dave graney - Moodists-Coral Snakes-mistLY-FEARFUL WIGGINGS

dave graney - Moodists-Coral Snakes-mistLY-FEARFUL WIGGINGS
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About Me

My photo
Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

blb playlist 30/3/10

BLB is a radio show I do every Tuesday with Elizabeth McCarthy from midday to 2pm in Melbourne on the premiere community / subscriber radio station in Australia, 3RRR. Its on the dial at 102.7fm and can be streamed via http://www.rrr.org.au
The show has been going for a couple of years now. We have a guest in each week. So far we have had the honour to talk to the poet Robert Gray, Ben Elton, John Clarke, Tony Martin, Mick Harvery, Bob Ellis, Kaki King, Johnette Napolitano, Stephen Cummings,Greg Wadley, Mick Molloy, Mike Rudd, Shaun Micalleff, Camille O'Sullivan, Kimya Dawson, Barry Divola, and many other writers, artists, comedians and musicians. I try to play as much Australian, current music as possible. Occasionally straying into other areas of interest.

This is a playlist for Tuesday 30/3/10. A bit of an abberation as I was doing the show alone. I busted out a lot of jazz and r&b grooves as thats my leaning in music in general.



Elizabeth McCarthy was unable to make the show due to fracturing her ankle so I was left to fly alone. This time TWO GUESTS had been arranged. Writer Catherine Deveny and musician David Thrussell from SNOG.

I began the show with some jazz and kept it mostly instrumental as there’d be a lot of talk coming up.....

Dizzy Gillespie - “MANTECA”
Bill Evans and Jim Hall - “my funny valentine”. piano and and guitar taking this song at breakneck speed from the album “undercurrents”.
Emir Deodato - “Also Spake Zarathustra”. From a CTI collection. I enjoyed writing the name Richard Strauss in the “composer” section of the RRR playlist log.
Sun Ra - “blues on planet Mars”. From the double cd , “THE SINGLES”.
The Beastie Boys - “Sabrosa”. From the amazing instrumental album “the in sound from way out”.
Willie Bobo - “La descargo de Bobo”
Sergio Mendez - “Fool on the Hill. Fulfilling our beatles quota for the year. A song with vocals!
Dr Buzzards original Savannah Band - “Mr Love”. From their second album, “meets King Pennet” .

Then David Thrussell entered the studio and we played songs from the new Snog album , “last of the great romantics”.
“We’re all in this together”.
“the end of the world”.
“wargasm”
“this world done me wrong”.
We also played “the hangover” from the Bedroom philosopher.

There was also a lot of yapping and hollering from David and Catherine.And me.
David talked about the new album and let slip with some scuttlebut about a certain politician which had the program manger coming in with some warnings about defamation. Catherine talked about her show "god is bullshit" which is on at Trades Hall during the Comedy Festival. David seemed to be spoiling for an on air fight agains "the Dawkin- ites" and I unfortunately kept diverting the conversation.

You can see our other playlists at ....

http://www.myspace.com/bananaloungebroadcasting

Sunday, March 28, 2010

cars - again - street chariots - mags- spoilers

We never had no car in our family when I was a boy. We lived in a thriving country town where it was possible to walk or ride your bike everywhere a kid wanted to go. The only sense of social disadvantage came when we had to go on school or footy trips to nearby Victorian towns. Even then, it was cool to ride with your friends parents in their wagon. Not being used to riding on four wheels at high speeds my mind was always conscious of the hard road running just inches from our feet and there was sometimes a weird temptation to open the door.
As I got closer to the world of adults I had a different view on cars. In South Australia at the time you were eligible to get your licence to drive at the age of sixteen. Driving a car meant drive in bottle shops, drive in movies, laps of the main drag and impressing the sheilas. South Australia was then, as now, blessed with much looser roadworthy laws than operate in NSW and Victoria. As such, it was the home of the hotted up, lowered and wildly sprayed street car. Old EH Holden station wagons and panel vans were the ideal vehicle in which to be seen cruising the main street with your arm out the window , casually lifting a 740 ml bottle of beer to your lips. That was the image of a young man in a complete state of grace. Ready for any event, on the move. Older model Holdens such as the FB, FC and EKs were also plentiful. (Even in the early seventies, FJs and FXs were becoming a rare sight and even the most tasteless street driver would prefer one in mint stock standard condition). The bench seats were ripped out and replaced with those of the bucket style, the column shift was considered daggy so a floor shift was installed, preferably with an eight ball for your grip and, most importantly, the large, ungainly steering wheel was replaced with a bulbous racing wheel the size of a beer coaster. Fat tyres and mag wheels were a must, the front should be lowered and for the serious driver, a spoiler at the back. Actually, you couldn't help but notice that the more serious hotted up cars were always driven by blokes who were always alone. It seemed that they must have forgotten to put a passenger seat in or that the car was only perfectly balanced with the one occupant. Or perhaps it was the last stages of a real obsession and the driver could not bear to share the car with another person and, he could only risk taking it out of the garage for a weekly drive around the town and even then, only after a thorough waxing. Other raised lowered, sprayed and overhauled looks favoured by the seventies boy/man included the Mini panel van, the Morris Minor panel van (Stuart Perera tells me its called the traveller) and the Bedford van (with dope smoking thrones in the back). Only the top of the range could afford the Ford Falcon GTHO's and the SL Toranas. Even with these production line Hoon mobiles the emphasis was on power at all costs and the idea of brakes being able to restrain the beasts was not all that cool a subject to bring up.
Ultimately this heady cocktail of booze, runaway hormones, rough sex and tricked up V8 vans that had inferior brakes led to a horror road toll. I don't know how I made it through my teenage years and knew many people that didn't. I always seemed to be a passenger in fast cars driven by people who were pissed or were doing a great job of pretending they were pissed in order to be in the same car as their mates. Fear sobered me up very quickly and all I did was hang on. A big night out was a trip to the Speedway where fights would break out all over the place randomly and the whole misty night stank of booze, spew, blood, petrol and burnt tyres. I remember riding back once at high speed bouncing around in the back of a hot FJ panel van. I kept yelling above the sounds of Black Sabbath that were belting from the tape player that it "felt a little bumpy " on my side of the car. Eventually, the car was stopped and, by torchlight on a twisting country road, we saw that the back wheel was holding on by the last thread of one solitary nut. There is one road I could have really gone down.
Those were of course, in the early years of legal limits for alcohol in the blood of drivers. People really resented it at first but the carnage on the road would be horrific if we still put up with the action that was considered reasonable only twenty years ago. Still, I would rather see a hotted up muscle car than a stock standard, clean as a whistle museum relic. Perhaps the Seventies individualised street rider will become a mainstream collectors item for tomorrows business tyro with some cash to drop before the tax year ends. It's good to see that South Australia and Queensland are still home to lurid street chariots that would never be allowed past the Roadworthy certificate testers gaze before he or she even ordered it up onto the hoist.

