distant and vague


Month: August, 2012

LISTEN: Tame Impala ‘Elephant’ (Todd Rundgren Remix)

“Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes….”

Yeah, we know TAME IMPALA‘s sophomore LP Lonersim is coming, and yeah, we’re all super stoked, but the waiting game is becoming a little too tedious!
If their first single ‘Elephant’ is becoming too much of a tease for you, then feel free to mix it up a bit as rock experimentalist TODD RUNDGREN has just released his own spin on the track!

This remix is giant. The escalating introduction is almost as exciting as knowing you’ll have Lonerism in your hot little hands 5th October.
Once the track takes off with Kevin Parker’s hypnotic vocals, we’re not only introduced to the original instrumentation; it’s topped off with some whacked out synthesisers and soft reverb.
Then all of a sudden “Here it comes” is re-introduced as a warning of the next chapter of this five and a half minute mix. A new synth leads and possesses an arcade game sort of vibe as it makes you feel as if you’re a character trapped in an unrealistic quest battling warriors or something. Things keep getting fantastically weirder from here until the original structure of the song makes a comeback and finishes off this monster of a remix.

The band are fans of Rundgren. After coming home from one of Tame Impala‘s tours, Jay Watson of the group pulled out an odd looking record from his bag in front of Kevin. “He was telling me about it as I was walking upstairs but I wasn’t really listening as I was kind of tired and jetlagged… Something about the guy from the Nazz’s solo thing… Anyway a few minutes later I heard some kind of cosmic-ness going on downstairs, I resisted a few more minutes but the cosmic-ness continued so I pulled myself downstairs to see Jay with this look on his face like he’d just had his tits blown. Turns out he had indeed just has his tits blown. A few minutes later I had my tits blown too. The song was “International Feel” from the album A Wizard a True Star by Todd Rundgren. So from that day we were Todd Rundgren slaves. Fast forward like four years or something and Glen from our record label said he had agreed to do a remix of our new song “Elephant,” which make me go pretty batty. So that’s how that all happened. Enjoy!”

If you too want your tits blown, listen to the mix, have a good groove and then go back to waiting for what will probably be one of 2012’s best albums.

You can grab a copy of both Rundgren‘s and Canyons‘ remix in an ‘Elephant’ bundle from iTunes now.

Published on Purple Sneakers.


Did you get to catch TWERPS a few weeks back in either Melbourne or Sydney at their intimate sold out shows? Did you find them perfect and wildly charismatic as they immersed you in their dreamy, jangly pop? Well, I did. If I’m making you jealous because you were too busy to hop on Moshtix or too broke to spare twenty bucks then have no fear as Twerps are back for round two!

The lady and gentlemen have just announced a run of dates for a few Australian shows before they hop on a plane over to America where they’ll be building their growing fanbase on their headlining tour!

Not only this, but some more juicy Twerps news is the announcement of their brand new single ‘He’s In Stock’ – the B side from their forthcoming 7” Work It Out that is to be digitally co-released by Chapter Records and Underwater Peoples mid September as well as physically in late October.

It opens with with some crazy good guitar that could only be identified as a Twerps composition. It’s quickly accompanied by moderate drumming, another guitar acting as its twangy brother’s opposite and a subtle bassline. Add Marty‘s vocals to the concoction and you have yourself a classic, jovial Twerps tune.
After engulfing the entirety of their self-titled debut, Twerps listeners know the musical versatility this talented group invest. The record mothers some beautifully coloured tracks such as ‘Dreamin’, as well as heartfelt beauties like ‘Bring Me Down’. ‘He’s In Stock’ is best affiliated with ‘Through The Day’ and ‘This Guy’ as it’s a short and sweet little charm that is sure to be circulating your turntable under its crackling needle very soon!

So listen to Twerps blissfully and catch them while you still can before they fly over to America!

