The North

LOCALLY GROWN. INTERNATIONALLY SEWN.

Rolling Notes - COAST TO COAST Day 2

Travel, AdventureNorth JournalComment

All photos Grace Picot. 

Words Tim Boreham

Day Two saw us waking in the amazing Oxley Wild River National park. We had set up camp in the dark to the sounds of a fellow camper known as "Tassie", when I asked why do they call him Tassie, he raised his large and very bizarre cocktail glass/mug hybrid and took a sip, he then replied with a very profound " 'Cos i'm from Tassie". Makes sense I guess. 

We woke to the loud sounds of cockatoos and other creatures then made a fire and loaded up the jaffle iron with peanut butter sandwiches, who said you couldn't have peanut butter jaffles? After a long breakfast and a few cups of tea we set out to explore the surrounding area. We were blown away by the gorges that somehow appeared in what I thought was farm land and we saw more waterfalls in two days than I knew existed, short and fat ones, tall and skinny ones and large robust ones that blew us away. I guess thats why it's called waterfall way. 

We realised very quickly that the Oxley Wild River is far too huge to explore in a day or two and vow to come back for at least a week next time. That afternoon we hit the road, we rolled West to Armidale then South towards Dubbo with the idea that we just drive until we are tired then stop in the nearest town. It turned out the town of Dunedoo was just the spot to lay the head. 

 

Rolling Notes - COAST TO COAST - DAY ONE

Travel, AdventureMatt PikeComment

All photos Grace Picot unless stated. 

The idea of driving across Australia in the noisy old North Delivery Van all came to reality today. After weeks of an uncertain departure date and adding the last minute essentials to the truck we finally left the warm, safe, acai bowl infested and crowded shores of the Gold Coast where we had been on a work trip for the past two weeks. The day before departure we had surfed what would be called 'almost pumping' Snapper and Greenmount with a million of our closest friends, including Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and every other pro who was still in town and wave hungry. After surfing for around three hours with about three waves, it was time to call it quits. I remember walking up the beach with a defeated look on my face and saying out loud, "get me the hell outta here".

It was a 5am wake up call as we said goodbye to the routine and felt the nerves of uncertainty creep in. No matter how excited I get on road trips there is always whispers of insecurity floating around in my mind. What if the 1989 Land Rover decides it's had enough? I'm no bush mechanic after all. What if I don't load the jerry cans up with enough fuel across the Nullarbor? What if I hit a Kangaroo the size of the incredible hulk? But then I snap back to reality, it's Australia, my home country, I speak the same language, I know our customs and currency and most of all help is never too far away. Or is it? After all it's a country with a lot of open space and with not a whole lot around. 

We began the drive in the dark Rolling South across the QLD border back into NSW and headed inland from Byron Bay for some water fall swims. After all the land temperature was around 35 degrees which means the truck temperature is at about 39 degrees until you hit 110kmh when the air in the manually opened vents at the front begin to finally flow.

After a morning spent by the falls we continued along an old favourite, up the Waterfall Way road through Bellingen and heading west out past Dorrigo. It was the land that lay beyond these known parts that excited me most, the Oxley Wild River National park where we would set up camp for the night and explore the next day. 

The next two weeks we will be making our way to Margaret River, WA, When internet permits we will be posting updates on here. 

Thanks to Poler Stuff and Corona Extra for helping us along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Paradise

MusicMatt PikeComment

From North Journal Autumn Issue 05:

James Adams reviews one of Sydney's newest NYE festivals

"At one stage I saw a river being crossed by a pack of crayons"

Arguably the prettiest festival venue in Australia, the Glenworth Valley in Peats Ridge housed Lost Paradise Festival for 3 days over New Years Eve.

A diverse 4000 strong crowd mixed with ravers, hippies, tweakers, families, mountain folk, drunk teens, and any other breed you may find in society, all mingled happily in the rolling hills for three days of music, yoga, magic and food.

At one stage I saw a river being crossed by a pack of crayons before they walked past a tent full of people practising yoga, and then headed on to a magic show. All to the sounds of Hiatus Kaiyote playing behind me on the main stage.

