Monday, April 28, 2008

post-Hats hangover.

Well, I did indeed end up heading over to the Tote on Friday, and I'm glad I did, for many reasons.
Witch Hats were excellent, in top form. They played a great set, drawn mostly from their "Cellulite Soul" LP, and did it in front of a pretty full house, too. If they can keep this up for the length of their forthcoming US tour they'll storm the place. Set details below, for any obsessives out there.Look, they spell "potato" right on their set lists.
I also caught Beaches , a five piece instrumental band who are about an inch away from becoming the best live surf/garage/psych combo I've seen in a long long time, and Kes, too. I've had trouble with "getting" Kes in the past, both live and on CD, but this time round something gelled. I got a copy of the new album from the merch desk,and it's on pretty high rotation right now.
So, yes, all up it was worth a long late night.
And then I found something a bit special to do on Saturday, and won my Scrabble game on Sunday. You can't ask for much more than that on a cold Melbourne weekend, really.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


So, it's Anzac Day here on Friday, with a public holiday and all.
I'm not an ex-soldier, and so I don't have an excuse to spend the day with a bunch of friends drinking beer and telling war stories- or do I?

On Thursday night, the Sacred Cowboys play at the Northcote Social Club, with the Green Mist and the Poker Hearts. I'll probably skip that one in favour of the Cowboys' show at the Greyhound on May 2nd, actually. As long as I get along to one of them.
On Friday itself:

Mistletone presents the first in what will become a seasonal happening - Autumn Tones at The Tote on ANZAC Day, Friday April 25th.
This inaugural ''Tones'' event will feature a bunch of our favourite Melbourne bands who we reckon will help create a cosmic autumnal evening of epic proportions.
The lineup for Autumn Tones will feature Witch Hats, Kes Band, Beaches, Embers, The Ancients, The Sun Blindness+ djs Shags and Switchblade Sisters Sound System
Doors 5:30pm til late. $15 with free bbq.

Mistletone is a great local label, and it's good to see they've booked bands from outside their own roster for this, too.
Saturday? Who knows? But on Sunday I believe I am booked to play my annual game of Scrabble- and it's competitive Scrabble, at that.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hey! If you leave spam as comments, I'll ignore you!

Stuff like this:

Hey! If you like music by **** ******, **** *****, ******, and *****, then you should check out music by the *****!! Now is your chance to get acquainted with the mellow, soul-soothing sound of these sultry brothers.
To check out some of the *****'s previous live performances, go to*****

Thanks for the tip, but no thanks. I won't listen to you, or post your name. And no, I don't like any of the bands you compared yourself to, either.

Cherry Rock not so cheerful

An update on this year's Cherry Rock festival hit mail boxes all over town last night:


CherryRock008 moves to
Palace Theatre

(former Metro, 20 – 30 Bourke Street, Melb)

The CherryRock008 rock n roll music festival proposed for this Sunday 20 April from 12noon to 10pm in AC/DC Lane and at The Cherry Bar has had to change venue due to a liquor licensing issue. The event will now take place predominantly at The Palace Theatre (the former Metro, 20 – 30 Bourke Street Melbourne) and slightly at Ding Dong Lounge (18 Market Lane, Melbourne).

Cherry Partner James Young said, "blah blah blah".

The ten major acts from CherryRock008 (Supersuckers, Raveonettes, Hitmen, Galvatrons, X, 6 Ft Hick, Legends of Motor Sport, Hell City Glamours, The Exploders and The Devilrock Four) will now play at The Palace Theatre between 3pm and 10pm. And super keen rock fans can see the hot up and comers (Zombie Sex Gang, Bring On The Junta, Tigernauts and Killer Birds) beforehand at Ding Dong Lounge between 12noon and 3pm.

All purchased tickets remain valid for this new scenario and tickets will be available on the Palace Theatre door on the day for $70.

The liquor licensing issue in question is quite boring blah blah blah.

