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

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

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Current album Dave Graney and the mistLY LYVE AT BYRDS. Two albums in 2020, "Dave Graney and Clare Moore In Concert with Robin Casinader" and "Dave Graney and Clare Moore with Georgio "the dove" Valentino and Malcolm Ross". Two albums in 2019. ONE MILLION YEARS DC by Dave Graney and Clare Moore and ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? from Dave Graney and the mistLY. WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. 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 Dickey Betts, John Cippolina or Grant Green - but not in this lifetime, I know.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The splintering


Its been a worrying time of hotels and strange, nagging discomfort...
I was in Darwin at a friends place a little over three weeks ago and enjoying some company and food when I moved in the deck chair and felt a splinter prick my right glute.
The next day I was in bed and realized it was still there and was able to retrieve it. I extracted it. Pulledit. Ouch! Drama! I know!
But I am a rocker. Also, I was raised on the much feared east side of Mt Gambier and played for the evan more fearsome East Gambier Football Club. It hurt like hell but I showed no sign of pain. 

We returned to Melbourne and I did a Parlour gig and then a show in Adelaide  where again, I slid into a bed larger than my own and felt the presence of something still in the right glute. More splinter! I did another show in Kyneton and then started to google the possibilities of splinters working their way through your body to your heart or worse and then, just as I was about to dial the ambulance, I heard of a product called MAGNOPLASM which draws out splinters. I scored some from a dealer in Upwey and applied it. A really hard GOO which is placed on a bandaid and then onto the affected area. A week later it came out .

In the meantime I had struggled through solo shows in Nambour and Brisbane. Just like the novel by Julien Green, EACH MAN IN HIS DARKNESS.
Clare Moore and myself had also had a days and night out in the hitherto undiscovered area of reclaimed swamps and industrial land that is called DOCKLANDS. Apologies if the images are blurred but I was still dealing with THE SPLINTER and had not yet told Clare Moore of my perilous situation. It was all I could do to press the button on the phone.

We used to live nearby in Port and South Melbourne for a lot of the 90s. It was then quite empty and desolate, just the sort of cityscapes we love. We walked around the bottom end of Spencer st near the Waterside Worers Hotel which used to be the earliest place a hardened drinker could rush a growler in the city. Nearby was where I got a tattoo in 1981, because Chris Walsh and Tracy Pew and everybody else had done so...Yes, it was quality peer pressure.
We had a refreshing lemon squash in a pub that had been built inside a former police staation. People could dine in what used to be cells. The building was all in magnificent bluestone. We went two steps into what for a decade or more was a derelict hulk called THE DEAD LETTER OFFICE but was now a poker machine hotel. Two steps in and the security guard was barking at me to take my hat off. This was at 4:30 pm on a Monday afternoon. "Is this an RSL?" I asked. 
He replied "take your hat off..." 
"Do I have to respect the poker machines?" I asked.
"Take your hat off" was his reply. (Its for the security camers or facial recognition)
There was nobody in there but him.
We left and continued walking. We only wanted to look at what they'd made of the building. 
(It reminded me of the time I was refused entry to The Cherry Bar -a bespoke rock n roll cculture bar....- because I was wearing a  suit. The security had been told not to let "suits" in. ) 

We walked past the tower block which had caught fire recently. Cheap, flammable cladding. There was an inquiry and none of its recommendations have been taken up. Of course. Not.

Hopefully the entire area will become cheap apartments for vintage bohemians?

Still. The splinter was preying on my behind. I told Clare Moore of my parlous condition.She humoured me.

The show In Nambour  on the Sunshine Coast was just me solo. I borrowed Matt Walkers enormous metal guitar roadcase and took off with my 1958 Ibanez Archtop and a suitcase with pedal board and books and CDs in it.

I was wearing a grey showbiz coat with black satin collar. 
The car I hired was upgraded to a Toyota Landcruiser, like a yacht. It took me an hour to understand the electronic key and how you couldn't test if the door was locked if the key was in your hand or pocket as it automaticaly unlocked when that key was anywhere in proximity. This shit is TOO smart.

I played to a full house for two sets through an amp lent by the venue owner ( who is a member of the great SHIFTING SANDS) which was a Vase head through a Vox cabinet. 

Requests were for MORRISON FLOORSHOW, THREE DEAD PASSENGERS IN A STOLEN SECONS HAND FORD and ROCK'N'ROLL IS WHERE I HIDE. All of which I did. Someone had asked for DEEP INSIDE A SONG but I didn't feel like it. They'd asked for one of the others.

