We all know the broad strokes. The essential components of a superlative Australia Day weekend. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. Not that we want to tell you how to barbecue that sausage just so. We just figure music plays a big part, there’s a lot of it happening and you might be interested in some of the better things happening over the most Australian summer weekend. Click the links for tickets and more information. Here we go.
Nineties revivalism, as you may have noticed, is very much a thing. So seeing Salt-n-Pepa’s DJ Spinderella is a bit of a no-brainer. It’s not just nostalgia though. She still kills it. Especially with support by Jay-Clipp out of the Bronx and local heroes M.A.F.I.A and Whiskey Houston.
This is one for those who like it heavy and aggressive. The two man Seattle powerviolence duo have been tearing ears apart for fourteen years. They are playing two shows but we like the Sunday gig as it doubles as the last show for local rock cacophonists True Radical Miracle.
Portsea Beach Club
You can’t really call it a mini festival but it’s not precisely the Big Day Out either. What we can say is that it’s a whole day at the Portsea Hotel given over to 15 of the most exciting local musicians around. Headlined by the current golden child of digital soul, Chet Faker.
This hugely prolific, lo-fi psychedelic rock band from Brooklyn bring together all the best parts of the ’60s. Then they blow it all up and sew it all up with melody.
Kinetic Jazz Festival
Sure, you might not be dancing ‘til dawn at this festival. Though you might end up with your mind and perspective expanded. Which is just as good sometimes. Hear Latin jazz from the Waldo Fabian quintet. Witness international flute masters Kaoru Watanabe and Riley Lee joining world music scholar and practitioner Kim Sanders in dissolving musical borders. And much more.
The abstract folk genius, late of the Microphones, is going to be playing in the appropriately cavernous York St Anglican church. One for those who like to see beauty in the dark and peace in gentle discord.
Three days, three venues, one ticket. Delivering two touring internationals, the aforementioned Woods and the soon-to-be-mentioned Hunx and His Punx. Then: throw in Blank Realm, Terrible Truths and an ocean of supports. If you could never listen to music again this weekend of rock and roll would be a fitting farewell.
Kashmere Stage Band
A combination screening and performance. Of Thunder Soul, a documentary telling the inspirational story of ‘Prof’ Conrad O Johnson transforming a Houston, Texas high-school jazz band into world renowned funk legends the Kashmere Stage Band. An amazing story set against the background of the racial unrest of the ’60s. Followed by a performance by local musicians. Just kidding, it’ll be the Kashmere Stage Band themselves.
Pastel Blaze, Undead Apes, Occults and Prophet Margin
Oof, we know we recommended the Deadshits festival as the solution for your rock and roll needs in Brisbane. But. All-girl garage glitter punk from newcomers Pastel Blaze and then various stripes of punk rock from goth to who-knows-what should make that decision a little more complicated. Sorry.
Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys
Sydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys have just released their debut long player, Ready For Boredom. It’s a damn fine slice of noisy, fun punk rock that doesn’t forget about being catchy. Support by Constant Mongrel, Wireheads and Bruff Superior.
Hunx and His Punx
Seth Bogart (aka Hunx) and his Punx are the craziest mix of doo-wop, ’60s garage rock, punk and every John Waters movie ever made to come out of San Fransisco. Come out of anywhere, really. Right down to Seth’s moustache, lipstick and trademark flamboyance. The only all-girl band fronted by a man. Debauched, weird and totally unique.
Willow Beats are a talented lady and gent out of Melbourne who make the kind of electronic pop that makes you feel like you are in outer space. Though in a spaceship approaching the speed of light. Not simply floating there. Future beats and ethereal vocals. Support by Lewis McKirdy and Bad//Dreems.
Fringe World Festival
An absolute monster. This huge festival covers the whole performance, cabaret, film, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gamut. Musically though? Musically there’s a battle between classical music and jazz, the DFA Records affiliate Nancy Whang, the legendary Chicks on Speed, Melbourne experimentalist Oren Ambarchi and a lot more.
Well, we couldn’t not mention our favourite 21st-century R&B weirdos: Collarbones. Seeing as we interviewed them and they were kind enough to make us an awesome mixtape.
If you’re after a dance in Perth over the long weekend, boy oh boy did you get lucky. Norway’s greatest musical export that you’ve probably never heard of: Hans-Peter Lindstrøm. They guy practically invented what people call ‘cosmic disco’. Dance music that breathes like the universe rather than pumping like an engine. Very, very highly recommended.