Tag Archives: Australia

FEATURED FRIDAYS – My Favourite Video: Marcus Azon

Marcus Azon is an Australian musician.
He is the guitarist and vocalist of Jinja Safari.
His favourite video is Miss Misery by Elliott Smith.

This clip is a favorite purely for the personal connection I have to it. There are a lot more impressive videos, brimming with outstanding effects, and complex narrative. But this video is so simple, that it leaves you with an image you can’t shake, years after watching it. For me, it epitomizes a very specific time in my life; and a time where i felt i could relate to almost every Elliott Smith lyric. It’s really interesting to watch him in this clip, because it’s essentially just a one-man performance piece. I’ve got every album, B-side, demo etc. that he has released; and am still fascinated by him as a writer and performer. Always lyrically inventive, and melodically unpredictable. Maybe it’s the finality of his untimely death that has left him immortalized, to leave us thinking “What else could he have done?” But what he did leave was a catalogue of music that is continually inspiring. From what I know, he wasn’t the most comfortable live performer, and frequently made mistakes, which lead people (including himself) to think he was a poor performer. But i think his performance in this clip is as honest as you’ll ever see.

Jinja Safari‘s debut self-titled album is available now via Island Records.
You can purchase it here.

They will also be undertaking a national tour in September,
starting on the Sunshine Coast and finishing in Bunbury.
For a full run of dates and to purchase tickets, visit the band’s official website.

Old Favourites: Beyonce feat. Jay-Z – “Crazy in Love”

“It’s the beat that my heart skips when I’m with you…”

So, after years of neither one of them visiting Australia, both Knowles sisters are coming to Australia. This is good. This is very, very good. Solange, who kicked a lot of arse last year with her gorgeous video for Losin’ You, will be here in December for Falls Festival. Roughly a month and change beforehand, though, we’re getting an arena tour from the one and only Beyonce. This is my first time seeing Queen B in action, and I am expecting something that’s nothing short of exhilarating. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for a big show like this one.

I wasn’t always such a gushing queer over Bee, y’know. Back when I was a mad alternative triple j we love music kid, I was never allowed to like Beyonce. That was for GIRLS. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. That was, of course, before this ditty came around. Sure, I didn’t appreciate it at first – girl germs, rnb “not reel music” etc. But it was probably around 2007 that I snapped and realised I was holding back my enjoyment of this superwoman and her music for no real reason at all. So, I stopped being a fuckhead and immersed myself in all things Beyonce.

This video, in particular, has stood the test of time for me as one of the definitive moments in her career – not only voted as the greatest song of the 2000s, but a glistening and all-out video that made everything else stop dead in its tracks. Even though Wikipedia itself admitted that “the video is essentially plotless,” you have to ask yourself: Who’s watching Beyonce videos for the PLOT? There are insane chunks of choreography! Fast cars! Jay-Z just being a flat out dude! I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to live in a world where this isn’t awesome. I don’t want to be there anymore. I’m in a safe – and far, far better – place now. Now, SHAKE!

Watch This Now: bAnoffee – “Ninja”

“If the wind has got you shaking, I will be your blanket…”

It was the very first day of 2010 that I was first introduced to Martha Brown. Her band, Otouto, were playing at a showcase for Popfrenzy records, downstairs at the Civic Hotel. I remember it vividly – I had never heard them before, and as they were playing I had never heard anything like them before. It was truly amazing stuff. I gushed to Martha about their music and bought their single, Sushi, from them. Although they’ve been a bit quiet lately, they remain one of my absolute favourite Australian bands. Ever? Probably. They mean a lot to me. Some of the best nights I’ve ever had have been at Otouto shows. I mean that.

Here we are in 2013, and Martha is finally shifting the gears on her solo project, bAnoffee. This is the first single to be released from the project, and it makes me very excited for where her solo sound is headed. Directing is Alice Glenn, Martha’s cousin who also directed the two brilliant Otouto clips for Sushi and W. Hilliar, the latter of which made it into my best videos of 2010 list. It’s a simple and intimate portrayal of Martha, who is shown training and air-boxing throughout the clip. Some tender close-up shots and some really cool backwards/forwards shots of Martha wrapping tape around her arms adds to the awe-inspiring visuals. It’s not too complicated or demanding, and it suits the song beautifully. No matter how much things change, some things always stay the same – my music crush on Martha Brown isn’t going away anytime soon.

