coconuts, actually.

April 29, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia – Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was hospitalized for a mild concussion he suffered while vacationing in Fiji, reportedly after falling out of a palm tree.

Falling out of a palm tree. Is that a euphemism?

Local band Cassette signed to Sony-BMG onstage at the Splashy Fen outdoor Music Festival recently – to chants of "don’t fucking do it" from an onbeskowwe crowd. Because nobody likes it when their friends become famous. Or, indeed – bands I've never actually heard until today.

On the bright side, they can count at least one moustache (no, not the one on the left) and a member of The Buckfever Underground in their favour – and I am looking forward to asking one of Musica's intellectually-challenged sales staff for "the new Cassette CD" in the not-too-distant future. Congratulations.

If you're reading this, stop it. You know you should be over at The Mad House in Oude Molen, Pinelands for the Cape Town leg of the highly-anticipated Witchfest. So highly-anticipated, in fact, that I forgot it was on this weekend. A shocking bit of negligence on my part, but if I put my skates on I could still catch the likes of Man in Suit, Tonight We Die, Three Chord Theory and my favourite drunk punks, Half Price.

On the other hand, a quick glance out the window confirms that an ill-wind blows through a city already swathed in unflattering grey cloud – and I'd really rather stay home and watch The Triplets of Belleville.*

Don't let my indifference and torpor dissuade you from what looks to be a sterling lineup, though. Make yourselves useful – be my eyes and ears. And don't forget to heckle.

~*~

While we're discussing punks and drunks, the 2006 Uprising Festival has been scheduled for 29 July at The Wavehouse in Durban. Formerly known as Punk Uprisings, the festival has grown from a small and scrappy collection of unknown bands into one comprising some of the stroppiest to have gobbed from a stage in the last 6 years. The 2006 lineup is still to be confirmed, but you really should nip out and secure some tickets online or from one of these outlets right now. Because, let's face it, I can't be trusted to remind you again before the day.

~*~

* Not to be confused with The Triplets of Bellville, in which the van Breda sisters braai naked, and other stories.

hell-bent for celluloid

April 27, 2006

High School wasn’t that bad. It was there that I first became known – affectionately, even – as 'The Ice Maiden', skirted expulsion a couple of times, and attracted the first in a short, but tenacious, line of boys whose conversational output consisted almost exclusively of excerpts from the Monty Python Parrot Sketch, underscored by some ambiguous hand gestures and laboured breathing.

I move in much more sophisticated circles now. And I find I'm attracting interest from rather more cultured quarters – men who share my obsession with bruising guitars and moving pictures – heavy metal cinephiles, if you will. Or, in layman's terms, those whose conversational output consists almost exclusively of dialogue from This is Spinal Tap, Rock Star and Heavy Metal Parking Lot, punctuated by satanic hand gestures and a worrying post-nasal drip. Progress at last.

Scot McFayden must shoulder some of the blame, of course. The Guardian chats to the reluctant heavy metal auteur about his latest movie, and probes cinema's ongoing fascination with sweaty men in leather trousers. There's also a bit about a dragon called Denzil.

The most prosaic reason for metal's popularity with film-makers may simply be its popularity. In the Recording Industry Association of America's list of the 100 bestselling albums of all time, it is easily the best-represented genre: almost half the records in the list are metal albums. As McFadyen and Dunn's forthcoming film hopes to make explicit, it is a musical phenomenon with genuine global reach. "24 Hour Party People was a cool film, but for all that music was lauded and hailed as cool and groundbreaking in England, it's still largely a cult Anglophile thing anywhere else around the globe," says Brannigan. "But make a film about the guy from the Judas Priest tribute band joining Judas Priest and it's got a real resonance with a huge swath of the population."

~*~

Hail and Kill, rocknerd.

 

dogg pound

April 27, 2006

Snoop Dogg was arrested at Heathrow last night on charges of "violent disorder and affray", after he and his entourage were refused entry to a British Airways first-class lounge and got a little frisky. His bodyguards then attacked the policemen attempting to make them 'heel'. Which is, possibly, not the brightest thing to do under the circumstances.

Dogg is said to be licking his, erm… wounds in a West London holding cell, which means he won't be around to headline at least one of The People's Celebration concerts scheduled across South Africa this month :

Tickets to his show in Durban, scheduled for Saturday, were snapped up weeks ago. Although concert organisers Big Concerts, have sought to allay fears about his arrival in the country, he was yesterday hauled off his flight to South Africa.

