I’m shutting up shop for a while. Carry on without me – I’ll be back before you even remember that you’ve already forgotten this accursed place. If not later.

If you absolutely, positively, have to contact me before then: barbedandwired(at)gmail.com – otherwise, scroll down… no, further… and have a trawl through the links at the bottom of the screen. You’ll like them.



hell-bent for pleasure

August 12, 2006

A piano bar, somewhere in suburbia.

MC: The Hellphones spring their debut album on an unsuspecting Gauteng public at the Blues Room, Village Walk, this Tuesday evening.

Audience: Oooh.

MC: It should be good. (Pause.) You know, I think I missed their launch in Cape Town a couple of weeks ago…

Audience: Awwww.

MC: But as luck would have it, I’m in Johannesburg right now. (Stan, could I get a refill?)

Audience: Oooooh.

MC: Yeah, if you’re in the vicinity of the departure lounge at Jo’burg International around the time that they’re due to hit the stage, come and say hello.

Audience: Awwww.

MC: I know, but what can you do? I’ve heard reports that This is How might be one of the best local honest-to-goodness rock ‘n’ roll releases of recent years. If not of all time. (Stan, I love you.)

Audience: Oooh

MC: In spite of it not sounding at all like The ‘Stones, Thin Lizzy or The Beatles, like the press release claims.

Audience: Awwww.

MC: (No, “Oooh”, that’s an “Ooooh”)

Audience: Ohhh.

MC: On a positive and vaguely related note, at least I’ll be going back to a fixed internet connection in the Mother City – you know, check my mail at night without having to Velcro an aerial to the neighbour’s roof. I could even resume some sort of regular posting schedule. Like in the old days.

Audience: Awwww.

MC: Hey!

“This is How” is released by Sheer Music and is available countrywide at Look & Listen, CD Wherehouse and all good CD Stores.

But not, apparently, at The Mall in Rosebank. So I bought Cassette‘s debut release instead.

go-go, girls

August 7, 2006

To celebrate Women’s Day this Wednesday, 9 August, Pestroy will be giving away women – sorry, girls – for free, until 10 pm on Tuesday night. Latecomers to the Women’s Day Wipe Out!!! at The Roxy in Melville will have to cough up R40 to catch a glimpse of skirt.

That’s what it says in the press release.*

If you don’t arrive in time to nab one of the good ones, try throwing some change at surfabilly space vixens, The Kosmonauts (above), laid-back Aussies Veeva Feeva, or grumpy ol’ Velve.

You can also catch Pestroy at one of these fine venues later in the month. Ladies not included.

Tue 22 August: Blues Room – Village Walk – JHB.
Fri 25 August: The Red Door – Pietermaritzburg.
Sat 26 August: Burn – Durban with Bhora.


* “Girls FREE before 10:00PM”

The Independent Armchair Theatre is incredibly proud to present a great gathering of songwriting talent. Over 1 and 2 August, twelve great South African musicians will take the stage at The Armchair to intimately introduce and perform their work.

Ja, and I clean forgot to tell you that Fokofpolisiekar and former monki punk Chris Chameleon were amongst those taking to the tiny Armchair stage last night. Which is precisely why you should head off to Obs and claim a spot on the sofa for tonight’s performance by Mystic Boer, Valiant Swart (above), the ‘evergreen’ Robin Auld, Andy Lund of The Roswell Kings, the endlessly entertaining Buckfever Underground and ex-Dolly Rocker, Greg Donnelly. And yeah, Waddy Jones – MC, art terrorist and hip-hop/electro nutcase. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Tickets cost R60 and the doors open… in 10 minutes. Better make it snappy.

The Independent Armchair Theatre, Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town.

b sides

August 1, 2006

Anyone around here still own a tape deck? That’s too bad. Cassette (the band) are giving away a FREE* limited edition cassette (the audio storage cartridge) sampler – you know, just like their name – at Look & Listen outlets countrywide. Ask for them/it at the counter.

Cute. I bet this band is kicking themselves.

