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...
LAZARO'S DOG + SOFT WHITE MACHINE + TYGER TYGER LIVE @ JIVE / Saturday August 16th 2008
It's a question of motive. Why would anyone in their right mind choose to put themselves through this hell every week. No I don't mean this blog (although surely you're wondering what rare strain of mental illness inspires ME every week), I mean this entire music scene. This ain't New York, Los Angeles, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Montreal, Seattle or Sweden. This ain't even New Orleans, Paris, Iceland or Detroit. This is Adelaide. We're nobody. We're the laughing stock of the eastern states. We're the touring speed bump between Melbourne and Perth. We're the over looked, little known and quickly forgotten. Adelaide? where the FUCK is Adelaide!? And yet here we are: doing the same shit over and over and expecting different results? Wow! the definition of insanity would be putting it lightly! Surely it can't be for the riches: you could make more money washing dishes and answering phones than a life spent in the Adelaide music scene. Surely it can't be for the fame: when those same 20 people front up to your gigs again and again, when any idiot can add 500 myspace friends in a week. What's your excuse? You want to be original? you want to be noticed? you've got something to say? You and everyone else in this city! Throw those CDs on a pile, douse it in gasoline and watch it all burn. This is your life and you're pissing it all away while all your friends get proper jobs, get married and get a life!? Sheeeiiit! why bother!? It's the big question isn't it? If not for all this, then for what?
Of course I realise it's a little ironic for me to be questioning anyone's dedication to this scene after I ditched my Friday night thanks to a distinct lack of it (pfffft!) but hey everyone needs a holiday! As for what the hell I got upto in this lost tale of drunken debauchery, duuude the less you know the better! Suffice to say Spoz never takes a "quiet night out" lightly and all the incriminating evidence will be sure to surface on Facebook soon enough (weeee!). So fuckit, fast forward to my Saturday: here at Jive for another lazy night in winter that feels all too much like a Sunday, and here for another exciting lineup of live acts you'll be sure to forget by next week? FUCK YEAAAH! aren't you excited you tuned into THIS blog for another week running!?
And yeah I don't know about you, but looking around, something feels a little bit "odd" about Jive tonight. Not just in that ominous feeling of dread you always get from this place, where you secretly suspect all their smiling bar staff would much rather gas out this entire room, empty your wallets, bury your lifeless bodies out back and throw themselves a little party than serve YOU idiots alcohol all night. No, this is something else I can't quite place.. hmmmm.
waaaiit this doesn't look right! A CD for only $5!? what the fuck is going on here tonight?
TYGER TYGER (***1/2) myspace :: Yup, when it comes to motive, look no further than Tyger Tyger. They're dedication bordering on the Machiavellian. They want nothing more than global conquest, and they're damn near batshit crazy enough to believe they could actually pull it off! Take Travis their fearless leader for example. All week he's been firing himself up like a Rocky montage. Punching carcasses and thirsting for battle. He's been cranking Wu-Tang Clan. He's been chanting "Tyger Tyger ain't nothing to fuck with!", he's pulling gang signs in the mirror, he'll battle ALL you mother fuckers! Oh yes! in his teeny tiny peanut brain he truly believes his shit is nothing SHORT of this..
Which may begin to explain why he rocked up tonight looking like a cross between Enimem's "B-Rabbit", a pair of testicles doused in ice water and E.T. with a bed sheet over his head. Yup, 'Ol Dirty Bastard ain't got nothing to fuck with with this whitearse wigga.. BOOOYAAAH!
Which makes it all the more odd when he's fronting an indie band such as this one. Opening act Tyger Tyger. They're the scrappy six piece ensemble of bantam weight boxers that get right up in your personal space, blow smoke into your eyes and piss all over your shoes. They're mad driven, antagonistic and egomaniacal. They're the verbal wordplay of The Arctic Monkeys and all the pissy arrogance of The Strokes slurring all the words because they think they're waaay too cool for this shit. And they're every reason why you'd want to punch their fucking lights out in the parking lot for insulting you every damn step of the way. Still they never fail to amuse, especially tonight. Watch as Travis and his Ellen DeGeneres haircut lurches about, falls off the stage, loses his mic stand and sneers at the audience like he's 10ft tall and bulletproof. Laugh as the band follows him down that rabbit hole time and time again and somehow make it all work in spite of it all. Then wonder momentarily if Travis will pull a "Jim Morrison", expose himself, dribble piss all over the speaker stacks, only to be carried off by the police. Yup, it's probably not the most "together" set I've ever seen them play: staggeringly blindly between slacker cool and wired intensity but it sure gets the job done! For surely there wont be shortage of new friends and enemies by the time Tyger Tyger are through with THIS crowd tonight! ooooh no!
