Saturday, January 19, 2008

Presidents of The United States - Presidents of The United States

I'll be doing a number of posts on Brisbane bands that never made it on the National scene, but had good followings in their home town. So why the Presidents of The United States? Brisbane bands are renown for their disregard for fashion and style..... they have a brash, sarcastic, disrespectful tone....... just like me!!!!

All comes from growing up in Queensland(Go find an atlas... Queensland is a northern state in Australia, Brisbane the capital.. the rest of Australia thinks that we are 'backward' , 10 years behind the southern states..... not a lot of love between the states.

Anyhow why the Presidents of The United States? Well I think these boys would feel quite at home playing in Brisbane......brash, sarcastic, disrespectful!!!!

In 1994, the Presidents signed with the tiny Seattle label PopLlama Records and released their self-titled debut in the following year. Columbia Records signed the band shortly thereafter and re-released the album in late July, 1995. Driven by the singles "Lump," "Peaches," and "Kitty," their debut album proved to be a smash. Critics praised the Presidents' catchy, humorous, and self-deprecating songs, which were a major departure from the grunge/post-grunge sound. The album received Grammy nominations in 1996 and 1997.

Melniks - Collection

Indie music in Brisbane

Sometime around 1990 a band called Toadstool was born. The band consisted of Jason Cassidy (drums/vox), John Swingle (vox/guitar), Nick Schoeffler and a guy called Porky. However, soon after the band formed Nick left and the remaining three members decided to change their name to The Melniks.

The Melniks enjoyed telling lies about how they came up with their name. For example, they claimed to have borrowed the name from:

  • Monty Melnik, the long time Ramones tour manager
  • Melnik the Smiling Killer, from the Get Smart episode Perils in a Pet Shop
  • Melnik, a town in the Czech republic renown for its rock formations

Apparently the real way the Melniks came up with their name is that one night Cass was watching TV and saw the video for the Ramones song "I Wanna Live". In one frame there was a light board at a venue saying "Ramones here tonight.... No Melniks."

In between playing shows around Brisbane, Cass, John and Porky managed to record and release a cassette in 1991 called I Was A Cartoon Pornstar. Shortly after the release of the cassette, Porky left the band and was replaced by a dude named Steve. However, after only a short time Steve left the band as well.

At this point, Cass and John placed an advertisement saying that the Melniks were looking for a female bass player. A young fellow by the name of Trevor Ludlow replied to the ad, auditioned for the band and landed the gig. Around this time a hyperactive young whippersnapper called James Straker also joined the band as second guitarist. James has previously been in a band called Custard Gun (an early incarnation of Custard) but had been given the boot after only a couple of shows. This lineup issued a cassette called Melniks R Uncool around 1992.

John Swingle then quit the Melniks to go overseas. However Cass, Trevor and James kept the band going - until Trevor decided to quit as well. Things weren't going well. Coming to the rescue of Cass and James was Terry Devantier, who became the band's new bassist. Shortly afterwards a young gent named Trent McNamara (vocals/guitar) was also drafted into the Melniks. Trent had previously played in the Rubber Jonnies and Cocksure. At this point the revolving Melniks line up settled down for a good three of four years, and the classic "four piece Melniks" got down to business, recording several albums and touring up and down the east coast of Australia.

The compilation features:

  • I sucked a lot of cocktails, Best of mates, Cops 'r' tops, Byrds & Beatles, and Backdrop from Fairway To Seven (1997)
  • Drew Romance, Anna, Grosby, Kim or Kelly, Bengal Curry House and Silver stars Schmelniks (1996)
  • The single remix of Chunky Doh (which was originally on Schmelniks)
  • Big toe, Squiddgy, Never see you, Apple tree, Close to you, Miller in the can and Lenny & Gladdys from Gordon From Sesame St (1994)
  • Hero sandwich, Tuffs, Lucy is a bean and Little old green man (Degrassi Mix) from I Know You Are But What Am I? (1993)
  • Sega from the Melniks R Uncool tape (1992)

Biro - Collection

Indie music in Brisbane

This features recordings from various incarnation of 'Biro' such as Small Fantasy, Skippy and of course Biro. What happened to the really old Melnik members? Well, after returning from overseas, John Swingle teamed back up Trevor Ludlow and Nick Naughton to form Biro. The band put out a couple of tapes called Ready To Go Steady and Hula before Trevor left to go overseas. When he returned the band reformed, with the addition of Dave McCormack's brother Dylan on guitar. Biro Mk.2 released a CD called Spare Parts for Broken Hearts. It's wonderful pop/rock stuff. Biro then broke up, however they reformed a few months later under the moniker Small Fantasy and issued a self-titled EP. The EP featured the track DSS, which came in at number 5 on ZZZ's Hot 100 of 1996 (ZZZ = Brisbane's public radio station).

