• Skyhooks

    JJ Adams reflects on the Carlton scene

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    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

Radio Birdman announces intimate Sydney shows

BirdmnlogoRadio Birdman will warm up for its European tour with two intimate Sydney shows at the Factory Floor in Marrickville on June 5 and 6. 

In a Facebook post the band says: "With no other Australian appearances scheduled for 2015 these shows will provide a unique opportunity to catch the band in a small room - hot, loud and sweaty. This 'up close and intimate' experience, echoing the band's early days at the Oxford Funhouse, will not be repeated any time soon!"\

Support on both nights will be local rockers Black Heart Breakers and tickets are on sale here. European tour dates are in our Living Eye section.

 

Twin Horses - Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove/ Spiritual Front (Rustblade)

spiritual frontThis is a kind of split album thing; one side Lydia works with Cypress, and the second is Spiritual Front’s.

What Cypress Grove is doing with Lydia Lunch is what I think of as “real”, modern blues. I mean, there’s progressive and “progressive”, you know? I mean, you’ll doubtless be annoyed with me when I say I recall Robert Cray’s first LP, and thinking it was very well done, but horrible.

Maybe it’s just me but I dislike cleverness without substance, and Cray just struck me as lopsided. Oh, sure, I suppose I’m doing him a disservice, for I’ve never listened to a Cray track since (to my knowledge), but can you say you’ve never treated a notable performer any differently..? Take Van Morrison.

Please, I mean take the bugger out behind the bike sheds and blow his head off.

To Die With Pleasure b/w Waterloo Sunset - Bob Short (Full On Noise Records)

to die with pleasureAlong with half of once-underground Sydney, I know Bob Short. Unlike the rest of Sydney, it seems, I’ve only seen the scrote play once and, because he was rather brilliant, he rates a decent listen and a proper review of his first 7”.

This isn’t an essential purchase, not in this world of freebie downloads and rubbish music. Surely?

Well, actually I rather love this little record, and it looks super in my collection. And, as I understand from Bob’s accompanying pitiful blurb that there’s an LP in the works, all this is as far as I am concerned, most certainly essential. Why?

So settle back on Granfer’s knee and I’ll tell ye a story young feller …

Unplugged Rifles will amp it up

Reach for your ear plugs: Iconic Aussie firebrands the Celibate Rifles have extended their acoustic Brisbane performance by adding two extra amplified dates in Queensland.

Originally announced to be playing a one-off acoustic show at The Bunker in O’Malley’s Irish Pub in the CBD on 23 April, the band will play The Underdog Pub Co on 24 April and The Coolangatta Hotel on 25 April.

Play mystLY For Me – Dave Graney and The mystLY (self released)

play mystlyDon’t call it cabaret. Dave Graney makes reference to the tag on one of these tracks, pointing that he and his band, the mystLY, would be on a higher pay-scale, and no doubt playing in a different class of gin joints, if that’s what they were.

In longevity terms, Graney is an “elder statesman” of the Australian music scene. He was a punk. He existed as expatriate dirt amid critical acclaim in London. He came home, entered the major label lifestyle for a time, became our King of Pop and decided that he could get along just fine on his own terms, playing music that didn’t fit radio programing templates.

Sunnyboys with the Riptides and New Christs in Sydney

sunny sideof stage

And so the return, and rise, of the Sunnyboys continues. If you said they could top this one, you’d need to back it up.

They billed themselves as Kids in Dust when they stepped back onto a stage for the first time in 21 years at the Dig It Up festival in Sydney on April 24, 2012. The nom de plume was supposedly to avoid performance anxiety or to ramp down expectations, maybe both. It didn’t matter; any tentativeness was swamped by a roomful of love.

Nor were there any misgivings in evidence at the same packed venue, the Enmore Theatre, last Saturday night. Just an irresistible king-tide of energy and good spirit.

Addicted to The Victims? Do we have a deal for you...

tv addicts shirts

Snooze and you’ll lose: There are a handful of T-shirts left over from the recent hit-and-run Aussie tour by The Television Addicts, to celebrate the music of Perth punk pyros The Victims. These T-shirts mimicing the sleeve of The Victims’ "Television Addict" single were designed by mainman Dave Flick.

