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...
OH MERCY + WASHINGTON + PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY LIVE @ JIVE + THE ED CASTLE / Friday October 30th 2009
Everyone needs an escape, an exit strategy, an energy source they can plug into whenever the world's just that little too obnoxious to bear. Maybe it's losing yourself to a really good book, or fucking about in the garden, or whacking a golfball, or surfing the ten foot foam, or spread eagled on the grass all day with nothing but a blue sky and a bag of goon to entertain you (no really, don't knock that shit till you've tried!). Or maybe it's sleeping in till noon, zoning out to your Xbox 360/Playstation 3/whatever-the-fuck, firing up a bucket bong to bird documentaries, pissing about with Mafia Wars or Farmville on facebook till all your friends disown you, or chopping up stray hookers with a chainsaw and burying their remains where the cops won't find them (I'm told Rundle Mall's an awesome place to dump them, now that no one apparently ever goes there.. HA!!) whatever floats your boat, isn't it like the best shit ever!? OH YOU KNOW IT! And as for me? I find nothing better than to surround myself with chaos, complete and utter unadulterated chaos. The more creative the better, it's freaking awesome! Sounds counterintuitive I know but throw me into the proverbial deep end with all them arty farty types and musical geeks exploding at all hours and I swear it soothes the "inner turmoil" like nothing else! Give me a city that never sleeps. Give me a New York City, Tokyo, London or Paris. Or fuck it.. even pissy 'ol Adelaide if you know where to look (and I sure as shit know plenty!). It's the only "conversation" worth having, here running amok amongst the creative element, I truly believe that! And if it were at all possible I'd base my entire life around it. Even now in writing this episode I'm living it: I've got my ipod blasting, my television on mute, my facebook, youtube, and twitter feeds in a constant stream, absorbing all that sensory overload and transmitting in kind like a spirit medium till my mind goes blank. I mean fuck dude, with all this wacky shit going on 24/7, where else would you want to be!?
Still in saying all this, there ARE side effects to deal with. Not being able to sleep is one (fuck dude, don't get me started!). Spending more money than I make is another (if only I could earn a living doing this shit!? BWAAAHAhAHaHA who are we kidding!?). Writer's block is the ongoing bane of my existence (again don't get me started!). And worse still? there's this inescapable feeling I've been stuck on a nonstop "world tour" now for almost four years (excluding that one week back in February 2007 when I had the flu), I'm sleeping in a "trashed hotel room", all my relationships (if I even have time for them) I experience with the volume turned down, I subsist on little more than Mi Goreng, caffeine and beer, sunlight's but a memory, and every venue I swear is starting to look the same: which isn't all that surprising since I've never even left Adelaide. Damn! Yup, sometimes I need an escape FROM the escape. Sometimes I need a "quiet night out". Impossible? Oh you have no idea! For all the times I've succeeded in sneaking one "under the radar", there's a thousand fold more massacred the very minute this "monster" of mine catches up with me. No really, being the "life of the party" can be more trouble than it's worth, it can be murder! Especially at the end of THIS week where I've been at it nonstop, have next to NO sleep to show for it and I'm circling the drain fast. Which is why I'm hiding out here at Jive. Sure it might not be The Grace Emily (my purpose built asylum if ever they had one) or even the Jade Monkey, but with a blissful lineup like this on offer tonight it'll easily come a close second. OH YES this is where I'll find my solace, mark my words; if I have to damn near kill every person in this room to achieve it!
