Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Video Interview: Line after line with Dels

I recently interviewed British MC Dels for Spinearth.tv but the sound didn't work with them so I'm posting it here. Can't have all that genius be for nothing.

From: Spinearth.tv
Up n coming British MC, Dels arrives on stage with a bouncing enthusiasm to a hard hitting live drummer and DJ. Supporting Yo Majesty around Europe it's probably the smallest crowd he's played to on the tour and is quick to call the audience to the front. Opener "Eating Clouds" sets the tone, it's upbeat but obstract. Having caught the ears of Hot Chip, the hip electro outfit are now producing his tracks, giving him a unique palette for him to paint his rhymes, the likes of "Eating Clouds", "Shapeshifter", "Myself Malfunction", and "Line After Line". As he notes, it's cliché but he's trying to "push the boundaries". With a design background – from toys to installations – it's all about creating for Dels.
Performing alongside the charismatic ladies of Yo Majesty, they were quick to support his live show, but also give him tips. As a result both he and his tour manager admit his performance has improved ten-fold and he's already thinking about how to improve the next tour. He and Yo Majesty will be back on the continent in the summer for a few shows and festivals so be sure to catch them then.
Dels' myspace
Dels' Blogspot

Monday, March 30, 2009

Video: Holly Throsby for Shoot The Player

Shoot The Player do just that, shoot musicians. Intimate moments with the artist, filmed live in one take, on one camera, outside of their normal stage - it's simple but elegant. See Lightspeed Champion playing in a sex shop, or Andrew Bird at Macquarie's Chair with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background.

Holly Throsby: A Shoot The Player Film from shoottheplayer.com on Vimeo.
The one I've selected however is of Holly Throsby playing "To Begin With" during January's Sydney Festival, filmed not far from my old house in Centennial Park. It makes me homesick. Holly's hinted ocker twang helps set the scene amongst paperbarks, as summer's magnum opus at 44 degrees with a storm brewing is about to upstage the local singer songwriter. Under thunder and large cracks and creaks in the sky to warn you it's about to collapse every Sydneysider knows this feeling, waiting for that moment where pre-storm calm turns to torrential downpour cooling the afternoon - the tension to shoot and beat the rain is palpable.
Meanwhile "On Longing" is worth a look as Holly plays on one of the upright pianos scattered about the city for the Sydney Festival - I also love the dogs, Jones who looks like my ol' pal Elvis and a shaggy lab who drinks from a dripping tap in the distance like a Triffids song.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trailer: Where the Wild Things Are

Karen O is doing the soundtrack but Arcade Fire lend a tune to what will easily be the first movie I've cried in since Boyz in Da Hood.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Podcast: SDRNRfm #1

I dabbled in radio a while back, even won an award thank you very much CBAA (Community Broadcasters Association of Australia). I wish I had a cool voice to warrant an intro or back-announce like I was Joe Strummer on Radio Free Europe, or Henry Rollins on KRCW or Wolfman Jack.
Instead, it's a twenty minute sampler of some tunes, some old, some even older, that I've been enjoying and wanted to hear all together. The tracks aren't exactly mixed (though I did try my hand - you be the judge) so it's not a mixtape in what the kids consider them these days. The track choices just works off a simple similar beat that works its way into a Bo-Diddley rhythm.
I will probably try another based on a band theme next for some cohesion. Until then, I hope you hear something new (or old).

Download SDRNRfm #1
1. Intro from "Calvin" - John Spencer Blues Explosion
2. "Cheap and Cheerful" - The Kills
3. "Rocks" - Primal Scream
4. "Kick It" - Peaches & Iggy Pop
5. "Don't Speak (I came to Bang)" - Eagles of Death Metal
6. "Heard It on the X" - ZZ Top
7. "Mumblin' Guitar" - Bo Diddley
8. "Cannonball" - Duane Eddy
9. "Rudie Can't Fail" - The Clash

Monday, March 16, 2009

Feature: 24hrs in Amsterdam Part 2, 4pm-6am

From Australian Get Lost travel mag this is part two of my 24 hrs in Amsterdam feature. Part one below.
4.00pm: Get Up (I feel like being a) Sex Machine – James Brown
Amsterdam’s main drag Damrak is dirty and grungy but not in a cool, Seattle way. There are plenty of lame tourist traps not worth your time. One that is, is the Sex Museum. Not quite as highbrow as the Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum, at the Sex Museum you’ll find filthy flashers, horny heathens, Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page and Cockzilla. There are also a few of Indiana’s dirtier finds like ancient dildos, kama sutra art and sex machines. With a childish sense of humour and school-girl giggle I’m a kid in an eye candy store. And for a mere €3 worth, you’ll also learn about Amsterdam’s long sex trade history.

