Always have, always will. She, along with Blondie were the first formings of my musical taste beyond Bucks Fizz, the Smurfs and Londons Burning played on a plastic recorder. Simultanueously, I understand perfectly why she gives so many other people the niff; the shrieking and the googly eyes being but two of the things I’m sure put people off.
But I love everything about her and these days can even see how a little of her has snuck into my photos and videos. I’m also quite good at both shrieking and making googly eyes.
So I was thrilled this morning to find that the fellow at FourFour had created this awesome tribute in an overload of animated gifs, a mere few of which appear above. Clicky, clicky and make a cup of tea while it loads. It’s worth it.
Don’t be so distracted by the action however, that you miss that it’s also a lovely, thoughtful bit of blog writing about what we-that-love-her truly love about her.
…she was made for me. No other entertainer I’ve invested myself in has ever struck the balance between awe-inspiring technical proficiency and utter nonsense so well. She has the paradoxical effect of a retarded genius..
I was listening to this album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor yesterday afternoon. It’s so big and gorgeous and fulfilling. They’ve had such a far-reaching and all-pervasive influence on so much that has come after that I’d kind of forgotten the impact of the original.
I should never let that happen.
It played into a cycle of big listening:- The Besnard Lakes…are the dark horse has been in the car stereo and GYBE sent us into the last Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust and Matt put on some Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band (some of the GYBE guys I think) – ‘This is our Punk-Rock’ thee rusted satellites gather and sing, who I had always intended, but had never got around to listening to.
I was kicked off in this whole direction by a Townsville band (heard on a new-to-me blog dedicated to new Australian music), called The Middle East and their song, Blood that makes me feel all full and optimistic.
When I get paid I’m buying the album.
I realise a few people get put off by some of the naming, titling and creative grammar and punctuation involved which leads them to assess this stuff as pretentious, but you know what? It’s beautiful and incidentally, Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven is my favourite title for anything, ever.
There’s a time for everything and sometimes, like hair, music needs to be big.
Damo Suzuki came to stay again, but this time to play not just for a holiday. Here is an appalling photo of all three of us at the airport on his way back off the island.
Damo Suzuki’s Network is how he travels the globe, hooking up with musicians in each location and just getting on stage and making ‘instant composition’. He is a fascinating man and a very calming influence. He is so tiny I always feel like some monstrous giant smothering him with my bosoms when we hug.
His network this time consisted of Matt on drums, Reggie Norris from Moe Grizzly (I am a come-lately convert) on guitar, the worship-worthy Leigh Hobba on sax and bass clarinet, Scot Cotterell on electronic bleepy noises and our very talented ‘mate-from-Launceston’ with more pedals than anyone in the world, Mat Anderson on bass.
It rocked. It rocked hard. The entire band played off each other more wonderfully than I could ever have hoped. I think they had a ball.
Damo arrived and went onstage on no sleep due to an unfortunate sequence of missed and regained flights + a drama with lost baggage so I found him a particularly remarkable performer. I hope he has his stuff back by now.
Come again next year Damo, please, please pretty, please…
Oooooh – I forgot to say that Alice Cooper was awesome. There he is there, isn’t he awesome?
From go to whoah – that man knows what a crowd wants. There was one hit after another with the new songs slipped in seamlessly. He set an amazing Ramones-style pace for a chap of his vintage and didn’t seem to need a little lie-down until well into the second half. I think it was just a costume change really, while his daughter, Calico did a bit of a floaty and bendy dance – work and his band did a three man drum solo, but I’m sure he had a quick cuppa and a sit-down on a Jason Recliner placed conveniently just behind the giant spider set.
He drove a stake through the heart of a plastic baby, slapped a giant dolly around and got hung on a gallows-on-wheels at the end but it’s hard to talk highlights… the songs are all so good and there were so many I wanted to hear (I wasn’t disapointed – there was a Welcome to my Nightmare medley in there).
It’s far, far easier to say there are two AC songs I hate: Bed of Nails and No More Love at Your Convenience. I heard neither and therefore was a happy, happy girl.
I remember a few wee kiddies bursting into tears and having to be removed during Steven and I was struck by the fact that for an ode to necrophilia, Cold Ethyl sure does rock.
The only disapointment was the size of the crowd but this could have been resolved by putting up one or two of those posters being flogged on the merch stand. Fire your Australian promoters Alice, I’ll get you a LEGION next time…
In other observations – Launceston has a hellova lot of fat people in it and they all love Alice Cooper. I don’t meant to be unkind and I am MORE than aware of my own portly stature but these folk were real, proper, Dr Phil watching fatties and I’ve never seen so many (particularly with such odd fashion choices) hanging out in the one room… weird…
So anyhow, thanks Alice – I had a ball. I heard you got a round of golf in at the Launceston Country Club as well so that’s nice. Come back soon.
We popped over to Melbourne again last week to see the Sunn O))) gig at the Hi-Fi bar.
A flying visit – over on Wednesday-coffee with Nick and Delta-super-quick nibbles and drinks with Jenny and Ted-gig-cheap hotel-ACMI-fly home Thursday.
I’d heard albums and a bit of talk about what their gigs were like but I was pretty stunned. But I jump ahead… first-things-first – they were supported by Japanese droners, Boris, who were FANTASTIC fun and worth the trip alone.
