Album Review: TAME IMPALA – Lonerism

Tame-Impala

Tame Impala surely had some slanderous media attention prior to the release of their second studio album “Lonerism” – the concept of psychedelic rock “revivalism” has often spouted succinctly negative repartee in that bands cannot possibly have the audacity to remake or revive that which has been done by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Rolling Stones.  

There has been a reemergence of psychedelic and progressive music together with the “counter culture” lifestyle.  Producers now have the ability to support this shift in music consciousness producing rock instrumentation in an electronic manner, which breathes new life into the music worlds most celebrated sounds. This is precisely what we hear on “Lonerism” like rifling through your Dad’s record collection but playing the songs through the most magnificent 5.1 surround sound imaginable.

Listeners are slowly becoming advocators by proponents of the new “consciousness expansion” and Tame Impala delivers a comprehensive exploration of this juxtaposition of electronic and old school. “Lonerism” boldly begins with two 7-minute songs mostly consisting of instrumental melodies, which could be considered as self-indulgent musical bigotry. Yet, even though Parker rings like a John Lennon bell, it’s ludicrous to argue that there isn’t undeniable talent supporting immense consideration to the production in this record. It’s bloody catchy is what it is, both in melody and vocal arrangements.

Tame Impala

Lonerism was recorded mostly by Parker in home studios in Perth and France which gives this latest effort some distinction from its predecessor 2010’s Innerspeaker– the influences and themes are discoverable in the likeness of track names on Lonerism like “Solitude is Bliss” and “Island Walking” are prevalent throughout the record offering an insight into the mysterious musical logic of Parkers prodigal brain.

“Mind Mischief” catches an early break on the albums highlights with its high falsetto and languid vocal harmonies, like witnessing a beautiful Woodstock hippie slowly licking a vanilla ice cream the song melts into your consciousness. A struttin whilst walkin’ bassline and some flawlessly placed drum fills brings a sparseness to the sound which is complimented by Parkers considerably reverby Rickenbacker riffs (which he has picked up again for this new record as opposed to his Roadhouse Stratocaster used in the last 2 albums).

“Why Won’t They Talk To Me?” Offers a rueful vocal remedy supported by some spankin’ synth rythms, building into big wave crescendos’ reflecting the intensity of the themes we hear on this album, then as soon as the swell builds, the sound dismounts with the natural grace and rhythm that only further supports the brilliance of this record.

The A grade beef is found in the catchy hooks of “Elephant” with those belligerent, smoky psyc rock grooves like a sonic Chan style roundhouse kick to the head.  Snare drum roll sandwich anyone? On the contrary there is the presence of the mini track filled with filthy phasing, guitar that rips into a multi layered vocal lantana in “She just won’t believe me” 

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Photo credit: Rolling Stone Magazine, The Hottest Live Photos of 2012

“People have a distortion pedal and then a reverb pedal. A reverb is meant to make it sound like it’s in a cathedral or something. If you put it the other way around, it won’t sound like a guitar being played in a church, it’ll sound like a church being stuffed inside a shoebox and then exploded. You can do different things just by treating things differently.” – Kevin Parker

This album is a immersive story that not only connects with an entirely greater sound than what we have heard from Tame Impala previously, it’s far more considered in its production elements. Lonerism takes you on a pony ride that wafts and cruises, unhurried at it’s own pace. Like taking the hand of the wise spirit of Woodstock, you feel the influence of the past, with the disposition of the new, creating a spacey musical experience that invites you to let go, and relinquish any idea of control.

This accomplished effort from the 5-piece offers color, shape and movement in a passive state of New Age rock psychedelica. There is no distinction between technology and humanity, and that what was necessarily deemed a “rip off” is actually a stunning opportunity to cherish and reconnect with the sounds of the 60’s and 70’s – it’s a cleaner taste that cannot be charged with anything else but being intensely brilliant.

@CazPringle

lonerism

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Think Positive Campaign – Fight for your mind

Righto, it’s Monday. I am not going to lie, I am feeling completely and utterly, and what seems to be irrevocably, UNINSPIRED today.

Today, there is a great sense that I am not on the right track, and that I potentially have made some wrong choices in what road to take in my career and I feel disconnected from my own character and disengaged with my natural ability to see the good in even the shittiest of situations. Nancy Negativity.

There it is, a truth bomb. And from that truth bomb comes strength. Because all that paragraph above is, is just my ‘perspective’ at the time I wrote it- it’s certainly not my reality. And when I realise this, my mindset shifts and then soon after, I start laughing at my ability to indulge in stupid, egotistical bullshit and I move on from it. Yessssss air high five to myself… That is my own personal process of positive thought but honestly sometimes it’s reaaaalllly friggin hard to do. Am I Bloody Right?

