Checked into
I was adamant that so soon after the last concert at the Corner Hotel that this might be some sort of swan song. Cowell soon squashed such rumours (clearly I was not the only one) stating that this was his last concert until he can be bothered putting on another one. He also admitted he may have duped us and that the gig was as much for the band as anything. I wonder if he felt putting it on the same night as the AFL semi final at the MCG might have missed a few punters or maybe he is a perfectionist who was really annoyed that the Cubase graphics crashed at all the gigs on the east coast. He also joked about ending Kestrel Hawk and starting another band with basically the same members was a means of moving on from one of the members. That was a bit awkward with the absence of Bek Chapman.

I was talking to the guy next to me before the concert and we were wondering why Cowell disbanded the Disco Machine. My thought was that it gave greater scope to play whatever he liked. Or as he postulated at the last concert, maybe it is about just being ‘Damian Cowell’. Regards to performance, there were none of the usual diatribes this time around, only a random discussion about a concept album involving Nosferatu and a young man who manages to escape the image of Nosferatu only to again be reacquainted old age in the nursing home.

I was actually left thinking about ‘the band’. Although there are new additions to the group, having seen the band three times now, I am left thinking that although everything is ‘Damian Cowell’, Andy Hazel, Gordon Blake, Emily Jarrett and Tony Martin are just as important to Cowell himself. They even found a spot for the ‘agent of entropy’, Will Hindmarsh, bashing away on the pads while trying to keep his headphones and glasses on. I always wondered with so much of the music being triggered by samples whether he would strip it right back. There was a glimpse of this with the three singers starting off the set with Don’t Bring Me Down, Proust. However, once the full band kicked in half way, it was clear that no one is going anywhere.

Although a different order, the songs in the setlist were pretty similar to his show on the 15th of September.


I must admit, this is the first music that I have gotten into that nobody else I know gets. Well certainly much as I seem to. It was funny seeing some older fans bringing along their kids, who clearly were not as engaged. Personally, I find the music equal parts serious and silly. While I find seeing live concerts cathartic, even better when they finish around 9.


Checked into

Twinkle Digitz

I told my daughter I was going to see Twinkle Digitz. She asked me who the heck that was. After seeing Twinkle Digitz now for a third time (first, second), I kind of ask myself the same question every time. I played her Boogyin’ with my Baby-o and she said that I like it because of the synthesisers. That is clearly a part of it. However, I think that it is more than that. Even though the music and performance is carefree, slightly daggy and sometimes very silly, I think there are anchovies to be had. Also, there is something chaotic about the music that draws me in. Even though so much is based on triggers, it still feels like it could break at any minute, especially amidst an impromptu jig mid song.

I have lost count of how many times I have watched / listened to his An Apocolyptic Evening stream. Yes I was there to see Damian Cowell, I did not even know that Twinkle Digitz was the support until a few days before hand, but when I found out I was not going to miss it for the world. He played all the usual tracks, such as Pandora’s Box, Shit Eatin’ Grin, Boogyin’ with my Baby-o, Dancing ln My Dreams, God Machine and Blackmail Boogie. However, he also played a couple of newer tracks.

The first addition was In the City. This is a song of contrasts, with its blissful guitar driven verse which then explodes into the chorus. In some ways it reminds me of Radiohead’s Palo Alto. This he played when I saw him at Thornbury Local, but I could not hear it at the back. The other addition was the ‘almost finished’ It’s Autonomous Thomas, a song he supposedly co-wrote with ChatGPT. This had a different feel, although it was built on a rich bed of arpeggios, it was a bit more of a slow build.

I am hoping that the mention of ‘almost finished’ might mean that one day there might be a Twinkle Digitz album or EP. There is definitely something missed when it comes to high-fidelity depending on the streamed video recordings. But then again, maybe there is something about not necessarily knowing what you are going to get each time Twinkle Digitz performs that is a part of the appeal.

Damian Cowell

I saw Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine a few years ago after the release of Only the Shit You Love. I wondered if I was biased by it being the first concert I went to post-lockdown. However, I was not disappointed second time around.

Some artists are just different live. Sometimes it is the energy of the performance, sometimes it is the sound, sometimes it is the reimagination of the songs. For Cowell I feel it is all three.

