The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'talkshow boy'


Melbourne hard-pop artist Talkshow Boy now has a show on 3RRR. It's a graveyard-shift show, on Monday nights from 2am to 6am, shared with one Edmund Finegan. Judging by the nature of his DJ set playlists, expect anything from twee indiejangle to gothic rock to R&B booty anthems to a lot of music made with circuit-bent Nintendos by crazy Japanese people.

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Hard Pop artist Talkshow Boy has released his most recent album in MP3 format, under a Creative Commons license. Watch Me As I Perform My Own Tracheotomy was recorded in 2004 and languished in record-label funding limbo for a while; it features some great tunes including Chiming The Descant Like I'm Thirteen Again, Freaky Teen Fashion - Time For A Makeover! and OMG I <3 LiveJournal (And My LiveJournal <3s Me). Those who liked Ice Police (which is may also be downloaded from here) and fans of the likes of Le Tigre, Kid606 and 14 Year Old Girls may like this.

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Recordings of 2004

  • Morrissey, You Are The Quarry. Moz is back, and in fine form. His youthful alienation is turning into the crankiness of a lonely old man, but he still can write a good song (and give a good show).
  • Pipas, Bitterclub. A new EP from this London electropop duo; A classy mixture of indiepop vocals, glitchy beats and guitars.
  • The Radio Dept., Lesser Matters. Well-crafted indiepop with guitars, synths, Casio drum loops, good chord progressions and songwriting and just the right amount of Kevin Shields influence.
  • Talkshow Boy, Watch As I Perform My Own Tracheotomy. Apparently not out yet, though I got an advance copy, and it's a cracker of an album. It's 20 tracks along the same lines as the Ice Police single; glitchy yet catchy electropop with razor-sharp stream-of-consciousness lyrics and titles like Ruff Lovin' In A Tuff Neighbourhood, Go Hard Or Go Home (I Wanna Tweak Yr Moog) and OMG I <3 Livejournal (And My Livejournal <3's Me).

And a few other mentions, honourable and otherwise. The new Stereolab album, Margerine Eclipse was good, though no track leapt out at me in quite the way that various tracks from previous releases have done. The long-awaited New Buffalo album was, to be honest, a bit disappointing; in building her home studio, Sally seems to have mislaid her analogue drum machine, and gone away from the layered glitchiness which made About Last Night (and early live versions of many of the songs) such a delight. Meanwhile, Björk's Medulla didn't grab me; making tracks entirely out of voice samples is an interesting experiment, though the result I'm not sure about. And then there were all the calculatedly commercial post-Interpol/Franz Ferdinand bands like The Killers.

There are a few recordings released in 2004 which I didn't get to check out properly before the end of the year, such as Minimum Chips' Sound Asleep, the Arcade Fire's Funeral and the new Styrofoam. Or, indeed, the new Interpol album. My excuse is that a lot of the money which would have gone on CDs was instead squandered on food and rent in one of the world's most expensive cities; I'll probably catch up on them in the first half of 2005.

Some other bands I discovered this year: GirlsAreShort (a Canadian electropop act), Remington Super 60/Nice System (a Norwegian lounge-pop/bossa-pop outfit), a wealth of British indie from the late 1980s and 1990s, including parts of the Sarah Records back-catalogue I hadn't heard (of) before (key bands being The Wake, The Bodines, and various bands from the Sound of Leamington Spa compilation series) and Azure Ray (an all-female indie duo from Nebraska). Not to mention an appreciation of Electric Six's, Fire (they're like the Scissor Sisters with balls or something; tacky but fun).

Top gigs of 2004 (in alphabetical order):

  • BAM BAM in a backyard in Fitzroy in April. I was blown away by their energy and musicianship. They rock hard and look sharp, and if anyone deserves to make it big, it's them. And it looks like things are happening for them.
  • Belle & Sebastian at the Palais in St Kilda. Easily the gig of the year. They tore the roof off the place. People were dancing in the aisles and all. The band bantered with the audience, did an AC/DC cover, and at one stage, a girl from the audience got up on stage, sang the vocals from Lazy Line Painter Jane with them and did a perfect job of it.
  • Le Tigre at the Islington Academy (in London, natch). Half of it was prerecorded (though they did play guitars/keyboards and sing), though the visuals and stage performance were good to behold.
  • The Chickfactor Mon Gala Papillons night in Shepherd's Bush (also in London). Stevie Jackson from Belle & Sebastian did a few quite nice songs, and Pipas took their act to the stage.
  • The Radio Dept., at Barfly, Camden. They're as good live as on record.
  • Radiohead at the Rod Laver Arena (back in Melbourne again). Gigs at arenas usually suck, because of the binoculars factor, but Radiohead put on a good show, despite Thom's voice faltering somewhat. Their use of the video screens was quite creative too.
  • Schmoof, at the Water Rats in London. Slick if slightly silly tongue-in-cheek electropop with rock theatrics worthy of Spinal Tap and visuals handcoded in BASIC on a ZX Spectrum.

Not to mention multiple gigs by various excellent Melbourne bands, including The Rumours, Season and City City City, not to mention the aforementioned BAM BAM and Talkshow Boy.

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And now, The Null Device's list of up-and-coming Melbourne bands and musical artists you may not have heard of but should check out:

  • BAM BAM. They're somewhere between Transvision Vamp and 1960s garage rock, played really tightly with lots of charisma and stage presence. And they look hot too. They should make it big.
  • City City City - About as close as you're going to get to seeing Neu! playing live. A juggernaut of non-stop krautrock-meets-postrock groove, with not one but two drummers. They sound better live than on CD.
  • Light Music Club - An all-girl duo doing pop songs, with piano and vocals. Whimsically sensitive songwriting, classy arrangements (in places reminiscent of Coward or Bacharach), and Zoë has a lovely voice.
  • The Rumours - Classic indie pop done well, with tight, jangly guitars, sensitive indie-boy lyrics and a groove you can dance to. The frontman is like Morrissey and Johnny Marr rolled into one.
  • Season - Post-rock soundscapes you can immerse yourself with, with electric piano and guitars with the whole range of effects (from metal crunch to wah) used judiciously; like Mogwai scoring a David Lynch film.
  • Talkshow Boy - A guy with a CD player full of homemade computerised glitch-pop beats, which he then sings stream-of-consciousness lyrics over, about polar bears, eskimos, his LiveJournal friends and the undead. Though he puts on a really entertaining show of it. Also see Service Station Youth, which is him and three other people doing a similar thing.

As this is a list of new bands people may not have heard of, I've omitted from this list many bands worth checking out which people probably know about.

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Someone has put up an online petition to get Talkshow Boy as a support for the upcoming Belle & Sebastian show. Hmmm... it'd be a tad more interesting than one of the more obvious candidates, like, say, the Lucksmiths or Architecture In Helsinki. Whether the organisers would take notice, of course, is another matter (after all, just a year or so ago, the organisers of the Interpol gig chose to fly some band over from Perth rather than give the support slot to Love Of Diagrams; tour organisers work in mysterious ways).

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The new generation of indiekids are making music, and they're not using guitars, Casiotone keyboards or battered old Roland synths from the 1980s. Meet Service Station Youth, extremely lo-fi electropop from Talkshow Boy and friends, which has punk sensibility though probably owes more to Kid606 and insane Europeans with modified GameBoys than to the Pixies or Sonic Youth or whoever. Hardcore or just crap? You decide.

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