Like the escapees from lockdown prison that they are, Melbourne’s Swedish Magazines are setting a frenzied course for New South Wales now the gates are again open, and will land at Marrickville Bowling Club on Friday, November 26 for their only Sydney show, presented by the I-94 Bar.
The reformed early 2000s high-energy outfit will be packing a new best of collection, ”I Wish Life Could Be…”, on LP and CD.
And lending a hand as special guests are the re-animated Leadfinger (poised to release their own new record very soon) and the psychedelic Sabbath-meets-Dictators crunch of Jupiter 5, hauling their own vinyl and CD single. Tickets are on sale here.
I Wish Life Could Be… - Swedish Magazines (Rubber Records)
Underground rock on Australia’s East Coast really needed a well-organised interstate exchange program in the 2000s.
Despite a smoothed-out Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney making long-haul road-trips safer and a flood of cheap airfares, the flow of bands between the two big smokes slowed, largely in part to Sydney’s declining number of live music venues.
After all, bands can’t do reciprocal deals to play in each other’s cities if one hometown has 20 venues and the other has four. If the balance had been more equitable and audiences less fragmented, it’s a fair bet that Melbourne’s Swedish Magazines would have household names across the nation in the mid-00s and not juist in Melbourne.
The emerging artistic genre de jour of 2020 will be iso-art. Some of it will be insightful, philosophical and impressive; over in the bargain bins of artistic creation, there will be tedium, self-indulgence and vacuous expressionism. When the world shuts down, and even incidental social intercourse is legally and morally restricted, art follows.
Van Walker’s new album isn’t iso-art per se, but it’s an album that resonates in a world characterised by isolation. Van, aided and abetted by his equally hirsute brother Cal, have been fixtures on the Melbourne music scene for around 15 years, since making the trip from regional Tasmania (itself a place of relative geographical and demographic isolation).