Photo by Allison Wolfe
“Punk is many things and has so many different definitions but, definitely, yes it’s ideological,” says writer, musician and feminist activist Tobi Vail on the eve of an Australasian tour with Bikini Kill. “In my definition, it’s counter hegemonic energy. It’s opposition, it’s questioning the status quo and creating an alternative.”
As founding member of the seminal riot grrrl band Bikini Kill, a punk rock polemicist and a protagonist in the Pacific North-West alternative scene of the 1980s and 1990s, Vail is in a privileged position to muse on the nature of punk rock.
Ghost Music - Michael Plater (Hypostatic Union)
Now, you may know that I've written about Michael Plater before for The I-94 Bar, and I know some of you have gotten out to see him play live, which is where I first saw him. The very first night, I wasn't sure. The second, with little difference between the two gigs, I absolutely was. In fact, I was bowled over. More or less accidentally I made the chap's acquaintance, to the point where I'd now call us friends.
I've tried to attend every gig the man's played here in Adelaide, and managed to see him in Melbourne and Sydney as well. I have a set-list covered in his blood (because, in case he's ever run over by an omnibus, I'm going to get the bugger cloned).
When the Sunnyboys and Ups and Downs were announced to play Brisbane together back in October 2021, locals couldn’t believe that they’d see the cream of Aussie guitar pop playing a pair of back-to-back gigs at a newly refurbished Princess Theatre.
COVID had other ideas and those shows, and rescheduled dates in March 2022, never came to fruition.
Boutique label Soundpressing has released a split Sunnyboys/Ups and Downs seven-inch single to mark the gigs that never were, just in time for the farewell Sunnyboys tour.
It’s a limited edition of 300 copies in three different coloured variants.
And it’s two modern-era songs – “Can’t You Stop” by the Sunnyboys and a new mix of Ups and Downs' “Gideon” - that clearly show the bands have not lost their love of driving guitars and soaring melodies.
Get yours here before they run out...just like Sunnyboys live shows.
Hello all my brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, I-94 Barflies, and incorrigible sleazepunks of all ages , it's your ole pal JD here.
Ya know, I don't do a lotta interviews no more mostly cause I'm a lazy sod and probably still salty about takin' all that time to pen questions for little known artists who couldn't be bothered to reply after agreeing to do the interview-rock 'n' roll is full of flakes and fakes, as you know, and that shit gets old quick.
But one new band that ain't fakin' it is from South Wales of all places and they're making a real gorgeous fuckin' wild and untamed rocknroll racket you're gonna love, called SISTER MORPHINE, who my dear comrade Laur from Vague Scare turned me onto.
Wow! What a fuckin' GREAT band! They reminded me of the Diamond Dogs and Rock City Angels, the Quireboys and Rose Tattoo! I already said somewhere else those guitarists remind me of Thunders, Jeff Drake's Joneses, and Greg and Brent or whatever studio dudes played on that first Pussycat record.
Sister Morphine’s Gaz has an awesome and exemplary rock ‘n’ roll voice somewhere between Angry Anderson and Zodiac Mindwarp. These guys write glamtastic songs, part grebo, part sleaze, with power pop hooks, and vintage lads at the pub Hoople/Faces heartfelt sentimental alcoholic feeling. Fuckin' A righteous! Only thing I've liked this much in modern years is Richard Duguay's stuff! What a beautiful, romantic myth they've carved!
The Chordites head a night of brisbane powerpop.
Hey Brisbane! The Chordites, Generation Jones and Gift Horse: Three of the local scene’s finest exponents of Powerpop together for a night of hooky, guitar-driven rock n roll - how can you not love that formula?
They’re coming together from 6pm on Saturday, March 4 at the Cave Inn in Woolloongabba for a night of short songs, catchy melodies, power chords and Rickenbackers.
+ Rocket Science
+ The Prize
Northcote Theatre, VIC
Saturday 28 January 2023
Michelle Bilson photos
A work colleague of mine told me once she’d had her wedding reception at the Northcote Theatre, back when it was known as Fani’s Receptions in the late 1980s, 70-odd years after its original opening as a picture theatre. The marriage didn’t last too long – about six months, I think – but the venue was still hosting sumptuously catered family celebrations up until it was taken over and reinvigorated as a live music venue.
The benefit of personal geographical proximity aside, I’m not sold on Northcote Theatre just yet. The combination of a high ceiling and a lack of absorbent surfaces renders the acoustic profile imperfect. Like the property prices in the local area, the drink prices are on the high side; frustratingly, it’s a cash-free venue and the distance between the stage and bar makes for a challenging journey for all concern.
A heads-up to fans of the late Lobby Loyde: The 50th Anniversary Edition of the “Ball Power” LP by the Colored Balls ships on US label Just Add Water on January 27.
This touchstone of Aussie rock ‘n’ roll should need no introduction. Just in case it does, it's simply one of the finest hard rock albums to ever come out of Australia . You can file it under proto-punk, hard rock or psychedelic boogie.
This pressing has been painstakingly sourced directly from the 1973 quarter inch mix-down master tapes.
In the words of Just Add Water: “This has been an entirely analogue production chain and hasn't been touched by a computer at any stage of the process.
"Hear Coloured Balls as nature intended. Every copy includes a bonus poster!"
There will be 800 copies on black vinyl (100 each on opaque blue with white pinwheel swirl and half orange/half blue have sold out.) Order yours here.
Hi I'm Squatter the Cockatiel. I share a house with Chris Converse (4ZZZ and Punkfest) and Cathy Kerlin (Punkfest and Platform 5 Cafe and Bar) so I get to meet the really cool GC's* and hear some great music.
I am also a 4ZZZ subscriber.
Here is my top ten releases of 2022, in no particular order:
Mitch, Please - Yes Thanks
Eviction - "Demo"
The Interrupters - "In the Wild"
The Disables - "No more Rules, No more Ruled"
Mucho Sonar - "Under the Influence"
The Cutaways - "Cheap Curtains"
Topnovil - "Stand Tall"
Masochist - "Bloom"
Hope you enjoy my selection and like the picture. I am way more popular than Cathy or Converse.
Love and chirps,
*Cockatiel for Good C_nts
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