The Null Device


Seen recently at a North London railway station:

A chap in an olive-green shirt (not unlike those German army shirts, only without the flags on the sleeves). Both sides of the shirt was stencilled with a variety of slogans, in black, white, bright red, sky-blue and cyan, and a ransom-note array of fonts.


The slogans included "London", "Anarchy", "Gothic Dark", "I'm Cool", "Hell's Bells" and "I Pray For Sex".

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Casiopunk art-pop band ninetynine have a new best-of compilation out; titled Chapter Ninetynine, it has most of their essential tracks (Wöekenender, Super 8, Polar Angle, The Process and Cois Il Hamdu Lilah make it on), a few tracks from their last record-club-only EP, and a few more obscure gems (I'm glad to see that the sublime 180 Degrees (from the Anatomy of Distance compilation) made the cut); there are only a few omissions of note (one of Mesopotamia or Kinetic Factory would have been good, as would have The Specialist and, indeed, Popemobile).

Chapter Ninetynine is out on Strange Ones, a Barcelona-based indie label. No word on whether there will be an Australian release (or, indeed, whether it'll be through Chapter Music).

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The book is closed on another chapter of Melbourne music history, as Gaslight Records closes its doors. Gaslight has once been one of the places to get obscure imports, and was famed for its selection of local releases, its quirky calendars (which were second only to Astor Theatre calendars on the toilet doors of Melburnian hipsters) and its annual nude shopping days (a fine celebration of the Australian larrikin spirit); mind you, this is not entirely unexpected; Gaslight had been in decline since ChaosMusic (sort of an Australian bought the shop in the late 1990s and its selection began to deteriorate somewhat; and the advent of internet commerce hadn't helped its import business either.

I remember Gaslight well; the last time I was there was in May, on my visit to Melbourne. Walking along Bourke St., I heard some particularly lovely post-rock ambience emanating from the shop; I stepped in, and ended up leaving with the new Laura album.

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