Latte? What latte? Make mine a Minibike with some Stompin' Riff Raffs

nao pbsNao of Stompin' Riff Raffs. 3PBS-FM photo. 

Stompin’ Riff Raffs

Northcote Social Club
Minibikes

Merri Creek Tavern
Saturday, December 14 2019

One-time I-94 Bar writer Trevor Block once described Melbpurne suburb Northcote as "the capital of the People’s Republic of Darebin". Trevor’s colourful description had some currency at the time: you could still find Californian bungalows inhabited by half-a-dozen social security recipients-cum-performance artists, including an aging dreadlocked hippie who quoted Engels over late breakfast and invoked Proudhon in defiance of the sticky note instruction to avoid using the carton of soy milk in the fridge.

But times have changed. Northcote is still, according to psephologists, the hub of the Melbourne inner-city leftie latte culture, the loud, politically correct class who drown out the quiet Australians of the suburbs and regions. True, there is plenty of good coffee to be found in Northcote, but the fact that the only significant community uprising in recent times was about the council’s plan to restrict parking (“What? I can’t park both the Beemer 4WD and the Jeep Cherokee in front of the house? And where will I park Angus’s new Mercedes Sport?”) says everything about the sanctimonious hypocrisy of the middle-class.

Love, invisibility and vomit in the span of three albums

loveandevolLØVE & EVØL - Boris (Third Man Records) 
Invisible You - JP Shilo (Ghost Train Records) 
Fortuna Horribilis - Vomit of the Universe (The Artist)

ANTI-RAMONES WARNING: NO BORIS SONG UNDER 3.5 MINUTES.

Grayson Haver Currin of Pitchfork comments on the latest alvum from Japan's venerable trio Boris:

“These seven anemic songs find Boris becoming something new yet again - self-satisfied.”

Eric Carr, of the same magazine (ED: Isn't he in KISS?), commented retrospectively on Sonic Youth's LP “EVOL” in 2002:

“EVOL would mark the true departure point of Sonic Youth’s musical evolution - in measured increments, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo began to bring form to the formless, tune to the tuneless, and with the help of Steve Shelley’s drums, they imposed melody and composition on their trademark dissonance. A breathtaking fusion of avant-garde noise (as far as Rock was concerned) and brilliant, propulsive rock ... this is where the seeds of greatness were sown.”

I think it's a fair bet that Boris are nodding at Sonic Youth's "EVOL" LP here; in 1992, on their first CD - a 60+minuter comprising only one song, “Absolutego” - they scribbled their influences - including Sonic Youth, a band whose first four records I bought and loved. 

Greatness in the grooves

between the linesBetween The Lines: The Complete Jordan-Wilson Songbook ’71-’81 - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)
I’ll Have a…Bucket of Brains! The Original 1972 Rockfield Recordings for UA - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)

Keeping track of the Flamin’ Groovies discography used to be harder than Chinese arithmetic. Multiple line-ups on a slew of labels - major, independent or indecent, depending on who you believed - and a dizzying array of re-issues, compilations and live sets made it hard work.

Like everything else, the Interwebs changed that. Resources like Allmusic and Discogs allow you to thread your way - relatively coherently - though the back catalogue to make some sense of it.

“Between The Lines” is a clever concept: It compiles the original songs of the “second” Groovies from their salad pop days and strips out the covers.

Hard-Ons deliver in homecoming gig at the Lansdowne

the mis made lansdowneThe Mis-Made in fulll flight at Sydney's Lansdowne Hotel. 

The Hard Ons + Arse + The Mis-Made
Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
December 13, 2019

Didn't think I would get to see this gig but very happy I did. If anyone says that girls can't rock, they obviously were not at the Lansdowne tonight to see The Mis-Made.

Mis-Made kicked off the proceedings with a tight set of blitzkrieg killer metal tunes. This is the sort of set that gives you goosebumps. Guitarist-singer Jessamine Finlayson's vocal style reminded me of Patti Smith and the band was tight.

Arse came up next with a toxic concoction of brutal, kinetic energy. In your face rock and attitude. Always a pleasure to watch.

Schizophonics back for Round Two

schizophonics aus nzExplosive trio The Schizophonics are inflicting their unique rock and roll show on audiences in Australia and New Zeraland for a second time in 2020 as well as Japan.

The San Diego band - essentailly singer-guitarist Pat Beers and drummer wife Lety - have both a new album, "People in The Sky",and a new bass player, Kiwi Takumi McIntyre (formerly of the Cavemen), in tow and made a huge impression on their 2019 tour of Australia and New Zealand. .

Antipodean audiences had seldom (if at all) witnessed the likes of levitational front man Pat  , whose sweaty splits , 720 degree spins (all before completion of the first song!) had local audiences gagging!!  The Schizophonics combine the swagger of James Brown breakdancing to the Stooges, with the sonic attack of  Hendrix and the MC5 in their hooky garage pop. 

I-94 Bar will co-present the Sydney gig at Marrickville Bowling Club (shifted from the Hideaway Bar) on March 12. The Facebook event is here and tickets for that show are on sale here.