The build up to the New Year was choreographed wisely. A somewhat lazy afternoon was booted into party mode with The Delta Riggs playing through sunset. The crowd’s hangovers were now eased back into a nice warm buzz as Pond followed with trademark freak outs and crazy sounds. The Preatures encouraged more conventional dance moves, banging out their hits before Ball Park Music sang in the New Year covering Queen again.

For those who backed the old: "I'm not making plans for New Years, it's always a let down" stance, you kooked it.

An hour from Sydney this "plan" afforded you three days of camping by a river in the hills, hearing good music, over-eating great food and the freedom to fart around doing whatever.

Not bad Lost Paradise, not bad at all.

Photos & Words by James Adams

Rolling North

Travel, AdventureMatt PikeComment

"Exploring is a luxury, but if it’s a luxury you can afford then it is only going to make you a better human. You meet countless amounts of people who all look different, think different and act different to you. It’s encountering these differences that teaches you far more than just hanging at the beach car park with the same old misfit gang you’ve been hanging with since puberty."

Excerpt from NORTH journal issue 5

Supported by Corona Extra, Poler Stuff, Prodjuice

Concept & Direction NORTH Journal (Tim Boreham & Matt Pike)
Filmed & Edited by Aaron Smith
Additional footage Luke Mashman

North Nº5 – Autumn Issue Launch @ ZUBI Newport

Matt PikeComment

The garden jungle hidden out the back of ZUBI Newport played host to an after hours launch of our fifth issue of NORTH Journal. Camp Vibes were strong with a 1 man Poler tent setup in the garden providing shelter for those hiding from the elements and our Rolling North feature trip on full display. Look out for our delivery van spreading the news this week.

Thanks to Corona Extra, Prodjuice, Poler Australia and the gang at ZUBI.

The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth

Art, Publishing, KidsMatt PikeComment

A children's book by Chris Burkard about finding joy in the journey and enjoying the great outdoors.

Chris Burkard has always been one of our favorite photographers and real inspirations to travel. He has teamed up with Disney Interactive artist David McClellan & Dreamling Books to launch a kickstarter campaign to create a beautiful and thought provoking children's book.

Well worth a pledge

North N4 – Summer Issue Launch

Matt PikeComment

Party write up from Monster Children 

WHAT HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED THIS PAST YEAR? ME? I WASHED MY SHEETS TWICE AND MANAGED TO RETURN SOME LATE DVD’S, I ALSO WON A ‘FREE SCRATCHIE’ ON A INSTANT SCRATCH-IT THAT I GOT FOR MY BIRTHDAY. I GUESS YOU COULD SAY 2014 IS MY YEAR.

Then you have those overachievers – I’m talking about the people with the sticky tape in between their glasses who land space probes on asteroids, come up with vaccines for ebola and can hold down a full time job at Woolworths.

The good guys at North Journal are overachievers. They recently just released ‘North Journal No.4′ as well as ticking over a full year in the independent publishing game, and when you reach a milestone such as that, you do as any independent publisher does and spend what little money you have on throwing a big fuck-off party!

The boys did just that, and with 450 RSVP’s who knew what to expect on the evening. The night ended up turning into a complete blow out as the thirsty crowd congregated at the Wild Things gallery, the space ‘wild’ by name and nature.

Northern Beaches swamp rockers The Ruminaters launched their debut album on the night. The crowd sweated profusely as they lost their shit to the Rumi’s (honourable mention to the guy with his junk out the entire set) and afterwards Rad Dan took control of the decks and spun everybody’s favourite Aussie anthems.

My accomplishments for the evening? Drinking half of Dan Murphy’s as well as eating my body weight in CFC (Could be fried chicken), where I got my meal upsized for free before catching the bus home. As previously mentioned I guess you could say 2014 is my year.

Photos: About LST Night  – The rest of the photos over HERE.

SUSPENDED PARTICLE

Matt PikeComment

MISFIT SHAPES presents the ’SUSPENDED PARTICLE’ ~ their new summer thruster and go-to comp board for OTIS CAREY and his recent contest success, she's a party in the front, business in the back.

Watch this sweet little clip of OTIS CAREY moving sections of ocean, shot by Josh Simpson.

Additional footage JOSH SECOMB In collaboration with BUZZKULL

 

PORTUGAL. THE MAN – Free Tour

Matt PikeComment

Free tour across Australia - November 2014 brought to you by Corona Extra!

