Saturday, April 29, 2006
aLAF has proven its self year after year to be part of the Ireland's yearly festival circuit. There mission is to "foster artistic and creative expression that promotes lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women's visibility and identity." I say nice one. Considering how shit the music scene is in Dublin's queer world they really have reached new hights in thier musical sellection at the fest. For the past five years they have had a Grrrls Rock night at the George. Its such a nice change from the top forty djing you usually get here in the queer world. Even Dublins Q&A (Queer and alternative) looks like a gay D4 party and believe you me thats not very good at all.
So its nice to hear that ALAF has branched out and started putting on gigs throughout the year as well. Last Thursday with Hive Mind Promotions (a small all woman promotion team that brought you Party Line and Spider Web earlier this year.) Irelands own Queen Kong and Canada's Lesbians on Esctacy took the stage at Eamonn Dorrans. You can read reviews of Queen Kong on an early post on this site.
Lesbians on Esctacy were brillant . . .but I would have to say they don't really fit into the description. You would think they are a blatent rip off of Chicks on Speed but actually I would say they are closer to The Need. They really had more of an electro-rock eighties revial thing going on versus the Le Tigre, Chicks On Speed etc electro-pop. They were dressed more like eighties gay leather men then lesbians . . .but I suppose what does a lesbian look like eh?
aLAF takes place over the 1st weekend in April in DUBLIN, IRELAN. This year's festival is on Thursday 30th March to Sunday, 2nd April 2006. See http://www.alafireland.com for more info.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I have taken up swimming at Markievicz pool, which is conventiently centally located but is that why on monday at 11am a full punk contingent large enough to require their own lane wander into the pool? Swimming in Ireland is far from cheap most places are close to four euros but Markievicz, who does may I add have a very nice pool and good location, keeps its prices substainly higher at 5:50 off peak times and €6 during peak hours. So what could explain the seemingly independent motivated large number of crusties decending towards the pool at this time?
Lets look up the pool timetable titled "Fitness for Everybody" one light yellow square stands out. Unemployed: Free swim on Monday 11-12. That explains that then.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Planet Mu's The Teknoist was brought over to these shores last Thursday to a relatively frustrated Ice Bar crowd that was anxiously wondering wheter or not it would be subjected to the same closing time as the rest of the city. Turned out we were. The Teknoist delivered a blistering fast paced straight ahead gabber hardcore that sailed across the heads of a tightly packed crowd that punched the air before having to leap out of the way for every punter that wanted to go to the toilets - The Ice Bar having its own quirks is by no means an ideal venue. His music really is a traditionalist straight ahead asortment of gabber kicks, with ragga vocal tingles very low in the mix on one occasion, and some of his own tunes making the most of 10 second long Prodigy samples to get the crowd going before pumping them up with the snares again.
Also: You can get a relatively good taste of exactly the sort of stuff the Teknoist mix delivered in this download over here. Kaboogie are also going to be regularly hosting a club in the Ice Bar every second thursday, being the heads that brought over Aaron Spectre not so long ago, it'll be well worth keeping on eye on their line ups.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
It means one thing, that the lineage of a DIY promotions industry in the city continues unabated, and thank christ too - every city needs a circuit for bands and acts outside of the routine audtioning for the majors that so often is the gigs industry sustained by the main venues in this city and their "haircut" clientale. Here bands can work at their sound in a community based enviroment that seeks to sustain itself with out the make or break attitude of bands restricted to playing to an ever increasingly bored audience of their friends and families.
GZ and Organised Ideas have now merged to host a regular club night in the Lower Deck in Portobello under the Porco Dio banner. These two collectives have crossed over with just about every element of the underground scene in Dublin, from hosting gigs for Herv nearly three years ago in an electronica showcase for a crowd more used to screaming d-beat and where dance meant ska. As well as regularly providing the fundraiser gig infrastructure for a politics of radical engagement such as RTS. The word from those involved is that the gigs are to be a break from the trodden path of the usual underground gig with an attempt to "incorporate visuals, art, political stalls/benefits and any number of other concepts into the usual well-worn formula of an underground music gig." First up on their line up is Los Langeros, Oak, Large Mound and Born A Ghost.
