As their 25th anniversary approaches art-rock band The Church, having recently returned from international touring, are continuing to push the boundaries of what a rock band should be.
Continue reading The Church
Since the release of his Alligator Records debut Racin’ The Devil, bassist/vocalist/songwriter (and Stray Cats co-founder) Lee Rocker’s solo career has been skyrocketing. Publications from USA Today to Billboard and The New York Times raved about the undeniable power and foot-stomping fun of Rocker’s Americana-based roots rock. OffBeat declared, “What’s most satisfying about Lee Rocker is his ability to graft classic Sun licks and shuffles onto Americana. He bridges the gap between Bruce Springsteen and Hank Williams, Sr.” Bass Player magazine simply said, “He absolutely kills.” Lee’s live shows, fueled by his barnstorming, rocking band, grow wilder each night out. And now, on the heels of the national Stray Cats 2007 summer reunion tour, Lee Rocker is back with his second Alligator album, Black Cat Bone.
The Chicago Tribune describes Rocker’s playing as “muscular and passionate.” The Washington Post says his music consists of “impressive, catchy, driving original songs, frantic romps, finger-snapping swing and brooding slow blues.” Rolling Stone declares, “Lee Rocker’s singing naturally captures the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. His catchy, well-written songs are very difficult to get out of your head.”
Slim Jim Phantom has secured his place as a true rock n roll icon.
|As the legendary drummer for the Stray Cats Phantom, alongside band mates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker, spearheaded the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 80s. With a love for 50s rock n roll the Stray Cats took inspiration from the bygone era and mixed with their youthful energy and aggression produced the updated hard-edged rockabilly sound that saw them conquer London, Europe and later the US, gaining fans among the likes of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Robert Plant along the way.|
To experience some of the best live music Australia has to offer this Labour Day long weekend, there’s only one place to be – The Caxton Street Seafood Festival.
This year’s Festival will be held on Sunday 4 May 2008, and along with delicious seafood, wine and beer, there’s a sight and sound for every musical palate.
There’s a massive amount of locally home-grown talent on offer including the likes of Nik Phillips, Nina May, DJ Jimmy Z, the infectiously manic Butterfingers and electro tinged rock band, Elation.
The eclectic mix also includes indie rocker Diana Anaid, jazz diva Grace Knight and trio and Sydney based hip hop and beats label, Urthboy.
Continue reading The Caxton Street Seafood Festival – Sunday 4th May 2008
An estimated 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the 12th annual Buddha Birth Day Festival. The Festival is a signature cultural event for Queensland and is now one of the largest Buddhist celebrations in the world.
Endorsing this year’s theme of “Harmony in All”, the Festival promotes a peaceful existence and appreciation of Australia’s multicultural identity and focuses on generating community and individual ‘respect for life’.
Spread over 12 locations throughout the South Bank Parklands, the Buddha Birth Day Festival involves over 700 volunteers, 300 performers, 200 events, 2 performance stages, a fireworks display, 21 information and meditation sessions including 2 multi-faith forums, 18 Cultural, Art and Environmental activities for the children, a Children’s Amusement Area with a number of rides, an Art Exhibition, an organised Festival tour for over 1,000 school children, 50 food and merchandise stalls and 4 Official functions including the Opening Ceremony on Saturday night.
[photo: Stuart Blythe]
Youthful naivety can produce flashes of rock & roll excitement, but genuine experience and the passage of time can turn a good band into a truly great one. Now, more than a decade on from when the young Fremantle trio leapt onto the national stage, Eskimo Joe are taking a big, bold step towards music greatness.
On the eve of releasing their fourth album, the horizon has broadened. Band members Kav Temperley, Stu MacLeod and Joel Quartermain, have never been ones who ascribe to the status quo and consequently have proven there’s a whole world of possibilities to explore – if you simply follow your heart, listen to your muse and make the most of your talent.
Their third album, Black Fingernails, Red Wine, was a brazen step forward for a band borne of a scene that doesn’t always encourage grand statements. This dark edgy collection of songs was a monumental leap forward and landed the band not only quadruple platinum sales, but a number #1 charting album along with industry accolades with four ARIA Awards’>ARIA Awards in Australia. Consequently their world expanded.
Eskimo Joe landed a US Record deal with the respected Rykodisc, and proceeded to explore new territory. Humility coupled with a huge dynamic on-stage performance, elevated the band in the minds and hearts of locals. Their sheer perseverance from starting at the beginning again in a notoriously tough market, generated a solid base of fans.
The culmination of this international touring experience has creatively given way to new material for album number four. Looking to further shake-up their methodology, Eskimo Joe have now enlisted the assistance of world renowned English Producer, Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen). While Black Fingernails, Red Wine was an award winning first attempt at self-production, this time, the trio have openly embraced the challenge of outside perspectives.
A background of bold production brushstrokes cleverly reflecting material that has, thematically, just as much personality on display, Eskimo Joe aim to further showcase developments in their songwriting on the forthcoming album. Through previous award-winning albums, A Song Is A City and Black Fingernails, Red Wine, this consistent aspiration is vividly evident.
|Now more than ever at home in their own skin, the trio raise the bar set by past albums with the forthcoming album number four. The songs move to a brighter, dynamic mood reflecting both recent events in both their personal lives and on a universal front without abandoning the everlasting desire of forward movement. Unashamed emotion and unguarded personality envelope every track.
So, after ten years together, lesser bands may ponder what roads are left to travel… Eskimo Joe actively embrace the wide-open road before them earnestly and proudly, while being not afraid to try some roads less traveled along the way.
The GreazeFest is Australia’s annual kustom kulture weekender celebrating rockabilly and psychobilly music, custom cars, vintage bikes and lowriders, pinstriping, low brow artwork, dancing, fashion, and other cool stuff born in the 1950s.
