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...
THE FIRST ANNUAL SPOZ'S RANT AWARDS ADELAIDE MUSIC SCENE / January - December 2008
2008. Maaan what a fucked up year we've had! It had everything you could ever ask for out of a lifetime: twelve months, four seasons, sun, wind, fire, rain, rivers of blood, locust plagues, flaming meteorites, planes falling out of the sky, dogs and cats fornicating in the street, hailstones the size of toilet seats smashing through bedroom windows; the end of life as we know it. YEAAS! Sure this shit seems to happen every year of late: what with all that global warming, international terrorism, overpopulation, rising oil prices and the ever imminent threat that any day now we'll reach a technological singularity, some emergent AI out there is going to reach self awareness, and we'll be gargling in cream of mushroom clouds before you can say "apocalypse wow!". But this year gave us SO much more!! Who could forget that moment when Steve Urkel won the US election back in November? or when every stockmarket on Earth crashed all at once in October!? or when they fired up the Large Hadron Supercollider and most of Luxemburg disappeared back in September!? or the return of Britney Spears!? hooooly shit! Forget all those pissy little Chinese curses you keep hearing about "living in interesting times", Nostradamus, the Book Of Revelations, or whatever CNN is screaming about of late; what we're barking upto our pits and nips in THIS year is a whole new level of the insane! 2008!? Fuck I feel excited to be alive! So what better time than now, as we reach the end of yet another year where we've failed to obliterate our entire species off the face of the map (but not through any lack of trying) that we celebrate it all with yet another incredibly lame "best of" episode. FUCK YES!! You've read a million like it before, and now you're about to read another! One whole year, 12 months, fifty two weeks and 366 days of awesomness distilled through 205 live bands and 110 episodes of drunken debauchery that represents the very best (and worst) of what the Adelaide music scene has to offer!? Oh yes kiddies: welcome to The First Annual (and quite possibly last) Spoz's Rant Awards!
PART ONE: THE SCENESTER AWARDS Ok I admit, originally I intended for all of this shit to be a singular self contained episode. However, about two thirds into writing all this shit up, and somewhere past the hour of 2AM on New Year's Eve cursing and swearing (and wondering just what the fuck kinda insanity I'd chosen to unleash upon myself) it eventually dawned on me that maybe the best strategy to employ here would NOT be for me to subsequently bleed out of both my eye sockets and collapse dead; but maybe I should split this entire awards ceremony up into three distinct parts instead and release one per day (or y'know.. for however long it actually takes to get all this shit out). Eventually you'll get the whole picture, it'll be nothing short of freaking epic, it'll be a celebration of everything that was head explodingly awesome about the Adelaide music scene in 2008; you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll pee a little, you'll thank me when it's over! Thus we present Part One: devoted to "The Scenester Awards". And yes clearly on the scale of everything you're about to read in Parts Two and Three: THIS is by far the most important one and clearly I'm not leaving all the best till last (oh hell no.. not in the slightest!). So without further ado, fuckit.. let us present our first award!
PHOTOGENIC FUCKWIT OF THE YEAR It all starts with social pics. You've seen them all before. They're everywhere. Every publication under the sun covering a social scene: whether they be in print or online rely upon these grinning fools (in various states of drunk, munted, demented or depraved) to provide a popular "front" to their dubious endeavours. As let's face it: nobody gives a fuck about the music scene, the bands, or any of this other shit you may otherwise be pretending to talk about; oh no, they just want to see photos of themselves! In groups of three to four, smiling, waving, holding their glasses up high and toasting to their own innate awesomeness they'll make your shit look equally awesome by lame association. It's what everyone comes for, everyone's feeding into their own ego, we all know its a sham, who the fuck are we kidding? Still for all the blank faces that you'll invariably find staring back at you whenever "they" scream for a photo op (which you'll invariably delete soon after), you'll also find those chance individuals amongst them that excells at it. Ones who make the social pic into an artform all of its own. This is what Spoz's Rant loves to celebrate above all else in the social pic. Scarier still, some willfully pursue careers in it. Thus we present this evening's first auspicious award devoted to just such a rarefied few: the Photogenic Fuckwit Of The Year..
