brisbane - The I-94 Bar

All The HITS You Can Handle

trav-n-rich-awesome

If there's one recent (i.e. it came out in late 2009 and is still being spun) Australian album that merits robbing a bank, mugging your neighbour or running down to Cash Converters and pawning your partner so you can purchase a copy, it's "Living With You Is Killing Me" by Brisbane band HITS.

BARFLY TOP TENS: Donat Tahiraj of LCMR and Phase 4 Records & Cassettes

donat top ten20161. Big Bongin’ Baby
Gutterball Pete is perhaps the only person currently alive who can vomit during the middle of a guitar solo and not fluff a single note. He’s a character – an amalgam of Nikki Sudden, Ronnie Wood and Peter Perrett in style and grace. The affectionately –named Bongers have played around town for over 25 years and like the Saints, failed the Academy of Music’s Battle of the Bands.

2. The Double – "Dawn of the Double" LP (In the Red ITR-295)
Drummer Jim White and guitarist Emmett Kelly playing Bo Diddley for three quarters of an hour in E over two sides of an LP. This is probably too avant for the fans of rock ‘n’ roll and too in the pocket for the rockist set. I don’t think rockists know what that term even means but I’ll leave it in here anyway.

3. Kitchen’s Floor – "Battle of Brisbane" (bruit direct disques ‎ Br-d 19)
Whether they’re blissfully unaware or overtly conscious of the fact they’re carrying this anger and sense of punk that goes back to Brisbane’s day one is probably pointless and not worth fretting about right now.

Bloodstock: Brisbane benefit unveiled for Lime Spiders singer Mick Blood

bloodstockHot on the heels of the Perth show and a day after the Sydney gig, there's a Brisbane benefit for Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood happening in Brisbane.  

"Bloodstock" is being held at Roma Street's Beetle Bar on Sunday, September 28th from 1pm and features the talents of friends and former bandmates.

You can catch Screamin' Stevie, Dr. Bombay, The Busymen, The Counterfeit Umbrellas, The Pretty Fingers, Hill 60, Team Utopia and Brisbane's own Burlesque beauty, Miss Red Devotchkin, from 1pm.

Tickets are available at the door for $10. All proceeds will go directly to Mick's Support Act fund.

Mick is recovering in a Newcastle hospital after a pub altercation left him with brain damage.

Bloodstock on Facebook

www.supportact.com.au

Brisbane b/w It’s Your Fault - Death of a Nun (Swashbuckling Hobo)

doanMembers of this early ‘80s Brisbane band went on to Subsonic Barflies and Splatterheads. Taking their cue from American hardcore, Death of a Nun put down these tracks as demos in 1984-85 and Swashbuckling Hobo has exhumed them - or, in the label’s own words, “reached deep beyond the S-bend”. 

This single is very much of its time - an era of repression and extreme prejudice against any music that vaguely resembled punk (whatever that is) and “Brisbane” reflects that. It's two-paced (like the Gabba wicket used to be) and would have passed for sophisticated songwriting in the scene of the time. My guess is that somebody was listening to Minutemen.

Brisbane rock community getting behind baby Phoenix

kylieBass player, gig facilitator and festival roustabout, Kylie Lovejoy, is considered rock royalty in her hometown of Brisbane, Australia. She recently made headlines around the world with the unexpected and dramatic arrival of her son Phoenix, who arrived three months premature while Lovejoy was holidaying in Hawaii with her partner Brendan Wright and brother, renowned record producer, Jeff Lovejoy.

Baby Phoenix Koa Wright Lovejoy was born at 26 weeks gestation and weighed just 1115 grams (2.75 pounds) at birth.

Idyllic location aside, the delicate nature of such a premature birth has placed Kylie in a position of financial hardship with Phoenix needing round-the-clock care in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Honolulu until he has reached full term age.

Kylie will be residing in Hawaii for at least three months, until Phoenix is strong enough to fly home to Australia. Whilst some of the extensive medical expenses look likely to end up being covered by the US version of Medicare, the family must still meet the costs of Kylie's living expenses whilst she is staying in Hawaii. She currently has no income and is wading through a mountain of insurance company red-tape.

A group of Kylie and Brendan's friends and supporters have banded together to help raise funds for little Phoenix and his family in a loving attempt to meet these expenses.

