Friday, 20 April 2018

RIP Brian Hooper



This might be Brian Hooper's most triumphant moment. One of the best rock bass-lines ever and he wrote it. I was trying to find that footage of him talking about coming up with the bass on this but I can't find it on youtube. It's probably from the Autoluminescent documentary anyway he instantly knew it was fucking great.



Brian Hooper also co-wrote this classic tune with Rowland or did Rowland just nick the bass-line from Where The Action Is by Hooper's band The Voyeurs and give Hooper a writing credit? I'm not sure if he played bass on the finished recording of this song (?). Mick Harvey recently tried to explain this convoluted story on Melbourne's 3PBSFM but he was a bit confusing about it all. Somebody out there has the correct story. Anyway whatever the story, Hooper created that incredible bass-line. That Voyeurs tune is not on the youtubes.



Hooper co-wrote and played on this demented Kim Salmon & The Surrealists gem. I must have seen Kim Salmon & The Surrealists 15 to 20 times in Melbourne during the early/mid 90s. They were a fucking powerhouse live group. Three memorable gigs stand out, one at the Punters Club in 92 or 93 and two consecutive nights at The Club in 93 or 94. All gigs packed to the absolute rafters and frighteningly overcrowded but you didn't care because these were essential events you had to be at. Rock'n'Roll electricity.



Another fucking classic co-written by Hooper with Kim Salmon & Tex Perkins this time. Rock & Roll brothers and sisters! He could play the bass doncha reckon? You had to be good in Australia because you had the legacy of Tracey Pew (The Birthday Party) and contemporaries like Ian Rilen (X) and Martyn P Casey (The Triffids, The Bad Seeds, Grinderman etc.).

There is footage on youtube of Brian Hooper just last Friday night playing this tune at The Prince Of Wales Hotel in the Melbourne seaside suburb of St Kilda with a reformed Beasts Of Bourbon. Hooper was brought on stage in a wheelchair by 5 or 6 nurses who had him plugged into an oxygen tank. At the end of the song lead singer Tex Perkins leans in and gives Hooper a hug. It's all too emotional, less than a week later cancer would take his life away.


He went solo out of necessity, he explained once fifteen years ago, because Rowland wasn't doing enough and Kim Salmon wasn't talking to him or something like that. I Get Up Again is a slice of primo noise rock in the tradition of his old bands The Surrealists & The Beasts.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Vigilante OST 1983 - Jay Chattaway


I don't get why the soundtrack reissue record companies haven't tracked this one down for a release. I reckon it's Chattaway's second best score behind his minor masterpiece Maniac from 1980. Vigilante  the film is a classic too, capturing the early 80s NYC cesspool with beautiful cinematography. Not to forget the dramatic action and nasty revenge violence.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Unengaged in 2018 Semi-Rant....





It's always hard to listen to any new music in the first few months of the new year because all I can listen to is the usual Christmas offering from Moon Wiring Club. Tantalising Mews/Cateared Chocolatiers was a double cd and an LP, almost 3 hours of music. Then I end up going back through their entire back catalogue as well as as their sterling batch of DJ mixes. That's a hell of a lot of music, all of it terrific.

It's not like there are a bunch of new records lining up to be heard though. All I know is Migos and Judas Priest have new LPs. Readers please feel free to recommend an album to me that you think I may have overlooked. I'm not really holding my breath for any upcoming releases as far as I can recall.

The only thing I can think of that would excite me is if eMMplekz ever get around to recording something new. I actually can't believe eMMplekz aren't part of the semi-popular consciousness like The Fall were in the 80s. They should be highly anticipated heroes on the festival circuit. If the fucking Sleaford Mods can crack the top 20 with their bollocks, fuck, eMMplekz should be hitting the top 10 with Baron Mordant's lyrics that capture the crap going on in all our heads in this over stimulated digital age. He's an astute observer of the current absurdity in which we all live our lives. Are they most underrated music project ever? I guess people are so fucking people. I once wrote a piece on eMMplekz and how they are a conduit of our internal thoughts and external expressions in this current maddening age not to mention the exposed malignant electronics Mordant's vocals are paired with but I lost my notepad (I should come back to this topic at a later date).



