BARFLY TOP TENS: Doc Temple from Chickenstones & Radio Northern Beaches
Doc Temple (centre) with Chickenstones
What's my Top Ten? Now, there's a question best reserved for someone young enough to still have a memory that lasts longer than a week. But as there is scant actual non-payola industry reference around, fuck it. I will try.
First off, I have had a number of recordings thrown at me this year as I rather often do a radio show co-host replacement thing (when one of the usual hosts is off doing what parallel universe shit they do.) This does not, however, make me any wiser or more influential than anyone else.
Some picks were not committed to Pro Tool hard drives this last year but took many, many months of work to do so, thence, they deserve some spotlight, but I subscribe to the Bob Short model of 'Do I have Ten?'. Maybe, maybe not. Being numerically dyslexic, I shall offer thoughts, not numbers:
Dark Star - David Bowie
I was a huge fan of the Ronson/Bowie combination ("Queen Bitch") and his work with Alomar, Eno, Rodgers, Slick and Pop. Overseen mostly by Visconti. The man was a god. "Serious Moonlight" lost me, but I now know why he did it. I'm not a nostalgic fellow but this was gracious. AND good. He encouraged many others. Gar'n, fuckin' better that.
Diamond in the Forehead - Garry Gray & the Sixth Circle
Ok ,the fowl outfit I play and sing with did shows with 'em as they launched this record in Sydney, so maybe I should shut the fuck up. But I won't. Almost nothing has equalled the songs on this album that encompass that (the stupidly under-reverred) Australian indie/German "arthouse" connection, mostly unheard in over a decade. If you take the time to look who is writing and playing on this album, you may discover why it is as such. I like them and it.
State of the Art - California Dave
As I'm a slide guitar playing, dim-witted rock 'n' roll blues, turnaround player/singer with some punk sensibilities. I have heard 600 "skater" punk outfits over time, liked the energy, but got bored. I have no excuse. I met this very decent man at a festival we played, stage managing when the stage manager bailed out with illness. Said little about himself, sent me two albums. Played all guitars ,bass and sang on this un'. It is honest and killer.
Brujita - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders
Fine indie Aus pop/rock from Europe. Why the fuck the man is not a household name here? Read Bob Short's stated view. I agree.
Post Pop Depression - Iggy Pop
Josh Homme, I have heard, is a bastard. Was in Kyuss and is in QOTSA, I'm told. I don't care. I am a bastard too. When Iggy finds an accomplice that works, I'm in. (I loved - and still love "Kill City" - and it was panned.)
Blue & Lonesome - The Rolling Stones
Old blokes having fun. I'm a blues fan, I like Little Walter. I like Memphis Slim. I like The New York Dolls. I like MC5.
I don't like fishbowl laptop solo artists. Maybe its only old blokes jamming songs they like,with mates stepping in to laugh along, and the result is managed by one of the best musical distribution organisations known to mankind. I still like it. In Australia, 'Flume' won the ARIA awards and Triple Jay is un-listenable. Dismiss actually played instruments at your own risk.
That's only bloody six you may say, but I heard many songs and many fine bands in 2016 that should be applauded for just doing what they liked, or just aiming at doing what they could, trying to be honest or even being shithouse, yet endearing. I mostly loved them all.
It all has to start somewhere. Go pay a buck or two and back 'em:
Leadfinger are killer
The Pumping Piano Cats
Four Barrel Hemi
The Hollerin' Sluggers
Captain Reckless and the Lost Souls
.... and more, all of varying genres and on and on and on and on and so forth. Go and encourage them all. Art, writing and music.
Andy Doc Temple Ellard is frontman and songwriter with Sydney band Chickenstones.