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:: Spotlight :: Melbourne Music Week 2011

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Melbourne Music Week (MMW) returns in November 2011 to showcase the very best of the city’s thriving independent music scene. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said Melbourne Music Week reinforces Melbourne's reputation as the music capital of Australia and one of the top music cities in the world. “This city is world renowned for music in all its forms and we’re proud of our long lineage of musicians. Melbourne also boasts the highest number of live music venues in Australia. Melbourne Music celebrates music in Melbourne”.

MMW is partnering with the local music industry to create a unique event that will feature live performances, DJ sets, films, workshops, conferences and much more. Events will take place right across the city, not only in live music venues, but in city laneways, record shops, cafes, bars and fashion stores. In total MMW will showcase over 130 acts performing at 40 different locations during the course of nine days. Returning with a redefined artistic direction, MMW 2011 will highlight local, national and international, well known and emerging artists. Ahead of the full program launch in October, here is a glimpse into the line-up for 2011:

In co-production with ACMI, the Cinemix program returns and will see Melbourne’s own trio Midnight Juggernauts performing a truly unique and ephemeral soundtrack to the 1960s British newsreel series Look at Life. Midnight Juggernauts have been labelled many things from art-rock, synth-pop, retro-futurist, indie-dance, prog-stomp, pedal-toting, psychedelic shamans and beyond. Their infectious reputation has garnered them a large audience and much international acclaim.

Amongst a range of cutting edge programming concepts, one of MMW’s key initiatives this year is to stage events in extraordinary locations. Labels Live @, a series of concerts curated by different independent Melbourne-based music labels will include a night curated by Mistletone at St Michael’s Church featuring HTRK, Beaches, The Orbweavers, Montero and Wintercoats. Set within the ethereal walls of a church, this one night only event will offer audiences a unique and immersive experience. London-based HTRK (pronounced “Hate Rock”) return to their hometown of Melbourne for the first time in over five years with their much anticipated new album, Work (work, work), to headline this showcase of one of Melbourne's most forward-looking labels.

Two Bright Lakes has organised Melbourne duo Oscar + Martin and Teeth & Tongue to perform on the rooftop of Melbourne Central. Oscar + Martin have been dancing around, making beats, loops and melodies in Melbourne since 2006. Born of a generation with the history of music making at their fingertips, they possess an explosive creativity that is instantly catchy creating dance floors wherever they go. Teeth & Tongue is the musical project of Jess Cornelius, together with long-time collaborator Marc Regueiro-Mckelvie (guitar) and Damian Sullivan (bass), who combine elements of pop, garage and post-punk with metronomic precision and haunting vocals. The first international act to be announced for the MMW program is L.A experimental music producer Daedelus, who is currently signed to UK label Ninja Tune.

Melbourne Music Week is an initiative of the City of Melbourne that pools the vitality and the variety of the Melbourne music sector. The 2011 event has been co-produced with established industry partners including music venues, independent labels, music promoters, leading music conferences the Australasian World Music Expo and Face the Music and peak industry organisations such as Music Victoria.


**Update as at October 21, 2011**

The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle recently launched the 2011 Melbourne Music Week (MMW) program, announcing 170 music acts including Midnight Juggernauts, Cut Copy, Wally de Backer (Gotye), Spiral Stairs (Pavement), Dexter, Martin Martini and Super Wild Horses performing across Melbourne from November 18-26, 2011.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he was pleased to welcome Melbourne Music Week back for another year. “Melbourne Music Week returns to our city after a successful opening performance last year, earning it the title of “Best New Event” at the 2011 Australian Event Awards,” the Lord Mayor said. “Melbourne Music Week reinforces our reputation as the music capital of Australia and one of the top music cities in the world. This year the event will showcase the very best of Melbourne’s music scene with performances from local, national and international acts in live music venues, iconic buildings, city laneways, record shops, cafes and bars. We are proud that 95 percent of the program has been co-produced with the local industry. Melbourne Music Week is not just about putting on a good show, it is also about providing real support to Melbourne’s live music venues, promoters and businesses.”

Councillor Cathy Oke said with over 70 events in 40 locations, Melbourne Music Week will have something for everyone. “From DJ gigs, films and kids programs through to industry summits, workshops and more, Melbourne Music Week has something for all music lovers,”

New announcements include;

Live Music Safari which will involve ten of Melbourne’s iconic music venues teaming up for the first time to present an unparalleled night of free live music with more than 60 acts performing over the course of Thursday 24 November. Venues include £1000 Bend, Revolt (Kensington), Cherry Bar, Roxanne and The Toff with musicians such as Wally de Backer (Gotye), Spiral Stairs (Pavement), Martin Martini, Joelistics, The Puta Madre Brothers and Super Wild Horses to name just a few.

The pick of Melbourne’s up and coming bands, Parking Lot Experiments, Absolute Boys, Electric Smile Band and //This Thing// will record music in a pop-up laneway recording studio for Record and Release, overseen by engineer and producer Jack Farley (Transient Studios, Beaches). Punters can watch the bands record, mix and master their work and then return the following night to listen to the newly recorded music which will be released at a laneway party outside Buffalo Club. The music will be made available as a limited run free CD featuring original cover art from Tin&Ed, WEBUYYOURKIDS, Oslo Davis and Leif Podhajsky.