Sunn O))) then came on with the hooded cloaks with the dry ice and the lasers and what-not and quite simply MADE NOISES THAT CRAWLED UP MY LEGS AND SHOOK MY UTERUS TO BILLIO!!!
This is not a euphamistic exaggeration. This is physically, exactly what happened.
It’s really hard to describe… maybe a gig format is actually not the best place for what they do (I would like to see them ‘installed’ somewhere, to be able to come and go and experience at least an illusion that they are in that place, making that noise forever. Yes, it’s that primal.) but I was pretty impressed by the sheer power of it all.
Three (arguably) interesting notes about the gig that I list here are connected directly to their love of collaboration.
1) the Boris drummer is (enjoyably) as silly as a hatful of puppies in an ‘i-am-the-embodied-spirit-of-rock’ kind of way and joined them for a few gong solos and some extensive crowd surfing.
2) their primary vocalist (was it Atilla from Mayhem? Correct me anyone…)was a bit lame… moaning and head-butting the aforementioned gong and falling over a bit. I think he was a bit shit-faced… or he may just be a bit lame… the sound was so intense and awesome (in the original sense of the word) that he really needed to get with the program and keep up, which he didn’t do.
3) there is a good fella down here in Tas (he lives at Snug, in the country, outside Hobart), Russell, who we know vaguely from the music scene down here. He’s always looked a little lord-of-the-rings, sometimes with beard, sometimes without and he used to get up at Matt’s old band’s gigs and breakdance to any Syd Barret covers. I used to hear from friends who knew him that he was a really triff drummer. He has carried on with solo music projects of his own down in Snug. There are a few different ones but Striborg is the one that has stretched across the globe, worshipped by Scandanavian Black Metallers and also adored by Steven O’Malley of Sunn O))). I quite like what I’ve heard too, which is suprising as that stuff usually just makes me titter. Russel hadn’t heard of them until he was made aware of a track of theirs named for his Striborg pseudonym – Sin Nanna. Anyhoo – once they hit Australian shores they asked him to come to Melbourne and play a couple of gigs with them so there he is – crouching down the front in the velvety cape. I thought he showed Atilla up pretty much. Russel’s vocals were much more striking.
It’s great to see little stick-to-it folk in inaccessible places find some kind of success. Not that he’s rich or anything but I imagine theres a few more sales through the Sunn-fan promoting and we reckon he gets a hella lot of swap offers which I think would make him quite happy. We had a quick chat at the gig with him and also at the airport waiting for the flight back (same one) and he just seems to be doing what he do-do and enjoying life.
…so Farinelli has had some ups and downs but it now seems he might recover fully bar a little remaining head tilt. It was an inner ear infection (something like my Mums’ Menieres Disease) that left him unable to balance or even tell which way was up or down. He was walking around with his head on sideways and falling over but is now straightened up can even negotiate steps with some speed. I’m pretty attached to that little guy.
Anyhow as he improves, my routine re-settles which means I have a little time to report on Melbourne.
I stayed with Nick and Delta again and took the step of eschewing trams in favour of walking into the city every day along Bridge road.
Here is Delta doing something fancy with eggs and Nick enjoying his fake birthday party:
Delta is a relatively recent Handsome Family convert and came with me to the gig which was entirely worth the trip. Brett and Rennie are funny and engaging and the music was beautiful. I loved it. I bought the new CD from Rennie at the merch stall afterwards and she signed it while I gushed at her. One day I will learn to be cool but unfortunately right now I am not, so I gushed.
I was transfixed for most of the night and kind of forgot I had a camera so there are no photos.
Nick and his friend Wiggles had a birthday party while I was there, even though it wasn’t really his birthday. The Swedish Magazines played in a bedroom. Matt is distantly related to two of them, in some particularly Tasmanian quirk of marriage, which means I am too. I didn’t tell them that though, and have since talked to someone else who said they are related too so now it’s just getting kind of icky.
Delta and I each put one foot up on the kitchen table and danced to Danzig for a while in the kitchen which started a bit of a kitchen danceup:
When I looked at these photos the next day I felt it’s status as a good party could be confirmed.
Yes. That girl in the photo on the far right IS hanging in midair.
Specky guy is Tim. I like how he’s working that Kirk Pengilly look. He knows Nick from Burnie and told me he and Nick stayed with us years ago in Hobart to sneak in to see bands while underage. I do not remember this but I lied and said ‘Oh yeah….’ like I did.
I got to have dinner with Jenny and Ted freshly returned from France who both look like they’ve been drinking babies blood although they both insisted they were very rundown and had bad colds. They have a new shiny black car so I got whizzed around in that for a bit. I couldn’t stop laughing when I first saw it ’cause it’s a bit Knight-Rider so I hope I caused no offence. They couldn’t find the seatbelts in the back ’cause they’d never needed them before.
The only art I saw was the Howard Arkley show at Ian Potter and the Mike Nelson show “Lonely Planet” at ACCA. Both were enjoyable but didn’t get me jumping up and down.
Twas a jolly trip and a cheap ticket so Matt and I have decided to jump on another cheapie to go see Sunn 0))) in May.
Oh… and since I came back Caz, who used to play cello in Matt’s old band (Bodies) was in town with her new band, Laura. They were pretty good and the best thing in the lineup that night but Caz in particular just gets more and more awsome as a performer. Why they stuck her behind the pole on stage is beyond me…
She’s fantastic to watch and a spunk to boot. It’s really nice to be in touch with her again.