hitmen - The I-94 Bar

A Date With Some Vampires or a Dark Surprise? Masuak joins Phantom Fifth for US mini-tour

phantom fifthNew 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, CA
July 22 – The Uptown Nightclub, Oakland, CA
July 24 – The Viper Room, Hollywood, CA
July 29 – The Bowery Electric, NYC

Phantom Fifth on the Web

Chris Masuak on the Web

 

Address to the Nation – Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders (I-94 Bar)

address to the nation smHello 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.

All-star Simon Chainsaw recording exhumed

powderkeg excelsiorThe 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.

At last, a Bird-book, and it's been penned by Klondike

chris bookThe 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.”

BARFLY TOP TEN: I-94 Bar writer Edwin Garland

edwin top ten 2017This 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.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Viveiro Wave Riders and ex-Radio Birdman and Hitmen guitarist Chris Klondike Masuak

maz 2018

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.

Brujita - Chris Masuak & The Viveiro Wave Riders (I-94 Bar Records)

brujita smIt’s difficult to believe that Chris Masuak is only in the second half of his 50’s when you examine his output. It’s been a diverse and solid career, spanning almost four decades.

He was in his late teens when he joined Radio Birdman. He was half of the sound of the “twin-guitar attack” that assaulted Sydney with its array of proto-punk influences, to forever stake Birdman a claim as one of the most influential bands the city has produced.

Then there were the post-Birdman bands. The Hitmen never had the songs, in my opinion, but they always delivered as a live act. Masuak’s guitar playing was the stand-out.  Chris was still in his early 20’s and still forging his own style. It lay somewhere between the technical brilliance of Mountain and the pop-rock sensibility of The Dictators.

Brujita by Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders Association

Chris Masuak (Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen) has a new music video live and it's a taster for a forthcoming album, currently in production with his Spanish band, The Viveiro Wave Riders Associaiton. Here it is in all its stark glory, showcasing the "dead centre" of Klondike's adopted home town of Viveiro, in northern Spain.

Chris Masuak gets some Gunk on this Monday

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

French label launches exclusive Singles Club

pitsharkMighty little French label Pitshark continues to punch above its weight. Not content with issuing exclusive vinyl releases from the likes of the Stooges, Radio Birdman and the New Christs, it’s about to launch a Singles Club with a year’s worth of 7” records in bi-monthly waves.

Go Out Tonight b/w F4 - The Professors (Buttercup Records)

go out tonightWhat did your Sydney sound like in 1978? The Professors did their best to define it for their own tight coterie of followers after Radio Birdman left for Europe to seek world domination, by sounding like this. 

Graduates of the infamous Oxford Funhouse, they took their lead from its most notable tenants bysetting up their own venue at The Royal Oak pub in Chippendale, They adopted their name from Chris Bailey's nickname for their singer - and the Saints repaid them with some namedropping in "KNow Your Product." The rest is history aka some photos and a caption in a Clinton Walker book

These two songs are from a demo tape that was exhumed by singer Stephen Vineberg and spruced up by engineer Barry McGuirk just a year ago. It’s been packaged in a gatefold cover by the folks at Buttercup and issued in a range of colours. Just as you’d expect. 

Klondike and The Outside announce French tour

the outside tourChris Masuak is back on the road with his Anglo-French-Spanish band The Outside in France in February.

The Outside features Gregory J Bowen, expat Australian, on guitar, Juan Martinez El Kara on drums and French bassist Bruno Mondo. As the tour billing says, this will be the last time. Watch chrismasuak.netfor updates. 

FEB
13 - L'Armony, Montreuil
14 - Piano Bleu Saint Brieuc
15 - Le Galion, Lorient
17 - Mondo Bizarro, Rennes (with Supersuckers)
18 - - Nantes, La Cour

 

Klondike launches B side flimclip

Our favourite Canadian-born guitarist, Chris Masuak of Radio Birdman/Screaming Tribesmen/Hitmen fame, has a cheap and cheerful film clip doing the rounds online for the B side of his "Another Lost Weekend" single on Spanish label New H. Here's "Animal".

  /div>

Klondike salutes Detroit's Destroy All Monsters diva Niagara

 

 

Chris Masuak has a new film clip to accompany his brand new CD album, “Brujita” and you’re watching its world debut. Produced by Jonathan Sequiera of Cheap Music Videos, “Niagara” is an ode to the Detroit diva, artist and singer of Destroy All Monsters and Dark Carnival fame, Niagara Detroit.

If you’re in Australia you can score a copy of the album at Redeye Records and Utopia in Sydney or Off The Hip in Melbourne. You can buy a physical copy and/or a download at Bandcamp. Don't be a Birdbrain. Do it now!

New Chris Masuak album ready to drop

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. 

Pursuing redemption as a hornet's nest is kicked

chris bookFaith and Practice in Bedlam
By 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.

She Loves You But You're Dead: Niagara Detroit in Profile

niagar chesshire
Rick Chesshire cartoon

January 27, 2008 - If the impending (2008) return to live performance by premier Detroit art-punk chanteuse Niagara isn't enough to get you excited, you're browsing the wrong website or you're a cadaver.

Take a trip back to 1980 with Room 101

room 101 single cvrConcrete Box b/w Crazy For You – Room 101 (Lost in Pyrmont Records)

This particular Room 101 were the first band to use the name that I'm aware of; there is now a chat show (dear God), a band from Lansing (Michigan) and a post-hip-hop outfit from Nuh Zuhlund, which explains why this band's bandcamp addy is https://room1011.bandcamp.com/

"Concrete Box" is a slice of simple, socially-observant venom articulately snapped out, with zipping twin guitars in sharp sync with bass and drums, with a lyrical trajectory perfect for the physically active lead singer. Granted the pop world had moved on somewhat from guitars (so the industry thought at the time)  but the crowds in Sydney thronged to hammering bands like Room 101. Given some of the rather woeful "punker" type bands which appeared each Sunday night on 'Countdown', Room 101 would've cheered you up no end. 

The 31st - The 31st (LCMR)

the 31stCopies of these four songs have been circulating for years and two have surfaced on compilations. The balance were re-recorded by members’ subsequent bands. But don’t kid yourself that you don’t need this vinyl only 12-inch EP.

The 31st started when future members of Died Pretty (Ron Peno and Chris Welsh), the Screaming Tribesmen (MIck Medew) and the Hitmen/New Christs/Screaming Tribesmen (Tony Robertson) started playing shows in a strip club and anywhere else that would have them. Evidently, they played no one style of music - which must have been confusing for the Brisbane punks, boogie-heads and blues fans to pin a tail on.

The 31st were a future supergroup before those things were called that in Australia. They kicked around the undergrowth of Brisbane’s downtrodden music scene in the early 1980s, and fell to pieces before anyone outside of it saw or heard them.

Future Hoodoo Guru Brad Shepherd was to briefly become a member although he's not on these recordings. 

The Straight Path - Chris Klondike Masuak & The North 40 (I-94 Bar Records)

kn40 front smCanadian-expat Aussie Chris “Klondike” Masuak’s the kind of guy who likes to put pictures of his guitars (Strat! Robin! Perspex Dan Armstrong! Firebird!) on his records (like his pal Deniz Tek did on his back-from-the-Navy career restarter “Take It to the Vertical:). One gets the sense that Klondike’s the kind of cat who just purely loves to play, and is as much of a fan as a muso.

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