Thursday, January 09, 2014

Song of the day

"The Fate of the Human Carbine", by Peter Jefferies and Robbie Muir.

This song is the sound of cassette tapes in padded postbags being stuffed into letter boxes in country towns in the late 1980s. It is the sound of that brief moment in time when I had disposable income and no responsibilities, and before both of my parents died, the family farm vanished from beneath my feet, and the Leongatha "scene" (all four of it!) fragmented, for various necessary reasons. (It was also before Adrienne wandered into the room, so the associations are not all one way.)

It is also, of course, one aspect of the sound of Dunedin. Peter Jefferies launched his solo career* (he had previously been in a band called This Kind of Punishment with his brother Graeme, who went on to his own solo career as The Cakekitchen) with an Xpressway cassette release, "The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World", which was accompanied by a seven-inch single that he did with Robbie Muir, of which this is the B side. The two releases were repackaged as one record, for the CD era, by Ajax Records, and have now been subject to the reissue treatment again, in the same iteration. It is well worth your time, especially if you have worn out the copy of X/WAY 16 that was lovingly packaged up, addressed, and mailed to you by the incomparable Bruce Russell.

Jefferies does loud and quiet. This is him doing quiet, but with an edge.

* This statement may be debatable; he released, with Jono Lonie, a vinyl LP, with paint-splattered cover, on the Flying Nun label, called "At Swim 2 Birds" (although its connection with the Flann O'Brien novel is unclear), in 1987, of which I was lucky enough to find a copy at the long-forgotten Exposure Records, which resided somewhat incongruously on Cotham Road in Kew, during the same brief idyllic time period. Or maybe his solo career can be traced back to the single he released with Shayne (Straitjacket Fits) Carter, "Randolph's Going Home", in 1986, also on Flying Nun (although Carter got top billing there). Really, it does your head in.