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...
ANGELIK + FEAR AND LOATHING + CORTEZ LIVE @ THE CROWN & ANCHOR / Saturday December 19th 2009
Hi everyone and welcome to my LAST live blog for 2009! Yup this is it, you're reading it right now, I've said and done it all maaan! I'm ruling that proverbial line in the sand, I'm pulling that plug, I'm punching out that cuckoo clock, I'm mixing all those metaphors and I'm getting the fuck out of dodge! Like no shit duuude, I've been counting down the days till this moment! Till I could write these words in my sleep, till I could bleed this brain dry of every last drop and throw it all away! Blissful oblivion here we come! WAAAHOOOOO!! Why!? because I'm going on holiday YOU FUCKS that's why! AAAHAHAHAhAhAHaHA!! I mean you couldn't POSSIBLY imagine how good it's gonna be! It's gonna be FUCKING AWESOME!! Nothing but photos, videos and dead silence for a month!? YEAAAS!! Maybe even longer than that, fuck it maybe I'll never come back at all!! I mean no shit I don't know how I've survived this long in the first place!? Every week I thought it was going to be my last! EVERY FUCKING WEEK!! I've created a monster with this, I know that now! This rambling non sequitur, this maddening scene dissertation, this weekly institution emphasis on the mental, growing ever more popular in spite of itself, it's fucking developed a life all of it's own! AND I'M SO SICK TO DEATH OF WRITING IT!! "So.. why you still here then!?". Because I love publishing this shit that's why! I love the fact that you're reading it. I love taking the piss all the time! I love taking all these live photos: especially when the lighting doesn't blow a goat (oh maaan that's the best!). Most of all I love this laughable excuse for a music scene. No really! This clownshit insane lifestyle, this chaos and colour, and all you dysfunctional characters that dwell within it, you're like family to me! But there's only SO MUCH I can "return the favour" till I start to hate every last one of you fucks! Last live blog for 2009!? OOOOH FUCK YEAH, YOU BETTER FUCKING BELIEVE IT!!
Yup we've finally made it to the end of another year. Just stop and think about THAT for a moment! Or better yet just try reading every episode I've published this year to get to this point (yeaaah ok maybe it's better that you DON'T). No shit, it seriously blows MY bullet riddled brain coming to terms with it.. and I'm the idiot who wrote it!? FUUUCK!! To think it's been a whole year!? A WHOLE FUCKING YEAR!! And I swear it hasn't felt like one either! It's been more like five thousand years stretching out to infinity maaan, as much as it's been little under a season: the passing of a sunset to sunrise, all twelve months pissing away in an instant. I see it now flashing before my eyes: the rise and fall of empires, endless fucking reviews, thousands upon thousands of photos, me documenting every drunken nitwit, every passing fickle fashion and trend? like we were nothing but flooded with it this year: scenster tragics, hipster douchebags, indie dipshits and every night's a spastic indie disco dancefloor!? FUUUCK OFF!! although to be fair I DID get a lot of mileage in taking the absolute piss out of them (and shit where would we be without 'em!?). Still by the end of this year I'm DONE with it! I've had enough for a year, for a whole fucking lifetime! I gotta get as far away as I can from it.. like here to The Crown & Anchor for a wacky Christmas show tonight? sure why the fuck not!? I mean I couldn't think of a better place but HERE to end it!
Yup it's like I'm increasingly drawn to these "classics" of late. These well established haunts of the Adelaide scene. And fuck it's not hard to see WHY either! There's no selling out with this shit, they're oblivious to fashion, they're nothing but timeless maaan! Places like The Grace Emily, Jive, Jade Monkey, The Exeter for a chance beer or two, yes even the pissy 'ol Crown & Anchor. They've been at it for years, some of them even for decades or more! And although I might make constant fun of them (or maybe just THIS one) and call them every name under the sun: shit stains, open sewers, abattoirs, or human toilets (yeah ok.. it's definitely just this one!) they're just like home to me maaan, even more so than my own; because THIS is where I go to get away from it all! And tonight especially they're making me feel more than welcome! Sure they've blocked off most of the exits from the band room (yeaaah what the fuck is up with that lately!?) and Zoey at the bar always looks like she'd rather brain me with that beerglass than serve it to me (aaaah she's always good value that one!) and I might even have missed the opening act tonight: The Tim McMillan Band (who? yeaaah I've got no idea!?) but you gotta give due credit to a venue when they actually make an effort to IMPROVE the stage setup for once INSTEAD of constantly shitting all over it (ie: like too many venues I could mention in the past year or so). Granted I was perfectly happy with their old setup.. it worked perfectly well (well ok maybe not "well" but at least it wasn't totally shit!), but with all these faerie lights on the ceiling and all those other shitcrazy lights and strobes they've got running in here? OOOOH FUCK YEAH! It's starting to feel a LOT like Christmas tonight!
