VIDEO: Arctic Monkeys – “R U Mine?”

Arctic Monkeys

Disregarding the cringe-worthy spelling of the title, this feels like a great return to form for Arctic Monkeys.

I’ll admit that my interest in them began to wane after Favourite Worst Nightmare – but in all fairness, I never got around to giving subsequent albums a proper listen. I never had a problem with the dirtier, garage-esque sounds of their later output, but there’s something about the hooks and structure of this that almost feel reminiscent of their poppier days. Maybe they’re finally finding more of a balance after such a huge stylistic shift.

The video is really well done, as much as it looks like a DIY job. Check it out below, and you’ll see why.

LIVE: The Panics, live at ANU Bar, Canberra (22-09-11)

Avalanche City opened the night, and I’m glad they made the trip from New Zealand. Their folkish hooks came coupled with instrumentation that felt both delicate at times, and very powerful at others. The rapid guitar picking jumped up from the tinkling additions of a glockenspiel and what seemed like a cross between a mandolin and a banjo (actually, according to Wikipedia it’s a “manjo” – you learn something new every day!). They were surprisingly good for a support act, and it was nice to start the night with a band that has not only a firm grasp of their sound, but also the talent to bring it across live. The only things I think their music and live show would benefit from is more explosive and giant moments. The potential to build them is there, they just need to take hold of it. But Avalanche City put on a great show, and are well worth checking out.

Next up were Georgia Fair. Known more widely as the band that wrote the song on that milk commercial, don’t be too quick to put them in a box (as great as “Picture Frames” is), because these guys have matured and developed since then. The softly-spoken folk numbers filled the bar, in-between guitar stabs and intricate backing melodies, and the band poured forth emotion, showing off both older tracks and newer unreleased ones.

Provided Georgia Fair don’t fall into the over-populated group of bands I call the “Boy And Bear niche”, they’ll have a great future ahead of them. With a sense of pace and melody, it would be interesting to see the band bring some bite into their sound, because I think it’s something they could definitely achieve well.

At any rate, Georgia Fair have a sense of style grounded in beautiful harmonies, and right now that’s more than enough to provide an entertaining set. The duo are preparing to release their full-length debut in about a month’s time, so make sure you look out for it!

There’s something quintessentially Australian about The Panics. From their modest yet enthusiastic stage presence, to their grandiose melodies, there’s something about them that screams out “geniune” and “down to earth”. It’s an attractive quality in musicians really, because no one enjoys going to a gig where the musicians’ ego crowds out the room. The fact that The Panics carry themselves in such a way does everything to reinforce the passion they have for their craft, and when you’re watching a passionate band perform, there isn’t much more you can ask for.

Running through a slew of older tracks, with a handful from their 2007 J-Award-winning album Cruel Guards, the band also introduced the polite crowd at ANU Bar to a few numbers from their latest release – Rain on the Humming Wire. That said, understandably “Don’t Fight It” received a very warm welcome, as did “Majesty” and “Get Us Home” (which was brought out for the encore).

As subdued as some of their songs are, the band’s energy and playing carried the performance. Jae Laffer’s very distinctive movements showed a man absorbed in the moment, and between the relaxed grooves and frenetic playing of the other members, the band didn’t drop a beat (from what I could tell).

It would’ve been particularly impressive to see them bring a brass player on tour for some of the instrumentation, in particular the melodies in “Don’t Fight It”. But I understand the logistics of these things make it often not worth the hassle, and the song didn’t suffer as a result which is the important thing.

The Panics put on a tight show, with impressive playing and a warming stage presence. It’s hard not to enjoy a band like this, especially when you have a perfect crowd. Their blend of alt-rock with slow-crawl country influences may not be entirely ground-breaking musical territory, but The Panics prove that when sometimes coupling a considerable amount of talent and dedication, a performance becomes less about challenging an audience and more about pulling them in – and that’s exactly what they do.

VIDEO: Jumping Ships – “Talisman”

Jumping Ships

Alcopop are a brilliant label. C’mon – Johnny Foreigner, Screaming Maldini, Stagecoach – what more do you need? Nothing, right? I know, they’re so good. Well lucky you, because you’ve got more! Jumping Ships are a part of that extensive list of “more”, and boy have they got a huge sound.

It’s truly a crime that their latest clip for song “Talisman” has so few views (505 at current count). Like a parent that’s caught you coming home at 4 in the morning, the band explode at the most unexpected moments, and the surprising way that the drums and guitars unconventionally weave together in the final moments will make the song latch onto the awesome-sector of your brain.

You should still listen though! It’s not painful at all. You can grab a free download of “Talisman” at their BandCamp page over here!

