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Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard [rescheduled from May 22 and then October 22, 2020 and again on October 23, 2021]

After  the previous King Gizzard show in this very venue, I was all set to wait in line for this one.  People arrive very early for the merch.  But when I got there (close to 8), there was no line to get in.  That’s because the merch line was (once again) insanely long.  It went almost to the stage.  In fact, it was unclear who was on line and who was just milling about.  Well, even though I would have liked a poster, I certainly didn’t need to wait in that line (or spend $50).

The show started very late.  While waiting last time, I felt a sense of existential “what’s the point” last time, and I kind of felt this this time.  It’s crowded, it’s hot, we’re just standing here.

And then they came out and all was forgotten.  They launched into Oddlife.  By  the way, the band has released six albums since the last time they played here, so who knew what was coming.  This song featured the “Flying Microtonal Banana” guitar, so there was bound to be a couple more microtonal music.

Up next was “Billabong Valley” on which Ambrose sang (and played guitar).

At some point, all the yahoos who were hanging back started pushing in trying to get into the center for the inevitable pit.  I was really blown away last time at how mobile the KGATLW crowd was.  Slamming, pogoing, bouncing, just full body contact everywhere.  We were all pushed way away from our original position.

After the looming fun of “K.G.L.W.” Stu switched guitars to his new inverted flying V.  Although they had played songs from Infect the Rat’s Nest last time, this time they played two different songs from it, and they inserted the thrashing “Predator X” from Omnium Gatherum which fit perfectly.

Then things slowed down immensely for the mellow acoustic vibe of “Her and I,” the final song on I’m in Your Mind Fuzz.

So far, “Billabong Valley” was the only song they’d played for me before.

Then they began “Crumbling Castle” and the fans went nuts.  It’s one of my favorite songs, but I didn’t know it was everyone’s favorite song (who knows with KGATLW–they have 22 albums out).  “Castle” and “Her and I” take about 20 minutes alone, and this show was turning from a headbanging ball into a jam fest.  Especially when it segued into “The Fourth Colour” also from Polygondwanaland/

Then Ambrose said it was time to dance as they played King Gizzard’s rap song “The Grim Reaper.”  There was much dancing and waving.  And then they segued into “Ice V” the only song from the three albums that they released in October.  It’s probably my favorite track on Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava.

Then they called Leah Senior out and she began reciting some of Altered Beast with Leah doing the narration.  In 2018, they had played us Alter Me I and Altered Beast I.  This time it was Alter Me III and Altered Beast IV  It was like the ended the story four years later.

They ended with “Evil Death Roll” a rollicking good time from Nonagon Infinity.  They jammed this out for a pretty long time, throwing in teases from other songs.

Comparing this show to previous shows, the number of songs in significantly lower.  But they really jammed out some songs in the middle, giving this a more psychedelic feel than previous shows.  This in no way stopped the crowd from pushing and shoving and surfing.  Indeed ,some guy was just pushing me, for no reason that I could see–quite hard too–until I asked him to switch places with me.  Which he did.

Despite how much I love them, I decided that I don’t think I’ll be seeing them again.  The crowd is just not my crowd.  Unless they play somewhere else (but there’s really nowhere bigger than Franklin Music Hall) and they keep selling that venue out pretty easily.

 

Franklin Music Hall October 22, 2022 Franklin Music Hall August 30, 2019 Union Transfer June 18, 2018
Oddlife ∑ Planet B ℜ Digital Black ⊗
Billabong Valley ⇔ Perihelion ℜ Vomit Coffin ⊗
K.G.L.W. £ The Great Chain of Being Ω The Lord of Lightning ⊗
Mars for the Rich ℜ Stressin’ ℘ Cellophane β
Predator X Ø I’m in Your Mind β Alter Me I ⊗
Organ Farmer ℜ I’m Not in Your Mind β Altered Beast I ⊗
Her and I (Slow Jam 2) [Iron Lung tease] β Cellophane β Evil Death Roll ∝
Crumbling CastleΔ I’m in Your Mind Fuzz β Billabong Valley ⇔
The Fourth ColourΔ The Balrog ⊗ Nuclear Fusion ⇔
The Grim Reaper Ø Acarine € Rattlesnake ⇔
Ice V ¥ Murder of the Universe ⊗ All Is Known Ω
Alter Me III (with Leah Senior) ⊗ The Bird Song € Crumbling Castle Δ
Altered Beast IV (with Leah Senior) ⊗ Let Me Mend the Past ∼ The Fourth Colour Δ
Evil Death Roll
(Altered Beast & Hypertension teases;
contained elements of Invisible Face)
Billabong Valley ⇔ Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet Δ
Nuclear Fusion ⇔ The Castle in the Air Δ
Doom City ⇔ Muddy Water Ω
All Is Known Ω The Wheel Ω
Boogieman Sam € Robot Stop ∝
Cyboogie € Gamma Knife ∝
Self-Immolate ℜ Some Context ⊗
Hell ℜ

