Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

I've been very caught up lately in getting back into the swing of things after the (all too brief) holidays, but part of the struggle is that I don't necessarily want to get back into the swing of things. My only real new years resolution is to play, record and write more music and to play more music in front of an audience. But I've always tied myself up in knots over the part of me that thinks that wanting to do that is selfish, indulgent and unnecessary in a bloated and over-represented field of the arts (particularly noticeable in Melbourne) - and the other part of me that believes that music should be for sharing and that it is one of the key mediums of communicating the human condition across all languages, cultures and backgrounds. If my favorite musicians had decided to stay in their bedrooms moping about how self-indulgent they are surely my life would be less  rich for it?

Another part of the emotional paradox is that in order to be brave and sally forth with my musical ambition I actually need to believe that other people are interested in hearing my music and believe that it is good enough to share. This requires me to embrace my ego and seeing as I've been trying my hardest to keep it in a small, secure, little box,  for as long as I can remember - the prospect of coaxing it out to do my bidding terrifies me. Which is a little silly because I don't actually believe that my myriad of muso friends are godzilla like egomaniacs (although working in radio I have met my fare share)...

Anyway it could be that I am over thinking the whole thing.......but coming to the rescue of my troubled mind on the second evening of the New Year was the magnificent Devonte Hynes of Lightspeed Champion at the East Brunswick Club.

All photos taken on an awful iphone, I'd rather watch the show than document it for later enjoyment.
If you aren't familiar with Lightspeed Champion you should visit his myspace or start with 'Falling off the Lavender Bridge' and listen to how well composed, heartfelt and thoughtfully crafted his songs are,  it is also an incredibly rare treat to see a proficient musician play indie pop/rock music.  At a moment in music history where I feel like I am walking around covered in cobwebs of nostalgia which are slowly smothering my interest in music to death, Dev's music is like a cold shower on a hot sweaty night. Suddenly you are wide awake, all of your senses are keen and alert and you feel refreshed. All overused analogies aside, Dev is an amazing guitarist and pianist with a pitch perfect voice and an endearing stage presence - a mixture of shyness and sureness, with just a pinch of indie irony (He also worked on the soundtrack to MacGruber). Musicians such as Dev inspire a steadfast and loyal fan base and the tight knit audience that appeared out of the woodwork for this evening were spellbound from the first note, only opening their mouths to sing quietly along to every song.  I was also really impressed that he was able to convincingly play along to backing tracks for a number of songs, which is no easy feat. Dev was also friendly and welcoming to his fans after the show, with the line of people wanting to meet him and take photos snaking the length of the East Brunswick club.... a true gentleman of indie rock.

If it sounds like I'm gushing there is a good reason for it - the most important thing about this show was that it was inspiring and it inspired me to try and become a better musician and to stop being afraid of the horse.
I don't have to aspire to be a musician in a grandiose grotesque cult of the celebrity sort of way, it's okay to be the shy, self-effacing performer and still believe in what I'm doing.

Here is a demo of one of Dev's new songs 'Flush Out' - he played this at the show:

Find more artists like Lightspeed Champion at Myspace Music


  1. There's no need to be afraid of the horse...
    All the greats were on it.

  2. dust off those cobwebs and find something new and fun.