Sep 12 – Beach Rd Hotel, Bondi, with Melodie Nelson and Day Ravies
Sep 22 – Brisbane Festival, with Kitchen’s Floor
Sep 29 – Sound Summit, Newcastle
Nov – Chapter’s 20th Birthday Party for Melbourne Music Week (details TBA!)
Dec 7-9 – Meredith Music Festival, Meredith

Oct 12 – Cake Shop, New York, NY
Oct 14 – SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY
Oct 15 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
Oct 16 – Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Oct 17 – Black Cat ,Washington, DC
Oct 19 – Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY
Oct 21 – Le Cagibi, Montreal, QC
Oct 22 – Silver Dollar, Toronto, ON
Oct 24 – Horn Gallery-Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
Oct 25 – Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Oct 26 – The Grand Event Center, Northfield, MN
Oct 27 – Turf Club, St. Paul, MN
Oct 29 – Ole Beck VFW Post, Missoula, MO
Oct 30 – Chop Suey, Seattle, WA
Oct 31 – Bunk Bar, Portland, OR
Oct 02 – Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, CA
Oct 03 – The Satellite, Los Angeles, CA

Published on Purple Sneakers.


Whether you know him as the frontman of American post-punk revival band Interpol or simply just as a solo act, be happy to know that PAUL BANKS has announced the release of his sophomore album Banks.

Being in Interpol since it’s formation back in 1997, Banks released his first solo record under the name of Julian Plenti in 2009 titled Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper. Building on his solo career, he released the five-track EP Julian Plenti Lives… in June of this year.

His newest project Banks was recorded in New York and Connecticut and was produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Jonsi). The new record encompasses Banks’ dry humour and projects music that has been naturally conceived through his musical influences. It also invites his audience to step into his personal space as he completely exposes his emotions in this catchy LP. Having been described as a “Tour-de-force of exhilarating minor-key intensity,” look out for Banks as it is set to be released through Matador on 23rd October.

Track listing:
1. The Base
2. Over My Shoulder
3. Arise, Awake
4. Young Again
5. Lisbon
6. I’ll Sue You
7. Paid For That
8. Another Chance
9. No Mistakes
10. Summertime Is Coming

Published on Purple Sneakers.

ALBUM REVIEW: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti ‘Mature Themes’

“Bring on the bogan shemales hopped up on meth..”

As a follow up to Before Today released back in 2010, ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI are back with Mature Themes, which, judging by the lyrics [above] from their opening track ‘Kinski Assassin’, is a title true to it’s name. Not for those attentive young folk!

But even more so, it’s an LP that has really given much delight to Ariel and the crazy-good Haunted Graffiti as it is the latest addition to their fantastic catalogue. This particular record has enabled the band to create a more matured and sophisticated collection of obscure lyrics and lo-fi sounds.

“It’s so diverse but so different from anything I’ve done before. In a sense, it’s really the record I wanted to make back when I made Before Today, but couldn’t. We had time to let our hair down and try new things.” Although it is quite different to earlier works, Ariel Pink still manages to capture that raw intensity throughout the entirety of Mature Themes.

An album written and recorded in a downtown, LA studio-space, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti have created an eccentric and impeccably crafty work of art. Probably explains why it was awarded Feature Album for Triple R, 2SER and RTR FM.

‘Kinski Assassin’ opens Mature Themes and throws you right into the wacky planetary of Ariel’s imagination. With a voice as hypnotic as his, he describes a world of destruction and hate with every verse either mentioning blowjobs, masturbation or genitalia. It’s guided by an organ singing all the way through.

With a quivering guitar making up the intro of ‘Is This The Best Spot’, you expect the first heavy song of the record. But don’t. Another track lubricated with sexual terminology, Ariel issues that you step into his time warp, all in just under two minutes.

Now the first two tracks may have allowed a few cheeky lyrics here and there with some mind-boggling instrumentation, but the third and title track off Mature Themes is a delightful little detour into the treasures of Ariel’s quality song writing. Executed with soft acoustic guitar, dazzling keys and gentle percussion, Pink invites us to listen to his love story where all he wants is to “talk about mature themes daily” and “to be good.”