The only other thing I'm keeping an eye on is the electronic avant pop ladies ie. Holly Herndon, Katie Gately, Laurel Halo etc.

Strangely enough I just did a google search after writing the previous sentence to see if anything was happening out there in the world of music that might interest me and well, yes, Ekoplekz have a new release Impressionz. This is an archival collection containing 10 unreleased tracks recorded in 2014 during the sessions for the classic Reflekzionz LP. I can't find any indication of a forthcoming eMMplekz album though. In fact something on bandcamp hinted that their 2016 LP Rook To TN34 may indeed be their 'swansong'.


Thursday, 29 March 2018

Movies....again


REWATCHED IN 2018
Blood Beat  (1983)
As the Americans like to say this movie is 'batshit crazy'. Fucking strange Christmas slasher/rural horror with a sexual samurai ghost. Probably best watched under the influence of something.

There Will Be Blood (2007)
Pretty Amazing. Surprisingly compelling for such a long movie. Probably not enough jokes though. Does Daniel Day Lewis have to be slightly unhinged to be able to portray such an awful character?

Prime Cut (1972)
Mental Irish mob gangster flick. Drugs, prostitutes, meat packing and a whole lotta wrongness. Stars legends Sissy Spacek, Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman. Look out for crazy chase scene involving a homicidal maniac on a grain harvester, wow!

Race With The Devil (1975)
Mid 70s American classic of Satanic rural horror/action. Peter Fonda, Warren Oates & Loretta Swit star in this genre hybrid. Camping, car chases and a chilling ending. How could you go wrong?
   
Atlantic City (1980)
Neo-noir crime/romance. Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarrandon star. Directed by French bloke Louis Malle. Really good little story. One of the best movies of the 80s.

Jurassic Park (1993)
Bad script, horrible music and cheesy acting nearly destroy this movie but it's saved just by the horrifying nail-bitting action. Oh...It's got Dinosaurs.

Freebie & The Bean (1974)
Pioneering buddy cop action comedy movie set in the always scenic San Fransisco. James Caan and Alan Arkin are the two bantering dickhead cops while Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper play their girlfriends. Some classic 70s car chases, shoot outs and er...racist dialogue, hey it was 1974.

Lost In America (1985)
Albert Brooks comedy co-written with Monica Johnson. A yuppie (ha I got to use the word yuppie) married couple played by Brooks and Julie Hagerty quit the rat race to travel America in a motor home. Guess what? Things don't turn out so good. You would have to think that one Larry David was a big fan of Brooks.

NEVER SEEN
Texas Chainsaw Massacre II & III
Poltergeist II & III
Exorcist II & III 

PODCASTERS/CRITICS/COMMENTATORS I CAN'T STAND
(ie. Why does film criticism attract such turds and try hards?)
Mark Kermode
Nick Pinkerton
Violet ??? from film comment


NEVER SEEN UNTIL 2018
Death Wish 2 (1982)
Can't say much about this except that it makes the first one look like a masterpiece. I must have fallen asleep in it as I don't know what happened in the end. Apparently Death Wish III is  highly rated by the VHS nerds but I don't think I can go any further.

Paris Is Burning (1990)
Absolutely fascinating doco that chronicles the ultra underground drag and trans scene in mid/late 80s New York. This is an amazing time capsule that explores the intricate social detail of Drag balls as well as AIDS, poverty, sex-work, voguing, race and murder. Rupaul's Drag Race owes a huge debt to this scene, I guess it's all part of a drag scene continuum.

Into The Night (1985)
Like a companion piece to After Hours & Something Wild only not quite as good as those two. Directed by John Landis and starring Jeff Goldblum & Michelle Pfieffer. Oh so quirky like only 80s so called comedies can be. Worth watching though for David Bowie in menacing supporting role. Never saw this in the 80s.

Party Monster (1998)
Doco about a bunch of degenerate (not in a good way) fuckwit empty vessels with no talent called the 'party kids'. If this wasn't real you'd swear it was a mockumentary written by Bret Easton Ellis.

10 To Midnight (1983)
Stop the presses! I liked a Charles Bronson movie. To elevate a police procedural movie above the standard tv fare they have added more blood, boobs and bent cops. How entertainment. Excellent electronic score too. The sort of thing you'd wish would be on telly in the middle of the night when you can't sleep instead of reruns of Walker Texas Ranger although...

