Sunday, February 29, 2004

PEOPLE YOU WILL READ ABOUT IN LEXICON DEVIL:

What they hey, Jay Hinman did this (oh, my blog hero!), so I will, too. Here's a list of people/bands I dig that you will read about in the future on Lexicon Devil (once I get my shit together): Hawkwind, Screamers, Germs, Saccharine Trust, Electric Wizard, Swell Maps, My Dad Is Dead, Funkadelic, Howlin' Wolf, Acid Mothers Temple, William Parker, Gong, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Saint Vitus, Big Boys, Khanate, Minutemen, Die Kreuzen, Savage Republic, Seeds, T-Rex, Can, Residents, New York Dolls, MX-80, Vertical Slit, The Pop Group, Amon Duul, Kinks, Cecil Taylor, Black Sabbath, Grateful Dead, Boredoms, Black Flag, Morton Feldman, Neil Young, Eno, Nurse With Wound and a whole lot more. Got it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

TOP 50 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME: # 47

JOHN MARTYN - Inside Out LP
This list needs a few curveballs thrown in the mix just to keep myself interested. I'm not saying that I'd list an apparent anomaly like John Martyn just to surprise or taunt people; it's here for good reason: I LOVE this album. I can stick more of the predictable stuff in later on (and anyone who knows me is all to aware of what they are), but for now, let's talk about Inside Out.

Prior to, if my memory isn't too off (I can't be bothered rummaging through piles of magazines to confirm the exact date), early 1997, I'd absolutely never heard of John Martyn. I was working in a warehouse for a music distributor at the time and came into work one morning with the new issue of The Wire. My English ex-pat workmate, who was a good 10 years older than me and a guy I personally liked and admired immensely, jumped out of his chair when I put the new issue down at my workbench: "That's John Martyn on the cover! He's a right bloody legend, he is!". Huh? I'd never heard of the guy, and was simply wondering why on Earth The Wire put some bearded old geezer on the cover who looked more suited to MOJO magazine.

Anyway, my friend promptly gave me The John Martyn Story (it turned out that back in England he was friends with Martyn's daughter), the Essential Purchases list and those to avoid and, well, within a week I had about half a dozen of his albums at home on the shelf (his stuff was, and likely still is, pretty easy to find on 2nd hand vinyl) and was entranced.

Musically, Martyn is a tough guy to pin down. As a Scottish folkie, he got swept up in the "folk boom" of the '60s and signed to Island to release a couple of LPs with his wife, Beverley. At the dawn of the '70s she dropped out to take up motherhood full-time and John's music became more and more obtuse. Coming under the spell of Indian ragas, free jazz and Jamaican dub, he recorded a series of brilliant albums such as Bless the Weather, Solid Air, Sunday's Child, Live at Leeds and Inside Out ('73), and explored darker and more grim lyrical themes as the decade progressed. By the early '80s, suffering alcoholic and psychological problems, he dropped out for a few years but was later "revived" by none other than long-time fan PHIL FUGGIN' COLLINS, fer chrissakes! Recording and marketing him as some lame-beyond-belief Adult Contemporary artist, he then unfortunately went on to record a series of dross with Mr. S-S-Sudio before personal problems took him off the radar yet again. In the last 10 years, Martyn has apparently gotten himself together yet again and released a couple of stripped-back albums on various indies that hark back to his glory days. I ain't heard 'em, but before I die, I undoubtedly will.

What's Martyn sound like? For reference, think of that great early '70s Island roster: Richard Thompson, Eno, Nick Drake, Nico, John Cale. Or imagine a Celt-folkie version of Tim Buckley ca. Blue Afternoon or Lorca. Martyn has an amazingly gruff, bluesy voice that can howl in bitterness then turn beautifully tender the next instant, his lyrics so personal and full of pain that his stuff can seriously be too heavy for a sensitive lad like myself if I'm not in the right mood. As far as personal anguish goes, Inside Out is his pinnacle.

The cover tells the story: on the front there's a silhouette of his head with storm clouds and lightning superimposed on his face; on the back is the same image with a serene sun instead. You get an even clearer picture of his headspace by the first song: a piano/guitar-led tune, "Fine Lines", which appears to detail his sense of desertion from his friends. Inside Out has a strong thematic core of relationships (and life in general) slipping off the rails, though the mixture of musical styles gives it an almost schizophrenic edge: the distorted, fuzzed-out guitar instrumental, "Eibhli Ghail Chiuin ni Chearbahaill" (a traditional Celtic tune revamped), the Pharaoh Sanders-inspired "Outside In" (with screaming howls, roaring sax and thunderous drums, this is Martyn getting real weird), the raw funkiness of "Look In" and the droning acoustics of "Beverley". This, dear readers, is one brave disc, and yet one that sadly eludes just about every music-obsessive I know. The music of John Martyn, whether I like it or not, seems to be my own private little treasure.

