Dave Graney and Clare Moore - Hashish and Liquor
Hashish and Liquor has a galvanising effect on the human
body. Thunder-kissed rock shocks power through the delicate physique of
mild-mannered specimens. I myself require a fix at an amazing frequency.
Quite often, I will awake in a strange land and go mad for it. Dave and
Clare's new album is seriously that good. It works out to be two CDs that
the hot couple split in two, Dave on the Hashish and Clare on the Liquor.
Mind-altering puns aside, this is the ultimate boogaloo.
Late last year, the hot couple closed the blinds and locked the door at
their Dandenong Ponderosa. From floor to ceiling they barricaded themselves
up in books, music and memories ? the big, heavy stuff. We're talking
female adventurers, burlesque babes, family holidays, evil nuns, déjà
vu, the gates of hell, Jewish comics after WWII, the stoner prose of Terry
Southern, the vivid music of Stevie Wonder, Roky Erikson, corporate criminals,
French philosophers, cats, bees, bete noirs, etc. Dave tasted infinity.
Clare tasted the abyss. Dessert was served at its usual time.
As for people, only a handful were permitted access. Jazz legend Mark
Fitzgibbons on piano, The Lurid Yellow Mist,
Warren Ellis (violin, flute) was forced to communicate from Paris.
On Hashish, Dave does the ecstatic. Subtitled A Taste of Infinity, it
starts strong, barely lets up and hits numerous peaks where you nearly
wet your pants. There He Goes With His Eye Out places a Thin Lizzy / New
Order topping into a total
Dave sandwich as he gets up on his nighthawk troubadour tip. The superb
piano work by Fitzgibbons makes you want to
scream. My Schtick Weighs A Ton is hilarious, huge and potentially a hit
in both Caulfield and Jamaica. Sometimes You
Can See Yourself arrives from the Harry Nilsson school of psychedelic
La-la-la-la-lovely. Mr. Bad Luck tokes on high-grade Steely Dan. Dave
touches immortality here, there and everywhere. Arguably the most inspired
work he's ever done. It's funny too, particularly when he gets in the
Clare's Liquor is meticulously apocalyptic hump music for flashbacking
firemen. Subtitled A Taste Of The Abyss, it starts
strong too with Alphonsus Will Get You, making the head swim in all manner
of disco delights. Terribly classy. A harp heralds the Town Bikes in a
blazing black rebel number about the two local burlesque babes. I've Had
Too Much To Drink takes the gang-rape scene from Touch of Evil, combines
it with The Zoo from The Scorpions, adds sexy vocals over the top, swaggering
basslines, a louche guitar attack and a sax player anxious to disrobe
and you've got the Clare Moore band at their absolute best. Wonderful.
Tomorrow Inc. is a beautiful Minimum Chips
style-number set in a carnival. The production on both discs reaches for
and eclipses entire galaxies: the drums, Clare's
speciality, pound beautifully; the guitars groove, chime, duel and spit
gracious garage fuzz; the organs, keys, vibes hum,
come, glimmer and shimmer.
Clare and Dave treat their instruments the way instruments are supposed
to be treated ? affectionately. By triggering an
enthusiastic response in every glandular opening, in addition to gaining
entry into several hard to reach places, the new album by Dave Graney
and Clare Moore more than lives up to its title. Hashish and Liquor is
recommended fun for the entire family.
art Tony Mahony
There's a microscopic essay inside Mr and
Mrs Graneys first, high concept double album of opiated jazz-rock weirdness.
It ranges over French poets and philosophers, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis,
comedian Phil Silvers, acid nutter Roky Erickson, precocious 10 year olds
and wicked nuns.
Its all about as enlightening as peeking into an eccentrics wunder kammer.
Visitors to this pairs strange, velvet lined and style obsessed world
are destined to remain nervous outsiders and the implied haze of substances
makes this trip perhaps their most discomforting in a prolific twenty
Which is all good news if you're open to suggestion. "Lets live properly,
like we're stoned"- one line on Graneys album "Hashish"
seems like a key invitation that makes sense of the rest. There's
no need to take it literally: he's always in character of some kind (
even if it's him), skewing perspective with stream of madness monologues
that reach a new benchmark on "I've got dimensions".
Moore's disc is more challenging still, it's dark lounge atmosphere strewn
with found sounds-trucks , giggles, a farmyard and more on "fearless
freds shack"- and culminating in a robotic nightmare of the imminent
future, "Tomorrow Inc."
As the double barreled title indicates, there's much blissful surrender
and quite a few impenetrable moments involved here but nothing you could
call safe, sober or mediocre.
Michael Dwyer. The Saturday Age
THE sheer naughtiness of this title is going
to have pull for the punters.
