Friday, December 05, 2008

Life to go....

DIED PRETTY - FREE DIRT (Aztec Records) - SO literally out of nowhere, or 'out of the unknown' as their song goes, comes the reissue of DIED PRETTY's (Aztec Records, 2-cd digipack, liner notes, extra songs special edition) master work, and one of my all-time favourite albums – FREE DIRT. I remember clearly hearing this album getting hyped by 'the ghost' Stephen Walker on 3RRR fm, and my brother buying it for me as a get well gift, since I had a bad flu at the time. I listened to it once, but a few weeks later had a stoner session and literally, at that point, my mind split open! From the glorious panoramic blare of opener 'Life to go (landsakes) to the violent and transcendent lead break of 'Just Skin' to the awesome drone-out of 'Next to nothing' that includes that FUCKEN AWESOME KEY CHANGE (around the 4:34 mark), that to this day still causes me to get Goosebumps. But the record doesn't stop there....Side 2 takes a more country-pop kinda weird hillbilly direction with feedback in tracks like 'Blue sky day', 'round and round' and wig out'...there pretty much isn't a dud track on the whole album. The disc also include the sublime 'Next to nothing' ep featuring the killer narco-ballads 'ambergris' and 'plaining days'. If anything, FREE DIRT was the first Aussie indie album to really attack and challenge the hegemony of the whole Nick Cave fucken post-punk pretentiousness that is still the 'benchmark' for worthwhile left-field Aussie-rock to the rest of the world to this day (Cave still is Australia's biggest global cultural export and rock star)..FREE DIRT holds it's own as a purely original record, with a truly unique sound and artistic vision that set it apart from it's contemporaries at the time who, despite being all great, had more 'obvious' sonic lineages, ie : the MC5/Dictator/Ramones rifferama axis..Sure there's a Velvet Underground/Suicide thing sort of going on, but you don't 'hear it' as obviously as most undie-rock bands post 1988 did. I love FREE DIRT and NEXT TO NOTHING and all the singles of that Frank Brunetti period DP, and to be honest they were never the same band after got sacked, I lost total interest in them, but they definitely became popular with a shitload of inner-city nebbishers and crummy Aussie film directors.

If anything though, despite all the obvious accolades Peno and Myers and Brunetti still get from this era of the band, the sound proves one important fact abouit rock music that despite their obvious 'atiste/auteur' kudos A GREAT BAND ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS THEIR RHYTHM SECTION!!!@#! Died Pretty at that stage had possibly one of the greatest and most under-rated Aussie rhythm sections ever. Front and centre is Chris Welsh's absolutely swinging psychedelic jazz drumming. Welsh films every single blank with his cascading and flowing jazz fused rolls and fills, and he absolutely eclipses the over-rated jazzpunk cucking of the Dirty 3's (read: rock n roll fraud) Jim White. It's one of those great cosmic injustices that Jim White gets to live in New York and play with indie sweethearts like Chat Power and Palace, and Welsh is struggling in NSW somewhere. One listen to FREE DIRT and Welsh's rhythmic GENIUS is apparent. Likewise Mark Lock's noodling psych basslines add a complexity and sophistication that allows the 3 amigos out-front to really outdo their own limitations, but more importantly transcend their influences and thus create something truly original and inspired and PURE. FREE DIRT/NEXT TO NOTHING sill shines bright to this day...

But the paradox of time and re-appraisal can be cruel, and within the awesomeness of this re-issue, you can also 'hear' the demise of Died Pretty happen in real-time. For me personally, Died Pretty were all over once they released that lousy 'everybody moves' song, and the subsequent LOST album was not much chop either (and don't start me with their friggen REM-stage when they did that dull EVERY BRILLIANT EYE & DOUGHBOY HOLLOW abortion and HARNESS UP ECH!..!) You can hear the energy drop like when a bipolar takes their meds on the flatulence that is 'everybody moves' and 'tower of strength'. The songs meander around, the lead breaks start to become a 'formula', and unfortunately that's what DIED PRETTY became - a dull meandering formula that fit snuggly into the dull 'middleness' of suburban 'lucky cunthead' Australia (and more succinctly 'alternative' Australia). A dull middleness that exists to this day starting with dogshit like the Meanies and Even, Steve Pav and his Sydney Pavlovavites, the Fauves, the bloke from the Corner Hotel, lefties in the Northern suburbs, Christo Tsiolcackas, people that buy Nick Cave records, Australian cinema, OZ hiphop, Powderfinger, JJJ, 'the glasshouse'. 'rock wiz' ..I mean look at today's hotshit alt-Aussie bands like the Drones..They start off incredible and become...PAUL KELLY.

I blame him. The fuck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fucken OATH!!

