Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bawley (Hearts) 2010: Top 3 Concerts of the Year: Hummer

This year I missed both the European and Australian summers which (as well as leaving me with the whitest skin I have had in my life) means I also missed the chance to see a lot of touring bands in 2010.

I saw too few shows to produce a Top 5, but a few of the live acts I did see stood out from the rest. Here is my Top 3 concerts of 2010:

3. LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip, Horden Pavilion, Sydney, 26/07/2010

The LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip show delivered everything it promised and more. Hot Chip called the otherwise absent Joe Goddard in via video conference to recreate the highlights of their brilliant One Life Stand album. LCD Soundsystem again proved that they are the best live dance band, with the best songs. (full review)

2. Whitley, The Maram, Erindale, 18/08/2010

One of the best but also one of the strangest shows I attended all year, Whitley's final ever Canberra show was full of beautifully depressed songs, artist audience clashes and suicidal ramblings.
"this one is about suicide" (full review)
1. Band of Horses, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 29/07/2010

A serious stomach bug kept me from seeing Band of Horses at Glastonbury in 2008, two years to the day later I have my first chance to see the hirsute band in action. The band's huge set stamps along at a great pace, new songs stand their own, but it was seeing this band play There Is A Ghost, The Funeral, and Ode To LRC that made tonight worth the two year wait. (full review)

Friday, 24 December 2010

Vote now to help make 2010 a year we can all love

Long time readers will be well aware of the Bawley crew’s love/hate relationship with the triple j Hottest 100.

Voting in this year’s poll is open now; help make the 2010 list one we can all love. Vote here.

Be sure to write down who you voted for, you will need to know this to take part in the famous Bawley Are You Joe Average? Quiz –last years results

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Bawley (Hearts) 2010: Bottom 5 album covers of the Year

So many bad album covers this year, Devo and Brian Ferry went for glamor mag gloss, Yeasayer had some kind of brain seizure, Kings of Leon explored phallic island and Kanye West showed us way more than we ever wanted to see. Still nothing was worse than these my Bottom 5 album covers of the year.

5. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II)

The CD sleeve notes state that the album cover is a photo of X Tecumseh Clark taken by his father, avant-garde composer and poet Todd Tamanend Clark.

Yep about as interesting as it sounds.

4. Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Sadly this is not the soundtrack to Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.

3. Band of Horses - Infinite Arms


2. MGMT - Congratulations
MGMT do what Nintendon't - pitchfork media
This scratch and sniff disaster was my early favourite for worst album cover of the year. Who could of thought that worse was still to come.

1. M.I.A. - /\/\ /\ Y /\

The cover art on M.I.A.'s /\/\ /\ Y /\ is a bigger disaster than the album itself. The YouTube progress bars had been outdated before this album was released, the Tetris brick walls are horrible and can anybody tell me why MIA has spelt her name out in gold bullion?

One part hilarious ten parts hideous , congratulations to M.I.A.; runaway winner for 2010's worst cover album art.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Bawley (Hearts) 2010: Top 5 album covers of the Year

Most of world may have moved to digital downloads, that doesn't mean we can't continue to enjoy good album cover art. Here are five of my favorites from 2010.

5. Kele - The Boxer

Kele Okereke the muscled prize fighter. I dare you to tell him that you preferred him when he was in Bloc Party.

4. Massive Attack - Heligoland

Designed by band member (and former graffiti artist) Robert Del Naja who poured over 100s of photos, stencils and original art works before coming up with the street art inspired cover.

The London underground then banned Massive Attack from advertising the album in any of the city's Tube stations, because the art work looks too much like graffiti.

3. Grinderman - Grinderman 2
"Like a wolf showing its teeth in the front room"
Is there any better way to describe Grinderman's second album?

2. Klaxons - Surfing the Void

When a band uses an internet meme as their album art the result is usually uncreative, uninteresting and entirely lame. On the front cover of Surfing the Void, Klaxons have used the greatest meme of them all the lolcat, but somehow it works.

I think it is the dull stair in the cat's eyes; where is he going what adventures will he have when he gets there, will he make it home safely - we will never know.

1. Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine (re-issue)

The new artwork is little more than an update of the original album's cover but it is the story of lost originals, double blind searches and high-res drawings and 1989-like filters that makes this my favourite album cover art of 2010.

Bawley (Hearts) 2010: Top 5 concerts of the year: Nick

Despite being sadly absent from a certain double headline show , I've enjoyed a great year for live music. Here were my favourite shows:

5. The New Pornographers, Manning Bar, Sydney, 10/11/2010

The Canadian collective travelled to Australia complete with all their vocalists, (including the brilliant Neko Case) which is something of a rarity. As a result we were able to enjoy the full force of their their complicated vocal (and whistling!) harmonies, and super-catchy pop tunes. The band's rhythm section also treated to a spontaneous cover of Rush's 'The Spirit Of The Radio'. Result!

4. Blind Boys Of Alabama, Opera House, 5/6/2010

Complete with guest vocal performances from a suitably cantankerous Lou Reed, and an enormously pregnant My Brightest Diamond, this bunch of 80 something year old blind men made a glorious noise, and put many a much younger band to shame with the energy and passion of their performance. Properly life affirming.

3. British Sea Power, Manning Bar, Sydney, 20/02/2010

Any show that ends with members of the band attaching themselves to members of the audience with long stands of gaffer tape, accompanied by noisy guitar feedback, is a good one in my book.

2. Pavement, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 4/3/2010

It was the band's second show in ten years (following the first date of their reunion world tour in New Zealand, a couple of nights earlier) - but they looked and sounded exactly like no time had passed (by which I mean 'endearingly shambolic').

