Archive for the 'music' Category

So, the gig…

17 May, 2007

The dust has settled, I have caught up on some sleep (no thanks to Eurovision, artists, and the company of Theatre Technicians), the Hardman is having a well-earned sleep, and K is bigging it up at the local cafe with her mum-friends.

So lets gets this gig wrap-up out of the way before I sleep or Hardman wakes.

As you know, The Steinbecks don’t gig often. We’re all too old, too busy or too pre-occupied with our children to be bothered. And besides, we’re much more keen on writing and recording songs than we are on playing to small crowds of unappreciateive drunkards in a sticky, stinky, smokey room. I love watching bands in pubs, but I’m not so keen on being one of them.

Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t dig the feeling you get from a good gig. When everything goes right, it’s sensational. The album launch was, by and large, one of those gigs.

First off, there is the stage. It’s roomy without being too big. There’s ample off-stage storage space, and a nice elevation from the crowd.

The PA and electronics are a-class, and in the hands of a top-class engineer (like Sirri, who mixed us), the room can sound great.

After soundcheck, we had dinner at the pub. I had a delicious fish’n’chips, with the fish cooked in Coopers Ale batter. You KNOW that rocks.

The Northcote Social Club is, without a doubt, one of Melbourne’s finest venues for gigs. The stage, room and equipment are great. Then there’s the band room, with a well-stocked fridge (more of that Coopers magic), a tele for watching Friday Night Footy, and some comfy couches – all safely locked away behind a security coded door. The staff are of equally high standards. Polite, friendly, and informative. They kept the night running incredibly smoothly. From bouncers to bar manager, they were all damn-near perfect.

So, enough of the venue, how about the music? Indeed.

First up we had Matt, who is The Daytime Frequency, up on stage playing some of his sweet pop. Just one man and his guitar, or keyboard. Matt’s album ‘Sun Opus is Upon Us’ (incidentally, Matt seems to have a thing for palendromes, with the album including a track titled ‘Now Eve, we’re here we’ve won’) is available now, and served as a great calmer on work at Monday, and kept me from frying my brain.

The crowd didn’t realy start to build up until the second half of Matt’s set, which was a relief to me, because I did an early headcount, and was feeling quite nervous (when you’re at a top venue, you really feel obliged to pull in some numbers).

Second up we had Steinbecks-cousin Tali White’s band, The Guild League. Tali’s something of an icon in the Melbourne pop scene, thanks to his work with The Lucksmiths, so alot of the crowd were there to see him, which worked out great for us. The Guild League ripped throgh a rather lengthy, but highly enjoyable set. With Tali being predictably charming and funny, wooing every single person in the room.

Then there was us, The Steinbecks. We opened up with ‘1987+1994=2007’, which also opens the new album (Far From The Madding Crowd). I’ve always thought this one was a bit shaky to be an opener, but the guys like it, and Josh’s My Morning Jacket-inspired wails at the end always put me in a good mood. We had what was probably our only seamless transition out of ‘1987…’ into ‘Moon and Stars’ which I always find awkward, but amazingly, is my Dad’s favourite track from the album. The crowd remained positive, and even put up with Joel’s broken string, and some moments of dumbfounded silence as he retuned his guitar (we’d run out of witty banter too early, it would seem). The last third of the setlist was by far the most oustanding. Tali came back on stage to sing ‘Have You Ever Looked After A Song’ (which he co-wrote with Joel), and the Guild League crowd loved it. He then stayed up on stage to help out with backing vocals on the wonderfully full ‘Blank Pages’. We also had Matt up with us on keys, and Rohan and AD belting out their Trumpety goodness. ‘Blank Pages’ received a pretty darn good reception, one of the best I’ve encountered, which was just great.

The excitement of the crowd was well timed, as it led into our Tali-sung first single ‘The Doppler Effect’. Again, it was a cracker of a song, and got us another great round of applause. It’s not often we get to play to that many people, especially not ones who are so happy to hear us.

We ducked off stage fora breather before the fake encore, which did make me feel kind of stupid. But hey, that’ showbiz right…. Right?

When we jumped back on stage, we fired out a couple of pop gems. We had Matt’s keys and the two horns back for ‘No Strings, No Money, No Worries’, and Josh had slipped into his Papua New Guinea ‘Sydney 200’ track top, and went through some loosely choreographed hand movements. ‘No Strings…’ is a song that does’t get much live time, as it’s heavily dependant on the horns, and is incredibly short. But when it does get a guernsey, it really rocks me. We closed the evening with a cover of ‘Alone Again, Or’, a cracker of a song by Love. We’ve only played it live once before, and Crumpet missed it somehow, so I gently pushed the band into playing it again this time. It’s a great number to end on, the twin vocals of Joel and Josh, the dramatic end to each verse, the frenetic clapping of two horn players and Tali, and Matt’s lightning strings, and then the amazing horn solo. It ended the set on such a high note.

I was buzzing so much, and then the house music came up – The Flaming Lips ‘Race For The Prize’. Every part of my body wanted to jump down off the stage a dance, but alas, I had to pack up the gear quick snap and get home to relieve our aging babysitters (it was 1am, after all).

I should also mention the amazing Jerry Rinse, beat the crap out of his pagan skins, anonce again did a wonderful job of holding his rather incompetant musicians together.

And so there it is. I had fun. Muchos Grande Fun.

How bout you?


Calling all Pop Stalwarts

8 May, 2007

Dear Valued Reader…

As you may know, I have been playing guitar and bass with Melbourne pop disciples ‘The Steinbecks‘ for about 6 years. We’ve played gigs in 40 degree weather, and in pouring rain. We’ve played to crowds of hundreds, and to crowds of one. We’ve even played a gig on the same day one of the Steinbeck Children was born.
But never. Never. Never Ever have we played at Melbourne’s hippest post-Punters Club venue – The Northcote Social Club.

