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COMPACT DISCS

 

1. Stephanie
2. Not Camping Out
3. A Bigger Splash
4. I Woke Up in Hargreaves Mall
5. Melting Moments
6. Fawn Summers
7. Countryside
8. Absence
9. Is it because I'm bleak
10. The gesture
11. Lime Tree

RELEASE NOTES: ~
CD, 12" & Digital | International Release 5th July '13 on
Chapter Music


The Cannanes : Howling at all Hours : (Chapter Music)
[ Four and a half Stars ]

Feted by the American underground cognoscenti, lauded by critics, yet still largely unknown in its homeland, the Cannanes might just be the definitive Australian punk band. Almost 30 years after the band's formation, Howling at All Hours is true to the band's DIY aesthetic. Not Camping Out and I Woke Up in Hargreaves Mall remember the inner-city Sydney scene of yore with nostalgia and regret. A Bigger Splash and Melting Moments channel Velvet Underground via Calvin Johnson, and Stephanie and Fawn Summers are picture-perfect indie-pop songs. Countryside holds up the country life ideal and exposes it for the fairytale it so often is.

PATRICK EMERY [ The Age Newspaper, & The Canberra Times, & The Sydney Morning Herald all on 23rd August 2013 ]


image ~ rolling stone review
Review in Rolling Stone [Australia] September 2013 ~ Four Stars being their maximum!

MORE REVIEWS SOON: Bit busy at the moment

1. Bumper
2. Crawler
3. Basics
4. Molecule
5. Tiny Compartment
6. Zone

RELEASE NOTES: ~
CD & Digital | U.S. Release date 19th March '13 on exro.fm &
in Australia on Lamingtone

12" Released 28th May '13 on exro.fm & in Australia on Lamingtone


The Cannanes : Small Batch
No-one ever said popularity, or its cashed-up cousin, commercial success, was an exact science. For every artist plucked from obscurity by the forces of an exploitative and cynical marketing campaign, or thrown into the public domain on the back of a cheap gimmick, there's a thousand unknown acts, desperately clambering for any form of public recognition. Such is the unforgiving life of the artist.

So where does that leave The Cannanes? In fact, have you even ever heard of The Cannanes? If you're one of those obsessive punters whose entire social discourse revolves around obscure lo-fi pop records from the recording bowels of the independent music industry, then you probably already know they're one of Australia's most renowned, and anonymous bands. Celebrated by Kurt Cobain, exalted by the New York Times, championed by Greil Marcus, The Cannanes make The Go-Betweens seem like Kylie Minogue in comparison.

Small Batch is The Cannanes' latest record. Featuring just six songs, it's a taste of why The Cannanes should be on everyone's play list. Bumper is an exercise in perfect pop simplicity: a basic melody, a catchy rhythm and just enough '60s orchestration to make you feel good all over. Crawler is a different beast; this is a song to chaperone you through the moments of emotional darkness we've all been confronted with, and take you to a better place. Basics is the light on the new wave hill so many '80s bands missed due to outrageous consumption of cocaine and fellating of egos. The stripped-back electronica of Zone is sly and insidiously attractive; Molecule haunts you like the memory of a moment lost in time.

The EP ends with Tiny Compartment, like the album's opening track, a picture-perfect pop track. The Cannanes are a band like few others; it's just that hardly anyone in Australia seems to know it.

BY PATRICK EMERY [for BEAT Posted 2nd April 2013]


The Cannanes:
Small Batch EP
Checking in for the first time since 2008's Grassy Flat EP, with the six-pack digital Small Batch EP (gotta love the truth-in-advertising title) long-running Aussie indie outfit the Canannes are at the point in their career where they can release music when they want to, not when they have to. That luxury reveals itself in Small Batch's charming half-dozen tracks. Side A is quintessential indie pop: the jangly guitar, warm horns and burbling keys of opener "Bumper" have fueled a million tunes since the Cannanes' 1987 full-length debut, The African Man's Tomato, while the dreamy "Crawler" and prickly "Basics" feel like the promise of Alternative Nation was actually fulfilled (there's a reason Kurt Cobain was a fan).

Side B finds the band in a more experimental mood, with "Molecule" showcasing Frances Gibson's best breathy Sally Timms impression, incanting "This is the day the glaciers finally burn" over music that alternates between noirish dream and metallic sheen, while "Tiny Compartment" is a whooshy, half-whispered letter to a pilot/airline traveler/astronaut. In the album's most intriguing song, the closing "Zone", the band sounds like, of all things, the faux-club/lounge you'd hear in an H&M dressing room. It's nothing short of mesmerizing. Who knows when we'll hear from the Cannanes again, but this (cough) small batch of tunes should help tide over Antipodean indie pop fans.
[Reviewed by Stephen Haag for PopMatters.com 3 April 2013 ]


THE CANNANES,
SMALL BATCH EP (exro03)
Cardigan-owners rejoice! Long-running indie-pop combo the Cannanes have re-turned with "Bumper," the first taste of their first major release since 2002's Trouble Seemed So Far Away. The Small Batch EP, due March 19, is helmed by veteran members Fran Gibson and Stephen O'Neil; and while the production quality seems slightly more polished, the earnest melodicism remains. "Is it worth another try? / My friends don't think so," Gibson lilts shyly, between lively strums, bouncy drum machines, horns, and even a smattering of lounge-y synths. As another world-famous oracle once sagely opined, there is no "try", "Bumper" exists.
[Reviewed by Marc Hogan on spin.com January 9, 2013]


Cannanes, Small Batch [EP], (exro.fm/Lamingtone, 2013)
To call the Cannanes veterans of the indie world would be putting it lightly; when they first hit the scene with their indie-pop songs, of which Kurt Cobain would eventually become a fan, Ronald Reagan was serving his first presidential term. Now nearly 30 years later, the Australian duo is still finding ways to create fresh music. Their latest release is an EP called Small Batch, a six-song compilation that ranges from mellow and calm to jazzy and upbeat. After an 11-year hiatus, the Cannanes have returned and showed us why they deserve to be regarded as true innovators of indie pop.

The opening song, “Bumper,” is as radiant as the sun on a hot August day. The jaunty strumming of the acoustic guitar is mixed with muted horns that mesh with Fran Gibson’s timid lyrics: “Is It worth another try? Even you don’t think so.” The last minute is filled with the soft shake of a tambourine and light drum hits that ease the song to a blissful finish.

The song that follows is called “Crawler,” and rightly so. The track is a slow and weary one that leisurely works its way up and down your body as Gibson’s ethereal voice drifts in and out. The spacey electronic percussion unwinds slowly and lets your mind enter into a peaceful zone. As the song ends, you’re snapped back to reality that you’ve already ventured nearly halfway through the EP.