But it does make you wonder. Was Travis really THIS hilariously drunk tonight, blithering about the stage like he was a few bullets short of a driveby shooting? was he having a laugh at all our expense? or was this all just a cunning plan they're cooking up to make a name for themselves? Sometimes it's hard to tell (they're upto something I'm sure of it!) either way take a look at this final song from their set tonight and see for yourself. Tyger Tyger? Never a dull moment!
SOFT WHITE MACHINE (***1/2) myspace :: Which provides an interesting counter point to the second act: Soft White Machine, which if you haven't heard from the latest news, are about to lose half of their band in the form of guitarist Andreas and bass player Jett (as they're both quitting the band), and from the looks of it tonight most of their sanity as well, all thanks to the dreaded "sophomore slump". Damn, as if writing a second album wasn't nearly hard already, try keeping that "dream alive" in this city when you're beating your head up against a brick wall: those same 20 people, beers in their hands, bored shitless and nodding their head along to your math/prog rock intensity (aaaaah dont'cha just love the Adelaide scene!) and you too will begin to feel what every insane dictator through history has felt halfway through a botched military invasion of Russia. For all your best military planning, most bands in Adelaide will never survive a "winter" quite like this. You can see it in their pained expressions tonight, how Karl on leads and Nick on drums look like recent inductees to the Ted Kaczynski school of desperate measures, how Karl's whimsical dry wit and sarcasm between songs becomes all the more biting in context, and how their ever darkening stage lighting adds to the tension already ever present in their spaghetti western shootouts and drags it to ever darkening lows. Fuuuuuck! You could cut the air in this room with an axe tonight!
One may speculate as to the real reason for Soft White Machine's split. Of all the infinite reasons your first instinct would probably be to point the finger at Karl. Maybe he has chronic flatulence? Maybe he drinks all of Jett's beer rider, pisses in the bottles and puts them back in the fridge everytime they go on tour? Maybe Andreas just got sick of all the ventriloquist routines Karl would pull backstage with his OWN "soft white machine"? Or perhaps it simply boils down to a failure in all four band members to synchronise all their facial hair at once? (come to think of it have we ever seen Andreas WITH a beard? hmmmm?). Either way, it's far from the end for Soft White Machine as Karl and Nick are still all set to battle it on for album number two. Will they get a freakingly hot female keyboardist to fill the void and become yet another nu-rave act? will Karl develop an insane god complex, shave his head and embrace the muu-muu? will they dress Nick up in drag and call themselves "The Soft White Stripes"? Who knows!? Either way with new songs as near brilliant as this, there may be far more to Soft White Machine then we're yet to imagine! and damnit I'm all kinds of curious to see just HOW they're gonna pull it all off!
LAZARO'S DOG (****) myspace :: Which brings us to our headlining act. One of the many ghosts of scene's past that you could've sworn were long dead and buried if you didn't otherwise see evidence to the contrary. Lazaro's Dog: the Adelaide dick and fart gag phenomenon. They've seen and done it all, succeeded beyond their wildest expectations (as let's face it, they didn't have any) and for the last few years have left the live scene altogether to get real jobs, get married, start up families and do all that other wacky shit in life you hear all you're friends are getting upto now that they've kicked that pesky "drinking habit". Lazaro's Dog. You may not recognise their name, but you would recognise their one (and arguably ONLY) hit: "Home Entertainment System", otherwise known as the shit annoying "Bup Bup Bananana!" advertising jingle for JVC (ooooh fuck no!). Yup, to think of all the strippers and blow the royalties from THAT one song would've afforded them. Maaaaan they would've been living it large! The one, the few, the 0.5 percentile from this dungpile that actually goes on to become an international one hit wonder!? Fuuuck who'd ever need to play another gig when you got all that? Seriously, what the fuck are you guys doing here!?
And yet the look on all their faces says it all: Lazaro's Dog ain't in it for the fame or fortune. They had no long term plan, they had no career ambitions, they never intended on becoming the next AC/DC, INXS or Midnight Oil. They're a happy accident. They're having a laugh at our expense. And they're more than happy to let one rip, then get the fuck out've there before anyone knows what hit them. Still, when you're having this much fun making an absolute dick of yourselves like these monkeys; why WOULD you ever want to quit? Thus, many years past their expiry date, Lazaro's Dog thought "fuckit.. why the hell not!" and have returned from early retirement with yet another new "single" to insult our intelligence with, a song simply called "Making Love"..
Lazaro's Dog. They're the retarding sounds of Blink 182, early 90's Regurgitator, Madness and lead singer Vic flapping his arms about like a bug eyed toddler celebrating all his christmases at once. They're shittyarse two finger keyboard solos, piano accordians, band members pulling all sorts of stupid faces and a novelty horn section. And they're songs that barely scrape past the two minute mark fuck full of thrash guitar and retarded screaming about titties, poo and pee pee. Age has not matured them, oh no! it's only made them all the MORE infantile!
