Saturday, December 29, 2007

Plug Uglies - Plug Uglies


In 1985 I became friends with John Gorman. He used to come over to my place in Redfern and we’d drink like madmen and listen to records. One day he brought over "Never Understand" by The Jesus And Mary Chain. We played it all afternoon and decided to start a band that sounded like that song. Another night John brought over a friend called Angus Douglas from Tactics. He was going to play guitar with us, but on this occasion just cut his arm open and spread blood all over the kitchen wall.
I knew a bass player called Wayne Baker from Brisbane. A friend of Wayne’s told him about a girl called Tina that practiced drums to Prince records in the flat downstairs. Tina Havelock Stevens arrived at her first rehearsal with six friends and a dog. Her friends sat around the walls of the rehearsal room drinking and laughing while we swayed in the deranged alchemy of sweet noise.
We found a name in a book called Street Gangs Then & Now. It summed up how we felt: Plug Uglies.
Our first booking was at the Music Cafe in Kings Cross. We were pretty excited. On the day, someone gave Wayne two rhohypnols and told him they were uppers. He took them at home and went into a deep sleep. We dragged him to the gig, administered speed and then placed him on stage. The only movement from him for the next 45 minutes – apart from his hands – was a big glob of nose drool that slowly distended down to his knees. It was a great performance.
Tina's parents came along to the next show and caught the surprise act when Angus ran out the door and threw his guitar into the middle of William Street.
Bookers liked us because we drew a large heavy drinking crowd. One of the wonderful things about this world is how one persons jug of woe can be another’s pot of gold... it’s a theme that resounds throughout the music industry.

Our audiences grew. We did a live to air on Radio Skid Row. We screen-printed and we postered all over Sydney. We wrote lots of songs in a disoriented state in what was once a meat freezer in the now demolished Pie Factory in Darlinghurst. We changed lead guitarists often, the one guy John was happy with was Tony Milner. He told us he had to leave because he couldn’t keep up with the drinking. Our bass player Wayne left in 1987 and Mark Lock from Died Pretty joined.
In 1988 John’s brother Michael Hiron organized for us to record six songs. We thought they sounded great, but no one wanted to release the record. It was a strange and depressing year. The bicentenary, gentrification and rent hikes. All the shitty things that happen to you when you’re on the dole that you can’t fix or change. And then John hung himself. That was the worst.


We released the record "knock me your lobes" ourselves in August 1989 through Waterfront Records distribution and sold about a thousand copies. Johnny’s face graced the cover, his sounds filled the grooves, but we supported the record with a new line-up. Michael Hiron played lead guitar and Clem Lukey (who had played with Michael in The Pineapples from the Dawn of Time) played rhythm. Later that year Mark lost interest and quit. John Willsteed from the Go Betweens stepped in.
We still pulled large crowds, and broke numerous bar records. Plugs shows in inner city Sydney became regular events where people met, drank, danced and went home and fucked. We were happy to supply the soundtrack. We toured to Brisbane and Melbourne and some strange places in between. Live, the Plugs were volatile, beautiful, whimsical and mad. No studio recordings ever captured the sonic mayhem our best shows.
In late 1989 we wanted to record again, but didn’t have much money. We recorded Johnny Panic and Grubby Supper, then argued about the mix for days. After countless joints in the control room we dreamt we came to an agreement.
A record company called Rattlesnake Records said they’d do us a favor and release Johnny Panic as a 12” single, even though they didn’t expect to make any money on it. We received $190 from them based on their poor sales figures. Ironically, no one we knew could purchase the record anywhere because it had sold out. 2JJJ gave it regular airplay, another irony considering their shift at the time from supporting the Sydney music scene to a generic concept of a national youth network.
We continued to play almost every gig on the east coast of Australia. I still hear faint echoes when I travel to those places. Some people get tinnitis in their ears. I get melancholia in suburbia.
In 1991 we decided it was time to do an album, so we recorded a demo on a 4-track with only three tracks working. Some of the best songs were the new ones like Dead Weight Walk and Deep Six. Then we dubbed cassettes and looked for a deal. One guy told us to get the fuck out of his office and threw our tape in the bin. He went on to become a very successful record company executive. Others were not so direct.
We released one more single, Pounding Grace. It was country on one side, bitter on the other. We were all tired. Tina kept saying “poor Plugs.” Michael stopped communicating. Then he left.
Our last gig was March1992 with Mick Meredith from The Moles on bass. No door list, and not enough room to fit all those who came. The publican said we could play our last gig there any time.

For many years I wanted to compile a CD of the Plug Uglies. In 2000, I asked John, Michael and Tina to create a master of the best available songs. We looked forward to it’s release and our reconciliation. Sadly, Michael died in March 2001, before the mastering could be completed. He wanted to write the liner notes. We miss him & Johnny, but are glad they finally exist in some form in the digital realm.

Roger Norris

The Acoustic Lounge - Midnight Oil

tricky at his best

One proud Aussie band wearing their heritage on their sleeves. Peter in talkative mode, band tight and powerful, harmonies in full flow. Rob Hurst one very underrated drummer. Even have a hammond organ groovin' along nicely.

