Sick of people telling you about the hey-day of Australia's music scene of the 70's and 80's?
Well get your dose of current alternative & underground Oz flavours on The Band Next Door on 2SER
From across the plains, to your very own local sunburnt backyard, every Thursday night from 10pm on 2SER, you can find out going on in the flipside of Australian music.
From the glitter of alternative pop to the dark underground and everything in between.
The Band Next Door on 2SER has all your Australian music covered.
Thursday nights 10pm till midnight with Cameron Menegoni on 2SER 107.3
Check out the last four weeks of shows below:
I think Massive Attack summed up the relentless monotonous day to day grind on their tune Hymn Of The Big Wheel: "The world spins on it's axis, one man struggle while another relaxes".
But as we circle the big hydrogen bomb in the sky, hurtling through space at nearly one hundred and eight thousand kilometres per hour, it's musician Bree Tranter who brings into the light the the fragility of our existence and consciousness with the release of her debut album Another Night On Earth.
Mirroring the evolution of the world and all that dwells within it; the record starts its journey in the misty Daintree rainforest, heading through the construct of the urban sprawl of the city. An engineering display that continues to expand and symbolize our place in the world, yet it's an achievement that's ultimately driven by the most primeval but extremely complex human emotions love, sadness, anger and fear.
Musically, it's an album that has roots throughout so many genres of music. Bringing elements of Portished-esque downtempo electronica, tribal-beat rhythms and trip top to create a hybrid flower of alternative rock. Pollinated by Bree's saintly voice, one that wavers between clarity and confliction as it tells the tale, all the time harking back to that question that started it all.
Taking time out from rehersals with the band in Thirroul for string of album launches, Bree took the train up to Sydney to visit the 2SER studios and have a chat with Cameron on The Band Next Door about writing the album, shifting it between studios and how visuals can add a different perspective to music.
Music has played a huge part in human life over the past few thousand years. Ever since Pythagoras discovered that harmonics were pleasing to the ear and oscillating frequencies could be put together to create a succulent melody, the use of music established itself in the everyday life of antquity and in various contextes. Celebrations of life and death, sporting events and accompanients of mythological storytelling. The ancient Spartans would sing as they advanced into battle and even the ancient Greek Oracle at Delphi would utter divine revelations in a swinging hexameter format.
Fast forward to twenty sixteen, and not much has changed- if anything music now plays a bigger role than ever in our everyday life: It's a bond in our social circles, it carries a large commerical weight in the consumer world that we live in, and to many it's the medium that we use to express the spectrum of human emotion in whether it be writing, performing, or your friend grabbing you and excitedly exclaiming: "Check this out!".
Wartime Sweethearts is one of those artists that your friend would be excited about, and rightly so, because I've realised that the local Sydney-sider is the Oracle at Delphi reincarnate.
Ditching the hexameter, but bringing in some effects pedals that wouldn't be out of place on a rock band's pedal board. Wartime Sweethearts constructs melodical arrangements using beats, vocal phonetics and a jazz inspired approach to the piano, to brew together a concotion of experimental pop music reminiscent of Dirty Projectors, Alyx Dennison and St. Vincent.
While Wartime Sweethearts might of prophesied a brighter future on the first record Pancake Orion. The musician's forthcoming record So Long Sparta brings an unobscured darker side of humanity to your ears, but with it glimmer of optimism that forsees our salvation in primal physical manifestation. There is still hope in Pandora's box.
With So Long Sparta due out on Sydney label Art As Catharsis, Wartime Sweethearts came past 2SER to have a chat on The Band Next Door about the early loopy days, writing a record in an attic and to perform a stripped back version of the song ODU in the studio.
I get the impression that Julia Jacklin is almost like a modern day Cinderella.
Hair-netted factory worker by day, while at night using her voice to transform in a siren.
Giggle all you want at the Cinderella comparison, but I'm being serious about the siren part.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of watching and listening to Julia perform would know exactly what I'm talking about. A voice that is as intoxicating as it is spell-binding with the captivating silence that ensues.
Late last year accompanied with her band, Julia went overseas to record her debut album, Don't Let The Kids Win.
The first taste of the record came in early March with the release of the first single Pool Party. A warm alt-country tune that calls for plenty of soft lighting against the Ackerman wood panels, carpet between the toes and the faint smokey flavour of a Tennessee bar. The only thing missing from it is that soft distant vinyl crackle.
But that's the thing about Pool Party, you can dip your toe into another life, another feeling, without completely submerging yourself into a mournful ballad. Julia will keep your head above the water.
This latest release is a far cry away from the pop rock stylings of supergroup Phantastic Ferniture, but her friends Ryan, Liz and Tom still bring an influence to Don't Let The Kids Win. Whether it be playing, words of wisdom, or even being personif
ied in musical form. Even though Julia thought she might be a social worker and help others when she was younger, when you've got a good bunch of friends around you, it doens't matter who you are. You've got all the help you need.
Ahead of the launch for Pool Party at Plan B Small Club, Julia came past the 2SER studios to have a chat with me on The Band Next Door about the pressures of succeeding, lyrical matter and to perform an acoustic version of Pool Party.
As you part the leaves of the Willow tree, you enter a sanctuary.
A place cut off from the outside world, away from the hassles and stress of the daily grind. A natural paradise of earthly flavours and aromas.
Where is this magical place you ask? Where in this concrete jungle that is Sydney can an individual be alone with their thoughts and reflect on the issues of life?
Well I like to think that I've got a place like that. It might not be a totally natural place, or as beautiful as being secluded by a tree, but it helps. And in all honesty it's sitting in my room with my cd player, listening to music.