The Cringe: Deane Wyldman – “Gold Coast’n”

“Five chicks to one, ain’t no time for respect…”

This video came out about six months after I started my blog. To this day, I have absolutely no idea why it’s taken me this long to get around to it. It’s one of the all-time great bad videos, a nasty cultural cringe that has aged horribly (which, considering it’s not even three years old, is saying something). We don’t even know that much about the guy in question – Deane “Deanzy” Wyldman has not been heard of from or since, despite attempts to break into the mainstream both here and in the States with this video. This one didn’t even reach six figures in clip views, and today we’re here to explain why.

Our adventure begins with Deane being woken up by a Skype call… that goes directly to his TV for some reason. “We’re going out!” says the blonde ditz. Wait, isn’t it the morning? Has Deanzy slept until the afternoon? We have no clue where we are or why they’re planning to go out so early. “Where are we going?” asks our hero. “Gold Coast, baby,” she responds. Now, wait just a second – aren’t they already ON the Gold Coast? Isn’t that where this guy supposedly lives? Where else would they be going out? Tamworth? It’s worth pointing out that this complex in my brain has started even before the song has properly started. Naturally, it can only get better from this point.

As we move into the verses, there’s a guy I want you to look out for. It’s the guy with the spiky blonde hair – you’ll be able to recognise him pretty easily, as he’s a good twentysomething years older than everyone around him. I can’t tell if they’re trying to pass him off as a bodyguard (which is EXACTLY what you need when you’ve got eighty thousand views on YouTube) or if he’s supposed to be one of their mates. He isn’t very convincing as either, and comes across roughly as awkward as the other dancing friend in the Friday video. You know the one.

From there, we get some joyless shots of Deane and the crew flying in a helicopter. Seconds later, it’s suddenly night time and we’re all up in the club. Yes, it is exactly as uncomfortable as you would expect. Cheap choreography, girls that look dead in the eyes dancing away and, in perhaps the most laughable moment of the whole thing, Deanzy dropping a stack of clearly fake cash to pay for all the drinks he and the girls are doing to be downing. Get fucked, stud – that isn’t even your goddamn house that you walked out of! Don’t give me that shit!

So: Is it wrong to invest so much into something that clearly had no thought process? Maybe a little. All I can tell you is that I am so very, very glad that this exists. No, truly! It’s one of the absolute great bad clips that this country has ever produced, up there with Warrick Capper‘s and the immortal Tamara Jaber trilogy we featured some time ago. It shows you how literally everything  can go wrong, and how gloriously hilarious the results can be. I leave you with this, a real quote from the video’s comment section:

“oi bro dis is sik as ay da chix r way hot n da corous is heaps cachy. Gettin a mad pitbull vibe good stuff man keep it up. GC reperzent!”

That’s completely unedited, too. Party on.

Watch This Now: Bliss n Eso – “Act Your Age”

“You’re livin’ it like it’s all the movies, still killin’ shit on Call of Duty…”

Is it somewhat of a paradox to call one of Australia’s most successful acts underrated? Yes, Bliss n Eso have broken through to the mainstream with gold albums, sell-out shows and popular singles… and yet they are just so often maligned, insulted, thrown to the proverbial wolves. It’s just so utterly uncool to like these guys now – and, although I can see why (their ratty fanbase constantly starts fights at their shows and give the band a bad rap), I truly don’t think they deserve it. I’m not their #1 fan or anything, but sometimes they just know how to deliver the goods for some fun, interesting hip-hop.

Take this whole dealio for example, which samples from the Bluejuice hit from a couple of years ago, Act Yr Age. Thankfully, BnE haven’t decided to replicate that video… however, we do get ourselves a nice wild party from the crew. There’s a stack of random people in there, like the little boy from Channel [V] with the afro and that guy from YouTube, Alex Williamson; who recently got called out by Briggs for a racist Tweet and proved to be a bit of a coward in the whole thing. As such, I’m less cool now with him than I ever have been – and I found his comedy to be overrated in the first place. But we’re getting sidetracked. When there’s as much fun to be had here, you don’t want to get distracted. There’s pool partying, there’s wild dancing… and, naturally, Jake and Stav from Bluejuice end up with their shirts off. It always ends with that. At least, it bloody well should.

