28 February 2010

Interview With Glenn

Last week I had this kid called Glenn ask if I'd do an interview for his school journalism project. I jumped at the opportunity. Glenn was a cool kid.

Glenn: Did you know that the dudes in Tupac Shakur's group (Outlawz) put his ashes in a joint and smoked him?
MoB: Yeah, I heard about that.

Would you toke on 2-Pac?
Nah, probably not. I didn't respect him enough.

Who would you smoke then?
That's a hard one. That reminds me of Bill Hicks' joke about rolling a cigarrette with Claudia Schiffer's pussy. Yeah, so probably Bill Hicks. He'd like that.

I don't know him.
How old are you, 16?

I'm 15
Oh, keep your eyes open and you'll come across him sooner or later.

So why do you do a blog?
Because I can't communcate with people. I hate standing around talking to people, pretending I care about thier idiot existence. Looking in their faces, smiling, they piss me off, like looking at you right now you little bastard.

Yeah, woah.

Are you okay?
No I'm not okay - this whole set up is wrong! Fuck this, fuck your project. Get the hell out of here! Leave me the fuck alone...

26 February 2010

Negative Guest List

The Negative Guest List is a Brisbane zine run by a misanthrope punk called Brendon Annesley. I think that’s him on the cover. Why not put yourself on the cover? In the pharmacy (buying extra large condoms) I took the opportunity to paint him up with a bit of gloss and blush. He looks more presentable in rouge.

All that’s nice, but Brendon can’t edit for shit. I think he knocks these out pretty quickly; this must be a few months old by now, who knows, fanzine writers rarely put dates on their work. Issue six is a subversive manifesto of punk rock self-loathing with two major highlights:

1. The page three girl is Fabulous Jarrod Diamonds who, incidentally, has been listening to Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby for breakfast. FJD calls Melbourne trio Woollen Kits ‘pointless...a carbon copy of Beat Happening.’ A few pages later there’s an interview with Woollen Kits who answer the dreaded ‘influences’ question with: ‘It all started with Beat Happening’! Jarrod, take a bow. If I was the editor of a shit-can photostat zine and got one band to slander another band, only to have that other band actually confirm-in the same issue-said fact, what an indie haterz scoop!

2. The best words here are from DX (drummer, writer, Stained Circles label honcho). It’s a random list of stuff ticking 'round inside his brain, from football to new social media. I actually read it twice - a surprisingly humble rant from a guy I find really inspiring.

25 February 2010

Rush To Relax

There's been a lot of type-talk going on in douche-land ( I should know, I live there), Re: Tom Hawking's review of the new Eddy Current Suppression Ring Album, Rush To Relax. Woah, long opening sentence. Lucky Norman Mailer's dead or else I'd be fugged...

I love a good debate about music, especially when a review gets people's backs up. Hawking's review does a good job. I agree with him for the most part, except his lamentation that ECSR don't push themselves to do something different/risky. This whole thing of the band 'limiting themselves' is garbage. ECSR play dumb rock n roll, it's not high Art. When you over intellectualise dumb things, they lose their original joy and just become collateral in the great art debate. If ECSR don't want to go in a dub-step direction, that's fine with me. If they do, I'd be keen to hear it.

What's wrong with bands that rest on their laurels and make the same record twice? How many versions of Ned Kelly did Sidney Nolan paint again?

Hawking also took a swipe at Brendan Huntley's 'self-consciously ingenuous lyrics' suggesting they are the album's weakest moments. Really? Huntley's lyrical sincerity and style are one of ECSR's more appealing factors. His simple couplets are fine with me Tom; he's not Keats you know. The list below are almost all the couplets Huntley utters on Rush To Relax. I'm not sure why they're there. I'm sticking up for him I suppose.

Feet/Leap/Cheap (?)
Flat/ Hat/Mat/Cat
Wall/ Fall

24 February 2010

Teenage Kicks

Lately I’ve been revisiting albums that I used to listen to in high school. Believe me - not a lot of that crap stands up. I listen with feelings of shame and disgust at my pimply virgin self of yore. It’d be really cool to say the dub-tapes in my Walkman back then were Black Flag or the Misfits, but they weren’t. Not even close.

