Saturday, 24 June 2017

Ariel Pink - Another Weekend

2017 just got a whole lot better, this makes me want to drink champagne. 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. That EP 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.

Just discovered this little performance too.....

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. So I thought I would quickly fall asleep to the soothing sounds of Rush and a bunch of dull talking heads....2 hours later I was wide awake and compelled.

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 saga 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 but 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 this covered by a Rush cover band on a shite American sit-com which made me want to watch the it is.

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 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 so disappointing.

During those 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, 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, am I 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. Perhaps 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 Twin Peaks in a row. That means something. I guess we'll see what happens.

*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.

***Rough draft,  quickly whipped up for the now generation.... it's now very late.

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.

Church Posters 82-84

I've recently started using pintrest as a therapeutic tool, in conjunction with anti-anxiety medication, for my often constant state of high anxiety . My blog has been plagued by inactivity over the last couple of years and physical illness, depression and anxiety have been the cause. Under the influence of anti-anxiety medication your brain wilts and cohesive thought processes are disabled. It's not like getting stoned or wasted on painkillers where you become relaxed and thoughts can become excitingly intensified, you just kinda go blank. It's not particularly fun but it relieves the harsh and all consuming existential horror for a while. Pintrest can have a fabulously calming affect. Before pintrest sorting out shelves of books, records and cds was my usual mo as well as organising playlists in i-tunes and other such ocd things. Anyway my Steve Kilbey and The Church board I created on pintrest is my latest. These posters I've put here are from that board and they're weird, funny and quite curious. The videodisco at The Maroubra Seals club sounds great. What about Slug Lord for a name for a promotions company? This is just the tip of the iceberg, I might post some more. Perhaps there's a way to link my pintrest to my blog, I dunno. This might be boring to some but it's helped me calm down immensely.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Net Music Coverage

Is it just me or has anyone noticed how crap and just plain dull music coverage is on the internet? Has the discourse run it's course? Let's briefly look at a few examples.

All Music Guide - Oh fuck me this is one of the most frustrating music websites in existence. Sure perhaps they shot themselves in the foot right there with their name ie. they are not covering all music and will often just have a couple of reviews for a band with 20 + releases. Even then quite often the reviews are below par or written by people who seem to not like music very much. It feels like some reviewers have been given a job to sit sit through a stack of records from a genre they can't stand. The Monochrome Set's 1982 LP Eligible Bachelors is called a classic in their review yet it only gets 3 stars, that's 6 out of 10. How many classic albums are rated 6 out of 10? Baffling.

Pitchfork - Much to my annoyance I've started looking at this site again due to one Mr Reynolds now doing the occasional article. He's good, can't vouch for anybody else though. They are so embarrassing sometimes like their 50 best shoegazing LPs list and the 50 best IDM records article. You walk away after reading those and just think 'What a fucking clueless list. How are these fucking people in the music writing game?' They are not an authority on music, which begs the question 'Why am I reading this?' Sometimes I think Pitchfork just wish they were as cool as FACT but they can't pull it off because they're not. I mean they've got current stories on The Shins, Spoon and Fleet Foxes for fuck's sake. They just don't have the insight or a capacity to be thinking about music interestingly. They also don't have taste making skills.

I'm not even going to bother examining The Quietus and several others I can't even recall the names of. It's dismal out there. Anyone know of any good sites concerned mainly with music? Maybe I'll have to go back to printed media. Perhaps The Wire's improved in the last couple of years. At least Mojo used to have excellent articles despite their historical stance. NME, Melody Maker, The Wire, Mojo even Rolling Stone and probably a few others (Creem, Spin, Sounds etc.) all knew what they were talking about back in their heyday or at least had some conviction to persuade. Nobody wants to read clueless fucks writing about music and making us bored or angry.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

20 Acid Clonk Greats - pHarmerz

Breaking's some new music. This is a collaboration between Farmer Glitch and Ekoplekz (who we haven't heard from in ages). 20 Acid Clonk Greats by pHarmerz is 8 tracks on a double 3" cdr or a digital download. The album doesn't include the just below Hack The Tab (part 1) but does include the further below Sheena Is An Acid Casualty.

