Posts by Grant McDougall

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  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    humph...Propeller and Flying Nun issued it together. It was really my baby and took months of tracking down tapes, redoing the sleeve etc. I had to remix the Suburban Reps Megaton (and the previously unreleased SR's track whatever it is) from the original 4 track unmixed tape I had.

    Doh! Sorry Simon, I hastily glanced at the cd to answer Stephen's art-work, etc, question and quickly jumped to a conclusion as after "P & C 1993" on the actual disc it says "Flying Nun." My bad.

    Danielle, Robyn, you're comments on down-sizing your music collection has freaked-out the "inner Rob Fleming" in the male music geeks here. ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    the sleeve made every one of those a financial trainwreck

    Never seen an LP copy of AK79, what was it... B/W? Standard 12" jacket? A printed inner sleeve? A bound/stapled booklet? Tell me more...

    Stephen, Simon's refering to the Newmatic's double 7" Broadcast OR ep's sleeve, as it was a gatefold picture sleeve and thus very expensive for an NZ indie back then.

    I've got a vinyl version of AK79. I bought it in about '91 or so, for what was then the bargain price of $35. About the same time, Records Records here in Dunedin sold two copies for $50 each.
    About six months later, Flying Nun re-issued it on cd with umpteen extra tracks, sleeve notes, etc.
    On the cd, tracks 4 to 15 are the original lp tracks, the rest are the extras.

    Format-wise, the original cover art is as per the cd, but lp-sized, of course, plus the songs were listed in a white, "type-writer capitals" font on the back.
    Mine doesn't have an inner sleeve, but maybe it originally did, I don't know. Definitely no booklet, though.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Back in the mainstream,

    Another few comments...

    The "Work Choice" legislation went down like a cup of cold sick, just like the ECA did here. People didn't like it, so they spat it out. This has been a major factor in the Aussie public turning against the Liberals.

    Also, as an Aussie commentator said on RNZ last week, the Liberals failed to take Rudd seriously until it was too late. They were too complacent, expecting him to take the same predictable lines as Crean, Latham, Beazley, etc and easily swat them away. But he didn't which left them unsure of how to respond to him.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: Advance, etc,

    Will anyone here move against Clark? I doubt it, and they'd probably be right not to, but Clark/Labour face the same problems Howard/the Liberals did. Sure, things are pretty good, but we're just not feeling you any more - maybe it's time for the other lot to have a go?

    Being in government is__hard__ work, it's that simple. Even if you're generally doing ok, you start to tire.

    As a basic comparision, let's imagine the gov't are a rugby team and they've been asked to play four games (terms) in four days. First day, they win, no worries. Second day, another solid win, but a couple of the team are starting to puff a bit. Third day, still a skillful team, but, well, it's starting to be a bit of a struggle and some of the forwards are a bit late to the break-down, but they scrape in with a last-minute drop-goal.

    Now they've gotta face another game tomorrow: on paper, they're still a good team, but injuries and all that hard, physical work is just starting to wear them out.

    In comparision, the opposition are nothing flash, but they're good, solid and re-juvenated.

    Or maybe it's like doing four exams in two days; by the fourth exam you know you're a bright individual, but you're a bit knackered and just know the result isn't gonna be as good as the first one or two.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Back in the mainstream,

    Anyway, the most interesting post-election item is that Rudd is not letting the caucus have any say whatsoever in choosing the front bench. Now, that's definitely Bliar-ite, and only time will tell whether it ultimately has the same outcome.

    It's superficially Blair-ite and I can't see Rudd making the same mistakes as Blair or being a Blair clone in general. He would've kept an eye on Blair and learnt from his mistakes.

    I actually think "the most interesting post-election item" is the decision by Peter Costello not to seek the Liberal leadership.
    He's been shafted by Howard and will never be PM. It's human nature for him to think "Stuff this, it's not worth it anymore." Howard noticably gave Costello a special mention in his defeat speech, yet it would've been made with the purpose of covering his own arse and giving the impression that there's no ill-feeling between them, when there has been for ages.

    Also, during the campaign, Howard said he was "sorry" that interest rates had gone up, but wasn't "apologising" that they had.

    Both incidents show what a venal, duplitious individual Howard is.

    As an aside, about 14-15 months ago, I read an interview by (I think), Peter Fitz-Simmons with Gough Whitlam. He asked Whitlam if he thought there'd be another Labor gov't in his time and Whitlam was very vague and non-commital about it. It's amazing fast things change and, well, now Whitlam can die happily, I suppose.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    Talking of such..this is interesting

    Very. Alan Perrot once told me that in the early '90s either he or a mate of his (I've forgotten which) picked up the 12" of 'Megaton' in a sale at the palmerston North library it and weep: $2.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    Oops, sorry about that, it's not supposed to look like that.

    I wrote it up, then went to post it, but twice some weird message came up saying that "after a year 'such and such server has closed...and to try one of the blogs on the left" . I was pretty puzzled by it.

    So I cut-and-pasted it into a Notepad document to save it, then pasted it into the reply box and was succesful this time, but only for it to look all higgledy-piggledy.

    Russell - any chance of you being able to tidy it up?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    The 3Ds - Swarthy Songs For Swabs ep (Flying Nun, 1991).

    Out of the many, many NZ albums and eps I own, there is only one I've bought on the day it

    was released - the 3Ds' Swarthy Songs For Swabs.

