29 November 2010

17 October 2010

03 October 2010


23 September 2010

19 September 2010

09 August 2010

Guru: RIP

I was shocked to find out (by way the of the neighborhood graf below) that Guru of Gang Starr died from cancer in April. He was only 43. I first heard Gang Starr on student radio sometime in the mid-nineties. They had elements to them unlike any group I'd heard then or since: intelligent lyrics, flow, DJ Premier's beats and mix, etc. Their '91 LP Step In The Arena is one my favorite hip hop albums of the 'golden era'. Guru's voice is/was perfect. 

I'm strong / I'm like Hercules / you'll get hurt with these lines / close the curtains please

Silverbits tape

Thanks to everyone who came out to Sunshine & Grease for the Silverbits / Full On Idle tape launch last Saturday. I have a few left for sale ($5), or you can find them at Missing Link and Sunshine & Grease in Melbourne; Repressed Records (Sydney) and Vox Cyclops (Newcastle) by the end of the week. Dedicated blog coming soon.

31 July 2010

Scul Hazzards @ the Tote 31.07.10

See, not everyone went to the Super Wild Horses launch

29 July 2010

Silverbits Cassette Launch

Here's a flyer I made for Melbourne trio Silverbits' cassette launch. I'm putting it out on a tape label  called Full On Idle. More to come.  

22 July 2010

Sonic Youth. Auckland Town Hall, NZ. 26.09.98

From the Thousand Leaves tour. Not their best album but a decent show with a very rowdy encore. How nerdy is the detail on this list? While on tour in July '99, SY's rental van and equipment were stolen and they lost all those guitars.

21 July 2010

Menstruation Sisters

The first record I ever bought on ebay was The Menstruation Sisters' Holy Africa 45. It came out in 2005 on White Denim, an experimental / noise label from Pennsylvania. White Denim recently  put out the Mi Ami LP that I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to get anyone who'll listen into. 

The Menstruation Sisters are making a rare appearance this weekend in Melbourne so I just put Holy Africa on the platter and weirded out the whole house. The A-side has creepy Gremlin vocals with gradually rising cymbals and guitar squall. The B-side is better, with two shorter sketches of textural sound and a more hoarse Gremlin voice. Is the cover a symbol for the alien new world order? 

I dunno much about MS other than they're now a duo and feature, as always, Oren Ambarchi. Oren, 2002: "The Sisters come from a place where there is no language and no technique. One-string, Minnie Ripperton, a footprint, intuitive chants and two tree trunks." If that leaves you confused, check this illuminating live footage.

If you remain confused, this instructional video may be of help.  

17 July 2010

Home Blitz MIx Tape

I'm on a Home Blitz / Daniel DiMaggio bender this weekend. If you're interested in the man's influences, check his mix-tape, complete with song notes, here.  There's some unusual things bumping up against each other on this one, but it's very listen-able from the half I've heard so far.

15 July 2010

The New Folk Implosion. Corner Hotel, Melbourne. 18.06.03

Lou Barlow got real drunk on red wine for the encore...

14 July 2010

Golden Sounds Beyond Reproach

Move Over Bitches has been listening to music! The top three contestants (excluding the LOL/ROTFL/WTF/OMG new single from Beaches) are listed below.

Needed to kill myself this morning but put on Out Of Phase by Home Blitz instead. It's a musical opera of skateboard grind tunes for the dim-witted; meaning I am gobsmakingly in random fandom of its post-design design. You will be too if you just take the time. It's like Bruce Springsteen finally did it with the pre-cum-post-punk cognoscenti. 

The new Home Blitz 45, Perpetual Night, is the most spun and dried piece of plastic in my house and since a house is not a home, go here and see if you don't think the same. Single of the half-year. Where was I last year when I thought I could quit listening to rubbish music like this cos it'd all been done by someone like...

If I was a girl, and I wish I was more than you know, I'd be hard for Tyson Segall. Looks like he's dating a unicorn rug though. I was pretty x-cited to get a hold of this dude's third album, Melted (In The Red records). If you bit deep into last year's Lemons, me thinks you'll find Melted to be a vomit inducing wonderland of pop-psych spunk. Catchy songs, guitar overload, single key piano and hand claps on every corner. Is it the best thing he's done? Probably. Word to the Mama's and Papa's cos this kid's got the goods. 

