Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You are invited! Halloween 2010!

It's hard to believe it's been almost a month without inviting you to something, but this one should more than make up for my absence.

This Saturday night, going into Halloween, something pretty damn awesome's going to be going down. In Church Square"s spooky Capitol Theatre Griet will be hosting a Halloween party of epic proportions.

For one I'm excited about the awesome lineup of DJs, but more than that I'm dead excited to be debuting Eyes Like Mirrors to a Pretoria party of this stature. And then there's Kidofdoom. I've never written on this blog about how things fell apart for this band this year, but needless to say I'm sure it'd be pretty obvious to any Gauteng Doomers that we haven't played a hometown show all year. But in the most perfect way possible we'll be playing our first hometown show of the year on Halloween and it's gonna be sick.

Can. Not. Wait.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Foreigners in America. Episode 108

Saturday 23 October 2010 2PM
We've pulled over at some Picnic Area, an hour outside of Austin Texas.

In a few hours we'll be playing La Zona Rosa, an (apparently very nice) venue in the hometown of a large chunk of my favorite bands of the past 20 years. The list of bands I love that have come out of this Texan city is pretty long with Trail of Dead and Explosions in The Sky at the top of the list. What's more, the city spawned Richard Linklater, one of my ten favourite living film directors. Needless to say I'm dead excited about playing Austin tonight.

It'll be show number 10 for me on this tour. With four dates left after Austin, we're well passed the halfway point in our adventure through America.

Honestly, sitting out on my own in this picnic area while rest of the team are asleep in our RV, this is the first chance I've really had to think about the thousands of miles I've been through in the past day and two weeks.

I really don't even know how I'm going to be able to retrace our steps and write about what happened where and when. Honestly it already feels like a blur of stages and diners. Sound-checks, back-stages, petrol-stations, Los Camp Songs and so many hours in the Canadream.
Maybe I should start with that;

We're doing this tour in a Winabego. It's pretty practical, sleeps all seven of us and has plenty of room for our gear. What's unusually about the particular RV we're touring in, is that (having been rented in Toronto at the start of this tour) it says "Canadream" all over it.
Being in the Canadream for two weeks, it's felt quite a bit like living in a submarine. That said, I should point out that we all love our submarine very much.
I first set eyes on our sub in Philly. This was about 6 hours after I was dropped off by a taxi, cold, confused and alone in the streets of Philladelphia.
The night before Jun had phoned me at around midnight. "Ben! We can't meet up with you in New York. Get to The Sprinkle Kingdom in Philladelphia- we've added a surprise show there!".

Finding information on this "Sprinkle Kingdom" was pretty tricky, but a couple minutes with Google on the bus from New York to Philladelphia later and I had an street name and number. And, with what little info exsisted about this place, I'd discovered Anamanguchi had played the venue recently. Knowing the 8 Bit super heroes had played the venue a few weeks earlier, I was pretty excited to play this mythical venue. Understandably, after getting dropped off by a taxi and been greated with this...
...I was pretty confused.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jo Fo USA 1! Day 1 - West Philly's Sprinkle Kingdom!

Hot damn! This tour has been nuts. Three days in, on our way to New Haven now. Philadelphia just blew my mind.

Sprinkle Kingdom has got to be one of the most magical places I've been in. To the kids living in this city it's apparently totally normal - to me it was mindblowing, Like wandering into a snapshot of the music of 15 years ago (see Cap N Jazz) and the DIY spirit of 30 years ago (see Minor Threat).

In a little basement in Philadelphia, The Sprinkle Kingdom is without a doubt one of the most special places I've ever played in.

There's so much I wanna say about our adventures playing this place, but right now I've got to pick between blogging and watching Los Campesinos.

Sorry Internet, Rockandroll wins.

For now, you'll have to be happy with this little video about our time in the Kingdom:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saturday: Pleasantvillians set the Woods on FIRE!

