Monday, 21 August 2017

Suburban Lawns

The nostalgia for ye olde sharity blogs continues. I found the debut Suburban Lawns LP 10 years ago on a blog I used to frequent often but can't remember the name of now, I'm sure you can probably track down an mp3 or maybe it's been reissued since then.

Singer Su Tissue is an enigma with quite a fanboy following on the interweb. The discussions usually talk about whether she is autistic or just an art school hipster and speculation as to what she is doing doing now. Her online presence is nil so this all adds to the mystery.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Ariel Pink - Feels Like Heaven

This washed away all the dark and negative vibes in my life today. Like when you loved a pop song when you were little. It's all about the 3 and a half minutes of bliss. Then you can play it again. The verses are a bit Morrissey-esque doncha think?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Upper Astral - Crystal Cave - Back To Atlantis

Here's some more Upper Astral. This is the A-side and fucking amazement, even my dog loves it! and he hates most new age usually because it has rain or thunder in it. Weirdly, this track occasionally dips into a little bit of darkness. So it's not all euphoric vistas that we think of as new age today. These were the early days of new age though. Skybirds and Journey To The Edge Of The Universe are the other two Upper Astral tapes that I would highly recommend. I'm sure I first heard those due to the Crystal Vibrations blog. New Age was never a bad word in my world though, as my brother introduced me to some stuff when I was in my teens. There used to be a new age shop in every second Melbourne suburb in the early 90s as I recall. It was usually a creepy vibe in those shops. I hated all the other shit apart from the music though. Now I think I wish I'd bought some of the art, really? no not really. Maybe there are still some of these shops out there? I wouldn't know, I live in the middle of nowhere these days.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Anna Själv Tredje - Tussilago Fanfara

Discovered this vintage cosmic synth LP from Swedish duo Anna Sjalv Tredje the other day. Here it is in full on youtube. Tussilago Fanfara was released in 1977 on Silence, the legendary Swedish label. Berlin school electronics for the most part. The second track is tres spooky with its sinister whispers, foreboding washes of sound and black night tones of gloom. The final tune changes it up a bit with a Cluster/Ashra style jam. An underrated gem.


new age

This is the only part of Channel For The Light on the youtubes and the best bit isn't on it!

I've discovered a few new age related things on the interwebs since that post where I mentioned the Crystal Vibrations blog. Hidden Valley has been keeping the scented candle burning for old new age tapes on the blogosphere since CV became inactive in 2012. This dude is obsessed with the legendary Californian label Valley Of The Sun. Many of that label's classic catalogue of 80s tapes have been posted there, a couple of which i've not heard.

For those who need more there's a whole bunch of new agey stuff at the Sounds Of The Dawn blog too.

Upper Astral had an incredible run of tapes from 1981-1983.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Twin Peaks: The Songs So Far...

So nearly every episode of the new season of Twin Peaks has featured a song played live in the Bang Bang bar for the final credits sequence. Chromatics paid ethereal homage to Julee Cruise at the end of the first or second episode. The only other time I've heard this group was on the Drive soundtrack a couple of years ago. The tune in that film was pretty ordinary but Shadow's got a perfect vibe for Twin Peaks. When that synth swells up it gets very very lovely.

I've skipped ahead to episode 4 because the band at the end of episode 3 were fucking awful - the music and their hair! Anyway at the end of the 4th episode were Au Revoir Simone with Lark, which I really enjoyed. Is this the worst band name in the history? This group's been around for like 15 years. Can't quite put my finger on what is magic about this tune, just a beautiful classic melody I suppose. The keyboard player on the right is the star of the band with her Addicted To Love schtick.

I would never bother listening to Sharon Van Etten but Lynch made me sit through this slowcore country folk tune and I gotta say it was the best thing about episode six. That might not be saying much though as this instalment was the fucking pits and made me stop watching the new season for a month. I was later advised to keep checking out the new episodes which I eventually did.

A second appearance for this badly named synth trio. Like if 80s indie pop was informed by Stereolab and Broadcast. Backwards not possible pop.  Another lovely tune.

This is the lady who sang a Spanish a cappella version of Crying in Mulholland Drive which was amazing. This is a good vocal performance too if not quite as mind-blowing. Moby, who once sampled the original Twin Peaks soundtrack on his smash hit Go, is playing guitar with Rebekah Del Rio here at the end of tonight's episode.

*I've left out a couple of performances ie. NIN, Hudson Mowhawke etc. as they were underwhelming.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Great LP Covers II - Scientist

These first 3 got my vote as I actually own the albums but the bottom 3, which I've just discovered at discogs, are also the fabulous. There are some other great Scientist records like the Dub Landing series but those covers are not so great.

This put me in mind of an old comic from Britain Tiger & Scorcher. My older brother used to read it in the 70s. I remember it had motor racing, stunt men, wrestling, soccer and maybe it had boxing too. Cricket? Dunno...if only they'd invent a machine where I could instantly research such things.

This one might actually be the best of the lot. I wish I was at that contest! Just quietly I reckon Scientist would have won.

