Thursday, April 21, 2011

RIP TV on the Radio's Gerard Smith

It comes as sad news that TV on the Radio's Gerard Smith lost his battle with lung cancer over night. At just 34 Smith had been with the band since 2005. He had recorded on Return to Cookie Mountain, Dear Science and the recently released Nine Types of Light.

I have only seen TV on the Radio once, in 2006 at Sydney's Gaelic Club and have been eager to see them ever since. A fantastic band who prove themselves worthy of the huge praise time and time again. Nine Types of Light finds the band tread lighter than before, with the same groove but with a mellower vibe, but I chose Family Tree, a song from Dear Science.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bart Constant's Do Better, video by Kimmo Films

Bart Constant's passport does not read Bart Constant, it reads Rutger Hoedemaekers. The Dutch producer has begun to release his own music and, I guess for good reason, thought the pseudonym would be catchier.

It's no wonder Hoedemaekers' contribution to Mixed-tape sees the London Symphony Orchestra, Múm, Pet Shop Boys and Ella Fitzgerald. All of these can be heard on his single "Do Better" under the Constant guise.

"Do Better" builds from small moments to large baroque-pop epicness as Constant's mournful vocals and rich violins are joined by Dustin O'Halloran (formerly of Devics, signed to Bella Union) and his mesmerising piano to feel very Death Cab for Cutie. Sweeping and cinematic; it's a headphone symphony. It'll be interesting to hear what he does next.

Suitably, the accompanying video is both humble and majestic. Kimmo Films' Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering keep the audio of their footage rolling under Constant's song as we're taken into a small film about a disciplined 80s-era trapeze artist torn between her craft and a boy. You know that age-old conundrum.

Stylised beautifully, the film is set around grim and grey Rotterdam, rendering a bleak outlook through grainy super8 (and some Canon 5D). Kimmo captures the female athlete's body in the way Darren Aronofsky did in Black Swan - the star must have been a trapeze artist first, actor second (no slight on her skill for the latter).
Watch to the end to be given a selection of Kimmo's other work. One is a video, 'Call Up To Heaven' by Dutch disco-funk outfit Kraak n Smaak where the super8 gives a fantastic '70s blaxploitation feel. Also check out an excerpt from their short film Manitoba (music by Hoedemaekers), which screened at Cannes and Rotterdam International Film Festival. I'm not sure where you can watch the whole film, if anyone knows, please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brisbane flood relief benefit gigs

PhotobucketThe Brisbane music scene has always been strong with Brisbane bands sharing a unique pop sensibility with sweet hooks and indie charm, there is an obvious lineage of the days of yore with The Saints and The Go Betweens and today.

In the wake of the Brisbane flood disaster a slew of Brissy bands as well as international acts have got together to raise money, with concerts popping up all over the place.

The most prominent show (at least to me) is Float On, the headliners are the newly reformed Custard. They've already played some reunion shows but the gig at West End's HiFi on Sunday 6 February will be electric for band and home crowd alike. In support is Regurgitator, Screamfeeder and Fortitude Valley mainstayers Gentle Ben and his Sensitive Side. Joining them will be Hungry Kids from Hungary, Kate Miller-Heidke and Little Scout. All money raised goes directly to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal - tickets $35 through Moshtix, kick off is 4pm.

The Raggamuffin Festival has been re-dubbed (pardon the rasta pun) Reggae for Recovery and brings international clout to the rescue with Mary J Blige, Jimmy Cliff, Maxi Priest, Sean Paul, The Original Wailers, The Black Seeds and the Red Eyes plus more. The Riverstage, Sunday 30 January - tickets start from $89.

Flood Bank: A Brisbane Music Benefit Concert for 2011 Queensland Flood Victims
takes place on Wednesday 3 February with Violent Soho, Evil Eddie, Ball Park Music, Inland Sea, The Medics, Bang Bang Boss Kelly, The Baby Seal Club, Blonde On Blonde, Grand Atlantic, and Texas Tea at the Old Museum Building in Fortitude Valley - tickets $30 from Oztix.

Guy Sebastian will headline an Australia Day festival (Wednesday 26 January - natch) at South Bank, with support from Ball Park Music and Charlie Mayfair. Tickets are free but booking through Ticketek is essential with opportunities to donate to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.

The Big Dry Out featuring Ball Park Music, Bobby Flynn, The Videomatics and Tape/Off play the Lightspace in Fortitude Valley on Friday 28 January - tickets are $30 (or $20 concession) through Oztix, doors open 6pm.

Meanwhile Queensland MP, Rob Messenger is attempting to guilt the retired Powderfinger into a show at Suncorp Stadium. "I think it's a good idea, I've written to the premier asking for her support," he told ABC Radio on Friday 7. We'll see.

If you're in another part of the country and can't make it to any of these shows, you can still donate.
Photo: Ben Loveridge