Monday, August 9, 2010

blessed is an open head...

CISTERN CORRUPT. ok, so um...yeah, it's been awhile. no excuses really - well maybe a few: band committments, head buried in books during a brutal and somewhat depressing newcastle winter that only encouraged such isolationist behaviour (not a bad thing always - sans the anti-social part) and well, a girl (i know - senger's losin' his edge), but the plus to these supposed minuses is that we have organised a bunch of shows here at the shop, and i've accrued quite a few records, tapes and zines since last, i should have more to type, correct? we'll see, we'll see, friends and enemies...

ROBERT POLLARD. i waltzed into jbhifi several days ago, curious to see whether it was as shite as whence i last waltzed in (and you never waltz out, fuckin' security will do everything bar searching your orifices for stolen goods, though they're mostly very polite about it). i found a small bin of cheap cd's and...three dollars (!) thank you very much for "from a compound eye" by mr. ROBERT POLLARD, formerly the main songwriter of GUIDED BY VOICES and a man whose philosophy to songwriting : 'why write one tune, when one hundred will give you more to choose from?' is, for once, as an exception - the ONLY way to create and continue to release fuckin' grand and consistent albums. the GBV m.o. is ever present: short songs that you wish were just that little bit longer and resolved (the secret, of course), riffs that are uncannily similiar to each other, but spaced out enough from one another for you to not fucking care (and i wouldn't anyway) and a voice, oh, a voice, that effortlessly finds THE perfect melody for each song it graces, and the delivery of which is no doubt god's (if there was one) fucking gift to us all, spawning love, warmth and babies the world over. i honestly cannot stress how beautiful and right-on POLLARD's pipes are, smooth and crackly when need to be, infectious beyond belief, absolutely gorgeous in their limited scope - pop innovation at it's best, because all the best pop music is at once freakishly familiar, an improvement of one's inspirations, while paying respect to them and molesting them at the same time. twenty-six songs in all, "from a compound eye" obviously has it's high and low-lights, but to pick apart an album such as this is to miss the point. just let it FUCKING play man, and learn to love it's inconsistencies, like i have and you will - especially if ya pick it up for three bucks. in summary, more keyboard strings, a more supposedly 'mature' palette, a little less noise, and less idiosyncratic lyrics - though by no means any less interesting. or maybe i'm getting old, fuck off.

DUNGEON TAXIS. a label of the aforementioned name got in contact with us recently, and thank fuck they did, because we have been hipped to what is to these eyes and ears anyway, the most interesting new-ish (mostly) tape imprint out there at this time. in this age of 'boutique' cassettes with ten dollar price-tags, DUNGEON TAXIS is a fresh of breath air (not dyslexia - thank you jason!). for a start, though not cheap, these tapes are beautiful, really, the packaging needs to be seen and held to be believed - but what about the sounds? pretty on the inside? the answer is an emphatic 'yes', not a dud release has passed these ears so far : xNO BBQx/BRUCE RUSSELL (seriously, the former's best and most brutally realised release, whlie BR is in fine, fine form - a limited but beautiful(!)investigation of sine tones and feedback), FUTURIANS (brilliant weirdo rock shit, live, buried beneath flange - why are people clapping?), STUART MCKAY (wonderful finger-picked acoustic guitar patterns, with a classic home multi-tracked background of television mist and unidentifiable noises, just the way it should be), ADAM WILLETTS (synth upon synth, dusty and clear meditations on an idea that should be played out, but most certainly isn't in the hands of said human), MUURA/PLANTATION (matt earle again, this time in his minimalist form, again pulling a rabbit out of a hat the smells like weed and is seemingly bottomless, while PLANTATION first came to my attention via BREAKDANCE THE DAWN - i have no idea who they are, but their usual improvisational fog is impeccably recorded here, and all the better for it). i could go on, but i shall not - just pick this stuff up if you can (though be quick, i doubt there are many copies of each cassette) and be stoked on tapes the way one should.

THIS IS NOT ART. newcastle's festival of can be a shit fight up here over grand final weekend, with the football contingent having discovered methamphetamine and all, but we have decided to provide an antidote to disappontment and smashed faces. three days, 1pm to 7pm - live music at VOX CYCLOPS! our address is 515 hunter st. newcastle nsw 2300. these bills are confirmed and final, so please do not ask us if your band can fit in. there are other shows though and thus, other opportunities to play. anyway...enjoy! (note: artists are not in playing order, this will be worked out soon - all shows are all ages)

friday october 1st
1pm to 7pm

saturday october 2nd
1pm to 7pm

sunday october 3rd
1pm to 7pm

Monday, June 14, 2010

catalogue # 001...

PIGEON RELIGION. amongst other rad records swapped with our friend william, i have now had the chance to listen to a band that i've read a fair bit about (FLIPPER comparisons aside) but not heard a note from - PR's 'deadboss' 7" is spinning on the turntable, this time at the right speed...initially thinking it was a 45rpm record, i was dumbfounded when i played it at first, wondering what everyone had been referring to in zine reviews and such - was this 7" a joke played on it's audience? it sounded like sub-par synth pop at 45, but at 33 revolutions per minute, now it's starting to make a little more sense (yes, i am an idiot). beginning with a group-voiced 'woah-oh' chorus (from deep within the valley), that leads into a dirty pop tune that reminds me of the second LAMPS long-player - definitely a good thing, with the distorted vocals of the first and second verses being played out over the bass-line and drums only (with added minimal feedback and descending slides), then being joined with 'full' guitar for the rest of the song ('deadboss'). i must admit that i was expecting this band to wield a more menacing approach to their songwriting and execution (again, zines - don't believe the hype), but even though i'm always looking for sounds from the more fucked up and raw areas of expression, i'm not let down in the slightest, 'cause with so many bands these days trying to be things they most definitely are not (TWIN STUMPS for example... though i'm sure that many, many of you cunts will disagree - so please do), PIGEON RELIGION are refreshing, again, not unlike LAMPS, because this music is not forced in the slightest. their tunes have vocal hooks and a deft, delicate touch on the drums that allow me to listen to the first side again and again whilst typing into this computer thingy and not be bored retarded - in fact, i keep standing up and racing back to the record to hear the a-side's two tracks once more. side-b doesn't hold my interest as much - 'huge bummer' is not an appropriate title, it just can't live up to the expectations that the first side has set for me...and also, one two-minute track on the flip? lazy and weak, fellas. anyway, this single is lots of fun! whatever happened to fun? i don't know if it is an anomaly in their catalogue, and from all that i've read, they are a much more prickly and discordant beast live, but 'deadboss' and 'henderson' are fantastic pop songs played by people telling their truth - and that is to be respected.

