Hit The South!

The Fold AXEMEN May 2015 V2.0This May 2015 AXEMEN make an unseasonable sortie to the South Island  of Aotearoa-wiki to bring you the HIT THE SOUTH! mini-est of Mini-Tours, a flying, flashing, heat-seeking TWO-STOP WHISTLE TEST visit to their spiritual homelands; the icy oasis of DUNEDIN on Friday 22 and the quaint rubble garden city of CHRISTCHURCH on Saturday 23!

So what can Quakin’ Oat-Eaters expect of the lads this time around? You’ll be GLAD YOU ASKED!

AxemenDunedin15lorweresDUNEDIN – The evening of MAY 22 kicks off at the CROWN HOTEL with the cosmically hypnotic COMET WATCH at 9PM SHARP (RNR Standard Time) so don’t be late – they only come round once every 76 years!

10PM brings The AXEMEN in their current formation of McCabe, Kawowski, Stojanovic and Daymond.
The AXEMEN intend to play hits old and new, including tracks from their 2014 album ‘SAC TAP NUT JAM’, some old favourites, some as yet unrecorded tracks, maybe even a cover or two… so MEET THE GANG cos the BOYS ARE HERE!
Opposite Sex Facebook bandcamp

Rounding off the evening at the witching hour of 11PM are those erstwhile saints of swing OPPOSITE SEX…
Opposite Sex Facebook bandcamp

11117351_10152589724106486_725170440_nSo what about CHRISTCHURCH? What have the lads most likely to got lined up for the city that rocks? Well you may ask! Thanks to the CHRISTCHURCH ART GALLERY the most Northerly Southern show at the DARKROOM is going to be absolutely FREE for Starters, that’s what!

Add into the mix DARK MATTER with their rambunctious melodic stylings and the ever-eclectic JOE SAMPSON and we’re starting to have a show on our hands! And there’ll be plenty of RARE MERCHANDISE to lay your hands on so make sure you come early – its THAT RARE and VOLATILE it has a half-life of just THREE HOURS so get your skinny asses down there!

The AXEMEN wish to thank our kind and generous SPONSORS for this tour:

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The Axemen 30 years on – where are they now?

Pete Street Breakdown
Pete Street Breakdown c.1985 (McCabe, Kawowski, Brannigan)

Sunday 22 September 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the seminal ‘Equinox’ gig at Dunedin’s luminary bat-corridor The Empire Tavern, pseudo-Transylvanian Castle (at the time) of the infamous Maureen, an actual vampire who was to become the Axemen’s gothic nemesis for a spell. And spell she could, she could cast a spell as evil as any of her coven, some say she was possessed, some say haunted, some kinder souls benevolently passed her off as merely ‘troubled’.

Axemen @ Neon Picnic near Auckland 1988 (L to R: Stu, Steve, Bob)
Axemen @ Neon Picnic near Auckland 1988 (L to R: Stu, Steve, Bob)

In 20/20 hindsight through rose-tinted spectacles perhaps her evil was somewhat exaggerated; after all many of the bands who were to go on to become the golden boys (and girls) of Flying Nun cut their teeth (in some cases literally) on the establishment’s beer and whiskey stained ‘stage’ – actually a minimally raised platform approximately the height of a matchbox – and many found the Axemen’s anti-establishment attitude towards Maureen and her hardline treatment of them and their music hard to stomach at the time.

“Why are you guys so hard on Maureen?” they would ask provocatively. ‘What’s wrong with the Empire?”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

They may as well have been asking the question of Luke Skywalker. Interrogation sessions such as this would often last into the wee small hours (the little hours) in the early years and would frequently rope in the entire rabble of a pub up to and beyond closing time with the Axemen often ending up leaving with a comet-like ‘tail’ of pub riff-raff hideously weaving their way down George Street or Colombo Street like lemmings following a pied piper in their worn boots and torn black jerseys.

Of course this was in the bad old days before they were ‘saved’.

Derry Legend recording session at Writhe Studio (1987), left to right: Stu, Dragan Stojanovic, Little Stevie McCabe and Bob Brannigan
Derry Legend recording session at Writhe Studio (1987), left to right: Stu Kawowski, Dragan Stojanovic, Little Stevie McCabe and Bob Brannigan

These days the amorphous almost mass-less collection of rubble and nuggets of pure energy and spit that started at the ‘big bang’ Empire gig back in ’83 are disseminated through space and time like a less organised Ort Cloud of ego-prodding drunken barnstormers cartwheeling their way across the universe like they were god’s gift, which in a way they were and still are. Oh the cavities they have filled, the intertwining they fostered, twirling together unlikely entities like the Anti-Crick & Watson slamming together strands and pieces of mean-old acid and nuclear tides into a semicoherent twisted whole.

theywere
Axemen: Hell Yeah

As if they had discovered Fusion and, not knowing how to enhance its mighty power, allowed it to burn wildly like a brush fire spreading its heat and energy in every direction, some pockets burning uncontrolled then dying out, others pacing themselves and emanating a warm glow for centuries, others sputtering and still others smouldering and eventually dying down not with a bang but a whimper.

Class of 2011
Axemen Class of 2011

They were the Axemen – like Hell they were!

These days things are just as complex and yet fundamental as they were in the beginning, only with emergence now beginning to happen as the positive feedback kicks in and the unknowing knower starting to know, as if today were a new tomorrow. The knower always knows and never knows – knowledge is like a bolt of lightning whumping down from the sky and enlightening the world like the perennial ‘knowers arc’.

Axemin, Whangarei
Axmin, Whangarei

Through thick and thin, good times, bad times, you know they’ve had their share – these are the Good Times, so lucky we got ’em, that scoop of chips on your shoulder aint heavy, its the bluebird, thats the blue jay way just turn your love around and take me back to where I belong – back to the future the past is the future history never repeats and a 600 lb elephant in the room never forgets who or what he or she is, even on a trunk call they’ll come up trumps, towering and trumpeting like a boogie woogie bugle boy, and yes, yes sir I can dance! Sally can’t dance bitch broke her back carryin’ water for the man he simply wouldn’t wait. Bilbo Baggins spinning in his Muppet-hole, a hobbit is a muppet without the personality, a hobbit can knock, a muppet can not – who can hold a hobbit up to the merest scrutiny I ask but who has the right to knock?

Happy Anniversary Axemen, let’s have no more repeats lest you end up dead on your feet!

Wellington Recording Diary – Day 1 [25 Feb 2013]

Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington

Day 1 recording at the Taita lockup went handsomely, boding well for the forthcoming Spacecase Records single .

Axemen Feb 2013, at the Taita Lockup, Upper Hutt. Photo S. Kawowski
Axemen Feb 2013, at the Taita Lockup, Upper Hutt. Photo S. Kawowski

The group, together again for the first time in a while in Wellington learned and laid down 5 soundbed tracks as single candidates in record time, as per usual. This being Day 1 of a 3 day session after which the  selection will commence, a process as arduous and gruelling as any Papal selection ritual.

Once the tracks have been selected work will start on overdubbing and production, a painstaking and often grisly set of steps involving adding, cutting, refining and polishing reminiscent of the inner workings of a diamond factory.