John then left Small Fantasy. Trevor, Dylan and Nick soldiered on as a three piece, playing a show under the moniker Mall Fantasy (aka "Small Fantasy" without the S for Swingle). The trio then changed their name to The Lookalikes, which was a joke about how dissimilar all the band members were. The Lookalikes eventually called it quits, however Trevor, Dylan and Nick then got together for an impromptu show at Ric's where they billed themselves as Skippy. The name stuck and the trio decided to keep playing shows. At some stage Ben Corbett from Six Foot Hick started performing with Skippy at some of their gigs. Eventually this combo morphed into Gentle Ben and His Sensitive Side. The band has released two albums, The Beginning of the End (2004) and The Sober Light of Day (2005).

At some stage John and Trevor formed the B-Sides with Cass Melnik. The B-Sides didn't release any CDs, however a recording was made of the band's final show. At the show John played drums and Cass and Trevor swapped between guitar and bass.

John has been part of Treehouse and Special Branch. Special Branch released an album called Time To Go Home in late 2005. The album received a good airplay on ZZZ, where it sat atop of the most played list for a few weeks. Sadly the album launch for Time To Go Home doubled as Special Branch's final ever show (and John had actually left the band a couple of months before this anyhow). It's also worth noting that Trevor has been in a bunch of other bands over the years including Adults Today, the Metrosexuals and Arbuckle. Arbuckle released a great pop/rock EP in 2003 called No Heroics - although Trevor actually joined the band after they'd recorded the CD. In 2006 Trevor released a solo album called I Was Here.

The compilation features: New Tattoo and Ladies Man from Biro's Spare Parts for Broken Hearts EPDSS, Soft Side and the Small Fantasy theme, from Small Fantasy's self-titled EPSpace Girl, Difficult and Formula One from Biro's Ready to go steady cassetteEasy Come, Easy Go from a Biro live set on ZZZSkippy Theme, from Skippy's Dare to Dream CD

Absent Friends - Heres Looking Up Your Address

Wendy Matthews (vocals), Sean Kelly (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Garry Beers (bass), Michael King (guitar, backing vocals), John Mackay (drums, percussion, piano), James Valentine (sax, clarinet, 1989), Nicole Ainslie (keyboards, backing vocals, 1989), Ron Fran├žois (bass, 1990), Geoff Stapleton (keyboards, 1990)...members of: Models, INXS, Machinations, The Aliens, Eurogliders, GANGgajang...

1. Hullabaloo
2. Mean Streak
3. Sister
4. Hallelujah
5. Everybody Up
6. I Don't Wanna Be With Nobody But You
7. Come Clean
8. The Water Is Wide
9. Harmony
10. I Had A Premonition
11. Pomona's Place
12. Clemency
13. Here's Looking Up Your Address
14. Thank You Goodnight

New Race - Second Wave

Cheers to Ken

New Race was made up of ex-MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson,ex-Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton and three former members of Radio Birdman (Rob Younger, Deniz Tek and Warwick Gilbert). They toured Australia once in 1981. Their live record "the first and the last" is still in print on witness records, however the live records "the first to pay" and "the second wave" on revenge records (france) have been out of print for ages.

Tracks list

1. Burn My Eye

2. Alone In The Endzone

3. Man With The Golden Helmet

4. Break My Heart

5. Gotta Keep Movin'

6. Crying Sun

7. Sad TV

8. I'm Loose

9. T.Y Eye

10. New Race

Rough mix by Charles Fisher and Rob Younger at Trafalgar.

Recorded Live at Crystal Ballroom, Selinas, Australia 1981.

Meat Puppets - Meat Puppets

The Meat Puppets are a American rock band formed in January 1980, in the Sunnyslope neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona. The group's original lineup was Curt Kirkwood (guitar/vocals), his brother Cris Kirkwood (bass guitar), and Derrick Bostrom (drums). The trio met while attending Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix. They then moved to Tempe, Arizona (a Phoenix suburb and home to Arizona State University) where the Kirkwood brothers purchased two adjacent homes, one of which had a practice "shed" in the back where they regularly practiced. This same house would years later be the scene of at least two tragedies.

One of the more notable groups on the roster of SST Records (who released most of their albums), the Meat Puppets started as a punk rock band, but like most of their SST peers, the Meat Puppets established their own unique style, blending punk with country and psychedelic rock, and featuring Curt's warbling vocals. The Meat Puppets later gained significant exposure when the Kirkwood brothers served as guest musicians on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance in 1993. The band's 1994 album Too High to Die subsequently became their most successful release. The band broke up twice, in 1996 and 2002, but reunited again in 2006.

