Rad Radio

By Alex

I have this friend who was born in the wrong era, that or he found a time machine and travelled to the future. Either way, he is a cosmic mystery.
To try and paint this picture, my friend would never go to a festival like Parklife or Future, I mean why would you if you’ve already been to Woodstock? Why would you wear skinny jeans if you could wear your caramel corduroy flares that match your golden hair?
One day when I was driving with him in my car he changed the radio station to 4KQ. I’m not the kind of person to get sassy when people change my radio and I was intrigued to see what he had up his paisley patterned sleeve.
“This station is rad”, he said.

It’s now been three weeks and I haven’t changed the station since.

Now, I am the kind of person to get sassy when people try and change the settings and say things like, ‘What is this old shit? Sounds like we’re in my dad’s car”. I ignore them because it isn’t long until we are both singing and grooving to the Beach Boys, wishing we could be California girls too.
4KQ plays hits from the 60’s, 70s and 80’s and everything in between. For those who have heard of it but have never found it, well it’s an AM station. You know, the long, lost forgotten, loser station?

What I love about it is that you never know what you’re going to get and even if you hate it, you’ll soon find something to love about it. For me, it’s usually the incredibly lame lyrics about love and heart ache. I even love the daggy advertisements in between songs about retirement homes and adult nappies.
When thinking about what I love most about the station, two words come to mind. Raw and Rad. The music isn’t tainted by electronics. It isn’t tweaked or mixed to smooth out the bumps. It sounds like raw, dirty, hard-work. It sounds like the sweat, heartache and joy the artist went through to make it. It’s sounds like the era, it sounds like the clothes, it sounds like the mood.
There is nothing for the music to hide under. It is what it is. The voices aren’t perfect in their inflection but the yearning passion behind them is, their raspy tones and grooving beats makes you feel whatever the song feels.

So I thought nothing better than to share with you a few of my favourite finds this week. I’m talking Janis Joplin, The Ventures, Little River Band and Miss Bonnie Tyler. Enjoy.



A Brief Youtube Musician Recommendation

Written By – Tristan

So with university assignments piling up and getting closer and closer to deadlines, I’ve done what the responsible student does and immediately went on Youtube for a “break” that ends up lasting 4 hours. During my time on Youtube, I’ve been watching cat videos, “Let’s Plays” and a lot of music videos; but I’ve also noticed that there has been a very recent trend for young musicians and singers to get in front of a camera and perform covers of songs from the Pop charts. I was amazed at how just adding the word “cover” to a song title would usually give you a good hundred pages of people performing their own rendition of that song.

They’ve given me a few ideas for some after-uni projects, being a singer myself, but for the meantime, I’ve been just enjoying the new and varied takes of songs I’ve hated or loved in the past. And since, like I mentioned, assignments are piling down on myself and my fellow writers, I decided that I’d give you guys some recommendations of a musician I’ve been enjoying during these stressful and sleepless days; Travis Ratledge.

This guy I have actually been keeping my eye on way before he made his debut on Youtube. He’s a great musician with a stunning voice and writing ability. He currently has 3 albums out for sale and has been working hard to release one later this year. While he only has about 7 videos available for the moment, it’s obvious that he puts quite a lot of work into them, re-mixing the music to match his own talents. In some cases, he even does mash-ups that are quite satisfying to listen to, more-so than the separate songs.

Sometimes they can be surprisingly entertaining when you consider the original artist.

Plus it’s hard to get past the high-quality music videos put together for the purpose of these covers, almost making it look like an original song.

If you liked this stuff, go check out his channel, you won’t be disappointed. You can also check out some of his albums at his Bandcamp page: here

Why Latin Pop is Muy Bueno

By Luke Ryan

Anyone who has not spent the last year living in a cave deep in the Himalayas will by now be aware of the latest YouTube sensation, Gangnam Style, the mega-chart busting single (and the crazy-ass music video that accompanies it) from Korean pop superstar PSY which has recently surpassed 100 million views and has become the talk of the Internet. One other thing it has also brought into the spotlight of Western culture is the ever increasing popularity of K-Pop, as well as its close cousins, J-Pop and Canto pop.

However, while East Asian Pop music may be the latest pop culture craze, it is by no means the first international style of music to make it big in the USA. That honour goes to the musical style of Latin Pop.

Latin Pop, or Pop Latino, depending on where you live, can have a broad range of meanings. Technically it refers to all music sung in any of the five main Romance Languages of French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian, as well as the dozens of regional languages such as Catalan or Occitan. But when most people talk about Latin Pop, they are referring to music originating from Spanish-speaking Latin America, that being South America, Central America and the Caribbean as well as the large Latino population in the United States.

