LULU'S JANUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER
Here is the January 2022 Newsletter and Calendar, emailed at the start of the month to our mailing list.
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Got a fun newsletter for you this month. Alongside a quick round up of some new arrivals, the Lulu’s crew took the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and pick out some of our favourite moments.
Alongside the covered items this month, keep an eye out for incoming international packages from Bitter Lake Records, Feel It and Public Bath Press full of new releases and restocks on old favs.
Melbourne is kind of hectic right now, in the grips of what is maybe the most frustrating and confusing period of the pandemic to date. It’s hard to know what we can or should be doing, but the best way to go is always talking to and looking out for each other.
To all of those laid up with the virus - look after yourselves, hopefully it doesn’t knock you around too bad and we’ll see you in here very soon.
To those that have continued to successfully dodge it; godspeed and good luck out there.
Until next month,
SSRI - "NICE LIFE" 7”
Starts with a bang and doesn’t really stop except for the occasionally cruel intentioned tempo change. You’re getting your one-two hardcore (early Boston HC) with a bit of a chorus bent prong on the trident (Oily Boys, Gutter Gods etc) with the middle spear being Garry’s acerbic sentiment driving the whole thing from the throat. In their sights are asshole cops (ie. all of them), toxic men (a lot of them), stolen land (all of it), the bourgeois middle class dream (too much of it), and the blank mess of a mind that is too often what those suffering mental health issues call home. Sometimes you get to the point where you just have to explode with a handful of savage songs and lose your cool all over them. It’s a good thing that Filthkick cut this onto a 7” so we can all revel in the VITRIOL together. Nasty stuff. Nasty times. Nuff said.
THE UV RACE - "HOMO" LP [CUSTOM COVER EDITION]
The 2011 Aarght Records pressing of Homo came with hand printed artwork by the band, of which 20 copies were leftover without covers, and placed in a cedar box inside a hermetically sealed safe in the depths of the dungeon of Al Montfort's country chateau.
These 20 copies have now been extracted from stasis because the world deserves them. All feature unique artwork: the fresh handstyles of Marcus P Rechnsteiner, vocalist and big poppa.
The records will be allocated at random. They're all beautiful and unique, just like you.
VERNA BLOOM - "DEMO" CS
"Sounds coming from the Tempe wetlands", Verna Bloom is friend of the store Sigorney Ormiston, ex-Classical Mishap, and now making solo electronics which move between ambient industrial and lounge house.
TOBY ZOATES - "PUNK OUTSIDER" BOOK
Toby Zoates; artist, dancer, unrepentant poof, registered nurse, writer, award winning film maker/animator. I just assumed that Toby was a wild human whose life was cut short due to HIV or heroin (never assume! and Toby was never a heroin addict) sometime in the 80's or 90's. Well, how wrong I was. He's very much alive and had I even bothered to do some research I would have found his blogspot which he has kept for the last 15 years. So who is Toby's Zoates... he grew up in Melbourne, in his late teens he was befriended by someone who turned out to be a member of Anne Hamilton-Byrne's Family cult. He was dosed with massive amounts of LSD after 4 sessions which he initially found terrifying he came to like the acid, Hamilton-Byrne even attended one of these ML Ultra-mind fuck sessions telling him he had died 1000 deaths in his previous lives for being a sinful homo. It didn't work and sometime after that he took off for a couple of years in India, a place he has a deep love for and returns to yearly. This part of his life is covered in his book from a few years ago (Vagabond Freak). Punk Outsider chronicles his life from '77 onwards. Sure, it's a kind of strangely written book, there's typos, poor quality images but this is strongly recommended... here's the official rap from the press release "Inspired by the likes of Orwell, Bukowski, Genet and Thorpe, follow the misadventures of anti-hero Arthur as he’s propelled by lawless desire down the roiling gutters of Sydney in 1977 and on to the 1990's; from Darlo to Pyrmont Squats to The Gunnery; from the anti-nuclear riots in '77 to the LGBTQ riots in '78; from the rock dives of Frenchs to the Trade Union Club and Selinas Coogee Bay; from The Prisoner's Action Group storming the prison system to nuns storming a "Right to Life" rally; from outrageous Situationist stunts to a filmmaker's soul-destroying quest; from Callous Park Asylum to Northcott Suicide Towers; from the Piccolo Cafe on the Cross to Mad Max in a Homebush quarry. Attempting to heal his flawed human condition, he overcame the obstacles thrown his way and achieved an exhilarating life; hoping to be a cutting edge artist and movie star he ended up an ignominious Punk Outsider.” You get the idea. Here's a fun fact, Paul Kelly got his name from graffiti Toby scrawled on a wall. If you see Paul, ask him and he will confirm this. Will Reg Mombassa of Mental as Anything/Tin Sheds/Mambo cop to the fact visual style was inspired by Toby, nah nah probably not.
NEW IN FROM 550BC
550BC is an independent publisher at the intersection of organized crime, conflict, and visual arts. Each books reveals a glimpse into a different violent world with an anthropological approach. We have three books arriving imminently that are available for pre-order.
