It is with that unmistakeable, gut wrenching scream of Rob Younger and its clarion call exhorting us all to play some Stooges that Radio Birdman signals the start of another Wide Open Road, dredging through the deeper reaches of my archives, playing the things that connect and link the vast catalogue of Australian independent and alternative rock and pop. Wide Open Road is the vinyl beat in the heart of the digital jungle.

David Lee Roth – Cosmic Psychos
Set it on fire – Kim Salmon and the Surrealists

Oh the Cosmic Psychos. Still my favourite of their tracks, this live version from 1993 came from a Lemon Music Magazine promo single. One of the best lyrics ever released on an Aussie single. Period. I am not going to repeat them here. Just listen. Next up, also from a Lemon Music Fanzine is the might of Kim Salmon and the Surrealists doing live justice the classic Scientists track originally released on Blood Red River.

Sounds of Now – Surprise Surprise
Around – Young Docteurs

Surprise Surprise were a Sydney power pop psych band who put out this debut single in 1983 on the Secret Chihuahua label. Not much to tell you, but they did release two further singles on the legendary Method Records label in 1984 and 1986. Coming out in 1985, this single from punk psych band the Young Docteurs was a poppy indie single, quite a distance from the 1979 punk roots. Originally from Canberra, this brilliant band helmed by Paul Hayward has come back to release a new LP (2016). Check out their site here

Generations Turn – Pontiac Conspiracy
Au Revoir Sex Kitten – The Plums

Coming out in 1988, this bluesy wig out by Melbourne’s Pontiac Conspiracy was released on Rampant Records as part of the ‘Cycles and Cut LP. Produced by the prolific Craig McArthur this single is driven hard by harmonica and strident lyrics about the future of planet, prescient as it was from 1988! The Plums were a indie pop band fronted by Caroline Kennedy originally from Melbourne. They released a couple of EPs (including this awesome one in 1992) and the sublime LP GUN in 1994. This was produced guessed it, Craig McArthur.

Voices a drama – Voigt/465
Fierce Atoms – Wild West
The Gundagai Coolabah – No Night Sweats

Recently reissued on vinyl and on Bandcamp, the couple works of Sydney post punk band Voigt/465 offer a glimpse into an era of music shaped by experimentation with sound and form. This track from their debut LP ’Sights Unspoken’ has industrial drills sitting alongside edgy post punk guitars and Krautrock beats. Another reissue, this time from Wild West, another post punk band from Sydney Wild West. Featuring two members of Voigt/465, this track comes from the most recent reissue of the their selected recordins (remembering in this era many records were never released not distributed widely or put out on tapes sold at gigs). Members from these two bands went on to be part of Pel Mel and Crime and the City Solution. Finally, we have No Night Sweats, featuring Phil Turnbull who crosses all three of these bands and runs the amazing No Night Sweats website which catalogues this amazing scene. Featuring another stalwart of the scene (Patrick Gibson – Systematics, Scattered Order, Ya Ya Choral et al) No Night Sweats was as Turnbull describes it ‘Ironic Lounge music before such a thing was ever thought popular.’

Oh, all of this is now on Bandcamp to make it so much more accessible. Vinyl of some of this would end any aspirations I have to eat or keep a roof over my head 🙂

Crystal Clear – Laughing Clowns
Trip to Kalu-Ki-Bar – Louis Tillett
Hypnotised – Wet Taxis

Alright, alight, it has been a long time between drinks but WOR cracks open the Laughing Clowns and the first track from the Ghosts of an Ideal Wife LP released on Hot in 1985. This is the 4th Laughing Clowns record and merges some of the classic LC sound with small bits of Saints and future Ed Kuepper solo records. Absolutely brilliant as an LP opener. Go back and listen if you have never experienced the Clowns. Playing piano on this track was one Louis Tillett. Formerly of Wet Taxis, this comes from his 1987 Citadel LP called Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell. And lets finish the triple up with some damned Wet Taxis from the ‘From the Archives’ compilation in 1984. The Wet Taxis were a seminal band featuring Louis Tillett, Penny Ikinger and others who started as part of the post-punk movement represented on the now legendary Terse Tapes series (that launched Severed Heads amongst other) before taking this more sixties styling. This LP was recently re-issued by G.O.D records in Greece.

Lighthouse Girl – Blue Ruin

From their 1991 ARIA nominated album ‘I’m Gonna Smile’, this was the lead single. Blue Ruin were a Melbourne band that featured the Birthday Party’s drummer Phill Calvert on skins. T

Girlfriend’s Boyfriend – The Passengers
Somehow – The Dagoes

PH-1, the first single released on Sydney’s Phantom Records, owned by Birdman orbiteer Jules R.B Normington and released in October 1979. The Passengers featured Angie Pepper on vocals, future Birdman and New Christ Jim Dickson on bass, Jeff Sullivan of Flaming Hands plus plus plus. The A-side is the better compiled but I love this flip side, so sixties girl group and surfy. PH-10, released in 1981 is the third single by Adelaide’s The Dagoes. And once we stick with the B-side, with some great harmonies by Lilly Pointless and Arna Ferrazzo