Looking forward to Day 2 and subsequent sessions – No serious bloodshed to report as yet.

EQUIPMENT:

Steve: Fender Telecaster thru NZ made Hotcake distortion pedal and Marshal JCM 800
Dragan: Gibson Les Paul Junior, Gibson Les Paul through Jet City head thru Laney 4×12 cabinet

William: Fender Precision Bass thru Rockit 120 and Crate 15″ cabinet

Stu:

Paiste Hi-hats

5 x Zyldjian cymbals

Ludwig snare

Pearl kick

Pearl / Maxtone Toms with Remo pinstripe skins

MICS:

Behringer C1 condensor mic (overhead drums)

Rode NT 2000 (overhead drums)

2x Shure SM58

Peavey Instrument mic

various other instrument mics

RECORDER:

Zoom R16

TRACK LISTING:

A view to die for (McCabe)

Caught you fighting (Stojanovic)

Google That Girl (McCabe)

High Horse (Stojanovic/McCabe)

Kookaburra (Stojanovic/McCabe)

LOCATION:

The Dragan’s Lair, Taita, Upper Hutt, Wellington, NZ

THANKS TO:

Spacecase Records

Mighty Mighty

Phantom Billstickers

Theaxemen.org

——————–

And, if you’re in Wellington this week, be part of NZ Music History and come along to the Mighty Mighty Recording Axemen Party on Wednesday 27 Feb – It’s free and it will be recorded!

Spacecase to release next Axemen 12″ – Recording Party at Mighty Mighty

spacecase
Spacecase Records – Kiwi music pushers
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington

US label Spacecase Records is proud to announce they will be releasing the next Axemen 12″ LP – just as soon as it is recorded! Axemen spokesperson Stevie McCabe, speaking from his beach retreat at Te Puru, Coromandel Peninsula, stated: “Me and the lads are over the moon about the Spacecase deal – we can’t wait to record the new material in Wellington later this month!”

The single will feature new material and the 12″ track-list will be finalised after the recording sessions later on this month (February).

“We’ll be recording in the studio and at a special free live recording party at the Mighty Mighty on Wednesday 27th Feb – we’ll use the best of the best of the recordings and we hope to do some writing as well – all in all its going to be super-intense” enthused McCabe.

newafterThe recordings and gig will feature the same Axemen line-up which toured Australia in December 2011 – Steve McCabe, Dragan Stojanovic, Stu Kawowski and William Daymond.

Introducing William ‘a girls best friend’ Daymond

A girls best friendIn the wake of the departure of Bob Brannigan and Mick Elborado’s increasingly angry instability the remaining Axemen  would like to introduce the new beacon of rock’n’roll ardour, the hope of  Axemen Generation Y, the bass-bone connected to the backbone, the rhythm king, a girls best friend… William Daymond.

Born in 1984, Daymond injects the vigour of youth into the unit and his infectious enthusiasm has infused the band with a new surge of energy – and ladies, believe me, the surge is working!

Well known as much for his extensive musical knowledge as for his work with The Pickups, Green Eyed Owl , Cougar Cougar Cougar, The Flying Sorcerers, The Steffan van Soest Hit Machine, Terror of the Deep (amongst others) , Daymond  adds his versatility and another layer of complexity to the steaming porridge that is the Axemen class of 2011.

Welcome Aboard!

by Amebic Sec Vet

Axemen Aussie Tour 2011 – early dates info

reprinted from: http://www.messandnoise.com/discussions/4305304

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv-iM_1h5uA

Australia December 2011

http://tinyurl.com/axemenaustralia2011

10th: Brisbane Negative Guestlist Festival

14th: Newcastle

with

  • Cock Safari
  • Bare Grillz

15th: Sydney – Red Rattler

with:

  • Alps (Newcastle)
  • XNobbqx (siltbreeze)
  • Mad Nana( Melbourne supergroup)
  • School Girl Report
  • Satanic Rockers( Melbourne/NZ)

17th: Batemans Bay Festival
with:

  • Circle Pit,
  • Paul Kidney Experience,
  • Kitchens Floor,
  • School Girl Report,
  • Mad Nanna,
  • Cured Pink,
  • Alps,
  • XNOBBQX,
  • Satanic Rockers,
  • Meat Thump

plus many more…

19th-21st: Melbourne

22nd: Hobart

23rd: Adelaide

The Bill Classics (2010): The Above Ground Railroad

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,
making a beeline for anything that smiles.
I see your point it stands out like a dogs bollocks
please can i have a block of your skin for my locket.

ditching a bat with simple bamboo slivers
tickling till the echoes subside
bats have no sense of humour
cave wetas may fear better

Times New Viking/Axemen, Tour Single: No. 1 Top 7″ Tour Single: House List NYC

http://houselist.bowerypresents.com/2009/12/it’s-the-end-of-the-year-as-we-know-it/

The House List

2009, Bitches!

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

Gig Preamble/Commentary: Health, Times New Viking, Axemen, TeenageCool Kids, Nov-06-09, The Lounge on Elm Street, Dallas TX

Reprinted from: http://www.dallasobserver.com/2009-11-05/music/health-times-new-viking-axemen-teenage-cool-kids/

HEALTH, Times New Viking, Axemen, Teenage Cool Kids

Friday, November 6,at The Lounge on Elm Street

By Daniel Rodrigue

Published on November 04, 2009 at 10:05am

In what’s likely to be remembered as one of the best Dallas shows of ’09, Los Angeles’ Health and Ohio’s Times New Viking will share a bill in town before heading off to Austin for Fun Fun Fun Fest. And, for each of these acts, 2009 has already been a good year. For Times New Viking, 2009 has seen the band release its second post-Stiltbreeze Records album on Matador. Health, meanwhile, released Get Color as a follow-up to the band’s brilliant 2007 self-titled debut. And since both bands’ records have garnered enough positive reviews that they seem destined to pop up on many a best-albums-of-the-year list, it’s fitting that the show would also feature a local act of the same caliber.

To help open the show, show promoter Parade of Flesh has booked Denton‘s Teenage Cool Kids, which has just returned to the region after a three-month international tour in support of Foreign Lands—the band’s best work to date and a clear front-runner for best local release of 2009.

All three acts are known for their unforgettable, kinetic live shows, so the bill’s already an explosive powder keg of a night even without adding Kiwi-pop/punk act Axemen.

===============================================

Reprinted from: http://philmangone.com

Phil Mangone

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photography
© 2009 Phil Mangone

Times New Viking – The Lounge on Elm St – Dallas 06 Nov 2009

Great night of live music at the Lounge on Elm Street in Dallas. Parade of Flesh presented Health, Times New Viking, The Axemen, and Teenage Cool Kids. Times New Viking was kind enough to do a post show photo session.

