australian - The I-94 Bar

Rarebits - Fast Cars (Methodmusic)

rarebitsIt's been mentioned here before that Fast Cars are a 1980s Sydney mod band, revolving around the creative core of Di Levi (vocals, guitar) and Fabian Byrne (guitar), that reformed a couple of years ago to make more music. This EP is their second since re-convening and was compiled for the “15th Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival” in Wales earlier this month.

Mod is a label that suggests Union Jacks, sharp clothes, Vespa scooters and The Who, but Fast Cars aren’t constricted by the genre’s straight jacket. “Rarebits” comprises four old tracks and two new ones and takes the band deep into psychedelic pop territory.

The Complete Steve & The Board - Steve & The Board (Playback Records)

SteveandtheboardThey were around for only a year and were well short of being a household name in Australia by the time they played their final note in 1967, but Steve & The Board left a handy collection of recordings in the wake. Legacy label Playback has applied love and diligence to this historical release and more power to them for preserving Australia’s musical past.

Steve & The Board played beat pop, pure and simple. Some of it carries the aroma of a stab at the charts, other songs shows broader love for the hard-edged R&B of the times. Most Australian bands in the mid-‘60s were in the thrall of the British Invasion that had hit the USA and Steve & The Board were no exception. Their recordings aren’t world beaters but have vibrancy and some occasional grit.

A bunch of old Wild Things who made my heart sing

troggs the gov

Chris Allen and Chris Britton up front of The Troggs, 2016-style. Mandy Tzaras photo 

The original Troggs were Ronnie Bond (drums), (guitar), Reg Presley (vocals) and Pete Staples (bass), and their first hits began over 50 years ago. Along the way, they profoundly influenced ‘60s garage rock (not to mention glam) and seem likely to have been the inspiration for “Spinal Tap" when a spirited recording session was recorded, edited and bootlegged ("The Troggs Tapes").

Those reasons alone would be good enough to shell out your $70+change and hurry along to the fine establishment on Port Road in Adelaide, The Gov.

A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble (Exploding In Your Mind): The Wizards of Oz - Various Artists (Warner)

MonstrousPsychedelicBubbleCan you define psychedelica? Behind punk, it’s probably the most over-used term in the musical genre lexicon. That won’t change with this sprawling two-disc exploration of Australian psych, past and present.

Mixing ‘60s and ‘70s tracks with contemporary ones is an approach that could have gone horribly wrong.The wonder of this is how well the old tracks blend seamlessly with the new. Compilers Gaz Cobain (aka The Amorphous Androgynous) and Brian Dougans have done a splendid job of unearthing lost, forgotten and current nuggets and the mastering is great. It’s the fourth edition in a global series.

Ain't that cool? Another Aints show, supports announced

The Aints Play The Saints (’73-78) national tour in November led by Ed Kuepper and an all-star band is selling out all over so new shows have been announced.

The gig at Melbourne's Caravan Music Club has joined Sydney’'s The Factory Theatre as a pre-tour sell-out.  Limited tickets remain for the other Melbourne show (November 18 at the Corner Hotel) and all other shows in Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Due to demand, Sunday, November 26 has been set aside for a performance at Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast and tickets are on sale via aussieworld.com

Battles announce sideshows

Already confirmed for the 2016 Laneway Festival, Feel are now pleased to announce headline shows for Brooklyn based trio Battles. 

The idiosyncratic three-piece, featuring drummer John Stanier (The Mark Of Cain/Tomahawk), bassist and sonic manipulator Dave Konopka, and multi-instrumentalist Ian Williams, will bring the noise via new album “La Di Da Di” for sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.

BellRays announce replacement Aussie dates

The world’s greatest exponents of down and dirty, heart breaking, soul shaking rock ‘n’ roll,The BellRays, are about to hit Australian shores again in August. The re-scheduled dates follow the cancellation of their planned double-headed tour of Australia with Supersuckers.

The ROCKPOCALYPSE Make Up Tour takes in three states and the national capital and includes forays into regional centres.

Descendents descend down under

Descendents 2017

Back in Australia for the first time since 2012, punk rock pioneers Descdents are touring next month in support of their new album, “Hypercaffium Spazzinate”.

Many say that the Descendents invented pop punk. t. They perfected the warp-speed amalgam of adolescent angst, snotty attitude and championship melody infesting the airways today. They took a genre that was about spikes, chaos and anarchy, and brought it to earth, singing about girls, growing up and food.

