Tag Archives: The Fauves

5 Australian Albums Released in 2012 That You Need To Hear

These are in no particular order, but each of these albums grabbed my attention in 2012 and I fear they may have slipped under the critical radar (maybe you have not even heard of these artists until now). So here’s five albums that spun endlessly at Lost Shark Headquarters in 2012.

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Charge GroupCharge Group

Soaring in its beauty and cinematic in its scope, Charge Group’s eponymous second album has been a staple for me this past 12months. And what has made the album so dear to me is the fact that I got to experience it live, not once, not twice, but three times in 2012… the highlight of these shows being the intimate instore show at Jet Black Cat Records. Here’s the band playing Gold is Gone live at Brisbane Festival (complete with me hooting at the end). Seriously a contender for album of the year!

Ian Rilen & The Love AddictsFamily from Cuba

This is a posthumous release, but let me say from the outset, it is brimming with the life, love and energy that Rilen oozed. Rilen, for those who are not familiar with his work helped to define the shape and sound of Australian music, so it is fitting that his final recordings see the light of day. He was and will remain, our greatest ever, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Man’. The album is studded with gems. Here’s the opening track, the blues-fuelled, Wishing Well.

Mia DysonThe Moment

After being tested to her limits in her quest to ‘make it’ in the USA, Dyson has returned triumphant with an album that will reach deep inside you. The songs on The Moment have a timelessness about them; a raw, heartbroken honesty combined with some mighty fine rock hooks that make the album one that you want to sing along to (and I mean sing loud!). Here’s one of the quieter moments on the album, the bittersweet, Tell Me.

The FauvesGerman Engines

Australia’s [criminally underrated] masters of sardonic rock, The Fauves have had a creative flurry this past couple of years, releasing Japanese Engines in 2011 and following it up last year with the equally brilliant, German Engines. No-one does tongue-in-cheek like The Fauves… here’s a perfect example, the brilliantly dry, Six Minute Abs (played live here by Coxy and The Doctor).

The Stress of LeisureCassowary

Brisbane-ites, The Stress of Leisure released their fourth album, Cassowary; an album that brings together songs about fitness, sex, sharks, cocktails and of course, very large tropical birds. It’s indie-rock at its irreverent best;  with hooks as sharp as a Cassowary’s talons, the album will work its way under your skin and have you stylishly nodding along to song after song. Here’s the epic, Sex Times.

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Memories of The Troubadour

It’s some sad days here in Brisbane at present, as one of our best loved music venues, The Troubadour, closed its doors for the last time on Sunday night. Live music venues everywhere are under the pump… pokies have encroached on their space, noise restrictions have proved hobbling and the continually rising price of the real estate they occupy is making it difficult to keep the doors open.

Brisbane is infamous for losing venues… Cloudland, Festival Hall, The Alley Bar to name just a few and frankly we just couldn’t afford to lose another one! And as I write this there is word that The Globe Theatre is also looking down the barrel of closing. The only way to stop the bleeding is to get out and see some live music (or poetry for that matter). I know I am dusting off  my dancing shoes over the next couple of weeks and am heading out to see:

Our Talons, Lion Island + Steve Grady @ The Zoo, Wednesday November 24

The Church (30th Anniversary Tour) @ The Judith Wright Centre, November 25

The Lemonheads @ The Zoo, November 30

Am super excited about all shows!

I have also been reminiscing about my favourite moments at The Troubadour and while I can’t narrow it down to one show, these are some of the shows I will have lasting memories of:

Vic Chesnutt – Well, I am forever thankful I got to see the man play… he was assisted onto the stage in his wheelchair, his frame, ghostly thin, but when he opened his mouth, there was a force in his voice, and a sharpness of wit, that hit me in the gut and held me transfixed. His version of Sponge that night is still reverberating somewhere inside me.

The Fauves – They were launching When Good Times Go Good and man, did they go good that night! Coxy was at his ascerbic best and the band were hotter than minimum chips! Fight Me I’m Forty stirred everyone in the crowd from their spot on the floor or their comfy cushion (how I will miss the comfort of that venue).

Lou Barlow – Had just seen Dinosaur Jr a couple of days earlier and the ears were still ringing, so Lou’s lo-fi folk masterpieces were just the tonic I needed. He was in fine form too, bantering with the crowd and playing every song from his then recently released EMOH as well as a stack of Sebadoh, Folk Implosion and Sentridoh tracks. In fact, he played such an exhaustive set, people were calling out for Lou to play some of Jason’s (Lowenstein) songs as well.

And I couldn’t complete this post without mentioning The Gin Club who I saw there many times and who fittingly took the stage for the last time on Sunday night. They made the place their home away from home and never failed to put a smile on the punter’s faces.

So what are your memories of The Troubadour? Let’s keep them alive…

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The Speaking Page

To get myself ready to ‘grab some world’, I have been firmly ensconced in my reading chair with a copy of Robert Adamson’s ‘The Clean Dark’.

The Speaking Page (the title poem of the second section of the book), has long been one of my favourite Adamson poems, brimming with his classic Hawkesbury River imagery, so I was thrilled when I came out to the computer and discovered this short film of the poem, read by Robert Adamson with images by his long time partner, Juno Gemes.

So if you too need a fix of the ocean and a hit from one of Australia’s finest living poets, look no further than The Speaking Page.

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A Day Without Music?

To quote Nietzsche, without music, life would be an error. So, here’s a handful of songs to take with you throughout the day… let their lyrics sink deep beneath the skin, let their rhythms drag you from stillness, let their sound colour your daydreams… yes indeed, let there always be a song.

