Tone Capone and Nath Fontaine are back in an epic way with our 30th Episode! We have pulled out all the stops and delivered the most important interview we have completed to date.
SF proudly presents an interview with one of our all time favourite film directors – Mr John Carpenter! Director of such film genre classics as The Thing, Halloween, Assault On Precinct 13, Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From New York and many other noted cinema favourites.
In this interview we go on a journey with John Carpenter, discussing his much publicized career in making classic films and influential music soundtracks that have influenced a generation of filmmakers and musicians alike. We go into detail with his film making process and his artistic relationships forged throughout his career whilst also touching on music and his latest projects such as John Carpenter's 'Asylum', the graphic novel he has most recently completed.
To say John Carpenter is a huge influence on us in an understatement. We both grew up with his movies on repeat back in the days of pop up VCR's and rental video's.
This is a companion piece to our very popular Carpenter Colossus Mix Tape and The Escape From New York Film episode. The interview with Carpenter now completes SF’s very own Carpenter Trilogy.
Big thanks also goes out to John Carpenter himself for making himself available so close to a Lakers game and also to Sean for getting us together.
On February 14th 2013 Godspeed You! Black Emperor played a show that no one was expecting in their wildest dreams at Sydney Enmore Theatre.
Special Features were lucky enough to be there for this amazing night of blissful instrumental post rock from the Seminal Canadian band who formed in 1994 and went onto release some of the genre's defining albums of Post Rock with the 2000 album 'Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven' being considered a genuine classic. Some critics would consider that GY!BE define the genre of Post Rock and are the touchstones of experimental music.
It was truly a pleasure to be a witness to this amazing band who most recently surprised everyone with a new record titled 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!'. This album would go on to be one of GY!BE most successful albums and with the opening track of Mladic clocking in at the epic 20 minute mark, it gives you everything you would expect and more from this iconic outfit. As soon as this album came out, SF quickly caught on and considers this album one of 2012's most important releases.
So click on the link for an in depth discussion of the night’s events as well as a general talk about the amazing post rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the usual Tone Capone and Nath Fontaine style. We hope you enjoy the show and remember as always buy the album and support the band.
My Bloody Valentine are without a doubt one of the most important rock bands of the last 3 decades. The fact that we are seeing them live in 2013 is a miracle, so let’s all take a step back and say thank you to Kevin Shields along with Bilinda Butcher, Debbie Googe and co-founder Colm Ó Cíosóig for reviving this riveting live act and bringing it to Australia.
On Monday February 18, MBV decided it was time to finally play Sydney for a legion of fans that have waited the better part of a lifetime to see this amazing act. It has been 22 years since the seminal album 'Loveless' was released and to make it even better is the fact that on the 2nd February 2013 a brand new highly anticipated album called 'mbv' was also released.
So this wasn’t just any ordinary concert for the fans, this was the awakening of an act who had lain dormant for 2 decades. A concert series in Australia and a new album, who would of thought this would ever transpire.
The anticipation was electric and the tension was at an all time high. Earplugs were handed out at the door to give the uninitiated an indication of what the band had planned for us. The lights dimmed and finally the band made an appearance and let us just say that they absolutely delivered with ear splitting ferocity, lush sonic beauty, trippy visuals and a musical finale that we will never forget for a very long time. We are still discussing it now people. The band looked cohesive, tight and above all loud. Kevin looked relaxed and in total control over his instrument. He is a musical auteur with a singular vision that cannot be reproduced by any other musician. Bilinda Butcher cooed and purred with such style, grace and so many beautiful vocal phrasings. The rhythm section rocked, grooved and were a secret weapon on the night that the band have always had but have always hidden on their records. There has been many shoegaze bands that have come after MBV and have tried to replicate their sound but they have never been quite as good as the original MBV themselves. Loveless is a classic record and in our opinion the new record 'mbv' is a successful continuation of the group's visionary sound and influential legacy. The new record, in time might give the Loveless record a run for its artistic money. Definitely in the Top 10 records of the year already.
Hit the link attached to hear our concert review and our experience of seeing the most important act in the Shoegaze genre. To say that we were excited about seeing this seminal act is an understatement.
As always make sure you buy the music, including the new record and support the artist.
We are back in the saddle and this time it is another installment in our interview series with the amazing band ‘Liars’. This is our biggest episode yet and we are very proud to be presenting the Liars in an interview exploring the making of their latest record and the journey they have travelled since the release of the record in June last year.
Liars are a three-piece band formed in 2000 consisting of Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar), Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth), and Julian Gross (drums). Liars were initially linked to the New York dance punk/ post punk revival scene of the early 2000’s with groups like Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. Since then they have become an innovative and ambitious group – musically, conceptually and visually. Categorized also by their dramatic shifts in musical styles between albums, while retaining a common interest in rhythm and sound texture.
