There is absolutely no doubting past Voice contestant Michael Paynter has an incredible singing talent; shown the whole way through his newest album, Weary Stars. Kicking off the album is a song you have heard plenty of times before, ‘How Sweet It Is’, an old single released by Paynter during his time with major record label Sony BMG in 2011, an odd choice for me as there are plenty of great fresh new tunes on this album.
There’s something so understatedly catchy yet appealing about the Dum Dum Girls’ third full-length album Too True. The band has brought back their iconic indie-pop sounds, with their simple yet piercing lyrics being a feature throughout.
Melbourne trio Calling all Cars’ new release, Raise the People, is the band’s third studio album. Dubbed to be slightly more toned down in comparison to the boys’ past releases – Hold, Hold, Fire peaking at 72nd on the ARIA Albums chart back in 2010 and Dancing with Dead Men that made it all the way up to number 20 on the same elusive chart in 2011.
Windows down, tunes on – there isn’t a better feeling than travelling down the Great Ocean Road to a music festival. This was exactly the case with Apollo Bay Music Festival this year. Heading down on the Friday Night, the options were quite simple for whom to check out as I arrived. Heading along to support local talent Jamie Pye, I was surprised by what I heard.
Reviewers risk sounding like broken records when talking about Kerri Simpson. It’s just that the Melbourne-based singer is so bloody good at what she does, we want everyone to know. She’s one-of-a-kind. She’s paid her dues – with interest. She’s worked with virtually every artist of note from the local blues and roots scene. Here she’s backed by a selection of long-time mates in music, including Belmar studios producer Steve Purcell.
I made a special effort to check out these Sydneysiders in Melbourne at AWME in November. After all, they’d been touted as the newest prized addition to the Chugg Entertainment stable. And if Chuggy is prepared to put his proverbials on the line for an act, they’ve gotta be worth a listen. Since that successful southern showcase gig, there’s been a bit of a buzz around Lime Cordiale. They’ll head to SXSW in Texas next month alongside a US release for the EP.
Since it’s more or less a music director’s mixtape, a movie soundtrack is bound to be at least good. Sometimes you get something great (The Breakfast Club, Top Gun); sometimes you get something… not so great (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Britney Spears’ Crossroads). Fortunately, American Hustle tends towards greatness, with a selection that includes hits like Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and Tom Jones’ ‘Delilah’, as well as tracks like Mayssa Karaa’s Arabic cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ and an unreleased Jeff Lynne track called ‘Stream of Stars’.
Wolf Creek 2 opens with a pre-credits bit of fun in which murderous nutbag Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is pulled over and harassed by a pair of thug-like cops. Of course, they get their comeuppance and then some. It puts the audience on notice: Mick might be a rapist and serial killer, but this time around he’s the hero of the tale. And why shouldn’t he be? John Jarratt is extremely charismatic as Mick, and he gets all the good lines, throwing out the Aussie slang and swearwords at every possible opportunity. In his own likable way he’s someone we can cheer for – apart from the murdering, of course.
True story time: in 1977, 26-year-old Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) set out to cross Australia from Alice Springs to the West Australian Coast by camel. It wasn’t exactly a spur-of-the-moment decision: she’d been training herself for a year to handle camels and then had to figure out a way to raise the money to pay for supplies. That proved to be harder than she’d hoped. Eventually, and reluctantly, she had to take a sponsorship from National Geographic magazine.
Liam Neeson works as an action star because he’s always the best thing in his action movies. Sometimes he gets lucky and the story holds up or the action is well-handled, but time and time again he’s managed to lift an otherwise average project to a higher level with his gruff-bordering-on-comedic charm and totally commitment to whatever unlikely story he happens to be found in. Which is good news, because it means that when he does get a decent project – such as this one – the end result is a film that really is worth your time.