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 LEVITATORS + THE TORRENS LIVE @ ROCKET BAR / Saturday March 28th 2009
If ever you've wondered why I'm sounding like a crazy person recently (or in other words.. "what's new?") THIS is why. This is me at Rocket Bar for the third time in a row. This is me howling with laughter after a extended tour of duty I had at The Ed Castle that extended all the way back, uninterrupted, every week since late last October. This is me screaming up the walls when nobody's looking. I have the weirdest hobby, I really do! I'm a wild animal pacing back and forth in my cage, itching to break loose. I'm a cuckoo clock, a skipping record and a metronome kicking four to the floor. I'm a spastic synth and strobe lights and James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem's singing along, adenoids and all: "beats on repeat, beating on me.. from every car in the street.. there's a constant repeat, on repeat.. of your paranoid, heartbreaking beats.. on repeat". Block both nostrils and it'll explode out your ears.. YEAAAS!! I'm here because the best bands are always here, I wish they were elsewhere: The Grace Emily, Enigma Bar, Jive, Jade Monkey, The Metro, The Crown & Anchor, Producers Bar.. oh how I miss you! The whole scene is so hilariously out of whack, blame the economic downturn, or perhaps it's just me painting myself into a corner. Yup, here we are at Rocket Bar.. again. Here's that same desk lamp smiling from the bar, welcoming me back: "it's Groundhog Day!". Did I ever leave last night? Did I ever go home? I swear I went down those three flights of stairs and off into the beyond. Maybe it was all just a dream and any minute now that kid from The Sixth Sense will deliver that shitcrazy plot-twist!? whoaaa what a mindfuck!!
So this is me shaking those glass fragments out of my hair, that smell of alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, the fried chicken in circling footprints, headless and clucking ingrained deep into the linoleum, that ringing in my ears still echoing the bomb blast.. good morning sunshine! *fuck* I woke up next to YOU again!? horse's head! Yup, I swear I've been here for so long, people almost think me omnipotent, like the laws of physics don't apply; cartoon caricature. I begin to feel the curse of immortality, detachment, a dialtone continuous, a click then a disconnect. Fuck that.. I'm dead, I'm a ghost, I must be: Haley Joel Osment said so! (surely he must be into heroin by now). The seasons spin, the sun and moon dance through the sky, stars form rings, concentric ripples through spacetime, a continuous stream of traffic past my eyes and the faces blurring into one. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm one day older.. I don't "feel" any different? I'm front of stage again, another drumkit for the collection. I'm pretty sure it's not the property of Ryan Manolakis. Check my anti-terrorism checklist: Mr Wednesday, Like Leaves, BrotherSister, Cookie Baker, Bing Goes To Monaco (session drummer?) nope, no "Levitators" *phew* when everything looks the same around here, it helps to keep track of the differences..
10:44PM - Yup, I can see it now, any minute now on a live stage, that same routine, those same cliches, they simply change the names around: they're a buzz band, screaming metros in skinny jeans, strobes, a screaming oestrogen mass out front. They're shoeless, misbuttoned, matching haircuts by that one whacked out guy from Billy Bishop Goes To War or Skeletons when he's on an acid trip. They're screaming in unison, gang vocals, off mic. Someone's got a saxaphone, three of them have trombones. There's two people drumming at once, one on bongos and some nutjob's smashing a tambourine. The name's a full sentence, it's got exclamation marks, there's an animal mentioned in there somewhere. Mathias Northway's playing guitar, some girl's playing the bass, handclaps, microkorgs, everyone swapping instruments; and now they're playing next week at The Metro! They're ripping off Maynard James Keenan, Kings Of Leon or Pavement, they've just won Triple J Unearthed with sludge metal 10-15 minute solos and post rock, and now there's these two dickheads dressed head to toe in sheets!? *cough* say what now!? Now THIS is something I haven't seen before! sweet zombified Jebus.. who the fuck ARE these fantastical freaks!?
