Great Reading: Nine Parts Water, One Part Sand – Kim Salmon and the Formula for Grunge by Douglas Galbraith

Right, I do know I did say last year I wasn’t going to do no more books on my blog but it’s a music book and not a bloody novel! So it’s much easier to write about or type something? Once again, I don’t think you could call this post a review too? Whatever the hell it is? It’s also very short intro to Kim Salmon and his music which whoever out there hasn’t heard of him before? Embedding a whole pile of his music, if your not already a fan? You might have listen? Who knows you could become a fan or maybe even get the book? Here’s a link to the publisher called Melbourne Books if you just wanna order it? Then again maybe the only reason are looking at this post is your a big fan of him and even read the book already? It was put out late last year but this is pretty quick for me to blog something about it, I’ve blogged him before a few times too, you know?

Kim Salmon is yet another underrated Aussie genius singer-songwriter who’s been making since the late 70’s. He’s one of this country earliest punks and as you can tell for the book title he’s been credited for grunge, he’s first used the word to describing Blood Red River by Scientists of 1983. He’s wasn’t the very first to do so this book does even have a kind-of full list anyone and everyone else who used the word too which is interesting. But what is more interesting or better is his music and what he says about it because I don’t care much for labels but I guess, it’s cool giving credit to him!

Here is your soundtrack to this book post or could be the rest of your day, if you listen to everything on this huge pile with half a dozen albums from bandcamp!

53rd & 3rd by Cheap Nasties is his earliest punk band but was only released in 2016, finally made available these recordings which where done back in 1977. It’s just raw demo tape with the band playing their live setlist in the front lounge room:

Absolute by Scientists is a 1991 Sub Pop label comp album of early to mid 1980’s recordings. Off course that’s put out in the year grunge broke the mainstream by the most important record label of that scene:

Hit Me With The Surreal Feel by Kim Salmon & The Surrealists of 1987 I think, in truth my fave band of all KS bands/projects! This whole album was recorded with only two microphones, you can’t get more lo-fi that this:

Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing by Kim Salmon & The Surrealists of 1997 is a totally different new band line-up plus Horns have been added too! More funky that before and maybe, I’ll say could be my all-time fave KS album ever:

From One To Another by The Darling Downs of 2007 is the second my fave of three albums KS did with Died Pretty singer-songwriter Ron Peno. They go for an odd style of folk, blues and country here. Yeah, KS plays banjo but mainly it’s just acoustic guitar:

Runaways by Kim Salmon & Spencer P. Jones of 2013 is the two old Beasts Of Bourbon guitarists doing or singing some covers, some originals and having a great time together. It’s ended up being one of the last thing done by Jones before his passing away:

Plus half a dozen more songs/videos from YouTube too:

Frantic Romantic by The Scientists was a 7″ single of 1979 and now can be found on Pissed On Another Planet comp album of 2004. It’s co-written with drummer legend James Baker:

Cool Fire by Beasts Of Bourbon from Black Milk of 1990 is the only one I’ve picked of their stuff today. That’s off course Tex Perkins singing KS solo song-written track:

You Know Me Better Than That by Kim Salmon with STM which stands for Sexually Transmitted Music from Hey Believer of 1994. That band includes Dirty Three’s Jim White and Warren Ellis too:

Come On Spring by Antenna from Installation of 1998 is yet another band/project, this time with Hoodoo Gurus main man Dave Faulker and was released on major label plus the closest to hit single he’s got:

I’ll Be Around by Kim Salmon & The Guys From Mudhoney from Until… which was finally released in 2011 but recorded in 1995. KS’s working holiday in Seattle at the tail end of grunge itself with Mark Arm singing lead on this one:

Science Test by Kim & Leanne from True West of 2014 which is KS with later or mid-80’s Scientists drummer Leanne Cowie. Song/video and the album is a result of reunions with that old band but they just stripped it back a duo for this one:

So a little more about the book now: it’s not really the normal auto-bio book because it’s not just KS side of his story like most books like this but pretty much everyone that’s worked or collaborations plus some famous fans also then even a bit from members of his family about his personal life which I knew nothing about before reading this. Mainly it tell the full story of all bands/projects he’s done and is totally beyond detail as I was hoping for. It’s 320 pages long has at the very end discography and a full line-ups of all names/members of bands he’s been in but pity no index which I say that pretty much every time with books like this but very few included one. Full color and B&W photos are included too. A few fun facts I’ve leaned was Kim’s first big huge rock show was Creedence Clearwater Revival at Subiaco Oval and first album he got was CCR’s Cosmos Factory. He looked like a member of the Ramones year’s before anyone because he had a motorbike at age 16 so he had sunglasses and wearing his leather jacket since then, even did in the middle of Aussie summers.

Both KS & Henry Rollins are still really great mates and this next bit is just me riffing along but Salmon should write some songs for Rollins to sing them, get him back into making music again! I wonder if they ever would because it seems like to me, it would be a match made in heaven and just image those couple of old punks in a studio making music together now? Even KS’s former old roadie Gareth Liddiard of Tropical Fuck Storm/The Drones pops up here sharing his old memory’s and what he really thinks about KS. Bassist Brian Henry Hooper tells his point of view from the grave, being in both bands Kim Salmon & The Surrealists and Beasts Of Bourbon could be the most important contributor to this book, maybe it’s because he’s no longer with us? But pretty much almost everyone from Aussie indie music royalty share stuff in this book about KS! Amazing it’s by first time author Douglas Galbraith. Also if I gave out stars or scores? It would get thousand out of thousand, top score!

If you want or need more of his music, right now? Even more of it not included above here can be found at his bandcamp page, linked here but not all his albums/releases are on it so you might have to find them somewhere else yourself, if you wanna listen to his whole back catalog? Like have I have been doing for days, that’s my Monday morning blog post this week! Who’s a fan too? Anyone out there, read his book already? Who’s never heard of him but digging him, after listening to something now?

So this is kind-of the back, spine and front cover of this book!

Cheers! 🙂


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