Monday, June 30, 2008

Faces in the Street - The Bushwackers

This 1981 release from the most Australian of all Australian bands
is my favorite. But its the tile song that brings me to post this
album as part of a trilogy of albums that honor the great Australian
poet Henry Lawson. Hes the guy on our 10 dollar note, the greatest
poet this country had and he leaves Banjo Patterson in the dust.
His poem "Faces in the street" is an epic masterpiece, which the
Bushwackers transform into the Marxist anthem that would have
made Henry smile, the only poet given a state funeral,
a nation treasure and for those who don't believe a national
treasure could write a song like that, here's the poem,
well the Bushwackers version of it
but first a bit of context.

The poem was written in 1888. Lawson had come to Sydney from
the bush five years earlier and met his mother's friends,
many of them radical in their politics
It is easy to see how a young man would look for the Red flag to
impose a form of equality


Faces in the Street - Lawson/Ashley

They lie, the men who tell us in such load decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street
Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet
While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the beat of restless feet;
I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When your God demands a reason for the sadness of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.

I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,
And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill;
But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet,
They haunted me the shadows of those faces in the street,
Flitting by, drifting by,
Flitting by with noiseless feet,
And cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street.

I cried: 'Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.'
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city's street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Coming near, coming near,
To a drummers distant beat,
And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street.

Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall,
The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution's heat,
And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street.
Pouring on, pouring on,
To a drummers threatening beat,
And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.

And so it must be while the world goes rolling round this course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
But not until a city feels Revolution's feet
Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street
The dreadful everlasting strife
With scarce enough to eat
In that cruel hell of living death
The city's heartless street
So they're pouring on marching on
To the drummers threatening beat
and the war hymns and the cheering of the faces in the street

Now if you took the time to read that congratulations,
I have 2 more different recordings of this poem as a
song to come and a lot more Lawson poetry turned
into song. Its fantastic stuff, Australian but not in
that cheesy way. This poem had a lasting impact on
me, it taught me more about politics than 12 years of
school, it lead me to other parts of the world to see
for myself. What more could you expect from a song.
This album is full of fantastic songs like that.
"The Ballad of 1891" is adaptation of a song that
details the history that lead to the Labor party
in this country. It has to be heard to be believed.
We also have the sad depression era song
"Weevils in the flour",
Jan singing the very funny "Marijuana Australian"
And the epic tale of "Les Darcy" the champion boxer
who refused to go to the 1st world war.
This is the Bushwackers at their peak
with Dobe Newton, Roger Corbett and Jan Wositzky
all still together.

Download Here

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Queensland in Quarantine - Various Artists

A request on the ausrock forum leads me to post this legendary
cassette release .This limited edition cassette dates back to
1984 and showcases some of the finest talent the city had at
the time.Check out the comments on this post for the
recollections from the time and from Linda who put together
this cassette.
Regular readers of this blog would know I love a good compilation
and this is one of the best, if your interested in this then I have an
earlier post on the 4zzz state of emergence lp which is also fantastic.
 I've touched on a couple of these bands here before like
Presidents 11 and Tangled Shoelaces, other bands of note include
the incredible Lovs e blur, the Colours who's song "Blue Shirt"
is just one of the best songs ever and Sister Christmas who's
drummer was a good friend back in high school.
Add to that the very inventive and funny sound bites thought
out the tape and you have a very enjoyable experience.

 Track List

CD.1
1. National Party Ad / Jerry Connolly / Flo / Joh
2. PORK "Three Kittens"
3. DANCE THEATRE "Finetime"
4. UPS & DOWNS "Colours Forming"
5. Geoff Munz, Qld Prisons Minister
6. TIM GRUCHY "'Bout 6 Months Ago"
7. EUGENE & THE EGG " View From The Edge"
8. Fairyland Ad / Flo
9. GATEKEEPERS "Unkindest Cut"
10. Geoff Muntz
11. LOVS E BLUR "Cruel Cruel Man"
12. THIS 5 MINUTES "Sunday Afternoon"
13. PRESIDENTS 11 "Summer Vacation"
14. Jerry Connolly
15. TANGLED SHOELACES "The Day The Rainclouds Went Away"