I had been worried about the Brisbane venue as I didn't think it was the right fit. We were to have been doing two nights there with the mistLY but at some point I cracked it and said I would do it all solo. Sometimes I get fed up with the amount of work - especially PR - that is put onto the musician to do for a show. Lots of venues are like this, I call them ROBOGIGS. Like Formule 1 motels. 

Anyway, I booked into my hotel and strolled up to the venue, the owner was heavily tattooed and looked beleagured with life. He asked me if I'd organized a door person. I left him with the idea he was to look into it. The venue looked like some sort of den in Amsterdam. I still felt pretty fresh.

I came back to the venue and spoke on the phone with an old friend outside on a bench in the sun as a rockabilly band pounded away inside. 
My friends Pascalle Burton and Ian Powne came along, Ian with a  Vox amp and Pascalle with a commitment to doing the door- and I hadn't even asked. What a champ! 
Pascalle and Ian are from a great Brisbane band called the Stress of Leisure.

picture Pascalle Burton

I played two sets to a pretty well full house. Brisbane people have a way of finding you. Venues chop and change so much its always stressful going up there to play. The young sound guy was great to chat to. He is from a band called REQUIN.

Requests were for FEELIN KINDA SPORTY and RAW POWER, the latter from a very drunk man.
I played songs from ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? as well as lots of older songs, unrecorded songs and covers of the Rolling Stones TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE and CHILD OF THE MOON.

Picture Melissa Field

My audience is vintage and scattered and I love it when they are able to tune in and turn up. Its not easy in the modern, atomized world to keep in touch with anything.

Oh, the second splinter had come out in the afternon before the gig. 

We are playing in Melbourne this Saturday night. June 29th. This is the city where we live and where we play the least.  This will be a great room and a full rock'n'roll show. Not like those other shows, PROPER!

Saturday June 29th - The Caravan Music Club - Bentleigh Special guest Sean McMahon
July 12th - THE GOV - Adelaide.Special guests The Sunday Reeds

Oh, work is continuing for our second album for 2019 and it should be out in November.
In the meantime I am looking for a venue to do a loose night in. A Monday or Tuesday night. Just fooling around with songs. Unstructured. If you know of any, get in touch. No ROBOGIGS. No publicity unless the venue wants to do it.

Also keen to do PARLOUR GIGS.  Set one up here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Blues People slash Cabaret

I was asked to take part in an event as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The event was one of a series called Liner Notes which are an unpredictable set of performances by a  chosen group of performers about a - usually - classic rock album. They have been running for a few years and Michael Nolan and Emily Zoe Baker who started it all up are really nice people so its usually fun.
I'd done one about five years ago, one of the earliest, around Bowis album Ziggy Stardust. You're basically asked to do something 'around" the album (or a particular song from it). To extrapolate, please. That time it was up in Brisbane and the crime writer Shane Maloney told a grim story of a drive into the country with his mates in the 70s with too much speed and only one 8 track cartidge in the car, Ziggy Stardust. There was some sort of stop to rob a petrol station involved as well. The audience laughed, maybe nervously, but still there was mirth. William McInnes had a few shandies and harangued the event and Bowie for a while. A mediocre performance/spoken word poet got up and did what they do. Michael did a great Bowie turn and I read out "the NAZZ" from fifties beatnik character Lord Buckley as I thought it was legit as Bowie sang "He was the Nazz!" in the title track of Ziggy Stardust. It's an exotic enough piece to carry an audience and it went over better than you'd think. Here is a  clip of the Lord Buckley himself doing it. I didn't have the command of the text to deliver it with such high energy but I rolled it out pretty straight.

I was asked to do a few others in years in between. One on the Doors but I demurred, saying I loved the Doors too much. Fleetwood Mac Rumours era? I hated that too much.

There was also the Bowie in Berlin shows early in 2018 where Michael Nolan was one of the singers and closed the show doing HEROES.

This time it was a show around the Blues Brothers, a film I must have seen once and didn't really like and the music of which seemed to be pretty badly reheated 80s style versions of classic songs. I felt like saying "yes" though as they are nice people and agreed to do a John Lee Hooker song, even though he isn't apparently on the album (but is in the movie).

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival itself is also a pretty unique thing.  Created in 2001 by Julia Holt who made it happen in an inspired way. Its still an area or vague meeting place of many types of performance where an audience allows itself to come in and be surprised. Kind of like the rock music scene once was. A large part of the audience just takes a chance on a show. It's really well funded and the venues are terrific. In the past we did our narrtive shows Point Blank and Live In Hell in Adelaide. There were other people like the Canadian Jane Siberry and the Parisian singer Caroline Nin doing shows regularly. At this festival it ws great to see people like Maude Davey and Stephen Oliver doing shows. Like any scene there was a lot of dross but it was an area which wasn't totally rigid in who was allowed in and what was or wasn't right to be there. I could do without all the gypsy jazz imagery and the burlesque, tattoos and perky, faux sexy shit but that's the general wallpaper of the scene I guess.