If Cassette’s sparkly, manic-esque pop rock harmonies don’t have you obsessively forwarding and rewinding through the chorus of Your Star until the tape snaps, then cover the tabs with sticky tape and resurrect a staple of 80s and 90s youth culture: The Mixtape. Who hasn’t said “Take me now”, “I hate you” or, “Irregardless is not a real word” with a painstakingly constructed, hormonally-fuelled playlist that thumps and reverberates with secret meaning? And a homemade cover?

Me neither**. But that’s okay – one of the robots over at tiny mixtape will generate a track list for you:

This mix, they assure us, is for anyone who has ever sucked in their breath and taken an involuntary step back from the changing room mirror:

A mix tape to get rid of the bad feelings bikini shopping always brings on:

Sample Track: 09. Madonna- “Nobody’s Perfect” (Music). (You thought I was going to pick “Fat Bottomed Girls”, didn’t you?)

I found this one for Fatman:

The ‘Songs to listen to while sitting in the car, waiting for your brother’s soccer practice to finish, all the while pretending you’re a secret agent on a stakeout’ Mix:

Sample Track: 10. Johnny Rivers – “Secret Agent Man” (Greatest Hits)

Finally, this one is for me, because I forgot to have breakfast:

The ‘Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that it was totally OK to eat people. If one were going to do this, it would probably be nice to have a mix tape of songs about food, and/or cannibalism. That would be ideal. If, you know, you were going to eat people. Not that I’m condoning it. Much.’ Mix:

Sample Track: 07. Dead Boys – “I Need Lunch” (Young, Loud, and Snotty)

Don’t forget to rewind.


* Actual value: R3.60!

** I’m lying, of course. If anyone wants one, drop me a line. (Terms and conditions might apply.)



rise up

July 28, 2006

A reminder to dress up/down and catch Pestroy, Misled and The Hogs at Jock-O-Rama 2 at Bohemians in Johannesburg tonight. If you ask nicely/your outfit is authentically ‘stella‘ enough, you might be able to persuade them to give you a ride on their ‘tour bus’ (no, that’s not a euphemism) to Durbs for the Uprisings Festival at The Wavehouse on Saturday.

Billed as ‘Durban’s Biggest Underground Festival‘, the line-up will see the likes of The Rudimentals, Undersound, L.A. Cobra, Fuzigish, Sibling Rivalry, Crossing Point and Half Price taking the stage, (in)capably supported by Corné and Twakkie from The Most Amazing Show. In the Style of Love, no doubt. It sounds like thoroughly decent day out – although I’m pretty sure that the only ‘uprising’ you need worry about is a grommet throwing up on your towel.

Considering the number of Cape Town bands on the bill, I’m sure you could find one drunk kind enough to let you bum a lift all the way down to the Mother City. In fact, ask them to drop you off at my house. Not really.


* It seem you can’t throw a tantrum these days without Corné and Twakkie elbowing their way onto the set list. So ubiquitous are the unintelligible twosome, that even my comment spam reads like it was cribbed from one of their scripts: “I’m love this great website. Many thanks guy.” Most Amazing? No. Incredibly annoying? Yes.

bubbleheaded co-op

July 28, 2006

Witchdoctor Records, champions of the local hard and heavyset heavy set, recently signed a deal with Plastic Head, the UK distribution company responsible for shoehorning the likes of* Bad Religion, Cannibal Corpse, Fall Out Boy, and the flabbiest from Fat Mike’s catalogue onto the shelves of top high street retailers and respectable indies across Blighty.

What’s in it for Shaughn Pieterse’s Angry Young Men, then?

“This is a great opportunity for our artists to get a foot hold into the UK market. We will be looking at getting our artists over to the UK and Europe for some support slots within the coming months. We are already in discussions with some international booking agencies to represent our artists.

The deal will see the Architecture Of Aggression album Democracy: Consent To Domination, be the first release to have a truly INTERNATIONAL RELEASE date. There after the Forever Will Burn Album will follow and pretty much every release after that.”


* And Burzum. Now you Brits know who to blame.

It’s finally happened. David Hasselhoff has turned himself into a stage show. David Hasselhoff: The Musical will include sets inspired by, he says, “Knight Rider and the songs of Teddy Pendergrass”.