1. Decemberists, Beck's Festival Bar, Hyde Park Barracks, 20/01/2010

Perfect confluence of band and venue, audience participation and a perfect set made for a hugely memorable performance. FasterLouder review

Runners Up:
Al Green, The Domain, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Oxford Art Factory, Datarock, Metro Theatre

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Bawley (Hearts) 2010: Top 5 Covers of the Year

5. Klaxons - Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)

Every list of best-of-covers must contain at least one cool indie band covering a massive pop song, so here it is. (link - skip to 2:52)

4. Regina Spektor - No Surprises (Radiohead)

Spektor recorded this song in support of Médecins Sans Frontières. It is a great cover done for a great cause. Buy the charity single on iTunes or listen to the Triple j recording (link - 10:40)

3. Gorillaz - Crystallised (The Xx)

Gorillaz had a huge 2010, taking their Plastic Beach tour from Glasto to Damascus to Sydney. Along the way they stopped to record a few tracks on Radio 1's Live Lounge. Originals Melancoly Hill and Doncamatic were overshadowed by this brilliant cover of The Xx's Bawley 100 wining track Crystalised. (video)

2. Grizzly Bear - Boy From School (Hot Chip)

Grizzly Bear covering Hot Chip could have been a disaster, luckily guys remembered the vocals and pulled off this brilliant cover. (link - 11:55)

1. Beck's Record Club - Never Tear Us Apart (INXS)

In 2010 Beck's record club covered two drastically different albums INXS's Kick and Yanni's Yanni, Live at the Acropolis. Far and away the highlight of all these sessions came when St. Vincent, Os Mutantes, Liars, Annie Clark and Beck took on INXS's iconic 80's teen movie song Never Tear Us Apart. Just watch.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Live Review: Faster Louder Canberra Christmas Party, The Front, Lyneham, 10/12/2010

Last night I was lucky enough to score an invite to the fasterlouder.com.au Canberra Christmas party. This wonderful evening hosted at The Front started with a set from The Love Recession; now a three piece, the boys played a great set of folk inspired rock (or without a drummer is it now rock inspired folk?).

Performance poet Andrew Galan kept everyone's (at times uncomfortable) attention with a series of poems about wasting away your life, care bears and disappointment.

Next up were Cracked Actor, to say they were channelling Radiohead would be a massive understatement. The four piece combine high hat heavy percussion, dreamy falsetto vocals, sparse guitars, glitchy samples and unusual song transitions to great affect. At times I was not sure if I was at The Front listening to my new favourite Canberra band or hunched over my laptop streaming In Rainbows II*. (*In Rainbows II may not/never exist)

CJ Bowerbird takes the mic for more between band poetry he is less confrontation but just as engaging as Galan. And just as Galan did before him CJ finishes his performance with a ode to Canberra, CJ Bowerbirds Canberra is not the the shiny facade presented as the nation's capital but the filthy underbelly of a living city.

The nights final act was Evan and the Brave. the star of the band is obliviously former idol contestant Daniel Mifsud but to say the other guys (The Brave?) don't add anything would be grossly unfair. The band combine beautifully throughout the set their instrumental and vocal harmonies have the room mesmerised.

All up the fasterlouder.com.au Canberra Christmas party was a great night and a fitting farewell to the sites local content editor.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Live Review: Basement Birds, The Metro, Sydney, 20/08/2010

Opening act The Sun Orchestra's short set is pleasant but largely talked over by the small crowd of early comers.

The room has got noticeably busier by the time second support Old Man River takes to the stage. The Old Man River live show is wonderful, the band delivers a full sound and while I didn't know many of the songs, radio singles Norway, You On My Mind and Sunshine are crowd pleasers. It is front man Ohan Rein's stage presence that impresses me most, he does a brilliant job of getting the crowd up dancing and even (unbelievably for a support act) participating in a call/response sing-a-long for La.

Basement Birds are an the Australian indie/folk super group made up of Josh Pyke, Kevin Mitchell (Bob Evans/Jebediah), Kav Temperley (Eskimo Joe), and Steve Parkin (Autopilot). Like many a super group before, the bands album fizzed - the whole was less than the sum of its parts and I was left wondering what was the point of Basement Birds.

The show starts with the four famous birds lined up along the front of the stage, members of The Sun Orchestra are filling in on drums and slide guitar from the darker back half of the stage. Opening track Waiting For You is the perfect place to start, as each of the guys sing their opening lines they are welcomed with an individual cheer from the appreciative audience.

As Basement Birds progress through the show they share the lead vocals and spot light around, a song or two at a time. The chemistry between the four band mates is clear; they are friends and in this band they are having a great time.

With just the one album of original songs behind them the 'birds treat the audience to a few covers, including a beautiful version of Sarah Blasko's All I Want and a more light hearted, jovial take on the Grease Mega Mix.

Josh Pyke and Bob Evans get perhaps the greatest share of the vocals, certainly they fill most of the between song gaps, but Basement Birds greatest weapon is the four part harmony - when their voices come together it is like honey for the ears.

As the main set ends, the band announce that they will be joined by a special guest to help out on Bus Stop. Sadly it is not Julia Stone but the Julia Stone singers, a selection of girls plucked from the audience. The fun being had by the girls on stage is contagious, the whole room is singing along, never been happier.

The show finishes with the band's cover of The Presets My People; the four guys playing, singing, dancing and smiling together on stage. I think that this - four guys having some fun with their mates - is exactly the point of Basement Birds.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Deftones should no longer exist; the rap-metal genre they helped define went out of fashion more than a decade ago, bassist Chi Cheng remains in a semi-comatose state following a 2008 car accident and after spending some two years and many millions of dollars recording their Eros album the band decided to toss the whole thing in the bin a start again. But somehow the band have rarely sounded as alive as they do on Diamond Eyes.

