October 19, 2016

Touring: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

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KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Thursday January 12 @ St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney Festival. Tickets & info here.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday January 20 @ NGV Friday Nights. Tickets & info available from NGV.
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday January 21 @ Sugar Mountain Festival. Tickets on sale now.
  • HOBART: Sunday January 22 @ MONA FOMA Festival. Tickets on sale now.

Mistletone is proud to present the debut Australian tour by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. American composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is cresting a new wave of electronic music, with dazzlingly beautiful compositions to open up our consciousness of the natural world, inner and outer space. Her pioneering work with the rare Buchla 100 synthesiser is rebirthing a forgotten technology to create an auditory world that is at once deeply human, spiritual, futuristic and present.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s formative years were spent communing with nature on Orcas Island in the northwest region of Washington state, a place she describes as “one of the most magical and peaceful places I have ever been.” Though she wouldn’t begin experimenting with modular synthesis until many years later, her creative work continues to be infused with and inspired by the vitality and serenity of Orcas.

Kaitlyn left the island to attend Berklee College of Music, where she studied composition and sound engineering, initially focusing on her voice as her primary instrument, before switching to classical guitar and piano. She employed many of the skills she refined in college in her indie-folk band Ever Isles, but a fateful encounter with a neighbor who lent her a Buchla 100 synthesizer, had a profound effect on her. Mesmerized by the Buchla’s potential, she explains “I got so distracted and enamored with the process of making sounds with it that I abandoned the next Ever Isles album.” Starting with rhythmic patterns and melodic pulses, she soon began sculpting lush and exciting worlds of sound.

  • “Sheer poetry: charming, playful, evocative, and showing mastery of her medium” – SUZANNE CIANI
  • “It’s a difficult balance, pulling in pieces from the fringes of electronic culture and framing them in something so delightfully breezy. Smith triggers sounds that bounce around like hyperactive jellybeans, making it feel like her electronic bleeps and bloops are lost in joyous conversation with one another” – PITCHFORK
  • “Adventurous, mesmerizing sonic compositions which cause me to remember my love of music in the early days of electronic sound making machines” – REGGIE WATTS
  • “Gorgeous, droning ambience” – BROOKLYN VEGAN
  • “Mind-expanding suites of melody and unhurried curiosity” – DECODER MAGAZINE

Watch Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith demonstrate her signature Buchla Music Easel and arsenal of modular synths at her LA studio for FACT:

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August 23, 2016

Touring: Parquet Courts

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Artwork by James Vinciguerra

Mistletone presents the return of Parquet Courts, touring nationally for Falls Festival plus a Sydney headline show and a very special Melbourne show at the Shimmerlands Outdoor Auditorium at The University of Melbourne.

PARQUET COURTS TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Wednesday January 4 @ The Factory Theatre. Tickets on sale now. Presented by Mistletone, FBi Radio and Fasterlouder.
  • MELBOURNE: Thursday January 5 @ Shimmerlands Outdoor Auditorium, The University of Melbourne with TyrannamenAusmuteantsTerry + DJs Etta & Tilly. Presented by Mistletone and Shadow Electric. Tickets on sale now. * SELLING FAST!
  • Also playing Falls Festival nationally.

PARQUET COURTS return to Australia fresh off the release of their critically acclaimed new record, Human Performance, out now on Rough Trade Records / Remote Control, and recent television performances on Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The Brooklyn band has steadily achieved universal props as one of the best rock bands of their generation whilst staying firmly rooted in the DIY punk aesthetic and philosophy.

Parquet Courts began their 2014 release Content Nausea with the repeated refrain, “everyday it starts – anxiety!” And while that track left off at just its start, 2016’s Human Performance dives in, picking apart the anxieties of modern life with the band’s most innovative and emotional collection of songs to date. Human Performance brings expansive sonic experimentation and shining melodic introspection onto matters of the heart, matters of humanity, of identity. It’s also their most pop-oriented collection yet.

Across six years, four full-length albums, and two EPs, Parquet Courts have always littered their lyric sheets with question marks, interrogating the outside world to varying degrees. Light Up Gold considered peanuts versus Swedish Fish, an introduction of their sharp, young wit and language of mundane, everyday NYC imagery. Sunbathing Animal channeled that language into noisy punk philosophy, raising wide-view questions about agency versus captivity, choice versus freewill. Content Nausea wondered about anxiety and emotional deterioration under the age of big data, in an aptly self-aware way: “And am I under some spell? And do my thoughts belong to me? Or just some slogan I ingested to save time?”  And with Human Performance, the question marks get turned on themselves more than ever. Andrew Savage cites existential crises as the catalyst for the band’s new direction. “I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance,” says Savage.

To quote The 405: “Socrates died in the fucking gutter,” Andrew Savage memorably exclaimed on Parquet Courts’ debut LP. In that inciting phrase, he went a fair way to encapsulating the band’s character; a nod to both their amusing intelligence and an image of the strains and disappointments of city dwelling, which have become more pronounced as they’ve progressed. This post-punk collective are cutting, both in their musical style and in their lyrics, coupling them with dynamics and understanding that show off both these strengths.”

Below, watch Parquet Courts perform “Captive Of The Sun” with rapper Bun B on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, receiving a standing ovation from the studio audience. “Captive Of The Sun” is taken from Human Performance, out now on Rough Trade Records.

“The final product of this album is Exhibit A that we made it through the shit, solved the problem, had the chuckle, took the piss, made up with the other guy, and got home in one piece,” laughs bassist Sean Yeaton.

Whereas other Parquets Courts albums were recorded in a matter of days or weeks, for Human Performance the band took an entire year; it’s the first LP that finds all four band members contributing songs.

Human Performance brings expansive sonic experimentation and shining melodic introspection onto matters of the heart, matters of humanity, of identity. “I told you I loved you, did I even deserve it when you returned it?” singer/guitarist Andrew Savage wonders on the title track. It’s also their most pop-oriented collection yet, coming only months after the release of the largely instrumental Monastic Living EP; a record that was actually made at the same time.

“In a way, Monastic Living was like a palate cleanser for us as a band,” explains singer/guitarist Austin Brown, who produced the entire record, and mixed it in Austin at Jim Eno’s Public Hi-Fi, “maybe a return to our roots of improvising together, and being a bit more free, and seeing what kind of new sounds we could make.”

