Category Archives: australia

The song in the “There’s Nothing Normal About Asthma Symptoms”, TV commercial


If you’ve been watching the Olympics in Australia on Channel 9, you may have seen an ad about asthma. Seems to be some type of asthma awareness/subliminal “buy our meds” thing AKA “There’s Nothing Normal About Asthma Symptoms”.

Anyhow, in case you were wondering what the song that the woman is listening to on her iPod is, it’s by Melbourne band Minibikes. The song is called (slightly ironically) “Kill to Feel”. It’s on an album called For Woods or Trail.

There are only a few bars in the advertisement (which is probably a good thing), but you can listen to the it or the whole album, on Bandcamp.

The CD isn’t out until September, but you can already get it on iTunes.

My previous post has their video for “Oh Japan”, which is on the same album.

I’m putting this up here because the actual video doesn’t seem to be on the site that is promoted in the advert, and there seems to be no mention that I can find about the song.

And yes, I do know the band.

Update – I tracked down the advert on Vimeo, and you can see it here.

Update – the album was officially released on 14 Sept. The album launch is at the Northcote Social Club on 6 October.

Minibikes – Oh Japan

Oh Japan by Minibikes

The Meanies

I was listening to 3RRR’s show, The Golden Age of Piracy, a couple of weeks ago, and heard Link McLennan AKA Link Meanie, run through his “Formative Five” songs. For the record, they were:

  • Dudley Moore Trio – Song for Suzy
  • The Beatles – Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite
  • The Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy Vs The Red Baron
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 – Mas Que Nada
  • Jesus & Mary Chain – Taste the Floor

You can listen to the show via Triple R’s on-demand service.

This reminded me about the interview that I did with Link, back in the day, around when the 10% Weird album was out. In case you didn’t know, The Meanies are the doyens of Melbourne’s indie/punk scene. You can see the video for the song, 10% Weird at the bottom of the blog post.

For the interview, I ventured out to Pascoe Vale, in Melbourne’s north. Link was living in a bungalow in a cul de sac street that ended at the perimeter fence of Essendon airport. It was a little bit like the movie, The Castle.

Driving back home, I popped the tape in the car stereo, and to my horror, discovered that the batteries in the recorder had cut out. At the same time, I went past a speed camera, and in my agitated state, was pinged for traveling a couple of kilometres over the speed limit. Not great.

So I rang Link (on the land line!) and travelled back to Pascoe Vale, and did it all again. The results appeared in Blast Issue 3 (The One With the Purple Cover), I think. Thanks to the wonders of OCR, here it is.


The Meanies – Big in Spain

LINK MEANIE spends a pleasant afternoon with Ed. He chats about music, touring, pinnies and Jake and the Fatman.

“In Spain they loved us, as far as we can tell. Maybe it’s just their way of showing us that they hated us? No, we got a good response in Spain. Spain just stood out like a sore thumb when it came to response and excitement. We’re doing six shows in Spain this time, at the end of the tour and that’s just perfect, to end on a high note.”

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The Steinbecks

Here’s the latest of the retro music posts from Blast! Magazine.

The Steinbecks
The Steinbecks 1994. l-r Josh Meadows, Robert Cooper, Joel Meadows, Bianca Lew, Adam Dennis.

Melbourne’s Josh and Joel Meadows had made inroads to jangle pop notoriety with The Sugargliders by releasing music on Sarah Records, home to such luminaries as Tallulah Gosh!, The Field Mice, and Heavenly. They are also cousins of Tali from The Lucksmiths. From the smouldering ashes of The Sugargliders, rose The Steinbecks.

I met up with Josh in early 1995, just after the release of the first The Steinbecks album, At Home and Abroad with the Steinbecks (Summershine). They had launched the album at the now defunct Carlton Moviehouse by screening Head by The Monkees and then playing tunes from their album.

