From Japan with love

rock n roll undeadRock'n'Roll Undead – Mad3 (Rock'n'Roll Kingdom)
Upon the Dentigire - 2yago: (Zygeltigit)]

These albums by Japanese bands Mad3 and 2yago were pressed into my hands by one, Paul Slater, who runs the 3D Radio show ”'It's Always Rock'n'Roll” out of Adelaide on Monday nights (and whose adverts occasionally send him to Facebook Jail.) Paul is one of those music nutters who often knows the people who make the music, and has travelled overseas (France, Japan, UK) just for the bands (rather than the touristy T-shirts, towels and gastro).

Mad3 is built around guitar hero Eddie Legend (I-94 Bar readers will know him from the 5.6.7.8s) and are simply incredible. They're one big, bad, really sharp and clever rock'n'roll rollercoaster road trip - you're dragged kicking and squealing into a comic-character world of underground surfer/phantom/doom guitar noir. Play very fucking loud. Eddie has an incredible guitar sound.

COVID-truncated trip births new Johnny Casino 45

Johnny Casino twenty twenty.jpg It's said great songwriters know to write about the things they know about. Johnny Casino has a new 45 imminent and it reflects the strange times in which we all live.

“Twenty Twenty” was written and recorded in the early days of COVID-19 as the expatriate Australian was stuck in Philadelphia, trying to work out a way to get back to his adopted home of Spain. The flip, “People Say”, is a Bored! cover recorded in Spain in stripped-back style as a tribute to that band’s late frontman Dave Thomas, who passed away in 2020.

The vinyl single is out on Spanish imprint Folc Records on January 15 and available for pre-order here.

“’Twenty Twenty’ explains how i was feeling during the months of March and April 2020,” Johnny says. “I had just touched down into Philadelphia International Airport and my brother-in-rock Billy was waiting to pick me up, and his first words were: ‘Brrother I´m surprised they let you in.¨

“I had no idea what he was talking about!”

Casino explains: “Me and my wonderful wife Mayra live in a smallish seaside town called Denia in Spain and we knew there was ¨something¨ happening but not exactly what! We ain’t much for watching news or current affairs programs.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Keith Claringbold

kc 2020KEITH CLARINGBOLD
Bassist - The Smart Folk, The Amazing Woolloomoolloosers
Inveterate live streamer of gigs
Sydney, Australia 

2020 Top Ten

1.) Sunnyboys warm up gig, The Pink Fits in support at the Factory Floor in Sydney 
A big thank you to Steve Teece for tipping me off about this one. That sound, those songs, up close! The Pink Fits were great too.

2.) Nunchuka Superfly/Bitchcraft/White Knuckle Fever/Baby Machine/Beijing Bikini – Marrickville Bowling Club
As someone said to me, ”so great to see so many women on and off stage”.

3.) PopBoomerang night- Ups and Downs/Halfway/ The Aerial Maps – Marrickville Bowling Club
|A full house at the Bowlo.  Halfway had one of the best live sounds I’ve ever encountered. Ups and Downs the icing on the cake.

4.) The Schizophonics/The Fangin' Felines/The Drop Offs- Marrickville Bowling Club.
Exciting garagey fun. The Drop Offs twin drum attack! The family that drums together. This was the last gig before the Covid-19 Sydney lockdown.

Looking back but not in anger

sound of sydney 4Sound of Sydney Volume 4 - Various Artists (Method Records and Music)

What is “the sound of Sydney”? It’s a rhetorical question, if not an outright non sequitur.

If you asked 20 different people, you’d get as many different answers. Someone young might say it’s Triple J - which would be laughable but it’s, you know, it is somebody’s reality. You can fight media fragmentation but it’s like yelling at a cloud. Boomer.    

 “Sound of Sydney” was a series of compilation albums- appearing in 1983, ’84 and ’86 - and the work of Method Records’ Fabian Byrne, of mod-pop band Fast Cars. They were fine records - and very diverse and that in itself was reflective of what was going on in the underground.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Ron Brown from Dimboola

ron brown 2020RON BROWN
I-94 Bar correspondent from Dimboola in The Outback, Australia

Hello Barflies. It’s been a shitty year. No gigs in this year's Top Ten but the Farmhouse has still been rocking

10. The Stooges - "Live At Goose Lake"
After all the stories about Dave Alexander's bass playing at this gig being horrible and Iggy sacking him is now put to rest it. Better than they said.

9 .Deniz Tek & James Williamson  - "Two For One"
When two guitar greats join forces, one would expect it to be good. And it is.

8, The Casanovas - "Reptilian Overlord"
The Casanovas
have released another fabulous record full of big riffs.

7. Mick Medew -   "Psychopharmacologist"
The songs and vocals are brilliant, and also thanks for the Sunday streaming sessions with Miss Border Collie.

