Posts Tagged ‘Muscle Car’

This week’s special guest is none other than Canadian born San Francisco artist, Dirty Donny Gillies! If you’ve been keeping track at home, Donny was in issue 6 of the Long Gone Loser zine and now he is on episode 125 of the podcast 16 years later. Who’d ever have thought? But alas, here he is and he tells all about his art and getting involved with the guys from Metallica and his love of Ed Roth and what brought him to Australia and all that cool stuff. Hell yeah! Also, the music… he requested all Australian bands cos he loves Australian rock n roll so there ya go, that’s pretty exciting! You can listen in right now by clicking on THIS LINK. (more…)

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A vinyl-junkie’s journey from the coldness of Melbourne, Australia to Jack White’s wax wonderland in Nashville, TN.

A goal of mine for a while has been to visit Third Man Records. Having been a huge fan of Jack White’s music and his many projects that he has been and is involved with, it was only just that on my recent trip to the USA that I head to Nashville, TN and see what all the kafuffle is myself. Arriving at Third Man on a Monday morning, before me stood a building that was much bigger than I had anticipated. The building is quite large and besides the record store houses a live music venue, a photography studio and offices out back where Mr White himself, I assume, does his business signing bands and coming up with more crazy, wild and wacky looking vinyl releases.

After posing for photos outside this lovely establishment, it was time to head inside. The shop itself is not large by any means but it works. Upon walking in the front door I was greeted by the friendly and quite pretty lass behind the counter and suddenly that feeling hit my stomach of knowing I will not be leaving the store empty handed. There was no point in trying to fight it. I was doomed! I was going to be handing over my credit card to indulge myself in vinyl goodies.

Lining the walls behind the counter are countless rarities of Third Man releases including the legendary triple decker record; an ingenious 12” single by The Dead Weather that you need to crack open to get to the 7” record that sits inside it so you can hear the unreleased song that is on it. There are also limited coloured vinyl pressings, Third Man Vault editions (I suggest you sign up now, trust me, it’s pretty damn cool!), and there’s more White Stripes memorabilia than you can poke a stick at. For those who like art, there are also posters to buy and the counter is filled with Third Man knick knacks from stickers to record cleaners to 7” adapters and slipmats.

For those who have a vinyl addiction, the shelves of Third Man are packed full of 45s and LPs for you to purchase. For a label that has released over 300 releases since its inception, there is no shortage of great releases for you to buy with new music being dished out to the public regularly. Keep in mind that if you are going there to pick up the latest album by whatever band you are currently listening to, the records on sale at Third Man Records are Third Man releases only. There is no used vinyl section either so if you’re looking for those rare punk / hardcore records, or if you are like me and enjoy buying shitty 80s metal records, you will come up empty. I recommend for these items you head to Grimeys which is only a five minute drive away.

One of the stores main star attractions is the infamous Third Man Novelties Lounge; an area of fun and games that to use requires the purchase of Third Man tokens that will set you back around $1 a piece.

The lounge features a Mold-A-Rama where you can make your very own wax mold of Jack White’s classic airline guitar for a measly 3 tokens. These machines are usually found at museums and the like across the USA and the Third Man one is probably the coolest one yet. Just be careful handling it as soon as it’s made because it’s hot for a minute or two. Not hot as in you’ll burn yourself but hot as in it’s a tad too hot to just hold onto straight out of the machine. Basically, treat it like a fresh cup of coffee.

There’s also the Third Man Monkey Band; a machine that plays a song while a motorised monkey band plays along – guess the song and you go in a draw to win a prize. It’s kinda silly but it’s amusing to see.

Want some memories of your time at the store? Why not jump inside the photo booth for some old-school snapshots?! These photo booths are always good times so get in, take some snaps and cherish your memories of your time at Third Man. Note: Make sure you adjust the seat to the correct height because you don’t want to be taking photos of your forehead or your torso. Or do you?

One of the lounge’s most impressive attractions is the Scopitone that features over 30 actual 16mm films of Third Man music videos. This ain’t no DVD video jukebox, this is a real deal Scopitone packed with all the quality, beauty and uniqueness of film but with the audio awesomeness of your favourite Third Man bands.

