Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lighthouse Keepers - The Lipsnipegroin

The Lighthouse Keepers' tasteful, jangly brand of country-tinged folk rock was at odds with prevailing trends on Sydney's early 1980s, Detroit-besotted independent scene. The band nevertheless issued a number of albums and singles, and always lived up to audience expectations.

Sydney independent label Hot reissued The Lighthouse Keepers' 'Gargoyle' single (August 1984), as well as putting out the band's full-length debut album Tales of the Unexpected (November). 'Ocean Liner'/'Sad Tale' was lifted as a single (November). Hot issued a third single, 'Ode to Nothing'/'Seven Years', in August 1985, and the band flew to the UK for a series of shows (including supporting fellow Australians The Triffids in London).

The Lighthouse Keepers broke up in early 1986. As a farewell gesture, the band compiled the 'Gargoyle' and 'Ode to Nothing' singles, the Exploding mini-album and two previously unissued tracks, 'Mr Wicked' and 'Lair', on the album Imploding (November 1986). Greg Appel and Juliet Ward went on to The Rainlovers, which becameThe Widdershins; Dalton joined The Honeys; O'Neil joined The Cannanes.

The compilation CD, Lipsnipegroin was released in 1992, six years after the band's break-up. Do yourself a favour and check out this record 'Ocean Liner' and 'Gargoyle' are classics.

Disc 1

Disc 2

Pixies - Purple Tapes

This band needs no introduction and were frequently posited as the immediate fore bearer of the alternative rock boom of the early 1990s, though they disbanded before reaping any of the benefits this might have brought them. Avowed fan Kurt Cobain's acknowledgement of the debt Nirvana owed to the Pixies, along with similar tributes by other alternative bands, ensured that the Pixies' legacy and influence grew substantially in the years following their demise.

The Pixies are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1985. The band disbanded in 1993 in acrimonious circumstances but reunited in 2004. Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal, and David Lovering have been the band's continual members.

One half of the ‘Purple Tapes’ spawned Pixies critically acclaimed debut album Come On Pilgrim whilst the other half remained demos. Until now that is. Among the tracks on Pixies are early versions of the classic songs ‘Here Comes Your Man’, ‘Subbacultcha’ and ‘Broken Face’.

"We knew it might just be a demo if no one was interested in it," former Pixies frontman Frank Black says. "It was all still fun. It wasn't like I had my mortgage riding on the line at age twenty or whatever. I was still running away from my phone bills and school bills. Money was the least of my concerns. It was pure art."

The Screaming Trees - Sweet Oblivion

Time to review some of my favourite US records. Number ONE on my list Sweet Oblivion by The Screaming Trees.

Screaming Trees were a band considered part of the grunge music movement of the early 1990s. Founded in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985, their sound was a mixture of arty '60s psychedelia and west-coast punk rock. Though highly regarded among critics, they never achieved the superstardom of other grunge acts such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains or Pearl Jam. They disbanded after touring for their last record, Dust, released in 1996.

Their 1992 album Sweet Oblivion. "Nearly Lost You" became a MTV and alternative radio hit in the fall of 1992, thanks to the momentum of the Singles soundtrack. The single carried Sweet Oblivion -- which had received more press attention than any previous Screaming Trees album -- to the group's strongest sales, peaking at over 300,000 copies. The band supported Sweet Oblivion with a year-long tour, during which they fought frequently. After the tour was finished, the group decided to take an extended hiatus. They Toured Australia in 1992 on the Big Day Out Tour. I worked as a guitar tech and spent some time with them. Mark was on crouches; his veins had collapsed due to over use of a certain Mexican substance. But what a voice, amazing, I’ll download some of his solo stuff in the future.

Xavier Rudd - Solace and Food for the Belly

Some kick back, chill out Sunday morning grove. Xavier Rudd is an Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has developed a strong reputation for playing live performances at musical festivals and concerts in Australia and in North America. His following is particularly strong in Australia and in Canada, where he has recorded several albums. Many of Rudd's song incorporate socially conscious themes, such as environmentalism and the rights of Aboriginals. In addition to playing the didgeridoo in many of his songs, he also plays the stomp box, harmonica, slide guitar and banjo, ankle bells and shakers. Check him out >>>>>>>>> This dude is amazing to see live. >>>>>>>

Solace 2004

Food For The Belly 2005

The Church

The Church were an Australian rock band formed in Canberra in 1980. Best known for the shimmering "Under the Milky Way," their lone Top 40 hit. The Church combined the jangling guitar pop of '60s icons like the Byrds with the opaque wordplay of front man Steve Kilbey to create a lush, melancholy brand of neo-psychedelic rich in texture and melody. A survey among readers of Melbourne newspaper The Age garnered 37,000 votes and the majority chose "Under the Milky Way" as the best Australian song of the last 21 years. Hindsight is a ‘Best of’ compilation of their music of the 80’s.

Gold Afternoon Fix was their sixth album and came after their most successful album; Starfish. It employed more ambient aspects, piano, acoustic guitars and keyboards. On some tracks, the music was punctuated by clanging metal, rustling wind or sharp, industrial sounds, like in some David Lynch movie. But the conflicting undercurrents were all there. "Metropolis" had a commercial, but typical Church ring, while the bleak "Pharaoh" concealed thinly veiled barbs at the stifling music industry around the band. Resigning tones dominated in some songs ("Monday Morning," "Disappointment"), while tinges of nostalgia filtered through others like "Fading Away" and "Laughing." During the making of this album Richard Plogg(drummer) left the band due to drug problems, as a result his drum tracks were sampled out and replaced by a rigid, but meter-perfect drum machine. Not their best but worth a listen.

