Sunday, July 3, 2016

Zerodent did Melbourne (and it didn't hurt)

After Zerodent released our debut album we decided to take a trip to Melbourne one weekend for a couple of shows. Always a waste of money, but always fun.
At the Perth airport I bumped into Andy - an acquaintance/fellow musician who is moving to Canada. We had a nice chat before the plane took off. The flight was at 1.40am and went well, but by far the smallest leg room ever. So cramped, could not sleep at all.
My great friend Vlad picked Andy and me from the Airport and drove us to his work place in Collingwood. Andy and me went for a nice breakfast and then I took Vlad’s car, dropped Andy at his friend’s place and went to Vlad’s place in Mentone.
It’s a bit out of town and took me good 45 minutes to get there, but despite not sleeping all night I was fine and really enjoyed having a car to go around rather than catching public transport. Once at his place I just went straight for a nap. Woke up around 3pm, listened some music, had a bite and got myself ready for a DJ gig that night.
After I packed all my records I took Vlad’s car back to Collingwood. It was pouring with rain most of the time and difficult to drive, but still quite enjoyable. Vlad and me went for super yum ramen (and nice sake to go with) and then took off to Forgotten Worlds for my set of Yugoslavian disco/electro music.
The place is an awesome little bar with super friendly staff and amazing selection of boutique beer. The deal was I had free beer and I started sampling some of their stuff. Around 8.30pm I started spinning the records. A few people came and enjoyed the music, drinks and old school arcade games in the bar. A lot of punters came to check what on earth I was playing/take pics of the covers, which is a normal reaction every time I play such stuff.
I finished my set around 11 and it was time to go back to Vlad’s house. While he was driving I felt quite drunk and could hear myself slurring, but I thought I was just too tired, as I only had 4-5 beers. Came home, went straight to bed. 
Found out the next day the beers I drank were between 8 and 10% alcohol...

Woke up around 10am with a bit of hungover. I only feel like that if I drink a lot the previous night, so wasn’t sure what was wrong. Had a shower, coffee and big breakfast and started getting ready to go and meet the rest of Zerodent. Got in touch with bass player Kenta and arranged to pick him up around 1pm. Drove back to Collingwood again. The weather was nice, car stereo was blasting and I felt so happy. Here I was, conquering the streets of Melbourne in my friend’s car. Fuck everyone, I own this place! But then I suddenly realised I missed my turn and ended up in an unknown area. Shit. Had to stop and look at the map, but some ten minutes later I was back at the meeting spot with Kenta. We drove to our accommodation – The Bendigo Hotel - a live music venue with some dorm rooms. Pretty basic, but nice and clean and we had a cute cat hanging around with us.

After we dropped our gear we went for a walk, checked some record stores and caught up with Lee (the vocalist). Three of us went to nice Japanese place called Tokushima (named after a city on Shikoku Island where I spent three weeks back in 2004). I had okonomiyaki, was fucken amazing!
Then we walked back to the venue, bought a six-pack and relaxed for a bit. Drummer Louis arrived and around 7pm we started making a move to Grace Darling Hotel, where we played our first Melbourne show. Once we dropped our gear we went for a bite. We looked for a place for a while and settled on another Japanese place – Pubbu – izakaya style restaurant.

Now, izakaya style is only in terms of you get smaller plates. But it was crazy expensive, especially compared to izakayas in Japan. I mean, bloody Kirin on tap (and a small one at that) was $9! Five of us ended up paying $130 for two tine meals each. Yes, my stuff was great, but way overpriced. But, there was no turning back, so after we finished we went back to the venue.
Grace Darling basement is tiny but cool venue. We had three cool openers: Avoid, The Pigeon Holes and Polo. I loved all three, but was mostly impressed with Polo. Hard to describe their style, say almost kraut rock/punk. I really hope they release something soon.

