Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Day Out 2011.

'Lo everyone, we're back with part two.

So, still slightly shellshocked, up early to shower then pancakes. Found Ryan wandering around the wrong number 9 tram stop, then met the horde in time to catch the right tram. We all arrived fairly early, which was good, line wasn't exactly long, but it's not like all the artards pouring out of the trams lined up. Got in relatively quickly, I ditched my bag then raced into the D with Ryan after picking up some merch (Stooges, Grinderman, something for Isobelle). I own too many band shirts...

No stress or pressure getting into the D this early, got a spot maybe halfway back. Sun was definitely out, sweating already and the first band had barely started. The Vines put on a good show, though the new stuff seemed a little off. Ride and Get Free went off, naturally.

In the rush of triple j core kids over to the other side of the stages for Little Red, I grabbed a spot on the barrier in front of the Orange stage to prepare for Dead Letter Circus. Little Red were alright, lot of swapping of vocalists. Crowd seemed very appreciative, even if Denny didn't.

So, Denny, Ryan, OtherPat and I clung to the barrier as the black-clad Dead Letter Circus got going. Next In Line was a definite highlight. The bassist was very energetic, even if the lead singer kinda wasn't. For their last song, This is the Warning, they brought out a couple of extra tomtom drums, and drummers from their friend's bands. At one stage there was the drummer, these two other guys, the lead singer and one of the guitarist all smashing these drums, it was very awesome.

Extricated ourselves as Airbourne launched themselves across the stage in front of a massive stack of Marshall amps. We got some food at that stage, which meant I missed out on catching the end of Jim Jones Revue's set. Met up with Bec and had a look around, then we split up and I hit the Hot Produce tent for Gareth Liddiard.

He was very, very drunk. Behind us in the Boiler Room, we could hear Die Antwoord, who he abused... then admitted he'd be seeing as soon as he was done. For just one (drunk) dude and a guitar, he put on one hell of a show. We got Shark Fin Blues and Jezebel out of the Drones' catalogue. He tried to start a fight with one guy, then promised to buy him a beer. So cool.

I also realised at that stage that my phone was behaving strangely. Well. Stranger than usual. This made me paranoid, I was missing calls and texts. Oh well. 50000 people all texting each other at the same time, must be a little confusing.

Caught the end of Die Antwoord from the middle of the Boiler Room, the music was pretty meh but they were very amusing. MC Ninja had a microphone coming out of his boxers shaped like a phallus, and they had a large inflatable dude with his own large phallus on stage with them. Funny, but not really good. More of a novelty thing.

Met Bec again and dived back into the Boiler Room to get a good spot for Crystal Castles as DJ Perplex, or the warm up guy, mashed up Aerodynamic. He went through two more Daft Punk songs before hitting some dubstep, which was pretty good. At least it would have been if it wasn't a billion degrees in this tent, and every shirtless bogan was rubbing more sweat on you.

Crystal Castles came on with Alice doing a Kurt Cobain impression with her crutches. She still managed to put on a good show, loving Baptism and Doe Deer, though Alice Practice and Not in Love seemed to get lost in the noise a bit. Hottest girl with crutches most of us had ever seen.

Emerged to find a firetruck spewing water at the crowd, and found Patrick, who'd joined the airbrush tattoo dick squad with one on his back, which everyone else found hilarious. Grabbed some free ice tea then made our way into D through the cattle gate. We caught most of John Butler Trio's set from about halfway back in between the two stages. He was very impressive, though there was no Better Man to depress the crowd. Ten minute 12-string solo, then they played Funky Tonight as we moved into the crowd massing front of the Blue stage for Iggy and the Stooges. They got a little impatient during Nicky Bomba's drum solo, but still.

Then Iggy ran on stage, Raw Power first up, it was awesome, then what I'd paid to see, massive Search and Destroy screamalong. Hell. So, so good. Got a lot of other good stuff, but I have to say, Iggy was definitely the only good part, the Stooges themselves were a little too... old. For a sixty something ex-coke addict though, Iggy was rolling around the stage, and on the ground, and on the barrier, and during Shake Appeal he got a couple of dozen people out of the crowd to dance on stage with him, including one girl who immediately tried to make out with him.

After this, Rammstein's ominous intro music started and then, with an explosion, the giant black curtain covering the Orange stage burst off to reveal a huge German flag, which exploded and the band were chugging away. Bec ran off with her friends, so I found Jess and we watched Rammstein's pyrotechnics-heavy set from the hill over some chips. Denny and Ryan were somewhere in the massive, heaving mosh, right up the front. We missed out on the penis cannon (lots of them on the day, very strange), the firework crossbow, and massive, massive flamethrowers everywhere, including all over one "fan" who ran on stage (in flame-proof gear).

I headed over to catch the end of Primal Scream on the Green stage, and was there just in time for the second half of Loaded (which is that song you like, Beardman). Had to grab my backpack at this stage, annoyingly, but ran back and found a good spot in the crowd with Jess and Bec for Grinderman.

It was dark by the time they came out, which added to the atmosphere, St Nick getting a huge roar out of the crowd just by picking up his guitar. They started off with Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man, which has been stuck in my head since. Good gawd. Mindblowing stuff. If I didn't have my bag on my feet I figure I'd probably be on the gorram barrier. Get It On was another highlight, if only because I roared the words (... might have pissed off the guy next to me), and No Pussy Blues was another cathartic singalong. Warren Ellis dropped his guitar during Heathen Child for a squealing violin solo, kind of not expecting that. They closed with Grinderman, which builded slowly until it was howling, Martyn Casey's bass just thundering, and Warren smashing a hihat with a maraca. Nick jumped up on the barrier at one stage, which drove the crowd nuts, devoting lines to particularly hot girls. Definitely my favourite act (in case that wasn't obvious from the gushing... sorry).

