Dark Mofo is hands down one of Australia’s best cultural festivals, but with a lineup so stacked, it can be hard to decide what to go to. Lucky you’ve got Noisey here to hold your hand through the whole process! We’ve trawled through this year’s very, very deep program to find you all the best gigs, parties and other spooky events to fill up your time in Hobart.
Laura Jean, the Melbourne musician known for her beautifully fragile folk records, has undergone an aesthetic reinvention. Earlier this year, she re-emerged with a new song, “Touchstone,” that nods more towards pop and new age music than anything she’s released before. Her new album Devotion is set to be a corker, and Jean is playing Dark Mofo at the Avalon Theatre on Wednesday, 20th June. Details here.
Bang Bang Bar
This year, Dark Mofo will play host to the Bang Bang Bar, a venue paying tribute to the infamous watering hole in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Dark Mofo is known for the way it activates and recreates unusual spaces, so the Bang Bang Bar is sure to be a good time. It’ll be open from Thursday 14th–Saturday 16th June and Wednesday 20th–Saturday 23rd June as part of Night Mass (see below), around the corner from the Odeon Theatre. Details here.
Tanya Tagaq, the iconic Inuk throat singer and activist, will be making her way to Dark Mofo for Australian exclusive performances at Dark Mofo and its Prelude weekend. Tagaq is a total badass, and if you don’t believe it, find proof in her recent Iron Maiden cover. She’ll be performing her album Retribution live with a choir on Thursday 14th June. Details here.
This year, the Manchester-born duo Autechre will release eight hours of new music as part of four NTS Radio sessions. To celebrate, they’ll be playing shows in Australia for the first time in what feels like forever, performing at Berlin Atonal’s Laterne event. Haven’t heard much of their music before? Don’t worry, we have a guide for that too. Grab details on Autechre’s Hobart show here.
Dark Mofo’s night parties are always, always killer. Last year there was the immersive and expansive ‘Welcome Stranger,’ which felt like 100 different parties and gigs and art installations crammed into one. The year before, there were the carnivalesque ‘Blackout’ parties at the Hobart Town Hall. For 2018, it’s ‘Night Mass,’ two weekends of parties around the Odeon Theatre. There’s no use speculating what might happen. It’ll be good. Just go.
Alice Glass & Zola Jesus
Electronic musician and political firebrand Alice Glass is coming to Australia for Dark Mofo, and she’ll be joined by gothy Sacred Bones icon Zola Jesus. Glass was one of the most influential and formidable figures of the mid-2000s indie pop scene, and her solo material pushes into even more fascinating territory. One time, back in 2012, I saw Crystal Castles (Alice Glass’ old band) at the Big Day Out and to this day she’s still one of the most magnetic performers I’ve seen. Hopefully this show will be just as good. Info here.
Vanguards of experimental electronic music meet at Borderlands, a show at the Avalon Theatre featuring William Basinski, The Haxan Cloak, Pan Daijing, Merzbow, and The Speaker, a collaboration between Daijing, Valerio Tricoli and Werner Dafeldecker. Merzbow and The Haxan Cloak are both exclusive to Dark Mofo, and Borderlands will be The Haxan Cloak’s first ever Australian performance. Borderlands doesn’t necessarily have the most familiar names on its lineup, but take the leap and you won’t be disappointed. Details here.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Dark Mofo lineup; check out all the events and ticketing details on the festival’s website.
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