straight arrows - The I-94 Bar
That Mr Barman fellow, of I-94 Bar notoriety, has graciously once again asked me to pen a brief diatribe on the music I heard this year that breached my inherent tinnitus (this being a persistent “ringing” that originates in the ear rather than in the environment.)
The noise heard by people with tinnitus may be a buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling, or even a hissing sound and is often associated with hearing loss.
As I'm a fellow of balanced research, and YouTube had offered a viewing of their "2017 Rewind" collection. I felt it important to have a listen to the Boobtube wares in case it informed me of important musical/cultural creations that I had possibly missed over the past 12 months...
Lo and behold it did !! Instantly I discovered that the roaring, buzzing, whistling or hissing of tinnitus can INDEED originate in the environment, contrary to what was taught during my medical schooling. What's more, that the associated hearing loss was a relief !!
Fortunately, the remedy was simple. I turned the bastard off and wondered what parallel universe of musical endeavour had led to my sudden selective deafness as it righted itself.
So, as usual, I shall make an opinionated mention of songs/releases/bands that crossed my bows during the stated period, though the pushing of record buttons, mixing and the mastering may have occurred a little before. To me, the release was when I got my sticky hands on the product, played said product and was then taken by the throat....
Drone and fuzz are the base ingredients in this psychedelic stew from Sydney four-piece Gridning Eyes. The sound is thunderous and heavy in the mid-range, with no compromise to melody. Delicate harmonies are in short supply.
Grinding Eyes have been around for three years and have two singles on prodigious boutique Brisbane label Tym Records. This is their long player debut (on CD through Off The Hip) and it’s an exacting but rewarding trip
Recorded by Owen Pengilis (Straight Arrows), and mixed (in France) and mastered (in Detroit) by sonic wizard Jim Diamond, these are nine songs of dark, relentless assault.
Tote Hotel, Melbourne
Friday, 22 March 2019
I’m not a big fan of the rose-coloured 1960s discourse. Sure, the music’s great, the anti-establishment political rhetoric is inspiring and the fashion iconic. But the 1960s gave the world Nixon and the first incarnation of Reagan the politician, Engelbert Humperdink outsold Hendrix and it was mainly rich white kids (especially men) who had the socio-economic stability to drop out – because they could drop back in again anytime they wanted to.
The 1960s is a mythical idea, not a corroborated historical construct. We want to believe what it was like, because it’s not like that now. Revisionism. Nostalgia. Self-deluded idealism. There was good shit going on, but there’s good stuff going on now. There was plenty of bad, square and nasty stuff going on then, too. More so than the good stuff.
Banangun sounded like they’d crawled straight out of a '60s documentary. Maybe a Nuggets Acid Rock compilation. I hadn’t heard of them before tonight, though later on it was pointed out to me that their main man is Nick from The Frowning Clouds, and then everything made sense.
Here it is folks - this is the sound the “cool kids” make these days. “Cool kids” being what the wearers would dismissive as a totally pejorative term, but essentially being a title for whatever constitutes a “scene maker” in these musically fractured times. “Scene” being another pejorative word.
It’s hard to keep up with contemporary music once you pass a certain age - even when you’re consciously trying to cock an ear to what seeps out of cracks in the footpath and shuns daylight. Of course it’s a given that you shouldn’t pay attention to just about ANYTHING that makes it to commercial radio airwaves, but in this case "contemporary" means the underground shit, maaan. And Los Tones are under the commercial radar by any measure.
One of Europe's top trash garage and go-go weekenders, The Wild Weekend, is coming to Australia for the first time. The three days of monstrous mayhem will run in Melbourne. From December 31 to January 2.
Presented by The Luwow & Zombie Zoo Productions, The Wild Weekend has been held in Europe since 1998. This insane weekender has blazed a trail for other trash festivals across the world and brings a wealth of entertainment experience and an insane level of production detail to a crazy event.
Zombie Zoo Productions’ Skipper Josh and Babz Collins present a weekend of retro fuzz, crazy Ccstume parties and vinyl throwbacks, set in various venues in the Melbourne CBD. The Wild Weekend features top retro trash bands, gruesome go-go goddesses, deviant decor, dastardly disc-jocks, crazy cabaret, mad movies, a boat cruise to nowhere and the Surf-fink Swap-meet.
Full details and tickets are here. Here’s the band line-up:
R.I.P. Ed Yonker. At the time of his passing earlier in 2022, I was going to write a few words about this legend of the Australian music Industry.
This quiet achiever in an industry full of sycophants, where inflated egos don’t match their mediocrity.
There few gems I have encountered in “the industry” like Ed Yonker. He was one of the good ones. A hip cool cat with his leather jacket who, as a teenager, had seen the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Animals in Holland in 1963-65. At first, he was not that impressed by what he found in the Australian musical landscape when he migrated here.
Ed was of the one first attendees at Beatle Village on Oxford Street in Sydney. He used to catch the train, avoiding the bogans who wanted to fight a cool kid in what was the early days of the Bohemian inner-city music scene. He was often at the gigs by The Easybeats , The Creatures and The Missing Links.