Between two and three years ago, Dublin was a city with a filthily healthy DIY punk scene with gigs happening at least twice a week in venues like the Temple and on a Thursday in the pressure cooker atmosphere of the Music Room where you could see a grown heavy set man in a gimp mask and a wrestling outfit scream through a window on to Abbey St about anal brown sauce over buzzing hardcore guitar. One of the main foci of this scene was Ground Zero, laterly known as the abbreviated GZ, growing out of the Kidz promotions collective which was an offspring of the original Hope Promotions crew.
Now - a sip of my Buckfast for the head that can actually tell me what Porco Dio means?
Monday, April 10, 2006
Autechre are firmly entrenched in the production of a beguiling stripped down austerity that in part defines the complexity of IDM. A musical genre that usurps the dancefloor demand for 4x4 and gives it a blood transfusion of put upon intelligence. Intelligent Dance Music - as if everything else was pig ignorant and the random splutterings of cultural morans with out of control musical equipment. An almost mystical musical form that breeds a cult like obsession among caricitured, hairy faced slap head muso types slung into the straps of record bags across the globe. For traditional musical tastes seeking to explore the realm of electronica, it is the aura around a duo like Autechre that dazes and confuses. If IDM is a mystified form then Autechre who have sat perched on the lofty heights of Warp since its pioneering Artificial Intelligence releases defined the genre in the early 90's, certainly are among its Jedi knights.
Live Autechre really forego anything thats obvious in musical structure or performance, the very format of a live show goes out the window. The severe juxtaposition of a Rob Hall set overviewing the legacy of dance music cushioned the starkness of the headliners before and after their show. In the middle of his blinding mixing, there was Autechre. The lights, gone the venue immersed in a smoke machine laden glow and two faces aborbed in hardware and a laptop. Its impossible to accurately reflect what they were playing, opening with a surprisingly upbeat bass impulse similar to "Clipper" from Ti Repetae, before veering into an industrialised reggae that seemed in parts to take something from the clatter of dubstep, while later breaks struggled with repressed harmonies on tracks that echoed the overloaded patterns of beats falling over themselves like the opening of "Augmatic Disport " from Untilted. Scratching and struggling bouncing pins falling across a sheet of galvinised metal battled with the stuttered harmonies of a track like "Fermium."
Holding out hope for the euphoric desolation of "Basscadet" was as worthwhile as screaming at a certain Parisian grave for "The End." Hall came on seconds after they left the stage with some ripping Orbital as the pent up frustration of the crowd finally let loose. He ripped samples, momentary glimpses of rave piano breaks or the "fire" shout from The Prodigy's Experience and easily pushed them together along some very upbeat celebratory techno, before cranking it up a notch via some staunchly weight laden drum and bass. Only to teasingly drop back to a simple dub track before allowing it rip again.
It may be heretical to say it, but the question really was there as to what was more preferrable; Hall or the tenative experience of being stuck in a blackened room with the audio installation that is Autechre? In parts you are put in mind of that moment in the The Child Who Smelt Funny when the social engineers bask in the warm hum of an open fridge. Lose yourself for a moment in it, and you are swept away amidst this overwhelming dense clashing of influences, sounds and feelings. The desire to paraphrase Kid 606's comments on Luke Vibert, and wish IDM the best in kissing my punk white boy ass could be no more than hollow words. As like that, its all over - with a track that summoned up the template of a screaming hardcore punk structure being strangled in tinfoil, left starved of oxygen under the apathetic green glow of a venue's exit sign. And they were gone, unreal.
Update! A mp3 of this gig has made its way onto the net and should be downloadable over here for a short time.
