What Brian Henry Hooper knew

what would i knowWhat Would I Know? - Brian Henry Hooper (Bang! Records)

Brian Henry Hooper was a remarkable man. I first encountered him when he was part of Kim Salmon's band, The Surrealists. I had no idea what to expect, and the huge shattering sound, the big horror-show songs, and Kim's howls backed by two droogies from an abbattoir ... my mouth was flat on the floor. Magnificent.

It was many years later that I met Brian for the first time, more or less by accident at a different gig, when I used a rather unpleasant local term which Brian immediately picked up on - "That's a real Adelaide term, isn't it?" Brian was always interested in the world around him - I recall him also relating how beautiful Adelaide was as the aircraft came in to land ... come in the right way to land, I suppose, and even ...no, that's not right. I knew what he meant, the place can be damned pretty.

No, really. Brian liked Adelaide.

Popboomerang caravan reaches Sydney

ups and downs 2019

You might have read our recent rave about the latest “Shake Yer Popboomerang” compilation. It was recently launched in Melbourne and Brisbane. Now it’s Sydney’s turn. 

Ups and Downs (pictured above), Halfway and The Arial Maps will do the honours at Marrickville Bowling Club on February 29. Tickets are on sale here.

"Shake Yer Popboomerang 3" is the latest in a series of compilation albums released on the Popboomerang Records label to document and celebrate the finest melodic pop, jangle, folk and rock music in the Australian scene. The label was founded by Scott Thurling in 2002 and has released more than 80 recordings.

2019 Barfly Top Tens: Matt Ryan of Munster Times

matt munster 2019TOP 11 ALBUMS 

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - All in Good Time
Nine years is a long time between drinks, but this was well worth the wait. For my money the most important Melbourne band of the last 20 years returns with an LP up there with their first two albums. In true Eddy Current style this LP just all of a sudden dropped out of nowhere, with no shows and little media presence to promote it. Garage rock the way it should be, messy but tight, loose and fast and songs ending whenever it feels like that’s enough.

Hexdebt- Rule of Four
Punk meets shoegazing with social’political messages that come straight in your face. The long awaited debut LP of Hexdebt backs up their reputation as a killer live outfit

Cereal Killer – The Beginning and End of Cereal Killer
The first and last long player of this Geelong supergroup. I saw ‘em live a few years back with feedtime and was blown away, so was keen to hear the LP as I wanted to see how that stage show was put on record. The LP has plenty of the power of the live show, combining elements of garage, punk and electro, one of the most fresh and finest releases of 2019.

Plastic Section - Trouble is Our Business
Sun City meets John Spencer. Killer '50s guitar and vocals, two ripper instrumental tracks and only one song cracks the three minute mark. Its sounds old but in a new way, powerful but not flashy guitar. Singer-guitarist Ben Edwards sounds like he could ave played with the Killer himself.

Mick Trouble- Here’s the Mick Trouble LP
Thanks to Ritchie Ramone at Strangeworld for putting me onto this. Was amazed this came out this year as I thought it was a lost Television Personalities recording. One of those gems I would only discover via the man behind the record store counter. Buzzcocks style harmonies meets the storytelling of Wreckless Eric.

Imperial Wax - Gastwerk Saboteurs
Pete Greenway, Dave Spurr and Keiron Melling had been the core of the Fall for the last decade of the band's existence until the passing of Mark E Smith. The three lads hooked up with Sam Curran to make an LP their old taskmaster would ave been proud of. It’s not the Fall, but without MES how could it? Theres certainly elements of the Fall in there but the lads ave their own approach and ideas, much like the Fall, taking a simple idea and expanding, taking rock music to new places.

Wild Billy Childish & CTMF - Last Punk Standing
With the exception of Mark E Smith no one has given me more joy then Billy Childish. Pretty much every year theres an LP with the name Childish that appears in the top 10 list. The mans a hero of mine. On top of the massive discography of amazing albums, what I love about him is the fact the man just gets on with it. Bangs out two LPs a year, with just two, if that, chords and bangs out a record in one take. No overdubs no time for being precious, just doing it and doing it well. I wish I had this talent and discipline.