We started playing around 11pm. The place was small and only had vocal PA and I had to stand right in front of one speaker where Lee’s vocals were ripping my ear drums. There was shitloads of feedback and too much echo on vocals, but things got better later on. Before the show this older trans person came to me and told me he/she will write poetry during our sho and we are welcome to use it later for our songs. So after we finished it gave us bunch of papers with scribbles on it. I’ll know where to look next for my inspiration, hahaha.
At the end of the show Lee announced we have records for sale, but I don’t think anybody heard it, as nobody came to ask for one. Just as we were packing this Aboriginal fella came and complimented me on our music. We shook hands and he said he was also from Perth. Then he asked if we have a CD and I said we only have vinyl LPs. He was really surprised and super keen to buy one and two minutes later returned with cash. Thanks brother!
When we packed everything we went for obligatory post-show kebab. Mine was fine. The other guys complained a bit. Back at the venue the bar was still going, so we went for a night cap. Louis and Kenta beat the shit out of two guys in the pool game. Then it was time to hit the sack.

Woke up after 9am and was in desperate need of coffee. Got out and walked some 15m to the nearest cafe. It hit the right spot! After returning to the room I started craving an orange juice, so I walked out and went to the nearest deli. Looked through the shop window and saw two young students from the college I work at. It was so bizarre, as they were staying at some place miles away. No idea why they came to this quiet shop so far from their accommodation, but it’s a small world and almost everywhere I go I bump into someone I know from Perth…
It was around 11am when Kenta, lee and me decide to walk into the city in search of good food and a polling place, as it was Australian election on that day. Took us 30 minutes to reach the city and the first interstate voting place. The line was about 583ks long, so we fucked off for some brunch. After that we went to find another voting place, the line was only 582ks long this time, so we happily waited 2 hours to place a vote. After we finished all I wanted was to go back to the room and rest a bit, which I did.

At around 7pm we went to the Tote Hotel, grabbed an awesome burger and met young American guy Chris, who was passing through the town and wanted to check some bands. Soon I set everything up, as I was doing the door for the show for a while. People started coming after 8pm and there were few familiar faces there.
Again, all three bands were great! Pleather Purrs played their first show – it’s the female half of the Pink Tiles. Angry Mules (Three ex-pats) were doing superb noise rock (although I’d rather just call it punk) style, finishing their set with an amazing “Doom Town” cover by the Wipers. Kit Convict and the Terrible Two did a great minimalistic garage rock set (in the best possible term of the genre). Was really happy with the bands and wished I could just be a punter and enjoy their set rather than do the door/worry about my band’s set.

We quickly took the stage and played what was to me the best Zerodent set/one of the best shows I ever played. We were pretty loose, and there were only 30-40 ppl watching us, but everyone had a great time. We even did an encore…

After we finished we sold all of our records and t-shirts. Now, I’m not talking hundreds of it, but as a comparison: at our album launch in Perth we had 100 payers and we sold 8 LPs. At this show in Melbourne we had 26 payers and we sold 12 LPs and 3 t-shirts. We even signed some records, which I don’t remember doing ever before… The only bad things is I lost the pen I wrote all the Zerodent lyrics with after this show.

Later we hung around the Tote, had another couple of drinks and said goodbye to our friends. I bumped into Sly from the Splatterheads, who I was in touch with for years, but never met in person and finally went back to the room. I went to bed at 3am and woke up at 6.30, caught a cab to the airport and pissed off to Perth.
Must admit before the trip I wasn't looking forward to it, as I didn't enjoy certain things in melbourne last year, but all is forgiven now :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pekinska Patka - "Plitka Poezija" LP

These days everything is some kind of jubilee, so here is mine - 35 years ago the best punk album ever was released - “Plitka Poezija” by Pekinska Patka.
Now that we got over the easy bit, let’s face some facts: Pekinska Patka formed in Novi Sad in 1978, released 3 singles and 2 albums and split up half way through 1981. It appears they got the media attention soon after they started playing – there were not many punk bands in former Yugoslavia back then and the kids loved them, while media mostly used them to point their fingers at “weirdos”.
In 1979 they signed to one of the two biggest record labels over there – Jugoton – and soon after “Bela sljiva”/”Biti ruzan pametan i mlad” single got released. But before that they recorded a demo, which back then was not that easy, but what’s more, they got a TV show produced in which they performed 7 songs off that demo (well, lip-synced, rather than performed) in the window shop of a local department store. After the show was viewed by some big heads at the local TV station they decided it was NEVER to be screened. And it wasn’t, until some years later. Check it HERE.