THE TORRENS (***1/2) myspace :: No shit.. THIS is what I fucking live for! this is why I keep coming back, this is why I made the return trip tonight.. YEAAAS!! This is The Torrens. They're quite possibly the worst band I've ever heard AND the third or fourth weirdest I've ever seen (and in the best way possible). Call them Z-grade, "so shit they're awesome", a stand up comedy act, or the sum total of eight years under the Bush Administration (and every comedy writer in the US in mourning ever since they left). This is that rarefied species of batshit insane, bordering on a suicide attempt that very few should ever attempt (especially on a live stage) without risking a war crimes tribunal. Think Ed Wood, Pauly Shore and Rob Scheider. Think Vanilla Ice, Tenacious D and Har Mar Superstar. Think Central Deli Band, Clue To Kalo, It's Warsaw! and Radio Spectacular!!! (those extra exclamations signify awesomeness!). OH YES! The Torrens are THAT face meltingly fiendish! They're a hiphop side project between Tom Ireland and Willie Budstrip from High Stakes (Adelaide's answer to AC/DC), and Vibro from The Beards banging the laptop beats. They're every reason why ex AFL footy players and brickies labourers should never mix binge drinking with karaoke, they're why fights break out. Led onto the stage tonight blind, in head to toe sheets with hats on, they'll stand there motionless to nintendo beats for an intro freaking us all the fuck out, before busting loose to a retarded, profanity laden, hiphop jam that mixes all the worst moments of Eminem's "Encore" album with Regurgitor, Gerling, Muscles, TISM, Flight Of The Conchords and The Streets. It's one continuous "dick and fart" gag, it only gets worse and worse. They're SO much less than the sum of their parts. Just look at them doing the "jazz hands" and cracking staccato baboon noises and *crap* I think I just pee'd a little! So spectularily shit, so abysmally awesome!! The Torrens. As much as I preferred High Stakes? duuude these hilarious fuckwits damn near saved my night!
11:06PM - And then just as they began tonight's set, they ended it with spastic pingpong techno bleeps, bloops and 808 beats, both Tom and Will standing motionless in head to toe sheets with hats on, saluting it like it was their national anthem. Imagine an entire audience gobsmacked, head scrambled and to the floor dribbling; now imagine moments later as out of my ear, a tiny alien with an oversized cranium and aviator goggles falls out gurgling. Fuuuck! It was a shortlived set, fifteen to twenty minutes and eight songs at most. It was a trojan horse, an ambush, a head stuck in a gas filled oven with a lit match; but I couldn't stop laughing for the rest of the night!
THE LEVITATORS (**1/2) myspace :: Which is just the kind of "light relief" you'll need when you face off against this band. This is The Levitators. They've been around for years, almost half a decade by my account. The last time I saw them was waaay back in 2005 at the Crown & Sceptre; and short of adding Sam Morrison as an MC (former lead singer of Snap To Zero) very little has changed. Still, there's a lot to like about this band. They're a live outfit that alternates between hammering breakbeat, hiphop, reggae, dub funk and drum & bass with a shitload of freestyle rapping. You can't help but fill a dancefloor with it, they're all around me tonight, hot chicks galore, getting their groove on and sweating it up.. but something's missing (and it's not just the lights). Imagine a propellant mix between The Cat Empire, Roni Size Reprazent, Red Snapper, Propellerheads and Pendulum. Or if you can remember that far back: simply imagine the sounds of The Baggsmen (ex "The Hive") from Sydney who pretty much obliterated the whole "live drum & bass" schtick with The Bird in Melbourne and you'd have it just about nailed. It was huuuge back in 1992 through to it's heyday in 1996 to 2000 with Goldie, Grooverider, Dillinja, Jump Up Show Down and all those Metalheadz compilations banging it fierce. Back when it was all about hoodies, puffy oversized silver jackets, headphones larger than your head, blunts, rooftop raves and mad vibrations you could feel all the way from Jamaica. Remember techstep, darkstep, dubstep and Ali G banging the "Junglist Massive"!? aaaaah memories! And as much as I loved this shit back in the day (and the crowd's loving it tonight) I'm clawing my face off to get the fuck away from it! There's a sign in The Grace Emily that rather neatly sums up my predicament: "drum machines have no soul". It's not because I agree: just listen to Aphex Twin, Squarepusher or anything Bjork's cooked up in the last decade if you want to start an argument.. but because with The Levitators here I believe the opposite is true. They may be talented musicians cracking it like killer robot. They may be able to grind a beat, a rhythm and a dope rhyme on a turn of a ten cent piece. They may even stumble upon the occassional Fatboy Slim infectious hook.. but when the single appeal of your live act tonight is a pack of musicians aping machines: where'd the freaking personality, the originality? damnit!! where's the soul?
1:48AM - All that madenning repetition for the last hour or more: beat after beat, buildup and breakdown, nonsensical rhymes looping over and over.. I mean did you watch that video I just posted!? FUCKING HELL!! It's just too much, it's driving me to the brink.. and yup, you've guessed the punchline that rhymes with that: I SO need a fucking drink! At long last the band stops, the DJs come up with an encore, hours upon hours of endless banging electro. Up those stairs they come: pillpoppers, pillmunchers, windowlickers, all munted five ways, filling up the dancefloor. They're a meat processing plant, mooing and chewing the scenery, they've got their blinkers on. I drink enough, nearly enough to think I'd actually join in *cough* but then I consider otherwise; and with The Torrens in tow, everyone's fleeing for the exit signs and into the streets below.
