Top Tens for 2021: Melbourne writer Patrick Emery
PATRICK EMERY'S TOP 10
Nudity – Nudity Is God’s Creation – I ordered this through Richie Ramone’s Strangeworld Records on the basis of the name and a brief musical snippet alone. A re-release of a double album of choice cuts from 2005-2010, a smattering of Pagans-ish punk rock, Detroit garage, fuzzed out psychedelia and raga frenzies. My favourite vinyl purchase for 2021. The neighbours are still processing it.
Foggy Notion – great live band, great songs, talented players. By my count, we’ve seen them 10 times this year, with at least four shows cancelled due to you-know-what. New album out digitally, physical copy due March 2022.
James McCann, Tote, 20 March 2021 – so good to see James playing, especially to a crowd of people eager to see live music for the first time since the war broke out. Watch out for James’ SCAG record coming out on Spooky Records, hopefully next year.
Endless Boogie, Admonitions – double LP, both records featuring 22 minute A-side. The line between self-indulgence and untouchable brilliance is subjective. Endless Boogie are as timeless as they are riff-heavy.
Persecution Blues – taking their name and musical cues from Powder Monkeys (John Nolan RIP), these guys are a youthful shot in the arm of rock’n’roll. We saw them put in a blistering Saturday afternoon set at the Tramways in North Fitzroy; four hours later, I caught them at the Tote headlining. Rock’n’roll is alive and well. Happy times.
Seedy Jeezus, somewhere in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Easter Monday March 2021 – Melbourne’s best kept secret. In a different world Lex Frumpy would be feted in the same breath as Hendrix. Look out for the new Seedy Jeezus record, "Hollowed Earth".
SPJ – All the Way – a labour of love project conceived somewhere between Rennes and Melbourne that pays tribute to the songwriting brilliance of the late Spencer P Jones. Thanks to Seb, Loki, Angie, James, Liz and everyone featured and involved in putting the record together. Volume 2 beckons; volume 3 is a possibility too.
Hearts and Rockets – when gigs opened up again for business late last year, I was informed by a reliable source that Hearts and Rockets were the band to see in Melbourne. A bit Devo, a bit garage, sharp songs, pithy but powerful. The reality exceeded the promise. See them if you have the chance.
Brown Spirits – I first came across Tim Wold back when he was shredding with The Specimens. After various punk detours (including the amphetaminely frenetic Kids of Zoo) he ended up heading down a Krautock-psych path with Brown Spirits. With the excitable, Afro-ed Agostino Soldati on drums and former Witch Hats member Ash Buscombe on bass, this is mesmerising stuff.
Conspiracy theories – the stand-up comedy of the modern era. As someone who’s worked in government for 25+ years, I find it flattering that people can ascribe conspiratorial coherency to what is simply a a dysfunctional aggregation of self-serving egos, myopic tactical presentation and good ol’ fashioned human incompetence. But I’m pretty sure the shape-shifting lizards are real. Shhhh.
Melbourne-based Patrick Emery's biography of Spencer P Jones, "Execution Days", is out now through Love Police.