Melody Pops: Melb Festival, Polyester Records, Soundwave parties like its 1999

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Melbourne Festival
Since taking the helm at Melbourne Festival three years ago, Artistic Director Brett Sheehy has delivered some of the most diverse, eclectic and downright kick-arse gigs the Victorian government has ever subsidised.

This year’s recently announced line-up features Thurston Moore and Lee Ronaldo (both of Sonic Youth), Billy Bragg, Antony and The Johnsons, Paul Kelly, My Disco, Puro Instinct, No Zu, The Laurels, Chet Baker and more.

The festival’s piece de la resistance is undoubtedly a rare two-show appearance by US noise rock trio Shellac. The ridiculously influential band, led by world-renowned audio engineer Steve Albini, last toured Australia in 1993. With live shows notorious for being as intense as they are infrequent, you can bet that Premier and Arts Minister Ted Baillieu has front row seats.

Introducing…the Old Public Bar?
Melbourne’s live music scene has had a rough time of it lately, with venues such as The Arthouse, The East Brunswick Club, The Public Bar and Phoenix Public House having all bitten the dust in the past year and a half.

It comes as a pleasant surprise then, to hear that the owners of Fitzroy’s Old Bar have acquired North Melbourne’s National Hotel, which formerly housed The Public Bar.

Liam Matthews, Joel Morrison and Singa Unlayiti have built a reputation for being fine purveyors of quality music and intend on increasing it by turning their new venue into a sister pub to the Old Bar. The only question remaining is: will The Public Bar’s infamous Geelong Bitter Happy Hour return?

Polyester Records launch Polyester Records
Local independent music retailer Polyester Records launched their brand new record label this week, which also happens to be called Polyester Records and is not to be confused with the store’s previous 80s/90s label, Polyester Records.

The label will focus on releasing quality albums by Australian artists on vinyl LP, the first being New War’s debut album (as featured in the last installment of Melody Pops), with releases from Grand Salvo and Max Crumbs forthcoming.

Soundwave parties like it’s 1999
Metallica, Linkin Park and Blink 182 have been announced as the headline acts for next year’s  Soundwave Festival, to be held in Melbourne on Friday 1 March.

The 90s metal/punk nostalgia-centric line-up also includes The Offspring, A Perfect Circle, Garbage, Sum 41, Flogging Molly, Tomahawk, Kyuss Lives (AKA half of the real Kyuss), Anthrax and heaps more.

Gigs of the week
The Toot Toot Toots are playing their “spaghetti western rock opera” album ‘Outlaws’ in full at The Workers Club this Friday and Saturday night. The show will allegedly feature added narration and  Go-Go girls. Supported by Made For Chicken By Robots, Fraser A. Gorman and Mojo Juju.

New War launch their self-titled album at the Northcote Social Club this Saturday. Supports are Max Crumbs, Standish/Carlyon and Lost Animal DJs.

Sydney shoegazers The Laurels also have a launch on this Saturday at The Tote for their debut, ‘Plains’. Supported by Witch Hats and Lowtide.

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