Thursday, December 31, 2009

a sydney new year

still looking for something to do tonight?



go carve up the dance floor for me, and ill meet you in two thousand and men

Thursday, December 24, 2009

down time

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photo: by radge

Happy holidays

Drink and eat a bunch. Read some good books.


See you on the flip side

x Michaella

Monday, December 21, 2009

a tenner for your troubles

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My boys at Rose Quartz asked me to list my Top 10 releases of 2009 for their website. I acquiesced (hesitantly, as I always find those sort of end of year wrap ups really difficult), wrote it up over the weekend and sent it through last night. Then, this morning, I got really embarrassed when I read the introduction they wrote. So much love (awww group hug)! You can read it here if you like.

If you do have a read make sure you check out the rest of their LISTRAVAGANZA - the crew have been posting their fave songs and albums and Australiana and tapes and all the rest for the past two weeks. Just like this book I've just started, it's super good reading.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wild Nothing

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Under the name Wild Nothing Jack Tatum had just released a 7" with THE pop song for summer.

This morning I went for a jog and it was really warm morning. The sun was shining down on me and it made me feel a million dollars as I jogged along and listened to this song. I put the record on as soon as I got back home and wandered around my room getting ready for work, singing and dancing and vibing the fact that summer was here, that it is almost time for a week-long holiday, and that after a few weekends in a row laying around at the lady baths I am starting to get a bit of a tan.


Can't you imagine this as the soundtrack to a Super 8 film of people sitting on a patch of grass by a beach on a summer day drinking beers and cooking sausages on a bbq. They're probably throwing a frisbee too. How dreamy.

Buy it here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

dam funk damn right

The killer pure sex funk jam that I have been raving about to anyone who'll listen now has a killer video to go with



With tune this as my soundtrack I look so fly while I'm doing my thing on the treadmill

one hundred percent vibe



My friend Nathan won the Bridezilla film clip competition. GO Nathan.

Just getting my summer on today.

This track is killer for shining summer vibes. Bring on Martinis poolside.


Elizabeth Harper has a handsome voice - strong, commanding. After the underwhelming efforts from Little Boots and La Roux this year, pop music needs someone with some guts.

7" coming out in Feb on Terrible Records. No pre-order up just yet, but check in a few weeks from now and there should be. Alongside Class Actress, Terrible are releasing fellow Brooklyn band Acrylics - another really strong female- driven electro pop group.

Obviously getting my Girl Shine on today too.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

cosmetics

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Yesterday I said good things come to those who wait. Turns out we didn't have to wait so long!

Last night Nick from Cosmetics emailed me the so super smooth Black Leather Gloves which he explained will be the B-Side to their December 7" on Captured Tracks. What a nice guy! I am going to buy their 7" for all my friends for Christmas (and pray it arrives in time for the celebrations - I sent a friend a parcel six weeks ago and they only just received it today!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

touch so soft, I never take them off

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Vancouver duo Cosmetics (not to be confused with the not so great Brooklyn/Sao Paulo duo also called Cosmetics) sounds like something you've already heard on Italians Do It Better- their sensual and glistening minimalist productions shout to the slippery disco pop Johnny Jewel has become famous for. Sweet dreams and light touches, hushed stories on beat making delicate haze for dancing nights.

Fan Death, Nite Jewel, Desire, now Cosmetics; their synthetic recordings set to take place alongside those glamorous darlings of the scene.

All their tracks are self-produced in their home studio. There are three jams on their myspace now but more is due out early 2010 through Captured Tracks, initially as a 7" vinyl and then as a full length vinyl/CD album. For now, no mp3, just the myspace page. Good things come to those who wait.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

rosanne barrr

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I am not sure how I feel about this. Those that know me well know my feelings about Mariah.

Rosanne Barrr 'No Means No Mariah'

I am really into Rosanne Barrr and their screaming low fi London garage (how good is their song Akira! - listen on myspace), so if we could call 'No Means No Mariah' a homage to the talents of our number one American pop goddess then I would feel much better about the whole thing.

RBarrr Dumb Broad album is out now on Hex Out Tapes but on the band's myspace their label is listed as Geffen so they might have something out on Interscope in the not too distant future. Interscope (Universal) intially feels like a weird fit... but it if means they can hook up with label-mate Mariah for a collab at some point then that would be aaaaaaaamazing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

no art cock safari

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Vivian (pic: far right) and Trish (pic: centre) used to be in a band called One, Two, Three, Amazing. They had a great name obvs, but not a load of recorded material or scheduled shows and so folded after not too long. I really liked their song Tender Is. I just listened to it again, and it's still really lovely, with hushed vocals over a melodic 90s guitars.

Vivian and Trish now have less angular haircuts and a new band called No Art, and with their boy friend Chris on drums are making expansive moody post rock.

Outside my office someone is playing that Shaggy song that has the lyric "honey came in and she caught me red handed, freakin' (is that the lyric?) with the girl next door".

Feel free to disagree, but I do think No Art's Fight In The Nocturnal House, while certainly not as instantly catchy, is much better than the Shaggy song.

No Art 'Fight In The Nocturnal House'

Also, while talking good aussie music (no art) and cool band names (1, 2, 3 amazing)... cock safari, anyone?! These dudes are killing it.




