TOP TEN ALBUMS1 The Elevator Mood - The Elevator Mood (Bandcamp)2 Bag O’ Bones - The Reverse Cowgirls (Northern Cowboy)3 Neon Primitives - Band of Holy Joy (Tiny Global Productions)4 Dark Times - Doctors of Madness (Cargo Records UK)5 My War Is Your War - deux furieuses (Xtra Mile Recordings)6 Heightened Senses - The Cathode Ray (Stereogram Recordings)7 In Borrowed Shoes, On Borrowed Time - The Sweet Things (Spaghetty Town Records)8 More Guitars - Tom Rafferty (Bandcamp)9 Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak & the Viveiro Wave Riders (I-94 Bar)10 The Kidney Flowers - The Kidney Flowers (Bandcamp)
Gus Ironside is music editor for "Sogo" creative arts magazine and also contributes to "Louder Than War" (online and print), "Vive le Rock", "PennyBlackMusic" and "Is This Music?" He's based in Angus, Scotland.
Open Season - Mick Medew and The MesmerisersFirstly declaring an extreme bias and a conflict of interest with this one, Mick’s second offering from the Mesmerisers is even better than the last. The addition of ex-Tribesmen tub thumper Michael Charles has added muscularity to the band and they go from strength to strength. Some Sydney and Newcastle Birdman supports really won them some new fans. Brian Mann created a stunning sounding record. My fave album of the year.
Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave RidersAgain, another declaration as I’ve worked closely with Chris over the past thirty years. My second fave of the year… beaten by a short nose. Chris writes killer songs… plays guitar better than any player I have worked with and has a band so tight I couldn’t slide a fag paper between it. A great album, and it gave us a few wry smiles.The Festival of Sue (X, New Christs et al) The shock of Sue Telfer’s passing pulled together a stellar line up talent who delivered on an emotional night. There were some killer performances but my top two were the New Christs, whose emotion tinged performance left no doubt that they are a top echelon act… but man of the match for mine was Steve Lucas and X. It was a blinding performance, Steve sang and played better than I have heard the band in years, Kim Volkman & Geof Holmes snarled and snorted like a beast. The Barman and Tiffany Palmer did a great job getting it all together, and we raised a great sum of cash for Support Act. I’d like to think Sue would’ve approved.
CHRIS KLONDIKE MASUAK’S TOP SEVERAL OF 2020Guitarist, Viveiro Wave RidersEx-Radio Birdmnan, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen, New ChristsViveiro, Galicia, Spain
We were having fun at the start of 2020.
The Viveiro Wave Riders had already been hither and yon … around the country and up to Breizh (“Yec’hed mad!” with the emphasis on “mad”) when it all came to a shuddering halt.
Life abruptly became somewhat more complicated, confusing, and occasionally alarming, but that’s not to say it stopped being entertaining.
COVIDOUCHERYWe jumped on protocols pretty quick-smart over here in Spain, even as our hospitals became alarmingly overwhelmed and morgues literally over spilled.
We were heartened, encouraged, and edified by the sage advice that flooded social media from other apparently more civilised and informed countries.
We hardly even scratched our heads in wonder at their oblivious dawdling procrastination and general goldbricking, or as they gathered in teeming proliferation to demonstrate in support of their “rights” even as their “leaders” unequivocally let them know Just What The Priorities Actually Were.
New York City-based band Phantom Fifth (pictured right) has announced that Chris “Klondike” Masuak will be joining them for shows in California and New York in July.Phantom Fifth is from New York City and is comprised of expatriate Australian bassist Greg Delves (ex-Inner Sleeves, Radio Luxembourg), Irishman Colin McCarthy (drums) and US-born Paul Stinson (guitar, vocals.) Formed in 2015, the band bio says it "embraces the sonic sound and dark energy of Nick Cave, Joy Division, The Strokes and The Stooges. The Phantoms' sound is built around dark melodies, shimmering guitars, and propulsive bass lines, with lyrics about wolves, ghosts, murderous paramours, Italian discos, and other manifestations of love and madness".