TOUR: Gyroscope

Gyroscope have just announced the Choose Your Own Adventure tour! It’s going to be their only headline tour for 2011, and will see them hit the road through October and November to play a handful of dates. Sydney and Adelaide punters are especially lucky, as the band have managed to make the shows there all ages.

But more interestingly, this is a tour where you (yes, you!) will choose the setlist! By the democratic process of a Facebook vote, fans will be able to choose which songs Gyroscope practice and take out on the road with them.

Keen to vote? Run over here and like their Facebook page so that you can vote when it’s open.

All the tour details are below.

Tickets on sale Thursday August 25

THURSDAY OCTOBER 20
PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY WA
Heatseeker: http://www.heatseeker.com.au – 08 6210 2850 – Heatseeker Outlets
Venue Box Office: 08 9721 2016

FRIDAY OCTOBER 21
SETTLERS TAVERN, MARGARET RIVER WA
Heatseeker: http://www.heatseeker.com.au – 08 6210 2850 – Heatseeker Outlets

SATURDAY OCTOBER 22
STUDIO 146, ALBANY WA
Heatseeker: http://www.heatseeker.com.au – 08 6210 2850 – Heatseeker Outlets

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29
L’ATTITUDE 28,  GERALDTON WA
Heatseeker: http://www.heatseeker.com.au – 08 6210 2850 – Heatseeker Outlets
Venue Box Office: 08 9965 3776

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 16
THE ZOO, BRISBANE QLD
Oztix: http://www.oztix.com.au – 1300 762 545 – Oztix outlets

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 17
THE GOV, ADELAIDE SA *Lic. All Ages*
Moshtix: http://www.moshtix.com.au – 1300 GET TIX – Moshtix Outlets
Venuetix: http://www.venuetix.com.au – 08 8225 8888

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18
CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE VIC
Oztix: http://www.oztix.com.au – 1300 762 545 – Oztix outlets
Venue Box Office – http://www.cornerhotel.com – 03 9427 9198

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19
THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW *Lic. All Ages*
Oztix: http://www.oztix.com.au – 1300 762 545 – Oztix outlets
Ticketek: http://www.ticketek.com.au – 02 9550 3666
Venue Box Office: http://www.factorytheatre.com.au – 02 9550 3666

VIDEO/TOUR: Jebediah – “Battlesong”

To celebrate the launch of their latest single and video, “Battlesong”, Aussie rockers Jebediah have just announced a few more dates around the country (yes, more! They’re touring right now too!). That’s dedication. Check out the tour details below.

Thu 10 Nov – Metropolis, Fremantle WA
Thu 17 Nov – Billboard The Venue, Melbourne VIC
Fri 18 Nov –  Fowlers Live, Adelaide SA
Sat 19 Nov – Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Fri 25 Nov – HiFi, Brisbane QLD

Tickets are on sale Monday, the 22nd of August.

Check out the brand new video for “Battlesong” below. Full of lots of live shots, it captures the energy and atmosphere of their performances.

VIDEO: Jebediah – “Control”

How this video has so few views, especially after the huge popularity of “She’s Like A Comet”, really astounds me. It’s not a brand new video, but I feel obliged to share it in the hope that a few more people give it a listen. It’s a brilliant song and it deserves a bit more recognition.

Jebediah really manage to balance out the racing rock and poppy bites in this one, and Kevin Mitchell’s voice can change to suit accordingly. They’ve been around for quite a while, and I think they’ve well and truly earnt their place as one of Australia’s best modern rock bands that can consistently deliver good music.

VIDEO: The Living End – “Song For The Lonely”

Aussie rockers The Living End have just released their sixth full length album, The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating, and “Song for the Lonely” is the second single from the release!

Check out this brand new video from the guys. Not sure how I feel about the artistic choice to blur the guys “parts”, would’ve been better to cover them up another way. Overall the video has some cool slow-mo footage, but that seems to be about it. You can weave together any explanation you want about the water and paintball bombardment being a metaphor and how these people are lonely or oppressed or whatever, but it really doesn’t seem all that revolutionary. That said, it’s a cool song, and well, the video is at least interesting.

See what you think.

LIVE: Kaiser Chiefs, live at the UC Refectory, Canberra (03-08-11)

It was always going to be an interesting night. Only being familiar with singles from all three acts on the night meant that, in a sense, I was going in blind (or deaf). Which was kind of exciting.

In comparison to the Chief’s Sydney and Melbourne sideshows, which I’m sure will sell out, Canberra’s reception for the international band seemed a little lukewarm at first. Word from one of the event organisers, before doors opened, was that around 600 tickets were sold, and my friend and I (who both arrived an hour before doors to get a good spot) were the only ones there for quite a while. Which surprised me, to be honest. But we were the first ones in, so I can’t complain.

