Album Launch

Melbourne experimental musician and songwriter Francis Plagne launches his new album Tenth Volume of Maps.

Released as a vinyl-only LP on the Lost And Lonesome imprint, the new album features inspired arrangements and performances by his live band and displays a more compositionally integrated approach than the sonic experimentation and wild oscillations that marked his first two albums.

Support on the night will be provided by The Icypoles whose loose-yet-tender mix of bubblegum rhythms, doo wop vocals and 60s girl group angst is fast winning them an adoring audience around town; Mad Nanna, the brainchild of Michael Zulicki, in which his metronomic guitar strums and drawled poetry are accompanied by a loose barn-room jam-band forever struggling to synchronize beats and hit notes harmoniously, with magical and faintly disturbing effect; and Sean Baxter, who has forged an international reputation as a bold explorer of percussive possibilities both as a soloist, collaborator, and through his work with the acclaimed Pateras/Baxter/Brown trio. Focusing on the use of extended techniques applied to the conventional drumkit, he utilises an arsenal of metallic junk and other percussive detritus to expand the sonic palette of the percussion tradition.

Friday, October 28th.
Bella Union, corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets.
$10 pre-sale, $13 on the door.
Bookings here.

Upcoming gigs (more details soon):

October 6th: Gasometer, support for Anonymeye album launch.

October 7th: Polyester Records, Flinders Lane, in-store (6PM, free) on the occasion of the release of new Francis Plagne LP Tenth Volume of Maps on Lost and Lonesome. Small acoustic trio.
October 28th: Bella Union, Tenth Volume of Maps LP launch, w/ The Icypoles, Sean Baxter and Mad Nanna. Seven piece band.

Special event at KIPL, 29th April

April 29th
KIPL 136 Roden Street, West Melbourne

Manfred Werder:
stück 1998 performed by Alex Garsden, Judith Hamann and Francis Plagne. Arek Gulbenkoglu and Dale Gorfinkle duo.
Christian Wolff:
Fits and Starts Performed by David Brown, Jared Davis, Alex Garsden, Judith Hamann, Yuko Kono, Francis Plagne and James Rushford.

Manfred Werder is a core member of the important and influential Wandelweisser Composers Group, alongside Michael Pisaro, Radu Malfatti and Antoine Beuger. Active since the early 1990s, their music has emerged as one of the most important currents of contemporary music to respond to the challenges posed by the works and writings of John Cage. Often focusing on the possibilities for compositional simplification to result in sonic complexity and the experiential potentials of highly reduced approaches to music, their work features heavily conceptual methods of composition, a focus on the threshold between sound and silence and an interest in extended durations. Werder’s stück 1998 is a 4000 page long piece for open instrumentation, the total duration of which is 533 hours and 20 minutes. The pages are performed successively by different groups throughout world, each page being performed publicly only once. Each page consists of a number of tones, each tone held for six seconds with an equal duration of silence after each tone. Werder views his work as involving an interaction between performance, context and the listener’s experience, and the radical simplification of the musical material stems from his belief that ‘the more balanced the meeting of all parts, the more challenging an event may emerge’.
The works of Christian Wolff have been influential on the Wandelweisser Group and he had occasionally collaborated with its members, making his 1971 Fits and Starts a fitting accompaniment to Werder’s work. Wolff’s works are distinctive in focusing on the interactions between the players, often making use of somewhat intuitive systems of cues in order to create interaction that could not be brought about through conventional notations. In Fits and Starts, the challenge for the players is to all independently follow a similar set of loose instructions without following the other players, resulting in a modest yet constantly shifting rhythmic complex.
Arek Gulbekoglu and Dale Gorfinkle perform delicate and thoughtful improvisations for snare drum and vibraphone, transforming their instruments with the use of everyday objects and unorthodox techniques into sources of richly textured white noise, semi-randomized rhythms and subtle percussive interjections. They recently released a CD, Vibraphone/Snare on Melbourne label Avantwhatever.

Edinburgh Castle 27th February

Sunday 27th February, Edinburgh Castle, Sydney Rd, Brunswick:

Francis Plagne’s music has been described as sounding as ‘close to Pet Sounds era Beach Boys as it does a musique concrète future classic or an exercise in folk collage’ (Mess + Noise) and as the ‘unlikely amalgam of Antonio Carlos Jobim's samba and an Andre Breton poem’ (ThreeThousand). At the Edinburgh Castle he will perform with a five piece band: Connal Parsley (bass, guitar), Alex Garsden (guitar), Joe Talia (drums), James Rushford (viola), Judith Hamann (cello).