So I flew to Adelaide to do one song. No bags checked as luggage, just carry on stuff. I was to borrow a guitar and amp from the house band. It was  agreat hotel just walking distance from the Adelaide Festival Centre where we were to play to a  sold out room. The show started with the band all in black suits and bad wigs. They did a poor version of Booker T's "time is tight". I say poor only because the bass player didn't hit the unison groove with the guitar which makes it so tight and tense, he just played the root note and hung on it rather than drove it. So it wasn't tight as in tightly wound enough for me. Michael sang Minnie The Moocher in Cab Calloway tails and moustache and then changed into a Blues Brother suit and hat and introduced the show. I was sitting with chef, Maggie Beer and Festival director Julia Zemiro, who were both also going to do turns. Maggie was nervous as she isn't usually a musical performer. She spoke around Aretha Franklin. Author Andy Griffiths was the highlight of the showcoming on to Rawhide with a  bad cowboy hat and neckerchief and told  astory of reading his books to rooms of four hundred children, comparing it to the Blues Brothers getting stuff thrown at them in a Country bar. He talked of evil, horrible, funny  kids and even worse parents and read out some of the reviews they wrote of his work online. I hope he gets paid well in his day gig. He was terrific in this show.
Eventually I got up and as I walked on I felt bad about trying to play John Lee Hookers Boom Boom Boom and just talked into the mic about how it was true, white people couldn't really sing the blues. Except for Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald. I threw those names in just for a stir but it was a cabaret audience, pretty broad and jusst wanting a night out. I confessed I didn't like the film. I knew the music in its original form and there was nothing in this revisionist stuff for me. (I allowed it was marginally better than The Commitments).
I talked of the difference between Keith Relf from theYardbirds singing "I'm A Man" as some sort of young mans sexual yelping and Bo Diddley or Muddy Waters singing it when they've been called "boy" for such a major part of their lives. Yeah I had to tell the audience that it seemed that I was there to bring the story down to earth. I talked about Chicago and  Detroit being a  magnet for African Americans coming up from the Southern states looking for the work in industry which Henry Ford had promised them in the 1940s. (The Blues Brothers being filmed mostly in Chicago). I also talked of Dan Ackroyd probably coming from Second City in Toronto across Lake Michigan to Chicago and Lorne Michaels from Saturday Night Live also being Canadian. Michael had mentioned Belushi writing the script at Ken Keseys house and so I started talking about One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest and how that was directed by Milos Forman whose films were all produced and financed by Saul Zaents who had the jazz label Fantasy records which had some pop acts which he used to make quick money and one of these had been Creedence Clearwater Revival and how he'd taken ownership of the publishing rights to all John Fogertys songs - to this day - and how John retired bitterly in his early thirties but came back in 1981 with Centrefield which included a song called Vantz Cant Dance for which Zaents sued him  and how all the other members of Creedence - including his own brother - sided with Zaents against him..... Yeah I took things to a dark place - a void.

I didn't write anything down, I was just talking.
Then I read some words from LeRoi Jones from his 1963 book Blues People where he said the idea of white people singing the blues "seems as violent an contradiction as a middle class person singing the blues".
I read some from Charlie Gillets "the Sound And The City" witha  quote from John Lee Hooker about how many different names he recorded under. I wanted to say how much fun he would have been having : John Lee Booker, Texas Slim, Delta John, Birmingham Sam, Johnny Williams, and His Magic Guitar. He also many nicknames over the years, including the Boogie Man, the Hook, the King of the Boogie, and the Crawlin' Kingsnake. All these records on different labels under different names.

Then I read a poem from Amiri Baraka, explaining that LeRoi Jones changed his name to this at some point. The poem was from his book, FUNK LORE. The title poem, which comes near the end of the book and is part of a series all subtly involving pianist Thelonious Monk.

Funk Lore (English)

Blue Monk
We are the blues
    our favorite
    Where we been, half here
half gone
We are the blues
    our selves
    the actual
    the original
    the 1st
That's why we are the blues
    that's why we
      are the
    So dark & tragic
      So old &
      that's why we are
          the Blues
          our Selves
    In tribes of 12
    like the stripes
      of slavery
      our flag
        of skin
We are the blues
    the past the gone
    the energy the
    cold the saw teeth
    the smell above
    draining the wind
    through trees
    the blue
    leaves us
    the earth
    the sun
    the slowly disappearing
    the fire pushing to become
    our hearts
    & now black again we are the
    whole of night
    with sparkling eyes staring down
    like jets
        to push
        that's why we are the blues
        the train whistle
        the rumble across
        the invisible coming
        drumming and screaming
        that's why we are the
        & work & sing & leave
        tales & is with spirit
        that's why we are
          the blues
          black & alive
          & so we show our motion
            our breathing
            we moon
            reflected soul
 that's why our spirit
           make us
            the blues           we is ourselves
            the blues

I just wanted to do something clean I guess. I'm no good at cabaret. I do my own thing.