Want to hear a Third Man release that you haven’t heard before? Why not request to hear a record on the Third Man listening station? A turntable set up alongside a jar of complimentary White Stripes candy that spins Third Man releases while you gaze up at the wall displaying a whole bunch of Third Man t-shirts at $25 each.

Last but not least and no doubt their most prized possession is the Third Man Record Booth; a telephone booth-like device that seems too good to be true. A place where people can record 111 seconds of themselves and press their very own vinyl record. A genius idea and one that no doubt sees endless traffic passing through the store. In fact, Mudhoney’s very own Steve Turner recorded his own record there recently. There is a tambourine and an acoustic guitar for you to use if you wish to get creative. The machine presses to acetate within minutes and will set you back a measly $15 which is a pretty good price for the enjoyment and fun that comes with your very own voice on record. Why not record a song for someone and send it to them in the mail as a surprise? Well, you’re in luck! Third Man also has postage paid envelopes for $3 that allows you to do just that! The hardest part is giving up something that you know there is going to be only one copy of. Note: If you are making the trek to Third Man just to record in the booth, I’d suggest that you phone ahead first. When I went back to the store on the Wednesday, the machine was out of acetates to record to.

Inside the record booth, I recorded an acoustic track of a song I had written with my band back in 1999. Whilst I didn’t get through the whole song before the timer ran out, it was done for kicks and that feeling of accomplishment was enough for me to not care. You can hear my acoustic rendition of Muscle Car’s song, Sandra Sully, below to give you an idea of the sound quality:

And you can hear the actual recorded electric version of that song here:

All of these things combined has made Third Man Records more than just another record store; it’s a Nashville tourist attraction. While I was in the store I saw people making a stop just to have a look inside. A sign that you can still get people interested in the love of vinyl. As the store says, your turntable is not dead. So when in Nashville why not pop in and grab yourself a slab of wax and enjoy the love of vinyl’s warm and perfect sound. If you don’t have a turntable, don’t stress because Third Man sell them as well. Of course they do.

If passing through Nashville, TN, stopping in at Third Man is a definite must. Sure, you won’t find any Taylor Swift merchandise there but you will most definitely walk away with something cool. It’s hard not to, the shop exudes huge amounts of cool.

Third Man Records is located at 623 7th Avenue South, Nashville, TN. The shop’s hours are 10-6 Mon-Sat and 12-5 Sun. For more information call 615.891.4393

Back in April 2010, I headed overseas to go on tour with punk rock n roller, Simon Chainsaw, as he tore around Europe in support of his new CD, Eight Times Lucky released on Kicking Records. It was a wild ride of ups and downs, good times and bad (but not bad enough that I wouldn’t do it again in a heartbeat) and general rock n roll fun. The tour went through France, Switzerland and Spain and I met a lot of wonderful people and, of course, bought some amazing records that I had found while scouring through the used stores. Good times!

While we were in Montessa, Spain, we stayed at this recording studio as the Simon Chainsaw band recorded 4 new tunes. When Simon told me he wanted to record a cover of one of my very own tunes, I was pretty taken aback. I mean, being told a song you wrote is great is a nice compliment but being told you have a song that people connect with enough to want to cover it, that’s like a huge ego boost. But I digress…

Today, the new single from Simon Chainsaw arrived on my doorstep. I was glad to see the record in its finished form. I took the clear vinyl record out, put the needle on the record and cranked it up. These 4 songs, to put it mildly, kick ass! Starting off with ‘She Was Zen’, I remember Simon writing this at any given opportunity where he had 5 minutes to himself to put it together and personally, I found it the strongest song of the bunch. Nasty Samy’s signature guitar work and harmony lines just add that special something to make this song stick. This should be played on radio stations everywhere.

The next tune was the cover of Muscle Car’s ‘Not The Kind Of Attitude’ and what Simon and Co. have done with this song is awesome and gets my tick of approval. The band has added something else to the mix and comes off sounding stronger than the original. Whilst hearing someone else sing a song that was a true story in my life, Simon does it justice and delivers it exactly how I would want one of my own songs covered. Top notch!

