Rest in piece Robert Ashley. Genius, legend, maddog..
You think someone might not like it because it makes them uncomfortable?
Roberta: Well, we never intended to endear people with our emotions.
Sally: Maybe as well it’s that people have never wanted to hear these things from women. Not just in music, but in life in general.
Roberta: We’re meant to be submissive, we’re meant to keep our mouths closed and assume subservient emotions and roles, and that’s a little bit boring. We’re not like, “hey man,” we’re like, “oh-my-god-I’ve-had-the-worst-day-I’m-gonna-rip-my-hair-out-and-rock-back-and-forth-like-an-orphan.”
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A link above to a stream of The Friendsters’ ‘Revenge is the Best Revenge’ from a 7” released soon on Eternal Soundcheck. Words from an interview with Roberta, Sally and Liam on Crawlspace which contains some really great responses.
GOB brings together a number of artists working with voice for two evenings of live performances at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU. These artists will present works that draw from areas such as sound poetry, performative and theatrical actions, text/sound composition, and experimental music.
These works will examine the intrinsic relationship voice has with meaning, and clear communicative speech, considering ways in which this relationship can be deformed, mutated, and rendered unstable through various modes of performance.
Exotic Dog (Nic Warnock)
Hard Hat (Kusum Normoyle & Peter Blamey)
Gob Choir (Lucy Phelan, Mary MacDougall, Jonathan Hochman, Anna John, Emma Ramsay, Matthew Hopkins)
curated by Matthew Hopkins
There was a recent triptych of excellent articles on dolewave from Shaun Prescott, Max Easton and Ian Rogers, each taking a nicely different perspective on the phenomenon. While I was more fascinated with these articles than I’ve probably ever been by dolewave itself, I would like to make a point or two (in the style of Jean Rhys, with profound apologies and a curtsey).
I realise that the purpose of these articles is to focus in on this one particular niche. That said, I do find tucked away in all three pieces a reflection of what I find quite irritating about the dolewave world in general. That is, the implication that this form is singularly valid and meaningful to the exclusion of all others. There are many, and might I suggest more complex and interesting, ways to tangle with the question of what it is to be an Australian musician and/or artist (and of limited means). Kirin J Callinan and New Weird Australia are obvious starting points.
A really good quick comment here by Trischelle Roberts (No Art, Pants, Pink Bits) on dolewavegate 2014: the opinion piece extravaganza.
I agree with that general sentiment, and also agree that ‘dolewave’ as an umbrella term is no more valid than other forms (less valid if anything); it has just been an interesting case study that reflects common cultural aspects. I don’t think its artists are necessarily doing anything particularly special themselves, it just reflects a timeliness in my mind. Most artists of that vein are only interesting because they’re a part of something common. Many are pretty shithouse, some are really good.
Certain types of music have always gained more conversational traction; people are drawn to talk about things that are trending. In my mind ‘dolewave’ is equally as dumb a term as proto-punk or new-wave, but we know what they refer to mostly. Any ignorance of a certain type of artist (by writers or listeners) is generally related to ease of appeal. A lot of people would find guitar-pop easier to write about than noise/hardcore/ambient music purely because you don’t even need a lyric sheet to churn out half the review. The upcoming M.O.B LP for example won’t be covered broadly as people will have no fucking idea how to take it, but it’s better than any buzz record released so far this year.
(In the case of Kirin J Callinan (an example of Trish’s), his record arguably had more thought-out articles written about it than almost any Australian artist in the past 12 months, dolewave or otherwise.)
More pertinent for me is the artists that have been completely forgotten in broader discussions in the Australian music media which is where I agree with Trish’s annoyances. I think The Native Cats are infinitely more interesting than Kirin J Callinan for example, but they were almost entirely ignored relatively - probably because there’s nothing blatantly confronting or saleable about them - but in no way is guitar-pop the culprit for the niche reception of that release.
I dunno what my point is here any more. Closing sentiment is that people need to take responsibility for what they document. In the case of the music media, the issue here is that cultural importance doesn’t exist around an album or touring cycle, or even the momentum of a perceived movement, but most publications are stuck in that loop. Coverage goes where readers go, readers go where coverage goes; the human centipede. There are some writers and publications who have detached themselves from the anus of regurgitation and are getting it right, those are usually pretty good things to pay attention to.
AMATEUR CHILDBIRTH ‘Pripyat’ LP launch
Second LP by Brisbane acoustic pop destroyer Amateur Childbirth aka Ivan Matthew Hicks. Recorded by Joel Stern in his old Grecian home across 2012-2013, Hicks summons the lonesome ghosts of Chris Knox and the Kilgour brothers across a buncha tracks that would transmute The Madcap Laughs into even more paranoid contemporary scenarios, with lyrics that feel like scraps of found text, rejection letters, mysterious reports and self-loathing diary entries. Hicks channels the early Flying Nun singer/songwriter style with considerable aplomb, giving the nod to the cracked visions of the Shimmy Disc roster while digging into new vectors of blurry acoustic drone and edge of the bed heartbreak and confusion. Stern’s recording style is key, with enough haze and distance to situate the goings-on in a parallel universe where the ghost of Tall Dwarfs is the presiding deity and the bedroom the beating heart of the kingdom. Great loner folk-pop power-cried straight to tape, recommended. - Volcanic Tongue
Ultra-saturated pigments by Peter Blamey and Anthony Guerra.
writes songs, sings and plays instruments/non instruments in… The Singing Skies, Melodie Nelson, Moonmilk and Mysteries. The music he makes under his birth names is about exploring sounds with the aim of shifting his consciousness and hopefully someone else’s as well.
is the tape music project of Nic Warnock (Model Citizen, Ruined Fortune, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys). The cassette four-track is his instrument, which he has two of and uses to create disorientating sound collages. Mundane field recordings, human voice, mechanic clangs, broken microphone squeals, cheap or not cheap synths and found audio find their way onto the cassettes. Moments are almost rhythmic and loop like, or completely abstract or somewhere in between. Live microphones or synthesizer may be used. Good-o.
Geto Boys “Fuck ‘Em” from The Geto Boys (1990)
WEDNESDAY. THE STANDARD. MUSIC SHOW. SYDNEY.
BED WETTIN BAD BOYS 8:30PM
TOTAL CONTROL 9:30PM
PARQUET COURTS 10:30PM
Unfortunately the bowling alley isn’t open yet. I know, I rarely go to shows unless there is a bowling option BUT it’s a good line-up so leave your “no 10-pin, no attend” prejudice at the door.