© Changes (2022)
≅ Laminated Denim (2022)
¥ Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava (2022)
Ø Omnium Gatherum (2022)
µ Butterfly 3000 (2021)
£ L.W. (2021)
∑ K.G. (2020)
ℜ Infest the Rats’ Nest (2019)
€ Fishing for Fishies (2019)
Ω Gumboot Soup (2017)
Δ Polygondwannaland (2017)
⊗ Murder of the Universe (2017)
Flying Microtonal Banana (2017)
∝ Nonagon Infinity (2016)
β I’m in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)
℘ Oddments (2014)
∼ Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)

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[ATTENDED: October 22, 2022] Leah Senior [rescheduled from May 22 and then October 22, 2020 and again on October 23, 2021]

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard created a record label (Flightless) and they released Leah Senior’s latest album.

I had listened to Leah Senior when it was first announced that she was going to open for them on the tour.  I think her new album wasn’t out yet, because I found what I heard to be fine, decent folk music.

Or as NME says:

Her first two albums, 2015’s ‘Summer’s On The Ground’ and 2017’s ‘Pretty Faces’, are sparsely arranged folk records – usually just Senior and her guitar, maybe a bit of piano – with songs she says were often born from anguish. But on ‘The Passing Scene’, Senior moves away from the sounds of early Joni Mitchell to something echoing the late-’60s, jazzy, jam-band sound of Karen Dalton’s ‘In My Own Time’. Senior says she approached recording with a sense of playfulness for the first time.

Because live, these songs were delightful!  Fun and bouncey with a fantastic band and, the killer ingredient: backing vocals by her sister, Andi.  Together the two of them sang beautiful harmonies.

I expected to like her set, but I was enchanted by it.  By her voice, by the way her band fleshed out these songs and by the overall vibe she generated.  She played guitar for the first few songs and then switched to piano/keyboards for the rest.

I was less enchanted by the loud dude near me who felt compelled to talk a lot about which King Gizzard albums he had and how much he hated baseball and how mean the Aussies were during the lockdown.  Fortunately, the person he was talking to moved away from him and he was left talking to no one and we all enjoyed the last few Leah Senior songs ever the more.

I couldn’t see her all that well–a wall of KGATLW fans were in my way, but her voice soared over any obstacles.

  1. Time Traveller §
  2. Daisy
  3. Graves §
  4. Pony [new]
  5. Ocean Quilt Lady §
  6. There’s No Fish §
  7. Where Am I
  8. Love Outlast My Heart ♥
  9. Evergreen §
  10. Bug in a Bath §

§ Passing Scene
♥ from Love Hurts compilation

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SOUNDTRACK:  hiatus

[READ: December 3, 2021] “A Lovely and Terrible Thing”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my seventh time reading the Calendar.  The 2021 Short Story Advent Calendar is a deluxe box set of individually bound short stories.

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check this link where editor Alberto Manguel is providing daily commentary on each of the stories he selected for this year’s calendar.

You know this story is going to be unusual because the main character works for Ripley’s Believe It or Not (I didn’t know they had that in Australia).

He is off to investigate a claim when his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.  After a few hours of fruitless struggle, a local man approaches.  They decide that the place the driver is going is too far to walk so the local (named Angola) offers to let him spend the night at his place. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: October 23, 2021] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Leah Senior [rescheduled from May 22 and then October 22, 2020; moved to October 22, 2022]

indexOn May 24, King Gizzard announced that they were pushing back this tour for another year.  It seemed surprising since everyone else is filling in tour dates this fall, but they made a valid point

We’ve made the (very hard) decision to reschedule our USA/CAN tour once again.

This was an extraordinarily tough decision to make but I hope y’all can understand the complexities that come with a giant tour of the States and Canada with a 6 piece band and a 6 person crew from Australia during a pandemic.

We’ve tried our hardest to reschedule as many of these shows as possible at the same venues. That means your ticket will still be valid if you want to go.

For our NY show, we’re unfortunately going to be canceling it, you will be given a full refund and will have to buy a new ticket at the new venue. Sorry! It’s bigger though so everyone should be able to get tickets. Exciting news on that and other new shows coming soon! 🙂

If you’d like a refund contact your local venue as soon as you can to arrange.