Monday – you hellish beast, sometimes you can really knock a person for 6. We have all been here (Hence songs like “Blue Monday” and “Manic Monday” and I Don’t Like Mondays”) – and I am coming around to the point of this post, it’s certainly not a dedication being played on a tiny violin to being “Negataur” ( “Negataur” is a half human, half horse – Centaur – that runs around being negative. Negative + Centaur = Negataur.  If you feel shitty about something, think about Negatuar and you will feel better immediately, thanks for the concept Jacs and Matty). It’s about turning Nancy Negativity into Polly Positivity.

So, it is how we overcome our own emotions in times of tribulation and how we keep moving forward that is the key point. We all express this differently. Sometimes people cry, sometimes people go clay-pigeon shooting, some turn to being a right royal prick to their Mums, some people play something on X-Box. Some people put a pair of tap shoes on, even if they aren’t going to a tap dancing class – (Those people are super creepy).

It’s really about how we problem solve, well, ourselves.

Suddenly you realise you need to fight for your mind. So which weapons do we choose? (I personally after having my first ‘sexual’ dream whereby I kissed Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and not the cartoon version friends, the real life costume wearing version from 1990, which I am not sure whether is worse or better, would go with Nunchucks).

Yup....he is DREAMY

Yup….he is DREAMY

Do you think people have forgotten to look inwards at themselves for the answer? Wouldn’t it be such a wicked weapon if we could change our perspectives and see the positive in life? How do we teach ourselves to recognise these negative thought patterns, and then have the self awareness to catch them in time, and re-calibrate these thoughts into those with a core of positivity? I am not getting all Landmark forum on you, but this is something that needs to be considered, especially with the impact mental illness has on so many Australians.

In a new campaign created by The Adidem Group, and spearheaded by in-store national support from The Body Shop Australia, this campaign is designed to gently remind us that we must activate our own awareness and recognise our intrinsic ability to change the way we think, the way we act and the way we re-act.

Supported by a spunky campaign website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the objectives are captured below:

“It’s only by thinking positively that we can become the best versions of ourselves. Study after recent study have revealed a creeping pessimism and negativity in Australian life. This website is about bucking that trend!

We passionately believe that by adopting a positive mindset we can all achieve much more – individually, in the community and for the country as a whole.

Let’s accentuate the positives, be optimistic about the future, be grateful for what we’ve got and recognise that in Australia our glass is most definitely half full!”

Some visuals I love from the campaign:

nevergiveup

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This next one is not included in the campaign, but it’s the background on my phone!

AwesomeAnd a pup from the  Sippy Creek Animal Refuge finds a home:

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original

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Happy Monday legends,

@CazPringle

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Interview with Paul Kelly

First Published on T-Squat Mag

“I always thought that song writing was about paying attention.”

 Words: Caz Pringle
There must be an immense feeling of vulnerability that comes with expressing failure and opening up your private thoughts and feelings with an international audience. There is an even greater power through catharsis that comes with having the courage and transparency to create something artistic from that vulnerability. There is no other Australian troubadour who transcends the title of poet, singer, songwriter, and artist like Paul Kelly.
Australians listen to his songs around the Christmas table. We play his music when we are searching for answers or are in need of guidance. I am fairly sure we have all at one point played a game of backyard cricket or beach Classic Catches with a Paul Kelly record as the soundtrack. Your Dad has probably tried to play From St Kilda to Kings Cross on the guitar after a few too many tins. Australians know that Paul has seen hard times, and can offer guidance and insight into all aspects of Australian culture with the characters he creates in his songs. His new album, the first in five years is called Spring and Fall and showcases the brilliance and musical intelligence that Paul has maintained whilst writing over 350 songs over almost four decades. We have missed his stories, and crikey it’s good to have him back.
Supporting social issues within our country, collaborating with indigenous artists, Paul has opened up his talent to communicate with every Australian of any age, gender or race – yet this year has been one of incredible honesty for the singer. His documentary Stories of me released last month, comes soon after the release of his autobiography How To Make Gravy  – in short, Paul has been a very busy man of late.
On the 19th October 2012, upon the eagerly waiting ears of fans fell the release of Paul’s 19th album Spring and Fall, which only further reinforces the man’s status as an artist who creates music that continues to push the human race forward.
CP: Andrew Denton described you as “Australia’s Poet Laureate” – creating music that everybody can relate to, because, intrinsically your lyrics reflect something emotionally, or retrospectively in each listener. How has immersing yourself in other’s poetry / music affected your song writing this time around?
 