The Meat Puppets have influenced various alternative rock bands such as Dinosaur Jr , Nirvana , Pavement and Soundgarden.

Meat Puppets is the first LP by the Meat Puppets. The album is unlike any of their later, and more well-known, releases due to its hardcore punk sound. At first listen many of the songs resemble short blasts of noise with random screaming than actual "songs" with melodies. However, an included lyric sheet shows most of the songs do have actual words, which are rendered almost incomprehensible by Curt Kirkwood's singing style. The alternate studio versions reveal that many of these songs are in fact tightly played compositions, albeit noisy anarchic ones, rather than truly random noise. Also, the inclusion of the country covers "Walking Boss" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," indicated that the band's musical taste and ability stretched beyond the hardcore genre.

The album was recorded very quickly and hastily in a matter of days, there are very few overdubs and many of the tracks are first takes. Like other early SST albums the sound quality is rather spotty; there is noticeable fuzz in the background of the music. The band opted for this because they felt more comfortable recording live with only a few microphones rather than employing conventional studio separation techniques.

The 1999 Rykodisc reissue features the entire "In a Car" EP as well as 13 other bonus tracks, many of them studio jams or outtakes, and a video clip of the band performing "Walking Boss" live. The booklet also has liner notes by Gregg Turkington and recording notes by drummer Derrick Bostrom. It is often overshadowed by the their classic second album, Meat Puppets II, but many argue that this album is unique in its own right.

PJ Harvey - Rid Of Me

In January 1991, she formed the original PJ Harvey three-piece band, with herself on vocals and guitars, ex-Automatic Dlamini bandmate Rob Ellis on drums and Ian Olliver on bass (though Olliver was swiftly replaced by Steve Vaughan).

Rid of Me is the second album by PJ Harvey. Released in 1993, it was largely recorded and produced by the controversial engineer Steve Albini, except for one track ("Man-Size Sextet" by Head, Harvey and Robert Ellis). The album includes a cover of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited".

This was the last album to be released before the original trio split. The album was recorded mostly live in a Minneapolis studio over two weeks in December 1992 by Albini. Harvey had admired Albini’s distinctively raw recordings of bands like Pixies, Slint, The Breeders and The Jesus Lizard. In the album's press release she said:

I chose to work with him because more than any other engineer I know, he captures the sound of a band playing live—the sound of real instruments, of a drum kick. It doesn't sound processed, squashed or recorded in any way. It sounds like you're standing in front of a playing band. I think the instruments on the album sound like they're breathing and real. That's what I've always wanted to capture on record.

Stylistically the record was a natural progression from the heavily guitar-driven punk-blues of her debut Dry, though it also embraced both the noisy elementary dynamics of the Pixies (she claimed their Albini-produced 1988 debut Surfer Rosa as one of her favourite albums), and 60s/70s blues-based rock acts such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The record attracted some controversy for its striking black-and-white cover photography by Maria Mochnacz—the front sleeve depicted a thin, topless Harvey in a bathroom, swinging back a drenched mane of Medusa-like hair, while the back cover was a close-up of her face marked with what appeared to be rope burns.

Harvey explained to Filter magazine in 2004 that:

Rid of Me was when I'd first signed to a major label and I felt that I wanted to—more than ever—demonstrate that I was not going to be the kind of usually expected major artist material [laughs]. So, I chose to work with Steve Albini, who is definitely not a particularly commercial engineer and I made a very difficult record. And I'm glad I did because I think it really did set the tone... I just wanted the people involved to know that I can only do things that follow my heart, that I cannot make music to suit other people. It has to be the way it has to be and if you don't like it, then leave me alone. So, that was part of that, but having said that, I've been with the same label for 12 years and I think they know me very well and just let me get on with it now.

Surprisingly for such an uncommercial-sounding record, Rid of Me entered the UK album charts at number three and quickly went silver, and even enjoyed a Top 30 hit in the single "50ft Queenie". It was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. In the U.S. it generated major college-radio airplay and expanded her growing cult fanbase, and led to a string of European dates opening for U2 on their Zooropa tour. It also won considerable critical acclaim and featured in various Top Ten album-of-the-year lists in respectable press, like The Village Voice, Spin, Melody Maker, Vox and Select. Melody Maker raved that "No other British artist is so aggressively exploring the dark side of human nature, or its illogically black humour; no other British artist possesses the nerve, let alone the talent, to conjure up its soundtrack", while Spin gave it a rare ten out of ten review rating. If anything its critical stature has grown over the years—Rolling Stone selected it as one of the Essential Recordings of the 90s, and in 2005, Spin ranked it the ninth greatest album of 1985–2005. In 2003, the album was ranked number 405 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. As of 2005, Rid of Me has sold 210,000 copies in the U.S.