GX JUPITTER-LARSEN. the above image is from a 1994 'lesbian vampire drama' entitled HOLES IN THE NECK, produced by GX JUPITTER-LARSEN. i haven't seen it and i haven't heard too much of the HATERS material either (his performance cum sound troupe - the sounds were always secondary to the performance, only used as time markers for an audience, for when a piece began and ended), but his BIG TIME CRASH BANG 2008 LP on RRR records has passed through the shop several times, again from our friend william - who incidentally, played his first solo show (RATS WITH WINGS) in more than ten years last friday night, and it was AMAZING, far exceeding ANY expectations, whether you knew how important these moments were or not - and now i have a copy of my own ($10!) to fawn over and blast relentlessly. the title is not misleading, the a-side is loops of car accident sounds repeated and over-lapped until PERMANENTLY burnt into one's memory. sound annoying? pointless? shit-house? you may be right, i may be crazy...but this record is one that i could listen too forever, for reasons that i was at first, unsure of. now, maybe i can add a little insight. firstly, it clears a room like no other record i own - which is useful at times such as this, when an old man with cancer (and hepatitis), profusely bleeding from his areshole, insists on sitting on the store's couch reading a book of american history - refusing to leave until NOW. success! secondly, the sounds are crisp and grainy - true, for lack of a more extensive vocabulary, and i enjoy the screeching, crashing, and jack-hammering echoes of metal upon metal. the repetition is key here, and not knowing (or caring) what JUPITTER-LARSEN's aims were for this release, i find myself lulled into a sense of calm - despite the apparent abrasiveness of the sounds and how they clash with one-another. this LP is a place that i can inhabit and interject with my own thoughts, wishes, desires and anger if i wish - it is a blank slate, like no other recording that i can recall, and i love it for this reason the most. it is both a release, and a cave to hide in - a wonderful creation of PURE ambience. ENO's pretty effective, if a little twee (ok, a LOT), but JUPITTER-LARSEN has trumped him ten-fold. BIG TIME CRASH BANG 2008 is without a doubt, one of my favourite records ever - one the presents the listener with the tools and allows, dares them to create their own story. my story is re-written every fucking day, but i know that said record will ALWAYS have a place for me to hide, develop my own narrative, and be uncomfortable in my leisure. FUCKING PERFECT.

Monday, June 7, 2010

lost tapes...

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. as group monikers go, this one is a fucking classic (VITAMIN B12 and THIS HEAT also come to mind as a favourites, along with dozens of new zealand groups of the eighties and nineties - WRECK SMALL SPEAKERS ON EXPENSIVE STEREOS, SANDOZ LAB TECHNICIANS...etc. etc.) and has been stored in my mental rolodex under 'something i MUST investigate further at a later date' for many years now. i have skimmed the surface with downloads aquired from my friend and taste-maker dale, but never really given the sounds enough time to penetrate my less than patient neurons - although i have spent time researching other bands and have noticed TOM SMITH's name (TLASILA founder and constant) appearing in print many times, leading me to the conclusion that i again, MUST hunt down some of this group's releases (burnt cdr's just don't cut it do they?) to satisfy my curiousity. fast forward to this morning - having a record store DEFINITELY has it's positives, as i can and do, take home cd's to listen to whenever i feel the urge...every fuckin' day! 'horoscopo: sanatorio de moliere' is the cd of discussion here, and this morning, something 'clicked' in my brain, and i found myself in awe of the sounds presented to me - i was now finally ready to inhale TLASILA and i was excited. as i sit here listening to this cd again, i find myself puzzled, because i'm not getting the same feeling that i did at 7am - leading me to the belief that i SHOULD have started writing about it THEN...seize the moment of inspiration, but fuck it, i will persevere. sampling is obviously an important tool of mr. smith and company - on this release joined by RAT BASTARD (LAUNDRY ROOM SQUELCHERS), ANDREW WILKES-KRIER (ANDREW W.K. and many, many other conceptual actions, such as BEAST PEOPLE), DON FLEMING, MARK MORGAN (SIGHTINGS), and other humans that i'm not that familiar with, apart from THURSTON MOORE, bringin' that DAD VIBE (another great tasmanian band with a ripper name, led by DAISY BUCHANAN) no doubt - and unlike plunderphonic excursions or the high-brow avant garde, their use of stolen source materials is not garish, or hidden for that matter, it is simply a jumping-off point for these pieces, sometimes looped for emphasis, but always infused with a certain mystery AND immediacy...soul, if you will. one could describe TLASILA as 'noise', but that would be a cop-out - this music is fully formed, difficult, minimalist/maximalist, and beautiful also. voices sometimes call out of the synthetic chaos, and sometimes swamp it too, but the emphasis is on micro-second loops of feedback-derived repetition...allowing the other elements such as digital blocks of unidentified sound to form the foreground or background, and lead the listener to take notice of the details - the space BETWEEN notes and sounds, the narrative that inevitably shows itself within each track, the more one is exposed to it. i've listened to 'horoscopo: sanatorio de moliere' twice now as i have been writing/typing this text, and it is making itself more clear and known to me with every second that passes - i don't wish myself to be sitting on my floor at 7am anymore, as the moaning voices, piano snippets, drum fills and decayed blocks make much more sense and are now a part of my brain, adding information instead of subtracting it...this being the trip that TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. has forced me to take part in - to disorientate and then calm, and for this i am thankful.

