There are no good pics… [image from Sydney Morning Herald]
[From the "the more things change, the more they stay the same" files.]
The time was 1994 and, downunder at least, it was when the last great wave of gender feminist lunacy was peaking before sanity once more prevailed and it disappeared back up its own asshole to hibernate for a decade or so.
Reclaim the Night rallies were still drawing enough numbers to embolden some to splash porn stores with red paint and the great fear-n-loathing du jour was date rape…
I have previously written of Taqwacore in a blog post that has vapourised. I also briefly mention it here. Primarily Pakistan based, but it has spread elsewhere, as have the various bastard strains of metal. Music is a revolutionary force – you can have all the military interventions you want, but they will never seed social change like angry young folks with guitars. Deny it all you want, but the Sex Pistols did change the world.
Afghanistan has a little known rock subculture too. While not Taqwacore per se, Kabul Dreams echo the sentiments. Three Afghani kids from three separate tribes that spend most of their time butchering each other. There is hope. They have released an album.
The abortion that is Australian politics; Julia Gillard and homos; piracy, privacy, surveillance states and why Hollywood must be destroyed; islam, Geert Wilders and why Sam Harris needs to read more; and a shitload more.
Know Your Product, after (I’m) Stranded, is what people remember The Saints by. Those that are grounded in their culture anyway. No, Your product is the real depth. Awesome. A beast that burned too briefly.
Seriously, what is at stake is your right to interact; to criticise; to parody; to discuss.
SOPA/PIPA wants to give carte blanche censorship powers to the corporate sector.
No accountability. No responsibility.
The real target is you.
React or submit.
Hollywood creates nothing. Neither does the RIAA. Ask them – have they ever returned a cent to artists by suing dead people and single mothers? They will not answer. They are parasites. Dinosaurs that natural selection is removing from the biosphere. They have no function other than to serve themselves. Herein lies their desperation.
The tornado has passed. The last of the hordes that descend from mid December have departed. Orthodox crassmass, celebrated using the older Julian calendar, is on the 7th of January for most (6th for some). They have left; there is glorious silence.
The last high/low-light was a testament to the joys of the ubiquitous $2 shops that largely support the bulk of sweatshop labour in the third world. Ma pulled apart a crassmass bonbon with my 3 yo nephew and it exploded with an anticlimactic pop and the usual tissue paper hat and junk gift fell out which junior gleefully grappled and pulled apart. The “gift” fell out – a flimsy plastic case full of sewing needles. I thought one of the others was a bit dangerous for kids, a cork screw. But fucking sewing needles? In children’s crassmass crackers? Those wacky Chinese sweatshop entrepreneurs. No harm was done in this case – Ma was paying attention. But the lesson of the day is never trust anything you buy at those junk shops, especially where kids are involved.
All these people are dead bar the singer. They lived a richer life than you’ll ever hope to, especially if you’re a baboon. Back when music had real venom. When the neighbours could get told to get fucked and the cops were too scared to interfere. The carpets were sticky and there was a faint stench of vomit in the air that was blue with cigarette smoke. There was a real chance if you entered, you might not leave. The gutters of Sydney punk circa 1980, I present X, still the greatest rock-n-roll band ever. Weep at what you will never experience -
The Great One died earlier this year, magically at the age of 69. The man who painted with sound and ended his days painting with paint. As with his music, his visual art did not simply defy convention, it refused to acknowledge it.
The Captain was not like us – he was a precious idiot-god. Probably functionally illiterate, seeing music in drawings and drawings in sounds, I doubt anyone could have ever seen the reality he perceived – an endless source of grief for him, especially when bumping into immovable objects like Zappa.
He was without a doubt the man who poisoned me – life changed when at age 16 I had my mind permanently deformed by Doc At The Radar Station. I blaspheme by considering this his greatest work, alongside Lick My Decals Off Baby. Trout Mask is, dunno, beyond me, but still a masterwork, a communion for once a year perhaps, a sacred experience – black putty music. But Doc and Decals do it for me.
So, 35 years later, something all of us with fins have been waiting for, is finally being released from the vaults of Virgin records after being stuck in legal limbo. Bat Chain Puller is coming. There are many tracks from this that were subsequently re-recorded and added to later vinyl, much of it amongst the best of the best, like the sublime Owed t’Alex(raw live version, no doubt in a pub with sticky carpet and a faint vomit smell, the way I like it)-
Here’s a cut from Doc: Sue Egypt -
And one from Decals: Buggy Boogie Woogie (probably my all time fave) -