Top Tens for 2022: Ernie O, mastering wizard and member of Suburban Urchins

ernie o 2022Woody Radio – DJs Gidget and Boris
A non-profit internet radio station based out of Canada run by Gidget and Boris alongside a team of international DJs that plays the best mix of indie power-pop, rock, punk, goth, electro and metal music that you probably never heard of (unless you keep your ear to the ground and finger on the pulse of the up-and-coming bands and artists).

For the past two years, both Gidget and Boris have kept Suburban Urchins in their charts, firstly with the "Born In The Suburbs" album, and Gidget has closed out 2022 with the Zed Girl EP climbing to number-one on her chart. LIsten here.

Top Tens for 2022: Celebrity Roadie and Jupiter 5 bassist Peter "Rossy" Ross

rossy 20222022 was another year that was hampered by the pandemic; while we are seeing green shoots of recovery, the scars are still pretty deep. I’ve spent most of the year doing the usual stuff, so this is some of what has poked it’s head up in my rounds.

1. Guitar sales
2022 wasn’t all bad news for rock and roll. It seems that the market for new guitars has nearly reached $3b globally… which is a helluva lot of new Fender Strats. I know I’ve been doing my bit, but it does mean that the death knell for guitar based rock and/or roll may have been premature.

2. Young Rock Renaissance
On the back of those sales we’ve been seeing an increase in younger rock acts taking up the mantle. While the standard bearers of the Aussie bogan rock scene, Amyl & the Sniffers and The Chats,  have gone from strength to strength, I’m seeing a lot of younger acts finding their feet on the live scene in Sydney. Special mentions to Euterpe, Polly and of course, out of self interest, Pocketwatch.

 

Top Tens for 2022: I-94 Bar host The Barman

barman 2022The Barman at an I-94 Editorial Board meeting with Our Man in Dimboola, Ron Brown (left).

THE BARMAN’S BEST ALBUMS OF 2022

Do The Understanding – Ron S Peno and The Superstitions (self released)
Ron S Peno
has equalled and maybe surpassed his output with Died Pretty after a succession of excellent records with his champion Melbourne band. The man needs a muse and found an outstanding one in co-writer and guitarist Cam Butler. This is the Album of the Year.

The rest in no particular order:

Top Tens for 2022: Ned Alphabet, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for Sydney-based World Punk band Balkan Grill.

ned alphabet 2022The Damned: A Night Of A Thousand Vampires (Live in London) 2CD & Blu Ray
One of my all-time favourite bands. The Damned can do no wrong. Been blasting this a lot over the summer.


Evil Roomers: "Then Again/Revibe" 2CD

Comprising of an Evil Roomers rehearsal tape plus an additional disc of reworked and overdubbed recordings. Listening to this it is clear that the late Ian Krahe provided X with quite a lot of music that lives on in many of their signature songs.


Albert Bouchard: "Re-Imaginos" CD

Originally released in 2020, I only managed to grab a copy this year. Former Blue Oyster Cult (BOC) drummer Albert Bouchard re-imagines their much-maligned “Imaginos” concept album, originally a Bouchard solo project, released back in the mid-80s. “Re-Imaginos” features all new recordings and a double-album’s worth of material as initially intended. His talent as a writer and arranger is fully evident here, and the understated acoustic based backing lets the songs stand on their own without distraction. It is easy to see how the quality of BOC releases following his departure dropped in quality, his absence highlighting the importance of his artistic contributions to the original band. Guests include Ross “The Boss” Friedman and former BOC bassist Joseph Bouchard.

R.I.P. Scotty Nash of Asteroid B-612

asteroid b612 scotty nash rip
Asteroid B-612 with Scotty Nash, second from the right.

Founding Asteroid B-612 bass player Scott Nash has passed away after a protracted illness.

His partner Sarah posted the following on Facebook earlier today:

With no fuss and a little bit of pain relief, the one-and-only Scotty Nash took his final bow last night. He loved and was loved by so many and leaves a hole that no-one will ever fill. Evie, Sam and I could not be more proud of who he was and how he lived his life, particularly these past few very difficult months.  Rest in peace now Scotty Nash .  We will love you forever.

