Friday, February 19, 2010

Sounds Familiar: Part 1

Men At Work have been screwed over because a short flute solo in their 80s hit "Down Under" is taken from "Kookaburra Sits In the Old Gumtree". I don't give a shit about Men At Work or their stupid bogan pub rock song, but the scenario is fucking ridiculous.

Anyway, this kind of thing happens all the time. Even Nirvana were guilty of taking a good riff when they heard one. While they certainly did a good job of it there's no denying that "Come As You Are" is very similar to "Eighties" by Killing Joke.

Nirvana - Come As You Are

Killing Joke - Eighties

From Wikipedia:

Wary of the similarity between "Come as You Are" and English post-punk band Killing Joke's 1984 single "Eighties", Nirvana and its management were unsure about releasing the song as the second single from Nevermind....Kurt was nervous about 'Come as You Are' because it was too similar to a Killing Joke song...but we all thought it was still the better song to go with. And, he was right, Killing Joke later did complain about it."

Although members of Killing Joke claimed the main guitar riff of "Come As You Are" plagiarized the riff of "Eighties", the band did not file a copyright infringement lawsuit, which Rolling Stone magazine attributes to "personal and financial reasons". However, conflicting reports state that Killing Joke did file a lawsuit but that it was thrown out of court, or that it was dropped following Cobain's death. Geordie Walker, Killing Joke's guitar player, said that the band was "very pissed off about that, but it's obvious to everyone. We had two separate musicologists' reports saying it was."

Green Day are contrived enough as it is when they're writing original songs, but this didn't stop them from copying The Kink's "Picture Book" for the song "Warning" from the 2000 album of the same name.

Green Day - Warning

The Kinks - Picture Book

Tim Armstrong of Rancid has made a career out of ripping off The Clash, never more obviously than the "11th Hour" from And Out Come The Wolves, which is all but a cover of "Capitol Radio" by The Clash.

Rancid - 11th Hour

The Clash - Capitol Radio

More coming soon...

Monday, February 15, 2010

HEALTHer Skelter

I recently emailed John from L.A. noise rockers HEALTH and he
talked about their forthcoming Australian tour, new album Get
and other projects the band have on the go.

HCD: Have you finished training for your Australian tour yet?
Or do more fish and bananas need to be mercilessly slain?

JOHN: The training never stops, it makes us even more undefeated.

HEALTH prepare for battle

HCD: HEALTH to me are one of the most interesting and
original bands around at the moment. How did you guys meet
and where do you draw inspiration from?

JOHN: Not terribly interesting. Jake and Jupiter met in College.
I met Jake working at Guitar Center. BJ came from craigslist.
When it comes to our music we are inspired by music exclusively.

HCD: You released your second album, Get Color last year.
What's the response been like? What have you been doing between
then and now?

JOHN: The live response has been amazing. I felt the Get Color
tours were our best by far. Since those tours have ended we have
been laying low in LA and working on DISCO2 the next remix album.

HCD: Get Color has lots of dirty electronic sounds. What do you
use to get those sounds? Is it something that posed a challenge to
re-created live?

JOHN: Everything on the album is more or less created live.
It's all our equipment. No samples.

HCD: You recorded the first album in an LA venue called The Smell.
How did you record Get Color and what were the differences in the
recording process of the two albums?

JOHN: Get Color was recorded in a very modest studio in Lincoln
Heights on analogue tape. The first album was self recorded and
fraught with technical nightmares, the new album was easier but
featured way less in studio experimentation...We'd like to balance
the two for the next one.

The scintillating "Die Slow" from Get Color

HCD: What do you think of being generally classified as a “noise rock”

JOHN: I like that label. To me Noise Rock is as much My Bloody
Valentine as it is Arab On Radar.

HCD: 66 sweepstakes tickets were hidden in copies of Get Color,
fetching bizarre and creative prizes. Did any interesting stories come
from this? I’m thinking things like:


JOHN: No one has reported winning this ticket!!


JOHN: This one too! So we're just going to sign the poster winners
in blood to make up for it.


JOHN: This is one is going down. The guy hasn't chosen a song yet.


JOHN: This one is also going down soon. We wanted to videotape
it or something for youtube. Sorry not a lot of stories yet. Most of the
tickets are just being filled now. We should have entertaining ones up
soon on our youtube channel.

HCD: A lot of bands seem to be struggling at the moment because
the audience can download everything for free. Are album sales
enough to sustain HEALTH?

JOHN: Absolutely not. Live shows and merchandise put food on the table...

HCD: You're planning a HEALTH clothing line with one of a kind pieces.
Can you tell us more about this?

JOHN: Trying to figure out feasibility and cost issues right now.
What the designers need, trying to have the clothes not be too expensive.
We'd like them to be reasonably priced.

HCD: You're also planning a TV show called HEALTHvision. Is the hilarious
Australian tour promo a taste of things to come?

JOHN: The Aussie video was super low budget etc. The TV show is
definitely going to be shot on a HD format of some kind, with lights, etc.
Production value. We want it to be a high level of quality.

HCD: What can Australian Audiences expect from HEALTH?

JOHN: Volume. Come to the show.

HCD: Is there anything you guys are looking forward to doing here
besides playing shows?

JOHN: Yes. We've always wanted to go for a very long time. The beach
is our first priority. I wanna swim with dolphins and in those rock swimming
pools you got... Also we've been hearing Melbourne is a super awesome city.

(Courtesy of Pop Frenzy)

Wednesday February 24 MELBOURNE – Corner Hotel | Tickets available from

Thursday February 25 BRISBANE – The Step Inn | Tickets available from

Friday February 26 SYDNEY – Oxford Art Factory | Tickets available from

Saturday February 27 PERTH – Perth Festival | Tickets on sale from

Note: This is the unedited version of the interview originally done for Spook Magazine. You can read the abridged version on their website here. Image stolen from Pitchfork.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vinyl Nerd

Today Yah Yah's hosted their Crate Digger Record Fair. I rode my bike down Smith St and arrived five minutes after it opened at 2pm and the place was already packed. Lining up to look at crates of records was like joining a cue at a very busy bar to get a drink but a lot slower because it takes the bartender 5-10 minutes to get each person a drink.

Patience though, unlike listening to a Mars Volta LP, was justly rewarded.

The first hit was Rapeman's "Two Nuns and a Pack Mule". Rapeman was a late 80s noise rock band with Steve Albini (Big Black, Shellac) and David Sims (The Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid). Features the smash hit "Kim Gordon's Panties".

Every time I check my account it tells me "Swell Maps, music recommended by Similar to: The Fall, Mission of Burma, Public Image Ltd." I assume this will be good.

As far as I'm aware Swans vinyl is fairly difficult to find - I'm always on the lookout, I've never seen any before. This is the kind of thing that I really hoped to find at the fair but never actually expected to. Holy Money is a disturbing proto-industrial record, evil to the core. Swans - A Screw

It's a $3 Mystery Shit Bag. 6 randomly selected old pieces of shit records wrapped in newspaper, with the off chance you might get something decent. How could I resist?

I don't know what was in the other shit bags but this turned out to be the bargain of the day. The Best of Nielson is amazing. There's also a brilliant 2LP 50s compilation in there and an interesting instrumental drum fuelled big beat/rock/surf album by Sandy Nelson LP called ''Drums and More Drums!". The cover features a go-go girl surrounded by drums so naturally it is my new favourite image.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy actually came from the Camberwell Markets a couple of weeks ago but demanded a mention.