Seismic changes in music don’t occur spontaneously. They’re usually a result of people unwittingly being in the right place at the right time, running into a catalyst and stumbling over a big stockpile of serendipity.
Does anyone think CBGB would have been anything more than the source of dogshit on the soles of a few Bowery bums’ shoes if Hilly Krystal hadn’t been conned by a supposed bluegrass band into giving live music a try?
How quickly would the Sex Pistols have fizzled out if Queen hadn’t cancelled on Bill Grundy at the last minute, presumably so Freddy could get his nails done? McLaren had no more planned the TV outburst that propelled his band to infamy as Steve Jones had sworn off the booze.
In 1966, a former dance hall on the shady side of Detroit called The Grande Ballroom became both a focal point for the counter culture and a scene. It attracted and generated a strain of high-energy, blue collar rock and roll, the likes of which have been seen rarely anywhere else. It came into being through good management, but also through incredible luck.
The Dark Clouds from Wollongong are one of the newer Aussie bands in the Detroit-rock-Dictators mould making an impact on the local underground scene. Here's their debut video for "Lilac Dress" from their debut album, reviewed here. Connect with them on Facebook here.
Perth psych-boogie rockers Datura4 (whose ranks include Dom Mariani and Greg Hitchcock) have their album "Demon Blues" out on CD and vinyl on Alive Naturalsounds July 10. Our review is here and this is the official video for the lead-off song.
Seems not so long ago (and in fact, it was the late 1980s) that the shadow of a still breathing, although not always fully-functioning, Johnny Thunders was almost everywhere you looked. His records filled the racks and every second person in a band wanted to look like, if not be, JT. As in buying the T-shirt with no need to tap a vein.
It was P.I. (Pre-Internet) so we didn’t have the same visual options that YouTube and Torrenting now offer, but you had to wonder how someone whose wasted pictures and sound defined the term “fucked-up” so convincingly could continue to make music.
Of course, way down in Australia we got our answer when an at least partially cleaned-up Johnny toured, with the ever-present legend Jerry Nolan on drums and a real live Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock, on bass. That had to be the year I was overseas, but by all reliable reports The Man and His Band were both lucid and great.
His music tends to be overshadowed by the fact that Thunders was a hardcore junkie for the second tw-thirds of his career, at first by choice and then, over the years, by necessity. You might argue that he also milked that reputation for all it was worth, to the point that it was a marketing tool as much as a cross to bear.
Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers has re-surfaced in Sydney band Joeys Coop, whose debut seven-inch single is due out soon on Citadel. Joeys Coop is Mark Roxburgh (Decline of the Reptiles), Andy Newman (Deniz Tek Group, Decline of The Reptiles), Matt Galvin (Eva Trout, Perry Keyes, Loose Pills), Lloyd Gyi (Perry Keyes, Dave Warner) and Myers.
We at the I-94 Bar are fans of the members' bands but we're especially keen on that distinctive Myers jangle-and-soar so you can guess what we think of the song. Joeys Coop will launch “Take Me Away” at Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday March 22 with supports Knievel, Buddy Glass and Matt Shacallis. More gig details here.
Chris Masuak (Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen) has a new music video live and it's a taster for a forthcoming album, currently in production with his Spanish band, The Viveiro Wave Riders Associaiton. Here it is in all its stark glory, showcasing the "dead centre" of Klondike's adopted home town of Viveiro, in northern Spain.
When touring Norwegian-based musician Mark Steiner was here in Australia recently he kindly thrust this upon me. It’s a DVD documentary about Greenland’s first rock band, Sume, which means “Where?” in Greenlandic.
Greenland is a rather huge island continent, with a vast inhospitable interior and most of the population living in coastal villages, the population (mostly Inuit who settled there some 700 years ago) ruled by Denmark. Slowly but surely Denmark’s modern, western society eroded the culture and way of life of the Greenlanders; in order to get jobs (rather than fishing in kayaks) every young Greenlander had to go to Denmark to study. Meanwhile, older Greenlanders found their way of life being destroyed and being replaced with despair and purposelessness.
In 1972 four young Greenlanders, each from a different coastal village, met in Copenhagen … and formed a band. Malik Hoegh, the main lyric writer and singer-guitarist, and Per Bethelsen, produced songs in tune with the times of rebellion against an uncaring ruling state, even touting revolution as a way forward…