The Devil's Weight - Eric Mingus (Ouch! Records)
I first saw Eric Mingus on stage at Her Majesty's Theatre in Adelaide a few years ago, masterminding (with producer Hal Willner) a production of The Who's 'Tommy' ... which I confess I didn't expect to work. But, not only did it work, it took my breath away.
If you don't feel like reading the full review, on the night I described Eric on the night as an "offhand, casual narrator with a fabulous, rich voice with a gobsmacking range who sets us up for a mischievous, powerful story, more human because it’s all happening right in front of us. What for some was a rather stilted and peculiar concept LP has become an alive, twisting, emotional creature; the story is instantly in us. His later (all too brief) scat singing is incredible, just amazing".
Melbourne’s royal rock’n’pop trio Even - who did include a stonking cover of the Sex Pistols’ "Pretty Vacant” on their recent “Down The Shops” covers collection - reckon that the Queen’s Birthday is worth celebrating. Indeed, they reckon it is their Antipodean duty to do so, especially given that Prince Philip is now no longer around to start the party.
But with four shows across the holiday weekend at great venues in the city’s inner north, south, east and west, "Even Saves The Queen’s Birthday Weekend” is not just a celebration of a fabulous public holiday, but of the great rock’n’roll city that is Melbourne.
Even’s Friday to Monday run is gonna provide some right royal rocking with four hand-selected support acts adding a unique flavor to each show.
New Cosmic Country queen Freya Josephine Hollick opens proceedings at the Gershwin Room on Friday, June 11. From then it's the tres glam Imperial Leather, featuring entities from both RRR and PBS-FM at the Westwood on Saturday the 12th; stranded Mississippi-based Canadian-Australian bluesy country singer-songwriter Meghan Maike on Sunday the 13th at the Leadbeater; and melancholy and melodious young trio of singer-songwriters the Folk Bitch Trio on Monday the 14th at the Northcote Social Club.
Monday's show is a matinee and under-18's are allowed in if accompanied by an adult.
ESPY - GERSHWIN ROOM
Friday 11 June
With Freya Josephine Hollick
Saturday 12 June
With Imperial Leather
THE LEADBEATER HOTEL
Sunday 13 June
With Meghan Maike
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB
Monday 14 June (Afternoon)
With Folk Bitch Trio
Defiled! A Heavy Medication Tribute to New Bomb Turks - Various Artists (Heavy Medication)
Can’t profess over familiarity with the back catalogue of New Bomb Turks. Nothing personal, mind you, it’s just that when they were at their busiest back in the ‘90s, there was so much else around. Their potency can’t be disputed.
These Ohio high-energy punks churned out nine (yes, nine!) studio albums until life got in the way and ushered them into semi-retirement, and this tribute record from Polish label Heavy Medication testifies to their take-no-prisoners reputation.
Rember when tribute albums were all the rage, back before the Interwebs became fully embedded in our heads via vaccine-encased 5G chips? They grouped bands of a common mindset and showcased sounds you might not have otherwise heard. Like Spotify without ridiculously microscopic royalties.
H-Bomb b/w Supersonic Hero - Jupiter 5 (I-94 Bar Records)
First up I confess I only know one of the members, Peter Ross the bass player, and love him and label head The Barman. Even so, I wouldn't say I liked a record just to please them. They know if I didn't like this, I'd (1) tell them, and (2) refuse to review it.
The Barman asked if I wanted to review this. Funny, when friends ask me to review stuff, the paid professional refuses, because if the disc is shit, how do you say it's shit without pooping on your friendship? Also, the Chief Editor or Drunk In Charge will squeak about conflicting interests. Well, for some people that's invariably the case. Our pollies have always had a talent for entertaining us with stories like “I didn't know”, “It was like that when I got here, honest” and “Look, define blackmail...”
You've all been in a similar situation, I'm sure. Perhaps not as a reviewer (nor, indeed, as a blackmailing fuckstick), but maybe rolling out on a Friday or Saturday to see your friend's band and, boy, did they suck the fat one. Thereafter, each weekend until the band thankfully collapses amid acrimony and blame, your excuses come thick and fast, from “her indoors is sick” to “I crashed the car” via “the dog ate my mobile” and “the police found my nightstick”...
Fetishists alert! Ed Kuepper is on a vinyl re-issue spree so of course he has to have a limited edition box set. “Behold the Exploding Universe of Ed Kuepper” will contain:
- 1 x Ed Kuepper Singles LP on green, yellow, blue or black vinyl
- 1 x Laughing Clowns LP on clear vinyl.
- 1 x The Aints! LP on red vinyl.
- 1 x autographed 8” x 10” Laughing Clowns photo by Judi Dransfield Kuepper
- 1 x high quality Exploding Universe of Ed Kuepper iron-on transfer
- 1 x The Aints! vinyl sticker.
- 3 x press releases printed in full colour on quality stock.
Naturally, it will be housed in a beautiful black lift-top box. The run is limited to 100 copies and ships from May 28. You can order exclusively here.
Angelo, Jay and The Celebrity Roadie front up for Jupiter 5.
The MoshPit, Erskineville
Saturday, May 1, 2021
The Moshpit is such a great venue. Located down the Sydney Park end of Newtown, this is the sort of establishment you would walk past during the day and not even be aware that it existed.
It is, virtually, a corridor with some lounges inside the entrance, a bar, some tables and chairs then the stage. Fantastic intimate vibe with a lot of band memorabilia lining the walls, craft beers on tap and friendly staff and clientele. The Moshpit is currently celebrating three years of operation with many great bands playing - so now you have an extra excuse to visit this iconic venue and check it out.
The Plague Year – The Vomit of the Universe (self-issued)
Headbangers of the world alert!
The Vomit of the Universe songs are: "The Plague Year", "Magna Hominum Dercependo", "Shiva Laughs and Smiles" and "Igne Natura Renovatur Integra". The 'A' listed here as playing guitar, bass guitar, drums & synthesizer is our old Adelaided chum Adam Blake, sometime sack-flasher at Hydrocephallus.
Vomit of the Universe, however, is an entirely alternate vehicle, a more directed mindset. Elements of grandiosity which make metal so appealing are used to maximum effect (without over-egging the omelette, as so very many bands do). Yet the approach, and rhythm, reminds me of some Krautrock, as well as opera, and quite a few classical pieces (Shostakovich springs to mind).
Mutator - Alan Vega (Sacred Bones Records)
"Mutator" is Alan Vega's 12th solo album and also his first posthumous record of (apparently) several more to come on Sacred Bones Records. Vega also released nine collaborative LPs in his lifetime, Suicide a total of five studio and five stand-alone live albums (not including a rather incredible box set). Not a bad innings at all.
The I-94 Bar’s Bob Short once observed that most people don't get into much music past their 20s, and I agree; and Suicide are a classic example. Of the people who fell head over heels for this outfit when they first heard their first LP (I still remember where and when I heard it, and also when and where I heard a UK bootleg of the Clash support gigs) most seem to rave only about that first LP, but seem unaware of the second, or even the ROIR tape, or any of the band's later LPs.
Of Vega himself, only a handful seem aware of the extraordinary impact his first two (now unavailable) LPs had on the underground, and the overground impact his third, "Saturn Strip" had, particularly in Europe.
New Trip – The Primevals (Triple Wide)
Four decades and 11 albums into this caper, Glasgow’s Primevals are doing the rough and ready rock and roll thing as well as anyone, and better than most.
Well into their second life after reformation, their consistency is astounding. “New Trip” was spawned in lockdown, recorded over two fraught months in late 2020 and hit the online racks, via the band's own imprint, early this year.