Latin America has had a rich tradition of music. The mixing of traditional Spanish folk music with the styles of the indigenous populations and the Africans brought to the Americas as slaves, has produced a wide variety of musical genres such as Salsa, Samba, Tango, Bolero, Tejano, Bossa Nova, Flamenco, Mariachi and Reggaeton to name but a few. Contemporary Latin music blends these styles of music with Western pop and Rock music to create a style of popular music which is unique to the region. Beginning in the 1950’s, Latin American Artists began to break into the lucrative American market with Spanish language tracks.

One of the first artists to popularise Latin Pop was Ritchie Valens. The Mexican-American performer was the first to have a hit song sang entirely in Spanish, La Bamba, in 1958. Valens, who was a gifted singer and Flamenco guitarist from an early age (he was only 16 when he recorded the song) decided to record the song in Spanish as a tribute to his heritage, despite the insistence of record producers that a foreign language record would never sell in the U.S. He proved them wrong when La Bamba became an overnight sensation, reaching number 1 on the charts and propelling him to international fame. Tragically, his career was cut short when he was killed in the infamous plane crash of February 3rd, 1959, along with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, known as The Day the Music Died and immortalised in Don McLean’s, song American Pie.

Another of Latin Pop’s forerunners is crooner Julio Iglesias. Hailing from Spain, the singer began his career in the late 1960’s, becoming a huge hit across America and Europe selling over 300 million records and becoming one of the biggest Latin singers of all time. Years later, his son Enrique would go on to have his own career with hits such as Hero and Bailamos and be known as “the King of Latin Pop”.

Today, Latin Pop and Rock have successfully become part of mainstream culture in the United States. Artists such as Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, Marc Antony, Selena and Alejandro Fernandez has all has success both in the States and across Latin America, and have broadened their appeal by releasing both English and Spanish versions of their songs. Take, for example Ricky Martin’s hit song She Bangs; the Spanish version:

Due to the large Latino population of the U.S. and the lucrative market they offer, many Latino singers have made it big in the mainstream music industry. One example is the biggest selling female Latino artist of all time: Shakira. She is currently the only South American born singer to reach number 1 in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada, winning two Grammy Awards in the process, as well as breaking records across Latin America and being the highest selling artist of all time in her native Colombia. In 2011 she accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame having declined the offer in 2009.

Perhaps surprisingly, she has also been a long-time humanitarian and advocate for Latino rights in the U.S. In 2010, when the state of Arizona passed draconian laws on illegal immigration, she was one of many who spoke out against the new laws, claiming they destroy civil rights. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she has also started a charity, the Piez Descalzos Foundation, which has founded several schools for poor children across Colombia, performed at both Live 8 and Live Earth and in 2011 was named by the Obama administration as a member of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

So, while K-Pop may be starting to make inroads into the international scene, Latin Pop was the first to introduce the West to another culture’s music.

Top 5 Most Awesome Musical Big Lipped Alligator Moments

Last week I talked about the concept of the “Big Lipped Alligator Moment” and what it entails. If you missed it, here’s the short version:

The “Big Lipped Alligator Moment” occurs when something happens in a movie or TV show that is over-the-top in terms of ridiculousness, comes out of nowhere with no lead-up whatsoever and once the scene has ended, it is never mentioned ever again. Here’s the original clip again to serve as an example:

Oh Don Bluth, you’ll have your place in this list, don’t you worry.

I mentioned at the end of the last blog that I would look at musicals for a top 5 list of these moments, but then I realised that in musicals, this kind of thing really doesn’t seem out of place in that world for a reason. If you create a world where breaking out into song and dance is pretty much normal, even the weirdest musical numbers aren’t going to bat an eyelid to an audience that will expect it; which kind of defeats the purpose in my mind.

To be a true “Big Lipped Alligator Moment”, the context has to have a sense of realism to it, where we don’t expect it coming at all, so musicals were pretty much off-limits. After doing a little tweaking of the rules and guidelines for this one, I have it for you to read: The Top 5 Awesome Musical Big Lipped Alligator Moments.

These will be moments that, in my mind, while out of place or plain weird, they add something to your experience watching it. This can range from your hatred of a movie, your love of a movie or even just add to your confusion if you’ve been bombarded. They also have to be a musical number that happens during a movie/TV show that isn’t regarded as music in any shape or form.

