aerial maps - The I-94 Bar

It's all Ups and no Downs as pop powers on at Sydney launch

greg atkinsonGreg Atkinson of Ups and Downs. 

"Shake Yer Popboomerang 3" Sydney Launch
Ups and Downs
Halfway
The Aerial Maps
Marrickville Bowling Club
Friday February 29, 2020
Photos by Mark Fraser of Redback Rock

This isn’t going to be one of those reviews where someone walks you through a song-by-song recreation of the gig. For starters, I’ve seen Aerial Maps once, Halfway never, and Ups and Downs twice. None of them are really big on song introductions either. So I have no idea what any of the tunes were called, besides a couple from the headliners.

I guess a dedicated reviewer would have gone and had a squiz at the set lists, or maybe bailed up a hapless band member, but to be honest I was too busy drinking with a dear friend I hadn’t seen in ages to worry about that. So it’s going to be more about the vibe, man, and a few observations I jotted down in a notebook.

Marching out to Aussie pop's beat

marching out of time cvrMarching Out of Time – Various Artists (Popboomerang)

With 115 releases to its credit, Melbourne’s Popboomerang is as an amazing independent record label success story and a beacon for under-the-radar Australian pop. Presuming, of course, that success is measured in quality music and not sheep stations.

The labels been a long-time labour of love for owner Scott Thurling and that passion makes his decision to close it down, at least for now, all the more noteworthy. In his own words:

Being locked up can do funny things to you! I will admit to feeling a little frustrated on July 24, 2021, when I made the announcement to end Popboomerang Records. The news might have been a surprise to some, but it was one I had been contemplating for a while.

Covid-19 challenges to running a label were the tipping point after 18 months of cancelled live events and the gigantic increases in the price of international postage which was making exporting almost impossible.I had also recently established a new record label, Sound As Ever 90-99, focussing on Australian ’90’s indie music, which was taking off, and it felt impossible to do justice to both ventures at the same time.

Top Tens for 2021: Chris Newton of Sydney mods The Smart Folk

Chris The Smart Folk by Corrie AnconeChris Newwton in The Smart Folk. Corrie Ancone photo . 

10 great Australian indie singles from 2021 you may not have heard…yet  

By Chris Newton – guitarist/vocalist from The Smart Folk, and The Lost Husky; and bassist from Tigers At The Edge Of Time. 

Like many fellow musos, in 2021 after getting out of the gates early in what proved to be a false start race that lockdown soon put sternly to bed, I fell into the pit of songwriter’s block for six months. 

Thankfully, many bands – several of whom I’m privileged to call friends – didn’t suffer the same fate. 

Here’s just ten independent ‘singles’ that have hit the online shelves this year, that give me (and hopefully you) hope for the musical future. In no particular order… 

I-94 Bar