if anything could come close to accurately describing in words the weekend I just survived out there in the alcohol fueled hooting baboon enclosures of the Adelaide music scene, it'd be THESE particularly subtle lyrics, as found in the NINE INCH NAILS song "SOMEWHAT DAMAGED"..
- broken bruised forgotten sore
- too fucked up to carry on
- poisoned to my rotten core
- too fucked up to care anymore
yup, this ain't live music photographic and gonzo journalism no more kiddies.. oooo nooo, this is far beyond the normal confines of any level of civilized decency.. THIS IS WAR.. reporting from the FRONT LINES.. sent into the heart of darkness and down that river in a leaky boat with MARTIN SHEEN looking to put a bullet in the head of JABBA THE HUTT (dont correct me, you KNOW I'm right!) just so I can deliver all the flaming wreckage to your front door.. no-one in their right mind would be crazy enough to take this up as a career.. and yet here I am every weekend.. what the FUCK am I thinking in persisting with this nonsense!??
oh that's right, it's ALL about the music.. sometimes I forget in the madness of it all.. eeeeee! ;)FRIDAY NIGHT
my location tonight - JIVE.. my mission - to capture dead or alive (but preferably alive) the shredding indie onslaught of the CITY RIOTS, the stabbing postpunk electro of the DAMN ARMS and the disco monkey grooves of the MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS.. may the ever vengeful snow demons have mercy on our spleens!CITY RIOTS
first to make an appearance on the firing range tonight we have the CITY RIOTS, a band I'd never seen or heard any sign of around this stinky 'ol city till now.. and yet, wouldn't ya know it, but they're actually from here.. heh, crazy to think of all the other local Adelaide bands that still manage to sneak under my radar ;)
the CITY RIOTS kinda sound like elements of the KAISER CHIEFS or THE HIVES, or what you would get if you managed to combine the shredding machinegun guitars of FRANZ FERDINAND with the beer fueled slap happy sing-along choruses of THE LIVING END.. whilst this lunatic of a bass player weaves his instrument about like the propellers blades of a crashing BLACK HAWK helicopter around your ears..
which in comparison to 90% of the indie shit I've been hearing on TRIPLE J of late.. ie: all these paper thin sunshine sounds that sound oh so fluffy cute yet so pitifully wimpy that even THOM YORKE could challenge them to a fist fight (and win) makes these indie freaks come off sounding like a damn near revelation..
and sure, it may be fuckoff loud, relentlessly hammering and a veering waaay past the stupid.. but when it's blaring out've the speakers like a force 5 hurricane of screaming guitars, bass, drums, YA YA YA choruses and farting synths.. OOOH FUCK does it rock!
yup, these freaks well n truly live up to their name of CITY RIOTS.. I'd go see 'em before they kill themselves rotten out there.. coz obviously this shit ain't healthy ;)DAMN ARMS
with my brain suitably liquified into a grey steaming porridge.. it's now time for band number two, DAMN ARMS from Melbourne, to push the volume levels further bleeding into the red..
as these guys belong to the most ultraviolent fringes of the post-punk movement.. that gnashing, trigger happy bleeding edge of self destruction that can only ever be frequented by the most criminally insane..
as they're somewhat in the same ear bleed league as the TEST ICICLES or local act MY SISTER THE COP..
or if you're still drawing a blank.. imagine if NEW ORDER replaced all their instruments with powerdrills, orbital sanders and sledgehammers cranked to 11 and then got you to dance to it at knife speeds past 180 bpm's and you'd get a glimpse of what you'd experience here..
it's some of the most psychotic dancepunk shit any mortal should ever be subjected to, as my ears are ringing at the kinda unholy frequencies that'd even shatter bulletproof glass.. and yet here I am grinning from ear to ear from the insanity of it all.. eeeeeee!
after DAMN ARMS had finished with me I pretty much resembled the T1000 terminator after ARNIE had blasted it clean down the middle with a double barreled shotgun.. arms flailing wildly, brain nothing better than swiss cheese.. but leaving plenty more entry points to pour beer into.. aaaaaaah :)MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS
and so, wot better time to finish the job as we herald the arrival of the electro honking disco donkeys, MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS to the stage to kill every last mutha fukka standing on the JIVE dancefloor..
by this point of the night the venue has filled the screaming point.. people are piled up to the ceiling here and there's barely room to sneeze out the front, much less run around like a retarded gonzo photographer..
and the minute those impossibly loud 80's stabbing bass lines kick in, it's total fucking chaos out there.. I dunno how the hell I'm gonna get out've this mess alive.. but hey, wot's new eh?
as the MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS crank out a diabolical electro groove that sounds like the lovechild between the unholy stomp of UNDERWORLD mating with the terrorist grind of DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979..