What makes the Cannanes so special is their versatility. Not many bands last for over a decade, and the ones who do are inevitably ascribed a label. The Cannanes offset their label by featuring songs like “Molecule” and “Zone” amongst their guitar-filled indie-pop songs. These tracks blend aspects from hip-hop and jazz with their hazy electronic pop. “Molecule” features a slow, heavy, booming bass that creeps up on you throughout the song before finally dropping and creating a new texture on the cozy album.

The horns cry out loudly to introduce the closing song on the EP. “Zone” starts off slowly and then is suddenly interjected with percussion that you can imagine a b-boy getting down to. The eerie voice utters, “You’re confusing me.” But there is little to be confused about on this put-together EP. The band gives us a “small batch” of what we’ve been missing out on for the last decade. Producing a short but sweet assortment of engaging songs is exactly what the Cannanes needed to mark their return.
[Reviewed By Trevor Smith for CMJ 20th March 2013]

1. Well I lied to you
2. Glimpse
3. Brainful
4. Drinking dry

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Portland U.S.A. by dark beloved cloud in 2006


THE CANNANES,
GRASSY FLAT MINI-CD (DBC250)
I got this four song EP from Dark Beloved Cloud, and so it is only 3x3 inches in diameter, and while it has a pretty scribbly line drawing of birds on the disc, there is no track listing. There is however, a sweet collage of string, dinosaurs and giraffes, made by Brittany (with a heart at the end) that serves as the cover.
So "track 1," as I shall settle for, kicks off with a pounding drum beat, and you're like "oh, shit!" After about a couple seconds, though, this winding gorgeous tone (like a melodica or a recorder maybe) starts looping around the place and we're off, with lovely vocals and various winds playing tag over a driving bass and subtle guitar track. It's a really beautiful song, and I really should email DW about getting a track listing, but since I'm me, i'm thinking that now in the middle of my post. Oh well.
Track 1 slowly grinds to a halt, and the mood shifts to Track 2 with a residual twang against steel strings being replaced by a pipe organ drone that seeps into the ears. The lovely vocals slowly and sadly add themselves to the mix and then are joined by a haunting echoing trumpet. Frippering around the peripheries of your audible range come the tinkles of a glockenspiel or xylophone or something, gently lightening the heavy brew stewing in your head. Track 2 drifts and swells through layer upon layer of reverb and drone and loop for over eight minutes (and actually feels a little like some of the more desperate songs on The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs, particularly the one's sung by Claudia Gonson--except wayyyyy longer than a typical Stephin Merritt composition).
One feels lulled by Track 2, and the synthetic beat that kicks off track 3 comes as an awakening (whether rude or not would depend on an individual's mood, i think). The plaintive vocals and simple chords (and eventually the ubiquitous trumpet) set up a great little set-piece of indie recording that harkens to early K records stuff, The Weakerthans, Destroyer, the Dunedin sound, whatever. It finishes off with a meandering bass line and twinging on the guitar strings until it flops down in a heap.
The final track (Track 4) is a snappy jazzy number that definitely recalls Calvin Johnson in the Beat Happening-era, as well as other indie duos like Auckland's The Brunettes, and the Holly Golightly - Dan Melchior Desperate Little Town album. The rollicking little finale barely breaks a minute-and-a-half, but it's a tonic to the longer dirge of Track 2, and creates one more character in an ensemble of very different tracks.

Now I have to track down more of this stuff.
[Posted by matt for earswillbleed.blogspot.com Saturday, May 31, 2008]


sleeve

1. You Name It
2. Felicity
3. This Is the Song
4. It's Hopeless
5. Brand New Craze
6. Radio Moscow
7. Ten Stories
8. Sound of Seduction
9. S.A.D.
10. Treading Carefully
11. Western Slowmotion
12. Trouble Seems So Far Away

MP3s ~ just click on title

You name it
Felicity
It's Hopeless
This Is the Song
Western Slowmotion

 

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released on 21st May 2002 in the U.S. by Slabco also Released on Oct 25th 2002 in Australia on Lamingtone




The Cannanes with Explosion Robinson
Trouble seemed so far away
Lamingtone
Everyone has heard of the Cannanes, who have been touted as one of Australia's greatest indie bands, having done the local and international scenes since their inception in 1986. But who is Explosion Robinson? The answer is quite simple - Stephen Hermann, the man behind the sound, is the one that makes the Cannanes's latest album 'Trouble Seemed So Far Away' one of the definitive musical highlights of 2002.
Mixing smooth, indie sound with fresh beats and loops, this LP sounds kind of like Belle and Sebastian meets Beth Orton meets Air - or something to that effect. In short, it's a rich and cruisey foray into the more experimental side of the Cannanes, and has resulted in their most sophisticated release to date.
What the Cannanes lend to the album in indie pop sound, Explosion Robinson has flavoured with the simple beauty of laid back electric drumbeats. The vocals of Frances Gibson drives most of the tracks, bringing delicacy and a subtle emotive edge to a mellow and diverse collection of songs. 'You Name It' makes a catchy choice of single, incorporating synth sounds and layered vocals; 'Brand New Craze' has a definite triphop feel, while 'Radio Moscow' tends towards the poppier side of instrumental, reminiscent of bands like Tortoise or Mogwai.
The album's hidden gem is track 14, tucked away right at the end and unmentioned in the tracklisting. It takes the electronica bull by the horns and moves from ambient noise and lilting vocals into a classy, light trance number. Complete with humorous liner notes from Brian Boise (of Ed magazine), I suspect this collaborative effort has ensured the Cannanes's longevity in the music scene for a while yet. [Meeshell for ozmusicproject.net November 2002]


::THE CANNANES WITH EXPLOSION ROBINSON::
TROUBLE SEEMED SO FAR AWAY
(Lamingtone)
The eight album from these Sydney pop veterans finds them fielding yet another line up and dabbling in electronics courtesy of Explosion Robinson on keyboards and production.
There's a bit of a Cleopatra Wong-style charm to Trouble..., although some of it gets pretty dark. Founding member Stephen O'Neil handles guitar and bass, with long time collaborator Frances Gibson adding vocals.
This is everything that's great about the 'Sydney pop' sound: slinky rhythms, fuzzy guitars, soaring choruses and rising keyboard melodies. 'This Is the Song' and 'You Name It' are perfect pop songs.
[Eileen Dick for Time Off November 2002]


