LULU'S JUNE 2020 NEWSLETTER
Here is the June 2020 Newsletter and Calendar, emailed at the start of the month to our mailing list and sent hard copy with all instore orders.
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Featured in this newsletter:
Feels a bit weird or flippant to be writing about music or whatever with all of what’s going on at the moment, but nevertheless here’s everything that we wrote about this month.
In no uncertain terms; Lulu’s is for the protection of black lives, both overseas and here on this illegally occupied land. Lulu’s is for the abolition of the police in all forms. Lulu’s is for the abolition of prisions in all forms. Lulu’s is in full support of the struggle to protect black lives, trans lives, women, queer lives, those seeking refuge, sex workers, the homeless, and all others who are systemically abandoned and attacked by the state.
Please attend the protests if you can, and donate to bail funds and support networks if you can afford to.
RADIO BIRDMAN “2JJ SYDNEY MARCH 1976” CS
DOUBLE JAY ROCK
One of the pillars of Australian punk, RADIO BIRDMAN was formed at French’s Wine Bar, one of Sydney’s legendary lost venues, mid 1974 by Rob Younger, Ron Keeley and Deniz Tek after the collapse of two other bands the Rats and TV Jones.
Throughout 1975 the band was rejected or banned from just about every venue in Sydney, which led to the departure of original members Pip Hoyle and Carl Rorke, and the formation of what many fans argue is the definitive version of the band with the enlistment of Warwick Gilbert and Chris Masuak.
Finding themselves at a dead end, a fateful meeting with Lou Reed at one of his infamous Sydney airport press conferences resulted in the band conning the owner of the Oxford Tavern into putting on a gig in his honour, and with the show’s success the establishment of their own venue the Fun House which laid the groundwork for Sydney’s burgeoning punk scene.
The controversy and sub-culture surrounding the band gained the attention of then radical left-wing radio station Double JJ who extended an invitation for the band to perform live on air. Recorded six months before the recording of their debut EP “Burn My Eye” this set finds them showcasing that original material alongside early versions of songs that would appear on later releases and covers of the Stooges, MC5, Blue Oyster Cult, the Doors and the Rivieras.
One of the few known documents of their early era “DOUBLE JJ MARCH 1976” is an essential listen for any fan of Australian punk.
ALGARA “ENAMORADOS DEL CONTROL TOTAL” 7”
La Vida Es Un Mus
Exceptional modern punk on the ever dependable La Vida Es Un Mus. Barcelona's Algara deal in blunt sounds and blunt imagery, and they want you to think of Crisis, another band that dealt in minimal punk with protest-type lyrics. The cover of the record also recalls Death In June's Wall Of Sacrifice: the shrine of objects, the militant glare. There is a great difference in content between the shrine of Death In June and the shrine of Algara. I will tell you about the shrine of Algara.
The shrine of Algara shrine includes the biography of Juan Garcia Oliver, an insurrectionist who plotted to kill the Spanish king and Mussolini. The shrine of Algara includes a record of Ultra, another La Vida band that Lulu's advocates for, unhinged modern Spanish hardcore. Intense spanish hardcore. Some of the best and only punk in the world! The shrine of Algara includes a hundred wires pouring from synths and sequencers over cameras dripping film, a series of anarchist magazines and a record by Paco De Lucia, the flamenco guitarist you know but might not know that you know, a courteous reminder of glory. A great deal of red and black dominates the shrine of Algara.
In the La Vida description of Algara, you read: "Algara first communicate encourages Class war and Insurrection, wishes the total annihilation of policing forces and vomits in the face of the moderate leftism. Home recorded in a Barcelona Squat the production of their debut 4 track EP is minimal." This is an excellent record for 2020, and a band to pay attention to.
ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF TERRY JONES
When I think about the passing of Pagan Altar’s Terry Jones I cannot but help think of the seemingly immortal power, might and magic of music. It seems fitting that the music that you wrote dealt with such eerie atmospheres and so when I listen to the music of Pagan Altar it’s almost as if you’re in the room with me. A ripple, a spectre, a presence from the world beyond; which, as you knew, was never far out of reach.
