1991: The Year Punk Broke.

Posted in Film & TV, Music by jukeboxparables on April 29, 2009


I thought I’d link a documentary I’m a huge fan of; 1991: The Year Punk Broke. It’s a tour doco by Dave Markey filmed in 1991 which follows Sonic Youth on a leg of their European tour. Nirvana were also on tour with them at the time so it features performances by both bands as well as a few others on a Festival leg of the tour; Dinosaur Jr, Babes In Toyland and Gumball. Also mentioned / shown are The Ramones.

It’s a bit of reminiscence for me because as a kid growing up, this scene was my first exposure to Alternative music (Not that I saw it, but all the songs and sentimentality) And not so much Sonic Youth because I basically couldn’t handle their Music at age 11, but I was a huge Nirvana fan and lived and breathed that Alternative vibe they gave off as best I could understand. Of course everything they ever said in Interviews about Pop-culture and Corporate-rock kinda went straight over my head. Though getting into Sonic Youth much later probably saved my young-self’s brain from… “turning into a continuous gelatinous ball of pepper” As Thurston Moore puts it in one of the backstage excerpts. Though one of the biggest Influences on me this all gave off was a curiosity about what they were talking about; distrust of mass-media, corporations turning art into consumerism and a firm anti-image stance on Music. Punk as an attitude may have “began” in the Early 70’s (at least its exposure) but I think it was refined by the movement of Music that this documentary features. Sadly a few years later I totally forgot about all this and started listening to some awful bands. But I think I’ve come good in the end.

Everything about this doco lives and breaths the atmosphere of Music in the early 90’s. Besides the music the random excerpts and Interviews by foreign journalists usually yield post-modernist or satirical responses from Thurston and onlookers. I just love the cynicism of it all It’s must see viewing. One question I had after seeing it the first time awhile back was; How the hell is Thurston Moore still alive?

The Intro says it all really; Thurston Moore holding a tape-deck recorder and waxing lyrical into a microphone whilst he and Kurt Cobain and Kim Gordon frolic around some old railway tracks high on something good.

Besides it being on youtube, you can actually buy it on VHS I’ve been told. As for that crisp clean DVD version? It’s apparently been completed since 2006 and is in the hands of Universal to release. Oh the fricken Irony!!! Word from Dave Markey is that people should write in to get them to release it, its not in his hands!

Lastly, Check out the tour diary of the film maker Dave Markey right here. It’s great reading!


Lee Ranaldo’s guitar -> homeward bound.

Posted in Oldschool/Classic Things, Random by jukeboxparables on April 28, 2009


This is just about the best forum thread on the internet leaving aside all those ‘famous’ threads ridiculing various people of course. This is worth the read if you care about warm fuzzy stories and guitars.

First a small tidbit of information. NYC Alternative/Nowave/Noise-rock/Post-punk/Indie band Sonic Youth have; since their inception been original in many ways. One such way they get their unique sound is their alternate guitar tunings which is easy in the Studio but playing live there was only one solution, owning a large amount of guitars. This eventually spiraled out of control (from a practical perspective) and circa the early to mid 1990’s the band famously had a massive collection of rare, vintage, classic beautiful guitars of types fervently switching between them on-stage for various songs.

In fact if you check out their official ‘gearography’ you’ll note that theres over 100 guitars cataloged. All these guitars had various modifications, had been with the band 20years and had the battle scars to prove it. They’re literally covered in the blood and sweat of the band whilst they hammered out their art. Basically they’re priceless.

Now onto the thread. Forum member “Sauerkraut” was recently looking to buy a Fender Mustang on Ebay, from the USA (he being from The Netherlands) he eventually found a nice; what seemed to be an original example with a fair bit of wear and tear (pictured above) He got it fairly cheap and it was shipped off to him. Whilst he was waiting for it to arrive he stumbled on to Sonic Youth’s ‘gearography’ rather randomly. And something caught his eye.

It was this photo of Lee Ranaldo’s guitar;


Now take a quick look at both guitars. You’ll probably obviously notice they’re the same colour. In the photo of Lee’s (above) however the Neck pickup is the double coil variety called a ‘humbucker’ it being twice the width of a regular ‘single coil’ like the one below it. To install this modification you need to route out the wood on the guitar (so the humbucker fits) Forum member “Sauerkraut” studied the pictures of his purchase. It did indeed have the routing space and if you look at the various scratches, they are exactly the same. It’s the same guitar!

