Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2011 gigs, and record store closure, top gigs and 2012 & beyond Predictions

178. BJ Morriszonkle, Becky Lee & Drunkfoot, Made for Chicken By Robots 1/12/2012
3 x 1 man/1woman band line up. Who could resist?
BJ Morriszonkle sounds like a kooky genius with a flair for melodrama, comedy, mystery, etc.... Yes that's his sound: the sound of soundtracks. And his unusual style pleases the crowd.

BJ Morriszonkle

BJ Morriszonkle sounds like a kooky genius with a flair for melodrama, comedy, mystery, etc.... Yes that's his sound: the sound of soundtracks. And his unusual style pleases the crowd.

Becky Lee & Drunkfoot is a one woman band from Arizona and she plays real nice poppy 6T's rock, a dash of girl group, and there's a twist of Holly Golightly. Yes she is very, very cool and in Melbourne until the end of January.
Becky Lee & Drunkfoot
Made for Chicken by Robots faces technical difficulties
Made for Chicken by Robots returns following his last gig a couple of years ago. He is a one man band featuring a man in a Chicken hood and sunglasses who plays in the dark & has a smoke machine. Behind the gimmicks, this man can really play guitar and percussion at the same time and is totally impressive. This act is kooky and entertaining.

179. Midnight Woolf, Guitar Wolf  The Tote 2/12/2011
If you ever wanted to learn to be a rock'n'roll star, just watch Nagasaki's Guitar Wolf.  All in black leather, sunglasses and haircuts to match. All the moves, all the sounds, total trash and comprehensively impressive. 

180. Becky Lee and Drunkfoot - Digger and the Pussycats The Tote 3/12/2011
Crowd enjoys Becky Lee and laughs with Digger and The Pussycats.

181. Gentle Ben and his Senstive Side The Tote 3/12/2011
I met a girl in a bar and found myself at this gig.
Gentle Ben shows us what leather really is

182. Fabulous Diamonds, Kurt Vile and the Violators 4/12/2011
Fabulous Diamonds are a moody two piece eletro arty act with drums and keys. Kurt Vile and the Violators seemed like a bunch of pro musicians which took the  DIY charm out of Vile but the crowd seemed to love it, and I certainly liked some of those songs from the Smoke Ring from My Halo LP that filled the set.

Kurt Vile & The Violators

As you can see, I haven't had any writing mojo - why force it?

183 Ladyhawke, The Tote 7/12/2011.

184. Dave Hogan, Hound Dog Records, Victoria Street, North or West Melbourne, 10/12/2011
Hound Dog Records is closing down and a band played out the front. Another band will play next Saturday.

185. Chigwell Sharp, Leadfinger, The Retreat, Brunswick 10/12/2011
Chigwell Sharp played a set with their new drummer. Leadfinger played their rock set which featured a song written and played on the Mandolin.

186. The Swingin' Nutsacks Off The Hip 16/12/2011
I only caught the end of this Xmas band, who claimed to be massacring your favourite songs. The band featured a bunch of serious record store nerds, regulars at Off The Hip, turned ultimate rock stars for one night only! There was two of everything: drums, bass, guitars and three singers. See it here.

Not a gig, but another indie record store in Melbourne is closing down and the store will be open for one more week.It's an oldies store that's  mainly US centric. But it does have a lot of Australian stuff. Get in whilst you can.

The first time I've ever seen Hound Dog open for more than 3 days straight - head to 313 Victoria St West Melbourne
Left wall
Right wall - it's eye candy galore!

The Shop - if you head out the back, check out the singles.

Not a gig, but another indie record store in Melbourne is closing down and the store will be open for one more week in the lead up to Christmas.

Hound Dog has been open since 1975 or 76, when Denys Williams decided to open a record store three days per week -  a hobby job. But ever since then it's been the kind of place to hang out, learn about music you never heard of, strike up a conversation with a music loving stranger. Records, CDs, DVDs -it's all at Hound Dog. And with a 36 year history you can be sure there'll still be something ace left in stock before the week is through. It's 25% off everything.  Get in whilst it's still possible.

 188. The Stevens, White Walls, Gasometer, 18/12/2011
The Stevens have catchy pop numbers, with ace melodies, harmonies and guitar bits, and I can't wait to hear their recordings. Pic by G. Tippett.
White Walls. Pic by G. Tippett.
189. Booby and the Dicktraps, Becky Lee and Drunkfoot, The Tote 20/12/2011
Booby and The Dick Traps feature 2 members of the Puta Madre Brothers meets the easy country twang of the Handsome family. Good songs, awesome guitar work. The band with the most ridiculous name in Melbourne has lots to like. Becky Lee does it again. She can do it all: drums, guitar, singing, all at the same time and she does it with so much style. It'll be a sad day when she leaves town. Catch her while you can.