The Asteroids released four studio albums during their original lifespan – “Asteroid B-612” (1993), “Forced into a Corner” (1994), “Not Meant for this World” (October 1996) and “Readin' Between the Lines” (2000), before disbanding in 2004.

One of the best bands of the '90s (or any other decade) to emerge from Sydney's Northern Beaches, they recently partially reformed for shows in Spain but Nash was unable to make it. More recently, Scott played with Newcastle band Rangers of The Universe. 

Top Tens for 2022: I-94 contributor Edwin Garland of Moonlight 5, Waxworks and Dwarfthrower

edmund 2022R.I.P. Ed Yonker. At the time of his passing earlier in 2022, I was going to write a few words about this legend of the Australian music Industry.

This quiet achiever in an industry full of sycophants, where inflated egos don’t match their mediocrity.

There few gems I have encountered in “the industry” like Ed Yonker. He was one of the good ones. A hip cool cat with his leather jacket who, as a teenager, had seen the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Animals in Holland in 1963-65. At first, he was not that impressed by what he found in the Australian musical landscape when he migrated here.

Ed was of the one first attendees at Beatle Village on Oxford Street in Sydney. He used to catch the train, avoiding the bogans who wanted to fight a cool kid in what was the early days of the Bohemian inner-city music scene. He was often at the gigs by The Easybeats , The Creatures and The Missing Links.

Top Tens for 2022: Deanov Darkcloud of The Dark Clouds

deanov 2022

Jeez! I can’t remember what happened yesterday, let alone early 2022. I do know the Dark Clouds played a lot. So much we nearly filled up that tiny little pocket on the front of our jeans from all the cash we made. 


11. Big thank you to all eleven people who purchased our new CD, “My Way or the Highway “via Bandcamp. We know who you are!


10. Private Function!!!
Finally got to see them and bloody hell am I glad I did.       

“What’s that mate? Never heard of ‘em."

How about you stop banging on about Doc Neeson being the best Aussie frontman of all time, park ya Zimmer frame by the duck pond and have yourself a little nanna nap”. Chris Penney is Neeson, Gleeson, Bon, Stevie Wright, James Reyne and Isabella Manfredi all wrapped into one and turned up to 11.

I saw a lot of shows this year but these guys were standouts. Amazingly entertaining. Chaotic, shambolic, funny & wildly insane. A performance that makes most bands look like chopped liver. A band that makes Jimmy and the Boys look bland. The only band I can think of that comes remotely close to such a wild performance is …. Nobody ya hear! Nobody.  A true force of nature. Driving past Albury Wodonga will never ever be the same. 

9. WAAX.
The new album. What a creeper. Wasn’t too keen on it the 1st couple of listens but I’m glad I kept spinning it. Really cool album. Lyrically smart IMHO. It may not grab everyone. A bit too JJJ as they say but it’s classy! I Got to see them live too. Enigmatic, theatrical, mesmerising & aesthetically pleasing. Incredibly entertaining live band. Sounded just like the record. Maz DeVita is the bomb! What a voice. Superstar performer.

8. Do the Pop festival in Victoria.
This was a cracker. Rock stars young and old. So grateful to have been on the bill. Too many brilliant acts over the weekend to mention but the surprise package for me was The Refuge. I bought the EP. It’s good, but as a live act they killed it. Even the guy napping by the duck pond would like ‘em. Check ‘em out

7. The Weed.

The Tumbleweed lads have still got it. Whatever the nostalgia event was called, Tumbleweed kicked it off in world class style.  Extra special for me because my kids got to see one of their favourite bands with me. Richie helped me out and got them in the press pit and they took some cracker shots for a school assignment. 

Here's one. Pretty cool day out!

richie tumbleweed

6. Stewart Cunningham of Leadfinger
I’ve been a Stewart Cunningham fan my whole life. There hasn’t been a thing he has released that I didn’t like. Let’s hope he doesn’t release a Christmas album next year. Yeah - Nah I reckon I’d even like that. The new Leadfinger album. Well it’s got some dark clouds on the front cover so you know it’s gunna be good.

