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?