Real Header

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sydney Tonight

Leaving in an hour and a half to drive up to our free gig at the Oxford Art Factory tonight. Follow the action on the twitters.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Exhausting Weekend Of Pain

Originally titled "YISCRAWL 2010", but shouted down by several people, "An Exhausting Weekend Of Pain" is basically a series of gigs over the weekend that we're playing. I've gotten to the point where I'm just bored if I'm not actually playing a gig on the weekend, so this weekend will be the opposite of painful for me. However, if you are if you are, say, a very enthusiastic drummer (or audience member), then you will be needing a hot bath with epsom salts by the end of it all. Here's a guided tour through what's happening this coming weekend.

Bronwyn has been invited to slap the bass with our pals Constant Light for at least one show. So, this is her debut, along with another dude named Peter who seems nice. He has a beard, I think. Fueled by cider and powered by the psychic powers of Linus the Cat (possibly the only cat on the planet that I get along with), they wrote a 30 minute "song" on Saturday which they will perform live on Saturday afternoon. Sounds impressive, but then again, it only has two bass riffs in it. So, I suggest coming, bringing vuvuzelas, and invading the stage while this happens. They should be on at 4pm. After that, there'll be a few bands worth hanging around for.

Then I suggest that you take a 2 minute walk around the corner to Mankoushe on Lygon Street for lunch/dinner. It is probably the best falafel in Melbourne, if not Australia, but that's not even their specialty (which is the Lebanese pizza-type thing that they're named after). Some very nice dudes run the joint, and play music very, very loudly inside (last time we went it was B.B. King, before that it was Pink Floyd), where they make falafel to order, and all the bread is woodfired. Really, really awesome. I think they're open until 9. After that....

We've been working hard under the house for a couple of months now on something new; as previously mentioned, Andre and I have been chugging away as the rhythm section for the new solo project for Sam Agostino (who also plays in Digger & The Pussycats, Russian Roulettes, Kamikaze Trio, etc, etc). It's called Brat Farrar; this is our first show, and it'll be a pretty big one. We're on at 9pm. Been hanging out to see Barbarion for ages... alas, we will not get to see them this weekend. You might want to, but we have to go elsewhere...

Okay, there's no poster for this event, but it's a warehouse party at 38 Stafford Street, Abbotsford, which is apparently the address for Minh-Chi Pressing, which does ironing. Anyway, YIS are playing this one. It's a "Good Riddance Party" for a girl named Amy who books/manages a few bands around town. Also playing is HUF at 7pm, The Postures from NZ at 8pm, Damn Terran at 9pm, Bone at 10pm, then are YIS on around 11pm, Ouch My Face at 12pm and Mesa Cosa at 1am... It's about 30 seconds from Victoria Park Station. Free entry, BYO (obv).

Then you'll probably have to go home and get some rest for...

Brat Farrar's second show. Also playing are the wonderful Nightmaster. These Rock'n'Bowls things are awesome fun, and there's a cheap BBQ, cheap drinks (something like $3.50 for a bottle of Coopers), and good music. And bowls, of course.

Then we'll probably all go to Kim Salmon at The Old Bar, which is also free.

And that's pretty much it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Plans, New Bands

So, as of Wednesday morning (AEST), we've had a mastered album. We've been sitting with it for a few days and we're pretty happy with it. Mum and Dad like it a lot, so we have that over-50s cyclist demographic locked down, so it seems. We're just waiting on Obits to finish up their European tour so Rick Froberg can get started on the artwork. We're pretty thrilled to have Rick doing the cover; his artwork and album covers both rule. In the meantime, we're shopping around to get the wax pressed overseas (just working on the best way to ship and also the amount we're going to press). Looks like we're going with Rainbo but if you have any better advice, let us know. Should be a launch in the New Year, but we might sneak few copies out the door before then if we get it all together in time. We're also working out putting together a full album you'll get digitally when you buy the actual album with some old stuff (Happy Bears Forever, Electronic Love, M.A.R.C.H., Progress), some stuff we didn't put on the album but recorded (Hiboux, Ungreatful Motherfucker, our cover of Fire), and some live stuff (Going To Explode), and a couple of tracks that we didn't end up playing live much or recording (It's Not Enough). Might be even better than the actual album.

We played our first gig for a month the other night for the G-g-g-ghost Records benefit (new record label run by the dudes from The Toots). The night sold out around 10:30, so that was awesome for the guys (and our friend Lauren who was doorbitching that evening) and hopefully we raised enough cash to get their first release off the ground. I tried (and failed) at DJing around 1am (selecting songs off two burned CDs being a more accurate description); awesome selection of songs marred by inept crossfading. D'oh.

