died pretty - The I-94 Bar
Beauty In The Ordinary - Astrid Munday (Behind the Beat)
Catharsis through music is not new but Astrid Munday manages to weave a dignified and reflective joy into “Beauty in the Ordinary”, a tribute to her departed husband Tony Cohen.
It’s been 14 years since her last album and three since the passing of Cohen, one of the greatest producer/engineers to occupy an Australian studio in the last four decades. If you’ve heard an album by the Beasts of Bourbon, Hunters & Collectors, The Go-Betweens, The Cruel Sea, Dave Graney, Kim Salmon, the Birthday Party or the Blackeyed Susans, chances are that Cohen had a hand in it.
In no special order:
1. The Damned at The Triffid, Brisbane, March 15
A school night: Wednesday. The Mesmerisers go on at 7.30pm to a packed house. We carve, the crowd makes us feel like they are there to see us. The Damned 's tour manager remarks that he has never encountered a support band being granted a bottle of Gordon's gin as part of their drink rider: another milestone ticked.
The Damned play for two-and-a-half hours - brilliantly. They are a big hit with the audience - and with Captain Sensible back in the band, they could hardly miss.
2. Perfect Match
Now I do know where she comes from: Banyo. I’ve got a Date with a Banyo girl, tonight.
3. Died Pretty, Radio Birdman and The Mesmerisers at The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, June 23
The crowd have all turned up early and turn on to us straight away. Died Pretty get better every time I see them. They always were a fantastic band.
4. Perfect Purchase
My Zoom H5 portable recording device does everything i wanted it to.
5. Gap Farmers Markets, Brisbane, June 25
Andrew Ross and Co sure know how to put on a festival . We go on before dusk. I wear my sunglasses for half the set. Michael again chooses the right shirt for the occasion.
KC goes to more live shows than your mother goes to Tuppaware parties. Here's his Top Ten of Sydney gigs.
EVEN – NEWTOWN SOCIAL CLUB
A power pop fans dream and a very early “gig of the year” contender from the Fab Three. Supported by the wonderful On and Ons and Soul Movers on a stinker of a summer EVENing. Is it heresy to say I like them and their songs so much more than You Am I? I eagerly await the Christmas Even show at The Landsdowne on December 23.
THE APARTMENTS – THE FACTORY FLOOR
A wonderful set of sparse songs, full of emotion, not sentimental but heart tugging and soul searing. Spare and simple arrangements enhanced by nuanced and subtle musicianship of Peter Milton-Walsh’s fellow musicians, including Amanda Brown.
DIED PRETTY – ENMORE THEATRE
Following on from two cracking shows in 2016, Ron Peno and co delivered another amazing set and they were the band of the night at Radio Birdman’s big show. Brett Myers, what a guitarist.
Died Pretty have added a Brisbane date to their run of select club sideshows to go with their A Day On The Green commitments:
Friday 4th March, 2016
The Factory, Sydney NSW
Tix: Ticketek and SABO
Friday 11th March 2016
The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
Friday 18th March, 2016
Max Watts (formerly The Hifi), Melbourne VIC
Tix: Oztix.com.au and Ticketscout
It's been three years since Died Pretty last played on an Australian stage - as part of the Dig It Up concert series - and the same classic lineup of Ron Peno (vocals), Brett Myers (guitar), John Hoey (keyboards), Chris Welsh (drums) and Steve Clark (bass) has announced two sideshows as part of their partcipation in the A Day On The Green dates in March.
This will be a rare opportunity to see the band perform a selection of their most loved songs in an intimate club setting. Supports are to be announced soon.
Friday 4th March, 2016
The Factory,Sydney NSW
Tix:Ticketek and SABO
Friday 18th March, 2016
Max Watts (formerly The Hifi), Melbourne VIC
Ron Peno, Died Pretty frontman and leader of his own band The Superstitions, has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment in Melbourne.
Died Pretty was scheduled to play festival shows with Bryan Ferry and two gigs of their own in Australia this month. Died Pretty's management announced Ron's diagnosis via their Facebook page:
Died Pretty Management sadly advises that due to ill health all upcoming Died Pretty shows have been cancelled. Ron has been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and will be commencing immediate treatment. Please direct any messages of support via this Facebook page and they will be forwarded to Ron. We know everyone will be hoping for Ron's speedy recovery.
You can send messages to Ron here.
