1) White Stripes –Vault #33 Icky Thump X Third Man Records Vault only release, 10 year anniversary edition. Includes a wacko coloured vinyl re-press of the double album plus two bonus albums containing all the non-album b-sides and the full demos housed in a way out box. The demos are furious ! Only released for a few months via Third Man Records.
2) Shy Impostors CD (maxi EP/mini album CD) Unleashed by those God-loving folks at Citadel Records. Seven demos recorded 1980 and now finally after a loving re-mix by Jason Blackwell sound truly fab. The songs, vocals and rough as guts musicianship by these proto legends are gold. Melodic and dirty.
3) Buffalo Revisited gig at Brewtality Festival in Melbourne Is it truly an honour for me after being a Buffalo fan since 1974 to be playing with their mighty vocalist Dave Tice with some fellow Buffalo maniacs (Troy and Marcus). And to be playing those great songs (a mind melt to learn btw). We hit our cosmic groove at the Brewtality Festival in Melbourne; more to come for sure.
The Celebrity Roadie informs The Barman that he can't go out in public like that. As usual, he's ignored. Kyleigh Pitcher photo.
This is a Top Ten of two parts. First, live gigs, and second, albums. You know. Second part, different from the first.The rule of not reviewing my own gigs goes right out the door from the get-go. Got an issue with that? See you in the carpark...
Chris Masuak and the Sydney City Wave Riders: This was a sensational run of shows- a mini-tour in and around Sydney because that’s all that time allowed - by Klondike and his crack band of Tony Bambach (bass) and Stuart Wilson (drums). Great players, top blokes. Armed with a killer setlist drawing on most of Chris’s back catalogue, the guys fired from the get go. Many of the versions surpassed the originals with Maz playing two guitar parts, as few people can. The shows blew away much of the skullduggery and malakarey involved with certain ghosts from the recent past.
HITS at Marrickville Bowlo You can’t keep playing the same old songs or you’ll get staid and there’s no sign of HITS doing that just yet. Members are now scattered the length of the East Coast so it can’t be easy getting together…or maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because it keeps things fresh. They continue to be THE Aussie band to follow.
Hey Ho, Let’s Go! The original members of the Ramones are dead but their sound lives on in thousands of bands all over the world. It’s said that their greatest gift to music was when the Ramones played in your town because at least one band started after they left. I’m pretty sure that Juliette Seizure & The Tremor-Dolls are way too young to have seen The Ramones live, but they sure have listened to their records.
“Chewing Out Your Rhythm On My Bubble Gum” is full of classic Ramones driven riffs, aided by the smokey vocals of Shannon Cannon, Lauren and Zoe. It rocks and rolls, swaggers and pops with wonderful playing and well-crafted songs that just have you grooving from the first track until the last. It’s a winner, this album.
If you have to ask which band he played with you’re in the wrong place. We're talking about xx-bassist for the greatest rock roll band in the history of the world, CJ Ramone, who will undertake his first solo band Australian tour in February to support a new record.
The extensive run by the ex-Ramones bassist takes in the ACT and all states except WA.
Packing a set-list of "all Ramones, nothing but Ramones", long-time drummer for the Bruddas, Marky Ramone, is bringing his show to Australia and New Zealand in November.
One of three surviving Ramones (excluding Elvis Ramone, who only lasted two shows, and including CJ and Richie), Marky handled skins duties for the classic punk outfit between 1978-83 and '87-96.
An original denizen of the NYC punk scene centered on Max’s Kansas City (Marky also played with Wayne County and Richard Hell’s Voidoids), he flies the flag for his old band live and as a digital radio host.
Frank Meyer flanked by Cheetahs bandmates (from left) Bruce Duff, MIke Sessa and Dino Evertett on bass. AP Murray photo.
In these COVID-fraught times, asking Frank Meyer what he puts on his curriculum vitae is a valid question. The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs vocalist-guitarist doesn’t skip a beat, down the line on Zoom from his home in Long Beach, California.
“Right now, I mean, I'm basically freelance film producing and directing. You know, my last full time job was at Fender as directing and producing their digital content. But at the beginning of COVID, they laid off a lot of my team, including myself. And then showbiz kind of shut down.