The Cannanes with Explosion Robinson: Review by Ned Raggett
Recording an album without iconic drummer David Nichols might be utterly strange for many Cannanes followers, but in respects that's the genius of the band -- that while still remaining "them," the group members can experiment like this so readily, and with striking results. Explosion Robinson's way around easy but strong rhythms (having the release appear on SlabCo makes perfect sense) makes Trouble Seemed So Far Away one of the band's best. Even more uniquely, Robinson himself is the only person to appear on every track, with Stephen O'Neil and Frances Gibson generally but not universally providing the core of the band. The big difference courtesy of Robinson is that his beats push the band's performance forward in the mix -- this is in many ways the Cannanes at their most direct and structured ever, as can be heard from the start with "You Name It," Gibson's singing and the guitar glaze from O'Neil sounding very forward and almost triumphant. Even when Robinson handles keyboards and production instead of beats he maintains the atmosphere just so, as on "This Is the Song" or "Treading Carefully," the latter of which features some great drumming by Ronnie Seward treated with a touch of dub echo. The sinuous "It's Hopeless" is particularly noteworthy, riding a combination of Velvet Underground-style chug and a bit of psychedelic echo and drone while still sounding more like something from the 21st century than the 20th. Some moments, combined with a gently breezier vocal approach, suggest a parallel to similar turns by Saint Etienne or the Field Mice -- "Felicity," not an Orange Juice cover but specifically acknowledged as being inspired by said tune, and especially the lovely "Sound of Seduction" are among these highlights. Even at its slightest, like the instrumental, broadcast-sampling "Radio Moscow," Trouble is s gentle, winning treat. Warm and wry liner notes from writer Brian Boies, who contributed some lyrics, complete the album experience. [undated Review by ~Ned Raggett, allmusic.com]


image ~ tokion review
Review in Tokion magazine August 2002


CANNANES: Trouble Seemed So Far Away Australia's Cannanes have been around more than 15 years, an accomplishment for any satisfyingly unpretentious indie-pop band. Featuring minimalist compositions and a lyrically philosophical air, the band's revolving seven-person lineup accentuates Frances Gibson's wistfully understated vocals and Stephen O'Neil's framework of melodious guitar. Trouble Seemed So Far Away, a collaboration with Sukpatch beatsmith and NYC producer Explosion Robinson, finds the Cannanes on a mellow path onward. Matching loops and shimmering effects to the band's dulcet tones, Mr. Robinson layers subtle filaments of keyboard and vocals atmospherics on reflective numbers like "This Is the Song" and "It's Hopeless." Gibson has a swell knack for interpreting vocal nuance, and "S.A.D."'s droll lyrics (penned by writer Brian "Ed" Boies) provide a healthy breeding ground. Over a pop-perfect bass line, she ruminates, "Static electricity, I wish you'd stop blaming me for the shocks." Less eccentrically buoyant, the "Sound Of Seduction" is a sadly sweet dive into the crosshairs of nightlife single-hood. Sure enough, the Cannanes will be around for another long while. [Solvej Schou: CMJ New Music Report Issue: 763 - May 20, 2002]

~ SLABCO PRESS RELEASE: These Australian pop legends return with a new record recorded by Slabco's own in-house producer, Explosion Robinson. Recorded in New York City in the fall of 2000, this record is chock-ful-a smooth beats and beautiful vocals. Mr. Robinson lends the finishing touches to bring this classic bands pop genius to a new level. The Cannanes have been around for 16 years, recording and touring with their original sound. They have released a large handful of great records, and this is one of their best ever. ~

sleeve

1. Felicity
2. I like cellos
3. Lost in darkness
4. L.O.V.E.

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Philadelphia U.S.A. by 555 recordings in July 2001


the cannanes "felicity", though this ep was loosely inspired by orange juice [the band not the beverage], is not actually a cover of the song that provided the best pop moment ever (that whistle) and was later interpreted rather wonderfully by the young david lewis gedge and pals. instead, it is a lush adventure in melody with a heart of gold, a bit like the steinbecks frolicking in a gentle ocean current.
track deux, on the other hand, "i like cellos" is the sound of the ghost of an unkissed Smith - it features a wonderful mark e. impression, vaguely reminiscent of his drunken elastica collaborations. the song isn't obviously inspired by orange juice - in fact, apart from the fall-esque ranting the discernible references appear to be to the pastels - but the song is wildly entertaining, particularly as the rumbling bass meets the faux-Smith vocal head-on.
"lost in darkness" is a pointless instrumental - spot the tautology - rehashing the lead track's loungey guitars; then proceedings wind up rather stylishly with "l.o.v.e. love", in which al green's soul standard, after having been given the edwyn collins' tonsil treatment 2 decades back, is reclaimed by steward sharing vocal duties with (i presume) frances cannane and the whole thing is suitably uplifting, if not technically pitch perfect.
where in all this explosion robinson comes in (or who or what explosion robinson is) i have no clue, but anyone who is "in" with mr anderson and the peerless cannanes is obviously going places quickly. to my jaundiced ears there is nothing on this ep which matches "hey! leopard" or of course their seminal "tribute" (to beat happening!), but certainly enough to keep me searching for that cannanes / steward album collaboration....
[uncredited review found at - http://www.geocities.com/tryhappiness/oct2001.htm]


the cannanes with explosion robinson and Steward, "Felicity EP " (555), Brand new 4 track CD EP, 18 minutes of music seeing The Cannanes venture into dancier territory with help from Explosion Robinson (ex- Sukpatch/Slabco Records) and Steward. A personal tribute to Orange Juice with a stunning cover of Al Green's "L.O.V.E." complete with ambitious vocal performance from Steward, and beautiful vocal performance as ever from Frances Gibson. [uncredited review from Insound website 2001]


sleeve

1. white rabbit
2. anthem
3. I met you as a baby
4. 3 - way release
5. go and tell your father
6. last resort
7. parade time

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Los Angeles U.S.A. by Blackbean in July 2001




Crank It Up!
Live CANNANES Label: Blackbean & Placenta
This is a live document of two particularly wild Cannanes sets from San Francisco recorded in the Summer of 1999. Playing quite a few songs from Caveat Emptor, as well as some brand new (unreleased?) ones, Australia's Cannanes, best known for their recent work with Steward (as well as their 20 year career), crank up the pop magic here special for die-hard fans and newcomers alike. Accompanied by gorgeous SF-centric full color art. Limited to 500 copies. [uncredited review from Insound website 2001]


sleeve

1. Hey Leopard
2. Mirage
3. Music and Me
4. Clean Forgot
5. Fragments
6. Not Quite Right
7. SDJ
8. Remember the Theremin
9. Sharpie
10. Kurrajong Hotel
11. Oh yeah!
12. Astra
13. Savage

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Olympia U.S.A. by
YoYo Recordings on 30th October 2000, ALSO released in the U.K as 12" picture disc by 555 records; see Discography vinyl for details



