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  • Propagandhi at The Arena, Fortitude Valley, 13th February, 2009.

    Feb 15 2009, 15:22

    Fri 13 Feb – Propagandhi

    The wait has been an eternity (they haven’t toured here in 12 years, and 12 years ago I was 9), but from the very first day in late 2000 when I heard And We Thought Nation States Were A Bad Idea on a really old Fat Wreck Chords compilation that I bought from the “and this is the shit that we never sell” pile in my local record shop - it probably had been there since about 1995 or whenever - I have never wanted to see anything more.

    Never had I heard such fury, clear-headed articulation and humour come from, well anything, let alone a bunch of bogans from rural Canada who sound exactly like Terrence & Phillip when Chris isn’t bellowing about cointelpro. Add to this flawless musicianship (not that they’d have you believe that), a fearsome independence & dedication to their craft (in anyway matched only by Ian MacKaye), Propagandhi are the greatest band to ever have been so summarily ignored by their own scene. Yeah, cool one you slick mohawk motherfucker, Jord can play drums… that must mean they are the next coming of Pink Floyd. Go back to your deadshit Sex Pistols cover band.

    Anyway, so as not to belabour the point, to say that this show was highly anticipated is a hell of an understatement. I’ve been obsessing for months… what are they going to play? All new stuff? “You’ve been locked in the studio for a couple of years, and the last two times you did that, you produced two of the finest albums of the last decade.”

    “So I want to hear where you are taking it now… but at the same time, I still want to scream the old favourites. I want to thrash around to Fuck The Border, sing in chorus to Haille Sellasse and observe the elemental force of Purina Hall Of Fame, ‘eh.”

    But I shouldn’t have ever doubted them, because they came with all of that and more.

    The set was heavy with Potemkin City Limits stuff (much to my delight) but we also got half a dozen of the old fan favourites, which was both unexpected (in light of their omnipresent self-mockery of earlier efforts) and most welcome. Nearly all my lyrical faves from the Empires/Potemkin age got a blast (Rock For Sustainable Capitalism being the highlight for mine), and they managed to play pretty much all my favourite old songs too- Stick The Flag, Nation States, and especially, Haille Sellasse. I never expected to see that, and judging from the reaction of the people around me, it was most welcome.

    It’s almost unbelievable to watch these guys play… the fact that such technical and lyrical proficiency comes from a bunch of dudes who call each other 'buddy' and say 'eh' and 'aboot' is such a wonderful thing... it really defies description until you can experience it for yourself.

    It occurs to me that Chris & Jord must be in their mid forties by now, but they play three times harder than any other band i've ever seen. You want to be "hardcore" on stage kid? Try playing like Chris Hannah does... let alone whilst singing like he does.

    Tumbling octopus percussion; thundering, sternum cracking bass and caustic guitar lines are spat out at a million miles an hour, one after the other for over 90 minutes without so much as a dropped note… that is a truly humbling experience. Especially if you have any delusions about your own ability as a musician.

    Now, my memory is hazed with a wonderful weekend of beer, whiskey and absurd conversations with old friends (and a Karaoke cover of One Armed Scissor by At The Drive-In (!)), but to the best of my recollection, the set included:

    A Speculative Fiction
    Rock For Sustainable Capitalism
    Anti Manifesto
    And We Thought Nation States Were A Bad Idea
    Haille Sellasse
    Mate Ka Moris Ukun Rasik An
    Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes
    Back To The Motor League
    Stick The Fucking Flag Up Your Godamn Ass, You Sonofabitch
    Fuck The Border (with vocals from some random dude in the crowd)
    Apparently I’m A PC Fascist
    (America’s Army) Die Jugend Marschiert
    Dear Coach’s Corner
    Human(e) Meat (The Flensing of Sandor Katz)
    Potemkin City Limits
    The Supporting Caste
    Last Will And Testament

    And of course, my absolute favourite song of all time: Purina Hall Of Fame

    About the only thing I really missed was Natural Disasters (although a run through of White, Proud & Stupid would certainly not have gone astray), but only a fool or a fake would be unhappy with such minor oversights in context of such a phenomenal performance.

    How many adjectives are there to describe awesome? Plenty, i’m sure. So any you can think up right here and now, add them to the list.

    I just hope it won’t be another 12 years.

    Edit: Thanks to JizzyMcJizz, we have some videos from Friday night online:

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    Nation States

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    Fuck The Border (complete with awesome random crowd-member. Also notice the silly bitch next to the Rod who insisted on coming on stage, but knew absolutely no words)

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    Haile Selassie
  • My Eclectic Score

    Set 11 2008, 3:58

    Take your top 20 artists. For each of these artists, collect the top 5 similar artists. The resulting number of unique artists is your eclectic score. If the score is small (extreme = 5) your musical preferences are very limited, and if it is large (larger than 80, extreme = 100), then you have an eclectic musical preference. You can compute your own score at http://anthony.liekens.net/pub/scripts/last.fm/eclectic.php

    My eclectic score is currently

    93/100



    The 93 related artists for my profile are 7Seconds, Adolescents, Aesop Rock (2), Andrew Jackson Jihad, Antischism, Atmosphere, Avail, Bagster, Behind Enemy Lines, Bigwig, Billy Bragg, Black Flag (2), Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan and The Band, Bob Mould, Brother Ali, Buck 65, Buzzcocks, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Circle Jerks (2), Coldplay (2), Conflict, Dead Boys, Dead Kennedys, Discharge, Franz Ferdinand, Frenzal Rhomb, Ghost Mice, Good Riddance, Gorilla Biscuits, Government Issue, Grinderman, In the Grey, JFA, Jawbox, Jello Biafra, Jello Biafra with the Melvins, Joan Baez, Joe Strummer, Jonny Greenwood, Kasabian, Killing Joke, Leonard Cohen, Levellers, MDC, Mick Harvey, Middle Class, Minor Threat, Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Muse, Nausea, Neil Young, Nick Cave (2), Non-Prophets, On a Friday, One Dollar Short, P.O.S., Paul Baribeau, Placebo, Poison Idea, Q and Not U, Radiohead, Reagan Youth (2), Rosa, SS Decontrol, Sage Francis, Sham 69, Sole, Strike Anywhere, The Band, The Birthday Party, The Chameleons, The Clash (2), The Dynospectrum, The Evens, The Germs, The Mission, The Nation of Ulysses, The Pogues, The Replacements, The Rolling Stones, The Specials, The Stranglers, The Teen Idles, The Undertones, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb, Thom Yorke, Tindersticks, Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle, Unpaid Debt, Wipers, Youth of Today