Showing posts with label Melbourne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melbourne. Show all posts

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.

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, 16 March 2018

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.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Rowland S Howard Lane

It's real. Rowland S Howard got a Laneway in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria named after him. I no longer reside in Melbourne so thanks to Darcy B for the picture.

I died first. Where my bloody laneway?!!!

Rowland was of course in a little band The Birthday Party with another bloke called Nick Cave. Now when's Tracey Pew getting his laneway, I wonder? Howard played guitar, occasionally sang and wrote some of the songs on the below classics.

The Birthday Party at their best. Here they were still a little bit arty and very funky. They were traversing the depths of depravity though. When I think of this album I think of Tracey Pew's bass, which is just plain filthy, pure sleaze. Then there are snippets of lyrics like 'Fats Domino on the radio.' Sung by a pained Nick Cave as is 'Ice cream and jelly and a punch in the belly.' Then we've got the clang of Rowland's mental guitar that is actually meant to sound like that. Prayers On Fire is an unholy racket and absurd fun for all the family.

This is The Birthday Party at their most raucous and psychotically over the top. Junkyard is ferociously chaotic from go to woe. The noise reaches fever pitch on tunes like Dead Joe, Blast Off and Big Jesus Trash Can. This cacophony is some of the most uncompromising rock ever produced. Sex and death roll around in this putrid blues. The Birthday Party may have inspired a legion of z grade imitators but no one could match their intense sonic assault.

*My mini reviews taken from here.
**More on Rowland here and here and here and The Birthday Party here.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

More On Sharpies & Bogans

I've seen footage of Sharpies so many times in my life, it never occurred to me it might actually be of interest to anyone outside of Melbourne or the state of Victoria. The national broadcaster the ABC has trodden these images out ad nauseam throughout my life so now it's uniqueness is totally lost on me. The music part of it remains of interest but the sharpies kinda attached themselves to those bands. I'm sure those bands wanted an audience and I guess beggars can't be choosers but the bands probably didn't want the ugly controversy & media campaigns that came with it. The Coloured Balls, Australia's finest rock band of the time broke up because of the trouble surrounding the band, not any kind of musical differences or anything. This of course left a huge opening in the pre-punk era for someone to come in and fill that spot. AC/DC were that band and hey they didn't just fill that spot, they filled every nook and cranny throughout the world with their minimal driving guitar rock.

*Simon Reynolds points out similarities to sharpie dancing and the shoulder dance performed here by Mud here

At Coloured Balls shows towards the end of their existence there was just too much violence between Sharpie gangs and a new element that had entered the fray Skinhead Boot Boys. Previous to that the Sharpies had been a cool subculture to play to according to Loyde. The media got themselves an angle and the band were accused of inciting the violence, even participating in it themselves. A writ was even issued to one newspaper for their preposterous lies. I think we can all guess which gutter press paper that was er...there was only one.  So Lobby got fed up, as the shows became a pleasureless experience for the band, and walked away.

I guess the natural progression from the Sharpie was the Bogan. This was more of a loose generic term for a subculture like indie or something like that and it wasn't a gang thing. The hairdo turned to your more traditional mullet ie. shortish on the top and sides (longer than a Sharpie) with much much more business at the back. AC/DC, Cold Chisel, The Tatts and The Angels were the bands that were followed by this lot.

I guess ex-Sharpies who had the gang mentality deeply ingrained in their souls would have later joined some of those skinhead gangs or biker gangs once they were old enough. Gang culture usually leads to some kind of life of crime. A fine example of this would be that Australia's most loved and successful criminal Mark 'Chopper' Read who claimed to have been a Sharpie and is perhaps glimpsed in the above short film. Other international subcultures would have attracted some of the other ex-Sharpies like punk, anarcho-punk, hardcore etc. Then I suppose the rest of the ex-Sharpies would have just grown up, got jobs and started families. But on occasion after a bit of booze on a Saturday Night some sharpie dancing would have ensued, like that scene in the film Mallboy (2001), which I can't seem to find on youtube. The ephemerality of it all (Sharpie culture) is a bit of a mystery though. As far as I know there haven't been any younger generations taking up the lifestyle as a revival. That could be ripe for the picking now! There have been comedy sketches on Sharpies on television's D-Generation, Fast Forward and the like.

