Two-Thousand Eleven.

It’s been a big year for me, in music, really. After Spicks and Specks just finished, which to my now disgust, I have only really sat down and watched this year. Hate on me later.

Thanks to the people who have meant a lot to me this year concerning music (I know it’s not done yet, but it’s getting close and I know I will run out of time if I leave it much longer.) Emma-Kay Christensen, Nathan Bedford, Ben Castles, Scott Rogers, Matt Green, Matthew Barker, Juzzy, Jackson Dunn, Dan James, Andrea Smith, Ben Preece, Brett Wood, Chelsea Sinnott and The Beards, Stephen Green, Jimi Beavis and Ocean, Pauls Renton and Robinson, Nicole B-Z and Gay Paris (particularly my jockey, Luke Monks), Ezekiel Ox and Cory Blight, Graham Ashton, Leanne De Souza, Jonathan Tibbits, Anamari Goicoechea, Zac Gould, Toddy Warren, Zed Charles, Julian Schweitzer, Cleveland Blues, Bammy, Glenn Esmond, Clint Vincent, Anthea and James Cuddihy, my TAFE students. There HAS to be more and I am sorry if I have missed you.

I thought I would take a look back at my year.

January – The floods brought me back from Rockhampton on the 8th January to Brisbane. Ben Preece’s Mucho Bra-Mitzvah had been held over from it’s traditional blow-out at the Troubadour, because the previous November had seen it’s closing. I thought we weren’t going to make it back from Rockhampton to this party. (I was supposed to be home on the 3rd January, but Rockhampton’s airport and highways were closed and ended up having to take a ferry to Gladstone and fly out of there. Thank you Benny Castles and Jasmine Tams for picking me up from the ferry and dropping me at the airport for a beer in between, where I saw the sign for Gladstone Lawyer V.A.J. Byrne. Deadset serious.) Got back in time to Brisbane for the party on the 8th where I met my now Girlfriend, Emma-Kay Christensen (<3) and we bonded over a love of Queens of the Stone Age and about my then-band, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate. Which, actually is why we had to return to Brisbane – we were supposed to play at the Goodna Royal Mail Hotel, but obviously that didn’t go forth, as it was almost completely destroyed by the flood, but climbed back to it’s feet extremely quickly. It really is a house of music that people should experience for themselves one day. It’s only a 25 minute drive and I have seen some of Australia’s best talent there in the past 2 years. I didn’t get to too many shows in January, except that I played Australia Day at The Beetle Bar (a great venue to play, but our set was disasterous), probably the worst I have ever played, due to guitar pedals shitting themselves. We made a hasty and red-faced exit (after donating some money to the flood relief effort to get a studio in South Brisbane back up and running) to go and film our filmclip for Home (thanks to Tim Williams, Ben Wilson, Blair Borg, Matt Raimando and everyone in it). Went to Big Day out for the first time in 10 years with Megan Clifford, the Epidemic… Over boys and Tryhorn, was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed myself, as I thought I would be hating on everyone there. Naked and Famous, Birds of Tokyo, DLC, Electric Horse, Gyroscope, Rammstein and Tool ruled my day.

February – My big memories of February were that I brought Ezekiel Ox and Cory Blight’s new band, Over-Reactor, to Brisbane (Step Inn), Gold Coast (Runaway Bay) and Sunshine Coast (King’s Beach Tavern), along with Perpsektiv and Galaxy. I love(d) all of these bands and my birthday this year was spent as Over-Reactor absolutely destroyed the room at the Step Inn. Played at Agnes Water Blues and Roots Festival and that was a great gig. Started teaching Music Business at MSIT and also started a Thursday night gig at BarSoma that soon fizzled out, but there was some great highlights in that time – Tourism, My Escapade and Montpelier kicked it off, The Jungle Giants and Jac Stone and a few others, like Galaxy, Hawkmoon, Benny D Williams, Barrelhouse, The Minor Elite and more. Was great while it lasted. My TAFE students did really well to keep it going while I was off touring and rehearsing and recording. Phil Collins quit music. I fucking cried. Dead Letter Circus released The Cage and it’s filmclip. I rejoiced. Did this at The Cave Bar in Rocky – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y-gm7zZY3I and it involved Ben Castles from Epidemic… Over and me, rapping.

