Monday, 17 September 2018

More On Movies VI

RECENTLY RE/WATCHED


Over The Edge (1979?)
Before Harmonie Korine and Larry Clark put real kids in movies there was Over The Edge, one of the cultiest of the cult films. Bad town planning leads to a bunch of bored kids running amok in a new housing estate with dire consequences. This is the third or fourth time I've seen the movie and it keeps gaining in my estimation, in fact it's quite an astonishing film. The teen actors are fucking amazing. There's some choice tunes on the soundtrack from Cheap Trick, The Cars, The Ramones etc. Why isn't this in those (hilarious) top 100 canonical film lists?* One of the greatest films of the 70s.

Notting Hill (1999)
OMFG! Two of the worst hours of my life. I would rather have listened to Celine Dion's entire discography than watch this tripe. Emma hated it way more than I did.

Scream For Help (1984)
Totally weird movie. It's a bit like a Disney film gone demented. A seventeen year old girl tells us she suspects her stepdad is out out to kill her mother then the movie unfurls from there. Scream For Help is an absurdly melodramatic horror film that's strangely compelling, at least for its duration anyway. Michael Winner of Death Wish fame directs.

Savage Streets (1984)
Pretty nuts rape revenge flick. Made by an ex-hardcore porn director. If you need to see Linda Blair have a bitch fight in a crowded gym shower, kill a man with a crossbow, lie in a bath with her ample bosom on display and set someone on fire then Savage Streets is for you. Mucho John Farnham on the soundtrack doing what sounds like power metal(?).

The Second Gun (1973)
Golden Globe nominated documentary on the RFK assassination. Why isn't the world obsessed with this case? The evidence against Sirhan Sirhan just does not add up.

The Stone Killer (1973)
This has everything I like about 70s movies: Bad cops, cesspool NYC, seedy LA, cars chasing motorbikes, hippies in the desert, trumpet playing bisexual drug dealers, Vietnam vets, people opening fridges upon dying, the mafia, dangerous stunts and a brilliant Roy Budd soundtrack. So why was it so unsatisfying? It's like they chucked in all the cool 70s ingredients plus the kitchen sink but forgot to add a good story or anything to mesh it together. Worth watching at least once though if you're a 70s crime film buff or Charles Bronson fan.

Coffy (1973)  
Now this what the 70s is all about. The revenge, the clothes, the Pam Grier, the cars, the interior design, the cinematography, the script, the acting and the pacing. It's all perfect. There's a reason Coffy is a bone fide cult classic. Still number one blaxploitation flick, for me, with Superfly coming in second closely followed by Truck Turner.


Foxy Brown (1974)
This really could have been a sequel to Coffy. It's another 70s revenge film starring Pammy and directed by Jack Hill, see above. Foxy Brown is slightly more grim though as Pam goes through some major abuse before gaining vengeance this time. Quality Blaxploitation. Just a quality movie actually. Not for the faint of heart.

The Ambulance (1990)
I'd never seen Larry Cohen's 1990 quirky thriller The Ambulance. Remember when films didn't have to blow your mind or change your life? All you needed was a good little story and some good cinematic shit to entertain you for 90 minutes? A mysterious vintage ambulance is picking up sick people off the streets of NYC who then disappear. Look out for Victor Newman from Young and The Restless as very creepy doctor. Good fun stuff.

Drive-In Massacre (197?)
I came across this on the youtubes one night when I couldn't sleep. I don't even think I'd ever heard of it. It starts out great with the gory murders of a frisky couple in their car at the Drive-In but then oh boy.....

Maniac Cop (1988)
Never bothered to watch this before but after hearing director Bill Lustig on the fabulous Supporting Characters Podcast I thought I'd give it a go. Maniac Cop's written by the aforementioned Larry Cohen. Very entertaining movie about an indestructible ex-cop serial killer in NYC toward the end of the cesspool era. Top score from Jay Chattaway too.

The Mack (1973)
Still on my blaxploitation kick. Here's another top 10 Space Debris entry, probably number four or five. The version with the Willie Hutch score of course, which is one of the great funky soundtracks. The Mack is dark yet sometimes goofy as it dips in and out of different tones on a whim. Goldie (Max Julien) gets out of jail and sets his sights on becoming the number one player 'the king of the pimps' but there are many people in his way including his conscientious 'right on' brother, his old boss plus a couple of knucklehead cops. A lot of it feels real because it must be improvised. Worth watching for the fashions alone...oh and not forgetting Richard Prior and the cars and...

The Naked Kiss (1964)
Haven't watched Samuel Fuller films since the 90s at the Melbourne Cinematheque. This crime drama takes on taboo matters that films rarely do today. The script, pacing, story, tone, acting and the kids bad singing are all on point. The Naked Kiss is terrific stuff from the original director to lift the lid on small town America to reveal its seedy underbelly.

Messiah Of Evil (1973)
OK my obsession with this film continues. I know I've mentioned it before but I've just watched it for the umpteenth time. I reckon David Lynch was probably influenced by this along with Silent Night, Bloody Night, Samuel Fuller movies etc. Messiah of Evil just has the best atmosphere ever created in a film. You feel like you are in the windy, creepy seaside town of Point Dune. Just about every scene is iconic, inexplicable or totally memorable. The small town Americana of supermarkets, movie theatres, gas stations etc. is caught with an eye to put you at great unease. The sound design and Philllan Bishop's electronic score all add to the eerie one of a kind tone captured in this movie. More mystifying than ever.

Hickey & Boggs (1972)
I thought I'd seen everything the 70s had to offer on film but hell no. Robert Culp, that's Bill Maxwell from Greatest American Hero to you and me, directs his only feature film. Hickey & Boggs is one of the best private eye films ever. Bill Cosby is tremendous as Al Hickey, he should have been nominated for an academy award. Culp does a bloody good job acting too as his Hickey's partner Frank Boggs. This movie is meticulously directed. Robert Culp had major talent in that department and could have gone on to an illustrious career but that was not to be. The Kino Lorber blu-ray made me feel like I was in the cinema in 1972 on opening night, it's beautiful. Walter Hill wrote the script, need I say more. This film is an absolute revelation.


Get Carter (1971)
Still perfection. Brutal British revenge film of the highest order. Michael Caine is at an extraordinary peak of acting prowess as the charming yet menacing Jack Carter. Get Carter is a snapshot of Britain in the early 70s. It's cold, grim, wet and nasty. I love the way the pub, architecture and urban squalor are captured on film. The Roy Budd score is fantastic too.

Blue Collar (1978)
Writer and director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Rolling Thunder, Hardcore) may well be a miserable bastard but he is one woke motherfucker. Blue Collar is just as meaningful and pertinent to today as it was forty years ago. A central theme is how the establishment divides and conquers the people to retain stasis and power. Three hard working car factory dudes decide to stage a robbery to stick it to the man but they get way in over their heads. This is quite possibly a perfect film. There's no fat in the script, acting or direction. Special mention must go to Richard Prior for an outstanding performance as Zeke. Hey, Harvey Kietel as Jerry and Yaphet Kotto as Smokey are terrific too. The blue spray paint lock in scene has got to be one of the grimmest ever caught on celluloid. An incredible directorial debut from Schrader.

