The Adelaide music scene: to many of you it might 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...
KILLERBIRDS + MR WEDNESDAY + QUIET CHILD LIVE @ CROWN & ANCHOR + JADE MONKEY / Friday May 23rd 2008
Sometimes I don't know where I am, where I've been or where the hell I'm going. Days, weeks, months blur into one and through each other. Time moves slower, faster or not at all. Was I here just last week? three months ago? or am I already gone? You all look so familiar yet I can never remember your name. I met you at 3AM? I was drunk? you were drunk? we did what now? I can't remember, you add me to your list. Everything's the same yet randomly generated. Subtle cues and differences that show passing of the seasons, the fashions, the ebb and the flow. I'm everywhere and I'm nowhere. Writer's block. I laugh and I laugh and I remember why. It's not a line: it's a circle, a ceiling fan, a blender and an ipod shuffle wheel! Spin. Head catches the rotors. Ouch. Stop. Focus. Where was I? It's summer and I'm the prey, It's now winter and they're the prey. Clown masks and air horns, under rocks and down side alleys. It's instinct, the thrill of the hunt. I don't know where I am, where I've been or where the hell I'm going but I like it here; the ebb and the flow. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Some call it insanity, everyone else calls it the music industry. Friday night spins by and now I'm at the Jade Monkey? Fuck. How did I get here? did I ever leave? do I live here? and how DO they fit all those people into such a tiny building? weeeeee.. I'm sane and everyone else is crazy!
MR WEDNESDAY (***1/2) myspace :: Speaking of such, it's anyone's guess with this opening act tonight: forever drifting between genius and insanity? Yup, if ever a band was to take to this city's 9-5 nihilism with a knife edge of quiet revolt it'd be Mr Wednesday! Combining the sparsity of Sigur Rós in guitars and bass, the vocal stylings of Roger Waters climbing the walls and the chain rattling dementia of Tom Waits' "Bone Machine"; they're a sudafed tableau for the post modern malaise, they're a Rochart ink blot of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" bursting to be let free, and they're George Orwell's 1984 for 2008 made more graphic than any of Thom Yorke's most demented eye twitchings. As such, considering my utmost rejection of the 9-5 grind (save for that weird "experiment" last year) it's really no surprise I've been a fan of them for years: all the subtlety, all the surrealism and all the senility you could ever ask for on a Monday morning reaching for the painkillers without actually having to be there!? duuude what's not to love? Tonight however something is amiss. I don't know whether my standards are just too high now, whether it's that glaring white spotlight to the right of stage (that's fucking up my camera lens something fierce) or whether it's that disjointed live mix tonight that blares Felicity's soothing cello like a car alarm. But even so; trapped in a hot car and barking mad, Mr Wednesday still find a way to break us free.
As such, their final song "Falling In Numbers" represents everything that was both triumphant and incoherent about tonight's set: from Moon's howling discontinuity, to the glancing blows of Duncan's honkytonk keys, to everyone else both lost and found swirling in between. It was both sublime, yet oh so broken. Yup, it's amazing the difference a fartarse live mix can make..
QUIET CHILD (****1/2) myspace :: Which makes them all the more poetic a prelude to the headlining act tonight; Quiet Child, here to launch their shiny new single, Discipline. Yup, for as "disciplined" as they may be with their noodling arrangements: sparse, articulate, infinitely woven with layers upon layers of crooning melancholy over all things existential and angsty; the "discipline" of My Disco, The Hives or the Ramones they are not. Oh no! you're much more likely to find them spreadeagled on your couch all afternoon with a family pizza, a box set of 60's Star Trek and spouting endless junk about the philosophy of time travel than getting any shit done anytime too soon. Quiet Child. They're everything thats awesome about Maynard James Keenan, Matt Bellamy and Chino Moreno with the lightly dappled sounds of A Perfect Circle, 70's Pink Floyd and the brooding malevolence of Tool. They're a million and one punk bands living and dying like mayflies in the space and time it takes for them to pack a single bong. They're System Of A Down at 1/10th the normal speed (and spun backwards they're the sounds of whales having an orgy!). Oh yes, they're all things to all people! Sure, you wont ever find yourself forming a mosh pit, a bare knuckle boxing match or a viking funeral over it, but still, given large enough doses of their narcoleptic bliss and quite like a fine wine you'll be on the floor and blubbering like an infant in next to no time.