March – Started the month with a couple of dates down south – Gold Coast and Byron Bay. First time I had actually been told to stop playing by the venue because we were too loud. Spent a lot of time in a stinky backpacker hostel with an Elvis impersonator called Clammer Ted, who used to play in some legendary punk band called The Clams (http://www.myspace.com/video/the-clams/the-clams-murky-dismal/35621399) and fuck all time on stage. Hung a lot with Anthony Moulay, who deadset is the nicest dude in radio anywhere and travelled to see us play numerous times. Listen to his show on BayFM on saturdays if you are ever in Byron Bay. Did the third Homeward Bound Tour and had a rad time with Cleveland Blues and Jackson Dunn :). Saw My Escapade at No Agendas in the City, with fuck all people there. More people should have been at that gig.This was announced – http://www.bluesfest.com.au/artists/detail.aspx?ArtistID=391 – TDS was playing Bluesfest! Discovered this song by TV on the Radio, which has become EK and I’s song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXLpXu9T7j0. I interviewed the Guitarist from The Dandy Warhols for Press Record – http://pressrecordonline.squarespace.com/interviews/2011/5/5/dandy-warhols.html.

April – This. Ridiculous. (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1856830892992)
APRIL 1 – FORTITUDE VALLEY – Jubilee Hotel (Apollo Room), APRIL 2 – GOODNA – Royal Mail Hotel, APRIL 8 – WEST END – The Joynt with The Beards,
APRIL 13 – FORTITUDE VALLEY – BarSoma, ‘Devil on My Shoulder’ filmclip shoot, APRIL 15 – GOLD COAST – Currumbin Sound Lounge with Marshall and the Fro,
APRIL 16 – SUNSHINE COAST – Joe’s Waterhole with Marshall and the Fro,  APRIL 21 – BYRON BAY BLUESFEST, APRIL 22 – BYRON BAY BLUESFEST, APRIL 25 – BYRON BAY (This – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150162365311596) – Byron Bay Brewery (Buddha Bar), APRIL 28 – FORTITUDE VALLEY – BarSoma, APRIL 29 – LISMORE – Italo Club. Devil on My Shoulder gets played on radio on Cleveland’s Bay FM for its first spin by Kieren Davies and Dave Stanley and then on JJJ for the first time by Dom Alessio. Did this – http://www.balconytv.com/v/transvaal-diamond-syndicate.

Epidemic… Over played at Basement 243 and I heard their new songs, Exceptions, Runaway and The Stone for the first time. The Stone is decided on the spot that it will be their first single from their next EP.They also played with Floating Me at 299 – http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/events/28274/Floating-Me-Sleep-Parade-EpidemicOver-Club-299-24042011.

MCed Rockfest for the third year in a row – Operator! Please. Divas. Found myself wishing the old keyboard chick who turned to porn was there, at least she would have talked to people and maybe told me why she didn’t at least shave for that photoshoot with Abby Winters. Come on.

May – Played in Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. Good gigs – saw Saia Hanlon play drums. My mind exploded. Played with Gay Paris, one of the best bands I found during 2011. My Dick Exploded. Dallas Frasca posted this, about to go and record in New York. Not my experience, but people should listen to her. Played with Dallas Frasca, Over-Reactor and Gay Paris all in the one weekend. Holy Fuck. Recorded a song for the IMP 100 songs project (Thanks John Meyer!). EK interviews my favourite band in the world, Dead Letter Circus – http://pressrecordonline.squarespace.com/interviews/2011/5/22/dead-letter-circus.html. Went on the Washup with Dave and Kieren – http://soundcloud.com/thesundaywashup/transvaal-diamond-syndicate. Started recording again with Dan James. Dude is a master.

June – went on tour up north with Greenthief and The Royal Artillery. The last tour I before I quit but played a few more shows to see it out. Great times. Probably the most eventful tour I’ve been on – broken down vans and fucking crazy (but rad) dudes. Saw Karnivool for the third time at the Hi-Fi. Amazing show.