CD.2
1. MATT MAWSON "ElectroProp"
2. PICTISH BLOOD "Religious Fallacies"
3. DIFFERENT CARTOONS "Colours"
4. LINDA & HARLEY "Narcolepsey"
5. COLOURS "Blue Shirt"
6. THIS 5 MINUTES "Coronation Time"
7. Steven's Arrest
8. FURIOUS TURTLES "Trust Mistrust
9. VACANT ROOMS "Living In A Shadow"
10. STRANGE GLORY "Burial"
11. Flo / Muntz' first & last press conference
12. TINY TOWN "And I"
13. PERSIA "Q-Girl
14. Flo
15. SISTERS CHRISTMAS "Ruth Tongue"
16. Joh
17. SUZETTE "..........."
18. Flo
Download here

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Friend the Chocolate Cake - Throwing It Away (Ep)


“That's why Chocolate Cake is such a joy of a band to be in,”
says David.“Everyone in the band believes in all those diverse
elements really strongly. While it's entertaining, it stands for
something. It's a unique band in my experience.

You'd bottle it if you knew what it was.”


My Friend the Chocolate Cake are just one of the best bands ever,
after founding one of Australia's most brilliant bands what do you do
to top it, well David Bridie formed another band
which its once again unlike any other, But first some history from
Chocolate Cake's web site

It all started as harmless fun. In 1989, David and cellist Helen
Mountfort were playing in globally acclaimed ambient/world
music ensemble Not Drowning Waving when they opted to unplug
and unwind with a few more breezy compositions.
The idea of the band began when David took a holiday in
New Zealand and wrote a collection of songs that didn't fit into
the 'Not Drowning Waving' style.
He & Helen then began My Friend The Chocolate Cake with
the intention of playing all acoustic music.
From the inception My Friend The Chocolate Cake emerged
as an enjoyable ensemble, as musical friends & colleagues came
together one by one to form their unique sound.
Hope Csutoros, a violinist with eastern European gypsy roots
and a flamboyant stage presence to match, was an inspired
early accomplice. Mandolinist Andrew Carswell and guitarist
Andrew Richardson added to an exotic web of acoustic textures.
Russell Bradley was the first of several drummer/ percussionists.

This 5 track Ep is a nice introduction to this band
and one of my treasured cd's as I got David to sign it after
a songwriting seminar he did.

The title track "Throwing it away" is fantastic a song
about the evils of materialism


THROWING IT AWAY
(Bridie)

I'm walking down the road where the car yards end
There's bright flags waving in the air
But it don't seem like much of a party here
I don't think so

Whilst this man's selling Amway to all his friends
She's been chasing cosmic thrills
Is someone pulling faces from up above?
I don't think so

Maybe it's all in the way that we strive to be rich
It seems like every last one for themselves
Every last one for themselves

And we're just throwing it away
Oh well, we had something here
But you never know quite what you've got
Until the other mob comes and takes the
whole machinery away

If you drive around this city for days on end
The streets all start to look the same
And reason is asleep in this big fat town
Well I think so

Maybe, we're falling asleep
Maybe, we've lost it, and we won't get it back
Maybe it's all in the way that we strive to be rich
You know its every last one for themselves

And we're just throwing it away
Oh well we bad something here
But you never know quite whet you've got
Until the other mob comes and takes the
whole machinery away




Chinese Envoy is one of at least 3 John Cale songs they cover
these guys are completely responsible for me becoming a
John Cale fan

The romp is a pure Chocolate Cake instrumental, fantastic
Gossip another brilliant song from their debut album
and Turkish story is a loverly piece to finish off.

Download Here





My Friend the Chocolate Cake - Home Improvements

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Earth Music - The Single

The Single for the Earth Music Project is a wonderful extra bonus,
containing the died pretty track as the main song and two
extra cover tracks that didn't appear on the album.
The seminal Aussie band, The Celibate Rifles cover the classic sports
tune Boys (what did the detective say) and the fantastic
Painters and Dockers brings us the Mentals classic
The nips are getting bigger.
Who could ask for more two of my favorite bands from the
time I saw live quite a bit.
Thanks to Steve aka duckdogtwo for this and as he says

Odd choice for a single and those two tracks
are better than some on the album,
particularly Boys, always a great song.