Various Artist - Tales from the Australian Underground Singles 1983 - 1989

Tales From The Australian Underground, a collection of key Australian independent singles from 1976-1989.

Dave Graney and The Coral Snakes - Night of the Wolverine

Graney is generally accompanied by his wife and longstanding creative partner, drummer Clare Moore. The pair have fronted such bands as The Moodists (1980-87), The White Buffaloes (1989-90), Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes (1987-97), The Dave Graney Show (1998-03) and Dave Graney and Clare Moore...featuring the Lurid Yellow Mist (2004-).

"he abounds in sublime thought and love of humour, in dignified feeling and malignant passion, in elegant wit and obsolete conceit. He alternately presents us with the gaiety of the ballroom and the gloom of the scaffold, leading us among the airy pleasantries of fashionable assemblage and suddenly conducting us to haunts of depraved and disgusting sensuality….he turns decorum into jest, and bids defiance to the established decencies of life." A quote from the Dave Graney Show website,.

Dave's 1993 album with the Coral Snakes, Night of the Wolverine (1993), is considered by many to be an Australian classic. No singles were released from the album but it contained many memorable songs (The title track, 'You're Just Too Hip, Baby' and 'Three Dead Passengers in a Stolen Second Hand Ford', co-written with Stephen Cummings)

Died Pretty - Every Brillant Eye

My love for this band continues, the band decides to record for the first time without Radio Birdman's Rob Younger. Instead, they enlist Jeff Eyrich (Gun Club, The Plimsouls) and the result is 1990's Every Brilliant Eye. Recorded in LA, the album sees the addition of keyboardist, John Hoey, and bass player, Steve Clark. A leaner, rockier approach is adopted. The album reaches top 10 on US college charts and the press positively gleams. Even the New York Times discovers the band, gushing 'the best rock and roll has passion and Died Pretty is consumed by it. They don't so much articulate feelings as evoke them'.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cruel Sea - Best of

Continuing with Tex, The Cruel Sea were an Australian indie rock band from Sydney formed in 1988. The band was fronted by the prolific vocalist Tex Perkins (also a member of The Beasts of Bourbon and a solo artist) in addition to Jim Elliott (drums), Dan Rumour (guitar) and Ken Gormly (bass). Other musicians who have been in the band include guitarists Gerard Corben and James Cruikshank (from 1991 onwards); and Barry Turnbull on bass. Check out "This is Not the Way Home" classic track

Beasts of Bourbon - Low Road

A bit of a tribute to Tex Perkins. I first met Tex back home when he played with the Dum Dums. Since our paths have crossed on many occasions.

Beasts of Bourbon are an Australian rock 'n' roll band formed in 1983, with a line-up that has changed as the band splintered and reformed several times. The group were initially thrown together by vocalist Tex Perkins to fulfill a booking his previous band, Tex Deadly and the Dum-Dums, could no longer make. The band began playing together in small venues in Sydney. The initial version of the group included Spencer P. Jones of The Johnnys, Boris Sudjovic and Kim Salmon of The Scientists and James Baker of The Hoodoo Gurus. They helped define Australian Swamp rock. Their music is a tough amalgam of country music, blues, rock and roll and punk parsed through the garage sound of The Stooges and the drunken mayhem of Australian pub rock. It often touches on themes of depravity, morbidity, despair, drug abuse and violence.

Hoodoo Gurus - Stoneage Romeos

Hoodoo Gurus recorded the band's first album, Stoneage Romeos (1984). The title came from a Three Stooges short. The album was dedicated to characters from 'Get Smart', 'F-Troop' and 'Petticoat Junction'. Hoodoo Gurus' sound combined elements of sixties power-pop, bubblegum pop, Beatle-esque harmonies, psychedelia and grungy garage rock. Classic Australian Power Pop from the 80’s.

Ed Kuepper - Everybodys Got To

Ed Kuepper is an Australian guitarist, singer and songwriter. He co-founded the seminal punk band The Saints, the experimental post-punk group The Laughing Clowns and later the grunge-like The Aints. He has also recorded over a dozen albums in his own name with a variety of backing bands, notably Ed Kuepper and the Yard Goes On Forever. This is my favourite record...enjoy

The Johnnys - Highlights of a Dangerous Life

The Johnnys were a legendary Australian pub rock band featuring Spencer Jones (guitar and vocals) of The Beast of Bourbon and James Baker (drums) Hoodoo Gurus that fused the fun of punk rock with the 3 minute pop sensibilities of Hank Williams. They were contemporaries of The Gun Club and LA's X. The Johnnys collapsed in the late 1980s only to reform for shows in 2004 where they once again proved themselves to be absolutely brilliant showmen. Their album Highlights of Dangerous Life is a widely regarded Australian classic.

Died Pretty - Pre Deity

To begin with one of my favourites.....

Died Pretty was an Australian indie rock band centred around singer Ron Peno and guitarist Brett Myers. The band formed in Sydney in early 1984 and played their last shows in 2002. Their music started from a base of early electric Bob Dylan with psychedelic influences. They were also notably influenced by The Velvet Underground and Television.