magic dirt - The I-94 Bar
Spencer P Jones is a legend of the Australian music scene.
Spencer P Jones is a damn fine axeman.
Spencer P Jones is loved by all the countless bandmates, scattered across the globe.
Spencer P Jones is a mighty fine songwriter.
Spencer P Jones is loved by all his mates, full stop.
Spencer P Jones is also really unwell.
That's why his mates have gotten together in Melbourne to help him.
It’s being lauded as a definitive word on the this was geelong. Geelong rock and roll scene. It’s a 680-page book called “Bored! This Was Geelong” and one of the fertile breeding ground’s offspring is making sure they mark its release with a bang.
Warped is releasing a seven-track batch of compilation-only and live tracks called “Precocious Little Bastards”. You can see them both if you drag your mouse over the image at right.
But frst things first. The book is out now and the first 500 copies comes with two limited edition 45s featuring Bored!, White Noise and Seminal Rats. It’s selling here. It ain't cheap ($A225) but it looks incredible. For detailed information about the contents, hook up with the publishers on Facebook here.
Warped formed in 1990 as “three teenagers armed with three chords and no fear”, taking to the stage of the Eureka Hotel in Geelong to support The Dirty Loversand Bored!. Beer cans flew, obscenities were flung and a beast was born.
Thirty years on and the band are still going strong, a force in the rock landscape of Australia.
The first line-up, featuring Lightning Watkins on guitar, Cris Crime on drums and Darren “Dez” Dare on bass, laid the groundwork for the decades to come, worshipping at the altar of cheap pedals, noisy rock and one-up-manship on stage.Partial to destroying gear and the occasional Humphrey B Bear chair, they stormed through supports with the likes of Hard-ons, Bored!, Celibate Rifles, 5678s, Dead Moon and Fugazi.
In 1992 Darren parted ways with the band and formed Toadwith Daveand Buzzfrom Bored! and Thee Vinyl Creatures. Ben and Cris have continued on to tour extensively and release many records. “Precocious Little Bastards” is available in digital form here.
Raul in River of Snakes. Uncredited Facebook photo.
“I talk to a lot of people and musicians in rock’n’roll and they have a real resistance to it. ‘Why do you want to do that?’” laughs Raul Sanchez.
The object of Sanchez’s peers’ derision is his recently awakened interest and understanding in music theory – at first glance, anathema to the three-chord rock’n’roll style he’s explored and exploited as guitarist in Magic Dirt, Midnight Woolf and River of Snakes.
“Learning music theory blew my mind. I’ve known major and minor chords, but I’ve never really knew how they came from, how they worked, how they interacted, functional harmony, things like that. I just wondered ‘How the hell did we get by all those years writing songs without knowing this shit!’ You just grab that and that and say ‘Yeah, that sounds good’.”
Sleight of Hand – River of Snakes (self released)
The fuzz pedal is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century - and Melbourne’s River of Snakes sound like they have shares in it. Let’s hope that canny investment buys the three members a mansion each in the exotic locations of their choice.
The band has been around for a decade. The commercial music world may have moved in a wholly different direction since then, but their sound has stayed firmly rooted in the share-house, college radio universe of the ‘90s…a time when guitars were king and punk - or whatever you wanted to call it - briefly looked like it might drive a stake through the heart of blandness. Of course, that ridiculous but romantic notion was not to be…