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...
DANGEROUS! + LYLA "ABRACADABRA" @ ROCKET BAR / Friday July 24th 2009
I have a confession to make. For the longest time I've been living a lie. Correction.. for the longest time we've ALL been living a lie (as I sure as shit am not alone in this one) and it's about time we all came clean and admitted to it: NONE OF THIS SHIT IS REAL. I shit you not! What you believe to be the "Adelaide music scene": all these bands, barstaff, bouncers, mixers, managers, promoters, designers, photographers, journalists, DJs and drunkards alike? all these wild and wacky characters you see "coming to life" on this site each week? all of it is nothing but an elaborate scam. All these words are nothing but a work of fiction, all these images are nothing but the work of Photoshop, all these musicians are nothing but hired "actors" fucking about with Pro Tools. NONE OF THIS SHIT IS REAL. With nothing but a broadband connection and a sound stage we've concocted this entire conspiracy (just like NASA faked all those moon landings back in the 60's) and you know why? because the Adelaide music scene is FUCKING DEAD. It's true! Take one step out of that door if ever you need confirmation. All you'll see now is Mickey D franchises, apartment blocks, pokies lounges and parking lots as far as the eye can see as yet another flaming car wreckage (bowling boot over bonnet like a tumbleweed) plays pinball with the pedestrians. There is NO Adelaide music scene, it's long gone duuude! Weirder still? thanks to all these fake facebook, myspace, youtube and twitter accounts; thanks to a cast of thousands acting up a storm (and the fact that nobody's seen the inside of a "live venue" in years) none of you idiots have been ANY the wiser! It's been the single greatest practical joke perpetrated on the Adelaide public since The Beatles "toured" here back in 1964. We've had the time of our lives, we've been laughing ourselves stupid at YOUR EXPENSE, and we would've kept this secret going on for years too if not for one teeny tiny but all too critical flaw fucking up all our best laid plans.
Yup, we've quite simply run out of "musicians". I know, embarassing huh? Sure it's not like we ever paid them squat: most of them realised long ago the irony of working for a "percentage of the profits". It's not like we didn't lie through our teeth to get them: many of them knew all along that none of this shit counted towards NIDA accreditation. They simply believed in the "dream". When we found them they were nothing but wide-eyed "guitar heroes", six months with us maaan and we made them into living legends! It was the perfect system, you'd think they'd be grateful! but like so many industries affected by the credit crunch, our fortunes soon fell south. Soon other prospects began to look so much more "lucrative". Winter has always been problematic at best with Spoz's Rant and this one especially has hit us the hardest. We've lost scores of talent trying their luck with Neighbours and Home And Away in Melbourne and Sydney. More still are seeking fame overseas in the theatre districts of London, New York's Broadway, Los Angeles' "Pilot Season" in US Cable and Network TV (or better yet Hollywood). I know! how could we possibly compete with that!? Sure we've done our utmost to "wringe every last drop of blood" out of that proverbial "stone". We've called in every last favour. We've been "shining it on" for the last few weeks hoping none of you would notice (we even tried hiring from New Zealand ferfucksake!) but now it's getting truly desperate.
Still we're a proud lot here at Spoz's Rant. We may be on our proverbial hands and knees digging through dirt and rifling through garbage in search of ANYTHING to entertain you with but it doesn't mean we don't have "standards". There'll be no lamearse clip show here, no cheesy dream sequence, nor one of those overused plot devices when they throw two "mortal enemies" in a meat locker with no phone signal, throw away the key and wait till their sexual tension explodes in a wild night of passion. We're not nearly desperate enough to take calls from Joaquin Phoenix, Russell Crowe or Keanu Reeves yet (although we were tempted to give Juliette Lewis a spin). We're not even tempted by that all-ages show down at Fowlers Live (pfft.. don't make me laugh, that shit's a suicide mission!). No, what you'll witness here at Rocket Bar tonight will be nothing short of a "miracle". I won't say HOW we pulled it off, no point spoiling THAT trade secret (I know other bloggers read this shit looking for ideas). I mean take this "frillneck lizard" for example. Is she a genuine DJ? of course she is, they ALWAYS look like this, why would you ever doubt us!? Simply suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride duuude! For as they say.. THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!