Julia told a story about being dragged into a reality tv competition show to duet on Jailhouse Rock which is apparently in the film.
A person in drag with two dancers lip synced to Aretha Franklins "Think" . I don't consider this performing myself but people loved it. They were up for a night out. They were starving! There was also a performance poet who spoke rapped through something. I am bad at listening to poetry anyway so I couldn't tell good from bad. I like experimental theatre and texts but most of all like to read poetry from a book. I love people like Pascalle Burton who use sound as well as texts. I mean, she puts in the work,  has the skills but hones it all to a point. I guess most straight performance poetry is all kind of a limerick turn to me, or rapping. But not very good rapping. Hey, I am ignorant of "spoken word". ( Such a lousy, barely functional description of an activity). Writers are not necessarily performers anyway, and shouldn't be made to do so. There is that often quoted verse by Yeats...

The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
The next day I had a wonderful  breakfast in the hotel and flew to Melbourne where Clare Moore picked me up and we drove for 90 minutes to Kyneton where we played to a  full house in a cafe in the main street called Major Toms. Keys, percussion and guitar and voices. Two sets.
We caught up with friends before the show and during. Matt Sigley runs a great book and record shop called Long Story Short across the road from the venue. I bought a Barry Humphries album, one by Country Joe, Little River Band and Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band.
We ate some roasted Brussel Sprouts and Caulifower and then did the show.
After playing a  set and a half I asked what people wanted to hear and a man asked for No Pockets In A Jumpsuit (1998) which I hadn't been near for twenty years. It was all still in me!
We drove down the highway through an incredible fog and arrived home at about 3am. 

Friday June 21st the Bison Bar, Nambour DAVE GRANEY SOLO Saturday June 22nd - the Bearded Lady, Brisbane.DAVE GRANEY SOLO
Saturday June 29th - The Caravan Music Club - Bentleigh Special guest Sean McMahon

July 12th - THE GOV - Adelaide.Special guests The Sunday Reeds

Thursday, June 13, 2019

More recovered texts. Words from an old drive.

More words I found while looking for something else. This was for a Brisbane magazine - now defunct - around the time of the album  You'Ve Been In My Mind. 2012-2013. After this album came the digital albums Play mistLY For Me, Night Of the Wolverine Demos, Once I Loved The Torn Oceans Roar - 90s demos part two, Fearful Wiggings, The Dames, Lets Get Tight, Two albums as members of Harry Howard And the NDE,

In the tradition of songs appearing years later with the same titles as albums in the past - we have recorded a song for release later this year called You've Been In My Mind. Its me on slide guitar and Clare on vibes with some magnificent mellotron by Robin Casinader. 

Thanks for the questions back then Dermot Clarke.

1. Your book’s been out for a year or so now. (1001 Australian Nights) Has anything changed?  New fans?  New doors opened?

People have been coming up to me and saying very complimentary and nice things. Just yesterday a music biz gent stopped me and barked " loved the book! I missed out on your career so it was good to catch up!" Things like that stay with me.
Other people sent very heartfelt letters and emails, as if we were old friends, and we were in some ways.
I am still doing some literary type events and write a column for the Melbourne (Adelaide) Review every month. 
In some ways it led to the title of this album, "you've been in my mind". 
I get squeamish when family or close friends mention my book, I scramble to change the subject. They have been in my mind. With around twenty five albums or so I have been opening my brain for a  long time. Its a public space!

2. The new album has a very specific tonal feel. In both production and playing. What were you aiming for?

Well we are in the same studio (Soundpark) and the same engineer (Idge) as our 2011 album of re-recordings "rock'n'roll is where I hide"  so we liked the situation and the approach. Hardly any overdubs, no layering , just panning the approximate placement of the different instruments.
I do most vocal takes once, maybe twice.
Recording songs the band knows their parts and getting a  performance. This time with unrecorded songs of mine. 
A pretty upbeat record. Where we master it, Greg Wadley is always getting out a Radiohead cd to use as some sort of a standard. I'm always telling him to get that shit away from my music. I make him play a  Bobby Womack best-of to tune his ears. 
My musical forms and feels are very much 70s rock. Southern rock, mid seventies Stones. Clean guitars and grooves. Vocals up front. West Coast in some ways with lots of singing.
I love to play electric guitar and love my 12 string. Worked a lot on getting a super clean sound out of a  solid state amp. 
Stuart  Perera's blazing lead is a real feature on the album. Stu Thomas is a great bass player. The album charges along for 6 tracks before we take a breath with "lifes a dream". That song is something I'm very mystified by, I think its something that , in a different music scene, all kinds of people could cover. I've only written a  few songs like that. 