“FAVELA NARCO PETS”
Last copies, sold out from publisher!
Favela Máfia spin-off zine showing the pets of Rio de Janeiro’s drug trafficking gangs. From Pitbulls and Glock pistols to Toco toucans and AR-15 rifles.
Last copies, sold out from publisher!
Ultra Violent is a short visual anthropological study that highlights the characteristics and behavior of extreme fanatic football club fans, known as “ultras.”
Comprising of grainy black & white detail photos displaying Ultras burning rival club scarves, the punishing ‘‘Glasgow smile’’ scar, fights & more.
Sicario Warfare is the first (photo)book in direct collaboration with an active high-ranking cartel member in Mexico.
We can't tell you much about this at this stage, but check out 550BC for more info.
BRADFORD’S HIGHLIGHT REEL OF 2021
• Power Trip “Live In Seattle”
• Oscar Perry CS
• Civic “Future Forcast” LP
• SMIRK LP
• Spread Joy LP
• Chateau CS
• Algara LP
• Revisiting Gorilla Angreb
YAS’S TOP 10 OF 2021
What a year. The agony and the ecstasy. Amongst it all, these releases made it worth living;
Gene Clark - “No Other” (4AD)
Exek - “Good Thing They Ripped Up The Carpet” (LSD Club)
Dean Blunt - “Black Metal 2” (Rough Trade)
Lana Del Rey - “Blue Banisters” (Polydor)
Mach-Hommy - “Pray For Haiti” (Griselda Records)
YL Hooi - “S/T” (Efficient Space)
Amyl And The Sniffers - “Comfort To Me” (Rough Trade)
MK8ULTRA - “Life On Other Planets” (Weirdo Mazic)
Life Stinks I Hate The Kinks - “#6” (MONT)
Low Life - “From Squats To Lots: The Agony And XTC Of Low Life” (LSD Club)
Thanks heaps x
RIP Eve Babbitz, Norm McDonald, Randy Borquaye, Lee Scratch Perry, too many from the Melbourne Crew.
SAM'S CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS OF A WEIRD BUT ULTIMATELY VERY GOOD YEAR (PERSONALLY; OBVIOUSLY IT WAS A BAD YEAR FOR THE WORLD, BUT IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD YEAR FOR HER)
BLUE DIVERS "BLUE DIVERS" LP
This astonishing debut from the Thirroul based revolving door project Blue Divers quickly became a staple on my turntable throughout 2021. A perfect blend of the mid-2010s Australian underground avant-garde (think releases on the Black Petal label, and the gentler moments of the Breakdance The Dawn catalogue), with the minimal melodies of the early 1980s new age movement. Feels like both a response to the past and the beginning of something new.
HAROLD B2B NAT SALIH @ MISC
How it happened; Harrison and Natty get a call whilst still kicking on from the Steeplejack party the night before, asking if anyone can fill a slot in a few hours at the Cool Room day rave that had already begun (a last-minute exposure related pull-out a grim hint of what we had to come). The two agree to cover, on the stipulation that they can play it together, and that they can continue the twisted vibes they'd been basking in all morning. A deal was struck; enter the naughty boys. Near two hours of gnawing, snarling, rhythmic minimal trance followed; a triumph of a set the likes of which only happen at that beautiful meeting point between exhaustion and opportunity. My personal dance floor moment of the year, and by extension recent memory. Sweaty.
JACKIE ESS "DARRYL" BOOK
At times it felt ~physically~ painful to read Jackie Ess' account of Darryl, a middle aged, happily cucked man living in Western Oregon. The delight which this man feels when other people fuck his wife; and by extension his grapplings with what that means for him as a person, form the core around which Ess builds a spiralling, intoxicating burrow into one man's psyche. Ess takes the form and language and politic of the "gender novel", and applies it to a completely new kind of story. It works unbelievably well.
JAALA "GAP TOOTH" LP
This one hit me out of nowhere and like a ton of bricks – I'd ~liked~ the first Jaala LP when it came out, but it didn't have a huge impact on me past a few listens. This one though? Instant, text-all-my-friends, gushing honeymoon infatuation. A new favourite song every spin. The bubbling excitement of waiting for "that bit" to happen, again and again. Delighting in a new little discovery each listen. Jaala's "Gap Tooth" made me feel like a teenager; captured an excitement for song that I'd forgotten I missed. Snapping and shuffling and woozy and syrupy and just so, so hot.
and in brief...
The RA produced Terre Thaemlitz film "Give Up On Your Hopes & Dreams" was my fav doco of the year – a total deconstruction of what a music documentary should look like, whilst at the same time getting to the core of what she's about as an artist and person infinitely better than any conventional film could. Extremely Terre, extremely good.
The two Hootenannies held at the Thornbury Bowls Club provided some of the best live music moments of the year; in particular Wet Kiss's intoxicating debut band set, The UV Race as a quartet (Lego Man into Roadrunner into Lego Man), Greta Now playing in disguise, and Harriet piffing a pint glass at Sleeper & Snake at 11pm.