‘Only In My Dreams’ is an optimistic tune. Don’t worry if you don’t succeed at love, just dream about that special someone instead. Let’s be honest though, a relationship in your head isn’t all that fun. This is frustrated through the instrumentation by the end of the song. The diverse range of guitar, drums, percussion and keys bring a lot of tone and strength to this piece. It’s coloured by the cutesy lyrics and backing vocalists which may as well be a mini choir. If this one sounds familiar that’s probably because you’ve heard it make airwaves on your radio as it is the first Australian single from the new record.

Think thick, addictive bass lines, twangy guitars, spoken word lyrics and tribal drumming and you have yourself ‘Driftwood.’ A song almost sounding like a chant, it’s one to listen to with feathers in your hair dancing around a fire. Probably just one of many different ways of how Pink expects you to listen to his music.

‘Early Birds Of Babylon’ delves into the deeper, mysterious part of Mature Themes. There is nothing uplifting nor upsetting about this track, it is simply just very suspicious. Made up of dark and powerful guitars, bass and drums, you’ll most likely end up feeling like you’re a part of an Ariel Pink cult. Then again, I guess we all already are..

Ever wanted to hear a song encompassing the desire for a Schnitzel? Maybe you wanted to hear the contents of a burger sung simply for your listening pleasure. Well ‘Schnitzel Boogie’ does exactly that. This tasteful track is the epitome of lo-fi. It basically consists of good fuzz and the summoning of a schnitzel for four and a half minutes.

‘Symphony Of The Nymph’ is made up of churchly organs, Pink admitting to being a “nympho” and horse neighs. Opening up similar to Kurt Vile‘s ‘In My Time’, expect patches of sample tracks appearing throughout the song; before it all swallows up.

When I hear the intro music to ‘Pink Slime’, I’m reminded of Donny Benet doing his disco thing. This track reintroduces the lighter, fluffier corner of the album as not only do the band sing, the synthesisers do too.

‘Farewell American Primitive’ is a real ‘fuck everything’ type of song. The chilled out guitar does nice things for your ears as it sings over the top of a jovial bassline and subtle drums. With an odd break halfway through the song, rejoice as Pink continues to surprise you.

‘Live It Up’ takes you back to c.1980s with its clean and crafty synthesisers taking up most of the song. So much so that Pink has to remind himself of where he was going with it..

The longest and most gratifying track on the record is ‘Nostradamus & Me’. It’s a floaty, breathy fantasy equipped to take you to a whole new dimension. It reminds me of Bastian riding on the back of Falkor as he soars through the sky in Neverending Story. Perfect.

To close such a delirious album is ‘Baby’, the most sensual track on all of Mature Themes. It’s soft, pretty yet still a little hazy. Incorporating a feel-good, early R’n’B vibe, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti couldn’t have chosen a better song to end on.

Mature Themes is a chillwave album full of euphoria and mood shifts. Once you listen to the whole thing, you’ll understand the importance of the title and how much of a genius Ariel Pink and his Haunted Graffiti are.

It’s available now on 4AD/Remote Control Records. Definitely buy it.

Published on Purple Sneakers.


Wollongong is a funny place. It consists of pretty beaches, a gazillion students, ice junkies and bike-riders. Most importantly though, it mothers a a local live music scene made up of a variety of bands and artists who play at at small range of venues scattered around the town.

To give this scene some spice, a dude named Jack Reilly (a musician himself) has created HUCHI MUCHI – a Wollongong based event collective.

Reilly and the rest of the HM crew have been known to throw some kick-ass parties, gigs and club nights around Wollongong with the help of bands such as Bleeding Knees Club, DZ Deathrays and Chicks Who Love Guns performing. Leaving a very important mark on the Wollongong music scene, HUCHI MUCHI will be venturing out of their hometown to bring their party to the residents of Sydney!