The album does jump out of the gates, although a thing that interests me is, you’ll still throw in a not obvious chord change to keep us guessing.  You don’t go for the big major chord change – why is that?

 Well I did do that with the song "flash in the pantz" which I have been fooling around on for a  while. Its got big , blocked major chords and then flips to a suspended and a minor 7th in the chorus. So, in my mind I was looking for a very 80s, tightly wound and dampened feel for the verse. Something like the Cars or Midnight Oil. Then I wanted the chorus to be like something from a mad jazz musical, something like "its time" by Max Roach.

"we need a champion" is pretty much major chords as well. I am jealous of songwriters who can work with real primary colours. Ron Sexsmith and Robyn Hitchcock and Will Hindmarsh from GoGo Sapien.

Other songs on the album are more in my weird melange of what I would identify as Brazilian / jazz/ r&b chordings and voicings. I like music to be open.

Another quirk I’ve noticed is that your live shows have become Springsteen esque in length.  I don’t know how you do it. I’m a 45 minute man myself – would do less if I could.  What is it about the long show that excites you?  Life is short, there’s much to say?  Or a reaction against the more fashionable punk short sets.

I got too many songs! Over the last few years we've done two albums that were pretty retrospective in tone. "Supermodified

and "rock'n'roll is where I hide" . 

In the middle of that I had all these songs and was wanting to start to play them into shape. Usually just getting warmed up after 45 minutes!
A 3 hour gig would be great to do.

Tell me about Stu Perera.  An underrated guitarist if ever there was one. Beyond fashion.

 Stu joined us in 1998, after we finished with the Coral Snakes and Universal records. I saw him playing at a youth jazz workshop concert. I wanted to get a  band of teenagers. Got sick of talking to kids still at high school who were going to have to get their parents permission. Stu sounded great. I wanted to have a "beat combo" with clean and dry guitar sounds and simple songs. We did a great album for Festival called "the dave graneyshow" and he has been on every album ever since. A great guy. Loves jazz and Slash and plays all the time in bars in the inner city. Totally match fit.. He lived in his van in the street for about four years, holding down a job and doing gigs. Very well educated. He plays a left handed solid body Rickenbacker through a small Laney valve combo. He used to drive   a Morris Minor but has had his hot rodded Bedford van for a  while now.
And a final one.

Five decades of music.  It’s kinda insane.  One of the things that has always struck me is your and Clare is purity – you have committed to this life – no jobs on the side, etc.
Most people flake out.
What are you most proud of?  Come on, open up, brother.

Pride means hubris. An emotion I am rarely possessed by. I do love playing with the mistLY. I've leaned a lot from Stuart and Stu and Clare. Amazing players and very sophisticated sensibilities. Thats a bit of pride but mostly just happiness I guess.
Mostly proud of some of the songs I've written that I think could be played or sung by other people in other times. On this record I think there's "life's a dream" and "I'm not the guy I tried to be". On previous records there have been others of these "neo-standards". "Saturday night bath" on Hashish and Liquor 

and "don't mess with the blood" on Heroic Blues. 

The other songs on this album and the ones before it I am also proud of. They're highly tuned and stressed patterns of my own peculiar interests and blues. Very rich and strongly flavoured.
"mt gambier night" and "playing chicken" on this album.
My favourite songs I've recorded have usually ended the albums. Long, meditative pieces. Songs like "crime and underwear" from "we wuz curious

and "everything flies away" from "I was the hunter and I was the prey". 
So I'm proud of the people I play with and pretty much all of the work, some of it a little bit more than the rest. 

Cheers dave, I love the easy going, cocksure nature of the newie.  See you soon I hope.

Saturday June 15th-Major Toms, Kyneton(Graney and Moore)
Friday June 21st the Bison Bar, Nambour DAVE GRANEY SOLO Saturday June 22nd - the Bearded Lady, Brisbane.DAVE GRANEY SOLO
Saturday June 29th - The Caravan Music Club - Bentleigh Special guest Sean McMahon

July 12th - THE GOV - Adelaide. Special guests The Sunday Reeds

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Old questions but Great questions.