The important bit:

New CherryRock008 Stage Times

Ding Dong Stage

12 – 12.30pm Killer Birds
12.50 – 1.20pm Tigernauts
1.40 – 2.10pm Bring On The Junta
2.30 – 3pm Zombie Sex Gang

Not AC/DC Lane Stage: Palace Theatre

9 – 10pm Supersuckers
7:30 – 8:15pm Raveonettes
6 – 6.45pm Hitmen
4.45 – 5:30pm Galvatrons
3:30 – 4:15pm X

Not Cherry Bar Stage: Palace Theatre

8:15 – 9pm 6 Ft Hick
6.45 – 7.30pm Legends of Motor Sport
5.30 - 6pm Hell City Glamours
4:15 - 4.45pm The Exploders
3.00 – 3.30pm Devilrock Four

Hmmm, it appears someone can't organise a pissup in a Melbourne laneway- that's quite a feat. The re-jigged playing times seem OK, although the Bowerbirds have lost their slot completely. We'll see, I guess, but spending seven hours in the Palace is not going to be as pleasant a Sunday afternoon as I'd hoped for.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sixfthick poppin' cherries

Brisbane's finest, SixFtHick, hit town this weekend, for two shows.
First up, at Ding Dong, on Friday 18th, with Ben Corbett's side project, Gentle Ben and His Sensitive Side supporting

Then on Sunday 20th. they'll be gracing the AC/DC Stage at Cherry Rock 008.

If you can't wait until Sunday to see the Supersuckers, they are playing at the East Brunswick Club on Saturday 19th, with Dynamo and Nici Blue Eyes. If you are really keen, why not take the kids along to the 'Suckers instore at Route 66 in Prahran on Saturday afternoon, and introduce them to the scarey men who sing "Born With A Tail"?
Not a lot of other sideshows confirmed for other acts, though. I thought the Hitmen might have jammed one in, but apparently not. And I didn't look too hard for any Galvatrons shows.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Last Tram Home now has a webcam

Yes, a recent upgrade means we have the means to post live streaming video and snapshots.
What am I wearing right now? Pretty much the usual.

Don't get too excited, pervert.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This weekend- three nights of action.

Well, there I was all quiet and shit last night, and a whole mess of stuff popped up on the radar for the weekend. Good thing I rested up.
On Friday night, Cold Harbour are giving you the chance to get your very own "wooo-hoo!" recorded for posterity, along with a few of their songs, at the Greyhound, where they'll be playing two sets for recording as a live album.

Then on Saturday, Gimme Shelter is running from 9.00 til late at the Exford

My idiot sheet says:
$3 entry 9pm-10pm
$6 entry 10pm - 2.30am
9 - very late

AND on Sunday, there's a kinda special event at the Tote. I can't add anything to this, really, except to say that I hope a lot of people go.

The Meanies, Headache, Budd, The Oxymorons, Cut Sick, Ricey & Macka (The Guttersnipes)
On Sunday March 12, The Tote will host a memorial for Dennis DePianto, best known to music fans as D.D. Meanie. D.D. was guitarist in The Meanies from 1988 until 1995. His relentless guitar style is stamped on many of the most well-known Meanies' classics, including Darkside, Paranoid, Ton of Bricks, 10% Weird, Mr. Authority, Big Bertha, etc. He was also the founding member of legendary band The Oxymorons. D.D. had muscular dystrophy from childhood but he refused to let it stop him from pursuing his dream to be a rock guitarist. D.D. passed away after a short but stubborn battle with cancer on Feb. 14, 2008.
The Meanies, Budd, Headache, The Oxymorons and Cut Sick play in honour of D.D, Sunday April 13. Proceeds will be donated to Muscular Dystrophy Australia.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday night- I got nothin' but an urge.

So, a quiet midweek at home. Tomorrow night I will be admiring expensive & beautiful glass at Kirra Galleries, in lieu of taking up a friend's kind offer to go and see Matchbox 20 for free.
But tonight, a bit of stimulating reading:

The cover is a bit battered, frontispiece is in better nick:

It's more interesting than you may think, though a bit turgid- GBS had not yet hit the form that won My Fair Lady eight Oscars. And no, there are no simple parallels/analogies to be drawn with today's artists, if you thought that was where I was going with this. That would be too easy.
This is the only book I own- and one of very few I have ever seen- that actually came from Melbourne's legendary Cole's Book Arcade, by the way:

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I've just updated the links section- culled a few dead ones, added some new ones.
The team at Across The Rooftops have gone a bit quiet lately, but there is plenty to keep you occupied until they catch up.
Andy Ramadge's Pop In Print is more regular- he has a keen eye and a good ear.
Tom Reynolds talks about cars and motorbikes a lot- that's his job- and he too has a very keen eye. Check out his take on the Princess Diana conspiracy theories. I've been for a couple of memorable drives with him.

