Monday, November 5, 2012

lightening lequesne,levitating churches, thee aesthetics 1 nov

Bug night out, upsidedown cross. nickers nickers nickers. tequila puker. Lockheed Martin. Made men of madchester fall over. twanger. old-style. futures style. planes. dancing dolls. went homer. Home-to-bed. Cup of tea. Silver anniversary. Arse. Pickle. Dead dancer. Fighter. Mighty. Might-is-wrong. Big advantage. Gasometer is a big profit machine. Twenty gigs stuffed into a corner for a profit. Suck my ass.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

recent jaunts , my oh, krakatau, school girl report, galleries, fuck'n'fiddle

So. Two gigs to updoot. Shoot. What was it all. Oh god. The Aesthetics, Karakatau and School Girl report and then the big art schmaltz at the new Cremorne who played it was like The Aesthetics, My Oh (who were fabulous) , School Girl Report , and some extreme noise and goodness me goodness me. Flip the turd its Melbourne. Aching like a freshly decapitated cockroach. In the slutiest of situations, we arrive in droves. A tankard of mead thrust liberally thereunto. Never did me any harm getting the old leather belt. More soon, i work too much. Cause thats what you do. In this city. Sorry bohemia, i sold out. Kiss my ass, you milk sop.
So we rambled on in as usual. Melbourne chiller filler, the age of Aquarius dawning any freaking minute now.. First on was our ex-Sydney pals School Girl Report. Chime-bell string-tensity technique used to a great effect, taking this sound innovation further than our graying forefathers Lee and Thurston even, entire songs contructed out of an odd, spastic, precariously dangling riff spectra, scratches, chugging, pumping, ejaculatory drum spats, curious rhythm, nasty vocal delivery, 2 boys having a rather fun time with it all. School Girl Report is a blister-popping purge fest. The audience passed water in response, re-digesting the expectorant through plastic straws. The audience then shed every last piece of skin, chanted the Australian national anthem with a Tibetan buddhist gurgle, and evaporated into viscous crimson pools. Naaah they didnt, the drunk their beers and sat there.
Next up this Monday night Mas was an concept act. Krakatau. This band were stylized to the hilt, heavily referencing the greats of Krautrock, psychedelic groove and space music. Theres was a set of highly refined 1970s space rock, masterfully delivered, a nice sheen on everything, maybe a little too polished at times but this is me talking, the boy who plays his guitar with his boot. Faust came to mind, Can came to mind. Tangerine Dream came to mind. Jane (ex-KOFF gallery) mentioned to me how the music made her imagine a spontaneous orgy taking place at the venue. Yes, it was that quality of music - ostensibly cerebral , but ulitmately - it conjuered up the oily, sinuous head-cheese that is the on screen group sex of the 1970s.
Its not you Krakatau, its us and our feeble subconscious minds that pidgeon-hole your masterfully-retro  wanderings.
And then guess what it was us, the Aesthetics again. Smacked out our heads. Banged up, beaten, sweating, in trance. The Aesthetics of nought.

Nextly we perform at a new Artspace in cremorne, formerly known as KOFF, and for the life of me I cant remember its new name. Useless. I shall fix up this shameful glitch asap. A heady mix of scrap art, installation, cartoonery, drawing, nazi-rats, media-mixed and mixed medias, and a fully stocked green room for thee performers. THIS is what it means to be a cockstar. The stocked Greenroom. This is a venue who looks after its performers. Beers aplenty, ne'er a moment without the comfort of a green bottle shielding you from the ugly reality of our 9-5 drudgery.a room to study Kabbalah, a room to take your tenor saxophone apart in a frustrated huff..arriving on the scene i was met by the sexiest set of red-stairs, glossy deep red-on-concrete, a hint of the red-lite-district, a hint of post-modern sophistry. It was harsh noise in the performance room  . Two young things (one an Invercargill lad like meself) hung over their noise toys, blood from stones, a tuely hateful din, a truly vile feedback strewn sound feltch, art cunts all finger in ears - the noise movement marching onwards into the deep cavity of the second decande of this our beloved 21st century, oh the raw expressionism that is harsh noise, the explosive attention demanding body horror that is head-noise, forced erections and prostate-milking for our favourite buddhist sub-deity, a vampiristic music, a musicians musicians music, its isnt music, its is bold and  pure expression, our self-betraying layers stripped away , the sheaths gone , blown off, our true selves left quivering, deaf, trapped in a jar, flailing for pain-relief. we reach authenticity finally.
Next up MY OH. OH MY GOD. The masters of 'awkward electro' from kiwiland make their fucking Mark (Currie). Cartoon-cum-prison tats, stonewashed denim, short shorts, tape-o'er nipple - Mark and Carmen are so tight a pair their delivery is synchronous and seamless. Nasty deep house beats strike you down in that core, that spot - it's an utterly primal effect and unashamedly so, our future is here - and sex underpins everything we do, the lewd undulations of pornography just under the surface of every google search, every fb post, our culture is sex mad and My Oh help us kiss goodbye any and all attempts to repress this heaving truth. Their songs pulse-sinister, their anthems are trance-inducing and steamy, the commands of a sexual sadist belted out over megaphones. They are having pure fun, their way. They utterly ruled that night - driving their stakes into the urban earth and claiming their terrain. Their every action is an art action. Marks painting and drawing is here. My Oh's page is HERE . My oh on Facebook.Melbourne is theres for the taking. Next stop Berlin? 
 A loud appreciative warble from thee audience and then our friends thee School Girl Report take to the claustrophobic performance space, tuning forks and strings stretched one over the other like a contorted foreskin, these boys were having fun-absolute with it all tonight - its a party damn you, and they turned inward, wacking out infuriatingly odd rhythms and motifs one after the other, necessitating an awkward dance step, a lunge here and jerk there, beer swig here, masonic gesture there, up-up and away in my beautiful typhoon, nasty nasty nasty, swelter swelter wet-heat art-party, cock ring, forehead tattoo, black leather monster, Wendy-O-Williams rip, GG is my father-mother. The Aesthetics follow and we tardily reference 'trad' 'elements' to the point we arouse a heckler. I deal with him succinctly, 'This band sucks' he retorts, and well, hell, maybe we do. But then he says 'good suck, good suck'. And we 'remind him of Oasis'.   Is it my hooliganesque stocky gait? My Ben Sherman shirt?   I ask him if he's a recruiter for  music industry. He says nothing. I guess as a little kiwi boy in the big city I am a little over defensive. This band is what it is. So we feedback a bit, so we hit the odd powerchord. We aint trying hard - we're not trying to please. We're not folking it up for the tweed'n'beard set. We're not noisey or ambiguous enough for the improv set. We're not pop enough for the indie set. I perform with a mess in mind, like a fat slob, a slob with a chip on his shoulder, Edie backing me up like a black metal witch, Lynton pixillating the overall portrait with his crypto-crypto crack-mould whack-a-doodle. Older and older - nastier and nastier. Jowels ever-so evident now, life begins at 40. Eat me, bleed me beat me. Kill me take me now. Hindu hindu hindu. Alka-seltzer. Teutonic and terrible. Do what we do and we do it. Take it leave it, all in all its just another insouciant night out in the muckraking molehill that is Melbourne.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


RatSak,Zond, The Aesthetics - gasometer august 9

Eat it. Eat to the Beat. Oh Winter, do sod off.

The Gasometer band room is an ex-Irish 'street-scene' room complete with mezzanine floor. Fun space. Maybe haunted.Probably haunted.  My behaviour on stage that night perhaps an indication of this. Anyhoo. Who played? Who payed ? Who prayed? Who spayed? Whelp, fist up was a band called RATSAK. Straight down-the-line straight-up four-to-the-floor hardcore punk. Hard-hitting Core-core. Hard delivery -  nasty rock. Push-it.  Like Murder Junky period GG Allin, the Ratsak are a tight'n'sinister semi-melodic punk-punk unit. Power. Drive. Photo below is the Ratsak frontman. You want it? You got it.

Melbournes famously shite weather acted as a strong punter deterrent that night. As a fresh immigrant i now understand the general kiwi trend of moving to the Queensland. But Melbournes' vast potential as a noise-rock capital is worth the pneumonia. Plenty of home remedies and thermal tops on hand anyway. Winter here is miserable, summer is sweltering. Spring is the peak season here. Spring is our special mercy.
So the Irish street scene was slightly lacking in bogtrotters . But Zond didn't care, Zond performed with absolute zeal. I smurfed the Zond. There's is an exalted mulch of darkness and mania, championing the cause of distortion, an effect so often frowned upon in these days of tweed and banjos. Zond as a visual entity, as a sign, a package, a market presence is framed by the sharp graphic design of Justin Fuller. Fuller is a remarkably prolific artist here in Melbourne, playing in several bands around town as well as performing solo. Fuller deserves a friggin medal for his contribution to the sonic landscape of this city. Zond's frontperson appears to be  Marney Macleod, although vocal duties are shared between Macleod and Fuller... Marney is another medal-worthy Australian in my book. Being in a band ain't all beer and skittles. It ain't all musk and flower-arranging. Its alot of waiting around, alot of oedipal assholes to deal with and hours of heavy lifting.  Searching thee infernal facebook for more info on Marney and the band I discover they performed  a noise festival in Sydney 2010 - curated by no other than Lou fucking Reed and Laurie Anderson!. theres this amazing pic of all these Aussie musicians jamming with them , Lou Reed iconic as ever in the centre.I mean how orgasmic is that? Better than fucking heroin Lou? Of course. Well.......uh......erm...I...I....yeah.. Better. Much better.

And then The Aesthetics.. In an altered state Middleton found operating the ampage as difficult as digesting Heideggers Being and Time. With all eyes watching he fumbled and writhed, desperately attempting to conjure up the semblance of a distorted guitar tone. In seconds it came to naught and so... Performance Art was the solution. Edie and Lynton drove it home while Middleton flailed around like a monkey, lyric sheets scattered around like a scene from 9/11, one sock on one sock off, bulimic purging ,paper gagging, anything to detract attention away from the guitar death. Sax screams and chortles, a nasty afro-disco version of 'All Electric', an atmosphere of spirit posession and bile. Performace art in an anti-perfomance town (apparently). some pics of the aesthetics by Carmen Norgatos..

Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Birth 2 - The Aesthetics, Dead China Doll + UV Race

"And...Wallop! Beating them at their own on top again"  the spirit of man, Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds.

Man on top. On top. Like our Jesus. Like  Moses or Musa (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) . A Missionary man. Don't mess with a missionary man. Learn Tamil online. Location, location location. Work on. Mecca. Makkah. Medina. Yathrib. 

So bandit baby, breaking down the barriers again, slice dat onion, grab a dictionary of difficult words, make mince outta difficult people like our main vein Simon - an emotional vamp, a receiver, a taker, a faker, a lower-back breaker, a known spinal fluid sucker, a notorious pan-handler - a registered pap-smear eater.

No Birth.  Not Born. No Guru. That you are. You are that. I am that.

The event was held in North Fitzroy, or was that North Carlton. The Empress. Great little venue, oh the joys of fairy lights. So simple - such a simple but stunning effect. First up was Dead China Doll. A Sydney based band. Theirs was a nebulous cosmic mulch, the churning of the ocean, the florrid pulse of the multiverse,  minor chords and organ tones of the Francophile. Deep space rock, doom drenched sheep-dip. Long ambient swathes , lurching complex harmony/melody. 2 keyboards, drums, bass and guitar. An impressive Australian band - a band that should probably tour Europe and the UK. My 17 yo step son, Whitechapel patch on his sleeveless denim jacket said they were ' pretty good actually'.

No Birth pamphlets were distributed like WW2 leaflet droppings and delicate cup-cakes (straight ones btw) were handed out to the early punters. Deep chocolate, a gorgeous treat from the UV Racers. 

The Aesthetics were second on, psyched from mis-communicated backline needs and super-charged from awkward interband 'can i borrow your wah wah waah' banter. Here we were again. Kiwis. Kiwis all of us. Not only that, we were from the South Island. We hadn't relocated to Auckland. It's a logical anomaly. 'Why Melbourne'? 'Why fucking not?.'. Enjoyed bleating about NZ's shithole economics. Ya fucken cunts. So we play. Pay-to-play. Not this time. Got sum pingers. We kick out the old faves and cut-teeth on a couple of newies. New material from the new line-up is a priority. New imaginings, new situations, new cringe/croon-worthy scenarios to wax-on-wax-off aboot. It aint economics now its uh, i dunnow, it all aboot taking booty and plunder. Its aboot office-life and public-service jobs. Its about haircuts and trams. Girls danced. My wife and step-son were proud. My grandmother couldnt care less.

UV Race we the last band on, and they're an anomaly 'n'all. They're a fun band. A kind of band you dont find so much here in 'competitive' Melbourne. They'don't-take-themselves-too-serious. Well, they give that impression at least.  Devo-esque nerd punkers, reminded me of LA band The Urinals a little bit. Cool couldnt-care-less rock punk. People love them. They have a gorgeous piece of vinyl out, the cover is a garish photo of a painted chest wearing a gaudy gold pendant.  Goodness gracious. Old school new school.
Their vocalist is heading to South East Asia.

Frig. Merchantile. A good livelihood. Uncle Talib. Jafar was a boy of four. MacDonalds.  Jobless. Job. Nickers. Love-drug. Pissant. No doubt, a courteous and kindly substitute. Sad Sack. Thurston. Lee. Lee is free (download the SY back-catalogue) .

Dislocation. Disconnect. Step-son goes to meet his date. "Don't drink all the wine Matt, Ottos got a friend coming over".   Belgium Biscuits.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Glass Bricks ,Bison Grass , Inevitable Orbit,The Aesthetics - disco beans jluy 29

.....Racing this time and we poke and we profit. A funky Japanese restaurant boasting a psychotic and lurid body-horror mural is our venue this time and the space is transformed into a cracker-jack hole-in-the-wall pub-a-dub for one night only. Waltzing in with too much gear i lament not doing me psycho-geogrpahic research beforehand. Japanese style is minimal style, well, when it comes to architecture i guess, utilizing space effectively and wisely, getting the most out of what little you have available. The unwieldy synth/crucifix/log was a liability. Never mind. First up was a one-man act called 'Glass Bricks'. With a mind addled by psilocybin all i could think of was how he reminded me of someone i knew in New Zealand, the resemblance was uncanny..It was Dene Barnes, or Lsd fundraiser, maybe 10 years younger looking, but dressed the same, same lank hair, belt, and big thick sinister rings. Glass Bricks meted out a gorgeous ambient electronic din, his hands manipulating faders and switches like Vishnu maintaining the world and all its mechanics from above, the rings lending an almost satanic air to the digit dance. Dance-o-digits and art-skool blisters. Sufferin' Succotash. Vader. Rocco Sifreddi. Bad Boy Bubby. Glistening experimental electronic. And further glistening experimental electronic ensued as Bison Grass took the helm. Bison Grass is a trio of Melbourne avant gardists - Aaron Wallace + Sean McMorrow + Yuko Kono. Wafting blissando candy-sweets , elemental sylphs gat-sag, crackle crystal and shimmer shimmer, blast-first vibrato quando, synthetic mulch, plasma pound and feed-routers. Guitar, keys and pedal circuitry the choice of a newer generation. Melbourne. Dos. Smart Meter. Savers. Singularity. Cult of personality. Pretty Day to Die. A lovely experimental entree to the next act, Inevitable Orbit. These guys would be right at home in Dunedin. Theirs is a sardonic post-punk klang, complete with four-to-the-floor drive and nasty angularity, just enough pop to please those nourished by melody, enough snottyness for a punkster, enough smarts to satiate a drooling academic addict. Inevitable Orbit are hot and one band to definately keep watching. By this point the restaurant was heaving with punters, Asahi's consumed en masse, by me, Japanese dishes consumed old-skool on the floor - big smiles from the owner at the end of the night. Oren Ambarchi even showed up. Nice chap. One of my personal faves. And so..The Aesthetics. Self-reviewage time. In my mind the Aesthetics is referencing another age, a generation past. Perhaps its passe now, i know not. Its that feedback drenched era of the ninetees, when distortion seemed king. How many ways can you make a freakin noise. The undercurrent is a punked-out 4/4 beat, the melody is extracted like an alien grey insanguinating a severed arm, there is little left except a husk, it is simple music, bare bones drowning in a saline bath of feedback. If culture has moved on to the old-world charms of folk , so be it.