Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rowland S Howard, 1959-2009.

There is so much I want to say about this, but I can't right now. Here's something I helped write earlier today:
Australia’s music scene has lost a true icon with the reported passing of Rowland S Howard today (December 30). While no official statement has been made by management, close friends of the guitarist have confirmed reports that he lost his ongoing battle with liver cancer at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital this morning.

Howard, 50, was a former member of the Young Charlatans, The Boys Next Door (who later morphed into The Birthday Party) and These Immortal Souls. He penned ‘Shivers’, which became an underground hit for The Boys Next Door, and memorably dueted with Lydia Lunch on Lee Hazlewood's ‘Some Velvet Morning’.

In 1999, Howard released his debut solo album, Teenage Snuff Film, which quickly became a cult classic. Its long-awaited follow-up Pop Crimes was released in October this year, sparking a run of well-received shows and garnering widespread critical acclaim (it topped M+N’s annual Critics Poll earlier this month).

Howard’s ongoing battles with liver cancer recently forced the cancellation of several shows including a spot on the Homebake and Summer Tones bills. He played his last gig at The Prince in St Kilda, where it all started, on October 29. Review of the show here.

In his final interview with M+N, Howard said he was enjoying the renewed interest in his career. “It’s very gratifying,” he said. “When I play live, nobody calls out for ‘Shivers’ any more, because they are too young to have any kind of historical attachment to it … It’s peculiar in a way, it just seemed to happen on its own accord. And it’s great, because no longer do I look out from the stage and just see a bunch of ageing ex-junkies.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NYE and slightly beyond.

Hmm, probably the last post of 2009, and as expected, there are a shitload of shows on for New Year's Eve. These all either a/caught my eye for serious consideration, or b/had easily-grabbed art online. Cast your eye over this little lot- a rough count tells me there are over 30 bands listed.

Do not ask me why Bama-Lama go for the landscape layout, instead of portrait. Similarly, do not ask why I couldn't find any artwork to use for Yah Yah's or the Tote.

And afterwards? Well, there are a few recovery parties and such going on...this one at Ding Dong, on Saturday, looks good:

As to where I may end up, I'm still not sure. There are a few parties to check out first, and it's usually a long night for me. Have a good one, regardless of what you do. Salut!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The best photo of me taken this year.

Split Lips. Born Loser.

Thank you,

one and all. One of the people who gave me this psuedonym is dead. The woman who encouraged me put the breath of life back into it no longer speaks to me if she can avoid it. But many other kind folks have willingly offered me sofas, beers and cold hard cash (and yes, that is in descending order of importance) over the past twelve months.

The Barman still tolerates my antics now and again- and I owe him a beer.
But, y'know, I still love doing this thing that I do, under whatever name, at whatever time or place.

Here are the details of some things I particularly enjoyed doing/seeing/being part of this year.

Here is a pic of me and some buddies having too much fun:

L>R Rene, me, Grong, Paul Kidney.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Things we do when hungover, part 115

So, I booked a ticket for ATP NY today.

I have no passport, and haven't told my employer yet. Oh well.
Fuck your SxSW, the Scientists are doing "Blood Red River" before Mudhoney do "Superfuzzbigmuff" AND THEN the Stooges do "Raw Power". I'll be in another country getting fucked up to all that- what could possibly go wrong? There's a decent Melbourne contingent signed up already- see you there?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dudes and preludes.

Now, Russell Street on a Friday night is usually a place to avoid. But tonight I'm going to make an exception:

The venue's own website has kindly provided copy for this:
AARGHT! records and Radical Awesome tours present the show of the year at Billboard ''The Venue'' on the 18th of December. Australian Music Prize slayers and Frankston's biggest export Eddy Current Suppression Ring will go head to head with San Francisco's Pitchfork endorsed Thee Oh Sees for a night of silly season spastacularity.
Melbourne shit-heads the Witch Hats will provide support along with local breeze pop favourites The Twerps.

On Saturday, Deaf Wish launch their excellent new album "Reality & Visions"at the Tote.

