Feature: Top Bromances in Music

http://www.vmusic.com.au/pages/main-menu/news/latest-news/top-musical-bromances

Of all the faux-holidays borne from an executed Roman priest which feature a naked infant wielding weaponry, Valentine’s Day is probably my favourite. Jks, it’s not my favourite anything, it sucks and if you celebrate it you’re an actual monster who deserves death by snake bites.

Valentine’s Day, as all sane people recognise, is an exercise in unnecessary consumerism masterminded by a chocolate/florist/greeting card conglomerate that irresponsibly mine the human capacity for romance in order to keep their swimming pools brimming with $100 notes and remind single people of the wretchedness of solitude.

So let’s not talk about gross romance on this unholy of days and instead discuss a more pure form of human relations, the bromance. Yes, bromances have been an important feature of human society dating all the way back to Jesus and whichever one of those apostle dudes was his bbf. The world of music incidentally, is a breeding ground for loving relationships where no breeding actually occurs with the contemporary music industry simply overflowing with budding brosephs. So in order to help block out the V-Day bullshit let’s all pop a couple of brohypnols and take a journey through our favourite music bromances.

Okay one more thing actually, if you post a Valentine’s Day message on your boo’s Facebook wall for all to see you’re pretty much a triple-Hitler and deserve to be sent to the bottom of the ocean. Okay, good, let’s begin.

Jay-Z and Kanye West

Current reigning co-lords of the hip-hop world, connoisseurs of the finer things in life and frequent attendees of the world’s greatest double dates, Jay-Z and Kanye’s bromance is one that will go down in the history books. Like any adorable long-term couple the duo started off as rivals in the rap game before giving in to their undeniable feelings for each other and collaborating on numerous tracks over several years before finally going all in with a joint album (the “moving in together” of the musical bromance). Although rumours exist of a minor spat coinciding with their respective solo albums being released in the same year, the bro-birds appear to be happily united once more with a sequel to Watch the Throne confirmed.

 

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

One of the newer bromances to burst onto the already bro-laden scene are recent Grammy winners and definitely not gay duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Originally meeting whilst Lewis was a photographer for the then solo Macklemore, the bromance blossomed when Macklemore asked Lewis to “photograph me like one of your French girls” in the since leaked naked-except-for-that-old-lady-from-Titanic’s-diamond-necklace shot. I know. I thought she dropped it into the ocean at the end of the movie as well. Now 100% musical brohemes who share a name, Macklemore has since gone to great lengths to dispute any homosexual relationship, even writing an entire song which repeatedly informs us of how #str8 he is. See below for further evidence:

Justin Timberlake and Timbaland

One of the longer running musical bromances around, JT and Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley first met when Timberlake was struggling to finish writing his 2002 tune ‘Cry Me A River’. As the story goes Timbaland strode into the studio and came up with line “the damage is done so I guess I be leaving” which ultimately elevated the tune to the hit it is known as today. Since then Timbaland has been credited with such other pieces of genius lyrical input as the instructive and totally necessary “take ’em to the bridge” in 2006’s ‘SexyBack’ and the heartfelt, iconic “wikka wikka wikka wikka” in 2013’s ‘Tunnel Vision’. Also their names are pretty similar so that’s probs got something to do with it.

Flume and Chet Faker

Current frontrunner in the Australian bromance scene (take THAT Hamish and Andy) is the totes adorbs duo of sexy beat makers Flume and Chet Faker. Discovering each other via the interwebs (eHarmony perhaps?) the pair immediately bonded over their ability to make dope tunes and set out to collaBROate. Recently releasing an EP which one reviewer described as “baby-making music,” the pair has described their relationship as very much an opposites attract, yin-yang sort of thing which totally makes sense from a follical point of view. Sources confirm however, that Harley’s previous numero uno bro Chris “Emoh Instead” Emerson of What So Not fame is not entirely happy with the new arrangement, with one close confidant informing me he was spotted cutting up pictures of them together whilst crying into his ice cream.

