Today's post is a brilliant write by John an regular
reader and contributor round here at the striped sunlight
blog. John shares with us his passion for New Zealand
living legend Chris Knox. This is a fantastic album, one
I hadn't heard before. Thanks John for all you hard
work and introducing me to some fine music.
So lets hear from John.
My thanks to Bob for letting me contribute to his fine blog.
I have been a massive fan of Kiwi lo-fi supremo Chris Knox
from the day I first heard a song called Not Given Lightly.
Not Given Lightly - Chris Knox
This is a wonderful love song written to his wife but was written
without any sense of saccharine. Hence the attraction.
If he could write a song this good he must have had something to
offer so of I went and grabbed what ever I could by this man
and am still doing so to this day.
Knox was a New Zealand punk pioneer with a band called The
Enemy. Knox had a reputation for being an Iggy type character
when on stage with The Enemy. Knox's next band was Toy Love.
The interesting thing to come out of Toy Love was Knox and
guitarist Alec Bathgate starting the wonderfully idiosyncratic
Tall Dwarfs. Tall Dwarfs have put out a few albums over the
years and are a must for the Knox aficionado.
For those looking for a starting point I would recommend
Hello Cruel World. This is a bunch of EP's as a 22 track album.
The opening track Nothing's Going To Happen was a minor hit.
Knox's has put out a few solo efforts that in my opinion are at
times lo-fi genius. Knox has an ear for a melody and is a lyric
writer of mean and acidic wit. A good starting point would be
his 1995 compilation Meat. Meat is made up of parts of his
album's Seizure and Croaker. Seizure I know is a pointed
comment on the fact he is an epileptic. Who knows with why
Croaker is titled why it is. 1995's Songs Of You And Me
gave a lot of the punk attack of previous efforts a miss and
headed towards a more arty pop/rock lo fi ethos. 1997's Yes
continued along the lo-fi art. 1999's Almost is an album of
tracks our hero rejected from various albums
and like the good song writer that Knox is his rejects are
better than some artists best.
2000 came and presented us with Beat. I could write quires
on the brilliance of Beat. It struck a chord with me.
It was an album about life and death. I had in fact lost my
father to an industrial disease a couple of years before
and when I purchased this on release it immediately struck
a hard chord. Knox wrote some of the most poignant lyrics
about his fathers death that I was initially shaken.
To quote Knox on a couple of these songs:-
Becoming Something Other was written after a phone
conversation with Dad during which he first told me of his
mental decline and that he felt he was close to death.
Musically, it’s a small tribute to Bill Smog who has never
shirked from revealing his deepest
(and darkest...are they synonymous?)
feelings. The Pulse Below the Ear had its genesis the night
before his death while lying awake at 3am in Invercargill.
I can do nothing but say that this is the most important
record I own. For those of you interested her it is. I hope
that you get as much enjoyment out of it as I have.
Knox produced an album and went under the alias Friend
in 2002. I have not been able to get a copy so any leads
would be gratefully excepted. The next effort was
Chris Knox and the Nothing in 2005.
Knox reverted back to a band for the first time since his
Toy Love days and stayed that way with another release
by The Nothing in 2008 called A Warm Gun.
I like both of these albums and they have, dare I say it,
a certain warmness that the lo-fo ethos of the past did
not have. The two Nothing recordings leave, at times,
Knox's love of The Beatles right out there for his audience.
A Warm Gun? Good grief how pointed do you want to be
Chris? So for those of you who like some punk,
melodic pop/rock, lo-fi ethos and a heady mix of influences
from Iggy punk through to Dylanesque rants with
Beatleish melodies you will hopefully not be disappointed.
Sadly Chris Knox has recently had a stroke at the too
young an age of 56.
His recovery can be followed at this blog here.
Get well soon Chris.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Today's post is a brilliant write by John an regular
Monday, June 29, 2009
Fabulous Tim who runs one of the greatest blogs on the net,
found here, has as a stripedsunlight exclusive and knowing
what a fan I am, interviewed the one and only Andrew
Pendlebury. It happens he knows Andrew quiet well and
Tim is a natural interviewer. Move over Molly is what
springs to mind. The icing on the cake however is the
signed record cover which I will have hang on my wall
when I get it. I'm stoked, a fabulous surprise.
