Tuesday 28 February 2012

Oscar (the grouch)

I started watching the oscars then I stopped.  It was bloody awful. That Billy Crystal Shstick came across as old, lifeless and well just plain horrorble.  The banging on about movies touching us blah blah was just unconvincing and what, were we meant to be blown away by a montage of classic scenes/quotes (that climaxed, pardon the pun, with the "I'll have what she's having" quote.) that we'd seen and heard a hundred times before.  Who fucking gives a shit! There is also some wanky american patriotic bad cheese thing that goes along with all of this blurrrgggghhhhh....

Oscar takes a speccy!

You acted, you dressed some actors, you filmed actors with a camera, you gave actors money, I've got a dress on, I've got a suit on, I'm wearing spectacles to look more intelligent,  I made millions of dollars, I'm going to cry

Scorsese's Hugo & Nostalgia for the Future.

Hugo was a paean to the death of the possibility of cinematic magic.  How cinema never quite delivered on its promise.  Even Hugo was framed in lavish cinematography, set pieces and in 3D, kind of mirroring the subject matter's sadness for the moribund possibilities of cinema.

Sacha Baron Cohen in Allo! Allo! er sorry... Hugo.

This fits in with all that nostalgia for the future vibe that runs through a lot of pop culture today.  Wanting that feeling,wonder and excitement of how we thought technology and the future was going to be.  Now though being left in a state of anti-climax as that future never arrived.

Was (Hugo the movie) it saying this is it! That's the best we can do! It was exciting once (that was a very long time ago) but come on who are we kidding now?  Could this actually be the subtext of the film.  Given Scorsese's recent comments on how he hasn't got time to be wasting on watching films these days, it does start to make sense.

Black Flag T-Shirts

Hey Adults 40+ wearing your Black Flag T-Shirts!
Ya think that makes you look cool or a bit naff?

Sunday 26 February 2012

Belbury Poly

I was havin' a boring Sunday till I realised this was out. 
How excitement!  I couldn't wait for the record so I just
downloaded it.  Like Belbury Poly of old except with some
live instruments (including guitar, omg!) and voices.  On first
couple of listens, I've gotta' say 'Pretty, Pretty Good!'

GhostBox have done it again! 
Love the artwork as always.

Friday 24 February 2012

Musicians are not Film Makers!/Martin Scorsese's life is too short to waste time on watching films

*I don't really watch video clips. I put them on my blog just in case you need a reference point for the music I am discussing.  In fact a lot of the time film clips detract from the music. That Ducktails track I loved the other day was almost ruined by the crappy video that went with it. People (er...musicians) aren't as careful with images as they would be with sounds. A group might be very careful not to use/or use specific sounds, structures, textures or techniques in their music but can be quite willing to use images without a thought of their aesthetic qualities and the effect they will have when coupled with their music. Fuck me I'm onto something here. Music has been with us humans forever in one form or another since we crept out of the cesspool, so musicians are quite instinctual when it comes to their art. The filmed image however has only been around 100 years or so, so how sophisticated/instinctual can the art form be to most of us? 

For many years now I've had another idea in my head about how popular/unpopular music, has been culturally successful and the motion picture has not. I've told the Mrs many times there is a great theory there and one day I will write about it seriously.

Do you like my beard ladies?

Martin Scorsese may well be the unlikely catalyst for this article eventually getting written.  The other day in a doctors waiting room I was reading a magazine and he was asked 'Do you watch many new movies?'  He said he tried but they are too long (pot-kettle) and he's getting old so there is not enough time to waste (on a shite 2 hour+ film).  He will give a film 15 minutes then it's either on or off.  I am exactly the same, maybe 11 minutes sometimes.  The interesting thing is: He is a massive music lover and has made many films about the success of such an art form on himself and the greater public. One of the greatest filmmakers ever is supporting my theory. Thanks Marty. The Ronnettes get three minutes to prove themselves and they do.  Thus being a perfect pop culture success. Wes Anderrson gets two hours and fuck me I want those hours back along with a written apology from the turd. There are so many great pop songs and so few great films.  This argument seems so obvious why am I even bothering.  I can see Marty gettin' off on Midnight Rambler or Tommy Gun, I can't see him walkin' out of the 2nd last Harry Potter film goin' 'Shit Yeah! That's what it's all about!'