WINNER(S) - JOE BLOGS and NICK HADLEY In 2008, there were oh so MANY worthy recipients to such a dubious honour (which may begin to explain why this category is so needlessly extensive). But above all others who hoped to claim this award for themselves, stood two proud individuals: Joe Blogs and Nick Hadley. Between the both of them and their tireless devotion to making complete and utter dicks of themselves, they dragged this website to brand new lows in their pursuit of the ultimate "social pic"; and I salute them equally in following. The first half of 2008 clearly belonged to Joe Blogs. Already a "winner" in both 2006 and 2007 (in every sarcastic definition of the word) and a cunning stuntsman of the blogging arts in his own right, we were never quite too sure WHAT the fuck he was thinking with any of the shit he pulled on camera (or whether he was thinking at all); but we're ever so proud of his accomplishments all the same. His freakish ability to pull the weirdest shapes, his masterful use of found objects, his ability to work available lighting, location, and the occassional unwitting bystander made his work in "Photographic Fuckwittery" unparalleled in the first half of 2008.
And being a true artist in the asinine, he didn't just limit himself to the photographic arts either but also excelled in moving pictures as well. For instance: how could we possibly forget THIS befuddling performance piece he provided for Spoz's Rant back in March? where right in the thick of the 14 day heatwave, we found him shambling about Union Street drunk as a "t-shirt zombie"..
Or his encore performance a few weeks later in Hungry Jacks, where his brilliant show stopping performance not only killed me in the capturing of it, but soon drew passerbys from far and wide clamouring to be a part in it. We didn't ask for this, but we soon had a collaborative performance here. Such was the genius of Joe Blogs. He was a photographic fuckwit we could all be part of. Sure he never seemed to REMEMBER doing any of this shit the next day; but just look at him go! YEAAS! Take a bow Joe Blogs, you are truly one of the very best that 2008 had to offer us!
Which brings us to our second proud recipient of the "Photographic Fuckwit Of The Year". For no sooner had Joe Blogs wowed us all with his theatrical finesse, that we were soon blessed with the equally incoherent performance art of one Nick Hadley. Such brilliance, such ripe madness, such full frontal retardation! Whether this insane tag-team arrangement was truly by design, or quite by accident: as much as Joe Blogs dominated the first half of 2008, the minute he disappeared into the background, Nick Hadley would soon appear to dominate the second half. You may know him as the drummer for Adelaide punk band "Dead Popes Of The Vatican"; but for most of the second half of 2008 you likely remember him for all the wrong reasons instead. As without fail, whenever you were foolish enough to step foot into the Bull & Bear on a night of "Transmission", into Jive on a night of "Gosh!" or just about anywhere else past the seventh or eight beer, you'd find him out there. Flapping his arms, pulling faces, jumping on tables, pulling mad shapes: he was a lankyarse spider monkey that defied all measure of gravity that would hope to contain him.
And yet just like the infamous Joe Blogs before him, his performances weren't limited to photography arts either but would also extend into ever more ridiculous video extremes. Watch as he sprawls himself halfway up a window this one night in December in the hope I'd nail that ONE shot, as my camera continually and conveniently "fails" to capture the moment. Awesome! Sure we tricked him, sure he didn't know he was being filmed at the time (and if only me and Lynda didn't piss ourselves laughing we could've easily kept this shit going for another three minutes) but it's genius all the same! Oh yes! For your tireless service in fucking up social pics wherever you went (and making this website ever more entertaining in following) Nick Hadley we salute you!
NOMINATED - ROSS OSMON Of course it doesn't begin and end there.. OOOH FUCK NO! There were many more individuals who; whether wittingly, unwittingly (or utterly twatted out of their skulls) made their indelible mark on Spoz's Rant. Who could forget Ross Osmon here, aka: Transmission's "Ross Ross Ross" and the bewildering array of mad shapes and insane facials he'd pull by the decks anytime I'd happen to train a camera on him!? YES! This is truly what all social pics everywhere should aspire to!
NOMINATED - DICK DALE And since we're clearly running in NO short supply in these freaks (aaah fuck I love the work I do for this website sometimes) all credit also goes to one Dick Dale (from Adelaide's infamous punk band Kamikaze) for pulling THIS fucked up stunt by the Crown & Anchor urinals back in January..