GANGgajang - The Essential

cheers for tricky

GANGgajang are an Australian band who formed in 1984. The three principal figures in the original lineup were former Riptides frontman Mark "Cal" Callaghan and two former members of popular Australian hard rock band The Angels, bassist Chris Bailey and drummer Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup.

The new band's formation grew out of songwriting and performing sessions the trio undertook for the ABC-TV music-drama series Sweet and Sour broadcast in July 1984. The original lineup was completed by former Aliens keyboard player Geoffrey Stapleton, guitarist Robert James and singers Kayellen Bee (co-wrote "The Heart Plays Tricks" as K Bidstrup aka Kay Bee with Bidstrup and Callaghan for Sweet and Sour) and Marilyn Delaney.

The band gained a solid following around Australia during 1984-85, aided by considerable support from Triple J and Countdown. Their biggest commercial success came in 1985 with the release of their self-titled debut album, which sold over 120,000 copies. The LP included the classic single "Sounds of Then (This is Australia)", as well as the hit singles "House of Cards", "Giver of Life" and "Gimme Some Lovin" (their 1984 debut single, which was originally recorded as a 'demo' in a single take).

In 1987, GANGgajang's music was featured exclusively in the Quiksilver surf movie Mad Wax. The film became a cult surf classic and introduced the band to a worldwide audience. GANGgajang was named 'World's Best Band' two years in a row by the Association of Surfing Professionals.

The group released their second album, gangAGAIN, in 1987, after which the various members pursued solo projects. Over the next few years Callaghan released a solo album and worked as an executive for the now-defunct Festival Records group, Bidstrup played sessions, produced albums and movie soundtracks, Bailey worked with artists as diverse as Jimmy Barnes, Alannah Miles and Nathan Cavaleri, Stapleton formed The Dukes with Sean Kelly and James wrote a book, "The Second Best Book of Disunderstandabilism" and recorded his songs with Wendy Matthews.

They reformed in 1991 (without Bee and Delaney, who had gone on to successful careers in the film industry) and took to the road for one brief tour.

The audience response was so overwhelming it encouraged the band to record their third album, Lingo which was released in 1994 on RooART and chalked up another three hit singles, "Hundreds of Languages", "Talk To Me", and "Ordinary World".

In 1995, the first two albums were repackaged into The Essential GANGgajang, which has now sold over 30,000 on the Shock label. The band also toured Brazil for the first time, playing to over 60,000 fans in ten concerts through nine cities.

In 1996 the Nine Network revived the song "Sounds of Then" for use in its station ID promotion sparking a revived interest in the band's live dates around Australia.

GANGgajang continue to perform across Australia and overseas and in February 2001 the band completed its third tour of Brazil, performing to enormous crowds. When not performing or recording together as GANGgajang each member is otherwise occupied.

Singer Mark Callaghan is General Manager of Shock Music Publishing, drummer Buzz Bidstrup has managed Australian music legend Jimmy Little since the release of his 1999 ARIA award winning CD The Messenger, while guitarist Robert James released his first solo album Suzannah Suite and is now recording a second in between touring Australia in solo mode and with Australian icons Yothu Yindi.

Keyboard player and resident artist Geoffrey Stapleton is now living in Adelaide and preparing his next exhibition of paintings to be called "Oceans and Deserts" while maintaining and developing the band's website. Chris Bailey is working in a wide variety of music cultures in Sydney and has produced an album for singer/songwriter Dave Debs. Bailey also plays in Jimmy Little's live band.

Like several other Australian bands of the period, such as The SaintsThe Church, GANGgajang have a strong following in other regions, but whilst the former acts have their major fan base in Europe (especially Scandinavia), GANGgajang have become very popular in Brazil.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beachfield - Brighton Bothways

thank you to original uploader

Beachfield is the musical project of Glenn Thompson, once drummer of the Go-Betweens, and an ongoing member of Robert Forster's band. During the '90s Glenn was also the drummer and sometimes singer of another Australian pop group Custard. Beachfield's debut album Brighton Bothways was released in late 2007 throughout Europe on the Tuition label, and will be available in Australia early 2008.

This uniquely Australian worldview of Go-Betweens drummer Glenn Thompson is welded here to sun-kissed melodies and exemplary songwriting. These cinematic songs of love, loss and exhilaration feel like precious, forgotten memories and 'Brighton Bothways' is a riveting musical history lesson mixed with everyday uncertainty.

Sounds of Australia - Natures Music

Statistically speaking, Australians have the third highest percentage of passports issued per head of population. Which basically means we love to travel. In the past the destination was Europe, especially England these days it tends to be Asia. My first trip was the typical ‘coming of age’ surfing adventure to Bali… many, many years ago. Since then I have travelled throughout Asia. Apart from the obvious differences in culture the big difference I notice is the vast difference in sounds you hear.