I have a copy of this, and it is a fucked-up masterpiece of noise and awesome. Supports will be courtesy of The School of Radiant Living and ’90s stalwarts/supergroup Breaking the Law. $12.00
There is all sorts of stuff happening on Sunday too, including a Kelley Stoltz show at the Workers Club, but it may be too much.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Hello again. Sorry for the quietude. Much occurring, on this side of the screen.
And plenty more to come.
In the meantime, Dan & Rene of Aktion Unit have started a blog, putting up both sound files and posters for a slew of their live shows- you can keep yourself entertained for a while exploring it here , I'm sure.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Hmm, things are a bit quiet this week. Why not go see a movie?

Whatever you do, do not go anywhere near Latrobe St. on Sunday afternoon, or you may find yourself in The Boroughs.

Hey, if there's not much to say, why say too much?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Album of the week- Loene Carmen: "It Walks Like Love"

A tricky one, this.
As opposed to the vast bulk of the noise that passes through my (aching, ringing) ears, this solo-with-friends album by Sydney-based singer/songwriter/actress/everything Loene Carmen is quietly forceful in a way unlike anything else I can recall hearing lately. That doesn't mean it's all shy and retiring, though. There's a a fair dose of open lovin', mingled with some sad and bitter honesty on offer here. The sound also moves across a wide range, from dusty country to howling feedback. But nothing is ever confusing- in fact, it's all pretty amazing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Album of the week- Niagara & the Hitmen: "St. Valentine's Day Massacre"

This took a while to come out, and then a leetle while longer for my copy to filter through. But it's here now, and it's all good.
Long story short- what you get here is Sydney's Hitmen backing gen-u-ine legend Niagara on an eight song live set that's all killer, no filler. Then the Hitmen chuck in a couple more live numbers, just because they can. Everyone sounds hot, everyone sounds like they are having a ball. It is, as the liner notes say, the closing of a circle and a fine reminder of the influence of Ron Asheton.
They don't make too many of 'em like this anymore, sadly.

More too much.

Guh. If I wasn't already fully booked for this weekend, this would've been great:

Static Age presents, at the Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St. North Melbourne: Lightning Bolt, Grey Daturas, Primitive Calculators, Naked on the Vague, Justice Yeldham, Embers Big Band, Abject Leader, Ivans, Other Films, The Whulge, Rebeiro/Andrews and Robotosaurus
This is so big it'll be over two stages/rooms. Tickets are $40 in advance, and no one is sure that there will be any left for door sales. Kicks off at 5.00pm. I have heard good things about these Bolt boys, but sadly have not been able to experience them live.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting in early.

Getting these out early.
First up- just because I have a lot of time for the fine people at Spooky Records- is this:

Yes it’s no mean feat but it’s true, Spooky Records has survived 10 years in what has probably been the fastest evolving time ever in the music business. So to celebrate they’re taking over the infamous Tote, on Saturday 28th November and putting on a huge bash with most of the current Spooky bands getting up and doing a set. On the bill, SixFtHick, The Bakelite Age, The Stabs, Hugo Race and True Spirit, Kretch, Digger & the Pussycats, Sailors & Swine, and a rare performance from Gentle Ben & his Sensitive Side.
To keep it fair we’ve messed with the playing times so you’ll have to get there early cause it might just be your favorite opening the proceedings. But if not, to keep you all entertained we’ll put on a free BBQ and don’t forget to check out the merch stand cause there’ll be some wicked specials from the Spooky catalogue
Doors and BBQ are at 7pm sharp and definitely no presales so come early.

Looks like a bargain at $18.00. AND I get to grab a new tshirt, cheap.
Then after that, why not head up the road to the Old Bar?

You may miss Heinz Reigler, Lee Memorial and Ninetynine, but you will get to hear me DJing again. Til 3.00am. Don't call it an "after-party", just call it a party.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Action all the time.

As the early summer heatwave kicks on, there's a couple of amazingly diverse but equally attractive shows on this weekend.
Veteran rock troupers the Hitmen return to the stage, behind the release of their new album "St. Valentine's Day Massacre". Recorded in Sydney last year, it see them teaming up onstage with genuine Detroit legend Niagara, for a run through some classics by the likes of Destroy All Monsters and the Stooges. The Hitmen reissue run continues too, with their 1984 live album "Tora! Tora! DTK!", coupled with 1991's "Moronic Inferno" plus a heap of added rarities, out now.