5.00pm: Roxanne – The Police
Like the tolerated attitude towards soft drugs, The Netherlands has long held a pragmatic view by political and religious groups in controlling the sex trade. As a busy port even in the Middle Ages, the law recognised that brothels serviced sailors and travelling businessmen and protected women from rape and defilement. When completely legalised in 2000, with an estimated 20-25,000 prostitutes working in The Netherlands, the ladies secured a union, health benefits and could pay superannuation. These days the big issue surrounding the industry is human trafficking, while a recent study showed STIs amongst prostitutes were lower than the Dutch public.
The red light district is a little more alive at this hour. Girls in red doorways, scantily dressed to impress aim to catch my eye. Like aisles at a supermarket, down this lane are the Polish girls, down that lane the Asians, and another, the big girls. Be discreet with your photos, the pimps do not approve. I see a guy step inside the door and the red curtain close after he negotiates the quick deal. Time is money – it’s a business doing pleasure with you.
Mayor Job Cohen and the City of Amsterdam, just as they’ve cracked down on soft drugs have recently bought then closed dozens of brothels in a controversial effort to curb associated crime and clean up De Wallen. With a questionable effect on tourism, in place of the girls, the windows now display Amsterdam’s strong creative scene; clothing designers, artists, sculptors and jewellers. One jeweller, Ted Noten designed red plastic rings, placed them in a FEBO-like vending machine and charged €2.50-a-pop for men to buy for their lady of the night.

6.00pm: Warm Beer & Cold Women – Tom Waits
I’m thirsty. I cross back over Damrak and past the Royal Palace, one of three Queen Beatrix can call home to Spuistraat. The massive Roy Lichtenstein copy that covers an entire building and graffitied walls gives the street a hip-hop edge that’s at odds with the rest of the old city. Gollem, situated just off Spuistraat on Raamsteeg, is a small dank bar that punches above its weight with a worldly array of beer. If you’re homesick you can order a Coopers, but I’m getting Belgian beer Duvel. Like a lot of small pubs, Gollem has a house cat curled up on a stool. This one must love retro rock because there’s always Black Sabbath or Creedence on the stereo. I nurse a couple of beers and order the kaasplank (cheese plate). Raamsteeg is a local favourite with the extensive bottle shop and divine chocolate cake store across the lane.

8.00pm Paradise City – Guns N Roses
Paradiso, an old church born again in the late 60s as Amsterdam’s counterculture epicentre, has been hosting bands and dance parties ever since. On May 26-27, 1995, The Rolling Stones played two semi-acoustic concerts here. Keith Richards has said those shows were up there with their best. Tonight the Constantines start with a lot of hair and distortion and tour pals Ladyhawk make it a solid show all-round. British indie upstarts The Wombats have sold out the grand hall. It’s a major step for any young band and the lucky three whose dream has become a reality, along with their fans, enjoy every second.
Amsterdam’s close proximity to London draws the strong, young London acts across the English Channel to experience life on the road relatively inexpensively while allowing the Dutch to witness great new acts before they get too famous. London Calling is an annual festival held at Paradiso that in the past has invited then-burgeoning British bands like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party to the three-night affair.
Locally, organisation Subba Cultcha spearheads the indie scene, putting on gigs, producing a music magazine and releasing CDs. Hip-hop acts like De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, The Partysquad and The Opposites demonstrate a strong, recognised scene and show that as a language, Dutch flows surprisingly well in rap. For a taste of English-speaking hip-hop try Pete Philly & Perquisite.
The superstars however are techno and trance DJs like Armin Van Buuren, DJ Tiesto and Ferry Corsten, who perform in front of hundreds of thousands at raves and dance parties all around the globe. The successful lineage and importance of the Dutch scene on the world has culminated in the internationally renowned Amsterdam Dance Event every October; by day an industry conference, by night a massive party taking over every club in town.

11.00pm: Girls Girls Girls – Motley Crue
The famous live sex shows are notoriously un-sexy, so a far more intriguing option is burlesque. Risen from the days of yore into modern times with revealing tattoos, piercings, a rock ‘n’ roll edge and a feminist mindset, its kink meets culture, with nipple tassels to boot. Names like Lady Marmalade, the Bombshellys and Natsumi Scarlet are dressed to thrill on the Amsterdam circuit and take to the Burlesque Glamour Night stage at the Nes Comedy Theatre with gusto. Costumes, comedy and magic all accompany the striptease for a retro swing but the co-ed crowd make the loudest noise when the tops come off.

