Monday, May 28, 2007

Saints reform for Pig City (II)

I've mentioned this previously- browsing online today I lucked onto the only background piece I've seen yet that explains the reasons why Bailey & Kuepper have buried the hatchet to do this. It's from the Bulletin, of all places and it's here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This weekend- Little Red etc.

Every so often someone comes along that I have to see for myself. Eddy Current Suppression Ring were one who lived up to the buzz, now it's Little Red. Their month long Wednesday night residency at the Tote has lead people whose opinions I trust to make some extraordinary statements,like this. So I'll be at the Espy on Friday, when they play the Gershwin Room for free, with Even and the Summer Cats. Their myspace songs sound OK, be interesting to see how they cut it live.

On Saturday afternoon I hope to head over to Steve Miller's new bar, the House of Refreshment, at the Abbotsford Convent.
Steve says "You won't find eggs, 'cooked to your liking', skinny lattes, wraps, low fat muffins or light beer. It's S for Salt, F for Fat, S for Sugar, C for Caffeine and A for Alcohol". That'll do.

And no movies this week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spanish Club to close

This did the rounds a couple of days ago:
Hello Everyone,

After a lot of rumours, the sad news is that the Spanish Club in Johnston Street really is closing down in June. There are many reasons, and too many to go in to. However there will be a bunch of farewell gigs and parties.
The official end of lease party for the Salon (backroom) is on Sunday 17th June with a mighty line up of live music all day from 2pm. The line up includes LABJACD, BOB LOG III, THE MEANIES, THE NATION BLUE, DYNAMO, LITTLE RED and THE GINGERS, with more to be announced. We also have a return of (Xmas) EVEN a little sooner this year on Friday 15th June along with LISA MILLER, THE VANDAS and AMAYA LAUCIRICA.

There will be one more show in the Salon of the Spanish Club on held on Wednesday 20th June - a RRR/PBS Megahertz benefit a couple of days before the Community Cup footy match. This fundraiser was booked before we knew the venue was closing. The first function that was ever held in the Salon of the Spanish Club was a RRR Radiothon party, so it's nice to finish.

The final shows in the Spanish Club front bar will be on Friday 22nd June ( THE DOUBLE AGENTS) and on Saturday 23rd June (THE REEFERS) .

The Spanish tapas kitchen will also be closing down.

So please come down to the club over the next month or so and enjoy the tapas, some drinks and live music for one last time. Thanks to everyone who has played, dined, drank and seen live music, films, theatre and soccer at the Spanish Club Hope to see you all at the club soon over the next few weeks. Cheers.

The Spanish Club, 59 - 61 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. open Tue-Sun from 5pm (kitchen open 6 - 10pm)

I understand this may have something to do with a coordinated campaign of noise complaints from some local residents, and difficulties in soundproofing an old building. Whatever, for the sangria and the decor alone, it will be missed.

Penny Ikinger- live and on screen

Depending on where you are and when you read this, you may be able to catch a live set by Penny Ikinger at the Greyhound in St Kilda on Thursday 24th May, from 8.00pm. She'll be playing with Andrew McCubbin, and is planning to debut some new material. Entry is free.
If you can't make that, "Electra", the Rachel Lucas documentary about Penny, is showing as part of the St. Kilda Film Festival on Saturday 9th June, at the George Cinema in Fitzroy St. It was selected for showing from over 700 entrants to the festival, and if you've seen any of the videos Rachel & Penny have worked on previously, you'll know why. If you haven't, well, here's "Kathleen":

Movie details:
Chrissy Amphlett interviews iconic Melbourne electric guitarist/chanteuse Penny Ikinger on her unique rock n' roll journey in this candid conversation between two pioneer women of Australian rock.
Ikinger is a genuine rarity - a female electric guitarist renowned for her searing, mesmerising guitar solos and violent use of distortion pedals - a graduate of the Radio Birdman school of axe warfare.
Featuring: Penny Ikinger, Chrissy Amphlett, Deniz Tek, Louis Tillet, Kim Salmon, Charlie Owen, Clare Moore

Sounds good to me. And yes, I know I've been talking about movies a lot lately. Sue me.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Ghost On The Highway"

I still remember the first time I heard the Gun Club- my pal Andrew played me "Jack On Fire", and I was hooked. I was a big fan of music that didn't sound like anything else I'd ever heard, and this fit the bill exactly. It also led me into a few new directions, exploring both the blues it drew on and the American punk scene it sprang from- which at the time was often considered inferior to it's English cousin.
Well, last night I went to ACMI with a few old friends- long time Gun Club fans all, including the afore mentioned Andrew- to see "Ghost On The Highway".
I'd heard conflicting reports about it, including a lot of criticism about the lack of actual music, due to some sort of legal hoo-ha.
There was a fair crowd in the cinema, mainly older types. The movie itself is well shot and edited, and tells it's story at a fair pace. There is plenty of detail at the start, but some of that fades toward the end, due to the fact that many of the participants/interviewees peeled themselves away from Jeffrey Lee in his later years. You need to have at least a working knowledge of the band's history and output to make sense of it, too.
Terry Graham, Ward Dotson, Jim Duckworth and Dee Pop all have plenty to say- some fond memories but also a fair measure of bitterness, and some backstabbing/musical oneupmanship, too. Kid Congo Powers seems more equable and relaxed about his time with the band- perhaps he has a different perspective, having his success with the Cramps and Bads Seed to quell any self doubt or sense of failure.
Dave Alvin of the Blasters & John Doe Of X shed some light on the bands' early playing days, and are of interest in and of themselves, especially Doe, who has weathered well and comes across as a very thoughtful guy.
LA punk figures Pleasant Gehman and Theresa K make some very interesting contributions regarding the genesis of the band, and Chris D. gets a hefty slab of the respect he is due for producing and releasing "Fire Of Love". The only snippet that doesn't sit too well is Lemmy's very generalised observations on the rock and roll lifestyle.
It's not a character assassination by any means- if Pierce comes across as a loudmouth asshole, it's probably because that's what he was a lot of the time. I encountered him a few times in the early 90s and can attest to what an infuriating guy he could be when he wanted to.