Friday, March 26, 2010

cars

This was published in February in the Adelaide Review...

We grew up in Mount Gambier with no car in the household. Well, you can walk everywhere really but it still made a trip in a vehicle a bit exotic when we were kids. You could get your licence at 16 of course. The road toll was something shocking but we all viewed the drink driving laws as a bit of an imposition that would soon go away. Everybody would come to their senses. The off roads around Mt Gambier were full of drunken drivers, farmers and their sons, hoiking it around the unsealed roads like they were on a rally, blind as can bats. Shickered! Molo!
Later on, we had a car parked outside our house, mum had gotten sick of the walking and wanted a bit of power. It was a Mitsubishi Colt, and then a Honda Civic. We were all leaving home as soon as we thought we could. My sister marianne drove off with a friend in a fantastic hotted up white Holden FB station wagon. My older brother had a great Holden HD and then a Ford Transit van with mag wheels. I had a Hillman Minx I found to be so embarrassing I left it by the side of the road one day when it broke down. A cop came around and I sold it to him for $20. The column gear shift had a funny kink pull to get it into reverse and the back doors flew open when I went around a corner.
Panel Vans were big among my friends. Morris Minors with wooden panels down the side and Holden EH and EJ models being popular amongst those who surfed the cruel and cold waves down around the South East. Those cars were ubiquitous. Did you know that Holden started in Adelaide and the letters in front of their various models until the 80s were the initials of members of the family?
Someone also found a purple Dodge DeSoto on a farm and scored it for less than a hundred bucks. It had such a powerful V8 motor , giant leather seats and very helpful holders for beer bottles down by your legs. We liked to salute each other with long necked 740 ml bottles as we drove up and down the main street anyway. We were in a tight spot and did the best we could to get some personal space happening. Toranas were murderous. Big engines and tiny brakes. A friend from school picked me up in a car his mother had bought him. A green Ford Falcon GTHO . The seatbelt was like that on a jet, going up straight over both shoulders.

In our late teens we got to know the highway between Mt gambier and Adelaide. It was always a drive into the unknown. Adventures, booze definitely, dope sure, , perhaps sex. We all piled into the car and drove for five or six hours, taking many breaks to water the long paddock by the side of the road due to the excessive amount of beer we drank.
At the end of the trip was a dramatic series of turns and twists in the road leading finally to the Devils Elbow. It was leaning into each other holding your breath moment as we careened into that turn. It was dangerous and exciting. Afterwards, it was a relaxed roll down the hill to the corner of Glen Osmond Road and Adelaide itself. My auntie Celeste was in the Carmelite Convent on the corner there. I had visited her with my mother on a few occasions and found it so distressing as they talked and finally tried to clutch each other through the bars in the room where the nuns were allowed to talk to people from outside. Later, things got more relaxed and they were allowed to move around in the secular world.I painted a little cottage there once. A place where someone could go during a “retreat”. The whole place had quite a Modernist feel to it. Open and full of sunlight. I visited her there later on , when there were only a few nuns left. It seemed to be quite an idyllic place for an older woman to live.

Now that entrance into Adelaide is a bit more relaxed. A straight descent has been blasted through some of the hard rock of the surrounding hills. Its easier for cars but apparently not so for large trucks. The previous winding descent had allowed for more serious gearing down and braking over a longer period with a heavy load on the back. Like a train ascending or descending a mountain with switchbacks built into the climb. Now its a long, slow ascent and then descent that depends more on the brakes. Perhaps the truckers need some pills to slow down nowadays? Something calming? A free herbal tea stall at one of the last truck bays before the descent?
The road and the tunnel are amazing constructions anyway. We don't have stuff like that in melbourne. Theres no hard rock. The tunnel for cars under the Yarra is a tube floating in silt!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

'74

"feels like its 1974
waiting for the waves to crash on the shore
but you're far inland
you're in funky denim wonderland
you and David Crosby and a bloke with no hands
....."
Robyn Hitchcock "feels like 1974"

What kind of wave was it? Some look back and say it was the wave from the future which came in the form of Punk Rock. I could just as easily argue that it was the wave of popular music , drawing its' energy from deep in the past that finally broke into white water in that year. Ever since, we have just been paddling about in the shallows. All the forward momentum is still derived from sources deep in the past. The current scene is reeling from successive blows of wild, uncontrolled technology that leaps faster and faster out of anybodys control. Have you seen that great new Joss Whedon show “Dollhouse”? Its about NOW!

