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Don’t Kill Rock ’n’ Roll - Simon Chainsaw (Kicking Records/Some Product/I Hate People)

dont-killHe writes songs in his sleep and records them before breakfast so assembling an album while on a two-year hiatus, back in his birthplace Australia, is no big deal for Simon Chainsaw, the Brazil-based power-punk road warrior. “Don’t Kill Rock ’n’ Roll” finds him in familiar surroundings, matching pop melodies with razor riffs in much the same way his Vanilla Chainsaws did 20-plus years ago.

Playing With Fire - The Prehistorics (Kill City)

playing-with-fireThe Prehistorics are from Sydney, Australia - a much different one to the musical ghost-town of today. They’re firmly ensconced in the Sydney of 1985 when there was a band in a pub on every second street corner, blasting out high-energy rock and roll. This is their third album and it’s on a French label.

Secret Fields, Spring Reverb, Personality Disorder Temperance League - Neptune Syline (Neptune Skyline Records)

secret-fields"I hallucinate music. I believe a lot of people do. And it's not always pleasant. I was struck by lightning when I was 15. True story. To this day I play in electrical storms. I figure I'm safe now." - Mike Pitts

These LPs form a trilogy by Portland, Oregon, musician Mike Pitts and his band, Neptune Skyline. Any and each are excellent. You'll recognise much within these songs, but you'll never be able to pin the origin down.

Au Revoir Christian, from a bandmate and friend

hhmn-2009
Christian Houllemare (centre) with the reformed Happy Hate Me Nots, with the author, Matt Galvin, next to him, second from the right . Mark Roxburgh photo

It's hard to remember how I first got to know Chris Houllemare. Was I a fan, a friend or a bandmate?

I was 15 when The Happy Hate Me Nots released their first two singles, in 1985. I saw them by accident at the Strawberry Hills Hotel after walking down Foveaux Street (fuck, EVERYTHING is French this week) from a World Series Cricket one-dayer, and I used my bus pass as ID to get into a gig at Hurstville Master Builders club not long after.

I was smitten. It was kinetic, real lyricism, real heart, really fucking fast. All at once.

Ed goes off the beaten track

ed-guitarsLegendary trailblazing guitarist Ed Kuepper has extended his run of "solo and by request" shows by to some of Australia's lesser-visited musical corners.

The tour, in support of Ed's "Return Of The Mail-Order Bridegroom" album of acoustic reinterpretations of songs from his career, takes in hometown Brisbane, as well as Adelaide and the Gold Coast, but also detours to Darwin in the NT, Cairns in Far North Queensland and Margaret River in WA.

Reviews of the shows so far have been gloowing. Expect the usual Saints and Laughing Clowns classics (provided the crowd ask for them) but also a wide range of surprises.

Masters Apprentices singer Jim Keays passes

jim-keaysOne of Australia's all-time great rock vocalists, Jim Keays of the Masters Apprentices, has passed away today at the age of 67.

The 1998 ARIA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee had been battling myeloma for some time and had been on life support since Monday.

The Masters Apprentices formed in Adelaide in 1967, rose to national promise and disbanded in 1972 after unsuccessfully trying to crack the UK market. Their songs "Turn Up Your Radio", "Because I Love You" and the snarling "Undecided"" (a garage rock classic) are embedded in the history of Australian music.

Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 with Deniz Tek and The Bad Men live

tek-electric-thumbI had this one marked on my calendar for months. On paper it doesn’t get much better – two of my all-time favorites on one bill at an excellent venue. And, Steve was planning an all Lou Reed set.

I realized when Lou died that I loved him more than anyone I had never met. When he went, it wasn’t like when I lost my parents or other loved ones, but I had never met Lou, not even at a book signing or anything. And when he died I really felt the loss.

Vale Christian Houllemare

christian-headshotTributes are flowing for much-loved Happy Hate Me Nots and former New Christs and Someloves member Christian Houllemare who has passed away.

A long-time Australian resident, the French-born bassist was found at his home in Sydney’s inner-west over the weekend.

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