Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and goodnight (for a week or two)

Last post until early-January. Have a good break. I know I will.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A conversation with Bob Gruen

New York snapper Bob Gruen's one of rock and roll's premier photographers, as much for being on the spot at the right time as being adept at capturing the essence of his subjects. Some of his most famous subjects have been the New York Dolls, the Ramones, the Pistols, Blondie, The Clash and John Lennon. There's an interview in Crawdaddy online here where he reveals a lot of his best photos were captured spontaneously (as many of the greatest are.) He also sounds like the sort of bloke you'd like to have a beer with.

Yule always be a Stooge

Nyuck nyuck nyuck. Stolen from Brad Fitzpatrick's Facebook.

Simon Chainsaw and the Hippy Killers

Simon Chainsaw (ex-Vanilla Chainsaws) has a new CD out, "Alpha Negra", and slipped a copy under the door of Ramones Manor on Sunday, so i guess that means he's back from Brazil for Xmas. It's a goodie and a review will be at the Bar after the break but here's a film clip from his output with the Hippy Killers to give you a clue.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Medicos advocate neck braces for headbangers

True metalheads are a breed unto themselves so this silly season story on "PM", the flagship current affairs program of Australian national broadcaster, ABC Radio, comes as no surprise. The yarn was sourced from the respected British Medical Journal.

But did you know PM host Mark Colvin (the guy making the closing comment questioning which decade the reporter is living in) and who is pictured at right was once a committed Radio Birdman fan who went on to work on then-Sydney radio station 2JJ in its formative years?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dog Eared Tales

Something of an institution around Sydney, Bunt are planning a DVD of some sort in 2009. This video for "Dog Eared Tales" from 1996 has surfaced. It's from their first self-titled EP.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Will this Suck or won't this Suck?

Horror comic Fangoria's online arm reports that filming will wrap this week in Toronto on Rob Stefaniuk's vampire horror-comedy "Suck". The production boasts an impressive cast of rockers like Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Moby, Henry Rollins, Alex Lifeson, Dimitri Coates and Carol Pope. Even Cooper's daughter, Calico, has jumped on board.

Written and directed by Stefaniuk, "Suck" is about a group of musical wannabees in search of immortality and a record deal. The rock band THE WINNERS have sunk so low, they will do anything to make it big. After a life-changing encounter with a vampire, they rocket to stardom only to discover that fame and fortune are not all they're cracked up to be.

"I love the mixture of horror and humor,” says Alice Cooper, who stops just short of calling Stefaniuk a genius in this specific area. “And what’s cooler than a vampire?”

I dunno, Alice. Golf?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lou Reed meets the Sydney press

Lou Reed almost always had it over the journalists in the '70s. These days he tends to be a bit full of himself. This hokey lot didn't stand a chance.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jonathan Appears

It seems BBC radio's persecuted/outspoken radio personality Jonathan Ross is a Radio Birdman fan. Considering what song to play upon his return from a 12-week suspension for making sexually suggestive remarks, he suggested on microblog network Twitter that the Radios' cover of "You're Gonna Miss Me" might be the go.

Even if he fluffed the song title and looks like he doesn't know it's an Elevators cover, that's still cool. Of the course the snooty Guardian newspaper thinks it should be Blondie but who cares?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Winterland" - Died Pretty

Died Pretty played Sydney and Melbourne last week. There should be a live review of their Homebake gig up at the I-94 Bar by the time you read this. Here's "Winterland". Turn it up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"No Fun" - The Stooges

Too much Stooges is never enough and this is a nice montage to go with the tune, no?

"Search & Destroy" - The Dictators

Recent Spain tourists and this is a reminder of their greatness. You never know your luck and they might just turn up on your doorstep.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Clever ways of referring to doing it in rock and roll

The Beatles, Led Zep, Carly Simon and Meatloaf all banged on about nailing someone. This is news? This presentation of the fact is clever. Many thanks to stashdauber for this.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dr Tek in Sugar Hill supergroup

Sugar Hill Studios is an historic place in Houston, Texas, where you can apparently feel the presence of people who've worked there. Like Roky, the Stones, Roy Head and Janis Joplin. Ex-Radio Birdman soundie Andy "Mort" Bradley runs the show and recorded Hitmen DTK (circa "Moronic Inferno") and Deniz Tek there.