Originally from California, where he co-founded the "punk Americana" band The Stripminers with members of X and The Donnas, Paul Stinson moved to Brooklyn in 2014 and quickly met up with power pop guru Delves and McCarthy (formerly of Amsterdam-based Belsonic Sound). The trio immediately began writing, recording and performing in and around NYC and have plans in the works for tours of both the UK and Australia. The band's debut EP is due out in the US Summer of 2016.
July 20 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall, San Francisco, CAJuly 22 – The Uptown Nightclub, Oakland, CAJuly 24 – The Viper Room, Hollywood, CAJuly 29 – The Bowery Electric, NYC
Phantom Fifth on the Web
Chris Masuak on the Web
Hello from the Dimboola farmhouse folks and has it been rocking here! The reason is that Chris “Klondike” Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders have released a rocking good album. Their second long player, “Address to the Nation”, is the follow-up to 2016’s “Brujita” and is pure guitar driven tracks from start to finish.
Myself, I think it’s a lot stronger than the first album - there is less pop and more grunt.Well, let’s start with any folks who are not savy to Klondike’s cv: RADIO BIRDMAN, HITMEN , THE NEW CHRISTS, JUKE SAVAGES, NORTH 40 and the wonderful SCREAMING TRIBESMEN. To name a few.
The year was 2010, Sydney-born Simon Chainsaw had been living in Brazil for about 10 years.
His local band S.C.H.K. (Simon Chainsaw & the Hippy Killers) had recently broken up. Now a free agent, he could take up opportunities to play in different territories.
He’d recently toured Brazil, Europe and Argentina and released “Fuck The Neighbours!” (cover versions of ‘70s Aussie Punk) and a proposal came in to play back in his home turf of Australia to promote the new disc.
He hooked up with three original ‘70s Aussie punks for the shows: Chris Masuak (Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen) on guitar, Murray Shepherd (Fun Things,Screaming Tribesmen, Hitmen and The Monarchs) on drums and Bob Short (from arguably Sydney’s first punk band Filthand later Dead Rabids) switching from customary guitar to bass.
The first autobiography from a Radio Birdman member is on its way. “Faith and Practice in Bedlam” is by the band's former guitarist Chris "Klondike" Masuak (Screaming Tribesmen, Hitmen, The Raouls, Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders, New Christs, Juke Savages, Klondike’s North 40) and is 4-6 weeks from release.
It’s on WestAustralian imprint High Voltage Publishingand the 280-page paperback is available here at the special pre-order price of $A24.95.
Says its editor (and I-94 Bar writer) Robert Brokenmouth: “When he decided to write about his life, Masuak found that his writing came in short, precise bursts, like songs.
“After a while, he realised that the order in which these stories should be read should not be chronological, but thematic.
“Also, he discovered that his life, as reflected here, formed a trajectory of self-discovery, with redemption peeping out from the wings. To allow us to dwell on that story of self-discovery, most real names have been disguised or omitted.”
1. Definitely at the top of the heap that was 2017, Jonathan Sequeira risked life, limb, and genuine sanity to bring us “Descent Into The Maelstrom”, a fiercely objective, no holds barred documentary about the shit storm that was Radio Birdman.
How he managed to convince that particular sack of snakes to agree to anything in the first place is a testimony to his considerable appreciation of the band’s legend, his heroic patience, and his nutsack-clenching resolve. A minor miracle, more so because it certainly wasn’t the puff piece that some characters clearly expected in their “imagining” of the bands tumultuous and antagonistic history!
Vindication for some, the trashing of decades of carefully cultivated bullshit for others, replete with many a “Holy crap!” moment.
A rollicking good story about a special band, time, and place in history!
I liked it!
