Deadly Vibes

I’ve been traveling this week and didn’t have much time to put together an essay. Instead, in honor of the 2009 Deadly Awards that took place at the Sydney Opera House on September 15, I’ve mined YouTube once again for some videos to entertain you in my absence.

First up is a band that won the Deadly for the most promising talent in music this year, The Yabu Band. The blurb for this video notes that the Yabu Band, which hails originally from Kalgoorlie, is the work of two brothers, Delson and Boyd Stokes, who have been performing since they were five years old. “Yabu” means “rock” or “gold” in their Wongatha language. So try out some Desert Rock Reggae…not such a far cry from the Island style: “Gundalla We Dance.”


The Last Kinection is on tour now and they should get a tremendous boost from winning the award for outstanding achievement in R&B and hip-hop. There’s finally a decent video available of them performing “Still Call Australia Home.” DJ Jay Tee’s scratch overwhelms the lyrics on this phone-camera capture, but you’ll find some mashups listed under “Related Videos” where you can hear the words better, though you’ll miss the excitement of the performance.


The brother and sister team of Joel (Weno) and Naomi Wenitong that fronts the Kinection have had other gigs. DJ Nay, as she’s now known, was half of the duo Shakaya, while Weno performed with Local Knowledge. Here’s the latter with a great rip called “Blackfellas.”


And here’s Shakaya’s breakout 2002 single, “Stop Calling Me.”


While I’m looking backwards, let me give a shout to my favorite award winners from years past. NoKTuRNL doesn’t like to be categorized as rap or hip-hop band; they call it rip-rock: “mixing melody with menace and a message.” Three-time winners of Band of the Year at the Deadlys, NoKTuRNL can be brutal and lyrical, sometimes in the same song. Their first big hit was “Neva Mend,” and I think it captures a kind of joyful nihilism whose very contradictions embody the off-balance and surprising qualities of their albums.

And finally, a nod to the big winner in music this year, for best single, album, and female artist, long-time hit-maker Jessica Mauboy with her latest, “Up/Down.” It’s replete with the big-time production values that showcase her international (it was filmed in Los Angeles) and crossover appeal. Frankly, I find it a lot more exciting that her winning single “Burn“; but maybe next year…. 


full list of this years winners can be found online courtesy of SBS and World News Australia.

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