Breaking In (1989)
You might think 'Oh really a Burt Reynolds movie from the late 80s?' but this is a little gem of a film. Breaking In is a tight, low key crime film of considerable charm. John Sayles wrote the script. Bill Forsyth directed. Burt plays an ageing career criminal who is interrupted during a house break in by another bloke who is also breaking in, the story unfolds from there. Highly recommended. RIP Burt.

The Fog (1980)
Funny little ghost story slasher movie about a sinister fog that encroaches on the seaside town of Antonio Bay. John Carpenter creates a fabulously gloomy atmosphere with sound and vision. It gets particularly exciting when he amps up the the pounding doomcore score. Special mention must go to Adrienne Barbeau's hair. Is this the only film to star Jamie Lee Curtis alongside her mommy Janet Leigh?

Sole Survivor (1983)
Wow what a load of crap. I've gotta stop listening to the VHS nerds. Fell asleep in the last 20 minutes....enough said.

Straight Time (1978)
70s crime movie gold right here folks. This is a masterpiece. Can you go wrong with Dustin Hoffman, Harry Dean Stanton and Gary Busey as your trio of crappy robbers? Well yeah you probably could but all performances are understated and spot on. It also stars Theresa Russell and a young Kathy Bates. Perhaps the most outstanding performance though is from M Emmet Walsh who plays Max's (Dustin Hoffman) cunt of a payroll officer Earl. Look out for spectacular scene of Max handcuffed and dacked in the middle of a freeway!

The Long Good Friday (1980)
The second best British gangster film behind that one mentioned above. The Long Good Friday's got the lot: Mental criminals with a nostalgia for a lost Britain, a gay bathhouse murder, Helen Mirren, car bombings, the IRA, pub bombings, the Mafia, Helen Mirren's hair, racism, sexual tension, brutal violence, Bob Hoskins taking a shower and betrayal. It's all set to the backdrop of London's late 70s decrepit docks. The soundtrack from Prog Rock/Library Music legend Francis Monkman** is ace too.



*
**

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Found In The Supermarket



Heard this in the supermarket the other day which was quite odd but it made my day. You don't hear bands like this on oldies radio here in Australia but somebody cool must have been programming the muzak airwaves at Woolies the other day. Pretty sure this did not trouble the Australian charts whatsoever.



Then it was followed by this which I'm pretty sure was not a top 40 hit in Australia either (only made it to number 155 for God's sake). Jesus it only just scraped into the UK top 40 peaking at number 39! Strange (great) days at the supermarket.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

More On Movies V


The Hitcher (1986)
Rutger Hauer is John Ryder a Psychopathic hitchhiker on the desert highway who gets picked up by the young Jim Halsey played by C Thomas Howell. The shit then hit the fan for the rest of this horrific thriller. Chuck in guns, knives, blown up gas stations, severed finger fries, a dog eating a dead cop and a bad arse Jennifer Jason Leigh as Nash and 'voila!' you've got yourself an 80s horror road movie classic. All round impeccable performances and film making.

Cockfighter (1974)
I'm looking forward to Kier-La Janisse's monograph on Cockfighter because as many times as I've seen it I'm not sure I fully understand it. On the one hand it's about the brutal bloodsport of cockfighting and on the other it's a love story apparently(?). Of course Monte Hellman directs legends Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Laurie Bird, Patricia Pearcy and Richard B Shull in this strange film. He captures with masterful skill the social intricacies of an underground subculture, where the backwoods hustlers and deadbeats roam in nowheresville USA.

The Conjuring (2013)
Mr Wan has been quite prolific hasn't he? This was the first of the Conjuring/Annabelle franchise and the second time I've watched it. I wish it had more of the Annabelle doll, as the scene with the ghostbuster's little daughter and Annabelle was my favourite bit. It tips its hat to several horror classics like The Exorcist and Amityville Horror. The Mrs loved it saying 'Very scary but the very limits of good scary'.

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012)
Another day another rock doc. You either love Big Star or you've never heard of 'em. So you're either gonna hate these whinny depressives, discover a great new band for yourself or remember why you love Big Star in the first place. Kim Salmon, Rowland S Howard, This Mortal Coil and The Replacements all alerted me to Big Star in the 80s but I guess it was Teenage Fanclub's fans who were djs on Melbourne's 3PBS and 3RRR who eventually made me buy their albums in the early 90s.

Annabelle (2014)
I've watched these all out of order but it doesn't really matter I don't think. Scary Annabelle doll causes destruction once again, this time on a young couple and their new baby plus their priest and a friendly neighbour. Throw in some maniacal satanic cult members on a killing spree, paranormal events, demons and you've got yourself an el cheapo horror mega-blockbuster. Don't go looking for impeccable historical detail in the set design, hairdos, speech, timeline etc. but I guess you're not watching this for the period detail are you? It's not exactly The Crown.

The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Fascinating Errol Morris true crime documentary from the 80s. A cop gets shot and drifter Randall Harris is convicted of the crime. I don't know the full history of true crime documentaries, so forgive my ignorance, but is this the first film to help overturn a sentence? If this wasn't real you might think some kooky director has assembled this bizarre cast of characters (detectives, witnesses, lawyers etc.) for a mockumentary. Director Errol Morris was previously a detective and he goes through a bunch of different scenarios of how this crime may have been committed. Interesting fact: Due to use of re-enactments The Thin Blue Line wasn't eligible for Oscar nominations in the best documentary category. 

Calibre (2018)
Gripping rural horror from go to woah. This is set in the highlands of Scotland and it goes from dark to darker to darkest. It's astonishing film-making. The tension created is visceral, I felt the torment of protagonist Vaughn. Suffice to say I had to watch two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm immediately afterward. Best movie of 2018?

Rituals (1977)
Fantastic Canadian rural horror. A bunch of grumpy middle aged Doctors go bush for a bit of boys only camping in the isolated Canadian wilderness. These five doctors are dropped off by plane into an eerie unforgiving terrain. Their boots go missing and the mystery and terror spin out of control from there. Top horrifying story skilfully captured on film with actoring of the high quality.


Skip Tracer (1977)
More gold from Canada in the 70s here. I'm pretty sure this a a masterpiece of filmmaking from the great pacing, the tone, the terrific acting that encapsulates the sociopathic and desperate nature of the characters, the cinematography that captures the gritty urban atmosphere and the soundtrack. A gifted repo man takes on an underachieving newcomer as his helper. Nastiness leads to violence which leads to indignity that leads to remorse...er...it's also kinda funny.

The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Way too long. The Conjuring 2 should have been cut down by at least 40 minutes. Some very cool funny supernatural scares. It's worth a look if you've enjoyed the other movies in The Conjuring/Annabelle series.

Insidious (2010)
More James Wan. The first in The Insidious series of which there are four now. Some prefer this franchise to the The Conjuring/Annabelle/The Nun continuum.  Insidious is a horror movie pastiche mega mix. Too much going on in this one, I reckon. Some excellent jump scares though plus great performances from Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey and particularly Lin Shaye.

Amanda Knox (2016)
Pretty poor documentary on this sensational case. We've been spoilt with great true crime documentaries recently ie. The Staircase, Making A Murderer, Evil Genius etc. but this film doesn't come close to those . Despite having interviews with a lot of the main players in this case they don't go deep into the details of the trials. They hardly examine what they think may have even occurred. Don't bother with this, it's bullshit.