Eminem and Dr. Dre

Jeez for a genre generally considered the most homophobic, the hip-hop world sure is a ripe atmosphere for burgeoning bromance as our next entry seems to confirm. Potentially the longest running bromance on this list, Marshall Mathers and his eternal broducer Dre have been broactive since Eminem’s 1996 Slim Shady EP gave Dre a musical broner, piquing his interest and, obviously, his heart. The two have been inseparable ever since, with Dre producing on every single of his albums, like some kind of obsessed boyfriend clinging to his sweetheart. Let’s hope the bromance continues to be a pleasant one though, as we all know what Eminem does to partners he gets sick of (hint: car trunk, cliff, watery grave).

Daft Punk

They say the key to any good relationship is communication, which leaves me absolutely dumbfounded at how the two brobots from Daft Punk have stayed bromantically interested in each other for so long. Unlike the rest of the world though, they probably have heard each other speak as it would be rather difficult to achieve complete domination of the electronic music scene for over a decade with simply sign language and a series of beeps. The French wonder-duo whose human names are Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter most recently utilised their bromance to kick 2013 squarely in the dick with Random Access Memories winning ALL the awards. Oh and just in case you’ve never seen them sans helmet have a look below. Babes right?

Justin Bieber and Usher

Usher is famously credited as being responsible for discovering and honing the talent of teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, which depending on your opinion of the Biebster is the greatest singular move in the history of mankind or the biggest fucking mistake humanity has made since the whole Garden of Eden apple debacle. Whilst Usher did indeed woo the Canadian mophead with a tantalising bromance and mentor him in the ways of music making, he possibly may since regret forgetting to impart certain lessons. “Appropriate Places to Urinate” for example. “What Not to Do Before Driving a Lamborghini Around Miami” might also have helped, as well as “How To Treat Your Limousine Drivers”. Anyway, they’re a bromance I suppose

One Direction

The final bromance is in actuality 10 different, simultaneous bromances, I just simply couldn’t pick my favourite out of Larry Stylinson, Zouis, Narry, Lilo, Ziam etc. The ultimate demonstrators of 21st Century guylove, this new breed of boy band are indicative of the next generation’s lax attitude towards dude-on-dude affection, and whether on stage or on the interview couch are no strangers to some observable cheek-kisses, sensual winks and butt-grabs. And if all that One Direction erotic fanfic I post to my blog, I read every day on the internet, I’ve heard about is anything to go by, there are a lot of people out there thoroughly enjoying their overt bromance.

Feature: 10 Songs To Keep You Cool This Heatwave – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted at Channel [V] Online HERE

By Mitch Feltscheer

How about that weather hey? So much weather at the moment am I right? Like, HEAPS of weather. Depending where abouts you live on this giant frying pan called Australia, you’re probably experiencing temperatures this week ranging from the mid 30s up to the actual surface of the sun and for some cities all the way up to OH GOD NO REPENT YOUR SINS. As the mercury and the elderly death rate rises you’re going to need a way to stay cool and if you don’t own air conditioning, or in my case several shirtless models to fan you with palm fronds, you need an alternative way to clear those sweaty, sweaty pits. Lucky for you I’ve discovered (read: made up) some 100% A-grade science which suggests that the human body temperature is almost wholly controlled by the ear canal. Which is super lucky because I just happen to have right here 10 songs to keep you cool this heatwave. 

Jump in the Pool – Friendly Fires

On days like these it’s safe to say we’d all love to be submerged in some delicious, chlorinated water but many of us lack the necessary equipment for a rousing game of Marco Polo, so this 2008 Friendly Fires tune will have to be the next best thing. The appropriately saturated music video will immediately have you reminiscing about all those childhood afternoons spent over at that rich kid’s house down the street, pretending to like him in order to bellyflop the humid hours away.

