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
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.