There are a few in various sizes and they can be obtained for the not so princely sum of $A38 (postage included) within Australia. Drop bassist Ray Ahn a line to arrange a bank transfer or Paypal him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We don't know about overseas orders but you can try your luck. 

One Lie At A Time b/w The God Of Gaps - The Galileo7 (State Records)

g7 singleThis single is great and odds are that the album from which this comes, "False Memory Lane", would be even better. Let’s get the antecedents out of the way first.

The Galileo7 is the latest vehicle for ex-Prisoners bassist Alan Crockford, whose band was at the vanguard of the Medway garage rock wave in the UK. The Prisoners bit the dust in 1986 but Rockford has been dutifully playing this garage rock-pop stuff since then and this is a new line-up of his current band.

"Foolish" by DM3

Not long until DM3 launch their April "Monsters of Jangle" tour of Australia with a stack of like-minded supports like the Stoneage Hearts, Loose Pills and Carrie Phillis and The Downtown 3. You'll find the full list of dates and the ticketing link here.

Here's a Friday video to set the scene. It's a live studio take of "Foolish" from 1993.

Bye Bye, Johnny

casiono portraitAdiso Amigo: Johnny Casino is moving with his wife to Spain and there are just three chances for Australian fans to say goodbye.

The longtime solo artist and former guitarist for Asteroid B612 is playing send-off shows with his interchangeable band, The Secrets, in Sydney and Melbourne.

April 8 finds him at Newtown Social Club with The Secrets (Mark Horne and Ben Fox) and sharing a stage with touring Spanish party band Los Chicos. 

On April 12 he’ll be in solo mode from 5-7pm followed by a Secrets bracket (Michael Evand and James Saunders) at The Labour In Vain in Melbourne. 

Johnny’s final stand is Sunday, May 10 and a solo show at The Midnight Special in Enmore, Newtown from 6pm.

"Baby Please" by Thee Rum Coves

Our new favourite New Zealand band Thee Rum Coves have released a video to go with their latest single from their debut self-titled album, which is reviewed here. This is “Baby Please”.

First LP from HITS gets an upgrade

livingwithyou reishA heads-up that the wonderful debut album from Brisbane’s HITS, “Living With You Is Killing Me”, is being re-issued in re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl format on both sides of the world.

Brisbane label Merenoise is doing the business in Australia with Beast Records  unleashing this baby in France for Europe and the Rest of the World.  

They won’t last long so avail of the links in the label names. We’ve heard a digitised version and even that sounds great, with greater dynamic range and new life in the bottom end.

 

Shambolic And Other Love Songs - Donovan's Brain (Career Records)

shambolicIf “Shambolic” needed a Facebook relationship status, it would use “It’s Complicated”. 

It's a reconstructed Donovan’s Brain record, not intentionally written as a “concept album”, but becoming one along the way. It was recorded over the space of many sessions and three years, only to be left unfinished and abandoned for a decade-and-a-half.

The name’s a misnomer. It’s no shambles by any stretch, more a twisting and turning trip, set to words and music by principal band member Ron Sanchez.

Black Book b/w Cried Over You - Thee Jezebels (State Records)

jezebels singleIf this East Sussex, England, all-girl trio is aiming to parachute into the same territory as The Pandoras with their debut 45, it’s found the drop-zone. The engine room doesn’t stomp quite as hard but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Black Book” is a song about, well, a girl’s black book and it bristles with fuzz tone and bad grace. Bass tones and a touch of the toms signals the start and it quickly locks into a nice groove. Guitarist Laura Anderson has a strong voice and she's mixed right up front. 

Flip it over and you’ll hear a dirtier, drum-led rocker that’s no slouch, either. Skuzzy guitar fights for a place up front at centre mic before handclaps signal we’re on our way out. Another reminder, if it was needed, that garage punk rock isn't entirely down and out in Mother England. 

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