Schizophonically speaking, this is a tour you don't want to miss

schizos minivan photographyCredit: Minivan Photography.

They formed in 2009 but it's in the last few years that San Diego’s Schizophonics have convincingly cemented their reputation as one of the world’s hardest-working and most dynamic bands.

Gymnastically-inclined singer-guitarist Pat Beers, drummer (and his wife) Lety Beers, plus a series of bass players, have been wowing audiences around the world with their unique brand of explosive garage rock. They’re poised to pay Australia and New Zealand their second visit in a year in February and March, before hitting Japan for the first time.

The Schizophonics have been likened to a cross between James Brown and the MC5. Local bands have been lining up to join them on bills. Aussie all-female combo, The Fangin’ Felines, are lucky enough to be joining them for two support spots - in their own hometown Wollongong (Lalalas, March 12) and Sydney (Marrickville Bowlo, March 13).

Strong females are integral to both bands, so it made perfect sense for the I-94 Bar to host a pre-tour conversation between Lety Beers and Fangin’ Feline singer Carrie Phillis. The ladies spoke over Skype earlier this week. Pat Beers joined them and uber fan Russell Hopkinson (You Am I, ex-Radio Birdman) made the whole thing happen.

Punk's Not Dead and neither is Wattie

the exploited

Leading agitators in the second wave of British punk, The Exploted, are bringing their politically-charged assault Down Under in March.

Born in Edinburgh under the auspices of ex-Squaddie Wattie Buchan, The Exploited launchd their first vinyl assault upon stupidity, complacency and corruption in 1980 with the one-two knockout of the "Army Life" and "Barmy Army" EP’s on their own Exploited Records label.
 
Their debut album "Punks Not Dead" launched a new breed of politically outspoken anarcho-punk bands and become the number one independent album of 1981 - selling 150,000 copies and reaching number 20 in the UK charts.
 
After many member changes, Wattie Buchan remains the constant. Many would say The Exploited are just as relevant today - just ask the band’s loyal squadron of fans, The Barmy Army. Here are the Australian and New Zealand dates:  

Friday March 13 Auckland Whammy Bar
Saturday March 14 Wellington San Fran
Sunday March 15 Christchurch Club Tavern
Wednesday March 18 Gold Coast Coolangatta Hotel
Thursday March 19 Brisbane The Zoo
Friday March 20 Sydney The Factory
Saturday March 21 Narrabeen Narrabeen RSL
Sunday March 22 Newcastle Small Ballroom
Wednesday March 25 Canberra The Basement
Thursday March 26 Melbourne The Corner
Friday March 27 Geelong Barwon Club
Saturday March 28 Adelaide Enigma Bar
Sunday March 29 Perth The Rosemount

No pedal to the metal but hearts on sleeves

twist the lensTwist the Lens - The Pedaljets (Electric Moth Rcords)

The Pedaljets are Midwestern rock veterans who formed in Kansas City in 1984. In 2020 they’re still in Kansas, at least for recording purposes. This album was produced in Shawnee, KS by their former guitarist Paul Malinowski and he did a great job. It leaps out at you. They sound as modern as tomorrow and as rock as they ever did, but with some welcome twists and turns along the way.

As contemporaries and tour partners of the top level of '80s US alternative bands – The Replacements, Husker Du, The Flaming Lips – they put out a couple of albums and did a lot of touring. Somehow they didn’t break through to that R.E.M. next level, and pulled the pin out of frustration. Two decades later they returned to the studio and have released a couple of albums in the last 10 years, including this absolute belter.

Everybody had a Johnny good time

hoody y frontsHoody from The Johnnys revels in a pair of undies last seen on a stage when Tom Jones played Marrickville Bowlo.

The Johnnys
Molting Vultures
Jupiter 5
Marrickville Bowling Club
Friday, February 14, 2020

After a hard day of work at the end of the week, the temptation to see three A-class bands at Marrickville Bowling Club was hard to resist.

I don’t usually plug bistros but I have to say that what might appear to be basic club or pub food was done exceptionally well at the Bowlo. Hats off to the Marrickville Bowling Club for having a fantastic diner.