I should point out right now; In 1999 Sonic Youth’s guitars were STOLEN yes, they lost a whole heap of their prized possessions and famously had to re-stock all their gear again. One or two of the guitars have been recovered over the years nearly completely destroyed though.

All hail the Internet, 10 years later the guitar turns up. So what happened next? The forum ran hot with talk about what this guy from The Netherlands should do. Eventually somebody knew somebody who contacted the bands Guitar technician. But before anything else was organized a bit of a ‘man-hunt’ ensued. It was alleged that the guy who sold him the guitar could have been the Initial thief! So he was queried for more information.

His story was that, he bought it from someone in California and then went on to claim that he was a local Police chief who played in a band called “Most Wanted”. Does that sound like the most dubious story to cover your ass? That’s exactly what I thought except then someone checked it out and as it turns out; “Most Wanted” are a band



Someone photochopped the band t-shirt in there. Everyone is assuming the Police chief is the guy on the left (since he’s playing a Mustang) and word from the chief himself;

I am a local Police Chief and certainly would like to nail the individual who took the guitar or provide info leading to the individual who took it. I actually played this guitar in our police band called “Most Wanted” were we go into schools and play for youth and use our music as a way to interact and tell youth about the negatives of violence, drugs and alcohol.

This is like Irony overload or something; A band called Sonic Youth plays together 20years leading a wave in experimental alernative indie rock fueled by illicit substances which probably influenced a bunch of kids to do the same. An instrument in this (pun intended) gets stolen and is then bought by a Police chief to play to Youth about the negatives of such things and now the Guitar is homeward bound and the Police are after the original thief!

The good-guy Cop in this story posted pics of the guitar as he bought it;


And the information of the seller has been passed on the the band for further inquiries. It all doesn’t end there however. The guitar technician the guy from The Netherlands contacted gets back to him. Sonic Youth just happen to be playing a show on their European tour. Said guy was invited, given special guitar goodies, was paid what he bought the guitar for, got to meet the band and Lee backstage and was promised free entry to all future Sonic Youth shows for the rest of his life.

Someone should make this thread into a movie!

Essential 2009

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on April 25, 2009


Looking forward to one of Sydney’s better mini-festivals today. A good mix of local and interstate bands. I’m particularly hoping to catch; Young & Restless, Belles Will Ring, Traps amongst others.

ESSENTIAL 2009 – Saturday 25th April 2009, from 3PM to 11PM.

Essential 2009 will be held for the first time on Oxford Street, spread across six rooms: Oxford Art Factory, Oxford Art Factory gallery room, Spectrum, 34B, Vegas Bar and QBar, which means different environments and more musical styles can be presented then at previous Essential’s.


Messages to ET & SETI musings.

Posted in Science by jukeboxparables on April 24, 2009


NewScientist is running a story with the lead; “Why we shouldn’t hide our problems from ET”. In summary director of interstellar message composition at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Douglas Vakoch; states that prospective messages to the stars should point out we aren’t perfect, that such messages should also contain our shortcomings and frailties as well as conveying hope and generally just saying “Hi”.

I agree that in the unlikely case of a dialogue being opened between us and another civilization that the Issues facing Earth should not be hidden and the problems we face should be transparent. But this is one step removed from broadcasting them across the galaxy in a one-way advert. Various media of war, poverty, atrocities, crime and hate aren’t exactly good conversation starters with strangers.

Imagine placing an advert on a friendship/dating site along the lines of “Hi, I’m 4.5 billion years old. I enjoy; moonlit strolls along the beach while children starve to death, Croquet and genocide, Hiking whilst destroying natural habitats, Watersports while Nuclear testing. I’m looking for something long-term, someone I can really talk to… about exciting new technologies for military application so as to gain a subversive upper hand on my fellow human beings.” Does that sound like an Ad you’d answer?

My point is, In getting to know someone (or something else) we should strive to apply our unspoken Human tradition of; small steps and common ground first. Because a traditional human greeting is all we’re capable of after all.

I don’t agree with Douglas in that “If we continue to dodge controversy, we risk sending messages that are both brief and boring” I just don’t see how receiving a message from across the vastness of space could be boring.

Though I suppose this is all one big moot point; Basically we’ve been sending signals into space since TV has begun broadcasting. That’s right, everything from news to sports to random television sitcoms are right now beaming across the blackness of space. Something like 60 years of television has created an imaginary ‘globe’ of radiowaves emitting from the earth, light years in diameter passing through countless solar systems.

