reason the hype and excitement surrounding a metal band releasing a new album just differs from any other genre that I enjoy. I think it’s because on a sentimental level it drags me back to the complete emotional release that heavy metal has provided me my whole life. As a teenager and early twenties human the cruelty of this world was dulled by heavy metal and the bands that I adored became like superheroes to me, they were these pillars of strength and through their music I was able to survive and find strength in some incredibly dark times.

Heavy Metal helped me graduate from being a confused teenager to becoming a driven and well adjusted adult. As I get older I seem to crave metal more because the sound of it just gets better and better with time. As a genre it never dissapoints and I love the way it can be brutal, emotional yet at the same time there are bands within the genre who experiment with the idea of extremes to some absolutely breathtaking results.

Since 2002, Killswitch Engage have been saving my life. Their debut album “Alive or Just Breathing” is responsible for bringing a massive amount of light to a dark existence and gave me the strength and power to rise and to ask myself the question “am I alive or just breathing?” – it was almost like a religious experience hearing Killswitch Engage back in 2002. I followed the band since then and my love for them has grown deeper over time and I would put them in my list of top eleven metal bands of all time.

To paint a picture for you, in 2002 the metal landscape was still in the hangover that Nu-Metal had caused. The genre had been both strengthened and weakened by aspects of this sub-genre. There was a lot of press given to bands who claimed to be “the death of nu-metal” and a lot of them promised a lot but rarely ever delivered metal to a more pure place. At this point in time my thirst for metal had increased since my high school devotion. I was quite immersed in bands like Meshuggah, Soilwork, In Flames, Opeth, Strapping Young Lad, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Frankenbok, Alchemist, Pod People, Allegiance and Devolved. I was particularly in love with Meshuggah at this point in time and I thought they were one of the most revolutionary bands I had ever heard and to this day they remain one of my favourite metal bands.

In terms of what was coming out of America, nothing really grabbed me as it was all still rooted in that nu-metal template and the only bands from that template that I enjoyed were System of A Down and Korn who both outgrew that terrible genre tag and to be honest never really were what I defined as Nu-Metal. It was also a period in time where bands like Pantera and Fear Factory had split and Machine Head were in a transition between the big nu-metal cash in and a return to their groove / thrash metal roots. I missed having bands of this ilk around and it felt like there was a big hole left in the metal community without them. The only positive thing to come out of the Pantera split was Phil’s new band Superjoint Ritual and his return to Down.

In 2002 I was signed up to the Roadrunner Records street team and subscribed to their monthly fanzine called “Outsider.” I was also quite friendly with a lot of the people in the Australian Roadrunner Records office. I was quite a devoted street team member and had been all through my teenage and high school years. I received the Roadrunner Records fanzine for January and it came with a sampler disc of new music being released that year. The magazine itself put a focus on three of the 14 or so bands on the CD. Those bands were “Five Point O,” “36 Crazyfists” and “Killswitch Engage.”

I really dug all three bands and I brought the “Five Point O” record and although I enjoyed it, the record itself still had hints of rapped vocals and wasn’t quite as fresh as I thought it would be. I brought the 36 Crazyfists album “Bitterness The Star” and I really dug it, it was very similar to Deftones but with a hardcore edge to it. Still, it didn’t revolutionise the way I thought it would but unlike “Five Point O” I remain a fan of 36 Crazyfists to this day. They went on to release some truly amazing pieces of music and they keep getting better with each new release.

Killswitch Engage weirdly were the band I focussed on least when it came to this sampler. Their song “Life To Lifeless” reminded me of Fear Factory with hints of that Swedish melodic death metal sound. As I got deeper into Meshuggah and freaked out on the new Down album I really didn’t pay much attention to the upcoming release from Killswitch Engage.

A month out from its release date I got another little fanzine in the mail, no sampler this time, that once again praised and promoted the upcoming Killswitch Engage release. This time round I was more curious based on the interview and review of the album. I was excited but I invested no expectations.