The recording sessions started at Justin Pizzoferrato’s Sonelab in Western Massachusetts. Some of it was also made with Tom Schick and Jeff Tweedy at The Loft, Wilco’s visionary studio in Chicago, but the majority of Human Performance was made at Dreamland Studios, a massive upstate NY pentecostal church where records have been made by The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr, and the B-52s (including “Love Shack”). They spent three weeks straight there, writing by day and recording with Pizzoferrato by night.

The result is a record with a palpable sense of fragility. “The process of writing and recording Human Performance, for me, was a fairly uncomfortable confrontation with my emotions,” Andrew says. “Emotions I don’t think I’ve fully explored in my life, artistic or otherwise.”

Human Performance is fittingly laced with as much static as softness, with tight-wound percussion pushing along meandering, wistful melodies. There are dazed and disoriented earworms, echoing group chants, downtempo ballads with wired riffs. Lovers leave, existential confusion replaces them, weeks pass, the J train rolls by.

The record leads with “Dust”, a 4-minute opener that takes the mundane daily duty of sweeping the floor and turns it into a frantic, obsessive call for action. “Dust is everywhere … Sweep!” they drolly repeat, before their cyclic back beat gives way to explosive, everyday city sound of car horns.

Andrew says “Human Performance” is his most personal song on the record, a solemn musing on love drifting away, a picture-perfect memory of the beginning of things and a hazier recollection of the ending. “It didn’t feel right to be shouting, barking,” he says, reflecting on his tendency to really sing for this first time on this album. “I think a lot of people are attracted to a sort of cerebral side of Parquet Courts, in the lyricism. There has always been the emotional side of our band, which I think has always been an important balance, but Human Performance marks a point where the scales have tipped. I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance. I felt like a malfunctioning apparatus. Like a machine programmed to be human showing signs of defect.”

“There is a lot of darkness, and general anguish being worked out on this record,” Austin adds. “But it ends kind of peacefully, kind of accepting that you can’t do much about it.”

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August 19, 2016

A Night With Uncle Jack

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Poster artwork by Stephanie Hughes

Mistletone very proudly presents “A Night With Uncle Jack”; a celebratory event with Uncle Jack Charles and a host of surprise / special guests from throughout his brilliant career.

A NIGHT WITH UNCLE JACK TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE: Tuesday September 6 at Trades Hall Council. Tickets on sale now from Oztix.
  • CASTLEMAINE: Friday September 9 at Old Castlemaine Gaol. Tickets on sale now from Try Booking.

National treasure, award-winning actor, Aboriginal elder and activist Uncle Jack Charles will celebrate his longevity (73 years and counting) in the warm-hearted and freewheeling style he’s known and loved for, at “A Night With Uncle Jack” on Tuesday, September 6 at Melbourne’s historic Trades Hall Council. “A Night With Uncle Jack” will also come to Castlemaine’s Old Gaol on Friday, September 9. Uncle Jack will be joined by a host of special guests (many of whom will be surprise guests, to add to the party atmosphere) with musical performances and intimate story telling by the luminaries he’s worked with in film, theatre and television throughout his long and storied career.

Uncle Jack Charles is an actor, musician, potter and gifted performer, but in his 73 years he has also been homeless, a heroin addict, a thief and a regular in Victoria’s prisons. A member of the Stolen Generation, Jack has spent his life in between acting gigs, caught in the addiction/crime/doing time cycle. Today — no longer caught in the cycle — he lives to tell the extraordinary tale.

Acknowledged as the grandfather of Aboriginal theatre in Australia, Uncle Jack co-founded the first Aboriginal theatre company Nindethana in 1972. His acting career spans over six decades and includes roles in The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Bedevil, Ben Hall and The Marriage of Figaro, Jack Charles v The Crown and more recently, Wolf Creek 3, Rake, Black Comedy, PAN and Cleverman. Uncle Jack was the subject of Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s award-winning documentary Bastardy, and was awarded the prestigious Tudawali Award at the Message Sticks Festival in 2009, honouring his lifetime contribution to Indigenous media. He was also recipient of a Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

Uncle Jack made headlines in October last year when he was refused a taxi unless he paid the fare upfront, just moments after he was named Victorian Senior Australian of the Year for 2016.

Having sold out 5 x warmup shows at Melbourne’s Curtin Bandroom, “A Night With Uncle Jack” will feature Uncle Jack talking and sharing stories in his inimitably entertaining style (and picking up his guitar for a song or two). The evening will be hosted by respected broadcaster Namila Benson and will feature many special guests and surprises on the night.

More info: Uncle Jack Charles on Facebook

Click below to watch the promotional video for “A Night With Uncle Jack”:

photographer: Bindi Cole

August 11, 2016

Touring: Dungen

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Artwork by Jason Galea

DUNGEN TOUR DATES:

  • BRISBANE: Monday, December 5 @ The Zoo with Golden Age Of Ballooning. Tickets on sale now from Oztix. Presented by 4zzz.
  • SYDNEY: Wednesday December 7 @ Oxford Art Factory with The Laurels. Tickets on sale now from Moshtix. Presented by 2ser.
  • MELBOURNE: Thursday December 8 @ The Corner with ORB + Krakatau + Psychedelic Coven DJs. Tickets on sale now from Ticketscout. Presented by Triple R.
  • MEREDITH: Friday December 9 @ Meredith Music Festival. The Meredith ticket ballot is open now.
  • PERTH: Sunday December 11 @ Rosemount Hotel with Nicholas AllbrookDream Rimmy + DJ Defs Worthit (Kevin Parker). Tickets on sale now from Oztix.

Mistletone proudly presents Swedish psych rock legends Dungen, touring Australia for the first time since 2006 to perform at the 26th annual Meredith Music Festival plus headline shows in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

Dungen have announced a new album called Häxan on Smalltown Supersound. The album is out November 25 as an official Record Store Day/Black Friday release, and the first single from the record is called “Jakten genom Skogen.”

