Thursday, February 24, 2011

"That calamitous loss"

by Robert Crumb.
I wonder what it says about my state of mind that I've spent the time this evening post-work in bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to the blues.

To be honest, it shouldn't be an indicator of anything worrisome, in that there's something about the blues that is ... calming. It's actually been a perfect way to wind down after a day of working two jobs that span varying degrees of annoying.

For this wealth of old, old blues on my hard drive, I think I can thank Ghost World. In fact, I think I might watch Ghost World after this. Or at the very least, send director Terry Zwigoff some good vibes through my brain and the universe, because it's really through him that I've arrived at much of my blues-love.

He directed Ghost World, which I'm proud to say (steadfastly ignoring all cliches that might bring to mind) is one of my favourite films of all time. I know I've professed my love for Steve Buscemi before, but I can honestly say that my hopes and dreams for a Perfect Mate don't resemble what would typically be the case for a hot-blooded 22-year-old. Rather, they resemble Seymour, the record-collecting, maladjusted, cynical and dweeby love interest Mr Buscemi portrays in Ghost World.

But I digress. This post is about the blues. At the time of viewing, I already had a Robert Johnson record (a reissue, obviously), and some Howlin' Wolf CDs. And other assorted bits and pieces. However, featured prominently in Ghost World is "Devil Got My Woman" by Skip James. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, did it bowl me over.

My cultural tastebuds longed for some more Terry Zwigoff-directed fare. Thus, I soon watched Crumb, a truly haunting and funny and beautiful documentary about legendary cartoonist Robert Crumb. I'll tell you this much for free, my brain was exploding in all manner of directions. PEW PEW PEW was the sound of my brain-bits whizzing past my room.

Thanks to Zwigoff's film, I was not only was I suddenly turned onto Robert Crumb (whom I'd previously only heard of through conversations with uni pals), a truly fascinating and strange man, but one particular scene made my already battered musical brain a little more bruised and excited.

The song is "Last Kind Words" and the artist is Geeshie (or Geechie) Wiley. No known photographs exist of her, and according to her Wikipedia article, the date of her birth and death are unknown. Having read that while the strains of "Last Kind Words" echoed through my room, that's pretty haunting. Amazing, no?

I think Mr Crumb sums it up pretty well:
"'s one of the few times that I have a love of humanity. You hear the best parts of the soul of the common people, you know... their way of expressing their connection to eternity or whatever you want to call it. Modern music doesn't have that calamitous loss, that people can't express themselves that way anymore..." 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"1945-1998" by Isao Hashimoto ... I'll just leave this here.

Seeing as I have to leave for Lake Eildon in an hour (fun...), I'd best make this very brief. 

Last night Dave sent me this, and it kind of blew my mind. Not only is it completely fascinating, but it's also quite mesmerising in it's quiet creepiness. Disconcerting, and also mildly shiver-inducing. 

It's by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, and it's an animated map of nuclear explosions. The months and the years bleep by a second at a time, and little colour-coded explosions go off. Colour coded by country, it soon turns from a few isolated bleeps to the most mind-boggling flurry of colour and almost musical activity. 

It's kind of weirdly beautiful. 

And before you get all angry, yes it does omit two nuclear tests conducted by North Korea in October 2006 and May 2009, as well as  subcritical nuclear tests conducted in recently by the US/UK and the Ruskies. That's because it stops at 1998. 

I'll just leave this here. Watch it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Irish Neil (One for Mitch.)

Mitch is probably my best friend. Aw. Isn't that nice? It is. He's pretty great. We get drunk then stumble down the street, yelling "THEY TOOK OUR JEERRRRRRRRBS". We loudly play "Marry/Boff/Kill" in restaurants. We tell Tony Scott to quit it with the whole certain shutter speed with fast moving shots thing in Unstoppable.

Then I saw on Facebook that he had "checked in" to a hospital, and that he was "swallowing" his own "face". Apparently something's fucked up in his throat, and he was choking on himself. Or something. So I rang him the next day, and he said he's a bit better. But he can't drink for a while. OH WOES! And he can't swallow. He also demanded that I post on this thing more, so he can read it more, and then laugh more. Well Mitch, this one's for you. I'm pretty sure you'll find some lols within it.

Okay. The scene. It's a pubcrawl through Dublin. I'm there with Karin, and we end up hanging out with Emma and Emma from Liverpool, and two American girls. One was called Abbey. I can't remember the other one. Emma and Emma were a laugh, they were superb. They were like Liverpudlian versions of Karin and I. Smaller Emma was Karin. She was smaller, quieter, and wont to order spirits. Taller Emma was like me. More prone to yelling, more prone to ordering large quantities of beer.

Anyway. It was a fun-filled, stupidity-inducing, alcohol-consuming night. Hilarity ensued.

We danced the ... rocket clock? I think? I'm pretty sure we cleared the dance floor with that one, at any rate. An old drunk tried to pick a fight with our pub crawl leader. Karin accidentally called our Irish tour guide "English". I spoke metal with Garvhan, he of long flowing very ginger hair. Then we ran into a guy I hung out with and went out on the town with in Belfast. A night out in Belfast with an adorable Canadian girl, and a macho, loud South African. Marie? Brad? Those were their names I think, but the entire night we referred to each other as "Canada", "South Africa" and "Aussie".