Let’s get this gator train moving along!

Number 5: Xanadu (1980)

I decided that since this was a musical, I’d put this on the lowest part of the list. While I still abide by my theory about big lipped alligator moments in musicals, ‘Xanadu’ can be considered the exception to the rule in this case. From a film-lover point of view, the movie is filled to the brim with awful filming techniques that anyone would learn not to do in a high-school film class. This combined with a love story that, dare I say, is worse than that of twilight, was enough to make me reach for the remote.

That was until this:


I’m fairly sure my reaction when I first saw that scene was “well, colour me interested.” Sure it was weird, but I thought that after that, they would mention how amazing this girl’s ability is to turn people into Don Bluth animations. Of course, being on this list, they didn’t.

Seriously? The guy was turned into a cartoon, then a fish and then a bloody bird and he doesn’t bat an eyelid even once? Not even mention it to anyone? If that shit had happened to me, I would have told every bloody person I knew about that, mostly because that would be fucking cool.

Oh well, at least the animation is pretty enough to make this moment pretty damn awesome.

Number 4: Ferngully (1992)

Yeah, I mentioned this last time, so I’ll keep this one short

All I can say is, this must be the anthem for anybody into voraphilia because this is the most sexual song I’ve ever heard about wanting to eat something. It’s weird; it’s disgusting and has a character that just falls off the movie once he is done. I really have nothing else to say about this one. It’s one of the more nostalgic big lipped alligator moments on this list.

Number 3: Simpsons (1989-Present)

Being an animated comedy, you would usually expect some odd moments taking place on a show like ‘The Simpsons’. But every now and again, the writers go just a little bit further than what we all expect and we get some of the weirdest and out-of-place moments of any animated show today.

There are multiple occasions of musical big lipped alligator moments during the show’s long history, but from what I’ve seen, two stand out the most: “The Spring in Springfield” and “Monorail”. Both are over-the-top numbers that involve a huge cast of people and nobody ever mentions them once the scene is finished. One little thing I’ve noticed between these two big lipped alligator moments, however is the interesting reactions of cast of the show have as people break into song and dance under different circumstances.

In “The Spring in Springfield” number, everyone at first acts puzzled as to why someone is singing for no reason and with no music. But once that first moment is over and the music starts, everyone just kind of gets into the song.

And then you have “Monorail”, a scene in which the entire cast just breaks out into song and dance with no warning whatsoever because someone played some simple piano keys.

But as I said, this was just an odd little thing that popped up when I was watching these clips again. I guess following the show’s logic, any kind of musical number could happen if you played a few notes of an instrument.

Number 2: Family Guy (1999-Present)

What’s that, you say? Another animated family show? Well yes, but for good reason. The Simpsons, while still surprising most people with their big lipped alligator moments, we as an audience have almost come to expect it now. Family Guy, on the other hand, space out the use their musical moments, making most of us forget that there is the possibility for a musical number.

More importantly, in my mind at least, is that the big lipped alligator moments in Family Guy are used for the sake of offensive jokes with a spectacle to ease the blow, rather than just for the sake of spectacle like The Simpsons. Take for example the infamous FCC song, in which the show takes pot-shots at Television censorship:

Quite catchy isn’t it?

Sometimes they use a big lipped alligator moment to ease the offensiveness of the joke itself, like their comment on irresponsible teenage pregnancies:

What makes the show’s big lipped alligator moments amazing for me though is their ability to educate the audience on musical numbers they may have never heard of. I never knew this song existed until I saw this:

Family Guy, amazing users of the concept of the big lipped alligator moment for the sake of entertainment and education.

Number 1: Teen Witch (1989)

Sometimes it’s good to have friends who know about bad 80’s movies. ‘Teen Witch’ was basically made to be a female version of ‘Teen Wolf’, with very horrible results. In the end, the movie had no plot, no good actors and strangely enough, no ending. And yet, it’s still highly remembered for some of the worst scenes ever to be put on the big screen. But we’re looking at the musical ones for the purposes of this list.

During a very early point in the movie, we see a bunch of white guys rapping in the middle of a locker room with nobody batting an eyelid. I guess that’s how school was in the 80’s?

Anyway, the group features this guy in the blue singlet:

Because rapping penis names is radical dude. He’ll be important later, trust me.

Until then however, we see a scene that makes me think that the writers really don’t know how to write teenage high-school girls.

