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...
ZETA + SAILMAKER + BROTHERSISTER "WISH" @ PRODUCERS BAR / Saturday June 21st 2008
So here we are, deep in the blackening core of it. Winter. It's all around us, seeping into our blood, snap freezing it and wedging a popsicle stick right through the middle. What was once a triumphant invasion deep into enemy territory has now become a grim march of death; a black parade, a funeral procession made no less literary by a collapsing disarray of mourners clad in "Tany Fant Shaw" merchandise, making their solemn vigil down Grenfell Street; still grieving their loss from the night before. The emos and the goths are laughing at us now. They've waited all year to feel this miserable. Each day we inch just that little bit closer, we punch our way with weakening fists through solid ice with promises of sweet relief come September and now we're fucked. It's starting to get to us now. Playing tricks with our minds. We should've turned back like the rest of them ages ago. Each night claims another, since sent scurrying to their cocoons. One by one those lights flicker back on in the suburbs. Hibernating away under a cathode glow. And now it's raining? Wow, that's all we need! Here shivvering, cowering, huddling against the infinite woe and now soaking wet. Perfect! Stuck here on the eve of the darkest day of the year in more ways than one. What antidote, what possible cure could we ever hope to find in this miserable night for such seasonal melancholy? What hope do ANY of us have!??
Yup, dumb fucking question! Welcome to "Wish" at Producers Bar and their utterly misguided attempt at a sense of humour with their "Beach Party in Winter" event! WOWEEEE!! What could possibly be better on a such a shrinkingly testicular singularity as this night, than a party celebrating all that is awesome about summer!? No shit really, I ain't even kidding!! Big screen projected surfing videos, trashy episodes of "The Real Cancun" (titties titties titties!). Beach balls and cheesy flower garlands. The finest selection of shoegazer, indie pop and melancholy in the form of BrotherSister, Sailmaker and Zeta. A whole procession of nauseatingly upbeat summer hits spun in the interlude by sadistic DJs that make you want to blow both your kneecaps out with a shotgun rather than listen to them back to back; followed by a packed out dancefloor at the end of it all? Awesome! Where do I sign up! This is MY kind of party.. weeeeeeeee!! :)
(Seriously, I don't think I've been more afraid in my entire life than I am right now..)
BROTHERSISTER (***1/2) myspace :: Opening act for the night, BrotherSister. Probably one of the finest performers in bittersweet melancholy and ecclectic electronica you'll ever hear this side of the polar circle. Chilly synths, mournful keys, broken spidery beats, cello and warbling vocals? Yup, they "scream" summer in quite the same way that you'd scream if you opened your door right now only to come face to face with a polar bear, a sixpack of penguins and a few inuits with harpoon guns pointed at your pink bits demanding to know where the fuck their entire ecosystem buggered off to ever since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Damn. Still in their defense, they did pick all their "happy" songs to play tonight. BrotherSister. They're the haunting sounds of Bat For Lashes, Portishead, Kate Bush and Thom Yorke's "Eraser" as performed by what appears to be the first allstar alumni from the Ben Revi College for Librarians, Archivists and Secondary School Physics Teachers. Or in other words (ie: for those of you not fluent in my mockery of Adelaide's answer to Rivers Cuomo) they're everything that is entirely awesome about tweed, elbow patches, pocket protectors and the raw sexuality of Stephen Hawking. Soothing strings, plink plonk keys and warbling bird song punctuated by a sublime percussive array of broken beats and downtempo rhythms? Yup, if ever I was to recommend the finest band in Adelaide to write your PhD or Masters degree to on the ever exciting world of mid 19th century New England footware; then this would be JUST the band for you! OOOOOH FUCK YEAH!