Ice Cream – Muscles

It’s fricken hot so ditch that New Year’s resolution diet and gorge yourself on/have your day saved by some ‘Ice Cream’ courtesy of Melbourne beat maker Muscles. Although an entirely appropriate song to cool you down, I couldn’t, however, find an official music video so instead you will need to chill out and hopefully imitate the below fan version featuring dudes with their shirts off covering their nips in frozen dairy goods. ILY YouTube.

Britney Spears – Slave 4 U

No matter how disgustingly slimy and unpleasant your various cracks get this week, keep in mind it could always be worse. For example you could be one of these poorly treated, dehydrated dancers in the 2001 music video for Britney’s ‘Slave 4 U’. In the clip Herr Spears is the leader of some crazed dance/sex cult where members are starved of water and forced to gyrate and twirl despite blatantly OH&S violating temperatures. I mean the DJs sweat is literally evaporating on the decks, Britney, YOU MONSTER. One look into the miserable eyes of these desperately thirsty, abused dancers will make your current situation comparatively better.

Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby

YOU DIDN’T THINK I WOULD DIDN’T YOU! DIDN’T YOU!

The xx – Angels

You know that icy cold drop you felt inside your entire being when your heart got shattered into a million shards of agony by a stupid jerkface right after that The xx concert? Simply listen to ‘Angels’ and the mere memory of that time you were romantically murdered post-gig will chill your very core faster than a nude dip in the Arctic. Okay so maybe this one only really pertains to me, but simply replace ‘Angels’ with that one song that reminds you of your most vicious break-up and enjoy that sub zero numbness that comes with it. You’re welcome!

Nelly – Hot In Herre

Similar to the Britney song above, a watch of this clip from Nelly should put into perspective how much worse things really could be. I mean you could be in a club in 2002 during the height of the sweatband as fashion accessory era for Christ’s sake! More than just that though, Nelly’s erudite, poetic lyrics also bring with it some sage advice for dealing with this heatwave. So join me in giving the finger to your workplace’s bullshit “clothes must be on at all times” policy and LET IT HANG ALL OUT.

Sigur Ros – Varuo

Time for a legitimate, non-joke entry to the list with some soothing, ethereal falsetto from my third favourite Icelandic expansive post-rock trio, Sigur Ros. This perfectly matched, elegantly simple video for ‘Varuo’ pairs the beautiful, soaring orchestral sounds with a snowy animated landscape and is sure to knock off some degrees of your body temp and hopefully make wherever you are right now feel a bit less like Satan’s butthole. Plus they’re from Iceland. ICE! Hahahaha!

Eiffel 65 – Blue

The colour blue has been scientifically proven to be the section of the spectrum that is mostly correlated with the sea, ice and the sensation of cold (probably) and so what better way to trick your body into cooling the fuck down then by hearing the word blue repeated a billion times WHILST watching a mainly blue music video?  Also this video has subtitles and so I totally just learnt that Eifell 65 were in fact singing “da ba dee dabba da-ee” and not “if I was green I would die.”

Kelis – Milkshake

Now I’m no genius, but I’m almost entirely positive that when Kelis is singing about her “milkshake” and its ability to invite interest from the opposite sex she is not in fact referring to a frosty, milk-based beverage. What else it possibly could be, I can’t say, but I do know that milkshakes are cold, and drinking them fast gives you brain freezes. So I dunno, watch the music vid and pretend you’re drinking a milkshake I guess.

OMC – How Bizarre

Let’s head all the way back to 1996 for a music video and song sure to keep you the coolest AND the kewlest. Watch as OMC (New Zealand’s greatest musical export… sorry, Lorde) cruise down the highway in the hot, hot sun yet somehow maintain the utmost levels of coolitude. How DO they do it? Is it the turtle-neck/wide collared suit combo? Is it the tiger print green screen effects? Is it simply a song which befits the title by making absolutely zero fucking sense? Don’t know about you but I’m feeling cooler already.

 

 

Interview: Illy – Channel [V]

If you ever want to feel like you’ve achieved jack shit in the past five years of your life, simply sit down for a chat with indefatigable Aussie hip hop phenomenon Illy, a lesson Mitch Feltscheer learnt recently when he caught up with the man also known as Al Murray.