One fine album, one fine band. This here my friends in a must have addition to your collection. One true reflection of Australian 'Pub Rock', a little insight into the way Australians think.

Peter Garrett, singer and spokesperson for the Oil, is now Minister for The Environment in Australia, there's a good chance that one day this intelligent and articulate man could one day be PM of our great country.

Play it load and jump around the room. May the fire in your belly never die. Couldn't find a cover so I improvised.

Robert Forster - Danger in the Past

Robert Forster is an Australian singer-songwriter, best known for his work with songwriting partner Grant McLennan, with whom he co-founded The Go-Betweens. Born 29 June 1957, Forster grew up in Brisbane, Australia. He met McLennan in drama classes at the University of Queensland and, inspired by a mutual love of Bob Dylan and the New York music scene, formed the Go-Betweens.

In addition to his work with the Go-Betweens, he has released four solo albums: Danger in the Past, recorded in Berlin in 1990; Calling from a Country Phone, recorded at Sunshine Studios, Brisbane, in 1993 with members of local pop group Custard; I Had a New York Girlfriend, a collection of cover versions recorded in Melbourne in 1994; and Warm Nights, recorded in London in 1996 and produced by Edwyn Collins.

Critically acclaimed internationally as a songwriter, he reveals a strong literary influence in his work. He became, through his work with McLennan and the Go-Betweens, one of a group of Brisbane musicians who established a particular Brisbane sound characterised by laid-back, jangly arrangements.

In 2005, Forster began writing for the Australian magazine, The Monthly. He had virtually no print experience, with only a column on hair care for a fanzine in the 1980s to his credit. On 25 October 2006, it was announced that Forster was the winner of the Pascall Prize for Critical Writing for his columns. Forster announced his return to live performance with four nights at the Queensland Music Festival in July 2007. Back when Nick Cave was putting together the line-up that would become the first incarnation of the Bad Seeds, rumour had it that Robert Forster, co-founder of the Go-Betweens and the latest shining light of the music literati, was set to become the guitarist in the band.

The Go-Betweens and the Birthday Party had long been linked since their days as label mates on Missing Link - the Tuff Monks' After the Fire being the fruit of one collaboration. Later, when both bands were in London, legend has it that Grant McLennan wrote Cattle and Cane on a guitar owned by Mr Cave. So it was no surprise when Forster drafted in Mick Harvey to produce his solo album, Danger in the Past, a dark, broody, menacing exorcism of his past and an indication of the possibilities for future directions.

The Clean - Anthology

While Split Enz came first and hit bigger worldwide, one could argue that there would be no New Zealand rock scene as it is known today if it weren't for the Clean; the sainted Flying Nun label was formed to put out their debut single, their willingness to go the D.I.Y. route in recording their early material set the standard for any number of bands (Kiwi and otherwise), and their playful yet aggressive mixture of pop hooks, jagged guitar lines, neo-Velvets minimalism, and edgy wit paved the way for the Bats, the Chills, the Verlaines, the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, and a handful of other bands who helped New Zealand develop its own musical identity for the first time. The bass player of the Chills split the band to play his own songs, and so The Bats were formed. Despite their importance and longevity, the Clean have never been especially well-served on record in the United States; their important early singles and EPs received little circulation in America, and their post-reunion albums have been only sporadically available, thanks to the collapse of several indie labels. Anthology isn't the perfect remedy to this situation, but it comes close; it's a superb overview of the Clean's career, with the classic Boodle Boodle Boodle and Great Sounds EPs included in their entirety on disc one (along with several crucial singles and outtakes), while disc two skims off the cream of the later albums Vehicle, Modern Rock, and Unknown Country (four outtakes from the Modern Rock sessions are thrown in for good measure). A thoroughly enjoyable introduction to an important and influential band, Anthology will also fill in plenty of gaps in the collections of American fans; anyone with more than a passing interest in the Clean will find plenty to revel in here.

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Tribute to the Go-Betweens - Write your Adventures Down


The Go-Betweens Tribute

May 6, 2007 marks the anniversary of the death of singer/songwriter, Grant McLennan, who died unexpectedly, at age 48. The Go-Betweens Tribute is a concert tribute to one of Australia's most influential bands.

Recorded at Brisbane's Tivoli Theatre, David McCormack, formerly of Brisbane band Custard and longtime friend of The Go-Betweens, together with The Go-Betweens band members, Adele Pickvance (Bass), and Glenn Thompson (Drums), lead a stellar line up of musicians performing an assorted mix of The Go-Betweens songs.

Performers include: Sarah Blasko; Glenn Richards (Augie March); Kevin Mitchell (aka Bob Evans); Darren Hanlon; Dan Kelly; Ian Haug (Powderfinger); and Cameron Emerson and Toby Martin (Youth Group).

This special concert was presented to an audience of over 1000 people, including Robert Forster, who is the surviving key songwriter of The Go-Betweens, and gave the audience a rare opportunity to hear these songs performed by such brilliant musicians.