The Devil's Honey (1986)
Unforgettable opening sex scene involving a saxophone. Fulci's unknown 1986 film surprised everyone last year when it got a blu-ray release. Funny how some people (podcasters) say 'I'm a big Fulci fan' yet many were not even aware of this film. Do you reckon 'a big Bob Dylan fan' isn't aware of every recording he did in 1986?

Friday, 16 March 2018

No Rest For The Wicked



1976. Here's an LP that is amazing. Power trio shit up there with Blue Cheer, ZZ Top, Rush and whoever. This group is sometimes so in the pocket I can't believe it. I'll analyse it later but for now just enjoy. Sometimes it even reminds me of Television, perhaps it's just the guitars they use I dunno. Rock on!

Mondo Rock is Best Rock



The melody of this (above) top 10 tune entered my mind at 3AM yesterday morning. I reckon I haven't heard it in over 25 years. It's a hell of a tune from an underrated band. They're not cool but they're consummate pop craftsmen who designed the right kind of ear candy for the early 80s Australian radio airwaves. Mondo Rock's double platinum 1981 LP Chemistry produced another 3 hits (below) all of which I loved as a kid.



Synth-y new wave blue eyed soul schtick, which is nice. Ariel Pink would get into this I reckon.






I guess this one's a bit Cars-y. This top 10 hit was a staple of the 80s airwaves. Old wave into new wave. For non-Australian readers singer/songwriter/producer Ross Wilson was in the legendary Aussie 70s act Daddy Cool.



It was a party night 
It was the end of school

This for me is Mondo Rock's all time classic though. I remember being in Melbourne and hearing it on 3XY. It's from 1984, right at the time girls got very interesting. It's full of the excitement of oncoming adolescence with a hint of menace. The lyrics are a bit dodgy though aren't they? Are they?

I've always wondered which beach this clip was filmed at.

Anyway Come Said The Boy only made it to number 2 on the charts. No 1 in my heart, right up there with other early/mid 80s radio classics Don't Change, Boys Of Summer, Ship Of Fools, Out Of Touch etc.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

1971: Heavy Psych/Prog Jams



Now this is what I'm talkin' 'bout. Heavy-psych/sludgey-acid-prog-blues man. This is pure early 70s gold. Get out yer bong or drop some acid, you decide.



Moog driven heavy space prog jam. If there's similar shit like this out in the world please let me know. Sometimes I think 1971 is the best year in music ever. That's probably not a very cool thing to say but I don't give a fuck. This tune blows my fucking mind man. This band is a band. Everyone's contributing good stuff. The rhythm section is cookin' while that keyboard goes mental. The singing and guitars are perfectly complimentary too.



Now this one gets pretty far out into almost drone territory in the middle. Then they pick up the momentum and it comes back into an amazing heavy psych-prog climax with a bass sound from outer space. Incredible shit. I don't think this even got a mention in Japrocksampler as far as I recall(?)

Monday, 19 February 2018

Dio & Metal & ....



There is something very business like about certain metal. The way they trade singers and guitarists like it's a fucking football draft. The bands don't necessarily feel organic or like a gang.

Somewhere on the internet the other day someone mentioned the lead singer of Whitesnake had been in Deep Purple. I always just thought they were an American poodle hair metal band. I did only know a couple of 80s Whitesnake music videos featuring scantily clad ladies. My metal knowledge is somewhat lacking. I guess I'm more into your 70s hard rock, proto-metal, heavy prog and space rock with huge blind spots when it comes to conventional heavy metal and NWOBHM. I've never been able to get into Iron Maiden or Judas Priest like I have with say the likes of Blue Oyster Cult, Truth & JaneyThin Lizzy, Motorhead, Scorpions or Venom (maybe one day but I'm not holding my breath). Where the hell do bands like Accept and WASP fit in? I guess I need to do some research. Actually I've watched all those Banger docos so I suppose I've just forgotten about the shit groups that I don't care about.

