• Skyhooks

    JJ Adams reflects on the Carlton scene

  • The Fools

    The Fools: The best defunct band you never heard

  • Dick Taylor and Phil May

    Dick Taylor lifts the lid on the new Pretty Things box

Jesus Drives a Sandman b/w Solicit - The Fools (self released)

sandmanFrom the late John Robertson’s opening drawl of the song title to the last sustained note, this is a song that means business. Steely guitar lines, an imperious vocal and an irresistible groove stake out occupied territory. No quarter is sought or given in its three minutes.

The Fools, if you didn’t know, are a long-gone band (1996-97) from Newcastle in Australia who were very much in the mould of Radio Birdman and the so-called Detroit genre. Their solitary album is nearly impossible to find but made a lasting mark. This two-track CD single showcases their heavyweight title belt magnificence nicely.

Resuscitation - Snare and the Idiots (Mincey Records)

resuscitationThis Newport, Kentucky, band lived its first life deep in the American Midwest from 1983-87 and has reformed sporadically since. One of the “Killed By Death” outfits - so-called because a series of bootlegs using that title gave them and scores of others fleeting fame outside their own backyards - they’ve issued this three-tracker CD single as a precursor to a retrospective album.

On the strength of “Resuscitation” they could just as easily make it all-new material. This stuff burns like a clear-headed version of the Heartbreakers, although without the same swing. The licks make it obvious where guitarist Donny “Tex” Watson is coming from, even if his feet are planted on the ground, rather than skidding all over the stage like the late Johnny Genzales.

The Sweet Young Pretty Things Are in Bed (Now, Of Course) – The Pretty Things (Repertoire)

The Sweet Pretty Things Are In BedLet’s be provocative right up-front and say that The Pretty Things are not entitled to still be making records this good. Not after 50 years and not even allowing time off along the way for bad behaviour.

It’s not a disc full of instantly catchy “hits” by any stretch - and if it was nobody would listen anyway. The Pretties’ name is a total misnomer. Putting aside the baby-faced engine room, this is a band of three grizzled old men.

So let’s talk about what it is.

Dubrovniks world jaunt book-ended by shows in Perth and Melbourne

dubrovniks title

After a 22 year hiatus, the Dubrovniks are temporarily back together and will be playing shows around the world, book-ended by gigs in Perth (June 6) and Melbourne (July 18).

“I’m Flipped Out Over You” is the theme for the Australian dates, the first leg of which is a show at Perth’s Rosemont Hotel with the original Scientists. It also happens to be the wedding reception for Dubrovniks and Scientists drummer James Baker and features the Television Addicts (two-thirds of the Victims, Spencer P Jones and  The Runaways (Spencer P Jones and Kim Salmon.)

The Melbourne version of “I’m Flipped Out Over You” becomes a two-stage garage punk extravaganza at the Corner Hotel with a gloriously loud bill that also includes the original line up of the Scientists (Kim Salmon, Baker, Boris Sudjovic and Rod Radalj), They’ll be joined by Rocket Science, Spencer P Jones & The Escape Committee, Hits, The Pink Tiles, The Electric Guitars and Girl Crazy.

This time Saint Ed is coming to stay

saint edFor the better part of 2013-14, Ed Kuepper toured Australia performing his crowd-pleasing 'By Request' show in city centres and regional towns, culminating in a sold-out performance at the City Recital Hall for Sydney Festival with the Sydney Chamber Orchestra.

For his first tour of 2015, Kuepper will defy industry pre-conceptions by performing a set of largely new and as-yet-unrecorded material.

Dubbed the "Nostalgia For The New Tour", the run will include a three-week-mid-week residency in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with spin-off weekend shows in regional areas.

The new material is being workshopped with the intention of recording a new album of all new studio material before the end of the year. Fear not, diehard Saints/Laughing Clowns fans: with each show being upwards of two-hours long and without a support, the sets will include back-catalogue gems.

Rarest Hydromatics album joins the re-issue ranks

powerglide re ishMore on the Hydromatics re-issues we told you about a couple of days ago: Third in the series - and possibly the best and most well-rounded release by the band, the impossibly hard-to-find “Powerglide” album - is coming out on CD, with a generous array of bonus cuts.

It will be the first in the series. 

Easy Action Records has paired the 14 Sonic’s Rendezvous Band and original compositions that were on the album with half a dozen live songs cut for radio, plus a bonus disc of 14 rehearsal tunes. This is the line-up of Scott Morgan, Tony Slug, bassist Theo Brouwer and Andy Frost (Powertrane) - it was a killer band and this is a powerful and soulful collection of recordings.