ADRIAN DEUTSCH (***1/2) myspace :: And speaking of human sacrifices, here comes our opening act! YES!! Or more accurately our second, as our first: The Ocean Party have already played the "graveyard shift" at 8PM (aaaah dontcha just love that shit? I KNOW I DO!!) and have since left the stage before I could even get here. Hmmm. And as much as I was dimly aware that this could happen when I saw the four band lineup tonight (oooh fuck no!), I was also made much more accutely aware just how much I couldn't be arsed with it on a Friday night, when I almost fell asleep on my bus into town. FUCK YEAAAH!! Still by all accounts (or maybe just the one, ie: Matt Hills at the mixing desk telling me the minute I arrived) yes they're all kinds of head explodingly awesome (perhaps even implodingly), and yes I'm totally kicking myself retarded for missing them. Damn! Which then leaves us with act two, and two seemingly trivial insights you may find useful in figuring what the fuck "they're all about". Firstly they're a solo project fronted by one Adrian Deutsch, former guitarist from Red Riders: somewhat notable in the Sydney scene for releasing two albums "Replica Replica" in 2006 (ie: when he was still in the band) and "Drown In Colour" in 2009 (when he wasn't) and all the more memorable for their tragically bad eighties fashion sense. And secondly the all too peculiar nature of their second name "Deutsch": which despite what many of you may believe is ACTUALLY pronouced "doitsh" (as in "oi!") and NOT "douche" (as in bag). No really, don't let their front man and his comically over exaggerated stage persona fool you, or his goofy bird beak/pencil neck frame, or his passing resemblance to Ben Lee (aka: the most ANNOYING singer-songwriter in all the Australian scene), him and his band actually don't sound half bad. In fact if ever I was looking for a "quiet night out" I couldn't ask for better to introduce it. Adrian Deutsch. In essence think of them as a cruisy mix between late eighties blues, seventies soul, and sixties "Americana". Think guitar and keys rich in reverb, accessible hooks and rhythms, Adrian's vocals flaring in a rich nasal twang, and all of it delivered with a distinctive travelling troubadour feel that practically screams "high rotation on AM radio". Or in other words mix equal measure Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan (or pretty much all of the Traveling Wilburys) in with Ryan Adams, process them all into three to four minute radio friendly blocks, smooth over all the rough edges and that'd be your monkey in one. Still as much as you can't shake that inescapable feeling you're listening to "adult contemporary" as a result (guh!), it does find its strength in just how exceptionally polished it all sounds. From Adam Foreman's "cocktail lounge" flourish on the keys and Leighton Arnold's blues grooves on the bass, to Paul Andrews swinging jazz syncopation on the drums they draw you in like a fresh plate of choc chip cookies, a warm fart and a comfy brown sofa. YES! And as much as it's arguably just a "solo act" (read: vanity project) for Adrian Deutsch who's doing his utmost (ie: in every way short of subtle) to sell it as more than just a Red Riders spin-off, it's his unassuming backing band who make us truly believe in it. Yup, they may be daggy as all hell (and then some!) but let's face it: in a world where both Grizzly Bear and Mumford & Sons can suddenly make "nanna rock" sound like the hottest shit ever, they might actually be onto something here. Adrian Deutsch. You might not be ready for them yet, but I swear your parents will love it!
WASHINGTON (****1/2) myspace :: Which brings us in the cruisiest socks and sandles way to our "second act" (read: third for the night) who I knew absolutely next to nothing about (aaaah research? who ever needs that!? NOT ME THAT'S WHO!) until about halfway through their live set, when the all too familiar refrains of their Triple J high rotation slap me silly with a sudden burst of recognition and I'm suddenly reminded of why I "accidently" turned up here in the first place. Score! Yup you may recognise Washington (aka: Megan Washington and band) for one of two songs. Firstly for the swinging sounds of her latest single(?) "Cement": currently receiving the Pavlov's Dog treatment on the airwaves (so much so you could practically bark out all the lyrics like an idiot savant if ever prompted). And secondly (and more infamously) for the first single we were introduced to by the name of "Clementine" that brazingly appropriates lyrics from both cheesy American folk classics "Oh My Darling, Clementine" and "She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain" and somehow spins them both into something cute and whimsical you could totally sell a shitload of ipods to. Better yet, as much as both those songs may have been abused on the radio so many fucking times now (ie: beyond violating a Geneva Convention or two) that you'll want to reach for the nearest blunt object and brain yourself until all the screaming in your head stops (aaaah I love Triple J high rotation I really DO!) upon seeing her and her band tonight, it immediately becomes apparent WHY she's getting all this attention in the first place. In short it's absolutely impossible to hate Washington. I mean you could totally try: you could bring burning torches, a bazooka, strap bombs to yourself, shave your head and