Our next gig is this Saturday (Andre's 22nd birthday!) at The Birmingham in Fitzroy for our pal Kieran P. West's album launch. Also from Eltham College's graduating class of 2006 is The Thod, who launch their new album "There Is Still Time, Brother" at Cherry on Friday, November 12th, with us in support. In between we're playing a Yah Yah's show with High Fangs and Sole Stickers (from Tassie) on Saturday, November 6th.

Andre and I are also doing a couple of new musical things; Andre has had a couple of jams with the guys from Chigwell Sharp, and we're providing the rhythm section in Sam from Digger's new band Brat Farrar. We've got a couple of gigs coming up already; Saturday the 27th of November for the Dunhill Blues album launch at The Retreat, and Meredith weekend back in Melbourne on Saturday 11th of December at The Tote, where Digger are launching the re-pressing of their first album "Young, Tight and Alright" with Legends and another band that's TBC.

If you're not busy on Friday, I suggest coming down to The Empress on Brunswick St, where our pal Ross is playing a gig with his band May, with Jim and Sasha from Constant Light providing bass and keys. Also, Thursday should be awesome too; Low are playing The Forum for $20. You'd be crazy to miss that one. Plus, the week after, The (amazing) Molting Vultures from Radelaide are coming down for a pair of shows; Off The Hip party on Friday 29th and Great Britain with Wrong Turn on the 30th.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kingdom of Fuzz: Amazing Complete Lyrics by Simon Fazio

self-portait of Simon Fazio by Simon Fazio

Message: I got a message for you/I got a message for you/I got a message for you/I got a message for you/Wow-wah-wa-wow-wah-wah/I wrote a letter to you/I wrote a letter to you/Cos I’ve got a message for you/I got a message for you

Stop/Go: I say stop/You say go/And you won’t ever let it go/I say go/You say stop/I’m i’m-a shout it to the top/Yeah

Lizardman: I/Lizardman/Slip inside/Creep in where I can/Sweet caress/Heavy load/Lay back watch me go/Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-ah/I/Slip inside/Shed my skin/Teeth, toe, tongue and tail/Don’t resist/Sweet and low/Ready to explode

Trevor Block Rockin’ Beats: Out on the street today/A man is on his way/With many secrets to reveal/Black coat and silver hair/Ear bling and underwear/A professional without peer/It takes so much just to get through the day/But it gets easier singing Old Bar blues to Trevor Block rockin’ beats/Out on the street tonight/Different than in broad daylight/Not the same man that we once knew/A man of mystery/With a chequered history/but now his grey skies they ain’t so blue

(I Feel) Repulsed: Looking at you/Talking to you/I feel repulsed/Staring at you/Talking to you/I feel repulsed/I’m a candle and you’re my wick/I love you so much it makes me sick/I feel repulsed/Hugging with you/Kissing with you/I feel repulsed/Sharing with you/I don’t know what to do/I feel repulsed

Baby Come On: I take you on a holiday/Not just to a cheap motel/Tell me what the Hell’s wrong with me, babe/Is it the way that I smell?/I bought you fancy jewellery/Made of silver and gold/And all of this tomfoolery/Is fuckin’ with my soul/My baby, come on/You know we can talk for hours, girl/Making love by the beach/But there’s a cold dead look in your eye that says/Says your way out of reach/My baby, come on/And now I feel so lonely baby/Feel so messed up inside/Low down and all shook up since/Since 1985/My baby, come on/Ahh

Burning Well: I fell into a burning well/Lost myself in a deep dark hole/I never saw myself again/And then I lost my self control-a-woahl/Burned my eye on a cold grey sun/Burned my hand on a flaming fire/And then I lost my self control-a-woahl/and I gave in to a strange desire-eh/Oh no/I got no place to go/Oh no/I can’t find my way home

Infin: Isolation/Oscillation/My elation

I Wanna Go Home: I wanna go home/I cannot go home/Get away/Away from here/I wanna get high/I cannot come down/Get away/Away from here/Alright/I wanna go home/I cannot go home/Get away/Away from here/I wanna calm down/I cannot go down/Get away/Away from here/Oh no


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mighty Joe Lambert

...and so our album is off to be mastered! And thanks to the awesome Australian-US exchange rate, we were able to afford the services of Mr. Joe Lambert of Joe Lambert Mastering (we are yet to confirm if there is any relationship between the dude and the company). Joe was responsible for the mastering on the last two Deerhunter records; "Microcastle/Weird Era Cont" and "Halycon Digest", the awesome Obits album "I Blame You"(featuring Rick Froberg from Jehu/Hot Snakes/etc.), the Dirty Projectors album "Bitte Orca", Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavillion", and heaps more... DIO, Cheap Trick, Judas Priest and a bunch of other cool stuff you can see on his discography. Should be finished by this time next week, so now we just have to finish the artwork and (provided that nobody cool ends up wanting to put it out for us) we'll be putting out the album ourselves ASAP.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

...announcing the new album, "Kingdom of Fuzz".