And they say it like it's a bad thing.

Blender's roundup of the 50 worst things ever to happen to music. I'm not on it.

~*~

Sweet, Pop Candy

your funeral, my trial

April 24, 2006

One of my favourite parts of the Internet closed shop today. If I was a lanky Australian with a murky past I might use the unexpected free time it affords me to write an album, or perhaps a screenplay. Something about suicidal hockey players, internet writers and werewolves – dark tortured characters with shadows on their hearts – and their slow and inexorable descent into horror and despair. But I'm not. I lack the imagination, the track marks, and a used-car salesman’s wardrobe.

Nick Cave, on the other hand, is and has all of these things. He talks about his music, his film scripts and why he's just the kind of person you'd want to drop in on to pore over his CD collection while he channel-surfs and clips sheep in the background:

Cave: I watch an unbelievable amount of films because I don't have a particular interest in films. I don't have an interest in films the same way that I have an interest in music or I have an interest in literature in the sense that when I listen to a song I'm always listening to it analytically and I'm always asking that song questions about how it arrived at that place or how the lyrics got to be like that. I never just listen to music in the way that I think a normal person probably does and I read books in the same way. I'm really interested in language and how it's used. With films I watch them indiscriminately. I go to the DVD shop, get four DVDs, go home and sit there. I don't have to use my brain. I can just get sucked into a story which is the great thing about films. You just turn it on and you get swallowed in whether you like it or not. Now I have an enormous library of really bad, mediocre and great films in my head. They all have some influence. I often watch a film and think, “Why didn't they do that? That would have been much more interesting.”

~*~

Thanks, Bookslut. And thanks, Ash Karreau.

cradles of filth

April 23, 2006

Like W.C. Fields, I prefer my children fried. And, in spite of me banging on about selective breeding, or better still – mandatory sterilisation – for the last few years, it appears that the rest of the world is quite content to keep spraying out babies like peanuts from a fully-automatic popgun. In fact, at least 3 people I admire and respect greatly became fathers in the last week or so, but I'm trying not to hold it against them.

Dave Grohl and Jordyn Blum's sprog-rocker made her debut appearance last Saturday, according to a notice on the Foo frontman's website. I can say with some authority that a drum kit is not a good present for anyone under the age of 27, but I think we should all club together and buy one for little Violet Maye anyway. I've been wanting to do that ever since a relative bought my brother a plastic lawnmower ("with realistic sounds!") when he was three.

After a long and difficult labour, Frank Black finally squeezed out a Hum-Vee named Lucy on Thursday morning. At least, that's what I think he's been carrying around his middle for the last couple of years. For god's sake, Charles – people are starving to death in Africa! And please, stop releasing live DVDs!

Finally, François Naudé, a man with no connection to the music industry save a shock of Bolan-esque hair, and who deserves a round of applause for snagging a beautiful wife anyway, welcomed Zoë Olivia to the household on Friday afternoon. I'm uncharacteristically pleased for Fran and Carmel – two of the nicest and most talented people I know. Heck, I'm even a little excited. I'm sure it will pass.

mash and grab

April 20, 2006

+ Metallica are offering fans downloads of all three concerts from their South African sojourn. At around $10 for an album's worth of remastered live tracks from a show you actually attended, that's not a bad little souvenir – and probably less than you spent on beer at the gig anyway.

+ The Powerzone chicks give some predictably awestruck and sweaty feedback on Robbie's Pretoria gig.

+ The Guys, Corné and Twakkie, remember Brett Goldin in the style of love and the Gold Ninja's tracksuit.

+ Jungle Brothers Fletcher and the other guy from Krushed and Sorted/African Dope Records are passing out free downloads like blotter tabs outside the school gates. Come to think of it, if Fletcher is the Fletcher I think he is, then he really did spend some time loitering outside my High School back in the day. Chatting up Catholic schoolgirls. And… stuff.

Get your Constructus, Krushed, Agents, Godessa, Surfers and Soundsystem right here, then. That's Drum 'n' Bass, Afro-Rap, IDM, Dancehall and Trip Hop to the rest of you. Perhaps not quite in that order, though.