I love the wall of sound produced live and the energy that comes with this. In addition to the singers up front, with one less musician on stage this time and a reduced percussion section, there was more space for Andy Hazel and Gordon Blake to bounce around at the back of the stage. (I especially loved Hazel’s shuffle associated with Sanctuary.) While the contrast between Cowell and his back-up singers brings out something different to the music. Although many of these parts are often present in the recorded music, in a song like Fuck I’m Dead, they provide something different to Cowell’s original recording.

After both gigs, I was intrigued with how Cowell never seems to rest on his laurels. I imagine he could just turn up and roll out the hits, but instead he always seems to be trying new things, playing different, even if it is his old music. For example, he played Garbage from Machiavelli and the Four Seasons. The choice felt like it was as much about Cowell’s modern sound as it was about some token rolling out the past. The only disappointment was that Cubase / visuals crashed halfway through the show, although nothing as bad as the video from The Zoo. Even with all the efforts mid-song to get the computer up and running again, some things are just not meant to be.


I Shit Me

Fuck I’m Dead

(Sort of) Emo

The Arseless Chaps

The Boy In The Box

Cool For Catamites

Market Forces

Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine

Get Yer Dag On!

This Is Bullshit

S Club

Where the Fuck’s the Vengabus?




Who the f*** is Damian Cowell?

Damian Cowell wrote a song called “I Was The Guy in TISM”. So there’s that. There was no Damian Cowell in TISM, but one of the masked personas’ voice and those distinctive lyrics are pretty familiar.

Since 2004 Damian Cowell has formed 3 bands, released 8 albums, been a stand-up comedian, published a graphic novel, been commissioned by MONA, produced a 19-episode podcast and created a 19-episode animated series. Now he’s back to bring you some of the best bits.

What the f*** is Damian Cowell?

Damian Cowell is a compilation album celebrating his work in ROOT!, The DC3 and Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine, plus some new things. It features a new version of”Fuck I’m Dead”, his collaborations with Tony Martin, Shaun Micallef, Celia Pacquolaand, Ella Hooper plus previously unreleased versions of songs from his 2010 lost masterpiece “Surface Paradise”.

Why the f*** is Damian Cowell?

He started out wearing a mask and pretending to be someone else. Since then he’s hidden behind the security of 3 bands. Now he’s just Damian Cowell: the social satirist, the singer, the songwriter, the band, the brand.

Who the f*** are Damian Cowell?

Damian Cowell the band features some familiar faces, like Gordon Blake, Andy Hazel and Emily Jarrett, plus some new ones. Oh, and Damian Cowell will be there too. His old friend Tony Martin may also make an appearance. To celebrate the release of Damian Cowell the album, Damian Cowell the band are touring nationally, playing selections from across his career. And even a few from you know who.

Not sure what ‘Damian Cowell’ the album is, but I am a yes whoever or whatever Damian Cowell is. Kind of feels like Cowell’s own Eras-style tour.
Listened An unmissable chaotic interview with TISM from Double J

TISM are reuniting and we invited them to speak on Double J Arvos. What could go wrong!?

I thought it was another prank from, like the silence of the Omni Album. However, it would seem that TISM are getting back together. I could not help but be reminded of Damian Cowell’s interview with Matt Stewart in which he stated that if TISM came back it would be shithouse. I guess we are going to find it, although I fear that my rock festival days may be past me.

At the very least they are hear to bring a bit more artifice to the world through things such as their interview with Tim Shiel talking about Roy Kid La, Frydenberg’s minimalist guitar style and Hockey Dad (transcript here) or their interviews with The Guardian, talking about Angus Taylor on triangle:

think you will have noticed, being from the Guardian, that it was right after the demise of the last Liberal cabinet that we re-emerged, and that’s because we noticed there was a gap in the market for grotesque clowns. They’re out; we’re in.

We actually tried to get Angus Taylor – we offered him the job of playing triangle – but it was a little bit intellectual for him.

And their absence as an art piece:

Ron H-B: Look Andrew, we’re not talking to Bongo and the Monkey on FM radio here, we’re talking to someone from the Guardian. We’re not talking top-notch – we’re not talking Katharine and we’re not talking Lenore here – but we are talking to a man of your acuity, and I think you’ll have picked up that the last 19 years of silence has actually been an art piece. It’s like an installation. It’s a reassessment of our aesthetic, and I think after 19 years, we’ve made our point loud and clear.