That thing over there on the left is a cassette tape by a band from Ontario, Canada, called Holy Cobras. Its four songs explore the annals of corporate responsibility using technology developed in the production of unmanned drones. You'll appreciate this OOP tape being available as a guilt-free listen/ download at this site. Get into it dicks. 

13 July 2010

12 July 2010

UV verses US

Getting excited about others people's achievements/happiness is not in vogue but I can't help feeling heavy emotions for the  U.V Race and thier August/Sept tour of USofA. This is a big win for regional Victoria.

06 July 2010

Sonny And The Sunsets

I could write about how superlative this band / album / art concept is, but can't be arsed and figure youz wouldn't read it anyway. It's ridiculous that this, the Sunsets debut album, was only pressed in an edition of 500. Sure, the CD is probably still available, but argh, WTF! I missed out and you probably did too so here, take this link and go do good. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Post-posting update: A little label called Future Stress has just this moment put out a new Sunsets 45. It's called The Hypnotist and it comes with a comic written and illustrated by Sonny Smith himself. Go over there and buy one. I did.

>>>>>>>Post-post posting update: Tomorrow Is Alright has apparently been repressed and is available directly from Soft Abuse. The above album link has been put to death. Viva vinyl. 

27 June 2010

The Brian Jonestown Massacre Lament

I don’t have much interest in The Brian Jonestown Massacre but this afternoon, cold and miserable, I put on their 2004 album…And This Is Our Music and felt much better for it.

Like most people, I got pulled toward these guys by the hype of that split personality documentary, Dig! My favourite album of theirs is Thank God For Mental Illness. I don’t know why. I can’t even remember any of the songs. Maybe it’s not. I can’t really say. I just wanted to update this sad little blog with some sad little thoughts. Boo hoo. 

In 2005 or so I skipped class and went up to Gaslight Records to catch a reported in-store the band was going to play. It never happened. Anton Alfred Newcombe was MIA, last seen in St Kilda. Anton is the boss. He is a douche. He likes the Church. I don't mind the Church. Anyway, that was the day of the night they played an apparently god awful gig at The Hi Fi Bar. I'm glad I wasn’t there. Were You? 

13 June 2010

Fugazi Gush

So Fugazi are perhaps, maybe, probably, most likely the best band I have yet to discover in this world we share together. I could go on and on about my feelings toward them. For brevity, just know that for me, they embody everything that's desirable in a band. I pull them out of the stack occasionally and never fail to be in awe of their mastery, not just in the music they make (made?) but their philosophy/ideology. 

There's tons of unofficial Fugazi bootlegs out there. This weekend I found both the best quality recording and best performance yet. It's from the Irving Plaza, NYC 5/4/95 and you can get it here in parts One and Two. As always the band play songs from their entire discography, with the first part covering mostly material from Steady Diet Of Nothing to Red Medicine. There's lots of caustic and funny banter from Guy. 

When I first went to England I met a guy who had taped two Fugazi shows from '88 & '90 himself. These were the dark pre-download days so I jumped at the chance to dub them. I remember  my friends at the bottom of the world listening to them and freaking out. 

I finally got to see Fugazi in June '97. Twice. After the Auckland show I  drove 492 kilometers to see them in Wellington the next night. They are two of my favorite gigs ever and going to them was one of the better decisions I've made. 

Meeting your heroes is generally not advisable, but Fugazi were cool tourists. 

Found A Photograph...

Went To A Gig...

I dragged my old bones to a gig last night. It has been awhile. I'm slouched in my chair with a hangover to prove I did it. A good line-up of the new guard in a Coburg art gallery got me there. I like art gallery gigs and I like gold coin donation beer.

It was my second time seeing Absolute Boys and Gold Tango. Absolute Boys were the the band of the night for me; good songs and plenty of potential to improve. New War were okay, I've been meaning to check 'em out for awhile but I just didn't really feel them, if you know what I mean. Likewise with Gold Tango. I'm interested in anything the members do (Useless Children, etc), but I couldn't completely let myself enjoy them. Too many beers, probably.

