Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm not sure

For various reasons, I'm not sure I want to do this any more.
If that matters to you, let me know.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh, yeah

It's not all about me and the Hound this week. But having said that, there doesn't seem to be a great deal going on.

TheTri-State Lovers are launching their excellent (if sadly post-humous) album, "No Love" at the Tote on Saturday, with support from Digger and the Pussycats, the Ooga Boogas, and Jacky Winter, all for only $10.00, with a free BBQ thrown in.
There's a semi-literate review of the album here, by the way.

Also on Saturday, Spencer P Jones from kicks off a December-long residency over at the Edinburgh Castle , 681 Sydney Road, Brunswick, from 5.00 til 7.00. It's free, too.

I can't see there's much happening on Friday or Sunday though, and

the exhibition that features this picture of Mirka Mora's underwear doesn't start for a couple more weeks, sadly. Maybe stay in, do a bit of tidying up, send some Christmas cards out nice and early? Up to you.

Last word on the Greyhound?

Well, despite earlier posts and news, it looks like it's fallen through. From this week's local paper:

I got asked to leave the Hound at the end of the Sixfthick show in the front bar there last Sunday, by the way. The two events are not necessarily connected, of course.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pick a nerd and save the country

or something.
One excellent election night show: Mink Jaguar at Pony, with a few others

Or another- the return of Sixfthick over at the East Brunswick Club

The choice is yours.
Personally, I'd prefer to be down at the beach with Mirka Mora. It looks like a lot of fun.

She has great taste in swimwear, that's for sure.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This weekend- art or Ooga?

There are two interesting things on this weekend- unfortunately they kinda clash.
For those of an artistic bent, the Missing Chord art exhibition is being launched at the St. James Gallery on Friday.

An exploration of the rock n’ roll heart of Melbourne

The interaction between fine art and rock n’ roll is comparable to the intertwining strands of DNA. At times the brutish simplicity of garage rock n’ roll can seem completely in opposition to the exquisite works hung on the rarefied walls of a fine art gallery; yet the complex tones and textures of many rock and indie bands can seem completely at odds with the na├»ve Art Brut style of so many contemporary artists.
This exhibition explores that symbiotic relationship and draws together 11 indie musicians who are also accomplished artists in their own right. The broad spectrum of bands the artists are involved in is also reflected in the variety of media, which includes works on paper, mosaics, photography, drawing and painting.
The artists include Ben Montero (Treetops), Jim Murray, James Ratsasane (The Rumours/J Hawk), Si Francis (Wagons), Kirsty Stegwazi / Rene Schaefer (Hand Hell), Ned Larnach-Jones (Ned & The Meds), Alana Cromwell (Sir), Mikey Stabbs (The Currency), Shags (The Smallgoods) and Rui Pereira (ex-The Drones).

For those of less refined taste, the Ooga Boogas, Exotics and Frowning Clouds play at Bar Open on the same night.

It's meant to be the launch night for the Ooga's new single "The Octopus Is Back", but apparently they will only have 35 copies on sale (and ten t-shirts) so get there early if you want one.

Regardless, all things being equal, I also plan to celebrate the arrival of the warm weather by BBQing the first rack of ribs of the season. But you're not invited to that, sadly. Maybe next time.

UPDATE: After seeing an excellent set by Darling Downs in the backyard of Pure Pop Records, I finished this off- 3 kilograms of boned pork shoulder, smothered with home made BBQ sauce and given 3 hours on the Weber with plenty of hickory chips:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

HOT: Kylie pre-release exclusive.

Where were you today at 10.00am? In a record company boardroom, being guarded by goons and listening to a preview of the new Kylie Minogue LP?