190. Circle Pit, The Axemen, The Tote 21/12/2011
Circle Pit from Sydney, play sloppy, charming indie pop with a punk attitude. There's [malnourished] Boy/[blond bombshell] Girl vocals, as they both switch and swap rhythm and lead guitar. There's a real fresh feel to begin with but it's easy for the mind to ponder when standing in the audience of a Circle Pit gig since there's nothing really outstanding or mindblowing happening. That said, they all look pretty cool on stage.
Circle Pit have got the look

With a rotating cast of players over a 30 year history, The Axemen walk on stage and they're a motley looking bunch, but for a group that's infamously sloppy, they can really play, really well. Upbeat, raucous, Kiwi slobs, they really bring it on with good songs, underscored by powerful drumming.  It's tight and loose all at the same time, with moments of indie bliss, boogie, power pop, rock'n'roll trash, and punk. And they have a song that feature's Barney Rubble. Nope, I can't help myself but buy the album. They play 2 encores, repeat a song from their set, ready for another but are told by the bar man to cease playing. So ends The Axemen's Melbourne dates on their Australian tour in 2011.
The Axemen are awesome

191. Plast Her Ov Paris, The Tote, 22/12/2011

Plast Her Ov Paris
Stabby guitar and awe inspiring pop inspired lead singer with serious moves. That's what I remember about Plast Her Ov Paris.

192.Microflora, The Jackals, The Sherriffs, Pagents, Gasometer 23/12/2011
 Microflora is a male singer songwriter whose banter between his songs is more charming than the music he's making - which is not to say it's bad, but it could do with either more time in the incubator or could be aided by collaboration or poignant insights. It's not really for me but kudos for being so bold, and playing new songs.

The Jackals are an arty dark, swampy, rock band - think Birthday Party with a wailing Clarinet, lots of noise, catchy songs, brooding vibes... Loads of drama with the pretention. This was the band of the evening for me.
The Jackals

The Sherriffs are a 6 piece pop outfit which are seemingly melody and harmony are driven, but unfortunately tonight it's hard to hear the vocals. There's four guitars, and some great slide moments that fit that great Aussie indie songbook. At times they possess a Western Cowboy tilt, but the pop is dominant and they remind me of The Thrills.
The Sherriffs

Pagents are a 6 piece indie pop troupe with intriguing twists and turns.


193. Van Walker, The Livingstone Daisies, Labour in Vain, 24/12/2011.
I thought Van Walker the folky singer songwriter was the best version I've seen [compared to Swedish Magazines, Reigning Men, etc]. But a Power pop group named The Livingstone Daisies with his brother, Liz Stringer and a guy in a Hawaiian shirt works really well this afternoon.

194. Smoke Signal and Rayon Moon, Bar Open, 29/12/2011
Smoke Signal

Smoke Signal are a local high intensity 4 piece, mostly instrumental and featuring guitarist[with multiple pedals], bass drums and a synth guy who does wailing vocals. They call it "future vibe". I call it boys with a keen interest in creating blistering rock build ups and Enya like soundscapes, messin' about on these instruments and making it up as they go along. My hat's off to them - trying to do something new and creative. A friend later explains to me their sound is classic Kraut rock and I still don't get it. Then someone else tells me their songs are back drops and their sounds are the textures. Go and see them if this appeals to you.

Rayon Moon

Are hard to capture

because of their youthful, energetic moves

Rayon Moon start off their set with a surfy-Crampsy number. They seem to be kids with an immature - ratbag element that makes the pop music appealing and cheeky, but also makes them slightly grating. Their second song is that sloppy yet fast indie pop punk that's really popular now, and the rest of the performance seems to follow in this vein. As the set wears on the two guitarist/singers seem uncontainably merry; moreso than the new drummer and bassist. And their friend-fans find this so contagious, they stripped down to their underwear, and gave each other homo-erotic piggy backs in front of the band. Yes there was a private school boys [gone wild] vibe but ultimately it just seems that Rayon Moon are a young band, that seem to be having fun, fucking up, but show some real moments of talent. Ultimately they seem in search of their sound.

The following is a list of the
Best Gigs of 2011

16. Nick Murphy The Gem 26/1/2011
If you love the sweetest pop music, beautifully crafted songs, exquisite harmonies, and going to gigs with intimate crowds that are often free, go see Nick Murphy [who usually plays with Jeff Samin or his band].

18. The Jim Jones Revue The Corner 31/1/2011
Exciting, explosive and this black clad English band of rock'n'roll revivalists made you forget it was Monday night after a heatwave and The Big Day out.

20. Marysville Pans on Fire BMW The Edge 6/2/2011
Have you ever heard the steel drum? I only associated it when Trinidad and Tobago are mentioned on beauty pagents, or at Notting Hill Carnival. These guys score a mention because the Steel drums were made in Australia, they're a community group of young and old who'd never played the steel drum, and they're a lot of fun. Who knew Victoria had a a steel drum band?