Although self-described as “normally a really lazy individual,” Murray is about to see the release of his fourth full-length studio album since 2009, a fact which seems to refute this self-diagnosis. Pointing the blame at the people he surrounds himself with, the Melbourne based artist says he is now simply used to the steady cycle of writing, producing and releasing and that his music is the one thing that brings the workaholic out of him.

As a figurehead in the new wave of Aussie hip-hop which has over those five years not only seen a shift towards a more genre-inclusive sound but also a much larger presence in the mainstream music conscious, Murray humbly talks down his input in this resurgence and talks up the work of his colleagues. “I wouldn’t even say I’m a veteran just yet, I guess I’m getting close to there,” he says. “But in my generation, I’m seeing dudes like 360, Pez, Seth [Sentry] and Horrorshow, plus a whole lot of dudes who are coming up and making music with a very different style to it, a lot more modern I think and really putting their own sort of identity on it, which has been really cool to see. As far as the reach, I mean the last five years has gone crazy compared to what it was when I started.”

The impressive output of music over the past five years hasn’t been without its ups and downs, however, with the road to his new album Cinematic seeing criticism from opposing camps within the industry. Whereas his first two albums received disapproval from purists who accused Murray of diverging too far from the core hip hop sound, his 2012 release Bring it Back found itself the target of early fans who felt alienated by the lack of his earlier pop sensibilities. With his newest work though, Murray seems to have given the finger to haters across the board. “It is impossible to please everyone and it’s a waste of time trying to make everyone happy,” explains Murray. “It doesn’t really affect my writing anymore. I’m really comfortable with who I am.”

Once again aligning with long-time collaborator and best bud M-Phazes, Murray says the two had a strong idea of what they wanted the album to sound like, locked themselves away and simply laid down what they wanted. With their brotherly closeness (Phazes accompanies Illy on tour as his DJ) and having worked together successfully in the past, Murray reckons they’ve got the process locked down. “We pretty much annoy the shit out of each other for six months and then there’s an album at the end.”

M-Phazes isn’t the only person Murray got the chance to annoy in the studio, with Cinematic seeing him recruit some of the biggest names in Australia right now, including an unlikely pairing with the clean vocalist from Amity Affliction, Ahren Stringer, who he met by chance at a house party, and a collaboration with his very own teenage idols Hilltop Hoods. Assuring me it was the opposite of the proverbial glass-shatter moment when you finally meet your long-time heroes, Murray says he got along with and synced up so well with the Adelaide group they offered to put the resulting track on the Hoods’ upcoming release. “It was already locked in for mine though. If I had known earlier I probably would have let them put it onto theirs.”

With a return to the undiluted, unaltered Illy style and sound, the epic and aptly-titled Cinematic is sure to please fans from all corners of the industry, however its impending release isn’t the only big calendar event this month for Murray with his LP from last year nominated for a 2013 ARIA for Best Urban Release. His second time nominated at the awards, Murray says he was actually incredibly surprised to receive the nod for Bring it Back and again modestly brushes off the praise. “Yeah I don’t think I have a shot this year. I reckon and I hope Horrorshow takes it out.”

It takes a rare artist to be releasing a new album a couple of weeks before attending an award ceremony where he’s nominated for his last but such is the nature of the unstoppable Illy. First things first though and when asked what he was getting up to for the album release this Friday he once again demonstrated the forthright, down to earth Al Murray persona I’d first observed on his Facebook page and had now witnessed in person. “I’ve got a launch party mate, so I’ll be getting pissed.”

Illy’s fourth album Cinematic is out Friday November 8th.

