Ride On, Tony Pola

pola potato starsAll photois: Greg Walsh.

Let's start with a jovial reminder of who, Tony Pola, the man really was, in his own words. From one of his social media messages: 

PC "culture" is a cancer to freedom of expression.

In the real world, Tony recently died. I believe he was 58. Six years ago he fell off his pushbike and broke a few ribs.

In mediaworld, Britain's Queen's Personal Comedian has also died, aged 99. Two years ago he came out from a local laneway and biffed into a car with two women, causing them "minor injuries".

Working Class Hero

dan denton typewriterIris Berry, the ageless and hypnotic Glittery Queen Of Thee Hollyweird Underground hipped me to this remarkable, marvellous, soulful, author-poet-novelist from Toldeo, Dan Denton, whose powerfully poignant debut novel, “$100-A-Week-Hotel”, is catching fire with everyone who has been yearning for a voice of truth to arrive in these ridiculously propagandized, fictitious times.

Denton's characters are all so sensitively illustrated, it almost feels you are bellied up to the bar with them. It is startling to read the modest words of a real person because most novels, books, and records, and even "hip-hop influenced murals" painted on the side of hipster trap juice businesses are generated by rich college grads from the gentrified Julian Casablancas or Miley Cyrus upper classes. All the media professionals promote falsehoods and stereotypes and bogus narratives from the elitist perspectives of the ruling class.

Denton is a hardworking laborer from the rustbucket factory wasteland of Northern Ohio, and shares a working class sensibility and world view with people like Wayne Kramer, Zack de la Rocha, Boots Riley and Hunter S.Thompson. He has become one of my very favorite writers, alongside Chris Hedges, Falling James, Caitlin Johnstone and Frankie Delmane.

A Psychotic Situation in Sydney as COVID's fog starts to lift

turnbuckles fusebox
Jessie The Intruder makes a point, The Grand Wizard adds riffage. 

The Psychotic Turnbuckles
White Knuckle Fever
The Stallers
Factory Theatre Fusebox, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday, April 17 2021

This was my the first concert since early 2020 that did not have some form of restrictions like seating (although numbers were capped) and what a great night it was. Held in the Fusebox at the Factory Theatre, a smaller and more intimate venue than the adjoining main performance space, this was the perfect venue to showcase three top rate bands.

Starting proceedings were The Stallers who were the perfect reason you cannot afford not to get early to a gig and not catch the support bands. "Tight", "loud", "devastating", "passionate" are four words to sum up the powerhouse of The Stallers.

Get your dose of Link Wray on May Day

Wraylettes GemLink Wray's birthday is looming and all roads lead to Melbourne for the celebrations. 

Fifteen months after their last gig, The Wraylettes, will mark the occasion with two storming sets of drinkin', dancin' and listenin' pleasure at The Gem in Collingwood oin May 1. Plus, their buddy DJ Dusty Stylus will be there to unleash a few musical crackers of his own. 

Did we mention it starts at 8pm and is free?

Live debut for well-credentialed trio

liddiard white abrahamsRemember when supergroups were a thing? The remarkable musical talents of Gareth Liddiard, Jim White and Chris Abrahams are to be combined, refined and recorded. Merging elements of free-jazz, lyricism, improvisation, avant-garde and experimental noise from three of Australia’s finest music makers for an album due out towards the end of 2021. 

The trio will play an exclusive warm-up show at the Brunswick Ballroom in Melbourne on May 12, before heading into the studio. 
 
Chris Abrahams, known for his masterful keyboard playing for avant-garde free jazz trio The Necks, described by the New York Times in 2017 as “the greatest trio on Earth”, has also played with the Laughing Clowns, The Church, The Triffids and Midnight Oil among others.
 
Jim White plays drums for legends The Dirty Three, “one of the world’s best living bands” according to The Guardian, and fans across the globe. He has also played with names like PJ Harvey, Marianne Faithfull, Cat Power, Bonnie Prince Billy, Smog, Nick Cave, Xylouris White and many others, and is soon to tour nationally as a duo with Ed Kuepper.
 
Gareth Liddiard is a solo artist and the founding member, singer-songwriter and guitarist of The Drones and sci-fi experimental mud pop group Tropical Fuck Storm, who Iggy Pop described as “nice band” and “a good fuck”.Tickets are on sale from Moshtix.