There’s good news on the medical front for Died Pretty frontman Ron Peno, who has been fighting his own battle with cancer. The band posted a message on Facebook earlier today, indicating that the much-loved singer is on a long road to full recovery:
The program of radio and chemotherapy was successfully completed. Shortly afterwards Ron was operated on to remove the tumour in his oesophagus. The doctors have reported the procedure was completed successfully and they are confident that he will make a full recovery. The operation itself however was a major undertaking (lasting over six hours) and Ron will take an extended period to recover physically.
The good news is that the medical staff are confident that all the cancer has been removed from his body. Naturally there will be extended monitoring of the situation but this is the best possible outcome and we are very grateful for the wonderful job all the medical staff involved have done! We thank everyone for their amazing support and all of the messages of love and positivity.
Emmy Etie photo.
It will be an all-supergroup affair when the eminently well-credentialed Joeys Coop (pictured) launch their debut album in Sydney on April 8 with help from an all-star supporting cast.
The On and Ons (featuring ex-Hoodoo Gurus, Screaming Tribesmen, Kings of the Sun and Stems members) and Cub Calloway and The Revolutionaries (featuring ex-New Christs, Saints and Died Pretty members) will join them at The Factory Floor in Marrickville.
“Service Station Flowers” is the forthcoming album on CD on the Citadellabel.
Joeys Coop was formed by Mark Roxburgh (ex-Decline of the Reptiles) who co-wrote the album with bandmate and Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers. It will be the first record with Myers credits in almost 10 years and the band includes past and present members of The Barbarellas, The Visitors, Deniz Tek Group and Loose Pills. You can score tickets here.
It really is a Blue Sky Day. From the Good News Department comes this:
Much-loved Died Pretty frontman Ron Peno is returning to live performance after successful treatment for cancer.
Ron and his solo band, The Superstitions, will play their first show since January at Memo Music Hall in Melbourne on Friday December 6.
Noise 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.
Flashback: I remember the first time I heard REM. Paul had just bought their first LP and we sat in his little bedroom, listening with something akin to amazement.
Now, I mention REM’s first LP because it was one of those exclamation mark moments, similar to “Measuring the Space” by inner-western Sydney band The Hadron Colliders.
My response to hearing this was immediate and positive, and I’ve now spun “Measuring the Space”…over and over.
“Someday soon, will you tell us when it’s time to play for you?” asks iconoclastic Australian music legend Ron S. Peno, towards the nd of “See You When I’m Looking At You”, the nearly nine-minute long "chain" song from Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission and friendsand released this week.
It’s a question that many artists hope will soon be answered, and one of many telling moments in an epic song, sung and worded by a cross-generational selection of some of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters in COVID-19 isolation.
Conceived by Thomas – the ARIA-winning singer-songwriter of Weddings Parties Anything – in April, “See You When I’m Looking At You” began life when Mick wrote a verse and a chorus while isolating in his Melbourne backyard.
The bad and unavoidable news is that Died Pretty has joined the ever growing list of bands impacted by Coronavirus. The good news is that the band has re-scheduled all but one of the four shows for later in the year. The Perth gig unfortunately cannot be re-booked due to member availability, so has been cancelled.
Iconic underground products of the Sydney music scene, Radio Birdman and Died Pretty, are undertaking a double-header tour of Australia.
Although they formed 11 years apart, Birdman and Died Pretty had their roots in the same Darlinghurst breeding ground. Died Pretty's Ron Peno was a patron at the Oxford Funhouse and a member of Birdman support act The Hellcats. Birdman's Rob Younger has been a production hand at critical points of their recording career.
Muscially, they veered in disparate directions. Spirit-wise, the bands shared a common sense of independence and going their own way. Both bands will be alternating headline positions.
It’s tempting to do as the marketing does and label Joeys Coop’s “Service Station Flowers” as an outlet for Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers. His distinctive sound is all over this album, like sunscreen and a rash-shirt on a redhead in summer, but this really is a record that’s more than just a billboard with all-star billing for one.
Singer Mark Roxburgh conceived Joeys Coop a couple of years ago, after the implosion of the reformed Decline of the Reptiles, and his vision was simple: He wanted to play with people whose work he’d long admired and to find an outlet for his own songs (something that Decline clearly was not.)
Alternative title: "He Gets by With Some Help From His Friends".
Producer-guitarist Bruce "Cub" Callaway assembled a stellar cast for this, his 2013 return to recording after a lay-off, and it shows.