Curse Your Branches: David Bazan

Curse Your Branches is the title track from Bazan’s much anticipated debut longplayer, after years fronting indie favourites, Pedro the Lion. He is a truly gifted songwriter, his lyrics always taking front of stage. What I love about Bazan’s delivery, is that he makes no bones that the lyrics carry the weight; the music is perfectly crafted to carry the words… and they are a joy to listen to. Oh, falling leaves should curse their branches/ For not letting them decide where they should fall. This is folk/pop at it’s very best… unafraid to ask questions of life itself.

Here to Fall – Yo La Tengo

This is another lush, dreamy, slice of psych-pop from indie veterans, Yo La Tengo. The cinematic strings and dark, swirling keys grab you firmly by the ear and place you on some some neon-lit dancefloor, with its blissed-out groove. I am right there when Kaplan reassuringly sings, I know you’re worried / I’m worried, too / But if you’re ready / I’m here to fall with you. And after 25 glorious years in the business, these are some of the safest arms to fall into…

Underwhelmed – The Fauves

I have long been of the opinion that Andrew Cox has one of the sharpest wits in this country and during the course of the last 20 odd years, he has been unafraid to flex his sardonic muscles as chief songwriter for the criminally underrated Australian band, The Fauves. Underwhelmed is the opener from the bands ninth album, When Good Times Go Good. As Cox sings, all the years of waiting/ dreaming of the day/ somehow when it came/ it was underwhelming, you could be forgiven in thinking that Cox is singing about his bands fleeting success (remember the album Future Spa and the 90′s hits, Dogs are the Best People and Self Abuser?), but instead, Cox is poking his angular guitar at the new government, questioning, where’s the revolution? Like all great pop songs, Underwhelmed charms us into cranking the volume and singing along, while quietly questioning our own beliefs.

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Who’s listens to the radio?

2008 has been a strange old year for music. As radio gets more commercial and the new indie set a little too cool, I have found myself turning my back on alot of the new music scene. I have however, managed to discover some real sonic gems… so here they are (in no particular order) a few of the albums that have captured this lost shark and deserve more attention.

13 Blues for Thirteen Moons - Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band

This is an absolute trip from the Montreal ensemble. 13 Blues starts with twelve short drones, each lasting for around 10 seconds before blasting into the first full length song, the intense and mammoth 1,000,000 Died To Make This Sound. From this point in the band holds you in their swirling power as they blast throgh 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons, Black waters Blowed/Engine Broke Blues and BlindBlindBlind. Find yourself a dark space and allow your head to unravel…

Here’s a sample: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=sttO1yabmlc

 

When Good Times Go Good - The Fauves

Little has been said about this band since the early to mid nineties, although they have been releasing a steady stream of albums many which have gone completely unnoticed by the general populace. I certainly hope that is not the case for this album. This is vintage Fauves. Phil ‘The Doctor’ Leonard’s pop melodies work perfectly beside the more angular rock of Andrew Cox. Fight Me I’m 40 should be slaying them on the summer radio circuit. It is a call to arms for all those who revelled in the heady days of the late 80′s/early 90′s indie rock explosion – “When I was your age I had a record deal/ send me a text let me know how you feel.’ The other highlights include opening track Underwhelming, Love Radar and Sunday Drive.

 

proVISIONS – Giant Sand

Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Howe Gelb is the main man behind Giant Sand. proVISIONS is Giant Sand’s first album in four years. It is filled with desert grooves, dustbowl ballads and some wild jazz mood swings. Gelb is a traveler; equal parts Kerouac and Cash. His music has a restless vigour that keeps you guessing and after more than 30 albums, that’s no mean feat. Spiral is spare and evocative – ‘Don’t wanna live forever / but another generation would be nice.’ The cover of PJ Harvey’s Desperate Kingdom of Love, achingly good and there are some incredible collaborations here: the rollicking country of Stranded Pearl with Isobelle Carmody and the late night blues of Without a Word with Neko Case. An album that whispers in your ear and pulls you closer with each listen.

Check this out: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=JCoJLZ87W7A&feature=related

 

Painkiller – Steve Kilbey

Kilbey is one of those people who truly deserve the term artist bestowed upon him. Best known as lead singer and bass player of Australian legends The Church, Kilbey is also respected as a painter, poet, producer and musical collaborator. Painkiller is Kilbey’s ninth solo album outside The Church and other projects and it is an album in the truest sense. This is not made for the iPod shuffle generation. While there are tracks that in another world would be hit singles – Wolf and Outbound – Painkiller is an album that benefits from being played in full. Remember how we all used to rush home and put our latest purchase on, put our feet up and really listen? Remember? This is an album brimming with psych-folk rhythms, ambient blips, driving bass lines and poetic imagery. Take your Painkiller and let the dizzy chaos carry you away.

A little taste for you: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=fhv58p-GSyE

 

Hour to Hour – The Stress of Leisure

Brisbane boy, Ian Powne inhabits the world of The Stress of Leisure. Hour to Hour is the second album and it is bursting at the seams with pop-goodness. Powne, like all great songwriters has that ability to write with an autobiographical eye, while allowing the ‘I’ in the lyric to be universal. These songs shimmer and kick and Powne isn’t afraid to ask the big questions – ‘Do you like your job/ all the hours you put into it?’ – The Weight Of The World. There is an intensity that sits beneath the surface of Hour to Hour, both lyrically and sonically, that drives this album along. The iconic backyard romance of Christine Macpherson burns with longing and missed opportunity; Blues For Britney deconstructs the idea of indulgence and obsession and Man Doll casts a critical eye over love in the 21st century. This might sound a little heavy for most pop records, but that is the beauty of this record. The pop licks and unassuming delivery keep you coming back and each time, the smile is a little wider.

Sample here: www.myspace.com/thestressofleisure 

So… what have you been listening to?

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