• Dinner with Lou Reed

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

How Green Was My St Kilda Day or Mr Brown Goes to Melbourne

powerline sneakers adbtgThe Powerline Sneakers at The Day By The Green. Noni Dowling photo. 

Well hello fellow I-94 Bar abusers! I took my skinny white bum down to Melbourne on the Friday morning – a 5am bus from the Farmhouse here in Dimboola, only a lazy 1000ks there and back - but folks, if they rock, I will travel. And A Day by the Green, the next day, was well worth it. Some call this long-running mini-festival “a day on the green”…well, it is held in St Kilda, after all.

They had a fabulous line-up, led by Melbourne rock royalty in John Nolan (ex- Powder Monkeys), in his most awesome band, The Powerline Sneakers. Also on the bill: River of Snakes, The Pro Tools, Seedy Jeezus , Cold Harbour, The Fiction, Me Graines and a couple of other bands that I missed (my bad.) I’ll be early next time.

SO FUCK DID IT RAIN. LET’S JUST GET THAT OUT OF THE WAY. Inside the dry setting of The St Kilda Sports Club, there were about 150 punters there when I made my grand entrance. No-one noticed, of course, because The Me Graines were pumping out a fine set of tunes, with a new drummer and a couple of well-chosen covers. They were right on the money - a $20 entry fee – and I got my money’s worth right there. And it’s only gonna get better.

Big Attraction/Giddy Up - Amyl and the Sniffers (Homeless Records)

amyl and the sniffersThis may well be the only review of the Amyl and the Sniffers LP that makes no mention of mullets, sharpies, bogans or moles.

(I must mention, however, that one of the best mullets I have ever seen is the bass player from the mid-period line up of The Angels as seen in the film clip of that "No Way Get Fucked" song...although he is no match for Bob Spencer who in the same video has no hair and a monster rat's tail! Awesome!)

Amyl and the Sniffers are a young Australian punk rock band from Melbourne...and they play like they really mean it. Unlike some fake punky rockers over the past 40 years who, despite having the right shoes, clothes, haircuts and an obscure Killed By Death seven-inch that sells for $800 on eBay,  were just trendies with no guts, heart , soul or songs. 

Vol 10 - The Heartbrokers (Off The Hip)

heartbrokersThere’s no long history for this band apart from the collective curriculum vitae of the Melbourne people involved and the obvious fact they have an affinity for each other’s playing. It was recorded in a suburban shed on an oppressively hot day in 2014. It also grooves and rocks like the proverbial.

There are no Volumes 1-9 or even an 11. The Heartbrokers are Van Walker (Tasmanian-born singer-songwriter) on guitar and vocals, bassist Cal Walker, drummer Ash Davies, roots-rocker Jeff Lang and rockabilly-country pianist Ezra Lee. Plus friends like Jack Howard (sax).

Names can confuse and so can genres. Just as they toy with their title, these guys confound pigeonholing with their broad range. More (early) Seger than (doomed) Thunders but maybe a little Petty in terms of borrowing some sounds from Americana, The Heartbrokers defy categorisation other than good, old-fashioned, boogie and blues-based rock and roll.

One of Those Fine Days - Guy Littell (AR Recordings)

guy littell coverWhen you take your surname from a character in a James Ellroy book, you nail your colours to the mast as a fan of most things American. Naples-born Guy Littell might be as Italian as pizza with a cappuccino on the side, but his music is drenched in Americana.

Littell’s biography mentions his links to Steve Wynn (of The Dream Syndicate and a long solo career) on whose next album Guy guests, and the impact of hearing Neil Young and Mark Lanergan. “One of Those Fine Days” shows those influences writ large - plus a deep dish serving of Matthew Sweet. 

Littell might not have the pipes of Sweet - who does? - but he and his band tackle these 10 self-penned songs with a similar measured, rock-pop aplomb.

They're coming to Strangle us with classics

stranglers 2018

One of the UK's most important musical exports, The Stranglers, have announced their return to Australia and New Zealand in 2018 with their biggest tour in 30 years, "The Classic Collection".

Taking 20 of their most popular tracks from their revered album classics, chart successes and fan favourites from across their 40-year history, The Stranglers will prove their longevity and impact with a set made of of tracks including "Golden Brown", "Always the Sun", "Peaches", "Strange Little Girl", "5 Minutes", "No More Heroes" and many more.

I-94 Bar merch now available

i94bar shirtFollowing requests, we've re-launched a range of quality I-94 Bar merchandise at very affordable prices.

T-shirts, coffee mugs, scarves, leggings and household wares are now available - with no margin applied for a limited time, to make everything as cheap as possible. 

If you want to be the first Barfly on your block to be sporting apparel that spells Real Rock Action, let your mouse do the walking and go here.

 

 

Straightjacket Fits mainman set for Australian shows

shayne carter tourShayne Carter first emerged on the New Zealand rock scene in the ’80s with his high school punk band Bored Games and their “Who Colonel Mustard “ EP, which was one of the first releases on Flying Nun Records.

Part of the original “Dunedin Sound" scene, Carter went on to become a major player in the Flying Nun independent rock story as the singer-songwriter and guitarist in outfits such as Straitjacket Fits, Doublehappys and Dimmer. 

Carter is Melbourne-bound for three shows in February - hist first since 2016 when he and his band played a searing three-night residency at the Yarra.

Regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest alternative rock figures, Carter has carved out a distinctive and innovative body of work that places him in the top pantheon of that country’s best songwriters.

His band Straitjacket Fits - a group that became well known to Australian audiences in the ‘90s - produced a blend of rock dissonance and melody that became hugely influential; predating both the shoe gazer movement and the angular rock of bands like Radiohead and others of a similar ilk that followed in Straitjacket Fits' wake. 

Head Undone: 1982-1988 -Buick KBT (Buttercup Records)

buick kbt coverYou have to admire record labels like Buttercup who dig up decades-old sounds from Australia’s music underground, chuck a new coat of paint on those mouldy old tapes and offer them up for a cash consideration to nerdy record collectors who crave those obscure Australian sounds.

A cynical person would file this Melbourne combo under “'80s Smack Rock”…and of course I’m a cynical bastard. But, hey, being inspired by The Birthday Party or the Bad Seeds isn’t a bad thing. Those groups wrote their own rule books and went where no bands has been before them and if you’re going to be inspired by somebody it may as well be by the greats.

I’m sure Buick KBT shared cups of tea with The Wreckery, The Moodists and The Sacred Cowboys.  They certainly shared stages with Venom P.Stinger, Go-Betweens, X , The Laughing Clowns and Dead Kennedys.

Drunk and Disorderly: Episode 35

Look out honey, we're using technology: Episode 35 of "Drunk and Disorderly" is live. Play it through your browser, through the Mixclud app, share it, whatever. Spread the Rock Action!

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