posted on November 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

a thought struck me


i make my music for a me who isnt me

i imagine some brutal critical ruthless critic

in fact i am him

i guess you know i  rant on about  the music i cant stand

its like i’m in this tiny niche market and all the rest drives me crazy

i find and have always found most music unlistenable

that is , theres the stuff i love and verily i doth love it in spades

and theres the rest ….its pointless for me to listen to it…

there are  mysterious qualities one must have or acquire

a ha this is the bit no one can really manipulate

i was born the vessel of a potential songwriter

i had a few certain things in my favour

my dad playing the piano

my mum interested in words

i have the dogged persistence of an idiot/savant

i am an encyclopaedia on rocknroll make no mistake

my brain is crammed with millions of pictures songs and triviae

this is my phd

this is my longs life work

i have only just realised i had a lifes work

i mean i wasnt planning to be me as i am now

once i was a very shy unsure sulky little twit

but (just like my mother)

as i hit my fifties i guess the sheer gravity of all those years…..

i improved a bit

not so frosty and all that

anyway here i am

it seemed i had a small vocation after all

i have made some very elite rock music

some of my stuff is not for everybody

you gotta be interested in subtlety and ambiguity …all that carryon

taking my cue from strawberry fields i hope to conjure dislocation

with my music and my words and my voice and my trip

but what the fuck is my trip…….?

my trip is some fine line between song and suggestion

my trip is reincarnation

my trip is drug dream and all other states of minds

my trip is 1960s heavy but i have tried to distil the quintessence

i want to open that door in your head you need to go

my songs are shifting as you approach

they often give up their secrets and beauty later

the words can be daunting for some types of people (philistines)

the music is idiosyncratic and is a synthesis of everything i love

as a painter i just started one day

you cant call picasso or van go go my influences

i dont have any painting influences

but my music is such a blend of things

oh yes the beatles of course the original and best

but everything i heard went into my deconstructive process

i analysed rock songs every song i heard

i broke it down into its successes and failures

how were these accomplished ….

the whole damn thing

i was figuring it out

meanwhile i did little else

at school i was a clown and a pest

i wasnt much of a friend or boyfriend either

i was preoccupied you see my rocknroll

in canberra i had a guy at an import record shop ring me

as each consignment came in



i ended buying loads n loads of rubbish

stuff i just could nae abide

but i got some good stuff too

stuff like metro for example

in guitar terms a huge influence on me/us

my head was full of rock figures facts riffs myths

i knew i had the ability to manipulate the elements

i believe i understood the deep deep beauty of this music

so much fucking awful pathetic rubbish but every now n then……

aaaaah….someone writes a good vibrations or love will tear us apart

or someone like iggy would make a raw power which was incandescent

or the stones would  up the  swagger and sleaze

neil young ….harvest…..such fragility …. a delicate thing

genesis had some astounding music and words

yes it was art

i liked the sex pistols but no other punk bands that much

i always appreciated it when someone pushed an envelope somewhere

be rawer be faster be slower be nastier be nicer be louder be softer

be something no one else has done

take it further in your direction than they thought possible

look at nirvana : an explosion of iconic and iconoclastic stuff

any way accidentally ive ended up playing to a discerning crowd

they want rock but they dont know why rock is supposed to be dumb

dumb as in ac/dc for example

if that schtick isnt dumb….

….the geezer in the hat bawling out that malarkey ..?

you see this is one of rocks great wonders and its weaknesses

rock tolerates heavy handed” dumbness” pretty easily

some silly old geezer every song sounds like every other

some rocknroll platitudes about rocknroll itself…real cliches..jesus..

