What A Year: 2006 - Tomás Ford's Emotional Backlog
Dec. 31st, 2006
03:47 am - What A Year: 2006
OK, so first things first, check out this weeks' Drum Media Perth where Tomás Ford vs The Audience made one of the writers' Top 3 Local Gigs this year and got a guernsey in the arts round up as one of only two events to cop a mention from the Artrage Festival. Fuck yeah! I'd be lying if I didn't say that made me feel extremely warm and fuzzy.
Anyway, looking at the aforementioned Drum article made me want to do my own end of year roundup. So this is my year.
Tomás Ford Is Your Australian Idol 2006
This year I rocked a hell of a lot more than ever before, with bigger gigs, more media coverage, releases and . I started the year with a huge show at the Big Day Out lilypad, where they gave me a radio mic and let me service a school football oval's worth of bemused punters. Then I went and did a mammoth three and a half week season of shows in Adelaide (every night exept mondays, plus an average of 3-4 extra shows a week plus flyering my arse off and seeing cool shit = a very tired Tomás by the end). I recorded an album that I'm pretty damn happy with, even if it isn't anywhere near as good as the new one will be, then launched it to a very full and attentive crowd at the Bakery. Artrage and the very much missed Romo hired me to help kids out in Geraldton with the Audiosity sound installation at Geraldton Art Gallery, which was an amazing experience and led to some very interesting shows around town. I was also commissioned to write a track (White Haze) for the sculpture park in Northcliffe and got to go down there for a rad research trip/wine drinkin' bender (Pemberton region wine is fucking excellent, by the way, and SO CHEAP!). I performed a solo theatre show called Thom Pain, created the critcally acclaimed soundscape backing The Folorn for Weeping Spoon and then those same kids helped me out with my biggest, maddest show ever, Tomás Ford vs The Audience. That created the closest thing Perth can come to controversy, with mad props (Drum, Xpress, blogs... people who matter) and big disses (The West Australian, Theatre Forums... GLAD they hated it or I would've been worried) handed out in equal and pleasing measure and punters responding by turning up to make up their own minds. I played my first DJ sets, which I never thought I'd be able to do (thankyou Ableton!), my production got dancier and much better, I did remixes for The Bedroom Philosopher and Airport City Shuffle that are both rad and continued to play to awesome crowds around Perth that continued to be surprised and excited by what I was doing. I started work on my new album. But that's another story, which I'll tell you in 2007...
So now for my lists, I wrote these this evening in one go, so I can't vouch for my memory. I'm sure I've forgotten some great stuff. Anyway, here's what I can remember:
Tomás Ford's Top 10 Albums Of 2006 (+ one)
1. Silent Shout - The Knife
I've already ranted about this in my tomasford.00cash.com blog, but this truly is an amazing record. On initial listens it's repetetive and too wierd and awful but then it reveals itself to be an absolute masterpiece. And some of the stories they imply and tell, and the bleak, distorted world they create sounds like an awful place . But it sounds so cool. I'm listening to it as I make this list.
2. Bad Blood!! - Gerling
This is a list of albums I've discovered this year, rather than the year's top releases. I always liked Gerling (Enter Spacecapsule is one of my favourite tunes of all time) but I didn't give this record a chance when it came out on the basis of its' lame lead-in single Who's Your Daddy?, included here as a bonus track. I was so wrong. I borrowed it off of Zack Adams when we were in Adelaide and it presents such a coherent, aggressive dance punk sound that I was more jealous than I'd like to admit in writing.
3. We Died, They Remixed - Architecture In Helsinki
Not sure why I bought this, since I wasn't a huge fan of In Case We Die, but I'm so glad I did because with some kicking beats behind them, this is a party band to put any other to shame. I hope they took notes from this and investigate this direction a bit more, because the possibilities this suggests would make buzz bands like Hot Chip piss. Though I've just realised I need to get their album too.
4. Alluvial - M. Rosner
A locally produced, vaguely ambient album constructed from soft tones and found sounds. I can put this record on in any company and everyone loves it. It's like an ear massage. Invariably once this goes on it stays on repeat for a few hours and it's the only record I can say I have ever done that with. Beautiful music.
