George Harrison’s post-Beatles output is overrated and The Monkees are criminally underrated. At least that is the case according to William Daymond from The Pickups. The Christchurch three-piece gave us an email interview with UTR recently and talked a lot about The Beatles, The Beach Boys and the aforementioned Monkees. There are definitely worse things to have a conversation about.
The core trio of The Pickups are myself (William Daymond) on vocals and guitar, Jared Kelly on bass and Isaac Mawson on drums, although we have had extra members and special guests join us over the years.
Tell us the epic tale of your creation…
Isaac and I met at high school in our 6th form year in early 2000, when we were both 16. By the end of the year we were rehearsing on a regular basis as a two-piece, and spent most of the following year writing new material and getting tighter as a band.
We first played live at the Wunderbar in Lyttelton on 23 March 2002 under the name The Twin Towers (we named ourselves this, believe it or not, on September 10, 2001, as a reference to us being a two piece). We continued to play for the rest of the year, although at some point we changed our name to The Distractions. We took most of 2003 off while I played with Adam McGrath in The Sweethearts (a sort of early version of The Eastern).
We started playing as a two piece again under the name The Pickups in October 2003, however it was soon blatantly obvious to us that whilst being a two piece was a good idea in theory, we needed a bass player to fill out the sound, and we started looking for a potential candidate. It wasn’t till mid 2004 that we met Jared Kelly, who had recently moved to Christchurch from Timaru. By late 2004 we were rehearsing as a three piece, and played our first live show as a three piece on 9 October 2004 at Mainstreet Cafe, Christchurch.
Over the next three years we played live on a very regular basis, developing and working at our reputation as a good live band with well written songs, and for a period (September 2005 to April 2006) were joined by Isaac’s then girlfriend Bri Yaakoup on keyboards, who left us to concentrate on her involvement in Frase + Bri. We recorded most of our set in January 2007 with Marcus Winstanely at All Plastic Studios, however due to unforeseen delays involving mixing, mastering and completing the artwork the album was only able to be pressed in April this year (for example, when it came to mixing, due toconflicting time schedules we could only meet up every Sunday. On average we were able to mix one song per session, and with there being 14 songs to mix, and in some instances there ended being 5 or 6 different completed mixes of a song, the whole mixing process ended up taking over 4 months to complete).
In July 2007 we were put on temporary hiatus due to Isaac moving to Wellington, however with both Jared and I relocating to Wellington this year we have started to rehearse and play live again to promote the new album, and also to write new material. We will tour nationwide later on this year.
Do you think Christchurch has been a stimulating place to make music?
I found Christchurch to be a satisfactory and adequate place to develop as a band; I would have never described the town itself as “stimulating” in any shape or form.
Describe the defining moments that made you want to make music:
Listening to the Beatles for the first time when I was five made me want to play the guitar. Seeing Paul McCartney live when I was nine made me want to play live. Listening to Secret Box by The Chills when I was sixteen gave me the the confidence and impetus to write songs on a regular basis.
Apart from music, what else do you guys get up to?
Isaac and I play in a few other bands (ie. Cougar Cougar Cougar, Full Moon Fiasco, Red Country, Terror of the Deep, etc…) and we also go to university. Jared works full time.
What aisle would you slot into at your local record store?
If there was a Psychedelic Pop Rock section we would fit into that perfectly, but let’s face the facts, if you are a local band then you are going to be lumped in the “New Zealand / Local” section, regardless of what genre of music you make.
What artists have really got you excited lately?
This is a somewhat broad answer, but I relocated to Wellington in February, and in the three and a half months it took me to find a flat I had all my records and CD’s in storage, some of which I, up until then, listened to on a daily basis. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and when I finally found a flat and got all that material out of storage and checked out after nearly four months, to describe that as exciting is an understatement.
Describe the collaboration/writing process
In most cases I have the songs more or less finished by the time I present it to the band, however normally in rehearsal we will work on the structure of the song and make any changes there.
Local: Martin Phillipps. International: Neil Young.
What’s the best thing about making music? Again, somewhat of a broad answer, but to see a song that you have written develop from just something you play around with in your room on guitar, then it being taught to the rest of the band, playing it live on a regular basis, recording it in a studio and then getting it preserved for eternity on replicated CD is a very satisfying and rewarding experience.
What gets you down about being in the music industry?
One thing about being a band in a small place like Christchurch is that it dosen’t really matter how good your songs are, how talented you are or how strong your work ethic is, basically if you are in a band the most important things are a) knowing the right people, and b) making music that is markateble in some shape or form. As a result I have seen some awesome bands get their noses turned up at because they either too old, don’t have the “correct” dress sense or don’t have good contacts. I have also seen some horrible bands get far more attention than they deserve simply because they are friends with the right people, and have a guest DJ with a pissfringe and a laptop computer.
Craziest on-stage antics experienced thus far?
I can think of a few; a very disgruntled local resident threw a chair at us midway through our first ever performance as a three piece with Jared (Mainstreet Café, Christchurch, 9 October 2004). As a result I had to write a 4 page report of the incident for the City Council. A very overweight and drunk dude in his 40′s with a long curly mullet and a novelty Jack Daniels jacket started heckling us at a performance at Al’s Bar, Christchurch in early 2006; Jared and I made a few offensive retorts back to him and he walked onstage with the presumed intention of picking a fight with us, however Al had to intervene at the last minute and kick the guy out.
Best concert you’ve ever been to?
When I was nine I saw Paul McCartney (with Linda on keyboards) live at Western Springs Auckland. It was awesome and unquestionably changed my life.
Who would you be willing to commit a serious offence for a chance to see live?
The Monkees (original 60’s lineup, with Nesmith). The Kinks, or at least the Davies brothers reunited on the same stage. The surviving members of The Beach Boys. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr together.
Name someone who’s really overrated in music.
George Harrison’s solo material. A close friend of mine and I listened to, in chronological order, the entire Beatles solo back catalogue and unquestionably George has the least to offer out of the four of them. The only good album that he ever released is All Things Must Pass, and even that is far too long.
And someone who’s criminally underrated?
I think The Monkees are unquestionably the most underrated band in music history. They have so many myths surrounding them that many ignorant music fans believe and turn their noses up at them, despite the fact they are responsible for some of the most enduring songs of the 20th century. Also Paul McCartney’s solo career / Wings.
The state of NZ music is:
It’s somewhat of a double edged sword. Whilst there are probably the more opportunities available to NZ musicians than there has ever been before, its also probably the most unoriginal it has ever been, with too many depressingly bad carbon copies of international based acts being played on the television and radio to fill the quota when far more original and unique material goes unnoticed. NZ On Air should get it’s act together too, did they really need to fund six Boh Runga videos over the period of a year when there are many other bands who can’t even afford to lay down their set in a basic studio let alone release something?
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be:
A Lion Tamer.
By Mick Elborado
I thought smacking was illegal, but there I was standing between the dusty records and sheet music I’d started packing away, now handcuffed, and the hyped-up young cop, name, as always, unknown was saying ‘Just give me one ****** reason to smack you’ — the hand cuffs were not double locked, so they tightened — by the time we got to the cop-shop my would-be-smacking officer pointed out they should’ve been double-locked ‘to prevent them tightening’ — I told him I knew that. I also showed the two officers the deep grooves in my wrists.
But by then most of what I’ve collected over the years was debris — and the things I’d bought, been given, or created myself were gone forever.
Just some homeless c*nt with a bunch of junk?… Now I’m a hairsbreadth from homeless, but I can swear on a stack of bibles that I’ve easily prevented the incorrect release of a thousand times more tax than I can ever be grudgingly paid by WINZ for my remaining life as a benefit, or, if I’m cursed to live that long, and euthanasia isn’t mandatory, superannuation.
