Friday, June 29, 2007

Hmm, a wet weekend looms

Well, there's a wet weekend on the horizon, which will probably see me staying at home.
I have a stack of 11 new CDs to get through, including the Killer Birds ep and new albums from the Kamikaze Trio and The Super Insurgent Group of Intemperance Talent, with a few more on the way from Rich at Dropkick Records as well.
There are a some things that might tempt me out, though. Tijuana Souvenirs for free at the Pint on Punt tonight is an option, or maybe the Apartments with Dave Graney & Clare Moore's Lurid Yellow Mist at the Northcote Social Club

Saturday there are a few things happening- not least of which are the almighty Dynamo at the Greyhound, maybe, or Nation Blue and others over at the Arthouse. Or try getting drunk and taking a ride in that big Ferris Wheel in Birrarung Marr, in the rain. In the dark. And the howling wind.

And I have long, slow, cold-brewed high hopped batch of beer to bottle...

Looks like this will have to wait until next week, then:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ARIA Hall of Fame awards

I was intrigued to see Radio Birdman and the Hoodoo Gurus had both been scheduled for induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame this year.
I'm a fan, the ceremony itself is being held in Melbourne, I've got a few spare dollars right now- it should be no drama to find out who's arranging it, get a ticket and then head along to the Plaza Ballroom in my best duds on 18th July for a big night out, right?
After three weeks of asking, I finally got sent a ticket order form-there are no press passes available apparently, but then I wasn't banking much on that, anyway.
$475.00 to see a couple of songs and get a three course rubber chicken dinner? Err, no, thanks.
I know that the Hall of Fame sponsors the work done by Support Act, and they will be recieving any profits, but really, $475.00 buys a lot of beers, even for an industry crowd, and especially when the TV rights have already been sold.
So, congratulations to the bands & people who are getting this well-deserved recognition, but now will you please play somewhere I can come and see you?

As usual, click on that image to see an enlarged version.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This weekend

A few things on, but not too much. You could pretty much see all of these, if you wanted, and I think I'm going to try to.
On Friday, the Double Agents play the front bar of the (still kinda open) Spanish Club for free, from 9.30pm.

On Saturday, Sydney's 3D TV do a single launch at the Town Hall Hotel in North Melbourne, with Pretty Green and the allegedly awesome Ooga Boogas. That's free as well.

Or you could hit the Tote, for Little Red, Mink Jaguar & the Spazzys
I guess that may mean Ally & Kat Spazzy will be nursing hangovers on Sunday, when they turn out for the Sacred Heart Community Cup at the Junction Oval in St. Kilda. As usual, the Espy Rockdogs will take on the RRR/PBS Megahertz, and as usual, I'll be barracking for the 'Hertz.
Pre match entertainment is from 11.00am- the Killer Birds, Double Agents, and the Rockwiz Orchestra, half-time sees Mach Pelican play one of their last gigs. Bob Log III will be singing the national anthem before the kickoff.
Only a $5.00 donation to get in. This is always a great day out. Beer, kid & dog-friendly, bring your footy.

Glenn Barr at Outre Gallery

Seems like a while since I had any new art up here. This will be well worth a look.

Outré Gallery is proud to be hosting a full-scale exhibition by one of our most popular advocates of the urban subculture and noir vision, a genre sometimes referred to as Pop Surrealism. Glenn Barr's work blends his own brand of gritty pop imagery from trash culture to a mid-century wasteland aesthetic. His brooding apocalyptic city scape vignettes of moral ruin still manages to embrace a visual satire of humour and pathos. All this and a stylistic nod from his underground comics and animation days thrown into the mix.
Glenn Barr will be out from hometown Detroit to meet and greet at his exhibitions in both Melbourne and Sydney. Glenn will be signing his books “Lowlife Paradise” and “Haunted Paradise” on Saturday 23 June at Outré Melbourne, and Saturday 30 June at Outré Darlinghurst. Both publications are available for sale from Outré.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Celeb review on I94 Bar