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

thursday week

Lets go surfin



and run along the beach



This will probably be the best $20 you ever spend

Also FYI before you see ECSR do their thing, The UV Race are launching their own frenetic lovable clanging punk debut at Good God this Friday for the third and last of Mountain Fold Journal's music nights. It'll be a pretty sweet party

Signed, sealed and delivered (I'm yours)

For some reason tonight I grabbed a record I've not listened to in forever - Syreeta Wright's debut self-titled record. They don't write about love like they used to. Now, Destiny's Child sing about 'catering' for their men and Lady Gaga poisons hers in a video clip and throws him off a balcony. I am as guilty as the next woman for disregarding simple declarations of adoration as naff and old fashioned, but then simultaneously lamenting the death of chivalry and romance.

Listening to Syreeta tonight, I've decided to make more time for unabashed, uncomplicated and unrehearsed love in my life. Hey you, I love every little thing about you. Deal with it.

There's nothing cheesy about that if it's honest.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When I'm with you, I have fun

I was just raving about Summer coming and how excited I am at the idea of going to the beach this weekend when my friend told me it is going to be super hot but raining all day Saturday and Sunday. Bummer.

Don't get wet, do this stuff instead.

When you wake up, listen to When I'm With You by Best Coast over and over and over.

During the day, the Art Gallery of NSW is currently showing a wonderfully in depth and engaging retrospective of John Kaldor's public projects, covering everything from Christo's wrapping of Little Bay, to Gilbert and George's 'singing sculpture' in the gallery foyer in 1973, to Tatzu Nishi's current sculptures engulfing the gallery's outer walls.

In the evening, go see Beautiful Losers. After all my whining Aaron Rose's doco finally makes it's Sydney premier at Paddington Town Hall for the Anode festival launch. Tickets are still available but probably not for much longer.

Later that night, Vampire Weekend play at Oxford Art Factory. I met with Rostam and Chris B today to talk about their new album. Super nice dudes.

The video for Cousins was just released a few hours ago and it displays the VW aesthetic perfectly - simple in idea but elaborate in execution.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

creepy kids: golden filter, martin de thurah

My Melbourne (soon to be New York, sob) friends Moopjaw have finally released their video for The Golden Filter's latest single Thunderbird (which reminds me so much of The Presets' This Boy's In Love - why is that?)


The Golden Filter - "Thunderbird" from The Golden Filter on Vimeo.


I was sent a few stills of this clip while they were editing which immediately made me think of Martin de Thurah and his work with Karen Dreijer on her Fever Ray project - particularly their video for When I Grow Up from the self-titled Fever Ray debut.

His work is really stunning but insanely creepy. I've not seen his latest feature films because if I did I would never sleep again.

WE WHO STAYED BEHIND trailer from martin de thurah on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

free choice duo

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Free Choice is the new project of Jarod Ziadic from Fabulous Diamonds, and Free Choice Duo is the stage show.

They performed at Gold Shoulder last night (a four week residency of Mountain Fold Journal at Good God) and their live show was unencumbered, uncluttered Cluster style atmospherics, droning synth sounds filling the room but without being too heavy or obtrusive. Their name suggests each performance is unplanned and unrehearsed, but I think they must've had some sort of discussion before the performance - it just seemed too easy for them.

You know, it was interesting seeing an audience watching the two of them on stage, because they don't say anything or move while they're playing. There's not much to watch. But the sounds they were making were intoxicating. I just vibed out for their entire set, which was two movements of visceral free-form on synth and organ.

Free Choice have a split 7" with Mental Powers out now through Fifth Column which you can buy at shows.

Friday, November 13, 2009

mgmt australia

My friend Sam came to Australia almost a year ago (aside: where has this year gone?!) with MGMT and filmed a heap of footage of them on his super 8. He just sent it to me, probably because he thought i'd get kicks from the footage of Koalas and Kangaroos. If that's the case, then he was right.



A few years back Sam's friend Ben won tickets in a raffle for a Jamaican river cruise and the two of them decided to use the vacation as an opportunity to shoot a feature film starring Sean Bones and Norah Jones. The film, titled Wah Do Dem, is finished and has been making its way around the festival circut, premiering at the LA Film Festival in June and winning the award for 'Best Narrative Feature'. Talented boys.

Wah Do Dem from sam fleischner on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm not your fantasty girl

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"Been away so long you love me only in your dreams..."



I've been a fan of this lady for a while. Here, I love how she loops her vocals back and over the top of each other to create her own 'man-made' backing track. It's not easy to create something so engaging with vocals, bass guitar and a drum. 4AD described her as blending "coarse folk ingenuity with the bold pop sensibility of an R&B siren" which is wonderfully appropriate (and super surprising as it's unusual for a label to accurately describe something on their own roster without sounding all smoke and mirrors.)

This performance is the first of 4AD records new live sessions where they are taking their artists into a studio and recording the results for an exclusive vodcast series. The first was with Deerhunter last year, but it now looks like the videos will become more regular with 4AD making a more official thing of it. Watch the video of Real Live Flesh above for a taste, and check out the full session (all 30 mins) here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

les sins for summer

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'Lina' Les Sins

Some coconut flakes and something French house inspired by Toro y Moi's other project Les Sins to take us back to the days of Cassius and Starsailor on such a brilliantly shiny Sydney Spring (Summer) day.

If you've not tried shaved coconut before do yourself a favour and get some asap. This combination is really making my day today.

Together in summer coconut dreams




Monday, September 7, 2009

where'd you go?

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I've been absent the past few weeks. Stating the obvious! I've been binging on work and wasn't remembering to come up for air. "Remember to breathe", I told myself this morning. It's working so far!