Here’s the song “Apollo” “2 Star Motel” from At Home and Abroad with the Steinbecks. People who like the previously mentioned Sarah Records bands will most likely have already heard of The Sugargliders and The Steinbecks. For readers that haven’t, if you who enjoy Camera Obscura, The Bats, or Belle and Sebastian, then you may find The Steinbecks to your liking.

This interview appeared in the first edition of the fanzine, and I was lucky enough to have the The Steinbecks play at its launch gig at The Lounge. As I remember, it was a really warm December night with a good turn out. The band image that you can see at the top of this post and the start of the Youtube video is the promo shot that I used in the article.

Later, I used to pop into the RMIT University book shop to say hi to Josh, when he worked there. I lost contact with him, but do seem to remember that he went off to do some work in Papua New Guinea. I also caught up with some of their subsequent releases on Summershine and then Microindie Records. It seems that their last release was 2005’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

July 2013 update – and they’re back with this single:

The Steinbecks.

Josh Meadows tells Ed that “Fresh is the vibe. Fresh and up and fizzy” in The Steinbecks camp.

Josh – We’ll just test if the coffee sounds good…(slurps)…Ahh!

Ed– (Laughs) What’s the vibe in The Steinbecks at the moment?

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Road rage

I originally posted this on Pinwheel (which I’m enjoying a lot), but as it’s still in private beta, I thought I would cross-post it here too.

Pushed Over the Bridge

Creative Commons (by-nd) Image by Wootang01 on Flickr

When I left my last job, I was given one of those helmet cams that you can use to record your hardcore, weekend extreme sports exploits. People also use them to record evidence of dangerous behaviour by motorists, when on the mean streets.

I’m a far calmer cyclist than I once was, say 10-12 years ago. I care more about getting to where I’m going without incident and enjoying myself as I do it. So I don’t really feel the need to have a helmet cam for road rage incidents. However, it might have come in handy this evening.

I’m just leaving this note, so that in the future, when Pinwheel becomes massive, the very angry cyclist that shouldered a pedestrian out of the way on Princes Bridge earlier this evening, can find it and realise what a nasty man he is/was.

It wasn’t a huge collision, more of a shock for the poor lady than anything, but it was definite arm to arm contact nonetheless. I was right behind him when he did it. Aghast, I asked “Why didn’t you just say something?” (like “Excuse me”).

This had worked rather effectively when I had done so with some other pedestrians who were also obscuring the shared path in front of both of us, about 5 seconds earlier.

His response? Having a big cry about ringing his bell and what else was he going to do if they were in his way? Well, I was riding right behind him, and I didn’t hear a bell. He then enquired if I wanted a punch in the mouth and he called me a “dick”.

Pardon me, but there was only one penis on a bicycle, heading north on the (essentially) shared path on Princes Bridge at 5:45pm, and it wasn’t me.

He was old enough to know better (grey beard) and an experienced enough cyclist (Oakley Jawbones sunnies; perhaps he wants to be Mark Cavendish?), to know better.

Mr Grey Beard Agro* cyclist, if you were on foot and someone shouldered you out of the way, you’d be outraged. Dude, it’s 5:45pm on Princes Bridge on a Tuesday night, not the Via Roma during Milan-San Remo. Imagine if you were cycling on St Kilda Rd and a car decided to give you a nudge in the same mean spirit? What you did tonight is the same thing; unkind, ungenerous, intolerant and rude. And that is not OK. You are just making it worse for everyone.

Maybe you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or your wife just left you? Perhaps, you have just received some similar, terrible news. Only then would I have any sympathy for you. However, I suspect you are just a nasty fellow. So my last message is, “Have a miserable life.”

* He looked like a greyer version of the Agro puppet. A staple of 80’s and 90’s kids’ TV:

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Tiny lizard.

AKA a Jacky Dragon AKA Amphibolurus muricatus


This will be the last of my retro blog posts about Australian, indie bands for the year.

I nearly stopped after the Glide post, but decided to press on to get the Snout one up and also this one about Even, because of this week’s Xmas Even gigs.