Pros: Along with Nick Drake and Richard Thompson, Martyn is part of the Holy Trinity of UK '70s Singer-Songwriter Tortured Artists.
Cons: Ummm... those Phil Collins-produced albums I told you about. 'Nuff said!
Related Releases: The best place to start is actually the token Best Of, So Far So Good, from '77. It has, without doubt, the ugliest and just plain most unappealing cover you will ever see, though every track's a winner, and features his best ever song, "Spencer the Rover", though, curiously, contains nothing from Inside Out.




Once I get some time I'm going to spruce this site up a bit and write about a little more than, ugh, the Top 50 Albums of All Time. Believe me, at this rate, by the time I get to #40 I think I may've bored myself to death. Anyway, I got a letter yesterday from an old friend in Spain who asked me what was going to be next: Miles Davis, Sonny Sharrock, Meat Puppets or Blue Cheer. Not a bad guess - two of those artists will be listed - but two won't, despite the fact that I dig them immensely. Let's put it this way: this list is 50 albums I'd take to a desert island, if, hypothetically speaking, I was dumped on one with a cache of discs, a turntable and a, um, power generator (yes, we are talking fictional). Or let's put it this way: if I had to spend eternity on a desert island with only 50 albums, I really don't think that Sonny Sharrock's squalls (and Linda Sharrock's screams) would be what I'd choose to dabble in for a lifetime of solitude. There's about 3 or 4 Sharrock albums I love, but if I put them down they'd only be token references for added Hipster Points. I hope to avoid such pitfalls here: these records are ones I actually listen to, as opposed to ones I show off to half-assed collector friends when they drop by.

Monday, February 23, 2004

TOP 50 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME: # 48

HAWKWIND - Space Ritual dbl LP

I've written about my love for this double set in various places over the years, so I fear I'm repeating myself a little here, but I should explain that this all-time fave - which, if this list was actually in any kind of order, would likely make the grade as a Top 10er - works perfectly on two levels.

Firstly, musically, it's without a doubt TOP ECHELON ROCK'N'ROLL. Originally released in 1973, this live set perfectly fits its point in time: a meeting point between spacey '60s psychedelia a la early Pink Floyd and '77-style aggro UK punk. Yet, you could also say that, along with its brethren of the day (Twink, Pink Fairies, Deviants, various Krautrockers and even the MC5), Hawkwind are the ultimate early '70s anomaly, caught out of time and luck: anarchistic psychedelia for a nation's youth who didn't care a hell of a lot for either anarchy or psychedelia (which isn't to say that Hawkwind didn't have a following in the day; indeed they were a fairly popular "underground" unit). Whatever the case, peak-era Hawkwind were a r'n'r freak circus from hell, spruced up in ludicrous outfits, ham-handed sci-fi babble and touched off with a hint of radical-politik.

Best of all is the actual music. I've said this before and I'll say it again: it may be a fairly bogus cultural reference to make, but it appears to me that "Neil" from "The Young Ones" completely - and falsely - ruined Hawkwind's rep for an entire generation of budding rock fans. By being a smelly, unwashed "hippie" and putting them in the same basket as Genesis, he made two falsehoods to many: that Hawkwind were "progressive rock" and "hippies". Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with being either; after all, the Grateful Dead were filthy hippies and I love them (fuck you, too), and "progressive rock" can mean just about anything, from the uber-cool of Amon Duul to the barrel-scraping nadir of Yes. But anyway, my point is this: Hawkwind never were and never shall be a group of Lilly-livered prog lightweights a la Genesis or whatever other pansified outfit you care to mention, nor were they "groovy space-cadet" hippies hitching a hayride with the toothfairies. They were a GODDAMN STEAMROLLING WHITE-PANTHER GUITAR-DRIVEN DEMOLITION UNIT who, to my mind, are up there with the likes of the Stooges in their ability to pen, perform and execute Rock of the absolute highest and most pure form.