24. Assassins 88 Tr-Mould, 12/2/2011
A Canberra band who astounded me, as the lead singer is the drummer, and the microphone is gaffer taped in his mouth during the entire set.

29. Los Impenetrables Builders Arms 18/2/2011
Musically diverse, brilliant, and a heap of fun. If you're looking for a party band for a mixed group, choose this three piece.

36. Ukeladies Orchestra Marquis of Lorne March residency 2011
It's remarkable that this group of musicians can pull off the soft Hawaiian feel to their set Hawaiian themed songs in 2011. But they do it time and time again, with their beatiful voices, dresses, flowers in the hair and Ukelele's. Clare Moore on vibes. Phil K on Double Bass, Dan Luscombe on  guitar making it sound like slide. Bliss!

40. Dick Diver Old Bar 15/3/2011
Boys can't really sing, but they play guitar, it feels a bit of an introverted effort. I love this indie pop stuff.

57. Lower Plenty, The Empress 2/4/2011
More of the same as No. 40, but with almost a different cast of musicans.

60.  Drab Doo Riffs Bar open 7/4/2011
Drab Doo Riffs get this mention because they are a bunch of Kiwi misfits [outsider types] who attract an audience equally odd, and it all becomes one hell of a party.

68. Buffy Sainte-Marie The National Theatre 20/4/2011
Some schmaltz, but heaps more beautiful shit going on here. I'm awestruck. This lady can write, play, sing and tell excellent stories. That's enough for me to make this a memorable gig.

79. The Paul Kidney Experience 13/5/2011 The Old Bar
I had a physiological response to the Paul Kidney Experience. It felt like my body temperature was rising, my face was going to melt, and that I was going to piss and shit everywhere. No it wasn't the food I had before. It's the intensity of the free Jazz or noise band The Paul Kidney Experience. See them if you need to be affected by a band.

85. Keith Party, Baptism of Uzi, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, Cat Food Press 4/6/2011
This gig wins it's place partly because of the line up: Keith Party - 90's fun; Baptism of Uzi- ridiculous; King Gizzard - alive and amazing performers. But also the crowd made this great, and the location of the gig. Three things: young and interesting line up, odd location, good crowd that love music - that are the recipe for success if you want to put on a cool gig.

93. The Painkillers Yah Yahs 17/6/2011
Solid WA act with grouse songs. They're mentioned here since I've been hanging out to see them for a few years.

101. Bits of Shit The Tote Front Bar residency July 2011
I saw every residency for BOS because they are fun, have good, fun songs, but mostly the singers antics are so hilarious, I couldn't miss these guys.

110. BJ Morriszonkle The Old Bar 11/7/2011
Something new and refreshing  - a guy with a keyboard and percussion instruments making music I'd imagine would work on soundtracks.

121. Pulp, Festival Hall 30/7/2011
Life dream come true.What more can I say?

125. The Stevens YahYahs 4/8/2011
Excellent young indie band who on this night had it all. Good songs, played well and all parts well heard and understood.

130. Tek Tek Ensemble Marquis of Lorne 13/8/2011
Unbelievably brilliant music troupe.

145. Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/9/2011
My favourite Camp Chicano rocker leading an equally excellent band.

165. School of Radiant Living, Gasometer 3/11/2011
This was a return gig for School of Radiant Living who've been gradually getting better and better, working on their sound and skill. They're an exciting band to watch.

171. Mofo Brothers The Old Bar 20/11/2011
The Puta Madre Brothers standing up playing as a band rather than 3 x 1 man band. It just proves that when you take away the novelty aspect, they're still excellent.

190. The Axemen, The Tote 21/12/2011
Kiwi slobs that put on a solid show and surprised everyone when they could play their instruments.

192.The Jackals Gasometer 23/12/2011
An exciting, youthful Australian band following in the footsteps of the Birthday Party.

And Gonerfest and Ponderosa Stomp 2011 were bloody unbelievable, and exceeded all expectations

Worth Watching

Mesa Cosa

The Blue Bottles

Richard Fyshwick and The Nuftys

The Stevens

Deep Heat

School of Radiant Living

The Murlochs

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 2011 gigs

164. Ben Salter, The Bowers, The Retreat 1/11/2011
Folky singer song -writer with a sense of humour plays Cup Day Kaos in the front bar to an intersted crowd. The Bowers performed a good set in the main stage area to an intersted crowd.

165. School of Radiant Living, Ally Oop and The Hoopsters featuring Noize Bunny, The Sailors, Gasometer 3/11/2011
The School of Radiant Living are back and they're better than ever. Good songs, sweet textures, two main vocalists, sharing that load. Harriet with her booming voice; Georgia with that tinge of melancholy. It's indie pop of the non boring variety, but with a truckload of attitude.  Tonight they had a new drummer Patrick, and in my mind this band works. I love The School of Radiant Living. They're the coolest chicks in Melbourne. Ally Oop and the Hoopsters are Ally Spazzy and Noise Bunny, two blonde, white chicks doing hip hop; songs about wearing & being hoods, songs about the mean streets of Box Hill, and so on. Look beyond the the irony and these chicks are really great, putting heaps of energy into their performance, their good at the craft of rap, and Noize Bunny has got moves. I liked them. The Sailors did more of the same and I really dig their arrangements of their dirty, dirty songs.