PK: I have always been influenced by poetry, I have read it consistently over the years. But I did dig deeper into poetry working on a project over the last two years on and off, with The Australian National Acadamy of Music, an orchestra of ten students, and modern classical composer James Ledger. ANAM asked me to write a song cycle a few years ago, with James and I said yes, I thought it was a really interesting idea. And then sorta panicked after I said yes, because I realised I needed to get back to writing songs for my own record. I know I am a slow writer so, I thought to myself I am not going to be able to write a song cycle AND write songs for my next record. So for the orchestra project I first turned to poetry I liked, that were my favourites and ended up making a song cycle out of this group of poems that connected, and also sort of kicked me along to write songs myself.
So, in a way I had written a book and had been doing shows which kind of  taken up about four years – and I had only written one or two songs in that time so I was sort of rusty, because writing is a muscle – I wasn’t rusty writing prose, but I was rusty writing songs. So putting the poetry to music, it kickstarted my song writing again. So that’s a long way of saying, yes.  [laughs] Some of the project with the orchestra did start to bleed into the songs I was writing for Spring and Fall  – the main influence was that I took the idea of a song cycle and transferred it over to the record.
CP: You have spoken about your big brother Martin playing you records as a youngster, I know that my older brothers vetoed most of my music choices when I was a little squirt – tell me what role did your family play in crafting the musician you are today?
PK: Family was a big influence, from my parents back to my grandparents. My grandparents on my mother’s side sang opera – my mother sang and played piano, we all had piano lessons as kids. I did a couple of years of piano lessons when I was 10 or 11 and was quite taken with my sister’s boyfriend at the time who played trumpet. He brought around some Louis Armstrong records to the house, Kenny Ball and I just fell in love with Dixieland Jazz and I wanted to learn the trumpet so I started doing that in high school. I had four older brothers and sisters and in the 60’s they would all bring music into the house, early Beatles singles … My second eldest sister, called Sheila, listened to Sweet Little Shiela by Tommy Roe I remember, then my older brothers Martin and John, they were getting into the heavier stuff you know, like CREAM and Blind Faith, and then more prog-rock like King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues… I remember all of those records in the late 60’s early 70’s…
Funnily enough I work a lot now with my nephew, Dan Kelly who is Martin’s son, so he’s got that influence too – Martin had a reel to reel tape recorder that played lots of stuff like Van Morrison, JJ Cale, Dylan, Ritchie Havens, Supertramp – all the good stuff….
CP: Your new album has been recorded in a country hall – was it your sound engineer Greg Walker’s decision to get out of the more controlled environment in the studio? Can you shed some light on what you used in terms of mics and production gear to capture the space in the music? 
PK: It was Greg Walker’s decision to get out of the studio, and he lives in Gippsland so it was convenient for him [laughs] and he had been trying out country halls around the area, and he hit upon this hall that he had got good results with – not too big, not too small – but I sort of had to be talked into it….because I really wanted to make a pretty closed mic’d record. I didn’t think we really needed a hall – so he had to patiently explain to me that, “yes of course we can close mic everything”  – but the hall would just give us that extra little presence behind everything, and he was right.
The best thing about it for me was that the hall had its own natural reverb which made it really easy to sing, and because we were trying to get a lot of the songs live of the three of us playing together, we were doing lots and lots of takes of the songs – but when you have a good reverb to sing to, your voice doesn’t get tired nearly as much as it does singing in a deadened acoustic space or a normal studio. So singing in the hall, your voice just floats, you don’t push it, so for those technical reasons it was really good.
And in the end it was just really good to get out of town, it just gives you a good frame of mind, it’s a bit like camping, like off on an adventure – so it was all fun.
CP: What are you singing about in this record, what are the themes behind the expression?
PK: I probably haven’t changed it much since I started writing songs, I guess love is the main thing I write about; love, sex, friendship, memory and time – there was a more conscious effort in this record to make it more like a song cycle because I wanted to structure the record so each song would link to the next – and if you were to listen to the songs in order, it would tell a story. That wasn’t the intention at the start, but once I had a few songs I saw that they could fit in certain story parts and all I had to do was write more to work in.
So I had a song called When a Woman Loves a Man for early on in the record – I had a song called Sometimes My Baby (these are old songs that I had been sitting on for a while) and I knew they were both parts of a story. Once I started writing songs again after my break, about a year and a half ago, I sort of started focusing on the songs that would talk to each other – and once I had five or six songs I realised that it was becoming a story – that then helped me to write the next lot.
CP: That is interesting in terms of how you understand your direction once you get started in that process, and then naturally it will sort of unfold….
PK: Yeah if there was like clear cutters like “I am going to write a song, and this is going to be the theme, and then I will write the song” it’s never like that, you never know which is going to come first.
CP: “Every fucking city looks the same”, but which ones have hosted your most enjoyable shows? What is your live pièce de résistance?
PK: Ahhh it would have been one of the recent ones, this year, Edinburgh Festival at Queens Hall – it was one of those nights where, you know, everything sounded good onstage, the music floated out above the crowd, you could feel it landing, you could feel them gasping, you could feel them laughing…
CP: And finally, are you listening or waiting to talk? 
PK: I much prefer listening to talking, so I hope I am listening, because I always thought that song writing was about paying attention, so listening… and a lot of my songs come out of conversations that I hear.
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In Defence of Boy Bands – By Kiri Joyce

