Saturday, March 31, 2007

more crock action...

You know I'm fat, I'm fat, I'm really, really fat...ham on!

The ears are ringing, the joints are aching, but old man Goldblog here is a strong believer that loud high-energy music (well high-energy doesn't always have to be loud ya know) is good for your all-round life, taken in the right doses!

Wednesday night was spent in a shitty big-commercial rock-barn watching that forever to be trendy Boston band the PIXIES, play in Australia for the first time. Now I didn't give a shit whether I saw this band or not, but a last minute call convinced me otherwise, as well as all the well presented hype on our national broadcaster ie: 3 hour specials of live shows, interviews, etc.., which sorta helped me build some faint hope of excitement. The Pixies were and are a 'first two albums of the late 80s band', up there with Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, etc...etc..etc..In my universe it means that these were bands that I really loved as a late teenager, but seemed to 'magically' lose complete interest in after their second album, when the formula kicked in and all the sonic tricks had well and truly fallen off...But I digress, I paid my drachmas and was lucky to score a ticket after the concert had sold out on the Internet faster than a mouse click. I'd made a choice, but everything was pointing to a dull-night-out (I'm getting that way more and more, only to have things turns around - must be the depression or lack of sex or something....) The venue was bad, the venue was filled

and full of bald guys near or beyond 40 in jeans and t-shirts talking about how 'Trompe Le Monde' is the Pixies most underrated album. There were fat-chicks in black t-shirts everywhere, and the support band 'the Panics' made Crowded House seem like a heavy-metal band, and I HATE Crowded House more than, shit, not much...! And so the Pixies appeared: Two short baldies, a fat-chick with black hair who chain-smokes and a bearded, blading guy who looks like a nutty-professor/hobo. The thing that useta irk me alot about the Pixies, is that despite their first two albums having quite a nice 80s-post-hardcore-punk propulsion, they never seem to translate it on the live recordings I'd heard. Well in this particular live setting, it was good to see that a band nearing 50 in age or whatever, they still had that propulsion. Highlights for me were their 10 minute 'cornfed dames' cover 'Vamous', the two versions of 'Wave of Mutilation' and 'Gouge away'. I was pissed they didn't do 'Broken face'. I mean everyone with a reasonably sharpened head knows in the long run, the Pixies are more Violent Femmes than say Mission of Burma or even Husker Du, but I dunno, maybe not playing together to 15 years or something was a good idea for this band, as they had plenty of zip to highlight that their songs are quality, and the simple fact that the Pixes are infintely BETTER than every fucking shitful band that copied them (no mean feat).

Last night my mates the PINK STAINLESS TAIL launched their 3rd maxi-mini album THE INIFINITE WISODM OF...Now when I first heard these guys, I though they sounded like some Fred Negro St.Kilda band bulldust. Coming off like some sort of sleeper-cell of the Melbourne Mafia (ie: Nick Cave and all his look-alike/sound alikes eg: Dirty 3, Brian Hooper, Dave Graney etc...) - well Harry, Rowland S.'s bro' is in the band, so I guess the link is genetic – the

band are one of those rare entities that seems to have improved over time. Their rollicking, loose, almost retarded shmutter - driven with rusting Teutonic precision by Zonke Rickertson, the most psychedelic-bass-player-in-Melbourne-since-Tim-Hensley, Nick Dodington, and fronted by suit-wearing-Englishman suffering from a rare form of Tourettes-Syndrome as being a well-know skin-flick archivist, Simon Strong – was in top shape last night. Playing a MARATHON set that went well into the night, the boys blew the support acts off the stage, and may have inadvertantly blown half the audience out of the room at the same time! On their night the PST are actually some sort of sloppy

British-invasion-big-beat-garage band for aging intellectuals on one level, or possibly the best 'post-punk' 80s-revival band (in the Fall/early Happy Mondays mould culture), minus the Calvin Klein/Collette Dinnigan/Stella McCartney DNA. But if that's what you want (or definitely wanna fuck), well the kids were definitely there earlier to see Melbourne's seminal guitar legend Rowland s Howard ejaculate his mumblings and two Lou Reed covers over the very good-looking under-25 crowd that were all sitting on the floor, smoking cigarettes and checking each other out. Fellas, if you want to perv at genuinely hot chicks at gigs, well go to an RSH gig. He's the Pied Piper of Melbourne! The other supports included 'New Estate' who I think are ex-members of the hardcore-C86 indie scene. They sounded in parts like YoLaTengo and the AuPairs and had a really nerdy dude playing bass with his fingers which was admirable and really odd at the same time.

Opening slot was by Biddy Connor, who plays fiddle (unlike me who just fiddles), who uses ambient loops and stuff and at times sounds like Henry Flynt, but at others the Dirty3 or Sigur Ros...I guess she's only young, but......

Oy! Those shicksers!

