Sunday, July 27, 2008


friday night I was a judge at a battle of the bands. Shaun the booker, my former compadre from the pub now has a role with the local youth services office and was struggling to source enthusiastic and knowledgable persons for the role and so after a bit of pleading I helped the lad out. I pretty much detest the concept of music as a competition but I understand that's how the world works so on with the gig.

It was held at a local nite klub (sic) which was rammed with kiddies intent on drinking red bull, making out with each other and 'going off' to their mates bands. I suspect the current Attention Deficit Disorder pandemic is not being helped by energy drinks. The usual suspects at these shows presented themselves. A couple of inept punk bands in a the blink 182 vein, a couple of metal bands with cookie monster vocals and pleasantly enough a couple of acts that could actually play. My favourite were the Howl, a six piece hipster combo, great players with a modish take on the nu rock thing. Of couse they didn't win, the chocolates going to the other competent act called The Great Fall, who were a more screamo concern, tight as a nut and very polished but not this judge's bag so as to speak.

The organisers rather sweetly gave me a gift voucher for my efforts, so it was straight down to the shops on Saturday and Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii for the rest of the weekend. Awesome!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

M-Town II

I was back down to Melbourne yesterday. Trying to pin the bar guys down on some figures. I'm still pretty crook with the flu so I left Lize with the car and took the train from Ballarat for the first time in maybe five years. It was surprisingly pleasant, plenty of space on the off peak and I was jacked in to the ipod for the trip, giggling like a schoolgirl at a couple of Ricky Gervais podcasts I'd downloaded. For a desperately unlikeable human being I still get a laugh out of the smug bastard.

Big cities are a different kettle of fish when you are by yourself. On the weekend I felt a million bucks, all suit, booze and bonhomie. On a cold Tuesday afternoon the big city made me just feel small and cold. I still haven't mastered the automated ticketing and being a big fat bastard on a tram makes you feel conspicuous and know you are probably annoying other commuters. Anyway the bar guys weren't there when I got there, so I checked out some guitar shops, ran into Louey the piano player and James the screen printer and felt a bit better. The dudes eventually showed up, presented me with some meaningless bits of paper and promised to email the rest. One of them said he'd been behind the eight ball after he dropped his phone in the toilet. Seems really keen not involve solicitors in the sale process. If it goes ahead he's going to be sadly disappointed in that regard, because he'll certainly be dealing with mine.

Wrapped up the quasi negotiations and headed back to get a tram into the city feeling a bit pessimistic and hoping to grab a bite to eat at Southern Cross station, where the only option at eight o clock was either sushi or stale looking sangers. Opted for a fag and a can of coke instead and kepth myself awake on the train with a nice mix of Free, Deep Purple and Led Zepplin for the ride. Dinosaur rock soothes the soul!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


been fighting the the flu all week so I approached this weeks Melbourne visit with a degree of trepidation. We had a lot to fit in in 24 hours but the boss was determined and given the fact she has personified awesomeness for the last few days I figured the least I could do would be to attempt to make the schedule work.

First up was a visit to the National Gallery for an Art Deco exhibition on loan from the Victoria and Albert. Lize was goggle eyed and dreamy, loved it to bits but I ended up sneaking off to look at my favourite Picasso sketch and left her wandering in a daze. She picked up a catalogue to bring home with her and has formed an unhealthy obsession with Lallique glasses.

Then off to the hotel where we intended to camp for the night. In the course of an adventurous drive we discovered Melbourne City Council seen to have eliminated right turns at a lot of intersections meaning we kind of arrived at the hotel by a combination of guesswork, cursing and dumb luck. Checked in, then we hit Brunswick Street for an awesome chorizo pizza and some yummo pesto chicken pasta and then had a little meeting with a dude who's trying to sell his bar to us. Checked out the bar as well, great potential, buggerall overheads, the only issue being everything I pointed too was leased or rented. It started to beg the question whether there was actually anything to sell . The visit was inconclusive and I'm going back tomorrow to maybe try and pin him down on a few things. Nick our old bar manager has put his hand up to run it for us so I will be involved from afar on this project so if it does go ahead, Lize and I get to preserve our weekends etc.