For those who have never been to Australia, it is a truly unique place on Earth. It is the oldest place on Earth, vast, isolated and with the exception of a few major cities, scarcely populated. Due to our isolation our flora and fauna are unique to the land. On all of my travels I have never seen the night sky lit up with the Milky Way as it is back home.

Australia has many varied ecosystems from tropical rainforest to stony desert from golden beaches to snow covered mountains. As a people we have close ties with our land, our life style revolves around it. Here I have collected a series of recordings of ‘The Sounds of Australia’ – Natures Music.

A New Day, By A Mountain Cascade, Entering The Forest, Nocturne, Rainforest Duet

The Strokes - Is This It

The Strokes are an American band formed in 1998 that rose to fame in the early 2000s as a leading group in the garage rock revival. Upon the release of their acclaimed debut album Is This It in 2001, many critics hailed the group as the "saviors of rock." NME made Is This It their Album of the Year. Since then, the band have maintained a large fan base, notably in the US, UK and Australia.

The Strokes released their debut album Is This It in the US in October 2001 on RCA after some delay due to changes made from the UK-released version (released 27th August 2001). The cover of the latter features a black-and-white photo of a gloved hand on a woman's naked backside, shown in semi-profile, and is said to reference Spinal Tap's fictitious Smell the Glove. The North American version replaces this with an image of particle collisions and the song "New York City Cops" with "When It Started". The replacement of "New York City Cops", which contains the refrain New York City Cops, they ain't too smart, was made in good faith following the September 11 attacks.

The album received positive reviews from both mainstream and independent publications, including 4 stars from Rolling Stone, and a 9.1 from Pitchfork Media; it made many critics' top 10 lists, and was named the best album of the year by Entertainment Weekly and TIME. NME, in an article previewing summer concerts, urged readers to attend their shows, claiming that the band was touring on the strength of some of the "best pop songs ever". The influence of 1970s CBGB stalwarts Television was noted by many reviewers, although The Strokes themselves have stated that they are not fans of the band.

After the release of Is This It, the band toured around the world, featuring dates in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America staging for the Rolling Stones. The band headlined UK's Carling Weekend festivals in 2002, largely chronicled by a relatively hard-to-find mini-documentary entitled "In Transit" which was released to members of the now-defunct "Alone, Together" fan club.

In August 2002, the band played at New York's Radio City Music Hall on a bill with The White Stripes. Jack White joined the Strokes on stage to perform the guitar solo in the song "New York City Cops". During that period, the band also appeared as musical guest on Saturday Night Live (performing "Last Nite" and "Hard to Explain"), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Late Show with David Letterman. Is This It yielded several singles as well as video clips, all of which were directed by Roman Coppola.

The group began recording their follow-up in 2002 with producer Nigel Godrich (best known for his work with Radiohead), but later split with him in favor of Gordon Raphael, the producer of Is This It. Recordings with Godrich were never revealed. In August 2003, the band toured Japan, playing a couple of the upcoming songs: "Reptilia", "Meet Me In The Bathroom", "The Way It Is", "Between Love & Hate" (formerly known as "Ze Newie") and "12:51" (formerly known as "Supernova"). The band also played Paul Anka's "My Way" with Japanese lyrics.

as of 2007 is this it has sold over 3.5 million copes worlwide.

The Church - Seance

May 1983 saw the release of the band's third album, titled Seance. Here the Church produced themselves for the first time. The album made somewhat more use of keyboards and synthesizers than previous releases, and the accompanying live shows included a guest keyboardist, Melbourne-based session player Dean Walliss. Although Seance was a self-produced effort, the band employed Nick Launay for the mixing (based on his work on Midnight Oil's 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1). The end result was not what the band expected: a distorted, noise-gated drum sound that particularly stood out on the staccato-like snare. Unsatisfied with the sound, the band asked Launay to redo the mix, but the effect was in the end only lightened. The first single, "Electric Lash," featured this sound prominently (some fans likening it to a "machine gun"). Despite dissatisfaction over the mix, Seance featured a lusher, more atmospheric Church with notable highlights like "Now I Wonder Why" and "Fly." All the same, the album sold poorly, being considered dark and cryptic, and the general public seemed to lose interest in the band. Critics in Europe and the United States liked the album, however, with Creem hailing them as "one of the best in the world."

Seance was still largely dominated by Kilbey's songwriting. Some 20 songs were put together on his home 4-track for the album but Kilbey also encouraged band members to present their own material. It was becoming obvious that music oriented around one personality would create resentment in the band. In the end though, only one band composition made the album: the experimental "Travel By Thought." Kilbey and Willson-Piper had co-written another track, "10,000 Miles," but the record label rejected its inclusion. Kilbey was subsequently upset by the label's interference, finding the track essential to the set. The song was instead later included on the successor release, Remote Luxury.

