Archive for January, 2013

In honour of it being Australia Day this past weekend, I decided my song of the week for this week was going to be something Australian.

It was not an easy decision, but Australian music doesn’t get catchier, more lighthearted, or anywhere near as fun as Brisbane band Hey Geronimo, so this song – Why Don’t We Do Something? – was the perfect choice. (This is also one of the most creative music videos I have ever seen!)

Hey Geronimo, formed by members of Montpelier, Blame Ringo and The Boat People in 2011, have had a stellar run since the release of their first single – our fabulous song of the week – in December 2011, and their debut self-titled EP in June of last year. They’ve been on the road with the likes of Owl Eyes, Ball Park Music and the Jungle Giants, as well as playing the Caloundra Music Festival late last year and the Gold Coast leg of this year’s Big Day Out. These guys are also set to join The Presidents of the United States of America  on their upcoming Australian tour.

New music is in the works – no doubt you’ll hear about it here once it has been released!

If you want to hear/know/see more of Hey Geronimo you can visit their Facebook, Band Camp, or follow them on Twitter.

Advertisements

I know I promised a review of Anberlin’s latest album ‘Vital’ at the end of last week, but then the weather turned nasty and I didn’t have a solid internet connection for the entire weekend. The review will definitely be up this week, but in the meantime I feel like this is the perfect time to write about crazy weather patterns of the (mostly) beautiful country and (usually) lovely city in which I live.

A week or so ago, Australia was on fire. Families lost their homes, areas had to be evacuated, a few towns were almost entirely destroyed and both the city and rural firefighters were struggling to get everything under control. We experienced a heatwave, with temperatures that were practically unheard of in some areas. Sydney faced a few 40 degree+ days, including a 46 degree scorcher on the day of Sydney’s leg of the Big Day Out music festival. Thankfully it didn’t get quite so hot here in Brisbane, but temperatures definitely exceeded those of our usual hot and sticky sub-tropical summer days. The back yard of my house in northern suburbia was getting drier by the minute and I actually contemplated breaking water restrictions to give it a good soaking in the hope of preventing it from spontaneously catching on fire. It didn’t light up – luckily – but the possibility was there. Everybody was on high alert.

Fast-forward to today and Queensland and northern New South Wales are in the process of recovering from an entirely different natural disaster. There has been record rainfall, extreme winds of over 125 km/h, several mini-tornadoes and as a result, widespread flooding and devastation. Roads have been cut by flood-waters leaving towns inescapable and unreachable except by boat or air. Rivers, creeks and streams have burst their banks, with tidal flooding expected to peak today – two days after we experienced the majority of the rainfall. More families have lost their homes, while others will be attempting to repair water-damage for weeks to come. More areas have been evacuated and other regions have been almost completely destroyed. Tree branches and debris litter every yard and street, including my own. I am very lucky to not have woken up with broken windows or a tree  in my bedroom and I know many others who feel the same relief. Recovery is beginning, but it will be months before any of the affected areas are truly back to normal.

If you live in Australia, or have seen any international news from Australia over the last couple of years, or know how to Google, you will know that this is certainly not the first time this part of Australia has experienced this kind of flooding and devastation, nor were the fires we experienced prior to the floods a one-time event. It seems impossible that a country can go from extreme drought to flooding in the space of a week, or for me to say that right now I can look out my window and see blue sky and sunshine – but that is Australia. And Australia is home.

This song needs no real introduction. Just listen to it. It’s called Feel Good Drag and it’s by American rockers Anberlin. 

Anberlin are another band I was introduced to by a friend and I am thankful every day that they had the sense to think I might enjoy them, because I don’t just like them, I love them.

I jumped onto the Anberlin bandwagon somewhere between their fourth (New Surrender) and fifth (Dark is the Way, Light is a Place) studio albums and despite the fact they had already been around for seven years or so, I think it was the ideal time to do it. At the time I really needed an album like New Surrender in my music library and then a year or so later when Dark is a Way, Light is a Place came out, I needed that too.