I can only imagine what a sweatbox Cherry Bar will be.
But if that doesn't do it for you, hop across the imaginary fence between Guitarland and Synthville, and catch Primitive Calculators, ZOND and others instead.

The two forms of music aren't mutually exclusive, you know. Just sayin'.

That and some cold beer should get you through the weekend.

Then early next week, there's this:

Now ordinarily, I wouldn't ask anyone to consider paying $8.00 to watch videos in a city bar. But when you figure the night includes the debut showing of Matt Givoni's clip for the Stabs' "Split Lips", it may be more enticing. Add to that the attendance of many of the (ahem) stars of said clip, and it looks like a winner.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Boxed in.

A few things going on this weekend- in fact, there is something on tonight:

Now, I'm not a huge fan of burlesque, and I can't stand the eternal fucking arguments over what it means- feminine empowerment vs. sexist reinforcement and so on, ad nauseum- but this looks like it could be good. And I like the poster.

Tomorrow night, them Hats boys are at the Workers Club:
They were in great form last week, playing with the Stabs. And as it says there, they will have the EP available on CD and on 10" vinyl. I can't think of a better place to pick up a copy, if for some reason you don't have one already.

Although sometime soon I need to find eight or so hours to enjoy this fine recent purchase: the complete Lone Wolf and Cub DVD boxset.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


It's been a busy few days. Lemme see if I can remember it all.
Thursday- Rowland S. Howard at the Prince of Wales.
Friday- Witch Hats and the Stabs at the Tote.
Saturday- YIS at the Tote.
Sunday- Mark Steiner & Thomas Borge at the Sporting Fox.
Monday- the first "Last Tram Home presents" night at the Old Bar.
I've been busy. Last night at the Old Bar was great- Aktion Unit played as a four piece, Crystal Thomas teamed up with Kim Volkman, and the Late Arvo Sons blew the roof off. Then I got to play old singles til 3.00am Thanks to everyone who came along- we are already planning the next one.
But now, I am going back to bed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The first "Last Tram Home presents..." is on.

Hmm, not sure I need to say much more. But I will anyway.

After 30 or so years of going to shows in his beloved Melbourne, TJ Honeysuckle finally steps up to the crease and says ''Bite this for a good night out''.

An eclectic selection of bands, pulled screaming from the headlines of his long running and (allegedly) renowned blog, Last Tram Home, will be playing at the Old Bar, 74 Johnson St Fitzroy, every couple of months.

Do not expect clever themed nights- expect a strange but ultimately satisfying mix.

The line up for the first show is now confirmed as:
Late Arvo Sons, probably playing lots of tunes from their excellent debut album ''Letters From Another Alphabet''
Crystal Thomas and the Flowers Of Evil, probably playing lots of tunes from their forthcoming new album.
Aktion Unit, probably making a big sweet sweaty racket.

and I'll be rounding off the evening by playing a heap of old vinyl- mostly Australian. Come along and I'll spill beer on your good boots. Or not.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Album of the week- the Stabs: "Dead Wood"

Now, this is a fine fine thing. It's been a while since the Stabs hit us with "Dirt", and although they haven't been lazy- they play pulverising live shows pretty regularly, all over the place- it's good to have something new to annoy the neighbours with.
The music here is dark, and thick, with an air of controlled violence and anger. But it's personal, not political. Top picks here are probably "Split Lips" and "No Hoper" , though it'd be hard to call anything weak.
The Melbourne launch date is at the Tote, on October 30th, with Fabulous Diamonds and Witch Hats, not sure about dates in other cities but they are being put together.
I'll post that film clip as soon as it's finished. Been a while since I had so much fun at an inner-city/share house party.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going for the obvious.

Hmm, haven't been keeping my ear to the ground this week, so I think I may just go for something obvious:

Not that this would be a bad choice. Butcher Birds are playing a few shows around town this weekend, in support of their excellent new album- Saturday night at Yah Yah's, with Ouch My Face and Mother & Father looks like the place to be.
Although all things being equal, I'll have another distraction.

I wonder if I can slow my reading speed down enough to make a copy of this last all weekend?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Album of the week- Rowland S. Howard- "Pop Crimes".