Dr Tek was back there this week to mix a live Birdman album from their final US tour (are you taking note!) and also to work with a combo of past clients to lay down "San Francisco Girls", a song recorded by Texan psych band Fever Tree in 1968 for a forthcoming tribute to the studio. Here's some footage for The SugarHill Gang.

Players included Deniz's ex-US Navy mate (and DTG 1992 Australian tour bassist) Dust Petersen and Fever Tree member Rob Landis.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

So is it finally coming out?

The MC5 movie "A True Testimonial". The Metro Times seems to think so but there's been so much misinformation (most likely from the same person who seems to be tipping off the Times) that's it hard to know who to believe.

High praise for Darling Downs

That they didn’t, in fact, rise from the dusty roads of America’s heartland or the slippery banks of the Appalachian Mountains could come as a surprise for some upon first hearing their music. But, it soon becomes inconsequential where the duo hails from; no need to put a regional tag on the soulful sincerity found in such a plain and true collection of songs.

That's Crawdaddy online talking about The Darling Downs, the backwoods music duo of Ron Peno (Died Pretty) and Kim Salmon (Scientists, Surrealists, Beasts of Bourbon.) Read more here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chinese Democracy and the Art of The Hype

Almost elusive as the thing that its title refers to, "Chinese Democracy" arrived in record shops recently and the buying public went mild. I don't have any time for whatever Axl Rose pretends is Guns & Roses, past or present, but this piece in Crwadaddy online is a ripper.

I won't be buying it so if I hear any tracks it'll be by accident, but I'm betting it's not a patch the CD of the same name that beat it to the racks by Kitty and the Kowalskis.

Friday, November 28, 2008

That's using your melon

An important missive from Prince Melon Records:

The 4th volume in the limited edition Ed Kuepper live series will be available soon. Recorded live to a capacity crowd at the Forum in Melbourne early 2008 on the Don't Look Back 'Honey Steel's Gold ' tour. It features all the hits and some rarely performed tracks such as 'King of vice' Friday's blue cheer/libertines of oxley' and 'summerfield', as well as the non lp encore of 'Electrical storm'

The Don't Look Back shows were one of the biggest highlights of 2008 for mine with the pairing of Ed and Co with Died Pretty fairly inspired. More info on this one at Prince Melon's myspace.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Binocular Soccer

OK, soccer is not rock and roll but blogs can be indulgent. The new Japanese sport of Binolcular Soccer probably won't catch on in a hurry but is worthy of your consideration:

And it does segue into the fact that the I-94 Bar will be presenting a Japan-Europe Tour Diary from Penny Ikinger in the near future.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Walter Lure (2)

A review of that Walter Lure live album is posted at the Bar here. Short story: Rough 'n' ready and rocks pretty well and at 10 Euros a copy it's worthy of investment.

Where did CBGB go?

It ended up in a storage shed according to the New York Times.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

King of the Gig Pigs

The I-94 Bar is looking for a live reviewer or two but this seems excessive:

After more than 5,000 gigs over 35 years, rock fan Ray Morrissey can claim to be Britain's most prolific concert-goer. On piles of notebook pages in Mr Morrissey's front room, thousands of gigs are listed, one per line, all with a mark out of 10 circled at the end.

Then again, when you look at Ray's website recording all this it's enough to give you a headache.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Before he was an Oil and a Minister he was a farmer

He might be best known as the singer for agit-rock band Midnight Oil but chrome-domed Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett was frontman for Farm before that. Farm really were the Oils but peddling different tunes.