166. The In The Out, An interesting Jazz band, Antartica, Silver City Highway, Private party 5/11/2011
Party Projection

The In The Out

Cool jazzy band- I have no idea who they are. Do you?

 167.Wayfaring Strangers, The Tote 11/11/2011
Wayfaring Stranger are thirsty
After a year long break The Wayfaring Strangers return.They start off luke warm, they tell the crowd they're playing a show at the request of a former booker, who couldn't make it. There were hardcore fans and friends especially there to see this entertaining band. Their sound is folky, bluesy, pub rock and their songs are ballads. This all hangs on the antics of their singer dressed all in white: Dom De Plume who starts the set at the bar, drinking and singing. Then he's on a chair, then he's in the audience, telling stories, singing songs. He tells the story of how the band formed: when he was younger his friend Richard said that he was an entertaining person who could do something with all his unused talent so he formed a band with a 14 year old mix taper.

Wayfaring  Strangers are back!
Throughout the gig, the band warmed up, found their groove, and by the end left a crowd cheering, smiling, genuinely entertained.

168. Folk Uke, East Brunswick Club 11/11/2011
Folk Uke with some guy called Trio
Folk Uke have the earthy pure voices ripe for the sweetest country. Their talk is dirty and their lyrics are twisted and hilarious. There's a Gurthrie grandaughter and the daughter of Willie Nelson. They play guitar and uke, sing harmonies, telling jokes between songs and it was fucking delightful.  Quiet music on a quiet night. The band prior to them  - The 49 Goodbyes. a singing duo with a guitar player were not my bag at all. 

169. The Bulls, Jacky Winter,  The Tote 14/11/2011
A pop up gig for the 30th birthday of the Tote, brother and sister duo The Bulls played their set of folky feeling music, that has range, volume, and feeling, proving yet again what in incredible set of pipes that Linda has. Singer/Songwriter Jacky Winter played a set of originals and some covers. 1 guy, 2 guitars: 6 string and 12 string, and a shrill yet expressive,  likeable and unique voice. A highlight song was about a new one that he wrote about cleaning pubs and patrons making malicious mess. Perfectly pitched entertainment for a Monday night.

The Dancefloor Racketeers
170. Dancehall Racketeers The Tote 20/11/2011
These guys play 1930's style music; yes it's the time before music was a fully formed commodity, divided by genre. It was when music was just music.  This bought about fusion and cross polination. As a result players performed blues, jazz, Hawaiian, Western Swing and more. And this is exactly what the Dancehall Racketeers did tonight. Highly skilled, very entertaining, they transformed Tote gig goers into a happening dance floor. The Dancehall Racketeers would be awesome in the day time at a hotel lobby by a beach.

171. Mofo Brothers, Saint Jude The Old Bar 20/11/2011
The Mofo brothers are a 4 piece and play music that can only be best described as "in the style of the Puta Madre Brothers". All suited, there's no gimmicks here and musically they're simply awesome; playing an energetic set that blew my mind. Although in the support slot, they played an encore, and are perhaps Melbourne's best kept secret.
Inside the ladies toilets at The Old Bar Nov 2011

Saint Jude are a 5 piece country rock band [featuring 3 members from Little John] that venture into southern soul and slow grooves. There's screamy moments that work, and in all they seem like a fairly solid band.  It'd be worthwhile to watch their career develop.

 172. Slocombe's Pussy Pony, Melbourne Music Week 24/11/2011
 A mostly instrumental 4 piece, wearing cloaks exploring the progressive realms of rock and roll. Some might say it's boring and self indulgent. I just say it's not for me.
Slocombe's Pussy

173. The Blue Bottles Cherry, Melbourne Music Week 24/11/2011
50's-60's Surf music from this brothers band who debuted tonight.  I reckon they'd make a damn fine  party band.
Blue Bottles first gig

172. Chook Race, Pony, Melbourne Music Week 24/11/2011
Sweet garagey pop, and lead singer has got himself a new quiff. A lot to like.

173. Puta Madre Brothers, Cherry, Melbourne Music Week 24/11/2011
The venue was packed for the Puta Madre Brothers  who struggled with sound issues this night. Although they were good, they weren't blazing like last weekend and the vibe in the room felt lacklustre.

174. Big Bug Trio? The Gem 25/11/2011
I don't think this was the Big Bug Trio, as it wasn't a trio and the some of the members seems to be  slightly different than the photo's suggest.  Butwhat I caught was a bluegrassy band with some sweet Mando and Dobro action.