Various Artists - Tales From The Australian Underground, Singles 1976-1989

I did I post before on this record but it only included about half of the songs. This here is the complete version, double CD's, about 45 tracks....... incredible selection of songs.

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Fauves - Rarities

The Fauves is an Australian rock band which came to prominence through their airplay on Triple J in the 1990s and early 2000s. They have played at the Big Day Out in both 1993 and 1997.

They had a track entitled "Get Fucked" on the Rock Against Howard compilation in 2004.

The band was formed in 1988 by four school friends from Mt Eliza High School on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne, Victoria. The initial line-up consisted of: Andrew Cox (guitar, vocals), Philip Leonard (guitar, vocals, brass), Andrew 'Jack' Dyer (bass), Adam Newey (drums). The band took its name from the art movement Fauvism, which was characterised by both its intensity and infatuation with colour.

After releasing several EPs and singles, the band came to wider attention when they appeared on the bill of the first Big Day Out national tour in early 1993. In October of that year they signed to Polydor Records, and released their debut long player Drive Through Charisma.

The computer game Quarantine released in 1994 featured The Fauves' song "The Driver Is You" on the soundtrack.

The band released several more albums on Polydor, including 1996's successful Future Spa. It yielded considerable Triple J Hottest 100 success, with "Dogs Are The Best People" at #20 and "Self Abuser" at #30 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 1996. However by the end of 1999, the band was dropped from Polydor after the label's merger with Universal.

In 1999, following their departure from Polydor, they wrote two songs, "Bigger Than Tina" and "Bigger Than Tina II" for an Australian movie Bigger Than Tina, which were released on Festival. Since then the group has released several albums independently and had success on Triple J with "Bigger Than Tina" at #50 in 1999, and "Give Up Your Day Job" at #58 in 2000.

The band also appeared in Vanessa Stuart's one-hour documentary, The Fauves: 15 Minutes to Rock, a behind the scenes look at the music industry and band dynamics which aired on SBS during September, and also screened at the Document Film Festival in 2004.

The Fauves have recently released their eighth studio album with Future Spa/Lazy Highways producer Wayne Connolly. Titled Nervous Flashlights, it was released on July 10, 2006. Tracks that appear include "We Sleep in the Afternoon", "I'm Jim Fixx and I'm Dead Now", "The Lost Art of Shorthand", "True Love Waits", "Australian Gigolo", "Clive of India Curry Powder" and "I Am Not Approachable." In the meantime Andrew Cox has been contributing a humorous agony aunt segment on Jay and the Doctor's Triple J breakfast show every Tuesday since 2005

Fauves- Rarities(d1)

Fauves- Rarities(d2)

Fauves - Live at the Wireless

Digitised from a cassette, but the quality is still quite good
  • First Day on the Run / Bigger than Tina / Medium Pacer / Write What You Know / Give up your Day Job / Every TV Star has a Dark Side / Going for my Blue Belt / Celebrate the Failure / The Charles Atlas Way / Astronaut Talk / Dogs are the Best People

Fauves - Live at The Wireless.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Smudge - Manilow

Thank you to Overhere for 3 Smudge offerings

Smudge is a pop band which formed in Sydney in 1991. The group is fronted by vocalist and guitarist, Tom Morgan who co-authored The Lemonheads breakthrough 1992 album It's A Shame About Ray as well as a number of other hits for that group.

Originally released in 1994, Manilow holds the title of biggest-selling Half A Cow record as it was also released in UK by Domino and labels in Canada and Japan. Featuring the songwriting talent of guitarist Tom Morgan, along with bassist Adam Yee and drummer Alison 'Galfunk' Galloway, it's 21 songs of fast-paced innercity fuzzy-pop.

Smudge - The Outdoor Type

From Overhere

Smudge have been around since 1991 when Tom Morgan (guitar, vocals), Alison Galloway (drums) and Paul "Duncs" Duncan (bass) got together to contribute a song to the Half A Cow 7 inch called Slice (along with Swirl, Jupiter and Studley Lush). There's only so much room for two songs on one side of a 7 inch so Tom was asked by the label to write a song "around a minute in length". He came up with Tea, Toast & Turmoil - a short, melodic pop song with colourful lyrics which set the blueprint for the future output of Smudge.