In the world of music ,1974 was a year of desperation and exhaustion. David Bowie was yet to have a hit in America and released "Diamond Dogs" (following the previous year "Alladinsane" and the covers collection, "Pinups") as well as the double, "David Live." Miles Davis released "Get up with it" and didn't appear in public again until 1981. Lou Reed released the live metal run through of his Velvets nuggets ,"Rock'n'roll animal" as well as "Sally Can't dance". (Meanwhile, he was working away on "Metal Machine Music " which he released the next year at the height of his dark glamour. A double album, each side consisiting of 16.01 of white noise. I remember sitting with pals who had shelled out all their pocket money to buy it, listening over and over and staring at the brilliant, cruel picture of Lou in his metal glory on the cover, trying to hear what Lou said was in the grooves. Man, that was a cultural event!)

"Feels like 1974
Syd Barretts last session
he can't sing anymore
gonna have to be Roger now for the rest of his life......"


Why not 1975? Well it was all a lot more organized then and soft rock ruled the scene. 1974 was the last of the wild, untamed times. The energy of the psychedelic years was still being felt. People still acknowledged a high, moral "underground". Stadium rock was settling in. Led Zeppelin were touring and in the middle of recording "Physical Graffitti". Bad Company were lording it over the scene in the middle of their brief, two album peak period. America crawled with British acts on tour such as the Climax Blues band, Wishbone Ash, Fleetwood Mac and Foghat. (Much like , on a tinier scale, Australia is crawling with woodchuck post rock acts today). Weird offshoots that went off unpredictably were the arrival of Bob Marley and the Wailers with their breakthrough "rock" album "Natty Dread" as well as Burning Spear releasing the heavy, mystic "Marcus Garvey". (Black music in general was and is always more in touch with the original, deep driving energies of music. Disco was really pumping out brilliant regional variations such as the "Philly sound" as well as George McRae coming from the South). The New York Dolls released "Too Much Too Soon", (produced by the Shangri La's Shadow Morton). Roxy Music released "Country Life" and Bryan Ferry put out "another time, another place". The Stooges were exhausted after making Raw Power and Iggy Pop would pretty much disappear until 1977 and "the Idiot". The Blue Oyster Cult released the last of their true mysterioso metal albums in "Secret treaties". The Allman Brothers were at a standstill. With Duane and Berry Oakley recently dead , Dicky Betts and Gregg both released solo albums. Other events included the arrival of the Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy leaving the Partridge family, the demise of the Faces with Rod Stewart leaving to totally concentrate on his solo career, the release of the second Lynyrd Skynyrd album, Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the moon" completing its second year of what was to be a decade in the American album charts, the death of Duke Ellington and the release of what was to be the last Tim Buckley album, "look at the fool".It was all happening in a weird kind of slow motion. Like an arty surf movie of the period.

"Rebel Rebel was your favourite song
on the Archway Rd where it all belonged
all those molecules of time that you thought you'd shed forever"


2010? Well , its a shadow of a lost world. Quite brilliant in the right light though. People always find ways to get lost . Much weirder in a way. All the old world charts and measurement practices are still around though. That makes it confusing. The Beatles. (In 1974 they were Nowhere!) Depends where you’re coming from. The past ...or....A thousand atomised niches all cocking a mean and cool snoot at the “others” who are all wrong. Everybody spiralling deeper and deeper into inner space. Myspace.....Face book....Friendface! At least back in those ancient , high waisted, flaring days people stood up for themselves. Now , nobody wants to be in the centre. Pity that. Come on! Even the stupid acts from 74 were unabashedly stoopid. Are there any really bad tracks out there nowadays? I mean terrible. Not like Miles said it either. Shit! Good taste and musicanship are the worst poles for any scene to revolve about. Shit songs! Dud poses! Great sounds! The boy can play!


"Pythons last series and the Guardian said
'the stench of rotting minds'
but what else could you smell back then?
you didn't have too inhale too hard
you could smell the heads festering in the back yard".

feels like its 1974
ghastly mellow saxophones all over the floor
listening to Led Zeppelin in Grimsby.....oh Christ...."


Now I don’t know if we’re totally back in some sort of new stone age or not. Certainly music is all folk again. But without the people. The actual folk. Or the fevered airwaves. It was all a bit over stretched, blown out and over pimped and primped during the 80s. You know the way commercial radio djs talk- nobody really talks like that! Bring back Wolfman Jack! People still love it. It was just exagerrated to a phoney level of importance. The electric charge and the smell of money has long gone. Its not even underground. Optical or something like that yeah? Spilling around and about somewhere in the belly of a rusting tanker I suppose. Out in some antarctic clime. Finland and Iceland is where they keep the new servers isn’t it? Cloud storage. Far away anyway. For the story. Fuckology I guess.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Scoreboard. Underlying trends. Essays into weird countries, places we got to first.

In the beginning, was the Moodists who played around in melbourne from 1980 to 1983 and then were based in London from 1983 to the end of 1988. We played it slow and tense and for real. Our peers were the Scientists and the Triffids and the Birthday Party and the Laughing Clowns and the Go Betweens. That whole bunch was scrambling for space and time and were incredibly competitive with each other. Once we made a bit of a crib, we could relax with each other, until then...... We were the best! People we looked to were Tav Falco and Panther Burns, Hank Williams, the Doors, Alan Vega, Jerry lee Lewis, the Cramps, the Gun Club, the Fall , Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown.


Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes, London live sets 1987/1988. Songs included covers of Gram Parsons, Gene Clarke, Lou Reed , Fred Neil, Tim Hardin, Kris Kristofferson, Sir Douglas Quintet.
"there’s a picture of serge gainsbourg on her wall"…." From 3 dead passengers in a stolen secondhand Ford. Written 1991, recorded 1992.
"the confessions of serge gainsbourg"…instrumental b-side of "I’m gonna release your soul single. Recorded and released 1994.Featured sound effects of a day in the life of a pop idol. Drinking, laughing to himself, snorting something, having sex ( to wild applause) and finally flying off ( in the Concorde)
"the soft’n’sexy" live shows . Acoustic and bass-less sets played in Melbourne and Sydney during 1991/2. Exploring textures such as multi vocals ,percussion and strings , taken to the fullest extent on the album "the soft’n’sexy sound" in 1995.

Songs covered during 1992/4 included "money changes everything" by Cyndi Lauper, "pillow talk" by Sylvia Robinson, "32-20 blues" by Robert Johnson
Songs covered during 1995/1997 included "penetration" by the Stooges , "showbusiness" by AC/DC , theme from S Express by S Express and "alabama bound by the Charlatans".
Songs covered 1998-2002 included "Joanne " by Mike Nesmith, "Seattle " by Bobby Goldsboro, "1-2-3 by the Len Barry Combo, "I’m five years ahead of my time " by the Third Bardo "the gift" by Lou Reed , "don’t fall in love" by the Ferrets and "it never rains in California" by Albert Hammond.
Songs covered 2002-2006 include "the crystal ship" by the Doors, " diamonds fur coat champagne" by Suicide "the Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs, "whos that lady?" by the Isley Brothers, "Boogie Oogie Oogie " by A taste of Honey, ", "heavens in the backseat of my Cadillac" by Hot Chocolate, "Coz I luv you" by Slade, " "Jeepster" and "telegram Sam" by T Rex, " Luther the anthropoid" by the Jimmy Castor Bunch, " the bogus man" by Roxy Music, "sorrow" by David Bowie, and "who of us two" by M.

First ep by Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes (1988) produced by Barry Adamson.
"I was the Hunter and I was the prey" and "my life on the plains" produced by Phil Vinall who also worked, subsequently, with the Auteurs and Placebo and was brought to Australia , years later, to polish Magic Dirt.
"The Softn’n’Sexy Sound" produced with old compadre and live mixer for the Moodists, Victor Van Vugt, who also worked with Beth Orton, PJ Harvey.
During the live shows to play this album, a Jim Morrison act was hired to open in Melbourne and Sydney. Diiferent actors. Melbourne got revolutionary Jim and Sydney got stoned Jim. Other opening acts during this period included Melbourne poet Peter Bakowski, 70s Melbourne prog legends Mike Rudd and Bill Putt (Ariel/Spectrum) , the Dirty Three, Augie March, the Whitlams, Custard, Malcolm Hill.
The Devil Drives recorded in Melbourne and mixed in London in 1996 by David Ruffy and several players in the then thriving drum ‘n’ bass and trip hop scene. The single , Feelin’ kinda sporty, recorded and mixed in the same., "remixing" kind of attitude, by Andrew Duffield and Phil Kenihan in Melbourne. The Devil Drives also featured lounge thug Frank Bennett on vocals on three tracks. A flute player was also added to the band at this time.
Other producers worked with include Tony Cohen, Phil McKellar and Adam Rhodes.
Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes appeared at the Livid Festival in Brisbane in the years 1990/1/2/3/4 and 1997.
They also appeared at the Big Day Out in the years 1992/3/4/5/7 and 1999.
TV shows appeared on include the Andrew Denton Show, hey hey its saturday, the Shaun Micallef Show, scheduled to appear on the Mick Molloy Show the night it was axed, Roy and HG, Club Buggery, Live and Sweaty, the Midday Show, the morning shows with Bert Newton, and Denise Drysdale, Recovery, Sale of the Century, australias dumbest musician, the arts review show, Jimeoin, tv video smash hits and Rage. Also appeared , over two episodes , as myself, on Neighbours in 1997. Many others also.

Book published 1997."It is written,baby" ( title taken from a song on the "soft ''n sexy sound" called "the birds and the goats". The book was a collection of song lyrics with annotations provided as to what I was trying to say or where it began. Intended intially to be a simple song book with chords and lyics. The annotations were inspired - as a mode of talking out of the corner of the page - by those of Richard F Burton for his "Arabian Nights" .

The stories were accompanied by images by Tony Mahony who has done every cover for our albums save the first two and "keepin' it unreal". He has also done MOST of the videos.
Tonys covers for us have been hand drawn or hand created collages . No photoshop skills involved. Old school attention to details.


The art happening. 2007 . The BEWDY OF SPEED. Hour long show at the Melbourne Arts Centre. Audience in the middle. Performers all around them. Each performer plays a song, one after the other. The Lurid Yellow Mist, Plutonic Lab, Penny Ikinger, Joe McKee from Snowman. The audience was trapped. Images on three screens from the Mumeson Archives from Sydney. Inspired by Futurist art and manifestos. People at the back of the crowd would suddenly be at the front.No talking or explanation at the beginning , middle or end. Finished with us all playing Miles Davis's "IN A SILENT WAY".

