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“Atlas” by Daniel Johns

20th Jul 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

Australian musician, Daniel Johns (of Silverchair & The Dissociatives), winner of 21 ARIA awards and three times winner of APRA’s songwriter of the year, has written, arranged and performed an epic new piece called “Atlas” in a unique collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Qantas Airways. The piece forms the soundtrack for the new Qantas brand and 2012 Olympics advertising.

Definitely different than his rockier Silverchair stuff, more in the epic arena he’d been moving in with their last two albums… file this under “interesting.”  I’m curious how / where he’ll take this.

~Dan – np: Tin Hat & e.e. cummingsthe rain is a handsome animal

Silverchair “indefinite hibernation”

25th May 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

No, Indefinite Hibernation is not the name of the new Silverchair record.  It’s the new state of the band.  A sad day…

May 25, 2011

We formed Silverchair nearly 20 years ago when we were just 12 years old. Today we stand by the same rules now as we did back then … if the band stops being fun and if it’s no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop.

Therefore after much soul searching we wanted to let you know that we’re putting Silverchair into “indefinite hibernation” and we’ve decided to each do our own thing for the foreseeable future.

We assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. In fact we’ve been struggling with it for quite a while now.

Back in 2009 we went into the studio to start work on a record. Initially things were going well and as a result we did some shows in 2010 to maintain creative momentum. However, over the months that followed in the studio it became clear to us that we were moving in different directions. Despite our best efforts over the last year or so, it’s become increasingly clear that the spark simply isn’t there between the three of us at the moment.

As a result we’ve decided to put the band into ‘a deep sleep’ while we all do other things that we find more inspiring right now. This means that Silverchair won’t be making music together or playing shows any time soon. It also means that the three of us won’t be working together unless and until it feels right again.

We understand some of you may be disappointed by this news but we really see it as a liberating and positive step for us at this point in our lives.

We also want to make it really clear that this decision has been made with the best possible intentions. We’ve always tried our hearts out to make the best music we could possibly make at the time – regardless of commercial consequences.

The three of us still truly care about each other. At the moment Ben’s busy in the studio recording his own music, Chris is working on various business, musical and charitable ventures while Daniel is creating a film soundtrack and working on other musical projects. We hope you’ll continue to take an interest in our individual work over the years ahead.

In closing we’d like to acknowledge all the people ‘behind the scenes’ who’ve helped us keep this train on the tracks since we first started playing in a garage. There are too many to name but they know who they are and we truly appreciate all their love and hard work.

Above all though we want to thank you for all your support in good times and bad. You’ve put up with our long breaks between albums, our constantly changing musical styles and lots more. The unbelievable loyalty we’ve been shown by you our audience, and our friends, has never gone unnoticed or unappreciated. That’s why we wanted to tell you first.

With Sincere Thanks For Your Understanding.

Sweet Dreams.

Daniel, Ben and Chris

Perhaps there will be more music from the guys in the future (the aforementioned new material in 2010).  I know we’ll see more from Daniel Johns.  Whether that’s limited to film work, The Dissociatives (with Paul Mac), Hathaway+Palmer (with Luke Steele), or something different – well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

~Dan – np: SilverchairDiorama

Artists of the Decade – 2000s (#1 to 10)

5th Jan 10 (Tue) 5 comments

Artists of the Decade – Honorable Mentions (1/1/2010 blog link)

  • Dweezil Zappa
  • Tori Amos
  • Celldweller
  • Iron & Wine
  • King’s X
  • Derek Webb

Artists of the Decade (#21 to 25) (1/1/2010 blog link)

25 ~ Ben Folds (solo)
24 ~ Peter Mulvey

23 ~ Opeth

22 ~ dredg

21 ~ Holy Fuck

Artists of the Decade (#11 to 20) (1/4/2010 blog link)

20 ~ Pedro the Lion (and David Bazan solo)
19 ~ Jurassic 5

18 ~ My Brightest Diamond

17 ~ Nellie McKay

16 ~ Secret Chiefs 3
15 ~ Over the Rhine

14 ~ Mike Patton

13 ~ Ani DiFranco
12 ~ Johnny Cash
11 ~ Dave Douglas

And now on to the final ten

~*~*~

10 ~ Glen Phillips

At the turn of the decade / century / millenium, Glen’s band Toad the Wet Sprocket were breaking up. He went on to make several solo albums (Winter Pays For Summer being my fave thus far), several mostly brilliant side ventures (Plover, RemoteTreeChildren, WPA, Mutual Admiration Society), and even reunite with Toad for some tours. He’s as active as ever and also quite the tweeter (oft humorous / oft political).