On Monday the 20th May 2002 I went to Sanity (I was living at home with Mum and Dad in Bundy at the time, it was the only record store we had) at 9:00am and picked up my copy of one of the greatest heavy metal albums of the new decade. I am of course talking about this masterpiece:

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To say that “Alive or Just Breathing” changed my life is an understatement. From the moment I put this album on I was hooked and it was an obsession that lasted for quite a while. There is something inside of this album that just gets me off again and again. Doesn’t matter what era of my life I find myself in, I always have time for this album. Even now, fourteen years later I can still put this album on and find new things about it that thrill me. Going back to 2002, I was finally pleased that one of the bands who were listed as the one to “kill nu-metal” did indeed do just that. I was not prepared for how popular this band was going to become.

The bands beautiful way of mixing the pain of existence with a positive “carry on, be strong” message is always what hits home the most. This band understands the darkness but they want to help direct you to the light and at so many points in my life they have been vital to helping me see that light.

So it was with great joy on the that I took the day off work on the 11th March 2016 so I could get up early and make a journey to the local JB Hi Fi’s to buy the brand new Killswitch Engage album “Incarnate” and to slip into the beautiful sounds that this band creates.

From start to finish “Incarnate” is a re-birth for Killswitch Engage. It is still 100 per cent what we all know and love about Killswitch Engage but there is a new intensity to it all. The heaviness is heavier and the melodic moments are even more melodic. This record soars and unfolds itself beautifully with there not being one moment where I wasn’t hooked. Emotionally the record connects deeply and the band has once again made you apart of the journey and this is just as much a celebration for the band as it is for you the fan.

I have listened to this album quite a bit over the past week and I can’t find a weak moment on it and the joy of it still comes down to the fact that this album has a longevity attached to it. I know the album so well yet each new listen provides a new surprise and a new favourite song. That is the power of a great album, it connects instantly but still gives you the space to grow with it and learn more with each new listen.

The songs on “Incarnate” get stuck in your head and the whole album is quite addictive. Like all great music that I love, I find it hard to talk about “this song” or “that song” because quite simply the album is what needs to be heard. No one song will sell the brilliance of this band, you have to sit down with the whole album and consume it because that is the only way to connect with it.

 

This is an album that was carefully crafted so that every note means something. Beyond the metal of it all, underneath the riffs and the intensity is a great bunch of songs. That is what makes any metal band worth something, the ability to still craft amazing songs, not just riffs and wankery. This album soars above everything else at the moment and proves why Killswitch Engage have been such an influential metal band over the past 17 years and why so many bands line-up to rip them off, but the truth is you can’t beat the real thing and “Incarnate” is the real deal and it strengthens the star power that is the Killswitch Engage legacy.

I’ve been a fan of Killswitch Engage for the past fourteen years of my life. I was 18 going on 19 when I first got into the band and now I’m 32 going on 33. I’ve loved the band deeply for all of those fourteen years and their music has always meant something to me. Regardless of what stage of life I was in or music I was listening to, heavy metal has always remained a constant. I don’t believe in being the kind of jerk-off who has “guilty pleasures” or “I can’t believed I listened to that” moments in my life. I still love and have time for every band or artist I ever got into.

Some bands like Killswitch Engage are untouchable however and I think for me the reason I love them so much is because beyond being a heavy metal band, you can tell that each member involved are just fans of music in general, it goes way beyond just metal. I think that’s an important quality to have for a band who strive to make timeless heavy metal, they have to be plugged into so much more than just the history of metal. You can hear that Killswitch Engage respect music as a whole and when they plug in and play they are drawing on so much of it to make their unique blend of melodic heavy metal.

With their new album “Incarnate” Killswitch Engage have launched themselves beautifully into the new decade and proved that they will be one of the most important bands in the heavy metal language. I just love them so much and this album is so incredibly satisfying. Everyone who knows me understands that a lot of my favourite bands are artists like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Fugazi, Pearl Jam and Deftones but I think a band like Killswitch Engage is just as important as all of these bands. I don’t base my personality on genres of music, I fund it purely on good and life changing music. Killswitch Engage are one of the bands who fit this bill quite well and “Incarnate” is a fucking triumph and a beautiful piece of art.

By: Dan Newton

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage
www.killswitchengage.com

 

ALBUM REVIEW: “Waco” by Violent Soho

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Before I dive into the review I must quote a line from one of my favourite Nirvana songs “Serve The Servants” that may give a bit of context to how I feel towards the kind of music that Violent Soho make and that line is as follows:

“Teenage angst has paid off well now I’m bored and old”

This is a phrase that kept ringing in my head the more I listened to Violent Soho because indeed I am no longer too heavily invested in teen angst. I still love intense / deep sounding music that harvests pain but teen angst; it doesn’t really have a place in my life anymore.

