August 21, 2011

Mistletone Winter Notes

Winter’s course is almost run, so it’s high time for some notes about all that’s forthcoming in the Mistletone realm. We have some sweet tours coming up (& heaps more to be announced over the summer), and the rest of 2011 is an incredibly exciting time for our label. We are about to release some of the best records we’ve ever worked with, and all of them are Australasian. Read on for news of tours, releases & other Mistletone happenings.


Mistletone proudly presents for the first time in Australia, Kurt Vile & The Violators. Kurt Vile has been on a slow burn ascent since 2008, steadily rising from the American underground through relentless touring and the release of four smashing albums, most recently this year’s epic Smoke Ring For My Halo (out on Matador and locally on Remote Control). Kurt will tour with his crack ensemble The Violators, who add the perfect modicum of live grunt to Kurt’s songs and make them roar. Catch Kurt Vile & The Violators at the 21st Meredith Music Festival plus national headline dates below.


PERTH: Saturday December 3 @ The Bakery with special guests Split Seconds and The Long Lost Brothers. Tickets on sale from, Now Baking, Heatseeker, 78 Records, Mills and Planet. Presented by Mistletone, Life Is Noise, The Thousands, RTR & Drum Media.

SYDNEY: Tuesday December 6 @ Oxford Art Factory with special guests Royal Headache and Step-Panther. Tickets on sale now from Moshtix. Presented by Mistletone, Drum Media and The Thousands.

MELBOURNE: Sunday December 4 @ The Corner with special guests Fabulous Diamonds + Chook Race. Tickets on sale now from The Corner box office. Presented by Mistletone, Triple R, Inpress and The Thousands.

BRISBANE: Thursday December 8 @ Woodland with Blank Realm. Tickets on sale now from Moshtix. Presented by Mistletone, Happy Endings, The Thousands, Street Press Australia & 4zzz.


The Bats fly in across the Tasman to launch their all-new album, Free All The Monsters, due for an October release on Mistletone Records in Australia and the mighty Flying Nun label in NZ. Expect some reworkings from The Bats’ much-loved and timeless back catalogue alongside the sparkling new tunes, but this is no nostalgia trip. The Bats are at the height of their powers, touring in their original lineup of Robert Scott (vocals, lead guitars); Kaye Woodward (guitars, vocals); Paul Kean (bass, guitar, backing vocals); and Malcolm Grant (drums). To quote a review from their 2010 Aussie tour: “Is there a word for better than perfect? If there is, New Zealand’s The Bats are it…. Like a band reborn, The Bats absolutely smash this show — they’re back for real, and they rule.”


MELBOURNE: East Brunswick Club, Friday 14 October with Witch Hats + Guy & Marcus Blackman. Tickets on sale from The East box office.

SYDNEY: Notes, Saturday 15 October with special guests Loene Carmen + The Reservations. Tickets on sale from Oztix.


Black Dice and Lucky Dragons are coming to Australia in October by invitation of Melbourne Festival plus a headline show in Sydney. Rightly renowned as one of the pre-eminent forces of the noise art movement, Black Dice have built a reputation as one of the most mercurial, abrasive and overwhelming live music experiences touring the world today. From their origins as an occasionally violent post-hardcore outfit in the late 90s, through to the improvised distortion epics that marked their middle years, Black Dice have emerged in 2011 as a techno-influenced amalgam of noise atmospherics, jaggedly programmed beats and snatched, scrambled sample work. Black Dice’s transformative live show will feature visuals Los Angeles filmmaker Danny Perez, best known for his work on Animal Collective’s ODDSAC film and for providing Panda Bear’s incredible live visuals.

Lucky Dragons are about the birthing of new and temporary creatures — equal-power situations in which audience members cooperate amongst themselves, building up fragile networks held together by such light things as skin contact, unfamiliar language, temporary logic, the spirit of celebration, and things that work but you don’t know why. A review of the 2008 Lucky Dragons Australian tour marvelled: “Forget about things like ‘songs’, ‘gig’ and ‘live’, theirs was a performance, and one that mainly hinged on simply providing the tools for happiness. The audience, half-seated, half-standing, did the rest, either directly or by some obvious signs of contentment. Attempts to ‘involve the audience’ usually come off trite, embarrassing or, worse, just fail, but Lucky Dragons intuitively knew how to orchestrate the crowd into a communal group of music makers.”