The album starts with title track Diamond Eyes; huge riffs, epic chorus and soaring vocals the result is massive. Royal and CMND/CTRL manage to deliver all the spite of early era Deftones but with the maturity of a band beyond its 20th year.

Deftones have reined in the experimental influences that derailed parts of their post White Pony work. Pleasingly this has not been done at the expense of the dense sounds of their 2006 album Saturday Night Wrist. You've Seen the Butcher is a great example of what Deftones do today; the huge metal riff is accompanied by crashing percussion and reverb soaked vocals the whole thing swamped in ambient effects.

Deftones have never hidden their love of new wave and British romantic music. These influences can be found in the Cure-esk baseline of Beauty School and Morrissey like vocals of This Place is Death. More than just a Smiths revivalist front man Chino Moreno shows great vocal range across the album after tearing his throat out on CMND/CTRL and Rocket Skates his voice is stadium big on Risk before showing his melodic side on Sextape and 976-EVIL.

Closer This Place is Death is a triumph itself and a more than fitting end to this album of decadent heavy music.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Hot Chip - One Life Stand / We Have Remixes EP

From the cautionary tales of Thieves In the Night to the emotive pleas of Take It In, One Life Stand is Hot Chip's electro-pop ode to commitment. By keeping tightly on this theme it is also Hot Chip's most consistent album.

Many people are saying that One Life Stand is Hot Chip's grown up record. Sure, much of the album is slower, smother and more considered than the bands previous work, but it is in no way less fun. Hand Me Down Your Love gets things moving with a kicking backbeat before the title track delivers what is perhaps the best piece of pop music I have heard in years.

It is not all slow and sensible, as the reins are loosened a little on euphoric dance tracks I Feel Better and We Have Love, both of which sound like they have been pulled straight from the ecstasy filled raves of the early 90s. (This is a good thing.)

If One Night Stand is about the commitment required to live your own one life stand, the We Have Remixes EP explores the fun that can be had when others are invited into your bedroom.

The four track EP sees Todd Edwards apply a drum machine and a high gloss shine to Hand Me Down Your Love, the result a massive club choon, while Caribou use reverb soaked vocals and nulled beats to give Brothers an ethereal feel.

Perhaps the EP's highlight is Hot City's deranged take on We Have Love, the bpm have been turned up, the bass fattened out and the vocals chopped apart until the original is barely recognisable.

Final track the Osbourne remix of Take It In is lounge house at its best. If this track is not pouring out of expensive cocktail bars this summer, I will be an apple mojito.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

M.I.A - /\/\/\Y/\

0n h3r f1rst tw0 4Lbumz M.I.A. f0und surpr1s3 succ3sz w1th @ m1sh-m4sh 0f mus1c4L styL3z d4t g4v3 @ b34t n 1mp0rt4ntLy @ v01c3 2 t3h und3rd0g. W3 l0v3d 1t n l0v3d M.I.A. 4 1t.

1n t3h t1m3 s1nc3 Paper Planes w3nt SLumd0g m4ss1v3 M.I.A. h4z s33m1ngLy d0n3 3v3ryth1n' sh3 c0uLd 2 1rr1t4t3 t3h pubL1c, n0w w1th t3h r3L34s3 0f /\/\/\Y/\ sh3 m4y h4v3 g0n3 t00 f4r.

t3h 4Lbum h4z 1tz m0m3ntz It Takes a Muscle b @ r0x0rz p0p tun3 wh1L3 XXXO n Tell My Way c0m3 cL0s3 2 r3pL1c4t1n' t3h d4nc3 h4LL p0p d4t h4d w0rk3d s0 w3LL 1n t3h p4st.

M0stLy, th0ugh, t3h 4Lbum b @ r4uc0uz c0LL3ct10n 0f s0undz, 1d34z n p4rt s0ngz, n0n3 0f wh1ch d3L1v3r h4Lf 4z much 4z h3r 34rL13r w0rk.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Live Review: Whitley, The Maram, Erindale, 18/08/2010

Tonight is my first visit to The Maram and I am not sure what to expect, from the venue or the show.

After two superb albums and many shows under the Whitley name, Lawrence Greenwood has decided the music business may not be for him. This is his final Australian tour and tonight will be his last Canberra show. Will tonight be a joyous farewell, a teary goodbye?

Opening act Seagull's introspective acoustic set fails to capture much attention as the small crowd fills up on beers and chats quietly.

The crowd has thickened out by the time Whitley comes on stage, immediately admitting that when he entered the venue he thought that he was booked to play in the pool table-filled bistro. His first reaction to this was to put a gun in his mouth and end it all now (this story told with his thumb cocked and fingers in his mouth - "bite down on the steel and wait for the lead"). Luckily, the band room at The Maram is a wonderful space for performer and punter alike, and the set starts with Cheap Clothes.

Barely three lines into his second song (Bright White Lights) Whitley stops abruptly, (almost) everyone in the room falls silent as he mimics two gossiping girls:
"Did you hear Sharon missed her period, OMG is she pregnant,...SHUT THE FUCK UP"
Greenwood clearly has a low tolerance for people talking though his show - perhaps one of the reasons he has decided to call it quits on his career as Whitley.

Songs like I Remember, I and All Is Whole are all superb but the best/most entertaining parts of tonight's performance come between songs. Greenwood repeatedly talks of pushing a boulder up hill ("two steps forward, three steps back"), rough nights in spent Frankston, bikies and the pleasure he gets from head shot-ing his own horse in Red Dead.

Introduced as "a song about a girl I use to follow around Melbourne", the acoustic version of Killer is just as frightening as its recorded original.