Moroccan Music

I am not the guy who has written an article in this month's Wire magazine about Canadian experimental music going by the name of Tim Rutherford-Johnson because I don't have a Johnson at the end of my name. I'd be more likely to write an article about experimental music from Melbourne or Sydney anyway. I did notice there's also a piece on Moroccan trance music which has caught my attention, I may have to actually buy this issue. I'm assuming this article is not about the techno variety of trance, however I may be wrong.

I've been interested in Moroccan music ever since I discovered The Master Musician Of Jajouka in the early 90s. In the last few years after exhaustively listening to my half a dozen Jajouka/Joujouka recordings I've been tuned in to the great blog Moroccan Tape Stash. This blog is a treasure trove with music from pop to sacred trance music and everything else in-between. This scene is still hard to navigate though and can often be confusing. Some of the best tapes posted by Tim Abdellah (a lot of Tims today) on his blog are by unknown artists. I tried to get some youtube clips of the below tape but there's a language barrier. Anyway it makes being a fan of this music a bit more...I dunno...challenging. A bit like in the old days when you had to seek the arcane knowledge of the subterranean music scene, you know before the interwebs. To be honest half the time I don't know exactly what constitutes berber, Jilala or Bendir music. Fuck I like it though. Along with Gamelan music Moroccan music is where I go when current music's not doin it for me, which is 75% of the time.

Couldn't find this on Youtube...It's great though.

So this is the record that started it all for a lot of Moroccan music fans. Brian Jones arranged this recording of The Master Musicians Of Joujouka and this LP was issued in 1971 on Rolling Stone Records. All your favourite creepy hipster Morocco dwellers were involved with the liner notes of this album as well ie. William s Buroughs, Brion Gyson, Paul Bowles etc.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Residents Live @ Etrange Festival 2015

Now here's another surprise from the San Fransisco pre/proto/post-punk milieu. I rate all those 70s Residents records from 1974's Meet The Residents right up until 1980's The Commercial Album plus all the singles, EPs and tapes in-between. I've heard a few things here and there since, some I've liked a bit and others that I really didn't. 13 or 14 years ago I borrowed a couple of live Residents dvds from the city library. One was a mid 90s concert while the other was from the early 2000s. I really wanted to like these films but they just weren't that good. By that I mean the band had become pretty lame and very boring. Watching those dvds almost ruined the old records for me but thankfully I soon forgot about them. The 70s catalogue remains a treasure to me.

So I was trying to get some sleep during a crazy heat wave we're currently having here in the Desert City. Yesterday it was 44 degrees and today it's currently sitting at 46, that's Celsius! That's 115 degrees in Fahrenheit terms. I went on youtube and found a Residents playlist, hit play and lay down on the couch with the dog at my feet. As I drifted off I could hear some old Residents classics and a few I was not too familiar with. After an hour I woke up just as the above concert was starting. The first track was great but I was expecting it to swiftly get rather shite. No, an hour and a half later I was still transfixed, forgetting the heat for a little while.

The band here are stripped down to a 3 piece and are perhaps a little more guitar-centric than they were in the 70s. Musically/sonically they were in incredible form, at the peak of their powers. They have lost the eyeballs though. Two members had skull masks with grey dreads while the singer had an old clown face mask. I couldn't help but think that the singer's real face was probably quite similar to his mask. Anyway it was a hell of a nice surprise to be engrossed by this concert. Then I started regretting not going to see them when they played in Melbourne for the 'What Is Music?' festival in 2005. Those old dvds had really put me off. So now I'm wondering how much good stuff  I've missed. There's a good 25 years of their work I haven't explored. I'm guessing at least a quarter of it is probably good and quite possibly more.