SYDNEY, Fri 7 Oct @ Oxford Art Factory: Black Dice + Lucky Dragons + Holy Balm. Tickets $40 + BF from Moshtix.

MELBOURNE, Sat 8 Oct @ Forum Theatre: Black Dice + Lucky Dragons. Tickets $40 from Ticketmaster or phone 1300 723 038.

MELBOURNE, Wed 12 Oct: Lucky Dragons supported by Geoffrey O’Connor @ The Toff. Tickets $25 from Moshtix or phone 1300 438 849.


New Zealand-via-New York’s one-woman space-pop goddess Bachelorette is coming to Australia in October as a guest of Melbourne Festival, plus one Sydney show only at Goodgod Small Club on Saturday 22 October, with support from Donny Benet and Jasmina Maschina. Described variously as a one-woman Animal Collective and a female Syd Barrett, Bachelorette (AKA Annabel Alpers) is set to transport you with her singular brand of psychedelic computer folk pop, comprising expansive, layered loops and radiant multi-tracked harmonies. Bachelorette’s wonderful and much-acclaimed third and self-titled album is out now on Mistletone; have a peep at the dazzling new video for Blanket directed by Steven Grisé here, and download Blanket from Mistletone Soundcloud.


MELBOURNE, Wed 19 Oct: Bachelorette supported by Rat Vs Possum @ The Toff. Tickets $25 from Moshtix or phone 1300 438 849.

MELBOURNE, Fri 21 Oct: Bachelorette supporting Konono No. 1 @ Forum Theatre. Tickets $40 from Ticketmaster or phone 1300 723 038.

SYDNEY, Sat 22 Oct: Bachelorette supported by Donny Benet and Jasmina Maschina @ Goodgod Small Club. Tickets $22 + booking fee on sale now from Moshtix.


Electro-noise pop bros Holy Fuck are heading back our way for the inaugural Harvest Festival amidst an epic lineup including Portishead, The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev et al. Fans should note there will be no sideshows for any Harvest Festival artists, so you’re best advised to snap up tickets, especially in Melbourne which is selling fast.


MELBOURNE, Sat 12 Nov: Harvest Presents “The Gathering”, Werribee Park

SYDNEY, Sun 13 Nov: Harvest – A Civilised Gathering, Parramatta Park

BRISBANE, Sat 19 Nov: Harvest – A Civilised Gathering, Botanical Gardens.

Ticketing details here.


We are so happy to announce that Dan Deacon is returning to Australia for The Falls & Southbound festivals; and this time he’s bringing his posse! Dan has toured Australia twice before, as a solo artist in 2008 for Laneway Festival, then in 2009 for Golden Plains and Perth Festival. This tour will see Dan with a four piece ensemble taking his incredible live show to another level, combining acoustic and mechanical instruments, samples and electronics and the warmth of live instruments to bring Dan’s sonic experiments and feel-good party anthems to life. More details soon. In other super exciting Dan Deacon news, Dan is scoring the next Francis Ford Coppola film! It’s a gothic romance/horror flick called Twixt Now and Sunrise, starring Val Kilmer with narration by Tom Waits. Dan will tour the film around the US, using his iPad to re-edit and re-perform the film’s score in real time based on the audience’s reaction. Awesome, huh?


LORNE (VIC): Falls Festival, 28 Dec – 1 Jan (sold out).

MARION BAY (TAS): Falls Festival, 29 Dec – 1 Jan. Tickets available here.

BUSSELTON (WA): Southbound Festival, 7 – 8 Jan. Tickets to the general public are on sale now. You can purchase your Camping Tickets here and your Weekend Festival Tickets here.

And now, to Mistletone’s upcoming releases…

MONTERO: MUMBAI b/w RAINMAN 7″ (out Sep 2)

Montero is a new soft-rock/slow-wave supergroop led by Melbourne video artist (and Mistletone artist-in-residence) Bjenny Montero, featuring the musical smarts of Guy Blackman (Chapter Music honcho and balladeer), Geoffrey O’Connor (Crayon Fields), Cameron Potts (Ninety Nine, Baseball, Cuba Is Japan), Robert Bravington (Cuba Is Japan) and Gerald Wells (The TM Band). Mumbai is best described as post economic meltdown relaxation pop; its lilting cadences evoke a flood of associations — self help rock, Wall Street relaxation tape sounds, stress ball gazing, new age ocean rock, positive thoughts manuals and the Indian Ocean. Rainman is the big daddy of the hitherto-unknown genre of custody battle space rock, or should we call it camp psychedelic divorcecore? The 7″ features cover art by Bjenny Montero and Sonny Smith (Sonny & the Sunsets). Check out the amazing videos for Rainman (by Bjenny Montero) and Mumbai (by Laura Cashman). Both tracks are now available digitally via iTunes.