CORTEZ (****) myspace :: So here we are with our "first" act. Hmmm. You may remember them from a live review I wrote almost a month ago at the Jade Monkey, so much so it feels kind of redundant writing about them again tonight. And it's not like they're any different THIS time. OOOOH FUCK NO!! They've still got that same blunt bludgeoning sound, that same mad murderous chunk of a death grind that I still can't get enough of (especially of late when it's been such a comparative rarity in the Adelaide scene) I mean no shit, it's why I keep coming back for more! It's that same mid nineties guitar shred that's equal parts math, metal, punk, lo-fi, garage rock and grunge (or you know if the flannel wasn't nearly enough of a dead giveaway?) and yes it kills like nothing else! OOOOH SHIT YEAH!! It's utter carnage and catharsis made zen, it makes drinking pissloads of beer and letting out your inner animal sound like the best thing ever! Think Shihad's "My Mind's Sedade", You Am I's "Berlin Chair" and Nirvana's entire "In Utero" album thrown into a blender (or pretty much the exact same three references I make in EVERY review). Fuck maaan they even almost blew up the exact same guitar amp in the exact same song just like they did last time; especially in the way that James Hastings has the distortion on his bass cranked to motorbike ferocity. Or what about the way that Ben White on drums has his oversized cymbals set SO ridiculously high that he almost gives John Stanier from Helmet a run for his money? Or the mad "conversationalists" that both Gabe Philips and Tom Spall on guitars make for in the song interludes as they both fumble about cluelessly wondering which song to play next!? (possibly their only critical flaw to be honest, as they never remember to bring a setlist!). Yup it's all part of the rich character of this band, shit it wouldn't be a Cortez gig without it! So why am I here writing about it AGAIN!? Duuude let's face it if it wasn't for me? who else would!? No really for all the overhyped bands that exist out there, it's bands like THESE that deserve all the credit! The same unknowns that would otherwise disappear "between the cracks" if it weren't for idiots like me writing blogs about them, reintroducing them, making them known. They're the classic "career band" maaan! They've been playing this shit under the cover of "darkness" for years now. They've been perfecting it like artful assassins. In both this band Cortez (since November 2008) and in all their previous incarnations from Loemax, Mirrorline to J-Ded stretching back almost a decade. And let's face it they're utterly crap at promoting themselves.. so it's pretty much up to me now! Yeah yeah.. it's not yet their time, this much I know! Not in a world overrun by indie electro and nanna folk (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that) they're all but unknown, there's only a handful of us here! and I know I say this a lot in response (possibly because I'm impatient as hell for it) but when that zeitgeist flips, and all of a sudden this "rock" thing gets huge again? this'll be me telling you I TOLD YOU SO! Cortez. It wasn't necessarily their best set tonight, but trust me duuudes it still delivered like a molotov shat all over your synapses; and if nothing else? we could always use more of that!
