The Adelaide music scene: to many of you it may be little more than a touring speed bump between Melbourne and Perth but to us it's a way of life. Feast within, on all its dysfunctioning splendour, as we bring you the highly satirical, laughingly fictional and intellectually imbecile tales from our rock & roll wasteland...
CLUE TO KALO + QUA LIVE @ ROCKET BAR / Friday February 29th 2008
The Adelaide Arts Festival opening party is in full swing along North Terrace: fireworks, smoke, lights, trapeze and strings, crowds of thousands screaming as one. Down by the River Torrens a multitude of exploding cushions and spinning vinyl herald the arrival of the Persian Gardens. Across the road and down the block Jive is host to it's very own swamp born apocalypse in the form of Bob Log III as that one nipple pops in a glass of scotch and an inflatable raft rises over the crowd. Welcome to my heaven and hell colliding as one: parties all across town and me the toasted turkey slice in the middle. Why the fuck did I have all that beer and absinthe last night!? My hangover is not one fueled by alcohol (lesser fools suffer such mortal consequence) but one forged from the fires of both candle ends burning to wit's end. Shell shocked and ears ringing it's off to Rocket Bar tonight: lineup both ecclectic and electronic? surely this'll be my saviour!
QUA (***1/2) myspace :: If the calibre of my myspace requests are ANY indication, you've probably got my music tastes pegged as either a blood drinking Scandanavian goth rocker or a Klingon prone to stalking Seven of Nines and T'Pols for geek threesomes at Star Trek conventions (mmmm emotionally stunted with perky nipples!). But one should never underestimate a healthy disregard for copyright law, a broadband connection, a 160Gb ipod and writing for a music website as idiotic as this one for encouraging some truly ecclectic tastes; such as a finer appreciation for the works of Qua. Part of a growing Melbourne cut-and-paste aesthetic (spawning such contemporaries as Mountains In The Sky and Pivot) Qua is the sound of third world rhythms, chants and jubilation set to bombastic beats. Think 90's Gerling at their most avant garde mixed with The Avalanches, St Germain crossfaded with Squarepusher, or 50 smashed ipods singing the blues in an inner city cafe. Wank intellectuals will obviously find knowing references to composer Pierre Schaeffer and the musique concrète movement of the 1950's, whilst the rest of you alcoholics will simply recognise this as the whacked out ditty that accompanies that bizarre Toohey's Extra Dry ad campaign with all the big hair bogans and oversized hair sprouting corn husks..
Of course, as endlessly entertaining as it is to watch one mistachioed dweeb interchange between World Of Warcraft and checking up on his Facebook Funwall all night, thankfully there's more to Qua than just a hand solo on a laptop; when he's later joined by a beanpole on the drumpads, slapping out a minimalist body pop more reminiscent of early 80's Detroit techno..
And just like clockwork, the dancefloor responds in kind with Rocket Bar's finest array of Ghost World rejects busting out a malfunctioning assembly line of robots, marionettes, polio victims and Neos slow dancing to whizzing bullets. Set this to a strobe light and you'd almost have Michael Jackson's "Thriller", only the hipster doofus version (pffft duuude, that's so 2007!).
And that's Qua in a nutshell. Sure, you may not understand half the shit coming out've those loud speakers, but amongst the chaos they still cooks up some some sweetarse jams!
CLUE TO KALO (***) myspace :: In every lecture theatre, in every university course, you'd find people just like these: mismatched shoes, oversized cardigans, missing buttons, perpetually scruffy and hungover. Six months into your course they'll vanish from campus only to pick up bartender jobs at the Exeter, only to then move to cities like Barcelona, Buenos Aires or Montreal to pursue careers as the professionally vague. If they ever got their shit together and formed a band, they'd sound rather like this one; Clue To Kalo. Individually recognisable as that shit scary bearded goon who spins vinyl on Friday nights, that pencilneck bartender that looks like a 12 year old, that chick from Urtext Studio's favourite indie accident in 2 minutes: Birth Glow, and some reach-for-the-aspirin-bottle on leads that appears to be the mastermind behind this entire operation. Beaming with smiles and awkward silences they're the missing link between excessive LSD use and children's television, they're the "summer of love" sounds of the Mommas & The Poppas, The Carpenters and clueless drifters from the 60's with names like "Hibiscus" who think it's genius to stuff flowers into the service end of a policeman's rifle and expect positive results. So cute, so clunky, so whimsically apologetic awww! Yup, it's just this kind've goofy, folksy ecclecticism that goes on to win a golden shower of critical acclaim from RollingStone before soundtracking the next breakout zero budget mumblecore movie; and now they're off to tour America? Genius!
