Once 1999 clicked into 2000, I struggled to recall one year from the next. What I do know is LCMR (Late Century Modern Recordings) released a blue vinyl version of Razar’s "Stamp Out Disco" 7” and (unsurprisingly) it popped up on various selling sites like mushrooms as the 100 pressed had all sold just after lunch on Record Store Day.
Our label also released one of the weirdest pop records to come out of Brisbane by Sneaky Radio. A week or so after the release, Ross Lovell (the man behind the moniker) phoned me to ask how many copies we’d sold. I said about 40. He quickly replied without a second’s thought and said in his soft, inimitable voice: “That’s 40 more than what I did!” Needless to say, if you like outsider music, may I recommend it to you.
It goes without saying that I thought The Aints! most recent tour on the back of their "Church of Simultaneous Existence" was exceptional. Audiences in Brisbane were treated to solo set of mostly tunes from his last (and some say final) solo album "Lost Cities" followed by a set of Saints tunes, topped off by the new Aints! LP in full and a long encore - with my maths suggesting a sonic extravaganza of about three hours.
Greg Atkinson of Ups and Downs.
"Shake Yer Popboomerang 3" Sydney LaunchUps and DownsHalfwayThe Aerial MapsMarrickville Bowling ClubFriday February 29, 2020Photos by Mark Fraser of Redback Rock
This isn’t going to be one of those reviews where someone walks you through a song-by-song recreation of the gig. For starters, I’ve seen Aerial Maps once, Halfway never, and Ups and Downs twice. None of them are really big on song introductions either. So I have no idea what any of the tunes were called, besides a couple from the headliners.
I guess a dedicated reviewer would have gone and had a squiz at the set lists, or maybe bailed up a hapless band member, but to be honest I was too busy drinking with a dear friend I hadn’t seen in ages to worry about that. So it’s going to be more about the vibe, man, and a few observations I jotted down in a notebook.
Founding member of Little Lovers, Wintah Thompson was dragged around every decent ‘90s music festival with Glenn Thompson, who in addition to being known as Wintah’s dad was also a member of iconic Australian bands Custard, The Titanics and The Go-Betweens.
Over the years, Wintah’s parents would encourage him to pursue a career in finance, or at the very least seek a life of reliable employment. Instead, he started a band.
Little Lovers proceeded to cut their teeth in the sunny backyards of Brisbane. They released their debut, self-titled, E.P. which shot to number-one on Australian independent charts. The track “Red Devil” became a Brisbane favourite and was regularly played on local radio and in Brisbane’s indie clubs. A bunch of shows and supports followed before it was time to relocate and reform in Sydney.
After well over a decade, two cities, two drummers, 489 bassists and hundreds of gigs, both big and small, Little Lovers have finally released their debut album “Golden Decade”.
Wintah Thompson’s songwriting isn’t nationalistic, but – just like The Go-Betweens, Smudge, Sunnyboys or Custard – you couldn’t imagine it coming from anywhere but Australia.
“Golden Decade” was recorded across Sydney with sessions in an old Australian naval base with Tim Kevin and in the industrial backstreets of the Inner West in Marrickville with Glenn Thompson. It launches at The Union Hotel in Newtown on October 6 with support from Dick Pix. You can hear the single “June” here and find out more at the Mere Noise Records website.
Half Deaf, Completely Mad: The Chaotic Genius of Australia’s Most Legendary ProducerBy Tony Cohen with John Olson(Black Ink)
“Unputdownable” is a word and it officially entered the English lexicon in 1947. That’s a full decade before Tony Cohen came into the world, but the descriptor could have been custom-built for “Half Deaf, Completely Mad”, his posthumous autobiography.
This is a tale of hyper-energy and off-the-wall sonic experimentation cleverly disguised as a 230-page paperback. It’s a weaving, sometimes wobbling story told through Cohen’s often bloodshot or pinned eyes, with dry wit and self-deprecation.
People who worked with the man and saw his excesses first-hand might question his ability to recall fine detail, but in the same manner that Tony would feverishly splice three-inch tape to insert a crucial edit, his co-writer John Olson stitched the bits together.
Not familiar with Tony Cohen’s work? The music he produced was the soundtrack of the life of anyone into Australian underground music in the 1980s and ‘90s. The Boys Next Door, the Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Michael Hutchence, The Johnnys, Beasts of Bourbon, Go-Betweens, Hunters and Collectors, Kim Salmon, Laughing Clowns, The Cruel Sea, The Saints, X, TISM…the list goes on. Flick through your own record collection and get back to me.
Tommy is, of course, that double LP rock opera what the ‘Oo done, back in 1969.
Pete Townsend was a powerhouse of creativity and, since he didn’t own an opera company or a film company, we can say he made a pretty impressive stab at both over the four sides of vinyl back in the day. Streets ahead of the competition by a forward-looking rock band, Tommy rebooted the Who back into the limelight…and you know the rest, I’m sure.
There’s been an opera version, a musical adaptation, a film, and there’s been several reissues, including a Super Deluxe Edition. And now…this…extraordinary, louche, beautiful, moving interpretation of a record which is well and truly in I-94 Bar reader terrain.