but injected with the sorta riculously overdriven skeletal 80's bass rhythm so insane its like bitch-slapping your internal organs to death with oversized novelty rubberbands the size of skyscrapers..
yup, just think of them as being like CUT COPY's scarier older brother, or like driving a mini stuck between two trucks carrying pine logs on a freeway over 150kph.. and you can perhaps understand why I was lucky to get outta here alive.. this wuz some seriously craaaazy fucked up funky shit :)
with the bands now finished for the night I'm then joined by SALLYCAT and BOWIE as we seek further beer fueled carnage out in the city streets of Adelaide.. so for our first stop we decide to head to THE DUKE OF YORK for TRANSMISSION (for the usual DJ mix of indie and 80's dancefloor cheese combined with cheap beers.. weeee!), only to find the place had mysteriously closed down for the night (D'OH!) it was only on Saturday night that I later discovered TRANSMISSION has now moved further down the road to a new venue on KING WILLIAM ST (THE BULL AND BEAR?) as for why they did this (new management? noise complaints? violating fire codes? vampire attacks?) who knows..
so fuckkit, it's off to ROCKET BAR instead to flail around like twatting loons to all manner of stabby stabby electro, indie dancepunk and other such insanity..
after an hour of this, we next chose to piss off to THE CRANKA (as beyond a certain blood alcohol levels many of us fools feel magically drawn to this place) and along the way, as we cut thru rundle mall we discover some packing crates that just happen to be lying around (I'm seriously surprised JOE BLOGS hadn't stolen them all yet) so, as you do.. we thought it'd be hilarious to play a few happy rounds of CRATE SOCCER from KING WILLIAM ST all the way down to PULTNEY..
suffice to say, it got exceptionally messy and fucked up out there as invariable the stupid little packing crates would backfire all over the place causing all manner of trippings, falls, bruises and cuts as our assembled group of dribbling alcoholics tried and failed miserably to control them (for the full scope of the carnage, consult the photo's on SALLYCAT's shiny new injury
blog! but be warned, it's gruesome stuff ;)
thankfully, we somehow managed to limp our way down to THE CRANKA.. charged inside, fueled up on even more beer and mixed up the laws of gravity in a sea of flailing smashy limbs on and off the dancefloor like retarded baboons till the lights came on and we were all thrown out (once again all apologies to anyone who wuz sober out there if I did anything TOO stupid at this point of the night *ow me liver*)
and now with the CRANKA closed, the night ends with a bewilderingly drunken swirling mess of burger wrappers, brown paper bags, spilt chips, ice, pickles and straws all over the floor of HUMPHREY CLAPS as we reccount the misadventures that brought us here.. thank FUCK I didn't take any drunken photo's this weekend (or DID I?) either way, 5AM swings by and I'm in the next taxi home.. *phew*..SATURDAY NIGHT
last night claimed many casualties, so many people lost to the cause, so many horrific memories still burnt into my retinas.. oooooh the horror.. THE HORROR! and yet, wouldn'tcha know it, but I'm back for more tonight.. sheeiiit, I should be getting a medal for this.. or at least a place further up the line on the organ donor list.. yup, clearly I'm insane.. it's a well established fact.. we all know it.. SOMEONE HIRE ME ALREADY! *ahem* but anyhoo.. back to the military campaign at hand, as I find myself stationed at JIVE once again, to shoot BIT BY BATS and HOWLING BELLS in their unnatural habitats..BIT BY BATS
and the place is already packing to boiling point as BIT BY BATS hit the stage facing off against a veritable mexican firing squad of photographers all lined up at the front, armed to the teeth and going beserk on the band with their flashbulbs and zoom lenses (yeeouch! wot kinda monster has this blog created!??)
as BIT BY BATS do their very best to thrash away at the advancing hoards of clawing photographers with their minimal stabby stabby post-punk electro beats..
joined by swinging 80's funkcat bass grooves that gets the little indie kids jumping around..
and a gnashing barrage of shredding guitars, theramin and shrieking vocals that sound eeringly similar to ROBERT SMITH from the CURE in his uber creepy early 80's vampire best..
they may only be a tiny 3 piece act.. but they can really grind out an insanely addictive spiky postpunk groove that tears shit up on the dancefloor..
and for extra bonus points tonight, they even managed to thrash out a set despite missing a B string on the guitar.. or as lead vocalist OWEN ESZEKI put it - "little piece of advice for all you musicians out there, NEVER hock your 2nd guitar!".. strangely enough, it made absolutely NO difference to the sound ;)THE HOWLING BELLS
with BIT BY BATS since vanishing into the swirling mists of the night, I head to the FOOS BALL tables for a few rounds.. down a beer or two.. before returning once more to the mexican firing squad at the front of the stage, as we await the headline act tonight, the HOWLING BELLS..
