2019 is shaping up to be a real terror of a year. Parts of Australia are in the middle of a housing, job and health support crisis and the shit has well and truly hit the fan.
Heads of police are on trial for brutality, while politicians are dragging their feet on whether or not trans people have a right to exist. Bodybuilders are shooting up strip clubs and a massive methamphetamine epidemic is destroying the lives of vulnerable young people.
Young men with schizophrenia are firebombing punk squats while teaching staff and metro workers are routinely striking, grinding workplaces and services to a halt. On the street, there are hundreds of young people facing homelessness, violence, unemployment and lack of future prospects. To them, the future is bleak.
Despite all this, there are dozens of vibrant young artists creating challenging and unique works that directly tackle the horrendous and wretched world we find ourselves in. One of those bands is Fern Tree, Tasmania, iconoclasts All The Weathers.
Gergely Csatari photo.
Mick Harvey and the Intoxicated Men
Harry Howard and the NDE
Melbourne Museum, Friday, April 5 2019
Upstairs at the Melbourne Museum hosts a local exhibit, a collage of images, dioramas, reportage and oral testimonies from the city’s post-invasion history. In a corner of the exhibit can be found a movie telling the evolution of post-war Melbourne, from the faceless images of businessmen in John Bracks’ Collins St, 5pm painting, to the vibrant, cosmopolitan metropolis of the present day.
A black and white photo from 1979 shows five youths staring at the camera, sullen, callow, defiant and charmingly obnoxious. The adult voice of one of those rebellious kids talks of the change in Melbourne’s character: Mick Harvey, Boy Next Door, Birthday Partier, Bad Seed. Back in the day, Harvey intones matter-of-factly, the inner-city was a cultural backwater.
We all know that band that was “born out of time”. The one that was on the cusp of success and that would/should have become household names given a modicum of luck and better timing. The Godfathers certainly qualify.
Arising in the UK 10 years after punk’s initial rush and playing a brutal but hook-laden fast R & B, they had a degree of chart success in the US with “Birth, School, Work, Death” and “More Songs About Love & Hate” before leaving their major label for a German indie, peetering out in the 2000’s before a late decade reformation.