Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Like lakes?

This will be a biggie. Pity it's so far out of town.
Magic Dirt are curating the music and film for this- I don't know what the film festival will be like, but the music looks great. Magic Dirt, Tim Rogers, The Nation Blue, Crystal Thomas & the Flowers of Evil, and more. All for free, too, for them as have a ride there. And back, of course.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Pink Christmas.

A big line up at the Tote on Friday, when Stained Circles present a Deaf Christmas. Deaf Wish, the Pink Fits, Useless Children and more, with a BBQ thrown in, for only $12.00

I caught Useless Children last week at Roxanne- they are a bit awesome.

The mighty Fits are doing a couple of other shows while they are in town- and on Saturday afternoon, they may well prove to be the loudest thing to hit the Pure Pop backyard yet, before they head around to the Espy later on.

While later on Saturday, the Mistletone folks are hosting a bash at the recently opened Thornbury Theatre, featuring a slew of their finest acts, including this month's deservedly hot item, Beaches as well as favorites like Kes and Ross McLennan.

First 100 payers through the door get a free CD, too. If it's half as good as last year's collection, it will be worth getting there on time.

Christmas sloth.

Oops. Sorry about that. I seem to be coming up a bit short lately.
I blame two things- a lack of inspiration (combined with general tiredness) and the upcoming Christmas hoo-hah. That shit leaves me cold, I'm afraid.
No, this isn't some anti-Christian or anti-commercialism rant. I'm just over it. And, you know, I can be pretty lazy at times. About many things.

With this in mind, can I ask that anyone who wants to get me a present this year, sponsor a sloth instead. Details are in that link.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Brain death.

There, that's more like it.
Things are hotting up in advance of that festival thing, and that Christmas thing.  I haven't seen Baby Brain yet, but I've heard some good things about them, I like the name, and I like this poster:
And they are playing with some other fine folks. What else are you going to do on a Thursday night- go and see some living legends play at a favorite old local venue?  Well, this week you can indeed do just that- Died Pretty are playing at the Prince of Wales. Hmm, I wonder if they still look like this?

While on Friday, the Death To Music boys are tackling 1977- one of my favorite years:

The Adverts, Kraftwerk, The Heartbreakers, Ian Dury, Wire, Dennis Wilson, Brian Eno, The Cars, Radio Birdman, Elvis Costello, Roky Erickson & The Aliens, The Saints, The Damned, ELO, The Jam, Television, Bowie, X-Ray Spex, The Stranglers, Cheap Trick, Talking Heads, Ramones, Split Enz, Ultravox, Iggy, The Clash, Suicide and The Modern Lovers amongst others
It's at the filthy Roxanne, it starts early, and it's free. Bail on that dull office party, bucko, and come on down.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No pun, no fun.

Hmm, where to start?
On Friday night there is a special night on at the Tote:
A collective of bands are getting together for a series of gigs to raise funds for an operation for local musician Michael ‘Boof’ Hughes from the band Edward. Boof was in a near fatal car accident two years ago at age nineteen, which has left him permanently paralysed from the chest down. To raise money for cutting edge spinal treatment in India, the first in a series of benefit shows will be held at the Tote.

Which will be followed up toot sweet on Saturday when Sixfthick and Digger & the Pussycats do a two-backed beast of a single launch, with support from Little Athletics and Kretch.
Saturday is a bit problematic, actually- as well as the aforementioned, Dolly Rocker Movement are also doing a launch, just up the road at the Birmingham.

But I think overall I want to see the awesome Beaches launching their self-titled debut album over at the NSC:

I've had a copy for a couple of weeks now and have been playing it constantly. It's another excellent Mistletone Records release, a solid if somewhat late entrant for album of the year in my book.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fractured retrobilly boogie?

No, I don't know what it means either, but I like the sound of it:

I'm just pissed off I missed it- going on as I write. Next time, fer sure.
Meanwhile, I am morally and contractually obliged to mention that X are playing at the Espy tomorrow night (Friday) with Dollsquad* and the Sons Of Lee Marvin.

But gig of the week would have to be this:

Assassination Collective, Deaf Wish, Paper Planes, and Graveyard Train, presented by the Afterdark crew. It's an album launch and all, but even so, I think it's free. Or at least cheap. Not as cheap as those Ass. Co. boys, though. Watch out for that one in the pith helmet.

*any record label looking for a kick-arse girly garage rock album to unleash on the public, get in touch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And more.

