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Manhattan Project - Kevin K (MVD/Real Kool Kat)

manhattan projectA bunch of New York City’s rock and roll past and present recently gathered in Manhattan to celebrate and play the music of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers.

Led by the eternally cool Walter Lure, who was assisted by Blondie drummer Clem Burke, ex-Lower East Side resident and MC5 member Wayne Kramer, Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and a bunch of guest vocalists, the band played four sold-out shows. And they were reportedly underwhelming.

Tingalingin’ - The Lincolns (The Lincolns)

TingalinginThe Lincolns are sharp, smart and write damn fine, modern songs, play with punch and verve, and crowds come out of the undergrowth wherever they play (I’m guessing they’d pull in the middle of the Simpson Desert), and most of the crowd get all gussied up and dance till the pompadours collapse like upset bowls of black pasta.

The Lincolns tour around the country; barely a weekend goes by without another sell-out Lincolns gig somewhere. They work hard at day jobs, too, so the band is their release; yet they drive to every gig and there’s more than 140 songs in their repertoire. Yes, really. And they live in Adelaide. And, their overseas tours have been extremely successful, and there’s another one sorted out for 2017.

Antarctica - Marilyn Rose and the Thorns (In the Vault Records)

antarcticaThis album is worth four bottles. Possibly more. I’ll know in a year’s time, when I’ve finished listening to it. “Antarctica” is a sleeper, and it’ll get you in the end. Probably at night, it feels stronger at night. Lex from Seedy Jesus did the cover, and it’s a beauty, really smart.

And, yes, I’m going to repeat myself: the world is currently awash with brilliant music, much of it - like “Antarctica” - very strong and remarkably commercial. Given the airplay and the backing, "Antarctica" should be in thousands of homes around the world; certainly the USA would like this outfit. That said, I’ve not yet seen Melbourne’s Marilyn Rose and the Thorns - but I’ll rectify that as soon as I can.

A Place Called Bad - The Scientists (Numero Group)

a place called badBarman, how many bottles can I get away with putting on this? If you’re a literalist, it’s five. Because you can’t go over 100 percent, by definition, can you?

Can you, fuck! Eight bottles, Barman. (ED: Go home, Robert, you're drunk!) This is a special, wonderful box set. Long overdue.

You don't need to be Big Ears to catch these Noddys

mutated noddys

Blink and you’ll miss them. The Wollongong band that got away, The Mutated Noddys, are playing one reformation show at Jane’s Cafe in their hometown on December 23.

With their roots firmly planted in the Detroit and ’60s punk scenes, the Noddys blazed away for the best part of a decade in the 1980s and early ‘90s, playing many high-profile supports and recording an EP and an as yet unreleased album with producer (and fan) Rob Younger.

Apart from a one-off in Sydney in 2010 to support GBH, the Noddys haven’t been sighted since and have no plans to play any other gigs due to one member living in the USA. Crapulous Gee Saw and Oceedeecee (yes, that’s a Ramones tribute band) will support there, Tickets are a bargain at $5 on the door and Jane’s is at 40 Flinders Street in North Wollongong.

Make your Festive Season jangle for free

Tis the season to be jolly, as if you didn’t know, and Perth-based international pop collective The JAC have a Xmas present for us all. 

The JAC is Perth musician Joe Algeri whose bands include Jack and the Beanstalk, The Britanincas, The Outryders and, most recently, The Jangle Band.

Each year, Algeri releases a Xmas song. On “Christmas Without Maria” Joe’s on vocals and guitar and he’s ably assisted by The Christmas Crew. On this recording, they’d be Briitannicas bassist Herb Eimerman (USA), Swedes Steffan Johansson (the Lemon Clocks, the Melted Hearts) on drums and Lars Brusell on keys, Finn Andy J Prinkkila (the Lieblings, the Sugarrush) on guitar and Paul Colombini (The Outryders) on guitar. Egomaniac Music personnel Erika Algeri and Lydia Algeri assist on backing vocals.

Recorded over the Internet in various studios around the world, it’s a free Bandcamp download - so get to it.

Blue & Lonesome - Rolling Stones (Polydor)

StonesBlueandLonesomeSome of you think the Stones lost all relevance 30 years ago. I don’t buy it. No band does consistently brilliant work for more than three or four consecutive albums. These days, most of the current crop can’t even string together that many passable songs.

All that happened to the Stones is that they came back to the pack… and grew very rich. Which brings us to “Blue & Lonesome”, the much-hyped Stones’ return to their roots.

Mean Old Twister - Deniz Tek (Career/Citadel)

mean old twisterIt’s hard to imagine Deniz Tek fans being disappointed by his latest release. Radio Birdman fans, maybe not so much.

While Deniz’s last album, “Detroit”, was a brooding, introspective and dark reflection on urban and personal relationship decay, “Mean Old Twister” paints with a broader aural palette. Sax, harmonica and keys are woven into the sound at strategic points, to enhance Tek’s trademark guitar and guitar player’s vocal.

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