U – The Undermines (self released)
Bands that echo, without imitating, the sound of Radio Birdman and its precursors are always welcome around these parts. Canberra’s Underminesmade an impression with their “Tenzeroeight” album a few years ago and do so again with “U”.
“U” is a five-track CD EP recorded at Infidel Studios in Queanbeyan and positively drips guitars. Understandable, given the band’s lineage, which is drawn from local legends Hell Yes (home to future The Eastern Darkbassist Bill Gibson), Newcastle’s renowned high energy machine The Fools, and local contemporary British Invasion and garage enthusiasts, Il Bruto.
It’s hard to imagine Deniz Tek fans being disappointed by his latest release. Radio Birdman fans, maybe not so much.
While Deniz’s last album, “Detroit”, was a brooding, introspective and dark reflection on urban and personal relationship decay, “Mean Old Twister” paints with a broader aural palette. Sax, harmonica and keys are woven into the sound at strategic points, to enhance Tek’s trademark guitar and guitar player’s vocal.
MONDAY EVENING GUNK - Episode 6 - IT'S JUST THAT I MISS YOU featuring Julie Mostyn Gilbert & Warwick Gilbert from ZENN on Vimeo.
Catch Monday Evening Gunk on the MoshPit Faccebook at 7.30pm every Monday or catch up here every Tuesday. Next up on Gunk: Chris Masuak of Radio Birdman, the Scraming Tribesmen, the Hitmen and the New Christs who will be interviewed by Bob Short (Filth) and Tiffany Palmer (Sydney Rock and Roll Markets) and play a set with his band, The Viveiro Wave Riders.
Ron Keeley has his say in "Descent Into The Maelstrom"
We've labelled it the "best rockumentary ever" and you can judge for yourself as Jonathan Sequeira's Radio Birdman film "Descent Into The Maelstrom" makes it way into even more Austrralian cinemas. Check with local cinemas for times.
There are no overseas screening or release plans finalised yet. Australian dates after the fold:
Pre-orders are open for "Brujita", the album for Chris Masuak and The Viveiro Wave Riders on our own I-94 Bar Records. It's CD and download only at this stage. Get in now and receive an early download of one track, "Birdbrain" (that's the tune you can hear via the button below).
Physical copies should be with us by early next week. It's a return to Chris' rock-pop roots with a good handful of anthems and (not unexpectedly) we reckon it's killer.
Brujita by Chris Masuak and The Viveiro Wave Riders
The new album from Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders is out in early August on I-94 Bar Records and we’ve opened pre-orders. The lead-off track "1776" is embedded above. Place an order here.
“Address to the Nation” is full of trademark Masuak melodies and power with harmonies, a wide-ranging record where powerpop gems rub shoulders with bristling, muscular rock and roll, and punk. It’s in a similar vein to its predecessor, “Brujita”, but a touch harder-edged and more pointed, with lyrical insights about life, love and the sorry state of geopolitics, all powered by Klondike's ace Spanish band There’s also a healthy dose of satire, lurking deep in its grooves.
If you pre-order, your copy of the CD will be sent the day the album arrives back from the pressing plant. You’ll also receive a full digital copy, with bonuses, shortly before. If you're in the market for vinyl, we'll keep yuou posted.
Emmy Etie photo.
The New Christs are playing their last gigs for some time, with Rob Younger going back on active duty with Radio Birdman, and they’re going out with a flurry that includes two interstate gigs.
Friday, July 6 finds them fronting up for two sets at Beaches Hotel at Thirroul in New South Wales for free. On Saturday, July 7 they’ll return to the scene of their Marrickville Bowling Club triumph with James McCann and the New Vindictives almost a year ago with precisely the same bill.
On Saturday, July 14 they’ll play a rare Melbourne show at the Cherry Bar, again with James McCann and the New Vindictives plus Penny Ikinger. And Saturday, July 21 finds them headlining the Fly By Night Musos Club in Fremantle, Western Australia, with The Volcanics and The Shakeys supporting. This will be the New Christs' first-ever WA show.
Radio Birdman boss Deniz Tek's latest solo album, "Mean Old Twister", will be released by Citadel Records on September 30.
Stand-out tracks are said to include the straight-ahead, high-powered guitar rockers "Burned Black" and "Prison Mouse", "Comanche", a shimmering surf instrumental, the Stonesy ballad "Table For One" and "Free At Last", an all-acoustic diversion from the electric guitar attack.
"Mean Old Twister" was recorded with the same band which appeared on the last Tek album "Detroit". Drummer Ric Parnell is best known for his work in Spinal Tap and Atomic Rooster. Bassist Bob Brown has been working with Deniz since the 1992 Australian tour supporting Deniz's first solo album "Take It To The Vertical". Lending a keen ear to the process, Radio Birdman bandmate and famed producer Rob Younger stepped in to supervise the mix.
Phantom Records founder and Radio Birdman roadie/manager Jules RB Normngton chats to old friends Julie Mostyn Gilbert of Flaming Hands and Warwick Gilbert, bassist and graphic artists for Radio Birdman, on on our "Monday Evening Gunk" Internet TV show at 7.30pm Sydney time on Monday, October 26. You'll "Break Down and Cry" if you miss it! You can stream if free from the MoshPit bar Facebook page or catch up here on the day after. If you're in Sydney, admission is free but numbers are limited, and doors open at 6pm.
Pete Bourke, Phil Van Rooyen and Pete Trifunovic from Sonic Garage.
Sonic GaragePocketwatchBayley and the Liquid SquidMarrickville Bowling Club, NSWFriday, 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.