The first single sold well and promoted the band well enough, so the record label was keen to do an album. In early 1980 the album “Plitka poezija” (shallow poetry) was recorded, pressed in March 1980, but it had to wait for its release as President Tito was on his deathbed and releasing such a record was deemed inappropriate at that time.
The album saw the light of the day in summer of 1980. It sold reasonably well, but not as much as most of the popular Yugo rock records at that time. Perhaps the reason for it the band did not play many shows, as they suffered line-up change soon after the album was out.
The new line up recorded mindblowing single “Bila je tako lijepa”/”Buba-rumba” and in October 1980 went in studio again to record their second album “Strah od monotonije” (fear of monotony). To tough punks that album was crap and abandoned the band. Singer Conta had to go and do his national service, and the band broke up. The truth is their second album is nothing short of post-punk masterpiece, but that is not our subject here.
The band reformed several times in recent years, as seen on youtube.

I first heard Pekinska Patka when I saw their TV performance in July 1980 when I was nearly 10 years old. Every afternoon they had this variety TV show – a bit of talking, a bit of comedy, and spiced up with a music performance or two. I was at home with mum watching it when Pekinska Patka took the stage. I never heard of them and at that time I was familiar with some rock music, but I was not prepared for such an outburst of energy! The band played what sounded to me like 200ks/hr, while the singer was jumping around the stage like a monkey on speed, singing about how he just wants to be a punk and fuck everything else.
I didn’t know what the punk was, so I had to ask my mum and she said punks are the guys who like to dress in old ripped clothes and who like loud music. Of course, that is when I realised what I wanted to be when I grow up!
Somehow I did not end up buying their album – it never hit the stores in my hometown and soon after I turned into more popular new wave bands, and I don’t think I heard the whole album until the late 90s – don’t ask me how or why. In 1994 or 95 I got some compilation tape from the US with “Bela sljiva” on it, and that is when it hit me how great they were! This is the time when I was into New Bomb Turks and Devil Dogs and the Humpers and, honestly, Pekinska Patka sounded equally good as those bands, except they were active more than ten years before them. Then “Bloodstains Across Yugoslavia” bootleg LP came out, followed by “Plitka Poezija” plus singles bootleg LP as well, so I could finally get it all and play it at home. It was pretty much then I realised that this was the best punk album to my ears. 
A lot of criticism was sent the band’s way about their lyrics and how they were a “parody on punk”, mainly because they did not engage in stupid political carp and they did not criticise the socialist society we used to live in. The lyrics on the first album were about being young, “ugly”, unfuckable and smart and as such I will always go for such lyrics than for the ones commenting on mismanagement by the men in grey suits in our then Government.

All of Pekinska Patka records reached “collectable” and there was a time when it was impossible to get this album for anything less than $100. It was loved by many people who are into KBD stuff, one of Jay Reatard’s bands (Final Solutions) covered two songs off it and several bootlegs on both CDs and vinyl got released. Officially it was released on CD in Serbia some 10 years ago and an amazing vinyl reissue got pressed a couple of years ago – I recommend you track that one down.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Passage to the East - Yugoslavian Prog Rock

Here is another in series of my home made compilations of Yugo music - this time it's progressive rock, mostly from the 70s, with two exceptions. There was quite a bit of prog happening over there, but the only criteria for this compilation was songs' length. Some of them ended up taking the whole side of the records they were on.
No time to talk much about the bands - google them for yourself! Here are the some photos of them, just to prove they were not only great musicians, but also sexy mofos!

Korni Grupa

Pop Masina




Leb i Sol

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ugly, Young & Smart - Yugo Punk 1978-84

I have posted various genres of Yugo music here, and it’s finally time to post my favourite one – punk!