The "narrative show" - "POINT BLANK" and its sequel "LIVE IN HELL" were both performed at the Butterfly Club in Sth Melbourne. POINT BLANK also made it to the Adelaide Cabaret festival twice and the Sydney opera House. Not Cabaret, not "unplugged" not just a gig. Each show an hour long narrative about a performers heroic journey onto the stage and then , once taken into the eye of the world, subsequent life in hell.

This was the show that took a lifetime to get together. The story and the skills.

There will be another show in 2010. This is more about the songs that destroyed me. It called "MC BITS - songs that destroyed". I was a nice kid, then I heard some music and it all got fucked up.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

indie - the genre - towards a definition?

This was published in MESS and NOISE last year.


Its an indie indie, indie ,indie, indie world. Well from my couch it seems to be . Everythings gone indie. The banks tv adverts are all indie. Croaky faux americana folk music and young people bending and folding computers. McDonalds runs an indie line, to compliment its historically untrue heritage line where old people remember the days when they met and ate apple pies under the Golden Arches. The time is ripe for an indie Hitler I think. people go for anything as long as it seems right.
The aesthetic “indie” was invented by the Manson family in Death Valley in 1967 or 68. It was a slow, organic process. Strange that such a do it yourself kind of aesthetic was born right next to the Hollywood dream factory which was still, but only just, under the control of the studio bosses. Manson and Hopper kicked the doors down and made the world safe for George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and the Hollywood blockbusting teen pics we have a choice of today.
Dialectical I presume. They were butting up against their opposites. All the slick hustling of Hollywood led to the Manson Family getting their own precious thing together. They always said they got messages from the Beatles who had gone all indie themselves and locked themselves away from the filthy general public and issued records at a steady rate from their studios in London. Must have seemed very exotic and other worldly to the family as they sped around the sand dunes on their buggies, practicing manoeuvres for the coming race war. They must have also looked to the Monkees who were a nearby, dream factory merging of the Beatles and Hollywood. The times were so kinetic, The Monkee model actors had ideas of their own and connections to the real world of murky underground ambitions . This gave the show a bit of a low spark. A weak charge .Charlie even auditioned to be a member of the Monkees. Still, their band in a house as a show style had a kooky correlation to the Family down on the ranch. The Monkees also had a lot in common with the plays of Eugene Ionesco. People were in a room, permanently, there was no time, and occasionally other people walked in. The rules were set and they had to remember them over and over and act accordingly. Very indie.

The basic thing about indie is to be piss weak. I don’t mean this in a judgemental way. I mean in a qualitative, forceful way. I mean conviction. Its a desultory boot of a tin can along the ground with your hands in your pockets, thinking of what you didn’t have for breakfast. This is as opposed to putting on some boots, warming up with a few laps and giving a football a decent roost towards the goals. To be lacking in energy, or any sense of power, is very indie. Bloodless, no show of emotion. To never approach anything from a head on direction. Shrugging everything off. Its a bit like the ideal state of women in upper class Victorian England. They had to be sickly and weak. It can be scary, in a creepy kind of way. Rarely is though. Strangely contrasting with this detachment is the insistence on trusting intuition and the truth of first reactions. Almost Bruce Lee like in attitude. “Don’t think! Feel!” Rehearsing is bad as it leads to phoniness. Oh, and play only to your friends. Outsiders are to be mistrusted. Waco! The best part of the indie state of mind and body is the constant spinning of the wheels. Going over and over the same constructions and arrangements. Such a thin pool of ideas allows anybody to come in and get on the bike straight away. Such a passing parade occasionally lets new , weird blood in and then mistakes are made. These mistakes are the great leaps forward of indie-dom. Well, piss weak leaps up in the air with an accompanying, thin and weak “woo hoo!” . After that brief break for freedom its all back down, ankle deep in the puddle again.


To make an indie song or sound , make sure the drummer does not play the snare or the cymbals. Hi Hats are okay. In stiff double time . Indeed, the drummer should be so stiff as to be in constant danger of rocking right off the stool, such is the perpetual , petrified motion that is engaged. The bass player should have a large amp, an odd looking and weak sounding guitar and an antique white, curled guitar lead. They must always play the 3rd note in the chord, this gives a sad, piss weak melodic quality to the playing and keeps it away from the drums. The guitar is thin and trebley and one foot is pointed in a funny way to show the inner anguish inside an otherwise static performer.
Lyrics are so personal as to be unknowable by anyone but very close family. They are delivered mostly off mic and very uncompressed. Real!

I guess the indie field suffers because it has lost its otherness. The big blocking out the sun style mainstream has been obliterated by technology and the indie led rush to the margins.
Indie is adrift. On its own. Its own piss weak turf. There is nothing in the middle. Just a thousand mainstreams. And they are all flying apart too.

Personally I like some indie things. Ginger beer , liquorice, and....er well , the fact that you never hear AC/DC or bluezak at any of the shows. It is a scene with quite a vast and wild inner life. It actually contains some roots, strangely enough. Trace elements of real heroic stuff. Yes, I much prefer that to the parts of the scene that profess roots but use that as an excuse to wail so emotionally off the dial that they float off the earth itself. Too unreal for me, all that pain. Jeff Buckley, goddam your fruity pipes!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

grabbin' handfulls of the shit

Sunday nights playing at the Retreat in Brunswick area bit of a treat. One of those rooms that gets a great sound. (No place for trembling acoustic turns though- you would be EATEN by the CHAMBER!). People come to the place to sit and listen to MUSIC and thats a thing to be marvelled at and encouraged in this crude, fly by night world.
The amazing Go Go Sapien did a set first. All dressed in white. Drums,bass, guitars times two and keys. All singing. Springsteen-esque pop arrangements with stunning, dynamic block chords and big choruses. Will can only write classics. Emily is a powerful , engaging presence, the rhythm section turns on a dime for the complex arrangements and Call Walker places cool licks and turnarounds and solos at will where they have most effect, and sings , all the while dressed in a white knee length kaftan/hospital dressing gown. Something (off) white (and crumpled) anyway. They all carry it off so well. Can't fail to be a name dropped by many trendy lips within the next few MONTHS!

