Sunday the 10th of November, was a day of savage, savage contradictions. I don't actually know what that means or what it could be referring to but I scribbled it down on a piece of paper when I was compiling the notes for this review and I might as well go with it.
I cannot speak for whatever higher power led me to Camperdown Park in Newtown on this day. I do know that some cosmic power was at work and that it wasn't that rash that's been plaguing me recently.
I began to suspect that something was up, way up, when I managed to wake up from the previous night's revelries (Happy Birthday Livania!) on time. I hadn't been drinking at the party but I stayed up till 4am anyways. Foul Solitaire, I will best you.
It seemed that the cosmiverse was on "remind" that day as well. My dad came home to tell me that the festival was on and where it was being held. This information was gratefully accepted as I had recently sliced up my copy of The Drum Media and turned it into the very collage that is now adorning my wall.
I met Bluto's parents (Bluto sings for the band Peabody) on the train, but I had to leave them so I could get a few more minutes sleep. Once we reached Erskenville they kindly led me to the festival and on the way there we talked of many, many things, including "horses" and "Gascony."
Segue: Bluto's mother mentioned something that made me think. I always believed that music was a "youth" thing. That, after a certain age, when whatever job you happened to have had choked the life out of you, music was no longer important or meaningful. Furthermore, I always suspected that after a certain age you stopped buying music and listened to whatever CDs you had managed to collect growing up. Hell, that's the only way I can explain classic rock stations.
Well, on the way to the gig we noticed posters for a Nirvana tribute night. I mentioned that it would probably not be a very good concert. Bluto's mother agreed saying that she couldn't imagine anyone singing with the passion and soul that Kurt Cobain did.
It then hit me. It seems that Nirvana had spoken to her as much as it had to every other kid who owns a Nirvana record. If that was true, then it ran counter to whatever ideas I previously had about music.
Danke, you do good work.
There were a whole lot of bands playing but for the most part I thought they were kinda lame. The Devoted Few were okay. Further were okay, I guess. Meem was okay. It was all just okay. I'm getting harder and harder to please as far as music goes.
On the other hand, not that many people play punk rock anymore or if they do I haven't managed tap into that scene yet. It's probably for the best cause most punk fans are idiots. Sometimes, I even repulse myself. It's not that hard, considering my scabies.
Peabody, as usual, rocked whatever corporate sponsored casbah had been hired to represent the unwashed denizens of Newtown. Peabody might very well be my favourite local band. They always play with spirit and energy. Not only that, they are one of the few straight out pop/rock bands whose records excite me when the concert is said and done.
I, however, went, however, with the intention of, however, attempting to talk to people and seeing, however, weird shit, however. The urge to write this review came about an hour after I had arrived.
During one of the few times that I was left alone, I went looking for a pen. I knew that finding paper would be easy since people kept handing out pamphlets and brochures and other assorted scraps of paper.
I tried looking for a stall that was selling pens but it was all to no avail. I did however, manage to borrow a pen from some dude during Further's set, however. Further were ok, I guess.
It was during my search for a pen, however, that I saw the most amazing thing of the day. It was a drunk Aboriginal kid, sipping on a bottle of beer, freestylin' over Cypress Hill beats (I think he was drunk).
Anyhoo, it's easy to tell when a person is freestylin' on account that they often repeat themselves often. Often. At the end of every fourth line was a reference to either "my niggas" or his time on "the streets."
People were standing around him and some were laughing. I think they were laughing because they didn't think that he was very good. They were probably right. I've got a CD where Gift of Gab from Blackalicious freestyles for about 3-4 minutes and he never repeats himself. Of course, Gab is more machine than man.
Anyfuck, whether the kid had any technical ability or not seems to be beside the point. To me he perfectly illustrated whatever poverty and inequality exists in this country both with his rhymes and his deportment.
More importantly, he showed the extent to which music, in this case Hip Hop, can give people back their dignity.
He could give a good Goddamn about the people laughing. When he was on that mic he was the shit and as far as he's concerned, by the time he finished with that mic, it had been left permanently disfigured.
I doubt that the fuckers selling Che Guevara shirts could even begin to imagine the possibilities of what that Aboriginal kid represented.
Listen: A ten-dollar Che Guevara shirt isn't a symbol of the revolution. It's not a symbol of anything. It's just a shirt and yet there are morons who buy the shirt and by doing so attempt to claim fealty to a movement that they probably couldn't even begin to understand.
Understand: The only thing that those shirts represent is a society too stupid to realise that by buying the shirt they are not rebelling but in fact feeding the very system they want to distance themselves from. Yo, come on now rock, what you expect? Stupid commies.
Tracky Dax were horrible, as were On Inc. Further were ok, I guess.
I saw a lot of hideous things at the concert. If I had to pick the worst I would say it was the compere of the 'Essential Stage.' The 'Essential Stage' acted, for the most part, as my locus frame.
He was horrible. He wasn't funny or witty and people, quite rightly, mainly ignored him.
He looked kinda sleazy actually. He was wearing black pants, a black sport jacket type jacket thing and a red shirt that was somehow both low cut and a crop top.
It was bizarre. You could say that nothing could compare to the compere. Ha Ha. Get it? Woo.
1. A girl in a Sebadoh shirt (you go girl).
2. Someone had painted on the wall "Herion = Evil." I suspect that they meant to write "Heroin = Evil." I also suspect that they were too strung out on heroin to realise that they had spelled it incorrectly.
3. The Datsuns shirt looks a lot like the new Supergrass album cover. I have heard that the Datsuns are the new Jet are the new Vines are the new... etc. I can only deduce that these people are communists and/or Nazis.
4. A hat that was comprised of a metal frame and an umbrella. Yeah, he looked like a mobile cock unit.
5. A number of dogs were roaming around without pets. It seems to me that the coolest thing about this festival and possibly all festivals are the dogs and the cool hats that people wear.
6. I saw a dog wearing a bandana! Goddamn, it's like the best of both worlds.
7. Further, who were ok, I guess.
Note: For the most part I can't talk to people. I have a compulsive need to run a savage burn on them and completely freak out the squares. On this day, I was on my best behaviour and I avoided the raving and jabbering that I usually indulge in. If I remember correctly, I only accused two people of being Nazis and this was out of earshot. This was mainly because my usual concert going Compadre had to work and I ran the risk of alienating people and getting stuck on my own. Also, I cry a lot. I also have scabies.
So, a shout goes out to: Anyone who spoke to me on that day and didn't leave me standing by myself.
A special shout-out goes to: Bluto's cousin and her friend (Mark? Andrew?) for allowing me to bum with them for the bulk of the time.
An extra special shout-out to: The Circle Jerks (Group Sex) and the mighty Mos Def (Black On Both Sides) who are keeping me from completely discarding this review and watching the "laugh factory" that is American Pie.
ps. When Peabody had finished their gig, I thought that they had gone home. My brain, spinning as it always does, began to come up with a theory describing how the progenitors of a scene generally have no involvement in the very scene that they create.
I came up with some really good examples, ranging from the leaders of trends in Hip Hop to the demeanour and clothing of Stephen Malkmus juxtaposed with that of his fans at his gig.
Unfortunately, I then saw Peabody again and my theory became just wrong, very wrong. One day I might write it up and post it, but it seems more academic than not.
Oh well, live and learn, rape and turn.
Further were ok, I guess.
Reviewed on Monday, 11 November 2002