Wednesday, August 26, 2015
When you first decided to try and learn to play an instrument, what drove that desire?
Are you still beholden to those original feelings, or has it all become a little jaded?
Do you remember the first time you heard something so overwhelming, so emotive, so engaging that it awakened in you an urgency to create a sound of your own...?
Did you for one second think to yourself that it would end up as a continuous stream of begging for clicks, begging for attention, begging just to be heard...?
Do you make music purely for the love of collaborating and creating that which is pleasing to your ear? And heart?
Does that mean you have given up?
Does the refusal to participate in "the game" indicate resolve or laziness?
Never has there been a more apt name for a game than "musical chairs", a game built on the premise that there is an ever diminishing platform for all the arsehole participants every time the music stops.
We live in that very real game of musical chairs, my friends.
More and more arseholes, less and less chairs.
The music has stopped.
But is it for the last time?
Sure, we now have an almost infinite market, but no one gives a fuck. And as for giving dollars, well we all know the answer to that! Music no longer holds any value because what is deemed to be music by the general public today has no value. At least not musically. I'm not saying the Sex Pistols were misunderstood geniuses - far from it - but at least they stirred the souls of a generation.
What brought on this early morning mood? Well, for one thing I have been rediscovering the joy of making music at its most basic level (I don't have much above the very basic to start with...) and last night was one of those "shit-eating grin" sessions. As for all the negativity, well, that's the kind of stuff permanently on my mind.
Come watch my shit-eating grin threaten the material integrity of the top of my head on Saturday.
Spread The Love. Putting The "EAR" Back Into "HEART"
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Yesterday was murder. Except for the dinner-and-a-show part right at the end.
Yesterday was corporate hell. I stood naked before the world, no piercings with which myself to defend.
Contrived, I know, but I have been concentrating on things other than my prosaic droppings for some time now. As I'm sure you've noticed. Most people say the rather more uninspiring "work's been hectic hey!" but I feel I owe you a little more than that, my dear genteel reader.
Let's see, what happened to me over the last while... I maked a cake again. Part III! The Hot Girlfriend was over the moon! No dogs were allowed to lick anything in the commission of this master piece and the only dish / spoon shenanigans were restricted to the inside of the dishwasher. The rest of the birthday celebrations involved me slaving over a hot stove or a hot braai - a lot. There may or may not have been some wine involved...
Ooooh! Ja! SUBVERS also played their first house party! As reported in my last post, we decided to get back to basics and break out the party tunes. Having set up our PA system and after undergoing the time consuming face painting make up ritual (it was a horror themed party), we mightily bestrode the corner of the lounge and rocked out like so many garage bands before us. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see just about any American college movie ever made. And now imagine us doing that!
It was wonderful! We pumped that place so full of smoke, you'd have sworn blind you were at a Sisters gig in the mid 80s! And of course we topped this particular cake with the cherry that is "Scotty Doesn't Know!", the ultimate house party classic. We may even have duped a few individuals into enjoying themselves...
But wait. That's not all! If you go down to the woods today, that means you'll have Saturday free. What! Did I say "Saturday"? And "free"? In the same sentence?
Yes, my fellatio-owed followers! Saturday SUBVERS once more soil the stage at Mercury with their particularly lewd and lurid style! And with the return of THE DAMNED CROWS, who join us on the night to celebrate a milestone with our good friend Captain Awesome, shit is gonna get torn up good and proper. So put on your party hat, pop on a discreet adult diaper, smear on some lipschtick and drag your gloriously gaggin' arse down to the one and only Mercury for a night of heavy breathing, heaving bosoms, and heavenly noise terrorism!
Read that again.
In keeping up with the Kardashians, and the rest of the world as it devalues music and everything else, including even the most modestly veiled morals, fuck it! Captain Awesome brings you this extravaganza of excess at no cost to your good self. And the bands are performing for him, for you, and for free!
And speaking of crazy, I have a damn panti-gram to complete... hullo! Make with the little black g-strings!
On decks all night is the one, the only, the inimitable DJ Reanimator, spinning your choons of choice and keeping your booty bopping until the wee hours. And by wee I don't mean "incontinently drunk". Although I'm sure that is most certainly not ruled out...
