Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Kate is my cool thing of the day

Not only has she mastered the art of Science she has also discovered a secondary use for cows.

My own Siamese twin

What if you only get five lit points of grief or regret? One home, one child, one partner, one horse, one friend. What if the two day contents of your head get dramatised in hospital form on a Tuesday night?

I've been scaring myself with imaginary knives. Two days ago we were sitting in the cafe when he said, 'maybe you don't want to write those kind of things'. I suppose it was a candid moment, one friend asking another to be a little careful with published thoughts but I jumped straight to what wasn't happening, straight to the part where I had to choose between a friend and words.

One good Peachette taped a hospital drama for me to watch on my late return. I sat down with one of those bowls of muesli and pressed play. Unfolding in blue scrubs was the two day contents of my head. Surgeons asking each other if they had to choose between surgery and love.

I have lost track of my point because it is contradictory. My imaginary knives would cut out any part that would say do not write. I do not care if the writing is good, if it is a stupid blog post, a contractual obligation album review, a dismally worded review or one story that stacks higher than the rest of my existence. I do not believe in the death of the author, those words are all mine and I will have them. But my knives are imaginary and my feet would walk you in no other direction than towards a friend.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The John Entwistle School of Standing Very Still

Once upon a time I was being driven across town in some guy's van, a drunk drummer was rolling around in the back behind a cage, like a dog. He hit the side of the van with a thump but I didn't care, I was having an idea. Tonight my idea came to fruition. Introducing my very own band The John Entwistle School of Standing Very Still. There are two of us in this band, me and Leah Keramea from The Walk On By, we both play drums because that's the whole idea. We reinterpret rock classics on only drums. Welcome to the world of 'difficult musics'.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A definite line in the sand

I have a definite streak of the ridiculous running through me. I’m  prone to bouts joyful uncoordinated dancing in public places, like supermarkets or cafes, I enjoy the occasional listen to Van Halen but I 'm drawing the line at Har Mar Superstar.

Har Mar Superstar used to vaguely amusing and even a little bit good, in his own special way, but not this time. Dark Touches is a shambolic mess of a pastiche. It wanders through strange territory from tasteless dance music for the masses to early Jackson Five with just a touch of Gloria Estefan.

Spencer once saw Har Mar Superstar have a tantrum and storm off stage, in his underpants. Spencer says it was hilarious and well worth watching but if you take a moment to think about it it’s really not ideal when the best thing about a show is watching the artist leave the stage earlier than he should.

Continue reading...

Thursday, 18 March 2010


It was supposed to be the summer of my disco tent but a consonant dropped in out of nowhere.

Monday, 15 March 2010

New Young Pony Club has shockingly little to do with ponies - Dale Slamma reports her disappointment at this news

If you want to know what I think about The Optimist then you are going to have to ask me in twenty years time. Right now my opinion is oscillating wildly. Taken in isolation New Young Pony Club now sound like an acceptable blend of post-punk pop and the new new wave. Their sound is mildly pleasant with a dark pop sensibility. It is interesting at first listen and in no way offensive but if you think about the album in context with the world my opinion begins to change.  We all know the UK is suffering from a bad bout of Joy Divisionitis, I believe this can be traced back to the death of Ian Curtis via one movie and a couple of good albums.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

There's a saddle in my library!

Thursday night Spencer, Madam Squeeze and I will be filming the pilot episode of our top secret television series in The Peach Library. Grizelda and I wandered in there this evening to have a look, partially to prepare for filming and partially to imagine how the corners of the room will look once The Spatula moves all her crap out. We were in there for ages imagining how strange it will be when The Library transforms into an uncluttered room of tranquility, the way we had always imagined it should be. It seems an eternity since I have seen a corner of a room without a pile of crap in it, I wonder if I might have some kind of shocking and unexpected reaction.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Pavement - not the kind you walk on

I walked in halfway through the first song to find a joyful crowd shaking their manes like horses. There were pockets of genuine dancing all over the Enmore Theatre. I like those original Indie boys − silly, gentle artistic souls in t-shirts who threw off the shackles and redefined what it was to be a man. They’re all grown up now but they’re still tall, angular and dangerous. They seemed always to dance with their elbows pointed in my direction.