IN BETWEEN the release of Dungen’s most recent two albums (2010’s Skit I Allt and 2015’s Allas Sak), the beloved Stockholm quartet was asked to create an original score to Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 touchstone The Adventures of Prince Achmed, understood to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film. Inspired by the nature of the work and the characters portrayed within, the members of Dungen collaborated on themes to represent their take on the film’s narrative, and immersed themselves in the groundbreaking visual language of this landmark film.

Häxan (translation: “The Witch”) is the result of those works, Dungen’s first all-instrumental album, and a continuation of all the things we love about their music. Moody, evocative, stormy, and brimming with life, Häxan provides both a tacit summation of the Dungen journey up to today, and gives the beloved group a chance to stretch out like never before. Here, the psychedelic rock is more bombastic, the softer passages more exquisite, the tension in their musical interplay more dramatic, their intentions remarkably robust. Häxan allows Dungen to move deftly between styles in a more circuitous fashion than their previous works, allowing them to build a story of their own around the action and characters in the film – Prince Achmed, Peri Banu, Aladdin, the Sorcerer, and most of all, the Witch – that reaches beyond the source material, returning to the hooks and melodies that come earlier in the album.

More pronounced collaboration with Häxan’s producer, Mattias Glavå, set the tenor of the sessions, fostered the interstitial moments between tracks, providing a more seamless listening experience. Recorded, mixed, and edited by hand to tape entirely in the analog domain, Häxan was sequenced away from the linear narrative of the film. This process helped to create a path of its own, fully capturing the rawness and spontaneity present in the sessions, as well as a loose, abstract, and fragmented collage feel, evident in the dense and dissonant free-form rock-outs, haunting ambient passages, and gorgeously cinematic soundscapes present in the work. As a result, Häxan works as new, original music by Dungen, both with and without the presence of the film itself.

With Häxan, the indulgences taken by Dungen find new corners in their creative space. “Trollkarlen och fågeldräkten” approaches the excitement of early ‘60s post-bop in a way that the band has yet to reveal until now, with Gustav Ejstes’ attentive piano melody connecting to Mattias Gustavsson’s bass, as Reine Fiske stretches out atmospheric strains of feedback-laced guitar overtop, while drummer Johan Holmegard establishes a busy, polyrhythmic background with a light touch, almost exclusively focused on cowbell and cymbals.

The breezy, groovy theme to Aladdin’s appearances is cut across a handful of Häxan’s runtime, extended to both compact, flute-led bursts of melody, and a more luxuriant synth-based variant. Ejstes applies church organ sternness and harmonic majesty to “Kalifen,” which melts from a stately, Procol Harum-esque introduction into ‘70s soul stabs across a coolly understated rhythmic backing. Elsewhere, “Andarnas Krig,” “Wak-Wak’s portar,” and the title track represent some of the heaviest music Dungen has made to date, recalling the similarly burnt-edged Middle Eastern themes that Agitation Free cut for Vertigo decades ago. “Achmed flyger” ties it all together, with Ejstes and Fiske performing dual piano and synth leads, as the drums and bass surge underneath, creating a driving and focused backing, just as the film’s action begins to take flight.

Most recently, Dungen performed Häxan alongside the film at Mexican Summer’s 2016 Marfa Myths festival, marking its American debut performance. Asked about the experience overall, Gustav says, “In this setting, the movie becomes a solo instrument of its own, and we are simply backing up what we see on the screen. In many ways, it was a liberation to share the focal point with an audience when you’re performing with this kind of accompaniment. It’s a refreshing change to be playing live, and not be the center of attention; it’s the movie instead.”

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Dungen‘s mastermind and main songwriter. Gustav Ejstes, has been making music—at first for himself, then eventually and inevitably for all of us—for nearly twenty years. Growing up in rural Sweden, he became obsessed with hip-hop and sampling. Digging through crates and searching for obscure source material provided him with an informal education in ‘60s pop and psychedelia, and soon he learned to play the bits and pieces he was sampling. He took up guitar and bass, drums and keyboard and even flute, then took to his grandmother’s basement to put it all on tape.

When Ejstes recorded his first album, he released it in 2001 under the name Dungen, which means “The Grove”— a nod to his village upbringing or perhaps a deeper reference to American folk songs like “Shady Grove.” While his music has routinely garnered comparisons to acts like Love, Pink Floyd, the Electric Prunes, and Os Mutantes, he has always emphasized a strong sense of songcraft. The music has deep roots in history, but it blooms in the present.

With 2004’s breakout Ta Det Lugnt, Dungen garnered an avid fanbase outside of Scandinavia. Pitchfork lauded the album with a 9.3 and asserted that Ejstes’s “songs are painstakingly arranged with a sense of depth, gradations, and tonal three-dimensionality redolent of something as off the charts as Pet Sounds.” Only on the road did Dungen blossom into a full band, with a rotation of musicians joining Ejstes onstage and eventually coalescing into a fully democratic band that includes Reine Fiske on guitar, Mattias Gustavsson on bass, and Johan Holmegard on drums. Starting with 2007’s Tio Bitar and 2009’s 4, the band members helped Ejstes realize his own vision while adding flourishes of their own. As a result, Dungen grew into something bigger and more formidable: one of the best and most consistently inventive psych rock bands in the world.

At the height of their powers, however, the band took a step back. The five years between 2010’s Skit I Allt and 2015’s Alles Sak was by far the longest interval between releases for a band that proved especially prolific and inspired during the 2000s. During the interim, several members of the band released albums as the Amazing, including 2012’s Gentle Stream and 2015’s Picture You. Ejstes himself co-founded the Swedish supergroup Amason, which includes members of Idiot Wind, Little Majorette, and Miike Snow. They released their debut, Sky City, earlier this year.

Allas Sak picked up where Dungen’s previous album left off, but somehow it sounds bolder and livelier, feistier yet more focused. The four of them jam with greater purpose and principle on songs like the otherworldly instrumental “Franks Kaktus” and the stately “En Gång Om Året,” while the prismatic “Flickor Och Pojkar” and closer “Sova” reveal subtle nuances in the band’s arrangements. Listening becomes an especially galvanizing experience, heady and enlightening. If psychedelic music has often been associated with drug use, for Dungen music itself is the drug: the most effective vehicle for transcendence.