I've been having to archive and retrieve material from some old hard drives and came across this piece. They were questions from a story being pitched to a literary magazine from melbourne. Mustn't have ever happened. I don't know who asked the questions. They are very flattering and display a deep interest in my work. Thank you from the future!
Also, they reference the very last album we did as Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes which was one of my favourites and one I always thought got a bit lost with people. THE DEVIL DRIVES.
This was to be our swan song but wasour most ambitious and high reaching recording. When we were asked to get back with teh Coral Snakes in 2015 and do a show  around the 1993 album Night Of the Wolverine I was initially wary but said to the guy waving the cash, "I'd do it if it was The Devil Drives". He said he wasn't interested in that. (Turns out I really enjoyed the experience but I've never liked doing what people ask em to do. I also get really bored if people talk about that album. I like it and consider it to be really good work , its just boring talking about it.) 
The questions must have been sent in 1999. I answered a few of them and they are in bold.

Dear David,

As I mentioned last week, I've got a few questions about your work -- if you

saw your way to answering them, I'd be very grateful. A summary of the essay's

main points is enclosed with this email. Sorry if any of it seems too earnest,

or too flippant; it's nowhere near finished.

Many artists and writers claim to have been influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, but the one whose work comes closest--without even trying--is David Graney.

Common themes: a new aristocracy of the clever and skilful, that will overcome the rich and dumb; a kind of manliness that is independent of physical strength or prowess; a liking for hyperbole; an interest in style, which often shows up in a weird kind of hyper-irony; an awareness of a particular kind of power, similar to charisma -- a force of personality possessed by dandies, rock stars, furtrappers etc.

Points of difference: Nietzsche was obsessed with sickness, cultural and physical; a product of his times perhaps. He liked provoking people with ranting and overstatement, but Graney prefers a bemused detachment. Graney's body of work includes performances (concerts), whereas Nietzsche only survives in the form of writing.

Nietzsche: his life and work. He wasn't a nihilist. Or a Nazi. (Commentators: Danto, Kaufmann.) But he *was* a bad-ass. (Comm.: Nehamas, Staten.) The will to power -- what it is, how it works. Life as literature.
His sudden fame in the 1890s, after his mental breakdown: the world's first vegetable celebrity.

Graney: the dream-world of rock and roll. A unique set of influences (westerns, detective stories, the Charlatans and others, bluesmen, etc). The pioneers. Vocabulary: hipster speak, cowboy slang, etc.
An awareness of the singer/public relationship ('I don't know you exist' and 'Rackin up some zeds'). It requires a self-conscious distance; otherwise it collapses. It is the opposite of a dream (in which the ego identifies with everyone involved -- you are the judge, jury, executioner, victim, crime... as it were).

His public reception. On one hand: very open, willing to provide an erudite quotation or two on any topic. On the other hand: many music journalists apparently find his project strange and opaque; painful 300-word interviews that begin with
'So, who are you anyway?' or 'This is all a joke, right?'

Irony in pop music: mostly a grim affair, operating at the expense of the musician. (The multi-millionaire corporate creations who like to sing about how they "don't give a fuck about nothing".) A few nice exceptions-Frank Zappa, Devo, Regurgitator. But 'irony' is a grossly inappropriate description of Graney's work. Ditto 'posture' and 'parody'; they imply that he is not serious, when in fact he seems more sincere about what he is doing than most of the ARIA-chartists. The
search for a better description--'a sense of style' perhaps.

Dreams again: can you pretend to be dreaming, or have a parody-dream?

Performance: how different from writing. Graney's interest in performance, gesture, scent.

Fragments: Derrida once caused a stir by asserting that Nietzsche's work was essentially fragmentary. There is no key idea that will make sense of the whole thing after we discover it. If we came across a scrap of paper saying 'I, Nietzsche, really meant XYZ when I said ABC', this would be just another move within the game, not the finish of the game.

At first there seems to be no parallel with Graney. If you really want to know what he's about, you could just get him on the blower and ask him. But that idea doesn't really stack up.
Also: consider the assertion in Mark Dapin's article that Graney's friends don't talk about what he was like pre-1990 because they don't want to 'reveal the truth' about him. This gives a precise analogy with Derrida's remarks; such a revelation would be another element in the David Graney story, which is now bigger than any particular truth or untruth.

* First, some fact-checking: have you ever read any Nietzsche? (I've been

assuming that if you had, you would have mentioned it before now.)


* You often give generous credit to the people who collaborate with you (Clare

Moore, Tony Mahony, band members). On the other hand, many of the people who

turn up in your songs and essays are loners and individualists (like Warren

Oates, for instance, or the furtrappers). Do you ever feel any kind of tension

between these two aspects of your work?

