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Gig Review: The Devin Townsend Project at the Triffid, Brisbane Australia w/ sleepmakeswaves

 

For over two decades Devin Townsend has been producing his unique “old man Canadian passive-aggressive core” (that is how he described it at the gig)! Through Strapping Young Lad, his solo work, and the current “Devin Townsend Project” he has produced music full of intercity, energy, and vibrant charisma. If this concert is anything to go by, he has lost none of these over the 20 odd years, and may even have more than before!

Sleepmakeswaves opened up the show amazingly with their special brand of instrumental prog metal. Exerting massive amounts of energy and bringing out vibrant sounds they showed once again that singers can be an optional extra. There was a certain stage presence to the four members as they each poured tons of emotion into their delivery. Seamlessly working their way around quite dark ambience and blasting heavy metal they drew the crowd in from the very beginning and kept them all engaged and banging for the whole set!

The Devin Townsend Project followed with Devin announcing things were going to be very “cheesy” and a bit “awkward” and then noting “if you listen to my music you’re probably a bit of a nerd so just roll with it!”

The set ranged from tracks from the 1997 Ocean Machine Album including the high speed and intense ‘Night’ and the slow and melancholic epic ‘Bastard’ all the way to tracks off the Project’s most recent album. There was also a range in styles from the stripped back acoustic piece ‘Ih-Ah’ to the full on metal sounds of Strapping Young Lads’ ‘Shitstorm’.

In each extreme and everything in between, Devon and his Project exerted electrifying life with a tight and intense set backed with epic atmosphere. On top of this the band we’re all clearly having a lot of fun which translated into a hugely entertaining show.

In addition to the music, Mr Townsend showed off his phenomenal stage presence. Adopting many “cheesy” elements of rock and roll while making fun of himself. Other times he broke from his metal persona to take on a Henry Rollins-esq spoken word segments, generally talking about peace and love and how he has grown from his angry 25-year old Strapping Young Lad days. The great charismatic act coupled with sharp Canadian wit allowed the gig to cut through the intense sounds and bring in some humour and even more fun to the show!

This was an exceptional show! Sleepmakeswaves put out one of the best support act sets ever, mesmorising the crowd from the word go with their vivid and atmospheric progressive metal. Meanwhile the Devin Townsend Project poured out an epic feast of entertainment with every facet of prog-rock/metal Mr Townsend’s ever dabbled in, held together with his charismatic stage presence and sharp tongued wit!

Remaining Devin Townsend/sleepmakeswaves dates below. Check out Devin Townsend’s website to find out more!
Monday 22nd May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday 23rd May – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Wednesday 24th May – 170 Russell, Melbourne – SOLD OUT
Friday 26th May – Capitol, Perth

 

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International women’s day 2017

Once again to celebrate International Women’s Day here are 10 tracks from all-female bands and solo female artists over the past year or so from across the world!

 

Number ten
Gemma Ray – The original one

Number nine
Animalia – Little earth

Number eight
Peppersplum – take the adventure of love

Number seven
Kristin Hersh – Soma gone slapstick

Number six
Ninoosh – Palms

Number five
Aya-Rosa – Flesh and bone

Number four
Bec Sandridge – You’re a fucking joke

Number three
Jess McAvoy – Curious

Number two
Sylviane – Ghost trapped in limbo

Number one
Clews – Feel

Gig Review: Dinosaur Jr at the Triffid, Brisbane Australia

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Supporting album number four since the original trio got back together (and album number 11 overall), J, Lou, and Murph have come down under to once again grace us with the loud jaggy lo fi sounds that the band have been major pioneers in for the past three decades. Thankfully for Brisbane, all three of the original trio were there (more on that below).

The show opened with New York based, Melbourne originated duo Luluc. Bringing in their special style of indie folk mixing soft acoustic and gritty droning guitars they acted as a great warm up for the epic noisy journey that followed.

Dinosaur Jr got stright into their set, stopping to draw breath on very few and far between occasions across the set. Not surprisingly J Mascis said very little, with maybe three occasions in the whole night where he said anything at all. In fact it was probably Lou Barlow who said the most when giving his speech about Murph’s arrival being delayed for some four days due to various paperwork issues which meant that up until tonight’s show Murph was absent.

What is truly amazing is that after all these years the band can still belt out some powerful rock and sound just as good now as they did back in the day. The shoegazey atmosphere, and grungy energy filled the Triffid the whole way though as the band blasted through a great mix of classics and newer offerings! The different approaches to playing was quite interesting to watch. Mr Mascis barely moved during the set, taking a few steps occasionally to get a drink or to have a different guitar handed to him every few songs. Nevertheless his guitar playing was on point the whole time, plucking all the amazing, genius sounds he’s been known for while looking like he’s not even trying! Mr Barlow on the over hand was bouncing around like a frog in a sock with surplus energy to burn. And Murph kept it all together with his tight and energetic beats.

The favourites all made their way into the set. ‘Get me’ was performed early with a slightly faster and more energetic approach than the original. ‘Feel the pain’ had a cruisey no-wave style introduction with a good dose of distortion leading into a much heavier and louder version of perhaps the band’s most poppy song. Classics ‘Start chopping’ and ‘Freak scene’ were great crowd pleases that got everyone jumping around while newer tunes such as ‘Watch the corners’ from 10and ‘knocked around’ showed without a doubt that the band still have the ability to write some amazing songs! The set finished up with the bands loud and heavy version of The Cure’s ‘Just like heaven’, ending with Lou’s raw yelling of “YOU!”

