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Get your dancing shoes on with The Pop Group's Mark Stewart

pop group white

The late ‘70s in the UK saw a deluge of explosive music and art colliding, and while not all was good by any means (much was utterly dreadful), some was brilliantly wayward. The Pop Group are one such, and they are doing only THREE shows in Australia in March.

The first is at the Adelaide Festival on Thursday 5th March, the next day they’re in Sydney at the Factory Theatre, and the last gig is at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne (where they will be supported by the rather swish Harry Howard and the NDE). Then, they’re slugging through the USA and back to Blighty to cause more sore feet and body odour. Toting a brand new album "Citizen Zombie" that's relevant and brilliant. 

Wake Up Dead – The Disconnects (Baldy Longhair)

Wake Up DeadThe spirit of New York City’s Lower East Side (circa 1979) is alive and well and living under the nom de plume The Disconnects in Neptune City, New Jersey. 

In many respects that’s good to know because in these horrifyingly gentrified times, it couldn’t exist any longer in safe and antiseptically clean Manhattan. Even its neighbour, Brooklyn, has become respectable. New York Punk (the Heartbreakers variant) was swept under the carpet years ago - so good on The Disconnects for flying that ragged flag.

Elevators re-appear, 48 years later

The surviving members of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators are reforming for their first show since 1967.

Vocalist-guitarist Roky Erickson, jug player Tommy Hall, bassist Ronnie Leatherman and original drummer John Ike Walton will reconvene for the Levitation Festival at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas, from May 8-10.

Also on the bill are Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, Jesus & Mary Chain, Spiritualized, Primal Scream, Black Angels and Thee Oh Sees.

The Elevators reunion will include an as yet un-named guitarist in place of Stacy Sutherland, who was shot and killed by his wife during a domestic dispute in 1978. 

Roky Erickson has been performing for many years after recovering his health following protracted mental illness. The appearance by Tommy Hall, the band’s lyricist and spiritual (and drug) seer, is a major surprise, however. He’s understood to have been living in seclusion in San Francisco.

DM3 jangling around Australia

jangle webLegendary guitar-pop trio DM3 are set to tour Australia in April following a renewed interest in the band on iTunes and on vinyl.

DM3’s “Monsters of Jangle” Tour will be a rare chance for fans of the WA-based, internationally revered power-pop outfit too see them perform live in limited venues around Perth, Melbourne and Sydney ahead of a trip to Japan.

“Monsters of Jangle” will showcase DM3’s ‘Best of’ vinyl release “One Time Two Times Three Times More”, a collection of explosive highlights from their five albums released on the respected Sydney based independent label Citadel Records from 1993-2002.

Formed in 1992 by The Stems’ founder songwriter Dom Mariani, the original line-up of DM3 includes Summer Suns’ drummer Pascal Barlolone and Someloves’ bassist Toni Italiano.  Together they are revered worldwide for an explosive sound that fuses melodic pop hooks, cool vocals and high energy rock’n’roll guitar.

DM3’s first two albums “One Time Two Times Three Times Red Light” (1993) and “Road to Rome” (1996) were produced by the legendary Mitch Easter (REM, Pavement, Velvet Crush) and lauded by critics and fans alike as two of the world’s best in power pop genre.

Album number-three “Rippled Soul” (1998) put Mariani’s unrivalled skill as a songwriter front and centre and won legions more fans at home and in Europe and the USA.

I’ve Got Cock If You Want It - Raygun Mortlock b/w Don’t Follow Me - The Dirty F Holes (self released)

cock splitFancy some cock rock in a double-serving? This double A-sided split-single puts Gold Coast/Far Northern New South Wales misfits, Raygun Mortlock, intp bed with trashy Brisbane brat-beaters, The Dirty F Holes. Who wears the strap-on in this aural version of "50 Shades Of Grey" isn't clear but the consummation of this relationship isn’t pretty.

“I’ve Got Cock If You Want It” sits astride a repeating guitar figure and lets it all hang out. There is no fancy foreplay introduction or acoustic guitar filigree at the bridge in this ball of sludge. It has a direct, shout-along chorus (you can guess the words) that's interrupted only by a tightly-coiled guitar solo that takes the song out.

The Hadron Colliders launch their EP

Sydney band, The Hadron Colliders, will launch their debut EP, “Measuring the Space between Us All” at the iconic Petersham Bowling Club in their home city on Sunday, February 22 from 5pm with an all-ages gig.

Containing members from ‘80s and ‘90s bands The Last Metro and The Catherine Wheel, The Hadron Colliders have built up a reputation for their dynamic live performances which has been further enhanced by the release of their debut EP.

The EP, recorded at Damien Gerard Studios with Russell Pilling (The Church, The Vines, Died Pretty) has been described as “...soulful, gentle indie pop... fragile, constructed melodies and (a) sort of melancholy sweetness”.  Our own Robert Brokenmouth said "Measuring the Space Between Us All" was “...sexy... a crushing, lovely boat trip down a brooding romance-laden river”.

Joining the band will be Canberra’s Positive Feedback Loop and Nature Strip Duo (a stripped down version of the inimitable The Nature Strip). Entry is $10 tickets at the door), with kids free.

Howling At The Sun – 3 Headed Dog (Closer Records)

howling sunForget the clichés about French rock and roll bands being full of pale and inspid breadstick-chewers who can barely rock and are lamentably unable to roll. This Paris trio can do both as well as almost anyone you can name, and might just be the best band you’ve never heard. 

3 Headed Dog are Brenko (guitar), Vinz (bass) and Manga (drums.) All have been members of anarchic noisemeisters, Dimi Dero Inc, and the late Holy Curse, who for mine were the best rock and roll outfit in 20 years to have crawled from under the lid the establishment keeps firmly on France’s underground music scene.

Peel Me Like A Egg – Hard-Ons (Citadel Records)

peel meIt’s hard to work out when Hard-Ons ceased being just another band and evolved into an unstoppable force of nature. Thirty-four years after publicly emerging into the dim lights of an inner Sydney pub stage, this indefatigable trio keep punching out albums when most of their contemporaries have long put their own cues in the rack.

Ask any record tragic. There’s a tried and tested rule for albums. Most long-lasting bands deliver one or two gems at their high point and the rest are shit or on a plateau. “Peel Me Like A Egg” easily stacks up against most of the Hard-Ons’ 10 previous studio efforts. It’s not so much because the band has stayed true its composite punk, metal, speedcore and pop roots (it’s always good to know what you’re going to get) as much as they’ve managed to make each release sound fresh.

Reckless – The Sports (Festival/Warner) and Don’t Throw Stones – The Sports (Festival/Warner)

sports dont throw stonesreckless coverThere’s too much here to consume in one sitting or even two. Reanimator To The Stars (by Royal Appointment), Sir David Laing, has packed these deluxe editions of The Sports’ first two albums with enough bonus material to weigh down a Melbourne Cup certainty

For the uninitiated or the downright forgetful, The Sports sprang out of Melbourne’s fertile Carlton Scene in 1976 and petered out in 1981, but only after a run of four albums that spawned a slew of catchy Australian chart singles.

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