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May, 2019

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SIX QUIX WITH JAYDEN MCGRATH

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 23, 2019

Innovative upcoming pop artist Jayden McGrath has recently announced his debut single Conditions, a fascinating track that explores a feeling of acceptance towards less-than-ideal circumstances in life, out May 31.  The accompanying video to Conditions, made in collaboration with Dave Hunter of Band Factory Digital Media (Drown This City, Captives) and artist Joey Klarenbeek, is a dark, hypnotic reflection of that…

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GHS STRINGS ADDS INNOVATION BRAND

Posted in Accessories, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - May 23, 2019

World renowned Innovation stand-up bass strings, which have until recently been manufactured in the UK, have found a new home with GHS Strings in the USA. The specialist machinery, unique non-metallic cores and original winding materials have been combined with our experienced workforce using the original hand spun manufacturing specifications to seamlessly reproduce traditional Innovation Bass Strings.

GHS will now add Innovation strings to its line up as both manufacturer and worldwide distributor of the Innovation brand of strings for stand-up bass that includes orchestral, jazz, bluegrass and rock-a-billy. GHS has a proud lineage dating back to 1964, over the years producing a huge number of various products for bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, ukulele, banjo, dulcimer, bajo sexto, and much more.

“As one of the largest producers of music string products in the world, we anticipate that our lengthy background in manufacturing strings, combined with the Innovation traditions will guarantee that Innovation will continue to be a unique offering in stand-up bass strings,” remarked GHS President Russ McFee.

The Innovation products will be available through GHS and its distributor and retailer base as GHS implements full manufacturing production in Battle Creek, Michigan.

GHS products distributed in Australia by Australis Music Group.

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HAKEN- AUSTRALIAN TOUR INTERVIEW

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 22, 2019

HAKEN By Peter Hodgson ( I Heart Guitar) Haken aren’t like all the other prog bands out there. In a genre that has ironically come to take on certain stylistic hallmarks that it seems like every prog band needs to have, the British quintet manage to remain actually progressive. Where…

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REVIEW: LAZARUS. THE DAVID BOWIE & ENDA WALSH MUSICAL

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 22, 2019

Elly (Phoebe Panaretos) and Valantine (Iota)

Review: Greg Phillips
Photos: Mary Boukouvalas What’s My Scene

The Production Company is to be congratulated for being bold enough to bring David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s production of Lazarus to Australia. Lazarus premiered in New York in late 2015, with a follow-up production in London in 2017, both intentionally played a limited run of shows and received a diverse range of reviews.

The writing of Lazarus was a collaboration between Bowie, Enda Walsh (Once), with a credit to the late Walter Tevis, author of the novel The Man Who Fell To Earth, a text which has a significant influence on the narrative of this musical. It’s been said that Lazarus could even be the book’s sequel.

Lazarus is essentially the tale of Newton (a character revisited from The Man Who Fell To Earth), a man who struggles with life to the point that he seeks to escape, preferably to the stars. The musical ponders many questions … is Newton’s world real? Is he human or alien? Are these merely the thoughts of a man contemplating the end of life? Don’t we all feel a little that way sometimes?

Sewing together a narrative out of a collection of seemingly disparate songs which have never cohabited before was always going to be task for writer Enda Walsh. However these were songs chosen by Bowie himself at the time when he knew he was dealing with a terminal disease, so in his mind perhaps the tunes did have more of a connection than us mere mortals can immediately detect. Maybe through this soundtrack, these were the themes and questions Bowie was pondering while facing his own impending death.

Played admirably by acclaimed actor, singer and writer Chris Ryan, Newton vents his plight throughout the show to an array of interesting characters. In an over-simplification of a very complex story, these include a nameless and possibly imaginary ‘Girl’ (Emily Milledge), Elly, a personal assistant with demons of her own (Phoebe Panaretos), and a super-villain of sorts in Valentine (Iota), a recurring character who inflicts mischievous havoc on those within Newton’s world.

