Saturday 30 June 2012

blah blah blah.....

Reading Fiona Scott Norman's article in the doctor's waiting room about bucket lists last Friday made me laugh. She said her bucket list was going to be to write bucket list. I thought I'll go her one better by not even writing anything for my bucket list. Don't write in I realise the paradox of this statement. But she got me thinkin I hate that shit. "You really have to go to the French Riviera." Like it's gonna change my life. Uluru - that looks like a nice rock but fuck It'll be hot and it is just a rock

Great big very far away hot rock
Fiji's heat is just bearable because I'm only ever 1 minute away from a swimming pool or the sea. Don't get me started on extreme sports. But they're gnarly dude! What about a quick game of Tiddlywinks instead.

Hey kids you too could get this guy
down to his undies in a game of strip
Tiddlywinks! (me suspects he plays
to lose)
A game of homemade indoor golf where you have to get the ball into a cup after a spontaneously arranged obstacle course. There's no limit to the amount of holes, it could be just a two hole game or 73 holes. Afterwards you don't have to drink in a bar with a bunch of people who probably think they're better than you. You can can have a slab and or bottle scotch with your fellow players to the tunes of your choice. Jumping out of a plane - big whoop! How many people go to places that might be tourist attractions that are really interested in them or are just going because it has become an attraction for tourists.

 Don't get me started on tattoos what is goin on there? I never really had an issue with tatts until I watched a series of LA Ink. It's not about being cool or tough apparently. It's about having a really tedious story in the most earnest sense about something deep and oh so meaningful that's happened in your life and you are going mark this event with a tattoo. Then later when someone asks about your tatt you'll once again get to regale your fucking story as earnestly as possible. My God these people were taking themselves so seriously it was fucking demented. It made me never want get a tattoo but it also made me love those people who just got a tattoo for no reason, because they were bored or they were so drunk in Thailand they can't even remember why. I'm torn about not getting a tattoo or getting the most frivolous/meaningless tatt I can imagine (but will that then make a tedious storyteller about why I got such an absurd tattoo, uugghh! the conundrum!).

Problem solved I'll just go with this!

Friday 29 June 2012

Primitive Calculators...a reprise.

Rare live colour photo of The Primitive Calculators in their attempt to hit the brown note.

I left out two quotes one from Stuart Grant:
"The utter negativity and the Nhilism of it was just absolutely intoxicating"
Listening to the band you really get that gleefull sense of the void.

Tracey could you just take off the
hat! It's not a goodlook. I'm not
even gonna mention the
mesh t-shirt.

Then there was this great quote from Rowland S Howard (The Birthday Party, These Immortal Souls, Solo performer etc.) which made me realise he wasn't an egotistical bitch:

"Even The Primitive Calculators who I loathed were unique. I can't think of anybody else around the world who was doing that kind of thing."

There will be a companion piece to The Primitive Calculators Glaring Omissions article on the Little Bands scene that they instigated. Denise (keyboards) might even get a word in in that article. The Beat Goes On!!!On & On!!!

Primitive Calculators in the late 70s wastelands of Melbourne.
*Thanks again ABC's Hindsight and Richard Lowenstein.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

MBV Scientists connection




You hear about early MBV being influenced by The Scientists, Birthday Party and The Cramps. I did hear some of these early MBV recordings once and they were not the best. Listening the other day to an old Scientists record though made me go oh here's a connection to the My Bloody Valentine we all know and love. So they didn't necessarily jettison their old influences in favour of new ones. Much respect. It might be a tenuous connection, I can hear it anyway. And when that Swervedriver song came out we all thought "How Blatant is that?" Anyway see what you think.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Primitive Calculators - Primitive Calculators