Still all jokes aside; their lightly dappled dementia in strings, keys and muffled percussion is just what the psychiatric staff ordered for my shattering synapses this Friday night. And if you've just dropped out've uni, are missing a left shoe, living in a cardboard box and unsure what to do with three semesters of a failed arts degree? maybe they can do wonders for you too!
1:12AM - Satisfied in my brief respite from the shitstorm brewing outside, I duck out've Rocket Bar just before the stampede of windowlickers burst through the doors to ruin my moment and drift aimlessly down Hindley Street, with nothing but an empty head and a smile.
1:22AM - Taking a brief detour I stumble into a mad kaleidoscope of colour on North Terrace. Any other time of year I would've assumed Clue To Kalo had slipped some a-grade acid into my beer and it's choosing THIS exact moment to peak (trust me, Lady Strangelove do it to me ALL the time), but after a quick check with my camera equipment, evidence proved otherwise..
..turns out, artists from Electric Canvas have simply hijacked this cultural precinct for an arts installation called "Northern Lights" and will be projecting this shit between 8PM and 2AM for the next two weeks of the Adelaide Arts Festival. Hmmm, yup, there goes my brain again.
Still as endlessly captivating as that just was, I spent infinitely longer in front of THIS sign on Pultney Street advertising "1800 cat rentals" laughing myself retarded, until I was reminded just how much "I can has cheezeburger?" and it's retarded english annoys the piss out've me, and then I had to leave *sigh* such is the volatile nature of modern art.
1:42AM - Foolishly I choose to walk into the Crown & Anchor..
..where I rather promptly stumble into "Flappy Muppet" Simone and "Lobotomy" Joe Blogs..
..and promptly flush all my attempts at a "quiet night about town" down the toilet.
If anyone is at all surprised by this "drastic" turn of events and is still puzzled as to why I'm wearing this insane green scalf on my head.. "Hi I'm Spoz, you're new here aren't you?"
2:13AM - Not wanting to let an opportunity this stupid go to waste, we throw this shit onto our resident crash test dummy and send him off to do battle with the dancefloor..
..I wish to point out that despite all evidence you've read in the papers or seen on the news: this country does NOT have a binge drinking problem, never HAS had a binge drinking problem and I seriously can't see HOW all these wild rumours ever got started in the first place.
3:57AM - This is me clearing the dancefloor at the end of the night..
..this is us fleeing the premises before the cops arrive.
4:10AM - From out've nowhere Simone produces crackers and two kinds of dip: red and green, and so we all decide to throw a spontaneous late night picnic in Hindmarsh Square..
..it's about this moment that I suspect one of the Cranka bartenders has slipped acid into that second round of shooters. I also suspect the "red dip" isn't helping matters.
4:32AM - Joe forgets the "one hour" rule after eating and foolishly wipes himself out on the playground equipment, whilst Simone briefly considers going for an oversized wedgie.
I ask you, how many times have I captured Joe in a shot just like this on a "quiet" night out?
4:41AM - nope *cough* no idea how this photo got in here, "constable? oh I'm ferpectly fnie!"
4:54AM - My attorney wishes to inform the court that at no point during Friday night were we ever in this office complex on Currie Street, nor did we ever eat 1/2 a packet of cheese slices..
5:07AM - At last Joe and Simone pass out cold in the boardroom, whilst I discreetly find my exit; making sure to trip every single fire alarm (loudly) on my way out.. teee heee! :)
5:33AM - Spoz finds himself a tasty roadside snack. Spoz gets bird flu and collapses dead.
Coming up next: is anyone surprised I went out AGAIN on Saturday night? nope, thought not.