The Stems - Heads Up

many, many thanks to mailee

If you haven't noticed by the number of Stems postings......I dig The Stems....dig the sound, dig the look......

It’s incongruous to think that Heads Up is only The Stems’ second full length album, and the band’s first new release in twenty years. Incongruous not just because The Stems remain one of Australia’s most virtuous garage and power pop bands, despite a playing and recording history that lasted a mere few years in the mid 1980s, but also because Heads Up is so pure, fresh and potent that it could have been recovered from recording sessions shelved at the height of the band’s original popularity or – better still – found lying dormant on tapes discarded at the apex of the halcyon days of the 1960s garage rock era.

Whereas Iggy meandered through the motions on The Stooges’ The Weirdness, and David Johannsen and Sylvain Sylvain mocked band branding reality on One Day It Will Please Even Me to Remember This, on Heads Up The Stems – comprising original members Dom Mariani, Richard Lane, Julian Matthews and Dave Shaw (sometime drummer Gary Chambers is, by some reports, farming potatoes in rural Western Australia) – are as vibrant as the day they first donned stove pipe trousers, flopped their fringes over their eyes and went in search of fuzz laden lands.

Mariani's opening line on the stomping Leave You Way Behind – "I'm feeling so much better/All of my pain has gone away" – is significant. The Stems imploded in the late 1980s under the weight of a relentless touring schedule and egos unable to manage the pressure of burgeoning national and international fame. Twenty years later the band has rediscovered the basic ingredients of the rock'n'roll form, sans all the industry bullshit that smothered their original zest and enthusiasm. She Sees Everything gives a power popped Loved Ones flavour to the wild eyed perspective on matters of the heart, and the Dave Shaw penned Surround Me is positively drenched in the sunny eyed optimism that none of us should ever forget (and neither should we ignore Mariani's spin on Roger McGuinn's Eight Miles High solo that appears late in the song).

For a healthy dose of garage attitude, '60s fashionista style and a slick sound to die for, you'd be insane to go past What's Your Stand, while Hellbound Train finds Mariani rediscovering a brutal riff he left lying around the studio after the recording sessions for the last Stoneage Hearts album, and discovering his band mates love it just as much he does. The rock'n'roll perfection that characterises Get to Know Me puts the seal of authenticity to the rhetorical statement that forms the song title – why would you do anything else but embrace contemporary The Stems after hearing this song?

Richard Lane's Only if You Want It shows what you can do with a bit of garage spice on a simple pop tune, and Liar is as down and dirty as much of the rest of the album is brimming with sunshine and beauty. Finally, Mariani is at his power pop best in Get So Bad – a tale of adolescent emotional dysfunction, a simple and catchy melody, and a guitar solo that slices and dices the air like a razor sharp Ginzu steak knife.

The ironic beauty of rock'n'roll is its seemingly infinite interrogation of simple riffs, melodies and specious narratives. If you need an antipodean example of the intrinsic attraction of garage rock and its close cousin power pop, look no further than The Stems – and if you need proof that rock’n’roll is an attitude, not a date on a birth certificate, check out Heads Up.

Check out the tour poster for 2007..... Gurus, Birdman, Stems......I want to go home

The Acoustic Lounge - Steve Kilbey (The Church)

another delight from tricky

Recorded live in Australia , 2000, ACOUSTIC & INTIMATE offers 16 songs from the former lead singer of The Church.

Exploding White Mice - In a Nest of Vipers

Back to Oz.

Exploding White Mice were a punk-pop band from Adelaide, Australia in the 1980s.

Their name was taken from a scene in the film Rock 'N' Roll High School, in which a laboratory mouse spontaneously explodes upon being exposed to the music of The Ramones, the band's foremost influence. Other major influences include Rocket to Russia and Radio Birdman.

Exploding White Mice got its start in 1983 in Adelaide when Paul Gilchrist (vocals) played a one-off show as a cover band with Andy MacQueen (bass), Gerry Barrett (guitar) and Craig Rodda (drums) at a party. It was Paul's first band; Andy had previously been in the bands The Deviants and the Crunch Pets, and Craig drummed for the Screaming Believers. The show went well enough that the group decided to play together regularly. One of these shows was attended by Giles Barrow, who was the guitarist for the bands Zippy & The Coneheads and Kaos. He ended up joining the group on rhythm guitar. In 1984 they began playing regularly in Adelaide at the Cathedral Hotel; Gerry left near year's end and was replaced by former Spitfire and Tombstone Shadow member Jeff Stephens.

At this point in the group's history, they were primarily still a cover band, but soon after began working on originals. After adding another former member of Zippy & the Coneheads, David Bunney, the group released an EP, 1985's A Nest of Vipers, on Australia's Greasy Pop Records. Sydney rock publication RAM named the album the best Australian record of the year in 1986.