John Hoey (Died Pretty), Warwick Gilbert (Radio Birdman), Paul Larsen (Celibate Rifles), Clyde Bramley (Hoodoo Gurus) and Julie Mostyn Gilbert (Flaming Hands) all played roles. Lesser-knowns Ian Johnson, Louis Callaway and Harry Rothenfluh also contributed drums.
Sydney’s music community is rallying to get behind much-loved rocker Spencer P Jones in an hour of need.
Spencer is battling serious illness and fund-raisers have been popping up all over Australia. Sydney is responding with its own show, The Axeman’s Benefit, on Friday, June 24 at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville.
Died Pretty is headlining a heavyweight bill which will include Spencer’s old band The Johnnys (with guest vocalists), the Hoodoo Gurus (playing a mini-set), home-grown garage up-starts Straight Arrows and psych-punk veterans Young Docteurs. The Johnnys will close the night.
The killer line-up will be augmented by a bevy of guest musicians including Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil), Simon Day (Ratcat), Jack Ladder, Murray Cook, MC Anthony Morgan, Jason Walker, Peter Fenton (Crow) and Kane Dyson (Spurs For Jesus.) FBi’s Jack Shit will be lending his DJ talents.
All of the acts have played alongside or recorded with Spencer in some capacity. Died Pretty is fresh from a summer of sold-out A Day On The Green and club shows and is re-convening especially for Spencer.
Although his career has been mainly under the mainstream music radar, Spencer P Jones has been a tremendously influential figure in Australia.
Arriving in Australia from New Zealand in 1976, Spencer came to prominence with hard-drinking cowpunks the Johnnys and then inner-Sydney swamp supergroup the Beasts of Bourbon, he’s also played with the Gun Club, Renee Geyer, Chris Bailey, Rowland S Howard, Nick Cave and Paul Kelly.
In recent years he’s been recording and playing with his own solo bands as well as members of The Scientists and The Drones.
Tickets for The Axeman’s Benefit went on sale last night and are here. A substantial number have gone already so don't delay.
Copies of these four songs have been circulating for years and two have surfaced on compilations. The balance were re-recorded by members’ subsequent bands. But don’t kid yourself that you don’t need this vinyl only 12-inch EP.
The 31st started when future members of Died Pretty (Ron Peno and Chris Welsh), the Screaming Tribesmen (MIck Medew) and the Hitmen/New Christs/Screaming Tribesmen (Tony Robertson) started playing shows in a strip club and anywhere else that would have them. Evidently, they played no one style of music - which must have been confusing for the Brisbane punks, boogie-heads and blues fans to pin a tail on.
The 31st were a future supergroup before those things were called that in Australia. They kicked around the undergrowth of Brisbane’s downtrodden music scene in the early 1980s, and fell to pieces before anyone outside of it saw or heard them.
Future Hoodoo Guru Brad Shepherd was to briefly become a member although he's not on these recordings.
Their legacy was just two LPs and a stack of singles but Fixed Up’s punky and soulful garage rock touched people in their native France and all the way around to the other side of the world in Australia.
A lot’s been made about the Sydney-Detroit connection, mainly through Radio Birdman and its now fading local musical legacy. The irrefutable fact was that Birdman and its associated influences ruled the Sydney roost in the early 1980s. As true as that was, you can make a strong case for the affinity between Australia and France being almost as important, once the Sydney underground scene started to diversify and expand.
The Franco-Ausstralian link was made when John Needham, chief of seminal Sydney label Citadel Records, started dealing with the likes of Sonics Records in France. Suddenly, there was a pipeline for Australian bands to have their music heard on the Continent - meaning outside the UK where the perpetually jaded music press briefly adopted Aussie arty pop, junkie rock and the swamp sound for a time.
A brand new powerpop-rock combo with an impeccable pedigree, The On and Ons, are launching their Citadel Records CD album, "It's The On and Ons Calling", at the Factory Floor in Sydney on July 18.
The back story is this: Ex-Screaming Tribesman and Kings of the Sun member Glenn Morris (lead vocals and guitar) and his brother Brian (drums), of The Zeros (the Australian band) toured Australia and the US in 2012 as members of The Paul Collins Beat.
That successful stint encouraged them to record their own album of Glenn's original songs. The resultain record "It's The On and Ons Calling" was produced and engineered by legendary Australian guitarist Dennis Wilson, of Khavas Jute fame.