I think it was Joe Carducci who noted that Hawkwind were possibly the loosest, most organic unit the tight-assed nation otherwise known as the UK ever produced. I couldn't've said it better myself. In once sense, Space Ritual sounds almost sloppy. There's no musical "chops" on display (bar maybe Lemmy's bass antics); in fact, it often feels like the band is kind of falling apart, but it's the semi-drugged-out looseness that gives Space Ritual its stamp. No other band since has really sounded like them, as much as some may try, which I guess is testimony to a unique chemistry, one which, unfortunately (due to personnel changes), was not to be repeated by the band itself.

So why else does Space Ritual "work" for me? Sentimental reasons, pure and simple. I was given this double set - actually an original pressing with the fancy fold-out sleeve to ogle for hours - by my then-girlfriend (now my wife, if ya gotta know) in mid 1994 when, in a fit of alcohol-induced stupidity, I broke my leg in a pretty nasty fashion. The details are too embarrassing; suffice to say, I was completely bed-ridden immediately after the accident for roughly two weeks, high on pain killers with a toe-to-groin plaster on my left leg. Not being able to do a hell of a lot of anything for quite a while, the good lady, knowing I was a fan through a recent purchase of their similarly-great Do Re Mi LP from '72, bought a beat-up copy of Space Ritual at a 2nd-hand outlet and dropped it off for me. Maybe I was just high as a kite on morphine, but I can tell you that over the next two weeks, those two slabs of 12" vinyl became somewhat of an obsession for me, as I spun them endlessly in between 5-hour marathons of excruciating daytime TV. That sucker was just about the only thing that kept me sane. Wouldn't you marry a lady who hand-delivered Space Ritual to you when you were sick?

Pros: Hawkwind's high point; a high point of early '70s rock; a high point of rock; a high point of 20th century music. That's all you need to know
Cons: If you consider Hawkwind's shaky post-Space Ritual discography a "con", then I guess there's one for you.
Related releases: Space Ritual's two predecessors are both almost as equally worthy: In Search of Space and Do Re Mi, two scorching studio albums.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

WHITEHOUSE - Live @ the Corner Hotel, 18th February 2004

Whitehouse were one of the main crowd-drawers for this year's What Is Music? festival, and indeed the only main act I caught. To make a long story mercifully short: I turned up to the loathsome Revolver on the Sunday night to catch Merzbow - which was sold out by 9 o'clock - only to spend an hour crammed into their "band room" (which resembles a cage) uncomfortably standing in the heat through the tedium of the support act (one of many). Finally succumbing to my usual short fuse in such situations, I cracked the proverbial sads and stormed out of the venue, drove home and swore that I'd never bother with either What Is Music? or (especially) Revolver ever again. The thought of spending another hour and a half in that insufferable hellhole just to catch Merzbow was too much to bear.

Oren, my hat is truly tipped to you for organising WIM year after year - you're one of the good guys, the true believers - but please, please never book it at Revolver ever again. If you lived in Melbourne you would be blindingly aware of the 3 following, basic facts: Revolver is too small; it is frequented by obnoxious posers and very likely not the kind of people who'd attend a WIM festival; it's on the wrong side of town for - at a guess - roughly 85% of WIM's regulars. No-one with a shred of dignity lives on the south side of Melbourne.

Due to this situation, I missed Keiji Haino the next night at Revolver for his 3 1/2 hour(!!) set, which from all reports was incredible, though due to the change of venue, I decided to catch Whitehouse. My "history" with Whitehouse goes something like this: finally delving into the world of harsh noise (don't ask me why, it was just there) in late '92, I purchased their Cream of the Second Coming double LP at Exposure and promptly convinced myself it was really good. A really enjoyable listen that I would keep until I dropped. In the following 12 months I even bought a stack more of their CDs as they started to get reissued. After all, I was 20/21, pissed off as hell, obsessed with punk rock, terrorism, dada, noise and the general destruction of bourgeois life as we know it (despite the fact that I lived cosily with my parents at the time). Whitehouse are custom-made for such people.

Skip roughly three years and I'd become good friends with Synaesthesia's Mark Harwood. I felt like I'd done some growing up in the intervening years and needed to shed some of my embarrassing past. Phone call to Mark: "Mark, wanna buy a whole bunch of noise records?". Sure. He came over. I decided to keep the cream of the crop - so to speak - meaning basically most of my Merzbow albums, but not feeling any strong connection with, say, the Incapacitants, Hijokaidan and (sheesh!) Sigillum S, I sold them without blinking. Whilst I'm at it, chuck in a stack of Whitehouse, too.