They’ll be completely taking over Mum at World Bar on Friday, 7th September. Being one of the very few bars of taste in all of Kings Cross, it’s sure to be a pretty rad night.

The crew have put together a lineup that caters to a somewhat diverse audience as they will be showcasing a variety of bands that fall under genres such as punk, grunge, skramz and hardcore music.

Brisbane post-punk trio GUNG HO will be headlining the night. The band have widened their fanbase with their latest single ‘Side By Side’, a track you’ve most probably heard on Triple J Unearthed. They are also currently touring with Hunting Grounds on their Australian tour and have been announced on the hefty lineup for Brisbane’s BigSound.

Joining GUNG HO on the night will be Sydney’s LET ME DOWN JUNGLEMAN, post-hardcore outfit MOWGLI, supergroup KOCHANSKI (playing their first live performance as a band), punk trio YOKO OH NO, the rocking THOMAS COVENANT and Wollongong kids MY LITTLE UNDERGROUND. To add the cherry on top, MOONBASE COMMANDER will be sure you never stop dancing as he blows your mind with his incredible electronic production.

The night will be bursting with good people, sweet bands and lots of drinks so if you’d much rather not be dragged to Trademark by your hectic gal pals, come along to Mum!

Published on Purple Sneakers.


The incredibly energetic Danish duo REPTILE YOUTH have announced the release of their much anticipated debut self-titled album. It’s an LP to get excited about as it is sure to possess the electro-punk-pop goodness that the boys have exhibited through their previous singles such as ‘Speeddance’ and ‘Black Swan Born White’ that were released this year through their label hfn music.

An album carefully thought out and confidently executed, specific tracks have been described as “pure aural bliss,” “a biblical electro-rock jam,” and “a surefire live favourite with a filthy synth line destined to loosen hips around the world.” Excited yet? Well you should be!

The outfit’s co-manager and executive producer Kasper Bjorke has stated that “The album captures exactly that same madness and dynamics that the band master on stage and that was exactly what we were aiming for.” If Bjorke is a man true to his word, this album is sure to be fucking awesome. You’ll know what I mean after watching their ‘Speeddance’ clip:

The album was produced in London by the iconic Dave M. Allen (The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Human League) and Mark Ralph (Hot Chip, Filthy Dukes).

With Summer not too far away, this record couldn’t be dropped at a more appropriate time as it is set to be released on 28th September via hfn music/Balance Music. The catchy as hell tunes that REPTILE YOUTH have come to be known for will make you want to take all your clothes off and dance forever, much like model Alyona Shishmareva in the duo’s brand new clip ‘Shooting Up Sunshine.’

Published on Purple Sneakers.


Three brothers and a close family friend grew up surrounded by an array of charismatic music. They learnt how to play instruments and developed their own charming band. They’re called THE RUBENS and they couldn’t be in a better place right now.

They’ve recently announced their debut self-titled album to be released by their label Ivy League in September, with a national headlining tour to follow.

I had the pleasure of talking to the band’s keyboardist Elliott Margin about how everything has come together so quickly, considering the boys only established the band in February of last year..

The Rubens‘ current killer single titled ‘My Gun’ was also the band’s first demo. Sam wrote the song and eagerly waited for Elliott to come home from school to add his musicality to what was created so far. It was then handed to Zaac and the Margin brothers’ good friend Scott Baldwin to complete the track. The whole thing was recorded at home and uploaded online in the hope that someone would listen to it.

“It was a long shot but we were hoping for Triple J when we first recorded that. And then when ‘Lay It Down’ got picked we were just kinda surprised. Like, we love that song but we always thought it was one of those songs that people didn’t fully appreciate. It was one of those songs that, you know, you would hear the album and you kinda like love that song the more you listened to it. We didn’t think it would be the one that grabbed people, we thought ‘My Gun’ would. So we were stoked about that, really, really happy. Yeah.”

