The season finale of Monday Evening Gunk is this Monday. Point your browser at the MoshPit Bar Facebook at 7.30pm Sydney time on November 23 to catch Richard Burgman of Sunnyboys, ther Saints, Weddings Parties Anything and many more talking to broadcaster-author Stuart Coupe and ex-Trilobites bassist Scott Leighton. A live set from Freaksd of Nature (a near Trilobites reunion) will take us out. You can catch-up for the replay here on Tuesday.
I’ll Be Gone: Mike Rudd, Spectrum and How One Song Captured a Generation
By Craig Horne ( Melbourne Books)
Craig Horne’s biography of New Zealand-born musician Mike Rudd comes with a lofty sub-titular proposition: "How One Song Captured a Generation". That song is Spectrum’s chart-topping 1971 hit, "I’ll Be Gone".
Horne’s biography is a valuable contribution to Australasian musical history. While Rudd’s trajectory as a musician and songwriter is common to many musicians, Horne’s methodical research and oral history charts the highs and lows of Rudd’s career in impressive detail.
Save for a few cursory mentions in John Dix’s chaotic history of New Zealand music, “Stranded in Paradise”, Rudd’s Christchurch r’n’b band, Chants (or Chants R’n’B), the frenetic band whose parochial popularity provided the basis for Rudd’s move across the Tasman in the late 1960s, is largely absent from the pages of musical history.
Rudd’s tenure in Ross Wilson’s Party Machine, covered previously in Horne’s biography of Daddy Cool, is recounted from a more nuanced, Rudd-oriented perspective. Spectrum rises, plateaus, recalibrates and fades away. Ariel teeters on the edge of commercial success, only for the record company to lose interest.
This Guitar Belongs to Rowland S. Howard
Edited by Harry Howard (Ledatape)
This is one of the best books I've bought all year.
Why do people buy books about musicians? For the sex, of course. And the glamour and excess. And to get the dirt. Or to try to understand a bit more about the tortured muse. Or because they're a completist.
What makes a music book crap? If it's not about someone you're interested in, if it's badly written, if it's not factual, if it's (Cardinal Sin Alert) boring.
Forget the words for the moment. "This Guitar Belongs To Rowland S. Howard" is one of the most beautiful books I've ever seen (and I've worked in an antiquarian bookshop for over 20 years).
Rough And Tumble - The Dirty Streets (Alive Naturalsound)
They might not realise it but Califonian label Alive Naturalsound have cornered the market in hirsute bands playing psych-laced, Southern fried boogie rock with a dash of soul. The Dirty Streets might be the label's archetypal flag-fliers.
They lack the massive guitar jam excesses of Radio Moscow, the rustic dryness of the early Black Keys or the home-grown stoner full-tilt boogie strut of Left Lane Cruiser (all of them label mates, past or present) but The Dirty Streets share the same zipcode.
“Lockdown Blues” is a new project for Sydney musician and I-94 Bar scribe Edwin Garland (Waxworks, Dwarfthrower) with his studio band Moonlight 5. It’s Edwin on vocals and guitar, John Cobbin on guitar and bass, Elizabeth Lim on bass clarinet, Jim O'Sullivan on drums and Digby Richards on organ and piano.
Edge On The World b/w Red Line - Howlin’ Threads (Mineshaft Records)
The Howlin’ Threads wear their collective influences on their sleeves but it's the A side of this, the follow-up to their debut EP, that finds them pushing the stylistic boat out.
Summoned to life by Adam Bowler’s toms, “Edge On The World” recalls the Iggy and James of “Kill City” - or even an early Died Pretty - in its sonic approach, deploying some expansive saxophone from guest Noah Hampson to mix things up. Guitarist Dylan Webster rides a wave of wah wah pedal with a keyboard wash fattening the sound.The B side is more straight-forward and rocks along nicely.
Mark Hunstone recorded it with veteran sideman Bruce Callaway (Ed Kuepper, Saints and the first studio version of the New Christs) mastering it. Score a copy at the band's Bandcamp.
Ready Steady Go - The Dirty Denims (Ghost Highway Recordings)
Hello Barflies! Well folks, The Farmhouse windows have been getting a battering from some great fucking rock 'n' roll from The Netherlands. The Dirty Denims have released their third album (with a couple of EPs before that) and what a dead-set heavy hitter it is.
"Ready Steady Go" is, from the opening self titled track to the very last song, a killer. Miriam Sieben (vocals and piano), Jeroen Teunis (guitars), Suzanne Driessen (drums and sexiness) and Marc Eijkhout (bass) have definitely let all their influences come into the studio with them. Think early AC/DC meets The Runaways with a dash of Ramones and Nashville Pussy.
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