Thursday, 10 May 2012

Van Tunes Politics

We are currently a couple of hours away from our own beds for the first time in about 4 weeks. It has been a busy month, from The National Folk Festival in Canberra to Fairbridge Folk Festival in WA and then straight up to the Goldie and up and down the East Coast. It has been a great tour but more about that later.

We are heading home today for about 4 days before we head to Adelaide next weekend. I was the driver for the first 6 hours today because I was the one who got the least drunk last night. As I was the driver, I got to choose the tunes. It is rather difficult to choose music that will suite 7 peoples tastes, especially a bunch as random and discerning (fussy) as our band. So I thought I would give you a little insight into what was playing in the van today.

First up was some sweet trancey afro cuban tunes from Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez.
This record seemed to perfectly fit driving out of the blue mountains and pretty much everyone was asleep or comatose by the second tune, leaving me to have some mental health time.


Next up was the amazing French singer Camille. Her album Le Fil doesn't get played in the van very often (if ever) but it was just what my ears needed to hear. No cracking snare drums, no screaming gypsy solo's, just a girl with a beautiful voice and lots of songs, none of which i have any idea as to the meaning of.
This is a brilliant live version of a track from the album.


As we neared Sydney and the intenseness that is that city and the people who drive cars there, Shakti was chosen to abed the tension caused by these roads and people. 



With the tired setting in a bit the tempo needed to be raised, so next up was the Soundtrack to the Hbo series Treme. It is a great series with a killer soundtrack featuring such artists as Free Agent Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins and even Louis Prima, but a stand out is from the opening of the first episode featuring The Rebirth Brass Band absolutely cranking. Check it out...


One of the later tracks on the soundtrack reminded me of the durge at the beginning of "Come Down to My Funeral" from the new Flap! record, so that had to be next. 
(this is from the first record, but you get the idea. awesome band)



As the sun was setting i had a massive urge to hear a track i have become a bit obsessed with since i was switched onto it late one night by some new friends in Coogee. This man has made a career out of a song with about 10 words, 2 chords and not much else, other than the ability to tell a bloody good story. Arlo you are my new hero. there is so many versions of this song but this has to be my favourite.



Flap got the pop music juices flowing so Gotye was next. His video just hit 200 Million views on youtube, witch is incredible, so i don't need to post it here. I should also mention Kat was my co pilot for this epic driving stint and like me can not listen to the Gotye record with out having to follow it up with Kimbra's Vows. That 30 seconds of her voice on Gotyes record just makes you crave more. This is a wicked live performance of a tune from the record, filmed at Sing Sing which incidentally is where we did our record. Seriously worth watching till the end. You will get it.


The cleanness, so to speak, needed to be got rid of a bit, cause it is the woohoo van after all, so Grinderman was the next thing to assault our ears, wake everyone the fuck up and get me over the line in my 6th hour of driving. The sun had set, the windows were down and the volume was definitely up! How awesome is Grinderman?



So awesome they deserve another video link. if your not convinced check this live clip.



Incidentally Grinderman was the first album that Adam Rhodes played in the studio after we had officially finished tracking the new record. we had an afternoon to spare so beers were cracked ping pong got serious and grinder man got cranked, on very, very expensive speakers. 

Then my driving stint was over, mainly because the driver seat is by far the most comfy seat in the van, so I was forced into exile to the back of the van. So I lay down and went into headphone sleepy land. Elbow's Build a Rocket Boys was my next choice (Asleep in the back would have been more fitting an album, but oh well) and then Florence got me to sleep, then we were home.

Other notable mentions for most played in the van this tour include:

Aretha - Live at Phillomore West
Marvin Gay - Best Of
The Beatles - Revolver
Juke Barritones records (cause we had to learn them, 
and because they are awesome)
and of course Zeppelin I

I hope you enjoy the tunes and look forward to bringing the next instalment.