5. Xanadu Soundtrack - ELO & Olivia Newton-John
Discovered this with Johnny Hotrod from Electric Limosine while we were in Geraldton together. It's pretty amazing - the production is crisp and cool and synthy and perfect and the songs are joyous and well constructed and so catchy it causes me actual physical pain. My favourite is The Fall, which you might remember from the bit where the main dude rollerskates THROUGH the wall.
6. Ride To Victory - Burgers Of Beef
I fully expect their next album to hit my number one spot, but this record combines their influences while retaining all the endearing parts of their personality. I love it with a passion. The single they just put out, Night Of The Zombie (they're calling it a quadrouple a-side, but that song is so striking it rises way above the other rather rad songs, so it feels like a single), is a lot more british sounding. Kinda Pulp-ish. It layers heavy darkness onto their giggly perspective with a masterful structure (the way it teases you with bits of chorus... SO GOOD) in such a way that I'm convinced they're about thirty seconds away from being signed to a huge label and rollerskating around the world selling cd's to fanatical, adoring fans. They do need to pick up their promotions a little first, but till then, they're pretty much Perth's best kept, best secret.
7. Moo, You Bloody Chior - Augie March
Everyone thinks this album is great. They've done better. But they're still Augie March and this is still pretty cool. Plus there's no "Trrraaaaiiiin" on this one, thank fuck. The more I listen to it, the more I hear Echo and The Bunnymen in it. How good are The Cold Acre and The Baron Of Sentiment though? They should be on my live list too, by the way, except for their self loathing banter at the Fly By Night earlier this year. YOU WERE FINE, GLENN. DON'T FUCK IT UP BY TELLING ME HOW SHIT YOU ARE.
8. Datarock Datarock - Datarock
You know this is the party sound everyone's diggin' this year. Hardly any dj's spin this record - they should, every time I'm in a crowd where they do they go absolutely fucking nuts.
9. Any Minute Now - Soulwax
If I made a list like this in 2005, I would've put this as my anti-album of the year. I hated it. But it's worked its' way into my life. Any Minute Now, NY Excuse and the bassline from E-Talking are just too good and then the rest of the album gets under your skin. Some of it is really crap though, especially toward the end. A Ballad To Forget is embarrassing.
10. Impeach My Bush - Peaches
She just gets better and better. This album has funkier production and the lyrical barbs put her in a league of her own (as ably demonstrated by Robyn's Konitchiwa Bitches, which attempts this territory but sounds like an impersonation)... "No no no no baby, I ain't carrying mace! Did you feel something just spray in your face?"
11. At War With The Mystics - The Flaming Lips
Not as crap and disappointing as everyone seems to reckon, but yeah, I guess they're right, not really up to standard as a whole. Free Radicals is pretty fucking amazing though. First time I heard it I just DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. The fact that it's funky only occured to me after about ten listens. Then it was REALLY funky. But My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion, The Sound Of Failure and Pompeii... really let it down. How annoying are they? Seriously crappy. The Wand and Haven't Got A Clue are pretty damn cool too actually and for a throwaway track, The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song is OK too. But they're capable of much better than this. I guess it would be better if it had a central theme like their last couple of discs - everyone's looking for one now and they didn't bother.
Tomás Ford's Favourite Gigs Of 2006 (+ one)
1. Kylie's Showgirl Homecoming Tour
Nothing else in this list even stood a chance by comparison and our seats were SHIT. See my rant at tomasford.00cash.com for an extensive blah blah on why this was so cool but basically it was the best thing ever in the history of the universe and that's probably all you need to know.
2. Big Day Out 06 - Me, The Stooges, Vitalic, Beasts Of Bourbon and fucking End Of Fashion
Well, I'll get the bad ju ju out first: End Of Fashion are pretty fucking boring. But my brother likes them and I did make him sit through MIA. Now, THE STOOGES! THE FUCKING STOOGES! What an amazing thing. Iggy Pop, right in front of me, singing Dirt, hurling himself around the stage. Amazing. I did a set at 2pm which was an absolute riot and absolutely exhausting, which I followed straight away with a chaser of dancing as hard as I could for an hour to Vitalic. The man knows how to rock it. Beasts Of Bourbon were a revelation too - I'd always thought they were a bogan rock band but I was so wrong - they're clever and they make loose, swinging, butch rock music that resonates in my testicles. I fucking love it. Tex Perkins is a golden god.
