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BRYAN ESTEPA'S PURPLE PATCH
"Taking chances is an art of looking good even when we're
failing." So sings Sydney's Bryan Estepa on his third album,
Vessels. "That's probably one of my favourite lines that
I've written," Bryan tells Howzat! "It's basically the old
adage of taking a dive in the deep end, of taking a risk
but almost not caring what the end result is. Just as long
as we know we have experienced and lived. It's one of the
life philosophies I've happily taken on."
It seems to be paying off - Bryan has had success in Spain
and plans to return there for some shows later this year,
and one of his songs, Myself, has been featured in Degrassi:
The Next Generation. "That was a pleasant surprise as I
remember watching the original Degrassi High as a kid."
Bryan is a brilliant pop songwriter, with Vessels swinging
from power pop to alt country, with magical melodies. "I
like the incongruity of the word 'vessels'," he says. "It
has so many different angles and its meaning can be read
in so many ways. I also just like the word, just like I
liked the phrases 'All the bells and whistles' and 'Sunday
best' and ended up using them as album titles. Something
about this word just seemed to fit this record." Vessels
is all bright and breezy, the perfect summer album, though
Bryan sings, "Had enough of the summer, baby/ I am missing
the winter cold". "I consider myself more an in-between
person," he says, "give me autumns and springs any day.
The extremes tend to mess with me."
After two albums with Popboomerang, this is Bryan's first
release for Laughing Outlaw Records. "I've always been a
fan of the label and have known the owner, Stuart Coupe,
for a while," Bryan explains. "He happened to like the record
a lot when I offered it to him and, now, here we are." Vessels
is released on Friday, and Bryan is playing at Pure Pop
on March 19.
HAPPY SLAM DAY
It was a year ago today (Wednesday) that more than 20,000
people marched in the SLAM Rally. Howzat! spoke to a cross-section
of musicians and fans this week and asked: One year on from
the rally, what can be done to improve the live scene for
bands and punters? Here are six of the ideas:
Cheaper beers. "$8 for a stubby?!"
All international acts must have a local support. "Social
Distortion, The Gaslight Anthem and Feeder are playing at
the Palace next month. It's a great bill, but where's the
Earlier starting times for bands. "We might be old, but
we still like to see bands. But we can't wait up till 11.30pm
for the band to start, and afford to pay the babysitter."
More Sunday arvo shows: "We love the family-friendly Sunday
afternoon gigs at the Northcote."
Better riders for bands. "We've just packed out your venue
and we get a six-pack?"
More all-ages shows. "Being under 18 shouldn't mean you
miss out on big gigs. It should be easier for pubs to de-licence
and put on shows for under-18s."
Of course, money is needed to support a thriving music scene.
How 'bout a levy on all tickets for international acts?
A 50 cent levy on each ticket sold for Pink's 2009 Melbourne
shows would have raised $120,000. This money could go to
organisations such as Music Victoria, ensure ongoing funding
for programs such as Vic Rocks, and establish a Hall of
Fame in Melbourne.
The great Died Pretty are celebrating some big anniversaries
this year: It's 25 years since their debut album, Free Dirt,
and 20 years since their classic Doughboy Hollow. The band
is celebrating by headlining CherryRock011 on May 1.
You could call it Super Friday. March 4 will see a stack
of important local releases. Out on that day are the self-titled
solo debuts for Adalita and Special Patrol's Myles Mayo,
second albums for The Little Stevies (Attention Shoppers)
and Oh Mercy (Great Barrier Grief); The Waifs' new album
(Temptation), and the debut solo EP for Epicure's Juan Alban
(Too Long In Flight). Also on March 4, Wagons launch their
new single, Downlow, at the Corner.
CHOOSE YOUR ILLUSION
The thinking man's favourite pop band, The Fauves, will
celebrate their 23rd birthday this year by releasing not
one but two albums. "It's our version of Use Your Illusion,"
smiles singer Andrew "Coxy" Cox.
Just four homegrown hits in the national Top 40.
Who's That Girl GUY SEBASTIAN (number 19)
Friday To Sunday JUSTICE CREW (20)
Rapunzel DRAPHT (27)
Saturday Night JESSICA MAUBOY (40)
A new Hillsong release leads the way on the album charts,
while Cut Copy slip from three to 13 in Zonoscope's second
Aftermath, HILLSONG UNITED (number four, debut)
Down The Way, ANGUS & JULIA STONE (eight)
Twenty Ten, GUY SEBASTIAN (11)
Zonoscope, CUT COPY (13)
Birds Of Tokyo, BIRDS OF TOKYO (17)
Altiyan Childs, ALTIYAN CHILDS (20)
Running On Air, BLISS N ESO (25)
Get Closer, KEITH URBAN (33)
Gilgamesh, GYPSY & THE CAT (34)
Immersion, PENDULUM (36)
He Will Have His Way, VARIOUS (37)
Midnight Remember, LITTLE RED (40)
Purple Patch, BRYAN ESTEPA
Crazy Like Me, MYLES MAYO
Feel It, THE LITTLE STEVIES
Stoneage Cinderella, DIED PRETTY
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