Varioue Artists - Songs from the Lowlands

More 80's music from NZ. A compilation put out by Robert Scott on his tape label Every Secret Thing (ESP).It was released around 1986. It was taken out of print a short time later when Bill Direen objected to his songs being on it without his permission. Robert Scott had got the songs from Bats and Builders drummer Malcolm Grant . Electric Blood was the Scott brothers band as well. This the revised version without the Builder tracks. Got songs from The Bats and The Doublehappys.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Variou Artists - Flying Nun 25th

Flying Nun Records was formed in Christchurch in 1981 by music shop proprietor Roger Shepherd in the flurry of new punk rock-inspired labels forming in the early 80s. The intention was to record original local music of Christchurch, but soon the label rose to national and international prominence by championing the emerging sound of music from New Zealand.

The label grew an incredible reputation worldwide from such success with bands and musicians such as The Clean, Bailter Space, The Chills, The Bats, Chris Knox, Toy Love, Straitjacket Fits, The 3Ds, JPSE, Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, David Kilgour, The D4, The Mint Chicks, and many more...

This includes Tall Dwarfs, The Exploding Budgies, The Orange, The Weeds, Dead Famous People

This was originally a 4 CD set, but alas the trolls had their way. Enjoy what remains.

The Bats - The Daddys Highway

The Bats' first full album continues the early promise of their EPs and, with only the slightest deviations and changes since, established their sound for just about everything that followed. Scott and company may not be the most willfully experimental of musicians, but when they're on -- more often the case than not -- their lovely, melancholic songs simply hit the spot. Woodward forms the perfect singing partner for Scott, while guest violinist Alastair Galbraith brings his talent to the fore as he has for so many other New Zealand bands. "Treason" makes for a good start to the album, but the real standout on Daddy's Highway is the surging "North by North." Featuring a fantastic Galbraith violin solo, it gives the band the opportunity to show its sometime hidden strengths for more energetic, nervous material. Scott's vocal performance is one of his best, and the quick, on-edge pace seems to get even more so as the song continues. Quieter songs unsurprisingly abound as well, from the understated sweetness of "Sir Queen" to the gentle keyboard-touched "Candidate." "Tragedy" is one of the best in this vein, ending in a disturbing low drone (or at least as much of a drone as the generally quick-length songs by the Bats allow for).

The Stems - Weed Out (Live)

thanks to hank

The Stems formed in late 1983 when Dom Mariani, formerly in the band the Go-Starts, was introduced to Richard Lane. Richard had seen Mariani in the final few gigs of the Go-Starts and asked him for some guitar lessons. The lessons turned into jams, the jams into songs, and the decision was made to start the band. A friend, Gary Chambers, was recruited to join the band on drums and bass player John Shuttleworth poached from another local band, the Pink Armadillos and some demo’s recorded. The bands debut gig was supporting The Saints and The Triffids at the Old Civic Theatre in Perth. Their sound was influenced by 60s garage acts ranging from the Electric Prunes, The Standells, The Chocolate Watch Band to The Easybeats. A local Saturday night residency at the Wizbah venue saw throwback covers and a growing list of original songs and a cult following for the band. Shuttleworth decided to leave so a final gig for the band was arranged which drew a large crowd. The success of this gig and freshly written songs saw the band recruit a new bass player, school friend Julian Matthews.

The Stems played at local legendary (and now long-gone) venues such as The Wizbah, The Old Melbourne and The Shenton Park Hotel on a regular basis, the group built up a substantial following in Perth, at a time otherwise dominated by cover bands. During this time they replaced Shuttleworth with Julian Matthews on bass.

Weed Out is a 1997 album released by House of Wax of live recordings by The Stems. This live 2 track recording features 10 live cuts from a performance at The Old Melbourne Hotel in Perth, Western Australia on April 18, 1986. As well as containing live versions of previously released favorites like "Rosebud", "Make You Mine" and "Love Will Grow" the album contains two previously unreleased songs "Does It Turn You On", "Don't Let Me" together with a cover of the Monkees' "Stepping Stone".

Grant McLennan - Fireboy

Fireboy is the second solo album by Grant McLennan, a member of The Go-Betweens. It was released in 1992. In the album's liner notes McLennan said the songs were for Gloria Swanson, Kenneth Slessor, Brett Whiteley and Dean Martin.

Paul Kelly - Under The Sun

thanks to tricky

Under The Sun is an album recorded by Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls and originally released in 1987.

It was released on Mushroom Records in Australia and was the second album for both Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls. In the U.S., it was released on A&M Records with the band credited as Paul Kelly & The Messengers.

Jesus and Mary Chain - Three Records

thanks to Time Bandit for Barbed Wire Kisses

The Jesus and Mary Chain originally revolved around the songwriting partnership of its two main members. To fully realise their vision of the band, the Reid brothers recruited bassist Douglas Hart and drummer Murray Dalglish.

The band recorded their debut single, "Upside Down", released in October 1984 on Creation Records. The melody, structure and lyrics ("Inside I feel so bad/So low I feel so sad/Feels like I'm going mad/Best friend I've ever had.") are reminiscent of 1960s pop music of the like created by the Brill Building or Phil Spector, but "Upside Down" gives the material a noisy post-punk treatment, with brutally simple drums and one guitar playing shrill feedback throughout most of the song.