Still for all the idiocy and infantile antics, you can't deny the genius behind it all. They may have no drive, no motivation, no killer instinct, no "five year plan" for world domination; but Lazaro's Dog KNOW how to cook up one fuck of a pop song. How could we forget such endlessly catchy titles such as: "Things That You Find Up Your Arse"? "Titties"? "My Song's Shorter Than Yours"? "Japanese Jeffrey"? "Sand In My Bum Crack"? or the one and only timeless classic that is "Fuck And Be Friends"!? Such depth, such insight, so many layers of meaning that unfold like an onion everytime you listen to them. Aaaaah truly, they are a shining example to us all!
And when Vic leaps from the stage all triumphant at the end of their set, all hell breaks loose! I mean shit, who knew they even HAD this many fans to begin with!? (or how they managed to secure a "day pass" from their respective psychiatric wards). Sheeiiit! They're the most STUPID band out there, but DAMN this crowd knows how to make these idiots feel welcome for it!
Or in this particular case, perhaps a little TOO welcome *ahem*..
And as Vic gets dragged off by his adoring fans to be cannibalised in the parking lot, another rare appearance by Lazaro's Dog draws to a close (quite possibly for another year): with most of us none the wiser what the fuck just happened out here. Was this a live gig? an epilectic fit? a mad science experiment gone oh so horribly right? shit duuude.. your guess is as good as mine!
Yup, the look on Trav's face says it all. Blubbering like an infant in the postscript, utterly dumbstruck by the mad spectacle that was paraded before him. Almost oblivious to the fact I'm taking this photo right now with aims to make fun of him in this week's blog.. YEAAAAAS! :)
Damn.. life really is hard being a gangsta with idiots like THIS around, aye? :)
1:07AM - Feeling suitably stupified by all that I'd seen tonight, but not as yet nearly drunk and stupid enough to match, I made haste with my escape plan from Jive (ie: moments before the bar staff donned the gasmasks and made themselves a "killing") and sought refuge here at the Ed Castle on Currie Street. Something tells me there's more to this puzzle yet..
THE SWISS (****) myspace :: Two support acts Mad Shapes and The Touch have already played to wild applause and mad lickng of the walls earlier tonight, but I'm here for the headlining act: The Swiss. "What, these idiots again!?". Oh yes! You may remember them back when they performed at Sham! a little under two months ago. Some goofy little three piece funk, house and early 80's electro act (with an entirely useless third member looking five flavours of dumb with a salt shaker) banging out the easy listening dancefloor groove with a slinky soul diva to boot, and granted they DID had "something" going on, and if house music was my kinda shtick I'd be pill'ing out of my eyelids, utterly munted and fucking everything that moves to this shit every weekend. FUCK YEAAAH! But this wasn't "The Swiss". It wasn't even "A Swiss", "Swiss Lite", "Diet Swiss", "Aerosol Swiss" or "I Can't Believe It's Not Fuck-Me-Full-Of-Holes Swiss Cheese!". No, I'd never seen The Swiss quite like this. Not with a live drummer. Not with Tony "Ape Man" Mitolo from Morals Of A Minor bashing those skins. OOOOOH FUCK NO! This changes everything!
Yup, never underestimate the ability of a live drummer to make your coffee table funk and soul collective sound like a cocaine fueled Studio 54 gang bang extraordinaire. Especially when you're dealing with the one and only Tony "Ape Man" Mitolo, who for the unitiated just so happens to be Pnau's touring drummer. Sheeeiiiiit! With this monkey banging the bongo, we're getting a headfuck akin to The Chemical Brothers' "Dig Your Own Hole" and "Electrobank", cross faded to 70's Pink Floyd, Morris Day And The Time, the theme music to Shaft and the most psychotic shitstorm of illbient booty heard this side of a George Clinton mothership landing. Fuck! If this is The Swiss than damnit, I don't ever want to leave! I want the paramedics to bust into this place weeks hence only to find my hollowed out shell shivvering in the corner, yammering about imaginery ants, with all my paper money rolled up into straws. It don't make a shit of sense, but maaan is it a fucking mad buzz! Seriously, give this shit a blast and just YOU try and deny it!
Weirder still I'm told they only ever pull this shit off maybe 5-6 times a year. Those chance moments when it all lines up and everyone's on the same wavelength. They pick a night, they choose a venue, and they bang it large simply for the mad fuck of it all. Perhaps right here is the answer. When it all gets too complicated, when you're upto your eyeballs in the bullshit and the business. When all the insane talk of fame, fortune, false promises and everything else makes you feel like your beating your head against a brick wall. Fuck it all! Fuck the hype! This is where it's at! This is where it starts! It's about the mad buzz! It's about the music, stupid! And when all else is said and done, duuuude that's all the motivation you should ever need!