Again, it comes back to the listener. Even as the band continues to grow, the listener remains a constant collaborator, not only inspiring new songs but rejuvenating old ones. “I can definitely feel a new significance in some of our older songs, mainly because of the people we’ve met and the stories about their own experiences with the music.”

  • I love Dungen” – Kevin Parker, Tame Impala, who has acknowledged Dungen as his major influence.

Fun Tame Impala fact: In 2007, a young Kevin Parker got in touch with Dungen and sent them through his latest recording, asking them to mix it. The band’s response? “No, we don’t have to mix it! Just put it out! It’s amazing as it is!” Prescient.

August 11, 2016

Touring: Cass McCombs

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Poster artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

Mistletone proudly presents the return of the mighty Cass McCombs, performing at the 26th annual Meredith Music Festival plus headline shows in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

CASS MCCOMBS TOUR DATES:

  • PERTH: Sun Dec 4 @ Rosemount Hotel with Akioka. Presented by Cool Perth Nights. Tickets on sale now from Oztix.
  • SYDNEY: Tue Dec 6 @ Newtown Social Club with Ela Stiles. Tickets on sale now from Ticketscout. * SOLD OUT
  • MELBOURNE: Thu Dec 8 @ Melbourne Recital Centre with Twerps. Tickets on sale now from MRC.
  • MEREDITH: Fri Dec 9 @ Meredith Music Festival.
  • BRISBANE: Sat Dec 10 @ The Zoo with Andrew Tuttle. Tickets on sale now from Oztix.

Over the past decade, Cass McCombs has established himself as one of our premier songwriters. It’s a career that has twisted and turned, from style to subject, both between records and within them. Diverse, cryptic, vital and refreshingly rebellious — just when you think you have him pinned down, you find you’re on the wrong track.

However, Mangy Love, his Anti Records debut (out now via Anti Australia), is Cass McCombs at his most blunt: tackling sociopolitical issues through his uniquely cracked lens of lyrical wit and singular insight.

Click below to stream Mangy Love in its entirety:

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Cass uses himself as a mirror to misguided and confounding realities, confronting them head-on: “Rancid Girl” reads like a ZZ Top study in Kardashian politics, “Run Sister Run” a mantra for a misogynistic justice system, “Bum Bum Bum” displays a racist, elitist government through the allegory of sadistic dog breeding; the album is sewn together by a common thread of ‘opposition,’ most directly articulated in “Opposite House,” with allusions to mental illness. ‘Laughter Is The Best Medicine’ provides a possible recipe for healing, with the help of an authentic medicine man, the legendary Rev. Goat Carson. The severity of his lyrics is contrasted by the music, which ventures into groovy realms of Philly soul, Northern California psychedelia and New York paranoia punk, articulating the spontaneity and joy of his live show better than ever before.

The record is unquestionably a work of great studio aptitude: a carefully arranged, high-fidelity production by veteran Rob Schnapf and Dan Horne. And as usual, Cass is joined by many notable members of his eclectic musical tribe, whose names are proudly displayed on the back cover.

Mostly written during a bitter New York City winter and while traveling in Ireland, Mangy Love is Cass at the top of his game, reaching new sonic heights, creatively evolving lyrically, and resulting in his most provocative and complete record yet.

Click below to watch the video for “Medusa’s Outhouse”, an intimate short film by  filmmaker Aaron Brown who shares Cass’s love for the American mythologies of Hollywood and the archetypal West:

Cass McCombs – “Medusa’s Outhouse” from Anti Records on Vimeo.

 

August 4, 2016

Touring: Julianna Barwick

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Artwork by Carl Breitkreuz

JULIANNA BARWICK TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE FESTIVAL: Wednesday October 12 + Friday October 14. Tickets on sale now.
  • BRISBANE: Saturday October 15 @ The Junk Bar. Tickets on sale now from Oztix.
  • SYDNEY: Sunday October 16 @ Newtown Social Club with special guest Marcus Whale. Tickets on sale now from Ticketscout.

Mistletone proudly presents the return of the incomparable, alchemical, JULIANNA BARWICK. Once memorably described by Diplo as the sound of “Care Bears making love”, Julianna Barwick’s cleansing frequencies have also been praised by Pitchfork as “among the best and most artful ambient music being made today”. Her live shows take listeners to a psychedelic other-world, creating an epic auditory landscape of huge majesty.

Since her third full-length album, Will, came out in May on Dead Oceans Records, Brooklyn experimental artist Julianna Barwick has toured with Sigur Rós, sung with children’s choirs around the world, recorded and performed with the Flaming Lips, recorded Bach’s “Adagio from Concerto In D Minor” on Sony Masterworks, played piano and sang with Yoko Ono and brewed a wasabi beer, Rosabi, with Dogfish Head. Julianna Barwick’s diverse past has also included collaborative albums with Ikue Mori and Helado Negro, a remix commission from Radiohead and her song “Vow” remixed by Diplo. Upcoming Barwick projects include a film score and a music box.

Julianna’s latest, revelatory album Will was a surprising left turn. Ominous and compelling, Will is a departure from 2013’s Alex Somers-produced Nepenthe. If that last record conjured images of gentle, thick fog rolling over desolate mountains, then the self-produced Will is a late afternoon thunderstorm, a cathartic collision of sharp and soft textures that sounds looming and restorative all at once.

  • “Downright medicinal, altering the listener’s surroundings in ways that make them uncomfortable, yet still wondrously inviting” – NPR
  • “Her ethereal multi-tracked harmonies have the devotional quality of gospel choirs, and the oddball allure of Bjork or Yoko Ono” – NEW YORK TIMES

Watch Julianna Barwick’s video for “Same”, directed by Zia Anger, below:

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July 12, 2016

Touring: Gwenno

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GWENNO TOUR DATES:

  • PERTH: Saturday October 8 @ Mojo’s Bar w/- Original Past Life, Moon Puppy and DJ Sandy OTL. Tickets on sale now. Presented by Cool Perth Nights.
  • MELBOURNE FESTIVAL: Tuesday October 11 @ Toff in Town w/- Totally Mild. Tickets on sale now.
  • SYDNEY: Thursday October 13 @ Newtown Social Club w/- Shoeb Ahmad. Tickets on sale now.
  • Also playing Camp Doogs 2016.

