About 5 years ago I ventured with a number of friends to a Regurgitator gig where, as reward for having turned up early, we were presented with music performed by a mystery man. He began his performance with a series of electroclash tunes (joined by a keyboardist that pressed play on an iPod and two female backup dancers) before being joined by a bassist, guitarist and drummer to form a live band that proceeded to MELT OUR FACES OFF. The set was loud, chaotic, brutal, bewildering – and above all, extraordinarily entertaining.

I’ve certainly never forgotten the name SPOD since.

And now, SPOD is back with a new album – and a video that will give you your very own opportunity to have your face melted too. Witness the mayhem:

I meant to blog about DEAD a few weeks ago, but I lost the press release which contained the link to the mp3 and subsequently forgot about it, but Jonny was nice enough to remind me about it when he posted the video.

It’s actually a good thing I didn’t write about the track back then, because I think it’s made even better by this video clip. Make sure you click through to Vimeo’s website and check out the HD version.

The song is an exceptional nugget of juicy electro-pop anthem goodness – infectious in all the best ways possible and absolutely impossible to ignore. The SPOD is proving that he’s a force to be reckoned with, and I’ll willingly bet money that you’ll hear a lot more from this song and album in the months to come.

SPOD is playing at the Oxford Art Factory this Saturday. Tickets are $10.

DEAD appears on SPOD’s new album Superfrenz which is out now and can be purchased from his website.

Sparkadia – Too Much To Do (Dept. remix)

Sparkadia Image

Sparkadia have been pumping out singles from their indie-popalicious Postcards at a rate of knots, apparently to saturate all airwaves in the country and thus Rule The World ™. In a bid to make the most of all this exposure, they’ve set out on a ginormous 19 date tour that they’re currently in the middle of (Sydneysiders may wish to note that the band is playing the Gaelic this Friday)

As a means of promoting said tour, a remix by Dept. of their “Too Much To Do” single has made its way out into the wild. The remix doesn’t stray too far from its purpose as a “dance version of the rock single”, but does pull the tune back a few BPM which has the pleasant side-effect of making it a little more reflective. It sits on top of an upfront lo-fi drum program and comes into its own once the chorus kicks in, capitalising on the anthemic guitar chords and using the toms to nice effect.


Laneway Festival line-up and locations announced

The Laneway Festival line-up has finally been released to the public as of midnight today, after much anticipation and some wackily fake rumours. It looks pretty decent, I think:

  • Four Tet
  • Stereolab
  • Daedelus
  • Pivot
  • No Age
  • The Drones
  • Tame Impala
  • Architecture In Helsinki
  • Girl Talk
  • Mountains In The Sky
  • Born Ruffians
  • El Guincho
  • The Hold Steady
  • Cut Off Your Hands
  • Jay Reatard
  • Buraka Som Sistema Dj/Mc Set
  • The Temper Trap
  • John Steel Singers
  • Canyons
  • Port O’brien
  • Holly Throsby
  • Tim Fite
  • Still Flyin

(I’ve re-ordered the line-up list according to my approximate priorities. Hey, this is my blog, so I can do that sort of thing!)

Despite rumours to the contrary, Laneway will once again be held at the same place in Circular Quay. While being by far the best one day festival I went to last year it was a little oversold in my opinion, so I’m hoping they don’t try and push it to its limits any further in terms of capacity.It’s also travelling to a new city – Perth – and moving to a new location in Brisbane. Full details follow:

    Saturday, 31 January 2009
    Alexandria St off St Paul’s Terrace, Fortitude Valley
    Sunday, 1 February 2009
    Lonsdale St, Caledonian Lane and Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
    Friday, 6 February 2009
    Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge
    Saturday, 7 February 2009
    Fowler’s Live, Northern Terrace
    Sunday, 8 February 2009
    The Basement, Macquarie Park & Reiby Place, Circular Quay

Snowman – The Horse, The Rat and The Swan


Snowman‘s new semi-confusingly titled (as in: took me a couple of days to remember it properly) album The Horse, The Rat and The Swan came out last week. Even though I’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop since it got released, I’ve been avoiding posting about it because I’ve been sure that my initial (very excited) impressions can’t possibly be going to be held up after a lot of listens.

Fortunately, after a week and a half of multiple playbacks per day, the album still resonates as being what will probably end up being one of the best (if not the best) Australian releases this year. Unfortunately, it’s also not likely to see the kind of success or recognition it deserves because the record is going to alienate a significant slice of Australia’s music-buying public. It’s a 38 minute masterpiece consisting largely of moody textures painted with broad brush-strokes interspersed by explosions of frenetic noise rock: terrifying and exhilarating, incredibly cohesive and above all brilliantly executed. I love it.

You will be sure to hear about this album, that’s guaranteed. It’s already got a lot of people talking, and I’m sure it will continue to do so for some time to come yet. However, you are less likely to actually hear the album unless you seek it out, given I don’t imagine it’s going to have much success on the radio. I encourage you to track down some tunes and have a good listen – you may find it challenging initially, but give it some time. It’s definitely worth it.

Need some starting points? The whole album is spectacular, but We Are The Plague is the most obviously catchy song, The Blood of the Swan is a gorgeous slow-burning tune and Diamond Wounds is an absolutely stunning album closer.

Snowman also are doing a national tour in July, with two dates in Sydney at the Annandale on the 17th & 18th.


New Faux Pas EP – Changes

Tim looking stunnedSomewhere around the traps, you may have had the pleasure of hearing the explosive sounds of oddball sample pastiche as brought to life by the loving hands of a dude named Faux Pas. Actually, his real name is Tim Shiel. But I digress…

(If you have not heard the sounds of Faux Pas, there is still yet hope. Go get an mp3 then get another mp3 then watch a video. Then go listen to the rest of the tracks on last.fm)

Last night, Tim stayed up too late and decided he’d send an e-mail to his mailing list. That had interesting consequences, as can be witnessed in this fragment:

RECIPE FOR “CHANGES EP” COCKTAIL: take two parts of hot new ‘faux pas’ action, ie 2 new faux pas tracks. take three remixes deserving of declaratory greatness (for example, i declare these remixes to be great). take one part of music completely played in reverse. combine parts in brain, fry up in the computer and serve on shiny disc, or on floppy disc. or on flying disc, like in the california games.

And that’s pretty much how crazy the whole e-mail was.

Changes EP CoverAfter reading Tim’s cascade of alphabet soup, I suddenly had a revelatory thought which ran along the lines of: “holy cow! Tim said ‘EP’ and ‘new faux pas tracks’ and ‘remixes’ and… that means good!”

And behold, it is good news. Tim’s new Changes EP (note: no “Ch-Ch”) has just been released, and it bundles three remixes (two of which have received jubilant attention from our own FBI Radio and Melbourne’s RRR) and two brand new tracks. Three of the tracks are now available to stream on the Faux Pas Myspace so you really have no excuse to remain ignorant save for your feeble laziness which doesn’t even permit you to go check out quality music from a quality independent muso.

So don’t delay! Head over to Tim’s new website and explore the goodness.

Now to go find my credit card…