YIS have made an album. We can tell you these things: it's 10 tracks long. It runs for roughly 35 minutes. It's called KINGDOM OF FUZZ.

It was produced by Paul Maybury; guitarist/producer for the Melbourne band Rocket Science. It was recorded at A Secret Location in Fairfield, Victoria on the 19th, 20th and 21st of September and mixed at the same location on the 23rd, 24th and 25th. (We rested on the 22nd.)

The band on the album is Simon Fazio (vocals, guitars and keyboards), Andre Fazio (drums and a little bit of sonic manipulation on "Baby Come On") and Bronwyn Liroudia Rands (bass and a little bit of backup vocals on "Trevor Block Rockin' Beats"). Paul Maybury rips in with a guitar solo on one track that was recorded straight to the board on the last night of mixing. The album was recorded (mostly) live, with all instruments and band members playing in the same room, with the vocals, wooshes and a few extra guitars put in later.

The tracklisting, release date and launch details will be put up in the next couple of weeks, with cover art still in the works. We're looking to put it out at the end of November or start of December (so you can crank it in your cars/vans/buses for the drive up to Meredith), with the Melbourne launch show hopefully taking place the weekend before Christmas, as well as some interstate launches in January 2011.

Until then, we've got a pair of shows lined up; a fundraiser for new record label G-G-G-G-Ghost Records on Friday the 15th of October with The Toot Toot Toots, The Orphanage and The Harlots, and then Saturday the 23rd of October for Kieran P. West's Album Launch (you may know him from The Strange Attractions) with Merrygorounds, which is also Andre's birthday! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recording Blog Part 1: Prologue

Three weary musicians, one weary producer and one hungover pal who just wanted food drag themselves to the East Brunswick Club for a Sunday parma and to plan out the sessions for what is to be the debut YIS album. We talk about exciting special guests. Smoke starts pouring into the room from somewhere but nobody looks too alarmed. A Bruce Springsteen mix CD plays over the speakers. Glory Days - tick. Hungry Heart - tick. Secret Garden - CROSS. We have a chat about what gear we're going to bring along. Andre says he is excited about using his vibraslap. Bronwyn says that she prefers the Brown Rabbit pedal to the Sitori Bass Fuzz but I disagree. I try to work out a way to make Beatmaker on my iPhone pan different drums to the left and right channels. Paul says that he's looking forward to really mucking around with the drum sounds on the album. We all get excited by this. We talk about fuzz pedals; Foxx Tone Machine vs Octavia, the best place that sells DIY kits. Also about how one particular Superfuzz kit is crap. I get excited about using my fuzz arsenal on the album. Bronwyn angers me by telling me that she bought a Earthquaker Hoof fuzz and neglected to tell me or bring it over for me to steal. I try to work out in my head the best way to pull off the synth arpeggiator song. We eat.
We go back to a semi-trashed house on Lego Lane opposite the Brickworks, still heated from the Housewarming party the night before. I pretend to put on the CD of the nine demos I think will make up the album but instead put on Kelis' "Milkshake". This amuses me alone. We listen to the actual demos; some songs go over better than others, but the majority is pretty good. We talk about what else we might have a crack at. I crap on about the album's "emotional arc". I get harassed about my new Bonds tee (that makes me "look like Ross Kemp in Extras") and the pattern on my new briefs (which is kinda like The Phantom meets Spiderman) which are visible because the Bonds t-shirt is way too short. I mention that the colour of the briefs match the inside of my peacoat. Our hungover friend says that she reckons Trinny and Suzannah would never suggest this. I collect my copy of King of New York and The Dead Zone (Walken/Cronenberg film, not Anthony Michael Hall series) and put on the aforementioned coat. Paul races off on his bike (he is quite fast) and Andre and I head home but stop at JB to buy some DVDs on the way. We listen to the first three tracks of the new Grinderman and he says "It's like the first album. But not as catchy". I say that it's probably a grower. I think to myself whether our album will be a grower or not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

YIS vs Mother and Son Blood Battle

Our guest guitarist Josh Sankey and Bodie from Mother & Son both ended up with bloody guitars after the gig at The Tote on Saturday...

However, my guitar was still shiny and clean.

Great night. Sold out!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gear: New Toys!

Got some new toys in the mail this week: a Foxrox Octron, Lovepedal Eternity and Death By Audio Fuzz War all came in the mail, whilst a Earthquaker Devices Disaster Transport Delay pedal came as a belated birthday present from Bron (aww). In addition, I'm using my Sitori Sonics Sitori Drive pedal which I got a while back but haven't had on my board, partly due to the fact that I'm using my Firebird a bit more now (due to the fact that I've broken pretty much all my other guitars in some small way that I'm too lazy to fix right now) and it needs the extra controls that the Lovepedal COT50 didn't have. Still using the Holy Grail Plus reverb (which I don't love but it's not a bad pedal), as well as the Cusack Tap-a-Whirl trem pedal, the Peterson Strobostomp tuner and the Moog Freqbox. Also changed my vocal delay pedal from the Line 6 DL-4 to my Moog Delay just because I can adjust the levels on it.