Then we did a long set from 9:00 to 10 :45 or so.
I was playing my 12 string OLP. I love my OLP. It passed the test. So LOUD, though the sound has a PLANGENT quality. And you know that is needed sometimes. I need it all the time now. It melds with Stus Rickenbacker in a most pleasant way.
I turned around and was shocked to see Stu Thomas wearing white sunglasses a la Corey. Stu is a fashion daredevil.
We played about five brand new , unrecorded songs and they have now all passed , unscathed, and emboldened into this dimension. We have to run them around the fields a few more times before recording. Some have very delicate dynamics. Highly strung though. Suspended, augmented , flattened, sharpened AND diminished in the chordal voicings. Going for TUNES , grooves and choruses. Two guitars , bass and drums. MIDNIGHTS CATS, I DON'T WANNA KNOW MYSELF, MT GAMBIER NIGHT, PLAYIN' CHICKEN (thats a song about playing another song- rock'n'roll is where I hide) and FIELD RECORD ME were the tunes we let fly with. All peppered through the set. We continue to rehearse and arrange the stuff .

A few years ago I was talking to a keyboard payer and asked about how he chose the notes he was playing. He told me he had once had a teacher who just sat at the keyboard and said to him , "JUST GRAB HANDFULLS OF THE SHIT!"

I found this to be incredibly inspiring and use it as my credo for writing and recording and performing music. I grab handfulls of the shit. We did a song on "we wuz curious" called " crime and underwear". It was a song about losing your voice or you ability to articulate things ar at least, your conviction. I sing " I used to sit at the table and grab handfulls of the shit! I COULD grab handfulls of the shit! Now I dunno- my reach is longer but my hands are soft! Its like I know what I'm touchin' and it spooks me! All I knew was the beginning- now I'm fixed on the end! i was hurlin' thunderbolts at will!"

It was a song about turning the corner.Artistically.The world our music goes into, thats another story that I cant really influence. Playing shows in clubs to people who come along and take a ride with you for a while. Even though you're grabbing handfulls of the shit and throwing out a lot of new stuff, thats great!

We'll be back at the Retreat on Sunday 28th March at 9pm again

Friday, March 12, 2010

shaping some soundz

Slowly slipping into some kind of shape as far as the new sounds and songs are coming. Originally I had in mind to do a quite acoustic recording with the wooden twelve string and some bass xylophone ( kind of like a deep wooden Marimba sound but less tinny at the edge of the tuning). I was listening to some Harry Belafonte records which had this minimalist instrumentation and vocals recorded with great mics in big rooms. I wanted more voices and vocals. Then I started to rehearse the songs with Clare Moore and then Stu Thomas and then with Stu Perera. The more the whole band pitched in it got stronger. Turns out we might be doing a twin guitar , drums, bass, rock album. My kinds of songs though. Plenty of jazz styled voices and inversions in the chords. Might do two versions of a couple of songs as they could benefit from a different instrumentation and tempo. I’ve also been experimenting with electric twelve string guitar on these band sessions. A friend in Mt Gambier handed me an IBANEZ ARTIST series 12 from the late 70s or early 80s. He said I was to "take it away and have fun with it". ( I interpreted this as loaning it for a while). It weighs as much as a bass and the tuning is volatile ( going both sharp and flat at will on a couple of strings) but the SOUND is BIG. Like a Les Paul twelve. Played it at a couple of gigs and it sits so well with Stus Rickenbacker six. I had to keep tuning it though and , personally, I can’t stand to see musicians constantly staring at their tuners during and after every song in a performance. So I searched for a more reliable twelve electric and got myself one. An OLP. Its like having a Telecaster style 12 and it holds the tuning. We are starting to play a lot of these new sounds and songs live and I am really excited about it. When you perform songs live it seems to require an intense focus and concentration that a hundred rehearsals could not give you. It burns the arrangements into your mind and you get used to the form and can afford to play around with points of stress and dynamics within the songs. I want to put the songs to tape after that.
Went to see Pavement play in melbourne and enjoyed the night immensely. I ran into a couple of them at an airport in Adelaide and we got talking. I also learned they were wanting the MOODISTS to play at ATP in Minehead in MAY 2010 but were told we weren’t really operating . Hey, someone could’ve asked!
I had both my twelve string guitars as they had been getting set up for me. I couldn't leave the one my friend lent me in the car so I carried it with me. Went to meet a friend in a Melbourne bar. (The Carlton Hotel in Bourke st) and the dumb bouncer told me to put in in the coat check area. There was not enough room to take your "baggage" into the pub. I debated the issue for a half a moment and then left to go to a more civilized joint. Security staff run the world . And they are as dumb as fuck! I carried my guitar with me to the gig. We joked that I could stand side of stage a la the final scene of Spinal Tap, waiting to be invited on for a jam......