Side B dishes up another original titled ‘Midwife Crisis’, a title that I am surprised I had never come up with already. Classic! While not as straight up catchy as ‘She Was Zen’, it still packs a punch of punk rock angst proving once again that Simon’s songwriting can be whatever it wants and still remain within the SC framework that he has built for himself.

The last tune on the EP is a cover of the Goo Goo Dolls early quickie, ‘Laughing’. I remember when the decision for this record was made. We were sitting around the Kicking Records office and we were flicking through their records and the GGD’s ‘Hold Me Up’ LP was in there. We took it out and cranked it up as we were mostly all in agreeance that the GGD’s wrote some kick ass power pop punky tunes. From the moment the song played, we were all like “fuck yeah, this song kicks ass!” and the 2nd cover tune for this EP was chosen. Hearing it now, it sounds great! Simon hasn’t tried to mimic the voice of Robby Takac, instead, just doing what he does and kicking out the jams. Not a bad effort at all. A great cover of a classic Dolls song.

Four On The Floor is pressed on clear vinyl and limited to 300 hand numbered copies. I suggest you get your hands on this one quick cos once it’s gone, that’s it. Order now from www.simonchainsaw.com or through www.kickingrecords.com

In January of 2008, I moved from the land of Balfours (Adelaide) to the land of freezing cold winters and no good cakes but awesome everything else (Melbourne) and upon making such a big decision, I had to think of what I was going to do with the band. End it or just keep going with new people? Well, the last line-up in Adelaide was already a bunch of new people anyway so it made no problem for me to get up and go. Plus, I had wanted to move to Melbourne for many years and finally I made the decision to do it.

I arrived into Melbourne, got myself a job within 2 weeks, and went to the pre-show drinks at the Corner Hotel before the Ozzy gig. While there, I was speaking to a past MC bassist, James and he introduced me to a dude named Riley. Long story short, he’s now the guitarist. ANYWAY, I was stoked that within a few months of living in Melbourne, a new line-up was happening, a tour of the UK was organised and a new recording was booked for April. Only being together for a couple weeks as a full line-up, we went in and nutted out 4 songs.

I made this little film about our time at Head Gap Studios recording those 4 tracks… 1 of which you hear in this film titled “Queen Of Noise”. I originally wrote this song in 1998 and I honestly have no idea what the lyrics are about; it’s basically a bunch of catch phrases from bands I like (Twisted Sister, MC5, Powder Monkeys, Poison, etc.). It was recorded with the original MC line-up (Myself, Adam, Shamus and Paul) in 1999 and to be honest, I never really liked the original recording cos I thought the guitar solos sounded like Slayer and whilst I am a fan of Slayer, I don’t feel that crazy style of solos works with the MC sound. So I have put both versions up so you can hear the difference.

First up, the new recording put to tape in 2008.

And here is the original promo done in 1999 (but not finished until 2000).

This original video was Muscle Car’s first music video… and it definitely shows. Filmed in Damo’s bedroom using a hydroponic light to brighten up the room, and shot on Super 8 film, this video was filmed on a 36 degree day at the band’s residence on Payneham Rd. With the Summer heat and the hydro light, it was about 45+ degrees in the room and we were all dehydrating rapidly. But that’s rock n roll. The dark / light flashes are from the Super 8 film being projected on to a white wall while being filmed with a HD camera. The cam couldn’t pick-up the frame rate as quickly as the human eye can, hence the flashing. Edited at Flinders Uni where Damo and Aaron studied film-making, this was our first real attempt at making a video.

I was going through a bunch of old video tapes recently when I came across a Muscle Car video that was never quite finished. It was a celebration of 7 years of the band touring around Australia. I watched the tape back and found that it should be finished and uploaded for all to see. So after much tweaking and fine tuning, I managed to get the video ready for human consumption and uploaded this barrel of fun to Youtube. This here documents the years 1999 – 2006 when the band toured around the country kicking up a storm. For some reason we always ended up in wrestling matches with each other and managed to somehow involve all those who came along for the ride. Antics. I feel this 5 minute video gives a pretty good idea of what touring with Muscle Car is like.

There is also another video from the 2008 UK tour but that hasn’t been finished yet but I will get that done ASAP and upload that for your consumption too. That tour was hilarious. Good times indeed! Stay tuned!