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...
MR WEDNESDAY + LOVE STEREO + AVIATOR LANE LIVE @ ED CASTLE / Saturday April 26th 2008
Shoegaze, dreampop, noisepop, post rock: in its primary iteration so named for their proponent's habit of staring at their shoes bored shitless whilst performing, in its secondary, tertiary and quarternary iterations so named in effort to prevent people laughing at the first. Shoegaze, the genre that all the other genres used to beat up in highschool. Shoegaze, where too many guitar pedals and existential angst aint nearly enough. Shoegaze, reclaiming the streets of Adelaide one sadsack bastard at a time. If all the other morose genres like the blues, goth, emo or triphop could be assigned to the Kübler-Ross five stages of grieving (and shittyarse livejournal sites), then shoegaze would be its final stage; its acceptance speech and therein its beauty. So fragile, so delicate, articulate, poetic and broken with bittersweet melancholy. So lacking in vitamin D and seratonin. Hiding in the darkest corners, bespectacled, awkward, nerdy, wobbling onto a stage like a newborn giraffe. Like many of its brethren, it has found difficulty in being accepted by society at large but tonight it will have a voice and it will have a home! Here at the Ed Castle it will have its moment of glory! (for the third night in a row!? fucking hell!) Shoegaze. If any other night would be perfect for it, it would be this: broken by the cumiliative brain damage of two nights solid drinking, this brooding sky, this torrential rain pissing through gaping wounds into the chilled earth below. The darkness, the stillness; bear witness to this our perfect storm!
AVIATOR LANE (****1/2) myspace :: First act for the night. Most notable on this live music blog for two things (a) lead singer Michael Radzevicius's freakish ability to cheat death after consuming freakish quanties of alcohol, (b) for producing some of the most sublime heart breaking shit you'll ever damn hear. Aviator Lane: they're Neil Young's soundtrack to "Dead Man", they're Iron & Wine, they're Alex Lloyd and that one hit wonder Gary Jules who performed that reaaally depressing cover of Mad World at the end of "Donnie Darko". Hoarse, husky and gutted with stillness and remorse, oooohyeaaaah you can tell we're in for one helluva party tonight! Still, Aviator Lane are not without their sense of humour, especially in lead singer Mike's all too abrupt between song banter. There you'll be, drifting off gently to the closing refrains of one song as someone surreptitiously sneaks off to the bar, only to be awoken by lead singer Mike yelling belligerently "orrr yeah, that's right! go on FUCK OFF THEN!!", followed by a sheepishly apology, before launching into the next song. Aaaaah, such sweet melancholy from such a twisted freak; just MY kind've music!
If ever you find yourself splattered over a couch at the tail end of another weekend bender, clutching your head and shrieking at all the bright colours and sounds, then maybe this live video I captured will be the hangover cure you crave: I know it sure as fuck worked for ME tonight!
LOVE STEREO (****) myspace :: Moments before this second band took to the stage tonight: all is silent, the clouds hung low and ominous in the sky outside, whilst trickling down the windows an ever present downpour chilled us to the bone. So what better way to really nail the point home than by turning down all the house lights and plunging the room into an absolute darkness. Yup, I may've dealt with some near to impossible gig lighting in the past (anything involving Rhino Room, The Crown & Sceptre or The Prince Albert immediately spring to mind) but this was definitely the worst of it. A black cat in a blackout would've made more of an impression than this, and yet, considering the melancholic mood conveyed by Love Stereo tonight, this candle lit vigil couldn't have been any more appropriate. Love Stereo: they're the sound of The Doves "The Last Broadcast", U2's "Unforgettable Fire" and the last gargling death rattle you'd make after consuming 2-3 bottles of red wine and an entire prescription bottle of sleeping tablets. With the crowd awed into attentive silence, seated and lying on the floor rows upon rows back from the stage, Love Stereo trickled out song after song of mournful, drawn out and contemplative odes dripping with regretful solitude. It made for a haunting, harrowing, yet blissfully narcoleptic listening.. aaaaah!
And for those of you out there still clinging onto life, still clinging onto the desperate hope that everything will be alright, still believing that there's still somebody out there for you, then this instrumental ode captured on video will be sure to push you over the edge of despair. Fill that bathtub, take the hairdryer and end it all with lethal dose of this! (note: Spoz's Rant will not be made liable for any unforseen consequences as a result of this video.. you have been warned!)
MR WEDNESDAY (*****) myspace :: All is dark, all is still, rain and autumn's chill embrace with outstretched claws; a single EEG beep sustain snuffed to a power cord pulled. The room fills with a funeral mass, seated, floored, heads cupped in hands, eyes swirling to the bottom of pint glasses. It's a Saturday night everywhere but here; 24 hours hence to an imminent defeat at the hands of the weekly grind. Yup, short of Edgar Allan Poe collapsing dead and slowly decomposing in front of us to the sounds of Johnny Cash singing Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", you couldn't have a more perfect a gloomy setting for the headlining band tonight. Mr Wednesday. For the uninitiated, they're Roger Waters from Pink Floyd fronting Radiohead, The Doves, Sigur Rós and the creepiest moments of Tom Wait's "Bone Machine". For those in the know, tonight's set was nothing short of bliss. When you've killed yourself with beer for over two nights, nothing sounds better than this. A flawless lightly dappled flow from one wafting orchestration to the next, punctuated by a crunching articulate percussion that sounded like the perfect potato chip: light in the middle, crunchy on the outside. If you missed this show tonight, you missed one helluva performance (but never fear, I hear they're playing May 23rd at the Jade Monkey with Quiet Child). Go see 'em, you'll thank me later..
And that was the end of the show, the experience, the mad melancholic feast for the diminishing senses. Sure, I may've kicked on well into the remains of the night, I may've found myself at many other dribbling hellholes hence, drank me some brews, had me some laughs, went home at 5AM. But after what we've all seen, is there really any point in mentioning it in the postscript?
Such is the way of the shoegaze. All else is immaterial, immature and howling outside the gates of the enlightened. Oh, and if ever you want MORE of this sadsack junk, I hear a some neurotic shut-ins have just launched their very own dedicated shoegaze blog: Add-Delay. Go take a look, soak up that sweet melancholy and do what you can to support them. As let's face it when you're dealing with music as suicidal as THIS, they need aaaall the help they can get! :)