And while I was being paid peanuts for stopping big money getting incorrectly refunded ($24,000,000 from a trans-tasman imputation account on day one) I spent my money on stuff, rather than holidays, investments, or trying to get an extra 1% more than any other arsehole…
‘…he wanted to retrieve his hard drive’ one of the laughing demolition clowns told the cops for their provably false ‘statement of facts’.
Uh, no — a hard drive is just countless hours of work but I was once a reasonably infamous musician, so i was after my Peavey jazz classic amplifier with 14″ Black Widow speaker HP’d at $25 per week for two years, or the George van Epps ‘harmonic mechanisms for guitar’ I’d been workig through, or the two andband/perfect.strangers singles, one without a cover — or paintings given to me by artists getting more famous by the day, or autographed flying nun singles, auto’d on the day they came into CHCH by the people immortalised on ‘em, ’cause I used to hassle Roger at the record factory, and Roy and the wonderful women at EMI, or posters from ’81 to 95, or handicam footage of bands playing in the now probably destroyed christhurch dives like quadrophrenia, the subway, the dux de lux, or mint copies of most christchurch and dunedin music magazines ’81 to whenever (Garage, alley oop, sunbum, every secret thing, and all the one-offs that sold for $1 or less each. (something crunchy, daughters of darkness, the Knox comic-zine)
Oh yeah, and shit that I wrote, or transcribed, and some photos of dead or absent friends, and my estranged family. Or even my ornate City of Bristol birth certifcate. And the rip it up review of the one time, on a band tour, that I lit a flaming log and held it to my crotch (the unlit end closest to the crotch)
If you want to trivialise this, and say ‘Well at least you’re alive’, or get all red-faced, either with anger at a law-breaker, or embarrassment at your own part inallowing this to happen to anyone in Christchurch then here’s an exercise…
Look at your room — not your house, garage or car, just the room you’re in now, even if it’s the kitchen. Now imagine it’s lifted fifteen feet above the ground so it dangles a wee bit, out of reach, but still with your stuff (microwave, borrowed vacuum cleaner, clothes, video, power boxes, sellotape, shampoo, whatever) in plain sight, and accesible to others. Now watch for seven or eight weeks until a a giant hand crushes it, and no one is liable. Oh yeah, and you’re uninsured so you can’t start again.
So… Yeah — ‘at least you’re alive’ — I’d rather be dead — ever try getting money out of WINZ to replace a lost life — I worked, for thirty years, and suffered arsehole bosses and corporate bullshit and buzzwords, and taught too many mindless mindless loser work-’mates’ how tax actually worked, mainly to buy my books and records. Even though 99% of Christchurch would think my stuff was crap. It was christchurch crap. my crap.
Books — yeah well I’m poor now, my book budget since Inland Revenue tried screwing me up the arse for $14,000 in glass was $5.00 in a good week, invested in my favourite bookshop in…
First editions of the last three Pynchons, the works of Dave McGowan, and Daniel Hopsicker’s first two. An average of $50 per book — the last two I bought, ‘Sinister Forces – the Nine’, and ‘Unholy Alliance’ by Peter Lavenda were in the plastic cube I was packing when…
…well I wasn’t actually arrested — I was; verbally abused, laughed at by the demolition clowns, told the cop had taken a oath, and that I was in for a smack, and that I was causing busy people trouble, but as I pointed out as that cop and his partner (she just kept saying ‘Shut the fuck up’) finished having a leisurely laugh with the demolition clowns in the shakytown designer fluoro while the handcuffs bit in — ‘You haven’t actually told me I’m under arrest’
…this was as just before he started telling me I had a right to remain… silent, and (and not but) anything I said would be used in evidence against me. Maybe he said stacked, rather than used, but more likely he just thought it.
He then quoted the mental health act (year unknown) as the reason for my arrest. Me… with two (now three) certificates attesting to my sanity when examined. People might hate what I do and think, but it’s provably not due to any discernable mental health problem. Experts tend to be better at diagnosing that than non-experts.
Let’s see — I was also asked why I didn’t join a tribe, or leave NZ, if I disagreed with the law. And all the other insults I’ve now got used to. I pointed out to the cop that his brain wasn’t cut out for thinking as his statements were illogical.
Since then I’ve perused the misinformed comments in the equally misinformed on-line press articles, and have been accused of everything from trying to recover ‘kiddieporn’ (an anonymous coward’s comment) to ignoring proper procedure and not going through the correct channels.
I made enough contacts with ‘appropriate’ people to lose count. The only ones to actually help were the good people in the Porta-Comm offices at the art gallery.
The ones that didn’t gives a rat’s arse were the people in charge, including anyone on demolitions at the council, including Tiffany the third receptionist to hang up on me that morning a week or so before i was arrested with her inhumane ‘we can ignore what you say, and none of this is recorded’
That day, after that, again utterly furious with the inability of the council to listen, I went to the Art Gallery, and in a five-man USAR team led by Rene had the property checked to see if it was accesible. It wasn’t. I was told I could talk to the demolition team at the unknown date the building came down.
So those five USAR people wasted an hour or more each helping me. When they could have been USAR’ing more important things… …Bob Parker’s garden tools maybe — ’cause, as I yelled at the judge in court, if it was Bob Parker’s garden tools rather than my things then some c*nt would have rescued them intact (and probably by WestPac helicopter and on the front page of the press with him in a stinking and dustless orange jacket — mission accomplished? Bush did it on an aircraft carrier). It’s easy to forget Bob tried to stop rescue workers out at Kaiapoi, and the PM had to call him…
Or… Peter… the luckless guy at the Christchurch Council I rang who told me there were no after-hours numbers to deal with demolition matters, when I rang at 4:00 on the day before the Easter holiday, after leaving a message before 10:00 am that day asking to be called back with an idea of when the building would be demolished.
I was furious by the time I got to him, through yet another receptionist, but he assured me ‘the building isn’t on the list to be demolished’ and ‘it won’t be demolished as everyone’s taking a well-deserved break for Easter’ — either he or I mentioned that it would be inaccesible through that time so I then mentioned that if they started again on Tuesday the Easter break was meaningless in terms of accesibility to get my things — as always the conversation ended with his ‘I can’t promise anything, but you should be able to get your things…’
Oh yeah, and of course multiple emails and phone calls to property manager Pru at GoodGirls, trying to find out about a demolition date…
…and finally, at 7:00pm the night before, when I was in Lyttelton, Liz Harris, the owner, left a message saying the building’s being demolished at 9:00am tomorrow morning
So at 7:00pm — after a uncounted hours asking anyone that might know, I was actually given a D-date.
The time was too late to organise anything, storage, transport, helpers. Still, I have f***-all friends/family that would even bother to urinate on me if I was aflame. Asking someone for help with transport at 7pm the night before..? Hahahahaha! And ever tried hiring a truck or taxi on an invalid benefit (minus $33 per week for property damage), or getting free storage?
To get back to D-day…
Because of frustration and an inability to deal with the way New Zealand is today I take strong medication — heavily sedative — I wake up the next morning well after 9:00am
I get to the building site at 11:00 — the building is mainly in pieces but my room is intact with all the things easily salvageable. Here’s a pic of what can be done if someone wants to salvage things. Merivale shop, not a home for the marginal and nearly homeless.
The cordon… well this is where it and the law and the situation get really interesting…
I said to my lawyer in prison (after he explained that if I pleaded guilty I’d already served enough time — solitary confinement 23 hours a day in the at-risk unit at Paparoa Prison for 15 days — to be released), that I couldn’t remember actually seeing a cordon or any notices, but my camera was confiscated by the police — so I had no evidence of that.
