NEWS: The ‘At First Sight’ record fair and festival is fast approaching….


On Saturday July 20th Carriageworks in Sydney will host At First Sight which is being billed as a ‘vinyl romance’ style festival with 11 bands and more than 10 DJs soundtracking the day while you peruse the record bins of record stores, labels and private sellers. This is a killer line-upof bands that you are unlikely to see all on the same festival stage. Great music, great concept – embrace it.


HTRK, along with Twerps, The Laurels, Beaches, Super Wild Horses, Straight Arrows, Songs, Holy Balm, Day Ravies, Client Liaison, and Shining Bird


Yo Grito, Jimmy Sing, Count Doyle, Noise In My Head, Marcus King, Smokie La Beef, Basslines, Nic Warnock, Flash Back, Beat Club.


DATES:                                 SATURDAY 20 JULY, 2013

TICKETS:                              $35

TIMES:                                 RECORD FAIR 10AM- 6PM, FREE


WHERE:                               CARRIAGEWORKS, 245 WILSON ST, REDFERN


NEWS: New musical delights from the Popfrenzy label


Sydney independent label Popfrenzy have announced a trifecta of exciting releases in the last week. Songs have a video for their new song Alone When I’m With You from the forthcoming (early 2013) album Malabar. The song can be purchased HERE for a measly 99c.


Next up is the first single on the label from Sydney band Day Ravies. Double Act follows up their excellent self-released EP from earlier this year and is available as a free download from their Bandcamp page.


Thirdly the brilliantly named Camperdown & Out have been announced as another Popfrenzy signing and they too will have a full length album out early in 2013. The band features Nathan Roche (Marf Loth), Alex Kiers (Raw Prawn), David Akerman (Dead Farmers) and Chris Shortt (Royal Headache). Down & Out is also available from Bandcamp.

LIVE REVIEW: Twerps @ Goodgod Small Club, Sydney (11/08/12)

by Chris Familton

Jonny Telafone kicked things off with his kid on overload performance that rivals Donny Benet for its tongue in cheek pastiche, kitchen sink electro and synth pop cheesiness. There is no doubt that Telafone is a great performer even if he is just singing over Suicide-tinged backing tracks from his laptop but with song titles like Make Your Pussy Cum and his exaggerated gyrations and gestures it is hard to keep a straight face. You’d think this would have a limited shelf life but Telafone has been at it for a few years now and ultimately it is highly entertaining stuff.

Songs have been settled in their new line-up for a while now and with bassist Ela Stiles contributing more to the songwriting their sound has continued to shape-shift and incorporate different styles. Most of the songs they played have been written post the release of their debut album and show an increased focus on rhythm and groove. The jangly guitar of their earlier work has been absorbed into the more muscular framework of the newer material with the one constant still being the insistent krautrock repetition that permeates much of their sound. The balance between the sweet vocals of Stiles and Max Doyle’s higher pitched, vowel-chewing style is now finely balanced with both filling the role of front-person. Sonically they had it on a string, grinding a groove deep into the ears of the audience before spraying discordant noise across the music and then reining it all back in with choreographed precision. Songs continue to evolve, expand and refine their art and hopefully they’ll grace us with that second album sooner rather than later.

Twerps are one of the most unassuming bands around both visually and in terms of their familiar and reassuring jangly guitar pop. They appeared on stage and seamlessly transformed their setup/soundcheck into their set proper. The sell-out audience rewarded the quartet for their stellar last twelve months with exuberant applause and crowded in close around the front and side of the stage making the performance feel even more intimate and communal. We got most of the album plus a new track that sounded instantly the match of even the strongest songs they’ve released to date.

The unassuming nature of Twerps extends to the subject matter of their songs that take in love, boredom, dreams and the everyday concerns of living and live they nail that laconic melancholia as effortlessly as they do on their recordings. Martin Frawley sings nearly all the songs but when guitarist Julia McFarlane steps up to take lead vocal on excellent This Guy it opens up their sound immensely and it is a shame her voice isn’t used more extensively. Frawley’s voice is an exposed and often fragile instrument on stage but it works perfectly with their sound. They always seemed to be playing just behind the beat giving the songs that worn and gloriously lazy sound. Who Are You drifted along gorgeously, generating head swaying aplenty while Coast To Coast amplified the debt they owe to the best of the Flying Nun Records stable. The defining moment came with the and its sun-dazed psychedelia of Dreamin and bassist Rick Milovanovic’s reliably solid, melodic playing.