Sonic's Rendezvous Band - Live, Masonic Hall, 14/1/1978

My opinion/review:

"...F***EN OATH!!!!..."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hooked on classiques

Since George Bush and his bunch of fuckheads have stuffed it up for most of us, purchasing exotique imported musique off the Internerd is becoming something that only the truly elite can afford to do. SO in my struggling state and via ANY MEANS NECESSARY via mutual bartering amongst other nerds who haven't got their lives together pushing 40, I stumbled upon this latest 'opus' by techno heavyweights MORITZ VON OSWALD and CARL CRAIG (who I'd only rank as a bantam weight)...SO the two tweakers have sifted through the Germanic tradition of classical music and remixed some of it into a very nice Phillip Glass pre-1980 type drone build-up infused with the shuffla offa Manuel Gottisching's E2-E4 - a track Craig already fucked with some years ago..Startin' off with the waltz from Bolero the track fanfares and wanders up until the 20 odd-minute mark when the drugs start to kick in, and then those Afro-Jamaican type kettle drums start to wobble in and the Pine-Needle poke of techno tweakiness and brain-abstract- layer reconstruct slithers's still pimping away now, but it seems that the 'nu style' for the technosepickers is upon us...

And for any other persona out there that bother to read this Blug, I am back in Melbourne, Australia, knowledgeable that my town is actually more 'interesting' and 'happening' than the New York City I was just at!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Getting stronger!

Roky Erickson, live Granada Theatre, Dallas, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

At the Crossroads...

At the 'Crossroads'. Clarksdale Mississippi, October 1, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In drones begin responsibilities...

The Dream House beckons..

HARMONIA, live NYC September 23, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sarah Palin, meet Pauline Hanson!

Classy chicks, both of them!

But, me, I'll take "..Jackie Onassis in my pants..."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gimme Liberty! Gimme Gastro!

New York Shitty??

I used to love this place. In fact I wanted to live here, but didn't have the balls or skills to get a job/sponsorship...Yeah I'm a coward! Second time here, and I'm not so sure..Maybe it's the global Internerd that has made everything available in Real Time

so YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON NOW! Geographically there isn't much chop about New York. It's Hong Kong with everyone speaking English.

Sure there is alot of entertainment here, but not all of it is good. Restriction, lack of choice, isolation brings out more me thinks. The only things of any real architectural beauty is the Empire State,

Chrysler Building and Statue of Liberty, compared to nearly any European City, New York is chopped liver, there's just more people in the one place is all.

This trip seems to have taught me one thing. The English speaking Empires are finished. I felt like a real fucken idiot in France and Spain, two sophisticated, cultured countries, groping

with my lame French and retarded Spanish. I didn't feel in any way culturally superior or sophisticated. I felt like a vulgar English speaking git.

England is a fucking shithole. If Mick Jagger felt Australia was the 'arsehole of the universe' why did he kick off his pathetic solo career there, or did he realise then that he was a piece of shit? Maybe he was addicted to the smell or arseholes. Stupid Limey fuck-knuckle.

Besides the castles and chirpy people England is the dullest country on the planet. A living festering cold turd. The weather is constantly shit. They get sun for 15 minutes, then it's cloudy. England lives in a constant state of overcast humdrum. No wonder they went out and created an empire. The Poms are obsessed with supermarkets, something they do well in the modern age. Supermarkets and Airport terminals! Hail Britannia!

France is maybe 20% more interesting/cooler, but at least the climate changes as you go down south. For a sophisticated country, everything seems invariably simple. And I'm not sure about 'beautiful French women', maybe it's my gay side coming out, but I found the bulk of French women to be invariably ugly, and at least the English scrubs had bigger tits! But if you like movies and books and can speak French you will be in nirvana. Books on heavy deep shit everywhere, small press, big press, English, French, Chinese, Cambodian, Iranian, Eastern Euro - whatever, they got books on it. And the films are also from all over the world. Retarded ex-convict settlements like Australia have to have film festivals to pump up the jams, but in Paris it's a film festival all year. The Gaulic architecture of efficient compacted suburbs is nice as well; the 'chalet' style houses give everything communal, village type feel.

Spain kicks arse. Well I was in Catalunya, which is half of my ancestry, so I might be only speaking of a portion. I always had this impression of Spain being full of hot bloody, Spico morons. Blame fucking John Cleese and Fawlty Towers (and my crazy mother for that!) These English should make more fun of their own lack of culture than everyone else’s. Maybe I should do it, as it’s funnier than them making fun of everyone. Barcelona is probably the coolest city in Europe. You have the Mediterranean and its climate (though I think I may have got a rash from the dirty (???) water), an ancient, middle ages based city, mashed right up against the crux of modernism. Slightly similar to Israel (other distant half of my ancestry, Poland may make me want to suicide), w/o the warlord obsessed Arabs and the moronic-vulgar Israelis. The labyrinthine streets literally teem with stores, bars, apartments, people hanging out, music and hot women wearing not much clothes. Especially at the beaches. Boobs. Unfortunately I couldn't touch any. Their art scene is right out there, their politics currently totally progressive, interesting as I thought they were a Catholic banana republic mafia-racket like Italy....Maybe Catalonia is the exception not the norm......

So now I am in America, New York City to be exact. It still has that dense population, big-city-I-always-see- in-the-movies-but-now-it's-real-feel when I arrive here. But it's changed. Everywhere you go they try to sell you shit, like EVERYWHERE. I go to the Empire state where temporary ropes force you to line up a particular way so they can offer you tours you don't want, gifts you don't need and when they made us take photos - which I though were for security/terrorist profiling(you now have airport security on all the tourist sites, thanks terrorists - it was for shitty ChromaKeys tourist photos! I coulda vomited. And the food here isn't as good as I thought it was. Matzo ball soup is sloppy and soft, but the chopped liver is good. And the haute culture food is over-rated. The pizza isn’t much better. Overall American food doesn't taste as 'fresh' as in Australia. And they don't have decent beer.