Continue reading...

The Big Pink Stink or Dale Slamma spends a night at The Metro

Brisbane indie duo An Horse are competent, pleasant and just a tiny bit boring. Kate Cooper has an orange guitar with interesting red stripes and Damon Cox has clean sticking patterns, they harmonise well and sound distinctly like music that might be played during a poignant moment in a television show. Despite the tinge of boring An Horse are infinitely preferable to the band they were supporting, The Big Pink.

The Big Pink think they are awesome, in fact I would say they rate themselves quite highly. I watched with a mixture of horror and amusement as they played track after track of bog standard contemporary rock with added synth drones, seriousness and posing.

Frontman Robbie Furze looks like he was beamed out of an Oz Rock film clip from the 80’s, there’s no possible way I could take seriously a man who appears on stage to Cypress Hill, jumps straight on the foldback before tossing off his jacket to reveal a Metallica tattoo. You have to earn the right to jump on the foldback and take charge of the crowd, it’s not an endearing first move. The crowd looked sceptical, for a little while, but one by one most of them fell victim to The Big Pink’s terribly serious indie fake doom rock. Shame on them.

The Big Pink make underground music for a mainstream crowd. Their sound is grandiose, overblown and made for commercial radio. Have a listen to Dominos or Count Backwards From Ten, kids with emo tendencies and a love of anthems are going to lap this up. Imagine a U2 covers band playing an unfamiliar mashup of Placebo and Nine Inch Nails, now you’re getting close to what The Big Pink sounds like and I can tell you it’s not good.

The keyboard player looked like a smacked-out Cousin It impersonator, his constant posing took a turn for the hilarious when it appeared as though he was dusting the keys with his hair. Drummer Akiko Matsuura looks incredible and drums with an admirably inefficient and theatrical style. Overall they played a polished and competent set, they nailed every song. Good band, shame about the music.

The Big Pink are going to be huge, with or without my good opinion. If you want to say you were listening to them way back when then now is the time, jump on board or you’ll be just another face in the crowd.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Let's bite the hand that feeds, hard

I haven't laughed that hard in ages, at first I kind of spluttered out of a grin into strange noises but before I knew it Madam Squeeze and I were holding our bellies and laughing as hard as we could. We were laughing at The Big Pink. They stormed the stage and proceeded, very seriously, to stand on the foldback with fists in the air. They tried to be serious rock stars but they failed. They are the worst band I've seen in ages, even the stupid banjo busker guy from outside the Enmore IGA is better than The Big Pink and I really hate that guy.

I was at The Metro laughing at The Big Pink on behalf of RHUM, who sent me to write a review of the show. I was thinking, this is a gift, a band hasn't given me so many outstanding and hilarious bad points in a very long time. I was thinking that until I got home and noticed that the RHUM website is covered in 'RHUM loves The Big Pink' hype. This is going to be interesting.

The excellent editor of RHUM has in no way ever tried to influence my reviews, not ever.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Goddamnit Maverick Slamma fails to step up to the plate...

I was tired, I was rushed, but those are stupid excuses. Unless David Young has lost his mind and submits his review in wingdings I suspect I am going to lose the 'review off'. Come on David Young, if you were ever going to lose your mind and submit a review written in wingdings today is the day. Read my probably losing review entry below:

Stop Speaking In Tongues

It’s official, Gareth Liddiard has become incomprehensible. It’s been coming on for a while now and it’s a damn shame. Liddiard’s songs are great stories, or they used to be until it all turned into one long ocker snarl with rhythmic pauses for breathing and noise.

Continue reading on RHUM...