I interviewed David Jacob Kramer from Family Bookstore last week for Issue 3 of The Blackmail which is online now. David is a wonderful guy, and the story has some great fly-on-the-wall photography by Thomas Jeppe. Sometimes his photos may appear disposable, but if you make time to look again, you see how insightful they actually are. Quick yes, but always well considered. Check it out at the link above, and make sure you read the others too. The issue includes an interview with awesome Melbourne label Arnsdorf, Blackmail editor Gabe talking to ace band Royal Headache, and some lovely photographs by Ben Sullivan documenting his time traveling through the American desert.


The Middle East 'blood'

Despite my adoration of Greedy Hen works and The Middle East's beautifully somber recordings, I really underestimated how spectacular a combination of the two would be when I commissioned this clip two months ago.

It is true that Katherine from Greedy Hen is my flatmate, and The Middle East are signed to Spunk, but bias aside I think this is such a remarkably beautiful and accomplished film clip. I am also overjoyed to finally be able to share it with the world after the organised premiere on Myspace last Thursday (if you've not yet seen it on the thousand other blogs that have already posted it, of course!)

'Blood' The Middle East


The Middle East are on tour through October and are playing Homebake and Meredith Music festival in December. Their Myspace has the details.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

wild fashions

Matt Wolf is responsible for the the heart-wrenching portrait of Arthur Russell Wild Combination. The movie was scheduled in the 2008 Sydney film festival program and I was so moved when I watched it then, at Sydney's beer-soaked iconic live music venue the Metro, that I have bought it for most of my favourite people's birthdays since.

Wolf has now teamed up with Jason Schwartzman to make an charming advertisement for Japan's almost-opened Opening Ceremony store.

Watching Schwartzman try and lift the kite doesn't make me want to buy clothes, shoes and accessories, but I like it's loftiness and (essentially) it's pointlessness. Why If this makes you want to buy stuff , the Japan store opens on Saturday.



Opening Ceremony had three directors create films to celebrate the Japan store's opening.

The first promo'ed Chloe Sevigny's 2009 debut men's range, second came Wolf's esoteric cutie, and third was M Blash's movie staring Gus Van Sant and Jena Malone (who I love!)



Friday, August 21, 2009

ryan mcginley

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Nick (Orange, Eyes) 2009, Moonmilk, Ryan McGinley


Moonmilk by Ryan McGinley is online and the images are breathtaking. I can only imagine how impressive they are in person - check them out if you're in London at Alison Jacques Gallery from September 11

Ryan McGinley website

On an entirely unrelated note, all of a sudden all my old babysitters want to befriend me on Facebook! Why?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jeans Wilder + Albert's Basement

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"You're such a mother fucking tough guy" sings Jean Wilder. Over and over.

In the 'sounds like' section of his Myspace profile he (Andrew Caddick) describes Jean Wilder as "he really needs a hug". So spot on. This is gentle fuzz surfpop for the downtrodden deadbeat in all of us - lazy and troubled but still looking ahead to a brighter day.


Back in March Fader's Freak Scene mentioned his cassette and I looked him at the time and was into it, but then he slipped through the cracks. No Pain In Pop are big fans though and reminded me of him recently.

I downloaded 'Tough Guys' via a NPIP post and have been listening to it a lot. I had a shitty morning today and when this song started playing on a mix CD I made for myself a while ago, it really chilled me out. Vibing, I just cruised.

Make sure you check Freak Scene and No Pain In Pop via those links above. Bookmark and love like I do.

Also keep your eyes peeled for a track of his on a new compilation by awesome Melbourne collective Albert's Basement

One of their upcoming releases 'Colourful Mountains' will have a Jeans Wilder track as well as stuff by Barrage, Nite Jewel, Pink Priest and others.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Bon Iver Single



Oh... wait... he's kinda young... is this Justin Vernon pre Bon Iver? Actually, wait... don't I know that guy?

Friday, August 14, 2009

grass widow

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Sometimes I work from home, sometimes I come into a big officey area... Today I'm in the office and someone nearby is playing Sade 'Sweetest Taboo' really loudly... it's killing me.

I have been trying to drown it out with these girls: Grass Widow

They write wonderful vocally-driven post punk with quirky, contagious 60s pop harmonies and so much sass. Their songs can be a little messy at times, but I think that only ads to the overall charm. And their song 'To Where' is such a GEM!

'To Where' Grass Widow

See?! Killer track! So perfect for drowning out Sade melodies! Is it safe to say I prefer them to Vivian Girls? Is that allowed?

Make A Mess records released their first recording in April which has since sold out. They might be reissuing it, but I don't know. Check in with Captured Tracks though, because there were rumours a while back that they were picking up distribution rights.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

memory cassette vs weird tapes

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Two days after my birthday last year, almost exactly a year ago, I posted 'Asleep At A Party' by Memory Cassette.

Initially, the project was sold as a collaboration between former Hail Social social member Dayve Hawke and an unnamed Philadelphia vocalist. Later I found out it was just Hawke, and his femme alter ego... Kinda like Natasha Khan's Pearl...

Regardless, I thought the song was just the best birthday present, and since then have been wandering along with Memory Cassette/Weird Tapes/Memory Tapes, falling in love with the wistful, nostalgic, and wonderfully evocative pop electronics.

Today, Pitchfork (who else?) got the premiere for the song's video.



'Call and Response' EP is sold out (except in stores - try Rough Trade London) but the debut full-length 'Seek Magic' is due for release in September through Acephale

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christina Milan


I love it when couples get together professionally and it doesn't suck

via Fader blog

Monday, August 10, 2009

super wild horses

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Melbourne is very nurturing of it's artistic community, particularly independent music community, and that world can be quite insular. Do you feel you receive a different response from crowds outside your hometown?


