Friday, February 27, 2009

There goes Sunday...

Well, I said something would turn up for Sunday- but I didn't expect this.

This weekend Wrong Turn play two big shows with Leadfinger from Wollongong. Leadfinger main man Stew Cunningham has played in some of this country's most rockin' bands including Proton Energy Pills, Brother Brick & Asteroid B-612. The boys are in town to launch their new album, "Rich Kids", which has just been released by Spanish label Bang! Records.

Leadfinger solo at the Labour In Vain? I'm there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hell Summer. more ways than one. Following on from my recent trip to Sydney, this week my day job had me spending some time up in the bushfire-affected area north of town. You know, I had always thought "scorched earth" was just a phrase. I know better now.
But enough of that.
Sadly, an impending relocation by guitarist/vocalist Kirsty Stegwazi means Melbourne scene veterans Hand Hell are calling it a day this week, with a final show at the Old Bar on Friday.

They were great at last week's Applecore festival. Get down if you can.

Speaking of festivals, the Summertones roadshow hits town this weekend:

Mistletone is one of the best labels in town, with a wide roster of local and international acts. As well as being great value, (that's what, 28 acts for $35?) this should be pretty special. I understand they will be taking over the entire Espy for the day. Rumours of a shuttle bus fleet to help Fitzroy coolsie scum find their way south to St. Kilda proved to be untrue, however.

If for some unknown reason you don't fancy that, well, Rosie Westbrook and the Leisuremasters are playing around the corner at Pure Pop Records, at 3.00 and 4.00pm respectively.
I have no idea about Sunday, but I do have Monday off, so no doubt some sort of shenanigans will be had.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Interstate action.

First off, apologies to the people of North Sydney. I don't know quite how I broke that ticket machine at the train station, but I did, and you all had to wait while the guy reset it.
And to the hotel I'm in- I dropped that iron and it broke. It was a cheap iron. Buy some better ones.
Now, to business.
Friday night, Sydney:

The New Christs and Sin City are playing the lovely Excelsior, in downtown Surry Hills. Not sure who is in this lineup, but they are always worth a look. Always.
While down the road a bit, at the Lansdowne, there's a bunch of stuff going on:
Aah, the Lansdowne. The first time I ever heard Mudhoney was when I played "Touch Me, I'm Sick" on the juke box there.
Back in Melbourne, though, Saturday sees the 9th Applecore Festival held in a suburban backyard:
That's an amazing bill for $10.00. BYO, no glass, no dickheads.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not so hot.

In the wake of a pretty rough week, some welcome distraction.
All quotes pinched from elsewhere, for your convenience. But I couldn't find a poster for this one:
Johnny Casino rocks into Melbourne next Friday 13th. February, for a special two set appearance at Yah Yahs. This is quite possibly your last chance to catch Johnny Casino and the Secrets before they head to Europe and the UK to promote the European vinyl release of his latest long player "I Am Who I Am, Not Who You Want Me To Be". Goodtime rock'n'roll.

Two sets from Mr. Casino will provide all the vitamins, minerals and energy of a fucking month long residency by most other bands. This will be a great night.

On Valentine's Day, what could be better than taking your date to see a documentary about Melbourne's libertarian smut king, Paul Elliot?

In the great lost tradition of the late-night Aussie TV infomercial, as compered by the likes of Issy Dye, comes TOTALLY WEIRD SHIT, a 'documentary' that explores the trials and tribulations of alternative bookstore owner Paul Elliot and his 'World Famous' Polyester Books. While 'pa and ma' record and bookstores are going by the way of the dodo in favour of dumbed down retail chains stocking semi-trailers-full of environmental waste, Polyester has stood its ground in a competitive and cut-throat consumer environment.
It's screening at the store itself, at 330 Brunswick St. Fitzroy, from 6.00pm.
Then, later on, the Old Bar presents a very special night:

To commemorate Bon Scott we have selected a handful of bands and players that are able to pay tribute to the man behind some of AC/ DC's classic songs. As always these nights are always sold out so get in early if you wanna witness the madness:BON VOYAGE, a superstar group put together for this night including members of Blacklevel Embassy, Devil Rock Four, the Hell City Glamours and featuring SPOD as Bon Scott.
That looks unmissable to me.

Next time- special bi-state edition.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lux Interior

So I guess everyone's heard the news. I got the following email this morning:
For Immediate Release:February 4, 2009 Lux Interior, lead singer of The Cramps, passed away this morning due to an existing heart condition at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, California at 4:30 AM PST today. Lux has been an inspiration and influence to millions of artists and fans around the world. He and wife Poison Ivy’s contributions with The Cramps have had an immeasurable impact on modern music.The Cramps emerged from the original New York punk scene of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, with a singular sound and iconography. Their distinct take on rockabilly and surf along with their midnight movie imagery reminded us all just how exciting, dangerous, vital and sexy rock and roll should be and has spawned entire subcultures. Lux was a fearless frontman who transformed every stage he stepped on into a place of passion, abandon, and true freedom. He is a rare icon who will be missed dearly.The family requests that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.

For me, writing about the death of Lux is like writing an obituary for my teen years. This band was so important to me. Other bands- Birdman, the Clash, the Flesheaters- taught me things, but no one taught me as much as the Cramps did.
They taught me about a secret world of cheap aesthetics, that meant while my friends played immaculate albums through expensive stereos, I played thrift shop singles through a portable record player the size of a phone book- and found that they sounded better that way.
They taught me that it was OK to have fun with music, to mix up humour and guitars and sex, but never to let the joke go too far.
And the music- aside from their own stuff, like "TV Set", or "Garbageman", there were all the gems I found through the Cramps, like Andre Williams, ? and the Mysterians, Warren Smith, Alex Chilton, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Randy Alvey, the Red Crayola, and so much more.
I have so many memories- the joy of finally deciphering the lyrics of "Drug Train". Tracing their logo onto homemade tapes, and t-shirts. Helping to do the window display for "Psychedelic Jungle" at the (old) Missing Link record store. Picking up a copy of NME at the time of their lawsuit with IRS Records, and then putting it down quickly, because the article quoted their real names, and I didn't want to know them. Those early bootleg albums. Writing the liner notes for "Born Bad vol. 3". Signing myself out of hospital to see their first Melbourne show, at Festival Hall. Meeting Lux and Ivy after a show at the Venue a few days later- from where I sit now I can see the bone necklace I was wearing that night, that Lux so loudly and openly admired.
But that's going to have to do for now. This is getting harder and harder to write. I'm gonna go and play some music.

This is probably a good time to mention that for various reasons I'll be taking a week or so off from here, too.