Top Tens for 2021: Chris Newton of Sydney mods The Smart Folk

Chris The Smart Folk by Corrie AnconeChris Newwton in The Smart Folk. Corrie Ancone photo . 

10 great Australian indie singles from 2021 you may not have heard…yet  

By Chris Newton – guitarist/vocalist from The Smart Folk, and The Lost Husky; and bassist from Tigers At The Edge Of Time. 

Like many fellow musos, in 2021 after getting out of the gates early in what proved to be a false start race that lockdown soon put sternly to bed, I fell into the pit of songwriter’s block for six months. 

Thankfully, many bands – several of whom I’m privileged to call friends – didn’t suffer the same fate. 

Here’s just ten independent ‘singles’ that have hit the online shelves this year, that give me (and hopefully you) hope for the musical future. In no particular order… 

Woy not make it a date with The Johnnys in January?

The Johnnys are playing a Sunday afternoon show at the hottest bar , the Link and Pin, in Woy Woy (an hour north of Sydney) in January. They're following in the steps of the Hard-Ons who playsed a secret gig with their new frontman, Tim Rogers, on December 10 as a warm-up for theiur national tour. The Johnnys do the Link and Pin on January 9 from 5pm. Buy a ticket in advance here.

Echoes of past thoughtcrimes but ViviKit is here and now

bugmantisBugmantis – ViviKit (self released)

Back in the dim, dark past of Sydney’s nascent underground music scene, a band called the Thought Criminals stood out like the proverbial dog’s. They were so unlike all the other spotty kids on the inner-city block.

Nineteen-seventy-seven (the time of their birth) was the Year of Radio Birdman. The Thoughties, with their jagged rhythms, blaring keyboards, political lyrics and highly-strung vocals, sounded nothing like them. They were post-punk before punk had ended.

Top Tens for 2021: Ashley Thomson of Sydney '80s punks The Kelpies

  1. ash2021Shooting up vaccine while saying, “’scuse me while I kiss the sky
  1. Wavves – “Hideaway” album. I play it every day for months. Loved ‘em since “King of The Beach”.
  1. Private Function - Best rock/punk band in Australia and also the funniest. Their live shows are action from start to finish.
  1. Ceremony – There has been an astonishing progression over the last 10 years. Think Husker Dü/Replacements, but they have gotten to this neon, cool place at the moment. Their old shows on YouTube are killer.
  1. A kid I made, Spike Vincent, made this beautiful song called “Time Machine”, it’s in skateboarding movies etc. I love it.
  1. Watching this year’s Stones tour on YouTube and the Beatles doco (I love both of ‘em.)
  1. Started a new label called Rolled in Glitter Records: “You can’t shine a turd but you can roll it in glitter” . I will be raiding my vaults. Vanity label extreme.
  1. How my close friends were supportive during virus crazy time.
  1. Shane McGowan doco “Fairy Tale in New York”. It gives me rising sad tears every time.
  1. Also fuck all you, you rusted on Radio Birdman heads!!!

Top Tens for 2021: Keith Claringbold of The Smart Folk and The Amazing Woolloomoolosers

 kc 20211)  Died Pretty- The Factory Theatre - It had been a long wait for the return of Ron Peno and co to the stage. They reminded us how great they are

2)  Rubbernecker- The middle band at Marrickville Bowling Club last Thursday - I’ve always been a fan but they’re improving in leaps and bounds. Catch them soon.

3) Kim Salmon's Haunted Grooves - The Great Club - A great night of story and song.

4) Underground Lovers- Brunswick Ballroom . So lucky to be in Melbourne to catch the matinee gig!

5) Albums - Chimers debut; Reverse Light Years- Even; Deadly Decoupage - Boxing With Ghosts; Strange Flash - Lipstick Killers.

When pop's obvious allure shines through

glenn bowloGlenn Morris of the The On and Ons.

The On and Ons
+ The Amazing Woolloomooloosers
Marrickville Bowling Club
Sunday, 12 December 2021
Photos: Shona Ross

Sometimes things are just obvious. Like using the term “pop music”.

It’s an archaic phrase and more than a little quaint, with its origins way back in the mists of time. Probably severely devalued, too, due to its prolific over-use in modern times. 

According to the The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new music styles that it influenced.

Last Sunday afternoon-evening at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney’s inner-western blues delta was an occasion for pop music fans. And whether it was a breaking of the lockdown drought or an appreciation that this was an album launch, they turned out in their droves.

Vale ex-Powder Monkey John Nolan

john and powder monkeysJohn Nolan (left) with Tim Hemensley and Timmy-Jack Ray in the Powder Monkeys.

John Nolan, the former Powder Monkeys and Bored! guitarist and more recently member of Powerline Sneakers, has died. It is understood a family member found him earlier today in his Melbourne home.

The lanky, long-haired and wickedly talented Nolan was an elder statesman of the Melbourne underground scene. He initially rose to prominence in Geelong band Beyond the Magnolia Curtain in the mid-1980s. and went on to the twin-guitar line-up of Bored!

In 1991, Nolan and Bored! bassist Tim Hemensley (ex-GOD) left Bored! to set up the Powder Monkeys, who became one of Australia’s most fearsome - and infamous - outfits.

Top Tens for 2021: Sydney musician Simon Li

 simon li 2021A 2021 Top Ten of albums and documerntaries from Sim Li, Sydney singer, songwriter and member of Lethal Mercenaries and Phringe Dwellers. 

Lipstick Killers - "Strange Flash" (compilation album)

Sherry Rich - The Divine Crimson V (album)

"Big Name No Blanket" - Documentary, screened on NITV

"Chuck Berry" - Documentary, screened on NITV

"The Go Go's" - Documentary, screened on ABC TV

Steve Earle - "J.T." (album)

Son Volt - "Electro Melodier" (album)

WWE Legends - Bret "The Hitman" Hart, screened on SBS TV

WWE Legends - Mick Foley, screened on SBS TV

Dark Side of the Ring - Jake "The Snake" Roberts, screened on SBS TV

RIP: Nanci Griffith, Tom T. Hall, Dusty Hill, Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby (aka) Hank Von Helvete, Charlie Watts

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