• A conversation with First Lady of Soul, PP Arnold

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

Never To Be Released - Maximum Security (self released)

never to be releasedThis is a clever record. Meaning: just enough thought went into its recording and production to make it special. 

Two declarations up front. I know most the people involved with “Never To Be Released”, so there’s a slight degree of bias in their favour. Secondly, most music that passes for “punk rock” bores me shitless. 

It’s like the second wave of UK punk: Once the first rush of anger and spontaneity had subsided, it fell victim to fashion. Style over substance. Saying the same thing over and over got real old, real quick. Learning two chords and starting a band is fine but you need to educate yourself in what to do with them. The chords and the band, that is.

An Instant Classic By Sean O'Callaghan (collective effort press)

an instant classicJim Morrison! John Lennon! Leonard Cohen! Mark E. Smith! Bob Dylan! John Lydon!

Yes, that's right, these dirty rockers have all had books published outside their main area of expertise. Now here's Sean O'Callaghan. Name might not quite be as familiar as the above pus-bags, but you've probably seen his memes about on Facebook and stuff. 

Australian Sean O'Callaghan is a poet who ain't like other poets. You know the bloke who stands upright and mumbles his words with embarrassment because, deep down inside, he knows he's a dick? 

That's not Sean O'Callaghan. Sean doesn't just read, he performs (often with a backdrop or musical racket banging away). The man has a distinct taste for chaos and mayhem, whose performances usually upset (if not silence) most other poets (apparently a bit too rock'n'roll and tend to separate the wheat from the chaff by the end of the performance. And, beneath all the big impact... that's where you see the man himself.

3 Cheers to Nothing - Trixie and the Trainwrecks (Voodoo Rhythm)

trixie"3 Cheers to Nothing" arrived in my box unannounced and unasked for. I put it on as I was driving (as I do) and nearly rear-ended a bus.

I can see the children looking behind them with little circles for eyes and big open mouths, horror written all over... and then there was the rest of the drive, complete with sirens (bloody things, they take ages to get rid of), driving on the wrong side of the footpath, and a few dents on the roof (bloody cyclists).

You should be familiar with her record company: they declare they stock "Music to Ruin any Party" (they don't, the only parties they'd ruin would be political ones), Voodoo Rhythm (the folk who bring you Bob Log III, Dead Brothers, Delaney Davidson, Pierre Omer, The Pussywarmers and (in Europe) Rocket Science) and a host of others ... so Voodoo Rhythm have form, as they say of old lags, and fine, fine taste.

Workshy by Dave Graney (Affirm Press)

Workshy Dave Graney 1Let's get one thing straight: Musicians do work. It may not be work as we know it, Jim, but it is a form of employment, and it requires a well-defined skillset.

Talent is important but so is patience. Professional musicians do more waiting around than almost any other occupation on Earth. Other than midwives - and at least they receive universal praise.

Solo artist, ex-Moodist and leadr of the White Buffalos, Coral Snakes and more, Dave Graney, knows this about his trade and much more. He conveys much wisdom in "Workshy". It is the ideal read for anyone thinking about sending their offspring into rock and roll. Which is where Dave hides. Pun intended.

"Workshy" is Dave's second autobiography. I know what you're thinking: He might have been crowned King of Australian Pop but where does Graney get off writing TWO books about himself? Well, Billy Thorpe managed to do it. And more of Dave's books might be true. Both men have bodies of work with parts that are wryly funny. I could be referring here to The Aztecs' "The Hoax Is Over". "Workshy" is considerably more focussed than that mess.

Rock with Doc as he fights The Big C

chickenstones beachChickenstones main man Andy “Doc” Temple Ellard is fighting a battle against an aggressive cancer but that shouldn’t be the only reason you see his band’s last Australian show for 2018. 

Chickenstones are one of Sydney’s best straight-up rock and roll bands. 

Doc is also one of the Sydney scene’s most genuine characters, a fine frontman and guitarist and a tireless champion of underground music via the weekly Devil’s Jukebox on 2NSB and Radio 365.

The band’s most recent CD, “Johnny Streetlight”, is out on vinyl on French label Basil Records and the show - at Collaroy’s Beach Club on April 21 - is billed as a second launch for that erstwhile artefact.

The band plans to tour the record in Europe later this year, pending the outcome of Doc’s treatment.

The bottom line is that Doc will appreciate your support but Chickenstones shows are also one big party. For this one, they’ll be supported by locals Dias. Tickets are just $10. 

Have you heard the News? Mark is a winner

news packMark Littler from Sydney is the winner of our contest to win a "Dirty Lies" single and T-shirt pack for Aussie punk News, from Buttercup Records. 

Mark receives a copy of the News seven-inch in a spray-painted box with a News T-shirt, sticker, inserts and flexdisc. 

Mark correctly named Adam Five (aka Gavin Quinn) as a member of News and Babeez

If you missed out, there are quantities of some of the editions of the News single pack available from Buttercup Records here

 

 

A Thousand Endless Nights - Little Green Fairy (Closer Records)

a thousand endless nightsIt’s been five years such the last album and French garage-psychers Little Green Fairy are back with their strongest record to date. You may have never heard of this band but be assured that they hit the mark and worth you taking a risk on.

Little Green Fairy (it’s a brand of absinthe) come from Sette on France’s Mediterranean coast. That means they’re a long way from almosty anywhere else in French terms, but it also positions them in a pictureseque stopover for touring bands on their way to Italy. They've won a reputation as the local support-of-choice.

They’ve shared stages with an impressive list. Try the Saints, Radio Birdman The Jim Jones Revue, the New Christs, Hoodoo Gurus, Real Kids, The Hydromatics, The Bellrays, Sonny Vincent and Chris Bailey, among others. 

Sideways Changeling - The Electric Guitars (Volume Creep)

sideways changelingThe Electric Guitars are fucking extraordinary. I saw this outfit in Geelong and they deliberately mess with your expectations. Partly I spose it's 'cause there are so many fucking rock'n'roll bands. And these days, there's a big swing towards the manner of psychedelia (without the bad trips and foul behaviour) in the US and UK.

Yeah, so the Electric Guitars use wah-wah. But it's hardly a mannered thing - they use a lot of effects, and they ain't shy about it. This outfit don't need drugs to get your attention, instead they have carefully set-up songs and wield them like scalpels, chainsaws and bludgeons, sometimes all at once.

You think you know where you are with a band like this, you'll fall on your face. The second song alone ("Three Body Problem") is a case in point... you're sucked in, frankly, and after a while your sinuses are aching and your inner ear is rattling. If you have fillings, take them out before you listen.

Live at Tully Hall – Lou Reed (Easy Action)

tully hallLou Reed’s much-maligned early ‘70s live backing band, The Tots, cop a bad wra

Maybe it’s because they weren’t the Velvets or the “Rock and Roll Animal” monster. No crime in that. Maybe it was the bass player’s white suits - like an early ‘70s version of double denim.

They were a bar band from Yonkers. They weren’t the best band to back Uncle Lou. Not by a long-shot. But they had a go.

After messing around with members of Yes and well-credentialed session guys in England to record his first two solo albums, Reed was ready to promote "Transformer". This was his "comeback" show in New York City. He'd emerged from a lay-off, much of which was spent working as a typist in the family business,

Witht the benefit of hindsight, The Tots were like a suit he bought off the rack. Not the most elegant fit, but they did the job for a year - until he wore them out/got bored and sacked them.

More Articles ...