FEAR AND LOATHING (***1/2) myspace :: Which brings us to our "second" act tonight. One which I'm half surprised I haven't reviewed IN ALL THE TIME that I've been running this fartarse excuse for a live music blog (it's been what now? almost six years!? duuude!) because no shit I just checked up on their myspace now and it said they formed waaay back in 1981!? WHOAAA FUCK!! And I'm not even kidding maaan! Not only does this mean that they've been fucking about with the same shit since WELL before most of you "ankle biters" were even born (so much so they almost make ME feel like a proverbial "zygote" by comparison.. AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING!). But better yet by Adelaide scene standards (ie: where next to every other live band I've ever known has "imploded" after only eighteen months or two EPs!?) it practically makes them "time immemorial" too!? NO SHIT!! We're talking the Adelaide scene equivalent of fucking Methuselah here! We're talking the Adelaide scene equivalent of that classic mid eighties action film featuring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery as two shitcrazy immortals with mad decapitation skills (Highlander anyone!?) except.. wait for it, THEY'RE EVEN OLDER THAN THAT TOO!? FUUUCK ME!! And even weirder? they're a fucking punk band!? I mean just think of all the punk bands you know. And not just from the past decade, or all of that other emo crap either. I mean think of all the classics like The Sex Pistols, The Stooges, The Ramones, Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys (ie: all the bands that they're obviously influenced by). Now not only is THIS band almost as old as all of THEM? but they're still cracking skulls to this day!? FUUUCKING HELL!! (they even put Fugazi to shame!). Yup quite like Cortez before them they're a "classic career band", only so much more RIDICULOUSLY SO that they've put almost every other definition of it to shame (U2? who the fuck are they!?). Although if it helps I'm pretty sure they've also replaced all of their band members too: short of that spaced out hippie Hermann Lauss on bass and that grinning gimp Chris Wiley on guitar (who I'm pretty sure have both been here since the Pleistocene). And yet they just keep on going, madder than ever!? Yup not only are they're an impossibility, they're a fucking inspiration! Fear And Loathing. In essence think of them as a punk band with heavy elements of funk, dirge and hardcore brutality. Think intestinal and visceral with a cartoon mentality. Think vocals rendered gutteral and utterly incomprehensible. Think of someone shrieking on fire, wielding a chainsaw strapped to their skull, giving "birth" to a kidney stone the size of The Rock of Gibraltar: especially in the way that Jess Fisher "projectile vomits" it. No really! think of the loudest, stupidest (and strangely grooviest) shit you've ever heard, multiply it by a factor of ten, and I dare you NOT to piss yourself laughing at the raw intensity of it! And no that's NOT an insult maaan as I'm pretty sure THE ENTIRE BAND is in on the joke! It's freaking hilarious! No shit! It's the ultimate act of catharsis! It's beyond primordial! It's a sledgehammer bass and beats combo driven deep it into the ground. It's a microphone like a megaphone filtered through a telephone over a train-station loud speaker. It's a tornado of uppercut punch guitar riffs ping ponging off the walls. Then amongst it all: watch as some shaved "nutsack" (possibly a Viking) with a rattail proceeds to scream out all the lyrics from the crowd? and he wasn't even in the band? Who WAS that guy!? It's open season! It's a circus! I'm witness to the missing link here beating my brains in! Fear And Loathing!? FUUUCK!! As much as most of this review doesn't make a lick of sense, shit neither did most of their live set. But if THIS is what almost thirty years in a punk band does for you? I'm gonna quit drinking and start smoking their ashes instead! Who's with me!?
ANGELIK (****1/2) myspace :: Yup if ever there was a unifying factor to ANY of this shit tonight: it's surviving the odds. I mean look around you maaan, it's insane out there! What with all the music industry collapsing in on itself. And all this youtube, blogger and twitter hype flying about like it's superheated plasma? Where one minute we can't shut up about the Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear, and the next it's all about The xx and Mumford & Sons!? and everything's fickle, forgotten and disposable!? (and we thought it was hilarious back when NME called the shots!?). But here in Adelaide with fuckall to support it!? Every six months it's a completely different scene! I shit you not!! Venues open one year only to sell out the next. Bands burn out a whole career in a blink of an eye: from debut to launch to farewell, sneeze once and you'll miss it. I mean shit maybe it's just 2009 (maybe I STILL haven't gotten over Lumonics breaking up back in March!?), or maybe it's simply speeding up? I mean it can't just ME who's seeing this riiight!? FUUUCK!! Which is why it's always awesome to witness a mad "exception to the rule" like THIS one. Yup they've been at it for ten years now. TEN YEARS! I mean sure, Fear And Loathing might be laughing their arse