Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Witch Hats- "Cellulite Soul" album launch 23 March

This promises to be a stormer.

I've had the album for a while now, and it's an amazingly assured piece of work. It summons up memories of a lot of my favorite sounds from the past, but in ways I can't quite put my finger on. There's nothing exclusively sonic, just more of a general feel. You can clearly hear the bands' willingness to push boundaries and play with elements, but still keep sticking in great hooks and choruses. As far as debut albums go, it's up there with the best.

They are planning launches in most capital cities, as well as a US tour later in the year.

Oh, and this is happening at the Northcote Social Club, if you were wondering.

HushHush 3

Dolores San Miguel probably has hosted more live gigs than you've had hot dinners, and she has another one lined up this weekend.

HushHush invades Cherry Bar with a spectacular night of home grown rock 'n' roll!
Featuring the 2008 return of The Fearless Vampire Killers, playing tracks from their soon to be released debut E.P, along with The Breaks and the kaleidoscopic sounds of Tonight is Like Space Invaders. Discs will be spun by the iconic Cherry D.J's, well into the wee hours.

I've been to both of her previous Hush Hush nights, and they were very good value indeed. This one goes in til dawn, at Cherry Bar, and may well become a more regular, semi-permanent thing soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pink Fits hit

Wollongong's excellent Pink Fits make a lightning visit to Melbourne this weekend, but still manage to cram three shows into two days.

I've heard the new mini album, just out on Off The Hip, and it's excellent. I missed them last time around, won't be making that mistake again. And that Tote afternoon show is with the Ooga Boogas, too. Tasty.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't lose it.

If you read that Kylie post from a while back, you'll notice that they prohibit mobile phones and cameras being taken into the preview, which I guess is fair enough.
But the letter I got this week with a recent promo- a promo single at that, with only one track on it- goes a fair bit further.

There's a second page, which is meant to be signed and dated and sent back to someone whose job title is given as "VP, anti piracy" to signify agreement.
It's all a bit over the top, really. I wasn't planning to upload it, or to sell it, just listen to it a few times before chucking it on a shelf. As far as I can see, they expect me to adopt the fucking thing.
I just hope, for the seller's sake, that the world's greatest music collection, currently for sale on ebay, doesn't include any EMI promos.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

She's back

Detroit bad girl Niagara is back in town this week, with a new show opening at Outre Gallery on Saturday 16th. February.

Sadly, though, only Sydney get to see her play live, in front of the Hitmen, next weekend on 23rd February.

She and her co-conspirator in all things art and rock, Colonel Galaxy, are two of the nicest reprobates you could ever hope to meet. Get along if you can, and remember:.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Malvina Reynolds

It's not often I listen to folk music, but this has really caught my ear.
Issued by the enigmatic and esoteric Omni Corporation, it's an extended version of her John Hammond-produced LP, "Malvina Reynolds Sings The Truth", which first appeared on Columbia in 1967, and it really is excellent. She seems to have been quite a woman.
At times her voice sounds cracked and parched, at other times she gets some real fire and sass going. She can really make that guitar ring, too, in a way that reminds me of Leadbelly at times.
And yes, the lyrics are laden with mid 60s social concern, but she writes a mean line when she wants to, as in "The Devil's Baptizin'". The added live tracks were recorded between 1965 and 1977- but they show that she could still cut it, even aged 77.
Some samples of her music are available here, though sadly it doesn't include any of the tunes she wrote for "Sesame Street".
There some sort of circular irony at work when you consider her best-known tune, "Little Boxes", now gets regular airing as a TV show theme, but at least it's the theme for a show about subverting suburbia. I think she would have appreciated that.

Harem Scarem- reissue and reformation

It's about time this thing got a run.

The good people at Atzec Music have just reissued Harem Scarem's astonishing 1986 LP, "Pilgrim's Progress", and its great to hear it again. It's been remixed, includes extra live tracks, b-sides and other good stuff, and also has a fat booklet of liner notes, including some very interesting observations from singer Chris Marshall, although no one's ever been able to explain that cover art to my satisfaction. I've had it on high rotation for the past week or so. The band are reforming for one show only (or at least, no other shows have been confirmed as yet) at the Corner Hotel on March 29th.

Anyway, another dig in the archives brought this to light:

Forgive my bias when I say that B Side was Australia's best fanzine for much of the 1980s. The Harem Scarem piece mentioned on the cover is an interview that the lovely Caroline Birkett, assistant editor, did with Chris about a month before the album came out, and is still a pretty good read.

As ever, just click on those images to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Outlaws photo exhibition

Rock n Roll Outlaws is a photographic exhibition featuring live images of some of the most rebellious & outrageous performers in this land; wild childs, rock icons & legends.

Featuring work from Liz Reed, Jo Richards, Gary Hallenan, Tracey McLaren, Andrew MacColl, Paul Jones, Victor Joubert, Heather Venn, Ben Swinnerton, Melynda and Nicole Cleary.

This is running at Brightspace in St. Kilda from 7th-16th February. On Sunday 10th February, there will be live performances at the gallery between 2.00 and 6.00 pm, by Kim Volkman, Penny Ikinger, Lookout Mountain and Gary Hallenan & Co.

Brian Hooper pic by Liz Reed, Chrissy Amphlett by Heather Venn

Friday, February 01, 2008

The death of the forums

One of the first links I put up here was to the forums- a truly international forum where fans could trade knowledge, music, stories and insults, all based around a love for rock and roll- and a very broadly defined rock and roll, at that. They were part of a site which among other things also hosted (and still hosts) excellent and frequent podcasts covering a range of music just as broad, too.
Recently, the guy who runs the site, Jeff "Kopper" Kopp, upgraded the forums, and created the Garage Punk Hideout. It's a different kinda place, with more functionality, and is more akin to a social networking site. So far, so good. He closed the old forums down to new posts- again, so far so good: they were still there, still searchable, if you really needed to know what was on the b side of the original 7" of "Green Fuz", you could find the answer there, or at least find someone who was willing to tell you.*
But now the link to the old forums has been taken down, and so that huge backlog of knowledge is unavailable.
Don't get me wrong- it's Kopper's baby, no one paid to use the forums, and no one has any right to expect him to maintain them indefinitely.
But part of me thinks it's a real shame that such an excellent online resource has gone.

*it was "There Is A Land", if you were wondering