*Great LP Covers Part I

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Quiet Evenings - Transcending Spheres

After that previous post about Not Not Fun I had a chuckle to myself and thought 'What am I going to do next check out the new releases on Digitalis or Hooker Vision?' These labels covered the scene(s) of many names hypnagogia, glow fi, tropical, neo-kosmiche, altered zones, nu age noise etc. I had a little look on the intewebs only to find Hooker Vision ceased operations in 2014 and Digitalis seems to have perhaps closed its doors around the same time. So I won't be doing a post featuring 2017 releases from those labels. Maybe I need to check out Gift Tapes, Pizza Night, Taped Sounds, Olde English Spelling Bee or Catholic Tapes. Those labels probably don't exist either. I reckon 6 years is the perfect amount of time for a label to exist anyway. Don't hang around too long to become boring. Imagine if Flying Nun or Ghostbox halted after that amount of time, they would have been perfect.

From the ye olde Hooker Vision blog

Anyway I did discover an old album by Quiet Evenings from 2011. Quiet Evenings contain the husband and wife team, Grant and Rachael Evans, who also ran the Hooker Vision label. Rachael's other musical project is the fab Motion Sickness Of Time Travel and her husband was in Nova Scotian Arms, Crippling and a whole bunch of others. Transcending Spheres turns out to be a lost classic that funnily wasn't released on any of the aforementioned labels. It's here at bandcamp though. Synths drift and hover, beats remain discreet and guitars even appear amongst the narcotic glaze. It's dark, it's haunting and it's sublime.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

On the Hi-Fi in July - Not Not Fun

I really don't recall how I ended up here but I'm glad I did even though it's probably not very cool. I can't remember the last Not Not Fun album I bought. It was a couple of years ago at least, that Rangers Reconsider Lounge record maybe. Tonight somehow I had arrived at the label's bandcamp site and ended up coming away with three of their 2017 releases. There was a time when everything they released was really bloody good. I perceived that they had reached some kind of peak around 2010/2011 with a gradual drop off of choice releases in the following years. After listening to these recordings tonight though, perhaps we were a bit hasty in our move away from this great label. Or maybe I'm on a hypnagogic nostalgia trip. Either way it doesn't matter to me, I really enjoyed all of these albums. So with a little help from your friends go ahead and check these out.

Video Salon - Video Salon
Video Salon's haunting drones and shimmering vocals are delightfully mesmerising. This is seductive classic stuff. Brian Pyle (Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique) and Galya Chikiss are the duo Video Salon.

Iguana Moonlight - Wild Palms
A synth voyage into the tropical hot dog night. Lovely sonic sketches of solitude by the seaside. These sounds match that cover art perfectly.

Robedoor - New Age Sewage
While we're still in drone territory here, this is much darker and turbulent than the above two releases. New Age Sewage is amorphous psych drone noise on an epic scale. I'm kinda amazed by this actually. I was not expecting to like this so much. By far the best Robedoor thing I've ever heard.

Canada Effervescent - Crystalline
This is retro new age. Crystalline sounds like a tape from the 80s heyday with it's faux harp, piano and environmental sounds amidst the gentle ripples of the cosmic lite synth and other new age accoutrements. This is perfect sleepy time music. I feel calmer already. Nice.

Does anyone remember the great blog Crystal Vibrations? One of my favourite blogs of all time, I wish he still did it. Crystalline reminds me of the many great new age tapes that were posted there.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Shango Dance Band - Position Pass Power


Deep in a rabbit hole on the youtubes last night I discovered this lost gem of psych tinged afrobeat from the early 70s. Some of these dudes were from Fela Kuti's 60s group Koola Lobitos. Position Pass Power is on the Shango Dance Band LP which was reissued last year.

I'm amazed that there is any undiscovered stuff from 70s Nigeria left after the massive excavation of the last 20 years. They made a hell of lot of great music in those parts during that era. I still haven't got around to listening to Now Again's Ten years in the making 4 LP compilation from 2016 Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock 1972-77. I thought that was probably going to be the epic final chapter in Nigerian 70s archival sets but maybe not. Let's hope the gems continue to be unearthed.

Monday, 3 July 2017

TV Movie Of The Week

I was aware of some 80s and 90s tv movies from America thanks to HSV7's The Midday Movie in Melbourne hosted by the late Ivan Hutchinson. To be honest I reckon Duel was the only 70s one I'd ever seen or at least remembered until recently. After checking out a lot of 70s British telly lately I decided it was time to investigate the American tele-movie of the 70s. The history of American made for tv movies is fascinating. In the 70s these films were big events that would get astronomical ratings figures. Then there's also this whole feminist angle of it as well with a lot of these movies being primarily targeted at ladies in the 18 - 49 demographic. These movies were often female driven with strong ensemble casts of women.