Eighteen Bowie songs are performed throughout the night including a few hits, some relative obscurities, and four songs written for the musical, including the title track Lazarus which also appeared on Bowie’s final album Blackstar. Lazarus was never going to be a greatest hits presentation nor tribute show, these are songs selected to fit the narrative. Some tunes are featured as a whole, others more as interludes used for dramatic effect. Highlights for me included Absolute Beginners, where the cast come together mid-show to inject a shot of dynamics to lift proceedings a notch, Life On Mars performed solo and exquisitely by female lead Emily Milledge, and the breath-taking, show-stopping finale of Heroes sung by Chris Ryan, where the background music blends seamlessly in and out from Lazarus to Heroes. Of course, the encore performance of the cast, front and centre-stage of Absolute Beginners is a buzz too.

If anything, the show’s flaws lay with the dialogue in trying to convey it’s complex themes, a little like The Australian Labor Party trying to sell it’s wide-ranging policies during the recent federal election. On the other hand, Lazarus is visually stunning. The talented production crew are to be commended for their inventive use of sets, lighting and projections. If the words weren’t cutting it, there was always enough happening to keep your eyes intrigued. And how good was the band? Some of Australia’s finest musicians were brought onboard to interpret the pop icon’s music and they did a stellar job. The baritone horn sound (Carlo Barbaro) which was so integral to Bowie’s Blackstar album was ever-present in this production’s atmospheric, sonic mix. Paul White and Michelle Nguyen’s piano and synth work added much poignancy, and any band that features the rhythm section of Craig Newman on bass and Gerry Pantazis on drums is going to be a winner. Marcus Kurban and Jethro Woodward’s guitar parts were smack in the Bowie zone too.

Many exiting the theatre last night were beaming, others less-impressed. It’s the kind of show you really need to see for yourself and make up your own mind, particularly if you’re a Bowie fan. Certainly there is much to enjoy about Lazarus the musical. Like all the great artists, it’s a testament to Bowie that years after his death we are still analysing, dissecting and discussing his work.

 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR LOCAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT STORE

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 22, 2019

Shopping off the internet has become a way of life for many but it’s also fraught with danger, particularly when dealing with intricate goods like musical instruments. Each musical instrument has its own character and personality, so how do you know what you’re buying if you’re not trying first? Who do you turn to for advice before purchasing? Googling forums might be helpful in some cases but misleading in many. Here’s a short video the Australian Music Association has put together presenting the benefits of shopping at your local bricks and mortar music store, featuring sage advice from Tommy Emmanuel, The Living End and more.

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PLINI ANNOUNCES OCTOBER TOUR

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 21, 2019

Sydney’s independent instrumental progressive solo artist, PLINI, announces his Australia and New Zealand headline tour in October.

The shows are a rare and intimate live set that has been honed around the world since his last national Australian tour in September 2018. The Australian shows will be supported by JAKUB ZYTECKI (POLAND), DAVE MACKAY (UK) and NICK JOHNSTON (CANADA) who is also performing the New Zealand leg with HEAVY METAL NINJAS (NZ). DAVE MACKAY will also join PLINI’S set on keyboards for these shows.

Before each Australian show, Plini, Nick Johnston and Jakub Zytecki will be hosting a Masterclass and Q&A session with. This is a rare opportunity to get inside the minds of some of the world’s premiere guitarists.

Tickets on sale Friday 24 May at 9am AEST time at plini.co/aus-nz

2017 and 2018 saw PLINI embark on highly successful headline tours of Europe, the UK, India, North America and Australia. These tours included dozens of sold out shows in some world’s iconic small venues, including the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, Islington Assembly Hall in London and the Corner Hotel in Melbourne. This was followed by the release of the ‘Sunhead’ EP in mid-2018, and an ensuing world tour across Europe, North America, Asia, India and Australia.

PLINI has been invited to be an instructor at the prestigious Vai Academy 5.0 in New York alongside Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Devin Townsend and more.

Steve Vai described PLINI’S critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Handmade Cities’ as “one of the finest, forward thinking, melodic, rhythmically and harmonically deep, evolution of rock/metal instrumental guitar records I have ever heard.” And named “Best Prog Guitarist in the world right now” by Music Radar in 2017.

PLINI composes, plays guitar, records, produces and manages his unique brand of instrumental progressive rock all from a bedroom studio. He has a signature guitar with Strandberg Guitars, and endorsement deals with Yahama Music, Dunlop, D’Addario and Fractal Audio.