scream obscenities, she'll STILL disarm you with her sly charm and have you bopping along with a goofy grin within the first three songs. Yup, she's freaking evil I swear! There's two reasons why. The most obvious of which is her voice. Oh my freaking fuck THE VOICE! you can't go past it! Such soothing richness, such soaring range, how she croons ever so sweetly and then peppers it all with these breathy "oh oh oh" exclamation points! I KNOW HUH!? Secondly her exciteable stage presence that practically nails the dictionary definition of "sexy librarian let loose". All wingtip geek glasses and playfully tousled hair as she tears into that piano with such giddy abandon. How she's ever so self effacing and swearing profusely with her wacky between song banter. *Sigh*. Yes I admit, I may just have a teensy bit of a crush on her and I've clearly lost all hope for objectivity here. Weirder still, this's not even the kind of shit I'd normally be into either and yet she still wins me over!? DAMN YOU!! Yup, imagine everything from Regina Spector, Sheryl Crow and Dolly Parton (huh what!?) filtered through the irresistable friskiness of Feist and that's my conundrum right there. It's crazy but damnit I like it. And with her backing band of musicians, featuring anyone from: Lance Ferguson, John Castle, Des White, Ross Irwin and Ryan Monro (and no I have no freaking clue which three of these were actually present tonight or what they were playing.. guh!?) they'll punch out an energetic repertoire fit for filling any cafe, restaurant or boutique shoe store to the brim with wry wit and whimsy. They had us in the palm of their hands. I swear we never wanted them to leave. Yup, I wouldn't normally be saying this out loud, but after all this shit I simply can't help myself: Megan Washington.. marry me?
OH MERCY (****1/2) myspace :: Which in a roundabout way (wait did I propose marriage just then? WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I BEEN SMOKING!?) introduces us to our headlining act. Yup for all the legitimate reasons for why ANY of us would want to see them tonight. For the launch of their debut album "Privileged Woes". For all their Triple J high rotations: "Seemed Like A Good Idea", "Lay Everything On Me" or "Get You Back" (all of which I'd somehow been all but blissfully oblivious to until now). Or even for all the hyperbolent blogger buzz and critical acclaim they've been receiving for well over six months now (which again I haven't had the first clue about but I bet it must have been real positive!). There's been only ONE "lame" reason for why 48% of the population REALLY wanted to be present here tonight. The very same reason we'd been hearing all week long on the street or in our facebook feed. Yup it's true, their bass player: Eliza Lam (the very same they use on the front cover of their album), is all kinds of ridiculously cute (and she's even more awesome in person!). I KNOW! We as a gender really are THAT retarded! And for all the rest of you (ie: the OTHER 52%) who are likely rolling your eyes at us right now? now you know how WE all feel everytime you go on about Van She! (and don't get me started about Twilight either.. sheeesh!!). Still as much as we've just been had by the oldest trick in the book (*sigh* she even looks ever so slightly like Natasha Khan from Bat For Lashes too!) it doesn't for a minute detract from their timeless sound; it only but adds to it. Oh Mercy. In essence think of them as third album Arctic Monkeys mixed in with everything from Chris Isaac, Paul Kelly, The Go-Betweens and Television: performed with a swinging fifties (almost Elvis Presley) style demeanor. Fronted by the affable presence of both Alexander Gow and Thomas Savage on guitars and vocals; although Alexander does the majority of them (whilst Thomas shreds the fuck out of his instrument), the shrinkingly shy presence of Eliza Lam slinking away on the bass, and Rohan Sforcina working the muffled mallets on drums: they paint a picture through anecdotal lyrics and a slow burn guitar. One that's equal measure alt country and indie pop, and builds its strengths not from the individual songs themselves but more so from their accumiliative effect over time. An effect that's helped immeasurably by the fifteen song set they're treating us to tonight. And with their starlit backdrop and a medium capacity Jive (just full enough to feel lively, just roomy enough to feel relaxed) they immediately make themselves feel at home on stage. Almost every song comes with it's own accompanying story to introduce it, they're constantly cracking jokes about the tour, or about themselves (or constantly being heckled by tourmates Washington in turn) and I swear it's just like we're having a witty campfire conversation (and in the best way possible) only with a shitload more people. No shit for all those other gigs in recent memory where I've been buried up to my neck in shrieking baboons, or fighting my way through the proverbial dark ages cursing the "stage lights", or otherwise wondering just why in the hell I'm reviewing The Touch again (yup, there goes our "Where's Wally" moment!) it's bands like these that make it all worthwhile in the end. Oh Mercy. Admittedly they may be one silly excuse for showing up (who me!? pfft never!) but they're at least a dozen more valid reasons to return for more. And I ask you: what more could you possibly want than that!?
