No winners: The Case of The Music Industry and Social Justice Warriors vs Ms Louise Dickinson

lemon 16Half a Cow in the inner-western suburb of Glebe was the coolest bookshop in Sydney; an advocate of the underground with shelves bulging with left-of-field fanzines, authors who had been banned and musical output from alternative voices.

It was a literary anti-establishment.  It all came crashing down, in my view, one afternoon in early 1993, during my fortnightly visit to the shop.

A phone call had been made earlier that day and I witnessed the removal of issues of “Lemon” magazine from the shelves.

I asked: “What has Lou done?” and was shown a review of indie-folk pop stars Club Hoy, buried in the back pages. 

It was just six words: “These girls deserve a good raping."

"Lemon" magazine was now officially banned. It started one of the most controversial weeks in the history of the modern Australian music industry.

Indeed, it was the flashpoint of the underground openly clashing with the mainstream.

Carlton cowboys and Fitzroy floors…a retrospective and review

CarltonBookletCoverThere’s a time machine where I work. The size of an average bathroom, it can spin rock samples at 16 times gravity, replicating a century’s worth of gas and water movements throughout aquitards in a couple of days, or a millenium’s worth in a week. Impressive!

The two discs of the “(When TheSsun Sets Over) Carlton” compilation may not spin quite that fast (or if they do, either they or my CD player have truly greater construction and sound quality than I realized!), but they equally constitute a time machine, taking the listener back to an era which technologically, politically and socially is so different to the present, it’s hard to believe it’s 40 - and not 140 - years ago!

Just take some time to consider Australian daily life as lived from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, an era when the musicians on “Carlton” were growing up, forming groups and writing the songs which on playing still sound so amazingly fresh so many years later. If you are old enough to remember, read on and be reminded how things have changed. If you aren’t, read on and be amazed!

First Detroit Punks interview series goes live

Punk turned peace activist Ivan Suvanjieff - originally known as Mark Norton from the Ramrods - is a former Cream writer and film maker as well. Here's episode one of his series, Detroit Punks, featuring interviews with pre-eminent Motor City music names. This is with John Brannon of Easy Action and Negative Approach.

Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Eagle head PeaceJam, a multiple Nobel Prize-nominated organisation working for social justice. More information at Peacejam.

Au Revoir Christian, from a bandmate and friend

hhmn-2009
Christian Houllemare (centre) with the reformed Happy Hate Me Nots, with the author, Matt Galvin, next to him, second from the right . Mark Roxburgh photo

It's hard to remember how I first got to know Chris Houllemare. Was I a fan, a friend or a bandmate?

I was 15 when The Happy Hate Me Nots released their first two singles, in 1985. I saw them by accident at the Strawberry Hills Hotel after walking down Foveaux Street (fuck, EVERYTHING is French this week) from a World Series Cricket one-dayer, and I used my bus pass as ID to get into a gig at Hurstville Master Builders club not long after.

I was smitten. It was kinetic, real lyricism, real heart, really fucking fast. All at once.

The Story of CK32111

rawpowr-lge1I'm going to tell you about a little quest of mine; a search for the (not so) Holy Grail. It's a mountain size molehill of my own making and I admit it. But in these dire days of corporate mediocrity - where the alternative has been bought up by the same guys who brought you the thing you were supposed to be the alternative to – a man is defined by his obsessions.

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