Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In The Raw debuts

"In The Raw" was a song by mid-'80s Sydney noise terrorists Lubricated Goat. They played it on national TV in 1988 and created outrage because they performed...In The Raw.

I well remember the sceeening on a Thursday night on the Andrew Denton-hosted "Blah Blah Blah" show. The tabloid reaction was predictably over-the-top and I presume the media were given advance copies of the footage just to make it all the more easy to froth. Yes, there was a bit of schlong dangling but these days you'd see more Big Swinging Dicks at Sydney financial district bars like The Establishment on a Friday night.

The event itself and its fall-out is the subject of a documentary that's been a long time coming. It'll finally see the light of day after six years at this weekend's Meredith Festival outside Melbourne, says maker Cousin Creep.

Cousin Creep has spent a fair chunk of time documenting the music around the anarchic scene that was the Black Eye label, itself a noisy spin-off from the Red Eye imprint. You can find his blog here.

Red Eye was eventually swallowed up by a major label and vestiges of its origins remain in the form of the Sydney shop of the same name. As for Lubricated Goat, they were one leprosy-ridden limb of the Black Eye label, which celebrated aural experimentation and dissembling of rock and roll.

As an aside, Stu Spasm from the Goat ended up being married to riot grrrrl ,over and shaker Kat Bjelland (Babes In Toyland) for a while.

Public nudity for free beer and so-bad-they're-good cover songs played a big part in live shows by Black Eye bands. Personally, I thought a lot of the scene reeked of smack and unmusicality for the sake of it, but I can't deny the confrontational power and fuck-you attitude that it had. Key scenesters grew up to be merchant bankers, lawyers and creative directors - so you know it had to be one fucked up circle.


smauge said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks you had to be stoned on smack to really get into this music. Songs like "F*** your Dad" we written purely for shock value but anyone who listened were way passed being shockable and the people it was meant to shock didn't hear it anyway.
But In The Raw, in the raw, was a piece of television history no matter what your taste!

Jimmy said...

It was the live shows that mattered. The handful I saw were out of control & funny as shit. Those Black Eye comps (Waste Sausage etc) were really only historical documents.