Still, no writeup of this night would ever be complete without giving due credit to the venue itself (wow.. whodathunkit!? there's a first time for everything!). I mean sure it may just be the style of music (which has got to be at lease five kinds of "nanna" all rolled into one) but there's something else altogether that makes it much more than that. And it's not just the stage lighting (which despite sporting equal measures annoyingly red and fuckoff blue is surprisingly easy to capture). And it's not just the live mix either (which admittedly is just about spot on too). Or even the ecclectic scenster crowd that look like they've just arrived straight out of an episode of Happy Days (weird!). No this is something on top of that. Like the universe is finally giving me a freebie after weeks of putting me through hell. For this is without a doubt the cruisiest damn gig I've ever covered. During the headliner especially it took me all of ten minutes to take most of the photos and for the rest of it I was just another face in the crowd? and at any given moment I could simply duck off to the bar, get a beer, and find my spot again without having to kill at least fifty people!? FUCK YEAH!! I mean hell, I even had time to drop by Matt's mixing desk for a few laughs because THAT'S how damn near cruisy it was! Like all the best gigs you've always dreamed about but never thought could happen? Who'd ever imagine I'd get one tonight!? Yup if it were at all possible, I'd totally give this Friday night at Jive five stars and two thumbs up. No shit, let's do this again!
And with one cheesy "photo op" out of the way, which I was somehow roped into for no good reason than Anthony Wignall from The Keepsakes thought it'd be hilarious at the time (DAMN YOU WIGNALL!!) I was off into the night again. Off to where exactly? aaaah who the fuck cares!? if it's anything like it's been in Jive's tonight it's gotta be awesome riiight? OH YOU KNOW IT'LL BE!!
12:31AM - And so awfully chuffed by my "quiet night out" at Jive, I headed off to The Ed Castle: expecting very little in return but a few frosty pints and a few laughs (before closing time invariably sent me off to Supermild) only to be stopped dead in my tracks by the bouncer. Turns out he wasn't gonna let me in unless I was on some kinda list. Obviously I wasn't on this list, or at least I didn't THINK I was on this list (hmmm did I mention how little sleep I'd gotten for the past week!?) but as it turns out, before I could even "bullshit" my way past it (ie: somewhere between pulling a "Jedi Mind Trick" and doing a mad dash for the beer garden.. FUCK YEAAAH!!) I'm still ushered through regardless. Turns out I WAS on this list, I just didn't know it yet. "Wait.. what!?". Yeah I know! Sometimes it really IS that fuckoff awesome being me. And if I only knew what clownshit superpowers this entitled me to half the time, let's face it dude we'd all be in a world of trouble!
12:37AM - For trouble is what I sure as fuck found (and by the bucketload at that) the minute I made the foolish mistake of venturing into the band room tonight. For it was here that I was overwhelmed by nothing short of a "Category Five" scenster shitstorm, all crawling the walls and ceiling, all shrieking hysterically for Transmission Live and their headlining act. WHOAAA SHIT! And not just for any old headlining act either, oh no THIS kind of feverish reaction bordering on fullblown retardation could only come from one such band, a band who's name alone strikes fear (or more accurately alcohol poisoning) into the hearts and minds of all who dare oppose them!
PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY (*****) myspace :: Yeah ok, obviously I planned for all of this shit WELL in advance (or at least most of it) and I'm simply taking the piss here. I mean as much as that whole fluke with the doorlist was STILL a bit of a mystery to me (I mean really? I'm that good!? HELL YES!!) the rest of this hilarity I was more than prepared for the minute I punched my way through to the frontlines of battle. Yup, this sure as shit wasn't the first time I'd ever been exposed to this band's unique brand of "entertainment". OOOH FUCK NO!! For proof, you need look no further than the last three minutes of their closing track "I Don't Want To Party" captured on video from their Bluejuice support way back way in May to know exactly what I'm on about (oh and it also helps that their lead singer Berkfinger was hiding out at Jive earlier tonight so I knew exactly when to strike.. SCORE!!). Still it didn't make capturing any of THIS shit in following any less improbable. Quite the contrary. In fact I'm actually half surprised I'm still alive to recount the tale now. For this live set truly existed on whole other plane of reality. Just as this won't read so much as a "live review" as the threadbare plot to an upcoming Roland Emmerich epic. Philadelphia Grand Jury. In short picture a sound. A sound very much akin to a goose being sucked through a jet engine crossfaded with mine collapse. Now imagine sharing that blissful experience with at least two hundred raging psychotics stuffed into the claustrophobic confines of The Ed Castle band room, in the dark, with nothing but a teeny tiny compact camera to protect you. Now multiply that by a factor of five whenever one of their "smash hits" (pun intended) is thrashed to within an inch of its life on stage. No shit, anytime I heard the first few bars of "Going To The Casino", "Ready To Roll" and "I'm Going To Kill You" I could only but hope and pray they could find my phone signal afterwards. Words such as "apocalypse", "chaos", "pandemonium" or even simply reading off the list of ingredients found in a generic store bought meat pie barely begins to cover it. OOOH FUCK NO!! We're talking all out war. The band managed the best they can. Their presence at best is all but a formality, as the rising stench of arms, legs, beer bottles and pint glasses all but overwhelm the stage like a locust swarm. In the intervals they'd simply rinse out all the excess swill from their guitar pedals and dive right into the next song. As such most of the set was a blur as I did my very best to duck and weave through the jigsaw puzzle of skull fragments flying towards me (although I particularly liked the new songs). And by the end of the whole ordeal? it'd clearly been too much for all involved. When they thrashed out their finale "I Don't Want To Party" MC Bad Genius took one look at the shit eating grins assembled in front of him (ie: the one's he usually jumps straight into the thick of without a hint of hesitation), thought better of it, turned tail and ran like hell behind the drumkit. Philadelphia Grand Jury. The body count was immeasurable. Most of us were simply lucky to still be alive. WHOAAA FUCKING SHIT that's what I call a mad rollercoaster ride! Who's game for another round.. anyone? ANYONE!?
2:04AM - And then it was the weirdest thing I swear. Within moments of that last song, that last guitar riff, bass and snare ringing out through the air like a death rattle: it was as if a giant plug got pulled and the entire room (pie floaters and all) got swept clear out into the street and gurgling down the drain again. FUCK YEAAAH!! Although not entirely unprecedented as a similar thing happened at Tame Impala a few weeks ago (hmmm maybe they pull the same shit with soccer riots in the UK!?). Either way there was absolutely nothing left to show for what happened here tonight, save for the sound engineer "Seth Cohen" (aka: Alex Ciaravolo) picking up all the pieces, three band members with eyes as wide as saucers, and an entire dishwasher's worth of glass shards shat into the walls and ceiling. Yup, all things considered? mission accomplished!
2:06AM - Stumbling out into the band room again I discover The Ed Castle is all but empty, save for a handful of survivors STILL gleefully dancing up a storm in front of the DJ booth; just like it was business as usual. Damn! It's anyone's guess how they COULD after all the insanity that'd just been unleashed upon them, but hey all power to them! From the look of Ross Osmon however, he was clearly wishing he was anywhere but here. As much as he was behind all mess in the first place he'd clearly signed off on it hours ago. Blindfolded to the horrors that jerked and writhed before him (more pickled than people) he soldiered on as another "wildly successful" installment of Transmission Live draw to a grisly end. And to think it's not even Halloween night? sheeiiit!!
2:14AM - And so just like every other night I staggered off to Supermild with only ONE clear aim in mind. Drink myself nearly retarded enough until all memory of this night ever happening is flushed clear out of my head. Which is always the best strategy to employ if ever I had one (which let's face it I rarely do), until the next day I invariably realise I'm STILL meant to be writing about it, only to beat my brain senseless into a wall in effort to "recall" it. And to think I do this every damn week, and I never get tired off it? YOU BETCHA!! Longneck Coopers Pale HEEERE WE COME!!
