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...
LADY STRANGELOVE "SWEET EXCHANGE" SINGLE LAUNCH @ JIVE / Saturday May 14th 2011
So, who's pulled one of those wacky "detox" manoeuvres before? and nooo I don't mean anything "Hollywood" fucked up: involving excess chanting, crystals, steam exuding from the boiled gland of a Nepalese mountain goat; only it's been fermented and brewed up by that dude who does "work experience" at Happy High Herbs (he blows glass on the side) and administered through metres of plastic tubing siphoned up through your poo chute... or wait, perhaps "detox" is too strong a word? gone "cold turkey" on something just for the ridiculous fuck of it!? yeaaah that's it! Because THAT'S what I was stupid enough to pull on Monday, when I cut my 24/7 IV drip supply to mi-goreng and caffeine and aaaah what the fuck let's throw in alcohol too! (ooops, guess THAT didn't last long!). Why!? weeell it wasn't for any asinine "moral superiority" reasons if THAT'S what you're thinking, it wasn't for my "wellbeing", or because I was feeling in any way "guilty" about accidently "destroying" my beloved moon unit "Astro" last Friday night (aka: my Canon IXUS 960), the same that'll cost me $200 in repairs... because clearly the "fact" I was mad pinging out of my eyeballs on caffeine at the time (only to drown my sorrows in far too many beers on Saturday) TOTALLY was to blame and NOT an errant speck of dust falling into the lens mechanism totally fucking up the focus, and now my inner sense of karmic balance must make punitive "amends" for it!? HA HA HA *FUUUCK* (and speaking of which? my substitute tonight will be my 3rd camera "Gizmo I", aka: my Canon IXUS 950 that originally met its demise drowning in a plastic pint glass of beer at Urtext back in October 2007 since "resurrected"... AWESOME HUH!?). Nor am I doing this because I'm in ANY WAY flat broke or otherwise cautiously counting my pennies due to at least SOME of the above bullshit (just the camera repairs, not the rest of it) FUUUCK NO!! I'm simply doing it for shits and giggles or because I'm bored... either way? after crawling through six days of just the caffeine withdrawal alone, to the point it felt like someone's crammed a kilogram bag of cotton wool into my brain and now it's trying to punch its way to freedom THROUGH MY EYE SOCKETS!? I figured it'd be hilarious to cover a launch gig for Lady Strangelove: Adelaide's most shitcrazy psychedelic head explosion in a four piece, here at Jive. Because clearly both things are totally unrelated, I'm not trying to make a thing of it, I just felt like sharing! no really WHO WANTS TO SEE SOME LIVE BANDS!? WOOOO!!
LIKE LEAVES (****1/2) - And speaking of hilariously biased "live reviews"... because we all know I'm gonna be giving THIS band another superfluous "a-grade endorsement". Because since when have made Like Leaves here sound like anything LESS than the most head explodingly shit awesome crap (bordering a fullblown spiritual epiphany) in a forty five minute "stoner boner" of the five senses... since Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" met "The Wizard Of Oz" over a few too many double barrel bongs and a bucket of KFC!? *FUUUCK!!* (save for that time they supported Die! Die! Die! back in April 2010 at The Ed Castle and their live mix was SO atrociously bad it licked the hairy nutsack of a wildebeast and we laughed and laughed and I could've sworn for a moment there that their guitarist Dan Varricchio would've killed me for it? HA HA HA GOOD TIMES!!). I mean let's face it: I could just fill the rest of this writeup with nothing but gibberish, you could skip to the next band, and nobody would care either way! OF COURSE NOT!! because it'll be nothing but the same praise we've heard a thousand times before: nothing but blah-di-blah-blah yada yada yada "Four And A Half Stars!" derp derp derp "Ryan Manolakis" WOOOO!! with the same 'ol songs in their setlist to the point I've caught every single one of them on video upteen times over (and I'm not even shitting you!) and "every one of them's brilliant!" and "heeey have you heard Bazooka!?" and WHY AM I STILL TALKING HERE!? JUST SAY IT, THEY'RE MY FAVOURITE BAND IN THE ENTIRE ADELAIDE SCENE AND MOVE ON ALREADY, SHEEESH!! except wouldn't you know it... they totally did something worth mentioning tonight, a whole bunch of "something" in fact. And I don't just mean they put "Bazooka'' first instead of last and Juliet Hunter is playing the guitar now... but now you mention it? MIND BLOWN!! Or that for the first time in aaages (or