Watch This Now: Sick Puppies – “There’s No Going Back”

“I was a dick when I was 17, I thought the world brought me everything…”

Remember 2006? What a time, hey. The fringes, the sing-alongs, the free hugs… oh yeah, there were Free Hugs alright! Remember Juan Mann? You don’t, but I do! The guy pretty much just went around Sydney with a sign saying FREE HUGS and gave out those hugs. For free. A montage was made of JM in action, and set to a tepid ballad called All the Same by Australian band Sick Puppies. Seventy million views later, both Juan and the Puppies had their fifteen minutes of fame lined up. So, what happened when it was up? Juan Mann retired in 2009 or thereabouts – yeah, you can retire from hugging. Sadly, Sick Puppies didn’t get the hint. They moved to America and became a wrestling-metal band, cranking up their fake American accents to the point where you could never tell they lived anywhere remotely close to Australia.

Here’s their latest. They’re now four records into their career, and into the full swing of being a soul-patch wearing, mmyeah-heayuh-slurring douche-rock band. And they’re into the ballad territory again with this piece of shit. The only thing more laughable than the faux-angst of the song itself is probably the green-screen-heavy video. Lots of sitting in the sand, grunting, posing, posturing, angst-ing, grumbling, smoldering for the camera etc etc etc. You get the idea. You’ve seen this shit before, surely. It’s pretty hilari-bad. Who is this music for, exactly? Those of us who yearn for the days of 2001? Seriously? I got nothing. Do with this whatever you will. Please dispose of it thoughtfully. This puppy needs to be put down.

Watch This Now: Kirin J Callinan – “Victoria M”

“I’m in love with two, but I could never tell you…” 

Yeah yeah, been sick and busy. Not a good combo. As a result, I’m late to yet another party – this time the brilliantly weird new video from Kirin J Callinan. This sonic adventurer has been a guest on the blog before, but we’ve never actually had the time to feature one of his videos. Which is a shame, and a total oversight on my behalf – especially considering how much I am loving his debut solo album, Embracism. It’s an incredible-sounding record, brimming with fearless concepts and ideas, mixed in with jarring noise and abstract lyrics – he’s definitely the kind of artist that enjoys clearing the room of squares as quickly as possible.

He even manages to do so here, which is arguably the most “conventional” – or, dare it be said, “pop” – song that he’s released under his solo moniker to date. The song becomes the opening credits to a midday soap opera, in which KJC plays every single character. There’s something quite fascinating about watching him go from bumbling waiter to bikie thug to innocent schoolgirl and back again. It’s all just a bit of low-budget fun with costumes, really. How much enjoyment you get out of it will really just come back to your degree of comfort with the man, his music and the frequent cross-dressing. Can’t please everyone, but I can’t imagine that would be very far up Kirin’s to-do list.

FEATURED FRIDAYS – My Favourite Video: Tim Hart

Tim Hart is an Australian singer-songwriter, best known as the
drummer and vocalist of Boy and Bear.

His favourite video is Always by Junip.

For me, when I look at film clips, I like to see something new and fresh, rather than the age-old band performance clip. Because, let’s face it… they’ve been done to death. Having said that, I’m aware that I’ve been part of such clips; but, for my 2 cents this one is a cracker. It was shot mostly at the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland and it’s weird. I guess, at a stretch, it is technically a performance clip; but the way that it’s done is great.

It starts in a dingy bar with what we assume is a covers musician playing in the corner of a pretty empty bar. There is one rather intense, slightly creepy guy drinking and smoking in a booth. He is staring at the guy playing covers he reaches his hands towards him and miraculously the guitar disappears. The covers musician doesn’t seem to notice and keeps playing. The weird guy then walks in to a room where the three members of Junip are sitting around playing the song together and he performs the same transformation on them, before taking them to air guitar school.