Yup, apparently everyone is okay with this happening too. And despite the spontaneity of the song, everyone is somehow dancing in sync. I guess the girl’s locker rooms in the 80’s were always like a music video. Awesome.

And finally, we come to what may just be the most amazing thing from any movie ever made; Remember our blue-singlet clad rapper? Well he’s back and he’s wearing his best Hawaiian shirt. Backstory for this scene is girl A has witch powers that she uses to make her friend, girl B, look super fly to this young dude. Enjoy.

What have we learned? Boy band poses = fly attitude, dog.

So that was number 1, ‘Teen Witch’, no plot, horrible writing, but some of the greatest big lipped alligator moments ever to grace a screen. There is so much more in this movie that would make you stare in amazement, but you’ll have to watch the whole movie yourself. Maybe take a few friends and some alcoholic drinks with you when you do though.

Tripod. Three Guys, a Guitar, a Dungeon and a Dragon.

written by Jess

I’d always heard of Tripod, always been told I “should like totally listen to them” but if they spoke to me like that I most likely pushed them into a muddy puddle. Finally though, I did pay attention and youtubed the hell out of those guys, so reluctantly I pulled the idiot out of their puddle and handed them a wet wipe. Sorry mate.

Tripod is one of those Australian things that people either know and love it or have heard about them and go “yeah, they’re ok.” Just so they don’t look stupid for not actually knowing a single song. Well I’m telling you guys they are defiantly worth a look. This Melbourne band emerged from (I’m assuming) the tedious boredom and multitude of free time at the University of Melbourne in 1997. The three front men of this comedic trio are Gatesy, Scod and Yon. All three self-proclaimed nerds and masters of the dungeon.

The band’s fame came when they were adopted by Triple J’s Merrick and Rosso. Every week the trio were challenged to come up with a song in an hour where the topics were chosen by the DJs. This tradition spanned many years and even onto a new set of hosts, Wil Anderson and Adam Spencer. Over the years 3 CDs were released as a product of their songs in an hour challange. The only evidence I can find of this on youtube is Clinton and the Queen, animated by a fan. I must say, the animation is probably the funniest part of the clip, but I urge you to find some of their stuff that they did on Triple J. Although this is a hell of a lot better than what I could write in an hour, my music writing skills are still at an adolescent teenage girl standard.

To get a real feel for the band (without being arrested for harassment) is by  listening to the bands live performances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, or from of any of their other shows. Tripod has performed for years at the MICF and released many live performance DVDs, but I’m not here to plug comedy shows, so I’ll get back onto their music.

My favourite song from Tripod is Comic Shop. This is mainly due to the fact that I spend a lot of my time in comic shops avoiding odd nerdy guys staring through the aisles. It’s great to have a laugh while listening to three quite talented guys; their songs are really well written even in there most simplistic style.  This song like many of their songs is taken from their own experiences of nerd life and anyone who is one, like me, loves any references to nerd life; it makes us feel like “hey, it’s one of my own kind!”

Another song for the nerds out there is Dungeons and Dragons. A lot of the time they imitate other bands styles, in this song, as it says in their intro to the song that this is a Wolfmother inspired number. This song, as you can see, the crowd really gets into, even though I’m pretty sure most of them have no idea what a role playing game is. But that’s what is so great about comedic bands, you don’t have to understand every reference made, there is always something in the song for every one listening. Whether it’s in the delivery of the song, of a line that everyone can relate to, like in this song for instance, “just as the numbers were getting really exciting, the messenger’s wife rang. He had to go pick up his song from Oz kick. The quest for the dwarf kings goblet, would have to wait until next Saturday.” Although I am not a man, unmarried and have no children enrolled in Oz kick, the delivery and the fact that I understand what he means makes me laugh a long with those who have been in a similar situation.

The bands website is also a fun little expedition for Dungeons and dragons fans out there. The layout is highly reminiscent of a role playing game site, with character profiles instead of member biographies and site map actually looks like a floor plan of a castle.

For the non-nerds out there, and for the bullies who are getting riled up because I’m only talking about nerd shit, Gonna make you Happy is just for you. Guys and gals alike you’ll appreciate this song. It takes a little while for the punch line to show up in this song, but it is well worth it when it arrives. And Too Many Remotes is also another side tickler. I first watched these clips in the middle of the cafeteria at uni, and must say I lost some friends and got some odd looks as I laughed and snickered the entire way through these songs.

These songs are not necessarily ones that you would blast out at your next wild party, although I can guarantee 500 random people won’t show up and destroy 4 police cars if you do play this music. No, this is much more entertaining to watch/listen to with a few close lazy friends or even just sitting around bored or even better seeing them live which I fully intend to do next time they are in Brisbane.