Until now….

Friday May 11th, we will be playing at the Northcote Social Club, for your listening pleasure. It’s a great venue, and smoke-free – you’ll love it.

There’s more to it than this though. We’ve also managed to secure the services of Matt Sigley (yes, that Sigley), who will be opening the night with his Daytime Frequency. Then you can catch one of Melbourne’s hottest pop icons – Tali White, and The Guild League.

And then there’s us, The Steinbecks. We’ll be launching our new album – ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’. This is our latest album, and by far my proudest moment with the band. I’m stoked with the songs we’ve pulled together for this one. From My Morning Jacket, through Michael Jackson to Midnight Oil, we’ve drawn on all manner of influences to create something special – the most rockingest Steinbecks album to date. You can hear some tracks, and see the video to our single –’The Doppler Effect’, on our myspace page, now.

So mark it on yr calendar, and come on down to The Northcote Social Club this Friday, May 11th, to experience the wonder that is The Steinbecks.>

If you’re lucky, you might even hear a Love song….


Sad songs, they say so much

8 May, 2007

Everybody loves a sad song. And it appears that my favourite is everyone else’s too!

Go Joe!!!

Pernice Brothers News/Blog » Blog Archive » a new honor for Joe Pernice:

Lost Cause, part 2

28 April, 2007

You may have noticed that there is another video for Lost Cause (called version 2). It is quite unremarkable, and not really worth watching, except to note that ‘they’ have edited out the word ‘guns’….

In a land where everyone’s allowed to have a gun, and most do, it’s considered unsafe to mention a gun in a song….

We are the technology – Part 2

7 March, 2007

Oh, and Mr K has finally loaned me his Tom Behringer, so I am hoping to have a play with it, and pretend to do some musics for songfight.

Watch out world, the Reversers are starting to awaken.

Rock Out.

We are the technology

7 March, 2007

For those who care, The Steinbecks have a myspace presence.

Don’t get too excited, it’s myspace.

But there is a video of our upcoming single, The Doppler Effect (featuring Tali White on vocals). You’ll notice that I am absent in the video, as it was filmed only days before the Hardman arrived.


introducing… sresreveR eht

3 November, 2006

Happy NaBloPoMo day 3, everyone.

As part of my ongoing battle against stagnation, I am almost ready to unleash the Reversers.

Who are the Reversers? What are the Reversers? …are the Reversers?

Read on for an excerpt from ‘the Reversers – yhpargoiB ehT

…as ‘The Modern Condition – The Rock Group‘ faded too soon from the modern rock scene the punters lay silent and bereaved, tumbleweed blew through our streets and our iPods, and babies cried relentlessly. But on the horizon, a new light was beginning to shine. The world could rock once more…

Gitso the Electronic Claptrap Machine was beating a beat as precise as a metronome on a bit of a lean. Andy G was nodding like a back-bencher to the bomp-bomp bass. And the sphinx-like 6120 was painting splendid colours of under-tuned guitars, while blathering madly like a compendium of 5th form poetry.

the Reversers were gathering the raw particles of sound, and forcing them into rigid binary structures, interpreted by silver machines that were warm to the touch. The punters were on their feet again, running. iPods were re-syncing. Babies slept soundly.

…alt.punk would never be the same again…



31 October, 2006

iPod: bringer of forgotten musics.

iClavdivs has all of my musics on it. So many musics that I have forgotten existed.

One such music is ‘Maybe Tonight‘ by The Knack. You may remember The Knack from their resurgent hit ‘My Sharona‘, which was quite obvious, and built around a bassline, an unsettling lyrical content, and some heavy breathing.

Maybe Tonight‘ is a different kettle of fish. Doug Fieger eschews the rather unsavoury attitude to women, and instead gives us a beautiful little pop gem. It starts with a simple picked guitar melody, and a gentle organ underlay, then into Fieger’s soft lyrics, which only takes two lines before it just into the money-shot, as Fieger sings ‘but I…‘, there’s a swell, and the introduction of some sparse backwards drumbeats, which leads into the chorus.

There are nicely subdued harmonies and varied inflections on the high notes. I really enjoy the way the melody changes just ever so slightly in the choruses, with the lilt being produced by the main vocal, then later by the harmony, just mixing it up a bit. Nicely done.

There’s also a more deliberate beat for the middle 8, which opens out nicely back to the chorus.

Frankly, it’s all good, and I’m glad that iClavdivs re-introduced me to the sweeter side of The Knack.

the alt.punk strikes back!

28 September, 2006

Last night I was importing some more of my collection into iTunes, and the ‘Alternative & Punk’ raised its ugly and completely off the mark head again.

The new victims? The Lucksmiths.

(actually, I quite like ‘The New Victims’ as a band name, perhaps something alt.punk)

the genre-fication begins

28 September, 2006

Over the last few days I have – as you know – been fighting the good fight against ‘Alternative & Punk’. I’ve been inundated with some great suggestions for new genre’s for my music. You have all been incredibly helpful, and for that I thank you.

I’ve pondered and wondered and puzzled and nuzzled over these suggestions. I have imagined myself sorting through my music in 2 months time, 2 years time, and when Hard Man Harvey is old enough to question my motivations.

And, dear readers, I have come to a decision. I have considered categorising my music based on the seasons, foodstuffs, booze, parts of the house, moods, and much more. And I’m afraid to say, I’ve come up with a solution that you may well declare to be ‘lame-ass’.

…let the lame-ass-ness begin…