Posts Tagged ‘Adelaide’

This week I talk about the two times I saw the Ramones live and how that experience was for me.

Listen now by clicking on THIS LINK.

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Back in 1991, I think it was, I went record shopping at my fave record store at the time, Thrash Grind Grunge, in Adelaide. There was this guy named Greg and he was running a distro called Spiral Objective out of the store. All you had to do was bring the catalogue in with you and you got the stuff you wanted at the catalogue price. This was a super awesome idea and I must have spent tons of cash in this place over the years. One Saturday afternoon I was in the store buying records by Green Day and Parasites when Greg was telling me about some other Ramonesy bands that I needed to hear. He played me this album titled ‘My Brain Hurts’ by a band called Screeching Weasel. Within seconds I was hooked. I couldn’t believe my ears. I bought the CD and walked out of the store smiling ear to ear. This couldn’t really be happening, could it? Have I just discovered a band as good as the Ramones and the Hard-Ons? It appears that I had finally found an album that was on par with the likes of ‘Rocket To Russia’ and ‘Love Is A Battlefield of Broken Hearts’. When I got back to my mates house, I played the album to him. We must have listened to it about 10 times in a row. Yeah, 5 hours later we were still listening to it. It didn’t get boring. All we wanted to do was listen to it again and again. That began my love of the Chicago punk rock band, Screeching Weasel. I then set out to find every record, CD, 8-Track, etc. that I could find by the band. It was a hard feat but it needed to be done. I did ok. I didn’t find them all but I managed to get about 95% of them. That works for me. What? You want me to get to the new downloadable song? Hang on a sec, just keep reading… don’t be so impatient. Didn’t your mum teach you anything?

Anyway…

25 years of catchy punk rock… it’s a feat not too many bands can say they have upheld. Okay, technically, one could argue that it hasn’t really been 25 years as they have been split up for a considerable amount of years during that time, playing one off shows here and there and Ben Weasel has done some solo stuff as well, but still, like all good bands, they got back on the horse, and delivered exactly what it is you would want from them: another Screeching Weasel record. They’re a band who never drifted from their style, always sticking to their guns and just going for it. Next month sees the release of the band’s latest album titled ‘First World Manifesto’ on the renowned Fat Wreck Chords label and the lads have been nice enough to allow us a sneak peak into the new record by giving the world a song to download, which you can do so by following this link.

I have heard it and it’s just as I would expect. A fun, uplifting punk rock tune from the Ramones mold. I can’t wait for this album. Should be a hoot! Now, who else is joining me for the Weasel Weekend in Chicago? It’s my birthday, come and celebrate with me and buy me drinks (of water). Let’s rock!

In other Screeching Weasel news, Midway Pictures are releasing a doco / movie on the band and I hope that when it gets released, the DVD comes with about 3 bonus discs of live footage and rehearsals n stuff and that the feature length ‘Disgusteen’ gay vampire movie that Ben Weasel made is included so I don’t have to watch my horrible VHS 27th generation dub of this cult schlock. I could go on but I won’t… click here for more information on this should-be-awesome movie.

You can pre-order the new Screeching Weasel album right here through Interpunk.
Screeching Weasel online
Fat Wreck Chords

Back in 1990, myself and 2 friends, Ben and Darren, were at my house one Friday night eating pizza, talkin’ shit, listening to records, etc. and we were in the kitchen and suddenly noticed there was a spider crawling on the kitchen lightshade. I searched everywhere for some insect spray but we were all out. We did have Exit Mould though so we used that. We sprayed the spider over and over. We didn’t have anything to put it in so we used a biscuit jar and the spider fell into that and we took it outside and either let it go or stomped on it. I can’t remember. Either way, we were laughing hysterically and decided to start a band that night. My drums were usually set-up in the loungeroom for rehearsals anyway so Darren got his guitar, Ben grabbed some paper and a pen and we started writing songs. Within minutes (yeah, seriously, minutes!) we had tons of songs written. We decided to actually do something with this and began rehearsing regularly. Before long we were playing live gigs at backyard parties and venues. It was on and happening.