3. Burgers Of Beef Quadrouple A-Side Launch
When they asked me if I wanted to come sing with them for a song, I practically came in my pants. That turned into me compering and singing four songs in their set of every song they've ever recorded, which was an absolute privelage to be part of since they rock me so hard and have done for so long.
4. DXU: 555
These Perth kids put on absolutely spectacular AV shows. The beats are excellent by themselves and I could happily listen to them in isolation but the visuals lock in with them so perfectly it's hypnotic. I wish them large crowds.
5. Jasmine Loop Control EP Launch
I was in a bit of a melancholy funk, then I turned up at this gig to see Trianos busting out ten of the most jagged minutes of laptop static possible and it was... oddly enough... soothing. M Rosner played a soothing set that put me to sleep (as it should) and then Jasmine Loop Control got up and played one of the best sets of post-rock noodly stuff I've ever heard while apologising for how shit it was. A bizarre experience to be part of an absolutely entranced audience watching someone play awesome music with no self consciousness of their awesomeness at all. If you (JLC) ever read this, YOU GUYS WERE GREAT AND YOU SHOULD STOP APOLOGISING!
6. Fourplay at Fuse Festival
They put on an amazing show and had me absolutely hooked even though I generally hate this string quartet shit, but between their radiacal and passionate reinterpretations of modern alt-rock classics for string quartet and their own (admittedly, slightly less) haunting stuff, there was little else I could do but stand there drooling.
7. Fear Of Comedy at HQ
These guys are putting on stellar shows at the moment; grungy, dirty and murderous. They've become so tight and their songs are some of the best in town at the moment. Go see them.
8. Fascist Fair Go Party Reuinion Show
One of the city's most under-rated bands returned for one packed out night at the Rosemount a few nights ago. Their album isn't so great a representation of what they do as their live shows contextualised all their songs in dodgy, thrown together sketch stories that focused each one a bit more on their political targets. My old band used to play with them all the time so it was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me too, but it was so rad to see them back together again. And fucking rocking the house too.
8. Van She at The Prom
Everything about them is so ironic that if you take them as a joke band, as I choose to, they're absolutely hilarious. My favourite was the bit where the drummer hit a vaguely tribal rhythm on his synth toms and the band locked in to "rock out". Anyone who saw me at this show can vouch that I was in hysterics. SO funny.
10. Electric Limosine
Whenever anyone asks me about Perth electro, I point them here. In fact, I point a lot of people here. They fucking rock and have rocked all year at pretty much every show they've played. Consistently fun party tunes.
11. Pauly Fatlace
My favourite set of his this year was just before the aforementioned Sneaky Sound System atrocity at Bar Open. He absolutely tore the room up with an electro breaks set that the house kids utterly failed to get into but my arse shook so hard they're still feeling the aftershocks in Collie. He also played a sweet house party set in an on-site van in Geraldton that rocked me to the ground.
Tomás Ford's Shittest Gigs Of 2006
1. Sneaky Sound System at Bar Open
What an awful band and what a horrible, pretentious house music crowd they attract. Uninspired music, bad songwriting and an overall vibe like I was watching Euphoria or those guys that did "I Can Feel It" in the early 90's. And the rapper thinks he's in EMF. So fucking awful, so totally unbearable, I was inspired to write a song about them; "I'm Retarding You".
2. EmDee at Big Day Out
I wished they'd stayed as buskers. They were vaguely enjoyable in that format. But when I was walking into the Claremont Showgrounds with a hangover from the Bougeois Bogan gig the night before was NOT the time to be confronted with "organic dance" featuring digereedoos and a toneless singer. Fucking awful.
3. Luke Vibert at The Prom
Choosing to layer everything live, this two hour set of repetetive loops being abletoned in and out at a rate of one about every half minute was so mind numbingly dull I actually had to talk to people to keep myself entertained. Not that that even worked, I ended up having to leave. An overlong, self indulgent, unstructured hippy doof fest from someone who can do so much better.