I will have to finish digitalizing the said album now
so I can post it.
Andrew talks about many things, including the great news
that the Slaughtermen are playing in Melbourne in Sept.
Here's a few things Tim had to say about the interview.
At the beginning he talks about the Hendrix roadie @ Stiff,
That was DAVE ROBINSON who is still alive but based in
Nashville...when the tape was turned off he said that he had
recently got in touch with Stiff and didn't know that DR was
still alive, Andrew says Robertson...as I say I can help fill in
any stuff. There were a lot of names that I didn't know in the
Oz music scene that maybe you do know...
He relaxed so much more after it was it turned off and we
talked about john Martyn, Nick Drake his land in Greece,
Rembitika (!) music and lots more...sorry it was off.
Thank You Tim
From Chucks remarkable record collection we have The Cutters,
a Brisbane Band from the 80's and their 1988 single.
Not a band I know much about except that the keyboard player
is indeed the same Andrew Barlett who became a senator
and went on to lead the Democrats.
Phil Monsour who went on to other bands such as
Carousel, consisting of Chrysalids guitar Graham Jackson
and Cutters bass player/vocalist Ross Mckinnon.
He is still performing and recording, you can read all
about that Here
Thanks Chuck this is a gem.
“In Brisbane during the 70s and 80 radical politics
and alternative music were joined by the umbilical
cord of community radio station 4ZZZ.
It was never clear whether the politics lead,
or music to politics led to music, but by one route
or another many artists, including Philip Monsour,
found themselves both of the airwaves
and on the picket lines”
“The (temporary) closure of ZZZ prompted the Cutters’
second Mighty Boy single “Times Like These” another
example of Philip’s capacity for anthemic political song
Green Left Weekly February 17 1993
Friday, June 26, 2009
Chuck has ripped and scanned the single song that perhaps best
sums up Brisbane and that late 70's to late 80's time here.
Its a time that I spent (or misspent) my youth within and I have
always related to this song and its vibe. It rekindles memories
and transports me back.
I was there at that legendary Clash concert at Cloudland, I was
17 and it was my first concert. I grew up listening to the
revolutionary radio station 4ZzZ the station that was the driving
force behind so much of this Brisbane subculture and its fitting
that the anthem of this time and place was born in its studios.
The song later lent its name to a book
"Pig City - from the Saints to Savage Garden"
and to the 2006 Music Festival "Pig City"
Which was an 8 hour showcase of Brisbane's finest
including the original Saints first reformation gig for some
30 years and reformations of the Apartments, Riptides,
Ups and Downs, The Pineapples From The Dawn Of Time
and for the first time ever The Parameters.
As well as many others read about it here
Thanks Chuck for all your work.
Here's a couple of comments Chuck has on all things Pig City.
This song started as a cart at triple z for years b4 fats
got his shit together to make a b-side
and press it for vinyl..
You don't see many of the covers for this single sadly...
it was quite an elaborate fold out poster/ cover.
Love the Terry Lewis moles n gangsters set up :)
gotta love a police commissioner who doesn't give a
fuk about the law :).. not to mention big fat Russ
and Joh getting a free ride on the back of the blacks...
fuk - Queensland.. the place to be ...
The song's author is artist and activist Tony Kneipp, who
recorded Pig City in late 1983 with his band the
Parameters.The story of the song's recording is as
remarkable as the tune itself.
Kneipp remembers the title coming from the Clash's legendary
February 1982 gig at Cloudland, shortly before the iconic
venue's demolition at the hands of the Deen Brothers.
"There was a very heavy police presence," he says.
"A whole contingent of police went past,
I honestly can't remember if I said it myself,
or heard someone say it, but that's when it first popped out."
From there, the song flowed – a deadly piece of political invective
that blew the whistle on police and political corruption in
Queensland years before the extent of the rot was uncovered by
Commissioner ,Tony Fitzgerald. Corruption in Queensland,
as Kneipp says, was "an open secret" at the time.