“Breathtaking, sci-fi-influenced electropop that urges you to dance and dream” – THE GUARDIAN

Mistletone is super happy to announce the first Australian tour by Welsh electro-pop goddess Gwenno. Touring Australia as a trio, Gwenno Saunders is a sound artist, DJ, radio presenter and singer from Cardiff, whose day jobs prior to her solo career included writer and performer for Brighton-based conceptual pop band The Pipettes, and touring synth player for Australia’s own Pnau and Elton John. Following a series of critically acclaimed singles as Gwenno, she released the dazzling album ‘Y DYDD OLAF’ (The Last Day), which won her the 2015 Welsh Music prize as well as Feature Albums on RTR-FM, 3RRR (Melbourne) and FBi (Sydney) and Double J Best New Music.

In a period of governmental and cultural revolution, Gwenno’s brilliantly spacey and synth-heavy ‘Y DYDD OLAF’ was a political concept album inspired by an obscure 1970s Welsh language sci-fi novel, subtly disguised as a blissful kraut-pop record. The album, which is sung entirely in Welsh (apart from one song in Cornish), is Gwenno’s response to the political upheaval she sees playing out all over Europe — from the borders of Scotland to the Basque country and beyond — as well as a war cry to all those who are dissatisfied with the way things are.

‘Y DYDD OLAF’ is a political, feminist, brilliantly executed record; and although this particular revolution might not be televised, it certainly will have a great soundtrack. As Gwenno told The Guardian, she made a comparison between globalisation and the “robotic control of the masses” predicted by the novel that inspired the album, in which a hero prevails against robotic overlords by speaking Welsh, a dying language that his enemies cannot decipher.

“A language dies every two weeks”, Gwenno explained, “and with that language dies a whole history of people. Those are things that connect you with the past. They are man and woman’s way of communicating and telling stories.”

PRAISE FOR GWENNO:

  • “A visionary of synth-pop moods and textures…Saunders’ beguiling melodies and execution also make it one of the best British debuts of 2015” – Pitchfork (8.0)
  • “Each track expertly evokes the eerie analogue pop and psychedelic grooves of BBC radiophonic pioneers such as Delia Derbyshire – and more recent innovators Broadcast and Stereolab – while maintaining their own, unique, identity” – 3RRR (Album of the Week)
  • “Channels Broadcast and Boards Of Canada via fragrant kosmische grooves… Seldom is the personal married to the political in such an enchanting fashion” — Uncut (4 Stars ****)
  • “At once spooky and playful, romantic and angry… Mixing an ancient, bucolic language with otherworldly dance music is a genius move” — MOJO (4 Stars ****)

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May 27, 2016

Cash Savage – One Of Us

Mistletone is truly thrilled to welcome the mighty Cash Savage and The Last Drinks to the family. Cash’s much-awaited third studio album, One Of Us is out now on Mistletone Records via Inertia Music. Pre-order LPs or buy CDs here; all mail orders will receive a signed CD or LP, while stocks last. Watch the video for “Falling, Landing” above and watch rollicking on-tour footage in “Rat-A-Tat-Tat”, below:

  • ALBUM OF THE WEEK – 3RRR, 3PBS, RTR-FM, Beat Magazine
  • “There’s a pain that rattles the core of Cash Savage’s third album… full of blues grunt and country groove that holler badass one minute and banjo tinged mellow the next” –  THE AGE 4.5 stars ★★★★☆
  • “Savage comes at us with gruff, dirty-fingernails country-rock like her life depends on it” – HERALD SUN ★★★★
  • “​Will make you want to dance, cry and croon all at once. It’s damn good value in our books​” – FRANKIE MAGAZINE
  • “Rat-a-tat-tat might be unmatched as the best Aussie single of 2016. Savage gloriously steers a charged vocal  ensemble into the next world” – THE BIG ISSUE ★★★★
  • One Of Us is a particularly apt title for an album which grapples so thoughtfully and skilfully with questions, cares, ideas and experiences known to all humanity.  Cash Savage is recognised for her supreme storytelling skill, and across this new collection of songs recounts certain peaks and lows of the past year, always with compassion and humour, wisdom and insight. The potent lyrics are matched by equally impassioned musical performances: a clear, indomitable spirit” – TRIPLE R ALBUM OF THE WEEK
  • “A big step beyond its two excellent predecessors, (One of Us) is layered with confidence, attention, ease and cohesion. It packs a big sound… It’s Cash Savage as we know and love, with modern menace from The Last Drinks” — 3PBS-FM (Feature Album)
  • “There is a mixture of dark and light on One of Us…. Do You Feel Loved breaks from memory into frenetic celebration, My Friend is equal parts sincerity, sadness and love and Song For a Funeral is so heavy it buckles your shoulders and breaks your heart” – BEAT MAGAZINE ALBUM OF THE WEEK
  • “One of the most respected songwriters in the Melbourne underground, Cash Savage has forged a reputation for gritty, raw, and Australiana-tinged storytelling; a vivid depiction of highs and lows” – FASTERLOUDER
  • “Cash Savage is a unique figure. She looks like the love-child of Chrissie Amphlett and Rock Hudson, has the low notes of Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano but uses them like Angel Olsen… an excellent balance between the hideous power of gothic country, folk and blues and a band that can really pack them in the aisles” – 4ZZZ
  • “Low down and dirty and in thrall to the kind of bygone era country-blues that liked the dark and didn’t bother with a porchlight… With her hard-swingin’, hard-twangin’ band The Last Drinks, (Cash Savage’s) latest howling missive One Of Us often sounds as though its main influence was whiskey. Gloriously reverb-sodden, it has the same kind of lurch that marked Nick Cave’s early work and Savage has taken the mercy seat all to herself” – 2SER

Ask Cash Savage how last year was and she’d tell you: “it was fucking awesome, but fucking hard”. It’s a statement that’s been instilled into the Melburnian’s growling alt-country for years, but never so strongly as on her newest album, One Of Us. In it, Cash Savage explores beauty, freedom and the darkness that seep into even the supposedly safest of realms: family, friendship, sleep and love. One Of Us is a record of duality, one that marks another stage of growth for Cash Savage and the Last Drinks.