Soon after we entered the recording studios to lay down tracks for our first demo tape, “Alligators Are Scary”. This demo tape featured 17 tracks of metal punk hardcore rock with no bass guitar; just vocals, guitar and drums. It’s not a bad effort and cost us all up about $150 for the whole day. Recording this demo, half way through the drum levels being set-up, a priest barged into the studio demanding that we stop immediately. He advised us he was trying to conduct a service at the church next door and the drums were going through the airconditioning vents and into the church. We decided to name this priest Father Dowling and wrote a song about this incident right there on the spot. The engineer seemed amazed at how quickly we could put a song together and told us this story about a guy outside a pub during the Grand Prix who repeatedly told people about the $1 beers that the pub was selling at the time. This story made us laugh and an extra song, aptly titled “$1 beers!” was added to the demo. Hey, we moved fast!

“Alligators Are Scary” also included the infamous song, “Heaps Of Giveaways” which was a tribute to the local radio 5MMM (Now 3D Radio) heavy metal show host, Lewi Young, whose catch phrase on air was, funnily enough, ‘heaps of giveaways’. This song got the band much notoriety and the song became one of the most played songs on the radio at the time. This was the first time I had ever gotten into my car, turned on the radio and heard a song by my own band being played on the radio. Was a pretty good feeling for a 17 year old kid.

After the demo was recorded, we took advantage of our school’s media studies equipment and decided to make a music video for one of the songs on the demo titled “Musashi (Strongest Man in the Universe)”. I still remember how this song came about. The 3 of us were watching the olympics on TV one weekend and the weightlifting came on. This guy came up to the weights to begin his lift. Behind him, a huge banner saying Musashi. He picked up the weights, got them about 10cms off the canvas, dropped them and stormed off. We started laughing, Ben put pen to paper and the songs was born. This here is the video to Musashi, filmed at Salisbury East High School which is where the 3 of us attended our studies.

One night we were out riding our BMX bikes across the road in the carpark of the local radio station and we were on a BMX Bandits trip. We had been watching the movie and, like everything else we found amusing, another song was born. We filmed a bunch of us doing some hardcore BMX stunts and the results of both the song and video can be found here in our tune, “BMX Bandits”.

The band played a new years eve show in 1991 at the Tivoli Hotel and after the show was over, we were told that we weren’t going to be paid because we didn’t have a bass player therefore we were not a serious band. True story. We seemed stumped by this and after being paid $20 because we demanded something, we decided we should get a bass player. We recruited my brother, Jut, and went back into the studio to record another demo titled “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle”. This demo had a total of 12 tracks and had a much heavier sound. Songs ranging from topics to do with TAB (the drink – just one calorie), flatulence, DRI fans in Portugal who listen to the trash, and a re-recorded version of Heaps Of Giveaways, the demo was not as well received but still deemed a classic by the 10 people who heard it. “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” also included covers of a Coca-Cola advert, the Zit Remedy, and Nena’s “99 Luft Balloons”. Sounds ridiculous? It was. Someday both of these demos may re-surface for your listening pleasure. One video from “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” was made for the song Heller.

A 3rd and final demo, a cabaret demo of 3 songs was recorded and never officially released. This featured songs about Manna (a person who went into the jungle and never came out) and other such ridiculous soul-soothers. This also started the end of an era and Spiders In The Biscuit Jar soon disbanded. Sad but true.

The band:
Ben Reichman – Vocals, Piano
Darren Borrowdale – Guitar
Damo – Drums, Backing Vocals
Jut – Bass

Discography:
Alligators Are Scary (1992)
Maurcie’s Steak & Waffle (1993)
The Cabaret Demo (1993)

Both Alligators Are Scary and Maurice’s Steak & Waffle can be downloaded for free from the band’s bandcamp page.

Record shopping is pretty much my favourite hobby. Wherever I go in the world, you will always find me browsing the shelves of used record stores looking for gems. While in the USA last year, out of the 110 records I bought, I managed to secure around 80 records for $1 each. This is what I love about record shopping. This post pays tribute to 10 great albums (in no particular order) that I have found in record stores over the years that cost me no more than $1. Enjoy!