Of course the further such radiowaves get, the less power they carry. But there has been concentrated broadcasts purposely directed for space.

In February 2008. NASA aimed its eye towards the North Star, 431 light years away. And began playing The Beatles – Across the Universe. Yes, apt indeed.

Besides broadcasts though, us Earthlings do have another presence in Space. Pioneer 10 & 11 and Voyager 1 & 2 carry information (symbolic, mathematical, cultural) physically on the spacecraft themselves. And every second they’re hurtling through space, further and further from home (more on them sometime soon)

If you could have chosen one song to beam into space, what would it be and why? Or what about your thoughts on a default Earth greeting?

You can submit your greeting ideas to SETI because they’re opening their doors and accepting greeting ideas from around the world very soon. The greetings won’t be broadcast (as yet) It seems they’re just testing the waters, gathering data, listening for input.

It’s good that such an initiative has been taken, Perhaps before NASA go attaching Golden Records to things they should conduct some type of Music pole to see what Sounds best represent Earth. But more on that another time.

Sonic Youth – New mp3 “Sacred Trickster”

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on April 21, 2009


Matadorrecords are hosting an entire track off Sonic Youth’s upcoming 16th album “The Eternal” You can listen to it right here. It’s a short 2:10minute song, punchy and melodic yet has that ‘void-esque’ feeling happening. Anyway check it out for yourselves.

I should re-iterate you can pre-order online via Matador starting April 28th. The album comes out on June 9th.

If you pre-order you get;

– a code to stream the album early, from April 28
– an exclusive live vinyl lp recorded in New York on July 4, 2008 (subject to availability)
– an exclusive poster
– exclusive additional mp3 downloads of outtakes & more live material
– early access to concert tickets in the US (especially if you sign up now)

/end promotion.

Metric – Help I’m Alive; documentary

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on April 18, 2009

Metric are a band in it for the long-run. It’s been four years since their last album Live It Out. Four years much to long in my mind. But good things come to those who wait. So whilst I take some time to digest their latest effort “Fantasies” before I review it check out this. It’s a mini-doc about just what exactly lead singer Emily Haines has been up to. It also shows some footage of her playing the first single off the new album “Help I’m Alive”.

Fasterlouder also have the “world debut” of the Music Video for the first single available for viewing here.

Fantasies is in stores as of April 14th (USA & Canada) From what I’ve heard so far, it’s a diverse and eclectic leap for the band. Great news for us fans.

Record Store day! – Today 18/04/2009

Posted in Random by jukeboxparables on April 18, 2009

Yes people, get out there today to your local Independent music store and buy some cool music. Indy music stores usually stock the goodstuff and most of them strive to get it to us ‘the music fans’ as quick as possible at fairly good prices. I’ve always found some gems in such stores.

The original idea for Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally.

Check out this web site to find your local participating stores. It is truly an International event (There’s plenty of participating stores in Australia, Japan, Germany, France, The Netherlands and so on)

Snakes ground Qantas plane… you know where this is going.

Posted in Random by jukeboxparables on April 16, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Live on Jools Holland

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on April 13, 2009

The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s perform 2 songs off their latest album “It’s Blitz!” on UK show Jools Holland. First up is “Zero” followed by “Heads Will Roll”. Enjoy

Bonnie Bassler on bacterial communication.

Posted in Science by jukeboxparables on April 12, 2009

I bet you didn’t know bacteria communicate? Check out this rather inspired talk by Princeton molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler about her lab’s recent discoveries on bacterial communication.

“The discovery shows how cell populations use chemical powwows to stage attacks, evade immune systems and forge slimy defenses called biofilms. For that, she’s won a MacArthur “genius” grant — and is giving new hope to frustrated pharmacos seeking new weapons against drug-resistant superbugs.”

The talk is from the 2009 TED conference. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

Basically TED currently hosts a collection of Inspired leaders in various fields of Design, Tech, Science, Entertainment (including Music) and Global Issues. Check out other such talks over at their website. TED

I’ll probably be linking a few of their more interesting videos soon.


Posted in Film & TV by jukeboxparables on April 12, 2009

Don’t you just love SBS? Channel surfing late at night right before your about to go to sleep because of work the next day and you stumble across a random foreign movie and out of boredom you give it 5minutes and the next thing you know you have to watch it. The most recent case being a movie called Camarón.