Well, here it is. Rowland's first new album since 2000's "Teenage Snuff Film".
At first glance, it may seem that there's not a lot to it- only eight tracks, two of which have already appeared on a recent single. But repeated listening brings out an astonishing degree of subtle depth. From the unapologetically intelligent lyrics, to the way a single chord or slight tempo change lifts whole songs, this collection has some real class. The closing two tunes, "Ave Maria" and "The Golden Age Of Bloodshed" are a perfect pairing of opposites- one a love story, the other a compelling reading of (bad) omens.
Launch dates in Melbourne & Sydney later this month. Oh, and yes, it'll be available on vinyl as well as CD.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Return of the Grong.

How sweet it is to be able to post this:

Yes, they had to blow out the Missing Link in-store, and yes, the show has changed from the East to the Tote. Fingers crossed there will be no more cancellations or changes, and the rest of the tour will go ahead as planned.
Here's what someone said recently:
They were a beast of a band in many ways and were utterly unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Personnel: Dave Taskas on bass, skinny as a stick with a plastic voodoo skull dangling from his tuning pegs. Up the back was George Klestinis, who looked like a 4/4 rockabilly cat but played a loping, skipping beat of the band's own invention. Stage right was Charlie Tolnay, hunched and sweating over a Fender Jaguar, with the air of a moonlighting bikie about him and always with a cigarette in his gob. And up front, Charlie’s step-brother Michael Farkas aka Grong. His usual look was a black op-shop suit and ski mask or vinyl fetish hood, topped off with either a Stetson or a top hat. The suit was often accessorised with slabs of steak gaffer taped to the lapels. He also wielded a battered sax at irregular intervals.
This is what you were faced with before they'd even played a note. Grong Grong may not have been virtuosos, but they could certainly play, and a recent creeping tendency to remember them as mere noisemongers completely misses the point. They had a sound that was completely their own. It was defined by that aforementioned lolloping beat, Charlie’s unique brittle guitar sound and the holy roaring horror of that voice that was laid over the top of it all. Live, there was a gut level impact to them that was unforgettable.
Their own songs were called things like ‘Japanese Train Driver’, ‘Club Grotesque’, ‘Louie The Fly’, ‘Hunka Chunka’ and ‘Meat Axe’, and they were always happy to throw in a few well-chosen covers as well: The Stooges' ‘Loose’, ‘Lookin' At You’ by the MC5, ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ by The Meteors and, famously, an extended jam on Flipper's ‘Sex Bomb’. My favorite quote about them is from Byron Coley in Forced Exposure magazine: “…all kindsa spectral rattles just float in the air, while all sortsa shit-hronk throbs underneath.”

Do not miss them.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Album of the week- Butcher Birds: "Set My Bones"

Is Brisbane going through some kind of a phase right now? Sixfthick have never sounded better, Violent Soho seem poised for some kind of break out...and now there's this, the debut album from Butcher Birds (no "the" required).
It's saucy and kinda nasty at times but the overall feel is kinda sweet. Tracks are mostly built around heavy basslines, with some classic loud/soft/loud dynamics going on too, and they aren't afraid to let things play out a bit if it suits. "Dig Me!" and "Yoko Coma" would be my top picks but it's all pretty damn good. Oh, and there's some bubbling internet controversy going on about the band that may raise a chuckle, too.
Playing at the Old Bar soon, I hear.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Last Tram Home presents..."

There's long been a tag here for "relentless self promotion". That's soon to be cranked up a notch- the first "Last Tram Home presents" live event is now officially in the works.
Details are still TBA- some calls need to made- but a date and venue have firmed up. Inner city, on November 2nd, which is Cup Eve, if you want to pencil that into your diary right now.
Stay tuned for full info, and so on.
Anyone interested in playing this (or any of the planned future ones) should get in touch via the email link in my profile.
I gotta go- that's Gudinski ringing my mobile.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Gaffstock '09

Oops, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this.
idGAFF's annual blow-out starts tonight. It's a great little venue, and deserves your support.

It's $15 a session, though I think season passes are available. This is the full list of bands and playing times.

Thurs 1 Oct (starts at 6:30 pm): The Revels, Jacks Azimuth, Gold Gull, Beat Disease, The Medicators, My Left Boot, Matt Sonic and the High Times.