The Italian label that originally released “Powerglide” went belly-up soon after issuing it so copies of the original are next to impossible to find.

Here's a summary from the liners that'll give you an idea what this album is about:

Hydromatics albums being re-birthed by Easy Action

hydromatics dangerousHere's huge news for fans of Sonic's Rendezvous Band. The first re-issues from The Hydromatics’ back catalogue on UK label Easy Action are ready for pre-order.

The Hydromatics were a ‘90s trans-Atlantic supergroup of sorts, fronted by Scott Morgan (Sonic's Rendezvous Band, The Rationals) and reprising material by Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, as well as fresh originals. Their original line-up included Nicke Royale of Sweden’s Helllacopters and Dutchman Tony Slug (The Nitwitz) and they toured Europe extensively.

This is a band that had power to burn that shone a fresh light on Sonic's Rendezvous Band by doing justice in the studio to material that we'd only heard on dodgy bootlegs. 

‘The Hydromatics” is a re-mastered CD version of the group's debut record, “Parts Unknown”, with a stack of live tracks.

“Dangerous” is a LP (with free CD) of studio versions of Sonic’s Rendezvous Band classics like Asteroid B612, Electrophonic Tonic and City Slang. The 10-track LP is supplemented by “Do It Again”, “Mystically Yours” and “Power and The Glory” on the bonus CD. Get them here.

 

 

Flashback: King Khan caught in conversation

King Khan singingGarage rock royalty, King Khan and BBQ, are heading back to Australia in July, to play the sold-out Splendour In The Grass festival and sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.

They’ll have a new album, “Bad News Boys”, in tow and it will be their first appearance on these shores since their chaotic show at Vivid in Sydney in 2010, after which they were declared by organisers to be "a security threat" and promptly broke up.

Canadian-born King Khan (guitar-vocals) and BBQ aka Mark Sultan (drums-vocals-guitar) have a string of solo and collaborative records to their name and years of touring their off-the-wall show. 

Their reformation and new record are as good an excuse as any to take a trip back in the time tunnel to 2008 when Patrick Emery cornered King Khan on the eve of him touring his band, The Shrines...

Brighton, not London, calling and it's Colin Newman down the Wire

wire 2014 ineup

This is the first time Colin Newman has voted in a British General Election in Brighton. The rhythm guitarist, songwriter and singer for seminal UK art-punk band, Wire, and his partner moved there from South-West London a year or so ago.

“London has its charms, it’s definitely a great city. But it’s not very practical for those who live in it. London’s big problem is cross-city transport. Everything happens in the East these days and getting home via public transport after midnight is impossible so you are in a taxi for £70.00 or on the night but for 3 hours. Maybe the 24 hour tube on the weekends will help that but it’s not all lines and and it’s only two nights a week.

“In the 90’s, where we used to live in South-West London had some culture - nightclubs, record shops etc. and we had the centre in easy reach. Now all the venues are closed not only in that area but in the centre too. No record shops in SW London either..”

Hugo Race plus The Battle of Flowers in Adelaide

hugo at the wheaty

Hugo Race makes a point

Adelaide's Wheatsheaf Hotel (aka the Wheaty) is one of those modernised, forgotten pubs with pricey but excellent wines and beers. Local families bring their kids and they run amuck.

There is a beer garden, but few people smoke (which I can’t understand). Coffee and hot chocolates are available at the bar. There are no pokies and no ATM (you withdraw at the bar). They have exhibitions of art, photography, hairdressing and whisky tasting.

The back room (where bands play) is essentially a newish tin shed with a ceiling, lights, formica tables and period chairs, and everyone squashes in somehow.

Four shows celebrate legendary Max's Kansas City

maxsMax’s Kansas City was one of the legendary New York City scenes of the 1970s, home to Andy Warhol’s crew and a musical stamping ground for the Velvet Underground, Heartbreakers, Iggy & the Stooges and countless others.

It’s the club where Iggy met David Bowie and had his career fortunes revived, Debbie Harry waited on tables, Patti Smith went star-spotting and the Lou Reed era Velvets played their final shows.   

Former Max’s promoter Peter Crowley is hosting a 50th anniversary round of shows from June 4-8 and the line-ups feature some of the best that what’s left of the old-school NYC underground scene.

Do not adjust your TV set: Thirteenth Floor Elevators - live! - in Texas

Elevators live shot
Speak to Austin natives and not all will have heard of Roky Erickson – not your average man-in-the-street at any rate - but by having a few decent conversation with various Austin locals, commonalities begin to emerge. Everyone will have either seen a UFO first-hand or have a close friend or relative that has, including a 40-acre behemoth that buzzed the ranch of one, G.W.Bush, just a few years ago. 

