Sunday, August 24, 2003
You can't see out of the windows. Not that there is much to see - just an enormous McDonalds and the Parramtta Road traffic. It is mandatory for all lower-league rock venues to an airless black box where everything is coated with stale beer and fag ash. Drinks are served in plastic glasses. Don't get the wrong idea - this is not a place most people would go to hang out. No - you have come here with a purpose. And that purpose is to ROCK. But not only is the venue conspiring against you, so is the first act. I have nothing against men in dresses. Indeed, I spent Wednesday evening watching Vanessa Wagner's talent / talk show at the Columbian. I have nothing against individuals acting like they have tourette's syndrome. I even nothing against people lacking talent. I just want none of these individuals on stage in front of me. Anyway, moving swiftly on anyone remember Transvision Vamp? No? Well, 16DD are a bit like that. Accentuate the positive - Slant Six look like they really want to be in 50s American. But they do rock.
But not as much as Zombie Ghost Train who put on a show. They're kinda the opposite of "indie" bands like Coldplay and Radiohead. Indie bands are/were notorious for their lack of showmanship. Four blokes on stage who could just have walked out of the audience by chance. All earnest about the importance of their music and their art and all that crap. ZGT have no budget but put on pure theatre - staged tableaux, gymnastics, patter, costumes and make-up. They don't just invite, they insist the audience has a good time.
Does my heart good.
But probably not my liver.
Monday, August 18, 2003
Until a month ago, all Ian Penman meant to me was a name in Cure curio Desperate Journalist. And now he's spilling his heart out in html. Ian's gone TV cold turkey.
Ah TV - so much cheaper and socially acceptable than heroin, so much less disruptive to the lifestyle than alcohol abuse.
Kpunk picks up on Paul Morley's article.
My take on this is a bit skewed. Coz I wasn't allowed vinyl records as a child. My parents believed that I would break/scratch them - as I broke everything else they gave me. I wasn't violent - just unbelievably clumsy (but, hey, you knew that from my prose style no?).
So I had a tape recorder instead. First, one of those enormous reel-to-reel jobs like something a FBI surveilence dude would have in an unmarked van parked outside Gene Hackman's house. Then a cassette number. I owned a record player for about 6 months at Uni 10 years ago (a family friend donated it to me) and I own about 20 records tops. So vinyl has no aura for me.
Now cassettes are different matter. A despised format - both by afficionados and the industry ("home taping is killing music") - but a necessary one.
The cassette experience is far more linear/sequential than the record - you can't drop the needle any where you wish but must scroll backwards and forwards to find the tracks you want. The recording is viscous and tactile. Time is felt.
Cassttes made music ubiquitous - car tape decks and walkmans desacralized the listening experience.
And cassettes are also mutable - you can record your own compilations - making the music your own in some key way.
Records are objections of adoration - sensuously stroked by the stylus to croon out their melodies. Cassettes are components to be plugged into a machine.
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Can I just say how much swimming rocks? The resistance of the water against your limbs. The sense of being suspended - cheating gravity?
And can I also content that yoga rocks with mighty fists of steel?
Friday, August 15, 2003
Today is Indonesian Independence Day. The smoke from dozens of barbeques drifts across Sydney University and a student bands knocks out that old Javan favourite "When I Saw Her Standing There".
The Australian relationship with Indonesian is rather complex. Both are essentially European colonial creations. One is an archipeligo of 2000 islands and 200 million people (mainly Muslim) held together by a marginally democratic government and a repressive army in Jakarta. The other is a continent with a tenth of population but vastly wealthier and nominally Christian.
Potential allies, rivals and enemies both. And don't even get me started on East Timor.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
"I hate my job."
"Come to our place. Do you have much experience with Brazilian waxes?"
"Not technically, but I do tear strips off c***s all day."
Tuesday, August 05, 2003