So, this is what a Cordon looks like — and the legal definition, paraphrased from what the lawyer held, is that the scumbag in charge of earthquake action (Parker, Brownlee, or some other loser and clown) can delegate cordon-setting downward indefinitely, and apparently no public notice is required — so this is what a cordon looks like before you breach it. Be really careful, cause orange gates seem to be it. No notices, statements, tape, wire, people to tell you there’s a cordon — and I doubt there’s actually a notice anywhere in a public place, and probably no actual written paperwork — Cordon Bennett!
It’ll be interesting to see how anyone is supposed to know, rather than guess, where a cordon actually exists. My photograph shows at least one other, but unarrested, person (a person because of the lack of shakytown-designer-fluoro) was pretty damn near to being inside whatever cordon existed.
I walked, not ran across the debris, you’ll note that the quoted police witnesses that said ‘…he ran…’ are actually nowhere in sight in the first photograph as I approach the property. or the second photograph taken just as I see my room is still intact and salvageable and stopped taking pictures.
How the demo-clown witnesses knew ‘…i was trying to get my hard drive…’ is one of those evidentiary conundrums, I didn’t talk to any of them. And I certainly didn’t stop to banter. My experience to date is that if I’d asked to get my things from anyone with a bit of power I’d have been obstructed or told to p*** or f*** off.
So — the bullshit in Christchurch was and is worse than the liquefaction — and if the trembling don’t kill you the council will.
I now vomit everytime I hear an earthquake promo on the radio, or see a poster saying help is available or hear anyone with a bit of house damage moaning on a bus.
For the record — Further blog entries will deal with the various police, winz, council, court, etc, contacts — past, present and future — my memory is reasonable even without my papers — and for light relief, the absurdities and ignorance and fear encountered between ’79 and ’09 while I worked at, for, with and finally against Inland Revenue. Including a bit of taxation advice that’d cost you big bucks from a ‘cunsultant’…
Today’s fun… on Friday 10th June?
Leaving my current abode, a big lodge, early evening, and there’s a policeman on a mobile outside, presumably to the security staff, — I walk out the locking doors and as they are closing he reaches for the handle. I close it completely and the exchange, where I politely noted that either a warrant or security staff are more appropriate than an unforced entry ends…
ME: You might need a warrant for entry.
Cop: Piss off
ME: Did you just tell me to piss off?
Cop: Go away. Just go away.
His mate just stands there with folded arms as I’m ordered to go away… from my own residence… the rego of their copmobile? CBT622
Make a complaint about this the proper way? A few weeks ago Hornby police station had no complaint brochures or forms and the kindly officer there was going to order them from central, but oddly enough the unhelpful guy at central the same day said there were no complaint forms, and that I could ‘ring the number in the Yellow pages’ this was after he sat down at his desk when he found that in Cleese-like fashion ‘..I wished to register a complaint’.
I’d gone in there to get a phone number left at the scene of my crime by a witness which I was told by the police would be withh my effects — I was handed a homemade official information request by the clown at the lost and found and absurdly asked whether I knew the names of the officers involved.
So I took the opportunity to pick up the application form for a firearm license, as they did have a few of those on the display, and I’d never really thought much about guns or even liked the idea of them until recently… I have no pension fund, no savings, no saleable assets, nothing to lose, am no longer afraid of jail, and I pay $33 per week until 2018 for some broken glass. A gun would be a real comfort and an asset for anyone with that future. Maybe I can get a WINZ loan to buy on from Gun City.
Earlier today, pre “Police Piss Off’ i was at WINZ, (full details of the absurd interview with Helen the trainee who went to her trainer for her information at a later date), Helen told me there was no formal way to complain, no actual complaint section or national area that I could write to, and that any complaints would go through the local manager.
Funny, seems like an odd way to complain about the consistently bad service at WINZ and the differences between the thoughts on the posters and brochures and the actual practice of the staff.
A manager (specially the kind that call me ‘Darling’ out at Rangiora when they mean arsehole) might be a little biased.
‘We will listen to you’. Yeah, Never mind the bollocks.
I mentioned MPs and Ministers to Helen and she said ‘…well, you can do that, if you really want to’ I explained that I knew that, but didn’t know if she was aware of it.
So, is it illegal to write about the facts of a life..? Can you lose a benefit blogging? Get put in the cells? I guess here’s the only way to find out.
Ain’t seen anyone else in Shakytown exposing the puss-filled scabs that everyone else assumes are business as usual.
And you won’t find a single reporter who has wanted to interview me. So any comments in the press about my latest ‘dangerous and bizarre’ exploit are from the police statements or the judge.
Here’s a-bitter that ‘balance’ you might read about as being essential to well-informed thought, vitriol intact.
And when I stop blogging than either it is illegal to diary my life, or my life (and the red-tape) is just fine. Guess which is more likely
DT, aka DZ, aka ME, aka NGM, aka way too many other aliaii. 10/06/11 AD.
(re-printed courtesy of siltblog: Axemen’s ’3 Virgins’ Double LP NOW AVAILABLE)
FINALLY! After a couple of years in the RE-making, the Axemen’s legendary dbl lp ’3 Virgins, 3 Virgins, 3 Visions’ (hereafter known simply as 3V’s) is available for order. Originally seeing the light of day on the Flying Nun label in 1985, 3V’s is a broad canvas of sound, seemingly channeling other likeminded cornerstones of fringe rumble such as ‘Trout Mask Replica’, ‘Exile On Main Stree’t & ‘Tago Mago’. Just like last time (remember?) this is a limited edition run of 600 & housed is a stunning full color gatefold sleeve. Prices are as follows;
*LIMITED TIME OFFER*
Add to your order both previous Axemen titles; ‘Big Cheap Motel’ lp + Scary,Part III double lp for only 15$ more! No extra shipping cost either!That’s 3 more lp’s! What a bargain!
(Just make sure to mention when ordering).
Paypal to; email@example.com
*AND WHILE YOUR HERE*
Check out this AMAZING 3 Virgins promo film shot back in the day by Stu Kawowski & Lawrence Lens (Nux Vomica, Portage mastermind);
October 2010 finds the dysfunctional Axemen family in myriad modes, each in his own sphere, each with their own worldview, each finding new connections, disconnecting others some halfhearted some heartfelt some hearty beef some harkening some heartlessly hardened, haggling and harrying. don’t ask don’t tell.
|The Sultan’s Bat Tree
some haranguing, some balls dangling sanguine like,
ditching a bat with simple bamboo slivers
||The doctor’s on Speed Dial
a song by steve mccabe
the doctors on speed dial
i may pretend to be all hard nosed but sometimes what can you do
the movies come out
hungry enzymes and hungry hippos
a song by steve mccabe
lights on a sycamore tree
a fight with a hand to hand expert
not used as yet:
a fine spectacle he made splashing down in the ocean
coincidence is purely accidental
wildfire in the place of worship
let me ride
i will drive
fire engine on the skids
don’t forget your skid lid
and put the trash out before the kids handle it
and decide to panhandle it
in the corridor
its a horror filled shooting galley
deadbeat kate and allie
lying in the alley
bullet wounds thru their heads
back and to the left
no-one has yet improved on zapruder
please release the tapes
its an all nite party
goo goo ga joob
walrus is a de-tusked shadow
firing blanks still in a sated way
satan’s sway piles the cash onto the millenium.
chile miners got more reason to be out of their mind
reason don’t come lightly
Officer Dibble couldn’t have detected this
This cheese is swiss and i know longer know what love is.
its full of holes
but sir its guyere
i don’t care where its grown, its full of holes
like the bulletholes in my skin, they do get in
mrs marsh, your concept is dated
but they do get in regardless
fluoride is hated in every state
hey aren’t you the mrs marsh i DATED?