 

===============================================

Reprinted from: https://womblife.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/oh-hey-busy-time-of-year-idnt-it-as.html

By Lee Jackson, Thursday, November 19, 2009

times-new-axeman…Then two days later I made it out to The Lounge on Elm, which is becoming one of the better local venues for good punk/garage/psych underground happenings, all three genres The Axemen embody every aspect of without even trying. They’re just naturally weird. I was shocked to find that they and Times New Viking had piggybacked onto Health’s bill at The Lounge. Auckland’s Axemen are living legends and a first wave Flying Nun band to boot. Lead guitarist Bob also has an amazing indie pop type band named Shaft that you probably ought to hear sometime if you like your 3Ds and Clean records. The Axemen are an altogether more skewed and scuzzier garage art punk slop concoction closer in line with earlier Pere Ubu, Public Image Limited and New Zealand’s own Scorched Earth Policy, though you could say that The Axemen have an even more absurdist wit than all of the above. Just wrap your ears around the Siltbreeze reissued Scary: Part III 2Lp to try and figure it all out. It’s ugly. It’s beautiful. It just might make you piss your pants. Live these old goats kick out a raucous punk snarl that had me thinking Stooges one second, Beefheart and Wire simultaneously the next. Absolutely pummeling stuff that sounds right at home in the state of The 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola. Times New Viking tore it up as well with what amounts to probably the best gig I’ve seen by them to date…

Gig Report: Times New Viking / The Axemen @ Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Jersey

Reprinted from: http://www.musicsnobbery.com/2009/11/times-new-viking-the-axemen-maxwells.html

Times New Viking / The Axemen @ Maxwell’s

Times_new_viking1

So I neglected to post pictures and thoughts on the Times New Viking gig at Maxwell’s two weekends ago. Nothing much to report from the show, although I was a little surprised how small the crowd was for a somewhat name act. In any event, drummer Adam Elliott, with a fresh haircut, announced to the crowd at the start, “We have 16 songs, this is No. 1”. I thought, “well, this should be done in 32 minutes.” Almost, it was around 45 minutes. These cats don’t mess around. After the 16th song, they were out the door. They must have other plans post-show. I don’t blame them, sometimes I feel a need to get out of Hoboken on a Friday night.

The Ohio band’s latest release on Matador is Born Again Revisited. It’s no-fi hotness compacted into a 35-minutes of fuzz, buzz and screams. I wouldn’t expect anything less.

Previously:

Times_new_viking2

Times_new_viking3

Times_new_viking4

The Axemen of New Zealand are your straight forward retro garage rock band. The only thing to note is that their lead singer reminded me of Patton Oswalt. Wackity Smackity Dooooo

The_axemen

Gig Report: 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, Club Frills, Axemen, Times New Viking 25-Nov-2009

Posted by:  Tactic Beeves Millet

123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown
Bob Brannigan, 123 Pleasant Street

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.

Axemen, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown
Axemen, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown - l-r: steve mccabe, stu kawowski, dragan stojanovic, bob brannigan

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…

Steve McCabe [Axemen], Rich Johnson [Club Frills]
Steve McCabe (Axemen), Rich Johnson (Club Frills)
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.

Harriet
Harriet Tubman, Pleasant Street, Morgantown

Sticker Wall, Pleasant St, Morgantown
Sticker Wall, Pleasant Street, Morgantown

Dragan works on Steve's Telecaster, Morgantown

The spoils of war: drinks bracelets on Steve's arm, Morgantown

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).

Times New Viking, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown
Times New Viking, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown l-r Beth, Adam, Jared

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!

Gig Report: Times New Viking, Hallelujah The Hills, and The Axemen @ Great Scott in Boston (Pics/Review)

Reprinted from: http://www.prefixmag.com/photos/times-new-viking-hallelujah-the-hills-and-the-axem/

Times New Viking, Hallelujah The Hills, and The Axemen @ Great Scott in Boston (Pics/Review)

November 24, 2009 11:05 a.m. by Tim Bugbee

Times New Viking with Hallelujah the Hills and the Axemen

Great Scott (Boston, Mass.), Saturday, Nov. 21

Newly signed to Matador and veterans of Siltbreeze, the Columbus, Ohio-based Times New Viking brought its stripped-down to the raw, garage blast to Boston. Imagine a songbook based on the pure distillation of “Louie, Louie,” boiled down to a sticky black lump, with a dash of strychine via the Sonics, perfect for singing along (or, better, shouting along). Boston’s own Hallelujah the Hills wrapped up a five week tour and were tighter than Glenn Beck’s throbbing forehead vein. The band has improved much since I saw it play, opening for Silver Jews in 2008. The band played a good passel of songs with tons of energy. Opening honors were handled by New Zealand’s the Axemen, making what I believe is their first ever trip to tour the States, despite being founded in 1981. They are not the “Dunedin Sound” type of band, so don’t go expecting jangly pop like the stuff by the Chills. It was a multi-headed beast of garage rock, some ’60s-influenced numbers and even a hardcore tune tossed into the mix.








Gig Preamble/Commentary: Chicago – Axemen, Golden Birthday, Thunderbolt Pagoda, David Diarrhea

Reprinted From: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/Event?oid=1241677

When: Sat., Nov. 28, 9:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $7 suggested donation

If in the world of classic New Zealand underground rock the Chills’ earnest pop represents the north pole and the Dead C’s corrosive noise is the south, then the Axemen are the molten center of the earth—their shambling, stylistically promiscuous, and occasionally tuneful postpunk is like a bad case of planetary heartburn.
In band histories they claim they formed for political reasons, but the recorded evidence suggests that they just wanted to get up everyone’s noses. Their apex—or nadir, depending on your point of view—came in 1992, when they appeared on a children’s TV show in drag and plugged a record called Peter Wang Pud.
Siltbreeze has reissued two early Axemen albums this year (a third is still forthcoming), and now guitarist [/vocalist] Little Stevie McCabe and drummer Stu Kawowski [and guitarist/vocalists Bob Brannigan and Dragan Stojanovic] are undertaking their first American tour.
They’ve also got a new split seven-inch with Times New Viking, available only at shows, on which the two bands cover each other’s songs.
Golden Birthday, Thunderbolt Pagoda, and David Diarrhea open. At 6 PM today the Axemen play a free in-store at Permanent Records with Cave side project Bitchin’ Bajas. —Bill Meyer

Axemen US Tour Nov 2009 – some posters, links etc.

http://www.last.fm/music/The+Axemen

Sonar, Baltimore
Sonar, Baltimore

Jared workin on covers
Jared workin on covers, Philadelphia

Florence, Alabama
Florence, Alabama

Black Owl Trading Company, Florence, Alabama
Black Owl Trading Company, Florence, Alabama

Michael J Fox - Sincerely Yours

Maxwells, Hoboken, New Jersey
Maxwells, Hoboken, New Jersey

Times New Viking (sans Beth), Maxwells, Hoboken NJ
Maxwells, Hoboken NJ

Steve tops up his Nutsack at Maxwells

Great Scott, Boston
Great Scott, Boston

Great Scott

The Lounge on Elm Street, Dallas, Texas

thats Texas, boy
thats Texas, boy

123 Pleaseant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia
123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia

Sickie Stojanovic, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia
Sickie Stojanovic, Takin Care of Business, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia

Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin, Texas
Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin, Texas

Steve McCabe with Shonen Knife, Fun Fun Fun Fest
Steve McCabe shows Shonen Knife his front bum, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin, TX

The Crepe Place, Santa Cruz
The Crepe Place, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Star Bar, Atlanta, Georgia

