Frank Meyer flanked by Cheetahs bandmates (from left) Bruce Duff, MIke Sessa and Dino Evertett on bass. AP Murray photo.
In these COVID-fraught times, asking Frank Meyer what he puts on his curriculum vitae is a valid question. The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs vocalist-guitarist doesn’t skip a beat, down the line on Zoom from his home in Long Beach, California.
“Right now, I mean, I'm basically freelance film producing and directing. You know, my last full time job was at Fender as directing and producing their digital content. But at the beginning of COVID, they laid off a lot of my team, including myself. And then showbiz kind of shut down.
“But now I've essentially just been doing music and freelance editing and online production, and a lot of session work, singing and playing, recording and producing. In the last few months, digital production has picked up and I've been getting a bunch of field production gigs. And I've got some book deals happening. So things are looking good right now.”
The idea took root a year ago. Ardo from Estonian band Dead Furies had an idea to compile a tribute album for New Bomb Turks, perhaps his favourite band and oen of the stars of the US 1990s punk rock scene. He hit up some up and coming rock bands, and some mainstays, to see if they would be interested.
The response was overwhelmingly positive.
The tracks started coming in from the likes of the Hellacopters and DEMONS from Sweden, the UK’s Hip Priests and the Killer Hearts (USA). In the end he got 14 different incredible artists from Europe and North America.
Newish label on the block , Dragstrip Riot Records have collaborated with seasoned labels Ghost Highway Recordings from Spain and Spaghetty Town Records from US to bring you “No Heroes No Leaders No Artists No Gods”. Every label released a different limited coloured vinyl and also the regular black version.
It's strictly vinyl only and the label names above link to websites.
- Professional Againsters “Bolan’s Crash” (Sweden)
- Deadheads “Quarter To Four” (Sweden)
- “DEMONS” “Pretty Lightening” (Sweden)
- The Boatsmen “Wine and Depression” (Sweden)
- Acid’s Trip “Snap Decision” (Sweden)
- The Chuck Norris Experiment “End Of The Great Credibility Race” (Sweden)
- The Hip Priests “Jukebox Lean” (England)
- Dead Furies “Your Beaten Heart” (Estonia)
- Scumbag Millionaire “Tryin' To Get By” (Sweden)
- The Drippers “Hammerless Nail” (Sweden)
- Jonesy “Jeers Of A Clown” (Canada)
- Killer Hearts “Spanish Fly By Night” (United States)
- Randy Savages “We Give A Rat's Ass” (England)
- The Hellacopters “Veronica Lake” (Sweden)
Five years since they played their last full set to a roomful of adoring fans in Sydney, Rock and Roll Wrestling World Champions the Psychotic Turnbuckles are back to destroy Dull City. The Turnbuckles will play Fusebox at the Factory Theatre in Sydney on Saturday, April 17.
Tickets will be strictly limited and go on sale here at 9am on Wednesday. Supports are White Knuckle Fever and southern Sydney punk rock jukebox The Stallers. The show has been timed so punters from the earliest of two Died Pretty shows in the adjoining Factory Theatre can attend.
Living in idle luxury in their hometown of Pismo Beach since their last Australian gig with San Francisco legends The Mummies in March 2016, the Kings of the Ring are itching to smackdown all comers. Guitarist El Siccodelico has hung up his Mexican wrestling mask during the lay-off and has been replaced by Italian grappling royalty, Count Forza.
The Turnbuckles will be fast-tracked through Australian Government quarantine protocols to play this one-off show and there’s no telling if and when they’ll re-appear again.
White Knuckle Fever is the runaway psychobilly duo that’s been tearing up Aussie stages off the back of a new single, “RSA Blues”. The Stallers are a veritable garage punk jukebox and will kick off the night with a set chockful of smash ‘em up classics.
The show is presented by I-94 Bar.
Saints co-founder and leader of the Laughing Clowns and The Aints!, Ed Kuepper, is teaming with Jim White, the brilliant drummer of renowned instrumentalists Dirty Three and revered '80s-90s post-punks Venom P Stinger, for an Australian tour in May, June and July.
The pair will reprise classics from Kuepper's stellar 45-year career in a multi-state tour that includes a stop-off at the Sydney Opera House.
The shows will coincide with a trio of retrospective releases from Kuepper covering his solo years, Laughing Clowns and The Aints! All titles will be released in limited amounts, on coloured vinyl, and with select CD issues also.
Ed Kuepper and Jim White
25 - Castlemaine, Bridge Hotel
26 - Melbourne Rising, Comedy Theatre
28 - Meeniyan Town Hall
29 - Macedon Hotel
4 - Cairns, Tanks Arts Centre
5 - Sunshine Coast, Imperial Hotel
6 - Gold Coast, Miami Marketta
10 - Newcastle, Lizottes
11 - Wyong The Arthouse
12 - Blue Mountains Theatre
13 - Sydney Opera Houuse Studio (matinee and evening shows)
6 - Eltham Hotel (SOLD OUT)
17 - Brisbane, Triffid
24 - Canberra, The Street
27 - Adelaide, The Gov
3 - Fremantle Social Club
All shows on-sale now via edkuepper.com
Loaded – 50LgE (self released)
Nothing to do with the Velvet Underground record of the same name, this four-song EP on CD is from a trio based on the South Wales Far North Coast, whose antecedents include membership of the Psychotic Turnbuckles , Brisbane’s The Tellers and The Eastern Dark. That should be enough to pique the interest of most Barflies.