The 'hipster' scene here is execrable. Everyone fucken looks the same and talks the same shit! It's incredible! Talk about fucken GROUPTHINK!! Where are people that you can have a conversation with like an ordinary mentsch?? I've tried to talk to women, and while I can engage in small talk, most are too busy sending SMS's to their other boyfriend or whatever. So I don't really expect to make any really meaningful relationships while I'm here.

But New York’s funky/fashionable/artistic ‘cutting edginess’ is based on dogshit. Fashion magazines, wannabes, fucking status seekers, poseurs, rubbish. Though they have lots of book, almost as many as France and Spain, and way more than England. And people here read more, unlike Australia, where people can't actually read... The most interesting thing in New York are the migrants, and black people definitely not the WHITE PEOPLE getting paid big money in fucking fashion/lifestyle ‘image creating’ magazines. They sell so many fucking shmattas here is insane. I can’t even buy a pair of durable sandals around here!! New Yorkers just wish they were European.

Me and my ex-pat Aussie mate I'm staying with went and saw ESG at this place called Santos Music House, which is owned by that Andrew WK guy who seems to have taken his money from his record advance and started a hip and trendy club, it's like Revolver in Melbourne. ESG were good, I also saw Vernon Reid & Masque at a 'free' show, where I ultimately dropped 50bucks on drinks and they pass around a 'band donation' hat, so it wasn't really free. New York stuff. But the gig was great, small; club with about 40 'hipsters' shame they started at 1am on a Monday night, I was nodding off around the 2 mark. I need sleep ya know I'm not 25!!!

That's probably the kicker, I'm getting old. I'm single. I have a kid. I still want to go out and boogie, but 25 year old preppies and hipsters won't talk to a 38 y.o curmudgeon (well I’m more that way on paper, or HTML). I don't look like fucking Heath Ledger and I'm not rich! Then the 'older set' are all uber rich and have dinner parties on the upper west side, so what the fuck am I supposed to do? Sit on the Internet? Watch CNN all day? I’m just another ‘tourist’ I suppose… (Actually I went to the Statue of Liberty yesterday and queued up with these Germans that had peculiar moustaches)

Anyway I bought some culture:

CD's : Mars CD, Sonics Rendezvous Band, Reigning Sound, RVNG presents Justine D - all good

BOOKS : Night of the Living Dead BFI, Chomsky on Anarchism, The Urban Homestead and Evil Paradises

MAGS : Ugly Things, Wax Poetics (black rock issue), Cinemascope,

and too many pairs of shoes!!

So I been watching the Presidential Race, it's very similar to what was gong on in Australia, except John Howard didn't stand down and his party got thumped. The Repubs were smart to lock Dubya in the cupboard (Closet??) but McCain, oh is he a first class shmendrick! And then they put in that Palin shickser (I mean she empitomises the word for those have that no idea what I'm talking about.) McCain quite literally talks about nothing, he's a cypher. Palin YACKS LOUDLY, she reminds me of a more sophisticated Pauline Hanson. I figure that when the Republican's lose, she will quickly appear on a really camp and gay reality TV show like Hanson does in Australia (‘dancing with the stars’ or some diarrhea)..I love how Americans throw up all these pseudo ideas like 'feminism' etc to give her gravitas. She's a nothing. Now Obama has alot of integrity on the surface, he speaks well, thing is, I don't see anyone running with him, its just OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, where is his fucken posse? (OK I only been here two weeks!) Really the way I see it, is that if all the people (esp. black, hispanic, Indians, biafrans etc) get off their arses and vote, Obama should win this election. The economy is getting trennered in the shitter every second. But I don't feel threatened. If the Americans can't see the potzes in power have fucked things up so bigtime, they have sent America back 30 years, they have made the USA a laughing stock outside it's own protective cyber-bubble or whatever, well you Americans can accept more shithouse rock bands, you can accept more fucking Paris Hiltons, and you can accept more Mel Gibson and Ridley Scott movies, coz that’s what you fucking well want! But don’t expect a silver bullet, if Obama and the Invisibles win, things will be *slightly* different if THEY DON’T HAVE A VISIONARY PLAN AND STICK TO IT! Then in 4 years time, and if Palin doesn’t get her lucrative reality TV show, you might have your FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT!!!! Now where are those 'American thighs' that that not-actually-born-in-Australia band once sang about?

..and also time to get off the Internerd…………OFF!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

May the Ballard be with me...

I'm currently tramping around Europe, and while I'm indirectly complicit - like the typical Ballrdian situation - in this age of global warming and mass blind, idiotic consumption, one of the disturbing things I noticed about Europe is it's paradox with travel, mobility, and it's affect on global warming. The first thing I noticed in arriving in the Uk is the constast, muted thunder of passenger aeroplanes. Like CONSTANT. In France it was worse, I mean it's a modern day blitzkreig with no less that 3 passenger planes darting the skies at one time, it's a wonder they don't collide..