Cheers,
Andy



Wednesday, 4 April 2012

just because it is funny

video

Whenever Booey gets the chance he will play yakety sax with his pants down. I will do my best to capture these moments and share them with you, just because it is funny!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Evolution of a Song – A glimpse into the creative process of The Woohoo Revue


Since the release of the first record the band went on the road and pretty much stayed there for the following 2 and a half years. This is heaps of fun because you get to see the country and meet lots of amazing people and do lots of great gigs and festivals. But it doesn’t lend itself to writing and being creative, because there simply in not enough time or space to all get together and work on new material. So after 2 and a half years of going around in circles, we decided the only way to make a new record happen was to lock ourselves in a remote country house, where phones don’t work, with no TV or Internet, no people or pubs or really anything remotely fun or stimulating to do, and make music (and hopefully not go a bit “heeeere’s Johnny). So in June 2011 we packed up all our gear and filled the van and (2 cars!!!) and headed off to what would later be affectionately known as “The Farm”.


We stayed in a beautiful spot in remote southern Victoria with rolling hills and ponds and ducks and rain and mud. Lots of mud.




So we set up all our instruments, and my recording gear and put the kettle on. The series of blogs to follow will show what happened at the farm and in the following months leading up to the completion of the new Woohoo record.  I will focus on one song in particular to give you an idea how a lot of woohoo tunes are conceived.


Rarely does someone bring a completely finished and arranged tune to the band, so we have a number of different processes, which create and evolve what becomes a finished tune. One process we use is to sit in a circle, set up a guitar loop or rhythm section loop, and everyone has to come up with a melody, and then teach it straight away to everyone. This solidifies the idea and then we record it. We then have 20 or 30 small 2 or 4 or 8 bar melodies that later we listen to and see if we can put together a song. These first 3 examples were taken from the original melody session of around 30 recordings.



Now that we have 3 or 4 sections, we come up with a form, and try switching things around and adding bits and take bits out, usually over a period of hours or weeks or even months and generally come back to the original form we came up with at the start. The fourth track in the set is from the end of the first session we spent as a band arranging this tune, and we recorded it on my little Tascam portable recorder. 

Next blog you will see how the song gets shelved for more imminent priorities such as touring, and what happens when it is returned to with fresh ears a few months later.

Cheers,
Andy

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Help us find this man. In the name of love!

Hey cuties, it's Kat.

Top Right: Prince Derek.
Left: Helen('s breasts)

So this is my first blog right, and what better way to commence my blogging journey then to help my beautiful best friend Helen find the man of her dreams!

<---------------The man you see in this picture is the fugitive in question. Young looking chap with an incredibly intense beard! We saw him on the tram at about 12:15pm on fri, heading from Port Melbourne into the heart of the city. Had the eyes of an angel and he was listening to what sounded like some dirty, late 60's Rock 'n' Roll. And now Helen is in love. (And yes, I understand the image is rather invasive and borderline illegal, but guys, c'mon, we are talking about true love here, or at least exaggerated lust).



He appears to be a young, easy-going, music loving, self employed or artist type, with an incredibly calm aura and he seems unnaturally wise for his age.
Well at least, this is what Helen and I came up with in the next 20 minutes of our tram ride.
It's more than likely all bollocks, but we are dreamers!
We could have gone on to decide what his name could be (say, Derek), were he worked, and that he was a prince in some beautifully abundant European country, but that would be just lame and as if we would do that......... ;)

So, we would love to know if anyone knows of this "Prince Derek" or has seen him around, and if anybody can help out my sweetie Helen, so she can meet him and perhaps make him fall in love with her. :) If so, REPLY TO THIS BLOG BABES! :)

Ready.......... HUNT!!!!

Thank you, you beautiful humans!
Cheerio!

Kat. xx
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Thursday, 15 March 2012

SezBang Special Choya Green Cocktail

Sarah Busuttil (AkA SezBang)

Hey there,

Welcome to the first episode of
The SezBang Blog for Plonk! (c)

I've just created the best cocktail for a Thursday arvo and I want you to know about it!
If you love sweet cocktails...

Just grab a martini cocktail glass

add
1/3Midori
1/3 Umeshu Choya Japanese Plum Wine
&
video
1/3 Orange Juice

I call it 'The SezBang Choya Green Cocktail'

SAC

Enjoy this delicious episode of
The SezBang Blog for Plonk! (c)

Smile 'n' Shine :)

visit the bands pozible page

SezBang

LIFE! PERFORMING! DIRECTION! SUCCESS!