Anyway, that's besides the point entirely. We ran into fellow Aussie, of all places, completely by chance, outside the last club on the pubcrawl. The alcohol consumption partaken by both of us meant the reunion was one of flailing arms and excessive yelling. Didn't really help that he was absolutely and gloriously camp. I snuck him into the club, funnily enough, by pretending we were together. Maybe fifteen minutes of loud catching up later though, he disappeared into the night. I think he found a boy that struck his fancy. Gone, forever. For the life of me I can't remember his name. Hilarious though.

So. We're at this club. The Emmas had left. Karin was tired, it had been a large day. Plus, it hadn't been that long since Luke, her boyfriend, had returned to Australia, so poor Karin was still prone to occasional glumness. So even though it had been a completely drunkenly enjoyable night, things seemed to be winding down. Then I spotted him. In a club full of what seemed to be dudds and a cohort of drunken Australian males under the age of 20, he was skinny, quiet-looking. Neil, that was his name.

After a little while talking (yelling over the music) to him, a few things became clear. Firstly, that he was adorable. Also a little bit young. But then, Irish. For those who don't know me very well, I've proven to have a propensity for "jumping" the Irish. Secondly, that his quietness, his attentiveness, yet his complete inability to Make A Move was remarkably similar to the guy that was waiting for me back at home. Which only served to make young Neil that much more endearing. We chatted. For a quite a long time, considering how loud our surrounds were. By that stage though, Karin and Abbey had decided they wanted to bail soon. Karin looked dead on her feet, Abbey's friend had long since gone home with some Australian.

Artist's impression.

"Come on, Reb!" said Karin, "Do it! So we can go!"

Well, fine! I thought. If this complete clone of That Particular Boy at Home is just as terrible at making a move as That Particular Boy at Home, then I'd just have to take matters into my own hands.

Reb Style.

Reb Style.

"So. Neil. What are your top five favourite films of all time?"
I can't remember what he said. I remember them being pretty good though.

"So. Neil. Gimme your top five favourite bands?"
"Oh, you like The Band? Gimme your top five favourite songs by The Band!"
"Top five frontmen!"
"Top five favourite 60s pop groups!"
"Top five directors!"
"Top five Coen Brothers films!"

I could see Karin sitting with Abbey, could feel them watching and being halfway between puzzled and highly amused. I turned back to them. "I KNOW!" I mouthed.

Neil also looked a little puzzled, but mostly pleased.
"What ... what is this?"

"Okay. Your top five favourite albums."
He told me, and I grinned.

"HEY NEIL! You have pretty good taste in things.


And so we did.

And Karin and Abbey were pleased. There was much rejoicing!

Then "Killing in the Name Of" came on and I danced around a bit, then I said good-bye to skinny, adorable Irish Neil.

And that's the story of the most drawn-out, stupid pick-up line ever.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things That Are Happening

I have plenty of things that I've been meaning to write.

Amongst other things, reviews of The Greenhornes at the Northcote Social Club, Yeasayer at Billboards, Black Swan, The Fighter, and True Grit (which I'll finally be watching tomorrow morning).

Unfortunately, I've been working two jobs almost every day. The resulting crankiness, tiredness, compounded by the disgustingly muggy weather Melbourne's been groaning through means that my two most recent posts have been mostly exercises in stupidity, and "HURR HURR BOYS".

When I get home, it's all I can do to change into pyjamas, flop into bed or the couch, and get onto Reddit. Even then, it's not as if I go to /r/worldnews or /r/politics, I immediately head to /r/pics. Such is the tired state of my brain.

Fuck the news. This is what we want.
Why on earth would someone choose to work at a horrid call centre market research job after waitressing and selling fat people chocolate all day?

I'm going to South America in May.

Call it what you will. Putting off entering the Real World, looking for More Adventures, Bailing from Melbourne Duddness ... either way, it's happening, and it's what I've needed to get off my ass. You know, it's so much easier to get off one's ass and actually DO THINGS when one has something to work towards, to look towards. Gone are the days of not getting out of bed if I didn't have to go to work. Watching crappy movies all night? BitchNAH, I've got to go to TWO JOBS TOMORROW, because I have a GOAL.

Goals. They're good. Useful. Useful for things. Enduring things. Earlier this year it was looking forward to going to Perth. Something shitty happened? That's okay, just think about getting to Perth. Then I'd feel a little better. So I went to Perth. Fidgety the entire trip over, looking forward to finally spending some time with Mitts. A week of fun, then back to reality. Eurgh. Reality.

So now it's South America. In May. Meeting up with Linc in Peru. Then we travel. Have Adventures. Then I'll come back in August, ready (finally) to make something of myself.

As much as I'm looking forward to South America though, there's only so much "Just think about how awesome it'll be just think about how awesome it'll be justthinkabouthowawesomeit'llbe" thinking I can do during a day of waitressing then calling people to quiz them about a certain bank that rhymes with "Pestwac". Dumb, dumb people that seem to be unable to figure out that me asking them to pick a number between one and ten to rate something doesn't mean that their answer to the question should be "yes".