Or The Age discussing their new genre of ‘Knock-Down Re-Build’:

“We’re introducing a new genre, KDRB,” he said. “The young people aren’t into it as much as we are, but it’s Knock Down Re-Build, and our shows will mainly be financial advice.

“If you’re on your third investment property, like we are, then music and costumes, it’s trivial compared to interest rates, mortgages. We’re exploring new art forms and with Knock Down Re-Build, our new genre … there’ll be no new music.”

I wonder if this might mean a return to guest hosting Rage?

To be honest, as much as I am excited, I hope that this is not the end of the Disco Machine.

Listened Only The Shit You Love, by Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine from Damian Cowell

The double album soundtrack to Only The Shit You Love the web series commencing August 2021. Featuring Tony Martin, Patience Hodgson, Judith Lucy, Aunty Donna, Shaun Micallef, Geraldine Quinn, Matt Stewart and Liz Stringer.

In his spiel for the Pozible Campaign, Only the Shit You Love is describes as:

The double concept album/animated graphic novel/musical/Youtube series.

However, he also stated in an interview around the time the Pozible campaign was announced that:

my number one aim: to make people want to dance and sing something stupid.

Like a novel which pronounces the death of the protagonist on the first page to flag that worrying about such trivialities is not what matters, Cowell started his first podcast by outlining some of the themes:

The modern world, product placement, continuous improvement, the culture of engagement, the diminution of language, the moronisation of television, imposter syndrome, subjectivity, my career demise, the heard instinct, popularism, the death of reason, nostalgia, love, lose, tolerance and friendship.

While in the episode of Tony Martin’s Sizzletown at the end of the album track I Wanna Be The Shit You Love, a caller is used to provide the following summary:

Is this a concept album? About Marcell Proust whose real name is Wayne O’Toole. He’s a celebrity nostalgist, but then he gets retrenched and his wife leaves him and he goes on a reality dating program and falls in unrequited love with a protagonest of a Rick Springfield song. She’s busy renouncing her past and forming an anti-nostalgia resisteance movement cause she’s discovered that the government is controlling people’s memories. ANd her nemissis is a DJ called Greta the Garbo, who’s leading a rival movement to make nostalgia free again. Marcell falls in unrequited love with her as well, but then both their movements are going to crash by their own followers who distort the message for their own hateful agenda. Then the two revolutionaries realise they are in fact two sides of the same coin and fall in love with each other and invent a new movement called tolerance.

This narrative is carried through the web series. Although the text of the lyrics are often included within the clips, these videos are more than just lyrical videos. They each carry the narrative in their own manner. The style seems to be borrow from a number of places. There is a hat tip to shows like The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats), but it is way more than that. Although the representations are sometimes crude and slightly ridiculous – Cartoon descriptions? How else to describe a cartoon world? – they are always pertinent. (I will never see Osher Günsberg the same way again.) In addition to the storyline running throughout, Cowell always keeps things real by providing his own critique of his work with a running commentary in the margins.

In regards to the album, Only the Shit You Love contains Cowell’s usual witty observations on the world.

You asked us to spend all your resources
To save you from one terrorist who we created in the first place

The photocopier inquest
About which Bachelor you hate the best
The penny drop when the people up top
See the guy’s a flop and you should run the shop
Your favourite mug, your granny rug, your doona snug

Jessie’s Girl tried every answer there is to know
From Scientology to necromancy to paleo

Social media’s the new religion
Brains replaced by populism
Right-thinking folks with Nazi opinions
What kind of world do we live in
Where you’ve got to have ads about respecting women?

Funny how the better it gets to be alive the more we need coaching just to survive

If it were up to me I’d shut the gate. These refugees – they don’t assimilate
They look the same, they hang in packs. I mean – how un-Australian is that?

In relation to the concept, Cowell explained in a conversation with Anthea Cohen, that the songs came first and the album can be listened separately to the series. However, he also explained that as ideas came together, changes were made to fit the songs together.

One change to the first two Disco Machine albums was exploration of different dynamics and tempos. The usual upbeat tracks are still present, such as Here Comes the Disco Machine and Whatever Happened To Jessie’s Girl, however they are also contrasted by slower numbers, such as Old Sneakers and I Wanna Be The Shit You Love. Although I am not sure how some of these slower tracks would fit with the high octane live show, this works within the contrasts of the double album to aid in helping it ebb and flow. It never really feels like a double album.