Hey there,

I thought I'd start off my first blog with the first blog I ever wrote at uni and re-word a couple of things. Firstly, it applies mainly to performing artists and my philosophy of what I love to do as a musician. 

I'll write a lighter blog next time. I promise! 
 Soz if this is a little d & m for a Thursday arvo. 

Enjoy! 

Xx Sez xX


Finally,
the time's come to actually realise where you want to head in this game called 'LIFE.' I believe that you need to be extremely open-minded and versatile, to have any success in life. If you're an artist who only conforms to one style and doesn't appreciate any others, it's going to be pretty tough to fit into the 'industry.'
I think it is important to have a certain direction, but never disregarding things completely is important.

There has to be truth in anything you decide to do. If there isn't, your work will never come across as honest. The appreciation for the ARTS, which in my view; parallels life, is what constantly inspires me. It's constantly changing and evolving, because our world/life/society is changing and evolving.

It's really crunch time! I've tried to set myself up with as many options as possible.
I've studied the Repertoire course at VCA, but have been venturing out and discovering my own passion for world music simultaneously. I feel that through learning the technique and discipline of repertoire music, this has been the core of my technical development as a musician.

PERFORMING

I've developed a theory for the art of performing and being comfortable with performing dance music onstage.

There are 3 levels

1. Is just learning the notes to get you through the tune. You can play the tune, but there's a lot of thinking happening. Unfortunately, there's no time to actually communicate to band members or the audience, because you're still stuck on the notes.

2. Is you know the notes at a comfortable level to be able to be open sonically, mentally and emotionally to your band members, but you still rely on some guidance.

3. Is being so comfortable with the music you're creating, that it speaks to the audience through your entire being. You are completely open to your band members, the audience and are so alert simultaneously, that you can achieve anything. There's no limit, because all the technical work has happened. It's now all about the moment.

Success doesn't come without hard work and dedication to a common goal. All members must have chemistry and the skill to back that up. From that, will most definitely come success. Small scale to large scale. Success is success. If you feel good about what you're creating and people are smiling, I believe that's success.

There are no limits. If you want world class success, you can not have limits, because the world doesn't have limits on a global scale. There'll always be someone wanting something more than you.

I've been fortunate to play at many great venues and festivals nationally and internationally. I'm extremely excited with the direction of where The Woohoo Revue is going. There are big plans happening behind the scenes for the future, so I can only hold on to my seat, as this rollercoaster takes me on a journey of a lifetime!

See you there!

Written By
Sarah Busuttil
(Violinist of The Woohoo Revue)




Interview with Jess Guille from FLAP!

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FLAP!

We were lucky enough to catch up with Jess
Guille from the band FLAP! on the eve of their new album launch “A great day for the race” at The Port Fairy Folk Festival. On the way to the festival we came up with a buch of questions that we wanted to ask her and this is what we got....
Your new album, “a great day for the race” has just been released you must be excited, tell us a bit about it?

j: It is exciting! It's great to have it finally completed. 3 years have past since the first album, and it's obvious that we've all grown musically and creatively. It's certainly related to the first album, but it is definitely a continuation of the journey rather than songs from the same place. 

The cover and album art are amazing where did the concept come from?

j: I'm quite into old cigar box art, and anything to do with palm trees. Our wonderful graphic artist designer friend Luke Stockdale and I luckily have a very similar aesthetic. The way he made my little ideas into a big fat awesome reality was rather astounding and incredibly gratifying...

The actual album has gold leaf writing and a beautiful book.


Tell us about your time recording at Sing Sing... 

j: We love Sing Sing! We call it The Sing Sing Holiday Camp. There is something really special about that place, and we're very happy indeed that we chose it to record, mix and master the album at. The wonderful technicians also help! I kept hoping to bump into Paul Kelly at the biscuit jar. 

