Sunday, March 30, 2008

One Step Together.

I remember, having just bought the Operation Ivy cd at the age of 15, looking through the accompanying catalogue from Lookout Records. One of the records - perhaps it was The Mr T Experience, perhaps it was The Riverdales - featured two guys in front of a drummer, wielding their guitars like hammers and adopting such severe powerstances that I thought initially they may have been ironic. They were in some kind of warehouse, concrete floored with wires and cables everywhere. At one point at the Majorca show last night Jimmy and Scott struck the exact same poses, in exactly the same kind of room. They weren't great last night - the sound was terrible, and consequently they were a little out of time - but I was so stoked with them for taking me back to that moment, when punk was still opening my eyes and something new was blowing my mind on a regular basis, that it didn't matter. I was supposed to go to the show at Pony afterwards, but I didn't. Instead I went to ShitTown.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ought To Have Been Praying.

Two quotes to discuss today, both probably mangled and taken out of context. The first comes from Lester Bangs, who apparently once said, "We will never love anyone the way we loved Elvis". And the second comes from Andy Warhol, who, before he died, said something along the lines of, "I used to believe that in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. But I've changed my mind. Now I believe that in the future everyone will be famous to fifteen people."

I wish that only fourteen other people and I loved Elvis.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rally Round The Family.

Rage Against The Machine's political analysis falls significantly short on a number of fronts. Their ongoing relationship with Sony proves that they are yet to check out the Godspeed You Black Emporer LP with that diagram on the back that shows the incestuous interrelationship between a bunch of major record labels and a bunch of major weapons manufacturers. And the description of one of their recent Festival Hall shows as a "shirts-off cock forest" shows they still have a way to go on gender (someone should get in their ears about a safer spaces policy). But fuck, when a ghetto kid from the Richmond flats comes up to me at school and wants to talk about the Zapatistas, I know who to send my thank you letters to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

And So I Ran To The Rock.

I was actually sick over the last week (you know, as opposed to faking it to get time off work), and so wasn't able to write reviews of any of the bands I saw. In order to catch up, I will now attempt to give 25 word or less summations of each.

Dynamo - Dangerously close to a wedding band. Dramatically unattractive lead singer. A horn section that looks like they think they're in another room. Destructively bad.

Jay Reatard - Didn't spit on anyone.

The Dirtbombs - Seriously fucking ruled it. Old guys rocking out. When they started into 'Ain't No Sunshine' I could've died. But instead I danced.

The Diamond Sea - Keep getting better. Best band in Melbourne? Certainly up there.

Flesh vs Venom - First three songs were as good as I've ever seen them. Post-technical difficulties they seem grumpy. The new songs sound good.

And, come to think of it, that's about it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Almost Feels Ok.

Ok, so I've just walked in the door and flicked on the TV, and managed to catch the end of Wedding Crashers. Which, as we all probably know, features the Weakerthans singing Aside. I know this pisses a lot of people off, and really, I agree with them. In terms of values it's totally fucked. But when I'm watching something that already has totally fucked values, that's kinda a moot point. So, moral issues aside, I've gotta say, when I hear music I love on TV or in movies, I'm always totally stoked. That's right, like a surfer stoked. It's not because I feel some kind of validation when some Hollywood exec shines their light on my subculture, but rather that I just fucking love to unexpectedly hear songs I'm totally into. I haven't listened to radio in years (other than the infamous Montreal classic rock station CHUMFM, which seemed to be playing Tom Cochrane's Life is a Highway every time I got into the car), I don't watch Rage or any cable equivalent, and - this is true - I have never been to an alternative nightclub, such as Bang or Switch or Goo. So when I hear some song I'm totally obsessed with - you know, without putting it on myself - it pretty much makes my day.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Don't Think Twice.

And another thing. Absoluten Calfentrail at the Tote last night was fucking unbelievable. And I don't mean unbelievable like EMF meant it, I mean like it was difficult to believe. Two painfully loud blasts at the beginning of the set scared most people out of the room and into the beer garden, where apparently earplugs were still necessary. The volume didn't let up for the whole set. I stayed, of course, totally fucking mesmerized, finally convinced that for music to be intense, it doesn't have to be fast. As I think I've stated before, I'm not really down with the noise scene, due to its predisposition to pretension, but differentiates Grover from the vast hoards of knob-twiddlers is his almost total lack of self-awareness. There's no comforting ironic distance here, no knowing winks to the audience. He stands in front of a table of pedals and mixers and other electronic toys, creating on the run, thuds and blasts and noise generated from somewhere, rocking back and forth, staring at the table, at the ceiling, at the microphone. At the end of the set, when he screams and throws over the table, you know he means it.

I'd Wait For You.

I might have written this before. I've certainly thought it before, and will probably think it again. Ninetynine's The Process makes me feel - to paraphrase Lauryn Hill - like my shit is complex. The layers of sound, coupled with the ambiguity in Laura's voice, gives the impression that there's a lot more going on than I understand. Which is probably a good thing. It still feels like it has been made by people who have a greater grasp of the whole mess than I do, and for that reason it never comes off as patronizing. It comforting, you know, to hear that someone out there has something of an idea about how things work.