I've also added some more unsolicited endorsements- those are always welcome.

Harem Scarem- reformation.

Well, as noted previously, these boys hit the boards again recently, in front of a packed house at the Corner. Many old friends and faces there, and a great set. I got punched in the head by an over-zealous security guy when I ripped this from the stage:

even though the encores were over.
It was a great set- Chris, Charlie & Barry seemed to be enjoying themselves hugely. Mark Ferrie played bass like the goddamn pro he always is. Personally, I woulda liked to have heard some harmonica in there, and considering "Dirty" Kurt Lindner was in the crowd, and willing to step up, I'm a little puzzled as to why there was none.
Whatever, here's hoping they do it again.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

the Rezillos

I listen to a fair bit of what could broadly described as “old stuff”, and one thing I really like is old new wave pop- think Devo, XTC, the B52s…and Scotland’s finest, the Rezillos.
I’ve been listening to the extended CD of their debut album “Can’t Stand the Rezillos” a lot lately.

One of the earliest punk bands in town, they formed in Edinburgh in 1976, and drew from similar trashy inspirations as the Cramps, but with a very UK slant- it was all go-go skirts, Top Of The Pops, Thunderbirds (the TV show, not the car) and greasy Triumph biker boys.
Their covers ranged from the classic Merseybeat of the Dave Clark Five’s “I Like It” to the obscure (pseudonymous) Fleetwood Mac tune “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight”, to the Sweet's “Ballroom Blitz”. Their own tunes- “No”, “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures” and “Destination Venus” were fantastic- strange, short numbers with amazing energy and some great lyrics. Check out this, for instance, from “Destination Venus”:
Further modulation of the frequency rotation
Triggered waveband activation - near elation
Somewhere in the distance I could hear a voice one instance
Then it faded from existence - no persistence

What does it mean? Who knows, but this is what it looked and sounded like at the time

It's odd to think that guitarist Jo Callis, who wrote all the band's originals, went on to join the Human League and basically conquer the world with synth-pop a few years later. Oh well, enjoy.

The Negatives/the Reals- “Dumbworld”

I’ve been waiting for a release copy of this one for a while, having had some (minor) involvement with it earlier on, and now it’s finally available.
Subtitled “original punk rock from Melbourne, 1974-1978”, it’s basically a collection of home recordings featuring future Sacred Cowboy frontman Garry Gray alongside teenage chum & future Moodist Chris Walsh, in a couple of early outfits, the Negatives and the Reals. They rip through some bruising Stooges covers in between throwing out a few snarling fistfuls of their own teenage anthems. This is the real deal, kids- suburban punk rock being made & played before the term even existed. It also includes a version of the Negatives’ “Lethal Weapons” contribution, “Planet On The Prowl”, without the producer’s unhelpful tinkering/overdubs.
You need to bear in mind that this is not the usual collection of rarities, b-sides and unreleased studio recordings- indeed it would be too charitable to describe some of them as demos- and you may need to have specially tuned ears to appreciate the nature of this stuff. That said, I reckon they sound great. They catch some great early musical moments and provide another layer of insight into the early days of the Melbourne scene-there are a couple of sample tracks up here. "Dumbworld" is out on Savage Beat, through Shock, and is well worth getting hold of.

This weekend- New Christs and more

The New Christs are back in town, playing at the Espy on Saturday 5th April, just a few weeks after their Ding Dong show in late May. With Radio Birdman once again returning to indefinite retirement, this will be your last chance to catch Younger & Dickson live for a while- though European readers have a forthcoming New Christs tour to look forward to.
Supports include excellent locals Cold Harbour, who seem to be hitting the boards fairly regularly lately, and who I think have an album due out soon, as well as a stack of others including the Bower Birds and the Killerbirds. All this,and for free, too.
The post-development Espy is still an OK place to see bands, especially when they put on big line ups like this, otherwise it’s just a frustrating place to deal with the hordes of backpacker types who treat it as their local.