Farm allegedly stood for Fucking All Right Mate but I might have disagreed with that, if only on the strength of them playing Focus and Jethro Tool songs. Click the pic to enlarge.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How badly will this suck?

I'm a big fan of the Stooges - both the Iggy-led variety and the Three - so why wouldn't the thought of the Farrelly Brothers reviving the latter comedic trio fill me with dread? Who cares about the global financial crisis - this is seriously bad news. Read the guff here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Lost Weekend

Some new "old" songs and a new "new" one will be in the set. Click to enlarge and read the details.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clash live gets the prole thumbs-up

For an apparent Marxist, this guy has a warm view of the Clash's "Live at Shea Stadium" on major label Sony.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Walter Lure's new live album

Ex-Heartbreaker Walter Lure toured Europe in 2007 and Italian label Nicotine Records is doing something about it. Here's the tracklisting for the live album:

  1 One Track Mind
   2 Sorry
   3 Never Get Away
   4 Cry Baby
   5 Get Off The Phone
   6 Busted
   7 Let Go
   8 London Boys
   9 Take a Chance
 10 I Wanna Be Loved
 11 Born To Lose
 12 Chinese Rocks
 13 Too Much Junkie Business
 14 Do You Love Me?

Eyewitness accounts (thanks Greg Bowen in France) say the shows were great. Buy it here.

Rock your vote

The Age newspaper's annual EG Awards poll is up and running. It's a closed-ended poll i.e. you only get to vote for one from a list in each catergory.

Elitist hipster scum that I am, I couldn't vote for much as very little of what's in these mainstream voting things reflects what's played around the I-94 Bar.

You might be in that boat too. If so, you can at least vote for the Best Australian Album Of All Time catergory. At the time of voting, "Radios Apepar" was only running at three percent. That's a bit sad - but you know what to do.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Conclusive evidence of Punk's death (if any were needed)

The Bratz™ are hitting the home of punk with the most devastatin’ street styles ever, and they are ready to rock! Available in four collectible styles (Cloe™, Yasmin™, Jade™, Meygan™), these girls are showing everybody how to be Pretty ‘N’ Punk™!

Friday, November 14, 2008


You might remember an earlier post reporting that Radio Birdman's "Do The Pop!" had been included in this Guy Ritchie gangster movie. Yes it has - but it's barely audible.

The Scientists' "We Had Love" fared a little better, apparently. I haven't actually seen the film - I'm a 'wait for it on DVD' kinda guy these days.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

R.I.P. Mitch Mitchell

Gone to join Jimi at age 61. This is him solo'ing in 1969:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bar's 2008 Top Tens start rolling in

It's a new look Top Ten this year as we've moved it over to Wordpress to allow interactive comments. Ken Shimamoto (aka Stashdauber) is the first cab off the rank and you can read his entry here - and of course do better yourself if you're not hep to his jive.

Not Another Friggin' List

Ten Best Punk Rock Singers of All Time? Lookee here. The guy from Jawbreaker is one of them? What about Andrew WK while you're at it? Pussies.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Album of the Year? I think so, folks...

It's Johnny Casino & The Secrets Week at the I-94 Bar. There's the Review of the new album ("I Am Who I Am, Not Who You Want Me To Be"), the "Drunk & Disorderly" Podcast, now the Interview and the album and accompanying EP are both on sale in The Shop. And the Sydney launch is this Saturday at The Empire at Annandale (which I'd attend except it's The Barmaid's birthday and she has other plans.).

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

R.I.P. Nathaniel Meyer

Further to the October 30 post about the lack of coverage of garage soul great Nathaniel Meyer's stroke and planned benefit show, news in from Norton Records that the man passed away in Detroit on November 1. Funeral is Tuesday.

"Agile, Mobile & Hostile" in Sydney

Not sure if I'll make it but it looks like the bomb:

Australian premiere of the festival favourite + a live Q&A with Andre himself from Chicago!