Track List
01 - Died Pretty - Eternally Yours
02 - Celibate Rifles - Boys(what did the detective say)
03 - Painters and Dockers - The Nips Are Getting Bigger
04 - Voxpops(mystery track)
05 - Promo track

Download Here

John Kennedy - Have songs Will Travel


The initial purpose of this recording was to bring together a
collection of songs that were previously unavailable to audiences
outside of Australia. These new recorded versions are acoustic
renditions of songs which had the full band treatment.
They represent 6 years of John's songwriting and include
songs which were until here unreleased.
Covering songs from JFK and the Cuban Crisis rigth through
to Love gone wrong this is a wonderful record and a great insight
into the talent of this forgotten Australian songwriter.
Recorded in may 1989 in LA



Track List
01 - Juliet Jones
02 - The Texan Thing
03 - The Ballad Of Jackie O
04 - Quite Like Love
05 - Forget
06 - Miracle ( In Marrickville )
07 - Two People
08 - King Street
09 - Big Country
10 - Your Good Friend, John
11 - You Brought It All Back To Me
12 - Jack In The Box
13 - Hey Steven
14 - The Eyes Have It
15 - When Evening Comes
16 - You Will Find
17 - The Singing City
18 - Better Days
19 - Strangers Kiss
20 - Xmas In Australia
21 - Talkin' Answering Machine Message # 1
22 - Talkin' Answering Machine Message # 2

Download Here


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not Drowning Waving - Corner Hotel 25 Aug 2005

"Now that’s more like it we thought.
They were strong gigs, had a real energy
and atmosphere to it,
and it was such a buzz playing to a full crowd.
I knew we were on to something.
Something different compared to the country punk
that was the St. Kilda sound of that time.
Mind you, there was lots of improvement to be done...
My singing was a weak link,
we hadn’t mastered the technology,
we had yet to work up the bustling versions
of Storm and Sing Sing which were the cornerstones
of the NDW live gigs later on..."

David Bridie on NDW live in the mid 80's



Not Drowning, Waving - Big Sky/Teteko Aotearoa
Live in Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne, Australia - March 25, 2006

This excellent recording of one of the last NDW re-union show
is a testimony to how a band with much promise delivers.
After a standout performances at the 2003 Womadelaide Festival,
Australian cult band, Not Drowning Waving, decided to play a
small number of final reunion shows including this
special one off Melbourne show in celebration of the release of their
retrospective double CD "Through The One Last Door"
Recorded at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on the 25th Aug 2005.

Many thanks to Mr S for this amazing show


Track List
01 Mr Suharto Man
02 Plog
03 Sky The Towel
04 Cold and the Crackle
05 Yes Sir, I Can Boogie
06 Teteko
07 The Same Heat
08 Up In The Mountains
09 Wobble
11 Walk Me Home
12 Albert Namatjira
13 Crazy Birds

Download Here




Not Drowning, Waving - Willow Tree

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Earth Music - Various Artists


Well its my 100th post and I have a very special and rare compilation
album for you. This 1994 CD brings together an eclectic bunch of
Australian artists to be part of the Earth Music Trust, to raise funds
for Greening Australia.
All Artists donated their times and potential
royalties to the project and many of the song writers and publishers
as well. The Cd is a wonderful package which includes a booklet that
talks of the problems the project is addressing and is made from
recycled materials where possible.


The music is where it is however, we have many artists here that
I have covered on this blog. Dave Steel gets a band together and
covers the Inxs song "Don't Change", Ed Kuepper gives us
"Sad Dark Eyes", Chris Bailey is here, Shane Howard and
Archie Roach perform together, Died Pretty do Ed's masterpiece
"Eternally Yours" and The Falling Joys finish the album up.



There is also some fine acts I haven't got round to yet.
The Weddings song "Saints and Kings" is a real treat,
Kate Ceberano does the Hunters classic
"Throw Your Arms Around Me"
and The Hunters give us the Saints Classic
"Know Your Product"
Theres also songs by a number of other well known
artists, but check out the track list .
This is a fine Australian compilation album.