I didn’t have a cool older brother. I came from the worst taste in music and have been clawing myself back to myself ever since. You gotta start somewhere, but man, I was such a fucking dork.

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard Nirvana.

My friend and I were walking to school with our socks down doing the share an earphone each technique. I hated them. I was afraid of them. Their music scared me. That sounds so dumb, but it’s true. I liked all those other pussy ‘grunge bands’ that were 'really deep, man'.

It took me a very long time to understand what good music was, mainly because I'd been held under the baptism water of FM radio since birth. The only way to find out about music was to buy it. I had no money for a $35 CD so my nerd crew and I would ride our BMX’s around, steal tapes and dub copies for each other.

It wasn’t all bad. There are a handful of albums that haven’t dated to these ears. Pick of the bunch is Nirvana’s Incesticide compilation from late ’92. After In Utero, it’s my favourite Nirvana release. My favourite songs were and remain the covers: Molly’s Lips, Been A Son and Turnaround. Back then I didn’t know they were covers and I’d certainly never heard of Devo.

I didn't know that punk was an attitude before I heard this either. It’s funny how much you don’t pick up on as a kid. I never connected Kurt’s cover montage with the title pun or even that the title was about such a taboo subject. In high school it didn't matter, this stuff was a portal to another world.

22 February 2010

Oh My God, Shut Up, Are You Serious?!

If you, dear reader, had said to me not too long ago that I would still be at school beyond the age of thirty, I’d have killed myself years and years ago.

All this has no bearing upon myself wishing to conduct a short blab about Flying Saucer Attack. Formed in Bristol in whenever it was and then that girl left (maybe) and then it was just the guy all by himself. That’s all I know and that’s all I particularly care to know unless I have to interview him/her for Woman’s Weekly or something.

I used to work at a place where I could watch BBC news all night. Y’know, the same news updated on the ¼ hour situation. You don’t have to watch the BBC long to realise it’s basically the same as your grandma dribbling all over the carpet. If nothing has crashed or blown up by 04.00 GMT, all someone in the third world has to do is turn on an air-conditioner and its ‘breaking news’.

Anyway one night I watched the BBC with this dude who was into some pretty kooky music. Boring story short, he’s been nudging me toward Flying Saucer Attack for about 13 years, and I’ve always resisted for some reason. I couldn’t be fugged researching where to start with these Limeys, so I picked up Mirror by chance, slapped some cash on the barrelhead and dropped the needle. I’ve only listened to the first side (about ten times), but I love what I hear, it’s kinda time-lined for me in that Chicago / Tortoise / 1998-2000’s era.

F.S.A sound like a fish curry made from scratch.

18 February 2010

Don't Spook The Horse

I'm listening to Ragged Glory by Neil Young & his band of Crazy Horses. I dug it up yesterday in Bruce Milnes' vinyl clearance rack at Missing Link. Real nice copy for 15 clams. I was gonna buy it on CD years ago and I'm so glad I didn't. It's got Love And Only Love on it, which, I may be mistaken, he played as an encore (along with All Along The Watchtower) at Myer Bowl in Nov 2003.

So many words have been written about Neil it feels stupid tapping these keys with uninformed gunk. I've been dipping into his work for ten years now - staring with Harvest and Live Rust then onto Hawks & Doves and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. I haven't even heard Zuma yet. The best so far? That's a real tough question so early in the day, but for overall consistency, I'd have to side with On The Beach.

Stupid Legs Kills Hunam

16 February 2010


Colin Newman - A-Z
Téléphone - Fait Divers (song)
Circle Jerks - Group Sex
Pharoahe Monch - Internal Affairs
Disco Inferno - D.I Go Pop

I want to strangle all the pricks that outbid me on Ebay. Last minute vinyl sharks must die. Heaps goin' on but I can't think of it cos it's all scattered on the floor.

13 February 2010

Coburg = Trash

I ventured to Coburg's Trash & Treasure market this morning hoping to dig up tons of rare books and records. A dead baby in a rubbish bin is the best thing I found. An abused copy of Byrne & Eno's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts came in a close second. The stall holder sold it to me for "one bucks". Yuck, get me out of here, etc...

09 February 2010

Procedures For Parenthood

Plundering a record collection isn't easy. There's no other way but to get in there and ruthlessly rip the thing apart. Expect to get your hands dirty. Know that the good stuff will hide among the brambles of the bad stuff and that the bad stuff will act as a buffer to distract and tire you.