Fri 2 Oct (starts at 6:30 pm): Tall Order, Shark in the Dark, The Dot Coms, Free to Run, Straylove, Stu Thomas Paradox, Clinkerfield.

Sat 3 Oct (starts at 6:30 pm): Jimmy Yukka, Tijuana Souvenirs, Tabasco Junkies, The Australian Kingswood Factory, Mother and Father, Rouge Foncé, Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist.

Sun 4 Oct (starts at 6 pm): Highway Knobbery, The Velocettes, Howl at the Moon, Trotskys Pick, Little Fool, the Toot Toot Toots

What else do you need to know?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Old folks' home breakout.

Yep, more oldies on the horizon.
Can you read that?

It's from the liner notes of the Au Go Go Records "Slab Of Vic" compilation LP. Melbourne's gospel-rock legends The Slaughtermen are back on deck this Friday, 2nd. October, for the first time since 1995. AND the show is on at the excellent Oakleigh Bowls Club, too- $20 if there are any tickets left on the night.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, another Melbourne legend is doing a low-key warm up ahead of a couple of album launch shows later in the month.
Rowland S. Howard's first new material for some time, "Pop Crimes" will be out soon. I've already heard it, and I am completely sold on it. I know it's a school night, but things kick off early- at 4.00pm- and for only $10, in a smaller, more intimate venue, you would be mad to miss this. Supports include current buzz band St. Helens, too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Album of the week- The UV Race: "The UV Race"

My fondness for these young pups' live outings has never been in doubt. After the early fumblings of their live-at-Missing Link cassette, and the demo/party mix CD (which included tracks by the Seeds, VOM, Stooges, Electric Eels and others mixed in with the band's own stuff) it's a relief to get hold of this album and realise they've pulled it off.
Scuzzy, raucous, utterly instinctive and full of self-confidence, it's everything you, or I, or any other band, could hope for from a debut album.

MOPBA 2009

Don't know how I missed mentioning this earlier...anyway, this year's annual Museum Of Particularly Bad Art exhibition and competition was launched last night. It's not giving too much away to mention that this was this year's winner, Ben Butcher's "Why Do We Need A Porpoise In Life?"

He's a photographer, usually.
Anyway, the exhibition runs at the Chapel Off Chapel, in Prahran, until September 27th, and is well worth a look. But not a long, thoughtful look, perhaps.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

(insert something clever here)

Sorry, but I've had a bit of a fucked up week, which involved two trips to hospital- (three, if you count one made by a good friend)- as well as a frantic workload.
Forgive me if this is kinda short and sweet- it's not easy to type with one hand in plaster.
Ghost Of Tape Man is from New Zealand, and he is a bit awesome. Imagine a good Bob Log II, but even better than that.
The line up for Saturday's show at the Old Bar also includes Singing Sadie, Graveyard Train, Made for Chickens by Robots (last show ever, apparently) and the Toot Toot Toots.

Despite seeing a great show at the NSC just last week, I don't really like Northcote. But I know a lot of people who do.

This year's High Vibes festival has a huge number of bands, playing at a huge number of venues, all along High Street Northcote. Check that link for current details- things keep getting added. Note also the alcohol bans in certain areas- these do get enforced, at least sometimes they do.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Album of the week- The Intercontinental Playboys: "Hymns Of The Flesh"

A fine album this, on my mate The Barman's I94 Bar Records.
It's a throwback in some ways, both echoing the "band as gang" spirit of days gone past and carrying a distinctly retro edge, which is mainly reinforced by the heavy use of Hammond organ. And by "heavy use" I mean it replaces bass guitar in the four-piece line up.
It has an agreeably sleazy edge at times, too. They've been knocking round for a while- this includes a couple of bonus tracks that go back to 2004- and will be making a return trip to Melbourne in a few weeks to launch this properly.
Until then, whack the disc on, adjust your smoking jacket, and peruse some gentlemen's literature while enjoying "Bad Queenie" and "The Maestro's Shadow".

Don't stab him.

Oops, too late.