Yes, there's always more. More more more. Yes please.
On Friday, a big bill at Ding Dong:

The Surrealists haven't played for...oooh, quite a while. This show will also be the last for Witch Hats for a bit, as they will need to find a new drummer immediately afterwards, and mix their just-recorded second album. Pistons Misfire are a new outfit featuring Sam Agostino, from Kamikaze Trio/Digger & the Pussycats.

A Stax tribute night, for no particular reason I can see. Too many people playing to list- just read the poster, sucker. I like Yah Yah's- the stage is low, the bar is cheap and the bouncers are friendly.
Then on Saturday, after that Oogas gig mentioned previously, there are a couple of choices, like some more filthy garage rock from the Gruntled:

Seems like ages since I was at idGAFF. Note support from Selfish Gene- get there early, if only to see them all squash into the playing area.
While over in Richmond, a revamped Wrong Turn are playing:

I don't know why that came out so small. It's not my fault.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Enough said

There are a few things coming up, but I only have time for a quick and dirty post tonight.
The Ooga Boogas are launching their LP "Romance & Adventure" at Mario's Pizza, in Johnson St. Fitzroy, on Saturday. The record is awesome, this show promises to be special. And packed.

The last few copies of the album will be on sale, too. See you there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some neutral advice

DO NOT try and shift 20 longnecks of homebrew in a two-wheeled shopping trolley. It will break. And you then will have to carry the fucking thing. Note- not a supermarket trolley, which from experience can handle four slabs easily- one of these contraptions:
Also, DO NOT use the scissors on a Swiss Army knife to cut steel guitar strings. it will work, in that the strings will come off, but it will also ruin your scissors for anything else. Clearly, this is not an issue faced in Switzerland. This is the first thing that has managed to damage my knife, and I am pissed off. The Swiss should stick to what they know- cue picture of new Lindt Petit Desserts Dark Orange:That is all.

Throw up, throw down

There's a few diverse things on this week.
The Old Bar is having a series of benefit gigs this week, to get the place a/soundproofed then b/a new PA. And there are some top bands playing:

The slushie machine will be set to "purple" all weekend. You have been warned.

On Saturday afternoon, Crystal Thomas and the Flowers Of Evil play Pure Pop Records in St. Kilda, at 4.00pm.

And that's free, as usual.

Then on Saturday evening, there is a "yacht rock throwdown" between Karma County and the Lurid Yellow Mist, at the Toff:

Now that's a phrase you don't hear everyday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nothin' Grows In Melbourne

A recent find, the video for the Sacred Cowboys' debut single 'Nothing Grows In Texas', shared courtesy of Mr Garry Gray. I'll let him tell it:

Film clip by Rob Howard featuring: yours truly, Mark Ferrie, Terry Doolan, Johnny Crash and Andrew Picouleau. Thanks to Mark's daughter Ramona (the toddler) ... and the mystery tow truck driver who hauled the cowmobile (Terry's Falcon) ... out of the swamp... the Studebaker Hawk belonged to my brother, David....voila...(not in the clip but on keyboards: Ian Forrest).

Been a long time since I saw this. Filmed over in Mobiltown, which was, as you can see, basically just a railway station in a strange and desolate part of town. Just over the Westgate, by the refineries. There is still nothing much there.
No cow skulls were harmed during the making of this picture

Saturday night, uh-huh uh-huh

Well, a big night at the Forum on Saturday. I couldn't find a poster, but I did find this excellent Forum logo, which made me laugh out loud, for some reason:

Guess you have to know the place, really. Anyway, the mighty Drones are playing, with support from Kim Salmon and the Surrealists and Kes Band. Not sure who is in this line up of the Surrealists, but I'm sure that they will be excellent anyway. This is kinda a launch for the Drones new LP 'Havilah', by the way, and I did find a pic of that:

And do remember that it's a big race day on Saturday, so there will be a fair bit of sluts in frocks action going on:

Try not to get too much puke on your shoes.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


This gets it's own special little springtime post. Like a shy green bud...

Yes, the good folks at Mistletone Records have kept to schedule, and are presenting another in their series of seasonal showcases at the Tote on Sunday, from 3.00pm. You can see what it's all about, right there.


Well, if I was a hot-rodding type, I'd be heading out of town this weekend, up to Newstead for this:

The idea of seeing the Hatchets, Ninetynine, Paper Planes, Bulls and the Stabs play outdoors, at night, with the kind of crowd I'm (perhaps lazily) assuming will go this is very, very tempting. But I'm not. So, moving on...