Don't ask me how I came by this, but I can assure you it is 100% legit. And 100% industry bullshit, at the same time.
And no, of course I didn't fucking go.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

No Time Wasters

One of the few joys of Melbourne's street press is the fake classified ads that appear in Beat magazine each week- often they are the only thing I read, the same way Fred Negro's "Pub" comic strip is often I all bother reading in Inpress.
Regardless, the genius behind them has now collected a year or so worth in book form-drop him a line for a copy. Highly recommended. Some samples:

as ever, click to enlarge

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween and onwards

So I write this sitting in the deepening twilight, with a bag of chocolate frogs and some glow in the dark M & Ms at the ready, listening to Kopper's special Halloween Savage Kick podcast

but none of the neighbourhood kids seem keen.

Anyway, there is lots coming up.
Friday at the Espy sees the Lime Spiders headline a massive bill of local and interstate acts- the sort of bill you usually only see on New Year's Eve, and for only $15.00

On Saturday the Bakelite Age are launching their (excellent) new album, "Return Of The Magical Molerat" at the Tote.

While on Monday, Route 66 are holding Wolfcall 2007 over at the Central Club in Richmond

AND FINALLY on Tuesday (officially known as "Horse Day" here in Melbourne)Wagons are showing off their newie, "Curse Of Lightning", over at the Northcote Social Club.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fish curves

I think this all perfectly clear, isn't it?

click to enlarge, if you must, pervert.
And while we're on the subject of lingerie, I am reminded that Spooky Records have just released "On The Rocks", the latest from Sixfthick. While they're over breaking things- sorry, on tour- in Europe, this makes an excellent substitute.

Get some.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ed & the Drone Hats

Look, I know I go on about Witch Hats a bit, but trust me they deserve it. Last week's Tote show was excellent, as is their new single, "Before I Weigh", out now on In-Fidelity.
And you've got to hand it to a band who score a prestige support with the Drones for one big Melbourne date, at the Corner

and come up with their own poster:

My, Fiona Kitschin must be feeling flattered. Or should that be "flattened"?

Tomorrow (Friday) night sees a fairly special show by Ed Kuepper at the East Brunswick Club, as follows:

To celebrate the release of ‘Jean Lee and the Yellow Dog’, Ed Kuepper and the newly christened Kowalski Collective (Peter Oxley and Jeffrey Wegener), will take to the road for an extensive national tour. The EBC audience will be even more spoiled when the Collective extends to a seven piece with the addition of keyboard/cellist Jane Elliott and a three-piece horn section. Kuepper, of course, being no stranger to the use of brass having successfully experimented with the format for the Saints albums Eternally Yours and Prehistoric Sounds and using it as the centre-piece for his post-Saints outfit Laughing Clowns. And if that wasn't enough, at select shows, Ed Kuepper & The Kowalski Collective will play two sets each night. The first being a highlights package of past glories while the second set will see a run through of ‘Jean Lee and the Yellow Dog’ in its entirety.

I have a copy of "Jean Lee", and it is excellent. Details on this and more are here at the I94 Bar.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The weekend?

Hmmm, a bit undecided, me.
I have lots to do (again) including a review of a pair of Hitmen reissues that run to 89 tracks all up.

Can those Jimmy and the Boys reissues be far away now, I wonder? Please, yes, please, soon I hope.

I may try and get along to the Old Bar for a while at least.

Otherwise it'll probably just be the Primitive night at the Tote, as mentioned below.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rock & roll insanity

Ever wondered just how crazy your fave rock & rollers were or are? Well, thanks to the good folk at Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, you can refer to a handy list. For instance:

Pioneer rocker BILL HALEY’S records sold 60 million copies during his lifetime, but the money and fame did not save him from insanity. His return to Nashville in 1973 to film Just Rock and Roll Music was a fiasco. He was mean and violent toward his band, breaking furniture, and such things, and he “was run out of Nashville in disgrace” (John Swenson, Bill Haley: The Daddy of Rock and Roll, p. 148). On a European tour in 1979, reports came back that he assaulted fans and disrobed onstage. He became increasingly paranoid, depressed, and psychotic as the years passed. “Police would often find him wandering aimlessly after nightfall, lost on some remote country lane, delirious, incoherent, suffering from amnesia.” He moved into the garage, painted the windows black, and installed floodlights outside to ward off imagined enemies. Even to his own children he told wild tales about being in the Marines and being a deputy sheriff, though he had never done those things. Before his death he would visit restaurants and show the waitresses and various customers his driver’s license, telling them he was Bill Haley. “He died, out of his mind, in Harlingen, Texas, on February 9, 1981” (Nick Tosches, Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll, p. 108). He was 55 years old.