Mon 10 Nov, 2008
Greater Union Bondi
Price: $15 / $12 conc.
Rating: MA 15+

"Andre Williams makes Little Richard sound like Pat Boone." Lux Interior, The Cramps

Andre Williams has written and recorded a number of landmark hit songs and has worked with legends of the industry: Berry Gordy, Ike Turner and Stevie Wonder to name just a few. Andre has also struggled throughout his life with addiction, poverty, homelessness and the legal system.

Andre says, 'I'm going to show you the right way, because I've gone so many wrong ways.' With this statement the man known as "Mr. Rhythm" and "The Black Godfather" takes us along a fascinating, funny and distressing journey. Andre doesn't always go "'the right way' and this leads to tenuous relationships with friends, family and business partners, time in jail, eviction from his "old folks home" and subsequent struggle to pay for his room at the 'Hotel 6' where he lives between tours.

From March of 2006 until July of 2007, directors Tricia Todd and Eric Matthies followed the charismatic underground recording artist Andre Williams through his day-to-day existence. For Andre, this could mean rehearsing for a show in Chicago, recording with Jon Spencer in Michigan, performing for enthusiastic fans in Croatia, doing a radio interview in Serbia or marching in a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

Throughout his 72 years, Andre has never stopped driving his creative visions forward, regardless of cost or consequence. The consequences turn out to be severe as Andre's addictive history catches up with him. Ultimately doing the right thing could be the choice between life and death for a musician who is perpetually on the cusp of newfound success.

Agile, Mobile, Hostile is a feature length documentary as told by Andre Williams with input from Jon Spencer, John Sinclair, Don Waller, Johnnie Bassett, Margaret Doll Rod and others.

Popcorn Taxi is proud to present the very first screening in Australia of "Agile Mobile Hostile" followed by a live Q&A with the man himself, Andre Williams, live down-the-line from Chicago hosted by The Naked City's, Jay Katz.

Believe us - this year with Andre will definitely leave you feeling Agile, Mobile and Hostile!

Buy tickets here and watch the promo trailer:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vale Sonic Smith

Fred "Sonic" Smith died 14 years ago yesterday (my time) or today (US time.) Thanks "bamesjaker" for the heads-up. Wayne Kramer remembers meeting Sonic and the formation of the MC5 in this clip from "A True Testimonial":

Have you heard?

Turn up your speakers and click here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dead, warring Ramones should be no election surprise

Hot off the Reuters wires:

Punk rock innovators the Ramones made a joyful racket, but offstage they were rarely in tune.

Band members were known to feud about everything, from their song list to politics. Guitarist Johnny Ramone was a conservative, while singer Joey Ramone was a liberal.

Johnny and Joey are both dead now, but their feud lives on in the presidential race.

You see, Johnny’s widow Linda, using the Ramone moniker, has been campaigning for Republican John McCain, and Joey’s estate is none too happy about that.

“I just want it to be clear that Linda Cummings does not represent the political views of the Ramones,” said Mickey Leigh, the president of Ramones Productions who is also Joey’s brother.

“As for Joey Ramone, the only Ramones song he would sing at a Republican event would be ‘Glad to See You Go,’” Leigh said in a press release.

It’s not the first time Linda has created dischord among the Ramones. She dated Joey but eventually married Johnny, causing the two band members not speak to each other for years, even as they continued to tour and make records.

Monday, November 03, 2008

King Khan & BBQ

This review of a show by The King Khan and BBQ Show last weekend makes me wish I was there. Here's some YouTubeage of their song "Waddlin' Around" to tide us all over:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - The Standells (via The Munsters)

Just to mark the fact that all 16 espisodes of The Munsters have just been released on DVD in the States, here are The Standells in their one and only appearance on the show.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Death of the Cassette Tape

Remember when you had to put the best of your treasured vinyl collection onto cassette just so you could play it in the car? When retail outlets actually sold albums in cassette format to suit people who travelled or moved house a lot and wanted to keep their music collection to a manageable size? When bootleggers recorded to boomboxes and DAT was something that went with DIS?