SAILMAKER (***1/2) myspace :: Following up in sequel (after a brief interlude of eye gougingly upbeat hits, which in my wildest nightmares I imagine were dug up from "So Fresh!" Hits of Summer 2002-2003 especially for this occassion) we have the second band for the night, Sailmaker from Sydney. And it appears their lead singer Joel has dressed especially for the occassion: as nothing quite sums up the all kinds of wrong experienced at Producers tonight, as the sight of this lunatic with a moustache and tattoos, singing in a soothing falsetto whilst wearing a Hawaiian shirt. If I saw him in a dark alley like this at 3AM with an acoustic guitar, accompanied by a few street mimes pulling shapes, I think I might just cry. Sailmaker. Suprisingly, despite the description I just painted, are very relaxing indie pop ensemble. Imagine a sunshiney blend between every b-side ballad from Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, The Flaming Lips, oldskool Smashing Pumpkins (back when Billy Corgan actually HAD hair) and the sitcom theme tune to "Friends". Imagine all those cheesy opening montages Aaron Spelling used to thrash out in every single one of his TV shows (90210, Melrose Place, Charmed) and now imagine easing into a really big fart when nobody's around and smiling. Aaaah! THAT is the sound (and quite possibly the smell) of Sailmaker!
Nothing about this band is offensive. They're so smooth, so relaxing, so AM radio friendly, even your grandmother, her knitting circle and the entire church group she bakes scones for would go absolutely batshit for it. Sailmaker are THE band to sell detergent, tampons, cold & flu remedies and launch all manner of fascist political propaganda with. Although that being said, I do find it a little disturbing just how much Joel sounds like Jewel in this live video. Awesome!
ZETA (****) myspace :: And now for the headlining act, the one band all of 10 people have packed out this venue with screaming anticipation to see (as a much larger crowd is still happily getting drunk just outside of this room waiting for the 1/2 price admission moments they finish.. bastards!); Zeta. Formerly known as Zeta League, formerly known as "whoaaaa fuck! is that BLOOD on Sascha's freaking guitar!!??". Yup, clearly tonight has become nothing more than a pissing contest between these freaks, as in response to all the acts before them, Zeta have whipped out the trump card in the form of their scruffy looking nerfherder Sascha: fronting up on stage, bare chested and shrieking with retarded shit scribbled all over him. And yup, your eyes aren't deceiving you: It really says "pee on me" on his chest. That, right there, is worth the price of admission alone! Zeta. Last to be listed in your CD collection, last to be picked in school, last to get their sweet sweet nerdly revenge in a way that only the ripe nasal shrill of discontent can possibly deliver. Who else but these maniacs could possibly headline a "Beach Party" anywhere near as disturbing as this!
Zeta. For those of you otherwise unfamiliar with this band (as I believe it's been a few months; and I suspect most of you have trouble forgetting where you left your car keys, let alone any of the shit I write) they could best be described as the sounds of shoegazer mixed with a shredding hissy fit. Think Sonic Youth's "Dirty", and Something For Kate's "Desert Lights" as fronted by Brian Molko from Placebo crossed with Gordon Gano from The Violent Femmes and that crater faced teenage stereotype from The Simpsons. Brilliantly crafted, piss full of spite, angst, sarcasm and barely contained finger bleeding aggression.. aaaah what's NOT to love? :)
12:06AM - Zeta make for a triumphant and soul crushing finale. The crowd cheers (flooding the room in force, now that it's midnight and half price admission) and within seconds the dancefloor is pumping to whatever the fuck kinda pissyarse junk indie DJs thrash on dancefloors these days: MGMT, Crystal Castles, The Wombats, a whole A-Z catalog of Triple J overexposure? dude your guess is as good as mine! (wow.. shit, maybe I should become a DJ?).
1:11AM - Whilst I proceed to get myself happily and retardingly drunk at the bar (cheers Sophie!). Hmmmm yup. I don't know about you but something tells me it's going to take a LOT of alcohol to make sense of this shit by the time we're through with it! weeeeeeeeeeee! :)
And there we have it: pissing the last of it down that plughole, celebrating all that is not and all that we "wish" it could be, here in our mad quest to escape all the woe and winter of this night. Clearly we're living in denial, clearly we'll all die of exposure the minute we step out those doors; but in this insane oasis we have all that we need. It ain't summer but damnit, it'll do! :)