I think it is fair to say that one of our favourite records here at SF headquarters of last year has been The Liars highly anticipated 6th album ‘WIXIW’ (pronounced wish you). Released in June 2012, the record was written in an isolated cabin and was recorded in an industrial area of LA in an unused office block.
As is common with Liars, the record sees the band explore a radically different sound, largely influenced by electronic music. WIXIW is an exciting art rock sonic adventure that is well worth taking with lots of twist and turns and musical surprises. Music this original and exciting is a difficult thing to find in this modern musical landscape.
It was with great pleasure that we were afforded the opportunity to have an in depth discussion with Aaron to discuss the sonic adventures that the Liars were having with this amazing new record which is getting even better after repeated listens. At the SF office this record has been played on repeat for a while now.
So sit back and relax and enjoy the latest installment in our ever evolving interview series with the mighty Liars.
We are back again with another installment in our exciting Interview Series. This time featuring the space disco king all the way from Norway - Lindstrom, with a whole host of Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy´s) to his respected name.
Thanks to our friends at the Sydney Festival we were able to secure an interview to promote his upcoming appearance at the Paradiso at Town Hall on the January 26 at 8pm, Tickets are only $46.00 and if you are lucky enough to be in Sydney it will be a great night out with great tunes with a lot of soul moving energy. Hit the link below for more details.
When we both discovered we were lucky enough to interview Lindstrom, we were extremely excited as his 2008 album 'Where You Go I Go To' went down as one of our records of the year with the title track being a true magnum opus, that is driving music at its best whilst still retaining the basic elements of electronic progressive music across its experimental yet attention grabbing 28 minutes. The music was a revelation at the time and caused us to follow Lindstrom's career closely with every release since that transcendent moment of musical discovery.
Lindstrom has always remained interesting, whether collaborating with the equally experimental Prins Thomas , working with Todd Terje or singer Christabelle on the great 2010 album 'Real Life Is No cool'. Much to everyone's surprise after the interesting yet radically different album 'Six Cups of Rebel’, he announced a new album in November 2012 called 'Smalhans'.
‘Small Hans’ is Lindstrom’s new electronic progressive dance floor offering and special features have been given an in depth insight into the making of the record and Lindstrom’s history of highs and lows as a forward thinking musician in the creative Norway musical scene. We even include some revelations including Lindstrom busking on the streets and his flirtations with playing in a covers band. These stories and more are included in this revelatory interview.
Nath Fontaine and Tone Capone hope you enjoy this episode and we would also like to thank all the special features fans out there for downloading all our episodes and for interacting with us on a daily basis over the course of the year. Also thanks to our hardworking and talented Producer Bianca and the high tech comforts of the illustrious Zig Zag Lane.
Special Features are very proud to present the launch of the new Pop Levi record called 'Medicine', which will hit the streets officially on the 12th November 2012 on Counter Records.
Pop Levi is what you would definitely call a true Multi-Instrumentalist who has spanned many different genres with not only playing music but also being an aspiring film maker with his intriguing World Empire Inc.
Pop Levi first popped onto the scene with the always interesting Super Numeri before releasing his debut solo album 'The Return to Form Black Magick Party' in 2007. To say that this album was a mind bender is an understatement with Pop channeling Prince by way of Marc Bolan through a doorway that had Bob Dylan sitting there. This album stood up and made us all take notice.
Pop then retreated to LA to record his follow up 'Never Never Love' at the famous Westlake Recording Studios, in the same room Quincy Jones recorded Michael Jackson's Thriller and Off The Wall albums.
Even though there was always a sporadic single release, random mixtape or filmette through his World Empire Inc. Website. Pop remained largely silent until it was with great relief that we heard that Pop Levi had his 3rd album coming out and it would be dropping in November, by the way the album is called 'Medicine.
Medicine is his third official solo studio album and the SF collective have to say that this record is an absolute stunner – an LP that is a very unique and clever take on new wave, '70s funk, '60s garage, Prince smarts and T-Rex glam rock glory!
This addictive combination makes Medicine a madcap journey through the mind and influences of the maverick artist that is Pop Levi and a music release that will be a sure fire winner on the Australian summer airwaves this year.
As Pop Levi boldly states on the record –“I’m back, with another little heart attack!” Never a truer word spoken.
SF has been very lucky to be given an interview with the multi-talented English singer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and filmmaker.
We are very proud of this next entry in our interview series. The latest interview gives a real insight into the artist and the making of the new record that is compelling, interesting and funny. Don’t forget, it’s all about World Empire INC!
Check out the lead single and video for "Strawberry Shake" which acts as the lead single from the album campaign and is accompanied by promotional music video directed by Bunny Holiday. Enjoy Peeps!
Quick mention – this is our 25th official episode as well – big ups for the world Special Features!!
Also, a special mention to Pop Levi, Nicky and our beloved producer Rosario G for making all this possible. Much respect!
Please also hit the links below for further information.
Here is a surprise mixtape that perhaps you were not expecting.