Body Melt (1993)
I thought I'd never seen this but hang on I have. Legendary Australian writer/thinker/artist/musician Philip Brophy directs his one and only feature film. Dare I say early David Cronenberg, Larry Cohen or pre-Hollywood Peter Jackson? Body Melt is a satire that indulges the highbrow with the low. Body Melt's got plenty of gross exploding body parts to make you feel queasy. Hey, it's got Gerard Kennedy, Lisa McCune plus Harold from Neighbours. This one's for the horror fanatics looking for the deep cuts/future cult movies.

Nerve (2016)
Fantastic premise. A teenage girl gets caught up in glitz and glamour of a social media dare game. I was gripped to me seat as Nerve goes along perfectly right up until the end really. This is a story that's new and deserves your attention despite what you may think of the ending.

Ritual (2017)
Four British dudes go hiking in the wilderness of northern Sweden. What could go wrong? Well quite a lot plus monster.

Nighthawks (1981)
Surprisingly Nighthawks is a really enjoyable OTT 80s terrorist thriller starring Sylvester Stallone and Rutger Hauer. NYC captured once again in that great cesspool era. Muggings, disguises, knife wielding hoods, department store bombings, Subway chases, machine guns, ariel tram catastrophes, helicopters, busses driving into rivers all culminate in a movie that scoots along at a frantic pace with no chance of you ever getting bored. Great soundtrack too.

First Blood (1982)
Ted Koetcheff sets an incredible tone right from the start of this film. A mentally fucked up Vietnam veteran loses the plot and wreaks havoc on a small town and it's police force. First Blood is more heavy handed than I remember and just really fucking depressing. You've all seen it, you don't need me to tell you whether it's a masterpiece or not.

Rollercoaster (1977)
Epic opening scene of a fun park that culminates in a spectacular rollercoaster crash. Fabulous performances from George Segal and the incomparable Timothy Bottoms. The brilliant arty glitter rockers Sparks make a live appearance doing Big Boy. Bottoms is a terrorist who is holding a bunch of Theme Parks at ransom. Slow but suspenseful movie that features beautiful cinematography of amusement parks. Perhaps with half an hour of fat removed it may have become a classic instead of a curio.

The Real Manchurian Candidate (????)
For those of you who are obsessed with the girl in the polka dot dress and the RFK assassination this one is for you and you only. If you're into this case you know it's way cooler than his big brother's. There's been a bunch of stuff lately on the RFK conspiracy theory ie. The RFK Tapes podcast, episode 4 of the not so great docuseries Bobby Kennedy For President on Netflix and a couple of months ago film maker/true crime historian Shane O'Sullivan uploaded this jewel of a video to youtube. It's basically Dr. Daniel Brown and Sirhan Sirhan's lawyer Laurie Dusek talking for over an hour on what they have recently gleaned from talking to RFK's convicted killer. Very inter-esting!

Birdemic: Shock And Terror (2010)
This event has been waiting in the wings (sorry actually meant that pun) for years and I finally did it. I sat through the entire Birdemic. My back being out and being off me lil head on painkillers helped. Hey, it was rather entertaining, especially once the Birds arrived. This is a 'WTF? Movie' or a 'Batshit Crazy film' or whatever other term you may use for this type of film. I guess it's a porno quality disaster/horror movie that was made in earnest but is unintentionally funny, so the theory goes. The only way I'm going to able to portray what this show is all about is to show one of the more exciting scenes from the film (er... don't be fooled by the trailer though which makes Birdemic look 100 times better than it actually is).



Saturday, 11 August 2018

Miles



He still Miles ahead. I remember seeing this on the telly 20 years ago. For those who love their Miles Davis from Bitches Brew through to his mid 70s retirement period.



Now I'd never seen until the other night and fuck me it's pure gold. There are some truly off the wall transcendental moments during this concert. He is still the future. I never tire of electronic Miles. If you have those Miles LPs from the 70s Get Up With it, Live/Evil, Big Fun, Agharta, Dark Magus etc. you'll recognise certain passages here. Diggin on those fashions too.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Jungle Mix



Pearsall from sonicrampage never lets you down with his jungle mixes. This one's called Rolled In The Jungle (Summer Ready Jungle Mix) All Killer No Filler. Just in time for a beautiful & unseasonably warm day in the North-West of Victoria down here in the Antipodes. Loving it...ooh that segue from DJ Krust's Poison to Origin Unknown's Mission Control, nice. Many a mid 90s legend here ie. Goldie, Foul Play, Babylon Timewarp, Tom & Jerry, Dillinja, Run Tings, Roni Size etc. Pearsall presents an Amen-free zone full of rugged soul, ambient drum'n'bass and tough breaks. He's mixing it up with some big tunes and a sprinkling of lesser known trax, all choice cuts. As the brief states Rolled In Sunshine is pretty much all rollers in that exquisite transitional zone before jungle splintered and either got too smooth, too harsh or too boring.

Big ups to Pearsall!



A sweet spot for me is when the jungle gets dubby and Poison certainly does that with a choice bit of sampled(?) reggae.  


The unmistakable sounds of Origin Unknown. Mission Control is pretty minimal and dubby too. A sumptuous trip into a long dark tunnel, know what I mean? 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Nice Strong Arm - Reality Bath

BLOG POST REDUX


Now here's a record that is truly lost. Nobody talks about it, it's forgotten. It's in my record collection and I've barely considered it as anything. I was reading a blog (sorry forgotten the name) the other day and there it was with a little spiel and a dead download link from like 7 years ago. In Melbourne in the early 90s I picked up a stack of records on the Homestead label for next to nothing in a bargain bin . Live SkullUT, Great Plains etc. I'd heard or heard of those bands but I'd not heard of these guys, I bought it anyway (probably due to the cover). It sat alongside my Live Skull record as a good noisy LP but it couldn't really compete with you know who, could it? So it rarely got played. Well that's what I thought.


So I pulled out Nice Strong Arm's Reality Bath after over 20 years of ignoring it and guess what? It's a little lost gem from the 80s underground. They obviously loved their Joy Division and MX80 Sound. They didn't sound unlike their peers Flipper, Bailter Space etc. Nice Strong Arm also predate/influenced Pavement, Trumans Water, Unwound and in particular Polvo. Looking through what info I could find on the interweb, one common criticism aimed at the group is that their songs were directionless. They're songs are definitely not directionless. Like Throwing Muses circa mid/late 80s Nice Strong Arm's guitars just took a different route to the rest. The guitars turn down strange paths exploring uncharted nooks and crannies, then new harmolodic vistas open up seemingly out of nowhere. This is the most compelling aspect of the band. You get the feeling the critics and public alike (including myself) missed the point. Sure the name Nice Strong Arm has got to be one of the most pox names ever for a group, so that can't have helped their chances. They moved from Austin to New York after this album and recorded 2 more records before breaking up in 1990 which is all news to me. Reality Bath never got issued on cd and isn't even a cult record as far as I can tell.