Anyway, my cousin took me to the Cartier Institute where we saw an exhibition by modernist sculptor Cesar, immediately bringing to mind my top-3 novelist J.G.Ballard..

In Barcelona my mind is getting blown every second! Hot women, great weather, extremely sophisticated culutre. England seems like a horribly repressed memory of ugly architecture, bad weather, bushpigs and horrible food - but the people are nice and often funny.. But Spain, well, it's no wonder the artists here live until 100!!

But the body\planet scarification of cheap airfares continues, amidst the complex, labyrinthine architecture and blue skies I see..

..and this right next to that other polluter - a Cathedral - more planet scarring {but alas the architecture of God is finer than commerce, the paradox!} stumbling around Barcelona, obviously some VALIS led me totally blind to here {I shit you not!}

..anyway thats enough geeking for now, the weather is too fine, life is good, off to La Plaja to be cleansed and purified!

[sorry about layout, I am using a spanish keyboard and everything is different, i am also staying with relatives who speak no english, so I feel like I'm in a Jim Jarmusch movie! LOL!]

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'll be around....

I'm actually overseas...Just in Paris listening to some speed garge from 10 years ago, when I thought I'd impress my cousin with this BASSLINE stuff I picked up in Nottingham, where I just came from..The older stuff is better :)

So yeah, I will be posting lots of pictures and some narrative one I get settle on my groove over here...


Sheriff Goldblog

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chuck D - *you're* the VOICE!

Ya know, the guy is probably 'anti-semitic', just like Mel Gibson, but is probably eating his words when his closest ideologue in political 'thought' – Noam Chomsky – is one of those wicked devils he's spouting about (but ya know he's not, get over it). I remember about 8 years ago I went to one of those September11 anti-Globalism Protests at the Clown Casino (I beleive in that politque, even if the people championing it are fucking cockheads), and as I soon as I rocked up, the stoopid motherfuckers were playing fucking Johnny Farnham's 'You're the Voice'...Now I don't gives a stuff that they were trying to 'appropriate' or 'subvert' that song, but as soon as I heard it I RAN away from that awful sonic Balagan! ( Regardless of what their righteous albeit dumb-idiot agendas were, that song makes me VOMIT, not want to bomb a bank, whatever the “””point””” is 'supposed' to be!)

But clearing that shit from the table, of all the black/Afro-American SINGERS that have come out in the last 25 odd years, Chuck D definitely has the best voice. Chuck has perfect lyrical flow, and his lyris are dense, not just the chump change most rappers spit out...But Chuck's got that thing called soul. His 'performance' on By the Time I get to Arizona is just bomb. And except for maybe Method Man, Chuck is one of those rappers that just clears the room of all other bullshit and punches through. His shit is heavy and his voice is heavy too. It's incredible that Chuck D never fronted one of those 80s black-coalition rock bands, something in between Bad Brains and Living Colour(unfortunately his rock 'combos' have all been terrible!). I have no doubt if that happened, well then 'rap' woulda become another strand of the hard-rock virus keeping it alive for another 20 odd year...But it didn't happen, and most turned away from actually listening to the guy. He's still out there, and even if his vocal chords are being stretched like a 'Stretch Armstrong' toy to the point where it's gonna plutz and that thick-sticky glue stuff oozes out. Chuck D is one of the last truly great African-America yellers. You got Henry Rollins kvetching around but Chuck D just does it without effort. Word.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The best thing since .. QUADRAPHONIC 4 !!

For those that don't know and more than likely don't give a shit, I actually made a few drachmas reviewing DVDs for a friends magazine that didn't make them any money so I lost my job..Alas, look where I am now: the shlobersphere or Blogosphere or whatever the poo-shooters call it..Anyway I was lucky to have been given a DVD-audio setup and amplifier which totally reconfigured my ears for the end of days with the 5.1/Dolby Digital/DTS meshigarse. When I was a wee cucker in the middish 70s, my older brother had one of those Quadraphonic4 amps, I remember playing with the funky remote, but never listening to anything on it, but these days I have it back!!

Basically the DVD-audio/Super Audio Cd format is dead in the toilet, so some generous and tech-savvy legend have now compiled a site where you can download the muisc and burn it straight on a CD or DVD as an encoded in DTS-format music disque..which means basically all you need is a simply DVD player surround sound set-up with DTS capability which you can get for about $150 at yr local Yum-Cha-Electronic store/supermarket and listen to some stoner audiophile dreck from the 70s 80s 90s 00s in 4.1 or 5.1...This legend at this site has also managed to digitise some old QD-4 vinyl, such as the pearler in the photo.. SO go forth and E.X.P.A.N.D!!!

Click here shtoompock!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


..and they sound like the Velvets!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

MadMax and pussy


“ …She’s the last of the V8’s. She sucks nitro, phase 4 head..”