~*~*~

9 ~ Porcupine Tree (and Steven Wilson projects)

Near the beginning of the decade, I was giving up on “prog rock.” Then a buddy told me about Porcupine Tree (thanks, SteveC). 2002’s In Absentia is amazing, and I quickly bought PT’s catalogue. The entire decade was full of Steven Wilson projects – whether Porcupine Tree or his many (and I mean many) side projects.  Speaking of… Steven’s 6th and final Cover Versions CD and 7″ vinyl will be out sometime soon in the coming months.

~*~*~

8 ~ Sufjan Stevens

Illinoise was Paste’s #1 album of the decade. I think it’s in my Top 10 (as mentioned earlier, I honestly can’t bring myself to widdle down my album list to 20 or even 50 for the decade). Illinoise was my first foray into Sufjan’s world. The infatuation was near immediate. He ranges from poppy, to eclectic folk, to avant-electronic, to chamber music… and I think his song titles, while sometimes considered pretentious, put him in my hero list. :) The later part of the decade showed a more secluded Sufjan and a recant on the 50 States “promise.” However, I’m still very excited about what’s up his sleeves for the next decade.

~*~*~

7 ~ John Zorn (Masada and otherwise)

I knew of Zorn in the 1990s (via the connection to Mike Patton and specifically Mr. Bungle), but didn’t get into him until 2003 or so. Even still, I didn’t know about Masada (his klezmer-jazz quartet) until mid-decade. Their recorded studio work was all in the 1990s, but they stayed active touring throughout the 2000s… and John Zorn kept actively writing Masada Book Two – which is a book of music covered by other bands and has seen a dozen fantastic releases on his label, Tzadik. I just counted, and I have 82 John Zorn related disks from the decade (CDs, DVDs, vinyl). So, um, yeah, he’s prolific. The Masada / Bar Kokhba / Electric Masada is my favorite category of Zorn releases; but his Filmworks series, Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Joey Baron & Trevor Dunn), and The Gift / Dreamers band are also key releases. 2010 has 12 new Zorn releases on the docket. *drool*

~*~*~

6 ~ Maynard James Keenan (Tool / A Perfect Circle / Puscifer)

One of the best singers in the world of rock, Maynard has kept busy… this decade: three bands and eight or so albums, several DVD releases, remix albums & singles, vinyl singles, and a new winery. While he doesn’t always nail it every time, his and his bands’ hit rates far exceed most. His solid work ethic points to more releases next decade. A recent interview leads me to believe that the touring side of things may slow down some, but I’m hoping that just means “less touring” and not “no touring.” There have been hints of Tool and A Perfect Circle studio stuff in the near future… and Puscifer seems alive and kicking (and keen on the internet EP thing). Puscifer is hitting the Midwest and East Coast in early 2010.

~*~*~

5 ~ Daniel Johns (Silverchair & The Dissociatives)

2002’s Diorama (by Silverchair) is a contender for best album of the decade for me. Daniel Johns followed that up with a side project with Paul Mac called The Dissociatives. Their self-titled debut (2004) is also a contender for best album of the decade… then Silverchair came roaring back in 2007 with Young Modern – another strong contender. Daniel Johns and his couple of bands has large gaps between studio releases, but they all score high every time for me. They’ve moved well beyond their debut (which they released in the 90s at age 15). 2010 promises the follow-up to Young Modern… so, look out, Best of 2010 lists…

~*~*~

4 ~ Elliott Smith

I found out about Elliott in early 2000, a little bit after Figure 8 came out. I had the opportunity to see him live at Southgate House (Newport, KY) on the Figure 8 Tour. He quickly became an important part of my musical diet. His albums hit me emotionally, but he left us too early (he died of apparent self-induced stab wounds to the heart on October 21, 2003). I still get goosebumps with his music and quite frankly have never been affected by a celebrity’s death like I am by Elliott’s. An album and more of his unreleased material has made its way out since his death. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but if there were one, I’d hope to get to meet Elliott and have a beer with him.

