robert brokenmouth - The I-94 Bar
The only problem with avant garde music is that you need to be in the mood to absorb it. Or on really strong prescription drugs.
Do you know anyone who’s listened to “Metal Machine Music” all the way through and hasn’t been scheduled under the NSW Mental Health Act, or who doesn’t think that much of John Cage’s output should be kept in one?
Taste really is in the ear of the beer holder. So strap yourself in with a cold six pack or two nearby for the rough ride that is the debut of Smallpox Confidential, a mysterious noise combo from Adelaide fronted by Robert Brokenmouth.
Well. It's that time of year.
The time of year when all right-thinking folk set out the Santa traps on Christmas eve, hoping for a big, juicy Santa (and not the scrawny weasel we caught last year, jesus, no meat on him at all) and the traditional charcoal spit-roast Santa in the back yard with all your mates and beer a-flowing. Done just right, the flesh falls right off the fucker's bones and melts in the mouth.
Preferably with apple and cinnamon sauce, but maybe that's just me.
Truth is that, while I heard a lot of wonderful music this year, I really don't feel up to delivering a Top Ten. Sure, there are some which leap out, but I didn't really listen that widely, I don't think. And I hardly went out. All were reviewed, look 'em out if you don't believe me.
I mean, look:
Gigs to remember:
The Animals and FriendsThe Animals and Friends
Gang of Four
The Gig of Glory (which I didn't review, but was the same line-up as the Banned from the Fed gig, but with the immortal Sean Tilmouth bringing up Fear and Loathing to international status, and the proper line-up of the Filthy Gypsies - ditto international status)
Cradle of Filth
The Drama Dolls
Is community radio the new face of music consumption for people who care about music? ROBERT BROKENMOUTH thinks so in this appraisal of the format, with a special focus on Adelaide station 3D Radio and its Mike Drive program.
Napster, eh? Who remembers those sites? Where - wow - you didn’t have to pay for your music (if the site had it). Assorted court cases and many decades later we are stuck with several sad truths.
The first, and most obvious, is that "file sharing" and "streaming", "burning" and "ripping" are as ordinary an activity as picking the newspaper off the lawn used to be.
The difference is that theft is now so common that it’s not comprehended as either theft, or wrong.
Almost everyone I know seems to be mourning people they loved who passed on this year. Some staved off the inevitable until later in their lives, for which I am only one of many very grateful folk. Other people are coping as best they can.
For many of us 2018 was a very mixed year. In many places great swathes of love came out, so the struggle was peppered with brilliant, unforgettable events, music, films and a few books.
Normally I just do some sort of Top Ten for the I-94 Bar, but this year has been memorable for far too many of the wrong reasons, which has annoyed me quite a bit, and I'm an old shit, so cue meme of Granpa Simpson shaking his fist at a cloud.
But let's start with Australia, the country which can't count on stable government, can't spot a recessionary bubble billowing up like a volcano, and increasingly puts local news first because that is, apparently, what we're really interested in.
So. The Barman (he of the stained apron and soggy socks) has suggested to me that I provide a Top 10 for 2017.
He doesn’t say of what, unfortunately, so I am greatly tempted to relate (in considerable detail) each of my Top 10 Excretions this year, including two in which I barely made it to the potty on time.
However, this is a family website, and we mustn’t say words like "shit’ or even "shitweasel".
I’ll have to write them instead.
"Yeah, I don't care if you throw all the ice in the world. You're payin' 5 bucks and I'm makin' 10,000 baby, so screw ya!"
It won't won't cost you five bucks, actually, and it probably won't remotely resemble "Metallic KO" but do we have your attention yet?
Acclaimed Adelaide writer/filmmaker/journalist/musician/I-94 Bar reviewer Robert Brokenmouth will be doing a very special reading from his latest work "101 Nights" at the Lyrebird Lounge in Melbourne on Saturday, February 4, accompanied by Michael Plater and Nick Spaulding.
Also performing will be Duet (Harry Howard, Edwina Preston and Craig Williamson), Michael Plater, and Cabin Inn.