The ecstatic highs and devastating lows of 2015 would shape One Of Us, Cash Savage and The Last Drinks’ debut album for new label, Mistletone Records. There was her marriage, a European tour and the loss of a few close friends and family to suicide. After a long spell from writing, allowing these emotional events to sink in, Cash Savage grabbed a six-pack, headed off to the studio, turned her guitar up to 12 and began composing the songs that would form One Of Us. Produced by Nick Finch and recorded by Nao Anzai at Head Gap in Melbourne, One Of Us follows on from 2013’s critically acclaimed, The Hypnotiser and is packed tight with the kind of well-crafted, country and blues ear candy the band has become known for.

Cash Savage opens One Of Us with “Falling, Landing”, a song of appreciation, with a lingering vision of potentially having been reduced to nothing. “Run With The Dogs”, “Sunday Morning” and “My Friend” continues to explore the reality that falling hard – both in love and in loss – demands a whole-world understanding that includes our darker sides. By the end of the record, on title track, One Of Us, Cash faces the actuality that even though we are together, ultimately we’re always alone.

Influences beyond loss come in the form of bizarre occurrences, like “Do You Feel Loved”, which recounts witnessing a go-go dancing class in a local pub one rainy night and the insomnia tainted “Rat-A-Tat-Tat”. “Empty Page” comes from a long bout of writer’s block, while the hymnal ache of “Song For A Funeral” is where we find Cash’s ability to craft devastating honesty with her growling vocal exemplified. The Last Drinks added a multitude of instrumentation to the record, fleshing out Savage’s original compositions; Cash’s astonishing and confident vocals allow the musicians around her to flourish. Joe White provides soaring guitar work; Rene Mancuso contributes drums and percussion; Chris Lichti adds bass; and Brett Marshall lifts numerous songs with banjo accompaniments. Finally, Kat Mear on violin brings to light the eerie cadence and dramatic swells of the album’s dark side.

In the end, Cash fulfils the promise many heard on the first two albums and brings her most realised effort of song-writing and lyricism to fruition. The songs on One Of Us reflect the grieving that comes from loss and embrace the new road ahead. This new effort is bound to be regarded as Cash’s most intricate work to date.

CASH SAVAGE & THE LAST DRINKS: ONE OF US ALBUM TOUR DATES:

Sat. July 9 – Darwin, NT @ The Railway Hotel [tix]
Sat. July 30 – Adelaide, SA @ The Jade w/ The Hushes [tix]
Sat. August 6 – Sydney, NSW @ Newtown Social Club w/ Jep and Dep [tix]
Sat. August 13 – Melbourne, VIC @ The Croxton Band Room w/ East Brunswick All Girls Choir & Leah Senior [tix]

One of Us cover 1400x1400 300dpi

ONE OF US TRACK LISTING:

  1. Falling, Landing
  2. Run With The Dogs
  3. Sunday Morning
  4. Empty Page
  5. Rat-a-tat-tat
  6. Do You Feel Loved
  7. My Friend
  8. Song For A Funeral
  9. Port
  10. One Of Us

Cash Savage 2015 1

February 17, 2016

El Guincho – HiperAsia

Click above to watch the new video for “Comix” feat. Mala Rodríguez by Barcelona-based film collective CANADA, the good folks who brought you now-legendary “Bombay” clip.

  • “(El Guincho’s) most resolutely electronic work yet, Hiperasia buzzes like an ice-cream headache. His beats bob between the lurching rhythms of the L.A. beat scene, the snap of dancehall and reggaetón, and the shuddering, double-time pulses of jungle and footwork, and his synths recall both Dâm-Funk’s fat, augmented chords and Rustie’s dynamics-squashing compressors. The way jagged samples are shoehorned into the mix is reminiscent, at times, of the Bomb Squad—or a tropical take on them, anyway, like an MPC that’s sticky with mango and mojo. Touch down almost anywhere on the record, and you’ll discover details that trigger a hair-raising rush of sensation—brittle 909 snare rolls, crystalline choirs, video-game melodies, and basslines that reach frequencies most indie-electronic fusions never knew existed” – PITCHFORK
  • “A vivid, feverish soundworld of Auto-Tuned vocals, idyllic electronics and machine beats solid enough to stand alongside the best US R&B currently has to offer” – THE WIRE

After a 5 year break, El Guincho is back with a new album, HiperAsia. The album is out now on Mistletone Records via Inertia (purchase on iTunes, or order LP / CD via Mistletone mail order).

HiperAsia is another musical leap for El Guincho, composed and recorded in studios and spaces throughout Spain; in the Canary Islands, Barcelona and finally Madrid, in a chaotic period for Southern Europe. The music that has emerged is immediately disconcerting; prickly, bright and uncompromising and demanding, it is resonating with a whole new audience of El Guincho fans.

Ever the innovator, El Guincho‘s Pablo Díaz-Reixa is reinventing music distribution by launching a massive HiperAsia campaign with wearable tech and a Vaporwave short film. The first piece of El Guincho’s HiperAsia collection (available now) is a wristband wearable album which comes with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and a QR code. You can use your smartphone to unlock a secret website that features the full album, a “3-D experience,” and a Manson-directed animated film called HiperAsia, La Aventura Lírica Animada. Plus, the website will be regularly updated with exclusive new music for two years. The wristband is your subscription to a world of ever-mutating El Guincho content streaming directly to you. Discover alternative cuts, instrumental versions, unique songs, beats, 3D experiences and many other features of the HiperAsia universe. Click here to order.