Amanda Reyes was instrumental in me undertaking this exploration. She is an American tv movie expert who originally came to my attention last year via the podcast world. She has featured as a guest on The Hysteria Continues and Supporting Characters but she has her very own podcast Made For TV Mayhem. Reyes has recently published the book Are You In The House Alone? Growing Up With Gargoyles, Giant Turtles, Valerie Harper, The Cold War, Stephen King & Co-Ed Call Girls: A Tv Movie Compendium 1964-1999. I keep hearing her pop up as a guest on different casts of pod promoting this book. Reyes is the most unpretentious academic I've ever heard. Her passion for tv movies knows no bounds plus she's incredibly knowledgable and articulate on the subject. Heaps of people know lots of stuff out there on the interwebs but most of them are really really fucking boring or are just plain horrible. Amanda however is a star with her infectious sense of humour and amiable personality.

Spoiler Alert! 4 From THE MADE FOR TV MOVIES Cannon

Night Terror aka Night Drive (1977)
Wow this was a great entry point into the genre. Valerie Harper plays Carol a meek housewife who is chased in her car across country by a psychopathic cop killer. The killer has no vocal cords and has one of those portable voice box devices that you put up to your neck when you need to talk. It rains a lot. Strange stuff happens on this harrowing journey. Night Terror's got creeps in petrol stations, weird drunk people etc. After an exhausting night on the road Carol reaches full transformation in order to survive the killer's last ditch attempts to eradicate her.

All movies should be car chases at night in monsoon like conditions!

Reflections Of Murder (1974)
I couldn't believe how good this one was either. I haven't heard Amanda talk about it but I'm sure she'd love it. It's set in a boarding school on an Island near Seattle. Three of its teachers are involved in a love triangle that goes awry more than once. Rainy atmosphere with lots of rain, actually come to think of it water is a ubiquitous motif here. There's a drowning in a bathtub, a body in a skanky swimming pool, a ferry ride etc. The main dude in this is Jack McCoy from Law &'s Sam Waterston. Reflections Of Murder comes with a twist.

The Victim (1972)
Elizabeth Montgomery is an icon of made for tv movies. Here she stars as Kate the sister of a missing person. A storm has has trapped her at her sister's strange overly furnished mansion. Where is her sister? Is she dead? Why is the maid so creepy? What's in the hamper? What's with the lying husband of missing sister? The power has gone off and the phone line is dead. It's raining a lot. Where's the dog? Will Kate survive the night?

Trilogy Of Terror (1975)
Karen Black stars in this famous telly movie anthology. We've got three separate stories here and Black plays different characters in each. The first segment where she plays Julie a college professor who is coerced into a sexual relationship by a student is very unsettling.

The most famous segment is the third one where Black's character Amelia is terrorised by a Zuni Fetish Doll that comes to life while she's on the phone to her mum. After a very entertaining battle Amelia eventually overcomes the crazy doll or does she? No rain in this as far as I can recall but there was satanic wallpaper. Trilogy of Terror tips into the comedy horror category.

Anthony White - Block Party


More funky 12" mix gold from Walter Gibbons. How bout those high-hats and that cow bell? 

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Loleatta Holloway - Hit & Run 12" Remix


Gibbons this time does a proper remix as opposed to the cut & paste of 10 Percent. Mmm mm....that fuzz guitar is soo good. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Double Exposure - Ten Percent


According to Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, Peter Shapiro's excellent 2005 book, this was the first disco mix released commercially on a 12". Walter Gibbons was to go from strength to strength in the remix department. Ten Percent was an auspicious start.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Ariel Pink - Another Weekend

2017 just got a whole lot better. Ariel Pink has a new album Dedicated To Bobby Jameson due out in a couple of months. Something to look forward to.

Love the artwork. If you wanna know who Bobby Jameson was check out his blog. AP loves his LA mythology. It's a wonder Ariel didn't try and get him to do something for Pom Pom? Jameson would have fitted right in with Pom Pom's maverick LA contributors Don Bolles and Kim Fowley.

This video's from a couple of months ago. Tears On Fire is not on the new record, it was on the Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood collab EP Myths 002 which was released in January and I totally missed it. 

Classic tune from his great Pom Pom (2014) LP. Never seen this video until today and it's amazing. I know I'm not paying attention but whatever. One of the best videos of the century so far. It makes me wanna drink cheep beer, have a ciggy and be weird.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ye Olde BBC Horror

While music hasn't exactly been floating my boat lately I've been getting into some small screen classics. It all started a while back when Simon Reynolds alerted me to Robin Redbreast. Robin Redbreast is a BBC Play For Today from 1970. This 76 minute telly film has been loosely aligned to the faux genre Folk Horror in recent years.

Folk Horror seems to have been coined by serious film people a few years after the hauntologists had been excavating the same area. So cult pieces of the hauntological puzzle have been thrown into this so called sub-genre ie. The Wicker Man (1973), Witchfinder General (1968) and Blood On Satan's Claw (1971). Then there's the tv side of things including the many MR James adaptations, Nigel Kneale telly scripts and a handful of Plays For Today including A Photograph (1977), Penda's Fen (1974) and Red Shift (1978). The hauntology taste makers also love their public information films, weird children's telly, sci-fi, recent televisual drama and much much more though.