Little did they know that the airwaves would enable ‘Lay It Down’ to be placed at #57 on 2011’s Triple J Hottest 100.

After things started to take place, their success did nothing but grow.

Dean Tuza – a good friend of the group – met New York based producer David Kahne in France for an audio engineering seminar. He introduced Kahne to The Rubens with ‘My Gun’. Kahne fell in love instantly and considered producing the band’s debut; despite the fact that they were unsigned and had only just started playing live shows. This was a massive part of the band’s career as the man has been known to work with the likes of Paul McCartney, Regina Spektor and The Strokes.

To get the ball rolling, lead guitarist Sam Margin flew over to New York to meet Kahne. “Yeah he went over with Dean Tuza, the guy that we know from our hometown. He was the one that hooked us up with David so those two went over there to get the whole recording process sorted out and make sure it was all ready to go before the rest of us got over there. There wasn’t any point in all of us going and paying for accommodation for a whole month before when there was nothing to do kind of thing. We didn’t have a great deal of money so we couldn’t really afford that.”

Eventually things started to concrete, so the rest of the boys joined Sam to meet and record with Kahne. “It was amazing, kinda daunting at first. Obviously he’s worked with all those huge names in music so it’s kind of scary going to the studio and meeting him for the first time knowing all the work he’s done. But that all went away pretty quickly because he just makes you feel comfortable. He’s a really, really nice guy, down to earth, makes you laugh and stuff, just having a joke in the studio.. He just really loves music, he just loved recording music and we loved recording with him.”

For a band coming from Menangle (a small country town in New South Wales) it’s a pretty incredible thing to consider how fast-paced the group’s career progressed.

“It’s just unbelievabe, you know, it’s kind of ridiculous how quickly everything had happened. Especially cause we hadn’t been together for very long, when we got over to New York it was kind of the time for us to really mature as a band and get a lot better at what we were doing because we realised how big everything had become, how hard we’d have to start working to make sure this album worked and everything cause we didn’t have a great deal of experience. We had to really learn a lot very quickly. Yeah it was a bit stressful at times because you know there was a lot riding on our shoulders but we had a lot of fun recording the album for sure.”

Prior to any communication The Rubens had with Kahne, they didn’t even know they were writing material for a record, “There wasn’t really a process of writing songs for a record. We didn’t really know we’d be recording a record, we were just writing songs for our live show and everything. There was never that type of pressure. It was kinda like we just wrote songs whenever they came to us.”

The band have already played all over Australia, selling out shows at venues such as Oxford Art Factory in Sydney and the Corner Hotel in Melbourne. Now with their debut coming out, the boys will again be hitting the road next month. I asked Elliott where they were most excited to visit.

“I think that something that us boys just continually talk about is the Forum in Melbourne, just because we’ve never been there but we’ve seen pictures and we’re just blown away by the venue because it seems absolutely ridiculous that we’ll be playing there. So I think the Forum is kind of high on our list for, you know, our favourite show or our most anticipated show. It’s gonna be a big show in terms of production and everything as well so we’re all very excited about that for sure. Forum and the Metro and then of course all the other shows as well. Especially regional shows because they’re smaller and a lot more intimate, a lot more fun. You get to lose yourself a little more.”

Just this week the boys signed to artist management Umbrella Music, to support the boys for their biggest tour yet. “We were speaking to a lot of different people because obviously things are getting really big now. We need some big management on board and we met these guys and they were just really nice guys, so we hooked that up, and yeah it worked out well.”

After signing to Ivy League (Cloud Control, Youth Group, Alpine), the group gained a release date. The self-titled record will be dropped on September 14th. “It’s not really set out as a concept story it’s just our songs that we like. Just The Rubens.”

Published on Purple Sneakers.


Imagine dancing amongst the monstrosities of a room full of strobe lights. Now go back and watch yourself in slow motion with a real chilled out electro track flooding the silence. This is the type of atmosphere CITIZENS! have created through their CAST OF CHEERS remix of ‘Human Elevator’.