As Pablo writes of the genesis of HiperAsia:

“HiperAsia is a chain of enormous chinese bazaars in the outskirts of Madrid. My engineer took me to one of them when buying tools to build our new studio, back in february 2k15. I fell in love with the building and their products, sui generis takes on western brands, often more interesting than the originals. It was a good starting point for the record. I thought: how could I translate this whole business structure into sound aesthetics, a mixing concept, a song idea, etc. For sound I used the experience of walking around the corridors as inspiration. HiperAsia is an industrial plant with high ceilings, packed with so much stuff there’s actually way less echo than you´d imagine. Illumination isn’t very sophisticated either, which brings out the truth of the objects in an aggressive manner. So, I would use no reverbs, no echoes, reduce bit depth of sounds and use distortion as a way to separate the elements. For the mix I used their product placement, Unexpected, undivided, packed with data, and the customers walking around and experiencing it. The individual would be the mono signal, keep it simple, naïve, almost no effects, a little beat on the 808 or a bass line and some vocals, that’s it. I’d use the stereo to corrupt that and constantly renew the way you listen to the song. Breaks, other song ideas that pop in and out, abrupt silences, vocal processing as a way to separate thoughts, etc. And for song ideas I used their fake brands, their ability to create something fresh out of a very specific interpretation of an existing item. Songs would be my foreign takes on genres I’m not familiar with or usually dislike. Tv news music goth intro + synth gospel on ‘Abdi’, 8bit wavy confessional hh finesse + jazz fusion keys on ‘Rotu Seco’, purpleized neo soul imaginary pizza chain song wrote by a coke addict creative director on ‘Pizza’. I would write these genres down on a texted file and record songs to match those descriptions, keeping it as analytical yet innocent as possible. Whether I succeeded or not, this is the record I’ve enjoyed the most writing, recording and producing. Hope u feel it too” – Pablo Díaz-Reixa, 2016

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Below, watch a trailer for HiperAsia, The Animated Lyrical Adventure directed by Manson:

What is Hiperasia? Hiperasia is a chain of Chinese bazaars in Madrid and its outskirts. In the words of Pablo Díaz-Reixa: “I discovered them on a trip with Brian Hernandez (El Guincho’s sound engineer), we were looking for a whiteboard for the studio back in February of 2014. I was blown away, entirely fascinated by the place. After that I discarded almost all the material I had composed and started from scratch with the premise: how would that place sound if it were music?”

And so Hiperasia is, too, the highly anticipated third album of El Guincho, marking the return of one of Spain’s most noted producers after achieving international recognition with his first album Alegranza (2007) and his sophomore mega hit Pop Negro (2010). “I started Pop Negro in 2008….. I’ve even forgotten some of the lyrics! Things have happened to me since that record which have left more of a mark on me than that album….. everything I record gets released, and it’s been that way since I was young; I’m lucky of course, but it also enslaves you”. The immediate impression on the listener to Hiperasia is its abrupt, almost violent, enhanced, futuristic sound.  ¨I thought of making music that pushes itself. I like music that seems to move inwards, from its sides towards its own centre. As if it were actively trying to become mono but some force, which is usually something prominent like a 808 or a voice, expands to push those sounds sideways¨.  Thus from a simple song based around one or two ideas, you will find intrusions –  “Tutti frutti”, as Pablo explains: “We can throw bombs in, firecrackers – sounds, other songs which poke through for a moment…. whatever you want”.

Though there are skeletons and scraps of songs recorded in Gran Canaria, Diaz-Reixa’s home island, during the recording of web-only El Guincho release, “Trances”, in 2012, and time spent in La Floresta in the outskirts of Barcelona during 2013, Hiperasia was mostly written and recorded at El Green, between February 2014 and June 2015, a studio that Pablo and Brian (Hernández, engineer, sound technician and right hand man to the project), pulled together with their own hands (including electrical circuitry) in an empty storage space above Everlasting Records in Madrid.

“It was a scruffy space but I felt potential, working with natural light. Brian and I put it together – we brought the recording equipment to the space, cabled it up, installed a mini golf. We call it El Green”. 
“Hiperasia is Madrid in macro. Las Tablas, China City, the M-30, Dalian Wanda Group, the Edificio España. It means me adapting to a new and exotic way of life. Experiencing more the city, spending more time in its streets, an experience much less private than Barcelona¨.

Discussing the radically different lyrical content of Hiperasia, Pablo examines the function of the words in his music.

“I always use lyrics tactically. When you’re making pop music, you usually try to convey yearning. So in Pop Negro I was aiming for common ground, unrequited feelings, situations which are within the possibilities of your imagination…. ideas which fix the listener’s ear on the music. And so the kinds of rhyme used, the structure of the syllables, the very length of the words used – all these things tend to define the genre. Hiperasia is something else; the texts denote a different kind of person, a worse kind – more like the person I really am; destructive desires, individualism, a disdain for my very profession. Even in moments of defeat like Rotu Seco or Pelo Rapado, there’s a brashness, an absence of affectation. I wanted to create a distance, which is there in the production of the voice. The works which move me most include this breach; a hole which you have to complete and which makes you active, a participant, as the listener”.

As far as the references to markets, production processes and capitalism go, “I’m not fascinated by or judging these themes. It’s more the sounds that inspire me – the noises of the stock exchange, the panelled walls, the wood floor, short, abrupt sounds, the music of money…. there are some field recordings included in tracks like Muchos Boys, or Hiperasia”.

Discussing the mixing process , Pablo goes deeper: “Brian and I mixed this together, right hand to left, face to face. In a mix you’re always orbiting an abstract idea which you can never quite attain. And to that you have to add your perception of yourself and your own music – which you must discard and attempt to approach as if unaware, your own incomplete ability with the tools, mad fan input from your record label…..but the focus was clear. We tried to create the style of the record in the mixing process. They are far less classical mixes than Pop Negro, less stereo, less three dimensional…. I got tired of that sound, I feel it softens the listener’s ear, makes her lazy. I like to find depth in another way, through parameters of compression, different types and ranges of distortion. So we didn’t use long effects, there’s barely reverb, just variation in delay times and saturation. You create an illusion of sincerity by different means. It’s tricky putting things so up there, so in your face but if you get it right, it freshens the music”.

THE HIPERASIA COLLECTION

El Guincho has conceived a collection of wearable items that give unique access to the Hiperasia universe.

Hiperasia is a virtual world, the universe behind El Guincho’s new album.

Hiperasia is a unique place, accessible only to those who possess a piece of the collection.

Hiperasia is conceived as a wearable item; an initial collection of wristbands and sweatshirts will connect its users to a secret universe with exclusive content hosted specially for fans.

By simply placing a mobile phone close to the NFC chip integrated in these items the user is directed to a secret website where, through a user and password, they will discover a unique universe with ever changing content like extra songs, video premiers and other details that will be unveiled gradually.

The Hiperasia Collection is born from the collaboration of El Guincho with creative duo from Madrid: Wellness.

