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Music Features

Posted 22 Dec 2016 @ 12:10pm

The line between music videos and advertising has forever been blurred. 

 

Long before the advent of contemporary means of branding, videos have always been about selling the music itself – about presenting songs in a way that makes them quantifiable, and reducing hard-to-define sonic elements into commercially viable chunks. Even Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, oft...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 11:29am

Melding dub, drum and bass, dancehall and reggae with some rock and pop elements, there’s no band quite like Dubmarine.

 

This has been apparent since their debut LP Depth Of Sound arrived in 2010, but the longer they stick around and continue to make music, the more challenging maintaining such stylistic elasticity becomes.

 

“It is always hard to answer what genre...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 10:05am

History is a rather subjective thing.

 

Sure, we might recognise that there is a vast array of dates and names, battles and buildings out there, but really, our personal histories tend to shape our outlook on broader history. Many trailblazers are somehow lost as everyday culture grinds ever on, but some remain, finding themselves reinvigorated as the years go by and new...

Posted 16 Dec 2016 @ 12:43pm

In 1963, author and political commentator James Baldwin was interviewed on television by noted talking head Kenneth Clark.

 

The conversation was incendiary, touching on everything from Cuba to communism and murder, with the ever-eloquent Baldwin blasting whatever subject he turned his mind to. But it was after six solid minutes that he began recounting a story that would stick...

Posted 16 Dec 2016 @ 10:00am

The first thing you notice about Max Jury is his voice – not just his voice musically, but the one with which he speaks.

 

His speech, much like his music, rings with glimmers of excitement, a sense of humility and an adorable yet appreciative shyness when you compliment his work. The Iowa songwriter bears an unmarked humbleness, not yet rubbed off by the repetitive injury of...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 12:37pm

Ever wondered where those elusive Australian Idol winners of yesteryear disappeared to? 

 

Well, with the exception of the omnipresent Guy Sebastian, maybe. More than a decade on from that famous first season, we've tracked down some of Australian Idol's favourite - and forgotten - stars.

 

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Season 1 (2003): Guy Sebastian

 

Whether you...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 10:00am

In every interview you read with Ireland’s Wallis Bird, each searing or celebratory lyric, you can’t help but feel she’d be a great person to spend time with over drinks.

 

That image is deftly reinforced when we speak; for Bird, it is late at night, and to take the call she must step into a (sort of) empty hallway in the midst of a house party. The soundtrack to our conversation...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 6:00pm

Man, Steve Poltz is just great.

 

Sure, the guy knows how to write a memorable song (most folks would likely recognise him from his co-write of ‘You Were Meant For Me’ with old flame Jewel), and his commitment to touring is exhausting. But he’s also just… well, great. Poltz dives into conversation with the off-the-cuff bravado of Ross Noble coupled with the everyday insight of...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 4:49pm

What could be better than getting together with your mates for music and madness and beers over Christmas?

 

Curating a festival around the idea, for one thing, and that’s exactly what Mild Manic have done. Eager to create something unique on the South Coast, where everyone from young’uns to oldies can enjoy good local music with great company, Mild Manic have juggled their...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 3:00pm

It must be a special privilege to be a musician who has seen the world across a storied career, yet one who still loves your craft so intently that you don’t know how or when to stop.

 

55-year-old British songwriter Lloyd Cole has shown no outward signs of his creativity running dry, and until recently, given no hints of bringing a halt to his relentless touring. “Touring,...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 1:23pm

Stick around long enough on Sydney’s music scene and you’re bound to witness some changes – not just to the city’s musical landscape, but to your band itself.

 

Stalwarts of the punk rock scene for well over 30 years, Hard-Ons are one of Australia’s most prevalent groups, and have certainly experienced their share of adjustments. This year alone they’ve undergone a colossal...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 1:09pm

As has been famously (and often) said, war is hell. While there is little good that can come from such violence, the bravery and resistance of civilians caught up in conflict can be truly remarkable.

 

It can also take many shapes. As Dubioza Kolektiv prepare to embark on their first Australian tour, the Bosnian band finds itself leading an unexpected charge of revitalised Balkan...

Posted 13 Dec 2016 @ 2:44pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, Disney beats everyone to the punch, with what is shaping up to be the biggest screen event of the year.

 

I, too, intend to punch first by getting a few more of these big ol' Boxing Day launches out of the way. I'm dosing you out another three so that you can still fit...

Posted 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:00pm

Some 13 years ago, Julia Jacklin was standing in the corner of LKM Dance Studios in Springwood, watching a star in the making. 

 

A girl named Liz Hughes, a fellow 12-year-old sporting a pair of sparkly rainbow hoop earrings, was choreographing a dance all of her own, fashioning a jig set to ‘Young Hearts Run Free’. Jacklin was transfixed, too nervous to approach her. “We didn’t...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 5:34pm

Let’s face it, 2016 has been a slog. But 2017 is around the corner, and we can’t bloody wait. 

 

Sydney will be one of the first cities in the world to welcome in the New Year, and whether you’re a dancefloor diva, a rock’n’roller or a beach fanatic, there’s something for you.