A crowd-funding page (http://www.youcaring.com/kylie-lovejoy-and-family-382944) has been set up for immediate donations, and a benefit concert has been organized at The Triffid in Brisbane's Newstead for Sunday October 11, from midday.

Brisbane's 4ZZZ winds back the clock to 1975

buffalo revisisted brisbane

The Year Was 1975... Platform shoes, hot pants, flares and long hair were the height of fashion, HJ Holdens were selling like hotcakes, and a little community radio station by the name of 4ZZZ was born in Brisbane....

Seminal Brisbane radio station 4ZZZ FM turns 40 this December and to celebrate they're hosting a month-long party! One such shindig will be held at iconic Brisbane live music venue The Zoo on Saturday December 19th and will feature a revised version of ground-breaking Australian rock band, Buffalo.

Frontman Dave Tice has frequently been dubbed The Godfather of Australian Stoner Rock for his work with ultra-heavy ‘70s band Buffalo and he’s now re-visiting his revered outfit’s legacy with a series of select shows.

Tice has assembled a new line-up under the banner 'Buffalo Revisited' to focus on the earliest of the original band’s five albums. Tice will be joined by Vince Cuscuna (guitar), Steve Lorkin (bass) and Murray Shepherd (drums). All of them are veterans of a host of underground Sydney bands.

Buffalo formed in Sydney in 1971. Largely unrecognized by commercial radio, Buffalo was one of the country’s first exponents of the style heavy metal, pre-dating other pioneering Australian hard rock and heavy metal acts, such as Coloured Balls, AC/DC, The Angels, Taste and Rose Tattoo.

Cigarettes and Alcohol - The Leftovers (LCMR)

cigarettes and alcoholAustralian punk was never the widespread movement as it was in England, or parts of Europe, where for a time, it was mainstream. Unlike Australia. The Sex Pistols(unofficially) went to number-one with "God Save the Queen". The Clash , The Buzzcocks, The Jam and Stranglers consistently charted,alongside Elton John and Cliff Richard.

Kids in the UK sat glued to radio and listened to John Peel as a holy ritual. In the UK there was a certain set of circumstances that led to the rise of “Punk Rock” from the kids who saw Iggy, the Ramones, Patti Smith and Thunders live. Factor in brilliant (if accidental) marketers like Malcolm McLaren and their ilk. Mix in the fact that, in the grip of a serious economic recession, England was a depressing place. It all gave rise to a powerful and widespread movement.

Don’t Fall In Love With Some One Like Me - Screamin Stevie and the Hobby Rockers (self released)

dont fall in loveThis five-tracker snuck out digitally via Bandcamp six months ago and is now available as a physical CD. Somehow, having a tangible artefact available makes a release more “real”. It’s not on vinyl but it's still better than an MP3..

For those in the dark: Screamin Stevie makes garage-soul music that resonates in all the right places. A veteran of the ever-shifting outfit that was The Hekawis, he’s become something of an institution on the small but lively Brisbane underground scene. He's distinctive in an ever-present cape and camped behind a Vox organ with vocal stylings that are all his own. Stevie won’t win a spot in the church choir but that won’t matter to most of you. If he was based in Europe he'd be touring the cafe and provincial festival circuits all year-round. 

Dose - Dr Bombay (self released)

doseIt’s pretty bleeding obvious where Brisbane’s Dr Bombay is aiming. It’s that elusive but enviable sweet spot - right where melodic pop intersects with loud and fast rock and roll. Bullseyes are a rare thing but, more often than not, the Bombays land close to their target.

Sydney might be shrivelling up and Melbourne has so much going on that at times it appears to be eating itself, but Brisbane’s rock and roll scene remains viably focused, “owning” a few venues in and around the inner-city. It stays strong because it has a centre. Like many contemporaries, Dr Bombay is four (mostly old) guys getting together for a weekend blast without ambitions to conquer the world, but they sure have this pop-rock thing nailed.

Eyes Ninety - Eyes Ninety (Swashbuckling Hobo)

eyes elevenOld heads from Brisbane’s Chinese Burns (not to be confused with Sydney band Chinese Burns Unit) and The Standing 8 Count populate this band, which has been kicking around the River City (does anyone even call it that?) for four years. The eponymous record (vinyl and download) is its first output and came out in 2015.

If you know the members’ previous bands you know the postcode in which “Eyes Ninety” resides. There are elements of its predecessors but its music stands alone. Wanna label it? Let’s call it “swampy punk rock”. 