Elsewhere: Pitchfork carried a good interview with Autechre back in November and Guttabreakz has a nice post a book published on the rise of Warp here. If breakcore ever needed a visual accomplice, or you wanted to induce simultaneous epileptic seizures in a class room of childers, its found it in this. For anyone who missed The Evens like myself, there's an interview and some tracks over here.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Homage to Catalonia George Orwell - When asking Anthrophe if this would be a good book to take with him, he sat up suddenly, said that I should drop everything else, read this one first and write a 2000 essay on how it changed my life. So I did, well not the essay part but I did read it first and really its a personal account of the Spanish Civil War. An example of anarchy in action. And you can see the roots of where 1984 and Animal Farm came from. If I was younger and didn't already know about the Spanish Civil War and politics I could see how it could "change my life". So I suppose I could write a retrospective essay. In the end it entered my subconsciousness and started having dreams about being coined a communist and having to go into hiding.
Animal Farm George Orwell - I got this book in Lunag Prabang when I traded in my scuba diving book that I had no use for and which apparently has no value outside the islands. The question might be why have I not read this before, the answer to that includes families, gender prejudice and teenage angst. Its a simple book, screaming absolute power corrupts absolutley and begging people to fight for anarchism. It did encourage me to buy Burmese dreams go continue my George Orwell and South East Asia theme, but alas by the time that became a possiblity I was stuck into cyber punk novels.
Sex Slave; Traffiking of Asian Women Louise Brown - This book is just badly written. Really this woman has all this knowledge and information and she wants to get it out but what ends up happening is a spewed mess that repeats the same point through examples of a dozen countries. If you want to find out more about the sex industry in Asia I would suggest starting from her bibliography but giving this book a miss.
GB84 David Peace- This is another book that Antrophe suggested I bring, this time I didn't listen to him (mainly because the book was to large to drag around for two months.) But the second island I was on had it in their library. WARNING it can seem confusing to start off with. Its a historial fiction about the Miners' Strike. I actually really enjoyed the confusion of it all, you have a diary entry of an average joe on one side of the page then a novel who's chapters are split into weeks of the strike. You end up flipping back and fourth alot trying to get it all in. I left this book half way through since it still was too big for me to drag around and secondly because it really started to bring be down . . . corruption, money - power - control. I read it dirrectly after Homage to Catalonia and started to be sick of human behaviour in general. I will pick it up and finish it now that I am home and don't need to drag it around.
The Princess Bride S. Morgenstern - Classic. For all those who watched and loved the movie as a kid, this will bring back the greatest memories and let you hear Vizzine lisp "INCONCEIVABLE" in the dialogue in your head and it makes all your adventures a bit more fun, the crazy cliffs that you kayak past become the cliffs of insanity. Classic.
Pattern Recognition William Gibson - William Gibson is said to be the god father of cyber punk novels. This is a more recent one of his that I would say he has not lost his touch. You will be infatuated with the main character unsure if you want to be with her or be her. The discriptions of London, Tokyo and Moscow are brilliant along with the internet message board world. Its a gate way drug to the cyber punk world.
VURT Jeff Noon - Yet another cyber punk novel. Dealing with drugs, dreams, virtual reality, love, sex and fighting cops. Jeff Noon takes you to the world of the Vurt filled with robodog, shadowgoth, robocrustie, pures and many more. This book will take you a bit longer to read then the average novel but really its worth getting your head around the stash riders world.
Around The World In Eighty Days Jules Verne - Mud traded something to get this. I felt through out the book that I was going to be asked to write an essay on how the British colonists viewed the orient and the other. The discriptions of cultures and places were so full of arrogant sterotypes. Yet its a great read to have when you are traveling. Any time you are taking long journeys of trains, boats, buses etc, you can always say Phileas Fogg would have been proud. It started an adventure reading tread for Mud. Which resulting in her naming her dragon (the one that would accompany her on her adventures after I left) Jules.