Sharpie culture was very white, as white as you could get so it definitely fits parallels with Gabber, Skinheads etc. Although I have read that other ethnicities apart from those from the British Isles were also included in some Sharpie gangs. It was predominantly white though. This could be a reason why it hasn't been revived as Australia became way more multicultural from the 80s onward. Take a very popular underground band from the 80s like The Hard Ons. They were a punk/thrash/pop band that had no members with their roots in Anglo-Saxon culture. The original three piece had backgrounds from Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia and Korea, I think. This was the face of 80s youth culture.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Dolphin Tune - Aquarius

I'd heard this back in the day but didn't realise it was called Dolphin Tune. Is it really? Is this where the term Dolphin Jungle comes from? Is that even a term or do I just think it is? Or did it already exist so he was just taking the piss out of himself. I was a sucker for this stuff back then, the good tunes anyway, still am i suppose. This is a bewdy, I reckon. Perfect for my current headspace. It just seemed an unlikely hybrid that juxtaposition of ambient/new age and jungle beatz/choppage. Did someone say ambient jungle? The flip is fucking wicked too probably even better, especially if you get a couple of versions going at once like 40 seconds apart. When I first heard jungle I guess some time in 92 on RRR or PBS in Melbourne on a show called Roots, Ragga & Dub where they started having like monthly jungle specials, which I used to tape but those tapes are long gone, dammit! Anyway that's what I reckon they were doing playing the same track out of sync with at least two records possibly even more or other tunes entirely. It was like music being beamed into my crappy East Brunswick bedroom from a planet inhabited some super hyper spazzoid aliens. Don't let the fact that this is a Photek alias put you off. This isn't as methodical or detached as some his other material.

Forever grateful to the Professor of 'The Hardcore Continuum' Simon Reynolds who adds another contribution to my blog in the comments box:

"probably does come from that tune, but also Bukem was doing things like "Atlantis" and the whole sound of Good Looking / Looking Good is just aqueous isn't it?

there was 93 track by Nebula II on Reinforced called "Eye Memory' that actually has dolphin noises on it! The title is based on that idea that if a dolphin looks you in the eye, it'll never forget you."

I remember Atlantis but not sure I'm familiar with Eye Memory. Funds back in the day went mainly on gettin wasted so it was radio, tapes or clubs where you heard the music. Import 12"s were bloody expensive as were styluses. Loved those Nebula II trax on those Reinforced comps though.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia Day Melbourne Special

Total Control are a current Melbourne supergroup. You Know people from 'The Melbourne Bambino Music Mafia' This one is so much good, it was in my best choonz of 2014. Rock's not fully dead yet!

This tune was from Ooga Boogas excellent LP from 2013 Ooga Boogas. Guitarist Mikey Young is in the above Total Control rock group as well as the Eddy Current Suppression Ring rock band. Leon Stackpole singer, guitarist and keyboardist is an enigmatic man walking the earth and bringin back his casually odd tales for you to enjoy with an incredible backing band of course.

Now this is a Melbourne (Is there a Geelong connection? I don't know. Danno why don't you let us know?) smash from 1987. I think the members of God were all teens at the time of this recording. They did an LP too but nothing can compare to the teenage kicks of My Pal. I cannot believe how fucking good this song is to this day! That intro, that riff, that singing man, those words, this song. Similar themes to the previous Sunnyboys tune I posted but this friend doesn't even like him. Members went on to be in bands Hoss, Powder Monkeys, Tendrils, Philistines, Bored and more. My Pal would always be the best thing they would ever be involved with despite how talented they were/are or aren't. Two of the members of God have now passed away both, I think, of heroin overdoses in the early 2000s. The Melbourne rock scene loved their heroin, hello Birthday Party. RIP Tim Hemensley & Sean Greenway. 

The title tune from Dave Graney's awesome solo cd, Knock Yourself Out, from 2009 is so great. So Dave tells us how fucking great his songs are and how great he is in true boxing/hip-hop narcissistic boasting sylee and it's infectious as hell. Then there's that great bit where he sings in French, Belgian or Dutch I don't bloody know but i can't get enough of that bit. Knock Yourself Out makes you wanna get out all the great tunes of his that he mentions during the song like There He Goes With His Eye Out, Night Of The Wolverine, I Got Dimensions etc. The video kind of fades out though when there's still like 2 minutes of the track left which is a shame. You gotta see the film clip though coz it's so Melbourne hipster it's hilarious. Then there's Mr Graney the one and only charismatic star who, as the rap kids say now, 'is in his own lane'. What's this look he's got goin? Some kind of double leather or hang on is it triple because of the hat? Wait are his shoes leather too?, if so that'd be quadruple leather. That would be Avant-garde couture almost would it not? Jesus I was just getting used to double denim as a concept. It's a bit Melle Mel meets Lou Reed 70s heroin chic in a Belgian sailor's bar. The full version of this tune is below because it's such a great song. You should also check out the entire album as it's a peak in his incredible career. Possibly his finest.

Phew that's it for Australia Day now. Jesus there were some odd selections there, huh? Strange. Well what did you expect? Did I post any Church? I've been listening to them all day anyway........ so....oh well next time.