These will be PLINI’S only Australian and New Zealand shows for 2019 before he heads back to the studio to work on a new album to be released in 2020.

If you were at our Melbourne Guitar Show in 2017, you will know that NICK JOHNSTON is one of the world’s premiere virtuoso guitar players. His accolades include five studio albums, countless tours and clinics around the world, a signature guitar series with Schecter and acclamations from just about every legendary guitar player on the planet. Nick’s sound and approach to the guitar are highly unique, born of a love for everything from the blues to classic sci-fi scores, and an unabiding penchant for storytelling.

2019 sees the release of Nick’s fifth studio album ‘Wide Eyes In The Dark’- an instrumental prog rock epic that journeys through a grand spectrum of human experience. Nick spent two years writing, refining and recording the songs, all the while traveling the world and experiencing life as a solo musician.

Polish guitar player and composer, JAKUB ZYTECKI, is best known as a member of his band DispersE, from which he recently departed. Over the past 4 years, Jakub has been working on his solo project. He released his debut solo album ’Wishful Lotus Proof’ in 2015, followed by two EPs: ’Feather Bed’ and ’Ladder Head’ in 2017 and his upcoming second full length album is scheduled for a late 2019 release.

In August 2018, Jakub played his very first solo live shows when he was invited to open for PLINI during his Summer European tour.

DAVE MACKAY is a British pianist, singer, songwriter and producer, currently based in Los Angeles, California. He has toured worldwide with his solo show and as an accompanist for many notable artists including Art Garfunkel, Plini and Grace Weber. Past performances have included the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival, Ryman Auditorium, Walt Disney Concert Hall, London Palladium, Sundance Film Festival and Vienna Konzerthaus.

Dave’s solo music combines intimate, honest vocals with analogue synthesis and distorted keyboards. He has released several records as a solo artist, the latest of which is called ‘Three’. This instrumental project is a trilogy of EPs, recorded in 3 different cities, with 3 different progressive jazz trios.

New World Artists, Evolution Touring and Sheet Happens Publishing Presents
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
SUPPORTED BY
NICK JOHNSTON, JAKUB ZYTECKI & DAVE MACKAY

THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER: THE FOUNDARY, BRISBANE
FRIDAY 11 OCTOBER: HOWLER, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER: THE LANSDOWNE, SYDNEY

NEW ZEALAND TOUR DATES
SUPPORTED BY
HEAVY METAL NINJAS & NICK JOHNSTON

THURSDAY 17 OCTOBER: WHAMMY BAR, AUCKLAND
FRIDAY 18 OCTOBER: VALHALLA, WELLINGTON
SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER: CLUB TAVERN, CHRISTCHURCH

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY 24 MAY AT 9AM AEST TIME FROM PLINI.CO/AUS-NZ

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MIDGE URE ‘1980’ TOUR ANNOUNCED FOR 2020

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 21, 2019

Scottish New-Wave  artist Midge Ure has today announced his Australian return tour, set to bring the sound of 1980, down under in 2020.

Previously in Australia for a quick, limited run of sold-out acoustic shows in 2015, Midge Ure returns to Australian shores in 2020 with a full band, a fuller sound and a brand new tour focusing on iconic hits from acclaimed album ‘Vienna’

Brought to life by Midge Ure and Band Electronica, this is the very first time in nearly 40 years that the ‘Vienna’ album will be performed in its entirety in Australia. It is also the first time that many of the songs from the debut Visage album will be played live by the man who was one of the  creative forces behind the project.

With shows confirmed for Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, crowds around the country will finally have a chance at seeing Midge Ure’s back catalogue, which includes ‘Fade To Grey’, ‘Vienna’, ‘Dancing With Tears in My Eyes’ and ‘Yellow Pearl’, which was written with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott.

“Australians always embraced musical experimentation and change and certainly took Ultravox and Visage to their hearts” Said Midge Ure. “I remember filming the acceptance speech for the single of the year Brit award for Vienna in the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during an Ultravox tour. I’m looking forward to coming back to celebrate that innovative and creative period.”

