Ja.fm streaming radio launches. Ja!

Last night I went to the public launch of the new Ja.fm website, which is a streaming radio station for Afrikaans music, run by Jacaranda FM. It was a great launch where Coenie de Villiers and Die Heuwels Fantasties played fantastic sets. The crowd were totally into it, and there were good vibes all round.

Now I think this is just what the Afrikaans music community needs. It’s obvious that streaming radio and music services are the future (see the international success of Spotify and in South Africa, 2OceansVibe Radio is rapidly gaining market share). For one website to embrace ALL Afrikaans music is a great step forward, especially since listeners are empowered to vote for what they like. There’s bound to be some controversy surrounding the songs that get added…which of course fuels listener involvement. It’s a win all round.

Here’s hoping that Ja.fm opens up the boerewors curtain to everyone.

Park Acoustics. Legendary vibe.

It was a beautiful day at our new venue, the Voortrekker Monument. There were people of all ages, shapes, sizes and colours and it was beautiful. Then the rain came down in buckets. After a frantic effort to get everyone inside and set up, Die Heuwels Fantasties finished their set with an incredible performance. All the excitement and energy of a hot African day listening to Rock was in the room. You had to be there, it was legendary.

Park Acoustics is ready to rock Pretoria!

I’ve just come back from the Voortrekker Monument and tomorrow’s gig is going to blow Pretoria’s hair back! There are awesome braai facilities, shady trees and a lot of lush green grass… This time around there will also be a full bar, food for sale as well as a loaded merch shop. All ages are welcome as this promises to be another brilliant family friendly Sunday picnic with good vibes, smiles and of course, excellent live music!

*The Line-up*
11:00 – 12:30 Gates open
12:30 – 13:30 Toby Benko
13:30 – 14:30 Tim Burns
14:30 – 15:30 Die Tuindwergies
15:30 -16:30 Die Heuwels Fantasties

Tickets will be sold at the gate:
R65 Adults, students, pensioners
R45 Scholars (valid ID needed)
Children 6 years and younger get in for free

Follow @parkacoustics on Twitter or check out more at facebook.com/park.acoustics

The Naked And Famous: 2011’s Sonic Boom!

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New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous are, so far, my favourite new band of 2011. Their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You pulls together everything that’s good about popular music at the moment, while at the same time not coming across as commercial. Whether you hear their first single “Young Blood” in a club, at a friend’s house or on 5FM, the track is the epitome of cool every time.

Their sound is a mixture of dreamy dance-pop, dark sonic psychedelia and ripping up-beat melodies, as well as a healthy dose of noise. There’s definitely a lot in common with MGMT and LCD Soundsystem, but also hints of Radiohead, Animal Collective, Portishead, The B52’s and NIN. Yes, really.

Each song on the album is alive with youth and party, colliding synth-rock with dirty, edgier grooves in amongst the many memorable hooks. From the opener “All Of This,” you know you’re in for a road trip. There are brilliant ups and introspective downs along the way until arriving at the triumphant “Girls Like You.”

My favourite track at the moment is “No Way.” It oscillates between delicate female vocals with a restrained drum beat and an agitated guitar held in a wall of sound that reverberates over your ears… A lot like when you’re driving a little fast with the car windows completely open:

You can find out more about this fantastic band at their official website. Do that after you’ve bought or ordered yourself the album though, because Passive Me, Aggressive You will go down in history as one of those truly brilliant debut albums.

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The Howlin’ Shibanski at Pandora

The Howlin’ Shibanski is a rootsy, energetic blues band, and one of the best I’ve ever seen. Check them out on Facebook: http://goo.gl/NwQA5

It was also my first time at Pandora Art House, and it’s a great venue. With a view out over the Pretoria city skyline, this big old house is the perfect place to have an intimate yet loud evening. Unfortunately, it seems as if they won’t be around after the end of this year, so check them out while you still have a chance. http://www.pan-dora.co.za/