Friday, September 26, 2014

Abbottalypse Now! On Abbott, Bernardi, Palmer, Putin, Israel and GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING COLDPLAY

Well jesus fuck this fucking country. Seriously you cannot keep up. The fucking video below was shot like a month ago and since then the descent into insane fascistic crap has escalated rapidly. Because YEAH I fucking LIKE to mix my phrases as though something can both descend and escalate at the same fucking time! THAT IS HOW I FUCKING ROLL!

This was the second Green Left Weekly annual comedy night in Sydney. The first one was last year and called "Welcome to the Abbottoir" and this year was called "Abbottalypse Now!" so you know, there is a roaring trade in lame Abbott puns going on. At least someone is doing OK out of this horrific ultra-right wing government of lunatic class war ideologues that never saw a poor person they didn't want to kick or a racial minority they did not feel a burning desire to demonise.

I mean Jesus FUCK. Just... anyway. You can see my performance at last year's show. You can also see Shayne Hunter's performance at this year's show. it also featured Alice Fraser, Mark Williamson and Nick Sun. But here is my FUCKING THING!

TRIGGER WARNING: Includes referrences to Coldplay.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

'This too shall pass...' Australia probably needs this song right now

This too shall pass so raise your glass to change and chance, and freedom is the only law shall we dance...

Australia probably needs those lines by the ever-glorious Stephin Merritt right now. And by "Australia" I mean that section of it, which may not be a majority but is probably bigger than seems the case by simply following any section of the mainstream media, watching in some despair at the seemingly ever-growing turn to fascistic madness -- pushed by a desperate government on the ropes due to the deep hatred generated by its savage class warfare against the majority -- that has taken over a country that was... well, let's be honest, already PRETTY FUCKING FUCKED UP FOR A LONG TIME.

When the rhythm calls the government falls. Here come the cops.
From Tokyo to Soweto viva la musica pop.
We are black & white and we dance all night down at the hop,
and the letters were tall on the Berlin Wall viva la musica pop.
So if you're feeling low stuck in some bardo,
I, even I know the solution
love, music, wine and revolution.
love, love,
love music, wine and revolution.
This too shall pass so raise your glass to change and chance,
and freedom is the only law shall we dance...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tom Waits rocks. That's all. Two songs. Buy me a beer some time.

Because, you know, I haven't posted a Tom Waits song for a while. In fact, not since December last year. Also, most of the Waits' songs I have posted tend to be devastatingly heartbroken ballads, of which I proved in my groundbreaking post Tom Waits' Top 20 Tearjerkers Of All Time that Waits is a master, second to none.

I did include a wider range in my considered Top 20 Songs of the Past 20 Years list, which rather conservatively only featured 19 songs by Tom Waits, But still. I figured the world needs me once more to post Tom Waits and to post Tom Waits live and rocking out as only Tom Waits (and his band of brilliant musicians) knows how.

So here is a song that is neither a devastatingly sad song of melacholic beauty, nor from the past 20 years. It is a live version of "Sixteen Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six" from 1983's Swordfishtrombone album. Waits is in his full "mad-preacher-as-frontman" mode and the band... well they rock.

It is followed by a live performance of the title track off his 1980 Heartattack and Vine album, just to prove that, whatever you do, you'll be anywhere near as cool as Tom Waits.

'I strum it loud just to rattle his cage...' 

'Don't you know there aint no Devil, there's just God when he's drunk.'

Right. There you go. Buy me a beer sometime. In fact, do it now! Seriously. There is a PayPal button on the right hand side of the blog. ALL MONEY DONATED WILL BE SPENT ON BEER! THAT IS A CARLO SANDS GUARANTEE!!! JUST A COUPLE OF EASY CLICKS TO BUY ME BEER!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I'm so sorry for what I did. Here, have some Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll to make up for it

You know, it's hard to admit when you are wrong. Luckily for me, then, that I wasn't.

However, it is true that my last post was about that strange and disturbing "celebrity" called (for what I am sure is some horrific reason) "Redfoo" and I did fail to provide a "trigger warning".

Now, as part of my research for that post, I subjected myself to some of the clips for Redfoo's "songs" and, believing pain shared is pained doubled, felt it was only fair readers also had the chance to have their faith in the future of humanity decimanted by posting the clips as part of the post.