A bit about the new stuff: the Octron is pretty cool. It has internal trimpots for the tone and gain of both the octave up and down functions which I haven't fiddled with yet. At the moment, the tone of octave down is rolled off so it's a very warm sound with not much attack. It works pretty well and tracks fantastically (only does single notes though). It feels a lot better to play than the Electro-Harmonix POG2 that I sold, which tracked pretty good but it felt like there was a slight delay when it was coming out the other end, and I didn't really love the sound (I think that distorted POG guitar sound is one of the worst tones in history). However, our friend James Gilligan bought mine and uses it now with bass and he makes it sound very nice. The Octron isn't digital or polyphonic like the POG, but it is all analog and good. Octave up is more like a fuzztone, and you can get some really cool fuzzy sounds just from this box alone. When you kick it on feeding a Muff or the Fuzz War it goes bananas, and when you add the Freqbox as well it's demonic. Anyway, cool pedal.

The Death By Audio Fuzz War is insane; massive sized and massive sounding box, especially in conjunction with the Octron or Freqbox. I bought it partly because Jon Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees uses one and I was a bit obsessed last week. Don't think it's going to replace my Muff (just different sounds) but it'll get some good use. I think I played the main riff to Electric Wizard's Funeralopolis for about half an hour whilst trying it out this afternoon. It's got some cool useable sounds at any point on your guitar's volume knob.

Lovepedal Eternity is also a pretty cool box. I picked it up for $100 on sale off Lovepedal's mailing list (get on it, some great deals for great pedals). Usually more compressed than I like my overdrive sound, but it sounds pretty cool lead stuff and I'm using it for more of an in-between, sustained sound than I get with the Sitori Drive, which has more top end but doesn't really have a lot of the sustain. It'll hang around for a little while. I am also a big fan of Lovepedal's COT50 and BBB07 fuzz pedals.

The Earthquaker delay is also a fantastic pedal. I was using a Freakshow Digilog for a while, which sounds great but has a few shortcomings; for some reason the freak-out button on it doesn't really activate fully until you push back the delay time or up the mix knob, so it's kinda hard to us practically on some settings. This doesn't really automatically go towards the bright, biting slapback tone which I usually use (but I'm sure it's in there, and there's a tone knob for the repeats), but the default sound is more of a bubbling, tape-echo-esque ambient sound that sits underneath. It also has footswitchable modulation for the repeats, which kicks on the analog chorus/vibrato sounds on the repeats. Sounds awesome.

Not sure if I'm going to keep it this massive; even though everything is true bypass and I have good cables, it does knock a bit of your high end and gain from your signal. The A/DA Final Phase might make a return as well as the other Lovepedals, but I'm content with this right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amazing Dong Video

Amazing looking video of our song Infin (Live at Ding Dong) shot by Matthew Ellery. We on TV!

Next gig: Saturday 4th at The Tote with The Toot Toot Toots, Digger and the Pussycats, Mother and Son and Jack on Fire.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

YIS Recommends: Dan Kelly's Dream

There was a time in my life that I probably listened to no Australia music, because, well, a lot of Australian music is utter crap (not that other countries don't produce crap music, it either just doesn't make it out of the country or ends up of MMM where nobody listens to it anyway). The few instances that I did listen to Australian music, it was always the type of music that didn't sound particularly Australian (I think my first favourite Australian band after my Skyhooks obsession at age 4 was probably Rocket Science). To my teenage ears, the problem was that most Australian recordings sounded pretty awful (the same way that Australian films tend look dull and have this absence of vibrance in the colours of the picture that's just uninspiring), and bands from overseas just sounded better and more interesting. There was one instance on my first day of Year 7 in a new school where I was asked if I listened to Triple J (I had never heard of it) to which I replied that I listened to "gangsta rap like N.W.A." (for which I was ridiculed until they all got into rap in Year 10, after which it reverted back just to fat jokes). I turned on JJJ one night for a half hour, ended up buying Regurgitator's Unit and chucked out the rest.

Anyway, as you would have realised from the last post, there are more and more Australian bands that I'm growing to love; The Drones being one of the more recent bands that can stand tall against the bombast of the best internationals while sounding distinctly Australian, as well as Eddy Current being one of the best things ever who never even think about apologising about where they're from or who they are. And, yeah, the new Dan Kelly album.

I wasn't really a massive fan of Dan up until this point; a few live performances with the Alpha Males and an enjoyable yet largely uninspiring slot with The Ukelaides at Meredith didn't really make me want to rush out and grab anything (and in addition, the "Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth" came out when I was toiling away in a Country Road stockroom, and it's twee-as-fuck bubbliness in contrast to my no-natural-light box of pain made me want to murder, but anyway...). After seeing a pretty great set with The Dream Band at the "last ever" Tote show started to change my mind ever so slightly (despite the fact that Dan allegedly drooled on Bronwyn), and then I found a copy of Dan Kelly's Dream on the coffee table on Saturday morning.