1. RUSH – “Moving Pictures” (1981)
I have to be hoest, I bought this album purely for the fact it had the track Tom Sawyer on it. Probably the most popular of all RUSH songs. I personally think it is a damn good track, I love that whole bass and drums bit and then the guitars come in and go sonic as fuck. Yeah, rock! Now, I am by no means a diehard RUSH fan. In fact, my whole RUSH collection includes a whopping 3 records. This album, though, I needed to have. If you know the song, you know why it’s cool. I wouldn’t say Prog Rock is my thing at all although I do dig the sounds of Hawkwind and Uriah Heep. Yep, this RUSH album was $1 well spent (even if side B does have a scratch half way through it cos I never listen to that side anyway. Tom Sawyer only!) and here’s proof…

2. KISS – “Rock N Roll All Over” (1976)
I made a vow to never buy KISS merchandise brand new cos I don’t want Gene ever getting a cent of my hard earned cash cos a) he has enough money, and b) most KISS albums are about 50% great and 50% filler. This album though was a total score purely cos the cover art rocks and it has the songs Hard Luck Woman, I Want You and Makin’ Love on it. Those 3 tracks are defintely worth the $1 I spent on them. Yep. For those who thought it was a Paul song (and so many do), here’s the voice behind the sweet tunage…

3. CHEAP TRICK – “Dream Police”  (1979)
You’d be hard pressed to actually find a second hand store in the USA that will actually charge you more than $1 for a Cheap Trick used LP. They were everywhere. Especially this album. In fact, this album is so damn good, I actually own 3 copies of it (actually, i think it could be 4, but who’s counting?). Each copy bought for $1 each. Why so many? Have you sat down and listened to this thing? It’s incredible. Robin’s voice is amazing and the guitar work is just flawless. On top of that, these guys know how to always write the perfect tune. Always. Just listen to the songs I’ll Be With You Tonight, Voices or the album’s title track. Sheer perfection. So many bands sneakily wish they were this good. That’s not me making it up either, that’s a fact. Cheap Trick are one of the finest melodic rock n roll bands to ever grace the planet. Make use of their awesomeness while they are still around creating some of the best tunes you will ever hear. You need to own this album. It’s kinda illegal not to. Enjoy the video…

4. THE WILDHEARTS – “Endless Nameless” (1997)
Technically, this album didn’t cost me $1, it actually cost me 49pence when I was in the UK in 2002. When I work out conversion rates and a percentage of the train ticket I bought to get to the city of London that day, it works out to around $1 so suspend disbelief and play along with me here. This album is pretty much the most ignored Wildhearts album in their catalogue. People just don’t seem to like it. Beside the fact the white noise that was put into all the tracks makes the album unlistenable, this heroin induced mess of a record, I believe, is one of their best. Why? Cos the songs are there. Hidden in the mix, they are there and they sound fuckin’ great! How can you honestly say that Urge, Pissjoy, and Anthem are not instant classics? Or what about their reworking of the Dogs D’Amour aptly titled, Heroin? This album is sheer audible bliss, especially in headphones. Highly recommended, especially if you’re suicidal.

5. GRAND FUNK RAILROAD – “Closer To Home” (1970)
Another gem found in the $1 bin and will always be unknown to me as to why it was sitting there in the first place. This album is all killer, no filler. I got turned onto Grand Funk’s awesomeness back when the movie The Spirit of 76 (starring Redd Kross, Devo and the hot chick rom the Wonder Years) was released and they raved about them in the film. I instantly became a fan and snapped up everything but I couldn’t seem to find this LP though and then one day, BAM! There it was, staring me in the face and needing my hard earned $1. I parted ways, brought it home and was blown away. Songs like Mean Mistreater, Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother and the finale, I’m Your Captain, were instant faves in the Damo files of rock. Do I need to mention the live photo in the middle of the gatefold sleeve? Probably not but I will… it made me jealous that I never got to witness Grand Funk’s live shows back in the day. Total rock n roll complete with possibly the second best white man’s afro ever seen to grace a stage (the first goes to the MC5’s Rob Tyner). Do yourself a favour and love this band cos you are doing yourself a great disservice by not.

6. AEROSMITH – “Live! Bootleg” (1978)
This album was a score on so many levels. Let’s look at this one in detail: a) It’s Aerosmith, b) it’s a double LP, c) it sounds fucking amazing, d) it still has the poster! and e) it’s motherfucking Aerosmith! Got it? Good! This album rules so much. The performances on this LP (that I will also throw in that it looks in mint condition, like it was never even played once!) are all tops. The choice of cuts on this album includes all the hits and more. Yeah, really, they’re all here: Back In The Saddle, Sweet Emotion, Toys In The Attic, Mama Kin, Dream On, Walk This Way, etc. It’s an incredible live album. Which is something else considering how much I usually hate live records (except this one is from the 70’s – I should confirm that I don’t like many live albums after about 1985. Once technology got better, I found that live albums started getting boring… except Iron Maiden’s Rock In Rio… that’s heaps rad). And for this to still have the poster inside, that’s like gold! I was super happy with this gem.