The following 3 short pieces of television are distinguished and totally unforgettable. These horror stories are all about sinister landscapes, unsettling pagan undercurrents, malevolent spirits and oppressive rural atmospheres.

Robin Redbreast (Play For Today, 1970)
Nuts In May and Abigail's Party are two BBC Plays For Today that have been long time favorites but I must admit I had not seen Robin Redbreast until recently. Hey there's only another 300 Plays for Today to catch up on (well whichever ones still exist). I couldn't believe how good this was for such an obscure film....I know the BFI released it on dvd 5 years ago but still.....

Norah a thirty something feminist city slicker heads to a remote cottage for a taste of bucolica after a relationship break up. Things are not what they initially seem though. Before long the idyllic country life starts starts to close in on Norah to a frighteningly claustrophobic degree. Her encounters with the local villagers become increasingly more creepy and detrimental to her well being. Robin Redbreast has been described as sitting somewhere between Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man thematically, who am I to disagree.

The Exorcism (Dead Of Night, 1972)
The Exorcism is a play written and directed by Don Taylor that was included as part of the Dead Of Night anthology on BBC2.

A middle class couple who have just moved to the country invite their friends to Xmas dinner at their newly renovated cottage. It starts to get seriously freaky when the electricity blacks out, the wine tastes like blood and darkness becomes absolute. This play is an odd mash up of horror and political diatribe. It's definitely a product of its time, the horror is great but the didactic socialist message is heavy handed and embarrassing.

Whistle And I'll Come To You (Omnibus, 1968)
This is probably the most famous piece of film based on a MR James story. It's a tale of a bizarre and solitary academic. This aging professor's eccentricities have made him an awkward man. Professor Parkin goes on a seaside a holiday in the off season, staying in an isolated hotel where there are very few other guests. On a walk Parkin finds himself in a graveyard where he discovers a ye olde whistle. Blowing the whistle sets off an uncanny chain of events that leave Parkin a terrified mess.

Michael Hordern's remarkable acting performance as Professor Parkin make this one of the most memorable pieces of telly I have ever seen.

*Coming up next: American tv movies from the 70s

Friday, 16 June 2017

Disengaged in 2017

Honestly I think Ghost Of Hope by The Residents and Texas Rock Bottom from Rangers are the only 2017 albums that I've listened to. I haven't listened to one new dance tune, rap ditty or top 40 pop song. LPs I would have normally checked out from the likes of Gas, Shinichi Atobe, Actress, Sun Araw, Mark McGuire, IX-Tab, Children Of Alice, Lo Five, Omar Souleyman, Future, Migos, Arca, William Basinski, Second Woman etc. remain unplayed and unheard. I never listen to the radio and I no longer have a cable music channel so I don't know any new artists or pop stars. I no longer buy or read magazines. I hardly read the interweb music suff either. I've stopped reading my Boomkat (an online music shop) e-mails, I used to really like whoever wrote their copy despite it being advertising. The Feelies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Ride, Royal Trux and St. Etienne have all reformed and recorded new records in 2017 apparently. Why don't I want to listen to any of this stuff?

This time I can't blame it on the music because I haven't heard any of it. I can't make stupid blanket statements like '2017 sucks' or 'This is the worst year in music since....' I'm afraid this disinterest is probably all about me. Is it age, depression or ennui? I don't know. Is it that the last few years in music have been so disappointing that I've had enough and am not willing to put in the effort and time for such little reward. I haven't listened to much old music either though, just what I've previously mentioned on the blog. So perhaps its choice paralysis. Has my blog become redundant? It was primarily set up to discuss music. If I'm not listening to any music is there a point? Maybe I need to start reading music magazines again.....and er....listening to music again. Both of those things are hard if you don't want. Ok I think I've disappeared up my own arse quite enough.

Ekoplekz have just released their new album Bioprodukt which I've just bought. That's a start but am I going to get the forthcoming Focus Group, Belbury Circle or Young Thug albums? Who knows? I'd like to want to but I just can't necessarily trust that I'll give a damn when these recordings are released.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Lo-Fi with Pavement, Fly Ashtray & Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

I must admit I did listen to Slanted & Enchanted 100 million times back in the day. This tune still sounds pretty bloody good. As much as I now find Malkmus a tool, Perfume-V is undeniable. It's all about that great guitar sound innit?

The 'insect going through a vortex' guitar on this track is pretty cool too. These 2 tunes were the best and most outre on Slanted & Enchanted as I recall. There was also a bunch of stuff that was way too Mark E Smithy ie. Two States, Flame Thrower, Conduit For Sale etc. That's a bit of a shame because a lot of the guitar work was ace but it got let down by the vocal delivery. The thing is though, as the Mark E Smith-isms started to disappear so did the great guitar bits. They became lame immediately after this LP. Is this the exact point where underground/indie rock died? Or was it just Pavement who couldn't push forward (?).

