Hot damn this tune will get your toe tapping

John Peel famously took the needle off The Undertones' Teenage Kicks and immediately played it again, it was such a perfect pop song. He was, of course, absolutely right.


I had the same reaction hearing Eli Paperboy Reed's Cut Ya Down the other night on FIP. Theoretically it's a problematic piece of music: it's a take on a traditional gospel song and retains all its fire breathing god bothering ways. It's also a white guy (a Yankee no less!) doing his take on a juke joint jam. But holy crap is it an amazing piece of music. Have a listen.

The Cure: still going strong

I've been to four gigs by The Cure now:

The Cure remain one of the most amazing live bands. Incredible to see them again. Had a fantastic time.


Some upcoming gigs in Sydney

Some really interesting gigs coming up in Sydney. Who's in?

Russian Circles
Russian Circles are kind of The Necks with metal instrumentation.  Cinematic metal?  I think they're fucking awesome. Playing Hermann's on 11th September.

http://www.last.fm/event/1973836+Russian+Circles

Marnie Stern
Marnie Sterm, well she's just fucking indescribable. Amazing shredding guitar taps + bubblegum pop. Something genuinely unique.  All I can offer is some YouTube links, but her album "This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That" is one of the most strangely addictive musical treats in the last while.  Playing some venue called "Tone NIghtclub" on Wentworth Avenue on 6th October.

Top Hottest 100 Australian albums of all time

Just put my votes into Triple J's Hottest 100 Australian albums of all time.  I just hope Farnsey and Barnesy don't make the top 10!

Here's my top 10, not in any order:
  • INXS  -  Kick
  • Itch-E & Scratch-E  -  Itch-E Kitch-E Koo
  • AC/DC  -  Back in Black
  • Gotye  -  Like Drawing Blood
  • Midnight Oil  -  10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
  • Necks, The  -  Next
  • Pnau  -  Sambanova
  • PVT (aka Pivot)  -  O Soundtrack My Heart
  • Regurgitator  -  Tu-Plang
  • Severed Heads  -  Come Visit The Big Bigot

The Cure

An amazing gig in an amazing venue. The Cure playing their first three albums at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. Brilliant. Over three hours of brilliance. After missing out on tickets when they sold out in about two minutes, we were lucky enough that a friend heard of some extra, last minute tickets turning up. And they were good tickets, off above the side of the stage.

Fishing, Jinja Safari and Cloud Control gig

Last night Holly and I had a grandmother looking after Louis and tickets to a gig. Date night! Lots of fun was had.

First, dinner at Arisun, the latest stop on our quest for the best Korean Fried Chicken. I have to say, this one is the goods! Crispy, spicy, unctuous. Mmmm.  Brilliant stuff.

Next up, the gig.  It's not often we want to see a band and both supports, but this gig had three bands we wanted to see.  I'd caught Fishing with Ben Askins late one night at the Peats Ridge Festival, randomly wandering into a tent and really digging them.  Holly had done the same with Jinja Safari while I was looking after Louis one night.  Holly got to see Cloud Control while I was looking after Louis, so I was keen to catch them at last.

All three bands were great.  Fishing are particularly awesome, with a wonky kinda live electronic vibe going on. You can check out their single here. I really like their sound and can't wait for some more releases!  Cloud Control were sensational, very polished, and the crowd were rapturous and singing along to every song, which I imagine is a bit novel now they're in London and nobody's ever heard of them.

Pretty exhausting though, given we're used to bed times closer to 21:30...

Yay for babysitters 2

Two gigs in one week! At Opera House for Blonde Redhead. Support were ghastly. Enjoying the view before main act.

To be honest, the gig was a bit disappointing. I shouldn't be too surprised given the band have one amazing album and not much else worth listening to. But it's such a great album! As it happens, they played only one song from the great album and the rest was pretty crap.

I dreaded it every time they put their guitars down to play their keyboards. Every one of these tracks seemed to consist of meandering FM synth pads pushed through cathedral reverb. Not helped by the sound in the Concert Hall seeming to kill any mid frequencies from the music.

Wish I'd gone to see Sufjan Stevens instead now, though we had a nice night out anyway.

Yay for babysitters

We got to have an adult night out thanks to Grandma. Dinner at Spice Temple then Holy Fuck at Sydney Festival's Becks Festival Bar.

Spice Temple was fantastic. The only baseball bat in the arsenal seemed to be Szechuan pepper and chilli, but what a nice bat to whack you upside the taste buds!

Holy Fuck, also excellent. More exciting in the tiny, sweaty Annandale last time we saw them, but still great.

Wanted: Tightly compressed, sunny music for my cycle commute

I love listening to music and I love cycling into work. Not having a death wish, I don't ride along with headphones, oblivious to my surroundings. So I've rigged up a set of stereo Bluetooth speakers on the handlebars, which connect to my phone running Spotify for the music. The speakers aren't brilliant though: no bass, limited mid range. That pretty much rules out most electronic music, which needs some bass and clear mids. So I'm searching for music, suitable for cycling, that will sounds decent on these limited speakers.

If you've got a Spotify account, you can look at and add to the collaborative playlist I've set up.  If not, drop me a note in the comments.

So I suppose the specifications are:
  • Sunny, happy music you'd listen to on a bright, sunny Summer day.
  • Compressed sound that'll sound good on a $5 transistor radio over FM.
  • No reliance on heavy bass or mids.

Music currently in the playlist:
  • Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With the Arab Strap
  • Belle & Sebastian - I'm a Cuckoo
  • The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger
  • OutKast - Hey Ya!
  • The B-52s - Rock Lobster
  • Miss Li - Bourgeois Shangri-La
  • Washed Out - New Theory
  • The Virgins - She's Expensive
  • MGMT - Time To Pretend
  • Cut Copy - Lights & Music
  • Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out