The Beards…Extended

For an abbreviated version of this post see further down the page 😉 for the awesome beard-tacular extended version read on!

Written by Jess


“The Beardless people of today are the bearded people of tomorrow!”

Finding an actual review of The Beards is harder than I thought it would be, hey I know that no one is going to say anything bad about these bearded wonders but I thought I could steal some awesome and whity quotes to spice up my post. Unfortunately most people just rehash and rephrase the band’s bio. However, I did find some awesome people ready to put their unshaven faces on the line in the name of The Beards. An awesome writer from rhum.org.au wrote this about the band and I just loved it, “they seem to have placed themselves on the fine line between musical comedy and sincere rock music” and it’s absolutely true. All the members of The Beards are highly talented and skilled musicians, pulling out mad sax solos, epic key board or killer riffs on guitar. These guys could have gone down the traditional rock path and may have been lost among the wanna-be’s, but instead they chose to write about the most important thing to them. Their beards. These Adelaide born boys came together intending it to be a one-time thing, however, the overwhelming response that they received urged them onto to write entire albums on the topic and multiple national tours.

The members of The Beards unsurprisingly were appropriately named by their parents at birth, Johann Beardraven, John Beardman Jr, Nathaniel Beard and Facey McStublington, so it was actually fate that these four gentlemen came together and started up The Beards.

Now onto their musical excellence. The song and clip that launched their fandom from national to global was If your Dad doesn’t have a Beard then you’ve got two Mums. The song gives what it promises, proof that if your father is a clean shaven man you have two mothers. A troubling thing for any young man, as we see while watching the journey of a young boy whose dad is trying to teach him to shave for the first time. The clip goes on to show just how much better life is with a bearded father.

One of the best songs on the third album Having a Beard is the New Not Having a Beard, is You should Consider Having Sex with a Bearded Man. The intro on this clip is a great introduction to the band as well as the song for those of you who do not know who The Beards are. Their classic humour and made up facts just to prove a point they can’t are displayed beautifully. YSCHSWABM is one of the best songs like I said because most I think it is a brainwashing song, I say this because when the song finishes, there are always girls (and guys) around who need to start discussing having sex with a bearded man, and that is not a made up fact.

The next song I need to introduce you to is also off the third album and it is Got Me a Beard. I absolutely love the animated film clip for this song. It just works so perfectly with the song, where we follow a man dumping his girlfriend because she has the audacity to tell him to shave. It ends with riots, murder and Vikings and some very happy facially hair improved men. It is definitely a laugh out loud situation while listing to this song. Or any song on any of their albums. The first time you listen to them you really have to pay attention to what they are saying. The second time round is 100 times more enjoyable because you’re laughing not scoffing and the third time round is 1000 times greater because you get to sing along. And these are some great sing along songs. Gather 4 or 5 of your best mates and really get into it. Make fun of those of you without beards and get happier. That is what The Beards do, they make you happy, I love music that makes me stop and smile and this is certainly what they do.

For my last recommendation from The Beards is strangely a song not about beards…it is about a beard accessory store. It’s called The Beard Accessory Store. In the style of a very repetitive rock ballad, the Beard Accessory Store is where the evening takes a turn for the tear jerker, where we feel for the poor owner of beard accessory store in a world where people are shaving.

I would like to leave you today with something that I find encompasses what The Beards are truly about, The AU Review said “ not only are they oozing with hilarity and beard swag, but they are an entertaining and talented bunch of rugged souls, who could probably sweet talk you into stroking each of their beards.”

SHARKWEEK because I’d prefer that than PARKLIFE

By Alex

I like to think of myself as a seasoned festival-ite , over the years I’ve gone from folky Woodford to a little town in Spain to enjoy the festival culture. What I love about festivals is just floating around the big tents with your friends, listening to your favourite bands with a crisp beer in your hand. I normally resemble a homeless person with hair that gets as excited as I do but it’s a good beacon when friends lose you.

The end of a festival reminds me of that feeling when Christmas is almost over. You’re so tired but satisfied, you want to relive your favourite acts over and over. You hum their songs as your feel the bliss of hoping into bed with heavy limbs and a big smile.

Unfortunately last weekend I went to my first Parklife festival and it didn’t seem to offer the same feeling for me at all.
I’m not sure why but I think I was a little past my use-by-date to be frolicking around the Botanical Gardens with a bunch of teenagers wearing clothes 3 times too small for them. Lets not even start with the unnerving eye contact of serious partygoers, unsure if they’re excited, scared or just need to go to the toilet.