Cannanes and Steward, "Communicating at an Unknown Rate" (YoYo),This Australian combo is playful before it is anything else. The long "Savage" certainly is, with its bright little synth notes, and Frances Gibson's sunny, thoughtful voice asking herself questions and a guitar chiming in like a particularly considerate friend. But it keeps on, until the repetitions in the small riffs that build the tune unsettle the notion that it's headed for a happy ending, like the way that Charlize Theron, in most of her movies, sparkles a spring and then ends up dead. I don't know where "Savage" ends up, except that it's nowhere near where it started, even if, on paper, the notes would say the two places are exactly the same. [Greil Marcus for Salon.com December 18th 2000]

inner sleeve


The Cannanes and Steward Communicating At an Unknown Rate (Yoyo Recordings)

Australian indie-pop legends The Cannanes have been around a long time and garnered a large following of true believers. At first glance, it's hard to tell why; they play a relatively common brand of mellow pop. But as the course of an album runs by, you understand completely; they exude beauty, and capture hidden emotions with both a sense of humor and a touching sensitivity. All in all, their music captures real-life, genuine feelings, and it's pretty to listen to, two qualities that can propel a simple pop song to greatness. All of that is part of what makes Communicating At an Unknown Rate such a treat. Another is the presence of Steward, aka Stewart Anderson formerly of Boyracer, who lends his vocals and melodic sense to a few songs and is credited with co-writing the whole album. The album opens with one of his vocal contributions, a beautiful ballad that includes a well-placed horn section and builds in emotion until the final, aching words, "There's just nothing left to say". Another of the songs he sings, "Sharpie", is just as haunting and moving, making this release as essential for Steward/Boyracer fans as it no doubt is for Cannanes fans.

Most of the album's vocals are handled by Cannanes lead singer Frances Gibson, who has a graceful, stately voice that's also filled with subtlety and power. A quieter ballad like "Not Quite Right", an encapsulation of fears and worries regarding a lover, gets all of those qualities across plus more, like the way she can blend biting humor into a truly sad thought.

The Cannanes, here a trio (their lineup shifts from release to release), have crafted a sound that weds pretty melodies to often-melancholy, almost-hushed vocals. The mood is generally that of quiet longing, but that doesn't mean the songs are all slow, or that the Cannanes and Steward ever fall into a monotonous pattern. Songs like "Fragments" and "Kurrajong Hotel" have a real edge to them, while "Oh yeah!" is a mostly instrumental, synthesizer-driven, funky dreamscape.

For me, two of the album's highpoints, in terms of emotional impact, are the last two tracks. The first, "Astra", is a gorgeous, poetic goodbye to a lover, over a drum machine bed. While Gibson nearly whispers some of the album's tracks, here she straight-out sings, beautifully expressing fear and sadness ("I'm looking straight ahead, scared"). The last track, "Savage", is a shift in focus from the sadness of life to the hope and joy buried underneath ("Get up and dance, and take a chance, just for once this is a chosen moment / You know it's gonna be all right when you're with me / You can relax and don't destroy it"). The two juxtaposed together tell an eternal human story. It's the story about accepting sadness and learning to be happy, one that in a pop song can sound forced or inauthentic, but given the right words, the right melody and the right musical accompaniment, hits you right in the heart. It's an ending that makes you understand why both the Cannanes and Steward have such devoted fans, and makes you think maybe you should join their ranks.
[by Dave Heaton PopMatters.com Music Critic - undated]

inner sleeve

The Cannanes & Steward Communicating at an Unknown Rate
Who is this Stewart Anderson (i.e. Steward) who has helped The Cannanes record possibly the best album of their lengthy career? I know that he is a fan of the Nichols brothers; his label has released albums by Michael and one of David's latest bands, Huon. But on this record he has helped spark something sublime - between bursts of Stephen O'Neil's trademark trumpet on the opening track, Hey Leopard, he leads the trio on a journey of musical expansion. The song provides the active listener with a hint that this album, as a whole, has far more scope than anything The Cannanes have done before. Each chorus just unfolds another twist, like origami, until Fran's distinctive voice butts in to complete the song with the opening of doors in summer. And so, The Cannanes find themselves no longer relying on just one good idea per song. Having found musical versatility and (more important) similar sensitivity in the form of Andrew Coffey, The Cannanes Mk X (who's kept count?) are only just embarking on a spate of recordings which outshine just about anything in their already legendary canon. Hyperbole or just fact? Isn't it just a fact that they're about to embark on their sixth American tour? Isn't it just fact that labels on four continents have released their records? Isn't it just fact that I can sing at least a hundred of their songs without prompting? The fourth song of this set, Clean Forgot, points out precisely what Mr Coffey has brought to the band (aside from the tasty picture disc artwork). Rattling off his usual stream of lyrical non-sequiters over the top of a keyboard frenzy, it spirals into an orbit which helps put bite into the album - following as it does from the most recognisably Cannanes song, Music & Me. Which is not to say that it is any better (though, yes, to me it is); it's just to say that it's no longer as easy to guess which direction the band are heading in next. There was a time, during their formative years, when you figured that there was The Cannanes and then there was technology, and never the twain should meet. With Stephen's constant labouring over computer packages, the rewards are starting to be heard as he manages to control the production of their sound at home on his PC. You can almost visualise night after night of bent back as he pieces together the tiny fragments of horn and keyboards and backing vocals. It is to be regretted that he doesn't sing on the album - no great couplets like 'my head went slack as I hit the tarmac' - but if the pay off is the production on Communicating At An Unknown Rate, so be it. With the album closer, Savage, crawling into life almost as if the band were doing a Kraftwerk or Neu! cover and then wandering off like a road movie, I find myself more interested in The Cannanes than ever before. And for the first time in years I can almost sense that their time is coming - the unthinkable may occur; The Cannanes may be as hip as they were back in the late eighties.  You have been duly warned. ===== [ Richard Vogt  for the now defunct mono.net January 29th 2001 ]

YOYO PRESS RELEASE:
Born of the same mid-eighties micro-big bang that brought us Beat Happening, The Cannanes haven't "changed the face of indie rock" with just one of their records, or even with all of their records in all of their years. They've never really had hits, or fame. But somehow they are legendary, and they continue to release beautiful record after beautiful record. And despite the confusing fact that they seem to change labels again and again, their fans continue to buy their beautiful records again and again. Their latest beautiful release, (their second from Yoyo Recordings) "Communicating at an Unknown" Rate is a collaboration with Stewart Anderson of the English band Boy Racer. Recorded while Stewart was visiting the Cannanes in Australia in 2000, Communicating . . . has Stewart's pop scent all over it. Cannanes fans will find this new flavor a perfect fit, much like chocolate lovers discovering the wonder of chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. Hey Leopard, the album opener starts with Stewarts classic vocals, carries through with signature Cannanes horns (low & high & rich) and ends with Fran singing about opening the doors and windows in December (it's summer in Australia). The next song, Mirage, comes complete with stereo maracas, hypnosis by the voice of Fran, a super sexy Motown like bass line, and its equally arousing dance partner, Stephen's interwoven guitar lines. Other treats include: Fran's waltzing instructions on Music and Me, the organ and harmony combo of the unforgettable Clean Forgot, and Sharpie's slow motion dream-date dueling flute solos. Towards the end of the album, they break out a drum machine trash picked from INXS' dumpster and breathe it back to life for some moving and tender ballads about dancing, the year 2020, and going to Mars. So be sure to sample this slice of the Cannanes (and their pal Steward), "Communicating at an Unknown Rate". If you're lucky enough to live on the U.S. western seaboard, you can see them play live with Stewart this coming July at Olympias' YoYo festival and San Francisco. Finally, we can have our cake and eat it too. [by Pat 'YoYo' Maley]