It's funny how everyone knows who Pavement are but nobody's heard of Fly Ashtray. Fly Ashtray formed in NYC in 1983 but didn't release their first single until 1987. Clumps Takes A Ride is the 1991 follow up to their debut full length album, Nothing Left To Spill, which was a self-released tape from 1990. I don't think I ever saw a Fly Astray review outside of a fanzine. If you like your early Pavement check out Clumps Takes A Ride. The tracks on this tape (well I had a tape) were recored between 1988 and 1991 and issued by the Shimmy Disc label.

I guess a few more people would be aware of Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Some of their LPs received good reviews including this gem that I still quite like. Lovelyville was another record from 1991 that got played a million times. It's a high water mark of early 90s underground noisy experimental art rock or whatever you wanna call it. I recall that their following 2 LPs were also good if not quite as mental as Lovelyville (haven't re-listened to those yet though). Unexpectedly Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 still have a mysterious charm. If the kids are checkin out Pavement and Royal Trux there is no reason they shouldn't be checking out these supremely elusive nutters.

I thought going back and listening to these 'lo-fi bands' was going to really tedious but I've really enjoyed listening to Fly Ashtray and TFUL282. I still dunno if I can bring myself to listen to Fantastic Palace or Trumans Water though. I fear that those records will not hold up like Clumps Takes A Ride and Lovelyville have.

Sunday, 4 June 2017


Simon posted this article from December 1992 about grunge V lo-fi. Check the comments for a discussion on all things 90s alternative rock, indie, grunge, lo-fi, major labels etc. It made me want to check out Paw to see if their tune Jesse was any good. Last night I thought it was a little grunge gem (if such a thing is possible). Being so serious/angsty/yelly about a dog made smile. Jesse is way better than I remember.

This is a band we both don't recall. I'd never heard Slightly Under in my life until last night. I think this tune was released before they signed to a major label. These dudes were ex-members of a group called Scream whose drummer was one Dave Grohl (according to wikipedia). This could have been a hit with its generic Helmet meets Alice In Chains vibe.

Jesus I hated Helmet back in the day, just didn't understand the attraction. They just weren't as good as the bands they were obviously enamoured with ie. Killing Joke, Big Black etc. Enjoyed hearing this tune last night though. Was I deliriously over-tired? Nostalgic? Maybe time has just whittled away the youthful prejudices?

Speaking of groups I used to hate.......

*Bands You Once Hated But Now Don't Mind is a topic I shall return to soon.

Friday, 2 June 2017


I finally got around to watching that Rush doco on Nettflix a couple of weeks back when I woke in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep. Rock docs have become oh so boring and cliched over the last 10 years (How bad was The Gun Club one? and The Tribe Called Quest one and....). So I thought I would quickly fall asleep to the soothing sounds of Rush and a bunch of dull talking heads. Two hours later I was wide awake, compelled and quite moved.

2010's Beyond The Lighted Stage was put together by the Banger Films production co. from Canada. Don't let that put you off though. Director Sam Dunn doesn't go gonzo on this one. He takes a back seat letting the band do all the story telling. Banger do the web show Lock Horns which is a metal sub-genre debate show. There's like 50 hour long episodes on Youtube. Lock Horns has good episodes on Essential Black Metal Albums and Essential Doom Albums. Banger Films were also responsible for Metal: A Headbangers Journey, Global Metal and the 11 part tv series Metal Evolution. They've also produced docs on Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden but I'm yet to see those.

Anyway back to Rush. I was amazed at how many of their songs I was familiar with considering I've never been a Rush fan or even friends with a Rush fan. Hey I've known many a metal/prog head in my life but nobody with a passion for Rush. This documentary is a good little film with some surprisingly top tunes. I'm not gonna play the instant expert and tell you the story and what their best albums are, just go and watch Beyond The Lighted Stage. Suffice to say it's not the usual sex, drugs, Rock & Roll narrative. These guys were nerdy as fuck, enthrallingly idiosyncratic and accessible at the same time. Rush are/were not arseholes which has got be the rarest of qualities in Rock.

Limelight from whence the title of the film came.

I recently saw Tom Sawyer covered by a Rush cover band on a shite American sit-com which made me want to watch this it is below.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Twin Peaks Returns


Well I've done it. That is endured the longest 4 hours of 2017 so far. Today was Twin Peaks day. I tried to act like I was more enthused than I was, suspecting that maybe I was over this teenage obsession. We specially signed up for the streaming service Stan so we could watch the show immediately. Bored, angry, tense, duped, old, sad and bemused are just some of the things I felt whilst watching the 2017 season of Twin Peaks. I would have been quite happy to discontinue watching the show after each of the first three episodes. However speechless Emma kept going so I sat and hoped that it would improve. It's worth remembering though that most of the second half of season two (aired 1990-91) was unwatchable and incredibly disappointing.