Associated with this change in dynamics, was the blend between electronic and acoustic instruments. For example, a track like The Plot Thins begins with a pulsing synth line to then progressively build as the song unfolds, before the guitars and drums come in at the end.

Connected with each of the episodes of the web series was a podcast. This is not some Glenn. A Baker of Cowell’s time in TISM, something he has always said that he would not do. Instead it provides a means for reframing our connection with him. Although there is an intent to provide some commentary to each episode, more often than not, the podcast is really a dive into the esoteric parts of Cowell’s existence and interests. As he explains in an interview for Rolling Stone:

It ended up becoming this weird memoirs sort of thing, where I talked about my pre-fame years. And I actually had quite a lot of fun doing it. It was completely self-indulgent of course, but I made myself feel okay about it because people weren’t actually paying for this; “they don’t have to listen to this”. So yeah, I was talking about all those little desperate bands I was in, and my teenage years, and the sort of psychological context from which I emerged. I’m hoping it sort of explains why I am the fucked-up person I am.

I’d like to think that my podcast is about stuff that could happen to anybody; it’s just anybody’s life. Nothing dramatic has happened in my life. The most dramatic thing that happens to me anywhere in these 19 episodes is when Anna Block refused to dance with me at the ballroom dancing because I had cold hands. So this is the pathetic story of any person you could pluck off the street from that era.

The indulgence of so many episodes with nobody else to interrupt allows Cowell to elaborate on his recipe for music in detail. In his discussion a few years ago with Zan Rowe on the Take 5 podcast, Cowell spoke about the importance of music challenging the listener.

Use your power wisely … Treat them to an anchovy.

Throughout the episodes, he elaborates what such music might sound like, whether it be melodic bass, accountable guitar, unconventional beats, rich harmonies and a general disdain for categories. To contextualise all this, he provided a wide range of examples. By the end of the series, the playlist I collated of all the tracks referenced stretched to 7 hours.

In the end, I was not sure what I was in for when I threw my support behind Damian Cowell’s latest Pozible campaign. All I can say is that I was not disappointed. It was all something of a slow burn. In modern world of binghing, it was strangely refreshing to have something to look forward to, especially during lockdown. It has also led to a number of new discoveries, such as reading Marcel Proust for the first time. It has been interesting to read some of commentary on Proust as a lens for better appreciating Cowell’s work and Only the Shit You Love.

Proust’s goal isn’t that we should necessarily make art or be someone who hangs out in museums. It’s to get us to look at the world, our world, with some of the same generosity as an artist, which would mean taking pleasure in simple things – like water, the sky or a shaft of light on a roughly plastered wall.

I think he helps us to see the world as it really is, not only its extraordinary beauty and diversity, but his observations make us aware of how we perceive and how we interact with others, showing us how often we are mistaken in our own assumptions and how easy it is to have a biased view of another person.

One thing that I have noticed in listening to the Only the Shit You Love podcast is the wide range of music and styles referenced. I have therefore compiled a playlist to dig into some of the ‘secret shit’. I am finding that music provides an interesting insight into a different time.
Listened ‘A little bit of artifice is good’: Damian Cowell on performing without a mask from ABC Radio

Even years after pulling off the mask as part of TISM, Damian Cowell says he still looks to play a character whenever he performs.

“I certainly couldn’t be one of those sensitive singer-songwriter types that gets up on stage and bares their soul,” he said.

“I’d just be afraid that people would be bored.”

His newest work Only The S*** You Love, is an album, animation and YouTube series, developed as part of Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine.

Libbi Gorr speaks to Damian Cowell about his new project, Only the Shit You Love. It is fair to say that it is sometimes an awkward conversation with the two unsure of overstepping the boundary. I like the suggestion that it is an example of ‘inclusive offensiveness.’
As someone late to the Disco Machine, I enjoyed watching Disco ex Machina. It mixes live performances with various backstage snippets from their 2015 nation wide tour. Some highlights include Cowell discussing his indulgence in having two drummers:

Two drummers … like eating two Golden Gay times at once

Also his commentary on the push to have TISM represent Australia at Eurovision. It is kind of like Radiohead’s Meeting People is Easy, without all the depressing bits I guess.