chalk and cheese
anything vaguely rug-munchy
somebody, replace the monkey
whenever yr ready theres a firebrand ready
a fine fire brand ready to burn and beat me
keister-meisters haven’t got a prayer
i’m taking dares, burning considerate until the next fire.
breathing deeply till the next fire.
its a funeral pyre
shine my niggah,don’t bleed for me.
i am thinking of going for pain and suffering grounds for this too – every time i hear it my blood pressure goes up 10 pts.
how is shar? what is the situation there now? not sure as to best approach if you got any ideas….
|Workin for the man
workin for the class
he’s a hardy hard habit to break
I’ll meet you at eight
by the lake
and when you pull up don’t forget to brake
(not like the last screwup who forgot to apply his brakes)
Bald-win! paedophile at the rock’n'roll high school
hangin round the gym just to get an eyeful
panties sometimes stockings sometimes petite brassieres
the i think he’s got what he’s looking for clear
he’s the bald one, the only baldwin worth his salt
and i love him with every figure of my soul
but i’m only a man can’t you understand it takes a minimum of two to tango
|I break for cake for gods sake
my mans in the outfield buying yellowcake
but its cream, tangerine, lemon ivy
harangued by caramel thats a sticky mix i see
|I tweeted the bird sanctuary
they told me you had flown the coop
no biggie for tupac and biggie smalls
they’ll be the biggest rappers of them all
|…the… twittersphere… full of nudgerigars
oh what a collossal waste
Life is pretty cheap but for the frozen cheap wasters!
gorillaform contenders, suedehead boots downout racists
steer, queers, souvenirs, novelties, party tricks
wait, you dropped your phony dog poo back there in the sticks!
|because 1984 is over
the earth will have a grand opening party
and while all crumbles and the earth spits and swallows
a little girl waits.
TOO LOOSE TO TREK
Don’t let your genie loose in midstream
its horses for courses if you know what i mean
600 lb gorilla in a barr-brady suit
slick hair matted up like superglue
The critical mass runneth over
like a jehovas witness on gwynneth paltrow
looks like jealous bitchiness has the reins again
because when the rains come it looks like stormy weather again
Too loose to hang on to the reins!
when the rains come you will have mush for brains
if you keep your mind open
there’ll be bad brains rising from these tired remains!
Always counting chickens before they’re hatched
always have to steal my kisses down in the hatch
but your 6 ton ape is wearing falsies and a wig
and thats not real hair in his ear, its an earwig
|Workin class man, no rod, bow or rifle
liable for libel, won’t give you an eyeful
of baubles, bangles and bronzed love beads
Can you tell me how to get to Simian Street?
|Come with me and Peggy Lee on a slow boat to Harlem,
We’ll take the most rank cab that you got
handsome is as handsome does
this charming man has a hand in his glove
What he’s doing i couldn’t say
but he sure scared those pigeons away.
ooh yeah, but he sure scared those pigeons away.
hey hey, he scared those pigeons away.
HEARTBREAK HOTEL – TRUTH OR LEGEND?
Courtney Cox and Myley Cyrus tell of all night circus romp!
I often wondered if the stories they print on these pages are true or just made up by a bunch of horny youths frustrated at not getting any action – that is, until we went thru Nashville and met ‘the wild one’, Miley Cyrus.
The saga began when we had some time to kill, no idea where Miley lived but knew this was her home town, and were fast running out of gas. We cruised around for a while before parking up in a downtown gas station.
“My turn to clean the car, lads!” Bob yelled enthusiastically, half-leaping, half tumbling out of the car then emphatically throwing off his shirt to expose his gleaming pecs. Steve bristled visibly as Bob manfully grabbed the hose, adjusted his nozzle and let loose with an intense spurt of sudsy foam.
“Hey shut the door asshole!” yelled Dragan, awoken by the sudden presence of the foamy liquid on his face. “Thank god ..it was… just a… dream!” he said semi-coherently, slamming the door as he regained full consciousness, while smearing the foam over his chest, pausing occasionally to lick his fingers and let out a quiet moan, and humming a few bars of ‘Karma chameleon’ before sinking back into a deep sleep.
“I just got the number for Miley boys!” Stu yelled, swaggering out of the gas station. “I got it right here on my phone! Its made for low light so i can’t actually see it out here, I’ll just nip into the toilet and write it on my hand! Anyone got a pen? i can change it but it says it needs to dowload the latest os updates first and one of my apps still uses system 126.96.36.199! I think i can probably just jailbreak it and run both systems, even if it voids my warranty.” Steve handed him the pen.
When he came out Bob was giving the car a final chamois down, and was pausing, rivulets of sweat drizzling down his chest, to pull out and light a cigarette.
“Someone lookin for Miley?”
The owner of that instantly recognizable Nashville drawl grabbed the cigarette out of bobs fingers, took a puff and then returned it to bob, as if it had never left his mouth.
We instantly recognised Billy Ray’s surly drawl, hacking cough awkward limp and bulging Calvin Kleins, which on this day protruded as if he were hiding a couple of souvenir tennis balls from the last Williams Sisters final.
“Looks like you guys got a bunch of achey breaky hearts!” he sneered, spitting a drawlful of tobacco onto the carpet – at this point, 5 seconds or so of of canned laughter/applause came thru the P.A. in the dressing room.
“Hell that always happens when i mention the Achey Breaky [he paused to wait for the applause to die down] – i had it written into my contract when i was young and foolish and now i can’t seem to get it unwritten…. the dangdest thing. almost having some kind o pact with the devil himself.”
“Anyway” he scoffed, snapping himself out of his thoughts back to his cockier past, before Miley, before Hannah, “You boys looking for Miley or Hannah? cos I can tell you now that Miley’s gonna cost a lot more than Hannah, being a virgin and suchforth – Hannah just your typical skanky ho, but Miley… well she’s somethin else”
“Well we just came to see Miley” chirped Stu.
He may as well have had a roll of “Admit One” tickets and a flashlight the way he ushered us into the seedy underbelly of Nashville, and we were ready to get season reentrys until dragan, the sensible one, pointed out we were leaving Tennessee tomorrow.
“Maybe we can do Miley today and Hannah tomorrow” suggested Dragan.
“We gotta be in Fresno, St Paul tomorrow by 1400 EST for frikks sake!” said Stu “-Stat!”.
“Thats Ok, I’m not driving so i can rest all day tomorrow” said Bob.
After evaluating all the options, including some tempting Miley/Hannah lookalikes who somewhat repulsively class themselves by age (‘I am good Miley from ages 11-12!‘ – see left‘; ‘you will find i am replicating well the Hannah Montana from Series 3! You will not be disappointed if you have learnt all the catchphrases and characters!’,'i will give good hannah to meet your budget, ma’am!”;”I am the cheapest hannah around! I have all my certificates!”), and after some heated debate, we decided to do the Miley Cyrus Night and Day Tour.
Well… What a day and Oh, what a nite that was!
The Red Carpet Walk (Miley seemed to prefer calling it a ‘ride’) was the first real insight into Miley’s world. Among the glitz and glamour of the A-list celebrities rolling up to collect their awards, drink their fill, and try to eke a meal out of the tiny portions of food provided (Madonna: “Hey Lady! I think you gave me Kate Moss’s portion! I think even she would be lickin her lips and rollin up for seconds!)
We got our meal – Don’t think it did our cause any harm having Meatloaf and Buster Bloodvessel at our table
After The And Band/Perfect Strangers:
I met Mark at Pyrmont Squats in Sydney somewhere around 1982. He jumped through my window because he heard me playing Bob Marley on my record player and wanted to listen as well. That was the beginning of a wild adventure for the next 14-15 years.