Track List
01 - Ross Wilson With Uptown Rulers -
The World's Got Everything In It
02 - Dave Steel And The Roadside Prophets -
Don't Change
03 - Ed Kuepper And The Serene Machine -
Sad Dark Eyes
04 - Wedding Parties Anything -
Saints And Knights
05 - The Badloves - Boy On The Run
06 - The Killjoys - Flame Trees
07 - Joe Camilleri - Gypsy Queen
08 - Kate Ceberano - Throw Your Arms Around Me
09 - Diesel - The Underground
10 - Hunters & Collectors - Know Your Product
11 - Jimmy Barnes - Black And Blue
12 - Chris Bailey - Not Even Close
13 - Shane Howard & Archie Road - Nhyul Nhyul Girl
14 - Daryl Braithwaite - Golden Miles
15 - Died Pretty - Eternally Yours
16 - The Falling Joys - Over Now

Download Here


Friday, June 20, 2008

John Kennedy - From Woe To Go


John Kennedy's "Woe to go" was a mini album release on red eye
bringing together his singles with a couple of unreleased tracks.
Another beaut little package complete with inner sleeve with lyrics.
Producted and recorded by Clive Shakespeare of Sherbert fame.



Miracle in Marrickvile





King Street



Big Country


Track List
01 Miracle in Marrickvile
02 Two People
03 Forget
04 Big Country (Us Version)
05 King Street
06 You brought it all back to me
07 A time for giving
08 To forget

Download Here

Love Gone Wrong - Always The Bridegroom

John Kennedy's Love Gone Wrong 1987 debut Lp
"Always the Bridegroom" is a lost gem, from a band which
never got the recognition they deserved.
I've tried to address this by posting this rip from my vinyl copy of this
wonderful record. This album described as "country tinged, light
guitar,Brisbanish veranda sound" in a review at the time, is a mature
progression of this Brisbane lad gone to Sydney to crack the big time
and theres no doubt where he's coming from the opening song

Hey Steven - John Kennedy and Cory Messenger

"Hey Steven, what am I doing here
I should of left school when I was 15,
and got a job as an apprentice bricklayer.
Weekends of bear and football,

would have made a man out of me.

Nothing lay beyond that as far as I could see.

Hey Steven, where did I go wrong,
I should of had a girl pregnant
when I was 18,
and be married with a kid before too long.
The Acacia Ridge assembly line never had a hold on me
and when GMH shut down its plant there was no redundancy.
Hey Steven, I'm leaving Brisbane"




In the video clip below "Brisvegas" John refers to this song, as
"I must have sung that song about leaving Brisbane,
one too many times"
As he struggles to understand why His old home
town has passed him by. It seems to be a common complaint
amongst the ranks of Brisbane's talented.






BrisVegas


Track list
01 Hey Steven

02 The eyes have it

03 When evening comes
04 You will find
05 I was confused
06 The singing city
07 Better days

08 World upside down

09 Stay

10 Strangers kiss

11 Hope takes a holiday

12 I want you


Download Here



A set list from the band around the time I still have.

Love Gone Wrong from bridegroom inner sleeve




The Singing City

John Kennedy - The Singles


Of the select few musicians to come out of Brisbane, John Kennedy
remains in the top 5. When the Pig City Festival lineup was
announced last year, John or his first band JFK and the Cuban
Crisis was the one name I really missed.
Don't get me wrong it was a unbelievable line up, but
that would of been perfect. First if you don't know anything about
the man heres a comprehensive bio from the brispop site.



John Kennedy the musician, was a five year old in Liverpool the
day the
President died. In Australia at the age of ten,
he took the confirmation
name of Francis to complete the
famous "J.F.K." moniker.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The joke has long since worn
off for him,
but it still takes some explaining.

A young enthusiastic journalist once described John Kennedy
as a
humble genius. Kennedy is neither a genius nor
particularly humble.
He is the writer of many fine songs
using a collection of pop, country,
folk and rock influences
to create the hydrid style he calls
Urban and Western.
Kennedy formed his first band in Brisbane, Australia in ´80.
His family had migrated from England in the mid-´6o’s and he
was
raised in the suburban wastelands on a diet of radio pop
music.
At the beginning of the 80´s, Kennedy brought his
pop melodies
and ideas to the flourishing post-punk
Australian indie music scene.