Not sure why this has been released now and not in 2015, but as always with Damian Cowell, we will go with it. With the lack of any opportunity for actual live music at the moment, it is some light relief.

Listened Only The Shit You Love: The Podcast, by Damian Cowell from Damian Cowell

Over 18 rambling episodes, as a companion piece to ‘Only The Shit You Love’ the web series, album and graphic novel, Damian goes behind the songs and behind the eyes of the bloke who wrote the songs – er, that is, him – and talks about things he loves, things he hates, his musical inspirations, his fumbling, crappy beginnings as a musician, his career before and after that famous band he was in, and a whole lot of other vaguely relevant stuff. In other words – only the shit that Damian loves.

Only The Shit You Love: The Podcast by Damian Cowell

Only The Shit You Love: The Podcast is a dive into the past into all things nostalgia. Damian Cowell has always scoffed at the thought of getting all ‘Glenn A. Baker’ on his time in music, instead he looks back at various disjointed moments throughout his life stemming from the web series, album and graphic novel, what he might term the ‘secret shit’. Cowell provides perspectives on the modern world, such as his thoughts on Spotify, work and the importance of drums, as well as moments from the past such as Abroz and the London Tavern traffic lights. I think that this is less about digging into some hidden archives to ascertain who said what as it is about telling an interesting story. In some ways it is all a continuation of his dislike of categories. These episodes can also be listened to as a part of Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine feed or separately as a standalone feed too.


Episode 1 & 2

Only the Bits I Love

  • All My Loving by The Beatles (first record owned) pop track with a hook, melody and vocal harmony.

SPOTIFY AND COWELL’S Childhood Soundtrack

  • The Rain, The Park and Other Things by The Cowsills
  • Lady Scorpio by The Strangers
  • Candida by Dawn
  • Mouldy Old Dough by Ltd Pigeon

‘Secret Shit’

  • Love like Anthrax by Gang of Four
  • Non-Alignment Pack by Pere Ubu

GOLD 104.3 and ‘Only the Hits You Love’

  • She’s Gone and Sara Smile by Hal and Oates
  • Thom Bell and Philly Soul
  • Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty

Episode 3

  • Aunty Donna


  • I Only Have Eyes for You by The Flamingos
  • Only You by The Platters

London Tavern’s Traffic Lights

  • One Perfect Day Little Hero (Featuring Peter Linley)
  • Hot for the Orient by Skyhooks
  • No Nonsense

Only the Bits I Love – Roger Dean

  • The Dawn by Osibisa (which includes the sample “We’re going to start these happy vibes right from the root”)
  • Music for Gong Gong by Osibisa
  • Roger Dean artwork that served as inspiration for De RigueurMortis cover

Episode 4

  • Curtis by Curtis Mayfield
  • She’s Gone, Sarah Smile, I Can’t Go For That by Hal and Oats
  • You Make Me Feel by The Stylistics

Only the Bits I Love – Prog and Abroz

  • Close to the Edge by Yes
  • Lucky Man by ELP
  • Ummagumma by Pink Floyd
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Tales of Great Ulysses by Cream

Episode 5

  • Without You by Kid Laroi (hated song)

Only the Bits I Love – off the beat

  • Party Out of Bounds by B-52s
  • Elvis Costello and The Attractions
  • The Who
  • Dr Feelgood
  • James Brown
  • Smack Your Bitch Up by Prodigy

Episode 6

Devil’s Harmony and Outsider Music

  • Portsmouth Sinfonia
  • Yesterday by The Beatles
  • Y Beckhurst

Fuckin’ Annoying and Parlour GIGS

  • Macarena by Los Del Rio

Only the Bits I Love – Kestral Hawk

  • Black Dog by Led Zeppelin

Episode 7

Springvale High Talent Competition

  • Paper Planes by Status Quo

Only the Bits I Love – first concert

  • Mackenzie Theory and the Killester Senior Girls Social
  • Skyhooks
  • The Jellabad Mutant by Ariel

Episode 8

Poetry and AAAAAA FOrm

  • Abacab by Genesis
  • Dictator Dan by Tony Martin
  • Romeo and the Lonely Girl by Thin Lizzy

