BILL DIREEN, taken from Forced Exposure Magazine #16.
BILL DIREEN, taken from Forced Exposure Magazine #16.
From the phenomenal 1981 4-song SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS 7″EP. This is “Bill Direen and the Bilders” in their earliest guise.
A GUIDE TO BILL DIREEN
Bill Direen’s the cover star of the upcoming Dynamite Hemorrhage #2 fanzine (currently at the printer, in your hands in 2-3 weeks if you order now) and deservedly so. Since 1978, he’s been making weird and wonderful disjointed pop music in his own idiosyncratic manner, and with shape-shifting tonal adjustments that change year to year and record to record.
He’s somewhat well known by a certain slice of the New Zealand-loving, underground 1980s connoisseur clan, but not as well as he probably should be. For those of you coming to Direen’s music just now, or who’ve never heard of the guy, we’d like to assist.
Here’s a 19-song sampler of his musical career, 1978 to the present. It’s available to stream on 8Tracks. I’d have added even more great songs, but 8Tracks requires that only 2 tracks per band can make it onto a mix – which actually works great for Direen stuff, since he’s had so many differently-monikered combos: Six Impossible Things, Bilders, Builders, Vacuum, Above Ground etc etc. Hope you enjoy it – and as mentioned, if you want to read up on Direen and hear the story from the man himself – order Dynamite Hemorrhage #2 here.
Can’t pick a more inauspicious time to post a new show than smack in the middle of Labor Day weekend, but we at Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio don’t operate according to your rules. We had bands we needed to play for you, we had a free Saturday night, we bailed on something like five quality live music shows happening in the San Francisco Bay Area this evening and instead we made ya this podcast. It’s a little over an hour and it might blow your goddamn mind.
Let’s start with brand new material from HONEY RADAR, SNEAKS, OCTAGRAPE, SYNTHETIC ID, PY PY, TERRY MALTS and THE BILDERS. We stack from there with reissued stuff from CRIME. We slide in library material from VAIN AIMS, GARBAGE AND THE FLOWERS, COME, FLESH EATERS, DEAD CLODETTES, THE GERMS and the awesome KING TEARS MORTUARY (pictured here) – among others. Like the other 43 hours of podcasts before it, it all comes with my personal guarantee of quality – the music, not the blatherings of the inane host. That’s what the slider on your iPhone is for.
HONEY RADAR – A Ballerina in Focus
HONEY RADAR – Alabama Wax Habit
SNEAKS – New Taste
BEYOND THE IMPLODE – Lassitude
VAIN AIMS – You
KING TEARS MORTUARY – Crash Report
DEAD CLODETTES – Flou
THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Diddy Wah Diddy
CRIME – Terminal Boredom
GERMS – Sex Boy
TERRY MALTS – Let You In
SYNTHETIC ID – Random Shocks
THE FLESH EATERS – Plastic Factory (live)
OCTAGRAPE – Ono Cyclone
PY PY – Pagan Day
COME – Car
THE GARBAGE AND THE FLOWERS – Nothing Going Down At All
THE BILDERS – The Utopians R Just Out Boozin’
Some past shows:
Dynamite Hemorrhage #43 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #42 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #41 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #40 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #39 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #38 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #37 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #36 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #35 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #34 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #33 (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #32 (playlist)
BILL DIREEN, sometime in the 1980s. Just finished up a list of questions for our interview with the man in Dynamite Hemorrhage #2.
Flyer for a rare ABOVE GROUND show, 1983. They were one of Bill Direen’s many musical agglomerations, and they only existed for a brief time that year.
It’s so rare for rock-scene-oriented friends to see me at a live show, much less one in Oakland, vs. my hometown of San Francisco. One pal of 23 years who saw me at last night’s BILL DIREEN live show at Oakland’s White Horse Inn asked me if I’d moved to Oakland. Otherwise why would I be out there on a weeknight, right? I get it. This is what happens when you hit the comfort years.
You also pay money to see guys like New Zealand legend BILL DIREEN once you hit the comfort years, a man who outdistances even me in age by at least 10 years. I’ll let you read about the man here, so I don’t have to explain his pedigree and all the weird and insular kiwi-pop/noise/art records he put out in the 80s. MUSK opened the show – a loud, livewire dirty blues/punk band in the ear-shredding Chrome Cranks/Gun Club tradition. Most pleasing to behold.
LITTLE QUEENIE, a local band whom I totally expected from their name to be some dum-dum Gearhead hot rod band singing about mopars and drag racing, were pretty much the exact opposite: A wiry, two-bass, spasmodic post punk band who came rushing on like feedtime and The Gordons, and blasted through a great pack of two-minute songs in about 18 minutes. What’s more, they sported a rare THREE-GLASSES ATTACK up front: both bass players and the singer were rocking specs. The better with which to see you, my dear. Outstanding stuff – hear more here.
BILL DIREEN, whom I saw play a similar set back around 1993 in San Francisco, stepped up and strummed solo to a somewhat befuddled crowd. His playing and his word-poetry often seemed stream of consciousness, and when he played songs we knew, it was sorta the way Bob Dylan plays his 1960s songs live. Only the words and some occasional chords give up the ghost that this is a song you’ve actually heard before. Direen certainly exists in his own world, and plays the eccentric well. I got rolling with his vibe about midway through and it all started clicking then – and only then. He’s pictured here, a rare iPhone photo of the man in the wild in the 21st century. Why he was playing in Oakland, here and now, is a mystery for the ages. I meant to ask someone.
Oh, and when you reach the comfort years, you leave before Dan Melchior’s finished his first song, because you need to get up at 5:45am to get your kid to school and yourself to work. Right?