Spread The Love. Buy The Birthday Boy A Drink.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Pretend you're in your bedroom. Or Arties. And now pretend you're hearing James Hetfield bark out "I've got something to say!... " And now pretend that I indeed DO have something to say. And now imagine that the rest of this post isn't as awful as I anticipate it will be. Like St. Anger. Only without the insightful lyric.
It occurs to me that the older one gets, the more boring ones life. It's as if things finally come to a grinding semi-halt as we settle into a holding pattern of mind numbing boredom and merely trudge through the endless days until we are allowed to dull our affronted senses with the only socially sanctioned drug abuse on Earth. Booze it up while you clean the kitchen or do a load of laundry. Wake up feeling like you'd rather not, rinse, repeat. Adulthood. When did I become so wrung out?
At least, unlike so many of you, I have sufficient distractions in my life to convince myself that I still enjoy this dreadful existence. I get to use the horrible ennui as inspiration. And since I have no captive audience to satisfy, I can be as frustratingly obscure as I feel like. Which brings me to a lovely new ditty we're working on. You'll love it. It has it all! But you'll have to wait...
And speaking of things you missed out on, SUBVERS performed a secret surprise show on Saturday at a house party. Yes, thanks to the second half of the year's bookings disappearing in a puff of smoke, we decided to go completely old school! Oh what fun we had! Some of the guests even bobbed their heads and got into it. Whilst certainly not a stand out show in terms of grandeur or prestige, it was a highlight in terms of fun. And since it isn't likely to be repeated it was decided to include that ultimate of house party songs as the final number. Yup! You guessed it! SCOTTY DOESN'T KNOW! The goth metal version! One day we may be bribed with enough money/alcohol/projectile panties to release the video.
Anyway, I just thought I'd pop in and say hi. I'm sure you've missed me as I have missed dishing up the drivel. Problem is, I have no effing motivation and sweet fuck all on which to opine. It really is quite grown up of me.
Spread The Love. So What So What You Boring Little ****!
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
There's a remarkable difference between "getting ahead" in life and "being obsessed with getting blowjobs" throughout your existence...
Apologies for neglecting you, my avid, rabid readership. I have been partaking in the former, although remain steadfastly committed to the latter. You see, work has been hectic. One of these days I may even start wearing kerkskoene. No! What blasphemy is that...
Anyway, as befits my advanced years, the powers that be have finally seen fit to grant me some responsibility and such, which means I now have to work my poor little fingers to the bone (I don't know how you mortals have put up with this day-in-day-out for so long) in grand anticipation of my big bump up the corporate ladder. It would be soul destroying if it didn't come with the added benefit of a much larger booze budget. Still, no excuse for being so absent.
Truth be told, I haven't had anything exciting to talk about. And ranting about the sorry state of our world or the despicable behaviour of our leaders is becoming a well worn path towards a sore arm next to a rotting horse corpse in the sun.
I could tell you that I had a lot of fun band rehearsals, but then you already knew that.
I could tell you about all the wonderful culinary delights and alcohol fueled antic, but that, like my cowboy head wear that once served time in a stripper's on-stage performance, is becoming "old hat".
I'm pleased to announce that my focused attempt at fitness is going well, but I'd be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn't admit to doing it for the sole purpose of allowing myself leeway to drink as much as I want to.
So I have been gone with the wind and no one seems to give a... oh no! I'm not falling for that one again! It's just such a pity I can't tell you about the incredibly awesome thing that's coming up. Not unlike The Kraken, only with less suckers attached. Although...
What am I on about, you ask. Oh nothing. Like tonight I think I'll rush home through the mire of unending traffic so I can spend all my time throwing money into the bottomless pit of my self indulgent "creative outlet". One day I may even find some appreciation. Who am I kidding. My arse looks nothing like the SS Kardashian so I don't stand a chance. Perhaps one day, with art being as fleetingly cyclic as it is, someone somewhere will click on the "pay $1" button and my life's ambition and selfless sacrifice will have meant something. Were my parents right after all? Nope. Fuck all o' ye's! My assault on your conscience and eardrums will continue unabated. Well, now that I have to return to the drawing board after Mercury's closure you may have to wait a while, but interesting plans are afoot, fear not. I mean, it's not as if I started a life of musical crime just to get the odd blowjob...
