Friday, 27 November 2009

Gigs of the Week - November 27th

I wasn't go to do one of these up, but there's so many great gigs on this weekend that I thought that perhaps I should. I think I'll only do one more this year, since things tend to die down in December.

Friday 27th:
No Anchor, The Rational Academy, Yout Dem, Whyte Lighting @ The Step Inn (Front Bar)
The Swamplords (Album Launch), Sulphur Lights, Velociraptor, Running Guns @ The Troubadour
Fergus Brown (NSW), McKisko, Mr Maps, Cowper @ Lofly Hangar
The Gin Club, Edward Guglielmino, Mexico City, Lion Island @ The Zoo
Toy Balloon, Cardhouses @ Ric's Bar
Real Bad Music Convention @ 1145 Ipswich Rd MOOROOKA - Three day DIY convention.

Saturday 28th:
At Sea, Lion Island, Smokestack Orchestra, The Videomatics @ The Troubadour
4zzz's Dub Day Afternoon: Kingfisha, Rhythm Collision Sound System, Darky Roots & lots more @ The Jubilee Hotel
Real Bad Music Convention @ 1145 Ipswich Rd MOOROOKA - Three day DIY convention.

Sunday 29th:
Lion Island, Pensive Penguin, Hello Yoko, Tom Eggert @ Ithaca Pool - just in case you thought there weren't enough opportunities to see Lion Island this weekend.
Real Bad Music Convention @ 1145 Ipswich Rd MOOROOKA - Three day DIY convention.
Assassins 88, Kitchen's Floor, Sleepwalks, Loomer @ Browning St Studios (6pm)

Wednesday 2nd:
Browning St Goes Bush Benefit: The Rooftops, Stop It I Love It Cabaret, Kay Orchison, Peter B & The Homeless Souls, Sarah Gall & more @ Brisbane Arts Theatre (Petrie Terrace) - a benefit for the music teachers from Browning St Studios to take their music education to remote areas. There's also a student recital occuring at the venue at 6pm.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Turnpike @ Mere Noise Meltdown, Step Inn (14.11.2009)

I saw a lot of local bands play over the last weekend. The sounds coming from these bands included cool garage pop (Running Guns), overwrought radio-rock (The Gallant), awesome Bardo Pond-esque drone-pop (Loomer), K-Records-meets-SST sludge (Manic Eyes), affected yet entertaining noise punk (White Cop), the gradual evolution and coming of age of an already pretty great new band (Slug Guts), the farewell of a local phenomenon (Secret Birds' final show), a beautiful yet far too brief set of quiet folk (McKisko), and an experience of a band I missed during their heyday (El Borracho). Most of it was actually pretty damn great, a somewhat rare run of consistently quality music. Some of it was not so good. All of it was worth writing about in some form. However, when the time came there was only one band I really wanted to write about, and they're a band I've written about (and fawned over) before: Turnpike.

Turnpike, for me, are that band you go and see at every opportunity that presents itself, where you stand in the front row with a handful of people and wonder why so many others seem to pay so little attention. They've been one of my favourite bands (note: favourite bands, not just favourite local bands) almost since the first time I saw them. Their music is simultaneously clever, boneheaded, technical, lacking in technique, ear-splitting and aurally orgasmic. Song structures are merely loose recommendations on where a particular piece of music should lead - each player is free to head off on a whim at a moment's notice, or to attempt to play a particular part completely differently to how they've played it previously. And yet the songs are complex, twisting journeys that are unpredictable and yet always hit their marks.

