Smooth grooves from the Melbourne electro-pop underground. Though, aside from the subterranean bass sounds, Leisure Suite aren’t destined to stay underground for much longer. The twosome’s sharp downbeat production provides the perfect base for sweetly infectious melodies.
Thursday September 3 – Shebeen Bandroom – Melbourne, VIC
With the pervasive impact of Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion came legions of copycats. Whole scenes emerged, largely devoted to aping the record’s conflation of DIY electronic production and melodic-pop knowhow. That was six years ago, and not too many of those acts remain. Enter Yon Yonson, who sound like they’ve listened to AC’s crowning achievement a few times. But what makes these guys worth checking out is their unique sense of humour and sincere curiosity.
Thursday September 3 – Oxford Art Factory – Sydney, NSW
FILL FLOWER MOON BAND
There are some band names that flirt with parody, yet prove to be perfect descriptors. Full Flower Moon Band is one. That’s not say the Brisbane band are purveyors in sonic cliché. It’s just that the guitar-powered trio shimmer in psychedelic colours as much as they broadcast images of after-dark bad behaviour.
Thursday September 3 – The Bearded Lady – Brisbane, QLD
There’s a legitimate reason for including Jebediah in this column, and it’s not just because I liked them when I was in the seventh grade. The Jebs are traversing the country in celebration of their 20th anniversary (a 20 year run that’s seen them release five albums and teach countless teenagers poor elocution), but they’re not cashing in on nostalgia. They’re a band with unflagging enthusiasm and a bucketload of quality tunes. And witnessing them in action is both inspiring and potently relevant.
Friday September 4 – Republic Bar – Hobart, TAS
‘Chivalry’, the latest single from Brisbane solo act Machine Age (Adrian Mauro), starts out sounding like yet another all-too-earnest nu-folk tune. But mid-way through Mauro begins introducing various electronic sounds. At first you wonder if this is nothing by turd polishing (the introduction wasn’t that bad, to be fair), but really he’s letting his true colours shine. From there, the adventurous textural quirks continue, taking the song into standalone territory.
Friday September 4 – Woolly Mammoth – Brisbane, QLD
STEVE MILLER BAND
A typical Steve Miller Band setlist contains various blues and early rock’n’roll numbers – stuff made famous by Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers and The Yardbirds. However, without a hint of hyperbole, The SMB offer a truly original experience. Led by a greying punk rocker, wearing jeans ripped from the waste down to the floor, and powered by two bedazzling vixens (on drums and guitar), The SMB are a paradigm of flab-free, premium entertainment.
Saturday September 5 – Forum Melbourne – Melbourne, VIC
Say what you will about the founders of Aussie hip hop, but they had a tough slog. The movement sometimes referred to as skip-hop (perhaps not affectionately) had the hard task of getting people to accept Australians were making hip hop at all. Nowadays, locally-made hip hop has advanced well beyond the brash, blokey-fare of its first wave, but Dirturtles’ aesthetic homage to that era is an interesting proposition nonetheless.
Saturday September 5 – Club 54 – Launceston, TAS
Leftfield instrumental rock
Mudlark use a traditional rock band set-up to create sounds that draw more semblances to the electronic adventurousness of Four Tet or Flying Lotus. Though, not much is on a loop here. In a manner akin to free jazz, the Perth band are aggressively opposed to letting their songs become predictable.
Saturday September 5 – The Bird – Perth, WA
OUCH MY FACE
Ouch My Face’s latest LP Bunyip contains moments of disorienting distortion and wall-slamming intensity. It’s also prone to bouts of spacey reverie and rhythmic instruction. Tying it all together is the trio’s inclusive sense of fun. I mean, what’s the point of making all that noise if you don’t let anyone else into the party.
Saturday September 5 – The Gov – Adelaide, SA
New wave/ synth-pop
Snares sustaining for days, bass lines evoking images of robot movement, synths firing off like laser beams and vocals hypnotising you into a woozy sway – that’s Pikachunes. The Kiwi songwriter has been hard at it for years, and this weekend he finally makes his Australian debut.
Saturday September 5 – Brighton Up Bar – Sydney, NSW