Top 10 not in any order:
1) White Stripes –Vault #33 Icky Thump XThird Man Records Vault only release, 10 year anniversary edition. Includes a wacko coloured vinyl re-press of the double album plus two bonus albums containing all the non-album b-sides and the full demos housed in a way out box. The demos are furious ! Only released for a few months via Third Man Records. 2) Shy Impostors CD (maxi EP/mini album CD) Unleashed by those God-loving folks at Citadel Records. Seven demos recorded 1980 and now finally after a loving re-mix by Jason Blackwell sound truly fab. The songs, vocals and rough as guts musicianship by these proto legends are gold. Melodic and dirty.
3) Buffalo Revisited gig at Brewtality Festival in MelbourneIs it truly an honour for me after being a Buffalo fan since 1974 to be playing with their mighty vocalist Dave Tice with some fellow Buffalo maniacs (Troy and Marcus). And to be playing those great songs (a mind melt to learn btw). We hit our cosmic groove at the Brewtality Festival in Melbourne; more to come for sure.
This year was returning to my childhood and gromit years - teenage times as well as inner-city music, alternative and garage rock, beer-soaked pubs and the alternative. Namely the Beatles, Midnight Oil and Patti Smith.Patti Smith and Paul McCartney get the guernsey for the best gigs of the year. And for the same reasons. Both artists are incredible live and these final tours were a massive thank you to the fans…1 Macca at Suncorp Brisbane
Sir Paul delivered on all fronts. With the most thoughtful visual show and a hit every minute over those three hours and ten minutes, it ranged from pure, four-on-the-floor garage rock with guitars sonically attacking to more mellow stuff.
From “I Want To Be Your Lover” which would have made the Stones sound like a get-together at a nursing home to “Helter Skelter”, to the bombastic, “Live And Let Die” which inflamed the stadium, the cheesy “Mull of Kintyre” with a 25-piece pipe band, to the solo acoustic moments with “Blackbird”, this was gold. Macca’s voice, his insights, wit and humility, and his guitar playing were magnificent; 42 songs played. I won’t forget it a hurry.1 Patti Smith at the State Theatre and spoken word at Sydney Opera House
Another pair of gigs where Patti gave 300 percent. Patti engaged us with insights, stories and, as with Macca, showed a great deal of humility. The band, led by Lenny Kaye, at times still had the intensity of 1975 CBGBs Patti, yet with overtones of a grandmother and an earth mother.
Hmmm. What wondrous things have defined my year?
I suppose my prevailing sentiment has been one of simmering frustration and anger at a world more out of control and stupid than I can remember. Perhaps it’s always been this way and I’m only noticing it in my dotage.
Whatever the reason, I’m noticing that personal selfishness and cultural callousness are the new black and that I just haven’t been able to continue being my usual conciliatory self.
The Celebrity Roadie informs The Barman that he can't go out in public like that. As usual, he's ignored. Kyleigh Pitcher photo.
This is a Top Ten of two parts. First, live gigs, and second, albums. You know. Second part, different from the first.The rule of not reviewing my own gigs goes right out the door from the get-go. Got an issue with that? See you in the carpark...
Chris Masuak and the Sydney City Wave Riders:This was a sensational run of shows- a mini-tour in and around Sydney because that’s all that time allowed - by Klondike and his crack band of Tony Bambach (bass) and Stuart Wilson (drums). Great players, top blokes. Armed with a killer setlist drawing on most of Chris’s back catalogue, the guys fired from the get go. Many of the versions surpassed the originals with Maz playing two guitar parts, as few people can. The shows blew away much of the skullduggery and malakarey involved with certain ghosts from the recent past.
HITS at Marrickville BowloYou can’t keep playing the same old songs or you’ll get staid and there’s no sign of HITS doing that just yet. Members are now scattered the length of the East Coast so it can’t be easy getting together…or maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because it keeps things fresh. They continue to be THE Aussie band to follow.
The Celebrity Roadie Peter Ross attracts fans wherever he goes. Veteran road manager John Pearce (right) inspects his ponytail to make sure it's real.