Thanks to every gizzhead for your ongoing support and love. We will get back on the road as soon as we can.

Love king gizz Xoxox

I was bummed when KGATLW had to postpone a show in May. I mean, come on, Coronavirus, would certainly be over by May, right?  Well, now it’s October and things are still crazy.  I really hope they can do this again next year.

Of course, knowing them, they’ll have three more albums out by then.

I have become a huge fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (are there any other kinds of fans of them?) since I first heard about them a few years ago.

I’m sad that I missed them on the tour just before the first time I saw them (at a smaller venue when newbies like me hadn’t heard of them yet), but I have seen them twice since.

In both cases, the band overcame somewhat unpleasant (to me) situations (obnoxious capacity crowds and unreasonable heat) to change my mind from swearing I’d never bother seeing them again (before the show), to hoping they’d come back really soon (after the show).

I’m not at all surprised that this show was postponed and they have already rescheduled the new date.  So we’re all good.  I just hope the damned air-conditioner works next time.

The last time I saw KGATLW, the two opening bands were kind of doom/psychedelic–perfect matches for KGATLW’s more recent sound.  This year’s opener is a singer named Leah Senior.

Leah Senior did the narration on KGATLW’s Murder of the Universe album.  But her music is a completely other thing.  She sings gentle folk songs with delicate guitar playing and her beautiful soft voice.

I can;t imagine how well she would go over with a rowdy KGATLW crowd and I also wonder if that means that KGATLW would play their more mellow stuff?  Nah.

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SOUNDTRACK: NENNYTiny Desk Meets AFROPUNK: #202/196 (May 1, 2021).

Tiny Desk Meets AFROPUNK was the opening event of AFROPUNK’s “Black Spring” festival. The virtual celebration, hosted by Jorge “Gitoo” Wright, highlighted outstanding talent in Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean music across the globe. Our showcase featured four artists who honored their homes and celebrated the art their heritage has inspired.

With warm maroon box braids nearly sweeping the floor and glitter adorning her eyes, NENNY’s presence demands full attention before she even opens her mouth. Dressed in a flowy, all-white outfit accented with a pastel checker pattern and surrounded by a matching four-piece band, the 18-year-old Portuguese singer-songwriter and rapper appears otherworldly, almost heavenly, as she harmonizes with electric guitar and jumps across the room, dancing with her entire body. NENNY first appeared on heads’ radar in 2019 with her single “Sushi.” She’s continued to impress with several more singles and the release of her debut project, 2020’s Aura.

I love that her band is all dressed with the same fabric–pants on the guitarist, shirt on the bass player and sash on the drummer.  They play three songs.  I have no idea what she’s rapping about, but the flow in Portuguese is pretty great.

Jonatas gets some really great guitar sounds in the solo of “Bússola” and I love the deep bass that Peterson gets.

When she talks you can tell just how young she is.  She’s full of energy!

“Wave” opens with sampled acoustic guitar as Nenny sings this ballad.  I like that she switches from rapping to singing and her singing voice is really good.

Keyboardist Gui Salgueiro starts “Tequila” with an acoustic guitar sample and Ariel plays some cool percussive sounds while a spoken word (in English) interview plays.  When the song kicks in she’s rapping in Portuguese again and the electric guitar plays leads while the acoustic is still looping.

She really does seem to float around the room in this high energy Concert.

[READ: June 1, 2021] “Walkabout”

The June 11 issue of the new Yorker had several essays under the heading “Summer Movies.”   Each one is a short piece in which the author (many of whom I probably didn’t know in 2007 but do know now) reflects on, well, summer movies.

It’s interesting to me that Roger Agnell wrote about Quest for Fire, a small French Canadian production (with full nudity) and Jeffrey Eugenides writes about Walkabout a small Australian movie (with full nudity).

[This movie is permanently lodged in my own consciousness because I was living in Boston when it came out and it screened at the Brattle Theater for seemingly ever.  I often thought about seeing it, but never did].

Eugenides says that he saw it at his family’s yacht club (!).  His father and brother were sailing so he and his mother went to this movie that they knew nothing about.

He summarizes the little I know about it.  A father drives his children–a teenage daughter and young son–into the outback.  He then sets the car and himself on fire. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: JAMES NEWMAN-“Embers” (England, Eurovision Entry 2021).

.Eurovision 2021 is over and the big news (aside from drug-taking accusations against the winner) is that the entry from England received zero.  Nul points.