or this:

NINA NAGEN is a German rocker who sings “about God and flying saucers in an operatic punk howl.” She says that she saw her first witch sitting under the table when she was three years old. “At age 17 she had an ‘out of the body experience’ during an acid trip, at which time (she claims) that a representative of God named Micky ‘borrowed’ the body of the non-tripping friend taking care of her. Nina and God had a talk. Since that time, Hagen’s albums and life have been filled with her version of [the Deity]” (Creem, August 1984, p. 15, cited by Jacob Aranza, More Rock, Country & Backward Masking Unmasked, p. 87).

I particularly like the source cited in that Nina Hagen one. Full list is at that link above.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gimme Primitive and stuff

This weekend sees the return of Gimme Shelter to the Exford, as well as a special birthday- hi Myles!

While the final Primitive for 2007 is on at the Tote next week, featuring Wollongong's the Unheard, Melbourne's favorite young punks Witch Hats, and a teenage combo from Geelong, the Frowning Clouds.
I may not make it, but I hear a rumour that the people behind Gimme Shelter and Primitive crew are planning to be back early next year, and hope to kick off with a bay boat cruise. Oh yeah.

In other news this week, it's been reported and confirmed that the freehold of the Tote has been sold for a sum in the region of $3.2 million. The current lease has two more years to run, so there should be no immediate changes.

I wrote a small piece on Gonerfest for the I94 Bar about a month back: it's here if you want a look- probably worth it for some of Rich Stanley's comments alone.
Well, the party is over but there is a bunch of live sound up, including all three Australian acts. Here's some ECSR , Digger & the Pussycats and Ooga Boogas tunes, and a taste of some of the shit hot US stuff that was on offer, like Greg Cartwright and the Final Solutions , who feature Jay Reatard in their number, as well as Jay solo.
Have a listen, go here for more.

Thanks to Jack Stands for all this, and to Eric for being such a nice fella.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My lethality is bigger than yours

A big day of kite flying and (dare I say it) deadline busting ace music journalism today.
Finally got the Lethal Weapons piece done and squared away, and managed to avoid a potentially nasty libel suit along the way too. You can read it here, at the I94 Bar , if you so wish. I hope you do, and I hope you buy the CD as well.
This weekend I have another massive job to wrap up, so will be keeping it a bit low key. I'm taking a chance- one fave, playing with a vague acquaintance and some other folks I've never seen.

Hand Hell are launching their new album, "Phonography" at the Tote, with support from Ninety Nine, the Stabs and the Holy Rose. Sounds good to me.
On Sunday, all things being equal I will be playing a rather drunken version of croquet. Pip pip!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back online, Antipodean Screams, etc.

Well, we are back at last.
After a fraught week of moving house, getting a black eye (don't ask) and changing net service providers. Phew.
Lots to come- in the interim, have you heard this yet?

Just out on Off The Hip, 37 storming tracks. Get some!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the return of La Femme

Yes, yes, I know the Celibate Rifles are in town this weekend, playing with the Double Agents at the Corner, and, yes I know that Sixfthick are playing their last Melbourne show before their European tour at the Rob Roy, but for my money there is only one show worth going to- the return of a rejuvenated La Femme.
I never saw them live back in their heyday, so I'm really looking forward to it. More details here at the I94 Bar. If you can't make the show, at least have a listen to the recently reissued album.

Thanks to Ian & Stuart for giving me that intro para, too.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things to do

On Friday, Us v. Them features Pets With Pets,Children Collide and Witch Hats, whose debut album, "Cellulite Soul" is now due out in January. Pushed back from September for very good reasons that don't need to be discussed here. If I had an advance copy, I wouldn't talk about that, either.
Roxanne Parlour can be hard to find-here's a flashy little map, to go with the flashy handbill:

On Saturday, Gimme Shelter hits the Exford. A garage special, apparently.