This was an awesome gig that provided every bit of nostalgia for those who grew up listening to this ear bleeding country music, while also showing the band are still going strong with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

 

The remaining shows on Dinosaur Jr’s ‘Give A Glimpse Of Summer’ Tour 2017′ are outlined below. Check out Dinosaur Jr’s website to find out more!

Sunday 15th January 2017
The Northern, Byron Bay NSW
Tickets $50.00 + bf from http://www.thenorthern.com.au/
and all Oztix outlets

Wednesday 18th January 2017
Capital, Perth WA
Tickets $60.00 + bf from http://tickets.amplifiercapitol.com.au/
and all Oztix outlets

Thursday 19th January 2017
The Gov, Adelaide SA
Tickets $58.00 + bf from http://www.thegov.com.au/
and all Oztix outlets

Friday 20th January 2017
The Croxton, Melbourne VIC
Tickets $60.00 + bf from http://thecroxton.oztix.com.au/
and all Oztix outlets

Princess and the Lizard

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Merry Christmas everyone. To the four of you who are reading this on Christmas day, I am posting something completely different. Instead of something music related I am posting a short children’s story which has absolutely nothing to do with music (it also has nothing to do with Christmas but oh well). Hope you enjoy it.

Stay tunes for more interviews, reviews, and other things music related!

 

 

 

 

There once was a princess. One day she was walking along the woods just outside her family’s castle when she came across a lizard.

“Hello there, your majesty” said the lizard.

The princess was shocked for she had never seen a talking lizard before.

“How is it, Lizard,” the princess asked “that you are able to talk?”

“I was not always a lizard. I was once a prince from a faraway kingdom but an evil witch cast a spell on me. Since then, I have been roaming these woods in the hope that I can break the spell.”

The princess had an idea.

“My kingdom is closely allied with the kingdom of the Sea People. I have a friend who is a mermaid and she has magical powers. Perhaps she could break the spell?”

“It is worth a try.” responded the lizard, “Please lead the way.”

 

The princess and the lizard went on a long trek through the woods and towards the coast. Finally they arrived on the shore near the sea people’s kingdom.

Once there, the princess gave out a special high pitched squeal. This was a secret password that when uttered would send sound-waves down the ocean and alert her friend the mermaid. Hearing the signal, the mermaid swam towards the shore, perching herself on a rock within the sea.

“My dear friend the land princess, what brings you to the shore?” asked the Mermaid.

“I met this lizard, who has informed me that he was once a prince but has had a nasty curse put on him by an evil witch.” was the princess’s response. “Is there any way in which you can break this curse?”

“Alas, I cannot help you” replied the Mermaid gravely. “The evil witch of which you speak stole my magical necklace when I was resting on a rock. She flew down and grabbed it, and then flew away! As I am a mermaid and have no legs I am unable to go after her on land, and so sadly I am without any magical powers!”

To this the princess declared “What a horrible witch, to have caused such discomfort to two of my dear friends. I shall confront her and demand she return your necklace and break the evil curse!”

“Be careful,” warned the mermaid, “this witch is very dangerous. Be sure not to let her curse you, too!”

 

The princess and the lizard set off on their quest into the deep dark forest in search of the evil witch. However, the trek was long and the sun went down giving rise to the stars and the moon. The darkness made it difficult for the princess to navigate her way though the forest and soon they became hopelessly lost. Not knowing where she was walking the princess fell into a hole. There she was confronted by a large brown bear.

“What is a princess doing with a lizard and lying in a hole such as this one?” queried the bear.

The princess explained to the bear that the lizard was actually a price, put under a nasty spell by the evil witch.  The witch had also stolen her mermaid friend’s magical necklace so she needed to find the witch!

“The witch you speak of is nothing but trouble” advised the bear. “She has been ruling the forest through fear for a long time, using her magical powers against anyone who dares question her authority. You are a brave person  to confront her. If you and the lizard climb on my back I will take you to her house. But beware, she is a horrible creature and will not think twice in causing you harm!”.

 

So the princess and the lizard climbed on the bears back and he ran to where the witches house was. It was a small cottage, made from wood that was starting to rot from age.

The princess approached the front door. While knocking gently the door fell over on account of it being old and worn. The witch approached, looking especially ugly and aggravated.

“Who dares knock on my door?” she demanded.

“As princess of this land I demand you return the magical necklace you stole to its rightful owner, the mermaid!”

“Oh you do, do you?” teased the witch. “Well, I have another idea!” And with that, ZAP! The princess was turned to stone.

Fortunately the witch did not see the lizard. Knowing the magical powers stored within the necklace, he quickly slipped up behind her, yanked the necklace from her neck, and darted out the door.

“Come back with my necklace!” demanded the witch, but now that it was gone she had lost her magical power. She ran after the lizard. However, as she ran, she slipped and landed in a massive pool of mud. The mud surrounded her and soon dried up all around her like cement, leaving her stuck there for all eternity.

Meanwhile the lizard ran all the way back to the ocean. Swimming into the sea he found the mermaid and returned to her the magical necklace. The mermaid was so grateful; she then used the necklace to turn the lizard back into a prince, and the stone back into the princess.

The inhabitants of the deep dark forest were overjoyed by the departure of the evil witch and the end of her fearful rule. They installed the bear as their new leader and he ruled in a kind but just manner.

Meanwhile the princess married the prince and they lived happily ever after.

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