EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: September 20th, 2013

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Another week of shake-ups in the local festival scene here in Australia with the cancellation of Harvest Festival and the probably not coincidental announcement that AJ Maddah (Soundwave, Harvest) had become a partner in Big Day Out with Ken West and US company C4. It seems a bit strange that one week Maddah is bemoaning the indie-centric BDO lineup as one reason for Harvest’s slow ticket sales and then the next week he cancels the Harvest dates and the BDO partnership is made public. Obviously the deal would have been in negotiation and discussion for a long period and Maddah would have been privy to the BDO line-up a long time ago. Regardless it could be a good thing in the long run. The BDO assimilates more indie type acts to balance the rock elements and Soundwave becomes the premier hard rock/metal touring festival. Laneway is growing every year and that too should benefit from Harvest being off the calendar. Speaking of Laneway, their first line-up announcement happens next Tuesday.

In terms of new releases this week there only a couple of notable ones that have caught my ear. The wonderful folk voice of Nathaniel Rateliff, Elvis Costello & The Roots’ LP sounds like it might deliver, Mark Lanegan’s covers album Imitations (he should be singing the Great American Songbook, not Rod) and Crystal Stilts maintain their quality output on Nature Noir.

In my daily trawl of the net and via the deluge of band, record company and publicist emails there are often bands that jump out as having something that catches your ear before you have a chance to hit delete or skip. Two in particular stood out this week in The Golden Awesome out of Wellington, NZ and The Grand Rapids from Melbourne, AU. Both deal in psychedelic flavoured rock and shoegaze but they’re coming at it from different angles. See what you think.

Next week Swervedriver kick off their Australian tour playing their seminal album Raise in full plus various other highlights from the back catalogue.

September
Thu 26th – Brisbane – The Zoo
+ support We All Want To / Mosman Alder
Fri 27th – Sydney – Metro Theatre
+ supports Charlie Horse / Greta Mob (Bom Aterg)
Sat 28th – Melbourne – Corner Hotel
+ supports Iowa / White Walls
Sun 29th – Melbourne – Northcote Social Club
+ supports Infinite Void / Lunaire
October
Wed 2nd – Adelaide – The Gov
+ supports Horror My Friend / No Action
Thu 3rd – Perth* – Rosemount Hotel

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EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: September 6th, 2013

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This week I got to listen to a preview stream and review the new LP Dream River by the always reliable Bill Callahan. The review will be in The Music next week (and online) so I won’t give too much away other than to say it is a wonderful album, a very, very good record and a stylistic change for him in some ways yet still quintessentially Callahan.

Locally in Australia there have been some notable new releases this week in the form of King Khan & The Shrines, Violent Soho, Neko Case, Summer FlakeBushwalking, The Paradise Motel, Califone and Vista Chino (formerly Kyuss Lives!). All records that I’ve been looking forward to hearing and no doubt some will push for places in the year end best-of lists. Pixies also returned, somewhat out of the blue with a new 4 track EP that sounds a damn sight better than the Bagboy track they recently released. Indie Cindy in particular sounds like a return to form.

Personally I’m looking forward to spinning some records tonight at The Green Room Lounge in Enmore, Sydney. It is an all vinyl affair, part of their monthly We Play Records night so I’ve been doing the fun yet painful trawl through my collection this week to find some choice cuts. It is shaping up to be a real mixed bag including James Brown, The Clash, Bauhaus, The Congos, Wooden Shjips, Spoon, A Tribe Called Quest and many more. It is looking like I’ll be DJ’ing there again next Saturday night so pop in if you’re in the area.

Voting is open in the Pedestrian.TV Ultrabook Blogster Awards for a few more weeks so if you get a chance hit this LINK and throw us (and Post To Wire) a vote. I wrote a piece for the awards on a guilty pleasure song this week, regressing to my 80s hair metal obsession for one of my favourite tracks of the time.