Christian hip hop at some church in
Lidia and I are hanging out in Hound Dog's Bop Shop, surrounded by the best selection of country, blues and early rock n roll records in
It's a weird night. I'm keen on going out, but am a little sick, and more than a little directionless. So when Riley calls up and tells me to come to this hip hop show at 'the church', I decide to take him up on the offer. I like hip hop. I like it a lot. And I like exploring different scenes. It should be fine. Yeah.
But I should've been smarter. I'm going to blame my cold, keeping my nose running and my senses at an all time low. I meet up with Riley and we head into the Venue. It's huge, positively gigantic, rows upon rows of seats, rapidly filling with young, healthy looking people. There's a suspicious revival-meeting vibe. Some of my students from school are there. One of the oldest (and perhaps drunkest), Peter Brown, perceptive to the last, remarks that he never thought he'd see me at something like this. And he's right. Despite being stuck between Riley's devastatingly attractive younger sister and her equally blessed friend, I'm feeling horrifically out of place. When the two MCs on stage start talking about the 'thousands of people worldwide who have been persecuted for believing in Our Lord Jesus Christ', I figure it's time for me to leave.
In order to avoid having to think of further constructive criticism I go for coffee during Brisk's set. The moon is full, fat and round. Someone read me my stars earlier in the day and they were overwhelmingly positive. I don't usually place much stock in superstition, but these days my mood is a slippery proposition, and I'm taking compliments wherever I can find them. I join the line for lattes at Koko Black. While I'm waiting the Crow calls up. He's at some place called the Kitty Club. I have no idea of what that is, and it doesn't sound very good, but given I'm still in this strangely gregarious mood, I consider catching him up after the show is done. My coffee comes and I make my way back to the Arty.
I've failed in my main intention, though – when I return Brisk are still playing. They are better than they were at the Espy the other night, but then again, everyone is better than when they play at the Espy. There are still, however, a handful of things I don't particularly like about them, despite
Edge of Spirit are up next. Apparently they are on some major label in
While Palm are setting up the Crow texts me, wanting to know where I am. He's interested in coming out. I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. I mean, I like hanging out with the Crow, but I know for certain that after a night at the Kitty Club (which apparently is in Little Collins), a hardcore show at the Arthouse won't exactly be his scene. I'm left attempting to deal with the age old dilemma – how to reconcile our punk friends with our non-punk friends. Some kids from the scene seem to deal with this by simply not having non-punk friends at all, but I'm not really prepared to be quite that narrow minded. Others keep the two worlds strictly separate, but sometimes I think the twain should meet. Perhaps 1am on a Friday night isn't quite the right time for it, however. So I'm honest with him – I tell him the address, but warn him that he won't be into the situation there at all. He's not offended, apparently, but I know I'm going to have to reassure him when I see him at work on Monday.
Lizzie and I keep talking about Palm for ages after they finish. We talk about how, instead of stagediving, the singer simply collapses into the crowd, how the bassplayer, doing a weird little squatting dance, looks at individual people in the audience and just beams at them. How the singer has crushed the microphone into his forehead, drawing blood, which trickles into his eye and down onto his cheek. He doesn't wipe it. I'm into blood on stage lately. Izzy from Robotosaurus sent me a message earlier in the week asking what I look for in a local band, and I gave him some longwinded answer about desperation, intensity and commitment, but really, I think it comes down to breaking the skin. I feel a bit weird referring to them as metallic hardcore – their sound owes a lot more to Black Sabbath than it does Black Flag, but hey, I grew up with OZZY written across my knuckles, so I'm okay with that. Palm are fucking brilliant. And Tara and I, risking life at the hands of taxi drivers once again, bike home in the bitter cold, on the first day of winter, raving about them.