There's a scuplture at the International Surgical Museum that illustrates the Death of the Cassette Tape. See it here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Revolution? What Revolution?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Lame is opening a Manhattan "Annex" to stage exhibitions. First cab off the rank is something called "Revolution Rock" featuring The Clash. Sponsors include Bloomingdales and BestBuy. Rock commodified? Naaaah...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

An alternative to Guitar Hero

Accordion Hero. A polka fan's dream.

40 years ago today

The MC5 recorded "Kick Out the Jams".

Johnny Casino & The Secrets podcasted

That's a new podcast on the interface at right and it's featuring Johnny talking about his new album and spinning a few fave tunes. It's streamable or you can download it/subsribe to it here. Did I mention that almost certainly The Best Album I've Heard All Year?

Nate suffers stroke

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

Received in the e-mail

It's from Detroit's First Lady of Punk, Niagara, and her beau, Colonel Galaxy.

Christies auction house goes punk

Purveyors of fine art go down-market and flog off punk memorabilia? Anything to turn a buck, the Christies spokesman seems to be saying here. I doubt, however, that even Yoko would fork out $200,000 for the late John Lennon's, er, organ.

Leaving Percy at home

The stories about Led Zeppelin touring without Robert Plant have received prime exposure today.

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.

Stooges treasure ahead?

Rumours abound of a soundboard quality "Funhouse"-era Stooges show in someone's pipeline for commercial release. Could this snippet on UK label Easy Action's website be related? It's not soemthing we've chased down but either way it's good news:

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!

"Where the Faces Shine" Vol 2

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

Having fun with Fugazi

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.

Recession down to Acca Dacca

Blame the global financial crisis on AC/DC. Not that it means Angus isn't laughing all the way to the bank, it's just that stashing the dosh under the matress might be a safer bet.

Deluxe Pretty

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

Australian radio network Triple Jay is running a series that attempts to define the character of Australian music.

"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.

KOTJ gig spawns CD

That Detroit area concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of the recording of "Kick Out The Jams" is becoming a bigger deal, with a double CD of MC5 material by new bands. Read more here.

Great Ways To Party (part one)

Why not make your next soiree a Titanic Party? Book this baby and see the crappy animation here.

Tay Zonday: When "stain" rhymes with "pain"

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:

Chocolate stain
Dealing drugs across the states
Chocolate stain
And you wonder why the police dont hesitate

Chocolate stain
Everything handed right to you
Chocolate stain
College and money until our nation gets a clue

Chocolate stain
Do us all a favor and act like a human being
Chocolate stain
Or you belong with all the other apes in a tree

Bob Dylan he ain't.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Damned tour US with new album

Surely punk rock's most enduring survivors (putting aside the Buzzcocks), The Damned are hitting the road on a US tour in support of their first album in seven years. Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible are the originals this time. More here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fan letter from Johnny Rotten, 40 years on

There's a fascinating insight into John Lydon's post-Pistols state of mind that's been posted by fan Martin Smyth at the unofficial Pistols site. Honest and optimistic, you can read it in situ here.

DIY publishing's biggest problem

If you're starting a zine (and who isn't?) here's a great guide to naming it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hitmen pare back tour

News from the Hitmen camp:

For immediate release


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.

I-94 Bar goes M.I.A.

OK, I screwed up a change of hosting and the thing went down for a day. Mea culpa. Reminds me of this.

Hank pulls his punch (slightly)

I try to keep politics out of my rock and roll wherever possible, but Henry Rollins sort of transcends being called a music-maker these days. His thoughts on John McCain might surprise:

“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

When the joke's on you

Nothing to do with rock and roll but funny if you're not the guy reading the news.

Deltra Goodrem = Celine Dion

The often witty and usually biting Jack Marx of the Sydney Daily Telegraph's otherwise puerile online offering tells you why the manufactured Deltra Goodrem could be on your dartboard here.

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.