His name alone should have brought him commercial success.
It didn´t, but he continued to release a series of successful
independent records.
The penchant for funny names continued with his first band
"J.F.K. and the Cuban Crisis". "The Crisis" and his mid-80's
Sydney
band "John Kennedy's Love Gone Wrong" became
self-fulfilling
prophecies. An invitation to perform at the
inaugural Berlin
Independence Days independent music
conference in ´88
provided the incentive to leave Australia.
In Berlin in the early
'90's, Kennedy tried a more positive
approach and formed
"John Kennedy and the Honeymooners".
Despite the optimism, the honeymoon ended and Kennedy
went on to perform as a solo act.
Since Berlin he has lived and made music in Hong Kong,
Holland and London; living by the motto “
Have Songs, Will Travel”. Kennedy returned to Sydney at the
start
of the new millenium, has a new band, album and label
and lives
once again in Sydney's inner-western suburbs.



These are the singles released between 1984 and 1989 on waterfront
and red eye records in Sydney. They are wonderfully packaged,
both king st and miracle have photos attached to the cardboard
sleeve and big country has one of those plastic things you could
trace aroundthat used to come out of cereal boxes when I was a kid.
There's the Love gone Wrong Singles and a couple of rare tracks
released on a mini album, the Us version of Big Country and a Flex
disc give away A time for giving.
Fantastic music from the man who sung about himself
"I could have been a contender"
and should have.

Track list

JOHN KENNEDY singles 84 - 89

WATERFRONT RECORDS
(SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA)

Sept. ´8401 - Forget
02 - The End Of The Affair
7"Single - DAMP 11

Mar. ´85 "03 - Miracle in Marrickville
04 - Two People
7"Single - DAMP 15

RED EYE RECORDS (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA)
John Kennedy´s Love Gone Wrong
Dec. ´8505 - King Street
06 - To Forget
7"Single - RED 7

Jul. ´8607 - Big Country"
08 - You Brought It All Back To Me
7"Single - RED 10

Sept. ´8709 - The Singing City
10 - Love Gone Wrong
11 - Theme From Love Gone Wrong (instrumental)
7"Single - MB 20037
Love Gone Wrong
May ´8812 - World Upside Down
13 - Better Days 7"Single - MB 20097
Love Gone Wrong

Oct. ´88 John Kennedy and Billy Baxter
14 - To Love Somebody
15 - Tourists In Heaven
7"Single - MB 20137

John Kennedy´s Love Gone Wrong
Jan. ´89 "16 - Out Of Town"
17 - Miracle in Marrickville (Acoustic)
18 - You Brought It All Back To Me (Acoustic)
7"Single - MB 20217

From the LP "Woe to go"
RED EYE RECORDS, RED 11, Sept 86

John Kennedy´s Love Gone Wrong
19 - A time for giving
20 - Big country(us version)
Download here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

George Rrurrambu - Nerbu Message


George Rrurrambu is a pioneer of Aboriginal rock music.
In a career that began over twenty years ago with his
internationally acclaimed band, Warumpi,
(who recorded the first ever rock song in an Aboriginal language),
or more recently as a solo professional artist,
George is a respected and proud ambassador for his culture.
He is a living legend to Aboriginal people all over Australia
and much loved by non-Indigenous Australians for
Warumpi's anthemic songs Blackfella Whitefella and My Island Home.
He has achieved mainstream success both in Australia
and overseas and was this year recognised at the inaugural NT Music
Industry Awards for his contribution to the music industry.
George last toured with Warumpi in 1999.
He has since performed at FIGJAM Indigenous Music Concert,
Festival of Darwin 2000, Yeperenye Federation Festival;
recorded a solo reggae album Nerbu Message and
toured to Europe in 2002 with Melbourne outfit Bomba.
George has also turned his talents to theatre and
recently performed NERRPU Dhawu Rrurrambuwuy
(The story of George Rrurrambu) at the Darwin Entertainment Center.
He is in demand around the country as a speaker lecturing on
Yolngu culture and music and has conducted cultural workshops
in Berlin and Amsterdam. George is committed to his culture and
country with a strong desire to create a better future for the next
generation through productive partnerships with the balanda (whitefella).
In 2007, on June the 10th George died at the age of 50 after a long
battle with cancer,after his death he became known as
George Burarrwanga for cultural reasons.