Died Pretty adds Brisbane

Died Pretty have added a Brisbane date to their run of select club sideshows to go with their A Day On The Green commitments:

Friday 4th March, 2016
The Factory, Sydney NSW
Tix: Ticketek and SABO

Friday 11th March 2016
The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
Tix: http://tickets.thetriffid.com.au/?Event=57714

Friday 18th March, 2016
Max Watts (formerly The Hifi), Melbourne VIC
Tix: Oztix.com.au and Ticketscout

Dino Jr sells out Melbourne show, another goes on sale

Dinosaur Jr have sold out their Melbourne show just 24 hours after the on-sale. Feel Presents are pleased as punch to announce a second Melbourne show for the original power-trio: Saturday, January 21 at the Croxton Hotel and it's on sale here.

Elsewhere Dinosaur Jr tickets have got off to a great start with the tour set to be a national sell-out well ahead of time. For all your Dinosaur Jr ticketing needs and up-to-date news check in at http://www.feelpresents.com/

 

Eight Years of Moonlight – Tamam Shud (self released)

eight years moonlightThis is a mind-blowing album on several fronts.

Firstly, because Tamam Shud formed almost 50 years ago: and could be last Australian band still standing from the ‘60s (certainly from the alternative and underground.) I cannot think of anyone else. The album features two of the founding members, Lindsay Bjerre (vocals and guitar) and Peter Baron (bass) from 1967; and two more members who were there four years later, in Tim Gaze (guitar) and Nigel MaCara (drums) from the ”Morning of the Earth” soundtrack era.

Historically, Tamam Shud was the first Australian band to put out a an album full of original compositions when “Evolution” was released late in 1968: There is not one Australian band that I can think of with original members, from their heyday; that has come up with a new album nearly 50 years later so the release of this on vinyl is an historical event.

Ex-Pistol locked and loaded for Australia-NZ shows

glenmatlock01Founding member of The Sex Pistols and Rich Kids and writer of hits “Pretty Vacant” and “God Save The Queen”, Glen Matlock is a musical legend and raconteur extraordinaire.

You'll see for yourself when he and his band hit Australasian shores in November, celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Never Mind The Bollocks”.

Matlock will be conducting exclusive Q&A's and playing Pistols classics and choice cuts of his own.

Matlock departed the Pistols as they hit their peak, leaving the way open for Sid Vicious to join. His next band, the Rich Kids, put out an influential album of the late ‘70s, “Ghosts Of Princes In Towers”.

Expat Masuak heads Aussie rock celebration

maz live in spainEurope might be getting a taste of a substantially reconfigured Radio Birdman this month but their former guitarist Chris Masuak isn’t standing still.

With a new album in the can (recorded with his band The Viveiro Wave Riders) the Spain-based Masuak is star attraction at a gig billed as “The Australian Rock Festival - The Legacy of Radio Birdman In Spain” on June 19.

Bar Flora Disco is the venue, in Masuak’s adopted home of Viveiro, and the gig will be shot for a forthcoming Birdman documentary by Australian filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira. Support will come from surf-punk outfit The Sonic Race.

Get more than a Glimpse of Dinosaur Jr

dinosaurjr2016

Tickets for Dinosaur Jr’s looming return to Australia January go on sale today. They’re touring off the back of their new album “Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not”, their first since 2012 and their fourth since 2005’s unlikely reformation.

Four albums into their rebirth and Dinosaur Jr look to have no sign of slowing up. Album of the week slots on Double J, FBi, SER and glowing reviews across the planet stand testament to their staying power and the songs of J Mascis. Dates after the link:

Grab yourself some Pussy

nashvillepussy 01

The touring news just keeps coming. Atlanta’s Nashville Pussy is set to blaze a trail through Australia and New Zealand in May 2017.

Defying any fixed genre, Nashville Pussy are a cowpunk, hard rock and psychobilly monster smeared with whisky soaked sleaze. The band's lyrical themes mostly revolve around sex, drugs, drinking, fighting, and rock 'n' roll. 

Have Love Will Travel: The Sonics to make second Australian tour

sonics dig it up

Garage-punk pioneers and stand out performers at 2012’s inaugural Dig It Up! Invitational in Australia, The Sonics, return Down Under this September-October at the invite of Wollongong’s Yours & Owls Festival and for headline shows around the country.