*I wrote this piece back in Jan 2014 but only just discovered the full LP on youtube the other day. So this time you can actually have a listen to what I'm talking about. It still hasn't been reissued since the 80s but there are a couple of copies going cheap on discogs. Snap one up before the Reality Bath cult begins.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Giallo & The Movie Posts


Six or seven years ago I explored Giallo movies beyond what I'd discovered in the 90s ie. Dario Argento videos and stuff that would screen on SBS TV. I undertook an intense investigation of the genre and watched like 85 or 90 Giallo films in less than that amount of days. I filled a 100 page A4 notebook with all my reviews and thoughts and whatever. It was a private little hobby I had while I was going through a severe depression. My relationship with the genre was a total love/hate thing. I came up with some kind of equation along the lines that somewhere between 31 & 37 percent of these films were worthwhile, actually it may have been less than that. More like 21%. I ended up overdosing on this whole film style. I went off Argento quite a bit in favour of Umberto Lenzi, Sergio Martino & Mario Bava.


At that time my blog was a purely a music one. I didn't know what I was going to do with my Giallo knowledge and that notebook. I thought about sprucing it all up and perhaps sending it out to publishers or figure out how to self publish such a thing but it was rather polemical and who wants that? So I forgot about it for a year or two. One day, I then thought, fuck it I'll just put up the writings on a separate blog under a different pseudonym. I did a quick search of the net to find there was already some fabulous material on Giallo film out there. Two outstanding pieces of work in particular. First was Samm Deighan's terrific Giallo Blog Series to be found on her Satanic Pandemonium website. The second was a paper, written by Michael Mackenzie from The University Of Glasgow, titled Gender, Genre & Sociocultural Change In The Giallo: 1970-1975. PHD Thesis. There was other good fun stuff out there too particularly The Giallo FilesSo the whole idea got permanently shelved. I think now I wouldn't be as harsh as I once was on the entire genre but I dunno I'd have to rewatch what I saw as the bottom 60-80% just to make sure. I think I've only watched a couple of Giallo films since that initial deep examination. I might do a minimal abridged post on my Giallo favourites as part of the More On Movies series in the future.


Anyway I have since started posting little reviews of films I've been watching. I find it a really enjoyable challenge trying to condense the essence of a film into a couple of sentences. You don't need in-depth analysis from me because there's plenty of deep dissections of movies out there particularly in the podcast world ie. The Daughters Of Darkness, The Projection Booth, Pure Cinema, Unspooled, The Cannon, F This Movie, The Hysteria Continues et al. So go here where it all started I Love/Hate Movie. Then continued here with More On Movies. Next was Movie Part III. Followed by Movies Again. And More On Movies Part III  . Then continued here More On Movies Part IV. Most of these movies are American with a few Australian, Canadian and British films sprinkled throughout. Not one Giallo in sight, I might add. I intend to continue the More On Movies series for now until...

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Primitive Calculators - On Drugs

The Primitive Calculators have released a new LP. It's the follow up to their stunningly abrasive 2013 comeback long player The World Is Fucked. The new record On Drugs is available here.


I read a while back that this album was going to be like a pop record influenced by The JBs, or did I dream that? There was also talk of a psychedelic space folk album from the Calculators too but did I get that wrong too? I do recall like 17 years ago Stuart saying he loved The Beach Boys and ABBA but this stuff never really seems to seep into their one chord noise boogie sonic assaults. Although maybe it does because to me they've always had pop sensibilities in that snarly neanderthal 60s garage sense albeit speeded up to the max with a fucking relentless futurist drum machine and awash in a brilliant nihilist noise guitar/synth chug. There is a ballad, however, on the new LP but the sentiment is so malicious it could only come from The Primitive Calculators who are self proclaimed outer suburban Melbourne scum. Funny bastards to boot!

*I'll write a proper review later. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Australian Post-Punk Update


I used to write about music quite a lot here on me blog and Australian Post-Punk was a favourite topic of mine. The real stuff, I mean, that happened in the late 70s and early 80s. None of this faux shit from the last 20 years. Anyway there has been some activity over at Jonny Zchivago's legendary Blog Die or DIY? with some posts of stuff that's never been reissued since those olden days ie. Philip Brophy's Tsk Tsk Tsk. I've never been able to find their records in physical form or in a file format. So go here to find the Venitian Rendezvous EP, Nice Noise EP, Caprice EP and Spaces LP.





While you are over at Jonny's site don't forget to check out some other choice Antipodean post-punk. He has posted a bunch of Sydney stuff including a stack of seminal compilations on the Terse Tapes label, a coupla things from the M Squared label, some primo Slugfuckers, a Negative Reaction tape and miscellaneous Systematics releases.

There's also some other seminal Melbourne experimental post-punk but those records have been reissued in the last few years so you've probably got those Essendon Airport, Asphixiation and Primitive Calculators LPs/cds.

Speaking of The Primitive Calculators they have released a new LP On Drugs and it's here.


Friday, 29 June 2018

More On Movies Part IV

RECENTLY RE-WATCHED


White Lightning (1973)
Classic 70s down south crime film. Possibly Burt Reynolds best film, he is unbelievably charismatic here. Running Moonshine, dodgy sheriffs, skinny dipping, the ATF, lunch cutting and car chases. What more do you need? Well how about characters called Gator, Dude, Pa, Skeeter and Big Bear. Cool symphonic country funk soundtrack too.  

Tightrope (1984)
Clint Eastwood as, shock horror, a not one dimensional character. Wes Block is torn between being a good dad/cop and living a life of seedy debauchery. Serial killer thriller set in New Orleans where the hunter becomes the hunted. Really cool decadent vibe. Tightrope's not that highly rated for some reason but it's exceptionally put together. It's actually written and directed by mysterious figure Richard Tuggle who only directed two films. 

Grease 2 (1982) 
This story is actually coherent and pretty good. They flip the dodgy sexual politics of the first film on its head and let's face it the songs are way better in this one. Michelle Pfeiffer becomes an icon for girls all over the planet.  

Grease (1978)
Mainly bad and incoherent movie. Worth watching however for the brilliant hand jive/tv telecast scene. When I was little I always thought "Why is Rizzo still in high school at age 40?" Still do. 

Hustle (1975)
This 70s neo-noir was a hit at the time but seems to be forgotten now. Cathy Deneuve and Burt Reynolds star in this unusual but very 'New Hollywood' flick ie. Euro vibes in an American setting, nihilism and a downbeat ending. Why this isn't a huge cult movie, I don't understand.  

Home For The Holidays (1972)
A made for telly proto-slasher horror. Stars Sally Field, Jessica Walter, Julie Harris, Jill Haworth etc. Stormy weather, spooky mansion, suspected poisoning, bathtub drowning and a killer in a yellow raincoat with a pitchfork. 70s tv movie of the week classic....er if you're into that kind of thing of course. 

Detroit Rock City (1999)
Not a bad little teenage rights of passage movie about four boys going to a Kiss concert in the late 70s. It's for kids.


NEVER SEEN UNTIL 2018

Killing Of America (1981)
Sensational documentary on murder and violence in America beginning with the 1963 assassination of JFK in Texas through to the shooting of John Lennon in New York at the end of 1980. It covers old fashioned regular murder, riots, spree killings, domestic terrorists and serial killers. This doc is not for the faint of heart as it contains explicit real life violence.