During tonight's first three episodes I just kept thinking 'Am I too old for this shit?' 'I'm just not the same person anymore.' 'Am I too depressed to enjoy this?' These thoughts were perplexing. Then I thought hang on this is Lynchian but it's not really Twin Peaks is it? It wasn't until the 4th and final episode, for this week, that it started to feel even remotely like the Twin Peaks of old. The thing is Twin Peaks of the early 90s was almost entirely set in Twin Peaks and its surrounds. Scenes not in the town were rare. In this new season however only about a quarter of the scenes so far have been set in Twin Peaks. Nobody has had pie yet. Dale Cooper has only had one sip of coffee and he spat that out. This is quite possibly a punkish statement of intent from Lynch ie. He's not gonna give us the nostalgia trip of a warm and fuzzy agent Cooper drinking endless cups of coffee while quipping enthusiastically about their merits.

The stories and soap opera/cop show vibes are barely there. Leaving us mainly with just the weird and horror portions of the show. If the ratio used to be 90% soap/whodunnit and 10% weird and scary, this time Lynch has flipped it so it's the other way around. I don't actually know what the fuck happened in episodes 1-3 tonight. It felt like I was drugged and can't remember what happened except for a few strange inexplicable dark segments. Who were all these new characters? How and why were we supposed to give a shit about them? A lot of the first three hours felt like a student film or 70s Dr Who on acid. Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire were invoked more than the original Twin Peaks itself. Cast members from these films turn up too, further entwining all things Lynchian into the tv show.

By the time we got to the fourth episode, it ever so slightly started to feel like Twin Peaks. I will watch the next episode unreluctantly but.....I want more Douglas Firs, damn fine coffee, absurd quantities of donuts, cherry pie, that original sepia tone, cheesiness, other pies and the town of Twin Peaks! (Oh dear, I am the sad nostalgist Lynch doesn't want to pander to). The funny thing is 26 years ago I probably would have wanted less goofy soap and more mental shit. The bizarre and scary scenes had more impact back in the day because they were used more sparingly though.

I did sit on the couch and watch four hours of the new season of Twin Peaks in a row. That means something, I guess...

*One game I played when I got bored was - Who has aged best? The winner being David Lynch (Gordon) himself closely followed by Madchen Amick (Shelly). The rest looked old, hey that's life.

**If only Mark Fisher were still alive today to give us his analysis.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Throbbing Gristle - Live At Oundle School

The only music aired at home in the last 2 months has been TG24(24 Hours) and TG+. That is like over 30 hours of live Throbbing Gristle. I can't put anything else on. That's ok though, because I've rarely wanted to listen to any music over the last 2 years. The above performance was released on VHS and audio cassette in 1980 but is also featured on the first cd of the box set TG+ from 2004. It's very hard to believe this concert took place in a boys boarding school in front of a bunch boys aged 8 to 18. The story goes that one of the students convinced a teacher to book the band because he said they were similar to John Cage. Now how many grains of salt? Great myth or true story? Who really cares?

To fully comprehend Throbbing Gristle you have to go past the handful of proper LPs and immerse yourself in their live recordings. So it's pretty handy that all their live performances from their original incarnation (1975-81) were all recorded and released.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Spacer Woman - Charlie


80s electro disco Italian stylee. about that vocal science? Hypnogogic 20+ years early, hints of deep-tech...quite the curious artefact.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Blue Wing Console


Kinda somewhere between Goblin and Numan, I guess. Splendid synth tune played by The Blue Wing Console, a pseudonym for library music producer Simon Park. Motives is taken from the LP Sun High released on the Music De Wolfe label in 1976. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Where's My Towel/Industry Standard - Big Boys


I cannot believe this record's status isn't 'post-punk classic'. Minutemen, James Chance, Mission Of Burma and even Wipers get all the kudos for this kind of thing. Is it not the best American punky post-punk LP though? Big Boys were Texans who made ye olde angular punk that got pretty fuckin' fonkay at times. It was possibly a big influence on third albums by Meat Puppets and REM. This 1981 album didn't get a mention in Rip It Up & Start Again or its pdf appendix Discography Part Two: Post-punk Esoterica. Where's My Towel... is pretty hard to categorise which might be a reason it remains on the outside of subterranean rock historyAll Music Guide once again prove their irrelevance by giving it only three stars. Just because Where's My Towel... doesn't rate in the rock-crit consensus doesn't mean it's not magnificent though.

MCR, a Light In The Attic subsidiary, thankfully rescued this recording from languishing in obscurity in 2013. There was a comp, The Skinny Elvis on Touch & Go in the early 90s, which contained this LP in its entirety along with the Frat Cars EP and their side of Live At Raul's. The Skinny Elvis was endorsed by Rollins, Coley, Moore & Mackaye in its sleeve-notes (How 1993). However I don't need those dudes to tell me what a fabulous record this is. Maybe the cult of Big Boys is still building and one day they'll be more than just a footnote to Scratch Acid, Rapeman et al.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Sweet Sixteen - Diga Ryhtm Band


Bloody amazing mental exotica from 1976. Kinda like Martin Denny after a few lines of speed and a tab of acid. This was big at NYC's The Loft apparently. Produced by Mickey Hart who was the drummer in The Grateful Dead but don't let that put you off.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Nude For Satan

Wow...only discovered this recently but haven't been able to track down a soundtrack. I can't find any evidence of it ever being made available to the public actually. The film is on youtube but I'm yet to watch it. I have been led to believe the best thing about this movie is its soundtrack though. It's a little surprising that one of the record companies that specialise in horror soundtracks haven't reissued this yet. Alberto Beldon Bembo was apparently a very famous singer in Europe in the 70s.