I like Deep Purple (LPs like In Rock, Machine Head, Live In Japan etc.). I only really started to recognise their charms when I got old. They do tend to get overlooked as metal pioneers in favour of your Led Zeppelins and Black Sabbaths, particularly these days. It's weird that I know fuck all about them except maybe they recorded once in a castle in Germany and it burt down or something or nothing (?). I guess I know more about the post-Deep Purple activities of Richie Blackmore because I quite liked Rainbow due to several live videos that used to get played on Rage in the late 80s when I was a teenager. Their 1976 LP Rising is a classic.



Then there was Rainbow's Ronnie James Dio who later joined Black Sabbath for a couple of albums in the early 80s. Not that I know much about him either. I was somehow aware that his first couple of solo records were rated by metal heads and then Henry Rollins once mentioned him in a stand up comedy routine in the early 90s.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is the stories of these people David Coverdale (singer of Deep Purple and Whitesnake), Richie Blackmore (guitarist of Deep Purple and Rainbow) and Ronnie James Dio (Vocalist extraordinaire of Rainbow, Black Sabbath & solo) are all relatively interesting. Why don't Mojo and the like cover this sort of stuff instead of going over and over the minutiae of Bob Dylan's motor bike spokes (Sure I haven't flicked through an issue for years but I assume....)

Maybe I have to start reading the metal equivalent to Mojo or maybe a history of metal. Any recommendations out there? I did read that Chuck Eddy book on 500 metal albums but that was hardly an overview of orthodox metal. More like one dude's trip into heavy music that pissed off many an orthodox metal head.



Scorpions, they were German. They also rocked.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

INXS Invented Hauntology by accident!


I was a kid into INXS and knew all their experimental B-sides but I'd never heard this one until today, I think. Perhaps it wasn't the Australian B-side to The One Thing or maybe I've just totally forgotten about it. Anyway I'm thinking Moon Wiring Club might dig this. INXS invented hauntology by accident in 1982.

Friday, 26 January 2018

RIP Mark E Smith

Go to my twitter for more tributes to the great man. I'm trying not to double up on the stuff I've already posted there. I also don't wanna use all those same words that have been used to describe Mark E Smith and The Fall over and over again throughout their existence. So here are just a handful of tunes and videos from the first ten years of The Fall's recorded output.


M.E.S.
1957 - 2018



Recorded in 1977 and released in 1978.



1979's Rowche Rumble is the 3rd Fall single and what a cracker.



B-side to Fiery Jack. The Fall's B-sides were often as good as the A-sides and usually didn't feature on the LPs.



Single number 6 which was also not included on their album of the time. This is why Fall compilations are such an integral part of their discography. Is Totally Wired The fall's finest moment? It's fucking exhilarating. Has a song title ever fitted a song's sound so literally? 



My Favourite Fall LP (well for today anyway, interchangeable with about seven others), released in 1980 on Rough Trade.



Another great stand alone single from November 1981. This is peak period Fall right here folks.



This was the B-side to Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul from 1981. You got bang for your buck with Fall 7"s back then. I guess these were more like double A-sides, doncha reckon?



The B-side to another non-LP single Look Know from 1982. Just to clear up any confusion it was later included as a bonus track on the expanded cd version of Hex Enduction Hour.


C.R.E.E.P from 1984. Another mighty era for The Fall. This is when Brix Smith became an indispensable member of the mid 80s Fall line-up. The shiny new Fall now had boy/girl vocals, hooks galore and rhythms for the dance-floor.



Cruisers Creek a 1985 single. V dodgy vhs transfer of the film clip. Remember when youtube was just a bunch of old shonky vhs tapes?



LA is quite possibly the coolest tune in rock history. It's all happening here: the band, the production, the inspiration, the synergy.....spellbinding! They were not only top of their game, they were top of THE game. Taken from 1985's musical triumph This Nation's Saving Grace. LA is also AA-side to Cruiser's Creek.



1987 single which was a cover of an old 70s tune, maybe a Northern Soul or Motown number. I remember hearing it on a soul radio show 10 years ago and freaked out because I always thought it was a Mark E Smith tune.



There were a bunch of versions of this ecstatic dance-floor anthem. Which one is this? I dunno. Hit The North should have been a global No. 1 with a bullet. 

*There is so much more to The Fall than just this motley selection of tracks. I could go on for days. I haven't even posted any live numbers or Peel Sessions. If you really get into The Fall it can be a captivating passion.