Vice Squad (1982)
Quite a brutal sleazy 80s crime thriller. Cops, pimps, hookers & murderers. Shot at night time in LA's seedy streets. Look out for Wings Hauser's OTT performance as Ramrod, a psychotic pimp. Vice Squad could have been great if the direction had been more visceral but there's something staid about the production values.

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016)
This modern horror started out really original and compelling, then two thirds of the way in it just started to fizzle out which was disappointing.

Death Weekend aka The House By The Lake (1976)
A fucking terrifying Canuxploitation flick. Four mental yobbos ruin an attempted romantic country getaway for Harry. To begin with Harry turns out to be a predatory cunt as he has lured the beautiful Diane out to his country estate under false pretenses and all hell breaks loose from there. This home invasion ends up being a female revenge movie of the highest order. Not for snowflakes.

Night Of The Juggler (1980)
This is an intensely chaotic fly by the seat of your pants crime thriller. One man's crusade to reclaim his kidnapped daughter from a maniac in the grim New York cesspool of 1980. This is no easy task as cops, strip club bouncers and crazy NYC gangs hinder his campaign. Night of the Juggler is rough, in your face and gripping filmmaking.

Aileen: Life & Death Of A Serial Killer (2003) 
Fascinating portrait of America's most notorious female serial killer. Monster starring Charlize Theron was based on the life of Aileen Wuornos. I thought I wouldn't be able to sit through this documentary due to the subject matter and the film maker namely the absurd twit Nick Broomfield. However I ended up feeling sorry for Aileen and thought Broomfield approached his subject with unusual sensitivity. Worth watching.

Annabelle Creation (2017)
From the people that brought us Saw and The Conjuring. Good fun scary film with creepy dolls, dead children, haunted houses and shit.

DIDN'T GET THROUGH

The Last Movie (1971)
I love Dennis Hopper directed films like Out Of The Blue, Colors and The Hot Spot. When I came across this on the interweb I was very excited but hey I must have been tired and irritable because I only got five minutes in before wanting to smash the telly screen in. So maybe next time I'll let you know what the next one hour and forty three minutes are like....maybe.

Used Cars (1980)
OMFG why do I listen to the VHS nerds. I watched about fifty minutes of this and then realised 'This is some of the worst shit I've ever seen!' Don't get me wrong I enjoy me some Kurt Russell - Escape From New York, The Thing, Overboard, Death Proof etc. Used Cars however is everything I fucking hate about movies ie. Hollywood, not funny comedy, daft story, cheesy premise etc. Hey it was directed by the dude who did Forrest Gump so what did I expect? Serves me right eh?


Friday, 22 June 2018

On The UK Prog Tip


MIRAGE - CAMEL (1974)
I'm no expert on UK prog, I know more about French, Italian, German, Australian and Swedish progressive rock. I've hardly checked out Pink Floyd post Saucerful Of Secrets since I was a teen. I know me King Crimson Larks' Tongues In Aspic/Red/Starless & Bible Black era due to my brother, some primo Van Der Graf Generator and Gong (I guess they're more like an international prog supergroup) but that's about it. I've been totally diggin' Mirage though, every song's a winner. Some choice keyboard workouts and impressive wayward guitar parts. Very enjoyable.


IN THE LAND OF GREY & PINK - CARAVAN (1971)
I guess this one's still pretty psych in parts but kinda jazzy with a great rhythmic sensibility, fey vocals and hints of pastoral folk. In The Land Of Grey & Pink is particularly delightful in that whimsical British sense. Hatfield & The North and Egg await.


ACQUIRING THE TASTE - GENTLE GIANT (1971)
This is an incredibly inventive album with intriguingly unlikely musical juxtapositions and haunting visions. One of Tony Visconti's finest production achievements. As the title suggests this is an acquired taste you'll either be seduced by this eerie madness or hate it with a passion....er...I'm in the former camp. I can imagine Scandinavian black metal bands diggin' on these ghostly medieval(?) vibes interspersed with heavy psych-prog guitar interludes, outlandish percussion and mysterious ye olde folk with jazzy undercurrents.



FRAGILE - YES (1971)
I can't believe how much I've been enjoying Yes. I was always led to believe that they were naff. I didn't realise how influential they were/are on the likes of Rush, 70s corporate radio rock, prog-metal and maybe even some indie rock. Exceptionally surprising pop hooks amongst the proggy and neo-classical jams. Love the psych-fuzz and Wah-wah on The Fish.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

90s Acardipane Again


Primitive GLOOM/DOOM-CORE at its finest. Gabber stripped down to an elemental level that's almost subtle but it's not though if you you know what I mean. Sometimes I think this is just the best sound ever created, why would you need anything else?



Marc Acardipane is so in the zone here. I reckon he could have stayed there for another half an hour at least. I guess this is like an acid counterpart to the first tune.



Noisy gabber shit. An unhinged trip!


Maximal noise overload. An incredible concussive racket that goes fucking mental but somehow doesn't become a mess. It is a perfect cacophony till the end. How the hell does he do that? Acardipane at the peak of his powers. Surely one of the finest musical (?) moments from the 90s.

These 4 tunes are all by Marc Acardipane and are taken from the compilation PHUTURE released on PCP in 1994. When his day of recognition is coming I don't know but it's absurd that it hasn't. He was one of THE two or three great sonic technicians of the 90s.


Rangers - Late Electrics


Lookin' forward to this. Hearing these three tunes tonight was like putting on my favourite coat for the first time this winter. A splendid feeling.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

More on Movies Part III


RECENTLY RE/WATCHED MOVIES

Blokes You Can Trust (2013)
Drove me up the wall I ain't no spider! A documentary on underground Australian rock legends The Cosmic Psychos. More of a cult of personality doc than an analysis of their music. Pretty entertaining.

Night Warriors aka Siege aka Self Defence (1983)
Very crafty siege thriller. A police strike causes Nova Scotians to take the law into their own hands. An armed right wing gang walks into a gay bar then the drama unfolds. Fabulous minimal electronic score too. Canuxploitation rules!

Annihilation (2018)
A sci-fi trip out or a complete load of shite? If I watched it off my head perhaps it would have been the former instead of the latter.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Havn't seen this for years. Got the Blu-Ray but can't bring myself to put it on.

Walking The Edge (1985)
A revenge movie with Nancy Quan, Robert Forster, Joe Spinell, a high body count, the mean streets of 80s LA etc. A Shambolic film, not without merits though. This one's for the cult film enthusiasts looking for deep cuts.

Sherman's March (1986)
A directionless yet fascinating sometimes bloody boring doc about a self absorbed American wanker who travels around America's south not making his intended documentary. He's led from town to town by his penis as he courts a bevvy of women. For a an uncharismatic man he does quite well for himself. It's amazing what over-confidence and a camera can do for you. Mental actresses, mormons, self sufficient counter-cultralists, doomsday preppers, libertarians, anti-nuclear protestors and even Burt Reynolds all feature in this meandering time capsule of a film.

The Witch (2015)
Fuck this is the most overrated and boring horror film. Horror podcasters/writers are starved of good content so a film like this ends up being highly rated to try and keep their so called subculture alive, hang on to advertisers etc. despite how underwhelming it is.

