Loud Noise and Pictures

Music and Photo Blog. It’s a new concept, so bear with it…

Posts Tagged ‘Sparkadia

2008: An Aural Journey

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I’m not gonna sit down and do a “Top Albums of 2008” type list – I didnt listen to nearly enough albums to make judgement calls. Case in point – my former country music loving little sister recommended Fleet Foxes album to me ages ago and I still havent given it a spin, despite Nath raving about it (see previous post).

So instead, I’ll simply list a heap of albums I gave a bit of a spin this year and how they struck me…
Enjoy

Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles
This didnt get much of a rotation. The music sounded as good as ever, but the lyrics were for the most part laughable glimpses of what was for the bad boys of old.

The Drones – Havilah
Kinda disappointed I hadn’t discovered these guys earlier. Listening to this album made for a damn good drive to Sydney one day. Sounded like if Tom Waits singing old colonial Australian tunes.

The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing
I kinda liked ‘Thats Not My Name’ then I got sick of it. Then I heard the whole album and kinda dug it all. Not great, but I’ve enjoyed it when I’ve had it on this year.

Bliss ‘n Eso – Flying Colours
Aussie Hip-Hop certainly is gaining momentum, and this got a good solid months workout in my car. Several standout tracks and a little filler. Bullet and a Target was one of my favourite songs all year.

Tame Impala – Antares Mira Sun
Nath had hyped these kids up something fierce – and they delivered. Shame its such a short EP/LP/Whatever. Swirling 60’s inspired psychodelia, and other cliches – long story short, I loved it.

The Living End – White Noise
If youve heard The Living End before, you know what to expect from this album. You can listen to it (especially when the singles come on the radio) but its a bit of a trek to get throught the whole CD.

Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke
‘Paris Is Burning’ certainly piqued my interest in Ladyhawke, but when I put the album on, it was pretty disappointing. There was one or two other songs that were ok, but the album was not what I was expecting.

Empire of The Sun – Walking on A Dream
I listened to the whole album on www.thevine.com.au and it was ok. That whole retro-revamped 80’s sound got really old really quick as this album got on. Can’t say I’d rush out to get it.

Sparkadia – Postcards
Ok, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big fan of these guys. Postcards has never been too far from my ears since it was released. Its even better live – go see a Sparkadia show – then you’ll know.

Eagles of Death Metal – Heart On
It’s funny, this album doesn’t sound that different from their others. But it doesnt make this seem old, it just makes the others seem timeless. Good hard rockin’ party tunes-a-plenty. Lovin’ it!

Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
My first listen, I hated this album. Since then it has become my most listened to album of ’08. Sure its not the gritty southern alt-rock of the previous efforts, but it’s darn catchy. It’s another case of indie-rock band loses indie rock cred when too many indie kids make them so popular non indie kids love ’em and they are no longer indie.

Metallica – Death Magnetic
Thank god for Rick Rubin. Metallica return to their roots with some decent metal tunes. I listened to this album for about a month solid after it was released. Haven’t really had it on since.

Portishead – Third
Listening to Third only made me want to listen to old Portishead. Third is ok, but – you know. It’s no Dummy.

The Black Keys – Attack and Release
Same could be said for this effort. The ‘drum and guitar’ staples from the Akron, OH boys got a working over by Dangermouse and the addition of a few other instruments. I dont think they really needed it. I haven’t listened to this as much as I did Rubber Factory.

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
By the time I got around to listening to this, I think I was nearly sick of the singles. Its a shame, cos its a pretty decent album. I just wish it didnt inspire more flouro clad freaks at festivals to look and act weirder than normal.

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Walk it Off
A pretty underrated album with a pretty understated sound. It’s not the best thing you’ll hear all year, but there is plenty of worse albums getting alot more play – which I’m afraid to say is also the case in my collection.

Smashing Pumpkins – American Gothic
Ok – you thought I liked Sparkadia! Seriously, this is a sweet and pretty piano driven EP that if you’ve seen their recently released doco ‘If All Goes Wrong’ you’ll understand where the songs come from, but scratch your head why the other dozen of similar sounding, equally great songs were omitted.

Guns ‘n’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
Has anyone bought this? Serously. Does anyone care?

Lineup-a-rama-palooza

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All Tomorrow’s Parties 2nd Round Announcement

Dead Meadow, The Reels, Psarandonis, Bill Callahan, Dirty Three performing Ocean Songs, Small Knives, The Holy Sea, Hunter Dienna, Passenger of Shit, and more to be announced. No Drones yet, but give it time, since they are playing the next two festivals I’m about to talk about.