Thursday 23 February 2012

Faceless Techno Bollocks

I am a big electronic music fan but I remember a couple of years ago saying I could never listen to proper bangin' techno again in my life.  That was a glitch in my taste best forgotten about.  Kraftwerk, Cabs, New Order etc. were still OK.  Bomb The Bass, MARRS & S'Express OK too.  Aphex, Seefeel, Boards of Canada, Mouse on Mars and other IDM artists were OK too.  It was the 'faceless Techno bollocks' I thought I could never listen to again like 'ardcore, gabba, jungle, bleep, trance, big beat or anything that was purely designed for you to go mental at a rave, warehouse party or er.. a club whilst under the influence of drugs.  Surely that was all nonsense and I was more mature now.  Last year however I watched the box set of the British sit com Spaced which was written by and starring Simon Pegg & Jessica Hynes.  There was a lot of techno music in the series as well as a character who was a raving bike courier.  In one episode they go to a club and dance to some moronic (in the best sense) tune.  The fun and excitement was captured so well it made me remember Raves fondly for the first time since well I was goin' to 'em.  FUN remember that!  It started slowly but I got out a Pole record and thought this is just repressed faceless techno bollocks- Paraplegic techno.  The real thing was comin' soon.  There was a bit of Basic Channel/Chain Reaction.  Then chillout ie. The Orb, Ultramarine, Global Communication, Woob etc.  LFO, Orbital, Biosphere, Polygon Window followed.  I couldn't believe I was listening to this stuff and loving it.  Then it was Joey Beltram, Marc Acardipane etc.  Next I trawled the net for Belgian hardcore comps  Then I was trackin' down Jungle mixes on podcasts from Woebot, Goldie....... there is a whole bunch of stuff I've never even heard which is waiting for my eardrums and feet in the future.  What a strange turn of events.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Animal Collective and Ariel Pink

just another poker night round at Ariel's

Isn't it funny how fickle we are? For example one of my favourite groups of the 00s was Animal Collective, now I don't think I could bring myself to listen to them even if you paid me.  Is it because of all the turds that followed in their wake.  I couldn't even name them but there was a time I'd put on the radio and every second band seemed to be an acolyte.  Did I just get sick of 'em? Did my tastes change? Dance Manatee, Here Comes The Indian, Person Pitch and some of the others would have featured in my 00s top 100 if I'd done one. Is it because they went overground with their last LP as a collective and all of a sudden your cult band of the last 7 or 8 years was adopted by others outside the cult because a magazine told them to.  Am I that teenage and/or snobby?  My favourite artist of the 00s was Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and I still listen to him.  Six of his records would have been in my make believe top 100.  His last LP from 2011 went overground and I loved it, so some of those snob theories may have to be dropped.  Lots of people are influenced by him and I like a lot of those artists.  I'm still trying to work it out.  Maybe Animal Collective were the conclusion of something and Ariel Pink began something.

These first two from this classic.

For Kate I Wait from possibly the best
album realeased this Century.

Menopause Man from the best album
of the 2010s!

These last 3 from probably the
 greatest album of this Century.

**Haven't seen any of these videos.  I didn't realise he made so many or any for that matter. The only thing I ever saw was him doin' a crackin' version of Round and Round live on Jimmy Fallon but that's been taken off the youtubes.

YTT & Geordie Shore

I was excited for the first episode of The New Young Talent Time, relishing the thought of "who am I gonna hate the most? Will I like any of them? How long before I switch it off?etc.  It was an anticlimax.  I didn't irrationally or rationally hate any of them.  The contestants were even good.  How disappointing!  I'm sure it'll get worse but I just don't care.

