SONIC KICKS: Greta Mob

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Sydney’s Greta Mob are picking up some great gigs at the moment (Beasts of Bourbon) and building some buzz around their music which is built on a visceral mix of Australian swamp rock and dirty post punk blues. We recently caught up with drummer Luke Millar who plugged in the memory card for Sonic Kicks and took a look at some of the albums that shaped him musically. Check out a recording of Greta Mob’s epic 10 minute The Vengeful Narodnik at the end of the post.

The first album I bought – The Offspring | Americana

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The first album I ever bought was in the form of a cassette. It was Americana by The Offspring from a two dollar shop in Wangaratta called Crazy Clints. I vividly remember standing in the checkout queue after spending about half an hour kicking footballs around whilst waiting for my mum to finish shopping. I was about 8 years old at the time and being the little shit I was, I nagged mum until she bought it.

The album that soundtracked a relationship – J Dilla | Heroin Joint

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Due to me failing miserably on the relationship front, I actually don’t have an album that has soundtracked a relationship. However, freakishly in the last few months I’ve found myself a girl who loves hip-hop and beat driven music. She pointed me in the direction of Mr J Dilla which has been a mind blowing experience. As Heroin Joint was the first song she showed me by Dilla, I can’t help but think about that moment when I hear it… as lame as that sounds. Check it out!

The album that inspired me to form a band – Tool | Undertow

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Rhyece and my older brother used to play in a high school band together called Iron Turpie which was comically named after the Australian actor Ian Turpie. They used to rehearse at our house and when they’d have a break I’d sneak into the shed and start bashing the drums and cranking the guitars that were still set up. So that was probably what inspired me to start playing music. However, my brother and his friends used to play a lot of Tool around the house at that point so I’d say Undertow by Tool was very influential at that point.

The album that reminds me of my high school years – Rage Against The Machine | The Battle of Los Angeles

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Every single day after school without fail, my best friend and I used to watch The Battle Of Mexico City by Rage Against The Machine. We were about fourteen at the time and both had a stupendous amount of energy. We basically just head banged and drank coca cola for an hour until it finished. So yeah, I’d say The Battle Of Los Angeles by Rage.

The album I’d love to hear live and played in full – David Bowie | Low

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This is probably the toughest question, but the more I think about it, it’d probably have to be Low by David Bowie. Speed of Life… What a way to open up an album!!

My favourite album cover art – Herbie Hancock | Headhunters

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Headhunters by Herbie Hancock is the first funk album I ever bought, and still to this day is one of my favourite album covers. So Headhunters.

My guilty pleasure album – Snoop Doggy Dogg | Doggysstyle

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Hmmm, probably Nickleback’s The Long Road… Just tricking, I’m low, but not that low. I’d probably have to say Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle. Now let me explain, yes the lyrics are quite filthy and sexist but gee there’s some fat ass beats on that album. That’s how I like to justify it anyway 🙂

An album I loved but now have no idea why I bought it – Hillsong | Celebrate Jesus Celebrate

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Back in the day when I was a Pentecostal church goer, I bought an album by Hillsong. I can’t remember what the album was called, but one thing I do know is that Celebrate Jesus Celebrate was on it. Just listening to this truly made me feel uneasy. Sorry Jesus, but I just repented of all my sins, which means you’ve now forgiven me. Cheers!

The last album I bought – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Push The Sky Away

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I heard it at work for the first time a couple of months ago and after spending the train ride home with Jubilee Street stuck in my head I just had to buy it. Killer!

Upcoming Shows

Sunday 1st September w/ Spencer P Jones @ Lyrebird Lounge, Ripponlea

Thursday 5th September w/ Dead River, The Deep End, Smoke Stack Rhino @ The Espy, front bar, St Kilda

Thursday 26th September – The Bank Hotel, Newtown (solo headline show)

Friday 27th September – w/ Swervedriver, Charlie Horse @ Metro Theatre

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NEWS: David Bowie announces new single and album

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Here is the first musical bomb to drop in 2013 with the surprise news that David Bowie has emerged from semi-retirement with a new single Where Are We Now? released today (his 66th birthday) ahead of a new album, his first in a decade, called The Next Day. The new LP will be released on March 8th in Australia, the 12th in the USA and the 11th everywhere else – via Sony Music.

Many had thought Bowie had quietly opted out of the music business after health issues and his extended silence through the first decade of the 21st Century. If the new single is anything to go by – with its austere and beautiful pace and references to Berlin – this could be a stellar collection of songs from Bowie.

Produced by Tony Visconti

Tracklisting

The Next Day
Dirty Boys
The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
Love Is Lost
Where Are We Now?
Valentine’s Day
If You Can See Me
I’d Rather Be High
Boss Of Me
Dancing Out In Space
How Does The Grass Grow
(You Will) Set The World On Fire
You Feel So Lonely You Could Die
Heat

So She (Bonus Track)
I’ll Take You There (Bonus Track)
Plan (Bonus Track)

FEATURE: Signposts in Modern Music

DS Featured ImageSIGNPOSTSWe look at six songs that stand out as important moments in modern music, changing the playing field and inspiring legions of other musicians…

JEFF BUCKLEY – GRACE (1994)

With alternative music (as it was known at the time) in the grip of grunge and hard rock it took a sensitive young man with an angelic voice, good looks and a mesmerizing guitar style to usher in a new era of appreciation for the tortured heart and lost lovers. Buckley spent a long time crafting and refining the batch of songs that would make up his debut album and the epic title track and first single Grace ignited a whole swathe of music listeners who were sick of the posturing and angry angst on the radio. Buckley’s sweet falsetto and powerful voice seduced and influenced everyone from Thom Yorke to Chris Martin and Rufus Wainwright and marked his as one of those special artists even before his tragic death.