Pavement are very nice people and the show was full of the kind of freaked guitar playing I really love. Gees, the percussionist talks a lot. Of. And why isn’t Stephen Malkmus dead centre stage? Just some thought! They are a real cast of definite characters. A strange group dynamic I hadn’t seen before. An event horizon, a promising void at the centre (created by Stephen Malkmus' ambivalence / avoidance toward it) that some members try to fill. People love the wilful irrationality of it all. Very post punk in all ways. All through the show, despite themselves, they got locked in a groove and it was great.Stephen Malkmus has charisma, great tone on his guitar and in his voice and lyrics. And great moves. Very loose and fluid. And thats for a fellow who is always painted as to be ultra white. Hell, as a unit, they have it. Or is that had it? Seeing as they're back together in a van for a year I guess thats more of the present tense.

Monday, March 8, 2010

in julia zemiros comfort zone - adelaide festival-lone wolf

The studio was a dripping ,swampy mess of leads and upturned electrical gear as we tried to drain the water from all the circuits. Pre amps, compressors, power amp, mixing desk, speakers, hard drives , keyboard. The water flooded in during the big hail storm mini typhoon. the Stones , which WERE as big as golf balls, plugged up all the gutters and the water found a way in any how it could.
We were out. Drove home through Hills streets full of leaves and branches chopped from the trees by the ice stones. Did all we could, wait a week or so to turn something on.

Flew to Adelaide to do a show at the Spiegeltent.

The Adelaide show was “The Comfort zone with Julia Zemiro”. the host of SBS show “Rockwiz” had an hour session with a performer at the Spiegeltent. The Rockwiz band was there. James Black, Mark Ferrie and Peter Luscombe. We were to have a chat, then I’d do a song by an artist I liked, then a bit more of a chat , then another song by a favourite artist, then a song of mine with a chat, another song and a chat and then I was to choose one of 3 songs to “workshop” with the band in front of the audience. Give them a bit of an insight into musicians talking to each other.

Before the show we had some dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Somebody ordered Crocodile and Bean sprouts. (We were all sharing). I had a few small bowls before everybody began shoving their personal spoons into the communal dishes. I can’t abide that and put my chopsticks in a cross pattern over my bowl. The food was dead to me!

Back at the tent, Julia started the show with a monologue. then I went on and we chatted about stuff. I’d had to provide some “personal” photographs of my life as a teen etc. I provided one of me in a country league football team in Collingwood jumpers at Victoria Park in the 70s. A few other stoopid ones as well. I did my best to keep things flowing towards a “shop“ area.

SONG 1-  I chose “alone again or” by LOVE from “forever changes”. Because I KNEW IT on the guitar and with the vocals. I talked with Julia about LOVE and the West Coast sound I loved . the early psychedelic scene in LA and San Francisco.

SONG 2 --”Lament” by the DOORS from “an American prayer”. I gave the audience a bit of a thrill with this one. A long poem by Jim and set to music by the surviving Doors in 1979.
I got to talk about Jim and how great his conviction was and how people mocked him for his boldness and pretension. His greatness!
I read this from a long piece of paper. It worked. I did it in my show "live in hell".

The audience has no real warning who the guest for each of these shows are. They are there for the Julia Zemiro factor really. A theatre kind of crowd? This song / poem put them to a test!

SONG 3 --Night  of  the Wolverine .”lament “ ends with the words “I sacrifice my cock on the altar of silence!” . On that note I picked up my guitar and started of the next tune. I like to play it in a more light funk style . On the one. I set the groove.

SONG 4-- “lets  kill  god again”. JUlia and I talked more of my background and life growing up in South Australia. Leading to this song. I mentioned my auntie who as a Carmelite nun in a monastery in Adelaide for 50 years. the first 25 being in absolute confinement within the monastery, shut off from the outside world. Why wouldn’t I ask for God to be killed again?

We talked more of personal stuff and Adelaide stuff. i got to tease the band a bit for dobbing on me to Julia.

SONG 5 - “Ruler of my heart “ by Irma Thomas. (The other choices were Bob Dylans “Its all over now baby blue” and “redemption song” by Bob Marley. The latter I felt to be too rooted in the artists own life and that of the culture of jamaica for me to swan about in. Bob Dylans song had too many words.

I asked Peter Luscombe to give me a hip hop beat. Something like a Jay Z track. Jay Z being the king of New York. I asked James to boil the chords down to a minimum couple of figures and away we went. I went for a vocal delivery like Richard Widmark, a giggling psychopath. The words being very nice but i wanted to have a bit of trickery involved in the singing. The guy singing is a bastard, asking someone to come back, just for his own kicks again.


We had another chat and then we played “Rock ‘n’roll is where I hide”. I tried to explain about where I was coming from within this tune.

As a show, I really enjoyed it. Julia is a total pro and puts a lot into it. We sound checked the songs ( except the “workshop” track) a couple of hours before the show opened. Julia was there for all that rehearsing and we talked about the questions she would ask then.
I suggested a psychiatrists couch would be better for some of the more personal questions. The band are doing a different performer each night ( four or five shows a week) . they had already had Tim Rogers, Megan Washington, Paul Capsis, Lior and Claire Bowditch. Coming up, Robert Forster, Deborah Conway,Katie Noonan, Chrissie Amphlett.
They got a sweet ride with me as I am a hardcore, hard boiled entertainer! And I let them know!