In the last year or so there have been rumours that Turnpike would break up and transform into some other band. Thankfully that plan seems to have been abandoned, but the idea of changing direction somewhat seems to have been retained. New songs have been introduced recently: the first one was introduced a few months ago and is by far the most schizophrenic song the band have yet written. Starting with a bubbling bass riff in 5/4, it eventually builds up and explodes into a rudimentary sort of thrash metal before falling back to where it began. The second new song was unveiled at the Mere Noise Meltdown on Saturday evening, and was in huge contrast to the retro-tinged garage rock performed by most of the other bands on the bill. Featuring more twists and turns than... well, something very twisty and turny, it displayed guitarist Adam King adding a bit of Ian Williams to his usual Steve Albini meets Ash Bowie guitar stylings. Individual notes and melody lines are clearer than they have been for years in Turnpike's music, although still delivered in a highly twisted, clanging fashion. Meanwhile, the rhythm section of Chris Bryant and Tim Evans provide their usual mix of solid anchorage mixed with appropriate levels of chaos, except now with double the number of 90 degree turns in the music and greater flow than ever before. The total effect is mind blowing, throughout the song I found myself being more and more astounded with every newly introduced riff.

Older songs were also performed on the night, both released and unreleased (though familiar to anyone who has seen the band since their debut full length dropped in 2006). They were similarly impressive, and performed as well as I've ever seen them (despite some occasional problem with guitar leads being disconnected due to the Step Inn Front Bar's limited stage space). Although the set was a short one at only five songs, it was packed to the brim of explosive, exciting music. Turnpike may well fall within the confines of 'math rock', but they also display a vitality and energy that bands in that genre often lack, who instead getting lost in studiousness and the search for perfection in performance. Turnpike dismiss that aspect of the genre, and hence are able to comfortably fit into a night such as the Mere Noise Meltdown, where attitude and perceived authenticity reign supreme.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Gigs of the Week - November 12th

Thursday 12th:
Secret Birds (Album Launch), Slug Guts, White Cop, Manic Eyes @ The Clubhouse
Doch Gypsy Orchestra @ The Powerhouse

Friday 13th:
2high Festival: Tin Can Radio, Villains of Wilhelm, Sunflower, My Fiction, Running Guns and more @ The Powerhouse - see for the full list of bands and times. Free entry.
The Stabs (Vic), Witch Hats (Vic), Loomer, The Deadnotes @ The Clubhouse - Free entry.
Mr Rascal, At Sea @ Ric's Bar
Princess Rodeo, Blue Trial Records, The Bloodpoets, Boss Level Monster @ The Globe
Doch Gypsy Orchestra @ The Powerhouse
Wagons (NSW), Texas Tea @ X&Y Bar
Illage @ Checocho Cafe, West End

Saturday 14th:
Mere Noise Meltdown: The Horrortones, Turnpike, El Borracho, Vegas Kings, Butcher Birds, The Sips, The Hymies, The Dangermen, The Keep On Dancins @ The Step Inn
Texas Tea @ The Troubadour (1am Late Show)
2high Festival: Black Market Rhythm Company, Richard In Your Mind (NSW), Mr Maps, McKisko, Dot.AY, Mt Augustus and more @ The Powerhouse - see for the full list of bands and times. Free entry.
Little Lovers, Extra Foxx, Feathers @ 4zzz Carpark (2pm) - All ages, donation entry.
Cuthbert & The Nightwalkers (NSW), Little Lovers, Oh Ye Denver Birds @ X&Y Bar
Hungry Kids of Hungary, Deep Sea Arcade (NSW), Ball Park Music @ The Zoo
Doch Gypsy Orchestra @ The Powerhouse

Sunday 15th:
Shit Life: White Cop, Blank Realm, Tidy Kid, No Guru Trio, Extra Foxx, Loomer, Heart Flew Like An Arrow, Sounds From The Ward, Cured Pink Radio, Swamplords, Loose Grip, Science, Kitten Party, Baglady & Walter P. Cronwiegn, Brutal Hate Mosh, The Harpy Choir @ Dutton Park Cemetary (or somewhere near it, 3pm)
Hungry Kids of Hungary, Deep Sea Arcade (NSW), Ball Park Music
@ The Hive
Live Spark: Steve Grady, Crystal Radios @ The Powerhouse
Doch Gypsy Orchestra @ The Powerhouse