MELBOURNE: Fri Sept 9 @ Grace Darling Bandroom with special guests Time Shield, Super Star + DJ Clem Bastow. Tickets $12 at the door.

SYDNEY: Thu Sept 15 @ Goodgod Small Club with special guests Domeyko/Gonzalez, Erik Omen + DJ Shesh Besh. Tickets $10 at the door.

MELBOURNE INSTORE: Fri Sept 16 @ Polyester City Store. Free, all ages, starts 6pm.

HTRK ~ WORK (WORK, WORK) LP/CD (out Sep 9)

There is an intense buildup of anticipation for the new album from London by way of Berlin and Melbourne art-rock duo HTRK (pronounced “Hate Rock”). This extraordinary, beautiful and (dare we say) sexy album was completed while grieving the loss of founding member Sean Stewart to suicide in March ‘10. But it’s about much more than abject darkness. Much, much more. On Work (work, work), HTRK craft a stark soundscape: achingly slow 808 beats, eerie synth arpeggios, vaporous guitar noise, and Jonnine Standish’s androgynous, detached vocals, dripping with reverb. And yet it’s the careful way Jonnine & Nigel Lee-Yang combine those elements—organising and juxtaposing them with a minimalist’s attention to detail—that makes their music so emotionally devastating. Work (work, work) will be released on vinyl and CD. You can download the first single Eat Yr Heart and a Suicide cover, Sweetheart (A.K.A. Love You) from the Mistletone Soundcloud. HTRK will tour Australia for the first time in over five years in November.


Ever prolific producer Chaz Bundick a/k/a Toro Y Moi has a brand new batch of lavishly funky material to offer. This new 12″ vinyl release finds Bundick reveling in twenty minutes of boogie, roping in the heavy sounds of groups like the Gap Band and Mtume. The Freaking Out EP is no sloppily assembled bunch of Underneath The Pine session throwaways — it was put to tape in June, during a period of touring quiescence. While the first two tracks are modern takes on the 80s post-disco vibe, “Sweet” sounds like the product of a Todd Edwards and Teddy Riley collaboration, with smooth synths weaving in and out of meticulously chopped and arranged vocal samples. Full of energy and concisely crafted, Freaking Out is Toro Y Moi’s most concentrated venture into pure dance floor hedonism. You can download a new jam Saturday Love from the EP from the Mistletone Soundcloud. It’s a disco/dance/R&B cover, originally released by Alexander O’Neal & Cherelle in 1985. Golden! Oh and check out the new video for How I Know from Underneath The Pine; it’s on a rad haunted house / Ghostbusters / Scooby Doo tip.


Wintercoats a/k/a Melbourne’s James Wallace creates aural artworks of fragility and grandeur, weaving violin, glockenspiel, piano and a plethora of other instruments into a glorious yet unmistakably poignant artistic vision, fortified by haunting and cavernous vocals. James’ work is rich in symbolism; narrations of unwanted and uncontrollable realities, but ideologically hopeful, optimistic and confident, seamlessly weaving violin, glockenspiel, piano and a plethora of other instruments into a glorious yet unmistakably poignant artistic vision, fortified by haunting and cavernous vocals. This impressive label debut is out on Mistletone in Australia/NZ, Cascine in the US and Rallye in Japan. Truly one of Melbourne’s most talented and promising solo musicians, already widely celebrated within the underground community and having supported the likes of Beach House and Mirah alongside an upcoming appearance at the 2011 Melbourne Festival with MONO, we expect further immense feats from one of our most humble, gifted and opulent prospects.


SYDNEY: Sat 27 August Astral People launch @ Tone w/- Jonti, Bon Chat Bon Rat, Albatross + more. Tickets from Moshtix.

MELBOURNE: Fri 7 October supporting MONO at The Forum Theatre as part of Melbourne Festival.