DSCF9376
Star Bar, Atlanta, Georgia
cc

KXLU Recording for radio - UCLA at Irvine, California
KXLU Recording for radio - UCLA at Irvine, California

BadAss Supergroup
BadAss Supergroup
bb cc

THNXGVNG with AXEMEN

11.30.2009

Reprinted from: http://worldofwumme.blogspot.com/2009/11/thnxgvng-with-axemen.html

Additional photos by Axemen

THNXGVNG with AXEMEN

There’s always something unimaginably comforting about heading home for Thanksgiving (or for that matter heading home on any number of select weekends throughout the year). But the gluttony and relaxation that persists on this particular holiday can not be overlooked.
As soon as I turn right off of I-75 and roll past the Waffle House and “hillbilly rifle outlet,” I feel like I’ve entered a virtual safe zone, a hermetically sealed environment filled with naps by the fire and limitless liquor – all with none of the annoyances and stress inducers of “real” life. I could honestly do it every weekend if allowed. For me, it’s my wind-back. It’s not getting older or lazier or becoming less of a patron of the arts. It’s the opposite – naturally removing the over-stimulation of bustling “city” life from my horizon line. So arriving at Peters and High (Elliott Manor) for this year’s turkey trough was met with hesitation, as we’d be hosting four lads from New Zealand known as 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.

Thanksgiving, Columbus OH

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.

Thanksgiving, Columbus OH

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.

Axemen play in Columbus

But this was all about Axemen, right? Goodness. They played the Friday after the gorging in Columbus.

Axemen are gentlemen

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.

Record review – Scary!!! pt 3 by Kel E. Burnette

Reprinted from Kel E. Burnette’s  pronouncement at:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=191255993910

Note: CD material is available from http://sleekbott.com

The Axemen, sans McCabe, sans Stojanovic, plus Turner, 2009
The Axemen, sans McCabe, sans Stojanovic, plus Turner, WFMU, 2009

Artist: Axemen
Title: Scary! Part III
Label: Siltbreeze
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.”

Steve McCabe with Shonen Knife, Fun Fun Fun Fest
Steve McCabe with Shonen Knife, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin TX 2009

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.

AXEMEN - cool it with the pool boy
AXEMEN - cool it with the pool boy

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.

AXEMEN: 300% Sikh & Tyred
2009: 300% Sikh & Tyred

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.”

The Mirror News by Vince Carmody, DJ at Chapel Hill's Local 506 Club
The Mirror News by Vince Carmody, DJ at Chapel Hill's Local 506 Club

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.

Sickie Stojanovic, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia
Sickie Stojanovic, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia

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.

P. Somniferum

New Zealand’s Axemen at WFMU New York (broadcast 24 November 2009)

Reprinted from: http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2009/11/new-zealands-axemen-at-wfmu.html

Downloads and Links:

Download Zip File of Live Audio Tracks

One of the big touring surprises for 2009 has to be the visit of New Zealand’s legendary Axemen to U.S. shores.

The band began in Christchurch in 1981 and stood somewhat aside of the pop path exhibited by much of the the Flying Nun label roster, but are without doubt one of the more fascinating Kiwi exports.

Various live shows and releases displayed a loose but virulent amalgamation of avant-garage, Half Japanese style sax primitivism, confusion, and general air of maladjusted greatness.

They’ve got two reissues “Big Cheap Motel” and “Scary!” out now on Siltbreeze, and are hitting the road coast to coast with Times New Viking.

– Brian Turner/WFMU (WFMU Playlist & Streaming Archive for BT’s show)

View Full Radio Show Details 

View Live Track Details 

Play Full Radio Show (MP3)

Length:00:27:01
Host: Brian Turner
Engineer: Jason Sigal with Alex Yockey
CURATOR: WFMU
Released:November 24th, 2009
GENRES:

November 24, 2009

New Zealand’s Axemen at WFMU (MP3’s)

Axemenlive 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 Turner on November 24, 2009 at 06:27 PM in Brian Turner’s Posts, MP3s, Music, Video Clips | Permalink

GIg Report – Philadelphia Nov 15 2009

Reprinted from: http://citypaper.net/blogs/criticalmass/2009/11/17/times-new-viking-the-axemen-the-mad-scene-nov-15-kung-fu-necktie/

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.

Times New Viking/The Axemen, Talking Head Club, Baltimore, MD 11/14/09

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Times New Viking/The Axemen, Talking Head Club, Baltimore, MD 11/14/09

Reprinted from:

http://nogiftforthegab.blogspot.com/2009/11/times-new-vikingthe-axemen-talking-head.html

Sonar Baltimore (Talking Head)
Sonar (Talking Head), Baltimore

The other night I was told, that since I have never left the country I know nothing about what constitutes good taste. I was also told that I was a loser for listening to Pavement. With that being said, I went to Baltimore on Saturday to see a band, who clearly must be shitty, and hung out with a bunch of other losers.

The first two bands, Mr Moccasin and Slow Jerks, are both local products. I only heard two songs from Mr Moccasin, but between that and what I heard on their Myspace, they sounded alright. People, who were there and had seen this band before, said that the group sounded better than they had in the past. I had tried listening to Slow Jerks earlier in the day, but my internet research skills failed me and I found nothing. It’s entirely possible that this was by design, though. Seeing these dudes live, I got the impression that perhaps they wanted to do everything DIY and gradually work their way up. If that’s the case, then props are in order.
The Axemen are from New Zealand, and apparently they formed back in 1981 as a means of protesting the fact that some South African rugby team was playing matches in New Zealand which violated an agreement of some sort. They were pretty tight live, and it wasn’t until the end of the set that I realized that my head had been bobbing the entire time.
Beth, Times New Viking - the object of the reviewers wild desire
Beth, Times New Viking - the object of the reviewers wild desire
This may have been a nervous reaction because early on in the set it occurred to me that the girl from Times New Viking was standing next to me. All the members of the band were in my general vicinity, in fact, and as a result I drank accordingly.
What struck me the most about The Axemen was how they came across as a band with the best of intentions.
Times New Viking, Baltimore
Times New Viking, Baltimore
It all just seemed so honest. They brought the one dude [Adam Elliot] from Times New Viking up on stage to do a song at one point, and that was pretty rad.
Towards the end, the guitarist took his shirt off and wiped the brow of the lead singer. The best of intentions. The whole set was a good time, and the forty people in attendance all seemed to dig it.
Times New Viking are quite possibly the loudest band that I listen to, and I went to this show to see how loud it could get. It was quite loud, and this was accentuated by the fact that the Talking Head is about the size of a hallway and the only difference between the club and an actual hallway is the fact that the Talking Head has a bathroom.
I had done some preliminary research about what TNV was like live, but all I found was that they get loud and that the drummer talks too much. Looking back, the drummer didn’t say a whole lot once the set got underway so maybe the internets was wrong about that.
TNV might be better live than they are on record.
They are a band of sounds, and that’s awesome on it’s own, but in concert the melodies are much more apparent. I do have to admit that I don’t own the latest record, and it’s entirely possible that they were just playing songs off of it and it’s also quite possible that the new disc is slightly more hi-fi than previous albums. I know for a fact that didn’t play all new songs because I recognized several and also because at one point they said, “Now, we’re going to play some old songs.”