Geordie Shore however, fuck me I hated every single one of them.  Sometimes I liked Charlotte but why did she like that tosser?  What horrible people!  Is it designed to make us go 'gee me and my friends aren't that bad after all!'  That's probably quite clever if that's the idea behind it. It does seem doubtful. Whether it's intentional or not I would say that this is a big part of the attraction of these types of shows for many of their viewers.  I'm getting an idea for an essay here I better stop.  The producers have tuned into the zeitgeist of how their viewers need to feel intentional or not.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Scorched Earth Policy

Johnny Frog Scorched Earth Policy
How good? The video too!

I only discovered this band about 4 years ago.  I don't know how I missed them. I'm a bit vague sometimes, I would have heard them on the various NZ music radio shows I was listening to in Melbourne in the early 90s. I knew the Victor Dimisich Band and the TerminalsScorched Earth Policy was kind of in the middle of these two bands existences and contained members from both aforementioned groups.  Anyway what a fuckn' delight it was to hear this record Keep Away From The Wires.  It became an instant fave and remains so to this day.  They were from Christchurch and did a couple of EPs for Flying Nun in 84/85. They were all but forgotten until in '91 Xpressway put out Foaming Out, an archival tape containing studio cuts along with documentation of some live performances. I love their kinda spooky/creepy/malevolent cultish vibe(is that just me?), their unbridled enthusiasm and the girl/boy vocals. Good guitaring too.

Too Far Gone Scorched Earth Policy

Turn Your Eyes Away Scorched Earth Policy

Keep Away From The Wires - Scorched Earth Policy (Medication)
This is an update of the Foaming Out tape with extra tracks. Released in 2000. All you need. Track it down.

**The Youtubes didn't have all the tracks I wanted, anyway......

Monday 20 February 2012



feedtime - feedtime (1985)


I don't know where to start with these guys, but this has to be one of the great unheralded classics in the history of Australian Rock ( the only time I've come across them being discussed is by Americans). I've been thinking how the hell am I going to describe this record and do it justice?  So it's been weeks since I was originally going to include it. Suffice to say I don't think I've come up with much apart from 'This is a truly fuckn' unique record!'  They could be influenced by X (the great Australian band) or Wire, but I don't know for sure.  So they were a 3 piece from Sydney in the Eighties and this record was their first LP.  feedtime's hypnotic harsh minimal approach could perhaps be considered post-punk but maybe not. I see them more on the outside of everything. By the sounds of stories I've heard they might have been. There is definitely something menacingly about feedtime's music and it could be one of the greatest drivin'/bikin' records ever made, along with Snapper's records, Loop's Fade Out or ZZ Top in their prime. Whereas Loop were hairily over the top psychedelia, feedtime were a tight monolithic machine of a band with tinges of psych and blues (bottleneck on the guitar). Sometimes their music reaches such machine-like states I wonder whether it's still music at all.  I can't not think of Chuck Berry when I hear the lyrical dexterity of a track like Fastbuck: "I got a Pontiac, gasoline, grab the cash, split the scene."  They also had that serious/funny thing goin' on too. This is an unrivalled original of an LP.  Let the good times roll!

Sunday 12 February 2012

RE: What ever happened to Ducktails?

Anyway diggin' on this now.
III: Arcade Dynamics

Anyway I was listening to this thinking 'Who does this remind me of?'
I started recalling my original thoughts on who their influences might have been from
back then. New Order/Galaxie 500 came to mind as well as Dif Juz and Durutti Column
which in 2008 was hard to believe that the later two groups were being
referenced by a young group from America.  This guy was probably not even alive when
Vini Rielly and Dif Juz released those records in the early 80s.
It made me think what a breath of fresh air they were back in 08.
When I say fresh air I also mean it as a description of their
lovely music.  Anyway they reminded me of Ducktails.
I realised they'd released a bunch of top records while pretty much
flying under the radar of most people.  This was the sound of hazy sunshine,  
the gentle rippling of waves and wasted summer days being wasted.  
Ducktails along with Dolphins Into The Future
will forever remind me of a holiday I spent in Fiji a few years back. In the barmy
evenings I would listen to them while drinking vodka after spending a hot day
in and by the water. It was like I was still floating in the water
or lazing on a boat in the middle of the pacifc ocean.