July – The Beards brought this out and people lost their shit, rightfully so. http://soundcloud.com/the-beards/you-should-consider. Played at this, it was one of the best small festivals in Brisbane this year – http://www.facebook.com/events/153689814684147/.  TDS’ Home filmclip was played on Rage – http://www.abc.net.au/rage/archive/s3258899.htm. Played a run of Melbourne shows for the first time, it was awesome – thank you to Apache Medicine Man! Played the Queensland Festival of Blues – another fucking excellent boutique festival in Brisbane.

August – Played a sold out gig at The Zoo with The Beards for last TDS gig in Brisbane. Devil on My Shoulder filmclip released. Played my final show with TDS at Yeppoon Village Festival. Felt good to do the last one relatively close to home, even though none of my family were actually there to see it as they were away – luckily some amazing friends were there to see it. Took back over managing Epidemic… Over full time. Best move ever. Came back on board, managing the release of their single, The Stone and the planning of their EP release, Long Way Home. Moved house to Ashgrove, close to the Junk Bar. Best move ever.  I’m Your Ticket released – probably the song I am most proud of, drums-wise, but don’t really care much for the project anymore. Drawn from Bees release Dusty Midnight Cowboy and Of Walls and Teeth and they are both fucking excellent. Hustled Merch for excellent local band Charlie Mayfair at their Zoo gig. My excellent friends in Sietta released their newly-signed-to-Elefant-Traks song, What am I supposed to do? It’s awesome.

September – Big Sound showcases with EK, Angelo and Ryan Conway and James Penny, Spoke at Little Big Sound and facilitated panels, went to Sydney with Nathan Bedford, signed a distribution deal with MGM for Epidemic… Over’s new EP and their previous EPs and caught up and talked business with Chelsea Sinnott. Epidemic… Over do a bit of forward scouting and shoot a film clip for The Stone at The Globe. Watch this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z6_FkTb-f4&sns=fb. Greenthief released their Vultures clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECWJ6iKtpS4) and it is excellent. Dallas Frasca shows the world her time in New York – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K-4d_Bc3OE. I speak about music marketing at QUT – https://pricewarmusic.com.au/2011/09/20/online-marketing-and-distribution-presentation-for-qut-2092011/. The Getaway Plan release their song The Reckoning. It’s straight up rad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7ht4fEEtBU. I interview Nicky Bomba for Press Record – http://pressrecordonline.squarespace.com/interviews/2011/9/28/nicky-bomba.html. Epidemic… Over announce their tour dates (that I booked the majority of) for the Pushing the Stone tour in October – http://www.facebook.com/events/289353657741731/.

October – Publicity for Jackson Dunn, Over-Reactor tour, Pushing The Stone Tour, booked first Hi-Fi Show, Booked tour for Bixby Canyon. Meatloaf was balls at the AFL Gand Final. I help my TAFE students organise three gigs, most of them booking and organising gigs for the first time. For the most part, they are all successful! I see Bixby Canyon at the Zoo. Soundwave 2012 lineup released. Jizz. Evil Eddie releases De-Sex your Ex. Jackson Dunn releases Yuni’s Song – BEAUTIFUL. I write this blog and loads of people read it – http://wp.me/p10TjX-38. The Royal Artillery kill it at a gig I didn’t make it to, but fuck I should have, by the looks of this gig – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7quJSV_SZ1I. Epidemic… Over play the Tattered and Torn Festival, launching their Pushing The Stone tour. They launch the single at The Tempo Hotel 28th Oct to approx 200 punters and head south to NSW and VIC.

November – Epiedmic… Over’s The Stone gets its first play (it gets played a few weeks in a row) on Sea, Hot and Star FM nationally as well as being added to the AIRIT catalogue nationally for community radio and goes into rotation on rock playlists. They come back to QLD, play Bundaberg and Schoolies celebrations at Agnes Water. Publicity for Steve Grady’s new EP. Pushing the Stone tour continuing into December with Over-Reactor, as well as Bixby Canyon Tour, Hardcore gig at the Hi-Fi December 8.

I am sure December will hold more music, more laughs and more love. Thank you all. 🙂

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