Frank Stavala and Rock Impresario

  • Mighty Rock by Stars
  • Tickle Your Fancy by Taste

Only the Bits I Love – All-Ages Disco and Punk Music

  • Love Is the Drug by Roxy Music
  • Heart of Glass by Blonde

Episode 9

Bullshit, Artifice and Imposter Syndrome

  • Book: The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
  • Jocko Homo by Devo
  • Non-Alignment Pack by Pere Ubu

Only the Bits I Love – Springvale Learn to Dance

  • See My Baby Jive by Wizard

Episode 10

List of the songs mentioned by Tony Martin and Damian Cowell throughout their conversation:

  • Gilbert Sullivan
  • Golden Years by David Bowie
  • Bad Habits by Billy Fields
  • Atmosphere by Joy Division
  • Pink Frost by The Chills
  • Anything Could Happen by The Clean
  • Roll Out the Barrel by Myron Floren
  • Spanish Eyes by James Last
  • Pulled Up and Talking Heads
  • Collapsing New Habits by Fad Gadget
  • Cardiac Arrest by Madness
  • Baggy Trousers by Madness
  • Virginia by Dave McArtney and The Pink Flamingos
  • Counting the Beat by The Swingers
  • Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone
  • Gutter Black by Hello Sailor
  • Totally Wired by The Fall
  • Rio by Duran Duran
  • O Superman by Laurie Anderson
  • Marquee Moon by Television
  • Give It to the Soft Boys by The Soft Boys
  • Penthouse and Pavement by Heaven 17
  • The Logical Song by Supertramp
  • El Bimbo by Bimbo Jet
  • Popcorn by Hot Butter
  • Rockit by Herbie Hancock
  • Save Your Love by Renee and Renato

Episode 11

  • Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield

Step Aerobics

  • I Feel Love – Donna Summers
  • Roxette by Dr Feelgood
  • Joe 90 Theme

The Bermuda Triangle of Record Stores

  • Too Bad by The Faces
  • Waiting for an Alibi by Thin Lizzy
  • Clash City Rocker by The Clash
  • Asia by Steely Dan

Guitar Music

  • Kid by The Pretenders
  • The Cars
  • Cold Chisel
  • Australian Crawl
  • Daddy Cool
  • Skyhooks
  • Custard

New Wave

  • The Police
  • Elvis Costello
  • Nick Lowe
  • XTC
  • The Undertones
  • Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Only the Bits I Love

  • Girl by The Records

Episode 12


  • Play Mistral for Me by TISM

Breakfast with Buddha, Punk Music and Tall Stories

“Punk didn’t last, but the jihadists did”

  • The Reals
  • Nich Cave
  • Iggy Pop
  • Sacred Cowboys
  • I Ain’t the One by The Angels
  • I like It Both Ways by Supernaut
  • Unemployed by The Nauts

Only the Bits I Love – Bass

  • Elvis Costello and the Attractions and the work of Bruce Thomas

Episode 13

Only the Bits I Love – Crystal Ballroom

  • The Fall

Episode 14

  • Hunters and Collectors
  • Hunters and Collectors by CAN

Book: Retromania by Simon Reynolds

  • Interpol
  • Future heads
  • British Sea Power


St Kilda’s Crystal Ballroom, Clifton Hill collective and Fitroy little band scene

  • Flowers
  • Friend Catcher by The Birthday Party
  • Wendy World
  • Plays with Marienwets
  • People with Chairs Up their Noses
  • The Models
  • Serious Young Insects
  • The Cure
  • Echo and the Bunnymen
  • Tear-drop Explode
  • Suzi Sioux

Only the Bits I Love

  • Talk of the Town by The Pretenders
  • Aimee Mann

Episode 15

  • Time Warp from Rocky Horror
  • Rhiannon
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Make Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz

I Can Run and the Mod Phase

  • Paul Wellar
  • The Who

Music from Improvisation

  • The Magic Whip by Blur
  • Mosquito by Yeah Yeah Yeah
  • New Order
  • Comsat Angels

Purchasing a TR 606 from Hans Music

Only the Bits I Love

  • Cosmic Baby

Episode 16

  • Serious Young Insects
  • Steve Pyke
  • The Coloured Balls and Lobby Loyde
  • Synthetic Dream
  • Scrap Museum > Blue Ruin
  • Nick Seymour’s Drummer

Only the Bits I Love

  • Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem

Episode 17

Only the Bits I Love – Trance Music Before Trance Music

  • Ramble Tamble by Credence Clearwater Revival

Episode 18

  • Little Red
  • Gram Parsons and Flying Burritos
  • Ice-Cream Hands

Only the Bits I Love – Patience Hodgsen

  • Crying All Night by The Grates

Episode 19

The Greek word for “return” is nostos. Algos means “suffering.” So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.

