Saturday, 21 July 2012

One To Watch - The Shield

Television Series: The Shield
Starring: Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Catherine Dent, Benito Martinez
Creators: Shawn Ryan

When I tell people about The Shield the general replies fall along the lines of “a friend’s raved about it, I really need to check it out.” I’m still yet to come across any of my friends’ friends who have passed on this awesome recommendation. Not that hard, considering the title of this blog.

So this yarn isn’t an overview of The Shield, as such. It’s more of homage. Those who dig reading James Ellroy novels, this is up your street. I’d be extremely surprised if Ellroy fiends haven’t come across this yet. The grainy and raw-as-fuck cinematography is one of a kind in modern day television. A distinguished vein creator, Shawn Ryan, and cinematographer, Rohn Schmidt, tapped into throughout the seven seasons of one of the finest cop series to grace television.
Naturally, a good series isn’t complete without a slew of awe-inspiring characters and Vic Mackey (played by Michael Chiklis- No Ordinary Family) and Shane Vendrell (played by Walton Goggins - Justified) spearhead a gritty no-holds-barred cast. There's even grounds for debate that Vic Mackey is as bad ass as Tony Soprano. That debate can wait for another day, perhaps? 

The inexorable waves of emotion you experience when watching The Shield leaves you running on empty. It’s as physically exhausting as Oz, coupled with the brains and brawn of Ellroy’s LA Quartet series.
The first six seasons of The Shield is in association with all your cutting edge goodness that’s appeared on television; however it is Season Seven that’s placed The Shield amongst the vanguard of greatness. Your regulars, The Wire, The Sopranos, Oz, Six Feet Under and in more recent times, Breaking Bad and Mad Men: All era defining pieces of work in their own right, however the aforementioned isn’t complete without The Shield. It's as simple as that.

IMBD page.

By Simon K.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Tour News: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

I’ve always enjoyed Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks. To the contrary of many, and without sounding too controversial, I’d even go at lengths to say I enjoy their music just as much as Pavement.
Stephen Malkmus seems more focused with this project. Hardly surprising, taking into account maturity with age and all the other platitudes most us experience in this life. With this, maybe it’s unfair to compare SM&Js and Pavement? Given the latter’s cult status there’s always going to be that evaluation between the respective projects or anything else Stephen artistically dabbles in.

SM&Js albums hold an impenetrable feel. Something not really associated with Pavement and its slacker essence. Stephen Malkmus is probably my favourite album out the bunch, with Real Emotional Trash trailing not too far behind. Pig Lib and Face The Truth are solid works, too. Many even suggest that PL is the pinnacle out of the bunch.
Mirror Traffic (Matador, 2011), their latest, left me a little flat. I felt it was unfocused, perhaps a band running out of steam. However, true to form, after hearing their announcement for the Brisbane Festival in September, it was time for a revisit and 12 months down the track it started to come together. Yes, impenetrable no more. This one just took a little longer, but I finally got there. I’d slot it somewhere in between PL & FTT, which is good enough for me. ‘Senator’ got me from the outset, but after revisiting, ‘Brain Gallop’, ‘All Over Gently’ and ‘Fall Away’ also shape up to the quality we’ve come to expect. Summation: I’m a happy camper and even happier with the below tour dates. You should be, too.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Mirror Traffic Tour Dates:
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 Spiegeltent, Cultural Forecourt, South Bank *
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 Spiegeltent, Cultural Forecourt, South Bank *
Friday, 28 September 2012 Rosemount Perth WA
Saturday, 29 September 2012 Wave Rock Weekender Hyden WA
Wednesday, 3 October 2012 Corner Hotel Melbourne VIC
Friday, 5 October 2012 Factory Theatre Sydney NSW
* As apart of The Brisbane Festival. Tickets & Information: here

By Simon K.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Tour News: Heathen Skulls (Various Artists)

In the field of tour promotion, Heathen Skulls qualify as the most giving. Over the years, majority of promoters throughout Australia have developed a nasty habit for skipping the likes of Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane as far as International bands are concerned. Not Heathen Skulls. HS is the tour promoter for the people. 

Two years ago when owner, Robert MacManus, brought Dead Meadow down under I managed to chew his ear about various bands, making the typical fan boy passes to get certain bands out for a tour (Godflesh and Crippled Black Phoenix, anyone?). After I thanked him for his gestures to music enthusiasts across the country in his efforts to continually share the goodness, his reply was simply that "someone's got to do it, it might as well be me." Two years on, Heathen Skulls continue to tour "niche bands" with a consistency that keeps us happy. September onwards is packed with goodness for those who like their riffs and drone. Details below.

Russian Circles (supported by Eagle Twin)

Friday 28th Sept – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Saturday 29th Sept – Fowlers Live, Adelaide
Sunday 30th Sept – The Bakery, Perth
Thursday 4th Oct – ANU Bar, Canberra

Friday 5th Oct – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday 6th Oct – Hi Fi Bar, Sydney


Sunday 9th Sept – The Zoo, Brisbane
Thursday 13th Sept – Hi Fi, Sydney
Friday 14th Sept – Fowlers Live, Adelaide
Saturday 15th Sept – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Sunday 16th Sept – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne


Thursday October 11 – Hi Fi Bar, Sydney
Friday October 12 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday October 13 – The Corner, Melbourne (with Grails)
Sunday October 14 – This Is Nowhere, UWA, Perth

SUNN O))) (Supported by Pelican)

Wednesday 24th Oct – The Tivoli, Brisbane
Thursday 25th Oct – Hi Fi Bar, Sydney
Friday 26th Oct – Hi Fi Bar, Melbourne
Saturday 27th Oct – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday 28th Oct – Capitol, Perth

For more information, including ticket purcahse, visit the Heathen Skulls Website.

Simon K.