Seriously though, Stew has been dealt a pretty poor hand of late.  I was therefore expecting a bit of a poor bloody me album. Couldn’t be further from the truth. It feels more like an album about love, connection and the lust for life. From the very first Brother Brick-ian strums of “You Think So” I was smiling. I danced, I cried, I air guitared and cried a little more (yeah yeah I played side 3 first). Incredible song writing. Beautiful record. Love the production and the packaging. Every silver cloud has a dark lining.

5. Mad Max
It’s no secret we are big Mad Max fans. We have had the pleasure of hanging out with & playing our MFP tune to a lot of the original cast. Fifi, Goose, Charlie, The Night Rider, Cundalini but earlier this year singing “Johnny the boy has done it again” on the back of a truck with Johnny the Boy AKA Tim Burns standing in the crowd in front of me smiling was pretty special. 

 
4. Wasteland
At the drive in. No, not the band. Wasteland the documentary screened at the skyline drive-in in Blacktown. A Doco about Mad Mad Max fans. Forgot how much I loved the drive-in as a kid and then we got to see ourselves, very briefly on the big screen

3. Rot TV.
Some pretty cool guitar picking on their debut album.  It’s good, in a New Yorky, Detroitian, 1st wave British punk, ‘80s Melbourne, new era Scandinavian kind way. I like it. Well worth tracking down. Finger picking good.

2. The Owen Guns
Yeah, they have a potty mouth. Yeah, I don’t quite get the contempt for either cyclist or ska music but The Owen Guns smashing out "C.S.M.F." live in Dapto was one of my rock n roll highlights for 2022.

1. Psychotic Turnbuckles
Coming out of the rock ‘n’ roll Corona abyss for a tag team rumble with the Psychotic Turnbuckles in front of a very solid crowd at the Marrickville Bowlo was tops. They were on fire. The lead up banter with Jesse and the girls was pretty cool too. There is no disputing The Turnbuckles are still the undefeated champions of the Universe. 

And Best song of 2022 goes to Bad//Dreems… What ya think about that? Jack!

Top Ten for 2022: Mark Roxburgh from Joeys Coop and ex-ME-262 and Decline of the Reptiles

mark roxburgh 202210. Fifteen blokes of a certain age in a dodgy bar somewhere.
In the latter part of 2022 I quipped on FB that our (Joeys Coop) lot in life appeared to be to play to the same 15 blokes of a certain age in a dodgy bar somewhere. I got a bit of feedback from some of my musician age peers that I’d pretty well hit the nail on the head.

Now my quip might sound like a bitch about bands with a collective history, but no heritage, not being able to get a decent gig – and to be fair in part it is – but in truth it was also a celebration of the fact that after 40 odd years of playing we could still get a gig in a dodgy bar (my favourite kind) somewhere and we could rely on 15 blokes of a certain age to turn up to support us. That sure beats the fuck out of playing golf, going to fancy restaurants with pretentious retired couples, playing bridge, accompanying the better half to a musical, or other age-appropriate activities.

So, to Keith, Graham, John, Ian, Murray, John, Kev, Dan, Tony, Chris, Ben, Jeather, Henny, Sue, Diane, Adriene - OK that is 16 and some of them are gals of a certain age but you get the idea – we and every other band of a certain age thank you for joining us in not acting our age. We love youse all. You make it all worthwhile.

Get messed up with JJ and The Real Jerks

mess you up coverMess You Up – JJ and The Real Jerks (Heavy Medication Records)

The lines are so blurred these days that you can’t guess where most bands applying a defibrillator to rock and roll’s ailing heart come from. So-called scenes are fragmented and the means of production rest in many sets of hands, thanks to technology and the information democracy of the Internet.

Wind back the clock a couple of decades and JJ and The Real Jerks could be from snowed-in Sweden or inner-city Sydney rather than sprawling Los Angeles.

This 12-inch, eight-song EP is razor sharp, fun garage rock and roll in the style of The Hives crossed with Dead Boys. Big twin guitars and occasional sax punctuate the songs, which throw up plenty of hooks.  

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