“But now I've essentially just been doing music and freelance editing and online production, and a lot of session work, singing and playing, recording and producing. In the last few months, digital production has picked up and I've been getting a bunch of field production gigs. And I've got some book deals happening. So things are looking good right now.”
Ready Steady Go - The Dirty Denims (Ghost Highway Recordings)
Hello Barflies! Well folks, The Farmhouse windows have been getting a battering from some great fucking rock 'n' roll from The Netherlands. The Dirty Denims have released their third album (with a couple of EPs before that) and what a dead-set heavy hitter it is.
"Ready Steady Go" is, from the opening self titled track to the very last song, a killer. Miriam Sieben (vocals and piano), Jeroen Teunis (guitars), Suzanne Driessen (drums and sexiness) and Marc Eijkhout (bass) have definitely let all their influences come into the studio with them. Think early AC/DC meets The Runaways with a dash of Ramones and Nashville Pussy.
Contest the claim if you like, but there isn’t a better Ramones album than “Leave Home”, their second long-player.
Yes, the debut was retrospectively ground-breaking and a beacon for rock and roll’s shift back-to-basics, but “Leave Home” surely should have been the point where “punk” (at least as America knew it) crossed the line, converting from Cult Curiosity to Mainstream Soundtrack.
High-tensile guitars, off-colour humour, melodies and energy live large within its groove. Bubblegum, doo-wop, pop and rock bundled into the perfect musical package, married to an image of teen rebellion, leather jackets and shades. What the fuck is there not to love?
Ex-Ramones and Voidoids drummer, author and sc-fi fan Marky Ramone starts his first Australian tour in almost a decade this week. Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg reprises the back catalogue of the Ramones with Marky driving the backbeat behind a crew of hand-picked punk rock players.
Pete Howlett of Adelaide band The Pro-Tools was given the chance to pitch him 10 questions. Here's the result.
Meet Keith Streng, Ken Fox, Peter Zaremba and Bill Milhizer. Jacopo Benessi photo.
Here’s another plea for justice and a call for long overdue respect. Add another name to the list of bands whose “failure” (such a harsh word when applied without context) to break into the mainstream is not just unfathomable but criminal. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of The Fleshtones, stars of stage and screen and bearers of a vibrant new record, “The Band Drinks For Free”, on Yep Roc.
The Official Biography lists it as Album Number 21 (including live releases) and says the band is in its 40th year, but let’s dispense with the figures and deal only in facts. The first one is: If you’re not listening to The Fleshtones, you’re a loser. The second is: It’s never too late to shed your loser status.
The Fleshtones emerged from a basement in New York City’s Queens borough and onto a stage at CBGB in 1976. Largely written out of histories of the Lower East Side scene despite being fixtures at places like CBs, Max’s Kansas City, The Pyramid, Danceteria and Club 57, they went through a trailer-load of trials and tribulations (labels going broke, line-ups in flux, drugs and drink) to “almost make it” in spectacular style.
Phillippe Marcade was briefly drummer and then frontman for long-running New York City band The Senders, and a close confidant of many on the CBGB and Max’s Kansas City scenes.
Born in France, for the most illegally living in NYC, he rode the rock and roll roller coaster as hard as anyone in Lower Manhattan.
“Punk Avenue” - the title is a play-on-words reference to the Park Avenue location of Max’s - is a fantastic read. There are no dead spots; Marcade tells his story colourfully, underlined by droll, self-deprecating humour.
Why is it relevant to review a book initially released in 2005? Because (1.) the subject matter seems as relevant now as it ever did, and (2.) it’s still in print.
You can’t expect anything usual from the 33 1/3 series, that’s clear. All that matters is: Does it work? Does it help us, does it add to the LP in question..?
Given the huge influence that this first "Ramones" LP had on modern rock’n’roll music, it is with woeful heart that I report that Rombes is another academic. in 2005 he was Associate Professor of English at the University of Detroit Mercy. (No, me either).
It was a worried frown that I found I disagreed heartily with the first two sentences, which hung out Rombes’ slate above his wares; "Ramones is either the last great modern record, or the first great postmodern one. Fully aware of its status as pop culture, it nonetheless has unironic aspirations toward art." I winced.