1:53AM - I'm seeing it everywhere I go now: society's law and order and all it's consequence. It's the same shit over and over. Clock on, clock off, when the weekend comes? "get your rocks off!". Sure I love a daily routine just as much as the next person, a regular schedule, something to look forward to, the power to predict, but since when did we vote free will out of the picture!? No shit.. I need some freaking chaos theory to fuck all of this up! We see it all again upon arriving at Jive, we see that line forming outside: blank expressions, single file, move one step forward, present your proof of age, get a stamp, walk through that door. Fuckit, why not skip that shit altogether? Get Tom to pull an "Obi Wan" on the bouncer and with little more than a nod it's straight to the bar!
1:57AM - So here we are again: witness to another clueless crowd, filling those four walls, heads stuck where the sun don't shine, whistling the same tune on a Saturday night. You gotta love it, you really do! It's like this every weekend, it used to be every alternate, now it's the same fucking thing everywhere you go, only the names change around: "Gosh!", "Glitter!", "Dig!", "Bang!", "Kick!", "Jizz!" (Dan V from Like Leaves came up with that one!). All one syllable words, bold letters, screaming with exclamations: no point confusing the masses now is there!? FUCK NO!
2:14AM - Still as much as we'd protest normally, screaming into every ear hole: "WAKE THE FUCK UP MAAAN! THE WHOLE WORLD'S GOING DOWN THE SHITTER!!", when you're in an altered state better described as "alcoholically abnormal" it's actually quite comforting to know you can simply dissappear into the one amorphous blob of human stupidity and cut loose. Wanna go completely fucking insane? set fire to shit? pull a knife? pick a fight? piss on the floor? cluck like a chicken? climb the balcony? smash up the furniture? trigger the exit sirens and get carried off in a straightjacket, laughing hysterically, moments before dawn? I bet you thought you were the only one huh? OOOH FUCK NO!! They're all around you tonight! They're Adelaide's number one growth industry (they're even forming bands). Still if I was you, I wouldn't wanna try any of that shit here: the security will fucking kill you *cough* still, just imagine what these idiots could accomplish!?
2:30AM - Thinking all of the above, it's moments like these that I wonder: where's a Joe Blogs or a Nick Hadley from the Dead Popes Of The Vatican when you need a good excuse for the barstaff to ban you for life!? (aaah remember the good 'ol days back in Shotz!? did they ever get those "teeth marks" out of the ceiling? good times!). Until I realise that for the general health and safety of everyone else around us (and that restraining order they're likely filing against both of them): it's probably best they're NOT here. Nope, with professional idiots like these running amok, making total dicks of themselves, dimly aware that most of this will end up on the internet (hmmm do you think these idiots ever learn? hell no!), then I think we've pretty much got this shit covered!
2:43AM - I swear every fucking time I'm in here, after a few too many beers (and a shot of tequila) it's the same comedy routine, so much so you could set your watch, place bets and make a drinking game out of it: all us idiots jumping up and down, shrieking like chimpanzees, pulling faces, pissing ourselves laughing. Does it ever get tiring!? Y'know, you'd think it would but nope.. every damn time! And does it ever get any easier writing stupid captions for it!? OOOH FUCK NO!!
2:57AM - Still just like every ill advised trip to Jive before: the show's over the minute Tom breaks the rules by attempting a misguided freestyle rap on "cattle mutilation and auto erotic asphyxiation", all accompanied by the sound of one of the exit sign sirens. He's promptly caught by the referee, somewhere in the second verse with his pants around his ankles, attempting to hump the foosball table: given a red card violation and sent off the playing field. Yup, just like every other damn time we're in Jive. You should've seen it when Joe Blogs did it.. hiiilarious!
3:26AM - At this point we all know my weekend is nothing more than a ride on rails, reality on autopilot, downward spiral trajectory all mapped out with a tag-team orange and green shotgun assault blasting away everything in sight. Fuuuuck.. imagine if they had THAT shit in pubs and clubs with a coin slot!? My life as an arcade game! I can see it now: all the smiling faces, the screaming, the lawsuits and newspaper headlines. As to what any of this has to do with me going to Supermild at the end of the night, absolutely nothing! I never go here. I'm never a hypocrite. I never make a mockery out of anything I might say. I live by all of my ridiculous absolutes!
3:57AM - I'm on a track just like I always am but clearly I've totally lost my train of thought too. It's derailed, way off course, smashed into a warehouse, bodies are falling out, burning, and screaming, and here comes the camera crews: which if nothing else, rather aptly describes my insane dancemoves at Supermild tonight. The good news is: nobody else around me can tell the difference, the bad news: pretty much everything else you see around you is barking insane.
4:01AM - Damn.. how LONG has it been since I got a stupid photo with Nick Bastiras (formerly from Tyger Tyger) here!? Too long I tell you.. too damn freaking long! More pissheads with spastic oversized afros I say! *cough* yup, I'm looking at this now and yeah.. let's never do this again!