So after my Friday night I told you all about in my previous post and my new habit of getting up ridonkulously early on weekend mornings to catch Ben post-show, I wasn't too sure whether I would make it out on Saturday night. Especially with the whole money situation and that. But after sleeping most of the day, eating almost all of the available chicken at the Melville KFC and watching Jersey shore, I was pretty much ready to hit the town again. Plus Lindi and Cam offered to drive me around. And I can't say no to Lindi. Looking through the photos of the night I realized I must've taken about 50% of just her. I might just be a little in love with her, subconsciously. Don't tell her.
Also - the entire night was essentially run by my housemates. Cam, Lindi and Rox were all playing in a row, topped off with adopted family man Colin. So there really wasn't any two ways about it :)
Said little Linduhrs kicked off the music under the moniker Calamity Jane. The sweetest pure rock 'n roll set got everyone super into it. Was a welcome relief from the bangers going on next door at Town Hall. She played a super unique range of songs from Tilly and the Wall, Apples in Stereo to The Zombies and Joan Jett - with a distinct underlying dance sensibility. A chick even came up to her afterwards asking whether she had a Facebook fanpage. And the barman gave us free shots cause he loved her set.
Roxy took over as That Girl and stepped up the tempo a notch and got kids dancing to slightly hip-hop infused set, everything from chiddy bang to yeah yeah yeahs to this amazing remix of Scanners. Some juiceheads were fist-pumping and perving on her hardcore, which was a bit of a downer, but they soon disappeared back to whatever hole they crawled out of. There was even a guy in a silk suit kinda getup euwwww :/
Just as Cameron (Nathan Scott Phillips) started playing I quickly ducked to the bathroom, where a zit faced youngster boy was harassing this beautiful Siobhan Doherty lookalike. accusing her that she wasn't a natural redhead. When I asked him what he was doing in the girls bathroom the snothead replied with "you're not a natural blonde are you?" and I said, "yeah I am, just a bit darker than my current blonde". He retorted with "well your boobs aren't real"
By this time I pretty much had it with this kid and asked him what the fuck a high school kid was doing in this club. He then said some very disgusting thing back to me which I will not repeat, but I was about to punch him, when he ran away, out the club door. I reckon he was pretty sure my next move besides punching would be to ask the bouncer to ID him. I'll find you someday zitboy and there'll be hell to pay.
Cam played an awesome set as always. And I can't remember what songs they were, but by this time I had been dancing for almost three hours, so I was completely lost in the music. After his set Colin and Cam decided to one on one it for the rest of his set and I finally got to hear one of my favourite dance songs WAYUH! - with my chrissy doing the moves with me :)
At the end of it all we were pretty beat and went home at about 2:30ish.
Love you guys.
gossip girl

Friday night: PUMA + SLYmedia = BIG WIN

After the initial disappointment that I wouldn't be able to go to the Hotbox birthday party - (no lifts home and noways that I'm making my first ever trek Joburg - Pretoria return 1.alone and 2.drunk. Hotbox is just one of those places that sober isn't really an option) - I was uber pleased to be reminded of the Puma party that Matt's company, SLYmedia, spearheaded.
Even more pleasant was I when I heard that my buddies Annette, Patrick, Phil and Chad would be there also.
The suttner (check out his blog HERE and follow his twitter HERE) was kind enough to let me drive to the venue with them. And the venue was quite a sight to behold. The amount of work that went into putting this intimate secret event together was extreme. Every inch was puma branded - in such creative ways. Vinyl laces silhouetted underneath the staircases. GIANT Puma Suede's (I wore them upside down as a kind of Jack Parow hat) in a photobooth backgrounded by a bright neon Puma sign. And then the stuff I can't even remember. Everything was just so incredibly slick.
As it was an invite- only event; only the lobby, basement and outside area of the Alex theatre were used, but to great effect. Outside, branded table tennis tables were drunkenly enjoyed and drawn on with chalk. (Apparently this is all thanks to little Kimmy Banks who offered up her Friday to paint the entire thing)
Downstairs people were going nuts - firstly, cause there were some pretty hot DJ's busting out hip shaking tracks, and secondly there was a free booze tab. Now, I'm not exactly proud of this - but in situations like this you have to be pretty competitive with your liquor intake. Especially when you have R300 left in the bank for the rest of the month, and you don't even have a boyfriend in town to buy you stuff. So Este and myself, when the place was relatively empty started our two drinks at a time orders. Now, we know these bartenders aren't stupid. And the rule is, only one drink per person at a time (as I found out later) so Este came up with the ingenious plan that we would order two DIFFERENT kinds of drinks at a time, alluding to the fact that we're obvs ordering for SOMEONE ELSE as well. I know, right? foolproof. Also - every time we got to the bar we would order shots as well.
Three of these trips later and the place was PACKED OUT. Might be to do with the fact that the party was meant to cater for 250 people, but Suttner had 600 on the guestlist. After this it became impossible to get to the bar at all. Between gyrating bodies busting out their best moves to Sutt's set, and people scrambling for the bar, there was about 3 metres between me and my sweet sweet gin nectar.
Aydekay and those scullies pitched up soon afterwards and I sent them on a mission to the basement. To no avail. Eventually after sharing what drinks we had remaining (I essentially stole from everyone, cause I was the only one that didn't have anything. Thanks Aydekay and Chad for the gin, even if you didn't really want me to have any, Chad. I took some when you were looking in the other direction. Sharing is caring and you should be a little less selfish.) we decided to head back to Lothbury and attempt to call Ben.
After a few bazillion tries we got through to him and everyone had a good old chat and chuckle.
The end...or is it?