Prolific on stage and in the studio, Portugal. The Man have to date released seven albums while keeping a pace of 200 shows each year since the band's formation. 

They have developed a reputation as a must see set at every major festival across the globe, including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, SXSW, Austin City Limits and Australia’s own Laneway, Big Day Out and Splendour In The Grass festivals.

In the studio their sound has constantly evolved. Emerging from post-hardcore beginnings, across seven albums their sound has slowly developed into the chorus driven, harmonic, psychedelic indie-pop that festival crowds love. Tracks like Got It Alland So American have won them a league of fans around the world.

Currently finishing up a massive tour of N. America, Portugal. The Man will hit the Northside on the 22nd of November

Saturday, 22 November
Bucket List – Bondi @ 2pm
Manly Wharf Bar – Manly @ 10pm

Corona Extra Presents Portugal. The Man
November 2014
All tour dates are 18+ only

Presented by Monster Children, The Music and Fasterlouder

For details head to www.coronaextra.com.au/livemusic

LEFTOVERS by Josh Simpson

Matt PikeComment

Apparently these are leftovers according to Josh Simpson behind the lens and Jack Lynch on the shred. They are pretty damn good leftovers. This is all part of an untitled project that Josh Simpson is working on at the moment, excited to see the non leftovers in the future

IF NOT NOW, WHEN? – Trent Whitehead

Matt PikeComment

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

A collection of new paintings and sculptural works by Trent Whitehead opens this Thursday 25th of September at M.M.P.G in Surry Hills 6-8pm. 

M.M.P.G. - (Mild Manners Project Gallery) 

Mild Manners has been busy with temporary exhibition projects in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane the last few years. With a good number of new exhibitions coming up in Sydney, it made sense to settle down in a bricks and mortar space of their own for a while. What they found is an amazing room on the first floor of a heritage building on Crown Street in Surry Hills. The sneaky entrance to the gallery is through the iconic music, book and film store directly below us, Title. 

Upcoming exhibitions include American painter Ramsey Dau, Melbourne's Justin Lee Williams and German artist Stefan Marx. 

For further information visit www.mild-manners.com

MUSIC REVIEW – Interpol El Pintor

Matt PikeComment
Interpol-elpintor

Review by Tomas Hanrahan

First, let’s get this out of the way; I am an unabashed Interpol fan. Love them. Always have. The doom and gloom sets my tongue wagging like a hungry dog at the mere mention of any new material. And since the self titled album from 2010, I never thought they would release anything again!

The departure of a founding member of any group usually sets alarm bells ringing, and in this case, the cool as Christmas bass player, Carlos D, left the band to pursue other interests, while Banks seemed more interested in reinvigorating his solo career. It’s rather fitting then, that the album’s title “El Pintor”, which at first glance seems an obvious rearrangement of the band’s name, also means “The Painter” in Spanish. The band now possesses a blank canvas to apply the brushstrokes towards their future.

“All The Rage Back Home” is the strongest hint of joy, perhaps we have ever heard from them. The band has achieved this with roaring “hey, hey, heys” dancing in the background while the foreground displays all the band’s dominant musical ingredients. Even after essentially four years off the grid, Paul Bank’s voice has never sounded better.

“My Desire” swiftly follows up the forward momentum with a chugging bass line and squiggly guitar riffs. Seductively swaggering for five full minutes with vague outlines of strings at the fade out; the boys seems to be dipping their toes into new sounds, albeit briefly. While the propulsive “Anywhere” could slip comfortably into the middle of their sophomore album “Antics”.

“Same Town, New Story” has an absolutely delicious opening hook that sets the precedent for the rest of the track. Conceivably the most far removed from the Interpol template on the album. It’s a bright disco tinged song with a sad story echoing the pressure the band has had on itself to deliver, with Banks bellowing that he has “the whole world on his shoulders”. If the band’s music had a colour preference it would be dripping in black and white.

“Ancient Ways” is far and away the most aggressive number on the album, a muscular, profanity ridden track that lays waste to the past; “fuck the ancient ways/they are heretofore/shown no claim” is coupled with a dirty garage jam. Following this is “Tidal Wave” which suggests the slightest hint of keyboards and drums born straight out of the jungle. With new experimental flirtations on the cards…who needs Carlos D anyway!

