Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
There's been surprising little news about the fact that soul-pioneer-turned-garage-meister Nathaniel Mayer has suffered a series of strokes and finds himself confined to a nursing home.
Meyer had a series of comebacks in the last decade, culminating in a stunning album on Total Energy/Alive, "Why Don't You Give It To Me?" Mayer is backed by a contemporary cast of underground folks - Matthew Smith of Outrageous Cherry, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Dave Shettler of SSM/The Sights - and it's a classic, a ball of skeletal feedback, raspy vocals and dark creepiness.
The I-94 Bar review is here and you can download an MP3 here. Considering Mayer had his first hit in 1962 ("Village of Love") we should be thankful that he could have been bothered recording, let along delivering something as great as this album.
There'll be a benefit show in November.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This suggests endless possibilities:
- Maybe the MC3 have a spare lead vocalist who's surplus to requirements (Evan, are you there?)
- They could call it Aluminium Zeppelin
- This will be a double-headed tour with The Doors of the 21st Century
- Maybe the new singer will be unearthed via a really lame reality TV show
The bottom line is that the new group might actually be listenable. Call me a heretic but I find Plant's preening prescence and overblown hysterics about as appealing as sipping a chai latte with Jimmy Barnes.
The Stooges have now finished stooging around the world so we at easy action HQ await news from the band regarding possible work on newly acquired stooges tapes...mindblowing stuff i assure you !! Also Sir Pop 's second box set will be with us at the end of October we think you're gonna like it !...alot!
Not all Iggy is good Iggy. The guy's solo career is littered with ill-considered chapters. But when the Pop fails, at least he's interesting, and the latest installment in UK label Easy Action's archival series "Where The Faces Shine" looks to contain more ups than downs.
We're looking at six CDs, a DVD and (if you get in quick) another live CD drawn from a gig on the 1988 Australian tour. The first two CDs are from the "Zombie Birdhouse" period. Not Ig's greatest album, granted, but the shows had an air of desperation about them which is often a plus.
Next up, there's a disc of demo's and other odds and sods (the "Repo Man" song among them) from the Steve Jones collaborations. Some of these demo's have been out there for a while but it's another collection that completists will love.
A 1986 "Blah Blah Blah" tour show spans two discs. Here's where Iggy picked himself up off the floor. The live material I've heard from the time has a lot more fire in the belly than the clean, Bowie-fied album.
The final CD is the Whisky-a-Go-Go "Instinct" tour warm-up/showcase. If it's in decent sound quality, it's going to be well worth hearing. This show was documeted in bass player Alvin's Gibbs' excellent tour diary book, "Neighborhood Threat".
The DVD is culled from TV appearances of the same vintage. My memory of the tour is of a professional but sometimes compelling band. The bonus Adelaide CD is said to be aurally rough and ready but also worth hearing.
I haven't laid ears on the full box set yet but a review will appear at the I-94 Bar.
Orders are being taken here where you can also view the full track lists.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On a speaking tour that consists of extended Q & A sessions, Fugazi mainman Ian Mackaye is still has to deal with the straight edge question after all these years. The LA Times has more here. Still, I wouldn't turn up with a six-pack.
One of the most eagerly-anticipated re-issues for this year has to be Died Pretty's staggering full-length debut "Free Dirt".
Aztec Music is planning to give it the luxury make-over with a pile of demo's, live-to-air tracks and both sides of the "Stoneage Cindarella" single making up a double-disc package. It's much the same way that Citadel treated the "Doughboy Hollow" re-birthing (a copy of which you'd be mad not to procure here.)
Roughly coinciding with the re-issue, there will be two gigs by Died Pretty - the already sold-out Homebake festival in Sydney on December 6 and the E.G. Awards at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda on December 4.
Full info on the Aztec re-issue here.
Monday, October 27, 2008
"Wide Open Road" hould be a blast judging by the look of the heavy-duty Shockwave website they've put up, from where you can download interview snippets and presumably full episodes.
Let's hope it steers away from the "let's re-write history and push certain commercial interests" that some TV-to-DVD efforts have followed in recent times.