The only savior was being in the beautiful parklands; rolling hills, lush green grass, I did feel like I had escaped the city’s hustle and bustle but I was also cavorting with the dazed and confused and the semi- naked. You win some, you lose some, right?

The first act I saw was Shitty Bang oops I mean Chiddy Bang and let me say now my ears were the causalities.  The American hip-hop group just sounded like a bashing of sounds with few ‘cool’ words thrown in like ‘Man with a plan’ or ‘ Don’t be a hater’ etc. I ran into a fellow QUT reviewer and we were trying to come up with something that we liked about them – we couldn’t come up with anything. So I escaped to the huge queue to get an overprized drink and chat to guys with their shirts off. I actually ran into a newly evicted housemate from Big Brother, who I hated on the show but realized I hated Chiddy Bang more so I continued to chat to him.

Waiting for the evening acts to come, my first taste of delight was found with American electro-pop group, Passion pit. They were like energex bunnies that just kept playing and playing. It seemed they were having as much fun as everyone else. They played a killer set with all their hits and even covered Smashing Pumpkins ‘Tonight, Tonight’, which drove the crowd into frenzied delight.

Then the moment came to see headlining Swedish pop singer, Robyn who FYI used to be Britney Spear’s backup dancer. Doing her own thing now and writing some fantastic pop songs that she accompanies with uniquely rocking dance moves.

My girlfriend and me squished our way to the front of the mosh pit with the die-hard Robyn fans. Waiting for her to come on we made friends with a sassy young guy who literally thought he might die when he sees her. I asked why he liked her so much and he just looked at me with a curled lip and said ‘Are you serious?’. Like all good mosh pit conversations we discussed some drug that was floating around Parklife and making people trip balls – no shit. Once the crowd saw my friend whip out her packet of gum it was like drawing moths to a flame. A site no mother would like to see. Don’t worry, we gave out all our gum to those in need.

When Robyn came on she looked great, pixie blonde hair and wearing tights made by a local Brisbane designer, Black Milk, not to mention she was wearing her trademark platform sneakers. She looked fab and danced even better but unfortunately the music just wasn’t very loud? I could hardly hear her singing. I wasn’t sure if the sound guy was over it or she preferred to dance than sing. Luckily her fully rad dance moves made up for it. Entertaining the crowd with pelvis thrusts and a Michael Jackson inspired moonwalk-shuffle.

Ending the set with her most popular song ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ the crowd went wild and didn’t’ seem to mind that we actually couldn’t hear her very well.

Ending the festival, realizing that I was absolutely starving and my feet would no longer resemble feet, I was happy to escape and go home. It wasn’t the best festival but it was fun. Getting my cougar on and being chatted up by 19-year-olds wasn’t that bad either, it’s nice to know you’ve still got it? But lets be honest, they wont remember in the morning. Sadly I wont be hurrying back to Parklife unless given a free ticket and a big pair of sunglasses to hide my age.

My 12 hours of Hanson

By Alex

Warning: Another Hanson Review. Apologies to those who think I’m a weirdo and I promise this is the last one (for a while).

I will warn you now; this is not a normal gig review. Why? Because I’m writing from the most biased perspective…ever. I will go as far as to say that there is a crazy, obsessed, Hanson-fanatic 12 year old girl trapped inside me.

Let’s cut to the chase then. Hanson are back in town after 7 long years to promote their new album Shout It Out. I know what you’re all thinking…They’ve done more albums since Mmmbop?
Yes they have and they’re all fantastic and worth a listen.

I’ll just say now that it wasn’t the song Mmmbop that made me the crazy fan I am today. 
I was 7 years old when Mmmbop was number 1 and I was too busy wearing my Spice Girl pajamas to school. The Hanson craze began when I was 15 and I randomly went along to one of their concerts with a friend because we needed something to do (we were in between phases, sleepovers were out but drinking one Vodka Cruiser and getting drunk wasn’t quite in yet).  I don’t exactly know what happened that night at the Convention Centre but I went in a chubby 15- year-old with a sparkly dress on and came out wearing a Hanson t-shirt and my heart was aching like never before. I wanted to sell my soul to the devil so I could marry Taylor Hanson. His apple bottom, his demure pelvis thrusts, his tambourine shaking sexiness, and lets not forget those hair flicks. I’m pretty sure I hit puberty at that concert.

