May 11, 2006
So, what happens when one of my favourite online reads calls attention to an interview with the author (who also edits a magazine I know I should like but secretly find tedious) of a book I recently really enjoyed, published by a company I've really come to admire and respect – possibly, ok mostly, because it's headed up by a guy I once lusted after without knowing what he looked like simply because he played bass in a post-hardcore band that seduced and amused me all through the 90s, but also because the people he works with are not only seriously awesome, but infinitely patient, even when I fuck-up my online purchase and they have to give me a refund?
You read this interview, that's what.
May 11, 2006
If you live in the Jozie area, tune into UJFM 95.4 FM – "Jo'burg's newest youth community radio station" tomorrow and catch rap-metal machines Pestroy, live, if not fully functional, on the Morning Glory show at around 11 am. If that doesn't perk you up and get you ready to face the day, you must be deaf. Or me. Ten rond says the first question put to them is "why can't you spell?"
If you're one of those annoying people who plans in advance / has actually figured out a use for Google Calendar, then make a note to catch Pestroy again at Carfax, Newtown on Saturday 27 May. Our philanthropically-inclined band will be taking the rap at the Head Rush Charity Show, alongside Cassette, Wickhead, 16 Stitch, Wanton and gnarled veterans of the pop-rock circuit, Sugardrive.
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.
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.”
March 29, 2006
I seriously considered converting to Judaism when I was 12. This was just after the ill-fated pony phase, but still some time before I cottoned on to homemade hallucinogens and arson. My family are, by and large, a well-intentioned bunch of heathens, but it only took a couple of pool parties at the Horowitz's for me to become infatuated with the stern-looking men who range the streets on weekends like gunslingers, black coats a-flapping. That was before they told me I didn't get a hat, of course.
The appeal is not as far-fetched as it sounds. If the Old Testament was an album, it would be something by Priest. Or Sabbath. Something Heavy. Something Apocalyptic. Something Metal. If the New Testament was a band, it would be… The Carpenters. NTOTB. I don't think I need to spell it out any further. Besides, I don't think anyone is still reading.
None of which explains my – entirely respectful – fascination with Matsiyahu, "the Hasidic Reggae superstar". Honestly. The hairy holy-roller gives the The AV Club an interesting glimpse into what it means to Keep The Faith without dropping the beat:
The A.V. Club: What do you do when you have a night off during a tour?
Matisyahu: I have a chavrusa, a friend that I learn with, who I talk with over the phone. So I'll be speaking with him, and I have a couple meetings and interviews. I think there's the possibility of some bowling happening at some point.
'Purimpalooza'. That's funny.