Monday, November 20, 2006

If you're looking for some high comedy, check out this clip at YouTube.

I'll be back in full blogging mode soon... my computer's been on the fritz the last week, so I haven't been able to do shit or shinola in the writing stakes. In the meantime, at night when the sun goes down, I've actually been cuddling up to old issues of... Answer Me! magazine. Is that lameness in a basket or what?! I mean, next thing you know I'll be spinning a few Sub Pop Singles Club platters to accompany the wordfest. BUT - and that's a big but - Answer Me!, at least the first three issues (I never bought the 4th, the "Rape" issue, which was pulled from the shelves pretty quick down these here parts), hold up to great scrutiny 15 years after athe fact. Jim Goad, no matter what a complete and total asshole the guy will always be, is funnier than a fart in a spacesuit when it comes to penmanship. The 3 issues in question have recently been republished w/ a stack of bonus material. I won't be buying it, but perhaps you should. I have no time for misanthropy, unless it makes me laugh, and JG MAKES ME LAUGH. Seemingly disappearing from view for roughly a decade, you can read about what he's been up to at his web site here. It's not a pretty story. Keep in mind, I usually have zero time for "shock culture" or "extreme culture" or whatever you wish to call it - I gave up on that in the mid '90s when I sold all my Whitehouse LPs - but I can only say this: Answer Me! made a huge splash at the time for a pretty good reason. Can't say the same for the old issues of Ben Is Dead I've been thumbing through...

Speaking of big splashes, I have the debut CD by Melbourne's Eddy Current Suppression Ring right in front of me. It's on Dropkick and entitled "Eddy Current Suppression Ring". Every man and his dog has been salivating over it in the local press and radio, so much so I almost want to hate it. Why? To quote Larry Livermore (yeah, well, someone has to): "When I'm in a crowded room and find everyone agreeing with me, I figure I must've said something wrong". But I don't let others dictate what I like and don't like, and I like this a lot. The first impression wasn't overwhelming, the premature verdict being that it doesn't capture the energy and excitement of their live shows. That may still stand, but it doesn't detach from the strength of the actual songs.

I had to go on a hellish daytrip last week for work: Prahran, Frankston, Narre Warren and Dandenong. That'll mean dick to anyone outside of Melbourne; suffice to say it was a monster of a journey through the bumfuck outer suburbs of the city. On such trips I bring my CD wallet along and often find myself playing up to a dozen albums in a single trip. Not the whole albums, mind you, just selected tracks until I feel like playing something different. I played ECSR from Coburg - home base - all the way to Dandenong. That is, for about 4 hours straight, which means I played it nearly eight times in a row. Didn't skip a track, didn't feel like listening to anything else. It simply played through to the end and went right back to track one, started again and I didn't flinch until I hit the gosdforsaken burg known as Dandenong (no offence to the good people of Dandenong, but you really should move) and realised I needed a change of tuneage. That's not only a compliment, that's a fuggin' miracle given my usual attention span for music.

Best Australian album of the year? I'll say yes. If there's a better Australian album released in the year 2006, I haven't heard it. Nothing else I've heard on the radio comes close, and it pips The Necks' The Chemist CD by only the tiniest of margins (and perhaps only because The Chemist is slightly less revelatory than the pure genius of their Aether/Drive By/Mosquito-See Through trilogy). There is nothing I dislike about ECSR: they've got the right songs, the right influences, the right attitude and a perfect sense of individualism in a sea of lessers trying way too hard to succeed without ever considering the question of whether they're actually any good. No-BS Australian "garage rock" in the grand tradition of X and the Eastern Dark I can get my head around, proving it's not a toothless tiger just yet. This time I'm voting w/ the crowd, however begrudgingly: ECSR is a record you'll probably love as much as I do.

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