Late in the show when another person starts talking, Whitley has had enough. Describing talking during a show "like shining a laser pointer into the eyes of someone at an art gallery", Greenwood gets into an argument with a boozed punter, glasses are smashed and the audience member is escorted out of the venue.

Keep pushing the boulder up that hill...

As More Than Life is introduced as "this one is about suicide", I am starting to get a much better idea of why Greenwood is calling time on Whitley.

The show ends with Lost In Time, and most of the crowd leaves before Greenwood comes out to share a platter of sandwiches with those who remain. Talking to the man off stage it is hard to tell if the suicidal stories are real, or all part of the Whitley show.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Live Review: Band of Horses, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 29/07/2010

Back in Sydney for another Splendor side show, tonight: Band of Horses at the Enmore.

I find my seat just as support band Gentlemen of Fortune come on stage. Made up of members of The Drones, Gin Club and Dallas Crane; Gentlemen of Fortune play blusey country rock which for me is a little boring. So I go back into the bar and grab an over priced can of VB.

Tonight I am seated in The Enmore lounge area, directly above the stage, the view is perfect. However as is always the way when seated I find it can be difficult for the live energy to reach me.

I stamp my way though Band of Horses' opener The Great Salt Lake before being blown back into my chair by how huge Is There a Ghost sounds live. No concerns tonight the live energy has certainly made it all the to my seat.

The Band of Horses' sound is rugged, American and beardy, this imagery is compounded by a video montage that is being projected behind the stage showing: big skies, large American landscapes, music festivals, long roads, beards, tattoos and snow capped mountains.

I am not a fan of the bands latest album, but find that the new songs stand up well in the live setting. NW Apt, Complements and Laredo are highlights even.

After rolling along at a rock'n pace for 40 minutes or so the show slows right down, Marry Song and Detlef Schrempf give the band a chance to take a breath and everyone else an opportunity to wave their lighters/phones in the air - some things never get old.

Cigarettes, Wedding Bands and Ode To LRC have the whole room grooving again before the main set is brought to a close with a huge sign-along version of the The Funeral, still the bands best song.

Back for a short encore Band of Horses play the beautiful No One Is Gonna Love You (a song with great personal memories for me) and finish with a cover of Am I A Good Man by Them Two.

I missed Band of Horses on their 2008 Australian tour and after having a violent stomach bug deny me the chance to see them at Glastonbury I had a lot of expectations for this show, it exceeded every one of them.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Social Network

A few months back Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) revealed he had been working with long time collaborator Atticus Ross on music for David Fincher's upcoming film The Social Network.

The soundtrack will be released on CD, HD Blu-Ray Audio and Vinyl on September 28th. A free, five track sample is available for download right now.

Download the sample EP here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Live Review: Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem, Horden Pavilion, Sydney, 26/07/2010

Dear Nick,

I am sorry I sold on your ticket to this show, I know you were not there please don't be jealous as I tell you how the night panned out.
After sharing dinner with friends I arrive at Fox Studios. The crowd milling around outside the Horden Pavilion are in good spirits: grabbing drinks, chatting, wondering just what kind of show they will get on this Monday night.

Not one for standing around in the cool winter air, I move inside just in time to see Hot Chip take the stage. I am sure my ticket said doors opened at 8.00...it is 8.06 and Hot Chip have already played Boy From School! Guess no one likes to stay up too late on a weeknight.

As the rest of the crowd start to realise that Hot Chip are actually on stage, some people run out to grab their mates and I make my way forward to claim my own primo piece of dance floor.

Once at the front of the stage I realise that Joe Goddard is absent (paternity leave apparently), replaced tonight by a massive Holly-esk (Red Dwarf) head on a tv screen. Joe's head bobs along singing his parts - a nice touch and I am glad they made the effort, but sadly the vocals are slightly out of sync and as well as missing his vocals, many of the songs miss his fat base synth.

Hot Chip graduated from opening band to headline act long ago and the hit laden set only confirms this. The slinky slinky One Pure Thought transitioned into One Life Stand which tonight features the best use of steel drums since Jesse (from Full House) joined The Beach Boys on Kokomo.

Over and Over had the whole room jumping, before Hand Me Down Your Love and Take It In showcased the bands sensitive side. Hold On and I Feel Better reminded everyone that Hot Chip still love to rave before the set came to an end with a rocking version of Ready For The Floor.

I am Ready For the Floor indeed, this night is only half over.

Nick, you would have hated the long beer lines and toilet crush between sets. I survived both before resuming a position at the front of the room and looking up at a massive disco ball while waiting for what could be LCD Soundsystem's last ever Sydney show.

The band arrive on stage to a massive cheer, the loudest of course reserved for frontman James Murphy. 40-odd years old, slightly grey, generous middle age spread hidden under a plain white t-shirt...I don't know why, but this guy just oozes cool.

Us vs Them starts the show, James Murphy's lyrics confirming what everyone already knows...The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come, Today ...The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come... and it is going to be awesome.

The shout out house party stylings of Drunk Girls gets limbs flying, Get Innocuous! keeps everyone dancing while Pow Pow turns up the funk. A wild version of Daft Punk Is Playing at My House leaves me covered in sweat (most of it belonging to the topless guy next to me - yuck). All My Friends is still LCD's best song: tonight it comes with a Happy Birthday message and impromptu Love Is In the Air-based intro.

The set loses its way for a few songs before the post punk of Movement brings the room back to life. Then Yeah has everyone reaching for the ceiling as the band leaves the stage.

The band return for Losing My Edge before playing New York I Love You But Your Bringing Me Down which cleaverly morphs into a cover of Jay-Z/Alicia Keys Empire State Of Mind, a wonderful end to a great show.

I am a little disappointed that cracking new tracks Home and Dance Yrslf Clean were left out, but it is hard to argue with a band playing a 'best of' set on this their farewell tour.
I am sorry I sold your ticket. I owe you a night of great indie dance music (and about $85).

