Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Flaming Lips.

'Lo all.

I usually don't post if I have a big night out, which is why I haven't posted for a while. Benders are bad, children. Real bad.

So I last wrote after Harvest. Not much to report, really. Spent a few days in the sun reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles when it wasn't pouring rain. Loving holidays so far.

On Wednesday, Aiden finished exams, so naturally we got trashed. Hit James Squire's, then Bieros for lucky dip beers (stout... bugger) and 14% ciders. After realising the Exford was closed (and see T Benoosh randomly) found ourselves at Ness's arguing about music. Walked back to college with Aiden, trying not to disturb too many possums.

Next day, had a lot of free food to get rid of a hangover, then went to the Palace for the Flaming Lips. Jesus. Pond opened, and Paisley really does dance like Cameron Vale. They played a lot of new stuff, but we still got Annie Orangetree. Looking forward to their new album.

Before they came on stage, Wayne Coyne popped up and gave a disclaimer, stuff about strobes and such. Never had that before. Then the band emerged from a giant psychedelic video of a woman's genitals (not even kidding) before Wayne rolled onto the crowd in his space bubble. Again, not even kidding. Imagine the Beardman completely stoned wearing a furry thing around his neck strolling around a moshpit in a plastic ball. Then they fired the confetti cannons and two dozen giant balloons dropped onto the audience while the band played She Don't Use Jelly and naked ladies were dancing on the big screen. One hell of a start.

The rest of the set was pretty good, at one stage the guitarist put down his modded double neck (it's now just a single neck) and started playing his iPhone (apps for everything these days). Wayne was popping gigantic balloons filled with confetti with his guitar. Side of stage were hot girls in Wizard of Oz outfits dancing. We got The Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Song, Worm Mountain, See The Leaves, Race For the Prize, and a new one (apparently from the Neon Indian EP?) as well as a Sabbath cover. At the end of the main set there was this little noisebox that reacted to light, so Wayne was waving that and a flourescent lantern around making screaming noises. Dude in the crowd in front of us had a crab hat. And they finished with Do You Realize???, using soooo much confetti. Jesus.

Next time they tour, I advise everyone to go and catch the Flaming Lips. Trust me.

So, after all that, Ness and I caught the last tram to Puggs after avoiding potential meat cleaver psychos at the 7/11, then were almost rejected from Puggs by the new bouncer until Jake and Cara spilled out and distracted him. Made it inside to wish Tom Garry a happy birthday and singalong to some Green Day and Oasis (part of me dies every time this happens, which is why I'm usually too drunk to care). After pizza, the girls decided to keep going, so we all found ourselves on the South Lawn in the middle of Melbourne Uni. There was possum catching, races, and swordfights with Aiden's crutches. Shenanigans.

Friday was a bit quieter, caught Pond with Aiden once again. Opener was ScotDrakula (sp?), who were Black Lips/Sex Bob-omb shouty hipster rock, then Ancients which had a sorta Sonic Youth sound until the singer came in, which sort of ruined it. Pond themselves did pretty much the same set they did before, Sandman (one of the new ones, I think?) was insane though, and Paisley seems to have taken some ideas from the Flips with shooting confetti at the crowd. At one stage Aiden and I spotted someone in shiny gold spandex, who turned around and was a dude with a large moustache. Only in Brunswick?

Made it home fine, jumped on the train back to Sale the next morning after it was delayed half an hour. Caught up with the family, then got a lift with Pat through the rain to Bernice's. That was an interesting night, lots of drinking games and Rage, which is always good. Haven't caught up with Dayno, Emma or Cumpster in far too long either.

Next day, made my way home, got to drive around a bit, then the grandparents and Annie and her mum dropped in for dinner. Siblings delighted in finding someone else to help them pick on me, and Annie and I yelled a lot at Fraser about finishing high school. Business as usual. That night the Beardman showed off his new toy and we argued about music (and probably bored Fraser).

Morning after, checked out Diana and PD's new place in Wurruk overlooking a lake. Very nice place. They're doing well, which is good. Then some wandering around Sale after chips with the horde, which included pool at the Star and laughing at the engrish in the 2 dollar shop. That afternoon the Doyles and Travis dropped in (and I got kicked out of the spare room, hurm).

Then suddenly I was back on the train to the city, had a good chat with Nemo on the way to Traralgon, almost fell asleep somewhere around Garfield though. Back in Hawthorn, shenanigans were afoot for Woosh's birthday/end of exams party. I was enjoying a red outside when people started dropping in, then we played some fris in Terebithia. Somehow Collo had found half a dozen pairs of baggy fluro hippy pants. This terrified everyone walking past, especially when the fris was thrown at them.