Pablo explains this need for releasing a new format:

¨I started turning this idea over in my head after collaborating with Björk on Biophilia. It wasn’t just the format, I was thinking about understanding records as evolving projects, rather than as fixed capsules of a moment. You work for two or three years on something that you then imprison on a 16 bit CD, so you kill off a third of the data. Why do that? It’s cheap. The format explains the music it carries too, so it has to be equally exciting.

I’d been thinking about a chip that would direct the user to some kind of mutant version of the project, a richer and more intricate reality. This virtual space would be a sort of sub scenario where projects would exist only there, alternate versions of the songs – sometimes better than the originals -, 3D interactions, videos, a tv channel, etc. All this can be overwhelming so I felt the necessity of taking that experience to a more common, everyday experience.

It was then that the question hit me; what is the most intimate and inventive action that we share with everyone on a day to day basis? The gesture. It is essential to our identity, it’s loaded with symbolism, it generates questions and excites us. We don’t carry cassette tapes or CDs a friend burned for us anymore, we carry our cellphones. so the gesture had to be related to the mobile phone. Nowadays we can observe two popular…. and slightly annoying….gestures with the cellphone; the first one, when we take a picture, we are projecting the gesture outwards, towards the world. And secondly, the selfie, where we push the phone so far away we’ve come to the point of acquiring and carrying around long, ugly sticks that are annoying to carry. So I was attracted to an opposite gesture then, one that would generate that magical interaction bringing it closer to the body and linking it to the other great way we project ourselves socially; through fashion.

I met Wellness through Yago Castromil and Adriá Cañameras. When Adriá explained the idea to Yago he said “I’ve got your allies”. We met up, they showed me their “Salud” and “Image Identity Program” collections, and I knew. Andy and Mou get it – they get the codes, they’re awake, they understand texture, they were completely motivated by the project from the word go. Along with Yago and Toni Porteiro, they’re the most inspiring people I’ve met in Madrid.

HIPERASIA TRACK LISTING:

1. Rotu Seco
2. Cómix feat. Mala Rodríguez
3. Pizza
4. Sega
5. De Bugas
6. Parte Virtual
7. Stena Drillmax
8. Abdi
9. Muchos Boys
10. Hiperasia
11. Pelo Rapado
12. Mis Hits
13. Zona Wi-Fi

 

El Guincho’s brilliant debut Alegranza is available on Mistletone mail order, and the hugely acclaimed follow-up Pop Negro is available from Young Turks / Remote Control.

 

December 18, 2015

Summer Tones

*summertones
Artwork by Greedy Hen

We are overjoyed to announce a lineup to sizzle your heartstrings for our SUMMER TONES party at The Shadow Electric, Abbotsford Convent on Tuesday, January 26. Tickets $55 + booking fee on sale now from The Shadow Electric. Proudly presented by Mistletone and Triple R.

Summer Tones will be headlined by KURT VILE (USA) and also features guest of honour VIC SIMMS (La Perouse, NSW), plus MICHAEL HURLEY (USA), MEG BAIRD (USA), RYLEY WALKER (USA), and local champions MONTEROTOTALLY MILDTHE ORBWEAVERS, TERRY and WINTERCOATS, plus courtyard DJs JONNY (HTRK) and KATE REID; and a few surprises to be announced. A smouldering Summer Tones lineup curated with love to induce deep heat and joyous states on a summer day.

Headlining the outdoor stage at Summer Tones will be Philadelphia’s own KURT VILE, in his first ever solo Melbourne performance. Kurt Vile‘s solo performances are a beauty to behold; as the Sydney Morning Herald wrote of his Sydney Festival solo performance last year, Yes, tonight’s show ends too early. That would have been my complaint had it gone ’til dawn”. Summer Tones guest of honour is the legendary VIC SIMMS, one of this country’s most entertaining of entertainers; a Bidjigal man from La Perouse, NSW who made the long-lost classic album The Loner, an Australian masterpiece recorded in Bathurst jail in 1973. The Summer Tones lineup features three more esteemed North American guests; much-loved rollicking folk troubadour MICHAEL HURLEY; rising Chicago psych-folk guitar great RYLEY WALKER, hailed by Uncut and The Guardian as a worthy successor to Nick Drake and Tim Buckley; and the illustrious MEG BAIRD, a master of deep psych-folk vibrations whose collaborators include Will Oldham, Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn and Sharon Van Etten; Meg Baird is revered as a solo artist as well as a founder of thunderous doom-folk outfit Heron Oblivion (recently signed to Sub Pop Records). Local champions on the Summer Tones lineup include the eagerly-awaited return of MONTERO, led by travelling stargazer and celebrated comic book artist Ben Montero, who’s been recording a new album in London with Jay Watson (Tame Impala/Pond/Gum) in Mark Ronson’s Tileyard Studio; indie popstarz TOTALLY MILD, who ruled the Meredith ‘Sup with their melancholic masterpiece Down Time, one of the best Australian albums released this year or any year; treasures of Melbourne THE ORBWEAVERS, deep in the process of creating their visionary new album Deep Leads, drawing on stories from Melbourne’s natural and industrial history and exploring themes of mining, botany, poisons, working life and folklore; the misshapen glam pop glory of TERRY — divide Terry into four and you get Al Montfort (UV Race, Total Control, Dick Diver etc.), Amy Hill (Constant Mongrel, School Of Radiant Living), Xanthe Waite (Mick Harvey Band) and Zephyr Pavey (Eastlink, Total Control, Russell Street Bombings); the sumptuous one-man symphony who is WINTERCOATS, soon to unveil a debut album of much wonderment; plus cosmic courtyard DJ action from DJs JONNY (HTRK) and KATE REID (Psychedelic Coven / It Records).

In announcing this event, Mistletone’s founders — husband and wife team Ash and Sophie Miles — made the following statement: “Summer Tones is a celebration of summer and beautiful music. We are very conscious that our event falls on Survival Day / Invasion Day, and we acknowledge the deep cultural pain of this day. We pay our respects to the Wurundjeri people on whose land we are holding our event. Always was, Always will be, Aboriginal land. We hope that in the future, Australia can find the maturity and sensivity to nominate a more inclusive date to celebrate a true national holiday and will be donating $1 per ticket sold to a local Aboriginal community organisation.”