Kiss This: Being on the outside with Jesus and The Mary Chain

barbed wire kissesBarbed Wire Kisses
By Zoe Howe
St. Martin's Press

 REVERENCE

Jim, William, Douglas and Bobby changed my life for the better. I owe those guys a profound debt of sincere gratitude. They are the coolest cool, the blackest black, the grooviest of the groovies.

All those bands who imitated the Mary Chain? I never liked any of 'em. That shoegaze shit was not for me. I was not into acid house or even that much Brit-Pop, really. For me, the Mary Chain was the zenith, the high point of standalone excellence. 1995 was the year The Man killed punk dead in my little underground world, when media consolidation under Bill Clinton ate up all the medium-sized labels that actual real garage bands used to have some remote hope of making records for, corporations bought up all the smallish venues, closed most of 'em, jacked up ticket prices with extra added fuck you fees, like hospitals, at all their enormo-dome sports coliseums, moneybags promotors started pushing those big five hundred dollar festivals in daylight with all the sunburnt sports assholes starring some heir and his laptop, ushered all those idiot normies into music scenes with their by numbers "Alternative" hoax bands.

Every big city had the trust fund Clones impersonating all our favorite bands, but with none of the soul or truth, or pathos or originality-just the surface gimmickry and expensive fancy vintage gear, paid for by their Little Lord Fauntleroy family fortunes. I dunno if it was me who coined the phrase, imitation generation, but no one I saw was putting anything much of their own on to the stage, just cheap, tacky impersonations of good bands the mainstream locals had never heard of, so they all seemed way more impressive and innovative, in their grunge era small ponds, than they really were.

Old Farts At Play and The Kids Are Alright

sonic garage 3Pete Bourke, Phil Van Rooyen and Pete Trifunovic from Sonic Garage.

Sonic Garage
Pocketwatch
Bayley and the Liquid Squid
Marrickville Bowling Club, NSW
Friday, 11 March 2022

You can say “Boring Old Fart” but it’s good to stare rheumy-eyed into the middle distance, drool into a beer and recall much less complicated times in hushed tones. Times like the early 1980s, when the biggest challenge on a Friday night was to decide which two or three rock and roll shows you were going to attend, all of them within a short distance of each other.  

If they were local bands, the door charge was free or modest, and if the headliner was on the national touring treadmill, entry might set you back a ten spot. At least one of the supports was a band you’d never heard of, but paying your money and taking your chances was all part of the ritual. You got to conduct a post-mortem as soon as their set was over or over a hair of the dog at your local the next day. 

Special Sydney Rock 'n' Roll offer for I-94 Barflies

PROMO CODE

The Sydney Rock 'n' Roll & Alternative Festival is at The Facotry Theatre in Marrickville this Sunday afternoon with our own I-94 Bar Stage hosting X, White Knuckle Fever, Jupiter 5 and Rubbernecker. On adjoining stages you can catch The On and Ons, The Porkers, The Intercontinental Playboys, The Smart Folk and The Flippin' Kick Outs among many more. This limited offer gets you two tickets for the price of one and admission to all rooms. Click on the banner above and use the code I94BAR50 at check-out. 

 

Does he still have the magic? Yes he does! In praise of Billy Idol

billy idolPropaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.  —Joseph Goebbels 

A nation of sheep soon begets a government of wolves. —Edward R. Murrow

Laws are created to be followed by the poor. Laws are made by the rich to bring some order to exploitation. The poor are the only law-abiders in history When the poor make laws—the rich will be no more. —Roque Dalton García (1974)

The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. —Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931)

Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class. —James Connolly

It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.— Chris Hedges

Silver or Black? Leadfinger deliver solid gold

silver and black smSilver & Black - Leadfinger (Golden Robot)

Yeah, well, I may have been away for a while. Haven't had a lot of time to listen to music. I mean, for a few months, music was that occasional thing in the background - which is not the way to enjoy music. There are (in fact) only two ways: live and in your face, or turned up loud and in your ears. Any other way, the stuff can only hint at a timeless upland of dancing and carrying on like a horny dog at a wedding, rather than the entire emotional brawl.