There are many wonderful ‘shots’ in MadMax, which still stands as one of the most beautifully lensed, edited and composed Australian films of all time. I’ll let other people articulate what those are in more florid words than me, but my own personal favourite is the unveiling of ‘the Engine’: “..she’s the last of the V8’s, she sucks nitro, phase 4 head..’ Now the obvious Freudian/Delleuzian/post-modern/lazy etc..etc..etc response, is that ‘the engine’ – and visually so in this case – is the unconscious representation of the phallus. But this is what is so cool about this shot, it's not what it's 'supposed' to be, on the contrary. The camera zooms in slowly to this dark....slot, Max gently tweaks it for more power…it purrs, he’s seduced, in awe, dumbstruck, and suffers a Petit-Mort all in one shot!

Goose declares: ‘He’s in a coma man, he loves it!’

For a country that invented such wonderful philosophical concepts as ‘ the female eunuch’,a concept it seems would define sexuality in the Australian cinema for way, way too long, here we have a proud one-finger salute in this single shot. Max has just been (mind) blown!

But in this same moment a Faustian pact has been unconsciously made. Max would discover further down the narrative, that ‘the Engine’ would become his new love interest, signalling Mad Max as the first truly ‘Ballardian’ movie. He will be cruelly denied the flesh; this brief mating ritual with this crude, high-powered lube-loving machine will soon define his fate.

I remember vividly the experience of seeing MadMax2 in a packed-out Rosebud Cinema down in the Mornington-Peninsula in the early 80s (I was too young to see the shocking, ‘transgressive’ R-rated MadMax, and had to see it later on video) It blew my mind, the first truly transcendent Australian cinematic experience. The theatre was packed with mix of locals and migrant-Australians who loved their cars more than their mothers (or maybe not). The hyped murmurings after the movie were in regards to Max’s tricked out super-powered ‘Charger’. It was the engine that means the most - ‘what the fuck was than reh?’, ‘Nitro, man’, would be the reply, ‘my cousins, bothers, mate does them mods’..It was a warm communal afterglow that we all must of felt, after being unceremoniously blown by the purring, screaming force of ‘the engine’.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ed Kuepper mega-mix!

Ed Kuepper (far left) and some schizophrenics on day-release.

Ed 'the Head's' best songs.

Ed Kuepper is one of my all-time Aussie rock heroes. As a teenager I really got into his 'electrical storm' record, and then dug through his Laughing Clowns stuff, and a few of his solo records, including the stuff he did as the Aints. But I have a big problem with Ed. For all his prolificness, the guy really knows how to churn out buckets of shit. Sure it's difficult to deal with his whiney/droney voice, and his guitar playing is always quite excellent, tasteful and rock n' roll, but he puts out so much music/dreck, that ultimately most of it is really unlistenable dreck. More often than not his albums might have one or two killers (which happened more often after 'Honey Steals Gold') with the rest all quirky rubbish.

So I thought I'd sift through the back catalogue of his that I actually own, and pick out what I reckon are the real winners, and see if there's enough to make an Ed Kuepper 'megamix' so the young shnooks can get a grasp on his inconsistent 'genius' without wasting to much time and money.

NOTE : These are not in order of best, but there is some chronological order going on:

  1. Eternally Yours – post-punk drone-boogie bliss

  2. No words of honour – Velvets type guitar and pp beat

  3. New Bully in the Town – killer with a disco beat

  4. Crystal Clear – another floor stomper

  5. Holy Joe – rumble and weird jazz

  6. Mr. Uddich-Schmuddich goes to town

  7. The only one that knows – Ed's got something with the E-A-D chords

That's only 7 killers/classics off the 'Laughing Clowns collection of 51 songs, so go figure...

    8. Car Headlights – hasn't dated well, be still pretty strong

    9. No more sentimental jokes – solid

    10. Master of two servants – it that badly recorded mandolin that does it

    11. Another story – great outtro guitar solo

    12. Electrical Storm – all the re-recorded versions were never as good as this one.

    13. Told Myself – not sure if Ed was listening to Junior Kimbrough back in the 80's but this is the best white version of JK I've heard.

    14. Palace of Sin – big-beat

    7 tracks of 'Electrcial Storm' which has 11 track, so IMHO, his 'masterwork'

    15. Without your mirror – nice folky/blues acoustic track, shows Ed's guitar skills

    16. Show pony – there's an instrumental break thats really cool

    17. Not a soul around – Ed starting to get a bit more 'commercial'

    18. Nothing changes in my house – ditto, he was going for the Mellencamp thing.

    19. Everything I've got belongs to you – it's cheesy and sentimental but its a good song.

    20. Honey Steals Gold – fantastic spag/western/noir instrumental with droney loop

    21. The way I made you feel – another killer song

    22. Closer (but disguised) – great upbeat number in Ed;s weird way.

    23. Blind Girl Stripper – great instrumental, with Spacemen3 type drone

    24. Black ticket day – another uplifting Ed number

    25. It's still nowhere – The Aints. Flanged-out electric guitar, but it works!

    26. What's it like out there – more flange hysteria, the outro is friggen killer, good example of Ed's guitar work when its good.

    27. Ascension – noisy guitar, for 11 minutes. I wish Ed did this more often, he's a fucken great rock n' roll guitarist. Maybe Australia's best!