When it comes to old punk there was not a great deal of it back in former Yugoslavia, but there was quality among those rare releases. As everything else, punk fever spread some two years after it infected the rest of the (Western) world. So, it wasn’t until 1978 that first punk bands started appearing on the scene. It was soon taken over by new wave bands, who looked better and sounded more polished (although still great).

I will go into more details on the bands on THIS compilation, but for now I’d like to list some records that are easily available to buy online:
Pekinska Patka “Plitka pozeija” LP
Pakrti “Dolgcajt” LP
Paraf “A dan je tako lijepo poceo…” LP
Prljavo Kazaliste s/t LP
VA “Novi Punk Val 78-80” LP
VA “Bloodstains Over Yugoslavia”

The only rule I used for compiling this thing was to use two songs only by each band. Here we go:

Pekinska Patka – my absolute fave Yugo punk band ever! My life changed several times with certain music, but never as much as when I saw Pekinska Patka on TV back in June or July 1980. They were guests on some silly summer variety show broadcasted from a lake in Belgrade and were lip-syncing a song from their debut album “Plitka poezija”. The singer was wearing old clothes, cool sunnies and sang about having enough of it and how he just wants to be “a punk”. Now, back then I never heard the word punk, so I had to ask my mother to please explain. She did and I knew that that is what I wanted to be in future – a punk! Pekinska Patka release three brilliant punk singles and one brilliant punk album. Just when it looked they got the formula right they suddenly switched their music style to post punk and released a masterpiece in that genre “Strah od monotonije” album. As you can hear from these two songs their style was quite melodic. Super catchy, super fast, truly amazing stuff! They reformed several times in recent years. Judging by youtube videos they still got it.

Pankrti was probably the first Yugoslavian punk band with a release – a mighty slab of 7” vinyl “Lepi in prazni”/”Ljubljana je bulana” that came out back in 1978. Two years later their debut album “Dolgcajt” finally saw the light of day and these two songs here should be a clear indication of its awesomeness.

Paraf was also one of the earliest punk bands. It took them 3-4 years to finally release their debut albums and soon after the singer/guitarist/songwriter/band leader Valter Kocijancic left the band, as he thought his punk mission was accomplished. The album “A dan je tako lijepo poceo…” suffered from not-so-great production/mastering, but it’s still great example of classic punk rock.

Prljavo Kazaliste were always more rock band than punk, but there were some cool punk moments during their earliest period, as two examples here clearly show. Unfortunately, with every following album they went deeper and deeper into mainstream music waters and are still going today as a caricature of their old-selves…

Elektricni Orgazam was one of first Belgrade punk bands, although always on the brink of post punk back in the day. These two songs are off awesome “Paket Aranzman” compilation and are nice introduction to a couple of bands that follow and that also use keyboards – an instrument that often stuck with punk bands in Yugoslavia.

Termiti knew how to use keys without ruining their punk energy, as it can be heard by listening to “Vjeran pas” song here. The other one – “Vremenska prognoza” – is more furious, straight punk track. Their 1979-1981 recordings beg for a proper vinyl release!!!

Problemi from Pula managed to get two songs on “Novi Punk Val 78-80” compilation, but luckily Rest in Punk Records in Spain recently release their selected works on vinyl. Great punk, despite a heavy abuse of flanger pedal.

Sarlo Akrobata was short-lived, mind-blowingly amazing post-punk band from Belgrade. The two songs here are some of the band’s most punk moments. Hard, edgy, fierce and furious.

Radnicka Kontrola, as well as Urbana Gerila after them, only released two songs on a cult compilation “Artisticka radna akcija” LP back in 1981. If first track “Dosada” is too slow for you listen to the next one “TV u koloru”, which sounds like an outtake from “Pink Flag”. Both Urbana Gerila tracks sound a bit like early Wire, which is always a compliment.

92 was a Slovenian band that had a single release and a couple of tracks on “Novi Punk Val 78-80” compilation. Recently Ne! Records from Sweden released their collected works on vinyl LP and bonus single and are both highly recommended for lovers of punk/wave with keyboards.