Back to 102, Angus and I cleared the place up, then people slowly began arriving. We got very hammered. The shish and smoke machine were unleashed for the first time in a couple of months. Then we moseyed over to Nevermind to wait for everyone to get kicked out of the Hawthorn, ran into Amy again, then went downstairs as Angus somehow got about thirty requests off the DJ. The bastard, no one should know all the words to Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson. The Woosh was booted after dancing on a couch, poor bastard. Crazy stuff happening at the end in front of Wells and I towards the end.

I found my way back to 102 with Thomas, where a game of soccer was taking place, and after we put the Europeans to bed/Woosh passed out on the couch, Baz almost got into a punch on with one of the delivery men.

Today was not pretty. I moved onto Far From the Madding Crowd, and started watching Community (get amongst it). Tomorrow's James's innappropriate party. I believe I'll be going as a sex offender (will I have to shuffle though?).

Must stop doing these massive two week long breaks between posts, November's looking very sad. Oh well. I wonder if this'll make it to facebook, since the bastards fiddled with the settings.

Anyway. Hurm.



Saturday, November 12, 2011


'Lo all.

Before I hit the good stuff, first some catching up before I forget it all.

This might be the last post that is automatically chucked on facebook by RSS because facebook is retarded sometimes. I'm too lazy and forgetful to chuck it up myself, and to be honest I don't care enough. If you're a dedicated facebook reader (god help us all if you are) my crap can be found at I know it says updates at ten, but I've found it's more of a loose deadline.

So, picking up where we left off, finished that assignment I was planning, handed it in no problems. Celebrated with a couple of cheeky ciders with Angus, Wells and Bennett and some FPS Russia. Can't say I've done much else this week, though I did find a place to live on Riversdale rd that looks very interesting, and cheap. Only problem is, I can't do an inspection on the place because they don't have a free apartment until when it might be too late. Damn housing... Puggs was also pretty awesome this week, smaller crowd but four times the amount of cute girls, go figure.

Anyway, to business. This morning I rose bright and early, donned my Portishead shirt, and looking far too much like a hipster for my own good headed down to Werribee. Luckily, everyone else on the train was a hipster too.

Shuttlebus over to the festival, it was being held at the Werribee mansion, near the zoo. Nice place, really, there's a photo on facebook. Went in easily enough, no lines (not yet, at least), had a look around. On the main stage, a dj with a jazz big band and barbershop quartet were playing (only highlight was Baby on Board from the Simpsons, woah).

First thing I noticed was that almost all the trees in this place had random crap like picture frames or streamers or eyeballs dangling from them. Crap hanging off trees does not an art installation make. Some of the "lol so randum" stuff seemed to be put there just for hipsters to take photos of each other with (in sepia tint), which was stupid. The usual Sea Shepard/Amnesty/CLIMATE CHANGE HURR people were there, as well as a lot of "alternative" market stalls. I have never really understood this trend, as festivals and shows are not the sort of place where one buys stuff. Unless it's a camping festival and you need a beanie or sunnies or something.

The crowd was really interesting, there were a lot of teeny boppers, but not as many as I thought. Lots of people in their late twenties. I suppose they grew up with Portishead/Flaming Lips more than we Gen Yers did. Also, crowd was much, much bigger than I was expecting, and clearly this was the case with the organisers. As nice as the setup was with its "art installations" and "hidden secrets", there weren't enough places to get drink coupons or drinks, not enough food places, and definitely not enough toilets. I don't really want to hear from every girl in the pit about how they're busting but don't want to wait an hour in line for a toilet, thanks.

(it's great being a dude sometimes, even if I needed to go there were trees everywhere. bliss).

Back to the music, I suppose. After getting an overpriced spicy hotdog (a trend?), saw the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Very cool, and very strange seeing a euphonium and sousaphone. Worth checking out, band geeks.

After that, got roasted in the sun while flicking through the program. Turns out the old timetables were in there, which gave me some hope about seeing Mogwai after Portishead, but it turns out they changed it.

The main stage lineup was pretty broad, there was a jazz band, a brass band, a funk band, then an art rock band, an alt folk band, indie rock (how I hate that term), then the second best trip hop group ever. Compared to the other main stage, which was pretty much all rock apart from Death in Vegas. Didn't go over to the second stage much at all, sadly.

The Family Stone (minus Sly?) were alright, I suppose. The mixing wasn't kind to them, the trumpet solos kept getting lost and the only way I knew one was occurring was from the big screen. Their most popular song was the one featured in Shrek. I suppose this worked for Joan Jett at Falls. They lost me when they started shouting about Occupy and the 99%.

While they were performing, some balloons were floating up from behind the mansion. Turns out there was a wedding going on at the zoo, felt kinda sorry for them since not very far away at all was a four-stage music festival going on...