Track list

  1. Eastern Wind
  2. Galuku
  3. Boomerang
  4. Lapu
  5. Freedom, Peace and One World
  6. Djantpangarri
  7. Marrayilyil
  8. Djutarra
  9. Ronu Wanga (My Island Home)
  10. Watu
  11. Guyularri
  12. Wake Up Australia
Download Here

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dave Steel and Tiffany Eckhardt

Dave Steel and Tiffany Eckhardt are perhaps the most dynamic
couple in the world of Australian Folk Blues that you will ever
come across.
Both with exceptional talent and extraordinary careers, these
guys deserve to be better known. I've complied a few songs
and a podcast so you can do just that. Theres 4 songs each
and a dig radio podcast which you can read about here
In case you're wondering what these guys sound like I'll
give you a brief rundown and their myspace bios.
Dave Steel has had an impressive career starting out as
the guitarist for Weddings, Parties, anything before his
solo career. He has also worked with many others and
I've seen him play both solo and with Archie Roche many
times. The two photos of Dave are mine from Woodford.
He is simply one of the best blues performers this country
has produced.
Tiffany Eckhardt his partner is an fantastic folk, blues,
country type performer, but simply just fantastic
acoustic guitar based music.



About Dave Steel

Dave Steel is a singer / songwriter, multi instrumentalist
and producer
of twenty years experience.
Some people may be familiar with his seven
previous
solo albums, some with his work as an accompanist

with the likes of Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter, Rose Bygrave ,
Marcia Howard, and Tiffany Eckhardt, amongst many others.
He is also familiar as the original guitarist with
Weddings Parties Anything.
Dave is an experienced
touring musician, having worked all over the world

as a solo act, as an accompanist, and as a band member
at all levels from
tiny clubs to huge concert stages.
He also has extensive studio experience,

having produced many recordings
(including Peter Baxters two albums)

and been a session player on many more



About
Tiffany Eckhardt

Award winning songwriter Tiffany Eckhardt is based in
South West Victoria. She has released 6 albums over the
past
10 years and has established herself as one of
Australia’s favorite
artists in the Festival scene.
Her songs include folk, country
and blues and have
become well known nation wide being played

regularly on ABC radio and various stations across the
country.
Tiffany has recently finished recording her
6th album
"Perfect Day" with some of the most talented
players in
Australia including Tony Floyd on drums,
Jonathan Zion on bass ,
Dave Steel on dobro,
acoustic guitar,mandolin and lap steel
and John Bedggood on keys and violin.



Track List
Dave Steel
01 have a round on me
02 postcard from brooklyn
03 home is a hard thing to find
04 weary blues

Tiffany Eckhardt
05 prefect day
06 sticks and stones
07 fly away
08 think about you
09 Dig radio podcast

Download Here

Friday, June 13, 2008

Redgum - The Lost Album

A very special treat from a very special contributor whom I will
refer only to as Mr S to preserve his anonymity.
Mr S has sent me two DVDs of rare Australian music and I'll
be sharing this wonderful stuff to you.
This is somewhat of a big surprise, an album of unreleased,
mostly studio material from Redgum.
These tracks aren't demos, they are finished, mixed and
ready for a release date, which never came. I didn't even
know this stuff existed. It appears this is Redgum after
John left, maybe some of these are left over tracks
which didn't make midnight sun, but the songs appear
too good for that. We have some wonderful Verity Truman
songs, an instrumental, Michael Atkinson, and Hugh McDonald
also feature strongly. Theres actually songs here that are so good
I think they will become favorites . We also have a fantastic
alternate version of killing floor. Let hear what you think in
the comments and many thanks to Mr S for bringing this to light.
Any info on the recordings also will be really appreciated.

Track list
01 Walking on the Ice.
02 These Four Walls
03 Footsteps on the Moon
04 Laughing It All Away
05 War on the Weekends
06 Water and Stone -
Winter and Spring
07 The Odyssey
08 Too Many Motels
09 Nothing Here For Me
10 Soldiers in a War
11 A Street To Die.
12 Killing Floor
(different version)

Download here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Warumpi Band and Yothu Yindi Live

Many thanks to New Race over at the Aus Rock forum for
this radio quality live material from the Warumpi Band
and Warumpi Yothu Yindi Live at an unknown time and
place in the early 90's.
If anyone knows any information I would be happy to
hear it.
Theres some classic Warumpi songs here
with Jailanguru Pakarnu, Fitzroy crossing,
No Fear, Waru (Fire), Blackfella/Whitefella,
From the bush plus 5 Yothu Yindi tracks.

Heres a bit of Warumpi Band history.