We haven't played too much outside of Melbourne, just a couple of shows in Perth and Sydney. On the whole they were a lot of fun and the response was good considering we were playing to rooms full of people who'd never heard of us. We're looking forward to going back to Sydney for Flip Out now that there are a few people who might have seen us or heard our 7".

Does that scene influence your music? And do you worry ever that people will look at the scene first, and your music second?

Melbourne bands have influenced us greatly - theirs are the gigs you see every weekend and the people you get to know and love. Ideas and moods tend to rub off on you and even if it's subconscious, so sounds probably filter through. I think it's a natural and positive thing - Melbourne's music scene is so vibrant at the moment and that's because everyone's out there playing together and having a good time. We'd be proud to be associated with whatever people perceive the scene here to be.

Is there much interaction and collaboration among your peers?

There is definitely social interaction, lots of drinking, listening to music, playing football, and collaborating on side projects. It's great to be involved with bands that have such a DIY ethic. People are lending their hands to everything from artwork, recording, song writing and playing. We've collaborated with UV Race on a sometimes band called UV Horse, then there's Brain Children which features Mikey Young (Eddy Current) and Max Kahone (Agents of Abhorrence/Cut Sick), and then you have events like Flip Out which definitely has a family vibe. - there's a lot of stuff going on!

You are about to perform as part of You Don't Love Me Yet - Johanna Billing's ongoing art piece. Have you got anything special planned for the performance?


So far we've started on some initial vocal ideas and managed to learn the chords! It's an amazing song, subtle and honest and heart felt. We're just concentrating on trying to do it justice. Can't wait to hear everyone's take on it.

Being such a (relatively) young band, how does it feel to be selected for events like You Don’t Love Me Yet and the Flip Out festival?


It feels really good and we feel very lucky. We try not to ask questions or figure out why because it doesn't make much sense to us!

What drove you both to perform together initially?

We've been friends for many years and had spent a lot of time writing things together, coming up with stupid hair-brained ideas and singing songs in the car. The band came about by accident really, we decided to have a jam one day and before we knew it, Jensen from Deaf Wish had booked us in for a gig, which we tried unsuccessfully to pull out of, and it just went from there.

How is recording coming along for the album?


We haven't recorded anything since our 7", but plans are in the works for something later on in the year.

___

See Super Wild Horses perform the Flip Out Festival August 29 at Manning Bar in Sydney and September 5 at the Corner Hotel, Melbourne.

Super Wild Horses 7" out now through AARGHT! records (Ooga Boogas, Eddie Current Supression Ring) and you can buy the record from their myspace

You Don't Love Me Yet happens this weekend at the Toff, Swanston Street Melbourne. Read more about the project here

disband

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Here we are again.

'Everyday Same Old Way' Disband

If there are any left, a collection of Disband material was released on CD last year to coincide with their performance for WACK! at the MOCA LA. Copies are/were available from the Ooga Booga store. You can also still buy the catalogue from the MOCA LA online store. Or, of course, from the museum if you're that way positioned.



Friday, August 7, 2009

hecuba

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In this song, her vocal is empty, but not in a bad way - disinterested but convincingly so - the flatness of her delivery perfectly complimenting the very Lucky Dragons'eqsue minimal tech beat and fog horns. And while at first her words seem to sit a little too uncomfortably within the simplicity of the electronic beat, as the harsher bleeps start up and cut through the initial delicacy of the song everything is brought together perfectly.

Haunting, weird dance that teases you - slowly building to an epic gothic jam but then peetering out just as you're wanting more!


Paradise is out now on Manimal Vinyl which also features the single 'Suffering' - a song that has the best music video I've seen all year! Seriously! It's so fantastic! I've often talked about my love of Rainbow Arabia, and surely Devendra Banhart is one of everyone's favourite 'shabob shalom' folk stars

Hecuba "Suffering" [Official Video] HD from Hecuba on Vimeo.




Hecuba myspace

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

you dont love me yet

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As a component of Tiny Movements by Swedish conceptual artist Johanna Billing, performance piece ‘You Don’t Love Me Yet’ has been presented in over 20 countries since its conception in 2002.

Scheduled for August 16th, Billing has invited a diverse and exciting collection of Melbourne bands to reinterpret the ever-hopeful tearjerker ‘You Don’t Love Me Yet’ originally recorded by Roky Erikson in 1984. Among those taking part in the event are Beaches, Henry Wagons, Super Wild Horses, Fabulous Diamonds, Tic Toc Tokyo, Francis Plagne, and Teeth and Tongue, each challenged with the task of making something familiar, unique. The event is being held in conjunction with the ongoing series ‘You Don’t Have To Call It Music’ curated by Melbourne musician/artist Marco Fusinato.

Tiny Movements is opening at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne Friday, August 14 and is Billing’s first solo show in Australia.

‘You Don’t Love Me Yet’
Sunday, August 16, $10
8 pm – 11 pm
The Toff at Curtin House Swanson Street Melbourne


Also, the reason I've not posted any music for the past week is because I've been watching this video non-stop.


I listened to Eminem today and honey, I am so on Mariah's side. The only issue I have with the video and single is Gucci Mane... he's like a little boy not quite sure what to do with himself in front of the monumental Mariah.
Take a back seat boy; just put your bejeweled sunglasses back on and enjoy the show.

