Sunday, May 31, 2009

Avenue Q

Tonight I met up with Ruth and Danny to see the Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q, which is opening in Australia for the first time. It is sort of a dirty version of Sesame Street with its mix of puppets and live actors. Here is the synopsis of the play:
AVENUE Q is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There's Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fiancée Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod -- a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate Monster. And would you believe the building's superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.) Their lives also intermingle with renowned nightclub singer, Lucy T Slut, and school principal, Mrs. Thistletwat. Together, Princeton and his new found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

The play was very funny with its assorted songs such as "Sucks to be Me," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," and "The Internet is for Porn." The two leads Mitchell Butel and Michala Banas were fantastic and I was amazed they managed to play multiple puppets and voices at the same time. I thought I would end up focusing more on the actors than the puppets, but that wasn't the case. If you have a chance I highly recommend you check out Avenue Q- you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yves Klein Blue

Tonight I met up with Tash and her work colleague Daniel at The Toff in Town for an album preview gig by Brisbane band Yves Klein Blue. It has been over a year since I last saw them play and it's exciting that they finally have a debut album coming out after the success of their EP "Draw Attention to Themselves." The majority of the set contained songs from the upcoming album, including their new single "Getting Wise," as well as some old favorites like "Silence is Distance" and "Polka." The highlight of the evening was when frontman Michael Tomlinson played one of the new songs on acoustic guitar in the middle of the crowd. All in all it was a good although short show since there were no opening acts. Spotted in the audience were Alex and Thom from Oh Mercy and the red Wiggle, Murray Cook!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ground Components

Tonight I met Tash and her friend Nikki at the East Brunswick Club for a headlining show by Ground Components. The first band up for the evening was Shaman Son, whose sound I found to be a cross between wanna be grunge and a bad LA rock band. There were flannel shirts, scarves hanging off of instruments, and a lead singer way too interested in pushing buttons to get different vocal effects. Loud and unimaginative.

Next on stage were my favorites The Harpoons. There was a 20 minute delay to the start of their set because their drummer was M.I.A. However, he eventually showed up at the end of the first song. Their harmonies were just so fantastic and they played some new songs as well as "Faith," "Everywhere," and had everyone up the front dancing for their last song "Garden City." Unfortunately the set was 10 minutes shorter than scheduled, and I still have not managed to get a copy of their Demo CD.

It was good to see Ground Components again after watching them support Little Red last week (and all the Little Red boys were in the audience to return the favor). They played a very energetic set and highlights included "Our Sunshine" and "On Your Living Room Floor." It's really hard to describe their sound since it is such a mix of styles. I give them credit though for sounding like no one else currently out there at the moment. All in all it was a pretty good night.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Little Red

Last night Belinda and I headed to the Hi-Fi Bar on Swanston Street to see the triumphant return of Little Red to the live music scene in Melbourne. It has been months since I saw them play and this mini-tour was done as a last taste before the boys head off into the studio to record their second album.

The show opened with the Young Lovers, a new wave sounding band with some good and uplifting tunes. Next was Ground Components, a solid band with interesting songs. Their guitarist played the show from a lounge chair since he broke his foot the night before but that didn't bring down the energy level of the other band members. The lead singer's voice is a bit rough, but the group is a very talented bunch of musicians.

Little Red came onto the stage to huge cheers from the sold-out crowd. They played songs from their previous releases as well as some new ones. The audience was singing along in full voice for most of the night, with "Little Annie" and "Jackie Cooper" getting big responses. I was happy as always to hear "Misty, I" and "Lazy Boy." The newest songs sounded really good and showed a lot of growth in the band's sound. Members of Ground Components came out on stage to play along to the last song of the main set "It's Alright." For the encore they played "Cry Cry" and finished the night with "Coca Cola." It was a fantastic show and confirmation of what a great live band Little Red have become.
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