Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You are invited! Reform June!

Tonight will no doubt be awesome.

Check out Marc Latilla's pick of some of the sounds of Reform here and here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hooray for Humans! New Haasbroek shirt and look who's wearing it!

Much much loved super creative Haasbroek has a brand new shirt printed by Threadless. Wanna know something even more exciting than the news that Jaco has once again melted the frozen hearts of the Threadless community? Just look at this: Some observant readers might recognize this Haasbroek fan as none other than JD FREAKIN' SAMSON!!! That's right, JD Samson, as in member of legendary post-riot-girl electro-punk pioneers Le Tigre, one of the bands most influential in the creation of The Sassquatch! JD's current band, "Men", also happen to be pretty awesome and one of the only bands keeping dancing punk alive in 2010! If you missed it click here to download "The Light at the End of The Tunnel was a Soul Train" - a DJ mix I did last year featuring Men!

Buy "So Fresh" here!

Days like Television: Popskarr - Tonight

When on when will these dudes get up to Joburg?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Good weekend: Clean Dancing and The Rat Creatures

This weekend was pretty damn good.

As expected, Friday's freakout was crazy fun. Before we hit Kitcheners, Cam, Col, Pat, Jar, Sam & I hit new discovery Bridge Dinner for some dinner. For me this was a delicious tofu burger. We rushed to get to Kitcheners by 9, so not to miss any of Comadore 64's set. Turns out he'd cooked up some pretty great Gluwine. Initially the dancefloor consisted of Colin Kid and I bopping around to Best Coast (who i might add are one of my favourite new bands in years). A few minutes later Chad had worked up the floor to a solid twenty or so kids going nuts. By the end of his set the party was well on it's way to the rockout fest it turned into in the hands of Nathan Scott Philips. Taking over from Cam's set of pure awesomeness was a total pleasure. For the first half hour of my set (no doubt influenced by too much Phonogram) I stuck to my "sass-rock" roots, playing only songs with girls singing. From The Slits out I let some boys join the party and just had the best time. At some point, while loosing it to Janelle MonĂ¡e, I realised this little (so-far-untitled) series of parties Ri and I have been throwing are probably the most comfortable setting I've ever been lucky enough to DJ in since Sovereign. While I've loved playing Dogbox parties, Old Tokyo Star nights and various one of evenings of awesomeness, there's almost always this sense of obligation to give people what they want. With last month's "You! Me! Dancing!" and last Friday's "Dance Yrself Clean" it feels as if I can just give people exactly what I want and they just love it. I can't wait for next month's installment of these parties.

Ri took over from me. Anja was super tired and made her way home with Cam and Rox. Honestly, having been dancing almost non stop since 9 I was pretty exhausted by the time Rick Disco started at 1, but I just had to stick around for the promised head to head battle that would be going down between the surviving DJs at 2AM.

2AM came around. Unfortunately it seemed the majority of the lovely crowd from the start of the night had gone home. And more unfortunately they seemed to have been replaced by some major douche bags. Never the less Chad, Ri and I proceeded to have loads of fun. I played old Delorean. Chad played new Delorean. Ri played The Pointer Sisters.

Just before 3 I was feeling totally frazzled and reluctantly bid Commodore 64 and Data Takashi farewell. As I was getting into my car some of the previously mention unsavory characters burst out the venue screaming manically at one another. Probably a sign that it was indeed time to go home.

In keeping with my new post-gig tradition I rocked a shower and clumb into bed with my copy of Phonogram Singles Club. Awesome.

Slept until stupid o clock on Saturday. Anja showed up with lunch and then we went to Bounty Hunters to visit the cats. Yoda Cat and his siblings have all moved on to loving homes, but there was a new cat (an awesome little black panther called Grandpa) as well as 2 new choco, pokkel kittens! After playing with them we quickly dashed through the store to look at the actual stuff. Made a couple purchases and then crossed the road to Outer Limits Comics. I was planning to order “We 3” and “Squee”. Greg recommended a book called “Beasts of Burden”. I'd never heard of it, Greg recommended it. I said i'd read up on it a bit to see if i was interested, but after seeing 3 pages of it's incredible water colour art I knew I'd be leaving the store with it under my arm. Greg also brought my attention to the massive “Bone” collection. At 1300-something pages long it collects every issue of Bone that Jeff Smith wrote and drew over the course of 13 years. Needless to say it was right hanging out with Beasts Of Burden under my arm by the time Anja and I left the store. Things were happening on Saturday night; in Pretoria PJ was celebrating his birthday with a party called “Future Sailors”. Down the road Dan was throwing a party at The Woods called we are animals. Round the corner from Anja's place our friends Ashtray Electric were playing a show. But honestly, after the total madness of Dance Yrself Clean, I was just to exhausted to do anything other than play video games and read comics and that's just what I did. And it was Rapture. Bioshock is, in my opinion, the best first person shooter ever. Maybe not the best simulation of “spreading American democracy”, or the "most explosive multiplayer experience", but honestly i don't give a crap about any of that. I enjoy games as artworks, and no first person shooter has been as creatively awesome as Bioshock. Until Bioshock 2. It's really in a whole other universe to the vast majority of games people are making these days. Spending a few hours exploring Rapture with a Little Sister on my shoulders was great. And then there was Bone. On Sunday Anja and I whipped up some awesome breakfast. Patrick came by. We all got into his car to set of on an unscripted adventure. It really feels like we live in this massive city, with so many places to go and different things to do, and yet to often we land up going to the same places and doing the same things over and over again. So on Sunday we decieded to go out and find some new things. While this plan for unplanned adventure didn't turn out very exciting we landed up having a pretty lovely Sunday.