In recent times a lot of us are coming face to face with ourselves; with our bodily health, our mental health, our wellbeing. We are confronting our own framework for caring for ourselves and each other; our existence, our mortality and what that means. I am reminded that each and every one of us have something wonderful to offer and many truly rich things to experience. I am reminded, and would like to remind you, that by pursuing our ambitions we can also reach and impact others in a way which is meaningful, mighty, magical and immortal.
Rest In Peace.
IGGY POP “CLEVELAND LIVE 77!” CS
In spring 1977 Iggy Pop had just finished up working on The Idiot, a collaboration with his friend and West Berlin housemate David Bowie, and put together a band for a short leg of club shows to promote the then upcoming LP. This band featured Bowie's Low guitarist Ricky Gardiner, the Sales brothers Tony and Hunt on rhythm section, and Bowie himself on keyboards.
This band would play together for 28 days in March and April of 77 for a run of shows through the UK and North America. This full live recording, taken on the 21st of March at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, is the ultimate document of this short lived line-up. Tracked using the borrowed live recording rig of The Rolling Stones (who happened to be around to lend it), the set was recorded for later radio broadcast and then shelved.
The set heavily features Stooges material, occasionally dipping into tracks from The Idiot (released three days beforehand), and all delivered with a glam swagger that makes full use of the personnel on board. An essential document for all fans of Iggy, Ziggy, and freak music in general.
GRETA NOW “BON BON” CS
New EP from Greta Now (Den, G2G). Greta has maintained the base bedroom minimal wave sound of her earlier recordings, in some tracks it's heartbreak anthem and late-night drive introspection, and at others the propulsion and dark club energy brings a nu level of intensity. Bon Bon features six tracks of brilliant generosity and humour that characterises her unique live performances and her S/T LP. For fans of absurd synth pop, Underworld, autotune and autobahns.
ROWLAND S HOWARD “TEENAGE SNUFF FILM” LP
Fat Possum Records
There aren’t many records in the Australian canon that carry the historical weight or notoriety of Rowland S Howard’s solo debut TEENAGE SNUFF FILM, and the number of artists that have made a similar impact even fewer.
From his work with The Birthday Party, Crime and City Solution and These Immortal Souls to his collaborations with Lydia Lunch and HTRK, Rowland S Howard’s influence spanned genre’s, decades and saw him added to the reverential ranks of punk icon, earning a devoted international fan base which endures to this day.
But by the nineties his career was in shambles with label problems, debts and the departure of drummer Epic Soundtracks leading to the decision to dissolve TIS, while the promise of new opportunities back home lead to his return to Australia after decades living and touring abroad.
Focusing on cleaning up, writing, arranging and picking up production work on his return, old friends and collaborators Mick Harvey and Brian Hooper were eventually enlisted to help realize this now legendary solo debut.
Throughout Rowland S Howard’s entire career his life and body of work seems to have always played off the dichotomy between the man and myth. History, whether it’s through his peers, friends or fans, paints a portrait of a contradictory figure at odds with himself and the world at large for that matter.
Opting for a more minimal approach and trading his signature symphonic noise for organ and strings, TEENAGE SNUFF FILM is a re-shoot - a reclaiming of the narrative that plays on this dichotomy between the worlds of fact and fiction - leaving the glories of past in the shadows and stepping into the spotlight under the different guise of troubadour.
Immersing the listener in a woozy low lit narcotic world full of sin, vice, vengeance, romance, decadence, toxicity and melodrama through a series of vignettes full of double entendres, noir-esque quips with tongue firmly held in cheek.
Keeping the cards close to his chest it answered a call for blood whilst simultaneously confounding its fan base laying ever gory detail bare and letting it all play out in the name of entertainment.
Whether it was the title, content or interest in his music hitting an all time low TEENAGE SNUFF FILM was met with little fanfare upon it’s release in the late nineties and seemed destined to fade into obscurity.