I spend the time between phone calls, hearing the phone ring ring ring beep, scribbling in my notebook. When before there was writing, now are dumb drawings. Some are amusing, most are idiotic. When you works two jobs, one of which is mind-numbingly boring, you end up finding ways to amuse yourself and break up the day. So I found a "barista" at the local Starbucks to flirt with. Then I discovered that the French guy at the other coffee shop is hotter, and French-er, and sells far superior coffee (no kidding). I eavesdrop on my co-workers' conversations. They range from the inane to the hilarious. If I'm feeling energetic I'll try and beat my score from the previous day as far as my interviews go. Hm. What's written on the cute bar's chalkboard this evening? It's a Tuesday? Let's watch the little sluts head towards The Hawthorn.

I think I'd quite like to tell the guy that sits next to me that his tats are really quite rad. I'd also quite like to keep talking to that Belgian girl, continue that conversation where I raved about how much I loved Brussels. Funnily enough though, I can't be bothered. I'm halfway between being pleased with and disappointed with that. The fact that I can't be bothered making friends. Admittedly, I started this job during my "I HATE EVERYTHING, GODDAMNIT!" phase, so now it seems like I've missed the boat pal-wise. But at the same time, I'm perfectly happy turning up, taking some phone calls, getting a coffee during the break, then making some more phone calls, and bailing home to collapse on the couch.

It's alright though. A day off tomorrow. A day off. And in a couple of months, this:

Llamas with Linc. Sombreros and Incan ruins and you know, Adventures.

Things happening.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Today at work I found myself being the mayor and entire population of Struggletown.

Last night was Ev's 21st. Thus, as I am wont to do, I made rather a large idiot of myself. Upon waking up this morning all I could do was groan. I Groaned not only because of the day at work I knew I had to face, but also because I remembered tripping over, talking absolute rubbish, swearing a bit too much during my speech, and generally making a twat of myself. 

That though, is worthy of a blagpost unto itself. 

For now, I wish to relate to you a story. A cautionary tale? We'll see. Give it some time, perhaps. This is partly for Brian's amusement. Maybe an amusement offering in light of the fact that I was utterly useless for the few hours I spent at work. 

Anyway. Brian, Brian's lovely sister Fish (real name: Michelle) and I work at a chocolate cafe. Not too long ago, a certain boy also began working there. To protect the innocent, I shall refer to him as Boy for the remainder of this post. I suppose as a result of nothing exciting ever happening at said workplace, I noted with some interest that Boy was quite good-looking. Good-looking, but young. Eh, whatever. So he's like, 18 or 19. Whatever. No blood, no foul. In the words of some male friends of mine, I chose to file that one under "lay-by". Or "investment". Or, "He'll be smokin' in a few years". 

So ensued something quite similar to this:

Reb: So, Boy's pretty... you know. Cute.

Fish: ....

Reb: ?


My face when.

I kid you not, I have never felt so creepy.

I also kid you not, this boy is also incredibly easy on the eyes. Ha. Kid. That wasn't intentional, I swear.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH! The year he was born was the year I started school!


So, last night we happened to be working together. As he arrived and chilled out in front of the coffee machine before clocking in, I imagined Brian's gaze on me, with that smirking look on his face, that look on his face speaking volumes. So I busied myself with the line of dockets in front of me. When the time came to say hi to Boy however, I again imagined Brian's smirking face. Goddamn. Having a mental image like that makes it rather difficult to engage in witty banter.

Then, out of nowhere our manager turns to me and says, "Hey Reb. Could you show Boy where the rubbish compactor is?"
My face when.

I'm totally kidding.

So we went down to the rubbish compactor, and so ensued a conversation pretty much like this:

Reb: So... what's on for the weekend?

Boy: Ehh, not much. Hanging out with some friends, then I've got some homework to do.

Reb: (Thinking: Oh, Jesus...) Ha! I remember the days of homework. ... What year are you in, anyway?

Boy: Eleven.

Reb: (...) ... Jeez. I should just call you jailbait! HA HA HA. (Awkward laughter)

Boy: Jail-what?

Reb: ... Jailbait.

Boy: What's that?

I don't know if you're aware, but making a funny is much more effective when you don't actually have to explain the joke.

So that's what my love life's been reduced to. Being the token creep at work. Every time I speak to this poor kid, I feel Brian and Fish's gaze boring into me, laughing gleefully. Sigh. In the words of Ben Cousins' chest, such is life I guess.

What do I do? What do I do? WHAT DO? Do I roll with it, embrace my newfound creepdom, provide my workmates with an ever-flowing amusement fountain? Or do I take the mature road?

I promise I won't drink at the next staff party.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am Attracted to Steve Buscemi.

I've never been able to claim that I have conventional taste in men.
In fact, amongst a few friends of mine there is a distinction constantly made between "hot" and "Reb-hot".

For instance, while telling me that a new co-worker would be right up my alley, a friend might say, "Yeah man! He's Reb-hot, you'll love him!"

So, what does Reb-hot entail and why would I (as opposed to any other girl) be likely to swoon over said potential boy?

