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Farewell seminal producer Tony Cohen

tony cohenAustralian underground music’s most influential producer, Tony Cohen, has died.

Tony’s brother Martin announced his passing in a Facebook post yesterday: “Just arrived home to learn that my only sibling, my older brother Tony Cohen, passed away peacefully in Dandenong Hospital this afternoon. He turned 60 in June this year.

“Tony was a legend of Australian music shaping the industry and many of the best artists to come out of Australia including Nick Cave and the Cruel Sea," he wrote.

"He won three ARIA's in the 1990's for producing and engineering and was featured on several documentaries on the history of Australian music including ‘Its a Long Way to The Top’.

“Tony lived a hard life with drugs and alcohol playing a big part of his professional career. He did give them up many years ago but always knew that he would eventually pay for his 'sins'.

“As brothers we were like chalk and cheese. But, I loved him and fully respect what he achieved in his career. He was technically brilliant, but also a caring, big-hearted man. He sometimes frustrated me belong belief, but I will miss him for the rest of my days.”

Cohen’s production credits read like a Who’s Who of Australian music in the 1980s and ‘90s. They include Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party, The Cruel Sea, Beasts of Bourbon, TISM, Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes, Sacred Cowboys, Models, The Ferrets, The Johnnys, Supernaught, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, The Moodists, Pel Mel, The Go-Betweens, The Saints, Spencer P Jones, The Devastations and Cold Chisel.

Wind Horses (A Special Edition) - Peter Blast (Blast-O-Matic)

wind horsesPunk turned Americana country bluesman Peter Blast occupies a musical space vacated by Nikki Sudden and contested by a string of similar-minded outriders. This two-song CD single gives a glimpse of why the others are mostly pretenders. 

He might look like his late friend Johnny Thunders’ Chicago cousin and Blast shares his plaintive vocal stylings, but the soulful music he makes is all his own. “Population Zero” is sparse, country blues dressed in a skeletal arrangement and spooky lap slide. Herein lies the Nikki Sudden comparison. 

Charlie Marshall & the Curious Minds live in Adelaide

 Charlie Marshall wheatsheafPhoto by Robert Dunstan of Bside magazine 

When you shut your eyes and listen, support act Workhorse sound very good, kind of soothing but slightly disturbing.

Several of us did just that. Watching them was interesting - their violinist was exceptional (most violinists seem to think that furiously sawing away will earn them some sort of Scout or Brownie badge), the vocals haunting and rather beautiful, and a rather lovely Vox bass throbbed effectively.

 It may be early days for this outfit (I'm told that a couple, including the lead vocalist/ guitarist, were/ are in the Wireheads) and there's a certain amount of shyness - common to a large number of young bands these days - which I don't think suits the material. I'll make a point of seeing them again as I enjoy noticing how bands develop.

Wasty Tasty - Swhat (Heart of The Rat Records)

swhat albumSwhat is another one of those bands that subscribes to that simple formula. It’s one from the mid-‘70s UK and (paraphrased) it goes like this: “Here’s one chord. Here’s another. Here’s one more. Now go form your own band.”

Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all need a fix of bracing, ear-clearing punk in our musical lives. It clears the head, channels the thoughts and wipes away memories of accidental exposure to mundane pap like Beyonce and untenable excrement like the Idol TV franchise.

A Big Bad Beautiful EP - The Godfathers (Godfather Recordings2)

godfathers epThe doubters can get back in their box. The Godfathers do what too many re-born bands of their vintage can’t and sound as convincing as they did in the ‘80s. This EP features two album cuts (one re-mixed) and a couple not on the record. .

“A Big Bad Beautiful Noise” is the album title track (and EP lead-off) and it’s a relentless, surging wall of guitars - just as it should be with an act that was among a bunch of unfashionables that were kicked to the kerb and labelled “rockist” by the fickle UK music press, way back in the day.

Book a launch date with Kim Volkman

Devil Wont Take CharitySinger, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kim Volkman has been part of Melbourne's live music scene for 38 years.

He's played in bands like The Severals, Ian Rilen & the Love Addicts, The Patron Saints and Kim Volkman and the Whiskey Priests. He's currently treading the boards nationally, as bass player for the current line-up of X.

His autobiography "The Devil Won't Take Charity" will be launched at Robarta, St Kilda on September 3, 2017 from 2-5pm. Join the Facebook event here.

Pre-orders are open and you can score yourself a copy of the limited edition, signed book for $30 plus postage by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. There are also copies on sale at X shows.

 

Infestation - The Stinkbugs (Swashbuckling Hobo)

infestationStuck firmly in a time warp of their own making, Brisbane’s The Stinkbugs make music that bears no relation to anything you’ll hear on mainstream radio or oh-so-limp reality TV shows. Fuzzy ’n’ frothy, psychedelic garage rock is their stock in trade. 

With a lineage that includes membership of Shutdown66 and the Hekawis, The Stinkbugs mix their ’60s acid punk with their ‘70s hard rifferama to come up with their own distinctive, odd sound. This is their second album (with a couple of fine singles in-between) and veers between trashy lo-fi ragers and cloudy, acid-washed trips. 

All This And More: Dead Boys line-up re-records classic album

dead boys 2017Here’s some news that will stir the embers of controversy. Original Dead Boys Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz have been taking a line-up on the road in the US to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s seminal album, “Young, Loud and Snotty”.

Now they’ve announced they’re releasing a re-recording of the landmark record.

“Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40!” is being released on Nashville-based Plowboy Records on September 8 with a US tour kicking off in Dallas, Texas, on September 7. A handful of dates have been announced and you can follow the itinerary here.

New Groovies record out in September

plastic fantastic cover largeThat Flamin’ Groovies album we’ve told you about is finally going to be released. “Plastic Fantastic” is out on CD on September 22 on the band’s own Sonic Kicks/Severn Records.

“Fantastic Plastic” was recorded mainly with founding Groovies bassist George Alexander and the band’s latter-day drummer Victor Penalosa (both since departed), with assistance from members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Original member Cyril Jordan and longtime singer and guitarist Chris Wilson will be playing together on an album for the first time in 38 years. It features 10 fresh compositions co-written by Jordan and Wilson, plus covers of the Beau Brummels’ “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and NRBQ’s “I Want You Bad”.

One of the tracks, the stellar "Crazy Macy", was released on Burger Records and our review is here

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