a band with a curious history, as a few years ago they were known as an entirely different and somewhat moderately successful Sydney band by the name of WAIKIKI..
you may've remembered their fluffy indie pop single HERE COMES SEPTEMBER which had some high rotation on TRIPLE J.. you may've also remembered the silly music video they had to accompany that single with all the singing puppets (hmmmmm.. guess they'll be horrified if THAT ever resurfaces.. hehehehe) either way, it's been a strange journey for these guys as they since relocated to the UK and made a name for themselves as an altogether different musical beast..
and now they've returned with a darker edged, melancholic and atmospheric sound, very much reminiscent of MAZZY STAR.. or those eerie tunes you'd hear in a DAVID LYNCH movie during one of those confusing pitch black, backwards talking, lesbian free for all, house exploding, car crash scenes with the bald midgets and the black 60's convertibles that he always prone to do..
it's exceptionally ethereal and dreamlike in it's scope, as it fills the air with wave after wave of it's smooth and dreamlike melancholy, all those twanging guitars, ghostly echo's, haunting delays and light percussion that fills the venue with a sublime canvas of sound..
and the huddled masses here are transfixed, they're bug eyed like goldfish and swaying away in a hypnotic trance to this surrealist journey in sound.. which of course, has got everything to do with how amazing the music is and absolutely NOTHING to do with how insanely cute the tiny female vocalist is ;)
yup, lets face it.. there's a damn good reason why this place is packed to the ceiling tonight, and it's not just for the rarified and slightly countrified twang of this soaring and ethereal melancholy that'd get just about any independent film maker foaming at the mouth.. and it's not just because the music's actually really damn good (I bought the CD on Friday and haven't been able to put it down since) but it's very much likely because of JUANITA STEIN here.. and all us dribbling males hopelessly lost in her spell.. gaaaaa!
and as she punches and claws her tiny fists in the air, holds her hand to her heart and sways, singing away so gently to the sounds of the music raining down about her.. we'd all want nothing more that to float away with her and live lives of howling misery by her side whilst the world arounds us falls into ruin.. such is the freakish power of this most evil of miniature femme fatales.. fear the beast.. AUAUAUAAAAGGGHHH!!
*ahem* all apologies to PATIENCE HODGESON from THE GRATES.. I don't know what came over me there ;)
anyhoo.. with the HOWLING BELLS finished for the night, we down another beer before heading off to ENIGMA next door for a quick game of radioactive POOL.. where I'm soon joined by CAPTAIN SMASHYPANTS (aka: SALLYCAT, as she now wishes to be referred as) before then heading off to the usual inevitable destination down east, with aims to meet up with the rest of the hooting baboons gathered there..
along the way thru RUNDLE MALL, we're all joking about the casualties we'd accumilated the night before in that one fateful game of CRATE SOCCER.. until one (unnamed) lunatic in our group spots a crate lying around, gets all excited and chases after it whilst we're all shrieking "NOOOOOOO!! YOU KNOW NOT THE HORRORS THAT WILL UNLEASH!!".. of course just as predicted, not only does he manage to hilariously stack it on the ground and almost twist his ankle in the process.. but to add to the casualty list
he next thought it'd be hilarious to throw the crate on MY head and get me to piggyback ride him (ooops, gee.. I wonder who gave him THAT idea? hahahahaha!) now this WOULD'VE been hilarious if it worked (ie: if he put the crate on HIS head like I told him to) but since he chucked it on MY head and then tried jumping on my shoulders, it managed to cut up my forehead in a none too friendly way "NOT IN THE FACE!! NOT IN THE FAAAACE!!"
yup, SPOZ was feeling altogether stupid at this point (one wonders how JOE BLOGS
anyhoo, after arriving at THE CRANKA and furiously cleaning my face with soap and water like a madman (no really, you should've seen how stupid it looked BEFORE) I did my best to forget about it, down a beer or two and go spastic on the dancefloor.. but after the 20th or so person looking at my bleeding forehead, laughing and asking me "HAHAHA.. HEY, DID A CAT SCRATCH YA FACE OR SOMETHIN!?" I'd had the last straw..
and so I was off on the last 3:30AM bus the hell outta there lest I made even MORE a fool of myself than I already had (and considering it wuz the weekend of the FULL MOON and a LUNAR ECLIPSE who KNOWS what kinda horrors could've visited me if I wasn't too careful.. AAAUUAAGGHH!!)
thus bringing another crazy weekend of live music and lunatic beer fueled misadventures to a close ;)
Previously on Spoz's Rant: Where Is My Mind?