off at that, but that's an impossible achievement all the same! THAT'S A WHOLE FUCKING DECADE DUUUDE!! And I remember when I first saw them too: back at The Colonel Light, back before it was Jimmy Rowes, back when it was The Heritage, back when they still had live bands back in late 1999!? It was a whole other millennium ago, I was sprawled out on a table pissdrunk laughing hysterically upstairs, and there they were playing one of their first shows!? Oh yeah! They were loud, they were stupid (or maybe that was just me!?) and I remembered fuckall of their set, but shit damn was it memorable all the same! And to think they're STILL thriving after all these years? (and I'm almost as pissdrunk tonight!?) Yup it's funny how some things NEVER change! Angelik: fronted by Laken Smith on vocals and Sam "The Bullet" Baroudi on guitar, may've gone through a proverbial bogroll of bass players from Greg Wright 1999-2004, Nick Parker 2006-2007, Adrian Haynes 2008-2009 (and now Pete "Freddy Krueger" Kearnes tonight) and a veritable "Spinal Tap" of drummers from W. Shane "Smashoff" 1999-2004, Nick Hadley 2006-2007, Tom Tombongo 2007-2009 (and now W. Shane back AGAIN tonight!? WHOAAA!!) but their beer fueled philosophy has always remained the same. Think of them as the Adelaide equivalent of Magic Dirt. Think of them as the quintessential "drinking band" (ie: the more shitfaced drunk you get? THE MORE SHIT AWESOME THEY SOUND!!). Or better yet don't think at all. Loud, fast and unrelentant!? just go fucking nuts! And here tonight, with the crowd blithering beyond retarded!? they deliver exactly as specified on the bottle: ABSOLUTE CARNAGE!! Yup as such I remember very little of their set save for "brief flashes". Like their brand new opener "Ferry Man": where they experiment with tribal drumming and tambourine (and come off sounding like The Ting Tings only much more post apocalyptic). Or the repeating attack of "Rolling" in the middle (simple but brutally effective). Or their first encore "Dirty" (they played two) where Laken was foolish enough to invite ME up on stage for a "pissdrunk duet" (I SO gotta stop encouraging that shit too!). And then throw in a shitload of strobes, smoke machines, spinners and spotters that otherwise played havoc with my camera's focus (as much as it made everything look epic) to the sound of chainsaws buzzing? OOOH YEAH!! Angelik. They might be five kinds of fuckoff loud, dirty and thrashingly retarded. But just like downing a whole bottle of tequila in one shot, they sure as shit get the job done: grinning oblivion guarenteed!
1:15AM - Yup it took a considerable effort to crawl out of the band room afterwards, let me tell you! What with that hilarious shitstorm of shrieking baboons, gibbons, chimps and orangutans all around me to cheer on Angelik for their second encore (I mean it's almost like they saw one of their own in Sam "The Bullet" Baroudi!? FREAAAKY!!). And all the broken glass, swirling smoke and shattered ribs to deal with (not to mention the after effects of all that excessive alcohol abuse spinning my internal GPS system from walls to ceiling). Either way maaan? it was well worth it the trip! And obviously there was only ONE way to follow it up: and that was to get way MORE drunk. I mean shit, who says "two wrongs don't make a right" with logic like that!? pfft.. I laugh at them!
1:17AM - Many hours later (or maybe just two minutes later with my "back teeth floating") I stumble back inside to "fill a glass" at the urinal and perhaps empty a few more at the bar: only to be suddenly reminded of where the fuck I was. And I don't just mean The Crown & Anchor on a Saturday, I mean the time of YEAR duuude! No shit, it's only six days till Christmas!? WHOAAA!! I mean of course I KNEW, but the actual "significance" of this only just hit me now: CHRISTMAS FUCKING DAY!? Yup and to think when I was a kid I used to look forward to this months in advance? and now as an adult it takes two pissed nitwits at The Crown & Anchor to remind me!? Awwww but aren't they just the "cutest thing" all bursting with festive glee!? YOU BET THEY ARE!
Yup there's something truly special about celebrating Christmas at The Crown & Anchor. And by "truly special" I totally mean it's got NOTHING to do with Christmas at all and it's simply an excuse for me and my fuckup friends to "woop it up" just like we always do, only everyone's wearing silly hats and "seasonally dyslexic" attire. Awesome! Which let's face it, is pretty much like Christmas anywhere isn't it? I mean what the fuck are we REALLY celebrating here: Coca Cola? consumerism? domestic disputes with family members you otherwise spend the rest of the year avoiding? nothing to watch on TV but lamearse repeats? all our live venues closed down on a Friday night because some random woman in the Middle East crapped out a "miracle baby" over two thousand years ago!? WHO THE FUCK CARES!? As long as it's another excuse to get drunk it's fine by us! I mean why ELSE would we invent flying reindeers, elves and eggnog: for the RELIGIOUS significance!?
And so in keeping with what's clearly the "Christmas spirit" tonight: here's Sara giving us the gift of boobs. Hmmm yup I don't quite get the connection either, but aren't you so glad I published it!?