I've given myself until first thing tomorrow morning to watch it as much as possible, then am making myself give it up. So normal posts resume tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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After 5 days away in Byron for Splendour In The Grass the time has come to leave and I really don't want to go home

'Forbidden Holiday' Bridezilla

I had to check work emails today for the first time in a few days and saw the news that Merce Cunningham had died. He was such an incredible artist and choreographer. If you never saw him perform, try and track down some footage somewhere - he moved so beautifully and has such a precise and unchallenged understanding of the body and how it could be used.

Time to pack. Bye Byron

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

burt sings for you

For my first reader in Costa Rica

Do you know the way to San Jose? Ive been away so long. I may go wrong and lose my way.
Do you know the way to San Jose? I'm going back to find some peace of mind in San Jose. L.A. is a great big freeway. Put a hundred down and buy a car.In a week, maybe two, they'll make you a star. Weeks turn into years. how quck they pass. And all the stars that never were, Are parking cars and pumping gas.

Do you know the way to San Jose? They've got a lot of space. There'll be a place where I can stay
I was born and raised in San Jose I'm going back to find some peace of mind in San Jose. Fame and fortune is a magnet. It can pull you far away from home, With a dream in your heart you're never alone. Dreams turn into dust and blow away And there you are without a friend. You pack your car and ride away

Ive got lots of friends in San Jose. Do you know the way to San Jose? Cant wait to get back to San Jose.

(I know Burt's singing about CA, but hopefully you could just go with it)

x Michaella

Kid Cudi 'make her say'

I used to like Cudi's boyish arrogance... but this is ridiculous:



Universal have just released the video for his latest single 'Make Her Say' featuring two of my favourite contemporary hip hop heavyweights Kanye West and Common.



Kanye has long mentored Cudi, but here he steals the show. His phrasing is impeccable, he pronounces everything properly, and he wraps words together with an understanding of the space between them. Common tells stories as always, and Cudi just sounds like he's rushing.

I like that the video splits the screen in two and shows two angles of the same image, but once that novelty wears off it's not enough to hide how boring the clip is! And why are the women there again? What are they doing exactly? They look nice, sure, but do they serve any other function? Maybe they're the ones being poked in the face? Makes me wonder what Lady Ga Ga would say...

Friday, July 17, 2009

washed out

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Washed Out sounds like he belongs on Sincerely Yours after spending sun-drenched days wandering the streets of Goteborg Sweden gathering inspiration for the impending endless days of darkness spent crouched over a computer in a studio at the back of his parent's house in some backward, quaint town.

His songs also sound like they belong in an 80s teen romance starring Andrew McCarthy, when Andrew is thinking about how he has almost missed his chance to tell his love interest how he really feels about her, and runs to the bus stop where she waits to be taken to college in a far-away state to confess his love.

'Get Up' Washed Out

Hear more at npip and at his Myspace

Dreamy goodness that is gentle enough to warm souls, but not sickly sweet. And thankfully no steel drum, which most of the producers of this ilk seem to be fascinated with at the moment.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

this is exciting

I don't usually get into super groups... Dead Weather for example, I just can't get that excited about. To me they just seem like another Jack White crush come band- first he had Brendan Benson, now he has Alison Mosshart. Maybe the album is really good, just wish I cared.

This, though, I do care about.

Filmed at the Woodsit/Captured Tracks 4th July festival after party:



Cassie from Vivian Girls + Kevin from Woods + Justin from Bossy = Babies

Name is TBC and they've only performed together as a band three times, including the W/CT after party. Despite this, they've already written enough material for an album release so we'll see where they takle it from here.

(thanks to p4k for the heads up)

Vivian Girls premiered their new single 'When I'm Gone' a few days back (sophomore album Everything Is Gone is out September 8 on In The Red), and are touring Australia in September thanks to the wonderful Mistletone


VIVIAN GIRLS AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Friday September 25, Spectrum, Sydney (tickets from Moshtix)
Saturday September 26, Spring Tones at Roxanne, Melbourne (tickets from Mistletone)
Sunday September 27, Brisbane Hotel, Hobart (tickets from venue)
Wednesday September 30, Northcote Social, Melbourne (tickets from venue)
Thursday October 1, Metro, Adelaide (tickets from CIB ticket outlets)
Friday October 2, Step Inn, Brisbane (tickets from Oztix)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blue Roses

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When I first heard Laura Groves she was releasing demos with soft vocals and gentle thumb piano under her own name.

Now, she's kept the thumb piano (marimbula) but is performing under the name Blue Roses

Weaving together contemporary British anti-folk and classic Americana with nods to Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush and Emmy The Great, her debut is delicate, naive, and charming.



Her debut, self-titled album as Blue Roses is out now on Rough Trade

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

lily's 22

Motivational pop?



Hear hear lily!

I went to my parents for dinner last night and got into a heated discussion with my grandmother, mum, dad and brother about the responsibility of governmental bodies to practice bias towards women in an attempt to even out the scales. There was a report in the SMH yesterday that claimed women in managerial roles are still earning 40% less than their male colleagues, stating this inequality was in part due to women fewer shorter hours than men. Hmmm....

Its kinda lamely sugarcoated, but Lily does ask a good question; Why does society STILL suggest a woman's social position (and earning capabilities) halts once they've passed middle age?

My fingers are crossed for a Oprah+Meryl Streep style career trajectory!

woven bones

I'm in the mood for scuzzed out rock and roll today

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Feedback and fuzz aplenty, Austin's Woven Bones sounded like Wavves, only a little more sinister.

Now Wavves has broken his wrist.. maybe they can step up and play for him at the Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night?!