Then it was off to the Gertrude Hotel for Jules and Yuko's 21st birthday celebrations. Fabulous times were had, the place was rammed with hotties and top blokes in fancy dress and many pints of Pipsqueak were quaffed. Caught up with all the old staff and some other dear mates and had a marvellous time. Of course we kicked on, the dirty old Pony being the late bar of choice. Had an in depth convo with an old Inpress staffer, saw 10 minutes of savage dirty rock from a band who remained anonymous, realised I was on of the five people there not on crazy drugs and drank a little too much. At this point Lize fell down the stairs (a combination of a broken high heeled shoe and too many Stellas) so it was back to the motel for a pie and a ginger beer.

We both pulled up pretty rough. Lize has a bruised bum, sore elbow and wounded ego, I managed to get chilli sauce in my eye and we were both rocking fair hangovers. After a slow and painful drive home it was nice to spend the rest of the night curled up with Squitter on the couch watching shit TV.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

pulling the pin

the missus did the sweetest thing she could do for me this evening. (stop sniggering down the back, I'm being serious.) She remarked on my series of miserable colds and general morose grumpiness over the last couple of months. Then she told me to quit the call centre and do something I enjoy. So I'm gonna! I love this girl.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

sticks and stones

words can hit you harder than you think. In my pub days I would routinely be called a fat cunt by disgruntled punters. Scenesters would often call me a sellout for having popular acts or booting them out for taking drugs in the toilets. Once after introducing myself to Spencer P Jones as Paddy his watery eyes clouded over and he shook his head. "Fatty?" he queried. "People can be so unkind." He was so troubled by it I didn't have the heart to correct him. So I'm not unused to words as weapons. Which makes me wonder why the aggro chat at Vicroads gets to me so much.

Its mainly the kids I guess. They're so nakedly aggressive towards authority with relatively little provocation. A sixteen year old girl calling you a fucking tool, or eighteen year old lads calling you a Vicroads dog. Or just totally losing their shit at you for five minutes. I guess I just get really taken aback at the ease in which they slip into the role of the aggrieved spitting victim of the system. For every small part of me that feels wounded while my ears redden, there is a big part of me worried about these kids. How do they deal with coppers, transit police, teachers and even their parents? Its not some sort fogeyish lack of respect that concerns me, its more how the world treats you when you don't want to embrace its social conventions and how the system firstly produces and then deals with youth with so much aggression. I get the feeling they'll have a hard road of it. The poor little fuckers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

top 10 reasons you know you've worked in a band venue for too long

1 you get to know what the touring sound engineers like to drink. And you realise that knowledge can be more important than knowing what the band likes.

2 your home sound system is an ipod through a small PA.

3 you can't actually listen to Australian music any more.

4 the word screamo makes you come out in a rash.

5 you realise that band bios are a load of toss. Modern bands sound like Duran Duran, Tool or Green Day. Or on a bad day all three at the same time.

6 you don't consider Hip hop to be a live art form.

7 you assume DJs are wankers. (and are proved to be right way too often)

8 you know that the bigger the rockstar, the nicer they are. This doesn't mean they won't hit you up for coke at 2am on a Monday morning in a small country town. But they'll be nice about it.

9 you realise there is more booze in your drinks cabinet than was on the shelf of the first pub you worked at.

10 you catch yourself thinking about buying another one......

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the orifice

sometimes work gets a bit tough. Had two calls today, both from unhappy, desperate people who felt rightly or wrongly they'd been dealt with unjustly. And boy did they let me know about it. Supervisor boy evaporated at the first signs of confrontation and it was just yours truly, the departmental rule book (a very poorly put together piece of work) and my angry public. I ummed and ahhed and apologised and hemmed and hawed and advised and refused to commit and generally acted like the kind of prick I despise. Came home feeling lower than a snake's arsehole.