• A conversation with First Lady of Soul, PP Arnold

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

After the Sun - The Dark Clouds (self released)

after the sunWhen I got “After The Sun” in the mail about six weeks ago, I wondered whether the Barman (whose review follows this but was published first) had it right.

Doesn’t seem to matter these days about influences, except to the sad bearded bastards desperate to appear interesting, and besides, I particularly enjoy listening to a CD cold, without the hype and boosterism. But … if you like rock’n’roll, and have ever kicked yourself (like me with Leadfinger) that you weren’t on the ground floor of a band on the elevator heading up fast to the 99th floor…

Black Moose - The Dead Brothers (Voodoo Rhythm)

black mooseI have actually lost count of the number of times I’ve played this. I keep doing it. In the car, on the computer and around the house. Bloody hell it’s good.

Ever find yourself in the situation where you’re presented with a band with an unpromising name, an enigmatic if not daft cd title which, upon listening, you are so transported and delighted with that you play the item over and over in amazed disbelief, discovering as you go, humming and singing around the room, that the band have been in existence for quite some time and have five more LPs to their name and you paw miserably at your spartan wallet, realising that the next pay packet will have to do..?

Yes, Black Moose is one of those albums. Like listening to a smart blend of Lovecraft, R.E. Howard and the darkest American blues and country while reading Grimm to a terrified child. It’s as real as reality, and as tangible as imagination.

Phringe Dwellers - Phringe Dwellers (self released)

fringe dwellersDon't feel sorry for the fact that, at the time of writing, only five people “liked” Fringe Dwellers on Facebook. It’s just that the music of this veteran Sydney trio is much better than their online self-promotion.

They’ve only been around a few months and this three-track CD single is Phringe Dwellers’ first foray into “product”, but it indicates that there could be enough in the kit bag to stretch to a worthwhile album. The songs hark back, relentlessly, to inner-Sydney circa the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and that’s where the band’s spiritual roots lie.

Guitarist-vocalist John South and bassist Carl Edman were members of formidable blues-rockers The Hunchbacks back then, while drummer (and past I-94 Bar scribe) Simon Li is an expatriate Melbourneite who was brought up on a diet of the Powder Monkeys. While the music never reaches those intensity levels, it does hit hit its own mark.

Javier Escovedo, BP Fallon & Churchwood at SXSW

javier

The South by Southwest showcase for Saustex media took place on Thursday March 19th at the Saxon Pub in Austin, TX. The headliner for the evening was Javier Escovedo with support from B.P. Fallon and Churchwood.

I always attend South by Southwest and I was happy to learn that Javier Escovedo was participating this year. I've been a fan of his for years. I purchased The Zeros "Don't Push Me Around" single back in 1977. Then, in the 1980s, I had the good fortune to see him play with The True Believers several times in Oklahoma City. He always sang the cool covers that they played. These included "20th Century Boy", "Walking with a Mountain", "Drivin' Sister", and "Alone in a Crowd".

The Saxon Pub is located on South Lamar. I've driven by it many times but have never been there before. It is a nice room to hear music.

Mick Medew scores top Queensland honour

mick qmusicEx-Screaming Tribesmen Mick Medew has been awarded the Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award by Queensland's peak music organisation, QMusic. 

Mick received his honour at last night's Queensland Music Awards in Brisbane.

Previous recipients include the late GoBetweens member Grant McLennan, indigenous artist Kev Carmody, producer Mike Chapman, the Bee Gees, Railway Gin vocalist Carol Lloyd and Ed Kuepper of the Saints and solo fame.

 

"Kick Out The Jams" by the MC5

Here's a Friday special - because we can. It's the MC5 performing "Kick Out The Jams" at Tartar Field, Detroit, circa 1970, for local cable TV.

Take Me Away b/w Down (To The Sea) - Joeys Coop (Citadel)

take me awayWhat would there be not to like? Double-jangle melodic pop with a hooky melody on one A side and a soaring piece of extended majesty with a searing guitar solo on the second.

It’s what used to be called a Super Band. Which is to say the members have graced a lot of “name” acts from Sydney’s underground past. That might be important to anyone with a modicum of history but Joeys Coop also stand on their own feet. The song-writing is strong and the playing equally so.

“Take Me Away” is the pop song and it’s a beauty. The feel from Andy Newman and drummer Lloyd Gyi is rock-solid but it’s the simple interlocking of Brett Myers (Died Pretty) and Matt Galvin (Loose Pills, Eva Trout, Perry Keyes, Happy Hate Me Nots, Barbarellas) on guitars that builds the song,. Ex-Decline of the Reptiles singer Mark Roxburgh’s warm vocal elevates this to top-shelf pop.

What Happens Next - Gang of Four (Metropolis/ Membran)

whathappensnextYou may have heard of Gang of Four, maybe even, if you’re very lucky, have seen them.

In 1979, the Gang of Four’s first 7”s had a huge impact on me, particularly their first, "Love Like Anthrax", using feedback as an integral part of the song, drowning us as we heard Jon King’s vocals speaking simply - a little like The Velvet Underground’s "The Gift", but so different that the comparison didn’t occur to me until years later.

Their first LP, "Entertainment!", bristling with slappin bass lines, brittle, spiky guitar runs had me dancing like a demon, and …

Radio Birdman announces intimate Sydney shows

BirdmnlogoRadio Birdman will warm up for its European tour with two intimate Sydney shows at the Factory Floor in Marrickville on June 5 and 6. 

In a Facebook post the band says: "With no other Australian appearances scheduled for 2015 these shows will provide a unique opportunity to catch the band in a small room - hot, loud and sweaty. This 'up close and intimate' experience, echoing the band's early days at the Oxford Funhouse, will not be repeated any time soon!"\

Support on both nights will be local rockers Black Heart Breakers and tickets are on sale here. European tour dates are in our Living Eye section.

 

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