1.00am: Under the Milky Way – The Church
Steve Kilbey, singer for Aussie band The Church, actually wrote “Under the Milky Way” about Amsterdam’s Melkweg, which means Milky Way, as a tribute to the venue. With its two halls, a café, cinema, gallery and media room it’s as old, influential and supportive as the Paradiso on Amsterdam’s cultural youth. Set behind the Leidseplein, club night Gemengd Zwemmen has already been going for an hour. In the main room it’s classic ‘80s and ‘90s hits but with my new tattoo I’m too cool for that, so I swagger into the old hall where it’s a mix of everything current in the indie world.
The Rembrantplein, in the city’s south-east is another busy club district with popular nightspots like Studio 80, Escape and Café de Duivel, the city’s premier hip-hop bar. To the west of the city in De Baarsjes, along Fredrick Hendrikstraat is retro-fitted De Nieuwe Anita, with a bar full of recycled furniture and a back room supporting jazz, rock and even cinema nights. While in De Baarsjes, check out Club 8 open Thursdays to Saturdays on Jan Evertsenstraat hosting local rock ‘n’ roll, indie, electro and party DJs.

6.00am: All Night Long – Lionel Richie
So I’ve stepped into the ‘80s room. To quote Mr Richie, ‘Once you get started you can’t sit down’ and what can I say, I want to fiesta, forever… until fatigue hits and I’m ready to retire from my big day out.
Ever since sailors found Amsterdam, a port that offered drunken respite and womanly relief from their hands on deck, travellers have enjoyed the city’s liberal attitude and lust for life. And while the city’s liberalism dissipates, hopefully it will still heed the immortal words of KISS – to “rock ‘n’ roll all night and party every day”.
For my encore I swig the last of my drink too hastily, spilling beer down my front. Amsterdam, you’ve been a great audience. Good night!

Feature: 24hrs in Amsterdam Part 1, 9am- 3.30pm

Out on the shelves in all decent Australian newsagensies is the current issue of Get Lost travel mag. I wrote their "24hrs in..." feature, all about Amsterdam.
From: Get Lost
With stars in his eyes and rock in his head Colin Delaney goes on tour to live the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for 24-hours in Amsterdam. It’s gigs, musical memorials, tattoo parlours, burlesque shows, sex museums, cannabis and beer, all to the tune of his very own mixtape.
9am: Bicycle Race - Queen
Nothing clears the hangover of a Heineken session like a fresh breeze against your face, crisp air hitting your lungs, and the exercise of a morning bike ride. The Dutch must arrive to work with a relatively cheerier disposition than the rest of the commuting world, cramped on trains and grubby buses. Still somewhat rocking from last night but most definitely rolling, I head out into streets tighter than my jeans to enjoy the city, and like Pearl Jam’s tour, I’m carbon neutral. There are a number of bike rentals in town, but try Mac Bikes beside famous music venue Paradiso for its proximity to Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s small version of Central Park.

9.15am: Park Life - Blur
Vondelpark offers a leisurely ride that doesn’t require novices to negotiate the manic traffic collected by the city’s narrow streets. Tourists on rentals cruise at their own pace, out-manoeuvred by local commuters as mums push prams and dogs take their owners for walks. The paved paths take me past lush grassy lawns, spinneys of trees, duck-filled ponds, a café and amphitheatre – I ride through the park daily and there’s always something new to catch my eye. An early football game is under way on a green patch by a cross-roads where buskers belt out gypsy jigs that sound like the bar scene from Star Wars. I stop to soak up some sounds and soccer, giving the sun a chance to re-energise me for my big day out.

10am: Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
I ride to Hotel Prins Hendrik near Centraal Station, the site that saw Jazz trumpeting great, Chet Baker, fall from his room’s window at about 3am on May 13, 1988. No points for guessing what the coroner found traces of in the heroin and cocaine addict’s body. He may be jazz, but that’s a rock ‘n’ roll way to die. Jazz junkies can book his room. I instead pay my respects at the nearby memorial.
Even more rock history comes from the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel, room 702, made famous by John and Yoko’s bed-in from March 25-31 1969. The suite is now named after them, with peaceful white sheets and walls (BYO bed hair), but unless you really want to slip between the sheets for a hefty price, it’s not worth the visit.

10.30am: Dirty Jeans – Magic Dirt
I wind my way through the red light district of De Wallen as hookers take in their beauty sleep. Some of them really need it. Just beyond De Wallen is the Waterlooplein markets, always worth a wander for great vintage clothes as well as junk dressed up as bric-a-brac. An early arrival can generally guarantee good finds; worn in leather jackets, books, cd’s, gas masks, you name it. I purchase a pair of vintage Levi 501s for €10.