In the last 18 months I've actually been exposed to some of Whitehouse's newer recordings. They're an improvement on their earlier material, but that's not saying much. In fact, that's not saying anything at all. Whitehouse are what I'd call a purely Record Collector oriented band. That is, their appeal is solely to those who collect and amass records as a status symbol, as a reaffirming of what they are. That's fine, many such people are my friends and everyone has to have a hobby. Fact is, many a year back you'd probably throw me in the same boat. But roughly five years ago I had an epiphany: at the ripe old age of 27, I felt the first tinge of growing up. I came to this conclusion: music is there to bring joy into your life, it's there to have fun with. No, I didn't become a born-again Christian, I simply concluded that I'd wasted a large bulk of my life chasing up music which would only back me up for all the negative feelings I had inside of me (someone call Oprah!). Does this make any sense? I think I felt that I was nothing without the music I listened to, that it wholly defined me, and until I turned 27 and had some life experience (which basically meant traveling overseas and finally changing jobs upon return) behind me, that I couldn't divorce myself from it. In a teacup: I took music way too seriously.

Skip 5 years to last week. My feeling towards Whitehouse were fairly non-existent; in fact the only notable feeling I had was a vague curiosity, so I took the plunge. I'm glad I did: Whitehouse were perfectly dreadful. Not that I'm glad they were awful - after all, I don't pay good money to see something I don't like. I was slyly hoping they would defy all expectations and blow me away, or maybe offend me so badly with outrageous stupidity that I'd at least be transfixed. Unfortunately, they were neither. They were only this: DULL.

They were, as Jon Dale noted, nothing short of a noise cabaret act. All camp mincing and "shocking" lyrics that, coming from two 40-somethings, was frankly nothing less than embarrassing. Even more disturbing was the sight of fans mouthing every single word in synchronicity with the band (William Bennett and Phillip Best, both looking like rejects from a New Romantic tribute act). People do actually repeatedly listen to Whitehouse? When? Why? When you're doing the dishes? Driving the car with the windows down on a hot, sunny day? Reading a book? Taking a girl out on a hot date? Go figure.

The best punk rock - the stuff I grew up listening to - is, if this makes any sense, the best combination of positive-negative energy. Its inherent negativity was its positive trait, what gave it its life and its humour. The "negativity" was really just the cry of the wounded, the dispossessed and those who felt they didn't have a place in this world. Whitehouse probably claim the same (actually, they likely don't), and maybe they're right and I'm wrong, but still, I can't figure out how anyone beyond the kind of miserable, ignorant, mean-spirited, bitter, self-obsessed, spoilt little know-it-all turd that I was as a 21 year-old could actually enjoy this band. Prove me wrong. And by the way, their "music" stinks.
Ugh, I just re-read through some of that Bongwater piece and nearly fell asleep myself. I think its dullness can be attributed to the shocking hangover I was suffering through whilst writing it. Lest this site become a paint-by-numbers excercise in musical masturbation, I think I'll start making it more eclectic. The time to do that is not right now: I gotta do some work.

The first thing I will change, however, is my writing of titles in italics. I've just realised that the italics in this font look completely ridiculous, like the letters are about to collapse and fall over or something. So, titles will go in bold instead. Don't know what I mean? Try this: Hello, you sexy beast. See?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

TOP 50 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME: # 49

BONGWATER - Double Bummer dbl LP
An old friend of mine was down from Sydney this week to play at the What Is Music? festival (for folks o/s, WIM is an annual "experimental" music festival curated by Oren Ambarchi and co., held along Australia's East Coast; this year it featured Whitehouse, Merzbow, Keiji Haino and others), and unfortunately we didn't really get to speak properly at the crowded and noisy Whitehouse show when we bumped into each other. As fate would have it, we crossed paths at Missing Link a couple of days later and did the usual catch-up. The last time we'd gotten to really speak at length with each other was roughly (if memory serves) around September of 1999, when we spent a rainy afternoon at a friend's place sitting around spinning records and endlessly talking about our favourite music. Our bond was strengthened by one, possibly pathetic, fact: our mutual love for the Shimmy-Disc label. Man, you shoulda heard the names a-flyin'!: Shockabilly, Tuli Kupferberg, Dogbowl, B.A.L.L.... in almost hushed tones, we both secretly even admitted a love for early King Missile (whilst sternly stating that their later, major-label material was an embarrassment and disgrace for everyone involved).