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown - Ok there was this couple that saw me reading The Princess Bride and got all excited, they wanted to know if they could trade it for some classic after I was done. They were all cute about it. The guy had never read it before and the two of them were going to read it out loud to each other. A few days went by and we never say them. We had given up on the trade untill we ran into them agian on the way to Bangkok. We gave them the book happily only to discover The Da Vinci Code was all they had left to trade. I had avoided reading this book for years, since EVERYONE plus your grandmother has raved about it. It felt like reading the subtitles to a Hollywood film. Don't get me wrong the female goddess stuff was interesting and made we want to look at paintings in a new way. But nothing has screamed block buster to me like this before. So wait and watch the film, its on its way out.
The Plough and Stars Sean O'Casey - This is an Irish play that created mad controversy when it first came out. Its a critique of the Easter Uprising. Basically saying that it was out of touch with what the working class people wanted. Its a realist play and blatently says what it likes. And really a nice touch of Dublin while you are away.
Heart of a Dog Mikhail Bulgakov - This book was lent to me by Doc, saying it was a good travel book. Its a parady of the Russian Revolution. Very weird, very good. But it did make me start to wonder about my book choices.
Parody/discription/analysis of revolution: 5/11
Books where animals stand up like humans: 3/11
That means more then 25% of the books I read had dogs or pigs walking around like humans.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Disfunktional: "If Its From The Undergound I Just Have To Commend It And Lend It To Me Mates On A Tape."
Hip hop is now looked at through the windows of time, stained with the hip hop instrumental genius of samplaholic DJ Shadow and the tight production skills and lyrical prose of MF Doom,. Through this the choice of early 90's hip hop groups to spit words in regional accents like Scary Eire's Dole Queue narration, their rave tales of keeping it going to 25 o'clock in the morning and defiant lyrics expressing the pain of the hunger strikers tying them into the republican bard tradition of Irish pubs are mistakenly remembered as having all the panache of the Zig and Zag novelty singles. Dancehall musical motiffs and spluttery ragga vocals, an odd ghetto inspiration replicated from the states that seemed oddly jarred against the realism supposedly expressed in indie bands achingly moaning in standard NME clone accents, drowned in all the originality of Ford's assembly lines.
That there is a hip-hop scene in Ireland is a as obvious as the tagging all over Dublin, that associated stain of urban expression that gets easily buffed over by the country's councils just as much as the culture industry buffs over the Irish musical underground from the punk scene, to breakcore to the post-punk vibrations of the Thumped scene gig ensembles. Of course Hot Press will pass deserved plautitudes on to Messiah J and The Expert in its usual tokenistic tantrums to prove it still has an ear. I found one expression of the hip hop scene here by stumbling into the launch of Rap Ireland in Mischief while on a college newspaper drinks out. Attended by not much more than a dozen bling bling cliches kitted out in the baggiest sports wear that shop in Georges St has to offer, female dancers gyrating above their heads and women in tow displaying all the agency and recieving all the respect of a harem. But that's not the underground, the underground always displays a localisation, a clever application of a template and the spirit exerted by Scary Eire still lives on.
Last weekend one part of the hip-hop underground Captain Moonlight, source of lame tabloid controversy for musically slamming the ruling elites of this country for their cute hoorism , played at the birthday celebrations of one part of DIY gig collective Organised Ideas. Expressing the same rage elicted from Brenden Gleeson on the Late Late Show recently, the vocalist slams a pleathora of Irish politicians for being a bunch of "dirty cunts." What is interesting about this underground hip-hop is its relationship to what remains of he Dublin hardcore punk scene, with acts sharing line-ups with more traditional ska-punk groups like Dropping Bombs, some even like Disfunctional playing at events like Reclaim the Streets and other anarchist fundraisers.
Disfunctional are punks turned hip hip heads from Coolock who provide a particularly Northside themed brand of hip hop, starting off over a year ago with tracks describing a stoned apathy about wheter its black OCB, green Rizla or Red Swan they sing the praise of a six pack of dutch while ripping into plastic laced Irish soap bar and the paranoia that can grip sprawling urban life. Their first production Feelin' Deady displayed an acute insight into the traditions of urban Dublin youth in bussing it out to Bray for cans, or the sort of open air drinking thats an offence in one part of town and a picnic in another. With several new track availible on their myspace account its obvious they've come along way in production quality and carrying of the explosive humour of their songs.
