There was something about The Stinking Badger of Java ( one of Tom’s projects) that reminded me of The Jefferson Airplane’s best moments. I feel it in the bittersweet contrast between Paul Narkiewicz and Brigitte Corbett’s voices stirring up the air and igniting ions. Their very unusual arrangements with unexpected stops and starts and dynamic twists made them a standout group to me.
The second Stinking Badger CD ( from 1999) is more of an EP with fewer songs but just as memorable. This time, for some reason, Brigitte is called “Kelle” although I believe it is the same singer.
After Stinking Badger went their own ways, Tom diversified and simplified into a singer-songwriter project called My Delicate Melancholy Devotion. A stripped down acoustic outing with his single voice veering into sadcore and quasi New Orleans regions. Tom also worked as a dance DJ in Australia and is still active with his music and projects. Within the paper sleeve of this release Tom included a playing card. Was it for luck? Was my Nine Of Hearts a winning draw?
When I was a young muso playing around the small clubs and pubs of Melbourne, I had no idea that there was a whole world of musicians out there plugging away in their home studios, swapping their recordings. Let alone that radio programmes existed dedicated to the gaggle of talent that is the world of home taping. It may seem naive to those growing up in this media savvy world, but the 90’s were a dark age in comparison to the world of options that exists for D.I.Y. musos today.
I first heard about tape swapping through some like minded musos, namely Frankie Death and Stikla and Farnz from the Vocabularinists. They gave me a whole list of people to contact and the name of Swami Loopynanda stuck out. That’s how I met the inimitable Charles Rice Goff III. We swapped tapes and I began digesting his very strange and fabulous musical world. He really opened my eyes to the things you could do with a four track. When technology started catching up and computers began having CD burners, I listened back to a lot of the tapes Charlie 3 had sent me and approached him on doing a compilation which he christened Bean Dip Yo Yo (namely because my label was Yippie Bean and the song selection was probably pulled out of a hat from a list of my faves that I sent to the maestro).
Home Taping is probably the sanest guarantee to staying true to your own artistic vision and we should thank our lucky stars that this community exists and is now becoming the norm. It’s nice to think that the industry model we have all grown to loath is being put back in its box, and that a true community of musicians is growing in its place.