7. THE OUTFIELD – “Play Deep” (1985)
Okay okay, I know this is cheesy 80’s pop rock but I love it. I found this LP at a record fair and bought it cos a girl I used to know was in love with a song on here called Your Love so I got it for her as a present but someone had already found it for her. So I kept it for myself and I’m glad I did cos it’s great! So many cool and catchy tunes on here. See, if you search long enough, you will strike gold. For $1, this album was so fun and happy sounding that I found like I was ripping the dude off at the record fair by only paying the $1 for it. Score! If you don’t know the song Your Love, then click this link below. You’ll probably hate it.

8. VAN HALEN – “Van Halen” (1978)
We don’t really need to say a lot about this album cos I am sure you all own it anyway. This album is one of THE greatest rock n roll records of all time. It just is. Hey, don’t get mad with me, I don’t make the rules, history has spoken. Everything about this album rules; the songs, the solos, the vocals, the production, etc. it’s all good! Nothing to fault here. Just brilliance right the way through. I don’t need to write anymore. You know it already and for $1, this album is without a doubt not one you would pass over. I expect you’d do the same, even if you already owned 15 copies of it, this is just one of those albums. I am gonna put this on right now. Yep.

9. HOODOO GURUS – “Stoneage Romeos” (1984)
Found this on my trek to the USA last year. I already owned the Aussie version but this is the Big Time Records release and has the different cover so I figured I needed it just in case it sounded different. It doesn’t. But that doesn’t matter cos it’s still a sweet record. If you have looked over the Hoodoo Gurus then, plain and simple, you’re an idiot. You’re an even bigger idiot if you claim to like rock n roll and still overlooked this record. Why? Cos it’s awesome. Like, heaps awesome! Hell, I’d even write in capitals to show how awesome it is but internet ettiquette tells me that typing in capitals means shouting and I don’t like shouting at anyone, let alone the many strangers who will read this. Still, you need this record. Listen to these killer tunes: I Want You Back, Let’s All Turn On, Tojo, Leilani, I Was A Kamikaze Pilot, etc. The list goes on. This album has no dull moments. It’s just all good. If you don’t own it, please rectify this situation immediately then we’ll talk.

10. ZZ TOP – “Eliminator” (1983)
Around 15 years ago, back when I lived in Adelaide, there used to be this amazing second-hand record store down at Glenelg. They had thousands of second hand records, multiple copies of most and it was a haven to the vinyl junkie. I was super happy shopping there. One of the albums I picked up there for a measly $1 was a mint copy of this ZZ Top classic. I mean, let’s face it, this album has the hits on it and is a great rock n roll record from that little band in Texas who have managed to keep their original line-up in tact for their entire 20+ year career (a feat matched only by those boys from Ireland known as U2). Yep, you know these songs: Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, Gimme All Your Lovin, Got Me Under Pressure, TV Dinners, etc. This album is perfecto. A good time record with great guitar riffs. Those in the USA can find ZZ Top LPs for $1 all over the place. For some reason the American’s think this is all their homegrown Texan’s are worth. Such a shame for them but great for us record junkies. Sweetness!

So there you go. I could continue this on for a long time as I left out notables like Bruce Springsteen, Journey, Foreigner, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Bob Seger, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, and countless others. Still, this is a great start and hopefully you have enjoyed reading this little trek through the best from the bargain bins. Thanks for reading.

