Thursday, September 30, 2010

We do this all the time: Generation Next!

Generation Next - Sat 18 Sep - Bridge Dinner
photos by Paris Brummer

Good weekend. Dance Dance and the Pregnant Seabass!

Usually an animal calls good weekend starts on a Thursday. Since last week Friday was a public holiday, I think it's only right that this episode of Good Weekend starts on a Wednesday:

After work I drive through to Jason's place. We hang out for a bit and then head through to Tanz for this.

I went to the old Tanz cafe once, years ago. The venue was pretty underwhelming and seemed a lot more like a little restaurant than a live venue. Even after hearing it moved to a new venue I've never again driven to the otherside of the city to go to Tanz. Until now.

As we're climbing the huge staircase into the venue I realise I've been seriously missing out.

The "new" Tanz is massive. Huge stage, awesome sound and best of all a big plasma dead centre at the top of the stage. I patch straight into it and we have a great set (which you can watch a section of here). Us Kids Know's set it more than great. After a good break Colin's Jazzmaster makes it's triumphant return alongside the return of a awesome selection of the old songs. Between us and them I see Murkwood for the first time. It seems yet another exciting young band are emerging out of our city. Murkwood's combination of sounds is far to strange for me to even try make comparisons, and that alone should tell you they're doing something right.

Thursday, being the Friday of this week, is highlighted by an awesome party. "I'm not a DJ, I'm in a band" goes down at Tings and as I walk through the door it feels like it's been way too long since I was last here. PJ from The Havoc Vultures is finishing off what sounds like the end of great set. Liam takes over and proceeds to lay down what most definitely is a great set. Chemical Brothers, Ian Brown and Fela Kuti- how can this not kick ass?

Before Liam finishes Joe comes over to me. "Ben! You gotta rock this! You're gonna play the hits right?!" "Yeah, yeah yeah" I reasure him, but honestly I'm not sure what "the hits" even are anymore.

As I walk through the dancefloor to take over from Liam, Henry grabs me:

"Play teen girl fantasy!"
"Teen girl fantasy!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about..."
"Come on Ben! What new stuff have you been listening to?!"
"Les Savy Fav, Tokyo Police Club, Thermals..."
"That's not dance music!"
"Yeah... You see my problem here?"

I put on my headphones, not feeling very confident after my chats with Joe and Henry. But the nexy hour is total affirmation that, (even if I am an old, out of touch rocker) I can still work a dancefloor.

The hilarious horror of Isochronous's "DJ Virus" are next. Followed by Makkie and Wim from Pity the Fool who are mixing incredibly well for two band dudes that have just got into DJing.

Friday should be a chilled public holiday. Instead I spend it editing, driving, stressing-out, laughing and planning for Pregnant Seabass. We're literally working on it right up till we leave for Tasty Tasty Heritage, but once we get to perform our "improvised noise set" it's so totally worth it. We have tons of fun (which you can read about here). Make Overs are up next and they're just awesome. So so solid for a band that have just started up. To be fair though, Andreas and Martinique have been playing music together for 6 or 7 years, so it's not all that surprising their new band is fantastic right from the get go.

Us Kids Know make my life yet again. Gotta say, with the return of the jazz master and Cam's incorperation into the band I am so totally in love with the current incarnation of this constantly changing band.

Atom Band are next. Been looking forward to seeing them again ever since The Slumber Party. Their first song is great and they kick right into the second really solid. I think how impressive it is that they're so together for a band playing their second show, but then things start going wrong. I won't dwell on particulars, but the rest of their set is just problematic, and I'm left feeling like I still haven't seen the band properly since that first Pretoria show.

I sleep till crazy late on Saturday. Wake up to an SMS from Anja offering to come over with Sushi so we can play some Heavy Rain. Execute said plan. It's awesome. I get a little bummed not being allowed to play Heavy Rain without Anja, but being forced to play it in these little episodes is a great way to experience the game.

Patrick drops by. Then Cam, Richard, Lindi, Chad, Maria, ADK, Chris and Derek. Killer braai times ensue.