A Triple Album Got Murdered; Crawdaddy disagrees

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

The Visitors -"She Used To Know My Name"

Another clip from Carol who was at the Empire gig in August. This is a new tune.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back to Back Masking

I luvz Satanic messages in popular songs played backwards mainly because of the nut jobs making dire warnings about them, so this site appeals in a practical sense. No more dragging out vinyl (if you own some of these abominations) and fucking up your stylus by manually spinning your Marantz turntable in the opposite direction.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stayin' Alive and Another One Bites The Dust

The Bee Gees and Queen as lifesavers? Strange but apparently true.

The Visitors: Living World, The Empire Hotel, Sydney August 30, 2008

Nice job Carol!

It's Only Rock and Roll - Rob Tyner

Warning: Cheesy and excessive guitar lick content. From Rob's 1990 album "Blood Brothers."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mick Medew and The Rumours join the I-94 Bar Records label

Australian label I-94 Bar Records is delighted to announce the signing of Brisbane band Mick Medew & The Rumours.

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.

More information:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You have until October 20 to send Ringo your soiled undies

There always seemed to be a few kangaroos loose in his top paddock, but is Ringo off the piss and lining up for a spot on the BBC program Grumpy Old Men? He didn't specify what wouldn't be signed so there's some marketing management lecture notes, a Punxie & the Poison Pens T-shirt and a box of old newspapers he can have.

'70s punk survivor Alan Vega is 70

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

The Interview Didn't Start Well

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

Hard-ons - All Set To Go (1987)

This might dust a few cobwebs out of a few folks' memories. Who was there the night the crowd brought down the PA stack at the Sutho Royal and the venue banned the Hard-ons because a girl broke her arm? Or did I imagine it?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Soft Cock Rock

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.

Mini Kiss Were Made For Loving You

Does the real thing exist any more or is it a hologram? Mini Kiss is way better anyway. They even play their own instruments!

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 remembered

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

Gabba Gabba Pray

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

Clash conveyer belt keeps flowing

Psst, Clash fans: Coming down the pipeline: A live at Shea Stadium CD, a live DVD presumably culled from other shows and a book on The Clash by The Clash (i.e. a transcript of a previously issued documentary.)

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

I like this a lot

But my sense of humour is weird.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

BDO kids playing silly buggers. Do the owners know?

There’s some funny stuff going down at the forum to promote the Big Day Out live music caravan that traipses around Australia and New Zealand every summer. Apparently, discussion threads mentioning other festivals have been taken down by moderators. One of the first rules of online forums is let the moderation be light and even-handed, but the discussion that persists points to a heavy brand of paranoia.

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

This explains a lot

Click to enlarge.

And aliens killed JFK

Expat American Mark Sisto (singer for the Visitors and numerous other bands of his own creation) loves a good conspiracy and tugged my coat to a video on YouTube allegedly showing the stockpiling of hundreds of thousands of plastic coffins in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s rumoured to be the precursor to a catastrophic event of the US Government’s instigation, the end game being you need to have somewhere to stash the bodies.

(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

Think smart, invest in beer

The following is just in from Dutch punk rock funnyman Tony Slug of the Hydromatics and Nitwitz, among others:

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.

Keep On Rockin' in the Expensive, Not Free, World

I like the sentiment behind this opinion piece on the price of supporting arena rock, even if I don't always practice what the lady preaches. Nice thought (pity no staffer on the SMH came up with it.)

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.

Altamont wasn't the Stones' show

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.

When guitar shop employees attack

Click to enlarge

Kick Out the Guitar Hero 3, Motherfuckers

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.

So what's with the Grande Ballroom movie trailer?

I suppose I should be grateful that this is available as a teaser on YouTube, but the spelling mistakes in the superimposed graphics and the apparent absence of interviews with the members of Grande notables like the Stooges, the Rationals and The Up doesn’t fill me with too much positivism.