Standing more than 7 meters tall, the Giant Theremin is a world-first interactive musical instrument, created by local audio-visual performance artist Robin Fox. The launch event (November 19 & 26) will feature two original music and dance works created by some of Melbourne’s leading creatives. Green Room Award winner Stephanie Lake (Chunky Move) has choreographed a mesmerizing routine to compliment a sound map created by Robin Fox and Dexter will perform a sound map created to be performed by krump and traditional break dancers in a hip hop spectacular. All three artists will run workshops across the last weekend of MMW for hands-on Giant Theremin sound design and choreography.

Melbourne’s creative and independent retail and hospitality businesses will also present events throughout MMW under the theme The Aesthetics of Sound. From bars and cafes such as Bar Americano, Ponyfish Island and Manchester Press to clothing and art stores such as Alice Euphemia, Honor Among Thieves, Pieces of Eight and Basement Discs, each outlet will interpret The Aesthetics of Sound into an event, installation or exhibition that is unique to their store and show how music has inspired their brand.

Also newly announced is Street Change where the best of Melbourne’s street performers will perform their unique sounds and styles using Melbourne’s most iconic laneway, Hosier Lane, as their stage on Saturday November 26. Audiences will be invited to vote with their loose change for their favourite performer with all donations going to HomeGround.

Other MMW events previously announced include Labels Live @, a series of concerts curated by different independent Melbourne-based music labels including Mistletone – who will feature HTRK, Beaches, The Orbweavers, Montero and Wintercoats at St Michael’s Church; Two Bright Lakes has organised Sydney darlings Canyons, Melbourne duo Oscar + Martin and Teeth & Tongue to perform on the rooftop of Melbourne Central; and Chapter Music will present a one-off concert in the unconventional space of the Old Melbourne Goal, featuring Primitive Calculators, Essendon Airport and Fabulous Diamonds.

Co-presented with Marksthespot, revolutionary open air music venue KUBIK Melbourne will see headline acts Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts (performing an exclusive 3-hour DJ set), DJ Krush (Japan), The Gaslamp Killer (US), Daedelus (US), Wax Tailor (France), Die Vögel (Germany), Alexkid (France) and The Raah Project. Constructed from interconnected, glowing water tanks that change colour in response to music, KUBIK Melbourne is one of Europe’s most innovative temporary architectural installations. Kubik will also host events during the day including a record fair hosted by Bamboo Musik on Sunday November 20 and a Ghetto Blaster Picnic on Saturday November 26, where Melburnians will be asked to bring their own radio and tune in to listen to the special selections of Heavy Innit, Too Much and Chant Down Sound via an FM station from the decks.

MMW has partnered with two major industry conferences, Face The Music and the Australasian World Music Expo (AWME) to bring out special international guests SXSW Artistic Director, Brent Grulke, and the Berlin Music Week representative Daniel Barkowski (Director Popkomm) as well as present a number of keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops and forums for the music industry. Melbourne Music Week runs from November 18-26 and full program details can be found here


**Update as at November 8, 2011**


A unique proposition for bands and fans alike, Record & Release steps sideways from the popularised laneway performance. Across the week beginning Monday November 21, an eclectic cast of bands will visit an inner city alley location to play live in a pop-up recording studio with in-house producer Jack Farley (Transient Studios, Beaches, Twerps, Panel Of Judges).

But it doesn't end there. Each recording will be mixed, mastered, pressed and packaged as a free, limited edition CD to be launched at a neighbouring laneway venue 24 hours later. Record and Release brazenly riffs on today’s culture of ‘instant gratification,’ where fortune favours the swift and, sometimes, there’s only one night to get it right.

Racing Club Lane
Monday November 21 to Friday November 25
6.00pm – 9.00pm

Racing Club Lane plays host to a temporary recording studio overseen by engineer and producer Jack Farley (Transient Studios, Beaches, Twerps, Panel Of Judges). Over five days, onlookers can witness Jack and a cast of local bands recording, mixing and mastering their work in full view, with limited edition CDs from the sessions to be pressed and ready for release the very next night. The last day of recording sees a special guest appearance at the studio, with the results available through the Melbourne Music Week website.

The Buffalo Club
22 Sutherland Street
Monday November 21 to Friday November 25
From 6.00pm

The Buffalo Club is proud to host the nightly Record & Release launch parties in an open air alleyway off Sutherland Street. Against a backdrop of live-streamed video from Racing Club Lane’s pop-up studio, the previous night’s recordings will be made available as a limited run of free CDs featuring original cover art from infamous Australian artists Tin & Ed, WEBUYYOURKIDS, Oslo Davis and Leif Podhajsky.

VICE and Buffalo Club DJs are joined behind the decks by guests from the week’s recording line-up - celebrating each release, and entertaining those roaming between the two alleys, and watching Record & Release as it happens.

For more information, visit