The Warumpi Band originated in the Aboriginal settlement of
Papunya in the central desert region of the Northern Territory
in the early eighties.

The band's name derives from the honey-ant dreaming site
located near the settlement of Papunya which is 260 ks west
of Alice Springs. Original founding members were
Sammy and Gordon Butcher, Neil Murray,George Rrurrambu
assisted by other young fellas in the community.

The band was formed in 1980 by Neil Murray, a Victorian
"whitefella" working in the region as a schoolteacher
and labourer, George Burarrwanga, from Elcho Island,
and local boys Gordon and Sammy Butcher.
Over the years, many different people played in the band
at various times. The only consistent elements were
Murray and Burarrwanga, with Sammy Butcher generally
being available so long as band commitments didn't take
him too far from home for too long.



In 1983, the band recorded "Jailanguru Pakarnu",
the first song using an aboriginal language in a rock'n'roll format.
This created some mainstream media interest,
and the band made a few trips to the big cities of
Melbourne and Sydney for gigs and TV appearances.

In Sydney, they built up a loyal following in the Sydney
northern beaches pub rock scene, and played as support
to Midnight Oil. In 1985 the band released their debut album
"Big Name, No Blankets", featuring the track "Blackfella/Whitefella".

In 1986, Midnight Oil and the Warumpi Band embarked on the
"Blackfella/Whitefella Tour" which brought one of Australia's
biggest bands to some of the country's remotest locations.
The resulting Midnight Oil album, "Diesel and Dust"
was an international hit and brought the issues of land rights
and aboriginal reconciliation into the national spotlight.


The Warumpi Band recorded their second album, "Go Bush!"
after the tour, but the strain of balancing family commitments
with the band took its toll and they were unable to capitalise
on the groundswell created by the Blackfella/Whitefella tour.

Neil Murray embarked on a solo career in 1990, though the
band still reunited when it fitted in amongst their other activities.

1996 saw the release of their third and final album
"Too Much Humbug", and a renewed (if brief) commitment
including a European tour. Burarrwanga is reputed to have
arrived in Paris and been amazed that people in this
so-called civilised nation couldn't even speak English -
after all, he himself spoke nearly a dozen different
languages of the north of Australia.

In the following years, reunion gigs were sporadic,
generally for festivals and other one-off appearances.
In 2000, Neil Murray decided enough was enough
and retired from the band for good, concentrating on
his solo career which by that time had produced several
critically acclaimed albums.

George Burarrwanga continued to perform as a solo artist,
and released an album. In 2007, he returned to his
"Island Home" when lung cancer took him,
and he died on June 10th of that year.

Sammy Butcher remains heavily involved with a recording
studio in Alice Springs, bringing the opportunity to record to
outback youth. He has also recorded an album of
instrumental guitar songs.

Download Here
Part 1,
Part 2

Monday, June 9, 2008

Warumpi Band - Go Bush


The Warumpi Band are the stuff of music legend, a band which
came out of the western desert region of central Australia,
a melding of black and white culture that was groundbreaking
in so many ways. This their 2nd album (of 3) gave us one
of the greatest Australian songs ever penned "My Island Home"
Heres what Neil Murry says about it

My island home” came to me on a bus one night in
June 1985
while traveling from Melbourne to Sydney.
The antecedents are clear. I had been living in the
deserts of
Central Australia for some six years,
estranged from the
fresh water country of my
youth in western Victoria.
The Warumpi Band
had just completed a national tour
and at the
conclusion of it I had spent a week with our
singer
George Rrurrambu, at his home at Galiwinku
( Elcho Island)
in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
We were camped on a
remote part of the island
with his family and had been living
like kings on
bush tucker and sea food caught by ourselves.

It seemed like paradise at the time. I had to leave
and make trips to Melbourne and Sydney
in mid
winter to promote the band. On the overnight
bus trip
to Sydney I suffered an exceptional
longing to be back in a
boat on a tropical sea.
The words came to me,
I was singing it in my head.
I had no notebook with me.
I held onto the tune
till I got to Sydney and pulled my
guitar out of the
luggage to find the chords.
I completed the verses
with a view to
George Rrurrambu singing it,
which he did.
The Warumpi Band recorded
“My Island Home” in 1986,
released in 1987.
Christine Anu released her version a decade later

The Tiddas recorded a lovely version for the film
“Radiance”.
George Rrurrambu has included a
Gumatj language version
of the song on his
debut solo album ”Nerbu Message”
I know that
the song has also been recorded
and released
by a group in Tahiti.

cheers,

Neil Murray.