A work colleague heard this as a backing track for the weather report on Australia's national yewf radio station Triple Jay. Ignoramuses that some of us are Down Under, we find that he's had multiple-million views on YouTube (and probably makes a zillion bucks from the annoying cross-promotion ads on the clip.)
He also writes nonsensical lyrics like this:
Dealing drugs across the states
And you wonder why the police dont hesitate
Everything handed right to you
College and money until our nation gets a clue
Do us all a favor and act like a human being
Or you belong with all the other apes in a tree
Bob Dylan he ain't.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
News from the Hitmen camp:
For immediate release
ILLNESS PARES BACK HITMEN TOUR
Venue closures in Canberra and Brisbane and singer Johnny Kannis' ongoing heart condition have resulted in some dates being cut from the Hitmen's "Monkey's Gone Wild" Tour. Refunds will be available from point-of-sale.
The Hitmen will still do two Sydney gigs with Devilrock Four and The Southern Preachers at Mona Vale Hotel on November 21 and Caringbah Bizzos on November 22.
They’ll also play one Gold Coast show at The Coolangatta Hotel on November 28 with
Mick Medew & The Rumours and Suzy Loves Dick, before their lead singer undergoes more tests and some enforced rest.
Be assured that plans are afoot to tackle Melbourne and add some other places as soon as Zeus receives the all-clear.
Details on a live album with Detroit punk rock diva Niagara soon...and she will be back in Australia to tour in tandem with the Hitmen in early '09.
“He’s a very likeable guy, he’s very affable and has a sense of humour. You see why people like him. I like him, I just don’t want him to be President.”
Rollins was never going to endorse John McCain but did you think he he might have gone in harder? More here.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Let's face it, plastic music does stink. And yes, I know it's Delta Goodrem but ever since Australian TV's turkey-necked Mr Ubiquitous Eddie Maguire fucked up her name at a Logies night, the moniker's been permanently altered around these parts.
Crawdaddy online has gone all moist over the Clash's "Sandinista". Please don't make me laugh.
This was an overblown and limp piece of excess iand if Somebody should have been Murdered I'd have nominated the putz who hauled in a children's choir to contribute. Major Fail. Two bottles of Rolling Rock outta five.
Flame me in the comments section if you disagree (you especially Bucko.)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Nice job Carol!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Rumours have been an off-and-on concern in their hometown for five years, scoring some choice supports but only recently landing themselves in the studio to cut their debut album.
Featuring one half of The Screaming Tribesmen and two guys who should have been there all along, The Rumours are everything you remember and hold dear about good rock 'n' roll guitar music: hooks, chops and melody.
Vocalist-guitarist Mick Medew is one of Brisbane's underground rock and roll elder statesmen with a history spanning the internationally-signed Tribesmen, seminal legends The 31st and more recently The Bluebirds.
Guitarist Ash Geary was a member of latter-day Tribesmen line-ups and '90s blues-rockers The Lost Boys and also plays with Brisbane-via-The Bowery gutter punks JJ Speedball.
The engine room is manned by Paul Hawker on bass and newcomer Adam Cole on drums.
Their as yet untitled album is being recorded at Black Box Studios in Brisbane under the production hand of friend Jeff Lovejoy and is scheduled for release in late 2008 or early '09.
The Rumours' sound isn't a million miles away from that of the Screaming Tribesmen - Mick's distinctive vocal and the well-honed twin-guitar Medew-Geary crunch inevitably make it so - but there's a little more more room to move in the songs.
Citing a long list of influences including MC5, Thin Lizzy, Roky Erickson, Blue Oyster Cult, the New York Dolls, David Bowie, The Dictators and Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, The Rumours recall all those touchstones but apply their own take.
Mick Medew & The Rumours join Klondike's North 40 (featuring Hitmen and ex-Radio Birdman guitarist Chris Masuak) on I-94 Bar Records.