Why are their pants are down? No one knows

Why are their pants are down? No one knows, although I hope to join the band now, but only when it’s Summer

Once upon a time it was an undisputed fact that bowl-cuts were hot. And, rocking one of the finest bowl-cuts around, in all its fair, youthful glory was Nick Carter – the prettiest Backstreet Boy, and the first great love of my life.

I was thirteen when I discovered Nick. He was the blue-eyed boy with hair of spun gold, who looked down the barrel of a camera in his white suit, standing in the rain, confessing his pure, unrivalled, and unsurpassable love for me. He promised never to break my heart. He saw how my hypothetical ‘man’ neglected me, and pledged to me his love. Because that was all that he had to give. He didn’t care who I was, where I was from, what I did, just as long as I loved him.

 

“Oh mystery lady, you’ve got somethin’ I like
Tell me you’re here to stay (ooh yeah)
You’re dangerous, oh baby
Could you do me right?
Will you come out to play?
Cuz that’s the way I like it”

– Hmmm so many layers to consider in “That’s the Way I Like It” from “Backstreets Back” 1997

 

(Admittedly, there was one unfortunate moment in the All I Have To Give remix that he confessed to liking it when I ‘shook what my mamma gave me’, but I can overlook that; he’s only human.)

For well over a decade now, my dear friends have accepted the fact that I love the Backstreet Boys. This is less out of defiance to the societal pressure there was in my high school to be cool, and to like bands like Millencolin, Silverchair and Nirvana, and more out of the fact that I just couldn’t fight it. Try as I might, my mood was unfailingly lifted whenever I heard the sweet serenade of those five boys, torturing themselves in the excruciating quest for my affections.

D.R.E.A.M.B.O.A.T

D.R.E.A.M.B.O.A.T

Tsk away, dear reader (it only makes me stronger), as I’m sure you were one of the many cooler ones to channel your pubescent angst into an acceptable inclination for the good stuff. I’m sure you went through a Doors phase at the appropriate age of your late-teens, bought Frogstomp from Sanity the very day of its release, and had Radiohead posters instead of 5ive blu-tacked to your walls. Yes, tsk as you may, but I tell you – those sugar-sweet boys and their voices of angels kept my fragile little adolescent heart afloat.

High school was, and is, a cruel, cruel sea, full of big ol’ nasty meanies; at risk of playing the world’s tiniest violin whilst telling my sad, sad story, I felt its wrath with particular brunt. As a youth, I was a gangly, pimply kid with an overbite I could fit a whole Licorice Allsort into, a gap between my front teeth for which I earned the nickname Wind-chime, and a significant lack of social skills… I was an awkward sitting duck.

And so, on my way home from school each day, after my brand new Sketchers had once again failed to earn me a spot on the cool kids’ table, I would reach for my Discman, pop my earphones in, listen to the recorded love letters of my five faraway admirers, and let their perfect harmonies carry my cares away.

So much happiness and laughter and gayness

So much happiness and laughter and gayness

Last week, in a waiting room, I saw my first One Direction film clip. Instead of cringing and lamenting the state of pop music these days (like a true over-the-hill 26 year-old) I was heartened that there are still young, pretty boys making teen girls the world over swoon, faint, and cry with the overwhelming force that is the teenage crush.

It is truly a force to be reckoned with, and, in my case, one that has stuck like dried gum to the underside of a desk – my insecure inner-thirteen year-old forever in love with Nick Carter, circa 1998.