'With You Alone' Woven Bones


Download 'Your Sorcery' from rcrdlbl here

Order Janie 7" here from Needless records - try your luck and you still might be able to get one of the 100 limited edition pressings on clear green vinyl in cream colored jacket.

Very pretty covers for loud and lary songs.

the scare

How times have changed

'No Money' film clip 2009


with NME magazine 2007


The Scare used to be a bunch of arrogant ratbags who earnt themselves a reputation for bad interviews and drunken stage performances. A few years on and a failed UK move later, they're back with their second album Oozevoodo. I approached the album with terrible prejudice, thinking I'd have one listen and throw it in the bad 70s rock rip offs pile. I was really wrong.

The Scare have really turned themselves around and written a killer sophomore album - with simple guitar melodies, anthemic chorus lines, and Sam Pearton's staccato drumming, the is album full of wonderfully catchy and uncomplicated tracks rooted in rock and roll with real pop cross over appeal. They've clearly been working hard on developing their stage show, and have matured musically and personally - when once they wanted fame and fortune without having to lift a finger, The Scare are now spending great lengths of time in the studio perfecting their sound and endlessly touring the country on various tour supports. Daniel Johns produced this album, and you can hear his influence in the delicate simplicity of the rock melodies. That sort of sound is hard to achieve, but i think they've done a pretty good job at it.


Hear more at their myspace - the album is out August 7

Sunday, July 12, 2009

the times are changing?

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Kate Bush, Neneh Cherry, The Supremes, Cat Power, Sinead O'Connor, Madonna, Grace Jones, Vashti Bunyan, PJ Harvey, Chrissie Hynde, Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon), The Knife, Nina Simone, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bjork, Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra, Laurie Anderson, Tori Amos, Elastica, Mazzy Star, Sleater Kinney, Salt n Pepper...

Triple J have spent the last week broadcasting the Top 100 Songs Of All Time as voted by their listeners and today announced the final 10 songs. Remarkably, of the entire 100 tracks, one featured a female vocalist (Massive Attack 'teardrop') and only a further three songs featured female members in the band lineups: Pixies, The Dandy Warhols and The Smashing Pumpkins.

I was sent the press release for the list a few hours ago and since the final song was announced the web has been full of discussions about where songs were placed and who was and wasn't included.

As Australia's premiere national youth broadcaster, Triple J is supposed to be representative of the youth and their tastes. But looking at the list (top 10 listed below) urges the question: how many of those youths actually voted in the poll?

Top 10:
1. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
2. Rage Against the Machine - Killing In The Name
3. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
4. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
5. Radiohead - Paranoid Android
6. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
7. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
9. Foo Fighters - Everlong
10. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven

Click here for the full 100

Rock songs released in the 70s and the 90s took precedence. I like listening to white girls singing pop and folk music most of the time so I'm possibly not the best judge for deciding what songs are relevant to the Triple J audience. But I do listen to the station, and at 24 do fall within their target demographic, and was disappointed that none of the females listed above (and those not listed who are more than deserving) made the poll. I should have voted more than once!

Looking at the list, I have three questions:

Do young Australians favour guys with guitars?
Are men better songwriters?
Does the list expose the sexism of contemporary music appreciation?

Most music journalists are men, most of the influential music blogs are edited by and owned by men, and most record labels I can recall are run by men. I've never met a female record producer, and I know of one female who has the Music Director position at a radio station. However, many of the songs listed in Triple J's list would be also among my favourite songs of all time.

Perhaps those Triple J listeners who voted love women, but just like angsty guitar rock with male vocals better?

Friday, July 10, 2009

weekend warpaint

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Sitting at my desk on a Friday night, working away (but with a beer so its OK)

This song is perfect for an empty office


Warpaint announced they were releasing their debut on September 22.

That's my birthday - pretty great birthday present!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gaggle

All my music dreams come true.

Gaggle are an all female 22 member riot grrl choir who combine the brashness of Peaches, the pop of the Pussycat Dolls, the psychedelic rock of the Flaming Lips with fiery, unapologetic sexiness.

The Londoners were brought to my attention via a recent q&a in Vice where when asked about their philosophy they answer: "Gaggle are smart women with big plans. We want to be happy." YES!

Live at Bardens Boudoir in May via Gaggle girls blogspot




They totally need to team up with Romance Was Born

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Monday, July 6, 2009

A wonderful way to pass the time

Something for the diary this week:

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Next Monday night in LA, Family and Alleged founder/ANP Quarterly editor Aaron Rose present three films about the legendary pop artist and activist Sister Corita.

The first is a new film titled Become A Microscope (2009) which documents the world of the Immaculate Heart school, and the other two are archival films Mary’s Day (1964) and Survival With Style (1966) to be screened on 16mm prints and accompanied by a live score.

I have a Sister Corita print in my bedroom which I wake up opposite every morning and it always reminds me to take each day as it comes, and to value those things and people I am lucky enough to be surrounded by. Aaron Rose curated a showing of her work at the Monster Children gallery in Sydney last year which was just spectatular.

Buy tickets

dappled cities

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Dappled Cities are a band who deserve to be much more famous that they are. They write grand pop songs and are consistent, well versed performers. This, coupled with them being really nice guys, makes me wish more people overseas knew about their albums.

They're spent the past 6 or so months recording their third album Zounds, and also singing to kids about instruments for Disney (which is just the best, cutest, catchiest project in forever). To launch Zounds they've asked 12 Aussie artists to create an artwork to match the mood of each of the 12 album tracks. They won't say exactly which artists were chosen for the project, but it is being unveiled next week so I'll take some pictures at the launch and post them here for you. The artwork is for sale with all profits are going to the artists involved.