rock also tends to reward great commercial success

with a total dismantling of any honesty or distance

if youre successful that is the main thing

it seems people stop noticing the sillinesses anymore

maybe you love ac/dc but to me its literally painful

its not even funny (beyond a limited benny hill nudge nudge)

bon scott was enough of a maverick rascal to pull it off

but with that geezer in the hat its just bloody stupid to me

an audience of teen boys

singing and gesticulating along to them is saddening

for christs sake we are the heirs of incredible art

the iliad and the tempest

we must strive

the beatles and stones were striving

dylans striving

bowie n bolan too striving on n off

and all the others

the byrds

big star

paul simon

bruce springsteen

julian cope

all those NZ bands

the go betweens the triffids the underground lovers


patti smith television

leonard cohen yes and nick cave

greg dulli led zep pink floyd

they strive on n off

that is where the line between music and magic blurs

a guy with a guitar and 3 chords and some random words

it can bewitch or fascinate you or repel you forever

i love my type of rock so much

it is a pantheon that fits  hawkwind and lou reed and whoever i like

theres the contenders n theres the schlock

in the sixties n seventies n eighties n the nineties n now : schlock

and good stuff always too

the contenders always someone gonna cook up something good

i dont know

i’m usually wrong about the most ordinary things

i love some music vehemently

i hate some music dearly

i am an odd conglomerate of music myself

yes i loved every bread single

there was a beauty in there worthwhile of analysis

i’m not a punter n i never was

i was an obsessed rock fan crossed with a computer like brain

a brain which processed innumerable data and then interpreted it

and stored it

i took my whole from a million bits and pieces even i dont know

blustering bawling macho tripe

its like green kryptonite to me

at one end of rocks catalogue of horror is the boyband fairy floss

at the other the meatnpotatoes of heavy metal n nickelback n whoever

the angry yelling excitable types draining all your energy

you plot your course aided equally by that which attracts

by that which repels

i do this music now its pretty much my own

all the 5000 songs i love and hate fight it out in my head

its just the way i’m made

its the way that i do things

the need to worship and disdain i suppose

the SHP doesnt help me here

understand the madman and genius and average geezer coexist

in us all to varying degrees

some us got a bit more of the first two

its the way things have to be

it takes troubled tormented artists sometimes

it takes ordinary geezers who must count their blessings

it takes good guys n villains and fakes frauds and fairies

so i have partitioned off my little demi-acre here

here in this imaginary landscape of rock

where nothing is really good or bad

its all a point of view

the real question is :

why wont one of those glossy music mags in england

ever write about us for years n years….?














51 Responses to “a litre music”

  1. avatar
    Ryan | 11 November 2011 at 12:02 am #

    fuck, isn’t this the truth: “at one end of rocks catalogue of horror is the boyband fairy floss
    at the other the meatnpotatoes of heavy metal n nickelback n whoever” – and in some other hell altogether you’ve got rap and all that dance music swill “featuring” some bum i’ve never heard of and never want to hear again.

  2. avatar
    eekie | 11 November 2011 at 1:11 am #

    “the real question is :
    why wont one of those glossy music mags in england
    ever write about us for years n years….?”

    You answered the question yourself right at the beginning of this blog:

    “its like i’m in this tiny niche market”

    Writing about you doesn’t make those glossy music mags enough money.
    You may love the music, the readers of those mags might love the music, and the writers for those mags might even love the music, but the publishers love the money….

    …and Andy and DaveM haven’t been buying enough of those glossy music mags…. Get on it guys! 😉

  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 November 2011 at 2:33 am #

    you know I was watching a tv program at a friend’s house (they were watching it so I was too) last night… one of those talent contest things for singers and it reminded me how horrible the music biz must be to be in and why it isn’t all that good usually: each and every act except one (and the producers even put the fake in his, he just shone through it accidentally) was so fake and such a production of look here, look there, look (don’t listen)… and then I started thinking Madonna and Michael Jackson started all this trouble, and I use their names because I don’t know the names of any of the others…: both so successful because of there usage of huge ploys/acts. And then I started thinking how different that show would have been if say, Winston Tong or some of the other living art acts back then had been the ones (in the day) to be comercially successful: that stage on tv last night would have been very different. As it was every single performer last night (except one) and every single mainstream [artist] for the last ten years (random accounting) has been Madonna or Jackson; that’s all corporate music wants anymore, and so you retreat back to the few that went forward, say goodnight to your guests and put on the good stuff when you get home and be happy you’re home. so to you guys that always did and even the fewer among , like yourself, who continues to take music all the way to wow!!!, we’re lucky… but you are even more lucky, because no matter what, there will never be another. there can’t be because (maybe contrary to the saying, I always get that one confused so maybe it’s the other way around, but) there is no imitation for great art. there never has been ever throughout history and that is true going forward. So you/the church get to hang out there under the milkyway and a pink moon too with a very few greats; and that’s just the way it is.

    to your last bit about the brit mags and why they don’t?