Surely not another academic with no clues as to actual context ..?
The legend of the Ramones lives on in Australia this May, when Richie Ramone hits Australian shores.
Richie is bringing that blistering backbeat to venues in Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, playing the tracks he wrote and recorded with Da Bruddas as well as new material that rocks like leather jackets, ripped knee jeans and battered Converse sneakers.
The Flamin' Groovies in Paris in 1972 with James Ferrell at right.
Long obscured in the Flamin’ Groovies behind Cyril Jordan, Roy Loney, Chris Wilson and even tight-lipped man of mystery, George Alexander, guitarist James Ferrell is a key player in the band’s story. Along with his best pal Danny Mihm, James served in both the Loney-fronted and Wilson-fronted incarnations of the Groovies, and in Loney’s brilliant subsequent band, Roy Loney & The Phantom Movers.
James climbed aboard the Groovies train, replacing Tim Lynch, in Roy’s final days – he plays on the classic 1971 Fillmore recording that’s been released on both Voxx and Norton as well as other labels – and lasted through to 1976. He took part in the early European sojourns, their time with UA in London and the prime days of their relationship with Dave Edmunds and Rockfield Studios. That relationship produced game-changing 45’s, including “Slow Death” and “You Tore Me Down”, as well as the landmark and hugely influential "Shake Some Action" album.
James was there for the band’s legendary shows with the Ramones – on the 1976 Bicentennial bill in London and in LA - before departing the band and ultimately falling back in with Roy and Danny.
Five Things - Smalltown Tigers (Area Pirata Records)
There’s nothing new in rock and roll. The same goes for punk rock. So get over it. Reinvention has always been a constant and the trick to being good at the caper is adding as your own unique ingredient.
“Five Things” is eight songs from three Italian girls calling themselves Smalltown Tigers. They come from Romagna in the country's north-east, cut their teeth playing Ramones songs at squats and beach parties and went into a studio in 2019, under the production hand of Stiv Cantarelli.
They're only been around a couple of years but you wouldn't know it. With a single in the racks before this, "Five Things" swaggers with confidence and loads of energy. It would be politically incorrect to say the girls have good looks on their side as well, so we won't. Image counts for much in rock and roll.
When we were young and skinny and fearless, it was easier to celebrate the ch-cha-cha-changes, than it is now, when so many of our favorite places, people, bands, and way of life are just vanishing a little more each day. I can't keep up with all these changes.
In my head, I'm still a new wave kid with a Walkman. Probably listening to the Cult"Love", on 10, right? Making rehearsal tapes on a boombox in the basement. You could save 20 or 30 dollars, and come home from the big city record store with a new t shirt, some little buttons, a copy of "Flipside" or "Maxiumum Rock And Roll", some Jesus & the Mary Chain and Bauhaus postcards to send to your goth girlfriends in far away cities, a Gene Loves Jezebel or Flesh For Lulu promotional poster the nose-ringed death rocker cashier gave you for free, and a whole stack of winning indie punk $1 vinyl from the cut out bin. Those were different times.
For most of us, there ain't no rock ‘n’ roll no more, just the ludicrous worship of bullshit do nothing politicians, media monopoly lies and propaganda, and cos-play lab-coated scientific astronaut rich people on TV, and/or, always more blandly insufferably mediocre and meaningless mainstream garbage like the Foo Fighters - there's nowhere to go, no more basement shows. No real underground bands or real underground rock press in Amerikkka.
Heartbreakers – “LAMF - The Found '77 Masters”. As the title hints at the original mixdown tapes had long been lost. The reissues had all been dubbed from vinyl and the original pressing from 1977 was considered by some to sound muddy (not by me though). A chance rummaging through an attic and bingo! The tape was found. This newly remastered edition sounds as solid as a rock! (I only have the CD, the record store day vinyl re-issue was under pressed and sold out in a milliseconds. A re-re issue will happen in 2022).
Buffalo (Revisited) – “Volcanic Rock Live”. Imminent LP release (January 2022 I am told). It has been a rock and roll dream for me (as a long time Buffalofan) to be playing these songs live with Buffalo foundation member Dave Tice. A live gig we did was recorded and deemed more than worthy enough for mass release by USA label Ripple Music.