Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good Weekend: Rebel Vampires in Mirrors!

I doubt anyone's noticed, but if you scroll through the past 2 months worth of blog-posts you'll see what I mean. All I've been doing is quick posts, inviting you to some event, or sharing a video or leaving some obtuse one-liner that made me lols. What's been missing is my trademark super-longwinded report backs on awesome weekend adventures, playing gigs, dancing, playing with kittens and my x-box.

It's not like I haven't been having good weekends. The disco inferno of September, or the Launch of the 2nd Make Overs LP or the boobfest of Poseidon Adventure all made for awesome tales. The reason SMAC has been devoid of these "Good Weekend" posts is things have just been crazy. Too crazy to allow me the luxury of time to write them. But, at least over the past few weeks, a big part of all that craziness was in aid of things that resolved themselves this weekend, which means "Good Weekend" can now make it's triumphant return!

To begin with, I'm moving out The Lister Building. While I've been loving sharing a rooftop with Ri and Chi, other things have really been getting to me, basically I'm just not cut out for dealing with the madness of the CBD. This descision has left me frantically looking for a new home for the past few weeks. Thankfully that search came to an end, when on Thursday morning I signed the lease for my new home, a lovely flat in the lovely neighborhood of Ilovo.

So, while I had that great weight lifted off my shoulders, the rest of Thursday was still stressful as hell, preparing for Rebel Alliance on Saturday. Cue lots of After Effects, staring at white gloves, eating Falafel's at Matt's and staying up too late.

Friday was even more hectic; last minute finishing touches and racing to The Bioscope to set up, wondering why I do this to myself. And next thing I know the moment so many of us had put some much time into, came about. Cam and Bojan arrived with bags full of LED's, magnets and batteries in tow. (Being the first time I've mentioned him here I feel Bojan needs a wee introduction; he works as a programmer at Frog with Cam. Through his own visual-hacking project, Pixel Pirates, Bojan is teaming up with Cam on creating some really exciting visual hacks, and Rebel Alliance marked the first event where their collective super-powers have been combined.) Within a few minutes of being at the Bioscope little spots of light started appearing on metalic surfaces around the venue as the boys started taping together throwies.

The head-honcho in Vampire-video-crime, Matt McF shows up and then a steady stream of old and new faces start fulling up the Chalkboard. Fast forward a little and said faces are watching the opening credits for the first ever Rebel Alliance. Then it's the story of people in animal suits taking back the CBD with Fuzzy John, the turn of the century magic of Méliès to a new Jaysynth score and finally the Vampire video we worked so hard on. Here and there it's a little rough around the edges, but I'm super proud of what we've created and seeing it unveiled on a huge screen like this is just the best feeling.
There's a wee interval, everyone streams out of the venue and we prepare for the 2nd part of the evening - the live installment. The Mirrors and I sling our rockandrollweapons over our shoulders and wait for the crowd to return. It's not long before we're enveloped in darkness with just our visuals burning behind us. The crowd is just lovely. Hanro takes lovely photos. Being back in The Bioscope is lovely. Everything is really just lovely.
After two songs we spring a surprise on the Alliance. Although he's only officialy making his live debut at our Halloween party, V9K will be playing a song to celebrate the launch of his video. While he's only surprising the theatre with one song I should point out it is a 9 minute long re-imagining of Colours. Ola (of Fulka fame) joins him on vocals and, as a a spur-of-the-moment kinda thing I start running the music video in the background. As different as this version of the song is, it's at the exact same BPM as the original, so the video just falls straight into place.
A few minutes in I launch something else special Cam and Bojan whipped up; They've split the video signal we're running out to the screen. The duplicated signal is running to my projector, which is currently just shinning onto a piece of cardboard right in front of it. As I raise the piece of cardboard, the image hits a mirror ball and bounces all over The Bioscope.
I'm left standing there, grinning like a total idiot. Watching vamp's surprise attack, hearing the sound of this familiar song brought to life in a whole new way. The video that Matt and James and Lindi and I slaved over, projected behind Chriatian and Ola and tiny reflections of itself scattered all around us. It's just beautiful. A moment that makes all these weeks of preparation so so worth it.

All too soon it's time for Eye Like Mirrors to kick into the second part of our set. We play an as-yet untiled new song, then two tracks from our EP. From time to time I raise the mirrorball-projection-barrier and spray the visuals across the room, almost loose my balance a at a couple of points and generally just have the best time possible.
Afterwards everyone seems really excited by what's just happened. Chat to bunch of people that will hopefully be contributing to future nights. We sell a bunch of EPs and T-shirts and Jaysynths. Discover we're going up against the Kings of Leon with Monster Hospital. I'm still confident the party's gonna be a big success, it's just funny to discover my little band is faceing off against the biggest band in the world. We pack up. Hang with Kathy and Kyle on a the sidewalk and then head home. PJ's come to spend the night. He introduces me to this awesomeness:
And then we sit playing the Scott Pilgrim game to a soundtrack of Adebisi Shank till 4 in the morning. We sleep for a bit, wake up, head into town for breakfast supplies. PJ finds a giant Flat Eric doll in the streets of Jozi.
We eat croissants and watch Adventure Time.

PJ heads back to Pretoria. I proceed to have some quality catch up time with my X-Box, playing the stellar Bastion and From Dust.
Sunday isn't all that different, although a replay through the last 2 hours of Mass Effect is thrown in for good measure. I take a break fom X-Boxxing to brush Chi and watch the fun go down from our rooftop.
In the evening Ri and I have an epic Fringe Marathon, tearing through a good chunk of Season 3.

So there it is, my triumphant return to the world of long-winded tales of weekend adventures. Let's hope we can do this again sometime okay?

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