Afterward we caught Chrome Dome at the Empress (of India). They were the best I've seen them. I may buy their debut album yet.

10 June 2010

A Confession

Do you ever stand in front of that misshapen pile of CD’s you own and wonder what the hell to put on? You know you should put on a record, but God, where to begin and who can be bothered choosing something, pulling out the sleeve, putting the thing on the platter, carefully placing the needle. Don’t get me wrong, I love the vinyl ritual, but sometimes you just want easy access to good sounds, right?

My CD collection isn’t massive. I’ve culled it down to the absolute essentials so everything in there is good to great. Compared to my vinyl collection, I treat my CD’s like an albino brother who ran away, became a drug addict and is now a shame on the family name.

What’s my point here? Well, I play about 10 of those albino CD’s on a regular basis: Dr. Dre, 2001; T.Rex, The Slider; Dead Moon, Echoes Of The Past come to mind. Aside from compilations like the Can’t Stop It! series, anything from the Soul Jazz label and the Anthology Of American Folk Music, my most listened CD is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco.

Now hang on. Keep reading, I can explain. It’s a masterpiece. Yeah I know every Pitchfork-touting nerd in town thinks that, but it’s true dudes. I’m up to my elbows in assignments at the moment and YHF is my best friend. We laugh, we cry, we drink!

I stumbled across Wilco at the 2003 Auckland Big Day Out. They played mid afternoon on one of the small stages to a ridiculously small audience. I didn’t know anything about them then but I was sold. Actually, I forgot about them until I saw Sam Jones’ I Am Trying To Break Your Heart documentary on the making (and breaking, and fighting, etc) of the album. I was sold all over again. 

The reason I'm garbling about Wilco is last month I had the opportunity to meet drummer Glen Kotche and guitarist Nels Cline at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. They’re two of the nicest guys going. I said to Glenn, ‘I dig your band’ and he was like, ‘thanks.’ I didn’t tell him that his percussion intro to the song I Am Trying To Break Your Heart is one of my favourite opening sequences ever. Nels and Glenn played as a duo at Bennett’s Lane later that night and were as far removed from Wilco as your imagination can stretch. 

It’s no secret that YHF is a document of a band at the height of its powers. If you’ve heard the demos floating around the Internet you can appreciate just how much Wilco crafted the songs and the mastery of Jim O’Rourke’s mix. The little things he incorporates totally make the record. He is absolute key here.

This is the only Wilco album I own. I’ve heard Summerteeth and A Ghost Is Born, but honestly, I’m happy for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to be entirely representative of the Wilco I know and love.

09 June 2010

Sweet Marianne

I'm making a compilation of music for my Dad. It's all the stuff we used to listen to when I was growing up, stuff he would play me. 90%  of it is utter crap. There's some Eddy Cochran and Buddy Holly in there, but apart from that it's of little use to anyone but him.

One thing I did revist, and probably the most interesting record in my parents entire record collection is Marianne Faithfull's  Broken English album. I know it's not exacly Sticky Fingers or Dark Side of The Moon like I desperately hoped for as a kid, but it's something.

Just what is Marianne Faithfull saying in The Eyes Of Lucy Jordan? Is it some kind of suburban housewife nightmare? Does the woman in the song kill herself at the end?

Hang on, I'll do some wiki-cheat research...
Faithfull said that the story she intended to put across in the song was that Lucy climbs to the roof top but gets taken away by "the man who reached and offered her his hand" in an ambulance ("long white car") to a mental hospital, and that the final lines ("At the age of thirty-seven she knew she'd found forever / As she rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair ...") are actually in her imagination at the hospital.
This song could have so easily been a folk tune (it was originally done by Dr Hook?). The opening line, 'The morning sun touch lighty on, the eyes of Lucy Jordan' always reminds me of the Fairport Convention. Faithfull's voice is amazing in the second verse, the part where her voice changes/breaks as she sings 'and the kid's are off to school', and 'rearrange the flowers'. I love that verse. Thank God for ciggarettes, eh?

I wonder how much input produer Mark Miller Mundy had on that post-punkish synth sound she got. It's so subversive the way it barely changes through the whole song yet you hardly notice. I like the way he brings up the second synth half-way through the first chorus and builds it thereafter.