Went into the crowd proper after refueling on overpriced sugarless Pepsi (the alternative, un-sugarless Coke or beer, would mean waiting two hours and more money. Festivals, honestly...) to catch TV on the Radio. Grinspoon, classic Silverchair and Karnivool were getting piped out, which was a little amusing. Saw a girl in bare feet carrying her boots around in the mosh, very strange.

TV on the Radio put on a pretty good show, they're a lot more energetic live than they are in the studio. I like their stuff, but not enough to dig deeper, and now I'm thinking I should. Haven't given their new album a spin yet. Opened with Halfway Home, which was excellent, and closed with an absolute rager of Wolf Like Me (reminded me of Search and Destroy at BDO, so much fun as a singalong). I did like Tunde Adembimpe fiddling around with his vocals with a couple of delay and phaser pedals attached to his mic stand. During Repetition the requisite singlet-and-fake-tan douchebags kept trying to crowdsurf (really trying, bless their hearts), but settled with a three man high shoulder stack.

Somehow I ended up ten rows from the fence before Bright Eyes started. I do not know much Bright Eyes, so there's always that little bit of guilt that someone who really loves them should be in your spot. Still. Had a chat to some older women who wanted to do obscene things to Connor Oberst, and 50ish year old dude who loved the National and told me to check out the Felice Brothers. Huh. As the crowd grew again, I had flashbacks to Angus and Julia Stone at Falls. You'd think a folky, lyrical alt-countryish band would have a fairly chilled crowd, even if it is mostly teenage girls. I hoped it would. Funnily enough, this occured while Angus and Julia Stone were featured in a sepia-tinted ad on the big screens about saving the coral reefs (followed by a similar ad featuring a talking fish...). Saw Clive Deamer, Portishead/Radiohead's touring drummer (he likes head, doesn't he, the poor bald bastard). Little bit of a fanboy moment.

So Bright Eyes came on, Connor Oberst looks like a wrinkly 18 year old (isn't the dude approaching forty or something?), and he seemed slightly crosseyed. Girls were swooning everywhere. His setup was interesting though, two drumkits, slide, shedloads of keyboards and a trumpeter. Had no idea what I was in for.

Turns out it wasn't the worst girl-oriented blind set I've been in. However, the band did suffer from Cloud Control syndrome, where it looked like the moment a song would turn really awesome just sort of petered out and went back to gentle altpop crap. Hurm. Girl behind me was singing every word, she was there with her mum. I did like all the lyrical references to Greek myths and stuff, but I don't think the audience would know who Sisyphus was, nor would they look the story up. Rest of the lyrics seem very, very angsty. Meh. The poor guitarist's lead kept falling out, little funny. Saw a flugel horn (WOAH), the guitarist from Tripod in the crowd, and Wayne Coyne watching from side of stage (MORE WOAH BECAUSE HE SAW US STARING AND WAVED!).

After the set finished, moved up to third row behind the barrier. Right behind two tall guys looking after their girlfriends (read, immovable). Damn. Chatted to a guy who was trying to light his cigar (yeah, I know), he turned out to be a bro. He's looking forward to seeing Justice at Festy Hall, and is mad about the National. Once his girlfriend left we were roaring the songs. Did like that they were piping Gimme Shelter, and had a camera following them onstage beamed up to the big screen (cue people behind us "hey, that mansion they're in front of looks just like the mansion behind the stage!")

Excellent set, very similar to Falls and very heavy on the High Violet stuff, which I'm cool with as it really is a brilliant album. Sadly, that meant less stuff from Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (I did want to hear Murder Me Rachel even if they don't like playing The Cardinal Song anymore...). I forgot how funny the band can be between songs, they were joking about annoying the rhinos once they finished their set because they have access all areas passes. Towards the end, during Terrible Love, Matt jumped into the crowd, taking the microphone with him. He got pretty far too, judging by how much lead the roadie had to give him. This would have been awesome if some drunken douchebag hadn't stepped in front of us just at that second.

Chilled out waiting for Portishead on the barrier, life is good. Chatted to a few people who'd been waiting so long for them. Then, bam.

Can't believe I'm writing about a Portishead show. Very creepy videos going on in the background, first of all. Definitely added to the whole thing, especially the manipulations of the live footage (as in, what was happening in front of you being Persephone'd). Setlist is pretty similar to what they've been doing lately, so again, not much from their self-titled, which is disappointing as I'm a sucker for Elysium/Half Day Closing/Only You/All Mine/Humming/the other half of the album that they did not play. During Machine Gun (which was incredible), they flashed up images of Tony Abbott shooting lasers from his eyes. Hilarious. Their big finish was We Carry On, which had this awesome instrumental bit towards the end. After taking a swig of beer, Beth jumped down from the stage (OMG) and ran over to shake hands and hug people (OMG!!!). So, I can now die happy knowing that Beth Gibbons shook my hand, however briefly. She's always so shy (cf recent performance on Fallon, she did not look at the camera once). So that was pretty awesome. Then, since I stuck around instead of going straight to the Flaming Lips, a roadie chucked me a setlist. Brilliant. It's now up on my wall.