Cold In July (2014)
This thriller/urban western/revenge film's got Michael C Hall with a mullet, Don Johnson as a cowboy, a bit of ultra-violence & a brilliant soundtrack. Good times.

Sharky's Machine (1981)
Burt Reynolds directs and stars in this weird crime thriller/cop movie set in Atlanta. Drugs, hookers, politicians, murder and romance included. The cult builders are trying to put this strange film on the map, with good reason. Perhaps Reynolds missed his calling as he may well have become an incredible film director.

Man From Hong Kong (1975)
Aussie chop-socky flick that should have had at least half an hour left on the cutting room floor. It's alright though due to several set pieces that are masterful and stunningly visceral.

Vigilante (1983)
An urban vigilante masterpiece. This movie's got the lot - Seedy vibes, gunned down kids, violence against the disabled, car chases, prison shower violence, people thrown off buildings, car bombs & an excellent Jay Chattaway score. The early 80s New York cesspool captured perfectly on film.

Assault On Precinct 13 (1976)
Siege movie that's in the past, of its time and timeless all at the same time. Best theme tune right here folks.

Rubble Kings (2015)
Brief doco on the roots of the roots of hip-hop. What was happening in NYC during the 60s & 70s before the rise of Herc, Grandmaster, Bambata, bloc parties and Style Wars? Well...a whole lotta violent gang war shit. Interesting side note: they couldn't afford what they originally had as the soundtrack so only one tune survived. Highly recommended.

The Cruise (1998)
Documentary about Timothy Speed Levitch. This film is a portrait of an eccentric New York bus tour guide with a gift for prosaic speech. It all begins rather charmingly and funny. Towards the end you realise that perhaps his mental illness is taking its toll, not just on the subject but the audience as well. I felt like I just spent 25 minutes too long on this bus trip. This curio needs to be experienced at least once though.

The Hidden (1987)
Here's an underrated movie. A shoot 'em up sci-fi thriller starring Kyle Maclachlan as a pre Cooper/Dougie/Mulder FBI character. How I missed this at the time is something I don't understand. This is a quintessential 80s film. The Hidden would go good on a double bill with 1986's Night Of The Creeps. 

Bad Timing (1980)
Nicholas Roeg at the peak of his powers right here. He gets great performances out of some inconsistent actors Art Garfunkle, Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel. Grim psychodrama magnificently executed. Not a joke in sight.


BRUCE DERN IN FIVE 70S CLASSICS
The King Of Marvin Gardens
The Laughing Policeman
Family Plot
Smile
The Driver

THE BEST IN FILM PODCASTERS/CRITICS/COMMENTATORS
Heather Drain
Samm Deighan
Kat Ellinger
Daniel Bird
Stephen Thrower
Kier-La janisse
Adrian Martin
Mike White
Amanda Reyes
Justin Kerswell

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Mort Garson - Black Mass Lucifer


I was listening to this the other day through the computer which was transmitting to a stereo system via bluetooth. The bluetooth wasn't functioning so great with interference, static, clicking, distortion and kept cutting out. Before I got around to pairing the computer to the stereo again I kept listening. If I'd just walked into the room and heard these sonic textures I would have asked 'Is this the new Ekoplekz album?' so I just listened to the rest without fixing the bluetooth connection.

Ekoplekz might be a fan of this for all I know. It's got all that pre-industrial electronic stuff going on and I guess it's not that far removed from your industrial/pre-post-punk of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Residents etc. This is the sort of stuff (Egisto Macchi, Moggi, Bruce Haack, Gyl Trythall, M Zalla etc.) I was heavily into in the mid/late 00s via sharity blogs. Later, reissues started popping via The Omni Recording Corporation and a bunch of other record companies. Anyway amongst Garson's catalogue are a couple of other classics, specifically the pastoral loveliness of Mother Earth's Plantasia and the mischievous sinister sounds of The Unexplained: Musical Impressions of The Occult under the pseudonym Ataraxia.



*This has been reissued in the last month according to discogs.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Tropical Fuck Storm - You Let My Tyres Down



Sometimes it's hard to deny a great rock song innit? Best thing since this beauty below from 2005.



That Tropical Fuck Storm tune is new. Gareth Liddiard formed this new group last year with fellow Drones member Fiona Kitschin. Other members include Lauren Hammil (High Tension) on drums and Erica Dunn (Palm Springs) on guitar and other stuff. Their new debut LP A Laughing Death In Meatspace is more immediate, experimental and varied than The Drones. Oh and the chemistry! The drumming is the best I've heard since Per Byström (Ooga Boogas), there's great girl/boy vocals and the guitar interplay is astonishing at times. The song structures are impeccable while they may appear chaotic they never fall apart. It's a pretty fuckin' good record.


To top it all off it comes in the best album cover since.....I dunno... a time when LP covers were good and an integral part of of the whole musical artefact. #MakeAlbumArtGreatAgain.


Friday, 4 May 2018

Models - Cut Lunch



Confusingly this 1981 EP/mini LP Cut Lunch made both the singles charts and the albums charts.

Friday, 20 April 2018

RIP Brian Hooper



This might be Brian Hooper's most triumphant moment. One of the best rock bass-lines ever and he wrote it. I was trying to find that footage of him talking about coming up with the bass on this but I can't find it on youtube. It's probably from the Autoluminescent documentary anyway he instantly knew it was fucking great.



Brian Hooper also co-wrote this classic tune with Rowland or did Rowland just nick the bass-line from Where The Action Is by Hooper's band The Voyeurs and give Hooper a writing credit? I'm not sure if he played bass on the finished recording of this song (?). Mick Harvey recently tried to explain this convoluted story on Melbourne's 3PBSFM but he was a bit confusing about it all. Somebody out there has the correct story. Anyway whatever the story, Hooper created that incredible bass-line. That Voyeurs tune is not on the youtubes.



Hooper co-wrote and played on this demented Kim Salmon & The Surrealists gem. I must have seen Kim Salmon & The Surrealists 15 to 20 times in Melbourne during the early/mid 90s. They were a fucking powerhouse live group. Three memorable gigs stand out, one at the Punters Club in 92 or 93 and two consecutive nights at The Club in 93 or 94. All gigs packed to the absolute rafters and frighteningly overcrowded but you didn't care because these were essential events you had to be at. Rock'n'Roll electricity.



Another fucking classic co-written by Hooper with Kim Salmon & Tex Perkins this time. Rock & Roll brothers and sisters! He could play the bass doncha reckon? You had to be good in Australia because you had the legacy of Tracey Pew (The Birthday Party) and contemporaries like Ian Rilen (X) and Martyn P Casey (The Triffids, The Bad Seeds, Grinderman etc.).

There is footage on youtube of Brian Hooper just last Friday night playing this tune at The Prince Of Wales Hotel in the Melbourne seaside suburb of St Kilda with a reformed Beasts Of Bourbon. Hooper was brought on stage in a wheelchair by 5 or 6 nurses who had him plugged into an oxygen tank. At the end of the song lead singer Tex Perkins leans in and gives Hooper a hug. It's all too emotional, less than a week later cancer would take his life away.