In a nutshell:

Extreme Nerdery + Skinniness + Smartassery = REBHOT. 
(skateboard and guitar optional, but welcome)

It goes without saying then, that my track record is perhaps one of the most amusing amongst all of my pals. Barely an eyelid is batted when I say things like, "Do any of you guys find Philip Seymour Hoffman attractive? I mean, in a sorta weird yet awesome way?"

Which brings me to the point of this post. I have recently discovered and finally started watching Boardwalk Empire. It's amazing. It really is. Not least of all because it stars one of my all-time very favourite celebrity crushes, Mr Steve Buscemi. 

Hot stuff.
What is it about him? Is it the crooked teeth? The slightly googly eyes? The whiny voice? The awkwardness? Or is it a little of everything? Is it disconcerting that he reminds me of my last boyfriend? Or rather, that he reminded me a lot of Steve Buscemi? Sigh.

Whether it be getting killed off in the films of the Coen brothers, or being killed off in Armageddon, or being killed off in Tarantino films, or being one of my Favourite Romantic Leads Ever in Ghost World ... he's amazing. I remember playing "Marry/Boff/Kill" with Mitch, namely one particular game in which he asked me "Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman or Jean Reno?" over dinner. I think I actually cried/yelped/moaned in pain, causing fellow diners to look over, alarmed. I think I ended up choosing to Marry Mr Buscemi. Such is my love.

All swooning and dumbassery aside though it really is a goddamn delight to see him as the leading man in such a superb TV show.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Big Day Out 2011 - Melbourne (PART 2)

When last we saw our heroes, Reb & Ev, they were recovering from losing about ten litres of sweat, and having their minds blown by Andrew WK.

Yesiree. I tell you what, we were in need of some recovery time. Especially considering the day managed to reach a top of about 41 degrees. That's no exaggeration, by the way. Apparently over one (NINE?) thousand people were treated for dehydration over the course of the festival. So needless to say, by then I was not only sweaty, but also craving some shade, and fluid. Ev and I searched for a few of his friends, but given that finding people at festivals is more a matter of luck than communication, we didn't have much luck. A few phone calls straight to voicemail was good enough an excuse to bail to the Boiler Room, right in time for Die Antwoord.

I had first been introduced to Die Antwoord by Mitch, while driving from Melbourne to Geelong. To put it simply, my reaction was one of undiluted confusion. He played me "Enter the Ninja", grinning ear-to-ear and studying my face intently. Die Antwoord (which is "the answer" in Afrikaans) is a South African hip hop group, fronted by a tattoo-ridden guy that goes by the moniker of Ninja (real name: Watkin Tudor Jones, so Wikipedia tells me). I won't lie, my reaction - post-confusion - upon hearing "Enter the Ninja" was of great amusement. It was surprising and bizarre to hear rapping in a thick, South African accent. Apart from that, the high-pitched "I AM YOUR BUTTERFLY" chorus was pure hilarity to my puzzled ears.
"Is this a joke??" I asked Mitch, incredulously.
"I don't know!!" was his reply, in between peals of laughter.

Die Antwoord. I don't know what to think about this picture.

It's a few months later, and I have to admit that I do have Die Antwoord's album on my iPod. During those few months I had been informed that no, the music of the Zef outfit isn't a joke. I'd also been told that their set at the Sydney Big Day Out had been one of the highlights of the day. Unfortunately Ev and I found ourselves with a minimal view of the stage, as apparently word had spread of Antwoord's live prowess. With regard to that prowess, I won't dispute that for a moment. The group were dynamic, energetic, a myriad words ending with "ic". At times Ninja's accent was near-incomprehensible but I'll give him credit where credit's due; he knows how to get a crowd going. Despite having decided to rest during the set, I found myself wishing we'd found ourselves a better spot instead of having a brief rest in a patch of shady grass. There's one regret of the day: that I had such a mediocre view and placement during that set. Fists were pumping, feet were jumping, there were yells, and there was an infectious energy in the air despite the at times completely and utterly ludicrous lyrics. Fokken, fun as mate.

The next hour or so was spent eating, drinking, resting, attempting to find shade and succeeding (somewhat). We watched some of the Deftones' set from the shelter of a tree (huddled there with about fifteen other people). To be honest though, I barely paid attention. I was too busy reapplying sunscreen and wolfing down a chicken wrap. I know that to say I "barely paid attention" to the Deftones is tantamount to treason amongst many of my pals, but it's true. My attention waning, I then bailed, to see the Black Keys. I arrived, and found Paul Dempsey. Obviously. Because the Black Keys had pulled out of the Big Day Out. Derp, etc. While certainly nice to listen to (in fact, I saw him play at The Corner in 2009), I soon tired of Mr Dempsey. I suppose that even though I was hot and bothered and sweaty as hell, I was still in the mood for excitement and happenings. So I bailed, and told my brother I'd meet him after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Ev stayed and watched Birds of Tokyo. I am of the opinion that he made a grievous mistake.

