Simo Soo – Dragon Lady, Dragon Boy

Simo Soo has a new single out from his new LP out next month on Lesstalk Records. It features Marcus Whale from Scissor Lock and Collarbones on guest vox, so you know it’s heaps good, plus there’s a Black Flag cover and some remixes too. It’s free!

Spring Break in March @ The Croatian Club

Wednesday nights at The Croatian Wickham Sports Club in Newcastle have got even better, look at this awesome lineup of bands playing free Spring Break! shows this month at the best venue in Newcastle. All shows start from 9m, are free entry, and will also feature rubbish DJs.

Starting tonight March 2nd we have The Nugs, and Sweet Teeth. I haven’t seen The Nugs but think Sweet Teeth are really rad. Here’s the official word on the subject.

The Nugs are a bunch of stoners that make the best 60’s garage/70’s punk influenced rock around, and Sweet Teeth are a pop band made up of members of the temperamental pocket, crab smasher, origami girls, etc.

Next week Bat Yoghurt and Troopin’ Kerry Alpacas will have you dancing. I saw Bat Yoghurt live at ARThive for the first time the other night. They’re really awesome.

Join ex Athol math-genius A. Browning’s solo project for the best part of a decade and now full fleshed out three-piece band playing tunes reminiscent of Arab on Radar, Lightning Bolt, Get Hustle and Bad Brains, along with Robert from Bare Grillz’ drums, looping and guitar fucked-pop solo efforts as Troopin’ Kerry Alpacas. Can I borrow a feeling?

The Following Week March 16 is Mere Women and Lenin Lennon. Mere Women are really good eh?

Sydney’s Mere Women are a three piece made up of members of Ohana, The Thaw and Little A… and sound pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a pairing like that. Brooding, slicing guitar riffs, ambient synth interludes and emphatic vocals, bits of math and tribal rhythms… joined by Lenin Lennon, (members of Bare Grillz, Joe Pesci, Honest Thieves), who do a rumbley version of 90’s ebullition/dischord style punk

Then on March 23 there is Unity Floors and Polyfox And The Union Of The Most Ghosts. What a cool show!

Total wet-dream of a show. When Unity Floors popped up out of Sydney everyone pretty much breathed a sigh of relief. There’s been a massive void there waiting to be filled by a good 90’s-ish Dinosaur Jr/Archers of Loaf/Sebadoh/Pavement/Flying Nun-esque band. We’re stoked to present their first show in Newcastle, and to be pairing them with Crab Smasher’s Nick French in his Polyfox mode, playing the best indie pop to come out of Newcastle (cough… umina), well, ever. For fans of The Go Betweens and Flying Nun bands, yeah?


Finally on March 30 we have Collarbones and Scalps. You’ve probably heard about Collarbones already on blogs that are much more cool and hip than this one will ever be, or even heard their sweet glitchy R&B jamz on Triple J if you can bring yourself to listen to the radio. Anyway they’re super neat. Scalps is always pretty good too. I think I have an extra copy of the long out-of-print Scalps NNUUMMBBEERR22 release if anybody wants it. It will have to go at a premium price mind you.

Collarbones started as an internet collab between Marcus Whale in Sydney and Travis Cook in Adelaide. Their dense, spacey, dancey, r+b influenced fuzzed out jams might be chillwave? Fuck. Anyway, people gave a shit, for instance folks like Pitchfork and Rose Quartz, which may or may not have played a part in influencing these two make the effort to fly halfway across the country to play shows together a few times a year. Yeah? They were here for Sound Summit/TINA last year, but don’t feel spoiled and skip this one, it’s a special treat probably not to be repeated soon. Also a treat, perhaps, Chris “Alps” Hearn’s minimal tech/improv fucked dance music side project “Scalps” will be giving a rare performance… Scalps has been around as long as Alps (six years?) but perhaps only played live about five times. The third Scalps release is out now on Jase Campbell’s Estapes label and if you ask him nicely he might hook you up with one of the last copies of the pressing.


Crab Smasher – The Doctor Is In… Over His Head

It’s finally here! Crab Smasher have a new mini CD out on Marcus Whale’s fantastic CURT label. This release includes three folky droney improvised tracks recorded in a Sydney studio back in July 2009, and is packaged with some stunning cover art from Elizabeth Nagy. There are only 60 copies available so be sure to grab one quick! You can order the CDR from the CURT website for $7 pp worldwide, or sneak a digital copy from Crab Smasher’s bandcamp site. There’s a triple launch show happening this Sunday April 4 with Raven, and Infinite Decimals, who have new releases out also. It’s at 475 King Street Newtown from 4pm.

Collarbones – Kill Off The Vowels

Collarbones is an electronic pop collaboration between Marcus Whale (Scissor Lock) from Sydney and Travis Cook (Cyst Impaled) from Adelaide. Their last release Waiting For The Ghosts was one of the best things we heard last year, so we’re very excited that they have released a new online single, with an album due some time later this year. Click.