 


1. free bird
2. japanese train station
3. winding down again
4. last resort
5. defragmentation
6. fuzzy at the tip
7. overwhelmed
8. population of two
9. in through the out door
10. nearly there
11. parade time

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Melbourne Australia by
Chapter Music in October 2000

 
tray



CANNANES Living the Dream Chapter Music (Australia) The Cannanes are Australian living legends, striding mightily across the pages of world history books. They've put out more albums and singles than any other band in Australia (except maybe AC/DC, who're just a bunch of Poms really anyway). What's more, the records are all quite good. With more than 15 years in the music business under their belt, they have become seasoned troopers, stayers in a world where you're either this week's news or last weeks trash. Here's a new album, Living The Dream, (either their 7th or their 8th, depending on who you talk to). It's the first proper album since 1996's The Cannanes, that self-titled classic of the modern age. A while between drinks you might say, but there's no point explaining why, and when you listen to the music it's like they've never been away. The Cannanes seem to own the patent on a perfect combination of melody, warmth, and a tickle of the funny bone now and then. Things may have changed a little over the years. At one point The Cannanes seemingly couldn't keep a beat, hold a note, or tell one end of a guitar from the other. This was a large part of their charm at the time, and saw them through those early years and records admirably. These days, though, it's a whole other story. On Living The Dream the listener will marvel at the skill and aplomb with which the Cannanes present themselves to the world, still with all the personality and idiosyncratic appeal of yore. Living The Dream is also the first Cannanes album released on an Australian label since 1989. It's a sad state of affairs when a band is lauded in every country except its own. With records on overseas labels like K, Ajax, Slabco, Harriett, Yo-Yo, 555, and zillions of others, the band have earned themselves a fearsome international reputation. It has taken a visionary label like Chapter Music to accept the challenge to rehabilitate The Cannanes' profile locally. [review from Darla catalogue 7.1.01]


The Cannanes Living The Dream
In the climate of these times, in which Australian kids rush adoringly toward anything American which sounds like rock and roll (a bunch of hairy Texans who want to be Black Sabbath, most recently), real guitar riffs are to be treasured. To be stuffed in an urn and left by the bedside. Stephen O'Neil has always had a fine stash of tasty licks at his disposal, often (sadly) obscured by messy production techniques. When Living The Dream opens with Japanese Train Station (after a brief David Nichols skit) - sounding for all the world like Flywheel at their very best - this listener sunk back into his chair and sighed a deep, deep, sigh of visceral pleasure. "These days I find it hard to look you in the eyes," may not be the brightest sentiment with which to open an album. But if it is possible, Frances Gibson's emotions only head downhill from thereon in. Her words work in clever contrast to the optimism of the music - because, in contrast to its twin release (Communicating At An Unknown Rate), Living The Dream finds The Cannanes plugging in their electrical equipment and sharing a few beers. The ten tracks herein nudge at the hips in a way the band haven't managed since Caveat Emptor. It's raw, with a refined edge, and it's so fucking sublime that you won't know what to do with your feet. Being the first album locally released by The Cannanes in a decade it is also a significant step into the future. Gone are the safe and steady days of friendly label Ajax; Tim Adams almost guaranteed to release anything by the band. With bright pop artwork and computer-rendered imaging, Living The Dream is a loud statement. And perhaps that is why it is so unsettling upon the first handful of listens. This listener is used to a more understated and restrained Cannanes and the forcefulness of the choruses really slapped me on my heels in a hurry. And they're not the charming, unsure, choruses of the self-titled album, either - they're the real thing. Not wanting to harp on the fact, though I will, it's the huge bouyant hooks and precise riffs which will win you over; the likes of which (in these Lo-Tel days) we have been long starved of.
===== [ Richard Vogt  for the now defunct mono.net February 10th 2001 ]


sleeve

1. You Name It (Greg Wadley remix)
2. Postcard from Cuba
3. From the keyboard to your door
4. Solid
5. You're crazy

RELEASE NOTES: ~
(aka) "Insound tour support ep. No.15" Released October 2000 available from Insound.com



"Electro 2000" The five-song "Electro 2000" is even sunnier, a dream-pop manifesto, but has anyone ever woken up from a dream as gorgeous as "You Name It"? This is Gibson again, walking through fields of flowers while the Northern Lights spread salacious rumors about her and she plays the Go-Go's "Our Lips Are Sealed" in her head. In 1983 it might not have seemed so striking, but today you won't hear anything like what this band is doing anywhere else. [Greil Marcus in Salon December 18th 2000]

Also Released as limited edition of 100 with hand printed lino cut sleeve art by Neil Michka



Label: Insound Where did our indie-pop pioneers disappear to? Are the days of D.I.Y. dead? Will our classic heroes live again to tour like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Bauhaus. The answers to all these questions are not that simple to answer. But rest assured, our old favorites still endure. Take the Cannanes for example, these indie pioneers are still alive and kicking, still creating song after songs in their Australian home studio. This time around they've traded in their 4-tracks for Qbase sequencing software and they've gone digital. But not digital in a harsh way, digital in a humanly rough manner (true to their previous aural aesthetic.) With the help of ex-sukpatch beat-head, Steve Herman, they've managed to translate their pop prowess to hard disk and retain all their sincerity. So the days of classic indie-pop are not dead, they've just been tweaked for the better. Insound is fortunate to have been given a few tracks and outtakes not used for their upcoming Slabco Records debut to be used as a tour support. They've finished touring the states recently with Steward and Even As We Speak, but will be touring the southern regions of the earth. So fire up the arty barbecue, and enjoy [uncredited review from Insound site]


sleeve

1. Drug-Induced Delirium
2. Asleep
3. Caesar
4. Simple Question
5. 3-Way Release
6. Ordinarily
7. Get on Down
8. Matter of Distinction
9. The Promise
10. Pedagogy (the mystery of you)
11. Marching Song
12. Swing, You Little Red Devil

