Monday, 31 January 2011

Big Day Out!

Yesterday I went to RAMMSTEIN the Big Day Out RAMMSTEIN and I saw a whole bunch of amazing RAMMSTEIN bands.

This included RAMMSTEIN!

Before Rammstein I also got to see:
  • Iggy and the Stooges - Iggy Pop is people jerky, aging skin over defiantly toned muscles. His crowd banter is a bit contrived but his performance was worth the wait.
  • John Butler Trio - I don't really listen to a lot of their stuff when I'm out in the wild but they have a great energy and are a lot of fun to see live.
  • Deftones - I'd been hanging out to see them play, enjoyed the set immensely but spent the whole time thinking 'Hitch up your pants, Chino, we can see you underpants. Your pants Chino, they're sagging at the back! PULL THEM UP!"
  • Birds of Tokyo - I had never heard any of their stuff before yesterday but all the people who went on about Ian Kenny's adorable dancing weren't wrong and they were decent to listen to as well.
  • Airbourne - The lead singer scaled the stage frame and played guitar from above the lighting rig before clambering back down and using his head as a beating stone to open a beer can. Enough said :-D
  • And probably some others whose names I've already forgotten...
And then it was Rammstein time.

I cannot stress enough how fantastic Rammstein were.

They were excellent.

I... just... wow.

The stage show, the pyrotechnics, the well-greased German men in leather, the musical perfection.

If I could only see one live concert over and over again for the rest of my life it'd be this one.


My favourite part was when they sang Pussy from Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da...

It was a... special... moment for all of us.

As hard as it was, I walked away partway through the Tool set because I'm seeing them next week at the sidewave and really wanted to catch some of the Grinderman set because Nick Cave has a voice made of sin, velvet and dark chocolate.

Grinderman was a nice way to finish off the night as my feet were caning and I ended up sitting on the grass under the stars and the odd bat with a gathering of other folks staring up in wonder at the group of bearded weirdies and enjoying the crowd around me enjoying the eccentricity.

The venue itself was bigger than I had expected which meant that you didn't hear any of the other acts when you were trying to hear the one you'd picked but which meant you had to make some tough calls during the day if you weren't able or willing to run from one end of the place to the other.
There were a lot more stalls and things than I'd expected which were completely wasted on me because not only did I somehow turn up looking like I was dressed to hitch-hike around Latin America*, I'd packed enough food and water to do just that.
Essentially I looked like a huge dork** but I had a GREAT time.

*Big I-have-come-to-bring-the-good-word-to-the-natives missionary's black hat, red singlet, white overshirt to fend off the sun, black jeans and boots.
**Not terribly uncommon for me to be fair.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Olfactory Senseless

Maybe at some point, thousands of years in the past, ancient humans had a more highly developed sense of smell than they do now.

Maybe you could sift through a raft of flavours on the air in a more comprehensive, more instinctive fashion in order to survive.

Maybe when greeting each other you could lean forward and each scent how often the other eats protein, tell how long ago it was eaten, use that information to infer how successful their tribe, how good a hunter they were, how viable a mate.

Maybe it played a part in establishing diplomatic ties, making sure you weren't allying yourself to someone too weak to aid you, someone who would be a drain on your resources.

Maybe it helped you walk the line between survival and oblivion on a slightly better informed footing.

But here and now in the present I think you should brush your teeth.

Possibly twice.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

Lazy Days

I'm sitting at the back door, dusting sand off my feet, being helped and hindered by two damp, happy dogs who break off every now and then to chase dragonflies before coming back to wag water on me and lick my toes.

I've one sunburned ankle, salt in my hair, my skin smells of sunscreen and it's soon going to be time for a cool drink and a nice lie down.

We're at the beach for the week which means sleeping late, walking the dogs, watching one of them try to drink the ocean, good food, swimming, basking in the sun, cheerfully persecuting each other with board games and watching thoroughly inappropriate movies for people who are staying at the beach (they always play Jaws and like fools we always watch).

Today I helped a 3-year old build a series of sandcastles and then we trampled them like a pair of godzillas before running down the beach to kick the waves back into the sea.

God, I love the summer.

Friday, 7 January 2011

An Opportunity Unparalleled

It's the seventh day of January.

And hot cross buns were on the shelves of the supermarket four days ago.

Easter isn't until almost May this year and yet there are chocolate eggs and bunnies and little lolly chickens taking up a modest amount of space in the confectionery aisle.

I can't remember if this has been a slow process, things creeping onto the shelves a couple of days, a couple of weeks, a couple of months earlier each year before Easter and Christmas.

I'm guessing it isn't as bad in North America at least for Christmas because they have Thanksgiving and Halloween beforehand to keep the yuletide items from appearing too early.

All around me people are bemoaning the greed of corporations or businesses that try to cash in on offering seasonal or niche treats for longer periods of time knowing that people are more likely to give in to nostalgia or temptation but all I can think of is how easy it would be to use this state of affairs to prank a kid.

No really.

The whole situation must confuse the hell out of kids with their tenuous grasp on the nature of time.

They see Easter or Christmas treats on the shelves and they assume Easter or Christmas must be soon and all over the place parents are forced to explain over and over again that there are months to go until then and have to endure tears and requests for eggs, buns, candy canes or marshmallow Santas until the season finally arrives.

Wouldn't it be more fun to run into a kid's room one morning and shake them awake and begin a ruse that would probably scar them for life?

"Bobby! Bobby wake up! Bobby we slept too long!"

"Wuh, what? What's going on!?"

"Bobby, we ate too much at Christmas and our bodies thought we were trying to hibernate like bears and we slept all the way through January, through February, through March and into April!"


"It's Easter Bobby! You've missed over 3 months of school! I've missed over 3 months of work! Your father and I have probably been fired from our jobs... but look! Easter eggs!"


You've got to admit, it'd be pretty awesome.

The kid staring in fear and confusion at the people still on their Christmas holiday, taking your word for it that they're on their Easter break.

The kid boggling at the walls of chocolate eggs and Easter accessories on display in all the shops.

Sure, they'd probably need years of counselling afterward but you know what?

It'd be worth it.