Anyway track down these classics and break out the drinks with umbrellas, along
with whatever else you might want to imbibe.





Saturday 11 February 2012

Alan Partridge

Golden Partridge

Just watching the DVD today.
This had me in Stichers.


Early 90s Nostalgia?

Saw this on Letterman the other night.
Can't explain why I like it.
Same reason I like that Rustie LP I suppose.
Is it early 90s nostalgia?
Who cares?!
Just dig on it.

Friday 10 February 2012

Geneva & Ducktails

Why isn't she as big as Ga Ga?
How can you not love Geneva Jacuzzi?
Actually a lot of people probably don't like her.
Not me though.
Love Caboose
from the compilationLamaze
as is this next one.

Clothes On The Bed

Hamilton Road
RE: What happened to Ducktails?
This track is from an album they did last year,
III: Arcade Dynamics
I totally missed that.
I'll have to check it out.
Love the tune.
err...the video however....


I always thought Henry Lawson was a bore but here's a quote I like from him: "Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer."

*What about Scotch, Sparkling Wine & Vodka?

**I will endeavour to find quotes for these passions of mine.  If poets did not write about the attributes of such things I will come up with the words to match their qualities.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Best Song..again

I was in Sydney a few weeks ago when I was writing those posts on best songs ever.  At a BBQ I asked my two sisters what theirs would be.  To my suprise my older sister picked this.  I love it too!


I also remember a great cover version of it by some of the people from Box The Jesuit.

Talkin Shit

* Is it just me or does every 2nd Drones song sound eventually like it's going to break out into Cortez The Killer?

*RE: Grr... Would Dead Can Dance have qualified to be in that book.  I mean they are a Melbourne band right?  What about Olivia Newton John's Xanadu? We claim all the other British born people and New Zealanders too. We're not claiming Livvy ? As far as pop goes that could be in the top 3 or 4.  What too much Jeff Lynne ? Not enough Jeff Lynne as far as I can see.

*The title of this post has made me remember this scenario -I was at a pub a couple of years ago with my wife and met some new people.  Anyway they asked what I did and I told them finishing with of 'Jack of all trades.  Master of none.' One of the guys possibly 10 years my junior replied 'Don't say that you never know who's listening.'  This struck me as very odd.  I thought that sounds like something an American might say.  I thought whatever happened to the great Australian National pastime of self deprecation.  God as far as self deprecation goes it was quite soft as it contained a positive statement along with the negative.  Did this guy think there was someone lurking around the corner about to give me a million dollar contract.   Now I was no longer going to get the job for being down on myself.  Anyway I thought fuck where is this dudes sense of humour? What? Are  they being brought up so confident they couldn't possibly dare to not take themselves too seriously even when they are at the bloody pub.  What would happen if I said something negative to this guy about him?
Would he be able to cope or would he be a delicate snowflake and be crushed.  What a turd!  Just for him I say 'What a load of bollocks this paragraph has been.  Not worth the electricity it used up! or the time it took me to type it and you to read it!'

Miserable/Funny Songwriters

I was going to bang on about New Zealand music and why the 80s to about 91-92 were a golden era etc. and not just the popular Flying Nun bands but the weirder ones plus xpressway etc.  Another time perhaps or maybe look elsewhere on the net for such information.  I remember a pretty good article on Flying Nun at the Stylus Website. There is also a good doco on the youtubes about Flying Nun RecordsPopwatch fanzine once had a terrific piece on the xpressway label. 