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Chicago U.S.A. by Ajax Records



For their self-titled release the Cannanes expanded to a five-piece, with Ivor Moulds contributing drums on a number of tracks while Francesca Bussey added bass and vocals. Rotating around with the regulars on those instruments must have been a bit interesting to work out, but the end result is another fine Cannanes album, gentle underground rock/pop jangle for those unafraid of such things. If hearing a song about a dearly departed doggie ("Caesar") gives one hives, then one should look elsewhere (as it is, said song is great, one of the numbers where Bussey takes lead with her similar-to-Gibson vocals). Things are a touch more crisp on this album than on others, but only just - the soft focus fuzz and hum that is as much an element of the Cannanes as anything else still coats everything in a fine warm glow. O'Neil gets in some slightly unexpected guitar work here and there - the heavily-compressed semi-wah-wah on "Asleep"', to pick an example, that adds an extra element of power to the quick-paced track. {&"Drug-Induced Delirium"} makes for a great start, a slow builder of a track that features the gently ironic touch of Gibson singing about 'writing these songs for you' when in fact it's Nichols' lyric. Nichols himself has a scream of a song, {&"3-Way Release,"} with his bemused, mostly spoken-word rendition of a day of talking with friends and pondering life over what is probably the band's most full-on, rock-out track ever. "Pedagogy (The Mystery of You)" comes pretty close to that, though with O'Neil cranking the amps to the point of loud, trance-like levels Gibson turns in a particularly fine vocal, sweetly slurred just enough, and a low, brooding bass line. "Swing, You Little Red Devil" wraps it up with a lightly funky and quite amusing meditation on Jesus' doings on earth - and why not? [~Ned Raggett, All Music Guide]


sleeve

1. Pillows
2. Angsty Pants
3. Quite an Education
4. Fuzzy
5. Tiny Frown
6. Pacific Gulls
7. Wherever You Go

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Olympia U.S.A. by YoYo Recordings




The Cannanes music review __Ever tune into PBS late one night to find one of those pseudo-intelligent but indecipherably wacky British sitcoms? Stumble upon Showtime early one morning and watch a Canadian slasher movie with a carnivalesque soundtrack? __Even though they reside in Australia, the Cannanes acknowledge these odd and obscure art forms, molding them into an attractive musical concoction. Their latest EP, Tiny Frown, recorded in Olympia, Wash., with scenester Pat Maley, again shows the veteran band redefining quirkiness for the rock masses. __In their existence of nearly two decades, the Cannanes have proven that when "academic" rock steps away from the formulaic, adopts a heavily-caffeinated energy and concentrates on making a wee bit of sense, it can have enormous power. Still, the band fights its battles without many conventional weapons of popular music (distortion pedals, screaming, angst). Instead, they rely on subtleties including shambling musicianship, poppy tunes and the forceful-yet-vulnerable voices of singers Frances Gibson, and David Nichols. __For example, Nichols's droll, monotonal delivery actually highlights "Angsty Pants," the album's bounciest track. Through more than three-and-a-half minutes of Television Personalities-esque jabbing at younger rockers' foibles, Nichols hits the same note in thirty different ways. Incidentally, none of them coincide with "tunefulness." Still, smirks are hard to hide when, at his smarmiest, he announces, "This is the part when we learn how to dance." __Like few bands today, the Cannanes have the innate ability to take a 300-page novel and disguise it as a three-minute pop song. Above all, it's the band's delicate, sympathetic and humane treatment of these characters that makes this irony work. __"Pillows," the album's lead-off track, starts off delightful enough. Behind Gibson's gentle croon, though, rests the story of two women wishing to murder one of their lovers. __This EP also marks the last Cannanes appearance by lead clatterer, er, drummer David Nichols, one of the most consistent voices in the band's ever-shuffling line-up. __While Tiny Frown is not the best output by this prolific outfit, it is as good a chance as any to get acquainted with one of the smartest and unfairly obscure acts today. - Zeljko Lausevic

sleeve

1. Frightening Thing
2. King of Lilliput
3. Ern Malley
4. Screaming
5. Prototype
6. Bad Timing
7. Throw Down the Gauntlet
8. Empty Channel
9. Another Fight
10. Passionfruit
11. Singing to Satelites

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Chicago U.S.A. by Ajax Records




CANNANES Arty Barbecue CD (Ajax) AJAX 054 Arty Barbecue is an album that almost was lost to the tides of time: originally slated for late-'95 release, but the Cannanes' then-impending 1996 U.S. spring tour was approaching, and the band wanted to support an album featuring the lineup that would be touring the States, so Arty Barbecue was set aside, and The Cannanes was released instead. Arty B is a bit of an odds 'n' sods album, featuring 6 songs included on 7"s of a few years ago (three from the Ajax Stumpvision EP from 1993, two from the Little Teddy Prototype EP from 1994, and a different version of "Frightening Thing," originally on K in 1994) and 5 "new" ones recorded with the lineup of Stephen O'Neil (guitar, bass, vocals, trumpet), Frances Gibson (bass, vocals), Gavin Butler (bass, guitar, vocals), and David Nichols (drums, vocals). The tunes range from ultra-infectious ("Arty Barbecue", "Prototype") to the tenderly sad ("Frightening Thing"), covering a gamut that will make sense to Cannanes fans around the globe. It's also the first Cannanes album in two years, further cause to rejoice. [Tim 'AJAX' Adams]


sleeve

1. Perfect light
2. Chosen one
3. Reckless child
4. Cocaine
5. Sydney 2000
6. My dull surprise
7. Strange memories
8. Walking home
9. You're gorgeous
10. Cricket club porn night
11. Pearl
12. Red smoke across the square
13. History

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Chicago U.S.A. by Ajax Records




CANNANES Short Poppy Syndrome CD (Ajax) AJAX 034 The Cannanes' fourth album proper is as versatile as any they've yet produced, with each of the band members taking turns to shine, and in the end Short Poppy Syndrome turns out to be all the more solid for it. From lovely flat-out pop ("Perfect Light") sung by Frances Gibson to David Nichols' wry piss-take "Cricket Club Porn NIght" to Stephen O'Neil's stark relationship-detonation tune "History" to Gavin Butler's incendiary consciousness-stream in "Pearl," this shows the Cannanes in all their glory. A peerless band fusing bits of the Fall, Velvet Underground and Marine Girls in a totally unique fashion. [Tim 'AJAX' Adams]


sleeve

1. White Rabbit
2. Kitten on the Keys'
3. Candlesticks
4. Here is the Blade
5. Beautiful name
6. 1991
7. Last 3 Weeks
8. Go & Tell your Father
9. Christmas Tree
10. No Visitors on Wednesdays
11. Say it again
12. Newcastle
13. Bottles
14. I met you as a baby
15. Green iguana
16. Some Things happen

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released by Feel Good All Over in Chicago U.S.A.
Our 3rd album (1st cd release) out of print - we are planning to re - release one day when / if we can get hold of the master tapes.