The Espy will be packed on Friday, and not just with an early crop of English backpackers. In the front bar, you can catch Deaf Wish, Brisbane's Vegas Kings, Kids Of Zoo and Pistons Misfire, with DJ Sam Kamikaze (aka Sam Agostino, of Kamikaze Trio & Digger and The Pussycats) before after and probably during the bands. And that's all free. While out in the Gershwin Room, you can see the Cosmic Psychos, the Spazzys, GUT and Mammoth Mammoth for a measly $10.00. $10.00!

Something tells me that hallway carpet is going to take a pounding.

Across town, at a newish place called Yah Yahs, Crystal Thomas and the Flowers Of Evil are launching their (excellent) debut CD:

It's at 99 Smith St. Fitzroy, and apparently is pretty OK. Supports from the Stu Thomas Paradox & Andrew McCubbin and the Hope Addicts. And as you can see, they'll be launching in Sydney and Adelaide over the net few weeks, too.

On Saturday I may go to this ridiculous thing:

which is on at Birrarung Marr, and sees a bank celebrate it's 150th birthday by sponsoring a half-arsed, semi-arty and patronisingly indigenously-themed mini festival in a park. But the awesome Wagons are throwing in a half hour set, so it may be worth a quick look.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Yes, it's that time of the year again.

For the fourth year running, Helen Round is presenting the Museum Of Particularly Bad Art show. I think this is the first time that it's been roped in as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, but the idea is the same as ever.
The criteria are simple(ish):
  • Completely devoid of technical skill (Colour, tone, perspective and shading)
  • Unusual, poor or tasteless subject matters (Preferably all three!)
  • Undeniable passion, driven by an uneducated hand.
  • That ‘special’ feeling that forms in your gut

Launch night is Friday 3rd October, at the Chapel Off Chapel, in Prahran. More details, and plenty of examples,  at that link above.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Webcam update

Hmm,I forgot that I said I'd do this now and again.
Incredibly detailed and informative update:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tear It Up

There's a lot of Cramps stuff on YouTube. But this one comes up first in the list, and rightly so.

This is them at the peak of their powers, live in 1980, doing "Tear It Up" for the "URGH- A Music War" movie. Still sadly unavailable on DVD, and probably never will be.
They were my favorite for so long, and I never had another favorite like them. Enjoy.

Unavoidable sport

Remember in school, when you absolutely had to do sport every week? Some things were cool, but often those sessions were just a wet muddy hour running round a paddock. Well, the late September football finals are kind of like that if you live in Melbourne. After sitting out the Olympics, the Grand Final is inescapable. I guess it's some sort of penance inflicted for an enduring lack of team spirit and rah-rah-rah. Anyway, if you have to watch, you may as well do it somewhere worthwhile:


Sadly, I think that's fully booked now. Other options- well, a bit later in the day, idGAFF will be it's usual oasis of excellence:

Or there's a soul night on over at the new look- well, under new management, anyway- Birmingham Hotel in Smith St:

But that's about it, I think.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't wanna go out?

Then get to bed early on Saturday night, but not before catching Steve Lucas on SBS' Rockwiz at 9.20- just after Iron Chef.

The punk rock Beau Brummell - he's not quite Dorian Gray- has been in fine form lately and this should be top entertainment, especially if you are still recuperating from Sixfthick. Steve's also playing in the Pure Pop courtyard on Sunday at 6.00pm.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Witch Hats get high

