Author Archives: Sharon Ye

About Sharon Ye

"Be excellent to each other" - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Review: Sticky Fingers @ The Metro Theatre, March 21

The Sydney five-piece is an unstoppable force. An unrelenting touring schedule – national and international – paired with their perfected art of hit-making and irreverent Newtown swagger, Sticky Fingers have become a fast crowd favourite. A mainstay of the live circuit, the boys have reached a milestone, selling out one show after another for their Land of Pleasure tour. Sydney’s Metro theatre was no exception, and was packed out by revellers from the very beginning.

Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” was played out in its entirety – an admittedly self-indulgent gesture, before Sticky Fingers were finally coaxed on stage with chants of “Stiiiiiii-cky Stiiiiiii-cky.” Shout out to guitarist Seamus who is in his trademark red hot shorts again. The band open with “Freddy Crabs,” which showcases an absolute killer of a piano intro. The whole tune is one fat psychedelic jam with a reeling guitar solo, one of the most elaborate and complex tracks on their debut, Caress Your Soul.

Sticky Finger’s new single, “Gold Snafu” from their upcoming sophomore album is played to a crowd who already knows every single word. Whether it’s songs from yet to be released Land of Pleasure, or old crowd favourites “Headlock,” and “How To Fly,” the audience laps up each and every one indiscriminately.  For the devotees below the stage, these guys can do no wrong.

“These Girls” – if ever there was a Sticky love song, this is it. Lead singer, Dylan Frost croons “When I’m lying in her arms/I’ll be thinking about you.” Many girls (and boys) in the audience figuratively die because they just can’t.

Jimmy Young from the band Bootleg Rascal is then invited on stage to play with Sticky Fingers for the song, Bootleg Rascal. Nailed it.

No Sticky’s set is ever complete without one of their mates jumping in for a jam. Last year it was Tuka (Thundamentals), and this year, one Nick Lupi (Spit Syndicate) appears, who celebrates his twenty-sixth day of birth on stage with the Newtown lads. The MC throws down a few rowdy verses before retiring backstage.

For the encore, front man Frost returns to the stage alone and plays the stripped back “Slow” – a track from their early days that demonstrates the skilful song writing that has carried the band to success. Mid-tune, the lead singer is joined by his companions who flesh out the track together. It ‘s one of their strongest moments on stage, with the stripped back instrumentals creating quite a striking, visceral experience. The crowd are taken, and you can tell because it’s the calmest they’ve been since the start of the show.

The Sticky crowd is ‘loose’ at best, but more accurately described as rough, and when the band wrapped up with 2013 Hottest 100 fave, “Australia Street”, they promptly lost their shit. There was no one in sight who couldn’t belt out “I don’t feel/afraid from you” ending the night on a good-vibe high.

Energy levels were at a constant high, and true to form, Sticky Fingers put on a ripper of a show. They’re still a bit rough around the edges, and they’ve definitely played tighter sets, but it was hard not to be seduced by the band’s raw enthusiasm. The boys were clearly stoked that all their hard work has paid off – and so they should be. If anything is to be said, these gnarly Newtown troublemakers are in it for the long haul.

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And the worst blogger finally decides to sit still for more than an hour. And even then, it’s been three weeks since I wrote that previous line, so here goes round two.

Julian Casablancas sang that “ten decisions shape your life, you’ll be aware of five about.” Well at the semi-ripe age of 21, I’ve become aware of two.

Decision #1

Ever since I’ve started my journalism degree, I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone time and time again. I still smile when I think about my first assignment – talk to twenty strangers on the street and just ask them how they’re going and what’s happening in the neighbourhood. Terrifying. I was shy, fresh out of high school and extremely awkward.

When I first started interviewing people over the phone, I would have to script everything before I could ring them. Literally, everything; “Hi, this is Sharon calling from…. how are you today?”

It’s been three years now, and since then I’ve interviewed countless strangers in their homes, learnt to tweet, travelled to parts of Sydney I would never think of venturing to otherwise, and pressed politicians about their policies.

Some time in late 2012, when I finished one of the biggest journalism projects of my life (smogmagsyd.wordpress.com), and landed an amazing editorial internship I decided that it was time to push for more. I had the feeling that I had done everything I wanted to do in Sydney and it was time for me to move on.

After I filed my application to study abroad, I also began writing for two of my favourite online publications, and completed my final journalism major work on the Annandale Hotel – one of my favourite music venues in the world. I put my heart and soul into that, and by the time that was done too, I was ready to leave.

