Long before the disastrous musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark
, Marvel released the concept album Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero
. The album featured everything from 70's rock
to a doo-wop tribute to Gwen Stacey, a theatrical track about Doctor Octopus
and the rousing title track
and Count On Me
. Rock Reflections of a Superhero has been recapped by comic bloggers like Chris Sims
, Gone & Forgotten
and Tales To Mildly Astonish
There's a new crop of Australian bands that take inspiration from old blues, but twist the music in a strange fashion. The trend may have started with CW Stoneking (Jungle Blues
, Love Me Or Die
), who channeled the old bluesmen despite being a young man.
Its continued on to Sydney's Snowdroppers
, who started out as a house band for burlesque shows
and kept that dirty sensibility up with songs like Rosemary
, Do The Stomp
, and their signature tune Good Drugs, Bad Women
(lyrics NSW). Frequent Snowdroppers touring partners Gay Paris
add a Southern horror twist (House Fire In the Origami District, My First Wife? She Was A Foxqueen!
) and an antic stage energy. Some of the bands relay on gimmicks, like Adelaide's The Beards
, who sing about how you should consider having sex with a bearded man
and point out that if your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two moms.
The Beards recently performed at the World Beard and Mustache Championships.
Horror-country-rockers Graveyard Train
have picked up the torch dropped when Sydney psychobilly masters Zombie Ghost Train
disbanded. Graveyard Train tunes like Mummy
, Ballad for Beelzebub
, Tall Shadow
and Dead Folk Dance
combine cheerful Misfits horror theming with stompy country. Most of the singers from this loose scene are joining forces in Sydney this week to pay tribute to Tom Waits.
is a blog dedicated to punk, DIY, powerpop, grillfat (pre-punk Australian hard rock) and NWOAHM from Australia 1975-1984. It follows projects like Do The Pop
, Lethal Weapons
, and Inner City Sound
in documenting Australia's fertile underground rock and roll scene. While those blogs and books are focused on the past, I-94 Bar
is documenting the scene as it stands today and interviewing the various survivors.
New Jersey indie punks Titus Andronicus
have released the video for No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future
, the third song off their acclaimed Civil War themed concept album The Monitor.
Its the second video from The Monitor, after last year's A More Perfect Union.
The album, released last year, uses the Civil War as a loose metaphor for the New Jersey band living in Boston and dealing with growing up. It includes spoken quotes from Abe Lincoln and Walt Whitman (read by Craig Finn). The clip, directed by Tom Scharpling, is more traditional than his well-loved videos for Ted Leo
and The New Pornographers
and shows the band touring their beloved New Jersey. [more inside]
"From then on, the difference became clear. It’s the male band members who don’t take you seriously, and when you get upset with how you’re treated, ask you if you’re menstruating. It’s the promoters and planners who screw you, then call you a diva when you assert yourself. It’s the kids who don’t talk to you after your set, but talk to your male bandmates because they assume you’re only there for show. It’s the people who think you’re sleeping with the guitarist, the people who assume you’re queer, or the journalists who mention your weight in reviews. It’s every single time a producer has told me I can’t play guitar on my own record because “sweetie, you’re not a studio musician” or “sing it again, but naked.” Mariel Loveland
from Candy Hearts
and Lauren Denitzio
from The Measure [SA]
discuss sexism in modern punk rock. For further reading there's Jessica Hopper's classic essay Emo: Where the Girls Aren’t
Color Me Obsessed
is a new documentary about legendary Minneapolis rock band The Replacements
. It features over 140 interviews with rockers, journalists and fans (including Colin Meloy, Craig Finn, Tommy Ramone and Robert Christgau) but not one note of the Mats music. Director Gorman Bechard has been documenting the making of the film on his blog
and screening it in select cities.
Sydney's live music scene faces another crisis with the announcement that the iconic Annandale Hotel
will be sold.
The pub is one of the centres of Sydney live music and has played host to everyone from small local bands to Joan Jett. The selling follows the closure of the Hopetoun Hotel in 2009
and the recent loss of Raval
and the Excelsior Surry Hills.
In Melbourne last year the closure of the Tote Hotel lead to the 20,000 strong Slam Rally
and an overhaul of planning laws. Nothing similar is planned for Sydney yet. In the meantime, you can realize your Australian live music memories with the videos at Moschcam.