Why this album is not shit:

It sounds amazing. As in, it doesn't sound like shit that was made in a day on a shoestring budget. The mix is great. The instrumentation is really lush and bold. Whoever mastered it did a great job. The instruments all sit in the right spot, or pop out at the right moment. It's not a boring listen.

It's inviting. The lyrics can sound a bit obtuse or sometimes self-aware, but it in contrast to something like, say, Beach House (which tends to evoke similar warm, often aquatic feelings), it feels a lot more welcoming and personable and just plain fun. It's cool, but it doesn't feel too exclusive.

It flows. The song order is spot on, and it flows in a way that works so well; yes, it's very, er, dreamlike in the way that it runs, with a lot of the songs segueing into each one another. Often this can lead to skippable filler or drone that, well, drones on for too long, and often means that some songs feel incomplete outside the context of the album due to an abrupt start and end. Not here.

The songs are great. The songs are great.

And there's more reasons, but you'll figure that out when you hear the album. I'm really enjoying it, and it's been one of the few experiences (along with the first time I watched Office Space) where I felt like putting it straight back after the first time round and actually did.

Kudos, Dan Kelly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One Year On

Sitting in bed on a Sunday morning (which is drifting into Sunday afternoon), listening to the new Dan Kelly album that Andre left on the coffee table and waiting around for Eels to play in around 10 hours or so. It's been roughly a year since we started the band, and it's weird to look around now and see posters that say we're playing at East Brunswick Club or The Tote and think that whatever stupid name we settled on all that time ago would be whatever would be on those posters. Or maybe they wouldn't. Or that it'd be what schoolkids shout out at me across the yard during my two weekly yard duties at school (although they seem to be obsessed with The Screaming Pigeons for some strange reason). The event was marked with a couple of gigs over the last week at Weekender at Ding Dong and a last minute job at Yah Yahs, and thanks to everyone who made the effort to come out and see us. Sometimes twice!

So, as I've mentioned, in about a month's time, we will will be laying down what we anticipate will be our debut album. I thought I had a pretty good handle on what it's actually going to be about a week ago when I burst into Andre's room with a piece of lined paper with ridiculous tracklists and album titles and how was going on and on about how awesome it was going to be, but after reassessing the situation I realise that I still have NO CLUE AT ALL. So, we'll just have to wait and see. I really don't want to do an EP; don't get me wrong, I have many, many favourite EPs but I have a big problem when I read bands talk about how they're putting out an EP to "raise their profile" or have it lead up to make this big grand statement that may never happen. But then again, we only have a few days of recording and too many ideas (or not enough ideas), and it'll end up being an EP. Or maybe a double album. I don't know. It's probably not going to be called "Qi" or "Hound's Brunch" or "Progress". This morning it sounds like it might be called "The Story of YIS".

By the way, this Dan Kelly album is pretty great. There's actually some pretty amazing Australian music that's being made lately; the last Love of Diagrams album was pretty great, and I'm still in love with the Mum Smokes double album that they put out a couple of years ago. It's amazing, and I don't say that a lot. It's a shame that sometimes the best bands can't stay together and will go off and do other things for whatever reason. Stay together for the kids, Mum Smokes.

Which brings me to something else that's pretty awesome about playing in this band; starting to play all the places that I've seen some of my favourite bands. Even though Fall Tribute Night at The Workers Club (formerly the Rob Roy) ended in a massive row, it was still pretty awesome to play there after going to see some of my first gigs as an eighteen year old there; seeing Love of Diagrams every couple of weeks (sometimes with a three-piece Mum Smokes). And, yes, we get to play East Brunswick Club next weekend, which is pretty awesome. Although I haven't seen as many amazing gigs amazing shows there as The Corner, I remember seeing Low play an amazing set there a few years back, so, it'll be pretty good to play there. We also get to play at The Toots' album launch in a couple of weeks and getting to play the main bandroom at The Tote (after playing the Front Bar and upstairs at Cobra before it shut) on a Saturday night. It's these small things that make me pretty happy.

So, I'm looking forward to at least a few more years of these kinds of cool things. Every time I feel my phone buzz in my pocket and see it's a new email on the YIS account, I hold my breath to see if it's another great gig offer (still holding out for Meredith or Golden Plains and then I can probably die happy) or somebody saying that they dug our band and want a CD (which sometimes happens!), but usually it's just something about staying harder for longer. Ah well.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wet and Anxious

Good weekend, overall. YIS played a pretty decent show on Friday night for Trevor Block's Last Tram Home. I kinda forgot how hard it is to open up a show. I think we've been spoiled in this band with all the cushy middle spots on weekends. Anyway, it wasn't a horrible show for us by any means, just a combination of still getting my voice back up to scratch after losing it last week and a late start due to some missing backline (along with Andre being totally in awe of the vintage Ludwig he borrowed from Myles from Wrong Turn) meant that we had the shakes a little bit, but it was fine. The highlight was probably the destruction of Sasha's vuvuzela. Sorry Sasha.

