Overdue blog post is (extremely) overdue…

I kept a little file with some running notes as to what I should write in here, but I’ve just realised they have absolutely no semblance of chronological order at all.. so I’ll lump them together in a different way…

Gigs:

Little Pictures (x2): Fran mentioned that these guys would be hitting town, and I remembered seeing them at her alternative craft fair event last year, so I thought I’d pop along to give them some support as it’s got to be hard playing in an unfamiliar town.
Anyway, their first gig is at some weird multi-level club, in the basement level. Apparently the event is some end-of-semester student thing, and there are a very very young and very very drunk kids running around. Dressed in fluro. Throwing up all over the place. Most of them luckily spend their time upstairs away from the bands. I actually had to talk my way past the bouncers because I looked too old. Good grief.

Little Pictures at Pony
Little Pictures at Pony

Managed to have a good chat to Mark and Johanna from LP anyway 🙂
Their second gig (well it was their third actually, they played a show at The Tote as well) was at Pony, which was a much more age-appropriate venue. Even though their set started at 2am, by that stage, the place was packed out, and they were a real hit with the crowd that night, who were begging for encores by the end of it. GG guys 🙂

Angelspit and Baal: This was actually the night after the first Little Pictures gig, and held in the same venue. This time, however, instead of a few drunken teenagers, there was probably a hundred or so cyperpunks and goths in full dressup, dancing away to Industral rock from Japan (Baal) and Electro/Industrial from Sydney (Angelspit). Both bands were pretty awesome, both Clara and I enjoyed it a lot 🙂

The Mars Volta: Since Clara put me onto these guys a while back, I’ve become a fairly big fan… mainly their album “Deloused in the Comatorium”, which is pretty epic. Anyway, we both got tickets for their gig at the Forum Theatre, which is pretty epic in of itself:

Forum Theatre Mezzanine
Forum Theatre Mezzanine
Forum Theatre Auditorium
Forum Theatre Auditorium

It has this crazy painted-blue ceiling, so it feels like you’re standing outside, in this crazy Roman Colosseum sort of place.
The Mars Volta themselves… hrmm.. well they played for about 3 hours, and as far as we could tell, it was only material from their new album, which neither of us like anywhere near as much as “Deloused”. They seem to be big fans of the super-extended jam versions of their songs with additional sonic wankery toppings. They were very tight and had moments of sheer brilliance, but it got old after a while, and a bit of self-editing I think would have helped my enjoyment considerably.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I found myself with nothing to do, as plans I had fell through, and then I remembered that Joe Satriani was playing in town that night, also at The Forum. The Friday night show had sold out a long time beforehand, so I didn’t think there’d be any tickets left, but I went along to the box office at 7:30 or so anyway, and yes, they did have some available. Joe was excellent – I managed to get a decent spot, and could see and hear everything pretty well. Stu Hamm was pretty good on bass, although it sounded like the crowd were booing him at several opportunities.. I later found out they were yelling “Stuuuu”, which is some kind of in-joke with him. Videos here: Cool No 9 and Summer Song.

The Greenmatics: This is a band that a friend of Frans is in… Mel has been living in Melbourne for a couple of years, so it was very nice to be able to head along to their gig at the Roxanne Parlour – which is pretty hard to find (typically), and have people to chat to. Mel’s friends are crazy, like good crazy 🙂

Tricky: This was at the Prince Bandroom in St Kilda, on the day before Fran arrived back in town to visit. Ended up going by myself, mainly because a certain friend of mine who is a massive Tricky fan, was feeling too broke to come along, which was a huge shame. The gig itself was pretty awesome – the singer he had, which is a replacement for the one he used on the records, was amazing. Tricky himself “sung” on a handful of tracks (something for which a reviewer later gave him crap for), but he spent most of the time ‘conducting’ the band – being the producer that he is. Anyway, the show utterly rockes. Videos here: Pumpkin, Black Steel, Overcome.

People:

Well, this is going back quite a few weeks now, but the notes are there so here we go…( in roughly chronological order – I think)

Went out with Dana (the American girl I met at a cocktails meetup thing ages and ages ago) again, this time out to Pahran, because neither of us had been out that side of town before. Ended up wandering around looking for suitable bars… we managed to find a couple, including a very cool tiny little place, which was more a cafe than a bar, but it had a DJ playing in the corner, a going fireplace, a bunch of friendly looking people who seemed to all know each other, and Monteiths Golden on tap. It kinda had a bit of a “Sputnik Cafe” vibe – for those of you in Chch who remember that wonderful place 🙂 We also managed to stumble upon the infamous Revolver bar, which seemed pretty cool… but mind you, we there during it’s more civilised hours – it’s open all weekend without closing….

The girl I mentioned in my last post.. didn’t really work out like I thought it might… eventually she had some time off during the weekend, so we arranged to meet up at Pony, to Little Pictures, and whatever band happened to be on before them. I get there, and she’s with this other guy, who she had mentioned meeting a little while earlier, but said they were just friends. They were definitely not just friends. Ah well, move on….

Managed to catch up with Greta, who is the younger sister of a guy I was friends with in primary school, who has moved here in the last 6 months or so. Went down Brunswick Street to find a cafe to get something little to eat and have a chat… we got pretty lost looking for the Black Cat, which is a place we both knew. It was hopeless 🙂 Turns out our stories in how we ended up here are pretty similar. Anyway, headed into town after that, went to Murmur, which is a little bar, which I was a bit hesitant about the look of at first, but turned out to be pretty damn cool. We met up with some friends of hers there (including someone who was in the same year as me at the same high school… we knew some of the same people…. small world!!), and moved on to the Croft Institute, which is a two-level place, with the bottom level all decked out like a 3rd Form science lab, with the benches with sinks in, and science-y glassware all over the place.. very cool.

Also I’ve been helping Clara out with her computer woes. It hasn’t gone well so far… as most computer woes tend to do… I’ve also got her hooked on my Outrageous Fortune DVDs. Can’t blame her really, it’s the awesome 🙂

Went out again with Dana, this time to the Espy, hoping to see a band (whose name escapes me now), as neither of us had been there before either 🙂 Turns out the band we wanted to see didn’t start till like 1:30am, so we went to the back room to watch whatever band was on in there. Whoever they were, they weren’t good. At one point, what we could only presume was one of the band member’s girlfriend got on stage and started to attempt to play the Tamborine… quite half-heartedly, while holding a can of coke. It was so appalling, we just had to stand there and laugh 🙂 Then we wandered around St Kilda seemingly in an attempt to play every pinball machine in every bar we could find. Anyway, the night ended well. I’ve been hoping to catch up with her again, but her pending work-related trip overseas, plus the millions of vaccinations required seem to be conspiring against me 🙁

Movies:

I saw the Get Smart movie, and was actually surprised at how good it ended up being. Cool.
Managed to find a couple of really good box-sets of the original Battlestar Galactica (which is truly cringe-worthy) and the Evil Dead trilogy. These things make me a happy chappy.

Stay tuned for the next episode (hopefully coming pretty soon) in which Fran visits town again, we see a band from Iceland, an awesome movie on a stupidly big screen, eat rather too well, see an old friend, and get a rather sad bit of news…