Razor sharp punk poetry

puroPuro Pursimo by A. Razor (Punk Hostage Press)

"The words are where we worship...." (-A.Razor)

Post-Grunge, there were still at least a few little magazines, independent record labels, real record stores and big city nightclubs where cool little bands could do their thing. Now, that stuff's even mostly gone. Immediately, Post-Grunge, though, there was like, 10,000 shite bands, too. Every town had a fake Blues Explosion, a fake Sonic Youth, a fake Nirvana, a fake Chili Peppers, etc., etc. If I wasn't moved by the originals, I surely had no time for their local small pond, bad impressionist, franchise clone, cut rate imitators.

Macho bellowing metal merchants, goofy whiteboy funk and swing bands, Clash-Ramones-Thunders rip-off bands, tribute acts, but few of 'em really had their own style, statement, message, or tunes. Some of the most fondly remembered bands of that era had no memorable music, at all, you can't even sing me one of their songs if I asked you to on the curb in an unguarded moment - it was just the threads everybody seemed to like. Money and clothes, that's all they had goin'. Suits and deep cocaine pockets.

Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders' letter from Palookaville delivers home truths

palookaville“…there’s pretty things in Palookaville…” - Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders (Hound Gawd!)

Unless you’re one of the lucky few you won’t have yet heard the latest album from ex-Lazy Cowgirls frontman Pat Todd and his pack of old stagers, The Rank Outsiders. So what’s the point of a song-by-song description? You’ll forget the song titles before you clap ears on the real things, anyway. So let’s dispense with that bullshit and tell you how it will make you feel, instead…

Slap it onto the turntable or whack it into the player. Crank it. Good and loud. The opening G chord of “All The Years #1” kicks in and hangs in the air, and it’s like an old friend just walked in the door with a case of cold beers and a headful of fresh stories. 

It’s all jagged riffs and Todd’s impassioned vocal, urgent and insistent. It sounds immediately familiar, yet fresh, a menu of yarns set to punkish, rootsy rock and blues, basted in minor chords and a harmonica dry rub, and roasted in a slow cooker.

Blackie deals a strong hand with quirky new clip

Hand-Ons/Nunchukka Superfly guitarist, singer-songwriter and much-loved Australian punk-rock icon Peter "Blackie" Black has dropped the first video from his solo album "If This Is The Hand That I'm Dealt”. 

The album was released late last year in tandem with another solo record, "I'm Gonna Cheat As Much As I Can". The two albums, when taken together, reveal the breadth of Blackie's pop smarts, the quirkier and heartbroken ends of which can both be heard in  "What The Fuck Should I Be Thinking".

The film clip was co-directed by Jonathan Sequeira (director of the acclaimed Radio Birdman documentary "Descent Into the Maelstrom") and his partner in Cheap Music Videos, Wade Jackson. When asked to comment about the video, Jonathan said:

"‘I thought Blackie was joking when he told me about wanting to do the pec dance. But he got it one take so we knew he’d been practising in front of the mirror’.

“That is actually true, but probably not the quote you want. How about:

"'It was great to work with Peter, one of Australia’s best songwriters, and I love the new albums so was keen to do a video. He had a simple idea and really let me run with it, which wasn’t difficult because he gave such a great performance, and it was a lot of fun shooting it.'"

"Loud As Ever" collection captures a time and place

loud as ever coverLoud As Ever – Various Artists (Sound As Ever)

Every generation of music lovers grows up thinking its era was the best. So it goes with those who ploughed through puberty in the ‘90s, a time now digitally immortalised  (as all things are) by a Facebook page, “Sound As Ever”, dedicated to Australian independent music from 1990-99.

“Sound As Ever” is a snapshot of what life looked and sounded like on the fringes of Australian music in the ‘90s. It has an audience of 72,000 Facebook users after just a year. Like any retrospective, some of what’s thrown up is gem-like and some is shite.

Personally, the ‘90s were a letdown: Once the tidal wave of grunge had subsided, it left a lot of mediocrity on the surface and it seemed there wasn’t much Real Rock and Roll left. Bands like the Powder Monkeys and New Christs that were grossly underappreciated at the start of the decade criminally remained so at the end.

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