Everyone was into it. There was more moving around at this show then at anything else I’ve seen all year, for the most part.

There was this one girl, and she seemed really tapped into the whole thing. She swayed and spun her way through every song. I think she had her eyes closed, but it didn’t really matter because the way she was dancing it was like an act of surrender. It was like what Nietzsche had described. She was on the edge of the proverbial cliff, but instead of being frightened or concerned, she was reveling in the chaos.

Loving every minute of it, and dancing like it would never stop. It’s how I generally feel on the inside, but since I’m such an uncouth deadbeat unfit for the public, it’s better for me to just keep my head down and try not to piss anyone off.

Tour Diaries 7) – Walkin in Memphis

The Hi-Tone - Elvis's Dojo
The Hi-Tone - Elvis's Dojo

Playing in Elvis’s old dojo was always gonna be a tall order. For a bunch of middle-class kiwis with a passion for rock’n’roll, Memphis is a trigger-word for what can be so right and also so wrong in the genre – the full spectrum of green lily-livered-nigger-music-lovin southern boy with just the right amount mixture of sass, sasparilla, and god-given ass and hips.

These coloureds don't run!
These coloureds don't run!

Thankfully it was an awesome gig and elvis even made an appearance and winked at me, he dug it i know…

He kissed me – and it felt like a punch….

Quote generator:

“i gotta say i was “

* shocked

* disgusted

* enthralled

* appalled

with your lastest show in the US.

I was expecting the unexpected, with the proviso that i was forewarned that the act was going to be unpredictable and the attitude factor would play a good part in what would eventuate into the axemen’s set, very much a reflection of the local conditions and atmosphere, once we can establish a base anywhere

don’t be cruel… to a heart thats true

Santa Cruz Gig pre-nup

Reprinted from: http://thecrepeplace.com/

30 October 2009

Santa Cruz Gig pre-nup

Times New Viking, The Axemen, The Happy Hollows

Image

The Axemen is a New Zealand band formed around 1981 in protest against the South African Springbok rugby team tour of New Zealand, a tour which created great controversy, especially as was in contradiction to New Zealand’s obligations under the Gleneagles Agreement.

The Axemen played in Chch Cathedral 1981 in response to the Springbok tour.

They also played at the protests for homosexual law reform in 1983, with member Little Stevie McCabe being severely beaten up in the Cathedral Square, Christchurch, toilets.

The Axemen’s founding members, Bob Brannigan, Little Stevie McCabe and Stu Kawowski had played in various bands, apart and together, in the South Island cities of Christchurch and Dunedin, but cohesed in reaction to Sprinkbok rugby tour.

Before Bob Brannigan and Steve McCabe met, Steve was playing in a two-piece band at Cashmere High School called The Gorillas with Peter Rees, evolving comix maestro and classical guitarist.

Brannigan and McCabe met through a mutual friend and played gigs in Christchurch and Dunedin under many names including The Whining Plums, Hey, We’re Wolves and The Twins in the early ’80s. It was at a Twins gig at the notorious Empire Tavern in Dunedin in 1983 where Stu Kawowski was first unable to control himself and leapt on stage to commandeer the bongoes, instantly adding another dimension to the unit.

Art School Photography graduate, photography guru, filmmaker, artist [1] , promotional maverick and explosives expert Kawowski was playing drums with Above Ground, Bill Direen’s band at the time he met the other members of the Axemen and soon ‘joined’ the Axemen as a permanent fixture.

Brannigan, McCabe and Kawowski remain to this day the ‘core’ of the Axemen, however many New Zealand musicians played with them over the years as guest / transient / semi-permanent members, making their influence and the influences they assimilated (like the borg) an important breeding ground and virtual swap-meet of ideas and influence in Kiwi music circles.

In February 2009, US record label Siltbreeze re-released the Axemen’s 1984 protest album :Big Cheap Motel” [2] on 12″ vinyl. Originally the album was released as a cassette packaged in a small bubble-sleeve with a straw, mimicking the milk drink “Big M” that the album was aimed at. The Axemen were invited to play at Christchurch’s “Summertimes” Festival in January 1984, a public music stage set up in Hagley Park. The band was shocked by the large-scale sexist “Big M” advertising surrounding the main stage, and decided to write a suite of protest songs about how the Christchurch City Council had “sold out” to the “Big M” sexist marketing. The Axemen recorded the concert, as well as studio versions of their songs and released a 45 min cassette entitled, “Big Cheap Motel”

“The Happy Hollows have a lot of weapons in their arsenal, but chief among them is vocalist/guitarist Sarah Negahdari. ‘Faces,’ from the forthcoming Spells, gives Negahdari the perfect chance to show off her Polly Harvey-meets-Kim Deal croon.” — Magnet Magazine

“A killer hybrid of Kim Deal, PJ Harvey and Emily Haines. Negahdari has the guitar chops, explosive energy and winning sense of humor that should make The Happy Hollows one of the more interesting bands of our new millennium’s next decade.” — Wired Magazine

“A pugilistic mix of stinging guitars, turbulent rhythms, and shouted vocals. Alternates between childlike experimentation and ferocious firestorm.” — Los Angeles Times

The much-anticipated and highly acclaimed debut album by Los Angeles trio The Happy Hollows officially hits streets today, October 6th, 2009. The album, Spells (listen/order here) is a culmination of their work with producer and former Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist David Newton (The Little Ones, The Blood Arm), who also produced the group’s 2008 EP Imaginary. In support of the album, The Happy Hollows will be performing a string of East Coast dates surrounding their CMJ New Music Marathon showcases. The band will then headline a residency at Spaceland in Los Angeles throughout November. Please see complete dates below.

The young group’s infectious and irreverent noise-pop has earned considerable following up and down the west coast, with their energetic and charismatic performances. Vocalist/guitarist Sarah Negahdari wields ominous riffs and finger-tapped arpeggios while singing with a cherubic-yet-mischievous grin. Meanwhile, the agile rhythm section of Charles Mahoney (bass/vocals) and Chris Hernandez (drums/vocals) vault and lunge with precision.

Wired Magazine recently described Negahdari as “a killer hybrid of Kim Deal, PJ Harvey and Emily Haines” and added that “Negahdari has the guitar chops, explosive energy and winning sense of humor that should make The Happy Hollows one of the more interesting bands of our new millennium’s next decade.” The BBC picked them as a band to watch for 2009, the Los Angeles Times has described the group’s sound as a “pugilistic mix of stinging guitars, turbulent rhythms, and shouted vocals” that “alternates between childlike experimentation and ferocious firestorm.” AllMusic wrote that the band’s “appeal is immediate” and LAist has labeled them “a must see!”

The Happy Hollows’ catchy yet dissonant sound is influenced by genres as disparate as 90’s college rock, garage punk, art rock, and 80’s pop. The band combines innovative song structures, surreal lyrics, and fiercely adept instrumentation to recreate reality into a jagged panorama of vibrant, kaleidoscopic collage. Listening to their music, one cannot help but see visions of a place oddly askew from the world we experience everyday, a parallel universe that is at once whimsical, demented, and ferocious.