Afterwards, discussing what we had just seen over a few beers, we all resolved to go home and play some of the bands' tunes, both to fill in the mental soundtracks we'd all been running during the movie, and in Jeffrey Lee's honour. After me-"Out in the west, it looks like rain..."

Friday, May 18, 2007

post weekend comedown- Barlight Cinema at the Tote

Been meaning to mention this for a while, actually.
Monday evenings sees the Tote screening rare and classic rock film & video on a couple of big screens. It's free, it's friendly, it's like being in a friend's lounge room, but watching the best music ever. I've been to a couple- including Bruce Milne's recent "Things That Make You Go Wha'?" night (bizarre & excellent) and last week's collection of great clips from 60s German tv program Beat TV.
This week, they've got a special Ramones night on:

Monday 21st May features The Ramones. The 19th May was Joey Ramone's birthday (also Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls/ Heartbreakers' birthday). We'll dig out a night of Ramones clips, some early rarities including some seldom seen TV appearances and interviews.

I hear it may also feature some rare live footage of da Bruddas at Melbourne's Festival Hall in 1991, if Richie can find the tape...see you there. Just don't talk too loud.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Couple of interesting things on

The monthly Primitive night at Exile on Smith Street sounds entertaining to say the least:
The Straight Arrows, from that other city, play their first gig in Melbourne. These garage punk chumps sound like your favourite band if you had good taste. A frenzied mess of feedback, fuzz, and screams that will leave you feeling woozy and aurally fingered. Comprised by members from Holy Soul and KIOSK, these guys are so not right that they’re right…right?
The Ooga Boogas defy a simple description. Think an unholy mess of experimental surf jams crossed with downright stupid riffs, spazzy Beefheart-esque mong rock, and spaceage drone wigouts. This ensemble features members from The Sailors, The Onyas, and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Watch them shit their pants at their very first gig. Now that’s entertorment!

And Adelaide's King Daddy are in town, launching a single, to be followed very soon by an album, "Evil Love" both on Spooky Records
May 18 at the Old Bar , with the Exotics and Dead South, then on to Pony for a 2am show, and May 19 at The Greyhound with Brigitte Handly & The Dark Shadows (Syd) who are also launching a CD.
Take your hips for shaking and your teeth for breaking!

If you prefer a movie, try this:

One of a handful of bands to genuinely push the punk/post-punk template, The Gun Club was fronted by legendary vocalist Jeffrey Lee Pierce and included such luminaries as Kid Congo Powers, Patricia Morrison, Romi Mori and Terry Graham in their fluid line up. Producing seriously muscular albums like "Miami" and "The Fire of Love", and classic tunes such as "Sex Beat" and "She's Like Heroin To Me", Ghost on the Highway recounts both Pierce's story and the band's 17 year history.
Last chance to see it (for the foreseeable future, anyway) is at ACMI in Federation Square on Saturday.
I'm a bit let down that it doesn't seem to include any contribution from LA punk legend and Flesheaters mainman Chris D, who produced and released "Fire of Love", but will probably go along anyway.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tiger By The Tail - "Heavy Metal Days"

I didn't even notice I was being filmed for this, at the New Christs & Pink Fits gig at the Espy, back in early January. Enjoy.
More of their videos are up on YouTube, but I can't figure out how to link to them. Yet.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Demo Gate Drive

Got a note from Matt Daley about his new blog site, "Demo Gate Drive"

I've decided that too many tapes from the past go unnoticed. I'm testing technology and have set up a blog dedicated to demo tapes. So, if any of you muso types would like to pass on any of your past glories I would love to put them in the mix. The first one will be obvious but you have to start somewhere.

Link is here, feel free to send him your stuff. There is already a 1998 Bored! tape up that includes their killer version of Husker Du's "Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill", amongst others.
Great name, by the way, Matt.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tidying up, odds and ends, etc

Well, I got knocked out of the Mess & Noise scrabble competition in the first round on Sunday afternoon, playing up in the Corner Hotel beer garden, but was cheered up by heading downstairs afterwards to see the Good Shepherd Circus Pie Classic- a charity event featuring a long list of local musos and others having a crack at competitive cooking. I missed out on getting a taste of Bob Log III's special chicken & breastmilk dish, but among many other highlights, it was worth going just to see Ron Peno at work:

And I didn't get to see Sixfthick at the Espy the night before(due to an unfortunate and stupid incident I don't want to go into here) so it was good to see them, down on the floor:

In other leisure time news- my pool game is getting better, pub trivia is going OK (second, third & last from three attempts), I'm stuck in a never-ending game of punch buggyand it looks like I may crank up the homebrewing again soon. And this week a parcel arrived from my pal Grrtch, which included a very fine t-shirt, amongst other goodies: Thanks, Grrtch!

This stuff is all just a distraction from what I should be writing, of course, a bit of a wrap up of Lobby Loyde's memorial service, which I attended on Saturday- that I am finding very hard going.

Thanks to Tim Chuma for the use of those pics, too.