Would Gandhi have been a Directioner? – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted at Channel [V]

At the beginning of the week, well-mannered pop star Justin Bieber ignited controversy for the first time ever in his completely scandal-free career, shocking the world at large who up until now considered him an upstanding, intelligent young gentleman.


Yes the Biebs has put his foot in it again, this time putting those probably non-existent high school history lessons to good use and getting his speculative time-travel on. On a visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam he decided to ponder on the hypothetical pop-star allegiance of the long-suffering historical figure, writing in the guestbook “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.”

Despite some expected outrage of the “HOW DARE HE” variety, Justin received some odd support from Anne Frank’s IRL step-sister who pretty much said, “Yeah, he’s right, Anne probs WOULD have been a Belieber, I mean she was a teenage girl for fuck’s sake!” (NB: I may have paraphrased that).

JB’s astounding propensity to somehow associate any and all things, regardless of temporal location, to himself has got us thinking about what indeed the major figures of human history would be getting their boogie on to, were they alive today. So jump into the TARDIS/DeLorean with us as we journey into the past and find out what music bandwagons some of the most eminent people from history would be hitching themselves to.

Who: Cleopatra, Pharoah of Egypt/Queen of the Nile
Fandom: BeyHive member

Cleopatra was the last Pharoah of Ancient Egypt, wife to Julius Caesar and inspiration for pokie machines everywhere, with reports also indicating she was a fine piece of ass. Whether she utilised her sex appeal to conquer ancient dudes or not, she is recognised as one of the first girl-power heads of state with her reign particularly notable for being the first chick-leader to appear solely on Egyptian currency. As a girl who ruled the world who else would she be better aligned with then our current Queen of Pop/Everything, Beyonce. I can picture Cleo busting out the single ladies dance atop her Egyptian throne dropping hints to Marc Antony (the Jay-Z of 41BC) that if he likes it he should definitely put a ring on it/sacrifice a cat in her name.

Who: Henry VIII, King of England
Fandom: Spice Girls follower

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 till his death in 1547 and is mainly known for being the biggest playa of the Tudor Dynasty ploughing his way through six wives in a maniacal attempt to sire a male heir. He also did some stuff with the church or something but he’s mostly memorable because of this and the way in which he would dispose of wives once he got bored of them (hint: how most Game of Thrones episodes end). If he was kicking around today and staying in his native country I think big H would definitely be into the Spice Girls. Probably not so much the whole Girl Power thing but think how happily Henry would be with five new wives, each with their own look, style and adjective. Plus it would probably include Victoria Beckham’s head getting chopped off at one point which would be fun.

Who: Mahatma Gandhi, Spiritual Icon/Civil Rights Fighter
Fandom: Directioner

Gandhi was… shit you know what? It’s fucking Gandhi. You know who Gandhi was, right? MOTHERFUCKING GANDHI, YOU GUYS. Gandhi’s well-known ethos and deeply spiritual philosophy would be right at home amongst the screaming tween girl mass that is the Directioner fandom. Think about it. Gandhi’s teachings on truthfulness, temperance and chastity sound like they’re straight out of a One Direction song and both Gandhi and the English boy band have had a lasting effect on the global psyche and discourse on human existence. Compare this quote from Gandhi and these One D lyrics:
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“Baby you light up my world like nobody else, the way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed.”
Hard to tell which one is which, am I right? Oh and if you’re wondering, Gandhi’s favourite 1D member would def be Liam.

Who: Gandalf the Grey, Wizard, Istari, Lover
Fandom: Little Monster

The oldest and wisest of the White Council, Gandalf is known for his prominent involvement in the Battle of Five Armies, The War of the Ring and for his revelatory Elven bread recipes. Old mate Gandalf, were he kicking around today (and hey, who knows he might be, he’s fucking magical yo), would most definitely be a foremost associate of Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters brigade. Like the White Wizard, Gaga loves a theatrical entrance whether emerging from a giant translucent egg or appearing in a flash of light in a forest somewhere and her all-inclusive and strongly pro-LGBT message would appeal to Gandalf’s beliefs in equality for all the races of Middle-Earth. Plus there’s that rumour Gandalf may have himself played for the same-team, if you know what I mean (oh wait, that may have been Dumbledore).

You know speculating on all these monolithic figures of our collective human history and their theoretical pop-idols has really made me sad that none of them are actually around to witness the golden era of pop music we are so lucky to live in. So next time you give Taylor Swift a spin on your iPod or scream your lungs out to The Collective, spare a thought to less-fortunate citizens of bygone times and be thankful you’re not living with the constant threat of decapitation like Henry VIII’s wives or battling orcs atop a white stallion like Gandalf.

Coachella 2013 Long Distance Review – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted on Channel [V]

Northern Hemisphere music festivals are horrible and I hate them. Look at them with their ridiculously huge, big-name littered line-ups, beautifully unique, scenic locations and full-strength alcohol (not sure on that last one but probably… those jerks). YUCK! BLERGH! They are The Worst.