Glaring Omissions III

"We were suburban filth from Springvale"
Stuart Grant

Glaring Omissions started as a series of records that deserved to be in The Top 100 Australian albums book and the Age's Top 50 Australian Albums list. This is the 3rd installment with perhaps another 4 or 5 to come. This record came into my life as a teenager living in er....Cardross. For those who don't know that's like 15 KMs out of Mildura and over 600 ks from Melbourne. My bro was living in Melbourne and would often bring back strange and interesting things for me. This was pre JJJ National Radio/ pre internet etc. This record probably reached me pre Rage era perhaps. BeatBox and Rock Arena were probably the only 2 shows on tv at the time where you could hear the weirrd, wonderful and independent. So sometime in the mid to late 80s I first heard The Primitive Calculators. The LP also came with a postcard and a 7" single and was recorded in 1979 in a Melbourne pub. Many years after leaving home I asked my Dad where were the records I left behind? he said I gave them to the op shop. Anyway I still had a Sony C90 tape of it in some kind of working order until that reissue on Chapter came along in the 00s.

Me and my little sister used to put it on and go what the fuck is this? It was so anti social and noisy we thought it was hilarious and a bit frightening. Were they for real we wondered. Or were they just havin' a laugh. The music was a harsh onslaught of electroncly fucked with guitar, 2 keyboards and drum machines with what seemed like no regard for recording technique or er.. melody. Were there really people like this living in Melbourne? It was great music for a teenager because it was so obnoxious and fuckin funny. Mum didn't like hearing that one comin out of the bedroom.  Anyway over time it seemed to never leave me and never get old. It sounds just as great now as it did over 25 years ago. This was no fuckin' Clash record. This was beyond punk, what punk should have been, sonic violence for the demented. So over time I have noticed the chaos is more controlled than I used to think and just maybe there were some great pop songs hidden in there somewhere. It is not a record I expected to still be diggin at my age. I think I love it more than ever actually!

So maybe they are pop songs. Stuart says he saw the band as an Australian Boogie band in the vein of The Purple Hearts, The Throb, Chain and Billy Thorpe. It starts to make a lot of sense they were an electronic version of a one chord Aussie boogie band with a bit of Stockhausen chucked in. My favorite track from the album bake in the sun was so funny and had great lyrics. These are some I randomly recall probably not in the right order. This could be our national anthem.

I'm bake in the sun
I wanna spend my life down by the sea
I wanna shrivel up
I wanna smell some seaweed
I wanna peice of cake
I wanna go home
I wanna revolution
I don't wanna do another days work in my life
I want some food from the kiosk

"If their intention was to be hated then they certainly acheived that.....on a personal level as well"
Rowland S Howard (Guitar/Saxaphone/Vocals in The Birthday Party)

Back cover to Primitve Calculators LP

"Nothing else in Melbourne influenced us. We were such obnoxious little shits, we didn't give anybody a chance to like us" Stuart from Primitve Calculators.

Stuart Grant (guitar and vocals) in the We're Livin On Dog Food doco and RadioNational's Hindsight: Do That Dance radio show has been incredibly insightful and articulate about what circumstances, theories and attitudes shaped the band and that entire Melbourne Post-Punk scene. He really enjoyed the idea of punk and the fact it was saying something truly antisocial. He thought the anger and disillusionment of it just seemed right. He thought with the Ramones arriving there was a strong sense that his culture had arrived. Stuart aknowledges the legacy of the Whitlam Government and their making the dole liveable with my favorite quote of his."The State Paid us to Reject it!"

Stuart is eminently quotable. I could quote him all day but here is one last one that sums up the bands ethos.
"What we realised when we started using the drum machine and we got electronic (was that) we sounded much nastier. We started to actually try and make music that would hurt people. Making the sounds as brutal and horrible as possible. Making the drumbeats as repetitive and fast as possible and tried to get it ugly"

I Can't Stop It-The Primitive Calculators
Their one and only film clip I think.

"The Primitive Calculators were a completely unreal band and there's no 2 ways about it! Live and on record."
 Quote from Natioal Treasure Philip Brophy.

*One cool thing I've just noticed that I'd forgotten is that this record was recorded at Hearts in North Carlton where my brother's band did some gigs and even my old band played there once,

**Here is where to download that podacast Do That Dance about the Melbourne Post-Punk scene.

***Many quotes taken from Richard Lowenstein's doco We're Livin' On Dogfood. Thanks Dick I'm sure you won't mind anarchy and all that.