LYLA (****) myspace :: There's no doubt about it, our opening act are the genuine article, they're real musicians through and through. Or at least that's what THEY kept telling me when I discovered them in Supermild a few nights ago. Of course I didn't believe them at the time, as from the looks of them alone I was almost dead certain that they were either hairdressers or interior decorators (don't lie.. you thought the same thing too when you first saw their "keyboardist" Stefan) but tonight they've made for a compelling argument by truly "investing" in their role like no other. Firstly they can actually play their instruments; and that's always a plus when you're pretending to be a "rock band" (and not always a given in this industry). Secondly they really dress the part. Thirdly they're far more convincing on a live stage than Jet ever was (or Oasis has been for the last ten years.. yeeeouch!). Fourthly they've brought along their own dedicated cheersquad to Rocket Bar tonight: a veritable shitstorm of giddy fangirls shrieking in hysterics around me and burning up a hole on the dancefloor. And if all else fails? simply dim the lights down low like a pre-CGI b-grade horror film, shoot them from all sorts of arty obtuse angles and we'll happily buy into the illusion regardless. No shit, what's not to love about Lyla!? (in fact I'm half wondering why we don't invite these freaks around more often!?). In sound they're an authentic sixties synthesis between psychedelic, mod pop and garage rock. The same all too familiar territory covered by The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who and The Rolling Stones at the very height of their careers; and ripped off by every dickhead and their dog from Supergrass, The Kooks, The Libertines and The Arctic Monkeys ever since (and dare we mention The Trafalgars!?) and yet delivered in such a ridiculously catchy way that you can't help but be sucked in by it all the same. Yup far from being plagairists they've simply hit upon a winning formula, an archetype as old as rock & roll itself and they're milking it for all its worth. For Lyla are the quintessential party band done "original recipe" style. They're everything that is awesome about dancing girls with spastic go-go boots bopping in bird cages, a dizzying light show of lava lamps and projection screens and you channeling your inner Andy Warhol and forgetting where the fuck you are for the next hour or so; only with none of the wank. It's their volatile energy on stage that truly nails it: this rollicking, howling, shrieking, shitcrazy buzz like a shaved monkey in a suit itching to bust loose (especially in how their frontman Matthew Minucci doesn't so much sing as "channel" his lyrics like a demon possession). It's in the fact that they haven't played a single gig in well over two months, they've got all this insanity pent up like a screaming kettle, and they're itching to explode (they've also got a new single to unleash on September 5th). It's in their enthusiastic crowd response around me making me wonder just WHY I'm taking all these stupid photos in the dark right now when I'd be much better off joining them in killing everything that moves. No shit! It's a mad scam, it's a riot, it's an Oscar worthy performance, they've even got ME convinced (and I swear I'm not even drunk enough yet) encore! ENCORE!!
DANGEROUS! (***) myspace :: Ok I admit it we cheated. We always knew Lyla would perform brilliantly as our opening act. We've had them "on the books" for well over a year now, and the only reason they've stuck around for Spoz's Rant THIS week after every other regular cast member of ours had signed off for "winter hiatus" (read: "stint in rehab".. isn't that right Lady Strangelove!?) is because we'd been collecting "blackmail" on them for all this time just in case an emergency such as this one would ever arise. Yup, if ever you've wondered why I'd been hitting Supermild every week for the past year now, well now you know: it's just one of many insane lengths we'll go to keep this Adelaide music scene running each week. Take our headlining act for example. As much as we're willing to divulge we "found them" out back of Enigma Bar, they used to call themselves "Wendy Icon". They wouldn't normally be our first choice (or our fifteenth for that matter), they didn't know the first thing about playing a musical instrument, their only real "experience" had been modelling for Kmart (and a little bit of.. yeah let's just call it "straight to video" work and leave it at that) but we STILL gave them a shot tonight (because lets face it we were desperate at the time) and boy did they do us proud! Within their first song they'd broken a bass guitar (not just a string.. an entire fucking guitar). Within three songs a microphone had gone missing. Within four songs (in a howl of feedback no less) the house mixer stormed upto the front of stage