I’ve written about Even before. They are a band I have been into since their first EP came out, at about the time this article appeared. It was in the same issue as the Glide interview, which dates it in the first half of 1995. Even are still going strong, with their sixth studio album of 60’s drenched, power pop, being released recently and available through their website. In addition, many of their records are available digitally, at your favourite download store.

Even’s profile

Even’s website

My friend Al did the interview and the write up, but I was there at the Black Cat café on Brunswick St, during the interview and I took the photo that you can see below. It was the afternoon of launch gig for the In Stereo EP; their first record.

I am going to put up some more retro articles in 2012, including Rail, The Steinbecks, Snout – talking about pinball, The Meanies and You Am I. It won’t just be old school stuff though; I will be blogging about some more recent bands, as well 🙂

Happy Festivus.


An Interview with Ashley Naylor from top Melbourne “groop” Even. By Al Marshall.

Ash Naylor. Fitzroy 1995

If you’ve seen power pop trio Even live, then you’ll know Ashley’s manic guitar wrestles demand your attention. If you’ve heard “24 hour cynic”, the four minute chunk of minor key magic that leads off Even’s debut EP, you’ll know Even demand your attention. If you’ve seen their EP In Stereo gracing CD racks, well it’s equally attention grabbing. So meeting Ash, the mastermind behind this barrage of in-your-faceness, was something of a revelation he’s a pretty regular, twenty-something, bashful sorta guy…

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Snout — Demolition Men

Hot on the heels of the post regarding Glide, is another one from the archives about a band dear to my heart – Snout. I went to school with Greg who played guitar in Snout and I used to do stuff like go on tour to Adelaide (the glamour!) with them, lugging gear, selling shirts and so on. I also did two pieces on them for my fanzine. The first, you can read below. The other one was about rock music and pinball, which will probably surface on this blog at a later date.

After Snout finished in 2002, Ross went on to release solo albums. Most notably being nominated for the 2008 Australian Music Prize (equivalent to the Mercury or Polaris prizes) for Sympathy for the New World. Ewan drummed with Dan Brodie and the Broken Arrows, amongst others. While Greg put out a hip-hop inspired EP but then retreated from the music world.

This post is timely, as they reformed for a gig at The Tote on Melbourne Cup Day, in November this year, with perennial local favourites, Even. They have been persuaded to play with them again at one of Even’s Christmas gigs on Thursday 22 December at the Phoenix Public House. I’ll be there. I wonder what happened to Ross’ song “Stuntman”?

PS – Guess what? I have an Even archival article too.

PPS – If there are any typos, it’s the OCR software’s fault!

Find a number of Snout music videos here.


Ross McLennan and Greg Ng signing CDs at the Big Day Out

There have been some pretty reasonable musical groups that have performed at the Evelyn Hotel over the years. When you get to read this magazine, it will have just been reopened after renovations. Ed speaks to Ross McLennan (bassist, singer and songwriter) who started the demolitions…while on stage.

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Cool as three Fonzies.

Glide’s Jason Kingshott and Marc Lynch 1995

Early in 1995, William Arthur (guitar, vocals), Marc Lynch (bass) and Jason Kingshott (drums), were good enough to meet with me over pizza, beer and a tape recorder on Brunswick Street in Melbourne. This was in advance of a gig at the sadly missed Punters’ Club, in the almost tropical heat of a humid Melbourne night. They chatted about their album Open Up and Croon, upheaval in the band and the coolness of Fonzie, amongst other things.

The original interview appeared in issue 3 of Blast!, a fanzine that I was involved with at the time. I’ve republished some of the articles I did for the zine on this blog previously, with only slight editing. However, rereading this interview, I wanted to rewrite the piece as it didn’t really seem to do justice to the music of Glide, so I didn’t want to republish my juvelinia verbatim, but to try and put more context to their story.

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Guess where in Melbourne? Episode 8.

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