Having born and bred their band in various corners of the L.A. music scene since forming 2006, The Happy Hollows played their first shows in Japanese restaurants, laundromats, and small local clubs. In their first year as a band, they snuck into a studio at night and, in two sessions, recorded Bunnies and Bombs, an EP that attracted the attention of the L.A.’s underground music scene. After seeing them play a show, established L.A. heroes Silversun Pickups asked The Happy Hollows to open for them at The Wiltern and The Fillmore. In 2008, fellow art-rock outfit Deerhoof invited the Hollows to open for them on their album release shows at The Avalon and The Great American Music Hall.

View The Happy Hollows myspace site

View TNV ‘Move To California’ video

8pm doors, 9pm show $10

AXEMEN USA TOUR :: TRAVEL DISTANCES & TIMES.

LAX, Los Angeles, CA

Mon-Oct-26

391 mi – about 5 hours 55 mins (up to 7 hours 20 mins in traffic)

Sacramento, CA

Tue-Oct-27, Sacramento, CA – Luigi’s Fungarden

86.7 mi – about 1 hour 30 mins (up to 2 hours 10 mins in traffic)

San Francisco, CA

Thu-Oct-29 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill confirmed

72.8 mi – about 1 hour 18 mins (up to 1 hour 40 mins in traffic)

Santa Cruz, CA

Fri-Oct-30 Santa Cruz, CA Crepe Place

US-101 S 367 mi 6 hours 5 mins (7 hours 20 mins in traffic)

or I-5 S 348 mi 5 hours 43 mins

Los Angeles, CA

Sun-Nov-01 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex/Part Time Punks

373 mi – about 5 hours 27 mins (up to 7 hours 0 mins in traffic)

Irvine, CA

Mon-Nov-02 Acrobatics Every Day / UC Irvine

I-5 S 41.7 mi40 mins (2 hours 10 mins in traffic)

Phoenix, AZ

Tue-Nov-03 Phoenix, AZ Modified Arts

I-10 E 1,066 mi 15 hours 7 mins

Dallas, TX

Fri-Nov-06 Dallas, TX The Lounge on Elm St

221 mi – about 3 hours 41 mins

Austin, TX

Sat-Nov-07, Axemen TBA, TNV playing Fun Fun Fun Festival

I-30 E 647 mi 9 hours 44 mins

Memphis, TN

Mon-Nov-09 Memphis, TN Hi Tone

US-78 E 237 mi 3 hours 54 mins

Birmingham, AL

Wed-Nov-11 Birmingham, AL Bottletree

146 mi – about 2 hours 22 mins

Atlanta, GA

Thu-Nov-12 Atlanta, GA Star Bar

I-85 N 382 mi 6 hours 2 mins

Carrboro, NC

Fri-Nov-13 Carrboro, NC Local 506

I-85 N 312 mi 5 hours 26 mins

Baltimore, MD

Sat-Nov-14 DC / Baltimore Otto Bar

98.3 mi – about 1 hour 55 mins

Philadelphia, PA

Sun-Nov-15 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie

I-95 N 96.8 mi 1 hour 52 mins (2 hours 20 mins in traffic)

New York

Wed-Nov-18 NY Mercury Lounge

4.1 mi – about 13 mins

Brooklyn, NJ

Tue-Nov-19 NY NY Union Pool

Flatbush Ave 9.9 mi 30 mins

Hoboken, NJ

Fri-Nov-20. Maxwells

I-95 N 219 mi 3 hours 59 mins (4 hours 50 mins in traffic)

Boston, MA

Sat-Nov-21 Boston MA, Great Scott

I-81 S 779 mi 12 hours 42 mins

Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant Street

Mon-Nov 23, Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant Street

I-78 E 381 mi 6 hours 25 mins

Columbus, OH

Fri-Nov 27, Columbus, OH – TBC

205 mi – about 3 hours 15 mins

Chicago, Il

Sat-Nov-28, Chicago, Il – (instore & gig) venues TBC

I-70 W – 354 mi 5 hours 31 mins

New York

I-80 E 788 mi 12 hours 16 mins

TOTAL: Approx 7000 miles 😮

Gig Report: Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers, Thurs Oct 1 2009 – The port with the charming name

Chicks – October 2009

Chicks @ Chicks
Chicks @ Chicks

If anyone was laying bets on to see who could be chosen to charm this gloomy yet cheerful neck of the woods the odds would probably not have had good pile of winnings had they invested in the dynamic pairing of those vehemently and unapologetically wizened old geezers [The Axemen] with the relatively youthful and still bouncy and vibrant Auckland-based chick and bloke combo [The Hairdos] at the South of the South Islands premiere music venue CHICKS Hotel in Port Chalmers.

The Location

Chicks - One Nite Only
Chicks - One Nite Only - gizza ticket bro!

Port Chalmers, the idyllic Southern town is of course just a sunny breeze away from that mestasising brooding musical hub of the South, South Dunedin, poorer of the two Dunedins group, and allegedly the inspiration behind Gaylenetms epic poem DUNEDIN.

SD, having spread its gull wings over the Octagon and smearing its majestic leaves outwards in order to imperfectly carpet the rest of the polygonal submetropolis that is Dunedin proper, or ‘the Dunedin Interface’, as hungry commuters wait to devour their buses, taxis and the famous trams and trains bustling through the hurdy-gurdy streets, the better to transport the throngs who have drawn the magic lots to go out and visit the poor cousins in the Charming Port just a stones throw away, has of course now become a touchstone for all visitors interested in getting a taste of the ‘olde’ Dunedin sound and the sights and smells of the city which at once enthralled and appalled those who uptook them in those heady days of the 80’s.

The People

Leila
Leila, Luk
You Can't Touch This!
You Can't Touch This! .... Stu's photo-timer is glaringly unaware of the 5-second rule - Steve and Marty's only too aware...

The axemen / hairdos combo has been firing up dancefloors across the island nation of nz since time immemorial (or at least for most of the year 2009) however this was the inaugural trip to the mainland for the follically annointed trio and the first visit across the rubicon of the mighty Kilmog for their adze-wielding cohorts in a number of years.

AXEMEN show on WFMU 91.1FM (NYC metro NJ USA) Nov 24th, 3pm – 6pm

WFMU logo The Axemen
Tuesday, November 24th, 3pm – 6pm on Brian Turner’s show,
http://www.wfmu.org (streaming/archiving)
91.1 fm (NYC metro NJ) 90.1 fm (Catskills/Hudson Valley/PA/WNJ)

One of the big touring surprises for 2009 has to be the visit of New Zealand’s legendary Axemen to U.S. shores. The band began in Christchurch in 1981 and stood somewhat aside of the pop path exhibited by much of the the Flying Nun label roster, but are without doubt one of the more fascinating Kiwi exports. Various live shows and releases displayed a loose but virulent amalgamation of avant-garage, Half Japanese style sax primitivism, confusion, and general air of maladjusted greatness.

They’ve got two reissues “Big Cheap Motel” and “Scary!” out now on Siltbreeze, and are hitting the road coast to coast with Times New Viking. You can catch them in the NYC area November 18th at Mercury Lounge, 19th at Union Pool, and 20th at Maxwells in Hoboken!