LOTUS. sometime in the late nineties, i downloaded a recording of a radio show based out of providence, rhode island that featured a live set by a local two-piece named JAPANESE KARAOKE AFTERLIFE EXPERIMENT - kind of like LIGHTNING BOLT with synthesisers and a sampler, instead of bass guitar with an octave pedal. whilst said live performance was pretty cool, the real gem of this radio broadcast was the members of JKAE playing tracks by their favourite groups, many of which were part of the scene they inhabited - a sort of micro-extension of the whole FORT THUNDER group of artists and musicians (or at least that is what it appeared to be, to my unknowing eyes and ears at the time), lots of LOAD records-related bands were aired, but my focus was on this ONE group, known only as the LOTUS. i laughed out loud when first greeted with their sounds - rave samples replayed at normal speed then slowed down, juxtaposed with breaks and inane vocals, completely fucking annoying...but for some reason i continued to listen to it, repeatedly rewinding the cassette that dale had dubbed for me direct from the computer (backwards, i know - but it made sense at the time, we couldn't be fucked buying cdr's) and being reminded of the trance stations i used to listen to in '92, when i first moved to baulkham hills from victoria. this music turned me on to labels such as BREATHMINT, who released shitloads of cassettes, vinyl, cd's and cdr's by artists with names such as U CAN UNLEARN GUITAR, WHAT'S YR DAMAGE?, COCK E.S.P. and literally, HUNDREDS of other bands/solo acts that had fuckin' rad names and made music that appealed to very few. of course, the label and the artists didn't care - they were too busy creating their own culture and performing in people's kitchens and basements. when we started our shop, we traded a ridiculous amount of music with lucas abela for a favour, and we're still discovering cd's of interest to us, to this day - music we didn't even know that we had. a lot of this stuff was aquired by him whilst touring the world as JUSTICE YELDHAM, meeting fuck-knows-who and doing fuck-knows-what, inbetween destroying himself with pieces of glass he found somewhere near the venue he was performing at that day or night - and for all these reasons and more, we all owe him and swerve a great deal of thanks and good-will...cheers fells! amongst the countless cd's and cdr's passed on to us, was 'version 2.0' by LOTUS - many years after my initial introduction to their music via download, we were reunited, and i was stoked. i fucking hate breakcore for the most part (PASSENGER OF SHIT and DRILLBIT aside) and was worried that said cd would be a one-dimensional piece of shit. WRONG. mixing power electronics, eastern drum loops, breaks, the WORST (read: best) elements of dance music and vocals that, upon reflection, seem to be taking the piss out of THE LOCUST - the LOTUS are an epiphany for me. their pastiche of all the WRONG sounds, makes all the RIGHT moves and i'm crankin' this shit right now - for the fifth time today. this band of two humans in faux-WHITEHOUSE attire are long since defunct, but a visit to the BREATHMINT website informs of several other releases for me to track down and no less than twenty-six (!) gigs to download. maybe this internet thing IS worth all these fuckin' hassles?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

oh jimb...

EMERALDS. 'bullshit boring drone band' - the name of an earlier AMERICAN TAPES release by this three-piece group, and the first one i aquired. the title seemed entirely appropriate to me at the time (it's irony lost on me, also) - i was COMPLETELY disinterested and shelved it along with the other countless cdr's i have collected over the years, pricks they are to take care of as well, as i don't usually lose any sleep over what condition they may or may not be in (UNITED FAIRY MOONS being the exception to this rule) - unlike say, cassettes. i enjoy being proved wrong - really, it is much more enjoyable to be taken by surprise at a later date, than to be immediately satisfied...usually that initial reaction is a fickle one anyway and EMERALDS have indeed grown on me in ways that i did not expect. synthesisers, beautiful contraptions that they are, also encourage lazy behaviour for the most part - and one can easily fall asleep atop a keyboard, and make sounds that will at the very least, interest bedwetters and noise obsessives alike (HENRY ROLLINS?!). EMERALDS actually come at you with a unique vision, most wholly realised on their recent double lp on EDITIONS MEGO - 'does it look like i'm here' some ways, pure pop music, arpeggiations upon arpeggiations, clashing but always resolving, gorgeous filter sweeps and a tasteful (in a good way) interpretation of all things german and synthetic, funneled through lessons learned from factions of the american noise underground. EMERALDS have two self-titled albums, the one i am listening to at the moment was originally a tape release on HANSON (or so i'm informed, probably incorrectly, who cares...) - now reissued on cd by the same label and mixed with field recordings of a buddhist cremation for example, recorded by aaron dilloway during his time in nepal...less ENYA than that sounds, although there is a 'new age' feel to their most recent missives, crossed with memories of a long-lost commodore-64 game. the guitar playing is for me, the band's weakest link, too straight and informed by cringe-worthy 'post rock' moves from artists i have tried my best to forget, but the action of EMERALDS' synthesisers makes up for this, and i can ignore and thus accept the guitar's insistence on normality. i doubt that anyone reading this will be unfamiliar with said group, so i'm preaching to the converted or cynical - but either way, EMERALDS are three humans worth your time and money. ambient? of course. essential? not particularly. innovative? without a doubt. within this small scope of sounds are moments worth savouring, and best played on repeat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

owner's lament...

BORROWED. up at six, in the shop by seven - i'm here at the request of a friend who is filming a short entitled 'borrowed', in the book store next to us. i am greeted with duffel-coats (plenty of 'em), red dreadlocks on a white woman and a complete invasion of space by strangers who are supposedly invoved in said production, but seemingly more interested in discussing the application of foundation, how much alcohol they consumed last night, and a strong feeling that most of these humans would rather be at home playing warcraft (duffel-coats). the room is silent apart from nonsensical chatter ('is anyone drunk yet?') and the odd car or bus driving past, sound bouncing around our humble brick-floored echo chamber. i need to put some music on, but i feel it would be inappropriate, like chastising a mate for soiling themselves seems wrong, ya know - even though they've pissed all over your couch, YOU still feel guilty moving them, for fear of bringing this fact to their attention. our space is now their space - and i'm not entirely comfortable with it. anyway, i'm hiding in front of this screen, typing about 'em, in the hope that inspiration strikes. breakfast was promised, and apart from two pieces of bread with vegan butter inside to make a sandwich, it looks like taste is not on the menu. wait, there's a toaster on the way - there is hope fuckers, hope(!), and when all else fails, i still have my juice to keep me sane. 'ten minutes!' is the call - 'we'll be right in five...' sweet. now i can play some records.

SCRATCH ACID. whenever i'm asked what this band actually sounds like, i'm usually prone to describing them as a cross between BIRTHDAY PARTY and LED ZEPPELIN - maybe a tad lazy, but this isn't too far off the mark. there is plenty of classic rock in their songs, and said melbourne band is obviously an influence, however, their music could only have come from america - specifically, the north-west middle of the land of the not-so-free. their discography cd 'the greatest gift' (on touch and go, of course) collects all of their records and one previously unreleased track ('the scale song'), and it is still many years after it's initial release, vital listening for any self-respecting punk rock n' roll fan - especially in 2010, with so many bands pursuing an apparent 'noise rock' direction. SCRATCH ACID are by turns, disturbing, fun, ingenious and fabulously catchy sounding, recorded on the cheap, but not suffering at all (though the drums can LITERALLY sound like ice cream containers on certain tracks) - 'cause the songs are unique and so fucking good, the fidelity is of no consequence, in fact if anything, it only adds to their brilliance. david yow's words are delivered in a stream-of-consciousness manner (spoken, yelled, screeching), which is misleading in a way, because they are thoughtfully constructed tomes of low life and anger-ridden heart murmurs, cloaked in humour and obviously phrased in EXACTLY the right ways to fit each tune...and the music, well where to start? early songs have the feel of fifties rock n' roll/rockabilly, channelled through lysergic eyes and ears (ala THE CRAMPS, reaching a pre-BIG BLACK stop-start formula at times ('she said', for example), but much more unpredictable and occasionally laced with synthesiser, harmonica and strings, adding completely unexpected textures to an already uneasy and challenging listen for the uninitiated - and the going got even weirder, covering ANDREW LLYOD WEBBER ('damned for all time') and bouncing between seventies-style funk and metal licks, while somehow keeping it all cohesively menacing and hilarious. later of course yow and sims went on to form JESUS LIZARD, another group that changed rock n' roll forever, so fucking powerful and influential that today, people are still trying to get THAT guitar sound (MY DISCO) and out yow, yow (any prat with a microphone who is deemed 'uncontrollable' - good luck), but this is fruitless. start your own band and INNOVATE, or play covers - 'cause we're sick of all of your hero worship and shameless photocopies. the trip starts here. literally.