First up were Stonefield, and they showed everyone exactly why they’re starting to make waves in Australian music. Although they didn’t appeal to me stylistically, there’s no doubt that their playing was tight. Their brand of early rock was huge and expansive, filling the Refectory, and they did a good job of getting people excited, especially considering their job was to support Kaiser Chiefs. Vocally, all four girls had lots of talent, and I think if they continue playing that well, along with solid touring, they’ll develop a very strong fanbase.

Next up were Papa Vs. Pretty. These guys have been getting a fair bit of support from triple j lately, and their live show is a good indication of why. Thomas Rawle’s voice really shone on single “Heavy Harm”, and from then onwards, their set seemed to get better and better. They manage to move musically between lighter, melodically diverse moments, to harder, crashing rock, in mere moments, and there was no doubt that they put all of their energy into the set. Unfortunately, whether it was my position in the crowd, or the sound set up, it felt as if the music wasn’t very clear during a few points. Ultimately though the band played well, and like Stonefield, have the potential to get much bigger. While I think Stonefield are more likely to satisfy a niche audience in comparison to Papa Vs. Pretty, both bands were excellent as supports.

By this time the Refectory was actually looking quite full, which was a nice feeling. Canberra doesn’t get many international acts visiting, so I feel it’s important that when they do come out, we encourage them to come back. The compulsory chants started, and then we got a couple of minutes of some pre-recorded jam playing while lights flashed. It was pretty exciting, even if it was a less conventional way to see a band come on stage.

Starting off with “Everyday I Love You Less And Less”, the band wasted no time in launching into a series of some of their most popular hits. Despite this, the mosh was surprisingly tame for the whole night, which was actually quite nice. Second row and not being pushed around? Sounds good to me.

Frontman Ricky held the band’s performance together in terms of stage presence. Leaping all over the place, he proved to be a gigantic ball of energy throughout the course of their set. Seriously, solar power? Wind power? Screw it, just get this guy on a treadmill and we’ll be fine. Drummer Nick Hodgson also put a huge amount of energy into his playing, however both guitarists looked a little bored. That said, I can’t fault the band’s playing one bit at all. I probably only knew just over half of their set, but what I knew sounded spot on.

On top of that, the band (and Ricky in particular) definitely know how to engage a crowd. Standing on the barrier a few times and encouraging everyone to sing along during certain moments (which there were plenty of), the band really showed everyone why they are big enough to tour internationally – whether or not you love their music, they really are entertaining.

Their set consisted of every single I knew (and one I’d forgotten I knew), with the notable exception of “Na Na Na Na Naa”. I also heard new songs from The Future Is Medieval that I liked, so all in all they really know how to please a crowd and balance out their material, which becomes an important skill to have when you’ve written four albums.

It’s a shame some of the other band members didn’t seem so enthusiastic, but maybe that’s their playing style. Kaiser Chiefs brought down the Refectory with their infectious rock, and I hope their show encourages more bands to do the same, because it was a great night at a venue with lots of potential.

Some of the photos courtesy of Nick Beecher.

VIDEO: Foo Fighters – “Walk”

Foo Fighters. I love ’em. Not gonna lie. Just had to share that.

Anyway, they just released a video for “Walk” from their new album Wasting Light. It’s hilarious, and contains underlying themes which keep the video right on track. It was good to see all members of the band getting multiple cameos as well.

They’re such a diverse band when it comes to their videos too. In recent years we’ve had the seriousness of “The Pretender”, and the comedy stylings of “Long Road to Ruin” (one of my favourite clips ever – Grohl’s acting is so funny, yet somehow still feels so sincere). I think Grohl would be great in a comedy film and could really pull a funny role off, but whether he ever does a bit of acting is another question altogether.

The clip is great, one of the best I’ve seen for a while. Check it out below (or over here).

VIDEO: Guineafowl – “Little Fingers”

Awesome indie-rockers Guineafowl have had quite a big Wednesday!

On top of being able to tell everyone they’re playing SPLENDOUR IN THE FREAKIN’ GRASS (congratulations guys!), they’ve released their latest video for “Little Fingers”.

I’ve gotta hand it to them – I thought Botanist was done extremely well and had absolutely no idea what this clip was going to be like. Sure, people will complain that the reversed video is a gimmick or whatever. Those people are probably overly cynical and whinge about anything that comes there way. I for one don’t care that Coldplay and Eskimo Joe have done it before. This is a brilliant effort and would’ve taken a hell of a lot of practice.

In the order we watch the video, Guineafowl is actually regurgitating a banana. Seems kinda funnier when you think about it that way. But I digress. The vocals are extremely well done and it looks really cool.

TAKE A LOOK.