175. Greasy Hawaiians Town Hall Hotel 26/11/2011
4 piece, middle aged guys playing surf, party and 60's covers with 2 broken Flangers.Not slick but really well suited for the front bar of the Town Hall Hotel on this rainy Saturday afternoon.

176. The In The Out, Iowa Yah Yahs 27/11/2011
The In The Out played their best show yet. But unfortunately I missed Iowa who seemed to sound awright from the street.
The Murlochs crowd is sure to grow

 177.  The Murlochs, The Chromenips, The Tote 28/11/2011
The Murlocs are a 5 piece r & B - garagey tween band. Everyone in the band looks either really relaxed or really nervous. Lead singer has a distinctive raw singing style and breaks the vocals up with harmonica. Catchy songs for these boys on the edge of manhood, and what's really pleasing is that they don't rush their sound. It seems to satisfy the 12 in the room. The Chromenips are an all star covers band  dressed up as women or glam - freaks. They've got talent to boot, put on an interesting show, and Joel Silbersher is a hilarious frontman.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 2011 gigs

New on the scene, The In The Out play one of their first few gigs. Go see them. River of Snakes sounds like Midnight Woolf thanks to one of the members being from Midnight Woolf - so if you like that, maybe you'll like this. For a band I hear are 20 years old, they don't look it - or they started when they were juveniles. Speaking of juveniles, that sense of youth seems to be the wellspring from which their fun and funniness comes from. Blokes in the crowd are fisting the air approving the rock. And the Legends of Motorsport keep the crowd laughing.

154. The Large No. 12's The Standard 9/10/2011
Older country and rock guys play covers keeping the Standard Sunday crowd entertained.

155. The Drones, The Corner 12/10/2011
The Drones have these twisting, turning epic type songs which make you feel like you're going through their rollercoaster ride of brooding melancholy, then despair, then you come out at the end cleansed. That's right, you're a new person! It bores some, but for others, that's the beauty of their work. The jerkish movements of Liddiard, put some off, but it seems his just throwing himself into his performance.The jerkish banter of Liddard ["Dan drinks too much, Mike snorts too much, Fi eats too much and I don't"] didn't do much for his charm factor. But their sound is theirs, and people seem to love them, or feel quite indifferent. In any case, The Drones are a heavy affair.

156.The Princetons The Laundry 13/10/2011
The Princetons are an light indie happy dance band with  funky white moments.  The drummer possesses muscles galore but not the ability to convince me he's got music flowing through his veins. The song they called rockabilly sounds more like some Christian rock bland out. I'm big on encouraging the kids, but the best I can do for now is suggest they Google rockabilly. Meanwhile, some kids are dancing. Maybe I got too old for this. Cue to exit.

156.5 The Bulls, Spencer P Jones, Go Go Sapien, Private party 15/10/2011
Spencer P Jones is a world class singer-songwriter. Go Go Sapien are in their element as a perfect party band.

157. Plague Doctor & Major Tom and the Atoms Yah Yahs 16/10/2011
Plague Doctor. Good songs, and apparently played new songs at the beginning of their set. They've got a new lady singer from Howl at the Moon doing her first gig with them too. Major Tom & the Atoms features a singer from Little Red, fronting this 6 piece band, half of who seem to be dressed for a wedding. It's fitting because they sound like a wedding band, complete with sax and keys.It's Spandeau cheesey in parts, with melodrama and large smatterings of fm pop with an early r & b influence. A headwound of the guitarist causes the band to play lounge music which seems to suit them perfectly. 

158. Old Grey Mule, The Standard 19/10/2011
Two piece, Austin based native American Indian blues rock act. Yes that was a mouthful. One guy played guitar, the other played drums and sang. Their best song  I caught was when Chris Russell of Chris Russell's Chicken Walk sang along, making up the words, forcing everyone to crack a smile. It's free front bar music on a Wednesday night performed by two out of towners.

159. Harry Howard and the NDE, Baptism of Uzi, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard The Tote 21/10/2011.
Harry Howard and the NDE are the equivalent of senior citizens at the Tote tonight, which is not all bad, because their songs sound like bleak pop, with lyrics that seem to be based on life experience, and feature a very dry sense of humour. Refreshing and intelligent, and it features Edwina Preston playing a stylophone, Clare Moore on drums and Dave Graney on bass.  Baptism of Uzi seems to have grown since last time I saw them. There's 5 members on stage, padding out the room with big sound, minimal vocals and still, I feel like I'm watching Nightrider when I hear these guys. By the time King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard hit the stage, the band room is a full house, which is quite a feat given they're a band who I think are less than a year old. Tonight, they're launching their 10" EP Willoughby's Beach. High energy, surfy-garage complete with inane lyrics that are set to repeat. It's a wall of sound created by the 7 on stage: 3 guitars, drummer, harp player, second percussion, and bassist. The live experience includes on stage antics, and in 2011 KGLW are really striking a chord. And they wrap it up sans conventional encore.
160. Spencer P Jones  and the Escape Committee Marquis of Lorne 22/10/2011
Solid performance from a not always solid performer. Undeniable true talent that we can claim as ours and by that I mean he's Australian right?

