• First review of the album for James Williamson & The Pink Hearts

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

Two Nights With Satan - 300 St Claire (Conquest of Noise)

two nights with satanYes, 300 St Claire were another of those noisy, intense and hard-as-a-cheap-pub-steak bands that were around in a crowded Sydney backyard at the cusp of the 2000s and never made a substantial mark anywhere else.  They self-released an EP, gigged around and more or less fell off the radar before the decade was half-done. 

My own memories include taking away tinnitus from a support they played to Asteroid B612 at the Iron Duke in Sydney one Friday night. By the time Johnny Casino and Co came on, the damage had been done, and every note The Big Fella played fell on ringing ears.   

As is the way these days, 300 St Claire has reformed - to have fun and sink a few beers, the members will tell you - so now is a good time for their long, lost EP to resurface on Conquest of Noise, complete with extras. It’s every bit as bludgeoning as you’d expect. 

Butterflyin’ - New York Dolls (Easy Action)

butterflyinRiddle me this, Batman: In these digital times, why put out a CD of a live recording in a box set and split it over two discs? A strange attempt to mimick the vinyl exprience of flipping an LP over after it hits the run-out groove? Yes, Barflies, these are some of the weighty societal issues we trouble ourselves with at the I-94 Bar. Let’s back the truck up a bit here…

“Butterflyin’” is an upgraded version of a Dolls boot that’s been doing the rounds since Steve Jones was old enough to do time in an adult detention facility. Not that he’s the only one who swiped something from the Dolls’ output. It’s taken from a 1974 WLIR radio broadcast. An additional six live tracks, from another undated radio show, are the icing on the cake. More about them later. 

It's 2018 and we still need Lunch

LYDIA 1 by Jasmine HirstJasmine Hirst photo.

Lydia Lunch doesn’t particularly care whether people are offended by her art.

From her beginnings in New York no wave outfit, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, to her spoken-word performances, to her collaborations with Rowland S Howard in Shotgun Wedding, Swans’ Michael Gira, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Bob Quine (Richard and the Hell and the Voidoids), right through to her more recent profane expositions on the United States under Donald Trump, Lunch’s self-defined brief has been deliberately and avowedly confrontationalist.

In her own words, Lunch is a conceptualist, exploring concepts that highlight the exploitation and marginalisation of the individual in contemporary society, the typically patriarchal and oppressive discourse wielded by institutions of power.

If you can’t stand the heat in Lunch’s artistic kitchen, go find yourself a fast-food media joint and starve on the processed, intellectually bankrupt crud that masquerades as entertainment.

In May 2018 Lunch returns to Australia with her Retrovirus concept, trawling across her 40-year career with the aid of Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Chrome Cranks), Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers) and Algis Kizys (Swans). I spoke to Lydia Lunch in her sometime home town of New York City.

Blues Trash - Reverend Beat-Man and the New Wave (Voodoo Rhythm) and In My Room - The Gun Club (Bang! Records)

beat man and the new waveYou've all been subjected to that “name 10 LPs in 10 days” stuff on Facebook like me, I suppose? 

I stopped partly because I had to go interstate and didn't think I'd have access to FB, and partly because, on the trip over I wrote down another list of those records which I considered to be watershed, groundbreaking, jaw-dropping and influential to me personally.

Noted thug-about-Sydney's-buses Bob Short is still going strong (at the time of writing he's approaching 50 days, and if he keeps going he might finish in 2021) and I think that's the problem.

Sydney to celebrate 45 years of Volcanic Rock

buffalo 45 adIt’s been cited as one of the most influential hard rock albums in Australian music history. Buffalo’s “Volcanic Rock” turns 45 this year.

To mark the occasion, vocalist Dave Tice is playing some special shows with current band, Buffalo Revisited, playing the album and a handful of other hand-picked highlights from the band’s five-album career.

The first will be presemnted by the I-94 Bar at Sydney’s Bald Faced Stag Hotel on Saturday, June 30.

Recorded mostly live at United Sound in Sydney, “Volcanic Rock” appeared in August 1973 on the Vertigo label, also home to Black Sabbath.

Attracting minimal airplay, it was critically-hailed and tracks like “Freedom”, The Prophet” and “Shylock” wrote the template for stoner rock.