Whale & Thorn launch new CD-R

In June 2009, Oscar Vincente Slorach-Thorn (Psuche) and Marcus Whale (Scissor Lock, Collarbones), followed up a brief collaborative 3 inch CD from January with a low-key live performance, in the tiny foyer of record store and gallery Sunshine and Grease, surrounded by amps, mixers, loop pedals, dictaphones, microphones and a laptop.

This Monday 11th January, the result of this second collaboration will be launched as a CD-R at The Empress Hotel, with support from Melbourne looptastic duo ii, whose spectacular 2008 debut album Landlakes continues to be ample fodder for press releases.

8.30pm, 11 Jan
The Empress Hotel, Melbourne

Facebook Event

Renew Newcastle – First Fridays

Coinciding with This Is Not Art, Renew Newcastle are launching a monthly series of late night events on the first Friday of each month. We’re planning a monthly night of improvised and experimental music at the ARThive , with an emphasis on collaboration which aims to bring together artists that may not have previously worked together in new and interesting configurations. We will have a bit of a trial run this Friday night between 5 and 8pm featuring sounds by Peter Hollo, Marcus Whale, Mark Groves, Leith Thomas, Grant Hunter, Jenna Gill, and Di Drew. There’s heaps of stuff happening in the other Renew Newcastle spaces as well, and the Lucas Abela installation looks to be loads of fun, so if you’re in Newcastle this weekend you really are spoiled for choice.

 This Friday evening Renew Newcastle will launch its series of twilight events in the City – First Friday. On the First Friday of the month in October, November and December the Renew Newcastle art and creative projects will host a collection of special events in the early evening 5 – 8pm. This month on Friday 02 October there will be 10 free simultaneous events taking place, including gallery exhibition openings from 6pm: international gaming art at Loop Space sound and digital media gallery; a photographic documentary in conjunction with Men’s Health Week at Gallery Raw – Newcastle House of Photography; a new show of works using posca paints on skateboard decks at Upcycling Gallery. Silk House Art Projects are having a night of jaffas and cinema at their Wet Walls exhibition (until 6 Oct); ARThive are offering a live experimental and collaborative music presentation to accompany the TYRANNOSAURUS REX exhibition (until 5 Oct); and Totoro’s Teahouse are offering tea, cakes and a unique forum on “The Philosophy of Disco”, hosted by Triple j’s Craig Schuftan. For the first time ever all of the Renew Newcastle shopfronts will be open for trading at the same time for special late night shopping – Surfhouse Photography is offering a 10% off sale, Art Brasil’s artisan jeweller is showing his first works made using sterling silver and Mad Hatter Millinery are hosting their official shop opening party. A guided tour of all of the spaces in the mall will take place 5-6pm beginning at the Renew Newcastle HQ, 3 Morgan St. The tour introduces a new short-term installation presented in conjunction with Electrofringe for This Is Not Art festival – Lucas Abela’s Vinyl Arcade – An immersive sound instrument putting you in the drivers seat of a tiny remote control car with styli attached as it navigates its way through a landscape of disused vinyl records. This brings the total number of projects that Renew Newcastle has placed to 37, cleaning up and occupying 25 empty shops and offices to date across the CBD. Come along to see how Newcastle’s creative community is making city revitalization their business, and enjoy the city in a new way at twilight on the First Friday of the month, 5-8pm.

Collarbones – Waiting For The Ghosts

Collarbones is a cut-and-paste collaboration between Marcus Whale and Travis Cook.
They have released a free EP titled Waiting For The Ghosts, and I strongly urge that you download it, for it is really stunning stuff. The title track is made up almost entirely of samples from Bjork’s Vespertine album, giving it an eery familiarity, but this sounds entirely new and amazingly pretty! The Bjork influence carries over to the following tracks, with glitchy samples and heavy beats recalling her work on Homogenic and Volta.
Perhaps what really carries this EP is the delicate vocals of Marcus Whale, soaring here like never before. Each track here is a refined pop composition, much less exploratory than his work as Scissor Lock, but no less challenging.  Download this. It’s amazing.

1. Waiting for the Ghosts
2. Dismantle
3. Paper Dolls
4. Weatherman
5. Voltaire


An Afternoon at The Croatian Club

Saturday April 25 will see an eclectic assortment of experimental musicians perform at the famous Croatian Club in Newcastle. Be sure to catch the epic guitar and insect sound scapes of Seaworthy from Sydney, whose new album 1897 is out on 12k
Also appearing will be Heil Spirits from Lismore, Aktion Unit, and Microvom from Melbourne, and the debut collaborative performances of Butler/Brennan Duo (Mitchell Brennan from Brassskulls and Fjorn Butler) and Whale Hunter (Grant Hunter from Crab Smasher and Marcus Whale of Scissor Lock). Bands will start around 3pm.

Saturday April 25
Croatian-Wickham Sports Club
Albert St Wickham

For More info contact