Most serious musicians would have an aneurysm if someone wanted to release recordings from their callow youth. They’ll tell you they’ve been hidden in a sock drawer for 40 years for good reason, and that demo recordings are just that.
Of course, people with OCD, completists and the truly curious and/or obsessed - and any or all of these descriptors could apply to most of us - vehemently disagree. This release from the amazing Buttercup Records label in Melbourne satisfies our shared jones.
Faith and Practice in BedlamBy Chris Masuak(High Voltage)
The rock and roll biography, usually ghost written within an inch of near life, seldom rises above the squalor of tabloids in terms of literary merit. A chronological narrative structure occasionally framed as a flashback is as good as it gets.
Think of sports biographies with guitars.
Unsurprisingly, reviews of Chris Masuak's new book have been thin on the ground. Firstly, because the book will probably upset his old band mates and their wrath has become legendary.
Secondly, I suspect, because - like its author - this book is quite the odd duck.
When confronted by the unusual, most pundits wait for someone else's opinion before voicing their own. Especially when they don't want to miss out on the chance of potential support slots.
Jonathan Sequeira’s raw and stunning documentary, "Descent Into The Maelstrom - The Radio Birdman Story", has been snubbed by Australia's national public broadcaster the ABC.
Released as a short-run feature in Australian cinemas and shown at film festivals and limited screenings in the USA, Japan, the UK and Europe, “Descent” will be released via DVD and streaming in September this year to coincide with a Radio Birdman tourof Australia and Europe.
The taxpayer-funded ABC was offered a deep discount to screen it on Australian free-to-air TV but has declined, after months of dithering and silence.
In an online statement published overnight, filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira said:
Regardless of my involvement, it is a tragedy that the ABC will not be broadcasting the largely unknown story of the most important band in Australia’s music history. I consider that to be letting down the Australian public, and a failure of the ABC to follow its charter.
Radio Birdman has also issued an online statement overnight:
Considering the highly relevant content of the film, from the perspective of Australian music history, ABC was the obvious choice of channel…The band is disappointed but not really surprised. We have been familiar with this sort of attitude from the establishment since the 1970's.
Curiously, ABC has screened documetaries about the Saints and the Go Betweens, as well as series of programs based on its own "Countdown" franchise. You can make your opinion known by contacting ABC-1 Channel Manager Natalie Edgar via abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm
In news just to hand, Radio Birdman is releasing two previously unheard tracks on 7' vinyl - the Master's Apprentices "Buried and Dead", and Alice Cooper's "The Ballad of Dwight Fry".
Both cover versions were originally recorded in 2004 at Hothouse Studio in Melbourne, and recently remixed and mastered. The single will be a Record Store Day special so make enquiries with your local emporium of vinyl.
Radio Birdman is playing a limited number of Australian East Coast shows over two weekends this September/October, before heading off for a 22 date tour of Europe.
The Australian run will coincide with the release of "Descent into the Maelstrom”, the Jonathan Sequeira-produced documentary dealing with the band's rise and demise in the late 70's and later re-emergence.
The documentary has received great attention at various film festivals in London, Glasgow, Norway, Amsterdam and Detroit and is now scheduled for local release on DVD with bonus content this September.
It will be available at the band's shows, online and via discerning retail outlets.
Supports on this tour will include Adalita (Melbourne), Brisbane's Hits (Brisbane and Sydney) and all shows will feature special guests from Spain Los Chicos.
RADIO BIRDMANAUSTRALIAN TOUR 2018SEPT27 - Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne+ Adalita + Los Chicos28 - The Triffid, Brisbane+ Hits + Los Chicos30 - The Gov, Adelaide+ Los Chicos + The Sunday ReedsOCT6 - Manning Bar, Sydney+ Hits + Los Chicos + DJ Frank Cotterell
Tickets for all shows are on sale from Wednesday. June from Oztix.
Iconic underground products of the Sydney music scene, Radio Birdman and Died Pretty, are undertaking a double-header tour of Australia.
Although they formed 11 years apart, Birdman and Died Pretty had their roots in the same Darlinghurst breeding ground. Died Pretty's Ron Peno was a patron at the Oxford Funhouse and a member of Birdman support act The Hellcats. Birdman's Rob Younger has been a production hand at critical points of their recording career.
Muscially, they veered in disparate directions. Spirit-wise, the bands shared a common sense of independence and going their own way. Both bands will be alternating headline positions.
What with them scheduled to support Chris Masuak (“The Australian Rock Festival - The Legacy of Radio Birdman In Spain”) for a show in Spain being filmed for a documentary, I suppose it would be polite to review the Sonic Race’s CD.
The Sonic Race are from Spain and play high-energy, exuberant rock that keeps rocking. They don’t stop for no-one and you need this album in your house - and on your car stereo - right now. Oh yes, magic phrase:”Twin guitar assault”.
I got mine through their Australian representative Axelle Dee on Facebook. She may have a few left and they also have a Bandcamp.
Some of Austrealian rock and roll’s best-known underground artists fwill be featured in an exhibition opening in Sydney next month.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Art Class of 2023” runs at Ambush Gallery at 4 James Street, Waterloo, from Friday, October 13 until Sunday, October 15 from noon until 4pm.
Described as “a group show by artists that rock and rockers who art”, it will show art from the likes of Reg Mombassa (Mental as Anything), Warwick Gilbert (Radio Birdman), Glenno Smith and Gina Monaco (Hellebores), Mike Foxall (Sick Fizz, Neptune Power Federation), Celia Curtis (White Knuckle Fever), Ray Ahn (Hard Ons), Ben Brown (Hellmen), Link Meanie (The Meanies), Rick Chesshire and Simon Day (Ratcat).
You’ll find the Facebook event here.
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