In case you missed it: King Parrot reviews, video and photos!

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing King Parrot’s new album Dead Set, and their show at Amplifier Bar in Perth. Check them out!

Check out The show!

Check out The album! 

But if you’re impatient or you don’t like reading, here’s a video of their opening song Stench, from their Perth show.

I also took some photos at the gig, since I’m not a photographer they are mostly terrible.

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Hope you enjoy!

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Just a little list of great action flicks

Recently we have been lucky enough to see some great action films hit our screens. Be it John Wick, which takes a simple idea and does it well, or Mad Max: Fury Road which redefines the entire idea of what an action film can be. With that in mind, I decided to write a list of action films that I think are worth watching. I’m not saying these are the best films, just the ones that are special to me, in some way. Some genres have been a little neglected, I’m not an expert on Westerns, or Martial Arts films so I’ve only included a couple from each, most likely ignoring their best. I’ve also slightly excluded war and sci-fi films as they sort of deserve their own lists. But at the same time I’ve included films from all of those genres, I just don’t want someone thinking that I’m not aware of some of the great films that exist outside of this list. 

 

Rumble in the Bronx – This was a film that introduced a lot of us to Jackie Chan. The film is just insane – the plot takes a back seat to Chan’s signature humour and insane stunts. Chan is an under-rated comedic actor, a huge fan of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin he uses some of their classic techniques to give a far more entertaining performance.

 

Escape from New York – Honestly if you haven’t seen this film you probably shouldn’t even begin reading this list. It’s on Netflix – watch it and come back.

From Paris With Love  – This film was such a surprise. When I saw trailers I was entirely uninterested in it, but that was wrong. John Travolta is on fire – manic and believably dangerous. I don’t want to say that this film is under-rated, it’s just under-appreciated. Worthy of mention is the fact that it was written by Luc Besson who has helmed some of the better action films of the 2 decades – Taken, Lucy, The Transporter and so on.

Aliens –  This film is just a lot of fun. You take a monster from a sci-fi horror film and let it loose with space marines. I have no doubt that this was a huge influence on Predator – another great action film. What a great concept. Another film you probably should have already watched.

The Rock – This film is stupid, but in the best possible way. It’s one of those rare films where style-over-substance pays off. The highly stylised dialogue just sings from Sean Connery and Nic Cage – what might have been terrible from any other actor sounds like poetry when spoken by the right person.

Kiss of the Dragon  – I really like this film, it’s another Luc Besson masterpiece. Some great fight scenes and villains you don’t mind seeing get beat up. There’s also just an underlying bit of heart that Bridget Fonda brings to the table.

The Boondock Saints  – This is a film that has always been a little divisive, but whatever – I love it. It’s silly, it’s self-aware and it’s just plain old good fun.

The Long Kiss Goodnight  – Holy shit, I swear if this isn’t on of the best films of the ’90s I don’t know what is. Shane Black is one of the best action writers around, giving us Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and the Last Boyscout. I think this is his greatest work though. There are so many reasons this film is great, but seeing Gena Davis kick every single bit of ass is my favourite.

Sukiyaki Western Django – This film is weird, a sort of reboot, prequel cultural cross-over mindfuck. It’s a bunch of fun and worth watching, watch out for Quentin Tarantino further weirding up the film.

Unleashed – What’s that? Another martial arts film? Another Luc Besson film? Whatever, this film fucking rocks.

Die Hard  – This is one of my favourite films of all time. Bruce Willis before he became Bruce Willis and a, then-unknown, Alan Rickman. This movie showed us that action stars didn’t need to be muscle-bound monsters to kick ass, and we’re all the better for it.

There are so many films I could have included, Kung-Fu Hustle for it’s slapstick weirdness, Ong-Bak for it’s balls-to-the-wall fights and stunts, The Terminator for being the greatest film ever fucking made. But I think the fun is in finding out for yourself, watch some movies and decide who your favourite director or actor is, then watch something else they did. You could watch the classics – Bullit, Dirty Harry, Mad Max, Bridge over the River Kwai or The Great Escape – the later is set in the POW camp that my grandfather spent many years in, taking part in the escape itself.

Whatever you decide to watch, just remember to enjoy yourself. That’s what it’s all about.

Punk, not punk, who gives a shit?

This is a dumb post about a dumb topic. Everyone few months on some blog, or website or Facebook group people start arguing about what is and isn’t punk. The same tired old circles of conversation and bullshit ideologies. The thing is, it really doesn’t matter.

I used to think it was important, that there was some sort of pinnacle to aim for – there were rules and we had to follow them. It wasn’t my fault really, people have been saying it for years, and there’s always some idea ready to school me or somebody else on the matter. I remember when I was young I used to hang out with at Glebe Markets with a bunch of street punks. I was introduced to it by a friend who really fit the punk stereotype – mohawks, recitation of Marxist nonsense and a hatred of authority – he was ‘the real deal’. Anyway, it was never really my scene, these guys were legit, but their elitism and hierarchy was painfully obvious. They weren’t just punks, they were a group – a team with a specific dress-code and structure that needed to be obeyed. The most of them weren’t even interested in talking to me, I was some dumb kid with a shit haircut from the North Shore of Sydney. I guess I was expected to pay my dues, show them I was one of them or something. But it never happened, I wasn’t interested in hanging out and abusing people in suits, yelling abuse and starting fights with jocks or the local Aboriginal kids. These guys stunk of hypocrisy, their grand statements about world peace and social revolution always tainted by their abuse of ‘normal people’ -“Hey suit, nice tie you fucking faggot” – the general sort of harassment they offered to people walking past. They weren’t egalitarianist, nor communist, they were closer to the ‘fascists’ they constantly compared with police.

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Photo Credit RH Raw Shot Studios

These days I tend not to get caught up in this sort of thing, whether it’s because the movement itself has dwindled or because of my own avoidance. It doesn’t matter. I am happy with who I am, what I believe in and the bands I listen to. But it’s funny about music, we’re so quick to say what bands are and aren’t punk. The argument is almost self-defeating. I watch the kids playing in hardcore bands – that are heavily influenced by the NY  scene – tell me how shit the Ramones are (not to mention abuse from nationalists who believe that if I’m a fan of the Ramones I have to be a fan of ‘right wing values’ because of Johnny Ramones personal views). Can you be like a genre but hate the people that helped create it? Yep. Can you like a band but not support their individual beliefs? Yes, you can. There is no right answer here – I can scoff at someone’s lack of respect for the classics just like they can disregard them completely – it actually makes no difference. I listen to Black Flag and hear the influence from the Ramones, someone else listens and hears the influence on A Perfect Circle. We each take something of our own from the experience

I’ve had numerous people tell me how utterly shit punk is while ranting about how great King Parrot are – despite being one of the punkest metal bands around (even by their own definition some of their music is punk) – and it doesn’t really matter. You could say Matt Young embodies the spirit of 80s hardcore or you could say he is the next Phil Anselmo and you’d be right on both accounts, it’s not a dichotomy.

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These guys really warrant checking out!

But that’s just one example of something that transcends the genre. The genre is so broad that we can’t talk about it in such ambiguous language. It can be a style of fashion, but it doesn’t mean the fashion needs to be associated with the music. You can live the lifestyle (whatever that means) and not be associated with the fashion. You can even be in a punk band and not like the fashion, the life or the music – at least not on anyone else terms. From NoFX to Agnostic Front, from the Germs to Simple Plan, from Sublime to Charles Bronson there is no one band, no one style or ideology more correct than the others. And why in the fuck would we want it any different?