2:18AM - Which is exactly what I would have done if I wasn't waiting in line behind these three fools: someone who bears a striking resemblance to "Mischa Barton" from The O.C. (aka: Caitlin), someone who bears a striking resemblance to "Berkfinger" from Philadelphia Grand Jury, and some other random nitwit by the name of "Jacob" who's simply come along for the ride (apparently he's just visiting here from interstate.. yay for him!). Oh and as much Berkfinger looks like he's celebrating all his Christmases at once, he's in actual fact fearing for his life. No really, he's totally blinking it out an S.O.S. and everything. I'm picking it up loud and clear: "HELP! HELP! Marissa Cooper's trying to kill me! Marissa Cooper's trying to kill me! AAAAUAUAUGH!!". Or maybe I'm getting the translation all wrong and he's simply slipping out a "silent but deadly". Hmmm.
2:23AM - Still before I could figure all that out, I'm soon joined by "Generic James Bond Villain" and dude dressed as a fuckoff pumpkin (who's clearly lost a wager of some kind). And no I'm not at all disturbed by this development, not even in the slightest (I mean this shit totally happens to YOU all the time too.. riiight!?). No what worries me MORE is the simple fact that this line hasn't moved for the past ten minutes and I'm seriously starting to wonder who we have to murder to make shit happen. And NO Berkfinger we don't mean you.. or wait, maaaybe we do!? Hmmm.
2:36AM - It's been days, weeks, months, maybe even years; or maybe just thirteen minutes (although it sure as fuck feels like forever) since we've been stuck in this lineup. And it's been getting desperate here let me tell you! We've already killed and eaten Berkfinger (oddly enough he tasted just like chicken) and now we're drawing up master plans to divide up dude dressed like a fuckoff pumpkin. Generic James Bond Villain is more than happy to make this happen by concocting an entirely ridiculous doomsday contraption (that even a three year old could figure out its one fatal flaw and dismantle). Caitlin however already has a machete, so no drama there. And now entirely unrelated to anything that's about to happen (anyone got an industrial strength blender?) here's a few "scenic photos" I took of West Hindley Street in effort to distract you.
2:42AM - Oh look Enigma Bar's still open, isn't that wonderful!?
2:57AM - And then at long last, when it appeared we'd lost all hope, when it appeared there was no one left to eat (short of that Uruguayan rugby team that crash landed here moments earlier), we FINALLY gained entry. And stepping inside after ALL THIS TIME we fully expected to see Supermild packed to capacity, we fully expected to see it a few shades short of a firecode violation , we fully expected the busiest damn night in recent history for SURELY keeping us waiting for almost an hour outside could offer no other explanation. Only to step into this: a sparsely populated interior to realise we'd just been played. That arseclown of a bouncer (obviously a new one at that) had pulled the lamest trick in the book: by keeping a MASSIVE LINEUP outside of an almost empty venue, and all in effort to make this place appear "uber exclusive"!? DAMN YOU!!
Still the mood was lightened somewhat when we realised we'd also stepped foot into a Halloween party celebrated one night early on a Friday (yup, go figure!). They'd gone all out for this shit. All the barstaff were decked out like slain circus freaks (which obviously I couldn't be arsed taking photos of.. so y'know, take my word for it?). The ceilings were festoon with cobwebs. And best of all? that teeny tiny Frankenstein lantern stuffed into the "muppet wall" by the dancefloor!? maddest shit ever! Wait, where was I again? oh yeah! in a serious need to get shitfaced drunk! It's like they almost made me forgot I'd been waiting outside for a full fucking hour to get here!
4:00AM - And so it was here that I pissed away the remainder of the night with all the usual suspects. Or in other words pretty much the same five freaks I ALWAYS find in Supermild past four in the morning. And as much as I'd love to detail ANY of the hilarious exploits we got up to in following: in ways that are far more wildly hallucinogenic than in any ways helpful (or in other words make shit up as I go along because I'm simply way too drunk to remember) this time? yeah fuck it I seriously couldn't be arsed. But hey at least we appear to be having fun and killing off scores of our braincells whilst doing it, and isn't that what's really important? yeaaah probably not.
Wait who the FUCK are all these people again? HELP!?
Yup the "quiet night out" is STILL possible, I swear! I mean sure it might not look like one, it might not sound like one, it sure as shit don't smell like one, and it's pretty fucking far away from any loose definition of the term you could ever hope to use in effort to describe one (so much so I'm beginning to suspect I failed on all accounts and had an exceptionally LOUD one instead!?) but it's the thought that counts. And as long as I keep thinking it? everything will work out fine!