Which then leads us to this awesome stunt we pulled back in April. Quite like Nick Hadley before him Dick Dale thought I was taking photos (and yet this video however would prove otherwise).
And how can we forget this burning effigy he left on the Grenfell Street medium strip outside the Cranka after an ill fated Kamikaze gig back in September? (which to the surprise of absolutely no one would subsequently get their band banned from that venue for "life"). FUCK YEAAAH!!
HONOURABLE MENTION - NICK BASTIRAS Then there's Nick Bastiras (who you may otherwise recognise as one of the guitarists from Tyger Tyger). He's not necessarily here for his artistic aptitude in "Photogenic Fuckwittery", or even the frequency by which he made a complete dick of himself. No, he simply gets an honourable mention here for just how awesomely stupid THIS photo is. Yup, it's not just that afro, it's not just that handlebar porn moustache: but the freak combination of BOTH that freaking nails it!
DISHONOURABLE MENTION - SOPHIE vs BEC Which in closing to this all too lengthy award (I so shouldn't encourage this shit I swear!) brings us to these two dishonourable mentions: Sophie and Bec, bartenders from Producers Bar and the Ed Castle respectively (although the former has since quit). You may've wondered why they both featured so prominently in my blog through the middle part of this year when apparently they didn't do anything to actually warrant it (although to be fair Bec did make for a hilarious drunk!). You may've also wondered why I always seemed to make an appearance at both Producers Bar and The Ed Castle more times than were entirely necessarily after hours, just so they could make even more entirely ridiculous and entirely pointless appearances. Well wonder no more because they bribed me with free beer.. YEAAAS! This is not to say that there's was anything wrong with behaviour per se (as I would love nothing more than to encourage this shit at every available opportunity) but I still feel it's worth pointing out all the same.. it's wrong people! WRONG!! (pffft what am I saying!? beer is awesome!). Even more retarded they even made it a running contest just to see who could get more photos out of it (as I believe Sophie was aiming for at least twenty appearances by the end of the year?). As for who won this mad grab for infamy in the end: who the fuck knows!? I've long since lost count (I don't think I was paying attention in the first place). Still if anyone's crazy enough to research this shit (and by all means) let us know?
CELEBRITY STUNTCASTING OF THE YEAR Still when it comes to REALLY scraping the bottom of the barrel to make your live music website look infinitely more popular than it actually is: nothing quite beats the art of "celebrity stuntcasting". Most frequently employed by sitcoms, fucked up cartoons like The Simpsons (or by badly impersonating them in both South Park and Family Guy) or by inviting an entirely incomprehensible "music guest" to play the shittyarse dive your adolescent protagonist chooses to frequent in any given teen drama (seriously did the Flaming Lips ever play the Peach Pit or did they simply make all that shit up!?) either way we all know its a sham. Most would also wonder how the hell anyone of MY idiotic inepitude ever managed to score such awesome C-grade celebrities (as clearly I'd hardly rate as a D-grade myself) and yet it's MUCH easier than it looks. The answer is simple as much as it's universal: everyone gets drunk. Sooner or later they'll all get drunk in the same place and BAM! you'll have an entirely shit ridiculous celebrity moment. 2008 sure as shit wasn't short of them and these are just some of the finest (and worst) we laid claim to..
WINNER - CRAIG NICHOLLS Yup I gotta hand it to Craig Nicholls he sure knows how to play his role in an episode of Spoz's Rant better than anyone. The setting was a lazy Friday night in November. I'd been to an entirely average gig at Rocket Bar only to stumble into The Ed Castle afterwards with aims to get ridiculously drunk. Which coincidentally was the exact same moment that The Vines decided to stumble into the Ed Castle (after a gig at The Governor Hindmarsh) with the exact same aim in mind. Clearly however they didn't clue their lead singer in on the plan: as Craig Nicholls was (for want of a better word) looking a little bit "lost". We've all heard the stories: the Asperger's syndrome, how he lives on nothing but Mickey D's, KFC and Marijuana, how he's like an overgrown kid (even though he's over thirty) but to see it in action is something else altogether. Still, at least we can say that he was happy as fuck out there. He was happy to balance on one leg. He was happy to pull mad shapes endlessly fascinated with a lit cigarette. He was happy to flap his arms about and pull crazy dance moves in front of his. He was also ridiculously happy in this infamous sequence of photos that followed when he decided to climb up over all the chairs one by one and then jumps on top of this table happy as all hell. Craig Nicholls, what a freaking champion!