I think this video is great because it has a narrative and it manages to convey it effectively (something that so many videos attempt to do and fail at). The culmination of the video is the band been wheeled up on to stage at the air guitar world championships and sitting on the stage in the same very understated formation they were playing in when Weird Creepy Guy discovered them. I love that the director was clearly taking a shot at the overly serious “trying to be rock and roll” videos, and I think he nails it. In the end, creepy guy doing weird dance moves+ air guitar + Junip = my favourite film clip.

Boy and Bear‘s new album, Harlequin Dream, is in stores August 16th.
You can pre-order the album here (physical) or here (digital).
The band are also headed out on a national tour in support of the record.
All tour dates can be found on their official website.

Watch This Now: Nick van Breda – “The World and the Everyday”

“You know revolution is still just a t-shirt away…”

As a constant face on Sydney’s alt/indie/rock/whatever music scene, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Nick van Breda around if you consider yourself somewhat of a regular. From his days drumming up a storm for Staying at Home to his recent banjo-slinging work with Pinch Hitter, the guy continues to be one of the hardest-working (and, it has to be noted, loveliest) guys in Sydney town. So, why are we talking about him today? Well, because – believe it or not, as it’s a bit out of the ordinary for this blog – Nick’s got a video!

So, what kind of hijinks can we expect from NvB? Well, he’s teamed up with James Mackay, a Perth-based director, to create a bright, picturesque interpretation of the song’s struggle to compromise big dreams with mundane tasks. Mackay takes Nick from his bedroom and into the big, bright world; guitar in tow and a fancy car to cruise about in. The cinematography and the locations used are nothing short of gorgeous, and it culminates beautifully. How? Yeah, I’m not gonna say. The joy that comes with its surprise is what makes the video for me. Also, for the geeks: Look out for some cameos from two-thirds of Milhouse; aka the Top 10-placing band of the best videos of 2012. How wonderful life is!

FEATURED FRIDAYS – My Favourite Video: Tim Adderley

tim adderley live

Tim Adderley is an Australian musician, who is the drummer for post-rock legends sleepmakeswaves.

His favourite videos are Windowlicker by Aphex Twin and Everlong by the Foo Fighters.

Video clips were probably one of my first introductions to music along with my parents’ records. When I was about 5 years old, I lived in an area that only got (bad) ABC reception. I watched Rage every Saturday morning. I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to watch half those clips at that age, but for whatever reason, I got a real buzz out of it. Alice Cooper‘s Poison was a standout. Pretty risqué for a 5 to 7 year old at the time.

Later on in high school, I stayed up late to tape my favorite bands’ clips on my VCR and these days, I often watch them online with my girlfriend and/or friends over a few drinks at home. I still wake up on weekend mornings, turn on the TV and hope to catch an hour or so of new clips over coffee. I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite. I enjoy so many for all kinds of reasons, whether they’re clever, beautiful, shameless or just a band I really like.

Sometimes they’re just so bad, I can’t look away! I am however partial to a clip that’s a bit weird and makes me laugh. So based on that, I would pick the extended version of Windowlicker by Aphex Twin and Everlong by the Foo Fighters.

The extended intro to Windowlicker cracks me up every time. However it’s pretty extreme, so folks who’re easily offended should avoid the start (and probably the whole clip for that matter). From there, there’s a slick solo dance routine… and then it just keeps getting creepier in true Aphex Twin fashion. Everlong has always been a favorite Foo Fighters song of mine, and the clip is just great from start to finish. In particular, the giant telephone, the giant hand and when the characters morph into the band members, a guitar appears from under Pat Smear‘s costume and (the best bit of all) the bed turns into a drum kit!

Both these acts have other great clips as well. These are just a couple that came to mind. Overall, both had me hooked straight away and they’re both cool songs.

sleepmakeswaves are currently in the midst of a national tour. Tonight, they play the first of two shows at the Annandale Hotel. Tickets are available here

The band are also hitting up Newcastle, Melbourne, Port Macquarie, Brisbane, Fremantle, Perth and Adelaide on their “…and so we played everything” tour. For a full run of dates and ticket info, visit the event page here.


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