Incoming: September’s best international tours

Incoming: September’s best international tours

Diary date

Text: Yeong Sassall

From plaintive indie-folk popsters to globe conquering hip hop legends, here’s our pick of the best international touring acts hitting Australian shores in September

Stones Throw Records 20th Anniversary Tour

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It's hard to believe it's been two decades (ain't it always the way), but LA-based musical collective and record label Stones Throw has been responsible for some of the biggest innovations in hip hop ever. From legendary producer J Dilla's utterly iconic sampladelic 'Donuts' to Madlib's rap masterpiece 'Madvillainy', to breakthrough albums in nu-funk and neo-soul from the likes of Dam-Funk, Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne, Stones Throw has been at the cutting edge of groove-based music since its inception. As captured in the documentary Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, label boss Peanut Butter Wolf has always followed his own rules in pulling the label roster together, with Stones Throw releases over the years encompassing everything from hip hop to psychedelic soul to weirdo outsider pop. To celebrate they're throwing parties in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide featuring Peanut Butter Wolf, turntable meistro J Rocc, the king of the 808 - Egyptian Lover, and psychedelic samplemaster Mndsgn.


Jai Wolf

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New York's Jai Wolf produces the kind of electronic music that's equally as influenced by dubstep as it is by the anthemic wall-of-sound of pop acts like M83 and Grimes. His break came when Skrillex dropped Wolf's remix of his tune 'Ease My Mind' at Glastonbury in 2014, and he's subsequently signed to Skrillex's OWSLA label. Although he originally started making dubstep, several years into his career his focus has shifted to more atmospheric fare that often incorporates eastern musical motifs. His recent single 'Drive' epitomises this move towards widescreen pop production, featuring dreamy, introspective vocal hook courtesy of Kamtin Mohager of LA outfit Chain Gang of 1974. We're still waiting for his debut full-length to drop, but in the meantime he plays Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide this month.


Kimya Dawson

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Best known as one half of The Mouldy Peaches and for her contributions to the soundtrack to 2007 indie flick Juno, Kimya Dawson is an artist whose work emanates a humble, understated humanity. Even on her latest tune, the empassioned 'At the Seams', written in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, she comes across not as a grandstanding ideologue, but as an ordinary person singing about the experiences of her community. That kind of creative humility and subtle compassion can't be bought, and it's part of what makes her such an alluring performer.

It's not all downbeat politics though, for the most part Dawson's all about fun, as exemplified by her album of children's songs Alphabutt. She'll bring a good dose of that wackiness to her shows at the Dress Up Attack! Festival, which hits Sydney and Brisbane, but she'll also be stopping by the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art to be part of contemporary/performance art legend Cindy Sherman's Up Late talks and art series, with a date in Melbourne to boot.


The Sonics

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Relatively forgotten for decades, The Sonics are now revered and recognized as the godfathers of garage punk. Their legendary 1965 album Here Are the Sonics was heavier and headier than anything that came before it, providing the blueprint for garage rock legends like the Stooges and MC5 to kick things up a notch several years later, with their influence even extending to the likes of the Fall and Nirvana. Their raw brand of fuzzed-out rock and roll was tipped into the realm of legend through the addition of unhinged vocalist Gerry Roslie's fierce and fevered howl. Over the course of their fifty-year career their intensity has never faltered, bolstered as they are on this tour by the addition of Fuzztones' Jake Cavelier and Boss Martians' Evan Foster to the original line-up. They hit up Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Wollongong in late September.


Sarah Mary Chadwick

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Leaving her native New Zealand over a decade ago to pursue music with messy indie rock outfit Batrider, Sarah Mary Chadwick's fourth solo album under her own name is a gorgeous, haunting collection of dreamy pop, composed and recorded on a vintage organ. Chadwick's distinctive Kiwi drawl offers these liquid compositions a necessary grit, grounding them in the kind of intimacy one might experience if they were sitting at the organ with her. As Norman Records suggested, "If everyone that buys Florence and the Machine records went out and bought this then the world would be a better but more miserable place." Maybe so, but when feeling sad sounds this transcendant there's always something good about it. Sarah Mary Chadwick plays Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this month.

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