Will that do? I've got a ton of work to get through, me.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

oh Suzi Q...

Hmmm, not sure what's on this weekend, but I've got a date for Monday.
3RRR and Readings are delighted to present Suzi Quatro. Join us and the infamous Suzi as she shares her stories. Her book – Unzipped tells of the good times, the bad times and the crazy times. This is a rare opportunity to meet one of the original rock chicks!

Monday 10 September, 6.30pm
3RRR Performance Space
221 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East.
Tickets $5.00, includes a glass of wine.
Tickets strictly limited, available only from Readings Carlton shop.

From her first band, the Pleasure Seekers and their classic "What A Way To Die", through to her glory years at RAK, it all sounds good to me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Farewell Tigers

One farewell show wasn't enough for Tiger By The Tail- they are doing another one this Saturday at the Tote.
LAST EVER SHOW-Tote front bar,Saturday September 1st 5pm-7pm
Playing two sets!!! Hi one and all. Yes its true Tiger by the Tail have called it a day and hung up our collective instruments. We will be taking a break and maybe getting back together at the end of this year to record. In the meantime James and Michael are playing and touring Europe with Johnny Casino and the Secrets, Daniel is reforming the original Sailors and playing with others and solo stuff. Dave has another band (Us vs Them) in the wings featuring Cris and Ben from Warped. Who knows when they will get it together to play. Cheers for your friendship, have a good one! the Tiges!

I'll miss them.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Constructing Fear and other entertainment

Aah, things are slowly getting back on an even keel round these parts.

On Friday afternoon I stopped by Missing Link Records to catch short in-store sets by the Stabs and the Straight Arrows. The Stabs played a good half hour or so of excellent all new material- they are heading out on tour soon, too. The Straight Arrows were running late, or had technical problems, or something, but managed a slamming twenty minutes of shit-hot garage punk.

On Saturday we got political. Well, a bit political anyway- Melbourne film maker Joe Loh has made a documentary about the recent changes to the law that oversee unions on building sites. Or, as the film's official site puts it: A documentary exposing the activity of an industrial inquisition targeting building workers across Australia. “Constructing Fear” shows how these workers are the front line in an attack on civil liberties that has implications for every Australian.
It was showing at ACMI, for only $10.00, and the ticket also got you into Cherry Bar later in the evening, for a show featuring Dynamo and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, who both contributed music to the soundtrack. The place was packed of course, with an odd mix of old school union types and the young ubercool. Both bands were fantastic. The song ECSR recorded for the documentary, "Devil's Demands", is available for free download from the site above, by the way, as is the film itself.

Anyway, I've got to get back to work on that Lethal Weapons feature mentioned below. Here's a bit of a taster- an eyewitness account by someone who was there at the time, and is still active in music today:
In the end it was a storm in a teacup. Suicide quickly dissolved, Mushroom retaining only the Teenage Radio Stars (who would later morph into The Models) and The Boys Next Door, who finished one album in which Mushroom were totally disinterested and were let loose to develop into The Birthday Party. All the bands moved on to the next stage of development and the scene flourished, particularly in Melbourne where it reached a kind of artistic peak from 1979 through to 1983.
Ironically the experience firmed our resolve about such issues and we proceeded to be staunchly independent for over 20 years, never again working with the Australian Music Industry.

You'll just have to wait to find out who that's from.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This weekend

Well, there are a couple of options. I'm busy on both Friday (BBQing) and Saturday (birthdaying), but you probably aren't.
Johnny Casino is back in town, and both shows are free.

Saturday's show features the Ooga Boogas in their last Australian show before their American tour. Yes, really.

While Actor/Model have managed to get a babysitter, and will be launching their new CD at the Tote with support from the mighty Kamikaze Trio among others, including DJing by Matt from the Stabs. Should be a good night.