In terms of cassettes; Optic Nerve’s “In A Fast Car Waving Goodbye” tape of Morricone Hardcore™ got a thrashing (excited to finally see them at Nag Nag Nag, fingers crossed). The MK8ULTRA cassette is the make-out tape of the year, and I'm not just saying that because I put it out, I'm saying that because I put it to the TEST baybee ;). The Chateau tape seems so obvious in hindsight; a meeting of the minds that seemed destined to happen; it’s beauty, intricacy and playfulness came as no surprise given that context.
Food of the year goes to Pinoy Diner in Werribee, Hi Chong Qing and Chinger Biang Biang in Carlton, Me Dee in the Paramount food court, and, as always, breakfast boat noodles at Soi 38.
BEN - HUGE YEAR OF RELEASES BUT 10 THAT STUCK OUT:
LOW LIFE - FROM SQUATS TO LOTS: THE AGONY & XTC OF LOW LIFE
FLOATING POINTS & PHARAOH SANDERS - PROMISES
HTRK - RHINESTONES
YL HOOI - UNTITLED
CIVIC - FUTURE FORECAST
ALIEN NOSEJOB - PAINT IT CLEAR
OZ ECHOES: DIY CASSETTES AND ARCHIVES 1980-1989
CAN - LIVE IN STUTTGART 1975
SPIRITUAL MAFIA - AL FRESCO
CHATEAU - I
COCO’S TOP 10 OF 2021
1. CM Punk - debut in Chicago (AEW) <The single most electric roar. It's clobberin' time!!>
2. Algara - "Absortos En El Tedio Eterno" LP (LVEUM) <A total classic. Anarchy in the EU>
3. "The Dragon" Shingo Takagi (NJPW) <The true ace of 2021>
4. Sistema En Decadencia LP, Execution 7", Reaksi 7", Hacker LP (HCV) <Hardcore Victim brought heat all year. Very good, very loud punk music>
5. Western Bulldogs finals campaign (AFL) <A string of thrilling performances leading to the big dance exemplified what sport is all about. The less said about the Grand Final, the better. Fuck Melbourne. Get vaxxed cousin>
6. WORLD + COLA (WLS) <Damage and style come together when this duo get up. Mad respect for keeping the streets alive in 2021>
7. Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega (UFC) <An absolute all timer. Wollongong's finest showed out. City Kickboxing reprezent>
8. Hideotic/Hobbies Galore <two crucial and genuine tape labels that glow at every turn, culminating in the inevitable collaboration now known to the world as Chateau. We are lucky to have them>
9. Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita (NJPW) <Class of ‘21 Young Lions impressed more than I ever could have imagined. I am left speechless by the talent and spirit these two possess>
10. Stargazer - “Psychic Secretions” LP (NWN!) <Truly stellar album. These guys remain a step ahead of everybody>
DX - BEST OF 2021
WATCHING: Adam Curtis. Anything Norm McDonald, Agnes Varda's The Gleaners and The Sopranos (for the fourth time, with attentive focus on the steady rise of Paulie Gualtieri).
Jamie Vardy sliding and kicking the corner flag into pieces was the best goal celebration til the next game when he pulled the flag out the ground and played the opening riff to Black Sabbath's Supernaut on it. Lord.
LISTENING: Locally everything on Hardcore Victim, Melbourne's most hardcore. Low Life Agony & XTC. Foreign: the Algara LP and GISM Detestation reissue, Vanessa Amara LP on Posh Isolation, anything by Steve Goodman. The Bug / Flowdan ‘Pressure’. I listened to Autumn Almanac by the Kinks at least 90 times. Mostly I listened to country music when I was home and Bathory when I was on the move, and the best country song I listened to in 2021 is called Anyhow I Love You by Guy Clark.
The best podcasts I heard were by Whitney Webb (on Epstein), Urbanomic (on jungle) and Karina Longworth (on Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin).
READING: I read an insane amount of books in 2020. Highlights that were actually published in 2021: MULCH, George Saunders book on Russian short stories, the latest Richard Ford short stories collection and a collection of Joan Didion's non fiction. RIP Joan Didion, one of the masters.
Highlights not published in 2021 were a collection of Raymond Carver's poetry, everything by Jim Harrison, about 10 Agatha Christie books, Ngaio Marsh's Off With His Head, Margret Millar's A Stranger In My Grave, everything I could read from Simenon (and I mention this because if you read Simenon, get in touch, trying to collect all his novels published in English and cannot find a clear indication of how many there are - I think around 80, 100? Help.).
I read Nico Walker's 2018 debut novel called Cherry in a day after spending weeks labouring through Celine's Journey to the End of the Night. Cherry is really impressive, I strongly recommend it!
The best book I read in 2021 was definitely Mathias Enard's Zone, a 600 page, single sentence stream of brilliance, one to read every year til the bomb drops.
The best publishers in 2021 were 500BC and MULCH MAGAZINE.