 

This album just appeared on my doorstep one day. It was weird. Like nobody ever sends me vinyl to review and then there it was. I was stunned. Glorious vinyl from a band I have never heard of… from Adelaide! What the fuck? Bands in Adelaide still believe in vinyl? This was a good sign. I put the needle on the record and began listening. And listening. Again and again. I sat back, lit some incense, and pondered. Now, have you ever heard the likes of M83 or the Japanese band Mono? Well, if you have, there’s shades of that stuff all over this. I love Mono’s music. It’s really something on its own. Like a psychedelic experience as you listen to each record. The songs take you to another time, another place, or you could be just wasted. Regardless, Mono are freakin’ awesome. But this isn’t totally like Mono. No, this is something else entirely. So much that it took me over a month to write this review. Why? Cos I was lost for words. Trying to get my head around something like this wasn’t something I could do overnight. It takes time. And in my busy day to day schedule or making my team at work guess which 1 out of 3 statements I told was a lie, there just wasn’t enough time to put pen to paper and jot this down. But fear no more, my friends cos we’re here now and better late than never, right? Well, that’s what my ex-girlfriend used to say.

Steering By Stars play atmospheric sounds which they manage to twist, turn, unwind and repeatedly belt with a stick so that what you eventually hear is aural bliss. It’s melancholic, it’s bright, it’s sad, it’s dark, it’s lonely, it’s a mixture of emotions and feelings that somehow have transcended from wax to my brain. A band whose music makes you feel something… and with minimal vocals. Like really, most of this is instrumental and the occasional vocals you do hear remind me of the one and only, Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance fame), which is weird cos like she’s a woman and the singer here is a guy. Well, I think he is. His name is Lachlan but after the 80’s glam rock explosion sprouting names like Traci Guns, Jani Lane and Nikki Sixx, names seem to have lost their gender somewhere along the way. Still, I am thinking it’s a guy. Just a hunch.

So this album, it reminded me of a soundtrack to some fucked up Japanese movie that has lots of wind blowing in it and quite possibly lots of images of Wata from the band Boris walking along lonely streets as we see her reflection in puddles of water. How art student does that sound? Well yeah, you know what I’m saying. Yo La Tengo would be all over this shit! I really dug it. It was something different. I am never sent bands like this. I have been sent lots of rock and some really bad Nickelback type shit recently but nothing like this. Am diggin’ it. Bigtime. Would be heaps keen to see a show by these cats t0 see how the music transcends from the record to the live setting.

You want a copy? Sure you do. Head on over to www.steeringbystars.com and pick one up. And if you’re one of ‘those’ guys, it comes with a digital download card also so you can blast it on your iPod. Just sayin’.

Here’s a video for the song “Closer” so you can get a closer feel for what I am writing about.

Sometime in the mid to late 90’s, there was this awesome record store in Adelaide called Thrash Grind & Grunge. It was also home to Dominator Records; a label that was home to such bands as The Mark Of Cain, Bloodsucking Freaks, Grunter, and Truth Corroded, just to name a few. Each week I’d go there and snap up bargains and buy records and all that stuff. It was pretty awesome. You could easily unload wads of cash at this place and walk out with some serious rarities at ridiculous prices. It was definitely my favourite record store at the time and I even did some part time work there. ANYWAY, one day, a Thrash Grind & Grunge regular named Kami decided to open a book store next door. He named the store Factotum Books and started selling alternative books, trash magazines, crime fiction and most famously, paintings, postcards and other such memorabilia from serial killers. It attracted a lot of attention and raised a few eyebrows. The fuzz took notice of this small shop’s infamous wares on sale and the journalistic heroism of the current affairs program Today Tonight decided to do a story on this new controversial store in Adelaide. Here’s that story:

Sadly, Factotum Books no longer exists and either do half the serial killers whose paintings and memorabilia were being sold so if you were lucky enough to buy a painting of clowns or birds, you are indeed the proud owner of some rare collectable art that is hopefully worth more than you paid for it.

“I guess rockstars got boring.” – Campbell McInnes

Back in 1988, I went to see AC/DC live on the Blow Up Your Video tour. My first rock concert and it was a blinder! It was kinda crazy, the first moment I walked in the door, I saw a dude walk past me with a hotdog in his hand. He vomited everywhere, fell over and passed out. The support band had only just started. When I left the gig that night, this dude was still passed out. He had missed the entire show. What a waste of $$$. Anyway, the most memorable thing for anyone who went there was the riots. Half way through the show, crazed fans had torn down fences, rolled cars over fences, set shit on fire, and caused a ruckus. These following reports were shown on Adelaide news programs and have been forgotten about til now. I found these on a video tape so I figured I should upload them for all AC/DC fans to see and enjoy this piece of rock n roll history.