NOTE: When I was younger it useta to shit me that my Semetic genes didn't allow me to have have as good a hairstyle as all those Nick Cave cunts here in Melbourne, and hence I couldn't score those sophisticate art-school biotches that I'd have crushes on that would hang out with drug-addicted-'romantic' creeps like that. I also resented the fact I didn't have a really WASPY sounding surname and most importantly THE MIDDLE INITIAL! I was at one point tempted to change my real name - Aaron Goldberg - to something like Lou Reed or Bob Dylan or Ron Jeremey or Thurston S Howell the 3rd, but I couldn't be fucked, and I ended up fucking one of those sophisticated art-school biotches anyway..NB: Nick Cave's new song is called 'no pussy blues', Iggy sings 'my dick is turning into a tree', now who's the real deal? )

Saturday, March 24, 2007

some hot stuff around the traps

LAND OF LOOK BEHIND (Dir Alan Greenberg, 1982)For many years I used to tell people I liked reggae when I really didn't. When I was a kid the sound of it used to freak me out. Bob Marley used to freak me out. He looked weird, and at the time (very early 80s) there were all these sex-cults run by Rajneeshies and shit, and Bob Marley looked liked one of those guys who ran such a cult. And that wacka-wacka sound that is the reggae groove seemed weird since I'd never heard something sound like that before...SO I generally stayed away until I was a Uni student, via hiphop and that Gary Clail Tackhead On-U stuff. I sorta dabbled in dub, but still didn't get it..It was just, boring, and didn't really seem 'psychedelic' music. Then this dude I went to Uni with was telling me about all this reggae stuff, and took me to a boring gig by the Wailers, but he lent me this video that was really neat, it was a docco about the history of Jamaica as told by musicians and had all these wild interviews with guys like Lee Scratch Perry filmed in his studio, with dogs and cats and little kids running all over the place, and guys with teeth growing out of their lips smoking pot in cigar sized joints, it all seemed so scungy and raw, and started to seem more interesting. Also all these fucking Israelis and Jewish stoner bums who went to Habbo would be into it, especially the Bob Marley stuff, coz they wore Moogen-Doovids and didn't hate or want to kill the Jews, but all those creeps reminded me of the stoopid hippie love-cults I mentioned earlier... Bit I still didn't get reggae. About five years ago I went to this DJ gig run by that Soul-Jazz record label, and well, for some reason on that night I FINALLY GOT REGGAE! I guess it was hearing it in the right environment, and people playing the right tracks, and mixing it with hiphop and shit like that, but there was something that suddenly clicked. Suddenly this aimless, hippy, jockbonghead music seemed incredibly HEAVY. SO I started learning about the Studio-One and Wackies labels, and listening to records by Prince Far-I and Horace Andy and all this German techno on the Basic Channel label...and these days I pretty much can't get enough of the music from Jamaica. It's just played so well, and there's all these little subtleties and inflections in the guitars and keyboards, and the lyrics seem so positive and soulful...ANYWAY, my new favourite DVD label SUBVERSIVE CINEMA had this upcoming film called LAND OF LOOK BEHIND in their 'coming soon' list online. It was their first 'music' film, and the trailer looked interesting and really raw. The music by GREOGORY ISAACs and BOB MARLEY sounded interesting, but this whole package seemed to fit into that raw pre-digital Studio-One style Jamaican music that I have been hooked on the last couple of years. BASICALLY, LAND OF LOOK BEHIND is a documentary in the trippy-transcendent style of Kraut cinema-hero Werner Herzog. Directed by ALAN GREENBERG who worked with Herzog on HEART OF GLASS (and apparently friends with Dylan etc..etc..) and filmed by JORG SCHMIDT-REITWEIN who shot Herzog classics like THE ENIGMA IF KASPAR HAUSER, WOYCZEK and the awesome THE GREAT ECSTASY OF WOODCARVER STEINER (about a ski-jumper!), LAND OF LOOK BEHIND very much looks and feels like a Herzog film. Greenberg went to Jamaica in 1981 to film Bob Marley's funeral and ended up shooting hours of footage of the locals who live in a dense jungle area of Jamaica called the..LAND OF LOOK BEHIND..

You basically have eccentric characters describing their lives, talking about Jah, smoking lots of pot and thats about it. The film drags a little in the middle, but some great live footage of Gregory Isaacs brings thing back in line. The film was shot in 16mm, so has a raw, grainy feel which adds to it's rootsy ambience. The initial soundtrack music done by electronic muso K.LEIMER has that very trippy

Popul-Vuh synth type vibe that works really well with the surreal landscapes. Extras include some great interviews with Greenberg and Herzog himself, a commentary track and a nifty booklet written by director Greenberg talking about the difficulties making the movie. Also the first 5000 come with a soundtrack CD that has nice tunes by Marley and Isaacs amongst others. The soundtrack has been OOP for quite some time, so hardcore reggae nuts will probably want this pretty soon. All up a good night in with a joint and brew or two.