161. Kira Puru & Jordie Malone Labour in Vain 25/10/2011
Kira Puru & Jordie Malone are blurry @ Labour
Deep, high, soft, loud, rich, sad, joyous, you name it Kira Puru can sing it. Yes it's true. Kira Puru of Newcastle has a great set of pipes. In town for a month long residency at The Old Bar [Sundays], she's got the soul of Etta, and does jazzy moments like Ella, but her voice is all hers, and what is most apparent: it all seems so effortless. Tonight she's accompanied by Jordie Malone of Kira Puru and The Bruise. He's playing guitar, and singing along in the style of M Ward's romantic moments. They're doing folky covers and some originals. This gig is by no means flawless, but they laugh through the mistakes and it's fun for everyone. At first it seems she's an artistic oddity; Kira Puru is not like everyone else. She's got style, she marches to the beat of her own drum, and talent galore. In my mind, Kira Puru is destined to be a star of some kind and would have been the perfect act to wedge between Graveyard Train and Brothers Grim Monday 31/10 at The Forum. She could easily hold that room. But they'll have left town by then. Go see them play a much smaller venue: their last residency show in Melbourne at The Old Bar Sunday 30th of October.

162. Deep Heat, Per Purpose, Marf Loth, Tax, Bad Aches, Terrible Truths, Native Cats, The Sailors The Tote, 29/10/2011.
Someone told me that Maggotfest is Australia’s answer to Gonerfest.  Booked by Tim Scott, it’s a punk and garage 9 hour extravaganza.  It’s 2 years old, and drew a small crowd but it was not overrun by Total Control cool kids nor the youthful King Gizzard fans.  But it was an interesting line up of mostly bands I’d never heard of. As a result I had to go.

Deep Heat are a 4 piece screamy rock band with 3 chicks and 1 guy who seems to have Laryngitis. Even still, the gals have got attitude so the band's got grunt.

Per Purpose are 3 skinny white guys playing frenetic loud punk and post punk type music. They're playful with rhythm but I don't really understand what they're trying to do - but that's my problem not theirs right?

Marf Loth are a 5 piece Sydney act playing melodic garage pop. There's a lot to like about these guys [like they had the aim to go see Spencer P Jones and Conway Savage because they’re in Melbourne], but it's mostly got to do with their sound and their on stage fun.

Bad Aches are a fun 3 piece screamy, poppy, garage, punk band and include a Mummies cover in their set earning extra cred points from my temporary companion.
Tax are easily the oldest people to play so far today. So much sound for a 3 piece. With a droning singing drummer who owns precision timing, a squealing guitar & punch in your face bass, I find this act is not really for me.

*Missed Unity Floors and Chook Race because it was dinner time* 

Terrible Truths are a 3 piece band with 2 female singers. They’ve got that angular minimalist post punky pop sounds with catchy riffs.

Woollen Kits are a 3 piece clumsy pop band with a singing drummer. Their opening song includes a Cattle and Cane riff. Easy to like to you can handle the sloppiness.
Bitch Prefect are 3 guys, playing mostly sloppy, yet catchy - almost cutesy indie pop. Some songs have a twinge of twang.

Native Cats are a 2 piece from Tasmania featuring a bassist, and a singer with a Stylophone, drum machine & a Melodica. Sparse sounds, tuneless vocals, but still full of attack. Driving rhythms. Build ups feature layered sounds. In essence, they've got a scientific music vibe.

Onstage there's 2 guitarists, a keys player and a singing drummer. It's The Sailors and they're asking us "what's the time? It's fucken' rock O'Clock!" Yes The Sailors have rehearsed banter with gags between songs; a swag full of cock jokes with shades of gay with songs like Penis Colada and the anthemic classic: I Punch  You With The Fist Of My Cock. The crowd are arm pumping. It's verging on the ridiculous, then they play Trim The Bush, drawing laughter from the crowd. Although it's really stupid, crass and insulting to some, The Sailors are kinda good. It's funny, provocative and solid. In my mind, they're the best band I've seen at this 9 hour minus a dinner break event.

163. Dirt Farmer, The In The Out, Curtin Bandroom 31/10/2011
Dirt Farmer are  5 piece [some from Wagga Wagga] who look like undergrads with clean shirts. They've got sophisticated pop songs with space for their various parts: lapsteel, harmonica, guitar bass drums. It's pop twang with sunny vocals tinged with melancholy. Likeable summery pop well suited for an ice cream commercial.  The In The Out played their third gig - go and see them.