That's where Sydney based folk artist Willowy comes in. A fair maiden with a haunting voice and a guitar with six of the most bittersweet strings you'll hear this year. As the record progress, it's tapestry expands with violin and double bass, weaving and twisting like a DNA strand of self exploration. Slowly dismantelling the four walls of my room and allowing my mind to wander as the rich scent of the Willow tree fills my nostrils and the bark spreads beneath my feet. Melting away and forgetting everything that was bothering me. Just want I wanted, and later on realised that I also definitely needed.
Before the launch of The White Dress EP, Willowy came past the 2SER studios on the Band Next Door to have a chat about colours, recording in the Blue Mountains and to perform a song live in the studios.
Just when I believe i've got my head around music, and I think I'm finally starting to understand it in all it's forms. Along comes a band that is so deliberately chaotic, that it competely does my head in.
But in all honesty I love it.
Sydney's Facemeat, is that band.
Concieved in 2013 with a vendetta in mind against the audience. Facemeat's power comes from not only the technical proficiency of the seven to eight musicians who make up the band, but the complex, mind-melting arrangements that feature throughout every song on their 2015 album Questions For Men.
If I could understand musical notation, no doubt just looking at Facemeat's sheet music would cause a headache, and I haven't even mentioned the incredibly sarcastic, devious and sleazy lyrics that come into play. Anything and everything from wanting to steal a singers girlfriend, to making love out with a dog and the somewhat irconic lament at murder.
Meanwhile you're being blasted in the ear with walls of brass. quirky riffs with ripping guitar leads and a bass gutiar that pinpoints every single change.
It all makes for an utterly demented, yet fascinating record.
Before Facemeat pop's over to the Adelaide Fringe Festival; David, Adam, Josh and Ruth from the band came into the 2SER studios to have a chat about their influences of Frank Zappa and John Zorn, how they feel during and post show, plus knocked out stripped back versions of In Time and I Shouldn't Have Killed You live in the studio.
Just like those freaky twins in The Shining, Brisbane two piece Forevr want you to come play with them,
Far from the reaches of the Overlook Hotel however the duo has been haunting various venues through Brisbane. Brewing their potions of hazey inverse air-bendings and hypnotic body reverberations.
Made up of members Sam and Donovan, Forevr are the latest in a long lime of Brisbane shogaze bands that are readily embracing the live music enviroment like a sonic landscape. Painting the rooms they play in with crackling, fuzzy guitar, and contorting ethereal voices. Proudly informing the audience of their 'streaky when wet' policy.
Just before Forevr came down to Sydney to launch their shoegazer 7-inch, vocalist and programmer Sam took some time out of her schedule to have a chat with me on The Band Next Door about underwater caves, Wicca, and word-play.
Sydney musician and artist Angie is a woman who needs no introduction, especially to those who actively keep up with the local music scene.
Effetively now garage royalty, Angie is involved with numerous projects and bands across town with the most prominent being Straight Arrows, one of the loudest bands I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.
That's not all though, there's also the trashy glamour punk sounds of Gloss, the now defunct Circle Pit. The hard hitting Ruined Fortune, and the smooth, somewhat breezy sounds of Southern Comfort, just to name a few.
But as much as Angie enjoys working with others in a collaborative sense sometimes one needs to step out on their own, which is what the musician has been doing over the past few years.
Armed with some odds and ends of music, Angie found herself travelling overseas through South America and Europe the result of which was her first album 2013's Turning, a gut-wrenching portrayl of the angst and anguish of the emotional psyche.
But late last year, a second LP emerged: Free Agent. An album that instead of sucking the life out of you, was like a breath of fresh ocean air. Even though this is a record that is trademarked with a gritty urban garage sound, it shows a lighter and more delicate side of the local musician. Simple melodies combined with an interest in instrumental and minimal music creates an album that is as much about whisphering open-ended secrets into ones ear as it is about rock and roll rhythms.
Ahead of her set at Bad Day Out #3 at Petersham Bowlo on the 23rd January, Angie took some time out of her schedule to drop past the 2SER studios to have a chat on The Band Next Door about her time overseas, writing music without instruments and the 1974 Australian biker film, Stone.
The world of the soundtrack, has come a long way since the days of the jostling ragtime music that has accompanied black and white pictures.
Even though these compositions are always amazing to listen to on it's own; the true power I find of Original Sound Tracks (OST's), is how the context of the on-screen image, combined with music makes the emotional journey of the storyline so much more compelling.
It has also been a way for composers to let loose and approach music in a much more expiermental way.
Scores like the largely electronic compositions for The Social Network, by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. The percussive and jazzy Birdman score by Antonio Sanchez, plus the experimental noir sounds that feature in the film Brick, composed by Nathan Johnson. Have all had a hand in expanding what music compositions can add to film.
One genre however that doesn't really rear it's head that often is Metal.
This is where Sydney outfit Dumbsaint fall into the mix.
Harnessing their experiences with their self produced short film The Auteur and the mysterious Dissappearance In A Minor Role series, Dumbsaint's latest offering is their magnum opus, Panorama In Ten Pieces, a sonically dark, crushing and jagged affair.
With the film in it's final leg of completion, no doubt it will add that extra touch of intrigue and noir that will blossom once the audio and visual components are seen side by side. Although don't let that put you off from listening to the record.
Writing this blurb while listening to Panorama in my headphones and watching the houses of my street get soaked in a passing storm already suits this music perfectly. So I can't wait to see the context of the finished film.
Ahead of the launch for Panorama In Ten Pieces, Nick from Dumbsaint came past the 2SER studios to have a chat about creating film and music side by side, scoring, and contemplate what Dumbsaint has planned for the future.
Check out Dumbsaint's bandcamp page, to listen to the record and also purchase digital/physical.