No details on how, when or if it’s coming out. We live in hope.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Let's (not) party with Rolling Stone Australia

Excuse me for being underwhelmed by the news that the Australian version of Rolling Stone is re-launching following the sale of its licence to publishing house Australian Consolidated Press. The news is so big that US founder and longtime major label act suckarse Jann Wenner is out here to celebrate at a party featuring Powderfinger (snooze) and one of the Finns (whose first name I conveniently forget.) Wake me up when it’s over.

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.

Saints, Clowns on ATP Australia bill

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.

Is there a place for Extra Place?

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do you know what a beeline is?

Make one to Caringbah Bizzos Club in southern Sydney for this line-up:

Discretion sometimes the better part of valour

And in breaking news, the Stooges just cancelled their October 1 show in Sarajevo following Muslim fundamentalist violence at a gay festival.

Snooze and you loose

The first "Ed Kuepper Live" disc from the Prince Melon Bootleg Series has sold out and it won't be long before Volumes Two and Three go the same way. Procure for 10 bucks plus modest postage from the Prince Melon myspace. Read a review of Volume One here with Two and Three live at the same place in a day or two.

One to diarise

The HHMNs haven't finished their album yet but the Passengers have, after some stalled progress. This will be an excellent night of acoustic pop by the supports and punkish powerpop by the headliners.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wall becomes Dyke?

Phil Spector's re-trial for murder begins on October 29, LA time.

Now tell me doesn't look like he should be in this list of 25 Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Deathpunk comes in many forms

Turbonegra are an all-girl Turbonegro tribute band from San Francisco. Here's some footage from their current German tour.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Genius in iTunes explained

In case you were wondering how the new Genius feature scans your current iTunes song and suggests a playlist from your library, the folks at geekculture have it all worked out. Click to enlarge:

Buggered if I'm letting Ringo Starr near my iMac.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Skanks, bad html and crappy bands

Does social marketing dominate your life? Do you crave a time when life was simpler, less hectic and less-connected (although still full of crappy bands)? Watch.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Penny in Japan and Europe

If you're in the area, you might want to drop by Melbourne's sultry feedback queen Penny Ikinger's shows in Tokyo next month.

Penny's playing solo and accompanied by a local outfit on the final show.

If that's inconvenient, there's always France and Spain where she'll be gigging with Vinz and Dimi from Dimi Dero Inc under the moniker Penelope Inc. More on that leg of the trip and full details of the Tokyo shows here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lost Beatle profiled on Aussie TV

This Friday Australian broadcaster SBS is screening a doco on Stu Sutcliffe, the original Beatles bassist who left the fledgling band to become a visual artist and died of a brain aneuyrism in 1962.

You might know the story from the Backbeat movie of about a decade ago. No doubt it'll dish a bit of dirt on the Fab Four's Hamburg days. Details here.

Johnny Glutton and why some can't believe it's not butter

This in just this morning from the UK Press Association:

Former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon is now advertising butter - in stark contrast to his punk rock days when he proclaimed: "I am an antichrist, I am an anarchist."

Decked out in an English gentleman-style tweed outfit, Lydon - whose used the stage name Johnny Rotten - features in adverts for Country Life butter which will hit screens in October.

As part of his first television advertising campaign, Lydon gallivants around various British locations as he tries to decide why he thinks Country Life butter is his favourite brand.

The advert concludes, "It's not about Great Britain, it's about great butter", and will first be screened during the ITV Pride of Britain Awards next month.

Despite the British tabloid press' vehement sensationalism, Rotten always came across as a patriot - despite not having lived in the UK for 30 years. Who cares what he's advertising - although this snap from the Daily Mail's report of the Pistols' warm-up on a US talkshow earlier this week shows John's been grazing in a good paddock.

Of course the paper has tagged him 'Johnny Glutton'.

Re-visiting the Visitors legacy

If you detect a degree of enthusiasm behind this plug for the CD re-issue of the 1978 recordings by Radio Birdman spin-off the Visitors you'd be correct and it's not because I had some minimal involvement behind the scenes.