Almost five years later we meet again, and you know the first thing out of his mouth? "Hey Dave, you dig B.A.L.L., don't you?" I had to chuckle and remind him that we'd had pretty much the exact same conversation nearly half a decade ago, but lo and behold, the names starting coming out all over again: Fred Lane, Fly Ashtray, etc. There was one matter in which we were both in clear agreement: Bongwater's Double Bummer from 1988 is truly one of the greatest albums of all time.

I first bought 'Bummer at the old Relic store in Prahran in early 1991. Much like my high school infatuation with the SST label (don't get me started on that: you KNOW I'll be discussing that down the line somewhere), by late 1990, after a brief fling with Touch & Go (yeah, I had a hell of a love-life at the time. I had to beat those records away with a stick!) I decided to delve into the world of Shimmy. Encouraged by favourable reviews in the mags of the day (FE, Flipside, B-Side... even Chemical Imbalance, MRR and an article in goddamn Rolling Stone[!!] I chanced upon), I picked up Double Bummer and didn't look back for approximately 18 months. There was only one name on my lips: Kramer. The guy couldn't do any wrong. Well, he eventually did, and much like SST and T & G, he started releasing complete garbage, my interest waned and I looked elsewhere for audio pleasures. Again, as with my previous obsession with SST, in the intervening period I stupidly sold a whole bunch of my Shimmy-Disc records and have since spent the last few years desperately trying to buy them all back again (which has been fairly fruitless, since most of them are out of print and 2nd-hand copies in Australia are near-impossible to find).

Anyway, we all know Bongwater, don't we? The NY duo (or trio or quartet, if you see it differently) featuring Shimmy impresario/producer Kramer and actress/"performance artist" (there oughta be a law., I tells ya...) Ann Magnuson? After a brief stint in the Buttholes and a floundering career in the criminally under-rated Shockabilly with Eugene Chadbourne, Kramer befriended Magnuson on the usual NY circuit, kickstarted the Shimmy label and released the Breaking No New Ground EP in '87, only to release Double Bummer as his Grand Statement a year later. Due to the fact that double-LP releases by underground bands were a rarity at the time (unlike today, where every blowhard insists on releasing 75-minute CDs), DB was instantly hailed a classic upon release: a hippie-punk White Album, an Exile on Main Street of the '80s. Whatever. Not really sure if either claim is correct, but it certainly stuck in my craw and I haven't gotten it out since.

Bongwater were the perfect summation of Kramer's musical loves: the (occasionally grating) bong-hit satire of Zappa and the Fugs, the Euro art-rock of Gong, Soft Machine, Henry Cow and others, the eccentricities of White Album-period Beatles and the lonesome psychedelia of Roky Erickson. Throw that into a mix and you've got prime Bongwater. I know that friends of mine absolutely can't stand just about anything Kramer ever touched - deriding him as The New Zappa (ie. annoying dilettante whose "wackiness" overshadowed his minimal talent) - but for my 2 cents, his ability to marry both "weirdness" and an actual pop tune are near-unparalleled, and DB is his benchmark.

Pros: 4 sides of beautifully screwed-up psychedelic rock, '80s style. Stick the needle on any song, it's all good. Really.
Cons: OK, there's a few here: for one, none of their other material is quite as strong, Kramer eventually went on to release some real atrocities and had a nasty falling-out/lawsuit with Magnuson (who has since gone on to prove herself to be one of the most truly annoying, self-obsessed assholes to grace the entertainment biz today), and, like I said, your ability to handle "humour" within rock music is really going to judge whether Bongwater will float your boat or not.
Related releases: Bongwater's Power of Pussy LP from '91 is almost as good, though avoid the dreadful The Big Sellout from '92, it's a howler.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

TOP 50 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME: #50

THE SCENE IS NOW - Total Jive LP
I should note, firstly, that this list isn't really in any great order: I just thought this'd be a good place to start. Ahem, anyway, beginning with TSIN may seem like a hell of an esoteric, audience-killing way to start things, but for me, there's no better way to kick things off.

I first read about the band in about 1988 in an issue of the great and long-defunct B-Side mag penned by the similarly great James Curran (or James C., as he was known then). That gets me thinking: what the hell ever happened to him? He was a fantastic writer for his age (he was but a teen when involved with the mag), yet slinked off to seemingly nothing when it dissolved. I met him once in about '93 at a Dumb & the Ugly gig and, after remarking at how shocked I was by his youth (I think I expected a 35 year-old or something), promptly chewed his ear off for roughly an hour about what an "inspiration" he was and have never seen him anywhere since. More to the point, he's never written since, which is the biggest shame.