Jonti (yes, the artist formerly known as Danimals/Djanimals), is the first Australian artist to sign to visionary US label Stones Throw, and Mistletone’s first Sydney artist. This ultra-talented producer’s incredible debut Twirligig draws inspiration from many of Jonti’s favorite artists — Madlib, Stereolab, Free Design, The Beach Boys and cartoonist/ filmmaker Norman McLaren. To quote uber-blog Altered Zones: “His organic, sun-bleached sounds come off like electronic versions of summer’s best: chirping crickets, reeds blowing in the breeze, crackling bonfires. The itch to ditch your home base for an adventure usually comes on strong this time of year, so take note from your own instincts and let the long days of sun guide you on an exploration outside– of your house, of yourself.” You can download Twirligig‘s fantastical first single Firework Spraying Moon from Mistletone Soundcloud and watch the flipped-out video, directed by Henry DeMaio (Dam Funk, Mayer Hawthorne), here.


This all new album from Kiwi indie-pop legends is classic Bats. Produced by NZ studio legend Dale Cotton, Free All The Monsters sparkles with poppy and insightful songwriting, at once instantly catchy and revealing ever more depths with each listen. Inpress called their last album The Guilty Office (Mistletone, 2008) “One of the purest distillations ever of The Bats’ strengths… showing off the poppy propulsion and happy-sad core that made The Bats one of the defining bands of the Flying Nun catalogue… the band’s revival appears complete.” Free All The Monsters takes it all up another notch, embedding The Bats as one of the great bands of our time.


The Orbweavers were formed in Melbourne by Marita Dyson & Stuart Flanagan in 2006 and have been praised by The Age as “a particularly special Melbourne band”. Their songs are already dear to many Melburnians’ hearts thanks to the loving airplay Triple R has given to their beautiful songs Spotswood and Japanese Mountains — a tribute to the historic Spotswood Sewerage Pumping Station and an ode to Japanese volcanoes — which first came to life as a self-released double A-side single last year. Their forthcoming Mistletone debut Loom is a collection of gorgeously evocative, dark folk-tinged songs about creeks & quarries, dangerous needlework, basalt foundations, rising tide and greyhounds. Listen to the first single You Can Run on Mistletone Soundcloud.


Melbourne indie-pop institution Panel of Judges recently launched their new and brilliant vinyl-only release Moods On The Move with a couple of blistering shows in Melbourne and Sydney which may be their last for some time, as Dion Nania has moved to New York City and Alison Bolger is expecting twins any day now! The album has received high praise such as this from The Thousands: “Panel of Judges, or simply ‘Panel’, have long been an influential presence in the Melbourne indie pop/rock landscape. Their newest, Moods on the Move, is all that. Just listen to Dainty Vagabond. The way the second understated guitar comes stumbling in like a dressing-gowned housemate into a kitchen, sleepy but familiar. From the laconic, deadpan-but-gentle delivery of Nania to the ‘whoah whoah’ harmonies of Bolger, it’s a song that encapsulates all that is great about the Panel sound. Fingers crossed that Moods on the Move is no swan song. But if it is, this vinyl-only release – which comes with download code and stunning original cover art by drummer Paul Williams – will be a damn fine one.” The LP comes with a digital download code and is also available on iTunes. You can download two tracks from the album, Dainty Vagabond and Coconut Trees, from Mistletone Soundcloud.


Our fave Brooklyn girl group outdo themselves on the sassy, high camp new video for Take It As It Comes. Directed by Travis Peterson, it’s more fun than a Pink Lady pyjama party. Take It As It Comes is the latest single from the fantastic new Vivs album Share The Joy.


This extraordinary album by Brooklyn soundscaper Julianna Barwick has resonated strongly with local audiences. The Age gave it 4.5 stars, waxing lyrical: “Barwick constructs opaque audio atmospheres from swarms of heavenly harmonies and cloudy drones, making music equal parts canonical and environmental”. The Sydney Morning Herald gave it 4 stars and called it “So beautiful it might indeed reach the ear of heaven”. Find out more about this enthralling artist in this feature article by Anthony Carew which ran in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald last month, and download the title track from Mistletone Soundcloud. And keep your eyes and ears open for a Julianna Barwick tour in the Australian summer.

And on a final “aww, shucks” note, we were chuffed indeed that Laneway Festival recently profiled Mistletone alongside such titanic labels as DFA, Stones Throw, 4AD and Young Turks in a piece titled Not Surviving, Thriving: Five Inspiring Indie Labels. You can read all about it here. Indie labels forever!

Stand by for launch dates and more Mistletone news. Til spring!


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