Happy 2009 to everyone! I hope your start to the new year has been relaxing and exciting all at the same time. A brief update on where I've been to start the new year before embracing another year of writing on all good things indiepop.
I spent the last ten days or so embarking on a 4300km road trip with my dear pal Sam that took me from my home in Brisbane, down to Sydney and Melbourne, then to the south coast of Victoria to Lorne for the annual Falls Festival. On a map, it looks a bit like this:
The festival was similar to Glastonbury - three days of camping on a secluded property with lots of popular indie bands there to entertain thousands of people spending money on overpriced beers. It was good fun, though - perhaps not a festival I'd need to visit again, but an experience nonetheless.
And the bands? Pitchfork favourites Fleet Foxes played the first day, and while the songs are quite pretty when I hear them on the radio, they came across as a second rate Wilco live. Late of the Pier played late on the first night - they were fun, but I'm just not sold on their silly electro antics. They have ridiculous lyrics and come across as entirely East London - fun, yes, but maybe not altogether lasting.
Darren Hanlon played on the second day, and it sure was charming to see him again. While I haven't really listened to his records in a long time, his live shows are magical, largely because he attracts such a dedicated and diverse audience. Everyone just wants to sing along! He had a band with him, too, and I much prefer when he plays with support than when he's strumming on his banjo or ukelele on his own.
Also on the second day, hip and sweet young things Soko and Lykke Li played - Soko polarised people like no other, while Lykke Li charmed everyone with her Vampire Weekend cover. Not sure if either artist will be around in three years from now - only time will tell, I suppose.
The final day - New Years Eve - brought some band highlights. For a couple of months, I have been secretly harbouring a crush on the Mystery Jets album 21, which I've not revealed in my posts. It's creative, it makes me dance and the songs make me want to sing out loud in the most inappropriate of places. Anyway, they played in the afternoon and I danced and sang along and enjoyed myself for their 45 minute set, wishing I could go and talk shop with them afterwards. Of course, it didn't happen and their sparkly jackets disappeared off into the chilly festival afternoon, not to be witnessed by my wee eyes again.
As the clock struck midnight and we gathered around after far, far too many bad premixed drinks, the likely Scottish lads from Franz Ferdinand graced the stage, and it's hard to think of a better party band to play into the New Year. I've not ever been a huge Franz fan, but I like them enough to get up and dance and sing along. Besides, there is no denying Alex Kapranos is a mega spunk of the highest order. Singing and dancing around with a bunch of strangers while the temperature hits 7 degrees at midnight, it sure was a top way to bring in the new year.
And so for 2009? I am hoping I can hear as many pop tunes as I can that will take my breath away, tap my feet subconsiously and make me want to shout out to everyone. I want to see more pop, buy more records and meet more like minds who want to tell me about their silly pop songs! Good resolutions? You bet!