Tom and Alison used to hang out at the Lansdowne Hotel and talk about the "pop-punk" band they were going to form - inspired by their heroes at the time Dinosaur Jr and Descendents. The newly-formed Half A Cow label and offered to put out a seven inch. Don't Want To Be Grant McLennan soon followed. So did a review from NME which gave the slab 'single of the week'. Whilst on tour in Australia in the middle of 1991, Evan Dando from The Lemonheads met up with Tom (recording two songs for Tom's other band Sneeze) and a song-writing friendship was struck up and they co-wrote songs for It's A Shame About Ray including the title track.
band photo
Two more releases followed for this lineup of Smudge - the Love, Lust & Lemonjuice and Superhero eepees- before Duncs left and was replaced by Adam Yee (formerly of noise-merchants Headache). This lineup still rocks to this day and have been responsible for 1994's Manilow album, the Hot Smoke & Sassafras mini-LP, 1996's You, Me, Carpark...Now and many other releases.

Smudge - Hot Smoke And Sassafras

Thanks to Overhere

more from Smudge

A second guitarist, Pete Kelly, filled out the sound for much of late 1997 and 1998 and can be heard on their most recent album Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra which was released at the end of 1998. Pete has since left the band and they are back to being a three-piece. A single from the album was released in September 1999 called Eighteen In A Week with the usual addition of exclusive bonus tracks.

played their last show for quite some time (drummer Al is trekking off across the world) at Goldmans in Sydney on Friday October 8th 1999. A full house, support from an acoustic Evan Dando made it a happy and sad time for all.

In 2002, Alison has returned and Smudge meet up again to map out their future. The first thing on the agenda is a show....
the return of SMUDGE

David McCormack (The Polaroids) - Live at the Zoo 2004

After the break up of the Titanics, McCormack went solo. He issued a collection of oddities entitled The Matterhorn (2001) before recruiting a backing band called The Polaroids. To date, Dave McCormack and the Polaroids have released two albums, Candy (2002) and The Truth About Love (2004) as well as a few singles and a DVD called Save Dave (2003).

The Titanics(David McCormack) - Live at The Wireless

In April 1998, McCormack met journalist Emma Tom at an Elle Magazine dinner. In September McCormack proposed by email, and the couple married on October 25th (McCormack's 30th birthday).

During 1999, McCormack formed a band called The Titanics with Tom, Glenn Thompson and filmmaker Tina Havelock-Stevens. After the break up of Custard, the Titanics became McCormack's primary musical project. The band's first album, Size Isn't Everything, was recorded at home and sold online rather than in stores. Several different versions of the CD were released (each with slightly different track lists). The band's second album, Love is the Devil, was released in late 2000. Thompson and McCormack then had a falling out, leading to Thompson leaving the band. Tom and McCormack's relationship also soured, and Tom left the band. The Titanics continued on temporarily as a three piece, with Dylan McCormack playing bass. The band played their last show at the St Kilda Festival in February 2002.

Live at the Wireless 2001

Chito / Millionaire Adventurer Balloonist / Hello Pussycat / Shoulda / I Know About Your Secret Weapon / Rock Boss / Sleepyhead / Disco Suicide / Dirty Jeans / Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

The Acoustic Lounge - David McCormack

Acoustic Solo set - 2001

  • Good quality recording of Dave McCormack in solo acoustic mode at the Roxbury, circa 2001/02
  • Since she started to ride / Anatomically Correct / Always Greener / Girls like that / One Day / I'll never fall in love again / Yr Woman / Millionaire Adventurer Ballonist / The New Matthew / Apartment / Hello Pussycat / Dirty Jeans / Livin' Lavida Loca / The Circle

Custard (David McCormack) - Bootlegs

David Liam McCormack was born in 1968 at Mater Hospital in South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He received his first guitar when he was two years old, as a present from his dad.

McCormack's first band was Who's Gerald?, named after Gerald V. Casale from Devo. The band existed from around 1986-1989 and also featured Paul Medew of Custard fame. Who's Gerald described themselves as a "Neo ethnic glam electro cow gothic psychosardonic fusion rock" outfit. The music they made was very, very bad. Despite this, the band managed to scored some high profile support slots for bands such as INXS and Sonic Youth. Who's Gerald released one 7" single, entitled Wrestle Wrestle / Gerald Is Stumbling Away Along The Highway Of Life.

When being interviewed during the 1990s about Who's Gerald, McCormack said:

Who's Gerald? was a bad band in a time of very bad music. The people in the band, although fine people now, were all idiots at the time. I was the biggest idiot of them all. All the songs, without exception, were atrocious. There are no good memories of that time. Except when we broke up.

After the dissolution of Who's Gerald?, McCormack formed Custard Gun in 1990. The band also featured Paul Medew, James Straker (The Melniks) and Shane Brunn (Hugbubble, Vanlustbader). Their first gig was a BBQ at Straker's house. They then played one 'proper' pub gig, before Straker was kicked out of the band. He was replaced by a sprightly young bank teller named Matthew Strong, and Custard Gun morphed into Custard. One of the band's early bios read:

We all met in grade one at primary school. Glen A. Baker, then 21, was our teacher... Our music is a hot bed of raging sexual liberation.

