Jukeboxparables

This aptly describes what I dream about…

Posted in Photography, Random by jukeboxparables on February 1, 2010

Came across this website linked from a friend. Yes uber cool photoblogs are nothing new, but this one has some rad topic matter.

It’s all in monochrome of course and features some great random photos along with classic actors, musicians, artistic nudity and oldschool motorbikes. It’s all very punk rock, kids.

I likey.

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1991: The Year Punk Broke.

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

punk_dvd

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!

tytpb

Review: The Gaslight Anthem – Sink or Swim

Posted in Music, Review by jukeboxparables on March 27, 2009

Picture sociopolitical old-new punk Canadian band Against Me! only with Bruce Springsteen on vocals. What do you get? If you said The Gaslight Anthem, your wrong that would be pigeonholing. But you are close. I felt compelled to review their debut 2007 album entitled “Sink or Swim” simply because it’s been on repeat in my car, at home and on the portable music player and more importantly I think I’ve discovered what makes it tick.

Besides it being on repeat, the other reason It’s being mentioned here is because I’ve never been put-off more by an album upon first listen and then subsequently caved to its sentiments upon repeated listens. The Gaslight Anthem hail from New Brunswick, NJ, USA and lead singer Brian Fallon’s vocals growl with working-man like intent. I initially took issue with this, It’s easy to be flippant with newer bands in our day and age and question their sentiments. If you are one for flippancy you’d probably find yourself (initially) filing this band under done-to-death mainstream rock. You might even group them with certain late 90’s group’s who are utterly gag inducing. But wait, you’d be wrong.

You’d be wrong because what The Gaslight Anthem do best is make it genuine. As already mentioned my first listen to Sink or Swim left me wincing at certain quips and turn of phrase. I was wincing because bands from the late 90’s who shall remain un-named ruined it for everyone. Swathes of Southern-baritone-growl mainstream rock made open and fragile lyrical prose cliche and it’s been passe ever since. I was so sure a few years ago that such song writing would never be credible again.

Sink or Swim has possibly turned this all around on its own. Which isn’t to say The Gaslight Anthem’s writing is anything like that, these definitely aren’t cheap throw-away lines and the actual lyrics tell stories with a Dylan-esque trail of thought rather than being in the style of 3minute pop songs. I think the key to the songs are; what actually separates them from the straight-up Mainstream Rock tag is liberal use of Punk rhythms and change ups yet you can’t classify them as a Punk band.

This use of rhythm can be put down to genuine local influence; the New Brunswick underground or “basement” Punk scene which has given birth to some impressive acts over the years. The band themselves have described their sound as “Bruce Springsteen singing for a Cure cover band, with a tinge more aggression.” I’m not sure about the Cure cover band citing. But the Boss (Bruce Springsteen) is of course from New Jersey, so there again; genuine local influence.

When you realise The Gaslight Anthem are basically a proverbial sponge of The Hub City absorbing all that surrounds them and they really don’t give a shit what style that happens to be, you start to like them more. It’s that blend of Punk sentiment over traditional topical song writing that makes you remember their songs. They’re signed to Indie Label SideOneDummy But band motives aside let’s get onto the music as that’s what matters.

Sink or Swim kicks off with opening track “Boomboxes And Dictionaries” and is a quick indication of song writing approach. Slightly left-of-center lyrically as are most of the songs on the album. Liberal use of lyrics to tell the story rather than falling over themselves desperately to get back to that catchy chorus.

And if you’re scared of the future tonight, we’ll just take it each hour one at a time.
It’s a pretty good night for a drive, so dry up those eyes, dry up those eyes.
Because the radio will still play loud, songs that we heard as our guards came down.
Like in the summertime when we first met, I’ll never forget, don’t you forget, these nights are still ours.

Kicking off with as sing along moment that also gets the blood flowing is a good thing. But then they go one better with “I Could’a Been A Contender” Which song has the better chorus I’ll let you decide. Either way you’ll find yourself coming back to these two tracks more often then not.

There’s a dirty wind blowing, there’s a storm front coming
There’s an S.O.S. on the seas tonight
Steady now, steady now, soldier hold fast now
It’s heads or tails on heart attacks and broken dreams tonight

The pace continues throughout the first half of the album. Yes this is your favourite new driving album. Just watch those speed limits…

Things take a turn on “The Navesink Banks” where the Acoustic guitar is brought out for a soft yet resilient reminisce of the past which probably pays some ode to Tom Waits. A nice break in the pacing just at the right time.

“I’da Called You Woody, Joe” is apparently a track about Joe Strummer no less or the story of Brian’s first listen to The Clash presumably. This song resonates if your a Strummer fan or perhaps if you’ve seen The Future Is Unwritten particularly one of the later scenes where Joe is handing out flyers to one of his solo shows to people on the street who ignore him.

“Angry Johnny And The Radio” has one hell of a rolling breakdown that makes it one of the highlights of the back end of the album. Though for me the last track is one of particular note. “Red At Night” is a folk/blues inspired Acoustic come-down of sorts. Featuring a nice lazy harmonica channeling Bob Dylan perhaps? It wraps up the album nicely and nails home your sentiments; Sink or Swim is an album worth the time not only for its sing-a-long driving songs but for it’s vivid projections and tales of life in New Brunswick.