Yuko Kono (Japan) leads Tokyo’s greatest minimalist psych-pop group, My Pal Foot Foot. Solo, she accompanies her whispered, highly melodic song-craft on nylon string acoustic guitar.

Samuel Dunscombe, of vanguard Melbourne chamber ensemble Golden Fur, presents a visceral solo laptop performance, born of several years of theoretical and practical research into the possibilities of real-time digital music.

Gasometer 26th February

"Francis Plagne - Wobbly/crystalline chamber pop version.

Cocks Arquette - Grudge match with one's self at unreasonable volume.

Von Einem - Solo set from Grover of True Radical Mircale,
Whitehorse, Dead Boomers, Dick Threats,
Richie Blackmore's Rainbow, et al. Will make
the other two bands sound like pussies.
Brutal karaoke jam upstairs afterwards for those who wish to
make party."

Thanks to Hanna for the great poster!

Bar Open Wednesday 2nd February

Francis Plagne is a Melbourne-based musician and songwriter whose work engages with both popular and experimental music. His solo recordings have been released by Synaesthesia, Mistletone, Nervous Jerk, Breakdance the Dawn and Albert's Basement and have been exhibited at Gertrude Contemporary Art Space and Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart. His music has been described as sounding as ‘close to Pet Sounds era Beach Boys as it does a musique concrète future classic or an exercise in folk collage’ (Mess + Noise) and as the ‘unlikely amalgam of Antonio Carlos Jobim's samba and an Andre Breton poem’ (ThreeThousand). At Bar Open he will perform with Joe Talia (drums), Connal Parsley (bass), Alex Garsden (guitar), Anthony Pateras (organ), Judith Hamann (cello) and James Rushford (viola).

Make Up Sex comprise of one Sophia Brous and one Tarquin Manek. Initially based upon improvised guttural vocalisations of feelings of (sexual) tension and release, in recent times the duo have evolved their shows into avante pop spectacles that move between brutal vocal contortions and sugar-sweet melodic wanderings. Entirely improvised, Make Up Sex lay themselves bare with only their voices and bodies to guide them

"Bundling together time-warping feedback loops, cracked and mangled tape sounds, the pure tonality of no-input mixing desk, and found object manipulation (fed through dirty, hand-molded contact mics), local visual artist Bjorn Futler (aka Oranj Punjabi) places sonority under stress, pushing library recordings of body noise through a thick wall of psychedelic splooey. Here, collage and concept meet an exceptionally tactile approach to the simple pleasures of making noise from broken and detourned equipment. Futler's music is pitched at a refreshingly human and unpretentious level, as opposed to the 'male-pain/man-feelings' boy-sterousness of so many muscle-noise-jocks. Thrusting forth through frothy mounds of tape-noise, Bjorn Futler destroys. Fully." - Vladimir Poontang

Melbourne three-piece Where Were You At Lunch play obstreperous instrumental music with moments of gentle sadness. Over the years drummer Kishore Ryan and bassist Peter Emptage have established themselves in the Australian indie scene and guitarist Samaan Fieck has accomplished honours in sound art. With nods to Fugazi, Deerhoof and New York no wave outfit DNA, the trio produce a certain malformed beauty. Some of their songs are carefully composed by generating intervals and rhythms from sports statistics. Others are spasmodic improvisations or cyclic linear compositions. Their debut album, produced by Nick Huggins, is an adroit work of art and proves them to be a capable new band.

some live videos

This one was shot at Bar Open on the 4th of March 2010 by Matt Kennedy, when we played with his band Kitchens Floor. The song is 'Clouds Collect', the line up (I think) is me, Connal Parsley on bass, Joe Talia on drums, Ned Collette on electric guitar, Judith Hamann on cello.

This one was shot at the Edinburgh Castle on the 27th of June 2009. The song is 'Wings 6 Ft'. The weird bass-less line up is me, Anthony Pateras on organ, Judith Hamann on cello, James Rushford on viola, Joe Talia on drums.

Two gigs next week

Two Francis Plagne Band gigs next week, both at the Builders Arms:

Wednesday 19th of January with Far Concern and Sheahan Drive (Gus Franklin), $6.

Friday 21st of January with Tailor Made for a Small Room (Japan) and Clue to Kalo, $7.