164. Ben Salter, The Bowers, The Retreat 1/11/2011
Folky singer song -writer with a sense of humour plays Cup Day Kaos in the front bar to an intersted crowd. The Bowers performed a good set in the main stage area to an intersted crowd.

165. School of Radiant Living, Ally Oop and The Hoopsters featuring Noize Bunny, The Sailors, Gasometer 3/11/2011
The School of Radiant Living are back and they're better than ever. Good songs, sweet textures, two main vocalists, sharing that load. Harriet with her booming sound; Georgia with that tinge of melancholy. It's indie pop of the non boring variety, but with a truckload of attitude.  Tonight they had a new drummer Patrick, and in my mind this band works. I love The School of Radiant Living. They're the coolest chicks in Melbourne. Ally Oop and the Hoopsters are Ally Spazzy and Noise Bunny, two blonde, white chicks doing hip hop; songs about wearing & being hoods, songs about the mean streets of Box Hill, and so on. If you you can get past the irony, these chicks are really great, putting heaps of energy into their performance, their good at the craft of rap, and Noize Bunny has got moves. I liked them. The Sailors did more of the same and I really dig their arrangements of their dirty, dirty songs.

Next on the calendar:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gonerfest 8, Goner, Hi Tone, Murphy's, Buccaneer, Memphis - 22nd-25th September 2011

Well if Ponderosa Stomp was the festival that showcased old , Goner was about the now, attracting music fans from around not only just the USA but the world. An excellent feat given that Goner is both a little record shop and indie label in Memphis that specialises in rock, and other selections.

It kicked off with this unofficial gig outside a glass shop on Young Ave....


Psychotic Reaction from Oklahoma makes special mention to Goner for not paying them

 Then the official Gonerfest commenced on the Cnr of South Cooper and Young Ave with The Limes

The Limes of Memphis play this melodic slack rock. The singer might not be able to sing but his expression makes up for everything. What a likeable act.

Jack Oblivian and this all star band 5 piece band [features organ too] played this really upbeat party,  boogie music

Sex Cult of  Memphis apparently feature members from Vile Nation, Bake Sale & The Magic Kids - All I know is they've got a firey eyed singer who delivers songs by way of shouting, and most blokes in the band have mutton chops, energy, and all have the attack to suit their garge pop and punk stylings, and they feature a rock chick on bass.
Here's a a link if you're keen on listening

Power trio Hans Condor came all the way from Nashville to play balls out blistering rock and teamed it with stage antics. Some might say over the top or very loud. But those who liked it loved it.

What started with the pounding of drums turned into teen pop. So Mikal Cronin seemed to be a crowd favourite. From San Francisco, he played elaborate, melody based pop songs that  had unsual pauses, twists turns. Finished on a cover of Shake Some Action. Note: say "Michael Cronin"

You could sense the nerves of Royal Headache, but a few songs in, they were vering between sweet pop and angsty punk. They punched out a striking set, and many I spoke to afterwards,[not Australian's] really enjoyed their sound.

Like most bands here, I'd never heard of these guys. Apparently they're from Texas. OBN III's were said to remind reviewers of  "a revved up Stooges". Since I have no knowledge of such matters here's how I saw it. OBN III's played an explosive performance. The jock frontman - Orville Neeley was highly obnoxious- snotting on stage and so on, and they had a guitarist who looked like a real poindexter, but as a live act this was a cut above. The attittude, sound & their intensity inspired the room shake their gigantic beer cans causing massive spillages & crowd surfing.

Ty Segall
The pop stylings of Ty Segall made for a real crowd pleaser. Good songs, ace guitar, and the kids were singing along and really getting into it to the point where they got onstage to party with the band - whilst the band were playing. Even a photographer did this. At one point, Ty said you can only be on stage if you take your top off, so the fat guy did.

Pre Goner Friday night and the Psychotic Reactions playoutside Lou's Pizza. Tonight this blues rock trash act have a Theramin which sounds like a cat.

Memphis band Aquafuzz
What a cool looking bunch of over 40's misfits: a tambourinist with a scary clown tatoo on his shoulder; a drummer with his face painted in grit, a guitarist with a cliche 70's rock  look, a blonde bassist with braids and a lead singer/guitarist with what appears to be a cross branded on his arm. Yes they look a little weary or weathered compared to the others who are playing, but this is a band, who sound cool, are cool with their slack way, and their country leanings. They have no albums or no links that I can find.

Special mention to The MC Rob K or "Bob" [of The Jam Messengers] for dressing up on the Friday night

Midnite Snaxxx
All the way from San Francisco, it's three chix  sporting the punk uniform of 2011; horizontal stripes and skinny jeans playing Ramones style. Their power is not just what they sound like, it's who and what they represent. Their brazen approach to goes against conventions; occupying a space that men traditionally occupy, they're rockin' out just as well if not better than any guy.  These are 3 women who are saying 'fuck it' and just getting on with it! What excellent role models.
  They gave it their all and it was impressive. They rule. God Bless America.