at least from what I can recall) they also did a cover, and it was Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", and duuude when it peaked? it was a golden "toaster in the bathtub" moment for us all (as much as you just KNEW they were going to go there eventually anyways, I mean C'MON!!). Nope they totally did one better maaan: they didn't just have ONE, but two new songs on offer tonight... TWO NEW SONGS!! and I've got videos of them both: "Landslide" (with Juliet on vocals) and "Sanity Disposal" (with Dan), and I'm not going to say anything more, I'm not gonna pass any judgement, because we all know what I'd say... and it'd be nothing but a superlative "fangasm" of gushing embarassment for all concerned (yeah it was okay I guess?). No, just watch them both and make up your own mind; hell you might even agree with me! Or don't, flip me off, bomb an anonymous comment below calling me a "fag", or WORSE... I totally understand! It's the internet, it's filled with nothing but unmitigated hate, 4chan, torture porn and people bitching about both whilst illegally downloading everything that isn't nailed shut in a nuclear bunker somewhere jerking off to Justin Bieber. But I swear Like Leaves are just that kind of band for me, and this was one of those gigs that very much reaffirmed my faith in their lysergic brilliance, even though they had to cut one song short tonight (and would you believe it's been since January since I last saw them live? FUUUCK OFF!!). And yes you totally should've been here for it, you totally would've lost your shit to it... and THAT'S all that needs to be said!
11:50PM - And yes I know how that "live review" must have sounded (for what little content it actually contained) like I somehow managed to make our headlining act: hosting their stupidly epic single launch party here at Jive, to hundreds of hooting, hysterical, nay hyperventilating fans (sporting spastically cheesy "glassy-eyed grins" at having witnessed such phantasmagorical face melting splendour) now flocking the merch stand to feverishly buy their very own personal copy of "HISTORY IN THE MAKING" like they were actual super concentrated blocks of USA military grade resin that would reveal all the secrets of the universe if they only but "smoked" it, sound like... oh I dunno, four people stifling a fart, half asleep on a couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon? like Lady Strangelove here only getting "four and a half stars" in a review is something to be ashamed of!? well lemme just point out a few a-grade arguments to the contrary. Firstly, their new single "Sweet Exchange" (misspelt on their setlist as "Sweet Sexchange"... ooooh those funny baaastards!) has gotta be the most slinkyarse infectious mad slice of Adelaide brewed psychedelia I've heard since Wolf & Cub's "This Mess" I mean no shit duuude I can't stop playing it, it's fucking tops! Secondly, they totally finished more than fifteen minutes overtime tonight, which is almost UNHEARD OF at Jive on a Saturday night... and if that ain't a glowing endorsement from the surliest establishment in town, I don't know what IS!? And thirdly? I shot all the above photos whilst wearing drummer Fox Faehrmann's batshit ridiculous fur coat that I stole off the front of his drumkit start of the show, and here's some photos of me prancing about with it like a total dickhead with it (because clearly I've never pulled a stunt like that A BILLION TIMES BEFORE!!) no really, how awesome is THAT!?
Seriously post all the inflammatory anonymous comments you want... I JUST DON'T GIVE A SHIT!!
Except clearly that photo wasn't stupid enough (at least not by the standard I usually aspire to), or maybe I'm waaay too sober for this shit tonight (pfft nooo... what would my sponsors think!?) so to make amends for it: Jordan tries lifting me off the ground while I did my best impersonation of an "angry kitty". HA HA HA I know! I can't believe I waste a good part of my life doing this shit either.
12:05AM - So... who's ever pulled one of those wacky "sobriety" nights before, at The Ed Castle? HA HA HA me neither maaan! the minute I walk through that door I'm gonna get fucken loaded!
12:28AM - Or this pedal board here that's in NO WAY remarkable or even related to the previous discussion at all (as I merely took this photo just now so I could kill some time waiting before our headlining act get their shit together) and wait... what the fuck are we talking about again? AAAAH WHO CARES!! but hey, since we're ON this blithering non sequitur... how pointy are those shoes!?