I am seeing the Flaming Lips on Thursday, and I was exhausted, so I was in no real rush. Saw some strippers (I mean, burlesque performers) in the circus tent, and caught a bit of Holy Fuck's set. I think if they tour again they'd better have a sideshow. Wandered over to the other stage, since the only way in is through a single gate there was a huge crowd, but I did see (from a great distance) Wayne Coyne strolling around on top of the crowd in his plastic bubble, and heard Worm Mountain. So that was awesome. Also picked up Portishead's limited edition single (on vinyl, because I'm weird like that) on the way out.

Shuttle and train home were quiet, if packed, and now I'm home and it's empty. Internet's playing up, it's taken me an hour to put up fifteen photos, but oh well.

Tomorrow... sleep. No idea what to do after that.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Subzero Fun.

'Lo everyone.

Honestly cannot believe that it's November, and my holidays start tomorrow. So good.

So I haven't been up to a lot, really. It hit the pointy end of the semester far too fast.

Finished all my assessments except one that's due tomorrow night that I've started and planned out. Oh yeah. Even all the journal entries. Like a boss. I might have wimped out a bit with the last journalism assessment, just got a couple of interviews with Swinburne student union/amenities association people (who hate each other, funnily enough), but I'm only aiming for a pass, and a pass I shall get.

In other news, Puggs week before last for Emily's, we had a good crowd of our people, even if it was usual stuff. Too much queen saving though. The girls left halfway through for Billboards, so we kept going, ended up in Incy's til it shut, then watching cartoons at college. Left about 4 since Manthony and Ness were falling asleep (through classic Rugrats!), and once again Denny and Pat were spooning on my couch (...well, maybe just sharing them), much to the horror of Angus and Baz the next morning.

Had a quiet weekend where I ploughed through some work, then a final week that involved a lot of procrastinating. I'd forgotten how good I was at that. Had to miss Puggs, but made up for it the night after, once I'd handed in three things. 102 and co. got absolutely trashed at the Union bar, after Woosh and Angus chugged a bottle of wine each (no, really. It was spectacular(ly gross)). Fairly amusing too, I felt kinda sorry for the European girls as they weren't being left alone. Interesting crowd at union parties, really. They had a hipster jazzrock (post-avant-jazz-core?) band with the prerequisite pair of hipsters dancing all "carefree"/awkwardly in front of them. Once we got back home Woosh and Angus had a wrestle in front of some American visitors after some Elton John karaoke, and we ended up with knees going through a wall and a door, and a brilliantly smashed mirror. Well done those men.

Next day, off to St Kilda to catch all three Back to the Future films at the Astor with Annie. It was pretty crazy, there was a Delorean fully kitted out (WITH A HOVERBOARD) out the back, and a costume competition which featured a guy with Nike Air Mags and a pair of Libyans in a cardboard kombivan with an RPG. Awesome.

Films were good, of course. They made a big deal out of it being the first time they'll be shown one after the other in 4k (... even though it's a worldwide thing for the Bluray release or something). You do pick up on a lot of little background things when you see them on a huge screen. Very good films, shame on you if you've never seen them before (*coughanguscough*).

Anyway, Annie and I made it back to Alfred st, then Wellsy dropped in sniffing after some of Angus's supplies. I crashed on the floor, then about 4am the rest of the household arrived home with the American guests. They were hammered. I believe there was a fris sesh on the street outside, and Woosh and Bennett were squabbling with the bread delivery dude at 5am. Poor Annie had to be up before 8 to go paintballing. Lol.

I've spent far too much time in the last two days in the library, though now that I've only got one more thing to finish I'm chilling out more. The weather is fantastic, and since we fixed our porch up (read, moved the exercise thingy), it's now possible to sit in the sun and study. So good. Christ I'm going to be so lazy this summer.

Also, despite my poor finances (eating cardboard, etc), got tickets to the Flaming Lips sideshow, and will definitely be checking out Pond the night after in their own headline show in Brunswick. Plus Cameras is finally coming to Melbourne. Oh yeah, and there's that festival in Werribee on Saturday with Portishead and the National and TV on the Radio and such. No biggie (well, slight biggie, since it's in Werribee and trains have to stop for maintainence early...). Found a pair of Massive Attack live sets (one partial one from last year with video, and one from 1998 (!!!)). Been playing them a lot.

So yeah, apart from the usual Thursday night rampage at Puggs, I'm hoping the rest of this week will be fairly quiet (he says hopefully).

Jesus... November.