James Arthur's Manhunt
What is it about Texas? Based on the 2 bands I've seen from there, there's this raw power, impossible to fake. The bio says "spacey rock". I'm hearing squeally guitars. Even when they take it down a notch, the intensity remains.

Mean Jeans are a bunch of young guys who play Ramones style music. The crowd got pretty excited, someone bought silly string, and the lead singer was annoyed that the silly string got on his guitar strings.

Icky Boyfriends  are a late 80's/early 90's San Fraciscan band who possess a drummer, a bassist and a singer. In the kindest way, they're a crap [some might say primitive] punk band, who have short songs. Still it was fun.

The Gories were running late. They were getting food. After all even the stars need to eat right?
Judging by the crowd, Mick Collins is everyone's favourite, he can do no wrong as a guitar player, even if he is out of time with the rest of the band

The Gories may have started 25 years ago, but they proved they can still rock out.

And that they can sweat

And then the crowd got excited, they joined the stage too....

Acid Baby Jesus , young guys from Greece played the afterparty at The Escape Club and they also had a that punky garage 60's sound that was so popular with the crowd.

Cheap Time from Tennessee have teenage attitude, soaring guitar and unstoppable rhythms.

Decent crowd for an after party

Peach Kelli Pop travelled 20 hours in a car from Ottowa Canada to play the Goner afterparty. They had shrill, high pitched vocals which perfectly suited their 60's beach party pop music. 


Memphis' own Manatees start Saturday at 1:30 at Murphy's. A serving of brooding punk for breakfast. I can only find a link to other photo's.

Pity Fucks
Described as "party garage with lowtish keyboards" from Portland Oregon. This description is bang on. It's fun and kooky and sounds excellent from the laundromat where I was doing my washing.

There's a photo of The Missing Monuments that I forgot to take because I was too busy watching the band from New Orleans play exquisite power pop.
Kitchen's Floor
From Brisbane come Kitchen's Floor.
There had been so many great bands so far, pre parties, actual Goner, after parties, unofficial sidewalk things, but the breath of fresh air was sure to be........
Rev John Wilkins
Pastor of Hunter's Chapel Church and son of a legendary bluesman Robert Wilkins, Rev John bought family and friends to this show. It demonstrated  what a white fest Goner is. Race issues aside, Rev John sang spirituals with his 3 daughters backing uim up. In addition, there was a brilliant backing band, and at times, Rev. John picked the guitar in an old timey blues way. This was moving, breathtaking and uplifting and a welcome change in the programming.

Memphis band Black Sunday were the first act on Saturday night at The Hi Tone. Abrasive rock chick Alicja Trout starred.

There was a lot of hype over Shannon and The Clams. They do this doo-wop inspired 1950's pop thing and have matching outfits. It was fun and kooky but not as amazing as I was expecting. 
I must have been getting lazy because I didn't take a photo of Melbourne's own Deaf Wish - probably because I was watching both band and crowd, and had a bad spot. They impressed many witht their sound and intensity and topped many people's higlights list.
From Cleveland come the Alarm Clocks
I had no idea who they were but according to the guide, they perform one of Goner's top 60's garage singles. Essentially they're old guys who play garage rock. If you close your eyes when they play, their sound and their fire could fool you into thinking they're still teenagers. The lead vocalist was so great at hollering and screaming. Although there's a vibe that Gonerfest is a festival for the young, this was a welcome reminder that rock is not just for the young. 

Human Eye travelled from Detroit
I was told they're a sci-fi garage band but I didn't know they'd alienate their audience. Sorry about that. By the time they played the venue was half empty, but that might not be due to them. More people were getting tired after 15 hour live music marathons per day.  In all seriousness, Human Eye had a gigantic eye light prop, they dressed up for the occassion, and they rocked out as you'd expect.
All the way from Germany, Redondo Beat played the Saturday night afterparty at The Buccaneer. They were a great poppy garage band with a lot of style.  The last band I caught was The Royal Pendletons were were bloody ace and who featured Mike Hurtt again, and guy I later learned was "King Louie" on drums. I'd met him  earlier - shortly after he threw up.


You know that feeling, when you see a band you've never heard of and they blow you away? That's what happened at Gonerfest time and time again. The line up was well selected -I didn't see a bad band. The crowd were an awesome bunch of music enthusiasts from around the US and the globe. The bands mostly ran on time, with short waiting times between acts. The records for sale were cheap and sold directly by the artist or easy enough to obtain from Goner the next day. Drinks were reasonably priced. A Music festival in these trashy Memphis band venues really worked beautifully. It showcased Memphis as a bloody great laid back kinda place with a small, but diverse and excellent music scene.  But most of all it was awesome to be part of it, even if I am just a fan.

 Gonerfest.... I don't wanna talk it up too much but it was unbelievably awesome.

Official Goner Fest 8 poster art