Custard's first release was the four track vinyl EP Rockfish Anna, which was issued in November 1990. A fire breathing Elvis impersonator was part of the EP's launch festivities. Custard's debut album, Buttercup/Bedford, was recorded in 1991. It was meant to be released on CD in March 1992, but things went awry. The band, who were self-financing the project, gave all their money to an American company called "Bandit Audio", who were going to manufacture the CDs in the USA because it was cheaper there. Unfortunately, the CDs never turned up on time for the band's CD launch - forcing them to give away copies of the album away on cassettes to keep the punters happy. It wasn't until the end of 1992 that the band finally got their hands on the elusive CDs. By this time Custard had signed to Ra Records and had released their first "major label" CD - an EP called Gastanked. As a result the Buttercup/Bedford CD was only sold by mail order. (The band later re-released many of Buttercup/Bedford's songs on a compilation called Whacked Not Whacky, which they sold at gigs in the mid 90s).

Gastanked did very well for the band, peaking at #41 on the ARIA singles chart. Gastanked was followed in 1993 by another EP, Brisbane, and two singles - Casanova and the double A-side Singlette/Flanelette. By this time the band was onto its third drummer - Shane Brunn had been replaced by Grant Herrinberg, who had subsequently been replaced by Danny Plant.

Custard's debut major label album, the Wahooti Fandango, was issued in 1994. Wahooti is a slang word the band used to refer to marijuana. The video for the album's first single, Aloha Tambourinist, was the only Custard video to ever get played on Video Hits. The video, set on a beach, featured males models pretending to be Custard, while scantily clad women roll around in the sand.

"That video got more air-play for us on Video Smash Hits than any other video we'd ever made. All of a sudden everyone was saying, 'Wow, this Custard are a great looking band.’ And they're thinking, ‘This is fantastic — they're playing that new teen-beat music called Grunge'. Then they found out it wasn't us and we were probably never played again. They couldn't believe that we were pretending to be something that we're not, whereas they manufacture act after act to be something that they're not. It's just full of hypocrisy." - David McCormack

Wahooti Fandango was critically acclaimed. However, the band's "breakthrough hit" didn't come until October 1995, when they released Apartment, the first single from Wahooti's follow up, Wisenheimer. Apartment received a lot of airplay on Triple J, and was voted in at number 7 in the 1995 JJJ Hottest 100. At the time, it was the highest ever placing by an Australian band. Custard's drummer woes continued. Danny Plant was kicked out of the band. He was temporarily replaced on tour by John Lowry, before eventually being replaced by Glenn Thompson. From around 1995, Custard music video Andrew Lancaster would also sometimes play with the band at their live shows.

1996 and 1997 were big years for Custard, touring Australia with Weezer and the Presidents of the USA, and venturing back to America (where Wisenheimer had been recorded) with to play more shows with the Presidents. While in the USA the band also recorded album number 4, We Have the Technology. Nice Bird, the first single to be lifted from We Have the Technology, tanked. The second single, Anatomically Correct, faired better. However, it was the final single, Music is Crap, that captured the public's attention. The song was written and sung by Thompson, and reinvigorated public interest in Custard.

Music is Crap's follow up, Girls Like That, became the band's biggest hit. It bruised the ARIA top 50 singles chart, and came in at an impressive number 3 in the 1998 Triple J Hottest 100. The album on which Girls Like That was issued, Loverama, was also the band's most commercially successful. Loverama was the band's first album since Buttercupt/Bedford not to begin with the letter 'W' (following Wathooti Fandango, Wisenheimer, and We Have the Technology).

Through 1998 and 1999 tensions were emerging within the band, with McCormack and Thompson on one side, and Medew and party-animal Matthew Strong on the other. Strong was becoming increasingly unreliable - even getting to the point where he refused to play one gig, so the band dressed Andrew Lancaster in a hat and a wig and got him to play guitar! Custard went on a six month "hiatus" at the end of 1999, before eventually calling it quits for good a few months later. To date, the band has issued three posthumous releases: a best of compilation entitled Goodbye Cruel World (2000), a compilation of the Brisbane and Gastanked EPs (2002), and a DVD, Spaces by the Side Of the Road: A Digitial history of Custard. The DVD was completed in 2005 and slated for release then, however SonyBMG delayed its release. Spaces by the side of the Road was finally unleashed on the public in late 2007.

1997 Live at the Wireless

Scared of Skill / Anatomically Correct / Pinball Lez / Music is Crap / Piece of Shit / Very Biased / Memory Man / Hosef / Draining the Pool / Nice Bird