Sadly, our favourite Sydney band, The Paper Scissors, have just announced they are breaking up. We invited frontman and songwriter, Jai Pyne, to tell us about his favourite TPS memories: ‘There are so many memories over the last seven years. Lots of good times, lots of really stressful hard times. I was just the other day lamenting about when I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown in the back seat of a hire car when we launched our first album. But hey, this is about the good times’.
I’ve been getting into the films of the Finnish director Aki Kaurisamaki lately. I’m a bit of a newbie as I only discovered him through his recent film, Le Havre (his first French language film), which is a story about a border-line alcoholic elderly shoe shiner who befriends and helps a young African refugee. His films touch on […]
I stumbled upon Lil’ B accidentally through Clams Casino’s production work for the Bay Area “Weirdo” rapper (as he’s been called). There is something pretty fascinating about him and his music: he is amazingly prolific, having something like 1,500 tracks in circulation, varying from brilliant to laughable.
Borne out of a desire to invigorate Sydney’s sedate CBD with some beautiful and engaging works of art, The Paper Mill is a new artist run space smack bang in the financial district, on Angel Place. I remember being dumbstruck by the majesty of Grizzly Bear this Sydney Festival, and looking next door to the rather nondescript Christian Book Store. Now I’m not sure if Jesus is all up on Twitter and the hard copy has gone the way of the music industry, but fast forward to today and four young artists with backgrounds ranging from art to graphic design and printmaking have taken over the space.
I came across Darwin Deez when I was doing my daily trawling for new videos, no doubt procrastinating. He and his band were on Vincent Moon’s amazing Blogotheque site doing a live-one shot video. It’s nowhere near as good as some of the better work on the site: the sound is patchy and the performance is fun but not very good. But it still fascinated me enough to click on the MySpace link and discover that Darwin Smith is a talented and enigmatic youngster. He is a great example of Gen Y’s I-can-do-anything-and-everything attitude, making choreographed dance pieces to Passion Pit and short films about the ins and outs of boy-friend relationships (male friends, not lovers) as well as finding time to make an EP and an album of lo-fi pop on a friends PC.
It was a privilege being able to sit down and listen to TV On The Radio’s album Dear Science from start to finish. An added bonus was the fact that I’ve been in the America for a month — the album sums up the atmosphere I have witnessed in the US: tension, money, a bigger gap between rich and poor than I’ve ever seen, a never ending far away war, and some vague hints at political hope. From the inset, TV On The Radio get bad ass on you, combining their trademark layers of barber shop vocals with criss-crossing handclaps over doomsday synth pads and screaming guitars on Halfway Home, which is like a grown up cousin of Wolf Like Me from their 2006 LP Cookie Mountain, easing you into the fact that beyond this point they are going to erase everything you thought you knew about TVOTR. But you should have expected that anyway.
As head honcho of my band The Paper Scissors, I am in charge of many things both musical and menial, and then also the aesthetic and web aspects — artwork, blogs, and the whole identity of the band. Bands these days have to offer more than just a product, a CD, a clip and then a live show. There are people that have really embraced the change of the industry, not just the over talked MP3 killing the record industry debate, but the interactivity and dialogue that artists now have with their audience, through the web. One artist who I discovered recently and who epitomizes this is Lightspeed Champion, the solo project of Devonte Haynes, an English singer-songwriter. He plays very melodic pop with elaborate arrangements — Elton John meets Fleetwood Mac with a Jarvis Cocker-like vocal twang.