I was thinkin' about funny singers and songwriters.  It used to be, people would say 'Nick Cave was a bit dour.' and not see the funny side in the 80s into 90s, but now he's almost a fully fledged comedian so people are comin' round to the idea.  There also used to be "How can you listen to The Smiths? They just moan!" Of course as soon as anyone said this you knew that they hadn't truly listened to the band.  Morrissey was fucking hilarious!  Those Smiths albums still make me laugh.  Leonard Cohen too, what a laugh he was. Then there was the more obvious funny dudes like Robert Forster, Mark E Smith and Dave Graney. As well as hardcore like Flipper and Angry Samoans.

I had another category as well where it all seemed so serious surely they were havin' a laugh.  Maybe they were, maybe they weren't.  It didn't matter to me I thought they were a laugh a minute.  First example being Swans.  The darkness, the impotence, the serious delivery, the sickness etc. what a hoot!  Michael Gira possibly the funniest man on the planet.  Jarboe a bit funny too.  Joy Division were funny.  Add in Ian Curtis's dancing you got yourself a good time.  Primitive Calculators were great fun to me and my little sister when I was in my early teens.  Still one of the good time bands for me.  It turns out in recent interviews that indeed they had great senses of humour.  Einsturzende Neubauten with their crumbling architecture, wanting the world to end, the harshness, the screaming the mental illness etc. all good comedy fare.  Liabach, pretty funny as well.  Rollins too but I had to love the music as well so I don't know if he counts.

Funny songwriter or just a funny guy?

Anyway the whole reason I was thinkin' about this was because I was listening to The Drones for the first time in years and wondering where Gareth Liddiard fitted into this.  Sure on the telly he's a funny guy (RockQuiz a couple of times) but do I find his songs funny? I'm still not sure.  Steve Kilbey a recently hilarious dude was something nobody saw coming, well not from The Church's music anyway.  He might have always been a private card but I like the idea of him flowering late with his comedic prowess.  Gettin' loose in his old age.

Maybe all of this says more about me than anything else. Who knows?  Any thoughts out there ?

**That's a great painting of Gareth Liddiard (from The Drones)  from last years Archibald Prize Exhibition, which I managed to catch in The Yarra Valley.  That painting was also one of the strongest in the competition.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Flying Nun Classics

The Bats
North By North
What a Bewdy!

The Bats
Made up in Blue
From Comipletely Bats which is choice.

Pink Frost
The Chills
From Kaleidoscope World which is also choice.

I Love My Leather Jacket
The Chills
I always thought this song was naff until I found out what it was about.  He's not just singing about clothes.  Martin's friend died and he inherited his leather jacket or something like that.

Kaleidoscope world
The Chills

Saturday 4 February 2012

Happy New Year 130112

By a good friend of mine.
I really like this. Click on the title to hear it.
Hypnotic guitar jam with neat backwards guitar towards the end.
Good one!

The Trip.............


This goes out to the country fans! How good is this? Better than Nancy & Lee! These 2 were married! 

Jack & Misty

Tennessee Birdwalk

80s Pop

Ship o' Fools
World Party
'87 Classic

had all these on 7" of  back in the day!
Still like 'em!

Let's Go Crazy

Friday 3 February 2012

70's Aussie Anthems

Yeah Man!
Blistering Version of
Most People I know
Billy Thorpe
Not like the version you hear on the radio!

Golden Miles
Healing Force
One of the great prog Aussie anthems!
What a classic!

Fuck me! How good?
Stoner! Yobbo! Whatevs!
Time To Live

Probs my favourite song off The Swing.

More New Wave

Well old wave into new wave. Ross Wilson had been
around since the late 60's. Is this Faux-New Wave?
Anyway it sounded good on the FM dial.

Mondo Rock
Cool World

Mondo Rock
Come Said The Boy
What a great dodgy song!

Some New Wave Tunes

The first girl I fell in love with on TV.  I was 10 she played with her skirt.

Loved this song!, still do!

Like the film clip as well but the quality not so good!
So you get this live version.

How the fuck did I remember this!
It got big airplay on 3MA.
They were from Adelaide.
I loved it!

The Swingers
Counting The Beat
In 1981 it was my fave song of all time