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Howzat! Archive - April 20th 2011

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THE RISE OF TALL BUILDINGS
Tall buildings shake/ Voices escape, singing sad, sad songs
That lyric, from Wilco's Jesus, Etc, inspired the name of Melbourne's Tall Buildings, a great new band featuring three members of Gersey - Dan Tulen, Daryl Bradie and Drew Pearse - and bass player Julie Baynes (ex-Cyclones). Like Howzat!, Danny spent his formative years in Traralgon, which is not noted for being much of a music town (despite giving the world Jack Jones and Danny McDonald). "Weekends spent buying records at Au Go Go, and watching bands like You Am I and The Dirty Three at the Punters Club made the call of the inner-city band scene irresistible to a country boy like me," Danny explains. "So up the Princes Highway I travelled, and the rest is history."

Tall Buildings' debut album, Light The Shallows, was recorded in just one day. "I felt zero pressure," Danny says, "which was different to a lot of my previous studio experiences. We wanted a live sound and I think we got it." What's been Danny's favourite description of Tall Buildings? "Honest." The album also reminds Howzat! of the melodic genius of Dan Wilson, while Danny enjoys comparisons to Wilco and Buffalo Tom. "I'm always surprised and happy to hear such references. These bands mean so much to me, so it's a great honour."

How did the Gersey boys hook up with Jules? "We started out as a three-piece and I was hoping one of the guys would put down a guitar and pick up a bass or a keyboard, but, alas, it wasn't to be, so we jumped at the opportunity to enlist Jules on bass. We had met her over the years at gigs, parties and friend-of-a-friend type stuff, you know. I personally really wanted a female vocal in the band and she has a gorgeous voice. She's also quite pleasing on the old eye, which if you've seen the three of us on stage - unshaven, overweight, sweaty, balding and the wrong side of 30 - you'd understand just how much of an asset she is."

Will there be more Gersey releases? "Yes, we started working on new material last year when we toured with Pavement and since then, side projects, babies and overseas trips have all taken their toll. I'd say we should be looking good to have something released late this year." How is Tall Buildings different? "Tall Buildings' songs are a lot more immediate than Gersey songs and generally take less time to write. Songs that appear on Gersey records at seven or eight minutes have usually been whittled down from 15-minute epics. The Light The Shallows songs are more immediate and quite literal and, in that sense, I'd say a less challenging but equally rewarding listen." Indeed. Tall Buildings launch the album next Thursday (April 28) at the Grace Darling.


WILL THE REAL DAVE GRANEY PLEASE STAND UP!
Howzat! is loving Dave Graney's new book, 1001 Australian Nights. It documents the unpredictable journey of a man who's "offered up a slew of aliases The world's forgotten boy. The rambling man. The pirate of love. The love rustler. The rider on the range. The velvet fog. Meat man. Mister blues. And the best-dressed chicken in town. Look 'em up!"


VALE ARTHOUSE
It's nearly last drinks at The Arthouse. Howzat!'s buddy Julian Tovey, from The Cheats, provides these memories: "I could tell many stories about many crazy gigs featuring much drunkeness, band and crowd nudity, quite a few post gig trips to the emergency ward, and some of the finest punk rock I've ever heard. But, instead, I'd like to sum up what The Arthouse meant to me. My first band, Headcase, played one of its first gigs at The Arthouse, back in '93 when I was just 16 and we were all still in school. We were stoked to have scored a gig there, as it was already the mecca of punk rock in Melbourne (even if it was a Sunday night!). It soon became our 'home' and we moved on to playing Friday and Saturday nights and many New Year's Eves, totalling nearly 100 shows inside those wonderful art-covered walls. Every time we played there it felt both familiar and special. I loved how there was an 'anything goes' attitude among both the bands and the crowd, creating an atmosphere where gigs could take on a life of their own. Things happened that could only happen in that space - punters and bands really were free to express themselves. In that sense, The Arthouse really lived up to its name. Over the years, I got to know the Kelly family and other staff well, and to this day I have never seen a pub treat all musos and patrons with such respect, generosity and dignity. I'll never forget the care I was shown when I was knocked unconscious onstage by a flying microphone, courtesy of our singer! The hole it will leave behind will never be filled. There will never be another place like it in Melbourne, or anywhere."


CHART WATCH
Just one Aussie single in the Top 40.

From The Music THE POTBELLEEZ (number 32, debut)

Strong debuts for The Middle East and Architecture In Helsinki.

The Life of Riley DRAPHT (number four)
I Want That You Are Always Happy THE MIDDLE EAST (11, debut)
Moment Bends ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI (12, debut)
Get Closer KEITH URBAN (19)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (29)
The Great Impression SPARKADIA (31)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Vampires TALL BUILDINGS
Chase The Sun SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR
The Sheriff Of Hell DAVE GRANEY
Accidentally THE LITTLE STEVIES
Sing It (The Life of Riley) DRAPHT

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