It certainly worked for me. However, the aim of the veteran Aussie pair,
who are also life partners, was not merely to shock but to explore the
Baudelaire's writings on wine and on hashish are cited as an influence.
The Dave Graney disc, Hashish, is, um, highly palatable, with standouts
such as I Wanna Get Lost Again and the gorgeous vibraphone sway of I Will
Always Have Been Here Before. The slinky arrangements work well beneath
the vaguely Bowie-esque vocals of old satin pants himself. Clare Moore's
half of this double act doesn't really kick in until the creative explosion
of The Town Bike Song -- "pink tights, hoop skirts and lashings of
ginger beer" -- with its mock historical opening giving way to a
good old rock belt. Although the music is strong, timid vocal delivery
on some songs muddies the effect. For all the talk of intoxicants, Hashish
and Liquor, although engaging, doesn't really live up to its stated philosophic
intentions. In fact, it's really rather sober.
Ian Cuthbertson..The Australian
The apperception of something (or somethings' opposite)
called the "abyss" or the "infinite" has preoccupied
humans since they grasped the trick of abstract thought and a long artistic
tradition exists whereby the transgression of said "abyss"
perimeter through the use of various intoxicants equals art. OK? An album
which takes as its urtext Baudelaires' writings on hashish and wine from
his 1860 "Le Paradis Artificiels" ostentatiously becomes part
of this tradition. But Graney and
Moore are not on any Jim Morrison trip of literary libertinage. Just listen
to "Saturday night bath" and you know that Graney is more interested
in the blissfull disengagement of "irrelevance" than in being
anywhere out of the world. Perhaps
though, in aligning himself with the syphillitic French poet, he is telling
us he has been playing the dandy all along, with that peculiar persona
and "fun moustache" of his. Well might he soak smugly in that
bath, face covered by a wet cloth,
indifferent to whether the world accepts or rejects his new album. Because
when he croons " only the stoned can hear me" , he is as menacingly
suave as Dean Stockwell in Blue Velvet and when he tells us about a man
who "got his nose for free
outside a pub in 79" it's a typically obtuse indicator that somethings
not quite right in this world of charming, beguiling jazzscapes. Along
the way, he plays mental ju-jitsu with Roky Erikson and totally fails
to convince me that his heart is
really in his resolution to "let's live properly". This is piss
elegant lounge music for a Creature Cantina full of bulbous 70's kitsch.
Long term cohort Clare Moore is just as disarmingly flippant in her elaboration
of the demon drink and its abyssal affinities, but while Graney likes
to toy with the idea of the void, her taste for it is immediately apparent.
"The world is still full of crazy fuckers/my guardian angel joined
the militia". The laughter she inspires is also more ferocious: witness
the unparalleled hilarity of "Fearless Freds' shack", the musical
antithesis of "the day we went to Bangor" set to a carousel
ride which screams "stop the ride, I wanna get off!" "Tomorrow
Inc" brings a smile of recognition at its' lyricizing of those shittily
familiar slews of recorded options contrived to make life "easier"
and the hateful reassurance that "your call is important to us",
while "Alphonsus will get you" suggests that all Moores' years
of drumming may have been just exorcizing the memory of a nun who also
weilded a stick. A stick with a christian name. Yes, there is some evil
shit going down here and its all as drearily human as getting on the sauce
or the choof. Graney and Moore are bona fide eccentrics and have produced
the most startlingly original double album since the Necks' "Mosquito/
Over 25 years, Graney has evolved from the scabrous front man of the Moodists
into the dandy poet king of the antipodean underground. His half of this
double-CD set, Hashish, is the only record ever to filch from both Phil
Silvers and the 19th-century essayist Charles Mackay. His sinister-sensitive
croon floats through a lotus-blossom landscape of heady, jazz-inflected
tunes. I Wanna Get
Lost Again is a masterful exercise in delay and release. Liquor, a companion
piece by Daves long-term musical collaborator, Clare Moore, sets
surreal stories in a smoky cabaret lounge. The Town Bike Song, a punky
paean to badly behaved women, will delight delinquent listeners. Four
Stewart Lee, Sunday Times...UK
...and so to the continuing adventures of Dave Graney,
Australia's self-styled King Of Pop, and his paramour Clare Moore. It's
a weird and wonderful world in which Dave and Clare live; about the only
thing that's straight on this latest release is that Dave's dropped the
monikers (no White Buffaloes, Coral Snakes, Dave Graney
Show, Royal Dave Graney Show, or Lurid Yellow Mist, just Dave Graney).