Feature Article: 2013’s Top Nude Moments In Music – Channel [V] Online

Orignally posted: http://www.vmusic.com.au/pages/main-menu/news/latest-news/2013s-top-nude-moments-in-music

Female pop stars and nudity have gone hand in hand for centuries, dating all the way back to Renaissance musician Joan Demuuf, whose single ‘Leonarda da Vinc-Me’ went platinum after she flashed some ankle in a Florence courtyard. 2013 in particular has been rife with pop musicians baring all in public forums, adding fuel to the ongoing debate of feminist empowerment versus hyper-sexualisation for attention. Not everyone’s happy about the current level of nips, bits, butts and fronts being displayed by the likes of Gaga and RiRi recently, so in order for you to make an informed, moral decision either way we have collected the top nude moments in music for 2013.

NB: Note that the below contains zero instances of male pop stars sans clothes. As an ardent supporter of equality, I for one am appalled at the complete lack of peen slips and/or man-butt in the contemporary music sphere. Get it together/undone dudes! I’m looking at you One Direction… late at night when I’m all alone… ahem.

Lady Gaga goes Full Gaga

Lady Gaga can’t seem to make her mind up on whether she wants you to see absolutely nothing, say when she dons a full body chicken nugget suit, or whether she wants you to see errrrryything, such as her recent surprise performance at London Nightclub G-A-Y where she proudly showed off her birthday suit/barked up a lot of wrong trees. It seems LG feels like she needs to outdo her pop-colleagues in getting their gear off and this move seems to be the finale in a culmination of a year’s worth of skin flashing and puts her as frontrunner in Award for Most Naked.

GaGa-copy

Katy Perry SAYS NO

Suddenly, COUNTERPOINT! In a recent interview with an American radio station, Katy Perry entered the dialogue stating, “I mean everybody’s so naked. We know you’ve got it, I’ve got it too… I’m not necessarily judging, I’m just thinking sometimes it’s nice to play that card, but sometimes it’s nice to play other cards.” Sure Katy has shown off her bod previously but she appears to have had a minor epiphany and has gone all prude on us. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she will end her reign of shooting fireworks and confectionary out of her chest, because who doesn’t love that?

KatyPerry (1)

Snakes on a Rihanna

Never one to shy away from getting all nude-like in her music videos/most places, Rihanna joined the completely starkers brigade with a recent shoot for GQ magazine, appearing with nought but a large snake as clothing. Channelling the mythical Greek monster Medusa, Rih and her perfectly placed boa grace the cover of the 25th Anniversary edition and, depending on your level of Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), is either sexy as hell or NOOOOOOOPE.

RihDONE

Miley… obviously

Speaking of things that slither around in no clothes and often have their tongue sticking out, we move to young Miss Cyrus. Where would 2013 be without you, Miley? From near nudity at a music awards ceremony to full-blown in her music video for ‘Wrecking Ball’, ex-Hannah Montana has spent most of this year in some state of undress. Despite receiving plenty of flack ranging from tut-tutting to accusations of bringing in the sexpocalyspe, Miley herself has been fairly composed and articulate in her reaction to the controversy, assuring everyone she’s very much in control of her liberating new image. I’m more worried about her sexual attraction to hardware to be honest. I lost a family member to a naked wrecking ball accident.

miley2

Nicki Minaj #Pasties #Nips

There’s nothing new about pop stars ‘gramming some selfies, it gives us lesser folk brief insights into their daily duckfaces and I, for one, am a big fan. Nicki Minaj however, isn’t content with simple neck-up self-shots with her latest string of Instagrams featuring ample amount of full frontal boobage. She’s a classy lass though, so don’t worry about eyeballing any areola, with strategically placed hair or leopard-print pasties always maintaining her lady-like decorum.

nicki-2-copy

“The nice thing about that place is Beyonce gets in the hammock with you!”