- Hummer
LCD Soundsystem's set is being replayed on triplej: 8pm on Monday 6th September and again at 5pm on Sunday 12 September.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Live Review: Josh Pyke and Emma Pollock, Academy 2, Bristol, 15/03/2010

Tonight Ricky Gervais is performing his brand of fat jokes and self-important celebrity humour to a sell out crowd at Collson House. Just across the road, a privileged few are witness to an evening of wonderful indie music courtesy of Josh Pyke and Emma Pollock.

Pretty blonde duo Heart Shaped Things warm up the small crowd with cute indie folk songs about boys, festivals and apple cores. The highlight (and lowlight) of their short set is a cover of Lady Gaga's Pokerface.

Heart Shaped Things have barely left the stage and the house lights are still fully lit, but Josh Pyke is due on stage next and the front of stage audience is growing noticibley Australian and female. Like all Australian ladies they are impossibly good looking and their broad accents can be heard saying "I first saw him with Bob Evans", "Nah, you flaming galah, it had to be 2006 supporting Sarah Blasko", "He is so cute, and that beard! Wowie".

After apologising for his heavily jet-lagged state, Josh Pyke opens with Memories and Dust. We're more use to hearing Josh Pyke's songs with a full band but tonight he is very much solo, and what the peformance loses in harmonies and power is more than made up for by the intimacy of one man with his guitar.

The one man show thing seems to work for Pyke as well - he is relaxed, friendly, and humble. After playing the ever popular Sew My Name, Pyke addresses a girl in the front row, "Sorry, I think I had my eyes closed every time you tried to take a photo". He then poses, pretending to play the guitar with mouth slightly open, so she can re-take the photo. Pyke then opens the show up for requests, and omeone crys out for Summer - I am not sure if this is a song request or just a plea for a break from this long cold winter, but Pyke plays the song anyway.

The set is pretty evenly split between Memories and Dust and Chimneys Afire. The only new song of the night is Factory Fires - typical Pyke, a sentimental story sung in too many words. Before finishing his set with Vibrations, Pyke teases the audience with clues of a new band he has been playing with, Basement Birds. Made up of Pyke, Kevin Mitchell (aka Bob Evans) and members of Eskimo Joe, the band is something of an Aussie super group.

At the end of his set Pyke takes up a position at the merchandise desk where he spends the next hour or so talking, signing CDs and posing for photos with a long and patient queue of punters.

By the time Emma Pollock and band arrive on stage, most of the Australians have gone home. While enjoying the fuller sound of Pollock's band, my lack of familiarity with the songs left me bored and headed in the same direction - sorry Emma.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Viva La 6Music

Earlier this year we asked you to get on board the Save 6Music bandwagon by submitting your opinions to the BBC Trust Strategy Review.

This week the Trust has published the review's initial conclusions:
The Trust does not think a convincing case has been made, as presented, for the closure of 6 Music. The Trust does not agree that there is a consistent strategic rationale for closure on grounds either of promoting digital development or market impact.
Hooray, The best way to celebrate would have to be by Listening to 6Music.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Baby name or band I found on MySpace?

So it seems that all my friends have gone and had babies lately. For the most part they have chosen names from the top half of the popular names list - solid, sensible, classic names. Boring!

With a few more babies due this spring, I felt it was time to seed the minds of future parents with some celebrity-inspired baby names. With thanks to 6Music’s Jon Holmes, here is Bawley’s "Baby Name or Band I Found on MySpace?" Quiz.

Bluebell Madonna...baby name…daughter of former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell
Alexisonfire...band…post hardcore band who describe their music as "the sound of two Catholic high-school girls in mid-knife-fight"
Lets see how you go with the rest:

James…band...with a very dull name
TAIO CRUZ…band...UK Urbanistas
Moxie Crimefighter...baby name...daughter of Aristocrats producer Penn Jillette
Memphis Eve...baby name...daughter of Irish dooche bag Bono
Jermajesty...baby name...son of Jermain Jackson
Moon Unit...baby name...Frank Zappa's oldest daughter
Diva Thin Muffin…baby name...daughter of Frank Zappa, secretly pleased ‘Moon Unit’ was already taken.
Chiddy Bang…band...Sample crazy 'kids'
Audio Science…baby name...son of actress Shannyn Sossamon
Diesel & Denim…baby names...Toni Braxton’s two sons
Belle & Sebastian...
band...of the brown cardigan wearing kind
Daughtry…band...caution may contain traces of American idol
Blue Angel…baby name...daughter of The Edge, he is in U2
Pilot Inspektor…baby name...son of actor Jason Lee
Sage Moonblood…baby name...son of Sylvester Stallone
MadisonFoxx…band...looking for a bassist if you are in the Brisbane area and interested
Bruno Mars…band...and experimental soul
Jazz Domino…baby name...daughter of the late Joe Strummer
Lark Song…baby name...adopted child of Mia Farrow
Little Red…band...hamony loving rock band from victoria
Satchel…baby name...daughter of director Spike Lee
Zowie Bowie…baby name...daughter of David Bowie, of course
Velvet Elvis…band...Detroit Hip Hop act, no connection to Eminem
Jim Jupiter…band...die beste Coverband in Deutschland
Speck Wildhorse…baby name...son of singer John (Cougar) Mellencamp
Aurelius Cy…baby name...son of The Body; Elle Macpherson
Cobra Starship...band...New York emo band
Bobnoxious…band...Bobnoxious rock!!!!
Kal-El Coppola…baby name...Nicholas Cage with a name like that you have to ask is he a worse actor or parent?
Anaal Nathrakh…band...black metal band, with a name like that could they be anything else

While the answers and their celebrity parents will be revealed later in the week, we will have to wait a few months to see what inspiration these names provide future parents, including Bawley's own Nick.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

@Saul Williams poet, rapper, Ghanaian football fan.

