Archive | September, 2011


22 Sep

Imported Mexicali longnecks, Fender©, gangsta beats, pizza pie and unauthorized Colonel Hogan smut. It’s Americana 101 as Leigh, the Drei-ster and Daniel give Birdhouse On Fire the el grandé treatment.



19 Sep

Guitars and red wine from a bladder @ El Rancho Relaxo, September 19th.


17 Sep

Black Fox took to the stage at The Laundry this week for Love Suds – A new indie club night in Melbourne which is sure to flourish. The band smashed out an hour-long set to a crowd of rockers sporting Black Fox temporary tattoos. Thanks to everyone who slapped one on their skin, you all looked radical.


11 Sep

Back in mid-2008 I stumbled across a pair of old pre-loved, tan Julius Marlows (yes, that’s right) at the Camberwell Market. Eschewing any fads of the time, I parted with a pair of twenty dollar notes and returned home in my new ‘all-occasion’ footwear.

For the next two years I wore the Marlows consistently both at home, and abroad. Business? Pleasure? All-occasions indeed! Why, those shoes were so comfortable that when it came to choosing footwear for a long, solo trek down the Wakayama coastline, my trusty Chuck Taylors were cast aside.

Sadly, in March 2010, some 8000 kilometers afar from their Collingwood cordwainer (and somewhat in need of a good cobbling), they were surrendered into a garbage receptacle due to excess airline baggage constraints — a move I’ve regretted ever since.

When the rain receded this morning, I exploited the opportunity to venture into the sunshine and back to Camberwell Market in search of, well, anything really.

Same stall. Same shoes. This time: black.

Julius, you smug f***. The legend continues!


9 Sep

With rumour circulating that Black Fox will cover the track The Birdhouse On Fire by The New Season, Lambrusco Cramond was quick to establish contact with the song’s co-writing duo — tight-lipped, mystery figure Keith Zeppelin and our own Leigh Mullens. For your reading pleasure, we’ve posted an extract of the resulting conversation.

History suggests that musicians are often at their most creative when they’re downtrodden. Let’s talk about your lifestyles during the original sessions for this song?

Leigh:   Birdhouse was one of a handful of songs we churned out in the second half of 2006. It was an interesting time for me; my father was terminally ill, the air was thick with smoke from the bushfires that ravaged Melbourne’s east, and I was fast losing touch with reality. At some point I’d decided to turn my back on stable employment, and began a permanent vacation that would span the best part of the following two years. Despite this—or perhaps because of it—I don’t remember the period as all doom and gloom. With the shackles of employment cast aside, I was free to spend more time in the great outdoors and busied myself with handicrafts and creative pursuits.

Lyrically, the song continues Revolver / The New Season’s tradition of mixing psychedelic inspired metaphors with harsh slabs of cold reality. What do you mean by ‘The plane never dies online when I want to hide you’?

Keith:    I wouldn’t know as such lyric does not exist in the song.

Leigh:   Lyrically, I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what Birdhouse was about. In fact, I confronted Keith about the song’s meaning a few years back and the conversation went like this:

‘What does the line ‘The birdhouse is on fire’ mean?’
‘It means the birdhouse is on fire.’
‘What birdhouse? And why does that mean that you have to leave for a little while?’
‘Cause it’s on fire.’

Nonetheless, it was a song that captured the essence of the period and never fails to take me back to those smoky summer days.

Somewhere between recording Revolver and The New Season, Mooroolbark’s Tony Iommi™ put aside his riff/rock styling in favour of the more subtle sonic approach represented on this song. Was this a deliberate decision, or natural evolution? 

Leigh:   Musically, it was a bit of a purple patch for both Keith and I. When I look back on this period, the songs that spring to mind are Feathers, Paralysed By The Sun, Escape To Elbrus, Permanent Vacation and, of course, The Birdhouse On Fire. This new batch of songs represented a sonic shift from the drop-D days of Revolver. For the most part, I’d put down my battered Les Paul, switched off my amp and picked up an acoustic guitar. Perhaps it was lethargy that led me down this road, or, more likely, I was searching for something a little more honest and real. It’s probably this approach that made the songs of that era a little more timeless than our angst-filled earlier efforts.

People seem to be attracted to music representative of their culture. Having said that, if Birdhouse On Fire was piped into the Mooroolbark train station, what would you expect the crowd’s response to be?

Leigh:   Commuters would probably relate to the line, ‘The trains never run on time’.

Thanks, guys.


7 Sep

For some time now, I’ve been on a quest for the ultimate overdrive pedal. In recent years, I’ve been rocking Visual Sound’s Route 66 pedal; and while it’s rad, I felt there were better pedals out there. While in New York last week, I began hitting up the local guitar stores with the intention of picking up a vintage TS-9 Tube Screamer—a classic pedal that’s become known as ‘the standard’ for overdrive. Enter the Interstellar Overdriver Deluxe.

Death By Audio

I stumbled across this pedal while browsing the cabinet at Main Drag Music in Brooklyn. Not only does it have the greatest name of any overdrive pedal, but it looks radical. I asked the attendant if I could try it out and he led me to the live room. The second I started kicking out the jams on this thing, an earthquake hit New York (literally). Sold!


6 Sep

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Callum and myself headed to the Purple Piano Studio in downtown Brooklyn to record some additional vocal parts for the record. This well-equipped and eclectically-decorated studio is situated at the back of Sanford and Sven’s Second Hand Store, and proved to be the perfect location to spend an afternoon laying down some takes. We rolled around in the early afternoon and were greeted by Sven, the very relaxed co-owner of this second hand store/studio space. He was happy to lead us past his collection of old super 8 cameras to the back of the store, where the studio is located.

We set up our gear in the middle of the room, surrounded by some kind of animal skin and a large collection of posters featuring Elvis, Van Halen and the Spice Girls. In the hours that followed, Callum laid down take after take of harmonies and backing vocals; stopping only briefly to slam down a greasy burger and leave a poor tip at a nearby food emporium. Once the recording session came to a close, we headed back to Callum’s pad to celebrate with a round of Drake’s Coffee Cakes—a delicious cinnamon snack, packed with great pop-culture references.

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