Saturday, October 30, 2004

God the Von Bondies rule. Fuck. I love them so goddamn much.

But more on that later. First, the preliminaries. On the way to the HiFi bar I realised this was a venue we hadn't broken yet, underaged little brother wise. The first time always plays on me a little, and then, once it's over with, my brain takes the success to mean that there will never be a problem for him at that venue again, ever. Not sure how logical that is, but, whatever. So, since it was his first time attempting the HiFi, and since I have in the past observed the HiFi bouncers [one of whom looks very much like a skinny version of David Brent, don't you think? My sister and I call him David Brent, anyway] actually checking for ID, I got a little nervous on the train in, and was making a list of who to phone to offer the spare ticket to if bro was challenged. That's what we fear, the challenge. If he's challenged, he's got nothin. One little question and it's over [for him]. Anyway, as we approached the entrance, David Brent was there and he had stopped the two baby-faced yet rock-debauched girls in front of us and asked them to produce ID. I thought my brother was screwed. Curses. But when it was our turn, the strap of my handbag broke and the bag dropped to the ground and I went "Shit, my bag." And then I picked my bag up and David Brent held the barrier link open for us and we just walked in. I guess my little brother must look older than I think he does. He's never been stopped once. So, hurrah, got through the door with gig buddy intact. In my mind the HiFi is sorted forever now, so no wuckers for Pink Grease next month.

Anyway, once inside, we waited. While waiting, we watched Marcie Von Bondie walk around with The New Bass Player, I think her name is Yasmin. Something happened that made me think that it's a little bit harder for chicks in bands, maybe. Like, maybe they have to deal with some things that the guys don't. See, they walked in, gorgeously outfitted, toting little handbags, looking the way girls attending rock gigs do. What I mean is they weren't carrying tell-tale guitars around. And they went up to the major backstage entrance and said to the bouncer guy, "Um, we have these cards", or something, and the bouncer went "Yeah. You gotta go to the other entrance". So they walked to the other side of the stage and went into the mini backstage area. Of course, they came back out shortly, having found the rest of their peeps decidedly not there, and went back to the major backstage door, where [we imagined] they said something, in their hot Detroit accents, like, "Maybe we didn't make this clear before. We're in the band. Like, the band. Okay man?" It made me wonder how many times the bouncer has responded with sarcasm and dismissal by going, "Oh sure you are. Give me a break. Damn groupies."

So, the first support act were The Specimens. They are massive dags. And yet, they bring the rock. They don't bring the rock show, performance wise, but they do bring the rock music. The driving rock music. Even managed to blow their amp in the first song. Found myself immediately impressed by them when they started playing, largely because I had formed quite a low opinion of them as they set up, due to their extreme dagginess. Because truly, they are dags. This is not a criticism, just an observation. If you ever get a look at them, you'll see I'm right. I was quite dumbfounded by it, though, and delegated part of my brain to registering the many simple ways in which they are daggy in a particularly non-rock way. I mean, there is a broad range of styles, fashions, attitudes, individual flourishes and so forth that can be called 'rock', or even 'muso', yet, even despite the [you would think] all-encompassing breadth and diversity of this 'rock look' range, these boys bring nothing but dag. They break the simplest of 'rock look' rules. Like, dudes, they don't even wear rock jeans! I mean, gasp. What is up with that? Instead, they wear straight-legged K-Mart type jeans like my dad wears. Are we at a family barbecue with the daggy relos here, or what? Anyway, they compound the non-rock jeans problem by wearing their t-shirts loose. Also, they have hair, but no haircuts, with the exception of the drummer, who sports a fro in the manner of the Dandies' drummer. Basically, they all look like they are 30. And not in the way rock stars who are 30 look. I'm talking about the way normal people who are 30 look. It's just... unsettling. That's all I'm saying. But anyway, they bring the driving rock.

The second support act were The Cops. I like them a lot. Really, you will like them too. I have their album, but I had only paid scant attention to it, and not really been thorough in getting to know it. So I figured they would be good, but it was up in the air whether they would be necessary and beloved to me. But now I know that they are. I was just beaming fondness at them from the get-go. For a variety of reasons, namely for the interesting rock, but there are a few others that make it personal. Firstly, the lead singer is dead handsome. His flavour is 'uni tute hot guy with impeccable opinions', you know what I mean? [God I miss that guy-type. Stupid RMIT.] Anyway, his preferred microphone stance is also one of my favourites. It's the 'stick your butt out' stance. You know, the one where they hold the mic with at least one hand and come at it from below/sideways and arch their back and stick their butt out. Mick Jagger does it, if that helps the mental picture, but the Cops guy isn't doing it Mick Jagger style. He's doing it his own way. There's an ease there that's very charming. Anyway, it's a good stance. This band is cool, man. In that relaxed way. I defy you not to like them. I mean, the guitar player bears a slight resemblance to Garth Ploog, only thinner. I found that this put me off him until I couldn't resist the intense feelings of like any longer. See how powerful they are? And the tunes. They're great. Tonight, I particularly liked it when they played She Sleeps With Guns and Wallet/Puffer/Smokes/Keys, but there were a bunch of others that have gone hazy now. They give good backing vocal chime-ins. I'm a fan.

And then came the Von Bondies, who fucking RULED, if you know what I mean. New Bass Player gets a big tick. I mean, she's in this band, so how could she not rule? She doesn't do the aloof girl-in-a-band thing that Carrie ruled at, instead she kinda bops around. Still rules. Also, it felt like she was working my internal organs for me. Unless that was the drummer. Anyway, good lord I love Been Swank. And Jason. I could just watch him play for hours. They were having technical difficulties all through their set, which somehow made it rule more. Jason broke his guitar yesterday or something and was borrowing other people's ones, which mustn't have hooked up right with his amp or something. So there were all these loud, low, and sudden "bang" noises throughout, quite frequently. And Jason would get so mad each time he heard one happen, his eyes would flash and his head would snap. God he's hot when he's angry. And when he moves. HOT. My brother called him "charismatic", so you know what that means. HOT. Anyway, the Von Bondies, they rule. Their songs RULE, their playing RULES, their Von Bondie-ness, like... RULES. Like, A LOT.

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