Replacing drums and guitar with the incessant pulses of synthesisers, bass, electronic drums and keys, we have ourselves a completely new version of the track.

A song that was originally delivered in a very topsy-turvy rock fashion, Citizens! Have completely appropriated the tune to call it their own. So much so that it’s actually quite difficult to find similarities between the two versions.

The beats are very monotonous in the light that they don’t really take you anywhere. However, they do work as a build up for when the track eventually reaches the core lyric, “elevator.” The breathy execution of the word echoes until all the instrumentation is re-introduced, directing the audience back to the start of the mix. This is what happens for the majority of the track, up until that last spoken lyric.

The mix is available as a digital download from The Cast Of Cheers‘ Soundcloud. Alternatively, find the original of ‘Human Elevator’ from the band’s sophomore release, Family, available through School Boy Error/Cooperative Music.

Published on Purple Sneakers.


So I’m fairly certain everyone was pretty excited when American electropop outfit PASSION PIT released Gossamer – the sophomore LP that followed their extremely well received 2009 debut Manners. Asserting a super fun reputation, it was only factual that the new record would be one to dance to. And it is.

‘Constant Conversations’ is one of the more spaced out tracks on Gossamer. It’s really pretty to listen to, so why not remix it? Jean-Philip Grobler, better known as ST. LUCIA has released his own spin on the slow jam. An appetising, well-crafted adaptation, this version is structured in the same way as the original, yet at the same time, St. Lucia has really strung together this mix in his own style. With an introduction you’d expect to unmask a raw execution, you’re surprisingly delighted with the emergence of a heavily synth-based track. Michael Angelakos’ vocals are retained in the same light, however the female vocals have transformed into harsh exasperations, and the beats that enable the song to flow are presented quite sharper. In a way this track is rather delicate, yet not one element of it makes you feel in any way sad or broken as it leaves you with a euphoric sensation. However, on further speculation, you’ll notice that the lyrics unveil just some of Angelakos’ imperfections that are identified the whole way through the new album.

Gossamer was produced by Chris Zane and is available physically and digitally now via Columbia Records.

Published on Purple Sneakers.


It was a sad day when the coolest of couples Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage. A partnership I believed unbreakable left me questioning the validity of such tragic information. Luckily though, Sonic Youth aren’t bearing only bad news this year as the alternative band’s guitarist LEE RANALDO has just announced two very intimate Australian shows!

The writer/record producer/visual artist has been keeping himself busy over the years, performing with Glenn Branca throughout the United States and Europe with his electric guitar ensemble. Not to mention his more recent live Contre Jour performances with his partner Leah Singer. On top of all this, he has artworks presented in exhibitions and also displays them at solo shows. What a dude!

Both Ranaldo and co-founding member of Sonic Youth Thurston Moore have been equally placed at #1 for SPIN magazine‘s ‘Greatest Guitarists of All Time’. As a result of the two musicians being added to the Melbourne Festival bill, talented guitarist Ranaldo has announced that he will be playing in Sydney and Brisbane before he heads down to the Hi-Fi in late October.

As if the man needs any reason to delight his Australian fans, Ranaldo is coming out to celebrate the release of his solo debut Between the Times and the Tides. Relating closer to Sonic Youth‘s Eternal rather than the band’s renown grimey, garage sound (particularly exemplified in Dirty and Goo) this doesn’t take away from the sublimity of the stellar solo release.

Performing under the title Lee Ranaldo Band with fellow Sonic Youth member Steve Shelley and friends Alan Licht, Nels Clive, John Medeski and Irwin Menken, this is a show you definitely will not want to miss.

Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tickets: www.moshtix.com.au

The Zoo, Brisbane
Tickets: www.oztix.com.au

The Hi-Fi, Melbourne (As a part of Melbourne Festival)
Tickets: www.moshtix.com.au

Published on Purple Sneakers.