They'll support the Hitmen on selected dates of that band's "Monkeys Gone Wild" national tour with gigs at Coolangatta Hotel on the Gold Coast on November 28 and The Living Room in Brisbane on November 29.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As if anyone needed reminding that punk's first flourish of youth was a long, long time ago, seminal synth-and-angst agitator Alan Vega turned 70 in June. Of course he's very lucky to have gotten that far, given the liking he and Suicide co-member Martin Rev's had of crowd-baiting in their heyday.
Anyway, there's some limited edition tribute vinyl rolling out to mark the Vega milepost (with Brooooce Springsteen contributing) and an interview freshly online at a Jewish publication here which reveals CBGB was "just one big Synagogue".
Monday, October 13, 2008
As host Big Al got wasted, things went even further downhill.
The panty liner on the forehead is a nice touch, don't you think? The song is a clue to why they were on a label called Limp Records. Peanuts McGhee, where are you today?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I heard a leaked copy of the new Tex Perkins and His Ladyboyz contract-breaker a month ago and didn't think that much of it but I'm warming to the concept after watching the infomercial. You have to wonder though after watching Charlie and Joel in that double guitar solo.
MiniRockerz video "I was made for lovin' you"
Spare me the Gene Simmons sex tape.
Here's Mini Kiss on St Paddy's Day.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The Eastern Dark has been on high-rotation yesterday, as part of an effort to get into finishing some liner notes for a bunch of Australian music from the same time and place. I can’t help noting that this band was head and shoulders above anything else of its kind.
If it’s going to be power/punk-pop, it needs three essential ingredients.
The first of these is melody – preferably in shovel-loads. That’s a no-brainer and sometimes I despair that people don’t get this. The Ramones had melody to burn and knew, maybe instinctively, that this was at the core of all great music, which was especially crucial when they stripped it back to basics.
You also need power, some rough edges to make the ride more interesting. Then there’s a less definable element loosely described as character. This comes from themes (sex and death are often recurrent) and some sort of conviction that a band or artist isn’t putting you on, even if living in someone else’s shoes in a lyrical sense.
Technical things like dynamics and tension are important, but it’s the melody, power and character combined that make powerpop/pop-punk music memorable.
The Eastern Dark was really the vehicle for James Darroch, ex-Celibate Rifles bassist and member of a handful of other unrecorded and short-lived Sydney bands like Slaughterhouse Five. He wrote great songs (“Pretty Pictures” was his) but the Rifles weren’t big enough for three leaders, so Darroch took his leave. The Eastern Dark came about (as great bands often do) when three sympathetic players entered each others’ orbits. James Darroch sang and played guitar. Melodic bassist/back-up vocaliser Bill Gibson and un-tutoured drumming powerhouse Geoff Milne were more than just the other pieces of a puzzle, but it has to be said that James occupied the driving seat. Amazing music resulted.
That they only released one single (“Julie Is a Junkie” b/w “Johnny And Dee Dee”) when they were around is tragic enough, but that a road accident claimed James Darroch’s life is the real loss.
The Ramonic single was excellent and it’s probably an achievement that it sounded as good as it did, given stories of near insurmountable problems with the studio where it was recorded. But the posthumous “Long Live The New Flesh” EP was a jaw-dropper, especially the soaring “Walking”, the bittersweet rollercoaster “I Don’t Need The Reasons” (maybe their best song) and the simmering resignation of “It’s Over”.
There was obviously a massive emotional investment in Darroch’s tunes that tell stories of loss, lies and anger and this recording underlines that the forced demise of The Eastern Dark was indeed monumental.
While I kick myself for not seeing them more often live, buy, beg, borrow, steal or download "New Flesh" or the out-of-print Half a Cow compilation “Where Are All the Single Girls” which appends most of the live “Girls On The Beach (With Cars)” live double LP.
Just for the hell of it, here's the only known footage of the band shot at Sydney's Caringbah Inn (I wuz there.)
Thursday, October 09, 2008
With surefire "hits" like "Blitzkrieg Church", "Nazareth Affair" and "Beat on The Beast", the members of Chapel Hill's Christian Ramones (that'd be Matty, Markey, Lukey and Johnny) are surely bound for hell. Check the comments and you'll see the Bruddas' ex-road manager Monte Melnick is a fan. More here.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Is too much Clash barely enough? Ex-drummer Topper Headon doesn't think so and tells Billboard as much here. Interesting read.