Well, the Witch Hats survived their recent US tour, with many tales to tell, and are among a bunch of acts playing for free at the Northcote Social Club (and other places) on Sunday, as part of the High Vibes festival. I don't usually have a lot of time for Northcote, but this may be worth it.
The full list:
The Barons of Tang, Clinkerfield, Witch Hats, Tic Toc Tokyo, The Lucksmiths, Jess McAvoy, Wellyn, Sal Kimber, Princess One Point Five, The Band Who Knew Too Much, Seagull, Pablo Discobar, Johnnie & the Johnnie Johnnies, Symbiosis, Ned Collette Band, Fireside Bellows, Marcelle & the Blow Waves, The Ukeladies, Country Burnout, Redfish Bluegrass, King Marong, April Maze,Eva Popov Band, djak, Dj KLMNOP , Dj Aurora, Jordie Lane & Band, Bass Bin Laden, Mista Savona & Rootbound System, Drumheller, ii, NKABOM – Asanti Dance Theatre, ARCapella & the Keytones Choir, Kinematic, Sol Nation, The Night Sky, Amalgama, The Woohoo Revue, The Moonhops, Tzigas, Rapskallion, Flap!, The Melbourne Beat Carpel, The Renovators, Candice Monique & The Optics, The Sure Shot Hunters, Chelsea Drugstore, Richard Lightbulb Fishwyck, Jane Dust, Major Chord, Kylie Auldist w/ Lance Ferguson, Tobias Cummings, Laura Jean and The Eden Land Band, Guy Blackman, The Russian Roulettes, Kids With Guns For Hands, The Sonic Manipulator, The Sinking Ship, Great Men, Voluptuous Torpor, The Wishing Well, Michael Fein, Live@Subs, Rob Draper, Fred Leduc, Oliver Jones, Jord Allen, The Ralph & Rockstar show, Jessica Paige, Stu Harcourt & Sarah Carnegie, DJ Jack, Shaun Kirk, Nicola Watson, Pete Olsen, The Jayden, Damien Van De Geer, Chris Cavill, Jess Hieser, Benson Campain, Ben Smith, Dan Cassey, Victor Tang, Brother Tony, Son Corners, Elm Street

And no, I don't know who half of that lot are either. Playing times and full details here.
Just watch out for fire twirlers- I'm sure High St. will be full of them. Oh, and when I say "free" I mean "entry to venues is by donation".

Hound Hoss Hicks

I dropped into the Hound last weekend, for the first time in a while. This stuff  all seems very long ago now- so far, nothing there has changed, although i see they are now seeking planning permission to put some fuck off big advertising billboards on the St Kilda Rd facade. Anyway, I've managed to miss all the recent sporadic appeareance by HOSS, who are playing there on Friday night. Which would be great, except that I'm probably going to miss them again as it clashes with Sixfthick's farewell show at the filthy Roxanne Parlour:
Medical advice is that their livers have recovered sufficiently from last year's trip for them to take another crack at the unsuspecting French & Germans. The show is being filmed for JTV, apparently, though what possessed those dullards to show an interest in the Hicks is anyone's guess.

A weekend and a half

Well, that was a weekend and a half. 15 goddam bands in 2 days. Late nights, a few beers, and a lot of fun.
There are some pics and words of the Visitors here  if you need background - for all the reformation/reissue angle,  there was not one minute of their set that felt gratuitous or nostalgic.  Maybe it's because they have been dormant for so long, but they brought real freshness to a solid set, which took in about everything I could have hoped for:

Despite ripping off/paying homage to his "Minister of Defence" tag for my "Minister of Offence" role with GOD many years ago, I've never seen Mark Sisto perform before. He was excellent- in great voice, punchy, sly and very funny too. Pip Hoyle and Deniz Tek didn't disappoint the Birdman tragics in the crowd either, though having said that I'd reckon that you could enjoy these guys for the class act they are, without any knowledge or experience of their past activities. CD details are here if you are interested.
It was a bit of a struggle getting my arse into Flip Out for the 3.00pm kick-off the next day, but I made it and I'm glad. In the past festivals have been a bit "meh" for me- they all seem to go on too long, have too much dead time, may involve standing round in a field, or a combination of all three. This thing really hit the spot though. Highlights were the Pink Fits bruising, high-energy set, the return of the Stabs, US legend MOTO's deranged guitar riffery/perversion and ECSR's killer closing set. There were old friends and new friends, there was "Creature From The Black Lagoon" on the big screen, there was beer, there was the promised free CD- all good. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Flip Out

Now, ordinarily, this show, at the Espy on Friday night, would be head and shoulders above the rest:

The Visitors were one of a clutch of bands (see also- the Hitmen, the Other Side, Comrades of War, New Christs and New Race) formed from the debris of Radio Birdman on their return from Europe in 1978. They played a dozen or so shows, recorded an album, released an EP's worth of it, and then disbanded. The album eventually emerged years later, and is now being reissued, on Citadel Records, to mark their reunion. I never saw them, and am really looking forward to this. I mean, it's not often you get to see legends play. Vocalist Mark Sisto's role as Birdman's "Minister for Defence" led to me being christened "Minister for Offence" during my time roadieing for GOD. And, it's free, yet. Make the most of it.