The complications and pain of existence as a 33 year old is way more confusing than anything that happened in my teens and early to mid-twenties. So I guess this affects the way I hear modern angst ridden rock n roll. My first reaction is to always default to that Henry Rollins philosophy “Life won’t break your heart it will crush it” and that to be honest is the kind of rush I need from music in 2016. Something that only the other 33 year old single / childless humans will understand.

In 2016  though I will admit that I’m excited that a band like Violent Soho exists. I’m too old and past it to enjoy it but I get really excited every time I see a young human talk about the passion they have for Violent Soho. The reason I get excited is because this band know the art of writing to the point punk infused rock n roll. I guess you could call it grunge but I hear it as being punk infused rock n roll. You can tell that the members of this band are fans of sophisticated guitar music and they do their best to pay tribute to that and also put their own twist on it. The other reason I get excited is because a band like Violent Soho is the perfect “bridge” band for younger human beings to other cool sophisticated guitar bands and Violent Soho have always been humble enough to put a spotlight on those types of bands which is something I can deeply respect.

Violent Soho are the perfect gateway drug and because I view music as lots of different historical artifacts we need the gateway bands like Violent Soho to help usher the new generation of youth culture to the amazing punk infused rock n roll and indeed the whole history of sound that came before them. So in short, Violent Soho is the perfect history lesson for young human beings but also a reminder for cynical old jerk-off’s like me about the healing power of raw as fuck punk rock n roll.

This brings me to their new album “WACO” – who cares what I think and the science behind why it is good and bad, Violent Soho do a great job of playing rock n roll. This is perfect youth culture music for 2016 and it makes me jealous that I’m not in my teens or early 20’s because if I was this would be a band that I would worship. As a 33 year old jerk-off it makes me nod my head in appreciation. The album goes alright and the songs contained within it will be causing riots in many a mosh-pit during the festival circuit of 2016 and 2017.

 

 

As an artistic achievement “WACO” is miles above “Hungry Ghost” and the band has indeed taken their sound to some new places. Despite the production being a bit cleaner and more “world stage” sounding the aggressive nature of the band still has them sounding incredibly tight and sincere. Upon first listen it is quite exciting but the more I pressed play the less impressed I was. When the songs really rock they are angry and full of that teen angst that has fueled young punk rock fused bands for decades. When these dynamics are rinsed and repeated however on later tracks it starts to lack the crunch to resonate.

Humans of my generation who grew up with Silverchair, Jebediah, Powderfinger, Grinspoon, Magic Dirt and You Am I dominating Triple J radio may understand me when I say that Violent Soho are for the people who only ever liked “Frogstomp” and “Freakshow” – I’m more of a “Diorama” and “Young Modern” kind of person but in the grand scheme of things there is no wrong or right when it comes to emotional resonance and music listening habits. I’m sure that the well adjusted humans who read this will understand that I’m purely making an honest claim about a band who makes music that no longer rings the bells in my stomach but to the Violent Soho faithful I’m sure I’ve offended them deeply. Just let me say I’m in no way sorry about that because there was a time when I thought music couldn’t get any better than “Slightly Oddway” by Jebediah but as I grew up I realised that it did. That doesn’t mean I was wrong for feeling the passion for that band back in 1997 it just means that I walked across the bridge and discovered the music and bands that got ignored so that Jebediah could be pushed to the front.

In 2016 there are a lot of great bands that got ignored and overlooked so that Violent Soho could be pushed to the front. There is no one to blame for that because resonance, timing, hard work and a small degree of clever marketing skills will always allow some bands to succeed over others. This is the cruel fate of the music industry and while I believe that a band like The Drones should be front and centre of what modern young humans are listening to the reality is that it isn’t their time or place to be that band.

Right now Violent Soho are the perfect band for modern youth and my excitement regarding their sound purely hinges on the handful of humans in their fanbase who’ll walk across the bridge like I did back in 1997 when I thought bands like Jebediah and Grinspoon were high art, to see that awaiting them on the other side are a bunch of other artists who are equally as talented and hard working who were just a bit unlucky when it came to timing, resonance and the business of art.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/violentsoho
http://violentsoho.com/