    I walked into Echo Records in Dunedin, gazed admiringly at the typically surreal David Mitchell

    cover art. The back featured a drawing from a gig poster. The actual bottom of the poster read

    "Empire (either May / June) 12 & 13" and down the right-hand side it said "with Perfect

    Garden" a nice bunch, but too inspired by fey British indie acts). I was at those gigs, too.

    I then started quivering with excitement upon noticing that 'Sing-Song' was on it and snapped it

    up. "That's the sixth copy we've sold today", the manager said, as I handed over my dosh. It

    was only about 10.30 in the morning, too. On my way home, I bumped into a friend who was

    on the way to Echo to buy her copy.

    My favourite-ever 3Ds song, 'Sing-Song' opens Swarthy Songs... God it's a magnificent

    song. It hadn't appeared on their debut ep Fish Tales despite being in their live set by then,

    so I was over-joyed it was now on vinyl.
    I also like to think that I had a small part in naming, or at least confirming, the song's title. Y'see,

    sometime in '89 my friend, the late Andrew Heal, and I attended a 3Ds gig at The Savoy, a

    fancy hotel in down-town Dunedin.
    We'd drunk far too much Speights and afterwards went backstage to have a yarn with them.

    We accosted David Saunders and told we really liked "the one that goes 'all the words are

    coming out wrong' ".
    "We're thinking of calling it 'Sing-Song' ", David said. "Yeah, call it 'Sing-Song' " either Andrew

    or I said (I've forgotten which) amid a fug of beer fumes.

    'Sing-Song' starts with a truly compelling, ringing guitar riff, which last for about 20 seconds,

    before Dominic Stones smacks the snare drum and all hell breaks loose. Live, they'd often open

    with it, stretching the riff for 40-50 seconds, really, really building it up. Jesus, the tension.
    Then the guitars crash off into a spiralling riff, as David Saunders sings out lines like "why can't I

    see you any more?", before a frenetic instrumental section, propelled along by some intense,

    metromonic drumming by Stones.

    Back into the singing and Saunders lets us know that "all the words are coming out wrong" as

    piercing melody is combined with some intense distortion, before a humungous sqeal of

    feedback ends the song.

    Next up is 'Bunny' sung by bassist Denise Roughan. Her vocals are really sweet, yet the lyrics

    are sinister: "...wretched children...". The drums are snappy and there's blazing guitars and

    zipping riffs all around.

    'Ritual Tragick' ends side 1. "Just tape it" you can hear Saunders say, before it lets rip. The guitar

    riffs are choppy and full-on, while the bass gets really throbbing in the choruses, especially.

    David Mitchell hollers some wild vocals here, with a superb scream at the end of the final

    chorus, before a burst of feedback concludes the song.

    So, let's see where we are so far: one song each by the two guitarists, one by the bassist. There

    are plenty of wonderful bands with two great guitarists and a sharp bassist, but in modern rock

    only the great Sonic Youth can also pull of the same trick of having three fine songs by three

    different members open a slab of music.

    Side 2...'Meluzina Man' has David Mitchell doing some gentle, croaky vocals, plus there's some

    languid backing vocals by Roughan. There's some insistent, nagging, burbling guitar lines here,

    then the song builds up to some severe, strafing noise, before easing off and ending.

    (Incidentally, a slightly-longer, slightly more-subdued version of this was released on the vinyl /

    cd version of the excellent Xpressway Pile-Up comp around about the same time).

    'Nimmo's Dream' is another Mitchell number and I laugh even now at how brilliantly rediculous it

    is musically and lyrically. It's one of David Mitchell's greatest musical achievements, which is

    saying something given his formidable catalogue. The song's dominated by Stones' bouncing

    tom-tom beats, as Mitchell tells us that Derek Nimmo's "grinning...from ear-to-ear".
    This song is what glam rock sounds like when it's been perverted by people that drink far too

    much homebrew. I drunk some of the homebrew Mitchell was making in those days and it blew

    your eye-balls out. No wonder it sounds like this. The song stomps along and there's the ecstatic

    line "Derek Nimmo's naked dreams have came true!". Genius!

    'Grimace', another David Saunders song, ends the ep. The guitars are rapid and snaking all over

    the show, it's formidable warped punk-blues that speeds along mightily, before the song ends

    with some feedback and a snare thump.

    The final line is "I couldn't ask for anything more" - and having loved Swarthy Song For

    Swabs then and now, neither can I.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    The Lemonheads: my flatmates and I scored the job of writing the gig date /time in all the Orientation posters, then pasting them up around the varsity.

    Oh, were those the green and purple posters with the band members' faces in circles? Cos I had one of those (with the Waikato Uni gig information) up on my bedroom wall for years.

    The very ones. Except your probably beared something like "Gurus, Feb 28, 8pm" and not "featuring Grant McDougall". ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    Munky Kramp you're right in that they weren't "cool", given that they played, for want of a better description, "funk-pop" which was part of the then-prevalent indie-rock orthodoxy.

    Everyone seemed to have an opinion on them though. Typically they were either great, or absolute crap, and not much of the in between.

    I never got the labelling that people seem to get into with music. "Oh I don't like them because they're XXXX". I've watched grown adults standing around for hours arguing whether Green Day are punk or not. I didn't get why it mattered, if you like the music you listen to them, if you don't, you listen to something else.

    Sorry, I should've put "**wasn't** part of the then-prevalent indie rock othodoxy." My bad, etc.

    I'm fine with people labeling a band's sound, it's something people get too hung up on. But yeah, I agree, if you don't like it, don't listen to it.

    Munky Kramp were pretty popular though, they always drew big crowds. They weren't my cup of tea, but were a nice bunch to have a yarn with.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

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