Monday, 3 April 2017

On The Hi-Fi In Brief - Autumn 2017

Been meaning to listen to this LP for like 20 years. I'm sure this was the first ever album released that contained whale songs. It apparently became a massive hit. This is pure whale song with no crashing waves, pan pipes or gimmicky new age keys. Aquatic animal dub jazz masterpiece.

READY FOR THE HOUSE - Jandek (1978)
I've never actually taken the time to sit down and given Jandek a proper close listen until now. Most outsider musicians I can take or leave but Jandek feels more essential than that. He really came up with something unique. This is a man alone with his voice and a strangely tuned guitar. The way Jandek plays and sings is incomparable to anyone else before him. I've tried to come up with a description of what he does but his music is beyond words. Ready For The House is spooky rudimentary acoustic blues played randomly..... I tried.......but that does not do Jandek justice.

THE GHOST OF HOPE - The Residents (2017)
I did not think I would be listening to a current LP from the legendary Residents this year but hey I am. The residents are in the midst of an absurdly productive phase. They've issued over 15 recordings since the beginning of the 2010s. The couple I've heard are terrific, better than their 80s and 90s output, almost up there with their 70s golden period. The Ghost Of Hope is a concept record about train disasters in the olden days. These tales are compelling, grim and quite touching.

PAWN HEARTS - Van der Graaf Generator (1971)
Van Der Graaf Generator released a bunch of ridiculous prog albums in the 70s that are cherished to this day and not just by prog fans. Their influence was broader than that, glam and punk people also appreciated this singular and very British vision. If only the rest of prog was this good. VDGG's 4th record is colossal in its chaos. Epic.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Texas Rock Bottom - Rangers

What the hell is going on here?

Only just realised Texas Rock Bottom was out yesterday and have listened to it non stop for 36 hours. The album was originally released in August last year but has recently been reissued with a couple of bonus tracks. A vague familiarity makes this is an instantly appealing album. There's always been something a bit deja vu about their sound. We've got singing on most of these tunes(!) and what sound like tributes to The Meat Puppets and Sonic Youth(!?). Funnily enough two hours previous to discovering this at bandcamp I was thinking 'Why hasn't anyone used those acid fried demos of Up On The Sun as a blueprint for starting something new?' This album is not quite that but...actually come to think of it Zombies (Night) from Rangers 2011 LP Pan Am Stories had that sort of vibe as do several of the songs here.

Even though the production is more stripped back than usual, Texas Rock Bottom is still trippy and wonderfully evocative. These recordings evoke relentless sunshine, daydreaming on smoggy freeways, misty suburban landscapes, vapour trail skies and bucolic snapshots. However it's the exploration of internal terrain that seems to be the (un)focus here. Joe Knight has hit a purple patch writing some insidiously stellar songs that capture a state of malaise. The catchy The Dreams I've Had This Week is the best pop song in several years. I haven't said the words lost, melancholy or hazy yet, surely that's mandatory for any sort of discussion about Rangers. On Max Heart Rate it's hard not to think he's being sarcastic when he sings he's 'feeling overjoyed' over a blissful yet dejected backing track. Rangers have never been so world weary or regretful but they're revelling in it with insouciance. Un-named ambiguous and conflicting emotions are all over this album. This is Mr Knight's best work since 2010's Suburban Tours and might possibly be even better!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Sun Sun Sun - Jakki


Walter Gibbons does an insane uncredited mix here. This is gloriously strange, weirder than anything I've heard from the outsider music cannon!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Only You - Steve Monite


Thanks to the great Soundway Records compilation Doin It In Lagos I got to hear this afro disco boogie gem last year and was totally floored. This needs to be pumped loud through your sound system. That bass is wicked and that melody....sweet. Who is Steve Monite? As someone says in the comments 'You can't put out the boogie!'

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Track In A (Nebraska Nights) - Cat Mother & The All Night News Boys


I have no idea what genre this Hendrix produced track is. Here's some funky tribal organ-led prog fusion proto disco or something like that. The break at the 6.50 mark is well worth the wait.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

It Should Have Been You - Gwen Guthrie


This fabulous track turns into a fucking killer 4.05 in.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Church Tour Dates 81

More Church posters, flyers and ads. These intrigue me. The first one mentions the university I went to, Swinburne Institute, but I assume that would have been the Hawthorn campus not the one I went to which was in Prahran. Although The Prahran Institute gets mentioned in the next poster so I presume Swinburne amalgamated with them at some point...hey I was at primary school in a country town during this time. I'm not sure which Royal Hotel that is but I lived for many years about 3 doors down from the one in Punt Road, Richmond. It's now a titty bar but I think in the 80s it may have been a rock venue as Richmond was pretty hip back then but there was also a Royal Hotel in Essendon so it might have been that one. The Cricketers Arms which was a block away from the Royal is where Men At Work did their early gigs. Bombay Rock was a dodgy Oz Rock/disco in Sydney Road, Brunswick. I'm pretty sure all your favorite Melbourne criminals used to hang out there before they had books, movies and tv shows made about them. By the time I moved to Melbourne in 91 (funnily enough living in Brunswick by 92) it had closed down due to a fire but it was still there for years afterwards. There's a few scenes in the classic film Death In Brunswick shot at this legendary rock venue. Every famous Australian rock band from the 80s and late 70 did their time there ie. Sherbert, Skyhooks, INXS, Chisel, Aussie Crawl, Angels, The Models and even The Boys Next Door.

