new wave

  • beat man and the new waveYou've all been subjected to that “name 10 LPs in 10 days” stuff on Facebook like me, I suppose? 

    I stopped partly because I had to go interstate and didn't think I'd have access to FB, and partly because, on the trip over I wrote down another list of those records which I considered to be watershed, groundbreaking, jaw-dropping and influential to me personally.

    Noted thug-about-Sydney's-buses Bob Short is still going strong (at the time of writing he's approaching 50 days, and if he keeps going he might finish in 2021) and I think that's the problem.

  • beat man and the new waveAfter 30 albums or so under a variety of monikers, Beat-Man could take the easy way out and keep churning out records of garage skronk. You know, music to kill any party, as the label slogan goes. Instead, he’s continuing to take chances.

    The Swiss madman's brief with this project was simple: Pick a collaborator and play them a song once. Set the tape running. Use the first or second take. No overdubs. No arguments. 

    The Reverend describes the album as “a mix of blues trash, new wave folk and dark no wave garage punk and rock'n'roll”. No arguments. Stylistically speaking, “Blues Trash” IS all over the shop. The bands behind him and his friends range from minimal duos to full-blown folk groups.

  • new wave space partyAustralia’s national capital isn’t exactly known for its crop of present day garage bands, so Space Party is a pleasant surprise. 

    They might even be Canberra’s only garage band, except their PR sheet helpfully says that they recruited their singer from another outfit called Okinawa Girls, so that means there are at least two. 

    (Before any public servants send thoughtfully composed emails of complaint, it’s been many years since I lived in Canberra so I’m possibly talking through my arse. The place does have at least two regular live venues and a cool community radio station in 2XX, so there are signs of rock and roll life amongst the roundabouts and grim Stalinist architecture.)

  • another tuneless racket

    Another Tuneless Racket: Punk And New Wave In The Seventies, Volume One: Origins 
    Another Tuneless Racket: Punk And New Wave In The Seventies, Volume Two: Punk
    Another Tuneless Racket: Punk and New Wave In The Seventies: Volume Three: UK New Wave
    Another Tuneless Racket: Punk and New Wave In The Seventies, Volume Five: The American Beat – West
    By Steve H Gardner (self published)

    The best intentions are often derailed by practicality. After being gifted Volume One of “Another Tuneless Racket”, the plan was to acquire and read the other three back-to-back and then write a review. A fine goal but one that slipped after realising their combined volume came to almost 2,400 pages and life was getting in the way…

    After delving deep into the series, it’s clear that the beauty of “Another Tuneless Racket” is that once you get your bearings, you can dive in almost anywhere, pick up on a thread and keep going. As you'll gather from the titles, each volume zeroes in on a time and place in the history of punk and new wave music, and then takes up the story of key acts. The series serves as a roadmap through the twists and turns of punk and new wave across most of the western world. 

    It’s meticulously researched but you’d expect that from author Steve Gardner, He’s a lanky Yank from San Diego who grew up on the US East Coast where he went to university before finding himself working in engineering. A music obsessive from an earl;y age, he'd been bitten by the punk rock bug by the time he blew out the candles on his 21st birthday cake.