Such was the brilliance that was Quiet Child tonight. Silent but deadly, slaying all before them. One lit match and this whole joint could go up in smoke. Yup, if 3 minutes of smoke inhalation causes brain damage, who knows what 8 minutes of THIS song will do for you..
12:35AM - I don't know how I got out've there. One minute I was there, next minute I'm here. Propelled from one convenient narrative discontinuity to the next as I arrive at The Crown & Anchor: Adelaide's very own answer to New York's CBGB. And just like that wacky oldskool punk institution, we could've sworn THIS place got shut down almost two years ago too, only that no one thought to tell any of the hundreds of people packed in here tonight.
KILLERBIRDS (****) myspace :: Yup they've been out here tonight right from the start, out in force, up to the ceiling and crawling the walls. A seething sea of thrashing fists and gnashing teeth, audience to Dead Popes of The Vatican, the Back$eat Romeos and the avalanching of shitting bricks; and now they're ready to blow. And stupidly enough I thought now would be as good a time as any to go charging right into the eye of this storm: point black, dead centre, no room to move, no room to breathe, where nothing short of a bunker busting bomb and a stampeding herd of rhinos will get me out again. Fuck yeah, the only place to be! Welcome to the KillerBirds. Few words need describing this band as they're a band of few syllables. Simply picture an all-girl punk band, the white noise fury of Nirvana's "Bleach", Motörhead, a few chance sprinkles of Hole, L7, The Distillers, The Donnas (and a whole thesaurus of other thrashing chick rockers who likely sound nothing like them as I have nothing but lame comparisons); turn up those amps until the air sucks out've the room and prepare for your ribcage to be beaten concave by the swinging fists.. YES!
Sure just like 99.99% of the other bands you'll ever find at the Cranka this is hardly rocket science. But they still pack enough rocket fuel to punch your smoking corpse through the moon and into the centre of the sun, they thrash it out so ridiculously loud tonight all our brains are popping off like kernels of popcorn; and sometime, duuuude that's all we need!
2:09AM - Dazed and confused, having cheated death for the second time tonight, I spend the next hour or two wandering; a lost soul to the night, my brain smashed like a coconut between two large rocks. From the Cranka to the Exeter to Producers and back to the Cranka again, only to discover I'd accidently found myself all the way at the Ed Castle instead. Just like the Cranka, only completely different, on the opposite side of the town and without all the weird smells..
2:35AM - Still, speaking of weird smells; it didn't take too long till I found a whole colony of them all huddled out back, circling and wafting amongst the bubbling blue shisha's and their appled scented plumes (which you can tell by my all too graphic description I utterly failed to photograph as I was entirely too ridiculously drunk). *cough* So instead I present yet another photo of Smoking Man Dave: Spoz's Rant's most whimsical waste of a camera battery!
2:52AM - At this point I would like to note, that despite this chef's very graphic description of a Sunday schnitzel that's meticiously battered in egg, flour, egg again, followed by three different kinds of cheese, wrapped in bacon, cooked and served (as the parmesan cheese is practically bubbling on the plate); that the Ed Castle in no way endorses the sort've 60's "counterculture lifestyle" that may otherwise lead to a fondness for service station hotdogs, donuts, Spongebob Squarepants, 90's gangsta rap, and a greater appreciation for wildlife documentaries..
3:38AM - Yup, if you've ever wondered what the employees do in pubs and clubs after the doors close and everyone else is chucked out onto the street; duuuuude your guess is as good as mine, as for some bizarre reason I really don't have the foggiest clue what the hell goes on here either. Hmmm and I'm also beginning to suspect that person on the left is really a lizard..
3:46AM - This is a photo of Mathias chewing on the hood of his jacket in the mistaken belief that this will prevent the Zeta Reticulans and the Lizard People from reading his thoughts..
4:09AM - And this is me with Bec the bartender, moments before I collapse dead on the floor, I'm carried out the door, and sent on a magic carpet ride that bears a curious resemblance to a taxi cab that dumps my lifeless (yet still breathing) carcass at my front door..
Thus bringing to a close yet another Friday night: with no clue how I got here, where I've been or where the hell I'm going. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Everyone else calls it insanity, I call it a lifestyle choice. Feel free to join me! :)