Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three bourbons in the garage

I'm not entirely sure just what "garage rock" is - but it must, at very least, be what I'm listening to today: the Beasts of Bourbon, with this absolutely sensational box set that I bought yesterday, containing the band's first three (and I think best) albums: The Axeman's Jazz, Sour Mash and Black Milk. The first of these three albums was actually recorded in one of the band member's garage, as a kind of a dare, and in a single afternoon. The other two, I gather, were a bit more planned but they all have a terrific sense of the Aussie pub low-life to them - rough and dirty, and usually more than a little bit tongue-in-cheek (listen to "Hate Inside" on Sour Mash, for example: a song about a guy who hates and ultimately kills everyone, his dog, his kids, his wife, himself, all to a gentle country strumming beat).

It's music that comes from the guts - disgruntled and raw. The Beasts of Bourbon just cry out to be listened to with a bottle of cheap grog in some grungy garage. I don't know if this music is meant to mean much more than this - but that's more than enough, because it just does it so well.

Thanks, Marty, for introducing me to the Beasts!!


  1. Hi Ian,
    Boy thats a full swing of the pendulum ... from Wagner, to Beast of Bourbon et al.
    I just recently came across am accoustic three piece called the Matt Flinner Trio. Dont know how you would describe their style though the record company puts it under the genre of bluegrass...Id probably call it quirky acoustic.
    Its amazing how much depth and complexity comes from three acoustic instruments, a mandolin, upright bass and guitar. The album I bought Music du Jour was based on a challenge they put to themselves to come up with a new song each day while on tour. It reflects a impromptu jazz session, well, sort of. And it works because they are such impressive muso's.
    I love quirky.
    Anyone willing to share there quirky music leanings? Ive got a circa 1974 Auntie Jack album which I still think is great.

  2. Music du Jour is such a fitting reference! And from garage to the daily grind is less a full swing of the pendulum and more a "one small step... "... you get the idea. It reminds me that the first Eurythmics releases (EP and album) were recorded in one of their garages and Tori Amos travelled (with muse) the US on a series of road trips, in character, writing each piece on Scarlets Walk along the way (albeit not daily!). The Beasts of Bourbon remind me of two songs I've been listening to lately; Stong Black Wine and Fast Horse from Tori's new release. The first because it has that zeal, that religous ferver, that so much of Tex Perkin's work has (albeit his are mostly minus the strings) and the latter because Tex' greatest influence is Johnny Cash and Fast Horse really captures something of Cash, also a favourite of Tori.
    And Fast Horse (and another track on Tori's latest Police Me) capture a quirky interest of mine - rock in other than 4/4 time... and not being a master of what these 'others' are (except the obvious 3/4, etc...), tell me buffs, oh tell me do... what time are the two tracks? Ian you should be able to knock that off in a mere moment of listening being the musician you are, and having more than a passing glance of knowledge when it comes to the structure of musical works...
    Quirky music leanings that probably fit the quirky label I can't overlook... I have never quite gotten over Sergio Mendes (try Brazil '66 or '67), Buffy St Marie, Grace Jones and Yoko Ono not to mention a wonderfully obscure piece from a complilation, Gay in the Life, of gay Australian musos, called 'Lycra or not' by Pokemon about getting "ready" one's stash for a mardi gras parade and party! It's beyond quirky and brings me back to a great piece on Tori's latest called Mary Jane (about the obvious and in awsomely Tex-ish character) which also takes me to the wonderful Prix Choc by Etienne de Crecy presents Super Discount, a fantastic French funcky dance outfit, in which the mantra is 'sensimillia, marijuana'.
    Now I'm sure, in fact certain, there are many a Tex track about the odd substance or ten!!! But Ian, which are they?
    Jonathon :)

  3. Thanks for those thoughts, Anonymous and Anonymous.

    Rick - great to have another new name of another quirky, interesting band, to add to my list! Although, in some ways, every one of these genres is new to me, I still can appreciate the original and "out there" ways that some of these musicians mix things together, or take bits of this and add it to bits of that, and come up with something new and different. So I will definitely be on the lookout for the Matt Flinner Trio. Thanks!

    Jonathon - lots of ideas and interesting connections there, and lots to follow up! I tried hard to work out the time signatures for Fast Horse and Police Me, but with no luck. Your claims to my musical abilities notwithstanding, I have never been good with timing and beat, even when it's written in black and white for me - which reminds me of those days back with the South Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the continually exasperated cries of the conductor, "Together please, cellos!"