The I-94 Bar's Top Tens are about to roll-out and you'd be surprised if both this year's releases on I-94 Bar Records didn't make the grade for The Barman's picks.
A couple of months ago, we posted a track-by-track by Chris Masuak of "Address to the Nation" by Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders. Now it's Mick Medew's turn to walk you through "Open Season", the long-player from Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers.
It's a killer album of pop, power and melody and if you don't believe us, check out the reviews here.
The words below belong to Mick Medew, the photos are by Jeff Ram.
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This song was principally written by our guitar player, Brian Mann. He wrote the lyrics to the first verse and I found it easy to run with his theme.
I grew up in inner city Brisbane in the 1960's and ‘70s where there was plenty of exploring to be done and no security guards in sight. I have one Sister (11 years older than me ) so i was effectively an only child for a lot of the time. At least it felt like that.
I needed to apply my imagination; necessity being the mother of invention.
Michael Halloran is playing upstairs at The Tote with Light Magnetic on Thursday 14 November.
Michael Halloran is busy, but he’s not in a hurry. Back in Melbourne from Mexico to see family and friends and to squeeze in a couple of live shows and some recording, Halloran is taking things as they come – organically, if you will.
“That’s where I’ve kind of got to now,” Halloran muses. “Fuck the whole organising and rehearsing, I’m too old for that – maybe not too old, but I’ve got my experiences.”
Having left Melbourne for New York five years ago, Halloran’s nominal home base is now in Mexico, where he runs a bed and breakfast. Earlier this year, Halloran returned to New York to put down some tracks with long-time collaborator Dee Pop and expatriate Australian musician Rob Mason:
“I lived in New York for about five years so I’ve got a lot of musical contacts and friends. It’s a very strong musical community,” Halloran says. “I’ve had this idea that I’ve wanted to do recently, which is to record with different people at different places. Basically to turn up there, stay for a month, get a feel, get back into the vibe and check some unique music, stuff that’s going on.”
Joe Lallo, Anthony Pirog and Brendan Canty. Antonia Tricarico photo.
“There’s no line between improvisation and self-indulgence!” It’s all the same thing, so just be forewarned before you come to our shows. It’s rampant self-indulgence, 100% of the time!” laughs Brendan Canty, drummer with Washington DC band The Messthetics.
Canty’s reply to my question is deliberately facetious: The Messthetics explore the jazzier side of rock’n’roll, eschewing the melodic and lyrical hook of a vocalist for an improvisational instrumental sonic aesthetic enabled via guitarist Anthony Pirog’s reedy guitar lines. But the contrast between The Messthetics’ exploratory style and the brutal discipline of Canty’s former band Fugazi is stark.
“We don’t have a vocalist, so I like to think that Anthony’s guitar lines are the vocals,” Canty says. “There are times of course when we do rampant self-indulgence but for the most part we have written music, and we try and diversify what we play and make it interesting for everyone.”