Can you read that? It's meant to be telling you that Dirt Bag, Witch Hats & Love Of Diagrams are playing at the Northcote Social Club on Friday.
More info not on the poster- it's the launch show for Love Of Diagrams' new album "Nowhere Forever", Dirt Bag are some unholy crossbreed of the Twerps, Beaches, and Spider Vomit, and it's $15.00 on the door.

On Saturday, El Trasho Loco celebrates it's first birthday at the Tote, and are spreading the joy both downstairs and upstairs. This should be a great night- the Exotics are always a class act, and it's good to see them playing this. Graveyard Train's last show here was a sellout. Special guest international DJ too, I hear. Playing times as follows:
Band Room: Exotics - 11.45 – 12.30
Graveyard Train - 10.45 – 11.15
Benny and the Fly By Niters - 9.45 – 10.15
High Fangs - 8.45 – 9.15
The Rebelles - 7.45 – 8.15

Cobra Bar: Dunhill Blues - 11.35 – 12.05
Greasy Hawaiians - 10.45 – 11.15
Toot Toot Toots - 9.55 – 10.25
Deadbeat Club - 9.05 – 9.35
The Swindlers - 8.15 – 8.45

If you are for some fresh air on Sunday, the final round of the Pub Footy is taking place at Victoria Park, in Collingwood. Yes, that Victoria Park. Kick off is at 1.00, with the Old Bar Unicorns vs. the Bar Open Bats, to be followed by the East Brunswick Club vs. the Tote "around 3.00 or so".


More words, elsewhere.

The spring issue of A Fine Line magazine is now up, and available for download here.
70+ pages, with some great pics and fine articles- no, nothing by yours truly, if that's what you are wondering. Some friends are featured, though.
Forward that link to your work email and print it out there, to read on the trip home. I did.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Album of the week- James McCann: "Bound For The Blues"

It's been a while since James McCann's last release, though he hasn't been quiet. He plays pretty regularly, and seems to have a floating band of friends and guests who swap in and out as needed. Here the musicians are credited as the Dirty Skirt Band.
This is, as you may expect from the title, a tad bluesier than his previous album, "Where Was I Then?" but is basically the same kind of solid guitar based stuff. He has a knack for a short honest lyric phrase, as well as one for thick echoing guitar work-outs. That's not to say this is unsubtle, though.
On Torn & Frayed Records, probably the only notable thing currently coming out of Nagambie.

A sly Thursday.

Well, that was fun.
I survived the inaugural Sydney Flip Out, just. Highlights are too numerous to mention, really, and basically boil down to hanging out with fine people and keeping within earshot of great music. Oh, and some beer. There are live sets from most of the bands here - thanks, Morris.
If you are in Melbourne and can't wait, this show at the Tote tomorrow may help:

James Arthur is a Texan hick who spent a lotta time as the driving force behind some of the best '90s underground garage/punk/psych bands like Fireworks, Necessary Evils, Feast of Snakes and the Golden Boys, among others, and recording for all the hippest labels of the day like Crypt, In The Red, Sympathy, even appearing on fine Aussie imprints Au-go-go and Dropkick. He's been dormant for a while, distilling a toxic brew of psychedelic noise in the basement of his ranch in the Hill Country outside of Austin.
He's just got together a new band, JAMES ARTHUR'S MANHUNT, and has recorded an LP for Australian taste-makers Aarght! Records. We are proud to bring you the first such JA foray in some time. Manhunt will be touring
Australia in August & September of this year in support of the LP, playing at both Flip Out Festivals in Melbourne and Sydney, with a handful of side shows.
We don't know what a manhunt is. James is kinda gay.
Which is cool and all, and ballsy for a Texan.
That's only$10, and kicks off around 8.30pm

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interstate action, pt. II

Geez, I'm gonna run up against a federal beef one day, with these interstate movements. Thank fuck the Mann Act doesn't apply here. And anyway, officer, her mum told me she was 19, and she looked at least 17...
So (ahem), to business. While Flip Out kicks off in Sydney this weekend, Melbourne is not dead. Oh, no. I would gladly be heading over to the Tote for Mother And Father's CD launch, if I could.

