ernie o 2023

Ernie O’s 2023 Top 10

10. River of Snakes live at Northcote Social Club (supporting Chris Masuak & Dog Soldier) on 26 May. It takes a lot to make my jaw drop, but this tight and gritty 3-piece achieved it flawlessly and with ease. Raul (Magic Dirt) on guitar and vocals, Elissa (The Loveless, RnRHS) on bass and vocals and Dave (Grindhouse, Drifter) on drums wove a tapestry of love, loss and lust that draws you in and leaves you wanting more. Check out their goodies here!

9. Stu Wilson – As Yet Untitled Mini-Album. Still a work in progress, but (Loose Pills, Aberration, New Christs, The Crisps and more) has gone next level with his solo material, taking advantage of his Stu Stu Studio to lay down some tracks that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 1980’s Citadel release. We’re having a lot of fun with this! Check out a teaser here.

8. Mick Medew and Ursula’s “Love is Calling” Boxcar remixes. Following on from Mick and Ursula’s amazing and eclectic 2022 “Love Is Calling” album, DJ Boxcar (Dave Smith of ‘90s electro outfit Boxcar) conjured the spirit of ‘90s and early noughties rave and house parties into the title track from the album. Check out all four remixes inspired by Dave’s love of the Fortitude Valley scene here. (Okay, it was released in November 2022, but this shit has legs that go forever!)

7. Hitmen D.T.K. Live ’91 Bootleg – Keep your eyes and ears open for this live ghetto blaster recording from the Gray brothers coming out soon on Vicious Kitten Records. Recorded by Colin Gray at the Toucan Tango in Newtown NSW on 13 November 1991, the lineup features Chris “Klondike” MasuakBob “Dutch” Sattler and Deniz “Iceman” Tek on guitars alongside Johnny “Zeus” Kannis on vocals, Shane “Catfish” Cooke on bass and Gerard “Sundance” Presland on drums. Titled “Tonight We Ride”, it showcases some of the best tracks from the Hitmen and Radio Birdman glory days, and a handful of covers for the encore. No teasers for this one, but you know where to look for it.



6. Chris “Klondike” Masuak’s Dog Soldier – “Tract Home Chippy” single and Australian tour. Through May and June 2023, Dog Soldier (Chris, Tony Bambach on bass and Stu Wilson on drums) toured the eastern states and left a trail of ringing ears, broken hearts and destruction behind them. “Tract Home Chippy” is Klondike’s “love song” to Lenny Bruce, and is written in turns of phrase that only a 1950’s Midwest USA hobo would understand. The gig at Northcote Social Club had me grinning ear-to-ear with a set from Klondike’s back catalogue, and the rock-solid rhythm section never falling out of the pocket.

5. Community and Internet Radio – this is what keeps my love of music alive!

Internet radio from Woody Radio in Canada with DJs Gidget, Boris, Mike Lidskin and DJ Mac, and Jim Prell’s The Music Authority from Florida play only the best of power pop and cutting edge acts from around the world.

Paul Slater’s “It’s Always Rock n Roll” show on Adelaide’s Three D Radio has the most eclectic mix of noisy, bizarre and classy underground acts from Japan, Europe, Africa and Australia and is well worth checking out. 

Matt Gleeson with his Burning Vinyl show on Melbourne’s 3CR has been a local institution for over 20 years, and never fails to disappoint. 

Ruari Curren’s “Fang It!” show on 3PBS FM showcases some of the best new hard rockin’, ball tearin’, smokin’, tokin’ and blokin’ tunes from around Australia, and a good mix of international and classic riffage every Thursday evening. 

Dylan’s “Yassville Skyline” on Yass FM 100.3 presents “the best rock n roll on the planet..featuring the MC5, The Stooges, Radio Birdman and more!” 

Pete Bufo’s “Vinyl Countdown” on 2BBB in Bellingen is a staple of my radio diet, and constantly revisits the highlights (and low points) of my misspent youth – 80’s and 90’s rock and new wave feature strongly here, alongside new Australian releases. 

And Judy Jetson’s “Subterranea” on 4ZZZ deserves an honourable mention too!

I strongly recommend the Radio Garden app for random exploration of the international airwaves as well. Spin the globe and see what you find!

4. The Silverbeets’ “Mr Brown Goes To The Cabaret” album – nearly three years in the making, a master work of psychedelic pop and an emotional rollercoaster of an album, the fourth release that I’ve performed on, mixed, mastered and produced with Farnz Cordeaux and his band of merry pranksters from Tasmania. Check them out here and here. Due to be released in its entirety in February, stay tuned for regular teasers and “single” drops in the meantime

3. The Dream Poppies’ “favourites” compilation.  Described as “saccharine piss-take power pop, edgy loud-quiet girly guitar pop and catchy melodic fuzz pop”, this release draws from their '90s CD releases and demos to bring together the very best of Brisbane’s indie scene from the era, and is available on limited edition vinyl and for download here. Read more about “favourites” here and here. I had a blast putting this together with Marg and Tracey, and their live shows are currently generating a new groundswell of interest.

maz with los revelators

2. Los Revelators’ “Revelations” EP – Another of Chris “Klondike” Masuak’s projects, this time from the town of Lugo in Galicia, Spain, about an hour-and-a-half from Viviero where Chris is currently based. This high-powered 60’s beat-infused garage surf four-piece outfit have released a four-song EP. Grab it here.

1. Ernie O’s Urban Fringe Compound – the new studio. This took me just on 12 months to complete. Built from the ground up (new stumps and flooring), the sky down (new roof and guttering, heaps of insulation, doubled up ceiling) and from the outside in (double glazed windows, cement weatherboards, more insulation and gyprock) with heaps of acoustic treatment as well. I’m still fine-tuning the acoustics, and yet to install my ‘80s Ward Beck Systems broadcast console (ex-2DAY FM), but it’s all up and running and turning tricks daily. Let’s see what 2024 will produce!