As much as I do enjoy a bit of Birds of Tokyo, there is really, really no describing the great, swelling joy of seeing Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I was flying solo at that particular set, but I soon found that listening in on the conversation of two brothers that happened to be standing beside me was more than enough amusement. One (the younger of the two) had written his phone number on the inside of his sailor hat, and as he explained to his brother, he planned to frisbee it onstage for singer Jade Castrinos. The younger's incredibly hip attire belied an endearingly daggy sense of humour that soon became apparent after a few minutes of solid eavesdropping. However, my silent chuckles were interrupted by the appearance of A Fucking Dudd. A Monumental Dudd. With a sombrero hanging from his neck, with two beer cans in his fist, with a stumble in his gait and a slur in his speech, he barreled his way through the crowd. Cries and mutters of disdain and anger were left in his wake.

"No!" wailed a girl behind me, "You can't push in there!!"
But still, he proceeded. "JUST LEMME THROUGH, MAN!"

I groaned. He'd decided to stand RIGHT in front of me, also blocking the view of quite a young girl next to me. Her mother (who, all things considered, was quite young also) happened to be beside her. She was incensed. "You'd BETTER NOT STAND THERE." The two brothers muttered to each other, sniggering. I imagined I'd have been doing the same, if any of my friends were there. I was quite tempted to lean over and say, "Your mate." ... which would have been what I'd have said to Linc or Mitch, or Dave. Instead I leaned forward and moved back the guy's hat so I could see his face. He didn't notice. He was fucking, fucked. "Why's everyone so MAAAAD?"
"Oi. Could you at least lose the hat? It's right in my face" I said, loudly. He either didn't notice, or was hoping that if he ignored the muttering around him (that was growing louder) long enough, he'd avoid a confrontation. The elder brother laughed.
"Love a hat to the face!" he said.
"Yeah." I replied. "I love having a hatface." Hatface? Smooth. 

I decided to try again with the Dudd. "BUDDY. How 'bout we swap places? I'm little. I can't see."

I half laughed and half groaned. The brothers wholeheartedly laughed. Luckily, a girl in front of Dudd grabbed my arm and pulled me forward, while glaring at the guy pointedly. Luckily, it was at about that moment that suddenly the band descended on the stage. With my brand new vantage point, I soon forgot the Dudd. Writing this on a Thursday morning when BDO occurred on Sunday, I've unfortunately forgotten what ES&MZ opened their set with, but I do remember jumping up and down and having a boogie, and I certainly recall that everyone around me was doing much the same. Actually, no! I remember! It was "Janglin'". Yes! Which is, you know, certainly a gleefully sing-along, dance, wave-your-arms-around superb choice for an opener. It certainly set the mood for the next forty minutes. The unashamedly happy, joyful music and stage presence of the troupe is really something to behold.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, featuring the Arm of That Fucking Dudd.

Looking back, the day seemed to be defined by electrifying and enthralling frontmen. Andrew WK, Ninja (lol), Alex Ebert of ES&MZ, Nick Cave, James Murphy (more about them later). In this case, Alex Ebert flailed, jumped, raced around the stage, being completely enthralling. His amazing energy meant that the vibe of that particular stage and crowd was really quite amazing. "40 Day Dream" followed "Janglin'", met with cheers and synchronised clapping. I was overjoyed; "40 Day Dream" happens to be my favourite song from their Up From Below album, more so than "Home" (which seems to be everyone's pick). I'm sure I looked a right twat, dancing around and jumping and singing along at the top of my lungs, "BYE BYE! TO THE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE KIND OF LOVE! *cue jump*". However, the vibe showed itself to be exactly the kind where one could dance around like a twat, then turn to the person next to you and grinning ear to ear sing/shout "SHE GOT SUNSET ON HER BREATH!" while they did the same to you. Superb. At the risk of being a little sappy, I was reminded of a night during a recent trip to Perth, sitting in Mitch's backyard, drinking champagne, singing along to "40 Day Dream" (and "Home" for that matter), serenading each other. It was a lovely moment. And thus, my good mood was made even better. One of those, "Shit son, I'm happy!" moments. I won't lie that I have a sentimental attachment to a few of their songs, and so I'll be the first to say that it was completely and utterly lovely to hear them in the flesh with my own ears and see Alex and company with my own eyes and dance around like a slightly sunburnt twat.

"Up From Below" followed "40 Day Dream" from memory. It started off well, but unfortunately lost momentum during an extended jam/Alex wandering around during the middle. It was a little over-long, certainly lost a lot of excitement. Luckily, the band brought the song home well, and it ended rather a bit better. Which is a relief, given that it's a lovely tune. A couple more songs, then "Home" to close the show. As one can imagine, the crowd went completely bat-shit insane. I'll take this opportunity to vent about something.

Recording on your phone at a gig.

Okay, I'd be a hypocrite to say that I didn't whip out my phone to take a few photos over the course of the day. But. Why on earth would you choose to watch the best part of your favourite song through the screen of your iPhone? Do you enjoy having fuzzy, shitty audio in which you can only hear the yells of the crowd? Really? Well, you're a dudd then. During the climax of "Home", I could see about twenty iPhones, Blackberries and cameras thrust in the air in front of me. In front of me, and I was quite near to the stage. I hate to think how many were behind me. That shit gives me the irrits in a big way. Instead of fumbling around your bag for your camera, then spending the next two minutes video-ing, why not get into the show? When are you going to watch that video again?


