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.

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.

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.


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.}

our men in hangover

June 2, 2006

"It started out as a joke, it turned into a subculture explosion. Bursting through the underground like an inebriated suicide bomber, The four hooligans locked in the HALFPRICE menagerie of a rock and roll band are coming out swinging, ready to flatten the planet!"

Yes, the classy little drunks are back. Catch Homo Pete and the boys at their catchily titled 'Unbanned and Rebooked a.k.a. Damn the Man, Screw the Exams' show at Mercury Live in Cape Town tonight. LP Show and Killerearfukaz will be there to hold the Halvies' hair back while they throw up on their shoes.

If underage drinking turns you on, you won't want to miss the 'Student Night' gig at Lepht, 4 Buiten Street, on Wednesday 7 June, followed by the 'Fat Titties Party!!' held, somewhat appropriately, at the Wynberg Sports Club on Thursday 15 June.

And the fun doesn't end there. Halfprice will blow through Jozie, Pretoria and Durbs in July on their Skidmarks and Roses tour, before deportation departing for their second European tour in September.

What's the big deal? I've toured Europe.

for a good time…

May 13, 2006

Cassette, the Jo'burg band I’d never heard of until they signed to Sony-BMG recently, will be going tape to toe with The Dirty Skirts, the band that mysteriously acquired my mobile number and spams me on a regular basis – tonight at the Armchair Theatre in Observatory. R30 gets you in, another 10 gets you ‘special attention’ out back from the barman who looks like an Arcade Fire fan. Or so I might have heard.

I’ve been criticised a little for assuming, erroneously, that all 3 of my readers know what the local bands I mention sound like. It's not that – I'm just really lazy. Anyway, I'll see what I can do: The Skirts* are a lot like that other band with a great name that also failed to sound anything like I thought they should – The Killers. Cassette… well, I'd love to give you the skinny, but the download section on their website only houses a couple of 'test vids' and a 'temp' file at this point, so I can't. Unless those are the tracks, in which case they're crap.

There, did that help at all?

And Dirty Skirts: as soon as I find out who wrote my number on the bathroom wall at Roxy’s, there’ll be hell to pay.


* Synth-rock.

Stereogum ponies up What a Waste – another mp3 from Sonic Youth’s forthcoming album, Rather Ripped. Rather nice, actually. Thanks.


In a neat example of life imitating MTV, a young journalist at one of the recent People’s Celebration Concerts describes how she was whisked from concert venue to swish hotel and very nearly ended up as the Big Dogg’s bitch. Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are:

“After I eyed him suspiciously, Uncle Reo went on to explain to me how "it" works. He said Snoop would point out girls he wanted to join him after a concert, his bodyguard or his uncle would then fetch the girls and they would then be invited to the hotel Snoop was staying at.”


And Rolling Stone celebrates its 1000th issue by revealing the stories behind the biggest stories of the last 39 years, and spades of other interesting content. It’s a pleasant reminder of the extent to which the publication shaped and defined the industry before music television really took hold – and I’m sure it wields just as much influence today. Yet I can’t help feeling that it has gradually devolved into MTV’s stylish older, duller, sibling over the last few years. And, really – one VH1 is quite enough.

lock up your kilts

May 5, 2006

Jozie's ska-riest, Fuzigish, will be bumming a lift to Cape Town next week for a whirlwind ' 2 Days of May Madness Tour', featuring all my favourites: Half Price, The Rudimentals and 7th Son.

Catch the entire lineup as they redefine rude, crude, and – in all likelihood – nude, on Friday 5 May at The Hidden Cellar in Stellenbosch (if you can find it*), and Fuzigish and Half Price again at The Independent Armchair Theatre in Observatory on Saturday the 6th.

Homo Pete (or someone just like him) calls it the 'skankdown of the year'. But he would, wouldn't he.


* Ok. It's in Dorpstraat.

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.

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.

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.