Dalglish was replaced shortly afterwards by Bobby Gillespie (who would go on to front Primal Scream), and William Reid subsequently claimed that he had played the drums on the debut single himself because of Dalglish's lack of ability. Though the single received universal critical acclaim from the British music press, and the band was championed fanatically by the NME, it was their riotous live shows that drew them the most attention.

Their music fuses together the Reids' two primary influences, the guitar noise of The Stooges and The Velvet Underground with the '60s pop leanings of The Beach Boys and Phil Spector.

odds-and-sods collection Barbed Wire Kisses (1988)

the largely acoustic Stoned & Dethroned which would see release in 1994.

final album in their odds-and-sods trilogy, 1995's Hate Rock N' Roll

Mutton Birds - Live Wolverhampton 25th November 2000

01 Small Mercies
02 Straight To Your Head
03 Envy Of Angels
04 As Close As This
05 She's Been Talking
06 Like This Train
07 A Thing Well Made
08 Last Year's Shoes
09 Wellington
10 Winning Numbers
11 Andy
12 Claude Rains
13 Queen's English

Mutton Birds - B-Sides & RaritiesVolumes 1 & 2

I found these last night, you must listen to these records. 'Anchor Me' two versions , 'Pulled Along By Love' two versions .... you won't be disappointed. I keep coming back to edit this post, their cover of 'Don't Fear The Reaper' Blue Oyster Cult...... outstanding.....this new favourite record

A note from Don - The name 'B-Sides & Rarities' is a little misleading for this collection as it's all live (mostly audience) recordings, never officially released. (Volume 3 coming later, sorry busy). All the available studio recordings were gathered together for the first two volumes of this series. This one does however feature some hard to find tracks, such as Come Sunday, Stay Hungry and Helicopter Pilot, Don's recent live recording of Queen's English with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, the first ever public airing of Green Lantern (recorded at the 12 Bar Club in Feb '98), and some audio from live TV performances. The rest are mainly personal choices of particularly good live performances, some of which I've tweaked and removed some back-ground hiss from.

-Sides & Rarities Volume 1

1-2 from NZ 'The Mutton Birds' album
3-4 from NZ 'Nature' single
5 from NZ 'Anchor Me' single
6 from NZ 'The Heater' single
7 from UK 'Anchor Me' single
8 from NZ 'Solid Pyrite Hits' compilation
9-15 from NZ-only 'Envy Of Angels' bonus disc
16-17 from NZ 'Come Around' single

B-Sides & Rarities Volume 2

01 from UK 'Come Around' single
02 from Aus 'Don't Fear The Reaper' single
3-4 out-takes from 'Envy Of Angels' sessions
5-6 from UK 'Pulled Along By Love' single
7-9 from UK 'AsCloseAsThis' single
10 from NZ 'The Underwater Melon Man' soundtrack album
11-12 from Don McGlashan's 'Instrumental Music' CD sampler
13-16 from BBC GLR Sessions (26th Jan 1998)
17-18 from BBC GLR Sessions (5th Feb 1999)

Mutton Birds - Nature

from 'cobber' thanks for the upload and reminding me of the Mutton Birds

More from Kiwi Land, a taste of the 90's. The Mutton Birds, clean guitar sounds, folk elements in the structure of the songs with passion and beauty. An extraordinary band.

The Mutton Birds formed in 1991 in New Zealand. Main songwriter Don McGlashan, guitarist David Long and drummer Ross Burge had made quite a few albums between them in the anti-Darwinian environment that makes New Zealand so unique in the musical world. Bands like Blam Blam Blam and The Front Lawn (Don), The Six Volts (David), The Spines, Sneaky Feelings and The Dribbling Darts (Ross), had provided a testing ground for their ideas about songs and how to play them. When bassist Alan Gregg (also of The Dribbling Darts) joined in 1992, and they made their first, self-titled album, college radio picked it up with a vengeance and mainstream radio in New Zealand was forced to follow suit.

The Mutton Birds began making sorties to England in 1995. That year, they released "Nature" (Virgin Records), a 12-song compilation of tracks from "The Mutton Birds" and "Salty", with additional production courtesy of Neil Finn. The release won the band some firm friends: ".....Robust, sad melodies, folk harmonies and beautifully weighted arrangements" **** Q magazine. Like many bands of their genre the popularity of grunge during the 90’s music restricted the amount of exposure and subsequently the levels of popularity these bands had.

Their third album, Nature, was a collection of songs from their first two CDs with production assistance from Neil Finn, released by Virgin Records in 1995.

Smashing Pumpkins - Live in Paris

Quick update for all. Large file over 3 parts, uploaded it into Mediafire so it's easier to download. Good quality sound board recording. Recorded in Paris in 2007 with the reformed band. Song list covers the total history of the band, 34 songs. Collectors item.

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tripple J - New Releases

cheers to 'cobber' for this one

Something a bit different, these are songs from Australian bands and artists that are currently getting 'high rotation' on Tripple J in Australia. Included are promo shots of the bands and artists. Style wise it's a bit of everything...... but pointing towards pop/rock. If you want to know what's happening in Australian music NOW, here it is.