Milan Kundera – Ignorance

You can suffer nostalgia in the presence of the beloved if you glimpse a future where the beloved is no more.

Milan Kundera – Identity

Only the Bits I Love

  • Autumn Almanac by The Kinks
Replied to–97d62ad6-075c-46d5-b857-92b523b45e8e (

Thank-you from the part of me that isn’t a cynical, carping smartarse, for making this whole ridiculous thing possible, and then hanging in there while I took an eternity figuring out how to do it.

Who knows if it will be worth it. But if in the end I’m still your friend, well, what a wonderful thing to be.

I opened my emails and saw a whole list of EOY spam trying to get me to buy or donate before. However, nestled in there was an update from Damian Cowell on the release of his album:

I said I’d be back, but I didn’t think it’d take quite this long…

Four years, three months, two weeks and two days, all up.

But here I stand before you, to say “I’m ready”…

Only The Shit You Love – the 19 episode cartoon series, followed by the album and the graphic novel – will kick off on August 3.

Here was me wondering if the totalitarian state had gotten to him and he had instead fled with his funds to places with greater standards, but instead he was just being a perfectionist I guess. It would seem that I have my entertainment sorted for the second-half of the year:

How will it work? On August 3 we’ll start with episode 1, followed by episode 2 the same week, just to kick things off, and then it will be one episode per week after that. Plus there’ll be an accompanying weekly podcast – Only The Shit You Love the Podcast – where I start by talking about that week’s episode and wander off into all kinds of weird nostalgia (because nostalgia is the leitmotif of Only The Shit You Love) plus bits and pieces of The Shit I Love.

Bookmarked (
Looking forward to Damian Cowell’s latest innovation, especially what insights it might have on the topic of ‘dystopia’.

So the term ‘musical’ sort of makes me get a rash, but concept albums, I love that idea of there being a bit more to think about. You can just kind of listen to it on a superficial level, and let’s face it, we’re talking about me here, so this is the most kind of superficial kind of music. If these songs don’t work in a superficial way, then I’m a fucking failure, because that’s my number one aim: to make people want to dance and sing something stupid.

Listened Archival Revival from Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine

New host Kate Kingsmill pulls out one of the more weird and wonderful live performances from the RRR vaults…TISM at The Laundry in Nov 2001!

The Melbourne legends had just released their 5th album De RigueurMortis at the time. Kate also catches up with Damian Cowell aka Humphrey B. Flaubert as he shares some reflections on the performance and the band’s long history with Triple R.

Kate Kingsmill speaks with Damian Cowell about TISM’s 2001 RRR performance at The Laundry. The conversation leads to many tangents, although is always mindful of getting too ‘Glenn A Baker’ about the past. Cowell describes TISM as, “a bunch of adolescent boys thinking what does this switch do.” He also mentions his current multi-media project about his feet and the prospect of ever performing again.

I was wondering where Damian Cowell was at. Was kind of hoping for some sort of concocted online offering he might have created to fill in the time or some sort of Song Exploder style expose of the mystery behind the masks. But this will do.

I have been listening to a lot of TISM lately. One thing that has occurred to me is the strength of the music. With so much attention to the message, it can be easy to overlook the medium that provides space for such lyricism and performance. This is something Cowell addressed in a reflection. In some ways this is captured in their performance of He’ll Never Be an Old Man River on John Safran’s Music Jamboree

For Cowell, it is about giving the kids an anchovy. Although this often focuses on the lyrics, this can be said to apply just as much to the music. As Michael Dwyer captures in regards to Damien Cowell’s Disco Machine:

“If Damian wanted to be,” says Martin, “he could be a comedian. A few years ago he did a show at the comedy festival and it was as funny as any other show. But he takes the music very seriously.