This is not unique, but it’s not something that anybody wants.  It’s actually better to not make the finals than to make the finals and get nul points, because no one is going to forget that.

So just how bad was “embers?”

I’m not going to defend the song, because I would never listen to it on purpose–it’s not my thing.  But by the same token I can think of a lot of songs that are much worse than this.

This song is just kind of bland.  It thinks its big and catchy with the horns and the “light up the ROOM!” line.  But really it just doesn’t do much.  I could see this song playing in a club and people would dance to it and then forget it.  No one would ask who it was or request it again.

And maybe that’s worth nothing.

[READ: May 26, 2021] 52 Times Britain was a Bellend

Bellend is such a great insult and it is exclusive to Britain, which is a shame.

Also a shame is just how terrible Britain as a country has been throughout history.

Obviously any global superpower is going to be dickish–you get power by crushing others.  You could write this same book about the United States and cover just the last four years.

But Felton, whom I’ve never heard of before, but who is apparently a huge Twitter presence, narrowed history down to 52 (one a week) examples of Britain being absolutely horrible (and somehow managing to make it funny).

How did he decide on these events?  Well, they are judged by today’s standards (saying “I’m from the past” is no excuse).

What you’ll get here is a good overview of fun and horrifying times when we were cartoonishly evil, from a comedian just as appalled as you are about what shits it turned out we were in the past.

Most of the terrible behavior involves other countries.  Like starting wars with China because they wouldn’t buy British opium.  Or making Zanzibar pay for the bombs that Britain dropped on  them. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: BUCK MEEK-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #185 (March 25, 2021).

Buck Meek is the guitarist for Big Thief.  I loved the first Big Thief album, but have found the newer ones to be a little too soft for my liking.

Initially I would have thought that Buck Meek would be a harder guitarist.  But I don’t really know that much about his contributions to the band, so it should probably come as no surprise that he writes folky songs.  Although even Bob Boilen seems a bit surprised.

The back of a van on a sunny day holding an acoustic guitar is a far cry from the usual setting where I’d see Buck Meek. More likely, I’d be in a dark club; Buck’s intense electric guitar and backing vocals are a part of what makes up my favorite rock band these days, Big Thief. But here, home is Buck’s Toyota Land Cruiser in Topanga Canyon, Calif.

Buck plays a pretty acoustic guitar and his voice is soft and gentle.  He reminds me a lot of Nick Drake.  He plays three songs from his 2021 album, Two Saviors.

“Pareidolia” is, as Buck Meek explains, “this human instinct to put symbol to stimulus.” He says, “I’ve been spending this time of solitude in the canyon here spending a lot of time observing the clouds and things” — in other words, finding shapes and objects in clouds and objects where none intended to exist and perhaps turning them into stories or songs or just letting your mind wander.

He follows that with the title track “Two Saviors” and “Halo Light,” two more songs that continue the soft and gentle style.

The Texas native has a tender voice with a bit of a yodel and a resplendent way with words. After three songs from Two Saviors, Buck treats us to a new song written in quarantine titled “The Undae Dunes,” once again drawing pictures in the sky, this time of rockets and perhaps an astronaut and a love, all from the back of a Cruiser.

He says that “The Undae Dunes,” is dedicated to the woman he loves who may be an astronaut.  She’s applying to the space program.  That’s pretty fascinating in and of itself.

I enjoyed this chill Tiny Desk/Van set.

[READ: April 10, 2021] Pobby and Dingan

I had never heard of Ben Rice or this story until one of his other stories was in a New Yorker issue from 2001.  I enjoyed that story and when I looked him up, I saw that he had written this story. And nothing else!

Which is weird because this story

was joint winner of the 2001 Somerset Maugham Award and shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. It has been made into the 2006 film Opal Dream, a 2010 play for children by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company and a 2012 play The Mysterious Vanishment Of Pobby & Dingan for Bristol theatre company Travelling Light.

Perhaps he decided to leave on a high note.

The book is a novella (about 90 easy-to-read pages) set in the opal mining community of Lightning Ridge in New South Wales.  That’s over 400 miles from the nearest big city (Brisbane).  So while I don’t know if it’s in “the bush,” it’s certainly not suburban.

Lightning Ridge is apparently the opal capital of Australia.  Much like during the American gold rush, prospectors flocked to Lighting Ridge to try to get rich.  This story is about one such family.  The dad, Rex, is the prospector, the mom has followed him here from England.  She clearly misses her old life (they refer to her as Pom and her mother as Granny Pom).

The narrator is Ashmol Williamson, a ten or so year old boy.  But the story is about his sister Kellyanne.