2:18AM - And after spending what clearly wasn't an inordinate amount of time trying to capture that ONE good photo above (would you believe I totally stuffed it up the OTHER five thousand times? oh of course you wouldn't! why would I ever stoop to that level!?) I stumbled upon Laken here being the "life of the party" in every single way that this photo clearly doesn't suggest otherwise. Yup it's what we like to call "the bullfrog", "the goldfish" or that magical "tipping point" in any given night where Laken's IQ matches that of her blood alcohol content. Awesome huh!?
2:21AM - As it turns out however, this wasn't the REAL Laken after all (as obviously she left straight after the show) but in actual fact an animatronic puppet that Sam here concocted many moons ago using 50/50 blueprint schematics adapted from both Lara Croft and Jar Jar Binks and fed into one of those shitcrazy computers from "Weird Science". Understandably it's a strange mix, there's probably a little bit of Chrissy Amphlett, Courtney Love, Brody Dalle, Gwen Stefani and a deranged llama thrown in for good measure; but it's truly amazing how accurate he's gotten it.
Yup and if it weren't for the fact she'd occassionally catch on fire, speak fluent Japanese or make half of those bug-eyed facial expressions she does, we'd almost be convinced she's real too. Still for those of us here "out of our minds" it mattered little: because SHIT DAMN she could drink!
For instance here she is moments after she snorted what we told her was a jug of "ice tea" using only her left nostril. And as for why Sam is laughing here? turns out it was actually jägermeister!
2:21AM - As such, deeply disturbed by what I'd just witnessed, and in no way related to the fact that I might have concocted THIS WHOLE MESS as nothing but an overly elaborate "literary device" to bridge this story from one inconsequential photo to the next (no really what the fuck has ANY OF THIS SHIT got to do with Christmas!?) I find myself fleeing upstairs. It's here that I then bump into what appears to be Mike Turner from The Baron. Obviously after all I've been through I'm still suspicious as to whether he's real (and not a ventriloquist puppet as this photo may suggest). But after much reassuring from one of The Crown & Anchor's many "metal drones" (recognised by their shaved scalps, beards, black attire and fondness for Opeth) I decide this was as good a place as any to keep on drinking. Awesome! And as for the moral of this whole thing? yeaaah I forget.
2:24AM - Moments later I'm then joined by what is either actual Laken, replicant Laken, or evil twin Laken from that alternate universe in Star Trek where Spock has a goatee (accept obviously I've never watched an episode of Star Trek in my life, and so I wouldn't know shit about that) and that dude from before who everyone apparently calls "Zootroy" despite the fact his actual name is "Dave" (go figure!?). And although all of this information flooding my synapses all of a sudden SHOULD alarm me if only in the slightest? since I'm "dead from the neck up" and oblivious right now (aaaah fuck I love beer!) I'm happy enough for them to join the festivities. FUCK YEAAAH!! I mean shit, worse comes to worse? at least this would make for an awesome Christmas card!
3:18AM - Eventually however I felt the pressing need to get drunk elsewhere. I don't know WHY exactly, as clearly it had nothing to do with that wacky "incident" moments earlier: that most eye witnesses describe as being "rather like the closing scenes of Terminator only a little more Christmassy". Either way, somewhere around HERE outside of The Exeter (and yes it was closed) the battery on my camera decides to run out. A trivial detail I know, except that I totally forgot to pack a SECOND battery. Hmmm. If ever I needed a metaphor to describe my "energy levels" at the end of the year? I believe we just found it! So I guess there's only one thing for it huh? and that's to walk all the way to Supermild and keep on drinking! Why!? because who care's if I blog it or not!? pfft I'm just doing it for the "buzz" and as long as I've got that!? I'll always be out!
Yup so there we have it: my last live blog for 2009. Yeaaah I know, you were probably expecting something "BIGGER" weren't you? something more epic!? (especially at the end of a decade? NO SHIT!!). But life ain't a script maaan; even when I'm writing it and inventing half of it "tripping balls on whatever". It's not a finale, a cliff hanger or a career defining character arc, fuck it duuudes it's just another Saturday night out! Just as I'm sure I'll be out NEXT Saturday night, and the following Friday, and many other nights in between: doing the same shit as I'm always doing, laughing it up and posting nonsensical photos even without the words to accompany it. Why? because I fucking LIVE for this shit that's why! Just as sure as I'll be back NEXT year to start writing this up all over again (although quite likely in an entirely different form). Yup so it's not the end, it's just another beginning. So until we meet again? SO LONG YA RAT BASTARDS.. AND I'LL SEE YOU ALL SOON!!