+ Lastly, previews of the new Slayer album suggest it's shaping up to be quite upbeat and poppy. Also, doesn't Tom Araya look a bit like a hirsute George Clooney in the pic? Creepy.

Deadlines, ok?

…and they're playing it at Gotham on Friday. Go on, join them on the dark side – Obz needs to be reclaimed from the hippies. And while you're there, ask Konrad* to show you his trousers.

*Who, incidentally, has made me upload this goddamn flyer three times already.

R.I.P. crazy monkey

April 18, 2006

On an altogether more sobering note – 5 people have been arrested in connection with the execution-style murders of Brett Goldin and Richard Bloom in Cape Town over the weekend. Goldin is probably best known for his role as the diminutive B-Dog in the MTV Crazy Monkey skits and Straight Outta Benoni movie spin-off.

For shame.

never mind the bollocks

April 17, 2006

Fresh and lightly tanned freckled from my holiday, I was naturally eager to discover if anything of consequence had befallen the city in my absence. Civil war? Famine? Oprah? All I could get out of the glassy-eyed women who met me at the airport was something that sounded like “Williams”, then a mumbled “blobby” or “Bobbie” and finally, definitely, “concert”, followed by some inappropriate writhing. It goes without saying that I ended up carrying my own suitcase.

Robbie frikken’ Williams. My mum breaks out in hot flushes, my aunts and cousins sweat and moan at the very mention of his name – even my grandmother wore a groove in her Live at the Albert DVD. I don’t get it, but for once I’m going to lay off the ‘shaved ape’ comments and respectfully relay the only interesting snippet of information I have on lard boy.

Notice the sigil on his index finger on the cover of his latest album? For those not versed in the dark arts, a sigil is a graphical representation of magical intent. Put another way, it’s a desired outcome like, say: ‘I want to win the Lottery’ or ‘find me a flexible girlfriend with a flat head’ reduced to a unique and highly personal symbol – I’m guessing Robbie’s says ‘buy my album’ or ‘I wish I wasn’t so stuwpid stupid’ – which is then supposedly brought to fruition by your subconscious. Or maybe the universe, I forget. Of course, you don’t just doodle something on your index finger and hope it comes to pass – the sigil has to be activated, or ‘charged’ at a moment of higher consciousness – commonly achieved, my people assure me, by a frenzied bout of masturbation. Which neatly supports my theory that Robbie Williams is, in fact, a complete and utter wanker.

If you saw the concert at Green Point on Thursday night and want to tell me about it, please – don’t let my personal prejudice (and superior taste) put you off – I’d love to hear about it. On the other hand, if you’re a witch or magician and swear by the 5 knuckle shuffle and crappy line art, please conjure me a flexible boyfriend with a flat head. Thanks.

It’s tough trying to maintain a decent clinical depression on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean – even if everyone on it appears to have been taught English by Michel, ze bitter ‘otel manager from ze Gilmore Girls.

For starters, ‘bitter’ doesn’t appear to be a concept readily grasped by the gregarious locals who were obviously carefully trained not to smirk at my French. Then there’s the landscape. The first thing you’ll notice after the annoying white beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees, is the total absence of any tall buildings to fling yourself from. Which is down to the local cyclone season, apparently. And did I at least manage to experience one of these destructive winds first-hand? Nooo. Not one. I tried drowning a couple of times but, you know, I’d stick my head under and then I’d get distracted by, mmm… how warm and clear the water is and ooh… how pretty the fish are.

I guess the most I can hope for now is that the gallon of salt water and small lumps of coral I got up my nose while ‘water-skiing’ eventually prove fatal.

Still, it’s nice to get back to my dead-end job and miserable existence – and more importantly, ze Internet.

bye, bye, happiness

April 1, 2006

This will come as a crushing disappointment to both my readers, I'm sure. I, on the other hand, am almost pleased to announce that I'll be offline for a fortnight as I struggle to acclimatise to an exotic location devoid of mobile phones and laptops.

Please feel free to have a look around while I'm out drinking from coconuts and warding off disfiguring tropical diseases – just try not to break anything. More importantly, please arrive promptly on the 18th of April, armed with at least two snappy comments and a (cash) token of your fealty. Actually, I'll be grateful if you turn up at all.

And if anyone sees Ash Karreau, tell him not to take it personally.