These guys are brilliant songwriters and lyricists, and lead vocalist Stephen Christian has one of the best voices I have ever heard. I have seen the band live three times so far and the way he captivates and mesmerizes an audience is something that has to be witnessed. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s true.

When talking about Anberlin it’s impossible to avoid at least mentioning the ‘are they or are they not a “christian band”?’ debate. I won’t go into it too much – I’m sure if you want to know more you can do your own research – but the conclusion that I have come to is that they are a band of Christian men, but they are not, by definition, a Christian band. Are there both subtle and not so subtle mentions of God and other elements of Christianity in their music? Absolutely. But it’s not at all preachy or making any attempt to push listeners towards that particular way of life. I can’t speak for their first two albums, because I’ve honestly never bothered to find or listen to them, but this is what I think based on their newer work.

Speaking of newer work, Anberlin released a new album, Vital, last year. I own it, but am yet to give a good listening to – I know, I’ve been a terrible fan of late. But this is the week! Check back in a few days for my very first album review.

Silly technology!

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Having all sorts of laptop troubles at the moment, but my song of the week will be up tomorrow!

pandemonium

The second book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy, this novel is definitely appropriately named. After my experience with Delirium – you can read my review HERE – I started Pandemonium with very high expectations. Luckily I was not disappointed. Right from the start it was emotional and intense and within the first few pages I was captivated (and not just because I was desperate to see what was going to happen post-Delirium).

Set in the same dystopian America we visited in Delirium, this novel delves further into the system of, and figureheads behind, the ‘love is a disease that we can and need to cure’ mentality. We see this world again through Lena’s eyes, but as a result of her experiences in Delirium – and the events that occur throughout this story – the way she sees things changes quite dramatically. For those who may not yet have read Delirium I won’t go into too much more detail about the plot of Pandemonium so that I don’t ruin the story for you. I will say, though, that there is another boy, another case of the deliria, and many more twists, turns and occurrences that I never, ever saw coming.

From a more technical view point, Oliver’s writing is as good if not better than Delirium. Once again I found her use of language and metaphor to be fantastic and continued to enjoy the way her writing lures you into a false sense of comfort before something huge an d usually unexpected happens. In this novel Oliver chose to use a slightly different layout and way of telling the story. Pandemonium is separated into ‘then’ and ‘now’ chapters, alternating the telling of Lena’s story between the events that followed on from the end of Delirium and where she finds herself months later. The seamless transition between these chapters left me pleasantly surprised. Jumping from past to present does not always work and it isn’t always particularly easy, but Oliver nailed it. It was very effective for this story and the impact would not have been the same if it had been written in chronological order instead.

The countdown is on for the release of the final novel in this trilogy, Requiem, so we can finally learn when, where and how Lena’s story ends!

There has always been an abundance of talented musicians in Australia but it has only been over the past three or four years that I have really taken notice of it. In that time I have discovered many amazing bands and I’m finding new ones to fall in love with all the time.

One of my first discoveries, back in 2009, were Melbourne rockers Stealing O’Neal. This song, Hometown, is from their debut album – which was, sadly, their only album – titled: “Don’t Sleep”. I do apologise for the video quality, but unfortunately it was the best one I could find.

It saddens me that I only had the opportunity to see this band live a few times before they announced their split, but at least I did get to go to those few shows. Despite the fact that they aren’t writing new music or performing together anymore, I still encourage you to seek out “Don’t Sleep” and give it a listen. In particular, Catchafire (track five)  is worth taking a few minutes out of your day for. The lyrics are powerful and it is probably my second favourite Stealing O’Neal song.

Thank you!

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Sunshine
Tags: , , ,

Just a quick little post to say welcome to my new followers and readers.

Thank you for stopping by!

Check back tomorrow afternoon for my song of the week. It’s another Australian band this week and they’re one of my favourites!