The original Visitors existed for just a dozen shows in Sydney in 1978-79 but their songs (and a new line-up) live on. If you haven't heard their music, think the Doors meeting Birdman with a one-guitar-and-keys configuration giving extra space. The full review is here and pop over to Citadel if you want to score a copy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hall of Lame again

Hot off the wires an hour ago, AP reports:

Run-D.M.C. could "Walk This Way" into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The 1980s rap act, along with Metallica and the Stooges, are among the nine nominees for next year's hall of fame class, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced Monday.

The other nominees are guitarist Jeff Beck, singer Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, War, Bobby Womack, and disco and R&B group Chic.

Chic? Should we feign surprise? The R & R Hall of Fame is anything but.

Melbourne Sharpies

Here's an interesting bit of YouTubage Aussie youth culture detritus that Ken Shimamoto twigged me to. This is from a 1974 student film by Skyhooks bassist Greg Macainsh called "Melbourne Sharpies". It was shot at a Melbourne Cricket Ground concert by Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs and Lobby Loyde & The Coloured Balls, the latter their band-of-choice.

If you're too young to remember or from outside Australia, sharpies (or sharps) were territorial street gangs who ruled various pieces of suburban turf from the late '60s through to the late '80s. The Celibate Rifles' song "Paddo Sharps" recalls them well.

Part Clockwork Orange, part precursors to punk, the most prominent took no shit - and god help you if you were a youngster that wandered into the wrong milk bar or pinball parlour.

That's the Coloured Balls' "GOD" playing as the soundtrack, by the way. There's a website devoted to the Australian sharpies here if you're interested.

Thankfully, most of the sharpies grew up. Most became parking inspectors, lawyers or merchant bankers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Powetrane on college radio

Speaking of Powertrane (head back a few posts), they did a live-to-air at a Dearborn, Michigan, college radio station WHFR-FM last weekend and you can download it in MP3 format here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One for the Birdman fans

The venue will be Mojo Music, in Sydney. Bring your own refreshments (Frank drinks Coopers.) And yes, it's well worth seeing this one, recorded by the Pip-less line-up that toured Europe.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Two albums from 1977-78 will be the best thing you'll hear in 2008

Just posted a review at the Bar of the new Sonic's Rendezvous Band 1977 live double CD "The Second Chance". In part it says:

If you lived outside of earshot of the molten aural glow of their amps in the late-'70s, or simply hadn't stumbled across a copy of their double A-sided, monstrously great mindfuck of a single, "City Slang", (until the bootleggers got into the act and actually did us a favour), chances are you'd read more about than you'd heard of this well-credentialled quartet. Which just added to the mystery, even if the sound of illegal documents like the "Strikes Like Lightning" LP sucked a large furball.

It's on Easy Action and it's a vital, fiery 2CD set, a leftover from the box set. It follows on the heels of "Live, Masonic Temple", another live show from 1978 issued by Robert Matheu on his Rock-a-Rama label. Both of these - and almost anything else issued under the band's name, save a couple of shoddy bootlegs - is essential listening. Read full reviews here, follow the links therein to buy. You won't regret it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jimi Hendrix died 38 years ago today

Hard to believe it's been that long.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Storied history lesson from Detroit vets

I-94 Bar staffer Clark Paull spotted a nice Powertrane piece in the Detroit Metro Times tonight. MC5/Stooges chronicler Brett Callwood sat Scott Morgan and Robert Gillespie down and talked about their histories and that of their current band. Read it here.

Iggy and the City

Dunno who should be more insulted but the comments are priceless.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beasts box in pipeline

Thanks to reader Dermott Kelly who twigged me to an email from Australian label
Inertia announcing their entry to Wikipedia and mentioning a spin-off label, Provenance. Provenance intends "to reissue and export important, classic and rare Australian and New Zealand music...Provenance's first release is a limited edition boxset that reissues the first three Beasts of Bourbon albums".

One schooner of new coming right up, Dermott.