'The Price' is the first single from Zounds and the band released a video last week

The Price - Dappled Cities

Dools is a big fan


See them at Splendour In The Grass and then on the road throughout August and September. Details and tickets here

Friday, July 3, 2009

drake

Is this kanye's directorial debut?

Drake "Best I Ever Had" from kwest on Vimeo.

ass and titties, shaking ass and titties

did you watch until the end?


Bombay VS Stansson!!

what a great way to end friday

what are you looking for in a partner?

too amazing



via italians

Thursday, July 2, 2009

perfume genuis + yellow fever

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Thanks to GvsB who posted a link to the first of Turnstile records' mixtape downloads.

The collection of Mp3s includes a new track by Girls titled 'Solitute' (scheduled as the B side for their forthcoming Hellhole Ratrace release) and also an exclusive track recorded purely for the mixtape by the very secretive Perfume Genuis. Download 'Solitude' and Perfume Genuis' song 'How' here and then hear more terrifically low fi piano melodies by Perfume Genuis at his myspace.

Elsewhere...

Yellow Fever have recorded a new version of their song 'Hellfire'

The only time I use my ipod is when I go jogging so I never get around to updating it with new tracks. Most mornings I listen to upbeat pop type stuff (beyonce, charles hamilton, lily allen, etcw/ever) because I need songs with bpms fast enough to motivate me to move (!), but this morning I was a bit tired and decided to just walk quickly - so I needed something a little more relaxed. I put on a random playlist I had titled 'january' (I probably made it in january) and 'hellfire' started a few songs in. I hadn't listened to it in a while and it was one of those ahhh, memories moments, when you hear something you used to listen to all the time but havent played in ages.

When I first heard them last year I was instantly a fan. 'Hellfire' was included in an official SXSW sampler in march which got them a bit of attention, but I haven't really seen or heard much chatter about them aside from that.

'Hellfire' (old version) Yellow Fever mp3 [z share]

You can hear the new version on their myspace page. I don't know why they've re-recorded it. Maybe becayse they've had a third member join the band? This second recording does sound much fuller, but thank fully that doesn't override the charming simplicity of Jennifer's vocals.

Buy Yellow Fever 7" on candy yellow vinyl (!) from Hugpatch Records.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

samuel hodge

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For the next fortnight, independent Sydney publishing collective Rainoff Books has set up a temporary curated bookstore in Surry Hills.

Rainoff are publishing a book of photography by my friend Sam Hodge, which is being launched tonight at a party celebrating the opening of the temporary Rainoff store.

Sam's photographs allow short glimpses into his subject’s most intimate experiences. His work opens windows into other people's worlds, however fleeting, and renders permanent those everyday moments often dismissed; a lover’s admiring glance, a sibling’s warm touch, a parent’s knowing look.

The Rainoff Books temporary curated store is open July 1- July 14:
SHOP 25 / 114 BURTON ST, DARLINGHURST, 12 - 7pm

PRETTY TELLING I SUPPOSE by SAMUEL HODGE
Wednesday July 1st, 6pm - 8pm

soft circle + high places


Exciting news. A match imagined in heaven.

After touring together earlier this year, High Places and Soft Circle decided they'd release a split 12", scheduled for release late July. I totally forgot they were releasing this until today when insound's newsletter reminded me!

High Places have said they're taking the summer off to write and record their new album, and Hisham has been writing his second record for the past year and a bit, also keeping busy exhibiting his art in galleries all over the world.

Preorder forthcoming 12" at insound

Buy High Places' debut (2008) from Mistletone shop

Buy Soft Circle's Full Bloom (2007) from itunes via Eastern Developments

I'm really looking forward to hearing new recordings from both.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

no hope kids - wavves

This video premiered last night on Rolling Stone online:



Then today, on Pete Ohs' website, he wrote the following:

In February, I traveled around Europe with Wavves. I filmed everything that happened. Then I edited down the 30+ hours of footage into this 2+ minute music video. Then Rolling Stone premiered it and didn’t credit me. Then I cried a single salty tear.

Aww Pete!

This Wavves video is super simple and I love it! It's really well shot and wonderfully edited (particularly considering he had over 30 hours of footage!)

I also loved his Ghosthunter video from 2007. Watch it below if you've never seen it - super fun!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wildbirds & Peacedrums



Every time I listen to 'My Heart' by Wildbirds & Peacedrums I am captivated, enchanted, invigorated.

"Don't run. You see, I'm lost without your rhythm"

Its so simple. We've all found ourselves at some stage or another without that one special person who had always helped us keep time. Helped us decide where to go next, what our next move should me. It's such a simple but also such a sad idea - that you can so easily lose momentum and fall off course without someone acting as your guide; your shining light.

But. The way Mariam cries and swoops around notes generates an excited energy, and rather than wallow she urges you to get up, shake it off, and clap. Clap along, cry out, stamp your feet and shake every part of your body. Her tremulous husky shouts are hypnotic.

The Snake is their second album (the Sweedish twosome Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin), and is typically Swedish - a pop record splattered with the unexpected, emphasising quirks rather than smoothing them over, with heavy percussive jazz improvisation. It has been out around a month or two, and you can get a copy online from the Leaf Label website.

'There Is No Light' Wildbirds & Peacedrums. Video by Andreas Nilsson.