Latte? What latte? Make mine a Minibike with some Stompin' Riff Raffs

nao pbsNao of Stompin' Riff Raffs. 3PBS-FM photo. 

Stompin’ Riff Raffs

Northcote Social Club
Minibikes

Merri Creek Tavern
Saturday, December 14 2019

One-time I-94 Bar writer Trevor Block once described Melbpurne suburb Northcote as "the capital of the People’s Republic of Darebin". Trevor’s colourful description had some currency at the time: you could still find Californian bungalows inhabited by half-a-dozen social security recipients-cum-performance artists, including an aging dreadlocked hippie who quoted Engels over late breakfast and invoked Proudhon in defiance of the sticky note instruction to avoid using the carton of soy milk in the fridge.

But times have changed. Northcote is still, according to psephologists, the hub of the Melbourne inner-city leftie latte culture, the loud, politically correct class who drown out the quiet Australians of the suburbs and regions. True, there is plenty of good coffee to be found in Northcote, but the fact that the only significant community uprising in recent times was about the council’s plan to restrict parking (“What? I can’t park both the Beemer 4WD and the Jeep Cherokee in front of the house? And where will I park Angus’s new Mercedes Sport?”) says everything about the sanctimonious hypocrisy of the middle-class.

Greatness in the grooves

between the linesBetween The Lines: The Complete Jordan-Wilson Songbook ’71-’81 - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)
I’ll Have a…Bucket of Brains! The Original 1972 Rockfield Recordings for UA - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)

Keeping track of the Flamin’ Groovies discography used to be harder than Chinese arithmetic. Multiple line-ups on a slew of labels - major, independent or indecent, depending on who you believed - and a dizzying array of re-issues, compilations and live sets made it hard work.

Like everything else, the Interwebs changed that. Resources like Allmusic and Discogs allow you to thread your way - relatively coherently - though the back catalogue to make some sense of it.

“Between The Lines” is a clever concept: It compiles the original songs of the “second” Groovies from their salad pop days and strips out the covers.

2019 Barfly Top Tens: Keith Claringbold

kc 2019TOP TEN GIGS 2019
Ashley King photo

It is always hard to cut it down to ten but here goes.

Ice Cream Hands supported by Bryan Estapa Band- Factory Floor, Sydney 
A great night of cleverly and carefully crafted power pop from Ice Cream Hands as Charles Jenkins and co bewitched us again with their sublime sounds. Support act Bryan Estapa Band were also a delight with their songs that owe a bit of a nod to high quality 70s AM radio sounds.

Charlotte and The Harlots/COFFIN/Turbobelco/Generation Landslide/Hy Test/Neptune Power Federation – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
All killer no filler as this mighty bill saw each band up the ante and be better than the one before them. COFFIN and Neptune Power Federation were especially outstanding.

Thee Marshmallow Overcoat – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Ashley Naylor, Davey Lane and Brett Wolfie playing two sets of their favourites from the 60s and 70s. Do I need to say more?

Ice Cream Hands – The Caravan Club, Oakleigh, Melbourne.
Oh yes, the night after Thee Marshmallow Overcoat, at the same venue. Bliss, heaven on a stick and a more sympathetic mix than was apparent at the Factory Floor show.

The Dark Clouds/Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers/Radio Birdman – Factory Theatre
The Dark Clouds showed why they are one of the best hard rock bands around but it was Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers who wowed the crowd with their set. Peppered with tracks from the Open Season album and select gems from Mick’s back catalogue they were the stars of the night. Radio Birdman also delivered a fine set and it was probably Rob Younger’s best vocal performance with RB for some time.

Love, invisibility and vomit in the span of three albums

loveandevolLØVE & EVØL - Boris (Third Man Records) 
Invisible You - JP Shilo (Ghost Train Records) 
Fortuna Horribilis - Vomit of the Universe (The Artist)

ANTI-RAMONES WARNING: NO BORIS SONG UNDER 3.5 MINUTES.