"I think that's something that needs to be remembered about
rumors,"he says. "They can be totally inaccurate but they can
also be totally accurate, and they tend to be a mixture of the two.
And I did try to sift through that, and exercise some judgment.
"So I wrote the song and I liked it. I thought,
'This is pretty good, I should do something with this.' "
Thus the Parameters was formed, with its sole aim to record Pig
in time for the 1983 state election which the National Party,
led by Joh Bjelke-Petersen, eventually won in its own right.
The Parameters was the band that never was.
The members (Kneipp on rhythm, slide guitar and saxophone;
Ian Graham on lead guitar and bass and Steven Pritchard on
never even played in the same room together, let alone a gig.
Each part of the song was overdubbed, layer by layer,
over two weeks at 4ZZZ's studios at the University of Queensland.
The quality was rough, but with its honking saxophone,
scabrous lyrics and chorus of friends chanting the words Pig City!
at the end of each line, it was also unforgettable.
The song took off on 4ZZZ, becoming a fixture in the station's
annual Hot 100, and it was that immediate success which
prompted Kneipp to write another song, Material Possession,
which became the B-side of the single eventually released in 1984.
"I was astonished by its longevity," Kneipp says.
"It's tremendous to do something which gets that recognition,
but unfortunately we spent far too much time building the studio
and far too little time rehearsing."
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I do so love this band, great sound so I'm very pleased to
post this single.
This 5 Minutes were an interesting part of the Brisbane Punk
scene which developed in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
The mostly three piece played at every major venue at one time
or another.The band was a regular item at the X-Roads Club,
at the Atcherley Hotel and later at The Purple Hearts Scooter
Club, at the Australian National Hotel.
The original music tended towards a more "jazzy" or "funky" feel.
Tony could also come across all "moody", if he chose.
They also played interesting cover versions of Steve Harley
and Cockney Rebel's Come Up and See Me (Make me smile....)
Lulu's To Sir With Love, and Elvis Presley's Occupation GI Blues.
The 7" Single How?/Reaction Time reached number 81 on the
4ZZZFM Hot 100 for 1983. It reached number 80 in 1984.
After playing about most venues for a couple of years,
the lineup started to change often.
Various members continued making music in such bands as
DogFishCatBird, then Small World Experience.
All Thanks to Chuck for ripping and sharing this little beauty.
Stay tuned there's a heap more to come from Chucks expansive
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
John a regular reader and contributor here a the Striped Sunlight
blog recently picked up this album in a bargain bin for $4.95.
That is a bargain but I'm wondering what kind of record shop
puts such an album in the bargain bin.
This 2005 release from the much underrated Louis Tillett is
his usual brilliant stuff.
Thanks John for ripping and sharing.
Oh and bargain hunting.
01 Four Walls And No Back Door
02 Ocean Bound
03 Through The Dream
04 Prayer Before Dawn
05 Around You
06 Bitter Pill
07 It's All Right Now
08 Back From The Sea
09 Teary Eyes
Monday, June 22, 2009
It was in between the legendary I'm Stranded and the fine
follow up Eternally Yours that the Saints released this
brilliant, classic EP. With 2 new tracks, both covers and
2 tracks lifted from Stranded the sound is much the same
as the first album. For my money Lipstick is a excellent
choice, there's something perverse about Chris singing
those lyrics and believe it or not the first time I
heard River deep was this version and that just spoiled
me, I could never take Ike & Tina seriously after that.
Thanks be to Chuck for sending me this and
kicking my blog posting butt into action.
01-lipstick on your collar
02-one way street
04-River Deep, Mountain High
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The 5th and most wonderful studio album from 2 of
Australians most consistently hard working, solid
musician/vocalists. What a combination, you can
read a review from the age here
Blood Oranges is the fifth release for the luminous
partnership of Melanie Oxley & Chris Abrahams.
Offering a distinct change in direction, especially
from their acoustic studio album Jerusalem Bay
released four years ago. Blood Oranges is more in
the melodic pop vein of their earlier records such
as Welcome to Violet & Resisting Calm.