After that meal and time well spent watching planes from around the world fly over as the sun set over the greens of the club with a Young Henrys Newtowner beer in hand, it was time to see Jupiter 5.

Classroom time with Klondike and The Outside

Ex-Radio Birdman guitarist Chris Masuak’s Aussie-Euro band The Outside embark on their short and sharp French tour this week. Featuring Masuak on guitar and vocals, expat Aussie and former tennis professional Gregory Bowen on guitar, Frenchman Bruno Mondo on bass and Spaniard Juan Martinez El Kara on drums, their five-show run includes a support to Supersuckers in Rennes. This is the film clip for their Bowen-written 2013 single “In The Class”.

FEB
13 - L'Armony, Montreuil
14 - Piano Bleu Saint Brieuc
15 - Le Galion, Lorient
17 - Mondo Bizarro, Rennes (with Supersuckers)
18 - Nantes, La Cour

Dave Alvin's supergroup will be on your Mind

the third mindThe Third Mind - The Third Mind (Yep Roc)

The way Dave Alvin tells the story, the musical modus operandi was derived from a Miles Davis biography that described the jazz giant’s approach to studio improvisation. In short: pick a key, hit a groove and play without rehearsing. The title and band name (I think) have been swiped from a William Burroughs book.

“The Third Mind” (the album) is six long songs, comprising one original and five covers originally made by US underground luminaries of the ’60s - Alice Coltrane, Michael Bloomfield, Fred Neil and Roky Erickson. The Third Mind (the band) is guitarist Alvin (The Blasters) and bassist Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, Monks of Doom), guitarist David Immergluck (Counting Crows, Monks of Doom, John Hiatt), and drummer Michael Jerome (Richard Thompson, Better Than Ezra.)

The house that Nuggets built

the routesTune Out Switch Off Drop In - The Routes (Groovie Records)

Echo, vibrato, tremelo, retro-a-go-go. The Routes aren’t afraid to wear their influences on their paisley sleeves. From Nuggets-style garage and psych, to surf and swamp, this Japan-based act tread a well-trodden route (sorry!) but they do it with substance and style.

Formed by expat Scotsman Chris Jack and based in Hita City in the mountains of Oita prefecture, The Routes have been making music since 2006 with a variety of line-ups. Jack remains the one constant, and on this album he handles vocals, guitar, bass and organ, leaving the drums to Bryan Styles. “Tune Out Switch Off Drop In” is their seventh album, released on Groovie Records in late December 2019.

The CD version boasts four bonus tracks from their 2018 EP “Driving Round In Circles”, featuring Shinichi Nakayama on drums. I hope I’m not being insulting to either drummer when I say it’s hard to spot much difference – they’re both solid and match their tempos to Jack’s tunes. The downside of including the EP is that the CD becomes a 14-track effort and that stretches things a little further than necessary.

It's the Department of Youth - 45 years later

department of youthAlice Cooper
Airbourne
MC50
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Tuesday February 10, 2020

Batty Kay photos

Before I start, if you love rock'n'roll and miss these shows I'm telling you now, you don't love rock'n'roll.

In fact, if you do miss these shows, I'll never speak to you again.

Wait, that's not much of a threat.

See, I told The Barman I ain't doing no more reviews. But we're in the midst of a horrible upheaval and I can't write anything except song lyrics and reviews right now.

Bastard, Barman. Taking advantage of a poor lost Adelaide boy.

Okay, let's start with the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The 2010 edition ran to 32 volumes, over 32000 pages.

Now, I think you'll agree that every rock'n'roll trope deserves an entry in a Rock’n’roll Encyclopaedia. Right?

Righty right, droogie.

Rocking for Roy

loney tribute

San Francisco will be the place to be in February when a stack of friends and former bandmates pay tribute to the late Roy Loney.

The original lead singer for the Flamin’ Groovies passed away in December at the age of 73 after complications from surgery. Loney was with the band for two of its greatest albums, "Flamingo" (1970) and "Teenage Head" (1971) and went on to a long solo career.

One of his bands, The Phantom Movers, will be part of the tribute gig, as well as the current line-up of trhe Flamin ' Groovies, frmted by Cyril Jordan. Jello Biafra, Peter Case and Yo La Tengo members Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are among other guests.

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