Grayson Haver Currin of Pitchfork comments on the latest alvum from Japan's venerable trio Boris:

“These seven anemic songs find Boris becoming something new yet again - self-satisfied.”

Eric Carr, of the same magazine (ED: Isn't he in KISS?), commented retrospectively on Sonic Youth's LP “EVOL” in 2002:

“EVOL would mark the true departure point of Sonic Youth’s musical evolution - in measured increments, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo began to bring form to the formless, tune to the tuneless, and with the help of Steve Shelley’s drums, they imposed melody and composition on their trademark dissonance. A breathtaking fusion of avant-garde noise (as far as Rock was concerned) and brilliant, propulsive rock ... this is where the seeds of greatness were sown.”

I think it's a fair bet that Boris are nodding at Sonic Youth's "EVOL" LP here; in 1992, on their first CD - a 60+minuter comprising only one song, “Absolutego” - they scribbled their influences - including Sonic Youth, a band whose first four records I bought and loved. 

Hard-Ons deliver in homecoming gig at the Lansdowne

the mis made lansdowneThe Mis-Made in fulll flight at Sydney's Lansdowne Hotel. 

The Hard Ons + Arse + The Mis-Made
Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
December 13, 2019

Didn't think I would get to see this gig but very happy I did. If anyone says that girls can't rock, they obviously were not at the Lansdowne tonight to see The Mis-Made.

Mis-Made kicked off the proceedings with a tight set of blitzkrieg killer metal tunes. This is the sort of set that gives you goosebumps. Guitarist-singer Jessamine Finlayson's vocal style reminded me of Patti Smith and the band was tight.

Arse came up next with a toxic concoction of brutal, kinetic energy. In your face rock and attitude. Always a pleasure to watch.

Schizophonics back for Round Two

schizophonics aus nzExplosive trio The Schizophonics are inflicting their unique rock and roll show on audiences in Australia and New Zeraland for a second time in 2020 as well as Japan.

The San Diego band - essentailly singer-guitarist Pat Beers and drummer wife Lety - have both a new album, "People in The Sky",and a new bass player, Kiwi Takumi McIntyre (formerly of the Cavemen), in tow and made a huge impression on their 2019 tour of Australia and New Zealand. .

Antipodean audiences had seldom (if at all) witnessed the likes of levitational front man Pat  , whose sweaty splits , 720 degree spins (all before completion of the first song!) had local audiences gagging!!  The Schizophonics combine the swagger of James Brown breakdancing to the Stooges, with the sonic attack of  Hendrix and the MC5 in their hooky garage pop. 

I-94 Bar will co-present the Sydney gig at Marrickville Bowling Club (shifted from the Hideaway Bar) on March 12. The Facebook event is here and tickets for that show are on sale here.

The Schizophonics
NZ-Australia-Japan Tour
FEB
NZ
21 - Leigh at Leigh Saw Mill
22 - Tauranga at Woodcock (Not) - ask Austin
24 - Wellington at Valhalla
25 - Takaka at Mussell Inn
26 - Blenheim at The Plant
27 - Christchurch at Space Academy
28 - Dunedin at The Cook
29 - Raglan at The Yot Club
MAR
1 - Whangarei at The Whangarei Club
4-- Auckland at Neck Of The Woods
6 - Napier at Paisley Stage
7 - Upper Hutt at Obey The Spliff
AUS
8 - Hobart @ The Brisbane
10 - Brisbane @ Netherworld Arcade - FREE SHOW
11 - Newcastle @ The Badger's Lair
12 - Sydney @ Hideaway Bar
13- Wolllongong @ La La La's
14 -Melbourne @ The Tote
15th - Melbourne @ TBA
JPN
19 -Shimokitazawa Three, Tokyo
20 - Namba Mele, Osaka
21 - Higashikoenji UFOclub, Tokyo
22 - Club Heavysick, Tokyo

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