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 November 2011 at 2:35 am #

    i must have hit the wrong key — the last reply left me before I finished… ending the last sentence/part: I think the english mags will be writing about the church very soon.

  5. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 11 November 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Those glossy magazines….I can only imagine the reason why they didn’t write about you guys all theses years is ignorance. Afraid to admit that they don’t understand you. They just don’t get ‘the church’. In 1988 when you stormed the shores of my great homeland you guys had an agenda. Be famous and get rich fast by these sing/songs. And for a short period of time…it worked. But you guys evolved, no one else did. People are so afraid of change. They need the status quo. Imagine if you followed up ‘starfish’ with ‘forget yourself’ …fuck…they all would have freaked out. You guys awoken the spirits. You made a conscious choice not to ‘sell-out’ . If you had, there would have been no P=A, no U23, no Magicians ….

    You guys pulled off what Floyd, Genesis and a few others couldn’t. You grew, evolved, into the greatest ROCK AND ROLL band on the planet, stars and beyond. They dissolved for pettiness and personal gratification. Yes, there was bumps in the road…but now your preparing to take back your homeland. If it all went as planned, by the outsiders, would have been on the glossies…made couple hit records at your artistic expense…and than all gone, all of you gone your separate ways many years ago. But your alive, together, kicking and fuckin rocking…that’s why we love you so much. No disguises – no hats – just your true identities. You guys are Rock n Roll…its purest definition.

    With much aspiration and thanks,
    Darrin K.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 11 November 2011 at 3:34 am #

      The only glossy magazines I read have the worlds most beautiful women on the cover and thru out.

      And that isn’t ‘ugliness’ , that is art.


      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 11 November 2011 at 1:05 pm #

        Just wondering…

        How do you rate The Who and also Depeche Mode?

        Hey…I managed to get some sleep here and there over the past couple days , so I don’t feel so friggin exhausted. Its a start at least…


  6. avatar
    evilren | 11 November 2011 at 4:22 am #

    Over the years, I have gone long periods without even listening to or playing music. So when I tune into almost any music or loosely defined “noise,” it sounds to me like I’m a visitor from another place, and that can be entertaining to stand outside of something. I guess my likes are kind of narrow in defining what I truly like, but I know it when I hear it and I don’t really care what others might think. There is a time and place all kinds of music.

    As to why the Church is not mentioned in English mags, that may be because you reside down under and other band members do not, but you are labeled an Australian band and usually from what I have noticed, is they don’t get a whole lot of attention in the states as far as airplay. Sure they will play your big hit and Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning” as well as post Bon Scott AC/DC, which I agree is not good. We do not really pay much attention to English bands, aside from the classics from yesteryear. It’s a shame, because there is good music from all across the world.

    I think the people who’re aware of the Church, are amply rewarded for their discovery of such a band and their music catalogue.

  7. avatar
    samk | 11 November 2011 at 5:11 am #

    I bought Starfish on a whim. Then I went back and bought the entire back catalog. We used to stand 8 hour watches in the forward control room. Overheads off, just the panel lights, mostly red, for illumination. I’d do the whole shift with seance, starfish, the blurred crusade, running in the background. It was a beautiful soundtrack and very much appreciated by me.

  8. avatar
    davem | 11 November 2011 at 5:34 am #

    I don’t know why. They loved you in the early 80’s.
    Funny you should mention Copey. I don’t wish to sound disloyal but I have to confess that I’ve had World Shut Your Mouth on constantly for the past 48 hours.
    It’s been great re-discovering some real gems – Bandy’s First Jump, Strasbourg, Head Hang Low.
    A real talent.
    Flirtation over I’m going back to some SK for the evening!

