Friday, February 27, 2009

Fun Things

“Lipstick “ / “Savage” [It’s a bootleg copy don’t worry about it, 1980]

Do you remember that scene in BMX Bandits where Nichole Kidman’s character Judy is held at knifepoint by one of the inept bank robbers, then P.J., played by Angelo D'Angelo [shit, I forgot that name was taken - I’ve got to stop by city hall], exclaims “that’s not a knife”, draws his bowie knife, “*that’s* a knife”, whereupon the inept criminal and his gang all scurry away in fear? Of course you do, it was a line we all repeated in our best Aussie accent ad nauseum for most of middle school, sometimes hilariously while stabbing a Capri Sun juice bag, or while doing the dishes at home, or in a whisper while hiding.

Despite Australia’s contributions to cinema in the 1970’s and 80’s, their most notable artistic export is their complete and unwavering love for the Stooges. First brought to the continent via Carnival Cruise steamships, the Detroit band’s music instantly infected Australia’s youth who’d quickly throw Olivia Newton-John on the barby in favor of Funhouse-inspired, Vegemite-fueled pre-punk riffage. Brisbane’s Fun Things sole EP is one of the best examples of this, so hit play below, and don’t worry, that weird looking dog is probably just sniffing your baby.



Monday, February 23, 2009

Pointed Sticks

"What Do You Want Me To Do?" / "Somebodies Mom" [Quintessence, 1978]

Released less than a decade after Canada’s bloody succession from the United Kingdom – the events documented by fellow Vancouverite Bryan Adams in his nationalistic ballad “The Summer of 69”, and was also the setting for Celine Dion’s 1991 (before she married a snowman) concept album
The Only Good Limey’s a Dead Limey – this release finally hinted at the countries return to normalcy. Frustrations with love, life, and sex are the hallmark topics of a healing people, and this new “punk” music was a perfect distraction for the young masses whose economy was in a slump, culture was rapidly redefining itself, and whose law enforcement were still on horseback.

This is their first 45 on a local Vancouver label, but later they’d be the first Canadian band to sign to Stiff Records, record one complete studio album and last as long as 1981 before calling it quits – though enough material has been floating around to release a handful of great collections of their work. Hit play below for a reminder of a simpler time, a time exactly like it is today.

"What Do You Want Me To Do"

"Somebodies Mom"

Sunday, February 22, 2009


“Good Time Coming” / “At the Party” [Warner Bros, 1973]

It’s weird; for a bunch of New Zealanders to call themselves Bitch in 1973, I think that’s something that totally deserves a high-five; if I high-fived people, that is, which I don’t (apologies to those still hangin’). Thing is, when an early 80’s LA based metal band uses the same moniker, it just seems stupid, and you know those dudes probably high-fived the hell out of each other when they came up with it.

What the two of them probably have in common, however, is good times and partying, and since I’d way rather party with a bunch of Kiwi transplants in just barely post-swinging London than at the Rock of Love pre-pre-pre-pre-show, I’m posting up the former. If you’re in the mood for a little Credence-meets-Slade-meets-Tucky Buzzard-meets “what? no, I brought this bottle from home; [glug glug glug] there, happy?”, hit play below.

"Good Time Coming"

Thursday, February 19, 2009


“Another School Day” / “C’mon Get Together” [Bell, 1973]

These young ladies shouldn’t have been buried alongside glam also-rans like Mr. Touch Too Much (ew!) and Mud (suddenly, also ew!), and are probably more notable for putting out an LP wrapped in faux denim and doing an earlier version of a song Ace Frehley made famous - but whatever, I like hand claps, I like floor stomps, and I like feathered hair, so I’m saying this 45 rules.

Plus, they really tell it like it is on the issues. Who here is sick of school? Who here likes to party? Exactly. Those are the things mainstream music is afraid to talk about. You know, real life on the streets. You can put your [sucker punch!] hands down now [sorry, that’s what we call the old Barry Humphries how’sit’goin’]. Hit play and watch your back for truancy officers.

"Another School Day"

"C'mon Get Together"

Ian Fisher

“Girls Like That” / “It’s a Riot” [Monster Wax, 1979]

Recorded in beautiful Bothell, Washington - where incidentally I was sentenced to 5 years of Catholic school. (It was a bullshit charge… where the hell would an 8 year old get a hold of 10 pounds of C4, 100 rolls of toilet paper and a palette of Maine Wildflower Honey? You think the Bothell general store carries gourmet honey? We stole that shit in individual packs from the gas station, toilet paper too. I know it was the twins that did it - I’m talking to you Chris and Nathanial. Assuming I’ve grown up to be bigger than both of you, this isn’t settled.)