Kuzle was another band that finally got recognition through a vinyl LP release on Ne! Records recently. Fast-paced punk at its best!

O! Kult were another short lived, new wave-ish punk band from Slovenia and these two songs from 1984 are fine example of the quality punk music that by that time was slowly dying out back home…

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Doug Thomas - Voiceless series

I'm sure those from Adelaide and Perth who are into music are most likely familiar with Doug Thomas - back in the 80s he had an awesome label Greasy Pop Records, and was also in at least two cool bands - the Dagoes (new retrospective CD is coming out soon in the States) and the Spikes.

He has retired a few years ago and is only now getting a bit bored, as he said the other day. So, what he does is compiling music CDs with stuff from his collection that is strictly instrumental. So far he has done 13 volumes of different acts and one of very known and respectable music artist.

So, I decided to share this CDs with you, as I think they are perfectly compiled an flow very smoothly. There is everything there, from surf to soundtracks to indie to jazz... Best to import the whole folder into iTunes and enjoy them all properly tagged and such...

The series is titled Voiceless and get it HERE (for the complete volumes) and HERE for just one act. Enjoy!.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Takeshi Terauchi & The BLue Jeans - Rashomon

I discovered Takeshi Terauchi years ago through some Japanese 60s compilation, but it wasn’t until 3-4 years ago when I started seriously “exploring” surf music from around the world that I stumbled upon many of his albums and realized what genius he is.
To me, surf music is the best when it contains oriental/world music bits and pieces. Don’t give me surf music spiced with 60s r’n’r or cute Beach Boys stuff – give me Misourlu and such. And there is lots of “such” in the music of Takeshi Terauchi.
The guy has zillions of records behind him and I suggest you start searching. Everything I heard so far was great. He is still going, despite his age (I believe he is in his 80s now) and I have a DVD from a live show from 1997 and he was in top form then.
A very cool compilation was released in England a couple of years ago – it should be checked out – but there is one album by Takeshi Terauchi (and the Blue Jeans – an equally genius back-up band) that blew my mind first time I heard it, and that is “Rashomon”.

Details are sketchy, but the album was released in 1972 (recorded in June of that year) and I believe there was a reissue in Germany and perhaps a CD, but can’t confirm that. Ever since I’ve heard it the first time I’ve been trying to get it on vinyl, but it was mission impossible. I saw it on eBay only a couple of times and the last time a friend of mine was good enough to buy it for me.
It was hard to me to first believe that someone would spend so much money on a friend’s pathetic need of a vinyl record, but there are some genuine good people out there and one of them is that friend of mine.
I found several links to this album on the net and all of them are from the vinyl with my fave track “Dannoura” skipping not once, but twice. Well it’s time to get the justice done and present a fresh rip of this amazing album in both mp3 and wav files, with all the scans in 300dpi included. And if it ever gets a proper release please do yourself a favour and buy it.

I won’t be long explaining why this album is one of the best ever released anywhere, but start with amazingly composed front cover photo of Terauchi-san posing with guitar case on the steps of some shrine in Japan, through very entertaining liner notes and, most importantly, to music itself.
The album is a wild combination of traditional Japanese music played the then modern rock way, with some surf, psych and hard rock influences. The playing is mindblowing, but not in a wank sense of the term. This is not jazz-rock fusion. This is just a bunch of guys who can play their instruments and never overstate it.

Every single song is a true masterpiece, from the opener “Rashomon”, over gentle “Narayamabushiko” to the above mentioned stomper titled “Dannoura”, which borrowed the opening bits from “For Your Love”, but then turned it into a wild number with interchanging solos on keys/bass, guitar, wah-wah guitar and then back into the main riff. Unreal stuff.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

More "new music" from Serbia

A great man passed on some real cool "new music" from Serbia. No time to write more about each composer individually, reply on internet for lots of information. Here we go:

Aleksandar Obradovic

Bojan Vorkapic

Vladan Radovanovic

Ljubica Maric