THE SWEET DECLINE (***1/2) - Which is possibly the stooopidest way imagineable to introduce our next band: and my one and only legitimate reason for being here in the first place, besides all the other illegitimate bastards "masquerading" as reasons that I usually opt for instead (which believe you me I'm very much tempted to pursue in the beer garden) as well, wouldn't you know it? but this just so happen to be their EP launch tonight. And we all know I'm such a raging "mental patient" for this shit. Except THIS time I figured: wouldn't it be hilarious if I wrote up their subsequent live review in such a way that not only is it NOT helpful in any way, or even relevant to the band in question (or even relevant to the live music profession as a whole?) but also manages to simultaneously and repeatedly insult them for it... like its their own fault for dragging me into this mess in the first place? Except wait, isn't that how I conduct business in writing up almost every OTHER live review in Spoz's Rant anyways!? HA HA HA WOWWW!! I'm really beginning to enjoy this "clear headed sobriety" tonight! like I can be so much more brutally honest now, and now I can finally tell you all what I really thi... oh wait, the first two beers just kicked in. NEVERMIND!! Yup this is The Sweet Decline, and we may never know for sure what I really think of them? which is just as well because the jokes I could crack at their expense are SOOO MUCH WORSE!! Like that awesome one-liner I cooked up when I saw them in October last year? and described them as sounding like "Liam and Noel Gallagher being beaten to death in a wind tunnel by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club"? I mean it doesn't get much better than that does it!? so much so I wish I could wheel that shit out EVERYTIME I reviewed them. No more than that... if it were at all possible? I'd marry that sentence in a heart beat and spawn a whole family of hideous "sentence fragments" with it I'm THAT HAPPY WITH IT... only it's not entirely accurate anymore. The band's moved on, they're evolving, they're launching this brand new EP tonight: "Echo Of The Sirens" that brilliantly showcases this bold new direction they've been heading... shit, they've even got a new bassplayer! who you may recognise as the infamous Jon Wignall: formerly of The Keepsakes and 20th Century Graduates; the latter of which under somewhat acrimonious circumstances in February (rumour has it they're hoping to start a bitter rivalry with that... you know for inflammatory "shits and giggles") and thus I obviously need to reassess. So instead of Liam and Noel Gallagher? think Eric Cartman from South Park, only he's 10ft tall, all teeth, buzzing like a chainsaw and fed through a megaphone: THAT'S their lead singer Tom Kennedy. And rather than "mellow with age"? he's somehow gotten more comically abrasive with it. And I can't quite decide if it's a good or a bad thing yet (although to be fair it does find a nice range on the EP) but all power to him for ripping it to the extreme. Better yet the rest of the band simply match that with their guitars, bass and drums equally as savage. So think less Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and more Black Lips, Wavves, or maybe Oasis at twice the velocity and volume fed through a trash compactor. It's more dirty, distorted, driven to fuck off intensity like a teenage hissyfit spitting molotov cocktails and jumping on cop cars. But thankfully (as suggested on the EP) it's not all one note delivery, they do throw some additional "colours" into this mix, and all that's showcased brilliantly at the launch tonight (even if it's a little more modest in scope from what I witnessed at Jive). From guitarist Gus Johnston's wolf howls in the more laidback "Tease Me" (possibly my favourite song of the set), to drummer Lee Kennedy busting out the maracas as drumsticks on the slow burn of "Waiting On A Shadow", to the omnipresent Matt Hills (who yup you guessed it: produced this EP) joining them on stage to provide backup vocals and tambourine on (I'm guessing) "Inside Looking Out" there's a wealth and a range here... or at least once you get past the live mix that's very much accentuating the "Eric Cartman" effect, but hey that's The Sweet Decline. They sounded pretty decent sober... but I dare say they'd be even more brilliant drunk!
1:25AM - And that last bit raises a good point: being "sober" doing THIS? just makes things that much more... well I wouldn't say lame, but not terribly that inspiring either. I mean yeaaah I get it, believe me I do! I DO ramble waaay too much crap on a regular basis about getting well and truly obliterated and shit faced and pissed... or as one youtube commenter put it "one day you'll stop making jokes about drinking and then i'll make an effort to read you". Oh suuure you will! and I should totally "detox" and "cold turkey" and be clear headed sober more often and then we can here, have teeny tiny cups of tea and discuss the inner intricacies of complex chord progressions all day long until one of us finally realises just how pointless ALL OF THIS SHIT REALLY IS, snaps and repeatedly beats the other one to death with the blunt end of a fire extinguisher rather than deal with it (aaaah my favourite murder weapon of convenience!). No seriously! JUST YOU TRY AND PULL THIS SHIT EVERY DAMN WEEK FOR YEARS ON END WITHOUT RESORTING TO HARD LIQUOR!! FUUUCK!! but awww look a swirly drumkit, innit pretty? *ahem* wait, what was I on about again!?