Blood Oranges is possibly the most studio savvy
album the pair has produced and from the filter
swept, reggae tinged opener "Get Me So Far" to the
last track, the ominous "Time Empty Away,"
the production is inventive. Melanie's smoky vocals
together with Chris's distinctive keyboard etchings
create the sparse yet brutally intense music that is so
unique to this partnership. Coloured by a strange,
at times dark playfulness, Blood Oranges is dotted
throughout with classic sounding songs drawn from
a number of pop influences. The twelve new songs are
lyrically thoughtful, deceptively simple and gently twist
their way through the melodic and the irrational.
01 Get Me So Far
02 What's This Daylight
03 She's Got The Right To Remain Silent
05 Cruel To You
07 Blood Oranges
09 A Better Tomorrow
10 If I Let It Go
11 Salt Finger
12 Time Empty Away
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This fantastic collection of songs was sent to me by this
brilliant and generous artist Matt Williamson.
Beautiful acoustic folk blues which is intrinsically
Australian, this is a name which should be well
known. Check out Matt on Myspace Here
and let him know you like what you hear.
The songs you are hearing have come about due to the
collaboration and support of the many people who have
come to hear the songs of Matt Williamson.
Over the last half a dozen years Matthew has
been invited into several studios along the eastern side
of Australia usually from being heard at blackboard
concerts, busking and in more recent times at venues
where he has performed. The archive of Matthews songs
is now reported to be in the many hundreds,
but it is the timeless and profound quality of the songs
that has drawn the attention of many in the music
industry and within the arts. Matthews songs have been
described as pictures painted with a thousand words,
drawing a vision of a truly Australian landscape where
the issues of cultural and social uncertainty are tackled
in songs such as 'old black man', 'bad cousin to my own
brother' and 'song from a broken man', in a way that is
so personally honest and yet socially accurate that it
places Matthew in the same company as 'Woody Gutherie',
'Roy Harper' and 'Archie Roach'.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The 2009 Dreaming Festival was an enormous success,
with a program of mostly unknown (at least to me) acts,
3 days and 4 nights of fantastic and varied artists, speakers,
films, drama, dancers and musicians from around the globe.
Showcasing the incredible talent and heart of indigenous
people the world over.
Let me share a few photos to give those who couldn't be
some concept of what it was like.
The weather was very good considering the rain we have
had leading up to the weekend, a bit muddy and bloody cold.
It was well attended, the numbers seemed to be up on last
year, with heaps of campers staying for the whole thing.
Some of the artists I saw included, apart from the ones
at the Liyarn Ngarn concert, Richard Frankland,
The Real Deal, The Iwantjah Band, Cheryl L'Hirondelle Band,
Freshwater and Chris Combette and Band
I also saw a one man play by David Page called Page 8,
which was bloody fantastic, Mick Dobson do a keynote
speech, A forum taken by the Totonaca people from
Mexico and some Mexican indigenous short films.
And so much more, this is one of the greatest festivals
of this type in the world and truly a fantastic educational
and yet fun experience.
Liyarn Ngarn concert featured a powerful collaboration of some
of our most legendary musicians, Archie Roach, Shane Howard,
Ruby Hunter, Ewen Baker, Robert Taylor and David Arden.
Late on the first night this spellbinding concert went for some
2 hours. Each of the singers performed songs with the others
backing, with especially beautiful performances from Archie,
Shane and Ruby. Finishing with a fantastic performance of
Solid Rock complete with a hip hop section with 2 hip hop
performers from one of the other bands from the festival,
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Many thanks to the wonderful Chuck who has ripped his vinyl
copy of Shane Howard's out of print first album.
I going to see Shane tomorrow night at the dreaming festival
so I'm excited to hear this
01 - Back To The Track
02 - Big City Blue
03 - Brothers and Sisters
04 - Come On Make Me
05 - Just a Feeling
06 - Long Way Away From My Country
07 - Make No Mistake
08 - Mother Earth
09 - One Eye Johnny