Last night was pretty awesome though. Despite some horrible technical problems (mostly with Matt's JCM800 dying then working then dying again), The Screaming Pigeons played to our most enthusiastic crowd ever (save for maybe Callum's backyard 18th party three years ago) and it was a lot of fun when we settled down after thinking that we might not be able to play the show. We played all the "hits" and a few choice MC5 and Black Flag covers. Sleepy Bear Parade played for an hour and were pretty awesome. Al (who usually plays guitar in The Thod) was a monster behind the drums, and it was good seeing Andre up and singing. (I need to make sure he has a microphone for the next YIS show and not because his taunts directed at me need amplification). So, yes, last show ever, and we made it count.

Sitting around at home today listening to a few CDs that I got off the Mistletone sale for cheap and freaking out a little bit about recording the album. Not sure what it's going to be. I think it'll be good to get it out of the way so I'm not freaking out about what the first release is going to sound like. I suppose we could do an EP, but I feel like that'd be a bit of a cop-out. After all, this might be the only album that I ever get to record properly, so I really don't want to look back and regret it. I'm just not sure where it's going to go... whether it's going to be a kitchen sink approach with everything that we want to do on it with all the electronic stuff and the ridiculous shit (which could end up sounding like filler or be the most interesting stuff on there), or just to make it a good psych-rock record... I guess we'll have to wait and see on that one. Bah, freaking out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Blog, New Album

YISBLOG is back in business! Blogspot got rid of FTP (and I cracked it a little and stopped bothering), but I figured now was a good time to start updating everyone on what's going on.

So, we're going to be recording an album. It'll start in September (hopefully), with Paul Maybury (from Rocket Science) at A Secret Location in Fairfield. Andre and I checked it out over the weekend and had a listen to some of the stuff he was working on (including new and very awesome Baptism of Uzi release which you can hear here) and it felt like a good spot. So, the plan is to spend a few days recording, take a break, and spend a couple of days on the mix. I'm not really sure how it's going to turn out as we're not really sure what kind of album to make quite yet. It'd be pretty easy to crack out a decent garage/stoner album but whether that'd be worth listening to... I'm not sure... but I'm not sure if we chuck on everything it's going to be a bit of a hound's brunch... Anyway, when I brought this up with Paul, he said "well, there's only one way to find out", so, we will do just that. I guess we could pussy out and do a couple of EPs but that's no fun at all.

The working title in my head is "Qi" (pronounced "kee", which is the sound which Bronwyn and I decided is the imaginary sound that Captain Howdy from The Exorcist makes when he/she appears on screen for a frame), but Andre will probably hate that and I will too by the time we finish. We were actually planning to do a photoshoot with all three of us dressed as Howdy, however, the friend of ours that was going to shoot it just wanted to shoot us hanging around looking disinterested.

Anyway, all of our songs are up for consideration, so, all the stuff in our live sets, as well as some of the home demos I've been doing which sound more like Gary Numan and DEVO than anything. We'll be demoing the rest of the songs we haven't got a rough version of in the next couple of weeks to give to Paul so we can get a rough idea about what we're going to have a crack at over the few days we've got in the studio. We might chuck a couple of cameras up and do a web show type thing, but we'll see how that goes.

Otherwise, things have been pretty good. We had a whirlwind trip to Adelaide last weekend which was a load of fun, even if we did spend more time on the road than in Adelaide (although other have quipped that this was probably a good thing). We played at a great pub called The Grace Emily with The Molting Vultures. Nick (the vocalist/guitarist) saw us in Sydney and invited us over to play. They were great, and it was a top night (Richmond even won), and we've been converted to Central Districs fans in SANFL (the South Australian footy comp). Sorry to all our Adelaide fans who support Sturt. It was a bit of a long drive back, but it's a lot easier after a good gig.

We've got a couple more coming up before the show; next Friday night (July 30th) is Last Tram Home at The Old Bar, where we're playing with our friends Wrong Turn and another band that's yet to be worked out by Mr. Trevor Block. We're also playing the Legends of Motorsport horn party with Dynamo, which has landed on Election Night (Saturday 21st of August) at The East Brunswick Club. And then we'll firing up the tape machines... Exciting times!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mo' Events, Mo' Problems

A few things coming up...

Bron is coming out of retirement and DJing tonight at Vegas in Sydney.

Next YIS show is Wednesday, 21st of June at The Old Bar supporting Baptism of Uzi; last gig before Andre goes away for a month.