Industry Remix has to be their finest track to date, with a down tempo droning beat in the background, their two emcee's lash out at "trends and fads" how "the industry is all dead - its about time the fucking public began to show it" in a sense that leaves the put upon rage of many local punk acts to shame for its caraictured, copycat-ism They sum up more as much in lyrics like "'D' stands for distribution and selling it yourself is the only solution from stopping a stranger from owning your words and slinging it from the back of a car on your tour. 'I' stands for independent, if its from the undergound I just have to commend it and lend it to me mates on a tape, word of mouth has always been the creater of the greats then 'Y' stands for your own ideals if your not living by your own rules then your not being real and switching your beliefs just to sign deal just gets you branded with pop" as any Minor Threat inspired bands have ever done with their crust sloganeering. If you are looking to put on a gig and break down the homogeny of a line up -get in touch with them, they deserve an audience.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Coldspoon Conspiracy, Betamax Format and Oak – Free – Ballroom of Romance (Lower Deck - Friday March 31st)
The Retards + Queen Kong – a fiver – Lazybird (International Bar Sunday 2nd April)
“Every house wife is a threat but it hasn’t happened yet” David Bowie – Queen Kong
“Sometimes these poor souls live out their days without ever finding the slightest remedy. Other times the remedy that they find kills them.” Detox Diary – Jean Cocteau
If rock and roll is about anything it’s about threat. OK fool - stop your fool talking –there was nothing ever even vaguely threatenin’ about rock and roll.
Fine lets start again…
If rock and roll is about anything it’s about a pose. Somewhere between glitz, glamour and a partially unfolding, badly concealed long term death wish lies the romance of it. Now it’s good that things have got DIY and its good that things have been democratized and that so many people can have a go…But lets face it…There’s so many bands out there now just stuffed into their jeans and tee shirts that look like work men leaning on their shovels. They seem so sheepish and ironic.
They look so worried. How did they grow up? Didn’t they have tennis rackets? Were there mirrors in de gaff? Did mums have no make up to rob!?!? They don’t even seem to wanna be stars any more!! Who saw that mentalist film/documentary from last year: Dig? Remember that scene. The Dandy Warhol’s – those limpid mammy’s boys n gurls still can’t figure out how to manufacture their threat. But what they can figure out is how to go down to the remains of a party hosted by the insanoes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre…and then steal it!.
And there they are Dick, Dora and Jane – (or whatever the fuck they’re called) creeping around with camera crews in train. Inside are to be seen Anton and his dissolving wreck of a band dying on couches with needles stickin’ out of their arms..and the Dandys all creep in with cameras. “lets do the photo shoot here” say the bright eyed sticky fingered scions of the suburbs…we wanna be famous but we lack it ….soooooooooo… lets STEAL it. We can thief their rock and roll – lets rub it into ourselves maybe some of it will stick!!!
So they, at least, got to first base. They know there’s something you need.
The Coldspoon Conspiracy, on the evidence of this gig, haven’t even made this conceptual leap. Looked to me like low key Rednecks Copyists – maybe I’m being entirely unfair. It was the Lower Deck – it was free – I was wrecked. Captain Moonlight that other night in Bohs – no one raps booze like him – “now we’re hurlin” I hadn’t (hurled yet) but stomach was nervy…Any how the word “free” had worked its magic allure. Maybe The Coldspoon Conspiracy were OK. Actually they were and then the guy started to sing – aw jaysus its just a mess, no leave it, feck it, put a full stop on it, bring it to a halt – there it is …stopped.
Twice for good luck - Full fecking STOP.
Then Betamax stepped up. Now this is what I’m talking about. Anyone can swagger in the Point Depot, swish in the Olympia, maybe even wiggle a bit in the Music Centre. But I first saw these guys come out a play to 20 or so beard stroking musos on a piece of four by four in lazybird in the international supported by 2 guitars eating each other on a table (or some such experimental thingy anyway)…but they still looked like they had just come back from supporting David fucking Bowie. No wait they looked like he supported them. They looked like they owned the world.
