Ms .45's mp3/bureaucratic/gaming blog.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Popular culture no longer applies to me - Art Brut, Corner Hotel, 19.12.07

I didn't know this when I went in, but support act Telecom won their slot by entering a competition on RRR. They sounded like the sort of band who win competitions - quite competent, with nothing overtly bad about them. I think you know what that means, but you decide.

Plastic Palace Alice were a tiny bit more interesting, but not my sort of thing. At first, from my position sitting on the floor in front of the Art Brut stage (note for non-Vics: The Corner Hotel has two stages) I thought "they sound a bit like Icehouse". Then I realised that what they were really after was Bowie. That's not a good sign, but they didn't suck, and perhaps you will like their stuff more than I.

Art Brut were FUCKING GREAT. At one point, it was as if I'd just woken up from a five-year coma and realised: I'M SEEING A FUCKING ROCK BAND AT A PUB AND IT'S FUCKING AWESOME!!! I have been ensconced in an arts degree, and for several years refused to even pick up a copy of Beat or InPress because my inability to afford rock gigs would cause suicidal ideation. As you can see from reading my blog, I've seen bands since finishing uni, but this was the first time I felt like I was 23 again (we'll just gloss over the fact that I was too creaky to get into the enthusiastic pogoing of the rest of the audience).

I don't have the second album, just a few downloads from other blogs, but it didn't matter because it's not like any of the songs were going to suck. And even if they did suck it still would have been fun. I can't remember any of the hilarious on-stage banter, just the general wackiness and the fact that everyone in Art Brut looks like they're in completely different bands, and narrowly missing getting kicked in the head by Eddie on a foray into the audience or in the middle of pulling his pants up.

A sure indication of how awesome and fun this gig was is my big complaint about the gig. You see, after the first two songs, Eddie Argos picked up the set lists, tore them up and instructed the audience to yell out what they wanted to hear. It was great fun... except that, instead of pulling the usual stunt of not playing my favourite song, they played my favourite song - Bad Weekend - second, after opening with Formed a Band. As a result, I was surrounded by happy people shrieking the name of their particular favourite ("EMILY KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANE!!!!!!") while I sat there feeling a bit baffled.

If your major complaint about a gig is that they play your favourite song too early, you can safely recommend it to thirty or so anonymous blog readers. Art Brut are touring Britain as of Jan 25 08, so if you're in the area I order you to see them.

Bad Weekend

Monday, December 17, 2007

When you're around, I'm always laughing - The Church and Divinyls, 16.12.07

I probably should have known this before, but Steve Kilbey is frickin' hilarious. I only know two Church songs, and I think you know what they are*, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Church's set without knowing any of the music. It was a bit prog but not offensively so, and Kilbey is not afraid to take the piss out of himself and the audience. Like so:

Because Sydney is better than Melbourne... [audience laughs] it's nothing personal, you just know it's true, because we've got it all, we've got cocaine and hookers and last year a guy in an accounting firm got done for sexually interfering with a rabbit [audience pisses themselves]

[to audience heckle] how's my ear? Or how's my rear? My rear's fine, my ear's not so good... you better hope your rear's this great when you're 53. ... actually, I'm only 26, I've just had a really hard life.

Interestingly, Kilbey actually looks better now than he did 20 or 30 years ago, an impressive feat (and a point of interest for The Fauves' Andrew Cox, who bears a startling resemblance to Kilbey). Apparently some bloggers have already dismissed The Church's support slot as crap - that's unbelievable, the sound was great and the music sexy. If you're going to catch this show on tour, just relax and enjoy the trip.

Enjoy the literary stylings of Steve Kilbey

*After I wrote that I only knew two songs, I searched YouTube and realised that, actually, I know more than I realised. Here's a good one, Reptile, chosen because it's representative of The Church's show tonight and because Kilbey looks fucking hot in the video.

Divinyls came on looking a bit stiff and haggard. Chrissie, as you know, has multiple sclerosis, causing people to point and go "ha ha, she's pissed" - but to be honest, so far it doesn't seem to be affecting her a lot. She's a bit slower than she used to be, but fuck me, SHE'S CHRISSY AMPHLETT AND SHE PWNS YOUR SORRY LITTLE ARSE. And she would do so in a wheelchair with a nebuliser and a colostomy bag.

In any case, the band loosened up after about four songs and you'd never know they were entering their 50s after a life of partying hard. I just discovered that Chrissie is married to the Divinyls' current drummer Charlie Drayton, which makes for an interesting in-band dynamic given her relationship(s) with Mark McEntee. Onstage Amphlett, McEntee and occasionally even Owen bicker like an old married couple, which is hilarious to watch. Everyone in the band's really old but they still rock like motherfuckers.

As always happens when I see bands I like a lot, my favourite live songs were the ones I don't necessarily like so much at home. I was a bit disappointed with Only Lonely, and why wouldn't I be? It's only one of my favourite songs of all time. Whereas the duellin' guitar between Mark McEntee and Charlie Owen on Make Out Alright was frickin' awesome, and the new tracks Don't Wanna Do This and Asphyxiated rocked much harder than on the free single we were given as we went into the show. (I actually like Asphyxiated much better than Don't Wanna Do This - when I first heard it I thought it must have been a song I didn't remember from Monkey Grip.) I was also very happy to hear a comparatively obscure fave, Guillotine Day from the excellent What A Life! album. Unsurprisingly, the highlight of the night was I Touch Myself, which I've been singing all night despite my inability to hold a tune if you glued it to my hand.

As I mentioned on my Stereo Total post, my favourite bands have a nasty habit of not playing MY favourite song live. In the case of the Divinyls, that's this one here.

[EDIT: Adem with an E has a great post with some footage from the Geelong gig taken by mobile phone. And great to see I'm not the only one who missed Siren!]

Sunday, December 09, 2007

ROOT! Supposed He Was Out of the Question

Having seen ROOT! several times over the last few months, it was inevitable that the album wasn't going to be as awesome as the live shows. Whereas on stage DC Root sounds angry, or as angry as he ever gets in public, on the album he sounds like he's on Play School. It's like Tony Martin's story about seeing Neil Diamond live, but in reverse - whereas Diamond failed to deliver the line "Good Lord!!!" as promised on Hot August Night, on the otherwise awesome album version of Back to Mine, the bit about wrapping a brick in the cover of a book on management theory to take someone out of their comfort zone is mysteriously missing. Similarly, on School Mum (see below), the line "skinny girls with big fat issues/see you later, ain't gonna miss you" just disappears. Don't get me started on the fact that Crown Tower Blues isn't on the album at all.
Still, not everyone has had the privilege of having seen ROOT! five times in as many months, so those of you who have been cursing us Melbournians to the sky can finally taste the ROOT!y goodness. You'll like it - it's funny, it's bouncy, it bears only a cursory resemblance to country & western. And if you buy it, they'll be able to afford to tour, so you know what you need to do. Give ROOT! some much-needed touring money.

School Mum
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I took the "the temperment type" quiz on
I am...


According to Galen's ancient theory of temperaments, people with melancholic temperaments are often perfectionists, and are analytically oriented. They are said to be sensitive and loving, but may also be hard to please because of their high standards.

What's your temperment?