We've also just organised an Adelaide show for July; Saturday the 10th at the Grace Emily with The Molting Vultures. Hopefully another Adelaide show and we'd like to play some regional VIC shows in the week beforehand (Mildura, Warnambool, wherever we're wanted), so, if you can help out with any of that, let us know!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Tour Report

2000km later, we're home! So, this weekend...

Thursday night was really daunting, especially as the show was delayed half an hour, and in that time, Kim Salmon happened to walk in. Fark. I've been looking forward to this show for months, and we were pretty nervous to be playing with three awesome bands in front of a big crowd... but I think we did pretty damn good. And also, despite having the shortest set of the night, we managed to have the most gear out of anyone. Hmm.

Kim and his Precious Jules were up after us. The song "Cheap and Nasty" was a highlight; very scuzzy-glam rock with "heys!". Love it. (By the way, the new Surrealists album is awesome, and you can listen for free right here at Low Transit Industries.) Legends were great (as per usual), but Digger just slayed everyone; really tight/loud/hilarious set, capped off with their brilliant cover of The Make Up's "Save Yourself". I played guitar tech for a couple of songs and felt very special.

Anyway, next day, we set off for the Can. The trip was long and a bit daunting; I was the lone driver, with Andre on company duties in the passenger seat and Bronwyn on sleeping and drooling duty in the back seat. The soundtrack was pretty solid on the way up, including my favourite album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", as well as the new Digger (very solid album).

By the time we hit Wodonga, the hunger set in... problem being that it was Good Friday and the place was a ghost town... We found somewhere to eat before we crossed the border into enemy territory...

Since we've never done the drive up the Hume any further than Wangaratta, we got some tips about things to see on the way, one of which being the MASSIVE SUBMARINE IN THE MIDDLE OF HOLBROOK. Wasn't expecting it to be that big.

Post-Holbrook listening was a treat; we listened to this unbelievable audiobook version of Dracula, produced by Hammer Horror and narrated by Christopher Lee. Words can't do it justice, just listen for yourself.

We hit Canberra listening to "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space"... damn, that place is dark and green. The song "Cool Waves" came on when we turned onto the bridge which leads up to the new Parliament House. A nice moment.

Friday night was spent chowing down on some delicious okonomiyaki made by Bron (as shown above) with some Blue Tongue lager, and exploring about 50 different versions of XTC's "Making Plans For Nigel" on Youtube. Most of which are horrible.

Also, dips in Canberra = tops. Personal favourites were some weird hybids dips that we don't have down here: baba-hommous and beetroot-hommous. We also indulged in some top-shelf dark chocolate ice-cream which tasted like rich, delicious cake batter. Really freakin' good.

The next day we got up late, and some breakfast/brunch/lunch in town and did a bit of touristy stuff. Above is Andre looking angry in the old Senate. Below is Andre looking angry in the new Senate.

Also dropped into the PM's office. Sadly you couldn't sit in the seat.
He also happened to have some cool looking recording gear.

I was suffering from Melbourne withdrawals, so I found the local ABC radio station (666 on your AM dial if you're ever in Canberra) to listen to the last quarter of the Collingwood vs Melbourne game. Made it home and Bron was cooking up a delicious traditional Greek Easter chicken soup dish (kinda half way between a risotto and a soup, with rice, chicken, vegetables and lemon) which provided us with some much needed pre-gig nourishement.

We went down to The Front a few hours later. The venue is pretty much like someone's loungeroom; really comfy couches in a nice room, with an artists/gallery space next door with some cool wire sculptures. The only problem was that it was totally empty, aside from the two artists who were on staff for the evening and the weird sculptures and taxidermied animals that live around the place. We had happened to book the show the same weekend as the National Folk Festival, where everyone in Canberra that hadn't gone away from the weekend happened to be.
But people came! We managed to find the only people left in Canberra, and the place filled up around 8pm.

Opening up was a band called Teddy Trouble; a local three-piece with a bit of an early Flying Nun thing going on with some nice extra touches (12-string electric, delay on bass and the backup vocals).

Along with Sarah (pictured below with her companion Chris), there were plenty of ex-pats and visitors from Melbourne and beyond at the show; it was ace to see friends from back home (thanks for the beers, Doyle!) as well as old friends I hadn't seen in ages from Adelaide and family members of Melbourne friends. Also was nice to finally put some faces to names from the interwebs.
The show was a lot of fun and the vibe was awesome. Everyone stuck around for drinks afterwards (as well as race-car chocolates and marzipan eggs) until we hit the wall and dragged our weary bones back to our home for the evening to eat the leftover soup and listen to abysmal early 90s rave music.
The next morning we did the teary goodbyes and posed against this white wall before going up the Federal Highway to Sydney.

Our home for the night was the St Peters Formule 1 hotel, sandwiched in-between a KFC and a McDonalds. Below is the view from our window.