No change tonight either. Almost like a shower of slightly aging but still pretty hot rocker toy boys or Ladytron if they were all male. And the debate rages long into the night – Whose you’re favourite? Its the Spice Girls thing all over – take em out all night dress them up etc etc – the ladies love it maybe a lot of the lads too? What, songs? – you want songs too. Yeah they have a pretty good belting power pop robo voiced synth rock style and they look the part – rock n roll…That tune xxx robot is it? Punk disco is it? – Why not? – spiky, destructive – well good.
Who else played? – Oak. Not quite poseurs but they threw some nice longhaired metal shapes and they generated a monster Sabbath style sea of riff. I liked them – maybe not quite as much to my taste as those glamorous video tape formats but top quality throughout and greatly appreciated by the moshers up front.
This brings me to gig two. Back at the afore mentioned Lazybird where the chin strokers had decided to turf out the drone and dabble a bit in the confused magic of glam punk. What is going on where is this shit coming from? – 2 bands in one night both with syn-drums – magic sit back and drool – I did.
First up The Retards – billing themselves as synth pop nihilists they proved easy to enjoy and impossible to categorize. You want poses – the balaclava is back yeah! Not since the heady dayze of TD terrorist have I see this dodgy move go down on a Dublin stage. But top marks for trying. The music was stunning – some where between Big Black and the Boredoms with a lot of industrial thrown in – raw, rawkus and percussive it wrung cautious nods from the musos…OK they where head banging by the end…
And then Queen Kong. What ever it is the Dandys searched for in that dodgy house party aftermath these guys have growing out of their heads like cabbage. They pose like there is no tomorrow. Missy out front is a dreamy teen aged night mare - with that 1982 Clare Grogan shockative (word tm Clare 2006 – all rights reserved) bleached blonde hair, bright blue eye shadow and black boots. The guitarist favours fishnet uppers and leopard skin leggings, one of the boys rips off his top – oh oh slightly misshapen never mind who are we to talk? – But feck they are posturing, pouting – they have lipstick– oh look what’s written on his guitar? –“rock star”…But its not just vogueing they have songs too and miss minx can siiiing and screaaaam (she demonstrated it maybe too often) – In fact she has an extraordinary voice. They have a sparkling, noisy power pop sound that could scoop up those rinky dink hoes sometimes known as The Chalets and leave them in the mickey mouse place – for ever. Watch out Queen Kong is coming!! They call them selves synth pop deconstructionists and they will be sweetly and spicily fucking things up. Many years ago I saw a music journalist waste the image of a “scud missile with an angel delight warhead” on some useless shower of fops. OK let’s reclaim this metaphor of mass seduction - here’s a crowd that will fit it like a glove!
Monday, April 03, 2006
So I have been traveling for 8 weeks now to the day. I have only had three days that didnt' work out. Three days. These three days have been in the past four, which have all been in Chaing Mai! Really disasterous. the thing is this is the city where "you just have to go to" (don't believe the hype!) everything is pre organised for you. Life becomes a package. The reason people come to Chaing Mai is to get out. Really, its for organising treks, taking classes etc, it is impossible to just enjoy something on your own, there are set prices/times etc for your enjoyment. You want to see a park but the only way to get there and back is a group taxi and they say you can only stay an hour. When you refuse and stay as long as you want there is no way to get back.
But here comes my love hate relationship with the Thai tourist industry. I hate how they organise my time and tell me when to smile, laugh, take photos and when to leave. But since they have a reputation to uphold you can work outside the system. Like yesterday we were 30 km away from Chaing Mai on top of this mountain the only westerners in this beautiful park (the rest of the westerners were told that they had to leave by three but the place is open for ages after that). So we walk out and there is no tuk tuks to be found. We were planning on starting to walk and hitch a ride. We decided to ask the security guards if there were anymore buses or taxis. Suddenly they went into panic mode, two falangs got stuck here, oh no. This guy started to stop cars and he hooked us up with a ride back.
The same thing happened to me today, I rented a bike and biked 12 km out to this water reservoir ( I will have water surrounding me even if I am in a land locked city!) of course the bike breaks down a few km from the place. It was only the chain falling off, but for some reason the chain is covered in metal casing and with no screw driver or anything that could act as one, the chain debilated the bike. But the park guy concerned that yet again a white tourist would be put out found someone to give me a ride in the back of their truck to a place I could fix the bike.
The contradiction of the Thai tourist industry is that if something does go wrong in your world and it is there fault or at least not your own, there is no apologies. This country is said to be the land of a thousand smiles, but really people here don't seem happy, they only smile when they are ripping you off. But lets say there is a huge cockroach in your food - no apology and definitly no discount. Lets say they forget your food all together or give you completely the wrong thing- you are treated like you put them out for reminding them you did order something. And lets say your bike breaks down in the middle of no where, you have to walk a few kms in the heat to a place you can rent another bike for a few hours and then pay to get it fixed. Well don't expect anything in return instead expect to feel contempt as if your sheer existance has put them out.
It interesting to note that the Laos people seems to smile for real and laugh all the time. They live in a poor communist country. Thailand is flithy rich in comparison and I have never seen a people so miserable.
Did i meniton I hate it here! Overhearing brain dead American conversations is mind numbing enough when they are in their 20's but then you see them a bit older and you realise that the idiots and the assholes somehow get positions of power. The same guys you hear screaming white power (with out realising the connection to any nazi idiology) at a boxing match between a Thai guy and a Canadian grows up and sits in a restaurant with you and talks about how people at work have a duty to serve you and if you just change the language around and make them sound more important then they are they they will be happy to serve you. AHHHHH!
I hate tourists, the tourist industry and not the biggest fan of Thailand (at least where they have high quanities of both of these) But take me to the non tourist rest of South East Asia and my heart beat drops a few beats and I feal that I am in paradise and might never leave.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
With grimey bass lines rumbling out of the TBMC powerhouse speakers, you knew it only had to be Vex'd that had taken the stage. The visuals with the duo's name floating in the background certainly helped in this wonderous identifaction process as heroin laden hoover noises delivered an aural spookiness over a well up for it crowd. I'd been quite looking forward to Vex'd, their Breezeblock mix was voted mix of the year last year by the show's listeners, it being over here in zip format and their last release Degenerate and some other yoke I downloaded called Function have been sending vibrations up to the people above the flat for about a week now. They deliver the sort of set that could really go in any direction, you expect more pounding buildups or it just to kick off in a harsh DnB direction, with patient breaks clanging in the background, Vex'd were fucking, dark and dirty skagged out of it sounding shite and they were good, as punters bodies flowed in musical waves in this confused manner that asked how the fuck does a Dublin crowd dance to this? This ain't East London.
This was a very odd mashing of niches in a sense, coming in under the Leechrum banner who hosted the night for Mu/Warp, everything screamed breakcore, but it was only the Person who delivered a blistering Winnipeg Is A Frozen Shithole-esque Snares sort of set with gabber threats in the background in a typical vein that promoted momentary out bursts of pit behaviour. It really was odd to have him slap bang on after Vex'd, leaving it impossible for Milanese to down tempo again with some dubstep sounding like it was being strangled in an emptied oil barrel. No surprise one pocket of punters just started shouting "where's Chris Clarke?" during Milanesse. Feck sake. But you had dub step/grime/breakcore/classical warp sound seekers and fans all thrown in together under an assumed common banner of what exactly? And then left surprised when it wasn't meeting their expectations throughout the night. Breakcore no longer fits the pattern emerging at these gigs, if anything breakcore has become a handy byline for a scene that is all ears and eager to what the UK underground is churning out through trusted filters like Planet Mu and on the blogs documenting the productivity of what the estates are churning out like Guttabreakz. This umbrella effect has even being noted on forums such as Tolling Gang and U75 during the week with the question asked "is dance music dead?" before focussing on its underground regeneraton under breakcore and another with an audience left wondering is DnB the new punk? Maybe in mid 1990's, with no doubt what they were talking about hearing was breakcore.