At 8ish we dash through to Dance Dance Dance. Lindi's about to start when Ri discovers the display on one of the CDJ isn't working. This means you can't read the pitch, remaining time on a song or even the track number. In other words you're screwed if you wanna try play on this CDJ.

I say we might be able to rent one of Suttner's. He doesn't answer his phone when I call to hear if they're in, so I just drive home. When I get there I discover the CDJs are out, so I came through for nothing.

I figure, while I'm home I'll grab some records; play on the working CDJ and rock one of Ash's turntables on the other side.

I drive back to Kitchener's. Ri tells me he's made a plan. Chad drives to fetch said plan. Lindi starts her set with 1 CDJ with no screen. I start turning the old Canned Applause lightbox into a sign that says "Slow Jam". Crafting in the Kitchen isn't the best way to experience Lindi's set, but at least I hear the whole, radical thing. Warren takes over and more goodness ensues.

Finish off the light box. Ri installs it at the back of the DJ booth, allowing the DJ to now alert the dancefloor of good times to slowdance.

Kodiak takes over. Being outside of Africa for a few weeks has definitely not caused him to loose his edge.

And then it's Sasstime. I have the best set. Sure Ash isn't here so I can't play any of the vinyl I packed. Yes, the replacement CDJ is sticking like a stuck record. I choose to go back to the CDJ with the broken screen so, although my songs are playing properly, I feel like luke trying to blow up The Deathstar with his eyes closed, but playing to a dancefloor like this it's impossible not to love every minute. The place is just full of kids wearing huge smiles, shaking their hips like crazy and screaming when they hear songs by TV on the Radio, Us Kids Know and Johnny Foreigner. If only this would happen even half the time when I play.

Ri's next. I head outside to get some air. Before I make it out the venue I run into Patrick, his camera and a small hoarde of friends. Figure that even if I didn't get to drop the crate of records I'm holding, we should at least give them some play. Full post on these shenanigans here!

After my crazy run of 4 totally different gigs over 4 nights, not playing on Sunday feels awesome. Anja and I hang out with my dad and mom. We eat fantastich German food to celebrate my mom's birthday. Later I stress about things I don't need to stress about. But it's not all bad, at least I've got Mass Effect 2!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We (don't really) do this all the time! The Pregnant Seabass!

This is Cam, Anja and I. On this night we were called Redseabastard, Girlseabastard and Tallseabastard. Other then eating pizza, we also had some fun, being a one-night-only improvised "noise" band called The Pregnant Seabass. While what we'd do exactly was pretty random, we had a rough idea of what we'd do. This broad outline of what we should do when was dictated by a visual backtrack. We watched the visuals on a little monitor and projected them behind us for people to see. We ran the audio from the visuals into a sound-desk. Each of us had a microphone, Red had a guitar and two electronic drum pads, Girl had a big keyboard and i had a little keyboard running into my guitar rig pedal. The whole thing was a big joke. Martinique asked us to do an improvised noise set, so the idea was we'd start out crazy noisey, but after 30 second get all pretty and chilled and show visuals of baby wales playing with their moms. We tried writing a little pop song that went a little something like this:

"Pregnant seabass is at your party!"x3
"Tearing it apart!!!"
"Pregnant seabass is at your party!"x3
Anja wrote this really pretty song. We played a pretty old Green Is For Turbo song. And did a version of a song I wrote last year called Legacy. When it was time to do Legacy my mic broke, so I borrowed Red's. When he joined me on vocals we sung into the same mic and it felt like we were John lennon and Paul McCartney, except neither one of us was a douchebag playing bass. For an encore we put a new DVD on. It was of a 3 minute clip of James Earl Jones flying a plane while dolphins swam on shallow beaches. While it played we packed up.

Surprisingly, after the show, loads of people told us they liked what we did. No-one seemed to think it was as funny as we had, but people actually liked the music, which was pretty crazy.

Then a merry old time was had by one and all. P.S. All these photos were taken by Seabass favourite Patrick Dinneen.