Gig Report: Scary Motel Tour – Lyttelton – Christchurch leg

Axemen-Hairdos-Poster-WDUpon arrival in Christchurch we were whisked off to our waiting vehicle, then before you know it, we were thru the tunnel and at Lyttelton gasbagging with Maree and Keith on their Volcano Radio Show ‘Pale Green Things’ (see http://volcanoradio.co.nz/ for schedule, http://worldtimezones.com/ for time translation), then off to Roz’s for the traditional sumptuous pre-show dinner before making our way across to the Wunderbar to set up for what was to be an awesome night for an awesomely tiny crowd in an awesome venue in an awesome town.

Wunderbar, Lyttelton Sept 24th

Green Eyed Owl

Green Eyed Owl - send Chills down your spine
Green Eyed Owl - send Chills down your spine

First up Green Eyed Owl , named from a line from a Chills song, which hints at the direction / audience type they are aiming at [finicky bread thieves whov’e kicked more band members out than Andrew Mehrtens kicked penalties???] They got the look and a tight performance, playing a variety of styles, William Daymond’s trademark Beatles bowl-cut looking not a hair out of place and offset nicely by his chequered scarf, all of which reeked style.

Stu Kawowski, Mick Elborado, Axemen, 2009
Stu Kawowski, Mick Elborado, Axemen, 2009

Stu Kawowski and 'The New Stu' Liz Hairdo... bitter rivalry
Stu Kawowski (L) and 'The New Stu' Liz Hairdo (R)... bitter rivals on the skins, but best of buddies off the stage; Stuck in the middle: Renee Barrance, Luke Stimpson

The Axemen

Next up to the plate were the Axemen. Steve having played at the Wunderbar recently with Matt Middleton (accompanied by Loliners backline Mick Elborado and Russel Covini) they were soon down to business in the classic 3-piece lineup of McCabe, Brannigan and Kawowski and giving the tiny crowd their all in their first post-Liz Hairdo gig of recent times… in fact their first gig together in about two months…

The Axemen pared back their sound as though it were a gleaming knife slicing throgh a perfect unblemished avocado, McCabe even pausing to metaphorically stoop down, pluck a hair from his head and proceed to (metaphorically once again) chop it in half with the sound coming from the speakers – i know you could argue that were it extra sharp one could cut it all the way down the middle lengthyways, but to be honest I’ve never been one to split hairs…

Axemen / Hairdos at Radio Volcano, Lyttelton September 2009
Axemen / Hairdos at Volcano Radio, Lyttelton September 2009 l-r:StuK,RenB,LukeS,LizM,BobB,SteveS

Rifling through their gander-bag of songs old and new, as is their wont of late in preparation for their upcoming tour (“Let No Song Remain Unplayed!” McCabe was heard to malevonantly whisper during a break in the proceedings). Hooking through their hookladen hits like Dr Hook in a velcro factory the guys effortlessly pulled off a lean, tight rock show with very little fat on it (“I’m gonna need a cheeseburger after this!” Bob quipped). Steve’s one-note Michael Jackson tribute guitar solo concept is developing and sounding better at each performance. A pleasant surprise to see Bob Brannigan behind the wheel of a full-fledged, fullsize axe once again, having recently been heavily into playing keyboards and ukulele. And as for drums, you could set your watch by Kawowski as usual – in fact it is not widely known that the term ‘New York Minute’  refers to and is defined as “the space between beats in the drum trill at the beginning of  ‘Animals Have Rights Too’ “ (recently re-released on the Scary! double LP –  Silt Breeze);

Liz Mathews, Hairdos
Liz Mathews, Hairdos

The Hairdos

And now for those erstwhile barely-out-of-their-teens “I was the first punk in the incubator” angry young people rocking their wayout of the slums and grey streets of Grey Lynn and now to Chch and Lyttelton where the small but feisty crowd generate enough spirited banter and appreciative sounds to emulate a crowd of at least twice the actual size the numbers would indicate.

The Hairdos played a typical highly energised set giving Lyttelton the honour of being the first South Island town to get a taste of the Hairdos, a badge of honour the hardy individuals who made the effort to come along will remember for a lifetime and have many a bartab settled by a buddy coming up to them and saying “Please Great Uncle Steve, you were there – please will you tell us once more about the time you saw the Hairdos the first time they played at the WunderBar in Lyttelton?”

As usual the band follow their high-minded democratic principles and the singing is shared equally between the 3 members, Renee, Luke and Liz.

Al’s Bar, Christchurch Sept 25

In Video: Big Cheap Motel, Ming Shoe Scene

In Video: Ghost Picnic

Gig Report: Meet the new Stu [or: 2 Nights in Auckland City, Sept 09]

Posted by: Cab Ice Mettle Vilest

AXEMEN, HAIRDOS, NOBBQ – WHAMMY BAR, AUCKLAND NZ, NOVEMBER 16 2009

Axemen, Hairdos, xNOBBQx - 16 September 2009, Whammy Bar, Auckland
Axemen, Hairdos, xNOBBQx - 16 September 2009, Whammy Bar, Auckland

The AXEMEN, or in keeping with their ‘Fair Trade’ and Consumer Guarantees Act commitments more correctly adopting the AXEMIN moniker due to the last minute substitution of teen heartthrob Liz Hairdo on drums in Stu’s place for these gigs while Stu down in the South Island hustling his film and other projects.

For the two-nite Auckland stand featuring two of their stalwart Silt Breeze sidekicks on different nites – xNOBBQx from Brisbane on Wednesday nite at the Whammy bar to a tiny but enthusiastic crowd (think next time they should bring the BBQ – their attempts to show their disdain for the grill so loved by kiwis and aussies alike did nothing to endear them to those in the crowd hungry for prawns, shrimp, hot-dogs, tofu burgers and rock’n’roll).

xNOBBQx: Non Flaming Aussies
xNOBBQx: non Flaming Aussies

Axemin feat. Liz Hairdo as The New Stu
Axemin feat. Liz Hairdo as The New Stu

“Even a sausage sizzle would have been nice” one veteran punter (who looked as if he’d seen more than a few sausage sizzles up close and personally in his time) lamented later.

Fortunately for Auckland, the erstwhile and awesome HAIRDOS and ageing (but still with all their faculties since getting their fillings removed and not using aluminium cooking pots) Axemin emerged as crowd favourites to redeem the evening – It should be noted since playing gigs with the Hairdos in recent times, the Axemin have appeared to be getting noticeably and palpably younger at each gig, following the infusion of post-teen spirit exuded by that band and their followers, in an alarmingly, almost Dorian Gray kind of way.

Liz Hairdo & Bob Brannigan: Bringing feminine mystique back to the Axemen
Liz Hairdo & Bob Brannigan: Bringing feminine mystique back to the Axemin at the Whammy Bar

Sandwiched around xNOBBQx like so much white on rye, the Hairdos played first.  Switching their Stranglers / B52s sound mix across to ‘more Stranglers’ setting for the evening (fuzzier and dirtier) the Hairdos played a punchy, poppy,  plucky set in their inimitable enthusiastic style, going almost the entire set without a fight – I think that is a record, I know people who go to Hairdos gigs just for the fights, and occasionally run a book on them.