He thinks that his sister is a fruit loop.  Because she is old enough to be going to school but she refuses to admit that her imaginary friends Pobby and Dingan are imaginary.  She talks to them constantly.  It drives Ashmol mental. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: October 22, 2020] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Leah Senior [rescheduled from May 22; moved to October 23, 2021]

indexI was bummed when KGATLW had to postpone a show in May. I mean, come on, Coronavirus, would certainly be over by May, right?  Well, now it’s October and things are still crazy.  I really hope they can do this again next year.

Of course, knowing them, they’ll have three more albums out by then.

I have become a huge fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (are there any other kinds of fans of them?) since I first heard about them a few years ago.

I’m sad that I missed them on the tour just before the first time I saw them (at a smaller venue when newbies like me hadn’t heard of them yet), but I have seen them twice since.

In both cases, the band overcame somewhat unpleasant (to me) situations (obnoxious capacity crowds and unreasonable heat) to change my mind from swearing I’d never bother seeing them again (before the show), to hoping they’d come back really soon (after the show).

I’m not at all surprised that this show was postponed and they have already rescheduled the new date.  So we’re all good.  I just hope the damned air-conditioner works next time.

The last time I saw KGATLW, the two opening bands were kind of doom/psychedelic–perfect matches for KGATLW’s more recent sound.  This year’s opener is a singer named Leah Senior.

Leah Senior did the narration on KGATLW’s Murder of the Universe album.  But her music is a completely other thing.  She sings gentle folk songs with delicate guitar playing and her beautiful soft voice.

I can;t imagine how well she would go over with a rowdy KGATLW crowd and I also wonder if that means that KGATLW would play their more mellow stuff?  Nah.

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download (76)

SOUNDTRACKTHE FLAMING LIPS-“My Religion is You” (2020).

download (75)This is another new single from The Flaming Lips’ new, more mellow album American Head.

This song starts as a piano ballad about various religions.

It’s not the most profound song but it’s chill

Yeah, Buddha’s cool
And you’re no fool
To believe anything
You need to believe in
If Hare Krishna
Maybe it’s the
Thing for you
Hey, that’s cool

The chorus kicks in with big fat synth notes that almost feel sinister, but really aren’t.  Wayne explains that he doesn’t need religions, because his religion “is you.”

I don’t need no religion
You’re all I need
You’re the thing I believe in
Nothing else is true
My religion is you

There’s a pretty guitar solo and the end of the song is an interesting mix of scattered drums and quite synth noises.  It’s not their best song for sure, but it grows on you.

[READ: June 2020] That’s Not How You Wash a Squirrel

David Thorne is an Australian smart ass.  This is his fifth collection of previously unreleased emails and essays.

The foreword of this book is written by Holly Thorne, David’s wife.  And it is hilarious.  The Foreforeword is him arguing with her about whether she will write the Foreword–but only if she doesn’t say something mean about him.

So she writes things like

Davis does have a stressful job but let’s be honest, he’s not clearing landmines.  Even on my worst days I’m not half the diva David is.

After writing some more hilarious paragraphs, you see in a different font:

David is very brave, I once saw him flick a snake off the patio furniture with a stick.

In the Postforeword, he complains about her foreword.  That he comes off like a fuckwit and that there is no mention of the snake.  (more…)

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[POSTPONED: May 2, 2020] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Leah Senior [moved to October 22]

indexI have become a huge fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (are there any other kinds of fans of them?) since I first heard about them a few years ago.

I’m sad that I missed them on the tour just before the first time I saw them (at a smaller venue when newbies like me hadn’t heard of them yet), but I have seen them twice since.

In both cases, the band overcame somewhat unpleasant (to me) situations (obnoxious capacity crowds and unreasonable heat) to change my mind from swearing I’d never bother seeing them again (before the show), to hoping they’d come back really soon (after the show).

I’m not at all surprised that this show was postponed and they have already rescheduled the new date.  So we’re all good.  I just hope the damned air-conditioner works next time.

The last time I saw KGATLW, the two opening bands were kind of doom/psychedelic–perfect matches for KGATLW’s more recent sound.  This year’s opener is a singer named Leah Senior.

Leah Senior did the narration on KGATLW’s Murder of the Universe album.  But her music is a completely other thing.  She sings gentle folk songs with delicate guitar playing and her beautiful soft voice.

I can;t imagine how well she would go over with a rowdy KGATLW crowd and I also wonder if that means that KGATLW would play their more mellow stuff?  Nah.

Read Full Post »

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