 

CODE NYE @ GREENWOOD HOTEL...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 3:46pm

Life, age, obligation – none of these seem relevant when you’re truly committed to a particular path.

 

Halfway are one of those bands who know nothing but their music, having created some of the most underrated Australian indie rock for well over a decade, courtesy of their steely guitars and a terse and tempered twang. Though they’ve been through the wringer with band members...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 3:18pm

The last time I saw Darren Percival, we were holed up in his van enjoying the rare taste of air conditioning in the midst of Woodford Folk Festival.

 

He was running perhaps five minutes late and so brought along a bag of Byron Bay Doughnuts by way of an apology – and yes, he really is just that nice. It’s a quality...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 2:22pm

“Music belongs to everyone,” says Stick To Your Guns lead singer Jesse Barnett.

 

“It’s important to us that anyone who wants to come to our shows can.” 

 

Since 2003, the US metalcore boys have amassed a loyal following around the world thanks to their explosive guitar riffs, thought-provoking lyrics and high-octane performances. On the back of their latest EP,...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 5:23pm

Ry X is an artist who isn’t afraid to descend down the musical rabbit hole.

 

Born Ry Cuming, he is a self-confessed musical wanderer, yet there is a level of authenticity that connects his projects like Howling, The Acid and Ry X.

 

“I was just out in the Joshua Tree, recording in an old Airstream caravan on Adam [Freeland, one-third of The Acid]’s property with no...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 5:16pm

“Hey man – erm, what have we done this year?”

 

A conversation with Scott Russo, frontman of Unwritten Law, was always going to be a little hazy – and who could blame him? The Californians have had a hectic career, so it’s lucky Russo has bassist Jonny Grill nearby to consult on the details as he speaks over the phone with the BRAG.

 

“You caught me on a blank but I...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 12:58pm

“I’ll just go grab him,” says the gentle voice on the other end of the landline – yep, a landline.

 

“He’s just out in the shed.” The unidentified voice is summoning the great Ross Knight – founder and sole original member of the unstoppable pub rock force that is the Cosmic Psychos, as well as a keen weightlifter, father and incredibly busy farmer. As he pulls up a chair to...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 12:16pm

★★★☆

 

We’ll all remember where we were when the news started to come through: Trump was winning the election.

 

The air was thick with hyperbolic predictions and apocalyptic economic scenarios. On the internet, embarrassed political commentators tried to slash through the impossible hubris of imperial promise, while grinning ideologues declared the triumph of...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 11:41am

It’s said that good things will come to those who wait.

 

That couldn’t be truer for fans of the Frankston-born hitmaker Illy, thanks to the recent release of his fifth album, Two Degrees. Three years on from his ARIA-certified gold record, Cinematic, this time around the rapper left everyone on edge waiting for a follow-up – including his record company. 

 

“I...

Posted 4 Dec 2016 @ 10:00am

James Kenyon is a man of honest pleasures.

 

He doesn’t seek out extravagant meals or expensive trips overseas, or harbour any interest in climbing the corporate ladder. He makes and plays music, plain and simple. 

 

“I like playing,” he says, with all the quiet pride of a man who has discovered his life’s work. “I get a real energy from it. I often forget how much...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 7:00pm

Reaching the age of 30 can come with its challenges.

 

It’s a time to reflect on your younger years, either to yearn for the golden days of youth, or to slowly ease into maturity. For British soul vocalist Laura Mvula, that maturity seems to have struck at the right time, inspiring her critically acclaimed new album The Dreaming Room – a pop abstraction that was originally born...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 6:00pm

Canberra punk/glam outfit Glitoris have a keenly developed sense of identity.

 

It’s clear to see in their name, provocative artwork, glitter-soaked visual style and challenging lyrics. Their debut EP, The Disgrace, dropped last month, and ahead of its Sydney launch show, the BRAG speaks with these four socially conscious women to get a deeper understanding of their driving...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 5:16pm

The Dead Daisies are the very definition of an international band.

 

The group’s members are scattered across the globe, and though they are often called an ‘Australian-American’ rock outfit, the truth is a little more muddied. Past members have lived on pretty much every continent on Earth, and the band’s current lead singer John Corabi – he of Mötley Crüe fame – has called a...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 4:16pm

In years gone by, it seemed as if an artist would periodically come out of obscurity to shake up any preconceived notions of normality.

 

They’d be someone who would experiment maniacally, shaping an original sound into their own form of musical expression that would end up being revered. But it’s 2016 now, and with an abundance of music available online, artists like Moses...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 4:03pm

There’s a lot of history to Chicago’s genre-defiant Tortoise.

 

On the verge of their 27th year as a band, the Midwestern multi-instrumentalists have traversed the world as softly spoken innovators, blending jazz, prog, electronica and post-rock into their versatile and impeccably detailed compositions. 

 

Even with so much history to take in, however, the quintet...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 4:00pm

Canadian bluesman Matt Andersen has one of those profoundly powerful voices that emerge every now and again to shake the foundations of your home and captivate your ears.

 

He won Australian fans performing alongside Jeff Lang and Mia Dyson at the 2014/15 Woodford Folk Festival, and now, for those who missed his last two-month wander through the country, you have the chance to...

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