11.30am: One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) – Bob Dylan
Breakfast isn’t a greasy affair in The Netherlands, generally a simple coffee and toast. Bagels & Beans within the markets is an ideal stop. It’s a Dutch chain that is a bit Starbucksy in its décor but its saving grace is it’s not Starbucks. A large black coffee and sun-dried tomato cream cheese on a sesame seed bagel hit the spot. I pick up a copy of Amsterdam Weekly, the free expat newspaper that lists all the gigs each week to see what’s on tonight. Last night saw Aussie artists Gotye and Clare Bowditch play at the famous music venue Paradiso. Tonight it’s the four-to-the-floor rock of Canadian acts The Constantines and Ladyhawk. Perfect. Also worth checking is the Uitboro, available in bar precinct the Leidseplein, for information on upcoming live entertainment and cheap tickets.

12.00pm: Paper Planes – MIA
Tattoos and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand like Slash and Jack Daniels, and Hanky Panky Tattooing is a world-renowned parlour, having left their mark on members of The Prodigy, Korn, Spice Girls, Maroon 5 and Kate Moss. When in the red light district it’s worth checking out their gallery. However, I’m after something more abstract. Igor at Classic Ink & Mods wears his designs on his sleeve, his calves and a moustache on the inset of his finger. He’s the right man for the job.
The sewing machine sound is disturbing but the pain is like an ant bite that moves on as soon as needle does. Igor shares a far more painful travel story about his car crash in New Zealand that nearly left him paralysed, so I man-up. The finished product turns out better than imagined. What says “rock ‘n’ roll on tour” like a paper plane tattoo?

2.15pm: Pass the Dutch – Missy Elliott
Even the most hardened pot smoker will find it surreal to buy pot over the counter and to a novice it can be daunting, but like any good waiter, a coffee shop clerk can tell you what to expect from each type; mild, medium or say good night.
Most Dutch buy their weed from their neighbourhood shop just as we do with our local bottle shop. For travellers, when selecting a coffee shop in the city avoid the heavily souvenired chains like the Bulldogs or Grasshoppers.
While famously de Dampkring featured in Oceans 12, rumour has it Quentin Tarantino wrote the majority of Pulp Fiction spliff-in-mouth at the Betty Boop Coffeeshop on Nieuwezijds Kolk. Betty’s paved plaza is also home to a few decent bars and restaurants. On the Leidseplein, follow the lane between Burger King and Bulldog Palace to Rookies, for its large smoking room, decent tunes and mellow vibe. Likewise, towards Spui on the little laneway Jonge Roelensteeg is Abraxas with a friendly atmosphere, but if you like pot without the hippy connotations try the slick Kadinsky on Rosemarijnsteeg.
Since July 2008’s tobacco ban it’s illegal to smoke tobacco-spun joints indoors unless in specified smoking rooms. So either roll a pure one or smoke with tobacco al fresco.
Also worth noting, as of December 2008 magic mushrooms, once legal, have been outlawed by Dutch government.
If you do enjoy a spliff it’s definitely worth the experience to spark up legally, but if you don’t smoke at home don’t feel pressured just because you’re in Amsterdam – on a whole, pot is stronger here and you can enjoy the city just fine without being stoned.

3.30pm: Mayonnaise – Smashing Pumpkins
A strange yet popular Dutch take away chain, FEBO is famous for its little self-serve windows. Pop your change in, open the window and pull out your bland, cardboardy burger or croquette, the Dutch version of a chiko roll. The milkshakes are a must though and the hot chips with mayonnaise instead of ketchup which, following my visit to Tarantino’s favourite coffee shop, allows me to replay Travolta’s famous line about ‘frites met mayo’: “I seen ‘em do it. They fuckin’ drown em in that shit”. Also at the top of the Kalverstraat try Amsterdam’s famous Vlaamse Friteshuis, a chip institution.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Video: Yeezy's Steez on AI

I don't like to hate on Yeezy. I like Yeezy. But Yeezy can't sing, and that is fo sho. However auto-tune grants Yeezy the luxury of song. It's granted T-Pain straight up luxury - where would he be without it. But for Yeezy, it means Yeezy can sing. Is it fair for him to be held up as a role model on American Idol where the kids are doing it for reals, doing it tough, if he can't sing without the Auto-tune. Yes. You know why. Cos he rocks the Canadian tuxedo like nobody's biz. That may even be chambre underneath which makes it a triple-double-denim-layer-cake-bonanza-The-Boss-ain't-got-nothing-on-Yeezy's-steez night at American Idol. Who got booted? Who cares.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gossip: RA and MM 4eva...