Mark was a wordsmith rather than a great musician (in my opinion)…he was a good guitarist though and loved to entertain people with his music. I was drawn to his enthusiasm to life and I liked what he was doing musically because he was different. Different to musicians I had met before him because he wasn’t trying to be Bob Dylan or Neil Young , but was very experimental…(eg; making a beat with a typewriter’s clicking keys) which is something I discovered about most of the Kiwis I met in Oz, they all seemed to believe in themselves in that their creativity was as relevant as, if not more relevant than anything that was in the mainstream. I was from Papua New Guinea and the music there was very mainstream or traditional PNG, so this was very refreshing to me.
Blase Plag 1983
Not long after meeting, Mark and I set off in a Holden station wagon and started to make our way around Australia, busking wherever we needed to. First stop 1983 at a small tobacco farm in a place called “Smoko” in Nth East Victoria, where we picked tobacco and recorded poetry and music in our caravan with a Washburn steel string and a cardboard suitcase as a drum. That was the beginning of “Blase Plag” (Blase Plaguerism) whereby we did similar things to what George H was talking about in one blog – reading from HP Lovecraft or excerpts from other books while making bizarre sounds.
Next stop was Adelaide for a year, 1984.
Mark still wrote a lot but played very little and was becoming more and more interested in politics and became a real crusader for the underdog. The two of us became very involved in the Unemployed Movement whereby we ran a radio program (giving tips to people on how to survive on the dole), a soup kitchen and a gourmet restaurant for the unwaged and we became advocates at our local Community Centre.
However amongst the serious stuff Mark still managed to “do his thang” and was constantly developing new personas with which to perform by. His favourite one at the time was donning a tradespersons jacket and a yellow hardhat. He would carry an old leather doctors satchel that had a hammer and lots of nails. He would then walk down the main street and hammer a nail into each telegraph pole (they were all wooden back then) until he got to the end of the street ,and would then walk back removing each one, and putting them back into his satchel, as he went. I was usually following – at a distance – and filming the reactions of people.
At our “Gourmet Restaurant” ,Mark would wear a plastic Moose head on his back and serve people backwards. One evening we heard rumour that a Health Inspector was coming to dinner, but we wouldn’t know who it was. Mark was unimpressed with the method of spying, so he served our pet kitten (alive) to each table with the food to weed the guy out. It worked and the Inspector closed the kitchen down. That was the impulsive person that he was.
Adelaide produced “The Tickled Pinks” which was Mark, myself, Peter Hall Jones and Briar Humphreys – a one-off recording/cassingle about drunken debauchery.
After Adelaide came Perth for a year – 1985. No music was made in Perth, just solid politics….anti nukes, aboriginal land-rights, peace, youth rights and socialism was flavour of the year.
Mark went back to Wellington,New Zealand early 1986. I followed a few months later and Mark had already established himself in the music scene he’d left behind some 5 or 6 years earlier. Kevin Hawkins was now Screamin’ K Hawkins, Jessica Walker had Electric Church, Jude Horner and Merlene (?) were the Geisha Girls. There was the Brothers Gorgonzola and Sparky’s Magic Baton. Many people’s names I have forgotten so I have not mentioned them in the bands. Please forgive me if I have forgotten you.
Citizens of No Land (CONL) 1987-8
Our band was Citizens of No Land (CONL), which was Mark Thomas, Mark Crawford and myself on guitars, Lisa Beech on Violin and Flute and at one stage Anna Meihana backing vocals. Most of our songs were original numbers and were largely protest songs.We weren’t a commercial band and we played mostly at benefit gigs for minority groups or for causes.Mark always said at the beginning of each gig ;”We are Citizens of No Land, because the ownership of this land is based on Colonial Oppression, therefore we fight oppression in the hope that we may become,Citizens of This Land.” http://www.youtube.com/user/nasusselams#p/a/u/0/tog6K8n88mM
Soaring Eagle 1990-2
Following Wellington we moved to Marlborough and lived in various houses. Our two sons , Anton http://www.myspace.com/antonpatuthomas and Ringo were born in Blenheim, and so was Soaring Eagle. This was an interesting body of work as it was largely Mark playing solo and experimenting a lot with poetry/rap/and rhyme. All of it was recorded on our old ghetto blaster at home and is interspersed with talking kiddies and saucepans clanging because daily life had to go on around the creative endeavours.
It was in Nelson that Mark became known as Sharkface both on and off-stage. He was well known amongst the literary circles as a performer and poet who never held back his words and thoughts and presented them in a way completely unique to Mark.
In 1993 he released a Cassingle (No CD’s yet) called Voices from the Village Idiot with his band Manic Blather (Nathan Judge on bass, Richard Lambert drums, Mark gat and vox).
1994 saw Mark as part of a theatre group under the direction of Kim Merry (now deceased) and Donna Chapman through the Nelson Community Arts Centre and Creative New Zealand. That year also saw him in a short film produced by the Nelson Media Studies Group of Nelson Polytech, called Jude goes to Whakatu. He also provided the backing track. This can be seen on http://www.youtube.com/user/nasusselams#p/a/u/2/QFUkC88u6kA
Mark played with many different Nelson muso’s. He had a very sharp mind and could pull off spontaneous raps easily which made him a great entertainer. A video performance of him with a few of the local Maori fellas called “Sharkface at The Watchtower” is on you tube @ http://www.youtube.com/user/nasusselams
1995 was Crimson Blood Spit which was with Nathan Judge again as bass player and a variety of drummers.
1996 I had formed my own band Morrigan http://www.myspace.com/eusselams and Mark and I were just discussing having a joint gig. Sadly it never came about. He passed away March 16th 1996.
In 2001 I produced, with the help of Dave White, a compilation CD of Mark’s music called, Sharkface – The Farces of Vitriol. This was a selection of music from each era that I had known his music, dating 1980 to 1995. It has been distributed to National Archives, National Library and Radio New Zealand, so it remains a recorded part of New Zealand musical history.
Man angry at IRS crashes plane into building
AUSTIN, Texas – A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers running for their lives.
At least one person in the building was missing.
The FBI tentatively identified the pilot as Joseph A. Stack, 53. Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on, said that before taking off, Stack apparently set fire to his house and posted a long anti-government screed on the Web. It was dated Thursday and signed “Joe Stack (1956-2010).”
In it, the author cited run-ins he had with the IRS and ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America’s “thugs and plunderers.”
“I have had all I can stand,” he wrote, adding: “I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at `big brother’ while he strips my carcass.”
The pilot took off in a single-engine Piper Cherokee from an airport in Georgetown, about 30 miles from Austin, without filing a flight plan. He flew low over the Austin skyline before plowing into the side of the hulking, seven-story, black-glass building just before 10 a.m. with a thunderous explosion that instantly stirred memories of Sept. 11.
Flames shot from the building, windows exploded, a huge pillar of black smoke rose over the city, and terrified workers rushed to get out.
The Pentagon scrambled two F-16 fighter jets from Houston to patrol the skies over the burning building before it became clear that it was the act of a lone pilot, and President Barack Obama was briefed.
“It felt like a bomb blew off,” said Peggy Walker, an IRS revenue officer who was sitting at her desk. “The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran.”
Stack was presumed dead, though police said they had not recovered his body as of Thursday evening. At least 13 people were injured, with two reported in critical condition. About 190 IRS employees work in the building.
Gerry Cullen was eating breakfast at a restaurant across the street when the plane struck the building and “vanished in a fireball.”
Matt Farney, who was in the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot, said he saw a low-flying plane near some apartments just before it crashed. “I figured he was going to buzz the apartments or he was showing off,” Farney said. “It was insane. It didn’t look like he was out of control or anything.”