 

Big Day Out 2nd Round Announcement

Serj Tankian, Dropkick Murphys, Black Kids, Hot Chip, Lupe Fiasco, Holy Ghost!, Z-Trip, Died Pretty, The Vines, Infusion, Children Collide, Pee Wee Ferris, Sparkadia, The Getaway Plan, Little Red, Mammal, Mercy Arms, Ajax, Andee Frost, The Drones.

 

Golden Plains Festival 1st Announcement

MOGWAI, TONY ALLEN, GARY NUMAN, BLACK MOUNTAIN, OF MONTREAL, THE DRONES, THE CHURCH, DAN DEACON, BRANT BJORK AND THE BROS, OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW, JIM WHITE AND JOHN DOE, QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT, THE BLACK SEEDS, LULUC, YOU AM I

 

So basically The Drones are a bunch of festival sluts. I’m ok with it though since I saw them at Stonefest on Saturday and they were FUCKING AMAZING!

Boombox’s for the MP3 Generation + Trackside 2008

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Nathan hooked me up with a link to Lyle Owerko today. Safe to say I haven’t been this impressed and moved by a photographer in a long long time. Oh how I miss the mighty boombox.

He’s even got a nifty music blog too!

I didn’t know someone who makes such awesome dubstep would keep calling them ‘tunes’ all the time. He better win the Mercury.

You’ll be as pleased as I am to know Dan Boud is back! Check out his Splendour photos on his flickr, because they’re rad. Here’s my favourite.

Trackside lineup has been posted on their Facebook page.

THE LIVING END
CUT COPY
THE PANICS
BLISS n ESO
BRITISH INDIA
SOMETHING WITH NUMBERS
SPARKADIA
MUPH n PLUTONIC
CARPATHIAN
BLUEJUICE
GRAFTON PRIMARY
LITTLE RED
HELL CITY GLAMOURS
LOS CAPITANES

Not bad. Good lineup for inbetween Stonefest and Foreshore. All we need is Midnight Juggernauts to play Stonefest and the Holy Trinity of Australian Nu-Rave Electro would be playing the three festivals. Good to see Sparkadia, bluejuice, Little Red, and Los Cap on the lineup.

Sparkadia = “Hot Liquid Sex”

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It’s all been happening lately for Sydney quartet Sparkadia.
They’ve recorded an album with producer Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, Depeche Mode). Toured throughout Europe. Returned to Australia. Released their album Postcards, which peaked at #23 on the ARIA charts and has recieved considerable airplay on Triple-J. Briefly toured Australia. Then returned to Europe to play, among other shows, a spot in the Glastonbury Festival

Huge thanks to lead singer Alex Burnett, who was gracious enough to take time out between shows in England to chat with LNaP about the surrealness of their success, haircuts, and his grandma.
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Loud Noise and Pictures: Sparkadia pretty much burst onto the music consciousness in what seems like an overnight success. At what point did you think “wow, this band thing might be pretty successful?”
Alex Burnett: If it was an overnight success – it has been a very long evening…We started writing tunes of which some of them made it onto the debut record in 2003 and our first show was in mid 2005 so we have been doing what we do for a while now. 
We always loved what we were playing and writing and believed in the songs, however we never really thought about “being successful” and never in our wildest dreams believed that we would be playing Glastonbury and all these other ridiculous festivals in the UK and Europe. My mum always said that we were pretty good, but i suppose that all mothers say that anyway!
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LNaP: Tracks from Postcards have been getting a fair bit of play on Triple J and on Rage, how has public feedback been for the album?
AB: I don’t really get involved with reviews, however my grandma keeps all of them and she makes sure to read out all the good ones. Apparently there have been quite a few. Either way, we are excited that people have embraced the album and i am always amazed how each song is someone elses favourite song. It’s always fantastic for people to dig the album tracks as well as the singles.
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LNaP: Generally, the reviews of Postcards have been quite positive and many reviewers have compared tracks to bands such as The Beatles, Pulp, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, The Smiths and others.
What has been:
A)    The most flattering comparison? 
AB: A girl once said that we sounded like a couple making love in studio 54!
B)    The most bewildering comparison?
AB: There have been too many. Someone said that we sounded “brutal”. That was pretty metal!
C)    The most accurate comparison?
AB: Bands never really like to compare their music to others as you always strive to be original. Someone said to me that we sounded like “hot liquid sex”. Awesome.
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LNaP: Sparkadia was touring overseas, then popped back to Australia to release Postcards then you pretty much took off again. You guys must enjoy England/Europe?
AB: We will pretty much tour wherever will have us. We all live in Australia, however we have been given the opportunities to tour overseas so you would be mad not to say “yes”! 
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LNaP: There is a great Spinal Tap quote:
            Nigel Tufnel: We’re very big in Bulgaria. And…wossisname…the other “Garia”…
           
David St. Hubbins: Hungaria.
           
Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, whatever.
You toured Europe extensively prior to the release of Postcards. Have you found that you now have a weird range of countries who are now Sparkadia fans – and how are you dealing with the international fame?
AB: We are really not that famous – if at all, however i heard that there is a german fanclub and a similar thing going on in scandinavia. We are very flattered! Someone stopped me in the street yesterday for a photos only to realise that i wasn’t the guy from stereophonics…
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LNaP: Does it seem a bit ‘unreal’ that one day you’re in Sydney where a limited amount of people know the band, and then the next day, you’re playing gigs in countries that don’t even speak the same language?
AB: We do live quite a surreal life. Two weekends ago we had just finished our first sold-out headline tour around Australia and then we were on a jetplane to play Glastonbury. Last night we played a small club show in London. Today we play the wireless festival in Hyde Park and tomorrow we are playing at a festival in a zoo. It is the stuff of dreams.
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LNaP: How does the band psyche up to get out on stage before a concert?
AB: We always have a few drinks, run through the setlist, and ensure to have good music playing in the background. We are in a hip-hop phase at the moment so we are usually bouncing Jay-z styles before we hit the stage. 
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LNaP: Have you managed to catch any good shows while you’ve been touring?
AB: A few nights ago we went to a local bar and it was a dennis wilson tribute night. Imagine the hoey except the performers were the magic numbers, ed harcourt, the dude from starsailor and a few others. Basically a “Heavenly records” evening for free. It was the best free show I’ve ever attended. 
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LNaP: Who in the band is the hardest to put up with in close quarters and how do you deal with it?
AB: We all have our virtues and our vices. When you are living out of each other’s pockets you learn how to be patient and considerate – Or just do the complete opposite and all be divas. Always good to be extreme!
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LNaP: Sparkadia has played with artists such as, Hot Hot Heat, Modest Mouse, The Thrills, Vampire Weekend, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Lee, The Bravery and Tegan & Sara – in an ideal world, who would you love to open for, and who would you love to have open for you?
AB: We would love to open for the Beatles and then have Roy Orbison as a support.
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LNaP: Sparkadia’s sensational and highly fortuitous rise to stardom evolved from somewhat of a chance encounter. What advice would you give to new bands trying to make it big?
AB: Don’t follow trends as your hair doesn’t grow as quick as the new haircut required. Make sure to write music that you are passionate about.
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LNaP: You plan to tour Australia throughout August and September when you finish up overseas, will you have any new material written to try out on us?
AB: I believe so. We have many new tunes so expect some madness!
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LNaP: If I was to tell you that I’ve been to the future and that Sparkadia’s Postcards wins the Breakthrough Artist–Album, how would you feel?
AB: That would be very flattering. I don’t believe in the whole music awards systems as all music has a purpose-it’s not like sport where there is always a winner and a loser! 
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LNaP: And finally, who would win in a fight between Mr T and Chuck Norris and why?
AB: Chuck Norris. You wouldn’t know why as you would be dead too! 
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Sparkadia return to Australia in September to tour the country extensively. Until then they are spreading their sweet melodic rock around Europe. If you can make it overseas, you can catch them here:
 

Jul 5 2008 4:00P
ZOO8 Festival Kent
Jul 7 2008 8:00P
Myspace FREE DOWNLOAD of Morning Light Everywhere
Jul 8 2008 8:45P
The Dublin Castle, Camden London
Jul 11 2008 5:45P
Oxegen Festival Dublin
Jul 13 2008 12:00P
T In The Park Festival Glasgow
Jul 14 2008 1:00A
“Postcards” UK Release All the UK
Jul 16 2008 9:30P
The Barfly, Camden London
Jul 21 2008 8:00P
“Postcards” Europe Release Europe
Jul 23 2008 8:15P
’229’ London
Jul 30 2008 8:00P
Coalition – Club NME Night Brighton
Aug 2 2008 8:00P
Razzmatazz Popbar Barcelona
Aug 7 2008 9:00P
Dirty Boots, Bloomsbury Bowl London
Aug 15 2008 8:00P
Frequency Festival Salzburg
Aug 16 2008 12:30P
V Festival Chelmsford
Aug 17 2008 12:30P
V Festival Stafford

If not – you will have to wait before you see them play down under at a show near you!

Sep 4 2008 8:00P
Prince Of Wales Bunbury
Sep 5 2008 8:00P
Metro City Perth
Sep 5 2008 8:00P
Metro City Perth
Sep 6 2008 8:00P
Settlers Tavern Margaret River
Sep 12 2008 8:00P
Forum Theatre Melbourne
Sep 13 2008 8:00P
Wrestpoint Showroom Hobart
Sep 14 2008 8:00P
HQ Adelaide
Sep 19 2008 8:00P
Coolangatta Hotel Gold Coast
Sep 20 2008 8:00P
Enmore Theatre Sydney

 

Lots More Cowbell!