07 June 2010

Giant Steps

My first ever jazz tape, Ellington/Hawkins & Eric Dolphy's Outward Bound. Dubbed from loan CD's at Auckland Library sometime in the mid 1990's. Unbeknown to me at the time, these two albums are a straightforward jazz style, nothing too crazy and a good place to begin. Something like Ornette or Albert Ayler would have flipped me out back then. I remember dancing at home with a girlfriend to Duke and it being so cool. I also recall alternating this tape in the car with my other new discovery: Minor Threat - Out Of Step.

29 May 2010

Thee Oh Sees & Wounded Lion

So the new Thee Oh Sees album is a good one huh? I'm still digesting their last LP, Dog Poison, which was basically a solo stoner project for singer John Dwyer under Thee Oh Sees name: it worked = I bought it.

Warm Slime (In The Red) is as different from Dog Poison as Dog Poison was from Help. What I mean is Thee Oh Sees have a style of sound their own and still manage to switch it up/down each record they make. Treat Warm Slime like an EP but not exactly an 'in-between album' deal because this band are super prolific and release consistently strong material without care for a typical discography. Great bands releasing albums whenever they damn-well please suits me.

I love how the title track is stretched to over 13 minutes (the entirety of side A) with six short, loud and catchy tunes on the flip. Warm Slime (the song) could have been cut down to four minutes, but why should it? I Was Denied and Everything Went Black are favorites and might be familiar if you saw any of the bands Melbourne shows last December. A solid bunch of songs here: they sound like one-take, live performances with very little post production. I love everything about this band.

Another band whose debut LP (again via In The Red records) I've been excited to hear is Wounded Lion, a five-piece from LA. Yes, this is the band I compared, sort of, to Vampire Weekend in an old post. I still stand by that claim, but yeah, the Clean, Cramps, Modern Lovers is probably a better indication. But fuck, I hate comparisons, what band at the moment with a jangle guitar and a keyboard isn't being compared to the Clean / J. Richman?

First heard these guys through a 45, Carol Cloud b/w Pony People way back in 2008. Both tunes are on the album, both re-recorded, which you can kinda understand, though I cringe when bands re-record early singles for a debut and lose the original feel of what made the song great. Both had a crunchier guitar and chunkier bass and drum sound; that manic ending to Pony People is nowhere to be found on the album. That said, both songs are actually decent versions that work with the record's overall feel.

Wounded Lion are a weird looking band - very un-photogenic. Pop hooks, arcane lyrics, and a  sense of fun spill out of this weirdness in a big way. Any band that makes its own film-clip using Power Point that turns out like this has my vote. For an mp3 of album highlight Creatures In The Cave click here.

28 May 2010

Scott Walker and all that

A friend of mine is going through this goo-goo Scott Walker phase; he of 60’s hit parade group the Walker Brothers and - far more interestingly - as the author of work under a banner of solo albums titled Scott 1, 2, 3 and 4. 


 I haven’t caught up to Mr. Walker yet; musically he seems to be about 20 years ahead of everyone. A 2006 documentary, 30th Century Man, fills in all the gaps of his fascinating musical trajectory, from feted 60’s heart-throb to self-imposed obscurity. Three things I got out of this documentary: Walker is a visionary with an incredible ear for sound; he’s a super complex dude with major punk attitude; and I need to delve into his work ASAP.

The reason I mention Scott Walker was cos I was thinking about the re-issue label 4 Men With Beards today. These guys are responsible for re -issuing Scott’s solo albums (Scott 1-4). I like to think the label is actually run by four burly bearded bears draped in flannel. There are a handful of labels dedicated to re-issuing deleted gems in a caring and dedicated way (Soundway, Aztec, etc) and 4MWB do a great job of putting out important  albums in LP format. Check out their catalogue on the Forced Exposure site and get your credit card out. 

26 May 2010

Russell & Ron = Sparks

Do you know Russell and Ron, the Mael brothers? Do you know Sparks? I feel as if I’m the only person who can appreciate the brilliance of Sparks. Hell, I’m the only person I’ve met who even knows who they are.

I get the feeling most music lovers - people who appreciate sound as an art form, who sit down, put on headphones and actually concentrate on music - won’t get Sparks. I can hear them now: ‘They sound gay. They are a pantomime/fairytale/joke.’