@Saul Williams
The ball is all our hopes & dreams wound tight, kicked left, kicked right. The goal: the vastness of the soul. The field: the work & plight.
Saul Williams
The uniform & flag: the torch we bear through darkness of a kind. The vastness of the field: the path we cross from heart to mind.
Saul Williams
The minute or the moment? How you think is your opponent. If you had the ball right now would you aim or kick it wild?
Saul Williams
The goalie blocks the narrative from being what is told. The striker has a goal in mind. The wings are double-fold.
Saul Williams
RT @ericburkley you should do these rhymes over vuvuzelas... ===> LOL I love the sound of the game, actually. Maybe I will:)
Saul Williams
The ball, in black & white, simply reflects our need to see, to qualify the boundaries that restrict our right to be.
Saul Williams
If you control the ball then you control the game. You weave through your defenses, broadened senses, truth aflame.
Saul Williams
The crowd reflects your calling. They cheer, 'though for their kind. The energy, even against, propels the focused drive.
Saul Williams
...and now I'm logging off. The game has just begun. The Ghanaian bar across the street seems like it may be fun;) Cheers!!


Sunday, 6 June 2010

Two French Robots and a Black Guy walk into a bar....

No, this is not the set up for classic 'walked into a bar' based racism, it is the latest Adidas Originals World Cup advertisement.

Watch as Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Ian Brown, David Beckham and one of the guys from Oasis are transported into the Star Wars cantina scene.

While rap fans should enjoy seeing The Doggfather do some damage with a lightsaber, football fans will love the line, to David Beckham
He [Jabba The Hut] saw you play a long time ago for a Galaxy far, far away.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

This is Happening: LCD Soundsystem release final album

This is Happening is LCD Soundsystem's first album of new music since 2007's massively successful Sound of Silver, and it is also reported to be the last album they will ever release.

Album opener Dance Yrself Clean starts with three minutes of quiet insecurities sung over pitter-patter rhythms, before... (Spoiler Alert, skip the next few lines if you have not heard this track) ...the beat drops, the synthesizers turn up to eleven and everything goes mental. Yes, this album is going to be great.

Lead single Drunk Girls has been described as "Drunk North American Girls Are Playing at My House", clever (yeah?) and probably fair as the track is not particularly original and by far the album's weakest moment.

The mid section of the album is rock solid: I Can Change is full of swirl-in-your-head pop, Pow Pow is dance funk at its best, while One Touch is never enough. On You Wanted a Hit, front man James Murphy sings "We don't do hits" but I don't believe that for a second. This is Happening is 100% hits.

LCD Soundsystem have never hidden their musical influences and where previous albums used late 70's post punk as a reference point This is Happening goes a step further. Blatantly borrowing from David Bowie (Heroes) and Iggy Pop (Nightclubbing) on All I Want and Somebody's Calling Me respectively.

Epic closer Home layers percussion on beat on percussion on beat, like much of the album the effect is simple and repetitive but far from boring.

If This Is Happening is to be LCD Soundsystem's final album it is a more than fitting farewell.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

How To Destroy Angels

Reviews can wait: Surely I am not really back on Bawley until I have written my first Nine Inch Nails related post.

Last year Nine Inch Nails played their final tour. At the time front man Trent Reznor did not rule out working on new Nine Inch Nails material but said to expect some new non-NIN stuff. Now, he has teamed up with his wife Mariqueen Maandig and longtime Nine Inch Nails collaborator Atticus Ross to form How To Destroy Angels.

A few mp3s have already started circulating the interwebs and there is more to come. On June 1st How To Destroy Angels will release their debut EP as a free download - better if you pre-order from howtodestroyangels.com as you will get an advance copy of EP track The Believers.

If you want to know more about the band you can ask them yourself via facebook/howtodestroyangels or check out a complete deconstruction of how a How To Destroy Angels song is made courtesy of Wired Magazine. (The iPad version of the magazine also has an interactive element. Eds Note: this probably the only useful thing I have heard you can do with an iPad)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Back in the Game

I have been busy of late but between a intercontinental house move, a month long walk across Patagonia, sudden catastrophic laptop failure, and my increasingly desperate attempt to find a house, I have had plenty of time to listen to new music.

Sadly, plenty of time to listen does not mean plenty of time to update Bawley.

The next few weeks will be catch up time, come back for reviews of:
The early word is that 2010 is becoming the awesome year we all hoped it would.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

R.I.P. Sparklehorse

Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse has taken his own life. His family has released a statement saying,
"It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There's a heaven and there's a star for you."
Linkous who has been releasing wonderful alt-blues records under the name Sparklehorse since 1995 was also a keen collaborator working with Fennesz, PJ Harvey, Tom Waits and of course Danger Mouse on last years Dark Night Of The Soul.

In unrelated (and infinitely more positive) news EMI have announced that Dark Night Of The Soul will get an official release in the middle of the year.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

God Save 6Music

This morning The Times reported that two of the BBC’s digital radio stations 6Music and The Asian Network will be shut down as part of corporation wide cut backs.

Scriptwriter, journalist, broadcaster and sometimes 6Music DJ Andrew Collins put together this great piece covering the reasons behind any closure and why the loss of 6Music (and The Asian Network) is bad news for everyone.

Just some of what we will all be missing if 6Music were to close down.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Deftones put on their Rocket Skates

Deftones have just released Rocket Skates their first new song since a car accident left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma.

Sergio Vega has joined the band on bass but I wouldn’t say he has changed the sound much; Rocket Skates is typical Deftones, loud riff heavy and awesome.