Perez reports Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore got married on tuesday and I'm not too sure how I feel about it. As far as respectable musicians dating pretty popstars go this is I guess the most acceptable, I was about to compare the situation to Katy Perry dating that douche with his hands in the cookie jar but then it occurred she's not a respectable musician and he's not that pretty a popstar. ZING!
Here's Ry-guy on David singing "Two"... and watch out for Andy Dick on the lapsteel. Great to see he's bounced back.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Video: Eagles of Death Metal rock Amsterdam

I filmed the Eagles of Death Metal show at Paradiso for SPINearth.tv last week. It was a great show but little did I know that I had friends at the gig... turns out they got backstage and partied with Joey 'Sexy Mexy' Costello and Big Hands O'Connor... and drank their rider. Ho-hum, here's my report.
Click here for video
The Eagles of Death Metal are fucking rad: sweaty-sexy-truck-stop-rock-n-roll-fucking-rad. Tongue firmly in cheek while still paying respect to the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Lynard Skynard, Foghat and all the great swampy southern skids that ever pickled their livers in sour mash, a EoDM is the best dang knees-up since the Devil went down to Georgia.
And so Jesse 'the Devil' Hughes, Darlin' Dave, Big Hands O'Connor and Joey Castillo the Sexy Mexy took the stage – albeit ironically to "Straight Outta Compton" – and it wasn't long before they let us know what they came to do – Bang. Other standouts throughout the set included "Cherry Cola", "I Want You So Hard" and "High Voltage".
But that wasn't enough. All three levels of the sold out Paradiso crowd were spilling over each other cheering and near done blew the roof off the old church as the Devil took the stage for the encore. He was visibly taken back, pacing the stage, soaking it up and that only made the cheer louder. So he mellowed them down with an old country ballad before covering The Ramones' "Beat on The Brat" and the Stones' "Brown Sugar" to which the rest of the band joined him before closing with "Wannabe in LA".
The Devil's revival rolled into Amsterdam that night and possessed the normally placid Dutch crowd, leaving them baptised in beer and rock n roll and exorcised of all the boring and straight in their life… at least until the next day.

Eagles of Death Metal website
Eagles of Death metal mySpace

Monday, March 9, 2009

News: Fred Durst is Josh Shwartz

To say Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst's true indie debut "Me, Fred Durst banging this faceless Abercrombie model from the back" was a runaway success would be an understatement. So I approach new film The Education of Charlie Banks, starring Jessie Eisenberg from The Squid & The Whale with no trepidation at all, especially considering it was finished in 2007 and only getting a release now. That and after The Longshots featuring Ice Cube did so well...
Charlie Banks looks like it might be the Talented Mr Ripley on the set of Gossip Girl when they all went to the Hamptons for the summer. But if I'm wrong that's cos the trailer and website doesn't tell you much other than emotional teens in New York - one of which looks like 80s Matt Dillon. The film is out in the US March 27.

In other news the sport-rocker has another two albums in the works. Coolio has been done for crack - so not really news. Rihanna will testify against Chris Brown if subpoenaed (that's a funny looking word), tickets for Pinkpop went on sale saturday - 140 euros for three days with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Elbow, Depeche Mode, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and more. And Pitchfork Music Festival have announced their line-up that includes Yo la Tengo, Built to Spill, Jesus Lizard and Tortoise playing the songs you choose as well as The Walkmen, The National, Grizzly Bear and more. Lucky if you're in Chicago. Tix on sale March 13.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

News: Daft Punk to score Tron 2

80s computer nerds, internet phenom Tron Guy, frisbee fans and to a lesser extent Jeff Bridges are all frothing at the mouth about the new Tron 2 film destined for screens in 2010. Me, I was more of a Weird Science guy, what can I say, I love robo-boobs.
Anyway, Daft Punk will be scoring the film. Not since MIA was featured in Slumdog Millionaire all those days ago has a musical act been so destined to be featured in a film. Of course le Frenchies had dabbled in scoring their own films with the G-Forcely brilliant Interstella 5555 and Electroma but here they've got the nod and recognition by Walt himself.

He's actually in a computer... ON A MOTORBIKE NO-FUCKING-LESS!
Give me Max Headroom any day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Video: Run DMC endorses Crude and Dorkmeister

Crude and Dorkmeister called in some favours by a couple of their mates. DMC from Run DMC was happy to oblige.