...I guess everyone in the whole world knows there's a new STOOGES album out. The STOOGES gig at the Big Day Out was one of the biggest disappointments in recent times for Moi. Stuck in a field with 25000 bogens, with the sound waffling through the air and watching Iggy via a video screen wasn't inspiring to say the least. I'd already seen Fat Ron Asheton blow my ears with DARK CARNIVAL and saw IGGY at his legendary BDO gig about 12 years ago, so I'd pretty much seen what I needed too..ANYWAY, I heard some tracks of the STOOGES new rec on the radio, and they made me wanna vomit. The song MY IDEA OF FUN sounded like a shit Sonic Youth song, with Iggy sounding like a male version of Kim Gordon, who any person with an IQ higher that 5 realises, shouldn't be allowed near a microphone. I downloaded the record, and initially it sounded like the last two shitty Iggy albums. Underplayed, over -emoted rubbish. Albini's production is underdone to say the least. The wanker can't record anything that isn't plugged into a wall. His recording of Steve McKays sax is pathetic. Albini really needs to be punched up badly. He's a smart arse dork who thinks he knows everything, but is really a one-trick pony when it comes to recording. His future is well and truly behind him...Pushing that simp Albini aside, though, the real winner here is RON ASHETON. His playing on the WEIRDNESS is FANFUCKINGTASTIC, his solos fly, he still has some weird riffs up his sleeve and the wah-wah still wah-wahs all over the place. Scott Asheton pounds mechanically away, and Mike Watt really pins down the rhythm section, though it'd be nice if Albini recorded it BETTER..and Steve McKay back on board is pretty cool, though I wish he played on more of the tracks..Iggy sings HORRIBLY on some tracks but really well on others, and I don't mind his idiot lyrics, I reckon they're funny. There's some really bad press going around about this record, but I think time will treat it better than well, the real let-down being Albini's uninspired production more than anything chronic...So far my fave tracks are 'Trollin', 'Free and Freaky' and 'Mexican Guy'..It's funny, the better tracks on this album sound like something CRIME woulda done back in the mid-70s, in fact a lot of the album sounds like CRIME, maybe the STOOGES shoulda got Eliot Mazer to produce it instead of Mr.Al-Weeny?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Psychadelic Stooges


I been on a bit of a Stooges binge lately. It's funny you know, coz I picked up the first album and FUNHOUSE 2-disc re-issues new in the bargain bin at the JB HiFi chain stores here in Melbourne. In some weird cosmic-rock synchronicity I picked up the first album on vinyl for 10-bucks in a bargain bin at a suburban import-shop some 18 years earlier! Anyway, I'm one of the 100 or so fucken sad-freaks that has 'adopted' that failed sonic technology called DVD-audio. The 00s version of Quadraphonic-4, DVD-audio basically pipes your musique into a 5.1 speaker layout. Technically, or in terms of soundspace that means you have the vocals in the centre, gtrs/keys/bass in left and right, and drums in the surrounds, or the band in the front three and FX or crowd or farting noises in the surrounds. Either way, a good mix can emulates that 3D-psychedelic sound you get when you take hallucinogenic substances (which i don't do anymore)...SO think of my surprise when I found out that THE STOOGES have a DVD-audio 5.1 mix! I thought, shit, I'm having a drug relapse or something. But I didn't expect much, because really these 5.1 'remixes' can only be done with good source material, and considering most of the STOOGES source material was fished out of rubbish bins, well, what can you expect...This recent 'Extended Play' is basically 5 tracks done in DVD-audio 5.1 Hi-Definition and 3 on normal CD..Apparantly these recordings in their current state or whatever have never been released before, and there might be some STOOGES archivists out there that can prove this. They seem to be either RAW POWER out-takes or demos done around the time the band were based in London. Regardless, the recordings still prove out-right that the Stooges were the greatest modern-rock-n-roll band. THE band that invented 'heavy metal' as we know it, laid down the template for grunge, and punk and any other minimalist/maximalist mega-heavy rock as well know it. The bands that re-arranged the 'chugga-chugga' and 'boogie-woogie' or the old rock n' roll and turned it inside out into this new, technologically refined greyhound of sonic crunch n thump n grind. The 5.1 surround opener 'I got a right #1' sounds fucking GLORIOUS. Williamson has this pure crunch guitar, the song speeds along laying the raunch template for Poms like Motorhead and Williamson spazzs out well before Greg Ginn. The surround mix is slight and a bit gimmicky, but the sound quality reproduction here in terrific for a demo. The 'Louie Louie' cover is pretty crappy, and 'Gimme some skin' and 'I got a right #2' have pretty nice mixes and pack into more chorderama which of course would be mimicked by Radio Birdman. You can here it all in pure and simple detail on this DVD-audio, which will make your ears cry.
The CD sticks to the typical bootleg fidelity we're all used to for rare Stooges recordings. Though this one is really good, they've used some sort of technology to get rid of the
waffly sound caused by shitty tapes, and the rock action is all smoking.'Hard to beat' is basically another version or 'Raw Power' with some burning soloing, 'Head On' well we all know that's the great unrecorded Stooges classic, though this version doesn't sound as spiteful as the one on the Whisky Au-Gog-Go bootleg, but still sounds like a meaner version of the Exile Period Stones via the Doors. CD closes out with an VERY psychedelic version of 'I got a right' that features Iggy's vocal acid-echoed to the max. It will blow your fuck from your bonged-out loungeroom to Uranus or somewhere.