Sitting at her desk in another building a half-mile from the crash, Michelle Santibanez felt the vibrations and ran to the windows, where she and her co-workers witnessed a scene that reminded them of 9/11.
“It was the same kind of scenario, with window panels falling out and desks falling out and paperwork flying,” said Santibanez, an accountant.
The building, in a heavily congested section of Austin, was still smoldering six hours later, with the worst of the damage on the second and third floors.
The entire outside of the second floor was gone on the side of the building where the plane hit. Support beams were bent inward. Venetian blinds dangled from blown-out windows, and large sections of the exterior were blackened with soot. It was not immediately clear if any tax records were destroyed.
Andrew Jacobson, an IRS revenue officer who was on the second floor when the plane hit with a “big whoomp” and then a second explosion, said about six people couldn’t use the stairwell because of smoke and debris. He found a metal bar to break a window so the group could crawl out onto a concrete ledge, where they were rescued by firefighters. His bloody hands were bandaged.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said “heroic actions” by federal employees may explain why the death toll was so low.
The FBI was investigating. The National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigator as well.
Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin on the Homeland Security Committee, said the panel will take up the issue of how to better protect buildings from attacks with planes.
In the long, rambling, self-described “rant” that Stack apparently posted on the Internet, he began: “If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, `Why did this have to happen?’”
He recounted his financial reverses, his difficulty finding work in Austin, and at least two clashes with the IRS, one of them after he filed no return because, he said, he had no income, the other after he failed to report his wife Sheryl’s income.
He railed against politicians, the Catholic Church, the “unthinkable atrocities” committed by big business, and the government bailouts that followed. He said he slowly came to the conclusion that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”
“I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well,” he wrote.
According to California state records, Stack had a troubled business history, twice starting software companies in California that ultimately were suspended by the state’s tax board, one in 2000, the other in 2004. Also, his first wife filed for bankruptcy in 1999, listing a debt to the IRS of nearly $126,000.
The blaze at Stack’s home, a red-brick house on a tree-lined street in a middle-class neighborhood six miles from the crash site, caved in the roof and blew out the windows.
Elbert Hutchins, who lives one house away, said the house caught fire about 9:15 a.m. He said a woman and her teenage daughter drove up to the house before firefighters arrived.
“They both were very, very distraught,” said Hutchins, a retiree who said he didn’t know the family well. “‘That’s our house!’ they cried. `That’s our house!’”
Red Cross spokeswoman Marty McKellips said the agency was treating two people who live in the house.
Associated Press writers April Castro and Jay Root in Austin; Michelle Roberts in Georgetown; Linda Stewart Ball, Danny Robbins, Jeff Carlton and John McFarland in Dallas; Devlin Barrett, Lolita C. Baldor and Joan Lowy in Washington; and Melanie Coffee and Barbara Rodriguez in Chicago contributed to this report, along with the AP News Research Center.
As 2009 comes to a close, The House List’s writers and photographers (and editor) take a look back at the year that was. Check back tomorrow for our year-end photo gallery.
My Top Five 7″ Tour Singles
I’ve always loved that for the price of a drink, bands sometimes go the extra distance for their tour and press 7″ vinyl that you really can’t get anywhere else but at the merch table.
1. Times New Viking/Axemen, Tour Single
I love Times New Viking’s no-fi melodic messiness, and they save the great experimental stuff for their B-sides. I got this at their Mercury Lounge show. That it was a split with New Zealand legends the Axemen was even better. Only later did I find out each band covered the other’s songs and they hand-colored every copy! It’s that combination of paying homage to this influential band and introducing people through their reinterpretations that makes this an easy No. 1.
2. Jeff Novak, “Home Sweet Home” Single
I recognized Stephen Braren of Cheap Time behind the table after the Jay Reatard show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and I got Jeff Novak’s long sold-out single from Reatard’s Shattered Records. I actually ended up contacting Novak after this and talked with him for my own blog.
3. Black Dice, “Chocolate Cherry” Tour Single
Black Dice have just a handful of singles from quite a few years ago, so when I saw them at The Bowery Ballroom, I was just looking out of habit. But this unlabeled single ended up being from Catsup Plate, which put out the insane Animal Collective LP box set this year. Both unreleased tracks were a departure—almost funk and with recognizable vocal samples! Truly weird.
4. Make a Mess Records, “Brilliant Colors” Single
I went to see Nodzzz and Wavves at the Underground Lounge on the Upper West Side. I managed to talk to Eric Butterworth from Nodzzz, who had just pressed a single on his label, Make a Mess Records. This ended up being one of my favorites of the year. Simple, stripped-down female-fronted No Wave punk pop.
5. The Balkans, “C++” Tour Single
I caught the Balkans at a new space in Brooklyn called Little Field. Woody Shortridge had pressed a single-sided 7″ at home, and I had to see it for myself. He pours them in his apartment and you get a really crazy-looking handmade single with the lowest of low-fi sound. And it helps that the track is great too. —Jason Dean, writer
This collection of objects is a small sample of some of the objects thrown to Stu Kawowski during the recent Axemen US tour, mostly by female fans.
The collection is fascinating and is kindly on loan from Kawowski’s private library, and I feel it gives a revealing insight into the psyche of the typical American Axemen fan.
Posted by: Tactic Beeves Millet
We were slightly apprehensive about playing in Morgantown, West Virginia, a student town which didn’t seem particularly on our tour path, just before thanksgiving when many of the students would have gone home.
We needn’t have worried.
Great venue, great people, one of the most generous drink tabs we encountered (up there with Memphis) – 8 drink tickets each band member and free sodas for drivers/non drinkers so the extra tickets split between the drinkers – on this occasion – Steve and Bob…Little wonder when we asked if we could park in the Adventure shop carpark they said yes as long as you are out by 11 in the morning – seems more than one band had been known to pass out in the vehicle in the carpark after gigs at this multi-tiered venue and fail to rise before being moved on when the shops opened.
Honourable mention also goes to the Black Bear Cafe across the road on Pleasant Street where we had some great burritos and Beth’s vegan diet and Dragans abhorrence and intolerance for gluten products were admirably catered for with minimal fuss.
Morgantown is also clos to the hometown of Dusty White, erstwhile TNV sound engineer, and the stomping ground of one of three acts we played with who payed homage to the Axemen by covering one of our songs ‘Beware the train of thought’ (the others being Times New Viking who played ‘Rocks in my Heart’ a couple times and Dave Diarrhea in Chicago).
To these guys especially, and all the support bands who shortened their sets to squeeze us in we give thanks, in the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost!
Reprinted From: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/Event?oid=1241677
When: Sat., Nov. 28, 9:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $7 suggested donation
“Nutsack” was written in Los Angeles by Dragan Stojanovic & Bob Brannigan October 2009, inspired by Ice Cube rapping about his nutsack and busting a nut
blasting out of our KIA sound system on the LA freeways, oh and seeing squirrels in the parks all over USA, and the fact we lived out of nutsacks from Wholefoods for 5 weeks on our 7,000 mile tour.
Kawowski videoed the event and pounded the skins while McCabe added his two-bit guitar part, as WFMU’s Brian Turner, Jason Sigal and Alex Yockey provided the lads with a fantastic opportunity to record a snapshot of a typical set from their recent US tour while they were in New York in November 2009. An inspiration to lovers everywhere.
The full show can be heard here…
Post by Mecca Be Vets
Living and working in a smaller space gives one the chance to evaluate many innovative and space saving tools, given the limited kitchen area and restricted prep-room, some economy and conservation of preparation area in the areas of both menu (Roast Turkey, Glazed Ham and Side of Lamb are not ideal in the 9″ x 6″ Test Kitchen space, epecially as the main oven is a toast ‘n’ grill, perfectly adequate for one, with slow cooker and compact microwave as adjuncts).