Friday 22 June 2012

RE: Being ruthless

I dig UV Race

 I was thinking about that former post where I asked about The Flying Lotus album and whether I'd missed anything. I don't really have any anxiety there. There are hundreds of top records out there. I can't listen to all of them. So it doesn't really bother me when I get rid of something or don't give something much of a chance. Maybe if someone exposes me to that Dick Diver record more, I might come around but I can't see any reason to seek out another listen of my own free will.

It's what makes you go back to something that interests me. Like why do you do it. Records I don't understand when I first hear them is a pretty strong reason for a repeated listen like when I first heard Slint, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282,  Mars, New Kingdom, Sly Stone's There's A Riot Going On, early Roxy MusicChrome, The Fire Engines, This Heat's Deceit, The Axemen or Royal Trux's Twin Infinitives. Had to keep playing them, to in some way try and figure out what was going on or what was making it interesting even if it was just plain bafflement. But when I got it  fuck I really dug it. Then there are some things that are more immediate that you're just gonna dig no matter what, like when I first heard Kraftwerk, The Fall, Prince, Neu, The Clean, The Pixies, MBV and Boards of Canada. I love these bands just as much today as the above bands.

This is a mental LP.

Wholesome family fun by a couple
of lovely boys.

I don't really care to analyse why I reject things. Usually they're just shit or I've heard it all before. Some things just seem gross or wrong. Sometimes it's just not my bag alhough I have e very open mind when it comes to music. Don't get me wrong I like cheap and nasty as much as drug fueled over budget/production.

God I don't really get this and I've been a fan of James Ferraro for many years now and pretty much enjoyed everything I've been able to hear of his, which is over 30 releases (I think there maybe twice as many I haven't tracked down) This new release however under the name of Bodyguard I can't seem to grapple with. I don't really get it but I'm not sure I want to listen to it for the 4th time. I must say he's had a bloody great run over the last 6 or 7 years so one disappointing record is hardly going to ruin his reputation with me. Will I give it another spin or is life too short?

Mr Blue Sky

I've seen a bit of it in the last couple of days.

This one goes out to the Mrs!

Thursday 21 June 2012

Tina Louise

I was listening to Nudge Squidfish on my Ipod last night and was thinking are they the one's who do a rude Gilligan's Isle song and then bang this came on. A little bit funny and a little bit wrong. How old am I?

Nudge Squidfish
Backlot of Gilligan's Isle
From their LP 20,000 Leagues Under Nashville

Motion Sickness of Time Travel (part II)

I did such a bad attempt at a review of their latest self-titled double LP on Spectrum Spools I thought they deserved another try. For me it all started with the tape Seeping Through The Veil of Unconsciousness on Digitalis. This came out of the blue for me and was a cut above the rest of the field with their unique pretty haunting echoes and immersive electronic drift. In my top 5 for 2010. I thought they were going to struggle to top this but they have at least twice.

An auspicious introduction.
Then there was Awakening a 3 track tape which may have been recorded earlier than the previous tape I'm not sure. More vague allusive bubbling drones, haunting ebbs and flows with waves of of wordless vocals. Side B gains an atmospheric intensity.

Released on Dial Square Tapes
I think I have missed a few in between(try a gazillion, check bandcamp) but my next one was the 2011 classic Luminaries & Synastry. This release containing shorter tracks. Is this their attempt at a pop album? Dunno about that. Electronic pulses, synth ambience and even some textural guitar. There may have even been words hidden in the swarms of buried of vocals. I described it in my top 11 LPs of 2011 as all the Vs - vaporous, vague and vacuous. All meant as compliments. Lovely.

Did you read your Stars today?