BEANFLIPPER. face first on to our tiled floor in front of the cast of 'borrowed' - not my finest moment, and then they ask me to turn down the stereo? fuck off, it's the ONLY thing from keeping my thoughts of ripping your throats out as just that, thoughts. thank fuck for BEANFLIPPER...'mongrel guts'! i don't dig dreadlocks on white people, but these dudes get a pass on that, simply because of my love for 'rodent ulcer' and 'garden variety manic depressant'. the label 'shagpile' is responsible for these two fuckin' ripper cd's, though apart from FRONT END LOADER, the majority of said label's output is shite - but we won't waste time or space with such negatives. BEANFLIPPER were a mess - a fantastic collage of metal, grind, punk/hardcore/crust, rock n' roll and whatever else interested their weed-addled brains at the time of writing each tune ('glass eyed stare' even features a ska breakdown as the bridge, with added synth damage - and it WORKS!), with an obvious interest in film also - as there are samples of dialogue throughout both releases. though stylistically quite different, they shared an affinty with DAMAGED - australia's greatest metal band ever, and who i would propose as the closest comparison to BEANFLIPPER, as they blended many different modes of attack when composing and performing their music...though where DAMAGED are ridiculously precise and realised, BEANFLIPPER are neither - not even close, and i believe that both these points are each group's greatest strengths. they both wholly achieved what they were reaching for and are criminally overlooked, by ourselves, and the world at large. 'matt skitz' is now a brand name (like we didn't see that coming...), and vocalist james has remained quiet after reforming the band, then bailing again (i'd much rather 'collaborate' with him than the aforementioned glory hound), but BEANFLIPPER remain an enigma - a band of scummy dudes that are i'm told, still gettin' around melbourne and playing music...but all i have to hold on to are these recordings, which, after moving on some god-botherers from the shop's entrance, are even more useful - who can argue with an angry cunt when 'bucket o' blood' is blasting at you in tandem? agreed. not them, not anyone.

Monday, May 31, 2010

good thoughts, bad thoughts...

FUNKADELIC. this shit's all about rollin' ya shoulders and swingin' your hips - slow, baby, slow...and if you can't find your own language through dancing to this troupe, then you're in some trouble, friends and enemies. FUNKADELIC music is about as close to sex through sound as is humanly possible - sure, the METERS, SLY STONE and JAMES BROWN are funk, but albums such as 'standing on the verge of getting it on' are IN my mind AND body, possessing my entire being with a purity so fucking down n' dirty, it plain hurts to HURTS, and i'm fine with it - 'cause i know it's alright, i have this music to educate, corrupt and console. first we start with the hi-hat, kick and snare - on the one, then behind it and ahead - so you know where to be, then it's all gravy from there, with layer upon layer of souls contributing noises - but trying to pull these sounds apart is completely pointless, it's about a unified front...truly the sum of all parts combined, to make a special brew that inhabits you and THIS moment. don't think, just enjoy your inhibitions falling away with every second that passes - 'standing on the verge of getting it on'. don't fight it - or you'll miss out on all that is vital about breathing in this shit life, 'cause it ain't shit, it's beautiful...and here he comes, EDDIE HAZEL!

FNU RONNIES. reading an interview with members of this band is hard work - they come off as COMPLETE FUCKING WANKERS, flexing intellectual machismo, attempting to offend all and sundry with 'implied' violence, 'implied' racism and jock-ism's (read: inane in-jokes and references to baseball cards etc.) that are obviously, solely aimed at impressing a small number of cronies (see also ROT SHIT, and other groups i won't waste my time typing the names of) that most likely aren't inhaling said text. and it is a waste, because FNU RONNIES are a fantastic band - their music says so much more than these pricks could ever muster from their mouths in conversation (in an interview context at least), so it's all lost on me - as is their desire i presume...but seriously guys, SHUT THE FUCK UP. you are embarrassing your art, and it can't bare to look at you. anyway, 'night people' released a one-sided 12" of their music sometime ago, and it's an AMAZING ride that is devoid of genre classification - pretentious? of course, what good music doesn't originate from one's own arsehole? FNU RONNIES blend electronics and pure punk splendour in equal measure, but they aren't derivative or easily boxed in, the sounds of this extended-player are new to me - they haven't re-invented the wheel, simply found a method of barreling it down a hill near their homes, in way that is unique to them, and them only. the entire recording is smeared with an ever-so-slight echo that gives it a sheen that recalls early eighties synth-pop production, thus making it an easier listen, but more menacing at the same time. weird. just don't look the their way for anything other than good music, they're too busy high-fivin' an imaginary (and dead) ALEX CHILTON. 'you can't have me'...i never asked to, cunt.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

this is pop (cultured)...

GREEN. take a punt, and ye shall be rewarded - a three-piece from chicago that formed in nineteen eighty-four, similiar in scope to paisley groups such as DREAM SYNDICATE, but with love songs damaged with wit and a rough n' ready approach that recall THE EMBARRASSMENT, GREEN are a revelation for people such as myself. meticulously crafted, lotsa ooh's and ahh's, bratty harmonies and post-BEATLES, 'twist and shout' shrieks that simply don't care what you think - just what SHE does. clean guitars, with everything else too, in it's right place, which would have been at odds with a mid-eighties chicago scene that featured NAKED RAYGUN, MINISTRY and BIG BLACK. these three brats obviously didn't fucking care about fitting in, and with a british invasion-infused sound that also reminds me at times of SPLIT ENZ, tunes such as 'i play the records' and 'she's not a little girl anymore' show you where their priorities lay: girls and music - not a bad place to start, by any means. this compilation cd collects the majority of their material from what i can make out, and if you're at all into classic american power pop, then buy this shit, 'cause the FEELIES are great, but GREEN could well be your next sugar rush, thus addiction. 'i don't wanna say no'. you shouldn't either.