Flashback: Brisbane garage rocker Screamin' Stevie in conversation

screamin at home


One of the lesser-known musical pleasures in Australian over the last decade has been the quirky garage sound of the Hekawis, a fuzz-and-organ-driven combo prominent on the Brisbane and Melbourne underground music scenes. Churning out release after release, partly via the then prolific Courdroy label (who happened to own the country's sole vinyl pressing machine for a period in the '90s), the Hekawis pushed all the usual '50s and '60s buttons but came up with a sound unlike any other of their ilk.

Four Flights Up - Screamin' Stevie and The Credit Union (TurkeyNeck)

screaminstevieShoot me with a ball of my own shit if Brisbane-via-Melbourne-and-back-to-Brisbane's Hekawis weren't the best and most ignored garage rock band on the Australian continent. Irreverent, off-beat and driven by Screamin' Stevie's quirky keyboards and down-home vocals, they churned out a slew of inspired singles and albums while almost no-one was looking. Let's hope Screamin' Stevie's new band The Credit Union and their debut album don't suffer the same fate.

Get Shitfaced With The Onyas & Six! - The Onyas (Swashbuckling Hobo)

shitfacedSome re-issues are blatant money-making efforts and others are a public service. Think of these two as the latter. They’re both on vinyl. No digital downloads.

Dismissing The Onyas as a sub-tropical, Johnny-come-lately version of the Cosmic Psychos does both bands a disservice. Both bands are still going (The Onyas sporadically) and share a member in John McKeering (aka Mad Macka). You might say him joining Cosmic Psychos was inevitable. Some have.  

GOD HATES FAQs - Shrewms (Swashbuckling Hobo Records)

god hates faqsWith a guitar sound dirtier than a mud wrestler’s crotch after a dozen championship belt rounds and 10 short, sharp songs delivered in no-nonsense and rapid succession, the debut full-length album from Brisbane punk trio Shrewms hits the Rock Action bullseye with grim accuracy.

These are high-tensile tunes delivered with lashings of gutter rock charm and despite the clever wordplay in the title, you won’t find any Westboro Baptist Church choir numbers among them. Unless the congregation has taken to gargling with paint stripper instead of fundamentalist Kool-Aid.

Grave Consequences - Undead Apes (Mere Noise)

undeadapesBack in in the headier days of the early '90s, I used to laugh out loud at those bands who used to churn out albums duplicating Ramones discs. Now the Ramones are dead (for the most part) and gone, do we need an Australian version of the same thing?

Gross Registrable Tonnage EP - Happy Times (Swashbuckling Hobo)

happytimesThese four tracks on a 7” EP are from four members of the crew of U47, a German submarine that lay frozen under ice for 60 years only to re-surface, no doubt as a result of global warming. That the crew-members sailed up the Brisbane River and were washed up in the live music pubs is a stroke of luck, because local label Swashbuckling Hobo has been able to issue their vinyl.

HITS announce new album "Hikikomori"

Hits-shirt.jpgThe chaotic, unpredictable and, dare we say it, dangerous thing that is Brisbane band HITS have announced that their long-awaited second album is on its way on Queensland label Conquest Of Noisein April. 

Infestation - The Stinkbugs (Swashbuckling Hobo)

infestationStuck firmly in a time warp of their own making, Brisbane’s The Stinkbugs make music that bears no relation to anything you’ll hear on mainstream radio or oh-so-limp reality TV shows. Fuzzy ’n’ frothy, psychedelic garage rock is their stock in trade. 

With a lineage that includes membership of Shutdown66 and the Hekawis, The Stinkbugs mix their ’60s acid punk with their ‘70s hard rifferama to come up with their own distinctive, odd sound. This is their second album (with a couple of fine singles in-between) and veers between trashy lo-fi ragers and cloudy, acid-washed trips. 

It’s Psychological - Happy Times (Swashbuckling Hobo)

happy times LPIt could be as the title says and allude to obsession, but “It’s Psychological” also proves you can make an entire LP from songs about U-boats and shit food and come out winning.

Maybe it’s something in the sub-tropical water or the inexplicably-labelled local beer (that’d be Fourex to you and me) but Brisbane’s small underground rock scene is teeming. HITS are the heavyweights, Mick Medew is the elder statesman, but there’s plenty more happening if you use a coin to rub the panel on the scratch lottery ticket and look underneath.