Decision #2

Amsterdam. I had never lived alone, barely knew how to cook and was the proud exhibitor of a permanent floordrobe at my home in Sydney. And for the next six months, I had to fend for myself.

This is one of my earliest memories of Amsterdam: everyone being overly-friendly in the first few weeks of moving into student housing (even forcefully so), I invited a flatmate to have lunch with me. So I serve the stir-fry I had just made and heap a mound of rice onto his plate. I take a bite – the rice is better described as hard than soft. Good one, Shaz. At that early stage, my flatmate is too polite to say it’s inedible (a few weeks later he will relentlessly tell everyone to bring penicillin when I’m cooking and periodically remind me I’m the only human being who can’t cook rice), sort of grits his teeth and says it’s just “slightly” under.

And now I can cook and have become friends with all those people who have figuratively died eating my food. My flatmates were my family and best friends. I’m most nostalgic of waking up and knocking on their doors to go exploring the strange, seedy, wonderful city.

I never thought I’d ride my bike to clubs and double lock it to prevent it from being thrown into a canal or stolen by a junkie; I never thought I’d go to a cat boat and cat museum on the same day. I never thought I’d meet a Norwegian in my life (nor did I think about them much previously, if I am honest), and I never thought I’d fall (platonically) in love with so many strangers. Friendships were fostered in the most unexpected and organic ways.

I’ve learnt bits about the Swiss democracy, about Spanish birthday traditions, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve learnt to appreciate and enjoy the time I spend with myself.

I initiated more conversations with my parents, was excited to tell them about the strangeness and hilarity of adapting to a city with such a unique culture. I became even closer to my sister and became more of the sibling I had always wanted to be.

I grew up, I became more mature and honest about my feelings, and reevaluated the way I saw myself.

I arrived in Amsterdam largely unfamiliar with its culture and people. Being alone for the first time in my life, I became the best version of myself.

My hunger has grown – for unknown cities, for friends I have not yet met and for that feeling of having this vast, terrifying opportunity to experience EVERYTHING looming over me.

I’m not advocating travel as such. What I want to tell you is to push yourself to do things that make you nervous, things that make you squirm and things that make your heart beat a little faster just thinking about it. Dreaming isn’t enough.

Tunes that stuck with me throughout Amsterdam, enjoy:

T. Dub + Mr. French

HI PALS!

Been a reaaaaallly long time. I’m a shitty blogger but I’m still writing many, many reviews and features (just not on here). Have a click around on Music Feeds and The Brag to find some word jumble that I’ve rolled out. Having said that, I do have a review drafted for this humble WordPress here – coming at ya soon.

But right now, I’ve just finished putting the final touches on the full length interview I did with T.Dub and Mr. French. They give some insights into the world of graffiti art, introducing some really interesting perspectives. These kids are super talented and all round cool d00ds – worth checking out fo’ shizzy! Enough crazy talk from me, WATCH THIS VIDEO:

And before I go and take another three month break (I actually won’t, I do have another post coming up shortly), here is some ear fodder in the meantime:

Found these guys on triplej unearthed – yay Sydney music scene, you are great. I will be using more analytical phrases next time… until then, bruddaz!

many things!

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Tuka at the Annandale, taken by me.

I thought without uni and a lesser need to venture into the city I’d spend less and save more. I clearly underestimated my reckless bank-breaking abilities. Although, having said that I’ve been having a ball going to gigs and beating all of my friends at our board game nights (Just kidding! I never win). Anyway, this is the soundtrack so far to the first month of my break:

Mitzi are a Brissie quartet that makes funky disco t00ns. I was first introduced to them when I had to interview keyboardist Jad Lee. Really digging “Who will love you now,” they sound a little bit Breakbot/Hot Chip, which is always good when the time comes to bust out some moves; they rocked the house last night at Goodgod. At this point I also feel a need to do a shoutout to the Goodgod photographers who were part of my whole experience. I watched with a sense of amusement and confusion as these guys did lunges with a leg up on stage or shouldered the punters in the front to take a snap of the sweaty brows of said musicians. I love to see that passion and determination to get a good shot, but I often had to check myself saying, “Sharon, you’re not here to people-watch photographers, you’re here for Mitzi.”

So excited to hear from these guys again after their solid debut, Gorilla Manor. “Breakers” lived up to all my expectations and I’m in the keenest state a bean could be in to get my hands on their next record.