After that, wandered around looking for everyone else as Bec jumped on a shop selling Boosh tshirts, found them all at the tram stop, which was lucky. More people on the tram laughing at Pat's tattoo, then stumbled into the showers at the hostel. We stunk pretty bad, girls weren't impressed when we came to visit them. They all seemed to have had a good day, they spent around six hours sitting on the barrier in front of the Converse stage for Children Collide, Naked and Famous, Gyroscope (who had a Nirvana cover), and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Ryan and Denny had spent most of their day in the D, moshing to Deftones (who had a "perfect" mosh), up the front for Rammstein, and catching Tool's mad laser show. Aiden was practically on the barrier for LCD Soundsystem as well, which is very cool.

Crashed hard with ears ringing and phone dying again.

This morning, woke up, hit the showers once again, then almost missed the checkout time. We all split up making our way down Elizabeth st as the girls needed juice, Denny needed shorts, and I needed to buy some cds from Polyester records. Met up with everyone at Spencer st over sushi, then argued about which train carriage to get on. Made it home alright, after a fairly gossipy and eventful ride that I tuned myself out of.

So here I am, still a little dead, but everything's done and written down and posted up, fresh from my head so I don't forget anything.

This week... gotta sort out some stuff, but that's it.




Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fear and Loathing in the Centre of the City at Night.

'Lo all.

This is part one of two. This is our city adventures. Next up will be BDO.

Before we get going, just some catching up on regular business.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - ***
Very hot redhead. Confusing plot. Johnny Depp was in Captain Jack mode, as usual. Not sure what on earth Tom Waits was doing. Visually though, very cool, and you can definitely see the Monty Python influence.

The Illusionist - ****
It's like they took this film, and just dipped it in sepia. Everyone had a silly accent too. But the ending made it worth it. I still think the Prestige was better, but this one had an insane tweeest.

Garage Days - ***1/2
It's funny how fast this has dated. When this came out, Australian music was all about bands like Spiderbait, Jebediah, the Superjesus, Frenzal Rhomb, and You Am I. Powderfinger had only just released Odyssey Number 5, they were still sort of a grungey garage band. I wish things were still like this. Anyway, not a bad story, not sure if Pia Miranda is hot or not, and the tripping out sequences was hilarious. Also amusing was the amount of importance placed on Homebake, which didn't run this year.

Anyway. Right. Here we go.

Went out Saturday, stumbled home late, got up extra early (and still drunk) for work, and after about forty minutes, sent home. Ah well.

Monday, headed down to the city with El Beardo, enrolled myself at Swinburne. No choice of subjects, just a lot of lining up. Interesting crowd in the room too. There were a few plastics, a few indie kids, one fat girl with a Tool shirt, and a couple of awkward looking basement dwellers. Should be interesting. Had a look around Glenferrie rd and showed Beardman the unilodge place, very impressed. I'm basically living on top of a station, a cafe, and a sushi place. Awesome.

If I did anything major on Tuesday, I can't remember it.

Then Wednesday, the horde all dropped in for an afternoon of radio, cricket on Fitzroy st, and giggling at Zoo magazines stolen from Brad's place while we burnt Jess' school stuff. Very, very disappointing Hottest 100. Very bland. 3 of my picks got in, so yay. Half the kids went out, Bernice, Jordan and I ended up in the shed while Annie drew all over Denny's shoes.

Next morning, found Sam sleeping in his car out the front, and Fraser had a mysterious headache. I have to wonder where he got that from. Surely it couldn't be the girly Passion Pop?

So, caught the train with Aiden and Nemo, Harrison saw us and we caught up on the way to the city. Harry's been having a very interesting time touring Bali, sounds like.

Emily met us at the station and dragged us up to her fancy-as-hell apartment in Eureka Tower. Incredible views. Jaw dropping balcony. And we were barely a third of the way up the building. After watching some tv, Denny, Aiden, Emily and I headed down to Fed Square to see The Vasco Era play a free show with George and Megan. Sid, the lead singer, was noticeably drunk, but they weren't too bad. They pulled some kids out of the crowd for their last song, where the drum kit was dismembered and they all got to hit stuff.

Went to a Mexican place for dinner, we got a couple of plates to share, Denny took the largest taco and Emily seemed to be gone off one margarita. Went back to the apartment, Emily seemed to decide that this was a good time to go swimming, so we went downstairs to look for it. Reception said that she wasn't allowed in. Damn.

After some shenanigans upstairs, got changed and went out in search of a comedy club, started out with a pint at Ponyfish Island, which is a little bar in the middle of the Yarra. They were playing Iggy. I was impressed. Then we visited a theatre of ill repute, and yet more shenanigans were encountered. Very, very amusing, but I will not share it here. Ask Emily.

Off to another bar after a few random turns, checked out the Elephant and Wheelbarrow where an old guy was wheeling out Johnny Cash covers, then a pub that promised comedy. We went up, and there was no one on stage. We did see a midget with a beard, and we tried a beer called Fat Yak. It was awesome.

So, still pretty sober, walked home, ran into Bec and her friends at a maccas, and we saw a naked man walking past Flinders St Station literally getting his arse kicked. Must have been one hell of a dare.

Right, Friday. Aiden nicked off with Sam for kiteboarding lessons in St Kilda, so Denny, Emily and I hit Fed Square for internet access. Tom Gleeson, the ranga comedian, grabbed us for his new tv show and asked us random questions about the Australian anthem, flag, and president (kind of obvious what this show was about, to be honest).

While Emily had an eyebrow appointment, Denny and I checked out a kick arse record shop. Never before have I seen things like Baths and Flying Lotus with physical cds and vinyl. Jesus. I was prepared to spend millions in there.

