Monday, July 26, 2010

Good Weekend: Tokyo and The Geek Outs

Damn, this was a pretty long, surreal, good weekend.

Starting, like most good weekends, on a Thursday, the gang and I headed into Joburg's under-appreciated city center. We hit up an area that was once the city's China Town. Most of the Chinese establishments around the area moved out ages ago, but there are a few left. One of the survivors of old China Town, Swallow's Inn, is the city's oldest Chinese restaurant which has been around since 1940!

Swallows Inn was just supposed to be a starting point for us. We were gonna grab some dinner there and then head up to The Bioscope for "Tokyo!" Which is a collection of 3 short films, one of them directed by a hero of mine, Michel Gondry. Since seeing the film's trailer in 2008, I've been dying to see Tokyo! Still, this didn't have much of an effect when we had to choose between properly enjoying the amazing Chinese food in front of us or wolfing it down and racing to The Bioscope in time to catch the movie. Everyone agreed we should enjoy our meal then and, since nothing was happening on Friday night anyway, go the watch the movie the next night. Unfortunately things didn't work out like that and only Patrick, Colin and I made it through for the film in the end.

Too bad for our fail-friends - Tokyo! was fantastic. Fantastic and freaking weird! I honestly haven't seen anything as strange as those 3 films in a good while. After the film I needed to take fuckyeahtime posters to Kitchener's. As if seeing a woman turn into a chair that night hadn't been weirdness enough, something pretty strange was happening in Kitchener's when we arrived. It was some kind of techno/ dubstep party. The usually bright bar part of the venue was in almost total darkness. The dancefloor was full of people who were all doing this bizarre synchronized aerobic squat. I guess I'm just showing how ignorant I am about other schools of dance music. I'm sure this squat dance has a proper name and this happens all the time, but for me seeing this going down in a blacked out Kitchener's was just an extension of the bizzaro that started with Tokyo!

We decided to take a walk across the road to Bridge Dinner, which proved to be even more bizzaro. There were about 3 or 4 tables of people in the place, everyone looking pretty chilled enjoying a few drinks. What was strange was the fact that the venue was blaring this dark african trance stuff and 3 elderly white men were sitting around banging drums, hitting sticks and shaking shakers in time to the music. The projector was showing winamp visualizations and a TV set was silently screening some C-grade E-TV action movie.

After a drink Col, Pat and I parted ways, all feeling pretty spaced out by what we'd been through in the past 3 hours.

Saturday was just crazy. Pretty fun, but really frantic. Anja and I woke up early to try catch a huge sale at BT games in Northgate. Despite our best efforts, by the time we reached the store the item we were hoping to get had sold out. We spent the rest of the morning trying to find said item between poster-drop-off-visits to Ke Ai, Deerhunter, The Street, Mooks and Rozanne&Pushkin.

After the franticness of console shopping and party postering was over we went through to Gencon, South Africa's biggest comic convention. This past weekend America was celebrating it's largest geek out, the San Diego Comic Con. Following tweets from superheroes like Edgar Wright, Kieron Gillen, Tim Heidecker and Felicia Dey hanging out at Comic Con all weekend, being in South Africa's equivalent of the event was pretty underwhelming. Still there were some pretty nice shops and if you're into tabletop gaming or dressing up like a wizard and pretending to cast spells I imagine you'd have had the best time. I landed up spending mostly hanging out in the Outer Limits section of the convention, chatting to Greg and buying the first TPs for The Invisibles and Doom Patrol. Anja bought an awesome little postman Stitch. We went home for a quick rest. Drew a card, wrapped a present and went through to Annette and Patrick's place to drop of said present and card and wish him a happy birthday. Then we drove through to Pretoria. Rocked some awesome Indian food with Tess and Henco. Drove through to Hotbox, discovered we'd missed Dead Alphabet, but Black Pimpin Jesus were about to start. BPJ broke the record for the most "mathafuckas" said in a single set. They also played a new song where drummer Bianca did some rapping and Joe did some guest drumming. Radness.

Next up I saw a band that've been around for a while, but I'd never seen before. With a name like Cortina Whiplash, I'd always wanted to see the band, but only caught them for the first time on Saturday. They put on a really good show and Anja and I totally enjoyed it. Then came the most perfect band I imagine I'll ever hear, Isochronous. Awesome. Obviously. After their set Joe and I rocked a crazy fun one on one. I played Gang of Four's "To Hell with Poverty". Joe played like 5 Soulwax remixes. Kids started chanting other vocals over songs. It was great. On Sunday I finally got some quality time in with my new Transformers game. At around one we bought braai supplies and headed through to Greg's place for his birthday celebration. Conversations about pop not being a dirty word, Scott Pilgrim haters, re-animating dead Transformers like zombies and various other geek related subjects ensued. Good times.

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