THE CURE – A FOREST (1980)

This was the first single that charted for the band in the UK and it marked the real arrival of their sound from which they would base all their future work. It was dark, melancholic and mysterious enough to keep the tortured teens of the time guessing as to what it meant. Sonically there are similarities to early New Order with primitive beats and a prominent bass line that binds and propels the song. By not punctuating the song with big choruses it feels linear and unconventional marking it as something different to the standard chart fodder like Blondie and ABBA. A Forest was an exercise in reductionist pop composition that took them from post punk mopes to leaders of the indie scene at the dawn of the 80s.

PUBLIC ENEMY – BRING THE NOISE (1987)

Public Enemy were the first truly militant hip hop act to garner widespread success in a genre that too often was viewed as cartoonish and not ‘real’ music by the mainstream. PE changed all that by politicising their lyrics and delivering them rapid fire over brutal and drilling beats courtesy of DJ Terminator X. From the opening Malcolm X sample of “Too black, too strong” this was serious music with Chuck D and Flavor Flav playing the roles of orator and jester between the searing scratching and a wide spectrum of beats. Importantly it wasn’t all bluster and noise, Chuck D’s vocal work superbly navigates different meters and phrasing like a poet re-enacting a Miles Davis trumpet solo. Hip Hop would never sound as visceral as this again.

DAVID BOWIE – ZIGGY STARDUST (1972)

Perhaps the best known of Bowie’s many incarnations, Ziggy Stardust was a song that told the tale of the character, created the myth and liberated a generation of music fans and other musicians. In the early 1970s art rock was a underground scene that only reached the masses with the arrival of Marc Bolan on Top of the Pops in 1971. Fellow maverick Bowie was on the same path and with the creation of Ziggy Stardust the two of them led the way for a plethora of like minded extroverts such as Gary Glitter, Slade, Queen, Roxy Music and the New York Dolls. It is easy to underestimate the conceptual influence of Bowie’s theatrical side which has permeated most forms of music ever since. The song Ziggy Stardust (surprisingly not released as a single) was the vehicle for a call to arms for creative freedom and expression and Mick Ronson’s opening chords still sounds magnificent nearly 40 years on.

THE STONE ROSES – FOOLS GOLD (1989)

The final track on the band’s defining album provided the band with their first top ten hit in the UK and their appearance on Top of the Pops is seen by many as the defining moment when the band gained national and subsequently international fame. Fools Gold is the definitive Stone Roses song with Reni’s trademark funk-fueled breakbeat drumming, Mani’s rolling bass, John Squire’s rip and tear wah guitar and Ian Brown‘s lackadaisical vocal delivery. It felt intoxicating, loose limbed and completely of its time on the eve of Britpop and in the twilight of the so called Summer Of Love  – two British music movements that The Stone Roses straddled. Few bands have married guitars and dance beats so successfully since.

THE BEACH BOYS – GOOD VIBRATIONS (1966)

Brian Wilson’s masterpiece of composition and production was reaction of sorts to what he was hearing from The Beatles on the other side of the Atlantic in the mid 1960s. Described by the band’s publicist Derek Taylor as a ‘pocket symphony’ he wasn’t far off the mark. Incorporating instruments like the electro-theremin and cello it sounds like a disorientating wave of melodies, harmonies and musical treats all wrapped up in 3.5 minutes of pop perfection. Psychedelic music was already around but this song elevated it into the mainstream, reaching the top of the US single charts and widening the minds of millions.

UPCOMING RELEASE: Deluxe Edition of Bowie’s Station To Station…

On September 28 in the U.S. (September 20 in Europe), EMI reissues David Bowie’s Station to Station in two bonus-laden packages.

1. The three-CD Special Edition features the album and audio from a concert at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum that took place March 23, 1976.

2. Super Deluxe Limited Edition (pictured) features those same three CDs along with LPs, DVD audio, an EP of single versions from the record, and tons of photos and paraphernalia including a replica of a Bowie fan club membership card. It’s serious. Both editions feature new liner notes from music writer and director Cameron Crowe.

Full tracklist and list of bonuses below:

Station to Station Special Edition:

Station to Station (original analog master):

01 Station to Station

02 Golden Years

03 Word on a Wing

04 TVC15

05 Stay

06 Wild Is the Wind

Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 (part one):

01 Station to Station

02 Suffragette City

03 Fame

04 Word on a Wing

05 Stay

06 Waiting for the Man

07 Queen Bitch

Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 (part two):

01 Life on Mars?

02 Five Years

03 Panic in Detroit

04 Changes

05 TVC15

06 Diamond Dogs

07 Rebel Rebel

08 The Jean Genie

Station to Station Super Deluxe Limited Edition:

All of the above plus:

Singles Versions E.P.:

01 Golden Years

02 TVC15

03 Stay

04 Word on a Wing (first time on CD)

05 Station to Station (previously unreleased version)

— Station to Station and Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 on LP

— Station to Station DVD audio

— Station to Station 1985 RCA CD master

— 24-page booklet with never before seen photos

— Poster

— Backstage pass replica

— Concert ticket replica

— Press photos

— Replica fan club folder

— Replica fan club membership card

— Two collectors cards

— Replica four-page biography

— Two badges

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