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.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
I despise those who'd trade on tragedy. It's tawdry and unethical. And, in the case of some operators, it's despicably opportunistic. This is one of the main reasons I attempt to avoid glowing eulogies for famous people - especially on social media and particularly on here - which is a platform solely mine.
But that's quite possibly because I am far too cynical and full of shit. I do not want to be seen as one of these slimy "cool by association" types I so loathe. But then a friend of mine - upon asking me if I was going to write about the untimely death of South African porkrock legend, George Bacon, and getting the above answer - put it beautifully into perspective and told me I was being a doos.
I'd like to start by making it clear that we were not close friends. Yeah, a few drinks have been shared, and a few hearty laughs, but it is our association in the music industry that made us acquaintances. That is not to say that he didn't command huge respect from me, and the rest of the community. That much, in the last few days, is patently obvious. I remember the first thing I ever said to him went something along the lines of "Dude, I hate your music, but I have to tell you how well your CD is selling..." which, at the time, was a monumental departure from my all pervasive dick-headedness and my point black refusal to acknowledge anything other than My Dying Bride.
But write a tribute piece I will, nonetheless. George, as most of you will know, was possibly one of the most affable individuals ever to grace our little music scene, and well beyond. I think that was one of the endearing qualities of his that made him stand out among his peers, most of which were far too preoccupied with their own little successes to be anything other than arseholes, myself on top of the pile. His undeniable ability to enrapture a crowd, no matter how big or small, goes without saying. His infectious lust for life (as seen from the vantage point of a relative outsider) was the stuff of legend. And the longevity and astounding success of his band, Hog Hoggidy Hog, testament to the man's musical talent.
The sheer volume of communal condolence on Facebook attests to his enormous popularity, and rightly so, bar one or two contemptible parasites. In a rare moment of proper reverence, I would like to take this opportunity to join rank with the bereaved masses and add to their voice my own. To those George has left behind: his family, friends and followers, my deepest sympathies. The world is a poorer place for his untimely departure. To those of my friends especially who knew him well, cherish the many fond memories you have of this special, crazy, jumping, singing, laughing, smiling, hugging, loving man...
George, give Davey a hug for me.
Spread The Love.