Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Top Ten Things that kept me going

Dang, its been awhile but here goes –

GARLAND JEFFREYS – ESCAPE ARTIST album finally being reissued on CD! First came out in 1981 and I was 19 years old and engaged (or close enough to it) and I had to drive a 100k round trip every weekend to see my girl so I was buying a lot of tapes to play in the car (or cars since I managed to go through a few back then, none costing more’n $300) and I knew who Jeffreys was cos of that killer song Wild In The Streets and I musta heard modern lovers or something on the radio though I cant imagine where down there, maybe one of those late nights when I’d tune in the radio to stations all over the fucking country that would be faintly playing and cross hatching on the big old radiogram that mum and dad had… but anyway I bought it on cassette and I flogged that baby to death – like Jeffreys himself it was a mulatto mix of styles and cultures and pop and reggae and bluesy jazz licks and even though I was a dumb country hick I could dig the world he was travelling in (or at least wished I could). Took me years to find a vinyl copy, (with the bonus ep intact) the tape having pretty much given up the ghost and I’d pretty well figured the cd would never turn up but damn here we are, 2008 and I’ve got this baby in my hands and it’s got the bonus tracks from the ep and a coupla more besides and I’ve been playing it daily for the last three/four weeks and its still as good as I remember, even if I’m no longer cruising the backroads with it turned up loud, blueballed and stinky fingered…

PLANET ALI – GLENN W COOPER. Chapbook of pomes by Qld boy Glen W Cooper about the greatest Muhammad Ali. Stumbled on a listing of this while looking at something else altogether (ok ok it was a poetry site, don’t tell anyone ok?) and then I did a quick search and lo and behold, the fucker had a myspace site! This is a great set of pomes about Ali the man and Ali the legend… what he meant to a whole generation of us as a boxer and a man. Forget the saintly image they try and push on us now – he was a fighter, a boxer, he hit people, he hurt them and in the end he got hurt back… great set of words, great writer… check him out.

BIXOBAL #2 – a neat little zine I stumbled across that comes out of Seattle and has an editor who knows the right people. People like Sir Richard Bishop, Climax Golden Twins, Jesse Paul Miller… a great read with reviews of a hunk o’ obscure music I’ll now be searching for, travel stories from Sir Richard, Uncle Jim’s diatribe against lazy ass rekkid reviewers, the thrill of collecting “bad” records… its good to see a print zine again instead of just words on this infernal contraption. That said, the easiest way to track this fucker down is at the website

www.ribexibalba.com Eric also put out a great Sun City Girls Lp last year that I was lucky enough to get hold of (though not the super special edition)… he knows his stuff.

Getting more work at People mag (for you USA folk it aint nothing like yr mag) and becoming the “official” boxing expert though I still prefer boxing tragic. Which means I’m getting to voice my opinion on upcoming blues, interviewing the odd boxer (Nader Hamdan, Michael Katsidis, Jamie Pittman…) and now I don’t feel so guilty spending all my time watching the fights on tv or reading websites or blogs or just being so anal about it all. Hell, its my job!

GEORGE JONES – I LOVE COUNTRY – a cheapy CD I borrowed from my mum left hook last time I was down home and its turned out to be a goody. Featurin’ a lot of his early hits, a good slap o’ honky tonkin’ and none of that “re-recorded by the original artist or someone who was once in the band for a week” guff. Damn straight he’s a good old boy and was a bit of a pisshead to boot!

Adelaide Fringe festival is on and that means the ZINE FAIR is happening again soon. Went to the opening night/welcome the other week. 40 degrees celcius in the shade but there was free beer so myself and Karl the perfect gentleman indulged in some beers and some watermelon and pretended like we really did give a hoot about these kids and their “alternative” culture but come on, I been doing zines for twenty years now… some of these kids were still smearing shit on the walls at that stage (and for some of them nothin’s changed) Still, it was free beer, Karl gave me a lift home and with the zine fair just a coupla weeks away it gives me the push to actually finish something. Then stand around in an old factory with the publisher, the perfect gentleman and harry the grump drinking beer and perving at fine young things. Hell of a way to spend a Saturday arvo!

PAROXYSM PRESS BOOK LAUNCH of Cloak & Grist happened a coupla weeks back and Shane and Hop came over form Melburg to launch it and we had a feed before hand and lots of beer before during and after and some friends came out of their caves and it was sweet. Of course I lost the Melburg boys on the way to the next pub but that’s ok. It was a fine evening, good words, beer, friends – that’s what this whole thing is supposed to be about after all.

Seeing young ANT recently. He’s come along leaps and bounds since his birth and between he and young JONES it’s an interesting time being the old hand at all this stuff and watching Mike, Roosh, Dann & Helen doting on their kiddlings. If only they knew that one day they’d be teenage monsters! Mike is now the stay at home dad too and apparently he’s loving it. Christ, I wish I could get back that joy instead of being the grumpy old fart that seems to be nagging beezlebubby all the time to clean up, shut up or get up! Of course it aint all that bad its just I tend to forget the good bits and just remember the ten minutes of arguing… and that’s always been my problem!

SOUTHERN ROCK REVIEW a great little book by Martin Popoff with reviews on a kegload of Southern Boy Rock and a cd to boot and the guy likes his music and it shows in his reviews and I’m flickin’ thru it makin’ little notes of what I should be searchin’ for when I’m out at the bootsales and secondhand shops. And the fucker has got a thing for ZZ Top and you can’t argue with that now can you?

LEGEND OF CHUPACABRA a dumb ass, slow as fuck mockumentary monster movie that for some reason I really enjoyed. Monster suits and handheld cameras and old school prosthetics and its dumber than a midget superbowl but I really enjoyed it. Its good to occasionally stumble onto these unknown flix and just enjoy them without trying to be smarmy and know it all critic… but I’m betting everyone else will be saying it sucked. Fuck em what do they know anyway?



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