demanding to know WHY that microphone had gone missing only to storm off again shouting: "yeah!? well you'll be seeing my invoice on Monday!". By the fifth song they'd produced a beer bong and invited everyone to take shots off of it. And by the sixth song we were upto our armpits in flying dickheads and broken glass. Yup that's Dangerous! (or as the house mixer neatly summed it up after the show: "I'd rather listen to my parents having loud sex than listen to this shit!"). Or in other words, they're probably not for everyone. In a nutshell think of them as cock rock at its most flamboyantly cliché. Think one hand raised sky high in a devil horn salute whilst the other one clutches hard at nuts. Think Guns 'N Roses, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Warrant, Twisted Sister and KISS all mixed in with a little bit of Andrew W. K., The Darkness and Test Icicles. Think wailing falsettos, shredding guitar solos, stupifyingly dense sing-a-long choruses about wanting to drink, fuck and party; and then imagine for a moment the WORST that eighties fashion had to offer us (or better yet just watch Twisted Sister in action and prepare to bleed out of both eye-sockets) and THAT'S what I'm talking about here. Granted Dangerous! are just the tip of that iceberg. They're mostly harmless. They're a comedy act at best, they're a demolition derby at worst, and they're me pissing myself laughing at all their idiotic extremes (I kid you not.. A FUCKING BEER BONG, PEOPLE!) but they're a warning sign netherless to all the horrors that are yet to come! The minute those pissy little emo kids get "happy", the minute they swap their straight-edge sadomasochism for wild turkey, wife beaters and cocaine; the minute this shit EVER becomes popular again!? duuude.. we're ALL SCREWED!
So it's just as well we made this whole thing up isn't it? Hahahaha I know! crazy huh!? just like we do every other night around here, every week, and we can all rest easy knowing it was only a dream.. wait, why are you looking at me like that!? WE TOTALLY MADE IT UP DUUUDE!! Think of this as a "cautionary tale". Think of this as a morality play "illustrating all the evils of binge drinking". Think of this as yet another damn good reason why you should NEVER leave the house at night. Better yet, think of this as every reason why your parents were right! I mean who in their right mind would ever believe that all these "people" turned up to Rocket Bar, on a Friday night, to a "live gig" in the dead of winter and went fucking apeshit like this!? It's totally unheard of! It's a work of fiction, it never happened, The Adelaide music scene is DEAD! We simply dragged some kids off the street on a Wednesday afternoon, we told them we were doing an audition for a brand new "reality show" for MTV, smashed some Fallout Boy, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance (or whatever-the-fuck these kids listen to nowadays) and tweaked the rest up in post production.
12:48AM - Yup, sometimes I get so caught up in the theatrics that even I forget it's not real. I know, sometimes I'm really THAT good! But then I take one good look around me: to all the hard working cast and crew, to all these elaborate sets that we've built, to all these masterful props that we've manufactured, to all these wildly fanciful scripts that we've developed; all to create this "world" that we inhabit each week. I take a deep breath and I soak it all in: the wonder and the whimsy. Then I flick out that light switch and step out that door satisfied in a job well done.
1:18AM - With my eyes adjusting to the afternoon sun again: I catch two buses, hail a taxi cab, and take a short walk down to Studio 233C: otherwise known as the location where we shoot all the exteriors for "The Ed Castle" (the interiors we actually shoot in a warehouse down in Port Adelaide dont'cha know?). And after ringing the doorbell for a few good minutes, it eventually swings open rather violently to reveal the scruffily unkept visage of one Alex Ciaravolo, the gruff "caretaker" of this sadsack establishment, brandishing a bottle of whiskey. You may recognise him as the former lead singer for Lumonics, bass player for Oh My Guard!, guitarist for 20th Century Graduates and house mixer for The Ed Castle. Of course he's none of these things (and the fact that you believed ANY of that junk is testament to his esteemed acting ability) but damn the bastard can drink! This was far from an intervention however, more of a catch up. Toiling on that damn sound stage all day had worked up one hell of a thirst and there was NO way I was letting him empty that whiskey bottle on his own. We talked of the good 'ol days, the bad 'ol days, took turns whacking golfballs off the roof into oncoming traffic and then when he passed out cold I tipped him on his side, checked to make sure he was breathing, called an ambulance, and shut the door behind him.