Now for my 2nd attempt to make this album sound as appealing as it is. Motion Sickness of Time Travel's self titled 2012 epic double LP. They really stretch out here with side long tracks and it suits them. They voyage out into the the cosmos in a holy manner with heavenly pulsating tones Tripping through intergalactic aquatic landscapes and then into ominous black holes and back again. Nobody has come up with a true Kosmische masterpiece such as this since the 1970s.

Rating - A Galaxy.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

I am my own radio station now!

Have I missed out on something here?
 I was just deleting some stuff from my computer today and deleted some music. Some of it listened to, some of it not and some of it half listened to. How many chances does an LP, MP3, CD or Tape get nowadays? Not many. Gone after a few listens Prince Rama, White Poppy,  Nite Jewel's latest, Zomby, Dick Diver, Twerps, Real Estate, Cruise Family, Raw Thrills and John Maus. Others in the last few years I got rid of  very quickly include Demdike Stare, TheNecks, Mordant Music's Symptoms, Gonjasufi, Flying Lotus, Hype Williams, Forest Swords, Micachu & The Shapes and Black Moth Super Rainbow's Dandelion Gum, maybe some of these deserved a 3rd or 10th chance. In this day and age of information overload, being ruthless seems the way to go. Time and space are of the essence in my home and on my computer. I also don't waste time listening to the radio for hours on end or really at all anymore. I am my own radio station now! With hundreds of records, cds, tapes, digital music, Youtube and Soundcloud  I am in no need of anyone to make me listen to anything. Sure I read reviews in archaic paper media and on websites and blogs but with many pinches of salt because the sound of what's being reviewed is an instant click away. But maybe my hasty decisions have led me to miss some great stuff by not letting things grow on me. It took me many attempts over about 12 years to get into Exile on Main St by The Stones and probably at least 15 listens to start not hating Love's Forever Changes. These are now 2 of my fave records of all time. More recently Peaking Lights 936 and Rangers Suburban Tours had to grow on me before I thought of them as modern day classics. Something drew me back to them though even though I didn't think much of either record on first listen as previosly mentioned elsewhere on this blog. Wasting Time(it may not be though) V Missing Out (you might not though).
A classic of the 2010s after many listens and letting
it grow on me.

*This piece was inspired by a bbq conversation in Sydney in January where Sydneysiders started saying 'Melbourne radio is so good. You must love it blah blah...'and I just said  "I am my own radio now! I don't listen to real radio. Why would I?"

So Long Turkish Psychedelic Music Blog!

One of the great Turkish
Psychedelic outfits.

Hey Ladies.

Some of my favourite blogs have been disappearing for a while now and another one has just bitten the dust, Turkish Psychedelic Music. This was an incredible resource of its namesake. This music is not easy to find in Australia. There was so much good stuff on there i didn't download. Will this music ever be accessible again? I can hardly see a rush of Turkish reissues forthcoming although I do have a few. A lot of the content from this blog though was scratchy old vinyl nobody was ever gonna reissue.

Glowing Raw was another fave who has packed up shop recently along with Holy Warbles and Flashing Light Will Blind Us who have disappeared without trace. Woebot disappearing (a while ago now) was the weirdest. He didn't have illegal downloads so why didn't he just leave his discontinued blog up there? It was one of THE Great blogs! Was he embarrassed by his old content? If anyone knows how to find the Woebot archives let me know.

Monday 18 June 2012


Now this a bewdy. One dude from Portishead and one other dude. It's a soundtrack for a movie that didn't want it in the end I think. Anyway it's good gear, probably the movie's loss there, even the Mrs was diggin it. She said it would be a good soundtrack to Neuromancer, did they ever attempt to make a movie of that? So you're probably gettin a picture of dystopian future cities, cyberpunks, 2000AD, old fashioned ideas of futures that never arrived etc. This is a topshelf homage (and there are a few) to the music of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth (and inadertantly or not to thier influences like Goblin, Tangerine Dream et al.). One track had me wanting to dig out my old Add N to X cds. Weird 3/4 of a cd cover, which I kinda like. Harsh minimal synth tones for the escape from Mega City One.

Diggin these grooves.
More Nigerian 70s gold.
Soundway Records have
done it again! 