HANOI JANES. this cd is a complete surprise, as it's on 'captured tracks' and isn't some boring 'cold wave' rehash of either the eighties, or another BLANK DOGS clone. germans - who list their instrumentation as baileys, flirtini, bier mit ananas and doppelter wodka (read: they have a sense of humour). the sixties wall-of-sound creations of PHIL SPECTOR and his girl groups are the blueprint for this album - 'year of panic', with guitar, bass, drums and a huge assortment of tuned percussive instruments, keyboards, and vocals that sound straight out of a primary school fete attraction. EVERY song is catchy beyond belief, annoying (read: charming) and a masterclass on how one SHOULD put together pure pop songs and present them to the listener. the PHIL SPECTOR reference is not lazy either, the production presents the tunes as fully realised mini-symphonies that recall a sixties past, whilst pushing forward with a 00's retard-staying-power (thanks jarrod!). this album is truly fucking ESSENTIAL, and make ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI sound like the shit on the sole of my shoe they always have been. word.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


RAW NERVE. new orders = banner days here, and this one was no different, with many different records to rifle through and play, shitting our neighbours to near tears or imagined fisticuffs (again, it ain't TOECUTTER, so no harm, no foul in my book). anyway, first up is an lp on 'youth attack' by RAW NERVE. i must admit to being frequently underwhelmed by this label's output over the years apart from obvious gems such as BUCKET FULL OF TEETH's three 7 inches' (though i am yet to hear AEROSOLS...any good, anyone?), but this record is pretty fuckin' raging in a post-VOID (split lp-era) kind of way, and not dissimiliar to DRY-ROT's more straight ahead material, though with the odd blast-beat and a less idiosyncratic approach to riffs and structure. side-b is of more interest to someone such as myself, with the group stretching out and building tempo and intensity with three tracks spread over it's entirety, but the a-side starts off with promise, and though not completely delivered upon, this is a good record, well worth owning - if not to sell to some 'screamo' kid for an inflated price at a later date (ok, i wouldn't actually do this, but one can dream of a hell worth working toward).

DRUNKDRIVER. i have brendon of NEGATIVE GUEST LIST to thank for hippin' me to this group of fucking nutters, and though i am late to 'em (not unlike my recent 'discovery' of NO MEANS NO, thanks to my friend evan - my cave is pretty warm and decked out with a beanbag, ya see), i am no less enthused with the lp that arrived today - 'born pregnant'. DRUNKDRIVER have apparently released four records since this 12", and after inhaling said release twice, i am convinced that i NEED to do more research when brendon or daniel's (DISTORT) descriptive writ immediately piques my interest (VILE GASH 7" is pretty good too - thanks mate!). DD consist of guitar, drums and vocals in regards to instrumentation, but what they achieve with said objects is crazed, pretentious and repetitively smashed sound(s) that make me want to jam right fucking now. inspirational? only if your scope is limited to the idea that genuine misfits are the only people worth listening to (musically or otherwise), like myself. DRUNKDRIVER could well bore the shit out of most, due to their pursuit of riffs that are barrelled into one's blinkered skull again and again, without much, if any variation. BRIAN ENO has been quoted as stating (to paraphrase) that metal was the first ambient music, due to the fact that if the listener isn't COMPLETELY concentrating on said sounds, that it makes for a fabulous background to well, any mood or situation. DRUNKDRIVER (though not metal by any means) works as foreground and background, and i doubt that i could pay them a bigger or more apt compliment than this.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

i started a band...

SILTBREEZE. old mate trudged in with another package of records and cd's this morning, all courtesy of a mr. tom lax of the SILTBREEZE label, best known recently for releasing lp's by TIMES NEW VIKING, FABULOUS DIAMONDS and THE MANTLES (a true pop band, to be sure), but for people like myself, SB was a revelation in the mid-nineties...HARRY PUSSY, THE DEAD C, SANDOZ LAB TECHNICIANS, THE SHADOW RING, STRAPPING FIELDHANDS - these groups helped change my way of thinking of music. entertainment was out the window, and a whole new area of possibilities was to be had if you wanted it. and so, instead of investing time in the label's newest batch of releases (though, the pre-SHADOW RING, THE C&B 7" is definitely of interest), i wish to write/type of some of the stuff that rocked my world (and my bong) back then and today. THE PIN GROUP. their 'retrospective' cd features roy montgomery and peter stapleton - both artists of note in their home-land of new zealand and abroad, probably best known for creating music that has nothing to do with the ground covered on this compilation, ie. 'experimental' groups such as FLIES INSIDE THE SUN and many permutations of such. THE PIN GROUP is a pop band not unlike the SUNNYBOYS, but from the cold, cold south island of nz, instead of a surf-infected northern new south wales, bereft of pretty girls and hope. these songs are minimalist in the extreme, not as a choice but by neccessity. the guitar structures seemingly go nowhere, but rise ever so slightly (early CHILLS achieved this coup as well), sounding tremelo-effected at times - though i suspect that the recording quality (or lack there-of) is naturally phasing said instrument, while the drums (beautiful washes of ride cymbal especially) and bass guitar are rudimentary, basic, repetitive AND busy to a point of THE point, i believe. the dry, stark and somewhat lonely production is joined by a baritone voice that asks many questions (ala ian curtis) and answers few (perfect!), providing the foreground and focus of THE PIN GROUP's post-VELVET UNDERGROUND infectious and base pop tunes, as vital now as when they were penned at the beginning of the eighties. occasional violin scrapes are just that, almost tuneless and out of place, but there all the same - buried beneath the beauty of THE ultimate economical pop/rock music this side of the VELVET UNDERGROUND. honestly, i could listen to THE PIN GROUP for days at a time - they are essential for anyone interested in the supposed flying nun/dunedin sound of guitars as expression without frills or hyperbole, and the history of music in general. listen and learn via osmosis - play and repeat.

RIDE A DOVE. one of HARRY PUSSY's least lauded releases is, in my opinion, probably their most important. it is about the whole recording firstly, not just sixty-second bursts of song(s), and it is TERRIFYING. i own some BILLY BAO records and the BRAINBOMBS are pretty fuckin' great at times (especially on the 7" format), but neither of these groups can come close to the beautiful cacophony that is 'ride a dove'. one of the few HP recordings that is still in print (that in itself should tell you how ignored this record is), i urge you to track it down - you can buy it directly from SILTBREEZE for six dollars(!), much cheaper than the aforementioned band's records, now that ebay governs the worth of a piece of vinyl or a cd, and not actually the sounds that are generated by said objects. no electronics or post-production either (maybe the odd splice - but i doubt it), 'ride a dove' is three people recorded to tape, distorted beyond recognition at times - and all the better for it. noise as communication, HARRY PUSSY have been referred to as a hardcore band - i don't know what the criteria for such a claim is, but if you like to be challenged and you love feedback and chaos, then look no further.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

there's no longevity in rock n' roll...

