Written by Robert Brokenmouth, JD Misfortune & The Barman on .
Every Loser – Iggy Pop (Atlantic/Gold Tooth)
Best Ig album I've heard in a while.
On the other hand, after reading this you may be a bit peeved with me.
Hey, it's just my opinion. You?
You can go jump!
Having just finished a review of Michael Plater's new LP, “Ghost Music”, I'm in a kind of “blown away” mood, which I initially thought perhaps isn't the right headspace to be if I'm gonna review Iggy's new LP.
Atom have been playing around Melbourne for several years, and this is partly the result. I say 'partly' because I know they have other songs up their sleeves (and a few deft covers), and also because they're most engaging live, drawing you in like a nurse soothes a muscle-man pretending he doesn't have a fear of needles.
Those of you alert to the ways of the musical underground will recognise at once that this is another brainchild of Harry Howard and Edwina Preston. With the first track, 'Run Out', we're right there in that cut-up era Harry and Ed have created for themselves (somewhere between 1958 and 1989, it seems). In a different place and time, they'd have John Peel thrashing Atom's every B-side while turfing The Cure and The Mission sessions into the archives.
Everybody's heard the rumors about a seedy gang of leather clad strangers seen obscenely strutting up and down the boardwalk, right around the time that all those teenagers started going missing from the amusement park and comic book shop, on the shore, like some ageless, ’80s hellraisers, who refuse to die.
Some believe those kids joined some hard partying Ricky Kasso hesher-cult, many have even claimed some second hand knowledge of a fire flickering batcave filled with opium den antiques and gypsy tapestries and a big blacklight poster of Jim Morrison, reptiles abounding...
I, personally, suspect it's all just a big conspiracy theory, the stuff of urban myth, bored kids with overactive imaginations, who have spent to much time watching zombie-hunter shows on cable, reading that "Twilight" book series, and chatting about Slenderman and Bigfoot and Anne Rice stuff, online.
Many people have tried to make a Radio Birdman documentary. For a variety of reasons, only one has succeeded.
And it would have been so easy for Jonathan Sequeira to fuck it up.
Don’t worry. He hasn’t. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
“Descent Into The Maelstrom” was screened to a select audience of band members, followers, media and other hangers-on in Sydney last night. The venue was the Chauvel Cinema, deep inside – ironically enough – Paddington Town Hall, the scene of the definitive Radio Birdman line-up’s last Australian stand.
These two discs were each made (mostly) by a two-piece band, drums’n’guitar; and vox and guitars, respectively. They’re both something I wouldn’t have believed possible: successful two-person rock’n’roll that sounds fantastic. Each album does have a few other elements, but they’re precious few and … and again, I wouldn’t have believed it, but … you don’t really miss the others that much. Why?
In King Mud’s case, the songs and the delivery gain, hold and manipulate your attention; their two covers (you should be familiar with at least one) taken over by the Mudders to such an extent they may as well have written it themselves.
King Mud are Van Campbell from the Black Diamond Heavies and Freddy J IV from Left Lane Cruiser. They’re full-on rock’n’stuff, the kind of busy guitar which tells the story, shoves the song forward and devil the details. There’s a distinctive ‘70s American style to the Mudders, but you can clearly hear innumerable UK influences as well.
Dunno what all the online backlash is all about. Jim Jarmusch called his film “a love letter to the Stooges” and that’s precisely what he delivered when “Gimme Danger” made its Australian debut at the Sydney International Film Festival on June 17.
“Gimme Danger” was never going to be a deep dissertation about what made the Stooges tick. Read Paul Trynka’s magnificent “Open Up and Bleed” for that. It was more like a shallow duck dive into the broad history of the band. Or bobbing for apples.
I enjoyed "Gimme Danger" but this was the Stooges, dumbed-down for beginners. Or “Stooges 101” as someone later said.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the psych ward, this sliver of shiny black vinyl arrives out of Brisbane’s sub-tropical humidity, stumbling around like a homeless man in a threadbare coat who's baring his arse for all the world to see.
The Busymen don’t seem to have been living up to their name in recent times because this 10-inch EP is their first release since the “Distort All Levels” album of 2007. Put that down to commitments with other bands or members being detained by the authorities for their own good. They’ve certainly made up for lost time.
Half-covers and half-originals, “Under Attack…” resonates with the brutal thump of a Force 5 hangover after an all-night pub crawl through the seedier haunts of their hometown’s party district of Fortitude Valley. The morning after just doesn’t come any fuzzier than this.
Can you define psychedelica? Behind punk, it’s probably the most over-used term in the musical genre lexicon. That won’t change with this sprawling two-disc exploration of Australian psych, past and present.
Mixing ‘60s and ‘70s tracks with contemporary ones is an approach that could have gone horribly wrong.The wonder of this is how well the old tracks blend seamlessly with the new. Compilers Gaz Cobain (aka The Amorphous Androgynous) and Brian Dougans have done a splendid job of unearthing lost, forgotten and current nuggets and the mastering is great. It’s the fourth edition in a global series.
The tour is almost over and the verdicts are in following a re-tooling of the line-up with the controversial omission of guitarist Chris Masuak. We present divergent views of the sold-out Australian run of Radio Birdman shows.
Go here to read an appraisal of the Adelaide gig by Robert Brokenmouth and here to read Edwin Garland's read-out on the band's two Melbourne gigs. You can leave comments on both reviews. Photos are by Emmy Etie and Kyleigh Pitcher.
The cover - taken by Lydia Lunch - shows the ruins of an ancient desert city. Could be Jericho. Whether Jericho is in the Mid-East or the West of the USA makes little difference. We’re dealing with perennial humanity in a perilous place with a mythological backdrop. But, you know, the Israelis and the Palestinians are still killing each other, and as I say, it’s a big thing on a big, operatic stage with no solution and no apparent beginning, never mind end…
… and there are plenty of abandoned towns in Australia… it doesn’t take much, just a bit of intolerance and a bit of ignorance, and idealism for a hopeless, not very sensible cause…