On the fence at the moment
with Laurel Halo's 2012 LP

Gilligan's Island

Then there was this dilemma.

Who to choose?

 Ginger I can't see why.

TV retromania

I grew up thinking I would have my own Jeanie.

What you mean we don't all get one.

I would have been a good master.
This is the saddest thing i've ever written on my blog. 

Thursday 14 June 2012

Peaking Lights New LP

Peaking Lights-Lucifer

Into my 8th listen already and yeah man I am diggin' this vibe. Some of the hypnogogic fog has burnt off  but they still have a hazy psych dub vibe like no other. Break out the painkillers.

Motion Sickness of Time Travel-s/t

Also been diggin this a lot. Dripping cosmic ambience for the new warbling that was meant as a compliment but I dunno if I'd wanna listen to a record that was described like that.

* These are not reissues!
** These are not archival releases!
*** Both of these are releases from 2012!
**** I do like new stuff. See!

Wednesday 13 June 2012


Dad where's Barbara Anne?
Dad surf's not up on this one is it?

I didn't really envisage this blog being so retro when I began it. The first posts, which were about the previous years new releases with only a mention of 4 archival releases, were more along the lines of what I thought it would be. Anyway I'm not gonna get hung up on it. You could write a whole book on the subject, which Simon Reynolds did last year. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in un/popular culture and where it's going, or should I say where it's been? In fact I think he could turn it into a trilogy at least.

Anyway retro has been with us for a long time and hey it ain't goin anywhere. Apart from my Dad's records: Elvis, Little Richard, Everly Bros, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, The Animals, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, The Beatles & The Rolling Stones, I first remember it with '50's revival stuff in the '80's which I didn't care much for. Then I guess it was the increased presence of bands like Creedence, The Beach Boys and The Doors on '80's radio and TV promoted hits packages. I never heard a proper LP from those bands until much later.

Then there was the scene with new wave neo-psych bands like The Church and The Sunnyboys. Those groups had some modernism though. It was the next batch of Australian groups who really were fully retro: The Hoodoo Gurus, The Stems et al. They were bloody good though. Once the '80's had passed, the then current '60's revivalists like Even, The Badloves, You Am I etc. didn't seem so great. In fact they seemed shit..... er.....which is what they were.  I remember writing an email asking whether you could have a revival of an '80's '60's revival in the '00's? This was actually starting to happen in Australia at the time. This is where it started to get weird ie. a revival of a revival. Maybe it will go on forever ad nauseum ..................................aaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!

The best Australian 60s band of the 80s

The '60's was always with us on the TV. Get Smart, I Dream Of Jeanie, Bewitched, Gilligan's Island and Batman were on constant repeat forever. Then there was The Munsters and the Aadams Family; probably not as repeated as much. The Flinstones and The Jetsons were always on too. I don't even know when they were made, '60's I guess. The British TV of the '70's never seemed to go away either. Fawlty Towers, Are You Bing Served?, On the Buses, Benny Hill, Dad's Army, George & Mildred, The Good Life, The Goodies etc. So I guess Australians have always experienced this time warp. Is this what they mean by atemporality or do I need to read Retromania again?

My Favourite book of 2011

Cupcake anyone?
What about a frog in a pond?
You could wash it all down with a Blue Lagoon!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

My Bloody Valentine

There isn't anything to add to the discourse about this legendary band is there? I doubt it. Their new reissue ep's 1988-1991 has arrived and it contains 2 tracks I've never been able to find. The Isn't Anything LP was originally issued with a bonus 7" containing 2 instrumentals which have become legendary(in my mind a least). I had the CD so never had these 2 tracks and have been waiting for them to turn up. I'd heard they were more of a precursor to the Glider EP than anything off Isn't Anything. Indeed instrumental no 2 is v ahead of its time, it makes you wonder what MBV could have become. It's kinda spooky psychedelic looped dubby hip hop. Instrumental no 2 is Seefeel's template 5 years early. Actually you know what? it could be a Boards of Canada track. This track is that sublime. Then Instrumental no 1 is what you would expect from MBV circa 1988 ie it fuckin rocks and does so inna fine stlylee.