But that's only 27 songs out of 300 or something, that's like 9%!! But that 9% outweighs nearly 98.9% of all recorded Aussie music. So go figure.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flop flip

Southland Tales

Easily the best science fiction movie this decade. Many tried: the Wachowski's, Aronofsky, Linklater, Assayas, but this is the ONE. Of course the 'confusing, misdirected mess' or whatever most thought the film was, is far from it. Writer/Director Richard Kelly isn't doing anything more radical than Kubrick did with Dr. Strangelove. In fact the first 15 minutes is like a hyper mix of Kubrick, Michael Mann and Buffy! The basic problem 'critics' and even the core 'audience' had with the film was a simple matter of aesthetics. Basically Kelly has taken the last 20-odd years of modern comic/graphic novel story telling, and dumped it steaming and hot onto the lap of Hollywood and cineaste intelligentsia. Kelly's intricate plot takes the airiness of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and slices and dices it with the Ninja blade of anime surrealist hyper-modern story telling. Sheeit, there are healthy doses of the LSD-fried LA sci-fi of Phil K Dick, KW Jeter and Tim Powers, but fuck that shit, the cocksucking film 'critics' wouldn't have read that dope shit (let em read Jonathan Lethem for all I care, and they still won't get it!)!!!! In a nutshell, it was all too fast, and to into it's own rhythms to worry about what the 'others' thought (Jodorowsky comics anyone?) Kelly has a made a subversive modern American satire. No wonder the thing would flop in today's 'market. It's basically Repo Man shotgunned into a PS2, via the weird pulsations of todays 'post-Christian-Corporated-everything' world. Also throw in the Craig Baldwin hyper-linked info-steria, and you've got a modern cinematic version of agit-prop angina(don't have a heart-attack y'all)! I mean I still haven't seen it in 'perfect cinefillic conditions', rather corporate screener 'blech', but alas that shows how far this film has been tooches trennered !!! Let the global warming sun shine down(and out of my arse!)! (I'll get my 36+)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Road Worriers

Films I've recently watched...

Been sitting on my arse watching stuff on DVD, starting with...

TWO RARE AS SHIT FILMS by ALAN CLARKE (U.K)...The cinema of Alan Clarke has been getting a bit of how you say 'chi-chi' reappraisal in recent years, most notably via Gus Van Sant and every film he's made since ELEPHANT, which was inspired by Alan Clarke's short film of the same name, as well as alumni of Van Sant, Harmony Korine, who lists Clarke as one of his favourite directors. You also get Clarke's' influence in many of the trendy 'grunge' film-makers, most notably the films - at least up to TRAINSPOTTING of Danny Boyle, and other trendies like Lynne Ramsay who made MORVERN CALLAR or even that guy who recently made that Joy Division movie KONTROL, and then let’s not forget Belgian guns the Dardenne Brothers, who's steady-cammed social realism -owes more to Clarke's films than the easy comparison to Bresson made by 95% of Johnny-cum-lately film reviewers or whatever they call themselves these days. For those that want to dive into Clarke's work, well you don't have to look too far. The most-excellent cult-cinema label BLUE UNDERGROUND put out a box-set a few years back that comprised of his most well-known film, the borstal-basher SCUM, as well as the equally excellent MADE IN UK, THE FIRM and the previously mentioned ELEPHANT. The box-set it OOP, but the titles are available as individual film. Clarke's final film (he died too young in 1990), the dirty-comedy RITA & SUE & BOB TOO is also available from the UK... But Clarke's other stuff is extremely rare, made more so by the fact that most of Clarke's output for BBC television as one off 'movies of the week', so if you know someone who taped them when they screened in the 80s yr in luck...

The first of the two films I saw was the most excellent CHRISTINE, which is pretty much the day in the life of a young, working-class female junkie. Living in drab flat, Christine basically spends her days shooting up, and then walking to her friends’ houses to shoot up some more. Dialogue is kept to a minimum as Clarke's steady-cam stalks his main protag with a low-rent Kubrick styled efficiency. There's no drama, just the blunt, dull and monotonous process of the junkie shooting up, nodding off and then repeating. Clarke uses his signature of 'the walker' to great effect here. A running theme in Clarke's films, despite the overall bleakness of Thatcher's England, is the concept of 'the Walker'..Nearly every character in Clarkes' work is walking through a bleak, almost alien environment, as if they are stuck in a prison, in this case working class England. Steadycam is the method to follow his protagonist’s journey and events literally unfold along the way, in real time. CHRISITNE is no different; she walks, shoots up and nods off, all the way until the last fix, where she may have just found an inner peace...

The second Clarke rarity I saw was THE ROAD...Some rate this one quite highly but it didn't do much for me..based on a play, the film had too much talking heads complaining directly to the camera, punctuated by a brief steady-cam shot of each character...The film revolves around the lives of two disenfranchised woman and two guys they meet at a drab disco. Interspersed are the monologues of a sad old divorcee, a sad old man, and a sad young couple. The film sits very much in that Irvine welsh TRAINSPOTTING type mould with people talking in a heavy British vernacular and complaining about the system and whatnot. The film is a lot more stylised that Clarke's other work, with scuzzy settings and characters mugging for the camera in freeze-frame. If you want to know where Danny Boyle got a lot of his original ideas you should try and check out THE ROAD.