“Oh kewl topless photos Nicki, excuse me while I continue to be the best at everything and get nakey in this hammock” – Beyonce, probably. Queen Bey entered the Naked Games with this shot posted on her Tumblr featuring herself tanning those hard to reach spots in South America. Carefully hiding the rude bits and looking appropriately glamorous in nothing but a weird gold hand bracelet thing, Mrs Carter reminds the world that she will always be better then everyone, ever.

beyonce

Okay I Lied

I know I said above there were zero dude pics but well… this is the closest we’re going to get, so in the name of gender equality:

harry-copy

– Mitch Feltscheer

Gig Review: Surfer Blood – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted at http://www.vmusic.com.au/pages/main-menu/news/reviews/gig-review–surfer-blood

Date: 26 July, 2013
Venue: Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney

You’d be forgiven for immediately filing Surfer Blood into the surf-rock genre purely from the band name but the lo-fi quartet from Florida are actually a little more tricky to categorise, something which becomes even more evident after seeing one of their live shows. Guitar songs about girls and parties, sure, but it’s the sneaky pop elements, bright hooks and shameless rock’n’roll that steal into their songs that take the band slightly out of the garage and into their own unique sound, a sound that was completely devoured by the long-haired, denim-jacketed Sydney crowd at Oxford Art Factory on Friday.

Support band Palms have this knack for making any gig they play feel like a backyard party in a run-down inner-west terrace house (NB: This is a very good thing). Whenever I see them live I don’t just feel like I’m watching four young dudes thrashing out some solid vintage rock, I feel like I’m watching my mates having a good time. Which is weird considering I’ve never even met any of the band members. Me being a creep aside, it’s hard not to have a grin plastered on your mug for the entirety of a Palms set with the lads’ crazy tight delivery of such killer tracks as newie ‘This Last Year’ in total contrast to their laidback, cheerful demeanours.

The intimate Oxford Art Factory floor had filled with fellow non-Splendourites when the curtains parted for Surfer Blood, signalling it was time to get our reverb on. Opening with an intensity that set several audience members’ beanies alight, Surfer Blood didn’t let up from start to finish, with even their slower numbers completely enthralling the crowd. Featuring a fairly even mix of tunes from their 2009 debut Astro Coast and this year’s arguably more mature outing Pythons, the four Floridians delivered an impressively controlled set of blistering guitars and perfectly tuned melodies.

Frontman John Paul Pitts is definitely an interesting dude to watch. Suffering from a fairly serious case of young-in-the-face, JP sometimes seemed like a saintly altar boy praising the heavens and other times, when he’d unleash a guttural shriek worthy of Parkway Drive, he’d descend to pure rock god status, if only for a moment. This is fairly indicative of Surfer Blood’s vibe in general. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out as a punky-beachy-rock outfit they throw in something unexpected or completely alter the tempo, constantly keeping you on your feet.

I think this ambiguous nature of Surfer Blood, straddling a couple of genres at once, caused a bit of confusion in the audience of how exactly to react at some moments. Point in case was what this reviewer is officially deeming the most pathetic attempt at a circle pit in the history of music-kind. Where mere minutes ago JP from the band had entered the crowd in order to distil hugs and handshakes, the middle of the dance-floor suddenly became an avenue for a handful of awkwardly proportioned 18-year-olds to let out some testosterone and run at each other like injured flamingos. It was seriously pitiful. I’d seen more violence in an episode of Rugrats. You know Rugrats? That Nickelodeon cartoon about babies? Yeah. That.

Highlights of the set included a seriously pretty rendition of ‘Miranda’, the band showing off their technical skills with a tight-as-shit ‘Demon Days’ and the biggest moment of the night, a sweaty screamy performance of ‘Swim’. Imparting not only good-as tunes but an infectious sense of elation and enjoyment, Surfer Blood are at the top of their game at the moment and at the top of whatever bloody genre you want to consider them. I vote indie-surf-rock-witch-screamo-dream-pop.

Mitch Feltsheer

Gig review: The Rubens – Channel [V] Online

Originally posted at Channel [V]

The remarkably impressive, near-hyperbolic rise of the unassuming bunch of lads from Menangle, The Rubens, has been one of the more noteworthy music stories of the last 12 or so months. Coming out of seemingly nowhere with one knockout hit and progressing to a critically and commercially successful album, The Rubens have been described as the next big indie rock band Australia has to offer. To determine if the hype is all it’s made out to be, I joined the throng of young folk sticking the middle finger up to the arrival of Sydney’s Winter and headed into the dry, warm Enmore Theatre to experience them for myself.