Personally, the last live compilation Clash CD was a bit of a snore and even the deluxe edition of "London Calling" with the demos appended wasn't essential as the songs in their formative stages were exactly that. I'd settle for a complete, killer live gig - which the Shea Stadium clearly isn't, judging from Topper's assessment and the footage that's surfaced to date.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Fuck knows why a behemoth like the BDO would want to shoot down commentary on other fests when many of them are run by promoters who share acts and they sell out in five minutes anyway. Do the people in charge know what’s going on? Have a look for yourself here.
Friday, October 03, 2008
(Come to think about it, didn't Mark already sing about this in the Visitors' song "Disperse"?)
Ever willing to fuel such fires, Mick Farren (of the Deviants and the Pink Fairies and also the author of a fantastic autobiography covering his time in the UK underground of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s called “Give the Anarchist a Cigarette”) has penned a dissertation for LA City Beat. It's not short on the wonderful Farren invective.
Personally, I think the coffins are actually mega-sized compost bins to accommodate output from the enormous servings that US fast food outlet dish up.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago you would have $49.00 left.
With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00.
With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.
But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214.00 cash !!!!!
Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
I like Neil but left it too late to buy tix. I have an aversion to the barn that is the Sydney Entertainment Centre and sitting in a seat near the roof. He's also playing the Big Day Out (headlining, no less) but I'm reluctant to endure that. I did hear BDO promoter Ken West on radio the other day talking about the decision to book Neil and had to laugh that he said it took a while for the Greendale Tour to slide from the memory.
So says their Australia-based ex-road manager Sam Cutler (pictured above with Mick Jagger) in a new book that promises to be a fascinating read.
"There's a lot of rubbish written about the Rolling Stones, especially the thing at Altamont, that we hired the Hells Angels ... and it was the Rolling Stone's free concert which it wasn't," Cutler says.
"It's kind of enter rock and roll mythology that we organised the concert, which we didn't.
"That we were responsible for what went down, which in part we were, but only in part. I wanted to write my version of the truth."
Read some more here.
Now Brother Wayne's joined Motorhead and the Pistols in selling a re-recorded song to the makers of the Guitar Hero computer game. "Kick Out the Jams" is coming to a games store near you. While the usual low-level comments about selling-out will no doubt come from predictable sources, I'd just settle to hear his latest solo album which is said to be a return to his jazzy/spoken word stylings.
And in word just in, there's a good interview with Kramer here that throws more light on the forthcoming album.
No details on how, when or if it’s coming out. We live in hope.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The “new” Rolling Stone Australia will be coming off a low base. What was once a mildly counter-cultural, music-centric magazine is crammed with fashion ads and transparently feeble editorial stabs at being “cutting edge”. Sub-mainstream musical content is almost accidental and the over-priced rag feels like a brand extension of the Idol franchise.
Perversely it has no online presence – something that’s usually a given these days when you look at their target demographic. The former publishers even let the domain be parked with some on-seller/squatter. I suppose I could be wrong and it's a lame attempt to turn a dollar. Either way, it shows what little regard they had for their masthead.
So Jann, hope you have a good time at the party, pal. Here's to another 20 years of mediocrity.
The All Tomorrow's Parties is coming to Australia in January with performances by the reformed Kuepper-Bailey Saints and the Laughing Clowns among the highlights. Nick Cave is curator and will play the three-part festival with his Bad Seeds. Full line-ups are to be announced but the acts already unveiled include Spiritualized, Robert Forster and Rowland S Howland. Sydney Harbour's Cockatoo Island, Brisbane and Mt Buller, Victoria, will be the venues. Details here.
It was the alley where the classic cover shot for the Ramones' first album was taken by Roberta Bayley. It backs onto the rear of what used to be CBGB's postage-stamp backyard, where an abandoned car used to sit. Just like the famous punk fleapit, it's now at risk according to this piece in the NY Times.