As an avid small-kitchen chef,I revel in anything which allows for using a limited food preparation area – japanese and other high density population areas invite and incoct such dishes and ingenious food processing tool inventors are only too happy to come to the party with clever, practical, and economical inventions such as the SUSHI KING TM which, with its offbeat ‘squaring the circle’ build-a-traditional-japanese-food-preparation-device-using-new-zealand-native-timber approach, would seem on the surface to be an oddity, a curiosity piece, the archetypal square peg in a rond hole, but somehow (oddly or not) it makes perfect sense and performs its intended function out of the box, as advertised, to the nth degree.
I’m Steve McCabe, and I like a tasty fish. With my life-threatening heart condition, and as an international rockstar with a substantial fanbase to whom I am still at times a fickle golden calflike idol, when i get a hankering for some pescine produce I look for an oily fish.
Sometimes I can’t get, can’t afford, or don’t feel like the brazen archetype heart-healthy, Omega-3-ridden, bulging with healthiness, stamina and proud fish-oil air of authority and entitlement, healthy as a nutsack on heat hovering over a supersized bowl of garden Caesar Salad, breathing in the sweet nectar of toasting sesame seeds while trying to decide between the smoked or non-smoked salmon fillet, on the rye or on the pumpernickel….
|Trevally Fillets||The flesh is darker in colour when raw but once cooked the flesh turns brilliant white. It has a full flavour with a medium to firm texture. A high-oil fish suitable for a wide range of preparations.|
…Thats when I reach for Trevally & Sangria Snacks, Bar Snacks, Gel Rockets and Fantasy Fizz – there’s something for everyone!
From the far-off hills to the kids and their cheap thrills, a party’s not a party till you’re full of beans!
Additional photos by Axemen
I wasn’t as much worried about their settling into to a quintessential suburban ritual, as I was anxious how my parents might react to having America’s collector scum wet-dream tour (add one drummer from TNV to the mix) make a two-day stop in Troy.
I shouldn’t have had any reservations. Patti and Jeff should get a medal for their hosting abilities. I never knew how liberal my parents actually are (now only if they’d align that mentality with their politics) until I saw them nurturing a gluten free meal for ol’ Dragan. But I digress.
If you’re looking for tragic tales of drunken tirades and streaking through the town square or foul-mouthed kiwis looting the curio cabinet and tagging the doilies with pen knives – you aren’t going to find it here. Axemen are gentlemen. And though they may not be used to our ultra-consumer, warm and fuzzy, football coma shenanigans, they fit right in as adopted Elliotts.
If so anti-climatic, then why the post? Well, it was the well of anomaly that occurred at Troy, Ohio’s pre-eminent 18-35 yr. old hangout, The Brewery, the night before, which prompted this rant. Beyond simply wanting to tie one on in downtown Troy, beyond meeting up with an absent Justin Smith, beyond even the slightest want of nostalgic conversation with past peers whom I have nothing to converse, was a triple bill of Miami County’s finest “music.” Even then, the event of the week at the bar “everyone” goes to was pretty much split between dated booty music (first floor) and townie hard-lucks (second floor) and hardly a soul in the room with the stage, and the real instruments, and the performers. Still, it was a oddly intriguing trio of bands, going from karaoke rural gangsta’ rap to two-man Ween influenced mayhem, to standard issue thrash-emo-speed metal sludge.
Low Budget was first, featuring some kid who used to play basketball with my bro at the Lincoln Center back in the early ‘90s, replete with two hype men. They wore t-shirts emblazoned with Low Budget (were those made at the Troy Sports Center?) and hats reading the same. I thought the name was clever and their rhymes mighty inventive for what seemed like freestyle over the Ipod. In fact it reminded me most of another swang “low” duo from Cali, Low Profile, who went on to become W.C. and the Maad Circlen (a personal favorite). It did get tiresome, overwrought, and something I was happy stopped before it was too late. While I encourage all hip-hop troupes trying to make it in small town America (Teenage Soldiers R.I.P.), I would have liked to have seen them add some regional flavor to their oeuvre. I don’t know exactly what that would entail. In Columbus it’s a working-man, blue-collar, everyone’s invited atmosphere – so would this be sub-Columbus, or even sub-Springfield? I bet the gangsters thrive in Piqua. Explore there. Where’s Shane Darner when you need him?
Next up was the biggest surprise of the night. Electric Banana hail from Dayton, but seem to play most of their gigs at various submarine houses around Troy. Like the Weens, Chromeos, and Party Dreams that have come before them – most of what they do is borne of goofing and can only elicit good times, no heavy-handed criticism here. I’m sure if I were privy to the inane lyrics (I’m sure I heard “pussy” mentioned more than thrice) I wouldn’t have been as thrilled, and if they weren’t serving up PBR tallboys (just like home) I probably wouldn’t be expounding about their simple genius – but both factors were in place and the antics of Jimmy Spade, the mohawk-clad frontman of the two, made for a stellar evening. It was rudimentary funk worship and novel hip-hop in a stoner metal package, but they played it to perfection, knew how to work the “crowd” and had catchy melodies to off-set any whiff of scatology. I want them to come to Columbus, soon.
The last band of the evening could be wrapped up in one song. Through an Ocean of Plagues do what they do well, do it tight, and do it frenetic…..but I wasn’t in any kind of mood after the insanity of Electric Banana. I mean, c’mon, how you can take a band like this seriously? From their one sheet:
The phrase “Through an Ocean of Plagues” metaphorically describes the route humanity takes on its journey to self-destruction. Civilization evolves by consuming and destroying, usurping its power through the contamination and eventual erasure of its competitors. Rather than coexisting, Nature is enslaved, dissolved, and forgotten. Such is the legacy of future generations, once humankind has siphoned the last of the Earth’s resources. Without a target for destruction, we turn our sights to our own demise.
This rural Ohio quintet addresses these issues, translating the impending onslaught of disease, war, and social deconstruction into a medium by which they may express their opinions. The music is brutal, though it still retains a melodious quality meant to remind the listener that social harmony is lost but not forgotten. The live performance of the music parallels its subject matter, brutally portraying the bands frustration and outrage.
I did overhear the lead singer at 3 AM telling his friend he was headed home to “get fucked and fucked,” which I can only assume means he was continuing his quest for drugs and sex. So that was entertaining. But with all of this music, the highlight of the evening? — HUGH KELLY, smartest man on earth.
But this was all about Axemen, right? Goodness. They played the Friday after the gorging in Columbus.
I’m a bit out of words to go on and describe them, but it’s likely they showed a few “shitgaze” (sic) signifiers throughout their entire set of crust blues and the purest of kiwi protest/prank garage rock – but it all had the guise of a professional band playing like it was the last show of the tour.
This is how you do it. Release the Three Virgins already. I don’t have it yet. Three [3??? - LSM] of the most delightful men I’ve ever had the chance to meet.
Here’s hoping it gets this hopping over Christmas.
Reprinted from Kel E. Burnette’s pronouncement at:
Note: CD material is available from http://sleekbott.com
Title: Scary! Part III
Long known underground stars from New Zealand, The Axemen are now gaining some well-deserved notoriety here in the States thanks to one of our finest labels, Siltbreeze. Tom Lax has again exhibited sterling musical sense in [repressing - sic.] – re-pressing “Scary! Part III” and “Big Cheap Motel.”
And while it’s not an easy task trying to pin down their sound, especially considering the variety of their entire discography (much less the territorial span of music on this release), I’ll give it a shot.
On my first listening, I immediately drew a comparison to Royal Trux, but that was basically drawn from the majority of vocals on the record, featuring some of the coolest, junked-out vox either before or after the Trux hit the scene.