The first few times you'll probably botch the whole operation and walk away disgusted for having even tried. Don't lose heart. A good record collection is much like a happy family; throw in an adopted child or a financial dispute and the stress will make itself readily known. Learn to exploit these weaknesses to your advantage. Know that a child from a broken home is always on the lookout for a loving surrogate.

Once you've extracted the wheat from the chaff, allow the displaced records time to adapt to their new surroundings. Introduce them into your own collection gently and in a non-threatening way. Ensure they're relaxed and comfortable but take care not to fuss or baby them. Playing your new records regularly -but not exclusively- will facilitate this process. It is worth noting that threatening or abusive behavior is counteractive and likely to do more harm than good. Remember, it has been a traumatic time for everyone involved. With a little patience and care your new family will grow to be a happy and prosperous one. Good luck!

-In loving memory of Bruce Milne's record collection.

08 February 2010

Give Me Back My Name

This past weekend I went to a house party and took a few cheap shots from people (idiots) who have a problem with me changing the name of this blog. As if they even read it on a regular basis! They were acting like they’d taken out subscriptions on it or something. So here it is: I’m the editor of this here portal so I make the editorial decisions and if that means changing the name from The Human Being Lawnmower to The Curious Sphincter to Plus Size Model to Move Over Bitches, then so be it.

Now for a trip down memory lane…

When I was eight I used to go over to my friends house, eat yoghurt and make extravagant Hot Wheels racing tracks off the top bunk. Matthew’s parents were real loose; they played strange music at a volume my parents would never tolerate. One record that always seemed to be blaring was Talking Heads’ Little Creatures. They would play it so loud I could hear it in the back yard. Compared to what my parents played it was weird and scary and exhilarating.

Whenever I hear David Byrnes’ ‘hey!’ start off And She Was I’m immediately taken back to that yellow house overlooking the park. I grew to love that album; I still pull it out occasionally and am surprised how fun and larger than life it is. Compared to their earlier stuff it’s a world away - they’d left the art gallery and found themselves in a travelling carnival. It’s perfect birthday party music for eight year olds.

There’s a quirky song on side one called Give Me Back My Name and since this post is about names and all, that’s what jumped into my head and that’s why I just wrote all this junk that you just read. Sucker.

07 February 2010

Soft Bomb: A Background Affair

I’m sitting in my underwear listening to Soft Bomb by the Chills. Comparing it to its brilliant predecessor Submarine Bells is a mistake, but I always do. Soft Bomb isn’t as good. It’s like the younger sibling with the black eye.

What’s so wrong with it? For a start it’s about five songs too long. It’s a little too glossy on the production, especially the drums (esp. the cymbals); the strong songs suffer from muddled and indulgent weaker ones. I suppose a lot of people think all of Martin Phillip’s work is indulgence, but that’s just not true.

Others made the same mistake
Men like Wilson, Barrett, Walker, Drake
On the journey they were forced to make.

- Song For Randy Newman etc.

The notion of being an artist weighs like a fog on Soft Bomb. By ’92 Phillips was cornered by corporate wolves: too much cocaine, yes men and the burden of ‘cracking’ the US market took their toll. When the crack came, it was in his head and I’m not sure he’s ever recovered his creative self. The principle culprit to the Chills commercial failure was timing– releasing their best work when no one was listening and offering nothing when people were. Well, the masses are asses.

With all that negative conjecture in mind, I still listen to this album a lot. In a weird way I like flawed albums more than so-called ‘masterpieces’. Phillips has a wonderful way with atmosphere and in my book (which is fucking massive) he’s one of the finest lyricists NZ has produced.

05 February 2010

Zoo Music Girl

Here's a rather crappy eye-phone pic of Kids of Zoo at Penny Black last night.

This afternoon I found myself half way between the Naked And the Dead, a latte and an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome test. Results: pending. Afterward I couldn't help popping into one of those interstellar newsstand bar places to verify my suspicion of waking naked in an incubator filled with Orb Spiders. Results: inconclusive.

02 February 2010

The UV Race. Malaria / MASH / Good Money ...