  9. avatar
    . | 11 November 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Were you ever a fan of Talk Talk or Joe Jackson?

    My awakening to the real sounds of music began when I watched a local cable show called 36 Jukebox Video which often highlighted The Church, The Fixx, The Motels, and others. It wasn’t until the Dave Kendall days of MTV’s 120 minutes did I realize the rocking genius of The Church. They’d play Tantalized quite often. I once recorded it from the TV to cassette in mono just so I had a copy of it to play for my friends the next day. Good times…

  10. avatar
    Steven Krut | 11 November 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Maybe you could make them write about you again by taking the Psychedelic Symphony to London. I bet you could sell it out.

    Since you have an encyclopedic knowledge of Rock, I want to try to stump you with an obscure, but talented band that you might not know about. This is a band that was only popular in Baltimore and a few other localities (but mainly in Baltimore) during the ’70s when I was a teenager. Their first album is a genuine classic. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named it album of the year in 1975. Somehow they only caught on in Baltimore, but in Baltimore their songs were radio staples right alongside Stairway to Heaven, Dream On, Don’t Fear the Reaper etc. They’re called Crack the Sky and they’re kind of an aggressive progessive Rock band. Here’s one of their best rockers:

    And here’s their KILLER 1978 cover of “I Am the Walrus” that was a massive hit in Baltimore:

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 11 November 2011 at 9:18 am #

      i bought crack the sky and unfortunately i did not like them
      i remember the keyboard player was mike pahlumbo or something….

      • avatar
        Steven Krut | 11 November 2011 at 9:55 am #

        Wow, you knew about them. I’m impressed.

  11. avatar
    plumlady | 11 November 2011 at 9:03 am #

    I’m going back to my old LP collection; and hitting the record stores and picking up stuff I missed the first time around. Bought a vintage Marantz receiver to use as “my old system” and listening to Manassas, Rain Parade, Nektar….finding LP’s released by new artists.,….such fun! And of course I have all the old Church LP’s.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 11 November 2011 at 9:17 am #

      marantz….? havent heard that word for a long time….

      • avatar
        plumlady | 15 November 2011 at 3:22 pm #

        Ah yes, the Marantz…with it’s pretty blue lights, big silver knobs,gyro tuning wheel and rich pure sound. Couldn’t afford it new in 1974 so thanks to CraigsList; it’s finally mine!

  12. avatar
    Kristina | 11 November 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Were you ever into the shoegaze bands of the early 90s?
    Smashing Orange were one of the best – My Deranged Heart is still a standout.

    In the same vein,the more recent A Place To Bury Strangers revives that late 80’s /early 90s sound.
    His voice actually sounds a lot like yours,especially in songs like In Your Heart, She Dies and I Know I’ll See You.

    • avatar
      Kristina | 11 November 2011 at 9:49 am #

      all those NZ bands
      And weren’t they brilliant …the Bats, the Clean, the Chills, JPS Experience, etc.
      What do you think of the Terminals ? Have been listening to a lot of their stuff lately…. Batwing, Edie, and Out On A Blue Moon are some of their best.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 11 November 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      i like shoegazer

      • avatar
        Kristina | 12 November 2011 at 9:54 am #

        Uncanny how much Oliver from A Place To Bury Stangers sounds like you at times.
        If I didn’t know better I would have thought it was you!
        Of course there’s a major Jesus and Mary Chain influence in there as well.
        Very underrated band….

  13. avatar
    Bernadette Keys | 11 November 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Killa have you seen ‘nowhere boy’ ? It’s about John lennon’s Path to rock n roll and the formation of Beatles. It’s very very good- directed by Sam Taylor-wood – an English female visual artist. I think you n sam would enjoy.

  14. avatar
    Superfurry | 11 November 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I always enjoy that you mention the Go Betweens, the Triffids and the Underground Lovers when referring to your favourite essential Australian music. Along with the Church, they are mandatory if you want to really appreciate the best that this country (and the world) has to offer.