At the end of the 1970s momentous change was afoot in Britain and the world – in society, politics, fashion and culture – and the musical landscape was also about to change forever. The guitar-driven dominance that had propelled rock and punk throughout the decade was about to end, as synthesizers signalled the sound of the future and video transformed the look of the pop charts. The 1980s were about to explode into life and nothing would be the same again.

At the heart of this seismic leap into a futuristic new dawn were two records that set the template for much of what was to follow. Visage’s single ‘Fade To Grey’ from the band’s debut eponymous album and Ultravox’s single ‘Vienna’ from the album of the same name were global hits that shared the same stark ambience, European aesthetic and electronic heart. The albums that birthed those landmark singles expanded that sonic palette even further and brought the art-school alternative into the very centre of the mainstream.

Both records were co-written, recorded and produced by one of the leading characters in British music, Midge Ure, and not only transformed the charts around the globe but his life in the process.

Don’t miss your chance to see Scottish New Wave icon Midge Ure during his 2020 Australian tour.

TICKETS ON SALE TUESDAY 28 MAY at 10:00 AM Via:
MJRPresents.com

MJR Presents
MIDGE URE
THE 1980 TOUR OF AUSTRALIA

Wednesday 11 March – The Tivoli – Brisbane
Seated Show

Friday 13 March – The Forum – Melbourne
Seated Show

Saturday 14 March – The Metro – Sydney
Standing Show

Tuesday 17 March – The Gov – Adelaide
Standing Show

Wednesday 18 March – Astor Theatre – Perth
Standing + Seated Show

Here’s a video interview from 2015 when we fired Six Quix at Midge

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CHRIS CASELLO TALKS TAMMI SAVOY & CHRIS CASELLO COMBO OZ TOUR

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - May 21, 2019

Short history lesson kids! Dating back to the early ‘50s, Rockabilly is one of the earliest forms of rock music. Pioneering rockabilly artists included Bill Haley and The Comets, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Wanda Jackson and Jerry Lee Lewis to name a few. Known for its mix of Rock n…

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CHARLES JENKINS ‘WHEN I WAS ON THE MOON’ TOUR BEGINS NEXT WEEK

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 17, 2019

Acclaimed Melbourne songwriter/musician, producer and performer Charles Jenkins has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian music industry. He has released 15 albums, toured Europe and the USA
several times and been nominated for two ARIA Awards with the Icecream Hands. In 2014 he won an
Age/Music Victoria Award for ‘Best Folk/Roots’ album. Charles teaches songwriting at the University of
Tasmania and JMC and for the last ten years has worked at The Push coordinating the songwriting
mentoring program Push Songs. Charles has a Masters in Music and is an Ambassador for
APRA/AMCOS.

In April this year, Charles released a surprise acoustic album, in a stripped— back style which highlights his exemplary lyricism. The album ‘When I Was on the Moon‘ features the ARIA—nominated songwriter at his most poignant, performing 10 new songs, solo, on a nylon string guitar. When I Was on the Moon was recorded over a few days in Jenkins’s small spare room with one voice, one mic and one guitar, in stark contrast to the complex instrumentation of recent work with his bands Icecream Hands and The Zhivagos. The first single, the plaintive ‘Do Not Disturb’, is almost a piece of modern chamber music and is currently enjoying airplay on radio around Australia. In support of the release Charles begins an East Coast tour

Charles Jenkins ‘When I Was On The Moon’ tour dates
Thursday 23rd May — Junk Bar, Brisbane
Saturday 25th May – Brunswick Heads Session #1
Sunday 26th May – Lennox Head Sessions
Friday 31 May – Basement Discs In-store Melbourne (12.45pm)
Sunday 2nd June — Spotted Mallard, Melbourne
Thursday 6th June – Golden Barley Hotel, Sydney
Saturday 8th June Bundanoon RSL, Bundanoon
Sunday 9th June — Coogee Diggers, Sydney