The Acoustic Lounge - Nirvana

No explanations are really needed; Nirvana, Unplugged in New York. Probably the best know ‘unplugged’ recording of all time and certainly my favourite Nirvana record. This is special, a double CD with all the original songs remastered as well the rehearsal tapes for the show. This comes from the recently released DVD.

Kurt Cobain loved to confound his fans' expectations during his brief stint in the spotlight. So when Nirvana gathered in New York City on November 18, 1993, he had another trick up his sleeve--an acoustic performance of the raw, ferocious grunge songs that propelled the band to stardom. The results were startling, and for many viewers a hidden depth to Cobain's songwriting talents were revealed as gentle renditions of NEVERMIND staples such as "On a Plain" and "Come As You Are" were stripped down and performed for a specially invited audience. Among the many highlights is the performance of "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam," which was originally by Scottish indie-pop group (and longstanding favorite of Cobain's) the Vaselines; a stunning opening in the form of the BLEACH-era track "About a Girl"; and a selection of songs originally performed by underground rock act the Meat Puppets.

Go-Betweens - Botony Tapes

These sessions were demos and rehearsals for the follow-up album to 16 Lovers' Lane, to be called Freakchild. That the album never saw the light of day was down to the fairly acrimonious disintegration of the band, however a number of the songs here were featured in the solo albums of Forster and McLennan.

Songs 1-20 feature Forster and McLennan and their acoustic guitars playing the songs the way they would play them at numerous record store and low key club gigs between the demise of the band and the reformation. Tracks 21 - 27 feature the band rehearsing the new material.

I also have 'The Lost Album 78-79' and 'My Way' a live recording, I'll be posting in the future.

Valanes - Hallelujah All The Way Home

thanks to Kiwi Tapes for these gems

Another band from the 'land of the long white cloud' . A one-time Flying Nun act, Graham Downes' Verlaines produced some of the most sophisticated indie pop of the '80s while on the label, and made it to America all too ahead of their time. The antipodean garage that gave their albums Bird Dog and Hallelujah All the Way Home such a distinctive character, which highlighted the eccentric songwriting sensibilities of Downes. His only peers in the craft being Go-Betweens frontman Robert Forster and fellow Kiwi Martin Phillips of the Chills for absolute mastery of the art. The collection here has all of the distinctive traits that made the Verlaines so special -- quirky lyrics, Baroque string arrangements, and incessant guitar jangle.

The Vines - Highly Evolved, The Winning Ways

Highly Evolved

The Vines: Craig Nicholls (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion); Patrick Matthews (piano, organ, bass, background vocals); David Olliffe (drums).

Additional personnel: Rob Schnapf (guitar); Roger Joseph Manning Jr (key
boards); Pete Thomas, Joey Waronker, Victor Indrizzo (drums); Ethan Johns, Steven Rhoades (percussion).

Recorded at Sound Factory and Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California between July 2001 and February 2002.

Most folks first became aware of Australian rockers the Vines via their cover of the Beatles' "I'm Only Sleeping" on 2001's I AM SAM soundtrack album. A few months down the line, their 2002 debut album HIGHLY EVOLVED took the UK by storm. Shortly thereafter, the album was released in the US with high hopes. The group's basic, no-frills guitar rock should find plenty of friends among fans of the Strokes, the Hives, White Stripes, etc. It's rock & roll stripped to the bone, pared down to charging riffs that reference such evergreen influences as the Stooges and the MC5, and sharp songcraft with echoes of everything from T. Rex to Nirvana. There are a couple of softer moments on HIGHLY EVOLVED, such as the ruminative "Autumn Shade" and the contemplative "Homesick," but for the most part these Aussie lads lead an electrified charge with all guns blazing, frenzied vocals and sledgehammer rhythms belting out their battle cry of rock with a capital "r."

The Winning Ways

The Vines: Craig Nicholls (vocals, guitar, Moog synthesizer, percussion); Ryan Griffiths (guitar); Patrick Matthews (piano, keyboards, bass); Hamish Rosser (drums, percussion).

Recorded at Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, New York in 2003.

This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.

For the second Vines album, WINNING DAYS, the group's resident enfant terrible, Craig Nicholls, still comes off as an amalgam of Ryan Adams, Billy Corgan, and Kurt Cobain, and that's exactly what makes the record compelling from the start. Guitars blaze as Nicholls's unapologetic rock-star sneer carries the fierce opening track, "Ride." On "TV Pro," the band moves into slow, dreamy territory, but the chiming riffs are soon joined by jagged bursts of distortion, making for one of the Vines' most dynamic tunes.

On this confident set, the Australian rockers benefit from producer Rob Schnapf's return to the boards, crafting multi-faceted songs ranging from the pensive, acoustic "Autumn Shade II" and the Beach Boys-influenced title track to the metallic stomp of "Evil Town" and the spite-fueled closing number. Talented beyond their years, the lads of the Vines prove that the success of their debut was no fluke with WINNING DAYS.