Revelling in the mad spectacle he performed before us, our assembled cast of illbient freaks (including Brendan and Azz here from Lady Strangelove) all decided to jump in for a photo with him to celebrate the moment. He looked happy, possibly a little TOO happy (we just thought he'd had a little too much "ewok" out back and didn't think much more of it) and after this shot we all went our separate ways. Then a few short days later, maybe a week at most, we all hear the news: due to Craig Nicholl's deterioating mental health The Vines have been forced to cancel all subsequent shows in Australia and overseas; all of them immediately after the show they played in Adelaide, and if we dare make a connection: all of them immediately after meeting with us later that night! Did we destroy his fragile little mind? Did we somehow contribute to his deterioating mental state!? Yup, as far as chance incidence of "celebrity stuntcasting" goes: Craig Nicholls well and truly exceeded all our expectations. In 2008 we humbly bow to his insane brilliance!
NOMINATED - HAR MAR SUPERSTAR Of course this ain't the only brush with infamy we had in 2008. A month or so earlier at Supermild we bumped into the one and only Har Mar Superstar (and not Ron Jeremy or Jon Lovitz as you may've otherwise confused him with) who was laughing it up here after Parklife. Even better: moments into posing for a photograph with my friend Sophie here, he decides he wants to take her home instead. Awesome idea, except she REALLY isn't into the idea and proceeded to claw madly at him to get the fuck away. This of course would've made for the most hilarious story ever: C-grade celebrity attempts to pick up home town girl in an underground nightspot at 4AM only to get flatly rejected WHILST I'm taking a photo of it.. if only ANY of you actually had a freaking clue WHO Har Mar Superstar was in the first place (I think he's big in.. I dunno.. Belgium!?).
DISHONOURABLE MENTION - CLIVE OWEN And it only gets worse from here, when just one week after ruining Craig Nicholl's career, we inexplicably run into A-grade celebrity Clive Owen too (well ok, maybe he's just B-grade) drinking himself into a quiet stupour at Supermild. Of course it would've been entirely awesome if he was willing to get a photograph with us, but he didn't, as he visibly looked like he had the HARDEST day of acting in his entire life. So what did we do? We photoshopped up the world's shittiest reinactment instead.. YES clearly I win at life! What makes this story even MORE awesome is we also end up bumping into him two more times in the following week and it never occurs to us that we should try getting his photo again. Clive Owen, I'll say it again, what a freaking legend!
EXTRATERRESTRIAL OF THE YEAR Which then brings us to our final category: the most prized social pic of them all in 2008. These are the photos that simply defy all other explanation and catagorisation. Most of these shots weren't staged, most of them weren't planned, most of these shining examples here weren't even aware of just how head explodingly awesome their likenesses were when I captured them. They simply are who they are: humanity at its finest! There are no real winners here: yet you can't deny their indelible impact. This is what living your life 9PM to 5AM is all about! This is every reason you want to go out every night with a camera to capture it all! Just like it's every reason to change the locks, arms yourself to the teeth and hope and pray NONE of them ever choose to follow you home! Oh yes! 2008 wouldn't be the same without them: stand tall and be proud Adelaide!
And now that I've given you more than enough nightmares to sufficiently last you all week.. stay tuned, for there's a whole lot more of this shit yet more to come! When we present Part Two: The Artist Awards. Devoted to Adelaide's very best vocalists, guitarists, bass players, drummers and / or "miscellaneous" (wow I bet you all love being lumped into that one) that I clearly have no right or qualification to judge in the FIRST place (I mean seriously who the FUCK do I think I am!?) but I'll give out awards to anyways. Why!? because you idiots freaking asked for it.. that's why!