As my high school economics teacher used to say, of the things he’d see in the wee hours of the morning on his two-hour walk from downtown Ottawa to our suburban high school, “There’s a whole world out there I know nothing about.” I feel the exact same way when I discover a new music scene. Closer to home, I understand that Moncton has a particularly vibrant scene – I’ll have to pay closer attention to that.
But Hobart! I never would’ve guessed that the capital of Tasmania would have such a vibrant music scene (which says more about me than them). Anyway, Rough Skies Records is here to put me straight with Community 4 – A Compilation of Hobart Music, a consistently excellent collection of songs from Hobart-based bands, from the punk rock stylings of Powernap to the odd pop of Filthy Little Star, and much else besides. Including, of course, late-of-Hobart and ATR favourite Heart Beach, who naturally do not disappoint.
How vibrant is Hobart’s music scene right now? Well, you have someone like EWAH (of EWAH & the Vision of Paradise, another standout on this compilation) who’s relocated from Melbourne. Not sure if she did it for the music, but it’s definitely not a step down.
Check it out, drop them a few pennies. Viva local music!
So I recorded this on January 20, a day that will live on in … etc., etc. Don’t know if you watched the inauguration, but I didn’t bother. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, and we have four years to deal with it, so no need to catch the speech (I watched it later, for professional purposes. Verdict: I made the right call).
While the new US president was doing his thing, I spent my time putting together this podcast. Music and art: it’s a cliché, but they’re good for the soul. Lots of good tunes this week, as always, including a few political-leaning songs, cuz why not? Enjoy.
Vancouver’s mi’ens gets math rock right. Their latest release, Challenger (whose cover is a not-exactly-tasteful rendering of the explosion of the shuttle of the same name), is simultaneously soothing, unsettling and menacing in its use of repetition and, as they put it, odd time signatures (I was pleasantly pleased to find that they use this as a bandcamp tag, which yields a lot of other listening options).
Dewey Decibel System (great song title) leans toward the soothing side of their sound, which is probably why it’s my favourite track and has already garnered repeated listens – the world being what it is these days I can only take so much anxiety from my music. That said, Challenger’s definitely wormed its way into my life soundtrack.
Brisbane, Australia’s, Confidence Man has exactly one song to their name. But my god, what a song. I really can’t improve on Triple J Unearthed’s description of the song as “like Tom Tom Club partying with LCD Soundsystem.”
This is the party song to end all party songs. If I’d heard it before this week there’s no question that it would’ve been near the top of my year-end best-of list. Hilarious, deadpan vocals courtesy of Janet Planet detailing all of her boyfriend’s shortcomings (basically, he’s just sooooo sensitive) and an insanely infectious beat make this a keeper. I can only imagine how fabulous their live show must be. Shame they’re a 24-hour flight away…