Finally I watched the totally off-its-head JE T'AIME MOI NON PLUS directed by French-frog pop hero serge Gainsbourg. Starring Warhol beefsteak Joe Dellasandro and French-fry junkie-chic Jane Birkin, the film tells the story of Krassky (Dellasandro), a gay truck driver who falls for a chick with no tits and look like a boy called Johnny (Birkin)...Poor Krassky, he thinks he's falling for this anorexic, until he has to sleep with her, and then in frustration can only consummate his love for her Greek-style! Yeah well, how do you interpret this film? To me it was like a Fassbinder movie meets one of the those 70's mid-western acid movies like something by Monte Hellman or an early Hal Ashby film..The premise is more ridiculous when you tell people about it, than when you actually watch it, but the whole film works on such a unique don't-give-a-fuck and provocative manner, that you can't help but be entertained, and realise they just don't make shit like this anymore! Oh, and for those who dig Monsieur Gainsbourg, this film is actually an adaptation of his hit song Je T'Aime Se Nous Plus, so suck on that one!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Stealth rock around the cock


..don’t ask me what the title means, you can figure it out for yourself coz I know yr that smart. The other day, being the sad-old-cunt that I am within the 35+ ‘demographic’ that-still-buys-music-as-albums--on-physically-tactile-formats, I picked up probably my favourite UK-indie-shmindie band of all-time, the Wedding Present's sorta-kinda-classic album: BIZARRO. Now I actually bought this album back during the great pre-war days of the earliest 1990’s, though I’d initially lost interest in the band after purchasing their hit-album ‘GEORGE BEST’ a neat, though badly produced record, that was still important in that here was one of the first indie-rock bands that proudly championed their love of sports before it became trendy with fuckheads (the hardcore pnuk scene', and also just before mid- 90s via Ameri-undie bands like Pavement & Yo LaTengo and who seemed to have become sports fans over-night in fear of the great gay-takeover or some shit whilst doing their art-farty humanities course at Uni, and realized they aren’t exactly part of the great ‘art’ dominant paradigm.)

NOW the Wedding Present in their day (what? 1986 to about 1990 or 1993) were basically up there in the big two of Brit-pop. It was Wedding Present vs. the Smiths), and while the Smiths are still championed for Morrissey’s exquisite charm and pomp and backbone of ALL British musique since 1972, GLAM, the Weddoes were always seemingly ignored because of their natural hetero boy-meets-girl-boy-has-complexity-with-girl-nobody-really-wins bittersweet paradigm. Which as I have been informed by a ex-pat servant-of-the-Empire buddy, made them quite popular with the chicks. I can vouch to that, though all I had was blue-balls-and-frustration/heartbreak with the only chick I ever went out with who was a Weddoes fan (there mighta been another, but she was into droney jazz records amongst the Stooges, and Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. ) In Australia, the Weddoes had fleeting indie-cult appeal with the sorta dancefloor ‘hit’ ‘My Favourite Dress’, that was the tougher antedote to the Smiths juggernaut in their songs ‘How Soon is Now’, ‘Big mouth’ etc…Another thing that didn't win the the Weddoes a fan base outside the UK was they were another trainspotter specialist type band. This was partly due to the fact that they WERE a 100% indie band pre the onset of 90s indie-rock globalizm fracas, while the Smiths already had major label distro in this country. You could and still to a great extent, only buy Wedding Present produce via ‘specialist’ stores or directly from the maker via the Internerd. Adding to this, still to this day, no skerrick of the Wedding Present ‘empire’ have ever been to Australia in the live-on-stage format. As a result being a fan of the Wedding Present immediately put you into a secret cult that almost immediately helped you identify with other secret agents of the resistance or some such shit.

SO we have BIZARRO. Following up to their indie-smash-hit and genre defining ‘product’ - GEORGE BEST - the band created waves in the UK by wrenching post-punk ideals by the balls, taking full ownership of their own work based on their substantial cult-following and having one of the first, we produce-it-and-you-cunts-distribute-it-better deals with a major (RCA) which would become the norm with grunge-etc..(tho’ wasn’t anything really new, since the Rolling Stones pioneered it).

BIZARRO immediately saw the band taking another step forward, album opener ‘Brassneck’ was pretty much a representation of a UK band absorbing the ‘Blast First’ records American-invasion on the indie-underground, immediately pushing this band into a more ‘rockist’ realm, which would aid them immeasurably in the next dam-busting raid that would occur some 4-5 years later over the pond. ‘Brassneck’ is basically the Wedding Present interpreting Sonic Youth’s ‘Teenage Riot’ without losing their own unique identity, unlike the shoegazers soon thereafter. No doubt setting up the forgotten fact that BIZARRO is pretty-much one of the DEFINING (or seminal) records of the shoegaze cannon. The next three tracks ‘crushed’, ‘no’ and ‘thanks’ still stick the ye-old-school Weddoes ‘sound’ of jingly-jangly Anorak-spangly guitars and ennui lyrics, until the big-one ‘Kennedy’ comes along. Fuck a duck! The first Velvet-Undergound disco-‘floor’ track, with a cha-cha that’s still as limey as Blancmange’s ‘livin’ on the ceiling’, and a track that is more subversively ‘witty’ than anything Herr-Morrissey coulda penned. I crapped on before about the Fall’s BEND SINISTER being one of the first Chmosky-style albums, well ‘Kennedy’ would rate as one of the first Chmosky-stylee bubblegum pop-songs!