The On and Ons @ almost everywhere – The Sydney power-pop phenomenon rolls on and gets ready to record a third album. Strong songs from singer/songwriter Glenn Morris and the pedigree of Clyde Bramley, Jon Roberts and Brian Morris make for irresistible pop. Welcome Aboard!Watch
The Flaming Hands @ Factory Theatre & Enmore – A couple of power packed shows from these '80s icons blew my mind. Julie Mostyn’s crack band of Radio Birdman’s Warwick Gilbert, Peter Bull and Barton Price brought a polished sheen to Jeff Sullivan and Julie’s songs. They should come back again… soon! Watch .
In no particular order...here's the best of 2016:"Brujita" - Chris Masuak and The Viveiro Wave RidersBest rock pop record of 2016 by a long way. Did I mention it’s on I-94 Bar Records and you can buy a copy here?
"Friday Night Heroes" - LeadfingerThe soulful Sydney-via-Wollongong rock and roll band par excellence just keeps getting better.
"Evolution" - Tamam ShudDamn, if this doesn’t rock I don’t know what does. Veterans from the beginning of time (well, birth of Australian surf-psychedelia) sound dirty and relevant at the same time. They deliver the goods live, too.
"Post Pop Depression" - Iggy PopHis best album since “New Values”. Big grooves and melodies with a sharp, Germanic essence, it’s proof that Iggy needs another talent to bounce off to deliver his best work.
“Diamond In The Forehead" - Garry Gray and The Sixth CircleThe album was killer and the short run of Sydney shows was just as good. Were you you? One day you might claim to have been. Nice people, to boot.
"Lost Cities" - Ed KuepperEd’s been an underrated treasure since finding his solo feet in the late ‘80s. This adds to the considerable body of work. An album of great songs with understated intensity.Kylie Pitcher photo
Chris Masuak’s musical history reads like a muscle car ride through the mean streets of Australia’s rock and roll underground, but appearances Down Under have been few and far between since he relocated to Spain. Masuak is about to right that wrong with a handful of select shows in NSW in March and April, his first in four years.
Riding the best reviews of this solo career with his album “Brujita”, recorded in Spain, the ex-Radio Birdman guitarist will play a handful of selected Aussie dates with a hand-picked Australian band, The Harbour City Wave Riders, featuring Tony Bambach (Lime Spiders) on bass and Stuart Wilson (New Christs, Loose Pills) on drums.
Catch Chris Masuak (ex-Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen and the New Christs among others) on Monday Evening Gunk at 7:30pm Sydney time on November 2 on the MoshPit Facebook. Klondike will be interviewed by Bob Short (Filth, Dead Rabids) and Tiffany Palmer (Sydney Rock and Roll Markets) before ripping into a live set with his band The Viveiro Wave Riders.
"Address to the Nation" on our own I-94 Bar Records is the latest album from Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders. If we do say so ourselves, it's the equal-best Australian release this year (the other being "Open Season" by labelmates Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers.) .
After a series of requests from fans, we decided to ask Chris Masuak to take us through the album track-by-track. Here it is in Klondike's own insightful words:
Chris Masuak is embarking on his first French tour in three years in January 2018 with a new band, Chris Masuak’s Dog Soldier.
Masuak carries one of rock 'n’ roll’s proudest pedigrees, his musical history reading like a “Who’s Who” of the Australian underground, so he should need no introduction around here.
The Canadian born Masuak first achieved notoriety as the teenage guitarist for legendary Radio Birdman, the torch-bearers of punk rock in Australia.
He subsequently went on to form The Hitmen, played in the New Christs and the Screaming Tribesmen and now lives in Spain where he plays and tours regularly.
Dog Soldier celebrates and preserves that proud tradition, with members from Europe’s underground and cult elite.
Bruno Mondo, bass player from The TV Men, Gunners, Trotskids and The Outside, is a veteran of France’s punk rock scene. Juan Martinez El Karaq is the drummer, from Spain’s hardcore elite and Masuak's power-punk trio, Viveiro Wave Riders.
JANUARY10 - Paris/Montreuil - Armony Live11 - Le Havre - L’Escale12 - Brest - Le Ptit Minou13 - Rennes - Mondo Bizarro14 - Vannes - Jam Session15 - Rennes - Ty Anna Tavarn
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