First live band...

j: I grew up going to lots of music festivals and gigs with my parents so that's a tricky one to pinpoint. Gigs that really stick out are the first times I saw The Hoodangers and The Band Who Knew Too Much - both Melbourne bands that are responsible for the way I make music and still make me dance my face off every time I see them. I would have been about 13-14 years old when I first saw them. My first stadium gig was the Red Hot Chili Peppers (back when they weren'tcompletely shit house!), in 1996. Again, I was about that age. It was really exciting to see!

The Hoodangers


First album...

j: I had a tape when I was 5 that I played til it played no more. One side Buddy Holly, the other The Travelling Wilbury's. I was totally nuts about it! The first CD I ever bought, I'm pretty sure, was Eric Clapton Unplugged. 

Fantasy line up...

j: That is a monsterous question! And I don't know if I can answer it. The only thing that I must say is, that is has to include Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass. It is the daggiest, happiest and most ridiculously fun music. Oh, and Perrey and Kingsley, creators of wigged out moog music in the 60's. I am unashamedly, a rather large dag.

Where did the name FLAP! come from?

j: Long story short, I (and all my compadres) were rather drunk at Port Fairy Folk Festival. The sun was coming up and the birds were doing their morning thing. I looked up to see a bird flapping it's face off and not getting anywhere at all. At this point, I pointed to it and exclaimed 'FLAP!' at it. We laughed, and carried on drinking. We later decided that it was a good name for the band because of the connotations to movement (of wings, or dancing peoples arms and the like), and 20's jazz. We also hoped that it being such a short word that it would help people remember the name. We still regularly get 'The Flap', or better still 'The Flaps'. From time to time, we're remembered as 'Slap!', and misheard as 'Flab!'.


Not the actual bird!


I heard from the Woohoo crew that you are also a suspension performer,  tell us more and will we see it in a FLAP! show soon?

j: I think my suspending days are over :) I explored, and conquered! I never really 'performed' it though, it was more of a thing I did for myself. People are so incredibly frightened by pain, and I wanted to explore not being scared of it and actually take control of it somewhat. I had some overwhelmingly amazing experiences, and even though my mum thought I needed to see a psychiatrist, I believe I'm much stronger for it...

Is it true the band met at Portfairy folk festival?

j: We did indeed! We were already friends before the festival, but a drunken jam sealed our fate. I am exceedingly grateful to my ricockulously talented band mates for wanting to go on this adventure. I have never been in any other bands, and feel very lucky indeed!

FLAP! in a field. 


Go outside and look into the clouds... What do you see?

j: Nothing much, it's 10.55pm I'm afraid! Although, I did once see a rabbit with a top hat. 


Who would you like to have cook for you?

j: Shaun Micallef. Don't know what his cooking skills are like but fuck he makes me laugh. 

lamas or sloths?

j: SLOTHS! It's all in the face. They're ridiculous.


rock, paper or scissors ?

j: Scissors. Not for strategic purposes, I just like cutting stuff. I make cards for friends made entirely out of cut out paper - words and all!

Did you know that there are 62 different types of deers and that most of them have musk glands behind their eyes?

j: Ya know, I hadn't even pondered how many different types of deer there were, let alone where there musk glands hide. I keep Australian Spiny Leaf insects as pets, and you've just made me realise I don't know anything about their glands... Off to google I go! 

Blatant use of cuteness  


Sack race! respond

j: ball sport! 

What exactly is a FLAP! slap?

j: I suspect this refers to the infamous gin soaked Woodford where Marky Mark (Flap!s beautiful double bassist) and I slapped a lot of people firmly on the bottom to, in a fashion, wake them up. We long ago discovered that a proper paddle to the botbot gives one quite the jolt of adrenaline. Very good if you're feeling a bit tired, or attempting to 'liven up' before getting on stage! 

When are we going to have a gin and tonic with cucumber and lemon?

j: Good question! I should hope jolly soon. 


Currently seeking Hendrick's sponsorship! 

Which is one of your fav live music venues to catch a show? 

j: There are a few different places that I like for completely opposite reasons, but I reckon Speigeltents (there are quite a few getting around these days!) are so wonderfully transporting and magical. Great fun to play in, too! 


The Famous Speigeltent!
Words by Daniel Ogilvie and Jess Guille.
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