Top picks for Melbourne Music Week

This year's line-up is music to our ears
Hextape
Photograph: David Meran
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The latest installment of Melbourne Music Week is celebrating local and international talent by bringing everything from folk, techno, rock and experimental music to unusual venues throughout the city. If you go to only one MMW show this year, make sure it's one of these.

Keen for more? Here's where to see live music every night of the week in Melbourne. If you're keen to pull some shapes, here are the best bars for dancing

Who to see at Melbourne Music Week

1
Melbourne Music Week / Heaps Gay
Photograph: Nic Cleary
Things to do

Heaps Gay Reverie: opening night

icon-location-pin ACMI - Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
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Melbourne Music Week is launching this year with a big, gay party at the ACMI festival hub. The party-loving team at Heaps Gay are throwing a bash to open the week of music, bringing together a stack of queer music alongside zany performances and art. Put on your comfy dancing shoes, this party goes from 8pm to 4am. 

2
Jeff Mills
Photograph: Supplied
Music

Jeff Mills Cinemix

icon-location-pin ACMI - Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
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For when you’re not sure whether you want to head to the club or catch a film, there’s Jeff Mills. For Melbourne Music Week ACMI will show a screening of Woman in the Moon, a 1929 silent film, which Mills has composed a soundtrack to. Mills has created a retro-futuristic soundtrack to accompany the surreal science fiction film. The experimental score has a techno edge (a nod to Mills’s career as a DJ) and will be played live by Mills and debut exclusively for Melbourne Music Week.

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3
Dark Space Project
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Dance and electronic

Dark Space Project

icon-location-pin The Toff in Town, Melbourne
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Most gigs are already pretty dark but the Dark Space Project is taking the mood lighting to the next level. The Toff will be submerged into total darkness while Hextape and James Teague present an immersive night of psychedelic ambient music. The evening is bound to be extremely trippy, with Hextape and Teague creating an improvisational soundscape of guitar, drums, violins, modular synthesizers and loops. 

4
You Am I
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Rock and indie

You Am I + Gareth Liddiard + Clowns + New War

icon-location-pin Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
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Melbourne Town Hall won't know what's hit it when You Am I, Gareth Liddiard, Clowns and New War put on a banger of a headline show at the civic building as part of Melbourne Music Week.  The performance will be the first time You Am I have performed at the annual music festival, and they're making sure it's one to remember. The band, known for classic Australian rock hits like 'Berlin Chair' and 'Heavy Heart', will be incorporating Town Hall's grand organ into their performance. 

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5
Ainslie Wills
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Rock and indie

Ainslie Wills + Gretta Ray + Angie McMahon

icon-location-pin ACMI - Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
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It’s women to the front on Monday, November 19, when three of Melbourne’s most promising musicians take to the festival hub. Ainslie Wills, Gretta Ray and Angie McMahon are playing a triple bill, performing their latest releases at ACMI. Hear the sincere, crystal-clear songs of Ainslie Wills, the bold and sometimes cheeky music of Angie McMahon (her song ‘Pasta’ was written after eating a whole lasagna), and the wunderkind indie-folk tunes of Gretta Ray. 

6
Renee Geyer
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Funk, soul and disco

Bad Girls Disco x Roller Jam

icon-location-pin ACMI - Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
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Renee Geyer leads the line-up as ACMI is turned into a bedazzling discotheque as part of Melbourne Music Week. The ARIA Hall of Fame singer most known for her soulful warbling will headline the event, taking you through 40 years of dance music alongside Kylie Auldist, DJ Jnett and Chelsea Wilson. What’s more is that ACMI will be on a roll – literally – with Foreign Brothers installing a pop-up roller skating rink at the centre. 

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7
Jen Cloher
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Rock and indie

Sing Session feat. Jen Cloher

icon-location-pin The Toff in Town, Melbourne
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Belt your little lungs out with Melbourne Indie Voices (MIV) and the very talented singer-songwriter Jen Cloher. MIV is hosting one of their Sing Sessions (free-to-join singing nights) at the Toff with the masterful Jen Cloher. Cloher has been nominated for both AMP and ARIA awards throughout her career for her bluesy folk-rocks songs. Join her and MIV at Sing Session to learn how to effortlessly sing the backing vocals to 'Strong Woman' from Cloher’s 2017 eponymous album.

8
Dianas
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Music festivals

Live Music Safari

icon-location-pin Around Melbourne , Melbourne
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One night, 13 venues. It wouldn’t be Melbourne Music Week without the latest installation of Live Music Safari, a gigantic, free, one-night-only party across some of the city’s top music venues. The event is almost like the White Night of Melbourne’s music scene, with the gigs starting at 3pm Thursday, November 22 and lasting until 5am. Yes, you will want to take Friday off work. Visit the Melbourne Music Week website for the full list of Live Music Safari gigs and venues.

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9
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Things to do

Melbourne Star’s Musical Menagerie

icon-location-pin Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Docklands
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Melbourne Music Week is turning the observation wheel into a musical lucky dip for one night only on Friday, November 23. Melbourne Star’s Musical Menagerie will feature ten different musicians on board ten different cabins alongside a limited number of audience members (those cabins can only hold a maximum of 20 people, remember). Ticket holders won’t know who the musician is until they board, so it’s a great way to discover new artists. 

Find more live music

A shot of a musician sitting on stage at The Reverence Hotel, pl
Photograph: Amanda Summons
Bars, Pubs

The best live music pubs in Melbourne

While there's suggestion of the live music scene in other cities dying, Melbourne's continues to flourish. And let's face it, who doesn't like a beer with their favourite local band?

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