The new album Diamond Eyes is out on May 18th I for one am hoping for more of the same (again).

Download Rocket Skates at gunsrazorsknives.com or direct from here, want to win stuff by blogging/facebooking/tweeting about Rocket Skates? You can do it here. (Yes I would have posted this anyway, why? Because Deftones rule.)

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Surfs Up

MGMT's new album, Congratulations is not released for another month but already it would have to be early contender for worst album art of 2010?

Here is the story behind this totally radical album sleeve.

Friday, 29 January 2010

A New (Years) Music Resolution

A friend of Bawley recently pointed me to Andre’s Resolution 2010. In short, Resolution 2010 is a positive commitment that in 2010 you only listen to music released in 2010.
The rules (exceptions to):

• Re-issues and re-masters released in 2010 count as 2010 releases.
• For the month of January you are allowed to listen to anything from 2009. (edit: I suggest the Bawley 100 – 2009)
• I will probably come up with more rules as I think of them because not listening to Bad Brains for a year is starting to make me sad.
This got me thinking, could I do this? What would I miss? Would 2010 be a better year for new music than 2009? Such negative questions are not really in the spirit of Resolution 2010 so I turned the question on its head: if only listened to music released in 2010, what would I have to look forward to?

There are the already released albums from Vampire Weekend (Contra) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (IRM). Contra is more of the same preppy afro-beat indie-pop that made Vampire Weekend’s debut album so enjoyable, while IRM (sung by Gainsbourg but written and produced by Beck) is as good as anything Beck has done since Sea Change (2002).

On February 9th Hot Chip will release One Life Stand. With great reviews so far and the title track sitting on the high rotation list at triple j, BBC Radio 1 and 6Music, One Life Stand could be the album that sees Hot Chip break into the mainstream (without losing the their status as a critic’s favourite).

Daddy G returns for Massive Attack’s first album in five years, Heligoland, also set for a February 9th release. The album drops a lot of what made 100th Window pants and picks up a massive list of guest vocalists and collaborators including Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird, Horace Andy, and Tunde Adibempe. If the Splitting The Atom preview EP and last year’s live shows are anything to go by, Heligoland should be brilliant.

Back in September The Knife provided the soundtrack to a Danish opera based on the life of Charles Darwin. The opera was called Tomorrow, In A Year and a studio version of the soundtrack is due for release on March 1st. I doubt anything stranger will come out all year.

After some time spent writing Chinese operas and fronting the re-formed Blur, Damon Albarn is back with Gorillaz third album: Plastic Beach, out March 8th. Once again the list of collaborators is impressive, drawing big names from hip hop (Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, De la Soul), rock (Lou Reed, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Mark E Smith, Gruff Rhys) and soul (Bobby Womack). Albarn is promising it will be Gorillaz "most pop album".

No dates yet, but LCD Soundsystem are also due to release a new album in March. Sadly, it may also be the band’s last album. Main man James Murphy told NME "I know I said (LCD Soundsystem was over) last time and things changed, but I don't like to repeat myself."

Tipped for an early 2010 release is the next album from Interpol. Drummer Sam Fogarino has said it will be more Turn On The Bright Lights than Our Love To Admire which is a good thing.

Later in the year, details of upcoming releases get sketchier. But there are some exciting albums on the horizon: The National and Band of Horses are both suggesting they will have new releases, as are The Avalanches and The Panics.

Despite the retirement of Nine Inch Nails as a touring band, Trent Reznor has said “2010 has a number of things planned including new material from nine inch nails and something else that isn't nine inch nails.”

I know I could not go a year without listening to The Cure. Luckily they also have a 2010 release planned, the 21st anniversary remastered re-issue of Disintegration. Due in the first half of the year, the release will be a three CD set, containing the original album (remastered) , twenty previously unreleased b-sides and demos from the era, and a remixed and extended version of the Entreat live album.

While 2010 looks like being a great year for new music I still don’t know if I am up for the Resolution 2010 commitment, what about you?

What are you looking forward to in 2010? What would you miss if you were to take up the challenge?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Best acceptance speech ever.

(Doing the Sums 2009) Are You Joe Average?

The Bawley crew love the triple j Hottest 100, the only thing we love more than the Hottest 100 is our own (Doing the Sums) Are You Joe Average quiz. (2007, 2008, Hottest 100 of all time)

Here is how it works

1. Write out a list of the songs you voted for in the triplej Hottest 100.
2. Write down the position each of these came in the triplej Hottest 100
3. If a song did not make the list put down 101.
4. Add up the scores, and divide by the number of songs you voted for.
5. Post your results as a comment to this blog entry.

Here is how to interpret your score

1-13: Either you are the lovechild of Bernard Fanning and La Roux or you are actually Mumford’s Son.

14-27: Parlez Vous Austereo?

28-40: Very vanilla

41-52: "Meet Me on the Equinox" is your signature song in more ways than one.

53-65: Pretty pedestrian, but you probably have one weirdo friend who is rubbing off on you more than you realise.

66-77: Kinda quirky in a cute way.

78-89: Kinda quirky in a "slowly back away..." way.

90-100: You're a f***ing freak, man

101: Did you vote for songs, or flavours of ice cream????

The Bawley 100 scored
Fleet FoxesMykonos - 101
Super Furry Animals - Inaugural Trams - 101
The Xx - Heart Skipped a Beat - 101
Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More - 101
Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart - 101
Yeah Yeah YeahsHysteric - 101
Camera Obscura - Away With Murder - 101
Phoenix Lisztomania – 4
Danger Mouse and Sparkle Horse - Revenge (ft The Flaming Lips) - 101
The XxCrystallised – 101
91.3 You're a f***ing freak, man (our worst performance ever!!)