Eon FM and Big M present an under 18s show at Preston Town Eon FM only started in 1980 and later became 3MMM in 1988. The Jump Club was maybe what became known as The Club which was situated in Smith St, Collingwood. The Club was still going strong into the 90s and I lost many a brain cell there. Oh and saw a heap of bands there like Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, Grant McLennan, Underground Lovers, Not Drowning Waving, The Cruel Sea, The Mavis's, Powder Monkeys and er...Frente. Then there was the late disco which used to be open till like 6 or 7 am. My head hurts just thinking about it.

This ad for the London Tavern made me laugh because in 1992 I did a Skillshare hospitality course just up the street from this pub. On one of the days we went and learnt about beer and beer kegs at this Caulfield Hotel, which was by then a very not cool or rockin old peoples bar. They were getting some big names there though Mike Rudd, Ayres Rock and of course The Church. The weekday acts however are all in the Who the fuck were they? Hall Of Fame.

Me and the Mrs used to often spend the day down at beautiful Sandringham Beach and call into the bottle shop of what I presume was this hotel. I used to say 'This place was legendary in the old days, I'm pretty sure this was where Australian Crawl got started.' Emma probably just ignored me. By the 2000s it was a sports bar and bistro but it still looked like it had a lot of potential. I always intended on having dinner there but never did. They had the big 1981 names Russell Morris, The Bushwhackers, Lil Jonny Farnham and Aussie Crawl. There is not much on the interweb about the history of the Commodore so I'm not 100% its the same place I think it is but.....

Outstanding (Instrumental) - Gap Band


Ooh very nice. That beat is something else innit? It's so elusive,  just when you think you've got it, it vanishes into thin air.

Magic Fly - Space


This is new to me today, I mean it's only like 40 years old. Incredible Cosmic French Disco. Wow. Dunno about the clip though. I can't work out if its from back in the day or not. It kind of fades out with a minute to go and then there's a whole different bit of footage. Anyway tuuuune! I got through the post without even mentioning you know who.......

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Ritz - Cockney Rebel

Simon Reynolds really got me excited about Cockney Rebel's first 2 LPs when he wrote about them in his fabulous 2016 book Shock & Awe. I'd only ever heard Cockney Rebel's Make Me Smile single previously plus there was a cover version that was a hit here in Australia in the late 80s. I'm thinking that was by Nick Barker or someone of that ilk. Anyway the two records The Human Menagerie from 1973 and 1974's The Psychomodo preceded that 1975 number one smash hit. Listening to Psychomodo today I was struck by how much the tune Ritz reminded me of The Church. Further into the track I realised 'Wait a minute, The Church covered this!' The Church's version of Ritz appeared on their 1996 album Magician Among The Spirits which I haven't heard in almost 20 years. So there's weird connections everywhere considering my last 3 posts.

This isn't as glammy or idiosyncratic as anything off the those first couple of LPs probably due to the fact Harley had sacked the original band. He also plays guitar here which is odd because one of the unique things about that first incarnation of Cockney Rebel was that they were guitar-less.

This clip makes me wanna get a bowler hat. How much would that wind everybody up?

So this was slated to appear on Box Of Birds which was their very own Pin Ups/Kicking Against The Pricks type of album ie. an LP of cover versions that were influential on the embryonic Church. But Box Of Birds came out a couple of years after Magician Among The Spirits. Confused? Well it gets more puzzling because Ritz has been removed from subsequent reissues of Magician Among The Spirits. There must be a story here, I just don't know what it is. Maybe I should tweet SK.

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Church Concert Ads 85-86

More curious Church paraphernalia. The Venetians I recall were a bloody awful sort of record company version of a rock group. I don't know who The Promise were but I guess they didn't live up to their promise. Ups & Downs were a very good bunch of Church acolytes, at that point anyway. The Crystal Set of course contained Steve's brother Russell. Despite being rather talented Russ could never really emerge from his brother's formidable shadow. How about the supports at the Marquee? Who the fuck were they? Good to see students and pensioners getting a cheaper ticket though. Can you imagine that now? Church guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper ended up in a later line up of All About Eve. Cactus World News and Twenty Flight Rockers went on to join the 'Who the fuck were they?' hall of fame.

The Church Heyday Tour

These pictures were taken in the US on 25/4/86 at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. I love the 2 I've blown up extra large and this last one.