Mix Tape: Golden Plains Festival

Just as Meredith marks the start of the festival season for many Melburnians, Golden Plains signals its conclusion. This weekend you can expect all the usual things that Golden is loved for – a conveniently placed single stage so you can see all the acts, a stellar line-up and a total absence of dickheads. (Why can’t the world just have a No Dickhead Policy?) Here’s a little taste of what to see this weekend.

The Peep Tempel – ‘Kalgoorlie’

Melbourne’s always been one of the world’s capitals for dark, raw and uncompromising rock music – something extending back to the days of the Boys Next Door, The Primitive Calculators and the rest of the Little Band Scene of the late seventies. Like many of those seminal bands, The Peep Tempel have built their sound on putting urban and industrial decay into song, and their latest record, Joy, has to be one of strongest post-punk releases in recent memory.

Orb – ‘Electric Blanket’

Heavy doom that sounds like it’s 1971 again – fittingly coming from a few Geelong fellas who started a garage rock band called The Frowning Clouds seven years ago and sounded like they were from 1964. Orb is made up of three non-metal guys playing old school, bluesy heavy rock. In other words, a six-armed unit-pumping out that music without the trappings of a song writing mindset based on showiness. It’s all about the songs here, not the solos.

Camp Cope – ‘Lost: Season One’

Camp Cope are one of the more remarkable local indie rock success stories of the last few years, going from relative unknowns to cult favourites to award-winning festival mainstays in barely two years as a band. Also featured in our Laneway playlist back in January, because they’re great, with a penchant for nostalgia and back-to-basics sound that in many ways harks back to the golden age of Australian alt-rock that was the early-mid nineties.

Cash Savage and the Last Drinks – ‘Falling, Landing’

Cash Savage and her backing band play a noisy, often dissonant brand of country blues that’s aptly entered the spotlight in a time of significant political unrest and uncertainty all around the world. Not that the music’s necessarily about that specifically, but it brings with it a mood that’s in equal parts abrasive, sombre and reassuring to a time that’s looking to be dark one for many.

Kurt Vile – ‘The Ghost of Freddy Roach’

The ever-affable Philly native has been on something of a roll the last few years, and he last graced our shores barely a year ago with his backing band The Violators, and a one-off solo show at The Shadow Electric back when it that was all still going on at the Abbotsford Convent. Next month he’s bringing that solo show back and is sure to receive many a boot in the Sup. This track, a B-side from 2013, is a deep, deep cut that I bet my bottom dollar he’s not gonna play but you should treat yourself to it anyway.

Margaret Glaspy – ‘Memory Street’

Eliciting comparisons to Joni Mitchell, Elliot Smith and Liz Phair, Glaspy makes off-kilter folk-pop tunes with an eye for wry wit that a scant few singer-songwriters are fortunate enough to be blessed with. Expect more than a few candid, idiosyncratic odes to young adulthood, and this song, where Glaspy and band hit that Crazy Horse-ish line between fragility and ragged, fuzzy collapse.

Oren Ambarchi – ‘Hubris, Pt. 1’

Who knows what he’ll play, but celebrated Melbourne avant-garde guitarist Oren Ambarchi, known in Australian for his solo work and internationally for his membership of Gravetemple and Burial Chamber Trio with members of Sunn O))), will certainly bring an atmosphere fitting the location. His latest record Hubris draws on 70s Krautrock and early progressive electronic music, and is a great place to start digging into his extensive discography if you aren’t familiar with him.

The Specials – ‘Ghost Town’

Aunty’s always great about getting some of the more offbeat greats of yesteryear onboard for Meredith and Golden Plains, unleashing them on the older contingent who might know and love them, and on the younger crowds who might grow to know and love them. This time, it’s 2-Tone ska legends The Specials’ turn – who were one of the first notable bands to blend ska and reggae with punk music in the UK in the late seventies.

While Golden Plains tickets sold out months ago but there’s always some available for re-sale – before anything else, we recommend Aunty’s Golden Re-sale Service for that purpose, all done through the organisers themselves.

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