23 June 2008

I guess I'm neck deep in it, I'm starting to drown...Along with all the wannabes in swinging London Town...


There are certain constants in life - birth, death, taxes, Harpies - but I'd like to add one more to the list: university bars. The way they look and smell (dark and dingy, respectively), the almost uniform the dress code, the casual hang at the back attitude, the over-priced beer in plastic cups. Stepping through the doors of the University of London Union was exactly the same as stepping through the door of the ANU. It's like the uni bar is a singularity at the centre of a vast inter-dimensional network where any door you step through brings you to exactly the same place regardless of where you are. So here's another one you can add to your list: if you go to a Melt Banana show you're gonna get your brain scrambled, your eardrums destroyed and your friggin head blown off. Holy fuken shit! Those guys absolutely go off in the noisyest, rockin'est and insanest way imaginable.

The support act, DJ Scotch Egg, is this crazy Fu Manchu lookin' dude with numerous Game Boys hooked up to a sampler and drum machine and cheap-arse keyboard. He looks like a cross between Sandy the water god from Monkey and an alcoholic Shoalin warrior who escaped from rehab. But his music...jeepers creepers! Imagine what it would sound like if Mike Patton was a Pokemon on meth being sexually abused by a bear who is also on meth. It's all trippy distorted riffs of plunky-dooby 8-bit video game music punctuated by aural assaults of brain shaking drum machines and ear-splitting screams, with this mad sweaty human pinball clambering all over his gear and capering madly through the crowd. It's Pacman meets the Exorcist, and didn't the kids just love it!

Quite a fitting intro, then, to Melt Banana, who are unlike anything I've ever seen or heard. They're this amazing mix of harcore power and syrupy Jap-pop sweetness...like a controlled explosion in a candy factory or a sledgehammer coated in sugar. It's as if Japanese scientists built Ramonebots but gifted them with 10 extra chords, doubled the volume and quadrupled the speed, and stuck this slender cutesy vixen upfront with enough power in her squeaky screechy vocals to shatter glass and drive the shards into your brain. There's something deeply unsettling about a guitarist with a surgical mask and a steel slide but holy frijoles could that guy strangle some weird-arse noise out of that thing. For a young band they're unbelievably tight - they did 7 songs in 45 seconds with barely a pause between to say "Sank you. Next one is called...", before launching in to the next one. And the noise! These guys put the noise back in noisecore and when they hit their groove your whole body trembles with fremitus. Some dood took pics and put them on his flikr site: http://flickr.com/photos/fuse/sets/72157605661958863/

I'm off to Boston on Wednesday and am really excited. This'll be my first time off since Xmas and my first holiday with American Girflen. She's going to be working during the day which gives me time to explore the joint but we'll have the nights, as the Bible says, "Because the night/Belongs to luverrrs" and next weekend to goof off and screw around (ooh err, missus!). In doing my research on Boston I figured out that both Walter Burley Griffin and Hemmingway were both from Chicago, which tells me I really need to focus more on what I'm doing...

Dr Phil threw a tubular 80's party 2 weekends back, which was super radical. It was fancy dress and I was both proud and ashamed of the fact that all I had to do to find my costume was look in my wardrobe. Staci lifted her dressing-up sanctions for one magical night and looked absolutely smoking in her Madonna-esque black lacy frilly A-line skirt, fluro green socks, pearls, and white singlet with a white business shirt knotted in the front. Phwoar! As one of only a handful of people who were born prior to 1985, I felt compelled to downloaded a shizzload of tunes to show the youngen's what music was really all about back then. As well as the standard bog roll of predictable hits (Wham, Howard Jones, Bananarama et al) I totally blew their minds with some Killing Joke, Smiths and Falco. Some of those songs I hadn't heard for almost 20 years and I fully got goosebumps. Plus I taught Staci how to pash dance to "Died in Your Arms (Tonight)" by Cutting Crew, so she's practically naturalised as a grouse Aussie shiela now. I think I might have pashed danced with Dr Phil at some point as well but things got a little hazy after our elaborate choreographed backing dancer routine to Spandau Ballet's "Gold".

Staci's left for Boston last Friday which left me at a loose end on the weekend. Luckily Dr Phil was there with another bike ride, this time in the South Downs. The weather was looking extremely dreary as we made our way to Victoria station and we were very close to packing it in to play Xbox all afternoon, mainly because we were both tired and hungover. But good on us for sticking it out as by early afternoon things improved and the sun even came out. We deviated slightly from our route and ended up at the coast at Seven Sisters where I got to see my first English beach. I use the term "beach" but for any of you who've been to the English seaside you'll know that what I actually mean by that is "quarry". They don't have sand...they have rocks. That's right, a tiny strip of big black ugly rocks butting up against chalk cliffs. You've got to admire the soicism of the Brits, though, there were people putting out deck chairs and having picnics right there next to the flat lifeless grey-green ocean, braving the wind and the drizzle, only venturing up the stairs to purchase a flaccid cornetto from the near comoatose staff running the alarmingly over-priced kiosk at the top. Not nearly as much mud as the last ride but loads more hill climbs. Not a lot of fun in those but the pay off was plenty of 50mph sphincter-clenching downhill runs and long meandering pedals through really lovely countryside and awesome views. Check out the pics on my blog and keep your eyes peeled for The Shocker...heh heh.

1 comment:

Phil said...

dude you're getting lazy ... where's the next post???