Oh...... here's the full version of the tune Knock Yourself Out. Dunno 'bout the video.

Australia Day Part 3

I wanted the original version of Rock n Roll Is Where I Hide from the Dave Graney & The Coral Snakes LP The Soft'n'Sexy Sound but it's not on the youtubes but this is a pretty bloody good version though. It's the title track of a 2011 cd Graney released of reworkings of classic Coral Snakes tunes but with a different band, I mean apart from his Mrs and himself that is. I also wanted to put up Morrison Floorshow from the same LP but that's not available either. Anyway enjoy this one. Dave's an Australian showbiz maverick. My mother in law once described him as a bit like George Melly. Compliment or put down? I've never heard Melly's music but I have his book Revolt Into Style and that's a brilliant pioneering work of music writing.

This is from Sunnyboys self-titled debut LP from 1981 that was in my best reissues of 2014. Sunnyboys was produced by the legendary Lobby Loyde of Coloured Balls fame. This tune, along with most of the others on the record, takes on a whole new significance when you've seen the documentary 'The Sunnyboy' about singer/songwriter and guitarist Jeremy Oxley and his mental health issues. He's a sweet guy though, when you get down to it.

I could post the whole album but this one is particularly fine. Sydney was such an exciting place in the late 70s and through the 80s for all sorts of music. Apparently there was music on every corner and in every pub and a lot of it was free or like a dollar, so I've been told. The Sunnyboys LP peaked 13 on the national charts and was the 67th biggest selling album in Australia in 1981. It came in just below The Beach Boys Greatest Hits which is rather fitting as Oxley and Wilson both had siblings in their bands, had troubles with life, were both recluses at certain stages and both were possibly geniuses.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Pseudo Echo

Pseudo Echo have joined in the retromania and have a new album out. Will I listen to it? Probably not. I only ever had that first LP Autumnal Park taped off someone. There weren't that many memorable tracks really. I wonder if it's a return to their more electronic/new romantic days or their later more rockified funk sound that gave them their transglobal hit, their cover version of, Funky Town?

I always liked this tune Don't Go from 1985. Had the 7" I do believe. Still sounds alright I reckon. They were a bit more talented and original than say I dunno Geisha. I remember seeing one them at Melbourne's Queen Vic Market in like 86 and thinking that was something but also thinking he's just a guy in the street like the rest of us.

Liked the goth/post punk type guitar in this one from 84 and those keyboards ofcourse. Funny 80s videos eh?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Melbourne IV - Primitive Calculators/Whirlywirld/The Little Bands...

Is this the best song ever to come out of Melbourne? It doesn't get any better! 
'I had a boyfriend, his head was ugly.....'

But hang on...This is surely the best version of Hey Joe ever recorded. Fucking brutal!
"I'm gonna head through Gippsland, down to Omeo,
I'm gonna go where a man can be free!
Ain't gonna hang from no Coolabah tree!
Ain't nobody gonna make no Tom Dooley outta me!
Ain't nobody gonna push too hard on me!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Melbourne III - Real Life

Melbourne II

AC/DC in Melbourne goin up Swanston St!
There's even a lane in Melbourne called AC/DC Lane.
I know they're not a Melbourne band.
Didn't they live here for a couple of years though?

Melbourne I

I'm leaving Melbourne soon which is a place I have lived for the last 22 years!  I thought I'd give the world a little hint of what Melbourne is like in regard to pop culture. I have a list inside my head about this city which will make all you internationalists realise either shit Melbourne what have you done? or thank you for the music Melbourne

Let's start with the 60s

My fave Aussie song of all time! Produced by Molly Meldrum & written by Johnny Young!
 I am the Real Thing!

Into the 70s

A much shorter version than the one on the Ball Power LP.
Ball Power being the best Australian Rock Record ever recorded.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Children Of The Sun

Heard this in a restaurant the other day and thought it was like 60s Scott Walker doing a lost Doors track. It took me a while to find what it was but here it is!

Don't forget this bewdy from the 80s.

And this one! Wow.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ooga Boogas - Ooga Boogas

I was gonna write a review of Ooga Boogas by Ooga Boogas. But who cares about reviews anymore especially when they're writen about rock albums right? How passe!

Circle Of Trust starts off the LP in an uncharacteristically Wire-esque fashion but the drummer in Wire was never this fuckin good. This is the best Melbourne rhythm section since The Birthday Party and you know what they're probably better! Who cares right? rock is dead.