2:11AM - Suitably inebriated I then join the extended cast and crew down at Supermild for a "wrap party" in celebration of all that we'd accomplished today (and all that we didn't accomplish in those other two days wasted on shooting "B-reel footage" for Saturday). Come to think of it, there's so much work that goes into this site that often goes uncredited, there's SO many people that I really should be thanking, and it's not all that often I get the chance to. Take Anthony Callisto for example, guitarist for Lyla: without his winning contribution this episode would've never have happened. Or what about "Whatshisface" (I don't think he ever had a name in the script), drummer for Dangerous!: his role this week was nothing short of vital. Or what about Galina Petkova: the accountant writing everything off for tax purposes, or is she the gaffer? is she the fluffer!? fuckit I forget. Yup it's people just like these, and many others just like them: wildly talented in their own right (and not at ALL expendible) that make Spoz's Rant the raging success story that it is. Lets give them a round of applause, you know they all deserve it! (and if we clap loud enough? they'll totally forget we didn't mail them their "paychecks" this week.. YEAAAS!!).
2:12AM - And then there's "Spoz Spozington" here. Obviously that's not his real name, and in all the time I've been here nobody's given me a straight answer on WHAT he actually does around here. I mean we all know for certain he doesn't "write" any of the blogs (that would be me: the "one hundred monkeys working on one hundred typewriters" they keep locked up in the basement to slave away on this sanctimonious garbage all day), we all know he doesn't take any of these wacky "photos" (*pfft* there ARE no photos you idiots, it's all done with computers!). In fact short of his crucial "public appearance work" I'm half surprised nobody's fired his fat arse yet. Do you REALISE just how much this walking liability drinks on the fucking job each day!? YEEEESH!!
2:56AM - Which we figured was as opportune a moment as any for Anthony to give us his "two weeks notice" now that he's leaving for a lucrative lead role in a wildly experimental theatrical piece that David Bowie's launching soon, entitled "Fuckoff Platinum Combover From Space: The Musical". Fuck, you baaastard! And as much as we simply suspected that he's mixed a little too much rice wine with a bag of shrooms and a bad acid trip, we still wished him the very best and sent him on his way. I know, actors riiight!? Can't work with them, can't understand half the shit they say!
3:03AM - Still you've gotta take news like this on the chin, we may be stuck in "winter hiatus" but it ISN'T the end of the world. Show business IS a fickle business. People come and go all the time. Sometimes it's nothing but blue skies, sometimes it rains, sometimes it hails, sometimes they're the size of golf balls, sometimes you're making shit up and you forget what the fuck you're on about, either way there's only one thing for it: develop an exceptionally unhealthy drinking habit. We knew that neither of these drinks in front of us were ours, we knew not who they were intended for, nor what they actually were to begin with (I'd hazard a guess that the one on the left was a "gin and tonic" and the one on the right was either a "martini" or a "marguerita") either way after much deliberation and a little encouragement by the raging drunk shrieking exciteably next to us, we necked them both. The night was still young and there's plenty more where that came from.
3:13AM - And so it begins anew: searching far and wide (or perhaps just in Supermild on a Wednesday night.. as let's face it we're lazy!) for yet more gullible fools *cough* I mean aspiring cast members to star in yet another episode of Spoz's Rant. It's a lengthy audition, needlessly complex, often confusing, utterly exclusionary, frequently psychologically scarring and perhaps a little bit brain damaging (especially considering all the mind altering substances involved) but we always get results in the end. And if all else fails? fuckit.. we can simply convince these two geniuses to form a "band" and write a blog about them instead. Would you believe the one on the left used to play violin for Mona Lisa Overdrive!? of course you do, because WE write the scripts!
"Saaay have you ever worked for a percentage before? you haven't!? YES! sign here please!"
The Adelaide music scene is long gone, dissolved to dust and blown into the four winds; but for the longest time we've had you all fooled. We've kept this "dream" alive for thousands too lazy to leave their home theatre systems on a Friday night. We've given them the illusion that there's life STILL OUT there if only their wifi and their bittorrent can reach it. More importantly we've given them HOPE. We're a collaborative effort, we're a cast and crew too numerous to mention, we're making the impossible a "reality" each and every week. You've taken a peek behind the curtain to see the wizard at his work; now you know. Now let us speak of it no more. Next week it'll be just like one of those sitcoms with no consequence. Next week we'll pretend all of this never happened. I mean hell, it's not like anyone ever READS these blogs anyways.. THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!