But even that looks like being relegated to warm up status, because on Saturday the first (of many, hopefully) Flip Out Festival hits the Corner Hotel.

A solid attempt to get a decent festival going in Melbourne, without the big bucks and sponsorship. There is so much going on here, in addition to the music. The first 200 people through the door will receive a free 18 track Aarght Records/Stained Circles sampler. There's a record fair 2 – 6pm, a rooftop BBQ will run from 5 – 8pm, and the Gimme Shelter and Primitive DJ’s will be playing tunes in the front bar.

10.30 M.O.T.O (USA)

And if that isn't enough for you, the Straight Arrows are using Flip Out to kick off a tour to launch their new single, and you can go and see them again on Sunday at Bar Open in Fitzroy.

That starts around 8.00pm, with the Arrows on at 11-ish.

Monday morning is far away as I write this, but I suspect it won't be a pleasant awakening.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Casino culture, and another movie

Gig of the week has to be Johnny Casino & the Secrets, who are doing an in-store at Off The Hip at 6pm on Friday, and a freebie down on the floor of the Greyhound front bar on Saturday- which is also free.

Word about Not Quite Hollywood- a history of Ozploitation movies has been around for a while, and now it's in cinemas. Lots of cinemas, but sadly, no drive ins. A labour of love, it fills in the gaps of teenage memory, detailing a particular but not exclusive or hidebound slice of Australian movie history.
Free-wheelin’ sex romps! Bloodsoaked terror tales! High-octane action extravaganzas! They’re the main ingredients of NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, the first detailed examination and celebration of Australian genre cinema of the 70s and 80s.
In 1971, with the introduction of the R-certificate, Australia’s censorship regime went from repressive to progressive virtually overnight. This cultural explosion gave birth to arthouse classics, such as PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and MY BRILLIANT CAREER, but also spawned a group of demon-children: maverick filmmakers who braved assault from all quarters to bring films like ALVIN PURPLE, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG, PATRICK, TURKEY SHOOT and MAD MAX to the big screen.

As someone who grew up with Barry McKenzie, Alvin Purple & Max Rockatansky, I can only applaud. Screening times are in that link, with a wealth of other stuff.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some culture

It's not all rock and roll here, you know.
There's an interesting exhibition on at the Block Projects Gallery until September 9, called The Aliens Can Smell Our Blood. Here's a sample:

Provocative yet still pretty low-key, it's worth a look. Directions are in that link.

The Astor Theatre in Windsor makes me feel guilty every time I go past it- because I'm usually going past, not going in. Though I did see "Iron Man" there a few weeks back. Anyway, they are hosting the inaugural Swedish Film Festival this weekend. No, not that sort of Swedish film- real ones.

I mean, how often do you get a chance to mingle with the Swedish consul-general?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This weekend

Hmm, shaping up as a bit of a quiet one.
X and Dollsquad are playing at a relatively new place in Lygon St. Carlton called the Curtin Bandroom, which is upstairs at the John Curtin Hotel. Not sure what that costs. I've heard some of the tunes X's Steve Lucas has just produced for Dollsquad's (hopefully) forthcoming new album, and they sounded pretty good to me. X fans can get a double dose this week, of course- see the post below.
Also on Saturday, the Ooga Boogas are at the Great Britain in Church St. Richmond, with Super Wild Horses. I haven't seen SWH, but I want to. Of course the Oogas are playing tonight (Thursday) at Bar Open, with the Useless Children and while it's probably too late to get there now, I do like the poster:

What else...hmmm, I plan to go on a Vietnamese food safari in Springvale this weekend, and watch some DVDs, but that's not of great interest to anyone but me and my stomach. And eyes.
But there are some great things on the horizon- like this:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Benefit show

Local snapper Melynda needs some money to stage a couple of photographic exhibitions. She's pulled together a pretty awesome line up for this Sunday at the Tote, for a benefit show that will hopefully raise her the cash.
X, GUT and the Losers on one bill is probably worth $10 of anyone's money, any time. Get along if you can.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A month off

So, I took a month off from this, and a few other things, for various reasons. But I'm back, and as of next week will have some shit hot new portable wi-fi tools to play with, so may end up posting even more.
Anyway- THIS:

Really, nights like this come along all too rarely. Get there if you can.
On Saturday, if you rug up warm you can probably trot up and down Johnson St. and catch some of this, too: