Sunday, February 22, 2009

And I'm 38, I Can't Believe I've Got To Worry About This Kind Of Shit.

There were always going to be a lot of horrible things about the Propagandhi shows over the weekend, but the band was never going to be one of them. Now, because everyone should already be aware of the horrible, and because everyone should also be aware that these punk rock survivors put on one hell of a show, I'm instead going to provide a bunch of unexpected highlights from last night's show.

  • Knowing that a whole bunch of people got in for free by drawing the stamp on their wrists with a sharpie.
  • Seeing the majority of Melbourne's punk scene from 1997.
  • Todd Kowalski (Spelling? Who knows?) rocking out, as per usual, but trying desperately to stop himself from singing along, his voice blown out by the recording process three months ago.
  • Folks in the crowd chanting the intro to a new song, then being accused of stealing the new album by an amused Chris Hannah.
  • Drunk morons in the crowd cheering wildly at a mention of Charles Darwin's birthday. I mean, I like Darwin too, but I'm not sure that the commemoration of his birth warrants a "Woo-Hoo!"
  • Chris again thanking the crowd for coming to see a bunch of 38 year old men dressed like 14 year olds.
  • More banter from the band in general. Not too much the previous night.
  • Looking over to my right and seeing a bunch of douchebag goons trying to start a circle pit, then looking over to my left and seeing a couple with their eyes closed, embracing each other, quietly intimate.
  • The sweet Submission Hold patch Tara gave me after the show.
  • Riding home through the quiet city, ears ringing, Purina Hall of Fame stuck in my head.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Your Dream Is That Gun In Your Hand.

You know what I remembered the other day? I was reading the paper, scanning through the twenty pages of obituaries, trying not to cry into my weetbix for the fifth day in a row, looking at all the photos of destruction and suffering and pain. It's not every week we're confronted with such terror. And then I remembered Gaza.

And then, a couple of pages further on, I discover that Benjamin Netanyahu is about to take power in Israel. A man who refuses to consider a two-state solution in Palestine. A man who has never even claimed to be interested in peace in the middle east.

The fires in the Yarra Ranges have flared up again this morning. The roads I used to ride two or three times a week now wind through scenes of devastation rarely seen in this country. Disparate communities are pulling together - punks are organising benefit shows, couriers organising benefit alleycats, everyone passing the hat around, donating their blood and emptying their wallets.

It seems, however, that we only react this way to fleeting natural disasters. When the destruction is caused by humans, when it is deliberate and systematic and continual, we shake our heads and keep our hands in our pockets. According to Human Rights Watch:

"The fighting in Gaza from December 27, when Israel began its military operation, until Israel and Hamas unilaterally declared ceasefires on January 18, left some 1,300 Palestinians dead and more than 5,000 wounded, 40 percent of them children and women. In addition, the casualties included an undetermined number of male civilians not taking part in hostilities. "

Perhaps - and this is an idea so crazy it might just work - when all the pictures of that koala have faded from our collective memories we could continue to be generous. We could continue to work together to ease suffering, by donating our money, our time, and even our blood.

Friday, February 6, 2009

As Easy As.

I am about to go watch Tara's new band play at Tom's house. Tara doesn't really want me to come see her band play because she thinks there's a chance I'll say nasty shit about them here. But really, let's face it, I'm incredibly biased when it comes to the people I hold dear - as long as they're throwing themselves into it with reckless abandon and having a shiteload of fun while they're doing it, they're going to get a decent writeup here.

Come to think of it, any band who throws themselves into the creation and performance of music with reckless abandon and looks like they're having a shiteload of fun while they're doing it is going to win my hard-earned praise. I don't need much else.

Though starting on time and playing a short set also doesn't hurt.