“I am also doing a heart-rending set on my life and the mistakes I have made,” says Dave. It sounds like a joke, but the show will be opening later this year in Melbourne.

Well, if Popbitch says it’s so…

rudies can’t fail

July 16, 2006

It’s been a busy few months for SA’s snappiest ska band, The Rudimentals. Ross became a dad – and Rocco is either a great name for the tiny rudeboy, or a precursor to many, many years of therapy. On the other hand, they could have gone for ‘Punk’ or ‘Ska-face’, so I shouldn’t be too quick to criticise. The ‘Mentals recently signed to international Indie label Moonska – home to former 2-Tone stalwarts The Selecter, The Toasters and Jamaican Supergroup,The Skatalites – for distribution of their debut album throughout the UK, Europe and parts of Asia. They also found time to ‘Set it Proper‘ – that is, release their long-awaited second album, which, by all accounts, is a corker – and added some weight to an already hefty rhythym section by persuading skate and City Bow(e)l ska-punk pioneer, Errol Strachan, to join them on bass.

Errol, a.k.a. ‘Bong’, started out playing guitar and then bass for the Sons of Sellassie, but that’s not important. He’s really known around these parts as The Guy Who Replaced Me, Barb, in the legendary, albeit short-lived, punk band Brain Slaughter, thus stifling my shot at one day comparing strap burns with the likes of Sean Yseult and Melissa Auf der Maur. Instead, here I am. Hanging out with you guys.

Admittedly I might be basing my appointment on a remark made in passing, possibly in jest, by the vocalist – but still, I do take exception to being replaced before I even made it to my first rehearsal. Sure, the sangoma and six times skateboarding champ can actually play his bass without staring at his fingers and mouthing the chord sequence (if only my parents had sent me to this Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls instead of a convent in Port Elizabeth), but I do look a darn sight cuter on stage.

If you don’t believe me, catch Bong and the rest of the Mother City’s rudest at the Zula Sound Bar, 194 Long Street on 21 July. I’ll be the attractive one at the bar, mouthing along to those chord sequences.


If you’ve ever attended Art School, dated someone in Art School, or studied something useful in the faculty next door, then you too will have had a run in with the sleepy guy from the sculpture department – or, in my case, my father – you know, the guy who sidles over in a Hendrix / Morrison / Barrett t-shirt and asks you if you like Are You Experienced / Waiting for the Sun /The Dark Side of the Moon. To which the obvious response is: a right-hook / ‘I take a bus’ / ‘God, Dad – can’t you see I’m a Goth?’

If you’re unfit enough not to have outrun the Floyd fan, then (a), cut back on the koeksusters and, (b), be prepared for the inevitable segue from Obscured by Clouds to a lengthy exposition of Syd Barrett‘s fragile, tortured genius, his propensity for LSD and something about shaven eyebrows. You might be able to slow the flow somewhat by pointing out that Syd isn’t actually on that album, and asking him to name anything Barrett did before or after he buggered off to his mum’s to paint. Or, you could just point out that he died last week from a diabetes-related illness, aged 60. Whatever you do, don’t mention that you know the cow featured on the cover of Atom Heart Mother is called Lulubelle, because he’ll interpret this as genuine interest and it will only set him off again.

For someone who quit Pink Floyd long before I was born and has largely not been seen or heard from since the 1970s, Barrett’s influence has hovered over the band for the better part of three decades like, I don’t know – a forlorn, hypnotically-patterned, swirly little raincloud? Wish You Were Here is partly an open letter to Barrett from his bandmates, Dark Side of the Moon explores themes of mental illness – a common lyrical thread for Roger Waters. And those damn art students, man – they just never let him rest.

Tragic cultural icon or unfortunate acid casualty – whatever, there was something vaguely endearing about the shambling recluse with no eyebrows, pottering around behind rose-covered walls. Blasted by the occasional psychotic psychedelic flashback. It could have been so different. So, yeah. Shine on, you.

the lick

July 5, 2006

I’m your ice-cream man and I like Mötley Crüe…”

Sloppy Seconds. Remember them? Me neither*, until I read this article. Now I have “a stabbing or aching type of pain” in my temporal region “that recedes 10-20 seconds after its onset. Rarely, it can persist for two to five minutes“. Not unlike a Sloppy Seconds song, in fact.