Twerps departed the Goodgod stage with as little fuss as they arrived and it felt right that there was no encore. This is a band who played their set, entertained the audience and by the look of it got a lot of quiet satisfaction from playing their wonderfully wandering tunes.

this review was first published on Fasterlouder 

Favourite Songs of 2011

So many people are starting to base their listening on songs these days, such is the reduction in attention spans, the proliferation of YouTube browsing and the ease of compiling ones own playlists featuring the best stuff you want to hear. Separate to my Top 50 LPs of 2011 I’ve also put together a list of songs that caught my ears and became hard to shake. There were of course dozens of others that could be included here but this is a lucky dip of sorts into some of my favourite tunes of 2011 that might lead you further into the artist’s work if you havent checked them out yet…

In no particular order as they are all great…

Dick Diver – On The Bank

Those Darlins – Screw Get Loose

J. Mascis – Not Enough

Total Control – One More Tonight

Light Asylum – Dark Allies

The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness

Iron & Wine – Tree By a River

Timber Timbre – Bad Ritual

Little Dragon – Ritual Union

Wilco – I Might

Two Tears – Eat People

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Belong

Iowa – Complete Control

The Laurels – Black Cathedral

The Adults – Nothing To Lose

Austra – Lose It

Atlas Sound – Te Amo

Twerps – Dreamin

Royal Headache – Really In Love

Melodie Nelson – Waiting

Black Lips – Spidey’s Curse

Crystal Stilts – Shake The Shackles

Jamie XX – Far Nearer

The Felice Brothers – Ponzi

The Paper Scissors – Lung Sum

Robag Wruhme – Thora Vukk

Wavves – I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl

Wild Flag – Romance

Leader Cheetah – Crawling Up A Landslide

LISTEN: Songs | Heavy

Sydney’s Songs (Max Doyle, Ela Stiles) have had a period of readjustment with the departure of their drummer and guitarist but they are back with new members Ben James (ex Talons) on drums, Cameron Emerson-Elliot (Community Radio, Youth Group) on guitar and Jules Ferrari (ex Black Ryder) on keys, synth & guitar and working on a follow-up album to the their self-titled debut set for release in early 2012.

Ahead of that they have a new song out recorded with the last line-up before their departure. Heavy sounds like prime era Sonic Youth with krautrock tinges, happy to meander in and out of guitar squalls. The video is due to be launched tomorrow night so we’ll have that up as soon as it is on the streets.

LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS: The Verlaines & Songs @ Annandale, Sydney 30/01/11

The Verlaines | photo by Chris Familton

written by Chris Familton

The Verlaines formed around 30 years ago in New Zealand and wrote some classic songs like Death & The Maiden, Doomsday and C.D., Jimmy Jazz & Me. Graeme Downes went on to be a a professor of music at Otago University – still writing and recording albums both solo (the brilliant Hammers & Anvils) and more recently Pot Boiler and Corporate Moronic.

Playing a rare (if not their first?) Sydney show the band was clearly a group of young ‘uns that Graeme had brought into the Verlaines fold. The guitarist in particular was damn impressive, throwing off Television licks and accents like they were shrugs of the shoulders. Downes meanwhile was the clear centre of attention, dipping into the early 80s back catalogue for songs like the now seminal Death & The Maiden as well as highlighting the strength he possesses in his songwriting with the more recent works. There is clearly some clever crafting of chords and melodies that go on in a Verlaines song with flashes of The Jam, Television and even at times the wittier aspects of Talking Heads. Downes seemed to have a great time – a tad bothered by the Sydney heat yet impressed by the Sunday night turnout.

In support Songs are still blooding their new guitarist and drummer so things were often tentative and searching but the interplay and chemistry is definitely there for them to be as potent a jangly pop krautrock experience as they proved they can be.

The Verlaines | photo by Chris Familton
The Verlaines | photo by Chris Familton
Songs | photo by Chris Familton
Songs | photo by Chris Familton
Songs | photo by Chris Familton
Songs | photo by Chris Familton

NEWS: SONGS Lose Two Members…

Sydney’s Songs released one of the better albums in 2009 and matched it with some stellar live shows. Now comes the news that guitarist Jeff Burch and drummer Steve Uren are relocating. At this stage we presume the band will recruit new members but nothing has been announced.

According to the band:

In light of the impending amicable departures we are recording new material together that will be released in some form or another by years end.

These dates will be the last with the current lineup:

17/09/10 Excelsior, Sydney

18/09/10 The Tote, Melbourne

02/10/10 This is not Art Festival, Newcastle

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