A Spanish movie about a traditional flamenco gypsy singer, I of course missed the opening title so had to check up on it to see what it was called and low and behold It was actually a biopic documentary. This does make sense as it was rather brilliantly written and shared a lot of the themes of better known music biopics. You could even say it is the Spanish version of Control, Last Days or The Doors biopics. Actually leave Last Days off that list it was utterly grating (and I guess It technically wasn’t a biopic) But yes what made this Music-biopic so darn impressive was not only the story/depth but the actors themselves.

The biopic portrays the life of Camarón de la Isla, from a young boy dreaming about becoming a bull fighter in rural Spain through the rise of his career as an amateur vocalist or “clapper” and the various trails and tribulations / escalating drug use on to becoming Spain’s most famous Flamenco Gypsy singer. The story is also intertwined with the early life of Paco de Lucía an Internationally renowned and influential Flamenco guitarist.

The real story aside for one moment, the actors in this movie are brilliant. As in they actually had to be able to sing and play guitar to dizzying standards. I’m wondering if the actor who portrayed Cameron; Óscar Jaenada perhaps had his vocal singing scenes dubbed over by the real deal? I mean I’m not too quizzed up on the Flamenco gypsy scene but it sounded awe inspiring to me. If it was indeed Óscar Jaenada then the man has more than acting talent in his own right. Though music wise; I know my guitar and the actor portraying guitarist Paco de Lucía was amazing. Spot on classic Flamenco guitar action.

The scenes with Camarón and Paco were based on their collaboration and touring for 9 albums in between 1969 and 1977. From when they initially met through to touring the country as stars. The film (as is probably expected) goes down a tragic path near the end (isn’t this always the case with Artists of true talent?) and perhaps if you go into watching Camarón with the fore-knowledge that it’s based on the life of someone real the ending will have; I think, an amplified numbing effect.

You do probably have to have an open mind to new and different styles of music to enjoy this though. I can see how it could be dull to those who are not open to new sounds especially us non-Spanish speakers who don’t understand what the lyrics are about. But if you are clued up on music then lyrics are not needed; you can ‘hear’ exactly where these anguished songs are coming from and feel loosely what they’re about. That’s part of the movies charm to me. A lot of the scenes of the film are just the stripped back intimacy of a gig/show. Camarón singing and Paco playing guitar. You’ll either totally fall into the sound or won’t. It’s subjective.

I won’t go into detail about the rest of the story as not to ruin it. If you like Music biopics then check this one out, It’s up there with the better lot of Western music Biopics. It unfortunately only had a Spanish release in 2005 but you can pick it up on DVD.

It’s International title is: Camarón: When Flamenco Became Legend

The film won a swathe of awards mostly with Óscar Jaenada as Best Actor and deservedly so!

Check out this video; of the real deal. Paco and Camarón. The guitar work is astounding. It also features great haircuts!

John Safran; Crucifiction video!

Posted in Film & TV by jukeboxparables on April 11, 2009

Yes, actual video footage of the event. I’ve been browsing the net for more info on this and only A handful of people seem to ‘get it’ because they know Safran’s shenanigans. But more of the comments have been the typical “Christians up in arms” that Safran is making a mockery of A ritual. But I mean; It appears that he’s actually going through the ritual. So satirical theatrics or not it’s going to make for great TV. Is this Life imitating Art or Art imitating life?

John Safran; Crucified (for real) in The Philippines

Posted in Film & TV by jukeboxparables on April 11, 2009

Talk about being on topic. With me posting a blog a mere few hours ago speculating on the nature of John Safran’s upcoming new series, media outlets including news.com.au and The Australian are reporting that he’s taken part in a local ritual in The Philippines that mark Good Friday celebrations by nailing people to a cross. It’s being reported that John identified himself as “John Michael, 33 and from Melbourne” but Reuters photographs clearly show It’s Safran.

From The Australian;

Safran, who was half-naked and wearing a long-haired wig with an improvised crown of thorns, joined the Filipinos in a procession carrying a huge wooden cross to a crucifixion site, flanked by men in Roman centurion costumes.

Safran could be heard moaning loudly as the nails were driven into his palms and as his cross was hoisted up, allowing him to hang for about five minutes.

When he was taken down, the centurions rushed him to a medical tent for treatment. Safran would not say why he had joined the ceremony but an Australian companion merely said “this is a personal thing for him”.

And I thought there was no way in hell he could outdo his “Exorcism” at the end of Vs God. Unlike that skit, This seems to be the real deal. Either John is willing to go to new and totally original heights for his Television or he’s been a closet fundy all along. I’ll stick with the former. This footage and his new series is now officially the most anticipated show in 2009.