Anyhow, being 17 years old, drinking a 40 with a tie on, opening “It’s a Riot” with a shout-out to the MC5 in isolated 1979 Seattle, can’t imagine this 45 being any better. How about a sip of that 40? You're gonna want to put this one on the iPod, ‘cause Mickey’s taste better in the bushes, under a bridge, in the dark.

"It's a Riot"

"Girls Like That"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wipers

“Alien Boy” / “Image of Man”, "Telepathic Love”, “Voices in the Rain” [Park Avenue Records, 1980]

The following exchange took place at the Uptown Bar’s jukebox, between my female roommate, and a Man Who Resembles a Younger More Alcoholic Mr. Belvedere:

MWRaYMAMB: Hey, picking some songs? Oh, the Wipers, huh? You put this in?

Roommate: Yeah, this song’s the best.

MWRaYMAMB: Right on. Yeah, I’m from Portland originally. I know Greg Sage - used to see him around all the time. He’s not living up there anymore, he’s down in Arizona now. He’s not doin’ too much music, but he’s doin’ well. Well, I don’t KNOW him, really. I mean, if we saw each other on the street, he’d probably recognize me, but you know, we go way back…

Roommate: That’s cool. [exits]

Ok, so this EP of Is This Real outtakes eventually got slapped on the posthumous CD (albeit remixed, and er, probably better sounding), but of the 3 B-side tracks here that weren’t originally released on their first album, “Telepathic Love” is easily the best Wipers song that isn’t called “Mystery”, and I want to share it for the folks that don’t have it, and, well, uh… I’m recounting the exchange from the previous paragraph, and I’m suddenly a little afraid for my future… from here on out, I don’t know anything about the Wipers, or anything, at all, for that matter. Whoa, what IS this record in my hand? The Wyyyyy-puuurs? That’s a funny name, is it even a word? Who’s is this? Jesus, stop looking at me like that… and these aren’t sweats, they’re running pants. OH GOD.

"Telepathic Love"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lucifer’s Friend

“I'm just a rock n' roll singer” / “Everybody’s Clown” [Billingsgate, 1973]

I think the crappy hand drawn Billingsgate logo pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this one: kick-ass on one side, and something that kinda reminds me of Meatloaf on the other.

Long before John Lawton took over vocal duties for Uriah Heap, he was back in the Fatherland tryin’ to out-Scorp the Scorps. Steamrock fever never quite set in though, as this Lucifer’s Friend 45's B-side is as close as he ever came before the act was consumed with proggy space/horn section madness. Still, the track kicks complete ass on its own merits, and is loads better than the version that appears on their first LP. Also, the guy on organ is named Dieter Horns, which, besides being awesome that it’s his actual name, is an odd hint at their subsequent musical downfall - a portent the Germans sometimes describe as “rokengayferproggen”.* Hit the link below for the sweetness.

*no they don’t, but the German for bagpipes is “dudelsack”, and that’s awesome.

"Everybody's Clown"

The Troggs

“Lover” / “Come Now” [Page One, 1970]

In the four long years since their “Wild Thing” set the permanent gold standard for all things completely awesome that maybe you might get drunk one night and try to teach you cats to play on your keyboard (plus, Smokey looks awesome in his little fringe vest) - most of their English contemporaries that started with a similar primitive three-chord clamor had grown just a few clicks closer to their stadium rock destinies. The Troggs, on the other hand, simply bought delay pedals. Seriously, anyone that tries to tell you a ripping guitar solo is better than a sexy French woman reading nonsense over an interlude certainly isn’t me. Just look at the cover, clearly they’re not afraid to break the rules. I mean, a belt over sweater? Lock up your women, especially if they’re similar in sweater size. So finish your Ripple, go wake up the cats, and hit play for the tunes below.


"Come Now"

Curtis Knight

“The Devil Made Me Do It” / “Mysterious Lady” [Philips, 1974]

I bet this guy never shuts up about the fact he played in a band with Hendrix in the early 60s. Like you’d be out walking the dog and run into him, and he’d get all, “hey man, you know who had a dog a lot like that back in my days with the Squires? My Aunt Theresa, that’s who. I discovered Jimi Hendrix!” Jesus, I rode in Quincy Jones’ limo once when I was a kid, and even I shut up about it once in a while (Confidential to Mr. Jones: I know the court order said I can’t mention your name more frequently than once a week, and - unless you count the Christmas card I sent out with you and I PhotoShopped together in a handsome cab - I didn’t bring it up for all of December, so can we call it even?).

It’s probably for the best though, since Curtis Knight milked that association long enough to move to London and crank out a handful of kick-ass records of his own. To my knowledge, this is his first 45 of that era, and features a 17 year old, pre-Motorhead Fast Eddie on lead widdly-widdly-wah. It was recorded at the same studio where Deep Purple used to mainline Carlsberg. Both sides of the 45 are winners, click below to hear them.

"The Devil Made Me Do It"

"Mysterious Lady"