As his career comeback stalled, Rowland struggled with heroin addiction, poverty and health problems - emerging only to perform at small bars to even smaller crowds when he was well enough to do so (maybe more on that another time).
After twenty years caught in red tape and fetching obscene sums on the collectors market TEENAGE SNUFF FILM has finally found the widespread recognition and reissue it deserves.
Now an undeniable Australian cult classic TEENAGE SNUFF FILM's legacy endures as the first part of what would become Rowland S Howard's final act.
BRADFORD’S SPORTS DOCO ROUNDUP PT 2
Isolation had Tom digging deep into the great cinematic genre of the sports doco, sorting the muck from the gems and providing you with only the best there is to offer. Let him take you on a tour of the greats. This is part two.
Line In The Sand (2004) AFL
“There are spotfires everywhere!” commentator Andy Maher famously describes the dramatic and almost equally exhilarating and disturbing scenes of melees erupting on various parts of the MCG turf. This is not so much a documentary as an 11-minute compilation of the events of the last truly violent day in AFL history. It was open slather (INFORMAL•AUSTRALIAN/NZ freedom to act without restriction; free rein) as arch rivals Essendon Bombers and the Hawthorn Hawks met on June 5th, 2004. At half time Hawthorn legend, tough guy, bigmouth, and overall character Dermott Brereton allegedly directs his teammates to “draw a line in the sand” when play resumes. They did. What followed were scenes not witnessed since the rough and tumble, blatantly violent 1980’s heyday. 18 players were taken to the tribunal and record penalties were handed out. Hold onto your seats and hold onto this footage, because we’ll never see anything like it again. Side note: Dermott Brereton has stated on record that he reckons Thin Lizzy’s Live And Dangerous is the greatest live album of all time.
Sunderland Til I Die - Series 1 & 2 (2018 & 2020) Football
A brilliant access all areas look at Sunderland Association Football Club - a proud Northern England institution with a rich history. These fans really do live and breathe football. Sunderland Til I Die catches the club at a critical juncture in their history - the battle for survival between promotion from their second tier Championship League to the first class English Premier League and relegation to yet another lower tiered league. When the price of promotion can be worth somewhere to the tune of £170m, the constant fixation on promotion to the Premier League and the financial spoils that come with that dominates these clubs’ existences. That along with meeting the expectations of their die-hard supporters in a place where there really (REALLY) isn’t much else going for them. This unrestricted look into the inner machinations of Sunderland is as revealing as it is dramatic. The heartless nature of transferring players, management turmoil, the constant financial pressure and the heart stopping transfer window deals that can literally go down to the last available minute before getting a signature on paper. We eagerly await a third season.
Fire In Babylon (2010) Cricket
What the West Indies had in the 1970’s and 1980’s was as formidable as a cricket team has ever been. What has become of the West Indies test cricket team in recent decades is, quite frankly, a shame for the team and their supporters and a telling indictment on the ICC’s handling of smaller cricketing nations (ie. if you aren’t India, England or Australia). Fire In Babylon follows the meteoric rise of the national team becoming world-beaters in what for a long time was a white man’s game. The players are all absolute characters and on full display here. The most feel-good doco on this whole list.
Such Is Life: The Troubled Times of Ben Cousins (2010) AFL
Not the greatest doco as such and more of a morbid curiosity that I knew one day I’d have to sit down and just cop it. I did so for the first time recently and was pretty into it. Such Is Life follows champion Australian footballer Ben Cousins on-field highs and even higher off field highs. Reaching the apex of the AFL mountain in 2006, with a Premiership and Brownlow Medal to his name, Cousins was one of the game’s biggest stars. Ben dabbled with methamphetamines early in his career as a weekend reward for being an absolute animal on the training track. Obviously it spirals into a full-blown addiction that gets him booted from the league and is still terrorising him to this day. Scenes of Ben twirling the glass barbecue, mixing with underworld characters, teammates dying and others getting into as much trouble as him, it’s a troubling watch. Much like crystal meth, this one’s not for everybody.