SCENE THE LAST. i got the shakes, tremors, if you will. i finally (bravely) picked up my skatie this morning and pushed mongo/shit-foot (ahh, fuck ya'll) up the hill of the street that i live in and then, sheepishly waited for my bus into the shop. i am slightly worried about by inability to stop my hands from movin' around like i'm fitting. downers are cunt to extract from one's life, body and mind especially - it's some BUSHWICK BILL shit, just without the dwarf part. eleven years of rehearsals, gigs and substances EVERYWHERE left me with THE perfect excuse to NOT see my reflection in any mirror i came across. "i can't worry 'bout that now, i have to play with blah blah tomorrow night, then record the next day...etc.etc." it never ends mate, NEVER - and then there are the reasons behind why one would subject themselves to said ride: apart from the love, it's insecurity, damage, ego and lack there-of, hunger (literal and otherwise), habit and above all - a reason to live and a place where to belong and call 'home'. we truly ARE one big dysfunctional family - warts, gossip, abuse, laughs and tears included. fuck the 'scene'. fuck scenes. we are all in this together, like it or hate it, it is impossible to avoid. otherwise, you wouldn't care so much what people think, and i wouldn't either. SUMMER WINDS 2010. what was a beautiful day ended in chaos and tears, and all of us that were there are to blame fuckers, sorry, we can't avoid it. melbourne kids - you're all gonna die soon enough - inside and out, if you don't realise that you CAN'T handle your drugs and alcohol. GIZA before there was GZA. he knows, i know and YOU know it all-to-well. there's no longevity in rock n' roll? fucking bullshit. we get BETTER at articulating ourselves and our art with age. just look at our roots in rhythm and blues - these people drank bootleg whiskey every single day, gambled like there wasn't a tomorrow to worry about and fucked like rabbits, AND they lived until they were wrinkled like potato crisps. granted, they died usually as a result of living the life, but they knew their limits and adjusted accordingly, and they kept on creating art and shaping culture - just like we're all attempting to now (though we don't even have the right to shine their shoes yet - keep this in mind). our friend in fluro just delivered a package from stu, containing 7 inch copies of THE GARBAGE AND THE FLOWERS' latest release - 'alamo rose/river of sem'. a perfect case in point. helen, yuri and stu have been actively playing in bands for twenty years or more (more, i don't want to be accused of being ageist), and SKULLTONES (whatever...) have finally heard of their genius and decided to release a single. TGATF are getting better and so are the members that make up the group, individually and collectively. hard work, hard times, down time and the cards dealt, have all contributed (not detracted) to this band's brilliance. THE GARBAGE AND THE FLOWERS - thanks y'all, we love you. there's no longevity in rock n' roll? i, we, beg to differ.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

biggest little prick in the union...

ARAB ON RADAR. most of you will by now be familiar with the name of this group at the very least - but have you actually inhaled one of their records? i have, all of 'em, and i can catergorically say/type, honestly and in a position of some authority, that AOR are one of the most important bands the earth has had the priviledge of experiencing over the last two decades at least. why? the 'soak the saddle' LP, for a start is THE blueprint from which rock n' roll/punk/jazz/pop music was able to spy a way forward...noise as structure and beauty, pretentious as all-get-out, and all the better for it. ARAB ON RADAR bent/smashed sound into song in a way that no-one has been able to come close to before or since. ok, CHARLES MINGUS comes to mind, but i am at a loss to find any other references. probably because nothing has ever scared and completely confused and interested me like this band other than MINGUS. fuck no-wave, fuck all the other reference-points - this group is the ONLY one that actually lived up to their own promise of destroying music so they could build it up again of their own design. after a demo tape, two albums and some 7 inches', they became a four-piece (sans bass guitar) - two guitars, drums, vocals. this is when AOR truly became AOR - they bent/smashed two more LP's out and toured the world with a tenacity and commitment to their art not unlike BLACK FLAG. europe was their target, and they fucking played wherever they could - for themselves, and for us too. i doubt many crust/hardcore bands could say that they worked as hard as these four surprisingly (no GG bullshit here) well-mannered and personable fellows. the music, again, was all there was...they all dressed in black workmen-like attire - not to add, but to detract from their moment(s) as the centre of attention each time they performed. you HAD to listen, and for twenty or so minutes each show (get in, get out - just the way it should be), ARAB ON RADAR simultaneously entertained and challenged themselves and whoever happened to be in the room at the time (and how many 'artistes' can TRULY stand behind this statement). anymore descriptive writ is in mind, pointless (though their vocalist mr. pottymouth has released several books of disturbing and beautiful prose), all that needs to be said/typed is thus: ARAB ON RADAR have reformed. buy their records. see them live by neccessity. come to australia cunts!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

heaven is a C24...

DAVID KEENAN. said cunt has a LOT to answer for - 'new weird america', inflated record, cassette and cdr prices, shocking attempts at playing the saxophone, JANDEK actually 'performing' in front of people and most recently, 'hypnagogic pop'. apparently rooted in nostalgia (that in itself should have by rights, killed it off before it left the ground) and inspired by video tapes, don henley and photocopied artwork (eh?), i believe it to be nothing more than a way for him to sell people on his own taste and make money for volcanic tongue. JAMES FERRARO, EMERALDS (who are actually really fucking good at times), POCAHAUNTED, SPENCER CLARK etc. - yawn. why?
well, apart from said artists being for the most part thoroughly uninteresting and having nothing in common except for similar instrumentation and being placed under a banner that they have mistakenly allowed themselves to embrace (ok, two dudes were in SKATERS - again, BORING...), the main reason for my distaste (apart from the usual ingrained hatred of most things) is that i have in my possession, a cassette that i have fallen in love with. 'open palms' by STITCHED VISION. SV is jason campbell (ex THE LET-GO!, JAMES DEAN), playing absolutely gorgeous synthesiser-driven, drone-based pop music. a C24 of four tracks of pure bliss - this tape could easily fall into the ridiculous sub-genre alluded to above, but it is so fucking good that it defies being put into a neat pidgeon hole. jason works hard at his art - i have followed him for a number of years now after being turned on by my friend chris (thanks mate!), his previous groups falling into the 'screamo' area of music but again, transcending said cul-de-sac by way of brilliant songwriting and an attention to detail and melody ignored by most punks. 'open palms' is his first release as STITCHED VISION, and having witnessed him play these tunes live (and fucking LOUD!), i am sure that it won't be his last. jason is constantly re-working material, techniques and ideas when performing and he has moved past his debut already in a very short time. released in an edition of 50, i urge anyone, everyone, to track down the tangible object or if this is not possible, download it. recorded live, 'open palms' is vital, essential, as beautiful as THAT anticiptated first kiss. heaven is a C24.

songs from a black hole...