Words: Kiri Joyce

Kiri Joyce is an alfalfa sprout enthusiast, staunch anti-LOL campaigner and writer of stuff. Since reading her poetry aloud to a small group of supportive friends one drunken evening in her early 20's, Kiri has made writing her thing. She now earns her bread and butter as an advertising copywriter, and dreams of travelling the world, living by the pen (or iPad). Until then, she remains a committed Melbournian northsider, student, and die-hard Backstreet Boys fan.

Kiri Joyce is an alfalfa sprout enthusiast, staunch anti-LOL campaigner and writer of stuff. Since reading her poetry aloud to a small group of supportive friends one drunken evening in her early 20’s, Kiri has made writing her thing. She now earns her bread and butter as an advertising copywriter, and dreams of travelling the world, living by the pen (or iPad). Until then, she remains a committed Melbournian northsider, student, and die-hard Backstreet Boys fan.

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TAC “Yes Mum” Ad Campaign 2012 – Using the power of TV for good

This video came to my attention this morning. I know that TAC Victoria have created some truly emotive and heart-wrenching television commercials over the years, but none ( in my opinion) have depicted a scenario such as this. Portraying the juxtaposition of the effect that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol has on the families and friends of the victims it claims. The beauty of this commercial is the intense focus on the regret of the victim which is the message. We cannot take back actions when we don’t survive through them.

Well done to the team that produced this incredible film. It is truly visionary.

Hit up the crew who made this clip here

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Say Sorry Billy: A letter to Billy Ray Cyrus

The BRC in full effect

Billy,

How are you? I am pretty good thank you.

Apparently the world is going to end next Friday and I have been getting a lot of things off my chest recently. I have a bit of a bone to pick with you. Redemption will be at hand.

Last night when I was sitting on my balcony drinking approximately my 4th Irish Whiskey a thought came to me that I feel is worthy enough to raise with you. You pretty much are to blame for my personal hairstyle of 1995 whereby I actively engaged with updating my own hair ‘style’ with a pair of scissors. The only way I can justify this to have happened is simple. I was possessed. By you. Your music possessed me to cut my own hair into a mullet. Makes sense.

See below.

Honestly Billy, look at me. I look like a foot.

Honestly Billy, look at me. I look like a foot.

You and my red Casio tape deck constructed this abomination on the morning of Grade 3 photo day. Generally people make a conscious effort to make themselves look aesthetically pleasing on photo day. You know, consideration that you might have to stare at this photo for a long period of time. Not in this case, not unless my parents wanted a momento of their child looking like a bashed in shit can.

I look like a combination of you, Grug (Fun fact: Grug began life as the fallen top of the native Burrawang tree), David Bowie in The Labyrinth, Mel Gibson in Mad Max and some dude from an early Aerosmith film clip. Not only did I suffer from this situation, but my brother Tim got dragged into this mess too.

Grug. WTF is he?

Grug. WTF is he?

You remind me of the babe? What babe? The babe that looks like she stuck her finger in a power socket.

You remind me of the babe? What babe? The babe that looks like she stuck her finger in a power socket.

You know what really breaks my heart? Is that during some simple research this morning, I watched the “Achy Breaky Heart” film clip below and not only was I genuinely appalled that I remembered the choreography of that terrible line dancing, that there was a woman in said film clip that had very similar hair to me in the current timeframe. I went and looked at myself in the mirror and realised that I in fact look like I have been attacked by a pack of wild dogs. What the bloody hell is going on here mate?

Look familiar??

Pray, is this some kind of weird time space continuum? Since when is it ok for anyone to look like this? I know there is a lot of talk about The Mayans  and the transition that will occur on Friday the 21st of December that marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation. This is why I feel my letters timing is quite relevant. If I am going to go out, I want a sorry first pal.

I accept my share of responsibility to manage myself, however I was a kid. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wasn’t aware that I looked like a badger.

The mystical ability to rationalise this with the brilliance of hindsight, I think that nothing but a personal apology would be acceptable.

Cheers,

Caz Pringle

PS: give your daughter a high five for outsourcing to Australian men for her choice in boyfriend – good work.

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Old grey mare ain’t what she used to be

“She take ma’ money, when I am in neeeeed”….Well no, not really in need. Just kidding. I don’t really need it.

Well thank my lucky stars that I didn’t want to read about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a successful first turn on the diplomatic stage from Egypt’s new government which could offer potential respite from bloodshed in Gaza and southern Israel.

Nah, not important.

Silly old me picked up this “newspaper” read by 1.3 million Victorians every weekday.

Could have been awkward.

@CazPringle

Here is a children’s song for you all

 

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