How did you score?

Triple J Hottest 100: The People Have Spoken

I Despite the leaks the 2009 Hottest 100 managed to pull out a few surprises (Foo Fighters still relevant in 2009?!), is this further proof (2007, 2008) that musical democracy does not work? I am not sure?

Full list below (Bawley rankings in brackets)

100 ( - ) Foo Fighters - Wheels
99 ( - ) Tegan and Sara - Hell
98 ( - ) Them Crooked Vultures - New Fang
97 ( - ) Regina Spektor - Laughing With
96 ( - ) Deadmau5 - Ghosts N Stuff
95 ( - ) Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch
94 ( - ) Regina Spektor - Blue Lips
93 ( - ) Bertie Blackman - Thump
92 ( 26 ) Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy
91 ( - ) Manchester Orchestra - I've Got Friends
90 ( - ) Florence and the Machine - Kiss With A Fist
89 ( - ) Jay-Z - D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)
88 ( - ) NOFX - Creeping Out Sara
87 ( 23 ) The Middle East - The Darkest Side
86 ( - ) Flight Of The Conchords - Too Many Dicks (On The Dance Floor)
85 ( 87 ) Kasabian - Underdog
84 ( - ) Muse - United States of Eurasia
83 ( - ) Basement Jaxx - Raindrops
82 ( - ) Miami Horror - Sometimes
81 ( 84 ) Mumford & Sons - The Cave
80 ( - ) Dizzee Rascal - Holiday
79 ( - ) Yves Klein Blue - Getting Wise
78 ( - ) Tame Impala - Remember Me
77 ( - ) Jet - She's a Genius
76 ( - ) Julian Casablancas - 11th Dimension
75 ( - ) Wolfmother - New Moon Rising
74 ( - ) Art vs. Science - Friend In The Field
73 ( - ) MSTRKRFT (ft. John Legend) - Heartbreaker
72 ( - ) Sia - You've Changed
71 ( - ) Bertie Blackman - Byrds of Prey
70 ( 33 ) Animal Collective - My Girls
69 ( - ) Death Cab for Cutie - Meet Me on the Equinox
68 ( - ) The Prodigy - Omen
67 ( - ) Washington - Cement
66 ( - ) Illy - Pictures
65 ( - ) Eskimo Joe - Foreign Land
64 ( - ) The Middle East - Blood
63 ( - ) Karnivool - All I Know
62 ( 64 ) Bloc Party - One More Chance
61 ( - ) Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
60 ( - ) Lily Allen - 22
59 ( - ) Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone
58 ( 65 ) The Temper Trap - Love Lost
57 ( - ) Philadelphia Grand Jury - The Good News
56 ( - ) The xx - Islands
55 ( - ) Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls
54 ( - ) Arctic Monkeys - Crying Lightning
53 ( - ) Miike Snow - Animal
52 ( - ) Vampire Weekend - Horchata
51 ( 22 ) Kasabian - Where Did All The Love Go?
50 ( - ) Sia - Buttons (CSS Remix)
49 ( - ) Powderfinger - All of the Dreamers
48 ( - ) The Temper Trap - Science of Fear
47 ( - ) Karnivool - Set Fire to the Hive
46 ( 62 ) Bon Iver - Blood Bank
45 ( - ) Florence and the Machine - Drumming Song
44 ( - ) Florence and the Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
43 ( - ) The Bloody Beetroots (ft. The Cool Kids) - Awesome
42 ( - ) British India - Vanilla
41 ( - ) Simian Mobile Disco (ft. Chris Keating) - Audacity of Huge
40 ( - ) Angus & Julia Stone - And the Boys
39 ( - ) The John Butler Trio - One Way Road
38 ( - ) Passion Pit - Little Secrets
37 ( - ) Hilltop Hoods - Still Standing
36 ( - ) Weezer - (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
35 ( - ) Muse - Resistance
34 ( - ) Little Birdy - Brother
33 ( - ) Kid Cudi (ft. MGMT & Ratatat) - Pursuit of Happiness
32 ( - ) Paul Dempsey - Ramona Was A Waitress
31 ( - ) Seth Sentry - The Waitress Song
30 ( - ) Flight Of The Conchords - Hurt Feelings
29 ( - ) Sarah Blasko - All I Want
28 ( - ) Sarah Blasko - We Won't Run
27 ( 35 ) La Roux - In for the Kill
26 ( - ) Metric - Help I'm Alive
25 ( 21 ) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
24 ( - ) Flight Of The Conchords - Carol Brown
23 ( - ) The Bloody Beetroots (ft. Steve Aoki) - Warp 1.9
22 ( - ) Vampire Weekend - Cousins
21 ( - ) The Temper Trap - Fader
20 ( - ) Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
19 ( 81 ) Muse - Undisclosed Desires
18 ( - ) Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars
17 ( - ) Kasabian - Fire
16 ( - ) Gossip - Heavy Cross
15 ( - ) Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home
14 ( - ) Jamie T - Sticks 'n' Stones
13 ( 40 ) Phoenix - 1901
12 ( 98 ) Dizzee Rascal and Armand van Helden - Bonkers
11 ( 25 ) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll
10 ( 17 ) Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over
9 ( - ) Muse - Uprising
8 ( - ) Lily Allen - Not Fair
7 ( - ) Lisa Mitchell - Coin Laundry
6 ( 63 ) La Roux - Bulletproof
5 ( 51 ) Bluejuice - Broken Leg
4 ( 3 ) Phoenix - Lisztomania
3 ( 38 ) Hilltop Hoods - Chase That Feeling
2 ( 31 ) Art vs. Science - Parlez Vous Francais?
1 ( 56 ) Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man
I think I like it, what do you think? Was Little Lion Man the Hottest song of 2009?