Support band Walk the Moon seemed to me an odd fit with the headliners from a purely musical perspective. But when the singlet-ridden, strong jawlined, handsome chaps from Ohio took the stage and answered my question of “What’s with all the young girls with glittery facial paint?” it all became clear. The frothing teen demographic The Rubens so happily bask in is completely at home with this pop-rock quartet from the States. Although not exactly my cup of tea and for a moment ignoring the fact that their set included a brutal butchering of a Bowie classic (RIP Bowie/my soul) the group led by the flamboyant, gyrating lead singer brought the Enmore to a squealing fever pitch of burgeoning-estrogen-induced excitement. Their brand of inoffensive synth-tinged rock, very much in the vein of our own Strange Talk, is super fashionable at the moment and the bands Healthy Harold-esque stage banter of “harnessing all the bad energy in your life and shooting it out your fingertips”(ugh… vomit) was definitely a home-run with the salivating crowd. My personal thoughts however: Walk the Moon? Great cool, how about you stay there… forever. Kthxbai.

With the frothing masses of underage grommets at critical level The Rubens took to the stage opening with ‘The Day You Went Away’ and utterly enthralling the mainly pubescent crowd. What strikes you first at a The Rubens gig is the ample difference in sound between their recorded music and what you hear in the flesh and is a true credit to the boy’s technical skills. The tweaks and distortions that become apparent when face to face at a gig with the lads, utterly ticks that most important of boxes when it comes to live music which is offering a slightly alternate aural experience to say, putting their CD on at a packed house party.  Lengthened, deeper guitar exploration and unexpected vocal variation is very much the par of a Rubens gig and the boys should be commended for committing to giving the punters something slightly divergent but still recognisably on brand and from the crowd’s reaction, immensely enjoyable.

Unfortunately not as much can be said for the gents stage presence which this reviewer would liken to a wet sock on a string dangling back and forth across the Enmore theatre. I understand the honourable notion of ‘letting the music speak for itself’ but when the most amount of movement on stage is lead singer Sam’s constant, irritating pushing back of his voluminous ‘Pantene Pro-V’ fringe (which I actually counted and at the end of the gig reached 7 bafillion hair strokes) it makes for a fairly underwhelming visual experience.

Besides what turned out to be the second ferociously painful cover of the evening (a particularly bland take on The Roots ‘The Seed 2.0’) their biggest songs including ‘Don’t Ever Want to Be Found’ and highlight of the set ‘Lay It Down’ truly shone as the bands rich song crafting ability was pushed to the fore. Staying out way past their bedtimes, the adoring crowd ate out of the hands of The Rubens boys, clapping and singing along at all the right points and all earning gold stars on their star charts for being Super Awesome Fans!

As the night neared its conclusion and everyone started getting the “I’m out the front” texts from their Mums, The Rubens finished up the night by inviting their younger brother, their old school-mate, their neighbour Trudy, Trudy’s goat, the Mayor of Menangle, their Mum’s postman and the ghost of their English teacher’s hamster Nibbles onto the stage and all 83 of them entered into a good old fashioned country hoe-down. Ok, not really but there was some extra dudes on tambourine or something and it was kinda cool I guess.

So does The Rubens live show live up to the hysteria that has dominated their recent rise to success? Maybe not entirely. Are they still an impressive young band with excellent song-writing ability who are destined for prominence in the Australian and possibly international music scene? Definitely. Do I feel better now that Walk the Moon helped me ball up my bad energy and release it into the sky? Fuck off. Questions were answered, good tunes were heard and some 14-year-old’s training bra was hurled onstage, so all in all an enjoyable night in rain-drenched Sydney was had. Oh and hey Sam, to borrow a favourite line from my Grandma “Get a haircut you silly duffer how can you even see through that ridiculous mess!”

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.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

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.