    I have been recently intrigued as to what you think of the Ups and Downs in their early days due to their style, sound and lyrics having a slightly similar resonance. Other bands that I wonder whether they would fit into your “niche” are the House of Love, the Smiths, the Bats just to quickly name a few.

    Does anyone now still read the english music press? It was kinda cool in the eighties and early nineties.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 11 November 2011 at 1:30 pm #

      upson downs never impressed me one or the other
      i like some smiths and house of love and bats but not all

  15. avatar
    Jesiah6 | 11 November 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I’m so glad I came across you and The Church. I heard “Under The Milkyway” in the Donnie Darko movie, and remembered hearing it before, and soon I was buying a “Best of”, then all the albums, singles and solo works. You opened up a whole new world of music for me. There are so many great artists I discovered through The Karmic Hit website and The Church website. Thanks for that. Looking forward to more.

  16. avatar
    Jonny Hollywood | 11 November 2011 at 11:14 am #

    the mags of england will be begging the church one day…

  17. avatar
    hippy | 11 November 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I really enjoyed this blog. Listening to “The Wilderness Years” (over and over again, I cannot get enough–this is the perfect album!), your encyclopedia of rock is very evident. This album is like a distillation of every great rock album from the last 40-50 years. It is evident you studied and absorbed and are able, with ease, to write your own classics. This album has more hooks than a bait and tackle shop! Not only is the writing phenomenal but the production as well–every sound matters.

  18. avatar
    Once | 11 November 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Okay, this answers my Robyn Hitchcock question. That was brilliantly written, and even though I was distracted by a tabby fastidiously licking my mouse hand while scrolling, I TOTALLY understand.



    ((passes out from amazement))

  19. Jmb066
    Jmb066 | 11 November 2011 at 1:09 pm #


    You have summed this up well, a lot of my friends call me a music snob becuase it has to be that something special, deep, epic, or create a magical feeling when listened to in order get my approval. I have listened to many many types of music but I only love a small pertenage of what I hear. These days its The Church and related 90% of the time, Twilight Singers, Tindersticks, Spiritualized, and Catherine Wheel the other 10%. I still like a lot of other things and am open to new things but the majority of what I hear does very little for me.

    My wife and I are going to New Orleans for the week for business and rest, I look forward to checking out the music scene. Greg Dulli owns a bar and Inn there I will pop in and say hello. Hopes to see him, last time I saw him he was doing an acoustic show and we discussed The Church 30th show at length. So I am talking to my wife about all of the cool bars and venues I want to check out, Howlin Wolfe, Tiptina’s and Gregs Inn and she hits me with Margaritaville. Man do I think Jimmy Buffet is just awful, and then it hit me. My wife is like most peole and trust me I love her. But most of her entertainment is spoon fed from the media, Somehow Jimmy Buffet is happiness for so many people and I am miserable if I have to be exposed to that fake hapiness. We laughed and I said we were not going to NOLA to see Jimmy Buffet. AC/DC, Kid Rock, metal, boy bands, hip hop, country I just dont like it, want to hear it and will not conform. I guess I am a black sheep and I can live with that.

    Steve if you have any NOLA suggestions I would love to hear them, looking forward to some time off work and enjoying the music scene.

    Take Care,


  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 November 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    i was kind of wondering what you thought/felt about joy division… got the answer right here. i can’t help thinking she’s lost control was autobiographical

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 November 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    i am re reading and a bit lost — reading this made me jittery for some reason you put so much into this post it almost seems alive and breathing — not i’m not on crack — and i’m not surprised you’re your own harshest judge but you’ve cracked the shell of magic — sorry to say some of the glossy mag contents

    • avatar
      Anonymous | 11 November 2011 at 7:26 pm #

      wow the internets eated the tail end of the comment — was meant to be —
      “some of the glossy mag contents never really have”

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 November 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    What are your thoughts on Noel Redding the bassist for Jimi Hendrix Experience? While growing up did you like this type of music?