“Hooked” is a steady instrumental work-out that showcases Tony Young’s brawny guitar tone. It’s a steady climb to the top where it peaks in a rash of distortion. “World” is moodier and sparse, underpinned by some sharp riffing and a solid Geoff Milne backbeat. The lyrics are about globetrotting and are as skewed as Alex Chilton’s “Bangkok”.
Power trio they may be but 50LgE (pronounced: “50 Large”) don’t stick to conventions. The mixed tempos of “Raising Caine” come out of a place called left field. Simulated rotor blades usher in “Coachella” which is an ode to a Californian hipster-orientated desert music festival. It’s a relief to realise it’s a sarcastic takedown. After their debut 12-inch single “Black Interceptor”, it’s a fun if uneven ride, and copies are procurable at shows or by hitting up the band on Facebook.
50LgE will make their Sydney debut at MoshPit on May 1, supporting Jupiter 5 who will be launching their seven-inch single. Tickets here.
Candy Coated Cannonball – Jeremy Porter and the Tucos (GTG Records)
Detroit Rock was never just about the MC5 and the Stooges. Ask a Michigan native and they’re just as likely to nominate Kid Rock or techno as defining. Don’t even start anyone aged over 50 talking about Motown and the myriad of soul labels that sprang up in the ‘60s.
Jeremy Porter and the Tucos sound like none of the above. With origins in the city’s punk underground, the trio’s sound is a mix of power-pop, roots rock, alt-country and twangy blue collar garage. The title of their fourth album, “Candy Coated Cannonball”, is a misnomer – the album’s neither overwhelmingly sticky-sweet or explosive.
“Put You On Hold” is a super opener, a heady burst of gritty guitar, warm Hammond B3 and Porter’s emphatic vocal. It’s a rocking song and a juxtaposition, of sorts, that’s apparent in a lyric like: “Time flies by when the conversation is slow.”
We Are The Normal – Joe Normal (New Jersey Phonograph)
This is a CD single. I think it's a little sad how the younger generation don't really keep hard copies of CDs or records on the shelf, anymore. They all prefer to store it in the cloud, or whatever, it's just virtualized and abstractly stored in their I-Gadgets. But older rock ‘n’ roll people like me, actually like the little gatefold sleeves with the lyrics and picture.
Joe Normal is my fave USA! USA! power pop contemporary - he writes emboldened singalong anthems for guttersnipes and barflies and aging dishwashers like you and me. He's got a kickass band and always delivers this beautiful pop ‘n’ roll that'll remind you of the freer, cooler, long gone glory days, before the oligarchy mass-hypnotized everyone you knew into eagerly signalling their obedience to the higher-ups, by abandoning their communal nature and critical thinking skills and viciously rat-racing for the most piles of stuff.
Danny Kroha is best known as one-third of seminal Detroit garage punk band, The Gories, which he formed with fellow Detroit residents Mick Collins and Peggy O’Neill in the mid- 1980s. When The Gories’ rudimentary internal infrastructure eroded in the early ‘90s, Kroha moved on to a series of projects, most notably the more theatrically-bent Demolition Doll Rods.
In 2015, Kroha took a step sideways and back in time with his first solo record, “Angels Watch Over Me”, a collection of predominantly covers of old blues, folk and gospel recordings, laid down using an eclectic collection of DIY instruments. Initially reluctant to put the album out, Kroha has returned to the well for a follow-up, “Detroit Blues”, again mining the rich history of the American folk, blues and gospel songbook. Kroha joined PATRICK EMERY at the Bar from his hometown of Detroit to talk about the album.
You’ve spent your entire life in Detroit. What is about Detroit that keeps you there?
[Laughs] Once I saw this fortune teller and she was reading runes and Tarot cards and she said ‘Why do you still live in Detroit?’ She could tell I was doing something with music, maybe I might have mentioned it. She said ‘I’m seeing something in my cards, a place where you should move, that would be better for you and your musical career’.
I don’t know man, it’s just my home, for better or for worse. It’s an interesting place. Really hip places, like New York City, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, are great to visit, but I don’t want to live in any of those places. I don’t like generally being a place that’s lousy with hipsters. I kind of like being the only one on the block!
"$100-a-Week Hotel" by Dan Denton (Punk Hostage Press)
Holy Toledo! I read this book in just two sittings, even though I have awful eyesight and live in a dark trailer with crazy loud kid media blasting at me around the clock. It's that good, you won't want to put it down.
It's one of those rare books for people like me with short attention spans, it feels more like a movie or record, because his masterful and observant descriptions of everyday people struggling to survive under the boot of oligarchs and jackbooted Gestapo in the shadows of the dying empire's corporatized police state, where most wounded, helpless people are born into extreme poverty, abused, neglected, abandoned, and instructed to piss-test and compete for bottom-feeder, no future jobs that never pay a living wage.
Most of us never really stand a chance. It's refreshingly blunt and real, and does not suck-up to booj college standards of asskiss phoniness. It's the real story of plain-spoken, midwestern, working class heroes and heroines struggling to medicate their pain and find some sort of redeeming intimacies, grace and dignity, any consolation or impression of consolation, before passing out and waking up to a shrill clock radio.
People cannot stop themselves from dreaming, from seeking redemption in the arms of a gypsy-queen of the highway, and from sometimes, losing their cool and freaking the fuck out. All these characters are searching for some kind of higher power, divine intervention, warmth of home, even though they are mostly helpless, cursed, traumatized and all tragically ill prepared to meet the demands of rent and still have coins left over for some malt liquor and gas station food.