"CAVEAT EMPTOR" est un album plus gai.et plus varié avec 16 chansons assez courtes, sorte de petites comptines pleines d'idées. En effet il y apas mal de petits détails amusants commence premier titre (un instrumental avec des chants d'oiseaux), ces choeurs qui font "pom pom pom", des bruits que l'on remarque à peine et des instruments malicieux (violin, harmonica, cor de chasse, sax, synthé). Tpites ces expérimentations en format pop montrent l'évolution du groupe. Le mixage renvoie au même plan la voix (ils sont trois à chanter) et l'instrumentation. On oscille entre un style purement pop et des balades folk. On a l'impression qu'ils se sont beaucoup amusés à faire cet album.


With assistance again from an assortment of musical friends on French horn, sax, and violin, the core Gibson/O'Neil/Nichols trio create yet another lovely set of rushed indie-guitar-pop songs that define the form perfectly without sounding like lazy stereotypes of same. Kicking off with the fun instrumental "White Rabbit," led with a sample recording of a nightingale that plays throughout the song, Caveat Emptor is anything but a "let the buyer beware" offering. With 16 songs running in 37 minutes, things fo by quickly, but not so much that distinct, heartfelt impressions can't be left. O'Neil and Gibson both take their vocal turns with their quietly captured, the emotional flow continues, both in lighter and darker ways. Performance-wise, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on; if the core performances are straightforward enough, tweaks surface more than once here and there. "Beautiful Name" starts with a crazy scraping sound that could be just about anything. Standouts include "1991," a slightly updated remake of their "1990" single, and the rumbling murkiness and angst of "I Met You as a Baby." The snarky sense of humor which leavens the band's work crops up as always. Sometimes it's in the music, like the backing 'bum-bum-bum' bits on "Candlesticks," other times in the liner notes. "Here is the Blade" is described as 'like a chase sequence at the end of {#Benny Hill},' while "Go and Tell Your Father" is mentioned thus: "Dear Wilson Phillips, you can only make another LP if you put this on it!" Then there's the lyrics, thus this from "Beautiful Name" - "And look at me, I'm so fuckin' ace," or from "Last 3 Weeks," - "There's no good reason why I came here/Except to spread disease." [~Ned Raggett, All Music Guide]


1. I Woke Up
2. Take Me To the Hotel Johanna (and Let's Trash the joint)
3. Sound of the City
4. Nuisance
5. Seatbelt
6. Move Some Things Around
7. Paper Bag
8. 52 Linthorpe Street
9. Blue Skies Over the Ocean
10. Vivienne
11. I Think the Weather's affected Your Brain
12. Cardboard
13. Don't Let Her Ruin Your Life
14. Robert
15. Woe
16. Stories to be Kept Under Lock and Key
17. Countdown
18. Queen's Hotel
19. Paper Bag (live)
20. 1990 (single version)
21. Looking Glass
22. Simon
23. Marco Polo Suite (Marco Polo; Marco and His Mother, Travelling to China; Don't Believe Him; Marco Reprise)

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released in Chicago U.S.A. by Ajax Records




A Love Affair with Nature
CD (Ajax) Brilliance, This is the Cannanes masterpiece that made me fall in love with them. Less noisy, more charming and intimate than their other amazing releases, LOVE AFFAIR WITH NATURE is the LITTLE PRINCE of pop albums, the explanation of everything genius that is missing from all other attempts at human expression. Incredibly insightful, the warmest music ever committed to vinyl or whatever it is they make CD's with. I would never trust or value someone incapable of loving this album. I love the Cannanes.
[Amazon.com Customer review ~ May 13, 1999 Reviewer: Hannibal@Pyranees.com from Patagonia]



A Love Affair with Nature
CD (Ajax) AJAX 045 This is the first time on CD for the Cannanes' 1989 minimalist masterpiece, A Love Affair with Nature (originally issued by the band in Australia then reissued on vinyl by Feel Good All Over in 1990), whose merits have been heralded many a time in this catalog. It is an amazing collection of songs that nails the true late-'20s experience (nights lost in drinking, misdirected lusts & alliances, post-relationship regret, that small envelope of time between youthful folly and the responsibilities of Adulthood) like almost no other. It is a strikingly stark, sketchy and ultimately beautiful effort that flows from moment to moment, vignette to vignette, with a dead-true, random, real-life cadence, leaving the listener moved in the same, "small" way a Mike Leigh movie might do. Love Affair marks the first outing after the depature of Randall Lee, leaving Fran, Stephen and David to create stripped-down magic with help from a few friends. Fucking brilliant. In addition to the album, you also get an assload of bonus tracks. These include: 4 songs from two 1988 7"s from David Nichols' Distant Violins label ("Cardboard" b/w "Woe" and "I Think the Weather's Affected Your Brain" b/w "Stories to Be Kept Under Lock and Key"); 3 additional unreleased songs from the same session as these 7"s; 2 songs from a never-to-appear 7" for FGAO ("1990" and the "Marco Polo Suite"); and 3 other unreleased studio tracks. 70 or so minutes in length covering 23 songs, with a 16-page booklet annotated by Fran and David, with photos and humor galore. What a deal. [Tim 'AJAX' Adams]


Here is an online review by Houseboy in 2005 from the WebZine FasterLouder (link at bottom of review)
Chances are you haven’t listened to The Cannanes in a long long time, if you were ever in the habit. Chances are, then, you are sick of modern music. Sick of yet more poseurs from New York or London who have found themselves on more covers than have sold records, no matter how good they may actually be. Sick of the hype, sick of the photos, sick of the fact that it is starting to seem more like a catwalk than a few people making music together. You hear me brothers and sisters, when I testify? You hear me calling you?

Chances are, you haven’t a clue who The Cannanes are.

See: I was lucky. Back in the eighties I knew a guy who sent my brother and I shoeboxes full of tapes, back when blank CDRs were a sparkle in the eye of the consumer. On one such tape – probably at the end of a dBs, Let’s Active, or Robyn Hitchcock album – there were a few tracks by someone called The Cannanes. Just, you know, to complete a C90.

Hundreds of tapes came our way, so why was this one so special? Shitty day at school? Existential malaise? Footy team lost for the fifth straight week in a row? No idea, but I still can visualise rewinding time and again to hear Take Me To The Hotel Johanna (And Let’s Trash The Joint).