Working on the outer fringes of the music biz, as I do, I often feel very privileged to catch a glimpse of little bits of the day to day, back and forth stuff that makes things tick.
One such is an email I was copied in on last week, from Sacred Cowboy Garry Gray, to the Barman, editor of my regular haunt, the I94 Bar.
Garry had submitted a review of a record that I don't believe is available in Australia yet, and this is what he said:
I have unearthed a classic album, finished this year by an unsung hero of rock, a friend of mine, and a fucking great human being-Mick Mashbir. Before you start saying "Ah, not another mate" (he is also a mate of Penny's), I promise you this is a great album by a great artist.
I stand by everything I say in this review, and if you guys dug the original Alice Cooper Group as much as me, you won't feel any different to me. This man played lead guitar on nearly every song on 'Billion Dollar Babies' and 'Muscle of Love', AND toured extensively with the original ACG group. The guitar is fucking wild and the lyrics, great. The missing follow up to 'Muscle Of Love', a missing original ACG album? I'm lucky enough to have the can get a good preview on CD Baby.
Be great if you could post this review of Mick's disc as soon as possible. I know it's not usual but I've given it 5.5 beers. Attached is a JPEG of the cover, the correct amount of beer, and the review.
Listen to this'll be blown away.

best regards


Of course it went up on the Bar.
Go here to read it.

"Suburban Mayhem" on DVD

I mentioned this movie a while back. This is a just a note that it's now out on DVD, and is available as a limited edition 2 disc set which includes a CD of the (excellent) Mick Harvey soundtrack.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Write Your Adventures Down"- a tribute to the Go Betweens

Triggered by a marketing email in my inbox the other day...

I used to quite like the Go Betweens. The distinctive "Australian-ness" they get lauded for these days wasn't so much a factor of their sound when they were resident in Melbourne around the time that Missing Link put out "Your Turn, My Turn", and the "Send Me A Lullaby" LP. Live, they could be strikingly spiky and intense, sometimes moving from petulant to fragile to near collapse, but always entertaining.
A whole bunch of people have contributed to a new tribute album:

My most memorable Go Betweens adventures probably don't bear writing down.
One involves a party at the (rather swanky) home of the parents of VOX magazine editor Neil Bradbury. There was drinking, there was a pool, there were some hijinks. Late in the afternoon I was "resting" indoors when Lindy Morrison came in to get changed out of her swimming costume. She didn't bat an eyelid at my semi-conscious figure, blithely stripping nude, chatting all the time. Two things made an impression on me that afternoon- apart from the obvious, she called me an iconclast, the first and only time I've ever been labelled thus.
The other took place at a house in Punt Rd. East Melbourne, in 1983, I think, on the day before they left on a return trip to England. I'd dropped in that afternoon to say goodbye. Grant was clearly over the whole thing, and just wanted to get there. Robert was charming but nervous. Lindy was packing and repacking her case- her suitcase, not her equipment flight cases- and caused minor panic when she came downstairs and loudly announced that her passport had been stolen, and so they wouldn't be able to go after all. Robert sighed, rolled his eyes, and found it for her in two minutes flat.
So there you go

Full track listing for that album, by the way, goes like this:
Disc One (studio recordings)
Lee Remick Patience Hodgson
(from The Grates)
Bye Bye Pride Sarah Blasko
Head Full Of Steam Dan Kelly
Dusty In Here Youth Group
The House That Jack Kerouac Built Glenn Richards (from Augie March)
Streets Of Your Town Bob Evans
Right Here Darren Hanlon
Bachelor Kisses Josh Pyke
Draining The Pool For You Andrew Cox (from The Fauves)
Hold Your Horses Sarah Blasko and Darren Hanlon
No Reason To Cry New Buffalo
Finding You Adele Pickvance (from The Go-Betweens)
Spring Rain David McCormack (from Custard)
Dive For Your Memory Glenn Thompson (from The Go-Betweens)

Disc Two (live at the Tivoli Theatre,Brisbane)
Head Full Of Steam David Mccormack
Lee Remick Darren Hanlon
Right Here Darren Hanlon
No Reason To Cry Kevin Mitchell (Aka Bob Evans)
Bye Bye Pride Sarah Blasko
Dusty In Here Toby Martin & Cameron Emerson (Youth Group)
This Girl, Black Girl Toby Martin and Cameron Emerson (Youth Group)
Spring Rain Dan Kelly
Draining The Pool For You Dan Kelly
The House That Jack Kerouac Built Glenn Richards
People Say Glenn Richards
Hold Your Horses Sarah Blasko
Streets Of Your Town Bob Evans
Finding You Glenn Thompson and Adele Pickvance
Dive For Your Memory Glenn Thompson and Adele Pickvance