4:09AM - Yup, there's always a well documented "blood alcohol" threshold at play here, a tipping point if you will. A before: where I'll NEVER take a camera out no matter how many faces you may pull in front of me begging and screaming for a photo that I'll post in this blog (and you'll likely regret moments after seeing it), and an after: an overload of that which we're witnessing right now. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone, who by all appearances, I've never met before in my entire life. It's nothing new, it happens everytime I'm here. Just add me on Facebook like everyone else, and next time I stumble into you I'll completely forget who the fuck you are, only to repeat the process all over again! Isn't that right Jenna? or Kat? or Kane Banner? or that girl I always forget the name of (fuck she's awesome!) or that midget? or that other dude? or all those other hilarious malformed freaks I always see in here 24/7!? fuuuck I love this place!
4:16AM - Speaking of such, here's two prime suspects now. Jock Jacobs on the left you'll recognise as that 80's headbanging disaster lurking about in the beer garden almost everytime you stumble in here (and would you believe the beer money he spends on a weekly basis pays all the water and electricity that keeps this place open!? genius!). Whilst the girl on the right is Samia, I don't think we've ever had an actual conversation in our entire lives, but for some odd reason (quite possibly involving both of us getting hilariously drunk at some point) she's one of my facebook friends.. awesome huh? does anyone else smell something burning? nope.. just me then!
4:32AM - And speaking of "hilarious malformed freaks" here's two more familiar fuckwits you'll always find in Supermild *cough* ruining what would've otherwise been a cheesy "awwww!" moment captured on camera above.. and otherwise proving just how retardingly drunk we all are. Oh and if you're thinking of making a drinking game out of just how many times I write "retardingly drunk" in the ONE blog: feel free, because chances are nobody's EVER thought of that shit before!
4:37AM - Thus I would like to blame the following sequence of photos, that are by no means me being so ridiculously wasted I'm simply hitting the button like some kind of goldfish, on Izzy here and quite possibly that other munt ranga off to the left: who again, I've never met before in my entire life (at least not that I can remember, apologies if I've already added you on facebook).
4:39AM - Hmmm do you think this is just Izzy's lame excuse for shitload of crass publicity payback after losing out back in mid October when my previous camera was laughingly fucked up at one of his gigs at The Crown & Anchor? would we ever be that cynical? have I ever been that cynical? (who ME!? never!) or are we simply suffering short term memory loss here. Seriously I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about sometimes! We've never done this before.. everything is a new and exciting adventure!! Supermild!? *pfft* I've never been here in my life! WOOHEHAhAhAhA!!
4:40AM - Aaaaah fuckit y'know what? he's gotten away with this schtick for far too long! When IS Robotosaurus playing a gig next? It's time I get my own back. I'll bring my gridiron helmet, a fist full of steak knives, wire up some C4 and we'll have ourselves a little party: who's with me!?
4:41AM - And now in no relation to anything else I've written upto this point, feel free to insert your own Spoz's Rant time honoured cliche to wrap up this whole misadventure (and get your shot glasses at the ready!) with either: (a) some lamearse joke about needing to use the "blunt end of a fire extinguisher", (b) an off-hand joke that I'm a serial killer, (c) make reference to any of George A Romero's b-grade horror movie classics (which might I add I've never seen before in all my life, save for that shitty remake with Ving Rhames in it), or (d) mention the phrase "screaming hysterically out the door" because clearly my blog is THAT predictably formulaic.. YEAAAS!!!
4:44AM - Of course we all know I would've personally chosen option (c). Seriously, that freak in the front screams "zombie" like nothing else in here (or quite possibly this is what would happen if Pauline Hanson ever made it with Lurch from The Addams Family.. YES!!). Oh and I'd also like to point out that I'm ever so ridiculously proud of THIS shot outside of Supermild below, because now it means I don't have to recycle all those OTHERS I've been keeping on file. *cough* Yup, let's just forget I was ever here, that I'll back AGAIN next week, fade to black and roll the credits!
Everything repeats, every week it's the same 'ol shit with a different smell. I'm its ever shrinking attention span set to timelapse photography. I'm its eskimo trapped in a blizzard with fifty words for "snow". Driving myself insane, climbing up those walls, off the rails, by any means possible to sabotage and celebrate the chaos wherever I go: always one day older and never the wiser. The sounds of LCD Soundsystem tag-teaming for Hot Chip as they sing: "over and over and over and over and over.. like a monkey with a miniature cymbal.. the joy of repetition really is in you!". Me a few screws loose, knocking a dent in that wall, only to laugh out loud some more. Yup that's my blog! Really makes you want to throw yourself a molotov cocktail party now, doesn't it?