Saturday, August 13, 2011


Sometime after 9 PM I picked through the music offerings and chose something different.  I'm slowly making my way through Clinton Heylin's Babylon's Burning, From Punk to Grunge, a really interesting book that goes into detail on the birth and evolution of the punk movement.  It's providing me with a bunch of new music ideas that I will be seeking out and listening to over the coming months.  The book was the motivation for tonight's selection.

 After driving the truck out back, I popped in a studio recording by the band Radio Birdman, Radio Appears.  They are described as such:

Although the best-known band of the early Australian punk scene of the late '70s was the Saints, the first band to wave the punk rock flag in the land down under was Radio Birdman. Formed by Australian émigré Deniz Tek (originally from Ann Arbor, MI) and Aussie surfer-turned-vocalist Rob Younger in 1974, Radio Birdman's approach to rock & roll was rooted in the high-energy, apocalyptic guitar rant of the Stooges and MC5, sprinkled liberally with a little East Coast underground hard rock courtesy of Blue Öyster Cult. Their first EP, Burn My Eye, released in 1976, was a great record and still remains a seminal chunk of Aussie punk. Loud and snotty, with Younger bellowing his guts out and Tek on a search-and-destroy mission with his guitar, this was a great debut that set the stage for the impending deluge of Aussie punk bands waiting in the wings. After the release of their debut LP, Radios Appear (the title comes from a lyric in the Blue Öyster Cult song "Dominance and Submission"), in Australia a year later, Radio Birdman seemed poised to break Aussie punk worldwide. And although the American label Sire (then the home of the Ramones) was quick to sign them and distribute Radios Appear internationally in 1978, there was a gap of three years before they released a second album, Living Eyes. During that time, dozens of other Aussie punk bands stole their thunder, and Radio Birdman split up almost immediately after Living Eyes was released. Sire never released the record outside of Australia, and Radio Birdman, who should have been the biggest band in Aussie punk, was now a highly regarded punk forefather.

This is what Clinton Heylin says about the album Radio Appears:

Radios Appear - the original Oz artifact - is an acetylene torch of a record.  From the hollering homage, 'TV Eye', to the band's own call-to-arms, 'New Race', this was a 38-minute freakout straight from The Funhouse.  Released domestically in June 1977, it had nothing like the international effect of (I'm) Stranded, but in the land of Oz, it heralded the shape of things to come.  When Australian rock issue of The Edge, Radios Appear was fourth. , 'placed...head and shoulders above punks' blaze...a record of might connections'.

The edition I listened to and provided below is the 1995 remastered/reissues release.

With loaded weapons
Deliver such cruelty
Served in their gods name

Sitting all alone
An outcast whose eyes won't meet
Heart of gold turned to stone

A child with sweet dreams
In a world that does not care
A grownups nightmare

Endless talking
Where nothing ever gets done
Drowning in the mud

Shock waves ripples spread
Born of seventy six
British rebel yell

 Download it here:

or here:

Round two was with Television, live at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco on June 29, 1978, another excellent recording, grooving to the distinctive guitar work of Lloyd and Verlaine.  The band members' independent and strongly held artistic visions, along with Richard Lloyd's drug abuse, led to the band's break-up in 1978.  Too bad as they produced some good music.

Lucky rockets strike
Thirty-one who now face death
Marching in silence

Stand in the same room
Like sand grains, pass through hours glass
Never meet again

Dreams of martyrdom
Pushing them to foul extremes
Nothing in the end

Download it here:

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