Rating: 7.7/10

Tracklist:

1. “Boomboxes and Dictionaries” – 3:11
2. “I Coulda Been a Contender” – 3:22
3. “Wooderson” – 2:11
4. “We Came to Dance” – 3:34
5. “1930” – 3:48
6. “The Navesink Banks” – 2:48
7. “Red in the Morning” – 2:51
8. “I’da Called You Woody, Joe” – 3:21
9. “Angry Johnny and the Radio” – 3:00
10. “Drive” – 2:55
11. “We’re Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner” – 3:11
12. “Red at Night” – 3:07

The Gaslight Anthem
Sink Or Swim
Released: 2007
Label: SideOneDummy / XOXO Records

Blender gallery – rockarchive 10th anniversary exhibit

Posted in Music, Oldschool/Classic Things, Photography by jukeboxparables on March 23, 2009

cobainnap

On Saturday I made a date with Paddington’s Blender gallery because they are hosting rockarchive’s collection of UK based limited music related photography spanning many decades. Hung prints included; David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Blondie, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Siouxsie Sioux and many many more. All of the prints are limited releases available for purchase, ouch did I come close. Particular shots of Cobain and Sioux we’re amongst highlights.

It’s the first time the collection is running in Australia, it being based in the UK, It features dozens of portfolios of some of the worlds best music photographers and runs from Friday 20th March until Tuesday 21st April 2009 you can get all the info at either rockarchives website or the Blender gallery.

I was blown away by more than a few of the shots and more importantly the story behind them. I’ve borrowed the photo above as a means to get you all out there to take a look. If I’m infringing copyright please let me know.

I chose that shot because I absolutely love the story behind it. It was taken by and is the copyright of Ed Sirrs and the story behind it reads; The date was 20 Aug 1991.

“The support band had been ignored by an almost empty house, but the place is suddenly capacity rammed and heaving for headliners Sonic Youth. Four feet away from the side of the little stage, oblivious to the monumental racket, the support band’s singer/guitarist (Kurt Cobain) catches a few zzzs on a narrow wooden bench.”

That’s a moment in time. One of my all time favourite bands Nirvana did indeed tour/support Sonic Youth (another of my favourites) during the explosion of the Seattle sound in the late 80’s early 90’s. This photo of Kurt makes him look like a regular guy taking a nap, a roady perhaps? (though how you could fall asleep during the aural assault that is Sonic Youth, I don’t know) a few months on to a year later Nirvana became the biggest band in the world. 3 years later the combined effects of childhood scoliosis / undiagnosed stomach cramps -> various drug addictions / unrelenting & unwanted international media pressure, perhaps all combined to cause Kurt to commit suicide. But here he’s just a regular guy having a nap.

EDIT:: looky what I found. Yes it’s from the same show!

The Ramones – Cartoons

Posted in Music, Random by jukeboxparables on March 20, 2009

Ok so I stumbled on some epic Ramones cartoons and especially a site called ladroncomix Here’s a collection of the artists work as well as a few others found on the net.

01

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This last one is not by ladroncomix.

The Ramones! – Coming to Australia… Err?

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on March 20, 2009

I’m so torn over this. I don’t know what to do. Marky Ramone, drummer of 3part deceased band the Ramones is bringing his current band Blitzkrieg! on tour to Australia. They’re fronted by Michale Graves (ex-Misfits) and wait for it… they’re going to be playing Ramones songs.

Frankly this can’t be good. It’d be like Dave Grohl reforming Nirvana with…. Axl Rose on vocals. I’m just wondering how much of a butcher job it’s going to be. Do I dare consider going to see the sole surviving member of the Ramones and jump around to essentially what is a Ramones cover band?

08 April The Corner Hotel VIC
09 April Manning Bar – Sydney University NSW
11 April Club Capitol WA
13 April Governor Hindmarsh Hotel SA
14 April Step Inn QLD

I need to think long and hard about this. I suppose it could be worth a look see. It might be a fun night out and they might actually do a good job / pay tribute to them in the right way. Then again It could be like watching a car crash in slow motion.

I suppose either way there’s some pay-off. Hmmmm the Ramones are one of my favourite bands mainly because sometimes its great to take a break from deep layered music and put on something that’s fun and lighthearted. Considered one of the classic 3 original punk bands of the original punk era, they have since been tagged with the ‘simple 3-chord progression fast and loud’ approach to song writing. I actually see a bit more to them, I find myself comparing their song writing to classic 50’s and 60’s Pop/Rock’n’Roll/Swing. You can hear it in the rhythms and some of the vocal melodies and ranges. For example listen to Joey doing his thing in the following clip; Of course you have to be able to hear that through the actual aforementioned short-fast-loud 3chord simple song change-ups! More on this sometime soon.

EDIT:: I should probably state Tommy is of course still alive. Marky did spend most time at the helm of the sticks though.

ramones-paredb

ramones460