LAKES. sean bailey has a rich history as a band-whore: GEORGE W. BUSH, VIVIAN GIRLS (late 90's - the real shit), ST. ALBANS KIDS, WASTED TRUTH, MINDSNARE (?!) etc. etc. as LAKES, bailey first channelled THE FALL and SLUGFUCKERS into his own version of synth-pop, relying on casio beats and keys to provide the background to his semi-monotone vocal expression(s). i was hooked immediately on his debut 7" and LP - raucous and catchy, he played songs that were infectious and ingeniously melodic while also at times, simultanaeously ugly and angry. his cover art also played an important role, and i found myself obsessively collecting every release on his own INVERTED CRUX label - even when i had little time for some of the music, recorded mostly to cassettes with gorgeous screen-printed covers that brought, at least to my ill-informed mind, an autistic MIRO...lines upon lines, seemingly scratched into some sort of made-up language that only he understood, but resonated with me deeply. as his releases multiplied in number, i purchased them all, and have been lucky enough to share jams and shows with him - but my interest waned slightly i must admit - we are around the same age and have inhaled a lot of the same music over the years, and i found it difficult to get past the fact that his later material recalled all-too-well his influences - namely, GARETH WILLIAMS/THIS HEAT and THE SHADOW RING. his mastery of percussion and recording though, always impressed me immeasurably, and i continued to collect everything he produced, hoping that it was just me being a picky bastard (no, you think - you're just an arsehole). thirty minutes ago, our friend wearing fluro delivered five copies of sean's new LP, 'solar flecks', and as it blasts tape distorted tunes with an eastern-tinged edge, probably shitting our neighbours upstairs again (at least it isn't TOECUTTER this time, cunt), i am convinced finally that LAKES isn't going anywhere anytime soon and that i have warmed to it completely. sean has been hinting toward this/these sound(s) for quite awhile - his 'monument of nests' tape being the most effective, but 'solar flecks' is one step further again...a subtle step, but an important one. said LP is completely immersive for a start - stark and thick as molasses, not unlike MOUTHUS in regards to production - using recording tape as an instrument instead of simply a tool to document sound. all of the previous elements he has utilised recently are here: keyboard, acoustic and electric guitar(distorted with gain), assorted percussion, tapes etc., but there is some missing ingredient added - sean speeds up and slows down the tempo frequently, adding an intensity and a palpable menace to these tunes that are already an uneasy but completely rewarding listen. the guitar tones are a lot more varied and his vocals, ever so slightly more pronounced. LAKES as a live experience is always fucking LOUD and true - his songs take on more guts, as if proclaimed from deep within a black hole...though one you want to dive into instead of avoid. 'solar flecks' is a fantastic LP, another one for my collection and a record that you should snap up if given the oppotunity. 100 copies, screen-printed cover and an insert printed on tracing paper. perfect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

kicker of elves...

YOUTH. school days as we're told, are supposedly the best years of one's life. i know that i'm not the only one who was scanning the room for some kind of rope-like material to tie a noose from whenever this statement was made - 'fuck that and fuck you...'. after turning thirty, i have found myself completely lost, isolated and - for the first time in my short life, lonely. well, i call bullshit on this too. SONGS. TUNES. MELODIES. HARMONIES. MUSIC! while i now know that i am NOT defined by my creative output, i also know deep in my fucking guts that LISTENING to music has never been more important. over the last eighteen months i have rediscovered my love for songs and specifically, bands that i long thought i had out-grown or were irrelevent to my thirty-year-old self. as i type this gunk on to a lap-top computer (who woulda thunk it, eh?), i am blasting 'bee thousand' by GUIDED BY VOICES on the shop's stereo. it is fantastic to experience this record again but i am working towards something, 'real' songs written by australians that were in REACH when i was a pup, going to all-ages shows in the western suburbs of sydney. in some ways, these years were the best of my life. thus far though mate, thus far. for i have hope, and i shall attempt to explain why. mixed bills: YOU AM I, MIDGET, POLLYANNA, BIG HEAVY STUFF, SIDEWINDER, DAISYGRINDERS, TWEEZER, LAWNSMELL, EVEN, MEANIES, FRENZAL RHOMB (shudder), REGURGITATOR, CUSTARD, THE FAUVES, SCREAMFEEDER, TUMBLEWEED, SMUDGE, MAGIC DIRT, FRONT END LOADER, SPIDERBAIT(i know...blah), SUICIETY, HARDWARE, TWO LITRE DOLBY, SHIHAD(first two lp's are amazing), EL MOPA, SANDPIT(!), NOISE ADDICT, ART OF FIGHTING, CROW, BLUEBOTTLE KISS, NITOCRIS, SNEAKER...i could type on, but i think that my point has been made. in the early to mid-nineties i would pay my two bucks at the harvey lowe pavillion in castle hill or the police boys youth club in parramatta and watch five or more bands that in today's social climate, seemingly had nothing in common - ie. they played music that fit into genres that were not alike in the slightest. but they DID have something in common - they were bands, putting themselves out there while on the stage or on the floor performing and then (shock! horror!) you could walk up to them and have a chat, AND they listened and spent time with you - no matter who you were or what you wore (clothing or otherwise), as long as you approached with honesty and without arrogance, tim rogers (a local hero - the 'pizza guy') would speak with you, or tom morgan, or adalita, or greg atkinson, or matt handley etc. etc. these people were just that - people, and they didn't have a problem spending/wasting their time talking to a fifteen year-old me, excited as fuck and thankful for their music AND their words. if you fell over in the pit whilst dancing (dancing!), then a stranger helped you up and off you went again, dancing. we were all in this together - punters, muso's, record store staff (thank you waterfront and old, old utopia records!)...even the security at the shows were nice enough (emphasis on 'enough'). it was accepted and expected that you (YOU!), us, all had a responsibility to one-another to keep this thing called love (read: music) going - we all had a stake and if someone slipped up, then someone else picked up the slack. i don't feel this anymore, i'm sorry, but i don't. FBI (the radio station) was better when it was on and off the air. why? because the fundraising shows were fucking corkers and the people involved genuinely gave a shit - it wasn't just a stepping stone for the staff to another higher paying job. it was life. so many fuckers rely on government grants these days to fund their 'artistic pursuits', but what happens when the grant money dries up? they disappear from view, putting on annual 'festivals' of boring, self-serving shite. it pisses me off, and i know that i am not alone in feeling this way - i'm simply stupid enough to say it and put my money where my fucking mouth is.
so, where to from here? well, it's all up to us - you, me and 'them'. for a start, when attending a show and watching a band that you're enjoying - clap when they finish a song for fuck's sake. don't be self conscious, don't even think - react! if you loved that song they just played, then show em! i went to the hamilton station hotel in newcastle on saturday night to watch and listen to some live music, and half the time i was the only one applauding between tunes - school days were shit because of things like peer pressure (SCREAMERS!), and gigs are a release from supposed contraints such as this. YOU have a responsibility to thank these people who lay themselves bare - just as THEY have a responsibilty to do their best to play well and be thankful for an audience, any audience...especially in the year 2010 - a time when everyone's constantly distracted by immediate satisfaction. understand that this thing called love (read: music) is not about immediacy, it's about communication - from me to you and all and sundry. the internet has done us many favours - for a start, major labels are dead in the water. we have a chance to make things better, to look back while focusing on the paths ahead. life, love and art - it's all too important and far too short to waste time worrying about what that cunt next to you or on this screen thinks. DO IT YOURSELF, for yourself AND everyone else. then at least you'll be able to say you tried to create or support or simply be happy. and remember, read this and discard. fuck me and fuck your heroes. fuck school. be continued...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


