TOUR/COMPETITION: Ben Sherman Big British Sound! + Win some CDs!

For those of you hanging around Sydney and Melbourne, early May is going to bring you some great live music. In fact you guys get access to pretty cool music most of the time. But especially now, because on the 11th and 12th of May is the Ben Sherman Big British Sound!

“What’s that?”, you might ask. Well, it’s a night filled with emerging artists from around Australia. It’s been pretty successful the past two years, and has seen artists like Art Vs Science, Tame Impala, Little Red, and Seabellies grace the stage.

The catch? Each artist performs one or two covers from British artists they like. So not only do you get to see some brilliant Aussie musicians play, but you get to hear some special covers as well.

Head down if you get the chance! Tickets are only about $10 each.

11th May (Wednesday), 2011 – 19:30-22:30
The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan St
Tickets –
Ball Park Music
Strange Talk
Boy In A Box
Owl Eyes
DJs Simon Winkler & Jess McGuire (RRR)

12th May (Thursday), 2011 – 19:30-22:30
The Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
Tickets –
Ball Park Music
Strange Talk
Boy In A Box
DJs Sweetie & Shag (FBi)


Thanks to the folks organising the Ben Sherman Big British Sound, you can score copies of the latest releases from Ball Park Music and Boy In A Box!

All you have to do is comment and tell me who your favourite British artist is, and why! Easy, right? Get to it! Just leave an e-mail address somehow when you leave a comment, otherwise I can’t contact you.

I’ll pick the best entry and announce the winner on Saturday afternoon, so get your entries in early!

Competition is over! Congratulations to Benny Nitro!

INTERVIEW: Big Bird’s Bear Trap

Yesterday a friend of mine directed me to a YouTube video, and my mind was absolutely blown.

Although uploaded over a year and a half ago, and consisting of a home recording from their lounge room, Big Bird’s Bear Trap’s video shows them displaying serious vigour and energy as they perform one of their earliest songs. Their fan-base may not have expanded far beyond the local region, but if the video is anything to go by, then BBBT have one of the wildest live shows going around right now.

Of course, the harsh instrumentation and occasional screaming may put some listeners off, but the beautiful undertones of honesty and integrity in the lyrics will hit home for many, and it’s the contrast between the quieter moments the band has and these brutal surges that really differentiate them from other artists.

I caught up with Mitch Reinke from the band to talk about the band’s future and how they feel about their older material.

On the Tune: You guys have been fairly quiet recently, what’s happening? Can we expect some new material soon?

Mitch: Yeah, you’re right we have been quiet for a while. We sort of took a year of to pursue other goals we had and we were going to just see what happens I guess. We have a few projects going and a few new bands coming up but you never know, BBBT might be back sooner than you know.

OtT: Your live shows look insane – any chance of a tour sometime soon?

M: Look, we are in the process of working out logistics for a tour but with the tightening rules around firework accessibility, gun control regulations and the fact that OH&S say were not allowed to get 17 independently powered Van der Graaf generators to make the crowds stand on end, due to a high risk of mass electrocution to what ever city we would be touring in first, it might be a little while before its up and running. But we will keep the fans informed.

OtT: What was your inspiration for “Ode to Beethoven”? Apart from Beethoven, of course.

M: “Ode to Beethoven” was a fantastic breakthrough song for us as we were really experimenting through many different genres of music, which ones sort of just melded naturally together, and low and behold it turns out we stumbled upon something. Who knew Classical and what we like to call DESTRUCTO METAL would fuse so perfectly together in a sort of harmonic and sanctimonious love fest of notes. I guess the reason that we were inspired to dedicate this song to Beethoven was just that we wanted to have a song that really showed the evolution of music from where it was back then to where it is now, and I think that Beethoven’s music really summed up the feeling in his day, and I believe our music really sums up the world we live in now. But again that is open to the individual’s interpretation.

OtT: I hear Warner Music have picked you up recently, is this true? Are you signed now?

M: That’s a simple misunderstanding there, but the label was in fact WarNed not Warner. WarNed Records is a record company based in Austria and the rough translation is War=WAS and Ned=NOT. Its great working with Was Not (to use their English name) Records, they’re all really great guys and despite not being able to understand them we have had a great time. This would also answer a question of the next album release date which will be, as far as I can gather from the reaction I got from our producer when I asked him the question, “ich verstehe dich nicht, ich verstehe dich nicht, ich weiss nicht was du hast gesagt.” And I can only presume that is good, so it shouldn’t be too long.

REVIEW: MiniBoone – "Big Changes"

MiniBoone’s "Big Changes" opens up with "Summer Jam". Building up from a thumping bass-line and layered backing-vocals, the drums tap along before the song hits a high with the line "Tell me why I feel the way I do", introducing a light-hearted xylophone-like melody. It’s a pretty good opener.

But the second track. I mean, wow. Just wow. "Cool Kids Cut Out of the Heart Itself" has to be the most fun I’ve had listening to something for quite a while. It just bounces. It’s lively. Admittedly I’m a massive sucker for the kind of fun drum beats and light guitar riffs that feature in it, but the song has so much more to offer. Clocking in at just under 2 minutes, combined with some "Hey!"’s and "Shoo-doop-doo"’s, this is a brilliant track. It’s excellent.

Another great stand out is "Devil in Your Eyes". There’s another nice progression, with notably infectious verse lines. It’s just catchy, and is a bit more of a longer track than "Cool Kids…". Though they do both work very well close to each other.

Though they don’t have the same instant effect as the earlier tracks, "I Need" and "Funny Money" aren’t bad at all, with the latter being an excellent closer for "Big Changes". All in all it’s a catchy and fun EP.

This is the tough bit though. I really want to describe MiniBoone in a way people can relate to them, without attaching a negative stigma to them. I’d say indie-rock, but that’s too broad a term. They’re something a bit more original and musical. Something that you, yes even you, can even appreciate and like. Download "Devil in Your Eyes". Listen to it. Think "Hey, I don’t have to pretend to be so elitist anymore. I can listen to this stuff that has guitars and sounds kinda cool, maybe even poppy. I don’t have listen to obscure noise or experimental hipster music (though there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re into that stuff). I’m cool with this music too." Do it. It will make you feel happy and good inside. That’s the best way I can describe them. Anything else would just seem trivial and mediocre, because they have to be heard to be differentiated from the flock of mind-numbingly-boring bands out there.

I think I’m starting to understand why they titled it "Big Changes". I can see this EP making some fairly big changes and advances for the band as a whole if they keep it up. It’s a solid set of tracks, and I’m sure with some touring and promotion of it, it’ll get the reception it deserves.

Score: 7/10

Grab a free download of "Devil in Your Eyes" here.

You can check out a blog here, and visit their Bandcamp page here. You can very conveniently stream the whole EP there and buy it if you’re so inclined.