Of all the bands doing the rounds in Melbourne right now, the UV Race are my favourites. For my taste, they have a perfect blend of honesty, (in)ability and attitude; they’ve even got their own fan club, blog and age-of-Aquarius philosophy. Lesser bands are jealous as hell, and why not? 
 The UV race remind me a bit of Cleveland's trash-can band the Electric Eels, only they aren’t obnoxious or delinquent or even that fucked up. It’s a paternal history that really shines through on their two 45's. 
With all that in mind, it's cool to see a label like San Fran’s S.S records releasing their 2nd single. Great mosquito blow-job cover eh? Malaria has singer Marcus buzzing like a mosquito while Al buzzes back with guitar. That’s it – that’s all you need. An ode to the TV show MASH, titled MASH, is pick of the bunch here and a live favourite while Good Money is pretty much a lyrical companion piece to Eddy Currents’ Insufficient Funds
 If you haven't heard this, skip it and go straight to UV's s/t debut album. It's a forward step to an even more unique sound, especially on the two quieter tunes, Stare Into The Whole and Driving In Our Car. I get the feeling it'll become a underground classic in a few decades or so, which sounds like a ridiculous thing to suggest, but listen...

Gil Scott-Heron. I'm New Here

Poet, musician, author, down-trodden activist of Afro-American rights, Mr Gil Scott Heron releases his first album in 13 years, titled I'm New Here, next week. Below is pretty much the whole album for free preview. I haven't heard it all but I'm loving what I've got through so far. If you dig the man's classic stuff, this'll convince you he's still a viable artist.  I rue the day way back in 1997 that I passed up a chance to see the man in a small club in Camden town. Check it out while it's still up...

Sonny and the Sunsets. Strange Love / Death Cream 45

Pat at Sunshine and Grease switched me onto these guys and I can honestly say my life is better for it. When I first got it I put it on every morning before I went to work. It makes me feel good like pop music is supposed to. This debut 45 is completely brilliant and makes a strong challenge on Thee Oh Sees’ Tidal Wave for 45 of 2009. What can I say about this? Strange Love is heartfelt pop with doo-wop harmony, lovely old piano and handclaps. J. Richman is an influence here, but Sonny’s (twisted) lyrical honesty and vocal also remind me of the TV Personalities’ Dan Treacy. Y’know, the fuck-up outsider who never gets the girl…The flip Death Cream reminds me of the film Bigger Than Life where the teacher becomes addicted to cortisone cream and quickly loses his mind. Sonny’s version has a guy spreading a tube of 'death cream' on unsuspecting people around town like a diseased anti-hero. This 45 came with a cool illustrated fanzine-style booklet detailing Sonny’s struggles with vice and life - the man has seen some darkness.

01 February 2010

Two Of The Best

That's Chris Knox belting out a tune with his band The Nothing at yesterday's Auckland Laneway fest. Considering he had a serious stroke just over six months ago, it's a pretty amazing sight to behold. For a man widely acknowledged to have a shocking sense of dress he actually looks the coolest I've ever seen him. 

'Everybody knows
that you got new clothes 
but aren't they the same old trash 
you used to wear'

-Toy Love, Swimming Pool

I've been listening to Chris's early band Toy Love today and I can't say enough good things about them. Check out the site for Stroke, a double album of Chris's songs sung, played and loved by some of the best in the indie world. 

Daniel Johnston at AK laneway. It makes me really happy to see these pictures (which I stole from the NZ Herald).

Lane-way AK

I've spent a cigarette-less day listening to 95bfm's live simulcast of the Auckland Laneway festival. It's kinda refreshing listening  to a festival instead of actually having to be there: the dickheads, scenesters, annoying groups of girls, shirtless dickheads, dumb security, dickheads. It's a drag just thinking about it. NZ'ers get rather excited about festivals. 

Highlight was Daniel Johnston being 'interviewed' by Matt Crawley. I used to go to high school with Matt. DJ sounded like an excited little boy. The reformed 3D's doing Hey Seuss and Beautiful Things was cool, singer David Mitchell is a cracked artist from the deep south. They're playing live as I write this and  sound like they never went away. The low-light was those terrible faux brit-indie wannabes Cut Off Your Hands; I'd gladly suffer three bad NZ dub bands over those poseurs. So there. 


Stevie Nicks' pageboy

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