This is the arguably their best album since “Turn On The Bright Lights” with the band holding a steady grip on the new material and reminding the world how they arrived here in the first place. All the trademarks are still apparent; but instead of heading to the funeral, it seems more like celebrations at the wake. 

Bottom line...has anything really changed since the band blasted onto the scene? Not really. But the band’s consistency is generally overlooked for hopes that they will be able to match their brilliant debut; to which this is within striking distance. If you never fancied Interpol, nothing here is about to change your mind. For those who love them, and some classic NYC morbidity, put your best suits and dresses on, the hearse is out back.

North Nº3 – Spring Issue Launch

Matt PikeComment

Words via Life Without Andy

The North Journal launched their Spring issue last week with cold pressed juice cocktails and abrasive rock n roll from DJ Rad Dan making the night feel like a some sought of twisted summer BBQ in the alice and wonderland like setting that is La De Da Bar on Sydney’s northern beaches.

The North had been in touch with Henry Rollins and plastered the walls with his wisdom ” DIY is more pervasive now than ever in my opinion & from it, there is a lot of good things happening”. And with that as the theme for the night the crowd swelled and loudened for a party that was nothing but good times.

Thanks to 4 Pines, Prodjuice & La De Da Bar

Images by Jason Corroto

MUSIC REVIEW – SPOON, They Want My Soul

Matt PikeComment

Review by Tomas Hanrahan

Four years ago. That was the last time I bought a Spoon record. I was also in San Francisco. The salesperson whom I purchased the album from ranted about how “Spoon always sound like Spoon”. How much can change in four years. 

An absolute juggernaut of a band in their native USA they seem to struggle when it comes to crossing the Pacific Ocean. Hopefully this is finally all about to change with their new LP “They Want My Soul” their best hope for a commercial crossover yet. 

Kicking things of with easily the greatest song ever recorded about handing over money for board “The Rent I Pay” firmly establishes that after the band hiatus, they are ready to rock again, even recruiting a keyboardist, Alex Fischel, along the way from front man Britt Daniel’s side project “Divine Fits”. 

“Inside/Out” feels like it just wandered off set of a Sofia Coppola film with it’s dreamy synth textures and harp plucking setting the mood while Daniel croons about “breaking out of character”. It’s possibly one of the most lovely songs of the band’s career. 

“Rainy Taxi” views an apocalypse unfolding, piano and bass pulsating as the armies from the west engulf the city. Itself an update of a demo that has been kicking around in the archives since the “Kill The Moonlight” days. 

“Do You” the lead single, carousel of a song, urging the listener to jump on and take the ride. “Do you run when things get good?” giddily asks...we’ll be sticking around if what your offering is this good. While “Knock, Knock, Knock” thumps like the rattling on the castle door with a jagged acoustic guitar, electronic drum pads and whistles hammering home a a story of paranoia The funk almost undercuts the story of what appears like a stoner’s horror tinged Sergio Leone mini movie. 

While “Outlier” comes down from the hills drenched in atmosphere with drum thumping and shimmering reverb. More about the band jamming than adding up to a real song. Although it manages to take a pot shot at Zach Braff’s “Garden State” suggesting an ex girlfriend had taste walking out of the feature presentation. The most experimental track here has all the fingerprints of one of two outside producers David Fridmann the man behind Tame Impala’s “Lonerism” and almost everything of The Flaming Lips back catalogue. 

Near the tail end is when things get a little Spoon-ish, creeping piano keys, acoustic, easy drums, echoed vocals, sudden electric licks, maybe an attempt to remind that old fans that the band they first loved is still hiding under it’s new glossy coat. Not to mention that some of Daniel’s lyrics are occasionally as cryptic as ever. 

And then drops synth heavy “New York Kiss”...three and a half minutes of pop executed so well that you want to play the whole damn record again just to chase the dragon of the fun that’s just been had. 

This is a band that absolutely knows it’s product and at this last stage in their career has nothing left to prove, but perhaps searching for a little extra innovation from the help of outside producers for the first time only strengthens what would have already been a great album. 

Make no mistake this a record only a band like Spoon could make, and make it look easier. Breezy, fun, infectious and easily the most clean and precise record the band has delivered. They want your soul...after one listen...it will be hard not to give it up. 

Watch this wild film clip for "Inside Out" >