So 7 years later, I’m 22 and I’m lining up outside the Hi-Fi, 7 hours before the concert doors open AND I thought I’d be one of the first. Wrong. I was number 52! Girls had been there since 4 am. Needless to say they got the front row – Bitches. (Front row means you get to touch their hands and get one of Zac’s drumsticks at the end of the show).
I had no idea the kind of fans I was dealing with but 7 hours sitting on cement in an alleyway in West End, I found out exactly who. Absolute Hanson Fanatics. I was in heaven. I made Hanson friends who lived in Sydney, New Zealand and even the Philippines. I saw Hanson tattoos and Number plates and even got invited to a Hanson DVD day at one of the girl’s houses.
My cousin, who I had dragged along with me, was quite disturbed and embarrassed to hear and see all of this. She told me I better not go to the Hanson DVD day and I said of course I wouldn’t. I totally lied.
For me the 7-hour wait went unbelievably fast and it wasn’t long before we were watching the opening act – a delicious little piece of Nashville, Matt Wertz. His songs were fluffy, love songs. They were like a warm cuddle around your heart. He exuded sweetness and right away you knew if you brought him home to Mamma, she wouldn’t complain. Not with an accent like that offering to do the dishes. His stage presence was very fun and he got the crowd ready for the Hanson brothers. His song ‘Someone Like You’ was probably one of my favourites and he wrote it with Taylor Swift in mind, hoping one day she would sing it with him. What a cutie.

After Matt had finished you could feel the anticipation building, of course I was a mess, I was 3rd row from the front, smack bang in the middle. Then it happened. Three handsome guys ran on stage and fired the crowd up with the appropriate opener from their new album ‘Waiting for this’. Perfectly poppy with killer guitar solos, the crowd was wild and ready for the show.

Hanson played an amazing mix from all five of their studio albums. Their latest single, ‘Give A Little’ was a real crowd pleaser and had everyone dancing like it was 1969. Even now with their manly voices their old songs like ‘I Will Come To You’, ‘Weird’ and ‘Yearbook’ were as good as ever. They also covered The Beetle’s ‘Oh Daring’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Aint No Sunshine’. Needless to say they were fantastic versions.

The biggest WOW factor came from oldest brother, Isaac, who is now all grown up and oozing some serious sex appeal, sunglasses on and playing the electric guitar like a woman’s heart. He was pure rock and roll.

Baby brother Zac played the drums and sang with such sass that the girls couldn’t get enough. His solo was bombarded with ‘I love you Zacs’ and ‘You’re so hot’. There has always been something about a drummer that drives the girls wild. And lets not even start with Taylor and those fingers dancing along his keyboard. He is still lead vocal and there is a yearning and a gusto in his voice that gives you shivers. He had the whole crowd wrapped around his littler finger.

The final song they played was the famous Mmmbop which they were as happy to play it as we were to hear it. Finishing the show with a nostalgic bang they then came down and touched the front row hands and Zac threw his drumsticks out. I didn’t get a drumstick but I did however get one of Issac’s guitar picks. My story is that we were making eye contact and he liked what he saw so he threw his pick at me? What a flirt. That’s what I’m telling my friends anyway. Once the show was over, it wasn’t really over. Not quite yet. Me and about 50 other crazy girls (DVD session girls) crowded around the back door of the HI-Fi and waited for the boys to come out. And they did. We weren’t allowed photos but we were allowed hand shakes and autographs, I may or may not have jumped in for a hug with Taylor and was told by security to get off.

I’m not going to lie, I am a tiny bit embarrassed of my behavior. Why couldn’t I have acted cool? Real nonchalant? God damn I was a mess but it was the best concert and was worth the 12 hours I put in all up that day. What made my night was seeing an indi, beardy, beer drinking young guy come up to Isaac and say that was the best gig he’s ever seen.  They then hugged and did that man tap on the back thing. I was thrilled and so was Isaac, someone that wasn’t a lunatic girl screaming in his face. I then tapped the beardy guy on the back as he left and said ‘good one’ because I felt that was necessary. Dear god it has been 7 years between concerts and I just might need another 7 so next time I can keep my shit together a little better. Unless one of them is divorced (Yes, they are all married with children).Then it could be a different story.

As I walked to my car at 1.30am, totally exhausted but smiling like a Cheshire cat I couldn’t help but think how talented and dedicated they are as a band. These boys have been perfecting their craft for over a decade and their music is definitely a clear representation of the powerful and talented musicians they have become. They have come a long way and are more than just a boy band who were famous in the 1990s. All I can say about Hanson now is, watch this space!