Great supports, and a great record label too. If you do go, please feel free to whack my retarded nephew, DJ Ka-Plosion, over the head with a Saints record or an empty beer jug for me.
But I will be elsewhere- a warehouse in the arse end of S-Town:

I have no idea what Dirty Shirlows is like, but this looks killer:Pink Reason, Fabulous Diamonds, ZOND, and Bedwettin' Bad Boys. Seems like a good mix to me, and an ideal appetizer for the main course of Flip Out on Saturday.
If I were to be in Melbourne on Saturday, I can think of nowhere better to be than at Yah Yah's, for the launch of James McCann's excellent new album, "Bound For The Blues"

Also featuring Crystal Thomas and the Flowers of Evil, wrapped up with a great Rick Chesshire poster, and for free, too. Get plenty of that, while you can. I would, if I could.
Wish my liver luck, people.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Album of the week- Woman: "Woman".

An odd one, this, but a good one.

WOMAN are a four piece based out of New York, who have been knocking around for a while. Somehow, they ended up on the mighty Spanish label, BANG! Records, for their debut album. And somehow, a copy ended up in Melbourne, with me.
Maybe that's not so odd really. The dirty rock riffs, huge rhythms and continent-sized slabs of guitar screech are very Melbourne, in a way. This would sound right at home on a local label like Spooky.
Fuck knows what they are on about. "When The Wheel's Red" pushes a lot of dials into the red, that's for sure. It ends with a jagged, wailing instrumental called "Icy Drone"
I'm sure I'm not the only person in town who'd pay good money to see these guys tearing up the Tote on a bill with, say, Sailors & Swine and the Stabs. Make it happen, someone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Butthole Surfers: "Hey" (live, 1985)

I was just watching the "Blind Eye Sees All" DVD with my buddy Andrew, and figured, what the hell.

This was filmed live in Detroit in 1985, though you may notice some cuts between takes- mostly in Gibby Hayes' outfit. Andrew thinks they are just like Equal Local- I don't. But this still strikes both of us as being just as amazing today as it did back then.
"Get your hands off me!"

Flip Out returns, and expands.

It was one of the live highlights of last year. Now the Flip Out Festival returns, and is also extending slimy tentacles north to Sydney.
It's on at something called the Manning Bar on Saturday, August 29. Line up:
Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Pink Reason (USA)
Goodnight Loving (USA)
James Arthur's Manhunt (USA)
Ooga Boogas
Naked On The Vague
The UV Race
The Stabs
Super Wild Horses
Slug Guts
Deaf Wish
Royal Headache

There's a fairly hefty Melbourne contingent heading up for that, including yours truly, ahead of their hometown leg, which is staying at the Corner, and is on Saturday September 5, with the following:

Pink Reason (USA)
Goodnight Loving (USA)
James Arthur's Manhunt (USA)
Ooga Boogas
Naked On The Vague
Super Wild Horses
Slug Guts
The Disbelievers
The Native Cats
Dick Diver
The Twerps
Teen Archer

There's the usual barbecues, records stalls, shenanigans and beer going on. Seriously, if you blow a chance to get to one of these- or both, maybe?- you are a damn fool.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Album of the week- Witch Hats: "Solarium Down The Causeway".

Yes, yes, I know it's an EP, not an album. Get fucked.

Witch Hats
have been a bit of a favorite of mine for some time now. Live or on record, they let loose with joyful raucous blasts of noise while still having a keen ear for hooks and melody. They never take themselves too seriously, and frankly I'm not the only person in town who is surprised they've kept it together for so long.
This was written and (mostly) recorded during their long, long tour of the US, and is a pretty awesome psychic snapshot of...something.
Out now on new Melbourne label Z-Man Records, it comes as a CD or on 10" vinyl.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to the futu...well, the past, actually.

Hmm, another retrospective weekend. I don't apologise for this- as far as I can see, it's all part of one wide spectrum, and any part of it can and should be enjoyed by anyone.
Anyway, I mentioned the Little Murders reissue earlier this week- it's getting an official launch at the Tote on Friday.

That should be a fine sweaty night, and it's only $10.00
On Sunday afternoon, a bunch of folks are gathering at the Corner for a one-off (yeah I know everyone always says that, but I think this time it's actually true) reformation show by the Ears.

Hot on the heels of the recent "Dogs In Space" re-release, this promises to be pretty big. And it's being co-presented by Dolores San Miguel- if that's not a mark of quality for the era in question, I don't know what is.