Oh, and it's a double CD. For Dave's disc ('Hashish'), it's business as
usual: laidback lounge lizard crooning with a twist of pop, flights of
lyrical fancy, and of course fantastic song titles (My Schtick Weighs
A Ton, I Will Have Always Been Here Before). If you're unacquainted with
Dave, you'll no doubt be puzzled; if you know and like the man, you'll
nod along knowingly. Perhaps
the one small detour Graney makes is towards some jaunty late night jazz;
jazz pianist Mark Fitzgibbon contributes to four tracks and two, There
He Goes With His Eye Out and I've Got Dimensions, are among the best songs
of Graney's career.
Dave might be a strange cat, but his partner, Clare Moore, has produced
an album ('Liquor') that is even more eccentric, and easily the more challenging
of the two. Where 'Hashish' is organic, 'Liquor' is all atmospherics and
machines and rhythms and simple,
evocative keyboard lines. Initially impenetrable, 'Liquor' eventually
reveals itself as a wilfully subversive little record featuring evil nuns,
town bikes, night trains to hell, the void, and the abyss - and also some
great song titles (A Lot To Drink About, for example). Who put these two
together? They just encourage each other - and thank goodness for that.
db magazine - Adelaide -Peter Strelan
This husband and wife duo, the spine of Dave Graney and
the Coral Snakes, seems to be exorcising the effects of this double album's
title. Graney's mood is fuddled as though in a feckless fit of murky introspection
(My Schtick Weighs a Ton), while drummer-vocalist Moore seems to have
adopted his former wildly swerving swagger (The Town Bike Song). Graney's
old oeuvre has become maudlin and drawn, and Moore has absorbed his power
to sprout sharp new spikes.
Adelaide Advertiser-Mike Gribble
Unless your first name is Snoop or, like
Lou Reed, you prefer your "wine in the morning and some breakfast
at night", Id advise you steer clear of hashish and liquor
until at least lunchtime. Lest you be one of those oddly balanced people,
or one self-righteous enough to abstain in the first place. To you I say
well done. Would you like some dessert wine with that stigmata?
For the rest, however, who prefer a little light relief to ease the general
shittiness of life, you may find some of that calm dizziness of the chemical
of your choice in Graney and Moores latest work. One disc
Graneys may be the name to get bums on seats but it is Moores
side full of liquor-licked tragedies that will dazzle most
punters. I say that not as a reflection upon the quality of either disc,
but simply to note their accessibility. Dave Graneys Hashish side
is a spiralling, reflective, hazy lounge act. Its the type of rock
album that happily accompanies vibes and flute and bells and with its
tautological take on one of drug cultures greatest lyrics (herein
known as I Will Have Always Been Here Before), of course you know Im
gonna love it.
Upon a time Clare Moore was working on a project of town bike songs (shame
on you if you dont know the concept of The Town Bike; what, are
you un-Australian or something?). Presented within the Liquor album
and lets hope the tipple of choice is some kind of passion pop,
just to make it all the more poignant its pretty sad stuff.
Even if it shouldnt be.
The Graney/Moore show has always been as much concept and high drama as
it is fine fine music. Lets not forget, their first ever gig together,
post-Moodists, included something like seven lesbian saxophonists (and
one stoned man up front in a safari suit).
So for them to follow through two decades later with an actual Concept
Album(s) is no wonder whatsoever. How much was moulded to fit the themes,
rather than written for them, is always an unwinnable debate. Lets
say some, they say none, and lets call the whole thing off.
If youre looking for a Night Of The Wolverine or a Youre Too
Hip Baby then youre only about a decade too late. Whilst not having
ditched the whole midday show circuit shtick of previous albums (immaculately
summed up in the title of one of the songs on Hashish; My Shtick Weighs
A Ton), there is certainly no need for elevated collars and lime green
jumpsuits this time round. It aint no dark night of the soul but
seems to smell more confessional than anything the pair have done in a
good long while. I get the feeling the glass is half empty, not half full,
when they look in the mirror. Judging from these songs anyway, with their
morning-after tone of regret.
Gorgeous self-mordant stuff, baby.
Faster Louder magazine
HASHISH & LIQUOR Dave Graney & Clare Moore
Wasnt it alleged cock flasher Jimbo Morrison who dropped the
line Ill always be a wordman/Better than a birdman on
the out-of-it (and very posthumous) American Prayer spoken
word album? Rhetorical question, but it fits right into a review of a
double CD set from Australias Royal Family of Pop, Dave Graney and
Clare Moore. After all, theyre the folks responsible for the best
(only?) ode to the Australian Doors Show tribute that youre ever
likely to hear.
Speaking of wordmen, were often justifiably accused of being Birdman
acolytes at the I-94 Bar, but even a staunch rock and roll soldier needs
diversionary listening material after a long stint in the trenches supporting
the War Against The Jive. Which makes Hashish & Liquor
such an enjoyable and off-beat pleasure.