I've talked about Andreas Nilssion before on Grey Gardens - I love his work and adored his clip for Fever Ray earlier this year. Here, just another example of the Swedes doing great things together.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

radge's winter tale



My friend Radge just finished the last in his seasons series: winter

I saw Radge on the weekend at our friend Elke's birthday dinner after a long period of not spending time together. I had the flu and felt terrible, but was trying hard to be 'social' - my will wasn't nearly strong enough though, and after sinking into elke's couch post dinner and pre party Kevina told me to go home to bed, which I did. The reason I've not seen Radge in a while is because I've been working heaps and going to see bands, and he's been working heaps and going to see DJs. He also likes hanging out with people who are all fashion and cool, which isnt really my scene.

But it was really nice to see him. Which I was reminded of today when he announced his new mix was ready.

A collection of downtempo and at times melencholic electronica peppered with old classics, electric guitar and some wondeful gentle melodies. Prefectly curated for cooking soups and sitting with friends, or for long walks on cold mornings.

a winters tale - radge mixtape mp3 download [direct link]

Now I have to go get my chestnuts out of the oven.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

party time!

Oh dear I sound so serious (and mean) in that last post!

Let's lift the mood!!



Bradford Cox solo tomorrow at Black & Blue. Early show - 6:00 start no supports - $15 (door sales only) and all proceeds go to FBi's current fundraising campaign.

Party!!!

My gorgeous friend Kevina is having an exhibition at Black & Blue at the moment. After the launch last week the show wraps up this Sunday, so you can check it out on tomorrow night and then go back for a better look before the weekend is out. She's wonderfully talented and has spent the last three months knitting, weaving, braiding, knotting, drawing, painting, carving, machine sewing and hand sewing.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the girls at dawn

A girl I went to high school with is releasing a single on Friday. She was never interested in singing when we were at school, but seems to have found her calling in pop (or so her myspace will have you believe.) I know this because she added me on twitter and curiosity got the better of me and I followed her links to her website. I wish I hadn't. There are too many people who put their name to music just because they can, for the 'glamour' of it. Her's is honestly the most poorly executed single I have heard in as long as I can remember - bland, vacuous and indulged, and demonstrative of the glossed over mediocrity of the mainstream. What the fuck is the point?!

Women with talent:



Blank Dogs' Captured Tracks label is releasing a heap of wonderful stuff at the moment. The Little Girls 7" , Dum Dum Girls 7", his own stuff with Dee Dee as The Mayfair Set, the fucked up noise of Kid Romance...

With their childish harmonies, lazy meandering melodies and jangling country tambourine, The Girls At Dawn are, next to Dum Dum Girls, my favourites of the current Captured Tracks roster. Like Those Darlins, their sound is a thick, bubbling stew of country ballads, flat post punk vocals , skuzzy Brooklyn garage and 60s Shangri-Las pop.

'its the only way' The Girls At Dawn Mp3 [z share]

There is a Girls At Dawn 7" scheduled for release on Hozac in the latter half of this year. The demos on their myspace page now are promising, and after some time and live shows I'm hoping they'll have put together something pretty great.

To finish - a female powerhouse. I really love her. Her new album is out August 25 - titled 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel'. Straight up.

Late addition: Speaking of hot female powerhouses:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

twinsistermoon



Recorded to tape in 1965 as Andrew Oldham and the Stones lounge beside on couches. Or so it sounds.

'Bride of the Spirits' Twinsistermoon Mp3 [z share]

I really love to discover artists who've been releasing material for years - I like playing catchups with their back catalogue. My current fascination is Natural Snow Buildings' Mehdi Ameziane - a Frenchman performing magestic hippy folk belonging to another world in another time.

The unfortunate thing about finding him late though, is that the Dull Knife 7" and the album (a micropressing with a silkscreened chipboard sleeve and art booklet limited to 100 copies) are both sold out.

Hear more similar sounds at the Natural Snow Buildings myspace, and Ameziane also has this

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ghoul

Ghoul released their debut EP A Mouthful Of Gold in January - hosting a free download on their Myspace. I remember for the first few listens, Ivan's vocals really annoyed me - muted falsetto cries with grunt, or something. Like Antony Hegarty, who I find really irritating if I'm not in the right mood for him.

I've been listening to the EP again this past month. Namely because people kept telling me about them and I finally caved and revisited the release. I don't usually do that. Most of the time i'll decide if I like something or not and then my mind is firmly made up. But this time. Who knows. People were persuasive. I am glad though, because I've been really enjoying it. Then I saw them live a month or so ago and they were really engaging!

What I like most is their un-sydney'ness. Sydney's music community is very focused on DJs and dance production, and while Ghoul have a heavily produced Atlas Sound vibe, they're still trying to keep things a little different. Theirs is a cluttered, abstracted sound sometimes jarring math rock and sometimes floaty and ambient. Every time I go out to a place that isn't my local pub (poached pears and cider = perfect post friday night family dinner), I hear bad disco remixes and way too many 10 min long Emperor Machine edits. Dear Sydney, please get a grip. So while I'm still not sold 100% on the vocal lines, I think Ghoul write good songs and have real potential to build themselves into one of the rare Aussie bands with international appeal - alongside their DIY peers My Disco, Seekae, Bearhug etc. Someone has to fill Wolfmother's boots.

'Swimming Pool' Ghoul Mp3 [z share]

(Download EP and additional tracks here)

Come see them on Monday if you can.

If you can't make it then, my amazing flatmate Katherine (she of Greedy Hen) is showing her new film at the MCA while they perform a live soundtrack as part of Vivid and Creative Sydney. The show is called low-fi & loving it and is free from 8pm on June 11th and it will be amazing.