The Sonics laid down the blueprint for garage-rock back in 1963 with the release of their first single The Witch. They followed that up with even up with even more grease and oil soaked nuggets in “Psycho”, “Boss Hoss”, “Cinderella”, “Strychnine”, “He’s Waitin’”, “Shot Down” and “Have Love Will Travel” before calling it quits in 1968. Reuniting briefly in 1972 and again in 1980, The Sonics then took permanent leave while the rest of the world caught up with them.

He Blinded Me With Science

scientists compositeLeanne Cowie (nee Chock), Boris Sudjovic, Kim Salmon and Tony Thewlis. Collectively known as The Scientists. 

Ever have an attack of the stupids?

No? Must be me then. 

See, The Barman asked me to do this interview with Kim Salmon to mark an Australian Scientists tour with the classic "experimental" line-up. A phoner. I wrote back saying, I couldn't, I'd be in Melbourne. 

No answer.

Hey Hey, 50 years later they're still The Monkees

monkees posterIt might just be the ultimate baby boomer pop experience. The rumours are true. The Monkees are bringing their 50th anniversary tour to Australasia.

Assembled in Los Angeles in 1965 by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider for the television series The Monkees, the quartet of Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and the late Davy Jones brought a singular mix of pop, rock, psychedelica, Broadway, and country to their music.

The show itself paid tribute not only to The Beatles, but also to the comedy stylings of The Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy as well as the pop-art sensibilities of Warhol and the emerging San Francisco psychedelic scene.

The Monkees’ first single, “Last Train to Clarksville,” was released in August 1966, hitting #1 and serving as advance publicity for their series, which debuted on September 12. When the group’s self-titled debut album arrived in stores a month later, it quickly headed for the top spot of the Billboard charts, where it would ultimately sit for 13 of the 78 weeks it remained in the Top 200.

By the time the group’s TV series aired its final new episode on March 25, 1968, The Monkees had seen three further albums top the charts – “More of the Monkees”, “Headquarters”, and “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.”, all released in 1967.

HITS announce East Coast "disaster" run

disaster relief

One of Australia’s few remaining dangerous rock and roll bands, Brisbane's wonderful HITS, is heading out on the road again in February…and it’s all in the name of Disaster Relief.

WTF? We’ll let the band explain in its own words:

“As many of you already know 2014 was a bittersweet year us little Hitsies, but behind the scenes things went quite a bit shit.

“Gregor broke his leg quite badly, Evil is currently sporting two broken ribs and ringworm, Tam almost had her finger amputated, Stace fell off her balcony and someone tried to cut Andy's rats tail off while he was asleep. But we aint dead yet!!!

“We are hitting the road again with some of our best friends and bringin' our bullshit with us to spread across your toast like Vegemite.”

Here’s the word on the dates they’ll play. More details about venues and supports as soon as they send ‘em:

FEB 26. NEWCASTLE with FRONT END LOADER
FEB 27. SYDNEY with FRONT END LOADER
FEB 28. WOLLONGONG with FRONT END LOADER
MAR 6. MELBOURNE with THE NEW CHRISTS
MAR 7. GOLDEN PLAINS FESTIVAL (SOLD OUT)
MAR 9. GEELONG with THE OBLIVIANS (USA), WARPED + More
MAR 13 BRISBANE WITH MICK MEDEW AND THE RUMOURS
MAR 20 ADELAIDE WITH THE MEATBEATERS
MAR 21 ADELAIDE WITH THE MEATBEATERS

How I stopped worrying and learnt to love the (Cherie) bomb

runawaysThe Runaways. That's Cherie on the left.

It has taken some time but I have finally found my inner klutz. Fortunately, Cherie Currie is a wise and generous woman. So, if my tale lacks substance, the blame is on me.

On Saturday morning, lacking even the first sip of caffeine, I received an e-mail. Robert Brokenmouth couldn’t do the Cherrie Currie interview. Could I step into the breach? Grown up me was fine with this. I’ve done phone interviews before. I just ring the number and try to build a narrative that gets you, the reader, so excited that you’ll hand over your hard-earned dollars for tickets or discs or downloads or whatever. I know the job.

The trouble is, grown up me is suddenly no longer in charge. Fifteen-year-old me is essentially melting down and demanding attention. Fifteen-year-old me is terrified. Grown up me is trying to explain how things that terrify you can also be fun and exciting. Fifteen-year-old me remains unconvinced.