He went solo out of necessity, he explained once fifteen years ago, because Rowland wasn't doing enough and Kim Salmon wasn't talking to him or something like that. I Get Up Again is a slice of primo noise rock in the tradition of his old bands The Surrealists & The Beasts.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Vigilante OST 1983 - Jay Chattaway


I don't get why the soundtrack reissue record companies haven't tracked this one down for a release. I reckon it's Chattaway's second best score behind his minor masterpiece Maniac from 1980. Vigilante  the film is a classic too, capturing the early 80s NYC cesspool with beautiful cinematography. Not to forget the dramatic action and nasty revenge violence.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Unengaged in 2018 Semi-Rant....





It's always hard to listen to any new music in the first few months of the new year because all I can listen to is the usual Christmas offering from Moon Wiring Club. Tantalising Mews/Cateared Chocolatiers was a double cd and an LP, almost 3 hours of music. Then I end up going back through their entire back catalogue as well as as their sterling batch of DJ mixes. That's a hell of a lot of music, all of it terrific.

It's not like there are a bunch of new records lining up to be heard though. All I know is Migos and Judas Priest have new LPs. Readers please feel free to recommend an album to me that you think I may have overlooked. I'm not really holding my breath for any upcoming releases as far as I can recall.

The only thing I can think of that would excite me is if eMMplekz ever get around to recording something new. I actually can't believe eMMplekz aren't part of the semi-popular consciousness like The Fall were in the 80s. They should be highly anticipated heroes on the festival circuit. If the fucking Sleaford Mods can crack the top 20 with their bollocks, fuck, eMMplekz should be hitting the top 10 with Baron Mordant's lyrics that capture the crap going on in all our heads in this over stimulated digital age. He's an astute observer of the current absurdity in which we all live our lives. Are they most underrated music project ever? I guess people are so fucking people. I once wrote a piece on eMMplekz and how they are a conduit of our internal thoughts and external expressions in this current maddening age not to mention the exposed malignant electronics Mordant's vocals are paired with but I lost my notepad (I should come back to this topic at a later date).



The only other thing I'm keeping an eye on is the electronic avant pop ladies ie. Holly Herndon, Katie Gately, Laurel Halo etc.

Strangely enough I just did a google search after writing the previous sentence to see if anything was happening out there in the world of music that might interest me and well, yes, Ekoplekz have a new release Impressionz. This is an archival collection containing 10 unreleased tracks recorded in 2014 during the sessions for the classic Reflekzionz LP. I can't find any indication of a forthcoming eMMplekz album though. In fact something on bandcamp hinted that their 2016 LP Rook To TN34 may indeed be their 'swansong'.


Thursday, 29 March 2018

Movies....again


REWATCHED IN 2018
Blood Beat  (1983)
As the Americans like to say this movie is 'batshit crazy'. Fucking strange Christmas slasher/rural horror with a sexual samurai ghost. Probably best watched under the influence of something.

There Will Be Blood (2007)
Pretty Amazing. Surprisingly compelling for such a long movie. Probably not enough jokes though. Does Daniel Day Lewis have to be slightly unhinged to be able to portray such an awful character?

Prime Cut (1972)
Mental Irish mob gangster flick. Drugs, prostitutes, meat packing and a whole lotta wrongness. Stars legends Sissy Spacek, Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman. Look out for crazy chase scene involving a homicidal maniac on a grain harvester, wow!

Race With The Devil (1975)
Mid 70s American classic of Satanic rural horror/action. Peter Fonda, Warren Oates & Loretta Swit star in this genre hybrid. Camping, car chases and a chilling ending. How could you go wrong?
   
Atlantic City (1980)
Neo-noir crime/romance. Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarrandon star. Directed by French bloke Louis Malle. Really good little story. One of the best movies of the 80s.

Jurassic Park (1993)
Bad script, horrible music and cheesy acting nearly destroy this movie but it's saved just by the horrifying nail-bitting action. Oh...It's got Dinosaurs.

Freebie & The Bean (1974)
Pioneering buddy cop action comedy movie set in the always scenic San Fransisco. James Caan and Alan Arkin are the two bantering dickhead cops while Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper play their girlfriends. Some classic 70s car chases, shoot outs and er...racist dialogue, hey it was 1974.

Lost In America (1985)
Albert Brooks comedy co-written with Monica Johnson. A yuppie (ha I got to use the word yuppie) married couple played by Brooks and Julie Hagerty quit the rat race to travel America in a motor home. Guess what? Things don't turn out so good. You would have to think that one Larry David was a big fan of Brooks.

NEVER SEEN
Texas Chainsaw Massacre II & III
Poltergeist II & III
Exorcist II & III 

PODCASTERS/CRITICS/COMMENTATORS I CAN'T STAND
(ie. Why does film criticism attract such turds and try hards?)
Mark Kermode
Nick Pinkerton
Violet ??? from film comment


NEVER SEEN UNTIL 2018
Death Wish 2 (1982)
Can't say much about this except that it makes the first one look like a masterpiece. I must have fallen asleep in it as I don't know what happened in the end. Apparently Death Wish III is  highly rated by the VHS nerds but I don't think I can go any further.

Paris Is Burning (1990)
Absolutely fascinating doco that chronicles the ultra underground drag and trans scene in mid/late 80s New York. This is an amazing time capsule that explores the intricate social detail of Drag balls as well as AIDS, poverty, sex-work, voguing, race and murder. Rupaul's Drag Race owes a huge debt to this scene, I guess it's all part of a drag scene continuum.

Into The Night (1985)
Like a companion piece to After Hours & Something Wild only not quite as good as those two. Directed by John Landis and starring Jeff Goldblum & Michelle Pfieffer. Oh so quirky like only 80s so called comedies can be. Worth watching though for David Bowie in menacing supporting role. Never saw this in the 80s.

Party Monster (1998)
Doco about a bunch of degenerate (not in a good way) fuckwit empty vessels with no talent called the 'party kids'. If this wasn't real you'd swear it was a mockumentary written by Bret Easton Ellis.

10 To Midnight (1983)
Stop the presses! I liked a Charles Bronson movie. To elevate a police procedural movie above the standard tv fare they have added more blood, boobs and bent cops. How entertainment. Excellent electronic score too. The sort of thing you'd wish would be on telly in the middle of the night when you can't sleep instead of reruns of Walker Texas Ranger although...

The Devil's Honey (1986)
Unforgettable opening sex scene involving a saxophone, followed by an unforgettable sex scene with lipstick then one on a motorbike. Fulci's unknown 1986 film surprised everyone last year when it got a blu-ray release. Funny how some people (podcasters) say 'I'm a big Fulci fan' yet many were not even aware of this film. Do you reckon 'a big Bob Dylan fan' isn't aware of every recording he did in 1986?

Friday, 16 March 2018

No Rest For The Wicked



1976. Here's an LP that is amazing. Power trio shit up there with Blue Cheer, ZZ Top, Rush and whoever. This group is sometimes so in the pocket I can't believe it. I'll analyse it later but for now just enjoy. Sometimes it even reminds me of Television, perhaps it's just the guitars they use I dunno. Rock on!

Mondo Rock is Best Rock



The melody of this (above) top 10 tune entered my mind at 3AM yesterday morning. I reckon I haven't heard it in over 25 years. It's a hell of a tune from an underrated band. They're not cool but they're consummate pop craftsmen who designed the right kind of ear candy for the early 80s Australian radio airwaves. Mondo Rock's double platinum 1981 LP Chemistry produced another 3 hits (below) all of which I loved as a kid.



