Osees Croxton Hotel, Thornbuy, VIV Saturday, February 11 2023
My employer received some correspondence recently from a "sovereign citizen". It was, as so often the case with such sincerely composed missives, a rambling diatribe replete with muddled pseudo-jurisprudence and wilful indifference to the symbiotic relationship between individual autonomy and collective responsibility.
We searched in vain for some discipline of reason, even a vague hint of cogent argument but, alas, there was only nonsensical assertion. It was, someone remarked, the discursive equivalent of a sugar-laden teenager playing free-form jazz on a cheap recorder over a concerto piece played on a defective turntable and then labelling it a work of artistic genius.
Later that night we went to the cinema to see “Tar”. Before Cate Blanchett’s titular character falls from grace, she explains the often mysterious movements of the orchestral conductor. Crudely, one hand represents timing and tempo, the other conveys the desired shape of the music.
I confess my age: I missed John Cale’s Australian tour in 1975 (being 11 is no excuse, of course) but caught him at the Tivoli in Adelaide in ‘83, and again a few years later. Heard and have many of his albums, but confess that some are hit and miss, while others are (for me) spectacular.
I-94 Barflies will recall that Cale was one of two “foundation members” of the Velvet Underground (which didn't stop him from being booted when Lou Reed felt threatened) and, shortly after, he produced a record by a bunch of laid-back savages from Detroit. If you're not sure who I mean, ask The Barman, he'll fill you in.
Long story short: Spanish garage rock band that’s been on hiatus for 11 years resurfaces on an American label with a German office that sells records to the USA, Mexico and Japan as well as the EU. Sounds about right in today’s digital world, but it’s also proof that rock and roll still spans multiple cultural borders.
As a confirmed Monolingual, I know when I’m beaten. “Superioridad Moral” (“Moral Superiority”) is sung entirely in Spanish. I have no clue what Dr Explosion is singing about. But the songs sound strong with touches of psych rock and pop running prominently throughout.
"In a MistLY" - Dave Graney and Clare Moore (Cockaigne)
It's an astonishing thing, the passage of time. One minute we're slavering over the new LP by our superstar heroes and the next, it seems, we're old, fat and bald and fuck me sweetly, is this the 24th Dave Graney album?
Sorry, not counting his time with The Moodists, live LPs, compilation LPs and soundtracks...
How the fuck did that happen?
(Looks down at unacceptably fat tum, peers bewildered into mirror at fat bald git)
(Winces as recognises self)
Ah well, at least there's the Dave Graney and Clare Moore LP, “In a MistLY”.
The latest video single, "Bloodbath-on-Hi", from UK-based expat Australian fuzz rocker (and Geelong old boy), Dez Dare, is copping some attention and his third album, "Perseus War", is abouit to be released. It's described ass "10 songs of dystopian indifference captured over four weeks in late 2022.". Check it out on Bandcamp here and other formats here.
“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.
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 herebefore 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!