The Numbers - 39.51

Maybe their second 0r third album, with tracks such as Big Beat and Blacktown really reflecting the sound and fashion of the time - only better, a great album. I have no idea about the meaning or relevance about the album name. If you do, drop me a line.

Silverchair - Young Modern

Silverchair is an Australian alternative rock band, formed in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1992. The group has had more top twenty hits in Australian charts during the last decade than any other local artist. Additionally, they have sold over six million albums worldwide. Every album released by the band to date has spawned at least one top 1 single and debuted at the #1 position on Australian charts. Silverchair is also one of only three Australian bands to have three number 1 singles on the Australian Singles Chart, and the only Australian band to have their first albums chart at #1 in the Australian Album Chart. They are the most successful act at the ARIA awards, having won more awards than any other act.

In November of 2006, Silverchair announced they were working on the music for their fifth studio album, Young Modern. Bass player Chris Joannou wrote a short overview about how the recordings for Young Modern went, which was published on the band's website on July 27, 2007. He wrote that the band spent five weeks in the Hunter Valley, in late 2005 to play some new tunes together. Prior to that Johns had been busy recording home demos on his own. Then the demos were recorded in a recording studio in Sydney and once the band had put it all together they headed for L.A. to start recording the songs at Seedy Underbelly Studios as they would appear on the album. Nick Launay was hired to produce the album together with Johns and during the time in L.A., some more songs were written (and possibly recorded). Van Dyke Parks was hired to do some orchestral arrangements for three new songs and these orchestrations were recorded in three days in Prague. The band mixed the album in Toronto ON at Metalworks Studio in January 2007 with Diorama co-producer David Bottrill.

They played a limited number of 'warm-up' concerts (with Paul Mac on keyboards at the Great Escape festival, the Clipsal 500 and the Rock-It festival) to showcase some of the new material and fund the recording of Young Modern. They originally aimed to release the album around December 2006, but delays pushed it into being released on March 31, 2007 in Australia.

In the build up prior to their Homebake performance, Silverchair performed a cover of Midnight Oil's "Don't Wanna Be the One" at the 2006 ARIA Awards as part of Midnight Oil's induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame. During the end of the performance Johns spray painted PG4PM (Peter Garrett for Prime Minister) on a stage wall, paying tribute to the Oils' frontman who is now a federal MP for the ALP.

The band played at Homebake on December 2, 2006 in Sydney; at Phillip Island on December 30, as part of The Pyramid Rock Festival; and the Queen's Wharf Brewery in Newcastle on New Year's Eve. They also played some showcase events in the U.S. and Canada in early 2007, in order to attract record companies to distribute Young Modern. It was recently stated by Johns on a Channel V broadcast of Silverchair's Homebake performance that Paul Mac is his "musical soulmate" and he finds it difficult to perform without him" and that Silverchair becomes a "supergroup" with his presence.

"Straight Lines" was chosen as first single from the new album Young Modern. Footage for the video was shot in Sydney, in which fans were invited to appear. The single was released on the band's official website and their official MySpace page on February 2nd. The physical single was released on March 10th and debuted at number 1 on the ARIA charts. Silverchair became only the third Australian band to have three number 1 singles on the ARIA Charts, the other bands being The Easybeats and The Seekers.

Coincendentally, Judith Durham, lead singer of The Seekers, performs guest vocals on an iTunes bonus track from Young Modern.

Young Modern debuted at number one in the ARIA Albums Chart, becoming their fifth consecutive studio album to top the chart, making them the only Australian band to ever reach five number one albums, surpassing Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil with four. It was certified double platinum by ARIA in only its third week charting. Young Modern continued to claim the number 1 position for a fourth week, becoming their fastest-selling album and holding off the Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare.

Silverchair cleaned up at the 2007 ARIA awards, taking the coveted "Album of the Year", "Song of the Year" and "Best Group" songs among their five awards for the evening.

The Bats - Music for Your Fireside

The Bats, one of the most influential bands from New Zealand in the 80's, this EP released around 1985. That trademark mix of dark-hued guitar jangle, dry, offhand vocals, and melodies that tend to meander around rather than stick to traditional verse-chorus structures is in full bloom here.

Lime Spiders - Headcleaner

thanks hank

This one has me beat I can find no reference to this Spiders album. Spiders released three albums, The Cave Comes Alive 1987, Volatile 1988 and Beethoven’s Fist in 1990. This seems a compilation of sorts with songs spanning their career as well as varying recording standards. Don’t care where it came from , I love the Spiders. Piece of trivia "Slave Girl" being covered by the Goo Goo Dolls on their 1995 album, A Boy Named Goo. The picture is from ‘My Favourite Room‘ single, cool

Sick Puppies - Dressed Up As Life

Sick Puppies are a rock band from Sydney, Australia. The band was formed by singer/lead guitarist Shimon Moore and bassist Emma Anzai in the music room of Mosman High School in 1997, where the two connected because of their shared love for Silverchair. Initially with Shimon on drums and Emma on guitars, the duo would frequently meet up to play Green Day, Rage Against the Machine and Silverchair songs and eventually felt compelled to write their own songs. Soon, Chris Mileski was added to the band to fill in on drums.