Fake rock journalist breaks solo streak by busting in on The Drones

The life of a fake rock journalist is lonely sometimes. I've been rattling from gig to gig alone, just me, my cigarettes and my notebook but not tonight. By the time Pavement came out for their encore I'd had enough of solo time so I split, flagged down a taxi and made it over to The Annandale in time to see the end of The Drones' set. I didn't have a ticket so I just marched straight through the doors, around the bar and through the black curtain to side of stage. Spencer was standing there leaning against a partition and grinning like a goon. Lyndal was shooting the band and The rest of The Holy Soul were standing in line nodding their heads in unison, Madam Squeeze was out dancing with the crowd.

Spencer cheered when he saw me, held up his arms and made room for me beside him. I don't think I would have gotten away with such a spectacular level of sneaking in if Spencer hadn't just played support for The Drones about an hour ago. Luke from The Laurels was there and Loene Carmen looked like she had just snuck in too. I stuffed my earplugs back into my ears and let my eyes wander over the crowd. The Drones were cranking out their new version of stadium rock and the crowd was going just a little mental right down at front of stage. The huge speaker stacks were moving the air in my lungs for me and for the first time in months I thought now this is really something. After the show we all headed upstairs to drink, smoke, talk and watch that crazy old man named Doc stand on his head in front of a giant mirror. I forget sometimes how unbelievably lucky I am not just to see all these bands but to be there, right there, side of stage, front of stage, backstage, just there.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Bank lady in conversation with Dale Slamma

BL: Why do you only have a part-time job?
DS: I have other jobs but they are sporadic and somtimes I don't get paid.
BL: What are the job titles of these 'other jobs'?
DS: Writer, freelance music journalist, arts reviewer, columnist, magazine editor, portrait model and twitterer.
BL: Do you think you should be doing that? I don't understand how being a twit is a job.
DS: Well you just have to write very short sentences then press publish.
BL: What do you mean writer?
DS: I write things.
BL: Like books?
DS: Yes, I have a manuscript in progress.
BL: Where do you write this 'manuscript'?
DS: In my bedroom but sometimes I need to walk around or sit in a cafe and see if that helps.
BL: I see. What about portrait model? How do you do that?
DS: That's easy, you just have to sit very still and sometimes have knitting needles in your hair.
BL: Why do you do that?
DS: The artist thinks I'm interesting looking and offered to pay me money.
BL: No, I meant the knitting needles.
DS: I'm not sure really, I think she likes painting them.
BL: I see. What about music journalist? What does that entail?
DS: I go see bands and then write about them.
BL: Do you mean rock music? In pubs?
DS: Yes. Rock music. In pubs.
BL: I see. What about magazine edior?
DS: I am the editor of a new independent magzine.
BL: What is your income from editing the magazine?
DS: Nothing yet, it's my magazine and we haven't launched issue #1 yet. It's possible that it may not earn any money.
BL: How many hours a week do you work on the magazine?
DS: About sixty.
BL: Why do you do that?
DS: Well the magazine isn't going to edit itself.
BL: I see. So what you are telling me is that you work one hundred hours a week, get paid for twenty hours a week and sometime for a couple of hours on top of that, sporadically. Your workplaces include your house, pubs, artist studio, the footpath and cafes.
DS: Yes.
BL: I see. Are you married?
DS: No.
BL: We will not be able to process your application at this time. It is more usual in these cases for a person like you to have a husband earning a reliable income.
DS: But..
BL: You might like to think about getting a proper job.
DS: I don't think...
BL: In fact you might like to think about what you are doing in general.
DS: It's not your...
BL: Sometimes a person has to go out and make an effort to fit in and have more normal activities otherwise ....
DS: [hangs up phone, turns on kettle, has a lovely cup of tea and a little sit down]

Dive dive dive

Most of the time I am imagining I am the captain of a submarine on an Antarctic mission. The rest of the time I am being insanely jealous of Geoff Lemon and his unimaginary Antarctic adventures, damn you to hell Geoff Lemon, all the way to hell.