Okay I lied, they’re awesome. They so forcefully shit on what we Aussies consider a good festival, mainly due to the fact the US and Europe aren’t burdened with being girt by fuckloads of sea like us and thus it’s much cheaper and easier for bands to get around to the myriad of incredible music festivals hosted by those North of The Wall/Equator (Game of Thrones reference, just go with it).

Arguably one of the biggest and definitely the most prominent on the American summer calendar is Coachella Music and Arts Festival which is held in the stunning Californian desert and just wound up its first weekend of huge music acts for 2013. That’s right, the greedy Northerners have two back-to-back, weekends on which to sup upon the delicious teat of Coachella. Those white-walking, baby-killing, eagle-whispering bastards! (Do you guys watch Game of Thrones? OMG it’s great!)

Thanks to the wonders of the information super-highway, we antipodean suckers were lucky enough to be able to watch a big ol’ bunch of Coachella sets live from the States with three simultaneous channels on YouTube rubbing the majestic glory of numerous epic bands in our music-starved, wintery-cold faces. The extra cool thing about three concurrent channels is we also get to experience the inherent festival FOMO with the frustration of set-time clashes travelling all the way to our screens. Yep it’s pretty much the most Firsterst World Problem ever.

Now I caught a lot of the Coachella live stream (read: zero social life) but instead of trying to review all the bands I got to see on my tiny rectangle I thought I’d pull out a technique I used when reviewing the Grammys earlier this year. Yes that’s right, back by absolutely zero demand it’s The 2nd Tri-Monthly Feltchy Awards for Stuff ‘n Things I’ve Watched Recently.

Best Celebrity Attendee: Clint Eastwood

After the incredibly embarra moment during last year’s Presidential election in which everyone’s favourite octogenarian cowboy incoherently talked to an empty chair and generated one of 2012’s biggest memes, Clint could really do with a bit of good press and so accompanied his (babein) daughters to the festival. Showing that he’s “totes down with the young people music” the 82-year-old star was pictured munted out of his mind and fist-pumping to Vampire Weekend (not really).

Best Response to a Technical Issue: Tame Impala

One of the few bands representing Australia at Coachella (besides the eight bands Nick Cave seems to front) Tame Impala’s unsurprisingly superb set proved why they’re conquering the world with their inimitable brand of pysch-rock. Unfortunately disaster struck the ceaselessly affable bunch of lads halfway through thumping out ‘Elephant’ when the guys pulled up stumps mid-riff with Gumby announcing “sorry everyone our MIDI isn’t working.” The short-lived awkwardness was utterly swept aside in true ‘strayan fashion when he turned back to the crowd and dropped “I FUCKING HATE MIDI!” to cheers from the won-over crowd. Legend. You’ve earned yourself a tinny of VB and some Vegemite champ.

Most disappointing Performance – RHCP

Argh it breaks my little ’90s heart to say this but Red Hot Chili Peppers’ performance was fairly poor and lifeless. Now I will try to give them the benefit of the doubt in that maybe the thousands of kays and the fact I was sitting in my undies in a messy bedroom watching them may have diluted the awesomeness of RHCP more than a little, however I found it pretty crappy. Anthony Kiedis’ voice sounds like it’s finally wearing thin and the numerous over-long guitar solos were boring, went nowhere and did nothing to enliven their decades-old sound. Sorry boys. Not even Flea’s declaration “I fucking love you in the core of my spleen” did much to win me over, mainly because gross.

Award for Best Fashion – Karen O, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This Feltchy Award may prove to be controversial as I saw a lot of less-than-affirmative opinions posted about this outfit on the Twittersphere, one such borrowing from the wit of Dr Cox from the TV show Scrubs: “She looks like a prostitute who caters exclusively to clowns.” Ooof, epic reproduced burn bro. If you know anything about Karen O from the YYYs it’s that she loves her some spectacle and her Coachella appearance did little to waiver from her outlandish, extravagant persona. Dressed in a rainbow-coloured, multi-layered, sparkling costume with matching crown/cape combo, Karen O gets 5 stars from this reviewer.

@CursedFrogurt1 can go eat a proverbial:

Biggest Response From a Band That Wasn’t Actually There – Daft Punk

If the music world rumour mill was an actual mill, like 80% of the grain-output produced would be Daft Punk flavoured. (The Feltchy Award for worst metaphor ever made goes to…) There is so much bullshit thrown around about the elusive French electro magicians that it’s hard to believe most reports on their movements. Coachella, however, delivered some real solid goods in the form of an extended preview of new material. The 90 seconds or so of ‘Get Lucky’ includes the most new music we’ve heard from their upcoming albumRandom Access Memories, features Pharrell Williams and apparently packed out the tent it was screened in. TAKE THAT ACTUAL BANDS PRESENT.

And now some rapid-fire Feltchys:

Most People Impregnated by a Performance
 – James Blake #DreamBoat

Biggest WTF Moment – Phoenix joined on-stage by R. Kelly. WHATWHY?