Hopefully its not too much of an over-simplification to paint Dave
Graney as the wordman of his partnership with drummer/wife/muse
Clare Moore, but its the lyrical musings on Hashish
- about the nature of stardom, being stoned (in the many senses of the
term) and all parts in-between - that get me every time. Its not
so much a drug concept album as a life concept
piece, breezy enough for the casual listener but rewarding if youre
up for a challenge, too. So put that in your hash pipe and smoke it.
The music ranges from deft, jazz-tinged rock interspersed to diversions
into folky and neo-country byways. It feels all warm, like it was produced
your lounge room which it probably would have been, in part, if
you lived with Dave and Clare at their Ponderosa.
The usual range of recent suspects that makes up The Lurid Yellow Mist
play various instruments, supplemented by Melbourne jazz pianist Mark
Fitzibbon, whos now also part of the live show.
Theres a consistency in the run of recent Graney albums that makes
you glad, in a way, that he no longer carries around a major label AustraliaCard
in his knapsack. Hes free to do whatever he likes - and youre
also free to listen. It aint Detroit rock but its fascinating.
As the man says, his schtick weighs a ton.
Theres a neat commentary that explores the rationale for dividing
this package into explorations of infinity (Dave) and the abyss (Clare),
but youll have to buy the CDs and pore over the liner notes to be
up to speed. What you can expect when you spin the second album, Clares
Liquor, is the unexpected. Liquor is a dazzling
trip into various musical dimensions, where the drinks are served straight
up and the language is glam, sequenced beats, psychedelic sounds, strings
and woodwind. It is also seriously out there and, at times (The
Town Bike Song), fairly rocking. Tales of lust, boredom, love and
One of the most interesting and arresting packages to defy classification
in 2005. -
the i94 bar....The Barman
|Dave Graney has always been a bit of a clever bastard.
When he was named Best Male Artist (and dubbed himself King of Pop)
at the 1996 ARIA Awards, his crushed velvet suit and curly wig said it all.
The man had come along way since his beginnings in Adelaide punkers the
Skunks in the late 1970s, and he was going to savour every minute of his
moment on top.
Hes been with Clare Moore since the Sputniks formed from the ashes
of said act, evolving into the Moodists (who moved to London in a pursuit
of fame and fortune), before Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes battled away
for a decade in obscurity before the ace Night of the Wolverine suddenly
found him in the spotlight. After a while it became the Dave Graney Show,
but now its just Dave, Clare, and a bunch of guests.
Split over two albums, the muses square off with one another, and its
obvious that Graney was going to come out on top on Hashish (its just
a better drug) "My Schtick Weighs a Ton" in particular
is a great faux-cabaret/lounge moment, with great piano from Melbourne
jazz man about town Mark Fitzgibbon. Other guests abound: the biggest name
to note is that of Warren Ellis, from the Dirty Three, and now a permanent
member of Nick Caves Bad Seeds too.
Clare Moores briefer Liquor is not exactly a Yoko Ono to a John Lennon,
but it certainly is more experimental and less song-based. The opening "Alphonsus
Will Get You" opens with a noise piece of which Yoko may well be proud,
while the other seven tracks vary from odder to more straightforward numbers,
but its always an uneasy listen, especially when you compare Moores
laboured Nico-isms to Graneys natural warmth. A strange trippy little
journey through two different but interweaving psyches, Hashish & Liquor
is a double-album that will leave many scratching their head, unsure here
it fits into the grand scheme of things.
The Electric Newspaper-Online
|DAVE GRANEY & CLARE MOORE
Hashish and Liquor (Reverberation)
This release works like those two-for-one albums you see in junk shops where
you get two completely different artists in the one package. The only difference
here is this isnt the Glitter Band and Mud doing re-recordings of
their hits: this is more like a musical and personal partnership bottled
on record. Dave Graneys Hashish is typical of his persona: a wild,
eccentric and intelligent man who moonlights as a singer, with songs that
lyrically outshine and underline his often underrated craftsmanship. Hashish
is almost like a lounge jazz ruminating from Henrys girlfriends
house in Eraserhead. Its naturally quirky, yet pop-aware and still
in touch with his own genius.
Clare Moores side of the coin, Liquor, shows senses of Euro cool that
shadows Jane Birkins Baby Alone In Babylone (Alphonsius Will
Get You) in amongst bizarre waltz lullabies and general kookiness.
Moores icy cool voice breathes an eerie sensuality of little-girl-lost-in-a-cruel-world-with-a-knuckle-duster-in-hand.
When you fuse the two sides into one record it becomes quite a strange,
enjoyable and engaging package.
Time Off (QLD..Donat Tahiraj)