Archie & Me is next and well it's kinda close to my heart with lyrics like "We'll be pretty sore by the time we hit Red Cliffs. So we'll get Big Lizzie rollin again." Mentions of red sunsets and swaggys. Then there's "When we get downtime, When we get downsized, When we get out." Having lived just outside Red Cliffs as a child and planning a move back to the Sunraysia area I was shocked to hear those words. It was like did they just say what I think they said? Fuck yeah they know where its at. This song was speaking directly to me and urging me to use it as a manifesto or at least a theme tune for the big move from the big smoke, that doesn't want us, to the land of red sunsets where property prices aren't so offensive. I know this song is a fantasy and a pretty silly one at that but for me and the Mrs it's where we hang our hat, song or no song.

That drummer is fuckin cookin. This is real rock drumming like fuckin better than John Bonham. How does he get that sound like like he's a caveman bangin on the earth the most primordial beat ever. This beat is cavernous, it's gigantic. You gotta turn this right up and let your inner caveman/cavewoman out. And I've just realised they're called Ooga Boogas a very unPC nod to old ideas and visions native primitives. The funny thing is at the same time Ooga Boogas personify the urbane, the suburban, the hipster, the loser and the castrated.

FYI's next and this is some swingin noirish urban tale from the underworld with talk of coming back to the real world. Then Leon goes into this "fa fa fa for your information.." in a mock cockney tone and why wouldn't he? It's another nod to Wire but at the same time so Australian considering the cadence of the previous line.

Oogie Boogie is precisely what it purports to be. It's a fucking glam stomp with beats like axes to heads and filthy guitar licks that are loose and taut at the same time.

Mind Reader is a tale of male/female relationships and Stackpole is bringin the comedy in a voice occasionally reminiscent of Rob Forster of The GoBetweens. It's an urban, male & Australian voice and it concerns his condition. He's pissin off his woman obviously but he's not willing to see the clear as day reasons for this and snaps arguing back defensively "I can't read your fucking mind!" But this was a song about ice-creams right? That's what you thought!

It's a sign is a giddy love song about when everything's going good and you're happy and you're lovin it and you're proud you're not fucking up and your confidence is breakin through and it's about sex and your Mrs actually liking you and she's not puttin her knickers back on for a while and it's halcyon days and it's salad days and it's days of wine and fucking roses!

Sex In The Chill Zone is a creepy strut through what could be a dream or some kind of suburban spa party or just maybe being drug fucked and fucked at the same time. It's so damn hazy it's unclear.

Studio Of My Mind....and we're in Chrome territory or is it like a tribute to Whirlyworld or Primitive Calculators. I'm put in a very Melbourne soundworld but it could be San Francisco or Sheffield in 1979 or Iggy in Berlin. Then I'm thinkin this is definitely a nod to Ollie Olsen and a tune he did with NO, a forgotten late 80s Melbourne electronic rock band. They had a song about feeling "like a walking TV camera." Parallelling this tunes depersonalisation experience of being "locked in the studio of my mind." It's cold, scary and disturbing.

Ecstasy.... and then there's a country twang and your thinkin its The Captain by Kasey Chambers. Then you think that's fucked up having Chrome and Chambers conjured in your mind within the same minute on the same record and in this same sentence. The tune continues on with its strung out Sticky Fingers. It's a love song or a lament, probably for the drug and you're feeling the waste which is palpable in Stackpole's voice.

A Night To Remember....and it's a relief, it's good times. It's dancing into the void and spitting in the face of of it all with a laugh and a smile. The joy is put back into the meaninglessness and... it's a rock record!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Ooga Boogas

At A Nice Price!

If like me you've been unable to track down Ooga Boogas self-titled LP from earlier this year no need to fear here it is in digital format at bandcamp. Along with the aforementioned LP you also get their first record Romance & Adventure from 2008 plus the As & Bs of their 2 7's all for the low price of $5. Do yourself a favour. The Ooga Boogas LP introduces keyboards and some very funky (I guess they always had a good sense of rhythm) elements to their sound. You gotta love an album that mentions Big Lizzie. Not only that they have dreams of getting Big Lizzie rolling again on the tune Archie & Me. 

*More here on Big Lizzie

Monday, 13 May 2013

Beaches, Ooga Boogas...

Nothing much has been happening in 2013 and then all of a sudden there's an avalanche of releases. The new record She Beats from Beaches, the best live band in Melbourne, has been released today on Chapter Music. 3 guitarists no less. Hope they've captured their onstage magic in the studio on this their 2nd platter.

Then there's Ooga Boogas who I believe are a bunch of old Melbourne creeps. Don't let that cover fool you. Their Scuzzy debut Romance & Adventure from 2008 would be my favourite Australian rock record of The 21st century.

Both of these bands have not released new LPs since 2008 and both of those records were in my top 5 of that year. So here's hoping these are the shit! Is 2013 gonna happen after all? We'll see.