Iain Shedden’s must-read music column
AMERICAN bluesy rock troubadours the Black Keys have been creating a buzz around the country this week, playing their first shows since last year’s album El Camino launched them into the big league of arenas and festival headline spots. Drummer Patrick Carney and singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach haven’t let their new-found status go to their heads, however. The two musos could be seen working the room into the wee small hours when they attended a party in their honour at Sydney’s fashionable restaurant Porteno on Monday, following the first of their two performances at Sydney’s Entertainment Centre. The duo also played a more intimate show to a select audience at the city’s rock ’n’ roll haven The Annandale on Wednesday.
PORTENO, incidentally, is where tables are much in demand and where meat cooked in an Argentinian style is the hot favourite. It may come as a surprise to those rock fans who have, through the years, come to despise the food on offer at rock festivals that the restaurant’s chefs and owners, Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, are turning their hand to catering for the hungry hordes at the Big Day Out next year. The two foodies are inviting culinary wizards from across the country — in each of the BDO’s locations — to be part of Chow Town, an idea that has been handed down from festival promoter Ken West’s new American partner, Creative Festival Entertainment, which runs a similar foodie phenomenon at its US Lollapalooza event. Chow Town will have its own section within the BDO compounds across the country and will offer relatively exotic fare to the punters. Among the dishes being considered are American barbecue-style brisket, pulled pork, lobster corn dogs, hand-held tostadas de atun fresco and Chinese duck baos. It remains to be seen whether this level of sophistication in BDO catering will appeal to the masses but it’s a welcome alternative to the standard festival menu.
SOME of you may have read the Review yarn last week on where-it’s-at American muso Beck, who has taken the bold step of releasing his latest collection of material purely as sheet music in December. Following the article Spin Doctor received an email from Canadian band Automatic Toys, whose singer Nachum Peterseil was keen to share his band’s version of Do We? We Do, the one song that has been made available so far from Beck’s Song
Reader, as the book of ditties is titled. The Toys’ reading is just one of many that has found its way on to YouTube since Beck released the sheet music version. Our own Megan Washington was one of the first to perform the song, on Triple J. No doubt we can expect an avalanche of covers when the other songs are published. If you would like to hear the Automatic Toys’ version, it’s easy to find on YouTube.
THAT wind of change whirling around Tamworth’s Country Music Festival refuses to die down, with the announcement this week that Joan Douglas, chairwoman of the Country Music Association of Australia, has stood down after a year in the job and many more as secretary and board member. The new chairman is well-known and respected country music mover and shaker Jeff Chandler.
HAPPY birthday this weekend to Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon, who turns 54 today, and to Shadows guitarist and Perth resident Hank Marvin, who reaches 71 tomorrow.