Now that you mention it- hmmmm

* When you're writing, do you have an imaginary audience? That's to say, are

there any particular people that you are writing for?

Pretty much as unconscious as I can be.

* 'We took great pains to keep our scene wide open so as to enable anybody to

get in,' you write in the liner notes to The Baddest. How do you think your

scene has changed over the last decade? Do you think that the Australian music-

listening public has become more sophisticated; or stayed the same?

This must be a question from before the internet really took on. People have gotten sillier.

By the way, could I ask another favour? I remember reading an article on your

website, last year perhaps. In it you described a gig at the ANU, in which you

would raise your finger in the air somewhat in the manner of a tory politician

labouring a point. At one point a pair of underpants landed on your finger,

horseshoe-style. Do you know where I could get a copy of that essay?

I think thats the sort of thing I've been looking for in this hard drive.

Thanks again for your time. Have a good festive season.

Best regards,

Some artefacts from the era 

art Tony Mahony

art Tony Mahony

art tony mahony

ARIA award winning clip by Tony Mahony

Weird Times.

Okay, I found the picture that was taken at Beechworth in the Court House in 1994 that I alluded to in my last blog.
To recap, we were on a trail for Ned Kelly locations and the like and found ourselves in Beechworth Court House where Ned had been first arraigned, (but quickly transferred to Melbourne as people were too sympathetic in Northern Victoria). People were still touchy about even talking about Kelly, due to relatives of the slain policemen living in the area. You could get your photo taken in a few costumes that were provided. We got dressed up and the photographer then discovered he had to run home to get some film, leaving us there as seemingly part of the "exhibit". We were supposed to be "diggers" from the gold fields. We were standing in the dock - where Ned had stood. We tried to look grim.

So winter arrived like an evil change of scenery in Melbourne. 9-10 degrees in the day. We had a  gig in Darwin which involved us getting up at 4am to get to the airport by 5:30 . Oh it was dark, windy and freezing cold.
The flight stopped off in Brisbane and then got delayed for an hour so we had to race to the ABC in Darwin. Oh yes, Darwin in the months June-September is delightful. "The DRY". We left our scarves and coats in the van in the carpark in Melbourne and were getting about hours later in our lightest of shirts.

 (picture taken by Danny Walsh during the week and messaged to us)

We tried to tune into the ABC in our van as we drove to the station but just found a frequency playing Led Zeppelins "Stairway To Heaven". This did in fact turn out to be the actual ABC at Drive Time on a Friday... While we got a few mics sorted the announcer played another track, "LA Woman" by the Doors...
We went with the weirdness.
We played a couple of songs and made our way to the hotel in the middle of town where we were on the 20th floor. Some kind of hawk flew around in the dusk. A dozen of them.

On the Saturday we played two sets at the Railway Club, myself on acoustic 12 string and my archtop and Clare on keys. There was also a  drumkit set up so Clare got behind that for a few songs. One was "CODINE" for the late Mike Wilhelm and then a run through of "You're Gonna Miss Me Baby" for the late Roky Erikson.  RIP comrades. Both songs so much fun to inhabit. Otherwise we did a lot of songs from ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS?
The sound man told us crazy great stories of conspiracies and evil and the Sydney jazz scene. I was distracted for a minute and all of a sudden he was in the middle of a story about playing in the band at Elton and Renate's wedding in the 80's. He had to hide IN A SAUNA from the bachanaalian goings on.  Luckily a waiter passed trays of food and drinks through every now and again. But the Banks hunting widows to murder? Dunno...

The club has pool tables and an outdoor area which is an atmosphere of cool overhanging vegetation and candles.
We had a  great time playing. I met the kind of people who really love my music. Rough hewn blue collar guys. Truckers with huge hands. Just great, regular people who really connect with my stuff. I spend so much of my time thinking of regulation city hipsters who are just dilletantes for the most part. Like teen pop fans, dizzy for whatever shit is on the merry go round this week. These people come up and hug me and tell me how much they've gotten from our music - for decades. Its flattering, of course, and very enlivening and humbling.

When I put my first book out in 2011 and did some readings in libraries in suburban Melbourne, Newcastle, Maitland and Sydney, the library people would coment on how they'd never seen these kinds of men in their places before. 

We caught up with some friends on the Sunday. Darwin has lots of markets for exotic foods and fruits.  A strange boom and bust of a place. people kept telling us it was in a bust at the moment.

The place seems to be built on hard rock and thats further knitted together by tough mangrove roots.
The sea looks lovely but no one is ever swimming. Crocs, sharks, jellyfish, mangroves. 