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 11 November 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      i liked his playing and i liked hendrix but not as much as PK from the church

  23. avatar
    Crasher | 11 November 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    julian cope fantastic.fried, peggy suicide great albums.
    apparently he doesn’t travel outside europe.
    something about not wanting to cross faultlines.
    is he taking the piss..dunno.
    missed those nz bands.when i was living there we had ray columbus and the invaders, simple image ( with that timeless ditty “michael and the slipper tree”), and early split enz.sans neil. oh and alison..can’t remember her
    last name…i think she came to oz and got into some bad habit.
    in dunedin the only band playing original music was mother goose.
    they were fun live…
    a few years back i saw lambchop, who i love.
    there was this solo guitarist playing support.
    he was brilliant.then he played as a member of lambchop.
    his name was david kilgour who had a band in nz called the clean.
    apparently a dunedin band.
    as for those glossy uk mags.
    i read ’em uncut, mojo . i quite like the word.
    i can’t stand Q.
    the church has had quite favourable album reviews in uncut.
    never seen a review of untitled 23#…or bw2b though.
    although you keep getting that recurring jangly guitars spiel.
    my take is the church sound appeals more to north americans and aussies
    these days.
    maybe someone should send them some churchy product..
    maybe i might.

  24. avatar
    Karen | 11 November 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    glad you said you liked BREAD” the band not the floury substance.. in 1980 when i was sixteen I bought my first bread cassette:O I cant remember what it was called probably greatest hits or something.. met my kids father to be that year he wasnt a “bread fan..and he got me into neil young ..slade ect ect ..actually I remember he said have you ever heard of slade? & I said yeah sure ( i hadnt) but he was 21 soo much older & wiser..fark how they years fly… ..not too keen on slade still LOVE neil id forgotten about bread till now

  25. avatar
    lotus | 11 November 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I recall in a previous post you professed admiration for TMC’s take on “Song to the Siren.” Lest you missed it, the good folks at KEXP captured this performance of the song by Brendan Perry and Robin Guthrie during their recent tour stop here in Seattle:

  26. avatar
    Michel | 11 November 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Glossy magazines…and encyclopaedias too.
    Here is the french point of view (yes, I know, nobody cares about that).
    I used to write a review in 2002 after seeing The Church live for the first time in Liege, Belgium (sorry Mr Kilbey, I was a clumsy guy trying to talk to you before the show), summing up the relationship between the band and France :

    France has always been unkind to The Church, though the band naïvely often mentions french influences in music, magic or poetry. Moreover, you can only find one national anthem in a Church song, La Marseillaise, appearing from 1’34’’ to 1’40’’ in Travel By Thought. In answer, this is what tells letter “ C ” in the very very serious “Larousse Rock Dictionary” (a true music bible in France), here translated in english, accurately :
    This brit-australian band only lasted a decade. In 1981, their first album, “Of skins and hearts”, in the Byrds line, gets a good review success. Making one record after another, they sign a hit in 1988, “Under the milky way”, which propels them into the american and european charts. They split up in 1991, each member turning towards solo projects or outside contributions.
    Recommended record : “Good afternoon fix”.

    I am french, but as soon as I get the money, I shall call a hired killer to shoot the compatriot who wrote this official s..t.

  27. avatar
    hellbound heart | 12 November 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    goddam you have good taste in music!!!!! read today that underground lovers, bjork and tom waits have new albums out…..guess I’ll be making a bee-line to my local purveyor of records….
    love ya lots….

  28. avatar
    wish wash | 13 November 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    money cant buy you love, protection from the staukers, jealous beasts, snobs and those who pooh pooh success, whats wrong with making blair witch for $60,000 and returns of $350 million, take the money and run, there are dangers.

  29. avatar
    redgrevillea | 15 November 2011 at 7:20 am #

    just been listening to Harvest this morning, nice wake-up mellow music, makes me feel it’s california 1971 all over again. Love your trip, and i can’t stand ac/dc either (but the band doing springsteen, different story…although I’m not bothering to see them this time around)

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