And on that rather offensively obscure note, just like that, he disappeared...
NDGD: (And boy, how I have missed his insightful wisdom) Get rich or die trying. Or run up massive debts and declare bankruptcy. More proof that rap is the Greece of music.
I missed you!
Spread The Love. Bring Me Wine.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
This is not an indication that I am currently in any sort of turbulently troubled situation without the necessary means of propulsion with which to extricate myself. It simply refers to the fact that the office cat is away for a few weeks. For the first time in a long time I don't have to deal with shit first thing in the morning every morning.
And it's glorious.
I also had this wonderful tie-in that dealt with varying levels of something very important, but like so many inspiring ideas, stories, lyrics and passages of music, all is lost the minute one wakes up completely. The best invention ever would be a fully recoverable dream recorder. Imagine the porn!
This may have happened some time during last night's load-shedding nap. There you go with the inappropriate analogies again. Oh no! I said analogies! That's like Koos du Plessis's deluxe triple cd box set which he decided to call 'Trilogie'. My friends and I at the CD store found that hysterical. Which is misogynistic in itself.
I had this whole schtick planned, I promise. But now I'm sitting here with my thumb lodged in my arse, the metaphorical equivalent of an unhappy guest of Kathy Bates. I suppose it could be worse. Luckily I work inside in a nice warm comfortable office. Spare a thought for the poor bastards having to deal with the brunt of this weather.
Also, I've been listening to Anathema and Ministry all afternoon. How kak is that?
So after my nice post-work nap yesterday courtesy of Eskom, I set about rewiring my studio. I probably shouldn't have. Now I have the DoomTroops coming in and half the gear is festooned over half the house...
Wow. For the first time in my life I really have nothing to say. Don't you feel a little uncomfortable? Aren't you overcome with an ominous feeling of foreboding and dread? This is like the penultimate scene in a particularly gruesome horror film. Uneasy before the final killfest. Squirm, squirm...
Don't look behind you...
Spread The Love. Stalkers Need It Too...
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Ja you troop of delinquents.
Fear not, I mean that in the most endearing and affectionate way possible.
I suppose you want to hear what I've been up to...
Perhaps we should start with the birthday shenanigans. Or at least the latest batch, which went down in flames this last weekend in Hermanus. Once more we embarked on a wine fueled quest for glory, immortality and fresh air.
Friday night and it was brass monkeys, but we eventually got a nice fire going inside, followed by a swift lesson in exactly why my sister and I are not allowed to compete as a team playing 30 Seconds. The rest of the evening dissolved into an alcoholic haze which had no hesitation in reminding me the following morning that I have - indeed - gotten another year more awesome.
And as people of my advanced years and questionable lineage are socially obliged to do on Saturday mornings, it was off to the farmer's market. With no Biscuit Mall or Stodels in sight, we had to settle for the local equivalent. They even had their very own inappropriately Lycra-clad bicycle enthusiasts so we didn't feel like complete strangers. And, in keeping up with the Joneses, outrageous prices for fairly mundane fare. And hordes of elderly people straight from the pages of last year's Markhams brochure.
We decided to start with our adventure into the Hemel-en-Aarde wine route immediately. First stop, I can't even remember. All the places we went to, which included Bouchard-Finlayson, La Vierge, Ataraxia, Sumaridge and the one whose name escapes me, were beautiful. Windy, but beautiful. And the wine wasn't bad either. Astronomically priced is the new measure of true quality. Not. But it did mean the 3 lads who were celebrating their birthdays got to sit in the back of the 4x4 giggling like horny school girls in line to meet Motley Crue while the girls took care of the driving and general herding.
Needless to say the 2 hour attempt to start a decent fire upon arrival back at the homestead wasn't entirely surprising. But braai we did... Flame grilled steaks all round and they were pretty fucking perfect if I say so myself. (I have to, no one else ever does...)
Anyway, I won't bore you with the rest of the weekend's details, but I will tell you about my Monday. It was awesome! Have you ever had a day when you do nothing? Like absolutely nothing... I must have watched almost 20 episodes of Big Bang Theory.