Now in it’s ninth year, the GreazeFest has become a yearly pilgrimage for rockabilly and kustom kulture fans from all parts of the globe.
Held at Souths, West End – Brisbane, Australia between July 31 and August 3, 2008.
6 Magical days & unforgettable nights – Amamoor Creek State Forest Park (near Gympie, QLD)
Held among the towering gums of Amamoor Creek State Forest Park, the Toyota National Country Music Muster boasts a myriad of musical excitement, all just a short stroll between venues. Along the site’s forested pathways, you’ll find amazing street theatre, roving bands, markets galore, art auctions, wine tastings, kids playstations – discover why the Toyota Muster is one of Australia’s most spectacular events!
More details as they come to hand…
The festival gods were smiling once again on Sunday when a clear blue sky greeted the V Festival as it rolled into the rolling hills surrounds of the Avica Resort on the Gold Coast.
The day brought with it a huge host of bands and thousands of music loving punters, and one Sir Richard Branson who cruised the festival meeting punters and having a great time himself.
In everyone’s life, there is music that defines certain events, or entire generations, and this festival certainly had these on the bill.
Headliners Duran Duran, Smashing Pumpkins, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Presets and Jesus and Mary Chain are among these for many and they were sure to delight. But the earliest acts were dropped as the official start time was postponed until 2pm.
Sadly the days of rain beforehand had turned most of the venue into a muddy slop-fest (that smelled like manure in places) but it failed to dampen spirits despite claiming many pairs of thongs in the boggy holes that were knee deep in some parts.
But we were there for the music. And after wading our way through the bar line and across the crowded fields, there were more problems as the first band on the main stage, Hot Hot Heat, were delayed a further 30 minutes before microphone problems caused more chaos.
But the show did go on and fans were treated to a cracker set from Modest Mouse and Cut Copy, and while Roisin Murphy did nothing to thrill me, a large crowd was singing along to her latest hit.
As the sun set the action picked up as the big names hit the stages.
Queens Of The Stone Age, led by founding member Josh Homme delivered all their hits with high energy and power.
And in the name of safety it was good to see them halt their set when one loser fan threw a can at the stage, only to find himself berated and belittled by Josh before the music continued.
Seeing The Pumpkins was a thrill for me and it was awesome to see them come out on stage and kick off with Today, my personal favourite, for which the crowd sang the first verse without Corgan whose grin and applause for the crowd gave way to a set of sing-a-longs from their biggest albums Siamese Dream and Mellan Collie and The Infinite Sadness as well as newer hits from the 2007 release Zeitgeist.
Rounding out the day, The Presets had a huge dance space cranking in the mud with young and old bouncing up and down to My People, Are You The One, Down Down Down and more, with their live performance assuring fans that the forthcoming new album is sure to be another winner.
Once again Mr Branson has delivered a great festival. The transport out of the venue seemed to go well with shuttles to park and ride stations. The only downside seems to be the $9.50 drinks and $4 waters, far too few toilets and the dodgy stage lateness.
But if you were there I’m sure you didn’t care.
As the final summer festival for 2008, we now look towards Splendour In The Grass which has now been confirmed as the first weekend in August.
The East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival Byron Bay (or BluesFest) is held at the Belongil Fields, Ewingsdale Road in Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend (20th March – 24 March 2008). A line up of international and national blues, folk, hip hop, reggae, roots, soul, rock, and world musicians have been put together to perform and includes the amazing Sinead O’Connor, KT Tunstall, Patty Griffin, Clare Bowditch, Xavier Rudd, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Keith Urban, John Butler Trio, Lior and many, many more!
The Byron Bay Blues festival is truly an event and shouldn’t be missed! The new venue is roomy and the event is massive!! Along with the fantastic musical lineup, roaming entertainment and food stalls that sell really good food, I have too tip my hat too the organisers… the complete setup is run with precision. Transport, security, service, sanity, schedule, direction… everything was organised, ensuring that the average punter had an memorable experience!
Fraser Island – The worlds largest sand island is a paradise of immense beauty and wonder. Lush rainforests, crystal clear lakes, giant trees, enormous sandblows, shipwreck, wildlife, beaches and more…
I was fortunate to have a day of four-wheel driving through this wonderland and discovered an amazing array of contrasting landscapes (eg. forests that surrond huge sandblows). A day will only afford you visits to a small number of attractions (given the size of the island and the slowish pace required to navigate the sand tracks) and entice you back to see more. The Maheno shipwreck was definitely a hightlight as was the rain forest around “Central Station” – originally used as a logging station (what were people thinkin!). Also managed Wabby Lake and Lake mcKenzie (and when “they” say crystal clear – they really mean crystal clear).
This truly is a special place!
The Gin Club are a Brisbane-based musical collective who have been performing since 2003. Their self-titled debut album, recently released through Plus One Records and distributed by Reverberation is an eclectic mix of traditional folk, blues and country styles, featuring five distinctive song-writing voices backed by cello, accordion, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone. Their influences include Hank Williams, The Band, Bob Dylan, Crowded House, and Neil Young. Live, they often perform covers by Will Oldham, Spiritualized and The Rolling Stones.
The Gin Club have performed extensively throughout Brisbane and have recently completed a tour of New South Wales with Sydney’s theredsunband. Their growing reputation as a powerful live act has seen them gain support slots for international artists Papa M and Iron & Wine, and Australian heroes You Am I. They have also been featured in TripleJ’s Aus Music month program as part of the ‘next crop’ of Australian artists.
Buy Now! Available from Plus One Records
Fear Of The Sea
Buy Now! Available from or Plus One Records
Gabriel + Drugflowers
Buy Now! Available on or Plus One Records
Buy Now! Available on or Plus One Records