Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dave Goes AWOL

On Monday I'm isolating myself away for two and a half months to write new songs for our next record. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to be for the whole time but I'm starting at the coast and I'll drift to wherever I can find inspiration. I haven't got a whole lot of money though but that's where the magic that is Mi goreng comes into play. Apparently it's not the most nutritious food going around but it's definitely awesome and it's awesomely cheap.

This will be the first time where I've devoted a large block of time to doing nothing but writing. In the past songwriting has been fit around everything else. So I'm intensely looking forward to it. In the spirit of being technologically cool I'll be demoing tracks constantly and emailing mp3s to the rest of the band. So for isolationist purists I must admit that I'm not actually taking the isolation thing to the nth degree. I read somewhere that Bon Iver actually did hide away in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for three months to write AND record his debut last year. While my hiatus from the real world probably won't involve hunting deer I hope I will get a substantial number of songs written. "Substantial" will be defined at a later date.

If you know of any really cool new (or so old it's new) music that you think may help my creative spirit, please let me know. I'm looking for anything and everything to fuel it.

Like I said I'm not heading into the wild (at least not at this point anyway) so I'll blog about my adventures as I go and when I can.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Woodford Folk Festival 0809

When we got the call up to return to Woodford again we were v excited (it's really difficult to express excitement in plain text so take my word for it). If you've been to Woodford before you'll understand why and if you haven't I'll try to explain. The festival goes for a whole week between 27 December and 1 January. It's bigger than you can probably imagine. For starters there's over 10 stages including the Amphi which I think is one of the coolest venues... period. The Amphi is a massive natural amphitheatre (hence the name) that can hold about 25,000 people. It's surrounded by trees which are lit up at night and the PA in that place has enough power to make you feel the bass even when you're standing right at the top. It's amazing! But the music's only a small bit of what the whole festival's about. If you go for the whole week it literally is an eclectic cultural immersion. And it has the best festival atmosphere I've ever experienced.

John has blogged about Woodford at his own blog so if you want to read more check out his post as well. I won't repeat the stuff he said so seriously have a read of his as well.

Anyway, we arrived on Boxing Day and after setting our campsite up we got a small legion of people together to post hundreds of posters around the festival grounds. After about four hours of walking around we were reminded of how incredibly huge the grounds are and we still hadn't made it everywhere. So we gave up and decided to give the rest of the posters away. Soft option I know but hey we were tired.

After annoying our neighbours by being too loud all night we were greeted in the morning by 40 degree heat which would continue for the whole festival. When you're camping and it's that hot, when it hits 7am it is absolutely impossible to remain asleep. And it's kind of disgusting to wake up covered in sweat. But it does beat torrential rain for a whole week so I won't complain too much. That said everyone couldn't help but say, "F*&k it's hot!!!!" whenever there wasn't anything else to say.

We had our first show that day. I'll point out right now that when we were planning our wardrobe for the festival back in Brisbane we didn't count on 40 degree heat. We found out pretty quickly that black jeans and long shirts suck!! The crowds at Woodford were amazing though and while they may have sometimes looked a little dazed from heat stroke they were as enthusiastic as ever. A lot of people even still found the temerity to dance. I don't know how.

We played four shows all up on the main stages including an acoustic set. I love playing acoustic sets. We don't do it that often and there's something incredibly liberating about not really knowing the setlist or how each song is going to play out. We also played four shows on the Mystery Bus which is the coolest thing ever. Read about it here.

Our last show was on New Years' Day at midday. This is the last time I'll complain about the heat I promise. I swear 1 January was the hottest day of the whole festival and we went on stage at 1230pm. By this stage we'd done our best to adapt to the heat and I'd trimmed down my stage gear to a T-shirt and jeans. It seriously didn't make a difference. We played for 50 minutes and I swear if we'd played another song I would have struck the last chord, passed out and knocked my head on the drum raiser. It would have been very rock star but at the same time not cool at all. Imagine wearing jeans and walking into the surf. That's what it felt like. It wasn't sweat anymore, it was just salt water. Once again though, the crowd was unreal and despite the setting in of delirium mid-set, I think it was the most fun of the whole fest.

I was going to try and capture a whole bunch of highlights of the festival in this blog but the task is somewhat beyond me - there's just too much to write about. So here's a bullet point list of some very cool things that went down over the week. To find out more come to the festival this year, I promise you won't not enjoy it.

- Slow motion replays and "hot spot" technology at the Woodford cricket game on the Village Green. It was the Woodford Eleven versus The Herd (who literally have enough people in their band to field a full cricket team).

- Lior playing on the Mystery Bus.

- Barramundi burgers at Common Ground (which is kind of a scary place to eat at but the burgers are awesome, and they make really weird energy drinks).

- The Fire Ceremony on the last night. There was this massive windmill set up which eventually lit on fire and had fireworks spray from it but before that there was one guy whose job it was to stand there and spin the windmill around. This windmill was massive and I timed it, he stood there and spun this thing around for 48 minutes nonstop. I seriously don't know how he did it. Props to him.

- $20 massage at The Road To Shangri-La. One of the benefits (perhaps the best) of performing was that we could get massages for just $20.

- Pancakes at 3am from the only store left open at that time. Those pancakes were unbelievable. I had more for breakfast at 8. I don't think the guy at that stall ever went to sleep.

- Frightened Rabbit performing at the Amphi when it started bucketing with rain. You know you're a cool band when people in the crowd hang around going crazy even when the power goes out and a mild cyclone hits (P.S. rain jackets do f#@k all when it's raining that heavily).

- Chocolate filled doughnut from Bryon Bay Organic Doughnuts. I bought one of these before walking up to amphi despite suspecting it may clog my arteries. Sure enough, halfway (sorry, a quarter of the way) there my breathing became laboured and I had to stop eating it. I vowed not to purchase another chocolate filled doughnut. I did however purchase many of the original cinnamon doughnuts. In short, best doughnuts ever!

- Having a shower with moderate to high level water pressure. I don't know how I managed it, but pretty much every time I went to have a shower there was no water pressure. No one else seemed to have this difficulty. So one time when there was more than three drops of water per second coming from the showerhead, it was akin to the best shower I'd ever had.

- Seeing someone wearing one of our T-shirts.

I could go on and on and on and on and on with many more obscure highlights but I'm done for now. If you've read this entire post and you're still not convinced about attending this year please email me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year/2008 Wrap Up

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!! I hope 2009 brings a whole bunch of good things your way. Second, strap yourself in for a decent read because I'm about to post twice.

Two thousand and eight finished before we knew it. We were pretty busy. In between playing a whole bunch of shows we were putting
together a live CD/DVD which we put out at the start of December. It's got tracks on there from our first EP as well as new songs we've been playing live. Check out some cuts on YouTube and Myspace and hopefully you'll like it.

The end of last year was also the time for a lot of behind the scenes work that you won't see for a while; like writing, planning 2009 and generally changing things up. When we hit the stage again in '09 we'll be sounding different. Not ridiculously different but different in a really good way. There will also be the introduction of a stupidly good drum kit. Check out John's post about it, he's obsessed.

So what to expect this year? We'll be touring a lot. Around Australia and we'll probably be making a trip overseas as well. We'll also definitely be heading into the studio to record new tracks. So if you're tired of us only having four tracks on record then 2009 is going to change that.

Apart from all that the main point of this post is to say a massive thank you to YOU!! Thank you so much for being a part of our music in 2008. We love making music but it loses its meaning without people to play it to.
This coming year we hope we can write new songs that you can get excited about and we hope we can put on shows that are better than ever before. We'll see you soon.