Listened Damian Cowell: Get Yer Dag On review – TISM frontman lampoons us again, and pines for Waleed Aly from the Guardian

Get Yer Dag On! is the second Disco Machine album, and Micallef and Martin are again present, alongside another stellar roll call of guests: Celia Pacquola, Judith Lucy and many more. There’s a certain irony in there being a sort of identikit anonymity about many of these pounding dancefloor grooves, but that doesn’t matter, because (a) irony is central to everything Cowell does, and (b) he can sing: his melodies and phrasing make many of these songs instantly memorable.

There is something about a joke album (is that what this is?) which allows you to stop and take stock. I have always found that with Cowell’s music.

I like how Michael Dwyer capturesDwyer captures it:

“That’s how I try to work,” he says. “I’ll take something that may be thought-provoking and totally trivialise it, shrink it down to the stupidest concept. I’m always writing about the facade of life and hopefully alluding to what’s beneath it all.”

Listened ‎Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine: Message from DC June 17 on Apple Podcasts from Apple Podcasts

His master’s voice

Damian Cowell reflects on the passing of Chris Cornell from Soundgarden. Cowell discusses how the aircon was turned off at the 1993 Big Day Out because Cornell had a cold.

Cowell also reflects upon grunge music in general, which then ends up in a discussion of 70’s rock. He then discusses the way in which front men seem to swap bands like the AFL draft. He wonders why he didn’t front Savage Garden considering where that band might have gone if he had done so.

Listened Kids Love Balloons – Episode 33: Damian Cowell by The Song NerdThe Song Nerd from

OK so I couldn’t resist using a TISM reference in my intro, despite the language being filthy, and now I’m caught somewhere in between “that’s a great dad joke” or “why did you swear like that, you buffoon?”. TISM was one of Australia’s most iconic and entertaining bands and when a song title such as “I might be a …” exists, the opportunity to use it contextually was too rare to resist.

Nevertheless. Former member Damian Cowell popped around to my place and we had a great yarn for a couple of hours. He’s now focused on Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine – a new album to be released February 20 and subsequent shows which seem basically unmissable. Just by reading the band name you can sense the sheer fun this project exudes.

It’s about “giving in to the simple joys of my own twisted version of fun dance music”. The album is titled Get Yer Dag On. The gist is: What a shit world we’re living in – let’s boogie!

So we discuss the musical influences of the project, the pleasures of choreography, how his career developed over the years and as it happens, plenty of life lessons pop up. He airs concern that we ventured in to “some sort of self-help” thing and if that element is there, I don’t mind too much. Hahaha this nugget of wisdom does spring from the chat so thanks Damian for the inspiration and comfort:

We can all garner some hope. DAILY DISAPPOINTMENT is beneficial and make you a richer, fuller person. Try things and fail. Feel emotionally vulnerable and experience suffering. It all helps in the long run, keeps us grounded, teaches us lessons, and as long as we keep recognising this we can stay on top and not let the disappointment defeat us.

Damian Cowell speaks with Chris Holland about chemicals, nostalgia, his love of Rod Stewart, playing music that is fun not cool and trying to be more Damian Cowell and less TISM. Cowell also shares how Henry Rollins ended up being on Get Yer Dag On. As always, a case of chance.
Listened ‎Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine: Arseless Chaps Episode 1 on Apple Podcasts from Apple Podcasts

‎Show Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine, Ep Arseless Chaps Episode 1 – 23 Dec 2015

Damian Cowell teamed up with Tony Martin on RRR as the Arseless Chaps during the 2015/16 summer break. The highlight in the four week slot was Cowell’s playing of various tracks at the wrong speed and shortening of longer tracks, including Stairway to Heaven in Episode 4.
Bookmarked Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine (Spotify)

Listen to Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine on Spotify. Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine

This feed collects together Damian Cowell’s various appearances on radio, recorded performances and short reflections.

The link to the XML file can be found here. The Link to the XML file no longer works, however Spotify has a cache of the podcast.

Damian Cowell reflects upon the TISM and the birth of the uncool out of the alternate music scenes in Melbourne in the 1980’s between Cold Chisel and The Birthday Party. TISM were not a concept, but just another band wanting to write songs and play concerts sharing some funny ideas. It would seem that the mantra was, wouldn’t it be fun if.

In the Q&A, Cowell says that ‘interesting ideas’ is not enough, that they only got there start as someone knew someone else who then linked them with somebody else. He also discusses the surreal aspects of it all, including the final gig at Earthcore.