Sick Puppies started attracting national attention when their song "Nothing Really Matters" won Triple J's Unearthed in 2000. Later that year, they released their debut album called Welcome to the Real World and were voted for "Best Live Performance" at a rock festival in Sydney. This album was initially supposed to feature a humorous cover version of Destiny's Child's hit single "Say My Name", performed in a post grunge/nu metal style, however the song was not included due to the threat of a lawsuit by Destiny's Child's record label. The band received a very large amount of exposure for the song "All the Same" which is the theme for Juan Mann's Free Hugs Campaign video on YouTube, although it also has its own video. Sick Puppies garnered international attention, making their 2007 album, DRESSED UP AS LIFE, a surprise hit. Formed in Sydney, Australia, the Los Angeles transplants, fronted by vocalist/guitarist Shimon Moore, offer up songs on the heavy end of post-grunge alternative rock.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Eastern Dark - Where are all the Single Girls

The band was formed in 1984 when then Celibate Rifles bassist James Darroch decided to leave and form his own band. Darroch switched from bass to guitar and enlisted drummer Geoff Milne and former Lime Spiders backing vocalist Bill Gibson. on bass. After some rehearsals the three became The Eastern Dark, named after a place in The Phantom comics. The three piece began touring in May of 1984, quickly garnering local support, and releasing their first single, "Julie Is A Junkie/Johnny And Dee Dee," in July of 1985.

With Rob Younger as producer the band recorded the EP Long Live The New Flesh! in 1986. On March 4, 1986, on the way from recording to a gig in Melbourne, the band's van went off the road and Darroch was killed. Long Live the New Flesh! was released posthumously later that year, and the band's complete recorded output was collected as Girls on the Beach in 1989. Another collection, Where Are All the Single Girls? was released on Half A Cow Records in 2000.

Ed Kuepper - Butterfly Net

One of Ed's Greatest Hits, all his best known songs, a favourite of mine

Midnight Oil - Demos of Head Injuries

thanks to mailee

Posted the original a couple of days ago, mailee sent this one in, the full demos of Head Injuries. Different versions of every song. A little gem.

Ed Kuepper - Electrical Storm

one for cobber...... cheers mate

Electrical Storm released in 1985. At the time of releasing this LP, Ed Kuepper had just broke up his pervious band, The Laughing Clowns, they had run their course (a brilliant one at that). Ed Kuepper, a prodigous writer, had collected songs over several years that did not suit the Clowns avant-garde style. The best of those songs are on this LP. The title track, Electrical Storm, is laced with the intensity that we expect from Ed Kuepper. The album has some of the power of The Saints (his first band), and hints of what his later work would be like. If you want help in choosing your first Ed Kuepper album, I recommend this one

Hummingbirds - Va Va Voom

The Hummingbirds were an indie pop or jangle pop band from Sydney, Australia, formed in 1986 from members of the band Bug Eyed Monsters. They were one of the first bands signed to the rooArt label, and had a chart hit with Blush. The Hummingbirds then signed to rooART and recorded loveBUZZ with Mitch Easter. It was a major hit and earned an American release, though sales were slow despite excellent reviews.They continued recording for Australian audiences, releasing another LP, 1992's Va Va Voom. However, the release of this album was delayed due to problems with RooArt.

Grant McLennan - Horsebreaker Star

Grant William McLennan (12 February 1958 – 6 May 2006) was an Australian singer-songwriter with the alternative rock band The Go-Betweens, which he co-founded with Robert Forster in Brisbane, Australia in 1977. In a career spanning almost thirty years, his work with The Go-Betweens (1977–89, and resuming 2000–06) is complemented by several solo releases and side-project collaborations with other performers.

McLennan received a number of accolades recognising his achievements and contributions as songwriter and lyricist, including the naming of his 1983 composition "Cattle and Cane" by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as one of the 30 greatest Australian songs of all time. Grant McLennan died in his sleep at his home in Brisbane on 6 May 2006, aged 48, from a reported heart attack.. He was preparing for a party at his home and claimed he was feeling a bit unwell, and went upstairs to lie down. He was found later that night. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral, including Australian musicians such as Paul Kelly and Ed Kuepper.

Horsebreaker Star is the third solo album by Grant McLennan, he recorded the album in Athens, Georgia with American musicians. In a 1995 interview he said the album had been "a lot of work". "I wanted it to be the kind of record that could be played by anyone, but not too obvious. You know, the London Symphony Orchestra doesn't have to do the ballads, Johnny Cash doesn't have to do the country songs. I don't like to be that predictable. I like surprises," he said. McLennan toured the US, Europe and Australia in 1995 to promote the album, playing with musicians including Anna Burley and Dave Foley from The Killjoys, and Phil Kakulas from Blackeyed Susans. His American performances received highly favourable reviews from the The New York Times and Rolling Stone, which called McLennan "one of the world's great songwriters"