Oh that's right Jon, thanks for reminding me... FUCK I NEED A DRINK!!
The fact is, you cover this Adelaide scene AT YOUR OWN PERIL if ever you choose to do it sober (and believe me that "choice" wasn't entirely voluntary this week either... stoopid repair bills!). I mean it's just not built for it maaan! Not when live gigs are hosted in licensed venues that serve alcohol (and make most of their profits from it), fuck full of laughing pissclowns, where the bands themselves are paid in fucking beer rider and all the best songs they write are either about being "under the influence", or penned during a protracted bender. Case in point? earlier tonight: here I am attempting to be some kinda "responsible blogger guy" at Jive (HA HA HA I know riiight?), hiding in the speaker stacks, sorting out photos on my camera like some kinda "Nigel no friends" BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS DO MAAAN, THEY'RE FUCKING DORKS!! And who just so happens to stumble into frame? but Jules and Lucinda here. And obviously they can see that I'm busy, but nooo... they want a photo don't they? and Lucinda's totally pulling a "spastic mongoloid" (and oh maaan I'm so gonna get hate mail for this!) and am I gonna say NO because it somehow undermines the "sombre integrity" of live music as a profession? or that it's gonna encourage binge drinking: the #1 vile scourge to our nation's wellbeing? am I gonna refuse the opportunity to mock them mercilessly in this blog at a later date? FUUUCK NO!! it's hilarious!
And in case I didn't get the message the first time? here's Lucinda at it again at The Ed Castle, only she's brought in "reinforcements" and now they're ALL pulling "spastic mongoloids" at me laughing themselves silly, and ferfucksake... HOW COULD YOU NOT DRINK AT A TIME LIKE THIS!?
Yup, let's face it... if I don't get fucked up tonight? it SO ain't gonna be "pretty".
2:16AM - So how does one get well and truly "fucked up" at The Ed Castle (and believe me the sooner the better at this point!) when all of one's precious beer funds are otherwise tied up in all manner of niggling "real world" expenses? HA HA HA WHAT... IS THAT A RHETORICAL QUESTION!? Just as I really shouldn't specify just what exactly Jon here is holding in that NO WAY suspicious looking ziplock "baggie" of his (with his no way guilty looking expression), or how it may solve all my problems tonight... because to be fair I had half of one, I waited like ten minutes and nothing happened. So I had another half, still nothing! So what the hell, I just up and ate a whole second one. I mean what's the worst that could possibly happen!? they're only choc chip cookies *ahem*.
3:08AM - Or instead of just nicking the occassional beer in the name of "rock photojournalism" you could go one better: like that dude on the right there who's name simply "escapes" me right now; drummer for Mere Theory!? except HA HA HA wait he isn't in Mere Theory! WHAT THE FUCK AM I ON ABOUT!? oh that right! that's the band he SAID he was in: ordering jugs over the bar, the night they played here back in 2010. GENIUS, PUUURE GENIUS!! oh and I'm also told if you really wanna nail that shit down? target the "newbie bartenders" who don't know any better: anytime a venue changes "management" and sacks the old staff... THAT'S the golden opportunity to strike! Except *ahem* you totally didn't just hear all that from me, and we never had this "discussion".
Oh maaan I've still got so much to learn... and so much MORE to unlearn!
4:00AM - And then... just when all hope was lost over those cookies ever kicking in? they did just THAT here in the Supermild toilets (like a velvet shovel upside the head!). HA HA HA duuude I was fucking waaasted! and I could've sworn I was hallucinating something fierce too! (no wait, since when do "choc chips" ever do that!?) but no these photos proved otherwise... this graffiti with the "googly eyes" I was staring at with bewildered fascination and dumbstruck awe? was 100% real!
4:26AM - And then when I finally DID crawl out of there: half barking mad... resisting that brief temptation to stroke the "furry wall" near the dancefloor giggling uncontrollably; only to hit the bar for a longneck? (because pfft... why stop now just when it's getting good!? squeeeeee!). I did what any other self respecting lunatic would do in a time like this: seek out the one person still standing in Supermild who looks even more hilariously "out of it" than I... and hang onto him for dear life.