‘When I Was On The Moon’ is out now and available via www.charlesjenkins.com.au

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CROOKED COLOURS RELEASE LANGATA & BEGIN TOUR

Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 17, 2019

Crooked Colours have today released their second album Langata, an atmospheric new world overflowing with addictive beats and soft, hook-laden vocals.  Featuring singles I’ll Be There, Do It Like You, Hold On, and the latest fan favourite Never Dance Alone featuring Ladyhawke, Langata is sure to impress from start to finish.  After a hugely successful run alongside massive acts Billie Eilish, MØ and Nick Murphy at Groovin’ The Moo, Crooked Colours are about to embark on an epic national headline tour to celebrate Langata, hitting up Fremantle, Brisbane, Coolangatta, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Wollongong and wrapping up in Newcastle on June 9.  With the first Forum Theatre show in Melbourne quickly selling out, and the second show not far behind, fans would be smart to snap up tickets to the Langata tour as soon as possible.  Joining Crooked Colours on the headline dates will be fellow triple j faves Nyxen and Kayex.

Latest single Never Dance Alone featuring pop royalty Ladyhawke is meditative, yet will position itself permanently in the back of the listener’s mind.  Sweet, slow synthesisers stretch across gentle yet driving beats, and the two vocals sit perfectly alongside each other.  Speaking on how the single came together, Philip Slabber explains, “Never Dance Alone was one of those tracks that worked from the start and grew into something very special.  I was initially singing both parts in different registers and then we came up with the idea to turn it into a call and response track. Ladyhawke was available and her voice worked perfectly.  This is the only feature off our upcoming album and we couldn’t be happier to have Pip on the record.”  Stream: Never Dance Alone feat. Ladyhawke

The world that Crooked Colours have created on Langata is deep, hypnotic, and often breathtakingly beautiful.  The singles are highlights, but there is so much more to this record.  The entire album is a journey from start to finish; one which presents new sonic intricacies with each repeated listen.  Written, recorded, and produced entirely by Crooked Colours, and mixed by Tim Watts and David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The XX, Caribou, FKA twigs), Langata contains multitudes and is a masterclass in the ecstatic simplicity of electronic dance music.

Speaking about the album, Phil says, “For many acts, the sophomore record is a very daunting task to face and we tried to approach it with as much calm and open-mindedness as possible.  Fortunately for us, we were faced with a period of time spent extensively travelling and experiencing environments that helped us a lot creatively.  The name Langata comes from a district in Nairobi that we spent some time and encapsulated that creative process most accurately.  It was the first time that everything clicked and we knew what the direction of the project would be. We’re very proud of the work and we can’t wait for you to take a listen.”

After taking Australia by storm with their ambitious and impressive new live show, Crooked Colours will be heading overseas to perform at some of the hottest festivals in the world, including Bonnaroo and Firefly festivals, plus their own headline shows throughout September and October.  Thrilled to be hitting the road, Leon De Baughn enthuses, “Being on the road and seeing new places was a huge inspiration for us with this new record.  Being able to take sound bites from different places we visited paved the way for the songs to develop and grow into what they finally became on the album.”

Crooked Colours have established themselves as one of the hottest rising acts with the debut Vera.  Now they are on track to become one of our biggest electronic exports with this superb sophomore release.
 
Buy/stream Langata here

CROOKED COLOURS LANGATA NATIONAL TOUR
FRI 17 MAY | METROPOLIS, FREMANTLE WA | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

SAT 18 MAY | THE TIVOLI, BRISBANE QLD | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUEST KAYEX
Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au

SUN 19 MAY | COOLANGATTA HOTEL, COOLANGATTA QLD | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX *SOLD OUT
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

FRI 24 MAY| ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW | LIC/AA | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX
Tickets available from www.ticketek.com.au | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets

SAT 25 MAY | THE FORUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX *SOLD OUT
Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au

SUN 26 MAY | THE FORUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX
Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au

FRI 31 MAY | MEOW, WELLINGTON NZ | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS CLAYE AND JOISE MOON
Tickets available from https://www.eventbrite.com.au

SAT 1 JUNE | GALATOS, AUCKLAND NZ | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS CLAYE AND IMUGI
Tickets available from https://www.eventbrite.com.au

FRI 7 JUNE | UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA ACT | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SAT 8 JUNE | UNI BAR, WOLLONGONG NSW | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SUN 9 JUNE | CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE NSW | 18+ | *WITH SPECIAL GUESTS NYXEN AND KAYEX
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

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