Enough of the diversions: James' review certainly piqued my interest: a NYC quintet featuring a Pere Ubu member who dabbled in vaguely "accessible", "quirky" post No-Wave pop with a somewhat rootsy edge. I filed it in the back of my brain until 1991 when I stumbled across it in the bargain bin at Exposure Records for $5. Naturally, I took the punt.

TSIN are a hard band to pin down. By all accounts their "avant-rock credentials" are impeccable: ex-Ubu member in the ranks (Tony Maimone), the estimable Chris Nelson as leader (he being the head of Lost Records and Mofungo part-timer, a loose collective linked up to other noteables like Fish & Roses, Elliott Sharp, etc.) and rave reviews by the usual suspects like Ajax's Tim Adams and Byron Coley. Unfortunately, all that added up to zip in regards to their public profile. Fact of the matter is, I've never met anyone else who's even heard of this LP, let alone owned it. It's a pity, coz it's a scorcher of the highest degree.

Upon first listen, you may be shocked by its sheer "accessibility". There's no "skronk" here, no screams of angst and no riffs of the ball-tearing variety. The pop hooks are a-plenty, the guitar lines pleasant and the "brass section" jamming. However, a listen or two in, and you'll start to notice something very strange happening: TSIN sound like roughly three bands playing at once. A guitar lick flies that way, a keyboard plonk jumps in another direction, and Chris Nelson's broken vocals seems to come in at random moments when the urge takes him. What at once sounds like a fairly simple '80s u/ground "pop" album starts to take a very different shape. If precedents must be mentioned, I'd undoubtedly throw around names like Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Slovenly and Red Crayola, though TSIN's pop sensibilities are more finely honed than any of the above. Throw in maybe a bit of the Feelies or Dream Syndicate VU-style strum into the mix and you're getting closer to TSIN territory. I've listened to this album a few hundred times since purchase and have never tired of its off-kilter rhythms, oblique lyrics or bizarre sense of '80s Americana (cover included). As far as I know, it hasn't been available for well over a decade, though it's a cut-out fave I'm glad I gambled on.

Pros: Awesome, criminally under-rated u/ground '80s gem. NJ indie-geeks Yo La Tengo covered one of its songs on Fakebook.
Cons: None really, so obscure it exists within its own universe. Those who only dig their Rock noisey, however, will be put off by its flagrant displays of "niceness". Too fuggin' bad.
Related: TSIN's Total Jive LP from '86, another killer well worth grabbing.
Whoah! Even a computer genius like me just got this thing working! Dunno if ANYONE reading this knows anything about me, and I'm not sure if it's relevant, but here goes...

I used to contribute to various Aussie fanzines around 1991-'92 before embarking on my own with Year Zero then The Moderate ('93-'97), two locals rags that, for whatever reason, people still actually care to mention in my immediate presence. Since they dissolved, I've written a plethora of articles for the Perfect Sound Forever site, amongst others. In the meantime I play drums in various useless local units you don't want to know about, dabble in public radio when I can be bothered and run the Lexicon Devil label (hence the name of this site), which has releases out by F/i, Boy Dirt Car, Jennifer Gentle, Currituck Co., Vibracathedral Orchestra, Vocokesh and Verdure. Write to me c/o lexdev@yahoo.com.au for details, and if you're from the US of A, go hassle Eclipse, Revolver or Forced Exposure for copies. I also like puppies and long walks along the beach, but enough of the introductions!

OK, on with the show. As this is a forum for me to blab endlessly on any topic that takes my fancy, I shall start by giving a rundown on my Top 50 Albums of All Time (you know that no Music Geek blog would be complete without such a list). To increase the level of sheer dorkery in such an undertaking, I shall also explain certain things about the release that I feel are important, these being: when and how it was purchased; its musical "context"; its pros and cons; related releases. As a catch, I've decided on these following rules: no band can have more than one entry; no "Best Of"'s are allowed (they must be fully-realised albums); box sets are only allowed if they are compilations by various artists. These last two rules cut out some artists I happen to really love (for instance Fela Kuti and T-Rex, who have some great Best Of's, don't have any individual albums that make the grade; I'd love to put in Pere Ubu's Datapanik box set, but a single LP will have to suffice). On with the freakin' show...
Welcome to the debut entry at the new blog site from Dave Lang. Inspired by the life-affirming rants of friends like Jon Dale and Jay Hinman, I've decided to take the dive into the world of blogging and create a site that allows me to howl freely on any topic that takes my fancy. On with the show...