Distractions and other shit

I hate to whine here but really, this is getting ridiculous. I still don't have anywhere to live. My latest batch of beer (a highly hopped pale ale, brewed early for good summer drinking) stalled in the fermenter due to this cold weather. And my new project is eating time, patience and bandwidth in roughly equal proportions, and it's barely started yet. Here's a sneak preview, for those with eyes to see it:

And I missed both Penny Ikinger's gig at the Greyhound and the screening of the Rachel Lucas documentary, too.
Oh well. There have been some positives, though.
Last Saturday's show at the Tote was excellent. A lot of old friends there, some good news (hi, Anna & Alexander) and some excellent music. Them Wrong Turns are well worth keeping an eye on. A guitar and drums duo who manage to sound different to any other guitar and drum duo you may have heard, they draw more on straight rock than anything else, and have a huge, full sound courtesy of some quick pedal work. Dynamo did their Dynamo thing as well as ever, though for some reason I couldn't get into it. Sadly Tiger By The Tail were playing their last show, and due to illness they played it as a three piece, too. Nothing precious here- the set list was a copy of each CD, turned face down on the stage, and they were happy enough to take requests for anything anyone wanted to yell from the floor. (Watch this space for details of Dave Thomas' new project, by the way.) HOSS were in fine form, and the Onyas were a great way to close.
All this and a Wu-B-Q as well.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Yeah I know, I know,

this blog is called Last Tram Home, and as a non-driver the tram is my usual mode of transport. But on Friday night my (new best) friend Thomas gave me a lift home in this:

It's a prototype of the V8 Elfin Streamline , and it stunk of petrol, hot oil, and burnt rubber. Sounded like a Spitfire in full flight, backfired like a motherfucker, jumped like a rabbit with Tabasco on it's arse. Best ride I've had in a while.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

this weekend- Beasts, Tigers, & Darlings

I've been listening to "Little Animals" by the Beasts of Bourbon all week, and would love to go and see them at the Prince of Wales on Friday. Unfortunately, I have to go and look for somewhere to live on Saturday, and I can't see that an after-Beasts gig hangover will impress any real estate agents.

On Saturday there is a big line up at the Tote- a benefit for Heather Macdonald:
The Melbourne music scene has suffered a setback with the theft of Heather MacDonald's camera gear. These camera's have been used to capture some of the most memorable concerts of the last decade. Her images have graced the covers of many local releases, such as The Powder Monkeys, Hoss, Digger & The Pussycats, The Sailors, Mach Pelican and The Mystaken as well as a Dead Moon LP and the walls of the Tote Hotel's front bar. To get her over this hurdle a bunch of Heather's buddies are getting together do a bit of what they do best. So help pick up her spirits and kick up your heels.

Playing: The Onyas, Hoss, Dynamo, Tiger By The Tail, The Kickyourheadins, Wrong Turn, Chuck Jenkins. Starts at 7.oopm, for only $10.00
Sadly, this looks like it may well be the last Tiger By The Tail gig ever. Get there early.
I mentioned recently that the Saints reformation made me want to go to Brisbane- well, the idea of seeing the Darling Downs and the Painkillers sharing a bill makes me want to go to Perth:

James Baker, Ron Peno & Kim Salmon, all on one bill, all doing new material. A rare opportunity, I hope it packs out for them.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Where are my pirate pants?

The groovy youngsters about town who think that the 80s were all about the "angular" rock a la the Gang of Four, skinny ties and tight black jeans may be in for a rude awakening. The National Gallery of Victoria here in Melbourne is running an exhibition of fashion by Brisbane designer Katie Pye.
I never wore this kind of thing- I escaped the worst excesses, with only one or two dodgy haircuts and a "Blue Monday" 12 inch- but I knew plenty of people who did. The cross-buttoned "Spinnaker" shirt in particular brought back some strong memories.
There's also the added bonus of a video installation, which includes not one but two of Pseudo Echo's efforts. They were big customers of hers, apparently, but frankly, the Strokes they ain't. Which isn't saying much.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Chuck Dukowski in PSF

There's a link a bit further down the page to Perfect Sound Forever, a quality online magazine that appears bimonthly, and is always worth a read. The current June-July issue features Melbourne's own Dave Lang, of the Lexicon Devil blog, talking to former Black Flagger Chuck Dukowksi. It's an excellent read, and also links to Lang's exhaustive three part history of SST Records, written back in 1998.

Best appreciated at a leisurely pace, with the appropriate sound track. Have a look at the Crime piece while you're there, too.