In celebration of Scott Walker the amazing american-British singer-songwriter, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers who will be dropping a rare new solo album on December 3rd called 'Bish Bosch', i have decided to do a brief retrospective mixtape to introduce those who may be unaware of this rare talent.
Scott is one of those musicians that you may not hear of for a considerable amount of time but when he shows up with his latest offering you always stand up and take notice. From his early records with the highly regarded Walker Brothers to when he went solo in 1967 and started producing his acclaimed solo records Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 and Scott 4. All these albums are bold and brash with a high degree of complexity with quite often a sweeping orchestra over seeing proceedings. After many solo albums in the 60's and 70's and with a sole album in 1984 called 'Climate of Hunter' Scott disappeared until he showed up in 1995 with a drastically different but highly regarded and experimental album ‘Tilt’. Scott then waited another 11 years before he would re appear again with the equally experimental 'The Drift'. All these albums are great and some of my personal favourites. I can only wonder exactly what he has to offer with' Bish Bosch' and are waiting with a high degree of anticipation for what this wonderful musician will be bringing with him this time.
On this mixtape i have included a cross section of his early solo albums along with some selected cuts from his later material. Also i have to give a big thanks to Tone Capone for lending me Scott 3 (which i still havnt returned) for starting me on this musical Journey.
I hope that you enjoy the tunes and as always please consider this mixtape to be a starting point and don't forget to buy the Albums.
Tone and Nath are back again but this time with a twist on our usual concept.
We have decided to start analysing and dissecting our favourite films and directors through a special film series that we will be trying to do more often.
For this episode we have decided to focus on John Carpenter's 5th Feature Length Film 'Escape From new York' which we consider a true genre classic and a great way to open up our film series.
Released in 1981 to critical acclaim and high box office 'Escape From new York' was the action movie hit of that summer grossing 50 million worldwide and going on to create a legendary cult following. The film is set in the near future in a crime-ridden United States that has converted Manhattan Island in New York City into a maximum security prison. Ex-soldier Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is given 24 hours to find the President of the United States, who has been captured after the crash of Air Force One.
So before we give the ending away, settle in and enjoy the truly compelling saga that was the making of Escape From New York.
This will be the first of many in our film series and is also to considered a companion piece to the carpenter colossus - http://specialfeatures.podbean.com/2012/09/19/special-features-mixtape-carpenter-colossus/
The SF Massive is back after a long breather with an epic return with a mixtape that has been months in the making. The next instalment in the Colossus series is a musical exploration of the excellent movie soundtracks composed by one of my favourite all time filmmakers - John Carpenter.
Besides being noted as an iconic genre filmmaker with a classic run between 1976 and 1988 that included classics such as Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, Escape From New York. The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China and They Live.
John Carpenter has also composed and performed soundtracks to his most well known films. So with this in mind – Tone Capone has gone through the Carpenter archives and put together a musical thrill ride through Carpenter’s most noted works. Let it be known right now that this mixtape will rock and electrify!
As you will soon realise – Carpenter is an amazing musical innovator who helped push the use of synthesisers and modern soundtrack composition within the genres he was working in. No Carpenter film would be complete without a killer, driving score accentuating the eye-catching visuals, strong storylines and tight editing.
His work has influenced a lot of modern musicians – most recently the Geoff Barrow driven project Drokk as well as having an influence over many well known purveyors of the electro movement. So Special Features thought it was time to highlight John Carpenter in the next Colossus mix.
Sit back, relax, microwave some popcorn and get ready for a Carpenter journey through music and dialogue.
As always these mix tapes are to be considered a starting point as there is so much in the John Carpenter vault to discover.
SF keeps on going strong into the 21st Century with a shotgun episode salute!
This is another first in a long list of firsts for the SF crew this year. SF presents a special shotgun episode that has been recorded and edited at a rollicking pace so we can get it out to the peeps as fast as humanly possible!
On the 25.5.2012 we were fortunate enough to go and see a great Australian Band 'PVT' at the Opera house as part of the Vivid Live Festival and needless to say we were blown away by how amazing these guys were. This is a band that is about to hit their 4th album any minute now and their confidence and experience shined through as a host of new songs were put to the test.
Being fans of this band for some time now it was no surprise that their new material showcased a new side to PVT that we had not seen before with a heavier focus on vocals and the welcome addition of a horn section adding a new dimension of light and shade to an already unique sound. To say that we are excited to hear how these new songs translate to long form album is an understatement..
PVT is an exciting band to be a fan of, as their albums always take unique turns that you do not necessarily expect. With every release they have matured in new and exciting directions whilst always maintaining the PVT sound.
We have to say thank you to the good people at Vivid Festival for giving us the opportunity to see PVT live and in all their musical glory.
We hope you enjoy the new SF Shotgun show and the vast Hollywood sound effects library that we have used to make sure that this show goes into blockbuster mode. Even George Lucas would be jealous.