After the show, I caught a set by the Necks . They were very good. Things about them nag at me. Like , why don’t they try a “when the levee breaks “ kind of a groove every now and again but - maybe they do! . I enjoyed them for what they did on this night. I was still hungry so I went up an alley to a pizza joint. these young hip hop kids from Footscray were there , having done a set at Womad (!). I felt at home in the garish flourescent light of the pizza joint. I walked back to my hotel with a coke and a pizza, feeling like a lone wolf. I liked that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1998 recording date with the ShawNuff Big band

One by one they came up the stairs,grumbling volubly about the fact that there were stairs to be negotiated at all and also about the difficulty of finding the studio.They were the ShawNuff Big Band.A Sydney based eighteen piece swing group in the classic style.I was there to record a track with them for a “meeting of the generations” type concept album.(to be called “songlines”).A whole lot of current artists (which equates with “young” )were being paired with a whole bunch of older artists (which equates with ,”you’ve had your fun,you’re messin’ up the vibe by hangin around,fuck off!”)I took the opportunity of being cast as the “young” person” with both hands as it wouldn’t really be happening in any other situation and I also thought it would be a bit of a stir.
A big band sounded like a real blast but,just to stretch us both a little,I picked a song from the mid sixties pop parade,”1-2-3”( by the Len Barry Combo) as the lyrics of a lot of their swinging repertoire didn’t really turn me on.It would prove to be a most enjoyable and enlightening session.Jimmy Shaw is both the drummer and the leader.A beret wearing,bespectacled little bull of a man.Seventy three wiry,tough ,fuck you years old.He had a very direct voice yet seemed to be speaking past you all the time.Rather like Phil Silvers in Sgt Bilko.
The engineer was a very keen young man who had never experienced the process of recording so many instruments at the same time.He was going to do his best to get each trombone or bank of saxophones recorded as directly as possible and also have a half a dozen mikes placed around the room to record everything in the ambience of that particular corner.All these could then be mixed together in the usual,orthodox way.The band all began to set up just as they played on stage which blew out the studio engineers carefully planned conceptual microphone placement scheme. Jimmy then told the engineer to go down the stairs and fetch the rest of his drum kit.He did so. Jimmys kit was an old Ludwig which he told me came from the late 40’s.Most people who talk up the value of their gear sling stuff like that at you but in this case,he really could been playing it since that time.The cases were all full of mismatching straps as the whole thing must have fallen apart and been mended a few times over the years.There were about five fellows under thirty in the band,the rest went from fifty to seventy four.This is in itself quite a achievement.You rarely get to meet mature musicians and get to see what sort of aesthetic or perspective has developed over such a long period of involvement in performing.In the rock scene they lose interest as all their peers settle down into a more straight life or they have to leave the scene due to health reasons.These fellows were all marvelous players and had been for a long time.They were very self possessed and self assured.They didn’t give a rats arse who they were recording with or what it was for.It was a rare opportunity to record themselves.The most hardcore of the bunch was the piano player.Having just had both hips replaced,the stairs were quite a major obstacle for him.After the powers that seem to be refused his request for a beer or two,he spent the session hunched over his instrument with his head down,barking out ,”how much longer is this gonna fuckin' take?” at every shadow that passed over his keyboard.He really had everybody spooked.
The notion of a “recording session” being an all important occasion took a further battering as Jimmy directed one of the “young fellers” to help him put up the bandstand flyers in front of each player.They were going to set up and play in exactly the same formation as they did in a live venue.It was just another gig.I only surmised that the fact they weren’t wearing tux’s was due to the fact that they’d thrown them away years ago and preferred to just blow,daddyo.
Mal,the arranger came in with what we in my outfit refer to as “the fly shit” but in more sophisticated circles is known as the sheet music.They warmed up on a tune familiar to them from their live shows and then prepared to lay down the track.None of them wore headphones except for the piano player and the bass player.(the most acoustic and soft instruments,to record them properly they must be isolated a little from the other,louder sounds)Everyone just followed the charts and listened to each other.I was in a booth by myself but could see them through the window.Nobody was looking at me.The tune came out charging at an incredible speed,I’d never had to record anything so fast!I couldn’t even fit the lyric in if I stopped and spoke them.I registered this problem with the arranger but he more or less told me to lift my game and off we went again.In all my experience of playing music the beat was always a solid structure around which everything else moved.In this case,everybody moved in swooping,flying and driving formation like a mad flock of birds.I had to really get in there and know the moves as well as everybody else.Everybody was up in the air and flying like the crowd of jitterbuggers in that great forties cartoon,”the three little bops”.I tried to listen for the beat but that seemed to be coming from a very foreign direction ,the swishing hi hats and ride cymbals rather than the bass drum and snare architecture I had been used to walking through.This was tough stuff.
The band went through the track again and then put it down onto tape in a performance they were satisfied with.They didn’t have to listen to the tape to come to this conclusion,they just knew how it had gone down.Jimmy was the only one who was interested in going into the control room to listen to a playback.He nodded his head at the end and expressed his opinion that “the bass was a bit loud”.The engineer informed him that each instrument was on separate tracks and that it could be adjusted in the mix.Jimmy got up up and walked out ,saying over his shoulder,”I don’t wanna know about that new technology!”I felt more than a little piss weak as I took three extra passes at the vocal after they had left.

FEARFUL WIGGINGS

2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail

you've been in my mind

June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp

rock'n'roll is where I hide/- 2011 "vintage classics/ re recordings" on LIBERATION

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SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL

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also available as a digital album

Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20

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available as a digital album too

We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20

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UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album

Keepin' It Unreal-(2006)-minimalist/lyrical vibes,bass and 12 string set - available $20 via Paypal

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Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25

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UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release

Heroic Blues- "folk soul" set from 2002-Available $20 via Paypal

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UNAVAILABLE ! Completely sold out!

Night of the Wolverine-1993-Reissued 2004 w/extra tracks from the future-available $20 via paypal

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It is written,baby-book released 1997- available $10 via paypal

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