WILL (short for william). have you ever noticed that some names apply only to awesome people or complete wankers? i have never met a 'will' that i didn't like - all unique fellas as the dream in a self-contained universe. this particular will is a musician (RATS WITH WINGS), label owner (HEARDWORSE), record trading whiz and father. we played some music with him last night in the courtyard of vox cyclops and it was a blast - literally. later, while listening to PRINCE and avoiding the night's main attraction (yawn, next...), he pulled out yet another box of records for the shop and we marvelled again at what he had kindly traded with us. DEEPKISS 720 - fuck! on HARBINGER SOUND, this 12" is a picture-disc collage of breasts, pubic hair and day-glo nightmares - wonderful to observe whilst spinning on the turn-table. the music though is even more of a mind-fuck, mixing VITAMIN B12-esque collage, noise, rave, synth-pop, breakbeats and other completely indescribable elements. as usual, mr. COCK SAFARI has already snapped it up, but i encourage all interested in the weird, wonderful and obscene to dig around and find this release - 'pace x friction' is it's name. again, i know nothing about DEEPKISS 720 other than my experience with said tangible object and i don't need to. music. a cure for what ail's ya.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

dearly beloved...

NEXTBESTWAY. newcastle mornings are fucking freezing during this time of the year. most days, the high-light for us is the arrival of a jolly delivery man wearing a fluro yellow shirt, records in hand. alastair galbraith kindly sent us 17 CDR's and we're slowly making our way through them (there is no other way). A.J. SHARMA's 'the road back' is the stand-out thus far: gorgeous steel-string acoustic driven pop songs that at first reminded me most of one of my favourite RICHARD YOUNGS songs: 'come hear us now'. minimalist, delicate and true...these tunes are playing over and over in my head and each time i discover another layer of beauty. NEXTBESTWAY releases are simply and beautifully packaged, again - minimalist in scope...alastair obviously wishes the listener to come to their own conclusions. maybe not the best choice of wording, but my friends are here and they are shitting me so i am finding it hard to concentrate. we have a show on tonight in the shop's courtyard and i have to go and pick up a p.a. and check my synthesiser to make sure that shaun didn't break that as well (tsk tsk) but i can't drag myself away from this album of gorgeous songs that could only have originated from the antipodes. y'all know what i mean? mr. SHARMA also recalls the sounds and delivery of JIMB CURRIN (we miss you mate), CAROLINER, SYD BARRETT, KEITH MASON and many other 'true' songwriters but he is definitely unique. you could easily cry into your beer or fruit juice while listening to 'the road back', but i know that i'll be crankin' this again later on tonight long after the amps are turned off in celebratory style and NO-ONE will question it's place in the room with the rest of us...whatever condition we find ourselves in. i am in love with this music, like i was in love with SEBADOH when i was fifteen and so very awkward, trying to speak with girls (now one lady) and failing miserably. hopefully my dreams will come true. in any case, i'll have this CDR to console and comfort me.
A.J. SHARMA lives somewhere in new zealand if you hadn't guessed (south island is my bet) and i know absolutely nothing about him. i don't need to. the music is all there is, just the way it should be.

Monday, May 10, 2010

dE-elevator : a reason to get up in the morning...

PRINCE. we're all in this together? one big (read: small) dysfunctional family situated in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Young, Merricks Beach and wherever you're probably sitting reading shit on a screen. like paint thrown at a wall - we'll see what sticks, eh? that's the m.o. of most...doctors, nutters and musicians. we're all fucking guilty. apathy. gossip. drown your sorrows with tap water, alcohol's only masking your insecurities and weed = pluracy.
do you trust me? do like to fuck up and get fucked up? good. we're on the same page (read: screen). dE-elevator is a blog that will be a zine that will be paint thrown at a wall. just like the rest of you, we have a voice. the only difference is - this time we're naked on a computer instead of the street. let's get down to brass tacks. MUSIC.

shaun south is my friend. he is also a musical genius. maybe you've seen him in the bottle shop or, in one of his previous groups: YOUNG ROMANTIX MAKE LOVE (still kickin' when he feels the urge), DEAF DEAF, PATHETIC HUMAN, etc...or maybe you know him as "that guy with the hair and tie-dye" who organised Punx Picnic and Summer Winds. CHROME DOME was shaun and his friend ben. now he is joined by andrea and bryce. CD played in our shop a couple of weeks ago and it was a mess. the microphones kept shitting out, we had to beg, borrow and steal for gear (read: musical equipment) and Newcastle decided to bring on the darkness us locals know all too well. alcohol everywhere, i was worried. i had a right to be, and ended up in a psych-ward the following night - but that's another story.
everything that could go wrong did and CHROME DOME shined on through all the chaos. not despite it, but because of it. no vocals? no worries. shaun simply paced about and around the sixty or so punters, scaring the shit out of many of them - pissed as a newt rambling, singing and screaming the words...sometimes at us and sometimes at and with his band-mates. six songs later and my last amplifier broken, it was over and i felt inspired. said performance kept me on an even keel long enough to talk an acid casualty from Windale down from a flash-back, and then...exhaustion, anger and tears. the band missed their flight out of Williamtown back home the following afternoon. shaun kept me amused all day with stories of girl's jeans, while andrea told me a pearler of a tale of Jisoe sporting a tattoo of the map of Australia on his face (sans Tasmania) and bryce ate yoghurt with a spoon fashioned from a cardboard cover of a cd of some of the worst music i have ever heard (for anyone interested, the band is named TRUTH RUBY). later, as i sat in my hospital bed sweating rotten prescription drugs out of my system, i opened my tape copy of CHROME DOME's debut long-player for some comfort - a link to something beautiful that lay in wait for me outside of the white walls. i had missed details earlier and smiled ever so slightly, as i realised that bryce had christened his label PSYCHOTIC REACTION. prick.

CHROME DOME have released two 7 inches', two tapes and a CD (ha!). buy 'em.