It could have been so cool in a downbeat tropical style. Of course it was all flattened by a  cyclone in 1975 and rebuilt. The buildings are all smashed in the wet season and by termites too I guess.

As we drive home at night there are groups of first Australians walking around, however they like. If the lights and power went out here it wouldn't mean shit to them. They walk all over it according to their own ideas anyway. Clare thinks if they want to make Darwin really BOOM they should hand it over to the indigenous people. Less Gold Coast or Miami - make it blacker. Indigenous food, art, culture, time.

There are a couple of pre-cyclone houses intact. All the louvres and timber in the walls revolve to let the breeze through, as well as being on stilts.

With more plane delays it takes us all of Monday to get back to Melbourne - via Sydney. I read more LUCIA BERLIN all the way back.

Melbourne is dark, windy, cold  and the rain is constant.

On the Tuesday, a man shoots four people in Darwin central with a pump action shotgun. Its a town of 140,000 people. Everybody knew him or his family. He's in custody.

On Wednesday the Australian Federal Police raid the ABC  after shaking down a NEWSCORPSE jounalist ( for 7 hours in her home) and a (revolting) 2GB shock jock the previous day. Were they just smoke screens or alibis?

MOST PHOTOS by Clare Moore.

Saturday June 15th-Major Toms, Kyneton(Graney and Moore) SOLD OUT
Friday June 21st the Bison Bar, Nambour DAVE GRANEY 
 Saturday June 22nd - the Bearded Lady, Brisbane.DAVE GRANEY SOLO

Saturday June 29th - The Caravan Music Club - Bentleigh Special guest Sean McMahon

July 12th - THE GOV - Adelaide.Special guests The Sunday Reeds

Oh, I forgot. I'm keen on doing PARLOUR GIGS. I've done three or four and each have been different and enjoyable. Leaps into the unknown.

People have responded to my previous callouts by suggesting some venues that might appeal but this system is a bit different. People set up the situation/parlour/ backyard/room and invite their friends to come and hear me play. I dont do the setting up. You invite me.
This is an agency/app or system. Basically, with PARLOUR, a person applies via the website and offers to host a show and to organize to get 40-50 people along and I turn up and play. If its in Victoria I can come and play with my guitar and a mic through my amp, you don't need a PA. Elsewhere, we could work around that. I might just play totally acoustic or you could organize a small PA. So far I have played at a winery in an old shearing shed, someones back porch (with PA system and lights and opening act in front of a seated audience) and someones back yard. This is the link https://app.parlourgigs.com/artist/davegraney

Dave Graney and Clare Moore with Georgio "the dove" Valentino and Malcolm Ross

Dave Graney and Clare Moore with Robin Casinader - In Concert


Starts with a Kinksy groover sketching a 21st century populist tyrant who coasts in power on waves of public resentment at those on the lowest rungs of the ladder (He Was A Sore Winner). Sweeps across a sci fi terrain with nods to songs in the sand at the end of the world (Pop Ruins) and nods to the ties that bind in the underground communities (Comrade Of Pop and Where Did All The Freaks Go?). Songs about intense, long relationships, defunct technology that didn’t answer back, severe social status definition (I’m Not Just Any Nobody), people wandering through your mind as if it was a garage sale, the anxiety of the long running showman (wide open to the elements again) and ends with a song that’s “a little bit Merle Haggard and a little bit Samuel Beckett”. " Edith Grove! Powis Square! 56 Hope Road! Petrie Terrace!.. The Roxy! The Odeon! Apollo! Palais! Olympia! The Whisky! Detroit Grande!” Pop Ruins!"


ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? (The title comes from the chorus of “Song Of Life” ) is a classic rock’n’roll album. Classic if you lived through what has become known as ”the classic rock era” as it rolled out new and even broke onto the beachhead and morphed into punk. That’s the direction Dave Graney and Clare Moore have always been coming from. They have spent their lives schooled by and immersed in rock ‘n’ roll culture. Neither attended higher education and they dived in deep and kept swimming. From the Moodists through the Coral Snakes /White Buffaloes to the mistLY This is an album with their band, Dave Graney and the mistLY. Stuart Perera has played guitar with them since 1998 and Stu Thomas on bass since 2004. MARCH 2019 ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? 2019 album out on Compact Disc - available here via mail order...
If you are from outside of Australia and wish to purchase a Compact Disc copy of ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS? please use this button (different postage)



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

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

also available as a digital album

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

available as a digital album too

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


Keepin' It Unreal-(2006)-minimalist/lyrical vibes,bass and 12 string set - digital or as CD

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

Single album HASHISH available as a digital release

Heroic Blues- "folk soul" set from 2002-Availableas a digital album via BandCamp

UNAVAILABLE ! Completely sold out!

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