Monday, May 24, 2010

(Really) Good Weekend. Dr. Parnassus! Takashi! Dancing!

This was mostly a really chilled, molearific weekend, punctuated by one really really really fantastic party.

We spent Friday night hanging out at Anja's with our lovely friends Cam, Lindi and Jar. We ate sushi and watched Terry Gilliam's latest film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus . Terry Gilliam is one of my favourite film makers around, and the weird, fun/ scary universe he creates in Imaginarium is really just something else. We'll totally all be going to watch it again when it finally opens in local cinemas. It was my dad's birthday on Saturday, so we drove though to Pretoria and had a super nice lunch with the family. Afterwards we met up with my friend Brendon. I hooked him up with the 7 ours of Johnny Foreigner footage we shot over the course of their SA tour. He'll be digitizing it all, then we'll start editing it and hopefully you'll see some of it soon.

We drove back to Joburg, hung out for a bit and then went through to Kitchener's Carvery for You! Me! Dancing! It's no secret that I'm pretty prone to Hyperbole. When I talk about things I love I tend to just gush about how awesome they are too me. When I'm freaking out about how Trail of Dead or Les Savy Fav are the best bands in the world, I'm fully aware they aren't the most well loved, or well paid or technically incredible or cultural relevant bands. I'd never try take some music critic on and argue that they are. But to me what those bands have done resonates more intensely than anything else.

So with that in mind, I'm not assuming this would have been everyone's ultimate party but for me; SATURDAY NIGHT WAS FUCKING INCREDIBLE! At 1:30AM I grooved my way through a still packed dancefloor. I was sweaty and exhausted and, while I wanted to keep rocking out to Casiohearts set, Anja and I were totally partied out. We'd been at since since 9PM. And it had been carnage. But as I left the dancefloor for the last time, the sound of some 80ies South African pop song trailing away behind me, I heard this girl saying "I dunno how to dance to this music". "Me neither" responded her friend.

It was a total reminder how the rock and roll I basically live for is totally meaningless to other people. I'd just experienced the absolute best night I'd had in ages, but to these two girls they where stuck at a party with music they couldn't dance to. Luckily for "You! Me! Dancing!" almost everyone that did come to the party was totaly feeling the night's unusual soundtrack. As far as I know, since "indie-dance" blew over 2005/6 Jozi's never seen a party like You! Me! Dancing!. A party that set out to completely side step the massive electro element that got tied up in everything and instead focus on making people go crazy to a night of guitars, handclaps, girl groups, fuzzy noise, live drums, weird pop and fuckloads of soul.

As soon as Riaan filled me in on the 5 DJs he wanted to play at the night I knew it was going to be something really special. What I couldn't have predicted was our incredibly good fortune of having a party called A1 Bassline happening a few blocks away at The Woods. This massive electro party appealed directly to the banger crowd that would have hated Y!M!D!'s rock and roll agenda. And down the road at Arts on Main, Goldfish were enthrauling comercial dance fans. This left Kitchener's packed with a fantastic crowd of enthusiastic, friendly, dancefloor destroyers looking for something different from bangers or radio house. There were a couple major highlights to the night. (While we failed a bit and landed up missing 2 songs) we tried our best to be at the venue by 9PM for the opening set by Us Kids Know drummer, Commodore 64. He played an all-round fantastic set of dream wavey goodness and garage rock fuzz. The highlight was hearing him drop a section of the very animal called about, new Us Kids Know release, Problems. It sounded fantastic and got a great little circle of kids going nuts. When it was done I went over to high five UKK guitarist Colin, who quickly reciprocated the highfive, handed me a shiny copy of Problems, pulled Chad out from behind the DJ booth and proceeded to rock out like crazy to the Wavves he'd just dropped. Nathan Scott Philips took over and kicked his set off with The Go Team! By the end of this assault of Us Kids Know, Wavves & Go Team I already felt like I'd rocked out enough to last me another two weeks. I quickly dropped out to get some air, but a within a few minutes had been lured back onto the dancefloor by the awesome sounds of Mr. Phillips. Cam's set was a predictably powerful pleasantness overload packed with a flurry of fresh tracks I've enever heard a DJ drop. Of all the unexpected songs NSP debuted on the night my favourite was Johnny Foreigner's Salt Peppa & Spinderella. Again I danced myself to the brink of exhaustion. But unfortunately for me exhaustion I couldn't leave the dancefloor - Plaat Japie was just getting started. Riaan, playing under the name Data Takashi, was once one of the most of the rock n roll DJs in the city. In 2007, the night before he was supposed to headline the Sovereign at the Woodstock festival, his entire collection of CDs was stolen. This didn't stop Riaan from DJing, but he took the loss of all this ammo as a chance to start firing different guns, rapidly shifting Data Takashi from rock and roll to house/ dubstep. Almost 3 years later, like something out of a comic book, Plaat Japie is a reincarnation of the 2005 version of Data Takashi, returning to the sounds of northern soul and indie pop to get bodies moving. On Saturday night I couldn't have been more happy that he's risen from the grave. His set on Saturday was very similar in spirit to his must download mixtape, "Hey Ya!". I loved every minute of it. Until at 11:50 I realised I was about to start playing my own set - I dashed to the bar, grabbed a new drink, a breath or two of fresh air and then put the blue headphones on. I had an incredibly fun set. And then I already told you how the night ended; With Casioheart taking over control of the dancefloor, Anja and I totally rocked out and sadly bidding one of the best parties of the last few years farewell. For all the energy we expended throwing ourselves around on Saturday night, we totally made up for it on Sunday by doing next to nothing. We watched our friends Liz Lemonface and the Lizardpeople. We left the house to get lunch and then got right back onto the couch. In the evening Col and Pat came over to watch Takashi Miike's "Sukiyaki Western Django". From the horror of a woman giving birth to a fully grown gold minotaur, to the magic of a dead sumo wrestler returning as a singing, dancing, XXL zombie, Miike's film are always a mindfuck. As a director that, as a rule, never makes more than 1 film in the same genre, his films are also a new kind of mindfuck everytime. He's worked through making a romance, psychological thriller, lynchism, live action anime, musical/ horror and now a western! Patrick totally hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that all Mikke's trying to do with Sukiyaki Western Django is return the favour for Kill Bill. While Tarenteno's epic was an American homage to samurai movies, Django is a Japanese homage to westerns. The cowboys all look like final fantasy characters. They insist on speaking English through broken japanese and borrowed lines of cliched dialogue. Almost every situation seems like it's lifted from some american/ italian western. The equivalent of the North American Indians play trumpets on mountainsides. The most bad-ass female character is a 60 year old granny. Said granny kills loads of guys, as does The Man with No Name and both the rival villains. When the man with the gun meet the man with the sword the man with the gun DOES win and Quentin Tarantino throws japanese food on the head of his wife. In short the film was a total winner and left me feeling a little weird, but mostly warm and fuzzy after such a great weekend.

1 comment:

Riaan said...

yay! nice one B! for the record, with the flac i was getting with my excursion into other dance genres at the time, i birthed another alias - DJ DANGER INGOZI - for the more world music-tinged house & techno / dubstep / glitch-hop / etc. and DATA TAKASHI is firmly rooted now in the latest disco/dance punk etc. from labels like DFA ;p just can't get away from dancing and rocking out to live drums, guitars, bass, synths + cowbells :)