There are 3 previously unreleased tracks as well. No info on these, no session dates etc. They could be rough demos from anytime during this period really. They're welcome raids on the archive if not brain meltingly revolutionary. The long version of Glider is here too along with Sugar the b-side to Only Shallow but no Soon remix (Which I find odd).

*Should I just rename my blog Retromania?

Breaking Bad 5th & Final Season

V excited for this.
How cool is the poster?!!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

The Wire magazine. What happened?

1993 was the year. Melody Maker and NME had been slowly starting to shit me from like 91 onwards. There was still good stuff happening over at Melody Maker at this time but it was starting to diminish. Maybe my tastes were changing too.......anyway The Wire was good because it was covering interesting (ie not this weeks fashionable pop group) stuff the weeklies were starting to ignore and they didn't have that kneejerk criticism/create a new scene every other week/backlash the next week blah blah... of the weeklies which was incredibly liberating at the time. The Boredoms, West African Tapes, Edgar Froese, Miles Davis, King Tubby, Mouse On Mars, Gamelan, High Rise, Method Man, Casper Brotzmann, AMM, Jungle, Tricky, Eddie Palmieri, Ambient, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Gunter Muller, Omni Trio, Prog Rock, Nirvana all rubbing shoulders together. This seemed quite rad at the time and perhaps it was. We might be a bit used to it all now in this post everything world. So for many years it was an essential read. All through the 90s it was great, but somewhere in the 00s it became less essential. I guess it didn't matter that much as music criticism on the blogosphere was peaking at this stage. Who needed to buy a magazine made of paper? How archaic!

In the last couple of years it seems to have picked up a bit though and there was always something to make you still at least check every month if there was something good in there. A Simon Reynolds article will get me in every time. Recently they covered Turkish Psych which maybe they usually would have done 10 years earlier when modern Turkish groups like Replikas and BaBa Zulu were making an impact on western audiences. Are they starting to repeat themselves? Scott Walker and Kraut/Kosmiche articles recently which were both covered extensively 15 years earlier. Old school NME narrow mindedness/bitchiness also seems to have kicked in as well as substandard journos who've got no fucking idea.

Nick Cave cops some knee jerk turds criticism for some of the greatest lyrics ever written.

An excerpt from Palaces of Montezuma by Grinderman
Psychedelic invocations of Mata Hari at the station 
A custard coloured dream of Ali McGraw and Steve McQueen
The spinal cord of JFK wrapped in Marilyn Monroe's negligee 

So Nina Power you look like a fool. In the same issue from September 2010 Nina's colleague Sam Davies calls electronic pioneer Bruce Haack dull. Guess what Sam you're fucking dull. Bruce Haack was a brilliant pioneer. Sam what did you pioneer? Being a dull music journalist pretending you've got something to say but really only being a try hard. Guess what Sammy that's been done before too. Tedious slagging was never part of The Wire thing so this is disappointing. Don't get me wrong I love a good slagging when it's smart, funny and justified. Mr Abusing/Agreeable anyone? Then they pulled the ultimate NME move in slagging a genre/movement they invented or at least identified and named ie Hypnogogic Pop. Time to move on I guess.....Simon Reynolds has an article in the bloody new one though.....


Monday 4 June 2012


This guy brought so much joy to me and my wife every weekend when we drove past him at Kew Junction.  We would toot the car horn and wave. He would always smile and wave back. I'm sure thousands of others appreciated his gift to the world too. It won't be the same to drive past and never see him again. Sad.


*Watch this with the sound down (some fucking horrible song) and imagine you're driving past him on a Saturday with a hangover and there he is bringing the love of life into your day.

The sausage roll!

God Save The Queen

I was gonna go on a rant directed at the Poms about why they haven't had a revolution yet and got rid of you know who. But Australia can't even get rid of the fucking mole and the rest of the fucking inbreds!!!