There has been so much hype around this Sydney producer, he tops the list of people I want to see live. Flume’s collaborated with another local on his debut, Anna Lunoe, who lends her nonchalant vocals to this funky track – good vibes all round. Cool video by the way, though it would have been infinitely improved if Harley Streten aka Flume pulled more of these moves.

I went to my first hip-hop show last week and loved it. All my “friends” were super encouraging when I told them I was expanding my musical horizons, saying things like “Shaz…,” “lulz you’re not a gangsta” or just laughing in my face. Great, y’all! But all that aside, Tuka was the man I saw and he’s a PERFORMER. I’m not saying that lightly either, he was super switched on and fed off the crowd’s energy, giving it off in equal amounts mixed with perspiration and theatrics. But seriously I was really glad I decided to go see him and all his mates (Jeswon, Ellesquire, Tenth Dan etc.) This song is genius, and so is the other one he did with Jane Tyrell which you can find here. I am so dedicated I vow to buy a copy of his album once my account balance exceeds $0.96. True.

This has been kicking around for a while, but Flight Facilities seem to have a knack for finding fitting vocalists to complement their superior production skillz. Christine Hoberg’s vocals have an ethereal quality, and the whole seven and a half minutes is a perfectly self contained, blissed-out dream.

That’s me done for the night! Have you noticed 80% of this post was dedicated to Australians? Great job guys, killing it – NME says so too! I’ve been sticking almost exclusively to local bands and gigs myself this past month, and it’s definitely worthwhile seeing these people hustle day and night to get their art out there.

Writing on the Wall

I know original posts have been rather lacking lately, but I’ve been busy with UNIZ – and this is one of the SICK things that I got to do this semester. I really, really enjoyed filming and producing this little piece, and those graffiti writers in the video are crazy talented – definitely worth taking a look at their work here, here and here.

Other than that, fingers crossed creativity will return once this semester is over (ha), and I’ll return snappier and funnier than ever, battering yo self with AWESOME music posts and topical memes. Over and out.

First taste

Hip-hop and I haven’t really had a long history, this being especially true for Australian hip-hop. But after I did an album review for Urthboy, I found myself listening almost exclusively to Aussie hip-hop in the following weeks. There are many reasons to explain hip-hop’s absence from my playlists over the years; the standout being its conflicting nature with me as a person, and the excessive use of the ‘c’ word. But lolz aside, I’ve always had this sweeping generalisation applied to all hip-hop artists in my mind, that is, presuming that lyrical content is limited to making ‘dem dollaz $$$’ and ‘bitches n hoes,’ as well as that characteristic so particular to Aussie rap; the accent which seems amplified in verse. However, in the few short weeks I’ve used to dip my toes (there is probably a better analogy for this) into the landscape of Aussie hip-hop, I’ve gotten in touch with a newfound appreciation for a genre I have overlooked for so long. Diverse, clever, and both lyrically and melodically sound, here are a few tracks I’ve scoured:

Spit Syndicate – “Beauty in the Bricks”

The latest from Sydney hip-hop duo, this track is produced by Adit from fellow hip-hop outfit, Horrorshow.  “Beauty in the Bricks” is the first single from Spit Syndicate’s third studio album, Sunday Gentlemen, paying homage to their roots in Sydney and all things new.

Jimblah – “Blind”

This big guy just got signed to Elefant Traks and what excites me most is that I don’t think I’ve heard anyone else that sounds like him. Big call, I know, but take a listen to this:

Hermitude – “Golden”

This track is from their latest album HyperParadise. On this particular YouTube link, you will notice a very observant Youtuber has commented: “This song is like clouds high-fiving each other.” I whole-heartedly agree, dear sir; this particular song makes me want to move my shoulders like Beyonce in her “Run the World (Girls)” video (but in time to the track, der.).

Jimblah’s full album, Face the Fire is also free to download here.

Cra-a-zy

Welcome, to a journey through time and space…

Now that I’m done ripping off The Mighty Boosh, I’d like to welcome you all to the new Girl of the Cosmos.

I don’t know what it is that has spurred this sudden yearning for change. Perhaps it’s my new internship, or the 2000 songs I stole from a new friend, or the introduction of THE BEST ice cream parlour in the world, I just don’t know. It just feels right, and I’m hoping in time, this blog will grow with me, and bring you things that are a mixed bag of melodic, insightful and infuriating. Enjoy these ideas and articles, and drop me a line sometimes…

Now bask in the crazy infectious sounds of the second single off Urthboy’s new album, Smokey’s Haunt, which I reviewed (more on that later).