It had to be done. I am sorry, but it did. THE WORLD HAD TO KNOW! But I am truly sorry for any suffering my actions caused.

To make it up to my huge number of readers, fans and fanatical followers, I hearby provide some brain-cleansing music from two of the greatest acts on God's Own Earth -- Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll.

I have ranted on the glories of both on this blog at some point. Hayes Carll is the brilliant country singer-songwriter from Houston, Texas who has never written a bad song. He is your classic drunken and slightly dishevelled troubadour, staggering from gig to gig with various degrees of facial hair, singing songs alternately witty and heartbreakingly beautiful.

Hayes has increasingly made a name for himself in the US with the sheer quality of his songwriting and performances, but he is not well-enough known in this country by any measure. I saw him in Sydney a couple of years ago with maybe 100 others, max, and he was stunningly brilliant.

Also, this beer can from the US reads 'To Carlo, love Hayes' and was sent to me by DonnaCat, my friend/only person I know from Arizona, who got him to sign it after a gig. It may be the most valuable thing I own.

Shovels and Rope... well... they are another act getting increasing well-deserved attention and critical acclaim. They are the truly glorious husband-and-wife duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, both established performers before joining forces -- Hearst a country singer, Trent heading a rock'n'roll band. Together... they are something else.

With the pair alternating between guitar and drums, their music is ragged, rowdy, rough-edged and earthy. It is filled with raw energy and features absolutely beautiful harmonies. That combination -- of the raw earthiness of their frill-free recordings (their breakthrough album O' Be Joyful was recorded in the back of their van while they travelled around gigging endlessly), with the beauty of their harmonies raises their tales of low-life desperados, murderers and battlers to a whole other level.

Listening to Shovels and Rope is one of those all-too-rare experiences in this godforsaken world -- it actually makes me feel happy. They are so good, I feel like crying when I hear them.

There are, of course, countless labels thrown on their music -- from "Americana" to a wide range of subgenres ending in "-folk" or "-country". It is the kinda thing they take up in a good-natured way in their song Cavalier.

But all that really matters is Shovels and Rope are how music should sound, a reminder that late monopoly capitalism has not, despite its best efforts, snuffed out all talent or enthusiastic energy out of popular music.

They have also just released a great new album called "Swimmin' Time" and there is a documentary I am desperate to see about them called "The Ballad of Shovels and Rope". Tragically, I also have no beer can signed by either half of Shovels and Rope.

So here are the clips. One Shovels and Rope song as a taste, then a clip of an extended live performance, then the formula is repeated for Hayes Carll.

AND THEN THERE IS A *TOM WAITS* BONUS!!! I KINOW RIGHT??? A TOM WAITS BONUS!!! Yes, clips of Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll each covering a Tom Waits song live!


Shovels and Rope!!!

'We're hanging here within an inch of our lives, from the day we're born till the day we die...'

'I love you like gunpowder loves a good spark...' Just one of the great lines...


Hayes Carll!!!

'Ah, some people just gunna sneak on through, others gotta rattle that cage...'

"I'm gunna leave these blues behind, for some other fool to find...' HA! As if Hayes! As if.


'You're the letter from Jesus on the bathroom wall, you're Mother Superior in only a bra...' Shovels and Rope cover the title track from Tom Waits' most recent album.

'When I see the five o'clock news, I don't wanna grow up...' Hayes' covers Tom's classic from his 1992 album Bone Machine.

EXTRA EXTRA BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah I know what you are thinking! The Tom Waits Bonus is just AWESOME surely there is NOTHING ELSE AWESOME to give us???

Well... indeed there is an extra bonus after the first extra bonus! And that is... a "duet" between Hayes Carll and Shovel and Rope's Cary Ann Hearst!!! I KNOW RIGHT??? HOW MINDBLOWING AWESOME IS THAT??????????

'You were falling like the Alamo, talking fast and drinking slow...' This duet was featured on Hayes Carll's 2011 album KMAG YOYO.

No need to thank me for all this, world. Just buy me a beer some time. No, seriously, BUY ME A BEER I AM REALLY FUCKING THIRSTY!