Anja discovered a really cool little flea market going down in a parking lot around the corner from her house. Patrick found an awesome coat. Anja found some awesome comics. We headed into town to check out Main Street Life, or more specifically the building's first shop, Malva. Malva is basically a place where you can buy some awesome vintage wear, plus new fashion from local designers, plus art, plus jewlery, plus household stuff, PLUS CUPCAKES!!! It is so damn exciting to see some young Joburgers making something like Malva happen. The fact that it's going down in the virtually abandoned inner city just makes it that much more exciting. Also they have a tiny adorable pug puppy called Jozi!

Check out Malva here. And then check out thier in house deliciousness technicians, The Cupcake Factory.

We tried to grab a drink in the city's first beerhall the Radium. It was closed. We tried going to some other little place down the road. It was closed too. So we just grabbed a couple beers from a pretty dodgy bottle store and headed back into the suburbs to go to Sam's house. Along the way we saw this: Yeah... horrifying...

Sam's place was fun. Comprised of 90 minutes of soccer and 1 play through of Rebel Girl on Band Hero, it really was a pretty neat way to spend a Sunday evening. The rest of the gang went to watch a movie, but Anja and I just headed back to my place. Warmed up some green curry and watched some Caprica. I think a 14 year old Ben would have died if he'd been told that in 12 years time people will have made a new Battlestar Galactica, then a prequel series and that 26 year old Ben will have an awesome girlfriend that would hook it up for them to watch together.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We pray for moments like this XXXII - Middle of Karoo to Worcester - 24 Feb 2010

I wake up once in the middle of the night. The train isn't moving. Our little cabin is a feint, dim orange as the light of a station in the middle of nowhere spills into through the window. Having spent an entire day and night within 2 meters of Lex the first thing that pops into my head is "BANDITS!"

Of course the imaginary bandits never make an appearance and a minute or two later the train slowly pulls off. The next time I wake up it's dawn. Anja's asking if she should get me breakfast. As if she needs to ask. Anja and gang return with food. We eat, pack up our beds and settle back into watching the landscape fly past us. We're clearly in the cape now. Bleak desert has been replaced by green and mountains. Apparently we're running late and will only be getting to Worcester two hours after we should have. I'm don't mind in the least - I could hang out with these kids on this train for another two days and it'd be awesome. But kinda unfortunately we do arrive. Leaving the train is scary - I'm mad paranoid we're leaving something behind, but after double checking our cabins four times over I'm sure we've got everything. Worcester station is damn old school. Feels like it could have looked this way in 1910, unchanged in 100 years. Everyones pulling their luggage around on these wooden carts. The oh-so-considerate Cutout Collective show up with a massive one that they offer to share with us. Between the electro four piece's elaborate stage set up and our rock and roll weapons, the cart is probably wheeling around the coolest load of stuff it's ever carried. We navigate it along the station into the streets of Worcester. Getting pretty messed up looks from the few locals hanging out at their little town's station this Thursday morning. As promised Ramfest have organised transport for us. A small fleet of bakkies line the sidewalk outside the station. We load up all our gear and the half of us that can fit into the bakkie climb in.

Leaving the train station behind us, we cross some bridge. In the distance I see a little village of tents, the site that will be the last battlefield in this war of awesome we've been waging the past two weeks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You are invited! Dance Yrself Clean

Tomorrow night it's "Dance Yrself Clean" - The follow up to the most fun dance party I've been to in ages!!! Given the amount of awesomeness that's been going down almost every weekend that is really something, but "You! Me! Dancing!" really was on a whole other level. 100% freakthefuckout rockandroll euphoria. So on the 25th of June, Broaden A New Sound and So Many Animal Calls will be teaming up to bring you the sequel - "Dance Yrself Clean"!

We do this all the time: Wake up to the world.

All photos by Andrei Van Wyk