6. AC/DC - "Power Up"
They’re back with their best album in years - a true tribute to a lost brother.

5. Drop Kick Murphys – live stream
The DKM did a wonderful live stream from Finway Park , spectacular sound and songs.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Graham Hood of The Johnnys

hoody 1978GRAHAM HOOD
The Johnnys, Allniters, The Troughmen, The Cool Charmers, The Normals et al
"10 Highlights of my Punk pilgrimage across America"

1. In late 1978 I was naïve, wide eyed and bushy tailed, 20 years of age and full of beans, myself and two companions left Auckland, NZ and headed to LA on our mighty search for Punk Rock. There was a bunch of funky Afro American dudes on the flight in the seats in front of us, they kept hanging over the back of the seats and enquiring if we were punk rock? I said well we are punk rockers if that’s what you mean, they were very keen to find out about us and the music and kept buying us drinks – turned out they were Andrea True Connections' backing band heading home from Australia. After a several drinks we were all singing "More More More how do you like it, how do you like it"! Much to the chagrin of our fellow travellers.

2. Arriving in LA, the enormity of the place dawned on me . Our hotel downtown was really scary; we huddled in a corner of the room all night and listened to the fighting going on in the corridor whilst watching the door handle going up and down as the door was being tried. We moved to Hollywood the next day to a Motel 6 - equally as dodgy.

Powerpop wears a blue collar

StuckInAJobCvrStuck in a Job b/w Living In The Borough – Joe Normal & The Anytown'rs (Big Stir Records)

I'm always late to the party, and in the wrong place, at the wrong time, so ya know it was no big surprise, by that year when I finally made it to Hollywood, seeking out competent shag-haired glam punks for my own set to self-destruct before our 15-minute flash metal suicide glitter gang. It was really all over but the pouting, and I hadda get a series of telemarketing and janitorial gigs, sweeping up the silly string and confetti of last year's hairbands!

All the bombshell temptress girlfriends with the come hither, tilted just so police hats, and over blackened hootchie kootchie eyes, had already moved on to gangsta rap or grunge, which was a total buzzkill that I never related to at all, 'just proved the power of corporate media to strongarm any fictitious, manufactured trend or phony narrative upon the masses by overplaying it all day, they did the exact same thing with even more awful boybands two years later, so anyways, in the Hollywood limelite's last gleamings, the purple haired Zeros were like the biggest buzz in town, seemingly poised to make it, at least, as far as Faster Pussycat or L.A. Guns or whoever. They had lines around the block of devoted fans who all formed kooky colored glam groups and copied them slavishly.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Matt Ryan of Munster Times

matt ryan 2020Zo Damage photo

MATT RYAN
Editor - Munster Times zine
Melbourne, Australia

Top 10 LPs of 2020 (no order)

Adele and the Chandeliers – First Date
First thing that grabbed me was that sweet Manchester accent of Adele Pickvance, one of the unsung heroes of Oz music and my new favourite vocalist. Nine cracking powerpop tracks, and a corker Buzzcocks cover. An LP of life, love and the simple things that make it worth living, laid down in a fun and warm LP

The Breadmakers -The Breadmakers
Melbourne’s garage gold standard return with their first LP in years. Ten '60s rock 'n' roll inspired tunes, and two covers that "Back from the Grave" aficionados will go nuts for. Proving once again three chords, or less, plus rough and fast is all you need in a track.

Jack Howard and the Long Lost Brothers and a Sister - Dog Songs
The Dogs Bar in St Kilda (RIP) did an amazing job of keeping live music going in St Kilda, and one of the marque acts was Jack Howard every first Sunday of the month. With lockdown that obviously came to an end, but this CD was a wonderful reminder of those Sundays. This CD comprises of songs Jack and Co play during their Doggies set. As I listened to this I could see myself standing in the corner, being greeted by landlords Gav and Sonya, while Bernie 2 Legs, Fiona and Josie Jo and I shoot the shit while listening to all these killer tunes, and trying to get Leeroy’s attention behind the bar. One of those bands you can’t really fit into a genre, brilliant songs with an amazing ensemble of musicians.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Steve Lucas of X

steve lucas 2020STEVE LUCAS
X, Heinous Hounds, solo and many more
Melbourne, Australia

1.) Single Malt Scotch. Preferably Irish. Nine that peaty shit. Clean and clear.
You can pick them up easy... The Dubliner for example. Easy on the pocket and a very smooth drop. Writer's Tears is a favourite. But more expensive.

2.) Blended scotch. If I can't access a single malt then blended it is. Best value is, believe it or not, Dewar's White Label. You can get a litre for around $45. It goes down surprisingly well. I was given a bottle of Johnny Walker Black a month or two ago and was kind of stunned by how good it tasted. Had not tried it in years so i feel i should mention it.

3.) Vodka. There are so many choices. They range from rubbing alcohol to crystal clear tears of angels. Russian or Polish is good. It's worth spending a little extra on if you knock it back neat. It doesn't mean there are not some real bargains out there. Pyccknn CTAHDATP Russian standard gold is a good example. I am very partial to that at the moment.

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