... ruminations of a horrified social distancer on his evaporating way of life in the shadows of the green death plague.
"I hate graveyards and old pawn shops For they always bring me tears I can't forgive the way they robbed me Of my childhood souvenirs.." - John Prine
"They tried to get me lots of times and now they're coming after you/ I got out and I'm here to say, Baby, you can get out, too" - Johnny Winter
"Love is land..." -Duran Duran
"Hidin' out and layin' low ain't nothin' new to me..." - Guns N Roses
Every morning brings bad news. I'm worried for Marrianne Faithful, John Prine has passed and a couple no-name rocknroll underground legends and personal friends you ain't never heard of. Alan Merrill of Vodka Collins and the Arrows' passing was a sad day, indeed. For years now, I've noticed how it's an annual tradition, almost a law, that some university bona fide but tragically lazy professional journalist writes an obligatory cover story at every entertainment weekly, each year, about the next big girl group, that suggests Joan Jett wrote the 70's glitter anthem, "I Love Rocknroll" by Alan Merrill and the Arrows, a really fabulous, bubblegum glitter stompin', unsung glam gang, and it kinda always makes me feel a bit conflicted about the perennial Jett-Lagg myth-protecting and gives even more credibility to those other Runaways gals who testify about Joan's management always deemphasizing their contributions to her worldwide brand.
Love is Blood - Frenchie's Blues Destroyers (self released)
Hello, I-94 Barflies! Hopefully, you're all well and healthy folks, and with all this self isolation it certainly gives you plenty of time to listen to the music we love.
Sometimes, something comes along and totally blows your mind. Well, ain't that just fine. So if you want your mind blown, you have to get your gloved hands on this fucking masterpiece.
Frenchie's Blues Destroyers are from Austin, Texas, and "Love Is Blood" is full of dirty sounds. It's based on huge guitar riffs and some quality vocals. But this ain't a blues album; this is garage rock meeting pop, with just a dollop of country blues.
One of Australia's finest power-pop bands, Melbourne's Little Murders, are the subject of a forthcoming documentary but the project needs an injection of fan funds to push it over the finishing line.
Director-producer Matt Wilson has been documenting the history of Little Murders and its founding and sole continual member Rob Griffiths. "Little Murders - 40 years on the smell of an oily rag" has a funding target of $6000 and is 40 percent of the way to the goal.
"In our ageist society it's rare that a musician in his 60's can maintain what is essentially a pop band and bring it to a level allowing a tour in Japan in 2019," Wilson writes.
The Breadmakers - The Breadmakers (Soundflat Records)
The Breadmakers are a Melbourne institution in a town that has plenty of them. They’ve been peddling their authentic brand of rhythm and blues around the Victorian capital, its environs and various parts of the world since 1989, and their seventh album sounds as fresh as any of its six predecessors.
R&B. Everybody’s on the correct page regarding R&B, right? The term’s been appropriated by the global music machine in recent decades, and applied to bland, largely soul-less genre of soft pap that permeates the airwaves like an insidious virus.
If you were on the cusp of releasing your first "real" record, had US and European tours booked and ran head-first into the current viral shit show, you'd feel like you'd been whacked around the head with the Unlucky Baseball Bat, wouldn't you? Such is the lot of a young band in The Age of The Phlegm Plague.
Upstate New Yorkers The Bobby Lees sound mightily pissed-off on "Skin Suit", but the album was recorded long before Covid-19 was kicking anybody's arse.
The Bobby Lees play snotty, raucous blues thrash with all the rough edges left intact. Little wonder that Jon Spencer produced "Skin Suit" - the band's explosive blues sound is right up his alley.
Rough Trade From Venus - The Secret Buttons (self released)
Their third release, on which the West Australian trio unleashes six songs of dirt-encrusted sonic goodness, each delivered with the subtly of a MyGov website crash.
Remember that lame concoction of a "band" called Wolfmother? Cooked up to ride the global wave of so-called New Rock in the early 2000’s, they were as dangerous as eating a soufflé in the shower. They gave trios a bad name. No wonder they were originally named While Feather.The Secret Buttons are nothing like them.
Son of The King b/w Elvis’s Lip - The Secret Buttons (Fancy Time Records)
This is an offering from a Perth trio that’s a couple of years old and came out a similar period after the very cool debut EP of 2016, “Some Buttons Should Never Be Pushed”. It’s a savage beast of a seven-incher, a two-headed behemoth that’s equal parts ragged and righteous.
“Son of The King” rides a rollercoaster riff before an affirmation of superiority befitting someone who's lucky enough to drive a Chevrolet. There’s enough bravado in this one to rival, oh, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, even if it is tongue-in-cheek. Set against a grinding feel, the tough rifferama really lights it up.
Glen Matlock Band 100 Club, London, UK March 7, 2020
Glen Matlock is a member of a pretty select club, that of the (S)ex Pistols, and that tumultuous time of '76/77 has defined him and his musical output ever since.
"Good to Go", his most recent album, has been out for a while now, and while it’s no landmark release, it is a sturdy collection, and has reunited Matlock with ex-Bowie sideman Earl Slick for a short UK tour before a planned US jaunt (cut down now by coronavirus.)
Australian underground rock and roll has suffered another loss with the passing of former Bored! leader Dave Thomas, aged 56. Thomas had been fighting cancer.
Thomas co-founded Bored! in Geelong a satellite city of Melbourne, in 1987. The band was an early blend of punk rock and metal, and spawned a scene dubbed "Geetroit" for its trademark power and high-energy.