Ye olde classics from The Commercial Album.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Chrome's Lost Tapes

Holy shit how the fuck did I miss this? These tapes were certainly lost on me. Half Machine From The Sun: The Lost Tapes From 79-80 was released in 2013! San Francisco's Chrome circa Alien Soundtracks (77) & Half Machine Lip Moves (79) were one of the greatest bands ever, hands down. There were some choice moments on their following 3 LPs too. Chrome's brand of scuzzy sci-fi psych rock was a supremely innovative creep show. So what a belated surprise this was today. These 4 tracks that I've posted could have easily made it onto the proper albums, for sure. Some of this collection's tunes are pretty eye opening and you can see why others were never released. There are even rather commercial songs that were putting me in mind of Roxy Music and even Blue Oyster Cult. I reckon you could cut this 18 track compilation down to about 10 or 11 and you would have a classic missing Chrome LP.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

TAZ - Hakim Bey(Creep)

Recently I revisited Hakim Bey's TAZ album that he did with Bill Laswell. I'd heard it on the radio in the 90s. Even local Melbourne fanzines had big write ups on the book and cd. He was some kind of modern day cult figure with his feet in anarchistic and post-situationist camps. I remember thinking he was a bit didactic but had a couple of good things to say about modern life. The TAZ record contained Bey reading excerpts from his book, of the same name, over Laswell's world muzak. So I listened to it last week and it really got my goat. Within the first 10 minutes I thought this guy's philosophy really opens itself up to normalising some dodgy shit ie. paedophilia and incest. Then as I kept listening I was convinced this guy had spent his whole life studying radical movements, anarchism, esoteric history, secret societies and whatever else so he could justify paedophillia. The entire cd became very creepy (not in a good way). I was thinking 'Am I just reading too much into it?' So I went online to see what he was on about. Right there on the interweb was a lot of chatter about Paedophillia and Bey who is also known as Peter Lamborn Wilson. He'd allegedly written for a Paedophile journal etc. etc. Its funny though because I felt so guilty and disgusted after listening to TAZ and some of Wilson's lectures on youtube but back in my early 20s I don't think I ever felt guilty reading William S Burroughs. Another weird thing is that Bey goes on and on about many figures in secret and forgotten history and calls them creeps......the irony.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

RIP Jaki Liebezeit


Krautrock's sonic Goliaths 3rd studio album proper is their most pop affair. That's not to say there aren't any outré experimental moments though. This is Germanic telepathic polyrhythmic psychedelic rock 1972 stylee. Can had a top ten single in Germany with Spoon taken from this record. Kanye West even appropriated Sing Swan Song wholesale for his tune Drunk & Hot Girls in 2007! - Tim 'Space Debris' Rutherford *

*(Old blurb review I did for a website)

The first Can song I came across was this in cover version form by The Jesus & Mary Chain!

Everyone's doing a bit on Jaki so I'll keep it short and personal. In my book he was the best drummer ever closely followed by Tony Allen. If Can didn't have him they simply wouldn't have been Can. You could say that about all the instrument players in the Group, I guess. They had the synergy, They were synergy! I also enjoyed Liebezeit's drumming on other projects though. He often played on fellow Can members solo records as well as with other great artists like Michael Rother, Eno, David Sylvian, Jah Wobble, Pluramon and Burnt  Friedman.

I think the last time I heard him was in 2013 in collaboration with Burnt Friedman on their 5th instalment of Secret Rhythms. He still had it on Secret Rhythms 5 and I thought he would just go on infinitely like his style often conjured.

How can you choose just one tune from Future days? They all belong together in this sequence. Is this the most cohesive LP ever? Well perhaps you could say that about Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Soon Over Babaluma as well. The tunes on Future Days feel like 4 movements of the one piece.

This blows me mind every time! I could keep on posting Can songs, particularly everything off those aforementioned LPs. Monster Movie, Soundtracks, Landed, Unlimited Edition, The Lost Tapes and most of Flow Motion are great too ......

RIP Jaki Liebezeit.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 with Marc Acardipane


These first two are on the same record from 1990!!!

From 1992 this is a one sided LP.

A classic from 96. A pretty ominous title right there and a rather fitting sound for now doncha think?

Of course these are all Marc Acardipane aliases and that was an alias for Mark Trauner. Marc was THE German producer of hardcore techno/gabba/gloomcore from 1989 onwards, more like a genre unto himself! Acardipane must have had over 100 pseudonyms and trying to collect his full back catalogue must be a futile task but it would be kind of heroic if you had them all. He had a big thing about 2017. I'm not really sure what it was, can't remember if I ever knew, but perhaps all will be revealed this year. On his record sleeves he kept saying See You In 2017. Surely he's gonna make a comeback and be as big as Beyonce....well it's a nice thought anyway. Perhaps It'll just be the end of the world as we know it and Acardipane will feel fine.