Austinites love Beer, UFOs, Barbeques, Guns and…..MUSIC. Just as Sydney is the home of the world’s best Detroit music, Austin then, is the Global Capital of Psychedelia – thanks to seminal legends the Thirteenth Floor Elevators!

Enter Psych Fest, an ostensibly alternative/independent festival that debuted in 2008, and was reportedly instigated to some degree by local psychedelic outfit, the Black Angels.  Held over three days, it has since grown to accommodate even more local talent, as well as swelling to include many top-notch overseas acts. This year’s line-up reads like a who’s who of altered consciousness – Tame Impala, Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream were three of the previous evenings’ acts.

Thirteenth Floor Elevators lift-off in one-off festival gig

Ever wondered how the 13th Floor Elevators would sound live, 47 years after their last performance? Wonder no more. The band (most of it) reformed for a one-off show at the levitation Festival in Texas on May 10.  

And before you ask, the Elevators were without the late Stacey Sutherland whose guitar role was well-filled, by all accounts, by ring-in Eli Southward. Roky's son Jaeger added harmonica. 

Set list after the Read More button, plus another video. And no, we haven't heard of any plans to tour this, but we can dream. And keep checking back for a report from our Barfly on the ground. 

Hung Up (On You) - The Stoneage Hearts (Off The Hip)

hung up on youThe re-birth of the Stoneage Hearts sounds like a sequel to “High Fidelity”: Three guys walk into a record store at various times, buy the new Red Kross album from the owner and they all decide to form a band. They rehearse at nights in the shop, record an album, tour together and achieve global success.

Apart from the last bit about the worldwide success, the story is true. Not that global domination isn't possible, but more on that later.

This is the third incarnation of this Melbourne garage-pop band and apart from a stack of classic garage and powerpop influences, drummer Mickster Baty is the only constant. Previous line-ups were fronted by Danny McDonald (P76) and Dom Mariani (The Stems, DM3) with Ian Wettehall (Seminal Rats, Phillesteins, Freeloaders) on bass then and apart from guest Farfisa organist and Mickster, this one is populated by relative unknowns. Not that it matters a jot. They’re up to the mark and this is a great record.

Television Addicts coming to Melbourne

Television Addicts beware: Melbourne’s noteworthy Leaps and Bounds Music Festival is bringing The Television Addicts to town to play the songs of Perth punk trailblazers, The Victims, at the Tote on Friday, July 17.

The Victims were only active from 1977-79 in the most isolated csapital city in the world (that'd be Perth) but left a lasting impression. The members were Dave Flick (aka Dave Faulkner) on guitar and vocals, James Baker (drums) and Rudolph V (Dave Cardwell) on bass. Faulkner and Baker went on to the Hoodoo Gurus. Baker also made a name with the Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon and the Dubrovniks .

In 1977, The Victims released their debut single, "Television Addict” with only 1000 copies pressed. The following year they released a five track EP entitled "The Victims" (also known as "No Thanks to the Human Turd"). Original copies of both will cost you big bucks on eBay.

Reconstituted in 2015 with Faulker and Baker ringing-in huge fan Ray Ahn (Hard-Ons, Nunchukka Superfly) on bass, they’ve played shows in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. Now it’s Melbpourne’s turn. Blink and you’ll miss them.

FRIDAY 17TH JULY
THE TELEVISION ADDICTS
FIRE ESCAPE GOATS
HITS (Brisbane)
POWER
at The Tote Hotel, Johnston St, Collingwood.  Doors 8.30pm.
Tickets on sale now from www.Oztix

 

Ramones By Nicholas Rombes (Bloomsbury, 33 1/3 series)

Why is it relevant to review a book initially released in 2005? Because (1.) the subject matter seems as relevant now as it ever did, and (2.) it’s still in print.

You can’t expect anything usual from the 33 1/3 series, that’s clear. All that matters is: Does it work? Does it help us, does it add to the LP in question..?

Given the huge influence that this first "Ramones" LP had on modern rock’n’roll music, it is with woeful heart that I report that Rombes is another academic. in 2005 he was Associate Professor of English at the University of Detroit Mercy. (No, me either).

It was a worried frown that I found I disagreed heartily with the first two sentences, which hung out Rombes’ slate above his wares; "Ramones is either the last great modern record, or the first great postmodern one. Fully aware of its status as pop culture, it nonetheless has unironic aspirations toward art." I winced.

Surely not another academic with no clues as to actual context ..?

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