On Sunday I will be hungover. Don't call too early.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just too fucking busy

Look, I wrote a great Seminal Rats piece for the I94 Bar last week, AND I'm more than halfway through a long La Femme piece AND a huge Lethal Weapons feature for I94 as well, AS WELL AS doing a few bits for Mess And Noise (albeit under a different name) AND I saw the Double Agents at the Espy on Saturday, AND I went out for dinner on the Melbourne Restaurant Tram for dinner tonight. I'm cooking BBQ at a good friend's 50th birthday party at the Tote on Friday. It's my birthday on Saturday, and I may be out of a paying job in a month.
So, yes, I'm still here, but a tad distracted. OK?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Research coincidence

While doing some research on that "Lethal Weapons" LP mentioned below, I was looking at the site for the Australian Chart Book, compiled by David Kent from his Kent Music Report, and was surprised to see who was in the sample page given:

Not only did "Radios Appear" spend 18 weeks on the commercial charts back on it's original release in 1977, (with the overseas version putting in another month, almost a year later) the "Soldiers of Rock'n'Roll" audio documentary also snuck in there for a week too. Who'd have thought it?

click on that chart sample to enlarge

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lethal Weapons reissue

The Lethal Weapons compilation was a milestone in Australian musical history when it was originally released back in 1979.
Now, nearly 30 years on, it has been re-tooled for reissue as an enhanced CD, by Aztec Records, and is due to hit the shelves in early August.
To mark the occasion, I’m doing a bit of a piece for the I94 Bar, and am seeking some input.
I want anecdotes and memories and thoughts on the album, the bands, the people and the era in general from those who were there, who played on the album, or who went to the gigs.
You can send me a paragraph or two as a simple email, or I am happy to get into longer exchanges- via email/chat, face to face, or over the phone.
All due credit will be given to those who put their hand up. Oh, and feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may have something to contribute.

Thanks in advance
email address-

Monday, July 16, 2007

Remembering Tim Hemensley

As the fourth anniversary of Tim's death approaches, it felt like an appropriate time to post some thoughts.
I met Tim when we were both quite young- I was about 18, he was about 11. I already knew who he was- the local papers delighted in carrying stories about the "primary school punk" antics of his first band, Royal Flush. For whatever reason, we didn't get on too well at first, but by the time GOD were up and running we were firm friends.
He had a complicated and busy life, usually based around music, girls and partying, and would occassionally drop by my East Melbourne flat late at night, for a chat, to play a new record he'd discovered ("Hermann Brood! He's like, like, the Dutch Lou Reed!") or just shoot the shit in general.
I was overseas during his time in Bored! and the Powdermonkeys, and bitterly regret never getting to see him play live with either of them.

There are some samples of their stuff available here courtesy of John Nolan's Powdermonkeys home page. Take a minute out to listen.

The last time I saw him was the Saturday before his death. Tracey & I went to the infamous "Star Wars" bar at the Espy, to see Tim's old bandmate Joel Silbersher playing with HOSS. He seemed to know everyone in the room, and was in fine form that night, darting from conversation to conversation, drinking anyone's beer, even getting up to sing. At one slightly serious moment I pointedly asked him how he was doing- a polite way to ask about his off and on chemical dabblings- and he assured us he was fine. He looked it too. Damn, but it was fun to hang out with him.
Then on the following Wednesday, listening to RRR on my way home having just been sacked from my job, I heard the news of his death.
I don't want to talk about the funeral, or the wake.
So, he's gone, but in no way is he forgotten. There's a memorial plaque on the wall of the Tote, and the Tim Hemensley medal is awarded at the St. Kilda Community Cup each year. He was partly responsible for christening me with this nom de plume, that I still use proudly. I still find myself humming "You piece of punk rock shit, you know you look like all fuck" now and again sometimes, and I'll make a point of playing some of his stuff over the next few days, too.

And I'm sure he'll get a mention from the stage on Saturday night.