But I digress:

Embrace the summer: come to terms with your local ice cream truck chime, and admit that you crave — nay, require — its catchy 20 second hook on glorious infinite repeat for maximum seasonal enjoyment.

WFMU’s Beware of the Blog scoops up a double serving of creamy, dreamy ice cream truck chimes. Essential… who am I kidding – particularly annoying for anyone stuck in the Southern Hemisphere in the dead of winter, licking chapped lips and dreaming of sweaty Camps Bay lifeguards and Choc 99 Caramel Dips with Nutty Sprinkles.

With links to mp3s of the Ghetto Ice Cream Truck Song, the Mister Softee jingle, Lips Stained Blue, Creamsicle of My Dreamsicle and my personal favourite title of all time: Torturing Swedes Since 1969, you can recreate your own sticky swirl of retro summer bliss. Or you could just blast this from your car stereo every time you pass a playground and confuse the hell out of the pre-schoolers.


* I lie. You never forget physiques like that. Plus, they once did a well-intentioned cover of the Misfits’ Where Eagles Dare.


Mmmm, Lifehacker.

come as you are

July 3, 2006

Lending credence to the theory that pigs occasionally do fly, Cape Ska-punk legends, The Hogs, will be blowing their own trumpets alongside hardened Jozie punks, Pestroy and Misled, as they attempt to compensate for their less than athletic physiques/utter inability to score a cheerleader, by chugging lots of beer at the wildly anticipated Jock-O-Rama 2 in Richmond, Johannesburg.

Trot over to Bohemians on 28 July – a little porcine revelry will do you good. And dressing as a Jock* or Stella** will get you R10 off the R40 cover price, plus a free shooter. (The alcoholic kind. Jo’burg’s not that tough).


Urban Dictionary calls it like it sees it:

* Jock (jk), noun:

The kid in high school who’s parents paid everything for. Generally having poor grades, driving a nice car as if he earned it, hitting on all the slutty girls and getting attention because of his sell-out style and flashy white teeth.

** Stella (stl), noun:

a disco girl, usually caught wearing short skirts, heavy make-up and chewing gum. occasionally referred to as part of the canine species. found in groups of three or more at high schools and shops.

For shame. Where is the love?

stirred, not shaken.

June 27, 2006

In what might be the most inspired franchise manoeuvre since the local Blimpies (Subs & Salads) changed their name to Olympies just in time for our failed bid to host the Big Games, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley cut the ribbon on the world’s first KISS Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Once past the 20-foot platform boots (smoking, natch) at the door, patrons can sample KISS signature blends like the Demon Dark Roast, French KISS Vanilla, or a frozen Rockuccino.

“The KISS Coffeehouse is our way of providing everyone with the buzz of great, quality treats and coffee filled with enough sugar and caffeine to get the party started, and keep it going!” Paul Stanley

Fine. But the first waitron to stir my latte with his tongue will end up spitting blood. For real.

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be at the Tony Iommi Pastry Emporium.


Rock on, Stereogum.


Update: And in the second most inspired franchise manoeuvre since the introduction of the Sausage Crust® – Caffeine Spot in Sea Point have promised a free cup of coffee and a muffin to anyone who mentions them on their blog.

Ordinarily, I’d never sully my high moral standards by accepting free gifts in exchange for a wee bit of publicity. I’d much rather hold out for cold cash. Then again, I appreciate a good viral campaign as much as the next person – provided it doesn’t leave me on a respirator – and, hey, they operate from Sea Point, for chrissake. That’s my ‘hood. We’re practically family. More importantly, I’m cheap and easily swayed by free stuff – and free coffee is free coffee. Free coffee!*

Make mine… dark, please.

[* Plus, it’s good.}

Don and Rich…! over at Jo’blog deliver a perfervid report on Lagwagon’s performance up in Gauteng recently. And Don’s nuts. They swear quite a bit, too. (Don and Rich…!, that is. The nuts are relatively well behaved.)