Found the closest Turkish eatery we could park directly outside of and chowed down on some kebabs/felafel/subs/ginger beer before loading in at The Lansdowne. Once again; pretty empty, but it was still early. We grabbed a pint and I sat down to watch my beloved Tigers get mauled by Footscray.

...although it wasn't really unexpected. I often get in a pretty foul mood after a loss at football (which is pretty dangerous if you're a Richmond supporter), but seeing lots of familiar faces along with the power of Coopers Pale Ale helped me ignore the 12-goal thrashing my team was enduring.
Yes I'm Leaving opened up the show; freakin' brilliant band and really nice guys who lent us most of the backline for the gig. Despite threats of a Minpins solo set from Andre, Whipped Cream Chargers managed to arrive with minutes to spare from a fashion shoot (all looking very sharp) and plowed through a half-hour of shoegaze/garage before the rest of The Nice Folk arrived safely from the Gong. Another awesome band with great people.
Then it was our turn; I was pretty nervous again. Managed to set everything up alright and with time to spare, so that made things a little easier. We played pretty damn well and the crowd response was amazing; there was dancing and toe-tapping and people cheered, and we even got called back on for our first encore ever. I blew my voice out a couple of songs earlier, but we manage to limp through a cover of Mudhoney's "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More".
We loaded out and parked outside, and spent the time chatting to Sydney friends and the Yes I'm Leaving dudes, as well as new friends who came up to chat after the show. It was a really nice way to end tour and we can't wait to come back.

Yah Yah's Setlist: Going To Explode/Message/Lizardman/Infin/Sweet Young Thing (Mudhoney)/Electronic Love/Trevor Block Rockin' Beats
The Front, Canberra Setlist: Going To Explode/Trevor Block Rockin' Beats/Baby Come On/Ghost Rider(Suicide)/Lizardman/Electronic Love/Infin/Message
Lansdowne Setlist: Message/Trevor Block Rockin' Beats/Baby Come On/Ghost Rider(Suicide)/Lizardman/Electronic Love/Infin/Going To Explode//Sweet Young Thing (Mudhoney)

So, thanks to Sarah for putting on our Canberra show and having us to stay, as well as Pat for having us and playing some amazing cowbell... to Leyne for booking the Lansdowne show... Andy Moore for having us at the Digger show (and being a yellow-and-black shoulder to cry on)... Kate Wilson and Shaun at Tenzenmen for putting us in touch with supports... Lax & The Nice Folk for playing and being awesome, as well as the Teddy Trouble and Yes I'm Leaving dudes for playing and sharing their gear... and anyone who came. Best weekend ever.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

YISCHEF: Easter Edition - Hot Cross Buns

For the buns (this makes 12):

2 sachets of dried yeast

1 tsp raw sugar

1 cup warm water

4 cups plain flour

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp dutch cinnamon

1/2 cup currants

1/2 cup sultanas

1/2 cup muscatels

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup rice bran oil

For the cross:

1/2 a cup of plain flour

enough water to form a paste-like consistency (about 4 tbspns or so)

For the glaze:

half a cup of good quality (preferably homemade) apricot jam, melted

Do this:

Mix the yeast with the cup of warm water and raw sugar and let prove for a few minutes. Meanwhile, put the fruit, oil, 1/2 a cup of water, brown sugar and spices into a saucepan and heat. While that's happening, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the yeast and warmed fruit mixture to the flour, and mix gently with a palette knife (a butter knife will suffice if you don't have one) until barely combined, then finish working the mixture with your hands till it comes together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead till the dough is smooth (usually takes about ten minutes). Chuck into lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set aside in a warm place till the dough doubles in size. That should take one to two (at the most) hours. Once this is done, punch dough down to its original size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions and roll each portion into a ball. Put the buns onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper, about a centimetre apart. Cover tray with a tea towel and put aside in a warm place for about half an hour, or until buns double in size. While that's going on, preheat your oven to 190 degrees (180 if it's fan-forced).

For the crosses, mix the flour and water together until smooth, adding more water if the paste is too thick. Put paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle (or if you don't have one, you can use one of those snap-lock bags with a corner snipped off). Pipe flour paste over the tops of the buns. Chuck your buns in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

Melt the apricot jam and brush over the buns while they're still warm. These are best eaten warm, preferably on the day they're made. Accompanied by a pot of strong Twinings Earl Grey tea. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Titus, Gorilla King

Shortly following our Zoo trip on Saturday there was a doco on ABC about Titus, an amazing silverback from the Virunga Mountains. He was a pretty awesome gorilla. Watch the whole thing right here, and then read about his death and burial back in September, but only if you've got a box of tissues handy. Or just read the Wiki if you're lazy. Poor Titus. You were truly the king.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Photos: Lansdowne Poster

(thanks Digital!)