From the get-go, the song “Heart Bullet” features some insanely fucked up vocals and word play. Unlike a lot of New Zealand music, the vocals are uncharacteristically mixed up and not buried in the instrumentation. It kind of paradoxically makes the voice seem like another instrument—I’m at a loss finding (other than Herrema) anyone to compare the vocals to while maintaining any real dignity. Suffice it to say that they’re easily in the upper echelon of all rock vox, and it’s continued across both wunnerfuly screwed tracks on the double LP set.
Though the music is varied, you never get the feeling that the album was thrown together as pieces. As incoherent and absurd as it is, the record has a marvelous cohesion, at times overtly a downer, such as the track “10 Miles (as the crow flies)” and other points like the near-sinister, hardcore influenced “Join the R.A.F.”
It’s near-put impossible to fix these fellers into any genre, and that’s a damn good thing. Not only that, it’s a fucking difficult thing to pull off convincingly, yet the Axemen do so with, well what’s the write word, grace? How about ‘instinct?’ That seems more apropos. It’s an instinct which speaks more to an overall aesthetic than does it any attempt to play this or that style of music.
This one of the strangest records ever sludged to wax, and it’s caused that compulsive collector in my to try and track down any and all of their recordings, which, from what I’ve read, is going to be a formidable task. This is no surprise since they formed around 1981 and have recorded pretty consistently since, and even through the broad spectrum of music the venerable Flying Nun label have pressed over the years, The Axemen stand totally on their own. Flying Nun wasn’t their only label over the years—there have been several, but as an American touchstone, it’s appropriate to mention them as one of the better-known imprints to bring up.
All I can tell you is that, even on this one double LP, influences include American hardcore and DIY, Beefheart (though nothing obvious springs to mind at the outset), a sort of Zappaesque sense of humor, bizarre synth music, employ of loops and on and on.
The Axemen are their own entity. The only downside to this is that it took so long for an American pressing to go down. I’ve heard that they’ve met with largely great critical press on their recent tour of the U.S. One can only hope that it continues and that we see them again very soon.
Downloads and Links:
November 24, 2009
New Zealand’s Axemen at WFMU (MP3′s)
It’s a chore enough these days for any kind of overseas band to land a U.S. tour on any scale, so its was nothing less than a pleasant surprise when we learned that New Zealand’s Axemen had a pretty extensive one lined up with Columbus, Ohio’s Times New Viking this fall.
The Axemen started in Christchurch in 1981, a time when New Zealand and Flying Nun records in particular were stirring up a major musical waves (ones that were felt in countless 1990′s US indie bands and are still being felt today especially disciples like TNV), yet the sweeping, strummy pop element that was evident in many of the Nun’s stable was only a part of the fuzzy picture that was the Axemen.
The band’s central core of (Little) Stevie McCabe, Bob Brannigan, and Stu Kawowski recorded in both cheapo home mode and in traditional studios, but setting had little to do with the wide-swing of directions that are evident wherever you drop a needle (or cue up a tape).
There’s tons of basement weirdness nodding to the more antisocial Velvets and Swell Maps moments, scatterings of drunken White Album recreation attempts, even moments where they sound like Royal Trux way before their time.
When they played at Union Pool in Brooklyn last week I could swear they were going for a Stackwaddy/Doors thing, but then they became Half Japanese with Stevie playing sax solos on guitar. In Axemen recordings, they have one song about Elmer Fudd that sounds like Psychic TV, and another that is totally inspired by Grandmaster Flash. They even did a full album of Elton John songs. I have a feeling that if Flying Nun gave them the giant studio budget like they did Straitjacket Fits they would have come up with an album just as great as their Big Cheap Motel and Scary! Part III cassettes that Siltbreeze thankfully reissued in 2009.
Check out the clip below (and more after the jump) of the band on a 90′s NZ kids’ TV show (promoting their Peter Wang Pud album!), and dig in to their November 20th visit to my radio show, engineered by Jason Sigal and Alex Yockey.Thanks for Terre T for leaving us all the food the Reigning Sound didn’t eat earlier that day, there were some fancy pastries!
The Axemen Live at WFMU, Brian Turner’s show
Lineup: (Little) Stevie McCabe, Stu Kawowski, Bob Brannigan, Dragan Stojanovic
Promo video for Three Virgins LP (being reissued by Siltbreeze in 2010):
You cand find more on the Axemen’s My Space page and Y2K blog,the latter of which has updates on sometimes-member Mick Elborado’s recent exploits at his workplace; he recently drove his car through the lobby of his employers’ building, New Zealand’s equivalent of the IRS. No one was hurt, but New Zealand’s government might be learning a thing or two about satisfying employees’ gripes in the future.
posted by Brian Howard on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 at 11:34 am
CONCERT REVIEW: Times New Viking, The Axemen, The Mad Scene @ Kung Fu Necktie, 11/15
This is our second set, like Phish.
Sunday night shows are always a tough sell, but the four-band bill including U.S. Girls (who we’ll be up front and cop to not getting to the club in time to see) was as can’t-miss a show for indie rockers of a certain age as you’ll find. A healthy crowd of 40 or so (in their 40s or so?) crammed into tiny Kung Fu Necktie and watched as New Zealand ex-pat/Clean vet Hamish Kilgour and Lisa Siegel led The Mad Scene through a set of murky Kiwi-style noise rockers rife with alternating strumming and distorted jabs. That’s the thing about New Zealand: even their poppier indie pop is prone, at any second, to spiral into fits of SY-style noise fests. Kilgour, who apparently had lost his guitar strap, spent the first few numbers seated on the floor at the side of the stage — largely invisible to all but the front row — with a microphone stand angled down toward him, creating a scenario where the vocals seemed to be emanating from nowhere. Siegel eventually lent the singer her bass strap and Kilgour finsihed the set standing erect. Stu Kowowski of the legendary Axemen (who’d take the stage next), sat in on drums for the set and was joined by Adam Elliott, drummer for headliners Times New Viking, for a set-closing number where both drummers pounded on the kit.
Then came The Axemen, a New Zealand noise/punk outfit on their first tour of the U.S. despite first slithering from of the antipodean ooze in 1981 in protest of the South African rugby team’s tour of the islands. Led by an apparently intoxicated Steve McCabe, the four-piece chugged through a set of classics, including a few choice numbers from Scary! Pt. III (a 1989 cassette that’s been recently re-released on vinyl by Philly’s Siltbreeze). The band, rounded out by guitarist/singer Bob Brannigan and in this incarnation bassist Dragan Stojanovic (the band’s lineup aside from the three core members has been in constant flux), turned in a rough-around-the-edges set (thanks mostly to McCabe’s inspired/drunken flailing) that alternated between all-out chaos and more crafted blues-rock tigned numbers that created as many questions as it answered. What must it have been like to watch this unit over the years, and what were these grizzled vets like in their younger, angrier days? A newer song that might be titled “Do You Wanna Be My Slave,” suggests the band’s as ascerbic as ever.
|Photo | Brian Howard|
|McCabe (left) and Brannigan of The Axemen.|
Though The Axemen were indeed the rare treat that made this lineup a can’t-miss, Times New Viking was the main course. The Columbus-based trio have, since bursting on the scene with 2005’s Dig Yourself (which got the long-dormant Siltbreeze back in business) have honed a style that’s equal parts hooks cacophony, a slicing wail crossed with mistimed engine on overdrive. Keyboardist Beth Murphy’s vocals remain shouted and defiantly off key. Jared Phillips‘ guitar parts are piercing and devastating. Elliott’s drumming and singing are wound tight and delivered fast. They eschewed the typical set-encore structure for a two-set program that may have somehow crammed 30 songs into their hour on stage. It was exhilirating, ear-spitting, and so life-affirming.