Baby Shakes, New Bomb Turks show punk rock matters

babyshakes2Two of American’s finest and most fun high-energy punk combos, New Bomb Turks and Baby Shakes, have separately decided to make available rarities to benefit Black Lives Matter organisations.

Columbus, Ohio’s New Bomb Turks, who appeared in the early ‘90s and made a huge impact internationally with the high-speed wise-ass update on classic ‘70s styled punk, are releasing "Nightmare Scenario – Diamond Edition", a vrsion of their 2000 album, "Nightmare Scenario".

The previously unheard original mixes (and bonus track) by original producer Jim Diamond was recorded after their first Australian tour in 1999, and featured new drummer Sam Brown.

Strait James and The Iceman pair for new album of originals

Punk/proto-punk guitar heroes, James Williamson (Iggy & The Stooges) and Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), have joined forces for a studio album. "Two To One" is released in September 18 by US label Cleopatra Records and "Stable" is the lead-off video track..

Williamson and Tek met at a memorial show for founding Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton in 2011 and reconnected when Williamson finally made it to Sydney with Iggy & The Stooges in 2013. They’ve since become neighbours in Hawaii. Although generationally separated,  they share roots in the fertile Ann Arbor/Detroit high energy rock scene of the late '60s and early ‘70s.

Flowers from a New York City trashcan

ny junk dreamingDreaming - New York Junk (Tarbeach Records)

"The poet's gut reaction is to search his very soul..." -Dee Dee Ramone

"The Gutter Angels up in Heaven/ looking down upon us all/Bless the homeless/Bless the dope fiends/Bless the sidewalks where they fall”.  -Puma Perl 

Covid Sunday, diggin' through old boxes and pulling out stacks of magazines and letters and relics from a long gone and probably mercifully half forgotten, stinky basement, punk past.

Mining unearthed Stooges gold is a labor of love for Ben Blackwell

iggy in repose

Nobody loves a band more than a diehard follower of the Stooges. Through thick and thin, they cling to whatever recording detritus or tidbit of lore is handed down, like a drowning man clutches a life preserver in an ocean liner sinking.

They chase every bootleg with the fervour of a pre-urban renewal Cass Corridor junkie hustling a hit. They celebrate the band’s posthumous legend status and annoy non-believers with trivia, simultaneously living vicariously through the stories of the Stooges' addled (pre-reunion) stumbles and falls.

All this and more is why the news that broke in June this year about a high-quality desk tape concert recording of the original line-up materialising, a full five decades after the event, hit the faithful like a phalanx of neighbourhood leaf blowers at 7am on a hungover, suburban Saturday morning.

Not much misery in this hang

the misery hangThe Misery Hang - The Searchin’ Destroyers (Gimme Some Skin Records)

There’s a tiny clue to its sound in the band name but you’d be a fool to collar these Destroyers as just another bunch of would-be world’s forgotten boys (plus a girl.) There are many more varied and subtle reference points on this Athens, Georgia, band’s debut album than there are scars on His Igness’s leathery hide.

Essentially a mid-life outlet for hazmat technician-turned-keyboardist Drew Finn, The Searchin’ Destroyers aspired to play “psychedelic garage pop punk Tejano spaghetti western surf soul rock music” when they formed three yeasr ago. If that mission statement takes a minute getting your head around, you’re not Tom Hanks on a desert island with only a mute volleyball for company. 

A one-finger salute is your ticket to stardom

veebees studio

Aussie yob rockers The VeeBees are making a clip for their song “How’s Get Fucked Sound?” and they say YOU need to be in it.

The Wollongong-via-Canberra band is recruiting participants online and is promising absolutely nothing if you take part. That’s zero. Zilch. Nada. Sweet Fuck All. All you need to do is film yourself giving them the finger and singing or playing along to the song.

Good news for zeroes as Noise for Heroes returns

nfh1Noise for Heroes Complete 1980-83 Vol 1
Noise for Heroes Complete 1988-91 Vol 2
Noise for Heroes Complete 1991-2004 Vol 3
Edited by Steve H. Gardner

Imagine a decade like the 1980s without zines. For the uninitiated (because they weren’t born then) zines were self-produced magazines, often photocopied and sometimes hand-drawn, focused on subjects that the authors were passionate about. More often than not, the topic was music. 

It’s hard to overstate the importance of zines in a pre-Internet world. Along with college radio, they  powered the American underground music circuit. In Australia, they connected underground bands, and fans across a country of disparate cities and gave insights into scenes overseas in a way mainstream music papers could never reflect. In Europe, they were oxygen for a culture considered low brow that fought to find an audience. 

Zines were lapped up by people into punk, high-energy and left-of-centre music that didn’t manage to gain exposure elsewhere. They were the epitome of DIY culture, making the passion of others tangible. You’re “consuming” the digital equivalent of one right now. 

One of the best was “Noise for Heroes” from San Diego, USA. The very lanky Steve Gardner kicked it off with some like-minded friends in 1980. It initially had a focus on punk rock. In its second life, it moved onto the Aussie and Scandinavian underground scenes with Gardner its writer rather than editor. Steve drummed in bands, ran his own record label, NKVD, and had a mail order music business. 

Matt Gimmick's insanely great legacy re-issued

Matt Gimmick EPDetroit Renaissance 79 - Matt Gimmick (HoZac Records)

The penny dropped somewhere on the Road to Damascus exit, just off I-94, but there was no need for a conversion. The revelation that this band Matt Gimmick was a by-product of The Punks, a Detroit outfit active in the mid-‘70s whose overlooked recordings have been posthumously released a coupla times over, sparked a run to the shelves to dig out their release. If you don't own a copy of The Punks' "The Most Powerful Music On Earth" CD, or subsequent re-releases on vinyl, your life is diminished.

The Punks were unashamedly in the thrall of the Stooges. If solo Iggy had sounded like The Punks we would have been spared “Party” and the Pop would have ended up a rich man much earlier in life for delivering what fans of his old band expected all along. Or so the fantasy goes, because for most of the '70s, nobody actually cared.

Ghost In Me: Thinking about dead ends, dead friends and the Furs in quarantine lockdown on the 4th of July

"I love rocknroll-all the people with nothing to show..."  - Jesus And The Mary Chain

"I ain't lookin' for nothin' in someone else's eyes..." - Bob Dylan

"There's nothing I wanna see, nowhere I wanna go..." - Manic Street Preachers

"Don't take More Than You Need"  - Paul K.

"I raise my glass to the ugly truth that you can't reveal to the ears of youth except to say it isn't worth a dime." - Leonard Cohen

"I don't want to go out, I want to stay in, get things done..." - David Bowie

"We drink the water and it tastes like medicine... wake up, wake up..." - Richard Butler

DRESSED IN YOUR SHINY CLOTHES

Some people believe I'm excluding them from some par-tay, but there really is no par-tay. Sometimes, I wonder if  there was ever a par-tay. Mostly 'been a lot of changing urinal cakes, washing dishes, merchandising endcaps, ruining the knees with constant bending, and always being stressed from the constant threat of Ford truck hick ass ultra-violence. There might have been some nights of frivolous abandon and dressing up and boozy singing, but that was a long time ago .

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I-94 Bar