Synth-y new wave blue eyed soul schtick, which is nice. Ariel Pink would get into this I reckon.






I guess this one's a bit Cars-y. This top 10 hit was a staple of the 80s airwaves. Old wave into new wave. For non-Australian readers singer/songwriter/producer Ross Wilson was in the legendary Aussie 70s act Daddy Cool.



It was a party night 
It was the end of school

This for me is Mondo Rock's all time classic though. I remember being in Melbourne and hearing it on 3XY. It's from 1984, right at the time girls got very interesting. It's full of the excitement of oncoming adolescence with a hint of menace. The lyrics are a bit dodgy though aren't they? Are they?

I've always wondered which beach this clip was filmed at.

Anyway Come Said The Boy only made it to number 2 on the charts. No 1 in my heart, right up there with other early/mid 80s radio classics Don't Change, Boys Of Summer, Ship Of Fools, Out Of Touch etc.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

1971: Heavy Psych/Prog Jams



Now this is what I'm talkin' 'bout. Heavy-psych/sludgey-acid-prog-blues man. This is pure early 70s gold. Get out yer bong or drop some acid, you decide.



Moog driven heavy space prog jam. If there's similar shit like this out in the world please let me know. Sometimes I think 1971 is the best year in music ever. That's probably not a very cool thing to say but I don't give a fuck. This tune blows my fucking mind man. This band is a band. Everyone's contributing good stuff. The rhythm section is cookin' while that keyboard goes mental. The singing and guitars are perfectly complimentary too.



Now this one gets pretty far out into almost drone territory in the middle. Then they pick up the momentum and it comes back into an amazing heavy psych-prog climax with a bass sound from outer space. Incredible shit. I don't think this even got a mention in Japrocksampler as far as I recall(?)

Monday, 19 February 2018

Dio & Metal & ....



There is something very business like about certain metal. The way they trade singers and guitarists like it's a fucking football draft. The bands don't necessarily feel organic or like a gang.

Somewhere on the internet the other day someone mentioned the lead singer of Whitesnake had been in Deep Purple. I always just thought they were an American poodle hair metal band. I did only know a couple of 80s Whitesnake music videos featuring scantily clad ladies. My metal knowledge is somewhat lacking. I guess I'm more into your 70s hard rock, proto-metal, heavy prog and space rock with huge blind spots when it comes to conventional heavy metal and NWOBHM. I've never been able to get into Iron Maiden or Judas Priest like I have with say the likes of Blue Oyster Cult, Truth & JaneyThin Lizzy, Motorhead, Scorpions or Venom (maybe one day but I'm not holding my breath). Where the hell do bands like Accept and WASP fit in? I guess I need to do some research. Actually I've watched all those Banger docos so I suppose I've just forgotten about the shit groups that I don't care about.

I like Deep Purple (LPs like In Rock, Machine Head, Live In Japan etc.). I only really started to recognise their charms when I got old. They do tend to get overlooked as metal pioneers in favour of your Led Zeppelins and Black Sabbaths, particularly these days. It's weird that I know fuck all about them except maybe they recorded once in a castle in Germany and it burt down or something or nothing (?). I guess I know more about the post-Deep Purple activities of Richie Blackmore because I quite liked Rainbow due to several live videos that used to get played on Rage in the late 80s when I was a teenager. Their 1976 LP Rising is a classic.



Then there was Rainbow's Ronnie James Dio who later joined Black Sabbath for a couple of albums in the early 80s. Not that I know much about him either. I was somehow aware that his first couple of solo records were rated by metal heads and then Henry Rollins once mentioned him in a stand up comedy routine in the early 90s.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is the stories of these people David Coverdale (singer of Deep Purple and Whitesnake), Richie Blackmore (guitarist of Deep Purple and Rainbow) and Ronnie James Dio (Vocalist extraordinaire of Rainbow, Black Sabbath & solo) are all relatively interesting. Why don't Mojo and the like cover this sort of stuff instead of going over and over the minutiae of Bob Dylan's motor bike spokes (Sure I haven't flicked through an issue for years but I assume....)

Maybe I have to start reading the metal equivalent to Mojo or maybe a history of metal. Any recommendations out there? I did read that Chuck Eddy book on 500 metal albums but that was hardly an overview of orthodox metal. More like one dude's trip into heavy music that pissed off many an orthodox metal head.



Scorpions, they were German. They also rocked.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

INXS Invented Hauntology by accident!


I was a kid into INXS and knew all their experimental B-sides but I'd never heard this one until today, I think. Perhaps it wasn't the Australian B-side to The One Thing or maybe I've just totally forgotten about it. Anyway I'm thinking Moon Wiring Club might dig this. INXS invented hauntology by accident in 1982.

Friday, 26 January 2018

RIP Mark E Smith

Go to my twitter for more tributes to the great man. I'm trying not to double up on the stuff I've already posted there. I also don't wanna use all those same words that have been used to describe Mark E Smith and The Fall over and over again throughout their existence. So here are just a handful of tunes and videos from the first ten years of The Fall's recorded output.


M.E.S.
1957 - 2018



Recorded in 1977 and released in 1978.



1979's Rowche Rumble is the 3rd Fall single and what a cracker.



B-side to Fiery Jack. The Fall's B-sides were often as good as the A-sides and usually didn't feature on the LPs.



Single number 6 which was also not included on their album of the time. This is why Fall compilations are such an integral part of their discography. Is Totally Wired The fall's finest moment? It's fucking exhilarating. Has a song title ever fitted a song's sound so literally? 



My Favourite Fall LP (well for today anyway, interchangeable with about seven others), released in 1980 on Rough Trade.



Another great stand alone single from November 1981. This is peak period Fall right here folks.



This was the B-side to Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul from 1981. You got bang for your buck with Fall 7"s back then. I guess these were more like double A-sides, doncha reckon?



The B-side to another non-LP single Look Know from 1982. Just to clear up any confusion it was later included as a bonus track on the expanded cd version of Hex Enduction Hour.


C.R.E.E.P from 1984. Another mighty era for The Fall. This is when Brix Smith became an indispensable member of the mid 80s Fall line-up. The shiny new Fall now had boy/girl vocals, hooks galore and rhythms for the dance-floor.



Cruisers Creek a 1985 single. V dodgy vhs transfer of the film clip. Remember when youtube was just a bunch of old shonky vhs tapes?



LA is quite possibly the coolest tune in rock history. It's all happening here: the band, the production, the inspiration, the synergy.....spellbinding! They were not only top of their game, they were top of THE game. Taken from 1985's musical triumph This Nation's Saving Grace. LA is also AA-side to Cruiser's Creek.



1987 single which was a cover of an old 70s tune, maybe a Northern Soul or Motown number. I remember hearing it on a soul radio show 10 years ago and freaked out because I always thought it was a Mark E Smith tune.



There were a bunch of versions of this ecstatic dance-floor anthem. Which one is this? I dunno. Hit The North should have been a global No. 1 with a bullet. 

*There is so much more to The Fall than just this motley selection of tracks. I could go on for days. I haven't even posted any live numbers or Peel Sessions. If you really get into The Fall it can be a captivating passion.