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The “Big Lipped Alligatgor Moment”

Written By Tristan

I believe I have come to the realisation that my friends know of some very strange movies. Friday night, I was introduced to a 90’s kids’ movie called ‘Ferngully’ purely for the shitty nostalgia value. At first the movie was entertainingly shitty, with my favourite moment at that point being a scene of Robin Williams trying to rap.

And then this “What the Fuck” moment happened:

The confused look I had throughout this scene probably stuck for a good 3 or 4 minutes after it had passed. The scene came out of nowhere, was over the top in terms of ridiculousness and when it was done; nobody ever mentioned that scene again. I asked one of my friends what the hell I just saw and his explanation? “It’s a Big Lipped Alligator Moment”. Obviously with me no idea what that meant, he continued his explanation.

Essentially, a “Big Lipped Alligator Moment” refers to a scene in the movie ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’. During this scene, a big lipped alligator comes out of nowhere, starts an odd musical number that is incredibly ridiculous and is never mentioned again once it is over.

This made me think of quite a few things I’ve watched that fit this description; but the one that stuck out the most in my mind was just about every musical I have ever seen. Musicals, bad or good, always have at least one song that just fits the “Big Lipped Alligator Moment” perfectly. For example: ‘A Freak Like Me…’ from the Spiderman musical.

Never talked about ever again…and full of “What the Fuck?” value.

I think I’m going to have a look at a few things in my DVD collection…I feel a top 5 list coming out of this.

Classic Music Video: Taxiride – Creepin’ Up Slowly

This week in classic music videos’ we go local to bring you Creepin’ Up Slowly, by the Australian pop-rock band Taxiride, off their 2002 album Garage Mahal. This song can be considered an Aussie pop classic, as well as being a personal favourite of mine.

Formed in Melbourne in 1997, Taxiride consisted of lead singer Dan Hall, Jason Singh, Tim Wild and Tim Watson, all whom had previously performed in cover bands. Hall, who was discovered busking, was one of the lead singers until 2002, when Singh took over and Sean McLeod and Andy McIvor joined.  The band got their name from a taxi driving friend who helped promote their music early on. The band’s sound can best be described as pop-rock, although they also have been heavily influenced by the Aussie-born genre of Pub Rock

Pub Rock is a genre unique to Australia. It originated in inner city pubs in the 50’s and 60’s, which in many areas were one of the few venues for live music at the time. The style of rock evolved to include repeating riffs , an emphasis on drums and simpler, catchier lyrics. Of all musical genres, Pub Rock is undoubtedly the one which has had the most influence over Australian music. Reading the list of Pub Rock bands and those whom they have influenced is like reading a who’s who of Australian music: AC/DC, Cold Chisel, INXS, Midnight Oil, Icehouse, Hoodoo Gurus, Rose Tattoo, Paul Kelly, Hunters and Collectors, Mental as Anything, The Angels and The Screaming Jets as just some of the acts which can be classified as Pub Rock. Add to that more contemporary rock bands such as The Living End, Jet, The Vines and You Am I as having been influenced by the Pub Rock scene.

Taxiride’s first album, 1999’s Imaginate, with its hit single, Get Set, cemented the band as a new presence on the Aussie music scene, as did the band winning an ARIA for Best Breakthrough Artist. Creepin’ up Slowly in 2002 was their first song in the top ten charts and catapulted them to international success.

After that though, it was trouble that began to creep up slowly. Hall, unhappy with the pop-based direction the band was taking, soon left the band to work on his own projects and his other band,  Airway Lanes. Watson soon followed. Their third album, Axiomaitc, was a flop, with only one song, Oh Yeah, reaching 40 on the charts. They released their first live album, Electrophobia, in 2006, before McIvor left the band to play with another Pub Rock legend, James Reyne. They still tour occasionally, mostly as a supporting act for other bands, but have not released an album since Electrophobia, and are unlikely to anytime soon.

I think it’s fair to say that this is a great shame. Taxiride certainly had potential; their songs were particularly catchy and their style of multiple lead singers made them unique on the local scene. If they had continued their climb, they could well have been in the same position as many of their contemporaries, like Jet or Grinspoon instead of simply a supporting act for bigger bands. But while they may not be lighting up the charts anymore, there are still plenty of people who have not forgotten them. I certainly haven’t.

Interesting fact: This song is supposed to be about head lice. How ‘bout that?