The Schizophonics
NZ-Australia-Japan Tour
FEB
NZ
21 - Leigh at Leigh Saw Mill
22 - Tauranga at Woodcock (Not) - ask Austin
24 - Wellington at Valhalla
25 - Takaka at Mussell Inn
26 - Blenheim at The Plant
27 - Christchurch at Space Academy
28 - Dunedin at The Cook
29 - Raglan at The Yot Club
MAR
1 - Whangarei at The Whangarei Club
4-- Auckland at Neck Of The Woods
6 - Napier at Paisley Stage
7 - Upper Hutt at Obey The Spliff
AUS
8 - Hobart @ The Brisbane
10 - Brisbane @ Netherworld Arcade - FREE SHOW
11 - Newcastle @ The Badger's Lair
12 - Sydney @ Hideaway Bar
13- Wolllongong @ La La La's
14 -Melbourne @ The Tote
15th - Melbourne @ TBA
JPN
19 -Shimokitazawa Three, Tokyo
20 - Namba Mele, Osaka
21 - Higashikoenji UFOclub, Tokyo
22 - Club Heavysick, Tokyo

Johnny Casino is back with a widescreen Saints re-make

Expatriate Australian musician Johnny Casino (Asteroid B612, Johnny Casino & The Secrets) is now domiciled in Spain where he's been busy playing band and solo shows and recording in the studio. He's re-emerged on the Interwebs today with a taste of his next solo album with a cover of the Chris Bailey Saints' "Ghost Ships". You can stream it buy it (for a pittance) at Bandcamp via that link below. We're biased but think it shits all over Bruce Springsteen's "Just Like Fire Would".

The album is called "Vibrations...Yours and Mine" and it will be up clsoe and personal with JC, his vocie and a few guitar pedals. It's scheduled for release in March or April 2020.

 

2019 Barfly Top Tens: Keith Claringbold

kc 2019TOP TEN GIGS 2019
Ashley King photo

It is always hard to cut it down to ten but here goes.

Ice Cream Hands supported by Bryan Estapa Band- Factory Floor, Sydney 
A great night of cleverly and carefully crafted power pop from Ice Cream Hands as Charles Jenkins and co bewitched us again with their sublime sounds. Support act Bryan Estapa Band were also a delight with their songs that owe a bit of a nod to high quality 70s AM radio sounds.

Charlotte and The Harlots/COFFIN/Turbobelco/Generation Landslide/Hy Test/Neptune Power Federation – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
All killer no filler as this mighty bill saw each band up the ante and be better than the one before them. COFFIN and Neptune Power Federation were especially outstanding.

Thee Marshmallow Overcoat – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Ashley Naylor, Davey Lane and Brett Wolfie playing two sets of their favourites from the 60s and 70s. Do I need to say more?

Ice Cream Hands – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Oh yes, the night after Thee Marshmallow Overcoat, at the same venue. Bliss, heaven on a stick and a more sympathetic mix than was apparent at the Factory Floor show.

The Dark Clouds/Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers/Radio Birdman – Factory Theatre
The Dark Clouds showed why they are one of the best hard rock bands around but it was Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers who wowed the crowd with their set. Peppered with tracks from the Open Season album and select gems from Mick’s back catalogue they were the stars of the night. Radio Birdman also delivered a fine set and it was probably Rob Younger’s best vocal performance with RB for some time.

England's (bad) Dreaming

just a bad dream box set“Just A Bad Dream: Sixty British Garage & Trash Nuggets 1981-89”– Various Artists (Cherry Red)

While most of us in Australia in the ‘80s and ‘90s were obsessing with the US resurgence in trashy ‘60s garage rock, the Brits were having a wild old time with the same sort of stuff. This stellar three-disc, clamshell box set lifts the lid on what was going on behind the Warm Beer Curtain, in cracking fashion.

Flash back to the dawn of the 1980s: Boxed in by the constraints of punk rock - which had morphed into a fashion parade by then - and repulsed by the rise of New Romanticism, a good many Brit bands made like it was still raining German V2’s and headed deep underground.

To be fair, you can also blame the Cramps for much of this, although the Poms were arguably able to tap their own deep, local wellspring. We Aussies, on the other hand, got locked into our own US ‘60s punk trip, thanks to our own tastemaker bands, and those buyers for local record stores who spent most of their time in the States.

This French band's EP is one Sweed ride

thee sweedersThee Sweeders - Thee Sweeders (Let’s Sweed Records)

No idea if there’s a decent garage rock “scene” of any sorts in Annency, France. The French tend to do to rock and roll what Australia's backpacker killer Ivan Milat did to tourists, both using a place called a shallow grave, but if there is, it’s lucky to have Thee Sweeders as part of it. This release is six tracks on vinyl of fine, hard driving punk rock and roll.

Comparisons are often odious and best avoided but let’s pause and consider a couple:

The Murder City Devils gave equal prominence to keys and guitar and produced some of the best Stooges-in-the-garage skronk to come out of Seattle, Washington, in the wake of grunge in the ‘90s.Thee Sweeders peddle a similar style, with Oliv’s swirling electric piano mixing it with Cuibs’ chunky guitar. Sweeders vocalist Gilles approximates Spencer Moody’s uncivil yowl - and probably speaks better English.

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