The Person has come on huge since his Exile/Chevron in Belevedere support back there in summer, which if memory serves correctly consisted largely of metal guitars being dropped in quicky in a real rave revivalist clash of samples. Was it all original or was he dropping tunes? I missed out on getting one of the 25 cds though..pah.. I was delighted to see Vex'd live, it was very "bass culture" hoover noises rumbling in my belly- totally different to how I hear them in my ear phones as nice, quite chilled build ups but filled with a paranoid vomit inducing tension if you let it get to you. Industrial as fuck, I can only hope Autechre sound as promisingly transformed live...thump..thump...as for their label mate Chris Clark on the night? Well, with a crowd banging the stage for more at the end, what can you say? Throughout the night was given a visual edge, with banners strew across the stage's front, some mad out of it bloke who probably thought he was acting as a conduit for the crowd's delerium with charcoal strapped to him splattering out drawings on a huge sheet of paper. The 8 foot tale grim reaper reaching across the crowd with a scythe during Clark was a great touch too, and you have to beg the question of those who claimed to have missed it leering over them.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
So it suddenly hit me that today was my last Saturday and that I shouldn't be saving my big night out for my last day in this city since that will be a Tuesday. So I change gears and get ready to go on an adventure to find the lesbian bar. Since the two of us have looked so much like dykes compared to the regular backpackers I had no hesitation on asking at the front desk of our guest house where the dyke bar was. I went with the information that I have. There is a place called Le Femme Fetale and I have what looks like an area but no address. The first woman I ask tells me that its Saturday and therefore closed. I give her a look of suspicion and go ask the expat what the story is.
Since I have been here there has been some political upset in Thailand. The Prime minster made a few bad moves and people don't trust him as much now. Huge protest on the streets and people wanting him to step down. I really don't know the details, but there is something to do with a free trade agreeement that people don't neccesarily want and he was just going ahead with it. While we were in Laos they called an election. And the election day is tomorrow.
How does this effect going to a lesbian bar on a Saturday? Well aparently the night before an election places don't serve alcohol. Seriously. This is a typical Thai strategy. You don't want apathy due to a hangover so you ban alcohol the night before and day of an election. Which then fouls our plans for dancing with Thai dykes grrr politics.
So I find myself in a city that EVERYONE says that I will love. Meanwhile my body goes into shock on driving into the centre with all the lights and people and it makes me think that Chaing Mai is to the 20 year old backpacker what Pattaya is to the 50 year old male ex-pat. I do have to realise how spoiled I have been in Laos, where the builidings are beautiful, the food is great and cheap and most of all the tourists are quite and few and far between. Everything in this city screams backpacker and really these are a breed of people I have kept away from. Not to say that your average backpacker is someone I would have nothing in common with, just that to have no else around when you go hiking and swimming in waterfalls, kayaking or cooking has its perks. Plus the Laos people themselves are just more chilled out.
The thing is Laos is a communist country right. And that has its advantages. No major corporations, no sales billboards. The governement won't let multi nations in. Even though they have all these minerals they refuse to let Americans into the country. They finally let the
Australians in, with the understnading that they had to hire Laos people. And if there was not a skilled Laos person they had to train them and replace the Aussie once training was complete. when you go to a market or a store the people making the stuff are right there. They are not screaming at you to buy. But here "BUY BUY BUY I make good price for you . . ." so much junk. Its overwhelming.
We have made a good go of this city and found what it has to offer us, including Maui Thai, which is the Thai kick boxing. Which we sat through 3 1/2 hours of it yesterday and got our selves all riled up. we might even take a class. And today we went to a cooking class on this organic farm. I will leave this city will so many great experience while hating it all the while. Strange that.
About Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to antropheatgmail.com
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