It’s so strange to me how Sparks are never mentioned as influences by bands. If I had an ounce of musical talent, Sparks would be my primary influence. That said, the only musician I’ve ever read or even heard mention Sparks is Morrissey. Okay, so most of you will stop reading here. Fair enough.

Awhile back there was this excellent CD series called Under the Influence. It was basically a compilation of particular artist's influences, chosen by them, annotated by them, etc. I play Ian Brown’s one every other week (reggae, northern soul, hip-hop). I didn’t bother with Geldof’s (good, but what you’d expect). Moz’z one is this jumble of eclectic stuff, from the 50’s through to the Dolls. He throws in Arts & Crafts Spectacular and writes of Sparks as kindred spirits: of wanting to be "with creatures of my own species" and essentially suck their cocks. So blame Sparks for the Smiths.

Not long after I got the Kimono My House album and fell for the Mael brothers myself. I mean, even if the music sucked, I’d still have a large amount of respect for their iconoclastic artwork (album covers) and image (dazzlingly absurdist).

So, yeah, that was me walking round the city this afternoon totally absorbed in 1974’s Propaganda album. Sparks rule.

16 May 2010

This Must Be The Place

If you want to talk about a song that matters and is right for every occasion (birth, suicide, shopping, speeding, fucking) then that song is This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) by the Talking Heads. I don't know any of the words. I think it's about falling in love in a big city at night with lions and tigers all around. I like how it's about the other three as much as David: the reggae guitar thing with the upbeat keys. Kids love this sort of music, it always grounds (not grinds) you into feeling good. Go put it on

26 April 2010

Johnny & Malcolm

"Malcolm McLaren...the bourgeoisie anarchist. That just about sums him up."
Johnny Rotten, 1978. 

"What I liked about Rotten was the character he played. As a guy, he was a total waste of time, a complete fraud." 
Malcolm McLaren, 1984.

"The man is a pathological liar."
Johnny Rotten, on Malcolm McLaren, 1984.

"People always talk about me as a plunderer, a pirate, a plagiarist, but if they'd have said that to Picasso when he tried to imitate African art and he didn't know weather it came from Nigeria, Kenya or Timbuctoo, he would have said he didn't give a fuck. And why should he?"
Malcolm McLaren, 1984.

"I went to see Malcolm do his 'Buffalo Gals' live. It was a joke. So Bad. Ludicrous. If ever I had to queue up to leave a venue..."
Johnny Rotten, 1983.  

12 April 2010

West Coast. South Island. Aotearoa


31 March 2010

Lisa + Mitchell + Z.O.N.D = ROTFL, etc

The three of you may be surprised to know I don't just sit around beating off and thinking about music all day. When not maintaining those two necessities I like to daydream, read books, bake casseroles and knock down cultural barriers. 

So anyway there's been a bit of a slanging match going on at Mess & Noise re: thee Australian Music Prize of 2010. Type the words Lisa and Mitchell into your favourite Internet search engine and you'll find half the country's 'music critics' debating how this little petal won such an accolade. The big names are all in there, even Greil Marcus! Having attempted to decipher Greil's hieroglyphically challenged dribble it's safe to say literacy isn't a prerequisite to the debate. 

Music awards are dumb/pointless/silly/dull/ no matter who wins. I'm surprised these 'critics' are so eager to take off their professional boxing gloves and fight bare-fisted in the public arena. It's an amusing circle jerk. 

One band that'll never win the AMP is Zond. Not just because they were rubbish at Bar Open last Thursday but also because the AMP likes melody and Zond don't do melody. Zond spew out noise and sculpt it into a dick to fuck the AMP in the arse. What was painfully evident last week is they aren't always able to control that noise.  Coffin Run, the 10 minute closer to their split 12" with Hi God People is an excellent tune to write self righteous bloggage to and makes me hope they haven't lost whatever it was they had to make a song like this again. 

25 March 2010

Homo Sex U Wall

Anarchy Wall / Easey St. 3066


Stevie Nicks' pageboy

Dead animals, alive animals, idiotic things written on walls by anonymous losers, naked things, acid, cheese burgers and music. --------