~*~*~

3 ~ Sigur Rós

Ágætis byrjun and ( ) may be the most beautiful things that I don’t understand due to language barriers – two perfect albums, if you ask me. This past decade Sigur Rós went on to make four full length albums, a handful of EPs and soundtracks, several world tours, an utterly gorgeous tour documentary called Heima (that rivals Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii in stunning beauty),  and still find time to take time off (well, time off except for Jónsi – who released a duo album with his partner Alex Sommers and is set to release a solo album in early 2010).

~*~*~

2 ~ Radiohead (and Thom & Jonny solo)

One of the most unarguably overrated bands of all-time… yet, one of my favorites. The decade started with Kid A and ended with some Thom Yorke solo activity… it was a full decade of albums, tours, solo work (the aforementioned Thom solo stuff plus two soundtracks from Jonny). They branch out and sometimes get more praise and credit than is merited (I know skads of indie artists doing the “pay what you want” method years before In Rainbows), but I suppose Radiohead were the first formerly major-label / international band to do so.  Anyway, Radiohead, despite public pressure, continue to evolve as a band. That scores major points with me. They’re hitting the studio in January 2010… yippie.

~*~*~

1 ~ Kevin Moore (Chroma Key & OSI)

Yeah, the #1 of the decade who few know about… Kevin Moore left the progressive rock band Dream Theater in 1994, shedding the seemingly antithetic “progressive” constraints of the progressive scene to make his own music.  Chroma Key’s debut Dead Air For Radios (1999) is my #1 album of all-time… but it came out in the late 90s. The 2000 album You Go Now is probably in my Top 10 of all-time as well. The branching out into scoring with Kevin’s solo soundtrack Ghost Book (for the Turkish horror movie OKUL), political/religious-imagery radio/mix-taping with Memory Hole 1, and the new band project with Jim Matheos called the Office of Strategic Influence (aka O.S.I.) solidified Kevin in my favorite artists list. I’m looking forward to more Chroma Key, O.S.I., Memory Hole, or solo work that Kevin puts out… hopefully soon.

~*~*~*~*~

As pointed out the other day, the 2010s are shaping up to be a great decade… see you on the other side!

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

Oh, and for those who say that the decade ends at the end of 2010… meh. I’m starting with 0 and ending with 9 (like a LOT of people). Rationale: the 80s, the 90s… you don’t say the 80s went from 1/1/1981 to 12/31/1990 or the 90s from 1/1/1991 to 12/31/2000.

Daniel Johns + Luke Steele = Hathaway / Palmer?

24th Sep 08 (Wed) 5 comments

Hey, Silverchair fans… check out this update (6/1/2009 news)… (click for update blog)

Silverchair & the Dissociatives frontman Daniel Johns has a new collaboration with Luke Steele… now called Hathaway/Palmer.  Yeah, I don’t understand the name either…  As of now, there are no concrete plans to release the “acoustic pop” record, but Chairpage will post any news once they get it.

For people uninitiated with Daniel Johns… he and two school mates, Ben Gillies & Chris Joannou, started the band Silverchair at age 15.  What were you doing at age 15?

(no, they’re not Hanson)

Silverchair grew out of their grunge & teen angst and by their third album (Neon Ballroom) started making more diverse music.  Their last two albums (Diorama and Young Modern) are two of my favorite albums as of late.  Daniel was also in a side project, The Dissociatives, with DJ/keyboardist Paul Mac.

Some choice Daniel Johns’ albums:

For those uninitiated with Luke Steele (like myself), apparently he’s the singer from the Australian band The Sleepy Jackson.  His music seems like a good mix with Daniel’s… I’m excited for what’s to come…

From Luke Steele…

“Dan is William Hathaway and I’m Walter Palmer so it’s going to be Hathaway and Palmer,” Steele said. “It kind of started out a White Album thing because we don’t have a band, it was acoustics. And from there it kind of went a bit haywire. It’s pretty pop. I guess it’s quite low down, there’s country songs…”

~Dan – np: Mitch HedbergDo You Believe in Gosh?

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