We headed down to St Kilda to meet Sam and Aiden after that, with a very fun tram trip. Lots of zombie hunters shooting nerf guns. Aiden and Sam seemed to be having a good time, though after they finished they seemed very, very sunburnt. They got some pizza, then went back into the city. Aiden, Denny and I ventured through Chinatown to get some six packs of Fat Yak. We could have won a trip to Mongolia to see yak racing.

Anyway, so we had a few drinks up at Emily's, Isaac and Isobelle dropped in. Watched a couple of movies, then things got interesting. Chilled on Emily's bed for a while, I remember changing into boardies and jumping into the bath with Isobelle to get my last beer back. Ended up on the balcony. Stayed up far, far too late.

Next morning, dragged myself awake. After some recovery, packed up, headed down the street once again. Emily took us to a witch shop. It smelt weird. Had a look in Bernard's new shop, where sombreros were purchased. Also checked out Blasphemy, which had all this "metal" gear, including some strange corset things that Denny and Isaac just had to try on. Very amusing. Back to Emily's to pick up our gear and laugh at Juno, then back to Flinders st to meet the horde. They were all alive, including Pat, so that's good.

Caught a tram and swapped some stories which doubtlessly offended some of the other passengers, then spent an hour checking everyone into the hostel. The guys were slightly impatient with the girls, so we went back out into the city. I met Hayley and her friend on Bourke st and sold her a ticket, then wandered with them back to the horde. Girls were a little pissed that they couldn't join us for dinner as we decided on a sports bar (which had Fat Yak on tap!), and ditched us. Afterwards, hit Galactic Circus like a freight train as we had two cards with an hour of free games. Much shooting, racing, and guitar-heroing occurred.

Up the stairs for laser tag, we had a buttload of little kids joining us, and the little bastards almost kicked our arses. Lots of fun though, even if the girls decided not to join us. We walked past a man standing on a pole with a flaming whip, which was pretty cool. Made it back to the hostel to bitch about how hot it was with the girls before crashing hard.

You'll probably be reading this second anyway, but part two's on it's way.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


'Lo all.

Still alive.

Forgot to mention in that last post, Black Keys cancelled their show. So suddenly, my awesome end of January is looking slightly less awesome. Still, I've been told there are a lot of free gigs going on that week anyway which I may be dragged along to. Either way, it's going to be messy.

Gangs of New York - ***
My disc kept skipping, so maybe it'd be better if I hadn't lost half an hour's worth of dialogue. Still a little slow, after one hell of an opening scene, but the ending was awesome.

Last night, visited Emily's for her and Isobelle's going away thingy. Almost too cold to go in the pool, didn't stop people when they were a little drunk. Good to catch up with some kids, had a chat with Jonty about Gorillaz. A little amused when Emily's parents started complaining about Crystal Castles. Agnik arrived slightly tipsy, poor bastard just turned 18. Didn't sleep until very late as we had to watch youtube clips, Muppet Treasure Island, and then fight over bunk beds.

Didn't really wake up until I got home and showered this afternoon. Hurm.

In other news, accepted into Res at Swinburne, which is good. Not cheap, but better than some other places. I kinda want to move in now, but there's things which need sorting first.

I'm a little stuck as to what to do on Australia day, tempted to hang around at home all day, then rush up to Melbourne to see some live bands... I dunno. See what's going on.

If anything interesting happens between now and next Thursday, I'll post again. Otherwise, big wrap up of our adventures in the city afterwards.



Monday, January 17, 2011


'Lo all.

So, a busy couple of days.

Friday, rushed down to Melbourne, almost got lost at Huntingdale looking for a train, then made our way into the G past a buttload of people wearing Colonel Sanders costumes. Met Simon and Josh, got the usual spot, and watched as the Colonel Sanderss all got up and half-heartedly attempted the chicken dance. Apparently it made a world record.

Game itself was pretty good, if only because we won. White disappointed, and Pietersen got a lot of boos. Kept a running commentary with Aiden, got invited to hang out in the city afterwards with Bec. After we won, headed out, hung out with some rhyming hipsters for a bit (I did hear them mention Brick and Modest Mouse, I guess they aren't all bad), then when Bec left I took a Frankston train back to Simon's.

It was as expected. There were a group of bogans yelling at each other, and I passed a fat man with an impressive mullet. On my carriage, a kid was sculling a bottle of Midori and dancing with his headphones jammed on and his pants falling down. No stabbings though. Made it back to Simon's and watched Happy Days, which is bizarre.

Next day, home again, showered, off to Annie's, where we hung out and bitched about the heat with Tom. It was good because it was fairly chilled, no one was getting particularly wasted. Apart from Denny, who decided that jagerbombs were not the way to go, instead, just mixing a glass of half Red Bull and half jager would be more efficient. Don't know if Pulp Fiction was very coherent for him. We watched Dead Snow (Dod Sno? Crazy Norwegians) which is the standard zombie film except it's in the snow and all the zombies are Nazis too. Ended up watching Metalocalypse as people stumbled back from the pub, much to Isobelle's disgust.

Awake after four hours sleep, caught a lift home with Dayne after cleaning up the backyard and watching Tom and Isaac light up a pile of firelighters. Off to Melbourne again with Aiden and the Beardman, we missed the train at Traralgon, so into the suburbs again. Just missed the first over, but oh well.

Turns out my crazy membership is not as crazy as I thought, not allowed to sit with the peasants, so Aiden decided to hang out in Bay 13 and join in the chanting. England played alright, then Watson came in and smashed them, hundred and sixty something, stayed in all innings. Clarke was disappointing, which pissed off the bogans, poor bastard was getting booed whenever he didn't make a run. Hussey saved the day, tonking out 16 runs in one over, then getting out the next one. We won, but it was very close.

Back home, not much going on, woke up at some ungodly hour, checked the Age and VTAC this evening, looks like I've been accepted at Swinburne at Hawthorn, which is good. I just wish I knew more people who were going, but I guess it'll be good to start fresh. Lot of crowing on facebook.

Tomorrow... hurm.

So yeah, that's all I've got. I guess I'll post again this week, after Emily and Isobelle's massive party.


Anyway, the end.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Black Bugs.

'Lo everyone.

So far my plan to get myself out of the house is working. Or at least, for the first week or so of this year. Good start.

A note on the photos: I know last year I said I'd try and take a photo every day and post it up here. I forgot how incredibly lazy I am. At first I'd skip taking photos every day. Not every day had something worth taking a photo of. Then I skimped out on chucking them up here, because I had to manually resize them all and that takes time then you have to upload them and put them in right. Not fun. Eventually I figured screw it, I'll make it a facebook bonus feature. And so far that's worked out alright. I've tried to make sure that I'm only putting interesting things up, that I can write about and contextualize just a little, instead of "HERE IS ANOTHER PHOTO OF ME EXCEPT THIS TIME I LOOK JUST A LITTLE DIFFERENT" or "THIS IS SOMETHING VERY DEEP AND MEANINGFUL, AND I CHANGED ALL THE COLOURS AROUND SO IT LOOKS VINTAGE AND ARTY I'M VERY INTERESTING AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME".


So we're off to an alright start, the 2011 folder is up to three photos, which isn't bad.

Anyway, business. All this shooting in the States, as tragic as it is, both amuses me, as it shows the country's nuts, and terrifies me because these guys are in charge and influence us. Oh well. Who cares about outdated laws about gun control, even if innocent little girls get shot and killed. It's their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.

Closer to home, went to Lakes with Aiden yesterday where we were schooled in the art of FPS in Timesplitters and Red Faction by Tom. Jumping around using a sniper rifle like a semiautomatic is a lot of fun. I forgot how terrible I am at it though. Watched The Professional as well, which was amusing because Tom had only seen the American version, which cut out the violence and awkwardness.

Drove back today, visited the video shop, and out of my mental list of like seven films, they did not have one. Very depressing. Back home, things are slow. Hurm. Missed a boat.

Tomorrow will be slow. Probably no post until the weekend, wrapup of the Twenty20 and Tom's going away shindig.




Sunday, January 9, 2011


'Lo all.

Very little to write about, as usual.

It's been far too damn hot.

Last night, I was enjoying a quiet night chatting to randoms on facebook, then I figure I should probably check my phone. No idea what came over me. 6 missed calls and a buttload of messages. Suddenly there's half a dozen kids in my backyard encouraging me to go out. Rubbish.

So, went out with the usual crowd. Jake's moving to Traralgon so it was good to catch up with him, even if he's taking it easy at the moment, and Brad kept telling me to come and jam with him, which is an offer I'm very tempted to take up. Meg and Annie seemed a little gone already. Sam encouraged Aiden to try chilli infused vodka at the Star. Apparently it's a very enjoyable experience. We then got some stories from the bartenders about the world's hottest burger in Traralgon. Not much was going on, really. JR was djing at Kas, saw a few kids out. Sam got punched in the face and I got knocked over as a brawl erupted in Ringer's, we all laughed. Ended up chatting to Cheezy, British and some random guy about the Big Day Out and cricket. British had a pipe. Very classy. The outback bar is so good, I only went into the main bar to get money, or when I got dragged in once by Emily where we watched Wingram shuffle.

After lights, headed to maccas, where there was a small, mostly drunken crowd standing around. Chatted to some girls, enjoyed some burgers, and walked home. Lots of coppers around.

I kind of regretted going out at all this morning, after four hours sleep when I dragged myself to work still a little drunk. At least it makes the day go faster... maybe that was Petro's singing though. I practically collapsed when I got home.

Primer - ***
Very slow pace, but they rush everything. You're on the back foot the whole time. To be honest, I liked it for this, but everything was left open and unexplained at the end, and not in a good way.

Tomorrow, heading to Lakes with Aiden, going to get schooled by Tom.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Third Man.

'Lo everyone.

Right, what have we got.

I'm trying to keep updating regularly, because this motivates me to get out of the house and do stuff to write about.

The other day, hit the pub and caught up with Aiden, finally got a good account of the shenanigans at Isaac's and Marlay Point. Bastards had a good time, I will admit to being a little jealous. If only there was a way of combining the horde and awesome bands at Falls...

Anyway, so $2 pots, we got sozzled with Jason and his mates, played a couple of games of pool, ended up back at Jason's after a maccas run watching the Simpsons and the cricket.

Next day, raced down to Bairnsdale and back in order to pick up a new iPod. How awesome. You break one, they just give you a new one. Unfortunately, so far it's taken two days to put only half of my music back on it. STILL!

While I remember.

The Proposition - ****
Not bad for a western. Very Nick Cave, especially John Hurt's character, and the entire, graphic ending. Loving the soundtrack as well, though I might be a bit biased. It's a familiar sort of story, but it's just an interesting take on it by setting it in colonial Australia. Did not like David Wenham's overacting. Check it out.

Watched Eternal Sunshine again last night too off a hot tip, forgot how depressing it is. Fun fact, first time I watched it was almost exactly a year ago.

Today, forced myself out of the shed to prevent myself from melting, decided to go down the street and investigate replacements for my brick. It's all very complicated and stupid because all the companies want you to go with them over the other, so they're all good and bad at the same time. If only I could keep my old SIM. I might end up going with a Galaxy, but I'm weary because it's on a plan, which could cause problems. Learnt how to play the riff to Ball and Biscuit too. I need a slide thingy.

I also got the first reply in my quest to find accommodation for uni, from Unilodge at Swinburne. They want me to move out, or at least start paying, this week. Hurm. Need to wait til offers come out, which is frustrating.

Right now I could be sitting in a pub in Melbourne waiting patiently for Sleigh Bells to deafen me. Tomorrow night I could be watching FlyLo, or Digitalism. Monday night I could be rocking out to The Middle East and the National again. Hurm. A little depressing, I suppose. Just makes me want to move to Melbourne more, dammit.

By the way, anyone who likes Queens of the Stone Age should come and see them with Annie and I in March, they're playing their whole first album, which is incredible.

Tomorrow will probably be a lot of lazing around, might hit the pub, I dunno. We'll see, I suppose.


Anyway, the end.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive.

'Lo all.

Hot damn. I'll take two.

So yeah, the recovery from Falls has been surprisingly harsh. I blame having to go to work. Oh well.

Work itself was alright, felt so sorry for Sammy when he realised Justice had played the day before instead of in March. Saw Ms Dosser having lunch. Pete's pizzas are awesome, if you're going to Bis for food, I highly recommend them.

Ran into George and Emily on my way home on Sunday, then Jess, Boondi, and Annie, before having chips with Ryan and Denny. It was good to catch up with everyone. George, Emily and I helped an old guy who fell over.

Next day, more of the same, work, George came over, had a discussion with the bloke in Leading Edge. He's pretty awesome.

Today I ambled down the street after finding a set of car keys, fixed up some stuff then ran into everyone again. Hung around with Alison, Jordan, George and the horde, didn't really do much. Wound up in maccas with Emily, Annie and Alison playing with happy meal toys.

Oh yeah, first film of the year, I've been told to watch it so many times, so I figured I'd better pick it up.

Into the Wild - ****
The kid was surprisingly whiny. And everything was so depressing. But it was good. Loving the Eddie Vedder soundtrack too. Definitely sort of appealling to the same crowd that Theroux or Kerouac novels do. But yeah, it definitely wasn't the standard hipster indie film I was expecting.

Hurm. Hurm hurm hurm.

Tomorrow, might be more work, apparently poor old Jordz and Pete have been getting slammed last week. Dunno what else. See how we go. I need new things to write about, don't I.



Saturday, January 1, 2011


'Lo ladies and gentlemen, we're back for 2011.

This is the long haul too, got a lot of material to cover.

So, better recap, christmas at Katie and James' new place, good to catch up with everyone, game of cricket, lots of wholesome family fun. Then had to stand up on the train to the G with Beardman to watch Australia get hammered, which was disappointing. After that, visited Ocean Grove, went shopping with Katie, and packed my bags.

Next day was ever so much fun. Had to stand between to carriages all the way to Melbourne, jumped on a full Skybus and watched the awful TV, then waited in the airport for an hour to check in to open. Bloody Tiger. So, so cheap. At least the flight was uneventful.

Arrived in Hobart, got some directions from Claire, and walked over to where they were all staying, we caught up in the kitchen building. Shona and Geordie beat Jake and Shae at improvised table tennis, and there was a group of twentysomethings that had a big banner for their car with a Dazed and Confused quote painted on it (and they loved me for recognising it). That evening, Geordie and Amelia managed to make a new friend at the petrol station. I stuck around with Claire, Isobelle and Shae while Jake and James followed them, they returned all giggly. Very amusing.

Up early the next morning, Jake, Isobelle and I walked over the hill to the airport to catch a bus with everyone else. Driver was kind enough to stop for a sausage sizzle, saying that it was the cheapest food we'd get outside the festival itself. Then onto another shuttle bus to get through the gates to the bag check, where ourpacks were briefly glanced at and determined to not have alcohol. We were outraged. So much grog could have been hidden inside sleeping bags which weren't checked. Oh well.

Headed out to find a campsite, found a nice big one down a hill that was very close to two lanes and the stage itself. The girls found one that they insisted was better, we figured it must have had more guys there or something. Jake and James convinced them to come over by stealing the big communal tent, which we quickly set up. All the tents got up pretty quick, which was good.

Had a bit of a look around after that, there wasn't much going on. The first day had a couple of DJ sets but no real bands, so everyone was just exploring the place. I'm glad we got there early though, the spot we got was very good. Did a bit of people watching and making fun of the soundcheck guy, then visited The Village, which was all sideshows and stuff. We found two very drunk guys sitting in a tent that kept on playing the same riff over and over again, and telling us to hold on, as they were just the interval. They were hilarious. Much respect to Laszlo and Uncle Keith.

Next door, there was a burlesque show, but obviously this was extremely popular and crowded, so we visited another tent where Little Miss Rampage staple-gunned a ribbon to her chest, set a mousetrap off on her tongue, and put a cordless drill a few inches into her nose. Awesome. We did catch the end of the burlesque after that. Yay strippers! One poor guy got dragged on stage and humilated by a Russian dominatrix, hilarious.

Dragged Claire and Isobelle out of the tent to show them how cool The Village was, saw a very strange avant-garde hipster musical about Mary Mackillop in a shipping container which ended with Mary and a guy in a loincloth offering a communion of sakatas and goon to the audience, then we saw Mama Rosa, a batshit insane, moustachioed Italian stereotype woman. Crashed after that, not sure how.

Next morning, up very early. I dragged Shona and Isobelle out to the main stage to get a good spot on the barrier early, it was good to chill in the sun for a while though. First band up, opening the main stage, was Ben Wells and the Middle Names, a local band with a lot of friends in the audience. Not bad indie-ish rock, might have been better if Carlos the bassist's mates weren't yelling at him, but still.

Cloud Control was up after them. I'm not really a fan of this lot, a little too light for me, but every now and then it was like they flicked a switch and it was like Gareth Liddiard was leading The Drones into some heavy squealing noise. So yeah, not bad. All the triple J core kids were very appreciative.

Ran up the hill for some lunch, got talked into getting some kofta balls off the vegetarian Hare Krshna stand. They were awesome, we all got addicted to them. They tasted good, and they were really cheap. Went back down the hill out of curiousity about the Daara J Family, who were a couple of Senegalese rappers. They were so energetic and enthusiastic, we had barely any idea what they were rapping about, but they got the crowd dancing and yelling. The power went out on them with like two songs to go, which wasn't cool, but they were saved by their awesome live drummer.

Next up, the Beautiful Girls, who Shona was hanging out for. I had no idea who they were, turns out acoustic-y surfer rock. The only highlight of this set was the big last chorus of Pearl Jam's Black that they belted out. Other than that, we came under siege from the hordes of sweaty bogans who had already hit the piss. Not a fun crowd, though there was a guy being passed around sitting in a camp chair on top of everyone.

Since I was waiting for Tame Impala, I stuck around a couple of rows back in the mosh for Cold War Kids. I knew one of their songs from the radio. They seemed kind of bored and distracted, so I dunno. Not really that impressed.

Then Ladyhawke rolled onstage, pretty good stuff, but yeah, not really my kind of thing. Good mosh pit for My Delirium though. We saw Nick and Jay from Tame Impala on the side of the stage watching, which was pretty awesome. While we waited for them to set up, James introduced me to his friend Bec, who has an awesome taste in music. We sang along with the crowd to Bohemian Rhapsody as it got piped out.

So we stuck together for Tame Impala, and it was incredible, they've definitely improved since BDO. I would have liked some more from the EP, but still, got everything I wanted except Lucidity, even got the big psych out ending to Runway Houses City Clouds. And they jammed! That was really cool, they just rolled with it. Bogans in the crowd who only knew Remember Me seemed to be getting impatient though. But it was a good, chilled out set until the ending, when they stretched out Desire Be Desire Go, then thundered into Skeleton Tiger and Half Full Glass of Wine. Really good set. Grabbed a Mother from a kid who looked like he was twelve in a kiosk right next to the stage. Lucky bastard.

Once the bogans left, I encouraged James to come and watch The National with me, and we got a spot about two rows back from the fence, and some nice hipsters gave us Nodoze. They kicked absolute arse, opened with Mistaken For Strangers, and we got almost all the good stuff from High Violet. There was one drunk bogan in the crowd holding onto a beer and looking around cautiously, as if he was afraid to just join in, which made me laugh. Poor kid. Conversation 16 was awesome, as was Fake Empire. Didn't play England or Lit Up though, but still. After this, a lady came out and announced that Sleigh Bells were stuck at JFK airport in New York after a massive blizzard, and wouldn't be able to make it. I was cut.

Unfortunately, all of the bogans returned for the Rapture because they knew No Sex for Ben. I ended up all contorted and immobile about four songs in, though Pieces of the People We Love was a good opener. The lead singer kept diving off the stage, which would have been fun if the shirtless masses hadn't been yelling for No Sex for Ben.

Escaped the mosh at this point, grabbed a beer with Jake and James and found the rest on the hill for The Living End. Not a bad set, I'm glad they played Prisoner of Society. Claire was loving it, and hell, Chris Cheney riding around playing a solo on top of a double bass is pretty damn cool.

We retreated back up the hill for more food before Joan Jett came on, then found a spot about halfway down the hill towards the stage. We weren't expecting much, but the band was nuts, opened with Bad Reputation which reminded everyone who they were. Joan herself looked a bit old between two younger punks.

Sleigh Bells replacement was a hyped up band who'd played on the smaller Field Stage earlier that afternoon, Kitty Daisy and Lewis. Now, I do get that it's one hell of a tough gig replacing one of the most hyped bands at the festival. But I just don't think that a hoedown was a good swap for noisecore. Anyway. We decided to quit at that stage, after dancing around a man with a lightup umbrella that looked like a tiedyed jellyfish.

Back at the tents, we hung around for a bit until A-Trak jumped onstage, then James convinced Amelia and I to join him in the mosh. What struck me the most, apart from the insane skill that this guy has actually manipulating the music, was how calm the 90% bogan crowd was. They kinda all just did their thing and tried to pick up the closest pair of tits. Which reminded me of Ringer's, sadly, except instead of sticky floors and a crap DJ just playing a Ministry of Sound cd, you had a massive lightshow and a guy at the front who knew what he was doing. Barbra Streisand and Robot Rock were pretty awesome, and James was very impressed with a Yeah Yeah Yeahs remix.

Started heading back as Beardyman took the stage. I'm a little disappointed in myself, should have stuck around, but it was 330am. Still, we could hear it pretty clearly from inside the tent. Beatboxing.

Again, we got up pretty early the next day, and wandered over to the Field Stage where a Tasmanian band called Guthrie were warming up. Geordie and Shae grabbed a couch, which was just lying around. The band was insane, Black Keys/Clutch/White Stripes blues, soaked in Jack Daniels, with plenty of riffs and slide guitar and just stomping. So cool. I want to keep an eye on these two. Devil Went Down to Tassie indeed.

Then a fairly big crowd arrived for Boy and Bear. It was so chilled out, and the crowd was loving it. The band seemed kinda shocked that they were getting such a good reception, which the crowd adored. After their set, rushed back over with Anna for The Middle East. Unfortunately, I missed the first few songs, which probably included Lonely. Damn. But still, they made a lot of noise, and the keyboard/flute girl was incredibly hot. Their song about Vietnam was really good, and we managed to catch The Darkest Side and Blood. Still.

Refuelled after that, as Washington started up. Watched her set from the hill as Isobelle drifted off to sleep. Megan Washington really is tiny. She did a cover of I Touch Myself, which James and Shona took off for. I encouraged everyone to dive into the mosh for Children Collide, then found myself a spot one or two rows from the barrier.

They went off. Channelling a bit of Cobain with the whole thrashing around the stage. Crowd was so good too, no bogans trying to force their way forward, just a whole lot of people jumping around and getting sprayed by hoses. Would have liked Complacency No Vacancy, but hell, Across the Earth and Jellylegs made up for it. One of my favourite sets.

Met up with Bec and headed over to watch Ash Grunwald at the other stage, found the others and had a beer in the shade before joining the throng. Every song of his sounds kinda similar, but his slide solos were damn good, and I will always have respect if a band has a designated guy to just bash on scrap metal like a car door. He got the crowd singing along to John the Revelator, which was cool, but the White Stripes did it better.

Back to the main stage to catch the end of Hot Hot Heat's set, then James decided we should all go way up the front for Angus and Julia Stone. They were filling up giant hot air balloons and hanging them around the stage, then bringing out wooden clouds to surround the drum kit. Cool, I think, crowd'll be chilled, stage looks cool.

The typical bogan male is shirtless, sweaty, drunk, and bigger than just about everyone, and so uses this to it's advantage to push forward to the front, even if it doesn't know what's going on. The female bogan is almost the opposite, in that they just want their own place to dance, but that place has to be at the front. You aren't allowed to push, because she will just push you back and scream at you, and possibly bite you, as one guy near me learnt. Angus and Julia obviously have enough crossover appeal for mainstream annoying 16 year olds, so there was a lot of pressure going forwards and lots of girls jumping up on shoulders. I helped two girls who got knocked over by a bleached blonde whore, then figured bugger it, not really that good. Jumped out and got some more delicious kofta balls, then hung around looking for the others.

Public Enemy were up next, harnessing the bogan crowd by appealling to them with Flava Flav's reality stardom. I suppose their set was alright, I wasn't really paying much attention. They had two guys in full combat fatigues marching around on stage around the rappers, which would have been ever so much fun in the heat. Went back to the tent and found almost everyone chilling, which was good.

We split up after having another drink, and James and I took advantage of the bogan rush to the bar to get good spots near the front for Paul Kelly. He had a fun set, and I was surrounded by die hards who knew every single word. Before Too Long went off, but I'm still weary of Everything's Turning to White after bloody Jindabyne.

Managed to mosh my way forward for Interpol and found myself leaning over two girls on the barrier chatting to a guy who'd been waiting to see Interpol for eight years with his girlfriend. Gave Isobelle, who had been clinging onto the barrier for dear life all this time, my camera to take some good photos, and moshed. They had a pretty good set, Narc was really good and Barricade was a good screamalong. The lighting and stuff was really cool as well, very moody and dark, and I swear they replicated the Turn on the Bright Lights cover every now and then.

When they got off stage, Zan Rowe from triple J took control of the piped out music, and she played Seven Nation Army and Last Nite, which was cool. Suddenly it was 2 minutes to midnight, and Peaches appeared wearing a leotard made out of boobs with barbie doll heads on them, and almost completely missed out on the countdown. Still. Pretty funny.

Then we were in 2011, Klaxons roared onstage and launched themselves into Atlantis to Interzone. James went nuts beside me. They had an awesome set, I heard everything I wanted to hear, and hell, it just feels damn good to be a row back from the barrier, in front of twelve thousand people, watching a goddamn awesome band, at midnight on New Year's Eve. The band were into it as well, they said they didn't want to leave.

Isobelle and I literally jumped out of the mosh and gave James a spot on the barrier with Amelia when Klaxons finished, and found our way to water. There were hundreds of glowsticks in the space between the stage and the barrier. We watched some of Peaches DJ show from the hill for a bit, then realised she was just playing club songs while people in frilly outfits wandered around the stage. Meh. Went back to the tent and crashed like a motherbitch at around 3am.

This morning was so much fun, James woke me up at 615 as he had to leave with Shae to catch the early flight. Quickly demolished the tent, helped Claire pack up hers, and made it to the shuttle buses with her and Isobelle. Trip back into Hobart was pretty dull except for a paranoid copper who thought people without seats on the bus should be standing in the aisle and not sitting, which is weird. He threatened to fine the driver, who laughed it off as soon as he sped away.

Spent an hour and a half recovering over coffee and hot chocolate in the airport. We saw The Middle East checking in their luggage, which was cool, and the entire Public Enemy crew at the business class bit. Flava Flav was wearing his giant clock and was willing to have photos taken with girls. We saw Dan Sultan looking kind of haughty at the coffee place, then one of the DJs from the second day sat next to us. We thought he was the guy from Vampire Weekend, but apparently he was just a fill in. Either way, apparently we made his day when Isobelle asked him to sign her poster anyway, he was pretty cool. We saw the crowd again and said goodbye a second time, then checked in and hung around in the departure lounge. Plane trip was dull except for a bit of turbulence.

Land, find luggage, find Skybus (we followed a couple that we'd seen at every single band, they probably thought we were stalking them), find tickets home, then find food. We collapsed outside the cathedral on the grass where thousands of drunks probably pissed the night before eating an ungodly amount of maccas and subway, then went back to Flinders St and chilled. Isobelle took an early train, and Claire and I ate fancy jelly beans and bitched about music and ATAR scores the whole way home.

And here I am, checking the news websites and making sure I get all of this down before I forget it all. Next time, I'm bringing a car, either to Lorne or to Tassie again I don't know. It was cool to meet all these people who actually liked these bands, and it was cool to see some stuff I wouldn't have checked out normally. Made some new friends too, it's all good.

I'll probably post again when I know what's going on, I'm not sure if we'll get regular programming going for a while. Either way, happy new year, etc, etc.



2010 Wrap-up.

'Lo all.

Well. That's another one down.

(I'm posting this late because I've been on holiday in Tasmania. Some of this has been drafted, it'll probably be kinda obvious which.)

Next couple of days are going to be messy. Going off to Geelong for actual christmas tonight. Next day off to the cricket, then a day recovering before jetting off to Tasmania for the Falls Festival. Going to see a lot of cool bands, with a writeup on new year's day. Then we'll resume regular programming.

Anyway. Hell. 2010. Year twelve and turning 18 and all that. Exciting stuff, I suppose.

Gotta say, school wasn't as difficult as I was expecting. Maybe it's because of the subjects I picked, I dunno. It was stressful, sure, with all the SACs and other random crap that popped up. Exams were good because apart from studying and worrying, there was enough room to breathe. And I think my results reflect this approach. I was never really going to get a 90, but I'm glad I got more than I expected.

Literature, being the most important class, was actually alright, I guess. It was cool to hang with Hayley for the first half of the year as we struggled through Hedda Gabler. Slaughterhouse 5 was actually enjoyable, and Keats was tedious but ultimately interesting. Ms Dosser's an absolute hero, she deserves all the praise she gets from her students.

History was enjoyable if only because of Mr Ries, I'm glad I signed up for it. Good class, and since the majority of it was just reproducing facts, it was easy to get a grip on the material.

Media was another one of those enjoyable classes, this time because we got a bit of creative freedom, and could argue opinions. Plus, hell, we got to watch Snatch. For some reason people think my cheap ad campaign is good, but I dunno. I just ripped off a whole lot of similar ads. Very amused when I later found a campaign that was about the same thing as mine from the NSW government.

What fun maths was, with poor old Bren-dog. Half the kids didn't care. I snoozed through most of it, admittedly. Bit of a bludge class. But the class itself was good, and Mr Brennan was forgiving enough to be around when I really needed help.

And of course biology. That was... interesting. The pracs were a lot of fun, and the actual subject matter. It was good fun going to Monash to play with some DNA (and win 4 free mars bars). I'm glad we didn't have to do any creationism stuff. I would have burnt the school down if we did.

I should probably mention my dear spare group as well. Playing the ball and cup game with Gavin, teasing Sarah about her age, annoying Georgia while she tried to read, and playing hundreds of games of solitaire. It was good that it was so chilled. Good times.

What else have we got. School was alright. Muckup day was awful. Seriously. Next year, kids, have the party the night AFTER, not the night before. We were so tired, and I guess it showed. No one really enjoyed themselves that day. Kinda felt sorry for the crowd too, they were used to being entertained. I might blame the teachers a little as well, every speech about us related that we were "funloving troublemakers", so naturally they cut our balls off and supervised us the whole time to prevent anything untoward occuring. Bastards.

It was good to see the majority of kids turning eighteen too. The parties were fun, the nights wasted in Ringer's weren't, I guess. Salefest was a highlight though. Tom's quest to get wasted with the goonbag was hilarious, and it was a lot of fun to escort Meg in as she turned 18 that night, then moshing with Tom, Annie, Alison and Meg all night. THEN, waking up after four hours sleep to take a bus to Melbourne. Woo.

More generally, this year has been awesome for music. Today I voted in triple j's hottest 100, and the scope of the stuff that they mentioned was mind boggling. I'd like to thank the world's worst imageboard for exposing me to some crazy stuff, loving some of this crazy glitch stuff. Pitchfork was good for news, despite it being so pretentious it hurt. Favourite album of the year would have to be either Innerspeaker by Tame Impala, or Sleigh Bell's Treats. Check em out if you haven't already, though I'm sure I've shouted about them enough.

Films too, I guess. Inception was good. I've watched too many dvds, as you'll have seen from yesterday's review post. Was blown away by Oldboy and Requiem for a Dream. Awesome films.

It was good to keep working at both Bis and the chemist's. Yesterday I briefly attended the Bis christmas breakup, and they're all just great people, and skilled at beer pong. For all the whinging about the drowning in customers, and denying me a couple of shifts, I still like working there with them.

Carlton did a little better this year, which is good. Australia suddenly sucks at cricket, though we'll see how they go in the next test.

The internet, no matter how terrifying, is still an awesome place. I swear to god though, they should have some sort of licence test before they let people use facebook. The stupid hurts sometimes. Goddamn. No one cares if you're "loving life", and no one cares what stupid things you "like". Bad.

Funnily enough, that's all first world problems, I suppose. World's going to hell even faster. As I write, South Korea's agitating Best Korea. I wonder if I'll even get to post this in a couple of days. Amusing, none the less. I'm sick of the casual racism and violence here though. It's a neverending, vicious circle. Annoying though. Since I haven't been beaten up in Ringer's this year, I figure I'll probably get jobbed in Melbourne or something, oh well.

The family's doing well. Right now Beardman's working on his weather station, by extending it up another meter or two on a broomstick. Fraser's starting to realise what an idiot he is, I think the responsibility from being vice captain at his school sunk in a bit. Sisters are typical ten year olds. Dad's in for an interesting next couple of years with them.

All of my friends, you know how much I love/hate (mostly hate) you all. Not just the oldies I've known since preps, not just the mates that have stuck for all of grammar, not even the new friends we always run into in Ringer's, all of you. I'd probably be dead by now if it weren't for you bastards, and I'm genuinely sad that I won't be able to hang out with most of you next year. Keep in touch.

And that's the closest thing you'll get to actual sentiment here, by the way.

So what does next year hold? I mean, after the Big Day Out, I'm moving to Melbz with the first wave of non-gap-year kids. I figure I'll survive. Hopefully everything will just go smoothly. Move, find work, start course, don't get stabbed, the usual.

Um. Yeah. Twenty Ten, we hardly knew ye.

See you all on the other side, I guess.