One of the great things about BIZARRO is the Wedding Present’s ability to take the ecstatic ‘What goes on’ strum without giving a fuck about the outcome. Critics would write this off as ‘boring indulgence’ since all they are really doing is strumming and not really going anywhere for five odd minutes. The only real flaw in this may not be as much fun for the listener as it is for the artist. But listening with fresh ears in my olde-age, the ecstatic strum-outs sound more like a response to the eccy-trance of the dance music at the time as well as a nod to the Daydream-Nation psych-expanses of the other mob. People forget that the Wedding Present were actually a dance got ‘what have I said now?’ on the rocker behind me now and contrary to the indulgence, just stopped it’s ecstasy-strum a bit too early! band in the post-punk sense. They were still the offshoot of Joy Division (if Ian Curtis lived would the Weddoes have existed???), Wire, the Fall, but were possibly subconsciously taking a more dance stand via say their New Order or even their Gang of Four stylings. In fact, I got ‘what have I said now?’ on the rocker behind me now and contrary to the indulgence, just stopped it’s ecstasy-strum a bit too early!

But the rest of side-2 (or last 6 tracks or however i-dopes ‘schedule’ music these days) is all fucken great soft-psych jam-out noise bliss/fun/release/groove/meshigarse/primitive ritual –whatever!

Gedge’s lyrics were always as interesting and obscure as the sonics. Whereas Morrissey was always on his Oscar-Wildean via Derek Jarman via (showing my ignorance of UK culture here) I dunno Coronation-Street repression-Marxist-position-of-the-homo-‘other’ encoded-shtick, Gedge would stick to hetero boy-meets-girl-boy-has-complexities-with-girl as only he knows how, and alas pick up all the Morrissey ‘fans’ who knew they could never fuck him! Gedge lyrics have a matter-of-fact rawness and honesty/ awkwardness/neuroticness that makes him some sort of John Cassavettes inspired poet, even if he probably never watched any Cassavettes movies. Similarly, they have that quaint-but-potent interplay, humor, potency and bla-bla-ness that you find in most Eric Rohmer films..

Rohmer's bitter sweet summer lovin' re: 'Take me', 'don't talk just kiss'

..or even stuff like Godard’s ‘Contempt’ and plenty of Trauffaut (which probably adds to the Weddoes popularity with indie Franco-philes and American indie film-makers!) I was trying to position Gedge with UK film-makers of his time- in the way that it’s so easy to position Morrissey into the Jarman-Greenaway vanguard that was moving at the time - but it’s proving tricky (which is good). Despite having a sort of ‘kitchen sink’ reality about them, for the majority, Gedge’s lyrics were never as blatantly Marxist-leftist as the Leigh/Loach films of the time. The closest they would have resemble (of which I’m not terribly versed in either, remember, I am not a hardcore Anglophile) would have been the cinema of Alan Clarke, and even then, only ‘Rita & Sue & Bob Too’. (NOTE: If anyone wants to add more films or other culture I would never have seen, that might have been in alignment with Gedge’s lyricism, please fill me in I AM interested!)

So now it’s its time to put my pinhead hat on and do my lame attempt at charting the impact of this band that seem to have been written out of Brit-roque history. From my R&D the Weddoes were definitely the next step from the Joy Division/New Order sonic paradigm, and interestingly used the whole Factory-records ‘indie’ model for their show-business affair before nearly any bands of their generation. This probably set themselves apart from their Marxist (marx brother-ists?) C86 peers. The Weddoes weren’t afraid, to use the capitalist paradigm to their advantage, in fact they were probably more organized and together in the head than their peers, and probably were reviled for having such ‘careerist’ agenda (and tags that were wrong, but fuck the critic wankers)..Despite being emerging from the C86 thang, they were always a bit rougher and ‘rockist’ than their polite passive-aggressive contemporaries. That basically beat their own path. They also pledged allegiance to more ‘rockist’ post-punk groops like Wire, the Fall and the Buzzcocks (but then so did the fucken Fine Young Cannibals - aint pop music strange at the best of times?), not forgetting the Velvets, the birthday Party (apparently Gedge was paranoid there were too many similarities in name, that never ever occurred to me until I Googled it recently!) and elements of American hardcore via the faster-louder paradigm. But BIZARRO would create its own unfairly forgotten cross-the-and -in-pond tremors. The whole shoegaze thing owes a debt with the softer-louder dynamics of BIZARRO’s side-2, the early 90s Amerindie ‘sound’ was shaped as much by the Fall as the pop-accessibility of the Weddoes, from Superchuck, Pavement, whole pockets of the eastern-board US undieground, to fuck I dunno? the Strokes, the strumarella of the Arctic Monkeys?? Many more decorated and possibly more eloquent and better dictioned rock writers bemoan where British rock disappeared and re-emerged in it’s own right, it never ceased to amaze why the Wedding Present were never considered, and there’s probably smarter dudes who could tell me why. (NOTE: The Weddoes drummer ain’t too shabby!)

All I can say is, ain’t rock history a prick?