ABR Arts Music

Bill Callahan

Doug Wallen
Tuesday, 02 June 2015

Texas-based songwriter Bill Callahan recorded for fifteen years under the name Smog but, since releasing his first album under his own name in 2007, he has gradually shed the murkier indie-rock connotations of Smog and broadened into an acclaimed bard of minimalist Am ...

Courtney Barnett

Doug Wallen
Monday, 18 May 2015

‘I’m sorry for all of my insecurities, but they’re just a part of me’, sings Courtney Barnett in her song ‘Debbie Downer’. Those insecurities are not just part of her, but key to the heady spike in her global profile over the past two years. Since her mid-2013 single ‘Avant Gardener’, which detailed the twenty-seven-year-old songwriter’s panic atta ...

Black Diggers (three stars), written by Tom Wright, directed by Wesley Enoch, and produced by the Queensland Theatre Company, received its world première at the 2014 Sydney Festival in January. Then, the full clamour of Australia’s more than $400 m ...

Laura Jean

Kate Hennessy
Tuesday, 28 April 2015

For every transcendental moment live music delivers, there are keenly felt disappointments. Like loving an album down to its last breath, then finding the lyrics inaudible at a gig – muddied by bad sound or over-loud strumming. It seems a churlish reason to feel deflated but who hasn’t felt it?

Augie March

Fiona Hile
Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Augie March’s Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC) show is a home-town Gatorade-and-oranges stop on their ‘lap of luxury’, a national tour that has taken in velvet-lined theatres in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, and, as singer–songwriter Glenn Richards wryly put it during their set, Bendigo. The MRC was purported ...

Hopping around the stage of Ballarat’s historic Her Majesty’s Theatre, Paul Kelly at one point resembled a giddy teenager cutting loose on rhythm guitar at band practice rather than a veteran songwriter with nearly twenty albums behind him. Such exuberance can be attributed in large part to the night’s premise: Kelly augmented his five-piece live configuration ...

Hamer Hall seemed close to full for the first of two performances of Hector Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. It was the first time in twenty years that the orchestra has performed the work. As is often the case, this was a concert version. Full productions are not unknown, but they are scarce.

In 1845 Berlioz had orc ...

Ben Brooker reviews 'Reflections on Gallipoli'

Ben Brooker
Friday, 20 March 2015

It is, of course, one hundred years since almost 9,000 Australians died on a small Turkish peninsula during a campaign that, despite its localised failure as a military operation and futility in influencing the overall course of the war, has been unalterably woven into the fabric of our national mythos. Commemorative presentations are frequent. Orchestras, televisio ...

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