Anyway. "Home" was great. Absolutely superb. I suppose all things I could say about it have already been said earlier ... that it was full of energy, that everyone had an amazing sing and dance, that it was amazingly enjoyable. The song ended and the crowd dispersed, and again, I had an ear-to-ear smile.

I bought some food, found Ev in the Boiler Room watching The Bloody Beetroots. Eh, it was okay. We bailed, to Iggy and the Stooges. Caught "I Wanna Be Your Dog". So, that was cool. We then headed back to the Boiler Room to get ourselves a good spot for LCD Soundsystem. Unfortunately, Kid Kenobi and MC Shureshock were still on. I'll say this much, it was pretty awful. Ev and I sat, then stood around, wishing for a fast-forward button. The Boiler Room was filled with "your mates", and your bro's mates. Ugh. But these are the things we do for LCD Soundsystem. "WE'VE GOT ONE MORE SONG FOR YOU!" yelled MC Shureshock. "THANK FUCK!" was the response Ev and I gave.

Finally, LCD Soundsystem took the stage, James Murphy in a white suit. Ev and I had been waiting about twenty minutes or so, but it felt like nearly an hour, such was the mediocrity of what we had to endure. The wait and the pain was worth it though, that much became clear. My usually subdued and quiet brother jumped, threw his hands in the air, yelled. James Murphy and company opened with "Dance Yrself Clean". Fuck yeah. Fuck yeah, indeed. I mostly forgot about the douchebags in the audience, and had myself one hell of a boogie. I completely forgot that I was missing Rammstein and Tool, didn't care in the slightest. "Drunk Girls" followed "Dance Yrself Clean". Although it's far from my favourite LCD Soundsystem song, live it was a hell of a lot of fun. However, "I Can Change" was next. So, that happened. And it pleased me, greatly. Dancing-twat Reb reared her head again, and it was superb. Even Ev was dancing, a little daggily, but the fact that he was so damn into it made the entire experience that much better. He doesn't dance often, in my experience. A little bit of banter. James Murphy, polite and lovely. "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" was next, and was also superb fun. I feel like I'm endlessly repeating myself. "HERP! IT WAS FUN!".

Well, it was. LCD Soundsystem was fucking awesome. That's all this paragraph should really say. In big huge letters. Part of me was thinking I should bail and find myself a good spot for Grinderman, but then the opening strains of "All My Friends" began. Pfft, fuck it. I'll stay a bit longer. So I did. And it was Awesome. "All My Friends" happens to be one of my favourite LCD songs. "Someone Great" happens to be my favourite of all time, so if they'd played that it's safe to say that I probably would have lost my shit, utterly and completely. Shit son, isn't "All My Friends" an amazing song? It is. It really is. I lost my shit a little bit. Then, knowing how long it would take me to wind my way out of the crowd, I decided to bail. With a heavy heart, I began the journey out of the Boiler Room. Ev told me later that they'd played "Tribulations" next, and all I could say was, "FUCK!". It happens to be Ev's favourite song by the group, and he subsequently pretty much went crazy. Damn. Apparently they closed with "Yeah", yet another reason to kick myself. Kick myself, although not very hard. For bailing from LCD Soundsystem would only ever happen for a very good reason. That reason happened to be Grinderman.

Yeah, it's a shitty phone photo. Hypocrite, but I couldn't resist.
I'd never seen Nick Cave perform live up until Sunday. Judging by what countless friends and acquaintances have told me (or yelled, with wild gesticulations to boot) however, seeing Nick Cave in the flesh is something that one has to do at one point before one dies. I am happy to say, that at last now I have. Not only that, but I've witnessed my own eyes what all the fuss is about. 

Quickly, just before I begin my fapping, I just have to mention that That Guy from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros reared his ugly, sombrero'd head once more. He plonked himself right in front of a short yet burly guy who was next to me. He was immediately enraged.

Dudd looked over his shoulder, and saw the angered man. 
"Aww... but there's no room up there!"
Dudd ignored him, choosing to suddenly become very interested in his can of beer. 

I tapped the angry man on the shoulder.
"He did the same thing at Edward Sharpe. He's a dudd."

The dudd moved, and I laughed. Then angry man offered to let me go in front of him.

Okay. I realise this particular blag post is getting overly long, with rather a large amount of gushing and fapping, so I'll try and keep this particular section concise. I mean, there's only so many ways that I can describe how AMAZING Grinderman were, and how AMAZING AND SEXY Nick Cave is, and how AMAZING a way it was to end a pretty goddamn fun day.

So I'll try and keep it brief:
  • Nick Cave is the sexiest creature I have ever laid my eyes on.
  • Warren Ellis is amazing. Jumping, hitting a high-hat with a couple of maracas, yelling, jumping. Amazing.
  • Mr Cave at one point yelled, "THE COMBINED AGE ON THIS STAGE IS 200 YEARS OLD!". Personally, I think that's awesome. Four guys in their fifties rocking out harder than the vast majority of acts I'd seen/heard that day. Winner.
  • Fuck, they were good.
  • Musically, fucking great. Tight, exciting, awesome.
  • I'm running out of adjectives.
  • FUCK. They were good.