My Island Home - Neil Murray
Six years I've been in the desert
And every night I dream of the sea
They say home is where you find it
Will this place ever satisfy me

And my island home
my island home my island home
is waiting for me

For I come from the salt water people
We always lived by the sea
Now I'm out here west of Alice Springs
With a wife and a family

And my island home
my island home my island home
is waiting for me

In the evening the dry wind blows
From the hills and across the plains
I close my eyes and I'm standing in a boat
on the sea a-gain
And I'm holding that long turtle spear
and I feel I'm close now to where it must be

And my island home
my island home my island home
is waiting for me


Download Here

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Dreaming Festival


For those who missed my previous post on the up coming Dreaming
Festival being held on the June 6 - 9, 2008 long weekend I'll give
you a quick run down. The Dreaming is the largest indigenous
cultural festival in Australia four nights and three days it showcases
the wide variety of cultural expression both here in Australia and
around the world.
With 7 main venues, including both film and drama theaters,
an outdoor dance venue and on top of that the outdoor
ceremony grounds, theres just so much to do on a
program that runs from 9 am to 1 am.
I attended yesterday, on Saturday, with the family, I mainly
wanted to go on Saturday cause of the 3 nights No Fixed Address
play this was the earliest, finishing by 10.30 instead of 1 am,
kids you know.


Well I haven't been to one of the dreaming festivals before and I
have to say it was fantastic, unique yet with a feel much like
the Woodford folk festival held on the same site, only colder.
Thats what all the fire places are about its winter here and quite cool
at times. The attendance was reasonable without a lot of the
overcrowding you get at the summer folk festival and the
program reflects that being more compact, but the quality
doesn't suffer at all.


The Dancestry venue is a popular one with my kids, I'm very happy
with that I think cultural dance traditions are one of the finest
bridges for connection and understanding between non - indigenous
and indigenous peoples that there is.
With no less than 18 performers in this venue on the Saturday,
including Idja, a new emerging outdoor puppet work,
based on song cycles of creation ceremony, performed at night.


I didn't see any of the theater , film or drama stuff, I just had too
much music and dance stuff, beside the kids would sit through it,
I'd think the best way to enjoy these things is to camp and have
the time to do a bit of everything.
That said the drama and film program looked impressive.


That brings me to the music, the MERRg a band that epitomize the
new renaissance in indigenous music, well thats what the program
says. I enjoyed these guys the first band I saw, they have a straight
down the line koori / Murri approach to music that I enjoy.
Chris Combette from French Guyana wonderful acoustic bossa nova
brilliance and I do love that kind of thing too.
Cino do Oriente from East Timor were enjoyable melding traditional
Timorese with the sounds and influences from around them.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

Gurrumul was a true treat, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is
a incredibly talented singer songwriter, a former member of Yothu
Yindi, he performed with two others a double bass player and a
fellow on a classical guitar, to produce some of the most beautiful
music I've heard. Singing almost completely in his Gumatj
language, this blind from birth singer has, as the program attests,
the voice of an angel. Fantastic.


I also watched half an hour of Sweet Cheeks, Lou Bennett's band
(formally of Tiddas) who's acoustic music with nice harmonies was
what I expected, but not much more., but I was just waiting now
for No Fixed Address.

Bart Willoughby

Well No Fixed Address are one of those bands that when I hear
them I'm transported back to 1983, back to when I was 19,
such a long time ago.These guys haven't play together since
1982 and I never expected to see them play.
From the opening bars you could tell they still have it.

Bart Willoughby and John Miller

They played all the favorites, but started with "Aboriginal Woman"
the Bart Willoughby penned tune from his later band,
Also a highlight was the fantastic Joe Geia tune
"Message for young and old"


Chris Jones

Bart was in fine form, his vocals fantastic and Les Graham's lead
guitar work spot on. The band worked together like a bunch of
old mates, enjoying themselves

Les Graham

I also brought a limited 2008 edition of "from my eyes"
which includes 3 new tracks, which is pretty exciting.

John Miller

All in all a fantastic time, I reckon I'll be back next year.