So turning on Leadfinger's “Silver and Black” is a bit like a starving, dehydrated man tottering into one of those “45 beers on tap” pubs with an Irish heart-clogging cook, accommodation, someone else's credit card and a couple of months to kill.

Dive in for "Flood Zone" and help someone keep their head above water

flood zone compVenerable Australian label Half a Cow has moved with lightning speed to respond to the floods that have devasted parts of the Australian east coast this week.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the digital release of the quickly-assembled, all-Australian “Flood Zone” compilation will go to Queensland and New South Wales victims of the inundation, via the GIVIT platform.

Copies downloaded during Bandcamp Friday will be exempt from Bandcamp charges. It can be purchased here.

Participating acts are The Lovetones, Crow, The Ramalamas, Key Out, The Finalists, Darren Hanlon, Froggy Prinze, Bum Spa, Claire Birchall, Baby Blue, Montana, Tim Guy, Thee Cha Cha Chas, Adele & The Chandeliers, Turnstyle, Lost In The Woods, The Nature Strip, Monnone Alone, Victoria, Stressless, Bambino Koresh, La Huva, Smudge and Falling Joys.

Says label head Nic Dalton: "Thanks to all the acts for helping out! Some songs are old, some songs are new and some have never seen the light of day before."

Uncover your own second slice of underground Treasure

julie and johnThe second instalment of “Raining Treasure”, the rather excellent countryfried salute to Sydney underground rock and roll’s heyday by Sydney’s Urban and Western master, John Kennedy, is on its way.

A crowdfunding campaign is in full swing and rewards range from autographed copies with your name on the cover to a show in your own home.  

You can make sure you’re part of the action with John and his band The 68 Comeback Special by going here.

The second in a series, “Raining Treasure Vol 2” will features covers classic ‘70s and ‘80s songs (and obscurities) by The Boys Next Door, The Riptides, The Passengers and  Radio Birdman. How do you say Yeah Hup with a country twang? 

Flaming Hands vocalist Julie Mostyn-Gilbert is a guest on the album and is pictured at the recording session with Kennedy.

Wine and cola or pizza and beer? Johnny Casino cooks up a lavish box set

jc seven inch boxPerennial I-94 Bar favourite Johnny Casino has a limited edition of seven-inch singles out under the apt name 5x7 - The Days of Wine and Cola”

The physical boxset is in a run of 200 copies only and is available on Bandcamp here or through European labels Folc (Spain) and Beast (France). The digital edition is out on all platforms through Golden Robot Records.

Now living in Spain, the man once known as John A Spittles is the founding member and songwriter of the great Australian rock 'n' roll band Asteroid B612, Philadelphia PA's Johnny Casino's Easy Action, the rotating line-up that is Johnny Casino and the Secrets (featuring the who's who of Australian rock 'n' roll), The Egos, The Lord Street Sound, and Carrie Phillis and the Downtown 3.

Casino is a musicila journeyman always looking for new challenges whether it’s a riff to plunder, a melody to celebrate or a moment to capture, so let's allow Johnny describe the concept of the release:

"I'm Sorry Sir, Those Support Spots Have Been Taken"

hard ons link and pinMark Fraser photo.

The Hard-Ons have announced the supports for their “I'm Sorry Sir, That Riff's Been Taken” Australian tour - their first with their new line-up which features new singer Tim Rogers.The tour comes on the back of the band's first ever ARIA Top 5 album, and takes in all East Coast capitals and key regional hubs.

The tour was pre-empted by NSW warm-up shows at The Link & Link in Woy Woy (December) and Frankies Pizza by The Slice in Sydney (February), billed under the name Clandestine Sausage, attracting rabid fan attention.   

The list of supports includes strong locals as well as a couple of bands with a shared history on the Alternative Charts in the '90s – namely Smudge in Sydney and The Meanies in Melbourne. Sydney's C.O.F.F.I.N. are main support for tour closer at the Corner in Melbourne. 

For full dates, click More.

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