I left the green stage, breathless, staggering around, stunned, after the sheer mindfuckingly amazing set. Nick Cave, you are amazing. In your sharp suit, then shirt unbuttoned to the navel, with your kicks and leaps and strutting and voice. Swoon, etc.

So. What followed was a search for Ev, a run-in with a pal, then some staggering out of Flemington with some severe chafage going on. Sorry for over-sharing, but it was fucking brutal. Brutal. Complete with bag-tan, dress-tan, watch-tan and boot-tan, my BDO was done. Dusted. Not as dusty as 2008, but still dusted. 
Awesome day. 

This has been long enough. I'll stop. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What has ...

... two thumbs, and just got a mention on the Andrew WK site?

(I just got back from work and there is no chance
I'll be taking a photo of myself at this particular time)

So, that's exciting.

Also, here's my review of How Do You Know? ... read it if you want.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Big Day Out 2011 - Melbourne (PART 1)

I find myself feeling older and older all the time. It's disheartening occasionally, but I have to admit that I (at times) get quite a bit of sick, twisted enjoyment out of raging and whining (usually raging) about the "youth of today". I know however, that I'd be a fool not to think that I too, fall into that category. I'd also be a fool not to think that I can - quite often - be loudmouthed and obnoxious. However, being that I was born in the 80s, and that I graduated from high school a fair few years ago, there's just something about kids born after I started my primary school education that just ... riles me up. I'm going somewhere with this, promise. 

So. On Sunday, my brother Evan and I made our way to Flemington for BIG DAY OUT 2011. I had high hopes for having my brain and ears made love to by all manner of musicians, including Grinderman, the Greenhornes, LCD Soundsystem and Andrew WK. Boy, oh boy. Excitement plus. Unfortunately, no sooner had we arrived at the train station, my heart sank. Met with a squawking, mostly orange, hoard of youths-under-twenty, I glanced at Ev and said loudly, "YOUR MATES." 

He laughed, "Haha. Nah. Shotgun not."
That sentiment, "SHOTGUN NOT", was one felt throughout much of the day. Not all of it, thank God, but a portion that was a little too big for me not to call it Downright Irritating.

What makes me so angry? Is it the guys all dressed in a matching uniform of oversized white singlets, often with completely obnoxiously loud shorts? Is it because most of the girls are able to wear items of clothing that would be eye-rapingly bad if ever seen on me? Or is it the absolutely, completely INANE conversation I was forced to overhear during the entire (double) train trip to the Big Day Out? A little from columns A, B and especially C, I think. Two stops or so into the second train trip (Flinders Street to Flemington), a rather large group of guys and girls literally fell onto the train, yelling and squawking. I say squawking because that's what it sounded like. Squawking. 


Your mates.

That's not an exaggeration, by the way. I promise I'll cease this ranting in a moment, but there's just a few things I need to say. It's important. I promise. In fact, it's a few Helpful Hints Regarding Big Days Out and Festivals In General
  • I know it was a hot day. It was 41 degrees, for chrissakes. But, that doesn't mean I want to see your cellulite-ridden butt cheeks because the crotch of your shorts is lower than the end of the legs. It's not a matter of me having anything against short shorts, nor is it because I cannot myself wear short shorts. Wanna know why I don't wear short shorts? Because I know that if I do, it'd make people vomit. Your butt cheeks make me want to vomit. 
  • Think before you open your mouth. Please. 
  • If we're in front of a stage, and if it's cluster-fuck-crowded, don't think that using a squeaky, sweet voice will do the trick and result in me giving you my spot. No. 
  • If you wear thongs to a festival, don't start wailing about how your feet hurt. I wore my Docs for a reason. That reason is not because they breathe well. 
  • If you spent that much money on tickets to a music festival, don't spend all day at the bar. Go see some music. 
  • If you're seeing some music, don't spend the entire time recording on your iPhone. I took a few photos, sure. But when something amazing is happening onstage, there's just something about seeing A THOUSAND IPHONES IN THE AIR that gives me the irrits. So you like having a fuzzy-quality recording in which you can only hear the screaming crowd of that band you don't remember watching properly because you were viewing it through a screen and not your eyes? Okay. Idiot.
  • Reapply sunscreen. This one didn't make me angry, it just made me laugh. I have the good fortune of having Chilean skin that takes a shit-tonne of sun to burn, but I do have a bit of a bag-tan. To the crispy and fried masses, maybe only wearing a bra on your top half and not bothering to put on sunscreen was a dudd move. Dunno. Just sayan'.

Anyway! Ev and I entered the festival proper and after a quick wander around, decided to head to the main stage. This was in order to see Little Red, but we arrived to find The Vines were still onstage. I found it a little sad, seeing as they'd been rather high up on the bill a number of years ago, and here they were, first band of the day in 2011. How the mighty have fallen, eh? Their set was adequate. I mean, I was watching from the blue stage (they were on orange) but "adequate" is really all I have to say. 