Revealed: Ed and The Aints delivering two albums for the price of one

peter oxley studioBy the time you read this, Ed Kuepper and his new favourite band The Aints will be ensconced in Phil Punch’s Sydney studio, recording their new album.

“The Church of Simultaneous Existence” was previewed on the recent runs of Aints shows across Australia, and will consist mostly of old songs intended for a fourth album by the early (definitive) version of the Kuepper-Bailey Saints.

The Aints lineup is Peter Oxley (bass), Paul Larsen (drums) and Alister Spence (keys) with Kuepper on vocals and guitar, backed by a three-piece horn section. The photo at right of Peter Oxley in the studio yesteday is courtesy of Feelpresents. 

Last Friday night at Sydney's Marrickville Bowling Club, The Aints played a bracket of the album songs in their entirety. They backed up that blistering show with an appearance the following night at the Gumball festival in the Hunter Valley..

Did we say recording “a new album” (singular)? The Aints are also recording a new Ed Kuepper album - with strings.

It’s the same “electric trio” configuration that appeared with Ed and the Nonsemble Strings at Leftys Old Time Musical Hall in Brisbane in December 2017.

No release dates have been announced for either album but mixing sessions have been scheduled, so watch this space.

Ex-Stooge James Williamson's new album looms

jameswilliamsonpinkhearts

The debut album from ex-Iggy and the Stooges guitarist James Williamson and his new band, The Pink Hearts, comes out on June 22 and we’ll have a review live in about a week.

“Behind the Shade” by James Williamson and The Pink Hearts will be on Williamson’s own Leopard Lady Records and is a diverse but powerful effort, with Frank Meyer (Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) and Petra Haden (That Dog) sharing lead vocals. 

Haden was one of the feature vocalists on Williamson’s album of previously unreleased studio versions of Stooges songs, “Re-Licked”. She also contributed violin to “The Departed” on the final Stooges album. “Ready To Die”. 

On “Behind The Shade”, Williamson supplies all of the riffs, guitar parts and most of the bass. The album also includes a host of accompanists.

They include Michael Urbano (Smash Mouth, Bourgeois Tagg, Todd Rundgren, John Hiatt) on percussion, Gregg Foreman, Hervé Salters, Paul Roessler, Nick Hart, and Audrey Vera on keyboards and piano, Jason Carmer on bass, Don Rooke on lap steel, Geoff Yeaton and Tony Peebles on saxophone and Steffen Kuehn on trumpet.

Click Read More for a video teaser and the tracklist.

Follow Your Instinct - Guttercats (Pop The Balloon/Ghost Highway/Beluga Records)

follow your instinctIt’s four albums into the game for French band Guttercats and it’s with an almost entirely new line-up. Vocalist Guts Guttercat is the sole original member. Before you ask, he sings in English - and with more than a little sense of drama in his delivery.

Not to be confused with the UK Gutter Cats (punks) or their L.A. counterparts (sleaze-glam), both contemporaries using the two-word form of the name, this crew cites The Only Ones, Rowland S. Howard, Nikki Sudden, Chris Bailey and Gun Club as influences. 

That’s a varied bag and so is their music. It runs the full gamut - from Bohemian semi-acoustic, dark pop to garage-style rock rave-ups. I’d throw the Bad Seeds and Dream Syndicate in there, too, or even final days Johnny Thunders.

This R.E.M. tribute goes out to the ones they love

Tis the season to pay tribute, it seems. “The Ones We Love” is a unique series of concerts in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, celebrating R.E.M. and featuring an all-star line-up of singers, most of them drawn from the Australian semi-underground.

Jeff Martin (The Tea Party), Steve Kilbey (The Church), Ron S. Peno (Died Pretty), Trish Young (The Clouds), Alannah Russack (The Hummingbirds), Ashley Naylor (Even), Greg Atkinson (Ups & Downs), Peter Fenton (Crow) and Amanda Brown (The Go-Betweens) are sharing star billing. Backing will come from The Exploding Boys who, at last glance, comprised members of Glide and Died Pretty. 

THE ONES WE LOVE: Celebrating R.E.M.
AUG
31 - Brisbane, Tivoli Theatre
Sep
6 - Melbourne, Palais Theatre
7 - Sydney, State Theatre
Tickets - Pre Sale: Friday May 4th, 9am Local Times. On Sale -   Monday May 7th, 9am Local Times. 
From Metropolis Touring

 

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