Liz shows Stu how its done - look ma, no sticks!
Liz shows Stu how its done - look ma, no sticks!

Energetic and snappy as always, the Hairdos style contrasted vividly with xNOBBQx‘s ethereal meandering soundscapes. Conjuring images of aborigines standing on one foot on the outback, tossing a boomerang, blowing a digeridoo and watching re-runs of Evonne Goolagong at the French Open in 1971, these straight-edge ‘stralians evoked images of an eery gum-tree-lined outback road, a camel your only friend.

Next the Axemin. Fresh from being on the door in the early part of the evening Steve and Bob virtually bounded to the stage. the role of Stu for the evening was taken by the gal Auckland society is calling ‘the New Stu’, the Hairdos own Liz Hairdo. After just one practice ‘Stu-do’ and the lads went out and effortlessly knocked it to the pint-sized crowd, and Liz H did perhaps the best impression of Stu I’ve seen since I copped an eyeful of him practicing under his fisheye ceiling mirror (the “objects may be larger than they appear” sticker remaining proudly intact).


AXEMEN, PUMICE, PINK REASON – THE HIGH SEAS, AUCKLAND, NZ NOVEMBER 19 2009

The Axemen feat ‘The New Stu’ (Liz Hairdo):
filling in for Stu Kawowski for 2 Auckland engagements:
This Video from THE HIGH SEAS, Beresford Street, Auckland, 19 Sept 2009

The AXEMEN, chafing at the bit to meet up with and play for their Silt Breeze stablemates The Pink Reason sidled up first for the High Seas gig in Beresford Streed, Newton Auckland. Just a stones throw from the infamous toilets and a brisk walk to K Rd, the surroundings as well as the gig really gave those cornfed Colombus boys something to write home about. Bristling from their successful (artistically if not commercially) Wednesday nite gig Bob and Stu once again gave it their all and Liz NewStu literally never missed a beat.

Once again another noteperfect evening of axemen rockola, if anything enhanced by the injection of some new drumming blood, like stem cells called in to mend a hole.

Pink Reason, Bob Brannigan, The High Seas
Pink Reason, 'Gnarley' Bob Brannigan, at The High Seas

PUMICE next came on playing a bunch of songs on ‘treated’ guitar with white noise, radio frequencies and memorable lines such as ‘half price for half a chicken’, obviously calling on the audience to metaphorically extend their minds and go outside their aural comfort zones, yet coming back full circle, maybe to bite you on the bum, maybe to serenade you. Mesmeric.

pinkreasonposterPINK REASON played an immaculate spooky and at times delicate set, sounding quite at home in the intimate venue of the High Seas, the venue tonite showcasing its flexibility as a band venue for artistes playing a wide range of different musical styles. These guys represent the cutting edge of indie rock in America at the moment and they are good buddies with our touring partners on our US tour, Times New Viking. Columbus, Ohio has produced some fine musicians, along with the strapping muscular farmboys [with six-pack abs and rivulets of sweat rolling down the bulging veins and following the smooth curve of  their oversized triceps before evaporating away to nothing – are we keepng this in?] it is famous for!

A much better turnout on Friday at the High Seas than the Whammy Bar on a rainy Wednesday I must say…

Auckland and South Island Tour Dates – September 09

Axemen, Hairdos, xNOBBQx - 16 September 2009, Whammy Bar, Auckland
Axemen, Hairdos, xNOBBQx - 16 September 2009, Whammy Bar, Auckland DONE

Axemen, Pumice, Pink Reason 16 September 2008
Axemen, Pumice, Pink Reason 16 September 2008

Axemen-Hairdos-Poster-WD
Axemen, Hairdos, with special guests Green Eyed Owl (chch, lyttelton) - Scary Motel Mini Tour, Wunderbar 24, Volcano Radio, Als Bar Sept 2009

scream_stu2a
Axemen, Hairdos, with special guests Green Eyed Owl (chch, lyttelton) & Wolfskull (pt chalmers) - Scary Motel Mini Tour, Wunderbar, Volcano Radio, Als Bar, Chicks 24 Sept- 1 Oct 2009
  • 16 Sept: Whammy Bar, Auckland with xNOBBQx, Hairdos – DONE
  • 19 Sept: High Seas, Auckland with Pink Reason, Pumice
  • 24 Sept: Wunderbar, Lyttelton with Hairdos + Green Eyed Owl
  • 25 Sept: Als Bar, Christchurch with Hairdos + Green Eyed Owl
  • 26 Sept: Hairdos Live-To-Air, Radio Volcano, Lyttelton
  • 1 Oct: Chicks, Port Chalmers, with Hairdos + Wolfskull

Click to download hi-res PDF of SCARY! MOTEL tour poster

Axemen US Tour W/- Times New Viking – now with confirmed dates!

Times New Viking / Axemen US Tour

UPDATED OCT 24 2009! NEW DATES SEE BELOW….

The Axemen, in cahoots with Times New Viking /Ground Control Touring /Silt Breeze / Matador / Sleek Bott Records proudly announce the much vaunted US TOUR has now been confirmed!

View Latest Itinerary / Buy Tickets…

View Tour Map

  • Tue-Oct-27 Sacramento, CA Luigi’s Fungarden
  • Thu-Oct-29 San Francisco, CA  Bottom of the Hill
  • Fri-Oct-30 Santa Cruz, CA Crepe Place
  • Sun-Nov-01 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex (Part Time Punks)
  • Mon-Nov-02 Irvine, CA Acrobatics Everyday/UC Irvine
  • Tue-Nov-03 Phoenix, AZ Modified Arts
  • Wed-Nov-04 El Paso, TX Black Market
  • Fri-Nov-06 Dallas, TX The Lounge on Elm St.
  • Sat-Nov-07 Austin, TX Broken Neck
  • Mon-Nov-09 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
  • Tue-Nov-10 Florence, AL The Black Owl
  • Wed-Nov-11 Birmingham, AL Bottletree
  • Thu-Nov-12 Atlanta, GA Star Bar
  • Fri-Nov-13 Chapel HIll, NC Local 506
  • Sat-Nov-14 Baltimore, MD  Otto Bar
  • Sun-Nov-15 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
  • Wed-Nov-18 New York, NY  Mercury Lounge
  • Thu-Nov-19 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool
  • Fri-Nov-20 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s
  • Sat-Nov-21 Boston, MA Great Scott
  • Mon-Nov 23 Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant Street
  • Nov 27 Columbus OH, Oldfield’s On High
  • Nov 28 Chicago, Il Permanent Records instore
  • Nov 28 Chicago Il, Cave space (all ages)

What about these guys??? the Puddle Live-to-air at Radio Volcano, sweet as, direct from another universe

the puddle, live to air, radio volcano, lyttelton, one romantic gesture
the puddle, live to air, radio volcano, lyttelton, one romantic gesture

and this one with different scenery – needs more mick though if you ask me….

The Puddle - same song, better scenery
The Puddle - better scenery in this vid... wish george the best after his stroke - oops sorry that was that other guy