I had no idea the band lived in the same city as I, nor of their worldwide infamy (and respective local invisibility). All I knew was the mournful violin from satellite member Susan Grigg, the way the guy, Stephen O’Neill couldn’t really sing, the gutter poetry (not that it was in any way debauched, it just weren’t no Baudelaire or Verlaine, but I loved it more than anything I studied in 3-Unit Literature for my HSC. All I knew was that I had to hear more and a copy was soon secured.

Taken from The Cannanes’ second album (if we are not including the initial tapes), that track alone is responsible for everything that has since found its way into my ridiculous music collection. In the same way others have spoken of seeing the light during Beatlemania, or Dylan going electric, or an allnighter on K being pummeled by the most savage drumandbass imaginable, or even the 101 club in 76/77, The Cannanes saved me from a lifetime of seeking approval off others. What I knew in my gut to be right, well, fuck it, It Was Right.

There will always be another great hype from Nowheresville USA or UK, but there will never be another Cannanes.

Stephen O’Neill (aka Hairy) remains the only member of the band to have seen service in all forms of the band (and haven’t there been a few!). The line up seems to change yearly - based upon who is in town, or more precisely, who hasn’t moved to the country – and on their second piece of vinyl, member Randall Lee had left to form international ‘what happened to’ superstars Nice. (He later fronted Ashtray Boy; a superb indie rock combo who had line ups for USA, Australia, and New Zealand.)

The remaining core of Stephen, Fran Gibson and Dave Nichols strung together A Love Affair With Nature (no doubt) having no idea of the resonance it would leave with fans for years to come. It is often cited as the most beloved of all their albums, and was certainly recorded by The Classic Lineup. When David finally went his own way later in the decade – after a couple of thwarted attempts earlier – it really shook the way the band were perceived. His irreverence, humour and sense of artfulness were/are unique and it has naturally taken Stephen and Fran some time to regain their footing. But – to then.

Following an initial frenzy of promising overseas press, the band patiently sculpted two slabs of 12” vinyl while Sydney slept on oblivious. At time, aggressively so (after wearing thongs to a photo shoot for long forgotten music rag RAM). Their first single, self-released of course, was reviewed in NME by a typically understated Everett True. Never one to write without exclamation marks he declared it to be single of the year.

The main difference between The African Man’s Tomato (the debut) and A Love Affair With Nature was the departure of Randall Lee, Newtown’s answer to Lee Hazelwood. With him gone, the emphasis shifted to the bands’ two ‘non’ singers (I use that term under advise from counsel, the honorable Jonathan Richman), and thus an increased reliance on Fran.

The debut featured a huge range of styles – all keeping with the broad range of pop, of course – from punkish revenge on Ode To Tim to the countryesque We Drank Bitter and back again to the pure pop delight of ‘I Wish I Were You’ (those perfect sentiments of “… then I could love you the way you do”). A Love Affair With Nature managed to capture the band in a more concise way. Compared to the bits and pieces feel of the former, it sounded almost like a Best Of set list.

The second and third tracks on side b (the vinyl album being released just prior to the marketing of CDs en masse; later re-released with a bonus 13 tracks of singles and odds and sods by USA label Ajax Records) sum up the mood of the album. David Nichols delivers sublime vocals on Paper Bag, all resignation and twilight thoughts about “a bad time of my life”. He is only able to relive it through “some sorta seeping sentiment”. The guitar just chugs away as the mood builds – Nichols always was an expert story teller, regardless of his ability to sometimes drive you crazy with his attitude. After the denouement of the guitar (anti)solo the mood deepens even further. You know those days; when you just think about what a screw up you are, and why the fuck you still bother. A black cloud over your insignificant life. I can use a word like denouement when discussing The Cannanes because I know that they know what it means; similarly, they would never use it in public for fear of sounding like a wanker.

So, then, to 52 Linthorpe St, an address in Newtown and “a tribute to a brave Rob Snarski and a party that wasn’t much fun for Ben”. Just to lighten the mood and return us to the physicality of everyday life – familiar postcodes, cask wine, twentysomethings.

“There’s a lesson here,
a lesson I can tell.
If you stay up and drink all night,
on the following day you won’t feel well.”

The kinda lyrics you wanna quote because you know they’re true to everyone’s life, but when you write them down they seem to turn into… well, just words. Nothing special. In fact, alcohol seems to permeate quite a few songs on the album. The opening lines of I Woke Up usher us into a world where someone is lying on the couch, with the TV on, and “I’d had a few beers, seven bottles, maybe more”. Random scenes in your average inner west life.

But that’s always been The Cannanes for me. Equal parts foolish idealists (romantics of the share house crowd) and reactionary shit stirrers. They never belonged to a clique or club, though they deserved their fair share of imitators. They may never get the kudos they so richly deserve – I am a firm believer that history tends to right the wrongs of the present day, so who knows – and if they do we may have to wait until my two year old daughter is old enough to influence the mainstream. But rest assured: in the scheme of things, A Love Affair With Nature is my Never Mind The Bollocks, my That’s Alright Mama, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and my Nevermind. And this is my brief tribute.

[Reviewed by Houseboy for fasterlouder.com.au Friday, Apr 15, 2005. 09:24]


sleeve

1. you're so groovy
2. untitled
3. stop it
4. i don't want to talk about your problems
5. skeleton
6. sunday
7. felicia
8. scaled down
9. sweater
10. brain
11. middle eastern potentate
12. country life
13. ode to tim
14. gloom pt.1
15. i wish i were you
16. love only takes a minute
17. corn chips
18. revenge was no answer
19. we drink bitter
20. dead animal
21 one day.....

RELEASE NOTES: ~
Released by Feel Good All Over in Chicago U.S.A.
Grouse 1993 cd - release of our 1st album with a ton of bonus tracks now rare and so far as we know unobtainable we certainly don't have any!



''The Cannanes will always be one of my favourite bands. Like, I never remember the fact , but each time I hear them I just think, 'F***, I love this band'' [Sarah Kestle reviewing this CD in MELODY MAKER 18/9/93]

Witchetty Pole collects a great deal of the Cannanes' early work (circa 1986/87) and offers it to a U.S. audience - the compilation lifts tracks from the Bored, Angry and Jealous EP (the band's vinyl debut), the Happy Swing cassette EP, and The African Man's Tomato, their brilliant debut LP. Most of this material lies on the rawer, looser, "shambling" end of the Cannanes' body of work (as one might expect) - by Tomato, however the band had tightened and controlled its approach quite a bit more. Despite its slapped-together feel, Witchetty Pole does an excellent job of containing all of these recordings, and it's bound to appeal to several audiences: Cannanes fans who otherwise wouldn't have access to the early Australian releases; general fans of Australian pop; and fans of the entire "shambling" indie genre (Calvin Johnson's involvement in these recordings is unsurprising, to say the least). [~Nitsuh Abebe, All Music Guide]

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