As far as Little Red goes, I've loved them for years. Years and years. I'll readily admit that while I enjoy their second album Midnight Remember, I don't like it even nearly as much as Listen to Little Red. I'm a sucker for 60s-esque pop, and I don't think Midnight Remember is exciting enough to sell me on the new direction. That being said, they put on a fun enough set. Unfortunately, the crowd was filled with those youths that I was raging about earlier. Jesus, I'm being negative. Promise, this'll stop. Obviously new fans via Triple J, they screamed loudest during "Rock It" and "Slow Motion". I danced around and sang happily along to "Coca Cola" and "It's Alright", however. Side note: I definitely got a certain amount of joy out of seeing guitarist/singer Tom's skinny white legs in shorts. Superb. Good set, marred by irritating teens. 

Sweet, sweet relief was just around the corner, however. Both from the teens, and the sun. I convinced Ev that The Greenhornes would be worth watching (he was on the lookout for his pals) and we headed to the Hot Produce tent. We heard the last strains of Gypsy and the Cat, and I amused myself with thoughts of "What would Dave be saying if he were here right now?". For those not in the know, Dave is a good friend of mine. A good friend, and also a cynical and bitter, albeit hilarious, prick. One with a certain (huge) amount of disdain for hipsters, and Triple J. Why he's my friend then, I have no clue. At any rate, the crowd completely cleared out after that, and in a near-empty tent I waited for The Greenhornes. First saw them supporting Wolfmother in 2007 (lol), I was pretty damn excited for this one. While Gypsy and the Cat was PACKED, the crowd was significantly smaller during The Greenhornes. It grew of course, but what pleased me most was the distinct lack of loudmouthed and obnoxious teens. Pretty sure my mood was visibly changed. 

The Greenhornes' set? They seemed to be in a rush to finish the set. That was a bit of a shame, to be honest. They rushed from song to song, only acknowledging the audience twice at most. Having said that though, musically I was very, very pleased. Like I said earlier, I'm a sucker for 60s revival, and these guys poop all over Little Red (as much as I love them dearly). As sure as a bear shits in the woods, I'll be heading to their gig at the Northcote Social Club on Thursday. I wanted more, much, much more and I suppose that's where I'll get it. For those of you who haven't sampled the 60s garage delights of The Greenhornes, please for your getting them in your ear drums NAO. 

The Greenhornes. Winner.
Next, Ev and I headed to Andrew WK. A few of my pals had gone to see him and Barbarion the night before, and I had sadly been unable to attend (being that I'm in SAVING MODE for South America, I'm limiting the amount of gigs I attend). Again, I noted with interest the very different crowd in attendance. Very different from both the crowd at Little Red and The Greenhornes. 95% of the crowd was male, almost all dressed in various shades of black. One had his face painted as the Joker, one was wearing army camouflage shit, complete with netting and fake leaves/shrubbery. He was wasted, and yelling. This was a crowd I felt much more at home in, more so than the wannabe hip teens. Ah, relief. 

For the uninitiated with Andrew Wilkes-Krier, his music is of the metallic variety, and his subject matter includes not only Partying, but also having Fun and living for the moment/fun/today/the party/getting ready to die. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that his set was some of the most fun I've had in a long time. It was also probably the sweatiest I've ever been (that's not an exaggeration). Andrew WK appeared onstage wearing a battered and sweaty white singlet and white jeans, looking as if he'd already been partying in the sun for some time. His wife Cherie also was a part of the show, wearing a PARTY HARD PARTY HARD top over her fitness gear, assisting AWK in whipping the crowd into a frenzy along with his burly, bearded bandmates. Sure, most of his songs sound alarmingly similar, but I don't much care. Andrew WK is pretty much the epitome of charisma, a consummate frontman. Incidentally, he's also drop-dead gorgeous. Never a lull in energy, one song would end to his yells of "MELBOURNE, ARE YOU READY TO PARTY?!?!" or "IT'S TIME TO PARTY!" or "GET THAT CIRCLE GOING AGAIN! I WANT TO SEE THAT CIRCLE!". Speaking of which, I wanted so much to be in that circle pit...rather regretting not throwing myself in. At any rate, it was incredible, head banging, fist pumping, lose-a-few-kilos-in-sweat fun. I felt like I'd just had sex and was in need of a cigarette.

His set ended and I turned to Ev. "HOLY FUCK." exclaimed my little brother. 
"I KNOW, RIGHT? FUCK!" was my response. 

I immediately headed over to a refreshment stand to buy some water (my bottle had been lost in the Fun). Standing in line, a young woman about my age turned to me. "Were you just at Andrew WK?" she asked. 
"Yeah, definitely." I replied breathlessly.
"Ah, no wonder." She said, grinning. "That's why you're smiling so much!"
I laughed, "My god, that was fun!"
"I know! I think everyone coming from that stage has a giant smile on their face!"
Pretty accurate, I think.

I headed back to Ev, and we made an executive decision to go to Die Antwoord and take it easy for little bit. You know, rest, replenish the absurd amount of fluid we lost through excessive SWEATING. Rest, definitely. And it's on that note, that I rest from BDO-ing. More tomorrow.