Best Stage Banter – Father John Misty – “I feel like playing this thing now” *picks up guitar* “This thing is called a laptop.” LOL

The “What These Dudes are Still Alive?” Award – Tie between Violent Femmes and The Stone Roses.

Alright that’s all from me. Catch you the next time I watch a thing in my underwear and give out meaningless, made-up awards for no reason. Bye

Gig Review – The Lumineers – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted at Channel [V]

The internet’s a pretty cool thing you guys. I mean it’s fairly difficult to argue the contrary especially seeing as right now you’re reading this on a laptop/phone/TV/fridge connected to every other laptop/phone/TV/fridge in the entire world so how about you don’t even try okay? The internet is great for a lot of reasons and if you were one of the hundreds of adoring fans at The Enmore on Thursday night you can go ahead and chalk up another win to the internet for being responsible for pretty much forming the band you gave up your hard earned cash to see.

The Lumineers’ formation story is an exceptionally modern fairytale. Two skinny dudes living in Brooklyn, devo after multiple fails in the music industry, head out west, find a cool indie-chick to play cello via Craigslist and score a record contract after being spotted on YouTube. So yeah it’s pretty much a plot taken directly from the mind of Lena Dunham. In the country for Bluesfest, the trio (plus two more skinny dudes to fill out their live sound), played their first ever Australian gig to a sold-out Sydney crowd. Interestingly the gig fell almost exactly a year to the day since their Grammy nominated debut album was released which just goes to further illustrate their remarkable rise to success.

If you are unaware of who The Lumineers are and what they sound like let me help you out. Two of the band members wear fedoras. That’s right, TWO. That’s 200% more fedora than your average band. Following the current trend of folk-rock renaissance helmed by recent chart-toppers Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers give their own Americana-tinged vibes to this increasingly popular genre, upping the rootsy, rustic elements and throwing in a shit-ton of foot-stamping. It’s nothing revolutionary but the simplicity carries with it some beautifully haunting melodies and lyrical storytelling. It also makes for some easy-access sing-alongs. Even if you don’t know a single lyric there’s more than enough whoas, heys and hos to pretend like you know what’s going on.

On stage the band comes across as charming, affable and dead-set appear to be enjoying themselves. Their musical talent across a number of instruments is certainly undeniable, with most band members rotating between a multitude of apparatuses including cello, drums, accordion, mandolin and a mother-fucking glockenspiel (Spiel 4 LYF yo!). Wittily overcoming a technical issue early on, lead singer Wesley Schultz ensured mass panty-wetting amongst the present lady-folk with his laidback charisma and humour only rivalled by his affecting singing voice. He crooned with such passion that his fedora flew off his prudently mussy-haired head several times. Joined by the crazy-good vocals of Neyla Pekarek and percussion of fellow fedora-ite Jeremiah Fraites, the perfectly balanced set explored the entirety of the debut album plus new song ‘Falling’, which maximized the girl-boy back-and-forth, in a manner very reminiscent of our own San Cisco (well… if San Cisco had grown up in a Wes Anderson film).

The Lumineers seem very intent on maintaining their super indie image and hipster-folk cred. The fedoras, braces and thrift-shop threads aside, the belligerently humble band members went to great lengths to continually convince us of their authenticity. Prior to one song Wesley announced his wish for everyone to put down their “cell phones” and simply be there in the moment and witness the magic of The Lumineers purely with their God-given eyes and ears, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with yet one that not only proved fairly futile (those grandkids aren’t gonna bore themselves come 2060) and came across as slightly pretentious. Later the band again attempted to break down the traditional gig barriers by asking everyone to stay completely quiet so they could do a song entirely acoustically without any electronic equipment, probably because microphones are so fucking 2011 and are merely phallic representations of a patriarchal society intent on crushing artistic integrity or some bullshit. Again I understand the gesture but the only thing it really achieved was allowing us to hear the majestic roar of a Harley Davidson as it hooned down Enmore Rd and reverberated around the theatre.

Returning for the encore, The Lumineers slowed things down with ‘Morning Song’, which proved particularly beautiful and inspiring to the couple in front of me who, spurred by the crooning vocals and sensual guitar timbres, initiated such a vicious make-out sesh it made me wish I had brought a rain poncho. Seriously it was like front row at Sea World. Finishing with a particularly impressive rendition of Violent Femmes’ ‘American Music’, the band members lingered to soak up the thunderous applause and make super-cute airplanes out of the set-lists (aren’t these guys fedorable?).

The Lumineers are a truly talented group whose inoffensive brand of new-folk, whilst ironically not being anything new, is exquisitely delivered on stage with passionate gusto and just the right amount of whimsy, proving why they have captured the hearts of both the indie and commercial music world. Sure the hipster vibe may be a bit off-putting to some but their music is honest, beguiling and thoroughly gratifying and ultimately isn’t that what it’s all about? Now who knows where to purchase a killer fedora?