Which brings me neatly to right here. Back at work and glad the sun is peeping its sheepish head out for a change. Unfortunately, with a return to being online comes the inevitable deluge of shitty news stories. Most disturbing of which is the sad news that Klein Libertas has burned down. What's up with the almost subliminal sabotage of our favourite live venues. I'm beginning to feel a little like an uncomfortable warm ninja turtle. The fundamentalist religious zealots must be having such a self satisfying snigger. Wait, what's that? Is that the sound of (in my wettest dreams) hundreds of you collectively nodding in agreement? Yeah, where the fuck exactly were you for the last while? 'Conspicuously absent' is not just a clever band name, you know...
I have to get back to being the first person without sin to cast stones all around this glass house, so if you'll excuse me...
Spread The Love. Computer Gigs Have Usurped Live Gigs.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Winter - the bitch - is here! The MERCURY has literally fallen.
From the face of my personal planet...
Picture it... Sicily, 1922...
A little perspective.
I have played innumerable shows at Mercury (by my standards). Even some at The Jam. Some wildly successful, some less so. I have spent even more time watching bands do their thing up on that great stage. I've hosted charity gigs there. I've won pub quiz evenings there. I lost a lot of pub quizzes as well. I've had deep discussions and shallow dalliances. I've DJed and worked as lighting operator. I've crawled out of there more times that I've walked out with my head held high, both almost too many to bear thinking of.
I love the very bricks the place is made of; I love the people more.
So when it was announced it would be closing its hallowed doors for the last time, I was angry. Angry and sad. My knee jerk reaction was to shout "Look what you've done! Look everyone, how your apathy has taken its toll! Look how a life ruled by the modern convenience of online commerce has ruined something so dear to us!"
But I was wrong. Whilst inspecting the log in my eye, I came to realise that the industry has made such a monumental shift away from what I consider acceptable in terms of how it chooses to engage with, and enjoy, the art on which it is based that I must seem like a doddering old fool in the quizzical eyes of the youth. If and when they manage to extricate their attention from whatever's trending on their umbilical smartphones.
The simple truth is that it has changed, no matter how hard we lament or grumble about the good ol' days. Youngsters are no longer knocking out shitty covers in their long suffering parents' suburban garages and then going on to make memorable guitar driven music. Everything is programmed on the latest iPad by smug entitled little shits. But that's the point. The youth drives the industry. And they've driven it away. I watch as everything I have ever held dear is being torn down stone by stone, only to be replaced by fleeting interjections of the more plastic variety. No longer the fortress it once was, it now resembles floating debris on an ever changing ocean.
But I digress. I started out with good intentions and then got my head stuck up my own arse once more.
The people of Mercury, the ones who made it the monument to local music it has become, are the true heroes. To Lisel & Lux, our eternal gratitude for running the show, show after show after show. To the magicians behind the desk: Ian, Jethro, Nishan, Izan, Lyndsay & Juan - thank you for the incredible sound and the unbelievably high standards you always adhered to, not to mention the way you always treated all the bands and musicians like family and royalty! And to Kevin Grant - the coolest lighting guy ever (along - of course - with Tequila Nick)! Thanks for making a bunch of ugly rockers always look awesome. A gentleman and a true genius! To Sidney (kisses, bitch!), Khanya, Wayne & Tasmin (and Ice) thanks for the great times and the not so great hangovers. To Reggie at the door - thanks for the smiles and friendly professionalism. And let's not forget Themba and Canaan, who were always on hand to keep the place spotless, thank you for your tireless efforts!
And last but certainly by no means least, Kevin Winder. (And Sean Wienand, who started the club with Kevin.)Thank you for everything you have done for our community, sometimes in the face of overwhelming adversity. You were the giant on whose shoulders we rode. Without your selfless service over the years, many a young band would not have graduated to the lofty heights of stardom some of them enjoy today. And some talentless hacks would never have got to perform on such a professional platform. We as a community of musicians, singers, dancers and drunks salute you! Your contributions to the betterment of all our lives will never be forgotten and your wry grin will always warm our hearts.
Not to mention them trousers...
Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts.
Spread The Love. Raise The Roof.